For Inconspicuous Acuity, from the oft-delayed Holiday Challenge from my forums.
Wants: Kreia blamed for Revan's actions.
Doesn't want: Revan present.
I doubt this is what you had in mind, IA, but once I had the idea, it wouldn't let go. Hope you don't mind the silliness. :)
Jedi Temple, Coruscant...Three days after Bastila and her crew captured the Dark Lord Revan...
Young Master Kavar hurried into the council chambers. "Is he here?"
"He's passing through security now," Master Zez-Kai El said from his chair near the viewport. Towering spires of the massive city loomed in a gray-orange haze behind him.
"Oh good," Kavar said. "I wouldn't want to miss this."
Master Vrook, pacing in the rear of the small meeting room, snorted. "I still say this is a ridiculous idea. Hiring a...a what? A fancy-pants P.R. agent? Is that really going to solve our problem? Hell, I'm still not convinced that we have a problem."
"I'm not one to pay attention to the frivolities of public opinion either," Zez-Kai said, "but truly, Master Vrook, we don't look good right now."
"Right-o," Kavar said, affecting a grave tone. "Even though we've captured Revan, people are still upset about the fact we waited so long to take action in the first place."
"We have lost substantial—and influential—footing in many circles, and now with Revan back..." Zez-Kai shrugged.
"That's right," Kavar said, his young face alight. "The fact that we're helping her instead of ripping her guts out probably isn't going to go over very well in the public sector."
Zez-Kai gave a sage nod of his head. "Especially among the locals on Krayliss II. Remember what she did to them?"
"Or what happened to that Verpine who accidentally called her 'Mr. Revan?'" Kavar added.
"The Gand's don't like her. Remember how she squashed one just because she 'hadn't killed something in a while?'"
"And that Rodian who spilled her caffa?" Kavar shuddered. "I don't think their antennae can even grow back!"
"Not to mention our whole wiping-her-memory-and-giving-her-a-new-one plan," Zez-Kai said, rubbing his temple. "I can just hear the Sith Lord Rehabilitation Ethics Committee now."
"Are you two finished?" Vrook demanded, eyeing them both into silence. "Since when does the Jedi Council care what anyone thinks of it? We've been making unpopular decisions for years and you don't see me wasting good credits on public relations yahoos to cover them up. Why start now?"
Zez-Kai sighed. "Because, Master Vrook, Revan is...special. And we need to do this right."
"What for?" Vrook persisted. "We're just going to wipe her memory! She won't know her old self from a Hutt. How is anyone else going to know? It's a top-secret plan, isn't it?"
"It's just to be safe," Kavar said. "In case word leaks..."
"And it will," Zez-Kai put in. "You know this galaxy, Lamar. It's full of all sorts of unsavory types who are always poking their nose where it doesn't belong."
"For instance, the Sith," Kavar said.
"As I said," Zez-Kai insisted, seeing the dubious expression on the elder Jedi had remained unchanged, "we need to do this right."
"Then you've hired the right man for the job!" came a booming voice.
The three Jedi Masters turned to see a tall, flamboyantly dressed man of middle years filling their doorway. He wore a fur-lined cloak over an obviously expensive suit that strained a little in the middle. A wave of blond hair crested his broad forehead and his smile revealed two identical rows of boxy white teeth. He extended a heavily bejeweled hand outward as he oozed into the meeting chamber.
"Barrakus Doodrick Lovejoy, Public Relations Expert, at your service."
Kavar shook the man's hand eagerly. Zez-Kai gave him a practiced nod while at the same time used the Force to muffle Vrook's muttered expletives.
Barrakus Lovejoy flounced into the room's remaining empty chair without being asked. He ran his hands through his thick main of golden locks then clapped them together. "So! What have we got?"
The masters exchanged glances and Zez-Kai cleared his throat. "Mr. Lovejoy..."
"Please, call me Doodrick. Or Dood. All my clients do."
"All right, Dood. I'll get right to the point. We have a problem. Or rather, we'd like to prevent a problem and we feel it is possible that you can help us to do that."
Dood narrowed his eyes and the expression on his face was one of deep concentration. "Yes," he said slowly, drawing out the 'ess.' "I feel you. Problem. Want to prevent...I'm starting to see this. Please, continue."
"Yes, well, our potential problem is that we have reclaimed the Jedi Revan. But instead of imprisoning her or executing her, we've elected to...er…that is..."
"We're going to erase her memory and give her a new one!" Kavar said, leaning so far out of his chair, he was in danger of falling out of it.
"Ah yes," Dood said, steepling his ringed fingers. "The old erase-the-memory trick. I remember it well."
Vrook kicked Zez-Kai under the desk and gave him an incredulous look. Zez-Kai ignored him. "What we have just shared with you is highly classified information," he said.
Dood only narrowed his eyes further until it appeared as though he were falling asleep. "Yes, and I appreciate that..." he said slowly. "Classified…not meant for delicate ears…you told me, but now you may have to kill me…" he ruminated, as if to himself.
"For the love of..." Vrook thundered suddenly, pounding his fist on the desk. "Are you even listening? Do you even know who Revan is?"
"Can't say that I do." Dood smiled lazily. "I don't watch the news, gentlemen, I make it." He sat up in his chair, suddenly infused with a burst of energy. "All right, let's get down to business. You've given me the hors d'ouvres, and it's left me hungry for the main course. You tell me what your problem is and I'll tell you how I'm going to make it go bye-bye."
Kavar beamed while Vrook threw up his hands and turned away. Zez-Kai cleared his throat. "Our problem is, that in the event that the public at large learn of what we did—that we spared a mass-murderer and Sith Lord and are using her to further our own ends—they might be...less than understanding."
"Especially those Rodians," offered Kavar.
Dood leaned back in his chair. "Ah, so it's a reputation thing."
"See?" Vrook grumbled. "It sounds ridiculous even coming from him!"
"Lamar, don't start with me," Zez-Kai snapped, his voice rising. "I've got a headache that just won't quit and I don't need—"
"Don't talk to me about headaches!" Vrook thundered. "I've had a migraine since Exar Kun was finally locked in a rock and—"
"Gentlemen, gentlemen," Dood cut in placidly. "I'm picking up what you're throwin' down. No need for fits and tantrums. Tell me about this Revan character. Sounds like a naughty little cat, if you know what I mean," he said with a wink.
"Revan did...how shall I put this," Zez-kai said, "…she did a lot of bad stuff."
"Really bad," Kavar said, nodding gravely.
"The kind of stuff that would make people question our very sanity should they learn we've taken her back in."
Dood nodded and polished his already buffed fingernails on the lapel of his coat. "What kind of stuff. Cheating at dejarik? Stealing parking spaces away from little old ladies at the Food and Feed Emporium? What?"
"More like…she blew up a planet," Kavar said.
"Three planets," Zez-kai amended.
Dood's mouth made a round O. "Oh."
"Is it hopeless?"
"Can you help us?" Kavar pleaded.
There was a moment of silence in which Dood gave them each a deep, important look. "I'm going to be honest with you, gentlemen," he said finally. "This is a toughie...but not impossible. There are two things I know for certain in this life. Number One: Degoba is a real estate investment nightmare. Number Two:...," he smiled wide and spread his hands in a picture of benevolence..."I know how to clean up a mess. And you, sirs, have one of those big stinky kinds that don't go away without some real elbow grease…am I right or am I right? Or am I right?"
"How?" Vrook demanded, returning to his seat. "How are you going to clean up this so-called mess?"
Dood jumped up from his seat and began pacing in front of it, snapping his fingers over and over again. "Ideas, ideas. The brain is popping, plans are percolating..." He stopped suddenly and turned on Zez-Kai. "Quick! Revan didn't act alone, did she? Or did she?"
"Why no," Zez-Kai began. "She had friends—"
"Accomplices," Dood cut in. "Gotta start talking the lingo, my friend."
"Accomplices," Zez-Kai repeated. "She had those."
"So she had friends," Vrook groused. "What's your point?"
Dood's light blue eyes twinkled like chips of fake glass. "Your pretty little gal's done too much damage, by the sounds of it, for one of my standard PR packages. Normally, I'd just do a search for previous good deeds, blow them all up out of proportion, find some medals and pin them on her, and make any who complained about the bad stuff appear unpatriotic. Works like a charm." Dood flashed his teeth, but then appeared grave. "But that's not going to work this time. I can help a Galatic Senator who accidentally shot his buddy in the face with a hold-out make it seem like the friend had it coming. Hell, I can even make a useless war seem important given the time. But when you get into sticky areas like genocide...well, that's when I've gotta dig deeper into my bag of tricks."
"'Sticky areas,'" Vrook muttered, disgusted. "Do you have a point?"
"I do indeed." Dood rubbed his hands together eagerly, apparently immune to the old Jedi's animosity. "When a subject such as this Revan person has done this much damage, it's time to go looking at her buddies. We need someone who can carry part of the load, so to speak."
"You mean, a scapegoat?" Vrook demanded.
Dood smiled his salesman's smile. "I prefer 'Conveniently Innocence-Deficient.' Come now, gentlemen. Names, names, I need names."
"Malak," Kavar offered brightly. "Or maybe that General Endac."
"Kreia," said Zez-Kai, ignoring Vrook's sudden, hard stare.
Dood nodded. "Excellent. Bios?"
Kavar pushed some buttons and a picture of Malak appeared on a large screen before those assembled.
"Ooh, scary," Dood laughed, "but he won't do. I dig the freaky dental work, but he's too lapdoggy to be of use."
"He's still at large and a threat," Zez-Kai said. "Does that help?"
"Ordinarily I'd say yes," Dood replied, "but I can't pin too much on this guy. He's an oaf. You'd no more blame the genocide of millions on him than you would on mean old Jimmi Blooto who beat you up for your lunch credits in the fourth grade. Next."
"I think you underestimate—"
Zez-Kai snapped his mouth shut and nodded at Kavar. The younger Jedi punched some more buttons and the image of General Arik Endac appeared. Dood burst out into huge guffaws of laughter.
"Him? HIM? Look at that face! That hair! I can't pin anything on Prince Charming here, I've got a reputation to maintain. Next!"
Dood whistled long and low between his teeth as Kavar brought up the next image. "Now what do we have here? Who is this vision?"
"Uh, that is Kreia," Zez-Kai said slowly, with a nervous glance at Vrook. "She was Revan's master."
"One of her masters," Vrook spat. "Except for Kavar, we can count ourselves in that number too."
"Yeah, but Kreia was her main master," Kavar put in. "Revan was under her guidance when she defected from the Order and entered the war," he explained to Dood.
"And, "Zez-Kai added slowly, "it was rumored she sought Kreia out after the war—just prior to the emergence of Revan as a Dark Lord of the Sith."
"She's perfect," Dood announced.
"Now wait just a dang minute," Vrook said. "Just what's so perfect about blaming...her for Revan's actions?"
Dood snorted derisively. "Who could be better? I can picture it now." He spread his hands as though conjuring headlines in mid-air. "'Talented young Jedi led astray by darkly-bent elderly mentor.' Or, 'War hero seduced to the dark side by geriatric femme fatale.'" His smile split his face. "Can't you just see it?"
"No," Vrook stated, rising to his feet, "I can't see it. I strongly object to this whole thing."
"Objection duly noted, Consular," Dood said, leaning back in his chair. "But I'll remind you that my retainer is non-refundable…"
"Well, wait a minute," Zez-Kai said. "Master Vrook's personal… misgivings aside, are you sure Kreia's the right choice? After all, she's just a little old lady..."
"Little old lady?" Dood said, looking incredulous. "My dear man, that's just a cover if I ever saw one." He gestured at the image of Kreia projected on the screen. "Notice the little-girl pig tails? What sixty-year old woman wears her hair like that? Trying really, really, really hard to appear innocent and naïve, I say." He snorted. "Sorry lady, but you ain't foolin' Captain Lovejoy. And notice the hood worn deceptively low? The public will want to know, What's she wearing it like that for? What is she hiding?"
"Her eyes," Vrook sputtered. "She's blind!"
"So she says!" Dood exclaimed. "And let's look at those eyes. What honest, upstanding citizen has eyes like that? I'll tell you: No one. Only poor people who can't afford prosthetics and the corrupters of our promising Jedi youth, that's who!" He rubbed his hands together. "Give me four weeks, gentlemen, and I promise I'll have the galaxy saying, 'Revan who?' and demanding this woman's head on a polydurasteel platter."
Vrook stammered and blustered for a moment before gathering himself. "That is the most hair-brained, ridiculous..." He looked at his colleagues as he stormed for the door. "If you want to trust this charlatan, then be my guest. But I wash my hands of it. It'll come to no good, I tell you," he said, activating the door. "Mark my words, it'll come to no good!"
Vrook's ominous words hovered in the air for a few moments after he had gone until Dood dispelled them with a casual wave of his hands. "Not to worry, gentlemen," he said. "I am a professional."
The remaining Jedi Masters exchanged looks. Kavar shrugged.
"What could go wrong?"
10 Years later, in the ruins of the Jedi Enclave, Dantooine…
The bodies of Masters Zez-Kai El, Kavar and Vrook fell to the ground, lifeless and empty. Kreia lowered her arms and sniffed indignantly. "Conveniently Innocence-Deficient, my ass."