The fire licked the logs; dancing in and out of the heated cracks.
Across the room, a man sat stiffly in a high chair. He was mesmerized by the intricate dance and flow the flames seemed to weave, enticing him.
There was a knock at the door.
The man sighed. "Enter," he said with slight annoyance.
A quivering man shuffled across the threshold. This man was by no means small. His biceps alone were the size of Dantooine waterfruit. He spoke. "L-L-Lord Revan?"
The man in the chair spoke again in a hard commanding voice. "What is it, Rovert?"
Rovert quivered. "T-there are people to see you, My Lord."
The man in the chair sighed again. Why could he not have more then a few hours of solitude?
"Let them in," he said calmly enough.
Rovert stumbled over his feet in haste to leave his master. "Y-yes, My Lord!"
The Lord was grateful for his short time of peace before his unexpected guests arrived.
He narrowed his eyes. There was good news and bad news.
A moment later, there was another knock. However, this time, instead of being soft and nervous, it was hard and demanded to be answered.
"Enter," the Sith said.
Several important people walked in. One was the Lord's equivalent.
Lord Revan bowed his head respectively to Lord Asil. "Good evening. What brings you around my quarters so late?" He turned and walked around his chair and retrieved a bottle of an amber colored liquid and two cups.
Asil bowed his head in respect and took the cup as Revan poured a healthy amount of the liquid into it. "I have good news and bad news, Lord Revan. But I surmise you already knew that?" Asil asked in mockery.
Revan poured himself some of the strange liquid. "Please, sit." He gestured for Asil to continue.
"It seems that after five long years, the war is finally over. You now have the control and complete cooperation of the system. Only the rest of the galaxy to go…." Asil smiled fully now, revealing crooked, yellowing teeth.
"Excellent," Revan said choosing to ignore the last part. He took his seat and swiveled the chair around to face the others. "And you?"
Asil spoke first. "They are the surrendering delegation party from the opposing planet. They are here to speak of terms regarding the treaty."
Revan paused. He had one of three choices, one was to ask what the terms were, two was to laugh and ask what the bad news was or three was to pull out his weapon of choice and tell them that they will agree on his terms or no terms at all. However, if word reached back to the Republic, that he had been anything except diplomatic, the effect would be traumatizing for his reputation and his plan.
Revan was a wise man – however young – and knew when to show his aggressive, fearsome side; this was not that time. He nodded to the delegation implying that they could speak.
A man with a short white beard stepped forward. "I am here to represent Shan and the Je–"
Anger rose from Revan and radiated throughout his quarters. Immediately the man with the beard stopped talking. Shan! A strange sensation expanded in his chest. A sensation he had not felt since…. He shook it off.
"No." Revan slammed his drink down causing some of the strange liquid to slosh out. He turned and pressed a button on his chair. "Rovert!" he barked.
Not even a second later, Rovert came shuffling through the doorway. "Yes, My Lord?"
Revan stood and strode over to his wardrobe and started pulling robes, tunics and cloaks out. "Get my ship. Have it ready before I am down there." he breathed.
"Yes, immediately, Lord Revan!" Rovert said and ran from the room.
Asil looked at Revan with some skepticism. "She will never see you. She knows of you reputation," he spoke lazily. "You seem to forget that you two went to the same Academy. And because you left, and her loyalty to the council, she will not see you."
He had not forgotten. He could never forget. It was a well concealed secret that he and Shan had…known each other. It was, of course, common knowledge that Revan and Shan had attended the same Academy and had even had a few of the same masters and lessons, but the fact that he and Shan had…known each other was a secret he was not yet prepared to reveal to the Republic.
Revan straitened up. He looked at Asil with a cold expression. "She will," he breathed. He knew she would see him as they both had a mutual interest. Revan knew she would like to see the development of this interest.
He looked at the man with the beard. "I have nothing further to say to you. You will leave. Do you understand?" Revan said with venom positively dripping from his voice.
The man gulped and nodded vigorously.
Revan smiled a smile that did not reach his eyes. "Good." He strode out of the room with clothes case in hand.
He didn't want to see her. He needed to see her.
Revan had always been eager to learn. Ambitious. He often thought of himself as a black hole, sucking up everything around himself; just taking anything and everything in. Nothing he seemed to learn was enough. One thing would lead to another; to learn this, he needed to learn that; but to learn that he had to get more information on how to perfect this. He wanted more. He needed more. He strived to know, not just learn. However, there was never enough to know. After mastering one thing, he quickly found something else to know and conquer. He remembered learning everything fast. Too fast, he was often told by scolding masters and jealous apprentices. They all seemed increasingly worried about the rate at which Revan learned. Recklessly fast, with no time to lament what he had learned.
Revan was on a small ship, flying to the small world to settle the terms of the treaty. He would land on a small moon near the planet, and then have a shuttle take him to his designated area. The reason he was not able to land directly on the planet was a small legion of royal guards that didn't like the idea of being conquered by "a ruthless killer that hides behind the senate, with what he calls 'justifications of genocide' like a coward." That was what the HoloNet news report had said anyway.
Revan just smiled. If only they knew how ruthless he could be.
He was currently sitting on the floor at the base of his bed, with his legs crossed. He flipped them out from underneath him and stretched. Meditating had a nasty habit of cramping up his legs. Always had. After a quick stretch, he folded his long legs under him again and rubbed his eyes tiredly. With a wide yawn he would not have permitted within company, he switched the overhead light off as it often distracted him with menial things such as time.
Revan's eyes adjusted to the darkness as he looked around his small cabin on The Battlefront.
A small blue light caught his attention from the corner of his eye. He smiled sadly and looked over at the small holoprojector, sitting on the otherwise vacant table next to his bed. The blue glow from the projection threw the room into an eerie blue light. The image depicted a small girl of about four or five with auburn hair and dancing eyes, hugging the life out of what seemed to be a small stuffed bantha. Her smile was infectious, and seemed to light up the entire cabin even through the unrealistic graphics of the projection. Soon Revan found himself smiling widely, too.
He shook his head slightly and turned his attention to his old Academy acquaintance. He was not very enthusiastic about seeing the newly appointed Head of Diplomatic Affairs again. However, he supposed, it had been a long time coming and he could no longer avoid it. Revan had often wondered about her. He knew that she had not left the Academy. He had not been in contact with her since he left the Academy nearly two years ago. Even if he had been in contact with her, Revan surmised, she would have no doubt severed the connection soon after his leave of the Academy. Hearing about what all he had done. How he had changed. Had he been in her position, he would have done the same.
He had heard about her on the HoloNet, of course. Who hadn't? How she had the voice of authority with considerable weight in the Galactic Senate (even though she was not a senator). How she had been appointed the official liaison (complete with ceremony) between the Jedi and The Republic.
Revan was there. At the ceremony. He was, of course, invited because of his high standing within the military. He remembered because it had only been a year since he had left the Academy.
He remembered standing across the large conference room after the ceremony, watching people standing in a line, waiting to shake her hand, give her a light hug, or a soft kiss on her cheek. He remembered how the soft lights from above cast a warm glow on her skin as she smiled and talked animatedly with a few of the guests, how after laughing, a strand of auburn hair would slip out of her hair tales and the light would catch it just right, making it seem transparent and ever so slightly jewel-like. She would sweep it behind her ear and go on thanking the guests. He remembered how her real smile and her artificial smile would contrast each other in a thousand different ways, but her mouth and how it curved upward, never varied. Revan remembered how when she was nervous, she would shift her weight from one foot to the other. How her eyes seemed to hold sparkling dancers in greens and vibrant blues when she turned her head to greet a new guest.
However, what Revan remembered the most, with every detail etched and seared into his memory, was when she spotted him from across the hall. Her easy laughing died, her genuine smile flat lined, and her eyes turned hard and cold as they fell upon him. Even her hair, Revan recalled, seemed to repel the natural light that shone through the hall, making her seem cold and distant.
It seemed to be a frozen moment just between them. She regarded him with cold fury and he looked upon her with slight amusement and even more regret.
He knew that she would have loved to attack him. What she did next, however, did not surprise him. She turned back to the next guest in line, like a good little Jedi, and smiled, shook his hand, briefly talking to him, and then allowed him to move on. Revan noticed, however, that her smile was never genuine after their encounter. It was disappointing. She had such a beautiful smile…. That was a year ago.
He shook his head as he pulled himself out of his reverie.
Revan was disgusted with himself. He was a sentimental fool and needed to curtail his longings and wishes. He had to do what was his destiny, no matter what. Even if he hated himself for it.
He had to break his chains, because therein lies victory. It would set him free. He began his breathing exercises, slow and deep. Closing his eyes, he slipped into the Force. His Force. His life. Revan's victory.
"What!?" Bastila exclaimed in an outrage. "He's coming here? Now? Why?" she stormed.
The messenger, (who was a survivor of the last battle) just shook his head. "I don't know. The representatives just said that he refused to talk to them. You'll have to ask Bosk when he gets down here."
"He refused to talk to them?" she said rather baffled. She turned to rugged looking man next to her. "Can he do that?"
The man shrugged in response.
"Right," she went on, "well this is just…not what I was going for at all." She turned back to the messenger. "Thank you, Solo."
Solo nodded his head once, turned sharply on his heel and exited the room.
She was in a small room with three other beings. Two Noghri bodyguards (whom she was convinced she did not need) and the rugged looking man who was her close friend and advisor Carth Onasi, a human, who was currently a lieutenant in the Republic Army. Onasi and Shan both sat at a relatively small table with the Noghri guards flanking the door that lead into a larger room.
Onasi shook his head dejectedly, decidedly lost for words. Bastila groaned and rather unceremoniously dropped her head down on her arms.
What was the galaxy coming to? she wondered. Was the Senate really going to let Revan do what he wanted, unchecked and unsupervised? Already he had been linked (not directly) with the bombing of Telos V (Carth's homeworld), and a mass genocide on an unknown planet on the very fringes of Known Space. Not to mention he had been spotted with some very shoddy characters on some backwater planets. But he seemed to have been spotted the most in Hutt Space, mostly on Nar Shadaa and Nal Hutta. He'd also been spotted on Koriban of all places. In addition to a number of other planets including Tatooine, Manaan, and Kashyyyk (What he was doing there, Bastila could only imagine) with very strange new, ships and other technology.
It was also rumored that he had taken on an apprentice of unknown origin and species. Pure speculation, she was sure, but very disturbing nonetheless.
With all these new developments, she desperately needed to speak to the Council on Dantooine, but because of the last battle, the communications array had been destroyed and therefore was only capable of short range communications. The only other option was to get on a ship and actually go to Dantooine, which was completely out of the question, as Revan would be arriving in less then twenty-four hours.
This was too much right now. Not only was she supposed to be restoring order on Onderon, she was supposed to be keeping the Council informed of Revan's movement. Well, she thought bitterly, we certainly know what his next movement is now, don't we?
He had to be stopped. And soon too. The galaxy could not go on like this forever. He would snake his hands around the whole thing with no one to realize it until it was too late, or everyone would notice but the galaxy would be split, throwing it into civil war. Bastila didn't know which one was his plan, but knew that both ended the same way. With Revan coming out on top. The sole victor and "savior" of the galaxy.
"What a Hutt-slime." Carth finally seemed to know what he wanted to say. There was a pause, an angry sigh, then a stream of words that made Bastila's ears burn. All seemingly describing Revan's parentage and his likeness to poodoo.
Bastila, although shocked, and with a slight twinge of annoyance, only had one thing to say. "I agree," she said without a trace of humor.
Just then, there was a small knock at the door, and a silver plated protocol droid clanked into the already cramp room.
"Pardon my intrusion, Lady Shan, but there has been a development on the communications array, and you are needed in the control room right away," said the droid with a pre-programmed voice that gyrated on Bastila's already shredded nerves.
"What is it? Have they fixed it?" she snapped at once.
"Err, no, Miss, I do not think so. They seem to be getting a transm—"
Bastila cut across the droid. "A transmission?" she asked, perplexed. "We can't send or receive transmissions. Our array was knocked out. One of those carbon sucking Sith smashed into it."
The droid seemed momentarily speechless. "I am quite sure, Miss. The communications officer was in quite a dither. Saying something about a Lord Revan arriving early to Dxun."
"Bloah!" Carth exclaimed.
"What?" shrieked Bastila at the same instant.
The droid, under the impression that it had said something wrong, quickly amended his blunder. "Please, Lady Shan, the officer requested that I fetch you immediately. If you will please make your way to the lower control room…." The droid turned and shuffled out the door, followed by Bastila, Carth and the two Noghri.