Author's Notes: I had almost finished this chapter within a day after publishing my first chapter, but then Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures came out. Lol, maybe I'll just write a Conan fic instead.
Summary: Darth Revan has slain Malak and assumed the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith, though only because it offered a chance to be together with Bastila. postKOTOR1, starting from DSMRevan/DSBastila.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to the Star Wars franchise.
The Lady and the Lord
I activated my double-bladed lightsaber and gave it an experimental twirl. The bright red colour took a lot of time to get used to since I had always used yellow. As such, I couldn't much rely on sight to track my blades. That was of no consequence to a Sith Lord, of course. Even if I was new to the job.
The only reason I was even an apprentice was because of my coveted Battle Meditation. The Jedi Council kept prancing me around and dragging me in their fights while holding their leash tight on me. It took constant weeks of torture and abuse of that wretched monster Malak to realize my true potential. I was more than just a master of Battle Meditation. Within me was a potential that had just been uncovered when I embraced the Dark Side of the force.
I remembered the first time I was swept up in its waves. It was as if a gate had opened up in me, pouring all my repressed emotions in the open. I let out my frustration for the Jedi Council for binding me in their chains. I let out my hatred for the weak Republic who seemed intent on destroying themselves than their enemies. I let out my passion for the one I shared a bond with. With Revan.
Just to stare at him was as if you stared at the sun. His power and majesty was undeniable. The very mention of his name invoked fear or admiration. He was a man of great destiny, and you would either follow his wake or be left behind.
I chose to follow him.
It was more than a mad lust of power. Certainly the Sith within me coveted his strength for myself. But there was something else, something greater, something more fulfilling than that. It was love. The Jedi Masters may have tried to wipe his mind and reprogram his identity with a different history, but his underlying soul had never been bent to their wills. He was a swirling storm that answered to no one except for the one he cared for. Except for me.
I was his apprentice, but also his friend, his lover. Perhaps in time I would become even more than that. Perhaps I would become a true Dark Lady of the Sith. Perhaps I would simply marry him and carry his babies. Whatever my role in the future, I was sure he would teach me how to become stronger, so that one day I would come close to that swirling maelstrom within his core.
"Well Bastila, think you can score a scratch on me?"
But for now, I simply want to bed him! It was another part of me that was unlocked from my self. Even though the Jedi discouraged such behaviour, I drank upon the stares directed to me. I had powers, it was only fair to have beauty on my side. At least that was one useful thing I got from my mother. I was special; the only Jedi in this era to be able to use the rare art of Battle Meditation, and the first one to truly master it.
I was good, oh yes, really good. I had a way with people ever since I was a padawan. I couldn't resist it, though I repressed it as best as I could.
There is no passion, there is peace.
Bah! I scorned the Jedi Code now. Weak teachings for the weak. They held me back by grouping me with the other worthless padawans. Even as my popularity had risen, I had nothing else but my power to influence morale. In my desperation to prove my worth, I embraced the saberstaff.
Oh Bastila, are you sure? Oh Bastila, don't you think that's too hard on yourself? I was glad I didn't listen to them. I only wished I didn't listen to them more.
"It's Bastion now, and prepare for a rough night, master!"
His mask stayed silent. It hid his expression. Unlike other Sith Lords, he didn't use extravagant protrusions or exotic features to decorate his armour. It was red, with a touch of black. It was deceptively simple, yet amazingly capable. There was no telling the quality of its plates and what its functions were.
He was intimidating. He did nothing to enhance his relatively normal height or his average bulk. Compared to the giant Malak, it seemed almost a mistake that this man – who was still in his late twenties even – had been a Sith Master once. The key word was almost. You just knew there was something off about him. A reliance to armor hindered the use of force abilities, yet he didn't seem the type to be able to use armour effectively. You couldn't gage his strength by watching alone. You had to battle him.
His single hilt lightsaber seemed unremarkable. It was identical to the one he made on Dantooine when he was unwittingly reintroduced to the Order, save for the new red energy blade. The fact that it was set on training mode did little to reassure me.
Revan had been a fJedi Consular when he was still a Jedi. He had a formidable command of the Force. But he was more than that. He was intelligent and cunning. The Jedi Masters recognized his charismatic will and trained him to the deepest path of the Force, and how to deal with people without it. He had such a way with words that people doubted whether or not they were mind tricked. That was never the case, however. Revan didn't need the Force to bend people to do his bidding.
He whirled his blade and held his stance in a mock posture, as if to goad me into exploiting the obvious holes in his defence. I knew him long enough to recognize what he really meant. He didn't need opening stances. He was so in tune with the Force that he could start a fight with his hands tied behind his back and win against ten of me.
I made my move. I threw my blade with the Force in a swirling path that would score his shin. At the same time, I moved to his flank while I summoned my best talent in the Force: I influenced his mind and assaulted him with conflicted images. It was difficult to leak anything past his mental barriers. He had locked out the bond between us before we started the session.
He had already parried my double lightsaber with a smooth and effortless stroke that directed it away from him – and me. The ease at which he did it was certainly a testament to his formidable precognition. Though he was no true seer, he flowed deeper within the Force than anyone else and let it direct his actions. His adaptability and serenity in battle showed a remarkable mastering of Form VI, the Moderation Form.
No weaknesses, but no strengths. It combined all the techniques of the previous forms and it balanced each their uses. My master regarded the lightsaber as a tool, and was careful not to become over dependant on the weapon. Niiman was fluid and low-maintenance. He wasn't as flashy as Malak using Djem So, but in a way that merely made him stronger than he seemed.
Certainly, it left his mind for other things to concentrate upon. As his saber hand prepared to meet my charge, his left unleashed a push. It was as anticipated; I nudged his thoughts into expending the Force in this manner. It was a simple matter of throwing up a simple barrier and cutting though the invisible hand. I was already by his side as I tried to sweep his feet, only to retract my legs at the last moment at the swipe of his saber. My arms were engaged in a rapid fist fight, though Revan easily slipped from my grasp as he evaded most of my strikes.
I was forced to step back and call back my saber as he slashed his saber in front of him. As soon as we had put a healthy distance between us did my saber return. I regarded my opponent carefully. Though I couldn't unleash the full effect of Battle Meditation in a duel, I was always able to manipulate others with a weaker, subtler version. Yet I knew at once that he would be fazed. He held absolute conviction that he would win. To him, it seemed she was simply trying parlor tricks. She had to try though, and perhaps he wasn't really as immune as he seemed to be.
Damn that mask of his. It hid too much.
Again, I seized the initiative and jumped off the ground to make a diagonal spin, already settling in Form IV, the Aggression Form. Despite what people might think of me, I had a lot of stamina. Partly, it was needed to sustain the Battle Meditation for hours. It served me well as I employed Ataru in an attempt to catch him off-guard, though hopeless as it sounded. There were many variations, many options with a double bladed lightsaber. The acrobatics fuelled my unorthodox fighting style. I jumped, I spun, I parried, I twirled. I let my passion overflow me as I let the Force enhance my endurance and reflexes. I responded faster than I had ever done as I was invigorated by my master's precence. I drank from his oozing power as I drew my strength from other sources.
My blows were hitting harder while I blended my fighting style with some touches of Form II. My speed started to catch up with his, though I was still no match force him. He deflected or evaded my moves with ease with the minimal amount of effort. He drew upon aspects of Form III as he whittled away my offensive.
He was toying with me!
"Attack me with all your strength, master!"
He showed no sign of change. I took risks, presented holes, and abated some of my speed in favour of strength. Yet he parried my double sabers in a deflecting manner, defusing large amount of kinetic energy into harmless directions. My anger and frustration welled within me. I had to best him! I had to show him what I was capable of!
Though, after a minute or two of trading blows I was pulled from my confidence. Doubt was already firmly planted, making a change in plans quite necessary. He was using the classic trap of sweeping up my anger to rain down blows at his perfect defence. He was willing to wait for me to tire myself. I couldn't let that happen, so I disengaged.
"It wouldn't be much of a lesson if I'd crush you in seconds.", he quipped.
What an ingrate he can be sometimes! I gripped my saber tighter and propelled myself forwards. The wind whipped around my lengthy hair as I thrust a point towards Revan, only to skid at the last second in an attempt to tackle his legs. His feet already met mine as my blade met his. I slapped my free hand against the floor to jump upwards and tried to kick his jaw, only to break off in mid-stroke as his saber intercepted its path.
Damn it now! I was practically upside down now while he was still in a prepared state. As a last resort I manifested my anger and my passion in a fierce Force Lighting arc that was sure to affect him. I let myself surrender to its whipping currents as I laughed at the strength in my veins!
What he did was what I had never expected someone could do. He stretched out his hand and absorbed all the currents! It was like he was sucking the Force right out of me! The bond between us rippled as he gazed upon every savage memory I had. My eyes pricked in tears as I struggled to hold the madness that fuelled my strength, only to fail me in the end.
More exhaustion than ever before grappled with my breath. I wheezed and coughed, trying to get my breathing back in order. How could I fail? Even if it was against my master, I should have been able to dent his defences! Was he so far ahead of me that I was nothing but a worm to him, or was it simply my weakness that had failed me?
He held his steely gaze against me. I felt nothing through our bond. Somehow I could feel his inner power burning against my skin as he tingled with my energy. With a casual flick he bounced the compressed bolt of Force Lightning against a chair in the back, utterly annihilating it.
Disappointment tore up inside of me. I felt so unworthy of his love and attention. There were far more Sith Ladies who were prettier and stronger than me. In the end, I had only my Battle Meditation to make myself worthy. Why didn't Revan just lock me up in a cell and force me to use it whenever he pleased to? Fear crept up in me. Was he so disgusted with me that he'd toss me aside?
The answer came through our bond. For a single moment I felt I could fly. He loved me! It was more than just power that mattered. It didn't matter that I couldn't keep up. I was behind him, yes, but I could learn. I could reform myself into a capable warrior at his side. He was confident I could learn from him.
But he wanted me to detach from the Dark Side first. How could I? There was unimaginable power at my grasp. How could I give it up once I tasted its invigorating energy? Revan was power, yes, but I somehow doubted I could reach the same perfection in the Force as he had reached. He was ages ahead of me in wisdom. A single Force caress at my cheek swept away my doubts.
I kept smiling as he left me to wash up and go over his files. Being a Dark Lord of the Sith was a busy job, despite the heavy amount of delegation involved. Revan needed time to get up to date on the inner workings of the Empire. After a time, I washed up myself, end dressed myself in my new garment. I had devoted my life for my master, and so my clothing reflected that. I wore a heavy robe of black that was comfortable yet alluring at the same time. A heavy cowl would hide my features to the public as I wished.
But the most defining feature was strapped over it. I strapped up the leathery armour that would encompass my torso and my arms, ending with a pair of firm fingerless gloves. I revelled at the colour I had chosen, in the exact pale dark red as my master's armour. I marvelled at my fate. I had the strongest Sith Lord – if you can even call him a Sith – in my grasp, and held a position that had dominion over billions of subjects spread over hundreds of worlds. If I wanted to, I could order my minions to poison the entire surface of a planet or the enslavement of an entire species. The immense authority at my fingertips was succulent as it was addictive. It was good to be Sith.
I knew it wasn't that simple, of course. The common people in our territory despised the Sith garrison forces and knew nothing of its beliefs. These rimworlders rather be left alone, where they would descend into helplessness, or desired to be a part of the Galactic Republic, who would do nothing for them. The Army and the Navy were effective and competent, though. They provided a refuge for many rabble, from debt-laden laborers to escaped slaves, and gave them a new life. They trained, they fought, they bonded, and if they were lucky, they may happen to retire with a modest pension. It was the perfect opportunity for the strong to reach their potential.
The problem lay in the Force Sensitives. Compared to the total population they were but a handful, but each were worth their weight in gold. Even the weakest Sith Adept would become powerful factors in their later life. The dozens of Sith Lords who commanded a significant sway over the Force would be the biggest thorns in our side. They were nothing compared to my master, of course, but I had seen plenty of battle to know that I could be outmatched, even with my new talents in the Dark Side. Being apprenticed to the leader of their Empire meant being in great risk. It was part of the job. Well, let those jealous schutta's come.
Though, Revan didn't share the same thought. He was going to the heart of one of the most powerful academies and would most likely confront the powerful teachers. It was quite the bold idea, but I had the utmost confidence that my master could crush them all if he wished to. He wasn't the Dark Lord for nothing.
I followed my master at a small distance behind him as he crossed the surface of some ancient smooth bridge. The Academy loomed in front of us in its majestic glory. The surrounding cliffs and hills were rocky and broken, a consequence of the cataclysm that ended the Mandalorians. The entire world seemed lifeless, but we had glimpsed several Force infused animals skulking about.
As soon as we reached the front courtyard shapes suddenly emerged from the left and right of us. I immediately reached for my lightsaber, but Revan suddenly commanded me to hold. Glancing tensely, I kept my eyes on the Sith Assassins as they disabled their cloaking device and marched towards the middle. Both sides approached each other and knelt down with their fist against the surface. I realized now that they were welcoming us, suggesting us to go forwards through the tunnel of Assassins. Revan accepted the wordless invitation without a sign, and as his faithful servant, I followed his wake.
Soon we reached inside, and I felt the energies of the Dark Side wash over me in a greater intensity than before. The entire Acadamy was supposedly a leftover of the ancient Sith. I believed it. The architecture was arcane and empty. Black, white, and red seemed to be the theme. Blood red circles and other Sith symbols adorned the walls. Revan led me down the hallways where countless of masked uniformed Assassins went about their way. I saw them spar. I saw them meditate. I saw them simply walk. The most eerie detail was that I never saw them without their masks, and I never heard them speak a word. It was as if they were ghosts.
We met a few Sith Masters along the way. They were obviously instructors of some sort. Unlike the Assassins, they refused to bow or kneel at our presence. The insolence in them! Their minds were closed tight, as expected of ones who have attained mastery in their field, but to one who was able to influence the minds of millions of soldiers, it presented but a small challenge. I tentatively extended the Force to their minds, hoping to get a glimpse of their thoughts without their notice. I was not sure if some of them realized what I was doing, but being apprenticed to the Dark Lord offered me enough protection for them to speak it out.
They were disconcerted. No, they were clearly troubled. Malak presented a known quality. He was a master at the lightsaber, he was intelligent enough to maintain discipline, and he was predictably ruthless. They acknowledged Malak as the defeater of Revan. But to see him back was one thing, to see his changes was another. They knew Revan had changed. They could see it with their very eyes, if they touched out with the slightest touch of the Force. My master looked the same as ever, but underneath it all he did not bother to hide his signature. The mix of the Dark and Light was heretical for some Sith, it was an abomination for others. Despite that, they knew he was the real Revan, and they acknowledged his strength. They did not dare strike at him openly.
We entered a deep chamber in the heart of the Trayus Academy. Revan paused for a moment to take in the sight, then wordlessly approached the peculiar structure in the middle. It was a place of intense power, where the Dark Side flowed extremely deep, perhaps rivaling that of the Star Forge. I followed the heavy taps of his boots as he neared the circle of Red. Three talons of what looked like talons surrounded the round area. Three figures were waiting within. An old woman was in front.
"Master Kreia. Or is it Darth Traya now?"
The senile granny dared to smirk! Her complexion was paler than the white of the walls. Her wrinkles seemed to be more of a consequence of the taint from the Dark Side than mere old age. Her rag-like white hair was bundled like the twin lekkus of a twi'lek. Despite looking like a living corpse, she exuded a calm presence that indicated she did not draw on blind passion for her strength. Or perhaps that was another deception?
Those cracked lips seemed to break apart as she spoke. "My.. greatest pupil. You have returned in the exact manner as I had hoped. You understand – you truly understand the Force. It is such a beautiful sight, to gaze upon your core and to see my very dream in perfection. Revan.. you are my success."
"I thought you were too old for these sentimentalities, master."
The old crone began to cackle in My master's face! How dare she! Who was this zombie anyway? "Child, you are mistaken. Can an old woman not indulge herself?"
"It does not seem unbecoming of a Sith Master.."
"Labels, labels. You know as well as I do that there is more to me than that. Just as you have taken the title of the Dark Lord of the Sith from that gruff Malak. Does that title really apply on you, Revan?"
The woman stared up at me hard, making me wish I could just burn out her eyes with my saber.
"And who is this, your new apprentice? I have heard of the great Darth Bastion, who was once but a simple padawan. A padawan with an incredibly valuable talent, perhaps, but I do wonder.. if there was something more.. carnal in your decision making?"
I could feel Revan tense through our bond, as if there was immense danger ahead of us. I took his warning in kind, and prepared for any threat that might come.
My master spoke boldly, "A woman like you won't ever comprehend. My coming here was because I needed you to know. And to judge." He gestured his arm towards me. "Darth Bastion is my apprentice, and my lover."
"Fool!", she exploded. "Do not debase yourself into a putrid animal who can't think nothing else besides his mate! She is a weakness that is just screaming to be exploited. She is weak, foolish, and arrogant. Oh yes Bastion, I know exactly what you are. I can see, I can see farther than anyone else in this room. Do not let my atrophied eyes deceive you, whore."
That bitch! I was trembling in rage and was just itching to explode. My head swirled in power as I charged up my body with the Dark energies that mingled in this unholy place. But before I could speak, Revan defused my anger with wave of his armoured gauntlet and a flick over our bond with a soothing emotion.
But that woman, Traya, had to ruin it for me again. "Ah, so the dog can roll over at its master's command. Is she—"
"Silence.", Revan commanded, and Traya looked affronted, but she obeyed nonetheless. Revan continued, "You were my master once; that time is over. I have learned everything I had from you, and I have learned more from others. This pinnacle of power that you see, that you think is your success, is actually the work of my apprentice. You who see but do not trust can never understand."
Both parties stayed silent. Revan stood unmoving in his cloak and armored self. His helmeted visage must have been boring down on the woman. The lady seemed clearly troubled, but betrayed nothing more than that.
"Why don't you introduce me to your apprentices, Traya?"
She slipped a humorless smile on her face. "Though they do not reach the extent of your power, I am quite fond with them either way." She beckoned to her left, and a gruesome figure stepped forwards. His entire skin seemed cracked and mutilated, as if some sick torturer had a field day with his body. The Force flowed strong in his limbs and seemed to contain his flesh – though it looked more like rock – in its form. A pupil was conspicuously absent in his right eye. His left bore down hard on me, and I could not figure out whether it was because of hatred or lust. Probably both.
His deep otherworldly voice echoed, "I am Darth Sion, Lord of Pain." He met the stare of my master's mask. Different emotions sprang about him, and he did little to hide them. There was intense jealously and envy. Did he covet that old crone's favor? Or did he simply wished his power for himself?
Traya them motioned to his other side, but the figure there stayed at its place. His peculiar robes cloaked his entire form. On his face was an artful white mask with red streaks. There was meaning to his mask, but what it entailed to was unknown to me. All I could sense through the Force was.. nothing. At least, not in the conventional way. To stare at his was to be sucked at him. He seemed to exude a great hole, a terrible wound in the Force. The more I probed with the Force, the more he seemed to absorb my energies. I retracted myself harshly, and received a terrible echo within my core in return. Who was he?
Then, he spoke. It was a language so alien, so bird-like but also so demonic. I could feel through my bond that Revan recognized the language. That was not surprising since he let his incredible command of the Force understand the words. But what I felt from Revan was that he was deeply wary of this figure. It was more than the wounds. It was more than his language. It was simply.. his entire existence.
He was a threat.
"This,", Traya explained, "is Darth Nihilus, Lord of Hunger."
Finally, Revan spoke. "You are the greater fool here, Darth Traya."
Instantly Sion activated his saber. In response, I grabbed my own, but I waited to see what would happen before I would activate it.
"Do tell me then.", the woman spoke confidently.
Revan spoke calmly, "You who spent endless hours in books and scrolls, in databanks and holocrons, have no notion of interaction. Lady of Betrayal, are you? You can not see what is in front of your very nose. Your apprentices care little of you, and have learned all that they have from you. I can feel their impatience, their irritation, their hunger."
Traya seemed unperturbed, but I had a feeling she was dead frightened.
"You who empower yourself in the Sith are blind in the dangers. There is no purpose in taking more than one apprentice. It is foolish to dilute your attention like this and it will advance the Sith to no advantage. They will conspire with themselves one day, and combine their efforts to bring you down. And when that is done, they will turn on themselves. What remains is a master weaker than the original one."
Now the bitch was tearing up. She looked clearly shocked at the revelation. Her arms shook as her eyes trembled. She seemed genuinely wrong. I could still sense nothing from her emotions, but that she even expressed her emotions physically meant that she was obviously in distress.
She got what she deserved. Nobody messes with my master. I relished in her suffering and drank at her despair. She dropped on the floor and looked quite out of herself
"All this.. for nothing?", she whispered.
The damaged human stepped up in front of her and spat, "Do not speak of my master in this manner, Lord Revan!"
A small alarm beeped. What was that?
"I am the Dark Lord of the Sith. And you, are a traitor."
Revan tapped his helmet. "While we were having a chat, I was receiving reports from the surface. It seems the escort that had brought me here has detected several ships coming out of hyperspace. Most seemed to be the damaged elements of the Sixth and Eight Fleet. Now why would these remnants phase in on this planet when I had ordered them to conquer Onderon? The speed at which they arrived indicated that they may not have obeyed that order at all and instead, headed towards this system directly. Now who were they intending to meet?"
The surprise was thrown in. Traya seemed wallowing in her failure, the weak old coot, but the others seemed wary. Sion was offended, while that Nihilus didn't seem to be bothered that much. The tension was palpable however, and the Dark energies that surrounded this place was surging through our ranks.
"Your Sith triumvirate is exposed, though it seems Betrayal did not have a part of this." How could Revan know that? And how was he even sure that Sion and Nihilus were the ringmasters of this rebellion?
He was at his element, he seemed. He held sway over incredible power, and seemed to know everything. Was it because of precognition? Or did he read the minds of others? Whatever the methods, my master seemed simply incredible.
But his thought told me otherwise.
Bastion, we are at a disadvantage.
My eyes widened at that statement. I responded through the bond. Why? You have them at their throats!
The enemy cruisers and corvettes, though damaged in some way, outnumber our escort by 4-to-1. They arrived much earlier than I had expected, and the timing is especially unfortunate.
What is the matter, love?
Their fleet is preparing to engage. There is little time before it starts, and they need your Battle Meditation.
Damn it all! I needed to get to ships, or at least somewhere safe on the planet where I could focus my powers into aiding the Battle Group that would engage the treacherous forces above. But for me to achieve that, I would need to fight through these three Sith Lords and perhaps countless of assassins elsewhere in the academy. The odds weren't favorable.
Belatedly, I clicked on my lightsaber. Twin red blades erupted in a neat fashion.
"Master Kreia,", Revan spoke, "you do not wish to fight your greatest trophy. Defend with me against these two."
"You shall fall before us, Lord Revan.", Sion boasted. "You are nothing but an echo of the past, false Sith. You are weak and cowardly. To throw away the Star Forge is folly!"
The battle started abruptly. One moment Sion was speaking, the next the area turned into a chaos as Revan blasted the broken man with an intensive Force Push. The air seemed to pop under the sudden pressure, and Sion was not prepared to face such an onslaught. Immediately after Revan whipped out his saber and threw it at the fallen opponent. The crimson blade struck his arm in a loud hiss before passing over. Blood – or something that seemed like it – oozed from the wound. Surprisingly, the victim didn't flinch at all. He simply stood up and in some way made it heal. He activated his own blade and charged at Revan.
"Bastila, watch out!"
I was so entranced by Revan and Sion's duel that I narrowly dodged something unseen – yet so sharp.
"Darth Nihilus.", I spat. He was a traitor, therefore he had to die. The only thing is, I probably couldn't. I would try to hold him off as long as I can for my master, though.
I broke my stance and ran, using the invigorating energies of the Dark Side to enhance my body and let it take its course. My mindset was fixed on Form IV. I didn't know his capabilities, but he seemed to suck the Force within his self. He would probably be a powerful Force user, so I couldn't giving him the time to pull of something power. I had to occupy his concentration.
I veered off the path and jumped against one of the tall talons, only to bounce off its surface and in a straight path his side. His single red blade met against one of mine at the last moment, jarring my impact and stunning me momentarily. Holding me off, he pushed me back with surprising strength and knocked me back against the wall. I shook off my cobwebs and spun upwards against the Sith Lord's unseen pull. When I landed I pushed myself off again, hoping to strike against my opponent when he was pulling off another one of his strange Force attacks.
My double-bladed lightsaber twirled against his defences. I transitioned to Form III as he took on the offensive. He cut long broad strokes, but also a few swift ones after that. He was trying to break my defences and I had to use every single inch of my double blades to even hold him off. I parried, evaded, deflected, but I knew I couldn't hold it off long enough. The Dark Side was aiding my battle, but Nihilus seemed to siphoning off even that. He was devouring my strength, physically and mentally, with each passing blow.
Eventually, he cracked his fist against my jaw, almost breaking it with his massive strength. I lost complete control of my body as I flew against the floor. My mind was swimming and it took pure instinct to jump off. My legs were still wobbling and I couldn't move out of the way. My eyes focused on Nihilus as he seemed to draw something in. He was focusing in for something strange, something incredible. The energies of the Dark Side seemed to swirl and pull around him, in him. He seemed to devour my mental will by pulling my mind towards his. It took every ounce of will to keep him from tearing off my mind.
His voice sounded within my head, speaking in that same language again. Each voice was like agony, and the Force was propelling his words into action somehow. Each part of my being seemed to be pulled into this black hole of his.
Bastion, out of the way!
My frosted eyes spotted Revan's blur as he charged Nihilus with the Force blazing in his body. His speed was phenomenal as he forced Nihilus to break off his pulling as he defended himself against Revan's rapid strikes. He was vigorous, offensive, and desperate. Through the bond between us I could feel his raging sea of emotions. He was angry, angry at the masked man for hurting me. His aggressive attacks forced Nihilus to pull back as he did all he could to prevent Revan to score a hit.
Behind you!, I called.
Sion, who was scorched and burned in several places, already began to heal as he wheeled towards Revan's back. Having ample warning, Revan smoothly stepped out of the side so he could face the two Siths from the front. Sion hardly paused to resume his attack. Nihilus quickly joined in.
I prepared to join them, but just as I was about to jump, Revan yelled, Don't jump in! This is my fight. Protect yourself.
Seeing their struggle play out, I knew I would be a liability to him. Reluctantly, I kept out an eye to Traya, who was still struggling with her feelings on the floor, and the battle.
Revan seemed to have the upper hand against his opponents, but somehow they seemed to persevere. Sion was a wreckless fighter, using the Djem So form to overpower Revan's defences. Sometimes he didn't even bother to parry or evade, and simply let the lightsaber burn his limbs. But whatever injury he received, it seemed to reform back to normal. Every burn or scrape he received was healed by the incredible Dark energies that kept his body intact. He was using his powerful physique to his full advantage as he barraged Revan's defences with powerful attacks.
"I can die a hundred times and I shall still arise to cut you down!"
The shrouded figure of Nihilus was complementing Sion with his own powerful attacks. He was a slight touch faster but his thin arms seemed to hold a lot of strength. He crashed against Revan's lightning speed blade, forcing the armored figure to pull back. Occasionally he would taunt in his wild language, but Revan would always cut him off. Force powers were ineffective against him; he seemed to absorb the very essence of it.
Even the two of them could not overwhelm Revan. Such was the power of the Dark Lord that his core shined even brighter when Nihilus attempted to suck out his energy. Revan was power. As the two kept duelling he moved less and less. He seemed to become more in tune with the Dark environment. His attacks were getting more savage as his Niman form balanced out against the attacks of multiple opponents. He wasn't simply deflecting or defusing attacks anymore. He was counterattacking. His blazing speed was more than matched by the two. He started to attack with a two handed grip, adding extra leverage against their defences.
Then, he got lucky. Sion attempted a diagonal spin, but he was brutally punched in the gut before being pushed away by the Force. Revan seemed to concentrate on Nihilus, who was facing an increasingly harsh time with the sabers. Revan scored several hits against the Sith Lord; but somehow he seemed to receive no damage from it. The lightsaber tore through his robes and seemed to sear flesh. However, before Revan could score more hits, Nihilus seemed to suck everything in on him again, visibly affecting Revan.
He was in trouble!
I started to jump in but suddenly the massive body of Sion blocked my sight. I was forced to engage the grinning human as he crashed his blade against mine. My rapid spins and thrusts seemed to be unable to faze him at all, and his wounds just kept healing! He kept me falling back, further and further away from the middle of the circle. Behind him I could already see my master's knees buckle. I almost tore my eyes out at the agony Revan transmitted in our bond.
"He hungers.", my opponent taunted as he started to do a roll that would have almost cut me down in half. "My ally will devour his every being. He is the perfect meal for him."
Master! Pull yourself together! Get away from him!
He seemed to be grappling against the Force vacuum that Nihilus generated. Even Sion and I weren't immune to its effects. It slowed us down as we gripped our minds together. Revan was on his knees, his lightsaber deactivated. Nihilus started ramble in his language, his entire voice carrying well beyond the room. I was intensely frustrated. I couldn't do anything to save Revan! The Lord of Hunger slowly straightened and lifted his arm towards his opponent. I was already so far back that even if I could get past Sion, I doubt I would be in time.
"You will not!"
Traya! The witch ran towards Nihilus as he drew in Revan's energy into his palm. Her red blade swung in a horizontal arc that would decapitate Nihilus if he kept his position. Forced to dodge, he suddenly jumped back as he interrupted his Force attack. The air started to crack as the vacuum destabilized the Force flow in the room. Nihilus was ranting frantically in his language, and as Traya started to close in the distance, he struck out his arm and sent the dark bolt of Force in his hand towards the old woman.
She had no time to dodge. The connection was instant. The energies gathered from Revan crackled like pure black lightning as they arced both Traya and Nihilus. Both screamed in some kind of agony as the energies – both Light and Dark – seemed to poison their veins and shock their systems. Eventually, Nihilus seemed to shrug off the effects and started to pull the energies towards him. The lightning stopped flowing into Traya. It started to turn back to the Lord of Hunger.
He ate upon the essence. It invigorated him. He ate more. The lightning ceased, and all there was left was an invisible flow as Nihilus started to suck out Traya's energies. The woman screamed in agony before simply falling into a catatonic state. Finally, he ceased.
Traya's head lolled over my master as he struggled to stand up. "Revan.. my child.. the bonds.. exploit the bonds. They both can't live.. without the Force. Cut it off from them.. and they shall die." Finally, she fell unconscious.
"Master Kreia..", Revan whispered. All of a sudden the winds of the Dark Side started to envelop him. He gave into his agony, and pooled his hatred into his being. The Dark energies of this place couldn't keep up with his strength.
The mere sight of it made me happy. I could feel his rage oozing off our bond, leaking some of his energies into mine. I started to become more invigorated, and battled out against Sion more effectively. We became evenly matched. Behind him, Revan seemed to gather the Force into an unfamiliar attack. I could feel his determination set in; he was planning on something.
He lifted his arm towards our fight and crunched his fist.
"AAAAUUUGH! What.. what have you done?", Sion yelled as he dropped. I shamelessly took advantage of his agony as I burned out his eyes and cut down tendons of flesh. Amazingly, he was able to jump back half the giant chamber.
"Revan! You.. the Force.. stop trying to cut me off! Aaaarggh!"
Sion seemed visibly in pain as he struggled to get the flows of the Force in his body. He was leaking energy, upsetting the air around him into wild twists of Force manifestations. I Force jumped to his position to attempt to cut him down, but always he seemed to throw some garbled Dark energy towards me, a mix of weak Force Lightning and Force Pushes. All the while he was screaming in pain.
Revan was already focusing on his next target. He was using two arms for this. He seemed to manipulate the Dark Side around the Lord of Hunger, creating a vacuum around him that seemed to draw out the Force energies he just absorbed. The strange humanoid was wracking in his demonic language as he tried to fend off the assault. Finally, he broke off from his position with a Force Jump and landed at the entrance to the chamber. He signaled something to Sion.
"This.. isn't over yet, Revan! We will take the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith from your grasp and annihilate your whore!", and with that, Sion fled the room.
Finally.. it was over. I let myself fall back as I started to catch my breath. Revan was staring at the entrance, silent. Traya was still unconscious.
"This isn't over yet, Bastila! The assassins are moving against us. They're with the two from the start. We have to get out of here and break towards orbit to help out the Battle Group."
"I.. master.. I'm too tired.."
"I'll fight our way out. Just carry Kreia with us."
I sauntered over towards the fallen Dark Lady and lifted her up. The ugly battle left little physical wounds, but it exhausted us pretty much. I could barely draw up the emotions to replenish my condition. Carrying the old woman was hard, but I could make it.
"Follow.", he stated, and proceeded to run. I struggled to catch up with him as we moved out. As soon as we were out we were assaulted by Assassins left and right. Revan didn't waste any time for them; they were too weak in the Force to throw up a decent defense against Revan's large swathes of attacks. When confronted by a dozen cloaked figures, he lifted up his hand towards the sky and called up a devastating Force Storm that engulfed every living being – except me and the woman. The next large room was occupied by a meddle of Sith Commandoes, bearing powerful rifles, and a meddle of Sith Marauders. Again Revan didn't waste time with them, and sent a concentrated Force Push that slammed them to the walls with massive force. We were already past them as they fell lifelessly to the ground with every bone of their body broken.
Revan kept blasting with the Force, and he didn't seem to run out. Such was the power of Revan that the others were simply no match for him. Nobody lasted more than a few seconds upon spotting the red of his armour. In our journey to the surface we noticed few Sith Masters who fought back their students. They were already struck down by the time we arrived, though. At least it indicated that not the entire academy fell in sway with the traitors, however few there was. The final chamber was packed with scores of assassins. Revan simply extended his bonds to them and drove them to insanity. As we left the front doors, they were already dying from the lack of air.
They forgot how to breathe.
A shuttle picked us up. As we rose through the atmosphere, a blast of heavy guns had fired downwards. It was probably Malak's Doom that fired the shot. The Trayus Acadamy was no more. Traya was still unconscious, strapped at the seat to my right. Facing towards me at the opposite side, Revan was eerily silent. His clothing was frayed and cut, but his armor seemed intact. There was no telling what he was thinking. Our bond was silent as he drew in his thoughts.
The craft landed without problems in the flagship's landing bay. Medics took Kreia to the Kolto tanks as Revan and I marched towards the flagship module, which served as the coordination center for fleet wide engagements.
"Status report.", Revan demanded as soon as we entered.
The tactical officer reported, "Our command is prepared and in battle station. Confirmed elements of the Sixth Fleet and Eight Fleet in the vicinity. It includes admiral Garrett's command ship the Might of Korriban, but admiral Kavira's flagship is absent. Combined enemy forces total four cruisers and twelve corvettes. We have no sightings of any fighters yet, but we assume they carry their full compliment. Half of the ships show signs of battle damage."
Damn, they outnumber us with at least four-to-one. I glanced nervously at Revan, who seemed to be pondering the situation itself. His cool steely gaze was absorbing the holomap in detail.
Finally, he spoke, "They are hiding behind the debris field."
"Ah, yes my Lord, it is probable that they are expecting a threat from the hyperspace lane."
"They have surely noted our presence by now."
"Perhaps they think we are the lesser threat."
Darth Revan, a mere nuisance? How dare those traitors think of us so low! I should have cut down the underlings of those deceased admirals as well!
"Order the Battle Group to move through the debris field to their location."
The tac officer looked mollified. "Lord Revan, it would put our fleet to undue risk! And it serves no purpose since we have already been discovered."
How dare he question my master. Revan stood silent. Then, he uttered a single word. "Bastion."
"With pleasure, master." I cackled in glee as I forced the air out of the young man's throat as he tried in vain to breathe. As soon as he was well out of breath I stopped the attack when Revan cut his hand.
"Do not question my commands when we are not in deliberation. In battle, there is no time for talking back."
The ships began to move. The massive dreadnought plotted a course through the least dangerous parts of the debris field towards the enemy position, pushing smaller bits away with its powerful force shield. The smaller corvette escorts followed in its wake. Revan kept staring at the plot, while I held position on the meditation mat, ready to activate my Battle Meditation at a single command from my master. I looked at the screen in front of me, where several green triangles were approaching a larger group of red triangles. Soon the battle would commence, and a flurry of tiny red and green specks would fly out of their carrier ships and engage the enemy.
The ship didn't rumble at all, a testament to the mighty Star Forge. However, I didn't quite see the point in going through the trouble of moving through the field when we could have just bypassed it by going around the polar north. Sure enough, they couldn't follow us in the field unless they calibrated their instruments carefully, but I didn't see what Revan was up to.
My master stayed patient, but focused. His thoughts were so intense that he couldn't spare the time to transmit his feelings through our bond. All I could feel was… determination. Even though we stayed safe in our ships, he still felt danger was around the corner. To him, he was still in battle.
It was halfway through the field when it happened.
"New hyperspace arrivals have entered the system! Allegiance unknown. They're arriving simultaneously!"
That was a dangerous risk. Ships bound too close could collide with each other. The action only had merit if there were enemies near the destination. That meant these were likely enemies of the traitors. But the question was, did they belong to the Republic, or the loyalist Sith?
"Heat signature detected! It's… it's massive, and behind us!"
Behind us? What the hell? There should be nothing but husks and debris in the field around the system, and the planet was devoid of any naval bases. There shouldn't have been a way for a ship to hyper within the gravity well of the planets or the sun either. A vessel might have jumped on the other side of the system and sneaked in behind us, but that would have been preposterous as it would have been detected by our own ships by now.
"The transponders are receiving a signal… it's.. but this must be a mistake.."
Revan calmly gazed towards the sensor officer and approached his station. With a steely gaze behind his motionless mask he glanced at the readings. His emotions flared intensely. What was he seeing? What made him so upset?
I couldn't stand knowing he was upset. There was so much devotion in me that I would do –anything– to make him comfortable again.
Finally, a single image dominated my mind. An old Republic ship.. the vanguard of the Republican Navy and the first ship of its class. Lost in a cataclysmic battle, but returned from the grave by impossible means.
The Ravager herself…
End Notes: I just noticed that I had let this fic wallow in the archives for years just shy short of twenty thousand words, so this is just a minor filler. When I wrote this fic some many years after the release of the original KOTOR, I never thought that this universe would be visited again. How wrong I was when I discovered the new MMORPG developed by my absolute favorite game studio BioWare. I've thought about returning to this fic again, but when I learned more details about the TOR MMORPG, it didn't really seem to appeal to me. The recently-announced Warhammer 40,000 universe is much more vivid in comparison. Oh well. I'd better leave this one in the archives. Writing this fic has been a pain in the butt since there are a myriad of technical details, none of them easily accessible in a handy wiki or something. The third chapter was supposed to be a space battle, but how could I accurately describe something like that when I have no idea on the nature of space battles in this era and this universe? What is the range of blasters (and missiles if they are used)? Do they travel at the speed of light? Unlikely, since jedis can deflect regular blasters. That means that the range of engagement is likely well under a light-second, possibly just in the range of kilometers or even less. What then? How fast can ships move in sublight? Does it translate through space by slow acceleration (a few gees) or rapid acceleration (hundreds of gees)? Since there is artificial gravity, it stands to reason that inertial dampeners also exist, allowing his gees of acceleration to be possible. But this all depends on whether or not ships accelerate through thrust. The big engines at the back of starships suggest this is so. Still, I'm not even certain how the sublight engines actually work. With no numbers, no guesses, no precise indications anywhere in the movies or in a wiki, I feel myself lost in Star Wars space battles.