So She Fell
Chapter One: Fine Again
"Everything's gonna be fine… One day too late. I'm in hell."
She slumped against the center computer inside the main hold, falling to her knees and hiding her head inside her arms. Her shoulder shook with silent sobs, which scared the crew more than the fact that she was slumping at all. Connan never cried.
Not that Connan was paying attention to the feelings of her crew. All she could hear was her own voice, ringing through her head, screaming lies they all lied to me why did they lie they shouldn't have lied liar liar liar liar liar!
"Where's Bastila?" Jolee asked. "What happened on that ship?"
Carth huffed, resting his arms on his knees and breathing steadily. "We ran into Malak. He would have killed us, but Bastila sacrificed herself so we could get away."
More lies. I seemed to be doing pretty well before Bastila showed up.
Mission gasped. "You mean she's—she's dead?"
Jolee scoffed. "Bah. Malak won't kill her, don't be foolish. He'll want to use her Battle Meditation against the Republic. Turn her to the Dark Side and the Sith will always be victorious."
"We'll just have to get her back as soon as possible, then." Canderous replied.
"Wait. Not so fast." Carth stated. He stood up straight, and Connan could feel his eyes burning into her scalp, even as she tried her hardest to hide her face. "They deserve to know the truth about you. Do you want to tell them what Malak said, or should I?"
Connan sprang up onto her feet, backing up against the wall. If the crew had been frightened to see her cry, they were even more so now that they had a good look at her red-rimmed and puffy eyes. "Why?" She spat. "So they can hate me, too?"
The comment—the ferocity of it and who it was aimed at in particular—set them all on edge. "What's going on?" Mission asked.
Carth turned to Mission. "Malak said—"
"Oh, I don't care who you say I am!" Connan snarled. "I don't care who he says I am! I am not, was not, and never will be Revan!"
All of the oxygen left the room as a collective gasp rang through the air. Unbeknownst to everyone but Connan, (who was paying strict attention to the reactions of her crewmates) Juhani stepped out of sight and left the room completely.
"Revan?" Mission asked, looking horrified. She took a step back. "What…what are you talking about? Is this some kind of joke?"
"No, it's no joke." Carth started before Connan could defend herself. "The Jedi Council captured Revan and erased the Dark Lord's mind, programming in a new identity. Saul Karath told me on the Leviathan and Bastila confirmed it."
Programmed. What am I? A machine?
"You're Darth Revan?" Mission gawked. "This… this is big. Do you… remember anything about being the Dark Lord?"
"A few flashes, sometimes. One big flash just a little while ago while talking to Malak." Connan answered quietly, staring at the ground and determined to not let her voice crack.
Mission frowned, then snorted. "Just a few flashes? That's it? Nothing more?" Connan nodded her head minutely. Mission smiled and crossed her arms. "Then I don't think there's a problem."
Connan's head shot up so fast she nearly clocked her head against the wall behind her.
"It seems to me that if you don't really remember anything about being Revan, then it doesn't really matter anymore. You are who you are now, right?"
"What?" Carth stared at Mission as if she'd lost her mind. "Of course it still matters! How do we know more memories won't come flooding back? How do we know Revan won't suddenly turn on us?" He shook his head in disgust. "The whole time we've been chasing after Malak we've had his old Sith Master right at our side; listening to our secrets; hearing out plans!"
Lies…. I made most of the plans. Am I suddenly just this monster to everyone?
No… not to Mission.
"Carth that isn't very fair of you." Jolee started.
Connan opened her mouth like she was going to say something. She closed it again and stared at the ground. "I'm… I'm sorry."
It was so quiet almost no one heard it.
"Hey—you've got nothing to be sorry about! You didn't ask for this. Besides, I know you. You're not Revan anymore. Whatever you used to be, you're one of us now." Mission prompted. Connan could hear how much she wanted to cheer the Ex-Sith Lord up, but Connan couldn't bring herself to react to it.
"I agree with Mission. I swore a life-debt to the person you are, not to the person you were." Zaalbar pitched in.
Mission inched over to where Connan stood and nudged her with an elbow. "Big Z and I will stick by you. We owe you our lives; we won't desert you now!"
"How can you say that, Mission? The Sith bombed my home world. Revan took away my family and destroyed my life!"
Connan recoiled sharply from that. She crossed her arms and closed her eyes, simply breathing.
I got his son back for him… but I'm the one who took him away in the first place, wasn't I?
"Everyone knows it was Malak who gave the order to attack your people, Carth. You can't blame Revan for that." Canderous snarled.
"I suppose you've proven yourself to be a friend of the Republic by your actions so far… Revan. But can I trust you? Can any of us?" Carth asked.
Are we back to that again?
Ignoring for the moment that her cynicism sounded too much like Jolee for comfort, something inside Connan broke.
All this time… all we've been through, and he still wants to know if he can trust me? I was nearly killed trying to break into Uthar Wynn's room to find something incriminating to make his son leave the Sith, and he still doubts me?
How can he? Do they all think like this?
Lies. It's all lies, anyway. Bastila and the Jedi Council lied to me—have been lying to me from the start, Carth lied to me about trusting me—I guess his offer of protection is now pretty insubstantial… I can't take much more of this. I'm pretty much at the breaking point.
Like hell if I'm going to let them see me break.
Connan stood straight and squared her shoulders, trying to look as cold and emotionless as possible, though probably only a few people bought it.
"What about you, Jolee?" She asked tiredly.
Jolee shrugged. "What about me? I already knew who you were, though it wasn't my place to tell you. Better off that you know, if you ask me." He shook his head. "Does it change anything? I'm not here to judge you. You'll do what you have to, and I'll help if I can."
Connan nodded. "Canderous?"
"You defeated the Mandalore clans in the war, Revan. You were the only one in the galaxy who could best us. We had never met one like you before, and never since. How can you even ask if I will follow you?" Canderous stared, completely serious, and kept going. "Whatever you're fighting, it will be worthy of my skill. I'm your man until the end, Revan, no matter how this plays out."
"Commentary: I am… experiencing something unusual, Master."
Connan stared at the droid, instantly on alert. "Why? What's happening?"
"Answer: My programming is activating my deleted memory core. I believe I have a—a homing system that is restoring it, Master."
Unbelievable. Connan scoffed. "Homing system?"
"Observation: My homing system is a function of my assassination protocols, that which I told you have been deactivated. This system was not." HK-47 thought for a moment. "It seems that the homing system deliberately restores my deleted memory core upon—upon returning to my original Master."
"You mean… Revan?"
"Affirmation: Correct, Master. Sith protocols maintain that all droid knowledge me deleted before assassination missions, and restored upon return. I have returned to you, and my full functionality is now under your personal command. It is a distinct pleasure to see you again, Master."
Mission chuckled. "Wow. What are the chances of that happening?"
"Remember we're talking about the Force, here. At this point Malak himself could drop out of the sky and I wouldn't bat an eyelash." Canderous agreed.
Heh. Maybe he's done that before. I can't remember.
Connan sighed, rubbing her temples. She had an enormous headache. "And you, T3?"
"Are you kidding? There's no way I'm leaving you by yourself!"
"I knew the little guy would come through for you. Droids don't hold grudges." Mission remarked.
Connan attempted to turn to Carth and ask his opinion, but she found herself frozen on the spot. She was terrified of his answer. She simply crossed her arms and looked at the ground again, waiting for an answer.
"Well, the others seem to trust you, and I don't see any other way that we can stop the Sith. And I suppose that Malak really is the real enemy here… I really don't have any other choice, do I?"
Connan bit her tongue to keep from lashing back. The pain also stopped the flow of tears from her eyes.
"We could always drop you off on the nearest planet, soldier-boy." Canderous snarled. "How many times does she have to prove herself to you before you believe her?"
Carth sighed. "I want to believe you. You've proven yourself time and time again during our mission, but this is a little much for me to wrap my mind around.
"Don't worry," He continued. "I won't let my personal feelings get in the way of my assignments or this mission. But don't forget: I've sworn an oath to defend the Republic. As long as this mission stays on course I'll stick with you. But I won't let you betray the Republic under any circumstances!"
Connan took a deep breath, continued inhaling until her lungs screamed at her to stop, and let it out. Deciding she couldn't say anything without having a complete meltdown, she turned and left the room.
I'll lock myself in the cargo hold for a few hours. I should be fine after that.
Jolee shook his head and sighed. Well, he thought. That certainly went well.
"You know, soldier-boy," Canderous snapped as soon as Connan was out of earshot. "You should have just shot out her kneecaps. That would have been less painful."
"I don't need a lecture from you, okay?" Carth retorted.
"Then who do you need a lecture from? Because honestly, we're all willing." Mission retaliated.
"Okay, what? I'm the bad guy now? I voiced my issues with her identity and suddenly I'm the one everyone hates." Carth rolled his eyes.
"No, Carth," Jolee explained. "Voicing your issues would be waiting until she was more in control of herself to point out your problems. That—that conservation—was an attack. You felt cornered and betrayed by something she doesn't even remember doing, so you did your best to hurt her back."
"You kicked her while she was down." Mission agreed.
Carth sighed and stormed off, completely disgusted with everyone in the crew.
Canderous, still angry at the way Connan had been treated, slammed his fist into the table. "She just stood there and took that from him!"
"She cares about Carth's opinion more than she lets on, it seems." Jolee suggested.
"He can't do that to her. If he tries anything funny like that again, I'm going to—"
"Yes, yes, and we'll be sure to turn our backs all at the same time." Jolee waved him off. "Personally, I think we should be more worried about Connan's wellbeing than whether or not Carth is going to start something again."
Mission nodded. "I'll go check on her."
Canderous growled. "I'm going to check on the swoop bike." He stormed off in the other direction, followed by a distressed HK-47.
Mission strode off down the hallway, making her way toward the cargo hold. It wasn't a secret that Connan kept herself cooped up in there whenever she had some serious thinking to do. Mission pulled on the handle once, and wasn't surprised to find it locked in place.
That was fine. Mission took out a security tunneler and picked the lock.
Mission found Connan scrunched into the corner, hidden behind the cylinders and barrels. Her knees were drawn up to her chest and her face was buried between her knees. She apparently hadn't heard the cargo hold door open.
Mission sighed, making her way across the cargo hold and sitting down next to her friend. Connan still didn't acknowledge Mission's existence, but Mission took that as a good sign than not. At least she hadn't been kicked out yet.
Knowing better than to ask if Connan was okay, Mission simply laced an arm around Connan's shoulders and tugged her close.
Connan's head came up and found its way into the crook of Mission's neck. She took a shuddering breath and cried.
From the doorway, Jolee stared at the two women—both distressed, both trying to give encouragement and comfort to the other in their own way—and sighed. Then he closed the cargo hold door and made his way back to the med bay.
He'd better stack up on more medpacs than usual.
Disclaimer: Don't own KotOR or Seether. Too bad.