Disclaimer: I own nothing.
AN/ Summary: Takes during Mass Effect II. Crossover with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The Citadel receives a new guest in the form of a Mysterious Stranger. One not limited by morality, political ambition or the restraints of Element Zero. Takes place after the first Knights of the Old Republic Game.
Familiarity with both Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect games helps... but I'll try to make it unnecessary. As long as you know what Star Wars and Mass Effect are, you'll be fine... I hope.
A glowing crimson blade slashed through the dim lighting with a vibrant hum. The blade crossed with another of the same blood-red and an echoing grunt sounded as a heavy-soled leather boot struck a lightning-fast blow that sent the taller of the two combatants back. Beyond the two sentient combatants, dozens of bodies lay in various states of agony and death, limbs and body parts severed and punctured by the deadly edge of a lightsaber.
The millennia-old stone floor of the antechamber of the Sith Palace on Ziost echoed with the rapid footsteps of the two combatants as one fought for his very life and the other, for his soul. Pale, blue light filtered over the darkness of the stone walls, nearly reflecting from their obsidian faces. A hissing, higher in pitch than the sound of blade on blade sounded and the tallest figure staggered, his form shifting minutely and saving his life from the follow-through attack.
The shorter of the combatants stood at over two meters in height, his powerful frame compact, yet not lithe in the sense of a gymnast. His motions still held the grace of one who trained regularly and for years and in the face of the near-seven foot behemoth he dueled, he was the more deadly in terms of skill and focus.
The taller opponent, clad in an intricate set of black on black robes and armor drew his skill from instinct and rage instead of skill and discipline. Physically, he was overbearing, overwhelming and had his opponent been merely one of flesh and blood, he would have been invincible.
A spark and whine of a lightsaber crossing armored plates of Mandalorian metal echoed through the halls as the larger figure struck what would have been a fatal blow to his foe. The dull red of his foe's armor was charred briefly with a black scorch, an orange trail forming over the paint and boiling away the outer layer before it cooled rapidly and held against the lightsaber's deadly beam.
Words were not exchanged between the two, but a lifetime of knowledge was being passed from one to the other by the way they fought, the way they breathed and the way they moved. It told the story of the warrior's lives to any who could read the deadly arts, yet none remained within the walls of the True Sith's Palace to bear witness to the ruthless dialogue of war.
It was not a matter of morality that drew the two men to fight, but simply instinct. One stood at the head of an Empire, the survivor of a genocide and architect of a revenge plot a thousand years in the making while the other struggled with a mind damaged beyond recovery by treachery and abuse by those who deemed themselves his betters.
The man known to the galaxy as Darth Revan drew his blade in graceful, precise arcs; the variant form of Juyo fitting the chaotic state of the man's mind. Neither a servant of the Lightside of the Force, nor a slave to the Darkside; Revan relied on balance to dominate the battle while the Sith focused on the brute and primal energies of Darkness to fuel his stand.
The Force pulsed around the two combatants, shifting in a myriad of colors that would have confused any observer as Sith assaulted and Sith defended. The light was weakest here on this ancient and dark world and Revan did not cast his faith in weakness. He merely used the skills opened to him from a lifetime of study of the Force to defend himself against the violent Force-assaults the Sith Emperor threw against him.
Desperation had no place in this battle, it would have forced the battle along a simpler path and neither Revan, nor the Sith Emperor was foolish enough to do anything to compromise their forms. Risks were for the weak. The duel was like a deadly dance, the moves of the two so seamless they appeared almost choreographed. Ozone was thick in the air around the clashing crimson blades, weakening the Emperor as his armor lacked a breather.
The red and black mask hiding Revan's features from his foe hissed quietly as air was calmly drawn in and released, filtered through the Mandalorian mask's advanced system. A heads-up display gave a tactical view of the two-man battle in blue-tinged detail and readings of the environment around him. It saved Revan's life when a spike of ozone registered behind him. on the mask's scanners.
The Sith Warrior that approached the duel between the Emperor and Revan drew ahead warily, his breaths measured and his steps silent. Assassination was part of the Imperial Guard's training. What better way to avoid assassination than by knowing how an assassin thinks? The guard approached the duel, unseen by the masked assailant trying to murder his Emperor and he drew his lightsaber, holding the deadly device in a strike position before depressing the weapon's switch and lunging forward. The Emperor, seeing what was likely one of his few remaining guards moving to attack drew back, falling into a defensive pattern while Revan pressed his advantage before the ploy became apparent to all involved.
Muscles honed through rigorous and often violent training coiled and shifted with inhuman precision as Revan threw himself to the side, the crimson beam meant to skewer him finding only more air. A howl escaped the Sith as its arm was severed and Revan moved on, the danger passing as he and the Sith Emperor rejoined their battle. Dozens of wounded Sith lay on the polished floor of the palace, their eyes blazing in shades of gold and red as they stared balefully at the one responsible for their dismemberments. Their continued existence would be the reason Revan's gambit to destabilize the True Sith Empire and buy the Republic and Jedi Order time to rebuild would fail.
Overcoming their pain through sheer force of hateful will, the surviving guards gathered and prepared themselves for their revenge. Each reached within themselves for the Force that blackened their very souls and pushed their dark energies upon the battle, weakening one combatant while strengthening the other.
Power flowed through the Sith Emperor as his surviving guards gave their most sacred possession to their leader. It was an honor to the Emperor as much as it was an insult and he would have them all executed for their help once the battle was finished. They had seen he was too weak to overcome his foe and while they reacted with hatred for his enemy, they also saw his weakness and if that seed of doubt was planted within his followers, his Empire would collapse as other Sith would rise against him and challenge him for his status and power. Such was the fatal flaw of the Sith, the Emperor bemoaned as he gathered the energy needed for his last assault on the masked foe that had descended upon his home like a Force of nature to wreak havoc and destruction.
He could almost respect it; if it weren't directed his way and with a roar, the Sith Emperor unleashed his full might and that of the powers he'd taken from his guards against Revan. The antechamber the battle had progressed to was the oldest in the Sith Palace on Ziost, predating the Sith by nearly fifty-thousand years. The relic of the Infinite Empire that the Sith Empire claimed stood over the threshold of the doorway to the throne room, its shape reminiscent of the Star Forge that had once graced the sky above Lehon before Revan had led the Republic to victory against Darth Malak and sealed the Forge's fate.
Tapered at the separated tip, two parallel metal forks extended from a joined and curved base, the heart of the relic a dead circle with a magnetically locked ring. A spoil of war from a campaign fought by the Rakatans against an unnamed foe nearly fifty-thousand years before, the relic was the basis of much debate amongst Sith scholars and Masters. The device's use was merely decorative to the Sith, but the power it represented lived on in their people's memory as they sought to make an Empire as vast and powerful as the Rakatan's.
Blue-white tendrils of Darkside-infused energy danced across the body of the Sith Emperor as he pulled rapidly away from the duel. Revan pursued with vicious focus, lunging through the blast of Force-lightning and fortifying himself for the death-blow he planned to deal to the True Sith. Agony scalded Revan's body, tearing at his focus briefly before he pushed it aside with a roar and endured.
Eyes widening in shocked horror, the Sith Emperor focused the last of his strength into a point no greater than the size of his closed fist and forced it at his charging foe. The Force-push struck Revan with the Force of a speeder and launched the former Dark Lord of the Sith back and up as it exploded violently against his own weakened powers. A blaze of blue-white light engulfed Revan and the heads-up display of his helmet flickered and died when the dark fire of what remained of the Emperor's Force-lighting flowed over him. Revan had only enough time to register that the strange artifact was the source of the fire burning every molecule in his body before it pulsed violently and he was simply elsewhere.
Under water it turned out.
The Sith Emperor stared at the artifact glowing over the threshold of his throne room. The circular ring had spun when it came into contact with his Force-lightning attack, almost as if it has been jump-started temporarily. The sheer amount of Force-power it had taken had drained all the power granted to him by his guards and nearly all he had within him. His last desperate attempt to survive long enough to pull his blade in the path of Revan's had paid off and the energy that had ignited for only seconds within the heart of the device had consumed his enemy whole. Laughing in triumph, the Sith Emperor turned and walked to his throne, seating himself and staring at the large silver relic that lay over the entryway to the throne room.
The man that had assaulted him was known to the Sith and while he had been confident his forces could defeat the Republic and the Jedi... but... one man, one simple Jedi had infiltrated the Sith Empire and assaulted the Sith Palace and the Emperor himself and had nearly succeeded in the reckless but brilliant coup. Brilliant because it was so insane it was not expected. Drawing in a deep breath, the Emperor leaned back in his chair and decided a few more centuries of waiting might prove beneficial if the Sith expected to survive the next war with the Republic.
The Conduit that Saren Arterius had used to assault the Citadel during the Geth assault had been activated, if only briefly. Gathered on the walkway of the Presidium overlooking the Prothean artifact, dozens of C-Sec officers cordoned off the walkway as various civilians gathered to stare at the device with confused and wary excitement. The last time the small-scale Mass Relay had activated, Saren had nearly destroyed the Citadel and it's Council. Only the intervention of the Alliance and the first Human Spectre, John Shepard had safeguarded Citadel Space from the threat of the Geth.
"Contact, in the water!"
Captain Bailey of C-Sec glanced at the Turian officer that had spoke before following the alien's extended finger to the sight of a dark shape within the reservoir. Growling under his breath, Bailey ordered his men to ready their weapons, prepared for anything as the shape moved beneath the surface of the water, steadily working its way to the edge of the water, where a ladder was placed for such emergencies. What came out of the water almost caused several of the C-Sec officers to fire their weapons, though a quick shout from Bailey had them covering the new target. A mixture of C-Sec officers and civilians had gathered on the shore and the black and red figure that emerged from the lake stood perfectly still a moment as it pulled itself free from the reservoir.
Water dropped off an over two meter tall frame, boots and armor adding to its height. If Bailey could call it anything the first word that would come to mind was demon. The red of its armor stood out like blood while the black of its intricate robes, sodden with water looked darker than any void he'd ever seen. A tube was clenched in the figure's hand and shouts were thrown to the figure to drop the device. Checking his omni-tool, Bailey flinched at the energy readings coming from the inactive device. If it was a grenade or a bomb of some sort it would have packed the punch of a small tactical nuke. Whatever that thing's power source was, it was substantial and with a wary glance at the civilians gathered to watch the spectacle, Bailey approached with caution, hoping for a peaceful resolution while fully expecting to die in the near future.
"Get these people back! Now!"Bailey's shout brought an immediate response as dozens of C-Sec officers tried to lead the gathered gawkers away from the potential and if his luck was holding out likely threat. Pulling his sidearm free, Bailey approached the humanoid figure, his blue eyes focused on the slit in the visor covering the creature's face.
"I'm gonna need you to drop that weapon."
Bailey stated firmly, taking his place front and center of his gathered officers. Water leaked from the armor and robes of the figure, creating a transparent pool at his feet. A tilt of the head drew uneasy shifts from the gathered officers before the figure complied with the order, carefully setting the cylinder on the ground at his feet before drawing another similar device with a measured movement that was not too aggressive to draw gunfire from the gathered officers. A second tube joined the first before the armored figure took a step back from his weapons, his hands held out in a placating manner.
"I don't mean you any harm. These devices are weapons, but not explosives... unless mishandled. I suggest they be isolated and not tampered with by anyone but myself."The words were spoken in near-perfect and accented English. A hint of what sounded like a rough Australian accent from Earth was in the man's voice and his tone was flat, but cautionary. A quick check of his omni-tool told Bailey that the man was unarmed, but still shielded and armored. A glance at the walkway drew Bailey's attention to Councillor Anderson. The human representative to the Citadel Council was frowning down at the spectacle, his eyes switching between the mysterious newcomer and the form of the Conduit. Anderson believed Shepard's claims about the Reapers and from the reports; the Conduit was a simple back door to the Citadel that the Protheans on Ilos had made as a last-ditch attempt to prevent the Reapers from using the Citadel to bring back the Reaper fleet.
Shepard had succeeded over two years before and the Council had sent a Salarian Special Tasks Group to secure and remove the conduit from Ilos. They'd done so, but any information on the Reapers was lost with the end of the Virtual Intelligence Vigil, that had given the last of its processing power to aid Shepard in reaching the Conduit and stopping Saren.
"What a Cluster-fuck."
Anderson thought to himself, worriedly gazing at the strange being that had come through the Conduit. Was this some test by the Council? Unlikely, he'd have heard of it. A meddling scientist? Equally unlikely. If there were more Prothean Conduits, finding them was of the utmost importance. A backdoor into the Citadel for an invading force was too great a threat to ignore. Unlike some of the other threats facing the Council, this one was tangible and had been proven a threat by Saren's actions and Anderson shuddered as he considered who this newcomer was. An agent of the Reapers perhaps? A Prothean descendant from some long-lost colony?
From his vantage point on the walkway, Anderson watched as Bailey gave an order to the newcomer. The newcomer hesitated for a moment before drawing back the black hood covering his head. A full helmet covered the man's head and he removed it slowly, revealing something that left more questions than answers for the Councillor.
Dark brown hair, matted due to sweat from his duel with the Sith Emperor covered Revan's head and ended at his shoulders. A well-trimmed goatee of the same color marked by some stubble from several days spent trying to infiltrate the Sith's Capitol on Ziost instead of worrying about hygiene. Slightly tanned skin, pale and tight on the man's powerful but young features drew Anderson's eyes and he watched in silent surprise as the man rubbed at his face with a weary expression.
"I don't suppose anyone knows the way to Ziost?"
Bailey merely stared at Revan in silent when the man's deep, rough voice spoke. The confusion in their eyes was all the answer Revan needed and the former Jedi Knight and Dark Lord of the Sith cast a curious glance at several of the gathered alien species inhabiting the Presidium. A frown grew on Revan's face as he studied the Turian and Salarian C-Sec officers before his eyes caught sight of an Asari in the distance and his brow pinched together to join the confused expression growing on his face.
"Coruscant?"Revan asked hopefully, his eyes locking with Bailey's before he shook his head with a grunt of annoyance.
"Bloody fantastic!"Allowing the C-Sec officers to put him in restraints, Revan was led towards C-Sec Academy and placed in an interrogation room while Anderson activated his own omni-tool and asked for an emergency audience with his fellow Council Members. The Conduit was a threat to them and they needed info on the newcomer ASAP.