Chapter 8: Relax
Darth Revan calmly went over the list of candidates for Taris' new governor, whom he would have to appoint to manage the planet in his stead for when he would leave to continue leading his forces in the war against the Republic. He welcomed the task, as when he made his choice, whoever he selected for the position would be the one who would have to deal with all those ranting traditionalists, and he would be free to continue his duties as the Dark Lord.
Suddenly his holocomm started beeping, and as Revan activated the device, a hologram of the head of his Diplomatic Corps appeared.
"Lord Revan," The hologram said, bowing low. "General Vykus Paalren, Diplomatic Corps, reporting in."
"Give me a full status report on all missions, General." The Dark Lord of the Sith ordered.
"Right away, my lord. My men have successfully been able to make contact with the Balmorran vice president, and all indications are that he's convinced we will be the ones to win this war. If we can prove him right by moving in on the planets neighboring Balmorra, and keep the Republic from sending any reinforcements, the president herself will most likely surrender. Our profile on her suggests that she has no interest in turning her homeworld into a war zone."
Revan nodded approvingly. "Good. With Balmorra's weapon factories as well as its legions of war droids at our disposal, we'll finally have the edge over the Republic needed to make the final push into the Core Worlds."
"And when we do take Balmorra, it means that every weapon we gain, the Republic loses." The general added. "Now, as for Alderaan, House Thul has agreed to support us if we are able to provide them with the military power needed to hold out against House Organa and possibly even House Panteer. When our forces land on Alderaan, House Thul and their vassals will fight beside us."
Revan mulled this information over in his mind. "They will make excellent allies. Unfortunately, House Organa will never ally with us willingly. Their alliance with the Republic and the Jedi is borderline zealous, and they're very popular with the people of Alderaan." The Dark Lord looked back at the general. "You said that we would possibly have to fight against House Panteer. Elaborate."
"Alderaan's royal family has been monitoring the war closely, my lord. Like many others, they have watched as you consistently push the Republic back to its precious Core Worlds. The queen and her family may be allies with the Republic officially, my lord, but that may change if you can show the queen that you are the future of the galaxy, and that it would be in the best interest of both her house and her planet if she were to swear fealty to you."
"It would certainly make conquering Alderaan much easier with two of the great noble houses on our side." Revan said, partially to himself. Suddenly he noticed that someone else was attempting to contact him, and when he saw who it was, it instantly captured his attention. "I'm afraid I have an urgent message incoming, General Paalren. You can fill me in on the rest later."
"Understood, my lord. Signing off."
Revan opened the new channel, and the man who he had entrusted with a mission of great personal importance to him appeared.
"My lord, Captain Rasmuth of the Recovery Corps, reporting in."
Revan immediately demanded "I want a full status update, Captain - now."
"My lord," Rasmuth began excitedly. "We did it... we found her."
"Truly?" The Dark Lord said, hardly able to believe what he was hearing. He'd hoped to hear this news for so long, and now it had finally come.
"Yes, my lord. I'm afraid we had to sedate her in order to avoid a confrontation, but, rest assured, she is completely unharmed. As we speak, she is currently aboard my ship, safe and secure."
"Uploading rendezvous coordinates," Revan said as he typed said coordinates into a terminal. "What is your ETA?"
"I'm afraid that we have to stop at the mining facility on Peragus to refuel, but as soon as we're done here, we'll bring her straight to you, my lord. It will be good to be back in civilization."
"Excellent. When she awakens, treat her as you would me, but if she resists, do not allow her to escape."
"Of course, my lord."
"And Captain," The Dark Lord informed the soldier. "When you finally bring her back, you can expect a substantial reward for your dedicated and exemplary service,"
"Thank you, my lord."
"If," The Dark Lord warned, "you bring her to me unharmed. Because if she has even a scratch on her, you will suffer pain unlike anything you can imagine."
"O-of course, my lord. M-my men and I will follow your orders to the letter. Rasmuth out."
The holoterminal dimmed, and Darth Revan leaned back in his chair. Everything was progressing excellently. He had been reunited with his dear Bastila, which also meant he had her invaluable battle meditation at his diposal, and now he was about to be reunited with yet another old friend.
He needed her at his side. For there was another danger on the horizon. One that nearly rivaled the threat posed by the Emperor himself. And only she had the power necessary to defeat it.
Bastila, Mission, Ada, and Shaleena all exited Bastila's quarters on the Avenger, and the Jedi, turned towards the XO for Revan's personal guards. "Kravveth, I'd like to requisition a shuttle down the Upper City of Taris."
"Of course, my lady," The bodyguard responded. "If you would follow us to the hangar, we will take you down to the planet."
Mission smiled "Oh you don't need to do that. We can get to the hangar on our own."
"I'm afraid I cannot do that," The lieutenant commander said. "Lord Revan's orders were for Lady Bastila to be under the direct protection of at least two of his personal guards at all times."
"What!?" The Twi'lek shrieked. "We were planning on going down to Taris and having some girl-time in the Upper City, but now you're telling me that we have to put up a couple of stone-faced bodyguards following us the whole time? This sucks! Seriously, you guys are total killjoys."
The LC refused to show even a hint of surprise at Mission's outburst, and once she stopped he calmly said "Lord Revan's orders were very clear on this matter, but there may be a way to ensure you are protected from any possible harm in a manner that does not spoil your fun,"
"How would that work?" Bastila wondered.
Kravveth explained "My men and I are trained to deal with any enemy, in any scenario. I could send two of the female guards with you, disguised as civilians. They will blend in perfectly."
"That sounds all right to me." Ada murmured, and with that, Kravveth sent one of his men to find the guards he'd described.
He returned several minutes later with two women - one human, one Mirialan - who Bastila barely recognized as members of Revan's bodyguards now that they were wearing civilian clothing, and their expressions were much more relaxed than when they had been when in uniform.
The Mirialan grinned "Well, I understand that you four are gonna have some girl-time down on Taris! Mind if we tag along?"
The women proceeded to the hangar, and once there, they entered a shuttle where the bodyguards sat down at the pilot and copilot seats, and flew the shuttle down to Sith landing pad on Taris' Upper City.
During the flight, Bastila looked over at the two women who were flying the ship, and said "If you don't mind me saying, you both seem a lot more easy-going now than all the other times I've seen you."
The Mirialan shrugged "Eh, that's just when we're on duty. The whole stoic act seems to fit when we're guarding Lord Revan, and it helps make people not want to mess with him. But seriously, just because we can kill a man without using any weapons, and with both of our arms tied behind our backs, while wearing a blindfold, doesn't mean we don't know how to have a good time!"
Mission sighed in relief. "Glad to see not that all of you are killjoys after all. Either of you got a name?"
The human bodyguard answered "I'm Reena, and the green gal next to me is Fel'narapaarr'shoni'quaymala - or just Fel for short."
Fel grumbled "I swear, my parents must have hated me when I was born. Why else would they have given me that ridiculous name? I couldn't even say it properly until I was nine years old!"
The rest of the women giggled uncontrollably as the Mirialan ranted. Finally she calmed down again, and turned to her fellow guard. "So, Reena, know any good cantinas in the Upper City?"
"Yeah, I remember this awesome one that's about fifteen minutes away from the spaceport on a speeder. To be honest, I'm amazed that it's still operating after all this time." Reena said.
"You've been to Taris before?" Shaleena murmured, surprised.
"Yep, born and raised." Reena stated proudly. She then sighed "I was here when the Mandalorians occupied it during the last war. Those were... those were days I'd prefer to forget. Then one day, Lord Revan's ships appeared in orbit, and next thing I knew, he had sent those Mandos packing, and freed us all. I've fought by his side ever since."
"How did you learn to fight so well?" Bastila wondered.
Reena answered "When the Mandalorians took over this world, they took a lot of us as slaves, and began to train those who they saw as being worthy in the art of war. Eventually they would've adopted us into their clans once stockholm syndrome had taken effect, if you know what I mean. I never had any intentions to actually fight for them, but I figured they could teach me a thing or two before I turned on them. And that's exactly what I did when Revan's forces liberated this world." She continued "Not long after I joined up with Lord Revan back when he was a Republic general, he noticed my Mandalorian training, and helped me perfect it. Since then, he's taught me more about fighting than I ever could have imagined. And I'll use every last bit of what Lord Revan taught me to protect him from his enemies. I owe him everything."
Suddenly Fel announced "Approaching landing pad. Killing primary thrusters in three, two, one." She then flipped several switches, and pressed a large button right as she said "Lowering landing gear." As she did so, Reena smoothly guided the shuttle down to the ground. "Alright," Fel grinned as she unbuckled herself from her seat. "Who's ready to party?!"
Carth Onasi, Trask Ulgo, and Valeesha Pridence all sat down on their beds in the room which Davik had given to them as they were his "guests". Carth sent yet another glare at the Jedi, and muttered "I'm still waiting to hear your reason as to why we're here."
"The Force guided me." The Knight responded.
"Oh, really? Why, did the Force want you to take up a life of crime? Because if so, then great. Revan and the Sith are going to conquer the galaxy and destroy everything I've fought for, but that's okay since now that we've joined the exchange, we're gonna make a fortune by exploiting and killing innocent people." The veteran snarled.
"Patience, Carth. I understand your disdain, and I find this place and the people in it as repulsive as you do, but now that we are here I know what we must do to get back to the Republic and the Jedi." Valeesha calmly said.
That piqued both the soldiers' interests. "What've you got in mind?" Trask wondered.
The Jedi said "You all saw Davik's ship, the Ebon Hawk, right?"
Her plan dawned on Carth. "You want to steal it."
"Yes. It might be the only ship on this planet fast enough to outrun the Sith fleet, and I for one I have no qualms about stealing from a man like Davik.
"Sounds good to me," Trask shrugged. "You got a plan how? Davik said that no one could get into the hangar where he keeps that ship without the access codes, and I doubt he just hands them out to his thugs."
"We'll find them. Don't worry," Valeesha said reassuringly. "Now let's go. I don't want to stay in this place any longer than I have to."
"That's the best thing I've heard you say since we came here." Carth said as he gripped his blaster.
Canderous Ordo looked back at Davik's estate as he exited the place with T3-M4, a custom built, state-of-the-art astromech droid, at his side. He then took his holocomm in his hand, and contacted Darth Revan.
"Ah, Canderous," The Dark Lord said as he appeared. "I hope you have good news."
"I think you'll be quite pleased with the evidence I've gathered on Davik," The Mandalorian smirked. "I've got all his personal files. I imagine he's got more than a few dirty secrets in these things."
"Impressive," Lord Revan remarked. "How did you obtain these?"
The Ordo explained "See, Davik was having this atromech droid here specially built for his organization, and since the lady who built it thought I still worked for Davik, she was happy to hand it over to me. After that, I simply brought the little guy to Davik's estate, and had him slice into his personal terminal. He should be finished decrypting them in about ten minutes, so when he is, I'll send them to you."
Suddenly the droid beeped /Davik's files = decrypted + ready to upload./T3 = do good job?/
Canderous simply rolled his eyes as he uploaded the files, but Revan told the droid "Yes, Teethree, you performed marvelously. Canderous, bring the droid with you when you come aboard my ship. I think that it will prove to be quite useful."
/T3 = happy to help + ready to serve!/ The droid beeped excitedly.
"Understood, Lord Revan," Canderous said as he ignored the droid. "Shall I head to your ship now?"
"Negative, I'll go down there." The Dark Lord said. "I tried to have Davik arrested during the last war, but he bribed his way out of justice. I'm not going to let that happen again. This time, I'll put him in chains myself."
Revan and his bodyguards arrived at the location where he'd told Canderous to wait for him. When he saw him, Canderous immediately gave a Mando salute, and T3 gave the Dark Lord the closest it could to a bow.
"Glad you could make it, Lord Revan," The Mandalorian said. "Now, should we get going over to Davik's place?"
"Yes. It's time to see Davik pay for his crimes." The Dark Lord declared.
"Good. I can't wait to see the look on Davik's face when we storm in."
But when they actually arrived at Davik's estate, they were met with a very unexpected view: corpses were laying throughout the entire complex.
Revan glanced at Canderous, which the Madalorian noticed, and immediately said "Don't look at me; I didn't do this. These men were all very alive when I left."
"So you're saying that somewhere in between when you left this building an hour ago, and now, someone shot up Davik's estate, and killed most, if not all, of his guards, and possibly even the man himself. Interesting." Suddnely the Dark Lord noticed something odd about one of the corpses. "This Rodian... he was killed by a lightsaber." He stood up and ordered "Canderous, take us to the security center."
The Ordo warrior quickly took Revan and his bodyguards to said room, and once there, the Dark Lord commanded "Teethree, tap into the security cameras. I want to know what happened here."
Beeping, the droid plugged itself into the security terminal, and began searching for the the files that Darth Revan demanded. Two seconds later, a holoterminal sprang to life, and Revan saw two men and a woman leave one of the guest rooms. A few minutes later, they were in a heated battle against several of Davik's men.
The Dark Lord instantely began to carefully inspect the faces of the intruders. He recognized one.
"That's Carth Onasi."
"The soldier who became a distinguished war hero during the Mandalorian War?" Commander Maddraath asked.
"The one and only. The man's loyalty to the Republic is unrivaled," The Dark Lord confirmed. "It would seem that he was one of the Republic soldiers who managed to hide in the crowd after we drove the Republic off of Taris, which means that his companions are with the Republic as well..."
Suddenly on the holoterminal, the woman that Carth was fighting beside reached into one of her inner pockets, and drew a small, cylindrical object, from which a bright blue blade sprang from. She leaped forward, and began cutting down the remaining guards left and right, while Carth and the other Republic soldier shot down those who tried to run from the Jedi's wrath. Revan silently watched their progress as the soldiers and the Jedi stormed the entirety of Davik's home, cutting down anyone who stood in their way. Eventually, they freed a man trapped in a torture cage, and to show his gratitude the man gave them some sort of code, which they then used to break into the hangar where they encountered Davik himself, as well as a deadly mercenary by the name of Calo Nord. After a brief conversation, the two parties opened fire on one another. It wasn't long before Carth took down the crime lord of Taris with a shot right to the forehead, leaving Calo by himself against two trained soldiers and a Jedi. The bounty hunter then took out a thermal detonator simply to ensure that if he went down, they'd die with him. It may have worked if the Jedi hadn't blasted him with the Force, sending Calo as well as the thermal detonator at least a hundred feet back, so that when it blew, they were well outside the explosion's radius. Right after that, they boarded Davik's ship, and escaped Taris.
With there being nothing else to show, the holoterminal died down, and Revan murmured "So... Davik brought them into his estate as guests of some kind, but then they left their room and started blasting Daviks' men, then they killed the man himself, took his ship, then most likely escaped the planet."
"It would certainly seem that way, my lord." Maddraath muttered.
Revan turned back to Canderous. "Is there a way to track the ship?"
"No. That was Daviks' personal ship, the Ebon Hawk, which is a smuggling vessel, as well as the fastest ship in the Outer Rim. Wherever they intend to take that ship, odds are that they're at least halfway there by now."
"Shame. They may have known something useful, amd Davik's death makes most of these files worthless now. Teethree, is there anything you downloaded that may still have some use to me?"
T3-M4 beeped /T3 = found Davik's personal astrogation chart./Davik = personally mapped dozens of hyperlane shortcuts between Core World + Outer Rim planets./Darth Revan = like?/
Revan was silent for a full second, then said "Let me see that." T3 quickly uploaded the astrogation chart to a datapad which it then handed to Revan, and the Dark Lord started going over the chart. "This is... Davik must have spent decades mapping out these hyperlanes. With these, my fleets will be able to launch entire invasions on the Core Worlds themselves, and the Republic willl never see them coming. Teethree, I think that this war will be over a lot more quickly thanks to you." The droid spun its "head" in delight at hearing its master's praise.
"We should return to my ship," The Dark Lord declared. "I need to call a war council, and get these charts to every fleet admiral under my command."
Bastila was struggling as hard as she could, but she knew that she couldn't resist much longer.
"Get out there!" Reena shouted as she tried to push the Jedi.
"No! I'm not doing it!"
"Yes you are!"
"You can't make me!"
"Yes, I, can!" Reena retorted. "Now get your butt out on that dance floor!"
"Uh, if I may interject, ladies," Fel whispered as she tapped Reena's shoulder. "Our lord would like us all back on the ship ASAP."
Bastila sighed a deep sigh of pure relief, and smirked as Reena now had an extremely disapointed look on her face. They gathered up Mission, Ada, and Shaleena, and returned to the spaceport where the shuttle that would take them back to Revan's flagship was waiting.
Whether or not she was willing to say it out loud, Bastila knew that the time she'd spent with these women today had been the most fun she'd had in years. Now that she thought about it, Bastila really didn't understand why the Jedi demanded that their students work so hard to shut out their emotions. She knew that feelings of anger, lust, and fear led to the dark side, as the Sith drew power from these emotions, but when was the last time a Sith had ever fueled their power through happiness or hope?
When they stepped back onto the Avenger, they learned that Revan had just found an astrogation chart with many secret routes, some of which led into the Core Worlds. And Revan intended to use this to his advantage.
An hour later, Bastila was summoned by Revan into his personal training room, which had a large dueling mat in the center, and on one of the walls were at least thirty different types of training weapons. On the far side, there was also several training dummies, built to withstand the toughest conditions. Yet it was clear that even these dummies couldn't withstand Revan's might, as several of them were lying in pieces.
Revan turned to face Bastila as she entered the room, and sheathed his lightsaber. "Bastila, we are fighting a war, and while your battle meditation will certainly play a major role, it will not help you when you engage an enemy with your lightsaber. You show remarkable potential, but it is clear that your Jedi Masters have neglected your combat training so that you would have more time to develop your battle meditation."
Bastila felt her cheeks burn with embarrassment, yet she knew that Revan's words were true.
Revan continued "I realize no matter how many precautions I take, there may be circumstances where I or my bodyguards will not be able to protect you. And if you were hurt, let alone killed, I would never be able to forgive myself. So if you are going to play a role in this fight, I demand that you do so equipped with the skills necessary to defend yourself. Now select a training weapon."
Bastila walked over to the weapon rack, and picked up a large practice saberstaff. She was a little unused to the weight, but the balance was perfect, and she soon got the hang of it.
"It appears that I have become your apprentice after all." She joked.
The humour did not reach Revan. "In name, I'm afraid that you will have to, Bastila. The Dark Jedi's fear of me is still fresh after what I did to Bandon, but if I don't take a new apprentice soon, I have no doubt that they will eventually cause trouble. I do not need an upstart sowing discord within my ranks in a pathetic attempt to impress me so that I might take the fool as my apprentice. But if the Dark Jedi believe that you are my new apprentice, that will not happen. Make no mistake, I will not risk corrupting you with the teachings of the dark side, but there is still much about the Force that I can show you, Bastila. For now, though, let us train."
Several hours later, Revan and Bastila replaced their training sabers on the weapons rack. Revan's armour was just as neatly polished as it had been when he'd entered the room. Bastila, on the other hand, had more bruises than she could count.
"Revan," She panted "could you... heal me?"
"Each bruise is a lesson, Bastila. And each lesson will make you better. Besides, they will fade in time."
"I hate you."
"If it means ensuring that you survive this war, my dear Bastila, I don't care if you hate me."
The words may have seemed cold, but at the same time, they were strangely affectionate to Bastila.
"Oh, and Bas," The young woman looked at her bondmate. "If you're going to pretend to be my apprentice, you'll need to look the part."
Suddenly an object was flying through the air towards Bastila, and despite her bruises, she caught if perfectly. When Bastila saw what it was that she had caught, her eyes widened.
It was her lightsaber.
A hooded figure walked silently through the halls of a Sith ship that was docked at the Peragus mining facility, and eventually came upon a locked door under heavy guard.
Or at least, it was supposed to be.
The Sith troopers stationed to guard the door were dead, their only injuries being small, needle-thin puncture wounds on their throats. The same could be seen throughout the rest of the ship. There was no signs of any sort of battle.
The hooded figure waved a hand, and the door slid open. Inside was a young woman who had once been in a deep, sedative-induced sleep. Now though, she bore a mark on her throat similar to the ones the men who had been guarding her had.
The mysterious hooded figure approached the woman's body.
Alright, hope you enjoyed that chapter, people. Please leave a review, as they are what fuels this story!
Davik's astrogation chart is actually something that you find during the Smuggler storyline in SWTOR, for those of you who are wondering where I got that from. Also, remember that Revan isn't a tyrant like Malak, so Carth, Trask, and Valeesha didn't need the Sith launch codes to escape. And since no one wanted to guess which SWTOR character Valeesha is distantly related to, I'll just tell you: Nariel Pridence, the Jedi that the Smuggler meets on Tatooine. Anything else you guys wanna know (aside from spoilers regarding this fanfic).