Well, here we are. The epilogue of the "middle act" so to speak of my KOTOR 1 trilogy. I honestly never thought I would be able to write an entire trilogy, but it looks like I'm already half-way there. So, guess I should give myself a pat on the back for that.
I honestly can't thank you guys enough for sticking around and reading my stories, to those of you who reviewed, even better! You guys are mainly the entire reason I continue to post my stories on here, because I at least know that someone will read them, and perhaps enjoy them. You guys rock!
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars or KOTOR. They belong to George Lucas and Lucasarts/Bioware
As the door opened once again, Anarra looked up in time to see Commander Onasi giving her nothing more than quick glance before he started back towards the bridge, his footsteps echoing slightly across the metal floor. Falling in step behind him, albeit slowly, she couldn't find the courage to voice her thoughts. She wanted to ask how they both were, how the infants were doing, but every time she considered how to word the questions, it failed and left her feeling even worse than she had before. How could she possibly ask something like that after she had just tried to kill each and everyone of them?
"Alright, look, you've obviously got a question on your mind, so just ask already and quit following me like a damn ghost." He told her, whirling around, the emotion on his face halfway between serious and joking.
"I…I…" She stumbled, desperately trying to find the right words. "I was just…wondering how they're doing."
"They? You mean Revan and Bastila? Fine. After all they've been through, they deserve a little moment of happiness. Hell, they deserve a few years' worth of it." He replied, leaning up against a nearby wall in the process. Behind him, the soldiers continued on with their regular duties, paying the two of them no heed, except for the occasional salute. Keeping her eyes plastered to the ground, she found herself unable to respond to him, the words she wanted to say slipping away in her mind. Looking back at her, Carth smirked a little bit.
"You could say that." Her response was quiet, as if she was judging each and every way that her words could be interpreted in a number of diferent ways.
"To be honest, I don't blame you. I've seen how the Force can affect a person's mind, most of my experiences up close and personal. Its not pretty." Looking at her once again, he noticed how skinny she looked now that she was out of the clothes that she had been wearing when she had been brought on-board. He didn't even want to guess how long she had gone without food. Pushing himself off of the wall and fully back onto his feet, he gave the young woman a small smile.
"You look hungry. What do you say we see what we can get around here." Leaning in closer to her, he smiled again. "Trust me though, the food around here isn't anything grand." The gesture succeeded in bringing a smile to the woman's face, however small it was. Her feet slowly falling into step, she let him guide her towards the ship's mess hall.
Her fork dragged over the food in front of her, her stomach obviously needing the nourishment, but the rest of her body refusing to let her swallow the food. Watching her, Carth had to admit that he felt sorry for her. She obviously was carrying a lot of hurt inside her, reminding in some ways him of how he had carried his hatred for Saul for all those years, how his every thought had been focused on that single emotion so that he wouldn't have to relive the images of his wife dying in his arms.
"So, you're a veteran as well." He finally said, trying his best to break the tension that lay invisible in the air between them. Looking up from the tray in front of her, she looked back at him with an obviously confused look adorning her face. She felt tired beyond belief, but sleep remained elusive, and when she managed to drift into it, it was filled with nightmares that she was barely able to awaken herself from, causing her to fear that as well.
"The one against the Mandalorians."
"Oh... yeah, I guess so. How did you know?"
"Revan told me. Plus that tattoo underneath you wrist doesn't leave much to the imagination." Casting a glance at her arm, she saw that the sleeve of the outfit that she was wearing had fallen down slightly, exposing the set of numbers that the Mandalorians had burned into her skin the day that she arrived at on the Prison World. Just looking at them brought back the pain of that moment, and pulling her sleeve back up, she closed her eyes for a moment, trying to force the memories out of her mind.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring up any lingering memories. Trust me, we all had our share of them afterwards, myself included."
"I imagine so." She replied, finally shoving a piece of the food into her mouth and swallowing it, her stomach 'thanking' her in the process. To be honest, she felt sick beyond all belief, mostly due to the lack of sleep, food, and the lack of a calm state of mind. The two of them once again fell silent, either of them not wanting to bring up the war in any way.
"So…" Carth started, searching his entire mind for a new conversation topic. "Alright, look, I'm not gonna pretend that you're feeling alright. I can see plain as day that you're beating yourself up over everything you've done in the past few years."
"That obvious huh?"
"Obvious? Trust me, I've been there myself. And let me tell you, berating yourself inside for the actions that you've taken part in doesn't make you feel better. It only makes you weaker in the long run."
"So what's your story then?" She snapped back at him, a noticeable strength in her voice, but it was still nothing like the power that it had when she had been tainted by the Dark Side. "You get your squad killed in combat? Accidently killed a few innocent civilians with a wrongly placed bombardment? Trust me, I've done all of that and more. What's worse, I didn't have any say in it. So what happened to you that makes you feel like you can just tell me what I should be doing?!"
"I watched my wife die in my arms because my fleet couldn't get there quick enough." Looking back at him, she fell silent, already regretting how she had said to him only a few moments ago.
"Malak's attack on Telos. It's my homeworld. I remember getting there, the entire surface of the planet burning underneath my feet. I…I found my wife, and I remember screaming for the medics to come, but they weren't fast enough."
"I remember hearing about the razing. It was all over the holocasts. It was terrible." She replied, once again playing around with her food to avoid looking at him. "I'm sorry."
"There's nothing to be sorry about. I put those demons to rest a long time ago." Pushing the tray away from her body, Anarra got back onto her feet.
"I…I just want to be alone for a little while. Please, excuse me." Turning her back to the Commander, she walked slowly towards the entrance to the mess hall, her mind once again a jumbled mess of emotions, memories, and thoughts of where her future would lead.
One Day Later, Republic Fleet Underneath Control of Carth Onasi
As she continued to look up at the ceiling, she could almost feel the walls of the room growing just a little tighter around her. She had once again tried to get some sleep, but had only been tormented by the nightmares once again. All the people that she had killed over the past years, she could see each and everyone of their faces as they cried out in pain as she killed them. This had only been the third time in the past day that she had woken up in a cold sweat from the same nightmare.
Pulling her legs up to her chest from where she was seating, she could almost still hear the Sith spirit talking to her, the voice just barely on the edge of her mind. Shaking her head slightly, she tried to force the voice to disappear, the technique working only slightly, but not entirely succeeding in driving the presence from her mind. After years of having that blasted crystal hanging around her neck, she supposed that it was some sort of poetic justice that a part of it still remained in her head. The experience defied description, having someone control your body, your thoughts, the very way that you felt emotions, while you were powerless to stop that person, and were simply forced to watch on in horror. There would be no better description for Hell.
She wished that she had never found the blasted thing, but she couldn't change the past. What was done was done, and there would be no going back. The only thing she could do now was try to move forward, however hard it would be to do so.
A Few Days Later, Coruscant Jedi Temple
The sun shone in through the glass surrounding the Council chambers, a virtual contrast to what it had been like only a few weeks earlier with its pitch black darkness. As she stood before the gathered group of Jedi Masters, Anarra could feel her heart beat beginning to steadily increase, and upon closing her eyes, she tried to calm herself, drawing upon the Force for just a bare second. Opening her eyes once again, she fixed her eyes on the group once again.
"Anarra. It is good to see you again." Nomi Sunrider said, her tone remaining somewhat devoid of emotion, but not unexpectedly, considering the situation. A few feet behind her, Revan watched the entire scene from the doorway, remaining completely silent. She, for the most part, recognized all of the Council, many of them having taught her in the past. Still, as they watched her, she could feel their eyes bearing into her, their minds already curious as to which side of the Force she now relied on.
"The same to you, Master Nomi." She replied, trying to stiffen her stance just a little bit.
"Do you know why we have called you here?" Vrook spoke up, his voice containing nothing but thinly hid contempt. He wanted to get this trial over with, the quicker the better.
"You've called me here to answer for my crimes against the Jedi Order."
"Realize that you yourself are not truly to blame, but instead it is the Sith spirit that was trapped inside the crystal that you wore around your neck. Still, questions must be answered."
"We are not here to judge you." Vima added to her mother's monologue.
"Where exactly did you find that crystal? We need to know the source of it if we hope to avoid any other Jedi encountering more of them."
"Near the Mandalorian prison on Eres III. I doubt you'll be able to find anything there considering that the fires there are still burning. Still, the spirit told Revan that it came from Korriban, so it is possible there are more of them scattered across the galaxy."
"Still, we'll ask the Republic to send a team there to search. The risk of these Sith crystals is too great to completely ignore." Master Kavar said in addition, having remained silent for the entire duration of the meeting so far. "You became controlled by one, and you would have destroyed the entire Jedi Order if you could have. Naturally, you should see our point that this is a serious matter indeed."
"What can you do to me? I stopped being part of the Jedi Order a long time ago. If anything, I'm only here to hear what you have to say. There is no proper way you can punish me without the Republic getting involved."
"A member of the Jedi Order or not, you still need to answer for your crimes to our Order."
"May I speak freely for a moment?" Anarra asked, a few members of the Council eyeing her curiously. The entire chamber grew silent for a moment before Nomi gave the young woman her answer.
"You say that I'm committed a crime against the Jedi Order, by killing numerous Jedi when I was under the control of a Sith crystal, leaving me no choice in the matter. But it's really you who should be under trial for committing a crime." She started, the final part of her sentence being met with a few gasps from the Council members and curious looks from the rest that remained. Not letting up, she continued. "How many innocent civilians, men, women and their children, died in the Mandalorian Wars because you wouldn't give the Republic the aid it desperately needed? How many star systems have become lifeless wastelands because you wouldn't aid in their defense? How many Jedi are dead because of a threat that you deemed unworthy of your attention?"
"We are not on trial here, you-" Atris started before Anarra interrupted her, her voice gaining more and more strength and clarity by the second.
"I'm right. Don't sit there and lie to me by saying that you're here to punish me for crimes that I committed while I was under the control of some dead Sith Lord. In truth, it would never have happened if you had simply done your damn duty and protected innocent civilians!" Turning her back towards the Council members, she reached into her boot, and with the precision of a trained assassin, she turned and tossed the blade past Vrook, the blade slamming into the glass, which promptly shattered into a million pieces, each and every single shard falling to the city below. Running towards the broken window, she called on the Force and jumped, soaring over Vrook and Nomi's chairs and finally landing directly in front of the window.
Drawing their lightsabers, the Council members waited for her to make her next move. Giving the room once last look, she saw Revan, who stood continuing to watch the scene from the entrance to the chamber. Smiling at him, she gave him a fake salute and then jumped, her body slowly falling towards the city below. Racing to the window, both the Council members and Revan looked down for any trace of the woman. As their eyes looked over every visible square inch, they found nothing but the steady flow of speeder traffic in the streets below.
A Few Hours Later
As the sun began to fully set in the distance, casting its yellow glow over the entire surface of the city, Bastila was silent as she stared across the city's surface, the speeder traffic still refusing to die down, even as the night was almost upon them. In the room behind her, Vaner and Kera were fast asleep, their minds completely calm as she sensed them through the Force.
Hearing the soft pitter-patter of footsteps behind her, she turned to see Revan walking out onto the balcony, wrapping his arm around her as he came closer. They stood there silently as the sun continued to set. After the events of the past few weeks, it seemed strange for everything to be almost completely calm and quiet, although here there w ere now, alone with their children, with only the sound of the passing speeder bike traffic to accompany them.
"So, what happened to Anarra?" She asked, finally breaking the chain of silence between them. Tilting his head towards her, he smiled, already seeing the scene passing through his eyes once again.
"She got away. Broke the window and jumped out."
"Do you think she survived the fall?"
"I imagine that she's out there somewhere, trying to scratch out some sort of existence for herself. Anywhere that she is, I'm sure that she's a lot happier now than she was before all of this." There was a sort period of silence between them again before he leaned in to kiss her, the sun warming their bodies. As she returned the gesture, Bastila could already feel Kera's voice beginning to erupt through the apartment, her mind sending ripples through the Force that were practically screaming for her presence.
Pulling back, she smiled at him before she walked past him and back into the apartment. Turning his gaze back onto the glowing city for just one more moment, he focused on the figure of a female, standing on the railing of a nearby building, itself almost completely a derelict. Giving a smile, he threw a salute in her direction, and then headed back inside.
Watching the balcony of the apartment, Anarra watched as Bastila headed back inside, the ripples in the Force from her children already able to be being sensed by her. As she continued to watch Revan, she felt him sense her, giving her a salute as he spotted her. Smiling slightly, she watched as he himself headed inside to join Bastila and their children. Turning back towards the speeder, she felt a familiar presence appear behind her. Looking over her shoulder, she saw her mother start to materialize, the light around her spirit glowing brighter than the setting sun in the distance. Turning around to fully face her mother, she smiled as she looked at her mother's face.
"Anarra." She said, the single word speaking volumes without the aid of other words. "From now on, everything you do is of your own free will."
"I love you." Her daughter replied, the sentence being met with a smile from her.
"Remember that you are never truly alone. My time here is at an end. May the Force be with you." And with that, the spirit began to fade away, eventually becoming one with the glowing rays of the setting sun. Reaching into a bag beside her, Anarra pulled out a brown cloak and wrapped it around her head, pulling it down slightly over her eyes. Carrying the rest of the bag over her shoulder, she started walking, unsure of where she was going, but in some ways, more on track than she had ever been.