Tatooine Part 2
The next morning, Revan awoke before daybreak and went out to see the weather on the surface.
"Hot and dry. What a surprise" he muttered as he turned and walked back onto the ship. To wake everybody up, Revan just used the Force to shake the ship enough so nobody could sleep through it.
Soon after, there was panic throughout the ship, most notably with Mission sprinting out, screaming about surface quakes and the normally stoic Juhani screaming as she attempted to stay on her feet.
When Revan stopped shaking the ship, he was greeted by an embarrassed twi'lek.
"Morning, Rev" she said sheepishly, giving him a small good morning smile. He smirked and pulled out his com-link, connecting it to the Ebon Hawk's intercom system.
"Attention, crew; please report to the main hold for your assignments on the planet's surface for the day. Do come quickly" Revan called out. Soon after, the annoyed crewmembers came out to get their assignments, a few of them glaring at Revan.
"Alright, let's get to the point, here. There will be three groups on Tatooine. Carth, Canderous, and Sarna are going out to the Dune Sea to take care of Jagi and then you guys are going to go to the Czerka office to see to acquiring a speeder. Meetra, Zaalbar, and Juhani are going to go all around and get information about the slaving headquarters so we can plan an attack. Bastila, Mission, and I are going out to the Sand People Enclave to see about rescuing Mission's brother and find out about the Star Map" Revan said. There were no objections to the assignments, so Revan continued his orders.
"Make sure you're back before dark. Tatooine is ominous in the day. In the dark, well, it's much, much worse" Revan warned, walking out of the ship, beckoning for everyone to get to work.
Once Bastila and Mission joined Revan outside the ship, the group of three started to walk out of the part and into Anchorhead, not stopping to do anything until they were confronted by three of Malak's Dark Jedi.
"Lord Malak was most displeased when he learned you had escaped Taris alive. He has promised a great reward to whoever destroys you" one of them exclaimed. Even before the dark Jedi had stopped talking, Revan lunged, igniting his silver lightsaber and slashed at the three Dark Jedi.
They were dead before Bastila and Mission could even raise their weapons to help him.
"Whoa! That was impressive, Avner!" Mission said enthusiastically. Revan gave her a small smile before walking to one of the buildings across the path from the cantina.
"Revan, what are we doing here? We need to focus on finding the Star Map!" Bastila told him, giving him a small glare.
"And we need to stop the sand people from destroying Anchorhead. To do that, we will need a translator unless you want to commit genocide on an entire race" Revan inquired, almost daring Bastila to challenge him.
When she didn't respond, Revan opened the door to the droid shop and stalked in. when he saw a rust-colored droid in the corner, he walked over to the droid, completely ignoring the shop owner.
"HK, activate reconstruction code A-17, memory restoration code D-4, weapons code B-1, and fight with me" Revan said evenly. His voice was nearly monotone, almost like he was actually the droid awaiting purchase. When that happened, HK busted the restraining bolt on his chest plate and stood tall in front of Revan.
"Statement: you have found me, master. Are there any meatbags you wish killed? How about them? Are they threating you, master?" HK asked, raising his gun at Bastila and Mission threateningly.
"No, there are a few that you must protect, HK. They are two of them" Revan said, plugging his data pad into HK's back for a second before withdrawing it.
"Recognition: I will not kill these two meatbags, but what about that one? he is not on that list?" HK said, something almost reminding Bastila of hope seeping into the droid's tone.
"Maybe later, HK. Come on, time to go" Revan said, leading the way out of the droid stop.
"Wait, you owe me 5000 credits for this droid!" the shop owner called out, desperately trying to keep Revan from taking his droid for free. Revan laughed and shared a knowing glance with HK.
"HK, you have ten seconds" Revan said, putting his back between HK and the door before covering his ears from anticipation at what he knew HK was going to do. When he saw Bastila look at him in confusion, he used the Force to urge her to follow his lead. She did, and so did Mission, but it was very reluctant. They just managed to get their ears covered and eyes diverted before HK started his assassination.
After ten seconds of covered ears, Revan called for HK to come follow him.
"Don't look back, it's never a pretty sight" Revan warned to his two female companions, but they did not listen. Both of them still looked back to see what happened, but they shouldn't have done it.
The ithorian's eyes were both shot and there was a heart made of bullet holes on his chest. Blood was splattered everywhere and HK was standing over the ithorian menacingly.
"I warned you" Revan whispered, lowering his head in shame at what had happened.
"Come" he ordered to HK, waving his hand to pull Bastila and Mission along, giving them the subtle nudge to get moving.
Upon getting out of the droid shop, Revan stopped to look at his companions.
"Bastila and I need to go talk to her mother in the cantina. Stay out here and try to make friends with the locals or something" Revan told Mission.
"HK, keep her safe" he said, taking Bastila's arm and pulling her toward the cantina despite her reluctance to speak with her mother.
When they got into the cantina, they saw Bastila's mother sitting at a table in the corner, staring out over the large group of people in the cantina.
"Hi, mom!" Revan called out when they got close enough, ignoring the glare that he got from his bond mate for his cheek.
"Yes, I'm sorry. Do I know you?" Helena asked, looking from Revan to Bastila and then back to Revan again, surveying them both up and down before stopping on Bastila.
"I am here, mother. Or don't you recognize me?" Bastila asked coolly.
"What do you expect, when I haven't so much as had a picture of you since you left? Do you know how long I've been trying to find you?" Helena retorted.
"You knew as well as I communication would be impossible once I joined the Order. Now what is this about? Where is father?" Bastila demanded.
"Then you haven't heard. I should have known" Helena said sadly.
"Has something happened to him? Are you going to tell me or not?" Bastila snapped.
"Your father is dead, Bastila. That's part of the reason why I was looking for you" Helena told her grimly.
"Dead? What happened? What did you do to him?" Bastila asked, her questions becoming more rapid and more desperate.
"Isn't this a lovely reunion? Already, she is flinging insults at me. You there, tell me, do you treat your mother this way?" Helena asked, gazing toward Revan who had taken a couple small steps back away from the two women who were tearing into each other.
"My mother is long dead, if you must know" he said apathetically, looking at Helena flatly. For a second, she looked like she felt sorry for him, but it passed quickly.
"Is that so? Well, I guess I'll be joining her soon enough, I suppose" Helena retorted. Her tone made it clear that she didn't really feel sorry for Revan at all.
"I was told that you were sick. Are you really dying, or is it merely melodrama for my benefit?" Bastila asked, making Revan look at her in shock at what she was saying to her mother.
"Such sweet things you say. Perhaps I should tell you everything before we start arguing again" Helena answered, giving out a small sigh.
"You could start by telling me what you got father into that killed him" Bastila snapped. At that, Revan started to back away slightly, hoping to get away.
"I hadn't realized Jedi were so spiteful. You want me to tell you I brought your father here for an expedition, do you? You want to blame me for his death? You never accepted that your father loved going on his treasure hunts, leaving you alone with me. I was always to blame for everything, what else is new? So, yes, fine; I brought your father here to look for Krayt Dragon Pearls. He led an expedition out into the desert and he died" Helena explained.
"How can you be sure of that? Father is experienced" Bastila started, getting interrupted quickly by her mother.
"Do you think I would look for you if I wasn't sure? They were attacked by a Krayt Dragon and one of the guides fled the battle. He saw your father killed" Helena told her.
"I see. So what do you want from me? Credits?" Bastila asked casually.
"Don't be insulting. I want you to use those senses of yours. I want you to find him. I want you to bring back his holocron" Helena declared.
"Why? So you can sell it?" Bastila asked.
"Is it too much to ask that I have something to remember your father by? Of course it is, isn't it? You couldn't be bothered" Helena hissed.
"We are very busy on a mission from the Jedi Council. I doubt I'll have the time. Ask my companion if you doubt me" Bastila replied. Then, Revan figured that it was time for him to intervene, though not exactly the way his bond mate had hoped.
"Why don't you get the holocron yourself, Miss Helena" Revan asked casually.
"As my daughter was quick to point out, I haven't the coin to hire another expedition, nor am I the adventurer my husband was" Helena replied. Not swayed at all, Revan decided a second approach.
"Don't you want to find your father's remains, Bastila?" Revan asked, wincing when she looked at him like he was brain dead.
"What remains would there be? Krayt Dragons are huge predators, easily able to devour a human, and the desert is a harsh environment. Finding my father's remains would be an even more impossible task than finding his holocron. A very ignoble end to a fine man" Bastila replied.
"What about your mother's sickness?" Revan asked, getting annoyed that he wasn't able to get through to either mother or daughter, despite every attempt.
"It doesn't seem to have anything to do with what she's asking. Are you actually sick mother?" Bastila asked. In the background, Revan hit his hand against his head, unable to believe that they could turn that into an argument as well.
"What difference does it make to you? None, I'm sure. Just find your father's holocron and you won't have to worry about me again either way" Helena told her starkly.
"That's the kind of response I would expect. Very well. We'll look for the holocron if we have time. I can't promise anything more than that" Bastila decreed. Helena sighed, knowing that that was the best that she was going to get out of her daughter.
"I believe your father was heading north toward the sand people enclave. I would check along that route, dear. Do please hurry" Helena ordered before turning away, effectively cutting off the conversation, leaving an angry Bastila and a stressed out Revan staring at her back.
After the conversation with Helena Shan, Revan and Bastila walked out of the cantina, back into the burning twin suns.
"Do you want to talk?" Revan asked.
"About my mother? I am unsure. I seem to find it difficult to remain objective when it comes to her. I find that disturbing" Bastila admitted.
"You don't think we should look for the holocron?" Revan asked incredulously.
"We have more important things to do, but still, my father is dead. Just because we find the holocron doesn't mean I have to give it to her" Bastila told him.
"Why do you think she wants it so badly?" Revan asked.
"Father recorded all of his personal thoughts on that holocron, even when I was with him. Having it would be like having him with you. I don't see why she deserves it, however. She drove him to his death. I loved him, and I didn't even get to say goodbye!" Bastila exclaimed angrily.
"So you would keep it to yourself?" Revan asked, a little shocked at what he was hearing.
"I don't know. Part of me would like to keep it just so she didn't get it. I don't like that part of me. I would have thought my Jedi training would have pushed me past this kind of pettiness. I wish, I really don't want to think about this. Please, lets just keep moving" Bastila begged. Revan nodded in agreement and called for Mission and HK to follow him before he led the way out to the Dune Sea.
The walk through the gates was silent, save for Mission's constant humming and HK's weapon being loaded and unloaded over and over again.
"Revan" Bastila called through their bond. At first, he was surprised, but he got over the surprise merely moments after.
"Yes, Bas, what is it?" Revan asked, returning through their bond.
"You seem a little off, Revan. I don't know what it is, but you just don't seem like yourself. I don't know what it is!" Bastila told him.
"You don't know what it is? I think you do, but you just don't want to tell me" he replied evenly, biting back a smirk when she glared at him.
"You're right, Revan" she told him. But while he expected her voice to be hard, it was soft, afraid. He patiently waited for her to continue, not putting any additional pressure on her to tell him what's on her mind.
"It's like I don't know you anymore. Since you left for the Mandalorian Wars, you have changed so much! I don't know which Revan is real anymore, the one from my dreams, the one from my nightmares, or the one that I see on a daily basis. I don't know you anymore" Bastila told him. Though her voice was quiet and soft in his head, there was still an intensity to it that made the former Sith Lord think twice about how he responded to the proclamation that came from his bond mate.
"Which is which?" Bastila asked quietly.
"Which one do you want to see?" Revan asked just as quietly, refusing to look at her.
"I don't know which one I want to see. All that I know is that I don't know who you are anymore, Revan" Bastila whispered.
"I can say the same about you, Bastila" he said. Upon seeing her look of shock, he continued his argument.
"I don't know which Bastila I am seeing either. The one from my nightmares, my dreams, or the one standing in front of me right now" Revan told her.
"Well which Bastila is which?" she asked, worried about what she was seeing.
"Well, I always see the Bastila from right before I left when I sleep. The thing is that sometimes it is a dream and sometimes it is a nightmare" he told her. Right there, it hit her like a ton of bricks.
"Meetra wasn't lying" she thought, not sending it through the bond. When she thought that, she allowed herself to slow to a stop in the center of the Dune Sea, not even realizing when HK-47 shot one of the Sand People just seconds before she would have been clubbed over the head by a gaffi stick.
She didn't move when Mission tried to pull her along, unable to do so, as the Jedi refused to move.
"Revan! Bastila won't move!" Mission shouted, waving her arms in an attempt to get Revan to notice. At first, the wise-beyond-his-years Grey Jedi refused to turn, but after HK shot another one of the sand people warriors, he finally turned to see his bond mate standing as still as a statue in the middle of an attack from the Sand People.
There, Revan transformed from casual Revan into the commander that saved the Republic.
"HK, keep them off of her! Mission, get out of there and give HK some support!" Revan shouted, taking his lightsaber out and sprinting off to stand in front of Bastila, protecting her from whatever sand people who got past HK and Mission.
It didn't take long for the group to kill all of the attacking Tusken Raiders, not giving the group the challenge that they had expected.
When the attack had concluded, Revan turned toward Bastila and looked at her with a controlled aggression directed toward her.
"What was that about? You could have been killed!" he exclaimed, putting his hands on her shoulders and shaking roughly.
It only took a few seconds for her to pull out of her stupor and look at him with confusion and at least some emotion.
"What happened?" Bastila asked, trying to pull his arms off of her shoulders.
"You just stood there blankly during a tusken raider attack. I don't know what you were thinking, but it's making me think about sending you back to the Ebon Hawk for the rest of the day" he told her bluntly.
"I don't even remember any attack. How could I have totally missed something as important and threatening to our safety such as an attack from these savages" Bastila responded with a glare.
"Interjection: I do believe that I can provide some insight as to what the female meatbag was going through, Master" HK interrupted.
"Do tell" Revan agreed, crossing his arms and keeping his gaze calm and nearly unreadable, despite the numerous emotions he was feeling.
"Explanation: it seemed that you said something to make her mind shut itself down. During the ambush, I was monitoring her vitals, as per your order, and it seemed like she had merely fallen asleep" HK explained.
"She fell asleep in the middle of the Dune Sea, standing in one spot during a tusken raider attack. Is that what you are telling me, HK?" Revan asked, raising an eyebrow in amusement at that hypothesis.
"Correction: no, that is not true, Master. It seemed like she was asleep only because you said something that made her believe that she was asleep. I will never understand the meatbag capacity to dream, Master, but it does fit the conclusion of my hypothesis. She was just dreaming" HK said.
"Was it a dream or a nightmare?" Bastila asked quietly, not intending for the rust colored assassin droid to hear.
"Answer: your vitals showed that it was clearly a dream and not a nightmare. Whatever dream you were having was clearly a happy one. Meatbags do not have much stake in what happens to them emotionally, and it is doubly true when they are asleep, as the deepest desires of their minds tend to come out" HK replied, reloading his rifle as Bastila's cheeks began to darken in embarrassment at what she was hearing.
"Well, let's just keep moving then" Bastila muttered, trying to ignore the pounding in her chest and the redness in her cheeks that definitely didn't come from the twin suns.
"So, what were you thinking about there, Bas?" Revan teased as they began to head toward the sand people enclave.
"I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about, Revan. I'm sorry if you expected an ego-boost right there, but you are not going to get one this time" she told him bluntly. He smirked and let out a small laugh at her statement, as he knew that she was obviously lying to him.
He chose not to respond to her this time, knowing that teasing her would not help anything this time.
Instead, they continued to make their way to the home of the sand people, hoping to avoid any unnecessary bloodshed.
It was a hope that was proven to be in vain once they reached the destroyed Czerka sand-crawler in the center of the dune sea. Once they got there, they were met with a group of terrified czerka employees and were soon ambushed by a dozen tusken raiders.
To say that Revan was back in commander mode would be an understatement, as he had Mission and HK on the flanks, ready to unload a barrage of fire on the tuskens once they were in range.
Bastila ignited her weapon and began to run in the direction of the sand people, but Revan stopped her.
"What is it?" she demanded, glaring again.
"I'm going to force jump to them, and you're going to come with me" Revan said. Knowing that it would be quicker this way, she held out her arm for him.
"Honestly? I can't force jump with you only using one arm! It's suicide! I need to hold you in my arms when we jump or you won't make it the whole way!" he exclaimed, giving her a glare of his own.
"I refuse to allow you to do such a thing! And for the record, I do not think right now is the best time for one of your short-sighted attempts at romance!" she exclaimed loudly.
"This isn't any attempt at romance!" he shouted back.
"No matter what you claim it is, I still refuse to be in your arms" she said, crossing her arms in anger and frustration.
"If you're going to do something, I suggest you do it before we're all old and gray!" Mission shouted. Then, Revan sighed and jumped, landing right next to Bastila. He grabbed her and crushed her to his chest before jumping right into the middle of the attacking tusken raiders.
Ignoring Bastila's death glare and the chills that he received from it, the gray Jedi ignited his lightsaber and began to fight the attackers.
He made sure to keep Bastila in his line of sight, not because he didn't trust her to keep from dying at the hands of the tuskens, but because he felt the inevitable sense of doom coming very shortly. He just couldn't pinpoint where it was going to come from, so he decided to keep an eye on the most likely direction that it may come from. As a result, he kept an eye on his angry bond mate.
Since Revan could not, or would not, devote his entire attention to the fight, a couple of the sand people were able to get through the group's defenses. By the time Revan noticed, it was too late for him to catch the remaining tuskens, so it would be up to Mission and HK to take the final three out.
Nevertheless, he still ran as fast as he could, trying to get to them before too long, in case they needed some help.
When the final tusken fell to the array of blaster bolts, Revan let out the breath he didn't know he had been holding. He slowed to a stop, sliding into position next to Mission and HK, unintentionally sending sand flying into the faces of the two miners who somehow managed to survive the attack.
"You are so immature, do you know that? I do not know what possessed you to grab me and jump, but I hope you know that it was a decision that I guarantee the Council would have deeply frowned at" she snapped, putting her hands on her hips.
"I guess the fact that we are all alive and uninjured because of it doesn't mean anything to you?" he asked casually, not giving her much room to answer.
"That does not take away from the fact that it was irresponsible and not thought out at all. What would have happened to us if I would have ignited my lightsaber right there? Were you willing to risk that now that you thought it through?" she demanded.
"Well, seeing as you knew it was me because of our bond, I would not change anything" he told her smugly. She groaned indignantly at him, not believing that he would be so careless about either of their safety, but shook her head. Deep down she knew that he wasn't going to listen to a word that she had to say.
Completely ignoring the now sandy miners, Revan motioned for the group to continue moving toward the sand people territory, not even resting after the fight, not wanting to allow too much time to pass under the burning suns of Tatooine.
After about half-an-hour's walk, HK's sensors began to go off and Revan called the group to a halt.
"We are on the edge of the sand people territory. We need to get some of their robes so we can sneak through unharmed if at all possible. Here they come. Don't forget, we need them all to be dead before we put the robes on so we have no witnesses, so do make sure you don't leave any stragglers" Revan said, swinging his silver weapon at the attacking tuskens.
There was somewhere between fifteen to twenty tusken raiders attacking the little group of four, but the superior numbers was not enough for them to win, as the skill of the small group was far too much for them to handle. Soon, all of the attacking tusken raiders were on the ground, dead either by lightsaber or by series of blaster bolts.
"Choose a robe, you two. HK, keep them safe" Revan ordered, stripping a nearby tusken raider of its robe and walking to the other side of a sand dune to give the girls some privacy.
After they were all dressed in sand people robes, the group ventured into the sand people territory, along with the newly 'salvaged' HK-47.
The walk seemed to be twice as long as it really was, since they couldn't talk without breaking the cover of their disguise. Under normal circumstances, Revan would have talked to Bastila, but she had closed off their bond, making it impossible for Revan to reach her without revealing their disguise.
When they got past the turrets, after steering clear of every tusken patrol in their way, they walked in to a very angry guard.
"HK, tell him that we mean no harm" Revan ordered, calmly looking for a way to keep the group from needing to commit genocide on an entire race. The guard growled again and Revan waited for HK to translate.
"Translation: it appears that it is his duty to report us to his chieftain. Recommendation: I suggest that we start shooting before they can betray us, master" HK said.
"HK, what does he say we need to do?" Revan asked. Another conversation between the droid and the guard commenced, and Revan waited patiently for a translation.
"Translation: He says that you must remove the robes and place them back on the ground where you got them and then he will go speak to the chieftain" HK said. Revan nodded and took off the robes, instructing Bastila and Mission to do the same.
"I refuse to be in such a state in this enclave" Bastila exclaimed, glaring at Revan.
"Bas, we have to do this or we will have to fight our way out of the enclave. Do you really want to do that?" Revan asked. She glared at him and looked down at her body. She looked up as the guard growled again, making Revan glare at Bastila.
"See? Mission already started!" Revan exclaimed, gesturing toward the teenage twi'lek who was trying to remove the large robe that was at least fourteen inches too big for her.
"This is such a bad idea" Bastila muttered, getting to work on removing her robe. Once they were all done removing the robes, Revan gestured for HK to continue. The guard growled again before leaving to confer with the chieftain.
"Translation: we are expected to stay here without touching anything" HK said.
"Damn, and here I was hoping for better treatment than Dantooine" Revan said sarcastically, sitting down against the inside wall of the enclave.
Bastila sat down across from him and looked at him closely. Mission was sitting close by, but it was obvious that she was more worried about her brother than anything else.
As they were sitting there, waiting for the summons from the chieftain, Bastila contacted Revan.
"Revan, I need to talk to you" she said through the bond.
"Yes, what is it?" he asked, not bothering to attempt to hide his surprise from her contacting him despite her anger at his little stunt earlier in the day.
"I just need to ask you something" she told him.
"Ask away" he agreed, giving her a little mental push of encouragement.
"Do you love me?" she asked quickly, making sure that she wasn't looking anywhere in his direction when she asked it.
"Why do you ask?" he asked incredulously, not quite sure if he heard her question correctly.
"Meetra showed me her memory of when you two were captured during the Mandalorian Wars. I heard your reasons to why you went to war, and I just wanted to know if it was true. So, is it?" she asked. He froze for a second, as if not quite sure what to say before he let out a long sigh.
"Bas, you were my best friend back at the Enclave, and I did go to war to protect the Republic. I cannot deny that. But, on a personal standpoint, I went to war to protect you. All of that is true" he admitted.
"And after?" she prodded.
"When I started my attack on the Republic, I thought about you every day, no exceptions. I couldn't get you out of my mind" he told her.
"Because of my battle meditation?" she asked. He shook his head.
"Not just that. Bas, you left such an imprint on me. I have thought about you every day since we kissed on the day that I left. No exceptions" he told her.
"But what does that add up to?" she demanded, urging him to answer.
"Yes, I do believe that I do love you" he told her. When she didn't respond, he decided that it would be his duty to continue the conversation instead.
"So what about you?" Revan asked. For the first time since she started the conversation, Bastila looked slightly flustered.
"What do you mean?" she asked, her 'voice' wavering slightly.
"You know exactly what I mean, Bas" he said calmly, deciding against forcing her to look at him. He just decided to look at her from afar instead, enjoying the view of her half-nakedness deeply.
"I cannot deny that I do care about you, Revan. I missed you so much during the Mandalorian Wars and I was heartbroken when you came back as the Dark Lord of the Sith. I cannot love you, though. While you are not a Jedi, I am, and I cannot feel that way about any man" she told him quietly, hoping that he would understand. He didn't.
"You're rationalizing, Bastila. Even Jedi cannot always control their hearts. You said it yourself. Once you begin to see that certain emotions can help you, and then you will finally reach your potential" he promised her strongly.
She was saved from having to respond by the tusken guard returning to tell them that the chieftain was ready for them.
Revan gave her a smile and walked confidently after the guard to the main room where the chieftain was waiting. HK was standing next to Revan, ready to follow his master's orders in finding a diplomatic solution to the problem that they were all trying to resolve.
The only question was if they would be able to do it without unnecessary casualties.
Author's Note: Well, I hope that was what everybody wanted to see. It shows that the story has started. It feels really good, despite the fact that I do not have as much time to update as I would like. What rocks is that I have already started the next chapter! So, please hit that review button and tell me what you think. I'll see you guys in a few weeks, barring any life issues.
Hit that review button, though. The more reviews there are, the more pressure I feel to update! (Hint, hint)
See you guys!