Everything Under The Sun... And Then Some!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Greatest Friggin' Story Ever Told

Prologue: The Rise and Fall of Darth Revan

From the journals of Jedi Master Dorak, Councilmember of the Dantooine Enclave and Chronicler

            Revan was one of the best and brightest students the Jedi Order had seen in years, not since the War of Exar Kun. He had an insatiable appetite for knowledge, which I suppose should have been our first clue. But we were happy at the time to have such a promising young Jedi in our ranks after what we had suffered during the war. When he became a Padawan and was welcomed into the Order as a full-fledged member, he, and his best friend Malak, traveled to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to receive additional training under Jedi master Zhar Lestin. He too reported that there seemed to be a void in Revan that could not be filled by the teachings of the Jedi. It seemed that even though Revan had become a renowned Knight, he still felt that he was missing some purpose in his life.

            When the Mandalorians came, he must have saw that his time had finally come. Well do I remember the arguments he made when the Mandalorians attacked and pillaged the Outer Rim Worlds beyond the Republic. I recall his fury when they invaded the Republic itself and nothing the Republic military could do seemed to stop them. The Jedi High Council on Coruscant felt for some time that a great Darkness awaited us deep in the Outer Rim, and Revan became convinced that the Mandalorians were that threat. The Council did not agree with the wayward Knight, and long were the hours that Revan spent arguing with both the Council here on Dantooine and the High Council. I think that it was here that we first began to see the seeds of Revan’s fall take root, though perhaps we were blind to them at the time. I suppose Revan must have thought that this was at last the calling that he had been searching for, the purpose that he felt had been lacking from his life. Finally when the Mandalorians invaded and burned his own home world of Deralia, on the border between the Outer and Mid Rims, Revan had enough.

            Announcing that he was going to join the Army of the Republic against the Council’s wishes he made one final appearance before the Council here. Masters Zhar, Vandar, and myself pleaded with him to reconsider, that he was being rash and that the cost of participating in a war such as this could have dire, unforeseen consequences. At the end master Vrook stood up and pronounced that Revan may do as he wished but to know that he and any who followed him were going straight to the Dark Side in their foolish quest. Insulted, he stormed out of the Council chambers and that was the last any of us would see of Revan for a long time.

            Revan quickly became the most famous of the Republic’s Generals, clearing out worlds such as Taris of the Mandalorians. He was an amazing strategist, and slowly the war began to turn in our favor. However, the strain on Revan, Malak and the other Knights who followed them began to show. Revan’s tactics gradually became more ruthless, cold-hearted, and calculating as the war dragged on. One of the few Knights that still reported to the Council noticed that unsettling changes had come over Revan and Malak, that they were becoming distanced from those around them.

            Finally the end of the war came. As the last of the Mandalorian ships surrendered over Malachor V, there was a storm of celebrations within the Republic. Even we Jedi Masters were pleased, as we hoped that now, maybe, Revan would return to us. But that was not to be.  Without warning, he, Malak and the others took a third of the fleet and disappeared into the depths of space. They said that they were searching for the last remnants of Mandalore’s fleet, but then all contact was lost. For months it was assumed that some great disaster had befallen their fleet. There were, during this time, scattered reports that Revan and Malak had been seen on a number of worlds around the Republic but these were never confirmed. We had begun to mourn for our lost brothers and sisters when they finally returned to us. And it was not in a manner that we expected. At all.

            Even during the Mandalorian Wars there had been rumors that the Sith were rebuilding after Exar Kun, but the reports from both Republic Intelligence and our own Knights suggested that it would be at least ten years before the Sith could have the military power to attack the Republic. And only a few months after the Mandalorian War had ended, the Destruction of Telos occurred. Revan and Malak had finally returned, but now they were Darth Revan, Dark Lord of the Sith, and Darth Malak, apprentice and right hand. The heroes of the Republic had become brutal, conquering Sith.

Revan’s forces began sweeping across the Outer Rim, which was still weak and lightly defended after the Mandalorian War. The Dark Lord also began sending out teams of Dark Jedi and Sith Masters to assassinate our Jedi brethren. The times are dark indeed, as the Jedi Order is once again brought to the brink. But there is a ray of hope. A young Jedi Padawan named Bastila Shan was discovered, shortly before the Mandalorian War ended, to posses the gift of Battle Meditation. With this gift, the Jedi Council knew that she would be a great asset to the Republic, and at grave risk of falling to the Dark Side. She is young and headstrong and proud, but she is also one of the best students we have trained since Revan and Malak. Even now she is on her way with a task force of Jedi Knights to attempt to capture Darth Revan himself. Hopefully if we can capture Revan alive we can find out where the Sith obtained their strange and seemingly limitless armada… and if it can be stopped.


A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away…


Knights of the Old Republic
Episode I
4,000 years before the rise of the Galactic Empire, the Republic verges on collapse. DARTH REVAN and DARTH MALAK, the new Dark Lords of the Sith have unleashed an invincible armada on an unsuspecting galaxy.

Crushing all resistance, Revan’s war of conquest has left the Jedi Order scattered, as countless Knights fall in battle and many more swear allegiance to the new Sith Masters.

In order to combat the Sith the Jedi High Council has sent BASTILA SHAN, a prodigy of the rare Jedi talent of Battle Meditation, and a team of Jedi Knights to set a trap for the Dark Lords. Unless they are stopped, they will snuff out the flame of peace and freedom in the galaxy…

Darth Revan, Dark Lord of the Sith, stared out through the Titan's forward view ports and fumed. His war had been going so smoothly and easily. The weakened Republic had stood no chance of offering any serious resistance so soon after the Mandalorian Wars. But then that had begun to change. The Republic fleets began winning battles, battles that should have been impossible to win, but as Revan had learned long ago that nothing was impossible when it came to the Force. So the Republic had begun to fight back and Revan sent out his spies and found out who was responsible. A young Jedi Padawan called Bastila Shan. Revan vaguely recalled having seen Bastila at the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine, but she had only been a little girl then. And she’s here now, Revan thought too himself, and it’s true what my spies reported. She has mastered the art of Battle Meditation, and she is only a Padawan! If she could be turned she would be the key to the destruction of the Republic…

Revan’s thoughts were interrupted as alarms sounded on the bridge. Captain Allston, Master of the Titan turned to him.
“Lord Revan the small craft we captured before the battle seems to have a crew after all. A crew hidden in shielded compartments.”
“Who is aboard?” asked the Dark Lord, his voice muffled by the mask he wore which made his voice unrecognizable as male or female unless one knew who was beneath the mask.
“A mixture of Army Commandos and Jedi Knights my Lord. And Bastila is with them.”
Revan gave an imperceptible nod and the Honor Guard of Sith Dark Jedi moved to guard the door to her bridge.
“This will work to my advantage Captain. I will either have the young Bastila as my servant, or she shall be destroyed by the power of the Dark Side. Inform the Leviathan and my apprentice to continue the attack. Wipe the Republic fleet out. I will deal with our guests.”
“Yes My Lord.”

Darth Malak, apprentice to Darth Revan stood on the bridge of the Leviathan and looked out the view port the clash of Republic and Sith ships. This battle had begun when the two Sith Flagships had intercepted a Jedi transport. It had been taken aboard the Titan and had apparently been empty. As soon as they had taken it aboard, a Republic fleet came out of hyperspace and ambushed them. Now it turned out the transport had indeed been manned. Admiral Karath had just informed him of Revan’s orders, but he had not yet carried them out. He stared at the Titan as it engaged three Republic capital ships simultaneously. He ran his large hand of the metal prosthesis that covered his entire lower jaw and ears. He remembered well when he had received the prosthetic. It had been during that final battle above Malachor V. A mandalorian guarding his leader Mandalore had gotten a hold of a lightsaber. Malak had underestimated the warrior and had had his jaw removed for his foolishness. He had begun to truly hate the mandalorians then, which had only quickened his descent to the Dark Side. Now he stared at his Master’s ship and contemplated betrayal.
You were the one who taught me the only the strongest of we Sith must rule Revan. You know that I will challenge you for supremacy… but to attack now while he is occupied with the Battle Meditation brat? When Sith have always faced each other in single combat, Master versus Apprentice? What should I do? The former Jedi continued to stare out at his Master’s ship, and then quietly came to a decision. Goodbye Revan. You were a good friend and a good Master. But only the strongest and most cunning can rule the Sith. Goodbye. And he ordered the Leviathan and the other ships under his command to target the Titan.

Bastila was tired, sweaty, and ached all over, but her job wasn’t done yet. They had managed to board the Titan and were finally only a few feet away from the blast door to the bridge. She could feel the vortex of darkness that was Revan just ahead and knew that her time to face the Dark Lord had come. When she and her comrades had started their mad dash towards the bridge, there had been two-dozen of them, a dozen Jedi, ranging from padawans to Masters, and a dozen crack Republic Commandos. Now only three other Jedi and four commandos accompanied her. The elite Sith troops and Sith Masters and Dark Jedi aboard had waged a fierce battle against the strike team, but the Jedi had prevailed.
Reaching the blast door, the Jedi plunged yellow, green, purple, and blue lightsabers into it and quickly created a hole. The commandos tossed in a couple of thermal detonators and charged onto the bridge on the heel of the deadly explosions, blaster rifles blazing. The Jedi followed and were met by four crimson lightsaber blades being wielded by four hooded and half-masked Dark Jedi.
“The Force fights with us!” cried Bastila as she charged one of the Dark Jedi. She could see the Dark Lord standing at the apex of the bridge and she would be damned if she had come all this way to capture Revan, to fail now. The battle was joined and no quarter was given.
As the Jedi battled their Sith counterparts, the Commandos started firing on the guards and the bridge officers. In the confusion no one noticed that the Leviathan was moving into position to attack. The Sith Masters were well trained, charged with the defense of their Dark Lord. But the Jedi were not about to back down, so close to their objective. Sabers clashed and the opponents twisted, juked, and flipped around each other in a dazzling display. Bastila was in the middle of it, dueling fiercely with her opponent. She moved with a fluid grace and her lightsaber swung in a constant arc as she blocked and parried. Finally she saw an opening and took it. Slashing her saber across the Sith’s wrist caused him to drop his saber. Bastila drew back her yellow blade and struck. With a dull thud, the corpse of the Sith collapsed to the deck. Bastila looked up and saw the Dark Lady standing before her only a few feet away, choking the life out of one of the red and yellow-clad Commandos. The young padawan was dismayed to see that the all of the Commandos had died fighting and it was only the Jedi left now. With a gesture, Revan tossed the now dead Republic soldier aside and faced her opponent. With a snap-hiss his red lightsaber ignited while tendrils of electricity arced and curled around his free hand. Bastila swallowed her fear as she approached the Sith Lord.
“You cannot win Revan!” she boldly claimed, raising her lightsaber. The other three Jedi rushed forward, having dispatched their own opponents. Revan snorted and flourished his lightsaber, ready for the attack.
“If you truly think that you four Jedi can beat me, then by all means,” said Revan as the dark side filled the bridge like a chocking pall, “come and get me now girl.”
Bastila was just about to charge at the Sith Lord when the Force warned her to jump back, not forward. It was well that she heeded the Force for at that very moment, the world exploded.

Revan had welcomed the chance to face Bastila in combat. He knew that the young Jedi could be a powerful ally in his war against the decrepit Republic. He would’ve struck fast, eliminating the other Jedi and then confronted Bastila, and tried to turn her or destroy her if that didn’t work. But that plan, that wonderful plan was interrupted as he was betrayed from afar. He felt the warning through the Force a split second before it happened. And he knew exactly what had happened as well. Malak had betrayed him, taking his opportunity to seize the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith. And the cowardly scum had not even tried to face him in combat! The turbolaser blast struck just below the bridge and Revan’s world went white, then black. As the darkness began to close around, Darth Revan’s last conscious thoughts were, I cannot die like this! And he was right. He wouldn’t die. At least not completely.

Bastila shook her head to clear out the dizziness and cloudiness that had enveloped her when the bridge had been hit. She looked across the smoking, ruined bridge as her vision came back into focus. She probably only had limited time before whoever had fired on the Titan did so again. What Bastila saw wasn’t good. Her Jedi companion had been killed in the blast and… and so had Revan! Bastila scrambled over to the apparent corpse of the Sith Lord. Stretching out with the Force, Bastila was shocked to discover that Revan was not dead. There still burned a flicker of life in the man. The ship began to rumble from more turbolaser blasts. Thoughts began to conflict within Bastila’s mind. She had been sent here to capture the Dark Lord, but now he was all but dead. Life still burned within his body, but Bastila could not sense Revan’s mind. Bastila glanced at her lightsaber. With one stroke she would be forever hailed as the vanquisher of Revan, a hero to the entire Republic. She shook her head again to clear it of those images; they were of the dark side and not worthy of a Jedi. Bastila would fulfill her duty and bring whatever remained of Revan back. Letting the Force flow through her, Bastila then began to let it flow into Revan’s broken body. She began using her own life force to sustain the Dark Lord. Suddenly she was assaulted by a swirl of images, memories from Revan. Overwhelmed Bastila collapsed backward onto the deck, as the ship jolted violently. From behind her the entrance to the bridge groaned open and a pair of Jedi rushed in. The older of the pair immediately knelt by Bastila and propped her head up. Her eyes fluttered open and she struggled to speak through wheezing breaths.
“Get Revan and I back to the ship Master Jinn,” she panted, cold sweat trickling down her face, “Revan… we can still save him…” Bastila lost consciousness. Jedi Master Quan-Chi Jinn didn’t have time to debate as Bastila had over whether the Dark Lord of the Sith could or should be saved.
“Padawan, take Bastila here. Let’s get off this ship before it is destroyed, And us along with it,” commanded the older Jedi. As his padawan scooped up Bastila, Master Jinn lifted the still form of Revan and was shocked to find himself staring into the face of a handsome young man, eyes half-closed, who looked to be only in his late twenties. Bastila must’ve removed the mask, but Master Jinn had no time to worry about that now. They raced out of the bridge as deep, sub-sonic booms from within the ship told them that she was starting to explode.
“No time to get to the ship! Into this escape pod!” cried out Master Jinn. The two Jedi stuffed their companions inside and then climbed in themselves. Jinn’s padawan barely had time to hit the eject button before the Titan began to consume itself in a raging fireball. As the lone escape pod shot towards the retreating Republic fleet, the once grand flagship of the Sith fleet blew itself out of existence. Onboard the escape pod; even though she was unconscious, Bastila was still getting intermittent flashes from Revan. A bond had been forged between them, and only time would tell what that would mean for the galaxy…

No comments:

Post a Comment