Thread: [Fic] LESSONS IN EXILE
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:14 PM   #3
MsFicwriter
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LESSON THREE: CONSEQUENCES

LOCATION: PORT DORMITORY ABOARD THE EBON HAWK

“I’d like to know what has happened since my banishment, and the end of the Mandalorian Wars.”

“It is not a simple tale,” replies Kreia, “or one with a particularly joyous conclusion. After Revan’s defeat of the Mandalorians at Malachor V, his apprentice Malak turned on him. Betrayal is the way of the Sith, and so this was not unexpected. However, Malak’s victory was. With Revan’s mind nearly destroyed, the new Dark Lord continued to wage war in his Master’s place, inflicting terrible wounds upon the Republic. These wounds are still bleeding, and now we must see if it has the strength to survive without the Order. As for Revan? He was ambushed by the Jedi and captured. Whether he escaped or otherwise, I know not.”

I shudder. The last time I saw Revan was when his glowing eyes issued me one final command:

“Exile?”

Jolted out of my reverie, I focus upon my rescuer again. “That was the end of such slaughter on a galactic scale, but the deaths continue. Entire planets were decimated in the course of the Mandalorian Wars, with their inhabitants dead or refugees. It is a horrific burden for any civilization to bear, but who endures it? Those who know that their culture achieves definition in the course of events like these. In peacetime, ordinary folk go about their business, unaware of anything but their own immediate cares. War brings consequences, however. We either find ourselves, or find ourselves lacking. Revan proved it for all time.”

Shutting my eyes, I can’t block out the faces of the dead, or the screams as their lives are extinguished. “The only thing that Revan proved, with me at his side, is that his hunger for battle had consumed him.”

“No. Taught him, strengthened him, yes! It did the same to you, however much you hate to admit it. This is part of the reason why I sought you, for you still have much to learn. Unlike the horrors that you faced as Revan’s general, this new threat is not directed at the Republic or the galaxy at large. It is aimed at you.”

“Why? Because I’m the last of the Jedi?”

“The Republic never was truly important. It is only a shell of government surrounding the Order, just as its teachings are a shell surrounding the heart of man. You see, the true war is not one waged by droids, or warships, or soldiers. Those are only crude physical obstacles against which we test ourselves. The true war is one fought against our own natures, light or dark. That is what shapes and binds this galaxy, not these creations of man. You are the battleground, and if you fall, the entire galaxy will echo your fate.”

I feel hollow inside, like a gutted animal or a droid without its core processor. “I’m not sure I understand.”

“Life is a test. Those such as Darth Sion believe the purpose of life is pain, but it’s not the only purpose. In the Mandalorian Wars, you were forced to confront who you were, and what you were becoming. Once, you had been a Jedi, unswervingly dedicated to the cause of Light and supposed goodness. Over time, and especially once the Mandalorians began to attack the Outer Rim, your devotion was challenged. How could you be good when such evil was being committed all around you, out of control and unchecked? The Jedi Council asked for caution and patience to…assess the real threat, but how could they not see it? When you chose to follow Revan to war, you chose to combat it. Was this a noble act, or a wicked one?”

“In retrospect, I should have listened, and not only because I was exiled for disobedience! When I -”

“Shhh. I feel the unrest within you, and have caught a glimpse of the images that haunt your waking life as well as your nightmares. You are facing the consequences of your actions, and that is good, but there are others who would exploit this. Sion is one of them, as are the other two of these three Sith that hunt us.”

I shake my head, feeling both disgusted and jaded. “All the Sith have hunted the Jedi since millennia ago.”

“You speak the truth, but there is more to what you say. It is a different kind of war our pursuers wage. They are different from Malak in that they have no wish to conquer everything, as he did. Their only aim is to exterminate the members of your former Order, either through murder or conversion. Once the Jedi are lost, then the galaxy is theirs, no matter whether the Sith or the Republic is in charge. Either way, it is the Dark Side of the Force that shall reign forever. Do you wish this? If not, then pay heed to my teachings.”

“I will, Kreia.” I bow my head toward her in a gesture of respect. “I welcome whatever aid you’ll offer me.”

“Good.” She pauses for a bit. “I have one more thing to say about consequences. To ignorant beings, if you choose the right, then you’re rewarded. If you choose the wrong, you’re punished. However, in this galaxy without gods or miracles, who is to define these concepts? Who is to say what’s right and wrong? If you steal to feed your starving family, is that truly a reprehensible deed? What if you save someone’s life, but only to enslave them? Is that a good deed? What I mean to say is that the bounds of good and evil are not always what they seem. The Jedi sought to make things simple, but as you have seen, they are not.”

“So,” I continue, “that means the consequences of our actions aren’t so simple, either.” Kreia nods. “The Council sought to make me pay for what I’d done during the Mandalorian Wars, and I have. Still, I sense that there are some people who believe I haven’t suffered enough, no matter whether Revan fell or not.”

“Did Revan fail, or was it the failure of the Jedi teachings that led to the Mandalorian Wars?” She winces all of a sudden. “That is enough for now, because my wound pains me. I’d see to that fool in the cockpit…”
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