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Old 05-13-2006, 12:33 PM   #121
Char Ell
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Sorry but I've been dealing with finals this past week and haven't had much time to read for pleasure.

I've only read the first couple paragraphs of post #119. It seems to me that you skipped quite a bit of content on Korriban and I don't know if this was intentional or not so I'll wait to hear from you on this before I continue. Basically you go from Danika obtaining the Sword of Ajunta Pall to Danika encountering Sith students after she defeats Uthar Wynn, nothing in between about the crazed hermit in Tulak Hord's tomb, the assassin droid in Marka Ragnos' tomb or any events that occurred within Naga Sadow's tomb, e.g. how she defeated Uthar Wynn and how she handled Yuthura Ban (killed her or turned her back to the light).


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Old 05-13-2006, 01:45 PM   #122
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Actually it was intentional. You have a lot of side quests on Korriban, and while the idea that you had to penetrate a tomb to impress Master Wynn, I saw no reason to cover every one of them. When I write something, I have to take a straight line approach or you will never get anywhere. The loony hermit and the assassin droid were IMO, just window dressing. Note that she did help the kids to escape, help Algwin decide to go over to the light, bring Yuthura back to the light, and freed Ajunta Pall's spirit.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

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Old 05-13-2006, 07:36 PM   #123
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So I got that Danika persuaded Yuthura to forsake the dark side but unfortunately Yuthura didn't make it out of the ensuing chaos. While I can understand skipping the other two tombs I think cutting the Naga Sadow tomb left a big hole in the Korriban quest. Who was the Jedi Master that Yuthura referred to as she lay dying? How did Danika defeat the two terentatek?

I like how Danika and company handled the Trandoshans. I'll be interested to see if Exar Kun's lightsaber was indeed among the lightsabers Suvam gave to Danika.


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Old 05-13-2006, 08:11 PM   #124
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I didn't cut the Naga Sadow Tomb! All I did was remove the Wraid Dragons, and left off the side room.

As for the master Yuthura mentioned, I did mention that she was from another Jedi Academy, fo he obviously is from that one.

The Terentateks perished in the trap I had at the center instead of the Wraid Dragons. I'll have to go back and see if that section for some reason did not get posted.


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Old 05-13-2006, 08:36 PM   #125
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All right, my bad. I cut out Naga Sadow by mistake. The system obviously bumped it. So I will have to go in and repost bumping them back into position.

It might not have been me...

I went back, and intended to edit post 118 which was right before the attack on the Academy. However after trying four times I finally got it to post, so the portion that was missing is now there. If you missed the tomb of Naga Sadow, please go back to #118 and read it before continuing.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile

Last edited by machievelli; 05-13-2006 at 10:07 PM. Reason: updating and continuing story...
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:34 PM   #126
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Ah, yes! Much better now that the Tomb of Naga Sadow part of the story is there!
Quote:
Originally Posted by post #118
“What is this?”

“The sword of Ajunta Pall which Shaardan tried to steal from me.” I replied.

He stood, drawing the blade from its sheath. He looked at it for a long moment.
This seemed strange to me. IIRC Ajunta Pall's sword in the game was double-bladed. I reviewed the sword's description in post #116 and you don't indicate the sword is double-bladed. Not that big of a deal but I was trying to figure out how Uthar pulled a double-bladed sword out of its sheath. The way you describe how these double-bladed swords work in Star Wars: Beginnings, where the double-bladed sword folds in half, works much better for me. But it seems like you have made Ajunta Pall's sword a single blade instead of the double-bladed version shown in the game.

I liked most of the alterations you made to the story in Naga Sadow's tomb. The method Danika employed to eliminate the two terentatek definitely made use of available resources, turning the traps meant to kill her against the beasts of the dark side. Very ingenious. And using the keys instead of the hot and cold grenades from the game was much more realistic to me.

On a tangential note, one of the aspects of the Korriban story I had a problem with from the game was the location of its star map. It doesn't make sense to me how a 25,000 year old star map ended up inside a Sith tomb, know what I mean? In any case, I digress so back to my other thoughts on your Korriban tale.

I was disappointed in how short the confrontation between Danika and Uthar was. I expected a higher level of lightsaber combat skill from the master of the Sith academy. To have him go down in about three moves, maybe 10 seconds of combat, seemed pretty weak on his part. Perhaps you wrote it that way to facilitate Yuthura not having to actually fight Uthar but I think there were other things you could have had Danika do to Yuthura to get her out of combat. Perhaps you could have had Danika place Yuthura in a stasis field or something that would have immobilized her for a longer time and thus allowed a more challenging and time consuming fight between Danika and Uthar.

The way you had Danika relate to Yuthura about slavery made good sense to me, in essence asking Yuthura the question, "So what have you really done to help slaves since you came to the Sith?" helped her step back and review her actions and how they didn't really accomplish her goal. However I do wonder why Yuthura didn't go through the shyrack cave as Danika advised her to do and ended up going into the Sith Academy with Danika instead. Not to say that I think having Yuthura get killed in the Sith academy doesn't work for me but just that I wonder what happened to make Yuthura go with Danika instead of escaping through the shyrack cave.


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Old 05-14-2006, 02:38 AM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
This seemed strange to me. IIRC Ajunta Pall's sword in the game was double-bladed. I reviewed the sword's description in post #116 and you don't indicate the sword is double-bladed. Not that big of a deal but I was trying to figure out how Uthar pulled a double-bladed sword out of its sheath. The way you describe how these double-bladed swords work in Star Wars: Beginnings, where the double-bladed sword folds in half, works much better for me. But it seems like you have made Ajunta Pall's sword a single blade instead of the double-bladed version shown in the game..
Would you belive I never actually drew the sword in the game? Easily remedied.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
I liked most of the alterations you made to the story in Naga Sadow's tomb. The method Danika employed to eliminate the two terentatek definitely made use of available resources, turning the traps meant to kill her against the beasts of the dark side. Very ingenious. And using the keys instead of the hot and cold grenades from the game was much more realistic to me..
Thank you. The smart people I played against when I was DM taught me this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
On a tangential note, one of the aspects of the Korriban story I had a problem with from the game was the location of its star map. It doesn't make sense to me how a 25,000 year old star map ended up inside a Sith tomb, know what I mean? In any case, I digress so back to my other thoughts on your Korriban tale..
My thought was that the Star Map was in a cave, and when they began constructing Naga Sadow's tomb, they found it. It would explain the cruciform Layout because Sadow is entombed down one of the arms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
I was disappointed in how short the confrontation between Danika and Uthar was. I expected a higher level of lightsaber combat skill from the master of the Sith academy. To have him go down in about three moves, maybe 10 seconds of combat, seemed pretty weak on his part. Perhaps you wrote it that way to facilitate Yuthura not having to actually fight Uthar but I think there were other things you could have had Danika do to Yuthura to get her out of combat. Perhaps you could have had Danika place Yuthura in a stasis field or something that would have immobilized her for a longer time and thus allowed a more challenging and time consuming fight between Danika and Uthar..
Actually, the fight when I played it the first time lasted about the ten seconds I described. The biggest problem I have with most RPGs is that the higher level you are, the harder you are to kill. I'm not saying a veteran isn't dangerous or efficient at defending himself. It's just that a lucky break will kill you just as dead as that novice with one shot. I could make it longer, but I'll have to consider it. As for Yuthura, I just wanted her out of the way long enough because she would have probably held back just from the shock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
The way you had Danika relate to Yuthura about slavery made good sense to me, in essence asking Yuthura the question, "So what have you really done to help slaves since you came to the Sith?" helped her step back and review her actions and how they didn't really accomplish her goal. However I do wonder why Yuthura didn't go through the shyrack cave as Danika advised her to do and ended up going into the Sith Academy with Danika instead. Not to say that I think having Yuthura get killed in the Sith academy doesn't work for me but just that I wonder what happened to make Yuthura go with Danika instead of escaping through the shyrack cave.

The biggest problem people have when they go down dark paths like this is that the reason they did is obscured. If you've seen the 3rd Batman movie, Val KIlmer as Wayne said it best. You go out to find and kill one man, but eventually you find that even if you caught him, you can't stop because the hunt chase and kill becomes your life.

Originally, I did have her escape through the cave. But I wondered if maybe she'd want to start out her new life by atoning for her old one. It could go either way.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
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Last edited by machievelli; 05-14-2006 at 02:46 AM. Reason: additional info
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:17 AM   #128
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Heh, the hot and cold grenades. I had a slight problem with that in the game, too. Iced acid is still too acidic to walk on. It doesn't magically stop reacting just because it's frozen. However, it's just a game.


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Old 05-14-2006, 11:39 AM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Heh, the hot and cold grenades. I had a slight problem with that in the game, too. Iced acid is still too acidic to walk on. It doesn't magically stop reacting just because it's frozen. However, it's just a game.
I didn't feel comfortable with it either, which is why I changed it.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

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Old 05-14-2006, 07:00 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machievelli
My thought was that the Star Map was in a cave, and when they began constructing Naga Sadow's tomb, they found it. It would explain the cruciform Layout because Sadow is entombed down one of the arms.
Question 1: Is a Rakatan star map able to be moved? I don't know but I think it quite possible that the star map would have required extra special care if it would need to be moved out of a cave and into a tomb if it was to retain its functionality.

Question 2: Why would Naga Sadow, a Sith Lord, have his sarcophagus placed in a non-focal point of his own tomb? IMO this action would be unexpected from someone who sought power for himself. I think that switching places between the Korriban star map and Naga Sadow's sarcophagus would make more sense, e.g. the star map on the left arm of the cruciform and Naga Sadow's sarcophagus placed at the top.


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Old 05-14-2006, 07:11 PM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
Question 1: Is a Rakatan star map able to be moved? I don't know but I think it quite possible that the star map would have required extra special care if it would need to be moved out of a cave and into a tomb if it was to retain it's functionality. .
I don't think it was moved, I think when it was found it was left where it was with a few approprate embellishments such as the kneeling statue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
Question 2: Why would Naga Sadow, a Sith Lord, have his sarcophagus placed in a non-focal point of his own tomb? IMO this action would be unexpected from someone who sought power for himself. I think that switching places between the Korriban star map and Naga Sadow's sarcophagus would make more sense, e.g. the star map on the left arm of the cruciform and Naga Sadow's sarcophagus placed at the top.
I looked at it from the building viewpoint as a booby-trap fanatic where sometimes you have to make do with what you have. They start building a straight shot and run into the star Map. Sadow didn't want it destroyed or moved, so he added the two additional arms after installing the acid trap etc locking the keys in the far right one, etc. You figure, which arm is the most important, the heavily defended one where you have to face Terentateks, find the keys, then use them? Of the one with a relatively simple puzzle?

If you check the layouts of the actual tombs of the Pharoahs, you will discover a lot of misdirection was used.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

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Old 05-14-2006, 07:12 PM   #132
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Three coments, but all by the same person. What you guys don't love me no more?


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

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Old 05-14-2006, 07:33 PM   #133
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Heh, actually, it's a time issue for me--with family demands, work, and a couple volunteer things, my time is pretty limited for the fun stuff. So, I don't get to read this one as often as your other one, and I don't like to make comments if I've just skimmed through.
HOwever, it's not getting ignored.


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Old 05-14-2006, 07:36 PM   #134
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All right, I'll settle for two...


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
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Old 05-14-2006, 07:48 PM   #135
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Therefore at first be shy as a maiden. When the enemy gives you an opening be as swift as a hare and he will be unable to withstand you.

Ebon Hawk

Enroute to the Star Forge System

Danika

The next few days were tense. Everyone dealt with the tension in their own ways. Juhani Jolee and I spent hours honing Sasha’ growing skills, and spent others practicing with our weapons. Canderous made small adjustments in his blaster rifle, Carth worked on piloting, Mission on figuring what we would need to get when we reached a new port. Zaalbar kept us fed and tinkered with the engine. I was constantly nagged by the fact that there was nothing more from Bastila after she had shut me out. The bond still existed, so she was alive. But what had happened to her?

It was a relief when we came out at ten planetary diameters from a small planet.

“Not much to see.” Carth said. “Are we sure this is the right place?”

I pointed wordlessly at the fleet that orbited the star, or rather, the structure above the star’s North Pole. He stared at it, then used the sensors to bring up a larger picture. As I might have said before, it was shaped not unlike a lightsaber pommel, only fatter. Over a hundred kilometers through, it was more than a thousand in length.

“The Star Forge.” Carth whispered. “I’ve never seen anything like it!”

“We’re here, now we need to tell someone.” I told him.

“Yeah, all right. I’m sending this directly to the sixth fleet. Admiral Dodonna will know what to do. Maybe a quick strike can cripple it.”

“I don’t know.” I pointed at the dots of yet more ships coming around from the sensor shadow of the massive structure. “How many ships do they have here?”

Carth stared. “It looks like all of them.” He added that to the message. “All right, the message is away. All we have to do is sit here outside their sensor range-” there was a bleep, and he snarled. “Fighters coming in fast. Get on the guns!”

I leaped up, running back to the centerline. Canderous passed me taking the ladder down as I climbed up. I was in my seat, weapons activated as the fighters came snarling in. Ebon Hawk was running toward the planet, trying to put it between the fleet and us. I blasted a fighter, spinning to find another as the ship started rocking as if it was going mad.

“Carth-”

“Some kind of disruptor field! Flight controls are burning out!”

The fighters lofted away from us, and I could understand why. The ship was tumbling out of control toward the planet.

“All hands brace for collision, all hand, brace for collision!” Carth screamed. “This might be a rough landing.”

Watching a crash-landing is so much more fun if there is some distance between you and it. From where I sat the sky the sea and land were interchangeable, spinning past my view in a whirling vortex. Suddenly we leveled out. How I didn’t know. Thrusters blasted, then we bounced on our landing gear. We came down again, oleo joints screaming in protest. Then there was silence.

“Well, we’re down.” Carth said. I unstrapped, and climbed down the ladder. The others were already gathering in the mess hall, and I collapsed into a seat.

“Hey, when you said rough, you were understating it! What happened, Carth? You been on a drinking binge while we weren’t watching?” Mission asked.

“That disruptor field fried our stabilizers. We’re lucky we made it down in one piece.” He rubbed his scalp. “Unless we can fix them, we’re stuck here. I can’t guarantee what would happen if we took off without them.”

“While we were descending, I think I saw ships that had crashed before us.” Juhani mused. Perhaps they might have the parts we need?”

“So did I.” Canderous said. “Some of them aren’t that far away.” He shook his head. “This place is a graveyard of ships from thousands of years of history. There must be something we can use.”

“Yeah. But even if we can repair the stabilizers, that disruptor field is still there. We’d just run into it again when we lift.”

“I’m more worried about the fleet.” I said. “The field seems to extend out from the Star Forge, and is adjustable. If they turn it up while the fleet is in system, who knows what will happen!”

“But there has to be a way to shield from it.” Carth mused. “The Sith didn’t seem to be affected by it. But we won’t have time to find that way, so destroying or shutting it down is our best option.”

I think T3 might have found it.” Mission said. We crowded around the monitor she was using. A field seemed to emanate from the planet, running outward another AU. A staggering amount of energy.

“The field is coming from a building not far from here.”

“What about Bastila?” I asked.

“We haven’t forgotten about her.” Carth soothed. “But there isn’t anything we can do until the field is down and the ship is repaired.”

“I only hope we are not to late.” Juhani whispered. “Bastila has been Malak’s prisoner for more than a week. If he can turn her to the dark side, the fleet we have called is doomed!”

“Bastila won’t turn to the dark side.” I said, even as my heart told me otherwise.

“Like you once did, I fear that Bastila will feel the lure of the dark side. “Can’t you feel it? Like a smell in the air. Whoever these people were, they lived and breathed the dark side their entire lives. She may be strong in the force, but she is impulsive and prideful. Like you were once, Revan.” Jolee opined.

“Don‘t call me that!” I shook my head vehemently. “Revan is dead and buried. I am Danika now and forever.”

“Hold on to that thought, girl. But remember that Bastila hasn’t been through the same hell yet. If she still feels as you do, than all she needs is rescue.”

“If Bastila is on the Star Forge, as you seem to think, we can’t rescue her until we’re repaired and the field is down, Jolee.” Carth shook his head, making a copy of the data from the sensors. “I’ve also downloaded the types of ships that might the parts By name and type. There are half a dozen ships close enough to check out. I’ve downloaded their positions and maybe one of them has what we need.”

“I hope it’s really that easy, Carth.” Mission murmured.

“You and me both, Mission. All right, Zaalbar and I will start ripping out fried circuits. Mission and the droids will go through what we have, and see what can be replaced. Danika, who will you take?”

“Jolee and Canderous.” I said. “Juhani, can you help with the scanning?”

“Yes.”

We gathered our equipment, and gathered at the ramp. I trotted down it, then stopped. I had seen this beach before...

The blade slicing through Mission, watching her fall, hearing Zaalbar’s despairing scream.

“Danika?” Jolee was watching me, worried.

“I had a vision back at the Academy. Me killing Mission and Zaalbar here. On this very spot.” I whispered.

“Then you are close to the point where your choice will kill her or save her.” Jolee replied. “I’m here, I hope I can stop you when that time comes.”

“If anyone can.” I whispered. I turned. Someone was running in the rock and stone above us.

Four figures came into sight. They were the same race as the builders. However they had devolved badly. Their weapons were rock and wood with sharp stone chips imbedded in them. They saw us, and seemed surprised for a moment, then they charged with an ululating cry.

Canderous smoothly aimed as if he were on a target range and three of them were dead before they reached us. The last died as I cut him down.

“What are they?” Canderous asked. “I’ve never seen such things.

“Murderous animals!” Someone said, and we spun. Two Duros staggered from the rocks near the side of our private beach, hands raised in supplication. “Thank you humans for saving us!”

“No problem.” I said.

“If your arrival had not been so fortuitous, we would have been caught! They treat all that are not of their kind as food!”

“What are you doing here?” I asked.

“Our mining survey ship crashed here months ago. Our ship sank out there, at sea. Of our crew, only ten survived. We have been hunted and attacked by them ever since our arrival. Some said they would swim to that small island there.” He waved at the horizon. Unless they could swam better than any Duros I have ever seen, they were dead.

“They have been attacking you?”

“Yes. They are vicious, hunting us using the Rancor they have tamed. If we are caught, we end up in their stew pots.”

“Are there other survivors? from other ships?”

“Many, a hundred, maybe more. Most live by running from these monsters. Only the Mandalorians are safe from them.”

“Mando?” Canderous asked. “Where are they? How many?”

“A dozen all told, we think.” One of the Duros said. “They have a lot of their technology remaining. Stealth fields, and mines. But they prey on us too. They are camped in a valley on the other side of the Temple mount.”

“Danika?” Canderous asked.

“Yes, I think we might be able to use some allies. Shall we go?”

“No, I will go alone.” He demurred. “That will stop the foolish among them from shooting first.”

“We cannot stay.” The Duros said. “The longer we stay in one place, the more likely one of our enemies will find us.”

“Wait.” I lifted my com and gave an order. A few moments later, Carth pushed a lifter down the ramp. On it was an inflatable raft, and about four days worth of rations. The Duros were stunned by our generosity, but once they had the raft, they couldn’t get into it and away from shore fast enough. I had Juhani join us, and started up the slope into the depths of the island.

There was a path cutting to the left, and I ignored it. I knew somehow that the enemy the Duros were worried about lived that way. Instead I took the switchback climbing up the scree, and soon we could look down on the beach. The intruder lights were on, and the turrets were hot. I found another cut in the rock, and we followed it. Ahead of us, I could hear something roaring.



Unknown planet

Canderous

I went back aboard as Danika led the others up the hill. I went to the cargo bay which I had made my home, and gathered some things. A sound-blocking stealth belt, and the black coveralls that went with it. My armor was gone, and I wished I had it now. Mando are more into appearances than other might think. I was going to contact my people, and I looked like a ragamuffin. No help for it.

I came down the ramp, then started up the same hill at a jog. The valley with the temple was up from the beach, and I ignored the path that led to the left. The path opened into a lush valley with a huge pyramid in its center. I heard roaring, and saw a pair Rancor shambling through the remains of pillars and other structures. I went across past the temple, invisible in the stealth field, and found a path leading down the other side. I trod down it slowly, silent and invisible. Ahead of me I could see a series of mines. I stopped, and examined them. Standard layout. I slipped through the gap that should have been there and moved farther.

I came upon the encampment, and my throat tightened. A dozen was right, if you counted the women, which we do. Only five were adult men of warrior age and three of the women. The other ‘warriors’ were between eight and ten years old. A dozen or more younger children were busy at their training or doing the menial jobs necessary. I hefted a rock, and flung it down to fall near the fire. All of the men and three of the women leaped for weapons, spinning to face up the slope. I shut down the stealth field.

“Who leads?” I roared.

One of the men stepped forward. “Makiel Suuchin of Clan Lembat!” He shouted. “Who attacks?”

“I do not attack. I come to talk!”

“Then who comes to talk?” He asked.

“Canderous Ordo of clan Ordo.” I replied.

“Canderous Ordo is dead! He died at Malchior V!”

“I stand before you and can prove my name.” I retorted. “Where were you when Malchior V was fought!”

“Aboard Dhalgiri!” He replied.

“The command of Soontal Ordo of clan Ordo.” I said. “Son of my Daughter Chandra.”

“No more. He was badly wounded, and ordered us to jump out on a blind course.”

“The fool!” I shook my head at the daring of it. A blind course is just that. You closed your eyes and put a pin in a map of the Galaxy, and went whatever direction fate took you in hyperspace. They could have all died out there. Instead... “Soontal is dead.” It wasn’t really a question. He would have been trading embraces with me if he lived.

“In the crash.” Makiel replied. “Along with almost all of us.”

“May I come down?”

“Yes, and welcome, father by marriage of our captain.”

I moved down the hill, and they gathered around me. The children were well behaved, only one reached out to finger my clothing, and he dropped his hand without being told. I moved to the fire, standing with my people for the first time.

“We only arrived here a short while ago.” I told them.

“More Mando?” Someone asked. “Does the war go on?”

“No. The war has been over for many years. But a new war has begun, and we can have a part in it.”

“Says who?” One spoke. “I am Konrad Morgo of clan Shoomart. Those we have hunted of the Galaxy told us that Mandalore is dead.”

“But there is a new Mandalore.” I told them. “Revan defeated Mandalore, and assumed his place.”

“So what?” He shrugged. “We have heard some of the war you speak. Revan is dead.”

“She is not dead.” I snapped. “She is here, and she sent me.”

“To do what?”

“That is for her to say. She is Mandalore.“



Unknown planet

Danika

We reached the temple mount after a sharp battle. I ran toward the building, but felt something pushing me back.

“A force field of some kind.” Jolee grunted. I agreed. Suddenly;

I stood before the temple. The secret to escape from this world, to the huge structure in space was here. The Rift Treader lay out in the sea, brought down by the disruptor field emanating from this very building.

“Perhaps the natives?” Malak asked. I nodded my agreement. “The one that calls himself the One is mad. While he might help us, do you trust him?”

“Never, Revan.”

“Then perhaps we should speak with these Elders he spoke of.” I pointed.


I turned. “That way.” The others merely nodded. We crossed the open area, and went down another path. Where it turned, was what looked like a small ship. I scanned it. “Corellian Class A17. It’s on Carth’s list.” I started to walk forward but Jolee stopped me. A small animal hopped from the underbrush. “Gizka. Harmful little buggers.”

“It doesn’t look dangerous.” I said.

“They aren’t. But they breed like mad. Something here must feed on them or we’d be hip deep already.”

An instant later, the animal was blown apart by a hidden mine. We stared at the gobbets of flesh that were all that remained.

“Well that would fix the problem.” Jolee said.

It took us several hours to get into the ship. Mines had been placed on every entryway and we had to disarm them as we worked our way into it. The parts we needed were easy to find once we did. Less than twenty minutes all told. We worked our way back out of the ship, then fumbled our way across the clearing to the path leading onward. We finally reached the beach an hour before sunset. A structure stood before us. Pillars ran across the face of it, and energy flowed between them. A set of pillars stood away from the others, with an obvious path between them. I stepped into the area, and a hologram appeared. One of the aliens that made this world their home looked at me.

“You are not Rakata. What is your business with the Elders, off-worlder?”
A voice asked. I understood it!

“Who are you?”

“I am a monitoring system that protects the Elders from attack. I repeat, you are not Rakata. State your purpose or be destroyed.” A bolt of energy ran between the posts behind us.

“I come seeking entry into the Star Forge.”

“Hold. Pattern matching employed. You are Revan.”

“Was. No longer.”

“Your answer makes no sense. But the Elders wish to speak with you. You may enter.” The energy behind us guttered out, and before us the pathway opened.



Elders

Danika

The door opened before us soundlessly. Whatever else they had lost, the Rakata had not lost that! We walked into the courtyard, facing three of the Elders. The center one of the trio spoke.

“We of the Elder’s council did not expect to see you again Revan. We had thought that you had betrayed us. Why have you returned to our village after all this time?”

I stopped. “I am not Revan, any more. I am called Danika Wordweaver now.”

“This answer makes no sense. Our sensors and our eyes recognize you. You are the one called Revan. You are the very one that came here before with your servant, Malak. You promised to help us. In exchange for our aid, you promised to destroy the ancient evil of our race that orbits our star. Are you saying that this promise has no meaning to you?”

“My mind was destroyed. Almost all memories I have of your world have been lost.”

They huddled to talk quietly. “This explains the differences in the way you were and the way you are now. You are not as you once were. Perhaps you speak the truth, and all memory has been lost. Yet that power which you wield, what you call the Force, is still there. You can still help us, if we are willing to trust you yet again.

“If what you say is true, that you cannot remember your last visit here, than you must have a number of questions. Ask what you will, and we will try to help you understand.”

“You can tell me who you are first.”

“We are called the Elders. Our ancestors were priests and scientists among our people, serving the Infinite Empire before it collapsed almost 30,000 odd of your years ago. As I said, you arrived here four of your years ago with your servant Malak. Your great ship was dragged from orbit as ships have been destroyed since the fall of the Empire. Both of you survived that crash with a handful of others, though you were then trapped on our world. In your search for a way to escape you found our enclave as you have again.

“You used the Force to draw the language of the Rakata from our minds, and impressed the language you call Basic on ours to allow us to help you in that escape. You convinced us to aid you in entering the temple of the Ancients. Both you and Malak entered after promising to destroy the weapon that floats in space.

“Yet after all this time you have returned. The evil still exists, for we can feel it.”

“Have a lot of ships crashed here?”

“The disruptor field was a defense of last resort created by the Ancients to protect our home world from attack. Most die when their ships crash, but some survive, as do the creatures you call Rancor and Gizka. The Rancor have been captured when young, and are used by the warlike tribes of the islands to attack others.”

“Tell me more of your people.”

“There are hundreds of thousands of our people upon this world. But except for this one enclave, they are fierce warlike primitives. When our world was bombarded, our people hid in shelters beneath the surface for thousands of years. Finally some began seeking the surface again. But those that come to the surface late find that they are under attack by their own kind.

“Our society was rigidly stratified, and each shelter was for one order only. As I said, we were priests and scientists. Others, such as those that follow the One were warriors in their tribe, and still remain so. Others were artisans farmers, and so on.”

He looked sad. “Since the One became their leader, attacks by his followers have increased. Farmers that could have fed us have died because the One and his followers kill them and take food. Artisans die because the One does not have the patience to discover that they could make what he needs. Medical personnel die and the One tries to use the medicines without their help, which makes even more die. Infant mortality among the warriors alone is at over ten percent.

“We have technology which we took with us which he does not, and that is all that has saved us from the same fate. The fool thinks that what we know is magical and easily used. We control much that is still more advanced than you might imagine. We control access to the temple, which is still a storehouse of knowledge if we could enter it again. That he wants, for enough of our people have been tortured for him to understand the power of the temple.

“But that is lost to us. When the civil wars began, warlords unleashed horrors unimaginable. Plagues weapons Droids capable of thinking and fighting on their own. Our race even here on our home world was driven almost to extinction. To stop it from happening again, the knowledge of those weapon were locked within the temple, and sealed so that only we could enter it.

“But something inconceivable happened. It is believed that one of the plagues that were spread during those wars denied our race the use of the Force. Once we had such a control over it that we built machines with the Force as part of their construction. Metals that cannot exist in nature we made as a matter of course.

“But without the force we can not enter the temple. That is why we helped you when you came before. You could enter the temple, where we cannot. It has been determined by the best of our scientists that when the great evil above is gone, we may again learn the use of the Force.”

“Can you help me again?”

“We trusted you once before to our detriment, Revan. You betrayed our trust. It is true that one like you can enter the Temple where we cannot, but how can you expect us to trust you again?”

“I am a servant of the light now.” I whispered. “I must make amends for the evil that I have done.”

“You claimed the same when you were here before. Claimed that your purpose would require the destruction of the evil above. You claim to not remember, but you follow the same path as before. You have crashed again. You have come to us asking help, again. You promise to remove the evil, again. How can we trust you?”

“I have said I am not the one that came before.” I touched my head. “My mind is a blank slate when it comes to your world. Only my actions can prove I speak the truth.”

“In this you do speak truth. Words are easy to speak, and hard to prove. It is the actions that judge the person. You must prove to us that you are not what you once were.”

“How may I prove this?”

“The One has become a serious problem. He has dismounted guns from some of the ships, and has tried to move them here to destroy us. While our defenses can stop their hand weapons even those of the ones called Mando, they cannot stand against that much firepower. It is lucky for us that he thinks of droids as moving targets for practice, for they would have sped his efforts.

“A team of scouts had gone out to find where he has hidden these weapons, but they were captured. There is only one of them remaining alive. We have our own spies among them, and while they cannot help in an escape, they have reported what horrors the One has inflicted on our people. We ask that you rescue this one of ours.”

“I can negotiate with the One for his release.”

“Would that your luck be better than ours. All we have sent to talk before have died for thirty of your years. If it can be done without bloodshed, we would accept it. If he would be willing to have it so.”

“So I must save this one.”

“Risking your life for one you do not actually know is supposed to be what your kind strive for.” He said gently. “Or so you once told me.”

“Then at least I told you the truth once!” I said. “We will get him back.”

“Go with this Force.”

We went out into the early evening darkness. I led the others back up the path, threading through the mines that still lay there. The temple beckoned, but I ignored it. Without the aid of the Rakata, I could not enter.

I signaled for a halt, and waited.

“Why...” Jolee stopped. Around us Mando warriors appeared from their stealth fields. Ten of them. Then Canderous appeared from his field. He walked over, and knelt.

“My Mandalore, I have brought them as you commanded.”

“Well done.” I said. “Do any challenge my orders?”

One walked forward. “I am Konrad Morgo of clan Shoomart. I do not challenge your right, merely your purpose.”

“Speak on, Konrad.” I nodded.

“To what purpose do we fight and die for you here? Have we not fought and died for nothing under other Mandalore before you?” There was a gasp from the gathered warriors. Unless he was willing to challenge me directly, which he had refused to do, this was tantamount to a mutiny. Under their own laws, I could have killed him where he stood.

“I took your honor from your clans because of those acts.” I replied. “In time, it would have been redeemed. But I died and was reborn. I know the honor of the Mando people.” I motioned toward Canderous. “This one took the burden of shame for his clan because of another. No one told him to do so, he did what honor demanded. Will you do the same?”

Konrad lowered his head. “Others have made that claim since you disappeared.”

“Were they Mandalore of the Mandalore?” I asked sharply.

“No.” Again petty defiance. By refusing to use the title, he was questioning it.

“I swear to you. Within days the Mando will either regain their honor, or lose it forever. As Mandalore I can do this.”

“Yes.” His head bowed, and his answer was a whisper. Unless overturned by another, the dictate of the Mandalore was absolute. In the millennia since they had been formed, only three times had it been overturned.

“Konrad, evil floats over this world. It is in the great space station around the star, in the ships that guard it. Hundreds of ships. We,” I motioned toward Canderous, toward the two silent Jedi behind me, “And others in our ship will face them when our ship is ready to fight again. We will fight, and we will win or die.

“Against such a force all you can do is die.” Konrad replied.

“But I have concerns which reach beyond my death.” I waved toward the island around us. ‘Hundreds of thousands of people who need someone to teach them the ways of modern war in the event that we fail. People willing to give their entire lives making sure that these people fight and die well. That millennia from now, the name Mando will ring not as brutes, but the bravest of all peoples."

He looked at me, and his face glowed. “To fight a war that may never end? Against an enemy that will show us no mercy?”

“What else would a Mandalore ask of her people?”

He fell to his knee. “Chu, my Mandalore!”

The others dropped to their knees.

“My people, there is much we must do first...”


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 05-17-2006, 10:16 AM   #136
Char Ell
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So you decided that Danika wouldn't send the two Duros off without giving them some aid. That was a considerate change.

Why am I not surprised that you have pulled the Mandalorians into a more significant role in the story? It will be nice for Danika to have some more skilled fighters to help take on The One and his minions. Or do you have something else in mind...


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Old 05-17-2006, 10:27 AM   #137
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Star Forge

Admiral Varko walked toward the Dark Lord. Malak was busy with something, and turned as the new commander of his fleet approached. Varko stopped, stunned in horror at the sight. Malak’s lower jaw was gone, scar tissue flowing in a spray across his neck and head. His upper teeth incongruously were neat and white. Where his throat had been Malak had a small device attached below a vocal prosthesis. Tubes ran from the device to a sack of pureed vegetables. As he watched the contents lowered as the food was pumped into his stomach.

Varko averted his eyes, and saw satisfaction in Malak’s eyes.

“You have something to report, Admiral?” Even as the food level dropped, Malak could still speak thanks to the prosthesis.

“The Star Forge is operating at 300 percent of the original projected levels as you commanded My Lord. The ships are being launched from its pores at the rate of two full sized frigates a day.”

“I told you all long ago that you have no idea of how well the Star Forge would perform.” Malak said, disconnecting the empty bag, and selecting another of pureed meat. “What of the fleet?”

“The fleet is still gathering, My Lord. We have almost a thousand ships here now, and more arrive every day. We eagerly await your instructions!”

“Patience Admiral. My new Apprentice is almost ready. Once she is the combination of our fleet and Bastila’s battle meditation will spell the end of the Republic. When she returns from the planet, have all commanders deliver plans for a stroke straight at Coruscant.”

“Is that wise, My lord?” Varko asked. “The Republic fleet will...” His eyes brightened. “Of course. The Republic must gather all of its ships for one titanic battle! We can crush them in an afternoon!”

“So glad you approve, Admiral.” Malak turned back toward the building floor. “Now leave me to my lunch in peace.”


The One

Danika

The next morning, we moved down the hill to the ship, delivering the parts we had found. Carth promised to have them installed and ready within the day, and I led Canderous and Jolee toward the other path leading to the One. Canderous carried the small box which we had gotten on Korriban, and I considered what I intended to do. According to the Mando, the One had several dozen warriors. This would not be an easy fight we faced.

The path led onto a small beach, and ahead of us were a dozen Rakata and a pair of Rancor. When they saw us, the Rakata formed a skirmish line, the two Rancor at the ends. It spoke of some experience with the large beasts. If we fought, the Rancor would charge in from the sides, breaking any formation a party might try. If enough strength went to the wings of the formation, the Rakata could cut through the middle. I realized that the eyestalks on the side of the head aided their depth perception. Their feet had wicked claws on them, and increased depth perception made them lethal weapons.

They halted five paces away. “You have been to the Elder encampment! You must die, as the One has ordered!”

“I come with a gift for the One.” I motioned, and Canderous set the box down beside me, stepping back. His blaster was aimed at the Rancor to our left.

They paused, and the leader of the Rakata considered what I had said. “You have been here before, creature. Why should the One agree when you have betrayed his trust before?”

“I was injured, and have lost all memory of having met him.” I admitted. “Do you punish those that fail without knowing why?”

“Sometimes he punishes them because he would wish to.” The officer admitted.

“Then take us to the One and let him decide.”

Again the pause. “Bring them.” He ordered. We moved toward the building the One’s people occupied. Behind us the Rancor snuffled curiously, but followed their trainers when commanded. I breathed a silent sigh of relief.

The doors had to be opened manually. If my plan succeeded, the Rakata would begin their long climb to civilization again. If it failed, I would die. But the Ebon Hawk would be free to fly again.

The One’s encampment was larger than the Elders, and one section looked to be an arena. A walkway crossed it with heavy gates installed so that once you were on it, you could not retreat. Tiered seats would allow the Rakata to watch as warriors were forced to battle over a man made lake full of what looked like vicious predatory fish. Both gates stood open today, and we walked across, surrounded by our guards. The Rancor kept trying to pull to the rear, but their handlers prodded them to follow us instead.

Beyond the arena was another huge area with cages. Each cage held a Rancor. No, all but one. In that one stakes had been pounded into the earth, and bodies hung from them. The scouts the Elders had spoken of.

A large Rakata stood there, and I could feel the Force flowing over him. It was a dark presence. An evil steeped from the ground itself that fed it.

“I said they were to die!” He screamed.

“My lord, she claims that she has no memory of your previous meeting.” The officer reported.

“Lies, all lies!” He screamed.

“She also bears a gift.” He added.

“A gift?” The One looked at me. “What kind of gift?”

I held the box, advancing toward him. “A gift from the past of your race. One that was made before the Infinite Empire fell.” I said, setting it down. “And a message from that time.”

He looked at me, then at the box. I could feel his lust for it warring with his caution. He waved me away, storming forward to pick it up. A finger touched
the tip of the pintel, then he froze as if stunned.

“Now!” My team went into a triangular formation, facing outward. Our guards moved forward, but paused at a whistle. The Mando came out of stealth fields,
surrounding those that faced us.

“Betrayer!” The officer screamed.

“Wait.” I said. Give this a few minutes before you attack, or he,” I motioned toward the still body of the One, “Is who I will kill first.”

The threat held them in place. As we stood there, a pair of the Mando ran to the gate on this end of the walkway, and closed it. Beyond that other Rakata were gathering.

The standoff continued, and I began to worry. It had taken only a few minutes from the time I was ensnared to my release according to Carth. How many was a few?

Behind me I heard a gasp, and looked at the One. The box was in his hand still, and he gently put it down. “As promised.” He said. He looked at the guards standing around us. “Stand down.” He ordered.

I could see that the force around him had changed. It was still dark, but not as much as before. He was looking at his hands in wonder, then at us. “You have freed me. Why?”

“This is your home world, and these are some of your people.” I said. “Would you join with them and others to make things right again?”

“I have a chance to fix what I caused?” He clapped his hands. “Tell me more.”

I told him of the Elders, and of the people that followed the One. He listened intently. “So they have little or no military force of their own, and no access to our computers, is that what you say?”

“Yes.”

“Then maybe they need someone that can help them in that regard. You.” He pointed at the officer. “Take the wounded Elder scout to the Elder bastion. You are not to harm him in any way. Ask to be admitted. Tell them that I shall come and make an alliance with them. I will come with this one directly.” He motioned toward me, “Go.”

Three Rakata ran to the cage holding the living scout, and carried him away.

“Makiel!” I shouted.

“Chu!”

“You will stay here for a time. Assist this one in consolidating his power. They have guns taken from downed ships. Either place them in defense, or destroy them.”

“Chu!” Half of the Mando came up, saluted the Rakata, and took positions around him as bodyguards. The Rakata watched them warily.

I faced the Rakata. “You know how fierce these warriors are. They will be among you until your leader says otherwise.” I ordered them. “Treat them as you have others, and you will die. You will no long consider other people as food. If you are not sure, ask one of them,“ I motioned toward the Mando, “As to what is or is not food. You must learn to join civilized peoples again, how to fight well for your race. They will teach you for they are masters of it.” I turned to the person occupying the One’s body. “We will escort you to the Elders now.”

“My thanks for my rescue and another chance. May I know your name?”

“I am called Danika Wordweaver.”

“I was called Brashieel and shall be again.” He extended a hand, palm upright toward me. I placed my hand against his. “I promise to be worthy of that chance.”




Elders

Jolee

We entered the Elder’s encampment, and Brashieel bowed to them. They spoke too rapidly for me to follow, and Danika merely stood there. Finally Brashieel stepped aside.

“You have done as we asked, and brought this one from our past to aid us as well. Our scout has told us of the way you freed him, and this alliance will help us convince other small tribes to join in rebuilding our society. We are in your debt.”

“Will you help me enter the temple then?” Danika asked.

“Helping us rescue our person proves that you have changed, Revan, but you have lied to us before. Can we trust you with such power yet again?” He looked to the other Elders. “We must discuss this in private. When we are done, we shall summon you. Please feel free to look over our people and our works.”

The Elders walked away. Brashieel walked over to stand with us. “Like all politicians and priests they must talk until they are bored of it before deciding anything. During our conversation, they told me that there is one computer they can still use. Would you see it?”

“Please.”

The Rakata led us through a bewildering array of rooms. There weren’t many of the Elders to be seen, and I understood how relieved they were that this small war was over. In one room, a researched named Ll'awa was trying to discover what within them caused the Force to dissipate. He was ecstatic when Danika informed him that Brashieel’s body could use the Force.

“We have tried to create methods of bringing out the Force in our people. But our knowledge is still limited. It is said that the main computer within the Temple has more data on our DNA than any we have yet accessed, but that might be a myth. Please.” He turned to Brashieel, “Could we have samples to test?

“I have promised to take these ones to the computer room.” Brashieel demurred.

“I will have someone lead them for you.” Ll'awa said, signaling an assistant. The young Rakata led us into the depths of the encampment, stopping at a door where a single Rakata knelt in meditation.

“This is Keeper Orsaa. He will assist you.” Our guide motioned toward the other Rakata, and left again.

Orsaa looked up. “Well met yet again, Revan. I am glad that you have returned. He stood, towering over us. “I could not believe that you had betrayed us, regardless of what the council decided. I am the keeper of our history and the sole computer that remains for our use. When you were here last, you had many questions for me. I have heard of the destruction of your memories, but I hope some of what we spoke of remains?”

Danika shook her head. “I wish I could remember.”

Orsaa chuckled. “There is no need to apologize. While it pains me that all I have taught you is gone, I am an old being, and old beings enjoy repeating themselves.”

Danika snorted trying to keep from laughing, her eyes moving toward me. “So I have discovered. I do have questions yet again for you.”

“Yes, or course. You must forgive me if what I tell you suddenly seems familiar. We discussed the history of my people at great length when you were last here. I will endeavor to enlighten you in any way I can.”

“Tell me of the beginnings of the Rakata Empire.”

“Long ago, we discovered that we could combine both what you call the Force, and material objects into a single object. We made great weapons and buildings such as the temple that rests beyond. We soon grew bored with seeing the same stars, and the same planet, and created ships of metal and force combined, with what you would call hyper drives that fed upon the force itself. We went outward from our world. Everywhere we went we found other more primitive societies. But instead of helping them advance, teaching them what we knew, those early Rakata decided instead to conquer them. Those we did not destroy became our slaves.

“Back then, we commanded the force as easily as you command metals now. Something we never learned, because the Force was in abundance. Combined with our technology, we were irresistible. Soon we spread across this galaxy, and we called our works the Infinite Empire in our hubris.

“But it was discovered in the fourteenth millennia of our empire that our children had become weaker in the force, and some were unable to feel it at all. Instead of heeding this warning, we taught ourselves how to make the hyper drives and engines that ran our ships in a more mundane manner. Yet that first weakening in our grasp of the Force became the first sign of our collapse.”

“How did the Empire collapse”?

“We were a corrupt people, using our powers and technology to smash those that opposed us. How, some reasoned, were we different if another Rakata had something you needed? Some began treating other Rakata as we had the so-called lesser races. But in corruption you find greed and honor in equal measure. Those that strived to hold the Empire together, and those that feared that the Force would vanish for all time, and would grab for what they could at whatever cost. Natural opponents.

“Our Empire was built on slaughter and force. We began using the same means upon ourselves. It began to collapse as our own people fought for what they wanted. Plagues sprouted up, and each plague seemed to weaken our hold on the Force just that much more. As we weakened our slaves began to revolt. Our weapons devastated planets in an attempt to halt this. You told me before of a planet named Tatooine where our ships still lie. This was one such.

“Here on our own hidden home world the fighting between rival factions escalated. Warlords fought to control all, and succeeded only in our own slaughter. Many of the weapon designs were taken and placed in the Temple so only the priests could gain them again, but always there were more. Biological weapons were released, nuclear and anti-matter fire devoured cities. Only those that had hidden themselves had even a remote chance of survival. Our empire collapsed into ruins in less than a century. The Glory of what we called Infinite lies now only in rust, dust, and bones.

“Then came the fleets captured by those we had oppressed, come to repay us in kind, or slaughter those that remained. The greatest of all our priests, L’Wass entered the temple, and a great scream came from it. Then the ships fell like stars from the sky, crashing everywhere. But it cost him to use the Force that last time. He staggered from the temple, and died.

“Since then ships have crashed here as other peoples beyond our star rediscovered us. Finally you came, and filled us with hope.” He looked sad. “Now if you could just free us from this great prison.”

“I will do what I can.” Danika replied softly. “Now, I was told you still had a computer?”

“Of course, you have forgotten that as well.” He turned, and opened the door that he knelt before. Beyond was a small room. “Enter.”

The console was dark with age. Danika paced toward it, standing before the system. She hunted for a moment, then touched a control.

“User verification.” We turned around. Before us stood a small hologram about a meter tall of a Rakata. “Species is not Rakata. Access to auxiliary archives not permitted for slave races. Restricted only to Rakata and approved servants.”

“I come in the name of the Rakata people.” Danika said. Then she spoke in their language. The machine replied in kind. “You have been programmed with the Basic language.” She said. “Use it for those with me.”

“Order accepted. Downloading information on access to the temple as requested. However only the Rakata race can so access the temple. While you speak the language, the intonation and timbre is incorrect. This was a security system activated when the defense field was placed around the system.”

“Understood.” She handed me a data pad. “Access data files.”

“Accessing. State topic of interest.”

“I am looking for information about the Ancient Rakata.”

“Accessing. Retrieval complete. All such information in full is within the Temple itself. There are only synopses in this system. Access to the main temple was cut during the siege of the planet over 30,000 years ago.”

“How do I enter the temple?”

“As stated, a Rakata must speak the codes necessary. The force field around the temple will stop any attempt to enter it without authorized access. Anyone within the temple can shut the field down, but from without, the codes must be used. This was to assure that renegades would not use the data within the computer inside. The code is a ritualistic chant in an ancient poetical meter. This is detailed in full in the book held by the Keeper of Knowledge.”

“Tell me of the Star Forge.”

“Error, no such data is within this system.”

She shook her head. “Tell me of the Ancient Rakata. Historical overview.”

“Accessing. Retrieval complete.” A glowing ball similar to one of the Star Maps glowed in mid air. “The Infinite Empire covered the Galaxy, and at it’s height consisted of 500 planets, ten billion Rakata, and over a trillion slaves. However corruption set in, and the Empire was weakened by a series of civil wars. Before the first of these Civil Wars, the first mutation of a great plague struck the Rakata.”

“Wait, the Rakata say that there were a series of plagues.”

“It would be more correct to say mutations of a specific virus. Just as your race speaks of a ‘common’ cold that strikes even those that suffered it before.”

“Where did you get that analogy?”

“From the one called Revan who accessed this system five years before.”

“Continue.”

“The origins of the plague are unknown. Perhaps it was a naturally occurring virus of one of the planets conquered during the expansion. Possibly it was created by one of the slave races. It has even been suggested that the Rakata themselves made it as a weapon. It killed only Rakata, and those that were infected and did not die discovered that they could no longer access what you call the Force, and this lack of ability was passed on to their progeny. Carried by their own ships, it spread to every corner of the Empire before it was stopped.

“The empire began to collapse, slowed by creating technology that could mimic what their original ships could do. But as slave revolts tore through the Empire, the Race retreated back to their home world. However even here they were not safe. Millions died in the civil wars that struck them, more died as the plague mutated to strike the race again and again.

“That history ended over 30,000 years ago. Now my creators have devolved into scattered primitive tribes that still fight each other to gather what they need to survive.”

“So sad.” She whispered. “If they had tried to do good-”

“They would have still had civil wars.” I said. “Look at the Galaxy now. The Sith and the Mando could have been members of the Republic. But instead they fight to conquer. The nature of most species hasn’t changed.”

She nodded sadly. A Rakata came running up. “The Elders ask for your presence.”


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

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Old 05-18-2006, 05:01 AM   #138
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Malak eating through a tube, eh? While the description definitely fits I found the way you described his manner of eating kind of grossed me out, akin to talking with a mouth full of food. Probably what you intended though.
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Originally Posted by post #137
“So glad you approve, Admiral.” Malak turned back toward the building floor. “Now leave me to my lunch in peace.”
While I sensed the sarcasm when Malak noted the admiral's approval I can't picture Malak using the phrase "in peace" in this manner. Seems too polite to me.

Excellent use of the Rakatan prison box! Taking something that was an abstract and non-required part of the game and turning it into something of more significance was quite brilliant. Sounds like this Brashieel will make better use of The One's body than The One ever did. I guess 25,000+ years could help one get a better perspective on life but the time could also make one go bonkers. Hopefully Brashieel is indeed the former instead of the latter.


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Old 05-18-2006, 10:30 AM   #139
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Malak eating through a tube, eh? While the description definitely fits I found the way you described his manner of eating kind of grossed me out, akin to talking with a mouth full of food. Probably what you intended though.
While I sensed the sarcasm when Malak noted the admiral's approval I can't picture Malak using the phrase "in peace" in this manner. Seems too polite to me..
Actually, the entire sentence was sarcastic. One of the problems with a deformity is that some people will just stare at it and not go away. The birth of the Freak show. In my mind He's putting it in a tone that suggests 'if you stand there staring one more second I'm going to rip your GD eyes out.'

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
Excellent use of the Rakatan prison box! Taking something that was an abstract and non-required part of the game and turning it into something of more significance was quite brilliant. Sounds like this Brashieel will make better use of The One's body than The One ever did. I guess 25,000+ years could help one get a better perspective on life but the time could also make one go bonkers. Hopefully Brashieel is indeed the former instead of the latter.

Is that what you thought I'd do? Or imprison Malak in it?

THat's why I had him make the comment about 'I could have vacated the box by walking out there'. Actually I think the Rakata are a lot more stable than most humans are.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

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Old 05-18-2006, 11:46 PM   #140
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^^^
Actually, based off Danika's entry into the box and subsequent encounter with Brashieel I did think you were going to work the story so that another Rakatan would take Brashieel's place in the box. But I wasn't sure which one.


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Old 05-19-2006, 01:35 AM   #141
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Quote:
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^^^
Actually, based off Danika's entry into the box and subsequent encounter with Brashieel I did think you were going to work the story so that another Rakatan would take Brashieel's place in the box. But I wasn't sure which one.

I just used the most obnoxious one in the group. If you went to meet the One first, he would ask you to kill the Elders. The Elders, however, would be willing to talk if you came. But if you went to see the Elders first, or returned without having slughtered them, you were automatically the enemy. So you can't even use the consular skills to try to negotiate


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

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Old 05-19-2006, 01:50 AM   #142
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Danika

We stood before the Elders again. Their leader motioned for us to approach. “Revan, the Council had decided that your actions merit another chance. For many centuries we have tried to discover a way into the Temple, and by so doing, a means to destroy what you called the Star Forge. But only those that command the Force, such as you are capable of passing through the screen. As you no doubt know, our people no longer have that ability. That is why we were willing to help you the last time.

“But you cannot enter the temple without our assistance. The ancient ritual for entering must be spoken by one of our people, and only with it can your own capabilities allow you to pass the screen. We need you as much as you need us in this, Revan.”

“So it appears we must trust one another to do their part.”

“For our sake, and the sake of the Galaxy, we hope you really mean to atone for your past evils. When you are ready, you may go to the temple, and our Keeper of knowledge will begin the ritual.

“However, it is our belief that allowing both you and Malak to pass through was a grave error on our part. It was a violation of our traditions, and we will return to them. If you enter the temple, you must go alone.”

“You believe that it was letting two in instead of one that caused all of the suffering that followed?”

“We believe that you truly wish to end our suffering this time. But we will not take a chance by defiling the temple and our ancient rite yet again. If you enter, you must go alone.”

“I will return to the ship, leaving my friends, and return to the temple at dawn.” I replied. I led Canderous and Jolee to the ship in silence. I was terrified of what I might discover in there. Somewhere between the moment that I had entered the temple and when I stepped off the deck of the Star Forge to return to Korriban and enlist the Sith, I had fallen to the darkness. Could I hold myself from doing so again?

Our dinner was tomblike. No one wished to break my mood, and I found I could not break it either. The only interruption was when our sensors reported that a fighter had flown down to land inside the temple. I wondered about that. If the screen was impenetrable, how had that ship flown into it? Then I remembered that someone already inside could deactivate it.

My dreams were chaotic. I found myself moving through the temple. I could see the hallway, which led to where Bastila had been tortured, yet, the altar stone she had been bound to was empty now. I feared that she had died, but knew through the bond, that she had not. She still refused me admittance.

I was glad that the sun finally rose. I would finish this as quickly as I could, the better to end the matter once and for all. I tousled Sasha’s hair, hugged Mission, and started up the path toward the temple. I was free at last. Free to live or die by my own strengths.

Keeper Orsaa stood at the bottom of the ramp, as close as you could get without impinging on the screen.

“The time has come to atone for your past, Revan.” Orsaa intoned. “But the task will be greater than you had before. The temple is now home to a number of what you call dark Jedi and their metal servants.”

“Dark Jedi?” I stared at the building. “How did they get in there?”

“The last time you and Malak entered, you must have found a control that causes the screen to be raised and lowered. Those within can lower and raise it at will to allow other force users entry. Did you not feel it last night?”

“The fighter.”

“Even so. But that ability will not stop us from opening the screen for you to pass. It will take several hours. The chant is very complex.”

“Wait.” One of the Rakata with him pointed down the concourse toward where the path to the ship was. “Someone is coming!”

I saw two figures, and as they approached, they resolved themselves into Jolee and Juhani. I looked at Orsaa beseechingly, then walked toward them.

“You can’t enter the temple alone!” Jolee shouted.

“Friends, I must!” I motioned for them to move closer to Orsaa so he could follow the conversation.

“We have had a premonition.” Juhani said. “There is great danger, and here is where you will fall this time if you fail. We cannot let you go on alone!”

“You might be facing a trap.” Jolee cut in. “Maybe Malak is waiting for you to come in himself! Even if he is not, we sense a number of Dark Jedi within. Enough that they can bury you in numbers if you are not careful.”

“No one may enter with her.” Orsaa growled. “She was told this, and you dark one were there when she was told!”

Jolee walked over to face the Rakata. “The fate of the Galaxy, of everyone on this planet depends on her succeeding. Would you be happy if tradition made us stay outside and she returned as the dark lord again? Will future generations applaud your blind adherence if it meant their own lives were as brutal as your own?”

“I will not leave this place!” Juhani said. “If you go in alone, all the good you have done will be swept away in a burst of emotion. The vision you had of Mission dying will occur, and we will have already died by your hand.”

I stared at her. That vision had haunted me since Dantooine. To know that I would definitely kill a girl I loved shocked me. That two of my friends would already be dead when that happened worried me even more. “Orsaa!’

“No! We cannot break tradition a second time!”

Jolee stepped forward. “There is a fleet coming that will be attacking the Star Forge in the next day or so. If we are standing here arguing when it arrives that disruptor field will destroy them. Will you murder the only hope of the galaxy for tradition?”

“My friends would not lie to you of this.” I told Orsaa. “They say that I will fail if I go alone. I trust their judgment in this. If I must have help to succeed, they must come with me.”

Orsaa looked at them for a long moment, then he signalled the other Guardians to join him and the chant began again.

“It looks like this might take a while.”

“That is what they told me.”

They hadn’t been joking. The sun had passed zenith by at least an hour before Orsaa motioned. I trotted forward, and felt as if I pushed through a beaded curtain. On the other side the air was heavy with the force, the evil flowing from the building darkening every step.

We ran up the ramp, and I touched the main door. It opened smoothly. The instant I saw it, the interior was sharply familiar. Beyond it was a hallway running both directions. To our front and a few meters to our right was the door I knew led to the upper level where the control for the screen and disruptor lay. But it resisted my hand. I cursed, wanting to cut the door, but knew that it was thick enough that no lightsaber would even reach the inner face of it.

“Something is wrong.” I explained that the door should have opened at my approach. They looked at the door.

“Perhaps the changes between Revan and Danika are more profound than you imagine.” Juhani said. “It no longer recognizes you.”

“Then I have to go to the lower level.” I said. “The main computer is there.”

We ran down the hall. I stopped the others, and looked around the corner. Three heavy combat droids crouched there. I motioned back to a door we had passed, and touched the key plate. The door opened, and the Jedi standing within spun. “Who dares intrude...” He saw my face, and sneered. “The fallen one, Revan.”

“I am Revan no longer.”

“So my Lord Malak has told all of us within the Force. He spoke of you. How the Jedi council stripped you of your identity and your skills, leaving you a shell of what you once where. You are not worthy of calling yourself a Dark Lord, or even a Jedi! You should thank me for killing you.”

He started forward. His light saber lit, and I threw my own. It shot past him as he ducked then circled back, decapitating him from behind.

I went to a flower-shaped computer console. I touched the controls, then shut down all alarms, droids, and unlocked all the doors. A signal chimed on the console, but I ignored it, leading us rapidly to another door.

It opened, and a Dark Jedi stormed through. He saw me, and his lightsaber lit. “Revan as I live and breathe!” He flourished his weapon. “About time I had a real challenge. Come along, let’s dance, Revan, and don’t bore me!”

I signalled the others to stand back, and lighted the double lightsaber I carried. His first rush brought us breast to breast, and he flinched as I slit his cheek with a Fybylka cut. He flinched, touching the burn. Then he came in more carefully. He cut at my feet, and I leaped, blocking the strike he made over his head, and landing behind him. My foot shot out, and I felt his knee snap. He went down, rolling, but I clipped the lightsaber at the base, and his blade fizzled and died.

He screamed reaching out, catching a statue, and I felt it shifting. As it began to fall I reached out, catching it, and holding the tons of rock over him.

“I don’t want to kill you.”

He laughed, and I saw the assassin’s pistol in his hand. I blocked the bolt, but I lost control of the statue. He caught it, but it was too much too fast. There wasn’t even a scream.

I sighed, and led the others to the path downward. We ran into the lower level, coming to a series of metallic squares set in the floor. I remembered the pattern, running along them one way then another. The door opened, and I ran up to the computer console.

When I touched it, a voice spoke. “Greetings, Revan. It has been some time since you have accessed this terminal. I had considered the possibility that you had died, especially considering our last conversation.”

“I am not Revan anymore. I am called Danika now.”

“An odd statement because your physical form has not changed. It might explain the neurological abnormalities I detected. The changes have been substantial, the sign of recent damage to your brain .”

“Yes.”

“These changes have been recorded, and have been added to my memory bank.”

“Your memory bank.”

“You were surprised when you first discovered that the Rakata use self-aware computers, if brain damage is the cause of your neurological changes, explanations are in order. I am a the primary data bank of the planet. Once, long ago, I was the main computer of the entire Infinite Empire. To carry out that mission, it was required that I be self aware, so that any damage to my systems could be repaired readily. I was ordered to record all noteworthy occurrences within Rakata space. I have recorded everything from the birth of this unit and death of that empire.

“My systems are fully self-replicating, so there has been no degradation of my memory core. All data stored within this system is still accessible.”
I considered the quest of the Rakata. “Do you have genetic information on the Rakata?”

“I have data on every genetic change the Rakata have undergone in the millennia they were the dominant species, and some of what occurred before the collapse. What were you wishing to know directly?”

“Can you duplicate these files in the auxiliary archives of what is called the Elder’s encampment?”

“Not directly. There are no longer links to that system.” It hummed. “However, I can control one of the droids in the temple, and deliver it all to the computer you have specified.” It hummed again. “The droid has been dispatched. State the nature of any further requests.”

“Tell me of the Star Forge.”

“The Star Forge was built in the last century of the Empire, when it was believed that the Rakata would be destroyed by a civil war. The leader of the Empire wished the ability to literally build anything desired without the long convoluted manufactory processes used by the lesser beings. The structure is the largest ever envisioned by any species. It is a combination fully automated factory and battle dreadnought.

“The Star Forge can build anything the mind can envision, drawing the matter necessary from the star itself, and forming it using both technology and the force. From a sword blade to a warship, all can be literally put together atom by atom. Much of the same technology was used to build my own system.

“You must understand that like myself, the Star Forge is in a lot of ways a living breathing entity, and it will try to survive as long as that is possible. It was necessary for the system to be able to detect, and feed on the Force in it‘s operations. That ability is the key to the operation of the Star Forge, but it also led to the Empire‘s collapse.”

“How so?”

“The Rakata built the Star Forge not only to save an Empire from a civil war, but to maintain the status quo of that Empire. An Empire founded on conquest and greed. Since the reasons for its creation were fueled by those dark purposes, it feeds better from them. You might say that it doesn’t like the taste of what you called the Light side of the Force. It has corrupted all that lived here for too long a time because it makes it‘s own operations more efficient.

“The builders believed that they could control this side affect of their creation, as you did when you first came. But those tendencies in the system caused those in charge to become darker, and crueler. Their cruelty fueled the civil wars, and led to the collapse of the Empire. Before you left the system for the last time, you had decided it was the same with what you had thought to build."

“Can it be disabled?”

“You asked me that before as well. If the Force could be removed from the equation, the Star Forge, in fact all things built by it as well would fall apart in a brief time. Whereas your race makes metals by the time consuming process of alloying, the circuitry of my systems is held together by the Force. If the Force were to disappear from the system for a long enough time, the circuits would degrade and fall apart.

“The degradation would be more rapid in the more complex systems created by the Star Forge. Electronic circuitry would collapse almost immediately, weapons within hours, even hull metal would fall apart after only a few months, unless hit by weapons fire. My circuitry would be irreparably damaged by such an act.”

“Is it possible?”

The computer paused. “You asked me to work on a weapon that would neutralize the Force when you were last here several months ago. There is an answer. It can be done.”

“Download all data to my data pad.”

“Danika, you understand that as a self-aware computer, I can contemplate death and fear it as a living being can. While the question might be merely your original stated wish to be able to neutralize the Jedi rather than to kill them, it could be used against my system or the Star Forge. I cannot give such information to you.”

“Fine. Extrapolate. Assume that Malak continues using the Star Forge. What happens?”

“The Sith succeed in defeating your Republic in the next year. The death toll will be in the trillions.

“15 years from now the enemy you had been preparing to face attacks-“

“Wait! Enemy I was preparing to face?”

“Yes. You spoke of them, but gave me no specific details. Something in your conflict with the Mando gave you a clue that a threat to all life was coming, and you intended to conquer the Galaxy and arm to prepare for it.

“To continue, they attack, the races of the Galaxy are decimated. The death toll is in the hundreds of trillions.

“Six thousand years from now, the enemy discovers the Star Forge. They use it, and grow more powerful. They slaughter over 90% of the people of the Galaxy before their society collapses as those before it 11,000 years from now.

“Approximately nineteen thousand years from now, the Second Republic will discover the Star Forge yet again, and the cycle will continue.”

“Now extrapolate, the Star Forge is destroyed.”

“The Sith will continue fighting for approximately six more years. During that time the ships built by the Star Forge will degrade into uselessness. They do not have the building slips necessary to recover their numbers in comparison to the Republic.”

“Death toll?”

“Much less than the first extrapolation. Merely several billion more. Also knowing that their ships will degrade rapidly will hamper their operations.”

“And the enemy?”

“They will arrive 15 years from now. They will be met by a the Republic fleet which has formed at that time. The death toll will be in the billions, but without the Star Forge to fall back upon, the Galaxy will continue to survive.”

“I submit that if the Star Forge is allowed to survive, that this cycle will continue for the rest of time. However without the Star Forge, this will stop in a day or so from now.

“I submit further that we can have you repaired yet still destroy the Star Forge.” I told it. “By using droids made in the same manner as we lesser races use. They will be unaffected by the destruction of the Force in this system, and will be able to repair your circuitry using not the force driven methods of the Rakata, but the material ones we use. If I remember correctly, there are several droids built by our races still on this planet.”

“Probability 70% that you are correct. Number one hundred seventy four.” It replied. “Data being transferred.”

“All right. How can the disruptor field be destroyed?”

“It cannot be destroyed except by the removal of the Force. It is self-repairing as this unit is. However it can be shut down and will remain so until reactivated. It was built as the main defense of the Star Forge and the planet. It can only be deactivated from the primary control system at the pinnacle of the temple.”

“But I cannot get through the door!”

“That is because my systems determined who was worthy of admittance. The injuries you sustained altered your pattern sufficiently that the door did not recognize you. It has been reset.”

“Thank you. Delete all mention, research and links to this weapons project. If anyone ever asks, you are to create a facade of information that will lead them away from the possibility of creating such a weapon again.”

“Completed. You do understand that you yourself will never be able to repeat it.”

“You will do the same with any specifications, plans, or designs of the Star Forge itself.”

“Complete.”

“Now, Program the droids, then shut down. Hopefully, any damage will be slight if you are not in operation.”

“Yes, that is possible. Shutting down.” The system slowly shut down. I touched the console. I had in my hand the way to defeat the Sith and Malak in one stroke.

But it would probably kill me to.


Betrayal

Danika

We retraced our steps, and this time the mammoth door opened with a smooth hiss. I ran up the ramp, and as I did, I felt a chill. Something awaited me at the top of the temple, and it resonated in my heart.

The upper door opened, and I felt the worry increase. There was an opening leading onto the landing of the pinnacle, and I felt the dread build until I could not stand it. The others felt it too. Juhani was, to pardon the expression, as jumpy as a cat.

I stepped out into the sun, and there ahead of me, I could see the fighter that had come down the night before. A woman stood beside it, and I didn’t need to see her to know who it was.

Bastila. She wore the robes of a Dark Jedi, and as she saw us coming she lit her lightsaber. The fiery red of the blade just verified that she had gone over to the dark side.

“Bastila!” Juhani cried.

“Don’t move Juhani.” I said softly.

Bastila approached. She had never looked more beautiful, and I dreaded that beauty. She smiled one of the first smiles I had seen that wasn’t shadowed by her own worries.

“Revan. I knew you’d come for me. Malak was sure you would be afraid to enter the temple, but I know you so much better than he does since you have changed.”

“Bastila, hurry, we must escape before Malak arrives.” Juhani said. She hadn’t noticed the change.

Bastila looked at her with pity. “Escape? You don’t understand. I have sworn allegiance to Malak and the Sith. I am no longer a pawn of the Jedi Council.” She smiled again. “But you knew that Revan.”

“Don’t go over to the dark side.” I whispered.

She laughed. “You speak as if the Dark side was some ravenous beast! The Jedi council must really approve of my work. You are a properly programmed drone willing to spout what they say. They fear the dark side not for what evil it might do but for the power they could attain if they only grasped it! Instead they run from it like frightened children, and use their own skills to yoke those with the most power to their own outmoded ideals.

“Why do you think they forbid you and Malak from joining in the Mandalorian wars? They knew that you would have the veil ripped from your eyes. You would see the world as it really is! You would recognize your true potential and form your own union of other Jedi that have done so. Malak has shown me that the Council was using me the same way they had wanted to use you. They have been holding me back because they know I will surpass them all one day!”

“Don’t do this, Bastila.” I reached out. “You can return to the light.”

“Don’t make me laugh! Return to that narrow cage they kept me in?” She shook her head. “I resisted at first, as I should according to the Jedi. I endured torment with all of the serenity they teach. I finally cut the link between us because you were hindering me. That’s right, hindering! Your own darkness called to me, and it was helping Malak!

“But I learned. After a week of agonies, I became angry, and he had already showed me what anger can do. I broke the chains they bound me with and he applauded my efforts! He forced me to acknowledge my pain, my anger. He showed me how those things the Jedi fear most would liberate my mind and soul. Then he showed me how the Jedi Council was denying me what is mine by right!

“Oh they were happy to use my battle meditation to win their battles, but for what purpose? Merely to return those idiots they call senators to their seats, to allow chaos and bloody-mindedness to wreak havoc. They were jealous of me, of my power that none of them had. If they could have, they would have ripped it from me for their own use. Instead they treated me like a child too stupid to move her hand from a burning fire. I was to bow and scrape to them, obey every word as writ. Yet all they wanted from me was that battle meditation!”

“You know that’s not true. Those are lies.”

“Ha! You’re the one living a lie, Revan! The Jedi council was happy when I had put your mind together. Think how they must have felt when I delivered a woman with all of the Force capability you possessed! A willing drone that would fight and die like a toy soldier. A slave!

“You used to be the Lord of all the Sith! Now all you are is an expendable pawn they can send on a suicide mission. I was like you until Malak freed me. A pity your power has waned so much since then. You could be as strong as I am this very moment, perhaps even stronger! But that will never happen now. With the Star Forge at his command, Malak will sweep away the anarchy of the Republic, and install an order of the strong and obedient. He will conquer the Galaxy! I shall be at his right hand, and together we shall create a new order spanning the Millennia! But first I must rid myself of one thing.

“Break the bond.”

“I will not.” I shook my head. “If there is any way to return you to the light, I will need that.”

“Fool! If I kill you, it will be broken, if you kill me it will be broken!” She struck at my head. I blocked her blow, and she leaped back.

“Jolee, Juhani, stay back.” I warned. “I promise, Bastila, that if kill you I must, it will be quick.”

She laughed. “Feel the power!” She screamed. Force lightning leaped out, and both Juhani and Jolee were blown back off their feet into the wall. I staggered backward, but blocked the blows she aimed at me. Then I reached out, picking her up like a toy and slamming her into the opposite wall. The lightning died, and my companions collapsed to the stone. I wanted to run to her side, make sure she was all right, but if I had, I would have failed. I knew that now. The last battle for my soul this time was being fought here, and she was the only thing that could drag me down. Malak had sensed it somehow.

Bastila shook her head, then sneered, standing again. “You are stronger than I would have thought possible after what the Jedi Council and I had done to you.” She smiled again. “Malak was wrong; the dark side is still strong in you, Revan.”

“I am not Revan any more.” I said softly. “You made sure of that Bastila when you redeemed me. I am Danika Wordweaver Jedi and Consular now and forever.”

“You can lie to yourself, but not to me. I have seen the shadows of anger and hate you close up in that little box in your mind. I know the truth. Remember that I am the one that put your mind together after the battle. I used the Force to remake your life! I did! Not the Council! All they did was poke and prod at what I had done afterward!”

“And you linked to my mind when you did.” I said.

“Yes! And that link will survive as long as we let it.”

“It is through our bond that I know you will come back to the light, Bastila.”

“Those aren’t your true feelings, Revan.” I saw the bathing pool, Bastila cuddled in my lap, all of the desire, the contentment, yes, the love in that embrace. She was sending it down the link to me, making me see it from her view as well. “You wanted me for myself! The Jedi council would never have sent us on this mission if I had told them of that! The Jedi used me, and I used you to make an instrument for them to strike at Malak. I was as wrong as they were!

“The council wanted to use that bond. They hoped that I could draw out the information they needed about the Star Forge. We were both slaves to their will as all Jedi are! But in that bond, I felt the taint of what drew you to the dark side. Not power for it’s own sake, but your own compassion for the downtrodden. The desire of a premier warrior to end war forever! Such a farce denying your skills and the arena to use them in the same thought. Even I can see how stupid that is.

“It wasn’t Malak that brought me to the dark side, Revan, it was you. Your darkness came from all that love you could never have, all that repugnance at things you can’t change as a Jedi, but could as a Sith Lord. I resisted all of that, but I resist no more!” She bowed mockingly. “I thank you for striking the scales from my eyes and making me see the truth.”

“If you saw the truth in my mind you must also have seen my mistakes.” I pressed. “Learn from them!”

“Mistakes?” She laughed. “No, my dear Revan. The only mistake you made in your life is the one you’re making now. You are denying yourself the power that was yours by right. And it still is your power, not Malak’s. Only now, facing you in combat do I see the truth.

“Your deserve to be the true Lord of the Sith. Malak will destroy the galaxy if he cannot win it. Like a child who cannot figure out how to make a toy work. All you ever wanted was to save it. All he wants is to rule it. Join me! Together we can save the Republic from itself. We can be together forever.” She reached out her hand, and I suddenly saw how close she had come during that speech. I could almost feel her touch on my face. I wavered. I could join her, I could be with her, I-

Mission screaming as she died.

-I backed a step.

“Take my hand, accept your fate! We can destroy your old apprentice. Join with me now and regain your identity, your life, and your position!”

“I am not Revan any more!” I stepped back again. “I have no memory of what I once was!”

“Your mind was shattered by the damage, Revan. You may not remember who you were yet, but I know you remember some of what you were. The essence of the woman that led the Sith is still there!

“Once long ago you defied the Jedi Council. You freed yourself from their control, and see what you have wrought! The largest fleet in history is in orbit of the Star Forge, awaiting your command to attack! Together we can retake that power, and fling it in the Jedi Council’s face.”

“No.” I shook my head. “I will not slaughter trillions to undo your work, Bastila. You saved me, please let me save you.”

“Bastila, it is not too late to be saved.” Juhani cried. “Remember the teachings of the order. You can find your way back to the light. Let Danika help you as she did me!”

Bastila looked scornfully at Juhani. “You are beneath my contempt, Juhani. When you felt the stirring of the dark side, you could have gloried in it, you could have slaughtered the masters of the Dantooine council itself. Instead you ran away and hid like the pathetic animal your entire race represents. You know nothing of the Dark side, or it‘s potential.”

Juhani retreated stricken.

“She is my friend, Bastila. Leave her alone.”

“Oh yes the famous ‘Revan’ speaks again. You always considered those around you as your possessions, didn’t you?” Bastila asked sweetly. “Well this little slave has broken free of your chains! You can join me as a partner, or you can die. I will not be a slave to your will any more.”

“Ask Juhani if she is a slave, or Zaalbar. Both know the meaning of the term. I defend my friends because that is what a friend does.” I sighed. “Revan is no more, Bastila.”

“You pathetic fool!” Bastila raged. “We could have ruled the galaxy together! Instead Malak will crush the Republic, slaughter the Jedi like the cattle they are, and I will be at his side when it happens!

“I find it ironic that you could have saved yourself all the pain that is to follow, but think on this, my dear Revan. To keep the bond now is madness for you! I was dragged into the dark by your own darkness, and if I live I will drag you back to the darkness as you did to me! Think of that when we launch our attack!” She reached out, and all three of us were picked up and slammed into the walls. She spun on her toes and raced to the fighter. We had barely reached our feet when it lifted off. Bastila waved mockingly, then we were slammed down as she went supersonic.

I watched the fighter disappear in the distance, and my heart was torn in two. When next we met, I would be forced to kill her. Not because I wanted to, but because she didn’t want what we already had. I went to the computer console, and activated it. I felt the temple screen die, and the disruptor field went down. I stepped back, and my lightsaber blade shattered the console. The self-repair could rebuild it, but it would take time. Time when any attempt to restore it would be in vain. We ran from the temple parapet, and down through the structure. There wasn’t much time.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:46 AM   #143
Char Ell
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I like the inclusion of information about what Revan had discovered during the Mandalorian Wars and her intention to prepare for this new enemy by conquering the galaxy so she could unite it and prepare for this mysterious threat. I submit though that the Rakatan central computer system didn't have enough data to accurately predict results of the threat.

If the Star Forge is not destroyed, in fifteen years this new enemy will face and defeat the current Sith and conquer the galaxy, eventually discovering the Star Forge and using it to increase their destructive capability and continuing the cycle started by the Rakata.

If the Star Forge is destroyed however, when this new enemy invades in fifteen years the Republic will be able to defeat them.

This doesn't make much sense to me.

Other than that I thought this was a great chapter. Danika prepped the Rakatan central computer system so the Star Forge could never be recreated, a wise move. And although you write your story to match the game's in having Juhani and Jolee accompany Danika into the temple, I didn't see the compelling need for this unless it was to have them present so that Bastila could attack them thus prompting Danika into a desire to protect Juhani and Jolee. I suppose this could have been a factor that helped Danika resist Bastila's invitation to join her and return to the dark side.


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Old 05-20-2006, 03:10 PM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
I like the inclusion of information about what Revan had discovered during the Mandalorian Wars and her intention to prepare for this new enemy by conquering the galaxy so she could unite it and prepare for this mysterious threat. I submit though that the Rakatan central computer system didn't have enough data to accurately predict results of the threat.

If the Star Forge is not destroyed, in fifteen years this new enemy will face and defeat the current Sith and conquer the galaxy, eventually discovering the Star Forge and using it to increase their destructive capability and continuing the cycle started by the Rakata.

If the Star Forge is destroyed however, when this new enemy invades in fifteen years the Republic will be able to defeat them.

This doesn't make much sense to me.
The extrapolation assumes that the Sith war would end within the period in question. The Republic would be prewarned, and instead of doing what any liberal democracy does when that occurs; I.E. stick it's head back in the sand, they would have an arms race. That was the view I took. In fact I think that is why I now have to get a copy of KOTOR II, because I think that is why Danika wanders off for five years or so. Maybe she tried to convince them and they just didn't want to believe her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
Other than that I thought this was a great chapter. Danika prepped the Rakatan central computer system so the Star Forge could never be recreated, a wise move. And although you write your story to match the game's in having Juhani and Jolee accompany Danika into the temple, I didn't see the compelling need for this unless it was to have them present so that Bastila could attack them thus prompting Danika into a desire to protect Juhani and Jolee. I suppose this could have been a factor that helped Danika resist Bastila's invitation to join her and return to the dark side.
I had them with her because they had entered with her. As for Danika's reaction, she knows what she has done. How many deaths she has caused by switiching sides, and the present crew, Mission Juhani etc mean too much to her to be willing to change again.

You see, when you get to the battle in the command center, you will see what I mean.

Before you ask, there is one posting before that


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 05-20-2006, 03:26 PM   #145
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Circumstances

Carth

We had seen the Sith fighter rip past at supersonic speed, and everyone tensed. It could have blown us away sitting on the beach, but the pilot didn’t notice, or worse yet, didn’t think we were important enough.

“Carth? Check the repeater.” Mission shouted. I switched the screen to the senor array. A huge portion of the fleet was leaving their orbit. Almost all of them were the Rakata designed ships. As we watched, they leaped into hyper.

“Where are they going?”

“I don’t know.”

I bit my lip. From here half the Galaxy was within striking distance in just a few days. I hoped that whatever the Republic would send wasn’t supposed to be guarding their target.

“People coming down the path.” Canderous shouted. I flicked to that screen instead. Jolee Juhani and Danika had stopped outside the weapon’s perimeter. I shut down the intruder system, and cracked the hatch. We all gathered at the ramp. Sasha charged through all of them and bulleted into Danika’s arms. They hugged, but I could see that Danika was haunted.

“You’re back!” I shouted. “What happened inside the temple?”

“We fought Bastila.” Juhani said. She looked even more haunted than Danika.

“Fought her? But why?”

“She has turned to the dark side, Carth.” Danika said. “She fled to the Star Forge.”

“No! How could that happen!”

Jolee shook his head sadly. “She was always in danger of falling to the dark side, Carth, as are we all. Bastila is strong, but she is also headstrong and impatient. Malak preyed on her weakness. Where he had her didn’t help.” He waved at our surroundings. “This place has been under a pall of darkness for almost fifty millennia! Throughout the reign of the Rakata, and sealed when they fell over 30,000 years ago. It has seeped into the ground itself. The Star Forge and the temple has twisted the Force into a giant dark sucking mass that draws in everything, and spits it out tainted, Just as Malak did the same to Bastila.”

“But she can be saved.” Danika said. Jolee looked at her sadly.

“Malak has too strong a grip on her now. It will be difficult to break her free, especially considering the long association you have had with both. Remember that she created the bond between you to save that last spark of life and kindle it into what you are now. Through that bond she touched the you that existed before and especially the dark taint within you.”

“But there’s still hope, isn’t there?” I waved at Danika. “Revan was saved. Can we deny Bastila that same chance?”

“We will try.” Danika set the girl down. “I will try. I will not let her be dragged away from us.”

“I do not know what fate awaits us all, but I sense Bastila has a role to play yet.” Juhani said. “I have no doubt that she will be waiting for us on the Star Forge when we arrive.”

“No doubt.” I said. “We had best get off this planet before she calls in a larger reception committee.”

We ran aboard the ship. I reported the departure of part of the Sith fleet and Danika nodded.

“Good, less of them to run through to get to the Star Forge.” She said.

“Wait a minute! The ship is fast and we are pretty well armed, but against a thousand or more ships? We don’t stand a chance!”

“We will get through because it will tickle Malak’s vanity. I intend to broadcast that I am aboard, and that this is between my apprentice and me. The Sith will understand and back off. No one interferes in a duel of succession.”

“Then, you’re going to go back to the dark side.” My fingers brushed my holstered pistol.

“No, Carth.” She shook her head. “I have a way to destroy the Star Forge, or at least severely weaken it. But I must be aboard for that to happen.” She looked haunted. “Even if I have to die in the attempt.” She smiled sadly. “Trust me for just a little longer, my friend.”

“Well no one said we’d live through this, did they?” I asked with a chuckle.

“That is what all people forget.” She said. “No one gets out of life alive.”
She stood. “Take us up.”

Ebon Hawk staggered a bit, and I set the auto-compensate system. As we roared up out of the atmosphere, I felt it smoothing out.

“Carth!” Mission screamed. I flicked to the senor screen, and felt my blood run cold. Over a hundred ships had appeared in space, and they were coming toward us at high speed. The damn fleet had returned!

A moment later, another massive trace appeared. Before I could curse the IFF read their transponders. I whooped in joy. “It’s the Republic fleet!”



In death ground I could make it evident that there is no chance of survival. For it is in the nature of soldiers to resist when surrounded; to fight to the death when there is no alternative, and when desperate to follow orders implicitly.

Armageddon

Danika

Everyone ran to the mess hall as Carth punched in the codes necessary to communicate with the fleet. A holographic image of a dark haired woman in uniform appeared. She would never be considered beautiful at first glance. Handsome was the best I could say for her. Her green eyes moved as Carth stood on the transmitter plate.

“This is Admiral Forn Dodonna commanding the sixth, ninth, and fourteenth combined fleets. Who is in command of Ebon Hawk?”

“This is Carth Onasi, Admiral.”

Her face broke into a smile, and I revised my estimate. She was an attractive woman. “Carth! I’m glad to see you’re still alive. We are about to begin our assault on the Star Forge.” She looked away, and she looked shocked. “My god, how did the Sith ever build this thing in secret?”

“The Sith didn’t build the Star Forge, Admiral. We don’t have time for a full explanation, but that station is older than the Republic.”

She scanned the invisible monitor. “And they outnumber us almost four to one. We didn’t bring enough firepower to break through that. Not and live. I am ordering the fleet to withdraw.”

Carth shook his head. “You can’t do that Admiral. The Star Forge is a factory of incredible design and capability. It has been churning out warships, fighters and assault droids since Revan and Malak found it. If you retreat now, they merely have to leave this fleet here to protect it, and you will still face an unending supply of reinforcements. It will be the same as before you arrived, except we will never have as good a chance to destroy it again.”

She nodded at the logical statement. “Then I guess we have no choice. But it isn’t going to be easy. The Sith fleet is maneuvering to block us even as I set the fleet into motion. We may all die without getting within range of the Star Forge itself. Almost as if they know what we plan to do.”

“The Jedi Bastila went over to the dark side.” Carth said. “That is her battle meditation you’re seeing. We suspect she is aboard the Star Forge using it even now.”

Dodonna shook her head. “You can really pick the fights a smart Admiral would avoid.” She turned, then motioned to her side. Master Vandar entered the holo-projection. “This is Master Vandar. A number of Jedi have joined our fleet.”

Vandar leaned on his cane. He looked his age. “If Bastila is using her battle meditation, the Sith fleet is invincible. Our only hope is to stop her somehow.”

“Can we do that?” Dodonna asked.

Vandar considered. “The Republic cannot, but we have Jedi equipped with their own snub fighters. I will order a squadron to fly through the enemy fleet and board the station. If they can fight their way to her location, they can stop her by whatever means necessary. That should allow you to move your capital ships in for the kill.”

I tugged Carth’s sleeve. He looked at me, then back at the holo-projection. “Some of our crew has a plan to defeat the Star Forge. Request permission to join that assault, Admiral.”

“After all you have been through, no one would be surprised if you wanted to rest. Except for me, Carth. I hate to ask you all to risk your lives again, but the Jedi could use your help.”

“We wouldn’t miss it.” Carth replied.

“May I speak to our Jedi aboard?” Vandar asked. I stepped in to face the hologram as Dodonna stepped away.

“Master Vandar, there is a way I can at least cripple the Star Forge.” I reported. “But there is a great risk to all that use the Force within this system.”

He shrugged. “There is risk in everything we do in life, young Jedi.”

“I only meant to warn you. We Jedi and the Dark Jedi as well will be more affected than the normal people on both sides. But it will level the playing field.” I looked down. “I have worried about the Jedi on Dantooine. The Masters, the children. How many survived?”

“All of the very young did.” He answered sadly. “The rest of us fought to assure that. But of the Padawan and Masters, only Master Dorak escaped when I did.”
I felt a hand clutch my heart. “Master Zhar?”

“His body was not found. A number of the bodies were not found. We do not know what happened to them.”

I lowered my head. Then I looked up. I could tell there were unshed tears in my eyes, but I refused to cry until it was all over. “Then we shall send them an appropriate honor guard, Master.”

“May the Force go with you.” Vandar replied.

The hologram collapsed, and I turned to the others. “Let’s go.”

Picture a chip in a millrace. For those of you that have never seen one, Picture an ocean going ship in a storm beyond imagining, or picture a kayak in white water, the kayak driven by only oars plunging through water and rock that will tear it to shreds in a second if the pilot makes a mistake.

Now picture that water as fire, and you have an idea of the next fifteen minutes. 200 hundred massive Republic capital ships were plunging into that hell, fighters screaming through their formation as the smaller ships charged in to come to grips with the foe. From the other side over 800 enemy ships from corvettes to massive cruisers were charging toward them, their own fighters plunging into the maelstrom. In fighters the Republic was actually fielding more, but that wouldn’t matter. The fighters could destroy a capital ship only by throwing themselves enmasse at it.

Through that hell Ebon Hawk charged. Energy ravened as the capital ships tried to destroy us, fighters roared in on us. We lost count of the fighters we destroyed on that day. I figured thirty or more. Canderous estimated maybe fifty. We even slipped in close enough to slam several salvoes into a frigate that was ripped apart even as we fled its return fire. We burst through their lines and behind us less than a dozen Jedi followed. Vandar had sent not one squadron but two. It was a wise decision. Only eight or ten docked ahead of us as we dived toward the landing deck of the massive structure. Over half dead in as many minutes.

Ebon Hawk roared in, thrusters blasting madly to halt herself as Canderous and I left our stations. Beyond the force field barrier, the madness continued.

A Jedi ran up as we exited the ship. “I’m glad you made it!” The young woman called. “I didn’t expect any of us to make it!” She waved toward the elevator shaft on the right. “A number of Jedi have gone ahead. We have to strike deep and fast while we still have the element of surprise.” She looked haggard. “We have to stop Bastila any way we can or the fleet is doomed!” She motioned. “Come on before-”

A lightsaber flicked across space, and she went down, head bouncing on the deck. Four Dark Jedi charged toward us. There were only three Jedi remaining, and I leaped to their defense followed by Juhani and Jolee. We made quick work of them.

“So much for surprise.” Another of the Jedi commented. “We’ll hold here to protect the exit.”

I nodded, turning to my followers. “All of you stay here.” I ordered. “Support these Jedi. Juhani, Jolee, this is our party.”

Star Forge.

Malak watched as the very fabric of the star formed the ships before him. He had pushed the Star Forge to over 500%, and still it worked without a flaw. He snarled as a Dark Jedi master came toward him, bowing.

“Why have you disturbed me?”

“A party of Jedi has boarded the Star Forge and are moving toward us as we speak, My Lord.”

“That is not unexpected.” Malak considered. “Send the droids in.”

“Master, what chance can mere droids have against Jedi?” The master asked.

“You underestimate the strength of the newest droids I have designed.”
Malak admonished him. “Even I would have a problem dealing with these.”

“As you will, my Lord.”

“Good. I am going to the Operations deck.” Malak turned. “Report to me when the Droids have completed their task.”


Danika

We ran to the elevator shaft. The car was large enough for a snub fighter and we faced outward as it shot half a kilometer upward. I led my smaller party out onto a walkway. I stopped them, and we flinched as the heavy battle steel doors to either side exploded. Droids of a design I had never seen before stumped out. Their arms rose, blasters appearing.

I gasped, because I felt the force from them as if they were alive. Malak had included life force in their construction somehow.

I lowered my lightsaber reaching out as I would with a living mind, and felt that spark. “We are authorized. You will let us pass.“ I ordered.

“We will let you pass.“ One of them spoke.

“Negative, Jedi mind powers being used. Eliminate.“ Another spoke almost in unison.

Juhani reached out, lifting two of them, slamming the metal forms together Metal sheared, and both collapsed in ruin. I reached out, catching another pair, and flung them off the walkway to smash kilometers below us. Jolee threw his lightsaber, the blade flicking through the carapace of one, then circling to cut the last from behind. We charged past the wreckage.

Ahead of us I could hear the snarl of lightsabers in battle, and flicked mine on as I continued to run.

Below us on another walkway, three Jedi faced three dark Jedi. As I skidded to a stop, the last of the Jedi fell. One of the women looked up, and I could almost see her eyes twinkle.

“Good. More for us to slaughter.” She purred.

I charged down, and when I was close enough, threw a ball of light that illuminated my face.

“Revan!” One screamed. I singled her out, reaching out with the force, and squeezed her head until she screamed.

“Yes. I am back!” I twisted, and the woman moaned, holding her head in agony. “Who dares stand against me?”

They backed away, trying to avoid my stare. “If you are going to fight, do so! If not, cast your lightsabers off the edge. Now!”

Four lightsabers flew, glittering as they disappeared into the depths. The women moved back, fearful of my very presence. “Get out of here while you have the chance.” I ordered. We brushed past them, running toward the entrance to the elevator on the right. Two other dark Jedi were there, and we fought a brief nasty battle.

Canderous

We had set up to defend the elevators, and had barely gotten into position when a platoon of Sith armored troops poured out. Carth Mission and I met them with a hail of fire, HK popped grenades into their midst. The Jedi took care of any that got through our fire. It was over in just a few moments.

The elevator that Danika had ridden up opened, and a device from a nightmare came out. It was huge; a droid weapons platform the size of a heavy cargo lifter. I flicked a switch, shouting, “Duck!” As I dove for the floor. T3 would have added little to our defenses by himself, but one thing an astromech is excellent at is controlling a ship, especially in a dock. The little guy had been slaved to the controls of the ship, and as everyone on our side dived for cover, the engines roared. The ship lifted and spun in place, the main guns now aimed at the huge machine. The Ebon Hawk’s guns roared, blasting the huge weapon into scrap. A figure cut across behind the wreckage, and I started to my feet.

“Sasha!”

She stopped, saluted with her lightsaber, then was on the elevator before anyone could stop her.

“Who is that?” One of the Jedi asked.

“A little girl. We rescued her on Dantooine.” I replied.

“The little fool thinks she can take on dark Jedi?” He started toward the elevator.

I stopped him with one hand. “The little fool fought with that lightsaber aboard the Leviathan, activated the intruder system of our ship without being able to read, and killed about fifty Sith there.” He looked at me shocked. “And she spent three years of her life among the Mandalore. She knows what she does and why. If she wants to die fighting, we will not stop her.”

Another rush poured down on us, and I went back to killing the enemy.

Star Forge.

The Dark Jedi Master strode up to his master. Before them both Bastila knelt. In the massive holotank, the battle was going well. The fleet had formed a globe not far from the Star Forge, and the Republic fleet was trapped in the center of it, pinned in the battle by four Interdictor class cruisers.

“Why have you disturbed me this time?” Malak growled.

“I have news about the Jedi force.”

“Ah, my droids destroyed them as ordered.”

“No, My lord. The droids were unsuccessful.”

“Strange. I didn’t think there were any Jedi in the order with such capability, except for the Masters.” Malak mused.

“It was Revan, my lord.” The Dark Jedi admitted. “She leads one of the assault teams.”

Malak turned to face him. “That would explain it. My old Master was always strong in the force.” He turned back to face Bastila. “Very well, send all the available troops. All of them, Armored troops, Dark Jedi, even the apprentices. Strike at the landing bay to cut them off, and slaughter that putrid little forlorn hope. Revan must die. Lead them yourself.”

“But my lord, will the apprentices even have a chance?”

“No. I expect them all to die.” Malak said. “But their deaths will give me a chance to prepare the last of the Star Forge’s defenses. I am curious to see the full extent of those defenses. I am sure Revan will also be curious for the brief minutes she lives.”

“My Lord-”

“Don’t beg. It is not befitting of a Sith. Either go and do as I have ordered, or kill yourself now.”

The Dark Master bowed, hurrying out. He decided to lead the team against the ship. After all, Malak had told him to lead, but failed to mention which attack.

Danika

We ran onto another walkway. Heading for a door that should lead to the factory floor. It opened and a dozen dark Jedi poured out. We fought savagely, piling up a windrow of dead before us, and still they kept coming. Force bolts shot through from either side, and anyone who didn’t deflect or dodge them died.

They finally stopped coming, and Jolee leaned on his knees, gasping. “I’m getting too old for this.” He wheezed.

“”We’ll probably die before we’re done, so stop worrying!” I shouted gaily.

“Don’t tease me.” He grumbled back.

We came out on the factory floor. Before us was the massive factory chamber. As we watched a form began coalescing from the haze of particles, and a snub fighter gleamed in the lights, then floated toward the ceiling. Beyond it a frigate was almost completed.

“We must stop it.” Juhani shouted.

“This way.” I led them down the floor to another room. This had Rakata computer consoles. Attached to them were ones designed by the Republic, translating instructions and replies for those that hadn’t learned how to operate a Rakata computer. I pushed past them, going to one of the original consoles. I tried to access it.

ACCESS DENIED

I considered, then put in the back-door password I had created. I saw now that even in my fall I hadn’t been a complete trusting fool.

ACCESS GRANTED

I slipped the datapad into the interface. CONSTRUCT

QUANTITY?

I considered. I didn’t know what it would do. I know what I expected it to do, but it is like the first fission weapons made by humans millennia ago. The theoretical mathematics had suggested that the chain reaction they wanted to create might be self-sustaining. A raw burst of power that would only stop when it ran out of fuel meaning the entire planet would have gone up in nuclear fire. If they had been correct, there would have been no human race afterward.

Foolish humans that they were, they tried it anyway. Or maybe they felt as desperate as I did.

I typed in ONE.

CONSTRUCTION COMMENCED was followed an instant later with CONSTRUCTION COMPLETE.

“Juhani get the grenade from the container over there.” I ordered. I took out the datapad, and reduced it to slag. DELETE ALL SPECIFICATIONS OF GRENADE CONSTRUCTED.

ALL SPECIFICATIONS DELETED

Now how to bollix up the works? I typed CONSTRUCT FIELD EXPEDIENT SHELTER, CORELLIAN.

QUANTITY?

I typed in INFINITE.

The system hummed, then answered. PRIORITY?

I typed in REVAN 201 ULTIMATE. SHELTERS MUST BE CONSTRUCTED USING ALL RESOURCES.

The system hummed again a little irritated now. PREVIOUS CONSTRUCTION TO CONTINUE?

NEGATIVE CANNIBALIZE ALL PREVIOUS CONSTRUCTION

REVAN 201 AUTHORIZATION ACCEPTED. COMMENCING CONSTRUCTION.

Behind us there was a rattle, and a pile of cloth followed by metal tent poles and stakes fell to the floor from a slot. Another followed it almost immediately, and then another. They were starting to jam in the mechanism as we left. Droids came, and began stacking them in the corridor.

There were more guards and dark Jedi awaiting us, but we cut our way through them

Mission

I ducked as another mass of Sith erupted from the elevator. How many of them were there? I flicked a thermal detonator over their heads into the elevator, and it landed at the feet of a Jedi in armor. The man screamed, and dived forward as the detonator blew the elevator to fragments. The thermal shockwave threw smoking bits of him out of the door. I gasped as the metal began to reform, almost as if the elevator was healing.

Canderous turned, and his blaster leveled as he began blasting a second wave coming down the other elevator. “Mission! Power packs!” He screamed.

I ran aboard the ship, snatching up a bunch of bandoliers that Canderous had laid out. Each carried a different power cell size. One for his weapon, One for Zaalbar’s another for Carth’s and mine.

I dropped back to the deck, running to cover behind him. I handed the belt to him, and then low crawled to where Zaalbar was. He retreated from a pile of bodies he had created with Bacca’s sword. He took his belt without speaking loaded his bowcaster, and continued firing into yet another wave of attackers. Carth was kneeling behind the wreckage of another one of those big droids. Canderous had called them ‘tanks’ during a lull, but I didn‘t see where you could put fuel in one.

Carth grinned at me, grabbing a belt when I got to him. "Glad you could join us."

“I don’t want to be here!” I screamed.

“Who does?” He asked, popping up to shoot a Sith crawling toward us. “How are we doing for ammo?” He asked.

“This is the last of it!”

“All I have to say is I hope they finish up there fast!” He fired, then turned. HK! We need ammo!”

The droid turned, twisting the head off a Sith trooper as he did. “Since the enemy has been obliging enough to die enmasse, perhaps we can use their weapons.” The droid started forward as the fighting ebbed, throwing weapons back into the small circle of warriors. The Jedi leaped to assist. I went over, pulling packs that matched the weapons we had. Even with the enemy dead, we would be at the point of fighting with swords and bare hands in a little bit.

“Hurry, Danika!” I whispered.

Star Forge

Malak walked down to stand behind Bastila. A pity. The chit had power he could use, but there wasn’t much time. “Bastila.”

There was a long moment. In the holotank, the Sith attack faltered, and an arm of the Republic’s dwindling fighters punched through to rip into a score of ships. She opened her eyes, then stood, bowing. “Master, why have you summoned me?” She motioned toward the Republic counter attack. At least three of the massive ships were dying even as they watched. “Without my battle meditation there is a chance that the Republic capital ships will break through to attack the Star Forge itself!”

“I only interrupted you for a moment. You will return to your meditation when I am done. I just wanted to inform you that Revan is fighting her way here even now.” Malak looked at the holotank. The second tier of warships had closed the gap. Not soon enough to save a dozen of his ships. “The Force has arranged a nice neat confrontation for us. Revan the Republic fleet the Jedi. All of my enemies in one place so I can destroy them all in an afternoon!” He swept his hand toward the screen. “Even without your battle meditation, we cannot fail. There are too many of my ships, and too few of theirs.

“But there is something you must do to prove your worth as my apprentice. You must finish what you started in the Temple. You must cut the bond that links you two together. Revan must die here by your hand.”

“Y-yes Master.” She replied in an uncertain voice.

“I sense your fear but it is unfounded. The Star Forge surrounds us. Pure evil in metal and Force combined. The Star Forge will feed the dark side within you, and sap the light from her. Stay here in this chamber. She must pass through here to get to the floors above. Kill her. Earn your rightful place.”

“Of course, Master. I will not fail you again.” She turned, kneeling, and returned to her meditation.

Malak walked away from her, stopping at the door leading upward. “Perhaps you will triumph, Bastila. But your death serves my purposes. It will give me time to play my last card. Cutting Revan’s heart out before she faces the power of the Star Forge itself.” He chuckled, stepping into the elevator. As the elevator rose he roared with laughter.

Danika

The last of the Sith died, and we paused for a moment to gasp. I knew we were only three levels from the upper observation deck. I fingered the grenade I carried. I had to be sure of where Malak was when I triggered it. The door opened onto another floor, and we charged the group of Sith soldiers blocking our way. We bowled through them and into another series of walkways. There were a few dark Jedi here, and we dealt with them swiftly. Three had been before another door, which my memory told me led into the command center. I stepped over their bodies, and pushed the button. The door opened and I paused.

Bastila knelt there, and before her I could see the carnage of the battle beyond the station. The Republic fleet was being mauled, yet pressed forward toward the Star Forge even as it died. I mourned all those lives. I straightened my shoulders, and stepped over the threshold. As I did the door slammed shut behind me.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 05-20-2006, 04:41 PM   #146
Char Ell
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I'm not sure where you're going with the custom grenade. Something that will affect force sensitive people and equipment like the Star Forge and anything it has manufactured? I'll just have to wait and see.

I like the scenes you added at the Star Forge docking bay. Although the game doesn't address this I'm glad you do. I can't see the rest of the crew just hanging back, sitting in their jump seats on the Ebon Hawk, twiddling their thumbs while they wait for Danika, Juhani, and Jolee to get back. Your version of events works much better.

But now that Sasha has left I hope the remaining crew members and Jedi can hold their own. (that was a joke)


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Old 05-20-2006, 05:40 PM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
I like the scenes you added at the Star Forge docking bay. Although the game doesn't address this I'm glad you do. I can't see the rest of the crew just hanging back, sitting in their jump seats on the Ebon Hawk, twiddling their thumbs while they wait for Danika, Juhani, and Jolee to get back. Your version of events works much better.
Thanks. I was thinking of how many people would have been on the station, and figured the rest had to have been doing something during the battle. All I did was turn it into a deperate holding action while using everyone at what they are best at. That is why Mission (The least trained as a warrior) is busy passing the ammo, and T3 is doing what an Astromech can do to assist.



[QUOTE=cutmeister}But now that Sasha has left I hope the remaining crew members and Jedi can hold their own[/QUOTE]



As for Sasha... She has a very important duty to perform.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

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What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:04 PM   #148
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Bastila

I felt her presence, along with Juhani and Jolee. I rose from my meditative state, and a flick of power leaped out, sealing the door behind her.

“So predictable.” I said, standing smoothly. “The grand leader with her hounds at her heels.”

“You knew I’d come, Bastila.” She said with a sad smile. “It’s starting to look like it might be a habit.”

“What?”

“Saving you.”

I barked a laugh. “As always you think more highly of your own actions than others would. “How can you rescue someone from something they do willingly?”

“I’ll never give up on you, Bastila. I know you can be saved.”

“Quit wasting your time. I see the Jedi for what they are. Weak fearful old fools that cling to a path no one in their right mind would follow. The Sith are the true masters of the Force, and have always been. You have forgotten that, Revan.

“Now you must pay the price. Here on the Star Forge, the Dark side is supreme. This time you will die.”

“Please, Bastila.” She said softly. “We don’t have to do this.”

“I do. As long as that bond exists I am linked to a whining cowardly being that doesn’t have the decency to die. I can take my rightful place at my master’s side without the anchor you have become. Without you I am superior to all but him. With you, I am nothing.”

“No. You have never been worthless.” She said sadly. “You are the one that put a shattered mind together. That redeemed me. I must try to do the same for you.”

“Don’t make me laugh!” I snarled. “When I found you all I had to work with was a mewling pile of flesh without the wit to stop drooling! I didn’t redeem you Revan. I put together a composite of one stupid woman with another and here you stand! All I did was reprogram your computer, and over-write it, as the Jedi would have wanted.”

“True.” She smiled sadly. “But did you actually read her files? There are memories here that are not hers.” She tapped her head. “Danika was from Deralia, true. But she worked in one of the resorts. She never saw what I was able to show you. She made sergeant because she was the senior person in her squad, not through any brilliance as a soldier. When it was her time to die she accepted it because there was nothing she could do.

“Revan however went to Deralia on a hunting trip with her father and older brother just before she went off to the Jedi Academy. She met a girl a few years older than herself named Kalendra. Kalendra introduced me to the Tirlat, and the idea of compassionate love.

“That memory, you lying on the ground asking me to bond, me above you. That was the same except it was me as a six-year-old girl on the bottom,” She touched her chest, “And a nine-year-old kneeling over me. Not the love you created for a much older girl. I didn’t bond then because I had sworn to bond with the Jedi. It was I that didn’t want to be separated, I that cried in her lap wishing I could change the world and stay.

“Don’t you see?” She stepped toward me, hand out. “You didn’t just create another program as you think. You took what I was, merged it with a person so selfless that she died assuring we would live, and made me. I cannot help being what and who I am. You made me in the image of what you wanted in a companion and life mate. How else can we feel as we do?”

I screamed and cut at her savagely. She blocked, and suddenly she smiled.

-It was evening, Danika faced me. We were dueling. Not with lightsabers, but with long springy vines. Our movements were fast and clean, but they were more two girls playing rather than a serious battle. “Dance with me.” She whispered.

-”Stop it!” I leaped back. She didn’t follow. I laughed, but even I could hear a thread of panic in it. “I see now why Malak followed you. A shell of what you once were but still a formidable opponent. I can’t even imagine the power you once had and wielded as the Dark Lord. You were a fool to give it all up and follow the light.”

“I am as strong in the light as I ever was in darkness, Bastila.” She replied.

“Lies! The dark side has made me stronger than I have ever been. Stronger than Master Vandar, stronger than Vrook! I will have control of more power than their strait minds would even imagine!

“As Malak teaches me the greatest secrets of the Sith I will unlock all of my potential. Eventually there will be will be no limit to what I can achieve. I will even learn to build another Star Forge!”

“As Ajunta Pall told me, all you will accomplish is death and destruction. Those around you, then yourself.”

I shook my head. “Ajunta Pall is dead for two millennia. He speaks no more. If any knew the true strength of the Sith it was he! All else is Jedi propaganda. The dark side is a tool, nothing more. A more efficient and cutting tool than the light. Eventually I will surpass my master. When I do, I will challenge him, and he will die.

“Then I shall take on my own apprentice and the cycle will begin again. This has always been the way of the Sith. It assures that only the strongest rule us.”

“ 'We fought among ourselves to see who would be the greatest among us, and we brought our own fortresses down upon our heads'.” She said.

“What?”

“As I said, I talked with the spirit of Ajunta Pall. Those were his words to me. The first true lord of the Sith, yet as he died he knew it was all a lie.” She said. “You doom yourself, you try to doom the Galaxy to an endless cycle of death and betrayal.”

“No, it is you that are doomed!” I cut at her knees, but she blocked me. Then she began a fluid attack that had me backing away desperately. I leaped backward ten meters, throwing my lightsaber. She flicked it off with the force, then caught it. She smiled, then flipped it back to me.

“You are growing tired! I can feel it! Your strength falters as the dark side saps the light!”

“Then strike me down, Bastila.” She sighed, setting her lightsaber on the deck. “I won’t fight you any more.”

“Then die!”

“Bond with me.” She knelt. “You only see the pallid shapes of the bond, Bastila. You didn’t know how to bond with an Echani, and all you get is glimpses. I know this because we would not be here like this if you had. I see it all and it is wondrous and magnificent. All that you are, all that you had, all that you feared. I see it!”

Bond with me. My mind repeated the phrase over and over. I remembered kneeling over her body. Frantically I had reached into her mind in a way I had never imagined, a dark place, yet in it was a single spark of life. It was a vision of a young girl, her heart racing, looking up at an older girl laughing at something. But even as I witnessed it the memory began to fade. She was older than I was so I substituted us for the girls. As the younger it was I that lay on that suddenly soft grass, touching the face that hovered above me.

Bond with me.

She had resisted, but I refused to let her go. She had kissed me, accepting the bond, and I felt myself kneeling again, holding her hand. She was alive, but if I moved away from her she spasmed as if being struck by seizures. I had to touch her every second.

The others had helped, carrying her on a stretcher as I ran along side. We had reached the escape pods, and the door had barely closed when the ship began to break up. Something shattered the pod’s engine, and we whirled away as the ship exploded.

Long hours had passed, and the others had fallen off to sleep. I was bound to Revan by that link I maintained so I did not get any sleep. Then I felt the wreckage shift. I looked up, just as a faceplate blackened. It was the real Danika. She was dying from anoxia even then. Somehow I reached out a second time, feeling her thoughts and memories flowing through her. Then starting to fade as she died. I touched her mind, and was suddenly inundated in those memories. While she had consciously known she must die, her spirit had railed against her fate. I found her memories trying to force themselves into my mind clinging to me, and I frantically pushed them away into the only receptacle free for them, the now empty mind of Revan. As the shuttle came alongside, I felt the last of them pass through me into Revan.

When I was done, two people had become one. She awoke in the sickbay, remembering Danika’s life vividly. Yet I could feel her questing outward for something, and when she felt my mind, we had bonded.

Now I could feel her questing again, pushing along the bond like an eel slipping through a crack in a wall. “Revan-”

“Bond with me or kill me.” She whispered. “I who was once Revan Chandar Bai Echani ask you Bastila to bond with me in full. To share the joy and the sorrow the pleasure and the pain, to share all that two people can share until death. To stand with me until the universe dies.” She closed her eyes, looking down. “Don’t make me go through life alone.”

She was defenseless! I could kill her! I raised my lightsaber, ready to cut down-

-The only person who had never asked for more than I might give at any time. Never berated, never screamed, never pressed too hard. The person that had held me in my pain at my father’s death. That had forgiven me for what I had done to save her life. The person-

-Whose hand I touched so delicately. Her fingers spread, and I felt my own interlace. My other hand came up unbidden, and those fingers locked as well. I found myself looking at her as her eyes opened, and in them I could see myself. Not the inner picture of yourself you create. Not the mirror that you preen before. The memories flooded into me. I saw myself dirty and bedraggled in a slaver’s cage, snarling at my rescuer. Pontificating to both her and Carth. Woebegone as she stood on the floor of the apartment on Taris. Deep in thought as I puzzled out the first star map. Stricken when I learned of my father’s death. Huddled in pain when we found his body. Bleary when she had taken off that collar on Manaan. Screaming in fury as I had charged Malak. Haughty when I faced her in the temple. Then the same sneering face when I fought her here.

Yet all had the same glowing quality, as if the person saw deep within, measured all my good, all my faults all my petty worries, then cast them aside and embraced all I was in a love that cannot be matched by any hate. I felt as if my father held me again, as if nothing would ever hurt me, and I knew she would protect me from anything as long as she lived.

At the same instant I understood why she was always so hesitant around me, I realized that she had been feeling and seeing all of this from the moment she had found and sealed the bond. My doubts about her ability, my lies when I spoke to her on Taris, on Dantooine, every lie I had spoken since my terror at being linked to someone else this tightly. All transparent to her except when I was consciously blocking it.

Yet she had continued to reach out rather than thrust me aside. She had felt that I was betraying her trust, no, known I was betraying her, but what she saw had convinced her to strive to maintain the link.

Only now I felt it, a soft whisper of thought. Mine being answered, hers touching me in ways no one had ever done before. It should have been terrifying, but I had been doing the same clumsily to her all this time.

I saw myself kneeling in meditation as I decimated the Republic fleet. While I had felt the glee of having her where I wanted her, she was feeling my worry, my fury, my determination to kill her, she counter-pointed those emotions with regret. She knew what I felt, what I wanted, even now. She felt regret that she might have to kill me. I suddenly saw her afterward, Malak dead, me dead, the Republic coming to kill the Star Forge, and not caring that she would die with it. For her there would be no life afterward.

I found myself kneeling with her, my head buried against her neck, hugging her tight enough to cause bones to creak, but she never wavered, her voice crooning softly to me. I couldn’t hate her. I could never fight her. It would be like slicing off my own hands.

“I always had faith in you.” She whispered, her lips brushing my cheek.

I opened my eyes, then suddenly spun, staring at the battle. The Republic fleet was being smashed before my eyes. “What have I done!” I wailed.

“You can help them.” She said. She reached out, touching my face. “I must deal with other business.”

“But I can help you!”

“Do you think you’re strong enough to face Malak again?” She whispered gently.

I shook my head. It had been too easy to turn me to the dark side before. She must know my own strength. “You are right. Go, I will help the Republic fleet as long as I can.”

“Only if you promise me one thing. If you feel as if the force has left you suddenly, run. Get to the ship. Get away.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Trust me.” She walked toward the door. She looked back, and gave a small wave. I knew she didn’t expect to see me again.

I reached out, feeling the struggling Republic soldiers stand a little straighter. “I will be here when you return.” I whispered.

Coruscant Glory

The Republic troops felt it almost as soon as Bastila had begun. On the ships, the crews were no longer scattered men doing their best against impossible odds. They were smoothly operating cogs in a mammoth machine directed by one woman with omniscient vision.

“There!” Admiral Dodonna pointed. “A weakness in their left flank. Have Green squadron punch through!”

“On it!” Trev Collo replied. The Aleph class fighter jumped in his hands as he aimed at the Star Cruiser Mammoth. “All right guys! Let’s rock!” Behind him, the seven remaining fighters of his squadron leaped into the fray. As they passed, the fighters blasted the huge ships. Trev detected the collapse of the gravity well generator aboard the cruiser and shrieked with joy as his fighters punched through. Ahead of him a bare minute away was the Star Forge. He climbed sharply to make another run.

“We’ve broken through!”

“Understood.” Dodonna’s voice was still calm. He’d never heard her any other way. The ‘Dark Lord of the Sixth’ they called her. “Bastila is now assisting us with her battle meditation. Let’s capitalize on it. Red Squadron, keep that hole open! All capital ships punch through and support the fighters!”

Like the behemoths they were the other capital ships of the fleet forged forward. There was only thirty odd left, and as they advanced, one fell out of formation, breaking up. Behind them the Sith fleet was pushing in, but if they could get through the gap and attack the Star Forge, the loss would be worth it.

Red squadron in the larger Crucis class fighters bored in. Their heavier guns ravened across [/i]Mammoth[/i], and her sister ship Gargantuan. Both fell out of formation, air forming clouds like blood around them as the capital ships raced past them. Hundreds of Sith fighters came in, facing less Republic fighters now, but the Republic knew they could win. Even if every ship died in this system, they would win if they destroyed that huge suddenly fragile target before them.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 05-23-2006, 12:22 AM   #149
Char Ell
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Excellent writing, very powerful. I found the additional detail you provide on how Revan became Danika through Bastila's intervention quite illuminating. How Danika's memories were altered as they became Revan's memories. Danika seems resigned to her death though. I guess I would be too if I had to face two of my former closest friends in mortal combat.

An observation: I notice you like to use the word "ravened" when describing the firing of cannons and firearms. I've noticed the word several times in this tale. It's a word that really stands out to me.

One question though, did you decide to add the story of how Malak lost his jaw or leave the whole thing as is?


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Old 05-23-2006, 02:39 AM   #150
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Endgame

Danika

As I ran on, I considered everything that lay before and behind. In so doing, I was struck by a revelation.

I had discovered the secret of the dark side. Something so deep that even the others that had succumbed had never seen it. Something you could only find by first falling, then dragging yourself back out of the abyss.

The dark side is fear. Nothing else. The fear of being weak, so you fought to be strong. The fear of attachment to others, so you made few friends if any. The fear of being supplanted, so you trained only one apprentice. Even then, you watched for the day when that apprentice became strong enough to challenge you. If you timed it right, you remained the master. If not, you died. Even hate, anger and pride, all of which leads to the force comes down to fearing the unknown, or fear that you must fall, as the prideful always do.

Last the fear of death. You knew that when you returned to the Force, you would be added to the balance. It is what all who live and die know will happen. But those who can feel the Force know it on a deeper level. How can you be great in the Force in life without knowing this? When you died, your energy returned to that well spring. Would you life add to the balance or throw it off?

In knowing this, I also knew the secret of the Jedi, one that only those that had already died knew.

For I had died.

The Jedi are not here to rule. They are not here to control. Even the Sith as much as they hold to that power can never really control it.

They are here to maintain that balance. Too much of the light would be just as harmful as too much of the dark. There is and must always be a balance. Death must balance life, light must balance dark. Chaos must balance order, and freedom must balance oppression.

The entire Galaxy, probably the entire universe was a living entity, and we as people were not even large enough to be a virus in such a body. But we could infect it, weaken it, Force help us, kill it if we weren’t careful.

I looked at the Republic, and inwardly I smiled. So many worlds, so many views, so many struggles, for struggle is part of life, the Sith had that much right. But the struggle is not the reason for living. It is part of it, but never all. The struggle defines only what is won or lost. Every gambler knows that simple fact. You only went down or up. Tomorrow would be different. The universe was one massive game of Pazaak, and no one won or lost forever.

There was a deeper secret that I saw in the light. The Jedi that had originally joined The Sith had not been banished to destroy them, they had been banished because the Sith who had lived then were the balance. As they lost battle after battle, some of the Jedi must have seen what would occur. The light would be triumphant. But in that it would destroy itself from within. They would forget that the dark was always there and the seeds of their own destruction would be planted. Or perhaps the Force, as any living thing, itself had assured that the dark would survive as needed.

Even the Sith code was ours, merely perverted. Both should end the same, though the Sith had forgotten that simple line.

There is no death, only the Force. To which, if anyone would believe me, I could add a line;

There is no dark, there is no light. There is only the Force.

It was so simple.

I stepped into a smaller room. Large matter transmitters aimed at the six platforms around the room. I was curious, because it hadn’t been here before. Of course the Star Forge could change and grow on command. Whatever it was for, it had been built because Malak wanted it. I knew the last passage to the observation deck lay around the corner, and I ran that way.

The door opened, and my lightsaber lit off. Malak stood there, two struggling Jedi hanging in the air behind them.

“Excuse me a moment.” He walked toward me, then his lightsaber flashed in an arc at one of the Jedi. He reached out, and the other man’s neck snapped as he spun his head completely around. “I had some garbage to take care of.” He finished the sentence. He stopped five meters away, hands clasped behind his back.

“I tire of this farce, Revan. You have been a thorn in my side ever since I seized the mantle of dark Lord from your feeble grasp! But you made your last mistake when you came here. The Star Forge feeds my command of the dark side even as it weakens your grasp on the light! You are no match for me here, and this time you will not escape.”

“I have no intention of escaping.” I replied. “Surrender. The Jedi can heal you-”

“Heal me!” He laughed. “Is that what you call what they will do? You think stripping away your power and identity was merciful? I would rather die!”

“They saved me from the darkness, Malak. They can save you too, if you allow it.”

Spoken like a true slave of the Jedi.” He sneered. “Save your sermon, I have already had enough of it. You are an insignificant speck beneath my notice here. I have surpassed you in every way and found the last secret of the Star Forge, what you had not even imagined! You have no idea what you took over here, Revan. You saw a factory that could turn out ships and droids forever, but I understood it so much better. The Dark energy of the Force fills its very walls, the people below are it’s food, supplying more energy with every birth and death.”

“They can’t use the Force.” I murmured.

“They can’t because all of it comes here. They are sucked dry of the Force even as the Star Forge grows stronger.” He sighed. “But as I said, I will not deal with you. The Star Forge will do that for me. Enjoy it.” The door between us slammed shut, and I spun around. The matter transmitters hummed, and light flashed down. But as I watched, it flickered and died. Curious, I went to one of the workstations.

CONSTRUCTION ABORTED. ALL RESOURCES ASSIGNED TO OTHER PROJECT.

I grinned. COUNT ON SHELTERS CONSTRUCTED. I typed in.

4,975,792,210,442. the computer replied. INCREASING TO 5,000,000,000,000 IN FIVE SECONDS

I chuckled, and opened the door. The other door opened, and I saw Malak standing in the center of the Observation deck. Beyond the transparisteel I could see ships approaching, just pinheads from where we stood.

“I’m sorry, but the Star Forge is busy right now.” I commented.

He turned, glaring at me. “What do you mean?” He snarled.

“I put in a priority rush order for tents. Quite a few tents, actually.”

“What?”

“Right now there should be enough tents that every man woman and child in the Republic can live in them with enough to go camping if they‘re of a mind.” I shrugged. “You never can have too many.”

“Well done. I had thought I removed your access. It seems I should have checked more carefully. I see that you retained more control over the dark side than I might have imagined. You are strong. Stronger than you were when you were the Dark Lord. I didn’t think it was possible.”

“The Force is the Force. There is no difference between the Dark and the light in strength.” I replied.

“I am almost tempted to capture you instead of killing you, Revan. Breaking your will as I did with Bastila would be merely a matter of time. You would make a far better asset that she could be. By the by, what ever happened to Bastila?”

“She is using her battle meditation to help the Republic now.”

“No matter. They have less than thirty capital ships remaining. I still have over a hundred. They will die here, and my fleet will destroy the Republic they can no longer defend.

“I wonder. Would it be worth the effort to make you my apprentice? Perhaps not. You are already too powerful for me to guarantee that you would remain the apprentice for long.”

“I will never serve the Dark side again.”

“Foolish words. I have known you since you were a child old friend. The Dark and the Light has fought over you all your life. The balance is tipped toward the light for now. But you will tip the other way again eventually.

"Savior, conqueror, hero, villain. You are all things, Revan, and yet you are nothing. In the end you belong to neither the light nor the darkness. You will forever stand alone." He sighed. “There was only one thing you could never be.”

Think of the power an unrequited love could generate in your soul Bastila had said.

Looking at him, his eyes cold in hate, I realized how much of what was happening now was my fault. He had been the older brother I depended on when I first arrived, a frightened girl of six looking up to the ten year old who had started his Jedi training at my age. He had been the friend I admired when I was assigned to his class, when I had begun to outreach him in the Force all those years ago, I only fourteen, he eighteen and a man worth admiring. we had played together, trained together, gone swimming in the lake near the Academy as unashamed as only children could be. Hugged each other when I had a nightmare, slept in each others arms later as Padawan on our first missions.

He had felt more, wanted so much more, but had never said so. The Jedi teach that love is something that cannot be focused on just one thing, it must be given unsparingly to all. Love of all men if you will, rather than love of a man. I had been blind to it then.

Then the war had come. We had been friends, family in all but flesh, and I had grown to love him, not only for what he did in the name of the Republic, but as the man he was.

If only we had allowed what our bodies wanted then, we wouldn’t be enemies now. But it hadn’t happened.

When I had turned to the dark, he had followed, not out of need, but out of love for me. When he had lost his jaw at Trantor he must have thought it bothered me.

[I had run into the medical bay. Before me I could see my oldest friend, my love, hanging supported only by the liquid. “Report.”

“A console exploded during the attack. He was dragging a crewman from it when the explosion came.” The medtech wiped his face. “The console ripped his jaw completely off. The crewman he saved used pens to link the torn cartoid arteries and jugulars.”

His eyes opened, and I turned away, facing the med tech. “He will live, or you will die.“[/i]

I had come to see him in the Bacta tank, and turned away. From repugnance, he probably thought. But I had turned away because I had never kissed those full lips and now never would. Never felt his arms around me in an embrace that wasn’t for support or warmth. Never felt his flesh against mine since we were children too young to understand the joys a few years could bring. It wasn’t until his injury that I suddenly realized that I had yearned for that pleasure, now torn away from me. I had hurt more at that moment than I had from every wound I had taken before, and I knew more than I had suffered since. I might have offered him my love then, but I had not. He would have seen it as pity, and hated me for it.

If I had been wholly in the dark I could have ended his life then, but I loved him still, and more desperately than before. Instead I made sure he was as well as he could be before assigning him again. I had given him his own ship, not to separate us as he might have thought but to give him space to grow beyond that injury. Part of me hoped that he would, that he would eventually accept what I had yearned to offer.

Instead he had festered, and when it was possible, had struck me down. That explained his rage at Taris, at Dantooine. He could not have me, and refused to let others have what he could not. If he could, he would have fed the entire galaxy into the Star Forge, including himself. As long as he assured that I went into the furnace before him.

I had known him for eighteen years then and I had known in all that time that he had an enormous capacity for love, but as large a capacity for hate.

Since he could not enjoy the one, he had indulged the other.

“I believe in redemption for all I care about, Malak.”

“Of course you do.” He spoke as if to a child. “It is all the Jedi masters left you. Fate and destiny have conspired to have you destroy the Galaxy, then to save it. You have been thrust into the role of savior again, and I must fight you because this is all I have left. Once again we face each other in mortal combat. This time only one of us leave here alive. But first, say hello to my guests.” He motioned, and a series of cylinders slid up into the room. I looked at one, and my blood ran cold. Belaya hung there, peaceful as if in death. But I could still feel her life force. Zhar, a few others I didn’t recognize.

“What have you done?” I asked in horror.

“Remember when we had the winnowing of the Jedi after we found the Star Forge? The Sith suggested killing them all, but you were merciful.” He laughed. “And who but your good right arm could be in charge of their detention?” He walked up to a tube, looking into it. “So I found a use for them. For all those that followed you into hell, but wouldn’t drag the rest of the Galaxy after you. Those that surrendered believing your promise of good treatment. That didn’t even know they could feel the force until the selection process.

“I told you the Star Forge was alive. In many ways it needs to be fed like any animal. Every Jedi that has been captured, every force sensitive from the captured Republic troops, every Sith Dark Jedi that disobeyed my orders has been encased in cylinders like these, scattered through the entire station. They have become parts of this machine, and it feeds off their energy. Disposable parts that are replaced as they wear out. You were too busy to even notice.

“Look around you! These are the Jedi that fell at Dantooine. Dead in every way save one. They cannot return to the force. I have stayed their decomposition, and they draw the Force from the Galaxy itself to feed themselves instinctively. And in so doing, they power the Star Forge.

“And I have discovered more. I can drain their Force into myself, making myself stronger with every life, making me immortal. Once I have beaten you, I will add you to my collection, and you will fuel my conquests! I shall rule forever!”

I felt a part of my mind reel, but in the same instant, I understood why Ajunta Pall had gifted me. I had instinctively used one of the many powers he had gifted me with when I had sent his spirit free. I reached out, and I felt the life forces of those trapped people. Not just the eight here, but hundreds even thousands trapped between death and life throughout the station. I felt the life force, and gathered it to me as I had with Ajunta Pall.

The bodies spasmed eyes open and screaming, then I felt them slacken throughout the station in true death.

“What have you done!” He screamed as he saw the bodies collapse. I smiled, and held out my hand. A glowing ball arced up, then sprayed the room with sparks. Every one of those ’disposable parts’. One of them floated before me, and I heard Zhar’s voice as they faded.

Well done, my beloved daughter.

Malak screamed, and he caught me with an angry arm of the Force, slamming me into the wall storming toward me with his lightsaber lit. “I will win the day!”

“No.” I held out my other hand. In it was the grenade I had made. I triggered it. There was a blinding flash that flung us apart.

Picture having every cell of your body suddenly explode, but you’re alive to feel it. I screamed in agony, and knew even as it happened that every ship in the system, every being in every ship was feeling it. Perhaps everywhere in the Galaxy. For those used to the Force, it was bad. For the two of us, it was sheer agony that seemed to never end.

I found myself kneeling, shaking my head to clear it. Across the room Malak was trying to get back on his feet. “What madness is this?”

“I always wanted to defeat the Jedi, not destroy them.” I gasped. I could stand, but I was shaky. “Before I left, I had asked the main computer on the Rakata home world for a way to neutralize the Force. It didn’t want to tell me.“

The Star Forge staggered, and I could hear metal sheering somewhere. One of the transparisteel windows fractured in a crazy pattern, but didn’t burst.

“It designed a grenade that neutralizes all of the force within its blast area. That was what you just felt.”

“What is the blast area?” He staggered, and steadied himself.

“I don’t know.” I admitted. “ Farther than this room obviously. A few light seconds, maybe the entire system.“ I shrugged. “Possibly the entire galaxy.”

“You, you fool!”

“Perhaps. But think of this. On Tatooine we found the wreckage of Rakata ships, but the metal has proven worthless. It doesn’t have the strength and rusts away very rapidly. Even now 30,000 years of history is catching up with everything constructed here.” I pointed out the armorplast. A Sith fighter had been flying by, followed by an Aleph. It had made a sharp turn to evade, and collapsed as if the main supports had vanished. “How much of your fleet out there right now came from here?”

He screamed and charged me, lightsaber humming. I blocked, and I could see in his eyes the loss of all his dreams. He cut again and again, and I blocked him. He had never been my equal with a lightsaber before, and he hadn’t been fighting for his life every second of the last two months. All I needed to do was wait.

I struck, and knew he was dying. Yet instead of striking again, I dove forward frantically catching his body as he began to fall. His lightsaber fell, and his hands once so strong, so sure, weakly pawed at me as he tried to breathe. I lowered him to the deck, holding his head up, looking into his eyes. The Star Forge shuddered. The fleet was pounding it, shattering a structure older than time itself, and I didn’t care that I was inside that target. All I cared about was the fragile life slipping through my hands.

He looked up, and for the first time in years, I saw actual pleasure. “Revan.” He whispered.

“Forgive me old friend. No. Forgive me, my love.” I whispered back, tears falling onto his face.

“All these years.” He husked. “I yearned to hear those words. Too late, Revan. Too late.”

“No my love.” I held him against my bosom, caressing his head. “I wanted to do this for so long. But the war came between us, then the dark side did. When I wanted to give myself freely, you felt that I was repulsed by your condition.” I touched the metal facemask he had worn all this time. “I wanted to show you that I loved the boy you had been. The man you had become. That I had always loved you. But you would have thought I pitied you.”

His eyes looked confused. “Then..?”

I nodded, kissing his cheek.

“You know what I regretted most then?” I asked. He looked even more confused. “That I never kissed you while you still had lips. But now I regret that I never bore our children. Never held your arms around me as we watched our children play.”

His eyes understood my pain, then regret. “A waste.” He whispered. “My life, all I have done. A waste.”

“No my love, you were part of the balance as I was.”

"Still... spouting the wisdom of the Jedi, I see. Maybe there is more truth in their code than I ever believed. I... I cannot help but wonder, Revan. What would have happened had our positions been reversed? What if fate had decreed the Jedi would capture me instead? Could I have returned to the light, as you did? If you had not led me down the dark path in the first place, what destiny would I have found?

"I wanted to be Master of the Sith and ruler of the galaxy. But that destiny was not mine, Revan. It might have been yours, perhaps . . . but never mine. And in the end, as the darkness takes me, I am nothing."

“No my love. I know the secret of the Force. The Dark and the Light.” I bent down and whispered in his ear.

While he no longer had a mouth, I could see the idea made him want to smile. “How droll.” He reached up, and I caught his hand, holding it against my face long after the muscles had gone slack.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 05-24-2006, 01:19 PM   #151
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Coruscant Glory

“What the hell was that?” Admiral Dodonna shook her head. She felt as if someone had smacked her in the forehead with a four kilo hammer. She staggered to her feet, looking around. Master Vandar lay in a heap, shuddering.

“Master-”

“I will be well. Fight your battle, Admiral.” A soft weak voice ordered.

“Damage report!” She roared.

“None from that blast, Admiral.” A lieutenant reported. “We have half a dozen in sickbay complaining of severe headaches, but only the Jedi seem to have been really hit by it.”

“The damn thing keeps coming up with more things to hit us with!” Dodonna pointed. “Take us in!”

The ship turned, and her guns punched into a frigate. Everyone gasped as the ship came apart as if it were a badly assembled toy.

“What is going on here?” She screamed. No one answered. “Send to all capital ships, close on the Star Forge upper structure.”



Danika

I watched the approaching ships, knew that I was going to die, and was content. This battle, the war, all of the death had all been my fault. It was I that led the Jedi into the Darkness, taking my best friend with me. I had dragged him over into the darkness, never requited his passion for me, never born his children. Promised proper treatment to those we had captured, yet thousands had ended up here as disposable parts because I had failed to make sure of that treatment. Been beaten by the Jedi. In so doing betrayed the Sith I had led into the slaughter. Then in turn had failed Bastila. Failed the Republic. How many billions could point to me and say ‘she caused our deaths’?

I had failed in everything.

I pulled out the package I had taken from Korriban, the Ebon sword of Ajunta Pall, and laid it on his chest. I had promised to have it destroyed, and from the look of the ships approaching, that was guaranteed. I closed his hands over it. He getting a funeral pyre the galaxy would remember. With his love going with him as custom demanded

“Danika, Report.”

Carth. I’m sorry, Carth. I betrayed your trust by being who I am. I must atone.

“My Mandalore, answer.”

Your entire race I have failed. Pick someone who won’t fail.

“Danika?”

Mission the sister I never had. Be well, live long, have children.

“Danika.” I heard Bastila’s voice. “Please, Don’t make me go through life alone again.”

I sobbed. Of all of them this call I wanted to answer. I’m sorry, Bastila. The blood of billions of dead is on my hands, on both sides. I can’t live with that. Please, think well of me and let me atone.

Amma yuru?” I spun. Sasha squirreled out of a vent, and ran to me. She caught my arm pulling frantically. “Come!” She said in Mando.

“You go my love.” I whispered turning back to my dead love. “I have something I have to do first.”

“No! You come with me!” She begged.

I looked down into that still face. So peaceful now. I couldn‘t bear to look away. “Go on. Go back to the ship. I’ll be with you in a little while.”

“I can’t.” She said. “The vents have collapsed. I don‘t know the way.” She cuddled against me. “I’m scared.”

I burst into tears, holding her as I stood. I failed one more time on that day.

I didn’t die.

As we fled the Star Forge, I saw it for what it was. The Rakata had been that first race reaching for the Force. They had used it, and like a child had abused it. Their abilities had not disappeared. They had been suppressed. The plague had been the Force striking back at them, balancing the Galaxy in the quickest manner possible. The Star Forge had merely added to their pain, drawing away all of the Force before they could even learn to use it. That they had survived at all was testament to the fact that they still had a place here in this galaxy among us.

Now that magnificent structure was falling to pieces before our very eyes. A section of ladder someone had installed broke away as the wall behind it fell into dust as we climbed down. Still I strived to save Sasha.

No one had ever dreamed of such a structure, powered both by machinery and the Force except for them. I knew the inner workings of that creation, and I vowed that nothing like it would ever be built again. I would place my records in the archives of what it was and how it had been destroyed. But what I knew, what I remembered, the surveys done by Malak and I before the Sith arrived, that I would take to my grave. Even the existence of the Star Forge must become a legend nothing more, I would assure that only those that were worthy would ever know of the truth.

I finally found an elevator shaft that hadn’t collapsed, and felt the car hurtle downward.

How would I choose who was worthy? I wouldn’t. The Force would.


Coruscant Glory

“All ships target the stabilizer at grid 411.” Admiral Dodonna ordered. There were only 20 capital ships left, but they had more than enough firepower to finish the job. Blasters ripped into the oddly fragile metal, tearing deep into the structure. An transparisteel panel on an upper deck shattered, and the air within belched out, carrying a man’s body. His hands had been locked around a sword of some kind. The body fell toward the star, flickered and was gone. Dodonna shook her head, smiling, but then looked around to make sure no one had seen it.

The stabilizer tower staggered, and as it did the Star Forge began sinking toward the star.

“All right, let’s get out of here!” Dodonna shouted. The capital ships clawed for separation. There were a dozen ships waiting for them. “Where’s the enemy fleet?” She demanded.

“A lot of them ran, Admiral.” The sensor officer reported. Those ones...”
As he stopped talking, fighters were pouring over the enemy frigates, all, she noticed of alien manufacture. One shattered like a crystal goblet under fire. Another signalled its surrender. The others ran. The fighters harried them.

“Admiral.” She turned. Vandar was sitting up, holding his head.

“Are you all right now, Master?”

“The battle?”

“Somehow we won. The enemy ships were starting to come apart. I don‘t know how to explain it.”

“I think I know who to ask. Where is the Ebon Hawk?”

“Sir?” She walked over to the sensor officer. Ebon Hawk wasn’t on her screen.

Ebon Hawk

Carth

Something happened. The Jedi all screamed, and collapsed, and we had one hell of a time getting them aboard the ship and holding off attacks at the same time. A short while after that Bastila and the other Jedi of our team staggered in. But of Sasha and Danika, we had no trace. I called her. Canderous called her Mission called her. Even Bastila called her. But there was no reply. Bastila seemed to be taking it the worst. She had collapsed, crying, shaking her head when we questioned her.

“She wants to die.” She finally got out. “She expects to die, and thinks, she thinks she deserves to die. That is why she won’t talk to us.”

I stormed out onto the deck, thumbing my com unit. “Danika, answer or so help me-”

“So help you what?” I spun. Danika was walking toward me, holding Sasha in her arms. I whooped, charging at her. She set the girl down just in time to avoid having her crushed as I picked her up in a bear hug.

Behind me I could hear shouting, and Bastila leaped past me. Danika turned as if she had known what would happen, and caught the smaller woman in a hug.

“You are never leaving me alone again, Danika.” Bastila looked up, and I was astonished by the joy in her eyes. “Never! Do you hear me?”

“All right already.” Danika replied brushing her cheek with her lips.

Mission was there, and Danika hugged her wordlessly. She nodded to Canderous, then motioned. “Can we all get out of here before we find out what the inside of a star feels like?”

We ran aboard, and Bastila and I took our stations. The ship shuddered, staggering into the air, and spun on her thrusters, punching through the force field and into space. We were closer to the star than I would ever want to be, and the glare almost blinded us. I climbed frantically, and watched the sensor behind us. The Star Forge sheared, the lower half suddenly buckling and falling away as the upper part spun madly. Then it was gone into the star as if it had never been.

“Where is everybody?” Mission asked. “All I am getting is a lot of small returns. Wreckage, a lot of wreckage.”

“Maybe they’re dead.” I turned to see Danika standing behind us. “It would be just my luck.”

“Now don’t-” I started.

“Ebon Hawk, this is Coruscant Glory. Come in please.“

I whooped. “Ebon Hawk here. Good to hear your voice!“

“Standby for Admiral Dodonna.”

“I expected her to survive.” I chuckled. “Never thought the Dark Lord of the Sixth would even get scratched.”

“Well a little scratched Carth.” The admiral’s voice replied dryly. “Finally I found out what you lower ranks called me all these years.” She chuckled in delight. “How are you down there?”

“Something big knocked out the Jedi. We had to drag them aboard. The Jedi from our team are all aboard. In fact, I don’t think we lost anybody.”

“Understood. Stand by for Master Vandar.”

“I will speak to Revan.” He said.

“Danika Wordweaver here, Master.” Danika replied. “We all know Revan is dead.”

“As you will.” He answered. “What happened to Bastila?”

“Other than having been suborned redeemed and getting bonded in truth to me, nothing, Master.”

There was a long silence. “And the affect of the weapon?”

“I don’t know, Master.” She admitted. “I don’t know the range, power or cumulative effect of it. Perhaps we will regain the use of the Force. Perhaps not.” She shrugged though he couldn’t see that. “But I submit that it crippled the enemy forces facing the fleet, and allowed them the victory.” She rubbed Bastila’s neck. “I think it would be a fair trade.”

“Such a weapon must never be made ever again.”

“Master, I destroyed all records as I went, and the only device that can make such a weapon is falling into the sun as we speak. I promise you that.”

“Not your decision to make. But done is done. Bastila must be retrained-”

“Master, unless you want me there as well, I suggest you rethink that.” Danika broke in. “I am protective of those I love.”

“You always were.” He grunted. “Meet us on the planet. Much there is to do yet.”

“On our way.” I called.



Recessional

Danika

The temple had not seen such a crowd in millennia. Hundreds had gathered. Humans, Twi-lek, Rodians. To one side stood a group of the Elders, and with them grim faced Mandalore.

Master Vandar stood with the Admiral as she prepared for the ceremony. I would have preferred to relax with a glass og Tihar among the Mando, but Bastila would have none of it. While preparing for the ceremony, we had discussed it at length. “We are being honored, my love. Better to be there than to appear to be sulking.”

I am not sulking.” I groused, brushing Sasha’s hair, then braiding it with economic movements. “I just would rather have a glass of tihaar and relax than have to stand around like a prize animal at a market.”

“Hush.” Bastila draped her arm over my neck, nuzzling against me. “We have to decide about Sasha. They will want to train her.”

“Why not?” I asked. I turned her around. My hairstyle on that small head should have looked silly. But she had her own presence. “Our girl can do anything. As long as she remembers to clean up after herself.”

“I couldn’t use a broom on the Leviathan.” She chirped back.

“Don’t get cheeky with me young lady.”

“I am no lady.” She retorted. “I was daughter of a farmer, slave of a Mando, and now I am daughter presumptive of a Jedi!” She retorted.

“Daughter presumptive?” Bastila asked confused.

“She’s been calling me Amma yuru for months now. Don’t you know what it means?”

“Mando is very difficult, and the Goodar dialect doubly so.” She closed her eyes. “Person I-” Her eyes opened. “Person I wish was my mother?”

“Close enough. She was calling me the equivalent of ‘stepmother’ all that time, and you didn’t know!” I caroled.

“Enough. What does that make me?” Bastila asked tartly.

Amma tu che yuru?” Sasha answered grinning.

Bastila mentally ran through it. “The not-so-nice stepmother? Wait! The wicked stepmother! Oh, no, I am not going to- Danika will you stop laughing! Sasha there must be...”

All that was behind us now. The door of the temple stood open, and I gloried in the feeling of the Force again. The effect had not been permanent, but I stood by what I had told master Vandar. It would have been worth the loss for the victory.

The Admiral was all set to give a speech, but I stepped up to her. “Please, there is something more important to do first.” I whispered.

“There can’t be!” She waved toward the medals. “We’ve won a great battle, and you say there is something more important than that?”

“Yes, Admiral. This was only a battle. An entire race needs to regain their honor.” She looked confused, and I stepped past her, leaping up on the edging stones of the ramp. “Mando! Hala! Macht Che-na!” I shouted.

The Mando around the One stiffened, and their chief started forward.

“No, all of you!” I roared in Basic. The other Mando looked at each other confused. Then they marched forward in a block. The Republic troops muttered and backed away.

“ALL!” I roared. About thirty of the humans among the Republic Forces came forward. Not all of the Mando had become mercenaries after the war. They gathered before me at the edge of the ramp.

“As Mandalore, I took your honor for crimes committed by your people. For services to myself, to the Republic, and to the Rakata people, I give you back your honor.” I said. The crowd below me stiffened. “But one last thing must be done. A Mandalore must live with her people, share their triumph and tragedy. This I cannot do.

“Canderous Ordo of Clan Ordo, come forth!” He came forward, and I motioned toward the stones at me feet where he knelt. “You took cleansing the honor not only of your clan but others upon yourself. I say that no man deserves to be Mandalore more than you. Though that is for the clans to decide.” He stared at me in amazement. “That is once I am done.”

“No, My Mandalore.” He looked up at me. “As you said, A Mandalore must live with his people. I will not lead them unless it is also in your service!”

The Mando at my feet roared at that. “Makiel Suuchin of Clan Lembat!” He stepped forward. “You are now Makiel Suuchin of Clan Suuchin. All that remain of your people on this planet shall bear your clan name with honor. Do any deny me?”

“I only ask.” Konrad Morgo of clan Shoomart said. The other local Mando groaned.

I shook my head. He‘d probably question the Gods on the last day. “What do you ask this time, Konrad?’

“Since we fought the battle here with you as our leader, should we not be Clan Wordweaver or clan Revan?” The others looked at him then at me intently. “After all, a name should not be forgotten if it has honor. It is the Canon.”

“Konrad, you are the most irritating man I have ever had the misfortune to meet!” I motioned for them to go away. “Choose among yourselves. Your Mandalore will be there when we are done.” They retreated bickering. Sasha giggled. “Nothing from you, little girl!”

“If I may?” Admiral Dodonna asked sarcastically.

“I apologize, Admiral.” I bowed to her. She shook her head ruefully, then looked at Master Vandar as if to say ‘She’s your problem’. Then she turned.

“We come to honor the heroes of the battle fought over our heads. It shall be called the Battle of Rakata after those that have asked to join the Republic.” She motioned toward the Elders. One by one we stepped forward, each bowing to accept our medals. Republic Crosses, the second highest award. Mission and Zaalbar together first. She had threatened to dump a ton of unprocessed Kolto on the proceeding if they ignored Zaalbar, and I had worried more that she might actually carry out the threat than where she might have gotten it. Then Juhani, Canderous Sasha and Jolee.

Canderous took it as he did everything, stoically. But I could see the gleam in his eyes. When he died, he expected to be in the front rank of that heavenly army.

Finally Carth Bastila and I stepped forward together. The Admiral smirked, and reached. “For the leaders of this endeavor, we have Crosses of Honor.” She leaned down. The highest award that can be offered, she had to get the Senate’s permission to even consider issuing them. She motioned, and we knelt. The only medal for valor you had to accept on bended knee. A tradition I understood, because all but ten had been posthumous. With the award came a lifetime stipend, and the honor of having everyone whatever their rank right up to Chancellor bowing to you first. I felt the ribbon drop, the medal hitting between my breasts. As I stood, I saw Carth’s face begging to be anywhere else. Bastila merely bowed her head as if remembering as I did all those that had died to earn it.

“Our heroes!” The Admiral shouted. The crowd roared, and we gathered on the edge of the ramp, waving like idiots.

“And the redemption of the fallen.” Vandar said. I winked at him, and he solemnly returned it.

A number of the modern ships had escaped the battle, several hundred of the Rakata designed ships had also fled. We hadn’t won the war, just set our toes and shoved the darkness back a pace. Would anything we had done matter?

Then I felt the worry niggling in my mind. An enemy that would not even be here for over 15 more years. I had discovered it, and all of my efforts had been turned to defeating it. Whatever it was. What would happen then?

Who cared? We had won the breathing space.

There is no dark, there is no light. There is only the Force.

End


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

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Old 05-25-2006, 12:39 AM   #152
Char Ell
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A fabulous ending, machievelli. A different take on the relationship between Malak and Revan; opportunity lost. A very clear perspective on Malak's motivations, first propelled by love and then by hate. I must have missed the ability Ajunta Pall gave Danika, to reach out with the Force and pull the life force of others from their bodies. And then the idea of a force grenade, making it possible to destroy the Star Forge. I thought that was a novel idea. Congratulations on a captivating, well constructed ending to your KotOR saga.

EDIT:
P.S. Thanks for adding in the story of how Malak lost his jaw. I was really hoping his missing jaw would have resulted from a lightsaber cut but I didn't want to influence your decision in the matter so I didn't say anything. I did like how you noted the medic used pen tubes to connect his severed arteries. That was cool and gross at the same time.


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Last edited by cutmeister; 05-25-2006 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 05-25-2006, 12:48 AM   #153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutmeister
A fabulous ending, machievelli. A different take on the relationship between Malak and Revan; opportunity lost. A very clear perspective on Malak's motivations, first propelled by love and then by hate. I must have missed the ability Ajunta Pall gave Danika, to reach out with the Force and pull the life force of others from their bodies. And then the idea of a force grenade, making it possible to destroy the Star Forge. I thought that was a novel idea. Congratulations on a captivating, well constructed ending to your KotOR saga.

Posting 116, Ajunta was surprised that she could touch him, but he could not touch her. When she obtained his sword he was going to fade away, but she caught and directed his soul

Thank you. What do the other think about this?


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:53 AM   #154
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290 hits in about ten days, and NOBODY has anything to say?


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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Old 05-26-2006, 10:12 PM   #155
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Come on y'all. Don't be afraid. Tell machievelli what you think of his KotOR story. He doesn't bite.

Well, most of the time anyway...


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Old 10-03-2009, 06:16 PM   #156
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Quote:
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^^^
Hmmm, so the Interdictor ship class has been present in the SW timeline for 4,000+ years? Seems like quite a long time to have a class called by the same name...

EDIT: I looked up the starwars.com databank entry for the Leviathan and it does state that the Leviathan was "the vanguard of interdicting technology" but it doesn't say it was an Interdictor-class ship. Meh. I'm probably just splitting hairs on this one...
http://www.starwars.com/databank/sta...han/index.html

EDIT 2: I stand corrected. 3956 BBY it is.
Calling it an Interdictor is it's function, not it's type. Like a Heavy or light cruiser.

According to the Canon (Outbound Flight) the technology to create a gravitational field (The primary force used by an Interdictor to stop a ship from going into hyperspace) didn't exist until right before the Clone Wars.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
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