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Old 09-14-2007, 11:30 PM   #1
Jae Onasi
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[Fic] Descent to Darkness

Thanks, Emperor Devon, for the beta!

Ever wonder what happened right before Revan decides to enter the Dantooine ruins, cementing her fall to the dark side? Well, here's the story....

----------------------------------

Descent to darkness

“Revan. Malak. You've returned from the Mandalorian front.” Master Vandar stated, looking both young Jedi up and down. Revan's fiercely bright Force aura made her look taller than her actual height, though she was still dwarfed in both height and mass by her long-time friend and companion, Malak. Both stood before the High Jedi Council on Dantooine, which consisted of the diminutive green Vandar, the humans Master Vrook and Dorak, and the Twi'lek Master Zhar.

“We have, Master Vandar,” Revan said evenly, looking each one of them in the eye in turn.

Vandar returned the look, watching him smooth his tied-back long blond hair and then adjust his dark robes. Something is not quite right, but what is it? All this fighting, leading them away from the light....

Master Vrook sniffed. “Are you ready to come to your senses, obey the Council, and cease Jedi involvement in this war?”

Revan's anger blazed through her piercing blue eyes for a moment before she regained control over her emotions. No anger. They'll outright deny anything if I show anger. Fools. Serroco burns and other worlds fall to the Mando scourge, and all they can do is lecture me. She said, evenly, “I have not changed my mind, Master.”

Vrook chafed at the subtle sarcasm. “Then you waste your time. Your involvement with other Jedi puts the Order and the galaxy in danger. You need to stop this.”

“My involvement puts the galaxy in danger? My involvement is saving this galaxy. Before I joined the Navy, they were hemorrhaging ships and planets to the Mandalorians while you stood by and just 'observed'. My battle strategies have not only stopped that, but we now are finally able to go on the offensive and win this war. With the entire Jedi Order backing us, we'd finish this far more quickly and lose far fewer lives. The only danger the galaxy faces is impotent Jedi.” Like you.

Vrook narrowed his eyes as the red flush flared across his pale face. “I would take care in how you phrase your words and thoughts, Jedi. You tread on dangerous ground.”

Revan felt Malak shift subtly at his side, and grimaced inwardly. Always I have to deal with his divided loyalties. When is he going to finally decide?

Vandar held up his hands to quell the emotions. “Calm, please. What have you come for, then, Revan?”

“I came for your wisdom, Masters. Not your judgment.” Revan said, pointedly ignoring the frowning Vrook.

Master Zhar cocked his head and asked, “Just wisdom?”

Revan fixed her eyes on the green Twi'lek. “Yes, Master, particularly the wisdom of both Master Dorak and you, and perhaps a small request. Malak and I found a Force mask in an obscure temple on a previously unknown planet in the Outer Rim. I've seen the markings before, but I can't decipher the script on the inside of the mask.” She handed the black and rust colored mask over to Zhar, who examined it closely before handing it to the dark-skinned Dorak.

Dorak turned it over in his hands several times. “It's a Force mask, and it channels our power. The aura is so powerful I can almost see it shimmer off the mask.” He peered closer at the markings. “You recognize the script because it's the same as that found on the ruins to the east of here. Hmm, this mask might be the key to opening the door, finally. This is a tremendous find.” He handed it back to Revan. “I'll look through the archives to see what other information there is on this language and the ruins.”

“Why don't we just go there now and see for ourselves?” asked Malak.

Vrook replied sternly, “Would you like to find out the hard way about any traps or creatures? Or would you rather wait a bit and be prepared? Rushing in ill-prepared would be foolish.”

Malak nodded his concession.

Revan pulled some datacards from her dark robe. “I found a reference to a Star Forge in those same ruins, Masters. It's very much like a giant shipyard—think of the Corellian shipyards, but able to produce a hundred times the ships in a fraction of the time. The Republic—the galaxy—needs those ships to stop the Mandalorians permanently. I have a holorecord of it for you.” She gave the datacards to the Masters, who inserted them into readers to view the information.

“We found a star map in the temple ruins, Masters, but the data was so corrupted we couldn't get complete coordinates for the Star Forge system,” Malak added.

Revan smiled inwardly at Malak's 'we'. She continued, “What we did find out was that there are other star maps scattered across the galaxy. If we can find these other maps and compare the data, we can find the Star Forge. What we need are a pair of Jedi assigned to each planet to find these star maps as quickly as possible. The sooner we can get to the Star Forge and get ship production underway, the sooner the Republic will be able to crush the Mandalorians, and the sooner this war will be over.”

Master Vandar looked up from the hologram of the Star Forge floating above his reader to look at the two Jedi. “We'll discuss this. Please return to us tomorrow.”

* * *

Revan and Malak strode into the Council chambers after they received the call to meet with the Masters. They looked at each other solemnly before Master Vandar addressed the two Jedi. “We have looked at the holorecord and at the information in the archives.

“And?” Malak asked.

He actually looked hopeful, Revan observed. However, she saw the answer in their body language and felt the unspoken 'No' through the Force. She seethed silently. They're nothing but a bunch of damn fools.

Vandar let out a resigned sigh. “We cannot support this project.”

“What? Why not?” Malak sputtered.

“This Star Forge is nothing but an instrument of destruction. We see no good coming from it, and if it falls into the wrong hands and is misused, it will become a tool of unspeakable terror. It would be worse than anything the Mandalorians could muster,” Vandar said.

Zhar said, “We know there is something worse coming than the Mandalorians. If this instrument falls into the hands of whatever the threat is, we will be powerless to defeat it.”

Fire lit Revan's eyes. “So you condemn millions to death, or a worse fate as Mando slaves—because you fear something that might happen? Aren't you the ones who always preach that fear leads to the dark side? Perhaps your fear has become a dark cloud corrupting your judgment.”

Vrook rose to his feet, face flushed in anger. “How dare you accuse us of darkness and fear when you are the one defying us at every possible opportunity!”

“Defying you? Is that what you think I'm doing? How very arrogant of you to think I've decided to save the galaxy just to spite you,” Revan snapped. She felt almost ill at the hypocrisy, and allowed the disgust to show on her face.

Vrook's eyes narrowed as he took a step towards Revan. “Do you realize what you're saying? To the Academy High Council, no less! You have truly fallen to the dark side!” His hand shifted towards his belt, and Malak's hand moved towards his lightsaber in response.

Revan made no move as she leveled her angry gaze at Vrook. “You are nothing more than younglings cowering in fear, using your precious 'wisdom' as an excuse to sit on your hands while the galaxy bleeds to death. At least we have the courage to follow our convictions and prevent wholesale slaughter. I wonder if you even know what courage is anymore.”

Vrook's hand gripped the hilt of his lightsaber. Malak grasped his as well and edged closer to Revan protectively.

“STOP THIS NOW!!” roared Vandar. Lightsabers flew away from Malak, Vrook, and Revan. The small Jedi seemed to grow in size with each step he took towards the three. He looked at each in turn, anger blazing from his eyes. “We will NOT draw weapons on each other, and in the Academy no less! We are Jedi, not street thugs. I expect everyone to act like one.”

Everyone stood motionless and stared at each other. Vrook looked at Vandar and gave him the briefest of nods. Vandar handed his saber back to him. Vrook turned and stalked back to his customary spot in the Council circle.

Vandar turned his steely gaze on Revan as he returned the lightsabers to both Malak and her. “You will respect the wishes and wisdom of the Masters on this matter. There are things we see that you don't. You must stop this search for the Star Forge. Now.” Revan's fury burned to her very core as she stood silent. Vandar searched her eyes, then turned to walk back to his usual place.

Revan took a deep breath and exhaled to calm herself. “I will not,” she said in a low tone that was nearly a whisper.

“What did you say?” Vandar said, as he turned back to Revan.

“I will not stop the search. I will not let millions fall into the hands of the Mandalorians. I will not let the Republic lose the war because of Jedi inaction. I will not let the galaxy fall!

“Revan, if you reject our counsel on this, we will have no choice but to expel Malak and you both from the Order. Please, consider what you're doing,” urged Vandar.

“Oh, I know exactly what I'm doing. If this is any indication of how the Jedi treat those in dire need, then I want no part of it.” Revan turned around and strode out of the Council room, boots ringing on the stone floors. Malak followed, and together they left the Academy.


* * *

Revan looked back and forth between the script on the mask and on the dark outer walls of the ruins. She stood in front of the door, the translation dancing through her mind, just out of reach in spite of her attempts to enhance her language skill with the Force. She took a deep breath. “I'm putting on the mask, Malak. It's the only way I'm going to decipher this writing.”

“Are you sure? If you're overcome by the Force power....”

“I have you to prevent that, my friend. All you have to do is take the mask off.”

Malak nodded in acquiescence.

Revan slipped the mask on. The bright sun combined with the shimmering energy in the mask, making her squint. She pulled up her hood to block out the light. The mask's Force energy surged through her, making her breathless with the sheer power. She closed her eyes and concentrated to calm her racing heart, gain control over her breathing, gain control over the Force and make it her servant.... The script swirled and coalesced into meaningful sentences. Revan waved her hand to trace the required Force pattern in the air to open the door. It slowly opened with the grinding noise of thousands of years of disuse. Revan looked into the dark opening, waiting for the dead air inside to clear out.

“Are you sure you want to do this? Is it truly worth it?” Malak asked her. “We can turn around and leave, and no one will ever know. If we go in now, we've made our decision final. There's no turning back.”

Revan stared into the black maw of the ruins for a moment longer. “I know.”

Then she strode down into the darkness.


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Last edited by Jae Onasi; 09-15-2007 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:05 AM   #2
Bee Hoon
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A good read, overall You explain the mask rather neatly! Nothing much to say, really, but wouldn't the Jedi have taken the mask away and their lightsabers if they didn't want them to continue searching for the Star Forge?



The sun goes down and the sky reddens, pain grows sharp.
light dwindles. Then is evening
when jasmine flowers open, the deluded say.
But evening is the great brightening dawn
when crested cocks crow all through the tall city
and evening is the whole day
for those without their lovers

-Kuruntokai 234, translated by A.K. Ramanujan

[Fic] Shreds of a Dying Belief
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:33 AM   #3
Emperor Devon
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A short, but enjoyable piece. There's a number of technical details that could use fixing (mainly calling Revan 'he' a couple times), but the writing style is done nicely and the dialogue is written well. It could use some polishing but it's pretty complete overall.

8.9/10


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Old 09-15-2007, 10:04 AM   #4
igyman
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Yeah, I did wonder what happened before Revan entered the ruins, cementing his ( ) fall to the Dark Side.
Getting serious now, the story is well done, no objections to the style, or the spelling/grammar, but I'd classify it as an Alternate Universe story, or something like that, since (correct me, if I'm wrong) I don't remember Revan ever telling the Council about the Star Forge and the Star Maps, until you visit the ruins as you play the game.

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Old 09-15-2007, 10:45 AM   #5
Jae Onasi
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I hate it when I switch from boy to girl at the last minute and miss a couple references.

There are no references in the game--there's only the brief scene where Revan and Malak open the door and enter, and Malak speaks. However, I don't think they could have gone to Dantooine without the Masters being aware of them since Revan is powerful in the Force even at that point. I think Revan might have even gone one last time to appeal to them to bring the Jedi into the Mandalorian wars. The masters also know that the Dantooine ruins are important for finding the Star Forge by the time you get there as a PC. They sent at least one other Jedi there (Nemo) to try to get more information. So, I decided to extrapolate a bit.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Last edited by Jae Onasi; 09-15-2007 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 09-15-2007, 11:49 AM   #6
Darth InSidious
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This story raises interesting implications. Most strikingly, that Master Dorak lied to you on Dantooine....

As Devon points out, there are one or two references to 'he' that you missed, but this really is a minor point.

The characterisation for Vandar and Vrook seems a little too obvious, to me, and in some ways, it would seem to me that the scene would work better with Dorak or Zhar and Vrook, rather than Vrook and Vandar.

Stylistically, I found the story a little lacking, too. While it is readable, clear and understandable, there is little description, and the language is clear, but a little simple for my liking.

There also seems to be some confusion in the story as to whether or not Revan and Malak have entered the ruins before they do at the end, which confused me quite a bit...

Well constructed, but it needs pruning and tidying a bit, so I'm going to go with 6/10.



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Old 09-15-2007, 11:46 PM   #7
Tysyacha
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I loved the passion, the emotion, and the atmosphere in this piece, not to mention the clarity. I could sympathize with Revan, feel a little sorry for Vandar as he tried to keep the peace, and absolutely loathe Vrook as he refused to realize his arrogance. This story, oddly, made me wonder what head you had used for Revan in the game.

I give this story an honest and well-deserved 9/10, despite the "he's"! *LOL*
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