One of Thousands
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kirkwall/The Free Marches
Current Game: Dragon Age II
[Fic] You Know My Name
"Vera Narodu? Oh, come now. You know that is not your true name."
Bastila Shan sneered at me, her lips curled into a defiant rictus. She would never bend me, nor break me--on the contrary, I would break her.
"Ha! You call that an attack? It's more like a Youngling's than a Knight's. Channel your fury. Let your passion fuel you--then you will know power!"
She sprinted toward me, and I swung my blade, measured and distant in my riposte. Bastila was trying to provoke a reaction of anger, and thus I knew how to defeat her. As long as I detached myself from the heat of the duel and forgot how to feel, I'd be fine. It was when emotions got in the way that I found myself in the most trouble. There are none...there is peace.
"Do you still believe that? I can read your face as clearly as a holocron. Vera, or, should I say, Revan, can't you see what the Jedi have done to you? I was once their pawn as well, their puppet, and I never thought for one moment that all they were doing was using me." Her smile slid into a sharp crescent.
"They Jedi preach peace, but they condemn the war that rages inside each of us. The Jedi preach serenity, but they do not show the least of their servants how to quell the bottomless hunger inside their own souls. The Jedi preach love, but it is not the love of men. It is the love of mere abstractions, ideals which have no pedestal to stand on when you're about to die."
Bastila somersaulted into the air and blindsided me with the heat and the hate pouring from her lightsaber. Reeling from the pain, I staggered back.
"Can't you see it? The Light is weak, promoting self-sacrifice for mewling ingrates in place of rule by and for the strong! Here--I will show you."
Bastila backed me into the wall of the Temple Summit and then used a dark technique within the Force I never knew she had learned. I began to choke.
"What has the Council done for you? Shown you the ways of the Force? That is untrue, because you already knew them when you were Lady of the Sith. Have they shown you the path of greatness? Hardly, for all they have shown you is how to die. How to die for someone else who neither loves you nor is strengthened by all you have done! Remember the sentients you've visited:
"The Selkath? Why should you have pled guilty to their false accusations of Sith slaughter? They would have executed you in the electrocution cage without giving you any chance to plead your case! The Wookiees? If they were so plagued by Czerka and eager to embrace freedom, they should have risen up of their own accord against Chuundar and his mad-claw traitors. The weaklings on Dantooine, Taris, and the Unknown World? Worms, who are now food for the worms. It is the death they deserve. Only Korriban, with the call of the Sith coursing through its rocky veins, truly gave you any power."
She grasped my face with one free hand of hers and smashed it into the wall. She then lifted me up by the neck--or rather, the liquid trachea--and then smashed her knee into the soft part of my stomach and cast me down.
My lip was slit and bleeding. So was my left temple, I'd noticed faintly.
"I always knew you'd betray me," I mumbled weakly. "Why didn't I act?"
"You were weak." Bastila gave me a side-wrenching kick. "The odds are about to betray you, young Revan, and now you will perish--just as you wished."
As the corrupted Shan prepared to strike the final blow with her ruby blade through my cervical vertebrae, I sprang to sudden life, rolling out of the way. Scrambling to my feet, I put as much power into my flurry of melee rounds as I could, slashing as fast as the Force would allow me--which was, of course, surprising to the unsuspecting victim. Bastila, relishing the battle, also smiled.
"Good, good!" Her mouth streamed full of blood. "I see you're learning at last!"
I continued my barrage of unleashed rage, wounding and cauterizing Bastila until she was just as cornered as I had been a few moments ago. "Vy-- nikogda--ne budyete zarabatyvat' nichto vyshe chem vtoroy mesto!" I hissed softly. "You will never earn anything higher than second place!"
Bastila nodded. "For always, your power will keep me your loyal apprentice."
A sudden pang of conscience almost made me double over in pain and grief. Here was my teacher, the Knight under whom I'd studied, reduced to a quivering waif of a girl. She'd been tortured by Malak, and here I was...?
"When the Jedi Council found me, I was lost," I explained.
"You were found."
"I was broken."
"You were whole."
"I was blinded."
"And at last, you saw."
I tried one last time to turn us both from the path of darkness. "They used me," I wept, my eyes slammed and squinted shut against the tears. "They used both of us, but that doesn't mean we should--I mean, we can't--"
"Can't we? What does it mean when puppets turn upon their puppeteers? It means that we have found our truth and exposed theirs as a lie. Our truth is that the Jedi manipulate fools to their own ends, as do the Sith, but at least our servants are no fools. They know what this galaxy is, all its hate and corruption. Instead of viewing this as fault and flaw, they embrace it, the true way of things, and wield the Force as an emperor wields a lightsaber.
"Do you see it now, Vera? Will you find your destiny in this wake of blood?"
I stood Bastila up and Force-coagulated her wounds. "You know my name."