Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In a place where few know, training and Mastering the Force and my own unusal ability to fly at will.
The Return Chapter 1
Space is infinite.
The macrocosm of stars and galaxies can be more than hard to comprehend, even after a lifetime’s experience and knowledge and wisdom. The last frontier able to be explored will never be explored. Younglings on different planet across the universe look up at the ceiling of black and pinpricks of white and say to themselves, “I’ll be the first person to see all of those stars.”
They don’t know yet that no one can.
Not even the Galactic Republic can explore far enough out to get a scope on where they exist. The galaxy they reside in is only two-thirds known, the rest called the Unknown Regions. These mysterious parts have yet to be seen by intelligent eyes, colonized and made known to the rest of the galaxy. The Unknown Regions have yet to see someone claim them.
Or do they?
A shaky breath was drawn as he ran as fast as possible away from the danger that assaulted him. His mind could not think clearly, and all he could feel was blood pumping through his brain and muscles and body.
He turned right and sped off down another hall, hoping for an exit, a sign, any means of escape.
His hopes were dashed when he ran into a dead end. He turned around sharply and called to his right hand a cylindrical metal handgrip and thumbed a small button on its gray casing. A blade the color of life, blue as the sky, sprang from its end and he held the glowing weapon at guard.
He waited, sweat gathering on his forehead and falling into his eyes.
He waited longer, but he still did not lower his lightsaber.
When he was about to think that he might have lost his pursuers, the Shadow turned the corner and stared at him in the eye.
Revan felt something he wasn’t accustomed to; uncontrollable fear. It crept through his bones and sent energy streaming throughout his blood, giving him the urge to take flight, fight, do something to prevent his imminent doom.
There was nothing he could do.
Revan sucked in a hasty breath as the Shadow walked toward him, soft and silent as death itself. He threw out a hand and blue lightning sprang from his fingers, touching the Shadow but not harming it. It continued to walk forward, stalling the final moments until the end.
Revan stopped his barrage of lightning and turned away, like a child not wanting to look at a closet monster. He faced the wall, deactivated his blade, and hooked it to his belt.
He retreated to the furthest corner of his mind and collected his thoughts, banishing the dark and remembering the light. With the light came calm acceptance and peace, and with that came control. With control came power.
Revan flashed his bond-mate’s face through his mind, and the feeling of joy and happiness was all he needed to find the nub, the section of his consciousness that flooded his body with energy and soothed his aching muscles.
The Shadow was almost upon him, but before it could take another step, Revan stretched out a hand not to the wall, not to the Shadow, but to the ceiling above him. Durasteel grating peeled apart violently, and Revan crouched and leapt up, through the hole he had made. He pinned his arms to his sides and at the apex of his jump, he looked at the surrounding area, the outside world.
A desert was all he could see in all directions, and the night sky was so dark that it was like the Shadow had taken control of the sky. There were no stars.
Revan stopped falling before he began. Instead, he tilted his head forward, and, taking a hold of all the energy left in him, he shot forward in the air, flying faster than a starfighter could in the atmosphere, and leaving the Shadow behind him.
His stamina draining fast, Revan slowly fell to the ground, miles away, and gasped for breath, laying in the dust and feeling happy at the prospect that he was alive.
Wearily, he stood and drew power from the universe. It wasn’t near enough to fill him with energy, but he was able to take a step forward. Then another. And more after that, until he was walking at a steady pace.
Hunger gnawed at his innards, but he ignored the pain. Revan walked, putting more distance between him and the Shadow.
Even with that distance, he could not stop feeling afraid.
“It is my gift to you. One exile to another.” Ailynn Strider shot forward and smacked her head on the top of her bunk.
She drew in heavy breaths and rubbed her forehead, brushing strands of blonde hair away from her eyes. She cleared her mind and laid back on her pillow again, drawing the sheets up to cover her scarcely clothed body.
Kreia? She thought. Was that you? She sounded almost childish to herself, talking to herself, but she was sure that she had not imagined the voice in her dreams.
Ailynn couldn’t get back to sleep after a few minutes of trying, so she found her robes in the footlocker of the crew’s quarters. Pulling them on, she strapped her lightsaber to her belt and was strapping on her boots when she saw Atton, in the bunk opposite her, stir sleepily.
“Where’re you going?” he slurred.
“Just to the cockpit”, Ailynn replied tersely. “I want to make sure we’re still on course.”
“Hutt drool. T3 is already handling navigation, and he still hasn’t unlocked the navicomputer for us yet. What’s the real problem?”
Ailynn sighed. “I had another dream.”
Atton sat up, rubbing his eyes. “Same one?”
She nodded. “Except, different somehow. More real. I think we’re getting closer.”
Atton stood and rested a hand comfortingly on her shoulder. “Well, that’s a good thing, right?”
Ailynn shook her head in part frustration, part sadness. “You’d think. But it feels like something bad is about to happen. Something horrible.”
Atton turned her around she was looking up at him. “Nothing bad is gonna to happen. OK? It’ll be alright. Trust me.” He flashed her one of his roughish grins.
Aiylnn smiled despite herself and allowed him to gather her in his arms. She felt safe and secure there, being held by him, and she allowed her mind to feel at ease for one happy, glorious moment. Yes, she told herself. Everything is going to be alright.
The following evening…
Ailynn tapped away at the keyboard she stood at in the main hold of the Ebon Hawk. Behind her, a buzz of activity filled the ship, but it didn’t have the eager or helpful energy it usually did. That unsettled her. She could hear her companions mutter while she wasn’t around, whisper words of discouragement and doubt. She tried her best to ignore them, but she knew that sooner or later, someone was going to speak up to her, voice their concerns and expect her to do something about them.
As she finished rerouting auxiliary power to the engines, she heard Mandalore approach from behind her before she bothered to feel him with the Force. She turned as he stood there, blaster rifle slung across his back, standing as straight as always in his armored shell.
“Is there something wrong?” she asked him.
“Yes there is”, the Mandalorian said quietly, gesturing at one of the seats that formed a part ring around the hologram projector in the center of the hold. “We have a few things to discuss.”
Ailynn walked over to the seats but didn’t lower herself into one. Mandalore did the same as the rest of the crew gathered around the projector. Atton presumably stayed in the cockpit.
“We would like a word with you, General, if we may ask it”, Bao-Dur announced.
“Damn straight”, Mira said, leaning against the wall near the storage cell of the hold. “I think you owe us some answers.”
“What we mean to say, General”, Bao-Dur said sharply, glancing at Mira’s direction, “Is that we’ve been wondering exactly what your plan was, from here. Where are we going?”
Ailynn tried to muster as much resolve in her voice as she could. “I told you, we’re searching for Revan, who we believe came into the Unknown Regions some years ago. I know that we haven’t found much, but-”
“We haven’t found anything!” Mira said loudly, throwing up her hands in exasperation. “Not even a hint or clue about where Revan could be, where he was, or when he was!”
Visas Marr stepped up from the shadows. “I cannot See anything or anyone here. It’s as if this place is tainted in the Force. It’s like staring into a muddy pond trying to see your reflection.”
“I’ve been trying to sense a sign or marker of some kind, I’m trying to-” Ailynn said, but was once again cut off.
“Strider”, Mandalore said, calling her by her last name for the first time, “We thought you knew what was going on, where we were going. We thought you had a plan.”
Mical, the Disciple, stepped forward, anger showing in his posture. “What are you all thinking?”, he asked them incredulously. “Don’t you realize what you’re saying? This is borderline mutiny! I trust in my leaders, not doubt them! After all you’ve seen her do, after all she’s done, you still think that our current situation give you the right to-”
“To what?” Mira snapped. “She’s not our commander. I’m not bound to her. I have every right to speak my mind!”
“There’s another problem”, Mandalore said gravely. “We’re almost out of food and water. There’s not even enough left to use the fresher or have three meals a day.”
Ailynn glared at them all. “I thought you knew what you signed up for.”
“So did I”, Mira said, and Bao-Dur shouted, “Enough!”
Mical spoke up. “This fighting is getting us nowhere. We have to think this through. We can find a solution. We’re… just looking in the wrong places.” His shoulders slumped, and he shook his head in tiredness.
Visas turned away, began walking to her bunk. “I’ve looked everywhere, Mical, and I promise you, if you see a miraculous end to our problems, I’ll have to renounce my title of Seer and realize that I’m just a blind woman after all.” She left the hold, and one by one, they all cleared out, leaving Mical and Ailynn.
“They don’t know what they’re saying, they’re only tired-”, he began to say, but Ailynn held up a hand.
“I hope so, Mical. I hope you’re right.” She walked forward, into the cockpit and closed the door, seating herself in the copilot’s chair and looking out into the vast blue of hyperspace.
Atton said from the pilot’s chair, “They must be really hungry or really angry, or both.”
Ailynn shook her head. “No. They’re right. I’ve led them on a wild Bantha chase and left them high and dry. I didn’t know where we were going when we left Malachor. What was I thinking?”
Atton said softly, “I don’t know, but I’m sure it was the right thing to do. After all, you’re the one who suggested to go into the mining shafts with hundreds of crazy droids on Peragus to “save the miners”.” His said a bit louder, “Only someone crazy would do that. And only someone crazy would dive headfirst into the Unknown Regions. Seems like a fit match.”
Ailynn retorted, “Sometimes I wonder how I got stuck with you.”
“Aw, you know you love me.”
“Keep telling yourself that, Atton.”
He laughed for a moment, then entered a few commands into his console. “We’re coming out of hyperspace. Visas needs to find us a new route.”
“She can’t see as well the deeper we go. I doubt she’ll be able to chart a safe course through all the stars out there.”
Atton sighed as the swirling blue turned to black with pinpricks of white. “Well, you better find yourself a really good navigator or count on some really good luck.”
Ailynn rubbed her temples and said shortly, “I’m going to bed.” She left the cockpit, and Atton could do nothing else than point the Hawk’s nose in a direction and keep the engines burning.
Revan tried to draw in as many breaths as he could, but the task was becoming far more difficult as he continued to walk. When is the damn sun going to rise? he wondered vaguely. Then he remembered there was no sun. The gravity was artificial, supplied by a machine. He was on a desert moon. His exhaustion was messing with his head.
Thirst overrode hunger and with each intake of air he claimed his throat become less and less moist. Revan could feel his legs begin to wobble unsteadily, but did not allow himself to fall.
He kept walking, and even though there was no sun, he strode forward.
He had to.
The Dawn was coming. And although it did not shine, it glowed with more Light than any ever before.
Revan finally fell to the dusty ground, exhausted, and strained for the strength to keep his heart beating. He could feel the Shadow begin to close in, shorten the distance between them.
Out of options, he looked into the sky and smiled. Oh yes, he thought as the Shadow closed over him, enveloping his being. The Dawn is here.
On the Ebon Hawk…
The Dawn is here. Ailynn shot out of bed again. She did not hit her head this time, like all the others. Her eyes were wide open and she raced out of bed, despite wearing nothing but a skin-tight sleep suit.
She sprinted into the cockpit, drawing the attention of Mandalore, who was still awake, and looked out of the windows.
A gray moon loomed ahead, and the Hawk was speeding toward it.
Mandalore stood beside her, not giving her a sideways glance at her appearance. “That’s it, isn’t it?” he said. “Where Revan is.”
Ailynn looked at him. “I don’t know”, she replied truthfully. “But if he is there, we’re going to find out.”
A/N: Hello, all. Just wanted to clear a few things up. Ailynn is pronounced Ay (rhymes with hey) Lin (rhymes with win). Visas obviously did not die on the Ravager.
Other than that, the next chapter will have some action and suspense, if that’s what you were reading this for.
Reviews are like hard, cold cash and inspire me to write further, so please take a minute and tell me what you thought of this story.
Finally, May the Force be with You.
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