Note: My thanks again to Hawklan
for helping out. By the way… you really should visit his author page. He has quite a few fics of his own you should check out.
Jolee looked up as the door to their room opened to admit Master Kit Fitso. He looked calm enough so he could only assume the man brought good news. Granted not that he expected anything less where Revan was involved, and with Bastila and the others with him, failure was even less expected. He watched as the others all turned to face the Jedi with expectant looks on their faces, the senior Jedi gave nothing away for a few minutes as he looked over each of them in turn.
“I’m pleased to inform you that your friends have successfully rescued our colleagues and captured the planet they were on. They also destroyed the droid army sent to capture it,” Fitso informed them. “Even more impressive was that Revan sent both General Grievous and Ventress running for their lives. Both of them have proved dangerous foes and have killed many Jedi,” he told them, causing Mission to jump up and down in joy while Zaalbar let out a roar of triumph.
“As Bastila has already explained to you, Revan was forged in battle,” Jolee responded as he stood up and walked forward. “He has led armies before. He almost conquered the very republic you seek to defend and had he not been betrayed by what used to be his friend Malek he might have succeeded,” he stated calmly. “Revan is neither light nor dark anymore. He lies somewhere in between, never before has there been a Jedi like him before,” he continued as he rubbed his beard a little. “He understands the dark side better than anyone. He will not be beaten easily. If there is a way to win then he will find it,” he finished.
“Yes, I think I understand what you are trying to say, although I think it fair to warn you some Jedi will not be so understanding,” Fitso told him in response. “Mace Windu is not alone in his fear of your friend’s powers or his intentions. Obi-Wan is concerned after seeing Revan use force lightening to save his life as well as a weapon against the droids,” he explained.
“The blind can never see the truth until it is exposed before their eyes,” Visas stated turning her blind stare to Fitso. “The very fact they fear such power gives the Sith an advantage. Unless you are willing to go to the very edge of reason then they will never understand Revan,” she told him. “Like Tarin himself, Revan will use any and all weapons to succeed where others would fail,” she stated.
“But at what costs to them personally?” Fitso inquired as he began to understand a little of what made Revan the man he was. “What good does it do if he falls back into darkness? If he embraces the Sith way again because then everything he fought for would be undone, isn’t that so?” he inquired.
“What you say has some truth to it, but the risk of Revan and Tarin falling to the dark side is small, both have a focus that keeps them on the right path,” Jolee reminded him. “As long as Bastila and Visas are beside them, they will never turn,” he stated.
“But how can you be so sure of that?” Fitso questioned with a frown. “The dark side is insidious and can bend anyone to its tune,” he pointed out. “I have seen Jedi I have trusted for years turn during this conflict, one of them a fellow Master,” he admitted.
“The dark side can twist anyone, in that you are correct,” Visas acknowledged with a nod of her head. “But Revan, Bastila, Tarin and myself know exactly what to watch out for, we know the call of the dark side if you will and thus we can do our best to avoid it,” she told him. “Having somebody to help, a focus, makes it easier to resist its temptation,” she stated.
Kit Fitso had heard a lot of arguments about the dark side and its tempting call, but this was the first time he could honestly say he could actually believe it could be resisted with the right motivation. Of late his belief in fighting the dark side’s pull had taken a beating, seeing trusted friends fall had been a painful experience and one that had almost shattered his belief in the code of the Jedi. The code was supposed to protect its followers from the dark side, yet it seemed more and more to be flawed. Then again he mused that was what the force ghosts who had appeared before them had warned them about, that the code and the tenants of the Jedi were no longer viable.
“If what you say is true then how it is Ulic-Qel-Droma fell when if I recall my history he already was in a loving relationship with Nomi Sunrider?” Fitso inquired as he continued to think over what had been said.
“Because not only did I allow revenge to cloud my judgment, the greatest error I made was to leave Nomi behind,” Ulic’s voice made them turn and note the force ghosts return.
Jolee couldn’t help but glare a little at the ghost who in his mind had helped cost him his wife. Granted he had to admit even if Droma had not fallen that would have still left Exar Kun to start the war that helped corrupt many, including his wife.
“Had I taken Nomi with me then I’m certain I wouldn’t have fallen into the trap I ended up in. I wouldn’t have been poisoned by a special dark side cocktail that opened me to its full corrupting influence,” Ulic told them with a sad shake of his head. “More so I wouldn’t have fallen prey to Aleema Keto’s seduction once I was under its influence. I was blinded by my rage and believed I had to do it alone and I paid the ultimate price,” he stated with a haunted look as Nomi Sunrider’s force ghost appeared behind him. “But I was not the only one to pay for my mistake, the galaxy at large paid with me,” he continued. “Thousands perished in the war that followed. Jedi were corrupted easily by the promises of the power Kun and I would give them,” he paused here as he glanced at Nomi who had moved to his side. “All my good intentions, all my hopes to save the galaxy from evil were lost as the war continued and probably would have gone to the end had I not had a large shock to bring me out of my submersion in the dark side,” he said before Jolee cut him off.
“You mean when you murdered your own brother Cay,” he stated darkly.
“The shock of that event opened Ulic up to the full extent of what he had done. He realized what had happened to him and it almost shattered his mind,” Nomi took up the story as Ulic stared at Jolee lost in his memories. “But it came too late as I witnessed the slaying of Cay and came to the conclusion the man I had loved was lost forever. I didn’t see that he had broken through the darkness and thus I cut him off from his force connection permanently,” she explained with a sad gaze at Ulic.
“It was no less than he deserved when you take into account the scale of the death and destruction he helped usher in,” Jolee could not help but argue.
“Your anger at Ulic for the fall of your wife is misplaced Jolee Bindo,” Nomi responded with a sigh. “Exar Kun was the driving force of the war, Ulic was swept up into it and even had he not been there your wife would still have fallen because she desired power in the end, did she not?” she inquired.
Jolee frowned and looked away. He refused to answer that question even though he knew deep in his heart Nomi was correct. His wife would have fallen in time. Exar Kun’s war would have drawn her in even without Ulic. But that was a hard thing to admit and even harder to accept, sometimes he really regretted becoming a Jedi.
“Ulic was free of the dark side, but not completely. He helped the Jedi and the republic hunt down and destroy Exar Kun and his remaining forces,” Nomi continued without waiting for Jolee to answer because she knew he would not. “At the end he slipped away and spent the next few years wandering the galaxy trying to find some peace, but peace would not come as wherever he went he was haunted by the ghosts of his past,” she explained. “It was not until my daughter Vima sought him out to train her than he finally shed the last tendrils of the dark side. Somehow she was able to help release him from the nightmare he had been stuck in since I stripped his powers from him,” she went on before pausing.
“But how did she do it?” Carth inquired as he leaned against the wall having been listening vividly as the ghosts told their tale. He knew some of this history, but not all of it, and he could not help but feel there were lessons to be learnt from what they had experienced during the great Sith war. “What was it about your daughter that helped break that final hold?” he added.
“She made me remember just who I was, what I had once been,” Ulic answered, finally breaking his sudden silence as well as finally looking away from Jolee. “She somehow brought back the man I had once been, instead of the haunting sounds of my past she reminded me that there was always hope for redemption,” he explained as best he could. “On the ice world of Rhen Var I finally escaped the last hold the dark side had on me. My last act before I was killed by Hoggon was to state Vima ready for knighthood as well as pass on a necklace I had since I was a child,” he finished.
“I felt the shot that killed Ulic through the long dead force bond I had once shared with him, the fact I could feel his pain showed that the man I had loved had indeed returned through the darkness to once more embrace the light,” Nomi picked up the story again. “I held him as he died and he asked for my forgiveness, something I had already given him and then I had a further shock, as like the Jedi Masters he became one with the force and his body vanished,” she told them. “I was shocked and I asked how it was possible and Vima responded that although he may no longer have been able to touch the force, he understood it better than any of us,” she explained with a smile. “And she was right, Ulic’s experiences through both light and dark had given him a unique perspective on the force that only Revan has found since that time,” she finished.
“So what you are saying is for the Jedi to survive past this point they must find that unique perspective, they must come to understand the dark side instead of just fearing it?” Fitso inquired, intrigued by everything he had been told.
It was a far more personal view of the fall and redemption of one of the greatest dark lord’s in history, it was also a view not shared by many Jedi. Maybe they and Revan were correct in saying that the Jedi of today were blind to their own faults, that they only viewed things from a limited view point. Was it possible that the reason they were losing this war was because they failed to truly understand the dark side and why it appealed to so many of their fellow Jedi?
“To destroy something you must first understand it,” Ulic told him with a guarded look.
“Jedi have tried to defeat the dark side from the inside and they have fallen and become as evil as any Sith,” Carth pointed out, having read of many examples of such things happening.
“Yes because they went in blind. They didn’t know the dark side and they allowed their fear to drive them into a foolish choice,” Nomi shot back. “They must learn to understand it, the challenge is to do it in such a way that they do not open themselves to it,” she told them before she and Ulic vanished once more.
“Well that wasn’t exactly helpful,” Mission spoke up into the ensuing silence.
“It was enlightening actually,” Fitso told the youngest member of Revan’s group. “Granted even with what the force ghosts told us I doubt it will go over well with my fellow council members. Change isn’t easy for Jedi,” he admitted.
“Sounds like you’ll have to change if you hope to survive this conflict,” Carth stated.
“And that may prove to be one of the biggest challenges we have to face in the coming future,” Fitso responded before he turned and left the room.
Palpatine stared out of the window of his office which looked out across the vast city scape of the galactic center. His mind was focused as it had been for the last few days on the sudden block in his view of the future. A couple of days ago his vision of the future had been clear, his age old plan would succeed and soon the Jedi and the Republic they served would be crushed, even better Skywalker would soon replace Dooku as his apprentice. But then that vision of the future had become clouded and every time he tried to see the future now all he saw was a black void where once everything had been so clear. He could pinpoint the exact moment he first noticed the change, it was when he had suddenly felt a pulse of unknown origin in the force. It had been unlike anything he had felt before, something or someone was behind it and he needed to know how they had blocked his vision of the future to come. A sudden beeping made him turn to as his secure holocommunicator went off. He activated and watched as the grim visage of his current apprentice appeared.
“Master I regret to inform you we have been defeated in our attempts to capture Praesitlyn. Reinforcements arrived before we could finish off Kenobi and his troops,” Dooku reported. “However along with this news was the fact that the Jedi leading the reinforcements used force lightening multiple times. Grievous seemed to think he might be close to falling to the dark side,” he continued as he noted the frown his news caused. “I’m intrigued due to the fact that none of our current dark Jedi bar Ventress can sustain a long blast of force lightening,” he stated.
Palpatine considered the news and even though he was annoyed his plans to finally rid himself of Kenobi had been dashed once more, it was true none of the dark Jedi they had at their service were what he would class as truly useful. Ventress was the closest they could get to a useful agent. Although she constantly failed against Skywalker and Kenobi, but then so did all of his other commanders. Was it possible this unknown Jedi could be as useful as Anakin would one day be? If he was as powerful as Dooku seemed to believe him to be then it merited some research into this Jedi. He could already see the interest in Dooku’s gaze even as he tried to hide the fact from him, clearly he felt this Jedi might prove to be a worthy apprentice to finally help try and challenge him as Sith law dictated. Maybe he should look into this Jedi himself, either way it seemed they may become a problem.
“I will investigate this new threat Count Dooku,” Palpatine finally responded in a tone he knew his apprentice would know not to question. “I want you to focus on winning us the outer rim territories. It is vital we hold them if we hope to crush the Republic,” he ordered.
Dooku frowned for a brief second before he regained control of himself. Palpatine saw it anyway, but his apprentice didn’t question his order as he knew he wouldn’t. Dooku knew not to push him. He bowed and obeyed before signing off. Palpatine frowned and couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened had Darth Maul not been killed on Naboo, more than likely this war might have been already won. Maul was brought up from the beginning as a Sith. Dooku however had been a Jedi Master for a number of years before leaving in disgust. It was that disgust that had left him open to being corrupted by the dark side. As powerful as Dooku was his training as a Jedi still shone through at times. It left him incapable of harnessing the full power of the dark side. He had more faith that Anakin would be able to control the full power as his training as a Jedi didn’t take a deeper hold in his mind. Anakin’s emotions were too close to the surface to be controlled like true Jedi did, and he had done his best to ensure Anakin allowed his emotions to flow. When the time came Anakin would embrace the dark side. He was certain of that fact thanks to his careful advice over the years to the young man.
Revan watched as Skywalker and his padawan smashed through the droids like a lightsaber through flesh, they worked so well as a team that it was clear they wouldn’t accidentally hurt one another. Clearly they were also more than just Master and student. They were friends from what he could see on their way here which was a point in Skywalker’s favor in his view. Returning his attention to the droids he was fighting he unleashed a flurry of swings which decapitated three droids with his lightsaber, behind him Trax and a squad of his clones laid down a hail of fire as more droids advanced on them.
They had caught the remaining droids off guard, as without a command droid or separatist general they were lost as to what to do. Skywalker had suggested jumping straight into the middle of them, and he had agreed. The shock value of the move alone was worth the risk, as expected the droids hadn’t expected to be attacked in such a manner giving them the advantage. In the initial strike the droids had been cut down in numbers from two hundred to a hundred and thirty, and even as the droids turned to fight they were easily been cut down. Captain Rex and his own platoon of clones were also cutting down the droids and Revan knew they wouldn’t last much longer.
“Don’t let any of them escape commander,” Revan ordered as Trax passed him.
“Understood General,” Trax nodded as he relayed the order and the clones did their best to encircle the remaining droids.
Anakin sliced through another droid as he noted the change in formation of the clones. Clearly Revan was getting ready to finish these droids off. There was something about Revan that reminded Anakin of Qui-Gon Jinn, the rebellious nature of the two men was similar and their defiance of the Jedi code also linked the two men. But he had a sense there was far more to Revan than he knew. He could sense a turning point approaching in his life. Revan’s arrival here was about to change everything, and yet he still knew nothing about why he was here and why he seemed so interested in him.
A sudden warning in the force caused him to duck as droids tried to blast him from behind, turning he spun his lightsaber and took both of their heads off causing sparks to fly from their circuits as he passed them by. Ahsoka suddenly leaped over his head and decapitated another droid as it came up behind him. He spun to see her deflect multiple blaster shots from another droid before one of the clones blasted it in half with his blaster cannon.
“You’re getting slow Skyguy,” Ahsoka teased him with a smirk.
“In your dreams Snips,” Anakin shot back with his own smile as he used the force to fling his lightsaber into another droid as it backed away from the clones, who were now gaining ground as more and more droids fell. “I’ll always be one step ahead of you,” he added with a cocky wink.
“Now who’s dreaming Master?” Ahsoka responded with a shake of her head as she noted the last few droids get turned into scrap metal. “The tinnies didn’t stand a chance,” she stated.
“Nope, they were outclassed and basically useless without any of their commanders to give them orders,” Anakin agreed as he watched Revan’s droid rip the head of one of the last droids left standing and he wondered at the savagery of that particular droid.
“The battle is won General,” Rex reported as he joined them. “We suffered only a few injuries and no deaths,” he added.
“Excellent news Rex, get the men ready to fall back to base camp after we see to the injured,” Anakin ordered with a smile.
Revan watched as Anakin and Ahsoka talked to each other unaware they were being watched. From what he had seen Skywalker wasn’t as lost as he might have believed. He could be saved if he was willing to face the biggest challenge he would ever face, his own inner darkness and more importantly his own worst fears. Folding his arms over his chest he remained to observe the chosen one as the clones saw to their wounded and prepared to fall back to their camp. The next couple of days would prove vital to the future.