Revan entered the council chamber of the Jedi with the rest of his group alongside Skywalker, his Padawan and finally Kenobi. He was relieved to see the rest of his friends waiting for them, that would make this meeting go a little easier he thought, although he knew Skywalker was not going to like it. The truth could shatter a man’s mind when learned. He just hoped Skywalker would prove strong enough to endure it.
“Welcome back and congratulations on your success,” Shaak Ti stated as they entered, her hologram showed a clear connection to whichever planet she was on at the moment.
“Did you actually think Revan would fail?” Mission couldn’t help to ask with a glare as she looked around at the assembled Masters. Wondering how they could still doubt him after all they had seen so far.
“We didn’t say that young one,” Shaak Ti responded as she understood the young girl had taken her words as an insult against her friend. “Only that we were pleased he was able to succeed,” she assured her.
“Who are these people Masters and why are they in the council room?” Obi-Wan inquired as he looked them over and noted only two of them seemed to be Jedi.
“These are the rest of my friends Kenobi,” Revan answered, not liking the other man’s tone when he indicated them. “They have sacrificed much to follow me here, so I suggest you show them a little more respect,” he suggested.
Before Obi-Wan could responded Yoda decided to intervene, he could already see Obi-Wan wasn’t trusting of Revan and his friends, probably not helped by Mace’s orders to him when they last talked.
“Revan and his friends come a long way they have, far more than you could imagine Master Kenobi,” Yoda told him. “Their story verified it has been by visits by ancient force ghosts of long gone Jedi,” he explained.
“And one former Jedi turned Sith Lord turned Jedi or so he claims,” Mace Windu couldn’t help but add, wincing slighting as he noted this put Obi-Wan even more on guard.
“Enough, this is only confusing them,” Revan interrupted them all. “I will share my story and the vision that started it all, but I warn all three of you that it isn’t an easy thing to see,” he added with a tone that showed he was deadly serious.
Anakin shared confused looks with both Ahsoka and Obi-Wan as each tried to work out exactly what was going on. They had been wondering about their new allies since they had met and each wanted to know the truth. They just didn’t know just how painful this truth would turn out to be, all the more so for Anakin Skywalker.
Quinlan Vos walked into the main meeting area of the Count’s prized castle, one of the few holdings he had from before his time as a Jedi. A keepsake of his family, the dark tendrils of the dark side of the force filled the place and he could not help but shiver. It took all his control not to allow them to affect him. His mission here hadn’t been easy. At first acting as a double agent had been simple, but then the more he was exposed to the dark side the harder it became. And he had come so very close to falling permanently into its embrace; his saving grace had been Khaleen Hentz.
Originally an agent of the Separatist cause, she had, through her contact with him begun to question the cause she had chosen to fight for. This woman was the main reason he had survived his exposure to the dark side, they had fallen in love during the many missions they had work together for Dooku.
Falling in love had not been in his plans, but once he had realized he had, he had embraced it fully. Maybe he should not have been surprised he had fallen in love, his people were well known for their instinctual passions. Still their relationship had saved them both and once this war was over, they both planned to vanish from the galactic scene and live their lives in peace. Seeing Count Dooku himself suddenly walk into the hall, he quickly pushed such thoughts out of his mind and took on the persona he had created, that of a dark Jedi. Kneeling before Dooku did not come easy for him, his instinct was usually to kill the betrayer for causing this war. But thankfully he had enough control to fight that urge. If Dooku was killed then Grievous was next in line to command the full might of the Separatist forces.
Grievous was a psychopath created by the Separatists to be their ultimate Jedi slayer, and a most effective one he was. If he took charge then he would push the Republic and the Jedi to the brink and maybe right over it. Dooku was a cautious man and knew when to fight a battle and when not too, he knew how to use the resources he had. But Grievous only cared about his revenge against the Jedi for the injuries he had sustained that had turned him into a cyborg, even though the Jedi were not responsible. It had been Dooku and his hidden Sith Master all along, he would fling every ship, droid, man and tank against the Republic and Jedi and maybe it would be just enough to win the war as they were hard pressed as it was to hold the line as it stood right now.
“Ah Vos, finally I have been waiting for you,” Dooku said with a glare at his kneeling form as if he had been waiting far longer than he had been. “I have an important mission for you, it will require you to return to the Jedi Temple and pretend to be one of their puppets,” he told him.
Vos almost wanted to smile at this piece of news. He could do with a chance to talk to the Masters about what was going on of late. Granted he would have to be careful, he knew Dooku had other spies and double agents within the Temple itself. Maybe he could convince Dooku to send Khaleen along with him as backup. Some time away from Dooku and his cronies would do them some good.
“There is a new Jedi hero on the scene. He helped win the battle for Praesitlyn for the Republic, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat,” Dooku spat in anger. “He also managed to save young Skywalker and his annoying Padawan and of course Master Kenobi,” he added, his anger plain for all to see. “But there are no records of who this new Jedi is and no mention of his name,” he added, reigning in his anger as he paced a little up and down the room.
“Why in this Jedi of any interest to our cause Master?” Vos inquired, hating having to call a traitor Master.
“Because not only did this Jedi defeat Ventress and Grievous, he removed one of Ventress’s hands and used force lightning on Grievous to the point it injured him,” Dooku answered. “He then went on to again use force lightning to help win the battle against our battle droids. To think of this Jedi using such power once is of mild interest, but to use it again and again without showing signs of tiredness or affect is of great interest to me and our cause if he can be recruited to our side,” he explained coming to a standstill. “Clearly the council is keeping this new hero under wraps unlike Skywalker. I want you to find out everything you can about this Jedi Vos, especially his name and where he came from,” Dooku ordered him. “Don’t come back unless you have that information,” he added before he turned and began to walk out of the room.
Vos got back to his feet and quickly decided to ask for Khaleen’s to come as backup. “I could use some backup just in case my cover is blown or I need a distraction,” he spoke up, but kept any sense of his true feelings for Khaleen out of his tone.
“And you suggest your normal running partner Khaleen Hentz, do u not?” Dooku shot back over his shoulder.
“We have built up an impressive partnership that has always got the results you wanted,” Vos pointed out. “We’ve never failed a mission you gave us so far,” he added as an afterthought.
Dooku stared at him for a few minutes as he contemplated the request, he couldn’t really argue about the success the two agents had working together. And it was possible Vos might need some help breaking into the archives if he couldn’t get any information from his Jedi friends, frowning slightly he decided to grant the request as he needed that information and quickly.
“Very well Vos, take her with you but get me what I want,” Dooku finally told him after another few minutes before sweeping out of the room.
Vos let out a slight intake of breath before he turned and exited the room and headed for the exit to the castle, he already knew where he would find his lover.
Palpatine stood in his office still going over the information he had gained from Grievous and Ventress concerning this new threat, and in his mind this Jedi was a threat to his plans. It was possible it was because of this Jedi’s sudden emergence that his once perfect foresight into the future was now disrupted, that what had once been certain to happen was now uncertain. Every time he looked into the future now, all he saw was darkness. Something was interfering in his plans and he believed it was this new Jedi, or maybe this was a dark Jedi in the making. Maybe an even worse possibility was that this Jedi could rise to become a rival Sith. He was clearly powerful as stated by his lackeys. He could not allow any rivals to challenge him. Dooku was easy to control and foresee what he would do, but this new individual was a mystery and he did not like mysteries. He needed to know who this Jedi was and then have him eliminated. ‘But how to learn who this Jedi was?’ he pondered. Maybe his human persona as chancellor could pry loose this information, suggest using him as the Republic used Anakin and Kenobi as moral boosters. Or he could just ask Anakin himself. He was certain that if the young man knew the truth about this Jedi then he could get the information out of him. If both of those options failed, then he would have to use more under handed methods.
Anakin let out an agonizing scream as the vision Revan had transferred to him and the others washed over him, the contents of what he was seeing made him physically sick. He wanted to shout and rage against what he was shown, but he could feel the force flowing through him showing him that was he was seeing was the truth. Of what was to come unless he listened and trusted Revan and his friends, and somehow managed to change his path. Collapsing to the ground as the vision finally ended. He gave into the urge to be sick, not caring in the least the Jedi Council were all watching his reaction closely.
“Oh by the force, how could I do it?” he moaned after throwing up. Closing his eyes did nothing to block the things he now knew, of the images the vision had shown him.
“The dark side can twist even the greatest of men into vastly different people,” Bastila stated into the silence that followed his question. “The more you are exposed to it, the more twisted you become, until there is nothing of your previous personality left,” she told him, understanding exactly what he was feeling. She had felt the exact same thing from her own brief fall to the dark side, at least for now Anakin was seeing only what could be not what was.
“Why couldn’t I see what was happening?” Anakin questioned aloud. “I all but ran straight into the Sith’s trap,” he spat in self-hatred.
“You weren’t responsible alone for what will possibly happen in the future, the Council had played their own roles in your fall by mistrusting you so much,” Revan assured him. “In being blind to the danger of their own rules and strictness in enforcing them,” he continued as he glanced at the watching Jedi Council. “The only thing the vision doesn’t show is who the Sith Lord is. All we do know about him is that he is someone high up in the Republic and someone you trust,” he stated. “It is to you now that I ask, from what you’ve seen from the vision do you know who the Sith Lord is Anakin Skywalker?” he asked.
Anakin knew in his heart exactly who the Sith Lord had to be, there was only one person beside Obi-wan, Ahsoka and Padme he trusted so completely and that was Chancellor Palpatine. He was the only person he matched up with the person he had seen in the vision, although always shadowed by the dark side Anakin knew it was Palpatine. But how could a Sith Lord have infiltrated the Republic so much he could become Chancellor, why had none of them seen what was basically staring them in the face was beyond reasoning.
“It’s the Chancellor, its Palpatine,” Anakin answered and everyone could see the shock his realization had been for him.
“That’s impossible, we’d have known if it was him,” Obi-Wan protested instantly, not liking the implications if Anakin was right.
“The dark side has clouded our sight since the Sith returned to the Galaxy Obi-Wan. It is very possible it could be anyone,” Mace Windu reminded his friend. “But if it is Palpatine, then that poses a very grave threat for us to overcome,” he stated.
Anakin just nodded listlessly in response before turning to see how Ahsoka was handling this. His Padawan kept glancing at him as if unable to believe he was capable of such things. Or to reassure herself that what she had witnessed had not come to pass just yet. Hopefully, if they were lucky, that future would never come to pass. ‘What must she think of me?’ he couldn’t help but think. He had in that vision brought the entire Jedi Order to its knees. He had slaughtered every Jedi he could find including younglings. He had become a monster, driven by a misguided sense of anger and betrayal when in truth he was the one who had been the betrayer.
“Even knowing the true identity of the Sith Lord, we cannot move against him until we solve the problem of keeping the Clones loyal to us,” Revan told them all. “I suggest for now Skywalker be sent to Naboo to spend time with his wife. She needs to know the truth as well so she can help you face all you have learned,” he advised. “My friends and I have a mission to undertake which will have an effect on the future. No matter what happens Palpatine must be allowed to believe his deception still works,” he explained.
“Are you out of your mind?” Anakin exploded in rage at his suggestion. “I could never tell Padme the truth of what you’ve shown me. She turn from me in disgust quicker than you can say hello,” he vented.
“You must tell her Skywalker or you will never be able to face the truth,” Revan told him calmly. He understood the younger man’s rage, but he had to do this or Skywalker would fail this test and more than likely he would be forced to kill him. And if that happened then he had no clue how it would affect the future as a whole. Was it possible to win the war and save the Republic and the Jedi without Skywalker? It was a question he had no answers for.
“Anakin, maybe Padme can help you,” Obi-Wan tried to advise his friend while still trying to get over what he had seen Anakin do in that possible future.
Seeing his friend kill their fellow Jedi including the younglings was sickening and it made him wonder if this darkness had always been within his friend. Even more was the knowledge that in that future, Anakin had killed him when he was an old man trying to protect Anakin’s son. It made him recall the scene just before the Clone Wars had begun, when he had told Anakin he had a feeling Anakin would be the death of him and Anakin had painfully rebuked him and called him basically the closest thing he had to a father. How could he say that and then change so much that he could indeed kill him?
“Anakin be reasonable, you cannot keep this from Padme,” Obi-Wan told him as he moved a little closer.
“No he cannot. Skywalker needs to be clear headed before we even think of allowing him to face the Sith Lord,” Revan stated calmly, having watched this all in silence. “Only Padme can help him come to terms with everything he has seen. She must be told and she must be told by him,” he told them all.
“Never,” Anakin snapped as he pulled his lightsaber and jumped towards Revan, he barely heard the alarmed shouts of those around him to stop.