(Jedi Temple, Council chamber)
As Revan continued to tell his tale the Jedi Council listened and exchanged looks between themselves. Yoda focused all of his attention on the man standing in the centre of the chamber as he talked. The force was swirling around him like wild fire, this clearly was an important event and he knew whatever they decided to do would forever shape their future.
Mace listened and had to keep himself from cutting in constantly. He found it hard to keep his objectivity. This man in front of them was an admitted Dark Lord of the Sith, no matter that he stated he was no longer any such thing. The slight argument they had put forward about coming back to the light was hard to believe. He looked from Revan to his friends and wondered if this was truly why they were here. ‘Damn the war,' he thought for making him so distrustful. He guessed not even the members of the council were free of the changes this war had brought onto the Jedi as a whole.
Finally Revan finished the tale as he explained their waking up at the appointed time and their trip to the temple after deciding they would not be able to locate the Chosen One on their own. Silence fell once Revan had finished talking. The Council looked around and quite a few had some very disturbed looks on their faces, others were either distrustful or surprised, but not one of them spoke.
"Granted I have not told you what I saw in the force vision, but I suspect you can guess," Revan stated, as he took in the looks on the council members faces. "If you wish, I can show you," he added.
"Decide we will once we have discussed all you have said," Yoda responded. "Troubling it is, what we decide now will be important and discuss it do we need," he continued.
"Very well," Revan shot back with a short bow. "However I ask that you not lock us back in the room we came from and grant us time to look around the temple," he requested. "A lot has changed from our time," he added at Yoda's look.
"Plus I ask we be granted access to the archives," Bastila asked while stepping forward.
"For what reason?" Mace inquired, a little surprised by this request.
"We would like to know what has happened in the time we've been asleep and what history tells about us," Bastila responded, before admitting the real truth. "And I wish to know what became of my daughter," she said, causing Revan to put his hand on her shoulder in support.
"It would be nice to also learn what happened to the friends we left behind," Jolee put in with a smile.
Yoda thought over their request glancing at each council member in turn and noted their reactions. He was somewhat sad to see so much distrust and anger in their faces. The war was slowly destroying the Jedi from within he thought. If it went on much longer he doubted they would truly be Jedi any longer.
"Granted is access to the historical records, but no more than that," Yoda finally decided. "Outside the aide will show you where to go," he stated.
"Thank you Master Yoda," Bastila said with a bow, before she turned and left, followed by the others bar Revan who remained behind.
"Discuss this as you need to, but remember this, every minute we waste allows the Sith to grow stronger and put more of his plan into motion," he warned. "And worse the more chances he has to learn of our presence and stop what we are trying to do," he added darkly.
"And how do we know that you do not secretly aide the Sith or more to the point how do we know you do not seek to supplant the Sith Lord we search for?" Mace argued, unable to stop himself from jumping to his feet and speaking.
"Trust," Revan replied. "A hard thing to ask for in a war, but it is what is needed," he pointed out. "Remember you are supposed to be Jedi, guardians of the peace," he continued.
Mace felt the anger and mistrust he had been feeling since he learned who it was who stood before him spike at that reminder. He found himself grabbing his lightsaber and igniting it, barely being aware that he was doing it. Revan responded instantly and reached out with the force and took one of the nearby council members weapons and quickly blocked the swing aimed at his head.
Bastila felt the tail tale tingle which told her that Revan was in danger and quickly rushed back into the chamber to find Revan engaged in a furious duel with Mace Windu. She noted that the council was being held back by Yoda, who watched the duel closely. She held her hand up to stop the others from interfering. She wondered what had caused this fight.
Anakin jumped over the last group of droids and landed on the other side and quickly began swiping his blade into the droids. Obi Wan and Ahsoka quickly joined him, as Rex, Cody and the rest of their men secured the battle ground and began seeing to the wounded. A few minutes later the last droid fell to the ground letting out a few sparks before its yellow eye plates faded out.
"Well that was a fun work out," Anakin said with a grin.
"I suppose," Obi-Wan replied, as he folded his arms across his chest. "Still it cost us a lot of men," he pointed out, as he looked at the many dead clones and then the wounded ones.
"I know Master. I feel the loss as much as you and the clones do," Anakin responded with a sigh. "But if we do not win this war, then all the life lost will be for nothing," he stated.
"Which is why we must not let up, right?" Ahsoka asked, looking between the two men. "We have to keep pushing forward," she said.
"True Ahsoka, we need to push forward and quickly, but first we deal with the wounded and see what the council wants us to do now," Obi-Wan told her.
"Master, what about Ventress?" Anakin inquired. "She could still be on the planet. Maybe we can capture her before she escapes," he suggested.
"Let her go for now Anakin, we will catch up to Ventress another time," Obi-Wan replied after thinking the idea over for a few moments. "We need to rest, something tells me things are speeding up and we may be needed elsewhere," he explained with a frown.
"Very well Master," Anakin relented, before moving off to get the casualty reports from Rex.
This was the worst part of being a General in the Grand Army of the Republic, seeing just how many men you have lost after every engagement. It was taking a toll on him and every other Jedi General in the war, including Obi-Wan. Things were reaching a breaking point he concluded.
"Sir," Rex said, snapping to attention as he noted him coming.
"Do we have a preliminary casualty list yet, Rex?" he inquired, noting the minimal reaction from the man in front of him at his question.
"So far we lost one hundred and ten men sir. Another twenty five are listed as critical condition and another ten with wounds they can heal quickly from," Rex reported with as much control as he could.
In every battle in this damn war more and more of his brothers died. It didn't matter that he was a clone bred for this war he still felt their loss as did every other clone that had been created. He knew some people saw them as soulless beings, no better than the droids, but it was not true. They had feelings and a soul just as much as a normal person. Thankfully the Jedi saw them not as disposable cannon fodder, but as living beings. He could see how hard the report hit the General.
"Make sure the wounded, especially those in critical condition, are taken back to the troop transports and back to the ships medical bays for immediate treatment," Anakin ordered. "Then get the men to settle down once the area is secured. Tell them to rest and regroup Rex, but keep some lookouts in position, just in case Ventress has any more surprises in store for us," he continued.
"Yes General," Rex responded with a small grin.
"Tell them they did good Rex, all of them," Anakin felt compelled to say, before he turned and headed back for the command bunker to rejoin Obi-Wan and Ahsoka.
(Jedi Temple, Council chamber)
Bastila continued to watch the fight unfold, shocked at how aggressive Mace Windu was. She did not recognize the style of lighter saber combat he was using. She guessed it must be a new form they had created, but whatever it was, it clearly had Revan slightly off balance, before he switched his own style. She decided to see what had caused this and walked closer to Yoda who glanced up at her, she noted the guarded look on his face.
"What happened?" she demanded to know.
"The true danger this war represents has shown itself," Yoda answered with a sad shake of his head.
"What do you mean?" Tarin inquired as he joined them, knowing Revan could handle himself, but he was interested to learn what had caused the fight.
"Revan reminded us of who we are supposed to be. I think the reminder of what we have lost was too much for Mace to handle, considering who Revan is or was depending on how you look at it," Kit Fitso was the one who responded. "The Jedi are being consumed by war. Anger and hatred fill our ranks the longer it goes and now we know that not even the council members are immune," he informed them sadly.
"It has happened to the Jedi before," Tarin shot back. "During the Jedi Civil war, they were consumed just as badly, even if the council refused to see the truth," he explained at the few looks he received. "They can recover if the war can be won and they have a period to rest and redefine who they are. The lessons you have learned in all of this could help the Jedi change into a far stronger force," he finished.
"There is wisdom in what you say," Agen Kolar responded. "But somehow I doubt many would agree at this point. The war has taken on a life of its own and each day more and more of the Jedi is lost," he stated with a dark frown and a shake of his head.
"Truth is there in what you both say," Yoda cut in. "Dangerous is this war, overcome its effects must we if the Jedi are to survive," he continued thoughtfully.
"Why have you not stopped this fight?" Bastila inquired, as Mace and Revan continued to exchange blows intensely.
"Test is this for Revan," Yoda responded. "See where he truly stands we will," he added at Bastila's hard gaze.
"In another words if he kills Windu you will believe him to be a Sith still and the same with us, but if he lets him live then you will know he has spoken true," Visas stated, as she joined them. "You play a deadly game, Revan has been forged in battle for half his life," she warned.
"Visas is correct, Revan has been at war for a long time and when he fights he fights to win and usually that means killing his enemy," Bastila pointed out, wincing as Revan almost got caught by a deep thrust from Windu.
"See we will where his heart truly lies," Yoda said, ending the discussion.
Bastila shook her head, knowing Yoda and the council may not like how this test would turn out. They had no idea just how deadly Revan could be when he was consumed by his keen instinctual fighting skills.
Revan ducked the wild swings from Windu still getting used to fighting this new style of lightsaber combat, it was intense and very aggressive. Not something he would expect from a Jedi, especially not a Jedi Master or Council Member. He jumped over the next attack and struck back forcing Windu backwards, but the other man quickly countered and renewed his attack. Revan was growing annoyed and yet he was enjoying the fight and quickly switched his style again which at least gained him some ground against whatever it was Windu was using.
He spun to avoid another thrust and began his own series of attacks, this time he waited until he saw Mace begin to shift his weight and he quickly dropped to his knees and swept his left leg out and brought Mace down and before he could recover had his lightsaber pointed at the man's heart.
Dooku growled as he was woken up by his droid aide, getting up he headed into his bathroom and splashed some water onto his face and then dressed as best he could while still feeling very much asleep. Sitting at his desk he waited for the droid to hand him a hot drink which he quickly downed, aiding in his waking up. Finally he felt ready enough to listen to whatever the droid needed to tell him. Instead of speaking however the droid pulled out a holocom and activated it. Frowning he noted Ventress was on the other end and she did not look happy.
"Master, I regret to inform you that we have lost the battle for Praesitlyn," Ventress reported, her tone bitter. "My forces have been crushed by Kenobi and Skywalker's forces," she added.
Growling some more at the bad news and the fact that his acolyte had once again been bested by the team of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, he leaned back in his seat and wondered what his next move should be.
"Get off the planet before they catch you and rendezvous with General Grievous and his forces at Salecuami and await further orders," he finally ordered. "I am not pleased by this latest failure," he added in a dark tone.
"Yes Master," Ventress replied, doing her best not to scowl at Dooku before she signed off and the droid quickly left him to his thoughts.
Damn Kenobi and Skywalker, every time he thought he had them they seemed to come up with a miracle and counter his plans. They were the most successful Generals in the Republic army and one of the main reasons they had not won the war yet, he needed to remove them from the war somehow.
Standing up he began to pace as he tried to figure out how to deal with the two troublesome Jedi. He could go and deal with them himself, but his Master had forbidden him to leave the castle right now as the war was at a crucial moment and so he could not be risked on the front lines. Maybe Grievious should be sent to deal with them, granted the two Jedi had proven the droid General's equal the few times they had met before, but sooner or later their luck had to run out.
(Jedi Temple, Council chamber)
The moment was a charged one as the Council members' watched Mace fall on his back and before he could recover was suddenly defeated, as Revan brought his borrowed lightsaber up to the man's heart.
Bastila could feel Revan's thoughts as he stood over the defeated council member over their force bond and knew he was struggling with the instincts he had gained from the wars to kill his enemies. She reached out over the bond and began to send him whatever help she could. She did her best to stem the tide of his emotions and pull him back from the brink of something foolish.
Tarin glanced around and noted nearly every council member had their hands on their own lightsabers bar Yoda and the one whose weapon Revan had taken. He did not like this as he and the others were weaponless. Granted they knew how to fight without weapons, but against lightsabers hand to hand was useless, his frown deepened as things seemed to be coming to a head.
"Stop this," a new voice shouted and everyone looked around to see a simmering force ghost appear. "Revan enough," the ghost added.
Revan stared at the ghost in surprise as he recognized her as Nomi Sunrider. He backed off from Windu and shut down the lightsaber knowing if Nomi had manifested herself here it was with a purpose.
Anakin entered the command bunker to find Ahsoka talking with R2-D2 his astromech droid who always accompanied him during his missions. Obi-Wan was at the holocom, but he seemed slightly frustrated.
"Problems Master?" he inquired as he joined him.
"I can't seem to get through to the council. The signal is not been blocked, but no one is answering," Obi-Wan answered, running a hand over his beard trying to think what could have happened.
"Maybe something has happened back on Corusant," Ahsoka suggested, as she joined them. "I mean it is possible the Separatists have struck the capital somehow isn't it?" she asked.
"It is possible Ahsoka, but somehow that does not feel right," Obi-Wan responded with a shake of his head. "No something else is going on, something important I wager. The force is almost blazing in its intensity," he added.
"Yes, I feel it too," Anakin agreed. "Maybe we should get some rest Master and try and contact them again later," he suggested.
"Good idea, I think after all that fighting we deserve a small rest," Obi-Wan agreed with a smile. "I am sure Cody and Rex will let us know if anything happens," he added.
(Jedi Temple, Council chamber)
A great silence had descended on the council chamber at the appearance of the force ghost. Most did not know what to do or even speak. Only a few had ever seen a real live force ghost, Yoda was intrigued by this development.
"And you would be?" Agen Kolar inquired, not recognizing the former Grand Master of the Jedi Order after the Great Sith War.
"I am Nomi Sunrider and I am here to stop this mistrust from escalating into madness," Nomi responded. "The force sent Revan here for a reason and you will heed his warnings. You have allowed yourselves to be blinded by the war," she continued as Mace got back to his feet.
"This is a trick," Saesee Tiin stated. "It has to be," he growled, glancing between Revan and his friends.
"I am no trick," Nomi replied with a shake of her head. "I am a force ghost, here at the force's command to make you see sense," she stated.
"So you say," Mace shot back, as he picked up his fallen weapon and kept it at the ready.
"You would do well to listen to her Jedi," a new voice spoke up and another force ghost appeared and this time they could tell it was a male.
Only Revan and his friends recognized the second ghost and were slightly shocked by his appearance. They knew the story of course as told by Vima Sunrider, but it was still strange to see proof and yet also comforting.
"Ulic-Qel-Droma," Jolee said almost in a trance as he viewed the man who had helped bring about the Sith war that cost him his wife.
"Indeed," Ulic responded with a short bow. "You are running out of time Jedi. The Sith grow stronger whilst you weaken," he continued. "You have been sent help yet you refuse to listen out of mistrust and anger," he stated with a glare.
"Anger which you must set aside if you wish to survive what is to come," Nomi picked up as she looked from one Jedi to the other. "Revan is not a threat to you, nor are his friends. They are allies and I suggest you listen and plan carefully," she stressed now pinning her gaze on Yoda.
"This war and its end will decide the future for more years than you can imagine," Ulic warned them with a shake of his head and a dark gaze which was now pinned on Mace, who almost shivered in response. "If you refuse to listen and act wisely then all Revan has foreseen will come to pass. The Jedi will fall, blood, war and slaughter will rule the future," he continued.
"And that is just the beginning my old friends," another voice spoke up, but this time only the council recognized it as belonging to that of Qui-Gon Jinn and sure enough he appeared next to Ulic and Nomi.
"We have all been used by the Sith Lord and even now he pulls our strings for his own ends. You must break those strings and save not only yourselves, but the lives of everyone who will die from this point on to the end of time, because of the countless wars and uprisings caused by the Sith," he cautioned them. "Save Anakin, save yourselves and stop the Sith on this all depends," he stressed.
"What do you mean by save Anakin?" Kit Fitso inquired. "What role does Skywalker play in this?" he asked his old friend, still stunned to see him again even as a force ghost.
"Anakin is the key. The Sith Lord wants to corrupt him and he will succeed unless you save him from his worst fears," Qui-Gon answered sadly. "I was correct when I stated he was the chosen one. He can save the universe or condemn it," he told them. "It is up to you to ensure he stays in the light," he explained.
"If he is that important to what happens and he is close to being turned maybe it will be best if we remove him from the war altogether," Mace suggested.
"No, Skywalker must play his part," Ulic cut in again, glaring at Mace. "This is his greatest test. I failed mine, but came back at the end. Sadly the damage I did during my fall was great," he said sadly, causing Nomi to place a hand on his shoulder. "It was the love I had for Nomi and through the actions of her daughter Vima I came back. She reminded me of what I was or what I had set out to do and I trained her so she would never fall into the same trap as I did," he explained, noting the skeptical looks on some of the Jedi's faces.
"I failed my own test as well," Revan pointed out. "I fell, maybe not as badly as Ulic, but I still caused enough damage in the end. It was not my intent, but in the end sometimes things happen outside our control no matter how good our intentions are," he continued, running a hand through his hair. "Bastila brought me back from the brink. She saved my soul and I returned to the light and did what I could to make up for my actions," he went on, his tone and gaze dark as Bastila took his hand in hers. "I brought Bastila back when she too fell, if even only briefly and not enough to cause any real damage," he told them. "Our love was the key to our salvation, an emotion you have all thrown away in your arrogance, just as the Jedi council of my own time did," he finished.
"And that is how you will save Anakin" Qui-Gon stated. "If you are wise enough to actually see how powerful that emotion is," he added with smile.
"Padme Amidala," Shaak Ti said, her hologram flickering a little. "It is not a secret the two are close," she reminded the others.
"If he is in a relationship with her then he has broken the tenants of the Order," Mace pointed out.
"Forget the tenants, they are no longer useful," Ulic shot back. "The reason you have been beaten so far by the Sith is that they have grown and evolved, whilst the Jedi have become stagnant," he pointed out.
"If you wish to survive what is to come the Jedi must evolve as well," Nomi agreed. "If you do not then you will fall," she warned.
"The choice is now yours my friends, so choose wisely," Qui-Gon told them, just before he and the other two force ghosts faded out.
"I suggest you think over all of this," Revan said, breaking the silence that had descended as he used the force to return his borrowed lightsaber back to its owner. "We will return when you call for us," he added, before he walked out his hand still tightly holding Bastila's who followed him and then the rest of their group.
The council, at least the members who were actually there, dropped back into their chairs still trying to come to grasps with everything that had just happened. Even more so on what the force ghosts had told them. Yoda most of all began to go through everything the force ghosts had said and even hinted at. Clearly things were even more dangerous than he had first thought.
Revan was also in deep thought as he wondered over the appearance of the force ghosts, clearly the force wanted them to succeed. Stepping off the elevator he allowed Bastila to take the lead as she followed the aide who was taking them to the archives. The rest of their group broke up into groups of two and decided to explore the temple.
Across the city planet Palpatine stood in his guise as Darth Sidious listening to Dooku give an update of the status of the war. He was annoyed to learn they had lost the battle for Praesitlyn as he had planned to use that planet as a new staging point for the next series of attacks he believed would weaken the Republic almost to the breaking point. This would set it up for the final move in his long plan.
He stared at the visage of his apprentice who awaited his orders over the holocom, he wondered if he should green light his idea to send Grievous after Anakin and Obi-Wan. He still hoped to turn the young Jedi into his newest apprentice, but there was now a nagging doubt in his mind thanks to the blank spot he could not see when he looked into the future.
Kenobi however would best serve him dead. The bond he shared with Anakin was just as strong as his own. If he ever truly hoped to turn him to his cause he had to either cut the bond Obi-Wan and Anakin shared or kill the Jedi Master, thus causing Anakin pain and grief and even better anger.
"Proceed with your plan my apprentice. However make sure your target is Kenobi only. I have plans for young Skywalker," he finally spoke in his sinister tone.
"As you wish my Master," Dooku responded with a frown, not exactly sure what he meant by that.
"Do not concern yourself with what I plan, just know that it will put us in a much stronger position for the end game," Palpatine told him, sensing the uncertainty from his apprentice.
"Of course Master," Dooku replied before he signed off.
Palpatine chuckled at how easy it was to manipulate Dooku as well as assure him he was not working against him. He should know better as the Sith always turned on one another in time. If his plan succeeds Anakin would take Dooku's place as his apprentice soon and the war would quickly be won in his favor and best of all the Jedi would finally be exterminated.