(Jedi Temple archives)
Revan looked around the archive room which was one of the biggest rooms he had seen so far in the temple, he took note of the statues that lined the room. Each had a name to identify who they were, the Jedi on duty at the archives told him they were collectively called the Lost Twenty, Jedi who had either gone missing or left the Jedi Order.
He gazed at the image of Count Dooku and wondered what had gone through his mind before he had turned to to the ways of the Sith, the fact his statue remained here told much of his character. He must have been a great Jedi before his fall, and one well thought of if they refused to remove his statue due to his actions now. Finally turning away he headed to where Bastila was now seated at one of the data archives.
He took a seat next to her and hoped what they found would not be too painful. He feared what kind of life they had left their daughter too, with his blood in her veins he knew some in the Order they had left behind would attempt to harm her just for being his daughter.
He prayed to the Force she had known some peace in her life, but he feared that as his daughter she would be as cursed as he was to face war and to fight again and again for her life. He did not tell this to Bastila as he knew it would do no good. She probably knew this already, but did her best to ignore it and hope for the best. Leaving Tera had been the hardest thing she had ever had to do he knew, because she had known Tera and had raised her for her first few years while he had been in Deep Space fighting the true Sith and so his pain, whilst deep, could never match hers. He watched as she began to input commands and he wondered what they would find on the friends they had left behind.
Anakin awoke from his nightmare sweating and breathing hard, but he quickly regained control of himself. Thankfully it had not been anything more than a regular nightmare. He wiped his face and quietly got up and headed into the refresher, once he had finished he pulled on his robes and walked outside for some fresh air.
"You ok, General?" Rex inquired, having come up behind him from his inspection of the camp.
"Trouble sleeping," Anakin responded not that it was a secret from his men. Many times he had been found wandering the camps they had been in at night. "This war has given me many bad nights," he added with a tired smile.
"I understand General," Rex told him, knowing that unlike Clones they were not bread for war and so suffered the effects of it much worse than they did.
Some believed the Clones did not suffer the effects of war, but they were wrong, they did but their training and breeding made them more resilient than Jedi and others who fought the war. He had served with Anakin for the majority of the war and he knew the General was a strong man, but this war had taken a toll on him as well as every other Jedi. They were supposed to be peace keepers, not soldiers.
"Anything to report, Rex?" Anakin inquired as he looked around, taking note of how quite it was.
"Nothing sir, I think this planet is ours," Rex answered, but not without some caution in his voice. "Ventress must have left the planet to avoid being captured and had nothing left behind," he advised.
"That would be just like Ventress. She is always running at the end," Anakin mused in reply. "But she'll be back, and most likely she will be back with a bigger force," he added. "We don't have the troops to hold if she does strike again. We need to either get reinforcements or go after her and hit her before she can strike at us again," he explained.
"Agreed General," Rex said with a nod of his head. "But that is up to General Kenobi and the Council," he continued.
"I am sure they will do the right thing Rex, have faith," Anakin assured him. "I guess I best try and go back to sleep and I suggest you do the same Rex. Tomorrow will probably be a long day," he stated with a smile, before he turned and went back to his room.
Rex watched him go and hoped he would have an easier time getting some sleep than before. They needed him at his best, to meet what came next, especially if they were attacked whilst they were regrouping after the battle they had just fought. Heading back to his own tent he wondered just when this war would end, and when it did, he wondered what role the Clones would play in the future.
Jolee wandered around the temple with the droids following him. He was still fighting the shock of seeing Ulic Qel-Droma appear as a force ghost. He knew the story, as well as the rest of them, of how he had found redemption thanks to Vima Sunrider. He had always dismissed it, unable to think that the man who had caused the war that had killed his wife could be redeemed, now he could no longer deny that truth.
The Sith were an evil that had to be expunged for good this time. They had to succeed in their mission he thought. Sometimes he believed the universe would have been better off without Jedi at all, because he thought if there was no Jedi, there would be no Sith. But as long as the force existed then so would the Jedi and from them would always come discontent and frustrated Jedi, who would in the end become Sith. Power, as always, was a drug no one could really ignore, it drew even the best of people to it like a moth to a flame he knew. Ulic had set out with good intentions to save the universe, avenge his Master's and destroy the Sith. In the end that choice had destroyed him, because he decided to go alone into the vipers nest without support. He wondered what would have happened if Nomi or even his brother Cay had gone with him. Would he have been saved from his dark fate? Who knew?
Across the temple near the training grounds Tarin and Visas watched as a couple of Jedi trained under the watchful eyes of a Master. He was not one of the council members they had seen. He was clearly one of the Order's sword-masters as his skill was easily noticeable. Tarin wondered how many Jedi had fallen in the years this war had been waging and how young some of them had been, as some of the Jedi who were training still looked like younglings.
"They have some skill," Visis said, seeing even without eyes as her species could do thanks to the force.
"Yes they do, but no matter how great your skill in war is, a day will come when you either meet someone greater in skill or just get out numbered," Tarin responded with a shake of his head. "I hope they are training them not just for battle, but how to recognize when a battle is lost and to withdraw. War is not just about fighting," he reminded her. "No, it is a state of being, you live and breathe it and must recognize how to fight, how to survive, how to keep your men alive and in good spirits and how to think like your enemy," he stated. "You need to plan and then make backup plans in case your original one fails. You need to plan how to counter attacks in any form, that is what they need to know as well as how to fight," he finished.
"I am sure the council knows this Tarin," Visas assured him, hearing the tenseness in his tone as he spoke and she knew he was thinking of his own experiences in war, fighting alongside Revan.
"We can but hope, can't we?" Tarin said wishing this war was not happening, but like every other conflict he had been a part of, his wish went unanswered.
He knew he was needed here by Revan and the others, but he was tired of fighting. Hell he knew Revan was just as tired and both of them wanted to live in peace. But the force had other plans for them, as always. Maybe, just maybe, he thought if they pulled this mission off they could indeed have peace. Turning away he continued his exploration with Visas, seeing many new area's of the temple that had not been there during their own time, new statues were everywhere as well.
Ventress boarded Grievous's command ship, feeling somewhat tired, but still thirsty for revenge against Skywalker and Kenobi for always defeating her plans. They were always in her way she thought bitterly. She ignored the droids she saw all around the ship, as they did nothing but annoy her. One of the reasons she felt they had not won the war yet was the stupidity of the main B1 battle droid series. The B2 series was much more effective, but cost more and took more time to build and so there were far more B1 models in the army than the B2 and thus easily defeated by the Jedi and their Clone soldiers.
They could also do with some better commanders as some of the ones they had were idiots and they had lost some of the best ones they'd had at the beginning like Durge, Sev'rance Tann and Alto Stratus. Now except from Grievous himself all they had left were idiots, who knew little of how to fight a war, but Dooku and his Master did not seem to care and a stalemate continued to hold at the moment. They needed a breakthrough in the lines somewhere, they needed to push the Republic as hard as possible and make them commit whatever was left of their reserves. She knew they were having reinforcement problems so now was a great time to strike, but again they seemed to just wait. Arriving on the bridge she noted Grievous already in communication with Dooku, who soon took note of her arrival. His gaze was dark and she just glared back.
"Ah Ventress there you are," Dooku said, ignoring the glare she gave him and making Grievous aware of her presence. "Just in time to aide the General in his new task," he continued.
"And what is the mission, my Lord?" she inquired.
"You are to return to Praesitlyn, retake it and ensure Obi-Wan Kenobi is killed in the fighting," Dooku answered. "I don't care what it takes, but Kenobi must fall. Do not fail me again," he warned.
"What about Skywalker?" she demanded to know, wanting nothing more than to gut her nemesis.
"He is to be left alive, as my Master has plans for him," Dooku ordered, glancing at both and noting how they both frowned at this news.
"I will crush the Jedi," Grievous growled. "They will all die," he added before leaving to begin preparations for the battle to come.
"I will do the best I can Master to ensure Skywalker is unharmed, but things happen in war," Ventress said with a twisted smile, before she too left having no plans to follow that particular order.
Skywalker would die at her hand and if not hers then she was sure Grievous would deal with the upstart Jedi and his Padawan would also perish along side him. She doubted either Dooku or his Master would retaliate, as both she and Grievous were needed to win this war. She smiled darkly before heading for her quarters to rest.
Dooku glared at where Ventress's image had been, knowing she had no intention off following his order to allow Skywalker to live. She despised the young Jedi completely. Grievous too would ignore his order, as his hatred for all Jedi was uncontrollable, which is exactly why they had done what they had done to transform him into what he now was. They had framed the Jedi for the explosion that had almost killed him, so Grievous would become the supreme commander of their military. In this case that might work against them, he believed.
Still if he was honest with himself, he did not care one way or the other if Skywalker lived or not, as long as he did not shoulder the blame or suffer at his Master's hands if he should be killed. He turned and headed for his office wondering what plans his Master had for the Jedi that he would want him to live. He was uneasy with this twist, he would have to be more aware of his Master's actions and ensure he was not cast aside as one of the only reasons he could want Skywalker was as a replacement for him as his apprentice.
(Jedi Temple archives)
Revan leaned back and closed his eyes, doing his best to hold in his temper as he learned what had befallen his daughter. Bastila just cried ignoring everything else with her head buried in his chest. Oh how he wished he could go back and slaughter Alak and his supporters. How dare they exile his daughter? How dare they label her as dangerous, slowly bit by bit he calmed himself down.
According to the archives Alak had led a coup basically against Ana Sunrider's rule of the council almost ten years after they had left. Forcing her, Ana and the friends they had left behind to flee. It was due to this, that there were two versions of their history in the archives, one done by Ana and one by Alak. No wonder the council had acted as they had, Alak had tried to ensure that only their short sighted view was shown.
He pushed on deeper into the history and paused as he finally found what he had dreaded to find. Proof that the true Sith had struck just as he had always said they would. As he read the file he paused as something quickly caught his eyes. At first he thought he had imagined it, but after reading it again he smiled.
"Bastila look at this," he said, doing what he could to stop her crying.
Finally she turned and looked at what he had wanted to show her. He watched her tear stained eyes widen as she too saw what he had. He saw first the disbelief and then how satisfaction settled in.
"Our descendants came back to the Jedi," Bastila mused in surprise. "Tera must have married and had kids and in time when we were nothing more than whispers and names in history, they came back and rejoined the Order," she said, looking at him.
"And they helped save the Order from the true Sith, when they finally showed themselves," Revan continued, taking over from her with a smile. "This Satele Shan was Grand Master of the Order during the war, and her daughter played a vital role in ensuring the Sith never won," he added. "It would seem Bastila you were right that Tera had a destiny to follow. She was needed to ensure Satele Shan existed. If she had not then the Order and the Republic would possible have fallen," he stated.
"But why did Tera have to suffer exile, Revan?" Bastila demanded to know angrily.
"I do not know entirely, but maybe the Force wanted her to be a different kind of Jedi. Not one tied down to the tenants of the Order," Revan responded thoughtfully. "I am sure Tera and Juhani remained together and I am sure Ana, Brianna, Mira and even Atton were with them, doing what they could to aide people as the Jedi they were," he told her, bringing her slightly closer to ignore the disapproving looks a few Jedi shot them as they passed. "If I could, I would reach back in time and choke the life out of Alak and his narrow minded supporters, but I can't. I'm sure that they were punished for taking their fear, anger and hate out on a child," he assured her.
"I hope Tera knew we loved her, that we didn't abandon her," Bastila said, feeling tired and emotionaly drained. "I hope our friends found some peace. I can't help but think what would have happened had I stayed," she admitted almost fearfully, as she met his eyes.
"I know Bastila, I know," Revan responded softly. "But I fear even if you had stayed the coup would still have happened, maybe even faster than it did with Ana," he told her. "And I am sure Tera knew we loved her and that we did not want to leave her, but that we had to follow the will of the force," he said, trying to reassure her. "Juhani would have given her the holocron we made for her. Our messages would have ensured that she knew how difficult the choice was for us," he added.
"I need to sleep Revan, I am tired," Bastila finally said after a short silence.
Revan did not answer, instead he swept her into his arms and carried her all the way back to their room. He ignored the looks the passing Jedi gave him as he went. By the time he entered the room to find the others still gone, Bastila was already asleep. He gently laid her in the bed and covered her and then sat down across from her and brooded on what they had discovered.
More had to be known about what happened to Tera and the others once they were exiled. The question was how to find out? He would discuss this with Tarin and Visas when they returned, they would be useful and maybe T3 could hack the system and see what else were in the archives, which they had not been permitted to see.
Obi-Wan almost sighed in relief as he finally made contact with the council. He glanced to the left as Anakin, Ahsoka, Rex and Cody joined him. He noted his friend looked slightly off and he guessed he had trouble sleeping again, as he did ever so often. Turning back to the council he was shocked by how tense they looked. Only Yoda seemed unaffected or was able to ignore whatever it was that had happened during the communications blackout.
"Master Yoda, I am pleased to report we have won the battle for Praesitlyn," he started. "We crushed the droid forces sent against us and forced Ventress to retreat. We believe she has fled the planet and I regret we were in no shape to pursue," he added.
"Good news is this," Yoda said calmly.
"However Master we need immediate reinforcements as I believe she will return in greater numbers," Anakin cut in. "Ever since I awoke I have been feeling a tremor in the force, a warning," he informed them.
"We have little to send Skywalker," Kit Fitso admitted. "But we will do the best we can, do whatever you have to and hold your positions," he ordered. "Help will be on its way soon," he finished.
"Is there anything wrong Masters?" Obi-Wan inquired.
"Discuss that will we at another time Master Kenobi," Yoda responded. "May the force be with you all," he added, before the contact was cut off.
"Was it just me or did they all seem somewhat on edge?" Ahsoka inquired, feeling uneasy.
"Nice eye kid," Rex said with a smile. "They really have something on their mind at the moment," he added.
"Yeah, I wonder what though?" Cody shot back. "I wonder how the others are fairing across the line, just cause we won does not mean the others did," he reminded them.
"True Cody, but let us have some faith in our friends," Ahsoka replied. "No, I think whatever it is, was related to whatever it was we felt just before the battle," she suggested.
"We don't have time to discuss this Ahsoka. We need to prepare for the attack I am certain is coming," Anakin cut in, before they could go any further. "Rex, I want you to start setting up barricades and dug outs. Get the men rearmed and resupplied," he ordered. "Cody, set up watches, we need to know when they arrive," he added.
"I would also suggest that we find a good fall-back point, just in case we cannot hold them here," Obi-Wan finally spoke, having faith in what his friend had already ordered as well as his certainty that an attack was coming. "Draw back the majority of our heavy tanks and cannons we have left. Ahsoka you will be in charge of this relief force," he said turning to Anakin's Padawan. "If you get the signal that we are retreating then prepare to cover us as we come towards you," he told her with a small smile.
"I've got your backs Masters. I'll get Vance to get the remainder of my squad together and begin work," Ahsoka responded before she turned around and left.
"Rex, assign a few more men to Ahsoka's unit, will you?" Anakin asked as Rex turned to follow the orders he had been given.
"Of course General," Rex nodded before heading out, followed by Cody.
"I hope whatever support the council can find gets here fast," Obi-Wan said with a sigh. "Because if you are right, big trouble is heading our way," he added.
"Isn't it always, Master?" Anakin shot back.
(Jedi Temple, Council Chamber)
"We do not have much left to send to aide Master Skywalker and Kenobi," Shaak Ti reminded Kit Fitso, once the channel was cut and even with the hologram flickering, the others could tell she was worried.
"I know, but I think we have enough to send to help them, as well as some of our new friends," Kit Fitso responded. "I suggest we send Revan and a few of his friends to aide Skywalker and Kenobi. A test if you will, to see just what kind of help they are," he continued.
"Forged in battle was Revan, did Bastila say," Yoda reminded them. "The Exile too, good Generals would they make," he agreed.
"If I may Master, I do not believe we should trust Revan with any forces," Mace argued, somewhat surprised by this move. "No matter what those force ghosts say, I believe Revan and his friends are dangerous," he stated.
"And yet he did not kill you, when he defeated you," Agen Kolar reminded him. "No, I think Fitso has a good idea here. Skywalker, Kenobi and their forces need help and we have some experienced fighters here who can help," he told the council. "Maybe just the kind of people who can use whatever reinforcements we can build up, however small that will be and forge them into something that can win the battle," he suggested. "From what I remember reading of Revan in the archives, he won battles ranging from big to small and sometimes with fewer forces at his command," he told them.
"All in favor," Yoda asked.
Nearly the entire council raised its hand with only Mace and two others objecting. Mace shook his head, believing the council was making a big mistake in trusting Revan with their Clone forces.
"Then agreed it is, summon Revan and his friends once they had had time to rest will I," Yoda said. "I suggest we use that time to find a force to send with them to aide Skywalker and Kenobi," Yoda advised before ending the session.