Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan (9 page)

BOOK: Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan
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Denying or attempting to utterly control emotion, Revan felt, was a fool’s game. Jealousy was actually the result of ill-prepared Jedi being overwhelmed by feelings they had never learned to face. Revan believed Jedi could be taught to use positive emotions like love and happiness to strengthen their connection to the Force in the same way that hatred and anger gave power to those who followed the dark side.

Emerging from the entrance hall, Revan was struck as always by the magnificent view. The Jedi Temple had been built atop a massive mountain, its rooftop converted into a huge open-air courtyard that overlooked Coruscant’s endless cityscape a full kilometer below. A towering spire had been built on each of the courtyard’s corners, and a fifth spire, larger than the others, rose up from the center.

Small clusters of robed figures, a mixture of Jedi Padawans, Knights, and Masters, filled the area. Some made their way quickly through the garden paths on business. Others lounged on benches or by fountains, taking a break from chores or training exercises.

Revan kept the brown hood of his traditional Jedi cloak up to avoid being recognized. He wanted to conduct his business and be on his way as quickly as possible. The sooner he left the Temple, the better.

He hadn’t always felt this way. In the first few weeks after Malak’s defeat, when he was still being honored and feted as the savior of the galaxy, he had approached the Council with an offer to share his new understanding of the Force with the other members of the Order. He
had expected some resistance, of course. The Council was stuck in the old ways. They didn’t understand that the Force was alive. They couldn’t accept that it had evolved beyond their staid teachings. Yet he had been unprepared for the sheer hostility of the Council’s reaction.

Not only did they reject his offer, but a handful of Councilors had wanted to banish him from the Order. Fortunately, cooler heads had prevailed. Revan was a hero. The tale of his redemption and return to the light had spread throughout the galaxy … though the sordid details of how the Jedi had stripped away his identity had been carefully excised. The wiser members of the Council understood that the legend of Revan was far too valuable to throw away simply because they no longer had any use for the man himself.

In the end a compromise was reached. The Jedi would not speak out against his marriage to Bastila. Officially, both would still be recognized as Jedi in good standing, with all corresponding rights and privileges. In exchange, Revan promised not to spread his heresy to other members of the Order.

At first, Bastila wanted to reject their terms. But Revan convinced her that an ideological war with the Jedi Council served no purpose. They had done their part; it was time for them to fade from history and live out the rest of their days in peace.

And so they had … until Revan started having those blasted dreams.

That was why he was there now. Canderous was out among his own people, seeing if he could find some connection between the war and a planet shrouded in the darkness of eternal storms. He’d been gone several weeks, and Revan had yet to hear back. But rather than sit around and do nothing, he’d decided to do a little investigation of his own.

Moving with long, quick strides he made his way to the spire on the northwest corner of the courtyard. This tower was home to the Council of First Knowledge, a collection of five Jedi Masters and their underlings who specialized in the history and lore of the entire Order. It was also home to the Temple Archives—by far the galaxy’s largest assembled collection of documents, data disks, and holocrons. It was
often said that if an item did not appear in the Archive records, then it did not exist.

Despite the bold claim, Revan doubted he’d find anything to explain his dreams lurking in the stacks. He’d actually come here in search of something else.
Someone
else. A name from his past.

Massive chunks of his memory were still missing. To fill in the gaps, he’d need to speak to someone who had been with him during that time. Someone who had served beside him in the war.

Malak had been his right hand during the campaign against the Mandalorians. But Malak was dead; Revan would get no answers there. Yet there had been another—a powerful Jedi named Meetra Surik. Meetra had been among the first to join Revan’s cause, and she quickly proved herself to be a brilliant tactician and military leader.

Recognizing her potential, Revan had made her a general, giving her control over nearly half of the Republic and Jedi troops under his command. Meetra had been instrumental in defeating the Mandalorians, dealing them a devastating blow during the Battle of Malachor V … though at a cost nearly impossible to fathom.

He hesitated only briefly at the door leading into the spire, steeling himself for what he might find. Then he entered the building and mounted the long, spiral staircase leading up to the first floor of the Archives.

Revan had defeated Mandalore shortly after Meetra’s victory at Malachor V, effectively ending the war. Then he and Malak had set off into the Unknown Regions, while Meetra had returned to face the judgment of the Jedi Council. She hadn’t spoken to Revan since; he didn’t even know where she was.

He knew some of the details of what had happened. On her return, the Jedi Council had declared her a traitor for following Revan. They had stripped her of her rank and banished her, branding her as the Exile. According to the rumors, she had left Republic space and simply disappeared. Yet Revan felt there was more to the story.

Meetra hadn’t tried to contact him following Malak’s defeat. Even if she had left Republic space, she surely would have heard of Revan’s redemption by now. The fact that there had been no word from her was disturbing.

Once he had tried to reach out to her with the Force. Serving in battle with someone formed a special bond; even across the breadth of the galaxy he should have been able to get some vague sense of her presence. Yet he had felt nothing. The simplest explanation was that she had become one with the Force, but Revan couldn’t allow himself to believe she was dead. After surviving the horrors of Malachor V, an anonymous death in the Outer Rim simply didn’t seem fair.

He stepped from the spiral staircase and onto the fourth-story landing, then pushed open the door to the second floor of the Archives. He was relieved to see there was nobody else around; he wanted to do his research in private.

Passing through the tightly packed stacks of data disks, he took a seat at one of the holo-terminals. He wasn’t sure exactly what he was looking for, so he simply entered Meetra’s name into the index.

Several entries came up, including an official report on Malachor V compiled by one of the Jedi Archivists. He made a mental note of the reference number, retrieved the data disk from its shelf, and inserted it into the terminal.

He spent the next few minutes reviewing the report, but failed to come across anything he didn’t already know. Malachor V had been a trap, a ploy to lure the Mandalorian fleet in close enough to the planet to unleash the mass-shadow generator—an experimental superweapon that would draw upon the gravitational anomalies unique to the Malachor system to instantaneously destroy every ship orbiting the planet.

Revan split his fleet in two, giving command of one half to Meetra. While he led his forces against Mandalore’s flagship, he ordered his most trusted general to use her fleet as bait to lure the bulk of the Mandalorian ships within range of the mass-shadow generator.

The Mandalorians had taken the bait, and once they were in range Meetra gave the order to engage the mass-shadow generator. The atmosphere exploded in a flash of fire, leaving only ash behind. Everything on Malachor’s surface—every plant and tree, every animal and insect—was instantly vaporized by the intense heat. The ground cracked and heaved, leaving deep scars across the blasted landscape.

At the same time hundreds of ships, Republic and Mandalorian
alike, were yanked from orbit by the creation of an irresistible gravity vortex at the planet’s core. They crashed into the surface of the world, striking with such velocity that their hulls actually penetrated several kilometers into the ground, burying the twisted wreckage and broken bodies. Tens of thousands of lives were snuffed out in a fraction of a second.

Revan’s and Meetra’s ships had both been safely beyond the range of the superweapon, though whether that was by luck or design Revan honestly couldn’t say.

His memories of that time were gone, and looking back on his actions, he couldn’t fully explain or justify them. Had he known what was going to happen, willingly sacrificing thousands of his own followers to achieve ultimate victory over the Mandalorians? Or had something in the plan gone horribly wrong?

The report wasn’t so ambiguous: it claimed Revan and Meetra both knew what would happen. It declared them criminals of war and mass murderers. The author of the report speculated that Malachor V was proof that even then Revan had already embraced the ways of the dark side.

But Revan wasn’t interested in the opinions of some anonymous Jedi Archivist; he only cared for the facts … particularly what happened to Meetra after the battle. And here the report was severely lacking.

All he could glean was that she had returned of her own free will to face the Council, which summarily banished her from the Jedi Order and Republic space.

“I should have guessed it was you.”

The voice came from behind, sharp with indignation.

Revan rose from his chair and turned to face the speaker. She wore the traditional robes of a Jedi Archivist, though Revan knew she was in fact a Jedi Master. She was young for the position, about Bastila’s age, but her hair was platinum white. She had cold blue eyes, and a pale complexion that spoke of a life spent inside the Archives, well sheltered from the rays of the sun.

“Atris,” Revan said with a nod and a forced smile, silently cursing.

Once a close friend of Meetra’s, Atris had refused to join those who
had gone to battle the Mandalorians. A staunch traditionalist, she had shared the unfavorable opinion of Revan common to the older, more conservative Masters. Of all the people who could have interrupted his search, he could think of few he wanted to encounter less.

“Still trying to recapture your lost memories?” she asked a little too smugly, and Revan understood that her arrival was no accident.

Atris must have tagged the report he’d been reading so it would alert her whenever it was referenced. There were no rules or regulations against this kind of security feature, but it was rarely done. As a rule, those who served the Council of First Knowledge respected the right to personal privacy of Jedi visiting the Temple Archives.

Yet even though Revan had sought to keep his investigations private, he had done nothing wrong. And he still needed answers.

“This report seems to skim over some of the relevant details,” he said. “Shoddy work,” he added on a sudden hunch.

He saw Atris bristle and he knew he’d guessed right: not only had she tagged the report, she’d also prepared it.

“Maybe you just can’t see the obvious truth in front of you,” she snapped.

Revan smiled. Despite all the Jedi teachings about peace and serenity, he’d always had a knack for riling up overly sanctimonious members of the Order like Atris.

“Guess I just need your great wisdom to help me understand what I’m missing.”

“What makes you think I would do anything to help you?”

“I’m still a Jedi, and Meetra’s sentence is a matter of record,” he reminded her, suddenly serious. “I have a right to know the truth of what happened. All of it.”

“What more is there to tell? She made the mistake of following you. You led her down the path to the dark side. She committed an unforgivable act, and for this the Council banished her.”

“It was a desperate act during a desperate time,” Revan said. “And the mass-shadow generator was an experimental prototype. How could the Council be sure Meetra even knew what would happen? What if it was all a mistake? A terrible accident?”

“The mass-shadow generator was a weapon of war,” Atris replied
with a cool, rational calm. “Its sole purpose was death and destruction, and she gave the order to activate it. How is that an accident?”

“But she obviously regretted her actions, and she surrendered voluntarily to the Council. Why wouldn’t they show her mercy?”

“They needed to make an example of her.” Atris made no effort to hide the bitterness in her voice. “She became a symbol for all those who had defied the will of the Council. Mercy was not an option.”

“It can’t be that simple,” Revan pressed. “My crimes were far worse, yet the Council gave me a second chance.”

“You could still be of use to us.”

Revan sensed there was something she wasn’t saying. “What does that mean? Meetra was a powerful Jedi. Why didn’t the Council try to redeem her?”

The archivist shook her head in disbelief. “You really have no idea what you did to her, do you?”

“No, I don’t,” Revan snapped, allowing his frustration to bubble over. “My memory has more holes in it than a Kaminoan sponge. So why don’t you just tell me?”

Atris bit her lower lip and glared at him. Then, perhaps realizing that answering his questions was the quickest way to get him to leave, she began to speak.

“Meetra was much closer to the mass-shadow generator than you were. She felt the shock wave; it nearly killed her. Left her vulnerable. At the same time, she felt the deaths of the Mandalorians and her fellow soldiers through the Force. It was all too much to bear in her weakened state. It would have killed her.” She paused for emphasis, before continuing. “Instinctively, she protected herself the only way she knew how. She cut herself off from the Force … permanently.”

“I’m sorry,” Revan said sincerely. “I had no idea.”

“Really?” Atris replied angrily. “Then why did you and Malak leave her behind when you went into the Unknown Regions? You realized she was of no further use to you, and you abandoned her. That’s why she came back to the Order to face judgment.”

“I didn’t see that in your report. Is that fact, or just speculation?”

BOOK: Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan
3.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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