• Prologue

    Finally. The fleet, the empire, the Starforge… It’s all mine. Total power within my grasp to use as I will. Yet, I feel lost. Empty. Like I am missing a piece of my soul. An unseen gaping wound within my chest for which there is no cure…
    Oh, Carth. My dear beloved Carth. You were so right, weren’t you? This isn’t me anymore. This isn’t who I am. Yet I didn’t listen. I followed Bastila instead, leaving you heartbroken on the sandy beach of Rakata Prime. Even in the end you tried, tried to keep to your promise to save me, even when I cut you down…
    I’m so sorry.
    If only I could go back and make amends, to change the past.
    If only…

    “My lord?”
    Darth Revan, dark lord of the Sith, turned around from the view port to see a young Cadet shifting nervously, terror in his eyes. The poor fool probably thought she was going to kill him just for speaking to her. Perhaps she should. Fear was a weakness. But she wasn’t feeling up to it.
    “What is it?” she demanded.
    The Cadet’s voice was surprisingly calm despite his emotions. “Lord Shan wishes to speak with you in her quarters.”
    Revan was baffled. “Why does she not come to me?”
    He glanced to the floor. “She said she needed to speak with you privately, away from prying ears.”
    As if any on my men would dare to eavesdrop on a Sith’s conversation.
    “Very well, Cadet. You’re dismissed.”
    The young man bowed his head quickly and hurried away. Revan felt his fear dissipate considerably into the Force.
    I really hate it when people are afraid of me…
    Gritting her teeth, the Sith Lord head for the turbo lift.
    Even Bastila is afraid of me! For Force sakes! I think the only one not afraid of me was Carth! And perhaps Mission and Zaalbar, before I decided to kill them. Canderous is fine too, but he’s a Mandalorian. They’re supposed to be courageous, often bordering on suicidal, but still brave. But the rest of my Force-forsaken men are kriffing cowards!
    The turbo lift reached her destination and she walked down the corridor towards her apprentice’s quarters.
    Ugh… What’s a Sith to do? I can’t very well eliminate my whole fleet! At least their fear makes them submissive. That’s what counts I suppose. But I still wish there was someone out there, that wasn’t afraid of me. Perhaps even dare to take me on, to be my equal and stand by my side.
    Like Carth should have been…
    She reached Bastila’s room and threw up several mental shields before entering. Despite that she was the master and Bastila the apprentice, the former Jedi still would try to pick up on her random thoughts.
    The other woman stood in the center of the room, arms crossed stubbornly and a look of annoyance on her face. She had discarded her Jedi Padawan clothing for the much darker robes of the Sith, and it brought out the fierceness in her gaze more so. Though she harbored fear of Revan, she didn’t let it show.
    The two stared at each other for a moment. Just for a moment.
    “Well?” growled Revan. “What do you want to say to me that you can’t tell me on the bridge?”
    Bastila narrowed her eyes a fraction. “You’re distracted.”
    “Oh really? And why do you say that?”
    “You’ve been dazing, disappearing for hours on end meditating, hardly giving the crew or myself an order…shall I go on?”
    Revan‘s eyebrows furrowed. “It’s none of your concern.”
    “Yes it is!” the other snapped. “You’re thinking of that fool pilot! You can’t get your mind off him. Even in death he bears a hold on you. You may not see it, but I can! It’s destroying you and everything you’ve helped create. He’s……” She trailed off.
    A muscle in Revan’s cheek twitched. “Go on…”
    The woman glared at her defiantly. “He’s making you weak.”
    Revan’s hand shot out made contact with Bastila’s cheek. Hard. The apprentice stumbled back, shocked, lightly touching the rapidly reddening skin.
    “It is not your place to judge me, apprentice,” Revan hissed. “Nor will it ever be. When you are the master, you can speak your mind anyway you please. Until that time, you are to learn to keep in line or I’ll teach it to you the hard way.”
    She took a deep breath. In a quieter, blanker tone, she said, “I’m going for a flight. Don‘t wait up for me.”
    With that, Revan left. Bastila stared after her, a shiver trailing down her spine. She had crossed into dangerous territory and was fortunate to be alive. Or unfortunate? She didn’t know. But she did know Revan’s words sparked an interest in her dark mind. “When I am the master…” What an idea! Yet she still had so much to learn, so much Revan would not reveal to her. For good reason. Once a Sith apprentice learns all their master has to teach them, they kill the master and take their place. So it would be with the apprentice’s apprentice, going on down the line, generation to generation. So was the way of the Sith.
    No. She wouldn’t kill Revan. Yet. She wasn’t strong enough, if she’d ever be.
    One day though. One day.
    Revan’s private ship, Vengeance, flew lazily through space, the lights of the fleet reflected on the sleek black metal. It was a small ship, a quarter size of a Corellian freighter but quite larger than a standard fighter. She had had it custom built, her own design, and it suited her needs with a small ‘fresher, bed, and storage compartment. It also had a surprising number of quips, including multiple high-power blaster cannons, 8.5 lightspeed, and a stealth field generator. A worthy vessel with a load of firepower if she needed it.
    There was no plotted course. The Sith Lord just sat slumped in the cockpit seat, letting the ship drift along the stars, thinking. She’d been doing this often as of late. Sitting around, pondering the past, what was to be, but never on the present. She felt it no longer mattered what her crew did. If they couldn’t decide on a course of action on their own, then they were stupider than she originally thought.
    Maybe Bastila is right. I really am falling apart. I’m losing my sense of duty on the here and now. But I don’t care. Why don’t I care anymore? Because I’ve finally come to my senses of what is right and wrong, is that it? Because I’ve finally developed a conscience?
    She chuckled softly. How ironic. A Sith with morality. Next thing I know there’s going to be a compassionate HK.
    Thinking of her loyal assassination droid made her smirk. He may be a machine, but he provided more company for her than the whole fleet put together. There were moments where she wanted to dismantle him, bolt by bolt, but he did have an interesting sense of humor, if rather gory, for a machine.
    Too bad had she left him back on the Interceptor, her flagship. She would have liked some company.
    Or not. He can prove to be rather talkative.
    “Vengeance, plot course for Korriban,” she said. On top of the other special functions, the vessel also had a voice command system.
    “Course plotted for Korriban,” stated a flat male voice.
    “Good,” Revan muttered, closing her eyes. She wanted to take the time to meditate, but it wouldn’t do her any good to collide with an asteroid field or a meteor.
    The ship rattled, jolting the Sith from her meditation. “What the kriff!” she grumbled, peeking out of the view port. The sight that greeted her eyes froze her. Wherever she was, it most certainly was not Korriban.
    A huge writhing black mass churned before her, spiraling down into an even darker center. Violet energy twisted along the edges, an enormous electrical field. Revan watched as chunks of meteor and space junk were drawn into the phenomenon’s core. Then instinct threw her into action, her hands flying across the computer console.
    Another shudder went through the ship as it was pulled towards the mass. She would need additional power if she was to reverse course. “Vengeance, reroute auxiliary power to the engines.”
    “Auxiliary power rerouted.”
    It wasn’t enough. She was still being drawn towards the mass.
    I need more power damn it!
    “Vengeance, reroute weapons power to the engines.”
    “Weapons power rerouted.”
    The vessel rocked violently, but stopped moving forward. Unfortunately, it didn’t move backwards either.
    Revan pulled on the lever of the reverse thrusters with little success. The power of the mass was unbelievably strong, holding her little ship in place. At least she wasn’t being pulled in anymore, but for how long she could stay like this she didn’t know. The rerouted power had bought her some time, so she had to use it quickly.
    Punching at the comm system she attempted to contact the fleet. She hadn’t been meditating long so she couldn’t have gone too far away.
    “This is Lord Revan of the Vengeance hailing the Interceptor, please respond.”
    Static crackled on the speaker.
    “I repeat, this is Lord Revan of the Vengeance hailing the Interceptor, please respond.”
    More static. She tried on a wider bandwidth, with the same result. Either she was too far away or, more likely the phenomenon before her, was interfering.
    “Vengeance, what is our current location?”
    “Current location unknown.”
    Unknown? Did I end up in the Unknown Regions? But if so how? I had a course plotted to Korriban, not even close to the Unknown Regions…
    A shrill creaking echoed through the ship, and she felt another shudder shake the frame.
    “Auxiliary power failing.”
    Not good.
    She needed to get out of here, fast. But she had no options left.
    “Vengeance, reroute 90% power from life support to engines.”
    “Warning: rerouting 90% power from life support will place organic atmosphere at critical.”
    “Vengeance, override warning and comply.”
    “Overriding. 90% life support power rerouted. Life support at critical 10% and holding.”
    Revan felt the pure, filtered air in the cockpit thin considerably, forcing her to take deeper breaths to fill her lungs.
    Is it enough? Was it worth the risk?
    Slowly, the ship inched back from the phenomenon. The hull buckled under the strain, yet it appeared to be working.
    Finally, she thought, smirking, feeling a bit lightheaded. A shiver went down her spine as the temperature dropped. Now to get out of here.
    Her relief was short lived.
    The vessel jolted and a high pitched grinding reached her ears. She had been struck by an asteroid from behind as it was pulled into the torrent. That had been beyond the ship’s capacity to withstand, and it was spun out of control.
    “Engines failing. Shields at critical.”
    The lights on the console flickered, and the hum of the engines faltered, before completely going out. Revan was helpless as the vessel hurtled towards the electrical mass.
    “Life support at critical and dr-dropping.”
    She clenched her fists tightly and hissed as the violet energy penetrated the ship and coursed through her body. Wave after wave struck the ship, frying the circuitry.
    “Sh-ship integr-rity failure i-imminent.
    White spots appeared before her eyes. She couldn’t breathe. The Force would not comfort her. She was lost and…weak.
    The vessel was sucked into the heart of the storm.
    “-ife s-sup-port f-failu-…”
    It was inevitable that she would die.
    Her lungs constricted and her eyes blurred.
    At last when I’m all alone do I truly repent.
    “…F-forgive…m-me…C-Carth……” Revan croaked with her final breath.
    The last thing she saw before giving in to the gathering darkness was the surface of a blue and green planet rapidly filling up the view port as it rose up to meet her.