His name was Carth Onasi, husband of the Dark Lord Revan, Grand Admiral of the Sith fleet, formerly a proud soldier of the Galactic Republic. In that order, always. As he had been many times before, he stood faced with a choice, and he was conflicted.
Carth loved his wife dearly, he had done so for years. He'd followed her to countless planets and as long as he lived he would follow her to countless more, he was sure.
Theirs had been difficult beginnings. Trust had come slowly to both of them and the storms they'd had to weather had very nearly destroyed them, time and time again. He'd felt drawn to Revan from the start, this charismatic stranger who threw herself into battle with reckless abandon, who tended to her own wounds and refused his help, who was so incredibly infuriating in everything.
He'd met her on Taris and thinking back, he thought that he'd loved her from very the beginning. He'd loved her tenacity, the way she stood up for what she believed in, even when he disagreed. He'd loved listening to her soft snores echoing through the Ebon Hawk every night.
Carth had loved it on the Ebon Hawk, despite all of the adversity they'd faced. They'd been together, all of them, strangers united with a common goal.
At the end of all things he'd found himself on a beach with a terrible choice to make. On this planet with its strange inhabitants, with the temple radiating power and darkness above them, Carth had fallen to his knees in the sand, unable to do what he knew was right. He couldn't fight, couldn't bear the thought of fighting Revan, let alone kill her, he was unable to even flee, unable to withstand the will of the smiling horror in front of him. The woman he would never stop loving stood there, bathed in the blood of her enemies and their allies alike. She looked at him and in that moment they both knew; he would never leave her side.
With burning eyes and a conviction that men would die for, Bastila had urged Revan to kill him, to strike him down, to bloody the pale sand dunes on this Force-forsaken beach but Revan had just laughed, a sweet, melodic sound, and for the first time ever, Carth felt compelled to look away from his lover. He couldn't stand the sight of her. Revan stepped closer, black boots sinking into the sand before his eyes, and bent down. She tilted his chin upwards and forced him to look at her. Refusal came easy to her now, even for something as simple as this.
"My darling," she'd said sweetly, her fiery eyes burning holes into his soul. "You're mine forever," and kissed him softly on his trembling lips, a kiss that tasted of blood and ashes.
Revan had turned towards the ship then, without looking to see who would follow her. They all did, all who remained, without pause. Bastila sneered at the kneeling Carth as she went by, she'd never had much for him apart from disdain.
Everything seemed to be coloured in shades of blue here on this accursed planet, Carth thought. Mission lay lifeless on the sand besides him. Her skin had been the same colour as the sky mere minutes ago ago, but now it was slowly paling. Carth grieved the young Twi'lek who'd gotten wrapped up in things far too big for her, who had believed in the good of the people around her, who had trusted her friends until the very end. Now she lay there, glassy eyes staring into the infinite sky, her blood staining the white sand a deep saturated blue, and Carth was weighed down by guilt for her fate, for the Republic's, for Revan's.
When the water lapped away at the blood and Mission's armor became heavy with water, when the sand began turning white again, Carth finally found the strength to stand. He left behind all of their dead allies as the sun set and they went to claim a new beginning.
He'd stood besides her as Revan proclaimed the Sith Empire hers. He looked upon the courtyard filled with Sith, questioning everything he'd done. Carth looked upon his lover and he grieved for the person she used to be, not too long ago. He had rarely run from a challenge however, so he steeled himself, mustered his courage and decided that he would stand by her, told himself that she could still be reached.
Carth would never admit it, but he knew then in his heart of hearts that even if she couldn't, even she was lost forever, he would never leave.
He'd seen Revan a few days ago, had wrapped the dark-clad woman in his arms and clung to her for dear life, wishing for nothing more than to be back on the Ebon Hawk with the rest of the crew. He'd kissed her and she'd responded with the same ferocity as she always did, the same passion and murmured reassurances that she loved him, that she'd never let him go, never let him get hurt. Carth had cupped her face in his hands and looked at her features, so familiar and yet so different now than they had been all those years ago. Her skin had paled terribly since then, a pallid, sickening tint that had accompanied the burning orange shade of her eyes.
Revan had had lovely blue eyes once, Carth remembered, soft eyes with endless lashes that he could have stared into for centuries if he'd gotten the chance. Blue like the ocean on the beach.
Now her eyes were frightening. They reminded him of all the things they'd lost, all the people that they'd left behind in one way or another, all the atrocities he now carried on his conscience. They burned deep orange and Carth could never bear to look at them for more than a few moments at a time.
Carth had many regrets in this life. One of the foremost was that he'd never get to see the blue of Revan's eyes again.
Grand Admiral Onasi stood on the bridge now and felt like he was back on the beach again. The choice was his, he could do the right thing. He wielded the power now. He didn't have to be like Saul had been, he could be better.
Carth looked down on the planet and made his choice.
"Do it," Carth said and clenched his jaw. The bombardment started immediately and Carth looked upon the destruction he was bringing with hard eyes and he wondered at what he'd become.
Barely a muscle moved when he stood there, when he felt soft trembles in the floors as the cannons fired. Cities burned underneath them, the oceans boiled and Carth was grateful that he'd never had any semblance of connection to the Force. Still, he imagined that he could hear the screams of the millions of people dying on the planet below, imagined their pain and fear as destruction rained down upon them. He imagined how the few survivors of the ravaged planet would try to put their lives back together when the fires had finally stopped, but all he could see was himself on Telos eons ago. Carth saw himself with a dead wife in his arms and a missing son, and he relieved the absolute heartache of it all. He didn't need the Force to feel how the Mantellians felt.
Carth stood alone on the bridge, long after the blue-green surface of Ord Mantell had become charred and blackened. He watched the planet turn, saw the smoke clouding the atmosphere and felt his heart harden.
"What we do for love...," Carth murmured bitterly to himself as he finally turned on his heel and left the sight of ashes and broken lives behind.