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Corruption of the Dark

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“My Lord Revan, a group of Jedi have infiltrated the flagship. Confirmed reports from levels 4, 5 and 6.”

 

“Noted.”

 

“B-but my Lord?”

 

“Continue the attack. The Jedi intruders are not a priority.”

 

A moment passed before the Captain whimpered a meek apology. The coward, Revan thought, surveying the battle raging before her, he would abandon the battle in fear of puppets; how pathetic.

 

The tattered remnants of a Republic fleet lay strewn around her flagship like broken toys, fighters darting and diving between the debris that littered the horizon. Revan was no fool; she had known that this was a trap, a ploy by whatever remained of the Republic to take down the ascendant Dark Lord.

 

The arrogant fools. “Captain? Open a comm-link to the Republic fleet.”

 


 

“Commander Bastila, do you copy?”

 

“We hear you Admiral, what’s the matter?” Bastila turned to her team, searching them for any injuries or wounds. They had been fighting through the Dark Lord’s flagship for what seemed like hours now, and they had suffered heavy casualties. She was determined to not lose anyone else.

 

“We have an incoming transmission from the Sith flagship, patching it through.” Before she could object, a familiar voice rang out from her communicator.

 

Greetings Republic! How are you all doing, good? Good. I’m doing pretty well myself actually, just dealing with a few pests.”, Bastila couldn’t help but bite back her disgust- good men and women had died, and the Sith was mocking them!

 

Well, as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, you’re losing. Quite badly, I might add. In fact,” A low rumble shook the ship for a moment, “you just lost another one of your cruisers. How many people are on one of those? I’d say about 20,000, but what do I know? Ooh, here’s an idea! After the rest of your ships are torn from the sky, we’ll comb through the wreckage and count the bodies! I think that be fun, don’t you?” Bastila tried to bury her mounting fury, but the Sith Lord’s taunting bore down deep into her, ingraining itself into her mind.

 

Anyway, what did I want to say… ah yes, I have an ultimatum for you all. Now, you’re fighting a losing battle, any idiot can see that, and it’s only going to get worse for you if you keep this up, understood?” Another tremor rocked the floor, “Oof, poor sods. 10,000 more dead, and why? I’ll tell you why just turn to face your commanding officer. Go on, do it.” Bastila could feel the eyes of her team fix onto the back of her head, “They don’t give a damn about you. They’d quite happily sacrifice 30,000 of--,” the floor shook again, “50,000 of you to take down a handful of us. Now, think of the Jedi who lead you, who saunter around with noses in the air and eyes glazed over. During the Mandalorian Wars, they would have left the galaxy to burn if not for me, understand? And now they ask you, regular people of the Republic, to bleed and die for them, to take me down.

 

A gruff Republic soldier murmured behind her, and Bastila felt something shift in the Force.

 

“So, here’s my offer to you all, if you’d be so kind as to listen. I will let every last one of you go, on one condition. One little condition, and you can go home to your friends and families with no fear of repercussion. All you have to do… is mutiny. You will rise against your leaders”, Bastila felt another shift in the force, “and you can all go free. That’s my offer to you all. Revan, out.” And just like that, the comm died.

 

Silence fell over the team as they carried on marching through the Flagship, Jedi and soldier alike tightening their grips on blasters and lightsabers alike as they eyed one another warily.

 

“Commander Bastila, come in! We have a situation!”

 

“Vice-Admiral? Where’s Admiral Bennet, what’s going on out there?”

 

Sounds of gunfire crackled over the comm-line as the embattled officer responded, “We have a serious mutiny on our hand's Commander- Revan must have done something to them!”

 

This… was not part of the plan, Bastila thought.

 


 

“... Revan, out.” With a flick of a switch, the comm link flickered out, and Revan turned to face a rattled-looking Captain.

 

“M-my Lord, you have an incoming call from Lord Malak.”

 

“Patch him through.”

 

Moments later, a hologram of her apprentice flickered into being before her. Even though he towered over her, Revan could feel the fear in him.

 

Good to see I left a mental mark as well as just a physical one, she mused, allowing herself a slight smile.

 

“Master, what did you just do?” For a moment, Revan thought she sensed a degree of awe in the man’s voice, but she disregarded it for the time being.

 

“Unlike you Malak, I do not rely on brute force and savagery to win my battles; I just swayed thousands of soldiers to my cause with a few words and a slight nudge of the Force. You would do well to learn from this, my apprentice.” She could feel the waves of hatred rolling off of him as she said those last words; the pure, undiluted emotion momentarily drowning out the surging darkness aboard the Republic cruisers.

 

“Indeed… my master.”

 

“Did you only contact me to ask for tips? I assume you have something important to bring to my attention?”

 

“You are correct, master. Observe,” Another hologram appeared next to Malak’s, showing a detailed readout of the Republic flagship, “Our intelligence suggests that the Jedi known as Bastila Shan was aboard this ship, but was dispatched a short while ago along with a full platoon of men. I believe--”

 

“That they’ve boarded my ship in an effort to kill me?”

 

Malak fell silent, eyes simmering with frustration, “Indeed, my master.”

 

“Do you think me a fool? I was aware of this from the moment we arrived in the system- I certainly do not need you to tell me the obvious, my young apprentice.”

 

Though silence was his only response, Revan could feel Malak’s gaze burning into the back of her head as she stalked back towards the observation windows.

 


 

“We should be coming up on the main elevator to the observation deck, Commander.” Bastila nodded in acknowledgement, but her mind was still fixed on the group of soldiers behind her. It had been only a few minutes since Revan’s communication had ended, but ever since then, the remainders of her platoon had been mumbling between one another, stealing dirty looks at the 6 Jedi who led them between hushed whispers.

 

Another tremor rocked the ship, the sounds of groaning metal and turbolaser fire being drowned out by the low rumble of a ruined capital ship disintegrating into the void. Bastila slipped and fell, the shaking floor proving too unstable for her, even despite her Jedi training…

 

And that was when the soldiers made their move.

 


 

Revan tutted, wheeling round to face the flickering likeness of Darth Malak, “You know what, that’s just like you, y’know? You’re a moron Malak, a moron who assumes too much but knows too little. And on top of that, you’re a brute! You know what’s at stake, what’s waiting to strike from dark space, yet you would burn and maim your way through the only force capable of stopping it,” throwing her hands up in exasperation, she stormed back over to the comm terminal, eyes burning a baleful yellow as she rounded on the flickering hologram, “the Sith Emperor is too great a threat, you know this! So why do you act like this is some sort of game?”

 

“You overestimate Vitiate, he will--”

 

He will wipe the stars clean!” Revan’s usual calm shattered, her eyes wild as the Force screamed around her, “You short-sighted fool, you would play at Soldiers whilst the galaxy burns!”

 


 

The crack of a blaster rifle echoed through the empty corridor, and with it, the wet thud of a Jedi’s body falling to the floor whipped the remaining Knights into action. Lightsabers ignited as Bastila steadied herself, letting the sharp yellow glow of her blade fill her vision for a moment before dashing forwards, sabre staff spinning as she screamed in defiance.

 


 

“You’re the fool Revan. The Sith Emperor is a phantom; he poses no threat to the rest of the galaxy. You throw away our chance at revenge against the Jedi to live out your own fantasies of ruling the Republic! You’re as bad as those we fight against.” Malak’s voice was strained, his vocabulator struggling with the sheer force behind the giant’s words, “My new Empire needs a true leader, not a silver-tongued serpent like you!”

 

“You’re new Empire?!” Revan screamed, her eyes blazing as the very floor she stood on began to crack and smoulder, “You’re a foolish cur Malak, and it’s time I brought you to heel.” Revan punched a button on the console, and the image of her traitorous apprentice faded away.

 

“Captain, raise port-side deflector shields and fire on the Leviathan!

 


 

Bastila span forwards, sweeping the legs out from under a gruff-looking soldier with a swift kick. Feeling the Force running through her veins, she eyed her next target, reaching out to him with arm outstretched. She pulled the hapless soldier towards her, drawing him onto her blade with one swift movement, muttering an apology into the dying man’s ear as she dropped his body to the floor. Bastila felt a presence behind her and wheeled around just in time to block the incoming vibroblade with her sabre.

 

Kicking her new attacker in the shin, she lashed out with her blade, trying her best to disarm the man instead of killing him; enough blood had been shed today without her adding Republic names to her kill list.The soldier seemed undeterred, however, as he rained down attack after attack, blade crackling with energy as it locked with the brilliant yellow beam of the Padawan’s weapon.

 

Gritting her teeth, Bastila drew upon the Force once more, lifting the man above her head. Ignoring the fight around her, she focused all her attention on the young soldier she had at her mercy.

 

Looking him in the eyes, she expected to see only anger and hatred, the emotions of one who had been poisoned by the words of the Sith. But instead, she saw the eyes of a young boy, filled with nought but fear and remorse.

 

The eyes of a child.

 


 

“M-my Lord?”

 

“You heard me! The Leviathan, now!”

 

“My Lord, we cannot j--” There was a sharp crack as the Captain collided with the ceiling; he was dead before he hit the floor.

 

Revan turned to face a terrified-looking crew, yellow eyes searching for…

 

“You there! Congratulations on the promotion! Now… FIRE ON THE LEVIATHAN!” 

 


 

 

Bastila lowered the boy to the ground as the last of the rebel soldiers fell to her Jedi entourage.

 

“How old are you, child?” she asked, clipping her lightsaber to her belt.

 

“Fourteen miss, though I swear I fight like someone twice my age, I swear!”

 

“I don’t doubt that, Mister…?”

 

“Karah. Lud Karah. At your service Commander.” The boy gave a mocking bow to the young Jedi, brow locked in a loose scowl as his eyes shifted from her to the remaining Jedi. “You lot are all Jedi, right? A fat lot of good you lot have done, by the way, what with,” Lud gestured around them, “everything going wrong in the galaxy.”

 

Bastila rolled her eyes. She couldn’t afford to have this child ruin their mission. Turning to face her fellow Jedi, her face fell, “Are they…?”

 

“Dead. There are only the three of us now Bastila. Should we turn back?”

 

“No, we have a mission. The elevator isn’t far now, we can still do this.”

 

Picking up a blaster rifle, Lud started walking down the corridor, “Come on then Jedi, we’ve got a Sith Lord to kill!”

 

“My child,” one of the other Jedi spoke up, “Lud, was it? Aena Maskar, a pleasure to meet you,” she paused, perhaps expecting a response from the boy. When he offered no reply, the Jedi continued, “Beyond that elevator lies a terribly powerful Sith, are you sure you want to come with us?”

 

“No offence meant Master Jedi, but your lot aren’t exactly well-known for getting shit done. I’m going, whether you like it or not…”

 


 

 

Revan stilled herself. Reaching out with the Force, she searched for the Jedi interlopers. Reaching past the background noise of the battle, and then past the stifling darkness of Malak and herself, she found them. Dim, almost entirely snuffed out by the darkness, but light nonetheless, rising to meet her. By her best guess, they were just a few minutes away.

 

Time enough.

 

“Captain?”

 

“Yes my Lord?”

 

“Take the bridge crew and leave. The Jedi are almost here, and I fear that you may be caught in what is to come.”

 

“Very good my Lord, you have my thanks.” Revan could feel the barely contained joy beneath the woman’s words; the appreciation of this simple officer glowing in the roiling darkness of Revan’s own aura. But beneath the light, she could feel something else…

 

“Oh, and Captain?”

 

The woman turned to face the Sith, a look of fear flashing in her eyes, “Y-yes my Lord?”

 

“It’s a girl, due in about 4 months. She’s strong with the Force, I can feel it,” Feeling the woman’s joy, Revan continued, “I wish you luck, Mrs…?”

 

“Miss Organa, and thank you, Lady Revan. Your kindness knows no bounds.”

 

“Yeah, well don’t tell anybody. Now, go.”

 

As she watched the doors to the elevator slide shut, Revan allowed herself a rare smile. Retreating back to the head of the bridge, she watched as the myriad batteries of her ship hammered down on the Leviathan, explosions rippling across the cruisers surface as the battle against the Republic waged on.

 

Revan sighed. This war against the Republic had been raging for close to two years now, millions of lives being snuffed out in the savage conflict. A necessary evil, she reminded herself, her mind awash with images of carnage.

 

But is anything really worth this? You turned to the Dark Side, slaughtered those who once trusted and respected you. You’re a monster, a butcher.

 

Revan stared at the glass of the observation deck. Darkened eyes stared back, yellow irises boring deep into the Sith’s being as the first tears began to roll down her tortured flesh. The corruption of the Dark was spreading across her face, slowly but surely destroying all that remained of the Jedi she used to be, replacing her face with the twisted mask of the Sith.

 

She still remembered the husks of ancient Sith Lords she had seen on Dromund Kaas, their twisted and deformed flesh brimming with hatred and fury as livid eyes stared out in mocking indignation. Was that her destiny, to end up like the embittered Lords of old?

 

No,” Revan spat, tasting the rising bile in her throat, “I am greater than all of them, and I will not be burdened with their failures!” Lashing out with the Force like a whip, the Dark Lord pulled a passing Republic fighter from its path like a toy. With a scream of defiance, she threw the ship out into the void, laughing as she watched it collide with a Sith fighter in a fiery explosion.

 


 

 

The elevator doors slid open with a laboured groan, and the remaining Jedi strode out onto the Observation Deck. At the end of the central walkway stood a laughing figure, facing away from the intruders as it watched the raging battle.

 

Bastila resisted the urge to lash out at the Sith Lord, instead gesturing to her Jedi brethren to advance. They nodded back, igniting their lightsabers as the flagship rocked once again. Lud hung back, a look of fear playing across his features as he spotted their target.

 

“What a shame, another 20,000 lost,” the figure drawled, voice dripping with sarcasm, “how many more will you let die for you, Jedi?” With a bitter laugh, Revan turned to face her would-be assassins.

 

The young Padawan took in the Dark Lord. She may be scarred and corrupted by the Dark Side, but there was still a certain elegance in the Sith’s face, an echo of the once beautiful Jedi Knight who had led the Republic against the Mandalorians all those years ago.

 

Sensing the thoughts of the young Jedi, Revan gave a wry smirk, “I apologise Padawan Shan, am I distracting you?” Appearing to enjoy the sight of the squirming girl, Revan continued, “I must admit, I wasn’t expecting the Jedi strike force to be led by one so… young. I assume the Masters are too busy getting their rocks off to their ‘Sacred Texts’, correct?”

 

“Hold your tongue, you vile woman!” Bastila spat, feeling her embarrassment being overtaken with righteous fury, “We’re here to bring you to justice, Darth Revan, so I suggest you surren--”

 

She had been expecting anger, perhaps remorse, but laughter? “Oh Jedi, do you really think I’m going to surrender to you?” With a flick of her hand, Revan lifted the three Jedi off the ground, “You are like children compared to me, in fact…” she turned her gaze to Bastila once again, her lips curling into a mocking smile, “well, need I say more?”

 

Pulling them over to the main window, the Sith laughed again, “Oops, there goes another cruiser! About 15,000 crew on one of those, if I recall correctly. That’s at least 100,000 Republic lives lost so far, such a waste…” Bastila struggled against the woman’s power, desperately reaching out with the Force to throw the Sith off balance, but to no avail.

 

Revan tightened her grip on the Padawan, revelling in the waves of pain and hatred rolling off of her, “Young Bastila, you surprise me; so much anger for one so steadfast in her belief in the Jedi. You’d make a powerful Jedi Knight, but…,” she pulled Bastila closer until they were but a few inches apart, “you’d make a better apprentice. Oh yes, you tell yourself that the Dark is evil, that I am evil, but I feel your conflict! Look upon your fellow Jedi,” Bastila spun around violently, facing the remainder of her team, “They shackle you for your power, but I would set you free!”

 

“You put too much faith in your power of speech Revan. I will never work with you!” The older woman sighed, looking back out over the battlefield with a scowl.

 

“Then you shall die a slave,” the Dark Lord ignited her lightsaber, it’s sickly crimson glow casting strange shadows across the cold metal floor, “a pity really, but what can you do?”

 

Raising the blade to Bastila’s neck, Revan felt something shift in the Force. A tiny, ripple coming from…

 


 

 

The crack of blaster fire erupted on the bridge as a young boy opened fire on the Sith Lord. The three Jedi were thrown away, dropping to the ground like discarded dolls as Revan shifted her attention to the upstart soldier.

 

Swiping across her body with her blade, the Dark Lord deflected what would have been a lethal shot, sending it careening back towards the soldier as he scrambled for cover. Reaching out with the Force, Revan levitated the boy, bringing him fully into view as his rifle buckled and broke under her attention.

 

“Brave, but foolish,” Revan admonished, her voice sharp as she pulled the boy ever closer, “you would have made a fine General, boy. Oh well, maybe in another life…” With a savage motion of her hand, the boy flew towards the Dark Lord, body going limp as he collided first with the ceiling, then with the floor, before his bruised and bloodied form came to rest on the Sith’s extended blade.

 

“You see this Jedi! Another life wasted, and for what?” She watched the boy’s body crumple to the floor, a look of carnal joy playing on her features, “You will never understand why I did all this, you are incapable of understanding the magnitude of the situation!” The woman’s voice was becoming frenzied, eyes flaring almost crimson as she glowered at the recovering Jedi.

 

“This ends now Revan,” Bastila spat, igniting her lightsaber as her companions did the same, “The reign of the Sith will end before it ever started!”

 

“End? No, I’ve barely started!” Revan pulled a second lightsaber from her belt, her original violet blade spinning as the Dark Lord prepared for battle.

 


 

 

One of Bastila’s companions made the first move; green lightsaber roaring like a thousand stars, the man threw himself at the Dark Lord, a powerful backhand aimed at Revan’s side. She deftly blocked it, elbowing the man in the face before throwing him back with the Force. He collided with the far wall with a sickening thud, the sound of cracking bones echoing across the bridge.

 

Bastila span forwards, aiming her blade at the Dark Lord’s leg as she let out a bloodcurdling scream. Revan countered with her own dual blades, roaring in defiance as yellow met purple and red. Their blades sparked and screamed, the sound of clashing lightsabers drowning out the sounds of the ongoing space battle.

 

“You are strong Bastila,” Revan cooed, her voice laced with poison as she pushed down hard on the Padawan’s blade, “but not strong enough, perhaps you should reconsider my offer?”

 

Bastila swore as she broke off the stalemate, double-bladed lightsaber twirling as it absorbed a sudden barrage of Force lightning. Aena charged forward, purple blade connecting with the Sith’s own blade as she lay down a flurry of attacks. But Revan parried each one effortlessly, bobbing and weaving between any attack she couldn’t turn against the frenzied Jedi.

 

“And you dare call yourselves Jedi,” Revan snarled, embracing every emotion she could,”You’re the best the Order have? This is insulting!” Revan slashed upwards with both her blades, slicing the hapless Jedi’s lightsaber in half. The woman fell to the floor, clutching at the stump where her hand used to be, wailing and screaming as the Sith wound up for the killing blow.

 

As the crimson blade embedded itself in the woman’s form, Bastila seized her opportunity. Throwing herself towards the Sith, she collided with the older woman, causing Revan to skid back slightly from the impact. Following through on the strike, Bastila span round, using the end of her weapon to slice at the Dark Lord herself. Revan barely had time to dodge the attack, grimacing as the yellow blade nicked against her skin.

 

Filling the pain and rage mixing in her blood, Revan scowled at the young Jedi, darting back from Bastila with a sickening chuckle. Flourishing her blades, the Sith paced back and forth, re-evaluating her opponent.

 

“Give it up Revan, the Sith will never return!” Bastila was desperate; she knew she couldn’t hope to win against the Sith Lord.

 

“Do you really believe that my dear Bastila? Look inside yourself, even I can feel your rage, your fury. You are already a better Sith than you are a Jedi, and that frightens you!”

 

“Cease this nonsense Revan! I will never turn to the Dark Side!” Bastila’s voice cracked, her walls straining against the Sith’s barrage of words, “Look at yourself! You have let your own lust for power warp and change you until, now,” she stopped to take a breathe, feeling her emotions beginning to brim over, “until now, you have become the very thing you swore to destroy, and that frightens you!”

 

With a furious scream, Revan lunged at Bastila, lightsabers spinning and twirling as they swung towards the Jedi. In turn, Bastila struck at the encroaching Sith with her own weapon, and the bridge was once again filled with the shrieks of clashing lightsabers.

 

Scum! You’re a slave, yet you dare tell me that I am the one who needs to be freed?! I take back what I said, you truly are a Jedi- arrogant and blind to the end!” Calling upon the Force, the tips of Revan’s fingers began to crackle and burn. With a roar of defiance, she pushed the Jedi away from her with a flick of her wrist before sending a burst of force lightning towards her opponent. Bastila barely brought her blade up in time to block the torrent of electricity; she was beginning to tire, and against Revan, she knew her time was running out.

 


 

 

As the last of the lightning fizzled away, the bridge rocked again, the sound of screeching metal and shattering glass overwhelming her senses. As the noise too died away, Bastila looked around for the Sith.

 

What remained of Darth Revan lay a few feet away, the air around her seeming to darken and burn as furious crimson eyes locked onto her. The Sith’s lightsabers had begun to spark and splutter, raw plasma blades becoming increasingly unstable as molten metal from their gold-lined casings began to drip to the ground. Her hair was alight, the foul-smelling smoke mingling with the odour of ozone as Revan let out an ear-piercing shriek, her voice tearing and scraping as the bridge shook again.

 

FUCKING JEDI SCUM! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!” The pure hatred behind Revan’s words made Bastila recoil slightly, the hellish image before her leaving her almost speechless.

 

“I-I didn’t do anything!”

 

MALAK, I’LL GUT THE SNIVELLING BANTHA!” Despite her common sense telling her otherwise, something compelled the Jedi to go to the fallen warrior’s side and, with a sharp sigh, Bastila crouched down by Revan.

 

Her injuries had seemed severe from afar, but up close they were far worse. Revan’s legs had been broken in multiple places, the left-hand side of her chest had caved in and her left arm had been blown clean off. Worst still, a large part of Revan’s face had been shorn away, leaving only hints of shattered bone showing through as her collapsed eye socket leaked ichorous blood. Bastila could scarcely believe that the Sith was still alive; her wounds would have been instantly fatal for any normal human.

 

She’s not a normal human, she’s a Sith Lord! Leave her, Bastila! She said to herself, feeling the bridge begin to buckle and collapse around her, She’s not worth saving, much less dying for! It would be so easy to kill her here and retreat with the rest of the Republic. Yes, you would be hailed as a hero!

 

Bastila rose to her feet, igniting her lightsaber as she placed the blade on Revan’s neck, eyes searching the dying Sith’s single remaining eye for any sign of remorse. Instead, she saw only hatred and anger staring back, silently daring her to lash out.

 

To strike down a defenceless woman.

 

No.

 

Bastila crouched back down, quivering hands raised over Revan’s chest as the Sith began to scream, “GET BACK FROM ME JEDI, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

 

“I’m saving your life Revan, now please just shut up!” Closing her eyes, Bastila felt the flickering flame of the Sith’s energy just beneath her hands, it’s lukewarm heat still carrying a hint of its past ferocity. Feeling the Force around her, she poured it into Revan’s twisted and battered form, feeling the echoes of life returning to the Sith.

 

Wh-what… have… y-you… what have you done?”

 

“Like it or not Revan, you’re dying. If you want to stand any chance of living, you’re going to have to come with me!” The bridge was dangerously close to collapsing, Bastila could feel the metal beginning to crack and splinter around her.

 

And… become… prison… Jedi?” Revan’s voice, once so strong and charismatic, was fading fast, her words becoming little more than whispers. “N… ne… never again…” and with that, the Sith’s head rolled back. Muttering a quiet curse to whoever had put her in this position, Bastila heaved the broken body of the Sith over her shoulder, making sure to pick up the melted remains of the Sith’s lightsabers as she trudged back to the elevator.