Revan stood in the cockpit and watched as Carth and Canderous set the ship’s course for Jebble, crossing his arms across his chest he just hoped Zayne was right and he could destroy the Murr Talisman. That his will could hold out until he could destroy the thing was a risk, but one he felt needed to be taken. If either of the Sith or that wannabe Sith apprentice got a hold of it, well the destruction it would cause would be tenfold. It would make their mission almost impossible to complete, and so far things had been going their way. They had rescued Skywalker and his friends, then the hardest part had been passed in getting the chosen one to listen and believe what he was being told and to confront his worst fears.
Now Anakin was off to Naboo to see his wife along with his former Master and his Padawan as support. He just hoped he was correct in the belief that Padme Amidala would help him, and not turn away from him in disgust. If she did that then all hope was lost, because then Skywalker would turn on them faster than any of them could blink.
“You okay Revan?” Carth inquired, having noted the thoughtful look on his friends face.
“I was just thinking,” Revan replied after a moment. “Let me know when we reach Jebble,” he told him before he turned and left the cockpit. Of course it wasn’t just Skywalker that bothered him right now.
The other major thing going on was the plan now being put in place to ensure the Clones remained loyal to the Jedi and the Republic. After meeting Quinlan Vos and hearing of his status as a double agent, a daring and risky plan had come to him and he had wasted no time in putting it into action. Convincing the Council and more importantly Vos of the importance of attempting it hadn’t been easy he thought as his mind drifted to that fateful meeting only two hours ago.
(Jedi Temple, two hours ago)
Quinlan Vos entered the council chamber to find not only the council waiting for him but a group of people he didn’t recognize. What he did note was that not all of them were Jedi. There were two droids of an ancient design, a Twi’lek in her teen years or a bit older, a Wookie, someone who he would bet was a Mandalorian given his size and stature and finally another man who looked to be a pilot. Then there were the Jedi within the group and he did not recognize any of them at all. He wondered if one of them was this new hero of the Jedi he had been sent to get information on for Dooku. Not that he intended to give Dooku any information that really hurt the Jedi or the Republic.
“Knight Vos, welcome back,” Mace Windu greeted him with his hands behind his back. “Before we get into any sensitive issues I must ask you to prove you haven’t turned against us and joined the Separatists for real as you must realize we’ve had little contact with you,” he added.
Vos has suspected to have to go through this when he returned, he had not had a lot of chances to contact the Jedi council and provide updates. He knew they must have begun to grow suspicious of his actions and so he was prepared to defend himself.
“I’ve been watched heavily by Dooku’s spies Masters, my chances for sending any updates have been very limited,” Vos told them calmly. “He is suspicious of me, even though I have done all I can to make it look like I am loyal to his cause,” he added.
“And there has been no other way to get information to us?” Kit Fitso inquired from his seat.
“I dare not trust anyone with messages and trying to set up any drop boxes puts my life at risk as well as my mission,” Vos answered. “The same with any attempts to meet up with any Republic spies, I have no doubt I’m being followed when on missions,” he told them. “I’ve done my best to foul up any missions in suitable ways that did not give me away, my mission was to get information on the Separatists and their forces and I have done that,” he stated.
“We’ve received very little from you on their forces Vos,” Fitso responded but not in an accusing tone. “If as you say you are being watched and followed, we will have to come up with a new way for us to communicate,” he mused.
“He’s telling the truth,” Revan stated with a smile as he finally recognized Vos after replaying the force vision as slowly as he could. “I remember him now from the vision. He is the second Jedi to reject the code and take a lover,” he stated with a smile. The council, as expected, looked shocked at this. Vos quickly became nervous as the stranger gave away his secret. “It is how he has stayed true to the light even as he was surrounded by the darkness. She is his strength just as Padme is for Skywalker, Visas is for Tarin and Bastila is for me,” he told them all.
“What are you talking about?” Vos asked with no little confusion.
“I’m Revan and these are my friends Quinlan Vos, we have come to save the Republic and destroy the Sith at the behest of the force itself,” Revan said introducing himself. “Where we came from is not important right now, but what is important is that I had a force vision of the future so powerful it showed me far more than I have ever seen before,” he explained. “If we do not kill the Sith here and now, we condemn the future to suffer war after war caused by the continual return of the Sith,” he stated. “We’ve already taken care of one of the main points that will turn the tide of this war, now we need your help to take care of the other main point,” he said.
Vos looked the man over and noted he seemed confident and powerful, he was used to been obeyed or more to the point he was used to been in charge. He glanced at the council and noted they seemed to be taking the man’s lead in this and that surprised him. That he hadn’t been in trouble once this Revan had revealed his love for Khaleen was also surprising. According to the code being in a relationship was an offense that could get you expelled from the Jedi order and that he hadn’t been spoke of great changes on the horizon.
“How may I help?” Vos finally asked after a few minutes.
“The Sith have planned this war far more in advance than was ever expected. They instilled a command within the Clones to attack and kill all Jedi when ordered,” Revan answered much to Vos’s shock as it meant the Jedi had been leading the very instrument of their destruction. “We need to make the Clones believe that Order 66 is a trap, a trap placed by the enemies of the Republic to ensure they destroy the very thing they were created to defend,” he explained. “To do that we need someone on the inside who can get the best computer hacker inside their network, once inside they can input a data file that details order 66 as the Separatists last gambit to win the war,” he went on calmly. “Order 66 orders the Clones to destroy the Jedi who it claims have betrayed the Republic,” he added when he noted Vos about to ask what it was. “Then we have to ensure the Clones themselves discover the program, or they would never believe it,” he added.
“You can’t be serious,” Vos responded knowing such a mission would put not just his life on the line, but that of Khaleen as well. “To do as you ask we’d have to travel to one of the most secret Separatist base, heavily guarded and almost impregnable to attack,” he argued. “We can’t do this,” he stated.
“We must do it or we are all doomed,” Bastila stated as she moved to Revan’s side. “The Clones are either the salvation of the Republic and the Jedi or they are its destruction,” she told him seriously.
“It would take a massive fleet to attack that base,” Saesee Tiin argued heatedly. “We could barely manage to scrape together enough ships and Clones to rescue Skywalker, Kenobi and their forces,” he pointed out. “Your plan can’t be enacted,” he added.
“It must be, no matter the cost, in the long run it will win us the war,” Revan shot back with a glare. “In war one must be willing to take any risk even if it is against all odds of succeeding,” he argued. “We must do this and quickly before the Dark Lord of the Sith actually puts that order into effect. I tell you not one of us, not even Skywalker, can save us if that happens,” he told them in a cold grim tone.
The council looked between themselves as they considered Revan’s heated argument, this wasn’t something they could just rush into. If they made any mistake it could cost them the war, and if it did then the Republic would fall and with it the Jedi Order.
“Revan this can’t be rushed, something like this needs careful planning,” Shaak Ti said calmly. “If this one gambit is to be the hinge point of the war, then we must tred carefully,” she added.
Revan admired her wisdom, but this was no time for wisdom. “We do not have time to waste Master Ti, the end of this war is rapidly approaching and we must strike now while we still hold the advantage,” Revan responded.
“You must hear him,” Tarin said stepping forward. “Revan doesn’t speak out of turn, he is a master of warfare and he knows when a risk must be taken,” he told them. “You know his record, you know what he has done in the past and you must now trust that he knows what to do here and now,” he stated.
“Who is this man that you would listen to him?” Vos finally demanded to know.
“Have some respect Quinlan Vos, you stand in the presence of Revan Jedi Master and former Dark Lord of the Sith,” Bastila stated glaring at the man. “The very same Revan from your history files, who almost brought the Republic crashing down at his feet before going on to save it from his former friend and apprentice Malak,” she told him, rending Vos into stunned silence. “You stand before his allies, who have trod the same path of death and destruction with him to do just that,” she went on. “The force called us here to ensure the Sith fall once and for all, to put an end to the bloodshed and the unbalancing of the force,” she finished her eyes boring into Vos’s.
Vos had read the data files on the Jedi Revan the so called Prodigal Knight, of his many battles both for and against the Republic. And now that he thought about it, this man before him resembles the holoimages that remained of Revan. But how was it possible that Revan and his friends could be here? If they were indeed who they claimed to be. Seen as the council had not contradicted him it might be true. Somehow these heroes of legend have come to assist them. He glanced at the council and noted they were all looking between themselves as if looking for answers, all but Yoda who sat calmly and watched events unfold.
“Master Yoda, is this true?” Vos finally asked the one Jedi he trusted more than anyone else.
“The truth it is, stand before you Revan does,” Yoda answered leaning forward a little. “As does his friends,” he added.
“By the force,” Vos said trying to rap his mind around this stunning twist. “How is this possible?” he asked finally getting his thoughts together.
“That doesn’t matter, we must prepare to enact my plan and quickly and we must make sure the Chancellor never finds out where we plan to strike,” Revan responded. “He must also never learn of your true loyalty or of your relationship with your lover. Protect her Vos for she is your salvation when in the dark,” he told the other man. “My companions and I must head to Jebble to deal with a dangerous Sith artifact while Skywalker, Kenobi and Tano head to Naboo to deal with their own business,” he stated while turning back to the council and folding his arms across his chest. “While we are gone you must make every preparation for this plan to go forward, find the ships any way you can as well as the troops even if they are not Clones,” he suggested.
“If we told the Chancellor he could help us recruit troops and ships,” Vos spoke up.
“We can’t tell him Quinlan,” Kenobi objected with a sigh. “We’ve just discovered that the Chancellor is the secret Sith Lord we’ve all been searching for,” he admitted after getting a quick nod from Yoda to tell him the truth.
For the second time in five minutes Vos was stunned speechless. ‘How could it be possible that a Sith Lord had reached the highest position in the Republic?’ he wondered. But his mind quickly shot to his thoughts on the trip here, about how the Sith Lord had to be someone high up in the Republic to keep the war in a stalemate.
“I believe that makes sense, I was thinking about how it had to be someone with great influence in the Republic to keep the war in a stalemate,” Vos finally responded. “The stalemate ensures we continue to weaken ourselves as we fight, every time we score a victory the enemy quickly regains the lost ground and gets their own,” he explained. “But I never in my wildest dreams thought it would be the Chancellor,” he added with a shake of his head.
“Quite a shock isn’t it?” Anakin said, still trying to come to terms with everything that he had learned and still had to face.
“To say the least,” Vos agreed before taking a deep breath. “Now that I know this, I have to agree we must act quickly to ensure the Clones remain loyal,” he said turning to face the council. “This order 66 will have to be given by him to make the Clones believe the Jedi have turned against the Republic. Since we can’t move against him as he has too much power then this is the only way we can take his biggest weapon away from him,” he explained.
The council listened and while each wished otherwise they knew Vos spoke the truth, they had to move and soon or the Sith Lord would give the order and the Clones would descend on the Jedi and wipe them all out.
“Are you willing to take a small team into the secret base Quinlan to upload this fake file?” Mace inquired finally after sharing a brief look with Yoda.
“I’m Master Windu,” Vos agreed with a nod of his head and hoping he wasn’t making a big mistake. “If it will help end this war and keep the Jedi and the Republic safe I’m willing to take this risk,” he added with more confidence.
“Then we will begin preparations to do as Revan has suggested,” Mace replied. “And may the force be with us all that you are not wrong,” he added.
“I’m not wrong Master Windu, trust me,” Revan shot back with a smile. “Mission, you, Zaalbar and T3 will help create the fake file and ensure all the information I’ve told you about Order 66 is in it,” he added while turning to the young Twi’lek. “Also add information that reveals the truth about Palpatine,” he added. “And before you argue with me, this task may be the most important thing we do here and I’m relying on you to help make it happen,” he told her already anticipating her argument.
Mission glared at him for a few seconds before letting out a frustrated sigh and nodding her head. She knew Revan was trusting her with a huge responsibility and she wouldn’t let him down. T3 let out a few whistles of protest, but quickly went silent after Revan patted the droid on the head.
“Okay Revan I will do as you ask, but next time we get to come with you,” Mission told her friend who smiled and nodded.
“I promise,” Revan reassured her as he gave her a brief hug. “Once the file is ready and the team you are sending with Vos is prepared send them, do not wait for our return,” he told the council. “Pull as many ships, and soldiers as you can muster in secret where the Republic and more importantly the Chancellor’s spies will find them,” he added. “We must be prepared to strike before the Separatists can hit us,” he said cutting off Plo Koon as he went to protest.
“Very well, do as you ask we will,” Yoda assured him. “Vos bring your companion in and we will begin,” he ordered.
“Yes Master,” Vos replied, again surprised he wasn’t in serious trouble for having a companion to begin with.
“May the force be with you,” Revan said before he turned and led his group along with Skywalker, Kenobi and Ahsoka out of the chamber.
Revan headed for this room where he knew Bastila awaited him, yet his mind refused to move away from the plans now in motion. Each had to succeed if they were to have any hope to win the war, and more importantly succeeding in their mission. Entering the cabin he found Bastila already asleep, smiling he decided to try and get some rest as he suspected he would need all the strength he could muster to destroy the Murr Talisman. Gently, so not to wake her, he lay on the bed and curled up beside her and closed his eyes. Bastila’s very presence helped calm his mind and push away his worries, slowly he drifted off to sleep.
Bastila opened her eyes slowly for a moment, smiled and then snuggled herself closer to her husband falling back asleep in an instant.