SWTOR: The Wish of One Affected the Other: Maelstrom Prison

Several hours have gone by as the engineers and slicers worked on the Gree computer recovered from Taral V. My friends were celebrating behind me as I looked out on the rolling clouds of the Maelstrom. A violent mixture of gas and plasma much like a thunder cloud, but colorful from the mixture of different gasses. Hidden in those gasses were tiny grains of sand to planet sized asteroids. If the plasma didn't get you the debris would and if not that the fluctuating gravity would.

"As chaotic as it appears there is a complex balanced order." I smiled as Cort came up next to me. He was close enough to lean on and to his surprise, I latched on to him.

"I have never seen anything so beautiful. Nothing has prepared me for this."

"I find it odd that you have not seen this before. Do you not come from another system close to a nebula like this?"

My mind revealed what he was talking about and sure it was pretty, but I had not seen it first hand like I was seeing this now. I had an urge to join the few crew members that secretly were viewing the maelstrom from an open airlock. Dangerous levels of radiation just a few meters away and even then the shields could not stop it all. The meters thick hull prevented anything the shields couldn't stop. Limited exposure was okay, but reason warned not to. The Force as well warned against. It warned against going into the maelstrom altogether. Any other time I would pay close attention to the Force, but not this time. Not this moment of many to reaching a goal that I had set for myself so long ago on Tython.
Defeating the Emperor was one of those goals, the other was seeing that the man who was Revan did not take up his mantle of seeking to destroy the emperor again. It was not his destiny or mission. It was mine. Revan was a man a Jedi out of place and not in his time. Three hundred years had gone by since he was placed in this prison. That his descendants thrived in the Republic and that a bit of his blood flowed through my veins. Only a few carried the Shan name and most were in hiding or had taken up other names to mask their bloodline. Hidden within the Dodonna, Rand, or Onasi bloodlines apart from the direct line that wore the Shan name as a badge of honor much to Satele's concern.

"It is pretty. This is terrifyingly beautiful."

"I feel more is going on. Like you are going to finish a long journey." His arm squeezed me closer as I felt his concern. A concern I didn't want right now to feel. I wanted the concern of a lover and not a brother. Though he was neither.

"I know who the prisoner is and who the ghost is."

"Meetra Surik, the Exile, the one who saved the Force and the galaxy."

"There is only one person she would remain for and that would be Revan."

"He is the one who nearly destroyed the Republic."

"He also saved it. It may not have been his choice, but he helped in destroying the Star Forge and stopping Malak from his path of destruction. He has also prevented the Empire from attacking three hundred years ago."

"I think..."

"Five minutes until contact with the prison complex. Knights Onasi and Hintal to the briefing room." We pulled away from each other and I blushed as I noticed that the others were watching us. I felt so meek at this very moment. Time had stopped letting me feel the mixed emotions directed at us being so close. Showing affection in such a way was unheard of from other Jedi. I felt Ingo's lust, Corso's longing, Aric's and Elara's disapproval and Kira's understanding. Time flipped back on as we suddenly rushed out of the lounge.

Five minutes of scrambling and gathering gear. I was so prepared for this, all I did was don my armor and then discarded all of it, digging into my cabinet for the robes so old, yet so well constructed. I felt the many Jedi that had the privilege of being the right size to wear them. Not all had been female either, but none who could have been both. I wore them a few times, but not for battle. These were meant for peaceful times, times where a battle was not around the corner, but I couldn't resist the urge to wear them or could I resist changing my hair into two tight French braids, just like Bastila Shan had in the game. They felt different as I put them on. I felt watched more so than any other time.

Maelstrom Prison was this huge complex in the middle of a nearly impossible place to get to. As the prison came into view I was struck by how disappointing it looked in the view screen. This was no large complex. The Telos commander seeing the size moved closer and with the way the ship was shaped, maneuvered in such a way as to nest inside the upper indentation of the large ship.

"All that effort for such a small prison." I agreed with Ingo and somewhat felt his scorn. That it should have been huge.

"Is that really the correct place?" Sanusha shook her head and moved away from the screen. "Wake me when we get back to the fleet." She walked off as Corso and Risha followed.

"Only one way to find out." We moved down to the airlock that was set up. A full battalion was ready and waiting to invade a full battle station, but the size of the prison was barely big enough to support a platoon. Cort, Ashara, and Kira followed me onto the prison along with a squad of troopers. Two humans, getting on in their years waited for us to come closer. The troopers moved forward to them with their blasters trained on the two unarmed crew.

"I am sorry we are not more accommodating." One stated.

"We can only support so many guests at one time." The second added.

"Please leave the airlock open as with so many, you will quickly use up all the air."

"Could we get some real food? We have eaten only paste for the last five years."

"Sure, search them and then take them to the brig." The trooper captain ordered.

"Wait we may need them."

"You really don't. Been in here so long the only thing to visit for years was the unmanned supply ship. The place was designed for holding a prisoner that couldn't even think. No need for fancy security."

"Keep them close, feed them, and have them complete a medcheck, before taking them to the brig."

"Yes, master Jedi."

"I am Joria and this is Gavin. Here is the key card to the whole place in case it is needed." I took the code cylinder from her hand noticing that their names were close to Gav and Jori Daragon. I took a deep breath and moved into the single passageway that leads to the rest of the station. I was reminded of the station at Yavin. One long cylinder structure. Nearly all the hatches were open to the various cells holding up to eight human-sized prisoners. I was only interested in one.

"Get the tech team busy and find out if any, one of these stasis pods have Republic people inside." The prison held sixteen of these chambers. All forty-eight chambers held a being in suspension. The main room held another stasis chamber. Two humans were held inside, one female and the other male. I moved to the controls and set the key cylinder into place and hit the release once the screen came up to do so. The female sank to the bottom of her chamber as the other stumbled before going to his knees.

"Final release, the darkness fades." Meetra Surik appeared over the female body and her physical body bursting into thousands of points of light.

"Where..., what's happened? I can feel..., no. No!" The man gets up and stumbles to the console of his former prison. "What have you done? There is nothing to restrain him now."

"It was my mission to find and free you. The republic needs your help. I need you."

"The Force is strong in you. Stronger than I've felt in a long time, and there is another..."

"Your strength fails. You must be free, or all is lost."

"You should be one with the Force. Finally at peace."

"No peace while you suffer. The Emperor drowns you in black waters."

"He wants me to be Darth Revan again. Serve him as I did centuries ago."

"The holo records say that you brought the Republic to its knees as a Sith and saved it as a Jedi. They said you're dead." Cort looked and felt conflicted. I could tell he wanted to ask something else as he looked at me.

"I am dead..., and reborn, over and over, Jedi..., Sith..., many lifetimes. I lead my allies to the galaxy's edge to destroy the Emperor. We didn't understand his true power. I lost everyone..., betrayed from within. The Emperor imprisoned me, kept me alive with Sith alchemy..., used me."

"Lord Scourge betrayed you."

"You know of him? The Emperor's executioner – his undying wrath?" I nodded allowing him to continue. "The Emperor used me as his link to the light side of the Force – the Jedi Order. Through me, he saw visions, but that same link also gave me influence. I convinced him peace was in his best interest. Tempered his hate."

"The peace is lost. The Emperor makes his final war. Stop him. Flee this place while you can. Use the enemies vessels." My heart contracted as the Exile finally merged with the Force. Her request of Revan was now blindly clear.

"Thank you, old friend. I will finish what we started." We moved through the prison as the techs released other prisoners. Revan could not keep his eyes off of me and I could see the pain in his face. The loss and yearning. I should not have worn these robes, but how could I not? The silence built until it was nearly deafening, and still, I could not ask him anything. He listened intently to the reports of the battle at Taral V. I said just the minimum needed for my report. I stayed by his side gaining scornful looks from others who wanted or needed to talk to him alone. I marked each as a Revanite. Finally alone, just him and I. My whole body seemed to vibrate with a feeling similar to fear yet so foreign to me.

"So many lost for my freedom... Master Oteg told me of the casualties. They're devastating. My only consolation is to see the Jedi still produce great warriors. Wish I had you at my side when I faced the Emperor."

"I will not let you out of my sight. We will fight the Emperor together. That I promise."

"Knowing you are the vanguard of our order gives me hope. My link to the Emperor is broken, but I learned a lot as his prisoner. Centuries of knowledge. I'll share everything with the Jedi Council. Then, I'll end this blasted war, and the Sith Empire, forever." This was it the moment that I was so wound up about. The moment he just couldn't see that this was not his path, but mine.

"No you will not. Of all the things you need to do, more war is not the answer, more revenge does not need to be dished out. You have suffered for three hundred years and that left its mark on your soul. To ignore the advice of my ancestor Meetra Surik. You can be all things but the Foundry is a Star Forge, one steeped in the dark side of the Force. It is not your place to actively fight the Emperor. Listen to her last words. Use the enemies vessels against him. The Revanites may not be the army you want, but it is the one you need. Reach out to them and let the Republic deal with the Foundry on their terms. You lost Meetra, T3, Jolee, Juhani, Carth, Mission, Zalbaar, and Bastila with your son. You need time to grieve."

He stared at me as I felt all his hate and anger fill the room to be replaced by his loss and sorrow. I don't remember him falling or that I had moved to halt his fall bringing me to my knees. His sobs tore into my soul as they echoed through the room as well as through the Force. His despair was so powerful, I could feel that it was affecting those close to us. I ignored it as long as I could and then reached out with the Force to comfort him and the others. Letting them know this was meant to be, that with the pain and guilt released there could only be healing. I felt Cort rush in along with other Jedi. I felt them hold their arms up in the way to shield themselves from the light.

Cort moved to his knees and put his hand on my shoulder and I felt his strength added to mine as others did the same. Kira, Ashara, six other Jedi, and finally Master Oteg. Revan looked up at me and the understanding in his eyes, the awe he held, shook me to the core. This was how he felt with Bastila, no, how he felt for Meetra. The one Jedi that had never given up her hope that he would do the right thing. The devotion that she had for him to stay by him when he failed.

"You are right. I need time to heal."

"Then let us go to the Council. Let them decide what to do with the information you provide. Let go of the past and live in the present. This is my fight. Join me if you need to, but do not go fight him alone. You tried that once and failed. Jolee Bindo once said swirling Force is sometimes just swirling Force."

"Then you know your part in this could be nothing more than the visions in your head."

"They are not visions. Much of what she has said and done has been spoken of beforehand. All my struggles with saving my master and the others have been eased by her warnings."

"I have known how everything was to go for months now. However, it ends here with you. You can see the future more than any other here. Use the Revanites to fight your battles. Take the Empire from within. It can not handle a civil war. Both sides have been weakened by war and the treaty has only stalled the inevitable. The Revanites are the wedge. Let the Republic be the hammer. Together we will shatter the Empire, but only if you have the time to heal. If you do not, your need for revenge will destroy you and allow the darkness to consume the galaxy. Allow the Emperor to become more than his physical form."

"I never got to really say goodbye. My lust for what I had lost made me abandon my family when they needed me more."

"It gave them and the Republic time to heal, to grow."

"Had I not left I could have stopped Traya, Sion, and Nihilus before they killed so many."

"That was Meetra's destiny to stop them."

"If you like, the Noetikons may allow you to say goodbye to Master Bastila. I have spoken to her avatar many times."

"Thank you, I will consider it. I need to rest, clean up." The other Jedi left the room. Master Oteg gave me a supportive smile just before he left.

"I have a cabin you can use and I believe I have something for you to wear."

"I am sure I can get something from the dispensary."

"I think you could too, but I doubt they will have the distinct smell of a set of Devaronian coveralls."

"Oh, I hope you are joking."

"No, I am not. I have something else for you while the sonics clean your robes. Something you may remember." I had always wondered why I had those robes in the bottom of my chest. I thought to give them away multiple times, but never had the time to do so. They were almost an afterthought but came to mind at this moment. I handed him the vacuum package just before he entered into the shower. I meditated as he took care of his body, ignoring the food held on the small table. His aura changed as he finished his shower and he came out with a sad smile on his face.

"How? How could your family have known to give this to you? How could they have known I would find this so needed?" I looked at him in the simple robes. They fit for the most part as if he had more bulk at one point. "They still have her smell on them."

"I only knew that I shouldn't open it. I thought many times to give them away." It was at this point I gained access to the history behind the robes and how I should not have had them. They were originally a part of the Onasi family museum. I felt I should take him there soon. There might be something else there that would allow him to heal.

"The Force truly is a mystery." I nodded and we ate in silence. Meditating after we ate I could feel a peace that I had rarely felt. Satele Shan would feel like this when she meditated. Orgus Din would get close. He had always had this tinge of regret while he meditated. Not so much after seeing Bengel Morr redeemed. Hours passed by as we meditated. I slowly felt the ship leaving the Maelstrom and the journey back to the fleet. As the ship returned to its position in the fleet. We finally opened our eyes.

"Master Evan, I need to learn everything you know. Every Force ability you possess and have heard about. Will you teach me?"

"You are a Master in your own right."

"I am but a knight. I have not earned the right or the skill to be a master at this time."

"What I mean is that you have no need of a master."

"I still need a teacher."

"I do not think you need to learn from me. I am flawed. I fell to the Dark side."

"You came back. You broke the hold the Emperor had on you. Bastila helped you free yourself from the darkside. This I need to learn. Others need to learn this. You more than anyone knows, things that most Jedi have lost. Not everything has been stored in the Great Holocron, or in the many smaller ones kept safe in the library records."

"I can be a mentor, but not your master."

"That is all I ask." He got up from his stool and looked down at my hilts laying in front of me.

"May I?"

"You may." The lightsabers rose up in the air, and they came apart as I gasped. I didn't expect him to have such control over them. My Force flowed through those crystals every time I used them. They were a part of me and he should not have been able to do that.

"Red and blue? This is not the colors I would have expected a Jedi to utilize." My blades snapped back together in the blink of an eye to slowly come to rest in front of my knees.

"Bronze gold and blue silver, I have not seen any other with such colors. I have often wondered if they were the fabled crystals of the Guardian and Mantle." He looked at me puzzled as I yearned to be told what I had always known they would be. He then shook his head as my belief crashed to the floor and shattered like a glass globe.

"Unusual in color, but not either. The Heart of the Guardian and the Mantle of the Force are not lightsaber crystals. They are states of the mind, of action, of purpose. The heart of any guardian is to protect without fail. The Mantle of the Force is the power we pull from the Force to surround us. It protects us and our heart from influences that would weaken or injure."

"That can't be..."

"Is it not? Though I have heard that the Great Holocron at its center is a Bronze crystal covered by a cyan geode. Though to prove it was true would not make the council fond of the one who pulls the holocron apart." With this new understanding, I began my learning under Revan.

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