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 After the Star Forge

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PostSubject: After the Star Forge   14/09/14, 05:50 pm

Revan sat on a boulder at the edge of the festivities. The Rakata sun was beginning to set along the glossy horizon. Behind him, he could hear the drinking songs, the cheers of joy and triumph. But he felt none of this. He felt cold.

It wasn't because he was wearing too little or that the wind was too
strong, because the wind was practically dead and Revan himself wore
enough robes that a normal man would have felt too warm.
The noise intensified, and Revan heard a high-pitched voice join in with the
drinking songs. He looked over his shoulder and saw Mission Vao,
linking arms with one of the Republic officers and singing a drinking
song with him. She looked so alive and happy… she hadn't seemed
so energetic and alive since Taris. But Revan doubted she would be
the same since then.

And right now he didn't want to think of that time. All that time on Taris, all that time had been spent hunting for Bastila. And now Bastila, who deserved as much as the others to be among the festivities, was not. And Revan blamed himself.

If she hadn't sacrificed herself on The Leviathan, if I had stepped in the way, she would have been fine. And if I had joined her on the Temple Summit, either joined her and then converted her back to the Light then, she would be here. If only I had done something right…

So lost in his thoughts, Revan didn't hear any approaching footsteps, and when Carth Onasi sat down next to him, Revan barely noticed the man until he spoke.

We won," Carth reminded him.

Revan didn't jump, he wouldn't allow himself to, but he did feel a bit surprised that Carth would be over here with him instead of with his fellow officers. The two men had grown to trust each other, but were they truly friends? Had they become much closer than they had been back on Taris?

"I didn't," Revan replied simply, looking at the still lowering sun. He felt broody and wanted to be left alone, to drown in his sorrows without interference. However, Carth didn't seem like he would be leaving.

Instead, the older man turned to look at Revan. "I know how it feels to lose somebody Chan," Carth replied, using Revan's false name. "You and I both know the pain. And so do many other men and women across the galaxy. You're not alone."

"I could've saved her, I could've stopped it from happening," Revan protested, his tone staying neutral. "And my name is Revan. Chan Ran isn't real."

"I told myself that for four years Revan ," Carth countered, enunciating Revan's real name. "I told myself every night that I could've saved Morgana, I could've stopped it from happening, if only I had killed Saul when he made his offer. But I didn't. And you didn't do anything wrong."

Revan shook his head, still not looking over at Carth. "I killed her. I didn't let Malak or someone else kill her, I did it. My lightsaber, my hand, it was my fault she's dead. You didn't kill Morgana, you just watched her die. I had to do both."

Carth sighed, knowing that Revan had him there. "Just because she's dead doesn't mean that you have to seclude yourself from the world around you," Carth said, veering towards a different subject. "Revenge or self-hatred won't do any good." Revan stayed silent. Carth felt like he was running out of topics. What else was there to say? Bastila was dead, the Star Forge was gone, what else did these two men have to share with one another?

"So what are you going to do next?" Revan looked up at Carth, a little confused by the question. "I mean, are you going to stay with the Jedi? Are you going to do something else?”

Revan shrugged. "I suppose I'll stay with the Jedi. What else would I do?"

"I'm not sure," Carth replied. "You could join the Republic."

The younger man chuckled. "Always looking for new recruits eh? Naw, I don't think many of your Republic friends would be too pleased to see me joining their ranks. They might think I'm planning to sabotage, considering who I am."

Carth nodded understandingly and stared at the sandy beach beneath his feet, moving it around with his right foot a bit awkwardly. Another moment of silence passed between them. "I'm not sure if I ever said it, but thank you again, for giving me back Dustil. I don't think I could've lived with myself if he had pushed me into killing him."

Revan's silence made Carth regret his words immediately. Way to go, remind
him that you didn't suffer the exact same fate he did. Imbecile!

"It was nothing," Revan replied, looking up at Carth with a small smile.

"You know… you can talk about it if you want," Carth said after a few more seconds of quietness, bar the still noisy festivities behind the two men. Low growls from the wookiee Zaalbar joined in along with Mission's high pitched singing. The noise made Revan and Carth both smile and exchange a glance. It was the sort of glance two friends exchange. But both men wondered the same thing: Were they truly friends or simply comrades?

Comrades trust each other with their lives, not their secrets. Friends trust each other with both. This made Revan think, Carth shared his history with me, told me things he wouldn't have told a simple fellow soldier. Does that make us friends? Should I return the favor?

"She told me she had fallen too far to be saved," Revan explained, keeping his tone businesslike, trying not to betray a single emotion. He was sure the words were enough for Carth to understand the turmoil he was going through. "She… fought me. She fought with such intensity. It wasn't the same as when we were sparring back on the Ebon Hawk or on Dantooine during training, it was so much more fierce… but less so in some ways." Carth raised an eyebrow in confusion at the contradictory statement.

"I mean that she fought with the Dark side, with her strength, but it was almost as if she knew she would have to be the one to die,"Revan continued his explanation, still not looking at Carth, but at the ever lowering sun. "Then… I struck her. And she died. I was stunned that I had done such a thing. But it was my light-saber, the green blade shone right through her abdomen, and it was completely my doing."

Carth shook his head, though Revan couldn't see it from where he was looking. "It's not your fault Revan. Malak did that to her, he converted her to the Dark side and he made her fight you. You did not. You may have been the hand that held the 'saber that killed her, but it was because of Malak."

"Even so," Revan shrugged, still staring at the ground. "It feels more like my fault than anyone else's. You know, if I hadn't fallen in the first place, if I hadn't resisted the Jedi capturing me, she wouldn't have needed to go on this mission. This mission wouldn't have been necessary at all."

"Don't go back that far Revan. That was a different time and a different you," Carth said sternly. "You didn't know this would happen, you didn't understand the consequences."

"I should have," growled Revan.

Carth sighed and sat up a bit straighter, looking up at the clear night sky. The stars were so numerous and you could see them so well on Rakata. "Well, Revan, you can't change the past, you can only deal with the consequences. So as much as it hurts, and I know it hurts, you can't let it drive you. Just remember what you told me when I told you about how much Morgana's death hurt me. You only
need to remember that despite the fact that she's gone, you still have your friends."

With this last statement, Carth put a hand on Revan's shoulder. The younger man finally showed a mix of emotions as he looked up at Carth; a look full of pain, sadness, and yet hopefulness as he nodded and held out a hand for Carth to shake.

But Carth would not shake a friend's hand. Instead, he stood up and held his arms out, as if he were a grandfather waiting for his youngest grandson to give him a welcoming hug. With a weak chuckle, Revan stood as well and reached arms around Carth. With a pat on the back, reassuringly, Carth gave Revan a smile, which the latter returned.

In both men's mind, their question had been answered. They were not only comrades who had fought difficult and countless battles with one only comrades who had fought difficult and countless battles with one another, but friends, who had shared painful moments and sad memories with one another.

Though both had lost their loves, they had each other to rely on. And with
less depressing thoughts in mind, Revan could join in the festivities and actually smile through it all. Bastila had died, but through her death, he would stretch to accomplish more and to work for all she had believed in: the Jedi, the Republic, and the goodness of the galaxy.

I've got an idea, but the story... the story will go where it wants to go. The characters drive it, not me. A good story, you don't really write. It was always there. You just uncover it.
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