Chapter 24

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Roland Wann was waiting for them in the docking bay as the submersible breached the surface and settled on top of the docking pool. He stood there, hands clasped behind his back as Juhani and Bastila carried Venar from the watercraft. Roland motioned for his medical teams to assist the Jedi. They lifted Venar onto a hovering stretcher and began checking his vitals.

"What happened down there?" Roland asked.

"Your Selkath scientist was correct, General," Bastila said. "There was a giant Firaxan shark that seemed to have telepathic abilities. It drove the Selkath insane."

"The recent installment of the Kolto harvesting machinery and construction disturbed it's nest," Juhani explained.

"I see. Well that would explain that part. We picked up a massive explosion at the construction site," Roland said. "Please tell me the harvesters are still intact."

"I destroyed them," Venar said before stifling a cough.

"What?" The General asked. "Why in the stars would you do that?!"

"It was the... only way. The shark was just protecting it's young."

"You just doomed the Republic's entire operation here! That facility was going to give us a major edge in the war! Now that its gone... the entire war might be lost!"

"Sir, we need to get him to a kolto tank," one of the medics spoke up. "He needs medical attention and rest."

"Fine," Roland said, trying and failing to hold back his obvious anger. "Get him stable and fit for a courtroom."

"A courtroom," Bastila protested. "Surely you can't mean-"

"The Ahto High Court has summoned him," Roland explained. "We weren't the only ones who detected the explosion. The Selkath monitor their world closely and they're very interested in why you've put their precious Hrakert Rift in jeopardy. I suggest you have a good explanation."

With that, the medics ushered Venar away out of the docking bay and down the hall to the medical ward. Bastila and Juhani were with them every step of the way.

Venar winced as the medics cut open his robes to allow access to the wound from Bandon's lightsaber. They applied a transparent blue-green gel to the wound which sent fresh pain searing through his shoulder. He was unable to stifle the agonizing groan that resulted.

A clear breathing mask was placed over his mouth and nose. The last thing he saw before he drifted off to sleep was Bastila's worried face looking down at him, surrounded by the white lights of the medical ward.

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Bastila whirled through the air twirling her saberstaff and bringing it down hard against a crimson blade. Sparks flew as the lightsabers clashed. She could feel the darkness emanating from her opponent.

She saw her own eyes blazing in her reflection on the visor of his mask. Her face was twisted in an angry scowl. Her thoughts were on the Jedi Knights that had accompanied her on this mission. All dead, defeated so easily by the Dark Lord before her.

They had been too focused on maintaining their balance in the face of fear, and not enough on him. He found a weakness, and seized it before they could react, lifting them in the air and choking the life out of them. Darth Revan would pay for what he had done, she would see to it personally.

She pushed her lightsaber back against his, sparks continuing to fly. In a blur, he grabbed her by the wrist and began applying pressure. She felt her grip on her weapon loosen.

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