Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chapters 16 to 18

Chapter 16: Breaking and Entering
Scene 1
It is some time after the trial, and RGN and the others are drinking together in the bar. The juice bar, that is. RGN waves a hand drowsily at MISSION.
RGN: Missssion, gemme 'nother grape joosh.
BASTILA (helplessly): RGN, you can't be drunk. It's not even alcoholic.
RGN (sulkily): Cantoo. Feel bad about myshelfsh.
CANDEROUS: Aww, poor ickle baby Jedi. Have you got a guilty conscience?
RGN groans, then folds his arms on the table in front of him and buries his head in them.
CARTH (sighing): Someone order him a strong coffee, will you?
Just then a Selkath, SHAELAS, approaches the party.
SHAELAS: Excuse me, I heard that one of you is a soft-hearted sap who goes around unnecessarily doing favours for strangers?
Everyone immediately looks at RGN. He raises his head and gives a little wave.
RGN: Yep, 'sme.
SHAELAS: Wonderful! In that case, perhaps you could find out where our children are disappearing to?
RGN (trying to concentrate): Children?
SHAELAS: Yes, it was very strange. This man dressed in a sort of red-and-yellow costume came dancing through the streets playing a tune on a pipe --
CARTH: Oh, don't tell me. All your children ran after him, right?
SHAELAS (puzzled): How did you know?
CARTH: Never mind. RGN?
RGN closes his eyes, considers for a moment, then shakes his head.
RGN: No, not intereshted. (He slumps forward onto the table.)
SHAELAS (shocked): You won't do it?
BASTILA: Don't worry, I'm sure he'll have changed his mind by tomorrow. (She tries to help RGN stand up.) Come on, boys, let's get this one to bed.
CARTH and BASTILA drag RGN to his feet and half-carry him towards the door. He stumbles forward unsteadily.
RGN (leering at BASTILA): Bastila, I hope you're not planning to take advantage of me.
CANDEROUS: (Snorts) You wish.
BASTILA: (Rolls eyes) Don't worry, RGN, your honour is safe with me.
RGN: Damn.
Scene 2
The next morning. RGN wakes up in bed on board the Ebon Hawk, still dressed and badly hung-over. He groans, forces his eyes open and stumbles out of bed.
RGN: I must have been pretty far gone last night. I'd swear that a Selkath came and told me some crazy story about a flute-player running off with his children.
CARTH: You didn't imagine it, I'm afraid.
RGN: I didn't? (Rubs eyes) What else happened last night?
JOLEE: Well, you told Canderous that he was your best mate and you loved him.
RGN: I said that? (JOLEE nods.) How did he take it?
JOLEE: He seemed quite pleased, actually. Especially when you tried to kiss him.
RGN: Oh, Jesus...
JOLEE: (Winks) Lucky for you that Bastila was there.
RGN: Uh-oh. How angry was she?
CARTH: To be honest, she seemed more amused than anything else.
They enter the central section of the Hawk, where the others are having breakfast.
RGN: Morning all. (BASTILA looks at him coldly.) Um... sorry about last night, Bastila.
BASTILA: Actually, I was quite impressed. I've never seen anyone get completely plastered on Diet Coke and grape juice before.
RGN: Did you tell the Selkath guy I'd help him?
BASTILA: Yes. (Smiles sweetly) I knew you would want me to.
RGN: (Sighs) Right, so we're on the trail of the Pied Child-Abductor of Ahto City. Any other business for today?
MISSION: Weren't we supposed to break into the Sith base?
RGN: Oh, gods, I'd forgotten about that. I think we need Canderous and HK for this one.
BASTILA: RGN, be honest. This is just an excuse to spend more time with Canderous, isn't it?
RGN (wincing): You're not going to let me forget about that, are you?
BASTILA: Maybe in about 20 years.
Scene 3
The interrogation room in the Republic embassy. A drugged, half-conscious Sith SPY is imprisoned in a cell with see-through walls; a Republic INTERROGATOR stands nearby.
INTERROGATOR: Can I help you?
RGN: We've come to question the prisoner.
INTERROGATOR: Well, you're the third lot today. I hope you have better luck than the others.
RGN: You mean you're just letting anyone walk in and have a go?!
INTERROGATOR: (Shrugs) Well, we've been trying for weeks and he's still refusing to tell us anything, so we decided to make a contest out of it. First person to get the Sith Embassy passcode out of him wins this fabulous prize! (He indicates a large teddy bear with a bow round its neck.)
RGN (drily): How could I resist? (Turns to CANDEROUS.) Right, we need a strategy. Canderous, I'll be the good cop and you can be the bad cop, OK?
CANDEROUS: Hey, why do I always have to be the bad cop?
RGN: Er... because you're a Mandalorian.
CANDEROUS: Oh. Right.
INTERROGATOR (to SPY): Hey, you! Wake up!
SPY (groggily): Yeah, what do you want?
RGN: I don't suppose you'd feel like telling us the passcode for the Sith Embassy, would you?
SPY: Go to hell, Jedi! I will never betray the Sith!
RGN (soothingly): Now, now, don't be so hasty. Cigarette?
SPY: How can you give me a cigarette when I'm inside this cage?
RGN: Good point. Canderous, over to you.
CANDEROUS grins, raises his blaster rifle and aims it at the SPY.
CANDEROUS: Now I know what you're thinking, punk. You're thinking, will he risk being executed by the Selkath for blasting you? (The prisoner's eyes widen in horror.) Well, being as this is a Mandalorian Mark IV, the most powerful blaster rifle in the galaxy, and will fry your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
The prisoner faints.
RGN: Canderous... I know you're supposed to be the 'bad cop', but have you ever heard the phrase 'less is more'?
CANDEROUS: Look, if you want subtlety, you shouldn't come to a Mandalorian.
HK-47: Request: Please may I have a go, master?
RGN: No thanks, HK, we don't want to give him a complete nervous breakdown. I think we need to try another tack.
MISSION: How about repeating the question three times? (They stare at her.) Hey, it worked for Austin Powers.
RGN: Worth a try, I suppose. (He bangs against the cell wall to wake up the SPY). Right, what's the passcode to the Sith base?
SPY: I will never tell you! (He spits in RGN's direction.)
RGN: What's the passcode to the Sith base?
SPY: You won't break me, Republic scum! My loyalty to the Sith is absolute!
RGN: I'll ask you one more time. What's the passcode to the Sith base?
SPY: (Cracks) Oh God, I can't take it any more! All right, I'll tell you. It's 'Swordfish'.
RGN: Ha, ha. The real password, please?
SPY: That's it, I swear!
RGN turns to the INTERROGATOR.
RGN (sarcastically): Weeks, eh?
INTERROGATOR (embarrassed): Well, maybe you guys just got lucky.
Scene 4
The entrance to the Sith Embassy in Ahto City East. A GUARD stands outside.
RGN: Mission, this might be dangerous. I think you should go back to the Hawk and look after Sasha. (He hands her the teddy bear.)
MISSION: You're leaving me alone with Sasha?! I think I'd rather take my chances with the Sith.
RGN: Honestly, why are you all so down on Sasha? She's a lovely little girl!
CARTH: Yeah, the way she can spin her head all the way round like that is just so adorable.
MISSION leaves reluctantly. The others approach the GUARD.
RGN (embarrassed): Er... 'Swordfish'.
GUARD: What?
RGN: Um... that's the passcode, isn't it?
GUARD: It is? Oh, right. Go on in, then.
The others exchange glances.
CARTH: OK, I take back what I said about Republic Embassy security. Compared to these guys it's like Fort Knox.
They enter the base. A female Sith SECURITY OFFICER looks at them with deep suspicion.
SECURITY OFFICER: How did you get in here?
RGN: Through the door.
SECURITY OFFICER (witheringly): Very funny. You're Republic spies, aren't you?
RGN: Hang on, what makes you think that?
SECURITY OFFICER: Well, firstly, four of you are clearly Jedi. And secondly, you (to CARTH) are wearing armour with Republic markings.
RGN: Okay, so maybe we could have planned this better.
SECURITY OFFICER: Guards! Seize them!
There is a brief firefight. Moments later, all the Sith lie dead.
JOLEE (looking at the bodies): Nice work, 007.
RGN: I'll admit that didn't go quite as well as I had hoped.
JUHANI: I think that may be something of an understatement. Do you realise that the entire base will be on red alert now?
RGN: Well, how was I supposed to guess that we'd run into the only intelligent Sith in the galaxy?
Scene 5
The party wanders through the deserted corridors of the Sith Embassy.
BASTILA: RGN, do you actually have any idea where we're going?
RGN (calmly): Patience, Bastila, patience.
BASTILA: You don't, do you? I told you we should have asked someone for directions, but oh, no...
RGN: Look, we've killed just about everyone in the base. We're bound to come across something interesting sooner or later.
As they enter the next corridor, they see a young Selkath walk through the door ahead of them.
RGN: Ah. I think we've solved the Mystery of the Runaway Children.
He opens the door to a dormitory at the end of the corridor. Inside are several Selkath children, led by SHAELAS's daughter SHASA.
RGN (cheerfully): Hello there, kiddies! Had a nice holiday, have we? Come on, it's time to go back to Mummy and Daddy now.
SHASA (subtitled): Don't patronise us, Jedi! We're learning to be Sith!
RGN: Sith? (He and the others exchange worried looks.) But children, the Sith are naughty, bad people who want to take over the galaxy!
SHASA: So?
RGN: So... (He sighs.) What would convince you that joining the Sith is a bad idea?
SHASA: Well... maybe if we found that one of our friends had been brutally tortured to death or something. (The others titter.) But yeah, like that's going to happen.
CARTH, who has been exploring the other rooms, suddenly cries out in horror.
CARTH: Oh, my God! One of the Selkath kids has been horribly tortured to death!
SHASA (skeptically): Liar! You're making it up.
CARTH: No I'm not, his body's right here in this room! (SHASA is clearly unmoved.)
RGN: Well, aren't you even going to go and look?
SHASA: Nah, too much effort. Go find some other evidence.
RGN: Oh, for the love of -- (He turns and stomps off, muttering to himself. A minute or so later he returns with a datapad.)
RGN: OK, here's a detailed description of the Sith strategy for taking over Manaan and stealing all your kolto for themselves. Satisfied?
SHASA (glancing at datapad): Faked.
HK-47: (Raises blaster threateningly) Command: You will not accuse the master of lying, aquatic meatbag!
SHASA (hastily): Okay, so maybe it is true after all.
BASTILA: So you'll come back with us?
SHASA: Yeah, I guess.
RGN: Good. By the way, would you happen to have any idea where the droid repair workshop is?
SHASA: Sure, it's right near the entrance. If you just take the other corridor --
She stops. The others are looking murderously at RGN.
RGN (backing away): Ahem. I'll... just go and get that droid then, shall I?
Scene 6
RGN and the others enter the Republic Embassy reception area. ROLAND WANN is at his desk.
RGN: OK, we got your droid back for you. Now will you please tell us what's going on?
WANN: (Sighs) Very well, I suppose you have a right to know. (He lowers his voice.) You know that Manaan is supposed to be neutral between the Sith and the Republic?
RGN: Yeeessss?
WANN: Well, the Selkath authorities finally cottoned on to the fact that the Sith are going to end up invading them anyway. So they got together with us, and we planned a special... project.
CARTH: Something to help you harvest more kolto, I suppose?
WANN: Actually, we planned to open a branch of the Sea-Life Centre. More tourism for them, and of course the profits --
RGN: Would go to fund the Republic's war effort?
WANN: Exactly. But it all went terribly, terribly wrong...
JUHANI: What happened?
WANN: It all started when we were building the shark tank. You know, the one where you walk through a tunnel and you can see the sharks swimming around you? (They nod.) Well, just as our workers were rounding up the firaxan sharks, there was apparently some kind of terrible roar. It seemed to drive all the Selkath workers completely insane.
RGN: So now they're running around killing everyone?
WANN: So I've heard. You, of course, get to see for yourselves. (He hands RGN a set of keys.) Here are the keys to your sub. Enjoy!
The others look at each other.
CANDEROUS: There better be one hell of an award ceremony at the end of this.
Resignedly, the party members walk through the Embassy and enter the submarine bay.

Chapter 17: Under the Sea
Scene 1
The party members emerge from their sub in the underwater base that was to serve as Manaan's branch of the Sea-Life Centre. It is a mess; the corpses of Republic workers lie strewn around the place, many of them missing various body parts. RGN and the others look around in horror.
CARTH: What the hell happened?
CANDEROUS: Not sure... But I do know one thing.
CARTH: What?
CANDEROUS: (Grins) There's something very, very fishy going on here.
Everyone groans.
BASTILA: Canderous, that was terrible.
RGN: Anyone else think the quality of the jokes has been going seriously downhill lately?
CARTH: Yeah, I noticed too. I think the sheer tedium of Manaan must be numbing the author's brain.
RGN opens the door leading out of the submarine bay. On the other side is a terrified-looking Twi'lek MERCENARY.
MERCENARY (gabbles): Who... who are you? How did you get in? Quick, we have to get out of here, we have to get away!
RGN: (Raises hands in a calming gesture) Calm down, calm down. I'm Randomly Generated Name. Why don't you tell me what happened here?
MERCENARY: The Selkath... they went crazy! The Republic sent us down here to find out what happened, and they all came out... screaming and croaking their fishy little war-cries!
CANDEROUS: 'Fishy little war-cries'? Sheesh, could this guy possibly be any more pathetic?
MERCENARY: Look, don't blame me! I never wanted to be a mercenary in the first place, I'm not cut out for it. I only took it up to please my poor old mother... (He starts to sob.)
BASTILA: How did the Selkath manage to kill everyone?
MERCENARY: They just swarmed all over us! There was nothing we could do to stop them. Screaming and firing their sonic blasters --
RGN: Um, sonic blasters? As in... blasters that fire sound?
MERCENARY: Oh, you laugh now. But wait until you've heard the first few bars of the Sesame Street theme tune 350 times... (He begins to shake again.)
RGN (sighing): I think we'd better get you back to the surface.
MERCENARY (panicking): No! I know what happened to the others who left in the submersible. The Jaws music started playing and then... there was an explosion... (He shudders.) They didn't make it!
HK-47: Suggestion: Master, perhaps it would help if we dismembered this organic?
RGN: What, to help get him back to the surface? I'm afraid organics don't work like that, HK.
HK-47: (Looks puzzled) Clarification: No, master, just for the fun of it.
MERCENARY (ignoring him): Look, I'm not coming with you. You do what you like. I'm staying right here until a real rescue comes!
He sits down in a corner, whimpering to himself. The others regard him with expressions ranging from sympathy to disgust.
CANDEROUS (shaking his head): Boba Fett, he ain't.
Scene 2
The party walks through the corridors of the base, occasionally pausing to fend off a hostile Selkath.
RGN (eventually): So, Jolee, I've been wondering. Just why was it that you ended up leaving the Jedi?
JOLEE: Well, to be honest... the truth is that I never really fit in with the Jedi.
BASTILA: Hmm, I wonder why that could be?
JOLEE: I couldn't stand the constant moralising. (Pompously) Light Side, Dark Side, they don't mean the same to me as they do to you kids. I don't believe in moral absolutes.
RGN: We noticed. (JOLEE glares at him.) Go on then, explain how it's possible to be too Light Side.
JOLEE: Er... (Frustrated) Look, who's the 'wise old hermit' character here, you or me?
RGN: Well... in theory, I suppose it's you.
JOLEE: Precisely. You're supposed to be subdued by the profundity of my simple homespun wisdom. So stop questioning me, dammit!
RGN: Sorry, I'll try not to do it again. Anyway, surely that can't be the only reason you left?
JOLEE: No, let me explain. It all started back when I was fighting in the war against Exar Kun --
CARTH: Ahem.
JOLEE: All right, smuggling in the war against Exar Kun. Smuggling arms, if you must know.
RGN: To which side?
JOLEE: Both, of course! Anyway, I was about to say that that was when I first met my wife.
BASTILA (innocently): You'd never met her before?
JOLEE (witheringly): Oh, har-de-har... sheesh, it'll be knock-knock jokes next.
CARTH: Didn't we already have one of those in Chapter 5?
JOLEE (exasperated): I met the woman who was to become my wife, and eventually I married her. I told the Council I wanted to train her as a Jedi, and they refused. But I did anyway, and the inevitable happened -- she went over to the Sith, and we ended up facing each other in a duel to the death.
JUHANI: You killed her?
JOLEE: I would have done, but she'd hidden my golf clubs away somewhere and I couldn't bear to kill her until I'd got them back. So I let her go... and of course she went on to kill a lot of other Jedi. And she never even told me where those clubs were, the bitch!
RGN: So what happened with the Council?
JOLEE: After the war they put me on trial for training my wife against their wishes. They weren't too happy about the arms smuggling, either.
JUHANI: And they threw you out of the Order?
JOLEE: No, they forgave me.
ALL: What?
JOLEE: (Shrugs) They said there were 'mitigating circumstances' and I 'deserved compassion'. Especially when I told them about the golf clubs.
RGN: Okay... whilst I can't say much for their judgement, I don't entirely see why this made you want to hide in a swamp for twenty years.
JOLEE: Because I was desperate to leave the frickin' Jedi! Here they had the perfect excuse to kick me out, and they had to go and forgive me, the bastards! Why couldn't they just have given me the punishment I deserved?
RGN: I see. So you ran away?
JOLEE: Yep. I fled to Kashyyyk and hid out there for the next two decades, making a living by screwing over the Wookiees. Any more questions?
RGN: No... I think I've heard enough, thanks.
JOLEE: Sure? I could tell you the story about old Master Hortath if you like.
RGN (hastily): No, no, it's fine. Some other time maybe... (He and the others quickly turn to leave.)
JOLEE (running after them): Or the one about my friend Andor... or the one about the boy who led a snake into the desert...?
Scene 3
The party is now deep inside the base. JOLEE is recounting one of his stories to the others, who are attempting -- without much success -- to look interested.
JOLEE: ...and so the tortoise eventually beat the hare, proving that 'slow and steady wins the race'.
RGN (suspiciously): Jolee, are you sure you came up with that one yourself?
JOLEE: (Indignant) Of course I did!
RGN: It's just that I'm having difficulty believing you actually saw this in person.
JOLEE (affronted): Are you suggesting that I'm making things up?
RGN: The thought did cross my mind, yes.
JOLEE is about to reply, when several security droids suddenly open fire on the party. The Jedi quickly use the Force to destroy them.
JUHANI: Why are the droids attacking us?
RGN: I guess the Selkath must have reprogrammed them to attack friendly targets.
CARTH: (Sighs) When the war's over I'm going to hold seminars on this. 'How Not To Design a Security System for your Top-Secret Base.'
They enter a darkened room containing the dead bodies of several Republic soldiers. RGN stoops down and begins to search them.
CARTH: You know, I find the whole 'corpse-robbing' aspect of this game somewhat repellent.
RGN ignores him. With an air of triumph, he pulls a datapad and a small 'anti-shark' device out of a soldier's pocket.
RGN: See, you can always find something useful on a corpse! (He studies the datapad.) It says this can be used to hold off the sharks... oh, unless they touch you first, in which case you apparently die instantly. (Shrugs)
BASTILA (opening a locker): And here's a diving suit. Just the one, I'm afraid.
RGN: Right, so it's a solo mission. Who's going to volunteer for this one?
There is a long silence. Everyone looks at the floor.
RGN: God, why do I even bother asking? (He sighs and slings the diving suit over his shoulder.)
BASTILA: Sorry, RGN. I would, but it's against the rules.
RGN: I know, I know... (He walks towards the door with the air of a martyr.)
CARTH: Hang on. Do we really want to subject the readers to the horrors of the underwater sequence?
RGN: Good point, they haven't done anything to deserve that. I'll meet you back here in a few hours, shall I?
Scene 4
Several hours later. A pale and exhausted-looking RGN enters the room, clutching something in his hand.
CARTH: How did it go?
RGN: Oh, not too badly.
CARTH: Really?
RGN: Well, apart from the homicidal Selkath, the Sharks of Instant Annihilation, the crazy scientists who tried to suffocate me, and the giant mother firaxan who's furious at us for stealing her babies... yes, it went just fine.
CANDEROUS: That good, huh?
RGN: And I don't even want to talk about the ridiculous machinations I had to go through to destroy the shark tank. Who invented this machinery, the editors of 'Logical Challenge' magazine?
BASTILA: But you got the Star Map?
RGN: Eventually, yes. Come on, let's get out of here.
They run back through the corridors. One of the connecting doors has mysteriously closed itself.
RGN: Hmph. Strange, that doesn't usually happen.
He opens the door. On the other side is DARTH BANDON, accompanied by two Dark Jedi.
BANDON: At last, my search is over! Now I can prove my worth to my Master. MUAHAHAHAHA!
RGN: Hey... you're the guy from the Endar Spire, aren't you? Oh my God, you killed Trask!
ALL: You bastard!
HK-47 (hopefully): Query: Does this mean we get to fight him, master?
RGN: Probably. (To BANDON) I don't suppose there's any chance of you repenting your evil ways and turning over a new leaf, is there?
BANDON: Not really, no.
RGN: Very well then: My name is Randomly Generated Name; you killed my bunkmate. Prepare to die!
A monumental battle breaks out. Eventually, after a long and painful struggle, BANDON and the Dark Jedi are vanquished.
BASTILA: Bloody hell, that was difficult. I'm not used to running into Sith who can actually fight.
Exhausted, they make their way back to the submarine bay.
Scene 5
The Republic Embassy. An anxious-looking ROLAND WANN is waiting for the party.
WANN: You're back! Did you find out what happened?
RGN: Yes, I found out what was causing all the trouble. It was a giant shark.
JOLEE: Now that's an original idea.
WANN (anxiously): But the shark tank? Did you manage to save it?
RGN: Sorry, no. I had to destroy it.
WANN: No! (Buries his head in his hands.) And we had all the promotional materials printed as well... Oh well, I suppose we'll just have to come up with another money-making venture.
Suddenly a group of armed Selkath bursts into the room.
SELKATH (subtitled): Stop! Remain where you are, off-worlders! (He marches up to RGN.) You are under arrest!
RGN (drawing himself up): On what charge?
SELKATH: (Sighs) I was hoping you wouldn't ask that. (He takes a long ream of paper out of his pocket.) Well, to start with, unlawfully invading the Sith Embassy and initiating violence. Then there's murdering members of the Ambassadorial Commission of the Sith Empire, causing mysterious explosions under the surface of Manaan...
Several minutes later.
SELKATH: ...and wearing unnecessarily loud clothing.
RGN: That's all, huh?
BASTILA: (Tuts) I told you that bright red robe doesn't suit you, RGN...
RGN: Rubbish! It suits me perfectly.
SELKATH: That is for the courts to decide, human! Now, will you come quietly?
RGN: Well, this doesn't really seem like the right setting for a Famous Last Stand. Fine, I'll come quietly...
Scene 6
The courtroom in Ahto City West. All five judges glare at RGN as he enters.
JUDGE DREDD: Randomly Generated Name, you are charged with... a long list of crimes which I really can't be bothered to repeat. How do you plead?
RGN: Not guilty. To all charges.
JUDGE DREDD: Oh, yes? Well, let's start with your invasion of the Sith Embassy and all the related crimes. How do you explain that?
RGN: They were luring young Selkath there and brainwashing them, your Honour. (He shows JUDGE DREDD the Sith datapad.)
JUDGE DREDD (taken aback): Oh. That does change things somewhat. Well then... how about the underwater explosions? What have you got to say about that?
RGN: The shark tank you were building as part of your Sea-Life Centre was angering the mother firaxan. I had to destroy it.
JUDGE DREDD: Damn, another good excuse... Well, what about the unnecessarily loud clothing, eh? Eh?
RGN (sorrowfully): Everything else was in the wash, your Honour.
JUDGE DREDD (disappointed): Oh. (He confers briefly with the other judges.) Very well... with great reluctance, I am forced to find you innocent of all charges.
RGN: So I'm free to go?
JUDGE DREDD: Yes, unfortunately. But step out of line again and I'll throw the book at you, understand?
Scene 7
RGN walks into the spaceport where the Hawk is docked. As he approaches the ship, a tearful MISSION runs out to greet him, closely followed by the others.
MISSION: RGN... (She is overcome with emotion.)
RGN (touched): Don't worry, Mission. I'm fine.
MISSION: No, it's not that... (Gulps) RGN, it's Sasha. She's gone!
RGN (shocked): Gone? How could you let that happen?
MISSION (sniffling): She insisted that I play hide-and-seek with her. She made me count to two thousand... and when I searched for her, I couldn't find her. I looked everywhere!
RGN looks at the others with deep suspicion.
BASTILA: RGN, I swear we had nothing to do with this.
CARTH (cheerfully): Well, great shame and all that, but we really have to be going. Don't worry, I'm sure the Selkath will take good care of Sasha...
RGN: But surely we could spend a few hours looking --
BASTILA: No! (Remembers herself.) RGN, we have to find the last Star Map, remember? Every moment is precious!
RGN (sadly): Yes, I suppose you're right... Poor little Sasha.
Dejectedly, he enters the Hawk. Behind him, the others exchange a round of silent high-fives, then follow him onto the ship.

Chapter 18: Have I Got News For You
Scene 1
The Hawk has just entered hyperspace when suddenly there is a tremendous jolt, causing the ship to shake wildly. Panicked, RGN and the others rush to the cockpit, where an absolutely massive starship can be seen through the windows. The Hawk is being drawn towards the larger ship by some kind of powerful energy beam.
RGN: What's going on?
CARTH: It's a Sith interdictor ship - we're caught in their tractor beam! Quick, start pressing buttons randomly!
He and BASTILA stab wildly at the control panel. Unsurprisingly, nothing happens.
CARTH: It's not working! (Frantic) Abandon ship! Abandon ship!
BASTILA: Under the circumstances, Carth, I don't really think that's an option.
CARTH: Oh yeah. Damn.
The party members look at each other helplessly.
MISSION: Are we going to be taken prisoner?
RGN: Yes, I think it's time for the inevitable 'breaking out of jail without your weapons or equipment' sequence.
MISSION: But how are we going to escape?
RGN: Well, there are ten of us. We just need one person to stay behind so they can free the rest later. (Before anyone can answer) And no, it is not going to be me this time!
BASTILA: Well, Carth and I are main characters so we're out. It'll have to be one of the others.
RGN: Something tells me that Mission might be good at breaking out of prison cells.
BASTILA: You're not serious? We can't entrust the fate of the entire party to a fourteen-year-old!
RGN: Well, who do you suggest?
BASTILA: How about Jolee? Couldn't he use the Force to fool the guards or something?
RGN: Come on, you actually think he'd bother to free the rest of us? He'd grab the first ship he found and leave us to rot.
CARTH: Hey, I have an idea. Canderous has an automatic healing implant, right? (CANDEROUS looks suspicious.) Well, say we beat him up until he's almost dead --
CANDEROUS: Nice try, Soldier Boy.
BASTILA: Juhani, then? If she uses her stealth skills to make herself invisible, the Sith will never even realise she's the- (JUHANI suddenly lets out an ear-shattering sneeze.)
JUHANI: (Blows her nose noisily) Sorry. I think I've got a bit of a coACHOO!
BASTILA (wearily): Alright, scratch that...
RGN: You know, T3-M4 is a pretty resourceful little -- (Sees the others' expressions.) OK, maybe not. What about HK?
HK-47: Entreaty: Oh yes, master! Let me do it, please!
BASTILA: RGN, if you think I'm going to put my life in the hands of your psychotic assassin droid --
RGN: Oh, forget it. Zaalbar? (He meets BASTILA's eyes.) No, not Zaalbar.
There is silence for a moment.
CARTH: We would appear to have exhausted all the options here.
Suddenly they hear the shouts of Sith soldiers outside the Hawk. The ship has entered the Leviathan's docking bay.
BASTILA (guiltily): Oops.
JUHANI (sarcastically): Perhaps we could all just lie down and play dead?
Scene 2
On board the Leviathan, a SITH COMMANDER is approached by two of his men.
SITH SOLDIER: Bastila, Carth and the crew have been taken prisoner as you ordered, Commander.
COMMANDER: Excellent! Have you searched the ship thoroughly?
SITH SOLDIER: Oh, yes. We definitely got everyone.
COMMANDER (expectantly): And?
SITH SOLDIER (puzzled): Er... and?
The COMMANDER looks bemused. Clearly he had been expecting something more.
COMMANDER: Aren't you going to tell me you want to separate one of the prisoners from the others?
SITH SOLDIER: Um... no. No, I don't really see any reason to do that.
The COMMANDER stares at him.
COMMANDER: Really? You're... you're absolutely sure about that?
SITH SOLDIER: Pretty sure, yes. (He looks at the other soldier, who shrugs and nods.)
COMMANDER: Oh. Well... that's OK then, I guess. Off you go.
The bewildered-looking soldiers leave the room. Meanwhile, inside a well-hidden cupboard in the storeroom of the deserted Hawk, something stirs...
Scene 3
A torture chamber on board the Leviathan. RGN, CARTH and BASTILA are strapped into Poetry Appreciation Chairs, at the mercy of SAUL KARATH, who is reading aloud from a book of poetry.
SAUL: 'Groop I implore thee my foonting turlingdromes.
And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles,
Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon, see if I don't!'
RGN etc.: AAAAARRRRGGGH!
SAUL: (Laughs cruelly) You think this is painful? When Malak arrives you will learn the meaning of truly bad poetry. He has two volumes of the collected works of William McGonagall!
BASTILA (desperate): No! Have mercy, I beg you!
SAUL: I will give you one more chance to answer my questions. (To RGN) Where is the Jedi academy where you were trained?
RGN: Um... (A bright idea strikes him.) Alderaan! It's on Alderaan.
SAUL: Oh, very witty. I have seen the Original Trilogy as well, you know!
RGN: Drat.
SAUL: Obviously Lord Malak knew the Academy was on Dantooine. He visited the cave there, remember?
RGN: Ah, good point.
SAUL: In any case, the Academy has been destroyed by our fleet. Nothing remains but the charred remains of your former Masters! Ha!
RGN (brightening up): Really? (Remembers himself) Er, I mean... you will pay for your crimes, Saul!
SAUL: Whatever. (Shakes his head) I'm getting bored of this anyway. I will leave you here with just a small taste of the poetry you will suffer when Lord Malak arrives!
He begins to read from the book, but is drowned out by the prisoners' screams. Everything goes dark...
Scene 4
About half an hour later. RGN is beginning to regain consciousness; BASTILA and CARTH are already awake.
RGN (moaning): No... doesn't scan... can't rhyme 'anger' with 'danger'!
BASTILA: Don't try to move too quickly, RGN. You may not have recovered from the poetry yet.
RGN: (Finally opens his eyes) Oh, God, the poetry...
CARTH: He made us all listen to it, but you got the worst of it by far. He even read you a love poem written by his fourteen-year-old son.
RGN (shuddering at the memory): Ugh.
CARTH (sighing): I don't know what's happened to Saul. How can he have become such a monster?
BASTILA (solemnly): The dark side has perverted him, Carth. Once you start down the tainted path it leads you ever further into the depths of evil... well, unless he was just a treacherous bastard all along.
They sit for a minute in gloomy silence.
CARTH: (Cheers up) Ah well, look on the bright side -- at least they wiped out the Council.
BASTILA: Yes, that's certainly something. Do you think any of the Masters are still alive?
RGN: Unfortunately, I should think at least one of them probably survived. Oh well, as long as it's not Vrook...
(Suddenly a thought strikes CARTH.)
CARTH: Hang on a minute, how are we going to get out anyway? We didn't manage to come up with a plan, remember?
RGN (blithely): Oh, I'm sure something will turn up.
BASTILA: Well, let's hope it turns up soon. I don't know how many more gratuitous Douglas Adams references I can stand.
Suddenly there is a scuffling sound outside the door, then it opens slightly and a small head peeks into the room. It is SASHA.
RGN (in joyful astonishment): Sasha!
CARTH (horrified): Sasha? But I thought we --
BASTILA (hisses): Shut up!
SASHA gives her a poisonous glare. She walks over to a control panel, studies it for a moment, then presses some buttons. CARTH and BASTILA howl with pain as SAUL's poetry blasts through their headphones.
RGN: Sasha, no! Turn it off!
Reluctantly, SASHA presses another few buttons and the chair release mechanism activates, freeing the party members. RGN runs over to her.
RGN: Sasha, you saved us! (He hugs her.) What a clever little girl you are!
CARTH (wincing): Oh, she's clever all right.
They leave the torture room and open the door of the other cell. All the other party members are inside.
MISSION (delighted): RGN, you did it! You escaped!
RGN: Actually, it's little Sasha here you have to thank. (The others stare in astonishment.)
MISSION: Sasha? But I thought --
EVERYONE ELSE: Shut up!
JOLEE: How the hell did she get past all the guards?
RGN (Goes to open the cell block door) Well, I'm not sure, but --
He stops. The corridor outside the cell block is littered with the corpses of Sith soldiers, their faces frozen in expressions of unimaginable horror. None of them have any visible wounds, yet they look as if all the blood has been drained from their bodies.
SASHA (beaming proudly): All dead!
RGN: Holy...
BASTILA: Now do you see what we mean about her, RGN?
RGN: I... (He shakes his head, completely lost for words.) I think perhaps it would be best if we just got back to the ship as soon as possible.
CARTH: Hang on, what about my raging thirst for bloody revenge on Saul?
RGN: (Groans) Oh, Carth, does it have to be now?
BASTILA: It's part of the story, RGN.
RGN (resignedly): Well, if you insist. (Turns to the others.) Us three will look for Saul and the rest of you can go back to the ship. Oh, and... just keep an eye on Sasha, will you?
Scene 5
Outside the bridge of the Leviathan. BASTILA, CARTH and RGN walk up to the bridge doors and fling them open. Inside, SAUL and several Sith soldiers gape at them in shock.
SAUL: You? (He heaves an exasperated sigh.) Typical. I might have known you lot would escape. I told them it wasn't a good idea to put you all in the same cell block...
CARTH: Too bad, Saul. (He pulls out his sword.) It's time for you to pay for destroying my home planet!
BASTILA (anxiously): Carth, don't give in to your hatred! Remember that anger leads to the Dark Si-
CARTH: Oh, piss off, Bastila! (He strides across the room to face SAUL, and strikes a pose.) My name is Maximus Carthus Onasius, husband to a murdered wife, father to a murdered son --
SAUL: Murdered? (Laughs) Of course. You don't know what happened to your son, do you?
CARTH: I know enough. I know that you killed him!
SAUL: No, Carth... He's become a Sith!
CARTH (in disbelief): My son, a Sith? Noooooooo!
He rushes at SAUL, sword raised. SAUL grabs his own sword and tries to fend off CARTH's attack, while the Jedi and Sith watch in excitement, cheering on their respective champions. Finally, CARTH lunges forward and stabs SAUL through the ribs. He staggers backwards, clutching his chest.
SAUL:I... I'm dying! (Falls to his knees) Must... (cough) must think of appropriate last words. Something from Shakespeare, perhaps?
CARTH: Whatever it is, make it quick!
SAUL: 'Et tu, Carth? Then fall, Karath!' Yes, I like that one...
A Sith soldier approaches SAUL and says something to him in a low voice.
SAUL: Oh bother... (cough) forgot about that. (Whispers hoarsely) Carth... Carth! Must tell you something... (cough, splutter) Come closer...
CARTH approaches SAUL, looking suspicious. He bends down and SAUL whispers something in his ear.
CARTH: What? Oh, God, I knew it! I knew they couldn't be trusted!
SAUL (ignoring him): 'A plague... (cough) ...a plague on both your armies!' Yes, that's perf-
He dies. CARTH turns furiously to BASTILA.
CARTH: Bastila, you knew, didn't you? You and everyone else who read the script!
BASTILA: Carth, it's not what you think --
RGN (exasperated): Right, I've had enough of this! Will someone please explain what it is that everyone seems to know except me?
BASTILA (wearily): Look, RGN, couldn't you just wait to hear it from Malak? It'll be much more dramatic that way.
RGN (reluctantly): Well, all right. (Suddenly turns pale) Wait... Bastila, you're not my sister, are you?
BASTILA: What? No! No, of course not! Do you think I'd have kissed you if -- ugh, I don't want to think about it!
RGN (vastly relieved): Well, it couldn't possibly be any worse than that...
Scene 6
CARTH and the Jedi run through the ship towards the hangar bay. Just as they are getting close, BASTILA suddenly stops.
BASTILA: Oh, no. I recognise that theme music...
The door ahead of them opens and MALAK strides through it, his cape streaming behind him.
BASTILA: Darth Malak!
MALAK: I hope you weren't thinking of leaving so soon, Bastila. I made sandwiches and everything.
BASTILA: Er... thanks, but actually we're not very hungry --
MALAK: Besides, I had to see for myself if it was true. (Turns to RGN) So, have you worked it out yet?
RGN (puzzled): Worked it out? What are you talking about?
MALAK: Ah, so you haven't? All the better. (Dramatically) RGN, I am... your former apprentice!
RGN: Um... sorry?
MALAK: Even the power of your own wilful ignorance couldn't keep your true identity buried forever, could it?
Memories flash across RGN's mind.
CARTH: They say the Force can do terrible things to a mind - it can wipe away your memories, destroy your very identity, and make you think that Big Brother is good TV.
KASHYYYK COMPUTER: There's no need to elaborate; I think we've established quite clearly that you're Rev -- I mean, you're ready to access the Star Map. Yes.
JOLEE: Oh, boy, are you guys in for a shock later...
He sees a tall tower on some unknown planet. On top of it stands a figure in a black robe, his face covered by a mask. As the wind roars around him, he removes the mask to reveal a hideous face...
RGN: (Gasps) No! No, it can't be true!
MALAK: Search your feelings, RGN. You know it to be true.
RGN: Yes... (Groans in despair.) Yes, it's true... I had a moustache! What the hell was I thinking?
There is an uncomfortable silence. MALAK and the others exchange glances.
CARTH: Er, RGN... I think you may have missed Malak's point slightly.
RGN: Oh. (Confused) What was the point, then?
MALAK (exasperated): You're Revan!
RGN: Revan? (He bursts out laughing.) Yeah, right. Nice one, Malak...
MALAK (helplessly): But... but it's true!
RGN: (Chuckles) Oh, come on. Do you really expect me to fall for that one?
BASTILA: It is true, RGN.
RGN stares at her.
RGN: What? You're telling me I really am Revan?
BASTILA: I'm afraid so.
RGN: Bastila, I may be absent-minded, but I do think being the Dark Lord of the Sith is something I would remember.
BASTILA: But your mind was destroyed when Malak fired on your ship. I saved your life and the Council reprogrammed you with a new identity...
RGN: You destroyed my identity? (Furious) How could you do that to me, Bastila? You're as bad as the Sith!
BASTILA (frostily): Well, disregarding the fact that they're genocidal fascists bent on taking over the galaxy, I suppose you have a point.
RGN (embarrassed): OK, so that was a really stupid comment. But still... you lied to me!
BASTILA: (Getting annoyed) Well, forgive me, Mr Mass Murderer! Clearly treason and war crimes are nothing in comparison with the injustices heaped on you!
RGN: Bastila, I --
BASTILA: Never mind that we had mercy on you when anyone else would have killed you in the nastiest way possible. I suppose you expected us to give you the Cross of Glory as well?
RGN: Alright, alright, I'm sorry!
MALAK looks irritated; clearly this conversation is not going the way he had hoped.
MALAK: Look, you two, I haven't got all day! Revan, are you going to turn to the Dark Side or not?
RGN: What, after all the trouble I went to getting Light Side Mastery? Forget it.
MALAK: Oh, fine! If you prefer to die, have it your way! (He ignites his lightsaber.)
RGN and MALAK fight. It is rather easier than RGN expected. Just as he appears to be getting the upper hand, MALAK suddenly turns and runs out of the room.
RGN: Oi, come back!
He chases after MALAK, who runs into another room and bolts the door behind him. A group of MINSTRELS appears.
MINSTRELS (singing): Dark Lord Malak ran away.
MALAK: I didn't!
MINSTRELS: Bravely ran away, away.
MALAK: No!
MINSTRELS: When Revan reared his ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled
Yes, Dark Lord Malak turned about
And gallantly he chickened out.
Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat --
MALAK flings out his arm and incinerates the MINSTRELS with a bolt of Force lightning.
Scene 7
RGN runs through a maze of corridors, searching for MALAK.
RGN: Come back and fight, you coward!
Finally he reaches the room where MALAK is hiding, and they resume their duel. RGN is still winning - but suddenly, to his horror, he inexplicably loses his ability to fight. He struggles helplessly, trapped in a Force whirlwind.
RGN: Hey, what the hell's going on here? This isn't fair!
MALAK: (Grins) Sorry, Revan, but you're just too good. I had to ask the writers for a little... additional help.
RGN: You did what? (Enraged) Right, that's it. Time to break out the cheat codes!
MALAK: Ha! Even with cheat codes you cannot stand against my power, Revan. The plot is with me!
Just as he raises his saber to deliver the fatal blow, BASTILA bursts in through the door. MALAK, momentarily distracted, lets RGN fall to the floor.
BASTILA: I told you this would happen, didn't I? Now I'll have to sacrifice myself to save you, you idiot! (She charges at MALAK, holding her saber above her head.) FOR THE JEDI!
RGN: Bastila, no! He's --
Before he can finish, the door to the combat room crashes down in front of him and seals itself. The last thing RGN sees is BASTILA's and MALAK's sabers clashing together.
RGN: Oh, for God's sake. Why does this always happen to me?
Resignedly, he turns and follows CARTH towards the hangar containing the Ebon Hawk.

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