Chapter 19: The Prodigal Son
Exterior shot of the Hawk flying through space.
CARTH (voiceover): Carth's Log, stardate 5201.4: The crew of the Ebon Hawk has managed to escape the Leviathan. However, Bastila has been captured by Darth Malak, RGN's turned out to be the Dark Lord Revan, and the last remaining Star Map is on a planet controlled by the Sith. So we're all in deep shit, basically.
RGN enters the Hawk's cockpit, where CARTH is steering the ship.
RGN: Um... Carth?
CARTH scowls, but does not reply.
RGN: OK, I take it you're still not speaking to me.
CARTH ignores him and begins to hum loudly. RGN sighs.
RGN: Carth, don't you think you're being the tiniest bit childish here?
CARTH: (Turns to him angrily) You don't understand! How can I ever trust you again now that you've turned out to be the Dark Lord of the Sith?
RGN: But Carth... you never trusted me anyway. Or anyone else, for that matter.
CARTH: That's not the point!
RGN: Besides, I'm not Revan any more, I'm Randomly Generated Na- sheesh, I really should have realised, shouldn't I?
CARTH: Yes, you probably should have done. I mean, didn't you ever wonder why your parents gave you a name like that?
RGN: I don't know. I guess I just thought they must have been incredibly unimaginative.
CARTH: Anyway, we're going to have to tell the others. Do you want me to do it for you?
RGN: Um... thanks, but I think I'd prefer to do it myself. By the time you'd finished they'd see me as a cross between Josef Stalin and the Antichrist.
CARTH: Fine, have it your way...
They enter the central section of the ship, where the others are talking together.
JOLEE: Nice work disposing of those Sith fighters, RGN. I notice it only took us six tries this time.
CARTH: Never mind that, Jolee -- RGN has something important to tell you. (Nudges RGN) Isn't that right, RGN?
RGN: Yes. (Clears his throat and takes a deep breath.) Er, I'm not exactly sure how to put this...
CARTH: Well then, let me have a go. (Steps forward) Everyone here who isn't Darth Revan, raise your hands!
Everyone except RGN raises their hand.
MISSION (puzzled): RGN, why aren't you raising your hand? (RGN remains silent.) Oh...
RGN (breaking the silence): Yes, it's true... I'm Revan. Um... I guess 'sorry' seems a bit inadequate, doesn't it?
MISSION: You... you're Revan? Wow! (She shakes her head in disbelief.) How utterly cool!
RGN and CARTH gape at her.
RGN: 'Cool'? Mission, I was a power-crazed tyrant! I killed millions of people!
CANDEROUS: So? Good for you.
RGN: (Stares at his friends in astonishment) Wait... are you guys saying you don't even mind that I was Revan?
The others look at each other and shrug.
JUHANI: No, not really.
CARTH (heatedly): Well, I damn well mind!
MISSION: Come on, Carth. Do you really see a Sith Lord when you look at RGN?
CARTH turns to look at RGN. He is bathed in a pool of golden light, his halo shimmering brighter than ever. A pair of adorable little bluebirds sit on his shoulders, twittering happily.
CARTH: It is pretty difficult, I have to admit.
HK-47 has been staring at his master with a curious expression.
HK-47: Commentary: Master, I am... experiencing something unusual...
JOLEE: Love? Guilt? A sudden compulsion to turn on your creators?
HK-47: Answer: No, none of those. In fact -- (He turns to RGN) My memory core is activating. I believe... I have returned to my original creator!
RGN: You mean...?
HK-47 (delighted): Confirmation: Yes, master! It was you who created me!
The others gasp. RGN turns pale and slumps down into a chair.
CARTH: Well, this sure as hell explains a lot!
RGN: (Buries his head in his hands) Gods, as if it wasn't bad enough finding out that I'm the Dark Lord...
MISSION (shaking her head): Boy. What are the chances of this happening?
CANDEROUS: Actually, I'm not all that surprised. Remember we're talking about the writers who put Bastila's mother and your long-lost brother on Tatooine...
The Hawk flies through space towards Korriban. The party members are still trying to comfort RGN.
RGN: I still can't believe I'm the Dark Lord of Evilness. I mean, the word 'irony' doesn't even begin to describe it...
JOLEE: Look, it's not so bad. At least you're not really an advertising executive.
RGN (brightening): True enough. (His face falls again.) What about Bastila, though?
JUHANI: Do you think Malak will kill her?
JOLEE: Oh, I doubt it. Not with her being RGN's love interest and all. He'll probably tie her to a railway track or something.
RGN (horrified): Oh, no. We have to save her!
CANDEROUS (wistfully): Do we really have to?
RGN (glaring at him): Yes!
CARTH: What about my son, though? Do you think Saul was telling the truth about him being a Sith?
RGN: Well, I get the feeling we're about to find out.
The Hawk enters Korriban's atmosphere and docks at the Dreshdae spaceport. A Czerka PORT OFFICIAL greets RGN as the party leaves the ship.
OFFICIAL: Ah, hello there. Another Jedi, yes?
RGN: Well observed. Was it the robes that tipped you off, or the lightsaber?
OFFICIAL (oblivious to the sarcasm): Oh, we get a lot of Jedi here - you get to recognise them after a while. Anything I can help you with?
RGN: Er, well... I know this is a long shot, but we're looking for some kind of Star Map.
OFFICIAL (puzzled): Um... a map? Have you tried the local WH Smith?
RGN: Actually, I was looking for something a little less up-to-date. A sort of... ancient artifact?
OFFICIAL: Oh well, if it's artifacts you want, there's plenty of that sort of thing in the old tombs. Of course you can't get to them unless you join the academy... but that's what you're here for, right?
RGN: Um... I guess. How do you get in?
OFFICIAL: I'm not entirely sure. Killing another Sith is generally a good bet, though.
RGN: Hmph. I take it this planet is going to be a little more combat-focussed than Manaan...
The party members walk through the Dreshdae settlement. As they enter a large hall, some teenage Sith wannabes look over at them and nudge each other. LASHOWE, who is clearly their leader, approachesRGN with an insolent smile on her face.
LASHOWE: Look here, my dear friends... we have a newcomer to our little colony. And a Jedi, no less!
MEKEL: God, I hate Jedi... Shall we beat them up, Lashowe?
CARTH: (Snorts) Yeah, I'd like to see you try. Who the hell are you, anyway?
LASHOWE: We're Team Starship, your tough-talking yet amusingly incompetent antagonists. (Turns to her friends.) Shall we give them the routine, boys?
She and the two male Sith run into the centre of the hall and strike a pose.
LASHOWE: Prepare for trouble.
MEKEL: And make it triple!
LASHOWE: To spread despair and devestation...
MEKEL: To unite all people in one Sith nation...
LASHOWE: To denounce the evils of peace and love...
MEKEL: To extend our reach to the stars above!
SHAARDAN: And Shaardan... don't forget about me!
TOGETHER: Team Starship blasts off at the speed of light.
Surrender now... or prepare to fight!
RGN and the party members stare at the Sith and at each other for a moment, then fall about laughing.
LASHOWE (annoyed): Hey! What are you laughing at?
JOLEE: (Barely able to speak) That's... that's supposed to be intimidating, is it?
RGN (still chortling): Yeah, OK... I think you kids need to work on that a little. Though if you don't get into the academy, I suppose you could always hire yourselves out for children's parties.
LASHOWE: (Reddens with anger) Oh, you think you're funny, do you? Well, you'll be laughing on the other side of your faces when we've captured all the Pokémon in the wor- (SHAARDAN taps her on the shoulder and whispers something in her ear.) Ahem... I mean, 'all the planets in the galaxy'!
MEKEL: Come on, Lashowe, let's go. They're not worth it. (He turns to leave.)
LASHOWE: Fine. (Glares at RGN) As for you... I'll find you later. Trust me on that.
RGN: I look forward to it.(She scowls and stalks away, followed by the others.)
RGN (calling after them): Maybe you could do 'The House That Jack Built' next time?
The Dreshdae cantina. YUTHURA BAN, a Sith Master, is leaning against a wall and smoking a cigarette. RGN approaches her.
RGN: Excuse me... are you Yuthura Ban?
YUTHURA: I am. (Looks him over.) Are you looking to join the Academy?
RGN: I'm thinking about it. Perhaps you could tell me a bit about the Sith?
YUTHURA: Well, basically we're a bit like the Nazis, but with more in-fighting.
RGN: (Shrugs) Sounds good to me. How do I join?
YUTHURA: Not so fast... I'm afraid we're a bit over-subscribed at the moment. If you want to get in, there's a three-year waiting list.
RGN: Three years? Isn't there any way to speed it up a bit?
YUTHURA: Not unless you can manage to kill one of the current students and bring me their medallion.
RGN: (Sighs) OK, I'll have a go.
YUTHURA: And your friends, what about them?
RGN (hurriedly): Oh, don't worry about them, they're just... slaves. (JUHANI looks furious.)
YUTHURA (astonished): You allow your slaves to carry lightsabers?
RGN: Um... yes?
YUTHURA: (Shrugs) Well, I guess it's your choice. Very well, I'll see you later. (The party exits into the corridor.)
RGN (guiltily): Oops... sorry, Juhani. It was the first thing that came into my head.
JOLEE: I think you need a bit of practice at this whole 'infiltration' thing, don't you, RGN?
RGN: Look, I've said I'm sorry, OK? Now what are we going to do about getting into the Academy?
CANDEROUS: You heard her. All you have to do is kill another Sith and take the medallion.
RGN: Well, we can hardly just walk up to someone and attack them! If only I could find a way to do it without getting Dark Side points...
Suddenly a newly-qualified SITH STUDENT bursts into the room, waving his medallion.
STUDENT: Alright! I'm a Sith! (Draws his lightsaber and starts waving it around wildly.) Bow down before my supreme evilness, weaklings!
JOLEE: RGN, I think this may be the opportunity you're looking for.
The STUDENT scans the room for potential targets. A frightened-looking WOMAN carrying a baby is cowering in a corner.
STUDENT: Hmm... I feel like killing someone. (Marches over to the WOMAN.) Say your prayers, innocent-and-helpless-woman-with-a-baby!
WOMAN (shrieks): Please, no! Somebody help me!
RGN runs over to them, drawing his own saber.
RGN: Hey, leave her alone!
STUDENT: (Turns to RGN) Looking for a fight, are you, Jedi? Fine, I'll kill you too!
As the WOMAN runs off in terror, the SITH STUDENT attacks RGN, who easily fends of the blows and stabs him through the ribs. The STUDENT gasps, stumbles backwards and collapses, dead. RGN stands over his body, looking slightly guilty.
RGN: Do you think I ought to have mentioned that I was once the Dark Lord?
CARTH: Ah, I wouldn't worry. Somehow I doubt that he'd have believed you anyway.
RGN, accompanied by his 'slaves', enters the Academy. Waiting inside for him is Sith Master UTHAR WYNN.
UTHAR: Welcome to the Sith Academy, young one! I'm sure you'll fit right in. (Looks critically at RGN.) You may want to lose the halo, though...
RGN (bowing): I'll do my best, Master.
UTHAR: Very well. (He points down the corridor.) Your room is down there. Now, come back when you've proven you can be evil and manipulative, and I'll decide whether to let you take the final test.
RGN: Hang on, don't I get one of those cool uniforms?
UTHAR: Nope. Sorry, we've run out.
RGN: Damn... and here I was hoping to get out of these stupid robes at last.
They walk down the corridor towards RGN's room. In the next room is a somewhat familiar-looking boy in his late teens.
RGN (friendly): Hi there. I'm Randomly Generated Name.
BOY: Shove off, Grandpa.
RGN: 'Grandpa'? Excuse me? I'm only a decade or so older than you!
BOY: Whatever. You're cramping my style, man... just get lost, will you?
CARTH enters from the next room, along with the others. He stares at the young man in shock.
CARTH: Dustil, is that you?
DUSTIL (aghast): Father, get out of here! How am I ever going to live it down if my friends see me talking to you?
CARTH: What? Dustil, what the hell are you doing here in the Sith Academy?
DUSTIL: Becoming a Sith. Duh.
CARTH (appalled): But... you can't do that! The Sith are evil!
DUSTIL (insistent): No, they're not evil. They're not! They're... they're just misunderstood, that's all...
CARTH: 'Misunderstood'? Dustil, there's a fricking torture chamber down the other end of the hall. You can hear the screams from here!
DUSTIL: Well, I can't hear anything. (Folds arms obstinately.)
RGN: (Groans) This is going to be the thing with the Selkath kids all over again, isn't it?
DUSTIL: Anyway, even if they are evil, so what? It's not my fault I grew up without a father figure to teach me right from wrong!
CARTH (exasperated): Of course you were taught right from wrong! You had your mother, didn't you?
DUSTIL: OK... so maybe I fell in with a bad crowd or something. It's still not my fault!
RGN: (Getting fed up) Look, Dustil, if you just come with us we'll soon prove to you that the Sith are evil --
DUSTIL: Yeah, right. You think I'm going to risk being seen with my father? You can come to me if you find some proof. Now get out! (He slams the door behind them as they leave the room.)
CANDEROUS: Nice kid you have there, Carth.
CARTH: Look, he's not so bad real- oh, who am I kidding? He's an obnoxious little jerk with no respect for me.
JOLEE: (Shrugs) I blame society.
CANDEROUS: I blame the parents.
CARTH (glaring at him): Shut up!
Inside UTHAR's room. RGN and the others are searching for evidence, opening cupboards and looking under furniture.
CARTH: I just hope we can find something in here that will convince Dustil...
Eventually, RGN pulls something out of a small compartment.
RGN: Got it! (He waves a datapad aloft in triumph.) So, let's see what hideously evil scheme Uthar's been working on lately...
He turns on the datapad. It is a memo from UTHAR:
Have decided it would be cheaper to replace the Coco Pops in the food dispensers with Rice Krispies. However, if the students hear about this there'll be trouble. Maybe I'll tell them the Coco Pops manufacturers have gone on strike or something...
There is a long silence.
CARTH (finally): That's... it? Breakfast cereals?
CARTH: But... nothing else? Nothing about ruthlessly murdering students who don't meet their exacting standards, for instance?
RGN: 'Fraid not.
CARTH (disgusted): Oh, great. Well, I guess we'll just have to hope this is enough for Dustil...
They return to DUSTIL's room. He scowls at them as they enter.
DUSTIL: Yeah, what now?
CARTH: We've brought you the evidence you wanted, Dustil. (Holds out the datapad dramatically.) Incontrovertible proof that your Masters have been lying to you!
DUSTIL takes the datapad, looking distinctly skeptical. As he scans it, however, his expression changes to one of horror.
DUSTIL: But... the Coco Pops... no! They -- they told us that... (Angrily switches off the datapad.) The bastards!
RGN: Now do you believe us, Dustil?
DUSTIL: I... yeah, I guess. (Shakes his head) I... I just can't believe they would do this to us...
CARTH: Whatever. Look, maybe you could just get out of here now and stop reminding me what a snivelling little brat I have for a son?
DUSTIL: Sure, Dad. I'd kind of like to forget what a pompous jerk I have for a father as well. (He stalks out of the room, leaving the others vainly trying to hide their amusement.)
CANDEROUS: Aww. You gotta love these touching family reunions, huh?
RGN: Well, at least they're agreed on something...
Chapter 20: Tomb Raider
RGN and the others walk along the corridor outside his room. YUTHURA BAN is waiting for him.
YUTHURA: Ah, my favourite prospect for the year. (Smiles seductively at him.) You know, I'm so certain you're going to get in that I'm prepared to offer you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity...
RGN (warily): What kind of opportunity?
YUTHURA: Let me explain. You know that you must take a final test before you are accepted into the Academy? (RGN nods.) Well, it happens that this test will involve you and I being alone with Uthar in one of the tombs. The perfect time to, shall we say, arrange for a change in the Academy's leadership?
RGN: I see. And I'd be second in command, I take it?
YUTHURA: No, you'll be de- I mean, yes! Yes, of course! (She laughs rather too loudly.)
RGN: Well, that's an offer I could hardly pass up. I'm in!
YUTHURA: Ah, now that's what I like to see -- the flash of ambition in a young human's eyes... (Dreamily) Your species has such remarkable retinal colouring, did you know that?
RGN (nonplussed): Um... I'll take your word for it. (Changes subject quickly) So, er... why did you become a Sith, Yuthura?
YUTHURA: Why? Because the Sith recognise that those gifted in the Force are naturally superior. The weak exist only to serve the strong... to rule is our destiny! Oh, yes... and because I want to wipe out slavery from the galaxy.
RGN: Right. And you don't, um... see any contradiction at all between those two philosophies?
YUTHURA (hurt): Look, just because we Sith are a staggeringly unsubtle metaphor for the Nazis doesn't mean that all of us are monsters. So I occasionally torture the odd prisoner or spike a colleague's tea with rat poison -- does that make me a bad person?
RGN: Er, well...
YUTHURA: It was a rhetorical question. Anyway, I have to be going. (Bats her eyelashes at him.) I'll see you later... my friend.
She saunters off down the corridor, leaving a nervous-looking RGN behind her.
CANDEROUS: (Winks) I think you're in there, RGN. Go for it!
RGN: What, with Ilsa, She-Wolf of the Sith? I think not. Besides, I love Bastila, remember?
JOLEE: Well, you certainly seem to have a way with the ladies. They just fall at your feet wherever you go, don't they?
JUHANI: But of course. After all, how could any woman resist his amazing retinal colouring? (The others snigger.)
RGN (irritated): Oh, knock it off, you lot...
The party members pass LASHOWE's room, where she is working at a computer.
JOLEE: Hello there, kiddo. How's it going?
LASHOWE: (Seeing RGN) Oh, it's you again, is it? (Smiles nastily) Well, since you're here, I might as well warn you that you've got no chance of getting into the academy. I've got it all wrapped up.
RGN: Oh? How did you manage that, then?
LASHOWE: Wouldn't you like to know? (Smirks) It just so happens that I've discovered the whereabouts of an extremely rare and valuable --
MISSION (innocently): Pokémon?
LASHOWE: Artifact. (Scowls at MISSION.) And you can forget about trying to get it before me, because you'll never find it.
CARTH: So why haven't you already got it?
LASHOWE: Because it's guarded, of course! But I've got a plan to get hold of it. (Frowns) I can't do it by myself, though...
RGN: Maybe we could help?
LASHOWE (incredulous): You? Why on earth should I want to work with you?
RGN: Well, look at it this way: It's a choice between us or Beavis and Butthead back there. (Points towards MEKEL and SHAARDAN's rooms.)
LASHOWE: On second thoughts, perhaps you have a point. (Considers for a moment.) Very well, I'll meet you in the valley in fifteen minutes. Don't be late! (She runs off.)
CARTH: RGN, are you crazy? We can't possibly trust her. She's a Sith, remember?
RGN: Of course I don't trust her! Look, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, OK?
They continue down the corridor. Another student, KEL ALGWINN, is meditating in his room.
RGN: Hey there. I'm RGN.
KEL: (Looks up nervously) Oh, uh... hi. I'm Kel, Kel Algwinn. Are you studying here too?
RGN: Yep. How are you finding it?
KEL: Um... OK, I guess. (He sounds unconvinced.)
RGN: Is something the matter?
KEL: Well... (Hesitates, then plunges onward.) It's just that I'm not sure being a Sith is for me. I mean, I was fine with all the backstabbing and indiscriminate brutality at first, but now I'm kinda getting tired of it...
RGN (gently): You could always leave, you know.
KEL: Yeah, but... where would I go? I mean, where could I learn to use the Force without having to be a evil fascist murderer? (JUHANI turns to the wall and begins to bang her head against it.)
RGN: Um... have you ever considered the Jedi?
KEL (surprised): You know, I never thought of that. Wow, what a great idea! (He grabs his belongings and runs to the door.) Thank you so much!
The others watch in disbelief as he rushes off.
CARTH: OK... whatever happened to 'once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny'?
RGN: Not sure. I guess he's so stupid that even the Dark Side rejected him.
CARTH: Are you sure the Jedi actually want a complete moron like that as a member?
RGN (shrugs): Hey, those were the easiest Light Side points ever. I'm not complaining.
The Valley of the Dark Lords. LASHOWE is leaning against a pillar near one of the tombs, tapping her foot impatiently. RGN and the other party members approach her.
LASHOWE: There you are, finally! Sheesh, you took your time.
RGN: Sorry, I was just doing my good deed for the day. Anyway, what's this artifact you've found?
LASHOWE: It's an ancient Jedi holocron containing secrets from the time of the Sith Lords. Unfortunately, it's somehow ended up in the gullet of a mother tuk'ata.
RGN: I'm not even going to ask how you found that out. So how do you propose to get hold of it?
LASHOWE: Well, I've found a way to lure the tuk'ata out of the tomb. Once they get near, we attack the mother and carve her up, then we take the holocron back to Uthar. Simple enough for you?
RGN: I think I can cope with that, yes.
LASHOWE: Well then, all we have to do is wait until they show up...
Seconds later, three tuk'ata run out of one of the tombs. LASHOWE and the party members attack and kill them. Inside the body of the mother tuk'ata is a holocron, just as LASHOWE claimed.
LASHOWE: Wonderful! We work better together than I had expected... too bad I'm going to get all the credit.
RGN: And why should that be, exactly?
LASHOWE: Because I'm taking this holocron back by myself. (Smiles sweetly.)
CANDEROUS: (Rolls eyes) Well, I never saw that one coming...
LASHOWE attempts to run off, but RGN blocks her way.
RGN: I don't think so, Lashowe. (Holds out a hand.) Come on, give it here!
LASHOWE: Shan't! (She holds the holocron behind her back, scowling defiantly.)
RGN (eventually): Well then, I guess there's only one way to settle this...
LASHOWE: So it's come to this, has it? Very well. (Takes out her Pokéball.) Meowth, I choose you!
There is an embarrassed silence.
RGN (finally): OK... not quite what I was thinking of, but I suppose it'll do. Pikachu, I choose you!
Their two Pokémon do battle. Naturally, Pikachu wins.
LASHOWE: Damn! Oh well, guess I'll just have to kill you then.
RGN: Um... are you sure about this, Lashowe? It's just that there's one of you and, like, five of us...
LASHOWE: Three Jedi, a professional soldier and a Mandalorian? Ha! You don't stand a chance. (Ignites her lightsaber.) Prepare to die!
The very one-sided battle is over in seconds.
CANDEROUS: Okay, let me get this straight. You Republicans somehow allowed these guys to take over half the galaxy?
CARTH: (Shrugs) You got me there. I'm starting to be amazed that there are any of them left at all, frankly.
RGN (sighing): Well, at least it makes our job easier. Come on, we might as well explore the rest of the valley while we're here.
The party walks through the valley, near to the tomb of Ajunta Pall. SHAARDAN is wandering around near the entrance; he calls to RGN as they approach.
SHAARDAN: You there! I'm looking for Lashowe. Have you seen her anywhere?
RGN: Not since I killed her five minutes ago.
SHAARDAN: You killed her? (Annoyed) Oh, thanks a lot. Now we'll have to totally rewrite our routine!
RGN: Um, well... sorry about that. What did you want her for, anyway?
SHAARDAN: Well, I heard that this tomb is supposed to contain the sword of Ajunta Pall, one of the ancient Sith Lords. Quite a prize, huh?
RGN: You think Uthar would award prestige for it?
SHAARDAN: (Rolls eyes) No, I was thinking of how much it might fetch on The Antiques Roadshow. Of course he'd award prestige for it!
RGN: Maybe we could work together to get it out?
SHAARDAN: 'Work together'? (Snorts) What do you think I am, a Jedi or something? Get the sword yourself if you want it so much. (He wanders off.)
RGN: (Turns to the others) Well, who's up for it?
JOLEE: Might be fun, I suppose.
JUHANI: But be careful! They say the tombs are full of deadly traps and burglar alarms to keep out intruders.
RGN: Oh, good...
The party creeps through the dark tomb. On one of the connecting doors is a sign: 'The Tomb of Ajunta Pall. Keep out! Trespassers WILL be prosecuted.'
JUHANI (shudders): I don't like it in here, RGN. Couldn't you just learn the Sith Code or something like that?
RGN: Oh, Juhani, don't be such a ba- (He reels backwards as a section of the ceiling crashes down in front of him, shattering into fragments.) Bloody hell!
JOLEE: Don't worry, they can't hurt you. They're special 'Illuso-Rocks' to add atmosphere.
CARTH: Never mind the rocks. What's bugging me is, where the hell is all the light coming from?
They continue down the corridor until they reach a bridge. Blocking the path across it is a huge obsidian pillar.
RGN: Ah... one of those 'team-building' exercises, I take it. Any suggestions, guys?
JOLEE: Well... we could always try blowing it up with a grenade, which would no doubt activate those four 'defunct' guard droids over there, and then use our Jedi powers to battle them. Or we could just try climbing round the sides, I guess.
RGN: Well, much as I enjoy doing things the hard way, I think I'll go with the climbing idea. Life's too short.
They clamber over the pillar and continue into the heart of the tomb. Inside is a huge stone sarcophagus. RGN is about to hack the door open with his lightsaber, when an aggrieved voice is heard behind them.
VOICE: A human... a Jedi? Why do you disturb my sleepless rest, damn you?
The party members turn, startled. AJUNTA PALL, a worryingly transparent Sith Lord, is standing by the door.
RGN: 'Sleepless rest'? Are you... some kind of ghost?
AJUNTA: A ghost? (Looks down at himself in surprise, as if this had not occurred to him before.) Yes... I suppose I must be.
JUHANI: Are you -- I mean, were you Ajunta Pall?
AJUNTA: Ajunta Pall? Yes, I think so. I'm not entirely sure, to be honest. So long ago...
CANDEROUS: Sheesh, he can't even remember his own name? I don't think this guy's going to be much help to us.
AJUNTA (annoyed): Well, see how much you remember when you've been dead for thousands of years! Though incidentally, I see the Jedi's fashion sense still hasn't improved.
RGN: Look, we came in here to find your sword. Would you mind if we 'borrowed' it for a while?
AJUNTA: My sword... (Thinks) Ah, yes. Three swords are buried here with me. But which is mine?
RGN (groans): Please don't tell me you can't remember.
AJUNTA: Wait a minute. It is written of my sword... hang on, I've got it here somewhere. (He pulls a ghostly piece of paper out of a ghostly pocket.) Ah, yes. It is written of my sword: 'Roses are red, violets are blue. My sword is black and that is true.' I think I must have been somewhat lacking in poetic inspiration that day...
RGN: So what should I do with it?
AJUNTA: Go and put it on the statue over there. But make sure it's the right one, mind!
CARTH: And if it isn't?
AJUNTA: Then you must die! That is how it must be.
RGN: Er, why?
AJUNTA (irritated): Because it must be, that's why! Honestly, young people today... so argumentative.
JOLEE (sympathetically): Tell me about it.
RGN opens the sarcophagus and takes out the swords. He places one of them on the statue and returns to AJUNTA, who is still muttering to himself.
AJUNTA: None of this fancy 'starship' business in my day... if you wanted to get to another planet, you damn well walked...
RGN: Excuse me, Ajunta? The sword?
AJUNTA: Hmm? Oh, yes, that's the right one... probably. Off you go, then!
JUHANI: We can take it?
AJUNTA: Yes, yes, take it! Not much use to me now I'm dead, is it? Just go away and leave me to enjoy my everlasting torment in peace!
RGN: Hang on, Ajunta. Don't you have a lesson to impart to us first?
AJUNTA: A lesson?
RGN: Yes. (Prompts) You know, some kind of moral?
AJUNTA: Hmm... ah yes, of course. (Dramatically) You must change your selfish ways, Scrooge, or Tiny Tim will die!
RGN (through gritted teeth): I was referring to the bit about how the Sith Lords destroyed each other.
AJUNTA (embarrassed): Oh yes... that. Remember, children, never become a Sith Lord! Nothing good ever comes of it, mark my words.
RGN: Thanks, Ajunta. You know, you could always return to the Light Side if you try.
AJUNTA: What? Oh, no, I don't think so. Woe is me, it's too late for me now, that sort of thing... (Begins to fade away.) Now get out!
The party runs out of the chamber and down the corridor, as AJUNTA's spirit gradually vanishes.
The party walks back through the tomb.
CARTH: Well, I must say that wasn't quite what I expected an ancient Sith Lord to be like...
Suddenly they see a figure through the gloom in front of them. It is SHAARDAN.
SHAARDAN: So you got the sword, did you? Somehow I thought you would. (Grins evilly.) Come on, hand it over!
RGN: (Sighs) Shaardan, I really don't think you want to do this.
SHAARDAN: You don't want me to do this, you mean. Now give me the sword or die!
RGN: Were you actually listening to what I told you earlier about Lashowe?
SHAARDAN: Ha! You'll find that I am not as weak as Lashowe. This is your last chance, Jedi!
RGN (placidly): All right. (SHAARDAN and the others stare at him in astonishment.)
CANDEROUS: RGN, are you crazy? You're actually going to give him the sword?
RGN: Yep. (He takes out a sword and hands it to SHAARDAN.)
SHAARDAN: Oh, yes! (Waves the sword around in triumph.) Thanks for doing my work for me, suckers!
He runs off. The others turn on RGN in fury.
CARTH: RGN, what the hell were you thinking? All that effort to get the sword, and you just give it away?
RGN: (Raises hands placatingly) Carth. Were you paying attention to which sword I gave him?
CARTH (confused): What? Oh...
JUHANI (shocked): RGN, that wasn't like you. It was cruel!
RGN: What, crueller than killing him myself?
JUHANI: Hmm... yes, I see your point.
RGN: Anyway, a good day's work, all in all. Let's go and give Uthar the real sword, shall we?
They leave the tomb and begin to walk back through the valley.
Chapter 21: Space Nazis Must Die!
RGN, minus his companions, has accompanied UTHAR and YUTHURA to the tomb of Naga Sadow to take his final test. They stand just inside the entrance to the tomb, giving him instructions.
UTHAR: Now listen carefully, young one. Inside this tomb is an ancient Star Map discovered by Revan and Malak. You must reach the map, take the lightsaber you find there and return to us with it... oh, and if you have time, you can look for the Holy Grail as well. Any questions?
RGN: Star Map, lightsaber, Holy Grail... no, I think I've got it.
YUTHURA: Good. But be careful, for you will face many trials inside the tomb. The terentateks will test your strength, the acid pool your knowledge of basic chemistry, and the Tower of Hanoi puzzle your tolerance for tedious, unoriginal logic problems.
RGN (sighs): Story of my life, isn't it?
UTHAR: May I remind you that use of mobile phones during the examination is forbidden, and attempts to collaborate will be punished by a mark of zero and instant execution. You have two hours, starting... now. Good luck!
RGN runs off into the tomb. He manages to overcome the various challenges, including the goddamn Tower of Hanoi puzzle, and eventually reaches the room with the Star Map. In the same room is a Sith statue containing a lightsaber.
RGN: Got it! (Takes the Star Map.) Eat your heart out, Indiana Jones...
RGN returns to UTHAR and YUTHURA, lightsaber in hand.
UTHAR: Ah, you return to us with the lightsaber, as I knew you would. Tell me, did you also find the Holy Grail?
RGN: Yes, master, but-
UTHAR: But what? Hand it over! (RGN does so.) Excellent. Now for your final test, a special treat: You will defeat Yuthura Ban and replace her as my apprentice!
YUTHURA (furious): What? You betray me, Uthar? Despite the fact that I was about to do exactly the same thing to you, I am outraged!
RGN: Hold on a minute, let me get this straight. My entrance exam for the Sith Academy involves defeating the Academy's second-in-command?
UTHAR: (Reflects for a moment) Put like that, it does sound somewhat ludicrous, doesn't it? (Shrugs) Ah well. So which of us is it to be, young one?
RGN: Er... sorry, Uthar, but I think I have to go with Yuthura on this one. (Hurriedly) Note that this does not mean I find her sexually attractive in any way.
UTHAR (angry): Oh, so it's like that, is it? Then prepare to die! (He takes a swig from the Holy Grail.) Now I will be invincAAAARGH! (Reels back, choking.) It burns! It burns!
YUTHURA: Could it be that only the pure of heart can drink from the Grail, my master? (Smiles) Of course, the deadly nerve poison I put into the water might also have something to do with it...
UTHAR (gasps): Damn you! Both of you will die for this!
RGN and YUTHURA fight UTHAR. Together they easily manage to defeat him.
YUTHURA (triumphant): Yes! Uthar is finished, and a new order is brought to the Academy!
RGN: Er, Yuthura, about the Academy --
YUTHURA: Hmm? Oh yes, I promised you'd be my apprentice, didn't I? (Fixes her eyes on his.) I do rather like you, I have to admit.
RGN: Actually, I'm not sure that --
YUTHURA: But I'm afraid I'm not the type to share power with anybody. (Smiles serenely.) Time for you to die!
RGN: But I don't want --
YUTHURA: Enough talk! Come on, let's just get this over with.
They fight. RGN is a lot stronger than YUTHURA had expected; eventually she collapses.
YUTHURA: Please, stop! I can't fight you any more. (Groans) You are too strong for me... and besides, you're just too damn sexy. I am at your mercy!
RGN (backing away a little): Right. I'll... just be going then, shall I?
YUTHURA (surprised): You're... you're letting me go?
RGN: (Sighs) OK, I think it's time to come clean. It may surprise you to learn this, Yuthura, but I'm not actually a Sith.
YUTHURA: Ah. (Nods slowly) Yes, I thought there was something strange about you as soon as I saw you. Maybe the halo should have tipped me off...
RGN: Anyway, I won't kill you. But if I were you, I'd think about leaving the Sith and getting out of here pretty sharpish.
YUTHURA: Perhaps you're right. (Wistfully) Er... I don't suppose there's any chance you'd still be interested in a relationship?
RGN: (Shakes his head) Sorry, Yuthura, but I already have a girlfriend.
Tired and dirty, RGN approaches the rear entrance of the Academy. Outside are some SITH APPRENTICES.
FEMALE APPRENTICE: You there! You went for your final test, didn't you? (RGN nods.) So where are Uthar and Yuthura?
RGN: Well, I killed Uthar, and Yuthura ran away after I defeated her. Any more questions?
FEMALE APPRENTICE: What? (Stares at him in disbelief.) You really expect me to believe that? You're not even a Sith yet!
RGN: Wrong. As it happens, I used to be the Dark Lord Revan. Now piss off! (He tries to pass them.)
FEMALE APPRENTICE: Revan? Yeah, right. (To the others) Quick, attack him!
MALE APPRENTICE (nervously): But -- but if he was able to defeat Master Uthar and Master Yuthura...?
FEMALE APPRENTICE: Then they were weak fools! Don't be such a coward, just attack!
RGN: (Sighs) Well, I didn't think it was possible to find a Sith even stupider than Kel Algwinn, but I stand corrected. (Draws his saber.) All right then, bring it on!
The three apprentices attack. RGN dispatches them easily, and enters the academy -- only to find that the news appears to have telepathically spread to every Sith in the entire building. He is surrounded by a group of about twenty extremely hostile Sith masters and students.
RGN: Oh, shit...
Just at that moment, RGN's companions appear from the other direction.
JOLEE: Need any help, RGN?
RGN (nonchalantly): Well, I was doing OK, but since you're here...
A battle breaks out. Even with the advantage of numbers, the pathetically weak Sith do not last long.
HK-47 (delighted): Gratitude: Thank you, master! I haven't had so much fun in a long time.
CARTH: Why is it that the Sith are supposed to be hammering the Republic in battle, yet every time we meet a group of Sith we wipe the floor with them?
RGN: (Groans) To be honest, at this point I don't even care.
CANDEROUS: Could we just leave? I'm getting fed up of this planet, and I should think the readers are as well.
JUHANI: But how can we stop the Sith coming back?
RGN: Ah, good point. (Turns to CANDEROUS.) Canderous, have you still got that thermal detonator we took from Calo Nord?
The party members enter the bay where the Hawk is docked. MISSION, holding SASHA by the hand, is talking to a SITH STUDENT.
MISSION: ...no, she doesn't speak Basic, but I'm sure she'll learn to soon. Really!
SITH STUDENT (doubtfully): Well, yes... I can certainly sense her Dark Side potential. But isn't she a little young?
MISSION: Hey, best to get 'em young, don't you think? Now, for only 500 credits --
RGN (furious): Mission! Are you trying to sell Sasha to the Sith? (MISSION starts and looks round at him.)
MISSION (guiltily): Oops. OK, you got me.
RGN (horrified): How could you do this, Mission? She's just an innocent little girl! (The others exchange glances. Finally CARTH clears his throat.)
CARTH: RGN, don't you think Sasha might... fit in a little better with the Sith than with us?
RGN: No, I do not! Come on, Sasha. (He tries to pick SASHA up, but she wriggles away from him.)
SASHA: Want to be a Sith!
RGN (severely): Now don't be silly, Sasha. You can't be a Sith. (There is a loud 'boom' in the distance.) In any case, I just blew up the Academy.
The SITH STUDENT squeaks and runs off to inspect the damage. RGN drags a reluctant SASHA back onto the ship, leaving the others outside.
JOLEE (to MISSION): Hey, kid, don't feel bad. It was a good try...
Whilst the party members make their way towards the Unknown Planet, MALAK is attempting to turn BASTILA to the Dark Side. She is currently chained to a stone slab, in front of which is a large TV showing an episode of Big Brother.
BASTILA (struggling desperately): AAAAARGH! The pain... the endless, mind-numbing tedium...
MALAK: (Laughs cruelly) You are strong, child. But I will break you!
BASTILA: If you think reality television will turn me to the Dark Side, Malak, you are a fool. I will never join you!
MALAK: Such resolve in your words, but I see the truth in your heart. (Turns off the TV.) Come on, Bastila, come to the Dark Side. You know you want to!
MALAK: Pretty please?
MALAK: Pretty please with sugar on top?
Half an hour later...
MALAK: Please please please?
BASTILA (cracking): Oh, all right then! Sheesh, anything for a quiet life.
MALAK: Muahahaha! (Raises his fists in triumph.) See how the great and incorruptible Jedi Bastila crumbles before me!
BASTILA: Gloating is a sign of insecurity, Malak. Stop it. Oh, and before I forget, I was wondering: were you ever bullied at the Jedi Academy?
MALAK (taken aback): Wh- what?
BASTILA: Well, this whole obsession with power and revenge -- there must be some reason for it.
MALAK (incensed): Indeed I was not! No, when I was at the Academy, being seven feet tall and completely bald was considered wildly attractive!
BASTILA: (Smiles) Ah, I thought so. I bet Revan got all the girls, didn't he? (MALAK snarls.) And I bet he got his assassin droid to call you names in front of all your friends.
MALAK (utterly furious): Shut up! Shut up! When I am Ruler of the Galaxy, no one will ever dare call me 'organic meatbag' again! (He runs out of the room, slamming the door behind him.)
BASTILA: Hmm. Touched a nerve there, I think.
The Hawk is approaching the Star Forge system. Crowded into the cockpit, the crew are gazing out of the windows in the hope of catching a glimpse of the Star Forge. Suddenly CARTH spots something.
CARTH: My God, is that the Star Forge? Holy shit, it's big!
RGN: Carth, that's one of the planet's moons you're looking at.
CARTH: (Shakes his head.) You're mistaken, my friend. That's no moon, it's a space station!
RGN (patiently): No, Carth, I think you'll find it is a moon. (Points in the other direction.) This is the Star Forge.
They gape at the huge space station.
CARTH: Wow. I've never seen anything like it...
MISSION: Yeah, is Malak compensating for something or what?
They stand in silence for a minute, watching the Star Forge. A mass of Sith ships are circling around it.
CARTH: I'm sending these coordinates to Admiral Dodonna. We should be safe here, we're just outside their sensor ra- (A loud beeping is heard.) Ah, crap.
RGN: Famous last words...
CARTH: Incoming fighters! Someone needs to get on those gun turrets! (There is silence.) And by 'someone', RGN, I mean you.
Rolling his eyes, RGN runs off to the gun turrets. Everyone braces themselves. There is the sound of shooting... then silence.
JOLEE: I don't believe it. Did we actually make it through on our first try this time?
MISSION (shrugs): I guess RGN's finally getting the hang of it...
Just as RGN returns to the cockpit, the ship shakes violently.
MISSION: Oh, no, what now?
CARTH: We've run into some kind of disruptor field. All my instruments are jammed! (Scans the controls.) Hang on, I'll try to put us down on this planet. I just hope we can avoid crashing...
RGN (sighing): This is not our day, is it?
The Ebon Hawk sets down on a small beach on the Unknown World. It is a somewhat rough landing.
CARTH: Damn! That disruptor field fried our stabilisers and damaged the ship. If we can't find a way to make repairs, we'll never get airborne again!
MISSION: But where are we going to find the parts in a place like this?
JUHANI: Well, as we were landing I think I saw some primitive-looking natives living in bamboo huts. Perhaps we could see if they have any spaceship parts? Or maybe we could just wander around outside and hope we find a new hyperdrive lying on the ground somewhere?
RGN: Sadly enough, Juhani, I have this strange feeling that we probably will...
CARTH: Anyway, we need to switch off that disruptor field. But where can it be coming from?
JOLEE: Well, that remarkably non-primitive-looking temple over there might be a good place to start looking.
They all stare at it.
RGN: Temple... Jolee, didn't you say I'd meet Bastila on top of a temple?
JOLEE: Ah, yes. But I should warn you that she's very likely fallen to the Dark Side by now.
RGN: What? No, surely not!
JOLEE: (Sighs) Look, RGN, Bastila's strong in the Force... but she's also wilful, headstrong and, more pertinently, your girlfriend. Once you'd fallen in love with her, how else could the story develop?
RGN: Oh, come on. The writers wouldn't really resort to a hoary old cliché like that... would they?
CARTH: Well, I hate to point this out, but they did give her the line 'Shut up and kiss me, you fool.'
RGN (turning pale): Oh, gods. She is going to fall to the Dark Side, isn't she?
JOLEE: Well, I guess we'll find out soon enough...