Star Wars: Realms of Honor
Well I have been thinking and it hit me. I know I have done much reference to the "Miako incident" in Heart of Deception. Well this story tells of that. This takes place after the war in Heart of the Guardian and before Heart of Deception.
Star Wars: Realms of Honor
Bushida! The code of honor among warriors, the way of the sword. A way of life followed by all who fight to defend their home and people.
Though unique to the Avalonians, it is a code followed by others who profess themselves to be warriors. Across the worlds this code transcends into the very heart of the galaxy’s people and beyond. Yet there are those who seek to use that code to twist it to their own ends and rule the realms and the galaxy.
In a place that exists far beyond known space a group of warriors train together in the ways of combat. They are the champions of their people and thought to be the last stand for their world. They fight to prepare for a tournament that is fought to the death, unaware that others have been chosen…
The move came out of nowhere as the fist connected with flesh in a hard smack. The sound of the person groaning was enough for the warrior to grapple his opponent and throw him down. It was over when the dull wooden point touched the throat.
“Li-Shang wins. Flawless victory.”
Li-Shang stood up and withdrew the wooden sword he had pulled out and held it to his side. He grinned and lowered his hand to his opponent. “Always miss the feint Son-ja.”
Son-ja took a firm grip on the hand offered to her and stood herself up. She brushed herself down with her hands. Giving her white blonde braid a shake she replied, “Always getting me with grapple.”
“At least I am not the victim of your killing move.”
Son-ja grinned and said, “You are the best among us Li-Shang. More likely you’ll be the champion of the tournament.”
“You both are able warriors. You both have the potential to be the champion of our world,” an elderly voice interrupted.
Son-ja and Li-Shang turned to see Riyusaan, their trainer advance towards them. His eyes were white, atrophied from lack of use but he could still see in different ways, just as he watched his fighters practice. He came, dressed in his usual white training clothes, with a strong gait. He repeated, “You both have the potential. All of you do.”
Just at that moment three other warriors came. They had seen their trainer coming towards Son-ja and Li-Shang and knew that it was time for another lesson. They came and stood at an at ease position in front of Riyusaan.
Riyusaan nodded and said, “Li-Shang, Son-ja, Katarina, Ja-xor and Joji Chan, you all have been chosen by your respected tribes. You all have a destiny and the potential to become champion of the tournament. It has been seen.”
“And by the rules of the tournament, the Darksiders will not invade our world?” Son-ja asked.
“Yes. Once you have learned how to channel yourself from within you will be ready.” Riyusaan looked at each of his fighters. “You all have trained well and in four days time the fate of our world will be dec…”
Suddenly a loud rumble sounded. Everyone looked around wondering what that was. Another rumble sounded but this time louder. The walls began to crumble and the faint trickles of granite were falling. The ground began lurching violently and the warriors tried to keep their balance. Joji asked, “What’s going on?”
Riyusaan, who could see on different levels, looked around. The air seemed to charge around him as he looked upward. It visibly manifested as he turned to look. At the same time a section of the training room blew away to reveal the valley below. Riyusaan turned and muttered, “Tsung Khan.”
As he muttered the name, the owner of it manifested from an energy source along with warriors of his own. Some were human in appearance and others looked half human and half beast yet all bore the same look, that of a warrior to kill. Tsung Khan stood ahead of his warriors and grinned at Riyusaan. He thumped his staff on the ground and said, “I had hoped for a warmer welcome Riyusaan.”
The air became more charged and the electricity crackled around Riyusaan as he replied, “You are not welcome here. The tournament is to take place on the island of Wushan.”
“All that way just to beat your champions? Hardly worth the effort,” Tsung Khan was chuckling as if he had made a joke. He tapped his staff on the ground to accentuate his true feelings towards the group before him. “Here will do just fine.”
“And violate the laws of our worlds? You know the penalty Tsung Khan,” Riyusaan replied.
“And as you teach your champions: This world has rules but those rules can be broken.”
“The tournament decides!” The air thundered with Riyusaan’s anger at this violation.
“Temper, Riyusaan,” Tsung Khan replied, “In the end, I will have command on this world and will start on the next.” It was then he noticed the champions behind Riyusaan. He commented, “These are your champions?”
Riyusaan said nothing but stood upright. Joji was the one that said, “That’s right and we’ll put you in your place.”
Tsung Khan lifted a brow. “Is this what the champions of Miako have come to? Where is that famous discipline of yours?” His tone was mocking.
Joji would have jumped to fight Tsung Khan right then and there. Riyusaan held him back. He said, “Stop. You are not welcome here until the tournament. This is our law. Leave now!”
As soon as he said that, and energy source shot him back and into a far wall. Tsung Khan held his staff pointed at Riyusaan as the energy returned to his staff. He said, “I am the law and will take what is mine.” He pointed his staff at the champions and taunted, “You may stop me if you can.” He then righted his staff on the ground stabbing it on the ground and barked to his warriors, “Fight!”
Tsung Khan’s warriors backed into a fighting stance and then began to charge. Li-Shang backed into his own and charged to meet him. The others followed, running at full speed. Both sides rushed towards each other getting closer and closer like a wave getting ready to crash upon the shore. They came together and…
The warm sun filtered through the trees as the hammock swung wildly while its occupant was struggling to get free and make sense of his surroundings. The hammock flipped over and its occupant landed on the grass below. The book that had been resting on his chest had flopped face down on the ground beside him.
“Statement: The Handsome Meatbag appears to have suffered in his balance. Shall I assist?”
The laugh that accompanied with it made the former occupant of the hammock turn red with embarrassment which quickly turning to laughter. Kirabaros, proclaimed Heart of the Guardian, laughed as he pushed himself to his feet. He dusted himself off with good humor and said, “HK, the day I need your assistance will be the day that I grow senile.”
“He’s just upset because I wouldn’t let him blast his ‘meatbags’ again,” the droid’s companion said.
“I am always ready to serve, Master.”
“Give it up Revan. Once an assassin droid, always and assassin droid,” Kirabaros said as he examined his book. He dusted the covers off as he began puzzling out his dream.
“I guess,” Revan replied smiling. She watched as Kirabaros dusted himself off and the book he was reading. “I guess we can’t leave you anywhere. You’ll just end up falling down.”
Kirabaros chuckled as he checked the pages of the book. He stuck his finger in the spot he had left off reading and looked up. He replied, “I suppose there is a reason you are here and don’t tell me it is to get me ‘civilized’ with your daughter.” He was smiling in his friendly manner.
Revan did her best to feign innocence, “Well we did come up to see you. Just a friendly social talk…”
“And either Bastilla or Juhani want me to pay a visit to the Temple for hero worship time,” Kirabaros finished for her, his eyes twinkling in amusement.
Revan traced a circle with the toe of her boot, “Well they didn’t quite put it like that.”
Kirabaros gave a slight roll of his eyes and shook his head. He started walking back towards the house. It was all he could do to prevent an exasperated sigh that would have hurt Revan’s feelings. He knew she was close to them and he respected their abilities but dammit the war was barely a year over and he still had younglings tripping over their robes just to meet him. He sighed as he walked away but stopping when he heard Revan.
Revan had anticipated his reaction and made ready to follow him. She called out, “Jacen,” using his former name, “I know that you feel it is showing off and believe me I felt the same way after Malak.”
Kirabaros had stopped completely by this time and turned to wait for Revan. His expression softened for he knew that she could relate to his feelings. He turned his amber eyes to lock onto her honey-colored ones. Gently he said, “Tell me then.”
Revan knew she had his attention and he would give it to her as long as she needed it. She continued, “You did what you had to do, the same thing that Carth and I had to; we did our duty. You were there at the end and you don’t feel a hero yet people see you that way. The Jedi see you as a supreme example of a Jedi, etc. It’s maddening I know but…”
“We do what we have to do even if we don’t like it,” Kirabaros finished for her, “I may not like it but the goal of knowledge is to share it, no?”
Revan grinned, “So you’ll go?”
“If I must,” Kirabaros returned the grin. He then turned to finish walking back tot eh house. He checked his book to make sure his place was held.
Revan checked the sigh of relief that threatened to spill. It was always hard to get him to visit the temple yet Bastilla always put her up to it. She watched as he checked his book. She said, “Must be a good book.”
Kirabaros raised a brow. “You read it?”
“Nope. Figured that it was something important since you dusted the cover off so carefully.”
“Just a book of stories.”
“I love a good story.”
Kirabaros chuckled. He knew that Revan could be persistent when she wanted. He knew that it was best to give her just enough to satisfy her curiosity otherwise she would pester him. Carth had warned him of that when he made the rookie mistake of not answering her question. Since then he had to be on his toes. He replied, “It’s a book of stories about my heritage, mainly about the mythical place of Miako. It is said that our code of honor came out of that land when the first Avalonians left that place and settled here and the Force was born.” Then seeing the look on Revan’s face he added, “Tulre brought me the book pointing at a picture and pointed at it. I told a story for his nap and took it out to read it through.”
“So you would teach your son fairy tales but not techniques to younglings?” Revan smiled at him as she teased him.
Kirabaros was ready for it, “It is called parenting. I believe it is something that you do yourself.” With his free hand he gave a pat to his midsection.
“Below the belt for you Jacen.” Revan wasn’t angry though. In fact she liked it when she had met her match in teasing and jokes. Carth was good but Jacen was better and wasn’t afraid to barely toe the line. He did it so well that no one was angry with him for long. Still she had to deal payback. She countered, “So I am guessing that part of parenting involves having dreams about children’s tales?”
“Let’s just say that the old lore masters know how to tell a good story.”
They had come to the back of the house where the kitchen was. The door was open and out toddling on his plump legs came Tulre. He raised his arms smiling and saying, “Up, Dada, up.”
Kirabaros smiled at his little son and swooped to pick him up. “And what is my little Kanamoto up to? Weren’t you to take a nap?”
Tulre just giggled and hugged his Dada around the neck. He stayed where he was as his father and Aunt Reva went inside. His mother met them holding little Lilah who was about ready to wail for her mother. Kirabaros grinned at the family moment, all thoughts of the strange dream passing from his mind.
It wasn’t until later when he was alone in the parlor that he turned his thoughts to it. It had seemed so real for a dream. He was wary of it since it was usually the Force at work when his other senses kicked in if it was a vision. It looked and felt like a vision but it wasn’t.
He sat in his favorite chair and stared at the fire. His gaze turned to the book he had been reading earlier and had fallen asleep with. He picked it up and shifted through the pages to where he had marked his spot. As he sifted through them, he thought about his son Tulre. He had long known the sensitivity of his son but he was too young to channel it properly. If he had been at the Temple, he would be learning how. Yet Kirabaros couldn’t let go of the nagging feeling that the Force was trying to speak to him through Tulre.
Ridiculous. They are just stories. Kirabaros wondered why a book of stories. He looked at the words on the page and the image of two warriors locked in combat and in the background was a symbol. He knew that symbol well. It was the symbol of Avalon. He sat there looking at it and for a moment it sounded as if he could hear the sounds of fighting.
The clock chimed the hour and Kirabaros looked at it. It was late but not too late for some reading. He turned his gaze back to the page and began to read where he left off. He thought of nothing else except the story.
Thank you for the notation mach and I like your review. Your opinion is respected by me.
I am curious if anyone can see a resemblance to a particular video game besides KOTOR. the idea came to me one day and I decided to run with it.
“Tsung Khan has broken the sacred rules and openly declared invasion.”
“We know this Riyusaan. It has been seen.” The voices were melodic as they spoke in unison.
Riyusaan did all he could to prevent his temper from showing. He stared at the white cloud of light with a firm look and replied, “Then why must it be allowed to happen? Why was it?”
“All things happen for a reason,” the voices from the cloud replied, “We realize that what was deemed sacred has been defiled.”
“Then what is to be done about it?” Riyusaan demanded. He realized he was being a bit short but with his fighters defeated and scattered all over Miako there was no one to be present for the tournament. Unless…
“The tournament will go on.”
“There are no fighters to defend this world,” Riyusaan began.
“None from this world,” the voices answered.
“None from this world? Do you mean?”
“They will come from Avalon,” the voices replied.
Riyusaan couldn’t believe what he was hearing. It didn’t make any sense so he voiced it, “Avalon is nothing more than a fairy tale.”
“No more than this world is to them,” the voices replied, “He will come and they will follow. Train them you must for not just this world is at stake.”
Riyusaan was still having trouble wrapping his mind around what he had heard. According to the voices, Avalon was a fairy tale to his people as Miako was a fairy tale to them. It was hard to imagine since Miako had been the cradle of life for all the worlds here. He recalled then that according to the legends, a group of his people left and became explorers never to return. They found a world they called Avalon for its peace and beauty, the other half of Miako. He wondered and replied, “Since our world is not the only at stake, then who will come?”
“Look to the stars.”
The sun beat down in warmth and cast shadows from the rubble that littered the ground. Li-Shang opened his eyes to the warmth and the pain of having been thrown around. He sat up slowly acknowledging the pain and asking his body to heal. When he was calm and centered, he looked around his surroundings.
With a glance he could tell that he was not at the training temple. From the looks of the place he could see that he must be somewhere in the Carrion Wastelands. He shook his head, trying to remember how he had gotten there. He remembered that he was running towards the warriors of Tsung Khan because they tried to harm Master Riyusaan. He tried to get up quickly when he thought of Master Riyusaan but quickly brought down by the pain in his body.
Knowing that it was futile to protest against what his body was telling him, he stayed down. By acknowledging his pain and asking for healing, he was able to let it pass and stand slowly. Li-Shang gently stretched his muscles, working out the individual points where the aches and knots were.
By this time he was able to see that he was alone. There was no sign of the others. Apparently that last battle must have separated us to different points on Miako, Li Shang thought to himself as he surveyed the craggy rocks surrounding him. He couldn’t be sure but he thought he heard something move along the top. If we were separated, then the warriors we were fighting were separated too. If that is true then…Li Shang did not have time to finish the thought for out of nowhere jumped one of Tsung Khan’s warriors. Li-Shang backed into a defensive posture.
The warrior gave a war cry and landed in front of Li-Shang. It screamed, “Fight!” and attacked.
The sound of birds was what woke Son-ja as she struggled to shake the grogginess from her head. She looked around to find that she was on a beach of some sort. She stood up to look around trying to find a landmark of some sort.
It took only a moment for her to realize that she was on the shores of the beach of Sentou. It was a place where warriors had trained and fought before the island Wushan was selected for the tournament. It was where all the best warriors of Miako met to take the ship that would take them to Wushan. Son-ja stood, looking around in awe at the place that she was supposed to be at in two weeks time.
“At least I ended up where we’re supposed to be,” she said aloud to herself, “But why would I end up here? Where is the training academy?”
The lightening that occurred right by her didn’t startle her as Riyusaan appeared. She said, “Master Riyusaan! What happened? Why and I here at the Sentou beach?”
Riyusaan replied, “When you fought, it seems that an unseen power separated all of you. How I am still unsure but I believe it has to do with Tsung Khan’s appearance on our world.”
“Is his presence threatening the existence of our realm?” Son-ja asked the question, eager to learn everything. The first rule as a soldier was to know your surroundings. Since this had happened, it was all the better to have as much information as possible.
“By coming here, forcing his way in before the appointed time, he has caused a rift between our realm, his and one other. An unintentional mistake on his part for the merging will have a profound effect on the energies between the three.”
“A third realm? The realm of the dead would be of no interest to him,” Son-ja replied, “What realm is this?”
“One where the world of Avalon resides,” Riyusaan replied.
“Avalon is a myth,” Son-ja replied confused, “How could a children’s story be part of this?”
“Even I am not certain but one thing is for certain: I need your help in contacting this realm.”
“Of course Master Riyusaan but how are we going to do that? Where are Li-Shang and the others?”
“I do not know. You were the first I was able to find,” Riyusaan replied, “More likely it is the energy fluctuations that make it difficult to locate them or they are in places where I can not go.” A sound in the distance interrupted the conversation and Riyusaan turned to look at the grassy plains that bordered the forests. “We must leave now. I will return you to the academy so that you may send a message to the third realm.”
Son-ja had turned her head at the sound. More likely it was Karaka’s army coming for her. She shuddered inwardly at the image of that hideous creature. She moved towards Riyusaan and nodded. “I am ready.”
Riyusaan returned the nod and reached for the sky. Lightening emanated from his hand as he and Son-ja transported from the beach to the inner courtyard of the academy. Once there he said, “The academy is protected for now from Karaka’s horde. You should be able to send a transmission from the main control room.”
“You aren’t staying Master Riyusaan?”
“I must look for the others. If they are somewhere, they must be found before Tsung Khan’s forces do,” Riyusaan explained.
“Yes, Master Riyusaan,” Son-ja replied in understanding. She bowed and watched as Riyusaan disappeared. She turned and headed towards the main control room. She was startled when she heard rock crumbling. She backed into a fighting stance looking for the source of the noise.
It came in the sound of a groan and she said quickly, “Whoever you are, show yourself for you are in a sacred place.”
“Alright, keep your boots on Son-ja,” a familiar voice replied.
Son-ja lowered her fists as the owner of the voice came out. “Joji Chan?” When the image became clearer, she exclaimed, “Joji! What are you doing there? Are the others with you?”
Joji shook himself off of the dirt and replied, “Last I remember, I got hit on the head by the wall and then I woke up here. Why?”
“I woke up on Sentou beach. Master Riyusaan said that we were scattered after that battle,” Son-ja replied, “He found me and returned me here. I have to send a transmission.”
“I hope it’s to a travel agent,” Joji muttered still shaking the ache from his head as he followed Son-ja.
Son-ja ignored the remark. Instead she opened the stone door that was the quickest way to the central control room. She said, “I’ll explain along the way.”
“Can someone explain to me why I here, on a ship and heading to the one place I’d rather not be?”
Kirabaros sighed when he heard the reply. It had a tone of finality to it and almost dared him to question or protest. He took the chance and asked, “Why did I promise to put myself on display like some animal in a zoo?”
A snicker from the pilot’s seat gave him reason to smile. The owner of the snicker swiveled in his seat to face him and the one he was talking to. The owner said in his familiar drawl, “Didn’t know I had a new exhibit. I guess I’ll have to re-plot my heading.”
“You’ll do no such thing Atton,” Kirabaros’ companion retorted, “We are landing at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and that is final.”
Kirabaros said, “Alright, alright Bastila. I’ll go make a guest appearance and let the younglings drool on me and then go home.” He waited until she started to go to the main hold before he muttered, “Slave driver.”
Atton was hard pressed to keep from laughing until Bastila had gone. As soon as she did he said, “You have no idea how much I was looking forward to seeing you again. The trip to Avalon made it like a Bith trying to sing a lullaby.” He calmed a bit and added, “I know how you feel about the celebrity appearances. Don’t need ‘em but ya have to do them.”
Kirabaros chuckled, “Exactly. At least Revan’s with us. Should liven things up at the Temple well enough.” He then pulled out the book he brought from home about Miako. He flipped it open to the page about the struggle between light and dark.
Atton noticed what Kirabaros was doing and asked, “You applying to be the new Chronicler?”
Kirabaros chuckled as he stuck a finger in his place. He looked up and replied, “No. Just a story that Tulre brought me a few days ago. About my people and where we come from.”
“What’s it about? The usual fighting for the ideal of peace?” Atton asked. “You know history no matter what planet has the same thing.” He grinned as he said that and turned to check the instrument panels.
Kirabaros grinned back and he said, “You might be saying that. It’s about a mythical place called Miako, the cradle of life.”
“Oh one of those stories,” Atton kidded, “A fairy tale.”
Kirabaros chuckled as he reopened his book and began to read. The last place he left off was about the gods who created a tournament to protect Miako from invasion. The only way for the ruler of the Dark realm to invade was to have his champions defeat Miako’s champions in seven straight victories. In the book it said that the champions kept the dark realm from invading the land.
The gods had charged the elder Riyusaan with protecting Miako. He accepted his duty and served with honor, training generations of warriors to defend the cradle of life. One of the greatest amongst them was the champion and protector Ken-Lui who defeated the sorcerer Son Tsung.
As a reward for winning the tournament and being declared champion, Ken-Lui was granted unnatural long life and charged with being a protector of Miako. Ken-Lui accepted his charge and fought against Tsung Khan’s forces until he disappeared. He was presumed dead, killed in combat. Riyusaan grieved for the loss of one of the greatest warriors but continued to train future warriors to stand up to the warriors of Tsung Khan.
Kirabaros looked up wondering about it and his dreams of late. He wondered if it was a result of the dreams he had been having. The strange was that they seemed to be taking place now. They were very real and then he began wondering if he was being given a vision through the Force. I must be out of my mind, he thought to himself. More likely I am just dreaming the whole thing up because I am reading the stories. He shuffled in his seat trying to make himself comfortable.
Atton must have sensed something going on his thoughts and said, “We should be at the Temple in about seven hours. Plenty of time to doze off.”
Kirabaros chuckled as he made himself comfortable in the co-pilot seat. “Sounds like a great idea.” He made a show of stretching and closing his eyes. “Wake me when you see Coruscant.”
Kirabaros heard Atton chuckle as he dropped off to sleep.
Riyusaan looked at the sea from the Beach of Sentou. According to Son-ja, Joji-Chan was back at the academy with her. Where the others were, he was still searching. It seemed as if something was deliberately clouding his vision of his fighters. For some strange reason though, he could see a warrior but he was sleeping and from the look of it in a ship.
He recalled the stories of the Explorers who took their ships and set out for other realms. It was said that they were going to a place of harmony. No such place existed though and the Explorers were presumed lost. Now it was just a warning for children to listen to the wisdom given to them. Riyusaan though was beginning to doubt that wisdom. This warrior he had never seen before and the ship looked capable of long travel.
He could only hope that the message Son-ja sent would be received. He prayed that the gods would allow it to reach the mythical place and bring the chosen champions. His only response was the lapping of the waves as he sighted the Wushan i
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