Chapter 13: Acquaintance and Brooding
Obi-wan had somehow managed to find the Haida tribe settlement from the direction that Fa Zhor had given him. He was even more disturbed that Zhor had implied that he was looking for Ashira. Sure he was surprised that he found out that she had come to Belos but did that call for a joke at his expense? He pushed that aside in his mind as he addressed Moira who seemed to regard him merely as a houseguest. He realized that she was treating him in her terms of respect so he put up with it.
Another commotion sounded from the direction of the river. The girl who was introduced as Lilah walked up to a woman who looked strikingly familiar and a young man. Obi-wan was curious for he thought he recognized the wolf but before he could get a better look, it was gone with another off into the forest. The woman was what had his attention. He thought to himself, She’s about her height but… He couldn’t quite place his finger on it. Moira caught him looking and said, “That’s Nekang. Another one of our sisters.”
“Nekang?” Obi-wan was familiar with the term but he never heard it used as a name before.
“Come. We will discuss this at the indaba,” and Moira motioned towards Nekang to follow.
Andros had never before met the governor of Avalon but he had heard of him. He tried to hold his agitation in check as he made his way to his office. The agitation mostly stemmed from the fact that he had to run things and there was a huge battle that would be coming soon and he was at wit’s end. He had no reason to be that way for when he entered the office of Governor Starlighter, he was greeted with a sense of calm.
The office was like a sanctuary in a world of chaos. True it resembled closely to that of a library but there was a calm about it that could make a person want to hide there forever. Andros had a brief moment if that was why Ashira liked to hide from people but scratched the thought since she never really went home at all. He was thinking this as he was examining one of the shelves when Governor Starlighter’s voice broke in quietly, “I find that books are much better than idle play.”
Andros turned quickly. Upon facing the governor, he bowed politely and began, “My Lord, I…”
“I know. The fleet is mobilizing and we are ready to go on your say so. I can see why she left you in charge. You seem capable.”
That loosened up Andros and he began to make polite conversation.
What in Force is going on? Ashira was pacing off near one of the paddocks. She had been wondering if the Force were playing a joke on her or something. She had just gotten through the last meal she would have before setting off for the lost kataran herds. She gave no indication to her true identity as she listened to Obi-wan try to persuade Moira to accept aid from Governor Gisan and she inwardly squirmed when Moira refused. She wondered briefly if Moira was putting too much faith in the whole business of myths and legends. A voice startled her, “I used to think the same thing when I was called Kirabaros.”
She turned to see the familiar blue silhouette of a Jedi. Peering at it, she could make out the traditional robes from the academy on Avalon, and he stood a head taller than she. Dark hair with two stubborn locks and the eyes that looked surprisingly familiar, much like her own: golden amber. She asked, “Who are you?”
“Kirabaros, though I thought that you would have guessed that by now.” The reply sounded like something she would say.
“Eventually.” Ashira was rooted to her spot and she thought that she had to stop connecting with dead Jedi. She changed her tune and asked, “Why are you here?”
“You wonder if legend has any place here in a time of war. I admit that I felt the same when I fought in a war long before your time.”
“I can’t help but wonder if Moira is being foolish about this. The starvation I can’t bear and I feel lost.”
The figure just smiled gently. He replied, “I know it is hard to let go of someone you have lost. As well as others I have known. What you have to decide whether or not you will let it consume you.”
“You make it sound so easy but it is not.” Ashira shook her head sadly. She moved to one of the huge boulders resting next to the fence and sat on it.
“Since when is anything in life meant to be easy. It wasn’t easy to fight against my friend but I had to in order to turn him back to the light. Things like that never leave you but they can be made bearable. You just have to find your way.”
Ashira was listening but she noticed that Obi-wan had exited Moira’s hut and taking a walk. She had a bemused smile on her face for she recognized that posture. Funny how old habits die hard. She looked back to where the figure was standing only to find that no one was there. She smiled briefly and thought about what had been exchanged. Lately she had many more of the ghosts of dead Jedi appear, giving her advice. She didn’t mind for she knew most of them but this last one felt familiar, like he was family. She shook her head and took a deep breath and sighed. She reverted her gaze up to the stars and began to study them. She felt saddened at a memory but she smiled realizing that it was one of her funnier memories. She needed that feeling for tomorrow would be the start of a long day.
Andros sat in the pilot’s chair of the Ebon Hawk preparing to launch the defense against Dragus and his troops. The word had come that the sieges had begun, particularly of Xao Lin and Sheng Xin. The skies above had ships that threatened to shoot anything that tried to leave. He was thinking of his conversation with Governor Starlighter and the plan that he was about to launch. He gazed out the window at the stars. Brooding was not in his nature but ever since his sister came along, he found himself doing that more often.
Miklos was doing the same thing in the co-pilot’s chair. He was thinking more in terms of the amount of lives that may be lost. He couldn’t shake the feeling that something was supposed to happen but when and where was the question. He didn’t share it because he wasn’t sure and he was taking a leaf out of Ashira’s book in that it had to make sense in order for it to be voiced.