Chapter 8: Visions
Miklos was in good spirits and feeling better that day and insisted on getting up. In private, Andros told him that their sister had left possibly for Belos. Miklos was immediately worried, “Dragus will be there. He plans to starve the tribes; it will be an easy defeat.”
“You may be right, but it is too late to tell her. Besides I believe there are other reasons for her departure,” Andros responded.
“You may be right brother. She has not been the same since Lady Argonon,” Miklos replied and motioned for Andros to walk with him.
They walked towards the vivarium for a time in silence until Miklos was sure that they would not be overheard. He said in a low voice, “Our sister has a wound in her heart that must be healed. The vision we all had of the fire and blood was more likely what is needed to repair that wound. She has to find her way. You must have seen this.”
“We all did have the vision. The information you have provided makes me believe that Belos will be crippled first and then the rest of our people so that the Republic will be in danger,” Andros replied.
“More likely it is revenge for a transgression done so long ago. One of our own betrayed us,” Miklos said. A silent understanding passed between them. One way or another, wounds had to heal in order to keep the Republic strong.
Obi-wan was thinking of the curious behavior of Andros when he took off from the station. Even though he had grown up with Avalonian double talk and poetic metaphors, it was still difficult for him to catch the plethora of emotions and meanings behind the words. He brushed these thoughts aside when the Lord Governor of Avalon greeted him at the spaceport. He had met the governor before and felt slightly comfortable with the formalities. They walked to the balcony that overlooked the main courtyard where public announcements were made. Lord Governor Rowan Starlighter was showing his age as he spoke, “As you know we are in danger of being crippled. That means that we will not be able to aid the Republic at all if we are broken. This trouble that is brewing on Belos is odd and expected.”
“Lady Ashira said the same thing and that Belos should mount a defense,” Obi-wan replied.
“Probably months before now. She was always gifted as Master Yoda explained to her mother and I long ago,” Governor Rowan replied with a tired smile.
“What do you mean months in advance? She just started insisting that we mount defense three days ago,” Obi-wan asked confused.
Willing to indulge with a friend of his daughter’s, Governor Starlighter explained with a bemused smile, “You must not know her as well as you thought or she has gotten better at hiding what she knows. The reason I say months is that she has more likely seen it months ago she just hasn’t said anything about it.”
“Why not? Certain things could have been avoided…” Obi-wan began.
“Like death of those that matter in our lives,” Governor Starlighter, “Not everything is meant to be saved, just acknowledged. She probably has changed a few things but in her own way; subtle suggestions maybe?”
That started Obi-wan thinking about certain things that Ashira had done whether it was a warning or a piece of advice. He had been invited into the subtle customs and intrigues of the Avalonian mind. He listened past the physical words that the governor was telling him to get to the core of the meaning as they were leaving the balcony. They had walked from the balcony to the halls that led to the gardens. Governor Starlighter indulged on the family a bit as only deemed proper by his people. When they had reached the gardens, Governor Starlighter turned the conversation to business, “It has disturbed me that one of our own has betrayed us. It has happened before but this is aimed at personal revenge. I need you to go to Belos and help Governor Gisan organize forces for direct assault.”
“What of the starving tribes?”
“Gisan will do what he can but the tribes, particularly the women are stubborn in receiving help from the cities. I suspect there are a few who know how to talk to them.”
The first few days were getting reacquainted with the land. Ashira spent most of the days exploring with Daranka and remembering her days at the academy on Andorra. Daranka did most of the hunting while Ashira spent the time practicing the dance meditation that she had learned from Master Shang-Li long ago. She had met a few tribes but they were always moving in the direction of the cities. Her heart always bled when she saw how the children were and tried to give them some dried meat that she had stocked. The tribes that were moving were grateful and would talk to her but it always seemed that they were hiding a secret. It perplexed Ashira that they couldn’t voice it to her but she remembered that many didn’t remember her when she last came to Belos and they probably didn’t recognize her.
The evenings were quiet with her gazing at the stars and stroking Daranka. She would remember when she first tamed the wolf and first pet him and she would smile. Other memories were not so pleasant; they brought pain. One such was when she was teaching Siri and Obi-wan how to read the stars like her people. She remembered that Siri had asked how can one be sure if that was what the stars were saying. They had shared a laugh when Ashira responded in a serious face that the Force willed it. They were happy times but they were sad memories. Ashira ended up reading Siri’s journal and learned how Siri felt of her. Siri wrote: Ashira has become like an older sister; always watching out for me. She does the same for Obi-wan though I think there is a lot more going on.
I learned how to read the stars, a new and different concept. Ashira is so patient even with the other padawans and bad tempers that come about. She also has a sense of humor but I won’t tell the masters that. The star reading is a way in which the Avalonians can tell when danger is coming and it is through the Force!
That evening was different after reading a bit of the journals. Ashira had an uneasy feeling but at the same time it was tugging feeling. Thinking that it was something that she ate coupled with the strange sights of the animals making strange noises that day, she decided to turn in. As soon as she fell asleep, she had a dream; unaware that the leader of the tribe she was seeking was having a similar one.
Ashira was standing on a rocky beach. She saw him, the wolf Daranka running past her. She saw another person running after him, a girl her height and age. She followed them both until they came to a ledge where Daranka was standing. He looked at them both and then stared down. There were the missing kataran and the herders who took care of them. Strange men dressed in black were beating the herders and the herders were fighting back.
Moira Landstar, queen of the Haida tribe, was dreaming of the white wolf. She had reminded the tribal council of the legend and reminded them of the hope on the winds earlier. There was much despair that some of the families had decided to leave for the cities. There was little to do but wish them well. Moira had went to sleep with determination to try again. Her daughter was sleeping in her spot in the hut when she went to sleep.
Her daughter Lilah was running after a white she wolf and a male wolf. She followed to where they were going and came to the ledge near the echoing canyon. Both wolves gazed down to the herds of kataran grazing. Men in black were beating the herders but they never gave up. Moira watched as the two wolves ran down to join the fight. The white wolf disappeared but a woman of strength and beauty appeared. The women ignited a blade like that of the Jedi and started to force back the men in black.
Moira woke up. It was the strangest image that she had experienced in her years as the queen of the Tribe. She vaguely recalled such dreams happening from her own mother’s descriptions. There was no denying that the legend of the white wolf would once again come alive. She had no doubt that the wolf would come and that the woman she saw would be the one to find the kataran. She went to where her daughter was sleeping and rustled her up. When her daughter was fully awake, she gazed at her and said, “Lilah, you are the one who will find the white wolf. In the morning you will go and find it.”
Her daughter looked at her with a wide-eyed expression. She didn’t say a word but rather nodded, saying that she would obey. Lilah knew her mother strongly believed in the strength of the land but she wasn’t so sure. She thought that the time for stories was over. Hope couldn’t be found in stories and myths but in reality and the will to make a better life. She did not voice her feelings about this but kept silent. She would do as her mother asked and seek out the white wolf even though she believed that there was no such person.