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Old 08-28-2006, 10:25 PM   #21
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Chapter 20: Battle’s End
Dragus was about to deliver the blow to end Ashira’s life when he was abruptly shoved aside and into a series of canisters. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Ashira placed her right foot on the wall and gave a push to send her up. She landed to face the last person she expected to see. Her expression was that of surprise providing a good distraction to Dragus who unfortunately couldn’t take it as he was struggling to get his cloak off. He had been sent into several canisters of the same stuff he tried hurling at Ashira. The other problem was that the stuff landed on critical beams supporting the structure and it began eating away at the beams.

Obi-wan saw her look and could tell that she didn’t expect any help. He looked at her and said, “I don’t know about you but I think everyone deserves a fair chance to fight.” He smiled at her.

Ashira just stood there, not comprehending any of it. She was so used to coming to the rescue herself that she never thought that anyone would do the same for her. The only thing that she could squeeze out of her mouth was, “Why are you here?”

“I thought you would need help. I…I also thought that we should make things right between us. When this is over.”

“But, why?”

“I don’t hate you. It is not the Jedi way and I know that you never do anything to intentionally harm another. Whatever Dragus said there in that room, he was trying to break you, much like I did with my anger.”

Ashira looked at Obi-wan with an expression that mingled relief with sadness. She was snapped out of it quickly when she raised her hand and Force Pushed Obi-wan out of the way of some falling beams. She summoned her katana and in one continuous motion, she sent it flying where it lodged itself into the chest of Dragus. She watched as he dropped his lightsaber and slumped over dead, the expression on his face. He smiled at her as he died with a knowing look. His darkened eyes bore into hers as he slumped down. Before he died, he asked in Avalonian, “Will you choose our way or the Jedi way?”

Ashira just stood and looked at him, oblivious to the acid melting the beams and weakening the structure. She calmly walked over and pulled the blade out and stood over his body just looking. Her mind felt blank but she was caught in one place in time giving her a dazed look. She sheathed the blade but continued to look at Dragus’ body.

Obi-wan noticed the failure of the structure as he got to his feet. He had watched her reaction and the motions she took to kill the one who betrayed her people. He heard what Dragus had said and saw her respond by just standing there. She didn’t move when the first of the beams began to fall so he ran and grabbed her by the arm and dragged her just as more of the beams began to fall.

Daranka was waiting or them outside with the stallions. Selene had left after showing the way. To her way of thinking, some battles had to be fought by the people who started them. As soon as Obi-wan emerged dragging Ashira with him, Daranka bounced up and ran up to meet them. Ashira was still looking at the hangar with that same look she had when she killed Dragus. Her amber eyes seemed to look right through all the debris, past that to some place beyond and it worried Obi-wan. He had never seen her look like that before so he walked up to her. Placing a hand on her left shoulder he asked, “You alright?”

Ashira turned to look at Obi-wan. Being shorter than him she had to look up at him. Her face, upon seeing him, contorted into a sad expression, mingled with fear. She backed away slowly to get away. She whispered, “I’m sorry.” Turning, she walked up to a stallion, mounted it and took off, leaving Obi-wan standing there wondering what happened.

Looking down, Daranka just looked at him with a curious expression. It looked as if the wolf were asking him, ‘What did you do?’ The nice thing was that wolves don’t talk but just reflected their feelings. Obi-wan just looked at the wolf that was staring at him. He looked at him and said, “What?” He then sighed and said, “I guess it’s not over, this battle I mean.” He then mounted the stallion to head back to the Haida encampment hoping that Ashira would have gone there.

The remainder of the fleet was being pushed back as Anakin and Andros led the troops through the enemy fire. They stood down around the same time Ashira killed their leader, almost as if they knew that their leader was dead. Anakin and Andros wouldn’t find out until later though. Andros thought it an interesting phenomena but his reasoning took over: their was no honor amongst thieves, at least in the sort that were hired.

Andros watched as the enemy stood down and issued their surrender. Anakin was amazed. He just didn’t understand the reasoning behind Avalonian thinking nor their concept of loyalty. The enemy fighters then just took off and headed towards the Unknown Regions. Andros didn’t give the order to follow. There was no point to it. Andros sighed and said, “Enemy is in full retreat. Stand down. How goes it Brother?”

“Enemy has surrendered,” Miklos replied.

“Alright. All troops land on the surface,” Andros replied.

“Are you sure about that?” Anakin asked. “They could come back.”

Andros had forgotten that Anakin didn’t know about the Outcasts and the Rashikians like they did. He replied, “Yes I’m sure. They won’t be coming back for a long time. Land your fleet Skywalker.”

“Roger that.”

I wonder how Ashira was doing, Andros thought as he brought the Ebon Hawk around for a landing. He felt her cut him off but just before he called for troop landing, he felt a surge of shame and fear from her. That was what worried him. She had never shown that around anyone nor had he felt it before. He hoped that she was all right.

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