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Old 08-30-2006, 06:19 PM   #7
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Yes it is. This next chapter is an introductory one.

Chapter 3
The day was a gentle spring one, the first of the season. It was evident in the grassy field near the river where a hut stood welcoming the spring air. The sounds of spring were joyous as could be heard from the fields; the sounds of a four year old boy enjoying life.

The boy sped by the shaded glen on a small black Saluki stallion, the pride and joy of the Avalonians. He called out to the woman watching him in the glen, “Look Marmar! I can do it!”

His mother looked at him with love in her eyes. She called back, “Very good Tulre. Did your father teach you how to ride like that?”

“You know Dada did.” Tulre laughed as he turned the stallion around to meet his mother.

Michaela walked up to greet her son and stroke the stallion. Tulre was her pride and joy and her source of comfort when her husband was away. She stroked his hair to brush the golden brown locks out of his face only to find that they fell back. She smiled at that. He’s so much like his father, she thought. Her thoughts drifted to her husband and wondered if he was all right.

Tulre noticed his mother staring off into space. He knew she did that when she was thinking of his father. He was too young to understand completely why his Dada had to go away often and why this time was different than all the other times but he could tell that it was important. He had great faith in his Dada and could feel it through the bond he shared that he was all right. He tried to reassure his mother, “Don’t worry Marmar. Dada will be home soon.”

Michaela smiled at her son as she marveled at the strength of the father-son relationship between the two. She figured that it had to do with the time that Kirabaros spent recovering from serious injuries and even though it put him out of commission, it was a good thing that he got to spend time with his family. She glanced at her chronometer and said, “Well we better go inside and get ready.”

“Do we have to go?” Tulre asked.

“What’s the matter? Don’t you want to see your Aunt Reva and Uncle Carth and have fun at the festivities?” Michaela asked with a knowing smile.

“Well I want to see them. They’re the best next to you and Dada. I just don’t want to see ‘her,’ the Jawa.”

The reply was so solemn that Michaela had to exert much self-control not to laugh. She continued to smile at him as she helped him down from the stallion. “Why don’t you want to see Lilah? She’s a nice little girl.”

They began to walk to the paddock to release the stallion to graze. Tulre answered her, “She’s a Jawa. She takes apart my robots and tries to fix them. She even tries to give me old parts like I want them. She even makes them fly.”

“Really. I thought you made your robots fly to amuse her.” Michaela smiled at her son.

Tulre looked at her sheepishly as they entered their house. “OK. I’ll go,” he replied sounding defeated.

“Aunt Reva!”

“Tulre! How big you’ve grown,” a dark haired woman with honey colored eyes greeted him at the door of the villa. Behind her was her husband home on leave from the fleet and just in time for the spring festival. He was holding his two-year-old daughter who was giggling at all the happiness.

Tulre hugged his aunt and replied, “I’m not that big. I’m still me.” He then grabbed his uncle around the waist while his mother greeted Revan with the polite hug and peck on the cheek.

“Hey kiddo,” Carth rumpled Tulre’s hair with his free hand as he set down his daughter. He chuckled when Tulre’s hair sprang back to where it was.

“How goes it Carth?” Michaela asked in her soft voice.

Tulre took the question as his cue to leave. He asked Lilah if she wanted to see something neat. When she said yes, she tottered after him, holding his hand. The three adults watched them leave with amusement. Michaela couldn’t help but think of what her sprat was going to do. The last time involved rigging the communicator to sound like a blaster bolt. The incident was on everyone’s mind for Carth let out a chuckle and said, “I hope he does something to HK.” Revan smacked him on the arm. “At least it would improve his personality,” he grinned at his wife.

Michaela watched the happiness pass between them. She thought back to when she and her husband watched them kiss and she smiled. She spoke, “Well that would be an improvement. He wouldn’t have the desire to murder everyone we know.” She smiled a sly grin and Revan responded with a laugh. “Don’t worry about it. How’s everything?”

“The fleet’s been keeping me busy though I manage to spend as much time at home as I can,” Carth replied.

“More like shove your responsibilities onto your subordinates?” Revan teased as she gave him a hug.

“I would have thought he couldn’t stand being away from his favorite girl and I mean the one that has him wrapped around her finger and plagues my son,” Michaela replied sweetly, causing Carth to blush slightly and Revan to giggle.

“That’s true. Still it helps to have you around. We need some law and order,” Revan said.

“So I’m the bad guy now,” Carth said with a smile. He led the way to the gardens where there was a table set with tea. It was a tradition to offer tea to the guest and it was one that suited everyone.

Michaela sat across from them both and took the offered cup of tea. After taking a sip, she said, “I ask Carth because I am curious about the state of affairs. From what Kirabaros tells me, there seems to be some disagreement between some members and Avalon.”

The color change on Carth spoke volumes as well as the silence. Revan noticed it and asked, “Do you know what’s going on Carth?”

Michaela could tell Carth didn’t want to say anything and concluded that it must be bad for him to be so uncomfortable. She turned her head down slightly, lowered her eyes and stared at her cup. She said softly, “It has something to do with the reason my husband went to Coruscant, doesn’t it?”

It wasn’t accusatory at all. Carth felt compelled to answer. He tried to say it as best as he could though tact was not one of his strong points. “Yes. The reason they wanted him to come was because of…Revan.” Revan flinched slightly but maintained the posture of listening. Michaela kept her eyes lowered in the traditional manner of showing respect. Carth continued, “Apparently, there are still a few systems that demand that Revan answer for those crimes committed when she was the Dark Lord. They figured that Kirabaros would know where she was staying and tell them.”

“He won’t tell them,” Michaela said quietly.

“He could face judgment himself,” Carth replied. He hated telling them both this hash truth and he desperately wanted to kick himself for doing it.

“He won’t,” Michaela repeated again more firmly. She raised her eyes to look at them both. “He can’t because he will say that you have sought refuge here. When he says that, the government will not turn you over.”

“Why would he say that?” Revan was flabbergasted. Kirabaros was a lot of things but never one to be so reckless. “I never asked for refuge when I came here.”

“It doesn’t matter. Once he says that, it’s official. At least to Avalon and the people will uphold their duty. It’s part of the laws that have been in place long before the Republic came into being. Why do you think there are so many Jedi in this system?”

Carth and Revan looked at Michaela who looked at them with an inquisitive look. It masked her fear well. She knew that her husband faced a great risk but the things he did, he did it for his family. She had never met a man who would selflessly give of himself, ignoring pride, to help those that mattered most. Revan couldn’t see these thoughts but she guessed at them. She broke the silence, “I see.” Changing the subject she continued, “Well we mustn’t think of these sad thoughts on this day of all days. Let us go see what the children are doing before we find ourselves in a bigger mess.”

Michaela agreed and sent a silent thanks through the eyes. It is said that Avalonian women never voiced their feelings but rather hid them behind a mask. It gave forth the image of strength and courage but it was how they guarded their hearts from the various pains of life. Spending four years with the Avalonians, Revan grew to understand to a degree the ways of the women, especially the Handmaidens and she in turn adapted, especially when Carth was away with the fleet. The three of them walked in a companionable silence towards the nursery area. They were stopped short when HK-47 came stomping, if it could be called stomping, out and said, “Statement: The little meatbags have run amok. Shall I dispose of them master?”

Michaela was snickering at HK who had a bow tie tied to his neck and had what looked like new appendages sticking off of him. She said, “HK what’s the matter? I thought you liked torture.”

“Answer: I do but only when I get to torture the meatbags. This is degrading. Appeasement: Master please make the meatbags stop!”

Taking it no longer Michaela called in a semi stern voice while Carth and Revan were snickering, “Tulre.”

Obediently he came followed by Lilah who was holding a new toy, one obviously built by Tulre. He said, “HK threatened to lock us in the closet so we taught him a lesson.”

“Teach him lesson,” Lilah echoed with a smile, her little brown eyes twinkling.

“Appeasement: Please master. Stop this. It’s degrading.”

Laughter rang out as everyone prepared for the festival in the evening.

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