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Old 09-03-2006, 12:55 PM   #17
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Chapter 5
The festival was lively with the dances and entertainment to welcome the coming of spring. The festival was called the Festival of New Beginnings and was the highlight of all Avalonians. The maiko, or the male artists, were telling the stories of old that resulted in new beginnings, the newest one being of how Kirabaros defeated the Blood King. It was a pleasant atmosphere to watch.

Revan and Carth were walking arm in arm with Michaela beside them. They were watching their children running to go watch a dance followed by Dustil who had arrived that evening. Behind them was HK still muttering about the indignities he had suffered. At least they managed to convince Tulre to remove the appendages. The bow was insisted upon by Lilah who said that he looks pretty. After telling HK to stop with the comments for the umpteenth time, HK became silent except to only ask if he could blast a meatbag for compensation.

The dance finished and the announcement was made for the lead number. First there was a pause to allow the musicians and artists a break. With the children safely with Dustil and HK, Michaela continued the discussion that had been left at tea. She said, “I apologize if my comments on my husband’s actions were what you call a bombshell.”

Carth replied, “There is no need. I know how he feels about his family because I feel the same. He would do anything for us to protect us, especially the kids.”

“That is true,” Revan agreed. She frowned slightly and added, “Still I can’t help but wonder why the Senate would think he knows anything about me.”

“Perhaps it is because someone bears a grudge against him and is working with someone who bears a grudge against you,” Michaela replied. Little did she know how right she was. “But I worry that his protection would cost him. Because you did not say it directly, he could be dishonored for it.”

“I can’t let him do that because of me. It is time I face those that were affected by my crimes even though I cannot remember them all,” Revan replied in her determined voice. She had made up her mind to speak to Kirabaros when he returned for Carth would tie her to a chair with a neural restraint to keep her from going to him, if only to keep her safe.

“He made his choice Manzibique. I doubt he would want you to undermine his plan,” Michaela replied. She had used Revan’s Mikkades name to invoke the sense of honor and duty.

Revan, knowing Michaela’s intention merely nodded. As much as she hated to see those she cared about suffering, she would have to play along with this for now. There was no time for her to say a reply for the lights were setting for the lead number.

The stage was a long and narrow platform but there was plenty of room for movement. First stepped out two maiko with distinct katana blades drawn. They assumed their positions, facing opposite of each other. The music began to play, a rather high and shrill sound from a lute accompanied by drums. Then emerged what everyone waited for: out came a female artist bearing a beautiful blade. Her hair was done in an easy bun with three separate tresses of hair running down her back. She wore a black crested kimono, but not like those of the elegant women. It looked more like that which the male Bushida warriors wore, allowing for easy movement. The crowd was in awe and some of the people gave a slight bow for the woman.

Seeing that Carth and Revan were confused at the attention given to the woman, Michaela decided to explain. Whispering, so as not to interrupt, she said, “Her name is Mamesa. She is what they call a geima, the highest honor of the artisans. They are extremely rare for they are skilled in dance and the art of conversation, like a geisha but they are like maiko in that they dance with the blade. That is the general knowledge. To understand completely, you basically have to live their lives.”

Revan was interested and nodded. She whispered back, “Tell me, why do they show Mamesa such respect?”

Michaela whispered her reply, “She is considered among the greatest of the geima having mastered the most difficult of dances. She was chosen for her talent for this dance. I believe it is one of the battles you fought while Kirabaros was away during the war.”

Nothing more was said as the music progressed and the dance continued. The children were watching intently not knowing that they would one day get to meet one of these elegant people during a desperate time in their life.

Coruscant was lovely at night and also quiet lively with the sounds of the air traffic and those who lived for the night. Amidst the seemingly chaos, the Jedi Temple was quiet and serene though there were some mounted tensions coming from within. Inside Kirabaros was arguing with Bastila. “I really don’t care Bastila if I am supposed to be paraded around like a Bantha with a pink bow. I am not doing it.”

“The Senate requested that you make appearances to the people of the Republic. After all you…”

“Save it. I am not doing it. I know that there is a hidden agenda to bring back Revan and I have to make sure that when she comes, it will be on my terms, not theirs.” Kirabaros began to take long strides towards the hangar bay area where his fighter was. He was going back, on the advice from Jolee, to explain the situation to Revan and make arrangements for her return. He knew that she would want to but he had a feeling that there was a lot involved and he wasn’t taking any chances.

Even though she respected him, Bastila had given up trying to understand Avalonians and their way of life, especially that of the Jedi from there. She didn’t voice it but she was appalled that he and Revan would completely disavow the tenet of the Jedi Code that forbids personal relationships. During the war with the Blood King, she thought that various decisions made by Kirabaros were governed more by personal feelings than reason and thought that they would have ended in disaster. She completely overlooked the fact that he was very calculating in important decisions even when it involved people that he cared for. She remained silent and was fuming, trying to keep it under control as she was striving to keep up.

Kirabaros could sense her emotions a mile away and he was amused yet feeling low. He didn’t want to start a fight with Bastila after all that he had heard of her exploits during the Jedi Civil War but he was on alert. That surge of hatred that he had sensed during the session of congress had him on edge. When he was sitting there, he had been drawn back to his memories as a child being tormented by the Judge and to his first confrontation with the Blood King. It was a personal hatred and it had been allowed to fester for a long time. He had told Jolee after the session had ended and they conspired on a course of action. Trying to mend the rift he stopped abruptly in front of the door to the bay and said softly, “You wouldn’t put the children at risk would you?”

Bastila was stunned by the question. She took a moment to collect her thoughts before replying with another question, “What do the children have to do with this?”

“They will be vulnerable unless I do something now,” came the answer. Kirabaros stood facing the door not daring to look at Bastila’s face. He played his trump card, one he used as a last resort, for he knew that the Jedi valued all life and one that meant the most to him.

Bastila said nothing but instead just touched his shoulder gently. As much as she disapproved of relationships, she couldn’t help but love the children, especially Tulre even though he went out of his way to tease her. Regaining her voice, she said, “Fine.” Then as an aside, “That was not a nice trick playing that card.”

“Part of my charm,” Kirabaros replied softly. He then pressed the panel to open the door. In a normal tone, he continued, “By the way, Atton will be coming too. I think he’s earned it.” He then stepped into the hangar leaving Bastila shaking her head at him as she closed the doors.

T3 was waiting by the fighter checking all systems. When Kirabaros approached the fighter, T3 let out a beep and then twittered a string of beeps and boops. Kirabaros just smiled at the little astromech and replied, “Alright, alright T3. We’ll be going soon. We just have to wait a few more minutes.”

Beep dwoooo

“Well, Atton’s coming too and no I won’t let him try to turn you into a molten scrap pile. Besides I think that’s his way of saying he likes you.” Kirabaros looked at the droid with a smirk.

Dweep boop dwoooop

“Stop that. He’s not that bad.” The hangar doors opened and Kirabaros looked to see a familiar face. He glanced at T3 and said, “You better pop yourself in. We’ll be going soon.”

T3 beeped his reply along with a few choice words for Atton that left Kirabaros smiling as he walked to greet a friend.

Atton Rand, former scoundrel and Jedi Knight, though his dress seemed to indicate that he was his former profession, stood in front of a Jedi and a friend. He gave a cocky grin and asked, “So tell me, what did the tin can over there say about me?”

Grinning back, Kirabaros replied, “You don’t want to know.” Then changing the subject, “Ready?”

“Yep. I’m kind of glad that you demanded that I come, otherwise I would have stolen a ship for kicks and left myself.” Atton started to walk towards the fighter that was to be his with Kirabaros beside him.

“I know that you have been waiting to see him. It’s been a month. Personally I would have thought you would have taken him with you, given the circumstances.”

“I can’t think of any place safer than Avalon where to keep Morgan and he likes it there, like his mother.”

There was an awkward pause between the two Jedi until Kirabaros replied, “Well I am sure that he will be happy to see his father,” and they took off in their fighters.

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