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Old 09-05-2006, 12:23 PM   #24
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Here's a tender hearted chapter. Yeah I was in the mood to write it.

Chapter 7
“How much further?” The voice sounded slightly whiny over the comm.

T3 beeped an uncomplimentary replied followed by an ETA. This caused Kirabaros to chuckle.

“Hey! I didn’t call you any names you walking tin can!”

“Hey stop it you two! I can’t tune out your emotions with you screaming like that,” Kirabaros smirked as the fighters came out of hyperspace.

“Yeah, yeah I remember. You’re the Mental Jedi. You see things with your all seeing mysterious eye,” Atton replied in a sarcastic drawl that made Kirabaros chuckle.

“Don’t make me regret bringing you back. You’ve caused me no end of trouble that it’s amazing that I am still alive.”

“Hey. If I recall correctly you almost did die on us but you’re stubborn like a mynock chewin’ on power cables. If it weren’t for that stubbornness, Morgan wouldn’t be safe along with Tulre and Lilah.” Atton had softened his voice to one that was grateful.

“Hey, none of that. I need a scoundrel, not a sentimental fool. Shape up or I’ll have to tell HK to call you a Fool Meatbag again,” Kirabaros replied with some good humor. “We’re approaching Avalon, ETA three minutes.”

“Confirmed,” Atton replied, “You better not or I’ll put you in stasis when we touch down.”

“Oh ouch,” Kirabaros replied sarcastically, “That’s very Atton.”

“Just you wait,” came the good-humored response.

“Sure, promises,” and Kirabaros directed his fighter to the bay at the Academy in the mountains. Atton followed behind him, giving enough room for adjustment. They were heading home.

“Yes, that is how things went while we were in session, Master Karas. He said it but I know that she never did. If the governors found out…”

“I know Senator Amstar,” Master Karas Lightstar spoke to the holoimage of the Avalonian senator. She had contacted him after Kirabaros had left to tell the Master of the Academy, mostly out of concern for the Jedi returning. Master Karas hadn’t expected the call but treated it like everything else, as if it were a social call. “If they found out, he could be brought before the councils and be deemed an Outcast,” he finished the thought rather sad but kept a straight face.

“He has his reasons. Perhaps he will tell you before he decides to act,” the senator suggested.

“He might. It has been two years since the end of the war and yet I still remember the strategies he used. This latest action is like those strategies, preposterous and yet with a hidden purpose.” Karas had sounded thoughtful. It wouldn’t be that far off and things did seem out of place lately. So many questions yet few or no answers.

“I hope the governors and the Republic don’t mistake this as an action of the Sith. The secrets and his manner in executing his plans are like those of the Sith.” It was an unspoken truth that many of the decisions and actions taken by Kirabaros treaded dangerously close to those methods used by the Sith. If the old masters of Coruscant were still alive, they probably would have had heart attacks. Amstar couldn’t help but worry since he risked his life to accompany her back to Coruscant.

“They know him by what he has done. We have to worry about the now and what he will do. I received word that he is heading here. He will tell me or he won’t and I have to respect that,” Karas replied with a straight face and a firm, business like voice.

“Yes, I suppose you are correct. I will leave you to your devices Master Jedi.”

“Always a pleasure milady.” The transmission ended. Karas stood for a few seconds looking at. He then left the room to walk to the hangar bay operations room.

Once in the control room, he received word that two fighters were approaching, one Avalonian and one Republic. The scoundrel returns. Maybe Kirabaros can convince him to stay with the boy, Karas thought before saying to the padawan, “Bring the boy here. I suspect that there will be some shouts of joy.”

“Approach vectors are loaded and they are cleared for docking,” a controller said.

Master Karas nodded and walked down to the bay to go and greet his friend and fellow warrior. He was met by the padawan he had sent carrying a little three-year-old boy with hazel eyes and a light brown head of hair that tended to stick up in all directions. Master Karas accepted the boy and sent the padawan on his way. The little boy asked, “He’s coming?”

Softly the battle-hardened master replied, “Yes. He’s here to see you.”

“Don’t want him to leave,” the little boy pounded on the master’s shoulders.

“Don’t worry about that,” the master soothed as he walked to the main door. He loves you so. He only wants to keep you safe little one.

The fighters approached the docking bay. Kirabaros landed first with a grace, if that were even possible. He sighed as he powered down, It’s good to be home. Aloud he said, “Alright Atton. Your turn and try not to crash. T3’s not going to help you fix it this time.”

“Hey! I flew the Ebon Hawk pretty good during that space fight two years ago.”

“Right. After you hit every shot they fired at you.”

“You had to bring that up huh?”

Kirabaros didn’t have to answer for Atton brought down his fighter to sit next to the Avalonian fighter. Kirabaros couldn’t fault Atton on that landing, rather he couldn’t fault the pilot’s flying at all. He just attributed Atton’s high tendency to crash as an anomaly. When he had said that to Atton some time after he first came to Avalon, Mira laughed at that and said that Atton would crash anything with a hyperdrive. If I had thought it out better then…no don’t think about that, Kirabaros thought back to the fateful battle that Mira had died in. Don’t think about it. He has to be strong for Morgan. He got out of his fighter and popped the hatch for T3. As soon as Atton jumped out of his fighter, Kirabaros said, “Hey no crash! We need to celebrate but no juma.” He smirked at Atton.

“Maybe a game of Pazaak where you don’t cheat,” Atton countered.

“My dear Atton,” Kirabaros replied diplomatically, “Weren’t you the one who told me that cheating was synonymous with Pazaak?”

Atton looked stunned that he had been bitten by his own retort. He was saved from having to counter the remark when the door to the main enclave opened. His eyes were drawn to the boy that the master was holding. He watched with a look of tenderness and nervousness as the master approached him. The nervousness disappeared when the master held the boy out to him. He said to the boy, “Hey kiddo.”

The little boy looked scared that if he touched the man in front of him, he would go away and leave him behind. He asked, “Are you going away again?”

Kirabaros felt sorry for Atton in that he had to answer that question. He turned away to not hear the response and motioned for T3 to follow him out of the bay. Atton replied, “I’m here for you now.”

The little boy reached out to grab Atton. Atton responded by hugging the boy close with affection that no one would have expected the former scoundrel to have. The little boy said with a slight sob, “Don’t leave me ‘gain Papa.”

“I’m always here for you Morgan,” Atton replied as the boy hugged him tighter.

Karas had moved away after handing little Morgan over to his father to catch up with Kirabaros who was just outside the door. He greeted Kirabaros with a warrior handshake by grasping the wrist while Kirabaros did the same. They gave each other a slight nod of acknowledgement and released each other’s wrist. Karas spoke first, “I hope you can convince the boy’s father to stay. He is all that he has left now.”

“Atton is doing what he thinks is right, like me. Like any parent who wants to protect their children,” Kirabaros replied thoughtfully.

“Morgan cannot be subject to the attention and abandonment. He’s just a child and he needs a steady influence,” Karas countered.

“Well that is a little difficult Karas,” Kirabaros replied with a slight rise. “ I know it’s my fault and I live with it even though I wasn’t there.”

“Stop it. I know what happened too. We all live with choices we regret but now you have to stay the course,” Karas replied firmly. It was then that Atton and Morgan joined them with a slight smile and yet seemed to have a question reflected in his eyes. Karas swiftly changed the subject, “Senator Amstar contacted me to let you know that you would be returning. Are you sure Caelos can handle security for the senator?”

Kirabaros knew that Master Karas wanted to know why but with little Morgan there, he had to watch it. He replied, “He is capable. Besides, things should cool down a bit.” They headed towards the main hall of the Academy.

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