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Old 09-10-2006, 12:15 PM   #42
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Chapter 11
“So Tulre told you that Kirabaros would be coming here?” Revan asked Michaela rather interested. They were sitting out in the gardens having tea and watching the children play with Carth and Dustil, who at the moment were trying to catch them in a game of tag.

Michaela chuckled at what she was seeing. She answered, “Yes. His abilities have manifested at an early age and he never ceases to amaze me. I sense something similar happens between you and your daughter.” She gave a sly grin that was friendly.

Revan looked at her friend through her honey colored eyes and noticed the concern hidden behind the goodwill. It wasn’t easy raising Force sensitive children, let alone powerful ones. Thank the maker for inner strengths, Revan thought to herself. She couldn’t deny it but Lilah had unique abilities too and if trained as a Jedi, she would be a powerful one at best. Keeping that in mind, she asked Michaela, “Do you plan on having the Jedi take him for training?”

“No.” The answer was abrupt and Michaela knew it. She explained softly, “He has his father to teach him and I don’t believe in the forbidden relations for a Jedi. I can see you don’t either.”

“Well that’s one thing we can agree on.” Revan laughed and Michaela joined her over the shared thought. She then said, “Still if they have great abilities and at the rate Tulre’s is manifesting, it can only be a matter of time before any remnants of the Sith or the Rashikians get wind of it and try to take them.”

“I have thought the same thing as well,” Michaela replied after taking a sip of tea. She held the cup in the palms of her hands, resting them on her lap. “Kirabaros can only do so much and next to me and you, the children are his treasure. That is his one weakness. It shames me to admit it but he knows this as well.”

“Then maybe we should make arrangements just in case something happens. Make some place that a person could get ‘lost’ in,” Revan said quietly.

“He would think of something like that but if anything, I learned that plans have to be like playing dejarik. You have to think three to four, even five moves ahead. I don’t think he considered a backup,” Michaela replied.

“What do you suggest?”

“HK can guard them, all three of them. One can hide in the Outer Rim but there are other places as well, like where the power of the Force can mask individuals.”

“I see what you are saying but I think it would be best suited if we discussed it when others aren’t here,” Revan advised.

“Except for Dustil of course,” Michaela replied with a knowing smile.

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“I know that you two have been getting along better since Lilah was born, even before that. He asked about your health when you were getting along in months. I have a feeling my husband had something to do with it but he isn’t talking and I know he has you blocked,” Michaela replied still smiling.

“Alright. Yes,” Revan agreed with a slight frown, “He has been opening up more and we have talked. Though I suspect that Lilah has him wrapped around her finger just like her father.”

“No, it was just seeing the three of you. I saw him as he watched you when Carth came home.”

Their conversation was interrupted when Tulre came streaking by very fast holding something in his hand. He was waving it around like a trophy and smiling a big smile. Behind him was Dustil trying to catch him. He was shouting, “Hey! Give that back!” Even further behind was Carth carrying his daughter on his shoulders and he had an amused smile on his face. She was holding something else and giggling uncontrollably.

Dustil stopped in front of the two women sitting by the table to breath a bit. Tulre was still laughing and begging Dustil to catch him if he could. Dustil heaved a sigh in frustration when he noticed the two women smirking at him. He said, “Hello Michaela, Revan. Is there any more tea?” He plopped down in one of the chairs near the table.

Revan just laughed and Michaela made to pour some tea. She said knowingly, “You know if you let him get away from you, you’ll never see whatever it is again until he ‘fixes’ it for you.” She looked up in time to see Lilah hide the object in her tunic and guessed that Tulre had something else in mind.

“It’s no use if I can’t catch him,” Dustil was still trying to breathe as Carth sat down and put Lilah on the ground. She scampered over to her mother who picked her up and placed her in her lap.

“You’ve had some training in the Force. Use it,” Michaela replied as if it were the fairly obvious answer and Dustil missed it.

“I try not to touch the stuff,” Dustil replied. The response was in good humor but there was a hint of the reason why: he was afraid to lash out in anger. It was an unspoken thing amongst the two families but Kirabaros and Michaela couldn’t completely understand why.

“You won’t hurt him. In fact I think he might enjoy a challenge,” Michaela replied with a look of understanding. She then smiled and said, “Besides I think he has different plans for your communicator besides ‘fixing’ it.”

“You know something we don’t?” Carth asked.

“Let’s just say this is more than a ‘catch me if you can’ game,” Michaela replied still smiling. Revan caught the hint and smiled and Lilah began to giggle.

Carth and Dustil were looking at the three across from them. They were curious until a strange sound emitted nearby. There was static but gradually receded into what sounding like someone breathing into a comm. It was heavy and sounded labored. Then a deep voice sounded, “I am the Great Spirit Shang-Li. I have come to claim what is mine.”

Revan and Michaela started having a giggling fit and Lilah was bouncing up and down getting excited. Carth and Dustil were annoyed and began to call out, “Tulre, that’s enough. Come out now.”

“He won’t be coming out. He is my new apprentice,” the deep voice sounded. The breathing was consistent and it was creepy.

“This isn’t a game. I want my comm back,” Dustil stood to try and look for where Tulre may be hiding. Carth just sat and shook his head while Revan and Michaela got their giggling fit under control.

“I am closer than you think.” The voice again sounded but it was closer.

Carth suspected something and asked Dustil to call out again. When they received a response, his suspicion was confirmed. He reached for Lilah who promptly slid over to him. Once she was on his lap, she pulled out of her tunic what looked like a comm. She smiled and said, “Tulre funny. Has bigger surprise.”

At that a tall figure clothed in black emerged. It actually was Tulre sitting on top of HK-47 but you couldn’t tell since the droid’s eyes blinked from under the hood. When the figure got close enough, Tulre pulled it off and just sat there smiling. He said, “You know cousin, you have to have more fun.” He tossed back Dustil’s comm.

By this time, Lilah wriggled out of her father’s grasp and raced to the droid who was bellowing, “Placating Statement: Master, the little meatbag has subjected me to another humiliation. Query: Might I suggest some form of punishment, preferably dismemberment?”

Tulre gave the droid’s head a slight pat and replied in a fair imitation, “Statement: You whine too much. Query: Didn’t I at least threaten to install a pacifist module if you did not comply?”

“Whine too much,” Lilah added.

The adults were just watching amused. Revan liked her assassin droid but there were times the droid’s homicidal tendencies needed to be curbed. She was glad that Tulre was like his father, had a knack for fixing things. Carth just liked having the droid humiliated after all those times on board the Ebon Hawk and Dustil was just glad to have his communicator back. HK responded to the whole scene by replying, “Answer: Indeed, the little meatbag did. He also stated that if I complied he could bring my assassination protocols online. Supplication: It would seem that the little meatbag was attempting some form of bribery.”

Tulre had jumped down from HK and stood next to the droid and waited for the punishment that was to come. Revan said, “Well HK, I think you have been had yet again though I am surprised that Tulre thinks he could bring protocols online that have been deemed illegal.”

“But Aunt Reva, it’s easy. Besides Dada will want to make use of his services eventually. He’ll tell you,” Tulre said. “With the voice mods I did to the communicator, it could make HK sound more mean and scary.”

Missing the use of that, Revan and the others caught on the part where Tulre said that Kirabaros would want to use the droid. HK made his opinion know, “Objection: Master, I am loathed to have the Handsome Meatbag touch me in a similar manner that the little meatbag. It makes me wish to press a blaster pistol to my behavior core and pull the trigger.”

“Stop it HK,” Revan replied. To Tulre she asked, “How to you know that?”

Tulre replied, “He’ll tell you when he comes.”

“And when is that?”

“He’s coming,” Tulre turned to face the north. He pointed his finger just as three figures came over the hills, “From over there.”

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