Sorry for the wait. I have one rule that I follow: I don't post the next chapter unless there is a chapter between the one I post and the one I am working on. I have been busy and I have had writer's block but now I am good. Here is the next chapter. It is a break inthe story to address problems within the core worlds.
Coruscant was full of bustle as it normally was; the air traffic was nonstop. Few people had time or the patience to appreciate the morning. This morning was no exception as the senators filed in, some sleepily, to their places. Ever since that incident where Kirabaros said that Avalon wouldn’t give up Revan to no one, there have been a lot of sessions, some behind the doors to demand why or a showing of Kirabaros to explain. Senator Amstar maintained an expression of calm that would have been worthy of the Jedi as she walked in flanked by Caelos and Rowan along with Cora to her spot.
Caelos was nervous since this was his first assignment alone, well, at least one of high priority. After the incident at the landing platform, his friend and mentor, Kirabaros had ordered a sweep of the senator’s quarters and checked the security system himself. He left Caelos to reassure the senator and to make sure no unauthorized personnel entered. Lucky for him, no more attempts on the senator had been made but that didn’t that he had to stop being wary of his surroundings. Often he looked to Rowan for advice when he couldn’t find an answer.
The old warrior impressed him to no end. Rowan had met Kirabaros when he led the daring rescue mission for the Lady Governor. Caelos was completing his training at the time but he had kept tabs on the progress of the war. That was how he found out that Jacen had fallen into the river and died and Kirabaros was born. Rowan was more of a conservative warrior, preferring to play it safe in terms of tactics and didn’t take any unnecessary risks. Rowan was the aide to Darius when they pushed the Rashikian line back and they retrieved Lady Mara from the Garanga compound. Rowan lent a steadying presence to the whole scene as they took their respective seats. It remained long after the chancellor called the senate to order.
Senator Amstar practiced the meditative breathing that she had learned from her people as the chancellor called her forward. She maintained a stoic look that hid her emotions and thoughts well. It would become a look that would annoy all kinds of sentients that encountered Avalonians in the future for it had the maddeningly quality of appearing like a statue, impassive and cold looking. She stood tall and straight as a ramrod as she addressed the chancellor and the senate, “Members of the Republic, I understand that we have come here today to resolve the issue brought forth by one of Avalon’s honored warriors.”
“We want to know if Avalon will make do on her threat against anyone who tries to take Revan by force?” a voice interrupted.
Serena Amstar closed her eyes and reopened slowly after taking a breath. Why did you even say that Kirabaros? she thought as she said, “It is among our ancient laws that to whomever seeks refuge of any kind that they be protected. We have honored that law for centuries. It is strictly protection.”
“If it is protection, then why does Avalon refuse to admit they know where the Jedi Revan is?” the questioner asked again.
“I have to say that I do not possess the knowledge of Revan’s location.” Serena was growing weary of the whole gist of this. She remembered Kirabaros’ warning that they wouldn’t stop until they had Revan. As much as she didn’t want to believe it, she saw that there were many senators, mostly those from the Outer Rim, that wanted Revan tried for her crimes. She swallowed her sorrow that people still believed that the sweet woman who was a mother of a beautiful little girl was a monster that went on a conquest to conquer the galaxy.
“And what of Kirabaros? He led your people in the last war. Surely he must know,” a different voice sounded. It was getting difficult to tell who was questioning as the senators refused to move their booth.
“Kirabaros has returned to our world due to…” Serena began.
“This is outrageous! He has gone to warn her!” the questioner shouted. The statement caused a general cacophony that made it difficult to bring back to order by the chancellor.
Serena had pity on the poor man as he tried to show that the Republic could maintain good relations with the Jedi. She spoke much louder but couldn’t be heard. Instead it took a different voice to make the senators stop, “Must you speak such lies against someone who cannot defend himself?”
Everyone became quiet and all eyes were drawn to the short Jedi that had stood up behind Senator Amstar. He just stood there in the silence not saying anything. He just gazed at the senators, surprised at his own outspokenness and belatedly wondering what Bastila would say to him later. With all eyes on him he said, “Why do you content yourself to accuse others without having evidence presented?”
No one had an answer to the questions Caelos posed so Senator Amstar spoke up as if nothing had happened. She said, “He has gone in order to see if Jedi Revan would be willing to return to Republic space. It is the only way that she can return and she will be under our protection along the way.” Serena gazed intently at the chancellor who gave a slight nod. The rest of the Senate raised more questions that were answered in due time, allowing Caelos to take his seat again unnoticed.
The door to one of the room slammed shut at the Jedi Temple as Caelos walked in followed by Bastila. She asked angrily, “What were you thinking when you spoke out in the Senate?”
“I did what I thought was right and I’d do it again,” Caelos replied as he turned to face an angry Bastila.
“Do you have any idea what you have done by doing that?” Bastila was determined to get him to see what he did wrong. It failed with Kirabaros who was too independent and much like Revan to see fine lines when to him there were none.
“What I don’t understand is how you can let a body politic like them take the good name like Kirabaros and drag it through the dirt without one shred of evidence,” Caelos shot back, his voice rising.
“They were going to drag him into this whether we liked it or not. What you did is possibly damage the relationship that Avalon has with the Republic,” Bastila responded equally heated. Realizing that she was losing her temper, she began to recite the Jedi Code in her mind to calm her down. When she got control of herself she spoke much more calmly, “You may have put forth the idea that Avalon cannot keep tabs on their own people and their actions.”
“We are not weak if that’s what you are saying,” Caelos replied equally calm. He had managed to calm himself when he noticed Bastila doing the same. “We believe one is innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. Besides Kirabaros knows what he is doing. He wouldn’t have gone back if it were other wise.”
Bastila smiled at the youthful face she had met before the liberation of Belos. He was too young to know the necessity of keeping your passions in check especially when those that you know came under the scrutiny of others. She replied, “You have passion and courage but you must understand that there are times when you have to bite back your feelings. You have to bear the insults, the jeering, anything they may say.”
“I see that you have to hide instead of face that what attacks you head on. The way of the Jedi follows the way of pacifism but there are times when you have to fight in order to maintain that delicate balance of the light and dark. If you hide, it only makes you weak in the long run,” Caelos replied honestly. Having been brought up in a culture where battle defines a warrior and the codes of honor dictated the actions of a warrior, it was difficult to contemplate why the Jedi would be slow to act.
Bastila saw that he would not understand. She left him to his own devices after a warning to keep his feelings hidden. She wondered how the boy came to be trained by the Avalonian Jedi when he obviously had little to no control over his personal feelings. She had forgotten that Kirabaros was once just like him but he lost that when he was seven and was tormented.
Caelos waited until Bastila left before sitting on one of the cushions. Sitting in a cross-legged position, he pulled out his communicator and flipped it on. He spoke, “Caelos here. I need to make sure that the new accommodations are in order.”