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Old 10-16-2006, 11:34 AM   #71
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Well finally I was able to finish two chapters and will now post. There is one part that gives towards the mindset of an Avalonian warrior. I took some ideas from the philosophy of the samurai in which their ideals are based on.

Chapter 17
All was quiet on board. Too quiet. It made it seem as if it were a ghost ship. It was a good thing for it was nighttime according to the ship’s clock and almost everyone else was asleep. It didn’t help for the person struggling in his bunk on the portside of the ship. He wriggled in pain as he tried to get himself comfortable but sleep wouldn’t come. His wife was not with him for she was tending to smaller matters and left him in peace. Giving up, he got up slowly, barely wincing from the pain, and started a pacing ritual that would have put the most paranoid of pilots to shame.

He made his way to the cockpit where a familiar sight greeted him. He ran a hand through his blonde tinged hair and sat beside his friend in the copilot seat. He was greeted with a soft, “Can’t sleep?”

Kirabaros gazed at the blue streaks of hyperspace for a moment before saying, “No.”

“You still ache?”

“A bit.” Kirabaros paused before speaking again. He rubbed his left near his abdomen, trying to ease the soreness that didn’t seem to go away after two days and he was too stubborn to ask Revan to use Force Heal on him. He said softly, “Carth, I think someone is out to get me and I feel that this might endanger the mission. I know I made an oath but I might have to break that vow and leave, if only to draw attention away from you guys.”

Carth said nothing but watched his friend as he sat there. He watched him as he rubbed his abdomen and thought about what happened two days ago when they were attacked and the kids were nearly taken. He doubted then the wisdom of keeping the kids close but he didn’t now. He watched Kirabaros nearly tear himself apart these last two days while they were in space heading back towards the Republic. They had left immediately after a simple bandage job, insisted by a grimacing Kirabaros. Sitting there now, he saw that the worrying was getting to him and he looked…old.

“I know I looked something the kath hound dragged in,” Kirabaros said.

“You haven’t given yourself a break, not even before this mess,” Carth replied. “It shows.”

“Well, call me stupid if you like, but you, Revan, Lilah, well you are the family I never had. Remember when I told you about when my father died?” Kirabaros had stopped rubbing the tender spot and turned to gaze at Carth.

“Yeah but does that mean you don’t have to share the burden of looking after my wife and daughter? I mean I can do that too. It’s supposed to be my job,” Carth pointed out gently.

“I know but I don’t want to worry her too much. The less anyone knows save for you and Atton…”

“Better if we don’t know everything just to keep one step ahead. I remember playing dejarik with you. You think of the future,” Carth interrupted with an understanding.

Kirabaros paused. It had never occurred to him before that Carth would understand. Everyone, even Revan at times, would say he was too paranoid and disliked being left out of the loop. It puzzled him but then he realized that Carth was, in a way, giving his permission to do what he could to protect his family. He leaned back in the seat and stared straight ahead. He closed his eyes and slowly opened them again and said, “You still haven’t given your opinion on my leaving.”

“Do I have to? I know that you do what you think is right. Perhaps that’s why Revan respects you. You don’t back down but you aren’t stupid about your fights.” Carth ran his right hand through his hair. “You know how stubborn I am but to tell you the truth: when Jolee first told me about you on Citadel, I had this feeling that you had all the answers. When I met you, you gave me hope and eventually reunited me with my wife. For that I am grateful. If anyone owes anyone, it’s me.”

“I…I don’t know what say,” Kirabaros replied. He had sensed the sorrow, the pain of loss; that was what drew him to people in the first place long ago. He was attracted to pain and wondered briefly if he made things difficult to make it happen and wondered why. It disconcerted him and he wanted to get away but he was too polite to just get up and walk away without preamble.

“Thank you would be nice,” Carth replied with a grin. “Besides you do what you have to and we’ll help whenever and wherever we can. Now you might want to try to go to sleep. I doubt you want to pilot this thing in three hours running on empty.”

Kirabaros nodded and padded softly out of the cockpit. It was an amazing feat seeing as no one could be that quiet even without their boots on. When he got to the common room, instead of going back to his quarters, he turns toward the starboard to where he felt his feelings of tenderness rising up.

From the doorway, he could make out three distinct shapes in the dark. They were shapeless gray mounds to the naked eye but they each had their own aura. Picking out his son’s he walked towards him and gazed at the sleeping figure. Gently he brushed the loose strands of hair and smiled when they popped back into place. Aside from his wife, nothing meant more to him than his son. Children in general had the same effect on him. He had a lot of love to give and it would often be given to children not his own. As he watched his son sleep, he made a decision. He would stay by Revan’s side to ensure that no harm came to her. As for the children, he had something else in mind. With a last look, he placed a well-placed kiss on his son’s cheek and wished him good night. He made sure the other two were comfortable before he left to go back to sleep.

Padding softly back to his quarters after leaving the children asleep and guarded by HK and Kapu, who insisted on coming with them. He came to find Michaela asleep on the narrow bunk. Apparently she had gone back to bed after checking on the kids. Pulling off his shirt, Kirabaros slid into the bed next to her and just gazed at her with an intense look. It was as if he were searching for something before sleep overtook him and he fell asleep. Tomorrow his plan would begin to go into play. Tomorrow, the game was on and it would prove to be a very long game.

It was raining on Coruscant and it was night. It was calm and yet had a sense of foreboding to it. It could reveal intentions and it could hide them. The predator could strike or it would wait. That was how Rowan viewed the entire scene before him as he stood waiting for the arrival of his charges. Twenty years of being hardened to battle served him well when he went to strange places. As far as he knew, the first person to leave Avalon and come to this place was none other than Kirabaros.

He was waiting in the rain and watched as it gave a sort of cleansing to the whole planet, at least the side he was on. His posture betrayed no doubts, if any, and he refused to move from his spot. Trained for years with the Bushida warriors, the elites, he developed a great tolerance for discomfort and strove to teach that discipline to the new and younger warriors. With Caelos, he was succeeding. Though the boy was a Jedi, he was Avalonian. A good Avalonian must learn all that is expected of him including combat and stealth. It was important also to be balanced with those of a non-violent manner so he encouraged the reading of poetry from the great artists. A good warrior had to be in balance or he was doomed to fail in his missions.

Standing there, Rowan reflected on his time spent on the chaotic planet. He hated the planet and equaled it to being a pile of Bantha poodoo. There was too much chaos and inner harmony did not seem to exist. He wondered how the Jedi could stand it there being that there seemed to be no balance. It was a mystery to him and one he couldn’t understand. With the rain however, it seemed to wash away the grime, the imbalance, everything that made the planet a veritable hell and seemed to give a glimmer of hope. In a way Coruscant was like the tale of the floating lantern. Even though there were horrible things that happened like corruption, greed, everything that brought the worst out of sentients, the floating lantern stayed afloat to guide the lost souls back to harmony if they chose to take it otherwise it became a ship at sea.

Rowan was thinking of these lessons and stories when he received a beep on his comm. He responded to the call only to receive instructions in Avalonian or rather one of the dialects. He responded in the same language and pulled his cloak tighter around him. He was clearly drenched but he had his duty. If one thing his family was noted for, it was their fierce loyalty to duty and honor. Catching a glimpse of what he was waiting for, he lit a glow stick and waved it as if in the manner of a flight crew preparing a fighter for takeoff. He watched his surroundings as a ship, clearly of Avalonian design, made its way to the platform that he was standing on. He readied himself for any thing out of the ordinary for that was what a Bushida warrior did. They were always ready for whatever danger that that may come across their way. The way of the battle was their life. This he held on to as the ship landed and the ramp lowered to let out his charges.

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