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Old 11-13-2006, 03:58 PM   #86
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Here is the next chapter. For some reason I think my creative genius is getting out of hand. Just to let you know, I will do a time leap in a later chapter. I haven't decided yet why but it has to do with eventual escapes and tensions and near war breaking out, blah, blah. The good guys will win of course, just not the way you think. Hint hint for you Pottsie since you are dying with anticipation and me waving my manuscript over your head.

Chapter 21
Caelos was pacing throughout Senator Amstar’s apartment feeling ill at ease. He would stop often to watch Dustil play with his sister in a game or some other and the sight would make him feel a little better. He had told Kirabaros to be on his guard because of a bad feeling and that there had been suspicious activity at some of the cantinas. The Jedi Council didn’t seem concerned but that was only because they hid their feelings well like Kirabaros. Jolee was the only one though who made the attempt to reassure him. Right now his thoughts were consumed with his friend Mission who was out meeting with Michaela, a job that he didn’t like her doing but he consoled himself with the knowledge that Mission knew what she was doing. He was brought out of his musings when a little hand tugged on his robes. Looking down, he saw Lilah holding onto his robes and asking, “When Momma come home?”

He was saved from answering when Dustil came over and picked her up and answered for him, “She’ll be back. She has to go talk to all the Senators.” There was no mistaking the look of affection in Dustil’s eyes for his younger sister. It was obvious that Lilah had that way of twisting even the crustiest of men around her little finger.

Caelos added, “Your Papa will bring her back and then we can all go home. How about you go play with the holodisc that Kirabaros gave you?”

Agreeing happily, Lilah wriggled out of Dustil’s grasp and tottered to go play minding her mother’s instruction to stay near HK. HK for his part was in a powered down mode but the new sensors that Kirabaros installed would alert him to any threat and he would respond instantly. Watching her play Caelos whispered to Dustil, “ I have a bad feeling about this.”

“About what?”

Caelos’ answer was cut off when the security alarms went off. Caelos had his lightsaber in hand and crossed towards the security cameras.

Morgan and Tulre were playing a friendly game of pazaak, Republic Senate Rules. T3 was beeping happily and giving out pointers much to Atton’s annoyance. He tried to discourage it since he didn’t want Morgan to start hustling people like he used to. It took Tulre, a four year old, to convince him that they were playing for fun and that it was a good counting game. All that week they played pazaak and alternated it with dejarik, a game that Morgan was really good at for a three year old. The two of them had become fast friends when Morgan was old enough to be played with and even more so now that they got to see each other every day.

The two were playing their game when Atton received a beep from his comm. He recognized it as the alert signal and made swift movements throughout the room. In gentle tones, he told Morgan and Tulre to stop playing and head towards the back room. T3 warbled out a response that was greeted with, “Yeah I know what to do but do you, little trash compactor?”

Tulre and Morgan burst into a fit of giggles at what T3 said. Tulre said, “Nice one T3. I’m sure Uncle Atton would like that one.” He then took Morgan by the hand and they went to the back room with T3 following them. Even though T3 wasn’t a combat type, he had a pretty good defense system for an astromech thanks to Kirabaros. It had become a necessity since Avalon was more of a country bred farm planet and there were all sorts of wildlife that were not tamed that lived there.

Atton allowed himself a slight grin at the boys but then got serious as he said, “Stay there and keep quiet ok?”

“ ‘Kay Papa,” Morgan piped up as Tulre led him to the back room. It was just like the practice that they had been doing the past week. He then turned to Tulre and whispered, “The bad men are coming.”

Tulre whispered back, “ I know. I think they know where we can hide.” They were interrupted by a loud bang and the hum of a lightsaber filled the air. Tulre, feeling more scared than brave pulled Morgan with him and headed towards a door that he had found two days ago.

They were almost there when the door opened revealing a person that they hadn’t seen before who said, “Come with me.”

The windows exploded in a shower of glass at the high rise apartment sending Dustil to grab Lilah who took refuge behind HK’s durasteel body. The psychotic droid cocked his rifle and said, “Ready!”

In an instant, the invaders came through the windows firing their rifles. Caelos had his lightsaber activated and deflected the blaster shots and he pushed everyone towards the outer rooms, sealing the doors. Once inside he said, “That will hold them but not for long. Of course they will come through the front door. Yes this is going to be easy.”

“Observation: It would appear that we are outnumbered. Query: Shall I engage in necessary bloodshed?” HK had his rifle cocked.

Dustil muttered something about a crazy droid while Caelos spoke clearly, “No HK. Initiate protocol 2-2-beta-charlie.”

“Weary Resignation: Of course Jedi Meatbag. I shall indulge in the Handsome Meatbag’s whim. Statement: The Handsome Meatbag mocks my superior assassination technology. I was looking forward to some unadulterated violence,” HK replied. With a deft movement, he pushed Lilah through a door that was well hidden while saying, “Statement: My programming is mocked by having to baby-sit you little meatbag.”

Dustil watched them go with a worried expression. He asked, “Are you sure this is a good idea?”

“Don’t ask me. Kirabaros is the one that programmed him.” The thump on the door distracted them. Caelos unclipped a spare lightsaber and tossed it to Dustil, “Here. Revan told me you were good with one even though you’re not a Jedi.”

Dustil looked at the lightsaber in his hand. He seemed frozen in time as if trying to determine if the thing would bite him. In a strangled voice, he replied, “I can’t.”

“Can’t what?” Caelos asked looking puzzled.

“I can’t use this. I …I …” Dustil was struggling what to say.


Dustil nodded.

Caelos sighed, “Now is not the time.” Looking at Dustil in the eye he continued, “I know that you haven’t touched the Force ever since that Sith academy business. I would feel the same but it’s what you do right now that will make a difference. A Bushida warrior doesn’t run away. He faces each day as if it were his last and he fights with honor.” He put his hand on Dustil’s shoulder in an attempt at reassurance. “Do it for her?”

Dustil slowly nodded and activated the lightsaber just as the doors slid open. Together he and Caelos charged head on.

Tulre looked up at the person who was looking at him and Morgan. He knew that this person wouldn’t hurt him. He wasn’t like the bad men fighting Uncle Atton. Still he wasn’t stupid and didn’t move immediately. He was reassured when a familiar sight stepped into view and said, “Come on sonny. Don’t keep an old man waiting.”

Tulre broke into a grin and would have ran towards Jolee but he was held back by Morgan. Morgan didn’t remember Jolee and he was afraid. Tulre looked at Morgan as if to speak but he didn’t. He just looked at him with a kind look with his green eyes. Morgan gave a slight nod and followed Tulre towards Jolee. T3 beeped and followed them out.

Once outside, they were stopped by more of the attackers who drew blades. It was obvious that they were more likely mercs. Some drew their blasters and began to fire. Jolee drew out his green saber and began to deflect the blast bolts. Tulre and Morgan pressed against the building scared at what was going on. T3 aided the situation by using a droid flamethrower to slow them down. Looking on, the boys had their eyes wide open with one saying , “Please come,” and the other, “Help us.”

It must have worked for Atton burst through the back shutting the door. He didn’t have time to survey the scene as he immediately began to help Jolee and the Jedi that had accompanied him. In the middle of the chaos, the bad men burst through the door, scaring the boys into running. They took off scared through the streets of the sector they were in. Atton noticed them run and was going to go after them when he was hit from behind. All he heard before blacking out, “Forget them get the kids.”

For a droid, HK proved to be a good driver of speeders. It was a good thing since Lilah was firing of questions in between demanding for her mother and father. She even cried for Dustil until HK made a comment, “Statement: Master put me in charge little meatbag but I am under orders to protect you. If had the command I would gladly rip out your vocal chords right now.”

Lilah choked a sob and replied, “Bad droid. No feelings.”

Nothing more was said until they reached the area where the safe house was for the boys. HK didn’t make it however for his photoreceptors spotted the boys running. He directed the speeder towards the boys just before their pursuers came around the corner. The boys were frightened badly but HK whipped out his prized rifle and began firing. Once the boys were in the speeder, HK took off. It wasn’t until they were a distance away that Morgan demanded, “What about my Papa?!”

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