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Old 12-26-2006, 01:07 PM   #141
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Long at last, here is a new chapter for the holidays. This one is where HK makes a rescue with my favorite cryptic meatbag. My aplogies but I used a famous Jedi's quote from ANH and the scene is reminescent of the Leviathan.

Chapter 32
They say that pain is a physical reaction. It can burn, sting, and feel cold, a plethora of sensations. It is a result of an act that harms the body and from that comes healing. Pain indicates healing. A payment of pain for a reward of healing, which is the way of things. A good Bushida warrior knows this and strives to remain emotionless. To show emotion can be interpreted as a sign of weakness. Weakness could be exploited, can be used against you. That is why emotion and thoughts must be guarded. Thoughts are personal and can be violated, that is why you had to protect them.

He thought nothing of this as he drifted in and out through the pain. He struggled to open the door to see the light but they held fast. They were locked, as if telling him that he couldn’t until they were ready to open. A gentle song filled his ears, a soothing song. It was healing in mind and spirit. He then remembered that the body can heal if the mind and spirit are. The music reminded him of that and he submitted himself willingly to its effects. He felt himself floating through the air, as if he were on a cloud. A huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders. Then the doors to the light began to open, revealing the light.

Kirabaros awoke, aware of a pain in his neck and, well, everywhere else. He turned his head just in time to see Draconis withdraw a needle of some sort. He had a smile on his face, one of those dangerous ones that could mean something bad. Kirabaros said nothing but stared at Draconis. For his part, Draconis just smiled. He then spoke mockingly, “Feeling a bit under the weather? Well, what I just gave you will make it all right.” He then stood up and headed towards the door. He paused to say, “I hope you can tell a difference,” and chuckled menacingly as he left.

Kirabaros pondered at the last comment as he looked around. He found that he had been freed and he slowly sat up. He felt like he had been run through a power coupling for every movement brought about a tinge of pain. He brought his hand to rub his neck to find that the Force inhibitor had been removed. He hadn’t noticed its removal during his willing removal from it. He immediately grew suspicious of what Draconis had injected him with. He rubbed the tender spot and wondered what was the substance was that had been injected. He decided not to fuss over it until its effects were made known. Instead he settled down to meditate. He concentrated on centering himself and focusing.

Draconis was heading, with a big grin on his face, towards the bridge when his ship was violently shaken. The grin turned to a frown as he reached for his communicator and demanded what was going on. The response he got was not the one he wanted to hear. With a growl that matched an animal’s he took strong strides towards the bridge.

I’m getting too old for this, Jolee thought as he made his way with HK-47 through the cruiser. They had managed to sneak past the sensors of the cruiser and land in the hangar bay with the help of a stealth technology that the Avalonians installed on the ship he took. Mission was to prepare to take off and Juhani was to guard and make sure nothing happened to the ship. Mission, surprisingly didn’t put up a fight, which was a good thing since HK wanted to immediately start shooting at everything per his new subroutines. Jolee managed to curb them by explaining and demanding that the droid not make a lot of noise. They had gone through the decks towards the prison level, avoiding troopers so as not to set off alarms. When they reached the right wing, Jolee sent the signal to the Avalonian troops that were there to help and begin firing and distract attention.

Jolee watched as Draconis growled and headed towards the elevator to the bridge. Well I can say that those Avalonians surely know how to create a distraction. He breathed a sigh of relief as he beckoned HK to follow him down the hall. There were steel doors on both sides of the corridor, hiding their contents. Jolee stopped to puzzle out which one had him by sensing Kirabaros’ presence.

“Observation: The Handsome Meatbag appears to be in the cell 2187. He is stationary,” HK said while Jolee was reaching out.

“How do you know that you walking bucket of bolts?” Jolee grumbled. He was disturbed that he couldn’t sense Kirabaros through the Force and thought the same thing happened to him as it did to Darius.

“Statement: My photoreceptors were adjusted by some meatbag to pick up infrared signatures.” HK replied.

Jolee said nothing but suspected that Kirabaros may have done more than just ‘fix’ HK before this mess. Instead, he headed towards the cell to find that something was off behind the door. He opened it to find a bedraggled Kirabaros sitting in a cross legged position doing, of all things, meditation. He said nothing but walked in and stood in front of Kirabaros. Up close, he could see that the boy looked like he had been stuffed in an ion engine or something. It worried him as he stood there.

Kirabaros was aware of Jolee when he opened the door. He slowly opened his eyes to find Jolee standing in front of him with a worried expression. He gave a grin and said, “The Old Man came to rescue me.”

“Yes, yes. Jolee Bindo, the crazy old Jedi has come to rescue the foolish Kirabaros,” Jolee replied with a slight smile.

“Who’s the more foolish? The fool or the fool that follows him?” Kirabaros replied standing up and wincing slightly. “In my case, I guess it’s the fool.”

Jolee didn’t miss the wince but didn’t call Kirabaros on it. The boy had enough problems already. Instead he said, “Well we busted you out. Now we need to get back to the hangar bay. Come on. I ain’t getting any younger.”

Kirabaros just smiled and made his way towards the door only to be stopped by HK thrusting his katana and lightsaber at him. The droid merely said, “Statement: These were in the security locker. A meatbag will surely pay for what they have done to you.”

“That’s won’t be necessary yet, HK,” Kirabaros replied, taking his weapons. He clipped them at their rightful places and rubbed his neck. He felt most peculiar but he didn’t say anything. Instead he reached out and reconnected with the Force again, feeling run like a warm current through him. He then looked at Jolee to lead the way out.

Jolee felt the sudden connection and realized that Kirabaros must have purposely have done that. He knew that something was off with the boy ever since he started retraining two years ago. This just merely confirmed it. He waited until Kirabaros was ready before leading the way back to the elevator that led to the hangar bay.

Draconis watched as the Avalonian fighters swooped in an out of range. They were toying with him and it annoyed him. He had recognized this particular squad. They were members of the original squad that Kirabaros had led before when he ventured to and from the Republic, the first in over a thousand years. They were mostly Republic soldiers who still obeyed the Republic but they had an annoying sense of loyalty to Kirabaros. Draconis pondered this as he sent his own men out to chase them down.

The fighters also had some additions of Avalonian fighters. They stayed just barely out of reach, only coming close enough to hit the cruiser. Draconis’ men met the challenge with their own fighters but were frustrated in that the fighters pulled feints left and right, thoroughly confusing them. Draconis’ men got frustrated and began to get careless. Some of them ended up getting blasted into space dust. Some of the Avalonians did as well but they had an objective in mind.

Draconis was thinking of the formations as he was watching. The answer hit him like a lightning bolt: they were going to rescue their Kirabaros. He told the captain to keep firing at the fighters and headed off the bridge. His men knew better than to ask questions and watching him silently leave. Once out of his men’s earshot, Draconis growled. The whole attack was orchestrated as a distraction for an escape. He headed towards the elevator. There was one place he was heading and that would be the hangar.

Mission had the ship ready to go. She had wanted to go but aside from Jolee, she was the only one who could successfully navigate a ship that size. She had Carth to thank for taking the time and teaching her. Even Kirabaros taught her a few things but it was mostly Carth. Her lekku twitched in agitation at the occasional shudder of the cruiser as she clenched the yoke. To ease her anxiousness, she recited parts of the Bushida code that she though sounded pretty. She even sang the song that Kirabaros sang back on Rakata Prime. It was better than yanking on the yoke or whatever. She wondered how Juhani was handling everything.

Juhani looked everything that the perfect and serene Jedi should be. It hid very well her state of anxiousness for she was concerned for Jolee and Kirabaros. Jolee had asked her to man the turrets just in case something should happen. She undertook her duty faithfully and obediently. She wondered how Jolee knew to appeal to the squadron that Kirabaros commanded and where to find them. She remembered when Jolee made the request of her.

Jolee had approached her before leaving the Wookiee village with a serious look on his face. Juhani recognized that face when they both had their premonition before Revan went into the temple. She gave her full attention when he said, “A word.”

It was there that Jolee explained that they would need help. He figured that it would be best to appeal to Kirabaros’ old squadron from the war two years ago. Since then, it grew from the original Republic soldiers to include some of the young Avalonians who flocked to Kirabaros’ leadership. As Jolee said, “Well, I’m too old to be conjuring up distractions. We need to use the squad to that for us.”

“Will it work Jolee?” Juhani couldn’t help but ask.

“I wish I knew lass. I wish I knew,” Jolee shook his head. He looked downtrodden and old when he said that.

Juhani saw it and said, “Then I’ll contact the lieutenant. They will help. They have a sense of loyalty to Kirabaros.”

“Well let’s hope so for I need to have a good talking to that boy when we do rescue him,” Jolee replied, enlightened by Juhani’s determined statement.

Juhani said nothing but merely nodded and went to contact the squad. She knew they would be training somewhere nearby. They may have had loyalty to the Republic but they were loyal to Kirabaros. It was just like Revan when she called the hundreds to the Mandalorian wars.

Juhani was broken out of this when Mission sounded over the comm, “Hey Cat Lady. Jolee just sent a message. They have Kirabaros and they are not alone.”

Juhani rolled her yellow eyes at Mission’s nickname for her and readied the turrets. If there were troopers, Jolee and the others would need a clear running field to the ramp. She swiveled the turrets towards the door that led into the ship and waited.

Kirabaros and Jolee knew that they couldn’t be hidden forever. The alarms went off just as they made it onto the deck where the docking bays were. Jolee wearily got out his lightsaber and Kirabaros pulled out his though he would have preferred a katana. HK in the meantime cocked his rifle and said, “Ready. Statement: I am most anxious to engage in some unadulterated violence.”

“You’ll get your chance HK,” Kirabaros responded.

When the door opened, there wasn’t anyone there so Kirabaros slunk forward up to the T-junction. He barely put his head around the corner when the blaster shots started firing. He ignited his lightsaber and began to deflect the bolts. HK came quickly up saying, “Combat mode active,” and commenced firing. Jolee wasn’t that far behind.

The ones firing were more of the Outcast Avalonians but they bore little or no resemblance to the graceful and lithe statures of Avalonians. Some were beginning to have a stench of death on them, made worse by the heat of the blaster fire. Kirabaros had on a sad face whenever he cut one of them down. He long held to the belief that anyone could be saved no matter what terrible things they have done. Still he had a job to do and that kept him going as he cut a swath through the Outcasts. He almost got gunned down when he stopped. Something was not right. He kept seeing death everywhere. Even glancing at Jolee it was there. HK saved him by taking out the would be assassin with a single shot to the torso. Jolee asked if something was wrong but Kirabaros shook his head and pressed on.

There was one door standing between them and the ship when Draconis appeared out of nowhere and said, “Going so soon?”

Kirabaros just stood there. He couldn’t tell if Draconis was him or…the image then changed to someone he thought was long gone. His eyes opened wider. He could see it clearly; the headdress of the eagle, the blood, the stench began to fill his nostrils. When Draconis spoke, it was a screech though. It was loud and painful to Kirabaros’ sensitive ears and he clutched the sides of his head, trying to block out the noise and dropped his lightsaber.

Jolee looked at Kirabaros who was suffering and quickly surmised that something had happened to Kirabaros. He grabbed onto the lad and tried to talk to him and shake him out of it but Kirabaros kept pushing him away. HK perceived it as an attack against Kirabaros and proceeded to shoot at Draconis who merely dodged or deflected the bolts. Draconis was amused at the scene before him and said, “I see that your ‘medication’ is working.”

Kirabaros, with his hands still on his ears, said in Avalonian, “Sangtahut! You will be judged for your crimes.” Draconis’ words had sounded like a harsh screeching but they were coherent enough.

Jolee hadn’t understood a word that Kirabaros said except for the word for ‘blood traitor.’ He assessed that Kirabaros was trying to maintain control but he could sense that he was faltering. He reached out through the Force, calling to Juhani.

“I won’t be judged,” Draconis replied also in Avalonian with a smile, “but you will. Everything that I have done was so as to disgrace you. You have brought chaos to our world. Our world lived as it should be, everyone and everything in their rightful place.”

“That was not our world,” Kirabaros retorted, grimacing because there was background noise that made it worse. He still saw the Blood King but he could tell that it was Draconis. “Freedom is an inherent right. Your kind denied others that.”

“No. They knew their place. Now that you are suffering I suppose I could tell you that my bounty hunters will wage war on Avalon and the Republic but make the two sides fight each other. The big showdown will be on Yavin IV.”

“They will see you for what you are,” Kirabaros was growing weary under the effects of the injected liquid.

“And who will tell them? You? I hardly think they will believe a deranged Avalonian.” Draconis let out a chuckle before saying, “Still, I do have to admit that you are a worthy adversary.”

“I suppose that you are going to try to kill him now that he is helpless,” Jolee interjected. He hadn’t understood what was being said but he got the gist of the conversation. He had his lightsaber clenched in his hand, ready to ignite it when Draconis laughed.

“Kill him? No he will suffer by watching you die,” and Draconis made a motion to direct lightning at Jolee only to by thrown against the bulkheads.

Behind from where Draconis was standing stood Juhani with her lightsaber in hand and a determined look upon her face. Jolee flashed her a smile and grabbed Kirabaros by the arm. It was awkward in that Kirabaros was still clutching his head. He was also mumbling something about fighters and explosions. Both Juhani and Jolee managed to drag Kirabaros to the ramp before Draconis got up. He turned to watch as Jolee pulled on a protesting Kirabaros and Juhani and HK were guarding the flank. Draconis let out a growl and began to charge. The blaster fire began rapidly coming from the auto guns, forcing him to retreat behind some crates.

Jolee and Juhani managed to pull Kirabaros completely on and seal the door. It was Juhani who shouted, “Go Mission!”

The ship lifted off without a hitch and began to blast its way out of the cruiser’s hangar bay. The ship was joined by the Avalonian and Republic fighters who had come to their aid. Mission dodged the blaster fire as best as she could and shouted, “Where do we go?”

Kirabaros heard it and muttered something to Juhani. She had to bend down low to hear him. After hearing what she said, she went to the navigation computer to help punch in the hyperspace coordinates. Meanwhile Jolee helped a swaying Kirabaros towards what served as a medbay on board. Kirabaros still had not let go of his ears for he still heard the noise. He started to struggle against Jolee with a surprising amount of strength that he had never before exhibited. It took all of Jolee’s strength to wrestle him down on the bed and plunge a sedative into the neck of Kirabaros. After what seemed like hours, Kirabaros dropped off into a drug induced sleep. Jolee finally let out a sigh and sat down on the chair next to the bed to take a breather. He looked at Kirabaros and noticed some scarring from lightning and the tattered appearance of his clothes confirmed it. He asked to the sleeping boy, “What did they do to you lad?”

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