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Old 12-28-2006, 01:18 AM   #145
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igyman: I won't spoil anything but I will post another chapter for you guys. I will warn you that my later chapters may appear long and drawn out but I wasn't satisfied that I wrapped up everything and I needed some downtime somewhere.

Without further ado I give you...

Chapter 33
Mamesa was pleased with Revan. She had remembered her from the festival that she had performed in and knew that her interpretation was a correct one. Revan was strong despite her small frame and full of courage. She was also a woman. That much she had seen when Revan jumped up and went to the entryway to think. After that episode, she and Carth went to fetch her and bring her back for more tea. She saw that Revan was more composed as she explained about the Shaak Ti, “The Shaak Ti is an event that involves the skills of warriors. It is similar to the dueling rings that take place on the other Outer Rim worlds.”

“I have participated in the dueling ring before,” Revan stated.

Mamesa nodded and continued, “The Shaak Ti however is more than just the enormous prize given. It is about the honor of being considered the best of warriors.”

“What type of matches does this entail?” Carth asked.

Mamesa smiled. The man had every right to ask since his wife was willing to put her neck on the line. She answered, “They aren’t death matches, with the exception of battling the champion of the previous tournament. The match is declared over when one opponent pins the other in a position that can’t be countered. There is a high risk for injury.”

“It sounds as if you know all about it,” Revan said.

“Yes. The Shaak Ti was started by an Outcast Avalonian who was wrongfully exiled. The rules haven’t changed in over a thousand or so years. It started here in this settlement and I guess this year is an anniversary tournament,” Mamesa explained.

Tulre had entered with a tray to pick up what was left of the tea. He kneeled in the corner and waited until Mamesa would beckon him over. He knew about the Shaak Ti and wanted to participate but by standards, he was too young. He cocked his ear to listen to the conversation.

“That sounds like right up our alley,” Revan said. She looked at Carth with a question in her eyes. Satisfied with the answer he gave in return, she continued, “There are at least three of us that are good in melee combat.”

“That is good. I have some maiko who are willing as well,” Mamesa said.

Tulre decided to break Mamesa’s rule about not speaking until spoken to. He said rather quiet, “Have you seen the weapons that the bounty hunters use when they participate?”

Mamesa shot a look but Tulre’s head was turned down. She wasn’t going to scold him. This would be one time that she would bend the rules. She watched as Revan looked at the kneeling boy and replied, “I’ve seen that they handle war blades, some double blades. Very dangerous.”

“A katana can stand up to their power. I tried it,” Tulre replied, still not looking at the adults.

Revan looked thoughtful at the boy. She answered, “You must be studying hard to know that.”

“Of course. All maiko learn to wield a blade. They just use it in an artistic form,” Mamesa answered.

“Indeed. If we are to compete, we need blades,” Revan replied. She was still eyeing the boy thoughtfully.

She was rewarded with his answer, “I made some katanas. They’re out of the best metals ever. You could let me upgrade…”

Mamesa interrupted, “Shang, Joran won’t let you.”

“Joran doesn’t know that I make them okâsan. He doesn’t even know that I practice with the big boys.” Tulre then pointed at Revan and Carth, “You could make him think the blades are yours and get him to let me improve them for you.”

“I don’t know,” Revan began. True that they needed the blades. It would do them no good to have lightsabers. Jedi were not really welcome in that part of the galaxy.

“You should,” Mamesa gently replied. “I may have personal reasons against this but Shang can help you as well as Chiyo.” She then smiled at them and motioned for Tulre to take the tray away with the tea things. Once Tulre was away she then said, “In order for you to win, you have to practice. The Shaak Ti is in three days.”

Revan hid any apprehension at the thought that she, Dustil and Caelos would have three days to become a warrior. She then ticked off Caelos because he was already brought up as an Avalonian warrior. She smiled and nodded, saying, “That will be just fine,” and made to rise.

Mamesa rose as well. She said, “You may stay here in the okiya while the storm finishes out. Tante will show you your room.” With a slight bow, she opened the door and showed them out.

“That is great Mission. I’m glad the rescue was a success,” Caelos looked at the holo image of his friend. The transmission that had come through the storm was a report from Mission that Kirabaros had been found and rescued. Caelos noticed though that Mission wasn’t going into details but he didn’t call her on it. He figured that she didn’t know or that Kirabaros may be hurt and she couldn’t tell them how bad. He looked at the image of his friend and said, “I’ll be sure to tell them, especially her. Over and out.”

“Something is not right. I think Kirabaros may be hurt,” Dustil voiced, his hazel eyes clouded over.

“Maybe so but that is not for us to tell…yet,” Caelos replied.

“Does that give us the right to keep it from Revan?” Dustil asked with a bit of fire in his voice.

“Until we know more, it is not necessary. All it would cause is unnecessary panic,” Caelos replied with a calm expression.

“Are you asking me to lie to her? If you are, I cannot do that,” Dustil replied. His brown eyes were flashing indignantly as he crossed his arms.

Caelos looked thoughtfully at Dustil. He thought well of the young man and was proud that he had conquered his fear about using the Force. His face reflected none of this when he responded, “I know that you care about your stepmother. Whatever Kirabaros said to you two years ago seems to have made an impression.”

Dustil couldn’t help but stare back at Caelos. He had never told anyone about that conversation that he had with Kirabaros at the wedding. At first he was angry because he thought that Kirabaros had told but it quickly dissipated when he realized that Kirabaros wouldn’t do anything of the sort. He took a deep breath and replied, “Yes, it did. More so when Lilah was born.” His face started to flush a bit.

“I thought so. She is adorable,” Caelos said, merely echoing what everyone else said. He then changed the subject by saying, “Well, I’ve got to get to the hyper motivator and fix the short.” He then turned and went towards the engine room.

Dustil just stood and looked at Caelos retreating figure with a look of astonishment. The Avalonian mind was a complete mystery to him for he didn’t grasp how they could switch so easily from topic to the next. On top of that there is the double talk and the hidden meanings behind every spoken word. He wondered how his father put up with it. He shook his head with astonishment and turned to check the secondary systems when the transmission signal beeped. It indicated that it was coming from Amshrey.

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