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Old 08-21-2006, 01:07 PM   #41
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Chapter 17: Battle for the Herds
After the dust settled, Ashira jumped to her feet. While waiting for the dust to settle, she had been picking the lock on her cuffs with a hairpin she had tucked in her mouth. Now that she was free, she moved towards the door where she took out the guards. By the time she came back from retrieving the weapons that had been taken from her and Obi-wan, he was on his feet and giving her and odd look mingled with a slight scowl. She ignored it as she used his lightsaber to release him. Saying nothing, she shoved his lightsaber into his hands and turned tail to run towards the bulkhead.

Once out of the tunnel, they were greeted by Daranka who barked a warning just as one of the men fired with a blaster at them. Ignoring the danger, Ashira ran low towards where she left her charges. Obi-wan tried to follow but was pinned by the blaster fire. He heard through the Force, Stay put padawan. He knew that it was Ashira. Judging by the way that she had called him padawan even though he was a master, she meant business. He watched as she narrowly missed being hit as she went to the crates where they had hid before.

Ashira made it to the charges and began to lay them. She noted that the blaster fire was no longer being directed at her but away. She knew that the tribe had come and were laying attack, well at least part of them. The rest were on their way towards Sheng Xin to help Miklos. She had sensed his arrival with ground troops but never sent anything through their connection. As she was setting the charges, her thoughts drifted back to her decision to defy the Council and follow Obi-wan, Anakin and Siri to Azure and the visions that accompanied it. They seemed to give her an immune response as she finished the charges. With a deep breath, she set the detonator and ran back to the tunnel.

The explosion that followed collapsed what was left of the observation deck and opened the bulkhead. The only sound heard of was the sound of stampeding katarans followed by their herds on their draigons heading for the valleys. There was still blaster fire coming from Dragus’ men but a steady retreat, a retreat heading towards the Sheng Xin. Ashira watched until she caught sight of what she was looking for: Dragus slinking off on a Saluki stallion. She narrowed her eyes and prepared to run into the midst of the herd only to be held back by Obi-wan grabbing her arm. He asked, “What do you think you are doing?”

Looking at him in the eye she replied, “Fixing my wrongs. What do you care?” She took off into the middle of the running herds that miraculously avoided trampling her. She gave a shrill whistle and a Saluki stallion came up to her. She mounted it and followed with the herd leaving a dumb founded Obi-wan with Daranka who cocked his head at her departing figure.

Lilah saw Ashira leap on the stallion and take off after Dragus. She took it as her cue to tell the warriors to head for the city. It was part of the plan that Nekang had come up with and presented to Moira before the Jedi arrived. She followed Nekang as she followed Dragus to a small hangar where there was a shuttle waiting for take off.


Tarkus had survived the blasts but was badly wounded in the process. He had managed to get out of the compound and head down the path that led towards Sheng Xin. He began to shout for reinforcements. Dragus knew that Ashira would have something planned and compensated by having reinforcements blocking the pass to stop the herds just in case the bulkhead blew. He called into his comm and was able to get a message through before he was trampled to death by the katarans.

Lardonis was leading the warriors behind the katarans and saw Tarkus get trampled. He felt little remorse for the man but gave the prayer for the passage into death anyway. He didn’t ride much further than that for right near the river bend; there was a huge army of Rashikians. He called for a halt and everyone even the herders stopped. It was a large army that they were going up against. Lardonis stared at them and he knew that there weren’t enough of the Haida women and the rogue male warriors that stayed with them but he knew that they would fight to the end. It was the Bushida way.

Lilah came up beside him and glanced before them. She spoke, “I guess Nekang didn’t figure on this.”

“Maybe she did. You know her and you’ve heard of her reputation.” Lardonis was still watching the Rashikians as they pulled out their blades.

“Mostly through Mother.” Lilah was watching the same thing as Lardonis. She thought about what her mother said about coincidence and faith and thought about the private conversations she had with Nekang. She then said, “Mother was right. She is Nekang for now the herders are free.”

“I see you finally believe in the legends,” Lardonis said.

“I just only hope that Nekang has come to terms with it. I fear she is only using this as a means to end her pain.” Seeing the look on Lardonis’ face, she explained, “Her emotional pain. She still feels guilty about one of our sister’s death.”

There was no time for Lardonis to respond as the Rashikians began to charge. The katarans were restless and began to charge. The Rashikians and the tribesmen ignored them as they charged forward. Lilah pulled out her bow since she was better at shooting and fitted an arrow. She urged her draigon forward as Lardonis pulled out a blade and charged. It was all part of the plan that had been conceived ever since Nekang came back. Lila though was more worried about the planner than the battle plan. She only hoped that Nekang would remember who she was.


Selene was exhausted but she was thrilled at the fact that they were driving the besiegers away. It also helped that Queen Moira sent some of her warriors to help along with herself. The thrill of the hunt rushed through her veins as she swung her blade. Gisan once attributed it to her Mandalorian genes. It wouldn’t be surprising since she was descendant from a Mandalorian who married an Avalonian about four thousand years earlier. From there, they started to populate the planet Amshrey together with the Shreyites and the planet joined the rest of the Avalonian planets.

Selene, at the moment, was battling a rather large brute and enjoying every minute of it. She didn’t waste her energy on fancy moves but rather concentrated on making him frustrated by simple movements of dodging. She would avoid the large swings of his vibroaxe and counter with firm strike on the arms with her katana. He finally got frustrated and careless and allowed her to gain the advantage and ram him with her blade. Now that her blood was up and the enemy was heading towards where there was another battle in the distance. She shouted, “Forward on!”


Baring cuts and the katarans running through the forest, it was hard to tell the numbers. Still the tribesmen led by the Haida women pushed forward all utilizing the art of Bushida. Lilah had long abandoned her bow and took up a blade. She managed to find the sheika who was holding her own with her loyal right hand man. Things were looking good somewhat and they were driving the Rashikians back. All looked as if were well and they would reclaim their planet.

Suddenly a cry sounded from the east and everyone looked to see more warriors coming, Rashikians. Right behind them was the other half of the Haida women and the Bushida warriors. There were also the warriors from Amshrey. The tide was starting to turn. If only things were going as well in the space battle.

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Old 08-21-2006, 03:19 PM   #42
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Great two chapters JM12. I noticed a couple of spelling/grammar errors, though, that I'd like to point out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JediMaster12, Chapter 16
I have no idea of what you speak of
The underlined ''of'' is unnecessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JediMaster12, Chapter 17
...retrieving the weapons that had been taken from her and Obi-wan
Have, not had, because it's plural - weapons.

These aren't anything you should be nervous about, but they kinda stand out in an otherwise grammar-perfect fic.

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Old 08-22-2006, 07:37 PM   #43
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I wasn't aware of the grammar stuff because it's fine on my master copy. Hmm... oh well. Here is another chapter for those kind enough to read. Just a mentioner: I am working on a brand new fic that brings back our old friend Kirabaros, Revan, etc. Whole new adventure and working on the comedic parts. Will post when I am finished posting this one.

Chapter 18: Confrontations
The battle was intense as the droid army mercilessly fired upon the Republic forces or rather the Avalonian forces. She could hear the battle cries and the cries of death from the transport that brought her to the surface. She briefly wondered if anything would be different but she knew it wouldn’t. All she could do was try. She smiled in a grimace at the thought of her telling that her reason for her disobedience was because of three people, one whom she was trying to save.

The transport dropped to the ground and she jumped out drawing her special lightsaber. She was greeted by one of her generals who gave her a brief rundown of the situation. She nodded and called for the charge forward. The troops rallied behind her and followed as directed fire. It was going to be a long battle.


The memories accosted Ashira as she followed Dragus on the stallion. As much as she tried to remain objective over everything, Siri’s death prevented it. She still blamed herself and still couldn’t face anyone connected. She forced herself to speak to the twins but she wanted to hide from the Jedi. It didn’t help that her nightmares made it worse. Still she brushed it aside and swallowed the pain as she had been taught when she followed Dragus to one of the old transport bays.

Dragus was making his way to one of the shuttlecraft that would head possibly to Coruscant or another planet for him to hide. He didn’t care just as long as he got off. Things didn’t go as they were planned but the pendulum had started to swing. It would only be a matter of time before she would break and the Avalonian forces disintegrated. He was in the middle of clearing out the last of the obstacles when a voice sounded behind him, “Sangtahut. Betrayer. Murderer.”

Dragus turned to find his bitter enemy. He smiled at her with a sadistic grin and replied in false despair, “Oh no please. Have mercy I beg you. It is the way of the Jedi to value all life.”

“Traitor. You would betray your own people just to kill me,” Ashira replied. Her voice was oddly hollow.

“I would do worse, even be behind the attack that killed your Jedi friend, which I did by the way, if it meant killing you. You, the prodigy of the Onasi family, though you do have a bit of his traits as well. Tell me, before you decide to do away with me, did old Petronius ever tell you about me?” Dragus had moved towards some canisters. He knew what was in them and hoped to be able to use them as a distraction.

Ashira gazed at Dragus with her amber eyes, almost as if boring right through him. She knew everything about the Jedi Revan and her descendants; she was one of them. Petronius had told her everything as she grew up in the Jedi Temple, swearing her to keep it a secret. When Dragus mentioned the ‘his’ she was confused but brushed it aside. She was more interested in this person who admitted to killing a Jedi just to get to her. Forming her words carefully, she responded, “I know that you are a traitor to your rank and your people and such are banished to the farthest reaches of space.”

Dragus chuckled at her. It was apparent that she had no clue so he decided to indulge slightly. He replied, “I am the last of a long line of honored warrior aristocrats. For many years my family served our people with honor. It was our duty to honor that had us stripped of rank and all the honor we ever had. All because of the ‘great’ Kirabaros.” He saw the look of confusion on Ashira’s face and smirked at her. He continued, “Kirabaros discovered a plot to murder the Jedi Revan and her Hutt spawn children. Claimed that we were behind the plot.

“Kirabaros never knew what was good for him, always butting in on business that wasn’t his. Funny thing was that we were to kill the one who brought misfortune to our people and in the end we were the ones banished. From that point on a blood oath was sworn to rid our people of the taint to our heritage.”

“Taint? Surely you must realize you are the taint.” Ashira was confused and she tried to hide it. She sensed that this conversation was heading somewhere and it was not going to be pleasant.

“The ‘taint’ is the fact that Kirabaros’ own son bonded to the daughter of Revan,” Dragus retorted. “You are the taint. Your mother was easy to get rid of because she was careless. Either that or she loved you too much. You have proved very elusive, hiding in the Senate and in plain sight. You can’t imagine how long I have dreamed of this moment. Now I can be rid of you and our honor restored.”

Ashira just stood there calmly absorbing the information like a sponge. She knew the stories of Kirabaros and how he helped restore the good relations with the Republic. She knew what it was like to be disliked so much that assassination attempts have been made. That bit was not new to her. As to finding out that she was in some way related to Kirabaros himself, that was new. It was something that she was going to have to drag out of Petronius since he was from that time and knew the reasons for the secrets. What disturbed her was that the man before her was so driven by hate. She just stared at him with an inquiring look before replying, “What kind of honor is that you speak of by murdering those that had no part in those events?”

“You know full well the roots of honor. They run deep.”

“You disgrace honor. You even disgrace the value of honor set by the Mandalorians,” Ashira retorted.

“Mandalorians?! They have no sense in etiquette in the rules of war. How dare you compare us to them!” Dragus was clearly getting angry and he nearly forgot about what was in the plasteel cylinders.

Calmly Ashira replied, “At least they know the meaning of the word loyalty.”

In flash, Dragus flung what was in the containers at her. Ashira ducked out of the way to avoid what appeared to be an acid like substance. She watched as it burned the durasteel floor and almost had her head chopped off with the sudden rush that Dragus gave. By some miracle of the Force she twirled out of the way and brought up her katana to meet the blazing red blade of Dragus’ lightsaber.


Obi-wan managed to catch a ride on a stray Saluki stallion and head in the general direction that Ashira had taken. He was still reeling from the surprise that the Haida woman was Ashira. He had suspected because she couldn’t hide all her tendencies, especially her kindness and compassion to all life forms. Even though he didn’t understand completely Avalonian reasoning, he knew he had to make amends. When she spouted her last words, he knew what Andros had meant about healing the rift.

Daranka was at his heels as they followed in the direction Ashira took. They were running at a neck breaking pace when they were cut off by a woman with golden brown hair and grey eyes. She looked at them both and asked, “Where are you going Jedi when there is battle ahead?”

Obi-wan looked at her for a moment before saying, “I am not heading towards Sheng Xin. I’m going to help another Jedi.” He maneuvered the stallion to go around but again she cut him off.

Selene was curious about the Jedi who was going after the other. For all she knew, he was going to harm her. She was itching for a fight but her rationality kept it in check. She replied, “There is no Jedi that headed that way. If you do not state why you are heading this way, I will have no choice but to fight you here.”

Obi-wan swallowed the frustration that was rising. He vaguely remembered the last time he came to Belos but with Master Qui-gon. That time, they claimed to not know who Ashira was until he spoke the name Zhor had given her. He tried again, “I am trying to reach Nekang. I sense that she might be in trouble.”

Selene relented slightly but didn’t move. She asked, “Why is it that you fear her life may be in danger?”

“I may have caused her anger because I blamed her.” It was an honest answer and it shamed Obi-wan to say that.

“Why do you want to follow her?” Selene asked again. The Jedi was honest but some things had to be put out in the open.

“To help her. To save her from herself.” It was a strange answer and Obi-wan wondered why he said it. If Ashira were there she would have teased him about growing up with an Avalonian and still not being able to interpret the hidden meanings. Obi-wan wanted to chuckle because at one point, she had called him and Siri hopeless cases in understanding the finer subtleties of the Avalonian language, not counting the various dialects. He kept the memories of those pleasant times within as he watched the young woman in front of him.

She possessed the same deadly beauty that Ashira had gained. Judging from her muscle structure, she had been in combat quite a bit and looked as if she enjoyed it. She bore a tattoo on her left upper arm in a intricate design and stared at him with iron gray eyes. Selene regarded his answer. It wasn’t the one that she hoped for but it was a start. She replied, “I see. You are aware that Nekang has to face that which has hounded her since her coming of age, are you not?” She didn’t wait for an answer as she continued. She frankly didn’t care at that point. “Follow me and I will show you the way. One question I want you to answer: how far are you willing to go into this battle?”

Obi-wan looked at her in surprise. He decided against spouting out a Jedi-like response. He decided to say the truth. He replied, “To stay by the side of a comrade and a friend.”

“Good enough,” Selene replied and took off.

Obi-wan followed behind her until he caught up with her. He asked, “What do mean?” Seeing that he wasn’t going to get an answer he tried a different way, “Can you at least tell me your name?”

“Selene.”

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Old 08-23-2006, 07:30 PM   #44
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Chapter 19: Heat of Battle
“Masters, we have engaged the enemy. We have strong reason to believe that one of our own has betrayed us.”

“Certain are you, Jedi Andros?” Yoda asked.

“Yes. They have been countering our aerial maneuvers with the same precision as the Avalonian fleets. I can be certain that they are Rashikians or mercenaries.”

“Then one of our worst fears may be realized. We may lose the Avalonian fleet,” Master Windu replied.

“Not necessarily,” Andros replied, “I have received word that Jedi Miklos has engaged the ground forces and they are pulling back. Also we have been able to break through the space defenses and take out the enemy fighters. Besides, she won’t give up…”


Andros thought about the communications that he had sent to the Council on Coruscant. Surveying the space battle, he could see that the enemy fighters were becoming desperate with the exception of the few battle droids that had been sent by Count Dooku. He caught sight of Anakin’s fighter and three heading at him at an angle he couldn’t possibly see from. He said, “Anakin, three from above.”

Anakin’s fighter pulled up at a steep angle and did a graceful flip to bring the three round about in front. Andros watched as Anakin took out the three fighters with the deadly accuracy that gave him his reputation with the Republic. Andros heard over the comm, “Thanks.”


Anakin’s mind was on the space battle. In the beginning, they were faring badly because the enemy seemed to have the upper hand. He figured that it was just as Andros told him, that someone turned against them. He felt a slight anger at the traitors but he remembered that this was not really his fight. The only reason he was giving it his all because of her, Lady Ashira. His master was down there too fighting but something about Lady Ashira that inspired a sort of loyalty though she tried to discourage it constantly. That and she was like a mother to him since she watched out for him. Little did he know that it was a result of a promise she made to his mother when he left Tatooine. Then she was Senator D’Avignon.

He was jerked out of his train of thought when Andros warned him of three fighters coming to attack him. He pulled his fighter up in a steep vertical and then looped back around behind the three and took them out. He was grateful that Andros was watching his back. He liked the elder Jedi and his brother. They were opposites of each other but when they were put together, they made an interesting combination. Anakin raced his fighter through the hordes of fighters. Behind him formed a small vanguard of Avalonian fighters, Belosian. If anything, Anakin knew that the Belosians fought like there was no tomorrow.

Straight ahead was a huge cruiser ship. It was the command vessel of the enemy fleet. Anakin knew that their main quarry wouldn’t be there but if they could take out the main ship, the enemy forces would have to pull back. Andros agreed with that course of action and was maneuvering the Ebon Hawk into position. The stock freighter was out maneuvering the best the droid and Rashikian army had to offer and was blazing away at the gun turrets. They headed for the main control and observation deck firing everything they had.


The ground forces were unrelenting and seemed to have gotten a second wind with the arrival of Miklos and his troops. They charged in full of zeal with the healers running to take their positions with the others. The first lines of warriors charged with blades drawn. Bringing up the rear were the archers volleying their arrows ahead. Their angles were carefully calculated since the retreating forces were being met by the Haida women and the other tribes, full force.

Miklos met up with Moira who informed him that her people were bunching up the last of the enemy. The droids that were there were nearly piles of scrap. Miklos nodded his acknowledgement and continued to fight. The dirt clung to his skin and he could smell the blood in the air. To be honest he didn’t want to know who had died and who had grievous injuries. To him the war was a distasteful thing that haunted his mind at times. He knew that it haunted his sister. There were nights when he would pass her quarters and hear her whimper in her sleep. Fighting there in that battle, he felt as if he were exorcising those demons for her or rather making it one less battle for her to dream about. He put on a brave face and plunged ahead.

He didn’t have to go far for once they crossed into the valley near the Haida encampment, they came across the herders and their allies. Seeing that they were outnumbered, the Rashikians and Outcasts surrendered. They knew that they had signed on to a fool’s battle, even those that were in the space battle overhead. When this was over, they would be sent back to the far reaches of the Unknown Regions, with some heading for the Outer Rim to wait again until another war happened, at least for the Outcasts, the equivalent of mercenaries and bounty hunters. The Rashikians would go back to plotting to take over the system, a feat that was impossible since the last great campaign decimated their numbers four millennia ago.

Miklos watched as the enemy surrendered their weapons. He figured that the old ways that have stood for over a thousand years still maintained a precedence even with the scoundrels. He figured Ashira to be right when she once said that in spite of everything, Avalonian people always adhered to honor. It didn’t matter that they had blasters and speeders and the like, it mattered what a person could do without it. Thinking of that, his thoughts were diverted to Ashira. She was still out there somewhere and he couldn’t sense her at all. It was as if she had cut him off from her mind through the Force. Either that or she cut herself off.

Moira noticed Miklos staring off, not really paying attention and went to him. She followed his gaze out towards the mountains. She didn’t say anything for a moment. Seeing that he still wasn’t paying attention she said, “Nekang freed the herds but I think that this battle is far from over.”

“She cut me off and more likely my brother too,” Miklos replied. How he knew she was speaking of Ashira, he didn’t. He just needed to say something for he was disturbed.

“How does that saying of yours go? It is the will of the Force.”


The sparks flew and the heat increased as Ashira clashed her blade with Dragus’ lightsaber. She didn’t care at the moment how he managed to learn how to use a lightsaber. What did matter was that she disarm him and take him in. Her blade was smoking from the heat from the repeated clashes but she wasn’t worried for the blades were made to withstand the power of a lightsaber. That was what made them famous throughout the Republic though it took the equivalent of a Jedi Master to be able to wield them effectively. Dragus swung low and she blocked. Impressed Dragus said, “Impressive. I didn’t think you were strong enough to stand against me, much less with a master’s blade.”

“You’ll find that I’m full of surprises,” she retorted and swung and parried against his lightsaber. She relied on the Bushida techniques that Petronius had been training her since she could hold a lightsaber. Deep down, she knew that it wasn’t going to be enough but she let her heart take over.

Dragus countered her moves with relative ease. He thought that she was toying with him by just using the Bushida formations. He wanted to see her use all of her skills since he had heard from Dooku about her abilities. He decided to taunt her, “Bushida formations? Can’t you do anything better?”

Ashira recognized the attempt. She wearily retreated slightly and gazed with a semi-bored expression at him. That made him angry of course and he came at her harder. She countered by reacting faster, so fast that her limbs seemed like a blur. They kept at it until he hit her across the face with a backhand that sent her spinning. He grabbed her from behind only to be given a kick to the face. Ashira backed away and held her position. She said, “At least the old ways hold up in combat.”

“We’ll see,” he replied and charged. Again they clashed with much more heat than the previous clashes. Miraculously they avoided the acid spills from earlier as more smoke filled the air as they clashed. They actually neared the edge of the hangar and it was standing near an outcropping. At one point, they turned away from the edge and headed back in. Dragus could tell that she was faltering and used the opportunity to knock her blade away. As he did, he sent out Force Lightening straight at her.

Ashira’s senses were not dulled from all the fighting. She rolled out of the way just as the lightening struck the ground leaving a scorch mark. She gained balance in a crouched position and was ready for the next round that Dragus sent her way. She imitated the way Yoda had done when he faced Dooku at Geonosis and channeled it through the Force. She couldn’t hold it however as a sudden burst sent her back towards the edge where she hung on. Her first thoughts were that she was in a good fix. She looked up and saw Dragus looking at her. He was grinning at her and he said, “Now I will avenge the family honor,” and he raised his lighted lightsaber.

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Old 08-23-2006, 10:57 PM   #45
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Cool chapters, JM12. I like the fight scenes here.
Sorry I haven't been able to comment a lot--I had a crazy situation come up with my volunteers, and it took tons of my time.
Did you decide on a slightly different writing style from your HotG series with this? Not that your other one is bad by any means because I like it very much, but I think I like this even a hair better--it moves more smoothly.


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Old 08-24-2006, 05:39 PM   #46
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Just the fact that it is in the third person which makes getting different views alot easier.
To be honest I had a different line of thought going for this but it didn't quite fit well given the circumstances and the characters involved so I had to change it. Some pictoral ideas I got were from different movies and other story plots. Dragus himself is from a new story I am working on that involves our old friend Kirabaros. Yes a new adventure is in the works. There are also references to HotG in it if you noticed.

Well enough of that and now here is another chapter.

Chapter 20: Battle’s End
Dragus was about to deliver the blow to end Ashira’s life when he was abruptly shoved aside and into a series of canisters. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Ashira placed her right foot on the wall and gave a push to send her up. She landed to face the last person she expected to see. Her expression was that of surprise providing a good distraction to Dragus who unfortunately couldn’t take it as he was struggling to get his cloak off. He had been sent into several canisters of the same stuff he tried hurling at Ashira. The other problem was that the stuff landed on critical beams supporting the structure and it began eating away at the beams.

Obi-wan saw her look and could tell that she didn’t expect any help. He looked at her and said, “I don’t know about you but I think everyone deserves a fair chance to fight.” He smiled at her.

Ashira just stood there, not comprehending any of it. She was so used to coming to the rescue herself that she never thought that anyone would do the same for her. The only thing that she could squeeze out of her mouth was, “Why are you here?”

“I thought you would need help. I…I also thought that we should make things right between us. When this is over.”

“But, why?”

“I don’t hate you. It is not the Jedi way and I know that you never do anything to intentionally harm another. Whatever Dragus said there in that room, he was trying to break you, much like I did with my anger.”

Ashira looked at Obi-wan with an expression that mingled relief with sadness. She was snapped out of it quickly when she raised her hand and Force Pushed Obi-wan out of the way of some falling beams. She summoned her katana and in one continuous motion, she sent it flying where it lodged itself into the chest of Dragus. She watched as he dropped his lightsaber and slumped over dead, the expression on his face. He smiled at her as he died with a knowing look. His darkened eyes bore into hers as he slumped down. Before he died, he asked in Avalonian, “Will you choose our way or the Jedi way?”

Ashira just stood and looked at him, oblivious to the acid melting the beams and weakening the structure. She calmly walked over and pulled the blade out and stood over his body just looking. Her mind felt blank but she was caught in one place in time giving her a dazed look. She sheathed the blade but continued to look at Dragus’ body.

Obi-wan noticed the failure of the structure as he got to his feet. He had watched her reaction and the motions she took to kill the one who betrayed her people. He heard what Dragus had said and saw her respond by just standing there. She didn’t move when the first of the beams began to fall so he ran and grabbed her by the arm and dragged her just as more of the beams began to fall.

Daranka was waiting or them outside with the stallions. Selene had left after showing the way. To her way of thinking, some battles had to be fought by the people who started them. As soon as Obi-wan emerged dragging Ashira with him, Daranka bounced up and ran up to meet them. Ashira was still looking at the hangar with that same look she had when she killed Dragus. Her amber eyes seemed to look right through all the debris, past that to some place beyond and it worried Obi-wan. He had never seen her look like that before so he walked up to her. Placing a hand on her left shoulder he asked, “You alright?”

Ashira turned to look at Obi-wan. Being shorter than him she had to look up at him. Her face, upon seeing him, contorted into a sad expression, mingled with fear. She backed away slowly to get away. She whispered, “I’m sorry.” Turning, she walked up to a stallion, mounted it and took off, leaving Obi-wan standing there wondering what happened.

Looking down, Daranka just looked at him with a curious expression. It looked as if the wolf were asking him, ‘What did you do?’ The nice thing was that wolves don’t talk but just reflected their feelings. Obi-wan just looked at the wolf that was staring at him. He looked at him and said, “What?” He then sighed and said, “I guess it’s not over, this battle I mean.” He then mounted the stallion to head back to the Haida encampment hoping that Ashira would have gone there.


The remainder of the fleet was being pushed back as Anakin and Andros led the troops through the enemy fire. They stood down around the same time Ashira killed their leader, almost as if they knew that their leader was dead. Anakin and Andros wouldn’t find out until later though. Andros thought it an interesting phenomena but his reasoning took over: their was no honor amongst thieves, at least in the sort that were hired.

Andros watched as the enemy stood down and issued their surrender. Anakin was amazed. He just didn’t understand the reasoning behind Avalonian thinking nor their concept of loyalty. The enemy fighters then just took off and headed towards the Unknown Regions. Andros didn’t give the order to follow. There was no point to it. Andros sighed and said, “Enemy is in full retreat. Stand down. How goes it Brother?”

“Enemy has surrendered,” Miklos replied.

“Alright. All troops land on the surface,” Andros replied.

“Are you sure about that?” Anakin asked. “They could come back.”

Andros had forgotten that Anakin didn’t know about the Outcasts and the Rashikians like they did. He replied, “Yes I’m sure. They won’t be coming back for a long time. Land your fleet Skywalker.”

“Roger that.”

I wonder how Ashira was doing, Andros thought as he brought the Ebon Hawk around for a landing. He felt her cut him off but just before he called for troop landing, he felt a surge of shame and fear from her. That was what worried him. She had never shown that around anyone nor had he felt it before. He hoped that she was all right.

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Old 08-26-2006, 01:56 PM   #47
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Chapter 21: New Beginnings
The encampment was lively with the troops and the tribesmen mingling a few days afterward. Though they had their differences, they always stood by each other. That was the scene that Obi-wan saw when he made his way through the encampment for the umpteenth time trying to find Andros, Miklos Anakin, anyone that wasn’t from Avalon, at least in terms of being Jedi. Actually he had been trying to find Ashira who seemed to be avoiding everyone lately.

This was the third day of rebuilding of the cities and quenching the fires that raged through them. It also happened to coincide with the festival celebrated yearly, the Festival of New Beginnings, as was translated. That was the reason for the celebration going on in the Haida encampment. It seemed better to hold it there since there were less memories of the ravaging done to the cities and the medicine healers claimed it to be a good location. So the great bonfires and the indabas were set up to allow for dancing and the retelling of the old stories. Looking at it, it looked as if the war never reached Avalon.

Obi-wan was walking through looking when he found Miklos and Andros with Anakin being detained by the Bushida warriors that guarded the capital city at Xao Lin. They were demanding a detailed account of the space battle that had happened. It was something the Jedi would have discouraged, the reveling in the battle and the victory. The Jedi way was to calmly accept that which had come. The Avalonians didn’t see it that way.

Though it was strange, the Avalonians believed that by sharing tales of exploits, they were sharing knowledge. They believed and saw, in the case of the Elders, that battles repeat themselves though under different circumstances. Whereas the Mandalorians saw the glory, they saw the lessons within them. It also gave a sense of appreciation for those that gave their lives willingly in battle. Combined with their philosophical teachings that were similar to the Jedi teachings but differed in areas that would have probably given the older masters a heart attack, it produced a people who saw something in the smallest of things. It also produced people that were annoyingly perceptive. Though they were different, Obi-wan and a few other Jedi understood beyond the level of diplomacy because they grew up with it. Because she taught it to us, he thought as he turned away to let the three tell their tale.

Passing more indabas, Obi-wan gave up and decided to walk to the paddocks. Daranka had been feeling depressed because he couldn’t find his master. He perked a bit when he saw Obi-wan and trotted to meet him at the fence. Obi-wan saw him and gave him a pat and a rub on the head and leaned against the fence to gaze at the river. The wolf just lay at his feet and whimpered slightly. “You miss her don’t you?” Obi-wan asked the wolf. “I do too and I feel like an idiot for being angry at her. You know she is guilty of nothing except for trying to do what she thought was right.”

“Kind words Master Jedi. I hope she has heard them herself.” The voice was soft in the darkness. The figure moved into the light to reveal Selene.

Obi-wan didn’t turn but instead replied, “You planning on following me everywhere?”

“Just coming to tell you that the Council called. They want you to report in the morning.” Selene turned to leave when she stopped and said, “By the way, she doesn’t want to go back.”

That produced the desired result. Obi-wan turned to face Selene and asked, “What?”

“Ashira-Li doesn’t want to return to the Jedi. What is so hard about that?”

“That is not like her. She has always faced the Council’s judgment like how one of your Bushida warriors faces death.” Obi-wan was confused and surprised at this development.

Selene was not moved by the reaction. She hated being the messenger even more than disliking her gifts to sense through emotion. She was even more annoyed that the Jedi in front of her didn’t get the big picture. She responded with more calm than she felt, “That may be true now but maybe that has changed and she has her reasons.”

“Reasons like the fact that I have broken her by shunning her when she did nothing to deserve it. Or how about the fact that she may be blaming herself for Siri’s death when she had nothing to do with that?” Obi-wan matched his composure with hers. He was clearly tired of the mental games that Avalonians played. It made them worse than the Jedi in certain situations. “Tell me if I am wrong.”

Selene looked thoughtfully for a moment. Her Mandalorian half wanted to draw her sword and start a fight. Her Avalonian half stayed her hand. She responded, “I don’t know but maybe you should ask her.” She turned and walked away.

“I would if I knew where she was,” Obi-wan called back. Seeing that he wasn’t going to get an answer he turned back to face the river. He knew he was going to have to tell the Council.


“What do you mean she won’t be coming back?” Master Windu’s face looked rather surprised a bit but he recovered his composure quickly.

“I can only tell you what has been told to me,” Obi-wan responded. It had not gone well at all. First had been the usual business of reporting that the siege of Belos had been ended and the one who coordinated the attack was dead. When Obi-wan mentioned that Ashira-Li wouldn’t be returning, it filled the room with surprise though from Miklos and Andros, it was a mild surprise.

“Disturbing this news is yet to be expected,” Yoda replied. “Feels she does that she must leave but why? Harder to answer.”

“Do you have any idea what may have led to this decision?” Master Windu asked.

“No Master.” It was a lie but Obi-wan was uncertain if he even knew that was the truth. “It was a surprise when one of the warriors spoke to me.”

“Find her you must Obi-wan. Question her, we will.”

“The others will return to Coruscant,” Master Windu added. “May the Force be with you.”

“Yes master,” they all answered in unison.

They left the main hold of the Ebon Hawk to head towards the loading ramp. Anakin sensed that his master wanted to speak to the twins alone so he hurried away. He was slightly disappointed that he wouldn’t be going to find Master Ashira but he could see that it was probably better if Obi-wan did. They knew each other since they were younglings themselves. He only hoped that it wasn’t true what Obi-wan said about her not wanting to go back to the Order.


“You both are not surprised that she would refuse to return to the Temple.” Obi-wan was asking the twins.

“We don’t know her true reasons but we understand to a degree why,” Miklos replied.

“Then maybe you could explain,” Obi-wan retorted.

“That is not our reason to tell,” Miklos responded.

“More of that ‘have to ask her’ reasoning? You know for once I wish you would stop the verbal circles. It can be frustrating.” It wasn’t an angry response. Rather it had a ring of defeat in it.

“You don’t know what it’s like do you?” Andros replied softy. “To know what it’s like to walk by her quarters and hear her whimper because of nightmares. To watch her wander the halls late into the night looking for something that can’t be found.” Andros looked at Obi-wan who was gazing at him with a look of surprise. He continued softly, “She is merely trying to make a new beginning for herself. Maybe you should too.”

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Old 08-27-2006, 12:38 PM   #48
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Chapter 22: Broken Wounds Heal
Three days passed since the Council sent for Andros, Miklos and Anakin and three days of trekking through the forest back to the cabin that Ashira went to stay in. All that was there when Obi-wan went through it were the datapads that she had left behind, a made bed; virtually a spotless home. Obi-wan was immediately drawn to the datapads and went to sort through them. Daranka went out to the surrounding area, sniffing out the familiar sights.

The first datapads that Obi-wan glanced at were the journal entries of Ashira from the time that Siri had died to the day before she left the cabin. The entries were in Avalonian and in a strange poetic form. Rusty from lack of use, Obi-wan took a few hours to get through all of them. They were worthy of an artist if they were painted in the poem paintings the artisans liked to do. One went:

The willow tree dances on wind
As the river crosses the bend
The time nears of danger felt
The darkside cinching its deadly belt

They were short and verse like, at least the ones that reflected daily activities or the anticipation of battle. The ones that described battle were a little more lively and had more of a hardness to it. It bordered on the craving for violence. Such as:

Smoke clouds the valley plains
Where upon the enemy is slain
Blood seeps on deadened life
Rise up now and take up strife


It was late afternoon by the time Obi-wan finished all of the entries by Ashira before he started on the next pile, which turned out to be Siri’s. He wondered why Ashira would have Siri’s entries briefly but didn’t dig deeper. He figured that it was more for comfort and just scanned through them. The encrypted one got his attention. Looking at the attempts made to break it he figured that Ashira was curious but not too curious.

Peering closer at the encryption code, he recognized it from when he and Siri were kids. They used to send notes to Ashira encrypted the same way. They were things that they didn’t want to get into the hands of the masters. Why Ashira didn’t recognize it made Obi-wan realize that she must have been completely out of it. He entered the codes and opened up the entry. He read it slowly and found out everything.


“I often wondered if you blamed me. I’ve had plenty of people doing that lately.”

“No I don’t. Why would I blame someone who has been a sister to me?”

Ashira looked at the blue outline of Siri Tachi. For a brief moment she thought how pretty she looked under the Judan trees that were in bloom now that the Festival of New Beginnings had come. After defeating Dragus, she returned to her Belosian home and prepared to live a new life. She decided to leave the Jedi because she felt nothing was left to be had there. She was standing at the bridge overlooking the creek in the gardens after being there for a week when she sensed Siri’s presence. They had been talking for a while, just watching the creek. “I would. There were times I wondered what would have happened if I had just obeyed the Council but I know that the same result would have happened anyway.”

“But you know that it was this Dragus who had done it.”

“He may have been the hand but I was the one who arrived too late. I am
much to blame.”

“For what? Trying to rescue me? You know better than anyone that a Jedi’s life is sacrifice.”

“Yet the Council doesn’t tell you how much it aches when the bond you share is severed, at least not accurately.”

“Our bond did this to you?”

“The emptiness did,” Ashira gave a slight smile. She started walking towards the roses and other flowers were growing. Her favorite, the jasilyn was fuller this year. She plucked one of the blossoms and held it delicately and gazed at it thoughtfully.

“Yet you have survived. I suppose it is true that the Avalonian people have a heart strong enough to last until the end of time.”

“Where did you hear that?”

“You said it. When we were kids. Right around the time after you met Xanatos on Bandomeer.”

“I remember Bandomeer. Both times. Funny how things come full circle, well I should know better. Everything exists in a delicate balance, even the Force.”

“I remember that lesson. It’s a good one. That is why you must go back.”

“Don’t start on that,” and Ashira turned sharply.

“How can you ignore the fact that you play a big part in the events to come?”

“If I don’t play my part, then they won’t come.” The response had a sarcastic edge to it.

“Look, I know you won’t be happy. If anything, there is one thing holding you back from completely moving on. I know this and I was surprised that you encouraged it in spite of your own feelings but that reflects your giving nature. Besides I knew my time was near. Now it’s time for you to pick up the broken pieces.” Siri’s image faded from view and Ashira was left alone to gaze at the creek.

The thoughts sifted through her mind as she moved to sit on one of the stone benches nearby. Her amber eyes gazed at the silver sheen that was the surface of the water and watched when the weaverbirds swoop down to catch a meal or bathe themselves in the shallow end. She felt a sense of ease but she knew Siri had been right and that was the only thing that weighed her down and that brought regret. She was so deep into her musings that she didn’t hear the footsteps that came up from behind her. She didn’t realize that the person was behind her until a familiar voice spoke softly, “The water is gentler this year. Perhaps because it is a time to start anew.”

Ashira closed her eyes and opened them again slowly. She replied with equal softness, “It is time for new beginnings but old wounds must be healed before that can happen.” She then turned to look up at the one person that she wanted to speak to the most.

Obi-wan saw the same women he met at the Haida encampment but she possessed a gentle grace that had been absent before. In fact it hadn’t been there in a long time. Her outward appearance was different in that she had permanent highlights and she was thinner and more muscular but she was the same person, a caring one. He knew that she was hurting still so he approached the situation carefully. He replied, “What wounds are so terrible that they remain open in light of new beginnings?”

“Anger, distrust, masks; everything that I did.”

“You did what you thought was right. No one can ask more than that.”

Ashira motioned for him to sit beside her. Mostly it was politeness but also she remembered the plotting they used to do especially when she ‘fixed’ the training droids. Obi-wan sat to her left and waited for her answer. He watched as she held the jasilyn blossom and how she avoided eye contact for the moment. He waited until she replied, “What does one do when they have one foot in the Republic and the other in Avalon?”

It was a difficult question to answer. Obi-wan couldn’t answer it so he changed the subject. It was risky but he had to come out and say it. He gazed down at the ground and replied, “I don’t blame you. I was hurting at what happened at Azure. I didn’t realize that you were hurting too and for that I am sorry.” He glanced at her to see her response. Her posture gave him the courage to continue. His gaze reverted to the water and he said, “I know about your feelings now. A friend of ours pointed me in the right direction and I understand.”

The silence that followed was unnerving and Obi-wan began to wonder if he had said the wrong thing. He was about to get up and leave when a small hand patted his right hand. It was a gentle one like when an adult pats a child but held much more meaning. For the first time after he had sat beside her, she glanced at him and just smiled. He relaxed and just sat with her as she said softly, “I’ll return to the Council. There are some things I have to talk to Petronius about.” She then spoke in Avalonian, “Nelae ah te hah.” He just smiled and responded. They continued to talk much like how they did before, mending the wounds that the war had caused them both.

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Old 08-28-2006, 01:43 PM   #49
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Here is the last chapter to my story. I'll be posting a new fic soon. Thanks to all who have been loyal readers.

Chapter 23: Forgiveness to the Future
“Dragus is dead my master and the Belosians have defeated us.”

“Yes I know. I foresaw that she would. She truly is powerful as you described Tyrannus.”

“What of the Rendilian fleet, Master? After this the Commander and his fleet will return to the Republic.”

“A necessary loss. As long as she heads the largest armies, more will flock to her.”

“She is not the same.”

“Yes…I can feel it from across the galaxy. Dragus had his use after all. It will be all the more easier to bring her to the dark side of the Force.”

“She will resist. Her will is too strong to be broken that way.”

“The first steps have already been taken. The war is exacting its toll and she will fall if not now, then later.”


It was a quiet evening as the sun set slowly over Belos, excluding a warmth that stretched as far as the eye could see. The river near the villa flowed towards it as if to fuel it to continue its never ending cycle of rising and falling, guiding it to the unknown. The unknown, a point in time that not even the young woman standing at the bridge could foresee given her many talents. She stood there, dressed in the traditional wear of a Belosian noblewoman with her waist length hair trailing down her back, just gazing out as if trying to see what the future held. She was so intent on looking at the setting sun that she didn’t see the robed figure until she heard a light whisper in her right ear, “How do you feel?”

Not leaving her gaze she replied, “It explains a lot. I never would have thought of it; Kirabaros being my ancestor.”

“Knowing who you are is a good thing but that’s not what I meant,” he replied.

“It’s part of it though. For a long time I never knew if I could be as loyal to the Jedi as to my people; I have one foot in each world and it is difficult.”

“And now?”

A smile played on her lips. She replied, “At least I have this to run to after the berating from the Council.” She turned to face a pair of blue eyes that looked at her with a cross between a frown and amusement. Relenting a bit she replied, “I know that I have a place in both worlds but to obey one or the other, it’s not who I am.”

“Maybe that’s why the Council wants you to stay here for awhile until your next assignment.”

“Maybe.” It was an uncertain response. Still there was a benefit to it. “At least you get to keep me company though I am afraid we are too old to be playing tricks on people and Jedi Masters to boot.”

The robed figure let out a slight chuckle remembering the scrapes they used to get into as children. He sighed as he thought about everything that had transpired and the possible ‘whys.’ He noticed that she had turned to face the sun again. He couldn’t help but ask, “So are we ok?” In so doing he fastened a Judan blossom in her hair just as he did at the station before the confrontation.

“To an extent. Only the Force will tell.” She replied softly. It was the truth and it hurt to admit it but she was right. Though they had talked, it takes time to cope with the repair. The bright side was that they could walk amongst a setting that put them both at ease. She sensed though that it was not what he wanted to hear so she added, “I think though that our time here has mended things. Belos has that way of doing that. That is why it is called the ‘Land of Forgiveness.’”

He just smiled at her brief stint with history. Growing up with an Avalonian had its perks and she was one of them for she never missed a chance to point out a different view of the galaxy. He could understand better how similar the Avalonians were to the ideals of the Jedi and could see her confusion. He often berated himself for not seeing it before but always told himself that she had forgiven him, at least he thought so. She never said it fully but her manner towards him indicated that she had. Thinking of these things he said, “So you forgive me then?”

“Already did.” She was smiling a little shyly but maintained her composure facing the river. She changed the course of the conversation by asking, “So, what’s the betting on how long we are stuck here though I think the Hawk is up for a good run.”

Shaking his head slightly, he responded, “I’m not going there with that one. Besides you gave your solemn oath that you would stay put. Isn’t it part of an Avalonian’s honor to keep their word?”

She scowled slightly when she turned to face him again. She replied imitating Zhor’s voice, “I see you’ve learned how to invoke the honor system of the Avalonians. We’ll make you into a warrior yet.” She then smiled to let him know she was teasing him.

He looked at her bemused. She looked happy there among her people. He briefly wondered if it was wrong that she had been forced to live on Coruscant all her life. He pushed that aside when he caught her frowning at him slightly, as if trying to read his thoughts. He then said, “Keep staring like that and someone will push you in.” He motioned to the river.

She smirked and said, “Don’t try it, flyboy.”

“What?”

“You forgot already? I called you that because you don’t like flying,’ and she smiled a sweet innocent smile. It was taunting him with her hidden meaning, You try that and I’ll do something worse. It was something she did when the younglings tried to play a joke on her.

Knowing what she was saying he let it drop and instead diverted his gaze to the stars that were now starting to show. He said, “So you forgive me but what does the future tell?”

She gazed at the forming stars and used a familiar phrase, “Always in motion. What was there yesterday has changed today and will change again tomorrow.”

Making a bold move, he trapped her against the railing with both his arms on either side. He was still looking up at the stars as if trying to see harder. He looked with a puzzled frown and said, “I can see the war ending but not the actual outcome.”

She had been surprised by his sudden move and had tensed a bit. She then allowed herself to relax. She gazed up and saw what he saw but she saw the actual outcome. It saddened her and she knew that she would have to act quickly once she returned to Coruscant. She didn’t say anything about that but said, “I see it too but as to what happens, only our actions will bring us there.” She then lowered her head to follow the river as it fueled the future and placed her hands on the rail of the bridge. She then felt a gentle touch on her hands; a slight caress that stopped and the hand remained on top of hers.

He left his hands on top of hers and just followed her gaze. He said softly, “Then I guess we let the Force work as it wills.” He was surprised when her response was that she leaned slightly back into him. She said nothing but continued to watch. He thought for a moment. Time would do them both a great service and they had that until they were sent for and he wanted to gain her trust again. He just stood there with her watching the river flow towards an unknown destination but off into the future. He vaguely remembered her once saying that only the journey one takes is written, not the destination. The destination was the future though what it would bring would depend on if the wounds had been healed enough. That was the real destination.

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Old 08-28-2006, 03:04 PM   #50
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Great job on the last few chapters, especially on the two poems from Chapter 22.

This just goes to show what you can accomplish, if you put your mind to it.

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Old 08-28-2006, 05:45 PM   #51
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Nice job. I liked seeing the character development of Ashira and Obi-wan both, and I liked that it _didn't_ end in an expected kiss. The touch on the hands was just enough.

The bad thing--it's done....


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Old 08-28-2006, 06:50 PM   #52
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Aww. Thanks Jae and you too igyman. I actually had some ideas on how to further develop their relationship but I think I am going to have to wait on that for a LONG time. The last scene, I was trying to get the feel of trust being rebuilt. Personally I liked how it turned out even though it is not one of my best.

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Old 01-01-2009, 01:42 PM   #53
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