“Tsung Khan has broken the sacred rules and openly declared invasion.”
“We know this Riyusaan. It has been seen.” The voices were melodic as they spoke in unison.
Riyusaan did all he could to prevent his temper from showing. He stared at the white cloud of light with a firm look and replied, “Then why must it be allowed to happen? Why was it?”
“All things happen for a reason,” the voices from the cloud replied, “We realize that what was deemed sacred has been defiled.”
“Then what is to be done about it?” Riyusaan demanded. He realized he was being a bit short but with his fighters defeated and scattered all over Miako there was no one to be present for the tournament. Unless…
“The tournament will go on.”
“There are no fighters to defend this world,” Riyusaan began.
“None from this world,” the voices answered.
“None from this world? Do you mean?”
“They will come from Avalon,” the voices replied.
Riyusaan couldn’t believe what he was hearing. It didn’t make any sense so he voiced it, “Avalon is nothing more than a fairy tale.”
“No more than this world is to them,” the voices replied, “He will come and they will follow. Train them you must for not just this world is at stake.”
Riyusaan was still having trouble wrapping his mind around what he had heard. According to the voices, Avalon was a fairy tale to his people as Miako was a fairy tale to them. It was hard to imagine since Miako had been the cradle of life for all the worlds here. He recalled then that according to the legends, a group of his people left and became explorers never to return. They found a world they called Avalon for its peace and beauty, the other half of Miako. He wondered and replied, “Since our world is not the only at stake, then who will come?”
“Look to the stars.”
The sun beat down in warmth and cast shadows from the rubble that littered the ground. Li-Shang opened his eyes to the warmth and the pain of having been thrown around. He sat up slowly acknowledging the pain and asking his body to heal. When he was calm and centered, he looked around his surroundings.
With a glance he could tell that he was not at the training temple. From the looks of the place he could see that he must be somewhere in the Carrion Wastelands. He shook his head, trying to remember how he had gotten there. He remembered that he was running towards the warriors of Tsung Khan because they tried to harm Master Riyusaan. He tried to get up quickly when he thought of Master Riyusaan but quickly brought down by the pain in his body.
Knowing that it was futile to protest against what his body was telling him, he stayed down. By acknowledging his pain and asking for healing, he was able to let it pass and stand slowly. Li-Shang gently stretched his muscles, working out the individual points where the aches and knots were.
By this time he was able to see that he was alone. There was no sign of the others. Apparently that last battle must have separated us to different points on Miako
, Li Shang thought to himself as he surveyed the craggy rocks surrounding him. He couldn’t be sure but he thought he heard something move along the top. If we were separated, then the warriors we were fighting were separated too. If that is true then…
Li Shang did not have time to finish the thought for out of nowhere jumped one of Tsung Khan’s warriors. Li-Shang backed into a defensive posture.
The warrior gave a war cry and landed in front of Li-Shang. It screamed, “Fight!” and attacked.
The sound of birds was what woke Son-ja as she struggled to shake the grogginess from her head. She looked around to find that she was on a beach of some sort. She stood up to look around trying to find a landmark of some sort.
It took only a moment for her to realize that she was on the shores of the beach of Sentou. It was a place where warriors had trained and fought before the island Wushan was selected for the tournament. It was where all the best warriors of Miako met to take the ship that would take them to Wushan. Son-ja stood, looking around in awe at the place that she was supposed to be at in two weeks time.
“At least I ended up where we’re supposed to be,” she said aloud to herself, “But why would I end up here? Where is the training academy?”
The lightening that occurred right by her didn’t startle her as Riyusaan appeared. She said, “Master Riyusaan! What happened? Why and I here at the Sentou beach?”
Riyusaan replied, “When you fought, it seems that an unseen power separated all of you. How I am still unsure but I believe it has to do with Tsung Khan’s appearance on our world.”
“Is his presence threatening the existence of our realm?” Son-ja asked the question, eager to learn everything. The first rule as a soldier was to know your surroundings. Since this had happened, it was all the better to have as much information as possible.
“By coming here, forcing his way in before the appointed time, he has caused a rift between our realm, his and one other. An unintentional mistake on his part for the merging will have a profound effect on the energies between the three.”
“A third realm? The realm of the dead would be of no interest to him,” Son-ja replied, “What realm is this?”
“One where the world of Avalon resides,” Riyusaan replied.
“Avalon is a myth,” Son-ja replied confused, “How could a children’s story be part of this?”
“Even I am not certain but one thing is for certain: I need your help in contacting this realm.”
“Of course Master Riyusaan but how are we going to do that? Where are Li-Shang and the others?”
“I do not know. You were the first I was able to find,” Riyusaan replied, “More likely it is the energy fluctuations that make it difficult to locate them or they are in places where I can not go.” A sound in the distance interrupted the conversation and Riyusaan turned to look at the grassy plains that bordered the forests. “We must leave now. I will return you to the academy so that you may send a message to the third realm.”
Son-ja had turned her head at the sound. More likely it was Karaka’s army coming for her. She shuddered inwardly at the image of that hideous creature. She moved towards Riyusaan and nodded. “I am ready.”
Riyusaan returned the nod and reached for the sky. Lightening emanated from his hand as he and Son-ja transported from the beach to the inner courtyard of the academy. Once there he said, “The academy is protected for now from Karaka’s horde. You should be able to send a transmission from the main control room.”
“You aren’t staying Master Riyusaan?”
“I must look for the others. If they are somewhere, they must be found before Tsung Khan’s forces do,” Riyusaan explained.
“Yes, Master Riyusaan,” Son-ja replied in understanding. She bowed and watched as Riyusaan disappeared. She turned and headed towards the main control room. She was startled when she heard rock crumbling. She backed into a fighting stance looking for the source of the noise.
It came in the sound of a groan and she said quickly, “Whoever you are, show yourself for you are in a sacred place.”
“Alright, keep your boots on Son-ja,” a familiar voice replied.
Son-ja lowered her fists as the owner of the voice came out. “Joji Chan?” When the image became clearer, she exclaimed, “Joji! What are you doing there? Are the others with you?”
Joji shook himself off of the dirt and replied, “Last I remember, I got hit on the head by the wall and then I woke up here. Why?”
“I woke up on Sentou beach. Master Riyusaan said that we were scattered after that battle,” Son-ja replied, “He found me and returned me here. I have to send a transmission.”
“I hope it’s to a travel agent,” Joji muttered still shaking the ache from his head as he followed Son-ja.
Son-ja ignored the remark. Instead she opened the stone door that was the quickest way to the central control room. She said, “I’ll explain along the way.”
“Can someone explain to me why I here, on a ship and heading to the one place I’d rather not be?”
Kirabaros sighed when he heard the reply. It had a tone of finality to it and almost dared him to question or protest. He took the chance and asked, “Why did I promise to put myself on display like some animal in a zoo?”
A snicker from the pilot’s seat gave him reason to smile. The owner of the snicker swiveled in his seat to face him and the one he was talking to. The owner said in his familiar drawl, “Didn’t know I had a new exhibit. I guess I’ll have to re-plot my heading.”
“You’ll do no such thing Atton,” Kirabaros’ companion retorted, “We are landing at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and that is final.”
Kirabaros said, “Alright, alright Bastila. I’ll go make a guest appearance and let the younglings drool on me and then go home.” He waited until she started to go to the main hold before he muttered, “Slave driver.”
Atton was hard pressed to keep from laughing until Bastila had gone. As soon as she did he said, “You have no idea how much I was looking forward to seeing you again. The trip to Avalon made it like a Bith trying to sing a lullaby.” He calmed a bit and added, “I know how you feel about the celebrity appearances. Don’t need ‘em but ya have to do them.”
Kirabaros chuckled, “Exactly. At least Revan’s with us. Should liven things up at the Temple well enough.” He then pulled out the book he brought from home about Miako. He flipped it open to the page about the struggle between light and dark.
Atton noticed what Kirabaros was doing and asked, “You applying to be the new Chronicler?”
Kirabaros chuckled as he stuck a finger in his place. He looked up and replied, “No. Just a story that Tulre brought me a few days ago. About my people and where we come from.”
“What’s it about? The usual fighting for the ideal of peace?” Atton asked. “You know history no matter what planet has the same thing.” He grinned as he said that and turned to check the instrument panels.
Kirabaros grinned back and he said, “You might be saying that. It’s about a mythical place called Miako, the cradle of life.”
“Oh one of those stories,” Atton kidded, “A fairy tale.”
Kirabaros chuckled as he reopened his book and began to read. The last place he left off was about the gods who created a tournament to protect Miako from invasion. The only way for the ruler of the Dark realm to invade was to have his champions defeat Miako’s champions in seven straight victories. In the book it said that the champions kept the dark realm from invading the land.
The gods had charged the elder Riyusaan with protecting Miako. He accepted his duty and served with honor, training generations of warriors to defend the cradle of life. One of the greatest amongst them was the champion and protector Ken-Lui who defeated the sorcerer Son Tsung.
As a reward for winning the tournament and being declared champion, Ken-Lui was granted unnatural long life and charged with being a protector of Miako. Ken-Lui accepted his charge and fought against Tsung Khan’s forces until he disappeared. He was presumed dead, killed in combat. Riyusaan grieved for the loss of one of the greatest warriors but continued to train future warriors to stand up to the warriors of Tsung Khan.
Kirabaros looked up wondering about it and his dreams of late. He wondered if it was a result of the dreams he had been having. The strange was that they seemed to be taking place now. They were very real and then he began wondering if he was being given a vision through the Force. I must be out of my mind
, he thought to himself. More likely I am just dreaming the whole thing up because I am reading the stories.
He shuffled in his seat trying to make himself comfortable.
Atton must have sensed something going on his thoughts and said, “We should be at the Temple in about seven hours. Plenty of time to doze off.”
Kirabaros chuckled as he made himself comfortable in the co-pilot seat. “Sounds like a great idea.” He made a show of stretching and closing his eyes. “Wake me when you see Coruscant.”
Kirabaros heard Atton chuckle as he dropped off to sleep.
Riyusaan looked at the sea from the Beach of Sentou. According to Son-ja, Joji-Chan was back at the academy with her. Where the others were, he was still searching. It seemed as if something was deliberately clouding his vision of his fighters. For some strange reason though, he could see a warrior but he was sleeping and from the look of it in a ship.
He recalled the stories of the Explorers who took their ships and set out for other realms. It was said that they were going to a place of harmony. No such place existed though and the Explorers were presumed lost. Now it was just a warning for children to listen to the wisdom given to them. Riyusaan though was beginning to doubt that wisdom. This warrior he had never seen before and the ship looked capable of long travel.
He could only hope that the message Son-ja sent would be received. He prayed that the gods would allow it to reach the mythical place and bring the chosen champions. His only response was the lapping of the waves as he sighted the Wushan i