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Old 01-30-2007, 03:04 PM   #201
JediMaster12
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Thanks Pottsie.

Alright ye huddled masses under the mercy of my flying manuscript and killer pencil, I have a new chapter for you. This chapter I wrote because I felt the need for introspection, a clear idea why Kirabaros is secretive. It also explains his attitude about the thing that means the most to him and turns out to be his greates weakness. There is a scene I based off of Rocky after Apollo's death that adds to the introspective stuff. Some of the dialogue is the same and others it is not. Also as a fair warning, Kirabaros will disappear for a time so everything is on everyone else.

Without further ado, I present:

Chapter 42
Nighttime in the forest was a peaceful time. It was perfect to be alone and think. It was soothing and calm. It gave the pleasant feeling that you would be safe in spite of the creatures that roamed the forest at will. It allowed you to wander and find the answers you seek.

Kirabaros walked along the shore of the river that was fed by the waterfall. Though the river tried to claim him, he still harbored a deep love for it. The river was like people. Though the river was proud and strong and often chose the smoothest course, it was not steady. It was always changing, always flowing. It had been one of his more important lessons from his old master and he kept it locked in memory within the deep recesses of his mind where he could retreat to it when he needed to.

Things were at a standstill as far as he knew but it wasn’t going to last. That much he could gather after he had finished telling his tale to everyone save Sarna. Call him old fashioned but with everything the way it was, it would do her no good to be upset or excited in her condition. Thinking about that made him feel that living was worthwhile. It was like Jolee had told him: the things that had happened to him would have killed any ordinary man. Kirabaros knew that some gave up but he had a will to live though he would never tell anyone what the reason was. He was the brunt of too many jokes already and preferred to let people make their own judgment. He was thinking about what to do when he felt a gentle breeze that felt like ice from behind. He didn’t turn around but said, “You need to work on your entrances. I may get frostbite.”

“You always preferred to act like the fool. You have the potential and yet you don’t use it,” the response came.

“Maybe so but at least I was never a betrayer,” Kirabaros replied before turning to face the one that came upon him.

“Ah yes. You are like her. You are power, the heart of the Force and true to yourself but in other ways you are like him, the death of the Force.”

“So I am one and the same Traya?” Kirabaros finally addressed the woman. He knew her well especially after that last battle on Amshrey. Ever since then she would appear from time to time to voice her disapproval over something or other. Rarely did she commend him. It didn’t matter to him because she appeared at times when he thought the ground would fall from beneath his feet.

“You are different. You serve neither the light or dark nor do see either as well.”

“Meaning that both extremes annoy me and I tend to follow my heart and to me the means justify the end.” He had said it as a statement rather than a question. It was a statement of truth.

“If you mean in the manner in which you made your decision with the Miako incident, then that is true,” Traya replied.

“That was…a regrettable miscalculation.” Though it was dark, Kirabaros thought that Traya could see the shade of red his face had turned. That was a time he wanted to forget.

“Bah. Like so many of the hide bound relics of the Jedi you hide behind your empathy.” There was the faint scent of contempt but mingled with the pleasure that she took in reminding him of things that he regretted.

“Maybe so,” Kirabaros replied uncomfortably calm, “but it goes to show that I can learn my lesson.”

“Which is why I like you, though it displeases me to say so,” Traya replied.

“I see that now we have called a truce. Tell me, why have you decided to visit me? I doubt it has anything to do with my interesting conversation,” Kirabaros queried.

“You ask when you know the answer. A critical moment approaches. It is time for you to decide if you are willing to risk everything to achieve this dream that you have long sought.”

“The time for prejudices must end and the Republic must see that we mean no harm,” Kirabaros answered, turning to face the river.

“Even if it means exposing that what matters the most to the bloodshed you will use to get there?”

The question stung like the bite of kirath hound. For a moment Kirabaros said nothing as if carefully weighing his options. Then, being slow and deliberate, he said, “What good would it be to live in a world of fear?”

“Yet you have given them no reason to fear. What changed?”

“Miako,” came the reluctant answer. “Miako was the first.”

“Ah, the crucible. At last you saw.”

Kirabaros looked at the old Jedi witch that he was fond of with a look that spoke of disbelief and questioning. He certainly was not fond of her in the way a boy loves a favorite aunt but all the same he liked her and she liked him. She wasn’t looking at him but looking at the river so he couldn’t see her face but that didn’t matter. He didn’t have to speak again for she said, “Your mind is made up though your thoughts are difficult to read. Your mind is slippery much like the fool’s.”

“Then you know that I will do what I set out to do,” Kirabaros replied, “There is nothin left to be said.”

“Bah. Like your rivers, you flow in one direction and when trapped you make another path. You never walk the same one twice.”

“That is why I value these times we have,” Kirabaros said before turning to walk back to the Mandalorian camp. He walked a few paces before he turned and said, “Atton is not a fool.” He then continued walking.

Darth Traya watched him leave in the darkness, her features indiscernible. As she watched him leave she spoke to him in a low voice that was lost to the winds, “Like the river you change. At Maiko you saw and you changed.”

_________________________________________

The camp was cozy, if you liked being surrounded by men who thought that a good time was testing each other’s strength. At least one could feel safe in a place like that if you wanted to hide from anything that threatened you. It was also a challenge to survive here which was why Canderous loved it. Judging from the manner in which he gave a tour of the place, Juhani could see that he had not changed much. The only difference she noticed was when he greeted his wife Sarna.

Here in the growing dark, she paced about the quarters that she had been given to share with Mission. Kirabaros had disappeared after telling them of what he suspected and no one had seen him since, not even Jolee. That alone made her anxious, fearing that he was going to do something foolish, as was his wont to do. In response, she made the decision to wait up for him and seek him out when he returned from the camp. She took her place outside of the barracks and sat as if she were to meditate. She had been there for and hour when Mission walked by and asked, “What are ya doing there? It’s late.”

“I need to speak with Kirabaros. It is important,” Juhani replied not mincing words. Like Revan, she knew that Mission didn’t like to be strung about with half-truths and lies.

Mission, sensing the note of urgency in Juhani’s voice replied, “Oh. Uh OK. I don’t know when he’ll be back. You know him.”

“I will wait then.”

“Well, if you need anything…” Mission waved her hand towards their quarters. She got the feeling that she wasn’t supposed to know about this and figured that this was one of those times where she could afford to not pester for an answer.

“Thank you Mission. I will remember that,” Juhani replied and looked up at Mission. She gave her a smile and turned her attention back to the entrance of the camp.

“Good night,” Mission said and walked in to go to bed. They had a busy day tomorrow and she needed the sleep.

Juhani continued to sit and wait. She didn’t know how long she sat there but her legs felt as if they were full of pins. She was determined however to speak to Kirabaros no matter what it took. She was to get her wish when she spotted Kirabaros’ lean figure walk into the camp. She stood and moved towards his destination: his quarters.

Kirabaros was in of two minds after his conversation with Darth Traya. He knew what he had to do. He had seen it without her telling him and it tore him in two. It didn’t matter where his life was concerned. He had seen war just like Revan and Darius. He could think about Darius. It brought back terrible memories of Miako and what he wished he never had heard. He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn’t see Juhani until she was standing in front of him and she spoke his name, “Kirabaros?”

Seeing Juhani was in that determined posture she got when she was on the warpath to find out, Kirabaros knew better than to lead her around the bend. He stopped and stood looking at her and responded with a question, “Yeah?”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Juhani focused her yellow eyes on Kirabaros as if searching for the answer.

“I have to do what I have to do for the sake of those I care for,” he responded with a slight shrug.

“You don’t have to do it alone.”

“No Juhani. I do. I have to do what it takes to make sure that those who have not been touched by war are not tainted by it. It is what I was born to do.”

That last line was a mistake for Juhani responded with, “Why? Because that you are the Heart of the Guardian? You of all people should know that no one’s future is set.”

“Juhani a lot of people don’t have a choice but I do,” Kirabaros responded. He felt tired and he didn’t want to hear it but he forced himself to.

“And for that, are you willing to lose everything that is you? Why can’t you change your stubborn way of thinking? Everyone else does!” Juhani’s voice began to rise a bit.

“Because I’m an Avalonian warrior. That is our way Juhani, the way of sacrifice. We can’t change the way we are. We can’t change anything about us but go with what we are,” Kirabaros matched his voice with hers.

“You can’t go with what you are. You can’t keep hiding behind the lies and deceit. Have you seen what is happening? The Republic is falling apart and there is no one left to keep it together because you have us scattered to do your bidding to seek out the cause. You are putting Juntau at risk! You can’t win!” Juhani was near shouting at him. She felt ashamed that she was berating him after all that he had been through. She sensed that he was still affected strongly by his capture and she feared that she had made it worse. She said nothing more but continued to stare at him pleading for him to rethink about what he was doing.

Kirabaros heard the words and they stung like nettles. It hurt that one of his closest friends didn’t believe in him but he saw what there intentions were. He looked away towards the campfires that dotted the camp near the Mandalorian barracks. He then looked back at Juhani and said in what seemed to be a defeated voice, “Juhani always tells the truth. No maybe I can’t win but what I can do it make sure that I give everything I’ve got for the Republic to win. I know that in order for Draconis to beat me, he’s going to have to kill me. To do that, he has to be willing to die himself. I know that he is willing to kill others but I don’t know if he is willing to die himself.” Kirabaros looked at Juhani who was looking at him with a look that told him not to think like that. He glanced at her face and said, “I will try for Juntau,” and he turned away, leaving Juhani standing there.

Kirabaros wandered in the opposite direction of the barracks towards the paddock where the stallions were kept, mostly for the amusement of the younger Mandalorians. He grabbed a hold of one of the wild stallions and mounted it bareback. With deftness that he possessed with his stallions at home, he guided the beast towards the gates of the camp and rode off into the dark.

The forest cast their darker shadows over a darkened landscape but it didn’t matter. The moon lit his way as he raced through the forest paths on the stallion. He thought about nothing except what happened at Miako, Coruscant, Avalon and now. The memories came but in a methodical loop as he went deeper into the forest.

Kirabaros looked around him. He blended in for he was dressed like a maiko in the black robes, embroidered with gold. He was there on a recon mission…Darius was standing in tied to the pole, defiant until he wielded the knife…The plains of Jasilyn were green again and alive with the white blossoms as he watched his family…The explosion…the pain in his body…Darius…the vision of the children…Darius…Revan and her family…Darius…Michaela when they met and what they went through…Darius…

It kept circling in his mind. They were connected. Miako was where he had found out about a plot to overthrow Avalon and spark a war against the Republic. That had been a year ago. It was supposed to be a simple recon mission but it went wrong. Kirabaros recalled when he spoke to the Miraluka afterwards and he had been humbled by her acceptance. No rancor, no accusations. It was then that he decided to take matters into his own hands and keep everyone dear to him safe no matter what the cost.

Kirabaros thought nothing else as he drove the stallion deeper into the forest. He had no idea where he was going but he followed what was driving him. It led him through the thickets; it helped him avoid the creatures that threatened to hunt him. He drove on into the night until he pulled on the stallion’s mane to stop him. He looked around and then looked forward.

He had arrived at some ancient temple. It was easy to see its age for the stone bore the signs of wear on its surface and the wildlife had reclaimed it as its own. Kirabaros dismounted the stallion and stood in front of the temple. He stared up in amazement at the magnificence of the temple. Reaching out, he sensed no evil. No, it had been built by the Avalonians, the monks of long ago when they first came to Amshrey. They had been servants of the light itself but they were destroyed by the wildlife. Amshrey wasn’t ready for settlement then but the ancients had left their mark in the form of this temple.

Kirabaros was still looking at the temple when a familiar voice called to him, “You have arrived. The time has come for you to face what was in order for you to drive ahead.”

“Much like you tested Darius, Traya?” Kirabaros asked softly.

“We all wage war with the past. You know this well. What you must face is the war within yourself and what you seek to gain from this game of deception that you started at Miako,” Traya responded. She had moved to Kirabaros’ side so he could hear her.

“Everything comes back to Miako,” Kirabaros replied shaking his head.

“Of course. It is the catalyst that set forth the events that have happened and will happen. Like anyone of the Force, you know that it can be changed with a simple choice. The choice is up to you,” Traya continued.

“And going into the temple will help me see that?”

“In a manner of speaking. It is merely to help you revisit key moments in your past and what may come. Of this you are familiar.

Kirabaros said nothing more but slowly walked up the steps of the temple. At the top, the door opened for him. He looked back at Traya who was watching him and then turned back to walk in the temple. He had no idea what he would find but he would trust in the Force. He could only hope that the temple would not drive him mad.

Traya watched as Kirabaros entered the temple. She was joined by Tergis who spoke nothing of his arrival to her but was content to watch what was to happen. Traya then said, “It is time for him to stop running.”

“He has. This is merely a means for him to see who he is,” Tergis replied.

“Perhaps. He has had many masters since you and yet he comes back to you.”

“He will do what he must and be the Jedi he is.”


Last edited by JediMaster12; 01-30-2007 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 01-30-2007, 03:09 PM   #202
Diego Varen
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It's nice to see Traya again. Anyway, good Chapter as always JM12 and I'm looking foward to more.
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Old 01-30-2007, 03:21 PM   #203
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Pottsie: Do I have to send both the flying manuscript and my killer pencil to prod you to write something other than your usual text phrase?
If you just skim read then you missed something about Darius. It was very subtle and left me an opening for a shortie.

Glad that you liked the chapter though. I figured it was time for more introspection seeing as no character grows without some form of internal self evealuation. It is the only way to become mentally healthy or something like that. Golly I am remembering psych 105! If you noticed I also brought back Tergis for a brief appearance.

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Old 01-30-2007, 03:29 PM   #204
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Good work, again, JM12. The chapter was very well done. The dialogs, the descriptions, everything. Although I don't much like to see Kreia's ghost in fics, you've done a good job of portraying her personality. Her lines, even though a few of them resembled some from the game, were excellent.
There were two typos that I noticed, one near the end of the Kreia-Kirabaros dialog (There is nothing left to be said.) and another in the Juhani-Kirabaros dialog (Because that you are the Heart of the Guardian?), other than that maybe a comma missing, but nothing worth nagging about.

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Old 01-30-2007, 03:41 PM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JediMaster12
Pottsie: Do I have to send both the flying manuscript and my killer pencil to prod you to write something other than your usual text phrase?
If you just skim read then you missed something about Darius. It was very subtle and left me an opening for a shortie.

Glad that you liked the chapter though. I figured it was time for more introspection seeing as no character grows without some form of internal self evealuation. It is the only way to become mentally healthy or something like that. Golly I am remembering psych 105! If you noticed I also brought back Tergis for a brief appearance.
I didn't know you had a killer pencil as well. Anyway, I skam read it, but will this Shortie about Darius come soon, since I've been looking foward to one? I'll try to say more next time JM12.
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Old 01-30-2007, 03:50 PM   #206
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igyman: Thanks for pointing that out and I will have an edited version when I post in the archives. If you remember from HotG Kirabaros said that he had many conversations with her after that. Some lines I did take from the gameplay because they seemed to fit well with the conversation. She never tries to convert KIrabaros to the darkside but rather points out what extreme lightsiders tend to miss. In a way she is trying to make him see gray and adopt the means justify the end principle which he did at Miako.

Pottsie: Yes I just acquired a new pet, the killer pencil I call Kujo. I adopted him when I started handwriting a story about a woman trying to fit in after her grandfather's death. He is good friends with the flying manuscript which I feed daily with my musings. As to the shortie about Darius and Miako, I am weaving the possible storyline in my mind as I am typing this. Maybe if I spell it out, you will see what I meant

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Old 01-30-2007, 05:10 PM   #207
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Originally Posted by JediMaster12

Chapter 41
Yavin looked peaceful especially the fourth planet.
Er. . .no. Planets don't have planets; they have "moons".
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:48 PM   #208
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Right. Thanks Kas'!m. I'll fix it when I get around to it.

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Old 01-30-2007, 07:10 PM   #209
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Hehe, maybe that's what I missed earlier....
Anyway, another great chapter. Didn't really see many errors, but I did notice this one:
A yes.
I think you meant to say, Ah, yes.
But hey, if I'm wrong, just ignore me.....
I think I know what you were implying about Darius.... but I'm looking forward to the shortie all the same.... besides, I might be mistaken...... looking forward to the next chapter, too!


The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins---
but in the heart of its strength lies weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back.
Love is more than a candle.
Love can ignite the stars.
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:13 PM   #210
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Right. Thanks Kas'!m. I'll fix it when I get around to it.
Don't thank me. What kind of writer would I be if I didn't help my fellow writers, even when they don't ask?
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Old 01-31-2007, 06:10 PM   #211
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All the same I thank you. I promise that the next chapter will be exciting. I am going back to Tatooine for that one. Let's just say that I have a few surprises up my sleeves.

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Old 02-03-2007, 05:12 PM   #212
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nice chapters.
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:58 PM   #213
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To all ye huddled masses under the wrath of the flying manuscript:
Well at long last I have a new chapter up. It is slightly exciting with a little sword fight going on. There is some interesting revelations that lead to some nice warm fuzzies all around.

Aurora: I think I know what you are thinking about Darius my Exile. I haven't written the shortie yet but it is in the archive in my brain.

Without further ado ye huddled masses I give you...

Chapter 43
The sun beat its heat as the two duelists circled each other. The younger of the two had speed and dexterity on his side while his opponent had the experience. To Caelos, it was like the senator’s apartment when he and Dustil bested those would be kidnappers. Bobbing and weaving, he watched for the sign of his opponent’s next move. His opponent swung upward and Caelos dodged it and gave a counter strike. The result was a series of clashes, thrusts and parries. It was entertaining for the crowds especially when Caelos made fun of his opponent by having him chase him. It was not so entertaining to Revan.

Revan had seen too many young people like Caelos act cocky. The end result was always the same: they got caught with their britches down. Seeing that it was Caelos, she was willing to give him the benefit of a doubt. She watched as she thought about the day’s matches. The first three tiers were easy enough as it weeded out the showboats and not as skilled warriors. Dustil was the first of their group to strike out at the sixth tier when his opponent knocked away his blade and knocked him flat on his back. Michaela held out well enough but lucked out in this last tier before the semi finals. Thinking back on it, Revan couldn’t help but think if Michaela lost on purpose. She had seen Michaela fight before and she was not one to give in so easily. What really held her attention was the Masked Stranger Bekura.

This Bekura was about the size of a seven year old and yet he managed to take down some of the meanest and toughest opponents. Revan couldn’t deny that he had skill with a blade and easily held his own. She did admit that he looked familiar in his movements but dismissed it as wishful thinking on her part. Bekura’s movements did mirror those of Kirabaros but it could be that he studied under someone who had studied Kirabaros’ technique. It wasn’t uncommon but even then it carried to personal style. Bekura though seemed to know it right down to the last foot placement. She asked Michaela her thoughts but Michaela just shrugged and said that it was more likely photographic memory. Revan had accepted that and missed the telltale gleam in Michaela’s eyes when she said that.

Revan’s attention was brought back to the match. She was in time to hear that Caelos had won this round. That made eight left in this competition and the reigning champion didn’t count for he was excluded until the final match. There would be a pause until the next day for the next set of duels including the death match. Revan tried not to think of this as Caelos approached her and gave her a warrior handshake. He gave her a polite smile and said, “Well we made it this far.”

By this time, Dustil, Michaela, and Carth managed to join them. There was no reason for them not to seeing as they were in this together but it didn’t give Revan a chance to comment about what had happened in Caelos’ duel. Caelos, for his part, knew what Revan wanted to tell him but now was not the time. She had lived with his people for four years while he had his lifetime with them and Kirabaros had been his teacher. He knew what to expect, to a degree, from life. He was Bushida and they greeted each day as if it were there last. He said nothing of this as he greeted the others, “Success we have. Tomorrow we shall have a chance.”

_____________________________________

Lilah had been anxious watching the day’s duels. She watched as her Aunt Michaela, Caelos, her brother and her Mama fight when their turn came up. It was exciting yet scary for she didn’t know if it hurt when their opponents hit them. T3 was a source of comfort for he beeped reassurance and told her what had been happening since Uncle Candy left her, Tulre and Morgan with Mamesa. It wasn’t enough though when the mysterious Bekura stepped in against an extremely tough opponent.

Bekura was not very old and it showed for he was spry and lithe. The funny thing was that his blade looked twice as big as he was at certain angles and yet he handled it like the more seasoned warriors. His last duel was fierce. The guy was as big as a Mandalorian and the deposition of one. Bekura had chosen a short sword. It was a shorter version of the katana and extremely effective without being overly heavy. Bekura stepped into the ring and flourished his blade.

The match started out fast with the brute swinging hard and down. Bekura sprang away as his youth would allow. Backing up into a stance that he knew well, he countered the strikes, using his height as an advantage to bob and weave. His chance came when his opponent was thrown off balance. Bekura managed to give a shove and the brute fell, losing his blade. Scrambling for it, the brute was outmaneuvered by Bekura who kicked the blade away. The brute conceded to Bekura and the match was over. Bekura took his bow and walked off to the sidelines. He headed straight for Lilah who gave him a hug and asked, “Any more?”

The green eyes from behind the mask looked at the golden ones with a hint of amusement. He replied, “Caelos is the last one and then the finals tomorrow. Want to go find Morgan?”

“Yes. After you change Shang,” Lilah replied. “T3 are you coming?”

The droid beeped and followed the two out of the arena. They left Caelos to fight his duel.

____________________________________

Atton wasn’t impressed and he could see why Revan wasn’t. He had picked her out of the group of duelists easily and watched how she watched everyone that was fighting for the hamachi. He was so intent on keeping an eye on her that he nearly missed the intake of breath when Bekura went out for his match. He watched his son watching and turned his gaze towards Bekura. He recognized the fighting styles but he wondered if it was coincidence. He said nothing until the match was over when he commented, “I see that size doesn’t matter does it Morgan?”

Morgan had the suspicion that his papa was trying to get something out of him. He smiled at Atton and replied, “Yes Papa.” He then directed a question to Kiera, “Kiera, did you like it?”

Kiera replied, “It was interesting, are there any more?”

Atton saw that nothing was going to come of his questioning so he replied, “I think there is one more and then tomorrow are the finals.”

Kiera was saved from replying when two voices called out, “Atton!”

They were joined by Lilah and Tulre who greeted Atton with joy. They were reserved about it, careful to not drawn attention to themselves. The joy was broken when T3 let out a series of beeps only to be responded by Atton’s, “I never thought I’d see you again you walking tin can.”

Some laughs were shared as they watched the last match of the day. As they were leaving the stadium, Atton asked, “Are you heading back to the hamachi?”

Tulre answered, “We have to or okâsan will worry.”

“Well, Mamesa did invite us to stay. I think Michaela wouldn’t mind,” Kiera interjected thoughtfully. She smiled at Atton with the first warm smile that she had given him. The three kids were away a bit giggling to themselves.

Atton looked at Kiera and thought that she was pretty. He replied, “Well, if Michaela doesn’t mind, then I guess we can go. Who is going to stay with the ship?”

“You know Rowan is,” Kiera replied. She was enjoying this and she got to see the soft spot that Atton had for children. When he told her about Morgan and his mother, she was touched. She understood his reasons for leaving Morgan when he had to but she didn’t show pity. She got the feeling that pity wasn’t something Atton would take to. She waited while Atton struggled for a suitable reply.

Tulre piped up, “It’s no problem. Come on.” He beckoned them to follow as he set off with Lilah holding his hand and Morgan trotting beside them.

_____________________________________

The hamachi was alive with music and singing as the combatants entered into the settlement. The maiko were playing their instruments while the geisha were dancing to the music being played. There was reason to celebrate seeing as that their warrior friends made it to the finals. Even though one didn’t make it, all were honored. It was so lively one couldn’t help but smile.

Revan wasn’t feeling the cheer though as she paced through the camp watching the music and dancing. She felt that she didn’t deserve it but that was overshadowed by a sense of unease that nagged at the back of her mind. It was as if someone was watching them but that didn’t make sense to her. No one knew they were here except maybe Kirabaros but even if he were tortured, he wouldn’t tell something like that. Why do I feel like someone is dogging my steps, Revan pondered. She didn’t notice that she had wandered away from the adults. It wasn’t until she heard a different kind of noise when she rounded a corner. She crept forward to listen.

Tulre was giving a blow-by-blow account of Revan’s last match in front of Morgan, Lilah and the other children of the hamachi. He made a lively show of it but entirely accurate in terms of foot movements. He did embellish slightly as to Revan’s demeanor as he jumped and waved the stick he had chosen for his blade. He was speaking, “And the great Lilah Aldstar swung in an upward thrust using what the Jedi call the Ataru form and knocked the warblade away. It flew so fast that it struck a post and quivered where it landed.”

“Wow!” Geiko claimed. “I wish I was there.”

“Well it wasn’t exactly like that,” Revan cut in making the children jump. She didn’t see her daughter as she had her back to her.

“It was the way how I saw it.” Tulre looked at his Aunt Reva in the same manner his father would have looked at her. He had to stop hiding, at least about some things.

Revan recognized the expression on Shang’s face. She felt like a fool that she couldn’t see it before and instantly started to berate herself for being so wrapped up in her own problems. She stood looking at him as he was expecting an answer, “I…I…”

Tulre gave a big grin. He turned towards the other children and spoke a few words to them in Avalonian. They left the circle, leaving Lilah and Morgan still sitting on the log. Tulre spoke first, “It took awhile didn’t it Aunt Reva?” He smiled big at her.

“We had to listen to okâsan Mama,” Lilah added turning around. “With the bad men around, we had to be careful.”

“We have been good and stayed hiding,” Morgan piped in.

“It was hard Aunt Reva. We wanted to say something,” Tulre finished.

Revan looked at the three children looking up at her. The shame she had felt when the realization dawned on her was gone. It was replaced with relief that her daughter was safe as well as Tulre and Morgan. Her eyes brimmed with tears of happiness at seeing them. She opened her arms. Lilah was there in a flash for she had missed her mother. With a bit of hesitation, Morgan joined in. Last came Tulre. Like his father, he took pleasure in making sure that everyone else was happy before him. It didn’t matter to Revan as the tears brimmed and fell as she held them.

Carth had been looking for Revan after he noticed her wandering away. He followed her under Mamesa’s watchful eye. She had a feeling that Tulre would be up to something. He did say he was tired of hiding from family. Carth knew nothing of this as he wandered through the hamachi until he came to the circle where the children were entertaining themselves. As he rounded the corner, he saw his wife hugging three children, one being his daughter. Resisting the impulse to join them, he decided to let her alone for the three of them seemed to provide a much needed reassurance.

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Old 02-12-2007, 01:38 PM   #214
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It has been a long wait, but it seems to have paid off. A very good chapter, although it has action, it seems very calm. Interesting. I shall ponder over this.

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Old 02-12-2007, 01:45 PM   #215
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Thanks igyman. It took me awhile because I am taking my first classes into criminal justice though I have no interest in being a lawyer. It is mostly for my little bro's benefit. As to the chapter, when I was writing it, I felt the need to give a little action but save the big stuff until the next one on Tatooine. As to the kiddies, well, I felt the time had come to stop hiding, at least from those that they loved. It didn't matter anyway since Atton found Morgan earlier
Glad that you liked it. I finished it two nights ago and last night til 1:30 this morning I almost finished the next chapter. This next one I think you will like considering that you mentioned you like verbal wars in the Senate.

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Old 02-12-2007, 02:49 PM   #216
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If there's going to be more political intrigue, I'll definitely like it, since you really know how to write those scenes.

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Old 02-12-2007, 02:54 PM   #217
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I thought I had commented on this, but perhaps my post got deleted by the Mods for being too small. Anyway, good Chapter as always and I'm looking foward to more.
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:22 PM   #218
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igyman: let's just say that this will be the last straw that breaks the dewback's back.
It was a scene that I had been entertaining in my mind for a long time.

Topsite: Maybe it was because you keep posting the same thing every time I post a new chapter
Do I need to send the flying manuscript out again?

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Old 02-12-2007, 06:30 PM   #219
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Well ye huddled masses. Like I said, I was almost finished when I posted 43 and now I am pleased to say that 44 is now finished. A fair warning should be that it is very deliberate in the way I wrote it. What is there is intentional unless it is an abominable grammar error

Now I give you...

Chapter 44
The hatred was thick in the air. One didn’t have to be a Jedi to know the feeling of it and its effects of poisoning the atmosphere. The Chancellor felt it as well as the hundreds of senators as they sat during what Lady Mara termed as the last round of diplomacy. The Chancellor was exhausted but he had to keep up a strong front and appear to be objective. The sticking point was that most of the senators knew where he stood and that was on the side of the Avalonians.

After that conversation with Lady Mara and later with Jedi Karas, the Chancellor knew that Avalon wasn’t the enemy. He felt that he had been blinded, even when Kirabaros gently mentioned that a storm was coming and asked if he would be able to weather it. Unfamiliar with the subtleties of Avalonian meaning, the Chancellor had taken to mean something more along the lines of a storm on Coruscant. Looking back, the Chancellor realized that Kirabaros had been warning him of this. He briefly wondered if Kirabaros had known what would happen and wondered why he never came out and directly say what was on his mind. It would be the same question voiced millennia later with a daughter of Kirabaros.

The Chancellor brushed these thoughts aside as he called the Senate to order. As he did, he hoped that war could be avoided all together. He spoke clearly, “The Senate shall come to order so that we may proceed with what is being discussed.” The moans of the senators did nothing to boost confidence but he continued, “The chair recognizes the senator from the sovereign system of Avalon.”

The match was on…again.

_____________________________________

Keegan looked out the view window of the ship at the planet below. Alderaan was a planet of historians and artisans therefore they appreciated the craftsmanship of the Avalonian blades. It was also a major port of trade for Avalon since the arts was a large part of their culture. They dealt in other goods but the main product was arts and crafts. Alderaan was also a staunch supporter of Avalon. So like them because of their arts, Keegan thought to himself.

For the past few days, he had his men prey upon Avalonian vessels, attacking them, and in some cases killing the crew. The idea was to have Avalon launch an offensive and thereby shatter the remaining ties with the Republic and war would begin. It was a sound plan but the Avalonians didn’t strike back. It agitated Keegan greatly, even more so when Draconis said they would. Keegan couldn’t figure it out and come to think of it, if Draconis were here, he wouldn’t have been able to either. Unknown to Keegan and Draconis, Lady Mara had issued a decree that should any of their vessels be attacked, the crew should do what they can to defend the ship but no one shall retaliate against their attackers. Honor bound, the Avalonians obeyed this to the letter though a few questioned the reasoning behind this.

Today’s attack was to be a showpiece that should finally pit the Republic against Avalon. His usual crew was ready to go. This time, they would attack the port itself and lay siege and attack the grounded vessels. With luck, the Avalonians would return fire and they may actually hit anything from the Republic. Keegan would then send a transmission to the fleet and they would have their say in the Senate or however that worked out. Any matter, the Senate would openly question Avalon and then it would be war. That truly didn’t matter to Keegan, as what he really wanted was to find the one who betrayed the Republic. He wanted the Jedi Revan.

_____________________________________

The day was well into its routine with the merchants of Avalon displaying their goods to the obliging people of Alderaan. It was no small wonder that Kirabaros made the suggestion that trade should start with Alderaan. Since he was the first to leave and return from Avalon in over a thousand or so years, the people were willing to believe him. He had known that the people of Alderaan would appreciate the artwork of Avalon’s artisans and made the first contact between them. Since then trade had been bustling.

Even though Avalon was under a lot of pressure, the merchants continued their trade. They survived the preying on their vessels from supposed Republic vessels and did not retaliate back. They had no desire to fight but trade and they protected themselves as Lady Mara suggested they should. Lately though a few Bushida warriors had accompanied them and the merchants brushed up their technique with the sword. In spite of everything, Alderaan welcomed the traders as they had for the last two years, with open arms.

The day’s trade was well underway with the oldest of the merchants giving a goodhearted scolding to one of the younger merchants. It was an old joke that involved one of their favorite customers. They were laughing over the silliness of it with the customer when the young merchant noticed something in the sky. He said, “Hey. What’s that up there?”

Both, the elder and the customer looked up at the sky. The customer asked, “Is that one of yours arriving?” It was typical for the merchants to have their supply ships come in but it was a little unusual to arrive during the day.

The elder replied after squinting at the sky, “No.” His eyes opened in realization as he said, “Those aren’t ours. You should probably leave now.”

The customer didn’t get a chance to ask why.

______________________________________

Lady Mara stared at the holoimage with no trace of visible emotion. She then asked, “How certain are you General Chung?”

“Reports have been coming from all over of what’s left of the trading posts. They are Republic vessels,” the holoimage of General Chung replied.

“Impossible. The Republic does not attack without full backing of the Senate. As of now, they are still in negotiations.”

“Mi lady. I don’t like this any more than you do but we have to face the facts: there is nothing to disprove the fact that the Republic has betrayed us.”

“You’re wrong general,” Lady Mara looked at her general with disbelief at what he was saying. Until she had proof, she was not going to jeopardize what was left of their relationship with the Republic. She continued, “The Republic has no reason to attack us. I think that someone is impersonating the Republic. That someone has the connections and the resources to obtain Republic vessels and one of our own has betrayed us.”

“Lady Mara, I don’t mean to speak out of place but that sounds farfetched. Kirabaros has been missing and he took Lady Onasi with him. Given the rumors and accusations back home, does that sound like the action of an innocent man?”

“Those accusations are a result of enemies of Kirabaros within our own sovereignty. You know as well as I that Kirabaros has had many enemies since the war two years ago,” Lady Mara replied.

“And any one of them could be the culprit behind this but as of now, we just don’t know,” General Chung pointed out.

Lady Mara was forestalled from replying when another image appeared next to General Chung. The image revealed a battle-hardened warrior that hid the reserve and honor of an Avalonian. He addressed Lady Mara, “My Lady, I have urgent news from Alderaan.”

The heated exchange had been cooled on both sides. Dreading what was going to be said, Lady Mara spoke calmly, “Alright General Yakamoto. Report.”

_____________________________________

“Honorable representatives of the Republic: I know you all are exhausted as I am but, as the chosen representative of my people, I have come willingly to show you that our sovereignty has not nor ever shall bear ill will against the Republic.” Senator Amstar looked at the masses of senators as they listened to her words. Under the light of the Senate rotunda, she looked unusually pale, almost as if the color had been leeched from her face giving the impression that she was almost at death’s door. There were dark circles under her eyes for the last few nights had prevented her from enjoying any form of sleep. She gave a sigh and continued, “Like other worlds of this body politic, we have our traditions and customs that distinguish us from the others. We have the markings of a civilization just like everyone else.”

“Yet you deem it fit to take aggressive action against anyone who violates your laws,” a senator spoke out.

“Surely our laws are to be respected just as other members of the Republic are expected to respect each other’s?” Senator Amstar replied. “The incident regarding the Jedi Revan being under our protection I understand causes great concern for all. I understand that you worry that criminals will seek refuge from their crimes. To put forth the truth, we are aware of who is criminal and who is not.” Senator Amstar held up her hand against the murmurs that were beginning to start within the Senate. She continued, “With Jedi Revan, we maintain that we do not know of the Revan that you seek. The Revan that we know has helped us and given much of herself in our time of need. I know that there are members of worlds that had been ravaged by the Jedi Civil War that wish to see someone pay for the damage but I ask you this: at what cost will it be to yourselves if you pursue the path of revenge?”

The senators were quiet after that. They were not sure of how to respond. Senator Amstar had a point but it would take much courage to admit to the answer. It was the senator of Ryloth who spoke first, “I for one consider that the cost would be too high. We have suffered too much already at the hands of the Sith. The Avalonians have done nothing but provided aid when we have needed it. I for one do no wish to see us torn apart over this and that the Jedi Revan matter should be compromised.”

“There is a point there but justice demands that there should at least be a hearing on whether or not Revan is truly reformed,” a senator to the left put forth.

“A hearing which we had but no one was willing to listen,” Senator Amstar replied calmly. “As a result of numerous attempts on her life and some of the senators near her, Kirabaros did what he had to and hid Revan away.”

“He broke his agreement that he would do no such thing,” the senator who had asked the previous question replied.

“Yes but I would think that given the circumstances you would agree that it was the right thing. If it had been a senator, protection would have been demanded for,” Amstar countered. Her voice was not fierce like Lady Mara’s had been but it was firm and revealed a woman that would stand by her convictions no matter what.

“That is true,” the senator from Ryloth responded. As per the suggestion, he didn’t stand directly beside her but rather assumed the position of listening and commenting on it. Most people knew that he supported Avalon anyway but by his giving an observant view, it made him appear open to some doubt.

“If a compromise is what you seek, then I am open to suggestions in reasonable terms and if the Chancellor agrees, then we can begin on a path of healing,” Amstar continued.

“I am open to that,” someone sounded. “My people are tired of the fighting. We have no interest in prosecuting the Jedi Revan.”

A general murmur began to sound over the senators as they sought a means of what to do. Senator Amstar stole a glance at the Chancellor who had been observing the proceedings. Today he did not have to call for order like the day before yesterday and he looked slightly relieved. The senator felt pity for the man at having to deal with a situation like this but the Avalonian in her told her that he would come out the stronger for it. She turned her attention back to the senators and asked, “It is agreed that we wish to stop this fighting?”

A consensus rang out, “Yes.”

Senator Amstar continued, “We are prepared to compromise on demand made to individual system. However I say that the punishment of the Jedi Revan is not necessary. I believe that her sworn statements before her departure have shown that she is truly reformed. We also have confirmed accounts from the Jedi Council and records of that.”

“That is true,” the Senator of Ryloth interjected.

“Since we do, I move that we put aside this issue and possibly grant a pardon. We have bigger issues, one being that someone is trying to pit us against each other,” Amstar concluded. It was bold to state the obvious without proof for her but it needed to be said.

“I second a pardon,” a senator who had opposed Avalon answered.

The others chimed in their agreement as Amstar looked on. This must be how the Exile described his adventure on Dantooine, she thought. She had met Darius briefly before Miako and he indulged her with his ability to rally the troops when the occasion called for it. She had known that he was an average student of the Force but a natural leader. She couldn’t help but wonder if it was the work of the Force but she didn’t dwell on it for the Chancellor was speaking, “The point is made. Will you unanimously agree that pardon is granted to the Jedi Revan and that all accusations will be investigated?”

There was a consensus from everyone shouting their yea votes. The Chancellor then said, “Then let it be recorded that on this day, full pardon was granted to the Jedi Revan for her crimes. Now let us decide what to do about these accusations.”

The senators plunged ahead with suggestions. Though they agreed on pardoning the Jedi, those that opposed Avalon knew that they were using it as a cover to get to the Avalonians. They didn’t really care about Revan save for the few systems that thought she should bleed but they did see truth in the Avalonian senator’s words. Now that they agreed on the pardon, they couldn’t really revoke it without appearing like fools. They were waiting for the right moment.

It came when someone above the noise shouted, “Wait just a minute. Before we get into any agreements here I recently received a transmission from fleet representatives on Alderaan.”

Senator Amstar didn’t have to see the person to know who it was. When his voice broke out amongst the noise of the senators, a feeling of dread washed over her. She wasn’t defeated yet but the lingering doubt was there. It was the Chancellor who responded, “And who might you be? Show yourself and present in this congress accordingly.”

“Oh I will Chancellor eventually but I think that the Senate would like to hear of relations between Avalon and the Republic,” the voice came back in a mocking tone.

“Explain yourself,” a senator called.

“Well…”

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Old 02-13-2007, 01:21 AM   #220
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There was a lot of Politics there, but this Chapter makes it interesting. Good Chapter as always and I'm looking foward to more.
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:16 PM   #221
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Of course. This was to be the last straw in a way and a set up for hot tempers and an "off with their heads" thing. I deliberately put in the hints of what was happening on Alderaan because that is part of it. Why Alderaan, well I remembered Karath's comments from the game that Alderaan was a planet of artisans and the like and that would be appealing to the artisans and merchants of Avalon though their ideas of art may be slightly different.

I was wondering Topsite if you had guessed who was the person who interrupted. You know it can't be Keegan because he is having fun on Alderaan.

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Old 02-13-2007, 02:38 PM   #222
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Ooooo, Mesa likey. I didn't expect the new chapter to be up so quickly after the last one, but there you go and surprise us again. I knew I'd like this one as soon as you mentioned there's going to be a senate debate in it. You did your job with it well, as with the previous ones.
I was reluctant to mention this, given my tendency to forget things from previous fics, but:
Quote:
It would be the same question voiced millennia later with a daughter of Kirabaros.
Is this a hint of a sequel in the future, or what?

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Old 02-13-2007, 03:16 PM   #223
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What you quoted igyman is a reference to Broken Wounds Heal. If you had noticed in Heart of Deception that I made continuous references to Tulre and Lilah being together and their feelings, that should provide a hint as well that those two would eventually get together. The character from Broken Wounds Heal, Ashira-Li is a descendant of both Revan and Kirabaros on her mother's side. Avalonians tend to refer to their descendants as sons or daughters. More or less to reinforce the idea and importance of lineage. If you remember from Broken Wounds however, Ashira did not know of Kirabaros being an ancestor though she spoke to him in one of the chapters at leats not until the end where it was hinted that she spoke to Petronius. Again that was a hint at the longetivity of Avalonians. That was based on the concept of the Elves in LOTR. If you remember that Ashira's father explained that she would tend to know things maybe months in advance but never acted upon them unless necessary and Obi-Wan remembers how she gives 'suggestions.'

I hope that helps igyman about that quote you cited. I did something similar to that in HotG when Jacen/Kirabaros tells of certain events and relations that extend to the future. Also I have some new diddies up. You should read.

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Old 02-13-2007, 03:49 PM   #224
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Well, like I said I tend to forget details from fics I read, it's the same with books. The details are there for a few days, but then they just fade away.

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Old 02-19-2007, 03:15 PM   #225
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Well to all ye huddled masses: After a long bout that involved a cold that seriously debilitated my ability to think clearly, a midterm of consisting of ten chapters of material on criminal law and helping a fellow student who needed to go to the emergency room for a check up on her heart, I am pleased to say that I have a bran new chapter for you. I admit that it is a bit long but hey, was the last chapter worth the wait? As promised there is a bit of action and some tensions arising. So without further ado...

Chapter 45
The cobbled stones jutted out of the ground making it a treacherous walk through the temple. It was dark and there seemed to be a chill throughout the place. The warrior walked through the corridor towards a huge stone door with strange markings on them. He paused to study the markings and their meaning. He spoke in Archaic Avalonian, “In the name of all that lives I command you to open.”

The door opened leading downward into another chamber. The main room was surrounded by a fault and was connected only by the walkways towards the other chambers. The warrior stood in the center and looked around. It was on the second look that he saw a group that he recognized as maiko and Bushida warriors. Most recognizable was the Jedi. He stood there looking at him expectantly as Karas spoke, “They are onto us Kirabaros but they don’t know who we are. I don’t know how long we can hide with the maiko until we make it to the port.”

“The best we could do is to stay hidden if they don’t know what we look like,” the warrior uttered from memory.

“I know this information is important but it poses a great risk. If we get caught, he will surely try to kill us, but if not us, then the maiko,” the Bushida warrior responded.

“We have to try,” the Jedi spoke up. “We have to expose this before terrible things happen to your people.”

The warrior looked at the Jedi. He knew what was going to happen next. He didn’t know if he was willing to make the same choice again.


_____________________________________

Nighttime was considerably cooler on Tatooine and even more so within the huts of the hamachi. It wasn’t however for the two boys and the girl who were stuck someplace within the land of sleep. Tulre was the first to awake from the dream that he had. Since he was on his pallet that he had been sleeping on for the last few months, he didn’t wake up Morgan who opted to sleep in their room instead of being with his papa for the night. Tulre quietly stood up and padded towards the window of the room that he shared with Morgan. He opened the window and sat on the cushion to look out at the night sky and the stars.

Morgan awoke after Tulre did and watched as he went to the window. He looked at Tulre’s profile in the dark and saw the thoughtful look that he got when something was bothering him. Morgan was sure he knew what it was about but he wanted to be sure. He got up and walked to where Tulre was sitting and asked, “Was that your papa?”

Tulre turned away from the sky to look at Morgan with his lively green eyes. He replied, “Yeah. I think it was one of those things that Dada didn’t want to talk about. Did you see it too?”

“Yes,” Morgan replied.

“Me too,” Lilah’s little voice piped up. She had wandered into their room as she often did when something was bothering her while they had been staying at the hamachi. She continued, “It was dark and cold in there.”

“Yeah, but it has to do with that Jedi that Dada called Darius. I recognized him from the holos that I snuck a look at,” Tulre replied in thought.

“What are we going to do?” Lilah asked.

“We keep going.” Morgan looked at his companions with a serious look. “Tulre still has to fight in the morning and he needs sleep.”

Tulre looked at Morgan with a thoughtful look. He nodded at the boy and gave a smile and said, “You’re right. We better get back to bed.” He went to his pallet, followed by Morgan and they lay down on their respective pallets. What he didn’t expect was Lilah snuggling in between them. He opened his eyes wide and turned to see her cuddling. He smiled and pulled his blanket over her and tucked her in. Okâsan would say that it was bad but only if she knew about it. Kimiko wouldn’t say anything about it so it was all right. It was then that he fell asleep hoping that his Dada was doing okay.

_____________________________________

The suns shone bright and hot as Atton made his way over towards the stadium with Kiera. He wasn’t sure about what would happen today but he awoke with a sense of unease. Something was going to happen today but he didn’t know what. He brushed that aside when he saw Morgan running towards him to greet him. He gave a smile and greeted him, “Hey there kiddo. Where’s the fire?”

Morgan replied, “Only that we have to get our seats before they are gone.” He smiled at his papa and held out his hand.

Atton took it and followed Morgan through the crowd. He managed to grab onto Kiera’s hand so she would follow. If he thought about it, he would have blushed much to his chagrin. He didn’t notice Kiera’s look as he looked ahead unable to shake that feeling of unease.

_____________________________________

“Well Gorgeous, I wish you luck,” Carth was saying.

“Are we back to that?” Revan asked, trying to make light of the situation. She smiled to show that she was teasing.

“I know. With the Jedi there is no such thing as luck,” Carth replied, deliberately misunderstanding her. He knew that she teased him about his choice of nickname for her and he saw it as an attempt to cover her true feelings. “Besides, it’s a statement of habit,” and he smiled.

Revan saw that Carth wasn’t going to fall for it so she replied with, “Still it is a nice gesture.”

“Yes, yes and if you continue this sentimental conversation, you won’t be ready,” Michaela interrupted with good humor. As with all Avalonians, she believed that to be ready for battle, you had to be balanced in body, mind and spirit. If any of these were out of place, you were off balance and doomed to lose. Too many warriors died that way and Michaela knew that it was important if Revan made it into the last match. She smiled at the pair and said, “Don’t worry. We’ll cross the bridge when we come to it.”

Revan replied, “Alright,” and smiled, “Well I guess I better go with Caelos and Rowan. Are you going to watch?” and she motioned to Lilah who was standing with Mamesa and T3.

Carth nodded and gave Revan a peck on the cheek. He gently pushed her towards the area where the warriors were supposed to be and turned to walk with Michaela towards the rest of their group. He made light conversation with Michaela until she asked, “I wonder where Shang is. Mamesa said that he was helping out but I haven’t seen him all morning.”

Carth thought it was natural since Tulre was her son and she wanted to know if he was all right. He voiced, “He’s probably running an errand or something.”

Michaela nodded and agreed, “Perhaps you are right.” The reason she asked was because, like Atton, she sensed something was not right. She knew that Tulre was the Masked Stranger. He was too much like his father in combat to mistaken for anyone else but she wasn’t worried about the competition at the moment. The presence she sensed was familiar. I sense something familiar. A presence I thought…her thoughts drifted through her mind.

_____________________________________

It took time and a routine communication but he found them on all places, Tatooine. Lucky for him that there seemed to be a huge event going on and no one would pay him any mind. Besides it was Tatooine and it seemed as if every scum in the hind end of space existed here. It didn’t matter for he was good at finding people.

His seat at the arena allowed him to see everything. He even spotted one of his targets with the traitor. A burning hatred raged through his soul but he calmed it. It threatened to erupt again when he saw the wench that nearly sent him to his death. She was walking with a tree trunk towards where the youngest of the three was waiting. The only one he could see was the eldest but he was sure that he was there somewhere. He settled down into his seat and watched the proceedings. Hunting taught him that patience was the key. Patience and the prey would come to him.

_____________________________________

The suns beat merciless on the combatants as they fought for the chance at the glory of becoming the best. All the fighters gave it their best but it was not enough for two of the semi finalists were eliminated. The next two would determine the finalists who would compete for the contender’s position. As the pairing turned out, it was Revan against Caelos and Rowan against the Masked Stranger, Bekura.

Revan and Caelos squared off like how they did in practice. Revan wanted to win as well as Caelos so it would be a question of who wanted it the most. As they took position, Caelos spoke in Avalonian, “Don’t hold out on me. Give me everything you got.”

Revan couldn’t reply verbally but instead signaled her readiness by twirling her blade into position when the signal was given. Caelos followed suit until their backs were facing each other. Just like Yasha did, the referee gave the call to begin. Caelos reacted first and spun quickly with his favorite opening move. Revan was ready for it and countered with a block and maneuvered her body to bring her closer.

The series that followed was of thrusts and parries that were powerful in of themselves. At one point, their blades locked with each other. Revan eyed Caelos with that look she got when her blood was up in the heat of battle. Caelos responded with a push that released their blades and he twirled away and Revan responded. She then charged with a swing and Caelos countered. The result was a shower of sparks and a gasp from the audience. The sheer force would have shattered any normal vibroblade but Avalonian blades along with the modifications that Tulre had given them, made them quite durable.

Revan did an about turn and paused. It looked as if she was going to catch her breath but she was in reality sizing up her opponent. She realized that Tulre, now that she knew he was Shang-Li, had modified it to her preference and level of talent. She figured he did the same with the others. In this case, it would cater to Caelos speed and agility. It was confirmed when he charged with a series of parries designed to bring the slower one into a fumble. Watching, she caught his blade in a downward stroke and gave him a punch in the head, throwing Caelos off balance. It was perfectly legal.

Caelos didn’t expect the punch to the head from Revan since she had went out her way to avoid serious injury. Still he was satisfied that she was bringing her best game forward. He shook off the momentary pain and swung again only to be caught with a rake to his thigh. The wound wasn’t deep but he knew deep down that Revan truly wanted to win this match and he would go down fighting. Ignoring the pain and keeping his head, he worked his way around until he managed to grab Revan from behind.

Revan wanted to win this match. Somehow she equated it with the fact that if she won, she could be with her family again. It was a foolish gesture but when she saw her daughter and two nephews together the night before, it gave her a renewed sense of strength. When Caelos grabbed her from behind, instead of bringing her leg up, she grabbed his arm and bent down and flung him forward. She watched as he landed on his back hard and his blade slid away from his hand. She came forward with a charge.

Caelos was up quick in spite of the hard landing. He couldn’t reach his blade so instead he let Revan through and grabbed her sword hand. He flipped her on her back but was unprepared for her pulling him with her until she was on top. She had planted her knee next to his windpipe and applying pressure. He released his grip on her and conceded. She had won the match.

Revan extended her hand to help Caelos up. The crowd cheered in the air of good sportsmanship. The announcer was beside himself as he shouted, “How do you like that? That human being is out of her mind and yet she came out on top! Now all we have to do is wait and see who the winner is of the next match. Then we will see who will be the contender against Debula, the reigning champ.”


Last edited by JediMaster12; 05-07-2007 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 02-19-2007, 05:41 PM   #226
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Very interesting, JM12, and very very nice, though I must admit that I didn't quite understand the beginning of the chapter. Was it some kind of vision, or flashback, or something else? It sounded as interesting as the rest of the chapter, but I'd like to know what exactly was it. Besides this everything else was perfectly clear and very nicely portrayed.

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Old 02-19-2007, 05:59 PM   #227
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The first portion was what the children saw in their dreams. It is meant to indicate what Kirabaros is going through right now if you remember the bit about him going into the temple alone and Traya and Tergis were watching him. More insight as to the nature of the kids' Force Sensitivity. I hoped you liked the fight scene. I have one more concerning the Shaak Ti and there might be a twist of surprise though I won't say yet. Glad that you liked it.

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Old 02-20-2007, 01:19 AM   #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chapter 45
I sense something familiar. A presence I thought
This is a reference to Vader.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chapter 45
The warrior looked at the Jedi. He knew what was going to happen next. He didn’t know if he was willing to make the same choice again.[/I]
Was this all supposed to be in Italics?

Anyway, enough with my rambling, another good Chapter and I'm looking foward to more.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:03 AM   #229
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Hey, Topsite that's MY line... hehe

anyhows

This was a good chapter... I can't wait to see more.
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:52 AM   #230
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Topsite: That whole first section is supposed to be in italics. I suggest you read the explanation that I gave igyman when he asked me about it. He was quicker on the response than you. You are getting slow there old man. As to the Vader reference, that was completely intentional. If you remember, Michaela sent him flying out the window on Nar Shaddaa. We'll see how revelations go.

Anakin: Nice to see reading my work. Just don't become like Topsite and have my send the infamous flying manuscript after you. Topsite is still nursing the wounds. Also beware of my killer pencil Kujo. He goes after Topsite's Sera Tana series with a vengenance
I hope you consider reading Heart of the Guardian. In this fic there are references to that body of work and may help understand the circumstances a bit more.

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Old 03-19-2007, 11:50 PM   #231
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I know that it's been almost a month since I posted my last chapter. I spoke the truth in my new set of drabbles I Met My Muse Online and Other Short Stories. That speaks the truth about why it took so long with this chapter. To be honest I am still not completely satisfied with it but it works with the rest of the story. On top of that I am preparing to graduate in June with my BA and I am concentrating on the first pet project that I had been working on: Legends of Time: The Book of Ages. So without further ado I give you:

Chapter 46
Draconis was pleased yet disappointed. After his riveting speech of how the Avalonians fired upon Republic vessels, the senators refused to declare war on Avalon. Apparently Senator Amstar had managed to convince them to stop fighting and explained the reason for Avalon’s defense of their freighters. Equally damaging to his plans was the fact that High Admiral Dodonna sent a message stating that bombarding vessels heavily damaged the port at Alderaan along with the Avalonian’s property. It only confirmed to the senators that someone was playing them for fools. They, well a majority were willing to stand by Avalon. There were a few systems that fervently believed that Avalon had masterminded the whole thing. They withdrew from the Senate and had immediately begun mobilizing.

Meanwhile Draconis had Keegan instruct them where to meet. Keegan was influential with like-minded senators and they were ready to go. What had Draconis waiting was a transmission from his contract. He was sitting in his debriefing room waiting on his ship when Keegan walked in and announced, “Everything is on schedule Lord Draconis.”

“Excellent,” he replied. He was stalled from replying more when a transmission came through. He motioned for Keegan to stand by him as he said, “I have been expecting your call.”

The miniature hooded blue figure gave a smile and replied, “I have arrived.”

“Where?” Keegan asked. He thought that the contract was going to find Revan and wanted to know.

“Tatooine. It is sparsely populated but with the commotion going on, I found them quickly,” the figure replied.

“Guards?” Draconis asked, his pleasure well concealed.

“They are around the adults. Two are accounted for. The third should not be that far away.”

“Move against the Jedi first. Do what you have to but bring the three of them alive to Yavin. You shall have no trouble demanding for your prize’s head,” Draconis ordered firmly.

“At last we can find peace. At last you will have revenge.”

“Don’t underestimate their capabilities but you have done your work well. I suspect they will be no match for you,” Draconis replied, “There can be no mistakes this time.”

“Yes milord. I will report when I have them,” and the blue hooded figure disappeared.

Draconis turned towards Keegan, sensing the question hanging on is tongue. He said, “Don’t worry. Like all parents, she will demand that they will not be harmed. She will exchange her life for theirs much like Kirabaros.”

“Was this what you had in mind all along?” Keegan couldn’t help but ask.

“I admit that there were times that I thought that Kirabaros would ruin my plans but in the end, they proceeded forward. Don’t worry. I sense that Kirabaros is reluctant to do what he must. He has been ever since the Miako incident.” Draconis had turned his attention to the datapad that was on the table. He looked at it intently but not really seeing it.

“The what incident?”

“Nothing that you need to concern yourself with. It is of no consequence. Kirabaros will fall as well as all those who had supported him including your Jedi enemy,” Draconis replied firmly. There was no need for him to divulge about Miako. That was a story for another time.

________________________________

The day was long but everyone had to keep working and build up defenses and get those that couldn’t fight, the young and old, towards the caves for safety. Lady Mara watched as the long line of children and the elderly made their way from the settlement towards the caves just as the line of warriors walked in from a neighboring settlement. She sighed as she walked through checking the defense systems and arranging takeoff sites for the ships that had arrived from Avalon. Amarante joined her at the village square. He asked, “My lady, is there anything else we should make ready?”

Lady Mara gazed at the elderly Avalonian. He was not so old that he couldn’t fight, at least in terms of Avalonian age. As much as she needed every able-bodied warrior on the front, she needed leaders to lead the various tribes should something happen. She contrived to make him see this by responding, “Everything is well but I am concerned about the head of the tribe. What will happen should the tribe lose its leader?”

“The same as with anything else. A new one shall be named. He will be named for his courage, his skill and his leadership,” Amarante responded. He was shrewd enough to guess what was on the Lady Governor’s mind and he took the opportunity to remind her of the laws of nature; the laws of their people.

Mara recognized the lesson and realized that she was not going to win this battle. She signaled her acceptance by replying, “Then I defer to the wisdom of the people.”

They walked on inspecting when a young warrior brought a message that a transmission was coming through. When asked, he said that it was coming from Amshrey. With that, Lady Mara and Amarante set of for the communications console to receive the transmission.

________________________________

Juhani had no idea what to tell everyone when everyone asked where Kirabaros was. She told the truth of course that he rode off into the forest after they had a heated exchange of words. When he didn’t come back in the morning, for a strange reason, she didn’t panic. She was upset that he wasn’t there but she knew that he wasn’t in any trouble. She stressed this when queried by Jolee and later by Canderous. In the end she suggested that they leave him be, that he would eventually tell them what he was going to do. That became a subject of debate and that was what they were discussing when Kex came saying that there was a transmission from Coruscant.

Jolee responded be asking, “Well out with it sonny. I ain’t gettin’ any younger here.”

“Just that there is a message from a Jedi Karas for all of you,” Kex replied, “He says that while the Republic is behind Avalon, there are a few systems who have decided to wage war.”

“Query: Will there be any necessary bloodshed?” HK entered into the conversation.

“Pipe down you bucket of bolts,” Jolee and Canderous replied at the same time. Jolee continued, “Did he say where or when?”

“He said something about a defense of Yavin and a Lady Mara being in charge. It became garbled until it cut off,” Kex replied shrugging.

“I guess we’re going to have do this without the kid,” Canderous replied after dismissing Kex.

“The best thing that Karas would do is to send Jedi to the settlements on Yavin IV,” Juhani stated. She gazed at everyone with her yellow eyes, “They will need help from the skies as well. Perhaps Canderous can have his Mandalorians provide aide in a space fight.”

The fact that she deferred to a Mandalorian for a suggestion was a mark of how much people could change. When she first traveled with Revan, she was wary of the Mandalorian, distrustful after what they had done to her people during the Mandalorian wars. Traveling, looking for the Star Maps, changed her opinion. She trusted Canderous. In fact he was the one who found her most precious secret with her. Canderous knew this and said, “That won’t be a problem. This Lady Mara is going to need all the help she can get.”

“Alright then let’s get moving. My feet are just itching for a jog,” Jolee groused. It hid his apprehension behind the annoyance. Kirabaros had disappeared and he sensed that Juhani knew that and wasn’t telling. He was going to find out.

“I’ll send a transmission to Yavin IV and let them know that we are coming,” Canderous offered.

“I’ll get the ship ready,” Mission piped up. There was no way she was going to stay out of this one. She started to take off towards the ship when she stopped to look at the older members, “What about Kirabaros?”

“I’ll make sure he can leave Blue. Don’t worry about it. He isn’t stupid,” Canderous replied.

“Ok then.” Mission was still uncertain. Kirabaros was a good friend next to her three favorite people in the galaxy.

“Go on and get the ship ready. Shoo, shoo!” Jolee added.

Mission and Canderous left to do what they said they would do, leaving Jolee alone with Juhani. As soon as they were gone, Jolee rounded on Juhani and said, “Well out with it missy. You know something about Kirabaros.”

Knowing that it would be pointless to lie, Juhani replied, “He is still on the planet. He took off into the forest after we exchanged a few words.”

“What words?” Jolee asked in a no nonsense voice.

“About an agreement,” Juhani replied, not willing to tell. When she saw the look on Jolee’s face, she caved in. “We were arguing over Juntau.”

“Who’s Juntau?” Jolee asked.

“One of my people. What you call my son but not my son,” Juhani replied. She kept her yellow eyes downward.

Jolee realized why now. He knew that Kirabaros kept secrets to the death. He could only imagine what exactly they were arguing about but he had a good idea. He spoke, “He always thinks he has to deal with things alone. I think he believes that if he were the one to bear every terrible thing, he is only hurting himself. Stubborn kid.”

“He became silent afterwards. He mentioned something about Miako or something. What was he talking about?” Juhani continued, relieved that she wasn’t going to harm Juntau by telling.

Jolee paused when he heard the word Miako. You still feel guilty for that don’t you kid? Jolee thought to himself. He remembered how Kirabaros was after the incident. He was there when Kirabaros spoke to the Miraluka and saw how she reacted. He understood now why all the deception and the strange maneuvers: Kirabaros had little to no confidence in his abilities. Jolee knew that Juhani was waiting for an answer. He crafted his reply, “Miako was the last mission that Darius was on. You remember him?”

“Yes. He was exiled after the Mandalorian wars. Miako was his last mission?”

“He died when he and Kirabaros escaped. Ever since then, the lad doesn’t believe in himself any more.”

Juhani looked at Jolee as he finished. It was hard to believe that Kirabaros had so little confidence. He just never showed it. It didn’t occur to her then that under Bushida, to show no confidence was weakness. As far as she knew, it was pride that kept him from admitting his feelings. With this in mind she asked, “Do you think that he left us to decide what to do?”

“I think so. There is little more we can do for him so I suggest we head to Yavin IV. When and if he is ready, he will find us,” and Jolee led the way towards the ship.

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Old 03-20-2007, 03:46 PM   #232
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And there you go. JM12 is back with a vengeance! As always the chapter was very nicely done. As you can probably imagine, the part that was most amusing to me was HK's little interruption. As I've said in the PM a few minutes ago, I'm glad the writer's block is over and (I'll have to borrow this one from P... Topsite, hopefully he won't mind) I'm looking forward to more exciting chapters. Keep up the good work.

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Old 03-20-2007, 05:01 PM   #233
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Thank you igyman. I'm glad that the worst is over. I am still suffering a bout but it isn't as bad as before. I hope to have another chapter soon. This chapter was hard because I was trying to think of what to say especially reveal Kirabaros' long kept secret about Miako.

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Old 03-21-2007, 12:25 PM   #234
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Too bad you had Writer's Block, which I've currently got. Anyway, I'm going to have to give you the same line again, good Chapter as always and looking foward to more.
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:55 PM   #235
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Well, ahem...I have couple things to say: First, good chapter as always, JM12. Second, eat a grasshopper and play some KOTOR. That helps you to overcome the writer's block.




| Muunilinst 10 | Real Life | Exiled Jedi Weapon Master | Ex-Sith Marauder | Gunslinger |
Killed in a suicide attempt of ramming his own ship, Ravager, onto the surface of Telos IV. --Casualty Report: Order 66
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:12 PM   #236
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Very funny about the grasshopper CSI. Again I thank you all for the comments. I actually have almost completed a new chapter having finally gottne back on the train track. I am going to go slow just to stimulate the creative juices some more but I do have some ideas and I am nearing the big showdown at the end. There might be some surprises but I haven't decided yet. Stay tuned.

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Old 03-26-2007, 09:02 PM   #237
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Ok here is another chapter. I think this is the worst one there is but I'll leave you to judge. Still in deep recovery from my writer's block though for my archaeology story, nothing is wrong. Strange eh? Well here you go.

Chapter 47
Revan was beside herself. That last day was one that was a disappointment and yet a surprise. She could hardly believe that it had been possible. She had tried so hard and yet she lost but she had also won. Now, there were nothing but tears and they weren’t for joy.

It had boiled down to Revan facing off with Bekura, the Masked Stranger, in a match that was to decide who would go against Debula. She was surprised that this little man was able to best Rowan and Rowan was a seasoned warrior! Watching Bekura as he bobbed and weaved around Rowan, Revan saw that Rowan was having a hard time keeping up with the Masked Stranger. Bekura moved very much like any other Bushida warrior with some modification to compensate for his height. There was something else about him though. He moved much like someone else, someone dear and familiar.

Watching Bekura, Revan thought about Kirabaros. She wondered if he was all right. Caelos mentioned that Mission called and said that they had been able to rescue him from Draconis but no details were given. If that vision she had of pain and suffering was any indicator, he must have been in a sorry state. Her heart wanted to cry but she knew she had to be strong. Her gaze drifted to Michaela and Carth, both whom were watching the Masked Stranger. She noticed that they were watching with a piqued interest, almost as if they know who Bekura was. She had no time to think about it for Bekura had Rowan on his back and conceding the match. The Masked Stranger would fight her next.

_____________________________________

Atton was interested in the Masked Stranger. He had seen that fighting style before only it was different, as if to account for the little man’s short stature. There was no mistaken that it was Tulre. He was able to see Michaela where everyone else was at and he noticed that she was interested and had a sort of smile on her face. Why she wasn’t worried, he had no clue but he knew he would be worried if it was Morgan out there.

Almost as if she knew what he was thinking of and not considering why, Kiera placed a hand on his shoulder. She gave a gentle squeeze, “I’m sure Michaela knows what she’s doing.”

“I can see that,” Atton replied still watching. He noticed her hand but said nothing. It had been a long time since a woman had touched him like that. A long time since Mira and yet it felt right. He didn’t even jerk when her hand slid to the small of his back. He didn’t even notice that Morgan was watching them, his eyes shining.

____________________________________

It was sickening to watch the display of affection. He wondered how it was that the traitor always managed to get the pretty ones. He did figure out that it was a distraction. Hell, if he wanted to, he could grab the little brat and the traitor wouldn’t be none for the wiser. It was sound but he didn’t want to. It was better for him to wait until the traitor was watching. The look on his face would be worth all the wait. So he would wait…until he had all three of them together. So he waited and watched.

__________________________________

It was the moment that Revan dreaded. She was to face Bekura now and determine who would fight to the death with Debula. She was now determined to win this. She walked to the circle with her blade out and stood at the spot she was assigned to. It was unexpected when Bekura walked in and face her with an air of defiance, his short blade drawn. Through his mask, she could see a glint in his eyes and yet he was so little. He twirled his blade and smirked at her, almost as if to tease her.

Revan didn’t like the fact that he was smirking at her. She could almost sense a mockery coming from him but she tried to not let it bother her. She assumed a position that was suitable for her. She gave a silent prayer that she wouldn’t hurt the little man but her blood was rising and she felt an urge to put him in his place. She almost paid for it when she missed the call to begin and nearly received a swipe on her knee from Bekura. It called her to attention and she responded.

_______________________________

The fight was entertaining to crowd, not that Michaela noticed. Most mothers would have criticized her for allowing her son to participate in such a bloody event but she knew better. He was his father’s son but unlike his father, he had the spirit that had become suppressed in his father. Besides she knew that he had to see what it was like. She couldn’t protect him forever.

She watched as the Masked Stranger toyed with Revan. She figured that he must have watched other people fight for Kirabaros was never one to toy with his opponents. He let Revan get close but not close enough until he managed to get her frustrated so that she attacked carelessly and left herself open to attack.

___________________________________

Revan realized too late that she had been duped into attacking. She had given a hard thrust that Bekura was able to duck. She couldn’t avoid the lump that was his feet and her momentum carried her forward to the ground. She had hit the ground hard and her blade slid out of her grasp. It was over and she knew it but she wasn’t going to give up. She turned around to face Bekura standing above her with his blade pointed at her. He spoke in perfect Avalonian but the warrior’s dialect, “You fight well but you don’t follow your heart,” and backed away to allow her to get up.

Revan looked at the short man before her and sat up as he backed away. She couldn’t believe that he was allowing her to get up. Knowing that it was foolish to not get up, she got up and picked up her blade. She faced Bekura who assumed a back stance position. She assumed hers and then pivoted off. She clashed with Bekura who spouted, “Good. You have unleashed who you are,” the warrior dialect rang in her ears.

Revan responded by fighting harder, oblivious to the roaring of the crowds. It was futile however for Bekura bested her by knocking her blade away and then making her trip again. She had no choice but to concede the match and let Bekura win. When it was declared that he was the winner, he muttered, “Don’t worry. You’ll have the winnings, Reva.”

Revan took a closer look and recognized the old look in the little man’s eyes. She didn’t want to say his name for fear of being overheard. She said nothing as she stood up and stared at Tulre who saluted her in the proper manner one did. She didn’t hear the announcer or anyone as she walked off to the side. She realized that Tulre was going to fight to the death with Debula. There was a strong chance that he could be killed and Michaela could do nothing to stop it.

__________________________________

Atton couldn’t believe it. The kid had beaten an adult, well not just any adult but Revan herself. Like everyone who knew who the Masked Stranger was, they knew that he could get hurt. Well he could sense that from everyone but Michaela. Atton was disturbed by the fact that she wasn’t worried but rather had the expression that she was interested in what will happen. He was brought out of his thoughts when Morgan tugged on his sleeve and said, “He will win. You’ll see.”

Kiera heard him and asked, “How do you know that?”

Morgan looked at the two of them and solemnly said, “I just know.”

“That’s not a good answer,” Atton replied. “Did you have a vision?”

“How did you know it was Tulre, Papa?” was the answer. Morgan then turned his gaze to the arena to where everyone else is. He then said, “They’re expecting us down there,” and started heading towards the stairs.

____________________________________

Revan was silent as Tulre took a breather and got ready for the championship match. She barely heard Mamesa when she said that they would find another way to raise the money for the parts. She was upset that Michaela was not exhibiting any concern at all. There was nothing, almost like when Kirabaros cut her off for a time through their bond; everything was all void to her. She held her breath as she watched little Tulre trudge to meet Debula.

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Old 03-27-2007, 01:06 AM   #238
Diego Varen
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It isn't the worst Chapter JM12. It is shorter for me, so it is easier to read. Let the duels begin for Revan and all and I'm looking foward to more.
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:07 AM   #239
igyman
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No, JM12, the chapter is far from bad, let alone the worst. Story-wise, it's good as well as grammar-wise, though a couple of commas in the right places would do it good.

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Old 03-27-2007, 12:06 PM   #240
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Thanks you two. Truly I was trying my best but you can't force the mind to work while recovering from writer's block and suffering a brain fart. I have the next chapter in the works and let's just say that it picks up where I left off in the last chapter. Thanks again for all your comments.

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