[FIC] Star wars: Heart of the Guardian
Three years before Revan walked on the five planets of Avalon, the Argonons, the original warrior clan of the plains, voted a conservative regional government into power on the planet Mikkado. A world of segregation was the law of this world. It was a time of war as the Argonons and the people of the cities, mainly migrant Belosians, fought over the land and twenty native warrior tribes. Our story begins eighteen years later on a small farm on the plains of Argonon.
Chapter 1: Beginnings
I was born with the songs of the great healers in my ears. They sang to end the great drought, which burnt the plains of Argon for ten years. My mother died three weeks after giving birth to me. Before she died, she gave me my father’s name Jacen Credo Cirrus but from the first day, she called me by my initials JC just as she had my father. I remember my father telling me that he was a child of Belos where he grew up with poetry and wisdom of scholars and that I was a child of Mikkado who awoke to the sound of the workman songs and fell asleep to the singing coral birds nesting for the night.
Elias’ son, Tundarai, was my best friend. From the time we were born, we did everything together, games, chores and lessons. Father taught us about Belos and Elias taught us of Mikkado. Father said life was perfect except that it never rained. My mother had been a farmer’s daughter; my father was a warrior but because he loved her so much, he tried hard to be one after she died but when the plague killed our katarans, something inside him broke and never mended. Elias said that my father needed time alone and that I must go to boarding school. For the first time in my life, I was afraid for I had never been away from home before, away from Father, away from Elias. I wanted to cry but I held it in; I was afraid that I would hurt Father even more. Before I left he gave me the draigon pearl bracelet he gave my mother when they first fell in love.
We were poor. The only school we could afford was the school and orphanage run by Argonons, the oldest of the two tribes on the plains, the other being my people, the Belosians. I remember my first lesson: twenty standard years ago the Argonons tried to throw out the Belosians but the Belosian militia was too strong. The Belosians locked up twenty thousand Argonon women and children into camp. Many died of the fevers from the river bottoms. As the only Belosian boy in school, I took the blame for all those deaths. This was made clear to me by the oldest boy at school Tvark Sigun. He led a group of the big boys, which he called his council and they all took turns bullying me trying to make me cry. When I first arrived, they found me in tears and told me I was dead meat. Scared, I didn’t say anything but allowed myself to taken by them into the yard where they dumped the leftovers from dinner on my head. Whether I was fear or shame, or both, I don’t know, but just after the bullying in the yards, I began to wet my bed. It was three weeks later when I received the news: my father was dead. He had been better but he was trampled to death by a bull kataran in the bush.
I never should have left. I should have stayed to help take care of the farm. Then he would have been alive; I know this. Since I had no other living relatives, it was decided that I would return to boarding school as an orphan, a decision that terrified me. I confided in Elias what had happened and how I became a bed wetter. Being a good Mikkado father he called on the services of the greatest healer of his tribe, a man who could make sick men well and scared men brave. I had never met anyone like him before. His name was Inkosi Kanji. Inkosi Kanji said my troubles came from fear deep in my heart and that he would be my guide on my journey to discover courage.
He called in the language of his people as I shut my eyes. I reached out with all my senses and I saw what it was that frightened me. A bull kataran was charging for me and I could feel the fear but I was no afraid. Reaching out with my hand I touched the horn on its nose. My senses came back to reality and I was touching Inkosi Kanji’s fist and he was laughing. He told me that the spirit of the great hunter warriors lived in me. I had faced the most powerful creature on the plains, one I had feared since hearing how father died. I had earned his respect for my courage. He said I was a man for all of Avalon and the system and he gave me a small draigon. I named my draigon Manzibique, meaning “Mother Courage.” During the day she would hunt for bugs and small animals outside, at night, she would nest above my bed and keep a sharp eye. He was my best and only friend.
A month later, the border dispute broke into war. This caused me more problems than bed wetting ever had. The leader of the Argonons, one called Haldiros, vowed to crush the militia and drive the Belosians out. I kept saying Inkosi Kanji’s words over and over to myself, trying not to be afraid. I had become an expert at the art of camouflage. I learned how to be the perfect nobody and often make myself “disappear” while in the same room with Tvark. Other times I would hide in the infirmary with Doc, the medic where I learned about different medicines and healing arts. My survival techniques weren’t to last forever.
One night, there was a war council of all the kids with the Judge being Tvark. I was ripped from my bed before lights out and blindfolded. They say that the mind is the best form of torture and I immediately thought that Haldiros had arrived and was going to march all the Belosians to the sea. I remember it well. Tvark was sporting a crude marking of Haldiros banner and declared that a blood oath must be taken. The blood oath was that when the time came, when Haldiros arrived, they would rise up and kill us Belosians. I expected the clout across the head but didn’t realize that he caused my nose to bleed nor that he gave me a black eye. He used the blood from my nose to make his oath. As his first act as Judge, he sentenced Manzibique to death. I remember screaming my head off saying no but was not heard over the cacophony the others were making. I watched my draigon beat its wings trying to get free and I watched the stone that killed her. Angry that he killed my only friend and with no one holding me, I ran up and pushed the Judge with all the strength I had. The Judge fell on a small flag that got stuck on his bum, which he ripped out and demanded silence from everyone laughing at him. Then the words came out, “Hang him up.”
I was grabbed and tied around the legs while hearing, “You will pay for the death of our fathers and grandmothers. All Belosians will pay, and you will be the first.”
Hanging upside down from the beam of the dormitory he continued, “For crimes committed against the people of the Plains, I sentence you to death,” and proceeded to prepare his sling. He clouted me a good one on the head and I feared that he would have the others do the same when I was rescued by the headmistress, who demanded that I be released. I do not remember what she told him but I do remember the slap she gave and as I was standing there, the Judge gave me a look filled with hate that it nearly blackened my heart.
I buried Manzibique the next day. I thought I was destined to lose everyone I had ever love or who had ever loved me, first father, my draigon and now Elias. Elias and Tundarai had to return to their tribe in the forests of Mikkades. I knew that I would never see them again and my body began to hurt with a sadness that weighed me down. A day later I was sent to the Howesian port city but was not told why. I thought it was to another orphanage. I sat there at the port on top of my suitcase not saying a word to anyone.
The Jedi Tergis Kradus was walking towards the port with his little floating droid to fetch the new arrival as requested by the council. He saw a lonely little boy sporting a black eye and a cut on his forehead looking at his hand. Realizing that something had happened to the boy to make him sad, he decided to go about a different approach. He approached the boy and said, “Hello little one. You know, my droid Two-y told me of a cure for curing sadness in little boys. Would you like to try it?”
J.C. not wanting to be rude and wanting to not be sad agreed. Tergis helped him stand and told him to stand on one leg. He then said, “Now say three times beepdobeep.”
“Beepdobeep, beepdobeep, beepdobeep.”
“Wonderful. You feel any better?”
J.C. shook his head no and Tergis made a sound as if to say ‘oh no.’ Kneeling next to J.C. he then said, “I guess that proves one thing. Never take advice from a floating droid.”
J.C. began to giggle and for the first time in a long time he smiled. Tergis was pleased and asked, “Would you like to meet him?”
“Alright. First what is your name?”
“Very interesting name,” and with a whistle, Tergis called his droid to introduce Two-y to the boy. The droid let out a whistle at which Tergis responded, “He likes you, he likes you very much.”
That was how I met Tergis who collected droid parts, played dejarik and showed me how to talk to his droid Two-y. Tergis brought me to an enclave where there were many dressed just like him and showed me around. An older man came out and began to talk to him in a language not familiar to my young ears. What they were talking about was Tergis taking me to be his Padawan and be trained as a Jedi. I followed happily playing with Two-y not really listening. It wasn’t until we were before the council that it was announced that I would be trained and Tergis took me to a dorp not far from the enclave.
Tergis was a well-known Jedi who was known for his ambassadorial skills throughout the Avalonian system. While he was on the Argon plains, the war broke out and he couldn’t go back to Coruscant. In the border port Koron, Haldiros killed his friend and fellow ambassador because he believed in peace. In the skirmish that followed, his Padawan was killed too. He was only seven just like me. Tergis was alone here on the plains but he never spoke of it until he felt I was old enough to understand better the bonds that formed between people.
Tergis said that he believed a person needed two things in life, good health and education. He said my health was good but my education needed serious and immediate attention, at least where the Force was concerned. Tergis showed me the plains of Argon and made the plains my classroom. I even learned the language of his people. Tergis showed me to look at things through the Force and see how they were all connected down to the smallest of creatures. The lesson I remember most was when he told me that cooperation made life possible and that without it, there would have been no knowledge of the Force through the midichlorians. With cooperation, life existed.
One by one, the sharp pains of loneliness grew faint with the passing of each day. Tergis said that there was so much to learn of the Force that we couldn’t waste a second. Father used to say the same thing. Father would have liked Tergis. Tergis taught me the path of the Jedi. It is a difficult one to walk requiring great physical skill and balanced with meditation to channel the power of the Force. He opened my mind to knowledge and never talked down. Most of what he said would take me years later to understand but laid the foundations to what I would become.
I thought it was too good to last until the day that the captain of the local militia came to the dorp we were staying in and said that because Tergis was a native of Mikkado that he would have to stay within the confines of the enclave so he would not be arrested for the duration of the war. It was then that I realized that the Argonons weren’t the only ones to hate and fear others but that the Belosians were in for their fair share as well. I felt the fear slowly beginning to return.
While the brass of the local militia saw Tergis as the enemy, the locals in and around the enclave saw him as an example of diplomacy. We continued our training without much interruption though I was required to attend group lessons with other pupils. It wasn’t bad though my camouflage ability put me at an advantage and was left mostly alone. Tergis would sense often my bouts of sadness and showed me how to be mindful of my thoughts and feelings. Sensing my need to grow, he introduced me to Master Cronus who had been in the enclave longer than most of the Jedi here. Now he was my teacher in techniques with the lightsaber, giving me instruction in the forms for best defense. The credo he lived by was that, “Little can beat big when little is smart. First with the head, then with the heart.” Life began to improve in that the shadows of fear began to go back into their dark recesses. I worked hard every day between my two masters and my friends.
Nice. It is nice that there is a first person Story instead of a third person. Slightly confusing and it doesn't seem very Star Wars. Other than the Jedi Tergis Kradus, there doesn't seem like Star Wars. What Planet was JC born on and where does he live. Will JC become a Jedi? I say post more, but make it more like Star Wars should be. I think it is better than The Lost Tales Of Revan.
Thanks, I'm trying something new, one that I've observed from my favorite movie and book and see if I could give it a slightly future-like, Star Wars like look. I'm trying the view of someone growing up during conflict and in a world filled with hate. The plains are on the planet Mikkado in the Avalonian system. I'm trying to paint a better view of the people in the system. For you I say this: The Avalonian system has five planets, the system being named after the lead planet, Avalon. The other four are Andorra, Mikkado, Sorus and Belos. This was an intro into JC's character and what influences who he is. More will be revealed later as JC grows older, and when I finish the chapter on my computer. Later it will switch entirely to third person. Kind of like a person telling a story. Thanks for the input.
Chapter 2: Heart of the Guardian
Ten years passed before I knew it. While outside the enclave, everyone was anxious for the end of the war. Inside, everyone was concerned about one thing, the outcome of the Jedi Trials. Under the constant tutelage of Master Cronus, I became one of the best wielders of a lightsaber and a fully-fledged Jedi Knight. Tergis had grown a garden, which grew plentiful with the wild blossoms I continued to bring him while I set up a smuggling system for the oppressed hunter tribes who sought refuge within the town near the enclave. Master Cronus had come from these tribes before he started his training and I felt compelled to help them for in times of war, the lands they tended became destroyed and the wild animals left. They had been kept isolated from the rest of the population but being a Jedi, I was allowed unrestricted visits because I gathered the blossoms for the enclave gardens and handled disputes between the tribes and townspeople. A friend of the Lordos tribe, Zoran, was my interceptor and had taught me the value of life as seen through the tribes.
Since he could communicate clearly, he was given access enter the enclave. It became easier to pass the empty buckets with money or little luxuries but not as foolproof for the militia had become more tightened in their security, making it impossible to leave the vicinity of the port and the town. It wasn’t too bad because while growing up, I learned the language of the tribes and thus became the unofficial leader and interloper on their behalf, mostly at Zoran’s suggestion.
Zoran had come with a load of spring water and was setting it down near where J.C. was settling a misunderstanding between a Sotho tribesman and the militia. He said after the militia man left, “You really have the gift of the languages you know.”
They were interrupted by singing by a group of tribesmen heading towards the dike project. They were singing of the warrior who had the heart of the guardian. Knowing that they sang the song whenever he was around, he asked Zoran, “The song about the Heart of the Guardian, why do they always sing it around me?”
Zoran carefully formed his answer, “All the tribes believe that when there is drought or some disaster, it’s because the people are in conflict. Kirabaros, the heart of the guardian, well, cools things down. He stops the conflict, brings the storm to a breeze; he brings the peace.”
“Okay but what does that have to do with me? I’m just a Jedi.”
“Well my friend, you are like Kirabaros. You bring the peace between the tribes, you settle the conflict. Naturally they think you are the one from the myth. They gave you that name and sing to honor you.”
Suspecting something, J.C. asked, “Did you have anything to do about this?”
His answer was that of a confession as they walked into the enclave. Zoran tried to rectify the situation by saying, “Little one, the myth is as old as the plains, as old as Mikkado. Stronger than love, strong than hate; it gives the people the power do something they wouldn’t do before.”
J.C. was thinking over it and was about to answer when his master Tergis came walking rather fast paced saying, “J.C. good news! The war is almost over. Negotiations were just started today. At last I will be able to return to Coruscant.”
“Go back to Coruscant? If you do that, I won’t be able to see you again. That isn’t wonderful.”
“Be mindful of your thoughts; they betray you. True our time together seemed short but I can say this, you may come. The masters have given their permission if…”
They were interrupted by the commandant of the militia walking towards them waving his hand in greeting, “Master Tergis, just heard the news eh?”
“Yes,” replied Tergis, “we were just discussing it.”
Zoran retreated to tend the flowers in the garden while the commandant was speaking, “Master Jedi there is something I wish to discuss. The negotiations are going to take place here. The favor I want to ask is if you could preside as a moderator, to keep things from getting out of hand?”
“The council has to decide on that Commandant.”
“I know but well if something could show the respective leaders that we could cooperate, I think that might help with things.”
J.C. decided to interject and chose his words carefully, after taking a cue from Zoran, “Well Commandant, a good way to show cooperation would be to have the tribes sing together. It could really promote a sense that we could get along.”
“Ah, Master Tergis you have a good pupil here. That would be a good idea,” and the Commandant walked out.
Zoran had already left and was waiting near the docking bays. Tergis and J.C. joined him to discuss what was going to happen. Tergis spoke first, “Why do want us to organize something for these people?”
“Master, not them, for the tribes,” J.C. spoke before Zoran.
“The tribes don’t talk to each other. To get them to sing together, it is like going against a flood.”
“It will if the little one says so. Remember the myth,” Zoran spoke.
J.C. rolled his eyes a bit and the three of them got together to plan this event.
It was a bold moment in my life when I suggested that the tribesmen should sing. Master Tergis was requested by the council at the enclave to oversee the negotiations though I suspected that the Commandant had a say in it. He spent more of his time preparing for the arrival and I was left alone with the task of gaining the cooperation of all the tribesmen. A few were selected from each tribe and I worked with each to compose their part and they in turn taught the other members of their tribes until everyone knew their part. The one we were wary about was a sergeant that watched what we were doing. I remember his name but refuse to speak of it because of what occurred the night the delegates arrived and got ready for negotiations.
Everyone was there, Master Tergis, Master Cronus and a few members of the council. All were there except Zoran and a dark feeling began to fill the back of my mind. It was rather elusive that I couldn’t identify it. I practiced my calming and stillness exercises, thinking about the council members present. They at first didn’t want to go through with it but I think it was something about my manner when I stated my argument for the plan. They didn’t know that I had seen a Mikkado in which all the tribes and the Argonons and Belosians were living together. I knew that change is slow but I felt so right that the council gave their consent.
Master Tergis began by welcoming the delegates who were doing their best to be polite. Everyone was on tenterhooks until the ice had been broken by an Argonon delegate who asked where the entertainment was. A Belosian seconded and things began to run smoothly. I was relieved when I was asked to come up and ask the tribesmen to stand. I translated the Commandant’s words slightly blurring the truth. I told the tribes that they were welcomed to the singing indaba and that each tribe was to sing their best so as to bring honor to their tribes. I used a dialect that was a general language they could understand. After I finished, they clapped and made ready to sing. I was still worried when I started the music under Master Cronus’ care because Zoran still hadn’t arrived. It didn’t last long as I led the music.
The tribal songs sounded beautiful and harmonious under the night sky as each tribe sang their part proudly. I think just for a moment, everyone felt bonded by the music. The last tribe was the native tribe of the plains, the Lordos, left the night air with the strong warrior notes that spoke of strength and courage. There was silence when they finished and I stepped off the platform and motioned to the people that they had to be seated. I slipped away to look for Zoran outside of the enclave.
I found him before I had even reached the plaza. He had been beaten and I strongly suspected that it was of a truncheon used by the guards given that he was missing several teeth. I knelt beside him and found that he was still alive. I gently turned him onto his side and spoke his name to try to get him to focus onto me. I could sense through the Force that his life was slipping away. I remembered the pain of loss and tried to let go as Zoran spoke his last words, “Remember my friend: pride is keeping your head up when everyone else’s is down and courage is what makes you do it, Heart of the Guardian, Kirabaros,” and he became one with the Force. I sat there with his head in my hands for a long time before I noticed one of his tribe slink away into the shadows; I was there long after negotiations concluded in favor of all the people, trying to hold on.
Zoran’s death was met with sadness but also joy. It was the Lordos tradition to rejoice in the life of their dead. I was there as they sang their songs of praise with some sorrow. Master Tergis and Master Cronus were there as well listening to the songs. It was then that I realized that Zoran had been a free man before he died. When he heard all the tribes singing together, his dream had come true and I found that it had been many people’s dream. I couldn’t say much for the sergeant that killed him.
One could say that justice was served for the morning after Zoran’s death the sergeant that had been watching us was found hanging from one of the jaranda trees with Zoran’s pendant in his hand. I felt no anger, no joy, just sadness that the sergeant had not been given trial. After my treatment from the Judge, I believed that no one deserved death given the magnitude of their crime. If there was one thing I had learned from the war was that a person with no forgiveness in their heart, living was a worse punishment than death. It was a lesson I took to heart and I never forgot it.
This is getting somewhere now. However, stories don't really have both first person and third person. Personally I would stick to one, but it's up to you. It's your Fanfic. J.C. is a bit arrogant for a Jedi.
Well J.C. did have many teachers. All Jedi learn from others even though there is the master/apprentice relationship. The Jedi believe in sharing knowledge though they have to weigh the decision, Is it for the greater good. I had to switch to third person because it felt right. There are some stories that switch from first to third somewhat: Dracula and Frankenstein though I'm not sure they would count because they switch from one person to the other. J.C. is only reflecting what he has heard from others.
To answer your question, the war was the one between his people and the Argonons on the planet Mikkado. The one mentioned in Chapter 1. It was to show that while these people are ambassadors, they are just like the rest of the galaxy, with problems and hatreds. Working on Chapter 3, will post soon.
Just one question JediMaster12. What time is this set around? In KOTOR, the Star Wars Saga or other?
This has the makings of a great saga! I can't wait to read more. However, I do have a few suggestions. Keep in mind that I am a teacher, but not an English teacher.
1. I would refrain from bouncing back and forth between 1st and 3rd person arbitrarily. I much prefer the 1st person narrative that you employ for most of the story.
2. Your telling of Zorans demise wasn't very clear. At first, I thought he had merely collapsed. A little more detail would have been in order.
3. Indent or separate your paragraphs by dropping down a line. While you have separated a few sections, much of your story has been hard to read because you haven't given the reader any place to rest the eye.
I believe this is going to be one of the better fics we have here. Keep up the good work!
If it is not too much trouble MdKnightR, could you check out my Fanfic, Darth Insurgo. See if anything is good about it. See if I need to improve on anything such as more detail, etc.
Chapter 3: The Past and the Future
The war had ended that night, and two days later, Master Tergis and I left for Coruscant, leaving my memories behind in sadness, trying as Zoran taught me: that even one person could make a difference. I tried to remember his last words to me and live by them because no matter how much I couldn’t believe I couldn’t, my heart would never let me give up.
“Very evocative J.C. I never knew that one could grow up so fast.”
I had been telling my story to a friend I had made on Coruscant, Raynar, one who became a good friend after Master Tergis died. He died three months after we had arrived trying to resolve border issues on Antion, leaving behind a legacy of diplomacy that was to last until a one of the Avalonian people died with it many years later. That’s another story that occurs years later.
Telling this story brought back the memories but I tried not to dwell on them. The dueling chamber was a place to practice and was one of the few places that drove my mind far from my memories. This day, Raynar and I practiced techniques, something that I never failed to do whether solo or with a partner. Lately we had been practicing to move in sync within the Force. It takes much energy and focus to maintain this stance and form. It was this we were practicing with an audience, that we couldn’t see, when I received a summons. This summons to the council brought a lurch that was unpleasantly familiar.
When I arrived at the council chambers, I thought it was for a minor infraction that turned serious. That was a common problem for me when I arrived considering that I had been educated by tribesmen that viewed the galaxy in a manner not consistent with the Jedi teachings and Master Tergis’ methods didn’t exactly conform either. Still I cleared my mind and became mindful of my thoughts when I entered the chambers. Master Kavar was the first to speak, “We have summoned you here for a reason Jacen,” he never called me by my initials like everyone else did.
Master Vash, one whom I respected greatly and had been more understanding to my adjustment, continued, “We have been in session and have decided that there is no one else who knows best.”
“What is it that you wish of me my masters,” I had always been respectful of the masters even when I disagreed with them over certain issues.
Master Vash continued, “As you know with the war with Malak, the situation has not been kind to the Republic. There has been a disturbance beyond the Outer Rim.”
“What do you wish me to do?”
Master Kavar spoke, “You are to go to there for this disturbance could create a second front that could be disastrous. There was a distress from beyond the Outer Rim possibly near your homeworld.”
I tried not to give anything away about my feeling or the unpleasant lurch I had felt when I was summoned. I agreed to leave immediately and went to my ship, The Sunrider, named after Nomi, a Jedi I had read of in the Archives. Before I left, I recalled the vision I had when I was young so long ago when I discovered courage.
The enclave had changed much where I docked my ship. No more were there apprentices and masters wandering through the gardens. Tergis’ garden that he grew had turned into a wild garden within the year after we had left. I left my ship within the enclave and sealed the doors with the codes, thus ensuring that my ship would not be disturbed and headed towards the dorp that Tergis and I had spent the first few months of my training. I found everything as we had left it when the militia told us to move to the enclave.
The first few weeks passed without incident as I attempted to integrate myself back into life on the plains. I made a friend with a rather quick-witted Mikkadoan originally from the capital, Pretora, named Morias. I called him Morrie and he was agreeable to calling me J.C. He showed me the changes around the Howesian port city. I noticed that the government had, if anything, increased the segregation policies on the tribesmen. I noticed the unfairness of the situation by an incident involving a Sotho tribesmen and the militia police now run by the Argonons.
Most of the Belosians where clustered in the few concessions in the port still open to them. Morrie told me that if the Argonons weren’t bound under the system rule of Avalon, that they would have gotten rid of all the utlanders, the foreigners along with the tribesmen. He said that the blery planet went to hell within a year. I sensed that something else was driving the despair of my homeworld. I was to learn later that a darkness was coming that would threaten the Republic and the galaxy along with one that would prove to be a lone warrior fighting that darkness.
It was during my tours of the port city and the others throughout the planet that I saw her. She was tall and graceful with head of dark brown hair and soft brown eyes. She was with some of her friends but I later learned that she had been watching me for a while. I was in a melee duel with an Argonon, one that I was reluctantly volunteered to be in. I had almost had my ear sliced off when I saw her. She was beautiful, the most beautiful I had ever seen.
My senses returned when I heard an all too familiar song. A group of the People had gathered and had begun singing the song of the Heart of the Guardian. I thought that I had escaped that tale spun by Zoran. It was a part of me that I sought to forget because of the painful memory of Zoran’s death that was associated with it. To see it brought alive told me that what Zoran had begun as a bit of false hope had become a legend among the People, for they believed that the one to deliver them from darkness had arrived. The past had been met and now it had become the way into the future.
It's great to see Master Kavar and Miss Lonna Vash. If there still alive, is this set before the Mandalorian Wars? Anyway, it is good and it seems easier to read. Maybe MdKnightR's advice has helped. Keep posting.
Well I made reference to the War with Malak (Jedi Civil War) so we are now just before Revan disappears into the Unknown Regions where Mikkado and the rest of the Avalonian system is. Yeah I figured that I should at least give paragraph indications and I edited the two previous chapters to give some more info. You may want to check on it and see if it makes a bit more sense.
Chapter 4: The Myth ‘Business’
Hearing the People sing brought back my memories of this place yet I remembered my duty to the council. After the duel I watched the girl leave and I begged Morrie to find out who she was. I thank Grace that I had a levelheaded friend such as Morrie for he reminded me that I was a Jedi but he gave me the information anyway. He told me her name was Michaela Durais and that she lived at her father’s estate in the southern district.
I didn’t get a chance to see her until I after I had begun basic training to keep in physical shape. I had just finished telling Haras Groen that I wasn’t going to fight in a duel with a tribesman because it was not the Jedi way. She had come to give her permission to let me be an acquaintance though her father disapproved of Belosians. I knew that my personal feelings were betraying me but something about her attracted me to her as I listened to her saying that she was giving her own permission to see me.
Outside the training facility, the two tribesmen were waiting to speak to me. The older spoke in his halting Basic, “Master J.C., I did not want to be dishonest about things you have kept private.”
“Tell me about the singing then.”
“In bad times, people do what they know and what they know is the myth of Kirabaros, the Heart of the Guardian.”
“Honorable warrior Gulas, I’m not that person. This was all made up by a man at the enclave to the south.”
“Yes, honorable Zoran.”
“I know you, yes I remember from the gardens. You must know that this is true. Zoran made this all up he…”
I was interrupted by the younger tribesman, “Yes and that is why you must fight me. I am the warrior Lordes Manda. My people lose everything from this government. They can’t put their hope in stories. Hope doesn’t come from a myth but it comes from within. We make our own hope, our own future. Just because you beat some Argonon boy does not mean you are anything but a boy yourself. I must beat you to teach them that.”
I was desperate to be rid of this legend but I knew enough that some things could not be gotten rid of easily. Myths and legends were hard to dispel from the People. Knowing that I may have no choice, I asked, “What if I defeat you?”
“Then I become number one supporter and use the myth to get everyone moving. I would do anything to help my people use anything, understand?”
At this time we were approached by the police. Knowing that they could get in trouble I made the excuse that they were family servants. I thought they were going to get beaten just for being in this part of the city. As the tribesmen left, I told Lordes to let me know when to collect my gear. To the police, it looked like a simple order but with our eyes, we communicated that we would meet again. Michaela later told me how frightened she was of the tribesmen. I ended up challenging her to come and meet them. I think she felt rather rebellious when she told me that was willing to disobey her father’s orders.
I knew that it was not a good idea to be thinking of her and especially love for it is forbidden. I tended to think that it was a foolish ideal of the code. The reason I thought this was because I remembered something that Tergis had told me that he had heard from an old friend named Jolee Bindo. It was something along the lines that love didn’t lead to the dark side but passion that could lead to rage and fear could be controlled. Also that love itself could save you, not condemn you. I remembered parts of this during my fancy with Michaela.
As much as I disliked fighting not in defense, I had agreed to help the People and I do admit that I wanted to be rid of the myth. The bout was set to take place in the township Lordosania, the one closest to the enclave. We arrived at dusk and hid in the beaten down speeder we had use to get there while the police patrolled the township entrance. It was illegal to be in a township without a permit and could result in an arrest or, if you put up a fight, a beating that usually resulted in death. It was something that made me angry and sad because I felt that I couldn’t change it, at least not at that time.
The ring was set in the middle of the township and it seemed that everyone had crowded in to watch me and Lordes. The referee was one from the port of Koron and was well known for his use of the phrase, “By golly.” As we waited in our respective corners, a medicine woman was in the middle announcing the match and providing the blessing.
The duel itself is simple, much like any duel in the Outer Rim. The difference was that it consisted of three rounds and points were given in form and the most clean hits, here on Mikkado it was preferred with the fist and the foot. You also can’t kill anyone either. My reasons for disapproving of this sport were because that it did nothing but give a few minutes pleasure to those watching. I never had liked to fight, something that I had acquired from my years at the boarding school and orphanage along with my ability to turn off the tap, meaning that I never cried. I understood the basic concept of bringing honor to a warrior amongst the tribes and it was something the Argonons picked up on but I never understood the point. Even the Mandalorian way of the duel ring was something I could not fully understand. I later heard in passing that it was because I couldn’t hate, the proper Argon way of hate.
This hate was the hate that the Argons had for my people and anyone else they claimed inferior to themselves and that fell on the native tribes. Hate, a path to the dark side, is said to lead to suffering and suffering was what I saw on Mikkado. I also learned later that hate is a long-standing ideology that can outlive its own generation.
The bout began and I was immediately stuck by how strong Lordes was. It took every bit of defensive techniques that I had learned to stay out of trouble. This continued until halfway through the first round that he gave me a well placed and a well timed kick to my stomach and sent me crashing to the ground. The referee began to count to ten and I waited until eight to get back to my feet. The bout continued and I forced to spend it on a defensive play till the end of the round. At the end, I went to my corner where Haras and Morrie were waiting.
I vaguely remember being scolded for letting that kick get in and I remember saying that I couldn’t find a weakness. I was told to find one and then Morrie pointed out that he was taking on water. It had been a warm night and we were both soaked in sweat. Haras told me to aim at the stomach to get him to go down. I got up and waited for the bell. Round two was as bad as the first. Lordes was coming hard and fast. He managed to clout me a good one that sent me to the mat. I began to feel afraid again but the reassuring voice of Inkosi Kanji came and I followed to the place of my vision. I saw myself touch the horn and I got up and faced Lordes. I started to remember Master Cronus, “First with the head, then with the heart.”
I placed a few well-placed strikes to the gut of Lordes and I knew that he was beginning to feel the effects after taking on water. With a combination of strikes I got Lordes to fall. I moved away to let the referee commence the count. The People became silent as Lordes was counted out; I had won. It was a rather deathly silence, like the calm before the storm as Lordes slowly got to his feet. I saw Morrie, Michaela and Haras in my corner with a concerned look on their faces. I knew they were wondering if the People were going to get angry and try to kill them. I admit, I was nervous myself but I knew that the tribes didn’t kill without a reason, whether it was a time of war, a time to hunt or an honor killing, something that I couldn’t make a connection with.
I stood there waiting as Lordes got up. He was smiling as he walked over to me. I waited to see what he was going to do. Still smiling he lifted my left arm and shouted for all the People to hear, “The Heart of the Guardian, Kirabaros!”
The People responded, “Kirabaros!”
This continued for a while and was so loud I could barely hear Lordes say, “Now we are in business.”
I replied, “Business? What business?”
“The ‘myth’ business,” and Lordes continued to chant the name of legend. I admit that I felt way over my head and I realized that now I was marked for life in the eyes of the People. Funny how what started as an innocent thing became warped forever into legend and nothing I could do change that. The chanting continued well into the night and rang of hope as I wondered how I was going to be able to say anything about this to the council. I had no idea by this time they had scattered after what happened on the Miraluka world Katarr. For now, I was involved in the ‘myth’ business.
Great. When is the next Chapter coming?
As soon as I can finish it. When I finish one, I start the other so I can work on it progressively. Patience, for the Jedi it is time to eat as well :D
Chapter 5: ‘What do you believe in? What?’
When I returned Michaela home that night, we were still discussing about what happened in the ring. She then began to tell me of a nanny she had that had lived in Lordosania and by going there, it made her think about what was happening and what could be done to change it. I myself had no idea how I was going to do that as a Jedi but I do remember having eyes only for her. We were distracted when her father’s speeder had returned home and I made a move to leave. She whispered that she looked forward to seeing me again. Smiling, I jumped over the wall of her estate and ran hiding in the shadows. Little did I know that I was being watched by the police who had been asked by her father to investigate me.
I had paid a call on her father to ask permission to see his daughter. Suffice to say it did not go well and that resulted in her going to the training facility. The phrase I remember him attributing to me was that I espoused liberal ideas procured in Belosian private schools, a phrase rather untrue and which I corrected that I procured those ideas from an expert on droid parts. I believe that led him to have me investigated thus setting into motion events that would lead me to confront my past once again.
The next morning I was jogging on the plains, heading towards the Lordosania township. I had agreed to run with Lordes, whom I referred to as Manda. The morning air was fresh and clean as I ran on the entrance road stopping to ask in Lordean where he was. The group of children I had asked pretty much led the way shouting in Lordean and Basic that the Heart of the Guardian was coming. All the way they were shouting this until they showed me Manda’s dorp. He had a big smile on his face as he asked, “How are we doing this morning Kirabaros?”
Being polite as ever, yet rather annoyed at the whole business, I replied, “I’m not really doing comfortable about this.”
“About what? You’ve earned your place among the People. Maybe some of your magic may rub off on me.”
I could see I was going to get nowhere with this yet I was prepared to argue when Miria, the chosen bride of Manda come in with a bunch of children. She was in every sense the traditional tribal bride, very respectful and commenting on my performance the night before, “You fought well last night, inkosi. I see that he got you too. He convinced me to teach the children even though I don’t how to go about it.”
I could see the love in Manda’s eyes when he commented on her natural talents. He was conversing with her in Lordean at to which I took part much to Manda’s surprise. Afterwards we took off jogging into town. I noticed long queues for basic needs and asked Manda who replied that it was regulatory; the government supplied one for every two hundred people. My mind was consumed with these images and I was thinking of these things while Manda was talking to me. I vaguely remembered at that point something Tergis once mentioned when I was little, ‘Because J.C. when it’s a person’s job to punish, it’s all they know how to do.’
The Argonons really were punishing these people by making these regulations. I could understand that they felt displaced because their lands had been taking away and they had been forced into other occupations and then there were the camps that killed their grandfathers and grandmothers. All they really knew was how to punish people. In a way, I was punished for being who I was at the boarding school and orphanage. I was thinking these things as Manda was speaking, “They only allow a few of us to go to school to learn Basic and what we learn is enough to be garbage collectors, street sweepers, or mine slaves. We can’t even read the blery segregation signs. My people grow tired, the tired become angry, and the angry become violent. Then there would be no good tomorrow for anyone on the plains or the planet, Argonon or tribes.”
Catching a breath before speaking and sensing that this was going somewhere I asked, “What are you asking?”
“I want you to start a school to teach my people to others. You taught the tribes to sing by teaching a few.”
“That was different.”
“No it isn’t.”
We had come to a supply depot and stopped for some water. I was trying to make the one reserved for non-tribal people work while Manda was getting some from another tap. I was working up into an argument, “You can’t teach a few people to teach to the many. It’s never been done before.”
“It was said like that in trying to get the tribes to sing together and yet you made it happen. They sang together for the first time ever in tribal history. Besides the People came last because of the myth and they’ll come again because of the myth.”
“A myth that I don’t even believe Manda.”
“What! What about me? I believe in it. I want to believe that it can bring about change. Tell me what do you believe in J.C., tell me. What!” Manda was speaking rather fast and rather loudly.
“Mind your mouth,” came from inside the depot.
Tribesmen were considered beneath the non-tribal peoples like the Belosians and the Argonons. I never understood why they felt that way because the Argonons were once tribal hunters themselves but such is the funny way of people and how flawed ideology can be. Since tribesmen were considered that low, it was considered being insubordinate if they questioned an order or outright protested. The punishment usually came with a beating or they were taken to one of the jails and held and beaten there. I realized that Manda was in danger of being beaten so I looked at him and pleaded with my eyes, not saying anything, asking him to calm down. As an extra measure I raised my hand towards the proprietor of the depot and motioned that I could handle it.
Needless to say, it was partially successful. Manda did calm down but he looked at me rather angry or disappointed that I could not accept that I was the Heart of the Guardian. He walked off leaving my standing there. I just couldn’t accept it because I didn’t believe in legends. I never really did even those that were in the archives; they were just stories for entertainment with lessons of wisdom from the great masters. When I was young and Zoran first called me that, I merely thought it was something that would pass in time like a bad fashion. After the events of the fight, I saw that not even a year away from the planet changed the People’s perception of me. I admit that it was my fault in that I felt compelled to help them to the best of my abilities, at least until I had a grasp of the situation.
The darkness that Master Vash mentioned wasn’t to come for another three years, which I later found out. Instead my duty, in my mind was to stabilize the planetary situation on Mikkado. In a way, I was to be the catalyst to set in motion the workings of cooperation amongst all the tribes on all the planets within the system, though I did not know this at the time.
After Manda left me standing there, I realized that I might have injured his faith in me. To repair, it I decided to travel to the waterfalls and think about the choice that I had ahead. The waterfalls were near the southern border of the plains, a place that Tergis took me when I first began my training as a Jedi. I just needed to stare at the falls and think. The glades were the same as I had seen them eleven years earlier. I stood near the edge of the cliff and watched the falls as I asked to myself over and over again, “What do you believe in? What?”
All of a sudden, I felt a familiar presence almost as if standing next to me. Then I heard a voice, the voice of Tergis, Any question that you must ask, the answer you find in nature and through the Force if you know where to look and how to ask. It was reassuring that my old master was there to guide me in death as he did in life and for the first time in my life, I felt it was clear.
Tergis reappearing as a Force Ghost. I did not see that coming. Keep posting.
I'm just like Felix the Cat with a bag of magic tricks. :D
PS: I'm working on rewriting the two chapters I wrote for The Lost Tales of Revan. I'm going to make some major changes to make it flow together. I'll let ya know.
Just to let you know JediMaster12, I might be writing yet another Fanfic. I might post it soon.
Chapter 6: ‘Night School’ and Choices
When I returned from my trip to the waterfalls, I contacted Morrie and relayed a plan on a night school. As usual, Morrie gave his reasons for it being a bad idea and that the planet was going into a sarlacc pit, ending with an agreement to and an enthusiastic response to help. We laid over possible locations and the methods of how to convince people to let us use the facilities. The best choices were the posh Belosian and Mikkadoan schools since most of the staffs and especially the heads were inclined to be liberal. I agreed to do the talking.
I had learnt during my research that Master Cronus was still living here at the port town in the merchant district and was head of the posh Belosian private school called Lords of the Realm. I hadn’t seen him in eleven years and I was surprised that he was still alive. When I met up with him for a light luncheon, I learnt that the Jedi left the enclave and went into hiding given the turn of events or they went to help their counterparts in the Republic. Those that went were not heard from again, at least until the threat to the Jedi were revealed at the battle on Onderon and Master Kavar left for Dantooine. Master Vash, I learned much later, that a Sith Lord had killed her on Korriban, a place that I had only heard of in passing. Master Cronus himself hid in the form of a teacher and taught the students that walked through his door about the benefits of inclusion of the tribes in governmental affairs. It was under this guise that I presented the plan.
After we ate, I began to lay out my plan. He listened with his usual quiet manner until I had finished proposing that we could use one of the study rooms since no one was around. He then responded, “This is Argonon law that we live under now young one.”
“You are asking me to break that law and possibly jeopardize the survival of the school,” he had a look of concern but I knew that he was also considering the options of this plan I was proposing.
“I know that you teach what you once taught me, that inclusion and not exclusion was the key to survival. How can the tribes be included if they can’t read or write Basic?”
“I quite agree with J.C. but in the end you are talking about only a dozen to be taught. Really, how much difference will that make?”
“The waterfall begins with but a drop of water. Look what comes from that my master.”
“Very clever. I can see that Tergis’ intelligence and diplomatic skill were not lost on you. I’ll give my consent for you to use the study room near the side gate, behind the gardens,” he got up out of his chair and motioned me to follow.
We walked through the school grounds as he showed me the gardens and the gate and the room. At the side gate, he revealed a key that he placed in my hand. I could sense and see that he was worried about what I was going to do so I listened to what he had to say, “I hope your thoughts are clear on this matter. You know that it is the way of the Jedi to aid when we can, provide counsel, but this idea that you want to do could spell trouble. I hope you thought carefully on your choice to help the People. You have a gift, as all life does and it differs with each one.”
“I will be cautious master. I understand.”
“Though I am concerned, I sense that you have a destiny before for you. This choice may be the one that sets you on the path towards that destiny. Now go and be careful.”
I left through the side gate with the key tucked safely into my utility belt. I went to where Manda worked as an assistant driver for the prison work gangs, supervising them in their work. I waited until I could speak unnoticed by the armed guard that watched to make sure that no one thought to run off. I informed him that I had secured a place to have our night school. He couldn’t show his smile but he let his feelings be known by saying in Lordean, “Thank you Kirabaros,” and he began to sing the song about the Heart of the Guardian. The work gang realized what was going on and began to sing the same song. I still couldn’t fully believe in the myth but I let the workers be as I left quietly to go find Michaela for she was going home today from her boarding school.
I was waiting behind the trees when school got out. She was walking with one of her friends when she saw me. She became excited and walked right up to me telling me that she had great news, “J.C. I’ve figured it all out about the dinner. Father won’t have time to say no. He won’t let me miss it and there is no one else. I have a whole speech prepared, do you want to hear it?”
Anxious to get my news out I replied, “You won’t have to. Manda asked to start a school and the head of the Lords of the Realm school gave me permission to use the study room. We are starting tomorrow night, will you join us?”
“Tomorrow night? The dinner is tomorrow night and we’ve already planned for it.”
That was true we had planned to attend together. Being a Jedi first I weighed the importance of both and found that the school was to come first.
I didn’t realize that I would hurt her feelings when I replied, “Michaela, this is important.”
“Well the dinner is important to me.”
I tried to placate her, “I thought you would understand. I have a responsibility to the People.”
She became angry, “All I understand is that I am not attending the most important dinner,” and she flounced off to the speeder taking her home. I tried to explain but she left, rather angry and I watched her leave for her home. It left me feeling confused and hurt. I thought that she would be supportive because of her experience in the township. It was then I remembered that part of love; love causes pain.
In spite of what happened Morrie and I started the school. At exactly 1900 hours he brought Miria and sixteen others who were proficient in Basic. I remember that it was raining and rather cold. It was so dark; I couldn’t see the police watching us. As planned, the study room was empty near the gardens. Everything looked near perfect.
We started with the basics of pronunciation in the vowels and sounds within Basic. Morrie was my point man, meaning that he would point at the letters while the group recited. We were interrupted once, by Michaela who, came in offering her help. She was soaked in her evening gown from the rain but she was a willing helper and never looked better.
It turned out that she ran out on her father before going to the dinner with a childhood friend of hers. She told me that her father was going to accept the premier’s offer and join the cabinet because of some residential plan involving the townships. She had become angry that her parents and their friends were jovial about their bigotry. She had ended up blowing up and declaring that she wouldn’t hate like her father. When she told me this, my heart warmed to her. I told her that a hatred as deep as her father’s takes many generations for it to dissipate and even then it never completely goes away. Hatred was like a vein in its place in the galaxy and the Force, I told her, and that veins, like the roots of trees run deep. We said nothing more about it though I became concerned at what her father might do.
Morrie and I were summoned the next morning to Master Cronus’ office. I felt stirrings deep within me and an old feeling of apprehension was returning as I walked in and stood in front of the head’s desk. Master Cronus introduced the two police, “This is Colonel Stratton of the police and his aid Sgt. Sigun.”
At the mention of his name I turned around and there he was, the Judge. Older and taller, I could see that he had not changed much in appearance. Seeing him brought back the memories of the tortures he and his council tried and did inflict on me. I didn’t have long to look for Master Cronus was telling Morrie and I that they had come with the purpose to close the night school.
Baffled I asked if they could do that.
The colonel was not a completely patient man and said that they did have the authority while being polite as if this were merely a social call. Master
Cronus had no choice but to comply and did so by decreeing, “The night school will be disbanded until further notice.”
“Yes of course permanently,” and Master Cronus watched as they left. Tvark followed behind like a proper officer but there was no mistaking the sneer and the look of hatred that was meant for my eyes alone. He had that look only one other time, the time he sentenced me to death.
After they had left Morrie asked, “Is that really the end of it sir.”
“For the moment I’m afraid that it is.”
I chose the moment to speak, “Master, if we let them get away with it on our own grounds, it will never change.”
“History disputes you J.C.”
“History tends to take too long.”
“Yes I know. It is also never kind to those who try to hurry it.”
Realizing that Master Cronus felt defeated by this I asked if there was anything else. He dismissed us but held me back to tell me that I was welcome to the enclave at the Koron port to be a teacher. It was a small consolation but I felt frustrated but calmed down as Morrie and I walked across the gardens, planning our next course of action. I told Morrie that the sergeant was indeed Tvark and about the look he gave me. During our time together, Morrie and I shared a great many things about each other, telling of life experiences. I had made Tvark sound like a school bully for I had never really become comfortable telling him about my days at the boarding school and orphanage. That day however was different and I filled in the gaps of how Tvark and his council viewed him and I.
We also switched towards planning what to do about the school. Morrie was the one who asked me if the gardens of the enclave were still accessible. He pointed out that the enclave was as good as any place to hold the school. I knew that the bay where I had stored my ship some months before was secured and that the other rooms of the enclave were readily accessible. Morrie and I both agreed that the former gardens would be better due to the space it gave. As we made plans, I was coming to realize that I had crossed a boundary that I could never turn back from. We had chosen to wage war against the system that sought for so long to subjugate the peoples of Mikkado to their will. We were choosing not the path of violence but that of education. I had begun to realize that Master Cronus was telling me that I would have to make choice.
A night school. You don't see that much in Star Wars. Great. Keep it up.
Chapter 7: Love and War
After the closing of the night school, things began to get worse for those around me because of me. Yet for some reason, the People were willing to side with me for to them, I was the one who could speak the languages of the tribes and could fight the dreaded Argonon. To them, I was Kirabaros; the Heart of the Guardian and that was what had me worried. The first of these incidents was on the day I was training with Manda at Haras’ facility.
Haras was able to get away with the mixing though I could never figure out why. It wasn’t until he explained it to me that I got the general picture though it still confused me. According to the Argonons, outside the duel ring, a tribesman is not an equal but inside he is. The catch was not in public only in private. Generally, the police were willing to turn a blind eye to the mixing because the commander was a dueling man and followed up on the sport. It was one of those things I could not help but raise a brow to. Looking at it, I guess I was rather lucky that Haras was one of those Argonons who didn’t believe in the segregation.
On the day that the police raided the facility, Manda and I were in the ring and I was showing him a complex defensive maneuver that Master Cronus had taught me when I was a boy. The leader of the raid was none other than Tvark Sigun and I could sense that he was out for blood. The only problem for him was to incite an incident for him to get it. He and his men came barging in and he positioned himself in front of the door. He started to speak, almost yelling, “I owe you something you bastard. My father beat me for the shame of being expelled, made to live in the barn. I was not allowed to go back to school, you made my life kak!”
My blood was rising and I tried to be calm. I took no notice of Haras as he motioned to try to keep me from jumping out of the ring, “You can’t be serious. You tried to kill me!”
“I was branded an idiot by everyone that knew of that night.”
“That knew what,” and before I knew it, Manda was climbing out of the ring to walk right up to Tvark. I saw the danger and tried to tell Manda ‘no’ by following and trying to grab him. Haras tried to stop Tvark with reason but was met with a punch in the gut that had him doubled over. I was met with a painfully blow to the stomach by a blaster rifle. I fell to the floor and was given a well-placed kick that had me groaning.
Manda had been grabbed by Tvark and was being hit repeatedly in the left eye with a punch. If allowed to, I think Tvark would have killed him had it not been for a well-reputed duelist who grabbed his wrist and simply said, “No more.”
Tvark was still angry but he stopped and released Manda with a push and gave him a kick in the stomach. He looked at Haras and said, “I’m going to make sure that this race mixing hole of yours is closed down.”
Haras full of pain and fury retorted, “You want to close this place down, go ahead an try. I don’t need animals in here.”
“It’s already full of animals,” Tvark replied with a smirk on his face. He then walked to where I was writhing in pain. Morrie was trying to help me up.
Tvark then said in a rather menacing voice, “I’m not finished with you. Or the Durais girl.”
It was then I saw that he was out for blood and that blood was going to be spilt no matter what anyone did. I was struggling against the pain and my anger when again I heard my master’s voice in my head, There is no emotion, there is peace. The time will come when you have to draw your lightsaber but you must control your thoughts and think. I calmed down but was still hurting from the kick as I watched Tvark and his men leave.
I went that night to Michaela’s school that night to talk to her. I couldn’t find her in her room and I didn’t want to risk being seen by any of the girls so I went to her father’s house using a kataran beast to ride. I’ll admit that I was in over my head about seeing her in these dangerous times for she was an Argonon, born and bred while I was one of the despised Belosians who could speak the taal, their language. That alone put me in a position of limbo, not one or the other. To top it off, I was a Jedi, though I made myself to look like I wasn’t by not carrying my lightsaber or wearing the traditional robes of the Jedi. I knew the danger but my emotions carried me on this, not logic or the tenements of the Jedi Code.
I found her father’s estate easily enough in the dark and waited till I was able to toss pebbles at her window. I was relieved to find her in her room. She opened her window smiling and signaled that I could come up but to be quiet.
Unable to contain myself I grabbed her in a hug while saying, “I couldn’t find you at school, where have you been?”
She replied after giving me a hug, “My father is sending me to live with my aunt in Pretora. He said that if I ever saw you again, he would have you arrested and ruin your life.”
I could see that she was concerned so I replied, “He can’t ruin my life. I’ve been accepted as a teacher at the Koron port school. Come with me.”
She was bewildered and it echoed in her response, “To Belos?”
“Yes. Away from here.”
“I go to Pretora tomorrow first thing.”
“My preparations will be done next month, I’ll come fetch you first thing.”
She grabbed me in a hug, “You promise.”
I knew I was being foolish and had been trying to let go of my feelings for her. At first when I said my words, I thought I was betraying the People. When Morrie and I moved the school to the enclave, we had nightly lessons without interruptions. I suspected that I was being followed after night school was closed at Lords of the Realm so I took to changing my routines gradually and using my Jedi senses. I was successful for we were not discovered. Master Cronus had begun to attend these lessons and became a well-loved teacher. I knew that if I left, Master Cronus could continue the school without me. He told me after the incident at the training facility that I would be better if I left to avoid anything bad happening to the People. I was concerned with how I was going to present this to them but that melted away for those few moments in Michaela’s room. Love doesn’t lead to the dark side…control your passions, I vaguely heard my master’s thoughts about that lesson he told me long ago.
I took off the draigon pearl bracelet that I had worn since I was eight. I put it around her wrist saying, “It was my mother’s. My father gave it to her when they first fell in love.” Gazing at her eyes I said, “I love you.”
She felt the same way and hugged me long and deep whispering, “I love you too.”
Two mornings later, I was riding a bike to the training facility to see Haras. He was sitting outside his shop painting on the wall next to the door; a tribesman and an Argonon in combat position. I thought it rather bold so I asked, “Tribes and Argonons together. They’re not going to like that.”
“Blast with what they like. I train warriors not blery schuttas. I can’t teach one way and behave another, not any more I can’t.”
“You know the commander of the police is a duel man. He wouldn’t shut your place down; he'd just turn a blind eye.”
“I don’t think so sonny. Not anymore the way this planet is falling apart,” he then glanced at my hands and asked, “Know how to paint?”
“A bit, but not very good.”
Haras handed me a brush and indicated the tribesman I was to paint. Many thoughts were racing through my head as I was painting. I had a feeling that something would come out of this and it wasn’t going to be a pleasant ending. Nothing more was said between us as we painted the wall showing our defiance by allowing tribesmen to train with non-tribesmen.
Later that evening when I went to train, there was a huge crowd outside the facility. I saw Haras being dragged out by Tvark’s men and I went to try and help him. He told me to stay back and continued to struggle against his captors. Tvark was backing out pouring fuel on the floor. It was clear what his intentions were and Haras was not going to stand for it. With a burst of energy, he somehow broke free and punched his captors and then he managed to land a good one on Tvark before he was grabbed and thrown into the prison vehicle.
Tvark then insulted Haras in the taal and fired his blaster in the building to start the fire. Haras was shouting back calling Tvark rubbish and other names. In the flicker of the flames I saw Tvark give me an evil grin. I said nothing but stared in a stony silence but my appearance was that of a calm and experienced master. I had found my shou, my inner flame, something that was only described in legend but claimed by many that it came to those destined for struggle. I knew then that the masters on Coruscant were right in sending me here. They must have sensed a need to grow but more likely to protect one of their Jedi from the threat that came later when another walked on this planet and the others.
The finding of my shou marked the next phase of my life. I didn’t know exactly remembering that always in motion was the future. I did know then that I had to do something. That something was the school Morrie and I were conducting right under the very noses of the government. I was going to fight this war not by force but by resistance.
As usual, Morrie and I welcomed the ‘class’ and ushered them into the enclave. I made sure to lock the main door and thanked everyone for having the courage to come. Master Cronus was there as well and said that he too was glad that they could come. Miria asked, “Michaela, is she coming?”
I replied, “No, her father sent her to Pretora.”
I could tell that Miria was not pleased for she had grown fond of Michaela. I think she also suspected the reason because she knew of Michaela’s lineage. She didn’t say anything as we went over the lesson in the conjugation of verbs. I had Hiros, a rather bright young man and a quick learner, start with the basic words. We were going along well until we heard a knock coming from the side door. Morrie left saying that it was probably an animal. Lo and behold, I got a surprise when he said, “It seems we have a visitor.”
There she was, standing in the side door with a shy smile as she offered a small package of books and pencils. I walked up to her and said, “You’re mad.”
She just draped her cloak over my arm and said knowingly, “There’s work to be done.”
I was pleased but a dark thought crossed my mind. Normally when she would come, it was with me. I never gave her the reason, preferring not to worry her. How could you tell someone that you were trying to avoid detection even though the enclave had been abandoned when the Jedi left? Instead I preferred to have her think that it was because I wished to be in her company. This was true to some extent but I wanted to protect her from her father’s wrath for he was strictly against race mixing and the equality of all the people. I pushed these thoughts aside though I kept them in the back of my mind as we continued the lesson.
Hiros had not gotten more than halfway through the present tense when we heard the unmistakable sound of speeders approaching. Not a word was said as Michaela looked at me with a look of terror. Then there was a crash as the police barraged their way into the enclave. Standing my ground I spoke firmly, “You’re violating the sanctity of the enclave.”
“No you aren’t boy, with your damned mixing ideas. And the enclave has been abandoned so the sanctity doesn’t hold,” the commander spat back.
“I’m Durais’ daughter, leave us alone!” Michaela shouted. I think she hoped to get us off easy or something.
“Sergeant, take the girl.”
The kerfuffle started. Everyone was moving, the tribesmen trying to get out and I was trying to get to Michaela who was demanding to be let go. I was concentrated on getting to her that I didn’t see the officer coming up from behind with his arm raised to strike me with a baton. Michaela managed to grab me but something happened. In all the confusion, I had forgotten about Master Cronus. Before the baton hit Michaela, a blow that would surely have killed her, Cronus stepped in between the both of us and pushed us out of the way taking the full blow on his skull.
The sickening thud of his skull breaking sent a stream of pain through my heart as I felt him become one with the Force. Michaela tried to keep the officers away and ended hitting her head on the wall, knocking her unconscious. My senses were deadened as I stared at the lifeless face of Cronus. At first I felt rage but I became at peace. For the first time, in a long time, he was able to fight to save the ones he loved and for his beloved Mikkado. For the first time he was whole. The war had claimed its first casualty in a struggle that would continue for a further two years.
Love causes pain. How you deal with the bad part of love determines your character.
A bike? I didn't think they had bikes in Star Wars. This is good as always.
I meant swoop bike style. In the process of the last chapter. Will post as soon as I can.
LAST CHAPTER?!?!? I was hoping for a much more!
I meant the last chapter of the book. This is like a three parter involving Revan's movement in the Unknown Regions after she (I'm assuming it for my fanfic) left Republic space. Don't worry, there's more. No need for a heart attack :D
Chapter 8: Defeat to Victory, to a Good Tomorrow
Time seemed to go by in a blur up until the burial of Master Cronus. He himself was an Argonon so they claimed the right to bury him. I was to later find out that he once was a close friend of Michaela’s father. That information came to me through Morrie who, by Grace and the will of the Force, managed to escape that night alive. He suffered a broken arm but was there with me at the burial. Haras was there as well, how he got out of prison, I had no idea.
The ceremony was rather lavish to honor Cronus’ accomplishments. Many came to witness, Argonons and Belosians, mostly from the school. It was a sharp contrast for the boys from the school were dressed in their uniforms while the Argonons seemed to have worn light tunics. I stood apart but visible to everyone and was sporting a cut over my right eye where I got hit with a good punch from an officer. Morrie didn’t look that much better as he was sporting a black eye and a cut. Behind Haras and us were some of the native Belosians who had known Cronus from his days as a Jedi at the enclave.
Closer to the burial, where the coffin was being lowered, were Michaela and her father. She was all right and didn’t physically show any signs of what happened two nights ago. She glanced at me and smiled a reassuring smile. I believe she could sense that I was hurting but I was not admitting it; I felt numb. Her father was tossing handfuls of dirt into the hole with a shaky hand. When he saw me standing there just watching, he lost his self-control and he grabbed the nearest thing, which happened to be a shovel. He was all set to hit me with it but was held back by friends of his. I vaguely remember Haras putting a restraining hand on my shoulder, which I removed promptly. The two of us stood there, looking at each other.
Then off in the distance, a song was being sung. From the fields near the burial, a ways apart, the People were coming. I saw Manda, his wife Miria, Hiros and those that had come to the school at the enclave. There were others too. I realized that Master Cronus had gone and seen the tribes after I had left and made friendships that he had kept the past year. They had all come to sing and honor him, singing a mourning song that reflected their sorrow. I noticed that it was not just the Lordos tribe, but all the tribes within the township. Each was singing the mourning song of their tribe; all extolling what Master Cronus had did in life. It was neither sad nor joyous, but both of the same.
Michaela’s father was moved by the singing, which saved my head from the shovel. He moved back to his place next to Michaela. Then for the first time since arriving, I moved to get a better view of the group. I realized that they were not just singing for Master Cronus but for me, for my bravery in trying to help the People. Even though he had died, to them it was a victory. For the first time, in a long time, I cried.
After the burial, I went back to the enclave to clean up the mess. Among the garbage, I found Master Cronus’ primer book for beginners. I remembered that he would work with a smaller group on basic reading skills. As I glanced about the gardens, I noticed that some of the wild flowers that I used to bring to Tergis were trampled on. I carefully removed them and buried them in the ground to give life to the rest of the gardens. My heart felt heavy.
Master Cronus’ death shattered me like nothing had before except for when my father died. I was defeated; I no longer had the will to resist. I had to tell Manda that I was leaving for Koron. I rode the same beast that I took to Michaela’s home to the township, feeling like a dead weight. This defeat made my body hurt with sadness and despair, the same that I felt after I buried Manzibique. My shou was wounded and it felt as if I was destined to forever be alone, to lose everything. It was at that moment that I felt my master’s presence when he first tried to make me laugh.
My heart had lightened a bit by the time I arrived in the township. Manda greeted me with the traditional tribal greeting. He looked good considering he lost his eye in that exchange at Haras’ training facility. He was happy to see me and eager to show me a surprise. He led me to the center of the township where ceremonies and announcements took place. I was not in the mood to but I knew well enough of the customs of the Lordos tribe and followed him. I was not prepared for the sight that I saw.
All twenty of the teachers that I had instructed were in front of their own class, some children, others were adults all learning. Manda was particularly proud when he led me to where his wife was teaching the children. She was sitting very properly in her chair while a boy was reading to her. She said to me, “Please. Listen.”
The boy began to read a book of poetry, in particular poetry that spoke of freedom. I was familiar with the book having read it as a boy and I had Master Tergis’ copy at my dorp. To hear the boy read a particularly moving piece, I felt slightly recharged but still willing to go through with my decision.
Unable to hold back my pride I said, “It works. It really works. Well done little one.”
Manda then began to talk really quick, full of zeal, “Now we need to work I Pretora and the Cape. We leave in the morning.”
“Manda I can’t.”
“What’s the matter Kirabaros? Tell me is the work wasted? Did Cronus die for nothing? Tell me,” he said softly for he knew I was still hurt.
I thought about his words and the choices that I had made. I saw in my mind that this was just the beginning. I also thought about Master Cronus, Tergis and Michaela. In my heart, I knew what I must do. I replied, “Alright Manda.”
That evening the tribes were having a dance and music. I was invited to partake which I did joyfully. That evening my heart was feeling lighter. Imagine how it flew when Michaela showed up in the township wearing traveling clothes. She said that she decided to do her part in helping all the people. I think she was hurt to mention it and I suspected that it didn’t go well with her father. Still it was a happy time as we all danced and sang the tribal songs. Many of the young girls were trying to have a turn to dance with me because I was the Heart of the Guardian, as their families told them. I willingly danced with them for it was a happy time.
Our happiness was interrupted when we heard a tribesman shouting, “Police! They coming for you J.C.!”
A general cacophony followed as several speeders drove in, positioning to strike. I had grabbed Michaela’s hand and followed Manda to get out when a speeder stopped us. The commander shouted at us, “Halt! You are under arrest for violating the location regulations act!”
I had my eyes locked on Tvark until everyone started to move and I pushed Michaela towards Miria. I went the other way with Manda. Tvark gave chase through the township. We had rounded a corner and stopped to hide in the shadows. A woman and her child who stood in front of us saved us from being found. I heard the screams of terror and I felt the People’s fear. I didn’t want lives to be lost on my account so I spoke to Manda, “Look I can’t let this happen. It’s me that they want.”
“It’s not about you. Giving them what they want won’t help the struggle or us any,” Manda knew that even if I turned myself in, the police would continue the violence against the People. He then pushed me to go, indicating that he was going to get me out by a side route that was rarely used. We were running when we came face to face with Tvark. Before I knew it, Manda had pushed me aside only to get a blaster to the leg.
I don’t remember much through the entire running, seeing death. I did run by some of the police who had been killed by the People. They were fighting back to keep me from being taken, risking their own lives for me. I felt a sudden sense of pride but it was overshadowed by sadness at what I had started by teaching to the few. Later I found out from Manda that he had been trying to find me before the police after seeing Miria away with the children. Somehow Michaela became separated from Miria and was somewhere alone in the township. I was just about to find out where.
I was hiding between the buildings when I heard dull thuds of someone being slammed into a wall. It was Tvark slamming Gulas into the wall of a hut demanding to know where I was. I was hidden and couldn’t see clearly but I heard a woman’s voice say, “Leave him alone!”
Michaela had found Gulas and what was happening. I sensed that she was more afraid than brave and yet she had a bearing I had never sensed before but recognized well. Tvark was telling her he would do as he pleased and called her a traitor to her people. She attempted to grab his pistol away but was given a smack across the face and she fell. Tvark was saying that he was the law and aimed his pistol at Gulas but never pulled the trigger.
After Michaela had been hit, I moved right behind him and gave him a hard shove, allowing him to release the pistol. I said, “Alright Tvark. You’ve caught me. Call them off take me in!”
“I’ll call them off when I’m finished with him,” and he made a move towards Gulas.
“No,” I said and received a punch on the face that knocked me over.
“You, I’ll take you in when your dead, you lowdown schutta,” and he swung but missed as I ducked and landed a punch to the jaw. He gave me a good punch that made me see stars and he took out his standard issue melee blade and tried to run me through with it. I gave a side step bringing my hand to my belt and withdrew the saber I had not drawn for the past year. The blade still glowed a brilliant bronze and I could feel Master Cronus’ long hours of working me through the forms and saber techniques.
Tvark looked a bit shocked. I think he didn’t know I was a Jedi because I kept it so well hidden from everyone. I know Michaela was shocked. Tvark began to swing his melee. Giving myself to the Force and the dance, I moved countering his strikes. As the blades clashed, there were sparks and smoke from the heat of my blade. At one point, he managed to knock my saber from my hand with a deft twist of his blade but I disarmed him. He gave me a kick and then rammed me into the side of a building. He spat blood in my face saying while I was moaning from pain, “Now you little schutta, let’s duel,” and gave me a head butt that would have broke my nose if I hadn’t moved my head to the side.
I was on the ground being kicked by Tvark as he screamed, “You’ll ruin the planet you bastard. You and the Durais sangtahut. Get up!!”
I got to my feet and began to fight with the head then with the heart. I landed a few punches that knocked Tvark out. I went to where Michaela and Gulas were. She was trying to staunch the bleeding from his head and I was tearing bits of my tunic to use as bandages. She didn’t say anything but I felt the need to ask, “How did you find me?”
“I felt that you would need help,” she replied rather low and continued to help Gulas.
I didn’t see Tvark point the blaster at me; I felt it happen. With a summoning of the Force, my blade flew to my hand and I ignited it. With one hand I pushed Michaela and Gulas down and with the other, I threw the blade till it lodged itself square in Tvark’s chest, killing him. The blade returned to my hand and I shut it off. Manda had seen the entire thing and was looking at me with the same look that he had the night we had dueled. Michaela began to sob because she was scared.
Without a thought, I pulled her to me and began to hug and kiss her. She responded, “You, you saved me. A Jedi.”
“I would die for you,” I said. We just continued to kiss, our love for each other bonding us together that would last all our lives.
The buildings in the township burned and lasted till morning when they were nothing more than smoldering ruins. Manda, Michaela and I hid in the bush and began to make our way towards Pretora. Michaela knew that she could never go back and Manda began to immediately teach her the language of the tribes and we just talked. We waited for the speeders with the police to pass us before getting on the road. The morning sun was just beautiful as it rose, giving strength to life on the plains. It gave a ray of hope as we walked towards our future.
Walking, I remember something Elias once told me, that if I listened I would hear the voices of my life. I listened and heard Tergis talk about justice. I heard Zoran talk about hope. I heard Inkosi Kanji, the old medicine man talk about courage. I heard Master Cronus. These are the voices of my life, the voices of Mikkado. I carry them with me as the three of us set out together to help bring our planet closer to a good tomorrow.
As Book One has ended, the second one will begin. Book Two will begin soon so wait and see, what young J.C was meant to be.
An excellent final Chapter. It would be nice if the next book was a bit longer. That's what I'm doing with Darth Insurgo.
Just wait and see. :D
Book Two:The Rise of the Blood King
A general peace has gripped the heart of the Avalonian system. Mikkado rejoices and sings for a new and good tomorrow.
Three years after the Heart of the Guardian brought equality for his people on Mikkado, a general yet uneasy peace came across the Avalonian system. The segregation policies were being terminated and the old and ancient code of honor was being restored. A time of chivalry now became the unspoken law of the system. The people of the cities never gave it a name but the tribes of Avalon called it ‘Bushida.’ The tribes attributed this new peace to their one friend, the chosen Heart of the Guardian.
This story begins in the fortress of Sigara where two Jedi Knights were trying to negotiate a peace between the kataran herders and the warriors occupying the plains of Cyrus near the southern border of the Takashi Forest.
Chapter 1: Negotiations
“You know I need that land to train my troops. They need to be ready.”
I was listening to the same argument that I had heard many times before from the warlord Sigara and it was always about the same thing, the kataran herders. Three years after starting a literary revolution to free the tribes of Mikkado from their ignorance and the segregation instituted by the Argonons. Apparently, word got around through the same osmosis that seems to affect the tribes when a major event was going to take place and the Lord Governor heard of what was going on and decided to institute reform. It has taken the better part of three years but every step taken was one step closer to equality for all and I had my wife by my side.
After we left Mikkado, Michaela and I got married by a healer of the Zherron tribe, the oldest on the planet Avalon. After the events in the township, I decided to train her as a Jedi. I had no authority from the Jedi Council but I had been out of contact with them for over a year and I had a nagging feeling that something was going to happen. Even after becoming a member of the Zherron tribe, I still felt like a shadow was chasing me, and no matter what I did, it always was two steps behind me.
I pushed this familiar feeling aside as my wife and I were listening to Sigara. Sigara was like a Mandalorian, a warrior, heart and soul. His estate was located on the plains of Cyrus and the nomadic kataran herders used the same lands to feed their herds, particularly the Bedoans. It was a constant struggle just to keep the two from fighting. After he recited his reasons, I said that I wished to listen to the Sheika of the Bedoans, the leader who led the herds on their seasonal migration. Since he was not due to arrive until tomorrow, Sigara gave us quarters for the night.
Sigara probably thought I was stalling for time but as a Jedi, I prefer to listen to all sides and base a decision or propose an agreement on that. Still Sigara was too polite to contradict me and most of the bravest of the warriors were not anxious to get into a saber duel with me; again, the osmosis of my reputation. He gave us a room overlooking the silver river of the Quioquihoni, the river of life. I spent most of the evening staring out the window, thinking of the job I had ahead of again renegotiating between the two groups. Again that feeling I had was also bothering me.
My wife must have noticed it as well for she asked if I was all right. I didn’t answer at first but then I decided to reply, “I’m just tired.”
“I know. You haven’t been sleeping well. Not since the skirmish on Belos,” and she placed her hand on my shoulder.
The skirmish was between the tribes and a warrior group called the Hunras. They would continue to cause trouble for Belos until four millennia later, long after my time. I hadn’t been sleeping well because I began to have dreams; some were nightmares, of the dark shadows in the back of my mind and of a light falling from the sky. Michaela thought it was because of the skirmish that I had those dreams. In part, that was true.
I was thinking of this when I turned around to face her and I gazed into her brown eyes, the eyes that I fell in love with. I smiled at her and said, “Memories cause dreams. I still dream of my childhood. Dreams pass in time.”
She smiled but I could tell she was not convinced. I had a tendency to forget that she knew me better than I thought. She replied, “I’d rather dream of you, of us, together at our home in the Takashi Forest during the time when the Junlaan blossoms fall. It was so beautiful then.”
I held her close in a gentle embrace and laid my head on top of hers. I gazed off, thinking of those times and trying to see still that shadow behind me. After we embraced, we went to bed. I lay awake for a time thinking and remembering of what happened three years ago. Finally I drifted off to sleep, but it was an uneasy sleep.
It was dark and foggy near the Chinooka River near our village. I was walking along the shores, following something. I don’t know what it was, but it was always there in front of me. It led me to a clearing. There I saw a dire wolf, the most majestic and regal of all the animals in the Takashi Forest. I followed his gaze towards the sky. There I saw a light coming across the sky coming to land in the forest.
Then the scene clouded in front of me. I heard screams and I felt pain and it burned through my body. Through the heat, the smoke and the blood, I saw a shadow. It was a tall one but I could not see the face and yet, it’s presence was familiar…
I awoke with a start but I did not disturb my wife for she was sleeping soundly. I lay awake trying to steady my breathing by using a Jedi calming exercise. I was curious about the flying light but I was not anxious to experience the pain again. It disturbed me that this dream was becoming more persistent. It was the shadow two steps behind me. I decided not to wake my wife so I tried to go back to sleep. It was going to be a long night.
The morning was not that much better though I hid it from my wife. After the morning meal, Sigara, Michaela and I walked out to the fields to greet the Sheika. Naomi Basra was the Sheika of the herders and had been since her husband had died in a spat between Sigara and her tribe. That was the main reason we were here. The two groups were at each other’s throats but Naomi was trying to institute peace. Normally she would have remarried but her position as the Sheika was not secure enough for her to do so she was looked at as an oddity but respected as a leader.
She came up wearing the distinguishing garb of her people with her herder’s stick in her right hand. A tent had been set up for negotiations and we all headed there. Michaela decided to wait outside and make sure nothing happened while we were in discussion. Naomi sat in her spot and right away stated that she was tired of the yearly negotiations and that she wanted her people to be left in peace on the ancestral grazing lands that they walked upon. She gave a clearly poetic speech about how they could share the land. Sigara was rather impressed with her speech and listened. I think he too was tired of this.
After listening to both testimonies I asked what they were willing to agree on. Naomi said that they would keep their herds closest to the river as always and stay away. Sigara was quiet before responding as if he were considering the options. I knew he required time to think for he was known as a brilliant tactician but he never made a move without seeing which of the odds best suited him. This was, I think, part of the reason the Cyrus herders and his warriors fought over the plains. I was waiting and I dropped off to recalling the dream that I had the night before.
It felt different. The pain had come back but more intense, like I was being tortured. I was listening to the screams in my mind when Sigara’s voice brought me back to the present, “Sheika Basra, I tire of our conflict and I wish to end this but not by force.”
Still a little out of it, I forced myself to ask, “What do you propose Sigara?”
Naomi was waiting as well. She told me later that she had hoped he would be the first to ask for peace. She wouldn’t tell me why at first but when the Junlaan blossoms came around, they were celebrating a union. Sigara paused a bit before saying, “I planned on moving my troops to a training facility, away from the plains. Since they will be gone, the herders are free to use the land as they please.”
I asked Naomi, “Is this agreeable?”
She nodded and moved towards the flap. Sigara and I stood up and she bowed to us and I bowed to her out of respect for her title. Sigara looked at me and said, “You really are Kirabaros. You bring the peace,” and he chuckled as he left.
I stood there not knowing what to say. I thought that I could leave the name Kirabaros behind. It was that osmosis effect again at work. I didn’t know this but many of the people in the Avalonian system knew the myth of Kirabaros. I thought back to when it all started with Zoran so long ago when he first explained the myth to me at the enclave. I chuckled as I left the tent. Much to my surprise, Naomi was waiting for me and asked to speak with me. I agreed to walk by the river and allowed her to lead the way.
As we were walking she spoke, “You are troubled, J.C. You mask it well but when Sigara was thinking, it dropped. Something you see perhaps, a dream?”
I stopped and looked at her with a look and I asked her, “How do you know this?”
“The twelve shinbones of the great white kataran say it is so. You are the one. You brought the peace between us.”
“Naomi, it was you both who brought it. I have no magic like they say.”
“You have more power in your presence than you think. Strength of the People in your veins,” and she left to return to the herds.
I was surprised that she was abrupt in her ending. It left me wondering about what she knew. I didn’t say any of it to Michaela as we rode back to our home in the Takashi Forest. We just enjoyed each other’s presence as we went home. Sigara had watched me leave so I didn’t hear what he said but found out much later. He whispered, “You are chosen. I hope you have the strength to sense what is to come to us.” How he knew that, I had no idea and to this day I still haven’t been able to fathom it. It was later all explained to me, but that was years later, four thousand to be exact.
An excellent first Chapter. Even better than the Heart Of The Guardian. J.C. reminds me of Anakin, when he has nightmares.
The whole point and we'll see what happens eh? Still writing when I get a chance. I'm working on a sort of back story called the Blood King but it is set years later. Four thousand to be exact, well about. I have to see where I want to take it.
Chapter 2: The Great Feast
Our welcome home was as if we had been gone for years instead of three days. The Zherron tribe, believed that if they welcomed everyone equally then that equality would come back as a blessing tenfold. I guess it worked because the tribes were semi-united and everyone was to be treated equally. Of course they attributed it to me though I’ve tried the better part of the last year to convince them that everyone contributed to the uneasy changes in our system. There were still some difficulties because, as I had learned on Mikkado, that change takes a long time, especially age-old hatreds. Still, our arrival home was met with joy.
The children swamped both Michaela and I and began to gibber in Zherroan questions about the plains and what the katarans looked like. Michaela smiled and responded in Avalonian that she would tell everyone what happened if they would calm down and follow her to our hut. That was the cue that she had a treat for them and they followed her willingly, leaving me to unpack the draigons that we rode. Everyone was waiting quietly as the chieftain approached and gave me the traditional and formal greeting of welcome.
“The gods grace a safe return for you Jacen.”
“The gods grace a welcoming home my lord Trystan.”
“It is good that you have returned. It has brought much joy to the village. See all the smiling faces. How goes our neighbors?”
“The plains will be shared equally again. The Cyrus will come during the season of the rains and honor our tribe for aid in peace.”
“Tonight, we shall feast in your honor; for the preservation of our longstanding friendship,” the chief then led the chant that brought me back memories of that night in Mikkado. He announced to the people, “The Heart of the Guardian, the Sanga, Kirabaros!”
The people responded by crying out, “Kirabaros!”
This was repeated three times and the people dispersed quickly to prepare for the feast. Trystan noticed my feelings of discomfort and asked me to follow him. We walked through the enclave and he stated, “I know you are not comfortable with the myth of Kirabaros. You must understand that the People have seen and heard of what you have done for our brethren on Mikkado. But I sense that something else troubles you.”
I was slightly annoyed with myself for allowing myself to be transparent to anyone and I nodded and said, “The dreamtime has invaded my night thoughts. They are disturbing yet uncertain.”
“Perhaps you should seek out the lore master and medicine man.”
“It is probably a vision from the Force.”
“I don’t understand fully what you call the Force but the dreamtime you have must have answers that must be sought. Seek him out when the dreamtime invades your night thoughts again.”
“I will honorable chieftain,” and he smiled at my response and left. I went to my hut to think about seeing Petronius, the lore master and medicine man.
The feast that night was grand. To be honest I didn’t give much thought to the food placed before me as I sat and watched the dancers in my assigned place next to the chieftain. Michaela sat with the chieftain’s head wife at her place some ways away. It was another one of those customs that I didn’t fully understand; the separation based on gender. The dancers told of my negotiations with Sigara and Naomi and how the plains had become free from the decade-long feud between the herders and the warlords. It ended with how Kirabaros, me, negotiated peaceful terms and had surely brought blessings upon our village.
I was impressed at the embellishment of the details but slightly annoyed. I wasn’t one who liked to have the limelight. I didn’t like drawing attention to myself and tried not to as a Jedi should but everywhere I went, it seemed as if the people had heard of the Heart of the Guardian. Michaela knew I didn’t enjoy it and tried to stress it at least to the women that I preferred to be called by the name my mother gave me. I wasn’t angry, I just couldn’t accept the simple explanation the People gave me yet time seemed to have mellowed out my thoughts for I wasn’t thinking of the dancers and everything else but what Naomi told me and the dream that I had.
I didn’t even notice the speech that the chieftain was making regarding Michaela’s contribution and mine to the tribe and about the honor we had brought because we preferred negotiation rather than conflict. He went on how this last mission of diplomacy was a sure sign from the gods that I was indeed the legendary Kirabaros. That sort of snapped me out of my reverie, as the chanting of the People grew louder. I then realized that there was no way for me to avoid what had started in the enclave on Mikkado. The Heart of the Guardian had become a legend.
I think my wife noticed my reaction and asked about what the chieftain meant later in the privacy of our home. I explained that the story of Kirabaros had been epitomized, that it had reached a point where it was no longer a myth but reality. I knew she had a hard time understanding what I meant because she had not been raised amongst tribal people but as a purebred Argonon. She knew very little of the role that myth played into everyday life and how it influenced the combat styles of the warriors and of how all were connected. She understood that through the Force all life was connected and she used that to try to understand.
The feast carried on into the night. There were dancers, acrobats and even the children insisted on performing. The warriors gave to the tales of the great hunts and battles that they had participated in or those of long ago. It was peaceful in the way one feels when they are at home. I saw that being called Kirabaros wouldn’t be a bad thing but that as long as I remained true to my heart and what I believed in, I would be just J.C. I would be me. Being there with the People brought out a feeling that I hadn’t felt since Master Tergis first found me as a boy. I opened myself to the Force and I could hear him speak to me as if he were still alive, Death is a natural part of life. When one dies, it is best to celebrate what they did in life and what made it worth living. I remembered that he told me that when he first planted the wildflower garden at the enclave and I thought of it because he was there in my heart. I felt at peace when the feast continued as Michaela and I left for home.
((Sorry for the long wait. I had a brainstrom for another story))
Another great Chapter on the feast. It was worth the wait.
Don't worry I get brainstorms for other stories all the time. I've got four unfinished stories to sort out.
Thanks for the compliment Pottsie. As always, you are a worthy critic. :D
Chapter 3: A Strange Dream
The feast was still going on when Michaela and I went home. I knew that the chieftain wouldn’t mind because he had already said his piece about the events that had occurred. At our home, Michaela had changed into what she was going to sleep in and had gone to look at the moon. I joined her and we looked at it together. I once made the comment that the moon was more beautiful than the sun in that it allowed all the beautiful things to occur under her gaze. She seemed to like that and from then on, we always watched the moon and listened to the birds singing.
That night was different and I could feel it. Even though I felt at peace, there was a nagging doubt in the back of my mind. I tried to push it out as we went to bed. Our pet draigon, a smaller version of the one we ride, curled up at our feet and drifted off to sleep. During that sleep, it came.
Blood, fire, smoke and bodies were all on the ground. The screams were many and loud, intense. The dead, the wounded, the dying were everywhere. The star from the sky came down and sent a bright light to reveal a shadow. Tall, imposing and covered with the blood of all that he slaughtered. He laughed as he rammed his blade through what appeared to be the tribesmen. I turned and saw Naomi and others that I knew from the Zherron tribe dead or crying out for help. I couldn’t see Michaela but I sensed she was there somewhere. I reached out to try and help but it was too late, too late…
I woke up with a start. I was disturbed by what I saw and would have jumped right out of bed if I hadn’t been aware of Michaela sleeping soundly. The images of death and dying filled me with the familiar sorrow I had felt when I was a boy and my father died and my pet draigon, killed by Tvark. As I remembered Tvark, I felt an immense shadow come across my back and it sent a chill down my spine.
With as much care as I could muster, I got out of bed and left Michaela to sleep while I thought about Tvark and that chill I felt. I sat on the rail of the veranda and gazed at the Chinooka run its silver course. I had a distinct feeling that the dream and Tvark were somehow connected to the falling star from the sky. Looking at the river, I saw a dire wolf gaze at me with its inquisitive golden eyes and then walk away, probably to hunt. I wondered what Tvark could possibly have to do with my dream seeing that I killed him to save my wife that night in the township on Mikkado. My thoughts were blending together and filling my mind with numerous possibilities that I didn’t notice Michaela until she placed a gentle hand on my shoulder.
Apparently I had awakened her, or she told me that she felt something was wrong. My first thoughts were that she was beautiful standing in the moonlight in her night shift with her long brown hair trailing down her back. She asked me, “What is it?”
Not ready and not willing to answer, I turned my gaze to her wrist. I recognized the draigon pearl bracelet and fingered it rather lovingly. I replied, “I remember when I first gave this to you.”
She was clearly annoyed and her voice gave it away when she responded, “How long is it going to take for you to be honest with me?”
“It’s nothing, just a dream,” I replied.
“You’ve had dreams before. Don’t shut me out. Please tell me.”
I could see that she was concerned for me. She didn’t have to remind me that she knew that I had not been sleeping well ever since that siege business and that my dreams were not just dreams. She knew better than to push me so she waited silently but her presence was filled with concern. I had stood up and walked towards the opposite rail looking at the village. I knew that I was doing her no justice by not telling her so I decided to swallow my need to protect her and flat out say what was bothering me, “I had a dream. Like the ones I used to have before the sieges, before the slaughter.”
“Is it bad?”
“I think something terrible is going to happen. I saw many of our friends dying or dead and a great evil was delighting in their suffering and a falling star shined its light upon him, almost as if revealing itself.”
“Do you recognize the evil being?”
“I don’t know but I think it has something to do with Tvark. The dream brought the sorrow I had felt when he killed Manzibique.”
She couldn’t really find anything to say. It wouldn’t make any sense because I had never told her about Manzibique or my time at the boarding school and orphanage. Instead she came close and placed her arm through the crook of mine and leaned close. She stood there with me and said, “No matter what happens, we will face it together.”
I wasn’t so sure about it. I knew that she didn’t forget Tvark because she saw that as the bad side of her people when they allowed their hatred to dictate their actions. I didn’t tell her that I didn’t see her in my dream but I felt her there. I thought that it meant that her fate was uncertain. I did know this; I needed to pay a visit to Petronius, the lore master and medicine man. He seemed to have an understanding of life that transcended the vision of the Jedi. I said no more as Michaela and I went back to sleep with her head on my shoulder.
No more dreams came the rest of the night and in the morning, and my tiredness was showing. Michaela didn’t make any reference to what had happened that night, knowing that I was uncomfortable that I had put her into a position of worrying. What was worse was that I was worried about what the dream meant. Funny, I kept others from worrying most of my adult life that when I had a chance to worry, I felt like I swallowed a blaster bolt, like bantha poodoo.
We didn’t discuss anything about the dream but rather laid down what was going to happen for today. Michaela would go to the chieftain’s wife for she had been invited to learn more on how to be a proper wife. I on the other would go to the indaba and discuss options with Trystan, the chief. I didn’t tell her that I would see old Petronius before that. I didn’t have to for she knew that I went to Petronius for anything that involved visions. I finished my meal and gave a kiss on Michaela’s cheek and bade her a good day.
Petronius was waiting for me at the entrance to his hut. He always seemed to know when I was troubled, which was lately. I enjoyed going to visit him for his hut was on the Chinooka River a comfortable distance from the rest of the village. You could say that he was somewhat of a hermit. He welcomed me into his hut and I was immediately welcomed with a strong scent of Judan blossoms and herbs. It was a smell that I remembered well from my days of being an orphan at the boarding school. The only difference was that I felt accepted her whereas there I was treated and disregarded as a bothersome fly.
I made my way to my familiar pallet seat, the place where visitors sat. Petronius stoked his fire in the center of the room and handed me a cup of Chinooka bark tea. It was a rather soothing brew that could put even the most reluctant into a talkable mood. As protocol dictated, I inquired about his health and his family. His daughter I helped from a rather unscrupulous warrior who thought he deserved everything he saw. Needless to say she married well and had two children. Petronius on his end questioned me about my family and why there were no children to bring on the next generation of warriors to defend the family honor. I knew he would ask this and I replied the same way every time, “When work is finished.”
It was really a cover because children were something Michaela and I never discussed being that we had our duties and I think we just wanted to be with each other. After our initial conversation, it was my cue to bring up what had been bothering me, “The dreamtime has been invading my night thoughts.”
“Yes your face shows it.”
“I think that they are visions of what is to come.”
“How certain are you?” Petronius asked.
I went into a very descriptive narrative of my dreams. Petronius didn’t say anything through out my narrative but listened deeply. When I had finished, he kept in thought, deep thought and I knew that this too disturbed him. I think he was trying to find the best way to speak his mind without having me get worked into frenzy. He replied, “Premonitions of death and war you see. Hmm…disturbing and yet hope fall from the sky.”
“What could that mean? There hasn’t been a full scale war since the Rashikians shed blood on Belos.”
“Careful you must be when sensing the future. What Grace has gifted you could mean two things instead of one.”
I knew full well that meaning. Master Tergis had told me once that the future was and is always in motion. Sometimes what we see means one thing but it really means another. He was telling me that war will come but as to whom it could be the Rashikians or it could be another. The falling star was hope though I was uncertain to what that meant. I was thinking about what he said when he spoke again, “War will come, yes, but as to who will lead it, that remains uncertain. Death will come. It is a natural part of life.”
I thought about telling him the feeling I had about Tvark and Manzibique and at first decided to not to but realized that I would be doing a greater disservice by not telling. Petronius listened to what I felt when I had my dream the night before but right away he spoke up instead of waiting, “The future meets the past. It is the only way one must grow.”
He was trying to tell me that I had to face what I had left behind on Mikkado. I thought at first he was trying to tell me that I had to have the vision quest or something. I thought in the beginning they were connected. Later when it did happen that I met what would have been the end of me and the people that I loved.
Again a bit like AOTC. But I can talk. I've done enough copying for now. Keep posting.
PS. Have you forgot about me and my new Fanfic?
No. Just going on and off. Finals ya know but I'll try to get to it.
On my story, It was my intention for it to be that way. This kind of thing leads to the lore that is being fed peacemeal in the RPs that I have a part in.
Here is the next chapter after two weeks. It is a bit short than my usual length but any more would not have fit with the chapter title. Enjoy:
Chapter 4: The Sitting Room
While I was with Petronius, Michaela had an interesting conversation with the head wife of Lord Trystan. She later told me the details as to what had happened. It started out pleasant enough for they were working on new dance shawls for the up coming feast and dance to welcome the new year in. Michaela had been given the place of honor beside Nayana, the chieftain’s head wife, the place where one could be scrutinized and also be revered.
The conversation started out pleasant enough with the discussion on the weather and if the seasonal deer would pass through. It was a conversation where one could participate at will or be absorbed and ignore things not concerning them. Michaela was working on the fringe of hers and had been conversing with Rajia, the elderly wife of Petronius and advisor to Nayana, about the blooming of the Judan tree near our hut. When Michaela told me this later, she admitted that she was in a state that she was not there at all. I ended up stating that they had a way of putting one’s mind in that state. I was and still am ignorant of the ways of the women’s circle and why they are honored the way they are.
The conversation took an interesting turn when Nayana asked Michaela if I had any other bad dreams concerning the falling star. Michaela was rather taken aback for she never mentioned anything about my dreams. When she gazed at Nayana’s face, it was one of gentle seriousness that permeated her soft gray eyes. Nayana explained, “It is alright. It has been seen that Kirabaros will see the falling star. No one has told us.”
That was when Nayana told Michaela of the most ancient orders that were said to be as old as the Jedi itself, the Bushida Handmaidens. Most of what Michaela told me was just the accepted version that the citizenry knew. I never knew the full extent as to who they were. It was considered one of those things forbidden to the knowledge of men and one of those things that no one spoke of. It must have been considered a great risk to allow her to tell me everything but little did I know that once again my actions and fate would be bound to the fate of this ancient order.
“The Bushida Handmaidens,” Nayana explained, “are among the most revered and honored warriors and have existed since the early years before the Republic. Their primary duty is to watch and guard those that utilize the Force. Overall, servitude is to the will of the Force. The male counterparts perform the same duty. What separates us from the males is our ability to ‘see’ and discern the will of the Force and our connection to it.
“There are many groups within the order and are named as such to distinguish rank and specialty. The most powerful in terms of combat are the sisters from Belos who in turn are grouped according to skill. It is the way of things.”
“Why is it that you speak of this to me,” Michaela asked.
“We say this because we have seen what your husband as seen and we realize that it may mean that we are called to our duty once again. We speak of this for we feel that the wife of the one who unites us should know and we agree that a place should be made for her with us,” Rajia answered.
I think Michaela was in shock when she found out. For three years she had socialized with these very women who were forced to hide who they were whenever they sat together at the same indaba. Michaela told me that she was in state of shock when she learnt of it but she never said that she agreed or not. There are some things one just does not speak of. The rest I can only speculate but some how there was a connection between those women and my wife and it was a bridge I was not allowed to cross. I did learn that after that conversation they went back to speaking of what they were talking about before the revelation.
After I met with Petronius and had left for the day, I took a walk through the enclave. It always seemed to please me and lift my spirits to see the people going about their work, especially the children. I went to the fields for it was my turn to watch the herds and tend the garden. Mostly I was practicing saber techniques with the grass rake. That day it seemed that all the children came wanting to learn to be tough like me. Chuckling I went through the motions of the first and most important lesson: being gentle but at the same time, being tough. It was pleasant and would have continued if the sun stayed up but when the sun went down, it was time to head home. Michaela would be home making supper and I was expected.
Walking along the river was tranquil and I felt at peace. Nayana broke my reverie with her smooth and rich voice, “The river absorbs one’s thoughts and shows them to the seeker.”
I was surprised to see her out and speaking to me. It was worth it to listen so I remained respectfully silent and allowed her to continue, “You seek something that you thought buried and yet when you look it is still buried. What is on the surface is nothing but the spawning of the seed buried,” and she walked away. It was one of those moments where I was rather slightly annoyed at the prophetic tones of Avalonian but grateful in that they always seem to come when one needed it the most.
I thought of what she said as I walked along the river. I thought that the seed that was buried may have been that of Tvark, but the spawning was something new. It was something that would consume my mind until it was revealed to me. I did not notice the wolf that had been watching me with its amber eyes but I did hear my master’s voice in my thoughts, Through the Force, one can see the future, the past, old friends long gone. I made it home and over supper, Michaela told me what she learned of at Nayana’s indaba.
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