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Old 02-11-2006, 02:19 AM   #4
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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.

Last edited by JediMaster12; 02-14-2006 at 02:44 PM.
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