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Old 02-15-2006, 02:22 PM   #13
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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.

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