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Old 02-15-2006, 10:10 PM   #16
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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.

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