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Old 02-23-2006, 05:24 PM   #30
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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.

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