Jae: What do you mean from the Wrath of Khan? It was my intention to foloow through with Robin Hood Prince of Thieves with Serena's fight scene and where he roara at the terentek comes from the Jungle Book. Yes I did take stuff from ROTJ, my fav of the OT. Well thanks for the reading and here is another chapter out of the kindness of my shovelbum heart. Just to let you guys know, it was very hard to think of how to write this and the last eight chapters. I had to erase so many things just to get it right. *Sigh* I should have stuck with poetry.
Chapter 13: Allies and Rendezvous
Two months went by rather quick yet I had twice as much information than when I did when I was scouting on my own. My interpreter was a female human named Sarna who had lived with the Shreyites, the furry little creatures that I met. She taught me their dialect which was roughly similar to the warrior dialect. That explained why they were so excited when I spoke to them like that when they showed me to their camp. I finally figured out why they were chanting at me. They believed me to be some sort of god or something. It made me chuckle when I found out because it was not what the Jedi stood for. I also laughed at the thought that Kirabaros was back at work, again.
Two months of being addressed with respect and dangerous living and dressing like a native warrior, I was ready to transmit my information to the fleet. It was nerve racking to send it with the possibility that it could be intercepted by the Rashikians but nothing happened. I did receive a transmission from my family which I downloaded onto my personal datapad with a smile. I relaxed once the message was away and I hoped that everything would work out. I went back to the village and sat to listen to the holovid of Michaela and Tulre telling me how much they missed me. There was even a blip of Revan with Mission. It was heartwarming and gave me strength though I was filled with apprehension about what had happened with that terentek. It had bothered me ever since that night and I desperately wanted to talk to Jolee about it.
Sarna came to my side and looked at the images of my wife and son. She smiled at my son and proclaimed him a ‘cute little sprat.’ She also voiced that my wife was beautiful. I just smiled at her comment. She was a companionable piece in that she was bluntly honest about her opinions and she had spunk. I learnt that she had been living on Amshrey for the last ten years after she crash-landed on the planet’s surface. She spoke of her time surviving on the planet and her friendship with the Shreyites. In return, I told her of myself and what I was doing in this war and what was my intention on the planet. I gave my name as Kirabaros and it struck me as a surprise that she didn’t recognize my name. It was because she was from Republic space and I guess sometime during the Mandalorian wars, her ship got separated from her squad and she wandered into the Forbidden Stars and crash-landed. It was familiar like Jolee’s story but then again he said the ship was a rust bucket.
Our talks included our friends who were agreeable to help us. They wanted to help. Apparently the Blood King had been killing them off and plundering their resources. We may not agree on things but our common goal was to depose the Blood King. They were allies but it was a matter of getting them to accept my friends. The confrontation with the Blood King had me in slight fear. I knew that the longer I stayed with the Shreyites; I would be endangering the mission. I was torn in two and it was disturbing. I decided to make the choice of getting my friends introduced and then I would head off to meet him.
Two weeks later I got my wish. I was away with Sarna and Gorky, the Shreyite who found me, and we were scouting out near the shield base that protected the Rashikian fleet and the fortress. An odd innovation but effective. The shielding was too strong for blasters and it needed to be taken down. It was a hideous thing tucked within the foliage of the forest but nevertheless it was there.
We were surveying the area when my attention was drawn to a landing platform on the far side of the compound. It was near the fortress of the Blood King. The fortress wasn’t what had my attention; it was the shuttle that had just landed on the platform. Emerging down the descending ramp was him. I recognized him by the eagle headdress from my dreams and his posture. The Blood King looked well, more bloody than the last time I saw him. My eyes were locked on his figure as he descended the ramp and headed for a speeder that was waiting for him.
At one point, his gaze turned towards my direction. We were too far away for him to see us but I had the distinct feeling that he knew I was there. It looked as if we locked our eyes in a gaze that could have melted carbonite. After he glanced in our direction for a while, he turned and headed to a speeder that was waiting for him. My gaze followed his speeder all the way to the fortress. Sarna had to bring me out of my gaze when she said that we had to go. I gave a backwards glance back at the fortress and then turned to head back into the forest.
There was a big commotion coming from the village when we were approaching. There was much cheering and jabbering about a big catch and that another god had approached them. One voice sounded above all of it. It was the unmistakable voice of a droid that two months ago I would have given my last credit to have. I had to suppress a chuckle when he said, “Statement: It appears Republic meatbag that you and the other meatbags are to be the main course of a banquet in mine and the Animal God’s honor.”
The response was that of a growl from a Wookiee. I also heard grumbling from Jolee and Juhani. Carth was saying, “HK do something.”
As we approached closer, the way was paved for us with welcoming murmurs from the Shreyites. I asked what was going on in their language. They confirmed HK’s statement that I heard before when we were approaching the village. I glanced to where Carth was being hung upside down over a pit that was being prepped to be lit. I thought fast and said to HK that they were to be set free. After he tried and failed he replied, “Observation: It appears that the furry meatbags don’t appear to listen very well. Shall I blast them now Handsome Meatbag?”
“You better do something kid or I’m gonna have to start busting some skulls soon,” Mandalore was saying.
I then spoke in their language. I said that if they didn’t do as I and HK wanted, we would become angry and use our magic. It was a spur of the moment thought but I figured it was worth a try. I hope some Jedi in the future or even a prissy sissy droid doesn’t use this. As soon as I said that, the whole village became silent. When I finished my declaration, they just turned back into their preparations. Mandalore said, “Somehow I get the feeling that didn’t help us very much.”
I ignored him and everything and began to concentrate on the Force. HK was sitting in some makeshift chair and I concentrated on lifting it. I also concentrated on myself. We both rose high into the air. I stood mid air with my arms crossed as I made HK in his chair spin. It was not my intention to frighten them so badly but it did the trick. They released everyone amidst the groaning of HK to be allowed to be put down so he could blast some meatbags. I slowly lowered myself and HK back down. I turned to see T3 chasing one of the Shreyites with one of his appendages, shocking him. I began to laugh.
“I see you haven’t lost your touch of playing tricks on an old man sonny,” a gruff voice sounded.
I turned to face Jolee and grinned. “I wasn’t the one who decided to get myself caught for dinner.”
“You have a Wookiee’s stomach to thank for that.”
“Oh and I’m sure they were just dying for some old man all nice and chewy.” I had a smirk on my face that sent Carth into chuckles.
“If you weren’t such a talented Jedi I would have sent you to detention.” Jolee was spluttering.
“Come off it old man at least he got us out of this mess,” Carth was saying.
“Nah, it’s all thanks to HK,” I replied.
We all turned to watch as HK was threatening to shoot the meatbag responsible for that ‘exhilarating’ ride through the air. I just shook my head in a bemused way. Finally I managed to get two groups together. Whether they would be allies or not was another story.
It was a late night as HK was telling the story of how we got here. I was slightly bemused that he never failed to mention his murdering tendencies and his various meatbag names and he never failed to embellish. He told of the war and his eventual involvement and reunion with his master Revan. He spoke that she was trying to end what she started during the Mandalorian Wars. I cocked my brow at his descriptions of Revan and everyone and wanted to laugh.
At one point the chieftain asked where Revan was. I quickly stepped in and explained that she was involved with the troops back home. It was hard to speak of politics. At first I thought HK was going to blow it when he said that his master was staying for other reasons. Lucky he said it in Basic but I knew that Carth would bug me later. So instead I said that it was the official line of business. That seemed to satisfy the leader and he asked for HK to continue.
The story was said and done and the Shreyites agreed to help by making us a part of the tribe, I think. I left when the music started and walked out into the cool night air. I walked to one of the main platforms and stood to gaze at the landscape. My mind drifted to the last night I spent with Michaela.
The stars were bright and warm as we gazed up at them. Michaela leaned against me with my arms wrapped around her waist and my head resting one her head. Her hands were placed over mine gently and she stroked my hand. She said to me, “What do you want in life?”
I just rested my cheek on her head and said, “Freedom. For you, for Tulre.”
“Just you,” and I turned her gently around. My eyes gazed into hers and I placed a kiss on her lips. She responded in her sweet way.
She broke the kiss and held up her arm. She said, “When we first fell in love we were already one.”
I gazed fondly at the draigon pearl bracelet and just pulled her into a hug.
I was interrupted when Sarna asked, “Anything wrong?”
I didn’t turn and continued to gaze out. I replied, “No. Just remembering before I go.”
“What do you mean?”
I turned to face Sarna. I looked at her and said, “To face the Blood King.”
She looked at me with a puzzled look as if she couldn’t understand. She then asked, “Why?”
I lowered my gaze. “I have to face him. I am the one he seeks.” Then I raised my eyes to hers.
“He seeks you?”
“Yes,” I replied with a downward nod. “He killed me before.”
She just looked at me with a confused look. She couldn’t comprehend it and I didn’t expect her to understand. She left without saying anything to return to the main hut. She passed Carth who came up to ask, “What’s going on?”
I sighed and replied, “She’s not taking it well that I have to go now.”
“He’s here and he’s come for me. I need you to lead the troops.”
“Wait a minute. You are leaving? Because of him?” Carth looked surprised but I could sense the subtle hints of betrayal in his emotions.
“Yes. As long as he lives he will continue to wreak havoc upon the worlds here and eventually into Republic space. I have to face him.”
Carth wanted to say something but he couldn’t. I could see in his mind the similar situation where Revan told him to stay behind and keep the Republic strong. The déjà vu was a reoccurring constant but you have to have those constants in order for the galaxy to flourish in its state off flux between the light and the dark. He then said, “Just come back Jacen,” and he held out his hand.
I took his hand in a warrior grasp. I knew that he knew that I went by the name Kirabaros. He just said my other name because he was putting forth all his concern and fear into that name. It was the caring part of him. I gave his wrist a firm shake and turned and walked down the walkways. Whether I or anyone else liked it of not, I was going to do what had to be done.