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Old 07-27-2006, 01:06 PM   #184
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Here is the next chapter. It took me forever to figure this chapter out so be gentle.

Chapter 14: Surrender
The night air was crisp and cool as I rode one of the wild beasts that the Shreyites used towards the imposing fortress of the Blood King. Along the way, I thought about my abandonment of those that I had led these last few months. I thought of a lot of things. I guess in the back of my mind, I figured that it was better if I gave myself freely. It was a foolish thought on my part but it was because I cared so much.

The weaverbirds were singing their nightly song. It was strange that such beautiful creatures were on a planet that reeked of darkness. It was neither the planet’s fault nor the natives that inhabited this place. Evil is present everywhere but this threat greatly threatens the delicate balance of good and evil. I understand why Revan wouldn’t want to be there but did it make sense for me to be there? It was hard to answer but the answer lay in that fortress. As I rode on, I continued to listen to the weaverbirds while my gaze kept to the fortress.

As I got nearer, the stallion that I was one got more agitated and I knew why. The shadows of the night became darker and did not dance playfully as they did near the Shreyite village. I could no longer hear the weaverbirds sing their sweet songs and instead I heard the wind whistling menacingly through the blackened trees, sending chills down my spine. I was brought back to the memories of the mental and physical tortures that I had been put through as a boy when I was an orphan. It also brought back the familiar emotions that I thought that I had long since buried.

I was blubbering quietly in my corner on my bed in the little kids dormitory when the Judge walked in with two of his mates behind him. It was an imposing trio, enough to scare any little kid. The other kids were lying in their bunks not saying anything but I could feel them watching me as the Judge approached me.

The Judge looked like a giant, as he was rather large for his sixteen-year-old self. He gazed at me with his cool, cruel blue eyes as he looked at me. He asked in the taal, his native dialect, “You know what J.C. stands for?”

I shook my head slowly in response. I was too scared to say anything. My face was tear stained.

He smiled and answered his question, “Jorscop,” then he switched to Avalonian, “Slop Head.”

I realized that he was making fun of me and insulting me. Being an innocent kid I wanted to correct him. I replied, “No it doesn’t. It stands for Jacen Credo Cirrus, that’s my name.”

The Judge just smirked at me. He suggested to his mates, “Let’s slop the Jorscop.” He chuckled slightly and picked me up. His mates were jeering at me as he carried me to a darkened corner of the schoolyard where there were three buckets waiting.

I was too scared to resist as he carried my little body. I didn’t move even when he placed me down in the corner. How could I resist? I was too little. The next thing I next I was covered in slops and I heard the cruel laughter of the Judge. He then spat on me and said not to worry that I would get some more tomorrow. I watched quietly as they left and the little kids who followed peered at me and whispered. I was ashamed and I was scared. It gave me a chill down my spine and I vowed that no one would make me cry.

The memory was still a raw scar on my mind as were many others, as I got closer to where the main fortress gates were. That was when I first developed my fear. It wasn’t when I heard about how my father had died. I was already afraid when I came home. My hatred arouse when he killed something that I loved dearly, my pet draigon Manzibique. Manzibique! That was Revan’s Mikkades name! It didn’t occur to me then that Inkosi Kanji had given her the name that I had given my pet draigon so long ago. I had a sudden bolt of fear that maybe Revan would suffer the same fate as my draigon but the rational side in me said that it wasn’t the same thing. I forced my thoughts and feelings of this deep down as I approached the guards.

The guard, a rather decrepit looking Rashikian, held up his rather look and razor sharp spear and barked, “Halt! Who goes there?”

I slowly dismounted my stallion and stepped into the light. I said, “In the name of the Four Winds, I surrender.”

He must have thought it a joke for he kept his spear jabbed at me. He barked, “What in the name of the Force are you?”

I stepped forward, more into the light so it shown on my face. I replied, “One of the Bushida warriors. I am Kirabaros.”

That seemed to get the ball rolling, I think. The Rashikian didn’t lower his weapon but gave me a rather sadistic grin. My heart went out to him in that he had fallen so far. I held no rancor for the Rashikians for I felt the same as they did, the pain, the loss, the anger, the fear, the hate; the same poisons that ran through every other sentient. I said nothing as he inched his way forward and seized my katana and my lightsabers. He said, “Well, my lord has been waiting for you. In fact he was actually expecting you.” He gave me a cursory glance and said, “Though you look nothing like what he described.”

I gave a hard steely smile. No doubt the Blood King had told of the scared boy I was. That I was weak and dishonored the spirit of the true warriors. I replied with a calm, “Times change as do seasons.”

The Rashikian had motioned to two others who came forward and slapped a pair of restraints on my wrists. I thought they might put a neural inhibitor to prevent me from summoning the Force but they just jabbed my back with the butt ends of their spears. The decrepit lead the way holding my lightsabers and my katana into the dark fortress. I reeled in my mind the calming exercises but they were not necessary. In fact I felt a peaceful calm as I walked forward, heading towards something I knew I had to finish.

Tvark had an intense hatred in his eyes as I fought him to keep him from harming Gulas and Michaela. It spouted like fire from his eyes as he told me that they only way he would stop was when he killed me. I threw everything I got into my punches. I fed my anger, my fear and hate into each strike. All I could think of was that he took from me and he was attempting to do it again. Then I remembered, ‘First with the head, then with the heart.’ It kept me calm as I struck methodically.

He was unconscious as I dragged in each step my body to my beloved wife and friend. But I wasn’t completely unawares. I sensed his hatred for me as he rose to strike me. I responded with a lightsaber throw that was thrown with defense in mind, no malice. I still felt restricted in my breathing. The first person I killed directly was my tormentor.

The viewing platform would have made a beautiful sight if it were for all the sharp and deadly figures decorating it. On it was one lone figure that was hard to forget. He still wore his headdress and stank of blood and death. I also sense a sadistic pleasure of reveling in it. I repressed a shudder as I was butted towards him while following the decrepit Rashikian. I said nothing as I stopped behind my lead captor. He was saying in the accursed dialect, “This is a Bushida warrior that surrendered to us. He denies that there are more of them.”

The Blood King turned to look at me. If he was amused, he hid it well. He responded, “He lies. There are more.”

“I request then milord a further search of the area. He was armed only with these,” and the decrepit Rashikian handed over my weapons to the Blood King who looked at them with a slightly interested look.

He glanced at me and replied, “Good work Commander. Leave us. Conduct your search and bring his companions to me.”

“As you wish milord,” and with a bow, the Rashikian turned and left followed by the two who butted me.

Not a word was spoken until the last guard left. The Blood King had the advantage since I was restrained so I didn’t harbor any thoughts of attack. I just followed him as he walked across. He said, “I have been expecting you.”

“I know Tvark.” I had replied with the calm that I had when I had first entered the fortress.

“So you know my name.”

“I know that you are the eldest and heir apparent son of Tvark Sigun, the one I call the Judge.”

A strange and sickly voice emanated from the Blood King that was sickly familiar but I didn’t flinch. He said, “That weakling name no longer has any meaning for me.”

I realized that two different people were fighting over the same body. Both were hell bent on revenge but it differed to certain degrees. I responded while looking into his eyes, “It is the name of your true self. You have only forgotten. You have allowed this ancient evil to feed off of you but you haven’t lost your humanity completely.” I then walked to the rail and placed my wrists on the rail and gazed out. I said, “That is why you couldn’t destroy me the last time we met though you did kill me. That is why you won’t take me to your master now.”

“I serve no one but me,” the same sickly voice sounded. It then paused as it looked at my lightsaber, the one that I had lost after my fall. He ignited it and said, “I see you have acquired a new lightsaber and a katana.”

I didn’t turn around but instead kept staring back out. It was a foolish gesture as he could have struck me down then and there. I think it was strange that I had come willingly into the beast’s lair. I heard the powering down and the comment that was as powerful as my predecessor. I then turned to look at him. I said, “Then let go of your hate.”

“Still spouting the wisdom of the Jedi I see,” and then he made a motion and two Rashikian guards came. He looked into my eyes and said, “I will show you the true meaning of the Force. Soon you will bow and call me master.”

I simply said, “That is something I will not do.”

“Take him away.”

I was led away to a dark and dank cell where I was thrown unceremoniously but not without have sensed the discord that that I had started in the Blood King. When the time came, it might give me the advantage.

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