I know. Pottsie, so you stop cursing me if it's the end, this part has a grand total of 22 chapters and a nice little epilogue. I think I'll give another chapter just to keep the ball rolling.
Chapter 17: Space Battles and Anger
The Ebon Hawk had come out of hyperspace and headed towards the main command ship of the Rashikian fleet. Atton was peering at the ship and he said, “I have a bad feeling about this.”
Visas replied, “You may be right. There appears to be a disturbance in the Force. It could be the shield generator.”
“Well we should be able to get a reading on that shield, up or down. The ship’s sensors are registering nothing.”
“It could be that they are jamming us Atton.”
“How could they be jamming us if they…” Atton looked at the scene, “…they don’t know if we’re coming.”
“What was that Atton?” Darius’ voice sounded over the comm.
“Darius break off the attack. The shield is still up.”
“Darius, Atton is right.”
“Alright, all craft pull up. The shields are still up.”
All the small fighters and the Hawk were able to pull up with amazing agility. They had to break formation to avoid becoming space dust. The larger vessels had a hard time doing the same but they managed to barely clear the shields. However they were waiting for a big surprise.
The Hawk was met by a formation of large cruiser vessels. From them tons of Rashikian and supposedly Sith fighters emerged and began firing upon the Avalonian fighters. Darius blazed right through them. He gave a general observation, “Fighters coming in heading for the med frigate.” He then turned to give pursuit.
The Hawk followed providing backup. Atton was doing a good job. I guess somebody was able to keep him sober enough to be able to pilot the Hawk without crashing it. I suspect some of the crew that traveled with Darius still teased him about that crash landing though I think he missed it coming from Mira.
The blaster fire painted the black void of space like a crazy painting. The different colors of energy bolts reflected the colors found in a person’s aura. It was almost mesmerizing as the various fighters weaved in and out of the large cruiser vessels. The Sojourn was holding up remarkably well. She should considering that she is one of the best vessels the Republic had to offer.
My eyes were drawn to the space battle in the sky. Even though it was light and the vessels were hard to see, I could make out several highlights of ships. Behind me a holo showed of the ongoing space battle. The Blood King, now back in control of the Sith spirit thing motioned while speaking to me in that sickly voice, “Come Jedi, see for yourself.”
Still sore from the Force Wave I resisted letting out a hiss of pain as I made my way to the image projector. There I saw clearly the space battle going on above us. I watched as the Avalonian fighters made their way, bobbing and weaving, often in perfect synchronization between the enemy vessels trying to draw fire away from the capitol ships. I saw as the Ebon Hawk made her graceful turns. I could tell that the turrets were firing and briefly wondered who was firing them. I gazed intently with my green and gold-flecked eyes.
The Blood King just smiled and adjusted the robe he was wearing. I hadn’t noticed it before but it was probably because the last time I saw him he was trying to kill me. He said, “From here you will witness the final destruction of the Jedi and the end of your insignificant Republic.”
I gazed hard at him. I felt a slight fire burn deep within my soul. I recognized it as the anger and hate that I harbored for so long for the Judge. Something else was mingled with it. It was a different kind of fire. It was weak but it looked as if that if released it could be a firestorm. It didn’t have the feelings of evil and the kinds of emotions that could lead to the darkside. It was familiar though. It was floundering against the raging torrent of hate I felt for the man before me. I desperately tried to think of something to distract it by searching with my eyes. My gaze fell upon my lightsaber as it lay near the Blood King’s hand. I felt a desperate need to grab it.
The Blood King had seen my gaze travel. He asked in a nonchalant voice, “You want this,” and he patted my lightsaber. “The hate is swelling in you like a raging firestorm. Go ahead, take you Jedi weapon. Use it. I am unarmed. Strike me down with it and give in to your anger.”
I hated that wheedling tone that he was using on me. Funny, playing pazaak in my head kept him from probing into my mind but that didn’t protect me from the jibes he was giving me. I had to turn my gaze from him and the holo image. I turned to gaze at the platform where I could see the smoke rising from the firing that was going on.
It was apparent that the Blood King thought it amusing that I was suffering. He continued on his wheedling, “With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant.”
I turned my head to gaze intently at him. I had a flare of that dwindling fire shoot a spark. I felt it as I said firmly, “No.”
For a moment, the Blood King looked at me intently. It was as if he were trying to perceive who I was. He had no idea what he had done to me two years ago nor had any clue as to what I knew. As quickly as he paused, he continued, “It is unavoidable. It is your destiny.”
I wanted to laugh when I heard that. I was so sick and tired of hearing of my destiny or the destiny of the great Kirabaros. I heard it from Old Petronius, I once heard of it from Jolee, half a dozen other Jedi but lastly, I heard it from…I then calmed myself. The last person who told me of destiny was Michaela. She spoke of the sisters. It then clicked: she was speaking of the Bushida Handmaidens. I remembered that the sisters did nothing but made sure the Force’s will was carried out; at least that was what I thought. I reverted my gaze back out to the battle waging in the forest. I barely heard the Blood King say rather softly, “It is pointless to resist, young Jedi.”
I still felt the raging firestorm that the Blood King had mentioned. I knew he could sense the powerful surge of emotions since he made mention of it. I came to recite the Jedi Code even though I never followed it. Heck I fell in love and got married and had a son. It was comforting to recite it and produced the calm needed to hold the firestorm at bay. It also allowed that other side that I was so reluctant to release to breathe some.
“Is that the Jedi Code I hear spouting through your thoughts? You can be so pathetic at times.” The jibe nearly made my anger boil out of control once again.
With my gaze still riveted at the platform where all the smoke was rising, I replied, “Though flawed, it bears some truth. You may see it too if you let go of your hate and come back to the light.”
“And I thought I had you all figured out. First that surge of anger makes you as near as possible to the human condition and then you start spouting the wisdom of the Jedi like a broken holovid. I wonder if you really are the legendary Heart of the Guardian, Kirabaros…Jorscop.”
It looked like it was going to be a long and difficult road.