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Old 07-28-2006, 05:55 PM   #196
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Thanks. Then maybe you will like this twist.

Chapter 20: The Return of Kirabaros
The shower of sparks and the crash of the catwalk sent me into one of the dark corners of the upper levels. I heard laughter and an oddly feminine voice saying, “Good. Good.” I also heard the hiss pop of a lightsaber being activated. I hid in one of the darkest corners and tried to collect my thoughts. I closed my eyes and for a moment I saw what was going on at the generator. I saw that they were close to blowing the whole thing up. When that happened, I wouldn’t have much time. I almost started to panic but forced a calm.

The Blood King was using his lightsaber to light the way in that darkened corner. I was calming myself when he said, “You cannot hide forever Jorscop.”

The name stung like nettles in my mind but I forced my voice to remain even. I replied, “I will not fight you.”

I could hear the menacing chuckles rumbling within his chest as he replied, “Give yourself to the darkside. You know it is the only way you can save your friends.” I heard a slight hiss and I concentrated fervently on my game of pazaak. He continued, “Yes, your thoughts have betrayed you. Your feelings for them are strong, especially for…”

I tried to vamp my feelings, thoughts, everything concerning my friends and family. I was struck with a pleasant image at that moment. The Judan trees were in full bloom and I saw a young woman with soft brown eyes tinged with gold and a young man under the tree. Dammit! Not now! I tried hard to repress the image deep within my mind. Then I heard him. He said, “Family, the future. So you are protecting your family and their future. Well your feelings have now betrayed them too. You were clever in trying to hide them from me. Now your failure is complete. If you will not turn to the darkside, then perhaps Tulre will.”

“NEVER!” I shouted and moved from my hiding spot with my bronze blade lit. I swung hard.

The Blood King grinned at me. He replied, “You are even a bigger fool than I imagined.”

I then realized that I had struck in anger and made a foolish move. I tried to concentrate but was hit full force with a Force Wave that sent me barreling into some grotesque statues. I groaned a bit in pain but I could sense his satisfaction in his being able to hurt me. I had a fleeting memory of his father beating me on Mikkado. I squeezed my eyes shut to block out all my negative feelings. I distinctly began to hear someone else in the room. It was that same feminine voice I had heard earlier. I suddenly recalled it from when I was on Duxn. She was saying, “Kill him and the balance will be tipped in our favor.”

I squeezed my eyes tighter shut and laid there on the ground. I forced my mind to recall the vision I had the night before I left for war.

I saw Kirabaros standing before me. He looked at me and I at him. He said, “The time is now. You know what you have to do.”

I nodded and knelt in front of him and closed my eyes. I saw the very core of my being. That small flame that I had felt trying to grow stronger was engulfed by everything that had bound it: my hate, my fear. I breathed methodically and let it go. The binding surrounding the flame grew weak. I tried harder and it broke free and the small flame took over. I heard the singing of the People. They were singing the song of the Heart of the Guardian. It began to resonate louder into a consistent pulse that began to beat through my heart. It grew stronger and stronger…

I opened my eyes wide and they narrowed. Though I didn’t know it at the time, my eyes had changed. They had become more gold, like fire. I was later told this by my friends when I saw them again but that was later. I heard the Blood King chuckling and getting ready to strike. He brought his blade down and I whipped mine up to block. He seemed surprised by my reaction. I used the Force and jumped to my feet.

Distinctly I heard the drums of my people and I assumed the Makashi stance. I swung hard and fast in a series of parries and strikes at the Blood King. He tried in vain to block them but I was driven by what had been buried since the day I was born. I kept swinging until I had backed the Blood King into one of the railings. I kept swinging until I struck right at his right wrist and made a deep cut in it almost as bad as the one he gave my leg. I then gave a stab into his side. His lightsaber fell with a clunk onto the floor along with him. I stood over him and gazed at him. It was then I heard laughter coming from the dark corner and a weakened chuckle from the Blood King.

I turned round to find no one behind me but when I turned back, I saw the Blood King still on the ground and standing next to him was an old woman. She looked blind with a dark hood on. It was she that spoke, “Good. You’re hate has made you powerful. Now take your enemy’s place. Finish him and I will guide you.”

My gaze reverted to the Blood King and his missing hand. I frowned and nearly had to gasp for breath. I sighed and powered down my lightsaber. I said, “Never. I will not turn. You have failed for I am Kirabaros, the Heart of the Guardian.”

The old woman gave me a murderous gleam. She spat with such disdain, “So be it, Kirabaros.”

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