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Old 07-29-2006, 10:46 AM   #34
Dum Spiramus Tuebimur
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No he hasn't yet. He does have a copy of the first part. He probably won't review it until it gets bumped back to the top of his list.
Well here is the last chapter, unless you want to count the epilogue. Enjoy.

Chapter 22: Escape and Celebration
While the fleet was firing at the fortress, explosions were ringing from within. That loud explosion on the platform was a feedback from when the shield generator exploded. I could hear the fierce screams of anger of that ancient evil that took up residence as I passed the numerous Rashikians who were either running or trying to defend. The fleet was attacking and destroying what they could. In short, chaos was ensuing and I was the cause of it. I calmly strode by as the explosions rang about the various levels.

The elevator was not working so I had to take a different means to get down. I managed to get the door open. I attached a long rope and straddled down. It was something that soldiers learned to do but heck I found it dead useful. I made it down to the bottom without any problems but the chaos upon my opening the door was unprepared for.

There was more damage on the bottom level and I hadn’t been able to see which way I had been taken. I surveyed the scene and saw nothing but smoke, fire, explosions and plenty of blood. Seeing that I needed some guidance, I kneeled on the ground in a meditative position and concentrated with the Force. I distinctly heard a voice through the thick fog of battle. The little voice said, “Follow the sounds Dada.”

I opened my eyes and looked around. I was surprised to hear my little sprat’s voice in my head though I was expecting something else. The Force works as it wills, something that I have learned to a degree to accept. I fine-tuned my ears for the shots of blaster fire from the fighters. I followed it out. Some of the Rashikians caught sight of me and tried to stop me. I drew my lightsaber and used it for defense. I was near the exit when a large piece of debris fell in front of me, blocking the hole. I heard the distinct rumbling that sounded like the power generators were going to blow. I had very little time and it was futile to try and move the debris. Instead I looked for other means of escape.

I saw the window, the only one not blocked. I reached out with my senses and saw that the window led to the river. I had fallen into a blasted river and it looks like the only way out was to jump into a river. I didn’t think much more about it as I took a running start and charged out of the window and leaped out into the river just as the fortress exploded. I landed with a splash that nearly knocked the wind out of me and pulled myself out on the other shore. I stood up slowly to gaze at the burning ruins of the fortress until something caught my eye.

As evening came about the planet, I watched with the same intent look that I had given the Blood King. I reached out with my senses and I could feel the spirits of all those that had died at his hands be set free. The blaze of the pyre burned brightly as I saw what was left of the Blood King be consumed by the flames. Though he was evil, I gave him the respect of being cremated. Call it an act of compassion, something the Jedi Council would be proud of. I reached out to sense if anything was different but I still felt the same presence that he gave when I stood before him. The only exception was that the spirits of those that had died were no longer there.

My gaze drifted up to the stars as I watched as the fighters celebrate. My attention was attuned to the actual stars. It was truly a gift to be able to read the stars. I saw the change and how the balance had shifted. I smiled briefly when again I sensed her presence. I said, “Not now. Now is a time to celebrate. Even if they don’t see it, we all need our moments.” I said nothing else as she left me alone. It truly was a good day.

The Shreyite village was alive with music and everyone was dancing, even T3 and HK. It was strange but I guess his motive was that life would get back to normal for him. No one noticed me at first when I slipped into the village. I was enjoying the sight of cheering people as I approached.

Carth saw me before I saw him and came up to me to ask if I was ok. I was relieved to see that he was fine. I was more amused at what he would find when we went home than relieved that we were finished. Juhani then came up, wincing when I touched her shoulder. I realized that she had suffered some injuries but she was too stubborn to heal them. After a brief conversation with the two of them, I was approached by everyone with them asking how I was. It was a happy time even though I had some strange looks, mostly directed at my eyes when I greeted people. For some reason, I was not annoyed as I used to be. I was still like a gizka on display at a zoo but it was not important. I realized that things were going to change and that their concern was just another confirmation, much like when one reads the stars..

I managed to distance myself from the crowd so I could watch. I could see various groups dancing. Even HK was doing…something but it was nothing compared to what I saw when I rounded another corner. As I approached the area where I had gone to think the night that I had left, I noticed something that caused me no end to great amusement. I noticed that Mandalore was giving a rather tender hug to Sarna. It didn’t surprise me because I knew that she was a very capable warrior and that kind of thing appealed to Mandalore. I watched as they continued to hug and they walked down one of the walkways. I found it amusing and hoped that it would go somewhere.

I started walking to one of the railings when I was hit with a wave of familiarity. I turned to find the bluish shadows of Tergis and Cronus and it was now joined by Tulre. I smiled at them and walked towards them. I spoke, “I guess all those lessons managed to penetrate my thick skull.”

Tergis grinned, familiar with my jokes. He responded, “No. You were just merely becoming who I saw you would be.”

“What my usual charming self?” I replied.

Cronus chuckled. Tulre snorted, trying to hide his laughter. Tergis had a smile playing on his lips as he replied, “No. I was referring to your infamous temper.”

I chuckled. Force how I missed these conversations. I replied, “I don’t think so. My temper was never that bad.”

Cronus sobered up quickly as he said, “We are just proud that you finally realized you can be a Jedi and a Bushida warrior.”

“That you acknowledge your heritage,” Tulre had spoken softly.

I smiled as smile as I replied, “So you knew what I was to become and do in life? I wouldn’t expect anything less.” I then turned my gaze up to the stars.

Tergis asked, “What do you see?”

“I see a time of peace with the balance in favor of the light,” I replied.

“Do you know how long?” A new voice had entered. It was none other than Kreia whom I always called Traya.

I looked at the stars and answered, “Always in motion is the future. Nothing in life is certain and that is the fate of all things.”

We just stood there at the railing for about fifteen minutes until Carth, Jolee, Juhani and Bastila came and found me. I knew they couldn’t see the four spirits that I was talking to so I gave no indication. I let them lead me back to the party after I stole a backward glance at the ones I would continue to see. I would later be able to commune with them and others who have died before. It would be a gift to another Jedi years later, many years later.

We walked back to the party with Carth explaining how the brass of the Republic fleet would be arriving soon now that the war was over. I listened to my friends tell of what happened during this last battle that entrapped the ancient evils that existed. Had we truly defeated it? Not really. Wherever there is light there must be dark. Much like sun and rain, so different and yet both are needed in order for life to exist. I knew that the Republic will fall but that will be much later. Funny what one can see especially at my age, 23 years old. As I sat there celebrating with my friends for one of the greatest victories to be written into history, I drifted my thoughts back to that image I saw of the young woman with golden brown eyes and the young man who was unmistakably my little sprat grown up and I smiled.

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