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Before - Legends Child of Mandalore - The Story of a Mandalorian Warrior - COMPLETE at last

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by VaderLVR64, Feb 21, 2006.

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  1. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Turning back to Pendar, Ghee noted that the boy?s dark skin had taken on an ashen pallor when Cole had opened the door, but the defiant glint never left his eyes.

    That kid is COOL. :D

    I love the balance of friendship, family and fighting that you show for the Mandalorians. And Pendar is too cute. [face_love] All these little details - Pendar moving closer to Ghee, the latter taking his hand - keep making them more father and son.
     
  2. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    correllian_ale Well, Pendar is no pushover, I can guarantee that! ;)

    JadeSolo I love Pendar. He's stolen my heart, that little devil! [face_devil]

    I'm working on the editing of the next post now, should be up later this week! :D
     
  3. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    And a HUGE thank you to Quiet_Mandalorian for sending me such useful links! [:D]








    Chapter 4



    The returning group of warriors soon began to disperse with their families. Wives embraced husbands, children jumped up and down to gain their fathers? attention; a few elders watched with pride and perhaps a bit of envy as the young warriors began to boast of their exploits. Loud shouts rang out from the men as they called to loved ones. Pendar watched it all with wide, wary eyes, pressed up against Ghee?s side. He did not shrink from those around him, merely studied them carefully, all while being observed by Ghee and Kyri. The couple exchanged a look and Kyri nodded.

    ?Come with me,? Ghee said at last, taking Pendar?s hand. The boy looked back longingly over his shoulder at the ship that had carried him to this strange place and blinked rapidly. Ghee understood that, to Pendar at least, the ship was his last link with home ? and his lost family. It would be better to keep the boy so busy that he did not have time to dwell on what could never be regained, he thought. The warrior glanced at Kyri and saw her concern for the boy. Pendar might not know it yet, he mused, but Kyri would be able to heal his wounds and bind him to her with her own generous heart.

    They walked down streets that were rapidly becoming less crowded. It seemed that everyone had had someone they loved come home and there were many loud reunions taking place. They had done well this mission, and there were no dead to mourn. A few men had been wounded, but none of them seriously. There would be much celebrating among the clan tonight. Soon the village would be filled with the sounds of drunken singing, Ghee thought with a smile, and then later it would be quiet as children were put to bed and husbands and wives made love. He grinned, deciding that making love to Kyri was the best part about surviving yet another battle.

    Ghee and Kyri talked quietly in their own language as they walked and Pendar was content to let them speak among themselves. His sharp gaze took in his surroundings, making note of the path from the landing pad to where they led him, possible hiding places along the route. Ghee noticed this and smiled, thinking it a good omen that the boy was still determined to make his escape. Pendar would not be easily convinced that he had been given a chance at a new life, but that was merely a sign of the boy?s strong character and something of which Ghee could only approve. There was no room for the weak among the Mando.

    The warrior continued to hold the boy?s hand as the trio walked toward the Rendanali residence. Ghee?s other hand was grasping Kyri?s, who leaned against him, as if reassuring herself once more that he was fine. The trio came to a stop in front of a small but comfortable dwelling made of the traditional vheh? yaime, a combination of woven green wood and mud. It was warm and cozy in the cold season, and cool in the hot season. Kyri and Ghee had built it with their own hands two years ago, but to them the simple dwelling was not home. Their home was wherever they were together and now they wanted to offer that home to the young orphaned boy at their side.

    Ghee carefully put away his armor and Pendar noticed that a much smaller set of armor, similar in markings and obviously made for a woman was in the same chest. Though the sets of armor were battered and scraped, they were meticulously clean and obviously well cared for. Then the warrior put weapons up in cases that locked, a fact that Pendar found frustrating. Even his little vibroblade disappeared, locked away and beyond his reach. He would have to find another way to secure a weapon, he mused. For some reason, Ghee smiled at him, and Pendar wondered if the big man could read his thoughts.

    Kyri had already prepared a meal that was bubbling aromatically when they entered. Pendar?s nose twitched as he inhaled the inviting scent of nerf steak stew with tubers. The boy suddenly realized he had not eaten since yesterday and his thr
     
  4. Bale

    Bale Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 9, 2005
    Their home was wherever they were together and now they wanted to offer that home to the young orphaned boy at their side.

    That's such a great line. It says so much about Ghee and Kyri and their culture. And it's a wonderful parallel to the earlier line, ?Family is more than bloodlines.?


    The boy suddenly realized he had not eaten since yesterday and his throat felt thick when he realized that the last meal he had eaten had been prepared by his mother?s own hands. His mother would never again make him something to eat. Pendar straightened his shoulders and sniffed loudly, determined not to cry in front of these strangers.

    This beautifully shows that while Pendar is unknowingly becomming part of a new family, he has not forgotten his birth parents. And true to life Pendar is not stuck in an unbelievable period of continual mourning, rather, it is the little things that trigger memories of loved ones gone.

    Yet another great update, Vadey. =D=
     
  5. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    ?Thank you for our son,? she whispered.

    [face_love] I love how Pendar keeps casing his environment for possible weapons and hiding places, and keeps sizing up the people around him. That's a true warrior right there. Even in the way he eats. :p And like Bale said, it's so real that he remembers his parents here and there, but at some point the shock is probably going to wear off, and it's all going to come out. Kyri seems to have noticed this. :p
     
  6. leia_naberrie

    leia_naberrie Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2002
    *sigh* I'm loving this story.
     
  7. correllian_ale

    correllian_ale Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 20, 2005
    I really love the 'old world' feel, the warriors returning to the village after a great battle or war. I believe there were actually tribes that tried to absorb an enemies children into their culture, in order to strengthen their own with the enemies attributes.

    It was also a nice touch showing the cunning spirit of Pendar one moment, but the next reminding us he is still just a child.

    =D= VaderLVR!
     
  8. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Bale Kids are especially resilient, but the adjustment will take time. I've fallen in love with the whole Mandalorian cultures, so this one is especially fascinating to write and research!

    JadeSolo Kyri is very wise, oh bathrobed one! :p

    leia_naberrie Thank you! I'm enjoying writing it! :)

    correllian_ale The fact that the Mando did adopt people, even adults, into their tribe so readily really impressed me and thus this little plot bunny was born! :D






    [b]Chapter 5[/b]



    Pendar woke up slowly, drawn from the comfort of sleep by the scent of food cooking. It made his nose twitch in anticipation and he licked his lips, still in that place between slumber and true wakefulness. He sighed and rolled over, wondering if he had a few more minutes to sleep before his mother called him to the morning meal. As he lay with his face buried in the pillow, still more asleep than awake, he became vaguely aware that the bed linens surrounding him did not smell like home. They had an unfamiliar odor that made him blink in bewilderment. Then his body stiffened as his mind recalled in vivid detail what had happened and why he was in this place. Pendar felt a tear fall onto the pillow beneath him.

    His hands clenched at his sides as he struggled to regain control of his emotions. It was not his mother?s cooking he smelled, it was not [i]quite[/i] right. The sounds he heard coming from the rooms beyond were not his parents moving about, getting ready for a new day. His parents were probably still laying cold and stiff, just where they had fallen. He doubted the villagers had even returned yet to bury and mourn the dead. Those that had fled had lived; those that had stayed to fight had died. The foolishness of their leaders had taught them to flee and stay away until they were sure the enemy was gone ? and they had so many enemies it seemed. His father should have seen that they could not defeat so many.

    The boy stopped the thought abruptly, for it seemed disloyal somehow. His father had been a brave man and he would not forget that. ?Papa?? he whispered, almost able to feel his father?s broad, callused hand on his back, comforting him as he always had.

    There was a scratch at the door, and then he heard it open. ?Did you sleep well?? Kyri asked casually, as if it was the most natural thing in the galaxy for him to wake up here among these strange warriors. Pendar kept his face buried in the pillow, wiping his cheeks on the fabric, erasing any trace of tears. ?Fine,? he muttered.

    ?Are you hungry?? she asked.

    ?No.? That was a lie, for he always woke up hungry, but he did not want or need their food.

    He heard her sigh and then felt the cot shift beneath her weight. He half expected her to touch him, but she did not. [i]Good,[/i] he thought to himself.

    ?I thought all little boys were hungry when they woke up,? she said softly.

    ?Captured a lot of them?? Pendar?s voice was hard as he looked up from the pillow. Two pairs of dark eyes met ? his full of anger and grief, hers soft with concern. Only a slight slumping of her shoulders revealed that she had heard his provoking words. Pendar told himself firmly that he had [i]not[/i] seen hurt flash through her eyes, and even if he had, it made no difference to him.

    Kyri did reach out to him then; she brushed back his dark, unruly hair just as his mother used to do, and gave him the same sad smile his Mama had given him when he had disappointed her. ?I once had a son,? she whispered. ?That is how I know the ways of little boys.?

    Suddenly feeling ashamed, Pendar lowered his eyes and swallowed hard. He did not want to see his captors as humans; he did not want to think they also felt sorrow and joy. Pendar wanted only to hate them, and to escape them. [i]And go back to what?[/i] he asked himself. His parents were dead, and the villagers who had survived were not likely to welcome another mouth to feed, not when they had to work so hard to feed themselves already. For the time being, it appeared he would have to make the>
     
  9. VIII

    VIII Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Great. I loved the interaction with Pendar and the other boy...
    Keep it up.
     
  10. Layren

    Layren Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Oh I missed a post! I could've sworn I reviewed that last chapter, I know I read it.


    His hands clenched at his sides as he struggled to regain control of his emotions. It was not his mother?s cooking he smelled, it was not quite right. The sounds he heard coming from the rooms beyond were not his parents moving about, getting ready for a new day. His parents were probably still laying cold and stiff, just where they had fallen. He doubted the villagers had even returned yet to bury and mourn the dead. Those that had fled had lived; those that had stayed to fight had died. The foolishness of their leaders had taught them to flee and stay away until they were sure the enemy was gone ? and they had so many enemies it seemed. His father should have seen that they could not defeat so many.

    The boy stopped the thought abruptly, for it seemed disloyal somehow. His father had been a brave man and he would not forget that. ?Papa?? he whispered, almost able to feel his father?s broad, callused hand on his back, comforting him as he always had.



    That was so heart breaking. Could really feel his grief there. Feel so bad for him. Excellent job, MamaVader, I really love these OC's. =D=
     
  11. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    Instead of getting offended, Uldaas smiled. ?Every Mando learns to fight. We don?t need anyone else to protect us.?

    Loved this. Uldaas doesn't get defensive at all. Instead, he just explains how things are to Pendar, like a diplomat. I hope that's the Mando way, because I'll like them even more. :D

    Poor Kyri, losing her son. I imagine we'll find out what happened to him. Right? [face_batting]

    I'm going to say this every time, but the more Pendar tries to fight his new life, the more adorable he becomes. [face_love] :p
     
  12. Quiet_Mandalorian

    Quiet_Mandalorian Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2005
    It is, more or less. According to Karen Traviss, you can count on them to be polite, unless you try to fight them.;)
     
  13. Jedi_Tigris

    Jedi_Tigris Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 7, 2005
    Wow, VaderLVR, you've made me fall in love with little Pendar already! And gotten me interested in the Mandos. :p I think I'm going to go look up what I can about them now...

    Wonderful story! I really like how Ghee and Kyri know that Pendar has to work through his grief on his own, and are giving him an opportunity to have another family. Pendar has a really sharp mind too, definitely a strong resilient kid. :D

    Please add me to your pm list!
     
  14. leia_naberrie

    leia_naberrie Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2002
    ?I thought all little boys were hungry when they woke up,? she said softly.
    ?Captured a lot of them??
    ...
    Suddenly feeling ashamed, Pendar lowered his eyes and swallowed hard. He did not want to see his captors as humans; he did not want to think they also felt sorrow and joy. Pendar wanted only to hate them, and to escape them.
    ...
    Instead of getting offended, Uldaas smiled. ?Every Mando learns to fight. We don?t need anyone else to protect us.?
    Maybe that?s what my people should have learned.


    He's learning. He's growing up. Very soon, he's going to stop seeing his circumstances as slavery and just as another stage in the education called life.

    Wonder what the men are saying about him? [face_mischief]
     
  15. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    VIII Thank you, I'm enjoying learning more about the Mando cultures as I research.

    Layren They're fun to write! :D

    JadeSolo Yes, we'll find out what happend to him...in good time. :p

    Quiet_Mandalorian Exactly, and that's part of what makes their culture so fascinating is that incongruous mixture.

    Jedi_Tigris He's a little fighter. ;)

    leia_naberrie In the next post (not this one) we'll have some insight to the masculine side of the issue. [face_batting]






    [b]Chapter 6[/b]


    A harsh cry ripped through the night, and both Ghee and Kyri leapt to their feet, poised to take action. Both already had weapons in their hands, each of them moving in a different direction. Ghee pointed in the direction of Pendar?s room, but neither of them spoke.

    Kyri tilted her head, listening closely ?It?s Pendar,? she said quietly and their hands dropped to their sides. ?I?ll go to him.?

    Ghee sat down on the bed and slipped the blaster under his pillow once more. He wondered briefly if he should see if Kyri needed help, but decided that would only offend her. She would call him if she wanted his assistance ? not that ever happened very often, he conceded. Even from here, Ghee could hear her soothing voice as he slid back between the cool sheets, and for a moment he envied little Pendar. Of course, maybe she would soothe [i]him[/i] back to sleep as well, he though with a grin.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Kyri entered Pendar?s room quietly, just able to see the boy by the light of the moon that shone in the window. The child was tossing and turning on his small cot, but it appeared it was still asleep. Carefully, she sat down on the edge of the cot and brushed back the dark curls from his sweaty forehead. ?Mama?? he whimpered, and even in his sleep, his features crumpled in despair. There was a hunger in his voice, a need to feel his mother?s comforting touch once more. She could see the evidence of tears on his cheeks.

    She hesitated only a moment and then whispered softly, ?Shh?I?m here.?

    He turned into her touch, nuzzling his cheek against her palm. ?Mama?? he murmured contentedly. Pendar?s face relaxed and his breathing became deep and even as his nightmares were banished by Kyri?s touch.

    ?It?s all right,? Kyri said in a low, quiet voice. ?You?re safe now, Pendar.?

    The little boy sighed deeply and a slight smile tugged at his lips, as if he heard her words and found peace in them. ?You?re safe,? Kyri repeated.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    When she came back into their room, Ghee blinked sleepily and looked at her. ?Is he okay??

    Kyri nodded silently as she got into bed and slid into his embrace. Ghee kissed the top of her head and squeezed her close. ?Nightmares?? he asked knowingly. It was common among those who had experienced such trauma. At least here, little Pendar had Kyri to calm him, which was probably more than he would have gotten had he remained in his ruined village.

    ?He battles his demons in his sleep,? she replied. ?He won?t let himself feel the pain while he is awake, so he mourns them in his sleep.?

    ?He?ll be fine,? Ghee said, and in time, he knew that Pendar [i]would[/i] recover from his great loss. Such things could not be hurried, however, and so they must give the boy time to mourn, to accept what was. He knew that they had the patience and Pendar had the strength, so it was merely a matter of time.

    She sighed and snuggled closer. ?I know,? she answered. ?But I hate to see him in such pain.?

    ?He has lost someone he loves,? Ghee murmured. ?It is natural to feel pain. You know that and so do I.?

    Laughing softly, she leaned up to place a gentle kiss on his cheek. ?Yes, but you know that mothers do not like to watch their children hurt.?

    ?Ah, so you?re going into Mama Rancor mode?? he asked.

    ?Precisely,? she answered.

    ?You?ve claimed our little sand cub, then??

    ?Did you expect anything else when you brought him to me?? she teased.

    ?No, I know you better than that,? Ghee chuckled. ?Pendar does n>
     
  16. VIII

    VIII Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Wonderful, I´m not really good at writing reviews but it´s good to see Pendar and Uldaas getting along well....
     
  17. leia_naberrie

    leia_naberrie Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2002
    ?He battles his demons in his sleep,? she replied. ?He won?t let himself feel the pain while he is awake, so he mourns them in his sleep.?

    Your characters are so real, VaderLV! You have such insight into the human psyche. I have to ask you, do have a job as a psychologist or something?

    I like the way it's all developing so naturally, Pendar making friends, Kyri and Ghee also trying to find their places in his heart without supplanting his parents' place. These people seem to have had their own share of tragedy and losses in their lives.
     
  18. correllian_ale

    correllian_ale Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 20, 2005
    ?Captured a lot of them?? Pendar?s voice was hard as he looked up from the pillow.

    - Said in pain, but it shows the spirit Ghee saw in him initially.


    Though Kyri did not seem to be aware of it, her hand would lightly brush over Pendar?s dark curls as she spoke to her friend. Pendar allowed the touch, telling himself that it would be rude to make an issue of it in front of strangers.

    - What I like about this story is that to someone not in the know wouldn't realize, is that children have a very high sense of resiliancy...not to say things don't affect them deeply, just that they seem more capable than adults of moving past.


    ?He?ll be fine,? Ghee said, and in time, he knew that Pendar would recover from his great loss. Such things could not be hurried, however, and so they must give the boy time to mourn, to accept what was. He knew that they had the patience and Pendar had the strength, so it was merely a matter of time.

    - In contrast to my last comment, while the child is quick to move along in recovery mode, the Mandoa adults were more than willing to have patience and give them time..

    I really love this story Mama V, keep the PMs coming!

    =D=
     
  19. Gina

    Gina Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2003
    You always create such intriguing and believable OCs, K, and this story is no exception. I love Pendar's fiery spirit, yet you also show his more vulnerable side. He is, after all, a young boy who has lost everything he has ever known.

    ?I once had a son,? she whispered. ?That is how I know the ways of little boys.?

    There is a certain sadness in Kyri's character, and perhaps this is the explanation. [face_thinking]

    Can't wait for more of this! :D

     
  20. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    VIII Thank you for reading! :)

    leia_naberrie They have lost someone they love, too, and I think that helps them relate to Pendar.

    correllian_ale Kids DO recover much faster, not to say they don't feel the pain, but they do seem to be able to move past it much faster than adults.

    Gina I admit it, I've had fun with these OCs! :D









    [b]Chapter 7[/b]


    It was early evening when Pendar finally came back to their hut. Kyri would have been worried hours ago if not for the fact that Nikta reminded her that Uldaas was known to disappear for hours on end as he roamed through the forests that surrounded their village. ?Uldaas has his blade with him,? Nikta said serenely. ?He?s a Mando, that is all he needs.?

    ?But Pendar-?

    ?Pendar seems tough enough to take care of himself,? Nikta cut in before Kyri could launch into a list of all the possible troubles the boys could get into. ?And I have no doubt that the boys will return just in time for evening meal, filthy and starving. You know how children are, Kyri.?

    Sighing in resignation because it was clear that Nikta would not fret along with her, Kyri had returned to the hut and began polishing her armor. It was a task her hands knew well, and the familiarity of it let her mind wander as she worked. Cleaning her armor always brought her own father to mind, for he had taught her how to properly care for beskar?gam. Kyri could still remember sitting in her father?s lap as he placed his hands over hers, guiding her touch over the hard planes of the armor. Though he had died many years ago, she could still hear his voice as he tenderly instructed her. [i]Now, Kyri, remember to care for your armor before you care for yourself.[/i] The memory brought a smile to her face.

    One day, she hoped that Pendar would wear the armor that her father had worn. It was lovingly stored away, waiting for the day when another member of the family could wear it. Her brother had worn it briefly, but had been killed in a skirmish before he could even marry and continue the family name. Her father?s armor carried small sigils, each one marking a former owner of the armor. There was one for her father and his father before him, and one for her brother. Pendar, too, would make his mark on the armor, and customize it to suit him. Then she laughed at herself, for such an event was years away and there was still much to do to make a place in young Pendar?s heart.

    She looked up to see him walking in the door, his boots placed thoughtfully outside as she had taught him. His face was black with dirt and his teeth shone white when he grinned at her. ?We had fun!? he announced.

    ?I?m glad,? Kyri said with a smile, as if she had not been sitting there worrying about what might have befallen the boys.

    ?We went far into the woods,? Pendar said as he began to scavenge for food.

    ?Evening meal will be soon,? Kyri chided gently. ?I don?t want you to ruin your dinner.?

    ?Ah?? he sighed in disappointment. ?All right.?

    ?You?ll need to wash your hands before you eat any meal I?ve prepared,? Kyri added with a stern look.

    Pendar lifted up his filthy hands and studied them, his expression puzzled. ?What?s wrong with my hands?? he asked.

    Kyri wanted to laugh, for the exchange was so very normal, words that mothers and sons had exchanged for generations. Something about the words must have struck Pendar as well, for he grew quiet and sat down by a window, looking out at the village beyond. ?Did you like Uldaas?? Kyri asked, trying to get his mind off painful memories.

    Without turning, Pendar shrugged. ?Yeah, he?s nice, I guess.? Still, the boy seemed pensive and withdrawn.

    Deciding that avoiding the subject would do no good, Kyri took a deep breath and asked, ?Did you have many friends in your village??

    She saw his shoulders stiffen and for a moment wondered if it was too soon to speak of his old life. ?A few,? he answered at last, his voice strained.

    ?You will make friends here, too,? Kyri said softly. ?I?m sure Uldaas can introduce>
     
  21. correllian_ale

    correllian_ale Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 20, 2005
    That was a very touching sequence between Kyri and Pendar...sad but nice

    And will we ever learn the details of Kyri & Ghee's lost child?[face_batting]
     
  22. Gina

    Gina Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2003
    A wonderful chapter, K! :D

    ?My grandmother is dead, too,? Pendar said quietly.

    ?We have both lost people we loved very much,? Kyri replied. ?It helps to remember them, to remember all the good things about them.?

    Pendar was silent for a moment, his hands moving lightly over the armor. Without looking up, he whispered, ?My mama smelled good ? like flowers.?

    Carefully, Kyri put her hand on Pendar?s shoulder. ?You will always remember that about her,? she said. ?And whenever you smell those flowers, you?ll be able to picture her face.?

    Shaking his head, the boy kept his eyes locked on the armor. ?I?m afraid I?m gonna forget what she looked like.?

    ?I will help you remember,? Kyri said softly. ?Tell me what she looked like and I will remember with you.?


    I love that Kyri isn't avoiding this subject with Pendar but rather is helping him understand that she wants him to remember his family, not ignore his past.

    ?And we?ll watch our sons grow up together,? Ghee said softly. ?Just like we always meant to do.?

    I loved this. :)

     
  23. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    ?We?re the lucky ones,? Kyri mumbled just before she fell asleep once more.

    Kyri wins this round. :p

    ?Yes, he does,? Ghee said softly. ?I?m hoping he?ll help Kyri?not forget, exactly, but not?hurt so much.?

    :_| I loved this, especially in the context of Kyri fretting over Pendar. It seems like she'd worry a little about Pendar going into the woods even if Pendar were her son from birth. But pile on Pendar's past and Kyri's pain, and she's probably scared that something will take him away from her. :(

    As for Pendar, yay, he has a friend! :D
     
  24. Darth_ShadowHawk

    Darth_ShadowHawk Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Nov 25, 2005
  25. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2004
    correllian_ale Yes, in fact, in this very post! :p

    Gina Thank you! It's fun writing characters that you can torment...I mean create as anything you want.

    JadeSolo Yep, he's got a buddy! ;)

    Darth_ShadowHawk Thanks! :D





    [b]Chapter 8[/b]


    [i]Six years ago?[/i]

    Kyri bathed the tiny body once more, watching as her son struggled to take in yet another breath. She felt herself straining with him, [i]willing[/i] him to breathe, to keep on fighting. Young Torka?s eyelids fluttered up and he looked at her with dark, puzzled eyes. ?Mama??? his voice was just a husky whisper. He sounded like he had woken up from a nightmare, and Kyri wished it was a nightmare, something that would flee with in the light of the sun.

    He would have been two years old next month. He was a bright child, lively and mischievous, always getting into things. For days, though, he had done nothing but fight to live ? and suffered for it. He was a Mando, and he gave up nothing without a fight. He had the heart and spirit of a warrior, but his flesh was failing him.

    ?I?m here, baby,? she murmured, trying to keep her own tears at bay. He was already so confused and frightened, seeing her cry would make him more fearful and she would not do that to him. There was so little she could do for him, remaining strong was such a little thing, but all she had to offer.

    Even sitting where she was, at least twenty centimeters away, she could feel the heat radiating off his flesh. The fever was slowly destroying his body, systematically killing him. It raged and raged, and nothing she did, no medicine that she had tried, had done anything to decrease it. It seemed that every hour it climbed higher and higher, and she watched her son grown weaker and weaker in its grip. She heard a sound behind her and turned to see Ghee standing there, his eyes haunted and red.

    ?Any better?? he asked, still trying so desperately to remain hopeful.

    Unable to speak, Kyri merely shook her head and turned back to their son. Already, the village was mourning four elders and another young child. The fever had struck them quickly, probably brought back by one of the warriors from a strange planet. It had struck the young and old exclusively, taking out the weak like any predator. They had no immunity for it, whatever it was. Somewhere in the village, three other mothers were keeping the same vigil that she was, watching for each breath and praying it would not be the last.

    Ghee sat down beside her and placed one big hand on Torka?s forehead. Immediately, he flinched at the touch, the intensity of the heat. ?By the stars,? he hissed. ?He?s burning??

    She swallowed the sob that threatened and placed yet another cool cloth on the tiny face. How many cloths had she put there? How many more would he live to feel? Tenderly she bathed his face, hating the dark blush the fever had brought to his flesh, hating the way it was making him suffer. Torka thrashed a bit, but even his pained struggles had weakened since dawn. It would not be long now, she thought.

    That realization brought both relief and agony.

    Kyri did not want her son to suffer any longer, but the thought of losing him was too terrible to contemplate. Death was a familiar companion to the Mando, it came swiftly and often and they viewed it as just another part of life. She had always been prepared on some level to mourn Ghee. It was the destiny of a warrior to die. But to watch her child slowly, tortuously slip away from them because of some alien fever? That was torment, and she did not know if she could bear it. Once more, Torka?s eyes fluttered open and he stared at her. ?Mama?? he asked again.

    ?I?m here,? she whispered. ?Daddy?s here, too.? She placed the tiny hand in the Ghee?s large one, choked when she realized that she would never see that little hand grow to be as big as his father?s hand. Torka would never wear the armor of his family, never choose a bride, or beam with pride as he held his own firstborn. So many things would die wi>
     
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