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Saga - ST Legends of the Force, Book 3: "If there be light,...", 23 Chapters (OCs)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by AzureAngel2, Oct 3, 2019.

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  1. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Legends of the Force, title of Book 3: “If there be light, then there is darkness”

    Author:
    AzureAngel2

    Muse:
    @DarthUncle

    Editor:
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    Special inspiration for a re-load:
    I gave the fate of my main character a different fate than in the original story. The nature of human sacrifice in some old Earth religions did keep me very busy. And GL made those story echo into his SW universe.

    Time frame:
    The prologue and epilogue happen shortly after Kylo Ren aka Ben Solo has captured Rey (34 ABY). The main story takes place centuries before there is even an Old Republic.

    Summary:
    Instead of being busy with his special guest, a young woman from Jakku, the Master of the knights of Ren has to listen to an unknown Force ghost who does not shut up about the story of her life that happened ages ago.

    Disclaimer:
    SW is owned by Walt Disney, George Lucas and Lucas Lt.!!!



    Sources of

    “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”, a movie by J.J. Abrams & the Walt Disney Company (2015)
    Wookiepedia - the Star Wars Wiki
    Jedipedia, a free German Star Wars-Encyclopaedia
    Hidden quotes from SW movies and the SW universe


    Sources of Chapter 1:

    the website “The Wiktionary Appendix: List of Latin phrases”
    Endless hours of Catholic mass services and Latin lessons at grammar school
    A Wiccan chant
    Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki
    Jedipedia, a free German Star Wars-Encyclopaedia
    Hidden quotes from SW movies and the SW universe



    Prologue
    :


    Life, and family matters in particular, never had been easy for Kylo Ren, master of the knights of Ren. Both of his parents were living legends: Leia Organa and Han Solo. The rebel princess and the smuggler. Together those two rather opposite characters had fought in countless battles, but also with one another.

    When Kylo Ren had been born as Ben Solo, a weak, pathetic boy, his parents had not always been able to be there for him. There had been plenty of instability, frustration and hardship. And an uncle, Luke Skywalker the last of the Jedi Knight, who travelled the galaxy with an imbecile called Lor San Tekka. Both men busied themselves searching and gathering long lost Jedi artefacts. There was no time for him, for real bonding.

    His family had been like distant stars, which he could admire in all their shining beauty and glory from a distance.

    It had been much easier for him to be with Chewie, a giant Wookie, who had served as a well meaning nanny now and again. The famous co-pilot of his father had taken calls from concerned teachers, had faced school directors and participated in parental evenings.

    But actually, his strongest and deepest bond had been the one with R2D2. When his uncle went away with the astromec unit, Kylo Ren had been devastated. Not only had he been stuck with golden rod C3PO, a chatty protocol droid who would always tell him the odds of his mischief. It was worse. He had no one left in the universe who truly cared for him.

    But the dark side had been merciful. He had found his substitute for love by sheer accident.

    One fine day, about twenty-five years after the historical battle of Endor, Lady Carise Sindian had dropped the bomb in the Galactic Senate. There was no blood connection to the Organa family at all.

    His true grandfather was Anakin Skywalker, the former self of Darth Vader.

    There are no words to describe the betrayal Kylo Ren had felt back then. Nor for the joy that echoed through his lonely soul. There was a belonging, even though his grandfather had died the day the Emperor fell.

    Not much later Supreme Leader Snoke had come into his life, enriching it in ways that he never had thought to be possible.

    Now all Kylo Ren had learned to appreciate was threatened by the young, unconscious woman he had strapped into an interrogation chair. A scavenger from Jakku.

    Once he had found out the exact location of his uncle, who was in hiding since the newly founded Jedi Order had been destroyed, he would need to eliminate her. A pity really.

    He reached out with one of his gloved hands.

    Suddenly, a blue figure, coming out of nowhere, stepped in front of him. It was a woman, as gently built as his prisoner. She held herself with royal air. Her lovely face was framed by blond curls. “Ben,” she pleaded with tears in her grey eyes.

    “That person is dead,” he snarled at the Force ghost.

    “Do not listen to Snoke, but to your own heart. You are a good person. Like your grandfather was.”

    Whoever this woman was, she had no idea about his Grandfather. It was easy coming back as a Force ghost and holding serene lectures.

    “The light side and the dark side belong together. Like the two sides of a coin. One can not exist without the other. They are opposing, true, but also complementary. The Jedi and the Sith were wrong. It is not about pushing back one aspect of the Force but accepting life’s contrasts. We all should learn to see the good, and the bad, in everything. That is the true meaning of the Force. The reason for its existence. Actually the reason why you were born, Ben.”

    Stubbornly, Kylo Ren turned his head away from the apparition, not listening to her any longer.

    The woman was unnervingly persisted though. Her voice still sounded through his throbbing head.

    “Listen. Don't listen to ME, just listen!”

    And then, simple as that, she told him the story of her life. A life that had taken place many aeons before.




    Chapter 1:

    I am born dead. It is a matter of the heart. In fact it is broken before it all begins. My mother, god queen Arcānā Tamisra Tjiehenet, cries for me. Lifelessly, my body lies in her arms, while my cheerful spirit remains in the Force vortex. I like it here. It is a place of great beauty, wisdom and peace. Glittering mist is everywhere. Time and space have no meaning. Serenity reigns.


    But Mother is strong in the Force and knows how to manipulate it for her own goals. The ancestors taught her a long time ago. She listened too long and too much. It corrupted her at the core of her being.

    Tu sei una stella...la mia stella. Tu sei un dono del cielo,” I hear Mother whisper hoarsely. You are a star... my star. You are a gift from the Heavens.

    Her hands turn into claws before she taps into the power of the dark side. Raw Force energy courses straight into my chest.

    Against my own will, the muscles of my heart starts working again. And I, my mother’s seventh daughter, am reborn into darkness, blood and dirt.

    This is wrong. I belong to the Force vortex. I am light. I need to go back. But my whimpering is ignored.

    Mother presses me against her naked chest. Her kisses rain down on my head. “Come sei bella!” she assures me under her breath. How beautiful you are!

    I feel how her body convulses. She is still giving birth.

    Not much later a shrill, piercing scream announces the birth of another sibling of mine. Mother does not care. She has what she wants: me.

    “Grianán,” she states to somebody I cannot see, but feel.

    “Grianán,” a chorus of women repeats after her.

    Mother gets on her feet, reaches out of the stone hollow. Tenderly, she plucks me away from her chest. I am received by three other women. Each of them touches me and breathes a kiss against my brow. Blessings are murmured.

    Pax et lux,” one woman hums. Peace and light.

    “Sola gratia,” another one states. By grace alone.

    “Lumen hilare,” a third cheers. Hail Gladdening Light.

    I do not feel so special. Tired, I look ahead of me as I am carried through the semi-darkness.

    It is not Mother who holds me close to her heart. Automatically, I snuggle closer to the stranger, reach out in the Force. Her thoughts are warm and full of humour. But it is actually her mere touch that brings forth a lot of impressions.

    I am in the loving embrace of a mambo, a guardian of the Living Dead. This one here is called Clementia. She is young mother and has a daughter just a week older than me. The child is named Mora.

    I am pleased, yet confused about the endless stream of impressions that I. The gift of touch seems to be my special Force gift. I can see the past embedded in the presence.

    My guardian strokes over my back in order to calm me, sings a chant of our people.

    “The earth, the air, the fire, the water
    Return, return, return, return, return”


    Suddenly, I am bathed in light. First it hurts my eyes and I try to blink it away, but then I welcome its embrace. It is familiar. I have seen it before. It was in the Force vortex. Longingly, I reach out for it. I wish I could press it against me, hold on to it. But I cannot touch those fingers of bright light that stroke my skin. That upsets me, but not for long.

    Countless Force presences brush against my mind.

    Ecce, Principessa Grianán Arcānā Tjiehenet!” Clementia booms in the clerical language of the Holy Isle. Behold, Principessa Grianán Arcānā Tjiehenet!

    Then thousands of voices start cheering. “Sancta Simplicitas!” they shout. Holy innocence!

    I am startled about so much noise, but there are no evil thoughts around me. Just acceptance and love. So I bear the reverence, the cheers.

    Someone reaches out in the Force and tucks at my conscience, gentle, but persistent. It is a little girl. She pokes her way through the lines of grown-ups with determined elbows. Her blond hair is braided. There are many scars on her naked chest, but she still has the sweetest face imaginable. Her eyes have a dark green shade. So dark that they almost seem black.

    “Clementia,” she sulks more than she begs.

    The mambo laughs and lowers me down to the girl.

    Mi chiamo Aranea. É un piacere conoscerti, mio bellissimo principessa,” the girl says to me as she carefully presses her brow against mine. My name is Aranea. Nice to meet you, my beautiful princess.

    I do not shriek back when Aranea strokes one of my cheeks. Her touch is pleasant and feather light. I give her my most radiant smile, even though I detect that there is much pain and suffering in her life. Somebody close to her, a family member, is very harsh with her. That person has fallen to the dark side of the Force. Like my own mother has.

    I would like to make a difference for Aranea in the future. Before I entered this word, the Force vortex bestowed me with another unusual gift. I can bring light into the darkest night of every soul. Love is the only answer.

    ********************************************************************

    Aranea bounds after us while the mambo walks me through the Mother Jungle. I allow it to surround me and to penetrate me. Like the Force vortex once did. Its echoes are still inside me, I know they will always be. I am more than crude matter.

    A soft rain begins to conquer the landscape around us. It tickles nicely on my skin.

    The royal bedchamber lies high on top of a great pyramid. Delicate and graceful flowers frame the countless stone steps. My entire skin prickles. This is a place of power; a bridge between the Living Force and the Unifying Force.

    Mothers bed is positioned where the four elements met with the four cardinal points. It is a large hammock in which my twin siblings already lie. I can feel them all in there. It is comforting when they reach out for me in the Force. They recognise me as kin.

    Somebody else is waiting for me, too.

    My mouth waters as I am passed on me to a naked chest.

    “Ciao, bella!” Mother speaks aloud to me instead of using telepathy. She knows how much I enjoy the vibration of her chest. How excited I am about sounds. Hello, beauty!

    Greedily, I find the source of her milk. I relish every gulp that I take.

    “I need a trustworthy and lovable person around, Clementia.” Mother addresses my guardian without hesitation. “I wonder if you could be that person. The Ancestors can take care of themselves for a while.”

    “Certainly, regina devina!” exclaims the snake priestess with joy.

    I see Mother smile. It lights up her entire body. “You can also bring your daughter Mora around. Oh, and that insolent girl. Noctura’s grandchild.”

    “I am already here,” proclaims Aranea, her voice sharp. “Do not pretend that you have not felt me all along.”

    “The Force bends around you in a funny way.” There is the hint of a giggle in Mother’s voice.

    “Perhaps it does. But it does even stranger things around you.” Aranea puts her hands on her hips. “Are you, by any chance, a Darksider?”

    Mother eyes the girl suspiciously. “What exactly is a Darksider for you?”

    “Folk like You, big queen.”

    “Like me?” Mother asks. Her voice trembles like the underground lair did when I was revived from death.

    Aranea nods eagerly. “Darksiders use the Force to make everybody miserable.”

    “What do you mean by miserable?” Mother's eyes turn into slits.

    “I do not buy that crap about the glory of the dark side. It only makes me cry when grandmother acts like a crazy person. You grown-ups can be so full of it that you forget a lot.”

    “Such as?” inquires Mother with a creamy undertone that makes me uncomfortable.

    “That Force lightening can hurt a lot. Not only on the outside.” Aranea puts a hand on her chest, right where her heart is. “Mostly in here.”


    “Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.”


    There is old pain inside Mother, unspeakable losses. But she closes herself to my innocent investigation.

    Instead, she turns to the mambo again. “Clementia, it will do both Mora and Aranea good to have the company of other children. An Ophidea child should not grow up on its own. Our strength is in numbers. It always was.”

    While she and my guardian engage themselves in a longer conversation, I keep on sucking milk.

    In the meantime Aranea makes herself comfortable on a rug and stares out into the rain forest. I can feel a deep relief settling down in the girl. “Home, sweet home,” she mumbles.

    I feel happy for her. It is always good to have a sense of belonging.

    ********************************************************************

    Later on, a group of children enthusiastically storms into the bedchamber. I have felt their Force presences before. They are my elder siblings: Adamah, Èleos, Caelestris, Sereno, Aréte and Phosphoros. Their shiny, happy faces fill my blurry view. I get patted and stroked by many hands. All of them want to press their brows against mine as it is the custom on the Holy Isle.

    In the late evening hours, our father – Senator Agathos Aletheia – joins us. “Grianán, hárika!” he greets me in the language of his home world Amnion. Grianán, pleased to meet you!

    It feels good to be kissed by his bearded face. There is so much kindness in him. His light balances the darkness of Mother. He is her conscience, her measurement.

    I bury my face against Father’s throat.

    There is enough love and compassion in this family left to work with. We are not lost yet. I will do what I can to make sure it stays this way.

    “Hello,” wonders Father. “What have we here?”

    Aranea walks up to him, fearless and proud. “Just a friend of Grianán.”

    He kneels to be at eye-level with her. “Then I bid you also welcome, young mistress.”

    “I am no mistress. Just Aranea.” There is a cute blush on her cheeks.

    “Pleased to meet you... just Aranea.” He extends his hand to her and she takes it gingerly.

    ********************************************************************

    As I wake up the next morning I notice that Mother is not alone. Somebody is with her. The Force signature is as clear as kyper crystal. It is Grandfather Narthex. My twin siblings sleep on, not interested what is going on outside the bed nest. I sense though that this meeting is important. So I lie still and listen in.

    “Arcānā, there has been an awakening,” Grandfather gives to consider. His voice is languid, yet sonorous. “Do not fool me! You used old forbidden magic to bring one of the children back to life.”

    “You know nothing of the Force, Father!”

    “Eight years around you have been an eye opener.”

    “Dad, I always hated your capacity to fell me with a look. But please spare me your ineffable and cynical wit.”

    “What have you done to achieve Grianán’s return from the death?”

    “Just let him come!” Mother is facing Grandfather, her back now turned to the bed nest. “I will destroy the son of the sky walker if he wants to distinguish this precious light.”

    “I am actually more concerned about his half-sister Mórag.”

    “Do not start that old discussion again.”

    I squirm around in the nidulus – bed nest – and make endearing noises. Grandfather picks me up. Kisses rain upon my skin and I giggle happily.

    They should not fight like this. I need to find ways to bring peace into their hearts.

    ********************************************************************

    The next day I find out that I have a fairy godmother, a wicked one. Without announcement she shows up in front of the nidulus, dressed in dark colours. Her presence is so cold as ice. It hurts my soul.

    “I felt you coming, my mistress!” Mother does not bother to get up, snuggles closer to us.

    My fairy godmother does not bother to lift the large hood off her head. Her white face stays hidden in semi-darkness. “You created a new zombie! Against your promise to me.”

    “Grianán is not a zombie.” Mother is quickly on her feet.

    “Let me decide that, my student.”

    Invisible claws jerk me out of the bed nest, while Mother wails like some animal. I fly towards her and stop mid-air.

    “Stop that bantha poodoo!” a small, but determined voice calls out.

    My fairy godmother raises an extremely thin eyebrow at Aranea. Her almond eyes are slits. “Who are you, child?”

    “Your greatest nightmare, Elf! Give me that baby right now! This is my princess, my fairytale. Look for your own!”

    Ugly cackling fills the royal bedchamber. “Your thread is sweet, but pointless. Now get out of my way!”

    Shivering, my friend steps forth from behind her column. She holds her arms outstretched in front of her, her fingers stapled into one another. Something long and slender is stuck between her palms. It pulses in a strange, blue light.

    “A kyper crystal,” my fairy godmother hisses. “Where did you get that?”

    “God queen Padmé gave it to me down in the Crypts.” Aranea licks her lips nervously. “She sends her greetings to her murderess.”

    “Four hundred years and my great-aunt is still angry with me. Imagine that!” My fairy godmother gives my friend a ghastly smile. “You would not dare attacking the daughter of a Celestrial!”

    A large plasma beam, looking somewhat like a blade, shoots out of the crystal. “Life taught me self-defence at an early age.”

    “Early age? You are not even seven yet.”

    Aranea holds her chin up high, all traces of nervousness gone. “I might not survive our fight, but before I am down, I will have hurt you badly.”

    “I have no time for this non-sense.” My fairy godmother walks towards me and plugs me out of the air like a ripe fruit. “One day I will come for this little atrociousness again. And then I will not accept no for an answer. She will be mine. Just like her mother.”

    ********************************************************************

    There is a lot of discussion during the next hours. Grandfather and Father are there, but also Clementia and a woman, that I do not know.

    In-between she introduces herself to me. “Hi, little worm,” she grins as she takes me into her muscular arms. “I am Misera, an old friend of your Grandfather. At times I was even the decoy of your Grandmother. Unfortunately, I cannot be yours. Old Mórag would never buy that trick.”

    Even though Misera smiles a lot, she cannot distract me from the bad feelings that are displayed in the bedchamber: fear, anger and all the other agents of the dark side.

    There is a sudden outburst of fighting outside.

    I can feel Aranea’s Force presence burning bright like a sun. She is distressed and angry, but not hurt.

    “Damn that girl!” curses Misera. “She is like a stalker. This was supposed to be a secret meeting without her.”

    “Ask her to join your course and she will be the best ally you can imagine!” Grandfather chuckles.

    “Aranea is too young for the armed forces.”

    “Her eyes tell me a different story. She is an old soul. Like my granddaughter here.”

    Flustered, Mother joins us. “Why travel to Sapuruh? What possible answer do you and my stupid husband hope to find there?”

    With a sigh Grandfather hands me over to her. “Agathos is more clever than you give him credit for. It is not an easy decision leaving you here on your own so shortly after the birth of the septulet, but...”

    “Sextuplets,” Mother cuts in aggressively.

    I can see that Grandfather exchanges an intense glance with Father. Their discomfort is palpable for me. It is about something, that they keep in their jungle bungalow. A glass case.

    Curiously, I let my mind wander about. Distance becomes secondary. I need to know what they store in that case.

    In the Force I reach out, but only receive silence. But I am sure that something alive is in here. Somebody who has a consciousness like me.

    ********************************************************************

    The next day, I whine so much, that Grandfather decides to have a walk with me. He carries me through the Holy Isle. We meet a lot of nice people, who want to touch me. Soon I am blessed with kisses.

    After a while we end up at the place, where I desperately wanted to be.

    “Agi, it is me, Narthex!” Grandfather calls out, when he opens the unlocked front door.

    Somewhere in the back of the building Father answers. “We are your bedchamber.”

    Grandfather catches my gaze and says to me, “Let us go see Aconite, your shunned brother!”

    A brother. I have another twin sibling.

    Soon, I hear the noises of the foreign machines that help my twin brother to breathe. They are my only indication that he is in this room.

    Whatever gifts Aconite originally called his own had been burned out of his body. He might as well be dead to the universe. I am very sad for him.

    Father´s despair is difficult to encounter. It encloses around me like the mighty waves of his birth planet Amnion. He feels like a drowning man. I have no clue how to block his emotions out.

    “We need medical staff from Amnion,” concludes Grandfather matter-of-fact. His speech is slow, strained by the same tiredness that wears out Father. “On the long term those twelve hour shifts will kill us.”

    “Why did she do it?” wonders Father, overwhelmed by tears. “Why can´t she love him?”

    I become slightly squeezed between the two of them when they hug. The close physical contact does me good though. It renews my inner strength.

    Then I become more aware of the noises of the foreign machines that help my twin brother to breathe.

    “To try to figure out Arcānā and her motives is like dancing on the edge of madness,” Grandfather speaks through clenched teeth.

    While they engage in a long conversation about Mother´s affliction with the dark side, I can continue staring at my twin brother. I have not asked anybody to suck out his life force on my behalf, and personally feeling guilty for it does not help his situation. I have to be more active. I can give him back what had been taken. Not entirely, but it is better than nothing.

    I close my eyes. Carefully, I take some of the grace that was given to me by the Force vortex, multiply it as much as I can, and pass it on to Aconite.

    His eyes snap open.

    Aconite recognizes me immediately. In the womb of our mother, we have been dormant together.

    “Grianán!” Father is besides himself with joy. “It was you, was it not?”

    I try to keep my face blank, but my eyes can not lie.

    “What a blessing it is to have you in the family, child!” Grandfather exclaims, new hope radiating from him.

    My brother does not think so. He is full of hatred. Right now I can not do anything against that. I hope that he will understand my choice in time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    A gripping introduction to Grianan =D=
     
    DarthUncle, Kahara and AzureAngel2 like this.
  3. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
  4. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
  5. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
  6. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, @earlybird-obi-wan, @Darth_Furio & @Cowgirl Jedi 1701: Nice to have you on-board this ship.

    *hears @DarthUncle in the background that he would like to know what happens to the crew of the "Raza"

    Quick update!


    Chapter 2:

    Several days later Father and Grandfather find a suitable nanny on our neighbour planet Sapuruh. Her name is Marquise Isabeau Riwalan. I like the young woman immediately. She belongs to the Lidérc, a proud, mysterious race of humanoid felines.

    Her cat eyes are of a deep yellow tone. She has brown hair that she tames with a half veil. Her copper skinned face is sharp and triangular, with high cheekbones. It reminds me of the Athame daggers of the Shesha guard.

    But Isabeau needs no steel weapons in combat. Her hands can be dangerous claws and her smiley mouth hides mighty fangs. I am not afraid of her though. She carries the serenity of the desert with her.

    With all the information and impressions raining down on me since I have been re-born, I need her calmness very much.

    Soon I become Nanny´s favourite. She is constantly rubbing her head, body, or face against me. I can almost perceive that is a way to mark me as her own with her scent. Feline affection seems to be a book with seven seals.

    When Father´s family from Amnion comes to see us all, I cling on to Nanny all the time. Everybody is high on emotion, giving me a constant headache.

    While Uncle Kairos, who hates Mother even more than he hates us children, leaves after just one day, Grandmother Techné decides to stay on a little bit longer.

    Mother plans to get rid of her by announcing a family holiday in the icy mountains of the West.

    While we are at Dún Barr, an ancient fortress that belongs to us, one of my older sisters gets assassinated in the forests. It is a devastating experience for me. I witness the exact moment of her death.

    Not much later, an unannounced visitor appears on our door step. It is my fairy godmother again – Her Holiness Mórag MagUidhir.

    Soon, words are exchanged like sword attacks.

    Then it happens. In a temper, Mother gets very annoyed with Nanny and opens her right hand, Force choking her.

    I start screaming at the top of my lungs. It is the only weapon available to me at such a young age.

    After a few moments, Mother releases Nanny from her deadly grip and goes to a nearby armchair with me. She tries to breast feed me, but my heart is racing, thudding loudly. I am about to throw up. Too many dark emotions, too much violence.

    Nanny manages the impossible, she makes my fairy godmother go away, brings Mother back to her senses.

    Exhausted, I glide away into a dreamless sleep.

    ********************************************************************

    When Grandmother Techné finally leaves for her home world, we are free to return to the Holy Isle. It is Aranea who is the first to welcome me enthusiastically. She storms into the bedchamber during the daily rain shower that washes over Cunabula.

    Soon Aranea and Mora, the only child of mambo Clementia, become a constant factor in my life. There is much love, laughter and learning for me in their presence.

    When I start crawling, Nanny provides Aranea with plenty of restrictions on what is allowed with regards to me.

    Mora and I learn how to walk together when we are eighteen sun months old. There is no rivalry between us. We make it a fun game once our bodies adjust to the new upright perspective. The universe is still a big place, but we can freely move in it now.

    It also becomes important to deepen my relationship with Father and with Grandfather Narthex. Both have only a visitor status in the busy life of Mother. Once I learn to master the steps of the pyramid by myself, I run over to their bungalow at every occasion possible. Sometimes I outrun the dawn to get there. Nanny and the Shesha allow it, because I am easy to monitor. They also trust me to take care of myself.

    I love to crawl in Father’s bed and to listen to his stories until Grandfather comes with a tray with three mugs on it. Two with coffee and one with hot chocolate.

    “An old friend of mine hates xocoatl,” Father tells me one morning. “Which is a pity. He does not know what he is missing. Nowadays is not the means of gruesome blood rituals any longer.”

    I know that he speaks about Luçien, Nanny´s step-brother. The Vicomte is obsessed with the past of my people. He fails to see that we have moved on, bettered ourselves.

    The staircase to Mother’s bedchamber is not drenched in blood any longer. The centuries have washed it away. I love the white orchids that grow there instead. Their purity and innocence even pacifies the ghosts of the former blood victims. They just sit on the steps and smile at me when I pass. Some even wave.

    ********************************************************************

    On the morning of my third birthday, Mother is jittery as a young rancor. Finally, Nanny suggests her to have a long walk with me in the jungle.

    When we had left the royal pyramid behind and stand in the undergrowth of the jungle, Mother dares speak to me. “Grianán, recently you met your grandmother Techné. Today I would like for you to meet my mother.”

    Grandmother Tamisra is but a mummy, one of those dead corpses that are rolled in bandages. I am glad for her that her soul is long gone. That is not the case with all the other mummies in the crypts of my ancestors though.

    “You can feel them, can you not?” Mother asks me quietly.

    Tears run over my puffed cheeks. I can not only see the Force phantoms, I can hear them as well. They have raspy voices. But it is not their sound that kindles my fears. More frightening is the content of what they say to me. If we do not leave immediately, I will be sick all over Mother.

    Her quiet voice cuts through the unholy chorus. “My own mother brought me down here when I was your age. Like you, I was just the seventh daughter of her second set of septuplets. The throne was out of reach for me. But somehow she knew I would outlive all my other siblings.”

    I give my best to focus on Mother, instead of all the eerie shapes. Her pain is more urgent than all the seductive offers that I receive from my undead ancestors. I cling on to her sari.

    “Until your father entered my life, I had not realized how dreadfully alone I was in the universe. It felt good for a while, but I never managed to truly get a grip on myself. This place has haunted me for as long as I can remember. I wanted to stop people from dying on me, but the more I tried, the worse it became.”

    One of my ancestors has come face to face with me, threatening me in unspeakable ways. It is a malice I have not thought anybody to be capable of. If the dark side does that to people even after their actual death, I never would give into it. No serenity and love are to be found down here. The Force phantoms poison everything: the stones, the air, the mummies and the mind of the individual.

    “Please make a difference in our family, Grianán!” Mother sniffs. “Be all the things that I could not achieve myself. Be a light!”

    ********************************************************************

    Aranea is furious about my involuntary trip to the crypt, but I can convince her to keep it a secret between the two of us. I could not bear for Nanny to know and my siblings would only be sad about it. Life is already hard enough for Mother.

    “All right then, mio bellissimo principessa,” my friend mutters into my hair. “You win. There is no real discussion possible with you.”

    We are out on the Mother River, far away from the Holy Isle. Aranea has managed to borrow a little canoe for us.

    The secret service stays at a reasonable distance and leaves our privacy. Mother has fought hard for that special privilege.

    While Aranea skips the oars, some botos – large and lively river dolphins – accompany us. They want to play with us in the water and make pleading sounds. My arms are too short to pat their gleaming skin.

    Now and then we see manatee – gentle water cows – as well. They pay no heed to us. Food is of greater importance to them.

    There are also giant otters, bull sharks and other water inhabitants. I can feel all them woven into the carpet of life and death.

    I like it out here in the river delta. Three of the four elements are with us: the water below, the cloudy sky above and the warmth of the sun radiating through our bodies.

    Aranea starts singing a song important to our people since the dawn of time. I join in.

    “The River is flowing
    Flowing and growing
    The River is flowing
    Back to the Sea
    Mother Earth carry me
    A Child I will always be
    Mother Earth carry me
    Back to the Sea.”


    We return from our boat trip at dusk.

    The sun bathes everything in red colours, even changes the blue rain clouds into violet air vehicles.

    Nanny and Èleos are waiting for us on the waterfront. They are in good spirits and lighten even more up when they see my smile.

    “You do her good, Aranea,” my elder brother states.

    My friend shrugs off the compliment, even though I feel she is on the brink of bursting with glee. “Maybe, maybe not.”

    “There is no need to be that modest.” Nanny laughs heartily. “You are good with babies, better than I am.”

    Now Aranea composes an impish grin. “It helps that Grianán is no ordinary and unaware toddler. I also have no crazy plans for her, like most of the adults around her. I know exactly what she needs. And right now it is a new nappy.”

    Èleos walks away, chuckling. He has heard and seen enough to placate him. I am safe and cared for.

    Nanny smirks, revealing her fangs a bit. “A new nappy? Be my guest, Aranea. I will enjoy keeping my hands clean for once.”

    ********************************************************************

    Shortly after my fifth birthday, I wake up disorientated. It takes me a while to figure out that I am in my bed room at Dún Barr. A woman is standing next to the large bed that my siblings and I share. She has dark curly hair and my father’s olive coloured skin tone. Her eyes are as green as Mother’s though. There is a strange glow around her and she herself is transparent.

    The Force ghost bids me to follow it through the dark castle. In the library we come to a halt and she addresses me kindly.

    “Hallo, little niece!”

    I give the woman a frown. Uncle Kairos on Amnion is unmarried and Mother has no living siblings left. Yet the nightly visitor claims to be family.

    “I am Adamah.”

    That is a lie, because my sister is a little girl of seven summers and not a fully grown woman.

    “When I was still alive I was your mother’s eldest sister.”

    My confusion begins to fade.

    “I could not help noticing your distress in the library earlier.”

    Had I been an adult, I would have nodded at my visitor. Instead, I just blink at her.

    “Little one, I know it is not fair, but life never is. You need to be strong. Not only for yourself, but also for my sister Arcānā. She killed me when she was in one of her dangerous moods. During the same incident, she managed to put our mother Tamisra in a coma. That is a type of sleep from which you never wake up again, at least in most cases. Fortunately, our mother died when your elder sister Adamah, my namesake, took mercy on her.”

    Too much information.

    “Grianán, you seem to be a very intelligent and gifted girl. I tried very hard to contact your other siblings, but they do not take any notice of me. Your stay in the Cycle of Heavens sharpened your senses. It also gave you wisdom beyond your actual sun years.”

    I start to wonder where all this would lead to.

    “I will visit you more often if you want me to. It would help you to understand your mother and her situation better.”

    Today I feel that I had made no difference at all. The adults just had been too eager to bash their heads in and scream unkind things at each other. It would be nice to be able to change something.

    “We all need you to bring the balance back to the Force. Understanding and love will follow in your wake, even though you will suffer most of your life.”

    Aunt Adamah has a silly way to soothe my feelings. I feel more in uproar than ever before.

    “But do not worry; even when you seem to be alone, you are not. You will also have many friends along the way.”

    Insofar I have met Aranea and Mora on the Holy Isle of Cunabula.

    “You should also befriend Sionnach. She is not exactly my child, but she is of my flesh and blood. If she ever enters this castle I would be very glad if you could welcome her into your life. She might need a helping hand with Luçien. They do not love each other like man and woman. He sees her as his disciple only.”

    I yawn wildly.

    Wherever that Sionnach is, I bet that she is not as tired as I felt right now. After so much information I am even too exhausted to keep my eyes open.

    ********************************************************************

    Aunt Adamah visits me all the following nights. I try to understand all the things she tells me, but sometimes it is all too confusing. Nevertheless, I start to like her.

    When she was beheaded by Mother, she had lost her unborn baby. Later on, the scientists of Cunabula had done something very unnatural to force Cousin Sionnach into life. It was done by a process that was called cloning.

    I store all the facts in the back of my brain. Perhaps they will make sense when I am older. For now, I soak up every word like mother milk, swallowing it to the fullest.

    My family’s history seems to be written with blood. After all the experiences that I had had with Mother by now, that is not really a surprise.

    Mórag, my fairy godmother, has done terrible things to Mother when she had been but a young child. All happened in the Name of Darach, the White Goddess of the Elfin nation.

    It makes me sad to know that faith makes individuals ill, when interpreted in wrong ways.

    ********************************************************************

    At the end of the same year my elder sister Adamah, the future god queen, is sent off to live at the desert village of Sereno for a couple of months. Nanny wants her to learn some manners there.

    All her life, Adamah had to fight her disappointment for being different. She has no Force powers and begrudges us for our abilities. The worst for her is that she is no telepath. That gives her a difficult position among us. The most simple things escape her notice, which makes her even more cross with us. Especially with me.

    Nanny does something very clever by putting Adamah in a totally new environment. She wants to prove to my sister that her worth depends not on inherited Force skills, but on the things she is able to do for a community. This will matter a great deal when she takes the crown of Cunabula one fine day.

    While Adamah is away, I make an extraordinary discovery. In the morning mist that covers the main plaza, I find a wicker basket with a baby inside. I kneel down to get a better look.

    It is an Ophidea half-blood, just like me. I lift it up with great care. It is a girl as far as I can tell. She is heavy, but I do not mind.

    “I am Grianán,” I introduce myself.

    Feeling her grudge and hurt too clearly, I hug and kiss her. Perhaps Mother’s favourite lullaby will help here.

    “Let the arms of The Great Mother ever surround me
    Let the arms of The Great Mother ever surround me
    I envoke the protection of Divine Mother’s embrace
    I envoke the protection of Divine Mother’s grace”


    Finally she smiles back.

    “Princess,” a Shesha guard warns me straight into my head. “You should not touch that.”

    Bewildered, my look wanders back to the child. “But it is a baby.”

    “It is an Untouchable,” the reptile woman explains hastily. “You should not make your royal hands dirty.”

    My jaw clenches, but not for very long. “No,” I say aloud. “This is a baby. My baby.”

    “B-b-but,” the Shesha stutters.

    “My baby,” I repeat more friendly.

    We will have no fight over this. I will not use my Force powers against this female.

    Before the Shesha can hold me back, I walk away with the girl as quick as I can. I bring her straight to the bungalow and further on to Nanny’s room. The door is not locked. It never is. I pull down the handle and run to her bedside.

    “Look what I found!” I beam. “Can I keep her?”

    Nanny wipes the sleep out of her cat eyes. Her hair looks like a bird nest. “Gathering low life forms, I see.” she comments dryly. “Flowers also would have been a good surprise. I like orchids.”

    I look at her expectantly.

    “All right,” she moans. “I will take care that this orphan will not grow up as an Untouchable. Are you satisfied now?”

    “No.” I cock my head a bit, pressing the baby tighter against me.

    “I will also find a good foster mother. Just let me sleep on for another hour, ma petité.” Grumpily, Nanny turns towards the wall. “And when I wake up I want coffee. Can we agree on that?”



    Sources:
    The lyrics of the traditional Native Indians song “The River is flowing” as performed by an unknown female singer on youtube (posted by zjIzz), earliest date of confirmation: Greenham Common Women´s Peace Camp (1981)
    The “Goddess protection chant”, a youtube video posted by Bernard Alvarez (2007)
    Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki
    Jedipedia, a free German Star Wars-Encyclopaedia
    Hidden quotes from SW movies and the SW universe
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
    Kahara and DarthUncle like this.
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Fascinating interactions with Aranea and Adamah :cool: Grianan is observant and endearing. @};-
     
    DarthUncle and AzureAngel2 like this.
  8. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Love Grianan and Isa
     
  9. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Adamah seems that she will be able to get by without the Force just fine. In a family for Force users you would think that would be difficult especially when she has to rule.
     
    DarthUncle and AzureAngel2 like this.
  10. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Thanks for still being my beta editor and never getting tired of it.


    @earlybird-obi-wan: Also a big thanks to you for reading and commenting!


    @Darth_Furio: Yepp, no piece of cake for sure. Thanks for being around again as well!



    I wonder if we get any more readers for this such as @DarthUncle, busy husband, or @Kahara. Perhaps even @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 and @Nehru_Amidala. One never knows.

    New update for you all until next weekend.



    Chapter 3:

    The orphan girl is given to the care of Saeta Bona Merkhet. The gen scientist has lost her own baby daughter recently. It is a good match, but Aranea, Mora and I cannot help checking on the little one on a daily basis.

    To have been made an outcast by her own biological mother, even though it has been only for a couple of sun hours, has left a deep impact on the baby. Under no circumstances will I allow her to turn into such a bitter being like my own brother Aconite.

    Even though I am rather young for such an honour, I am asked to become the godmother of the little one. Her name is to be Luna, which means moon in the clerical language of my people.

    Aranea and Mora look at my godchild with glee once I step outside the birth cave with her.

    “Cool, now our number is even,” my oldest friend remarks. “Imagine all the fun we can have together.”

    Nanny, who walks right behind me, states gloomily, “I can smell trouble ahead.”

    “You exaggerate,” Mother chuckles.

    “Arcānā, trust my instincts. The Holy Scripts of my people describe four riders of the apocalypse.”

    The cloud of anger on Mother’s sun-tainted face vanishes as quick as it has appeared in the first place. “You should not believe what the dusty scrolls of your step-brother say. There is no such thing as the apocalypse, nor are there four riders. What are they supposed to ride on anyway? Banthas?”

    While they both start a discussion about the faith of the Lidérc, Aranea winks at Mora and me. With a giggling Luna we run straight into the undergrowth of the Mother Jungle.

    ********************************************************************

    When Adamah has served her sentence and returns from the village of Sereno, Father has a surprise for everybody. In spring, shortly around my sixth birthday, will all go to visit Grandmother Techné and Uncle Kairos. There will be a little baby boy to see.

    Eagerly, I start counting the days.

    The interplanetary flight is startling for me. I do not like space ships nor their thick metal walls around me. They do not feel natural. In the Mother Jungle everything is vibrating with life.

    “Shush, Grianán,” Nanny soothes me, while stroking through my hair. “It won’t be long.”

    With a tear-streaked face, I look up to her. “You also hate space journeys.”

    “But you hate them even more than I do, it seems.” Nanny cups my cheeks, staring straight into my alarmed eyes. “Motion sickness or claustrophobia. Hum, I wonder which one it is.”

    My twin brother Sereno scrambles closer to us. “Let us count stars, Grianán,” he suggests and points to the big panorama window of the passenger compartment.

    I sniff, not convinced that this will really help.

    “We also could visit Dad and Mom in the flight cabin,” suggests Èleos.

    “Mom flies?” shrieks Adamah, her face a mask of horror.

    “You didn’t notice?” Caelestris lifts her fine, golden eyebrows. “Dad flies much, much calmer than she does.”

    Phosphoros adds eagerly, “We can be very happy if we do not end up in a black hole or in the middle of the sun.”

    “What is a black hole?” asks Daná. Her face burns like a light. I can tell that she longs for a story full of gore and blood.

    Sereno grins at her. “I am sorry to disappoint you, little doorknob. It is an area in space where gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape from it. This is why a black hole appears to be black.”

    “A black whole is not really a hole and it is not empty,” argues Phosphoros. “Daddy told me that it is filled with a lot of material crammed into an extremely small space. And this is what gives it its super strong gravity. Since it puts out no light...”

    Cold sweat tickles down my face. I start crying.

    “Great,” curses Nanny. “You can forget about the tablets for motion sickness. Claustrophobia it is.”

    ********************************************************************

    Cousin Khion proves to be great fun as well as Aunt Calothrix, the wife of Uncle Kairos. But they both are still recovering from the birth process and lie in bed the whole day. I am told stories and listen to songs in the forbidden language of the Sea Elves. But that gets boring after a while.

    Luckily there are other things to do in the big house of Grandmother Techné, a so-called city villa. It has marble pillars, that invited me to dance around them for hours. I also like to trace the patterns of the mosaic floors with my fingers. So many pretty sea fish and shells. I cannot understand why Uncle Kairos can have such a withered heart with so much light and beauty around them.

    I hate that Grandfather is send to the servant quarters to sleep there. But he explains to me when I visit him there one evening.

    “Nobody is ever to know that I am your mother’s father, Grianán.”

    “But why? Is she ashamed of you?”

    He laughs his amiable deep laugh, that makes my belly tickle. “No, she is not. The Ophidiae do not care who sires their serpent-spawn.” Within heartbeats, he becomes deadly serious again. “But on Amnion it is a different affair.”

    “Master valets are persons, too,” I sniff.

    He runs his olive coloured fingers through my curls. “It is not about me being a servant. I am one-hundred percent human and your grandmother Tamisra was not. The state church is against such bonds.”

    That leads me to another question. “Why are we here with Grandmother Techné when everybody hates us?”

    “Oh, not everybody.” His hand comes to a standstill. “But you know how your father is. Always hopeful. He believes in a universe full of tolerance and empathy. For a man like him interplanetary politics is a precious possibility that should be taken.”

    Startled, I remember our brief journey through space. It had seemed a barren place, drowned in never-ending night apart from some occasional stars twinkling.

    ********************************************************************

    One of the best treats is to watch the sun rise with Father. In the mornings, when everybody is still in bed and sleeping, he fully belongs to me. The few human household servants leave us on our own as the robot units complete their tasks around us. Usually we stand together on the roof terrace until Grandfather calls us to the breakfast table.

    But one morning, something is different. Grandfather is not there. Instead we have an unannounced visitor. His presence in the Force is overwhelming.

    “You seem to be an early bird like my daughter Grianán,” Father beams. I wiggle around in his arms to get a better view.

    A Lidérc male, masked beyond all recognition, stands before us. He wears the colour of midnight. His Force presence is overwhelming for me. I know him from Isabeau´s memories. He is the step-brother she used to love.

    “Sire!” he says with a bow. His voice is like velvet.

    “What is the nature of your visit, old friend?”

    They shake hands.

    “I was on my way to the city temple when Narthex crossed my way,” the stranger explains. “He told me that you were already up and would not mind to entertain a guest so early.”

    “How very good of him,” Father states enthusiastically. His cheeks dimple as he smiles. “Arcānā, Isabeau and the rest of the children are still asleep, so the three of us can be undisturbed. Can I offer you some coffee?”

    “I would rather invite you and your favourite daughter for breakfast at the market place.”

    There is a hidden agenda in these words. I feel fear in the pit of my stomach.

    “Excellent! I will leave a message for my family. Grianán, please wait here for me! I won’t be long. Please keep His Lordship company.”

    Trance-like, I nod.

    The stranger waits until Father is truly gone. Then he comes closer, a dark shade in the morning sun.

    “So you're the girl I've heard so much about,” he purrs. He goes to his knees with disturbing speed. “And more importantly, what are you made of? The dark side – or the light?”

    There is a noise like rushing waves in my head.

    “The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body is full of light, but when thine eye is evil, thy body is also full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in not be darkness.”

    I try to hold my feelings in check, but I cannot. A single tear runs down my right cheek. The stranger looks at it in wonderment and catches it with an index finger.

    “What is that for?” he asks.

    “You hurt me,” I mumble, my hands cup around his masked face. “Why you want to hurt?”

    Fearful of his rage, I go on crying soundlessly.

    My ancestors had been keen on maiming and disembowelling their foes. Perhaps this man likes to take people apart as well. Isabeau had certain memories.

    The stranger leans forward, touches my hair and then pushing into my mind with no warning.

    “Your mother raised you from the Dead,” he snarls. “With the help of the dark side. You are a zombie.”

    I take all my courage to answer, “I am a girl and my name is Grianán.”

    He grabs my chin with sudden outrage. “Grianán? Really? How can your mother name something like you after the Elfin winter sun? That is disgusting.”

    The water builds up inside me like a flood wave. I cannot hold my tears back. They do not impress him.

    “I will destroy your witchcraft, and you will no longer cast spells,” he lets me know. “For among them are those who make their way into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and swayed by various impulses, who will listen to anybody and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth.”

    I continue to cry soundlessly.

    “Stop that!” Luçien lets go of me, but just to peel his left glove off. Slowly. “What did I just say? Sacre bleu! Do you ever listen, child?”

    His right hand comes down to rest on one of my shoulders.

    “Agathos is a dear friend,” he explains, while he uses his handkerchief to dry my tears. “I honour the trust he puts in me. Therefore I will never move directly against one of his children.”

    I swallow hard, seeing the problem here. “Somebody else will hurt us? For you?”

    Luçien laughs at me, but not unfriendly. Then he strokes the skin around my puffed eyes, using his healing powers on them. “There, much better!”

    “I am not better.” My heart is almost in my throat.

    “I can tell you why.” His fingers withdraw from my face again. “Due to your mother, you are rotten from within. I sense darkness in you. Your father believes you to be an angel. I don’t.”

    “You are a bad, bad angel,” I state.

    My eyes wander over his bent figure. He is armed. A sword hangs at his side, looking like a crescent moon. I tick at it. Just enough to provoke its horrible history. Strong pictures of the past speak to me. So much slaughter. So much death.

    “Luçien, something tells me that you were successful.”

    I lean my hands on his desk. “At surviving Mórag and her pet Arcānā?”

    “I was referring more to your mission. You need not share particulars.” He dares to grin at me.

    My fingertips begin to bleed as my claws drill deep into the ebony wood. “You knew, Châtiment. You knew all along.”

    “You must always be one step ahead of your enemies, boy. You need to know more than they do. This was an important step. You are commended for taking it.”

    “Oh, let me take another step,” I reply grimly and peel of my gloves with slow deliberation.


    *****************************************************************

    Strong fingers enclose around mine, dragging me into the present. “This scimitar here is insignificant,” Luçien explains, his voice strained and hoarse now. “It is just the tradition of my people to wear one. I don’t need it for the real kill. You know that fairly well, little princess.”

    He still kneels in front of me, bathing me in his mischievous glare. I am trapped by it.

    “You know more of the universe than you should,” he moves on. “It is the maturity of a demon speaking.”

    I hear the veranda door open.

    Father comes back with light steps, booming, “Already making a closer acquaintance, I see. You really have a way with children, my old friend.”

    It is not my place to correct Father in his kind assumption. When I want to ask him if he would carry me for a while, a pair of gloved hands picks me up.

    Luçien’s gleaming eyes prove he enjoys my horror. “You are right about her, Agathos. She is a special child. I am intrigued by her already.”

    ********************************************************************

    To say that it is a beautiful morning at the local market place would be a lie. But it also would be wrong to say that I have a dreadful time. Luçien tries to act charming. He is good at it.

    We get ourselves some typical Amnionian breakfast items.

    I have a kok, a local breakfast roll with chocolate filling.

    Father eats something that looks like a little caramel sheep. It is called kataifi. He has it with a bowl of home-made vanilla ice.

    Luçien loosens the lower part of his war mask. This way he is able to enjoy his bougalsa, which is filled with vanilla cream and has a sweet coat made out of sugar and cinnamon.

    I find the mask rather disturbing. Nanny has once explained to me that it is tradition for male Lidérc to wear one after their rites of adulthood. But to me, it gives the impression that Luçien has to hide a lot from the universe, perhaps even from himself.

    We sit on the staircase of the big city temple, eating our breakfast, when a woman with two children comes by. I recognize Tāchys immediately from my vision. The boy must be her twin brother Phrēn. Their skin has the colour of latte macchiato and their hair is red. It gleams nicely in the sunlight. Like their mother, my cousin Sionnach, they have pointed Elfin ears and almond eyes.

    “Daddy!” Tāchys shouts and runs over to Luçien. With wild affection she hugs his knees.

    I can tell that Luçien is slightly embarrassed to be touched this way in public. His feelings pierce my heart. At times, he is like an open book to me; but I am glad that I can not always read him. Our soul relationship is not as I had imagined it to be. Most of the time, it hurts like stinging needles.

    “Agathos,” Luçien says formally, “May I introduce you to my daughter Tāchys? The young gentleman over there is her brother Phrēn and the woman holding him is Angina Ōon, our wonderful nanny.”

    I can tell from the magical glow around the woman that she is of the same race as Aunt Calothrix; an altered Sea Elf, hiding among the humans of Amnion.

    The girl looks at me. “And who is that, Daddy?”

    Angina Ōon clears her throat. “The children and I are on the way home. Sionnach and Éibhear might have the breakfast table ready by now.”

    “I should join you,” Luçien says, avoiding my eyes. “Agathos, it was nice seeing you again. Please visit us any time you can.”

    “I will.” Luçien turns to me stiffly. “Enchantée! We will meet again, little princess.”

    I wonder if this was a promise or a threat. Perhaps he does not know that himself.

    ********************************************************************

    The next morning I am out at the market again. This time Nanny and Grandfather Narthex join Father and me. It is bliss. I enjoy having another early breakfast in front of the temple again.

    The market square seems to be a popular spot for people to eat in the open, even though there are not orchids to admire.

    The buildings around us are shiny and white. So white that it hurts my eyes to look at them. The Mother Jungle offers more colours and, even more important for an Ophidea, a protective environment.

    Soon, we have finished eating.

    Father, Nanny and Grandfather begin a deep conversation. I draw away from them and stroll around a bit. With keen interest I visit several market stands. Most of them sell groceries, but there is also a lot of craft-work. I like the pottery. It has nice patterns.

    I feel piercing eyes rest on me.

    Curious, I peer around.

    A boy glares at me. He is the same age as I am. I know him well. His perfect face is a mask of contempt.

    I decide to wave at Aconite, putting on a sparkling smile that always works with my other siblings.

    He looks away quickly, clinging to the skirts of his foster-mother again.

    Helplessly, I have to watch how he drags the surprised Aurora away. She is the favourite niece of Grandfather. I had heard Father talk about her to Nanny in a hushed voice. The entire adoption business is a painful subject for everybody, accept my Mother. She could not care less.

    While Cousin Aurora and Aconite leave the market square I cannot help to notice that my brother has an unhealthy fixation on her. But there is nothing that I can do about it. I fight against my weariness and return to the temple steps.

    ********************************************************************

    When Father, Nanny, Grandfather and I pass the living quarters of the temple district later on, I am more pleased with my surroundings. Here the buildings are more colourful, have a more quirky and loveable character. Most of them are framed by vines or blooming plants.

    A yellow building catches my attention. It has two stories and, as far as I can see, a lush roof-garden. There are mostly flowery plants but also a lot of fruit trees. Among all the greenery Luçien stands like an avenging angel. He is unmasked and just dressed in his breeches. His delicate brow visibly furrowed. Hate-filled eyes glare down on me.

    I risk to wave at him, but that gesture has an even more devastating effect. Open disgust appears on his features. He turns a cold shoulder on me.

    Heartbroken, I clutch Father’s hand and walk on.

    I am not used to being hated. Adamah had a grudge on me for a while, but we managed to make peace. Since I am on Amnion, Uncle Kairos, Aconite and Luçien want me dead and gone.

    A cloud moves in front of the sun.

    I shiver.

    Father misunderstands the situation and picks me up. “Here, crawl under my upper tunic for a while.” He adjusts the long cloth that he wears in front of his chest and makes a sort of sling from it. “That should keep you warm enough until we are back at the city villa.”

    I would like to tell him that nothing can banish the cold of fear that has gotten hold of me.



    Sources:

    The Bible, New Testament, Matthew 6:22
    The Bible, New Testament, Micah 5:12
    The Bible, New Testament, 2 Timothy 3:6
    Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki
    Jedipedia, a free German Star Wars-Encyclopaedia
    Hidden quotes from SW movies and the SW universe
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
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  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Gentle and sweet interactions with Nanny, Grandfather and Dad, but Grianan's encounters with Lucien start off immediately being intense and multilayered. =D=
     
  12. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Lucien and Grianan are awesome together. I also like their banter and then sudden intensity. It's going to be a volatile relationship going forward.
     
  13. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    beware of Lucien
     
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  14. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Grianán really has a terrifying and complicated life from the very start. Even given how she has that instinctive Force encyclopedia as Sionnach and Cassie also do in varying degrees; it seems more of a source of things to worry about than a comfort most of the time! And Luçien just should not be around people in his state of mind, but especially children -- Grianán's dad either has the worst judgment ever or is just incredibly irresponsible. Just because this kid has some preternaturally advanced perception going on doesn't make her able to negotiate with dangerous Force-wielders all by her lonesome. Or at least not without leaving lasting scars, which I get the impression this meeting may well have done. :( All that grumping at fictional parenting failures aside, the worlds you draw are fascinating as always and I really enjoy all the little details that flesh out Grianán's homeworld. The way that her relatives navigate having to deal with different expectations world by world is very interesting; it's sad that her father and grandfather are not really acknowledged when they go visiting.
     
  15. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Their current love relationship is based on the leftovers of an angst story that I wrote once as a teen. Back then their names were Elisabeth and Modrod. Stories evolve, characters change...


    @Darth_Furio: Well, let´s see about that. In this new version she is not so innocent as she used to be.


    @earlybird-obi-wan: Beware of the Ankou! (Which is a wise warning at the Bretonic coast in France.)


    @Kahara: Thanks for gracing this fic with a comment of yours. It must be really Halloween for I feel like Charley Brown who is allowed to have a glimpse on the Great Pumpkin. But now let´s be serious again.

    Yes, Gri´s life is not a jolly Disney princess affair. Being highly gifted by the Force never is. The same can be said about Luc. Poor SWpants was always very grumpy with both when she beta-edited for me in the first version that was on the boards. But some love stories are complicated and some are never meant to be.

    As for parenting and friendship, those are equally difficult to handle. Because both are based on trust and faith. And humans make mistakes.

    Okay, the next chapter is here. (Pokes errant husband @DarthUncle via the internet for he does not react to messages on his mobile phone while being with his mom.)


    Chapter 4:

    When Father, Nanny, Grandfather and I pass the living quarters of the temple district later on, I am more pleased with my surroundings. Here the buildings are more colourful, have a more quirky and loveable character. Most of them are framed by vines or blooming plants.

    A yellow building catches my attention. It has two stories and, as far as I can see, a lush roof-garden. There are mostly flowery plants but also a lot of fruit trees. Among all the greenery Luçien stands like an avenging angel. He is unmasked and just dressed in his breeches. His delicate brow visibly furrowed. Hate-filled eyes glare down on me.

    I risk to wave at him, but that gesture has an even more devastating effect. Open disgust appears on his features. He turns a cold shoulder on me.

    Heartbroken, I clutch Father’s hand and walk on.

    I am not used to being hated. Adamah had a grudge on me for a while, but we managed to make peace. Since I am on Amnion, Uncle Kairos, Aconite and Luçien want me dead and gone.

    A cloud moves in front of the sun.

    I shiver.

    Father misunderstands the situation and picks me up. “Here, crawl under my upper tunic for a while.” He adjusts the long cloth that he wears in front of his chest and makes a sort of sling from it. “That should keep you warm enough until we are back at the city villa.”

    I would like to tell him that nothing can banish the cold of fear that has gotten hold of me.

    ********************************************************************

    When we are back at Grandmother’s breakfast table the adults begin to talk about bodyguards, the possible dangers in the city, and cold-blooded murder. It all ends up with my siblings asking Nanny a question.

    “What do you think about a day out at sea, Isabeau?”

    “Yes?” she answers from far away, lost in a day dream.

    “What do you think?” shouts Adamah straight into her right ear.

    “About what?”

    “The boat tour.”

    “Boat tour?” Her mug falls on the floor, breaking into hundreds of pieces. Then she says one single word. A word my siblings and I dread very much. “No.”

    “Isa!” we plead with her.

    “My answer is still no. You cannot make me go. Especially not with your dirty little mind tricks.” Nanny is determined. “My lords, Your royal Highness, Narthex. Have a pleasant day without me.”

    ********************************************************************

    In the rosy hours of dusk Nanny walks us down to the harbour and further on to the clipper that belongs to Uncle Kairos. The ship is much, much bigger than the river canoes that I am used to. It has three lovely white sails, attached to three impressive masts.

    I try to plea with Nanny for one last time, but I can tell from her firm jaw that her decision cannot be undone. But she stays with us, until Uncle Kairos sets the clipper in motion. Then she walks away from us and towards the city.

    With anxious eyes I follow her and notice the dark shape of a man. He waves at me mockingly.

    I pale and sprint towards starboard to get a better look on Luçien.

    He is unveiled and looks completely different. More like a real Amnionian citizen. Even the colour of his skin is different. But he can not fool me with his masquerade. I would have recognized him even if he had shape shifted into a whale or a sea gull.

    “What is it?” Mother asks me interested.

    “Nothing,” I sniff, tears flowing over my cheeks.

    It is a silly idea of mine anyway. Nanny is his step-sister and therefore Luçien will not harm her. That is not how siblings act towards one another. He also loves her. My own skin has shown me, and my special gift never lies. Never.

    My new sister quickly becomes my shadow. She panics when I am out of reach or, completely out of sight, which seems to be worse for her—even if I am using the toilet.

    It is my duty to hold Isabeau’s hand. I like it, despite a few frustrations. It is my duty to keep her safe and warm, especially when her nightmares overwhelm her. It makes me feel strong and wanted. I do not mind playing the older brother at all.


    I am not that much older in years, but since Châtiment showed me his way of praying, I feel older than all the other children in the serail. There is something wrong with me that I cannot put into words. Deep inside me, there is a pool of hatred and scorn. It poisons my thoughts.

    Without my new sister, life would be hard to bear. Isabeau reminds me how it is to be a real child. I play games with her. I laugh with her. I walk with her. I do all of it without ever sharing my pain with her. My nightmares are not hers. I want nobody to know about those things. Nor do I want emotions to dictate my life. I want to have the higher ground.


    Mother wraps her arms around me, making me focus on the here and now again. “Hey, it is okay to be afraid at times,” she says. “Isabeau is no super hero.”

    “I know.”

    It is just hard to define for me what Luçien is. Demon, angel, misfit. The only thing that I know for sure is that his soul is tormented.

    When Mother is off again and the boat starts drifting away from the harbour, I walk to the other side of the ship. My knees tremble with every step.

    Luçien is still there, not hiding in shadows any longer. I can clearly see that he is up to something. When he decides to throw me a kiss, I am very worried, and not only for Isabeau.

    ********************************************************************

    In the following hours Éleos tries his best to cheer me up again. Sereno joins him in that task. Together they make a difference and manage to make me smile again.

    When we meet the school of dolphins, my worries are forgotten altogether. I scramble out of my light tunic. The water will be cold, but I do not mind. The Living Matrix will keep my blood warm. I throw my sandals off and jump into the ocean to join the animals. They chatter happily.

    “Arcānā!” shouts Uncle Kairos. “You cannot possibly allow this.”

    Mother remains silent and leans over the railing to watch us. Her face is relaxed. She pretends not to hear him.

    In the River Valley we are used to spend half of the day in the water, frolicking in there. We do not fear the occasional company we get.

    A dolphin moves under me and lifts me playfully into the air. Giggling, I let it happen.

    “Agathos,” pleads Uncle Kairos and turns to Father. “Please do something!”

    “There is no need to intervene. My children are excellent swimmers. Besides, they are also animal charmers.”

    “They are what?”

    “Just watch and enjoy,” Father replies patiently. “You might even learn something from it, if you allow yourself thus.”

    ********************************************************************

    I am almost asleep on Grandfather’s arm when we return to the city villa. It had been a nice, but exhausting day. I have locked my legs around his waist, while my arms are secured in a choke hold around his broad neck.

    “What do you mean Isabeau is gone?” The alarmed voice of Mother shakes me up in the core of my being. “She must be somewhere in the city and you better find her, Kairos.”

    “I will not waste money, time and resources on her, Arcānā. That nanny of yours might as well be fish food by now.”

    Mother hits him straight in his face, leaving a cut with her signet ring. “Isabeau is the most valuable member of my court. I do not need to remind you that she is an adopted daughter of the ducal House Ankoù. You will find her.”

    “Why me?” Uncle Kairos rubs his hurt cheek. “I am no family of hers. Tell Luçien to look for her.” “As the consul of the Amnionian Embassy he...”

    Her eyes almost come out of their sockets. “What? That dirty cat is here on Amnion? Why has nobody bothered to tell me?”

    Father approaches her, his arms outstretched and his palms turned upward. “Luçien has no reason to kill his step-sister.”

    “Oh really? And how would you know?” Now her eyes became small. “Wait, you are still friends with that bastard. And I believed it to be over between the two of you. You promised! Liar!”

    My stomach clenches together.

    Dark forces gather.

    Within the blink of an eye Mother loses it completely. She starts choking Father via the Force. In front of our entire family.

    I step in between my parents without thinking, getting my share immediately. My windpipe almost gets crushed.

    I drop to my knees, panting as hard as Father. Star dust dances around me.

    Then the attack is over as sudden as it began.

    Mother is in shock, looking at Father and me with her mouth wide open.

    Grandfather ushers the rest of my siblings out of the room, while Grandmother picks me up from the floor.

    Mother stands rooted to the spot, absolutely dumbstruck. I felt horrible for her. This has been one of those dark moments that she is so afraid of.

    “Now you show your real face, demon!” Uncle Kairos scowls, his face terrible to behold.

    Father heaves himself up and put an arm around Mother protectively. He is only full of love and regret. “Stay out of this, brother. That can happen when a Force user gets angry at a rude and callous remark from someone who should know better.”

    Mother starts wailing and hides her face in his embrace. Her trembling shoulders tell me that she is crying a great deal, but it is absolutely soundless.

    The ugly laughter of Uncle Kairos fills the room. “Now I know why you married her. You like it violent in bed, don’t you?”

    “No more!” Grandmother cries. “Tomorrow is the baptism of my latest grandson and I want you all to behave.”

    “Behave?” Mother screams. “That is all that matters to you, is it not? Manners?”

    “Because you have none, you filthy reptile!”

    I jump out of Grandmother’s arms and run off.

    My feet carry me towards the only persons that I believe to be safe with.

    ********************************************************************

    Aunt Calothrix is breast feeding Cousin Khion when I stumble into her bedroom. With me, she is not afraid speaking the language of her true origin. “Betho whye lowenack, Grianán!” she says, her oval face beaming. Happiness to you, Grianán!

    Her lovely voice makes me cry even harder. “They do it again!” I sob. “The hate thing!”

    “Vedo whye cawas badna?”
    she asks in a soothing tone, raising her free arm graciously towards me. Do you want a drop to drink?

    I end up sucking her left breast while Cousin Khion continues to drink from her right one. He eyes me suspiciously, not used to sharing his milk source with anybody else.

    Aunt Calothrix strokes my hair over and over again. Once, her fingers had been webbed, but a surgeon had changed that when she had been as small as her son. A lot of her body had been altered with a cutting knife and stitches. I am so sorry for her.

    Soon, I am lulled into sleep by an ancient lullaby of the Sea Elves, tasting their magic through the milk that was given to me.

    “Toutouig la la, va mabig
    Toutouig la la
    Da vamm a zo amañ, koantig
    Ouzh da luskellat, mignonig

    Toutouig la la…
    Da vamm a zo amañ, oanig

    Dit-te o kanañ he sonig
    En deiz all e ouele kalzik
    Hag hiziv e c’hoarzh da vammig

    Toutouig la la, ’ta paourig
    Poent eo serrañ da lagadig

    Toutouig la la, bihanig
    Ret eo diskuizhañ da bennig


    Toutouig la la, rozennig
    Da zivjod war va c’halonig

    Da nijal d’an neñv, va aelig
    Na zispleg ket da askellig.”


    Despite the beauty of the words and the goodness of Aunt Calothrix I do not fully commit myself to the spell. A part of me stays alert.

    Sleep, my little child
    Sleep
    Your mommy’s here, my little squirrel
    By your crib, my little pretty

    Sleep …
    Your mommy’s here, my little lamb
    Singing her little song to you.


    Formerly, she wept a lot
    But today, your mommy laughs

    Sleep, my poor little one,
    Time’s come to close your little eyes


    Sleep, my wee one
    You must rest your little head

    Sleep, my little rose
    Your cheeks on my little heart

    To fly to heavens, my little angel
    Don’t spread your little wings.


    ********************************************************************

    When Grandfather comes for me later on, I pretend to be in dreamland still. His voice is hushed and careful. “How is she, Calothrix?”

    “I worked a sleeping spell on Grianán.” Slender fingers run through my hair. “She is lost in sweet oblivion. Speak out your mind, Narthex. She cannot hear us.”

    The mattress bends under Grandfather’s extra weight, but he remains silent. I can hear his heavy breathing. He sounds like a marathon runner.

    Aunt Calothrix, worried for him, tries to push the conversation on. “I believe that Grianán suffers most about the hatred that exists between my husband and your daughter,” she says. “It effects her physically. She is a very sensitive child.”

    A dozen emotions play across his mind, before Grandfather answers, “I hope you never told Kairos that I sired the god queen of Cunabula.”

    “Of course not,” she objects. “I could not bare it when the Blood Hounds would snatch you away.”

    “For what reason?”

    Her voice is careful. “Racial defilement.”

    I can sense that Grandfather is far beyond the ability to be surprised. “Is it punishable by law yet? Your husband cannot have won so many supporters in the senate since my last visit.”

    Aunt Calothrix heart beats faster and I can tell from her troubled mind that she quotes a poem that Uncle Kairos wrote.

    “Keep your blood pure,
    it is not yours alone,
    it comes from far away,
    it flows into the distance
    laden with thousands of ancestors,
    and it holds the entire future!
    It is your eternal life.”


    Grandfather is weary. “The most recent pamphlet of the Philiki Etaireia. I should have known. So Kairos is their chairman. Agathos’ original plan was to leave Grianán here with Aurora. But if the situation in Polysýndeton is so bleak we better take her back to Draconis and let Mórag have her.”

    I lie unmoving, locked in awed silence. The curtain of light brown hair falls over me. I am glad that they cannot see my face.

    “What about the Vicomte? He loves children and is befriended with Agathos. Surely he would not mind taking Grianán in as his ward?”

    I force myself not to twist my body.

    “Both Isabeau and Arcānā have their differences with Luçien.” There is deep agony in his voice. “Besides, I do not think that he can be trusted with a gifted child like Grianán. His religious views are too rigid.”

    Aunt Calothrix takes a sharp breath. “I know about the carte blanch. Kairos told me about it once. But you surely don’t think that...” Her words trail off, get lost in an uncomfortable silence.

    “I honestly do not know what to think of Luçien at times. His fame as the ´Angel of Death´ is legendary. Since the birth of his twins he is vacant, but he is who he is.”

    “Grianán is still a child, not much older than his own daughter Tāchys.”

    “Do you think that this will stop him when he believes he has any evidence against her?”

    I am catapulted straight into the past.

    There I can see Luçien leaning over Aunt Calothrix. A slender build Elfin woman is right at his side. I think that I have seen her lovely face some place before. Her hair has the colour of a sunset, while her almond eyes mirror a perfect blue sky. That must be my cousin Sionnach, the clone.

    “All will be well,” Lady Ankoù implies in a gentle, almost tutting tone. “It is a severe form of Sirenomelia, true, but Luçien and I can help. Let go of all your worries and relax. Nobody will shove you or Khion into a high pressure chamber.”


    “I will contrive ways and means to heal you both.” Vicomte Ankoù sounds flustered, when he says so. Full of conviction he adds, “I do not believe in the Final Solution.”

    I stare at my newborn son, still stupefied at his sight. His legs are completely joined. They appear tapered, are ill-formed. I do not see any feet.

    Vicomte Ankoù leans over and places his palm against my sweaty brow. “Please close your eyes, Mistress Aletheia.”


    I do his bidding and suggest with a smirk, “I just gave birth in your concubine’s tea parlour. I think it is about time that you can call me Cal.”

    “Cal,” he echoes amused. Through my eyelids I notice that white light breaks out of his skin. “What an unusual nickname. How come?”

    Dazed by his healing touch I babble, “I am good at maths. Like a calculator.“


    “Very well then, my dearest Cal,” he chuckles, distracting me from my worries. “Let me tell you something that has the reliability of a mathematical equation. As far as I know this birth defect has nothing to do with your Sea Elf blood. It is caused by the abnormal formation of the umbilical cord blood vessels.”

    I measure my expression before I remark sharply, “So it still is a question of blood.”


    He considers for a moment. Then he says, “The artery stole the blood and nutrition from the lower body of your baby and diverted it back up the placenta. Due to the resulting malnutrition, the lower limbs failed to develop and separate into two limbs.”

    Sionnach takes my hands and presses them together. “Milady, in the end it was your Scatel heritage that let Khion live. An ordinary human child would not have survived this far. He is not dirty. Neither are you.”


    My eyes flutter open.

    “Pardon me for asking,” says Vicomte Ankoù. “But why did you marry such a jerk?”

    I blush. “Love makes a young girl do stupid things. I was charmed by Kairos when I meet him. His poems, his romantic gestures. When I found out the truth, it was too late for me to leave him.”

    “Why?” prompts Vicomte Ankoù.


    “I was already three months pregnant by him.


    Sources:
    The lyrics of traditional Bretonic lullaby “Toutouig”
    “Can You Think Racially?”
    from The German National Catechism, a pamphlet widely used in schools (the mid-1930s)
    The Wiccan chant “Born of water” by the artist Lindie Lila
    Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki
    Jedipedia, a free German Star Wars-Encyclopaedia
    Hidden quotes from SW movies and the SW universe
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
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  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    You balance a wonderful boating tour with dolphins against a backdrop of conflict and hostility with Lucien right in the middle. :p Grianan's mother is very volatile! :eek: I am happy Calithros is a nurturing presence. @};-
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
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  17. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Lucien again in the thick of things
     
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  18. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    LOL, I see Isabeau has a housecat's opinion of the water! (And not a fishing cat's. :p ) Kairos is a real creepy, megalomaniac piece of work with his "purity" poodoo; Luçien calling him a jerk was 1) absolutely called for and 2) hilarious. (You know you should go home and rethink your life when...) Calothrix seems like a really interesting character with her gentle nature and seemingly a very hard life. She's really good with Grianán, which makes it all the sadder that it seems like Grianán's welcome is wearing out on this new world -- the politics are never on her side, poor kiddo. And it seems like this place has some particularly nasty new developments. :( At least she and her siblings got to have a lovely day in the water and make a dolphin friend. That animal empathy thing certainly comes in handy for them! :)
     
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  19. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, @earlybird-obi-wan & @Kahara, thanks for you very supportive feedbacks. Because my mom wants to pull the plug of my laptop I keep it short.

    The update that I am doing now was meant for this weekend and the one before for last weekend when I was hosting a friend from my time in the Netherlands.

    Here the belated Halloween special:


    Chapter 5:

    The baptism ceremony inside the city temple is boring. I do my best to keep a content and interested face. Long speeches and even longer ceremonies are part of the life of a princess, no matter what her age is.

    It is rather clear to me why my best three friends Aranea, Luna and Mora do not even dream of becoming royalty themselves. Fairy tales lie about a happily ever-after. My parents sure have none. Yesterday has made that quite clear.

    The Amnionians also have a very boring way of worship. Their hymns are weird. So serious, read from text books. Nobody dances to them.

    There are no instruments like drums or pipes.

    But there is worse, of course.

    The archbishop of Polysýndeton gives me a constant headache. He is a powerful telepath. He could have easily hidden his thoughts from us, yet he chooses not to.

    Adults on this planet seem to have big issues about racial matters. It is constantly on their minds, even more than sex. The human race is not to mix with aliens or fairytale creatures – that have dared to step out of the realm of myths.

    To me, it makes no difference what background a person has. We are all part of the Living Force, even the Elves. The gods look down on us with love, even sour Parhelion. Magic is just another word for the energy net that binds us all together. In the end we all are its children.

    I stop spying on the thoughts of the gathered congregation. Blissful oblivion is a gift, too. Knowing too much is unhealthy.

    Curious, I look around me.

    To my dismay, I cannot spot Tāchys or Phrēn anywhere. Nor their nanny Angina. Perhaps Luçien has forbidden them to go to the service. That saddens me. They should be around and not only because it is a festive occasion. The archbishop is their godfather. My gift of touch told me so when I dared to touch the baptismal font earlier on. In its water the Ankoù twins received their beautiful names once.

    Parhelion gives me a frown and repeats his liturgical question.“Vicomte Luçien Ankoù and Sionnach O’Conghaile, do you desire your children to be baptised?”

    “We do!” we blurt out together.

    In order not to upset us both too much, for we are foreigners to his church, Parhelion has altered the entire liturgy.

    “Nurturing a child is not only the duty of the parents, but is also the responsibility of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and the larger extended family. As a godfather of these children I agree to offer Vicomte Luçien Ankoù and Sionnach O’Conghaile and these precious children my unqualified love and care, and to share responsibility for the physical and spiritual nurture of the twins.”

    A murmur goes through the temple and I can swear that some of the dedicated members of the Philiki Etaireia flinch involuntarily.

    As his alter-ego, the archbishop of Polysýndeton, Parhelion just has told the entire human community of Amnion that our family is off-limits. There will be no assassination attempts nor any other assaults on us. Not even verbally.

    “Godparents fill a special role in the life of a child. In accepting the role of Godparents, I promise to participate in the life of these children, doing everything in my power to assist the parents in the spiritual nurture of these children. Together with Angina Ōon, a daughter of the native Scatel.”

    Another wave of murmuring goes through the gathered crowd.

    “Together with Angina Ōon,” repeats Parhelion. “I will act as the Godparents of the twins, promise to share responsibility with Vicomte Luçien Ankoù and Sionnach O’Conghaile for these precious children, to pray for them and walk with them.”


    My awareness races back to the present with such speed that I almost fall from the bench.

    “Careful, agape mu,” smiles Father. He has me by the shoulders ans shoves me backwards gently. “My love. We are almost there. It won’t be long now. Look!”

    I see the archbishop standing in front of the flower decorated altar.

    “May Parhelion be with you!” he booms through the temple hall and makes a benevolent gesture with his arms stretched wide. “Blessed art thou, and it shall be well with thee!”

    The congregation murmurs their thanks and rises.

    Mother grants the archbishop a frosty glare. Like me she knows that this man actually is Parhelion, the one true god. And that he plays unhealthy mind games with his people, such as astral projection and mass hypnosis. But there is more, much more that makes him distasteful for her. My godmother Mórag and Luçien are his half-siblings.

    Before I can reflect on the rather complicated adult world, my attention is drawn to something else.

    A distressed man runs in, trying to get everyone’s attention. His toga is soaking wet and he leaves little pools of water wherever he goes. It was clear to me that he needs medical attention. His face has a weird violet colouring. Father looked like this when he got strangled by Mother yesterday.

    “Please listen to me!” he calls out in anguish. “You are all in great danger! Something horrible is going to happen!”

    Eyes look right through him as if he is invisible. It is rude to treat a person this way, despite the fact he does a lot of shouting and has nothing cheerful to say.

    But I can not leave the seat next to Mother as I wished. Earlier on Grandfather has begged my siblings and me to behave nicely. It had been a very moving speech. I have to obey. I need to be good.

    “Please somebody help me! They plan something dreadful, my cousin Triptychon and the others! You must help me to prevent their evil plans!”

    ********************************************************************

    The man grows more agitated with every person that he passes by. My heart feels for him, but I am sure that getting up right now is inappropriate. This has to wait.

    “Triptychon, Heptan, Porphyr and Kalomel must be stopped!” The man sniffs hoarsely. He slides down to the floor, clutching the legs of a middle aged citizen who pays him no heed.

    Mother rises with me in a swift movement. “I feared he would never stop,” She whispers down to me. “What a bore!”

    “Arcānā!” scolds Father tenderly under his breath.

    All seems well between the two of them again, as if the choking never has taken place. Their love makes my heart sing with joy.

    From the corner of my eyes I see Aunt Calothrix and Uncle Kairos pass by. Cousin Khion is carried in his mother’s arms, asleep in his baptism dress. He reminds me of a little angel.

    “You look wonderful today,” Father compliments Mother and that draws my attention back to them.

    “Did you also notice that I wear no underwear under this dress?” she answers sneakily. “None whatsoever?”

    “I was wondering...” Father says, his eyes gleaming mischievously.

    This is the right moment to let go of Mother’s hand and to disappear into the crowd. She does not even notice, her gaze locked with Father’s.

    ********************************************************************

    The sad man is not hard to find. He creates a sort of cold spot in the Force that causes goose bumps to spread all over my body. Water is still dripping from his clothing and his hair. It mingles with his tears.

    “Somebody, please! Stop ignoring me! It is not fair!”

    I pat him on his large, muscular shoulders. “The city guards! They will listen. First see a doctor! You look ill.”

    The man swings around and looks at me open mouthed. His head remains at a strange angle as if it was not really attached to his spine.

    “Grianán,” Sereno comments sternly, “Why are you talking to yourself in that corner? Come, before Mother has one of her fits again. She was not happy when you let go of her without any further warning.”

    Embarrassed, I stare at the man, realizing that he is a ghost. He looks so real and has no blue glow like Aunt Adamah. I have not been aware that there is a difference in ghosts. Dead is dead. All dead people should look the same. It is all very confusing.

    When I turn towards Sereno, the man seizes my left hand. “Can you really see me, little girl?”

    “Yes,” I whisper.

    Something tells me that it is not good to be able to see, hear and feel dead people. Luçien will not like that if he ever finds out.

    “Grianán!” My elder brother is unusually impatient with me.

    The touch of the dead man is cold, but it is real. His free hand goes for my upper arm. Fingers dig into my flesh, hurting me a big deal.

    “My name is Acheron and I have to tell you that they want to kill the crown princess of Cunabula today. Please let somebody know!”

    I nod for it is a reasonable request. “I tell my sister.”

    “Your sister?” wonders the man.

    “Adamah, the crown princess,” I say and walk towards Sereno.

    “What happened to your arm, Grianán?” My elder brother asks baffled. “There are marks on it. Did somebody hurt you? Was it Vicomte Ankoù? Is he here?”

    “No, Acheron. He drowned. See?” I point towards the ghost, just to notice that he is gone. “Can we see Adamah?”

    Before Sereno can answer me, a terrible pain goes through my body.

    Then Phosphorous pops up next to my elbow. He is blue and transparent. “It is a bit late for that now! A Force storm is coming. None of you can stop Adamah any more!”

    From outside, we hear a sound that sounded like the battle cry of a mad harpy defending her young ones in their nest. It was Adamah.

    ********************************************************************

    Outside, there is a lot of running, screaming, blood and dying. Sereno presses me against him so much that it hurts. “You are not going anywhere,” he snarls. “Don’t you even think of it, blondie!”

    With widened eyes, we stare down the temple steps.

    In her most desperate hour, the heritage of the House Tjiehenet has come upon our sister Adamah.

    Guns claim a life of their own, shooting in every direction possible. Sometimes the laser fire hits living flesh, but in most cases only wood, stone or metal surfaces are shot upon.

    People howl in confusion and pain.

    Aunt Calothrix passes us at one of the open doors, clutching to a crying Khion. “Grianán, Sereno come with me!” she pleads. “You must not be out here!”

    We have no time to follow her, because Uncle Kairos pushes us off brutally. “Freaks!”

    The winged door is barred behind us and I hear Aunt Calothrix scream, “You monster! They are family!”

    More door locks are bolted from the inside, while Uncle Kairos barks, “I hope they all die today! The entire freak show that Agathos produced with that reptile!”

    I turn away from the temple, just to see Éleos sprint towards Adamah in the distance. Her eye sockets contain only yellow fire. The eye balls itself have melted away.

    My sister is truly gone. All that remains in the middle of the plaza is a lethal tool of the dark side.

    “Stay right here!” screams Sereno and runs off to join Èleos in his doomed quest.

    My two brothers get swept away in the Force storm along with a few other unfortunate people.

    Somebody pats my head. It’s Mother. “Sereno is right! Stay here and do not move! There is nothing you can do, Grianán. I will take care of this. It is my destiny.”

    “Don’t!” I yelp.

    “I love you, I always will.”

    Helplessly, I watch Mother walking towards her own doom, her back straight. There is no false haste in her movements. She has an appointment with death and she knows it.

    “It is a good day to die!” she assures me without looking back. “Besides, there is no death, just the Force.”

    ********************************************************************

    The buildings that surround the market place are on fire. It is not like a usual fire that can be found inside a chimney. No power in the universe can extinguish its unnatural heat. It will eat its way through the city and devour everything in its wake.

    I pray that Luçien has brought his family into safety. Their pretty yellow house is nearby.

    Mother bursts into flames. Instead of letting go of Adamah, she holds her even tighter. It does not matter to her that my sister’s soul is already long gone.

    Daná cries out in terror and Caelestris tries to calm her effortlessly.

    Father collapses and rolls down the stair case. Grandfather runs after him, his face a mask of alarm.

    “No more!” I decide and reach into the depths of my being. My memories of the Force vortex are still there. I have to catapult them into the abyss around me.

    “Power of objection,
    Magic of deflection.
    Assist me in this task be done,
    Banish this darkness with the power of the sun.”


    Slowly, I walk until I am in the middle of the staircase, being forced to stop more than once. Dead bodies and body parts are scattered around like neglected toys. I have to be careful not to stumble.

    “My ball of light
    in the dark night
    bless me till dawn
    till i can see the sun
    so mote it be”


    The light can fight the dark.

    “Grounded, thou art,
    The earth seals and binds
    Thine power to destroy.”


    I release the grace that has been given to me by the Force itself.

    “Fire scorches thine energy
    Burning away what used to be
    Thine power to remain.”


    All that is in the air falls on the ground. But there is a price to pay. Blood vessel after blood vessel bursts inside my body. Something runs out of my ears in hot streams.

    The Force storm dies in the distance.

    I cry tears of blood, not able to finish the ancient protection charm.

    ********************************************************************

    More red rivers seek their way out of me through the corners of my mouth. I do not mind. If I am to die right here and now, it will be for a good cause.

    Then I stand directly in front of the smoking pile that once has been Mother and my sister Adamah. Their bodies have molten into one another like two chunks of butter. Despite what has happened, one of them was still alive and fully conscious. Her brain patterns are most familiar to me.

    “Mama? Mama? Can you hear me?” I ask via telepathy.

    Her emerald eyes open despite her severe burns. She looks at me with love. Her thoughts, drowned in unbelievable pain, reach out for mine.

    “Grianán, go straight to the villa! Use the holonet to call Misera and tell her that code 3757 is active from now on!”

    ********************************************************************

    Adrenaline keeps me functioning. Nobody pays any attention to me. I am too small to be noticed. Dirt and blood hides my blond hair, my light skin. Under my breath I mutter a protection spell that my friend Mora taught me.

    “I am safe, I am protected.
    No harm shall befall me in any way shape or form.
    With harm to none, so mote it be.”


    The city is completely altered. All the flowers and plants are gone, along with the majority of the houses in the temple district. But against the horizon, I can see an intact skyline. Somewhere out there is the villa of Grandmother Techné, the visiphone I need to use.

    My throat hurts and I stop praying. It cannot be helped. I need to save my voice for the one call that I have to make.

    I collide with a pair of legs and look up in a daze.

    This universe is not vast enough.

    “You again!” Luçien roars. I notice that he is completely soaked in ocean water.

    I take a deep breath as timeless words echo through my aching head. Then I take the courage to say them aloud.

    “I bind you here for the harm you have done
    so you see yourself alone as one.
    I bind you here to learn your woes
    and to turn from them as the Sabbaths go.
    I bind you for the harm to come
    and to see the truth of what you have done.
    I bind with love, I bind with care.
    That you yourself see what your actions will bear.”


    “What have you done, you miserable beast? How dare you!” He seizes me by my neck and lifts me to eye level. “What evil magic is that?”

    I nod eagerly, feeling much safer now that it is done. “This spell will harm none by earth, wind, sky and sea,I add. So mote it be!”

    He drops me into the dust. At first, I fear he is going to hit me, but he just stands there, breathing hard.

    Tāchys looms over my shoulder, while her father runs off like a mad person. “Now he is totally spooked out!”

    “The lago̱nikó have gone crazy all over the city,” Phrēn says.

    “Who?”

    “The Blood Hounds.

    “Real dogs?” I inquire hopefully for I have that connection with animals.

    “No, the henchman of a certain religious society,” the dead boy explains. “You are not safe. Move it, bright eyes!”

    I turn around to face the two Force ghosts. “I lost my way. Can you help?”



    Sources:

    Liturgy texts from the Catholic mass service, slightly altered
    The pagan chant “Spirit of the wind”
    Casting Instructions for the spell 'Deflect Dark Magic' from the website “Spells of Magic.com”
    Casting Instructions for the spell 'Ball of Light' also from the website “Spells of Magic.com”
    An ancient binding spell/ love spell
    More spells from the internet
    Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki
    Jedipedia, a free German Star Wars-Encyclopaedia
    Hidden quotes from SW movies and the SW universe
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
    DarthUncle and Kahara like this.
  20. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Whew! That packed a lot of life-changing events in a few moments!!
     
    DarthUncle, AzureAngel2 and Kahara like this.
  21. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Such a powerful mix of wonder, love, mistaken pride, fear and anger, and hope, grace and sweetness.

    Great Halloween update, Ghosts, otherworldly badness and goodness, and redemption while others show their corrupt core.
     
  22. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    good and bad mixed together in an intense update
     
  23. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Yikes, that was unexpected and horrifying! :eek: I feel bad for Adamah, though it's hard to know if I should -- she seems on the surface to have little control over her fatal outburst. But then again, maybe there's something there that I should have picked up on earlier, because she sure goes for maximum carnage. Grianán's world truly seems to be crumbling before her eyes with loved ones dead or lost and nobody but Force ghosts to turn to for help. Hopefully they can steer her right, because she's in even more danger than usual.

    (On a somewhat whistling-in-the-dark sort of note, I see that Adamah decided to celebrate the Halloween season by making a bunch of ghosts! [face_skull] None of this storebought plastic stuff for her, I guess... )
     
  24. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Yes, Polysyndeton will throw its shadows on many and continue to give birth to further darkness. It creates a Force Nexus really...


    @DarthUncle: How kind of you to notice, husband mine! And to praise me!


    @earlybird-obi-wan: I learned from one of the best around here. Namelijk van jouw! [face_blush]


    @Kahara: Adamah is just a brainless tool for the dark side once she gets shoot. Dark forces, that much we have learned from Horror movies and victims from hauntings, always seek an entrance into the physical world.

    Thanks for rounding up your feedback with a fun comment. [face_rofl][face_laugh][:D]

    I was not able to update before , because my husband and I were in the mountains. We both had some hours worked on behalf of my ski club. Plus there was a game party on Saturday afternoon, starting at 5pm. I played on since 2am, while DarthUncle was already in bed around 11pm.


    Chapter 6:

    Shortly before entering the villa, I draw the Force around me like a protective cloak. Phrēn and Tāchys show me how to. I am grateful to them. It is a pity they died today; we could have been friends otherwise. But then again their father remains an obstacle. Perhaps using the binding charm was stupid. No good comes out of such spells. This is what Clementia told me recently. I am such a bad student. A bad, bad girl even.

    The front door is locked, but I am able to enter the house by using the servant entrance. They are all staring at the frozen news screen. Some of them weep openly, others rant passionately about my family and alien life forms in common.

    I sneak upstairs, leaving bloody marks behind me. It can not be helped. My life energy is leaking out of me. The Force vortex awaits me with open arms. But first I need to make that visiphone call to Draconis. My family needs saving.

    A weird noise makes me turn around automatically, with my body tense and prepared to flee.

    But it is just a cleaning robot erasing my blood. The robots were not such a bad invention, as Mother always has pretended them to be. Relieved, I continue my way with two floating ghosts next to me.

    “Cool place! Sad that Daddy never took us here, while we were still alive,” comments Phrēn.

    “Daddy has a problem with the queen,” Tāchys reminds him. “They had a bad start together.”

    This is not how I would put it, but I am too polite. Besides they are dead due to one of my older sisters. I need to be as nice as possible to make up for it.

    Establishing a holocron connection with Draconis is no problem with Tāchys helping me. “Daddy let me play in his office when he spoke to his friend Agathos,” she says. “This is why I know so much about you, Grianán. Your father loves you very much. He can talk for hours about you.”

    Compared to Luçien, the Ankoù twins know how to make me happy, even in their afterlife.

    “About the holonet, I have paid attention,” Tāchys chatters on, her face reflecting her excitement. “You activate it here and then you press there. It is the number of your father on the Holy Isle...”

    Instead of going straight to the bungalow of Father the call is luckily passed on to the fovea centralis headquarters. I believe Grandfather to be responsible for that security measure.

    The face of a young secret agent fills the entire screen. She frowns when she sees me. I assume that I look awful, like something that the cat has brought in. Well, in the truest sense of the word. “Princess Grianán?” she asks, uncertainly.

    “Code 3757, city temple, Polysýndeton, Amnion,” I blurt out.

    Before I can say anything else, Misera comes into view and pushes her minion aside. She is the Commander-in-Chief of the entire Draconian army. Although she is a haggard, wiry woman with a harsh voice, she has always been tender with me. “We will get your royal arses out of there, kiddo!” she bursts out passionately. “Stay put! How many are there down and where?”

    “Phosphoros and Adamah. At the market place.”

    “Damm it! The future queen is dead.” She massages her temples. In the background I can hear the howls of her staff. “Any injured folks?”

    Now I cry openly, remembering the burned body of Mother. “Mom,...she... the plastma fire... and dad... his heart...”

    “Shush, kiddo,” Misera tries to soothe me. Her worry is genuine as only I could cause tears in her eyes. “We will get all of you out of there. Where are you?”

    “At Gran’s,” I whimper.

    She makes a clicking sound with her tongue, disapproving my whereabouts.

    “It’s not safe to be there! Go to the Embassy of Sapuhru. Vicomte Ankoù must help you. He is your father’s friend.”

    The office door opens.

    I swirl my head around.

    “Run!” Misera cuts the connection.

    ********************************************************************

    I feel nothing alarming behind me, but I spin around nevertheless. Just concerned for Grandmother Techné and her health. She stands there, panting hard. Her walking stick trembles uncontrolled in her hands. She is less blood-smeared than I am, but covered with much more ash and debris.

    Two cleaning robots zoom in, busy to fight the stains that we both have caused.

    “Grianán, is that truly you?”

    “Yes, Granny.”

    I gather myself and sprint towards her.

    At that moment, a loud bang is to be heard. It seems as if the front door has exploded.

    Countless human presences enter the villa. They are in for murder and havoc. Each of them had scary thoughts concerning my family.

    “Hide under my tunic, Grianán!” Grandmother yelps. “They are coming! By Parhelion, they are quick! I never expected them to be that organized! Oh, Kairos, what have you done?”

    I do her bidding and dive between her legs. A light curtain of cotton falls around me.

    Orders are shouted through the villa.

    Grandmother tightens her grip on her walking stick. I hear the wood creak under her tense touch. “Stay very calm now,” she says in a low voice, which is thick with love and concern. “Do not move; make no sound. Your life depends on it!”

    The cleaning robots roll off again.

    “Mistress Aletheia?” a male voice asks.

    I am paralysed by a confusing amount of feelings. It amazes me that one single person can have such contradicting thoughts. This man before us is even worse than Luçien on a bad day.

    “You better explain yourself, Hyperion!” Grandmother bellows. “And take that silly mask off! I know it is you.”

    “Yes, Mistress Aletheia,” he mumbles and I hear some rustling.

    Grandmother is not finished yet. “I am not dead yet, am I?”

    “No, Mistress Aletheia!” The man sounds less muffled now. “Of course not.”

    “That means”, Grandmother shouts, “That this is still my house. I thought that made it clear to Kairos. I do not wish to see any of you in here while I am still alive.”

    “We just wanted to protect this property,” Hyperion says hastily. He has been afraid of Grandmother since he was a young child.

    “By breaking in to it? Thank Parhelion that your mother is not here to witness such an outrageous act! Poor Hypoxia. You always were the apple of her eye, yet you have brought her nothing but shame the past years.”

    “We will stay here until Kairos is back!” Hyperion insists. “You need protection.”

    “My eldest son is in hospital. Two of my grandchildren are dead. My daughter-in-law will not survive the night. And my favourite granddaughter Grianán is missing. You may leave now! All of you!”

    “Mistress.” The man clicks his boots together and runs off, barking orders. “One of the royal freaks has disappeared. A girl. Six years old. Blond curls. Very small and bony. Let us find the little bugger and kill her off! I want her dead before the rest of the city gets destroyed.”

    The sound of boots loses itself in the distance. All the frightening thought patterns also dissolve. I wish that I had not witnessed them. What adults can think of other living beings is horrible. I hope that none of them has a chance to come anywhere near my siblings.

    ********************************************************************

    Grandmother and I wait until we believe it to be safe. More than once, she stirs uneasily. Her artificial hips give her great pain, but she holds herself like the lady that she was.

    “You can come out now, Grianán! They are gone. Hyperion even forgot to put his mask back on.”

    I crawl out of my hiding place. On the floor, just inches away from me, lies a white piece of cloth. When I pick it up, I can see that it is a hood. It has two holes in it for the eyes.

    Involuntarily I shiver. Philiki Etaireia, the Friendly Society.

    I raise my right palm a bit and close the office doors with Telekinesis. They will not open unless I want them to.

    Grandmother looks at me thoughtful.

    “Am I really your favourite?” I ask her shyly.

    Her wrinkled arms close around me, not minding that I am dirty. “Of course you are.”

    “But I am Ophidiae,” I probe.

    “Alien genes or not, you are family. I will not give you to the lago̱nikó. The primary meaning of my religion is love, and if I am to end up in hell for loving my own granddaughter, so be it.” Before I can wonder why she has come home in the first place, she says, “Narthex asked me to come here and to make to two important calls. One to Draconis with some secret code and one to the Embassy of Sapuhru.”

    “Code 3757 is already active,” I mumble into the folds of her dress, just loud enough that she hears me.

    “Oh my!” Grandmother exclaims. “You are such a clever child.”

    “Mother told me,” I answer.

    She presses her hand against her mouth. “But how could she...”

    With my right index finger I tick against my brow, looking up to her. I also use a word that an adult like her knew. “Te-le-pa-thy.”

    “I see!” she exclaims. “It is a miracle that your mother is still alive. Éleos and Sereno guard her body. They do not allow anybody to come close to her and.... what is also left of your sister.”

    Instead of shedding tears I tell her, “Luçien visits the archbishop. Call him there!”

    Grandmother follows my suggestion without questioning it.

    During the actual call, I stay out of view. It is bad enough that Grandmother begs Luçien to come for me and bring me into safety. She can not feel his irritation the way that I do. Yet, he agrees to come, despite the death of the twins and their nanny; despite the bad state that Cousin Sionnach and her surviving son, Éibhear, are in.

    “Let us pray together,” Grandmother suggests. “The saints of Terra teach us that `prayer is a harbour in the storms of life, an anchor for those who are storm-tossed.´ We need to pray, you and I.”

    ********************************************************************

    When Luçien finally rushes into the office, he reminds me of one of the guardian angels that frame the local temple roof. He is a darker version though. There is nothing serene or beatific about him. He has lost his wings long ago and carries his stalwart scimitar at his side. Murder and blood lust lie in his eyes. He shuts the door straight into the face of the servant that has brought him upstairs.

    “Mistress Aletheia, I came as fast as I could.” Luçien bows politely to Grandmother, taking time for etiquette with her at least.

    She beams at him. “Milord, I am so glad that you came at my request. I trust nobody else with Grianán here.”

    “I am honoured to be of use, Mistress Aletheia.” Luçien gazes at me with irate and piercing eyes. “Come here, Grianán!”

    I do as requested, glad that he finally uses my name instead of calling me dreadful things.

    He drops to his knees. A waterfall of dark blue cloth gathers around him. “I will bring you straight to the hospital room where your father is. Once we arrive there, I will help your family to seek shelter at my Embassy. You all can stay there until...”

    “Nanny will be back,” I interrupt him and raise my chin.

    Luçien lifts me into his arms and wraps a large part of his cape around me. “Don’t lose hope, Mistress Aletheia!” he says to Grandmother as he turns back to her. “I will try to get matters right.”

    I wonder how he is going to achieve that miracle. Pride alone will not help him out.

    ********************************************************************

    Nobody dares to stop or to address us. Luçien is well known, feared and admired in Polysýndeton. His authority protects us like steel armour.

    In front of the hospital, another Lidérc approaches us. “Gara!” the masked man says in a language that I do not know.




    Luçien inclines his head to the man and goes on walking, but in a different direction. We are leaving the hospital grounds again.

    I stir uneasily in his arms. My distress does not escape him.

    “It seems that the hospital was not safe enough from the lago̱nikó. Sangsue was kind to point that out to me,” Luçien explains. “He risked a lot coming here in person, just to tell me.”

    My pulse hammers in the hollow of my throat. “Where the Hounds they?”

    “All over the city. They are strong in number. Many civilians might side with them. Everybody wants to wipe out your family after today. I am sorry for that. This is not what I wanted.”

    The uneasy feeling in my belly intensifies. “Éleos and Phosphoros are at the market place!” I yelp.

    He raises an eyebrow at me. “What for? Shopping for groceries? In the aftermath of a Force storm?”

    “Mammy”, I whimper. “They guard her. Such great pain.”

    He shudders. “Nobody can be alive after such a trial. Not even a powerful necromancer like her.”

    I want to give him an explanation that he can understand. He is a parent, despite the way he behaves at times. “She waits for Isa.”

    ********************************************************************

    Luçien goes straight to the city temple with me still in his arms. His heart hammers loud against my ears. So fierce, so violent.

    When we suddenly stop, I peek out from beneath his cape.

    Éleos and Phosphoros try to fight off a huge crowd by themselves.

    The archbishop of Polysýndeton comes to stand beside us. “We should free Arcānā from all her suffering, little brother,” he suggests practically. “It would be only merciful.”

    I do not like their idea of mercy. Silently, I begin crying.

    Luçien, overwhelmed by a wave of empathy, strokes one of my cheeks. “No, Parhelion! We need to get Arcānā back to her home world. She clings on to life for her little ones.”

    The archbishop thinks for a moment. Then he sighs dramatically and claps his hands together.

    Immediately, temple guards come running out of their hiding places and help my brothers to secure the burned body of Mother.

    “I won’t be long, Parhelion,” Luçien states. His gloved fingers linger on my skin. “Let me drop this one here at the Embassy and then I am with Sionnach and Éibhear again.”

    “Who is that?” asks the archbishop and tries to peak under the cape.

    “Grianán, her little favourite.” Luçien protects me from exposure, by tapping the other man on the fingers. “Just leave the girl be! She had a rough day.”

    “So has the rest of the city,” snorts the archbishop.

    “Please?” Luçien speaks casually, but I see his fingers clench and tighten on a fold of his cape. Suddenly he is very, very tense.

    “Ah, go on then! I hate crying children! They are such a nuisance.”

    Luçien wraps his arms around me even more, as if to prove that I am no nuisance to him. One of his hands cups the back of my head.

    “I will not allow you to die on me!” he states when we were out of hearing range of the archbishop.

    I shrug helplessly.

    “You better stay alive to honour the sacrifice of your mother. Do you hear me? Stay alive!”

    He is a funny person at times. I grant him that. Extremely funny.

    Something explodes inside my skull. I never had believed the night to be so bright and so hauntingly beautiful.

    ********************************************************************

    When I wake up, I am not in the company of Luçien any longer. Instead I am with Grandfather. We are lying in a bed with silk linen.

    There is a little, airy room with a lot of transparent curtains.

    The morning sun shines through the windows.

    I wear a clean nightgown and my hair is done nicely.

    My fingertips glide up and down my plait, my gift of touch unfolding.

    I kneel in front of the girl and murmur gentle words into her ears. Words that I have given my own children in times of distress. Tears leak out of my eyes, hot and silent. Underneath my breath I speak a prayer for guidance and strength. I dare to address the goddess of healing and music that my people worship, along with her mother Sodalith.

    “Calme, I come before you tonight knowing that all power is in Your hands. I know that you are the Lady and that you care for your people.

    But this little Draconian girl here is struggling with a difficult trial. I can see her strength is faltering, Lady, and know that you have all of the strength that she needs.

    I pray that you will reach down and touch her now through the Force. Let your presence fill her heart and let her feel an extra portion of your strength to help her to get through this night and tomorrow.

    She needs you now, Lady, and I thank you in advance for meeting her and sharing your energies during this difficult time.”


    With the last words gone from my lips, white light spreads from my palms. I direct it into the girl’s body.

    My gaze into the recent past makes it clear to me that Luçien has braided my hair. I find that touching somehow. He is really guilt ridden. Polysýndeton, his twins, their nanny, Mother, Adamah, Phosphorous; he has mourned them all. Still does.

    “Grianán!” Grandfather kisses my hairline. “You are awake.”

    I nod.

    “You slept through it all,” he continues.

    I am cross with myself for having missed everything. “What happened?”

    “The crisis unit got everybody off planet. Misera asked me to give you her greetings. Without you, none of this would have been possible.” He continues to stroke my hair. “You were so ill – therefore Luçien insisted on keeping you here for a while.”

    Of course he insisted. Not that he had much of a choice to keep me around.

    “How long since...?” I cannot speak about the unspeakable. Not yet. I am not sure I will be ever able to put into words what has occurred to all of us.

    “You’ve been asleep for two days.”

    I stare at the ornamented ceiling. There I can see desert roses painted in a soothing pattern. Beautiful plants that are able to survive a hostile climate, like Nanny. “Is Isa back?” I ask.

    “No, she is not, but we can wait for her to return while you heal.”

    ********************************************************************

    Soon my life settles down into a comforting routine. Parhelion makes sure that the harbour area is heavily guarded each time Grandfather and I wait for Nanny. We go to the pier every day when the sun is at its brightest to look for signs of her ship.

    To return to the Embassy for common meals with Luçien is awkward. Among us, he can allow himself to eat without a war mask. His cat eyes are either directed on his food or at Grandfather as they talk. The two of them have very long conversations. I do not mind that. This way I can listen in undisturbed and try to understand what is going on.

    Am I to stay on Amnion? Or am I allowed to return home to Draconis, even though Mórag wants me badly in her service?

    During the next two nights, Luçien always comes to my bedside in order to send me straight into a healing trance. Even though he does not talk to me when he does so, he is not aware that I know everything that goes on inside him. He is torn between concern and loathing. But this is not about me. He hates himself, what has become of him. Yet he will not change his unhealthy ways.

    I am not sure how to help Luçien out. He has to sort out the chaos in his head by himself. Just as Mother had to on the temple steps before rushing over to Adamah.



    Sources:
    A quote from Saint John Chrysostom (347- 407) from the website “The Catholic Storeroom”
    An altered Catholic prayer
    Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki
    Jedipedia, a free German Star Wars-Encyclopaedia
    Hidden quotes from SW movies and the SW universe
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
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  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Brave actions from Grianan and her Grandmother. Fascinating and complicated interactions with Lucien, of whom Grianan has some very deep insights. :cool:
     
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