Star Wars Threads of Destiny Chapter 3|
On the peaceful planet of Coreign, Queen Erin sat on a wooden bench located next to a wonderful flowing fountain. The fountain was carved out of the most beautiful marble into the shape of a little boy. Water soothingly poured out of the boy’s mouth and collected around his feet, where it would get sucked back inside and pour out again. The Queen gazed into the water collecting at the feet of the statue, staring at her reflection and lost deep in thought.
Princess Arianna, dressed in a gorgeous flowing red dress, walked over to her mother and sat next to her. They sat in silence for a few minutes, listening to the birds chirp and water trickle.
Queen Erin looked at daughter as if only just noticing her there for the first time and smiled. “You look beautiful today.”
The Princess blushed, her cheeks turning redder then a cherry. “You say that everyday, mother.”
“That’s because you look beautiful everyday.” Queen Erin was more proud of her daughter then she could ever voice. She was beautiful, strong-willed, smart, and pleasant. Queen Erin sometimes wished that her daughter would be able to lead a more exciting life, but at the same time knew that her life would be a safe one as-is.
Princess Arianna continued to blush and stared into the water of the fountain. Silence once again followed until her mother noticed her distant gaze. “What’s wrong, sweetie?”
Arianna looked back up at her. “Sometimes I just wish there was something more to my life. Everything about my future is already decided for me. I’m to be Queen of Coreign. I’m to marry a handsome young man from one of the noble Houses. It isn’t that I don’t like this life; I do. It’s just that, well…”
“You want to be something beyond what you were given.” Queen Erin finished for her. A sad smile formed across her face as she sighed, knowing full well how Arianna was feeling. “I know how you feel. To be honest with you, I never wanted to marry your father. I had it set in my mind that I would fall deeply in love with a man, he would fall deeply in love with me, and then we would wed, regardless of what my parents wanted.”
Arianna stared at her mother, shocked. “You’re parents forced you to marry?” She couldn’t imagine how she would feel if her mother and father forced her to marry someone.
“Not exactly. They gave me as long as I wanted to make the decision, and your father courted me for nearly a year in the meantime,” Queen Erin remembered back to the day she made her life-changing decision. “In the end, I realized that I had never given him a proper chance.”
“So you married him after that?”
“Yes. And I found that he was everything I had been looking for, though it was nothing like what I imagined it would be.” Queen Erin sighed again as she stared Arianna in the eyes. “Sometimes, Arianna, we grow to love the roles we are forced into in life. Everything may be given to you, but it is what you do with what you are given that truly matters.”
Arianna smiled at her mother, knowing she was right. Her mother seemed to always knew what to say to make her feel better.
All of a sudden Arianna was filled with a deep dark feeling of dread that expanded quickly from the deepest pit of her stomach to all over her porcelain body. It came over her so quickly; it made her sick to her stomach.
Her mother sensed something was not right. “What’s wrong?” She asked as a worried expression filled her facial features.
Arianna doubled-over, trying her best not to vomit. “That Skenvi Ambassador has returned,” she said weakly.
“Why does he bother you so?” Queen Erin was concerned for her daughter. She knew that Arianna was connected to something much bigger then either of them could understand, and such sudden strong feelings she felt could be dangerous for her daughter.
Arianna breathed in slowly, and then exhaled. The exchange of fresh air made her feel slightly better and she sat up straighter. “Whenever he’s around, I get this bad feeling…a darkness covers my heart. It feels like he is watching me, even when he is in another room.” Arianna looked at the ground, then back up at her mother. “It frightens me.”
Queen Erin chuckled, trying her best to brighten the mood and not show her concern to her daughter. “I’m afraid this won’t be the first unsavory character you’ll be forced to deal with. As Queen, it will be your responsibility to deal with such people, whether you like them or not.”
A guard approached, interrupting any further conversation, and stood at attention. The Guard’s shining golden badge had the name ‘Turvo’ stenciled across it. “The Ambassador from the Skenvi Empire is here to see you again, M’lady.”
The Queen nodded her head and turned to face her daughter. “How about you handle the matter, dear?” Arianna was shocked. Such an important matter, and her mother was intrusting her with it? Arianna felt nervous and began fidgeting. Her mother noticed, but continued. “You can get practice negotiating with people that you dislike.” She laid a hand on her daughter’s, calming her. “It’ll be alright,” she added, her voice filled with the deepest soothing love.
Arianna, energized by her mother's warmth, nodded and stood, turning to face the guard. “I will see him in the Main Hall.”
Turvo bowed and marched away.
The Ambassador of the Skenvi Empire, Lord Siege, stood alone in the Main Hall, admiring the extensive artwork on the walls. He liked to think he had a good taste in art; though he did not recognize any of these pieces. They seemed to chronicle the history of Coreign, so it was quite possible that they were done either by a local or someone in the royal family tree.
The sudden sound of footsteps on the marble floor caused Lord Siege to turn around and see the Princess Arianna walk into the room. Much to Arianna’s surprise, Lord Siege was quite handsome. She was expecting his physical appearance to resemble that of his personality. She knew now however, that his personality was as evil as his appearance was handsome.
“Hello Ambassador, I am Princess Arianna Ad’Lah. You requested an audience?”
Lord Siege’s eyes darted around the room, expecting Arianna’s parents to walk in at any moment, however they did not. “With the King and Queen, child. Are they otherwise occupied, or does my rank and status earn me nothing more than calculated insults?” He asked angrily. He already had little patience for the royalty of Coreign as it was, without the added torture of having to deal with a little brat.
“They are busy attending to other equally-important matters and sent me in their place. I assure you Ambassador, I have much experience with negotiating,” Arianna lied.
Lord Siege looked her over and stared at her. As angry as he was with the parents, he realized that she was younger and no doubt far more stupid. Where he failed with her parents, he may just succeed with her.
Arianna was certain that he could tell she was lying. She breathed a slight sigh of relief when he finally said, “Very well then, onto matters. I trust that your family has made a decision concerning my proposal.” It was not a question, but a statement.
“My parents will be meeting with Jedi Knights from the New Republic today to discuss Coreign joining the Republic, and if we go ahead with that then we will not be permitted to have relations with the Skenvi Empire.”
Lord Siege smiled, glad that he would be able to get such an early start at downgrading the Republic. “Ah, the many freedoms of the New Republic. I see that sovereignty, however, isn’t one of them. What kind of dictatorship is the New Republic, to force you to sever ties with us?” Arianna had nothing to say back to that. Well she had plenty, but nothing that was appropriate for her to say and that wouldn’t anger the man in front of her. Lord Siege went on, “My Empire on the other hand, encourages all profitable trade relationships, so long as our systems put Skenvi interests first.”
Arianna decided she needed to say something and she didn’t care if it angered the Ambassador. “The New Republic has our best interests at heart,” she said sternly. “While as far as I can tell, the Skenvi Empire is only interested in our allubium.”
“You malign us, m’lady,” Lord Siege continued, his voice sounding concerned. Of course Arianna knew better then to fall for his trickery. “We fear for the health of your economy. The New Republic is small, a mere shadow of what it once was, and simply cannot provide you with the market you require. The Empire can, but if you join the Republic and are forced to embargo us, the consequences for your people will be…” Lord Siege paused to smile evilly. “…disastrous.”
Arianna felt slightly frightened. Something about the way Lord Siege said the last sentence gave her goosebumps. She proceeded with caution. “But there are other systems we could then sell to, other…” Arianna trailed off as she realized Lord Siege stopped listening to her. She picked up on that when he turned away in mid-sentence and walked back towards the paintings hanging on the walls.
“Fascinating, isn’t it?”
Arianna was confused. She had no idea what Lord Siege was talking about. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you’re…”
Lord Siege immediately cut her off. Arianna was taken aback by his rude and quick interruption. “No, perhaps you wouldn’t. Allow me to explain.” Arianna opened her mouth to object, but Lord Siege had already continued on. “This is a painting of a battle from your revolution, three centuries ago. A rebellion fought by your people and led by your ancestors, to free Coreign from a line of brutal war-mongering dictators.”
“I know,” Arianna said through gritted teeth, trying her best not to loose her temper. How her parents did it so well, she could only guess. “I have studied my own history.”
“To study something is not to understand it.” Lord Siege turned and took a step towards the Princess. Much to her distaste, he raised a hand and lightly rubbed her chin as he stared down into her young face. “Perhaps that is why you fear us so, why you cannot conceive of a martial nation being anything but evil. All this time, and you still don’t understand who you are as a people.”
Lord Siege smiled coyly, but with a hint of arrogance as he continued. Arianna tried to look down, but he raised her chin so she was forced to look back up and lock eyes with him. “But of course, I have faith that your family will make the wise choice. After all, the King and Queen do have the best interests of the people at heart, and with that in mind, the proper choice is quite clear.”
He let his hand fall away from Arianna’s chin and walked past her, out of the room. He did not bother to give her the courtesy of a farewell bow as was custom to do.
Arianna was left dazed, as if hypnotized. When she finally realized that Lord Siege had left, she shook herself out of it. She turned and stared after Lord Siege as he walked away, disappearing from view as the doors closed behind him.
I have a bad feeling about this.
The StarStream flew through deep space, racing through hyperspace toward its destination. On board, Raven stood in the cramped Passenger Compartment, attempting to practice his lightsaber techniques. A small round droid floated around, shooting harmless lasers at him while he tried his best to deflect the shots with his lightsaber. However, due to the extremely limited space, he often found himself shaving off small portions of the wall and other objects in the room with his bright green lightsaber.
Raven knew that he could perform better if given more space, but also knew that he needed to be prepared to fight in any kind of situation and location - at least that’s what Soran would say if Raven felt the need to complain.
Soran sat on the bench, watching intently as Raven deflected three consecutive blasts. “Your skills in the art of the saber seem to be advancing nicely.”
Raven deflected another blast before the little droid zoomed around behind him and fired again. Raven ducked, the blast sailing over his head and dissipating harmlessly as it touched the wall. Raven whipped around and instantly deflected another blast.
Karus’ voice came over the Intercom system, causing Raven to stop. The droid however, did not and shot Raven in the back. Raven jumped slightly at the small shock. “We are coming up on Coreign. We’ll be leaving hyperspace in a few seconds.”
Soran stood up and turned the droid off. He held it in his hands and gently put it away in a box. The ship rumbled and jolted the two Jedi around as it slowed down and dropped out of hyperspace. Raven bounced off the walls and rammed hard into the table, falling onto it. Soran braced himself in a corner and had no problems.
The jolting stopped and Raven returned to his feet, still a bit wobbly. He looked out the window at the approaching tiny planet. He decided that there was not enough time for more studies before they landed, so he had the time to talk to his master about some things that were troubling him. “Master, now that I am done my studies, I wish to discuss something with you. I had a dream earlier. It was clear, vivid, not like my other dreams…I was in the middle of this big…”
Soran cut him off, already suspecting what it was that his padawan witnessed. “A vision?”
“Maybe. I don’t know for sure.”
“A Jedi should always be mindful of his dreams, Raven, especially when they seem out of the ordinary. Consider what you saw and meditate on it when you get the opportunity. We will discuss it more when we are settled in on Coreign.”
The StarStream entered Coreign’s atmosphere and soared down through the puffy white clouds. Soon enough it broke through and approached the large city below.
In the cockpit, as Karus piloted the ship closer to the city, he punched a few buttons and sent out a transmission. “Coreign Air Traffic Control, this is the light freighter StarStream, requesting landing permission. I am here at the request of your royalty.”
After a few seconds of static, a voice returned to Karus. “This is Coreign Air Traffic Control. Permission granted, StarStream. Enjoy your stay.” Coordinates started filling Karus’ database screen and he plotted the best flight path to them.
The StarStream roared over the city, approaching a Docking Bay at the far end. As the ship passed overhead of the many buildings and cityfolk bustling below, Raven glanced out the window and gasped. “It’s…It’s…” He was too shocked to form the words. It was impossible! Yet there it was! He swallowed and tried again. “It’s the city from my dream!”
Soran walked over and glanced out the window next to Raven. “Interesting.” He continued to look for a few more seconds before turning away from the window and sitting down on the bench again, remaining silent, yet deep in thought.
Raven continued to stare out the window, amazed but also confused. He wished that Master Soran would say something to him on the matter - anything at all - but it was clear that he wouldn’t.
The StarStream slowed down and came in for a smooth landing in the Docking Bay. Brown leather vested Coreign Royal Guards stood at attention around the area, heavy blaster rifles in their hands, resting straight up against their shoulders.
Before exiting the ship, Karus stepped in front of the two Jedi, blocking their path. “I have to make a run into town to pick up some spare parts. I hope that’s ok.”
“That’ll be fine,” Soran smiled. “I doubt we’ll be back anytime soon.” Karus nodded his head and the trio walked off the ship. Karus went his own way as Soran and Raven approached the guards.
“I am Captain Turvo of the Royal Guard,” one of them announced as he bowed. “We are to escort you to the Palace, Master Jedi.”
“Is all this security necessary?” Soran asked, eyeing the guns. “We were under the impression that Coreign was a peaceful planet.”
“We are,” Turvo explained. “We are just a customary Honor Guard. It’s a tradition.” He was of course lying. The King had sent them, not as an honor guard but as protection. That slippery Skenvi Ambassador was still around some place and the King didn't trust him to not try something sneaky if he found out that the Republic's Jedi had arrived, and as a safety precaution sent Turvo with a few guards. He was given strict orders however, to not let the Jedi think anything was wrong or out of the ordinary, as the King wanted everything to go as smoothly as possible.
Soren easily sensed that all was not right and that the lead guard was on-edge, but decided against pursuing the matter further. After all, he was not there to interrogate anyone. “Very well,” Soran replied. “Lead the way.”
The guards formed a small protective circle around the two Jedi and as one group, they all marched out of the Docking Bay.
12/20/2010 7:04:20 PM
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