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PostPosted: Thu May 12, '11, 7:24 pm
It was over. Too many lives had been lost and there was no way Lune was ever going to regain the upper hand in the ongoing battle against the Orakians. He had been defeated, plain and simple. There was nothing left for him but to pull his troops out of the Orakian lands and return home to Dahlia.

Tensions were high on the purple moon. Azura, the sister satellite on the opposite side of the Alisa III, had been blown out of the sky by a strange, powerful beam, and the residents of Dahlia were terrified of facing a similar fate. The destruction of the blue moon combined with the hordes of vicious monsters that had appeared led Lune to believe that something was very, very wrong with the worldship, but he was powerless to do anything about it.

He could have made a heartfelt, inspiring speech to those who were left, those who had remained loyal to him and faithful to his crusade to the very end, but it wasn't his way. Before dismissing them, he sincerely thanked his soldiers and granted them permission to continue residing on the satellite if they so desired. While several chose to stay in the place that had become their home, many chose to leave for the Layan towns on the Alisa III, still clearly shaken by the annihilation of Azura.

As the last of the shuttles prepared for takeoff, Lune retired to his chambers. He hadn't been able to reflect on his losses for very long when he heard the door violently open behind him, loudly crashing into the adjacent wall. He turned around, half-expecting to see Alair, but was greeted by the angry countenance of his daughter.

Nearly an adult at age seventeen, Kara confidently strode into her father's room to address him. Her pin-straight, lime-green hair now fell far past her shoulders, framing her severe cheekbones that formed a stark contrast to her delicate mouth. She was dressed in the masculine clothes of a soldier, having eschewed the traditional dress of Layan women long ago. As she approached him, her unforgiving black eyes stared at him with the dark fury that he imagined had been so evident in his own face for so much of the past two decades.

“So this is it?” she flippantly asked. “You're just giving up?”

“I do not wish to discuss this with you, Kara. Please leave.”

“Well, I wish to discuss it with you, so I guess you'll just have to listen.” She refused to back down from him, no longer afraid of any potential consequences. “For my entire life, you have done nothing but fight the Orakians and I was willing to accept that maybe you were correct, maybe you were fighting for this great cause that let me think that your treatment of me was somehow acceptable. But you've been beating your head against a wall for nearly twenty years and now you have nothing to show for it?”

Lune felt the heat of his residual anger rising to his cheeks. “Get out. Now.”

She shook her head. “You have accomplished nothing. You've wasted your entire life because you've been consumed by your irrational hatred. You've wasted my entire life because you couldn't see past your own selfish, petty desires.” In that moment, he found himself looking into the dark, Orakian eyes of her mother, but this time, there was no fear; only utter contempt and defiance. “You are a sad, pathetic excuse for a man and I despise you,” she spat.

Before he knew what he was doing, he felt his closed fist fly up and come into contact with the side of Kara's face. She was momentarily stunned, but her own rage quickly took over and her right knee slammed into his groin. He doubled over in pain and struggled to catch his breath as he tried to recover from the shock of his daughter's insolence. “You little...” he gasped.

Kara remained thoroughly unmoved by his anguish. “I am through listening to you, old man. I'll be leaving for the Alisa III in the morning, you won't have to worry about me getting in the way of your useless little war games ever again.” She easily ducked his next attack as he lunged at her and she took a step backwards. A ball of bright orange fire appeared at her fingertips and she launched it down at the ground near his feet, scorching the pale brown stone. “Next time, I won't miss,” she warned.

The aging warrior started preparing a technique of his own, but was distracted by another figure appearing in the doorway. “What the hell is going on in here?” the newcomer screamed.

“Stay out of this, Alair!” Lune yelled back.

Alair looked back and forth between father and daughter, unsure of which one was the guiltier party. “I should just leave and let you two kill each other!” she cried as tears started forming in her eyes. “I can't be your mediator any more, I just can't. I'm tired of being the calm one, the rational one, the only sane one on this damned satellite.” Neither of them responded, just resumed silently fuming at each other. “I came to tell you that we have some visitors from the Alisa III and they've requested an audience with you, Lune. Once you are done with them, I am done with you. I just don't have it in me anymore to deal with your shortcomings.” With one last forlorn look, she turned around and left the room.

He followed her out and heard Kara's footsteps not far behind. The three of them arrived in the central room of the palace; the ornate columns and glass floors made this area the most elegant place on the entire satellite and allowed visitors to partake in a breathtaking view of the glimmering stars. Once he had situated himself at the head of the room, he instructed the guards to show in his guests.

Lune initially thought that he was hallucinating when he first laid eyes upon the beautiful blonde goddess who appeared before him, but he eventually realized that she was not his long-lost leader, but her younger sister. Laya's sibling was accompanied by three others: the last descendant of Orakio, and two combat cyborgs. Previously, Lune would have been incensed by an Orakian daring to set foot in his home, but he knew that nothing would come from fighting the young prince. There would be no more battles for the former general, no more orders given in his voice, no more blood on his hands.

Though they were sure that three of the four visitors knew exactly who they were, Lune and Alair briefly explained their history for the benefit of the prince. Alair begged for forgiveness and he nodded, claiming that they were not there to provoke an altercation. The leaders on the Alisa III, both Orakian and Layan alike, were equally perplexed by recent events and this group had set out to discover the truth. Side by side, the last descendants of Orakio and Laya themselves asked the former general for any assistance he could offer.

Before he could answer, Kara stepped in front of him. “Father's too weak to fight. I must do it!” she declared. She turned around to glare at him, anticipating a challenge, but none came. Wanting to avoid a scene similar to the one that had played out only moments earlier, Lune chose not to interrupt. “Father, lend me your slicer!” she demanded with her palm outstretched.

He wordlessly handed over the sharp blade that had brought death to so many over the past millennium. She took it from him and joined the group; before they could leave, one of the guards reminded them that there were extra parts for one of the cyborgs in the underground dungeon. After expressing his gratitude, the prince led the way to one of the room's exits.

Lune watched them walk away from him. “Kara?” he tentatively called.

She spun around to face him. “What?”

He thought of what he wanted to say, as there was so much that should have been said, but he kept his parting remarks simple. “Be careful.”

Her expression remained unchanged. “You haven't given a damn about me for my whole life. Don't start now.”

She followed the others out of the room without looking back. Watching her leave for what could possibly be the last time, he finally began to see what he had given up over the past years. Though his body had been awakened from his long sleep years ago, his soul had been imprisoned by his anger and hate and he had been unable to focus on anything else. As he had passed his legendary weapon over to her, he had realized that in her hands, it could be used to bring about peace for the people he had longed to destroy, that his sole child could begin to right his wrongs. Though it was likely too late to salvage their relationship, he felt the tiniest shred of hope that his entire life hadn't been a waste after all.
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