Every New Beginning
Chapter 2 -- Back to the Places You Will Be From
I Watch Hope Come Over Me -- Michael

By Dora Furlong Based on RP with Mark Cogan

   The quarters he was given in the Palace were spacious compared to
his room at the house. He looked around at the old hangings adorning
the walls, faded from the ages. Most of them held no meaning for him,
but one he recognized, one from the old Empire. He set down his
things and went to the door, just as he suspected, locked.

    He scanned the room, looking for listening devices and
recorders.  He was not disappointed and soon discovered most of them,
then discovered a few more. Satisfied he began to unpack his
belongings.  He knew there would be others around. That was to be
expected in circumstances such as this. But why make it easy for

     The door opened and Michael started, turning round quickly, his
icy blue eyes impaling the droid as it entered with a meal in hand.
He watched as the machine set it down, then left the room. Slowly he
went over to it, studying the tray, he exhaled slowly, and picked it
up. Old habits in unknown places. Gingerly he tasted the food,
unpoisoned and undrugged. He ate and he waited.

     Later that evening he set up his practice systems. Shade and
Eric both disliked live blaster fire areas other than the workout
rooms. So Janin had helped him create a practice target and blaster,
that would not activate house alarms. He tried it here, satisfied
that no Red Guards came running. So he spent his time, working out
with blaster, knives, and hand to hand.

     After he had been there for the better part of 2 Days Michael
had been secluded. The door opened again, instead of the droid
bringing him food, A red guard entered. "Michael Cairnfell. You will
come with us."

     Michael rose swiftly from his crouch, smoothly placing his
dagger back in his boot. His emotions flared as he walked into the
center of his 'escort'. Four of them in all, two in front and two
behind. His thoughts turned to Darana, it reminded him to much of

     He swore to himself that it didn't matter if Darana's death was
ordered, if Deveron, Janin, or Sidra were in danger because of her,
he would kill her. His thoughts were interrupted as his lanky stride
was hampered by the guards shortened 20" steps.

     The door to the Emperor's private audience chamber was opened by
the two red guards on duty. Michael entered cautiously, taking in the
expanse of the mostly empty room. His eyes landed on the Emperor,
seated upon the dais, he began to cross the room, only to be
surprised by the Emperor rising and meeting him part way.

     Michael bowed respectfully, surprise replacing the anger towards

     "I have been watching you.  You show great potential.  Too bad
your adoptive mother did not encourage you more."

     A slight raise of an eyebrow, was all the Emperor was all the
Emperor was rewarded with. So he continued, "I can sense your anger.
I can feel your hatred for her."

     "It is no secret she and I disagree." He stated blandly. He knew
these games Force Users liked to play. He had watched Darana do it
enough times not only to him, but others as well.

     "Disagree?  She held you down, repressed your potential, and
treated you worse than any animal.  Disagree is hardly the word I'd

     Michaels eyes snapped, betraying him. "Then you will understand
when I kill her...if she is still alive that is."

     "What makes you think she isn't?"

     He regarded the Emperor coolly, "Nothing." He paused,
uncertainly, Not wanting to explain why he was certain she lived,
"Forgive my bluntness, but what is it you want of me?"

     "You will get your time to settle your score with her later,
perhaps. But for now, I want you to be properly trained.  I see great
potential in you.  I will see to it that it is brought out."

     He shifted his weight, feeling mildly insulted. That was always
Darana's excuse and reasoning...great potential, brought out. Briefly
Michael wondered if this man was truly reading his feelings how he
could not see the source. Then he realized the feelings were not met
with the memories. How could the Emperor know.

     "But you will need to put your feelings for the rest of the
Household aside for now. You are good, but I need you to be better."

     "I am a mercenary." Michael replied, holding his ground,"I had
not intended to remain in the empire." The thing was done now to see
if this man would try to claim him as Darana did.

     "If that is your wish, but I can make it worth your while to
stay."  The Emperor paused, reaching his his mind out to the young
assassin's, sensing the boys thoughts were of killing "Yes, your
anger is very strong.  You would have made an excellent
Stormtrooper.  Pity you wish to go back to your Mercenary lifestyle."

     Anger flared inside of Michael, he had no desire to be turned
into such an automaton of the Empire.

     "I ask that you take a couple of days to reconsider.  Stay here
at the palace as my guest.  You will be allowed some freedom to move
about during that time."

	The Emperor's smooth words and eloquence hit at Michael's
senses all the more. He looked directly at the Emperor, catching his
eyes with his own,  "Consider becoming a storm trooper for you? That
is what you consider just compensation?"

     "You seek where the killing is. As a leader in my army, I would
assure you will find plenty of action."

     A sneer almost touched his otherwise passive features, "I need
no time to know that I do not wish to join your army." The academy
was bad enough.

     "Then perhaps you will reconsider after spending a few days in
an Imperial Prison cell.  GUARDS !!!"

     Almost immediately 6 Red Guards, weapons drawn, entered...2 from
the door Michael entered...and 2 from each side of the room. With
practiced ease Michael activated his own personal shield, and
withdrew his own weapons. A feral smile on his lips, and a glint in
the ice blue of his eyes.

     Two guards went down immediately, allowing the third, now
wounded one, to disable his shield, and the other three to
efficiently move in, knocking Michael into the realm of blackness.

     Hours later, he awoke, chained up in what he knew was one of the
deeper cells. He laughed internally at the realization he was Force
Damped. 'Overkill'. He thought to himself, his limited telepathy had
never been much use outside of those few in the house. He glanced
down, everything was gone, only his pants protected him from the cell
wall.  Vaguely he recalled hearing the destruction of his weapons
ordered. He groaned inwardly at the loss of his favorite weapon. Yes,
if he got out of this alive, he was determined he would kill her.

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