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Tristan Xenatos

Events of the Past

Lightning lit the sky in the dark of the night; rain fell against the clear pane of the large window in the main sitting room. The young man stood on the front porch the light from the interior of the building casting harsh shadows on the elegant suit he wore.


His scarlet tie tugged at his neck as the wind caught it while the man behind him spoke. “Let her go Tristan, it was her decision.”


He turned another bolt of lightning casting a deep contrast on his face. “And she deserves to die for her decision?” As he spoke another man appeared in the doorway, his statue and bearing speaking to a man of great confidence and power. “You have made your decision then?”


A sober nod was his only reply. The older man considered him for a moment, “Very well,” from inside the door he produced a long coat. “Elaa be with you.”


Tristan took the coat as his uncle again spoke, “Brother this is madness!.” Trimor said to the older man beside him. Viktor claming looked to his brother,” It is his decision,” and with that Viktor disappeared into the house and Tristan dismounted the porch, pulling the long trench coat around him. Trimor shook his head as he closed the door, “Foolish children…”




The wind tore at his face as Tristan made his way threw the wooded area along the coast, the rain soaking everything around him. Not three hours ago he had been standing in the large ballroom of his father’s home with a tall flute in his hand and a slight grin on his face.


It was the day after the elections and Viktor Xenatos had once again been elected to the council of six as a lead member. The party had been an enormous affair; anyone who was anyone on the island nation of Corineth was there.


It was a night of celebration and happiness and Tristan was being as cheerful as he ever was. Until, that is, he saw Laria slink down the stairs and open the front door. He ran after his sister, catching her on the front porch. “Go back to your party; your snobbery and your egos!” she had yelled before diving off into the countryside.


Laria had never been a fan of her father’s political career, but she had never went this far. It was true that it was a childish act on her part; but Laria was only 14. This was the argument that had issued between Tristan and his uncle Trimor. An argument that ensued for the next two and a half hours climaxing in Tristan announcing he was going after his sister. “It was her decision, boy!” his uncle had yelled across the library. “She is only a child!” Tristan argued back his face turned into an anger he did not often show. How? How could her own uncle turn his back on her for one childish mistake?


“Her age cannot make excuses for her behavior,” Trimor continued to argue, “I always knew that girl would be trouble this family.”


Tristan looked at his father, sitting in his large chair in the corner of the library. Viktor had his chin in his hands, thinking. “Father…”


Viktor did not reply; he sat there as if made of the same marble as the columns in the impressive library. Tristan’s eyes cut back to his uncle, holding his gaze for a moment. Then he suddenly made for the door and did not stop until he had reached the front porch.


Now, a half hour later, Tristan ran through the woods soaked to the bone looking for his sister. He knew her decision had been foolish, and that her decision had put her in danger needlessly. But he also knew she did not deserve to die for that one mistake, which was precisely what would happen to her if she was left outside through the night.


As he ran he felt an odd weight at his side. He felt into the inner layer of the coat and his fingers found metal, the cold surface nicking his skin. Startled by the cut Tristan tripped over a raised root. Feeling himself begin to fall Tristan rolled into the tumble attempting to roll out of the fall. As he rolled he felt the ground give from under him and he began to slide down a steep embankment.


He hit the bottom hard, the wind knocked out of him and the trench coat flying open. As he looked up he saw the blade flying through the air sticking in the ground. His eyes focusing he relaxed what it was. It was the ceremonial katana his father had been presented with from the Danteri ambassador a few years back. It was an ornate blade with a precious metal inlayed hilt, contoured to the hand of the owner. It was a beautiful piece of weaponry, but one should not be fooled by its beauty; it was sharp enough to cut though the hide of a Litarian desert beast like the hull of an Elasian sea clipper through water. Viktor must have put the blade in the coat.


Tristan felt around inside the coat and found the sheath for the weapon, it must have come loose while he was running. It was useless to try and wrap the coat back around himself, his clothes were now soaked all the way through. He stood, his body sore from the fall, and moved towards the katana. Picking it up, the hilt felt large in his hand; it had been crafted for his father’s large hands.


As he went to sheath the blade he heard a noise from his left. Turning he saw a pair of blue-green eyes rushing from the brush. Instinct took hold of his muscles; years of blade training with his personal instructor flashing back to him at once. He spun, the sharp edge of the short sword finding flesh. The sheath hit the mud as the animal landed hard behind Tristan. Purplish blood ran of the edge of the blade as the rain washed it clean.


Tristan stared at the blade, his eyes then moving to the beast behind him. It was a Chakara; four-legged creatures about the size of a large colt, but far fatter. They inhabited the woods of Elasia on most of the islands in this area. Their fangs were said to be sharp enough to rip a limb…or a head off a man in an instant. Tristan had often wondered if that was merely an exaggerated rumor or if there was any truth to it. But now, standing looking at one only a few meters away he had no desire to test the theory.


As this thought crossed his mind Tristan heard a scream. He grabbed the sheath as he ran past it and ran head first into the woods. He ran threw the trees and brush, the sticks and briars tearing at his flesh until, finally, he could see her.


Laria was standing, her back to the tree, about ten meters away. Three Chakaras paced around her, staring up at her with their cold eyes. Tristan moved, instinct kicking in once again; adrenaline filled his veins. As he moved the trench coat flew from his back, landing on a fallen tree. One of the Chakaras snapped towards Laria. Tristan swung…one down. He turned and his suit coat found the ground, the blade flicked up to lick the snout of another Chakara. The beasts pulled back, eyeing the newcomer warily.


The animals startle soon wore off, however, and one lunged at Tristan and his sister, who was now cowering behind him. The blade sliced the air again, but a millisecond to late. It made contact with the attacker, but not before the animal grabbed the tie around Tristan’s neck in its mouth. The two fell hard together, the Chakara rolling over and kicking away. Tristan imitated the animal, rolling over, but before he could right himself to his feet the other Chakara was on top of him. Tristan pulled the blade up to protect his face and the animal bit it. Pulling hard the animal began to bleed from the mouth. It released the blade and dodged off to the side startled by the injury.


As Tristan stood the initial attacker returned. This time, however, Tristan moved quickly enough, slicing the beast clean at the neck. He spun the blade jutting it behind him. It found its target, the animal impaled itself on the blade.


Tristan pulled the blade out and turned to his sister, the rain washed the blade clean again as he spoke. “Are you ok?”


Laria seemed unable to speak, her head moved up and down to answer his question. He gently lifted her up and the two walked to the fallen tree where the trench coat was resting. Tristan draped the coat over his sister shoulders, sheathing the blade and sliding it into the deep inner pocket.




Nynia rushed out of the front door as Tristan walked up the front steps, his sister in his arms. His mother stopped at one of the columns her hand resting against it looking at her daughter in her son’s arms. Two servants rushed forward to take Laria from him and Tristan placed his sister gently into their care.


Trimor stepped into the doorway and looked at his nephew. Nynia followed the servants inside to watch over her daughter, leaving the two men to stare at each other. Tristan stood, his hair stuck wetly to his face, his clothes dripping, and his skin cut and bruised from the ordeal. He looked past his uncle to see that the party was still going on inside, yet it seemed his father was nowhere to be seen, Trimor had a glass in his hand, the liquid inside half gone. Tristan considered him for a moment, then walked past him into the house.


* * *


Lightning danced across the sky on the foreign world. The rain was torrential and the sky black. Tristan stared as the security officer moved away, growing smaller. He found himself relieved as the man moved away; their conversation had brought up old ghosts.


Tristan’s eyes danced back in front of him, to the bleak surroundings he found himself in. He knew that Ja’i was out there somewhere, and he knew that the boy had made a foolish decision. He could not shake from his mind, however, the fact that this being was only a child; a young man scared and afraid. As these thoughts trickled through his mind the words of the past rose in his mind; only with slightly altered pronouns.


And he deserves to die for his decisions?

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