The Honored Dead

It was evening, and Barab's surface was peaceful compared to the undercity Reon had just left behind.

She had run into a few friends from the BMG while on the streets, and at their request had joined them for dinner at one of the cantinas. She turned more than a few heads upon entering with an entourage of Barabels, dressed down as she was in simple but elegant attire from home, squeezing into the booth between them all. Sometimes it wasn't so bad being small.

The company was much needed after her depressing mood swing, and the liqour was graciously accepted. She knew she could be safe among the Barabels, that she could trust them undoubtably, so she let herself go and tried to have a good time. She listened to a few of her companions relate fighting matches back at the guild, and asked after the tribe she had met on her first visit, and how the lot of them were doing in regards to practicing with their explosive 'chewing gum'.

Aside from that she kept to herself, excusing herself after dinner.

"You going topside?" one of them asked as she slipped out of the booth, causing her to pause for a momment.

"Yes," she said, catching a few interested looks from the black scaled beings.

"Not many go topside, but you" one of them nods in her direction, a drink in his hand. "You go topside every time you visit here. Alone."

Feeling at odds, Reon slowly sat back down on the edge of the booth and stared at her companions. "You go topside as well when you hunt. I remeber from my first visit here."

"Yes, but you go without weapon, and not to hunt."

"I go to visit…" Reon falters, choking back a sob. "I go to visit a friend topside."

Silence at the table as the Barabels give one another a knowing look. Finally one turns to Reon and sets his big hand on her shoulder lightly. "You go to visit lost one, yes?"

Reon merely nodded, fearful that she might sob if she spoke.

"Is good to honor the lost ones…help them not be lost. You honor their spirit, keep it fresh, but sometimes not so good, eh?" One of them begins to say, pausing to take a drink and eye Reon. "Sometimes like wound, you pick and it hurt. Sometimes pick too much and it get bad. Not good. Sometimes like tribal mark, is good no go away, never forget, but let it heal and no hurt after while. You honor lost one and is good…but too much hurt too long time is bad."

Reon finishes her own drink slowly, allowing the Barabel's words to sink in. As she sits in silence, the Barabel lifts up part of his shirt to reveal a twisting mark across his side and onto his back. "Much pain, hurt long time. Now, not hurt, but remember what means, now others know too when they see. I help little one with no scales not hurt. You bare scar here" he said, pointing at her heart. "Deep ouch, but you i show how Barabels take hurt."

They had accompanied her above ground, let her lead them to the memmorial marker. She stared down at the weathered ground, a small sad smile creeping to her lips as she spied the marks left by herself and the Jawa since the last time she had been here. Recalling that converstaion, she cast her gazed up to the stars.

She misses the look of surprise shared among the Brabels as she stares out at the sky. "You come here…visit this lost one? Very brave Barabel, very honorable much like many who become lost."

"I used to look for him in the stars. Where I come from, that is what we believe, but I could never find him." She says softly, hugging her arms to her sides as though she were standing in the middle of a deep freeze.

"Sometimes," begins the Barabel with the mark, stepping up close behind her and slowly turning her to face him. A peaceful and knowing look in his eyes. "Sometimes, when the lost still need to protect they stay somewhere closer….stay here, and always here" he says, pointing to her heart and her head.

"You pick at this hurt too much and it get bad. Leave it…lost one like he" motioning at the memorial marker "definatly leave big scar, not easy cover" and at this he seems almost pleased. His companions siss in agreement. "But big scar big big hurt for little no scales."

Reon nodds.

"No pick…time heal. Me you trust, have big scar on side from long ago. Know how to not hurt. Now, you leave scar alone…and for time, you leave lost one too. He go in time to the stars, but ever little no scales have scar…big scar here" he says again pointing at her heart.

Stepping away, Reon stands over the memorial marker and inhales. She thinks about what her companion has just said, and what she knows to be true. Exhaling, she reaches up and pulls a white and pink lily out from behind her ear and lets it drop onto the ground. The flower was one of her favorite from among the gardens, having the most traits in common to the flora on her own planet. She stares at it for a momment, knowing that come morning it will wither and die in the radiation from the sun.

She focuses on that one thought, on the flower and it's demise. "Good by, T'Thock…"

Turning, she sees that her friends have become deadly serious, merely nodding at her, knowing.

"Thank you," she says to her lone companion as he walks her back to the complex.

"Know big hurt…maybe someday you choose to wear the mark, maybe not. No matter" he says, pulling himself up to his full height as he pauses outside her door. "Always, you have it on you little no scales. Mark is mark no matter if one can see…"

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