Let The Festivities Begin
By Biku

"Rayden! Wait up!" Raimei called, running down the corridor. His older brother was waiting by the edge of the hallway, where it opened into the Main Hall.

"Shh," Rayden whispered, waving at Rai to make him be quiet. His brother crouched beside him.

"What are you doing?" he asked, very quietly. Rayden pointed. Their mother, Suyuan, Goddess of Winds, was chatting with Naturalis, God of Nature. It was a minor festival, and so most dieties had shown up expecting to mingle and not do much else; but Suyuan had been spending most of her time with the scatterbrained deity and had been ignoring her sons completely.

Rai frowned. Then scowled. "I don't see what the big deal is."

Rayden sighed, and rolled his eyes. "She was supposed to take us to visit Roma and Graecis, and she couldn't 'cause she was helping Naturalis with one of his experiments."

"Uh huh," Rai prompted. "And..."

"And she's still talking with him? Isn't she bored yet?"

Rai thought about this for a moment. "Yeah, Naturalis is pretty boring."

"No kidding!" Rayden exclaimed. "Something's not right here."

Rai blinked. He looked towards his mother, who was now resting her hand on Naturalis's arm and laughing at one of his inane remarks. He turned back to his brother. Then he looked back, as if he wasn't sure.

"I told you," Rayden said, smugly, in a sing-song.

"Told him what?" boomed a voice from behind them. Both boys leapt straight into the air and whirled around to find their father looking down at them, arms crossed, and with a sour expression on his face.

"Nothing," Rayden blurted. "Nothing at all!"

Thunder glared. Suddenly, from behind him, Arnold peeped out.

"You!" Rai exclaimed, pointing.

Arnie grinned, completely safe behind the figure of his uncle.

"Arnold here informed me you two were up to something," Thunder rumbled.

Both boys glared at their cousin.

"You snitched on us!" Rayden yelped, horrified and furious.

"If you weren't up to something, there wouldn't be anything to snitch about," Thunder retorted, grabbing his eldest son by the collar and hauling him to his feet. "What were you up to?"

"Nothing!" Rayden insisted, squirming. Thunder dropped him and he stumbled backwards, rubbing his neck where the hem of his robes had chafed him.

The diety turned to face his younger son. "Rai?"

Rai turned pale white.

"We weren't doing anything!" Rayden insisted.

Thunder ignored him. "Rai?"

Rai looked to Rayden, and then up at his father. Suddenly an idea seemed to come to him and he pointed.

Thunder, frowning, followed his son's gesture and his gaze rested on his wife and her companion. His expression soured even more, if such a thing was physically possible; he suddenly teleported away, out of the Hall.

Rayden and Rai both sighed. "That was smart," Rayden congratulated. "he'll have forgotten about us completely by now."

Rai shrugged, just happy to be out of the line of fire. With a start, both boys remembered Arnie, who, by now, was starting to back-pedal in horror, his protection gone. Rai jumped to his feet and both Thunder boys took off after their cousin, who squealed and ran.

"I lost him!" Rayden whined, pausing to catch his breath, as he bumped back into his brother.

Rai scowled and kicked out at the wall. "He found his mother."

Rayden swore under his breath. His brother looked up at him, grinning. Rayden smiled back, slyly.

"If Mom catches you--"

"She won't," Rayden replied, confidently.

"Hey, catch you at what?" asked someone, coming around the corner. "Hi guys!"

"Hey, Kerlan," Rayden replied, waving. His friend smiled, and crept forward.

"What are you guys up to?" Kerlan asked, sotto voce.

"Nothing," Rai snapped. He didn't like the older boy; he thought he was stuck-up.

"We're trying to catch Arnie," Rayden explained. "He's such a rat. He told Thunder on us, and we weren't even doing anything."

Kerlan commiserated. "He told on Celebria when she was trying to sneak some nectar from the Bar while Uncle Voco wasn't looking."

"He's such a weasel," Rayden agreed, smacking his fist into his palm. "We should get him, for good."

"I've got an idea!" Kerlan exclaimed, pulling his friend over to whisper in his ear. Rayden snickered.

"That's pretty good," he agreed. "Rai--"

"I'm going to go find Roma and Graecis," Raimei announced, walking off, ignoring his brother.

Rayden scratched his head. "I would have thought he'd've loved to get back at Arnie."

"Your brother's weird," Kerlan agreed.

"No weirder than your sister."

Kerlan paused, and then he shrugged. "That's true. C'mon, let's go."

Arnie, future God of Lamps, held tightly to his mother's hand, and looked over his shoulder. Deities surrounded him, towering over him, like a wall.

"Is something the matter, Arnie?" Luminous, God of Brightness, crouched down beside his son.

Theresa, Numinae, sighed, and looked to her husband. "He's been like this for ages."

"Is it Rai?" Luminous asked, concerned. "Have they been picking on you again?"

Arnie paused, then nodded. He knew he deserved it this time, but he didn't need to tell his father that. Luminous sighed, and shook his head, getting to his feet.

"I think I'll have a talk to Thunder about this," he said to his wife. "I know Suyuan tried to rein them in, but obviously she couldn't."

Theresa frowned, and glanced down at her son, and squeezed his hand. She started to say something, then stopped. "I'll talk to you later about it, dear. But for now, just enjoy the party."

Luminous grumbled, but accepted that he didn't know the entire story, and wandered off to get a drink.

Arnie, having listened to the whole conversation, sighed with relief. If Luminous talked to Thunder, no doubt Arnie's role in the whole problem would be revealed.

Suddenly he spotted a flash of white in the crowd. There were only three deities who could wear all white. That was Thunder, Rayden and Raimei. Or possibly Sturm, but the older God of Thunder didn't go out much.

Arnie pressed closer to his mother. True, there were several dieties that could wear white-trimmed robes, or a white outer robe or some other combination, but the boy had a sinking feeling none of them were by him right now.

"Hello, Aunt Theresa!" exclaimed a voice, brightly.

"Oh, hello, Rayden," Theresa replied. "How are you enjoying the festival?"

"It's okay, I guess," he said, with a shrug, being careful not to make eye contact with Arnie.

"Hello, Lady Theresa!" said Kerlan, emerging from the crowd, dragging Rai and Rai's friend Roma behind him. He was closely followed by Graecis, Roma's older brother.

"Oh my," Theresa gasped, pleasently. "Are all you children having fun?"

"Lots," Kerlan agreed, quickly. He gave Rai a jerk and Rai nodded vigourously.

"Uh huh." Theresa was starting to become suspicious. "Is there something I can do for you?"

"I'll explain that part," exclaimed another voice. Celebria, Kerlan's fourteen-year-old sister emerged from the crowd. She scowled, her hands on her hips. "There you guys are."

"Celebria," Theresa awknowledged. "You're looking lovely."

The young goddess patted her hair apprecitively. "Thank you." Then she grabbed Kerlan by the shoulder and shook him fiercely. "I was supposed to be mingling in the crowd, with everyone else, but Mother volunteered me to..." her nose scrunched up "babysit."


"Yeah, I have to round up all these little brats--uh, kids-- and look after them. Appearently Rayden and Rai have been making trouble," Celebria explained.

"Hey!" the two brothers exclaimed loudly, drawing looks from dieties around the crowd.

"And you want to take Arnie, too," Theresa surmised.

"If you want to keep him here, with you, all evening, that's fine too," Celebria said quickly, and politely. "But I was told to ask."

Theresa smiled, and tried to pull Arnie out from behind her. While he scuttled like mad to remain hidden, he wouldn't release his death grip on her hand and so he was reluctantly dragged to the front. "Here you go, dear. Celebria will take care of you."

Arnie paled considerably. His mother, misunderstanding, sighed, and gestured to Celebria to come closer.

"He's been having a problem with Rayden and Rai," Theresa explained, quietly. "Do you think you could keep him with you, all night?"

"Definitely," Celebria replied sweetly. "I would love to have Arnie all to myself."

Arnie whimpered, and decided to make a dash for it, but Rayden and Kerlan blocked his way. Theresa transferred his hand to Celebria's.

"Go and have fun with Celebria," she said cheerfully. "Don't worry about a thing."

"Yeah, Arnie," Celebria echoed, squeezing tight, "don't worry about a thing."

Rayden and Kerlan were made to do an about-face, heading back through the crowds, leading Rai and Roma, followed by Graecis, Celebria and Arnie, who was dragged between the two.

As they reached the corridor, the giggles became too hard to hold in, and almost all the children burst into laughter, with the exception of Celebria, Rai and Graecis.

"You are too smart, Kerlan," Roma snickered, turning on Arnie with a savage gleam in her eye.

He started to cry, something which did not endear him to the crowd.

"Uh uh," Celebria warned her, tugging Arnie away. "We can't hurt him."

"We can't?!" all the children burst out.

"If we do, we'll get in even more trouble," Graecis explained. A swarthy eleven-year-old, he was the next oldest after Celebria, and just as concerned with appearences.

"We have to do something," Rayden replied. "We can't just drag him around with us, all night."

"I know," Celebria snapped. She started down the corridor. "I've got it all figured out."

"Leave me alone!" Arnie worked up the confidence to squeal, trying to pull away from her. She whirled on him.

"You got me in more trouble with Uncle Voco and my parents than I have ever been," she hissed at him. "There was no reason for you to rat on me, either."

"You're not supposed to take nectar, only grown-ups," Arnie whimpered, knowing that it wasn't a very good excuse.

"I am a grown-up, or at least I will be. I would've had my Ceremony sooner, too, until Mother decided to push it back, thanks to you." She shook him fiercely, and started again down the corridor.

"Cel?" Kerlan called, cautiously. "What are you going to do? Cel?"

"I am getting him out of the way, I have too much to do without worrying about the rat, here." Celebria reached a door, and swung it open. It revealed a spare room, that was used for private conversations. She shoved Arnie in and slammed the door shut. Then she leaned to the handle and whispered a few words.

The children stared at her in awe. "You know spells?" Rai whispered, his eyes wide. "You're not supposed to know spells yet!"

She tossed a withering glare over her shoulder and tested the handle. It was firmly locked. "There," she said, dusting off her hands. "Now I can get back to the party."

"What if Theresa sees you?" Rayden asked.

The goddess stopped in her tracks. "Aw, hell."

"Celebria!" Roma burst out giggling. Rai smacked her shoulder, and she shoved him back.

"Stop it, you two," Graecis snapped. He looked to Celebria with admiration in his eyes. "You've got that worked out too, right?"

"Sure," she replied, straightening her dress. "Sure. I just have to make sure that Theresa doesn't see me."

"Celebria?" came a small voice from beyond the door. "Hello?"

The goddess held a finger to her lips.

"Hello? Can somebody let me out?" the voice warbled again. "It's really dark in here!" This was accompanied by a slight squeal of terror.

Rayden squirmed. "Maybe this is a little too much--"

Celebria rolled her eyes and started off down the corridor. Graecis was quick on her heels. Rai and Roma ran off on their own.

Rayden and Kerlan remained behind, looking at each other. "He is a rat," Rayden said, quietly. "But--"

"Yeah, maybe this is a little too harsh," Kerlan agreed. He knocked on the door. "Arnie?"

"Hello?" came the small voice, whimpering. "Kerlan?"

"Uh huh. Look, I'm going to let you out," Kerlan said. "But you can't let Celebria see you and you can't, repeat, can't tell anybody about what happened. Swear on the Creator."

There was a long pause. "I swear on the Creator that I won't tell anybody," came the reply, softly.

Kerlan fiddled with the lock. "It's the spell," he whispered. "I don't think I can break it, and Cel's the only one who can reverse it."

"Maybe I can get through," Rayden said, pushing him over. He took a deep breath, and grabbed a hold of the handle. Celebria's spell was relatively weak; any adult could have broken it in a second. She was counting on Arnie's lack of abilities to hold him in. She wasn't counting on Rayden, however.

There was a snap and a crackle as Rayden's powers popped into existence. Kerlan's eyes widened and he hopped backwards, out of the range of the sparks. There was a slight pop and a hiss, and the handle clicked.

The door opened, and Arnie tumbled out. He blinked for a moment in the sudden light, and then took off towards the Hall.

"I have a feeling we're going to regret this," Kerlan observed, watching the younger diety flee.

"On the other hand, I got to break open the door!" Rayden exclaimed, poking the lock gently. It was fairly hot.

"Yeah, that was pretty cool," Kerlan admitted. "I didn't know you could use your powers yet."

"I've been practising," Rayden told him, proudly. "Come on, let's get out of here before anybody finds out."

The two boys took off down the corridor.

They crept to the edge of the hallway, and peeped around the wall.

"What happened to Celebria?" Rayden asked, confused.

Kerlan sighed. "Ever since Mother said that she could have her Ceremony, Cel's been acting... like, an adult, or something."

"She used to be cool," Rayden admitted. "You know, for a girl."

Celebria was talking with Turan, God of Assassins, and doing her best to flirt up a storm. Turan was chatting with her politely, and was as hard to read as ever. But the fact that he had not simply walked off meant that she must have been entertaining in some fashion.

"This is gross," Kerlan said, ducking out of view. "They're going to start kissing, I know it."

Rayden made a face. "Not out here."

"Cel would."

"That's true." He pulled back as well. "I wonder where Rai got to."

"He's probably doing something with Roma," Kerlan mused. "Probably trying to figure out how to set something on fire."

"I hope not," Rayden replied. "I'd hate to miss that."

"Hey!" Kerlan was peeping around the corner again, and suddenly he grabbed his friend's arm and pulled him over. "Check this out--Cel's going to get it!"

Celebria, very nervous, was trying to come off as adult and sophisticated. She was obviously succeeding in some sense, as the blue-haired god had not left her in search of a better conversationalist.

Suddenly Turan's attention was diverted from his companion to someone over her shoulder. She turned, curious, and then horrified.

"Mother!" she blurted.

Paene, Goddess of Truth, was a tall, dark and thoroughly intimidating woman, something she was very proud of and worked hard to cultivate. She was nearly Turan's height--an incredible feat--and she towered over her daughter. "Celebria," she said, her smooth voice very calm but leaving no doubt that her daughter was in big trouble, "Can I talk to you for a minute?"

Turan nonchalantly finished his drink, and then left, without so much as a good-bye or anything else, for that matter.

Paene took her daughter by the arm and pulled her away from the crowd, a futile gesture as nearly everyone in the room was watching, by now. They ended up only a few feet from Kerlan and Rayden, who crouched down out of sight and tried very hard to suppress their giggles.

"What in the seven hells did you think you were doing?" Paene snapped, her voice low.

Celebria didn't reply immediately; she was too humiliated.

"Turan! Turan, for Creator's sake. One the one hand, he's not even remotely compatible--Assassin and Truth do not go hand in hand--and secondly, he's a horrible person to be around."

"No he's not," Celebria protested feebly. "He was kinda funny, in a serious way."

"I don't care. There are two--okay, three kinds of people that are off-limits, Celebria: married dieties, mortals, and Turan. Got that?" Celebria nodded. Her mother harumphed, and straightened up. "Now, I want you to behave yourself. Find someone nice and sensible. Ariel's still unattached; he's looking for someone. That's the sort of person you flirt with, all right?"

"I wasn't flirting," Celebria protested again. "I was mingling."

There was a long pause.

"It's a good thing you're going to be the Goddess of Truth, because you're a terrible liar, Cel. I'll come find you when it's time to go. And if you see your brother, remind him that he was supposed to talk to Voco." Paene turned on her heel and stomped off, leaving Celebria behind.

Rayden turned to say something (in a whisper) to Kerlan, when Celebria ran past them. She was so upset that she didn't even see the two boys crouched in the hallway.

They sat in silence for a moment.

"Your mother can be really mean," Rayden said, at last.

"Yeah, well, Cel is being a jerk," Kerlan replied.

Rayden's eyebrows furrowed. "How?"

"She just is. Shoot, I completely forgot all about Uncle Voco." Kerlan got to his feet. "I guess I'll have to go do that now. I'll see you in a bit, 'kay?"

Rayden nodded, and his friend dashed off, into the crowd. After a moment, he got up, stretched, and headed down the corridor after Celebria.

He found her in one of the spare rooms. It wasn't hard to figure out which one; the door was ajar and he could hear her crying. The minute he realised that's what the muffled noise was, he was tempted just to leave. He wasn't very good when girls cried. If Arnie cried, Rai would just punch him and then he'd shut up. But it didn't work that way with girls.

Sometimes Rayden came upon his mother crying; all he had to do then was sit still and let him hug her. It usually made her feel better.

While his brain was busy deciding whether it was better for him to bolt or not, he pushed the door open all the way and poked his head in. "Celebria?" he asked.

The muffled sobs stopped immediately, and Celebria ducked behind one of the chairs. "Go away!" she commanded, at the same time as she was trying to pretend she wasn't there.

He was certainly tempted to. But the same feeling that had brought him into the room kept his feet rooted. "Is something the matter?" he asked, uselessly.

"No," she replied, sniffling, coming out from behind the chair. She leaned against the wall. From the light falling in from the hall, Rayden could see her tear-streaked face, which she rubbed on the hem of her light-blue robe.

He came and sat next to her. "Your mom get you upset?" he asked, trying to make it sound as though he was guessing, and not, in fact, listening from around the corner.

She nodded, still sniffling. "I thought it would be easy, after my Ceremony. I mean, I'd get to go to the Bar, and I'd get to drink and have my own Realm and everything, but everything has just gotten harder. There's so many rules."

"Yeah, rules are stupid," he commiserated.

"I wish I was just like you again. You don't have to worry about getting betrothed, or, or making up your own Realm, or anything. You're just a little kid." She looked like she was going to cry again, so Rayden scooted over and offered his shoulder. She accepted, and leaned on him heavily.

"I can't wait until I get my own Realm," he said, after the silence stretched on too long. "I know exactly how I'm going to make it, too, and Rai's going to help me."

"Yeah?" she asked.

He nodded. "He's going to do the animals and the mortals and stuff. I don't care about mortals. I just want to make trees and rivers and mountains. That'll be so much fun. I can't wait."

"It sounds like fun," she admitted. Then she started to giggle. "Do you still play on the rope, by the river? That was fun."

He giggled too. "Yeah. All the time. We--" he started to laugh. "We tried to get Arnie to play with us the other day, but he did it all wrong and climbed all the way to the other side!"

She laughed at that. "I miss that."

"You can still come and play with us," he offered. "It was fun when you and Kerlan came over."

She sighed. "I'm too big."

"I won't tell any one," he informed her. She giggled again.

"Maybe I will then," she said, slyly. She leaned back up, and wiped her eyes again. "Thanks, Rayden."

"For what?" he asked, confused.

"Just for being you." Suddenly, she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek, then got to her feet. "I think I'm going to go enjoy myself at the festival. If I want to have fun, I'm going to!" She jogged out of the room.

Rayden stayed behind, confused. He rubbed his cheek and made a face. Girls. One minute they're like normal people and the next minute--shaking his head, he got to his feet and headed out, making sure to close the door behind him.

Rai snickered, and poked Roma in the ribs. She glared at him, and shoved him backwards.

"Stop it," she grumbled. They were underneath on of the refreshment tables, and she had pulled up one edge of the table cloth and was looking out through the crack.

"We should do something," he whispered.

"Like what?"

"I don't know--we should tip the table over!"

"No way!" she exclaimed, under her breath. "Then we'd miss all the sneakiness. We should do something else."

They were silent as they both watched the dieties mingling and talking. Kenubi, God of Communication, strolled up to the table, along with his wife, Paene.

"You might have been a little harsh, dear," he said, taking a sip of his drink. "She's going through a rough period."

Paene rolled her eyes. "That doesn't mean she can throw herself at any diety who comes along."

"Still--" Kenubi began, but Paene silenced him with a single glance.

"Let's get her," Rai said, in a low whisper. "She shouldn't have yelled at Cel."

"Yeah," Roma agreed. She reached into her robes and pulled out a small stone. "Brought this from Imperiatum," she said to him, referring to her family's Realm. "Watch this."

Paene was standing a few inches or so away from the table while she refilled her drink. As she stretched to reach something, her feet lifted up out of her sandles for a split second. During that brief opportunity, Roma managed to flick the stone into the goddess' sandles.

Paene leaned back on her heels and suddenly whooped in surprise and pain. She leapt up, shaking her feet.

Roma and Rai giggled furiously, suppressing the noise with their hands.

"By the Creator!" she yelped, finally managing to dislodge the stone from her shoe. "Where the hell did that come from?" They giggled harder once she began to swear.

"Maybe you just picked it up--" Kenubi began.

"Oh, I hardly think so!" she snapped, irritated. "Where did it go?"

There was a crowd gathering now, wanting to know what the fuss was. Kenubi spotted the stone, lying by a corner of the table and bent down to pick it up. As he did, he saw the raised hem of the table cloth. "What's this?" he wondered, pulling it up.

Rai and Roma stopped, horrified, as Kenubi pulled the cloth up, showing them to the entire gathered assembly.

"Well, dear, I seem to have found the source of the probelm," Kenubi said, bemused, the corners of his blue eyes crinkling. His wife was not amused. In the slightest.

"Rai, Roma, get out here right now!" she ordered.

The children exchange glances. It was extremely unlikely that the tall goddess would be able to reach under the table without getting on her hands and knees; something they knew she wouldn't do. They stayed put.

"Out!" she barked, growing flushed.

"No need to get upset, dear," Kenubi cautioned, reaching in and dragging Roma out by the scruff of her collar. He wasn't worried about getting down on his knees. "Here's the first one."

"Roma!" Meso, Goddess of Civilization, pushed her way through the crowd to the front, horrified. "What were you doing? Is that your brother under there?"

"No, I think this is Raimei," Kenubi corrected, as she smacked Roma soundly and led her off towards her father, Tigris, Numinae.

"That would be mine," Suyuan said, wearily. "I'm so sorry about this, Paene."

Paene huffed, but appearently all was forgiven.

"Rai, get out from under there right this instant!" Suyuan commanded. He responded by scuffling farther in, away from Kenubi's grasp. "Rai, don't make me get your father!"

"He's gone!" Rai yelled, stubbornly. "He left."

Suyuan paused, mentally checking this. "Dammit," she swore, realising it was true. She got back on track. "Come out!"



"You can't make me!"

She clenched her fists and started counting, out loud, to ten. At nine Rai's head poked out. He was obviously frightened of his mother's wrath, but having come this far, he was reluctant to give in now.

When she stopped, appearently believing he was coming out, he ducked back in. Kenubi lunged and grabbed him and hauled him out into the open. He shrieked and grabbed a hold of the table cloth, effectively pulling the entire contents of the refreshment table onto the floor, as well as spraying it onto several of the nearer guests.

Suyuan got hit by punch.

When Rai was finally extradited from the table cloth, and presented to his mother, he was shown to a furious, dripping, barely sensible diety whose colouring almost perfectly matched the reddish stains on her robes.

"RAI!" The yell managed to halt every single conversation in the Hall in its tracks. It caused the heads of every diety present to whip around. And it caused Thunder to teleport in, in a dazed shock, convinced his wife was about to keel over. Which wasn't far from the truth.

Rai tried to shrink down as far as was physically possible, before his father stepped in and saved him from certain doom. "Suyuan," Thunder said, taking her by the shoulder, "come here, I'll help you clean up."

"I'll do that," Paene said, stepped forward. "You deal with your son."

Thunder turned to glare at the boy. "I will."

"Good. Because if you don't, I will."

"I said I will, Lady Paene," Thunder repeated, his tone darkening. Even the Goddess of Truth was not willing to push him any farther. He grabbed his son by the collar--the standard hand-hold for young dieties--and teleported away. Paene and Meso led a shaking and still furious Suyuan away from ground zero.

Rayden, at the corner of the crowd, having seen the entire spectacle, turned to Kerlan.

"Is it okay if I stay over at your Manor for the night?" he asked, unnerved.

"I was just going to ask you the same thing," Kerlan gulped. "Mother's going to be mad."

"Not as mad as my mom," Rayden corrected.

"You've got a point there," Kerlan admitted. "Maybe we can stay over at Uncle Voco's for the night."

Graecis took that moment to show up, sipping a watered-down cup of nectar. "Hey, what happened?" he exclaimed, as the crowd was dispersing.

"You missed the best thing," Kerlan laughed. "Rai stuck a stone down my mother's shoes!"

Rayden started hopping up and down, in a ten-year-old impression of the Lady Paene trying to dislodge the pebble. The boys all laughed, Graecis very loudly on account of the nectar, watered-down though it was.

"I love festivals," he said, amused. "You see the best stuff."

"I can't go to Festival," Rayden said, sadly, referring to the main Festival, the Festival of the Creator, something which all dieties were expected to attend, and did so, with great gusto. "Mom said I couldn't 'cause of what I did to Arnie. Rai can't go either."

"That's stupid," Kerlan commiserated. "Arnie's such a rat."

"Yeah," Rayden agreed. "He's a big rat."

Graecis started to shake. He wanted to laugh but couldn't since his mouth was full of liquid and that only made it worse.

"Boys!" someone called, suddenly.

"Dad!" Kerlan awknowledged, as Kenubi strolled over.

"I think it's time we got going home," the god said, rubbing his son's head playfully. "I was thinking, maybe you want to go stay with Uncle Voco tonight."

Kerlan and Rayden exchanged grins.

Kenubi looked around him, then leaned in conspiritorially. "Maybe we can convince Uncle Voco to let Rayden stay over too."

The End