The rain trickled down softly against the glass window sill. Rian imagined his bigger droplet racing a smaller one and held his breath in anticipation, hoping his would win. His father was at the other end of the small room, looking quite distressed, but Rian kept his focus on the droplets, not at all deterred that his had fallen slightly behind.

Suddenly, Rian's teacher, Kien, came in and quickly handed Ordon a slip of paper with a somber look. "109?" Ordon gasped, his eyes were glued to the paper, then to his son, his amazingly smart and talented son. Before Ordon could go over and hug his son like he so desperately wanted, Kien interjected, "I'm so sorry" he said, not seeming to reflect Ordon's amazement. "Sorry about what? I was worried he was going to flunk it or worse! Guess he never paid attention because he was bored huh? That's my boy-" Kien's demeanor changed in an instant as he once again cut Ordon off.

"You don't understand! Rian's only six trine, not even a full grown gelfling could get past a 70 on this test, 100 has never been reached in any of the clans! Do you have any idea what that means?" Ordon stumbled back, no one has ever taken that kind of attitude with the great Ordon hero of Stonewood, at a loss for words he grimaced and bit his tongue "It means he's exceptional obviously, what could be so bad about that?" Kien glanced down at the paper then back at Ordon, "Let me reiterate, I mean no offense but this has not happened, ever, the GEC (gelfling education calculator) is the most accurate test in Thra, some gelfing spend their lives dedicated to it and the highest they could get was a 70. Do you honestly think the Vapran would want an exceptional childling with such vast knowledge to stay in Stonewood? I know it's not what you want to hear, but have you considered moving to Har'ar? It may be better for him and even if not the elders may take him as keeping him here could create conflict with the Vapran clan... you might not have a choice.." Ordon stared daggers at Kien,

"No... I'm sorry, YOU don't understand who you're talking to, let me reiterate that is MY son I don't care what some stupid test says about him, I am the hero of Stonewood and Captain of the Crystal guard and for that matter friends with maudra Fara herself, so if you think some uptight, stuck-up, rich idiots are going to keep me from my son, you're dead wrong."

Ordon briskly walked over to his son and lovingly scooped him up "C'mon buddy, it's time to go" Rian looked back at his dad, confused and upset, "Aww dad I was watching the rain drop" Ordon put the back of his hand to Rian's face and kissed his head, being much more affectionate than usual, "I'm sure you were, we need to go home though, dinners probably almost ready let's go." Ordon took one last look at the paper in his hand and tried to crumble it up while heading for the door.

Kien watched them both in disbelief and horror as he knew exactly what was about to transpire. Before Ordon could leave, the doors to the small waiting room loudly sung open, revealing Maudra Fara soaking wet, with her facial features implying pure agony. She brought her attention to the little boy in Ordon's arms, "The Skeksis have decreed that Rian of Stonewood, son of Shoni and Ordon, is to be transferred to Har'ar so he may live with the all Maudra taking effective immediately. Ordon I'm truly sorry but no one can go against the lords...I promised I tried everything I could for him, but this is what it is."

Ordon practically leapt backward, gripping Rian tighter than he ever had, Ordon's mind tried desperately to find any escape from the situation at hand. How could they? I protected them...gave them my life and this is how I'm thanked? He means more than anything to me they can't just take him away!

Ordon's eyes began to blur as he held his son up against his strong chest and gazed down at the being he loved more than anything in Thra. He knew what had to be done, and that not even he was strong enough to do it. With this knowledge swiftly dawning on him, Ordon slumped down to the floor, now full on sobbing and stroking Rian's thick hair. "Will...will they take care of him?" Ordon weakly asked. Fara responded confidently, "You have my word, though as this is to take effect immediately you only have ten minutes to say goodbye, unfortunately it must only be you and not his mother as time is of the essence. Again, I apologize I could not do more." Fara sunk her head low and gestured for Kien to join her outside and give them their last goodbyes in private.

Kien obliged and followed her outside, shutting the thick brown wood doors behind them. In a shushed but harsh voice, Kien bombarded his Maudra, not caring about the consequences, "You told me you had it covered this morning! You said and I quote 'don't worry, Kien. He's Ordon's son, Kien. Ordon knows the general. He wouldn't let that happen, Kien. Stop worrying let me handle everything.' This is why I never get outside help for my students, look at them! I hope you feel terrible! LOOK WHAT YOU DID!" Fara responded in acknowledgment as well as condescendence, "You're a school teacher! Tell me exactly what you could've accomplished that I didn't already try! The lords of the crystal personally came when word got out, there is no reversing this decision!" They argued outside for a bit, meanwhile, Ordon was struggling mentally as well as physically to get the words out so he could tell his son what had to happen,

"Rian," he began softly as his he held him close, "You are an exceptional gelfling and you make me so proud. I love you more than Thra itself and I'd give anything to make you happy and see you smile...and to see you succeed. Sometimes in life you go through changes to evolve, it's normal but I want you to know that whatever happens next and wherever you go, your father will always love and cherish you, even if he can't be with you." Ordon's voice grew shakier with every word. Rian couldn't take it anymore so he piped up, "She's taking me away, isn't she? Is that what you want for me? To go away? If you love me, why does it have to be like this..."

Rian buried his head in his father's chest and began to bawl his eyes out. Ordon didn't think it was possible, but the strong warrior began to cry harder, despite himself. "No, Rian. I don't want it to happen. Baby I'm so sorry. I love you so much but this...this will help you I promise. You'll cure some fatal illness or be the best anything you want to be. Shhhh be still. We can just sit here till they comeback, okay?" Ordon cradled Rian in his arms, trying to give him every bit of affection he could possibly have. After a while Fara came back in the room, distraught, and attempting to hide her rage. "We must be off" She finally said.

Ordon picked his son up and set him on the floor, kneeling at eye level to the small helpless gelfling. He placed his hands on both sides of Rian's face and planted two long kisses on his head "Rian I love you." Was all he could muster. Rian stared at the floor and took an action that would haunt the young gelfling for the rest of his days. He said nothing and went over to Maudra Fara, taking her hand firmly, then glancing over to his father. Bitterly, Rian calmly said through tears, "I hope serving the Lords was worth it to you, guess you love me more than anything in Thra, except of course your job and your precious Lords, right?" With that, Fara sternly led him to a royal carriage outside, leaving the wounded Ordon all alone, trying to make sense of losing his world.