Beyond Businessman, Superhero, Father: The Bothan Chronicles (OCs)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Jedi Gunny, Apr 11, 2013.

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  1. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 8
    What in my past work would give you that idea, @jcgoble3 ? [face_whistling]

    And here are your updates for the day. This is the deleted scene, also known as "The Old Man from Scene 24". :p Not. Adding @Trieste


    Two Weeks Later

    This was the day.

    This was the day that she was getting married. Again.

    Me’lin stood in the back room of the main ceremonial hall at the palace, decked out in a fine white wedding gown that was perfectly suited for her body. The dress itself was superb in every aspect; it was super-soft to the touch, yet had the firmness and texture that made it so comfortable to wear. The lace that adorned it was also satin white in color, and curled around nicely in a fancy pattern. She didn’t know what the pattern symbolized, but it was obviously something important, so she didn’t bother to ask.

    It had been two years since she had last been in this position. Two years prior, she and Gark had gotten married back on Coruscant, back when she thought he was the right man for her. And she had believed that up until recently. He had been at fault for ignoring her, for making her feel unwanted, for everything she had tried to now escape from. The only thing that resonated with her now was Galin; yes, Gark had given her a son to look after, but she was now, at least for the present moment, a single mother, walking into a new relationship that would hopefully last for eternity. Allo Daraza was a good man; he had taken her under his wing when she needed someone to hold onto, and then she had been there two weeks earlier when he had needed the same support after his wife had died. They seemed like a perfect fit for each other, even more perfect than Gark had been when she had once loved him. The Bothan had been good, and he had been rich . . . but was that a criteria point? She had never been interested in marrying into wealth; her marriage to Gark was not over money, or fame, or power. It had been a mistaken decision based on what she thought at the time was love. But now it had just been a hollow dream, something that she had been steered along with in the wrong fashion and now forced to push behind her as she aimed to move forward.

    One of the workers at the palace, not really called a “servant” because they were technically salaried positions, came in. “It’s showtime,” he said.

    Me’lin just swallowed. She was really going to go through with this. It was what she wanted, to find a man who really cared for her. But it felt odd, in a way, to be wed under these circumstances. This is where Gark hadn’t been able to match it; he had just been a businessman, a friend. Allo, despite also being a businessman and a friend, was royalty. Even though it was the last thing on her mind on a day where she hoped to find true happiness with Allo, Me’lin knew that she was walking into a new situation, one where she would garner much respect as a royal family member-to-be. Gark hadn’t been able to give her the respect she craved from him, and that had cost him in the long run. Allo could promise her that respect, so she saw nothing wrong with going forward on this. She would, by the end of the day, have everything she could ever want and more.

    The Twi’lek could then feel a hand on her shoulder, and she looked into the old, tired eyes of the king. The old man was still smiling, though, so she smiled back. “Allo found a beautiful woman in you,” he remarked.

    “Thank you,” Me’lin replied.

    “You remind me of my wife,” the man said. “When I married her, we were much younger, so the energy was there. But she was also a radiant beauty like I could never have dreamed of. And I know I made the right decision, even though it wasn’t exactly my call to make. But Allo has been given this chance, and despite my weariness and old age, I know he made the right decision as I did many years ago. You will do this kingdom proud one day.”

    “Thank you,” Me’lin then said. The king took her hand and held it in his own. Me’lin felt a little odd touching his old wrinkled skin, but she knew that his hand carried with it a lot of pull in the kingdom that was in place here on Trimfi.

    “And now to meet your destiny,” the king said. “Come.”

    The music began to play in the main hall, and both of them went forward through the doors to the back room and then into the hall. The place was crawling with people, most of them nobles and businessmen, but also some commoners who had somehow been able to get into the palace to see the wedding take place. This was big news on the planet, because it had been several years since the last royal wedding. Oddly enough, that had been Allo and Lady Daraza’s wedding, but since she had now passed, it was Allo’s turn once again to find true love. Me’lin was unsure of exactly what the people thought of her as she passed by; most, if not all of them, were human, and she wasn’t. But they couldn’t deny her beauty, and that was probably what made them ease off criticism of her and of Allo for choosing this route.

    Up at the front were Allo, dressed in his fine dress uniform of the army of Trimfi, the well-kept groomsmen, who were also wearing army dress uniforms, and then the bridesmaids, who wore sparkling white dresses to match Me’lin’s. The king led the Twi’lek up to the front altar and then walked away to his place next to the Queen on the far side of the formation. Then the music stopped, and there was a pause of a few seconds. Then the chaplain came forward.

    “Mawwiage!” he said. “Wuv is what bwings us together!” Both Allo and Me’lin gave him odd looks, and the chaplain then cleared his throat. “I am sorry for that,” he said apologetically. “I needed to clear my throat. Let me start over. Love is what brings us together today. We are here to witness to marriage of Crown Prince Allo Daraza, of the House of Creda, son of the King of Trimfi, to the dashing Princess Me’lin, today.

    These two are set to become Lord and Lady of the House of Creda, and someday the new rulers of Trimfi. But that is for another day. Today, we are here to witness the union of these two for all eternity, under the laws of the royal house of Trimfi, as members of the royal family.”

    The ceremony continued, and then came the rings. Me’lin noticed that Allo hadn’t replaced his old one, but she paid it no mind. It wasn’t about him, anyways. It was about her, and what she brought to the table for the people of Trimfi. Allo picked up her left hand daintily and then placed a huge ring on her finger, where the one she had received from Gark had once resided. But this one made her old one pale in comparison; there was simply no way to describe its beauty. It was a nice shade of blue, with several small diamonds encrusted in it. It was a ring befitting of a high-ranking royal family member, and she was now its proud owner. She looked into the eyes of Allo, who gazed back at her. There was something about him that she loved more than anything, but that trait she could not pin down. But it didn’t matter, because she loved him more than she ever thought she could a man. This was a new beginning for her life.”

    “Do you, Princess, take this man, Prince Allo, of the House of Creda, and the son of the King, as your lawfully wedded husband?”

    This was her last chance to back out. Allo was obviously going to agree, so it was all on her. She could walk out after all this. But why? Why should she walk away when she had such a man, such a keeper, right in front of her? There would be no walking away now. This was her soulmate, and she wasn’t going to leave him now.

    “I do,” she said.

    “And Prince Allo, of the House of Creda, and the son of the King, do you take the Princess as your lawfully wedded wife, to be yours forever and to someday be the next Queen of this land?”

    “I do,” Allo said, beaming.

    “I now pronounce you married. You may kiss the bride,” the chaplain said.

    “I love you,” Allo said. The two of them kissed for all to see, and the cheers in the hall echoed loudly as the people yelled out their congratulations. It was truly a good time for the kingdom.




    “I now introduce to you the new Lady Daraza!” Allo said to the gathered crowd down below. He stepped aside on the balcony so that Me’lin could walk forward, in her new green robes that flowed around her body flawlessly. The people down below cheered for the new lady of the house, who they knew would someday be their Queen.

    “As a member of the royal family, she is to be given as much respect as any other royal,” Allo continued. “Do not look upon her with any kind of scorn. Instead, look upon her as the face of new direction in the kingdom. The two of us will be your future, and I would hate to miss it.” More cheers came from the crowd.

    When the introduction was over, Allo looked at his new wife. “So, are you happy to now be a member of the royal family?” he asked.

    “It’s . . . different,” Me’lin replied. “Something I’ve never experienced before.”

    “I am sure you will enjoy it,” Allo said, grinning. “But first, we must eat. Come.” He then stuck out his hand, and Me’lin took it in hers. They then walked towards the dining hall, but were intercepted by an assistant.

    “You have some business offers, my Lord,” he said.

    “I see,” Allo replied. “Go on, darling. I’ll catch up to you after I’ve finished these matters.” Me’lin kept on going, and when she was out of earshot the Prince leaned over to his assistant. “What matters?” he asked.

    “The team, sire,” the assistant replied.

    Ah, the Senators, Allo thought to himself. What a way to really stick it to Gark to sell it from under his nose now that he was in no position to do anything about it. “What offers have you received?”

    “1.5 billion, from an investing group, 2 billion from a private individual, 2 billion again from another group . . .”

    “No, I must have more,” the Prince said. “Try to get me higher offers.”

    “My Lord, we can’t hike up the price that much . . .”

    “Raise it!” Allo said, agitated.

    “It shall be done,” the assistant said, his head bowed slightly.

    “Any news on my last acquisition?”

    “Profits are up due to new management. We’ve cleaned house on their staff, so we have our own people in there now.”

    “Good. I expect that such an operation will be profitable in the long run, yes?”

    “Yes, my Lord.”


    “Very well, then. We may now move on to the next phase of the plan.”






    And, by the same token, here is your actual story for the day.

    Adding @Admiral Volshe and @epithree


    Me’lin awoke, her eyes struggling to get used to the dark interior of the cellar as she tried to get out of her sleep cycle. Galin was still asleep on his towel “blanket”, the youngster obviously trying to get as much rest as he could given the events the previous night. Gark was over by the shelving unit, using a disposable towel to clean off the blaster pistol and power pack that had been lying there previously. “Morning,” she said quietly.

    “Morning,” Gark replied, not even looking at his wife as he kept on cleaning. “This pistol is gunky as all get out, but hopefully I’ll get it to work.”

    “You think we’ll need it?”

    “I don’t know, but my instincts tell me to be prepared, just in case,” Gark said. The towel didn’t seem to be working as effectively as he hoped, so he finally used his suit jacket to clean off a troublesome spot on the carbine. Both of them were still dressed in their fancy outfits from the restaurant the night before, as they had left all of their travel possessions back in their hotel room. However, with no guarantee of getting back there to grab their stuff or to plan their next move, they both knew that they were stuck in these for the foreseeable future. Gark didn’t really mind too badly despite hating suits, but Me’lin would have to contend with the high heels the entire time. That wasn’t going to be good.

    Gark then placed the blaster down on the shelving unit and went up the stairs to peek outside. He did so, and took a long look around. The street seemed deserted; it was quite a haunting sight. What the hell was going on? He then closed the cellar door and came back down. “There’s no one outside that I can see,” he commented. “This might be our best chance to get out of here.”

    “But where do we go from here?” Me’lin asked. “I don’t think it’s safe to return to the room, so we may be stuck down here for a while.”

    “I’m just afraid that whoever owns this cellar might come down and find us,” Gark said. “We are intruding in someone else’s space.”

    “Do we have a choice, though?” his wife asked.

    Gark thought this over for a moment. She had a point; they were indeed trespassing, but what else could they do in this situation? Besides, they weren’t involved in the coup. What would an owner not involved in this whole mess do to them if they were caught down here? Besides, Gark knew he could take out most anyone before they could raise too much of a fuss. It wouldn’t be the preferable option to use force, but if the situation became necessary that they needed to stay here, then it would be employed.

    “I still think we need to get back to the room,” Gark said after this deliberation period.

    “What for?”

    “Because I can’t stand this suit,” Gark replied. “It restricts my movement too much, and given that we have no idea what we’re up against, I think it would be prudent of us to be properly dressed for combat.”

    “But is it worth going to all the trouble to get back there?” the Twi’lek asked.

    “I don’t know if we have much choice,” Gark replied. “Besides, we have some important items in our bags. We need to retrieve those so that we can plan our next move. I’d like to know exactly what’s going on, and what we can do about it.”

    “Are you suggesting that we take down the leaders of a coup?” Me’lin asked.

    “Not if there is a better solution, but if we have to go through them to get out of here, then we may have no choice in the matter,” Gark said.

    At this time, Galin decided to wake up. He obviously loved the paper “blanket” that he was sitting on, even though the towels weren’t exactly the softest things around. It was probably the novelty of it all that he was enjoying, rather than the towels themselves. Of course, couldn’t he just snuggle up in a blanket back at home and feel more comfortable? This cellar was nothing like home; it felt like a bomb shelter in comparison, and oddly enough, that was in the same vein what they were using it for at the moment. He then rolled onto his back, staring at the cellar’s ceiling with wide eyes. It must be nice, Gark thought, to not have to worry about a thing like that, to be able to look beyond the bigger picture and just marvel at what surrounded you. It was a sense of appreciation that he had never quite understood; perhaps Galin knew something he didn’t, and had a much sunnier disposition to work with.

    “I wish I had his attitude,” Gark commented.

    “It would make things a lot simpler, wouldn’t it?”

    “Exactly,” Gark replied. “I still think we need to get back to the room.”

    “And what if there’s something major going on that we don’t know about?” Me’lin asked. “I’d rather stay here than get back out there if there are major fights going on in the streets.”

    “Sounds clear out there,” Gark replied. “This may be our chance.”

    The three of them finally left the cellar and began to slink through the streets. Gark, holding the blaster at the ready, made sure to check for any soldiers or armed thugs in the streets before going through. It took about fifteen minutes, but they finally reached the hotel. The front door was locked, but Gark was able to smash his way in, knowing that the noise could startle someone and give off their position. This whole plan was operating on the idea that they were not being hunted here; obviously this was a problem for Trimfi, not them, this time around, and they were just caught up in it along with all of the nation’s citizens.

    Gark located the stairwell as he ran through the lobby. No one was here, even though the lights were still on like it was business as usual. Me’lin tried to keep up, her heels clacking on the floor loudly. Gark hit the stairwell and opened the door; obviously the stairs weren’t used that often, but they had no choice. The lift would be too risky; they would have to sneak up the back way.

    They climbed and climbed up to the sixth floor of the hotel, at which Gark put his back against the wall and took a peek out the window onto the sixth floor landing. There weren’t any hostile operatives here as far as he could tell, so he opened the door and slipped out onto the landing. The three of them got to their room, and Gark quickly opened the door so that they could slip inside.

    “Quickly,” he said. “There’s no telling if we’ve been seen or not.” He popped open his suitcase and replaced his suit attire with a much more comfortable t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. He also slapped a utility belt underneath his shirt, and placed the blaster pistol in the side holster. Me’lin changed from her dress and heels into similar attire to Gark, and then both of them locked their dress clothes in the cases.

    Gark then went into the ‘fresher and washed his face off quickly. The splash of cool water on his skin felt nice, but unfortunately the gravity of the situation was too much for him to really enjoy the moment. This might be his last chance to get cleaned up before things got hectic; he had no idea what he and his wife were up against, and what they could do about it.

    Then he heard a hard pounding on the door, which caused him to slowly turn off the faucet. Who was trying to get their attention? A gruff voice came from outside. “We know you’re in there. Come out with your hands up.” Gark left the ‘fresher and looked at Me’lin; she was trying to back Galin into a corner in case things got messy. The Bothan had a plan, but it would need the correct timing. If something was to go wrong, they might be captured . . . or worse.

    “Open up!” came the voice. Gark went to the door and unlatched it, then throwing it open as he jumped out of the line of sight and landed on the small counter next to the coffee machine. Two blaster-toting thugs now entered the room, serious looks on their faces. “Come out, you rats!” the first one shouted into the apparently-empty room.

    “You think they jumped?” the other one asked.

    “Nah, they’re here,” the first one said. “And we’ll get ‘em.” But before the other thug could do anything, Gark pushed the door back into the face of the back-end thug, bowling him over onto the floor outside the room. Gark, now exposed to the other thug, launched himself at the man’s chest, knocking him over with a solid hit to the gut. The trooper’s head fell onto one of the tiles in the ‘fresher, causing his mouth to start to bleed. But the man wasn’t finished; he brought his blaster to bear, and then the other thug came up and clipped Gark’s heels. The Bothan fell to the ground on his face, and then the other thug pinned his legs down to the carpet.

    “You thought you could outwit us, didn’t you?” the first thug asked with a malevolent grin on his face. “Well, it seems that you failed.”

    Gark tried to wriggle free, but his legs were being trapped here, and he couldn’t escape. There was no way he was going to be able to reach his newfound blaster pistol, which was stuck on his utility belt that was now being jammed into his side as he lay face-side down.

    The first thug brought his blaster down to shoot Gark, or so the Bothan figured, before one of Galin’s random babbling sounds came from around the corner. Gark didn’t like that; his son had been ratted out from his hiding spot around the corner of the wall. Both thugs moved up slightly, giving Gark enough time to move. He reached down for his blaster and then scooted it across the carpet. Me’lin dove out from the corner of the wall, picked up the blaster pistol, and then shot both thugs dead on the spot as they tried to stop Gark. The bodies of the two men fell onto the floor, the second one pinning Gark’s body once again.

    “Not bad,” Gark commented.

    “Someone will have heard that,” Me’lin said.

    “Then we need to move quickly,” Gark said. He pushed the dead thug off him and jumped back to his feet. They still hurt a little from being pinned, but the adrenaline was flowing now, so the pain had all but disappeared.

    Some shots were heard in the distance, and Gark got down near the floor, as did Me’lin. “What was that?” the Twi’lek asked.

    “I don’t know,” Gark replied. Both of them hurried to the window and peered out. In the distance, they could see some smoke rising from a large building that they later identified as the planet’s Senate chambers from a tourist pamphlet. Whatever was going down out there, it wasn’t good. “It looks like our work just got cut out for us,” Gark continued.

    As the three of them left the hotel, they were greeted rudely by some more soldiers who had heard the sound of blaster fire earlier and had come to investigate. Gark beat them back with ease, but knew that there had to be more troops nearby. They were running out of time.
    jcgoble3 and Admiral Volshe like this.
  2. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    Well, at least Daraza wants to sell the Senators, unlike Mornd who just wanted to fold them. :p

    And in the other storyline, Gark and Me'lin are ready for combat. This is getting good. :D
    Jedi Gunny likes this.
  3. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 8
    And we're down to our last three pieces of the deleted story. @jcgoble3 and @Trieste

    Me’lin woke up the next morning in the main bed chamber, completely unclad from last night’s adventure with Allo. The Prince was a strong man, and she loved him for that. It was early, and she got out of bed and dressed quickly into her royal robes. No longer could she wear a t-shirt and jeans; those were not befitting of a member of the royal house, and thus she was expected to look her best at all times. Allo was still asleep on his side of the bed, so Me’lin decided not to bother him except for a light kiss on his cheek. Then it was to check on Galin.

    Since she was no longer in the guest room, Me’lin had to enter the next room over, which was Galin’s. As soon as she entered the room, she could hear something not right. Galin was coughing roughly. Alarmed, she went over to his bed. Sure enough, Galin wasn’t looking so hot. He coughed again, and then whined some before coughing yet again. Me’lin placed her hand on her son’s forehead, and suddenly a shot of extreme warmth pulsed onto her skin. Galin’s temperature was running rampant. She needed to do something quickly.

    She ran into the other room. “Dear! Dear!” she said. “Galin’s sick!”

    “What?” Allo asked, rolling over.

    “Galin is sick,” Me’lin repeated.

    “Why didn’t you say so before?” Allo asked. He got out of bed, showing off his naked body that Me’lin was now getting favorably accustomed to, and then dressed. “I must call for the doctor. I can’t have my new son be sick. It would be unbearable.”

    Twenty minutes later, the doctor came in and took a look at Galin. “Hm, grim news, I’m afraid,” he finally said.

    “What is the diagnosis?” Allo asked.

    “I’m not quite sure. It seems to be a strain of Fever that hasn’t been seen around these parts for almost a half century,” the doctor said.

    “How is that possible?” Allo asked.

    “I don’t know, but be very careful around him. The child is obviously in need of major care. I will get my team on it immediately.”

    “Thank you, doctor,” Allo said. He turned to Me’lin, who looked distraught. “Come, love. There is nothing more you or I can do.” He then shot the doctor a look, who then nodded in a subtle manner.



    Earlier

    “Are you sure this thing is safe?” Allo asked.

    “I am certain,” the doctor said.

    “What exactly is it?”

    “It’s a fake virus that will go through the system and act as a disease, making the child have fits of coughing, moaning, and high temperature. It will last long enough to be effective,” the doctor said. “Although I am not sure why you want me to administer this, being as he is your son . . .”

    “I have my reasons, doctor, so make it snappy,” Allo said sharply.

    “All right, then,” the doctor replied. He reached down to Galin, who was asleep at the time, and then injected the fake virus into his little body. “This should be enough,” the doctor commented.

    “I should hope so,” Allo said. “I should hope so.”




    Next Day

    Me’lin had been a nervous wreck ever since she had found Galin sick. She hadn’t wanted to eat much, or sleep much, and Allo could tell that she had things on her mind. The next day, a messenger came into their room, and Me’lin shot awake immediately. Allo also awoke.

    “My Lord . . . your son . . . has died,” the messenger said, bowing his head down low.

    “What?” Allo asked. He couldn’t believe it! Galin was dead?

    But Me’lin took it the hardest. What did the man mean Galin was dead? Hadn’t the doctor been able to do something? She sprang out of bed and into Galin’s room seemingly in one bound, a worried mother hoping that her child was all right. She burst into Galin’s room and went over to the side of his bed. He wasn’t moving, so she placed her hand on his arm to feel his pulse. But she couldn’t feel anything.

    She began to weep uncontrollably, picking Galin up and hugging his limp body close to hers. She couldn’t believe it; Galin was dead. The last thing she had ties to from her former life was now gone, no longer able to greet her with his smiling face in the morning, or able to be her confidant when she needed time alone to herself. The doctors hadn’t been able to save him, and she was greatly saddened by this. What had Galin done to deserve a fate like this? It wasn’t his fault for anything. Yet he had taken the ultimate fall, and thus paid the price with his life. What a cruel galaxy this was, to take her child away from her like this.

    Allo came in to comfort his wife, who was still sobbing like crazy. She had cried this hard before, back when she thought Gark was dead during the Siege of the Senate, but it had never hurt like it did now. Now her only child, her son, her best friend outside of her husband, was now gone, never again able to make her happy at one glance. Now she knew what true pain felt like, the feeling like everything you had ever worked for was gone and would never return.

    Allo then made her put Galin down, but it wasn’t like the Twi’lek wanted to. She wanted to keep Galin’s body close, her own flesh and blood close to the place where the tiny Bothan had once been created and kept when he was still developing. He had once been a part of her, and now he would no longer be there.

    “I am sorry, madam,” the doctor said. “There was nothing we could do. He was too far gone to be saved.” But nothing anyone could say would bring her one iota of happiness; she had just lost her son, and she could never recover from the pain, the anguish, of this moment.

    As soon as Me’lin was taken from the room by assistants trying to help calm her down, Allo turned to the doctor. “I can see that your potion is as strong as ever,” he commented.

    “Yes, I would like to think that it worked like a charm,” the doctor said, nodding.

    “It’s an ingenious concoction you’ve made. I mean, really.”

    “It’s quite simple, your majesty. The idea is to put the person into a temporary coma, and to lower their pulse down to undetectable levels. It’s good enough to fool most people into thinking that the patient has died, and I see that it worked in this instance. But he will recover, I can assure you. Now, for the reason why you asked me to do this, I am not sure.”

    “I want to get him out of here,” Allo said. “Bring me the butler. I must speak to him.”

    When the butler arrived, Allo had a simple message to give him. “I want you to take the boy to a far-away orphanage, as far away from here as possible. There you will leave him so that he can be stuck in that miserable pile of dirt that they call ‘life’ outside of the city. I never want to see his face again, understand? No one, and I mean no one, shall ever be able to trace his whereabouts and origins back to my wife. Do I make myself clear?”

    “Perfectly, sir,” the butler replied.


    An hour later, off went the butler with Galin in a sack. The boy was still knocked out cold, and by the time he awoke, he would be a long way from the palace. Over the hill the butler went, through the forest, and over the clear creeks that babble their way through the countryside. It was over one of these creeks where he heard footsteps behind him, like he was being followed. He turned around, but was then knocked out cold by a figure in a cloak that shrouded their entire body. The butler then fell into the water and drowned, unable to tell anyone of what had just happened to him on the bridge.
  4. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    Allo is a truly evil person. And why do I suspect that the figure in the cloak is Gark coming to get his revenge on Daraza? :p
  5. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    I don't think that's very fake--it's a real virus and one used to pernicious effect. It's just a fake fatal virus. Though doesn't Prince Dorito know that if you leave the son alive he'll come back to avenge the father? If he was truly smart he would just have used a real virus on Galin...unless...

    No, it makes so much sense now! Prince Dorito is a secret Miners fan. He knows that he has to keep Galin alive so he can be drafted by the Miners in 17 years! The only way to make sure he escapes his father's plan to rule limmie as father and son care is to fake his death. It all just came together for me!

    ...oh wait, this is the fake storyline. I'm still not getting Galin, am I? ;)
    Jedi Gunny and jcgoble3 like this.
  6. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 8
    No, I really don't think you are. ;) I guess we'll see in 4-5 years . . . at least, if we're still playing the game. [face_dunno]

    Anyways, here is the last piece of the deleted story, complete with something I know @Trieste will love. Adding in @jcgoble3 to this list. The next post of the actual story will be posted tomorrow.


    Days Later

    Allo Daraza could tell that something was off. Ever since the death of her son days earlier, Me’lin had barely been seen in the halls of his estate house. She had spent most of her time in solitude, crying to herself over Galin’s death. It affected Allo greatly to see his wife suffer like this, even though he knew exactly what had gone on, and had even been the one to call for removing Galin from the house altogether. But he knew that he had to move on with his plan, because otherwise he might miss the opportunity altogether.

    Thus, the next time he saw Me’lin, who was wandering aimlessly, talking to herself in her confused trance-like state, he made sure to come over. “Look, I’m sorry that my team was not able to save him,” Allo began. “I feel deeply grieved for you and your loss, especially since he was my son as well. I cannot believe that he is gone . . . but I want you to know that I am here for you.” The Twi’lek moved into her husband’s body, trying to find some comfort in his grasp. “Now, I think it is time for you to eat,” Allo said gently.

    But Me’lin didn’t eat. She just wasn’t interested in the idea of food. All that was on her mind was Galin, and how she had not been there to save him. He had needed her close by in his death throes, to see one last familiar face before he passed on . . . and she hadn’t been there. Thoughts of suicide even crossed her mind; she couldn’t live without Galin, it seemed, and although she had forced these thoughts away immediately, his death hung heavily on her heart.

    Finally Allo took Me’lin back to their bed chamber. He shut the door behind them, holding her hand in his. “I know there is nothing I can do to bring our son back, but there is something else I can do, if you will permit me.”

    Me’lin just looked up at her husband, her expression devoid of much life.

    “Since he was your only child, I now have no heir to my name who will take over the throne for me when I am gone. Therefore, I must ask you. Please bear me a son, a son who I can rightfully call my heir, my legacy. And for you, he will be able to wash away your pain. I can promise these things and more. Just follow my lead,” he said. He reached for Me’lin’s robe.

    During all this, Me’lin’s mind began to churn. Did Allo want to conceive a child with her, right here, right now? It wasn’t a bad idea, to be honest. Having another child would help ease the pain of losing Galin. But what about her? Could she bear another child, after what she had gone through when Galin was born? She had almost died that day in labor, knowing full well that she might not make it out alive. Couldn’t the doctors here make sure this pregnancy and delivery would be smoother than the last? Or would she be going to the well one more time than was safe, and end up killing herself in the process? Was her own possible demise worth Allo getting a child for his own gain, in his own name?

    And then a thought occurred to Me’lin, something she had tried to suppress for a month. Would Allo be there for her in her time of need, or would he be more preoccupied with the resulting newborn not to notice her suffering? Gark had been there for her, had stayed in the hospital for a week with her, went out of his way to keep her spirits up, even when they had every reason to stay down in the dumps. He may have been scum, but he had done all that for her. Could Allo do the same?

    “No, I can’t . . .” she said.

    “What do you mean, love?” Allo asked. “Of course you can. What kind of talk is that?”

    “It’s too risky,” Me’lin then said. “I don’t want to die.”

    “And you won’t,” Allo said calmly. “Now, just let me . . .”

    But Me’lin shied away from his touch. She didn’t agree to this, so he had to accept her choice in the matter if he really loved her. “No,” she said. “I won’t.”

    “You will,” Allo said, a hint of menace in his voice. “Come on, don’t you want this as well?”

    “At the pain it will cause, no,” Me’lin replied curtly.

    “I would not say that if I were you,” Allo said. He was enraged now. He then reached into his pocket and pulled out a dagger, one with a very sharp and shined blade. “Get on the bed. Now!”

    “Never. You’ll just have to kill me,” Me’lin said. She wasn’t going to let him control her.

    “It would be a shame to have to kill someone like yourself,” Allo said. “But I must have an heir, so do as I command or I will slit your throat.”

    “Go ahead,” Me’lin said. “You can’t take anything more from me.” It was true; Galin was gone, as was Gark, and she had little left from her previous life to lean on.

    “Do as I command!” Allo shouted. He then brought the knife down on Me’lin’s robes, cutting off a piece near her arm.

    “Never!” Me’lin yelled back in his face.

    “Then I will have you, like it or not,” Allo said. Me’lin tried to get into a defensive stance, but Allo knocked her off her feet and onto the bed on her back. Allo then landed on the bed, towering over her. “You won’t feel a thing,” he said, still holding the dagger above her head. “Don’t move, or you’re dead.”

    Then both of them heard the sound of glass shattering, and one of the large windows exploded upon impact. A figure burst in through the glass and landed in a crouched position on the floor, dressed in a light brown monk’s cloak. The figure then threw off the hood of their cloak, revealing a very hairy face. Gark S’rily pulled out a blaster from a side holster and then aimed it at Allo.

    “Hands off,” he said firmly.

    “You!” Allo roared. “How dare you interrupt me!”

    “I said hands off,” Gark replied.

    Then the doors to the chamber were flung open, and the king and queen entered, flanked by three guards. “Allo, are you all right? We heard a commotion, and . . .” his mother said before seeing Allo holding the knife over Me’lin on the bed. “What’s going on?” she demanded, shocked to see her son like this.

    “None of your business, mother,” Allo said.

    “For Maker’s sake, let the girl go!” his mother exclaimed.

    “Not until she does my bidding,” Allo said in a sinister tone.

    “Your bidding? Allo, you seem to have forgotten the laws of the land. You are not all-powerful.”

    “I should be!” Allo yelled. “I am sick and tired of being held back because of the stupid laws that a bunch of dead old geezers put forth to protect their perfect little populace! I want more than to just be a figurehead! I want to have my kingdom be the best that it can be, and in order for that to happen, I cannot be a background authority figure! I must be the supreme ruler of Trimfi!”

    “You speak of treason!” his mother exclaimed.

    “It’s reason, mother, and nothing more,” Allo said. “So stand aside and let me finish my work.”

    “Don’t move,” Gark said. The monarchs finally noticed him in the corner, blaster in hand.

    “Who are you?” demanded the queen.

    “None of your concern,” Gark said. “Now, frakker, get off my wife.”

    “Your wife?” Allo asked. “She left you, remember? And then she came to me for help. I was there for her, gave her someone who could support her when she needed help. I was, and still am, offering her more than you ever could have.”

    “And I supposed forcing her to degrade herself like this is a proper way to treat her?” the Queen asked.

    “Quiet, mother!” Allo screamed.

    “I cannot believe you would stoop this low. If only the Princess hadn’t died . . .”

    “She was of no further use to me,” Allo said.

    “What?”

    “It’s so simple, isn’t it?” Allo asked. “I realized that she no longer had any purpose. She was not the kind of woman for me, so she had a little . . . accident.”

    “You killed her!” the Queen shrieked, horrified.

    “And I almost got away with it, too,” Allo said, shooting Gark a snide look before returning his gaze to his parents.

    “Allo, you shall be expelled from the royalty for this!” the King exclaimed. “I had high hopes for you, but it turns out that I was wrong. You do not deserve the crown. You deserve nothing!”

    “Well, then I’ll have to take it for myself,” Allo said. He then looked at Gark, who stared back at him. “If I can’t have her, then no one can,” he said. Then, before Gark could react, Allo plunged the knife into Me’lin’s stomach and then leaped off the bed. Out of his pocket came a holdout blaster, a variety that one would find in a black market inventory. He then fired off one shot, hitting the king in the chest. The old man fell over onto the ground, and Allo was off to the races. He kicked one of the guards in the head, downing him, and then shot another, killing him, before running out the door.

    Gark stood there, frozen. Had he just witnessed this? His composure fled him, and he ran over to Me’lin’s side. The dagger had plunged into her gut, and she was in a ton of pain. There was blood around the handle of the blade, obviously trying to bleed her dry. Then she made eye contact with him, a look of panic on her face. “Go,” she said quietly.

    “I won’t leave you,” Gark said.

    “Leave me,” Me’lin replied.

    “No!” Gark exclaimed. But then he saw the Queen behind him, cradling the body of her dead husband in her arms. She then looked up at Gark.

    “Go,” she said. “Defeat Allo. Please. For us. Kill him if you must.”

    “Isn’t he your son?” Gark asked.

    “He’s no son of mine anymore,” she said. “I will get help for her,” she said, motioning to Me’lin. “Go!”




    Gark, without needing any additional encouragement, ran out the door and down the hall. He had no idea where Allo could be; the man knew his estate better than anyone else. The Bothan had only been here once, and he had tried to put that trip out of his mind as much as possible.

    Gark ran down one of the nearby halls, not seeing a glimpse of the Prince as he ran. Where could that frakker be, anyways? Then he felt something run right over him, and he tumbled over. Daraza stood over him. “And now you die,” he said, holding another dagger. The prince plunged it towards Gark’s heart, but the Bothan was too fast. He used his foot to kick the arm aside, making the dagger go flying off into the corner. Gark then jumped up and headbutted Allo in the face. The Prince staggered back.

    The two then stared each other down in the hall. Gark knew that he could take Allo easily, but the Prince had the advantage of the terrain, and also because he would be protected by the people and guards of Trimfi. Gark knew he had to finish this now.

    Allo yelled for guards to appear, but none did. Finally, he turned tail and ran for his life. Gark was hot on his heels, trying to keep the Prince in his sights. Through a doorway, down a long spiral staircase, through another door, down some steps they went, going ever deeper into the bowels of the estate. Each second that passed Gark knew was one closer to Allo getting away, so he kept up the chase.

    Finally Gark hit the bottom of the staircase, and then ran around a corner. But he could feel an object embed itself in his gut, and he stopped. Looking down, he could see a dagger in his gut, and then he felt the pain as it shot through his body. Allo stood there on the other side of the room, a look of satisfaction on his face. “Well, it looks like the famous Superbothan was too late,” he said, a gleeful look on his face. “And now it is time for you to die.”

    Gark slid down the wall, his breathing becoming more ragged. He didn’t really have the strength to stand, because the dagger kept him down.

    “It’s a pity, really,” Allo said. He started to come forward. “I thought I might get a decent fight out of you, but it turns out that I was wrong. You people and your lack of mental fortitude. I can’t believe you, of all people, would fail, but then again, I’m glad you’re the one dying and not me.”

    Gark struggled to try and get up, but then he slumped over again, grabbing his chest in pain. “Prepare to die,” the prince said, coming ever closer. Gark’s mind wandered. Beyond the pain, he remembered seeing the dagger plunge into Me’lin’s stomach. He had felt such anguish at seeing that. She was likely going to die, and he hadn’t been there to save her. Thoughts of rage began to fill his mind. He had let her down once more. She had divorced him because she felt unwanted, because he hadn’t been there for her when she needed him. And now he had failed her again, by preventing Allo from stabbing her. But he could certainly avenge her.

    He began to get up, little by little, detaching himself from the wall. Finally, he was able to stand.

    “Incredible. Are you still trying to win?” Allo asked.

    Gark came forward, the pain in his gut no longer bothering him. Allo came charging forwards, but the Bothan rebuffed his attack with a simple wave of his hand. Another attack came, but Gark blocked it with his arm. Then he counterattacked, hitting Allo in the face with his fist. Then another hit landed on the prince, followed by another, and he backed off.

    “Hello, my name is Gark S’rily. You ruined my life. Prepare to die,” Gark said. He then pulled out a projectile from his cloak and chucked it at Allo. The Prince was conked in the head with the item and fell down onto the floor. Gark leaped and landed next to him.

    “Please don’t kill me,” Allo pleaded.

    “Offer me money,” Gark demanded.

    “Whatever amount you wish,” Allo said hurriedly.

    “Offer me everything I want and more,” Gark said.

    “Whatever you desire,” Allo said.

    The next thing he could feel was a dagger in his heart.

    “I want my wife back, you sithspitting frakker,” Gark said. He had taken the dagger out of his gut and drove it into Allo’s chest. The prince looked up at him momentarily before his corpse fell onto the ground, stone cold dead. Gark, still panting due to his lack of energy, grimaced in pain as he made his way back up the stairs. He needed medical attention, and fast.






    “How does it look, doc?” Gark asked. He winced in pain when the doctor touched the spot where the dagger had once been.

    “You’ll need to apply some bacta to it, obviously, but you should be fine with regular rest over the next few days. You’re just damn lucky you had this cloak. Otherwise I think you’d be a lot worse off.”

    Gark was sitting in the medical room of the palace, being cared for by the King’s doctors (Allo’s had already been tracked down and was currently being held in a small one-man cell in the castle). He then tried to sit up, and was successful. His head swum a little, and his gut hurt, but otherwise he felt fine. Then his gaze went over to Me’lin. The Twi’lek lay there on her bed, the doctors trying to patch her up. “Is she going to live?” Gark asked.

    “Yes, but not without a bit of scarring,” the doctor said. “The dagger went in there deep enough to cause a significant wound, and make her bleed. But it missed any vital arteries or organs, so she will survive and make a full recovery.”

    Gark stood up and went over to her. There was still blood on her gown, but otherwise you couldn’t tell that she had been stabbed. She looked up at him, tears in her eyes.

    “You all right?” Gark asked.

    “No,” Me’lin said, more tears forming in her eyes.

    “They say you’re going to live, so I’d say that’s cause for optimism,” Gark commented.

    “It’s not that,” Me’lin said. “I sold you out. After all you’ve done for me over the years, this is how I repay you. By asking for a divorce that never should have come. I thought I was escaping a prison by running away, but I see now that I left what really mattered most to me behind. If you don’t want to forgive me, I understand. I don’t deserve it after all I’ve done to damage your life.”

    “What kind of talk is that?” Gark asked.

    “I thought he was the man for me,” Me’lin continued. “He was kind, strong-willed, and made me feel wanted. I thought we would have a future together, just the two of us. But it turns out that he just used me for his own personal gain. He took the company from you in my name, and then profited from it. I followed along out of spite, but . . . but I never should have. I should have turned him down. It’s all my fault.”

    Gark put a hand on her shoulder. “No, it’s my fault. I’ve been ignoring you all this time, putting work, the hero aspect, and Limmie all before you and Galin. All of those things combined together to demand my attention, when the one that needed the most was you. And I’m sorry for that, because had I not ignored you . . . then you wouldn’t be in this situation.”

    “Galin . . .” Me’lin said. She then started to cry, the waterworks beginning to flow from her eyes. “He died . . . and I couldn’t do anything to save him . . . I wasn’t there for him . . .”

    “No,” Gark said. Me’lin was confused; what did he mean? “He’s alive.”

    “But I saw him,” Me’lin said.

    “He was stunned. How I don’t know, but I think we can pump the doctor for information,” Gark said. “But Galin’s alive. I found him in a sack being carried by a man far away from here. I followed the man and killed him, and Galin was inside the sack. So I brought him back with me; he isn’t too far away.” He then looked over to the sack where Galin had been and then got up, with great pain in his gut, to retrieve his son. He reached down in the sack and pulled the small Bothan out. Galin didn’t seem any worse for wear, really, and Gark brought him over to Me’lin’s side. The Twi’lek’s expression improved markedly when Galin was nearby, and she reached out a hand weakly to touch him after Gark deposited the child near his mother.

    “He’s alive . . .,” Me’lin said. Then she hugged Galin as close to her body as she could given her condition. “I was such a fool,” she said. “I thought he had died . . .”

    “It must have been some potent stuff,” Gark said. “But he’s all right, and that’s what matters.” He took a look at the two, and then sighed. “Now, I probably need to be off resting up so that I can return to Coruscant. Then you two can live here without any need to worry . . .”

    “Wait, don’t go,” Me’lin said, her hand contacting the Bothan’s arm. Gark turned around. “I’m sorry for what I did. I never should have turned my back on you like that, never should have done all of those awful things or believed those lies. I was being used, and I abused you in the process. It’s my fault . . .”

    “I think we can share the blame,” Gark said. “But what matters to me is that both of you are alive and well. Or, at least, will recover.”

    “Is there anything I can do to remedy this?” Me’lin asked.

    Gark rubbed his chin for a moment. Then he looked back down at her. He did have something in mind after all. It was what he had come all this way for. “I’d like my wife back,” he said simply. He then extended his hand, and Me’lin took grasp of it with her own.

    “I accept,” she said. “And I promise that I’ll never leave your side again, no matter what the case may be.”

    “I know you won’t,” Gark replied, still grasping her hand tightly in his.




    The next two days were of great mourning in the kingdom. The King, who had been fatally wounded by the blaster shot from his son, was now being remembered for what he had brought to his realm. Even though the planet was a democracy, with a solid governmental system based on the votes of the people in a sovereign manner, the royals were still figureheads of the state. All through the streets went a procession similar to that when the Princess died only days before; could it be true that two royal members were dead in a week? What was going on at the palace, the people wondered. Was there a murderer on the loose?

    The Queen had done whatever she could to ease the people’s minds. She had to admit that Allo had been at fault for both deaths, and that he had been taken care of, whatever that meant. But she was obviously troubled by this turn of events, and no one who knew the situation could blame her. Allo had not been royal material; instead, he had craved power for himself, and for nothing else. Yes his death was regrettable, and probably should not have occurred, but the threat he might have been alive seemed to make his death a trivial concern in comparison.


    Gark had only been able to watch from the room where he was recovering as the procession made its way into the heart of downtown. He did not need his presence known, because some might think that he murdered the Prince in cold blood to settle some sort of vendetta. This was not entirely true, but Gark deemed it a worthy case of just staying out of the way for the time being.





    And there you have it. Basically, what happens next is that they get married (again) and go back to live on Coruscant. Pretty simple ending for an otherwise convoluted story. :p
    Admiral Volshe likes this.
  7. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    That was indeed fun. :D
  8. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    I will ALWAYS laugh at references to The Princess Bride. :D

    And yes, that was a fun diversion.
  9. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 8
    OK, now we're back to the actual story. It'll be that from here on out. @jcgoble3 and @Trieste

    Oh, and a note for you guys, courtesy of my random thoughts. Had the deleted arc been kept, I recently calculated Gark's stress score from a stress reduction book that I have of the last couple of seasons.

    So here we go:

    Death of spouse (or at least what he thought)
    Divorce
    Marital separation
    Marriage
    Being fired from work
    Marital problems
    Gain of new family member
    Change in number of arguments with spouse
    Change in living conditions
    Vacation (yes, this is a category)

    Now, according to the book, a score over 300 means detrimental effects of cumulative stress over time. Gark's score in this case was calculated at 492. Yeah, I think he needs a break after all this. :p

    If you keep the arc deleted, then you have:

    Death of spouse
    Marriage
    Gain of new family member
    Vacation

    This comes out to 202, which means that he has some chronic stress from his life.

    Anyways, not that this is relevant or anything, just thought it would be interesting to tally it all up. And on to the story.



    Trimfi Starport

    Gark looked around the corner at the starport. There were several thugs outside, standing watch over the place. Not a single shuttle could be seen in the sky; obviously the leaders of the coup had decided to crack down on the port and try to prevent anyone from entering or leaving. That meant that there would be no easy way out of this one, as they couldn’t just purchase tickets and leave. They would more likely have to hijack a shuttle, or perhaps go in disguise and commandeer a ship. Either way, it would involve quite a bit of action . . . and luck.

    Gark then went around the corner. He had no idea what was going on behind the scenes, as the media was keeping mum on current events here, but perhaps these toughs would know something, given that they were on the side of the coup. As soon as he stepped out of the shadow of the wall, he was spotted.

    One of the thugs moved his blaster towards Gark’s position. “Stand down, citizen!” he barked.

    But Gark didn’t stop. He kept moving forwards; he wasn’t afraid of the thug or his blaster. After all, he had a weapon of his own, and was most likely faster and better trained than this tough. Yes, he could take on all three of these guards by himself. The only issue was going to be the space between him and the troopers.

    “I said stand down!” the trooper ordered, but Gark didn’t respond. The guard shot off a blaster bolt, but it missed by several feet. Gark then charged forwards, then grabbing his blaster pistol off his utility belt. The other two guards then began to fire away, each of the shots missing as the Bothan charged forwards. Then he was on top of them, smashing the first guard in the face with the butt of the pistol, and then sending out a kick to knock him into the air and then send him down to the ground. Another guard took a potshot, but it missed completely, and then Gark kicked the man’s weapon out of his hand. As soon as the trooper was unarmed, Gark then sent a nice haymaker into the man’s masked face, followed up by a blow to the gut that sent the trooper down. This left one guard, who tried to take a shot. It whizzed by Gark’s face, almost making contact, and then Gark was off to the races again. He smashed his fists into the man’s guts, sending him down, and then Gark pointed the blaster at the man as he leaned over.

    “What the hell is going on here?” Gark demanded.

    “None of your business,” the man spat.

    “Tell me!” Gark said, shoving the blaster into the man’s face. “Why is this port closed?”

    “I don’t know. I was just ordered to defend it from any and all comers,” the guard said, trying to preserve his life in the face of the murderous weapon.

    “Why would it need to be defended?” Gark asked.

    “Because we don’t want anyone coming in or going out.”

    Hm, this definitely was more than just a coup, Gark thought. This was a full-fledged change of power, and by the looks of it, it was becoming more hostile by the second. “Who are you working for?” he then demanded.

    “I don’t know.”

    “What do you mean ‘I don’t know’? What do you take me for?” Gark asked angrily. He was getting sick of this charade the guard was putting up.

    “I work for a man called Mortellus,” the man replied, visibly shaken.

    “What does he want?” Gark asked.

    “He wants to unite the two seats of government into one seat of power. His,” the guard said. This man was actually spilling more information than Gark could have ever expected. What a lucky break.

    “Where can I find this man?” Gark then asked.

    “I don’t know,” the guard said. “I was never notified.”

    “Fine, then,” Gark said. He smacked the man across the face with the blaster pistol to down him, and then stood up. One of the other guards had gotten back up, but he saw Me’lin come in and finish him off with some solid punches. The guard hit the ground again, now defeated.

    “Well?” she asked.

    “I have a name, and a plan, but no motive,” Gark replied. “We need to find this guy and stop him, because it sounds like he’s trying to rule the whole planet.”

    “I pretty much expected that,” Me’lin commented.

    “If we want to get out of here, I’m afraid we’re going to have to take him down,” Gark said.




    The two of them made it to the Senate chambers, which, like the starport, was being guarded. However, instead of just three guards, this place was littered with masked men. Two tanks sat outside the doors to the chamber as well, ready to fire on anyone and anything that moved without their consent.

    “Pretty well guarded,” Gark said.

    “You’re not actually thinking of breaking in?” Me’lin asked, astonished. The two of them were hiding behind what had once been a solid duracrete wall, obviously blasted during the fighting they had heard from their hotel room earlier.

    “I never plan for things to go a certain way, but they have a habit of doing that anyway,” Gark replied.

    “I knew you were going to say that,” his wife replied.

    Then they both had to put their heads down as a couple of guards came by. One of them was eating a sandwich in a lackadaisical manner, while the other wasn’t consuming anything. “So, you hear about the next part of the plan?” the one not eating asked.

    “Nope,” the eating thug replied, his mouth filled with food.

    “Sounds like the boss has some mines he’d like to have operating quickly,” the other one said in a low tone. “Apparently this place is rich with ore beyond our wildest dreams. He thinks that if we can get some mines in operation, we can start selling it out to the highest bidder.”

    “Then why are we trying to knock out the government?” eating thug asked, still confused.

    “You are stupid,” the big-talker said, annoyed. “Who do you think will run the mines?”

    “The people?” eating thug asked.

    “Exactly,” big talker replied. “Since they think they’re a democratic society, the monarchy has little power. But since we’ve taken down the Senate and destroyed its base, the boss now is in control of all seats of government. We are now in control of the planet, and the people are going to be forced to work for us. We’ll be rich men.”

    “I like the sound of that,” the eating thug said, finishing his sandwich in one big bite. “Where are these mines?”

    “Quite a ways away, out in the plains area,” the other thug said. “But I’ve heard plans to knock down the city and turn it into a large mine . . .”

    “You two!” came another voice. A commanding officer came up to the two. “You two are to report to the commander for patrol duty!”

    “Yes sir!” the eating thug and big talker both said in unison. They then walked back towards the Senate compound, leaving the S’rilys alone behind their wall.

    “So that’s what they’re up to,” Gark commented in a low tone of voice. “Mining operation.”

    “They’ll force the people here to work as slaves,” Me’lin said. “How terrible!”

    “That’s how most large businesses seem to run. Always looking to turn a profit at the expense of the workers who make it possible,” Gark said, frowning. “It’s something I’ve tried to steer away from at the company.”

    “What are we going to do?” Me’lin asked.

    Gark paused for several seconds. What exactly could they do? Charging towards the Senate chamber would be akin to suicide, as they were far outmatched in this situation. The starport was closed, so they couldn’t escape that way. The coup’s leader, this Mortellus, was already investing in heavy mining, and was willing to enslave the people of Trimfi to run his operation. He was the key here; if he were to be defeated, then perhaps the Trimifians could come back to power, and then they could leave via the starport.

    “We have to prevent this guy from succeeding,” Gark finally said.

    “What do you mean?”

    “We have to take down this coup in order to get out of here,” Gark clarified.

    “And how do you suggest we do that? We don’t even know where the mines are . . .”

    “I think we can find out,” Gark said, holding up his datapad for his wife to see. “If the tourist information is correct, the locations of the active mines are listed here.” He began to scroll through the list of mines; they were out of the way, as the thug had said, so that had something going for it. “We find these mines, and I bet we find our man as well.”

    “What about Galin? I can’t just take him into the line of fire . . .”

    “Is there anyone we can trust here?” Gark asked. Me’lin shook her head. “Just what I thought,” the Bothan replied. “We’re going to have to leave him behind. Again.”

    “Again? We just got him back!” Me’lin remarked.

    “It’s the lesser of two evils,” Gark said firmly. “We can drop him off in the cellar, lock the door, and hope that he is safe.”

    And that is what they did. Finding a small metal bar to jam into the door lock on said cellar, Gark made sure that the door was as sealed as could be. Galin was going to be alone down there, which would likely make him unhappy if he had to take a dump or needed food, but his parents had left him with plenty of food that they had found while rifling through some pantry spaces on their way here. It was all they could do to keep him safe, because otherwise he would have to be carried with them, and that was even more dangerous. So they had to make another controversial decision and stick him here, which would hopefully be safer than anywhere else.

    “I hope we see him again,” Me’lin commented as they walked away.


    “I hope so too,” Gark said.
    Admiral Volshe likes this.
  10. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    So now the focus has shifted from simply escaping to full-on stopping the coup. Can't wait to find out how this is resolved! :D
  11. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    I kind of see one part The Dark Knight Rises in this and one part Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. ;)
  12. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 8
    NOTE: No, before you ask, this is not the actual story. Instead, I have decided to take a one-day break from that, and post this instead. It's an idea that comes from the Secret Idea Journal from last Fall that I haven't done yet, and will never actually do for the regular story. So consider this a "what-if?" one-shot, regarding the entry "Gark and Pam Korthe wedding" from the Journal, and the repercussions of that had Gark not married Me'lin, but instead the Zeltron Head Coach and friend. @jcgoble3 @Trieste, @Admiral Volshe, @epithree


    Gark awoke from his slumber, rubbing his eyes in order to clear them out. It was another nice day here on Thyferra, the sun shining through the windows in its early morning routine. From the other room, he could hear some scratching around, and knew that his wife had already been up for quite some time. Groaning, mostly because he was still stiff from sleep and not quite ready to face the day, he hoisted himself out of bed and walked into the other room. The smell of caf wafted into his nostrils; it wasn’t like he detested the stuff. It smelled good when being roasted . . . but the taste left something to be desired. He just wasn’t a caf person.

    In the kitchen sat Pamila S’rily, going over her copious amount of notes on the kitchen table. It hadn’t been long since the two had finally gotten married, so it was still somewhat new for Gark to have a shared place of residence with a member of the opposite gender. And at least this time, it was on better grounds than it had been a few years earlier, when Gark had been on the run from Calo Mornd and his lackies back on Coruscant. He had stayed here during that time as he worked to clear his name, and although Pam hadn’t always been happy to have him here, she had learned to tolerate his presence. Obviously that had been enough for both of them to realize that they had a lot in common, and that they could have a nice life together. Now they were still living in her house here on Thyferra; Gark worked as the CEO of Andromeda via teleconference, as he didn’t want to live separate from Pam, who knew she had to live here to work with the team. It was rough at times, but it was worth it.

    “Hey,” Pam said as she looked up at the tired Bothan. “Sleep well?”

    “I guess not,” Gark replied. He still felt stiff. “I don’t know how you manage it, really. Getting up early to go over game notes, even when there’s just practice today. And just camp to boot, not even a game this week.”

    “One has to be prepared,” Pam replied. She took a sip of her caf and went back to work. “I’m trying to figure out how to get this offense to click. Still have some issues with the old playbook, and I don’t know if I want to keep it and have them learn, or just throw some of it out and try to replace some of those plays.”

    “Lemme take a look,” Gark said, taking a seat across the table. Pam slid him some of the reports, and Gark looked them over. This was one coach talking to another; Gark was the HC for the Senators, whom he had saved from bankruptcy at the end of the 270 season, and was back in the league for 272. This year was 274, so a few years had passed in between those events. Pam was still HC for the Thyferra Force, who had been to the Elite League in 271 before returning to the Premier League when the Senators had shot out of the proverbial cannon and returned to prominence. Perhaps there was still some underlying resentment on her end about not being named to the Senator coaching staff after making the playoffs in the ELL with a team of youngsters and castoffs, but if there was any of that present, Gark certainly didn’t notice. The Zeltron didn’t seem to mind too badly; maybe she felt she wasn’t cut out for the ELL job just yet? Or maybe she was just being coy.

    The reports seemed to suggest that the Force were indeed having some issues on the front line. Without standout players Riff Persnor, Wylega Zola, and Zadd, the Force were having issues trying to keep everyone involved in the offense. Maff Biskis was indeed a star in the making at this level, and Mychele Lysar was doing well, but what about some of the younger players? What could they do?

    “Well, I see something wrong here,” Gark finally said after some deliberating. “You see this move here by the Left Corner Forward?” he said, indicating the route on the play sheet. Pam followed his finger as he went. “They end up almost running into the goalie as they sweep around here. Besides, if the defense is playing a zone, then this player is almost out of the play entirely by the time they run their route to its entirety. Also, I notice that the Center Half Forward stays out of the play too much. They need to crash in more to overload the zone, and when they are playing in 1-on-1 coverage on defense, this should at least keep the numbers the same. I suggest maybe more of a curl route instead of the post move for the Corner Forward, because then they provide a safety blanket for zone coverage, and when in 1-on-1, they can try to draw the defender away from whoever is here,” he said, pointing to another route. “I think this is Biskis, correct? If he’s open due to this route, then all he needs to do is follow behind a nice block from this position . . .” he made the motions out on the play sheet with his fingers, “and should have a nice shot on goal opportunity. And, if he’s jammed on the play here by the defense, the Center Half is right back here to provide a reset of the pattern, or if they want to go for the score, the Right Corner Forward ends here and should stop to provide a target in what should be an empty part of the field.”

    Pam nodded, and then indicated that she wanted the sheet back. Gark slid it over to her. The Zeltron looked it over for a few moments, and then nodded. “That’s a good catch,” she said. “I’ll add that in.” She scribbled some notes and corrections on the sheet, then placing it back in the stack of other plays.

    An hour later, the two of them were off to training camp at Thyferra Stadium. In order to stay in shape, both of them decided to jog there, which was a bit of a trek at about four miles, but wasn’t too bad on the overall. Pam kept all of her plays, her whistle, and various other coaching items in a light drawstring backpack, and Gark did the same even though he wasn’t a coach for this team. He was carrying her other items, which included datapads, rosters, and the like, along with a few of his things, such as a copy of the Senator playbook, and a few items for outdoor work like a hat and sunscreen, in case the sun tried to burn him.

    As they came up on the stadium, the two of them decided to go in the back way. That would get them directly to the field, and they wanted to get there before anyone else. So they went this way, and sure enough, were some of the first to arrive. They set down their stuff and waited. It didn’t take long for the team and staff to arrive, and within the hour, practice had begun.

    During the practice, Gark watched the prospects with great interest. There was little doubt in his mind that many of them would be playing for his team in a matter of weeks, or a few years. That was why the Force were in this organizational umbrella, to provide a solid landing place for those who didn’t make the Senator cut to work on their game in a highly-competitive league. It also provided a bit of revenue for the organization as a whole, although most of the money earned here went to the team and not bled to the Senators. The Force, the uniforms, and their stadium, had been run-down when Gark had purchased them years earlier, but now they looked sleeker, won more games, and had a stadium that, despite not being perfect, was much more appealing to look at than it had been previously.

    When it came time for the players to run the new playbook, Gark and Pam watched as the play they had worked on that morning was the next one up. The Left Corner Forward, Dypral, a Weequay, was confused about the new route, and had to have it explained to him why he needed to curl instead of run a post to the goal box. The first few tries were disasterous; Dypral missed his cut-off point, and Maff was instantly overwhelmed by the defense, which wasn’t doing anything spectacular or different in their set. It was a standard zone look, so nothing new there.

    “Oi, this is going to be a long one,” Pam commented.

    “I think you might have to move on and come back,” Gark replied. “It’s obvious that the defense is winning this one.”

    “We’ll never get it right otherwise,” Pam said. “Gotta make sure they know when to cut off and when to run for it. That’s the only way you learn.”

    “Why do I have a feeling like I wouldn’t want to be a player under you?” Gark asked, raising his eyebrow as he spoke.

    “You probably wouldn’t,” Pam said in reply. “But you have to deal with me at home, so I think that trumps everything else.”

    “I never said I minded that,” Gark replied. “Besides, you don’t make me run errands ten times straight so that I get them exactly right.”

    “I would love to do that, but given that I think you’d be rightfully pissed off at me, I can’t,” the Zeltron said, a smirk on her face.

    “Remember, I can do the same to you,” Gark said. “You’re not the only coach in the house.”

    “But I still put up with it.”

    “I could say the same,” Gark countered.

    “Are you two arguing?” Artie Gurvey, the Nemoidian midfielder coach, said.

    “No,” both S’rilys said at the same time as they looked at Artie.

    “Maybe,” Gark said with a slight shrug.

    “You started it,” Pam said.

    “No I didn’t,” Gark retorted.

    “Yes you did, and we both know it,” Pam replied, a smug look on her face. “Besides, you have to let me win sometimes, because you were too vain to let me languish down here instead of letting me coach in the big leagues last season and now this year as well.”

    “Are you still mad at me for that?” Gark asked.

    “Somewhat, yes,” the Zeltron said. “I think I’ve done my time down here, and it’s time to get back to the Elite League.”

    “Don’t worry, you’ll get back there,” Gark said, his voice trailing off slightly at the end.

    “I think you still owe me one,” Pam replied.

    “For what?”

    “For giving you shelter when you needed it a few years back,” Pam said. “I didn’t have to do that, you know. I could have let you sit and rot.”

    “You’re a slick operator, you know that?” Gark replied in a disgruntled fashion.

    Pam gave her husband a smug grin. “You know it,” she said.

    When practice was over many hours later, it was a night out for the S’rilys. But, as usual, it was never quite a “night out”, as both of them brought their team notes and worked on them as they waited for their food at the restaurant.

    “You do realize that we could be like normal beings and just chat, right?” Gark said after he noticed that Pam brought her items as well as he did.

    “We could, but this is not the time for idle chit-chat,” his wife replied. She flipped through some more plays. “This is time for studying the playbook and getting things ironed out for tomorrow.”

    “I knew you were going to say that,” Gark replied before returning to his studying.


    When all was said and done, the two returned home and spent most of the rest of the night working on their playbooks. Gark went to bed first, and was sound asleep long before Pam called it a night. Such was life for two coaches in one household.




    The next piece of the actual story will be posted tomorrow, so be on the look-out for it.
    Trieste and Admiral Volshe like this.
  13. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    Two coaches married to each other... now that's an interesting thought. Maybe Pam would be doing a better job with the Force offense than Jed has been doing this season. :p

    The "argument" gave me a big chuckle. :D
  14. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 8
    And here is Part 5 of the actual story.

    TAGS: @Admiral Volshe, @epithree, @Trieste, @jcgoble3


    The great Trimfian ore-mining operation was ready to begin. Mortellus’ men had rounded up most of the able-bodied Trimfian men and had shipped them off to the mines to work in slavish conditions. Some of them had protested, and a few had to be shot to get the message across. It was a time of terror in the nation, as armed soldiers roamed the streets and tanks threatened to blow down any structure in one fell swoop. No one dared leave their houses in case they were suspected of being rebels and being shot on the spot. A small resistance force had formed itself in the last few days, but there was little they could do other than nibble away at their new military overlords. Trimfi was under siege.

    The nearest mine to the city was in a small burg named Orgo. Its residents had typically relied on the mine for a source of income, but now with the Trimfians coming down en masse as slaves to work there, the people of the burg were displaced and thrown into the mine itself alongside the cityfolk. Only part of a day had passed, and the people were already suffering.

    Gark and Me’lin hid behind a large rock when they came to Orgo, trying to stay low so that they could keep moving around in secrecy. The mine was on the burg’s outskirts, but was easy to see from the center of town.

    “What do they think they’re going to do with all these people?” Me’lin asked. “This is more than they need to run a mine.”

    “I don’t get it,” Gark replied. “They’ll probably be able to clean this one out in a matter of months at this rate.”

    “Are they going to build more?” his wife asked.

    “It’s always a possibility,” Gark replied. “Whatever their plans are, we need to shut them down so that the citizens can escape.”

    “And then what? We’re up against all of those soldiers with little weaponry and no allies. It’s hopeless.”

    “And that’s why we need to enter the mine,” Gark said.

    “Are you crazy? I’m not going into a mineshaft!”

    “That’s the last place they’d expect us to strike, isn’t it?” Gark commented. “We can’t go back to town and do anything at the Senate chambers. That’s too heavily guarded. The starport is cleared, but with no one flying in or out, we’d have to commandeer something, and I’m not sure if we can get away with that. We could always fight right here, but then there’s a chance that we’d be stuck out in the open and shot.”

    “But in the mine, we’d be stuck between very unstable walls,” his wife reminded him. “I’d rather take my chances out here than go in there.”

    “Do you want to get home or not?” Gark asked. Me’lin sheepishly nodded. “We have no choice but to enter the mine, and try to wreak some havoc.”

    “You’re hell-bent on this, aren’t you?”

    “Let’s just say that I have a hunch,” Gark said, winking.

    “Oh, great,” Me’lin muttered as she followed Gark to the mineshaft entrance.






    Mortellus looked on as the mine operation began. The first car load of molten ore arrived at the surface, and then attended to by the enslaved Trimfian ore miners. A large machine came down and poured the ore from the cart into a large vat, which was then conveyed off towards another chamber. Then another cart came, filled with its precious cargo. Had it not been red-hot ore, Mortellus would have loved to stick his hand in the liquid gold and just relish its presence. This stuff was going to make him rich beyond his wildest dreams, and he wouldn’t have to pay much to get it. Being the leader of a paramilitary group was quite the task, but it also had its rewards.

    An assistant came up with a datapad, and Mortellus turned to face the man. “Yes?”

    “Sir, we already have a contract offer,” the assistant said.

    “Good. See to it that we accept the offer.”

    “Right away.” The assistant then left, Mortellus turning his attention once more to the mine and the ore that it spat out. The acrid smoke that poured from the process was nasty, yes, but it was the smell of credits, one of power, one of wealth. It was something that had to be endured, and would blossom into a real investment. All it needed was time.






    Gark punched the trooper in the head, causing the man to crumple to the ground without a sound. He and Me’lin had gotten close to the mine, but not close enough to do any damage. Gark then spied some work clothes that had been placed there for the influx of new slave laborers. The dingy gray “sweater” and thin slacks looked back at them in a mournful way, knowing exactly what they were for and what suffering those wearing such outfits were going to endure. Just by looking at these clothes, Gark knew that he had to do something.

    “We need to get down into that mine shaft,” he said.

    “What?”

    “We need to get down in there and free those people,” Gark replied. He then tried on the work clothes; they were a little big, but they would suffice. He finished his transformation by placing on the miner’s hat, the lamp off at the moment. The Bothan wasn’t sure what to expect down there, and the lamp might prove critical. Me’lin didn’t look convinced, however.

    “I’m not going down there,” she said.

    “A lot of people are going to die if we don’t,” Gark said.

    “But mines are dangerous places!”

    “And where we’ve been recently haven’t been?” Gark asked. There was a sense of urgency in his mind. “Lin, I know you don’t want to get caught up in all this, and I don’t blame you. This is a vacation gone wrong, and I don’t know what to tell you. But I can’t sit back and let all these people die. It’s hard to explain, really, but I know that I have to go in and do what I can. Yes it will be dangerous, yes I could die down there in one of fifteen different ways. But it’s something I need to do; it’s my job to get these people out alive.”



    There were several moments of silence between the two of them. Me’lin just looked at her husband, in his baggy new work clothes and helmet. She could see the man she loved in there hidden behind the work duds, but as she surveyed him standing there, she could also tell that this was one of his serious moments. He knew the score; he would likely face extreme peril, and perhaps perish. But what choice did he have?

    “If I don’t make it out alive . . . I want Galin to know who his father was. Everything I did, everything I said, all that I stood for. Don’t hold anything back, all right?” Gark said. “Can you promise me that?” He then slipped on work gloves, covering his hands. But as soon as he put them on, he could feel a hand on his. He looked back at Me’lin.

    “I can do more than that,” she said. “It’s against my better judgment, but . . . I’m coming with you.”

    “You don’t need to,” Gark replied. “I don’t want to put you in danger.”

    “You see this?” Me’lin asked. She moved her hand up for Gark to see, and then motioned to her wedding ring, the one Gark had given to her a year and a half prior when they had gotten married, back when things had been a lot less rocky. “This symbolizes that we’re a team. No matter what happens, no matter what kinds of crap we find ourselves in, that will never change. I may not like this, but if you’re going down there, then I’m coming with you.” She then got into her own work clothes, complete with helmet. They didn’t fit well over her braintails, but she didn’t mind. “Whatever happens, at least we’ll still be together.”

    Gark nodded. This was going to be a tough test for both of them in courage, fortitude, and endurance. But they had each other, and that counted for something.

    The two of them went to the mineshaft gate, which was backing up with new miners being sent down to the shaft. They tried to keep a low profile, and when the lift came to take them down there, they tried to be in the back so as to not be noticed. When the cattle call was over and the lift was filled, the gates closed on the car, and the platform began to descend. Gark took one last look out at the Trimfian landscape; he knew in the back of his mind that this might be the last time he would get to see the sun shine. Where he was going, there would be no sunlight, no burst of warmth to comfort him in times of trouble. Black walls then cut off the link to the sun, and the platform was cast into the dark.

    No one said anything as the car went down the shaft. Most of the newly enslaved citizens were muttering to themselves, some praying, others wishing they could go home. What had gone wrong with their lives? This job was a dirty one, and most of them had a sinking suspicion, like Gark, that they may never see the surface again. There was a pall over the lift as it headed down.

    Finally, when the lift hit the bottom, and the gates opened, the cavern was pitch-black. The commander of the crew ordered everyone to turn on their lamps and proceed to the designated spot. Gark and Me’lin followed, their pickaxes in hand as they walked. On each side, they could see dusty miners hacking into the rock edifice with their axes and spades, trying to get to the ore that was supposedly tucked behind a rock tomb.

    “All right, you lot, get to work,” the commander finally said when they had walked a decent distance away from the lift. “If you’re lucky, you won’t die down here,” he said with a nasty grin. Then he walked away, leaving the new miners to their fate.


    Gark just sighed; he could barely see in the darkness, and a sense of dread had entered his body. This might yet be the most difficult assignment he ever had. When a foreman came around, Gark was seen smashing his axe into the wall like the others, a slave in a machine-like operation. He had to do something, and quick.
  15. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    So Gark has a hunch. I'm not sure whether to be happy, scared, or a little bit of both. :p

    Can't wait to see what happens next!
  16. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 8
    Here is part six. @jcgoble3 , @Trieste, @Admiral Volshe, @epithree

    Gark slammed the axe into the rock one more time, causing a chunk to fall onto the hard ground below and smash into even smaller shards. He had been at work like this for a solid hour, and he was definitely starting to feel a little winded. Not too badly, but this was difficult work. He gained a new perspective on mining in the galaxy; those who were paid to do this for a living certainly earned their keep. The dust in here was unimaginable; the particles of dust were starting to irritate his throat, and he had already coughed several times to try and keep his passageways open. This was a rough job.

    Me’lin then came over and whispered to Gark to keep the noise down. “Where do we go from here?” she asked.

    “No idea,” Gark said. “First we need to ditch this work,” he said. He then placed his axe over his shoulder, removing it from the rock face that it seemed attracted to.

    “What the hell are you doing?” asked one of the nearby workers in a hiss.

    “Getting out of here,” Gark replied. He could barely see the other person in this darkness; all that was really visible was a splotch of color against the dark background. Then he muttered to himself: “Now if we only knew how to do it.”

    “They’ll catch you,” the other worker said nervously. “And then you’ll pay dearly for it. These people are not to be messed with!”

    “Neither am I,” Gark said. He then took a look down the tunnel where they had come from, and then turned around to see what was in the area beyond them. He then commented to Me’lin in a very quiet voice. “There are two ways to go here. Either we keep going down this tunnel and see where it leads, or we head back to the lift.”

    “The lift will probably be guarded somehow,” his wife replied.

    “So it’s onwards down this way, isn’t it?” Gark asked, pointing to the tunnel they could see opening up in front of them.

    “I’m afraid so,” Me’lin said.

    The two of them began to walk further down the tunnel, their footsteps echoing softly around the tunnel and its cavernous walls. The nervous worker watched them go, and then went back to what he was doing. If those two got caught, he figured, at least he wasn’t going to be on the hook for it. The foreman on duty would be, and that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.

    As the S’rilys kept going further down into the mine shaft, the sounds of repetitive axes smashing into the walls began to fade a bit. The crescendo that they made was starting to become more of a random series of hits that sounded almost like gunfire in the distance due to its shrill sound. Neither knew how much farther they could travel, given that they had no knowledge of the construction of this mine and didn’t have a map or schematic to study. They were on their own with this one.

    “How much farther?” Me’lin asked.

    “I don’t know,” Gark replied, still walking as he spoke.

    The two finally came to a steep decline in the tunnel, which led to a fork in the tunnel path. Even with the head lamps, the area was still almost pitch black, so a fair amount of conjecture was necessary to determine what was located here. Gark could make out tracks that were coming from the drop-off; obviously something was down there that needed old-style rails. Perhaps it would benefit repulsor technology to have a solid template for it to rest on instead of hoping that engines of a mine cart would be strong enough to stand going up a sharp incline like this?

    Finally there was a rumbling noise, and a small cart came into view on another set of tracks. It was empty, and moving along the system as two carts rolled the other way. Both of them were filled with molten ore, its intense orange-red glow blinding the duo for several seconds in the darkness that filled this space. However, it provided a convenient source of light that allowed them to see where they were going.

    “Now what?”

    “We get on board and take a ride,” Gark replied. He ran over and hopped into the cart. The bottom of it was still warm from the ore that had once been riding in it, but it wasn’t too bad. Compared to the amount of heat they could feel from the bottom of this incline, the slightly warm cart was nothing. Me’lin joined Gark in the cart as it began to slide downwards into the black oblivion below.



    When the cart settled in, Gark immediately put his head down. There was all of a sudden more light to be had, and in this they couldn’t be seen. Me’lin placed her heard down as well as the cart rumbled along. They went through a pair of solid steel doors and emptied out into what looked like a miniature set of Mustafar. Rivers of ore were being channeled into holding pens, where then the carts would be loaded and sent off on their way. This was where the hardcore miners were located; unlike those above, who were mostly prospecting for small bits of ore, this was the lifeblood of the operation. As they went by in their cart, Gark could catch glimpses of bare-chested workers sweating profusely as they swung hammers down into the rocks to break them apart and release additional flows of ore and raw material to the next stage of the process. It was amazingly humid in this area, given that the amount of molten ore here far exceeded any air circulation possibilities.

    Gark finally coughed because of the humidity. It was a stifling atmosphere to be sure, one which no one would willingly want to subject themselves to without proper compensation and protection. From the look of things, these workers were skilled, but the looks on their faces told Gark that this was not a typical day at the office for them. This was brutal labor at its finest. Above the din of the hammers, and of the rivers of ore, he could hear grunts and groans, the sounds made by workers barely being able to contain their fatigue as they worked tirelessly in this wretched environment.

    Finally the cart stopped, and both of them hopped out. It was in the nick of time, as the cart then shot forward and was filled with molten ore from one of the main reservoir pens. Had they been careless in their timing, they might have been burned alive.

    “That was too close,” Gark commented as he took refuge behind a large conveyor machine. He then stared at the operation all around them; this was no small feat. At least one hundred workers were here, supervised by several large guards who were carrying fearsome-looking weapons. The closest guard had a blunt object in his hand that Gark could tell had some encrusted blood on it. Hm, these guys were serious.

    “Where do we go from here?” Me’lin asked.

    “You two!” came a loud rumble, and both of them turned to see a guard coming towards them. The Weequay did not look amused at the sight of two regular workers hiding out in this part of the operation. “Get back to work!” He then pulled out his blaster and threatened them with it.

    “You don’t want to be doing that,” Gark said.

    “Oh please,” the Weequay said.

    Gark took this as an excuse to take action. He leaped off the machinery and then landed next to his enemy, who was stunned by this quick maneuver. Gark then slammed a fist into the man’s hand to cause him to drop his weapon, and then sent out a kick that pushed the Weequay back towards the reservoir. The guard was not terribly deterred, however, and a fistfight began between the two, both parties trying to knock out the other one first before too much damage was dealt to them. Finally Gark broke through with a shot to the chin, and the Weequay faltered. Gark then sent a nice kick into the chest of the guard, pushing him onto the ground and out of the fight.

    The commotion here caused the other guards to look around and notice the intruders. “Time to go,” Gark commented. He pushed the Weequay aside with his foot and began to run down the path between the reservoirs. The guards, realizing that they had two mutineers, decided to stop what they were doing and pursue these two new foes. Me’lin, as she ran, stumbled slightly, and her helmet fell off into the reservoir, being vaporized in an instant. “Careful!” Gark commented as they ran along. He could feel his own helmet trying to fly off, but he wouldn’t let it leave his body. The lamp might still come in handy.

    At the fork in the path, Gark ran into a guard. He sent the man down to the ground with a swift series of punches, and the guard was defeated with little effort. Both S’rilys jumped over the man and kept going, then running into another guard as they went. This one tried to shoot Gark, but missed by a wide margin with his blaster. Gark finished him off with a haymaker to the face followed by the leg kick that took the man’s leg out from underneath him. He crashed to the ground, his weapon landing in the molten ore and disintegrating.

    The workers began to notice the commotion going on, and stopped working to watch the spectacle. They could see two workers, one with a helmet on, the other a Twi’lek, running around the reservoir pens, trying to take out as many guards as they could.

    “Go on!” Gark yelled to them when he noticed that they were watching with intense interest. “Get out of here!”

    “Come on!” one worker yelled. With roars of approval, the workers dropped their hammers and ran towards the only exit, the steep incline. Two of the commandeered a cart and started to roll it towards the incline, hoping to make it all the way up. A few of the guards began to shoot, one worker being killed by a shot in the back and falling on his face. But the tide was turning; these guards were quickly overwhelmed by the escaped workers, and were quickly defeated.




    Surface

    Mortellus watched with intense glee as more carts of ore came to the surface to be run through the collection process. It was a good feeling to see this liquid cash come to life in front of his very eyes.

    Then an assistant came up, a troubled look on his face. “Sir, we have a problem.”

    “What kind of problem?” Mortellus asked dismissively. What could possibly go wrong in a situation like this?

    “There’s a mutiny, sir,” the assistant said. “Down in the lower chambers. The guards have been outmatched and overwhelmed. Our troops fear that they will keep adding more members until they reach the lift, and if they can gain control of that . . .”

    Mortellus was taken aback by this. How could the Trimfians, who were so peaceful, start such a ferocious mutiny against his forces? Surely something else was going on, and was being mistaken for a rebellion. Nevertheless, he didn’t want his prized operation damaged; the mine must be kept operational, he reasoned, and whatever means necessary to keep it that way would have to be employed.

    “Orders, sir?”

    “I’m going down there myself,” Mortellus said. He pulled a large-carbine blaster from his side holster, and popped a fresh power pack into its chamber. “And I will deal with this pitiful little insurrection.”

    “Right away, sir,” the assistant said before scurrying off. Within two minutes, Mortellus and ten of his best guards rode down the lift into the bowels of the mine itself. Whatever was going on down there, he intended to find and crush immediately. He would not let a few rebellious workers derail his plans.




    Gark hit the top of the steep incline and kept charging forwards, about fifty of the reservoir workers and Me’lin behind him. The commotion they were bringing bounced off the walls and reverberated like crazy. Some of the workers Gark had come down the lift with looked up to see him leading the charge. They didn’t know who it was, and to an extent they didn’t care, but one thing was for certain; they were either in or out of this mutiny. Either way, there was no sitting on the fence and picking sides with caution. This was a major decision, one that could cost them their very life.

    Guards began to form ranks here, ready to fire when the order was given. But the new miners were on top of them immediately, swinging their pickaxes wildly. One axe caught a guard in the chest, killing him via a major stab gash. Others were knocked out cold by the swinging weapons, and the miners seemed to be gaining the upper hand.

    “Onwards!” Gark yelled. There were cheers from the men behind him. This was their run to freedom.

    Their charge didn’t last much longer. Down the lift came some more dark shapes, and Gark only could stop when he realized they weren’t friendly. Immediately, the tunnel was filled with blaster fire from these new arrivals, peppering the mutineers with deadly energy bolts. The man next to Me’lin was shot dead on the spot, falling over right next to her leg. More of the workers were being killed, as anyone foolish enough to rush into the fire was killed immediately.

    “Retreat!” Gark yelled. He had no idea where they could retreat to, but anywhere was better than being caught here under heavy crossfire. The workers began to run for their lives back down the tunnel, and Gark knew that they were losing the battle.

    Down the tunnel the workers ran, trying to stay out of range of the angry blaster bolts whizzing about. Gark was almost hit as a bolt embedded itself in the wall, causing some small chunks of rock to fall from their old location. He then dove to safety as more shots came his way, trying to stay one step ahead.

    “This is insane,” he commented as Me’lin joined him.

    “You’ve managed to cut off our only escape route,” his wife commented.

    “Then we need to break their hold on the lift,” Gark replied. “We just can’t do it with all that fire. Somehow, we need to direct their attention . . .” Then he thought of the ore carts. Perhaps their tunnel would provide a way to divide and conquer? “Men, to the cart tunnel!” he exclaimed. The workers ran down the incline back to the tunnel, drawing the attention of the guards long enough for Gark to do something. He launched himself at one of the new guards, knocking the man’s reciprocating blaster to the ground. He punched the man in the face to finish him off before then going to the next guard, who fell underneath the storm of punches that Gark was able to land on his torso. Two guards were now down, but in the dark Gark could estimate that several more were out there.

    Then a huge blaster bolt went by his head and embedded itself in the wall. The rocks behind it exploded, and the tunnel began to shake. The workers ran for cover, knowing full well what was about to happen. The tunnel walls, softened by repetitive blasting, were finally giving out. Gark knew what was going on, but there was nothing he could do about it. The walls finally collapsed, and the ceiling caved in on he and Me’lin, who had tried to throw herself out of the way but failed.

    Gark could feel as large pieces of the ceiling landed on him. He tried to curl up in a fetal position, but this was no match. Something large just barely missed him, and he was pelted with gravel as the ceiling finally collapsed on the entire width of the tunnel.

    When Gark came too moments later, he knew that several piece of rubble had fallen on him. He shoved them aside and tried to stand up. It was difficult at first, but after a few seconds he gained enough strength to get back to his feet. He had been more stunned than anything, so at least he wasn’t too badly injured. However, as he tried to mess with the control to his head lamp, he found that the bulb had been crushed, and was therefore useless to him. Annoyed, he threw the helmet aside, and began to look around the rubble. What a mess this was.



    And then he realized that Me’lin was missing. “Lin!” he shouted. “Lin! Where are you?” He frantically started to push pieces around, frantically trying to find his wife in the clutter. Was she dead? Was she alive? He couldn’t hear much except muted blaster fire further down the tunnel, but since part of it was now blocked off with rubble, he couldn’t quite tell. He didn’t care what was happening to the workers; Me’lin was missing. It felt like a two-ton bomb had landed on him; he had lost her again, and like the last time, he had only been there as a spectator, unable to do anything about it. He wanted to slam his fists into the wall in rage. This had all gone horribly wrong.
    Last edited by Jedi Gunny, Aug 8, 2013
  17. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    Yes! Action! :D

    ...but Me'lin's missing? I hope she's alright...[face_nail_biting]
  18. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 8
    Will Gark save the day? Is Me'lin alive or dead? Is Trimfi doomed? Your answers may, or may not, be present today!

    Tagging @Admiral Volshe, @epithree, @Trieste, @jcgoble3


    Gark pushed aside another piece of rubble in his frantic search for Me’lin. He had no idea what her status was, and as the seconds passed, more thoughts started to creep into his head. There was no way she could still be alive after the ceiling and walls collapsed. OK, it wasn’t a total collapse, but most of the ceiling was now shifted to the side as the wall that had once supported it had given way.

    Then Gark moved another boulder, and beneath it he could feel flesh. The hand, or at least that’s what he figured it was, moved slightly, grasping in his own. It’s was Me’lin! Gark would know that hand anywhere; she must still be alive. With a new sense of urgency that surpassed what he had moments earlier, he pushed some pieces of ceiling aside and unburied his wife from the surrounding mess. He then bent down to check on her; in the dark it was difficult to tell, but at least she was still breathing.

    Even though she was weakened, the Twi’lek looked at Gark in the darkness. “I thought you were dead,” Gark said, relief in his voice.

    “I thought so too,” Me’lin said. “I’m just lucky a few large pieces didn’t land on me.”

    “Can you stand? We need to get out of here,” Gark said.

    “I think so,” Me’lin replied. She, with Gark’s help, was able to get to her feet, albeit being a little weak around the edges due to the bruises she had sustained in the collapse.

    Then they heard a click of a blaster, and looked straight down the barrel of a gigantic blaster rifle. The man holding it was about as tall as Gark, but he had a presence that told the Bothan that this man was serious. “Hands up,” a man said in a serious tone of voice.

    Gark hesitated to do so, but when his hands were in the air, he had to try to keep a hold on Me’lin with his torso. This was an awkward arrangement, but what else could he do?

    “So you’re the punk who decided to mess with my operation,” the man said.

    “That’s me,” Gark said in a tongue-in-cheek manner, but then shut up when the blaster was shoved right onto his snout.

    “I wouldn’t get all cute with your words if I were you,” the man replied curtly.

    “Who the hell are you?” Gark asked.

    “My name is Mortellus,” the man replied. “And this mine, along with the nation itself, belongs to me now.”

    “So you’re the one behind all this!” Gark said, his brow furrowing.

    “Exactly,” Mortellus said. “It was quite an accomplishment to be able to overthrow the monarchs and the Senate in just a few days. Now I have complete control over everything that goes on here.”

    “And what in the hell do you think you’re going to do with this mine?” Gark asked. Perhaps he could think of a plan by stalling for time.

    “It’s going to make me rich,” Mortellus said simply. “There is enough ore here to sell to contractors all over the galaxy. And it’s all mine; there will be no competition that can stand in my way!” Then he paused before continuing with his diatribe. “Now then. Considering that you started a mutiny in my ore mine, I am going to have to serve out the requisite penalty for such behavior, that being immediate, and very painful, death.”

    But Gark didn’t give Mortellus the chance to pull the trigger. He kicked up a small rock with his foot and smashed it into the barrel of the rifle, cleaving the carbine in two and leaving the weapon useless. Then, before Mortellus could react, Gark sent out a punch that connected with the man’s face, and he knew there was a window of opportunity. “Run!” he said to Me’lin, who despite her bruises, was able to move remarkably well. Either that, or she was limping that well. The two of them made their way through the rubble pile partially blocking the tunnel down to the ore reservoirs, and now out of effective reach of Mortellus in case the enemy had a short-range weapon to use.

    Mortellus, stunned by this turn of events, decided to keep up the chase. He hadn’t come all this way to fail now; this was his operation, his ore, his money, and he wanted to keep it secure from anyone who dared interfere. Where were his guards when he needed them, anyways? Had they been killed by the collapse of the ceiling? Were they pursuing the fugitive miners? Or had they turned tail and fled? Growling, he leaped over a large boulder and chased his two quarries down the path of the semi-blocked tunnel and down the slope, knowing that he would have to do this himself.

    Gark had to be careful running at full speed not to fall into the rivers of ore as they lazily flowed past. He came dangerously close to losing his balance as he nailed the bottom at high speed after running down the slope. Me’lin almost bumped in to him as he stopped, and for a second there he thought he might just tip over. But thankfully he didn’t, and he was able to stay on the path.

    “Keep moving!” Me’lin urged. The two of them ran along the path, trying to dodge the burbling ore and bodies that were left here after the fighting only minutes before. On the other end of the area Mortellus came in, picking up a blaster that had been dropped here. He then brought it up and fired off a shot, barely missing Gark’s head as it screamed by.

    Finally the S’rilys ducked down behind the machinery for the overhead transportation apparatus. It wasn’t the safest place for them to hide, but what choice did they have? Mortellus had a weapon, and they didn’t.

    “I know where you’re hiding!” Mortellus roared over the sound of the flowing ore. “Come out with your hands up, and I will spare you!”

    “Fat chance of that,” Gark muttered under his breath. Mortellus had already said he was going to kill them, so why would he be nice now and spare them if they surrendered? They’d just be two targets amongst the raging operation here.

    A blaster shot clanged off the metal machinery, and Gark made sure to keep his head down low. Then a thought occurred to him; what would happen if Mortellus shot the equipment overheard and brought it crashing down on them? They wouldn’t stand a chance this time, because unlike the cave-in of sorts further up the tunnel, these machines wouldn’t break into smaller, and therefore lighter, pieces. They would drop and kill if they could. But would Mortellus dare do something like that? This was his operation to lose, and knocking out the equipment would surely hinder his efforts for a while. Then again, machines could be replaced, but Gark knew that if he died, he was gone. There would be no replacing him.

    “So what do we do now?” his wife asked him. She had a panic-stricken look on her face, one mixed with some slight pain. Or at least that’s what Gark could tell. Her face was covered in dust and debris, and he speculated from this that his was as well. Their clothing was absolutely filthy, but at least it was work clothes, and not something more casual or fancy.

    “We need to get this guy out of the way,” Gark replied. “But he’s too far away for me to able to fight him. He’d cut me down before I could get halfway there.” He then looked around the corner to see where the enemy was, but another blaster shot caused him to move back where he had been previously.

    Mortellus moved down the path slowly, making sure that his blaster would be ready to fire at a moments’ notice. He wanted to kill these two for their insurrection, and how fitting it would be that he could strike a last crippling blow to any kinds of resistance on this planet by himself. He didn’t need guards for this one; yes, he, Mortellus, would prove his dominance by making these two kills and then rounding up the miners that had tried to escape. He could taste success, as it was right on the tip of his tongue.

    Gark and Me’lin stopped talking to each other to retain their silence. Mortellus knew they were there, but perhaps they could hear him coming. Gark was still nervous despite what kinds of situations he had gone through before. This was nothing in comparison to some of the other things he had done, but there was something about staring death in the face that made you want to flinch, to give up, to run away. But he had so much to live for, and that kept him going despite his better judgment. Perhaps it was foolish to want to stick it out even when life itself was on the line. Perhaps he should run away. But where could he go? The starport was closed, and the only way to get there was through Mortellus. The enemy had to be defeated.

    Then he could feel a pair of hands around his neck, smashing him into the machinery that he had his back up against. He looked up at one of Mortellus’ guards, the man’s face obscured by the mask he wore. Me’lin was started by this as well, and tried to move out of the way. But Gark could tell that she was still in pain, as she winced when she tried to scoot away from the guard. At this time Mortellus came around the corner, blaster pointed at the Twi’lek.

    “And this is where you two die,” he said firmly. The blaster became aimed at Me’lin’s chest, and his finger wanted to press the trigger.

    But Gark had other ideas. He was able to push the guard’s hands off his neck, causing the man to lose his concentration, and then lunged for Mortellus’ ankles. The blaster fired, and Me’lin fell to the ground. Gark kept pushing as he made contact with Mortellus’ ankle, causing the man to fall over onto the hard path. The Bothan then turned around to see Me’lin on the ground, still alive due to Gark’s quick actions. A sigh of relief turned into a fight as Mortellus launched himself back up and smacked Gark in the face. Gark landed on his backside, and before Mortellus could stomp on him, rolled over and got to his feet. The guard behind the machine wanted to shoot him, but Gark sent out an elbow that knocked the weapon free. Taking this hint, Gark pushed the man closer to the edge of the path, although he didn’t fall in.

    Mortellus made a wide swing that sailed over Gark’s head, and the Bothan returned the favor by bulling his way into the man’s chest. Mortellus stumbled backwards, but was able to regain his composure and brought the blaster up. Gark was too quick; he smacked the weapon aside, and it landed in the nearby ore river. Gark then launched out with a swift kick, catching Mortellus completely by surprise. The enemy, the scourge of the Trimfians, lost his balance. Last he knew, he was falling backwards into the river of ore, and burned to a crisp instantly. Mortellus was no more.

    Gark took a deep breath as he stood there. He had done it. They had won the battle. Then he heard another click, and turned around to see a guard with a blaster trained on him. But before the shot rang out, the guard was bumped aside and fell to the ground, his weapon skittering on down the trail. Me’lin stood over him, having completed this daring rescue of her husband despite the pain she still had from the bruises sustained in the wall collapse earlier. The guard tried to trip her, but she stomped on his chest, causing him to double over in pain, and then finished him with a solid blow to the head. He was knocked unconscious, and the battle was over.

    “Not bad,” Gark commented, grinning a bit.

    “I would say so,” his wife replied.







    When the S’rilys had come out of the mine, trailed by hundreds of liberated Trimfian miners, Mortellus’ forces had been quickly apprehended and shipped off to jail. The loss of their leader had them scattering for cover, and the Trimfian army, as small as it was, overwhelmed the enemy forces at the Senate and the palace, winning back the nation.

    Not long after, the royal family was liberated from their prison, and were free to roam once more. They were told that two strangers, on vacation no less, had been the ones to start the rebellion against the usurpers. The king, moved by this display of dedication, asked to see these two and properly thank them on behalf of the state.

    When the two S’rilys made their way to the palace, they were cheered along the way by the people of Trimfi. They had just found Galin back in the cellar; the boy wasn’t happy by any means, since he needed a diaper change and more food, but when he was back with his parents, that seemed to calm his down considerably. It was quite the feeling to know that their work was appreciated as they walked down the street. Then they were brought in front of the king and the royal family, still in their grimy work clothing and covered in dirt and dust.

    “We owe you a great debt of gratitude,” the King said after the usual pomp given for royal court hearings. “Anything you desire, just ask away. Or, at least, within reason.”

    “A ride home would be nice,” Gark said, rubbing some dirt off his face. “I could also do with a shower, now that you mention it.”

    “You are very humble in your requests,” the King said. “I was afraid that you were going to ask for riches beyond your wildest dreams.”

    Gark looked over at Me’lin, his wife, his associate in arms, his best friend, who had been through this entire ordeal with him. He couldn’t have gotten this far without her, either in this fight to save the kingdom, or in their personal lives. She smiled back at him, her grin easy to distinguish from her otherwise-dirty face and clothes. Even amongst the mess and dirt, there was still a diamond there that Gark could see. “I already have all that,” he said. “And I’m looking right at her.” The King followed the Bothan’s gaze.

    “Ah, I can see that,” he said. “But there must be something else we can do for you.”

    “Nothing comes to mind,” Gark said. He honestly had no idea what else they could receive. He could ask for riches, but he didn’t need them. He could ask for a ship, but he already had one. He already had the love of his life around; what more did he need?

    “I may have something you would feel as proper compensation for your efforts after all,” the king remarked after thinking for several seconds.




    The chamber was packed. There was little room to move in the sea of people who filled the hall, waiting for the ceremony to occur. Finally, when the monarchs entered the room, everything went quiet. This was it! The king entered first, the queen by his side. They made it up to the front of the hall, and then waited. After them came Gark and Me’lin, being escorted by two lesser nobles. Gark had an uneasy feeling as he walked by the rows of people. It felt like he was being scrutinized for something, something that he didn’t think he deserved flak for. What was going on? What was this alternative reward he and his wife were going to receive?

    When they reached the other end of the room, the nobles left them in the presence of the monarchs. The king stood up from his throne. “People of Trimfi, we have long celebrated our autonomy. It was a process painstakingly fought for by my ancestors so that we all could share in a collective freedom not found on all planets. We are fortunate in that regard.

    However, over the past few days, we had seen our freedoms restricted, our identity as Trimfians subjugated to the wills of a madman. We were stripped of our very being. I need not make light of this more, because all of you are well aware of what I speak of. It was a troublesome time for this kingdom, for this democracy.

    But we never gave up the fight. We held out in the hope that someone, anyone, would come to our rescue. And our hopes were answered. These two beings before you came to our assistance in our time of need, and worked diligently to bring down our captors and free this kingdom from tyranny! As such, I would like to personally thank them for their service to the crown, and to you, the people.” There was a loud cheer from the crowd at this.

    “These two beings have been very humble in their requests when I asked what reward they desired for their service to the House of Creda. Due to the nature of their service to the kingdom, I felt that they deserved more for their hassle than they asked for. So they shall now receive their reward, something they have justly deserved for risking their lives for the good of our kingdom. Please, kneel.”

    Gark raised an eyebrow at this. Why did they have to kneel here? What was up the King’s sleeve? But kneel he did, as did Me’lin. The king then grabbed a sword, a weapon of a bygone era, and came forward. Gark was unsure of what the blade was for; was the King going to try and kill them? His muscles became tense as he made sure to follow the path of the blade as it neared him.

    “I, King Rygoth of the House of Creda, of the many kings of my line who came before me, thank you for your service to the kingdom, and planet, of Trimfi. I henceforth honor you with this gesture.” He tapped Gark on the shoulder with one blade, and then on the other. “Rise, Lord S’rily, head of the House of S’rily of Trimfi.” Gark did so, but he was dumbfounded. He had just been knighted into royalty? He hadn’t seen that coming.

    “And for you, I dub you Lady S’rily, of the same house,” the King said as he did the same procedure for Me’lin. “Rise.” She stood after this, also looking shocked.

    “People of Trimfi, I now announce the formation of the eighth house of the monarchy, the aforementioned House of S’rily. As a member of the royal house, these two and their direct descendants will be able to enjoy full membership in the citizenry of Trimfi, and the advantages of that, along with those conferred upon royal family members. Please welcome the new house into being.”

    There was thunderous applause from the packed house. It seemed to Gark like everyone here felt that such a reward was worth it in this instance. He hadn’t expected to be given such a prize, since he had only been doing what he needed to, but being royalty on this planet certainly would be worth something.

    “I want to thank you again for your service to the kingdom, and I hope that you will do us proud.”

    “I will,” Gark said when he felt the time was right to do so.




    The shuttle on the landing pad was about ready to go, and Gark knew that it was time to return home to Coruscant. He had a lot on his plate to get ready as the defensive coordinator for the Senators. But he also knew that what he had done here was well appreciated.

    “Good luck,” the King said as he stood with the two S’rilys in the doorway. “And remember, feel free to return here any time you desire. We await your return.”

    Gark stuck out his hand, and the king shook it. “We will,” Gark replied. “Ready?” he asked Me’lin. She nodded, and took Gark’s hand. The two of them then walked out of the doorway and on the walkway out to the shuttle. Hundreds of people witnessed this spectacle, cheering as the two newly-christened royal house members walked towards their transport. Me’lin, in the hand not grasping Gark’s, had Galin in her other arm, the small child not even stirring as he slept on his mother’s shoulder.

    The two of them walked up the ramp and into the shuttle’s main cabin. It was a rather nice vessel, to be sure. The seats were luxuriously comfortable, and there was plenty of leg room for both of them. Gark took a seat, and his wife followed suit.

    “Are you all set to proceed?” came the voice of the pilot.

    “I think so,” Gark said.

    “All right, hold tight,” the pilot said. He pressed a button, and a small shield came in between the cockpit and the seating area. This was obviously to let the members of the royal family have serious discussions on their shuttle without fear of being overheard by the pilots. It was a fancy security system. The shuttle lurched forwards before taking off, but once that small hitch had been taken care of, the rest of the ascent was smooth. Gark looked out the window as the palace became farther away every second.

    “That was . . . interesting, to say the least,” Gark finally commented after a few minutes.

    “I think it was a nice gesture,” Me’lin said. She placed Galin down in one of the other seats, the boy still sleeping, and then came and sat down in the chair next to Gark’s.

    “Well, Lady S’rily, you certainly look beautiful,” Gark said.

    “I’m not going to say ‘My Lord’ this or that, if that’s what you’re going on about,” Me’lin said, winking.


    “Give it time. It’ll stick,” Gark said, smirking. The rest of the trip was spent sleeping, as both of them were exhausted from all the work they had just been through. But at least it had meant something.


    And that's it for this story arc. I'm going to be taking a break for a while, but Gark and Co. will be back soon enough. :)
  19. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    Lord and Lady S'rily now? I love it. You should use those titles in the limmie game. :D
  20. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    Really? I now have to refer to Gark as Lord S'rily? Insult to injury on a Senatorial Showdown loss day, @Jedi Gunny. ;)
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  21. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 8
    Kind of a funky mashup post here that has little to no redeeming value in it. :p

    TAGS to @Trieste, @jcgoble3, @epithree, @Admiral Volshe and to Tim.

    Gark sat at the table, taking another bite of the appetizer that was lying in the center of the table. He was out having dinner with Me’lin and her sister, Re’lia. Gark hadn’t technically met her before, even though she had been present at his wedding, accompanying her sister up to the altar. Their father wasn’t available that day to help out, and from the sound of it, was a bit reluctant to go out these days after he injured himself. Me’lin had fretted quite a bit after hearing the news, but when the surgery went well to repair the ligament damage from the fall, she had been able to calm down.

    The Senators had lost two days earlier in the Revolutionary War rivalry game against Chandrila, and were taking as much time as they could here at home before taking the short ride over to Rydonni Prime. The team was scheduled to leave in two days, so for now, the S’rilys were just out on the town. Or, at least how much they could be when they had an extra person with them, and that one not being Galin, either.

    Currently, the two sisters were just chatting it up, Gark mindlessly eating to try and pass the time until the main course came out from the kitchen. He didn’t understand things like fashion, or at least that’s what he assumed they were babbling on about incessantly. The only fashion he cared about was if he looked like he had been run over by a speeder or not. On a good day, he wouldn’t. On a bad day, he probably wouldn’t either. OK, maybe that wasn’t quite the point.

    “Honey, are you going to eat all that?” Me’lin asked, shaking Gark out of his mindless stupor.

    “Hm?” Gark asked.

    “You’ve eaten at least half of that thing by yourself. Save some for us,” his wife chided.

    Gark just slid the plate over towards the two women. “Eat up,” he said.

    “Anyways, enough of that chit-chat stuff,” Re’lia said. “How’s the job treating you?”

    “Rough, as usual,” Me’lin said. “Lots and lots of paperwork. This guy gives me a ton of stuff to file and process,” she said, motioning to Gark.

    “I can bet,” Re’lia said. “Though, from what you’ve been saying over the years, I’d like to think you like what you’re doing.”

    “It’s leaps and bounds better than my old jobs,” Me’lin replied, nodding. “You remember those, don’t you? Back when I would come home and want to just crash on the bed and not move?”

    “Remember, I moved out a little faster than you did, but yes, I recall that,” her sister commented.

    “Hm?” Gark asked.

    “Oh, my former jobs were nothing to write home about,” Me’lin said.

    “Please tell,” Gark said, still bored.






    261 ABY


    Me’lin finished cleaning up the last bit of vomit that was on the back of the passenger seat. The stench of the mess had long since lodged itself in her sensory system, and she was getting close to want to upchuck in response to it. Anything to get away from the smell. She tossed the last towel into the plastic bag and then gave a cheery smile to the five-year old child who had been the perpetrator. “You feeling better?” she asked.

    “Yeah,” the child said.

    Me’lin then walked to the back of the shuttle, carrying the putrid mess in one hand. Other passengers gave her odd looks as she walked by, most of them probably horrified by the stench of what she was carrying. She didn’t want to be there either, but this was a job. She needed to pay the bills somehow.

    When she reached the back compartment, she tossed the smelly cargo and then disposed of the gloves she had been using to clean it all up. Now the smell wasn’t quite so bad, but she could still almost sense it due to the time of exposure instead of having the source right in front of her. Then she washed her hands in the small sink.

    “Ten minutes, not bad for that kind of incident,” the other flight attendant, a human, commented.

    “That’s the third time this flight that kid’s done something nasty,” Me’lin said as she dried her hands. “And we’re only halfway to our destination. If this is some kind of cruel joke on us . . . a test . . . whatever . . . I can’t stand it.”

    “Welcome to the world of being a flight attendant,” the human said. Me’lin had been working for this company five months already, and she was getting sick, no pun intended, of this line of work.

    “Sometimes I wonder if I’m really capable of doing this job,” Me’lin said as she took a seat in the back and rested for a few moments. She didn’t want to have to go back out into the main seating area for a few minutes at least.

    “You’re more than capable, Lin,” the other woman said. “You have what it takes to do this job real well. The problem is the line of work itself. I’ve stuck around for five years doing this, and I’ve hated most every minute of it. Like you’ve found out today, someone always spills something, upchucks, or does something else unsavory. I’ve already had to bust a couple trying to have sex in the ‘fresher on this flight alone . . . it sucks. But I do this because it pays. Oh, and also because my boyfriend is too lazy to get a job that supports both of us.”

    “I’m just in it for myself,” Me’lin said. “No relationships to worry about.”

    “Really? Not a single relationship in your life?”

    “I didn’t say that. It’s . .. it’s . . .”

    “Complicated?”

    “Pretty much,” Me’lin said.

    “I understand,” the other woman said. “You just have to keep looking. And for a good-looking young woman like yourself, I can’t imagine it’d be hard to find a real keeper.”

    “Guess I haven’t really thought about it too much,” Me’lin said with a sigh. “I’m always too busy to really go out and have much of a social life. Well, at least aside from watching Limmie when I can.”

    “You a fan?” the other woman asked.

    “Yeah, I follow it,” Me’lin said.

    “The Sens have been crap for years,” the other woman replied. “It’s a pity, too.”

    “But I still watch,” Me’lin said. “As long as I get some enjoyment out of it, it’s alright. It’s better than this busywork.”

    “I’m just glad the season’s almost over,” the other woman said. “They got blown out again this week. Shameful.”

    “I know,” Me’lin replied. “They just can’t play cohesive ball these days.”

    Then a passenger came into the back area. “Clean up on aisle four,” he said.

    “Again?” Me’lin and the other woman asked simultaneously. The man nodded.

    “You want to get this one?” Me’lin asked. The other woman shook her head. “I need to clean out the ‘fresher,” she said. “It looks like poodoo in there, and I need to clean that up.”

    “Remind me to terminate my employment here when we get back to Coruscant,” Me’lin said as she grabbed the requisite cleaning supplies. That kid was proving to be a real nuisance, and she couldn’t take it anymore.






    Months later

    Me’lin poured some fatty cheese, or at least what they called “cheese” in this industry, on a small paper tray of nachos. She was now working for a gravball team in the concession stand part of the operation. The team was semi-pro, so there wasn’t a lot of money to go around, and the pay sucked. But at least she didn’t have to clean up after little children like her previous job.

    “Hey, hurry up and get that stuff dished!” yelled the shift manager. Me’lin realized that she had four more orders to get out, and that she was behind. She tried to pour cheese on the nachos, but then the dispenser decided to open a leak, and soon fatty “cheese” was everywhere. The manager didn’t like that. The Twi’lek’s job prospects were just like the cheese; always moving, but never sticking.






    262 ABY

    Me’lin grabbed two of the plates and made her way out into the seating area. Now she was working at a diner, a very cheap one, and she didn’t like it one bit. The “uniform”, if it could be called that, was so tacky that it made her flight attendant uniform look like it was the stuff of legends. Yes she was attractive, but she never thought she would have to use that instead of her brains to get a job. These diner crawlers were all the same, taking a peek whenever they could at a woman’s bust. And, with this uniform, that wasn’t hard to observe. She had been working here for a few months now, barely making more than she had previously, and now being subject to the ogling eyes of random males of all species. Frankly, this sucked.

    As she delivered the plates to the proper table, she turned around to see that same brown-haired young man enter the diner. He smiled at her as he took a seat at the front counter, and Me’lin then went over to wait on him. This guy was a frequent eater here, and was rather handsome. Unlike most of the sleezeballs that ate here, he was different. He was like the supermodel amongst a bunch of riffraff, a real keeper.

    “What can I get you today?” Me’lin asked in her sweetest voice.

    “I’ll have the Club Sandwich,” the man said, a grin on his face. “And a soda.”

    “Any particular kind?”

    “Whatever the house recommends,” the man said, nodding. Me’lin blushed a little bit; he obviously found her attractive. Maybe she would have to ask him some time, or at least wait to see if he asked her out. Yes, that would be nice. Perhaps this was the guy she was waiting for her entire life, that Prince Charming, they said in those children’s stories.

    As Me’lin went to put in those orders, a general burst of excitement passed through the establishment. Me’lin came back and then asked the nearest server what was going on.

    “The Senators have been sold,” he said.

    “Really?” Me’lin asked. “To who?”

    “The Andromeda Corporation,” the server replied. “Seems like an odd investment for them, but at this point, I don’t really care. If they can win a few games, I’m all for it. The press conference is on right now.”

    Me’lin looked to the nearest Holo screen. It wasn’t that large, obviously, and the picture was somewhat fuzzy, but she could still make out the shape of a Bothan on the screen. The caption said “New Senator Ownership Speaks”.

    “I will be the General Manager of the team, yes,” the Bothan said.

    “Sir, do you have any experience with managing Limmie?”

    “No, but I’m sure I can be a quick study,” the Bothan replied.

    “Great, another ownership group that can’t even hire a veteran executive,” one of the patrons said disdainfully. “This group won’t last long, and certainly won’t win any games like the last few ones.” The other patrons seemed to agree on this point, and left it alone.





    The funny thing was, Me’lin thought to herself, that gamble had worked out. The Senators had won the Cup title that season, and were now highly respected, if not universally loathed, in the League. The Bothan who had no Limmie experience? He had only gone on to win two Grames Awards for his work. That same man who had given her a decent job . . . and she was now married to. Funny how things worked out, wasn’t it?

    “I see,” Gark said. “Then yes, I think your job now is a lot better than those were.”

    “Tell me about it,” Me’lin commented. She then looked back at her sister, who took a bite of the appetizer before speaking again.

    “How is married life going?”

    “It’s going fine,” Me’lin said. She and Gark shot a look at each other, and the Bothan shrugged. Things hadn’t quite been swimming over the last year and a half, which included, but was not limited to: a near fatality during childbirth, undue stress on both parties, a long season of GMing, a near Galactic Cup title, a fight to overthrow Ciscerian Barbosa, and then having to deal with a coup on Trimfi and breaking into a mine to rescue those trapped inside. But they wouldn’t dwell on any of those things now; it was time to look at the positives, not the negatives. “Glad I finally found someone,” the Twi’lek continued. “Makes life a lot more interesting.”

    “Tell me about it,” Re’lia said, twirling the small mixing straw in her drink as she spoke.

    “You’re still in the market?” Me’lin asked, a frown on her face.

    “Too true,” Re’lia commented, sighing. “Here I thought having a solid job would help, and my looks, but I guess that hasn’t materialized into much of anything.”

    “That hard, hunh?” Me’lin asked. Her sister nodded.

    “Look at you. You did a lot of odd jobs, and were in my same position, and yet you turned out all right because you found the right guy for you,” Re’lia said. “What’s my excuse?”

    “You just need to keep looking,” Me’lin said. “Trust me.” She looked at Gark. “It’s worth it.”

    “I just don’t know if it’s something about me that’s off,” Re’lia said. “It’s not like I’m trying to be too picky or anything . . .”

    “Don’t worry about it,” Me’lin said. “It’ll come with time. Just don’t worry too much and rush into anything. I want to see my little sister turn out all right in this realm, OK? I don’t want to see you get abused or anything.”

    “True,” Re’lia said. “I was happy to see my big sister finally find that elusive man for her. That was great, because it has worked out for you many times over.”

    “It hasn’t been perfectly rosy,” Me’lin said. She had butted heads with Gark a few times; nothing major, obviously, but when you were married to a superhero, things weren’t quite as easy as advertised.

    “But it’s still not bad,” Re’lia said. “That’s what I meant. And then I was really happy for you when you got pregnant, because hey, Galin’s a fun little guy to keep track of. Sometimes I wish I had one or two of my own . . . guess I’m just thinking wishfully here.”

    Gark wanted to roll his eyes, but doing so would be rude. It was obvious that Me’lin was caring about her sister’s plight quite a bit here, and there was nothing he could do to stop her. Where was that food?

    “A little help here?” Me’lin asked Gark, who had to digest what had just been said.

    “Hunh?” he asked.

    “I know it seems pushy, but I’m going to do what I can,” his wife said. “Is there anyone on the roster or staff with the team who . . . is . . . you know . . . available?”

    “What?” Gark asked. Had she seriously asked him that question? Did she really think that he would be able to hook her sister up with someone from the team right here at dinner? This sounded like matchmaking from hell, and the Bothan was glad he didn’t have to deal with this kind of weirdness in his own dating life. Or, at least what a layman would call that, because Gark still hadn’t gone out on a date since college, or high school, he didn’t quite remember.

    “Come on, just think it through,” Me’lin said.

    “Fine,” Gark said, but he wasn’t really interested in all this. Seriously, where was that food when he needed it? “Isn’t this the wrong time to be doing something like this, though?” Me’lin gave him a stern look, and Gark finally backed down. “All right, all right,” he said. He pulled out his datapad and began to run through his list of contacts. As he scanned the list, he said “No” or “Not Interested” to all of them, because he knew all too well what they would say. Names like Jed Ortmeyer came up, but Gark knew all too well, as did most of the Thyferra team that he still had his eye on Pamila Korthe, the Zeltron head coach for the Senators. And who could blame him, frankly? When he hit the end of the list, he looked back up and shrugged.

    “No one?” Me’lin asked.

    “Nope,” Gark replied. “Sorry.” He wasn’t sincere in that apology, though, as he wanted to get off this subject as soon as possible.

    “Oh come on, there has to be someone,” Me’lin said.

    “Do we really need to do this over dinner?” Gark asked. Again, he got the evil eye from his wife, and decided it would be easier to just comply. Perhaps he could get out of this tangle if he tried a little harder. “Look, I don’t have anyone in mind. There is no one left who I think would work, all right?”

    Then the door to the restaurant opened, and in came a figure all too familiar. Dirxx Horstse, the former Senator captain, Senator legend, member of the team Ring of Fame, Hall of Fame, had his number retired, and was an inductee in the next class of the Limmie Hall of Fame, entered in his best-looking dress clothes. Gark knew how much he hated dressing up, and Dirxx had a similar sentiment. But obviously that wasn’t hindering him here. It was almost like a movie, where the solution to the problem had entered to stirring music. Gark’s jaw would have dropped had he not been stared at by the two Twi’lek women sitting with him at the table. Hm, perhaps he could save his bacon here after all . . .

    Gark waved his arm in the air to try and get the Besalisk’s attention. Dirxx looked around and saw it, then came over to the table. “Well, fancy seeing you here tonight,” he said, taking the last seat at the table for four next to Gark.

    Boy am I lucky you decided to show up Gark thought to himself, mentally wiping his brow. Now he had a fighting chance to get Me’lin off the subject. Dammit, he thought to himself, why did she have to be so stubborn, putting him on like this? Dirxx then looked to his right at Re’lia, who was unsure exactly what was going on. She recognized Dirxx, obviously, but had no idea he was going to show up.

    “Um, Dirxx, this is Re’lia,” Gark said, trying to introduce the two from across the table. “She’s Lin’s sister. Re’lia, this is Dirxx Horstse, one of my former players, and all-around good guy.”

    “Ah, good to meet you,” Dirxx said, nodding at the younger Twi’lek. “Your sister’s quite talented, I must say. She’s got a gift.” When everyone gave him an odd look, Dirxx realized how those words could be construed to get a little risqué. “Er . . . let me start over. I didn’t know you had a sister.”

    “You just haven’t seen her around,” Me’lin said. “I never get to speak to her often enough, so I don’t see her that much.”

    “Tell me about it,” Re’lia commented.

    Then the eyes turned back to Gark. “Um . . . the two ladies here were wondering . . . if you . . . would . . . it’s hard to get this out . . . under pressure and all . . . but . . . um . . .” Finally, he went and whispered into Dirxx’s ear as to not sound awkward. Dirxx had an odd look on his face, but then nodded in an understanding manner.

    “Gotcha,” he said. “Hm, I can do that. If you need a friend, you’ve asked the right guy,” he said to the younger Twi’lek. “I’ll get us a table here . . .” He motioned to the waiter, and quickly enough, thanks to his influence, was able to get a corner table that he and Re’lia now sat down at. Gark was relieved by this turn of events; Dirxx had really saved the day for him here.

    Then the food came, and Gark was finally able to focus on eating instead of being backed down into a corner. He was so “happy” he almost shot his roll across the floor while zealously trying to cut his steak. Me’lin shot him several odd looks, and Gark tried to reply with a bashful smile every now and then. But it was obvious that her attention was over to the corner table. The two over there were chatting, Dirxx taking a sip of the beer he had ordered, and then the two of them laughed at something. When Dirxx laughed, you could tell from across a room. The Besalisk, embarrassed, toned himself down a little bit when he got odd stares from the other patrons.

    Then it occurred to Gark that he needed to ask a question. “Lin, why did you put me on the spot like that?” he asked.

    “I’m just trying to be helpful, all right?” Me’lin said. “I wasn’t trying to come across as rude or anything, but . . . it’s complicated . . . something you wouldn’t understand.”

    “Try me,” Gark said. “I have a sister too, you know.”

    “Would you stick your neck out for her like I did here?”

    “Probably,” Gark said. “She’s all the old family I have left. Well, OK, I have Uncle Fred . . .”

    “That weird old man?” Me’lin asked.

    “I know he’s weird, but . . . he’s all I have left, really,” Gark said. “After my parents died . . .”

    “Sorry,” Me’lin said, covering up her error. “I forgot about that.”

    “It’s fine,” Gark said. “I’ve tried to square with that as much as I can . . . but it’s still hard to deal with it now and then. But enough of that. Tonight it’s just the two of us, and that’s not bad.”

    The two of them finished their meal in complete silence, trying not to get in each other’s grill about mistakes the other made and try to smooth out the awkwardness of the situation. Meanwhile, both of them watched that corner table like hawks, just trying to figure out what was going on over there. Me’lin hoped that perhaps Dirxx could be a friend who had friends who might be good matches for Re’lia, while Gark just hoped that this would put an end to the whole situation and get it out of his hair. Which, of course, he had a ton of.

    Finally, about thirty minutes later, the two from the corner table got up and came back over to the S’rily table. Dirxx had a slight grin on his face, obviously having had a decent time with this whole thing. “Well?” Gark and Me’lin asked at the same time.

    “Your sister here is a real nice gal,” Dirxx commented. “It’s too bad Shayt wasn’t this nice out there on the field. It would have been easier dealing with her had she been this honest.”

    “And?” Me’lin prodded her sister.

    “He’s a funny guy,” Re’lia said. “Haven’t laughed this hard in ages.”

    “So was it a success?” Me’lin asked.

    “I’d say so. But just as friends, obviously,” Dirxx said. “Speaking of which, I offered to take her home, if you guys don’t mind.”

    Me’lin gave the Besalisk an odd look, and Dirxx knew that he would have to back down. “Look, I’m not going to pull anything funny, all right? You can trust me.”

    “You better not, or I’m going to whoop your ass,” Me’lin said. Gark was taken aback by her annoyance in this situation, but on the other hand, he was sort of the same way with Ryal when they were younger. When she had dates in high school, Gark had wanted to be there to prod the guy in the relationship to not do anything funny with his little sister. So he sympathized . . . but Dirxx wasn’t exactly untrustworthy, either.

    “All right, I get the drift,” Dirxx said. “Come on,” he said to Re’lia, who followed him out of the restaurant.

    “Well, it could be worse,” Me’lin commented. “At least I know Dirxx has friends who might be of interest to her.”

    “That’s not what I saw,” Gark said.

    “How so?”

    “Trust me, I’ve known Dirxx for a long time, and I’m used to all the little twitches you see on his face. The way I read it, he kinda likes her . . . obviously exploratory interest . . . but I think there might be something there, at least for him. And, if nothing else, he’s not a bad pal.”

    “Maker help us if that’s the case,” Me’lin commented as the two of them stood up. “I don’t think I would be sane if I was lawfully related to that one.”

    “Hey, if you think that’s awkward, try being me. I’d be related to one of my former players, and it wouldn’t be Galin. Talk about awkward.” The two of them then left the restaurant, still unsure of what exactly was going to happen in the coming weeks.
  22. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    That was funny! I love Gark's idea of matchmaking. :D
    Jedi Gunny likes this.
  23. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    The guy who puts the cheese on the nachos is really the Twi'lek who puts the cheese on the nachos!!!!! Shocker plot twist!
    Jedi Gunny and jcgoble3 like this.
  24. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 8
    OK, I think I'm taking this a little far. Or am I? :p

    @Trieste, @jcgoble3, @epithree, @Admiral Volshe, @Vehn (for the number of times Meredith is mentioned)

    The ELL ‘74 tournament of sorts was on at the Chambers-Vayne residence. Polis had invited over most of his former teammates and colleagues from back in the day, and the house was pretty packed. Both Polis and Meredith were competing in the “tournament” (which was more of just a free-for-all series of games played where multiple players controlled the same team in the game), while Gark, Dirxx, Shev, Shayt, Moen, Maximus, Tavis, Myles, and Laryssa also played some. Also there were former Senator players Velay Corvis, Brosh We’kyr, and Grogedi, the Rodian who hadn’t played ELL ball for a decade. Also in the mix were the spouses of said players, Me’lin S’rily, Ravil We’kyr, Lyndra Corizyl, Saram Tormera, and Zathalie Qorbus, all of whom were here to see their significant others try to beat the crap out of their friends at the game. As far as children were concerned, the “brood” of sorts consisted of the Chambers-Vayne twins, Anya and Buck, Galin S’rily, Tavis Corizyl, Jr. and the newborn Liza Corizyl, twins Remi and Feldon Tormera, Xander Qorbus, adopted child Quigley “Quig” We’kyr (who was easily the oldest of the bunch at about five standard years old), and Lorida Heatly (whose mother had just discovered days earlier that she was pregnant with her second child). It was a packed house.

    The most recent game had just finished, with the tag-team combo of Polis, Meredith, Tavis, and Shev defeating the combo of Gark, Dirxx, Shayt, and Myles. It had been a tight contest, coming down to virtual Anton Jorpik making a save in the last few seconds (give it to Meredith to make the game-saving save, even on a video game) to stuff the Ylesia Lightning and seal the win with the Bakura Miners. Polis had scored most of the points for the combo team, and his wife had held fast at the other end with the goal and defense. Gark hadn’t done a hell of a lot no matter who he played as, and as such was frustrated with his performance. Then the player switched out, Meredith taking child care duty from Laryssa as the former Smuggler, Jet and Senator midfielder grabbed a controller.

    Gark grabbed a chip from the bowl on the back table and crunched into it. Dirxx joined him, taking a handful of chips from the bowl and downing them with ease. “Rough game,” he commented.

    “Yeah,” Gark said. “I really thought I would be better at the game.”

    “Polis practices all the time,” Dirxx said. “We’ve been playing this stuff for years, so we’ve all had practice.”

    “So how does Meredith do it?” Gark asked.

    “Very carefully,” Meredith said as she tried to keep Anya from running away. The small child was obviously finding this chase amusing, and Meredith had to rein in her daughter before she could get away.

    “I’m just glad this is a game,” Gark said. “If it wasn’t . . . I really wouldn’t be cut out for Limmie.”

    “Once you get in the swing of things, the real deal isn’t that hard.”

    “Says the Hall of Famer,” Gark commented, smirking.

    “Fine, be that way,” Dirxx said indignantly.

    “It’s true,” Meredith said. She had finally gotten Anya back and was now carrying her around. “Things are a lot easier when you actually play. There’s a groove you have to develop, and not everyone has that. I’m just glad I did.”

    “What’s funny is that many people would kill to be in this position right now,” Gark said.

    “How so?” Drixx asked.

    “I’m standing here talking to two Hall of Famers in the flesh,” Gark said. “Not many outside of the upper crust get to say that. And by upper crust I’m talking about those who go to awards or get field passes for the games. And even then it’s still not a forgone conclusion.”

    “I haven’t really thought that much about it,” Dirxx said. He and Meredith had been inducted into the sport Hall of Fame a month earlier. “It’s mostly about what I’m trying to accomplish now, not what I did in the past.”

    “You taking a page out of my book?” Meredith asked.

    “You could say that,” the Besalisk said. “I’m thinking of getting some youth camps in order. You know, a little something that wouldn’t be too hard to pull off on short notice, but would be a way of giving back.”

    “Not bad,” Meredith said. “That’s a good start. It’s why I’m sticking with the Valor Foundation back on Nar Shaddaa. You only get so much out of life as a player, but I figured it would be worth it to give back now that I’m retired.”

    “Hm, I’m getting ideas here,” Gark mused.

    “They involve selling autographs at exorbitant prices?” Dirxx asked.

    “No,” Gark replied. “Just some similar vibes. I’ve been mulling over having some camps in the offseason. Just haven’t gotten around to actually trying to facilitate them.”

    “I can understand that,” Dirxx said. “It’s not an issue of trying to get ideas. It’s how to execute them.”

    “I wouldn’t worry about that too much,” Meredith said. “It’s hard to get started, but once you have a plan laid out, it gets easier.” Then she looked around and saw Buck trying to sneak away. “Buck, get back here!” she exclaimed as she went after her son, who was crawling like mad.

    “Are they all like that?” Dirxx asked.

    “What, children?” Gark asked.

    “Yeah.”

    “Pretty much,” Gark said. “Galin’s a little older, obviously, but he’s still a handful when he wants to be.”

    The two of them returned to the playing area and watched the rest of the match. The Smugglers, controlled by Laryssa’s combo, was beating up on Maximus’ combo with the Mercs. A goal by the Smugglers pushed the lead up to ten with only a few minutes left, and it didn’t take long for the Mercs combo to give in. The game ended in favor of the virtual Smugglers, and then another switch came. Senators vs. Storm, Storm win. Rebels vs. C-Bucs, C-Bucs won with the all-female squad of Meredith, Laryssa, Shayt, and Ravil, who was dragged into the game, over the Rebels combo.

    Gark then took another break, heading over to see how Galin was doing. The young Bothan seemed to be enjoying this impromptu playdate with the other Senator children, although one small hiccup could easily set off the whole group. “How are things?” Gark said as he sat down on the floor next to Me’lin. The Twi’lek was sitting on the sofa next to Zathalie Qorbus, the two women chatting about pretty much anything at this point.

    “Hectic,” Me’lin replied. “You try dealing with almost a dozen children at one time and see how you do afterwards.”

    “Well, as long as it’s not too much work . . .” Gark said.

    “No, not too much,” Me’lin said. “How are the games going?”

    “Fine. I got my butt kicked multiple times, though,” Gark said, shrugging.

    Me’lin just chuckled. “Sounds just like you to lose,” she commented.

    “What’s that supposed to mean?” Gark asked.

    “Oh nothing. Enjoy the rest of your night,” Me’lin said. “Don’t mind me.”

    “Are you sure?” Gark asked. “I know it’s a lot to ask to get you to watch the kids instead of watching our tourney . . .”

    “I wasn’t really that interested in your games anyways,” Me’lin said. “Never got into video games. Now, the real thing, I wouldn’t miss it. Anyways, getting some good social time in, so that never hurts.”

    Gark then returned to the bowl of chips, and sure enough, Dirxx was there again. “How many of these can you possibly put down?” Gark asked.

    “Don’t ask,” Dirxx said as he ate another handful of chips.

    Then a thought occurred to Gark. He looked over at Me’lin, who was chatting again to Zathalie. Then his gaze turned back to the Besalisk in front of him. “So, not to be a pest or anything, but are you still hanging out with Re’lia?” Gark asked.

    “Lia? Yeah, we’re still pals,” Dirxx said. “Why?”

    “Just curious,” Gark said.

    “I understand. Which leads me to say . . . thanks. She’s quite a nice woman, I must say. A lot like her sister, real sweet and sincere.”

    “Yeah, I know what you mean,” Gark said. He had gotten that vibe from his wife a ton over the last few years.

    “Which leads to me ask you . . . I kinda like her . . . you think . . . nah, it’s stupid . . .”

    “Oh come on, you can tell me,” Gark said.

    “It’s stupid,” Dirxx said.

    “Do I need to pry it out of you?” Gark asked.

    “All right . . . do you think . . . I . . . I should . . . ask her out at some point?” Dirxx finally said, relenting to the pressure Gark put on him.

    “Why are you asking me?” Gark replied, after his eyebrows had shot up. “That’s all on you, man.”

    “It’s difficult,” Dirxx said.

    “What, so Mr. Big-shot team captain, Hall of Famer, socialite extraordinaire, is afraid to ask a woman out on a date?” Gark asked.

    “You could say that,” Dirxx said sheepishly.

    “Well, if that’s the case . . . I have two things to say to you,” Gark said.

    “What would that be?”

    “One, I apparently am a good matchmaker,” Gark commented. Oddly enough, this seemed to be ringing true at the moment. “Two . . . I think you’d be crazy not to follow through. Get out of your comfort zone and ask. All she can say is no.”

    “You really think it’s that easy?” Dirxx asked.

    “When has anything I’ve ever done been easy?” Gark queried.

    “Never?” Dirxx asked. Gark nodded. “I can’t believe that I’m this afraid to ask. I’ve never had this much of an issue asking anyone anything.”

    “Tell me about it,” Gark commented. “You have no idea . . . OK, maybe you do have an idea . . . of how hard it is to pull that kind of thing off. I went through it myself, and so can you.”

    “It’s awkward, though . . .”

    “Do I need to ask her for you?” Gark replied.

    Dirxx shook his head vigorously. “No, I can do it.”

    “Look, if it helps you feel better, I can be there for moral support,” Gark said.

    “Really?”

    “I guess if you bribe me enough, I’d be willing to do most anything,” Gark said.

    The rest of the night was spent playing more games on the console until Meredith finally decided it was time to put the twins to bed and for everyone to get home. Everyone went their separate ways, eventually leaving Gark, Me’lin, and Dirxx as the only adults left other than the Vaynes in the home.

    “Like I said, if I need to be there, I will,” Gark said.

    “All right. I’ll call you tomorrow, and we’ll settle something out,” the Besalisk said before leaving.

    “Settle what out?” Me’lin asked Gark as they said goodbye to their neighbors and walked to their own home. Galin was already asleep, and thus had to be carried home.

    “Nothing,” Gark said, trying to dodge the subject. He wanted to respect Dirxx’s secrecy in all this, and since it was Me’lin’s sister in question, the Bothan would keep that silence as long as possible. His species were experts at misleading others, and he would use that to the fullest, even on his wife.

    “Oh come on, you can tell me,” Me’lin said as the Bothan unlocked the front door.

    “Nope. You’ll find out tomorrow, or the next day,” Gark said.




    “Gark, why are we at my sister’s house?” Me’lin asked. The two of them were parked outside Re’lia’s abode, just sitting there.

    “We’re waiting,” Gark said.

    “For what?”

    “You’ll find out soon enough,” Gark said.

    Sure enough, two minutes later, a speeder pulled up and Dirxx got out. Gark nodded to him through the windshield, and then motioned towards the house door as if to say “Go”. The Besalisk lumbered over to the door and then, after looking back at the S’rily speeder, finally punched the doorbell.

    When Re’lia opened the door, the two of them began to chat, both of the S’rilys sitting back in their speeder watching the whole thing go down. Dirxx seemed overwhelmed by the whole situation, but was keeping as much composure as he could. He scratched his head a little while speaking, and Gark knew that he was nervous. It had been the same with him when he had asked Me’lin about if she liked him at all, back in 272. He was afraid of being rejected, afraid of making a complete fool of himself. But it had worked out fine for him, so hopefully this would work out as well.

    Finally the door closed, and Dirxx sat waiting around the door. He pulled out his comlink and called Gark up, even though the two could see each other from this distance.

    “Well?” Gark asked.

    “This lucky guy’s got a date,” Dirxx said.

    “Nice job,” Gark said.

    “Wait, that’s what all this was about?” Me’lin asked.

    “Pretty much,” Gark said. “And you thought this wouldn’t work.”

    “To be honest, I didn’t see this coming.”

    “You can thank me later,” Gark said to the Besalisk. “You want us to head out to the same place, for some support if you need it?”

    “Yeah, that would be nice,” Dirxx said. “Just for tonight, obviously.” He gave them the name of the restaurant before cutting the connection.

    During the whole thing, the S’rilys tried to stay out of the way, watching and waiting in case Dirxx needed help. Finally Dirxx “went to the ‘fresher”, and instead went over to talk to Gark.

    “How’s it going?” the Bothan asked.

    “Fine,” Dirxx replied. “It’s difficult, though.”

    “Well, as long as you are being yourself, there’s nothing more you need to do,” Gark said. “If you don’t try to be someone you’re not, then you at least come off as being honest, and that never hurts.”

    Everything else seemed to go smoothly, as the Besalisk didn’t return to the table during the rest of the outing. As Gark left the restaurant, he swore he could see Dirxx give him a thumbs-up from his table. Me’lin also caught this gesture.

    “You think it’ll work?” she asked.

    “Maybe, maybe not,” Gark replied. “But I told him to give it a shot. Never hurts to try.”

    “Because you know how to do that, right?”

    “Exactly,” Gark said. “You know, come to think of it, I should change my title a little bit. Superbothan, masked crime fighter extraordinaire, scourge of scum . . . and excellent matchmaker.”

    “Don’t let this get to your ego,” Me’lin commented as she got into the speeder. “That’s the last thing I need.”

    “Oh come on, I got this whole ball rolling. You owe me one for helping your sister out like I did,” Gark replied as he settled into the driver’s seat.

    “I don’t think it’ll last, though,” Me’lin said.

    “Ye of little faith,” Gark replied as he started the engine. “I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it’s a start. And I think that’s what he needed most. Just a little nudge in the back . . . or a man who has a knack for finding the perfect match . . .”

    “Oh shut it,” Me’lin said, staring out the window to not look at her husband.

    Gark just let out a contented sigh and smirked. He had not only thoroughly bothered his wife with those words, but he had also given Dirxx something new. Perhaps he would have to quit the superhero stuff and just stick to this whole matchmaking thing. Nah, that didn’t sound fun . . . but it certainly would be less perilous . . . would he get any enjoyment out of it . . . perhaps, if the right situation came along he could . . . nah, he’d just settle for this one bit of luck in that realm. But, if his hunch was right, perhaps the Besalisk wouldn’t mind when all was said and done.





    Dirxx couldn’t believe he was doing this. The Bothan had talked him into taking this plunge, and he certainly was nervous. He thought he would screw it all up, thought that he would come across as a fool. But Re’lia seemed understanding, so at least he had that to lean on. That quirky laugh of hers seemed rather infectious . . . hm, perhaps a woman like her, and a guy like him . . .? Nah, that probably wouldn’t work. But he could still try, right?

    When he noticed that Gark was leaving the restaurant, he knew that he no longer had moral support. But the Bothan was confident in him being able to pull this off without help, so perhaps he was in better shape than he thought. Dinner was concluded, and dessert had already gone around. Now was the all-important last bit. Dirxx led his date out to his speeder, and tried to be as nonchalant as possible in driving her back to her place. This was going to be the biggest indicator of how he had done; would she give him a monotone “thanks” as a reply, and then never hear from her again? Would she at least be nice in rejecting him? What if she didn’t reject him? Could they still at least be acquaintances, if nothing else?

    When he reached the home, he cut the engine and held his breath as he got out. He had no idea what to expect here, so he might as well at least act like he knew what he was doing. Re’lia grabbed her bag and then got out of the speeder as Dirxx opened the door for her.

    “Thank you,” she said politely.

    “Anytime,” the Besalisk said, trying not to smile too awkwardly. “Did . . . was this whole thing worthwhile?”

    “I think so,” Re’lia replied. Dirxx’s gut deflated a little bit at this; she obviously hadn’t thought too highly of this whole outing. Well, at least he had tried. That’s what Gark had said, to give this thing a shot.

    Then he felt a slight peck on his cheek. It wasn’t a lot, but for a guy who had never been kissed before by anyone except his parents, this was new territory. Re’lia spoke again. “It was nice. Call me up sometime so we can schedule another one, all right?” She made the “call me” sign and then walked to her front door, opening it and disappearing inside. Dirxx just stood there, frozen, unsure of what had just gone down. If it hadn’t been such a farfetched thought, he might have keeled over onto the sidewalk because he was sanding so rigid. Gark had been right after all. That sly Bothan probably was busy crowing about his achievement already to anyone who would listen (or whom he could force to listen). But he certainly had been right about this one. Perhaps the Bothan was more on top of things than the Besalisk originally thought, not just in Limmie, but also in personal stuff. He was such a smooth operator . . . but Dirxx didn’t mind. It seemed to be working so far, so he wasn’t going to complain.


    NOTE: Gark's probably going to start advertising his matchmaking services at this rate. :p "You've seen me coach, you've seen me fight crime, and now you'll see me get you the match you need! Call me at 1-800-BOTHAN for all S'rily Services."
    Last edited by Jedi Gunny, Aug 30, 2013
  25. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
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