Beyond CAoS: The Caped Crusader Rides Again (OCs)

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

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  1. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    Only in a video game, controlled by Meredith Chambers, could Anton Jorpik stop a shot.

    Yup, sounds about right. ;)
  2. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

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    Last edited by Jedi Gunny, Sep 3, 2013
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  3. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
  4. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

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    May 20, 2008
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    All right. I'm going to be starting the next phase of the story, but it might not be posted like the last bits where I got a post up every few days. It might become more scattered as I figure out my schedule with school coming up in a few weeks.

    FYI, this is a continuation of the story in the 273-274 offseason. Roughly a month or so after the events on Trimfi.

    TAGS: @Admiral Volshe, @epithree, @jcgoble3, @Trieste, @JM_1977

    Ciscerian Barbosa took the last bite of his bowl of gruel. It was bland-tasting stuff, but what else could you expect in prison? He was lucky to have any food at all, and the prison cooks weren’t exactly paid well enough or given the right ingredients to make decent fare for the prisoners. And if they did, they still would probably dish out this crap and take the good stuff for themselves. It just didn’t pay to be a prisoner in a high-security penitentiary. Barbosa was separated by an entire floor and half-hall from Fravid Deese, his former lieutenant, who was stuck in the same cell as two other inmates in a lower-priority area of the prison. But Barbosa, having been the leader of the Double Threat Duo criminal group, was here so that the prison guards could keep a good eye on him.

    Ciscerian looked at the wall, at the random lines etched into the wall by former prisoners, most of whom probably never got out and died here in their cell. He had started his own small day count, which was about at twenty now. He wanted to keep his sanity in case someone was able to bust him out of jail, which he knew was likely. The Duo had connections in high places, and could easily mount a rescue effort. He just didn’t knew when that would be, so he kept biding his time until someone came to rescue him.

    As he set down his bowl, he could hear the sound of footsteps echoing on the cold metal floor. It was probably a prison guard, he thought; they made the rounds every fifteen minutes, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary for them to be going through this hall to make sure that the prisoners weren’t trying to escape. But as the footsteps got closer, they sounded . . . heavier . . . than normal. Was there a new guard? Ciscerian moved up to the bars of his cell, trying to get a good look at the shape coming down the hall. He couldn’t see much in the darkness, but the footsteps were getting louder.

    Then he felt a hand grasp his throat tightly, and he began to sputter. Whoever had the footsteps was now right in front of his cell, holding him captive. Ciscerian tried to get free, but the figure was too strong. “Ciscerian Barbosa,” he said in a very dark voice. It almost sounded fake, like the figure had a modulator on to hide their identity.

    “What . . . what do . . . you . . . want . . .? Ciscerian choked.

    “You know the whereabouts of Zeke Barbosa,” the figure said. “I intend to learn where he is.”

    “I don’t know . . .” Ciscerian said. The grip on his throat tightened, and he had to struggle even more to breathe. He began to feel a little light-headed, and knew that he had to get free.

    “I asked you a question,” the figure said menacingly.

    “I . . . don’t . . . know . . .” Ciscerian sputtered out. “He . . . doesn’t . . . contact . . . me . . .”

    “Then you are of no further use to me,” the figure said.

    “What . . . do you . . . want . . . with . . . my . . . son . . .?” Ciscerian asked. What was this figure even going on about?

    “That is of no concern to you,” the figure said.

    “Tell . . . me . . .,” Ciscerian tried to say, but then the grip became so tight that he couldn’t even speak. He could feel the pressure in his mind starting to reach critical levels. He needed air, and fast!

    “It’s obvious that you will not speak to me. I find that disappointing,” the figure said coldly.

    “Who are you?” Ciscerian asked.

    “Mane,” the figure said before he finally choked the breath out of Ciscerian and made the Bith fall unconscious to the floor in a heap. There was no telling if he was dead, but the figure didn’t care. He had failed to get what he wanted, and now he was even more interested in knowing how to find Zeke.


    NOTE: Yes, I went there. Let the games begin.
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  5. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    [face_laugh] Oh yes.
  6. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

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    Here is Part Two, in all its vain glory. Including some plot devices that probably seem rather familiar . . . or not. Your call.

    TAGS: @Admiral Volshe, @epithree, @JM_1977, @jcgoble3, @Trieste

    Jenna Barbosa was sitting on the sofa at Zeke’s place on Ryloth, watching a HoloNet show on cooking. She was bored to death with the show, and wished that she could be out with her new husband. Zeke had gone out for a run thirty minutes earlier, and wasn’t expected back for another hour and a half. Jenna wanted to go with him, but being five months pregnant, she didn’t dare. So she was resigned to sit here and watch shows, hoping that they would keep her busy.

    Finally she turned off the show and headed into the kitchen, which was rather small. They hadn’t been able to find a suitable house yet, since the wedding had been rather recent, so she was living at Zeke’s place until they could find a better one. Since she played for Onderon, and he played for Ryloth, they lived far away from each other during the season, and that was hard for both of them to take. So they were trying to find somewhere else that would suit their needs, somewhere closer to both locations. The whole Limmie topic angered Jenna; so neither of their teams had done well enough to stay in the Elite League, where they had held their own for several years. The Rough Riders had even won a title, and yet it seemed that credits, not talent, had won out. She was pissed; even though she was currently unable to do heavy training for the Limmie season, and would have to fast-track it in a month and a half or so before joining the team after the delivery of the baby, she was looking forward to Limmie. And not getting to play in the Elite League bothered her; she didn’t know why the team had dropped so precipitously from the league, but whatever the reason, it only served to hurt the team and its fans. She blamed the Solo Conference for its role; they had money, they had power, they had influence with the league, and they had obviously used to against the small-market Skywalker Conference teams to shuttle them out of there and replace them with high-profit teams in Corellia and Hapes.

    She began to fix a sandwich for herself, using the remaining leftovers from the meal the night earlier. She had been spending a lot of time with Zeke over the last few weeks, making up for lost time as they went. It was nice to be around him again, to now be married to him, and be carrying their child. As she stacked the items together, the doorbell rang. Perhaps it was Zeke home early? No, he was still supposed to be out. Maybe he was injured?

    She went to the door and opened it. Then a black bag went over her head, and someone knocked her out cold.




    Zeke returned from his run two hours after he had left. It had been a good workout session, and he definitely felt like he was getting back into the routine now that the vigilante antics and wedding were in the past. He went up to his apartment and opened the door, but the deadbolt was unlocked. Jenna had probably left it unlocked for him, he theorized, so he thought nothing of it.

    “Jenna!” he yelled. “I’m back!” He waited for several seconds, but didn’t hear any response from her. That was indeed strange; she never did something like this. Was she showering? No, the water wasn’t running for that. Was she in the kitchen? He should be able to hear her by now doing something. As he went into the kitchen, he couldn’t see anything except a half-made sandwich on the cutting board. He then checked the bedroom; perhaps she was asleep, or she was trying to lure him in there to make out, which he wouldn’t put past her. But she wasn’t in there either. Zeke began to get very worried; wouldn’t she have called him if she was going out? He went back to the kitchen, this time seeing a note stuck to the cutting board. He went over and took a look.

    We have your wife, and she will die if you do not do as we command.

    Zeke read and reread the note. Jenna had been kidnapped! This was unbelievable; how could something like this have happened? He could have been there to protect her, but he had failed, and now he was going to have to go and get her back.

    He whipped out his comlink and dialed the only person he knew could help him.




    The head of Gark S’rily popped out of the water, and he took a deep breath as he reached the surface. It felt nice to get out of the house and go for a swim, even if it was just at the neighborhood rec center. He glanced over at his wife, who was sitting and relaxing in the hot tub across the way with Meredith Chambers-Vayne. The two families had decided to come over here for part of the day to hang out, because it beat staying at home. For Meredith especially, it was a chance to go and get outside of the home, considering that her pregnancy was already six months old, and getting out was becoming more difficult by the day. So this had been the place of choice for them to go, and so far it was nice.

    “Not bad,” Gark commented as he rested his arms on the side of the pool, his hair matted down with the moisture that had accumulated on it.

    “Nope,” Polis said. He was sitting on the side of the pool, taking a quick break from its confines. “Nice place we’ve got here.”

    “Perks of being in a nice neighborhood,” Gark commented. “This isn’t part of why we moved here, but I’ll take it. Beats having to install a backyard pool any day.”

    “Well, it’ll probably last for a few years until the kids decide that it’s better to have a splash pool at home instead of coming out this way,” Polis said. “Not looking forward to that whining.”

    “Neither am I,” Gark admitted. “But you still have a few years to go before you need to worry about such things.”

    Two hours later, the two families decided to leave the rec center and return home. Me’lin had to attend a party at her sister’s place later that night, so she wanted to be presentable for that, and doing so would take time. Gark hadn’t complained, because it was her life, not his, and she wasn’t dragging him along.

    When it was finally time for her to go, Gark saw her out the door. She was wearing casual clothes, but they weren’t exactly a t-shirt and jeans. Yes, she looked very presentable, Gark thought. When she left the driveway in her speeder, he went back inside and sat down on the couch in front of the entertainment center. HSN was showing classic Limmie games, so he decided to watch a match from the 250s.

    Then he received a call on his comlink. Grunting, he reached over to pick it up. It was Zeke’s number. Gark furrowed his brow; now what? “Hello?” he asked as he flipped the thing on.

    “I need help,” Zeke said.

    “Relationship help?” Gark asked, bewildered. “Look, Zeke, I can’t help you out with that . . .”

    “I wish. It’s Jenna. She’s been kidnapped!”

    “What do you mean ‘kidnapped’?” Gark asked.

    “You heard me,” Zeke said. “But I don’t know where she has been taken or why . . ..”

    “Well, there’s little I can do to help you,” Gark replied. “If I don’t know where to go, then there’s nothing I can do. Call me back if you get any more information.”

    Hm, this was disturbing, Gark thought as the connection was cut. Jenna had been abducted, and obviously Zeke was in a panic. He had a sinking feeling that he was going to be dragged into this.
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  7. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

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    OK, gang. I'm cutting into the Superbothan stuff to cover the immediate aftermath of Gark's decision to return to coaching. Because, as @Trieste loves so much, it's a lot of domestic stuff. ;)

    TAGS to @jcgoble3, @Admiral Volshe, @epithree


    Gark got home from the Senators press conference, making sure to wipe his brow as a bead of sweat fell down his face. It was going to be a momentous decision to return to the coaching ranks. He wondered how he would fare; would he do well, or would he flop? His last game hadn’t gone so well, so maybe things would be better this time around? Now he was going to add all of those duties to everything else that was going on around him, and things looked like they could get overheated.

    However, he didn’t get far before his wife showed up, obviously angry at him. She usually didn’t get angered, but when something really set her off, Gark knew things could get ugly. The sad thing was, he knew exactly why she was pissed off. “Defensive coordinator?” Me’lin asked, taken aback completely. “Gark, you promised me that you were done coaching!”

    “Look, it’s on short notice, and no one else is available, so I volunteered to take over for Palla,” Gark said. “I don’t understand why you’re taking this so harshly . . .”

    “You made that decision without even consulting me!” his wife exclaimed, still annoyed. “I’m not fine with you further segmenting your time without my input on the matter.” She stomped her foot on the ground to get her point across.

    “Being a coordinator means that I’m adding a few small responsibilities to my plate. So what?” Gark said. “I can manage all of that.”

    “But can you?” Me’lin asked. She had brought her volume level down, but Gark could tell that she was still hurting some here. “Gark, you’re a GM, a CEO, a crazed superhero . . . I don’t think you can add coaching to that. What about me? What about Galin? You won’t have any time for us in your life!”

    “You know that’s not true,” Gark replied. He meant it; even if things got crazy, he knew that his family was still the most important part of his life. He would make time.

    “Prove me wrong,” Me’lin replied.

    “What do you want me to do?” Gark asked.

    “To consult me when you make decisions like this,” Me’lin replied, frowning. “I don’t like it when I lose out to other things, because then I just feel discarded, like I’m not important enough to be considered.”

    “Never think that for a second,” Gark said sharply.

    “And why not?”

    “Because it’s not true,” Gark said. “How can I prove that to you? Hm? What kinds of hoops do I need to jump through?”

    “You just don’t get it,” Me’lin said.

    “What don’t I get?” Gark asked. This was going on too long.

    “It’s obvious that we’re not getting anywhere with this argument,” Me’lin finally said after a few moments of silence. “Gark, it’s time that we reexamine our relationship and priorities.”

    “How so?”

    “It’s obvious that we’re not seeing eye-to-eye on this . . .

    Something clicked in the wrong way in Gark’s mind at this point. What exactly was going to happen now?

    “ . . . and that we’re likely to do some damage if we keep this up. I think we need to stay away from each other for a little while. Try to do some soul-searching, and figure out what our priorities are.”

    “How long are you thinking?” Gark asked. He didn’t like the sound of this at all.

    “One week, perhaps?” his wife offered. “That should be enough time to think this through. Do you really want this job added to your list of titles? Can you handle the added pressure, and ‘do everything’ as you said? Or are you just trying to compensate for what you’ve lost, and you’re really not ready to take that on again?”

    “One week?” Gark asked. “Seems kinda long to make one decision.”

    “Look, Gark, I know it seems harsh, like I don’t care what you think, but trust me, I want you to ponder this over fully. Think of all the implications that decision may have on your life, on my life, on our life together . . . just think it through, and don’t hold anything back. If there is doubt in your mind about anything, make sure you reason with it. I’m going to do the same thing if you are willing to go through with this. It won’t be easy living without you for a week, but I’d rather suffer that discomfort than constantly bicker about your decision and feel generally miserable. That just leads to a darker place, and I don’t want to go there.”

    “So what you’re saying is that you want to take a week off and just think things over?” Gark asked.

    “Yes.”

    Gark just sighed. He didn’t like the sound of this, but on the other hand it also occurred to him that Me’lin wasn’t as open to this prospect of coaching as he was. He didn’t want to alienate her at all . . . perhaps she had a point. “All right. One week.”

    “Don’t look on this as a roadblock, all right?” Me’lin asked. “If anything, it should strengthen our bond. Just think it over, and hopefully we’ll sort it all out in that time.”

    “So, who takes care of Junior?” Gark asked.

    “I’ll do it,” Me’lin replied.

    “I don’t want to impose, but I could . . .”

    “I’ll take care of Galin. It’s not that big a deal. I took care of him while you were away last offseason, for several weeks, mind you. I’m a strong-enough woman to take care of both of us while you’re gone. It’s just for a week.”

    “Are you sure?”

    “Absolutely,” Me’lin said. “Don’t worry about it. Just focus on yourself for this next week, and figure out what you want going forward.”

    “Then I take it you’ll be taking the house?” Gark asked. Me’lin nodded. “All right, then. I’ll go find a place to crash at.”

    “Don’t go to someone that has played or works for the team,” Me’lin cautioned. “I want you to be secluded while you think about this. It’s going to mean a lot going forward, and I want you to give it your full attention.”

    “Fine, I’ll check into a hotel, then,” Gark said. “You sure you’ll be all right?”

    “I’ll be fine,” Me’lin said.

    Gark then went into the bedroom to pack his belongings. In his travel case, which was more of a duffel bag than anything else, he tossed in a few different sets of clothes, a few datapads, and several other small-time items. Nothing associated with the team, aside information on the datapads, was going with him, for obvious reasons. When he was finished, he zipped up the bag and left the room.

    As he walked to the door, he could see that Me’lin was carrying Galin in her arms. The boy was roughly a year and a half old by his estimates. Not quite old enough to speak intelligently yet, but certainly growing larger by the day. “I’ll see you around, then,” Gark said.

    “Remember, don’t contact me this week,” Me’lin reminded her husband. “Focus on the task at hand.”

    “Fine, then,” Gark said.

    “Say goodbye to daddy,” she said to Galin in that typical sweet motherly voice. The boy didn’t seem to really understand what was going on, but no matter. Gark gave Galin a mini high-five, and then was kissed on the cheek by his wife. “See you in a week,” she said.

    Gark stepped out the door, which closed behind him. He didn’t like this idea much, but Me’lin had a point. It would make him stop and think about what was important in his life.

    Gark checked into a hotel room several miles away, to give him and his wife some distance from each other. When he opened the door to the room, he went inside, tossed his bag on the bed, and then flopped down into a stiff armchair. Grabbing the Holo remote from the bedside table, he flipped on the set and began to mindlessly watch. Then he remembered that day-time Holo was rather crappy, so he turned it off almost immediately.

    So here he was, without his family for a whole week. Some guys would find this an opportune chance to party and live it up for a week like there was no tomorrow. But Gark’s situation was different. Me’lin had a good point. Could he handle the pressure of being DC as well as everything else? Would he always be there for his family, especially when they needed him around the most, or would he be too busy for them? The rest of the day was rather slow as he pondered these things. He went out to a small diner for a deep-fried dinner, and then sat around watching HoloNet the rest of the evening. Then he went to bed, but he couldn’t sleep well that first night. He knew that being away for even one week like this was one week too many. Hopefully everything would be sorted out in the end.


    NOTE: For those of you who remember my deleted Trimfi arc from this summer, this post (the announcement plus this reaction) were originally slated to be in between the trip to Trimfi and the breakup/divorce post. This right here, as originally written, was the final straw.
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  8. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

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    Part 2 of 2

    The gripping conclusion that will determine the fate of Limmie fans everywhere! Or, at least some of them. :p

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

    IC: Gark S’rily
    Hotel Room, Coruscant

    Gark finished off the bagel that he had taken from the continental breakfast buffet table as he walked up the stairs to his hotel room. It had been a week since he and Me’lin had decided to take some time away from each other. Gark had been thinking quite a bit about the situation, and knew that he finally had a solution. He didn’t know how his wife would take it, but perhaps she had changed her mind over this past week? Besides, the bagel was pretty tasteless, so he wasn’t too focused on it anyways as he entered his room and shut the door behind him.

    As he watched a Holo show on the receiver, he packed his few belongings into his duffel bag. It was difficult to think coming into this week that he could stay away from team things for so long, but he had indeed been able to keep that to a minimum. He was instead thinking about his home life a lot more; it wasn’t glamorous like the coaching job would be, but it meant a ton to him. Perhaps this week had been a lot more important than he originally thought it would be. Perhaps he was being a jerk by not having thought this through before.

    When he was ready to leave, he slung his bag over his shoulder, since it wasn’t that heavy like normal, and locked the door to the room behind him. He then turned in the key card to the desk and left the hotel, walking out into the ever-present Coruscanti sunlight. Minutes later, he was out on the highway heading home, unsure of exactly how this whole experiment would end. What would Me’lin say when he informed her of his decision? Had this been a success, or were they still on opposite islands facing each other down due to disagreement? He didn’t want to imagine what that would be like. The ugly thought of possible future disagreements . . . or, Maker forbid . . . divorce . . . danced into his mind, and he wanted nothing to do with it. That thought was not welcome in his mind. So he had to try and keep it away. Far away.

    On the way, he picked up a small bouquet of flowers for his wife. Sure it was flattery, probably petty, but at this point, he wanted to repair any sort of rift that may exist between the two of them. If Me’lin felt like he was ignoring her, what exactly could she say to him bringing flowers home? Could she yell at him for that? Besides, they would make a nice decoration. Except if someone with allergies came over; then there might be a problem.

    When he reached Le Manor S’rily, as he had once joked about the house being called, he killed the engine of his speeder and then took a deep breath before proceeding. How would this go? He then stepped out of the speeder and went to the front door, then unlocking it with his key.

    The door opened, and Gark stepped inside. “I’m home!” he said into the vastness of the interior. But there was no response back. The Bothan finally checked the different rooms. No one was here. It was like his worst nightmare was coming true. No one was home, and he was stuck here with the baggage. His mind raced . . . she couldn’t have left. Surely she would have left something if she was leaving, either on temporary or permanent terms. His pulse began to race, and a bead of sweat dripped down his face. His fingers curled tightly around the bouquet. It was going to be fine, he told himself. But what if it wasn’t? What if he had screwed up one too many times?

    He finally strode, or at least took deliberate steps, into the kitchen, flowers in hand. At this point he saw his wife and son, Me’lin, a purple bandanna wrapped around her head, with her back to him as she worked on something in a frying pan, and Galin sitting in his high-chair. The young Bothan squeaked something out when he saw his father arrive, and Me’lin finally turned around.

    “Hey!” she said. “You’re back a little earlier than I thought you would be.”

    “Early check-out time,” Gark replied. He had been so nerve-wracked moments ago, so seeing his family still here, and Me’lin looking cheery, gave him some relief. They had given him quite the shock.

    “You got me some flowers? How nice of you,” his wife said, smiling. It was that trademark smile of hers, one that Gark couldn’t resist.

    “Um, yeah,” Gark replied. He put them down on the table. “Hope you don’t mind.”

    “Of course I don’t mind. It’s very thoughtful of you. Speaking of which, you want some lunch?” Me’lin offered. “I’ve got some stuff here in the pan. I guess I could whip another sandwich up . . .”

    “Nah, I just finished breakfast,” Gark said.

    “Slacker,” Me’lin chided him.

    “What? Just because I can sleep in until 7 doesn’t mean I’m a slacker,” Gark replied.

    “When dealing with Galin sometimes, it’s hard to not get a start on the day early,” his wife replied. “He’s getting a little bit more rambunctious by the day. I miss his quiet period.” She finished cooking her sandwich, and then slid it onto a waiting plate. The stove was turned off, and her face darkened a little bit. “Did you come to a conclusion this last week?”

    “I have,” Gark said. “I thought really hard about it all week, and I’ve decided that . . . that . . . I won’t coach this next season. I’ll look for someone else to take the position. It’s not my job to . . .”

    Me’lin then stopped him with a wave of her hand. “I thought about this too,” she commented. “And . . . I want you to coach this next season.”

    “Really?” Gark asked. He hadn’t expected her to say that.

    “Gark, I’ve seen over the last two years how much you miss being down there coaching,” Me’lin said. “You always seem truly happy when you’re coaching . . . and I’d rather you be happy than feeling the need to repress yourself with a self-instated retirement. Because it affects not just you, but me as well. I know it’s going to be more stressful on me, you coaching again, and the schedule of that, but I realized that I never really asked what you wanted in this relationship. I never asked what made you happy, and I’m sorry for that. So go back to coaching . . . I won’t stand in the way.”

    “You mean it?” Gark asked. His wife nodded. “I take it that there’s still a catch?”

    “Yes,” Me’lin said. “I want you to coach, but make sure you’re here when you can be. No all-nighters unless absolutely necessary, especially now in the offseason when you don’t have games to prepare for. I want you home every night, got it?”

    “Miss me that much?” Gark asked.

    “This last week was terrible,” Me’lin said. “It felt empty around here.”

    “Well, I’ll do what I can to be home more often,” Gark said. “You do realize that this will be a gradual process, right?”

    “I know,” Me’lin said. “But I’m willing to go down this path if it means that we’re both satisfied with our lives.”

    Gark had now received the rubber stamp of approval for returning to the coaching ranks, and he knew that he had a lot to get done on that front as soon as possible. However, that being said, he also knew that Me’lin wouldn’t tolerate him lollygagging on his work schedule. He had promised her quite a lot here, so he had to follow through. It was going to be a challenge, but since when had he not been challenged?
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  9. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

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    All right, y'all might not like me for doing this, but I think it's fun to bring this back. [face_mischief]

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


    Gark collapsed onto the sofa at the home, completely exhausted after the day’s work. For some reason, this day had not been like most others. It seemed like he didn’t even have time to turn around before he had another assistant bothering him with a pending contract or paper that needed to be filled out by his hand. Sometimes it didn’t pay to be a CEO of a mega conglomeration like Andromeda . . . but at least it paid for everything else. He was only working at the company two or three days a week now, the rest of the time being spent with the team, or used for his coaching duties. Then there were the stadium plans, the demolition work, and all of the strain that came along with that. And that left little time at home. That meant little time with the family, and little time for himself.

    “How was work today?” Me’lin asked when she came through the living room on her way to the kitchen. She had beaten Gark home, as she usually did when he was stuck on long shifts at work.

    “Hell,” Gark said. “I’m just glad I found an excuse to get out of there today. It was a madhouse.”

    “You look stressed,” his wife said, looking concerned.

    “It’s been non-stop stress since the ‘Drom went down. I need a vacation, badly,” Gark said. “And I think our best chance might be in the next week. I would ask you to clear up your work schedule, but since I technically pay your salary, and also pay the person who decides your schedule, I know better than to ask, since it all comes back to me at some point.”

    “Then just free up some time and go,” Me’lin said, shrugging. “It’s not like we haven’t done that before.”

    “And it’s time,” Gark replied. “I haven’t had a vacation go right in a while. And I’d like to break that streak.”

    “Where do you have in mind?”

    “I think it’s time that we use our royal citizenship to its fullest,” Gark commented.

    “Not a bad idea,” Me’lin replied. She went and sat down on the sofa. “It’s just . . . I don’t know . . . thinking about it is . . .”

    “Haunting you a little bit?” Gark asked. The Twi’lek nodded. “I know what you mean. It was another close brush with death, and I never like reliving those moments in my mind. But what choice do we have? At some point we need to face our fears and move on.”

    “It’s just . . . I don’t know . . . after all we had to go through, and then . . . having to let Galin go like that . . .” Me’lin said.

    “It’s fine. This trip will be better. I promise,” Gark said.

    “Oh, like you can predict things before they happen.”

    “Those circumstances were crappy, so anything else would be an improvement,” Gark said with a wink.

    “I can get things packed tonight, if we have a flight plan in mind,” Me’lin remarked.

    “That’ll do,” Gark said. “We’ll leave tomorrow.”



    In orbit around Trimfi

    Me’lin came to when she felt the ship shudder slightly. Knowing what kinds of things usually happened to Gark, she was afraid that something was going wrong, and her eyes snapped open immediately. She took a quick look to make sure that Galin was safe, which he was, and then checked on her husband.

    “That wake you up?” Gark asked.

    “What?” Me’lin replied.

    “Just got some turbulence out there,” Gark said. “Apparently they’ve got a decent rainstorm over the city right now, and we’re going in slow so that we don’t get buffeted too badly.”

    “I hate rain,” Me’lin commented. After all, rain had been the main causal factor of Andromeda being destroyed.

    The window showed all kinds of rain droplets, large and small. All they could see were dark clouds in front of them as they came in through the atmosphere. Finally they were able to make out landing lights below, and Gark slowed the ship’s momentum as he started the landing cycle. It wasn’t too long before the ship touched down safely on the pad and Gark took a sigh of relief.

    “I never like flying in the rain,” he commented.

    Both of them grabbed their rain gear, and when Galin was covered up in his rain outfit, the three exited the ship. It was still early morning here on Trimfi, the ride having taken about a standard day, and the fog was rolling. Gark could barely see anything out beyond in the hilly region, the fog obscuring his vision of those natural phenomena. Every step they took on the concrete provided a small splash of water as they approached the building that housed the rest of the terminal.

    When they reached the door, both S’rilys were relieved to finally get out of the rain. Gark had to shake some of the water out of his fur, and his wife didn’t appreciate being sprayed in the process. It also didn’t take long for someone to arrive.

    “Greetings,” the man said. “Trimfi welcomes you two back.”

    “Good to be back,” Gark commented.

    “Had we known you were coming ahead of time, we could have rolled out the proverbial welcome mat, but no matter,” the man said. “I take it that you’re here for more than one or two days?”

    “We were thinking most, if not all, of the week,” Gark replied.

    “Splendid. Then I’m glad we got the house completed on time,” the man said.

    “What house?” Me’lin asked as she helped Galin get out of his rain suit.

    “Each royal house has its own abode. Of course, all of the resident houses have their own manors, as is custom. But since yours was added late . . . and you don’t reside here permanently . . . you won’t be afforded such a manor of your own.”

    “That’s not a big deal,” Gark said.

    “But we were able to complete a smaller place for you,” the man replied cheerfully. “It’s a little cozy, but we didn’t think you would mind too badly.”

    “A vacation home?” Gark asked. The man nodded. “Hm, good thing I didn’t invest in a timeshare, then.”

    “Would you like to see it?” the man asked.

    “Sure,” Gark replied.

    “Also, the king would like to formally welcome you at some point. Just not right now,” the man said. “He’s probably still asleep at this hour. I don’t blame him. This rain makes you drowsy.”

    “How have things been since we left?” Gark asked.

    “Hectic,” the man replied as they walked down the white-walled hallway. “Those first two months were difficult on all of us, due to the coup and all. A lot of people were scared that something akin to that would occur again, and there were some tense moments as people freaked out. But we got it under control, and now things seem to be back to normal. Or at least as normal as things ever get around these parts.”

    The conversation continued as the four of them went down the lift and got to street level. A short speeder ride got them to the house, Gark glad that he didn’t have to drive in the rain. It wasn’t exactly a manor, like the man had said, but it certainly looked cozy.

    “Welcome home,” the man said. “We’ll contact you when your presence is requested, so make yourselves at home.” He then got back in the speeder and left.

    “It certainly looks nice,” Me’lin commented as she carried Galin to the front door. “I know it’s not a lot, but hey, it’s better than nothing.”

    Gark opened the door and both of them went inside. They were greeted by the smell of fresh wood, emanating from the polished wooden floor. The abode was only a single story high, so there weren’t any stairs, but that helped make the place more spacious inside. There was a kitchen in the back of the house, flanked by two bedrooms, and then a large living space in the middle that took up most of the remaining space. It was rather unfurnished compared to their home back on Coruscant, but they wouldn’t be here too long, so it didn’t matter. The only thing that did matter was the ability to step away from their lives for a week and just take some time off to recharge their batteries.

    Gark then slumped into one of the chairs. It was a little hard, obviously, but it was brand-new, so that explained most of it. “I could use a nap,” he said. “I’m still a little tired from the flight.”

    “Then we should turn in early tonight,” Me’lin replied. “Besides, if it keeps raining like this, we might be stuck inside most of the day.”

    Gark took a nap, and for two hours, was out cold. However, he was interrupted by a comlink call that came from the royal palace. He lifted his head off the sofa groggily.

    “The Lord and Lady S’rily are invited by King Rygoth of the House of Creda to attend dinner tonight at the royal palace,” said the being on the other end of the line.

    “We will be there,” Me’lin replied. She then cut the connection and turned to Gark, who was still drowsy. “We’re wanted up at the palace tonight for dinner.”

    “What time?” Gark asked. Sleep still sounded attractive.

    “About 5 or so,” his wife said.

    “That’ll work,” Gark said.

    “And we’re supposed to be dressed to the teeth,” Me’lin commented.

    “What, now I have to wear a cummerbund and tie? Or royal robes and a powdered wig?” Gark asked snidely as he sat up and got his bearings together “You know how much I hate dressing up.

    “They didn’t say,” Me’lin said, shrugging. “I guess we’ll see when we get there.”



    Trimfian Royal Palace

    The speeder pulled up to the palace entrance in the misting rain. It had been wet all day on the planet, and therefore most people who didn’t have to work had stayed indoors. Those who were forced to work had to run for cover as soon as they hit the street, because the rain sometimes decided to pour in droves, and at others lightly mist across the plains on the outskirts of town before drenching the city itself in a never-ending wave of fine water droplets. It was “just one of those days”, as the saying went.

    Out from the speeder came the two S’rilys, both dressed as immaculately as they could given the short time frame they were given and lack of general instructions on how to dress for a royal occasion. They had no idea what to expect, and were thus nervous if they had done something wrong. The last time they were here, they had been commended by the king, yes, but then they had been dragged directly off the streets and taken to the palace. No, dirty miner’s outfits were not going to cut it this time. They had an image to uphold, one of some importance in the Trimfian royal hierarchy.

    The steps up to the palace led to a nicely furnished entrance way, which had banners of the royal colors hanging from the white stone columns that held up the vaulted ceiling. They had been here before, but at that point neither of them had really cared. They had just defeated Mortellus and his crew, and had come close to death on several occasions, not to mention being summoned to the palace almost immediately after they got out of the mine and thus didn’t have time to really digest what was going on. But now they could marvel at the splendor of the palace and its many hallways. The butler showed them down several long halls, each one as elegant as the next, until finally they reached solid wooden doors. The Trimfian royal crest was carved into both doors, and the handles, although they had been polished recently, still looked a little worn from use over the years. The butler then disappeared inside the room for a moment before saying that the two could come inside.

    What greeted them was a long table surrounded by almost two dozen people, who all looked up at the newcomers as they came inside. Me’lin let out an uneasy smile, and Gark was also unsure of what to do here.

    “May I present the Lord and Lady of the House of S’rily,” the man said.

    “Ah, welcome,” the man at the far end of the table said. He was familiar, King Rygoth. Everyone else the duo didn’t recognize, since they hadn’t been present, or very visible, at the impromptu ceremony last year. “We are honored that you two could make it.”

    “Nice to be here,” Gark replied.

    “Please take your seats. We are about ready to begin,” the King said. The two empty seats at the near end of the table were quickly taken by their new occupants, and now the table was full up with royals.

    Two minutes passed before the trays started to come out from the kitchen. Gark and Me’lin’s eyes popped when they saw the furnished silver trays emerge from the back, covered with delightful-looking meats, cheeses, and best of all, some grilled items that Gark didn’t recognize but knew as soon as they hit the table in front of him that he was going to eat quite a few. They just had that nice smell to them that resonated in your nostrils, and he wanted to drool at the thought of them. But that wouldn’t be proper, so he had to suppress those thoughts for now. They would have to wait until they could begin eating.

    And then he realized what was wrong with this picture. He recognized his plate, the fork, knife and spoon, and obviously the nice cloth napkin embossed with the House of Creda’s crest. But what were these other utensils for? Several smaller spoons, something resembling a spork, another knife, and . . . what exactly was that last one for, he pondered.

    Beads of sweat began to form on his face. He didn’t know royal protocol about utensils. This wasn’t going to be good, since he hadn’t exactly studied those kinds of things. And since when had he had time to take a look at such trivial things? Sure the Trimifian royals would think he was weird for not knowing what to use on what kind of food, but . . . could they seriously judge him for not knowing? He had a busy life, after all, and this was secondary to a lot of other things in that life.

    “I now pronounce this dinner served,” the main waiter said to the king, who nodded.

    “Let us begin, then,” Rygoth said, and everyone began to fill their plates with items. Gark quickly grabbed several of the grilled items and placed them on his plate, then helping himself to some of the soup that wasn’t far from his seat. These items were soon joined by various others that came around the table, and then the royals began to eat. Gark was lucky enough to catch a glimpse across the table at another royal eating soup, and thus knew exactly which spoon to use, or at least he hoped he did, as he took a first bite. It was still warm, and nearly scalded his mouth. A quick save by drinking a little bit of wine put out the fire, but Gark knew he would have to be a bit more careful next time around.

    “Nice save,” the man next to him commented. Gark tried not to say anything, lest anyone else think he was foolish. “So you’re Gark S’rily, eh?” the man continued.

    “Yes,” Gark said. He took a bite of one of the grilled items. It tasted as good as it looked, and he wanted to down another one quickly.

    “I’ve heard a lot about you, but have never gotten to meet you in person,” the man said. “Figured this would be a good time.”

    “Ok . . .” Gark said.

    “Oh, excuse me, I haven’t introduced myself,” the man said. “My name is Allo Daraza. Of the House of Daraza, obviously.”

    Gark didn’t think anything of this. He had no idea what to make of the man, or of the Trimfian royal system. Here he was, a guy just trying to eat, and was now overwhelmed by information that these royals probably expected him to have a firm grasp on. Why did these kinds of things have to be so difficult?

    “I am simply amazed at what you are able to do in your life,” Daraza said. “CEO, General Manager of a team, coaching said team, masked vigilante . . . how do you fit it all in, if I may ask?”

    “Very carefully,” Gark replied. He didn’t want to say that he was still on the prowl as Superbothan, because he was trying to keep that under wraps as much as possible. After all, no need to jeopardize his family even more than they already were by revealing that he was still fighting crime. No, he was going to try to keep any conversation about that to a minimum if possible, and focus on his corporate and Limmie work. Besides, those were so much more interesting. The other was just about him putting his neck on the line and hoping that it wouldn’t get chopped off.

    “But you still somehow make it all work,” Daraza commented. “Sometimes I wish I could be out there accomplishing great things like that. It would be nice to have the freedom to do things, but such is life around here. But I bet my wife wouldn’t take that too kindly, so at least I have her to lean on for support,” he said, chuckling. “Anyways, I have an odd question.”

    “Fire away,” Gark said, taking another bite of the grilled item.

    “Some of the others and I are heading down to our local club for some dancing. Would you like to accompany us?” Daraza asked.

    Gark thought about this for several seconds. He was still a terrible dancer, and hadn’t done any since that last “attempt” at the club last year . . . the one right before the coup struck. Boy were they lucky that they hadn’t been out on the dance floor when those armed guards stormed in. They had been able to get out of that situation by sneaking out through the kitchen, but had that not been an option . . . well, things might not have been as easy.

    On the other hand, perhaps this would be a way to at least get out and accomplish something for today. He had spent most of today napping or just being lazy, and thus taking some time in town sounded rather appealing. He didn’t feel nearly as tired as he had earlier.

    “All right,” Gark said.

    The rest of the meal was mostly a blur, since Gark was trying to focus on eating. All of this food tasted so good . . . but there was no reason to overeat. That wouldn’t work too well. After what seemed like an hour, through dessert, the meal was concluded, and Gark took one last swig of water to try and wash everything down. The royals here certainly ate well, and he didn’t mind one bit. It wasn’t like the food he was accustomed to was terrible . . . but this food was just that good.

    The trip out to the club was rather uneventful. Gark stared out the window of the speeder as it zipped along, staring out into the driving rain. When they got to the club, the royals were able to get themselves in from the door, and Gark followed up the rear as they all entered. This was a class establishment, obviously, and the royals decided to take some time to enjoy the spectacle of it all before they would hit the dance floor.

    “I still can’t believe that you’re going to do this,” Me’lin commented as Gark stared upon the floor.

    “I can’t either,” the Bothan admitted. Was he crazy for doing this? Or did he just have the capability to swallow his pride and make a fool of himself in trying?

    “Nervous?” Allo asked him.

    “Maybe,” Gark said. He tried to act like he wasn’t, but he certainly was nervous. Could he really do this and not make a fool of himself?

    Then he felt himself being dragged out onto the dance floor. The band readied to begin the song, and Gark swallowed. He could do this.




    Earlier

    Gark swung around clumsily to the music coming from the nearby speaker, and nearly fell on his face. Somehow he caught himself, but then he took a dive after missing the next step. Galin, who was sitting on the couch, laughed at his father as he picked himself up off the floor and tried again. The swing music was brutal to practice to, but Gark was still trying. There was no one else home at this time, so he had plenty of time to practice.

    Then he hit the ground again, and when he got up he could hear a familiar voice.

    “Gark, what are you doing?” Me’lin asked as she came around the corner.

    “Uh . . .” Gark said, trying to cover up his tracks as he lay on the floor. “Playing hide and seek with Galin. Why?”

    Me’lin looked to the speaker, and then back at the Bothan. “Are you trying to dance?” she asked.

    “No,” Gark said. “Whatever gave you that idea?”

    “Nothing,” his wife replied. She then left Gark alone, and he took a deep breath. That had been a close one. He wanted to prove to Me’lin that he could dance at some point, but so far it wasn’t working so well.




    Come on feet, don’t let me down Gark thought to himself as he heard the band play its first strains of music in the background. Then the dance began. Gark moved his foot to the proper place as Me’lin came around in her move. So far so good. Then another move, followed by another.

    Gark had his eyes closed as he visualized the instructions on the dance he had worked so hard at. Foot here, move here, swing a bit, foot there . . . then he opened his eyes. He was really doing this. It wasn’t perfect, obviously, but he wasn’t being dragged around like last year’s debacle. This time at least he hit the right spot.

    When the music stopped, Gark collected his thoughts. He had been focusing so hard on his moves that he had barely breathed. But he had done it. He had been successful.

    “Where did you learn to do that?” Me’lin asked.

    “I taught myself,” Gark replied. “Every single bit of it.”

    “Really? I’m proud of you,” his wife said. “Now it’s time to mix it up a little bit.”

    Allo then came over from his spot on the floor. “May I have this dance?” he asked Me’lin, who nodded.

    “Wha . . . hunh?” Gark spluttered.

    “Just go with it,” his wife said before she joined Allo in his spot. This left him without a partner, and he scurried off the dance floor before the music began playing again. He had no idea this was coming. What was Dorito . . . er . . . Daraza . . . doing? It was probably one of those dancing perks, but still . . . a seed of doubt crept into his mind.

    The dance began, and everyone started over. Gark just watched as Me’lin and Allo danced their way around everyone else, both of them doing an excellent job at it. Gark simply scowled; he didn’t like the look of this at all. He felt instant jealousy at this sight, because he didn’t like seeing another man, especially someone he had just met, getting this fresh with his wife. Part of him wanted to get out there and chew Allo out, but he restrained himself and just sat there, arms folded in discontent.

    Between one of the pieces, Allo whispered something into Me’lin’s ear, and then lightly kissed her. Gark wanted to vomit.

    After several more numbers, the music finally stopped, and Me’lin came over to join her husband. “Not a bad night,” she commented.

    “Not at all,” Gark said, obviously in a snide manner. Me’lin picked up on this immediately.

    “What’s wrong?” she asked.

    “Stomachache,” Gark said dismissively. “Nothing important.”

    But it was important to him. He would keep an eye on Allo from now on. Perhaps he was getting too angry over nothing, but he didn’t want to let something slip from his grasp if he could help it. When the two of them got back to their small manor home, Gark went straight to bed, still fuming over what he had seen.



    NOTE: No, this is not a deleted scene. This is the real deal. So deal with it. :p
    Trieste, jcgoble3 and Admiral Volshe like this.
  10. jcgoble3 Bonanza Winner!

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    So Daraza is still a womanizer. Very interested to see where this goes this time.... :D
  11. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    Well, now you get to find out. :p

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

    Gark awoke early the next day, and was still in a funk from the night before. He wanted to just get out and clear his mind, but what exactly would that entail? Why did everything have to be so damn complicated?

    Gark then went into Galin’s room to check on the young Bothan. Galin was still asleep, so Gark decided to leave him alone. He walked to the kitchen and drew himself a long drink of water from the faucet. The liquid felt good going down the back of his throat, and he knew that he had needed this boost. That’s what he needed, something constant, something happy. Something that made sense in a world of anger, jealousy, confusion . . . and most of all, stress. He just felt so stressed, like there was a weight on his shoulders that he just couldn’t eliminate.

    Then he felt a hand on his shoulder. A soft, yet firm, grip. He looked at his wife, who still looked a little tired but was otherwise fine. “Gark, I know you were out of sorts last night,” Me’lin said, looking concerned. “What’s on your mind?”

    “It’s nothing,” Gark said, emptying out the dregs of the water from the glass into the sink.

    “I’ve been around you enough to know when something’s bothering you. What is it?”

    “Like I said, nothing,” Gark replied.

    “Why are you being standoffish today?” Me’lin asked, her expression becoming sterner.

    “Because,” Gark replied. He wanted to move on, but Me’lin kept her grip on his shoulder. He could easily get her off, but he didn’t want to. No need to further aggravate her by being rude here.

    “Gark, tell me what’s on your mind,” his wife said. It was obvious that her ire was building. “You’re angry about something.”

    “You want to know why I’m angry?” Gark asked. “Because of last night. Because you abandoned me out there on the dance floor . . . because of you dancing with Daraza instead of me. I put in all that hard work, all of that trouble, all of that time trying to prove that I could do it, and then you leave me for another guy. And how it looked like you two were getting a little fresh with each other. So of course I’m angry. Wouldn’t you be if I did the same to you? If I decided to find another woman and leave you all alone in the corner, helpless, just standing there, watching? Hm?”

    Me’lin sighed. “Gark . . . it’s not like that, OK?”

    “And how so?” Gark asked, offended.

    “It’s common courtesy to accept a dance offer, especially when someone else asks you nicely,” Me’lin replied. “He asked me, and I accepted. Nothing more. And I didn’t know you would be abandoned out there. That was my fault, but I figured you wouldn’t mind . . .”

    “Of course I mind,” Gark said. “I put in all that work, and then you left me high and dry. What else am I supposed to think?”

    “And you thought we were being flirty with each other?” Me’lin asked. “You should know me by now. That’s just how I am sometimes,” she said with a shrug.

    “That’s not helping,” Gark commented snidely.

    “I admit that he was being a bit fresh with me there,” Me’lin said. “But he was also being friendly, and that’s what counts. I was trying to be friendly with him as well out of courtesy, since he did invite you there, did he not?”

    Gark didn’t say anything in response, so his wife continued. “Look, Gark. I know what it looked like to you, and . . . I just wanted you to know. I was being courteous with him last night, but that in no way means that I am interested in him. Being friendly and being a serious flirt are different.”

    “Still not helping,” Gark said, folding his arms.

    Me’lin sighed once more. “OK, since it’s not working any other way, I’m going to boil it down to the nitty-gritty details. Here’s the truth. You’re my husband, and I love you more than anyone else can or will. That will never change. Whatever you saw last night, whatever might have gone through your head, I want you to know that it meant absolutely nothing against or comments about faults in our relationship. I have no intention of breaking it off or looking to cheat on you. I did that once, against my better judgment, when I was in a fog mentally . . . and I felt awful about it for a long time afterwards. It’s not something I want to go through again, because I know that it would hurt you to think that you’re not good enough for me. I knew that I made a good decision in accepting your proposal a couple of years ago . . . and nothing will ever change that. You’re still my loveable fur-ball, and you’ll always be. All I’m asking for you to do is to not be offended by me talking to other men. It doesn’t mean I’m trying to offend you in any way, because I’m just being friendly. And, besides, if someone got too fresh with me . . . I know a few ways I can make sure they stop,” she said.

    “By cutting off circulation in their arm, or in their head, with a headlock?”

    “Pretty much,” Me’lin said, winking. “And I learned those things from the best husband in the galaxy. So just don’t get too uptight about it, and move on.” She then kissed Gark on the cheek before checking on Galin, leaving Gark with a fuzzy feeling inside. But it wasn’t a bad fuzzy feeling; instead, it was one of relief, one where he could finally let his rage go and once more feel jovial. Last night, he had thought that things were crumbling, but from the sound of it things weren’t so bad after all.




    Two hours later, the two of them were in a holo shoot at the royal palace. But it wasn’t like your run-of-the-mill shoot; no, this was for royal posterity. Gark was forced into royal robes and had to wear a fake wig, which itched as he tried to stand still long enough for the shot to be taken. Why they had to dress up like this made no logical sense, but then again, these royals had long-standing traditions. At least it wouldn’t last much longer.

    Gark finally got to take off the wig and throw it on the pile, still trying to scratch at his head to get the annoying fibers out. That thing was extremely outdated, and had no practical purpose. Obviously someone thought they looked royal, because he certainly didn’t share the sentiment. When he was offered the opportunity to look at his royal portrait, he declined, instead wanting to forget this had ever happened. Besides, why did they have to go through this process anyways? The House they were the founding members of was more of an honorary one than an actual one. Hopefully they wouldn’t be dragged into royal house decisions and succession plans, although if Galin had to deal with that later in his life Gark didn’t mind. As long as it wasn’t him.

    As he and his wife left the holo shoot, they were intercepted by a royal assistant. “The King would like to speak to you,” the man said. Gark just shrugged and followed the man out on the front lawn of the palace, where King Rygoth was waiting for him.

    “Ah, good to see you,” the King said jovially as the two S’rilys arrived with the messenger. “Nice work, Al’bert.”

    “Thank you, sir,” Al’bert replied.

    “I know it’s on short notice, but I need to talk to you about some royal house business,” Rygoth said to Gark as Al’bert left.

    “I thought we weren’t technically allowed to voice our opinions on that,” Gark said, raising an eyebrow.

    “I believe that you are the man best suited for this one,” Rygoth said. “Follow me.”

    The three of them walked down the hill and through several small fields before arriving at what appeared to be a construction site. A foundation had been laid out in an oval, and support beams were jutting into the sky from fixed points in the foundation. Workers were currently adding in cross-braces and other structural aids, obviously wanting to get this done before the rest of the building could be completed.

    “What is this?” Gark asked quizzically.

    “This, hopefully in time for this year, will be our new Limmie, or at least multi-purpose, stadium.”

    “Stadium, eh?” Gark asked. “I didn’t think your people were that interested in the sport.”

    “They weren’t for a long time,” Rygoth replied. “But ever since we added a Limmie legend to the royal house, even in an honorary title, I think that brought about interest. I heard that many local bars were filled to capacity on Senator game days to watch the game, and children are playing the sport on the school playgrounds like no other time in our history. The people here seem to be warming to this idea, and there was support in the Senate for the funds necessary to build a stadium and field a team. But that’s not all. There is also support for multiple other sports, so this stadium will serve as a Limmie field, but also host other sports, and maybe civic events, as well. We are hoping that we can easily field a team and play next season.”

    “What league would you play in?” Gark asked.

    “Not sure,” Rygoth said. “We’ve sent out our intentions to several small-time leagues, but no one has responded as of yet. We hope to play in a higher league than the entry-level, but at this time, if that’s what it takes, we will take our chances. The ultimate goal is to perhaps make a larger-time conference, preferably one here in the Mid Rim.” The king then paused for a second before continuing. “And this leads me to what I want to ask you. We are in need of someone to help guide this new team along when it arrives, and someone to lead us through all the hoops prior to that point. Would you . . . perhaps . . .”

    “Play GM?” Gark asked.

    “Basically,” Rygoth said.

    “I don’t think I can,” Gark said. “It’s not like I don’t appreciate the offer, but . . . I’ve already got a busy life as it is, and . . .”

    “Can’t get away?”

    “Yeah,” Gark said. “Sometimes I can’t even keep track of the one team I already have.”

    “That is disappointing to hear,” Rygoth said. “Do you know anyone else who might be interested in this job?”

    “Perhaps, but I would have to ask them,” Gark said.

    “But would it also be possible for you to at least advise us in how to run the team, and the like?” Rygoth asked quickly. “Not take too many responsibilities, but just play the role of a . . . adviser, I assume.”

    “That depends on the duties,” Gark said. He looked at Me’lin as he said this. He didn’t want to have to add anything more to his plate. His wife had worked so hard to press home the point that he needed to spend more time at home already, and he didn’t want to tick her off again. “Most likely, on-call is the only way I could be of help. And that would be spotty at times, since . . . I have a few other things going.”

    “I see,” Rygoth said. It was obvious to Gark that the king felt immense disappointment at this, but what else could he do? This wasn’t Gark’s problem to deal with, so why should he be dragged into things here when he had enough to deal with already?

    “What would this team be called?” Gark asked, trying to change the subject.

    “We are still in the process of figuring out a name,” Rygoth replied. “The front-runner appears to be ‘Royals’, though. And I must say that I would be mighty proud of that as a moniker.”

    “Not bad,” Gark said. It made sense, like the Senators did to Coruscant.

    “On another note, would you like to golf with us?” Rygoth asked, obviously changing the subject.

    “Um . . . sure,” Gark said with a shrug. Great, something else he didn’t know how to do.






    Gark lined up a shot from the tee. Here he was, on the first hole, and already he had no idea what he was doing. He seemed to remember going golf once . . . with “once” being the key term there. And it hadn’t gone so well. How would this be different? He looked down at the ball, and then at the fairway. With a swing, he brought the club back, and then brought it down. However, instead of driving the ball, he sliced it. The ball shot off the club and then smashed through a window at the concession stand nearby. Gark cringed as he heard the sound of shattering glass. That wasn’t good.

    Later on that same hole, Gark had to go and get a ball that had landed in a bush. He tried to reach the ball, but eventually lost the battle with the bushes and fell in head-first.


    Watch first 20 or so seconds.

    He somehow got the shot off, but it hit off a tree and landed back in the bush. Gark could only sigh as he had to line up for another shot. This wasn’t going so well.

    Finally the fairway was in sight! Gark lined up his shot and then took a healthy hack at it. The ball jumped off the end of the club and went straight for another royal member, who had standing and chatting with the king. “Fore!” Gark yelled, but no one listened. The ball hit the man square in the groin, and he yelped out in pain. Gark cringed again, and didn’t look forward to the rest of this hole. Golfing sucked.

    On the next hole, Gark tried to line up his shot once more. It didn’t seem to make any difference, but at least it looked professional. Or maybe it just looked like some maniac trying to be something he obviously wasn’t. He swung the club, and the ball bounced off a small metal pole to the side. The ball ricocheted off the item and then smacked Gark straight in the face. Surprised, Gark fell over backwards, holding his head with a hand as the pain shot through his face.

    “You all right?” Rygoth asked.

    “I think my face will be. My golf game, on the other hand . . .” Gark said. This was going to be a long one.




    “Are you sure this is a good idea?” Gark asked. He looked down the steep hill, and then back at the royal members standing behind him.

    “Absolutely,” one of them said. “This is grass skiing. We do it all the time in the summer. Serves to get us out when it doesn’t snow.”

    Gark looked down at the skis that he had been given, or at least what were supposed to be skis. They didn’t look very safe, frankly. But he didn’t get a chance to think, because then he was shoved in the back and sent on down the hill.

    The wind rushed through Gark’s hair as he went down the hill. It wouldn’t have been so bad had it not been for the fact that one of his skis decided now would be a good time to become unbound from its mooring, and then his foot was loose. He started to spin on the way down, trying to get his foot back in its cradle. But the moorings wouldn’t budge, and he rocketed down the hill without a good way to stop. What finally stopped his momentum was the nearby lake, which he fell into as the skis carried him in. The royals just laughed at that, but Gark was less than amused as he emerged from the water, soaking wet.




    The royals were now at the shooting range. They had gotten in easily, and were now lining up their shots. Gark knew that he could easily do this; shooting was something he could do. Rygoth missed miserably on his shots, and then handed the range off to Gark. The Bothan set his shot and then pulled the trigger. The first shot blasted past the target and created a burn hole on the grass, but the other two shots were true and blasted the target apart.

    “Expected nothing less from a superhero,” Rygoth commented.

    Finally, the only thing I can do Gark thought to himself.

    As he tried to leave the range, he had to make a quick stop in the ‘fresher. The single-occupancy outhouse had a lock on it, so Gark flipped the knob after entering to lock the door. However, this became a problem when he got locked inside, and had to bust the lock with his bare hands. When he finally got out, some other people chewed him out for taking so long. Some people just didn’t get it.




    Later in the day, everyone was now at the pool. Gark was floating in the near end as he was stretching out, and then was cascaded by water when the king cannon-balled in. Gark was pushed far enough so that he smacked the side of the pool with his face, causing his nose to hurt again. He then got out and covered his nose with a towel just in case it started to bleed, but thankfully it didn’t. The stinging continued when he re-entered the pool, during which time the royals decided it was a good time to play a game similar to water polo. They certainly were an active lot, Gark thought as he lined up on one end.

    The game was a real slugfest, because the royal members were willing to beat each other up to get the ball. There was no love lost in the pool, and everything was on the line. Allo somehow beat Gark to his spot and threw the ball over Gark’s reach. Gark came back and out-wrestled Daraza on the next one, taking the ball and scoring a goal past the goalie. But things didn’t go so well overall, since Gark really didn’t care, and his team lost. Big whoop.

    When all was said and done, Gark got out of the pool and dried off, or at least as much as he could. Being a furry man to begin with, he dried off much slower than the Trimfians, who were human. Putting on a fresh shirt and shorts, which obviously were somewhat damp after he tossed them on, he joined the others at the bar.

    “You need to try the ‘Trimfian Express’,” Allo remarked. “A round for everyone.”

    Gark took his drink and forced it down, but almost spat it all out in an instant. “This is sea water,” he said.

    “That’s why we call it the ‘Express’!” Allo said jovially as he took another drink of his and spat it out. “The challenge is to see how long you last before you need to spit it out!”

    Gark knew these royals certainly had a few screws loose, but what could he do? At least they were trying to have fun, while of course he wasn’t having any. When the day was over, he went back to the S’rily house and closed the door behind him, completely exhausted.

    “Hey honey,” Me’lin said. She had excused herself from the activities earlier and had come ‘home’. “How was it?”

    “Rough,” Gark said. “My face still kinda hurts.”

    “From getting hit earlier?”

    “Don’t ask,” Gark said.

    “You need a hug, I can tell,” Me’lin said, standing up from her chair.

    “A massage might be nice, too,” Gark said. “I think that I had too much ‘fun’ for today.”

    “You came to the right place,” Me’lin said with a smile. “Just lie down face-first on the couch, and clear your mind.”

    Gark did as he was told, and immediately a wave of relief washed over him as Me’lin’s hands started to go to work on his back. It felt nice to have some of the tension of the day seemingly float away into oblivion, replaced by a much better stress-free feeling.

    “So, how’d it really go?” his wife asked.

    “Terrible,” Gark replied. “Felt like I kept getting nailed, or did that to someone else. These royals play rough at times with each other.”

    “I wouldn’t worry about it too badly,” Me’lin said.

    “And I managed to bear Daraza at his own game, at least for a while,” Gark said. There, he had said it.

    “Good,” Me’lin said. “That should clear your mind a little bit.”

    And it did. Gark, from the massage and relaxation that it brought to his body, started to slip away into unconsciousness. When Me’lin finished her massage work, she asked what he was interested in doing the next day. But the Bothan was out stone cold on the couch, snoozing soundly. The Twi’lek, knowing that she couldn’t drag her husband anywhere, decided to leave him where he was and head off to bed for the night.
    Trieste, jcgoble3 and Tim Battershell like this.
  12. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    I got behind on my reading, but let me just say that I found it entertaining to hear Galin referred to as "Junior". I now imagine that eventually Gark will turn into Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. That is also the second time in 12 hours that Caddyshack has come up for me. Clearly it's a Caddyshack kind of couple days for everybody!
    Jedi Gunny likes this.
  13. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    After a long break, another vignette about the gang just in time for the holidays.

    TAGs to @Trieste @jcgoble3 @Admiral Volshe

    The holiday season. A time for celebration, a time for joy, a time for hanging out with relatives and friends. It was such the time of year at Senators Team HQ, where the decorations were going up and people were joking about giving each other ugly sweaters or fruitcakes for Life Day. Gark had appreciated the sentiment at the office until someone unleashed a bucket full of silver glitter on him as he entered his office. That was going to take forever to get out, he bemoaned to himself as he sat down in his desk chair, the glitter cascading onto the floor unceremoniously. Such was the life of being a GM in an office of wannabe pranksters.

    Gark ruffled through the pile of items on his desk, trying to find a datapad that had some scouting information on it from Helena Forsythe. The former Smuggler and Senator great was now working for the Senator scouting department, and was currently off somewhere in the Outer Rim trying to find some new talents, either through the draft or through direct signing to an ELC. Either way, he needed to find it, but couldn’t. Why was it that the one item you always needed you could never find?

    When he finally found the datapad, he yanked on the electronic device, but this caused the pile of other items to land on him and almost knocked his chair over as he jumped in surprise. First it had been glitter, and now it was the random pile of stuff that had accrued over the months. Needless to say he wasn’t having the best time in the early goings of the work day.

    But things were tempered when he remembered that a little struggle was worth it in the end during the holiday season. Sure a few small things had gone wrong today, but at least he would have a nice warm house to return to after work, a loving family to live with, and probably a cup or two of hot caf sitting on the counter. All seemed well in his life, so he wasn’t about to bemoan his rotten luck thus far.

    Then he heard a knock on the door, and looked up. Adanna Inviere stood there, dressed in a Senators sweatshirt and sweatpants. It had been cold outside walking in from the parking lot, so Gark didn’t blame his assistant for dressing warmly. “Morning,” he said.

    “Morning,” Adanna replied. She looked rather downcast.

    “What’s on your mind?” Gark asked when he noticed this.

    “It’s nothing,” Adanna said quickly.

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

    “I don’t know . . . it’s just that . . . the holiday season doesn’t . . . I mean . . . it’s just not working for me right now, OK?”

    “Feeling blue in the season of cheer?” Gark asked. Adanna shrugged, which the Bothan took to mean ‘Yes’. “Well, I don’t know what to say. You just need to find something to go out and do. Get in the holiday spirit.”

    “It’s a bit more complicated than that,” Adanna said.

    “I have time,” Gark said as he stood up.

    “I . . . I . . .” Adanna stammered, but Gark walked past her into the coaches’ office lobby.

    “Really, just tell me. I’m all ears,” Gark said.

    “I . . . don’t really know how to put it into words,” the Hapan said. This was weird. She usually didn’t seem like conflicted.

    “Ah, I think I know,” Gark finally said, raising a finger. “I think you need to get yourself a date.”

    “What?” Adanna asked.

    “Yeah, that would be perfect,” Gark said, slyly grinning. “However, I don’t think Londy would take me up on the offer, since he seems . . . preoccupied . . . with being a wallflower. Let’s see . . . who could cheer the mighty Adanna Inviere up, eh . . .?” He looked around, trying to think of someone.

    At this time, Maff Biskis, the reserve forward, walked into the lobby and headed for Allie’s office. However, he never got there because Gark had an idea. Maff wasn’t in an existing relationship currently as far as he knew . . . and he had gotten Dirxx and Re’lia right on the friend category, so why not try his luck again?

    “Biskis,” Gark said, catching the attention of the forward. “You have a moment?”

    “Maybe,” the veteran replied. “I need to meet Coach here in a few minutes to go over how I can work on my game . . .”

    “How about you work on your social life a little bit?” Gark asked. “Adanna here needs a friend, and I figured that a dapper guy like yourself wouldn’t mind cheering her up a little bit. With that, I’ll leave you two alone for a little while,” he said, winking before retreating to his office. He immediately locked the door in fear that Adanna might try to bust it down, but that never occurred. He did keep his ear next to the door, however, since he wanted to see if this hair-brained scheme of his would work. If it did, he was officially the team matchmaker as well as GM and defensive coordinator. Another skill to put on the resume, he figured.

    “Um . . . hi?” Maff said as he realized that Gark had stuck him in an odd position. “This is awkward.”

    “Tell me about it,” Adanna replied. “He has a habit of doing things like that. I’ve known him for a long time. Should’ve figured he would pull this crap on me, like he usually does.”

    “I don’t think I can help you much,” Maff admitted, putting his hands in his pockets. “I’m not exactly the kind of guy who goes around cheering people up. It’s not my thing. I play Limmie, and that’s about it.”

    “A real shy guy, eh?” Adanna asked. Maff sheepishly nodded. “You’ll get over it someday. Find yourself a nice girl, settle down, find a hobby. It shouldn’t be too hard for someone of your stature.”

    Gark wanted to yell out “Like you!” at his assistant GM, but realized that he wouldn’t be helping, so he just let it be. This was working about as expected, but he could still hope, couldn’t he? Perhaps Maff, if nothing else, could get Adanna back into a more charitable mood rather than feeling blue. It was worth it for that, wasn’t it?

    “Don’t you have any of that?” Maff asked.

    “Nah, I’m a good loner. Always have been, always will be. It’s how I survived,” Adanna answered, frowning. “That will never change, I’m quite sure.”

    Gark wanted to come out and confront her about it, but this was not his fight. Unfortunately, his plan was now getting worse. Perhaps this wasn’t worth the hassle after all?

    “No family of friends to be with?” Maff asked. Adanna shook her head.

    “They’re not the best at keeping in touch,” she said. “For many years, I’ve pretty much been on my own. And I like it that way.”

    “Then why do you feel . . . off?” Maff finally asked.

    “Dunno. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt this way,” Adanna said. “But enough of that. I can see that Gark is wasting our time, so I need to get on with things.”

    “Of course,” Maff said in an apologetic tone. Adanna walked off, and then Gark opened his office door.

    “You know, if you were waiting for the opportune moment . . .” he began. “That was it. Just saying.”

    “Figures,” Maff muttered to himself as he walked over to Allie’s office and sat in front of it, completely put out. Gark knew he had gone a step too far here. It was his fault for doing this to Maff. He owed the forward one at some point for this embarrassment.

    Later on, Gark took some of his top brass to lunch. As they walked down the sidewalk, Gark noticed that Adanna was still bummed out. “Look, I’m sorry about that little stunt I pulled earlier,” Gark admitted to her. “It was wrong of me to force that on you.”

    “No . . . it’s . . . I see all of these beings right now . . . and they look . . . happy. I don’t know what it is, but I just feel . . . alone . . . for some reason.”

    “Ah, classic holiday blues,” Gark said. He noted Adanna’s attention being directed towards a mother and her two young children across the street. They seemed perfectly happy to be out here, despite it being cold. Gark had no idea what they were doing, but it reminded him of something that he had felt several years earlier. He had finally hit that point where he could no longer stand to be alone. He had needed someone. And he bet Adanna did too. “Either that, or I bet you’re starting to listen to your biological clock.”

    “What? No!” Adanna said, recoiling.

    “OK, fine. But I think you’re just lonely,” Gark commented. “It happens to all of us sometimes. That’s why I tried to help you back at the office, but . . . I guess it failed.”

    “Yes it did,” Adanna said. But deep down, she reasoned, it had addressed her main concern about the holiday season, at least for what she could tell of her depressive state of mind. Those two children just looked so happy . . . but why wasn’t she? What was she missing? Was it a feeling of gratification? Or was it the lack of personal relations with others? What did she want in life? The kids looked cute . . . perhaps she would have some of her own someday . . . wait, did she just think that? What had the Bothan done to her? But before she could say anything to him, to try and brush him back a little bit, he was already off in discussion with the others as they walked along.

    As he talked, Gark hoped he had done what he could to cheer Adanna up. The holidays were not a time to be blue, as he had found out many years ago. Well, at least the Hapan still had some time to figure things out before the end of the season. The ball was in her court now, and the supposed matchmaker in Gark was secretly hoping that maybe he had gotten something rolling in Adanna’s mind. Maybe, just maybe, he was having an impact on her in some small way. If nothing else, it bugged the hell out of her, so it was worth it for that. This was what friends were for, right? Helping each other out when you felt blue?


    To Be Continued . . .
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  14. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    No Gark! I'm right here! Set me up with Adanna! *jumps up and down waving his arms* I'm single! I'm hopelessly single! And I know all about Adanna already! It'll take the hard part out of dating! Disregard the picture of her I keep on my desk to remember her Miner days fondly! That's not creepy at all!
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  15. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    NOTE: This post was inspired by the Thanksgiving WWL edition from @Trieste that said what each team could be thankful for.

    Tagging @Admiral Volshe and @jcgoble3 as well


    It was the night after Life Day, one of those letdowns after a major holiday was over. For all the work that went into Life Day preparations, now it was over, packed up for another year. Times like this could be depressing, because it meant a return to “normalcy”, which for many was complete drudgery in menial jobs or dead-end lives. This is where Gark found himself as he sat on the sofa, mindlessly flipping through channels on the HoloNet. Even for him, there was a letdown after the holiday, when he knew that the holiday season, and the Limmie season, were over. Life Day was one of those days where you wished it would come, but once it was gone, it felt like it had left too soon. And it had.

    Finally he heard soft footsteps come in from the kitchen, and the Bothan looked up to see his wife join him. Me’lin sat down on the other end of the sofa, a mug of steaming caf in her hands. She normally didn’t drink caf, especially at night like this, but it was still technically the holiday season, so obviously this wasn’t something that she would normally do. “You look depressed,” she commented.

    “It’s the post-holiday letdown,” Gark replied. “Now I have other things to focus on.”

    “But it was good while it lasted, no?”

    “I guess,” Gark replied, still flipping through channels.

    “Look, Gark, the holidays are a time to give thanks for what you have in life, even though I admit that there is a letdown after the major ones. But you can still feel a little cheer about it. Look at me. I don’t drink caf this late, but I’m doing it anyways because it feels more . . . well . . . festive.”

    “I get the point of the holidays, but it still feels like just one day of escape from a pretty hard life,” Gark mused. “Just one day.”

    “That’s why you have to make use of that one day as much as possible,” Me’lin said as she laid her caf mug down on a cozy on the end table. “But even if you didn’t quite get the vibe yesterday, I certainly felt thankful for quite a few things.”

    “Care to elaborate?” Gark asked.
    Me’lin just sighed. “All right,” she finally said after a pause. “Where to begin . . . where to begin . . .”





    272 Offseason, Chapel

    “You’re such a maverick,” Re’lia commented as she picked up the end of the white dress and examined it in her hands. “I know we talked back as kids about going strapless on the gown when we got married someday, but I never thought you would actually follow through on it.”

    “I always meant to,” Me’lin said as she stood there calmly in her wedding dress. “Maybe you’ve changed your mind after all these years?”

    “Nah, I just think that you made an interesting decision to go through with it,” Re’lia answered. “But all the power to you, sis. Really, I think you’ve got quite the prize here. I mean, you’re getting married to a superhero. That’s . . . kinda creepy, yet kinda cool, all at the same time. Will you get to play around with all of his superhero gadgets, get to see his super-secret lair, drive his super-duper speeder in the hyperlanes?”

    “Oh, Gark doesn’t have any of that, I don’t think,” Me’lin said. “He just acted alone.” Now this statement was completely false, as she knew exactly what Gark had to work with. The Bothancave was quite a nice secret lair, there wasn’t really a speeder per se, but there were transportation options, and he certainly didn’t work alone. She had pushed him in the back ever since he had started the job . . . funny how things turned out, wasn’t it?

    “It might be nice if he did. I’d ask you to show me.”

    “I’m pretty sure that if he had anything like that, Lia, it’d be top-secret. I might not even get to see it . . . if it existed, that is. Which it probably doesn’t.”

    “That’s too bad,” her sister commented. “I’d like to see a superhero lair someday. I wonder if it would be anything like you see in the Holos.”

    “Probably a lot less grand. Lairs aren’t practical,” Me’lin said.

    “Anyways, we probably should get you moved out into position,” Re’lia said, grasping onto the endtails to keep them off the floor. “Where is that little girl to hold the end? I thought we told her to get here at this time.”

    It wasn’t long before Me’lin found herself in position to head up to the front of the chapel, to await her destiny. When the music began, the doors opened, and she started moving, although it was a peculiar feeling. She didn’t want to move, but on the other hand, this certainly wasn’t something she wanted to run away from. So her feet were guiding her, like they knew where to go and the rest of her body didn’t. What a peculiar feeling. It was a small chapel, with a tiny guest list, and that was all right with her. No need to make a show out of all this. Like Gark, she hadn’t wanted to go grand on all of this. Notables with huge weddings were typically obnoxious, and she wanted to avoid all that publicity. She would have enough of a microscope on her life after all this, so why get it started now?

    As she approached the front, she could see Gark standing there, his back as stiff as a board. He likely was sweating like crazy, but didn’t seem to show it. But there was a sense of dread, a sense of anticipation, in his eyes as the two of them met with eye contact for a brief second. No doubt this was a huge step for him as well. As usual with him, some hairs on his head weren’t quite matted down. Typical Gark, rarely preening himself to keep his image clean-cut. He was sort of a rogue amongst League GMs due to that untidiness, even though it was rather minor. What a character . . . but that was what charmed her about him. He wasn’t too straight-laced, but wasn’t too crazy, either. He seemed well-grounded. This was the man who she really loved, although it looked like he was more nervous about all this than she was.

    She looked at Gark and shot him a quick smile when she reached the altar and the chaplain began the service. She could tell that Gark was tired; he had probably stayed up too late last night. It was fine; she hadn’t slept too well either, the sense of anticipation doing it to her. What would married life be like? She had always thought of it in a romantic sense back in the day as a child, but she didn’t really think of what it meant in its entirety. It meant that she could no longer get away with some things, meant that she had to be more responsible. It wasn’t like that was much of an issue for her, but it would feel rather constricting for the first few weeks. Settling in was the hardest part.

    When the service was over, Gark still looked tired, but Me’lin felt much more elated than her new husband did. This had been a dream come true for her, something that for a long time had been a pipe dream. But it was now a reality, and she was ready to jump into it wholeheartedly. Her mind wandered as she walked around the reception area talking to the guests, trying to thank all of them for attending. It would take time to get used to all this . . . but it was worth it in the end, she knew.




    Me’lin looked down at the test, unsure of what to make of it. The color waited several seconds before doing anything, a lump forming itself in the Twi’lek’s throat as she waited. She had to know. She needed to know. Finally, the color changed. That could only mean one thing; she was pregnant. Immediately, this thought clouded her mind with two main paths of thought. One part of her wanted to scream, wanted to run away. She couldn’t have a child, could she? This had been a mistake, a slip-up in the relationship. She couldn’t have this child . . . what could she do about it? But then the other side took over. This was a chance to be a parent, have a child of her own to care for, to nurture, to ruffle the hair of when she wanted to bother him or her. Of course, what the child would look like was anything but known at this point. Perhaps the test was wrong? But what else would explain why she had felt a little crappy over the last few days? No, this had to be it.

    She knew that Gark had to know as soon as possible. He would find out soon enough, because her belly would start to swell with time. But how to break the news to him was her question. This hadn’t been planned by either of them, so what could soften the blow to him a little bit? Undoubtedly he wouldn’t take it well to begin with, as she hadn’t, but maybe with time he would come to accept it more. She knew that if this was to last, that she would also have to come to grips with it. This was a lifechanging moment, one she knew she couldn’t rush into. This would take a major adjustment by both of them to get used to.




    Numifolis Memorial Hospital

    The pain was immense, like nothing Me’lin had ever felt before. All of the things she had read said that the birthing process was going to be painful, but there was nothing that could prepare her for this. Yes she would finally move the mass out of her belly that had been stuck in there for months . . . but at what cost? The doctors were trying to calm her down, both sentient and droid, but it was one thing to say to calm down, and another thing to actually be able to do it when it felt like your whole stomach was splitting open. And the pain was continuous . . . how long would this last, anyways? But she couldn’t say anything, because all she could do was moan out in pain, and try to push when she was told to.

    And then, in her delirium of pain, she thought of Gark. Where was he? The Senators were playing a game right now against . . . Onderon? She didn’t remember, because the pain was such that her mind wasn’t thinking clearly. Why hadn’t he taken today off and come be with her, especially now? She needed someone to clasp the hand of, someone who could help calm her down in this experience of utter terror and discomfort.

    Then she started to feel cold, like someone had injected ice water into her veins. The pains started to disappear, replaced by a sense of cold dread. A sense of lightheadedness began to invade, starting to make her feel woozy. Something was happening, and it likely wasn’t good. Was this the end for her? Was she dying? Her skin was starting to get very pale as she sat on her back on the bed in her starched hospital gown. This was it. This was the end.

    And then she took one last fleeting glance towards the room’s glass window. And there he was, Gark S’rily, her husband, standing there, a look of complete terror on his face. Undoubtedly something wasn’t going right, because otherwise he would be in here with her, calming her down, helping her in the moments before she would likely pass out . . . or pass away. Instinctively, she struggled to move her arm over the side of the bed towards him, as if to ask him to take her hand one last time in his. The Bothan moved his hand up to the window to meet hers, although it was just a slight gesture. It was all he could do, stuck behind the glass.

    And then she felt life slipping away from her. This was it, this was her last moments in this galaxy. She wanted to cry, but nothing happened. All she could feel was the sense of cold getting more involved, and the dizziness increase tenfold. Now the lights of the room were spinning in her mind, and she didn’t know what the fate of the baby was going to be. Hopefully he or she would be able to survive, even though their mother likely wasn’t going to. She had to hope that Gark could go on without her, could take care of their child in her absence.

    Goodbye was the last thing she thought to herself before she passed out into the realm of darkness that had consumed her body. She took one last breath consciously, and her arm wilted to the side as her head moved down sideways on the pillow, lifeless.




    The first thing Me’lin could sense was the blinding light that invaded her eyes as she opened them a crack. She struggled to open her eyelids, but once she did, she could sense that it actually wasn’t very bright inside. The sense of cold was gone, replaced by a sense of warmth that she hadn’t felt in quite some time. Where was she? Was she dead? Then she could hear a beeping sound, and she weakly moved her head to see an IV drip machine hooked up to her arm. This shook her out of her stupor for a moment; she had survived? What happened? Was the baby alright? Then she felt like she had rammed directly into a wall moving full speed, and blacked out again.

    When Gark came in later to check on her, she felt so thankful that he had come to check on her. He looked relieved, like she was when she knew that her life had been saved, if only just barely. There was a sense of confusion regarding what had happened, but as long as Gark was here by her side, she felt a lot more comfortable. It was odd, because they hadn’t been married an entire year yet, but she felt very comfortable with her husband next to her, a sensation that many couples needed years to accomplish.

    Then word came that their son was alive, just that they couldn’t see him yet. This lifted Me’lin’s spirits quite a bit more. Even through the midst of disaster, life could still persist. The next day, when she saw Galin for the first time, she felt very thankful for being here to witness his first few days . She had come so close to death, but the doctors had saved her life. Now she could be a normal parent. That was something she could now cherish.




    In the ore mine, the cave had just collapsed. Me’lin was still holding on, although the squeezing sensation from the rocks around her was starting to worsen every second. She had her hand out in the open . . . if only Gark could find her and save her before she was crushed to death. Then she could feel a furry paw in her hand . . . push! She thought to him. Push these rocks!

    Then she could move again. Gark had saved her life from the partial ceiling collapse. She was still alive. What a way to go, being buried under rubble in a mine.




    “So there is a lot for me to be thankful for,” Me’lin concluded. “Yes Life Day is over, but you can still take the lessons it gives us with you after it’s over. That’s how I combat the post-holiday letdown.”

    “That was quite a list,” Gark commented.

    “But they all have a common theme,” Me’lin said as she scooted up to her husband and leaned on him as he sat on the sofa. “They all involve the greatest man in the galaxy. So when I get depressed, I just think about our relationship, and I feel better. It’s nice to have that kind of security blanket to depend on.”

    “I know,” Gark said. He turned off the Holo screen, leaving the two of them in silence on the sofa. “But, now that I think about it, there are quite a few things for me to be thankful for as well.”

    “Care to elaborate?” Me’lin echoed, smiling.

    “Alright, then. Here I go,” Gark said as he started to recount his life. And, for some reason, it made him forget about the letdown. Instead, it made him very aware that this was still the holiday season, and that as long as he had his wife around, things weren’t so depressing after all.
    Trieste, Tim Battershell and jcgoble3 like this.
  16. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    Awwwww...leave it to Me'lin. :)
  17. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    Aaaaand it's time for another Superbothan story! :D

    TAGS to @Admiral Volshe @jcgoble3 @Trieste


    Immediately following the Will Detra signing


    Gark parked his speeder in front of the house, proceeding to grab his bag and head inside. When the door had been safely locked behind him, he tossed his duffel bag on the floor and took off his sweatshirt, yelling “I’m home!” in the process. He wasn’t going to need the garment now, since the house had proper heating and cooling systems and an extra layer wasn’t necessary unless those temperature systems decided to die on the spot instead of giving advanced warning. As soon as he took the sweatshirt off, he felt a little cold. Me’lin had likely left the heat off when they had left that morning to go to work. It wasn’t a big deal; he could always change it back.

    Speaking of Me’lin, where was she? Typically he could hear her working in the kitchen, or she was lounging on the couch in the living room when he got home late. Eh, it was probably nothing, Gark thought to himself. He walked into the kitchen, expecting to smell the sizzling of a sandwich on the stove or something cooking in the oven. But nothing came to his ears. That was peculiar. He poked his head around the corner; no one was in the kitchen. He then checked the bedroom, and found that no one was here. Had Me’lin gone out to the store without informing him? That wasn’t like her; she could be a neat freak when she wanted to, and might just be down buying something. But why hadn’t she called, left a message, or even a note?

    Gark went to check out the garage. Her speeder was missing, but it would be if she was out shopping. Women and their buying habits, Gark said as he rolled his eyes and walked back into the house. It was eerily quiet, and he could hear the sound of his footsteps echo softly in the still air. It had now gotten a slight bit colder in here . . . was the thermostat malfunctioning? He sidled over to it to check it out, but it seemed to be working as normal. What in the hell was going on here?

    He picked up his comlink and dialed in the number for the Horstse house. If Me’lin had gone somewhere, would she have told her sister? Re’lia replied that she hadn’t heard from Me’lin today, so Gark thanked her and hung up. That was probably to be expected, her not calling, but it still rubbed Gark the wrong way.

    Then he picked up on a sound. It was a buzzing noise, almost as if something was vibrating on a hard surface. He turned around to see a black datapad sitting on a nearby table. That hadn’t been there when he had left the house this morning. He moved to pick it up; one missed message, the datapad said. How could he have missed a message on a datapad that wasn’t even his, Gark pondered. So he opened the message with a tap of the button.

    It was a ghostly figure of a bald human male, and the angle of the shadows cast a nasty light on his face that gave him a very sinister complexion. “Hello,” he said in a menacing tone. “You are undoubtedly reading this message because you have realized that you are . . . home alone.”

    Gark clenched his fists. He didn’t like this one bit.

    “I can assure you that your family is safe in my care,” the man continued. “However, their safety will be forfeit if you do not do what I ask. I request your help on a matter that is of much importance to my clients and I. I want you to make a statement for me, one that should reverberate within many circles. And you’re going to get me there, or your family dies. All the information I have for you is on the following screen. Do not double-cross me, or the next message you will receive will be the sounds of your wife dying a painful, painful death. And your boy will share her fate soon enough if you do not cooperate. Until we meet again, farewell, and remember what I have said. These terms are most gracious.” Then the man was replaced by information, and Gark struggled to write it all down as it flashed by.

    “This message shall now self-destruct,” the datapad said in a very mechanical voice. Gark looked around wildly, trying to figure out where to chuck the thing. But he didn’t have time to do much more than toss it in front of him and dive for cover. As soon as he covered his head with his arms, he heard a loud Bang! Acrid smoke started to fill his nostrils, and then the shrill sound of the smoke alarm went off, as did some of the emergency sprinklers in the house. Gark could feel his fur getting dampened as the sprinklers doused the room with water, and he hastened to shut off the alarm and the valve as quickly as possible. But the damage to the furniture was likely done; they would have to replaced, even if he spent the time to clean and dry them. The spot where he had thrown the datapad now was a black mark on the carpet; that would take forever to clean out, Gark realized.

    And then his mind moved on to more important things. His family was kidnapped by that strange bald man. He hadn’t left a name or anything, just this message and instructions. Gark looked down at the instructions he was supposed to act upon.

    “Assassinate Representative Milberry of the Hyperlane Planning Commission,” was all it said. “Call this number immediately if you accept this mission. If you decline, your family dies.” It gave a number. Gark reached down and grabbed his comlink. He didn’t want to do this. Assassinating an official was not something he was interested in achieving, but if it meant his family was safe . . . was that a kind of bargain he could make? He would be selling his soul to a real devil if he did . . . but could he live with himself if he declined and Me’lin and Galin died? He finally called the number, shaking the whole time as he did so out of pure fear and rage. When he was asked if he was accepting the mission, he replied that he would be taking it upon himself to kill Milberry. The mysterious contact reminded him that he should not double-cross the perpetrator of this plan, and no one should know about the plan, and then cut off the connection, leaving Gark’s communicator spitting out static.

    Now he needed to find a way to assassinate this Representative. He didn’t know anything about the individual in question, so he was going to have to figure that out as he went along. But could he pull the trigger himself? Wouldn’t he need to hire a bounty hunter? The contact hadn’t said anything about not hiring one . . . perhaps he could keep his hands clean in all this by contracting the dirty work out. His mind flashed to a Mando contact he had, but he decided that it might not be in his best interest to ask the man to kill someone, not after Gark had saved his life.




    272

    Gark was out on another training mission. It had been a few months since he had started his training as “Superbothan”, and he knew that his skills were starting to come together. He had once been weak at fighting, but thanks to Nat’s training regimen, the Bothan was now in the best shape of his life. He could hold his own against most criminals, and his knowledge was growing every day.

    This particular outing was to find a small criminal operation to break up. It wasn’t meant to be much more than a patrol, because Gark wasn’t sure how many he could defeat just yet. This was training, after all, not the real thing that he knew was going to come at some point.

    As he moved from building to building, he could hear some tussling down in one of the alleyways. In search of action, he came upon the scene of a man being beaten down buy three black-suited thugs. The man was trying to hold his own, but it wasn’t working. Gark burst onto the scene and broke up the fight. One of the thugs tried to hit him on the head, but Gark twisted the man’s arm and threw him into the wall. Another thug brandished a blaster pistol, but Gark sent out a kick that dislodged the weapon and sent it skittering off into the darkness. The thug was finished by another kick, this time to the face. The last thug tried to run, but Gark caught up to him and smacked him in the back with his fighting stick. The thug ran off into the darkness, leaving his two comrades behind.

    Gark then went over to the man who the thugs had been beating up on. “You all right?” the Bothan asked, extending a hand.

    “Of course not,” the man said in a gruff voice.

    “Come on, it’s not that bad,” Gark replied.

    “Yes it is,” the man said, still not looking up at Gark as he spoke. “I have lost my home, my honor, and my fighting skills.”

    “What the hell are you talking about?” Gark asked. The man pointed to a pile of armor, and Gark took a look at it. “You’re a Mando, aren’t you?” Gark asked, an air of disgust in his voice. He hated Mandos; they always broke the rules and tried to get away with it. He could probably take one down easily, since at least he didn’t have a superiority complex.

    “I used to be,” the man replied, standing. Gark made sure to keep his distance, just in case the man was up to something. Mandos were known to have tricks up their sleeves, so Gark wanted to be ready. “But now I’m nothing.”

    “Go on,” Gark said.

    “I was raised to be an excellent soldier, by the best fighters in the galaxy,” the man said. “I was supposed to become a great warrior, like all of my friends. But I never made it. I was on the fringe of the society because I just wasn’t that good. I could never pass my tests perfectly, and my skills waned. I did my best, but I failed. I even got my armor, but it was never enough. So I came out here to look for honor, so that I could go back home and show everyone that I deserve to be called a Mandalorian. But it looks as if I’ve failed to even do that, because I cannot even defeat a couple of toughs. You fight with more strength than I have, and you are viewed as nothing on my planet, mere scum. But I respect that you have skills that I fail to possess. Even though it goes against everything I was ever taught, I owe you one, as the saying around here goes.”

    Behind his mask, Gark raised an eyebrow. Here was a Mando reject, who was failing to even win a simple fight, now being endebted to him? He hadn’t seen this coming when he had left the Cave earlier on patrol. “Um . . . OK,” Gark said.

    The man began to place his armor back on. Piece by piece, he transformed back into a Mando warrior. However, Gark could still tell that he didn’t really think he fit the persona. “Contact me if you want to redeem that debt,” he said as he placed his helmet back on. This modulated his voice to make it sound scarier than it really was. “I cannot offer you money, but I can offer my services.”

    “What kind of services?” Gark asked.

    “A hired gun, someone with some intelligence connections, and a fighter, if you ever need one. Even though I am not good compared to my brothers at home, I can still fight.”

    “Good to know,” Gark replied. The man readied to leave, but Gark stopped him. “What’s your name?”

    “Tark. Sony Tark,” the man said before blasting off into the night’s sky, leaving Gark alone once more.




    No, he couldn’t bring Tark into this, even if this would probably be up his alley. He needed someone he trusted even more than that. Someone with excellent stealth skills, someone with a knack for getting a job done with little to no mess. But who to ask, who to ask . . .
    Last edited by Jedi Gunny, Jan 23, 2014
  18. jcgoble3 Bonanza Winner!

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    Let me guess: He's going to end up faking Milberry's death so that he gets his family back, and then him and Tark will team up to locate and eliminate the guy who kidnapped his family.

    Right? :p
  19. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    Actually, I think this is going to happen when Gark meets the mystery man:
    Iron Man 3 spoiler inside (open)
    [IMG]
  20. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    I guess we're on the road to finding out, @jcgoble3 ;)

    TAGS to @Admiral Volshe and @Trieste


    Gark stepped into the dusty old building. He down in Coruscant’s darker districts, where people in his position as a corporate GM and Limmie coach typically never travelled. Down here, the air was slightly musty, and it reeked of corruption and broken dreams. He had come here to find someone, someone he knew he could trust.

    As he approached the half-wall, he could hear grunting from the other side, the clanking of a metal chain, and hard blows from a solid object into a padded one. He moved the half-wall aside to gaze upon the scene. Nat’alia Patrovish, also known as the “Black Gundark”, was wailing away on a punching bag. She would spin around and kick it, and then punch it with her fists like it was a real dazed opponent. The way she moved was so fluid it was remarkable that Gark had ever beaten her in a fight, even if it was a training run and meant nothing in the end.

    Finally Nat stopped and had to catch her breath. Sweat was flowing down her back and onto her tank top, which was now soaked with all the perspiration. She heard clapping behind her back, and spun around to see Gark giving her an amused smirk. “Haven’t skipped a beat, eh, Nat?” the Bothan asked.

    “What do you want?” Nat asked. “Come back to ask me for help?”

    “You could say that,” Gark replied. He moved in a little closer and pulled the half wall back into its original position. “What’s with the hostility, though?”

    “My last job didn’t go as planned,” Nat replied. She turned around and punched the bag solidly with her fist. “Employer asked me to beat up a drug dealer. Started out simple enough, but then he double-crossed me and left me bruised and bloodied in a back alley. If you have a job for me, you better not double-cross me, or I’m going to snap your neck. Even though we worked together once, I can’t guarantee your safety.”

    “Don’t worry,” Gark said. “I need your help. And I am willing to pay.”

    “Some kind of local trouble?” Nat asked as she sent out a vicious kick at the bag. It absorbed the impact, and then popped back in place.

    “I need someone . . . taken care of,” Gark replied. Nat stopped.

    “You need to kill someone? That surprises me,” she replied.

    “I don’t have a choice in the matter,” Gark said with a frown.

    “What, you don’t like someone? Join the club,” Nat said.

    “Me’lin’s been kidnapped,” Gark finally said. Nat turned around. “I need to kill someone so that she doesn’t get murdered.”

    “Why didn’t you say so before?” Nat asked. “Look, Gark, I don’t like having to kill anyone, because that’s not my strong suit . . . but I still owe you one from back in the day.”

    “I’m willing to pay,” Gark said. “Don’t worry about it.”

    “No, I’ll work cheap for this one,” the Hapan replied. “Just tell me the details, and I’ll get on it.”

    Gark handed over the flimsy he had written the details down on, and Nat scanned it quickly with her eyes. “A representative, eh? Planning Council. Shouldn’t be too hard to find some dirt on this one. And then we need to move in for the kill. But I need to ask you one thing: why not kill them yourself?”

    “Do I want my reputation tarnished?” Gark asked. “I’m a coach, a respectable being. I can’t be caught killing someone in cold blood, even though I don’t to have to do this at all.”

    “Fair enough,” Nat replied. “They captured Lin? That sucks. It’s how criminals seem to act around these parts.”

    “Criminals are criminals, no matter where they come from,” Gark said sternly.

    “Did you get a look at this mysterious villain?” Nat asked.

    “I did, but I don’t have an image to show you because it . . . blew up,” Gark said.

    “Are you telling me that an image exploded on its own?” Nat snorted. “You’re full of crap, you know that.”

    “I didn’t get a good image, but the man was bald. He had a menacing voice . . . and an air of complete confidence. This is not someone to trifle around with.”

    “Probably some tough guy who wants some money from you,” Nat replied. “I wouldn’t worry too much about it.”

    “I’m not going to take that risk,” Gark said. “So, are you going to take this job or not?”

    Nat paused for several seconds. “I’ll take the job. But I expect to be paid as soon as I’ve killed him or her.”

    “Don’t worry, you’ll get your money,” Gark replied calmly. “I just want to get this resolved.”

    “You’ve changed a lot since I trained you,” Nat said. “I think you’ve gotten softer.”

    “Try having a family and then being forced to murder a complete stranger in order to save them,” Gark said. “What would you do in my position?”

    “I would . . . I would . . . look, I don’t have a family, so I’m not worried,” Nat said.

    “Just as cold as ever,” Gark commented.

    “You remember why I am the way I am,” Nat said. “Nothing will ever change my past.”

    “Maybe you can change your future,” Gark said with an air of optimism.

    Nat stared the Bothan down, and he could tell that she was thinking this last thought over in her mind. Had he planted a seed in there, something that might get her to loosen up a little bit instead of always being on edge and defensive? “Maybe I can,” she said after this long pause. “I’ll take the job. Tell me where to begin.”

    “That’s the rub. I don’t know where to start,” Gark replied. “It’s not like I have any leads to go off of.”

    “Hm, mysterious bald man, a kidnapping, and a ransom note. How interesting,” the Hapan said as she put all of the items in order mentally. “I’ll have to take a look around. Also, do you want me to find out more about this Milberry?”

    “If you can, then yes,” Gark said.

    “What do you mean ‘if’ I can? I can do it easily,” Nat said, waving her hand a little bit to brush off Gark’s statement. “Duckett may be a better slicer than I am, but I’ve learned a few things about how to hack into mainframes and get what I need. Makes me worth the money you’re going to pay me.”

    “Good,” Gark said. “I don’t want to have to hire a bounty hunter.”

    “Bounty hunters are scum, the lot of ‘em,” Nat said. “I know a couple of them, and they are complete headcases. Always bragging about how messy their kills are. I don’t believe in messy, as you well know. I keep things clean, almost like I was never there.”

    “So you can get started on your covert operations right now,” Gark said.

    “Fine,” Nat said. She draped a towel over her head to wipe off the sweat. “I’ll get started after a shower.”

    “When can I expect a reply from you?” Gark asked. “The Limmie season starts in two weeks, and I have to be on the road half the time. I can’t call you on my comlink; it might get intercepted by the wrong people.”

    “I’ll have results for you by then,” Nat said. “Don’t be too angry if I bring the head of Milberry with me, though, just to prove that I did the deed.”

    “I would appreciate it if you just helped her disappear,” Gark said. “No need to call yourself a headhunter, or me, for that matter. If you don’t need to kill her, don’t do it. I don’t really want to be a murderer.”

    “Suit yourself,” Nat said. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some intel to gather.”


    Gark certainly hoped that she would be successful. He couldn’t stand to think of what would happen to his family if Milberry didn’t die, or at least fall off the map. This mysterious bald man had backed him into a corner, and Gark was intent on proving that if you did that to Superbothan, that you paid the price for it.
    Tim Battershell and jcgoble3 like this.
  21. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    I am really surprised that Nat took the job. I thought she would have come up with a daring plan to turn the tables on baldy.
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  22. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    Part Three, Comin' at ya!

    TAGS to @Admiral Volshe @jcgoble3 @Trieste

    Gark sat on his couch at home, staring straight ahead at the wall. It had been over two weeks since his family had been kidnapped, and the Limmie season had just begun with the season-opening game against Corellia the day before. He had been in contact with Nat the prior week, where she said she was having some trouble finding information on Milberry, but nothing had been heard from her since. Gark hoped that she wasn’t going to double-cross him, not after all they had been through together.

    Dirxx and Re’lia Horstse had come calling earlier in the week with their new adopted daughter, a green-skinned Twi’lek girl about age 5. Since the species difference between the couple made it so that pregnancy would be difficult with a half-Besalisk child involved, the pair had decided to adopt a young girl instead. Re’lia wanted to know where her big sister was, since she hadn’t called in a while, and Gark knew he couldn’t keep it from them forever. So he mentioned to them that Me’lin had been kidnapped. Re’lia had burst into tears, and Dirxx had to calm her down before asking Gark what plan he had in place to get her back. Gark said that he was doing what he could, but that he was still gathering information and was almost ready to plan his attack on the perpetrator. The little girl was busy coloring on the floor, oblivious to the angst her adoptive mother had at this instant. It was nice to be a child, when almost nothing could rattle you except school and a lack of food. Lastly, but most importantly, Gark had told the couple that they should say nothing; he didn’t want everyone to know that Superbothan was going to be on the prowl. Dirxx agreed, and then the two of them left with their new daughter.

    Gark continued to sit as the hours went by. He missed his wife. She was the rock of his life, the anchor that kept him grounded. When he needed a friend, she was always there with that trademark smile of hers, and was a warm body to have curled up next to you when it was cold outside. He missed Galin, the young boy whom he could already see start to resemble him. It was sad, because the boy would likely be celebrating his third birthday in captivity . . . or he might not be alive to acknowledge it. Three years ago this week, Gark and Me’lin had been ready to welcome their new child into the galaxy . . . and now it looked like that family dynamic might be torn apart completely. Gark felt alone . . . he hadn’t felt like this prior to 272, but now it was a real disaster. He wanted his life back, and that started with his family. If they were dead . . . how could he go on with his life, just a shell of the man he once was?

    A knock came at the door, and Gark went to answer it. Nat was outside, wearing a t-shirt and jeans. “Disguise,” she said as she entered Gark’s home.

    “You have information for me?” Gark replied. Nat made herself at home on the sofa.

    “Indeed,” she said. “Take a seat.” Gark did so. “OK, so Milberry apparently is a hotter target than I originally thought. Representative Mila Milberry of the Hyperlane Committee was noted as voting against a proposed hyperlane through an area of town that is known for sometimes being involved in illicit activities. Those who favor the plan say that it will increase trade and potentially help clean up that area of town. Milberry thinks it will be used for illicit purposes, and is against the plan unless security forces can help weed out the bad apples.”

    “Sounds like someone who gets it,” Gark groaned. Why did it sound like this Representative Milberry had the right idea?

    “But that’s not all. She was involved in indicting five known members of a major crime syndicate who were caught embezzling funds from the Committee coffers. I don’t know if this syndicate is why the Representative is being targeted now, but we can safely assume that this mysterious bald villain wants her dead for a reason. He wants to make a statement, and killing her would make it so that the hyperlane would go in as planned.”

    “But why would you want a lane there? Illegal activities try to use backroads anyways.”

    “Save cost when you can transport it unseen on the main routes,” Nat replied. “So, about killing her . . . I tracked her down. She lives at this address,” she said, sliding a piece of flimsy to Gark. “I can slit her throat while she’s asleep, or I can kill her more publicly, if that’s what you want.”

    “You’re asking me how I want her to be killed?” Gark asked, taken aback.

    “You’re the client, so I do what you ask,” Nat said. “After all, I don’t get my money if I don’t kill her. What kind of spectacle do you need? Merely dead in her home, or killed in action?”

    “I . . . I don’t know,” Gark said. “The bald man didn’t specify, except that he wanted a spectacle.”

    “I’ll have to kill her in public,” Nat said, frowning. “I don’t like doing that. I’m a better worker when I can cover my tracks.”

    “Kill her at home,” Gark said. “That cleans up the mess.”

    Nat nodded. “I’ll keep it clean . . . boss,” she said. “She’ll likely die of an overdose of something . . . pills, most likely. That way it can be a clean kill, no mess involved. The police will do an autopsy, think it was a suicide or accidental overdose. I get in there, she dies, your family goes free, I get paid. Any questions?”

    “No. Do what you need to do,” Gark said, sighing.

    “Look, I don’t like having to do this either, but a job is a job,” Nat said. “I can see that it pains you to have to do this.”

    “It does,” Gark replied. “I . . . I hate having to kill someone for any reason unless there is just cause.”

    “You need a hug?” Nat asked. “You look drained.”

    “It’s just . . . I can’t really live without Lin these days,” Gark replied in a somber tone. “My life feels so . . . empty, somehow. And yet I coach Limmie, which typically makes me happy.” Then he felt his body being squeezed in a big hug by Nat.

    “Look, I’ll get the job done, OK?” she said. “Don’t worry, I’ve got it under control.” She released Gark and then looked straight into his eyes, Gark now sharing the gaze. “Lin was a good traffic controller back with the Superbothan project. She deserves more than a fate like this.”

    “Yes she does,” Gark replied. “Now, get your job done so that I can get her back.”

    “Right away,” Nat said as she let go and then walked to the door. “Hopefully Milberry’s disappearance will make it on the news within the next few days.” With that, she walked out of the house and closed the door behind her, leaving Gark in complete silence once more.




    Team Shuttle, en route to Agamar

    Gark sat at the window, staring out into the void of hyperspace. It had been several days since he had talked with Nat, so he wondered how things were going with the slaying. He had a game to plan for, but with Me’lin and Galin gone, he couldn’t think of Limmie. His players could tell that he was on edge, but they likely thought it was because he was stressed out over the game. If they only knew . . .

    The shuttle came out of hyperspace and was fifteen minutes away from Agamarian orbit. One of the players turned on the Holo set in the lounge, and Gark turned to see the headlines. A female human was sitting at the news desk, an emotionless look on her face as she read out the news. “ . . . and they hope to be back up and running in a few weeks.

    In other news, Representative Mila Milberry was found dead in her home early today. Mrs. Milberry was found dead on the floor of her refresher room by her husband this morning at about 0300, two bottles of sleeping pills and a bottle of Corellian whiskey by her head. As a Representative of the Hyperlane Planning Committee, Mrs. Milberry has been in the news a lot over the last two years. She had been a staunch opponent of the plan to put a major marked Hyperlane in the Industrial District AEB3, stating that it would only serve to help shuttle drugs, weapons, and other marked goods instead of cleaning up the neighborhood. She is also famous for indicting five crime cartel members earlier this year on multiple charges. They are currently behind bars serving fifty-year sentences each for their crimes.”

    A man showed up on the screen. “Mila . . . I went to the ‘fresher this morning, and . . . I found her body on the floor, dead. I tried to check her pulse, but it was gone. Now my two children have no mother . . .”

    A Twi’lek reporter appeared after this interview. “Authorities are ruling that this was an accidental overdose. Mrs. Milberry had been struggling to sleep over the past few months, and her husband confirms that the sleeping pills that killed her were indeed being used to try and help break her insomnia issues. We will bring you the latest when we know more.”

    “Change the channel,” Christine Gamble said. “I hate listening to the news. Always so depressing.” So the channel was changed to something else. But Gark couldn’t change; he felt nauseous. The image of two young children being hugged by their father, both in tears knowing that their mother was now dead, was burned into his mind. The look on their faces told him all he needed to know; they missed her greatly already. It was exactly how he felt about Me’lin and Galin being kidnapped. What had he done, contracting Nat to kill this woman? It was true; he had no soul anymore. The bald man had forced him to contract a hit on a woman with a family . . . and now she was dead. There was no justice in any of this. He wanted to yell out in anger, but that would do no good.

    Then Gark’s comlink buzzed. He picked it up, and was greeted by the sound of that mysterious contact. “Very good,” the contact said in a gravelly voice. “I didn’t think you had the guts to pull that off.”

    “Where’s my family?” Gark hissed.

    “All in good time, all in good time,” the contact said. “This was a good test to see if you were willing to go all in, or if you were going to be too scared. Now we have a new mission for you.”

    “What?” Gark asked.


    “We want you to kill off another figurehead. Milberry was a weak speaker, anyways, but thanks to you she is out of the way. Now we want you to kill off Vare Kil’kuta. He’s the second-in-command of the central planning office of the Coruscant Urban Planning Commission. He should make a real ripple effect. And, if you can, kill off his boss. If not . . . it may be difficult to secure your family’s release.” The connection was cut, leaving Gark in complete silence. This was getting out of hand now. He was no closer to getting Me’lin and Galin back, and now he was going to have to spill more blood. This was all going terribly wrong.
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  23. jcgoble3 Bonanza Winner!

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    The plot thickens.... [face_nail_biting]
    Jedi Gunny likes this.
  24. Trieste Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    Wild plot speculation (open)
    Did Nat somehow fake the death? I hope so.
    Jedi Gunny and jcgoble3 like this.
  25. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    Part Four

    TAGS to @Admiral Volshe, @jcgoble3, @Trieste

    Gark sighed as he listened to the news report at home. Kil’kuta was dead, as was his boss. Kil’kuta had been found hanging by the neck in his office, and his boss, the Chair of the Planning Commission, had also met an unfortunate demise. Nat was scarily good at this murder-for-hire stuff, and if this was in the name of the public good, it wouldn’t bother him as much. But he was killing off good people, or at least ones that weren’t very corrupt, if at all. If he found out that his family was dead, or if they hadn’t been kidnapped at all . . . in any case, the bald man was going to die. Gark had made a vow to himself that he would gladly wring this murderer’s neck; it was the only way he could serve justice.

    He had a few days before the next game, this time against Mandalore. The game against Agamar had been an unmitigated disaster on defense, a complete lack of anything positive. He needed to be working on a gameplan, something to get over that total loss and move on, but this kidnapping was on his mind, and wouldn’t go away. A new target had already been identified, but the Bothan had no idea what to do.

    Then there was a knock at the door. Gark opened it up to find Nat outside, wearing a black dress and black heels. She had neatly combed her red hair so that it looked pristine.

    [IMG]

    “I need to talk to you,” she said.

    “Going somewhere?” Gark asked.

    “Your next target is going to be at a club, and I have two tickets to get inside,” Nat said, holding up two vouchers. “So get on your fancy duds and let’s go. I hate having to wear this monkey suit.”

    “Back in the day, I would have joked that you were looking rather hot in that outfit, but now I just don’t feel like I have the wit. It seems to have left,” Gark commented bitterly as he went to his bedroom to change. As he grabbed his tuxedo out of his closet, he looked over at Me’lin’s closet forlornly. It had been almost five weeks since she had been kidnapped, and Gark was missing her now more than ever. He wanted to have her in his arms, telling him that everything would be OK. Her calm voice would help him keep his head on straight, and her warm body on the other side of the bed at night was sorely missed. “This is for you,” Gark whispered to the closet as he put his tuxedo and dress slacks on. He slipped on his dress shoes and then walked out into the living room, where Nat was watching the HoloNet. “I’m ready. Tell me you have a plan,” Gark said.

    “I do,” Nat said. “When we get there, you need to act nonchalant, like the rich man that you are. Maybe make some small talk, eat a few small things, then head to the back. I will lure the target to the back, and then you can finish him off.”

    “What, so I have to kill him?”

    “Look, I’m not in position to kill him unless he turns around, and by then I might not be in a good spot to finish him off,” Nat said with a stern voice.

    “Fine, I’ll get him,” Gark said. “Let’s go.”




    The club was all that Nat had said, busy, and full of food. But Gark didn’t feel festive or happy; he just felt sick. He didn’t want to kill anyone, didn’t want to have blood on his hands because of the mysterious bald man. But he had no choice in the matter; he had to finish this job. As soon as they entered, Nat slipped off into the crowd, leaving Gark alone by himself. A few people recognized him, and he struck up a conversation with a rather chubby Duros.

    “Good team makes good money,” the Duro said in choppy Basic.

    “Yes, it does,” Gark said. It was too bad some of that money was going into Nat’s pockets to pay her for knocking off these figureheads. It could be going to a much better cause, one that would be constructive instead of destructive. “It’s a rough job, being a coach.”

    “I bet,” the Duro said. “Excuse me, I need food.” He walked off, and Gark slipped to the back of the club. In the crowd, he could see Nat dancing with a dark-skinned man who was several inches taller than her. Was this the target, he wondered. When Nat turned around during the dance and was facing Gark, she winked; that meant that this man was the one who needed to be killed. The Bothan’s stomach turned inside out; that was the sign he had been hoping would never come.

    But he went to the back all the same. Soon Nat took the man to the back. “You’re a real nice lady, Patricia,” he said, smiling. Obviously Nat had lied about her name, Gark thought as he waited.

    “You’re an even better man, Laslie,” Nat said. “Many women would kill to be in my position at your side.”

    “Well I’m glad you’re at my side now, and don’t need to kill anyone to get there,” the man said. Nat made sure to have his back turned to Gark when the Bothan approached from the back as silently as he could with a baking pan. “Surely we could . . . go out for a bite after all this is over? Just you and me?”

    “Sure,” Nat said. She was lying, obviously, but she knew Gark was coming up with the pan by looking around him. “But I have one thing to ask first.”

    “Ask away,” the man said. Then his skull was bashed by the pan, and he fell to the floor unconscious in a heap.

    “You overdid it,” Nat commented quietly to Gark as he lowered the pan.

    “Sorry,” Gark said. “How are we going to finish this?”

    “Just watch,” Nat said. The two of them dragged his unconscious body into the refresher, and locked the door behind them. She pulled out a pair of disposable gloves from a hidden pouch on her leg and put them on. She then went over and lathered up some soap on her hands from the dispenser.

    “What are you doing?” Gark hissed.

    “Covering our tracks,” the Hapan said. She rubbed the soap onto the floor, and then moved the man’s body over to the ‘fresher seat. “An autopsy of this man will show that he died of drowning.”

    “We knocked him unconscious with a baking pan,” Gark replied in a quiet tone. “How can he drown without water?”

    “Watch,” Nat said. She stuck the man’s head into the toilet bowl. What Gark saw sickened him, and Nat didn’t look too thrilled about this either. “The locked door shows that he was going to use the ‘fresher in private. He goes over to do his job, but slips on freshly-applied soap on the floor. He bashes his head against the seat, and his unconscious body slips his head into the bowl. While he falls, he pulls the lever with his hand . . .”

    “You’ve watched too many crime dramas,” Gark said. “Let’s go; I’m feeling sick being here.”

    “Take the pan with you. If there’s blood on it, you’re going to need to burn it,” Nat said. “Cover your tracks at all costs.”

    The two of them locked the ‘fresher door behind them and then left through the back door of the club, Gark still holding the pan in his hand. They made their way to a scrap yard and had the pan melted down to cover their tracks, along with a bunch of other scrap items that Nat had found along the way so that the pan wouldn’t appear to be anything suspicious. They were paid five credits for their scrap metal, and then went back to their speeder.

    “With any luck, they will find him soon,” Nat replied.

    “I need a drink. A stiff drink,” Gark replied. He walked towards the club.

    “Where are you going?” Nat hissed. “We can’t be seen back in there!”

    “We need to cover our tracks, don’t we?” Gark said. “If anyone notices that we’ve left, then we might get caught. Station yourself near the back door, and if anyone comes asking, you were out there smoking.”

    “I don’t smoke,” Nat replied testily.

    “Act like it. We can’t be seen doing anything suspicious,” Gark said. “And I feel like sithspit right now. This whole thing makes me sick.”

    The two of them entered the club again, and Gark went to get a drink at the bar. He didn’t drink much normally, but this wasn’t a normal time for him. He asked the bartender for a stiff drink, and Gark started to down it. The thing tasted horrific, but Gark didn’t care. If it calmed his nerves a little, that would be worth it. Nat, meanwhile, continued to chat it up with the other patrons like nothing had happened.

    Then word came that the ‘fresher was locked, but that no one could get in. “Probably some stupid drunks having sex in there,” the bartender commented as Gark asked for another drink. “That happens an awful lot at this place.”

    Minutes later, the cry came out about someone being dead in the ‘fresher. This caused great panic in the place, as people started to scream and run out the doors. “There might be a murderer in our midst! Run for your lives!” a chubby human woman yelled as she waddled to the door.

    Gark knew that the murderer, or murderers in this case, were indeed still on the premises. The bartender told all of the men standing at the bar to scramble in case something happened, and Gark did as he was told. Sirens could be heard in the distance, so the cops were coming. Normally, Gark would have felt safe with that sound; his parents had always told him growing up that the sound of police coming meant that the bad guys were going to get it, and that the good guys would win. And now he was the bad guy, hoping to not get caught by the good guys. What a cruel twist of fate.

    Gark and Nat headed out into the night with the rest of the crowd, Nat still nervously sipping on a drink. “You think the murderer is still in there?” she asked a nearby man.

    “Don’t worry, ma’am, if they are, they will be caught,” the man said confidently. Gark certainly hoped not.

    When the police arrived, they went and checked out the scene. Crime tape was draped across the doors, and when an investigator finally came out, the bar patrons wanted to know what was going on. “The poor man was not murdered,” he said. This caused a ripple effect to go through the crowd. “It looks like an accidental death. There is no murderer, so remain calm.”

    “Calm? A man just died! How are we supposed to remain calm?” the chubby woman yelled, and this caused everyone to get into a frenzy. People began to leave in droves, and Gark and Nat joined them. They drove far away from the club, and stopped at another bar for a quick drink. Nat downed a whole mixed drink, while Gark finally finished his beverage. But he wasn’t interested in it; all he could think about was the man’s death. And he was responsible for it.

    The two of them finally drove back to his place. It was a long, quiet ride, with nothing being said by either party. Gark killed the engine and just sat there, unsure of what to say or think at this point.

    “Hey, you awake?” Nat asked.

    “I just . . . I don’t know . . . this feels so wrong,” Gark said. “I can’t keep having you murder innocent beings. This needs to stop now.” He got out of the speeder and walked to the front door. Using his key, he entered, and Nat followed him in. Gark locked the door and then sat down on the couch, holding his head in his hands. “I’m losing it, Nat. I fear that this is going to spiral out of control.”

    “You need someone to help take some of the nerves off,” Nat said calmly. “You definitely need a hug.”

    “Yes, I do,” Gark replied. He got up and Nat embraced him. Her presence helped calm him down a little bit, but he was still very conflicted.

    “Everything will be alright,” Nat whispered in his ear. “Trust me.”

    “I hope you’re right,” Gark said. He got out of the hug, but something about Nat made him want to stay locked in a gaze with her. Maybe it was the alcohol, or maybe he was just happy to have someone around. Despite all Nat had done for him lately, all the dirty, evil, vile, disgusting things, he didn’t seem to mind; just her being here was better than sitting here alone. Nat drew him in again to a hug, and Gark felt more comforted by her presence.

    “I usually am,” she said, and then she did something unexpected. She kissed Gark lightly on the cheek.

    A small bit of Gark wanted to tear away from Nat, wanted to escape from her presence. But in his despair, all he needed now was something to hold onto, and Nat was here for him. She understood his plight, and that’s all that mattered. He stared into her eyes, and she into eyes. She could see pain in his expression, and he could see a calming presence in her gaze. He wanted to be calm, wanted to forget his pain.

    “Did I ever mention that I’ve always had a few feelings for you?” Nat said as she drew the Bothan in closer. The two of them locked lips in a passionate kiss, and Gark could feel his sorrow melt away in this embrace. Me’lin was the best kisser he knew, and that wasn’t going to change, but she wasn’t here right now. He needed someone, and Nat was providing that role here. If it was out of pity, he had no idea, but for some strange reason he didn’t mind. All he cared about was this kiss.

    Gark finally broke free of the lip-lock, but he was still staring at Nat in the embrace. “You do?” he asked. That was a complete shock, to learn that Nat had been interested in him all this time.

    “Better believe it,” the Hapan whispered before locking in on Gark’s lips with another kiss. As she did so, she kicked off her high heels, revealing her bare feet to the carpet below. Then she reached for Gark’s tie, and was able to wrestle it free from its mooring on his neck. The tie dropped to the ground next to the high heels. She then unbuttoned Gark’s top button on the tuxedo shirt playfully. “So what are we waiting for?” she asked quietly.

    Gark didn’t need a second thought about this. Yes this was not Me’lin, but in his despair he wasn’t thinking rationally. Or maybe it was the alcohol. As the two of them kissed each other, articles of clothing dropped to the floor one by one as they made their way to the bedroom. Gark’s exposed fur made him a little cold, since he had no clothing left on, but the feeling of Nat’s smooth skin against his body in their embrace instantly made up for this slight discomfort. The last thing Gark remembered was how his despair seemed to be alleviated as the two of them slipped under the sheets of his bed.




    Gark awoke the next day, still feeling groggy. He turned over onto his back, and stared at the window. Rays of sunshine filtered into the room, their soft presence providing a subtle source of light. Reaching out with his arm, he couldn’t feel another body in the bed with him. Hm, Me’lin must have gotten up early to get started on breakfast for them both. She had a habit of doing that, but he didn’t mind. Then he snapped awake, and after clearing his mind he looked around the bedroom. It was quiet as could be in here, and he knew that something was up. Then he felt slightly cold, and he looked down at his naked body. Had he forgotten about something?

    Then he heard footsteps coming from the kitchen. He expected to see Me’lin’s shining face coming in, telling him that breakfast was waiting for him at the table. However, he had no such luck. Instead, Nat walked into the room, completely nude. The first thing that came to Gark’s mind was that she had a fine figure. Then the weight of the load crashed down unceremoniously on his head; everything came back at once like a tidal wave.

    “You seem a little bit low on breakfast foods,” she commented.

    “What are you still doing here?” Gark asked. Now he had a slight headache; it must be the alcohol, he thought.

    “Well, given that I’ve helped you over the past few weeks, I figured you could spare a meal or two in addition to my pay,” Nat replied. “But, now that you mention my stay here, I might as well get some clothes on, since what I had on last night seems to be scattered all over the place right now.” She went over to Me’lin’s closet and started to pick through the items on the rack in there. Gark had his back turned to the Hapan as he sat up, trying to figure out what in the hell he was going to do now. By the time he turned around again, he could see Nat dressed in Me’lin’s green bath robe. It didn’t fit perfectly, but it was enough to clothe Nat from the outside air.

    “Hey, that’s not yours! Put it back!” Gark demanded.

    “I’ll do so as soon as I’m done with breakfast,” Nat replied as she walked to the door. “And I suggest that you put some clothes on as well, although it’s perfectly fine with me if you decide not to. I don’t mind.” Gark sighed and got out of bed, his naked body now exposed to the cold air of the room around him. He grabbed a nearby pair of pants and put them on, tossing on a t-shirt as well. When he walked out into the kitchen, he was almost able to relive every moment of last night’s travails as he followed the trail of discarded clothing on the floor out of the bedroom. All it did was make his head hurt more; that hadn’t been intended.

    When he got into the kitchen, he could see Nat making caf for herself, having already poured some of Galin’s favorite cereal in a bowl on the counter. “Care for some caf?” the Hapan asked when she turned to look at the Bothan approach.

    “No thanks,” Gark said as he sat down at the table.

    “OK, fine by me,” Nat said as she started to eat her cereal. “You know, if this is your son’s cereal . . .” Then she remembered that Gark had gotten into this whole mess because of his son’s disappearance. “You know what, this isn’t the best thing I’ve had, but it’s fine.”

    “Yes, Galin loves that stuff,” Gark said, a tint of anger in his voice.

    “I know you’re mad about what happened last night, but you need to roll with it,” Nat replied. “It’s over, and there is nothing either of us can do about it now.”

    “It reminds me that I need to kill the bald man,” Gark said. “I wouldn’t be in this position if not for his evil plans.”

    “And I suppose you’re going to ask me to help you,” Nat replied as she tended to her mug of caf.

    “Of course. You owe me one for last night, for getting me into all this murdering,” Gark replied.

    “But you at least enjoyed our little jaunt? Wasn’t that worth something?” Nat asked. Gark paused for several seconds. He was angry at Nat for all this, but he had needed that last night. Even if it had been rather uncalled for, it had been a great way to relieve his stress for a few hours.

    “Fine, you win,” Gark admitted. “But that one . . . interesting . . . night isn’t enough to make up for what you’ve done. Or for what I’ve done.”

    “You want to kill the bald man,” Nat said as she took a sip of her caf. “And, like I said earlier, you want me to help.”

    “Naturally,” Gark replied. He didn’t want Nat’s assistance after all this, but any help was better than no help at all.

    “All right, I suppose I can,” Nat said after setting her caf mug down. “Of course, it’s going to cost you a little more for the extra help. I didn’t exactly sign on to help you take down the cause of this mess . . .”

    “Let’s say that last night was the extra bit of payment,” Gark said.

    “You drive a hard bargain,” Nat said.

    “You started it,” Gark said.

    “Fine,” Nat said. “However, if this doesn’t work out, and we can’t rescue them . . . I’m always . . . you know . . . available . . .”

    Gark looked Nat squarely in the eye. If Me’lin was dead . . . could he move on from it? Last night had proven that maybe Nat wasn’t so bad after all. Most guys would kill to be able to sleep with her for even one night like he had, and she was a very attractive woman . . . hm, Nat’alia S’rily had an interesting ring to it. She certainly had a nice body. No, his conscience said, he couldn’t give up on Me’lin. He had given her his word that he would come back for her, no matter what. She had done that for him a few years earlier when they had been fighting Ciscerian Barbosa . . . now she really needed him to save her from a grisly fate. And Nat was going to help him get to her.

    “We’ll see,” Gark said. “I’m not sure you could handle being married to me, though.”

    “I could boss you around,” Nat said with a smirk on her face.

    “You’d have to give up some of your wandering tendencies,” Gark reminded the Hapan.

    “Still not a bad trade. I could start a new life,” Nat said. “I wouldn’t be on the run from my past.”

    “What about children?” Gark asked with a wink. He hoped this would be a deal-breaker and get Nat off his back. It wasn’t like he was mad about the family dynamics, but Galin had changed his mind on that subject.

    “No! Just, no!” the Hapan said, snorting. “It’d be just you and me, buster. No little children running around asking me to feed them or change their diaper.”

    “Deal’s off, then,” Gark said. Nat frowned.

    “Fine, I’ll help you get your family back,” she said. “Any idea on how to proceed?”

    “Unfortunately, I don’t,” Gark said with a sigh.

    “So you ask me to help you, but you don’t know what you want to ask of me,” Nat replied.

    “We’re going to need to get creative,” Gark said. “It’s time that Superbothan returns to the stage once more to fight crime. The bald man has pissed me off, and no one gets away with that.” He didn’t like having to do this, but he had no choice at this point. He wanted his family back, and if he had to get back in the suit, so be it.


    And so the plot thickens even more, despite it probably not being in the way y'all thought. :p I love throwing plot twists like this in.
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