Beyond - Legends Life and Limmie: Senator Tales (OC)

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

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  1. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    A short introduction for this fic:

    This story is mostly based upon my ongoing storyline in the Elite League Limmie game over in the RPF, and this thread can be considered as a companion of sorts. As such, all of the characters and storylines contained herein are of my own design (unless otherwise noted). Anyone not familiar with the game thread is highly recommended to read it in order to better understand what is going on here. The 272 season in the game is the beginning of this portion of the story, so beginning there would be a good idea.

    I don't own Star Wars or any of the related in-universe aspects. I just write the story.

    Big thanks to @Trieste for getting me addicted to Limmie in the first place. Without him, I might actually have a life outside of the forums. :p

    And to @JM_1977, for being interested in helping me go down this path to literary weirdness.

    And here we go:

    A single hair popped off of Gark’s head, and the Bothan reached up to try and pat it down really fast. For some odd reason, he never had luck with keeping his hair nicely matted down; it always seemed like a patch here or there was always unkempt, no matter what he did to try and mitigate the issue.

    “You look terrible,” Dirxx said.

    “Thanks,” Gark replied. “This is the reason why I never comb my fur unless absolutely necessary.”

    “And I bet this is the same reason why you don’t wear suits, either,” the Besalisk team captain said, a grin on his face.

    “Real original insight there,” Gark said with an air of sarcasm in his voice. “You’ve known me how many years, and you’re finally figuring this out?”

    “Just thought it wasn’t all that important,” Dirxx said, ruffling out the sleeves on his blazer one final time. “Tell you the truth, I don’t play ‘dress-up’ too well either. They just don’t make a lot of formalwear for guys my size. I’ve had this get-up for the last decade, and yet it hardly ever comes out of my closet for events.”

    “You only attend the Elite League Awards ceremony every year,” Gark said. He had just noticed another hair pop up, so with a sigh he began his quest to smooth that one down as well.

    “I’d show up in shorts if I could get away with it,” the Besalisk said. “It’s just one of those times where you just have to bite the laser blast and deal with it.”

    “Hey, are you asleep in there?” came the voice of Polis Vayne, one of the assistant captains for the Senators. “The people out here are getting bored!”

    “Fine,” Gark said. He finally matted down the rogue hair, but then another one on the other side of his head decided now would be a good time to spring loose of its moorings and make a scene. “At some point, I’m just going to go out there without having every last hair down on my head.”

    “At least you have fur,” Dirxx commented. “Some of us just have scaly skin.”

    “You don’t get drenched easily,” Gark reminded his team captain. “Wet Bothan isn’t exactly a rosy smell to behold.”

    “I see your point,” Dirxx said, frowning. “Anyways, I’m headed out.” He stood up and walked out of the room, leaving Gark alone. The Bothan paused for a moment; he still couldn’t believe this was happening. Had someone come up to him in 272 and said that he would be a superhero and kick bad guy butt, then he might have let that slide as slightly possible, because there was always a chance that something crazy like that would ensue. But had the same person asked him if he believed that a year later he would be entering into a lifelong relationship with a beautiful woman, he would have laughed in the face of said person. He, the out-of-luck loser bachelor, actually entering into a meaningful relationship with anyone would have been bucking the odds in a major way; this situation was just one of those ‘you have to see it to believe it’ moments for Gark. But, on the other hand, he didn’t actually mind this whole process too much, either. It could have been worse; at least it wasn’t a funeral.

    “Get out here!” Polis said.

    “All right,” Gark said, rolling his eyes. Smacking himself in the head to rearrange the hairs, thereby causing several more hairs to fly up out of position, Gark finally just left it as is and left the room.

    The main sanctuary of the religious institution was rather small, as only about fifty or so people could actually fit in. But that was the main point of choosing this location to have the wedding; it was small, and so was the guest list. Gark wasn’t trying to be elitist; he just didn’t want to make this whole thing a major planet-wide event. He was just one Bothan in a sea of stuff. There was no reason to make a scene out of all this, like some important people on other planets did by broadcasting their weddings over the HoloNet for all the suckers at home to watch. No, this was going to be neat, tidy, and most of all a small event. Life was going to go on as usual after this for almost everyone, so not much was going to change. People weren’t going to lose sleep over the outcome, although Gark had certainly not slept well the night previous, and was thus feeling extremely sleepy.

    Gark walked up the center aisle, looking at everyone in the crowd as he passed as they stared back at him. He could see most of the Senators team and staff there, in addition to Londy Whiste, Jed Ortmeyer (no idea what he was doing there, other than Pam probably inviting him) and a few people he honestly didn’t know. Up front were the other personnel, namely Dirxx (whom had volunteered for this crazy venture as Best Man, but Gark could think of worse people to undergo this task). Polis stood off to the side as one of the three groomsmen, along with Riff and Venn (who also looked rather shaggy). Over to the other side were the bridesmaids, namely Alysha, Izzi, Demetra, and Bel. Each one was decked out in a red dress; Gark could tell who had decided on the design. It was odd to see their hair put up in anything other than a simple ponytail, Gark thought, especially for Izzi, who almost never changed out of her ponytail look. Obviously they had gone to great lengths to get their hair done specifically for this, and this was one more reason why Gark was extremely glad that this ceremony was going to be small-time; no need to try to defend his players’ decision to put their hair up like this when they never did so at other times. It sounded ridiculous, but the media just looked for things to talk about like that, and he wanted no part in the whole fiasco of how a few famous women arranged their hair.

    As soon as Gark took his position up by the altar, he could see the chaplain standing there, just looking plain bored. Gark couldn’t blame him; the man probably did these kinds of things every day, and thus all the enjoyment of the moment had probably gone stale long ago.

    “You’ve still got a few hairs loose on your head,” Dirxx commented from behind Gark.

    “Like I said before, they never stay,” Gark replied.

    “Riiight,” Dirxx commented.

    “Look lively,” Polis hissed. Gark straightened his back; he hadn’t been expecting this for a few more minutes. The organ started up, and everyone was staring towards the back of the chapel. A thought passed Gark’s mind that he wanted to just run and hide; could he go through with this? But then his conscience got the better of him, and he stayed perfectly still. He even had to stifle a huge yawn that came through his system; ugh, this was going to be a long one today.

    The doors opened in the back, and Gark swallowed hard as he waited. Finally, his bride came into view from around the corner. She was wearing a flowing and stunningly-white wedding gown, strapless by her preference (although Gark didn’t really care how about that detail; it was the woman wearing it who counted, not the formalwear). Her dark blue skin contrasted sharply with the white slate that was the dress; if anything, if made her even more attractive, because it helped cut her figure even better than Gark had ever imagined. Me’lin strode into the chapel to the sound of the music, the entire crowd standing. Typically, the father of the bride would be there, but he wasn’t able to attend for his daughter’s wedding, so Me’lin’s sister instead accompanied her in. Everyone stood at attention, and Gark stiffened his back more. If he stood like this for about fifteen minutes, he’d probably start having back pain, he thought. So he finally loosened up a little bit. As the Twi’lek finally made her way to the front, the two shared a look at each other. Gark gave a very slight shrug, and Me’lin flashed a quick smile before turning to the chaplain.

    The man stepped forwards and started the ceremony. Gark wanted to move around in place; the chaplain’s voice was monotonous as all get out, and the Bothan wanted to know whose idea it was to get this guy to do the service. Also, it felt too warm in there, which compounded his sleepiness. As the minutes passed, Gark wanted to yawn, but he didn’t dare. That would be extremely rude, not just to the people in attendance, but mostly to his wife-to-be. She would be so upset if he suddenly interrupted the service by letting out a long, prolonged yawn. So he gutted the whole thing out, although he definitely wished he could get some rest.

    Finally, it seemed to be time to get to the best part, or the worst part, if one was a partier who didn’t really like having their independent freedom being constrained by this whole institution. The chaplain asked him if he was going to follow all the prescribed rites of marriage, and Gark said “I do” in a partly sleepy manner. He had needed to partially wake himself up to get to that. Now Me’lin was asked the same question. Gark watched her face intently; he didn’t think she was going to turn him down at this point, after all they had gone through. But as with many other things in Gark’s life, he wasn’t certain of anything until it actually happened.

    “I do,” she said.

    “Fine. I now pronounce you husband and wife,” the chaplain said. “You may now kiss the bride.”

    Dirxx pushed Gark in the back a little bit, and he almost stumbled clumsily over the end of Me’lin’s dress. But the moment was genuine, and the two newlyweds kissed each other for several long seconds. This was accompanied by a long round of applause from the people in the crowd, many of whom probably were bored as well.

    When the kiss was over, Gark looked at his new wife, who gave him another smile back. He then took out the ring that Dirxx tossed him and placed it on Me’lin’s finger. She had asked him days earlier if he wanted one as well, but Gark had politely declined. He didn’t want to have a ring on his finger mostly because it would probably get smashed at some point, and he didn’t want to have to deal with that afterwards.

    “Hurry up, would ya?” Dirxx hissed. “Some of us are hungry.”

    “Always thinking with your stomach,” Gark said, shaking his head. Dirxx was a basketcase when he was hungry. “Ready to go meet our adoring fans?” he asked Me’lin.

    “You just want a piece of cake,” she replied, winking.

    “OK, that too,” Gark said. “But it tastes so good . . .”

    “Let’s,” the Twi’lek said. She reached out and grabbed Gark’s hand, clasping on to it tightly. Gark typically would have blushed at this point, but he had developed enough of a sense for this mushy romantic stuff by now that it didn’t affect him as much nowadays. Also, perhaps some distraction, especially some cake, would help him wake up.

    Gark stuck the knife into the cake, Me’lin hanging on his shoulder as he did so. Everyone seemed to be staring straight through him, so what should have been a simple maneuver seemed to become ten times harder. The cake seemed to harden up almost immediately, and a bead of sweat formed on Gark’s face as he meticulously made the first cut. Finally the knife cut through the entire cake, and then he took a sigh of relief. Placing it down in another spot, he cut out the first piece and put in on a plate.

    “To the hungriest guy I know,” he said. “Get up here, Mr. Best Man, because I know you’re dying to have food.”

    “Way to call me out,” Dirxx replied, taking the plate. It looked so tiny in his large hands. “But, I won’t ever turn down food.” Some laughs came from the crowd.

    After about ten minutes, the cake had been completely cut up, and everyone was sitting down at the tables. Gark was sitting with his groomsmen, and had to laugh with them when Venn got some cake stuck in his fur and was trying to frantically clean it out with his hands.

    “Saving some for later?” Polis joked. Venn gave him a dirty look and kept on cleaning.

    “This is good,” Riff commented, finishing off his plate. “Have seconds?”

    “Is everyone on this team a glutton?” Gark asked.

    “No . . .” Riff said quickly, trying to defend himself. “I’m just hungry, that’s all.”

    “Don’t worry,” Gark replied. “There’s more food up there. You just need to go and get it.”

    As Riff stood up and walked away, Me’lin came around and placed her elbows on the back of Gark’s shoulders. “Hey,” she said. “We’re supposed to be greeting everyone, silly, not sitting around here playing with our food.” Once again, Venn provided a dirty look after hearing this, and Polis laughed.

    “All right,” Gark said. “Excuse me,” he said to the other two as he stood up.

    “How was the cake?” the Twi’lek asked.

    “Tasty,” Gark said. “You make that yourself?”

    “No,” Me’lin replied. “But I’d be willing to learn how. All I need is a recipe, and I’ll whip one up for us to split someday.”

    “I’d like that,” Gark said. Now he had cake on the brain; just great. Oh, and sleep, but that wasn’t edible.

    As the newlyweds walked around the room, Gark wasn’t quite sure why they were still there. They knew just about everyone there, and the few people Gark didn’t know were Me’lin’s friends. Gark wasn’t quite sure what they made of him with a first impression, but he hoped that it wasn’t anything negative. Gark had to congratulate Jed on becoming the head coach for Thyferra, which Jed tried to downplay a little because it wasn’t his moment to really gloat, and Pam hadn’t said much because both she and Gark knew that there would be plenty of time to talk later about team stuff. Due to the small guest list, it was a short walk around the room before Me’lin finally said that they could leave. Gark was already feeling rather sleepy, so leaving sounded like a good idea.

    As the party wound down, Me’lin prepared herself to do the traditional toss of the flowers behind her. Before this happened, Dirxx had already commented that this whole thing was just going to cause a problem, because it would pit four teammates against each other. It was a tradition, of course, but he wasn’t sure if any of the four bridesmaids would play fair in this instance. Gark looked behind him as the Twi’lek tossed the flowers over her head, watching their arc as they fell towards the ground. Bel tried to jump and grab it, but she was brought down to the ground by Alysha. Gark wanted to facepalm, but that would be rude. Izzi somehow managed to snatch them out of the air by outstretching Demetra, and she celebrated a little as the other three looked extremely unhappy.

    “You realize that this means nothing, right?” Polis said behind them.

    “Shut up, Polis,” Alysha and Izzi both said in a disgruntled tone.

    “Sor-ry,” Polis said, looking away.

    The newlyweds got themselves into Gark’s speeder as the crowd behind them cheered, although Gark guessed Dirxx was just doing it because he liked the cake. As he settled into the driver’s seat, the Bothan was hit was a real tired feeling; he could definitely drive to the new S’rily residence, but he couldn’t guarantee anything after that. He had finally hit the sleep wall, and he needed rest.

    During the drive, Gark yawned several times, each time making his mind more muddled. He tried to blink to clear his head, but the fog of sleep deprivation was starting to set in. Finally, the speeder parked in the driveway of the house, and Gark got out first. It was customary for the man to carry his new wife into the house, but Gark wasn’t quite sure if that was such a good idea. No doubt he could lift Me’lin off her feet easily, but it was the matter that he was afraid of dropping her on the ground if he finally just hit the energy wall. So he just decided to open the door for her and let her walk in. She gave him an odd look, but didn’t say anything.

    Once inside, Gark made a beeline for the couch. He sat down on its plushy seat, and his mind started to fade. He was able to get his suit jacket and shoes off, leaving a black dress shirt visible.

    “I’ve got a few things I need to get done,” his wife said. “Hope you don’t mind too badly . . .”

    But Gark didn’t really process this statement. As soon as Me’lin left the room, the floodgates of tiredness opened, and Gark fell over on the surface of the couch flat on his face, out cold.

    When Me’lin appeared again about half an hour later, she saw her husband sleeping soundly on the couch. Smirking, but understanding as always, she went off to find a pillow and blanket. Propping Gark’s head up on the pillow, she stretched the blanket over him before busying herself once again.
    Last edited by Jedi Gunny, Oct 19, 2015
    Admiral Volshe, jcgoble3 and Trieste like this.
  2. jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 5
    “Hurry up, would ya?” Dirxx hissed. “Some of us are hungry.”

    “Always thinking with your stomach,” Gark said, shaking his head. Dirxx was a basketcase when he was hungry.

    Dirxx needs to eat a Snickers. :p

    This is going to be so much fun to read! :D You doing a PM list, or should I just slap this thread on my watchlist?
  3. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    Thanks, jc. It's always funny to have a glutton on the team to poke fun of. :p

    And yes, I'll definitely start a list. PM me if you want me to add you to the TAG list. @Trieste, @Admiral Volshe, @jcgoble3.
    Admiral Volshe likes this.
  4. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

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    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
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    TAG List: @Trieste, @jcgoble3, @Admiral Volshe

    Here's your next installment.

    Two Weeks After the ELL Draft

    The doorbell rang, and Fred S’rily stood up slowly out of his chair. Another visitor, he thought to himself as he made his way across the room to the door. He wasn’t exactly young anymore, but at least he still had his mobility. If he didn’t, then he wouldn’t be able to live on his own like this.

    Opening the door, Fred looked out. “Speak of the devil, it’s my well-to-do nephew!”

    “Hi Uncle Fred,” Gark said from outside.

    “Come on in,” his uncle said, opening the door wider. “What brings you out all this way, kid?”

    “Just had to see this new house o’ yours,” Gark replied.

    “About that,” Fred said. “Thanks for giving me the money to move out of the ol’ shack a while back. I really appreciate that gesture. Finally got to update some important household items, and it also looks nicer.”

    “Still living as a hermit, I see,” Gark said, going up the step into the house.

    “Not as much,” Fred said. “Ever since the last time you came out all this way, the folks in this town have actually been a lot nicer to me. I can say that I have quite a few friends to my name, as back then I had none. Actually, speaking of that, I’ve got BINGO in a couple hours down at the local club. You interested in sticking around for that? I’m sure a lot of people would like to see you in person, really. It’s nice being the uncle of a famous guy.”

    “I bet,” Gark said. “And, maybe. We’re just stopping by.”

    “We?” Fred asked. Then, he looked around into the doorway. “Ah, this must be your beautiful wife,” he said as Me’lin entered the house. “I’ve heard so much about you from the kid,” Fred said. “And I can see what he’s talking about so glowingly.”

    “Me’lin, this is my Uncle Fred,” Gark said. “He’s my only other living relative besides my sister, who we’re going to see in a week or so.”

    “Pleasure to finally meet you,” Fred said. “Come on in, and take a seat,” he said. Then he switched to Bothese, which made Gark sigh and Me’lin wonder what was so important that a different dialect was needed.

    “I must say, she’s a mighty fine woman,” Fred said.

    “Yeah, she’s a real gem,” Gark replied. “Never figured I’d not be single my entire life.”

    “Well, my boy, you’re a lucky guy.” Then he switched subjects completely, and after some off-color commentary by both Bothans, they got a real chuckle out of it.

    “Make yourselves at home,” Fred finally said, switching back to Basic. “I’ll go get some tea started. And kid, that was one hell of a one-liner.”

    “What’s he talking about?” Me’lin asked as Fred walked off to the kitchen. “And what’s so funny?”

    “Nothing,” Gark said, trying not to smile.

    “You were talking about me, weren’t you?” the Twi’lek asked, obviously not impressed.

    “Nah, I was just reminiscing about an old story from long ago. Long before I met you,” Gark replied quickly.

    “Riiiiigght,” his wife said, still annoyed.

    The couple sat down in separate chairs in the living room, and Fred was soon back with a tea pot. He poured out some tea into three cups, and then handed the other two their cup.

    “It’s been a long time since you were out this way last,” Fred started. “What’ve you been up to recently?”

    “Not a lot, really. Or, at least not as much as I usually have,” Gark said. “Got married, went to the Elite League draft, still on our impromptu honeymoon . . . other than that, nothing of note.”

    “Pfft, that sounds like a lot right there. And how’s that team of yours looking for this next season?” Fred asked, taking a sip of his drink. “Almost went all the way last year.”

    “We should be strong again this season,” Gark replied. “I trust our new coach to get in there Day One and make things happen. Plus, we’ve got a lot of veteran players on the roster; actually, speaking of that, I don’t think there’s going to be a single rookie on the entire team. Everyone’s going to have paid their dues in the League, so that’ll give us an advantage experience-wise. Now they just need to put that together into a solid season.”

    “Good,” Fred replied, taking another sip of tea. “So, to change subjects here, how’d you two meet?”

    “Um . . .” Gark said. He hadn’t been expecting such a quick turnaround of topic. “Long story . . .” He knew that bringing up the whole Superbothan thing would be risking the confidentiality of the other agents, including his wife, so he decided to just skip over that part. He had been exposed as the superhero, but none of them, at least to his knowledge, had, so he was going to let that slip out of this response. “I hired her a while back to work as the team secretary, because of her excellent management skills . . . and the fact that she’s really good at keeping things in order. I would just throw everything in a folder and call it good. She worked in the Front Office for what, 6 . . . 7 years . . . before we finally hit it off?” Gark asked.

    “About that long,” Me’lin said. She poured herself another cup of tea. “But at least you seemed more receptive this time. I remember that one time, years back, where this whole romance subject made you blush real hard. Wasn’t it that Thyferra trip that you dragged me on?”

    “Oh, that,” Gark said. “Um, you were coming on a little strong there, and I thought . . .”

    “You missed the joke portion of it,” she said. Had she been closer, she probably would have punched him in the arm, as was her custom when she was joking. “I was kidding.”

    “I know,” Gark said. “OK, maybe not at the time . . .”

    “But you still fell for it,” the Twi’lek said.

    “Fine, have it your way,” Gark replied.

    “I can see why you two are perfect for each other,” Fred said, chuckling. “It reminds me of the way your mother and father bickered jokingly with each other, kid. They always had a sense of humor, and weren’t afraid to get in each other’s head.” Then the older S’rily sighed. “Yeah, I still miss my brother. Never figured that his passing would mean so much to me, but I guess it profoundly influenced my decision to stay inside for a while.”

    “I thought you were a hermit before then,” Gark said.

    “Never mind,” Fred replied, holding up his hand to stop his nephew from continuing on. “That’s all in my past. My present self isn’t half bad, though, so I can’t complain too badly.”

    Me’lin finished with her tea, and then stood up out of her chair. “I’ll clean this stuff out,” she said. “It’s the least I can do to repay you for your hospitality,” she added, even though she thought Fred was a little weird and wished that he would have cleaned the tea set out himself.

    “All right, then. I won’t turn down extra help,” Fred said. He placed his tea cup on the table, and the Twi’lek reached down to pick it up. Then Fred’s expression changed. “Well, would you look at that,” he commented. “I can see that you’ve already been working on the next generation.”

    “What are you talking about?” Gark said. He was confused; what did his uncle mean? He turned to his wife, a questioning look on his face.

    “Looks like I’ve been ratted out,” Me’lin finally said. She looked at her husband. “Honey . . . I’m pregnant.”

    Gark just sat there for several seconds, not quite sure what to say or do except to blink at a regular interval. He hadn’t expected this news in the slightest. Had the chair not been so solidly backed, he probably would have tipped over backwards, landing hard on the floor.

    “I was going to tell you earlier . . . but I just never found the right time to mention it,” the Twi’lek said, shrugging. She then turned to the elder S’rily. “How’d you know?” she asked.

    “Intuition,” Fred replied, giving out a sly grin. When he got an odd look from Gark, he chuckled again. “If you must know, I spent several days at my brother’s place when your mother was carrying you. That was a long time ago, I know, but I was just reminded of it when you bent over like that. Anyways, I think congratulations are in order. Well, either that or my sympathies. I was never a kid person; I think that’s part of the reason why I’ve always lived alone. I don’t think I could have survived having a child running around, trying to climb on the furniture and knock things over.”

    “There goes part of my sanity,” Gark commented dully, propping his head up on his hand.

    “Don’t say that,” Me’lin said sternly. Then she loosened up her tone. “I think that this is a good new direction for us. Anyways, if you didn’t want children, you should have said so earlier.” She winked.

    “I didn’t think . . .” Gark started, but he knew it was useless to say anything. It’s not like it would help or anything.

    Me’lin just flashed her husband a smile and walked to the kitchen, leaving the two Bothans in the living room. Fred switched back to Bothese.

    “Your parents would be proud,” he said. “Especially since you’re keeping the S’rily family name intact, at least for a little while longer.”

    “I know they would,” Gark said. “But I’m not really that happy about it.”

    “I’m sure you’ll change your tune at some point,” Fred commented. “You and your sister were a real joy to have around in your childhoods. At least, when you were finally old enough to hold a coherent conversation. You almost knocked over one of my prized possessions when you were about three.”

    “I’m not proud of that,” Gark replied. “I kept hearing that story growing up, and I could never shake it.”

    “Hey, at least it’s you who has to deal with a kid running around,” Fred said, holding his hands up. “I would never survive one day having to deal with that.”

    “I’m with you on that one,” Gark commented.

    “Grow a backbone, kid. You were one half of the process; now you have to deal with the consequences of your action.”

    “I guess so,” Gark said sullenly.

    “Buck up. It could be worse,” Fred said. “And, besides, I think you’ve gone through worse hell than this will ever amount to be. So don’t fret about it, and go with the flow.”

    “If you say so,” Gark said.

    After another hour of sitting around, Gark knew that it was time to keep moving on. He said goodbye to his uncle, and after a hug between the two Bothans, he was walking out the door. “Good luck,” Fred said to Me’lin as she left the house. “It’s going to be a rough seven or so months, so make sure to be strong and stay fit.”

    “Thanks,” the Twi’lek said.

    “Keep in touch, kid,” Fred replied, shutting the door behind them.

    As they walked back to the rental speeder, Gark had something on his mind. “Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” he asked again.

    “Like I said, I never found the right time to mention it,” his wife replied. “Besides, I just found out about a week ago. I couldn’t tell just by looking at my stomach in the mirror, because those first two months don’t really show up. But, now I have confirmed it, and although you don’t seem that happy about it now, I guarantee that you’ll change your mind later on. Just give it time.”

    As Gark got into the speeder, he sighed. “It’s just . . . I enjoyed having the house to ourselves. Adding one more . . . will ruin that peace for me.”

    “You worry too much about it,” Me’lin replied. “When I found out, I had an initial reaction of complete shock, especially since we hadn’t planned for it. But, after a day or so, I was completely fine with it. Give it time, and you’ll think differently. And about the house being quiet, well, there’s nothing we can do about it now, so let’s just enjoy the next seven months while we can, and then make do when the kid comes.”

    As they drove back to the Starport, Gark’s mind was preoccupied with this breaking news. He had no idea what was going to come out of it, but one thing was for certain: his life was going to change.

    And there you have it, another bombshell moment brought to you from me. Because enough is never enough! :D
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  5. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    Now that the Draft is over, I can move on to the next phase of the story.

    @Trieste, @jcgoble3, @Admiral Volshe

    Gark S’rily
    Team Meeting, Prior to Training Camp

    The players for the Coruscant Senators were sitting around in front of coach Pamila Korthe, who was giving them some information about the upcoming Training Camp schedule. As she rattled on about things she wanted to cover at camp, which started the next month, Gark came over. When the Zeltron noticed that Gark was coming, she quickly tried to finish her statement.

    “Am I interrupting?” Gark asked.

    “Not anymore,” Pam said. “I’ve finished.”

    “Don’t let me slow you down,” the Bothan said. “If I’m interrupting, just say so, and I’ll leave.”

    “She’s done,” Coach Andrew Mundle said, standing idly behind the group of players. “We’ve gone over everything that we wanted to cover.”

    “OK, then,” Gark said. He moved to a position where everyone could clearly see him. “Hi, everyone. I know that this seems a little out of the blue, but my wife and I had an idea a few days back. We’re thinking of having a team barbeque at our house next Friday, and we’re inviting everyone here to it. It’ll be a little treat before the rigors of training camp set in next month, and should serve as a good team-bonding experience. You all game?”

    There were some nods from the crowd of players, especially the long-term veterans. This sounded like a lot of fun, really.

    “All right, then. Please RSVP with me soon so that we have enough food. More details will come soon as to time and what to bring.”

    S’rily household

    Gark looked at the chrono on the wall. It said 13:30; only half an hour before the bulk of the players he had invited were to come over. He had asked anyone bringing food or willing to help participate in grilling to show up early, and so he wasn’t surprised to hear the doorbell ring.

    “Honey, door!” Me’lin shouted from the kitchen. Gark walked over and opened the door. Standing outside was Jerek Deter, a huge grin on his face and a giant bowl in his hands.

    “Jerek,” Gark said.

    “Coach,” Jerek said back. “I thought you’d like to know that I’m using the largest bowl I could find.”

    “You did bring your family recipe chili, right?” Gark asked. Jerek could be an irritation on the field, but the chili he brought with him every time was quite the sensation for everyone who tasted it.

    “Of course. You didn’t think I would forget, did you?” Jerek said, still grinning from ear to ear. “Now, can I pass through?”

    “Go on in,” Gark said. “I’ve set up a food table in the backyard. You can place your chili bowl there.”

    Jerek went on inside, and Gark closed the door behind him. Well, that was one player who had shown up on time. He could hear Jerek being greeted in the kitchen and then heading outside to put his bowl down on the table.

    A minute later, the doorbell rang again. Who was it this time? He opened up the door to find Venn Sto, the goalie, who had said that he was willing to cook up some of the meat on the grill. Venn was also ushered inside and instructed to go out to the back by the grill.

    As the minutes passed, Gark was unsure of who else would show. Not that many people had RSVPd early on, so he had no idea who to expect. He just had to hope that there was enough food for everyone, as he didn’t have time now to head to the store to stock up.

    Finally, the doorbell rang again, and Gark opened it.

    “Surprise!” came the easily-recognizable voice of Senators Limmie.

    “You speederpool again?” Gark asked as he saw a host of his long-time veterans, headed by Dirxx Horstse, stand outside.

    “Of course,” the Besalisk said, a wide grin on his face. “It’s really fun to squish Polis in the back of the speeder.”

    “Remind me never to ride with you again,” Polis said from the back of the crowd.

    “Hey, there’s nothing like a little team bonding when you’re all jammed into a speeder together,”
    Dirxx said with his trademark grin.

    “Jerek and Venn are out back,” Gark said. “If any of you brought anything, and I hope some of you did because we all know Dirxx is going to eat us out of house and home, put it on the back table next to Jerek’s massive bowl.”

    “You know me well,” Dirxx said as he and the rest of the veterans entered the house. It was a bit of a tight squeeze to get Shev inside the door, as it wasn’t built for Noghris, but otherwise the crew got in just fine. Gark closed the door behind them after Moen filtered in.

    “Nice place you’ve got here,” Dirxx said. “Got that new house smell.”

    “We’ve had it for months,” Gark said. “But, I guess it’s starting to feel more like home, now that you mention it.”

    “Where’s that lovely gal of yours?” Dirxx asked.

    “In the kitchen, trying to prepare enough food for all of you gluttons,” Gark said, a wry look on his face. “I’m just trying to make sure you all don’t try to knock the door down in excitement for food.”

    “Fair enough,” Dirxx said. “Fair enough. Come on, guys, let’s go see what’s happening in the backyard.” The veterans followed him out of the living room and towards the kitchen and backyard.

    The doorbell rang immediately after this, shocking Gark out of his stupor. He opened the door to see Maximus Qorbus and a Pantoran standing outside. Gark quickly thought that it must be Rayel Edare, the Pantoran whom the Senators had picked up via trade from Rydonni Prime, but then realized that he was wrong. He didn’t know this woman. “Ah, our new acquisition,” Gark said. “Good to see you, Maximus. Who’s this fine young woman, if I might ask?”

    “Zathalie,” the Pantoran said. “We went to college together. ”

    “Best girl in the whole galaxy, if you ask me,” the Nautolan said.

    “Ah,” Gark said, nodding. “Good to see you both. Come on in and make yourselves at home. We’ll probably start eating in an hour or so when more people arrive.

    Minutes passed before the next call at the door. This time it was Andrew Mundle and Palla Tyroti, the coordinators who had always been at odds with each other in the past. However, Gark could instantly tell that they were starting to like each other more; perhaps that year off in 271 had changed their minds about how they perceived the other. Gark had heard rumors that the two were dating on and off, but he couldn’t confirm it. “Ah, it’s the lovebirds,” Gark said.

    “I used to be offended by that, but thanks for noticing,” Palla said.

    “You have food?” Gark asked. Andrew nodded his head, so inside the two coaches went with their food, leaving Gark to shut the door once again.

    “Have you been standing there all this time?” Maximus asked from the couch where he and Zathalie were sitting.

    “Basically,” Gark said. “But, it has to be done, so I’m just making this sacrifice of my time.” The Nautolan decided not to pursue this any further and decided to just stare at the interior of Gark’s house while sitting next to his girlfriend.

    Another doorbell call brought the Fab Four, as the Limmie media on Coruscant liked to call them. The four female midfielders for the Senators, Alysha Romax, Demetra Silkins, Izzi Polakaya, and Laryssa Oneida, had obviously shared the ride here, and quickly entered the house before Gark could say anything. Laryssa was holding a large bowl of something, while Izzi had brought a bag full of items that she tried to not to hit the door frame with as she entered. Demetra plopped down in one of Gark’s chairs and struck up a conversation with Maximus, while the other three walked towards the back.

    Gark had to hand it to the “rookie”, although Silkins was by no means still a rookie. She always wanted to pick the brains of star players to see how they had gotten to star status, and usually along the way she picked up a tidbit of information that she utilized in the next practice. She was still young, at only 23, but she played like a veteran when she was really in the groove, and Gark knew that at some point Alysha’s #1 midfielder job may be going to this second-year hotshot if she kept it up.

    The next person that Gark saw was his wife, messy-looing cook apron and all, coming towards him. Her pregnant stomach seemed to be expanding out further every day, but she didn’t seem to pay it much mind except that she had to account for it every time she changed directions. After kissing Gark on the cheek (which Gark hoped wouldn’t prompt the two lovebirds sitting on his couch to get any ideas, but at least Demetra was stalling them in an unintentional way), Me’lin explained that her part in the kitchen was just about done.

    “You need me to take over on food prep?” Gark asked.

    “No, you can keep opening the door,” the Twi’lek said. “I’ve enlisted a few of your players to finish the stuff. Mostly just putting items on plates and taking them outside. I’d do it myself, but I figured that they should have to help out a little bit in order to get food. Also, because I’m a little slow these days,” she said, motioning to her belly.

    “Is Venn working on grilling yet?”

    “He’s getting the fire ready,” Me’lin replied. “I just don’t know where we put the matches, though . . .”

    “Didn’t you put them in one of the spare cabinets?” Gark asked.

    “I guess there’s only one way to find out,” the Twi’lek said. She noticed Gark’s expression, and sighed. “And don’t worry about me going on a little adventure. I’ll be fine.”

    “You sure?” Gark asked. “I’m just trying not to overwork you if I can help it.”

    “Anything for you,” Me’lin said. She kissed Gark again and then went off to find the matches. Gark was caught in between two places here; he knew that he needed to open the door for anyone else who might be coming over for the BBQ, but he also didn’t like forcing his wife to do all the work while he more-or-less stood around doing nothing. He hadn’t been in the kitchen for at least an hour, but by the smells that emanated from it, he could tell that the Twi’lek had been working hard on making some dishes to serve. Had the front door not been so far away from the kitchen, perhaps Gark would have helped her.

    Finally, he got fed up with this inactivity. He owed Me’lin one, because he wasn’t the kind of guy to slack off while his spouse was slaving over a hot stove in the other room. He had promised her at their wedding to help her when she needed it, and he was a man of his word. “Hey Deme,” he said. Demetra looked up at him, although she had to twist her body somewhat to see behind her. “Can you open the door for anyone else who comes in?” Gark asked. “I’m needed to find some stuff right now.”

    “Sure thing, Coach,” Demetra said. She sprang out of her chair and settled in by the door.

    “Thanks,” Gark said. “Oh, and the meat should be grilled at some point soon. Just depends on when we can find some matches . . .”

    The doorbell then rang, shaking Gark out of his thought process. Demetra opened the door to reveal Pam Korthe, the Senators head coach.

    “Afternoon,” she said. “This the right place?”

    “Come on in!” Gark said, beating Demetra to saying something.

    “Good to know I’m at the right address,” Pam said as she walked in the door. “I thought I had the wrong house for a minute there.”

    “It’s a little confusing,” Gark admitted. “The first time I tried to figure out the address, I almost went to the wrong place too.”

    “Aren’t you supposed to be looking for matches?” Demetra asked.

    “As a matter of fact, yes I am,” Gark said, snapping back to reality. “Make yourself at home,” he said to Pam. “No idea how long this will take, but hopefully the more people we have here the faster it’ll go.”

    “No worries,” Pam said. “I’ve had to wait on you before.”

    Gark hurried into the hallway where the spare cabinets were. Me’lin was hunched over, trying to vainly reach the matches without doubling over her gut too far. Gark realized that this wasn’t going to work, so he tapped his wife on the shoulder. She looked up.

    “You sure you don’t need help?” Gark asked.

    “That would be nice,” she said. “Perhaps we should move these cabinets up a little higher to make them more accessible to me in my . . . condition.” Gark reached around her and pulled out the box of matches that had been hidden inside the drawer under a mound of random items. He then helped support her as she got back to her feet, stumbling because of the awkward position she had been in before. Looking around the hallway, Gark knew that they had one moment together here without interference from the players. He reached his arms around her shoulders, drawing her close in to his body. “I knew that pregnancy would be a real pain in the ass, but not to this extent,” she said quietly.

    “Don’t worry too much. I’ll get you through it,” Gark said. He was still holding the box of matches in his hand, but the woman he was also holding was more important in every regard. “I guess we’ll have to start coming up with names at some point.”

    “We’re still a little ways from really needing to,” Me’lin replied. “But yes, we should take some time to do so soon.”

    Gark looked over Me’lin’s shoulder at the box of matches. “I probably should get these to the grill,” he said. “Otherwise, we’ll have some hungry players rioting out there.”

    “Don’t go yet,” Me’lin said. “Just enjoy the moment.” The two of them just stood there for several seconds, trying to savor this moment amidst all the chaos that was undoubtedly happening outside. “We may not get many times like this in a few months.”

    Gark just stood there in a stupor, listening to Me’lin’s words and letting them wash over him. He supposed that she was right; a mini Gark was going to royally throw a hydrospanner into his life. On one hand, he knew that it would definitely change his life, but the other half of him wished that her pregnancy wouldn’t amount to anything. Hopefully it would eventually disappear, and they would be able to go on with their lives without a kid to torment them. Gark had been training Me’lin in some martial arts skills after they had married because she had asked for personal instruction, but now she was in no shape to keep up that training at this point in time out of fear that her stomach would get kicked. Gark was disappointed, because he enjoyed teaching her about the different fighting styles that Nat’alia had once taught him. It had been fun to go out in the backyard and do some low-hassle sparring with his wife to stay physically fit, especially since she seemed to be soaking it all up rather fast. However, despite the obvious disappointment in the recent lack of sparring, it all boiled down to the fact that Me’lin was satisfied with the way her marriage was going, so Gark knew that he wasn’t going to think anything different. If she was happy with her life despite being pregnant, then he was satisfied as well. Love did funny things; for Gark, the once perennial bachelor who hadn’t had a date since high school before 272, and that one more of a pity date than anything else, now being in a serious relationship like this seemed to be his subtle way of flipping off the nay-sayers, including his former self, for saying that he was completely devoid of romantic relationship potential. Whatever was coming in the future, he would deal with it when it got there; for now, he just had to enjoy the moment.

    About a minute passed before the moment seemed to fade into nothingness. A large kiss later, Gark found himself walking to the grill. When it was in sight, he tossed Venn the box of matches and then descended down onto the backyard grass. It looked like the boloball had been found, as Jerek was trying to run with it while being chased by Izzi and Shayt, who were trying to tackle Jerek once and for all. Polis, Moen, and Syprul were standing and chatting by the water pitcher, while Dirxx had found himself a spot at the table out in the yard and was holding down the fort lest someone come along and try to steal his spot.

    Gark, satisfied by the proceedings so far, walked through the wood smoke that the grill was emitting and back into the house, where he promptly closed the sliding glass door behind him to keep the smoke out of the house. Me’lin had returned to the kitchen, and was putting some finishing touches on a plate of mini sandwiches, getting some help from Alysha as she went. The Hapan was adding some small items to a tray, most of them garnishing for the larger pieces of the meal.

    Gark walked back to the front room. Zathalie was cuddled up against Maximus on the couch, looking content as she sat there next to the Nautolan. Demetra had pulled a folding chair over to the door and was sitting there, staring at the two lovebirds with an odd expression on her face that mixed some envy with a confused stare that Gark had felt far too often.

    “Should I ask what they’ve been up to?” Gark asked the midfielder, who shook her head.

    “We haven’t been doing anything dirty, honest,” Zathalie said.

    “At least, not yet,” Maximus said. The Pantoran elbowed Maximus in the gut, which shut him up.

    The doorbell rang once again, and Riff Persnor, Wylega Zola, Zadd and Pasla Tesh entered the house. The former Force and now Senators players were laughing it up at a joke that Riff had told, and they were greeted immediately by Pam as they made their way towards the kitchen.

    “Food on in five!” Alysha yelled, holding her tray firmly in both hands.

    “All right,” Gark said. “We probably should get ourselves out there. I’ll watch for anyone else, and then join the rest of you outside.” Demetra nodded and got out of her chair, all the while giving the lovebirds on the couch a strange look as they just looked at each other longingly.

    “Oh brother,” she muttered under her breath.

    “You know, Max,” Gark said. “You’ve got a good thing going right there, so enjoy the moment.” The Nautolan nodded, then looking back at his girlfriend, who looked back up at him. If Gark hadn’t been married, he would have thought that Maximus was being too mushy for his taste. But how many times had he been doing the exact same thing on the couch over the last few months with Me’lin snuggled up against his body as they sat there?

    The doorbell rang one last time, and Rayel Edare, the Senators’ own Pantoran player, entered. Rolling her eyes as she saw the mushiness on the couch, she walked towards the kitchen.

    “Get going, you two,” Gark said. The lovebirds finally left the room, Zathalie still hanging on to her boyfriend like she was statically clung to him. This left Gark alone once again, standing by the door. Finally, Me’lin’s head poked into view.

    “Honey, you’re needed out there!” she said to him.

    “Coming,” Gark said, a smug look on his face. It was time to eat.

    The wood smoke from the grill drifted lazily over the backyard as the Senators sat down to eat. Gark had mentioned that there was going to be a pick-up Limmie game twenty minutes after the meal, so he advised anyone who wanted to participate to not eat too much (or risk making a mess). Near the trees in the corners of the property, some chairs were set up to allow the players to just sit and snore, or to work on a tan if they really wanted to (although Gark knew that Jerek was going to ignore the game and check out his female teammates in less-than-“decent” clothing in this scenario, so this was the risk the Bothan was running).

    Gark easily wolfed down his nerf burger, which tasted fantastic off the new grill. He then grabbed a couple of sandwiches and ate these as well. Most of the players were chatting up a storm, while others were more preoccupied with their food.

    “I must say, Venn, you make a good burger,” Gark commented. The Shistavanen nodded but said nothing.

    After the twenty minutes were up, Gark took a large swig of water and then grabbed the boloball. As expected, Jerek was checking out Alysha, who had no idea he was even there while she sat on one of the chairs tanning in a very loose-fitting tank top.

    “Hey Jerek, I figured you’d be the one to do that!” Gark called out. Alysha struck out her arms at Jerek, screaming bloody murder at him for creeping like that. Jerek slunk back to Gark.

    “Thanks a lot, dude,” he said, not impressed.

    “You know, Jerek, sometimes it’s better to let them come to you,” Gark said.

    “But don’t . . .” Dirxx said. But it was too late. Jerek took off his shirt, revealing his bare skin.

    “Yeah, don’t do that,” the Besalisk captain said, slapping his palm into his face.

    “Well, that’s one way to do it,” Gark said, shaking his head.

    “Hel-lo Jerek,” Izzi said as she walked past. “Who let the hunk loose?”

    “You have got to be kidding me,” Dirxx said.

    “Hey ladies, the beast is here!” Jerek said to the group of women over in the corner, namely Rayel, Laryssa, Izzi, and Demetra. “Let me show you what these muscles can do.” He then flexed his biceps a little and gave off a nerdy grin, but was then drilled right in the gut when Gark had chucked the ball at him.

    “Nice catch!” Dirxx commented.

    “I’m just going to have to win this game to show the ladies who really runs this team,” Jerek said.

    “I’d like to see you try,” Dirxx said, standing up.

    Within a few minutes, the game was on. Using the one goalpost that Gark had set up plus a makeshift one, the two teams of six, including Gark, began to play. It was going to be non-contact as much as possible, but Jerek, trying to impress the ladies, kept making harder plays than he should have. Dirxx finally checked him hard, bringing out a chorus of jeers as Jerek ate grass.

    Maximus, trying to impress his girlfriend, finally scored a point over the makeshift bar, giving the Shirts team a point. The Skins scored when Kev Flysto pushed a goal in past Venn. 3-1 Skins early on. Gark kept running with the players, taking passes and hits with the rest of them. He made a crisp pass to Maximus, who then scored a goal.

    Gark finally got his chance when he had the ball out in open space. Dodging a tackle by Jerek, he sent a kick off his foot that easily cleared the bar. However, the ball almost sailed into the next yard over, so Gark knew that he would have to tone it down a little. But he had scored a point, and he felt exhilarated. It may be a backyard pickup game, but he had scored on a real Elite League player. Me’lin, who was watching over on the side with some of the other players, gave a cheer for her husband as he did the customary celebration with his teammates.

    “Lucky kick,” Jerek said.

    “Hey, someone has to keep your whippersnappers in line,” Gark said with a laugh.

    “It’s alright, Jerek! You’re still the hottest hunk on this team!” Izzi shouted jokingly from her spot in the corner of the yard.

    “See, at least they have their priorities straight,” Jerek commented.

    “You just don’t get it,” Gark said. “They’re mocking you.”

    “Some people don’t appreciate talent when they see it,” Jerek muttered to himself before joining his Skins teammates.

    As the game wound down, the game was tied at 5 between the teams. The Skins broke through with a point over the bar against Venn, which gave the Shirts a prerogative to score again to tie the game up. Maximus passed to Gark, who then had his pass picked off by Jerek. The defensive back then threw a corkscrew shot at Venn, who stopped it in its tracks with ease.

    “Hey Jerek, this is why you don’t play forward!” Riff jabbed as he grabbed the ball for the Shirts.

    The Cathar passed to Gark, who swung it around to Maximus. The Nautolan beat Pasla with a nice foot fake and tossed the ball over the bar past Jayla Leed for a score. The Shirts team celebrated once again.

    “Now what?” Riff asked Gark as they huddled up.

    “Right hook, button hole. Double front,” Gark said.

    “Excuse me?” Dirxx asked. “What’s that supposed to be?”

    “New play,” Gark said. “Basically, you go this way, and I go that way,” he said in a very tongue-in-cheek manner.

    “Oh good, I was afraid that I was going to have to think strategy,” Riff replied.

    “Hurry up!” Jerek yelled from his side of the makeshift field.

    “Impertinent, isn’t he?” Dirxx said.

    “Let’s win this, shall we?” Gark said before breaking the huddle. Jayla threw the ball in to Pasla, who then passed to Jerek. The corner back beat Maximus on a fake, but Gark was there and poked the ball loose. Jerek swore out loud; he didn’t think the Bothan could pull that kind of move off. Dirxx picked the ball up and threw it to Riff. The Cathar then tossed an outlet pass to Maximus. The Nautolan jumped high in the air over the helpless Hrakian Tesh, showing off the athletic ability that had won him the Helmsman in college. He pulled the ball down cleanly and, seeing that he had no angle, threw it over to Gark, who had been running full force at the Skins’ goal. Gark caught the pass and, after sizing up Leed, picked his spot and fired. It was truly a terrible shot, and Leed blocked it easily. However, she didn’t seize the ball after blocking it, so it squirted back out onto the grass. Gark ran over and kicked it into the goal with the side of his foot. The Shirts won the game on the goal from the former Coach and current GM; no one saw that coming.

    Gark was picked up and carried in the air for a few seconds in mock celebration by his team, which gave most of the crowd a good laugh. It was almost as if the game meant something, which, of course, it didn’t. Gark finally got back to his feet on the ground, and returned to the food table for more vittles. All of that Limmie had made him hungry, so he scooped out another bowl of Jerek’s chili and sprinkled some cheese over it. Most of the players had already moved away from the table for the time being, Jerek still trying to hit on his female teammates, and half the team just watching the spectacle or throwing the ball around in an improvised game of catch.

    Taking a seat up by the grill, Gark began to eat. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly, and he was finally able to relax. The team was gearing up for training camp, but for the first time in quite a while, Gark knew that he didn’t have to watch every moment of it this year. He could take some time off finally and let the coaches control the proceedings.

    “Hey, it’s the Limmie hero” Me’lin said, coming over and sitting next to her husband on one of the benches up there.

    “Jerek had it coming,” Gark said, eating another spoonful of chili. “Is there anything left to grill?” he added.

    “Quite a bit,” the Twi’lek said. “We’ve only used about half so far.”

    “Then I’ll get someone on it right away,” Gark replied. “I don’t think we could eat that much nerf meat in an entire week, even if we tried. I’d hate to see what it would do to us, too, if we ate if for every meal during that time.”

    “Why don’t you try to cook it?” Me’lin asked. “Better learn some time if we’re going to have a grill.”

    “Fine,” Gark said, rolling his eyes. He finished his chili and walked over to the grill. Indeed, there was still quite a bit of meat left, so he began to grill some of the first pieces he grabbed. The pleasant, or rather unpleasant, smell of wood smoke floated into his nostrils almost right away, and he decided that grilling wasn’t quite for him. He wasn’t terrible at it, but he was sure there were better grillers out there who weren’t as bothered by the smoke smell as he was.

    Finally, after what seemed like half an hour, most of the remaining meat had been cooked, and was ready to be eaten.

    “Second round is on!” Gark announced to the team, most of whom looked up at him. This involved one of the players being hit on the head with the boloball because they hadn’t been paying attention to it coming towards them.

    After several more hours, the sun went down, leaving a very pleasant night atmosphere in its wake. Many of the players, after hearing what the training camp schedule was going to be, had already left, but a few had stuck around. Most of them were sitting in the living room, while Gark stood next to the entertainment center. This whole BBQ thing had been useful, he thought; it had certainly brought the team together one final time before the rigors of training camp set in, so in that regard it had been a real success.

    The HoloNet was showing the newest edition of “Senators All-Access”, and the hosts were, as usual during the offseason, jabbing about speculations for the 273 season. Since training camp was still several weeks away, that was all they could do; it seemed like for the umpteenth time, they were chatting about free agents. Gark had to roll his eyes; his team didn’t really need free agents at this stage in the game. Besides, that was what Thyferra was for, feeding players into the Senators organization as the development affiliate.

    “Is that all they ever talk about?” Zathalie asked as she cuddled up against Maximus.

    “Typically,” Venn said. He was sitting on the floor, mostly because Gark had asked him not to shed on the furniture if at all possible.

    “Just ignore them,” Gark said. “We’ve got a good team this year. Isn’t that right?” he asked Pam.

    “Exactly,” the Zeltron said. “Unfortunately, expectations are going to be high this year, too.”

    Almost as if on cue, the hosts on the show started to talk about the new coaching hire for the Senators and what would happen if the Senators started to founder the next few seasons. Would Gark, despite announcing that he had permanently retired from the coaching ranks, have to come back in to right the ship if that happened?

    “Don’t they give that a rest?” Gark asked no one in particular. “This is why I typically don’t watch this kind of program; the bloggers are much more interesting than this lot.”

    “Don’t worry about it,” Pam said. “That’s a long ways away; right now, we just need to focus on this next season.”

    “It’ll help that you have a lot of familiar faces on the training camp roster,” Gark quipped. It was true; Pam had coached many current Senators back with the Force. Jerek, Shayt, Riff, Wylega, Jayla, Pasla, Ortho, Zadd, and Zumarrorroo, who had recently been called up; they had all played on Thyferra at one point or another under the tutelage of the Zeltron coach. “Never hurts to have experience with some of them to start off your first Elite League camp.”

    “Very true,” Pam said. “But that doesn’t mean that I won’t take it easy on them for that fact. They’ll all have to work hard to make the roster.”

    “Have to make sure you aren’t going to introduce the Wing-T this year,” Gark said. “That stays with Jed, methinks.”

    “He’s Head Coach now; I can’t tell him what to do with his team,” Pam replied. “But, to answer your question, no, I think I’ll stick with this system. At least for now.”

    “Word to the wise; don’t say that to the fans,” Gark said, winking. “They’ll hate you for suggesting a complete overhaul of the system.”

    “I just moved into the real pressure cooker job, didn’t I?” Pam asked, sighing. “The media on Thyferra has nothing on the circus going on here.”

    “Welcome to the helm of a ‘Big Four’ ballclub,” Gark said. “With the addition of Chandrila, our division just got even tougher. I don’t envy the job you need to do now one bit; I’ll let you stress out about it for me.”

    “Thanks,” Pam said sarcastically.

    “Anytime,” the Bothan said with his usual wry grin.

    An hour later, the room emptied out, and finally Maximus and Zathalie were the last ones to leave. Gark shut the door behind them, rendering the house quiet once more. Walking back to the living room, he plunked down on the couch next to Me’lin. “What a day,” he said. “I’m bushed.”

    “Was today a success?” his wife asked him.

    “I think so,” Gark replied. “Got to show off the new, or new-ish, digs, showed up Jerek at a pickup game, got to eat a bunch of tasty food, saw the team come together a little more . . . but I think I missed one thing.” He put his arm around Me’lin’s left shoulder, and the Twi’lek leaned over against her husband in a contended way. “Didn’t get to hang out with my girl as much as I would have liked,” he said.

    “We can start coming up with names now, I think,” Me’lin replied softly.

    “I know what we’re not going to use,” Gark said. “Junior. I don’t want to have to tack on ‘Senior’ to the end of my name. Or Mervin. I just can’t imagine having a son named Mervin. That . . . just wouldn’t work.”

    “If it’s a girl, I was thinking something along the lines of ‘Lynn’,” Me’lin said. “It’s such a beautiful name.”

    “It is,” Gark said. He knew that there was a Lynn on the Thyferra roster, Lynn Stiles, a reserve forward for the Force. If she was ever to be promoted to the Senators roster, this would prove to be quite the pickle, but for now, there wouldn’t be any worries about getting them mixed up. “Yes, that’ll work.”

    “I don’t really know what we’d come up with if it’s a boy,” Me’lin said. “We could name him after your father . . .”

    “No,” Gark said.

    “Is there a problem?” his wife asked.

    “No . . . it’s just that . . . I don’t really want to name a son of mine after my father,” Gark said. “It would bring back too much pain from his death . . .”

    “Understood,” Me’lin replied. There was silence for several seconds. “What if we combine our names in some fashion?”

    “Hm . . .” Gark said, pondering. It was worth a shot. “Mark . . . no, that’s not a good one . . . Merk . . . no, sounds too dorky . . .”

    “How about Galin?” Me’lin added. “It would be pronounced ‘Gale-In’, but it would be unique.”

    “That works for me,” Gark said, musing. Galin S’rily . . . hm, that came off the tongue easily. Yeah, that would be the perfect name for a son.

    “Now we wait,” Me’lin said.

    “Now we wait,” Gark repeated. Silence echoed once more as the couple just sat together, staring off into oblivion at the entertainment center. Things were going to change in a few months, and both of them just wanted to savor the moment before things got hectic.

    NOTE: And ooon to training camp!
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  6. Trieste Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    Zathalie lives! This makes me happy. :D
  7. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    And now, the thrilling conclusion . . .

    or is it?

    @Trieste, @Admiral Volshe, @jcgoble3, @Bardan_Jusik

    Hours passed, seeming like an eternity for Gark as he sat in the hospital waiting room, completely crushed by what he had witnessed hours earlier. Time itself seemed to not exist at all; everything, even though it could be hours old, felt like no time had passed. All the sounds of the hospital seemed to have devolved into harmless white noise as his mind raced to process what he had seen. Occasionally, he could tell that the Whipid doctor or a waiting room attendant was trying to talk to him, but all he did was nod to their questions. He ate a small sandwich that they had brought him, but it was tasteless. All he thought about was how his wife had died before his very eyes. He had always trusted medical personnel, especially when his players with the Senators had needed medical attention . . . but they had now failed him. One small glitch was understandable . . . but when a life was lost, then he couldn’t understand how they had let that happen. Was it negligence? An accident? Whatever it was, it was tormenting him non-stop. How was he ever going to get over this?

    Finally, he felt a tap on his shoulder as he stared into the oblivion. He could tell that the Whipid doctor was standing over him.

    “Don’t tell me,” Gark said, now staring at the floor in his misery. He hadn’t spoken in hours, so his words came out in a gruff-sounding tone. His throat felt scratchy, like someone had taken sandpaper and rubbed it vigorously.

    “Don’t tell you the good news?” the Whipid asked, taken aback. Gark’s head snapped back up; what did he mean by “good news”?

    “How can a death be good news?” Gark asked.

    “Oh . . . that,” the doctor said, accompanying his statement with a slight chuckle that made Gark even more uneasy about this predicament. “Yes, well, it looked worse than it actually was. You see, as I was informed by my team a while ago, your wife was suffering from severe blood loss. The reason we didn’t catch it sooner was because we thought it was something wrong in the birthing process, so they didn’t check her blood levels like they should have. At the time you were watching, she lost consciousness due to a lack of sufficient blood to really be stable enough to stay awake. My team apologizes for their tardiness in reporting this issue, but it was important once they figured out what the problem was to rectify it immediately.”

    “So you’re saying . . .” Gark said, trying to prod the doctor in finally spilling the rest of the story.

    “Your wife, thankfully, is alive, as is your son,” the doctor said calmly. “I must say, the kid had one hell of a rude entry into life, given the bleeding problems his mother had. However, he seems to be perfectly healthy, and he is currently in a separate ward. As for your wife, well, she was a quite the mess during the process. She wasn’t conscious for a while, so we hooked her up to some of our machines and instantly began giving her a blood transfusion to replace what she had lost after we had patched her up from the blood hemorrhaging. It took at least an hour for her to regain some consciousness, and a couple more to finish the transfusion. She is in a room on the ninth floor if you want to see her now.”

    Gark wanted to pinch himself once again. Was he dreaming that the Whipid had just told him that Me’lin was alive, or was it just pleasant dream in his mad delirium of pain? “Pinch me. Make sure I’m not dreaming,” Gark asked. The Whipid reached out and gave Gark a hard pinch, one that shot Gark out of his stupor. So this was all real.

    “Well?” the Whipid asked.

    “Take me there,” Gark said.

    The Whipid nodded and then motioned for an attendant to come over. “Hold down the fort,” he said. “I just have to show this man to a hospital room, and then I’ll be back.”

    “Understood,” the attendant replied.

    “Follow me,” the Whipid said. Gark got out of his seat, but he could have leaped into the air had gravity not been holding him down. Every step seemed lighter, and all of a sudden he cared again. It was like the clouds that had been pinning him down had suddenly parted, revealing a very relaxing, if not cliché, ray of sunshine in his path.

    When the doctor had showed him to the room on the ninth floor and had opened the door, Gark slowly entered. He wasn’t quite sure what he would find in there, so he wanted to take a deep breath before going in. His footsteps were slow, deliberate; time seemed to stretch out again as he walked in.

    Entering the room, he could see the Coruscanti sunlight filtering into the room through the blinds on the window. It was a typical hospital room, white walls and everything. There were two hard-looking wooden chairs sitting in the corner next to the sink. A small HoloNet screen was sitting off to the side silently, not being in use at the time. But Gark looked past these items at the hospital bed; what he really wanted to see was there. Me’lin sat there in a heavily-starched hospital gown, hooked up to an IV drip. Her skin complexion looked much more normal than it had been earlier, but it still wasn’t perfect. When she heard Gark enter the room, she turned her head and smiled.

    “Hey,” she said weakly.

    “I’ll leave you two alone for a while,” the Whipid said from outside, closing the door behind Gark. The Bothan went over to his wife, who continued to give him her trademark smile despite feeling so physically drained.

    “How’re you feeling?” Gark asked.

    “I’ve felt better,” the Twi’lek said. “Still a little lightheaded, but the doctors said that will pass in time. Also, really tired.”

    “I can imagine,” Gark said. Then he remembered what he had seen transpire, and he just had to mention it. “When you lost consciousness in the operating room . . . I . . . I thought you were dead.”

    “I thought I was going to die” Me’lin said. “I had this really cold feeling . . . and then I saw you at the window. Wished you could have been there, holding my hand the entire time . . . then, I don’t know . . . I just passed out. The doctors said I was bleeding badly, and had they not caught it at the time they did, I might have bled to death. So they hooked me up to receive replacement blood . . . I’m just glad they had enough . . .”

    “And an IV, I see,” Gark said, motioning to the drip device.

    “That too,” the Twi’lek said. “It doesn’t feel comfortable. Never liked having a needle stuck in my arm.” She then sat silent for several seconds, the only sound in the room coming from the IV machine as it pumped fluids into her body.

    “I’m sorry I wasn’t by your side the whole time,” Gark said, sighing. “I was naïve enough to think that I could be at the game and leave you alone here.”

    “It’s fine . . .” Me’lin said weakly.

    “No it’s not,” Gark continued, obviously angry at himself. “You needed me here by your side when the worst happened, and . . . and I was watching a silly ball game.”

    “But Limmie’s your passion. Don’t call it a silly game,” the Twi’lek said, frowning. “You and I both know how important the team is to you. It’s like your family . . .”

    “But it almost came at the cost of my real one,” Gark said. “And I don’t want to let that happen again.” He would have pulled up a chair, but due to his height while sitting he probably would not have been high up enough to hold a conversation. Silly hospital bed height, he thought.

    “I know you won’t,” Me’lin said. She put her hand out weakly, and Gark clasped his own hand onto it.

    “The docs say that the kiddo looks perfectly healthy,” Gark finally said, trying to change the subject.

    “Have you seen him yet?” the Twi’lek asked.

    “They won’t let me,” Gark replied. “I was escorted here instead.”

    “I lost consciousness before he came out,” Me’lin remarked. “Last I knew, he was really trying to escape, and I was bleeding badly, so I felt numb . . . and then I woke up here in this bed hooked up to a transfusion machine, and he was gone. I don’t know what happened in between.”

    Gark instantly was reminded of all the violent thoughts he had harbored in his mind after her “death”, but he didn’t want to tell his wife that he had actually contemplated murdering the doctors, even if it was just in a moment of blind rage. Watching her eyes shut had been torture to watch, and Gark had thought that he had lost her forever; now she was still here, recovering but hopefully healthy enough to leave the hospital in a few days.

    The door to the room opened again, and the doctor stuck his head in. “I think it’s time to leave for now.”

    “Understood,” Gark replied. He looked down at Me’lin. “You want me to stay here overnight?” he asked. “Just say the word, and I’ll be here.”

    “No, it’s fine,” Me’lin said, yawning. “You can go home. No need to stay here overnight on my account.”

    “I will if you want me to,” Gark replied, trying to get the point across that he was serious.

    “Don’t,” his wife said. “But be here tomorrow, please, when I hopefully feel better.”

    “All right. I’ll be here tomorrow,” Gark said. “I promise.”

    “Love you,” Me’lin said before taking a deep breath and drifting off to sleep. Gark let her hand back down gently onto the bed, and then walked out of the room.

    “I take it that I can’t see my son today,” he asked the doctor, who shook his head.

    “We’re making sure that he’s completely healthy and doesn’t need additional medical attention. If all goes well, you’ll see him tomorrow.”

    “Fine,” Gark said. He was disappointed by the news, but at the same time he understood why the doctors were taking every precaution they could with the newborn. It was better to find potential problems now and work to prevent them than to wait a while and then have to fix those issues when the going was tougher.

    “Is there anything else you need of me?” the Whipid asked.

    “No,” Gark replied. “I’ll head back home, then. Thank you.”

    “Good luck,” the Whipid said before turning around and leaving.

    Gark had made his way out to the main lobby of the hospital when he suddenly saw about ten members of the team sitting in the waiting room. All of them stood up and came up to accost him for information.

    “How’s it going?” Dirxx asked. “We heard at halftime that you had to get here ASAP.”

    “Me’lin’s in surprisingly good condition given how bleak it looked earlier. She almost bled to death,” Gark said, informing the players about what had transpired.

    “Is she alright?” Demetra asked, shocked by this news.

    “Seems to be,” Gark replied. “They’ve got her on an IV, and that was after a blood transfusion, so things should be back to normal in a few days. How’d the game end up?”

    “Somehow we eked out the win,” Polis said. “I have no idea how we did . . .”

    “It was scoreless at the end of regulation,” Dirxx added.

    “Really?” Gark asked, raising an eyebrow. A 0-0 tie? Those defenses must really have been on their ‘A’ game.

    “Then we were tied up at 2 after one extra period,” Dirxx added. “So we went Double OT. That was murder, I tell you. Try playing about 75 minutes and see how you do afterwards. If we didn’t have so much depth, some of us would have had to play 90 minutes . . . we’d be wiped out all week due to our sore muscles.”

    “Well?” Gark prodded.

    “Moen scored the winning goal,” Demetra said. “And then we added one more to win 9-4.”

    “Good,” Gark said. That meant his team was 2-0; Pam was doing well so far in her inaugural campaign with the Senators.

    “Anyone interested in going out to eat?” Polis asked, trying to change the subject. “I’m starving.”

    “Dex’s, then?” Gark replied. Some nods from the players resulted. “All right. Let’s head over there. Hopefully all of the fans have left and the dinner rush hasn’t set in yet . . .”
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  8. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    @Trieste, @Admiral Volshe

    The early morning sun shone brilliantly through the windows at Numifolis Memorial Hospital as Gark strode through the main hall on the ninth floor. He had slept much more soundly the night before than he would ever have expected after such a traumatic experience the day before, so he felt oddly refreshed despite the panic that he had been experiencing only hours earlier. The white walls of the hospital seemed much less sterile than they had earlier, which was a slight comfort in the otherwise dreary hospital ward.

    As he made his way to the door, Gark took a deep breath and finally turned the knob. What exactly was he going to expect to see upon entrance? He entered the hospital room and closed the door gently behind him. Me’lin S’rily was still asleep in her hospital bed, snoozing soundly. Gark came over, the sound of his footsteps waking his wife up. “Morning,” Gark said softly.

    “Hey,” the Twi’lek said. She turned her head to look out the window. “Looks like a nice day out there.”

    “It is,” Gark replied. He pulled up a chair next to the bed, but as soon as he sat down he could feel its hardness. “Got in a nice jog, and then came over early. Real easy drive out this way; I’m rather surprised it was so quiet in the hyperlanes. It’s never that empty around here.” He then paused for several seconds. “How’re you feeling?”

    “A lot better,” his wife replied. Her skin was mostly back to its regular blue tone, so that was looking much better. “My lightheadedness is mostly gone, and I feel up to eating something. Not a lot, but something.” She saw Gark motion to stand up, but then continued. “They’ll probably bring some food later on, so you don’t need to go anywhere.”

    “Just wanted to let you know that the team’s concerned for you,” Gark replied, changing the subject. “A lot of them were in the waiting room here as I was leaving last night, so I informed them that you were doing well. Or, well enough to be talking to me.”

    “Good to know,” Me’lin said.

    They bantered on for about an hour, at which time a nurse came in with a tray of food. Gark offered to help his wife eat, so once again they were left alone. Gark felt like he was having to feed a newborn as he helped Me’lin shovel some food into her mouth with a spoon, but he guessed that it was about time he learned how to. After his wife was fed, the two talked some more and watched some HoloNet coverage of the Senators game. Typically neither of them watched such drivel, because they had always been there to witness the game first-hand and didn’t need to hear annoying commentators drone on and on. But it was the only decent thing on, so they begrudgingly watched.

    Finally, a doctor came in. “Ah, you’re both here, I see,” she said. “We’ve finished our tests. Your son is perfectly healthy, and is ready to be brought in. Are you ready to see him?”

    A small bundle of fur wrapped in a blanket was brought in. Finally, the tiny S’rily was placed next to his mother on the bed, and the doctors left the room. Me’lin uncurled the blanket to reveal the day-old kid. His fur was a lighter shade of brown than Gark’s, with some blue streaks running throughout it, his snout wasn’t nearly as long, and his ears were more rounded than pointy. However, on the overall, he was still mostly a Bothan.

    “What do you know, he looks a lot like me,” Gark said. The baby looked back up at him, wide-eyed.

    “Yes he does,” Me’lin replied. “He has your nose, too. Big and hairy.” She gave off a smile, and Gark sighed. He hadn’t needed that. “But he has my eyes, so that makes up for any rough edges.”

    “Hey, kid, what’s up?” Gark asked. “You’ve had one hell of a rough life so far, haven’t you?” He had no idea why he was asking a baby these questions, but it seemed like all logic was thrown out the window at this point. He was just glad to see his son alive.

    “I’m just glad he’s not a hybrid,” Me’lin said. “For his own sake, it’s better to be one species rather than one of both of ours combined in some odd fashion.”

    “You afraid he might get bullied?” Gark asked. It seemed a little early to be talking about that, but he had also been thinking for months about what an the offspring of a Bothan and Twi’lek would look like. At least Galin didn’t have any semblance of braintails . . . that would have looked downright weird.

    “Yeah,” his wife replied. “I just want him to grow up like a normal kid. Mostly because I don’t want it getting to his head that his father is a famous Limmie coach and GM, but also because he’s going to get picked on because of his mixed parentage.”

    “The kid’s going to have to be strong and deal with that when the time comes,” Gark said. “Perhaps we can get him enrolled in Youth Limmie in a few years? You know, boost his confidence?”

    “Speaking of that, I’m just glad he’s out, because I couldn’t take any more of that Golden Foot of his in my gut,” Me’lin said, smirking. “And I take it you’ll be coaching his team, then?”

    “Maybe,” Gark said. “The Elite League would love to have me back as a coach, and yet I’d be working with five-year-olds. I think we’d have to forfeit games just to get me away from annoying parents wanting my autograph . . .”

    “You’ll have a few years to sort that out,” Me’lin said. “I just don’t want him getting hurt playing Limmie. It’s awful to see the injuries your players get time and again playing, and I just want him to be safe from all that.”

    “We’ll let him decide when he grows older if he wants to pursue a dream of playing, or following me into the realm of coaching,” Gark said. “Or, if he must, stay away from Limmie entirely and forge his own path to greatness.”

    When the doctors came to reclaim little Galin S’rily, his parents were of course saddened by it, but they knew that in a few days he’d be going home for the first time when Me’lin was scheduled to be discharged from the hospital. Most of the rest of the day was spent by the two just sitting together, chatting some of the time and at other times just sitting around and relaxing. When Me’lin finally fell asleep, Gark slowly walked out of the room and took a quick nap in one of the chairs in the waiting room. It was going to be a long day, but at least things looked fine so far.
    Last edited by Jedi Gunny, May 2, 2013
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  9. Trieste Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    1. I was wondering what the kid looked like.
    2. Bakura will draft that kid. That way Gark has to coach for the Miners.
    3. Yes, I know if Falene doesn't enter the draft, Gark Junior will not either. ;)
    4. Yay for Gark being happy!
  10. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    Gark pulled up to the house in his speeder. Killing the engine, he stepped out and walked up to the front door. Whipping out his key, he opened the front door and stepped inside. “I’m home!” he announced. “Miss me?”

    “Of course,” Me’lin said as she came around the corner. “Welcome back, sweetie. I saw the game; the team really worked hard out there.” She came over to kiss her spouse, who was more than happy to receive it.

    “That they did,” Gark said. “I’m proud of their effort. They put the crowd noise and the semifinal loss last year out of their minds and played solid Limmie. I couldn’t have asked for much more than that. Of course, I never exactly thought we’d be given an old helmet with a bloody handprint on it as a trophy . . . that was a little weird.”

    “Just means there’s more pressure to win this game next year,” his wife replied. “To keep the bucket.”

    “I guess so,” Gark said. “How’ve you been?”

    “Fine,” Me’lin said. “Cleaned the house, kept getting woken up by Galin in the night, cooked, watched Holos . . . you know, typical housewife stuff. Never thought I would ever be one, though.”

    “You think you’re up to returning to work?” Gark asked. “I mean, it’s been almost four weeks . . . I’m sure we can set up something at HQ to keep Galin occupied . . .”

    “We just need to give him a crib, and he’d be fine,” Me’lin said. Both of them walked to the living room. Gark plunked down on the couch, exhausted. His wife joined him, sitting down right next to her husband. “He sleeps an awful lot.”

    “He’s probably still trying to calibrate his system,” Gark said. “I wouldn’t worry about it too much.”

    “Work . . .” Me’lin said, mulling over the thought in her mind. “I do miss my paperwork, now that I think of it.”

    “Only you would say that,” Gark said, smirking. “I don’t know anyone else who would choose paperwork over a social life.”

    “Hey, I do have a social life,” Me’lin said. “It’s just that I’ve been hampered by not being able to take Galin much of anywhere right now. So I’m stuck here.”

    “I’m sure we can get something to work,” Gark replied. “Because it’d be nice to have our secretary back. The temps have been struggling, so if you could return to work, that would be helpful.”

    “All right,” Me’lin said. “I’ll give it a shot.

    “I always knew it was a good decision to hire you for the job in the first place,” Gark said. “You’re the best person I’ve ever met for that kind of job . . . if you hadn’t applied, I don’t know how things would have gone otherwise.”

    “I assumed you hired me because of my looks,” Me’lin commented.

    “Don’t you remember the day you came in for the interview for the job?” Gark asked. “I never hire anyone based on their looks alone. They need to earn it. But, if you insist, there was a lot more to that day than just hiring based on looks . . .”

    264 ABY

    The sun was shining in all of its glory, sending rays of heat down to the surface of the planet. It was a day that most people would spend outside if they could, just one of those times when work was a real pain. Me’lin strode up to the Senators’ HQ building from the parking lot, dressed to the teeth to try and impress her potential employers. She had pulled out all the stops that she could to try and win them over on her very modest budget. She wore a dark gray formal jacket over a black dress shirt, steel gray dress slacks, and dress flats. When she had seen the job opening, she knew that her looks would go a long way towards her getting hired. After all, the front office for the team was mostly men; what men could resist the temptation of giving a second look at a gorgeous Twi’lek for a job such as this? They would get to pass said attractive secretary several times a day, interact with them . . . maybe take them out for dinner some time to thank them for their service to the team?

    But on the other side of this coin was the difficult task that Me’lin found herself dealing with. What if she wasn’t deemed “attractive” enough? What if her work background wasn’t enough? She had been working several odd jobs over the past month, mostly bookkeeping for small nonprofits and jobs of that ilk. She had been a waitress once, down at a diner somewhere in Coruscant’s lower depths, but that hadn’t worked out so well. She had been heckled by drunken patrons in her less-than-savory work “uniform”, if it could be called that, and she had quickly grown sick of that harassment. But she had yet to get her first big break, like her sister had. Re’lia had recently scored a gig as a masseuse after graduating from a small specialized college for such a job, and was now making decent pay for her first real job. Me’lin wanted to show her sister, as well as her father, that she could also make decent money. But what could she expect to be up against in this interview period for the job? Although Twi’leks like herself were galaxy-renowned for their beauty, they weren’t the only “eye-candy” species in the universe. Doubts had crept into her mind as she had prepared herself for this interview, and she had done whatever she could to carve out her figure and make a good impression. She had never liked how men would look more at the busts of women who came in looking for a job rather than their credentials, but she didn’t have a choice. She wanted this job . . . and it wasn’t like she was missing the attraction part. Maybe she was overthinking it?

    As she entered the team HQ, she immediately saw a sign mentioning that all interviewees should go to the left. She followed the signs to a small conference room, which she opened the door to. Inside was a table and eight chairs, all but one of them filled. The man at the head of the room was a well-dressed Bothan; he was wearing a snazzy-looking suit and dress slacks. He actually looked kinda handsome, Me’lin thought to herself as she took a seat quickly. It was odd to see seven pairs of eyes look at her as she entered the room, and she felt nervous about the competition immediately. Things were going to be tough; although she was the only Twi’lek in the room, there was a rather attractive set of women also there. A blonde-haired human sat nearest the Bothan, obviously worried about her hair as she constantly fidgeted with it. A pair of Zeltrons were also in there, their red-tone skin setting them apart against the black walls of the room. A Firrerreo, with her flame-red hair, gave the Bothan some amused looks; Me’lin wasn’t the only one obviously interested in talking to this man. The other two looked like Hapans, who were legendary for their looks as well, so it was a packed house of feminine attraction. Lucky Bothan, she thought to herself as she waited for the interview process to start. It looked like he was the only man in a room full of women. How many guys would kill to be in his position.

    She studied the look on his face. Instead of a look of giddiness like would be found on the mug of a twelve-year old, he had a very indifferent look on his face. It was almost as if he didn’t care about this situation. Or, if he did, it wasn’t for the same reason Me’lin thought it might be.

    Finally, after a minute or so of waiting, the Bothan tapped his knuckles on the table. All eyes looked at him. “Ladies, welcome to the last stage of the interview process,” he said. “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Gark S’rily, General Manager for the Coruscant Senators. I take it that you all are here for the secretary position, correct?” Everyone, including Me’lin, nodded the affirmative. “Good,” the Bothan continued. “I would hate to have someone in here for any other reason.” He smirked as he said this, but then got back to his more serious expression. “Now, to business. Since this job is of the utmost importance for our organization, this will not be an easy session for all of you. You will need to show us, myself included, why you deserve this position. Limmie is not an easy game, and being the secretary here will not be easy either. If you expect this to be a walk in the park, I suggest you leave now, because this was the easy part.”

    He reached down under the table and pulled out seven packets, each one filled to the brim with documents. “The first step of this process is to file some basic paperwork. Based on your job applications, this should not be too difficult. My assistant, who currently is late for some reason, will supervise this section. When you are done filing, make sure to call her over and check your work. When this step is complete, the interview phase will start. While each interview is occurring, the other applicants are free to work on their responses to questions. You will not, however, be given the prompts, so make sure you know what you are preparing for before getting interviewed. The order has been randomized to prevent me from bias, and to prevent any of you from being able to be prepared to go first. After that process is done, I will personally oversee the next phase of the application. My staff has prepared a several sample scenarios for you to complete. They will revolve around complex Limmie topics, such as trades, player contract demands, and the like. You will be forced to think on your feet, because you cannot just go through the motions. Stay on track, and you will do fine. Your scores will be evaluated by my staff. That will be the end of the process, and we will spend the next few days evaluating the scores. I cannot state this enough: this is your only chance to prove yourself. There will be no make-ups given, and not taking things seriously will hamper your overall grade, so please stay on task and show us what you have. Now, here are your packets.” He slid one packet to each applicant. “Now, if you ladies would be so kind as to follow me to the testing area . . .”

    The “testing area” was a small room with seven desks placed in it at haphazard angles. Me’lin guessed that this was to keep the applicants from cheating by watching the others and gaining an advantage. To make things worse, there were temporary walls set up to act as blockages; this was a serious job. Me’lin sat down at the nearest table and waited further instructions; as Gark passed, she gave him a quick smile. She had always been told to use her smile, because everyone she knew gloated about it endlessly. The Bothan did not give her a smile back, but she hadn’t expected him to do so. This wasn’t about beauty; the Senators were obviously interested in making things happen, and the secretary was expected to be an integral part of the operation. But it didn’t hurt to give the boss a smile; you never knew what power that could have.

    Me’lin looked down next to the desk. There was a file cabinet set up there, along with some file markers and assorted items. She knew what these were for . . . now, what was in the envelope?

    “All right, ladies, this is your time to shine. Begin,” Gark said. He said a few words to his assistant before leaving, and the room became deadly quiet. Me’lin ripped open the packet and looked at the first document. It was a player profile for a sample player out of the University of Coruscant. At first glance it seemed to be a simple profile like could be found on the HoloNet, but at a closer glance it appeared to be a scouting report. How many others would pick up on this? She reached over into the file cabinet and opened it up; it was bare inside, except for five empty folders missing labels. Reaching over to the labels, she marked this one “Scouting Reports” and tossed the sheet in there.

    Time seemed to melt away as she worked. Things were ridiculously quiet in there, except for the foot sounds of the Senators assistant who made the rounds every few minutes. Me’lin kept her head down and worked. This seemed easy enough; she had done enough of this in previous jobs to really know how to sort things. But how would that experience translate over this this?

    Finally, after what seemed like an hour and a half, she finished. The assistant came over when called, and looked through the file cabinet. Although the Zabrak had no expression on her face whatsoever while she looked at the job Me’lin had done, the Twi’lek had a feeling that the staff member approved of her work. “Good job,” the Zabrak finally said. “You may take a break before the interview.”

    “Thank you,” Me’lin said. She stood up and left the room.

    After another half hour, the rest of the women filtered into the break area. They chatted away with each other, but Me’lin tried to keep her distance. She wasn’t going to squander this opportunity by giving her secrets away or by distracting herself. No, her only competition was herself, not these women. She could do it.

    “Hello again,” Gark said when he entered the room. Again there was total silence. “Applicant #7, you are up first.” Me’lin felt a lump form in her throat; that was her. She walked forward to follow the Bothan as he walked away.

    The Bothan led Me’lin to another small room. When she had taken a seat at the small table inside, Gark locked the door before sitting down at the other end of the table. “Since we have this randomized, I can’t thank you for volunteering to go first,” he admitted. “But imagine like you did, and I am thanking you for your generosity to not make me randomize the order.” Me’lin just nodded, unsure of what to say.

    “Let’s see what we have on file here,” Gark said, sliding out a datapad with the application clearly on it. “Let’s see . . . you are Me’lin, correct?”

    “Correct,” Me’lin said.

    “Full name, I take it?” Gark asked.

    “Yes,” the Twi’lek replied.

    “You have experience working with nonprofits doing bookkeeping?” Gark asked. Me’lin nodded. “Good. Can’t get enough applicants with that kind of experience these days. Seems to be a lost art.”

    “Thank you, sir,” Me’lin said.

    “Worked a lot of small jobs . . . waitress . . .” Gark said, checking the file. “You’ve been well-travelled on the job market, haven’t you?”

    “I have.”

    “So, tell me. Why did you apply for this job?” Gark asked, placing the datapad down on the table.

    “Long story short, I need a job,” Me’lin said. “I figured that I have the right skills for this job with my experience doing bookkeeping with smaller organizations. I also have a functioning knowledge of Limmie, so I can keep up with the work for this position.”

    “Good,” Gark replied simply. “What kinds of things can you bring to the table for this as a work place?”

    “Sunny disposition,” Me’lin began. “I’ve always been told that I’m a cheerful person, so I try to keep things lively and fun. Always told that my smile makes peoples’ day. Also, I’m a hard worker; I graduated with honors from college, and a lot of experience in this field.”

    “Always good to have someone who can keep things interesting,” Gark replied. “So, if I was to ask you to prepare me a report on a prospect, what would you do first?”

    “I would discuss things with the scout in question, and then cross-check those references with other scouts to verify the validity of the report. Once that is done, I would file the report in the section of the team server under the folder for player profiles, and would file it there with the correct day and time stamps along with the correct title.”

    “I see,” Gark said. Although he wasn’t letting it on, Me’lin could tell that he was impressed. He just had that kind of sound to his voice. “Well, that was all we wanted to ask of you for the interview.” He stood up and extended his hand for her to shake.

    Me’lin then waited for the next six interviews to go through before the next phase of the process began. She was set up with three different scenarios, one for a potential trade, another for a contract dispute with a star player, and the last for a college profile. She burned through the first one with ease, coolly wheeling and dealing with the “GM” on the other end of the line, helping her own party make a trade that both of them figured would be advantageous. When she saw that the player the other team was trying to trade had an injury history, she suggested to her “GM” to avoid that player despite her star status. Instead, she crunched the numbers and found another player who she had convinced both teams to agree on. He wasn’t as good number-wise, but his intangibles were off the chart. The trade was made, and then the next test began.

    The contract dispute was a tough one, because the player was adamant about being paid more. Me’lin made sure to go through all the correct channels, finally getting the player to sign off on a new contract without any hard feelings. The last piece, the scouting report, was easy. She verified it with the “scout”, and then did what she promised Gark she would do in that situation. By the end, she was exhausted, but confident that she had done her best. Now, would that best be enough to win the job at the end of the day?

    When all of the applicants had finished this stage, they were ushered back out to the front desk. Gark looked around at all of the women before speaking. “I want to thank you ladies for coming out today. We will make our decision in the next day, and we will then contact all of you to explain if you have been hired or not. Thank you again, and good luck.” The ladies began to file out, most of them looking smug about their chances. Me’lin just took sighed; she wasn’t sure how well she had done. She watched as Gark walked away, now talking to his Zabrak assistant in a low tone. Me’lin began to do a mental inventory of what she could ascertain from this whole process. The looks department had been a real loss against this crowd; she had shown up in a decent work outfit, but how could she compete against the other women in their splendid work dresses and high heels? The Firrerreo especially had everything: the bust, the hair, the eyes, to really turn a man’s attention on to her. Add in the barely below-knees white dress and two-inch black heels, and she was really a sight to behold for any guy. The blonde human had been wearing a rather revealing get-up, had also been a real beauty queen. No, looks were not going to be working in favor of Me’lin.

    The first test . . . how had that gone? The Zabrak assistant had told her “good work”. However, was this just a form saying that she gave to all of the applicants? The filing had been easy, but had she done the correct work? Did every file go in that needed to? Were the labels correct? Then the interview . . . S’rily had seemed impressed by her background and personal description . . . for what that was worth, anyways. He had been awfully nice to her, so perhaps she made an impression. His face hadn’t betrayed anything, or if it had she hadn’t been able to read it. Bothans were notorious for their secrecy, and could keep a secret from almost anyone. Thirdly, the part Me’lin felt most unsure about, was the job scenario role-playing. Had she been able to pull all the right strings? No one had given her any feedback on her performance in this portion, so she had no idea what to expect. All she could do was wait.

    She climbed into her speeder and took one last look at the Team HQ. There was no way she was going to be called back and told that she was hired for the job. She just didn’t have enough going for her; the looks would probably be a deal-breaker. Sighing once again, she took off for home, ready to spend more hours sitting on her bed looking over job listings.

    Gark sat down at the desk in the conference room, looking at the four team staff members who had helped with the project. “All right,” he began, “let’s figure out who to hire. Cav, any suggestions?”

    “No,” the Zabrak replied. “We probably should go one by one.”

    “That’ll take time,” another staffer said.

    “If it takes a few hours, so be it. I’d rather be right than quickly hire someone who won’t fit the bill,” Gark said. “Anything stand out in particular to you?”

    “Applicant 2 was a joke,” Cav said. “Couldn’t file a damn thing, and somehow managed to get the disgruntled player to demand a trade. She won’t be working here any time soon . . . or, at least not for the Front Office.” This meant that one of the two Zeltrons was out.

    “Duly noted,” Gark said, crossing the name off the list on the back of a packet. “Anything else?”

    “Applicant 4 didn’t work either,” Cav said. “Did fine at filing, and managed to get us a trade, but for spare parts. She doesn’t have it.” Blonde human out of the running.

    “Number one?” Gark asked.

    “Nope,” Cav replied. “If I had the chance, I would have told her that cheerleader tryouts were down the hall. She’s got the attractive figure, but she’s just not good at filing.” The other Zeltron out. This left four.

    “Number 6?” Gark asked.

    “Better at filing, and made the player sign a contract with us,” Cav said. “Not the greatest terms, but we could do worse.” The shorter Hapan was still in. “Still more of a beauty figure than a worker, though.”

    “Damn, did the application department screen all of them based on just looks alone?” Gark said, groaning. He rubbed his chin in disgust. “I asked them to send through only the applicants who would fit the job description, not just be eye candy. That’s what cheerleaders are for, not a secretary in charge of almost everything.”

    “They assured me that they did not know,” Cav said.

    “I don’t believe a word of that,” Gark said, leaning back in his chair. “Was anyone actually decent?”

    “Applicant 3,” Cav said. The Firrerreo’s number. “She really worked hard on the filing. Was about 95% accurate, give or take a percent or two. I was impressed by her work ethic.”

    “She had a solid interview,” Gark said, nodding. “Seems personable.”

    “Nice figure, too,” a staff member said. Gark just rolled his eyes.

    “What about her scenarios?” he asked.

    “Got the player to sign on good terms . . . was only one of two to do that . . . got us a decent trade . . . but didn’t scout too well. I was shocked to see that be so hard for her.”

    “How about Applicant 7?” Gark asked.

    “The Twi’lek?” Cav asked. Gark nodded. “She was, simply put, amazing at the filing portion. Only a few sheets were out of order, and they were small errors.”

    “The interview process went well,” Gark said. “Didn’t tell me a ton, but that wasn’t the end-all, be-all either. How were the scenarios?”

    “Gave us a “+”-rated trade for some great pieces, scouted a player exceptionally well, and . . . signed us the best contract with the disgruntled player. Actually, he seemed happy to re-sign with the team. She did an amazing job.”

    Gark thought these through in his mind. Applicant 7 had apparently done the best job out of all the applicants that day . . . had they found their new secretary?

    “Any objections to hiring her?” he finally asked.

    “Not really,” Cav said. “She could use some polishing on the skills, obviously, but there is talent there. I say go for it.” The other staff members didn’t lodge any complaints, so Gark told himself “case closed”. Applicant 7 it was.

    Me’lin sat on her bed, already changed out of her business attire and now wearing a simple shirt and jeans. She was going through another list of job openings; waitress, movie theater attendant . . . waitress, waitress . . . flight attendant . . . everything seemed the same. She let the list drop out of her hand and just placed her face on the bed, unsure of exactly what kind of employment she could get. It seemed like most of the openings were for low-pay, highly cliché jobs that forced her to rely solely on beauty and not on skills. She didn’t want to wait tables anymore; that wasn’t a life for her.

    Then her comlink rang. Could the Senators be calling back this early? If so, that had been one fast decision. She picked it up and replied.

    “This is Cav from the Senator team office,” the Zabrak said from the other end of the line. “We are calling you back on your performance in today’s interview session.”

    This was it. Another lump formed itself in Me’lin’s throat. Did she get the job?

    “Do you have time in, say, half an hour, to come down here in person?” Cav asked.

    “Of course,” Me’lin replied.

    “Thank you. We look forward to your presence,” Cav said before cutting the connection. Me’lin had no idea what to think of this call; did she get the job, or were they going to drag her out all that way to tell her she had come in second? If that was the case, the Senators were cruel employers . . . no one with a sane mind would send an applicant a rejection in person after they had already left earlier that day. But she didn’t want to take chances, so she hopped off her bed, dressed back in her work outfit, and walked out the door.

    When Me’lin walked in the door at Senators team HQ once more, her heart instantly fell into the floor. There was S’rily, his Zabrak assistant . . . and the Firrerreo in the white dress and heels. She had been brought out all this way for nothing, hadn’t she? The other woman had clearly won this competition, so why rub it in like this? All eyes turned to face her as she entered.

    “Hello again,” Gark said. Me’lin said nothing. “Anyways, both of you are probably wondering why we dragged you out here like this. It’s quite simple . . . one of you won the job. We just wanted to announce our decision in front of both of you. You two were the strongest applicants today, so we thank you for your time and effort.”

    Me’lin sighed, but not loud enough for it to be audible. They were giving her the run-around.

    Thus she was taken aback when Gark pointed to her. “You’ve been hired as team secretary,” he said simply, keeping his composure without betraying his thoughts. Me’lin’s eyes bugged a little; she had won the job over the Firrerreo? This was astounding!

    “Thanks,” she said, unable to say anything else. She finally was going to have a job! As soon as she got a chance, she would call her sister and her father to fill them in on the great news.

    “Now, as to why you’re here,” Gark said, turning to the other woman. “We deemed that your skill set put you somewhere a little different. You do understand?”

    The Firrerreo just looked down-trodden, and Me’lin wanted to smirk at the woman being rubbed around in the mud of being rejected for the secretary job.

    “However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. We were just informed today that one of our marketing assistants has handed in her two-week notice of the end of her employment, as she is retiring. Looking over your credentials, we have determined that you will be hired to take her job effective immediately, if you should want it. This is due to your amazing marketing skills and abilities in design. The pay should be about the same as the secretary position, but you’ll be working with the marketing department instead of at the Front Desk. Therefore, there will probably be less paperwork and more freedom to design.”

    The Firrerreo’s face brightened considerably. Obviously the disappointment had, for the most part, washed away. “I’ll take it,” she said, smiling.

    “We hoped you would,” Gark said. “See both of you tomorrow at 0900 sharp. We’ll give you the grand tour of the building, and then get you caught-up on your jobs. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to retreat to my office.” He nodded to both of the new hires, and then walked down the hall, his assistants flanking him as he went. “Oh . . .” Gark said, turning around. “And now might be a really good time to meet each other. You know, since you’re both here and all.” Then he left.

    Me’lin turned to the Firrerreo, who had also turned to look at her. “Um . . . hello,” Me’lin said.

    “Hi,” the other woman said. “I’m Lyndra. Lyndra Bultam.”

    “Me’lin,” the Twi’lek replied.

    “Nice to meet you,” Lyndra said. “Well, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”

    “Yep,” Me’lin replied. The Firrerreo smiled again and walked out, her heels clacking on the floor. This left Me’lin alone in the lobby, and she took a nice long look at the front desk. This was a new opportunity, and she intended to seize it.

    “I remember Lyndra,” Me’lin said. “What happened to her? Haven’t spoken in a long time.”

    “Well, she got promoted to Director of Marketing,” Gark said. “269, I think? Got married that year as well . . . yeah, to Tavis Corizyl. You remember Tavis? Anyways, in 270, she dissented against Mornd, and got axed. Tavis finally retired at the end of that year, and they had a kid in 271 when the team was out of operation. I re-hired her in 272 for the position, and she accepted it. She’s still working for us to this day.”

    “She was really good at marketing,” Me’lin said. “Real good.”

    “Yeah, I’m glad both of you applied for the secretary position that year, because I was able to fill two positions without needing to conduct another interview process. That would have taken more time than I would have liked. But I’m especially glad that you applied, because now you’re stuck with me.” He grinned as he said this. “A decade ago, did you ever think, somewhere in the back of your mind, that there was a possibility that 10 years after that job interview, you’d be married to the nutjob who hired you?”

    “I always thought you were handsome . . . but . . . no, I really didn’t.”

    “Come on, I know you did,” Gark said.

    “Fine. I always had a soft spot for you,” Me’lin said. “But it never really mattered until you brought it up.”

    “So, not to be a jerk or anything,” Gark said. “You coming to the game this week? It might be our last home tilt of the season, and since it’s at home I thought perhaps you could take some time to get out of the house and go to a game.”

    “I’d love to,” Me’lin said. “Should we take Galin with us, though? I’m a little nervous about that, obviously. It’d be his first game . . . the crowd is going to be ear-splitting . . . I don’t want him to go crazy on us and cry the entire time . . .”
    “Earplugs?” Gark suggested.

    “That might work,” his wife replied. “Might.”

    “He’s a S’rily. I think he ought to get to his first game sooner rather than later,” Gark said. “Makes it all the more likely that if he ever goes pro someday, we can use the tag line that he went to his first Senators game at four weeks old to guilt him into signing with us.”

    Me’lin punched him in the shoulder. “You’re terrible,” she said.

    “You know I am,” Gark said. “But what would you do without me?”

    “Not much,” Me’lin replied. She then kissed her husband and cuddled up next to him, both of them just staring at the entertainment center. Gark finally flipped it on, and they watched a terrible film. But neither of them cared; it was the thought that counted.

    There you go, @Trieste. More domestic stuff. :p @jcgoble3, @Admiral Volshe
    Trieste, Admiral Volshe and jcgoble3 like this.
  11. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    And now for something totally different.

    Thanks to @JM_1977 for letting me do this.

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

    Zeke Barbosa opened his locker, ready to pull out his cleats and uniform for practice. As he reached into the locker, he could feel the cleats, the uniform, his goalie gloves . . . and a small piece of something he didn’t recognize. He yanked the mystery item out of his locker and took a look at it. A small piece of flimsy was in his grasp, folded up once by whoever had left it there. Zeke assumed that it was a practical joke on him; the rest of the team always tried to pull a prank or two when they had the chance. He opened it up and read its contents.

    Mr. Barbosa,

    It will come as a shock to you, but I have uncovered information that your father, Ciscerian Barbosa, is still alive. I would very much like to speak to you in person soon to give you more information, because I am certain that you are interested in hearing what I have to say.

    Meet me at Café Rouvelle tomorrow at 0900, and come alone. I will find you there and tell you what I know.

    There was no signature given on the note, so Zeke raised an eyebrow. Who was trying to prank him now? It was likely that this was a ruse; his father had been dead for a long time. But then a thought came to him, something he has never seriously considered before. What if the story wasn’t true? What is his father was alive?

    This thought dogged Zeke throughout practice. When the RoughRider forwards were coming at him with the bolo-ball, he consistently missed saves he normally made and made bone-head plays. When Numer’or came in his direction with a solid shot to the upper right corner of the net, Zeke’s fingers didn’t even come close to touching the ball.

    “You’re getting slow, old man!” the Twi’lek yelled at Zeke as he rejoined the line.

    Zeke just shook his head and readied himself for the next forward. Jet Adama, who had been in the league for quite some time, rumbled into the box and sent off a skipping shot that buried itself in the back of the net. Zeke had just stood there, completely frozen.

    A shrill whistle sounded on the sidelines. “Barbosa!” yelled Coach Mothker. “Get over here!”

    Zeke dutifully walked over to his coach. “Not your day, hunh?” Mothker asked.

    “Nope,” Zeke replied, not even looking his coach in the face.

    “Well, it’s obvious your head’s not in the game today, so hit the showers,” Coach said. “Matema! Get in there!” he yelled to the Talz goalie, whom ran out to field the rest of forward line shooting practice.

    Zeke just walked off the field in disgrace, not quite sure what had gone wrong during practice. The shower felt especially cold, and when the team came back in after practice he had already left the premises. It hadn’t been his day out there.

    Zeke looked down at his watch; it read 0900. He entered the small café, which had been quite a difficult place to find. He had spent about fifteen minutes driving up and down this stretch of lane which was crowded with shops and people getting their errands done early. But he had finally found it . . . only to need to park on the other side of the block. What a mess it was getting out at this time of day, he thought.

    When he entered, he quickly ordered a small caf and sat down at a small table in the window. Taking a sip, he wondered if the mysterious person would show up. Right on cue, a stranger dressed in all black sat down at the table.

    “Who are you?” Zeke asked.

    The mysterious person put up a finger to silence Zeke. “My identity is not important,” it said in a gruff voice. “All that is I will tell you.”

    “What do you want?” Zeke asked.

    “Just a messenger to tell you that your father is alive. His condition, I am not sure.”

    “He died a long time ago,” Zeke said.

    “That’s what he wanted everyone to believe. He faked his own death,” the figure said.

    “Why do you think I’m going to believe this crap you’re giving me?” Zeke asked, taking another sip.

    “Because I know it caused you to fail at practice yesterday,” the informant said. Zeke almost spit out his caf.

    “How do you know about that?” Zeke demanded.

    “I have my sources,” the person said.

    “Fine. What do you need to tell me?” Zeke queried.

    “Your father is alive, but he’s being held by the Double Threat Duo. I’m sure you’re aware of them by now.”

    “Fravid,” Zeke said, narrowing his eyes as he said this name. “He’s involved in it too, isn’t he?”

    “Possibly,” the informant said. “Anyways, the Duo is not to be trusted to keep him alive much longer. If you want to have your father back alive, you need to come up with something soon.” The person stood up.

    “Wait, aren’t you going to tell me what I need to do first?” Zeke asked.

    “Do that for yourself,” the person said before turning around and leaving the café. Zeke finished his caf and left, still unsure of what to do.

    If this informant was to be believed, his father was alive. But he hadn’t gotten the person’s name; how could he trust this individual if they hadn’t even shown him their face? A tingle went down his spine; he didn’t quite know how to deal with this new information, so all he did was take his speeder back home and sit.

    Zeke drove his speeder into the front port and parked. Getting out, he stretched and walked to the mailbox. Opening it up, he rummaged through its contents. Out came the typical junk-mail advertisements, usually trying to sell him something completely absurd. Since when did he ever need a cleaning droid? OK, maybe that was a bad example . . . a cleaning droid wouldn’t be too bad, since Zeke wasn’t exactly great about keeping his abode clean.

    Then out came a letter from Jenna. Zeke sighed; he hadn’t seen his fiancée since before the season began, and it seemed too long to be without her. They hadn’t had the time to get married over the prior offseason because both of them had things to get done to prep for the upcoming season, but Zeke promised himself that he would get around to it at some point. He didn’t open the envelope yet; no need to read it until he was going to call her on the comlink and catch up on happenings on her end of the galaxy. Her Onderon Crazy Dragons were coming to town in a day or so, so he would have to catch up with her then.

    But then something else came out. It was another tattered piece of flimsy, just like the mysterious note from the day before. He closed the mailbox and walked inside his home, then shutting the door behind him. Then he flopped down onto a chair and opened up the note. Once it was in serviceable shape enough to be legible, he began to read.

    We have your father. If you ever want to see him alive, follow these instructions. And come alone, or else you’ll never see him again.

    Listed below was a set of instructions to follow. They were harsh terms, but Zeke knew that he would have to accept them if he wanted to see his father again. Although he hadn’t exactly been on the greatest terms with Ciscerian before he “died”, if the elder Barbosa was alive Zeke wanted to make sure that he got out alive. Down at the bottom was signed “Double Threat Duo”. Zeke’s eyes narrowed; that was the same criminal organization that had captured Gargova the season before. He had gone out and rescued her by beating up her captors, but they had been low-level thugs. This sounded much more serious than that.

    Zeke just crumpled the flimsy up in his hand and sat back in the chair, trying to make sense of all this. He needed a plan; the only question was, would it work when he got one? His mind churned for minutes on end, looking for a solution. Then one came. It was a long shot, but he had no other alternative.
  12. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    The plot thickens! Or does it?

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

    The doorbell rang, waking Zeke out of his slumber. Groggily, he looked at the chrono next to his bed; it read 0730. Who would call on him this time in the morning? He rolled out of bed and tossed on a fresh shirt to at least look presentable, finally making his way to the door. Unlocking the deadbolt, he swing the door open, letting the Ryloth sun in. He groaned a little, saying something unintelligible.

    The next thing he felt was someone almost tackle him, and he buckled back slightly when he felt the extra weight slam into him. His eyes couldn’t quite tell what exactly had happened, but then he felt a nice wet kiss on his cheek. This lowered the odds of his mysterious “attacker” to just one person . . . Jenna Leed.

    “Hi!” Jenna said happily, her arms wrapped around her fiancé.

    “Um . . . hi,” Zeke said, shocked. So Jenna had come all this way to his place this early in the morning just to say hi? He didn’t mind most of those criteria, except her was still wondering why she had come here so early. Why couldn’t she respect his sleep cycle? He noted that she was wearing an Onderon t-shirt and athletic shorts with athletic shoes; apparently she was interested in getting some exercise today. Or maybe the Crazy Dragons were going to have practice later?

    “I’ve felt really bad about not staying in touch,” Jenna said as she let herself into Zeke’s house. Zeke, still in shock, shut the door behind her. “It’s just been this season . . . it hasn’t been easy, you know? We start off with four straight losses . . .” She sat down on Zeke’s couch, crossing her legs as she got comfortable. “I keep meaning to call you, to catch up on how things are going out this way, but Limmie always gets in the way.”

    “I know the feeling,” Zeke said, sitting down next to Jenna. “How are things?”

    “Rough,” Jenna said. “We’re trying to stay alive in the Conference and go to the playoffs, and those losses made things difficult. We need to beat you today in order to stay on track.”

    “Like that’s ever going to happen,” Zeke said in an off-hand manner. Jenna playfully punched him in the arm.

    “We’re going to win today. Get a little payback from last years’ playoffs,” she commented.

    “You do realize that you won’t be able to play this week, right?” Zeke said.

    “I know. That’s why I’ve told my teammates everything about your game, and how to beat you,” Jenna said with a wink.

    “That makes me feel a lot better,” Zeke said, sighing. “So why’d you come over so early? You woke me up and everything . . .”

    Jenna frowned. “You don’t want to see me?” she asked.

    “Of course I do . . . but sleep is very important to me,” Zeke replied hastily.

    “I come out all this way just to say hi to you, and this is how you treat me,” Jenna said, partially pouting.

    Zeke wrapped his arm around Jenna, and she stopped acting offended.

    “So, are we going to make time this offseason to finally get married?” Jenna asked. “I’d like to get something scheduled so that we get it done. I hate being on the other side of the galaxy from you all of this time . . . I’d just like to be able to move in with you, get our futures straightened out, maybe start a family . . . I don’t know . . . just get started on that next phase.”

    But Zeke was only partially listening. The offseason . . . what exactly would that bring? Should he tell Jenna that he needed to save his father? That would be his prime opportunity to make a rescue attempt, and Jenna would of course be furious to hear that Ciscerian would be more important than her. How could he break this to her?

    “Um . . . Jenna?” Zeke asked. Jenna looked at him. “There’s something I need to tell you.”

    Jenna just sat silently. She was probably afraid that Zeke was going to say that he was dumping her. Zeke knew that he had blown his opportunity; now he had no choice but to push through.

    “I got word this last week that my father is still alive,” he said.

    “What?” Jenna asked. “I thought he was dead.”

    “Apparently not,” Zeke replied. “I need to go and rescue him during the beginning of this next offseason. It’s no offense to you . . . but I don’t want to lose him . . .”

    “Zeke . . .” Jenna said, now looking teary-eyed. “You’re putting his well-being before me?”

    “No, I just . . .”

    “I understand just fine, Zeke. You go off and save him yourself, and leave me all alone.” Jenna freed herself from Zeke’s arm and stomped to the door, obviously in a bad mood. “I’ll see you at the game this week,” she said in a standoffish manner. “I hope we cream you. You deserve it.” She then opened the door and let herself out, slamming it after her. Zeke was left alone, now conflicted in multiple ways. Save his father, lose Jenna. Live with Jenna, risk losing his father. Now the upcoming Limmie game seemed like a completely trivial event.
    Last edited by Jedi Gunny, May 26, 2013
  13. jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 5
    I'd call that thickening the plot. Can't wait to see where this goes! :D
  14. JM_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2011
    star 6
    Oh this isn't even scratching the surface with what we got planned :D
  15. Trieste Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    Is @Teegirloo involved in this at all? This reminds me--I forgot to insist on one of them sitting in this week's game! But that's neither here nor there. If I were Zeke, I know what I'd do right now! I'd call someone whose name rhymes with Zupermothan.
  16. JM_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2011
    star 6
    Yes weve gotten Tees permission to use Jenna.

    All in due time trieste. All in due time :D
  17. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    @jcgoble3, @Admiral Volshe, @epithree, @Trieste, @JM_1977

    Offseason, One Week after the Galactic Cup Final

    Zeke approached the front door to the house, not quite sure of what kind of greeting he was going to receive. It had been a shock to hear that his father was indeed alive; for the longest time, he had thought that the great Ciscerian Barbosa, 7-time Limmie champion, had been dead. Even as his son, Zeke didn’t know. And this was what worried him; now his father was in danger, and he was in no position by himself to attempt a rescue. He needed help.

    Taking a deep breath, Zeke pressed the doorbell button. A soft ringing echoed inside the house, and he just stood there, waiting. What if this was all a failure, he wondered; what if his plea for help was turned down? Then what? He had come out all this way with hope . . . but what if hope failed him?

    Finally, the door opened, and a blue-skinned Twi’lek woman stuck her head out to see who had knocked. “Can I help you?” she asked. Then, after a few seconds, her mood lightened up a little bit. “Zeke Barbosa, isn’t it?” Zeke nodded. “Come on in, and make yourself at home,” she said, swinging the door open. The Bith entered the house, and the woman shut it behind Zeke. He could see that she was carrying a small child, only about a year old in his estimation, in one arm. “I suppose you want to talk to my husband?” Me’lin S’rily asked.

    “Yes, I would,” Zeke said. “It’s of the utmost importance.”

    “All right,” Me’lin said. “Dear, Zeke Barbosa is here to see you!”

    Zeke could hear some rustling around a distance away, and then a yelp of pain. “Send him in,” came a voice, followed by some low-tone cursing.

    “Go on in. He’s in the kitchen,” Me’lin said.

    “Thank you,” Zeke said. He walked through the living room and into the kitchen. Gark S’rily, famed GM of the Coruscant Senators, was standing over the stove, trying to cool off his hand. In front of him was a fry pan, with some sandwiches sizzling inside. The smell was quite pleasurable, so Zeke didn’t mind.

    “Well well well, if it isn’t Zeke Barbosa himself,” Gark said, wincing as he shook his hand to cool it off. Obviously he had burned it. “What can I do for you today?”

    “I need to talk to you,” Zeke said. “It’s important.”

    “I’m sure it is,” Gark said. “I can’t believe I burned my hand by touching this burner by accident. I didn’t expect that to happen . . . guess I’m just clumsy. But these sandwiches are done, so we were just going to sit down to dinner.” A momentary silence followed. “We do have three sandwiches here . . . would you care to join us?”

    “Sure,” Zeke said.

    “Dinner’s ready!” Gark yelled out.

    “Be right there,” was the response from his wife. Gark picked up the fry pan and took it over to the table. Using a spatula, he moved the three sandwiches onto plates; the rest of the meal was already prepared. A high chair sat at the other side of the table, and when Me’lin came in with young Galin, he was placed in this seat. Gark then placed the pan back on the stove, turned off the appliance, and sat down to eat. Zeke obliged, sitting down in the empty seat.

    Ten minutes later, Gark finished his sandwich. Zeke had long-since finished, because the hurried state he was in made him try to seize any opportunity he could to get a chance to talk with Gark. “Now, you said you had something to ask me about,” Gark finally said, taking a swig of water from a glass.

    “Yes,” Zeke replied. “It’s urgent.”

    “You kids and your sense of hurrying,” Gark commented. “We’ll go out front and talk.” He turned to his wife. “Can you clean up the dishes tonight?” he asked.

    “Fine, but you’ll owe me one,” she said.

    “I’ll clean the dishes the next three nights,” Gark said. “I just need to talk to Mr. Barbosa here. Shouldn’t take too long.”

    “That’s fine, dear,” Me’lin said. She grabbed her plate and took it over to the sink.

    “Come on,” Gark said. He walked to the living room and settled into one of his chairs. Zeke took a seat on the couch. “Now, what can I do for you? You do realize that I can’t give you Limmie advice, right?”

    “I understand,” Zeke said. “It’s about my father.”

    “What about him?” Gark asked.

    “He . . . he’s alive,” Zeke said. “I’ve thought that he was dead for years now . . . but now I can prove that he indeed is alive.”

    “So why do you need to talk to me?” Gark asked. He was failing to see the connection here.

    “He’s being held hostage by the Double Threat Duo,” Zeke replied. “I can’t save him by myself; I’d never make it out alive. So I need your help.”

    “Let me get this straight,” Gark said. “You need me to help you save your pseudo-dead father from a major crime syndicate.” Several moments of silence followed before he continued speaking. “Sorry, kid, but I can’t.”

    “Why not?” Zeke blurted out. He instantly felt annoyed at himself for raising his voice like this, especially in front of someone like the Bothan.

    “Kid, you’re going to be married, right?” Gark finally said. Zeke nodded. “Jenna Leed?”

    “Yeah,” Zeke said. “What does that have to do with anything?”

    Gark just shook his head slightly and sighed. “Just how dedicated would you be to saving your father? Would you give your life to save his?”

    “I . . . I don’t know . . .” Zeke said, stumbling on this question.

    “Kid, I’ve been there. A couple years back, when I was the friendly neighborhood vigilante . . . I skirted with death way too many times for my liking. I am not exactly a daredevil . . . but I did what I did because I was fighting for something. I figured that sacrificing myself at some point to save my companions might eventually pan out . . . luckily it didn’t, but I always knew that it could happen. Going up against heavily-armed crime lords isn’t exactly like playing Limmie. Try having the offense wielding blasters that are set to ‘Kill’. My question is this: what are you willing to give up in order to get your father back? Do you really expect that it’ll be easy to go in there and grab him?”

    “No . . .” Zeke said.

    “What would Jenna say if you got yourself killed?” Gark said.

    “She would say I was foolish,” Zeke admitted. “Too foolish to see how badly I was outmatched. But not having me around . . . she wouldn’t take that too well.”

    “Exactly,” Gark said. “Look, kid. We’re both married, or almost for you, both to wonderful women who give us direction, give us purpose, and most of all give us someone to hold onto when the worst happens. What if we were to get killed off? Would they take that too well? No. I also have a son; what would my wife say to him if I didn’t make it home? ‘Your father was killed saving someone else’s.’ He would grow up without having me around . . . and I don’t want to let that happen.”

    “But you have to help me!” Zeke said desperately. “No one else can. You’re my last hope.”

    “Kid, as much as I appreciate your sentiment and drive, I stand to have too much to lose in something like this. It’s not that I disrespect your courage . . . but ask yourself something. Is your father’s well-being enough to risk your own neck? Would you sacrifice yourself so that he could live? He’s already been living a lie for the past few years by not telling you his whereabouts; do you really think he’s worth saving if he hides his life from his own son?”

    Zeke didn’t know how to respond to these questions; the Bothan certainly seemed ice-cold in his deliberate statements; it was obvious that he had been giving this some thought. But what he was saying was painfully true; Ciscerian had kept his whereabouts hidden for so long. Was he really worth saving?

    Me’lin came around the corner, holding Galin in her arms. “You still talking?” she asked.

    “Yes,” Gark said. His wife nodded and walked off to the other room, leaving the other two alone once again. “See, Mr. Barbosa? If I get killed, that right there is what I will leave behind. My wife almost lost me once, back during the whole Senate fiasco. And then I almost lost her last year. I promised her then and there that I would always be there for her when she needs me. I also promised her, back when we got married, that I would retire my alter-ego of Superbothan. I vowed to her, and to myself, to let that pass; I’ve got a new life here now, and it would be a shame to miss it.

    Zeke knew that he was leading a lost cause. S’rily was not budging on his stance, and he was glancing blow after blow in Zeke’s hopes. It was like a battleship had opened up its full salvos on his picket ship; it was a mismatch.

    “I’m sorry,” Gark said. “But I can’t help you.”

    Zeke sat there in stunned silence for several seconds. There was nothing he could say; Gark had caught him at every turn, making it impossible for him to get his point across. Then he stood up and walked to the door. “Kid, remember what I said,” Gark commented as Zeke let himself out, closing the door behind him. Once it was shut, he slid down onto the ground, his back still on the door. Here he sat for several minutes, trying to comprehend what had just happened.

    Next Day

    Gark reached into the mailbox, his fingers finding several solid pieces in there. Sighing, he pulled out the usual assortment of catalogs and advertisements. However, a piece of flimsy also popped out of the box, drifting lazily to the ground. Gark picked it up . . . who would send him such a message? Closing the mailbox, he walked inside his house and started to sort through the mail.

    After going through the typical items, he finally got to the flimsy. It appeared that the flimsy had lived a rough life, so he had to smooth it out in order to read it.

    This is a warning, Mr. S’rily. Your wife has turned up some information that is very precious to us. We order her to cease and desist immediately, or we will be forced to turn to drastic measures to make sure she does.

    By the way, if you believe this is a joke, think again. This is deadly serious. And we are not afraid to use force if necessary.

    Double Threat Duo

    Gark read the note, and then again. What was it talking about? He hadn’t heard of any information that Me’lin had been digging up . . .

    “ ‘Lin, can you come here a moment?” Gark yelled. He wasn’t sure why he had shortened his wife’s name like that just now, but it had slipped off his tongue like that. Me’lin poked her head around the corner.

    “Yes, dear?” she asked.

    “What have you been looking up recently?” Gark asked.

    “I don’t understand,” his wife said as she came closer. “What are you talking about?”

    “What kinds of information have you been looking up in the last few days?” Gark prodded.

    “Typical team stuff,” his wife replied. “Everything you asked me to work on.”

    “Anything . . . out of the ordinary?” Gark asked.

    Me’lin’s eyes narrowed. “What’s going on, Gark?”

    Gark held the flimsy aloft. Me’lin picked it up and read it. “Please tell me you haven’t been trying to crack into databases again,” Gark said.

    “I have a bit,” Me’lin said. “Not on purpose, though . . . a few days ago, I found some stuff on this ‘Double Threat Duo’ while looking for other items . . . I didn’t know what I had, so I saved the documents and kept them in my file drawer at the front desk.”

    “Old habits die hard, don’t they?” Gark commented.

    “You should be one to say that,” Me’lin replied. “I know you still want to be the caped crusader and save the day again. Just as much as you want to keep coaching.”

    “But I haven’t, have I?” Gark said. “I kept out of coaching this last year, and the suit is still safe in its case downstairs.” There was a momentary pause here. “Look, Me’lin, I don’t want this to happen to you. I will do what I must if it means you’re OK in the end. You’ve rubbed off on me quite a bit over the last year and a half.”

    “You really think anything will happen to me?” Me’lin asked, raising an eyebrow. “It could just be some stupid teenager trying to play games with us . . .”

    “Perhaps . . .” Gark said. “What exactly did you find?”

    “Just a bunch of data sheets,” the Twi’lek said. “Didn’t have time to look through them . . .”. But then she was interrupted by the doorbell ringing. Outside was the postal carrier. “Delivery,” he said. Gark signed off on the package and then brought it in. It wasn’t much of a box, so he ripped it open easily. Inside was another sorry-state note.

    We have just been informed that you have spoken with Zeke Barbosa about this topic. You now have no choice; we are coming for you one way or another. Surrender the documents, and you shall be spared. If you resist, your wife’s well-being will be forfeit.

    Double Threat Duo

    “That’s it,” Gark said angrily. “Get me a hold of Barbosa. Now.”

    Hotel, Coruscant

    Zeke lay on his hotel bed, staring at the ceiling. Gark hadn’t been willing to help him find his father . . . how what was he going to do? Jenna was already mad at him, and now he felt like he was losing both Ciscerian and her at the same time. Last night, he had dreamed of Jenna finding some other man . . . Jet Adama? . . . and marrying him, and he was stuck in the back row at the wedding, trying to shout her name out and get her attention. But her head never turned to look at him . . . Then he had awoke, unsure of what exactly he was going to do.

    His comlink rang, and he picked it up off the end table.

    ”Barbosa, this is Gark,” came a voice. “I need to talk to you.”

    Zeke walked up to the S’rily household once more. Knocking on the door, it was opened almost instantly. Gark stood there, staring down Zeke for a moment. “Come on in,” he said. Zeke followed his lead and was shown a chair to sit in. Gark took a seat on the couch opposite, Me’lin also present. Galin was in his crib in the bedroom, so unless he decided now would be a good time to raise a fuss, he was out of the way.

    “Now, as to why I called you here,” Gark said. “Look at those messages,” he said, pointing to the two pieces of flimsy. Zeke read them, and then looked back up at Gark.

    “What do these mean?” he asked.

    “It means that you’ve managed to drag us into this whole mess,” Gark commented snidely.

    “I’m sorry . . . I didn’t try . . .” Zeke stammered, but Gark cut him off.

    “Now that we’re stuck in this with you, I think it’s time that I reconsider your plea for help. When you came in two days ago, I didn’t want to get involved. However, these notes are making me change my mind . . .”

    “Honey, don’t,” Me’lin said, putting a hand on her husband’s shoulder. “I’ll be fine.”

    “No,” Gark replied. “This ‘Duo’ isn’t a trivial organization from what I’ve heard. I don’t want to lose you again, even if I’ve had nothing to do with it.”

    “So you’re saying . . .” Zeke prodded.

    “I hate to say it, but . . . I have no choice but to help you at this juncture,” Gark finished.

    Zeke could have jumped for joy, but he realized that would be rude. Also, he didn’t want to look happy when Gark was of the most serious mind about this. He had a lot at stake in helping Zeke rescue his father . . . the least Zeke could do here would be to show the Bothan some respect.

    Gark then stood up. “Follow me,” he said to Zeke. Zeke stood up as well and followed Gark down the stairs into the basement.

    Gark reached the wooden door at the end of the hallway, taking his time as he opened it. It was dark inside the room, so he flipped on the lights. Zeke felt like he had walked into a super-secret lair. The walls were covered in clippings of journal articles on Superbothan, some pages of comic books, the official thanks from the Senate for him saving them all during the siege of 272. On the back wall, in a nicely finished wooden case, was the superhero suit. It had been beat up since it was originally manufactured, but it still looked useable. The Bith just stared at the suit; it must have meant a lot to the Bothan.

    “You don’t know how hard it is for me to have to break my word,” Gark commented. “I promised Me’lin I would never don the uniform again. Now it looks like I don’t have much of a choice. But Zeke didn’t reply; he was in awe of what he was seeing. It was like what he had always imagined a superhero’s “secret” room to look like, where they could retreat and relive the “glory days” all over again. But Gark didn’t seem to be acting like he was living in the past . . . his focus was very much in the future, and this new mission could easily jeopardize what he hoped to achieve in the rest of his life.

    “Kid . . .” Gark said. “It’s hard for me to say this . . . but Superbothan is on the job. Tell me you have some information to follow so that we can get this done?”

    “I don’t,” Zeke admitted. “But I know someone who does.”
    Last edited by Jedi Gunny, May 29, 2013
  18. jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 5
  19. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    Yes he is. :D

    And the fun is only beginning, so stay tuned.
  20. Trieste Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    Do you know the part of this post that I loved the most? The idea of Jet Adama and Jenna Leed hooking up. That cracked me up!

    ...hmmmm? Oh yeah, Superbothan. YAY! But the question is will he be joined by Blue Jay, the Bith Wonder? [face_laugh]
    Last edited by Trieste, May 30, 2013
    Jedi Gunny and JM_1977 like this.
  21. JM_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2011
    star 6
    Not gonna lie I am enjoying creating this story with gunny :D
  22. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    You see, @Trieste, that is why the whole scenario with Jet was just a bad dream. :p

    @JM_1977, @Admiral Volshe, @epithree, @jcgoble3

    Zeke walked down the street, staring straight ahead as he did so. It was dusk in Lessu, Ryloth, so there was a shady pall over the city as he walked. Gark tried to follow him as best he could without attracting attention to himself. Thus, in order to not be easily recognizable, he had mussed up his fur some like he had in his ignominious escape in 270. It wouldn’t last long, but if he could get in and out quickly, there was no need for further “improvements”.

    Finally, Zeke stopped at the opening of an alleyway. He listened for several seconds before going into the alley. Gark, waiting for a Rodian to go by first, then darted into the alley after the Bith, looking over his shoulder to make sure he wasn’t being followed. Zeke kept walking down the narrow lane, the sounds of voices getting ever louder as they proceeded. Gark never liked back alleys; they reminded him a lot of his early days as Superbothan, back when beating up low-level thugs and saving little children was his calling card. A lot had changed since then, but it seemed like his line of work had not evaporated like those little jobs had.

    Zeke abruptly stopped, and Gark almost rammed right into his back. Both men watched a trio of darkly-dressed thugs confronting a medium-sized human. The human had his back up against the wall, and he looked nervous. He gave the thugs what they wanted, and then the three walked away, not saying anything as they went. Zeke then moved in.

    “Fravid,” he commented as he walked up.

    The old Ryloth goalie and Zeke’s longtime nemesis Fravid Deese looked around at the source of the voice he had heard. “Well well well, if it isn’t Zeke Barbosa. What can I do for you today?” he asked snidely.

    “You know why I’m here,” Zeke replied curtly.

    Fravid let out a slight chuckle. “I don’t believe that I do. Now, if you don’t have an offer for my products, I suggest you just go whichever way you came from and don’t come back.”

    “What are you talking about?” Zeke asked. “I’m not buying anything of yours, because it’s obviously illegal.”

    “Speak for yourself,” Fravid said. “You try losing your job like I have, and then see what depths you’re willing to go to stay above water. I lost everything after the Cup Final, and I helped you win the damn thing! But I’ve moved on. I’ve got a nice little contract with a dealer up the road a bit, and I’m making twice what I used to per game. So what if it’s a little under the table? I don’t exactly have legal employers calling me up every day asking if I want to work in an office somewhere.”

    “You didn’t help your cause by being in line with a criminal organization,” Zeke noted. “You still have to thank me, because I let your sorry butt back on the team. You owe me one.”

    “Look, we both know you didn’t want me out there,” Fravid said, giving off a sinister grin. “You know that Jenna liked seeing my handsome face out in goal. It’s just too bad we didn’t get a chance to make out . . .”

    The next thing Fravid found was his body smashed into the brick wall in the alley, Zeke’s strong left hand pinning him up there like a piñata. “You don’t diss Jenna in front of me,” Zeke said firmly.

    “All right, pal,” Fravid said as he tried to wriggle free. “Whatever you want. Now let me go.”

    “Not until you do something for me,” Zeke said.

    “What would that be?” Fravid asked smugly, but then he felt his throat getting slightly constricted as Zeke’s hand made its way into that area.

    “I know you worked for the Double Threat Duo,” Zeke said.

    “I heard of ‘em,” Fravid said.

    “You’re going to take me to their headquarters,” Zeke said.

    Fravid laughed, but then was caught once again by Zeke’s hand. He then tried to say something.

    “What?” Zeke asked.

    “What, are you going to walk right in there and expect them to bow to you because you talk tough?” Fravid asked. “You may think you’re tough, Zeke, but you’re really weak. You can’t even keep your personal life together at times . . .” Then he was choked again, and he gasped for air.

    “You’re going to take me there so that I can rescue my father,” Zeke said.

    “And why would I help you?” Fravid asked.

    “Because you don’t have a choice,” Zeke said. He punched Fravid in the gut before letting the man go. Fravid dropped to the ground, gulping in huge breaths of air as he lay on the ground. “Now, lead the way.”

    Fravid just spit on the ground. “You realize that the dealer will kill me if I bug out on him like this?” he said.

    “I don’t care, because it’s your head, and not mine,” Zeke said. He then kicked Fravid in the shin, causing the human to yell out in pain.

    Gark put a hand on Zeke’s shoulder. “Enough,” he said.

    “He deserves what he’s getting,” Zeke said. “He’s done me several wrongs in the past.”

    “And, if you beat him to a pulp, he’s more likely to end up in the hospital and not helping you or I out,” Gark reminded him. “We need him to lead us there, so he needs to be in one piece. Got it?”

    “Fine,” Zeke said. Fravid finally staggered to stand.

    “Who’s your friend?” Fravid asked.

    “Not your concern,” Gark said.

    “Well, it’s the famous Bothan, isn’t it?” Fravid said. “Never thought I’d have you breathing down my neck.”

    “With your luck, when I’m around, I’d break it before you could do anything,” Gark commented.

    “Good to know,” Fravid said. He finally was able to stand on his own two feet, but then he fell back into the wall and struggled to stay standing.

    “Now, if you would be so kind as to lead us to the Duo’s headquarters,” Zeke said.

    “What’s in it for me?” Fravid asked.

    “We won’t break your neck,” Zeke said. “At least, not yet.”

    “That’s not very reassuring,” Fravid replied.

    “It’s not supposed to be,” Zeke said. “But you’re going to lead us there regardless, so get a move on it. We don’t have all day.”

    “Fine, be that way,” Fravid said. “I know a few people who also got cut from the Duo’s operation. Let’s see what they have to say, shall we?”
    JM_1977 likes this.
  23. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    And now for something completely different!

    Or is it?

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

    Jenna sat on her couch, her knees almost up against her head. She wanted to curl up into a ball and not leave her apartment all day. It had been some time since Zeke had rebuffed her at his place when she had visited Ryloth with the team, and she still hadn’t gotten over it. Worse yet, he hadn’t called her back; she had left several messages on his comlink, trying to ask him if he wanted to get together at some point and try to reconcile their differences. But he never called back, making her wonder if he had gone off and gotten himself a new girl. It was Broussard, wasn’t it? He was probably seeing her again. Either that or he had gotten himself killed. No, Zeke couldn’t be dead . . . but he was almost dead to her.

    Thoughts raced through her mind. Had she come on too strong there when she was at his house? She thought that her coming over and bright and early would have at least kept his mind on her, but his mind seemed elsewhere the entire time. She had tried to seduce him into at least paying attention to her, because, frankly, she wasn’t a bad-looking woman. She rocked her outfit at all times, and she had put on that getup during her trip to try and keep Zeke interested in having her around. After all, what guy could resist looking at her meticulously-buff legs in athletic shorts and not at least find the woman they belonged to worthy of their attention? But he hadn’t noticed, and then told her that he was going to save his father. That had crushed her, and she hadn’t looked back.

    Before that trip, she had been looking at various aspects of her expected wedding to the Bith. Much time had been spent looking at venues on Onderon and in the general vicinity, on wedding dresses, on party supplies . . . all of the hallmarks of the special day it was supposed to be. But Zeke hadn’t been interested in her, so was all that time spent for naught? She wanted to tear up her notes, vowing to never let a guy break her heart like this again. A small portion of her mind held out hope that Zeke would still come back for her, tell her he was sorry and try to make amends. The feeling of him holding her in his arms was comforting to a degree, to have his hand on her face and telling her how beautiful she looked. Where had that Zeke gone?

    Then there was a knock at the door. Was it Zeke? Jenna doubted it, but in her troubled state held out hope that it was. It was one of those situations that only a spurned lover could ever think of. She walked to the door and opened it.

    Outside, instead of Zeke’s face, were several thugs, dressed in black clothing and masks. The front one grabbed her and tried to throw her aside. Jenna rammed into the wall, her back now aching. The thugs entered her apartment, a bag in hand. One of them tried to hold her down, but she resisted. She kicked one of the thugs in the leg, making him scream in pain. She then stood back up and tackled the nearest thug. When he was down on the ground, she started to pummel him in the face with her fist. Each blow was extolling a price on the thug, and eventually he slumped to the floor. The other two thugs were trying to take some of Jenna’s items, but she rammed into one of them trying to steal her HoloNet screen. She chopped at his neck, sending him down easily. The last thug was reaching for her comlink when she grabbed hold of him. Outmuscling the thug, she grabbed his collar and then rammed his head into the wall.

    “What are you doing here?” she spat into his mask.

    “None of your business, trash,” the thug said.

    “You don’t invade my house without me getting even with you,” Jenna said. “Now, what are you here for?”

    “You might want to tell your boyfriend Barbosa to stay out of our affairs,” the thug said, trying to wriggle free of her grasp.

    Jenna took a moment to process this. Zeke was alive!

    “But he’ll be taken care of soon enough,” the thug said. “The Duo isn’t going to let him win. It’s over, so tell him to save himself before he gets himself killed.”

    Jenna had heard enough. She smacked the thug across the face with the back of her hand, knocking him over onto the floor. The other two thugs, seeing this, ran out the door. Jenna dragged the unconscious thug over to the door and kicked him out of her apartment, after which she slammed the door behind him. She then stood and listened as the thugs left the area, standing close by her door in case they tried to break in again. Several minutes passed before she left her post.

    Sitting back down on her couch, she thought over what had just happened. What was going on? She guessed that the thugs had been sent to her apartment to get something . . . but what? They seemed more interested in taking her stuff than anything. They hadn’t tried to kidnap her like she had expected, so what were they after? This ‘Duo’, whatever or whoever they were, obviously had pondered Zeke’s recent actions and were coming after her. But why? She hadn’t talked to Zeke in a long time; what gain would they have in stealing her stuff? Wouldn’t it make more sense to kidnap her and then hold her for ransom? These questions plagued her as she spent the rest of her night on high alert, listening for any suspicious sounds. She didn’t sleep a wink that night, thinking the entire time about what had just happened and why it was going on. What had Zeke gotten himself into this time?
    JM_1977 and Admiral Volshe like this.
  24. jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 5
    This is getting veeeeeerrrrrrrrryyyyy interesting............. [face_nail_biting]
  25. JM_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2011
    star 6
    we got quite the kicker coming up here soon :D
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