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

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

  1. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    May 20, 2008
    Kind of a quirky fun post.

    TAGS to jcgoble3, Tim Battershell, Trieste

    This year Gark had promised himself that he wouldn’t forget. Galin’s birthday, his fifth, was now here, and it was to be celebrated during the Ylesia-Coruscant game. The young boy was going to enjoy watching the game as always while being able to celebrate yet another year of his life. He had grown up so fast, Gark mused as he planned all this out. It didn’t seem like that long ago when Me’lin had told him that she was pregnant with their first child; those had been simpler times, before the losing streaks, before the multitude of crazed maniacs who kept trying to kill him, before things got hairy on a constant basis.

    Galin sat in his chair in the luxury box at Peace City Gardens, ready to take in the game that was about to unfold on the field below. Although he had technically been born on this correct day on the calendar five years earlier, the differences in planetary rotations between Coruscant and Ylesia forced the birthday to be slightly offset. But it didn’t matter for the boy’s parents; Galin was technically five years old now. It was a milestone birthday, indicating the transition from young child to school student. It probably wouldn’t be long before he reached ten years of age, when his personality would start to fully flesh out.

    Galin had chosen his favorite player on the Senators, Maximus Qorbus. He had always idolized the Nautolan forward for his scoring knack, even though the prior season he had failed to produce points. Therefore, Gark had made sure that the birthday boy got a visit from his favorite player prior to the game; although Gark could easily pull strings like that on his team, he decided that this needed to be a special occasion. Of course Galin could get comfortable around the team, but this was supposed to be more of a one-on-one meeting between the pro player and the child. Galin had enjoyed his chance to hang out with Qorbus, which was phase one of the birthday plan.

    The game got started down on the field, and Galin watched intently. Gark shared the gaze down at his team; they had to win this game. The losing streak had to end. Five minutes in, though, it was Me’lin who broke the silence that had crept into the box.

    “When should we give the birthday boy his party?” she asked her husband.

    “Anytime now,” Gark said. The three of them were alone in the box; Londy Whiste hadn’t come on the journey to stay at work, and Mykal was home on Coruscant going to school. They hoped he wouldn’t get into trouble or party at the house while they were away.

    The ball was kicked out of play, and the media timeout occurred. Me’lin took the opportunity to surprise her son with a cake, which made Galin’s eyes grow wide. “I baked it myself,” she said proudly, and Galin grinned.

    “Can I have cake?” he asked.

    “Of course,” Me’lin said. She started to cut the cake, and Galin got a nice large piece. He started munching it down.

    “Whoa, slow down there, champ,” Gark said. “Don’t eat all your cake in such a hurry. Enjoy it.” Galin slowed down, but only a little. Gark just shook his head; sometimes the boy was just a rogue. Just like his father, rough around the edges but with a heart of gold.

    The elder S’rily started to eat his cake, and reminisced about Galin’s first five years. They had been a very bumpy ride, and he felt saddened that he hadn’t been able to hang out with his son much during that time. A lot of those years had been spent away from home for various reasons, and had included much personal peril. So he hoped the next five years would be better.

    After eating his cake, Gark went to the back of the box to throw out his plate. However, Me’lin was already there boxing up the leftovers. Taking the private moment in the back of the box, away from prying eyes, Gark knew he would act. He reached around Me’lin to close the box, and then wrapped his arms around her waist. He could feel the bump in her stomach that would someday be their second child, now not much more than a lump in its mother’s womb.

    “Hi,” he said.

    “Hi,” Me’lin said.

    “So, are we going to give the birthday boy his presents?” Gark asked.

    “Of course. I was just about to get to those before you got me first,” his wife chided him.

    “I’m checking in on the baby. Nothing more,” Gark said meekly.

    “You just like my figure,” Me’lin said.

    “Of course,” Gark said with a smirk. “I’d take that figure to bed right now if I could.”

    “Sweet thought of you, honey, but we can’t,” Me’lin said with a sigh. “Might hurt baby if we roughhouse too much.”

    “I know,” Gark said with a sigh of his own. The crappy thing about having a pregnant wife was not being able to freely make love with her on a whim, or at least that’s what he figured was most important. Either that or his priorities were all screwy, which he figured was a likely scenario.

    “Galin should get to enjoy his birthday, before we might start to overshadow him with baby talk,” Me’lin commented. “This is his day, and he ought to be able to enjoy it without any thoughts of a sibling who might take our attention away from him.”

    “So we shall,” Gark said. He released his wife and grabbed a few wrapped packages from the back counter. He then went up to Galin and handed him the gifts. Galin ripped each one open as any child in his situation would, and quickly he found his treasure. Several packs of Tepps trading cards of Elite Leaguers, a foam Limmie ball, and then a kids’ size Max Qorbus jersey. Galin immediately put it on and grinned; he now had the jersey of his favorite player on his body.

    When Qorbus scored a goal in the game, Galin cheered extra loud. When the Nautolan barely missed on a shot on goal, Galin frowned. Obviously he had lots invested in Qorbus as a favorite player.

    When the game ended, the Senators walked out with a close win. As they picked up their things in preparation to leave the box, Gark had to ask something. “Hey, the team won on your birthday,” he said to the boy. “That’s pretty special.”

    “Yeah,” was all Galin said. “Qorbus scored that goal for me, right, dad?”

    “Sure did, sport,” Gark said. He turned to his wife and lowered his voice a little. “It’s going to be hard to keep track of birthdays for two kids plus Mykal,” he commented.

    “We’ll manage, like we always do,” the Twi’lek replied.

    “I think Galin enjoyed today,” Gark then said.

    “I think so too. He’s so cute when he cheers for Qorbus,” Me’lin said. “You can tell he’s invested in the game, and I guess I only have you to blame for that.”

    “Hey, he chose the game out of his own interests. I had nothing to do with it,” Gark said, raising his hands as if to profess innocence.

    Me’lin just chuckled. Gark loved that laugh; it was another quirky bit about his wife that he enjoyed. “He’s definitely got a lot of your personality in him. It’s easy to tell.”

    “The more like me the better,” Gark said with a wry grin. “If he takes my route, he’ll be successful in life, I just know it.”

    “And we’ll be there at every step of the way. Here’s to our growing family,” Me’lin said. She came over and kissed her husband. “Do I still taste cake?” she asked after the smooch.

    “You’ll just have to find out with another try,” Gark said.

    Me’lin chuckled again and the couple kissed once more.

    “Ew,” was all Galin said as he saw the affection between his parents and decided to look away.

    “Yep, definitely like me,” Gark commented. And that was the way he liked it.
    Tim Battershell and jcgoble3 like this.
  2. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    What a nice birthday. :)
  3. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Indeed. I want to know if he got a Glencross card in his Tepps pack and precisely what happened to it. I'm thinking dart board material? :D
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  4. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    May 20, 2008
    Probably something more diabolical than that. [face_devil]

    Anyways, continuing on about Mykal. This is a few weeks early, but I didn't want to sit on this material for two or three weeks.

    TAGS to Tim Battershell, jcgoble3, Trieste

    The Wylsonridge High School Kell Dragons had finished off an easy win to push their record to 5-2, and Mykal had once again been the catalyst of the turnaround. More fans than ever packed into the stands to see the team play, even going to road games. It seemed like the team was the talk of the school, and even the tough Galactic Languages teacher Mykal had on his schedule was being nicer to him as a result. On the overall, things were looking good.

    As he walked off the field, Kortney intercepted him. “Hey Mykal,” she said. “Nice game.”

    “Thanks,” Mykal said simply. “We played ‘em tough tonight.”

    “I want to thank you for driving me home a few weeks ago . . .” Kortney said.

    “Just trying to help,” Mykal said.

    “I’d like to invite you to a party my friends are having tomorrow,” Kortney replied. “Some of the Limmie team will be there, and I think it’d be fun for you to show up.”

    “Where is it?” Mykal asked. He had never been invited to a party before.

    “House party. Lannie’s parents are out of town for a whole week . . . a whole week . . . and we’re going to party there.”

    “I don’t know,” Mykal said. He had heard bad things about house parties. In his old neighborhood, occasionally violence could erupt from such gatherings. Beings were gunned down if something went really wrong. But this was hopefully a nicer part of town; it had to be better, right?

    “Come on, it’ll be fun. Besides, I think you’re part of the club now,” Kortney said. “What do you say?”

    Mykal thought it over for several seconds. “OK,” he finally said.

    “See you tomorrow,” Kortney said before walking off. Mykal wasn’t sure what he was getting himself into, but he hoped it wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    The next night, Mykal went up to the house. He could tell that there was loud music inside, so it likely was the right place. He rung the doorbell, and some senior he had never met opened it. “You must be Mykal Oha,” she said. Mykal just nodded. “Hey, come on in, big guy. Make yourself at home,” the girl said. Mykal went inside, and the door closed behind him.

    There must have been at least fifty others inside the house at the time, with lights, loud music, and most importantly alcohol. It was a typical teen house party; when the parents were away, the kids would play. It was quite the scene as Mykal looked it over. He had never been to a party like this before.

    “So, you want some beer?” the girl asked.

    “Um . . . no thanks,” Mykal said.

    “You sure?” she asked.


    “Kortney invited you, didn’t she?” came the next question. Mykal nodded. “She’s out on the back patio, I think. You might be able to find her there,” the senior said. Mykal took this advice and made his way through the scrum of high school students and out the back of the house. In the backyard was a large pool probably 20 feet wide by the same length; it was massive. They certainly had huge houses in this part of town, Mykal noted.

    “Hey Mykal!” came a familiar voice. Mykal looked up to see Kortney with a small group of friends not too far away. She was waving in his direction, a red plastic cup in her hand. The teen noticed that she was wearing a tank top and short shorts, which showed off her legs nicely. “Come on over! I want you to meet some of my friends.” Mykal came over. “This is Mykal. He’s the starting full back on the school Limmie team,” she said.

    “Whoa, far out,” a friend said.

    “Lucky,” said another. “It’s hard to make the team.”

    “I worked hard,” Mykal replied.

    “Want some beer?” Kortney asked. Mykal shook his head. “Oh come on, try some.” Finally Mykal relented and a cup was passed to him. He took a swig but made a contorted face. The beer went down, but he didn’t like it at all. Kortney just laughed. “It takes a while to get used to,” she said.

    “I can tell,” Mykal replied. He didn’t like beer.

    Two hours passed, and Mykal was starting to get tired of the loud music and drinking. He hadn’t come here to see drunken high school students; Kortney hadn’t said there would be alcohol. Some of the rowdier types were getting more and more drunken by the minute, and it made the teen’s skin crawl. The longer he stayed here, the antsier he knew he would become. He had to leave.

    “So, quite a party, hm?” asked a student nearby.

    “Not my thing,” Mykal said. He made up his mind and was going to tell Kortney that he was leaving. But he couldn’t find her in the mass of partiers. Maybe she was in the pool, maybe she was inside the house, he didn’t know. He sought out to find her, looking outside, then inside, then on the property lines. When he finally found her, he had to at first get her out of trouble. She was stuck in the bushes, and when Mykal reached his hands in there to try and get her out, all he pulled out was a boy wearing just his boxer shorts. It was obvious that he was beyond smashed, and that he was about to forcibly assault Kortney in the bushes. Shoving the drunk away, Mykal was able to help Kortney out of the bushes. She was a little tipsy from the alcohol, but she seemed relieved to be away from the mostly-naked boy who had almost forced her to have sex with him against her consent.

    “You’re a hero,” Kortney said, and she gave Mykal a big hug. Obviously she understood what was going on after all. “If you hadn’t come to rescue me . . . that would have been ugly.”

    “I’m leaving,” Mykal said bluntly.

    “Why? The party is fine. Or, at least it was except for that drunk idiot guy,” Kortney said.

    Then they heard the police sirens in the distance. Anyone who was not too inebriated to hear them immediately ran away from the house, those in the pool jumping out and running away without even drying off. In the chaos, Mykal tried to keep track of Kortney, but she got caught up in the mass of panicked teens. Mykal had to bully his way through some drunken partiers, but someone punched him, or at least hit him, he didn’t know, in the face, slightly stunning him. He then tripped over a passed-out teen on the floor and nailed the ground hard.

    Two minutes later, the cops showed up at the doorstep. Mykal was still inside the house, unable to get out, and he quickly found himself caught by the police. As the police escorted him and the other kids to the squad cars, he wondered why it had come to all this. He had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Apparently noise complaints and an alleged stabbing had brought the cops to the door of the house, when Mykal finally learned what had happened. Now he felt very lonely, because he had done something wrong.

    He was taken to the police precinct, although the cops told him that no charges would likely be filed. It was more of a domestic disturbance incident for the noise complaints, and Mykal was also informed that he was not a suspect in the stabbing allegations. His adoptive parents were furious to hear that he had been at a drinking party without telling them, and then getting taken by the police to the station. He was grounded for two weeks, and that was the shortest punishment he would receive if he did his penance. When Coach Kammel heard the news that several of his players had gotten detained by police, he suspended all of them for the next two weeks, including Mykal. Even though the teen knew he hadn’t done anything wrong, no one else believed him.

    The next time he saw Kortney, which was at school three days later, he tried to avoid eye contact with her. At lunch, he sat alone at a table in the corner of the room, surrounded by the social outcasts instead of with the usual crowd over in the busier sections. He had always been one of them, and felt somewhat comfortable with them since none of them had grudges against him and he had a lot in common with them. He just wanted to hide his face and not be seen by anyone.
  5. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    I don't think he'll make that mistake again.
  6. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    May 20, 2008
    Basically the second part of a two-parter:

    TAGS to Tim Battershell, Trieste, jcgoble3

    It was a week after the house party incident, and Mykal was still bothered by what he had done. The team, minus its players on suspension like him, had been throttled that week in their game, and this week didn’t look any more promising. They had been in shape to try and capture a high playoff seed, but due to the suspensions it looked like they were in for a play-in game or a trip to a higher-seeded school. They could win that game, but winning this week would make it easier to get somewhere. And Mykal knew he had let his team down.

    He sat alone once again in the school cafeteria. The past week had been hard on him, since his parents weren’t letting him forget his transgressions. He had to take on double the number of chores around the house, and wasn’t allowed to watch the Holo while grounded. So he spent all the time he wasn’t working on homework, eating, or sleeping, out in the yard, sitting under the tree out there and just listening to the sounds of the city in the distance. These moments of solitude allowed him to think of many things, but oftentimes they just made him more depressed about the party. He hadn’t intended for there to be alcohol there. Why hadn’t Kortney told him? Why had he been so stupid and gone? Was he trying to impress her? Was it that he had never been invited to a party before? Did he deserve what had happened to him?

    He sensed motion behind him, and he looked up to see Kortney sit down next to him. He contorted his body away from her to try and keep his distance.

    “Mike, I need to say something,” the junior said.

    “There’s nothing to say,” Mykal said angrily. “You didn’t tell me there would be alcohol. I had to go to the police station. My parents grounded me.”

    “I’m sorry, Mike,” Kortney said, looking down as she spoke. “I didn’t think the cops would be called.”

    “That’s your problem,” Mykal said. He wanted to get up and leave the table. Kortney didn’t deserve his time.

    “I’m sorry,” was all she said. “It’s my fault. You obviously didn’t like it there, and yet I didn’t understand. You’re a nice guy, Mykal. I guess I misjudged you, thought you would like to party for once. But now I see that you don’t need that. And it got me thinking that maybe I don’t either. I feel really bad that I left you at the party when the cops showed up. You didn’t deserve that, not after what you did for me. You saved me from that drunk guy . . . he forced himself on me, and I couldn’t fight him off. Then you come and kick his butt . . . and I left you behind. I’m the reason you got suspended, not you.”

    “What’s your point?” Mykal asked.

    “That’s the second time you’ve saved me from a terrible situation, and . . . I don’t know . . . I’ve gotten you into trouble. What have I done for you?”

    “Not much,” Mykal answered.

    “And that’s the problem. I feel guilty, Mike, and it’s not a fun feeling,” the girl said. “You’ve done a lot for me, and I feel the need to repay you somehow. I need to be a better friend.”

    “You don’t need to do anything for me. I’m fine,” Mykal said.

    “Can we just start over?” Kortney asked.

    “So you’ll never drag me to another house party?”


    “You’ll acknowledge that I don’t need to drink to have fun?”


    Mykal paused. He had another question. “Why are you doing this?” he asked.

    “What do you mean?” Kortney asked in return.

    “What’s made you change your mind so quickly? You liked that party.”

    Kortney just sighed. “Mike, I know it seems hard to believe, but I’m insecure sometimes. My parents push me so hard to achieve . . . they think that by forcing me to do all these different things they can get me into Republican, or one of the Veragi League schools . . . Cambrielle . . . Commenor . . . Ralltiir . . . but I don’t know if I want that. I want to be myself, want to make my own decisions. I’m a great student, and I don’t think it matters where I go for college after I graduate from here. I want to make them proud of me, but I don’t know if I can. Then I look at you, who follows the path of what he believes in. You don’t take crap from anyone, you defend the helpless, and you do what you know is best. And I like that. I’ve needed a friend who can help prop me back up when I fall, and who I can get advice from when I’m stuck and in need of help. Can you do that for me, Mike? Can you be a good friend?”

    “Maybe. How good a friend? You’re popular,” Mykal said.

    “After that party, especially with an alleged stabbing, I don’t really know if I want some of those other friends anymore,” Kortney said. “Their party almost got me assaulted in the bushes by a stranger. And you’ve got me seeing a different path, one that doesn’t have huge parties and loud music but one that looks more like one that I need. I just want to be normal, Mike. And you want a friend you can trust. I want to help you out when you need it, just like you do for me. Please let me redeem myself.”

    Mykal had to think this through. Kortney was trying to distance herself from her friends, and the teen wasn’t sure if he bought that. Then again, he had saved her from a hairy situation, and that obviously had made her think. If she got him into trouble again, he would let her know it. “OK,” he finally said. “But on one condition.”


    “Never get me into trouble like that again. I don’t want to go to the police station again,” he said.

    “Fair enough,” Kortney said.

    “You probably want me around to protect you,” Mykal then said.

    “I can offer to help bring your grades up. I hear those are bad right now,” Kortney offered.

    Mykal had to think on this. Here was the student body president, a great student, and a cheerleader, all rolled into one, offering to help him with his homework in exchange for having her back. It wasn’t a bad trade; after all, with his adoptive mother eventually giving birth near the end of the school year, he would need all the help he could get in a few months. Plus he still liked Kortney’s looks.

    “Promise?” he asked.

    “I promise. You help me, and I help you.”

    “OK,” Mykal finally said.

    “Great! When should we begin?” the girl asked.

    “This weekend. My parents are off-world, so I don’t have to worry about them complaining that I’m getting help on my homework from someone other than them,” Mykal commented. “Since I’m still grounded and all.”

    “Should we work on the stuff at the library?”

    “That works for me,” Mykal said.

    The bell rang, and everyone got ready to go to class. “OK. I’ll see you at the library in two days, and we’ll go from there,” Kortney said. She walked out of the cafeteria, and Mykal followed, ready to take on his next class.

    After the school day Mykal had Limmie practice. Since he was still suspended he wasn’t allowed to participate, and he had to watch his teammates work on their drills. He took the time to ask Coach Kammel if there was anything he could do to play this week.

    “Not really, Oha,” Kammel said. “You and your teammates got suspended for two weeks, and I intend to make sure that you’ve done your time. Winning is important to me as to the next guy, but discipline is what I need on this team. You don’t create a winner without discipline, and obviously some members of this team needed to be reminded of that. If you do all the right things, you’ll be out on the field next week.”

    “But Coach, we might not make a good playoff seed this year,” Mykal said.

    “And that’s the risk I’m willing to take for integrity,” Kammel said. He left it at that, making Mykal feel very depressed. That week the team lost again without its suspended players, and he could do nothing to help them. That forced them into a tie for fourth place in the league, behind third-place Vendenbirt High. They would now have to travel a long distance to play their playoff opponent, a tough defensive team who hadn’t allowed more than ten points in any game all season.

    That weekend, Mykal met Kortney at the library. She helped him with his homework, which took two hours but was much easier with her assisting him than normal. At one point Kortney was thumbing through a textbook and Mykal, without looking, accidentally grabbed her hand instead of the book that he was reaching for. He quickly pulled back his hand after he realized what he had done and blushed; that hadn’t been intentional. Kortney didn’t say anything, and they kept on working.

    Finally they were done, and Mykal saw Kortney to the door before she went to her speeder. “Nice work today,” she commented. “You’ll get there someday, trust me.”

    “You really think so?” Mykal asked.

    “Look, Mike, I wouldn’t be doing this for just anyone. Plenty of dumb jocks would love to have me helping them with their homework. But you’ve earned my trust, so I’m willing to help you out. Keep working at it, and you’ll get it, I promise you.”

    “Want to . . . um . . . um . . . go get some . . . ice cream . . . with me?” Mykal finally spluttered out.

    “Are you trying to flirt with me?” Kortney asked.

    “No . . . not trying to . . .” Mykal stammered.

    Kortney just chuckled. “OK, we’ll count this as a first date.”

    “A . . . date . . .?”

    “Eh, why not? You’re a sweet guy,” Kortney said. The two of them went to the ice cream parlor and had cones. Mykal tried to look nonchalant as he ate, but his ice cream started to melt and he had to start wiping it up off the surface of the table.

    When they were done, they convened in the parking lot again. “Good idea to come here,” Kortney said.

    “Yeah, it was good.”

    “We should do it again sometime,” Kortney commented.

    “Next weekend?” Mykal inquired.

    “OK, I think I can swing that. Works for me. But you’re buying the ice cream again. Deal?”

    “OK,” Mykal said. His parents could afford some ice cream for him and a friend.

    “Then good luck. See you at school,” Kortney said. She got into her speeder and took off, leaving Mykal by himself at the shop. That hadn’t been so bad, he thought to himself as he settled into his own vehicle. His homework was done, he had a new friend, and ice cream. What more could he want?
    Tim Battershell and jcgoble3 like this.
  7. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    Well, he has the girl... for now, at least.
  8. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    So pessimistic jcgoble3 :p

    Then again, this is a Jedi Gunny story. Twists and turns abound...
    Jedi Gunny and jcgoble3 like this.
  9. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    May 20, 2008
    TAGS to Trieste, Tim Battershell, jcgoble3

    Finally it was here, the high school playoffs. Mykal had returned to practice earlier in the week and picked up where he had left off, hitting people and making opposing forwards fear him. All of that skill and presence would be necessary for them to win in their upcoming playoff match. A win here wouldn’t just be to advance past this round; it would mean that this Wylsonridge team was quite talented. And Mykal wanted to be their star player if possible, to help his team to victory.

    When the game night finally came around, he found himself locked up with a two-star prospect full forward on the other side. Heroon of Vendenbirt had more stars in his rating than this girl, but she was lightning quick. Mykal was curious why she hadn’t received offers above the CCLL, the “second-tier” college league on Coruscant. It was still Division I, but they didn’t get a berth in the “major school” playoff, instead creating a form of “Division I-AA” that had its own playoff. But unlike the major schools, they had been in playoff mode with the other leagues in their classification for years, forgoing the bowl system to instead promote a full playoff bracket. Now the major schools were rushing to catch up.

    Throughout the game, Mykal found that he had his hands full with the girl. She would try to fake him into making a bad step and then bolt around him to get between him and Tony, the goalie. That space Coach Kammel told the junior he couldn’t allow to be opened, but it was easier said than done. Mykal allowed two goals to occur on these fakes, but neither were goals by the full forward because Tony made a nice presence and forced her to pass the ball.

    Finally he made a play on her, shoving her aside as she tried to go on her route. The girl fell to the turf but sprang back up and then kept going like nothing had happened. Mykal was confused by her speed; he hadn’t faced a full forward that quick before. His feet felt too slow to react, and he soon gave up another assist to her on a bar point.

    At halftime, Kammel did his best to whip up his troops, but it was obvious that they had a tough uphill battle today. The rival school was a solid program, had been for years, and knew how to play together. Wylsonridge had failed miserably without its suspended players the prior two weeks. It would take a perfect second half, Kammel figured, to win this one. He then told Mykal to stay light on his feet. The big teen wasn’t sure how much lighter he could be; he still had heavy feet compared to his matchup. No amount of bulk seemed to bother her.

    In the second half, Mykal tried to keep contain on his matchup. He got more physical with the girl, trying to keep her away from the ball and neutralize her speed advantage. Using his physicality allowed his defense to pick up their tempo and start making stops. The offense figured itself out, and soon enough they were within striking distance of taking over this game.

    But Mykal made one big mistake. He bit on a pump fake by the Center Half Forward, who dodged Doog at Center Half Back. The boy then rifled a pass into the full forward, who caught Mykal flat-footed on the fake and got around him. Mykal dove to try and clip her, but it was to no avail. Tony missed the ball, and the other school put up three points. Those would be the deciding points of the game, as Wylsonridge lost a close one on the road.

    The Senators were on a road trip to Rydonni Prime, so the S’rilys weren’t around to console Mykal after the game. The teen felt down, knowing that he had done all he could but also that he had let that game-winner develop. He had let that goal be scored, and it hurt him. He had let his teammates down.

    “Rough way to end the season, Mykal,” Coach Kammel said.

    “Sorry, Coach. I let her get around me,” Mykal said, looking down at the ground.

    “We came this far. So be positive, Mykal,” the Kiffar commented. “We hadn’t made the playoffs in years, so getting to them this year is something to work off of. Yes we lose some good seniors, but I think we can retool and at least compete for a playoff spot next year. But I think this offseason you need to work on your footwork. That girl killed you all night, so make sure to stay light on your feet. Work on that during offseason conditioning; we’ll need you to be more mobile next year against faster forwards.”

    Mykal went to his speeder, which was parked on the outskirts of the school parking lot. When he got inside, he just sat there for several moments, knowing that there was nothing that could cheer him up right now. He had lost his team the game, and had let everyone down. The ride home was in complete silence, and when he got to the house, he went to bed almost immediately, not interested in watching Holo or eating. He just wanted to get this miserable day out of his mind.
    Trieste and jcgoble3 like this.
  10. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    :( Well, I hope Wylsonridge has better luck next year.
  11. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Poor Mykal! Then again, true athletes take losses like that hard. He would fit in with that kind of attitude in the Senators locker room (and make that Senators team better).
    Jedi Gunny and jcgoble3 like this.
  12. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    May 20, 2008
    Yes I am skipping ahead here again, but I'm going to leave Mykal's story for a while after this. I have some ideas on what to use to cover in the interim.

    TAGS to Tim Battershell, Trieste, jcgoble3

    It was four months since the end of the Limmie season, and Mykal was improving in the classroom. With help from Kortney in addition to his family members, the teen was making great strides. He still struggled at times, but grades were improving, and the teachers certainly noticed. Mykal smiled more, and he participated more in class as a result. Suddenly a “dumb jock” that he may have been labeled as originally was starting to wear away somewhat as he proved himself more capable on schoolwork than he originally demonstrated.

    As a reward, the S’rilys took the teen on vacation to the other side of the planet for two days. It was a weekend trip to work around everyone’s schedule, but it was enough of a get-away for Mykal. He enjoyed taking two days off from school to hang out and just be a teen. It wasn’t an off-planet trip, but with Me’lin being seven months pregnant, Gark had decided not to go anywhere where she might be in danger, or even on a starship ride that might bounce her stomach around too much. So a trip out to Kamados, which the Bothan had wanted for a while, had to be postponed until the baby was born, and even then the family patriarch had doubts on what he would find there. Reports said that there was nothing dangerous on the planet, but he wanted to be sure before risking his family’s safety.

    Mykal came home from school on the first day of the school week and set down his things. He had a quiz to study for the next day, and he was intent on making sure he got a good grade on it. There was no room for error now, especially with those who believed in him. He couldn’t let them down by sluffing off. He opened his textbook and began to study.

    Then he heard some footsteps on the wood, and Me’lin was there to welcome him home. “Hi Mykal,” she said. “How was school today?”

    “Same as usual,” the teen said.

    “What are you doing?” the Twi’lek asked as she leaned in a bit.

    “Studying for a quiz tomorrow.”

    “What subject?”

    “History. I don’t think I like it that much, though . . . too many names and dates.”

    “But it’s important to know history,” Me’lin said. “Trust me, I never liked those classes either, but I got through them. They teach you how to write.”

    “I’m not sure if I’m learning how to write, or if it’s just to know names and dates,” Mykal commented. He didn’t see much point in memorizing any of that; it just didn’t seem important to him.

    “Well, I’m sure you’ll figure it out. You’ll do well tomorrow, so don’t worry,” Me’lin said in a soothing tone.

    “And then I have a project that I need to work on, along with math. Kortney is helping me with that . . .” Mykal said.

    “OK, Mykal, I’ve always wanted to ask you. I keep hearing about this girl, but I’ve never met her. Is she someone from school?”

    “Yes, ma’am,” Mykal said. “She’s my best friend.”

    “Not bad, Mykal, not bad,” Me’lin said. “Is she your girlfriend?”

    “Not really,” Mykal said with a shrug. “She just helps me with my homework.”

    “Sometimes relationships start over small things,” Me’lin commented. “Perhaps her helping you with homework could lead to something else. You never know. Like myself with Gark. I worked for him as a secretary for years before we finally realized that we liked each other. Some things happened in between, and eventually we got married. Now we’re here with a growing family. So you never know if something like that will come your way.”

    “I don’t know if that would really work out. She’s probably not in my league,” Mykal said.

    “Hey, you can still try,” Me’lin said. “Besides, I’d like to meet her. Sounds personable.”

    “You mean . . . invite her over?” Mykal asked.

    “Sure, why not?” Me’lin replied. “We’re willing to let a friend of yours in.”

    That made Mykal think. Could he invite Kortney over, as an actual friend would? Were they really friends to begin with, or just acquaintances?

    “I could,” he pondered.

    “Invite her over after school on the weekend. We’d love to meet her,” Me’lin said.

    Mykal’s speeder pulled up to the house, and he quickly got out of the speeder to open the door for Kortney. The junior girl laughed at Mykal’s extremely gentlemanly behavior, but appreciated the gesture. Mykal then helped her inside, opening the door and then swinging it open for her to enter first.

    “You have good manners, Mykal,” Kortney commented as she went inside.

    “I try to,” Mykal replied, closing the front door behind him.

    “This is a nice place,” Kortney said as she looked around, bobbing her head a little bit.

    “I’m home!” Mykal announced to the rest of the home.

    The first being to be seen was Galin, who had crossed the front door area on his way from the kitchen to his room. “Hi Mykal!” he said. He then stopped at the sight of the new girl. “Who are you?” he asked.

    “Kortney,” the junior said. “I take it you’re Mike’s little brother?”

    “Yep,” Galin said with a big grin. “He’s an awesome brother.”

    Then Me’lin poked her head around the corner. “Hi Mykal!” she said. Then she noticed Kortney. “Oh, hello there,” she said. Finally she came around the corner. “I take it you’re this Kortney Mykal keeps mentioning?”

    “Yes ma’am,” Kortney said.

    “Nice to meet you,” Me’lin said. She came over and shook Kortney’s hand. “I’m Me’lin, Mykal’s adoptive mom. And that’s Galin, he’s our son.”

    “Hi there, big guy,” Kortney said to the young Bothan. “How old are you?”

    “Five,” Galin said proudly. “Someday I’ll be old enough to play Limmie like Mykal does.”

    Kortney chuckled. “And I’m sure you’ll do a great job. I’m sure Mike will love to help you improve your game when you’re older.”

    “You bet,” Galin said, grinning widely again. He then went off to his room, leaving the other three in the doorway.

    “My husband is around here somewhere,” Me’lin commented. “Make yourself at home.”

    “Thank you,” Kortney said. She took a seat on the nearby sofa, and Me’lin disappeared from view momentarily.

    “Gark! Mykal’s home, and he brought a visitor!” the Twi’lek exclaimed.

    “Be there in a sec,” the voice of a Bothan came. Gark left the bathroom and made his way out to the front room. “Mykal,” he said with a nod.

    “Sir,” Mykal said with a nod back.

    “You don’t have to call me ‘Sir’,” Gark said with a wry grin.

    “Sorry. Just get carried away sometimes,” Mykal said apologetically.

    “It’s fine. So, you’re the nice girl who Mykal keeps talking about?” Gark asked, now looking at Kortney.

    “Yes, I am,” Kortney said.

    “Where are my manners?” Gark asked. He went over and extended his hand to Kortney. “Gark S’rily. I’m the General Manager for the Coruscant Senators Limmie club.”

    “Kortney Stammish. I’m a junior at Wylsonridge,” Kortney said. It was obvious that she was surprised to meet the Bothan, given how much of an icon he was on the planet.

    “Nice to meet you, Ms. Stammish,” Gark said. “Can I get you something from the kitchen?”

    “No, I’m fine, thanks,” Kortney said.

    “So, not to be invasive, but how did you two meet?” Gark asked.

    “Um . . .” Mykal started, but nothing came out.

    “Mykal saved me from my old boyfriend, who was trying to beat me up in the hallway one day at school,” Kortney said.

    “Hm, a bully?” Gark inquired.

    “It wasn’t a good idea ever getting together with him,” Kortney said. “Like I said to Mike a while ago, I was looking for a bad boy, and it turned out I didn’t need one.”

    “Mykal, was that when you were injured?” Gark asked. Mykal nodded.

    “I was stabbed,” he said.

    “And that was a result of this fight?” Gark asked. Again Mykal nodded. “You’re very brave, Mykal. But I would have liked to have known the truth about your injury. We could have taken you in for better treatment if we had known the cause of the issue.”

    “Sorry,” Mykal said quietly.

    “But it’s fine now,” Gark said. “It’s in the past.”

    “And then again at the party . . .” Kortney said, but she stopped before saying anything else.

    “The party where Mykal got detained by the police?” Gark asked, not amused.

    “It was my fault he was there, Mr. S’rily,” Kortney said. “I hope you didn’t treat him too badly as a result of that.”

    “We grounded him, and rightfully so,” Gark said, frowning. “We don’t want our kids to get into trouble. There is a no-tolerance policy from me.”

    “Well, it doesn’t mean much now with that party in the past, but I wanted to apologize to you for getting Mykal into that mess. It was my fault for underestimating your son, and for getting him into that situation.”

    “I appreciate the honesty, Ms. Stammish,” Gark said. “You do look familiar, though. Did we see you at the Limmie games?”

    “Yes,” Kortney replied. “I’m the captain of the school cheer squad.”

    “Ah, of course,” Gark said. “That’s where I recognized you from. You seemed familiar, but I couldn’t quite put the pieces together.

    “Mykal did a great job this year,” Kortney commented.

    “Yes he did, and we’re very proud of him,” Gark replied. “Galin especially, since his big brother is now a high school Limmie star.”

    “I wasn’t a star . . . still lost that playoff game . . .” Mykal said sheepishly.

    “Don’t cut yourself short, Mike,” Kortney said. “Sometimes we all have bad days. You still did a nice job that day.”

    “Bert says that you had a tough assignment,” Gark said. “Considering that you got that far in your first season of Limmie, that’s pretty damn good. Now you need to keep working to improve for next season.”

    “I won’t let the team down next year,” Mykal vowed.

    “You still have a lot of time to work on it,” Gark commented. “So, Ms. Stammish, tell us a bit more about yourself.”

    “I’m school body president, cheer squad captain, honor roll student . . . my parents want me to go to a Veragi League school . . .”

    “Very prestigious,” Gark said. “But again, I think it’s more about what you do with your education than where you get it from.”

    “I know, but they don’t see it that way,” Kortney said. “They think I’ll fail in life if I don’t go to a major institution. I just want to follow my own path, even if the means going to a less-expensive school. I’ll succeed no matter where I go, so I just want to make sure that it’s somewhere I want to go.”

    “Very overbearing?” Gark asked. Kortney nodded.

    “Mike has it good here,” she said. “Both of you,” she said, motioning to Me’lin as well as the Bothan, “are very supportive. I’ve heard nothing but positives about you from Mike over the past several months. I just wish I could say the same about my parents sometimes.”

    “I’m sure they have their reasons,” Me’lin offered.

    “If they do, it’s hard to figure that out,” Kortney said with a sigh.

    “Well, we try to be supportive as we can for Mykal,” Me’lin said. “It’s hard for him sometimes, since he’s still getting used to having a loving atmosphere in which to grow up in, but he’s making great strides. And I suppose we have you to thank for helping him get there.”

    “I’m just being a friend and helping out where I can,” Kortney said. “No need to give me all the credit.”

    “Placing where some credit is due,” Me’lin then countered. “As a result of all our efforts, Mykal is becoming a good student. We hope it bodes well for his future, and gets him into college. He deserves a good life. After all, he saved Galin’s life in a speeder accident many months ago.”

    “Really?” Kortney asked. She looked to Mykal.

    “I stopped the air bag from hitting him,” Mykal said. He looked down at the arm that he had used. “My arm got cut up, but I saved his life.”

    “You’re so brave, Mike,” Kortney said.

    “Just did what I had to,” Mykal said.

    “We’re very proud of him for what he’s been able to accomplish, and grateful for that act of kindness, even though we didn’t really know him at all when that happened,” Me’lin said.

    For the next twenty minutes, the four of them talked about various things, mostly the parents trying to get to know Kortney a little better. Mykal added a few things in, but for the most part he stayed quiet as the junior answered the questions.

    Gark finally excused himself to the kitchen, and Me’lin soon followed. Mykal turned on the Holo and watched some programming with Kortney. This allowed the boy’s adoptive parents a chance to talk.

    “She seems like a very nice girl,” Me’lin said.

    “Yes, very sincere. I’m surprised as anyone to find out that Mykal is friends with the captain of the cheer team,” Gark said. “I would have thought a girl like that would have been disinterested in a guy like him who is quiet and shy.”

    “But don’t complain, she seems very friendly,” Me’lin said. “Reminds me of myself in some ways. Willing to help out, being friendly . . . things like that.”

    “I just hope that Mykal isn’t getting too far in over his head here,” Gark then said after a pause.

    “How so?”

    “I’ve known a lot of athletic types, and many of them aren’t willing to keep relations like this up with those they deem to not be in their type cast.”

    “But Mykal is an athlete, Gark. That helps him here.”

    “I’m just worried that if she decides that she doesn’t like him, that he’ll be crushed. I don’t want him to get his hopes up here that she’ll remain his friend. Things could change at any time. I wish they wouldn’t, because Mykal deserves a friend like that, but I’ve seen too many things go wrong to say that he’s got a friend in the bag here for the long-term.”

    “I think she’s sincere,” Me’lin said.

    “She seems to be. I just hope that keeps up,” Gark said. “She sounds like she’s under a lot of pressure at home. It’s why I find that thought abhorring, forcing your children to achieve extremely high standards and killing their confidence. I would never do such a thing to Galin or the new baby, and especially not to Mykal.”

    “You don’t have even a little bit of faith in this working for Mykal?” Me’lin asked.

    “I have my doubts, yes,” Gark said.

    “And here I was about to ask Mykal if he wants to ask her out,” Me’lin said.

    “You obviously see this differently than I do,” Gark commented.

    “Of course. I think she would be a good girlfriend for him.”

    “That’s going a little far . . .”

    “And she would be a good addition to our family someday if it ever got to that point,” Me’lin finished.

    That startled Gark quite a bit. Me’lin thought Kortney could be added to the family after just meeting her an hour ago? That was something he never thought he would hear his wife admit. “What brought that around?”

    “She seems to be very attached to Mykal . . .”

    “That might not last, especially if he doesn’t save her in the trouble she keeps finding herself in.”

    “I didn’t let that possibility of inconsistency stop me from marrying you,” Me’lin pointed out.

    “This is different.”

    “How so?”

    “We had already hashed out a mutual respect for each other before we finally decided to go all-in,” Gark said.

    “And why can’t Mykal develop that with her? You aren’t seeing this my way, are you?”

    “Obviously not.”

    “Honey, I’m a loving wife, a mom of a five-year old, and an expectant mother all rolled into one. You can’t read women like I can. I can see that Kortney is a nice young woman just by the way she acts, and her background. She may have her faults, yes, but she still has time to iron those out. I see the positives, Gark. Mykal has found someone who obviously likes him. Don’t cut him short on that. We’re not asking him to marry her.”

    “Then what are you hinting at?”

    “I just think that Mykal would be a fool not to keep her around as a friend. Who knows, it could lead to more later on down the road,” the Twi’lek said with a shrug.

    “I can’t disagree with you on that,” Gark said.

    “Then let’s use this opportunity to talk to them. You talk to Mykal, I’ll talk to Kortney. We have the chance to try and get them on the same page.”

    “I just want Mykal to make his own decisions,” Gark protested, but his wife wasn’t having any of it.

    “We’re doing this, and that’s final,” she said.

    “Fine, geez,” Gark said. The two of them went back into the front room. “Mykal, I need to talk to you.”

    “OK,” the teen said.

    “Ms. Stammish, my wife would like to talk to you,” Gark said. Kortney stood up, confused, but followed Me’lin into the kitchen anyways, away from the men. Gark then sat down with Mykal. “Mykal, how much do you like Ms. Stammish?”

    “I like her,” Mykal said. “She’s nice.”

    “Your mom thinks that you’ve got something special going here, and that you need to keep working at it. Good friends are hard to come by, so I don’t want to see you let a good opportunity pass. If things just don’t work out, that happens, but make sure that you develop friendships.”

    “What are you asking?’ Mykal inquired.

    “We think that it will help you build some character, and some confidence. I think you’d be a fool to let Ms. Stammish go. At least maintain friendly relations with her. You’re doing a good job of that, as I can tell, and I want you to succeed.”

    “Does that mean that you and mom want me to . . . get together with her?” Mykal asked.

    “I have no idea what your mom wants you to do,” Gark said. “I’m here to just tell you to be friendly and respectful to Ms. Stammish. She seems like a nice girl, and I want you to be a good friend. If relations between you two ever got beyond regular friends, all the power to you. But I want you two to make that decision, not myself, your mom, or anyone else. Got that?”

    “Yes sir,” Mykal said.

    In the other room, Me’lin was talking to Kortney. “Mykal can be sensitive at times,” the Twi’lek said. “It’s the unfortunate part of his background. We’ve been trying to keep him thinking positively ever since we adopted him.”

    “I can do that,” Kortney said.

    “What it means is that being his friend could be hard at times. I don’t want to discount him, because he’s a nice kid, but when things get tough for him he retreats into his shell. It’s hard to dig him back out from there. Lots of progress has been made, but we still see it every now and then.”

    “Don’t worry,” Kortney said. “Mike can turn things around. He’s a great guy.”

    “Exactly. And I think you could help him out. You’re helping him with his homework, and being a friend for him when he really needs one. I appreciate what you’re doing for him.”

    “It’s nothing, really,” Kortney admitted. She then paused. “Not to really change subjects or anything . . . when are you due?” She motioned to the bulging stomach of the Twi’lek.

    Me’lin looked down at her abdomen. It was bulging out in a nice round bump now. “Probably about two months from now,” she replied.

    “Know the gender?” Kortney asked.

    “We’ve asked the doctors to not say anything about it. We’d like to be surprised. When the baby comes out, we’ll be ready.”

    “Good luck,” Kortney said. “I have several younger siblings, so I remember my mom’s later pregnancies, at least somewhat.”

    “They’re not the most fun times, I can assure you of that,” Me’lin said. “Your energy is drained, and you feel like crap sometimes.”

    “So I’ve heard,” Kortney said. “But I don’t think it will stop me. I want to be a mom someday.”

    “It’s quite the experience,” Me’lin commented. “Well worth the time and effort put into it.”

    “I’ll keep that in mind,” Kortney said. “I guess I’m just not ready for a major commitment like that yet. I still want to go to college and get an education before I look to have kids.”

    “Why do you think I’m having my pregnancies now?” Me’lin asked. “I went to college, got my degree, then finally found a good job for my skills. Then everything else fell into place. Met Gark, got married, started our family . . . it’s all a process.”

    “It sounds complicated,” Kortney said.

    “Don’t worry, you’ll get there,” Me’lin assured the high schooler. “Someday things will fall your way, and you’ll be glad you stuck it out.” Inside her mind, she was certainly hoping that said future for the girl was with her adopted son. Mykal deserved a girl like Kortney, she thought; beautiful, smart, willing to have children . . . it all fit for her. But that decision wouldn’t ultimately be made by her; it would be up to Mykal.

    When Kortney left that night, the two S’rilys weren’t quite sure what kind of impression they had left on Kortney, and Mykal was still somewhat confused. He hoped his adopted parents hadn’t blown it for him, and they hoped that the added encouragement would potentially allow their adopted teen to be able to keep a real friend. So it was all a waiting game until the dominos began to fall. Only then would they know the results of their action.
    Trieste likes this.
  13. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    Me'lin the matchmaker. Awesome. :D
  14. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    May 20, 2008
    Moving on to a completely different tangent. Or is that a cosine? :D

    TAGS to Trieste, Tim Battershell, jcgoble3

    Gark entered the Student Union building, his bags in hand. He felt very weighed down by them, but they were all he had right now. He had heard that college was going to be a very interesting experience, but he wasn’t necessarily sure if he wanted that. After all, he hadn’t had the easiest upbringing either. He knew his parents tried really hard to support their two children, but the teen also understood that he had to work hard in order to make a better life for himself.

    He joined the line of students, waiting to get the counter to pick up their room keys and identification cards. It was freshman move-in day at the Coruscant Trade University. As a trade school, it was a low-priced option college for those who preferred working with their hands. Yet it wasn’t a traditional trade school; this place was well-renowned for its academics as well as their certification programs. No need to go to a community college if you came here, because the professional programs were part of the curriculum to begin with. If you graduated from CTU, you were ready to join the workforce, something that couldn’t be said for most universities.

    Finally Gark got to the head of the line, and he waited for the teller to get up his information on the Holo terminal. “You get Memorial Hall, Floor 3, Room 324,” the teller, a rather bored-looking Chevin, said gruffly. “Here is your key. Get acquainted with the room, your roommate, and then prepare for classes next week. Register at the next station.”

    Gark took his key and followed the other students who had been ahead of him in line. They went to a Holo kiosk lab, where they started to register for classes. Gark knew why he was here; he wanted to be an accountant. He loved numbers, and although some math classes bored him, statistics was amazing to him. He loved finding values on probabilities, and had passed a test in high school to give him some college credit for independent study and be able to skip the intro sequence here at CTU. The front office told him to register for three classes to begin with, so Gark looked through the list of departments. He wasn’t interested in electives right now, and he didn’t have a care about most of the programs here like speeder repair or construction. Selecting the ‘Math/Statistics’ list, he perused the list of classes, finally settling on ‘Stats 201’, which he figured would be about his level. That was one class. Next he took a general education course, part of the school curriculum. It was a Galactic Studies course, which sounded just like a jock course. CTU had an athletics program, but it wasn’t a major part of the university. They were a Division III school, so they didn’t play the big-time schools with the scholarship athletes who would go pro someday. These athletes were here on partial scholarships, some full-ride if they were lucky, and would get their degree in four to five years and then go into the workforce.

    The third class was going to be the tough one. Should he take a language? Nah, he didn’t like those classes in high school. Another math course? It would have to be easy, since he didn’t want two at the same time that would challenge him. An elective was possible here, but he finally decided against that and chose a math course. It would be a tough first term on campus, but if he could get the general math requirements done first, he would be able to focus more on his career path in his sophomore year. Accounting classes weren’t opened to him as a first-term freshman unless he had these prerequisites first, so those would have to wait. Right now, he had to get settled in.

    After leaving the lab, he made his way across campus to the Memorial Hall, where his dorm room was. The campus wasn’t the nicest place, but it would do for what he needed. It was his first time away from home, and he felt nervous. His parents weren’t going to be here to offer their support, and his sister was still too young for college, now a junior in high school. So he was on his own for the first time ever, and Gark was afraid of what he would find. What if he couldn’t handle it? What if he needed to go to a community college to be nearer home? Then again, he didn’t want to be near home. Home was tough; although his parents were very loving to him, the neighborhood could have been better. He and Ryal had spent a lot of time at the local youth club, to keep them off the streets. It was a rough life, and he wanted to find a profession that would help him get out of that grind. This was the first step towards that.

    He took the stairs up two floors to the third floor, and he was gassed by the time he got there. The bags were even heavier now, and he wasn’t in good physical shape. He hated PE, or what there was in high school. They had gym once a week because of funding cuts in the school district, and that was done out in the school courtyard because there was no proper gym. Half the time it was deemed unsafe for use because it was falling apart; the only times it was used was for indoor sports, and even then games were known to be suspended because of falling ceiling tiles. So it hadn’t been a pleasant experience for the Bothan growing up.

    He made his way down the hall, filled with freshmen like himself now milling around. They had a week to get settled before classes started. Gark didn’t say anything and went to his new dorm room. Setting two bags down, he was able to get the key into the lock, and then he turned. The lock clicked, but nothing happened. Gark then pushed the door open; it had been unlocked the whole time. Rolling his eyes, he entered the room. It was unfurnished except for two beds on opposite ends of the room . . . or at least one side wasn’t. The other was now being covered in all sorts of things by a dark-skinned human boy near the window. Gark slowly approached, then setting his bags down on the floor. The boy turned at the sound.

    “You the new roommate?” he asked. He had bushy hair on his head and some sideburns.

    “I guess so,” Gark replied. “Room 324?”

    “You’re in the right place,” the boy said, a smile on his face. “Let me introduce myself. Ondal Nalcrissan, accounting major. What’s your name?”

    “Gark. S’rily,” Gark said as he took a deep breath and took the final bag off his shoulders, which had been digging into his shoulder. “I’m doing accounting too.”

    “Cool!” Ondal exclaimed. “That means we can help each other with homework and stuff.”

    “Yeah, I guess so,” Gark said with a shrug.

    “I hope you don’t mind me putting stuff up already,” Ondal said. He went back to his plastering of things on the wall. “We’re here all year, so I might as well make it like home.”

    “We have all week,” Gark offered.

    “I don’t want to spend all week decorating. Gotta get it done now so I can find out what’s cool here on campus before classes start.” Ondal tacked another poster onto the wall.

    “Like finding the library, the classrooms, and the Records desk?” Gark asked.

    “No, man,” Ondal said, shaking his head. “Gotta find the cafeteria, since I love to eat. I hear college food is crap, but let’s just see. And then I gotta find if there are any Co-Ed houses . . . ya know, find the hot girls on campus.”

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

    “It’s what I meant,” Ondal said indignantly. “What’s the point of being a warm-blooded college boy if you’re not looking to pick up chicks?”

    “I’ll just study,” Gark said. “I want to graduate; made a promise to the parents to finish in four years.”

    “Oh come on, you won’t be able to study all the time,” Ondal replied. “Besides, you might be able to find a girl you really dig. Who knows?”

    “That won’t happen.”

    “Why not?”

    “Let’s just say I’m not that kind of guy,” Gark said. It was true; he had only been on one date before, and that was one that both parties knew wasn’t going anywhere. It had been more out of pity than anything else on the girl’s part.

    “You’ll never know until you get there,” Ondal said.

    It was only the first day, and Gark already knew that it was going to be a long school year. He just hoped that he was ready for this.
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  15. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    Now that's a flashback! Let's see where this goes. :D
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  16. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    It took me a second to realize this was a flashback, but then obviously Ondal showed up. This is going to be fun!
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  17. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    May 20, 2008
    First of the Gark College Bites

    TAGS to Tim Battershell, Trieste, jcgoble3

    It was the second week of the term, and Gark was already into the thick of things in his classes. The statistics class seemed to be easy enough, but the other two were giving him some issues. He wasn’t sure if it was the course material, having to be away from home, or something else entirely. All he knew was that it just didn’t quite feel right.

    All of a sudden, Ondal burst into the room, excited about something. Gark still wasn’t sure to what to make of his roommate, except that he wasn’t working nearly as hard as the Bothan was. “Hey, dude, the Limmie game is on at the stadium in an hour! Come on, it’ll be cool!”

    “I don’t know,” Gark said. “I’ve got homework to get done.”

    “Don’t tell me you’re going to spend a perfectly good day stuck indoors confined to your textbooks,” Ondal said. He leaned on the side of Gark’s desk, and since it wasn’t that great a piece of furniture, it started to move a little bit in his direction. Realizing his mistake, Ondal finally let go, and the desk snapped back into place. Unfortunately that threw Gark’s textbook off the desk, and it landed on the floor.

    “It’s not like I wouldn’t go, but . . .”

    “You’re busy?” Ondal asked, not amused. Gark just nodded.

    “I don’t want to fail in my classes.”

    “We’re only two weeks in. You’re not going to fail,” Ondal reassured him.

    “Not going to take that chance. Have fun at the game,” Gark said.

    Ondal just shook his head. “All right, then, I will.”

    Several hours later, Ondal came back into the room, noticeably subdued. “How’d it go?” Gark asked. He was sitting on his bed reading a book.

    “It was miserable,” Ondal said. “The other team ripped our guys a new one out there.”

    “Glad I didn’t go, then,” Gark replied. He had never gotten into Limmie, and if the team was that bad, then he wasn’t going to spend time at the stadium.

    “But it’s not always about the game results, it’s the experience,” Ondal said. “And that was great. You have no idea how many students were there. It was like a party, just without the small venue. Open air, lots of noise, it was great.”

    “Not my kind of thing, I guess,” Gark said with a shrug. He had never been much for the party scene.

    “You need to learn to leave your books behind at some point and just live it up a little. Dude, you’re in college now; time to mix it up and start up a few new habits.”

    “I’m not going to let anything get in the way of me graduating,” Gark said. “Besides, this is a hell of a lot more fun than growing up. I feel in no way interested in doing much until I get my grades in order, and then I can relax. Only then. But it’s still first term, and I want to make sure that I’m in good shape going forward.”

    “You know, I’m going to get you out at some point into the real world,” Ondal said as he sat down on his own bed. “I promise you that. You’re too smart to just sit around here like a recluse.”

    “Maybe next term,” Gark said.

    “Some point this term,” Ondal rebutted.

    “We shall see,” Gark said as he returned to his book. It wasn’t a great read, but from the sound of it the reading was more satisfying than the game. He looked out the window; it was raining now, so going outside wasn’t going to be fun. He still wasn’t sure what to make of college except that it was different from anything he had ever done before.
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  18. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Somehow, I totally think this is what Ondal looked like partying it up in the student section of the game.
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  19. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    May 20, 2008
    TAGS to Trieste, Tim Battershell, jcgoble3

    Gark waited at his desk for the midterm tests to be handed back to the students. It was his statistics course, the one he was finding oddly difficult, and he was sure that he hadn’t done as well as he had wanted to on it. It probably had something to do with Ondal, he guessed, but then again he hadn’t slept well the night before, and now he was nervous about the grade he had received. It was his first college test, and he wanted to pass it with flying colors. A good start meant everything here.

    However, as he quickly came to realize, the tests weren’t going to be handed back on flimsy like they had been in high school. They were coming back on the datapad, or at least were being posted to the student account. So most of the other students had packed their things and were leaving before Gark realized what he was doing. A few students from the next class filtered in, and Gark rushed to get out of there before he was caught in the wrong class.

    He finally went to the Holo lab to check on his grades, but remembered that he had to get some food first before his next class, which was in three hours. So he went back to the dorm room. He went down the hall, and could hear the crazy antics of the students three rooms down the hall from his. They were always up to some ludicrous stunt, and it sounded like they were cooking up another plot.

    When he got into his room, he found that Ondal was already back. He had been one of the first to leave that classroom, and was frowning. “What’d you get?” he asked when Gark entered the room.

    “I don’t know. Haven’t checked yet,” Gark said with a shrug. “You look grim.”

    “I got a D,” Ondal said. For once, he didn’t look amused at such a bad grade.

    “I thought you were fine with that,” Gark said as he sat down at his desk.

    “I would be, but the class is getting difficult. I don’t know if I want to do any more statistics,” Ondal said bluntly. “I’m thinking of switching majors.”

    “To what?”

    “Business. I can’t match these brainiacs with their math abilities, but I can do management. Moving people around to solve a task is easy compared to taking a few tests of numbers and gibberish.”

    “But you have to finish this course first,” Gark said. “And with a D on your test, that’s going to be hard. You need to study more and hang out less.”

    “I just need to find my niche,” Ondal said. “Someday I’ll find it, just you wait and see. Someday, they’ll all say ‘Look at that Ondal guy, he’s a successful businessman without needing stupid math courses.’”

    “You’ll still have math in the business track,” Gark reminded his roommate. “Just not as much STAT.”

    “And that’s how I like it,” Ondal replied.

    Gark opened up his student account, and found that he had one new grade in the logbook. He opened the link, and then closed his eyes. He didn’t want to see anything until the grade came up on the screen. When he finally decided it was time to open them, he looked at the letter grade. ‘B’ was all it said. He took a sigh of relief; his GPA was saved.

    “What’d you get?” Ondal demanded.

    “A ‘B’,” Gark replied. That was what he had needed to see; he hadn’t done terribly after all.

    “You lucky frakker,” Ondal said.

    “I just studied hard,” Gark said. “And pay attention in class. Something you need to do more of.”

    “I’ll get there,” Ondal said. “So, you wanna hang out tonight over at the theater? They’re showing an awesome movie.”

    “I think you need to stay back here and study,” Gark said dismissively.

    “Such a killjoy,” Ondal said, rolling his eyes. But Gark had already said his piece; Ondal needed to study more if he was to succeed, that was all there was to it.
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  20. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    May 20, 2008
    Back to Gark's story:

    TAGS to Tim Battershell, jcgoble3, Trieste

    Gark tossed and turned in his hammock, unable to fall asleep. It was a very short ride from Ralltiir back to Coruscant, but since it was the middle of the night, the players and staff were all sleeping so that they could get on with their day when they got back to the Galactic Capital. But Gark couldn’t figure out how to stay asleep; he simply had too many things in the back of his mind that were dogging him incessantly.

    He regretted sleeping with his Chiss assistant the night before; that hadn’t been the best of judgment on his part, but at the time it seemed very useful, very pleasuring in a time of confusion for him. He had needed a warm body with him, and she had been willing and open to the idea, even if it was in exchange for a fee. He had partaken mostly because he was ignorant, or maybe it was because he was lonely. Whatever the case, he had done the deed, and now he was sitting here unable to sleep in the dark and the sounds of players snoring.

    When he drifted off the sleep finally out of exhaustion, he was immediately bombarded by dreams. The first one replayed everything about his affair the prior night, but this dream went on to the aftermath. He dreamed of the Chiss woman coming to him angrily about a month or so later claiming that she was now pregnant because of him. When the news broke, he received a message from Me’lin saying firmly that she was leaving him, and taking their children with her. He then returned home to see the burned-out shell of his home, likely torched in her anger at his conduct.

    He quickly awoke from that with sweat drenching his fur, and when he fell asleep again, a second nightmare followed. It was similar to the one he had experienced some time earlier, with Me’lin being married to another man. He wasn’t trapped on the couch this time, but all the same he had to watch as the Twi’lek took her vows with another man, the end of his relationship with her. Again he woke up all sweaty, and this time he got up. He couldn’t keep experiencing these things. He had to find a way to cope.

    He went into the refresher and just stood there, looking at himself in the mirror. What was he doing, he wondered. What had he become? A simple mistake on his part was now spiraling out of control; the gambling misconduct had come to life, his wife didn’t trust him and had damned him to the couch, and now he was sleeping with other women and forgetting what he had was the most important thing in his life. He was seeking a quick-fix, but deep down the cold, hard fact remained: he had to rectify things, but it wouldn’t be easy. No doubt Me’lin was still angry at him for his conduct. He didn’t blame her; she had every right to be mad at him for gambling behind her back, even betting against his own team once and profiting from it.

    But the question was how to win her back. This wasn’t something that would just happen overnight; this was a trust issue, and in any relationship trust was one of the hardest commodities to achieve. He would have to pick his battles and make sure that he didn’t screw up this time. His family, his very being, now hung in the balance.

    He wondered what Galin would hear growing up from his mother, that his father was no longer around because he was untrustworthy. How would that taint the boy’s maturity? He would likely curse his name and the man whom had made him possible, the wretched father he never really had. Mykal likely wouldn’t take it as hard, but then again, it was another act of betrayal against him that could easily send him down further into the dark depths of life. He had worked so hard to get this far, and didn’t need something to kill that progress. What about the new baby? They would never know him if Me’lin decided to divorce her husband while still pregnant. He wanted to be there for the child, wanted to make sure that his wife wasn’t alone in her time of need.

    So the question remained; what to do? He finally went back to sleep, but the next day was haunted by this query. Instead of going home, he decided to stay at a hotel for a day, to buy himself more time before going home. But this night didn’t help him at all; he needed more time. So he spent a second night there, once again cast off from his home. He had done this exercise in relationship-building before, but at that time his wife at least seemed somewhat open to him. But right now she was shut off from his point of view, and likely didn’t care what he was up to. He had to make it up to her, had to make things right. That was the only logical conclusion here.

    Finally he went home, but he didn’t see much of his wife. She tried to stay out of his way, and when he attempted to speak to her, pushed him aside. The Bothan couldn’t believe that she could hold that much of a grudge against him, but knew that he deserved it. If only he could figure out a way to get her back on his side, he contemplated as he fell asleep on the couch once more.
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  21. Tim Battershell

    Tim Battershell Jedi Master star 5

    Sep 3, 2012
    Needs a crisis only Super Bothan can resolve, methinks!
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  22. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    At this rate, Me'lin would only wind up complaining that he wasn't spending enough time with the family if he went Super Bothaning and conveniently forget that the atmosphere at home wasn't a great one to be in. I do have to say, things never come easy for Gark.
  23. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    May 20, 2008
    TAGS to Tim Battershell, jcgoble3, Trieste

    “Mommy, when is Dad getting home?” Galin asked for about the fifteenth time. It had been several weeks since the credits that Gark had earned while gambling on Limmie games had arrived at the S’rily home, and Me’lin was still angry at her husband for his conduct. How he could do such a low thing, she didn’t know; at least when he had taken that off-world trip to Balfron before the season he had admitted that he gambled. It had been part of the territory. But gambling behind her back, and then lying about not knowing what was in the case or how to open it, that’s what bugged her. The fact he didn’t want her knowing about his activities is what bugged her most, and she was afraid that it wasn’t the only thing he was keeping from her.

    “I don’t know,” she finally said to her son. “It’s all on him. It’s his fault he’s not here right now.”

    “What did he do?” Galin asked.

    Me’lin wanted to be truthful for the young boy, but she didn’t want to say why Gark had been more or less banished from the house. “He hasn’t been a good friend recently,” she finally said.

    “How so?”

    “He did things that I did not approve of.”

    “Why does that matter?” Galin asked.

    “Because when you’re close friends as Gark and I are, it hurts to have them do something that can potentially hurt you, physically or emotionally.”

    “What do those mean?”

    “Something that hurts, or makes you want to cry.”

    “Oh,” Galin said, finally understanding the concepts, at least to some degree. He likely wouldn’t understand the reason why the Twi’lek was actually doing this, so there was no need to explain fully. As long as the boy understood that Gark had hurt his wife in some way, then that was likely enough. “When is he coming back?”

    “I don’t know,” Me’lin said again. “Please stop asking me that question.”

    “But I miss him,” Galin said, pouting. He hadn’t seen much of his father in the past three weeks. What little time Gark had been able to spend with his son was now getting cut into even more. The five-year old likely felt abandoned.

    “We all do,” Me’lin said. “But he needs to figure out his priorities before he comes back, needs to be a better friend. You see, Galin, you need to be a good friend to others so that they don’t turn their back on you. Your father wasn’t a good friend, though, and right now he’s having to make up for that.”

    “Mommy isn’t the greatest friend either,” Galin said snidely.

    “Watch your words, Galin,” Me’lin said bluntly. “Don’t you blame me for this.”

    “Why can’t Mommy and Daddy just get back on the same page?” Galin asked. “It’s easy to do.”

    “Not as easy as you think. Now go and do your homework,” Me’lin said. Galin sulked as he walked away, his backpack in tow. Obviously he wasn’t in the mood to work on anything right now, even though it was easy work from kindergarten. If he had anything, it was likely basic math . . . very basic.

    But Me’lin wasn’t finished with this line of thought. Galin wouldn’t let her hear the end of it that Gark wasn’t home. The young boy idolized his father, even if he wasn’t always around. Whether that had more to do with Superbothan or the team, she wasn’t sure, but in either case Galin connected more readily with him than with her. And she couldn’t blame him; she was the one he was around more, and he likely had developed a level of comfort around her that she took for granted. He likely needed another presence, one that was harder to get; the fatherly presence he was now lacking. And she couldn’t help him get it. He was on his own for that one.

    Yet, the Twi’lek knew it was somewhat her fault. She had forced Gark out of the house like this; although the team had been out of town, and he had gone with them, it was likely that he was staying away from home for a reason. She hadn’t exactly been hospitable towards him after the reveal of the credits, and rightfully so. She was angry that he would do such a thing, and figured that it was the right response to the situation. She didn’t know if her actions were secretly splitting them apart, or if Gark was truly missing out on his life without her.

    She sat down on the sofa in the silence, trying to collect her thoughts. The mass in her belly shifted slightly, and she reached down to calm it. This was one thing she didn’t like about being pregnant; always having another mass to deal with other than her own.

    She should have expected this connection between her and Gark to be somewhat frayed from the beginning, she thought. After all, she had willingly married him after he had faked his death and barely escaped the same fate in the Siege of the Senate. She knew what she had been getting into; if he lived like that, there was a decent chance that he wouldn’t come home one day from his superhero antics. That had hung over her, but the thought that maybe he would give up the cape and mask and provide for her had been enough to pacify her doubts. She loved him, and he her. That had been the reason she had decided to do this, to seal the pact between the two of them that was to last for eternity. She wanted to be with him, and that would never change.

    People had said she was crazy for marrying him. Here she was, simply a secretary, and he, a famous icon. He was marrying a woman just for her looks and her body, some likely had said, a pretty face in the office that he didn’t really like but wanted to have sex with almost every night. But she had known differently; she knew him a lot better than others gave them credit for. And she wanted to be with him, just the two of them living together in a bond of mutual love and respect. That’s all she wanted, because she knew that hard she had cried when she thought he had died. She couldn’t stand the thought of losing him then, and even now that still rang true.

    She could vividly remember those days spent crying into her pillow as everything seemed to crumble around her. Her eye muscles had gotten sore, the tears becoming painful after a while. People had come to her door to try and cheer her up, but she wouldn’t admit them inside. She had wanted to be alone, alone in her wretched misery. And then, out of the blue, she had heard Gark’s voice, which she thought to be a specter coming in from an ethereal realm. But he was indeed there. She could also not forget how hopeful she was to hear that he was alive, and that her dream was still burning. Everything between that moment and Gark’s proposal were a blur in her mind, because she had been so overcome with emotion that she wasn’t quite thinking straight.

    Yet the relationship they shared had been off-kilter ever since they wed in the 272 offseason. A mixture of crazed enemies, tensions between the two coming anywhere from time spent away from home to Trimfian issues, and the kidnapping of she and her son by Binn Kinshry’s thugs had forced them both apart many times. They had been able to reconcile after every time, but sometimes she wondered if love could keep them together without any other help. Because she despised Gark’s willingness to get into danger, and was terrified of him being away from home without her too long. She had seen the Holo shows, the ones where the stud husband was off sleeping with supermodels while the wife was stuck at home wondering where he was and if their relationship could last. She didn’t want to speculate that Gark was sleeping with another woman, but the possibility lurked in the back of her mind. She wanted to swat at it, to make it go away, but it wouldn’t leave. Could Gark be capable of such a thing? Could he take her anger at him and turn it into a desire for another woman?

    In her anger over the credits, she had threatened divorce. This had likely shaken Gark to his core, but now the Twi’lek was starting to worry that he had taken it a bit too far. Was he looking to find an excuse to make her leave him so that he could quickly re-marry? What would happen if he showed up on the doorstep with a new wife in hand, ready to take back the house he had bought for his first wife? Where would she and the rest of her family go? How could she take care of Galin and the new baby if Gark then cut her loose from the team to remove the scars of her infidelity? It all scared her.

    But at the time, it had made sense. Gark had been forced to open the briefcase, had spilled his guts to keep her from leaving. Perhaps he was suffering greatly at the hands of his decision, and the Twi’lek wished that he was. She wanted him to know the consequences of his actions, and how they had hurt their relationship. They had spent some time in the last five years arguing over things, but they had finally realized that it wouldn’t do them any good to drive further apart because they needed each other. Deep down Me’lin realized that she needed her husband, and that he needed her. They were supposed to be inseparable, and she desperately wanted him back. But only if he cleaned up his act, only if he realized the wrongfulness of his actions and worked to rectify them. Only then would she welcome him back, when he realized that she was the most important thing in his life. Until then, he would likely stay away.

    She rubbed her stomach gently with both hands, trying to calm her nerves with thoughts of the new child that she would someday give birth to. It was half her, and half of Gark, and that would never change. She thought about Galin and about Mykal, and then about herself. Could she continue this cycle and potentially push Gark further away from her? Could she learn to forgive him and let him back into the home? He was still in her heart, but she wasn’t sure how much it would take for him to return to his normal place in her life.

    The only question was how such a thing was possible. Because Me’lin S’rily wanted her husband. What she didn’t know was how to get him back, and how to make sure he still wanted her.

    And that was an even bigger quandary.
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  24. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    Great introspection. =D=
  25. Jedi Gunny

    Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    May 20, 2008
    TAGS to Tim Battershell, jcgoble3, Trieste

    Galin S’rily was conflicted. Over the last few weeks, his life seemed to have taken another odd chapter when his father decided to not show up to the house for several weeks. His mother didn’t give him any level of comfort except that the elder Bothan was not “being a good friend”, whatever that meant. For the five-year old, all he knew was that he was going to school, living at home without his father, and confused about the whole thing. And that didn’t sit well with him.

    Something had changed after the All-Star break. He had gone with his family to Carratos for the event, and everything seemed alright in the galaxy at that time. But that next week, everything went upside down. Things in the house political scene got much tenser, and even though he didn’t know the causal factors of the grudge between his parents, he knew that they were at a tipping point about something. Nothing was said about why they were at odds with each other, but he really didn’t care what the issue at hand was. He just wanted his father back.

    It seemed like a complicated item that he had been wanting for some time. His father wasn’t always around; with the Limmie team that he was controlling, plus this mysterious land of “a day job” that the boy didn’t understand, he didn’t have a lot of time to be home. He saw his mother a lot more, but sometimes he was off at school under the supervision of neither. School was OK in his mind, but they made him do homework there, and naps were no longer as prevalent in the daily schedule. He wasn’t sure if it made him crankier or just more tired. Whatever it was, he still wanted a more stable home life.

    Something in the back of his mind reminded him of days where he never thought he would see his father again. The memories seemed a little fuzzy, but he could remember something about bars, a cell, bad men . . . his mother weeping in the corner. He had still not found a way to suppress the memories of the thugs, how they had destroyed his confidence . . . how they had driven him to the point of starvation. And he remembered his mother being shattered by what they did to her, how she had snapped at him and tried to drive him away. He didn’t understand how they had hurt her, but could understand how she had reacted. She had been angry, full of spite over something. She was hurt more than he could imagine, and he had been the whipping boy at that time for her rage. It still stung him to remember her coarse words directed at him, trying to push him away when he needed a friend. No, he would never forget those raw emotions.

    Even after those memories ended, he still didn’t recall his father being home a lot. It always seemed like he was busy with something, and no matter how much he asked, the elder Bothan wasn’t going to spend as much time with him as he wanted. It was an exercise in futility, it seemed. But he wanted to be cared for by both parties, wanted his father to spend more time with him. Because he idolized the man, both for his team and for the superhero named after him. He had always idolized his father. But sometimes it seemed like that wasn’t enough. He wanted something that looked like would never come.

    And then there was the question of his mother. He kept noticing how she looked somewhat different these days, but he couldn’t quite tell why. Finally she had sat him down and explained something about a new sibling, and then rubbed her stomach to prove her point. It seemed different, yes, but Galin didn’t quite get what she was hinting at from those words. The only thing he could understand was that another child would be on the way to life in the house, and that it probably would cut into his already-limited face time with his father. Mykal didn’t speak when the boy asked him about what Mom meant, either because he didn’t know or he wasn’t going to grace his younger brother with an answer.

    Galin didn’t understand why his parents would have another child. He had no idea where they came from, and why another one was so attractive to them. He had been used to being the only child in the house, and the addition of Mykal had changed things. But what a baby would bring to the table, he had no clue. All he could figure was that he wouldn’t like it that much. He had asked his mother why she was having another baby, and she had just laughed a little bit and ruffled his head fur like his father always did and just said something about it “being because she loved his father”. Now he was even more convinced that he was getting squeezed out.

    All he wanted was more attention, but he wasn’t sure if he was going to get it soon, if ever. His father wasn’t coming home often, and when he did he seemed separated, detached from the rest of the home.

    For a five-year old who should have been in good shape, Galin S’rily was not in great shape. He missed his father, he missed his life. And he simply just wanted it back.
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