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Saga - OT Stuck with You - OC Rebel Pilots, Fanfic Olympics Decathlon

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Thumper09, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Title: Stuck with You
    Author: Thumper09
    Characters: OC Rebel X-wing pilots
    Timeframe: approx. 1 ABY

    The stories in this thread are my responses to the 2020 Fanfic Olympics for the Star Wars Decathlon. Events and links to their specific posts are below.

    My decathlon focuses on a wingpair of X-wing pilots: Flight Officer Darin “Thumper” Stanic, Corona Nine; and Flight Officer Hentil “Quiver” Yanilr, Corona Ten. These are my two main OCs. The stories take place in the OT era, roughly 1 ABY, on a Rebel MC80 Mon Calamari Cruiser called Crescent Star. Darin’s R5 droid is Botch, and Quiver’s R2 droid is Sonic. I’ve tried to make these stories standalone so previous knowledge of the characters (hopefully) isn’t needed.

    Constructive criticism is welcome. Star Wars is owned by Disney, etc. etc.

    ---------------------------------------

    Star Wars Decathlon

    400 Word Cross Country: 400 words about your character, couple, family or friendship with any theme.

    110 Word Hurdle: 110 words in which the name or names of your character, family, friendship or couple aren’t mentioned.

    Prime Time Coverage: 500+ words of action, adventure, or excitement with your chosen character, friendship, family or couple as the star.

    1500 Word Dash: A 1500 word story about your character, family, friendship or couple with any theme.

    100 Word Sprint: A 100 word drabble about your character, family, friendship or couple using any theme.

    AU Archery: A story of at least 100 words set in an alternate universe with your character, family, friendship, or couple.

    Fantastical Fencing: A story of at least a 100 words involving your character, family, friendship or couple in which something fantastical happens.

    4x100 Relay: 4x100 words on the four types of love (affection, intimacy, friendship, and charity) as experienced by your character, family, friendship or couple in one post.

    200 Freestyle: A 200 word story about your character, family, friendship or couple with a free choice of any theme.

    Single Sentence Shot Put: A story told in a single sentence about your character, family, friendship or couple.

    ------------------------
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  2. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    1500 Word Dash: A 1500 word story about your character, family, friendship or couple with any theme.


    Flight Officer Darin "Thumper" Stanic shut off his X-wing’s engines when the cockpit’s display indicated the diagnostic was finished. As the whine died down, Darin leaned out and called down to his crew chief, “Program’s complete. Everything sounded and felt fine. How’s it look?”

    Sergeant Ritter was studying a datapad. Cables streamed from it to test stations and data sensor hook-ups in the starfighter. “Everything looks good,” Ritter said after a moment. “I think we’re set.”

    “All right.” Darin powered down his fighter and gave it an affectionate pat before he climbed out and jumped down the access ladder to the hangar deck of the Mon Cal Cruiser Crescent Star. It was so much easier to extricate himself from the cockpit when wearing just his beige general duty uniform like this instead of all his flight gear.

    Ritter glanced up when Darin came over. “Looks like that last tweak did it,” Ritter said. He pointed to the readout of the graphical data, and Darin was glad to see that the jagged lines had indeed smoothed out to the gentle curves his engines’ power supply system was supposed to have. “You shouldn’t get those power fluctuations anymore.”

    “Great. Thanks for getting that fixed. This’ll be so much better,” Darin said gratefully. Those power issues had caused problems on his last few flights. “What else can I help with?”

    Ritter shook his head. “We’ll get all this cleaned up, sir. It’s lunchtime. Go grab your food.”

    “Are you sure? I can stay,” Darin said. Mechanical work was objective, black and white, a comfort in a grey world where he often felt out of place and overwhelmed.

    “Nah, we’re good. Besides, I’m surprised that wingman of yours hasn’t been blowing up your comm looking for you to go eat.”

    Darin chuckled. “I told him I’d be late today. But you’re right, that’s never stopped him when food’s waiting. His silence must mean CC’s already there for him to eat with.”

    Ritter raised an eyebrow. “Well, good thing that combination never causes trouble.”

    Darin grinned back. “At least you get to just be a spectator to it. All right, I’ll head out. Let me know if you need anything this afternoon.”

    “Will do, sir. Thanks.”

    Darin scrubbed the oil and grease from that morning’s repair work off his hands before walking to the ship’s mess hall. On the way, his comlink beeped. It could be anything, but somehow he figured Ritter was about to be right. He pulled it out of his pocket and answered it with, “Stanic.”

    “Hey, Thumper, it’s me,” Quiver replied. “It’s lunchtime. You coming?”

    “Yeah, I’m on my way now. I told you I’d be late, remember?”

    “You did? Oh, right, you did. Well, anyway, good. We went ahead and got your food for you. The line was light.”

    “Okay, thanks. I’ll be right there,” Darin said.

    “I hope so. I’m hungry.”

    “So start eating.”

    “CC won’t let me until you’re here. Can you hurry, rookie?” Quiver pleaded.

    Darin sighed. “Be right there,” he repeated before turning off the comlink.

    Several minutes later Darin walked up to their usual table. As he approached, he could see his two best friends in their normal seating arrangement. His wingman, Flight Officer Hentil “Quiver” Yanilr, was lounging on one side, his back to Darin, twirling a fork casually through his fingers while he talked to CC. Even from behind, the lanky pilot’s messy, overgrown blond crew cut was recognizable. Flight Officer Chryse “CC” Cerac sat across the table from Quiver, leaving the seat on her left open for Darin. Whatever Quiver was saying, she seemed to be disagreeing with it. That was a favorite game of hers, regardless of her true opinion on any given matter.

    CC spotted Darin over Quiver’s shoulder and straightened up when she did. She pushed her shoulder-length black hair back out of the way. “About time, Thumper,” she teased when Darin got within earshot in the noisy mess hall. At CC’s words, Quiver looked behind him.

    Everything was so normal that the one very abnormal thing took a second to register in Darin’s brain, and once it did, he stopped short. A bucket full of water and a plate heaped with what looked like some sort of yellowish leafy vegetable... thing were set at his spot on the table. He should have known better than to trust Quiver’s intentions. “What’s this?” Darin asked, taking the last few skeptical steps to the table.

    Now that he was paying closer attention, Darin noticed that CC was trying very hard not to laugh. Quiver grinned a grin that was too innocent to be believed. “Your lunch!” Quiver answered proudly.

    Darin sighed and rolled his eyes. Another prank, though a pretty mild one. “Before I go get my real food, you mind explaining what I’m looking at?”

    “Aw, no, come on, I scrounged hard for this! Called in favors and everything. I guarantee you’ll like it! The book says so!” Quiver insisted.

    “What book?” Darin asked warily, though he wasn’t sure he wanted to know the answer. The line was a total set-up.

    “This book!” Quiver grinned again while he presented a datapad as though it was his punch line.

    Darin read the title displayed on the screen: The Care, Feeding, and Training of Cracian Thumpers. Then he turned a dry look on Quiver. “Ha ha,” he said wryly. “Very funny. Here, CC.” Darin pushed the bucket of water in front of her. “You always steal one of my drinks, so there you go.” He turned and walked to the food line to get a meal he could actually ingest.

    When Darin got back to his table, Quiver was frantically scrolling through the datapad. “This isn’t good. This isn’t good,” Quiver was saying to himself. “Where is it? Where’s the section that says what to do when your thumper goes off his feed?”

    “Easy, Quiver, easy, it’ll be okay,” CC cooed. She patted his lower arm soothingly. “We’ll figure it out.”

    “But you saw what happened! He refused his food! Didn’t even touch it!”

    CC thought for a moment. “We can always stick a tube down his nose to his stomach and force-feed him. A thumper’s physiology allows that, doesn’t it?”

    Darin pushed aside the plate of leafy things to make room for his regular tray and sat, then he took the datapad out of Quiver’s hands. Quiver and CC couldn’t keep straight faces any longer and laughed.

    “Pleesh, why in the galaxy do you even have this?” Darin asked. He began scrolling through it. It looked like something his thumper-crazy younger sister would have had.

    “CC bartered for it and got it for me as a surprise. It’s too perfect,” Quiver replied. “Now I won’t make any more mistakes with you; it’s teaching me a lot. For instance, it says thumpers learn best by command repetition. So go get me a new juice.” Quiver held his empty glass out to Darin.

    Darin gave him a look. “No.”

    “Juice.”

    “No.”

    “Juice.”

    “No.”

    “Juice!”

    “No!”

    “Bad Thumper!”

    Quiver kicked him in the shin, and Darin yelped. “Ow!”

    “Now, Quiver,” CC scolded. “Punishment is not the best way to train them!”

    “Well, sorry, CC, but I didn’t know that because somebody has my book,” Quiver said pointedly, sending a mock glare at Darin. “I haven’t finished reading the training chapters yet.”

    Darin went back to looking through the book’s contents, already forgetting about his lunch. The so-called real food wasn’t too appetizing either. “Oh, hey, look! This book was originally published and distributed from Craci Three. And-– ooh, the caption says that picture was taken there. I wonder if they have any from Four.” Darin moved through the book more quickly, only stopping when he spotted a picture.

    CC sighed. “I think we lost him, Quiver.”

    “Well, I get his food then. Er, his good food.” Quiver pulled Darin’s plate toward himself, but Darin ignored it.

    Darin had just reached the first chapter on training when he spotted a picture that was taken on the opposite side of Craci IV from where he’d lived. He’d never been to that particular region, but he stopped and stared at the picture, letting his mind cross light-years to get home again. There it was, right at his fingertips. He squinted so it became all he could see.

    When he finally tore his eyes away he saw the first sentences of the paragraph underneath the picture, and he silently read them to himself: Many thumpers are taught by only one trainer. This takes advantage of the thumper’s natural loyalty to maximize its willingness to trust and learn. Thumpers that are moved around between too many hands may close themselves off and have trouble adjusting, never achieving their full potential.

    Darin snorted a sad scoff borne of homesickness pangs. “Got that right,” he mumbled as he tossed the datapad back to Quiver. When Quiver caught it in surprise, Darin pulled his plate back.

    He wished he’d been able to stay put, too.

    *****
     
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  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] Fun pranking and yet you can truly feel their friendship underneath it all
     
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  4. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Thank you! Quiver definitely likes to have fun. ;) I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    The next couple entries (shorter ones) will be posted in a few minutes.
     
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  5. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    100 Word Sprint: A 100 word drabble about your character, family, friendship or couple using any theme.


    “Quiver! Can’t you take this seriously for once?”

    Quiver affected a look of innocent confusion that Darin knew very well. “What do you mean?” Quiver asked.

    “You know what I’m talking about,” Darin grumbled. “It’s hard enough coordinating these parts requests for the squadron’s astromechs without wading through your ridiculous ones. Please just submit what you actually need.”

    “I did.”

    Darin exhaled forcefully. “Sonic does not need a confetti popper!”

    Quiver’s grin grew huge. “But that’s the epitome of awesome! Every time we win a dogfight, it’s an instant celebration! I’m the morale officer. I need it. Find me one.”


    --------------------------------------------------------------


    4x100 Relay: 4x100 words on the four types of love (affection, intimacy, friendship, and charity) as experienced by your character, family, friendship or couple in one post.
    (Note: I hope I did this right. It's one post but four independent snippets.)


    (Affection)

    Yawning, Darin keyed in his access code to his quarters, looking forward to bed. The door whooshed open, and he was suddenly face-to-face with an Imperial stormtrooper.

    “Aaah!” Darin was instantly awake. He jumped backward and hit the far corridor wall.

    The stormtrooper just inside the doorway didn’t move. But now Darin could hear gales of laughter coming from within the room. The jolt of shock was replaced by something else. “Quiver!” Darin yelled.

    Still howling with laughter, his roommate slipped around the armored mannequin into the corridor. Quiver threw an arm across Darin’s shoulders and mussed his hair. “Gotcha!”

    ***

    (Intimacy)

    Quiver frowned. Darin had left to get a repair part but had been gone way too long. He’d been acting weird all day.

    Quiver followed Darin’s path and found him hiding in a corner by a storage shelf and trembling.

    Concerned, Quiver walked up. “What’s wrong? And don’t say ‘nothing.’”

    Darin sniffled, wiped his eyes, and looked away. He finally said, “Today would’ve been my dad’s birthday.”

    Quiver gave a soft sigh and sat down on the floor. He patted the floor next to him. “Sit. Talk to me.”

    The nineteen-year-old hesitated, but then did so. It all poured out.

    ***

    (Friendship)

    Darin looked up from his computer console when Quiver hurriedly slipped into their quarters, hunched protectively over a box he carried. Quiver’s eyes darted around furtively, and he relaxed only when he saw the room was empty.

    He put the box on his desk and beckoned Darin over. Curious, Darin obeyed.

    “I finally got the care package my parents sent,” Quiver said in a low voice. “Here.” He pulled something out of the box and gave it to Darin.

    Darin stared, slack-jawed. “A candy bar? How--”

    “That’s more valuable than bacta here,” Quiver murmured. “Enjoy, but keep it quiet, okay?”

    ***

    (Charity)

    Darin was finally off-duty, but he grabbed a datapad of X-wing system schematics and found Quiver’s R2 unit, Sonic. Soon Sonic was plugged into Quiver’s fighter and Darin climbed into the cockpit.

    Darin closed his eyes and tried to remember details from every irritated comment Quiver had made in the last couple of weeks about that odd noise in his X-wing’s aft during flights.

    Quiver would never have the patience to find the problem, and his maintenance crew had more pressing issues. But it needed to be fixed. With Sonic’s help, Darin would do his best to solve the puzzle.

    **********
     
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  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Great idea in the "Sprint" entry and nice showing different kinds of affection in the "relay". ;)
     
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  7. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Nice scenes, and yeah in situations like that sometimes a candy bar can be much more important than bacta . ;)
     
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  8. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    This is such an AWESOME collection of short stories so far. I love what you wrote for the Mods' Time Trials, but beyond that I haven't read much of your other various OCs, so this was a great way to dive in and get acquainted here. You've really managed a great 'slice of life' feel to these, and it's painting a wonderful picture from so many different angles, even just a few entries in. [face_love]

    In particular, I enjoyed:

    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] I really lost it with this part! What a fun joke to play, and it really goes to show how young so many in the Rebellion are. They're just children, absolute children. :p

    [face_laugh] I love how this thread carried on! Brilliant! :D

    Well now I think every astromech needs a confetti popper. Obviously. :p

    &

    &

    What a gorgeous way to show the give and take between Quiver and Darin. There may be jokes and humor and light hearted comradery, but there's a real, deep bond between them that I can already feel just a few entries in. Just beautiful. [face_love]


    Really fantastic work so far, and I can't wait to read more! :D =D=
     
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  9. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Really nice work. I always enjoy your stories; they are so well written!

    I think my favorite was "Intimacy" because it went in a completely unexpected direction for me. First of all, I really didn't appreciate how young these characters are. To lose your dad when you are nineteen is heartbreaking. And here's Darin, trying to "soldier up" and be strong, but he can't hold it together. Then Quiver finds him and instead of leaving him alone or telling him to get back to work, he sits with him and lets Darin's grief and sorrow pour out. What a true friend. [face_love]

    Echoing @Mira_Jade here when I say I am looking forward to more!
     
  10. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Thank you very much, everyone! I'll have two more short entries up in a minute, and hopefully I'll be able to post the Prime Time Coverage later this weekend.

    Thanks very much! I'm glad you're enjoying it. :)

    Thank you! Candy bars are much more versatile, too: food, currency, escapism, etc. Thanks for reading!

    Thanks a bunch! I'm glad you're enjoying it so far. I hope they're "follow-able" enough without much background and with other random characters coming and going.

    Quiver resembles that remark, LOL. Thanks!

    LOL! Quiver appreciates you backing him up. IIRC, I got the confetti popper from the Droids animated cartoon. I've borrowed several things that R2-D2 had in that show (it's canon, right? :p) to use with the Coronas' astromechs: for instance, a parasol. The jokes write themselves. And since Darin is the squadron's "Droid Wrangler" who has to deal with it, the jokes keep writing themselves.

    Thank you! This exercise really made me stop and consider how much of a two-way street their friendship is, something that I forget about myself sometimes because it's a lot more fun to write about Quiver annoying Darin. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked it. :)

    I have trouble conveying their ages in a general sense a lot. Usually I rely on stating Darin's age as a baseline in each story, but that's harder to do with short entries (and dang, these short ones are hard! :cool: Writing concisely is not my strong suit. :p). Darin's a bit younger (19 here), but he's had to grow up very fast in the previous couple years of his life and deal with a lot. Quiver and CC are probably around 21 at this point so they're a bit older than him, but Quiver resists "growing up" as much as he possibly can. Then put them smack in the middle of a war. But those different qualities are part of the reason why they're good for each other, I think. :) Thanks for reading and commenting!
     
  11. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Single Sentence Shot Put: A story told in a single sentence about your character, family, friendship or couple.


    After a few days, the visitor to Crescent Star was surprised to learn that Quiver’s last name was “Yanilr,” not “Anddarin,” since that’s what usually followed every mention of his first name.


    --------------------------------------------------------------


    110 Word Hurdle: 110 words in which the name or names of your character, family, friendship or couple aren’t mentioned.


    “...Flying into the far expanse of space, this pair of brave souls was both welcomed and shunned by the starlight. Some stars were havens that embraced them, but others were bent on destroying everything the pilots loved. The smartest pilot reflected on the galaxy’s uncertainties: every star looked the same despite their different demeanors. Was it friend or foe?

    “So the void between stars seemed the safest place. There were no ambiguities there; the pilots dealt with whatever was in front of them. They identified their foes--”

    “Ten...”

    “--They chose their fates--”

    “Ten...”

    “They decided for themselves if something meant life or death.”

    “Ten!”

    “What?”

    “Stop narrating our patrol. Please.”

    ***
    (Note: I wasn't sure if using a squadron designation would be considered using a "name" since it's an identifying word. In case it is and I accidentally tripped over a hurdle, here's my attempt at a second heat.)


    Commander Mackin of Corona Squadron groaned. “Not again.”

    His XO, Lt. Weas, nodded grimly. “I just talked to the MPs. Luckily there was no damage in the Tank this time.” The Bacta Tank was the ship’s downtime and drinking establishment.

    Mack sighed and asked, “What happened?”

    “Some Fleet Command personnel claimed our subordinate was cheating at one of the games and unsuccessfully tried to talk his way out of it when they caught him. The other one went to help. I’ll let you take a wild guess which was which. Talking turned into shoving which turned into the brawl.”

    Mack sighed again. There was loyalty, and then there was stupidity.


    **********
     
  12. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl]

    I LOVED these! My, but this is really bringing me back to the tone and tempo of the old X-Wing series. It's been ages since I've read pilot!fic like this, and I'm loving it! :D

    Honest to goodness but I almost choked on my coffee reading this one - I had to put the mug down. :p Fun and clever and so spot on accurate all at once!

    [face_laugh] This. Was. Brilliant! Another great laugh - and hey, who knew that that orange jumpsuit was hiding the soul of a poet? [face_mischief]

    [face_laugh] Loyalty and stupidity, indeed! This one had me smiling too. :D


    These continue to be awesome, and I can't wait for more. [face_love] =D=
     
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  13. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Thank you! That's a huge compliment to me since I love the Rogues and especially the Wraiths, and those books formed a lot of my foundational notions of and preferences about what I like to see in starfighter stories. I really miss Allston's contributions to the GFFA. :(

    Thanks, I'm really glad you enjoyed it and that it made sense. I wasn't quite sure if it would.

    Quiver is very good at talking and using words. :p The original draft of his narration was something like three times as long.

    Thanks again for reading and commenting! The next entry will be up shortly.
     
  14. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Prime Time Coverage: 500+ words of action, adventure, or excitement with your chosen character, friendship, family or couple as the star.

    (Note: This entry takes place somewhat early on in Darin's time with the Coronas. It's one of those stories that took an unexpected turn on me, and hopefully it all translated okay from my brain to the page, but it might be a little odd. It's the longest entry in this thread so far at a little over 1700 words.)


    “Ten, my shields are gone. Can you make it out yet?” Darin asked breathlessly.

    “Sonic’s estimating another half minute,” Quiver replied, referring to his astromech. Their voices were contaminated with static over the speaker.

    Several other pilots from Corona Squadron stood beside CC near the control consoles in the simulator room and watched the sim run of the remaining four pilots unfold on the monitors before them. The wingpair of Lt. Weas and Slurry were off performing their part of the mission objectives and were too far away to assist, so most of the attention was on the harrowing virtual dogfight Quiver and Darin were engaged in.

    CC shook her head. Another half minute was an eternity in a dogfight, and an infinite eternity in a fight you were already losing. Her two best friends had their work cut out for them.

    “Can’t he go faster?” Darin asked, strained, as if he was voicing CC’s thoughts.

    “I think he would if he could, Nine,” Quiver said as he swerved out of the path of a TIE’s laser salvo.

    Chopper, Corona Three, crossed his arms from where he watched the monitors. “Twenty credits says they both get blown up,” he said.

    However, his Rodian wingman, Kalre, waved a green hand dismissively and said, “No one’s going to take that bet. Foregone conclusion.”

    “Wow, way to have faith in your squadmates,” CC muttered.

    Chopper looked sideways at her with a smirk. “So bet in favor of them if you’ve got so much faith. Any other pair I’d happily lay good odds of them escaping with no shields against four TIEs, but those two? The goof-off and the rookie? No way.”

    CC opened her mouth to let out an angry retort, but she was cut off by a fresh slew of activity from the sim. “Nine, those two behind me just took out my shields! I just need ten more seconds!” Quiver called.

    CC looked. Darin’s last maneuver had put him below and slightly aft of Quiver’s X-wing and traveling in the same direction. He had absolutely no weapons sights on Quiver’s pursuers. CC’s stomach dropped, realizing instantly, before she could even articulate it in thought, that Quiver was as good as dead.

    She’d barely recognized Quiver’s certain fate before Darin’s X-wing sped upward. It reached the gap between Quiver and the two pursuing TIEs just as the TIEs opened up with their next laser barrage. The lasers hit Darin’s starfighter, and it exploded. The TIEs were so close that one got destroyed by debris. The other had to evade sharply, breaking off its attack.

    The spectating pilots blinked at the monitors. Chopper broke the silence. “What?”

    “Sonic’s got it! We’re outta here!” Quiver said, unaware of what had just happened in that fraction of a moment. His X-wing peeled off and performed its run-up to make the jump to lightspeed.

    A few meters away from CC, Darin’s simulator whirred and then quieted as it automatically powered down. The cockpit canopy windows turned from opaque to transparent. CC caught a glimpse of Darin inside as he blinked, startled, and looked around a bit wildly to get his bearings. Then he stopped, closed his eyes, and let out a long breath. His lips moved-- he must have been saying something to Botch, his R5 droid, whom CC could hear squawking at his pilot in anger.

    CC glanced at her wingman Maptoo beside her, who was also watching Darin. “You saw that, right?” she asked the Gran. “I didn’t imagine it?”

    Maptoo nodded. “I saw it.”

    Next to Darin, Quiver’s simulator powered down. A quick check of the display monitors showed Quiver had escaped into hyperspace, thus ending his participation in the sim. Quiver opened his simulator’s canopy, unbuckled his seat restraints, and jumped out. “Hoo, what a rush! Can’t believe we made it out of there!” he said. His smile was huge. He pounded on Darin’s silent, closed simulator a couple of times with the palm of his hand. “C’mon, Thumper, we’re at the rendezvous point. Wait for our wayward XO and Bilgana with me.” Quiver pulled off his helmet and, still smiling, walked toward the group of watching pilots. “That was awesome! Did you see that? Wasn’t I awesome for escaping that in the nick of time?” he asked all of them.

    CC’s gaze returned to Darin, who was finally climbing out of his own sim. He was hearing everything and not saying a word.

    Still looking mighty pleased with himself, Quiver quickly fell into a conversation with Chopper and Kalre. Chopper was grinning in dark anticipation like a predator about to pounce on unsuspecting, particularly juicy prey.

    CC broke away, walked to Darin, and intercepted him before he reached the others. He was out of breath, and with his helmet off she could see his blond bangs were plastered to his forehead with sweat. Those were just more of the telltale signs, like the difficult transition back to reality when his simulator unit had suddenly turned off, that he’d been treating that sim-- and experiencing it-- as if it was completely real.

    That made CC throw her arms around Darin and squeeze him into a tight hug. She ignored their chestboxes and other flight gear jabbing into her as it was sandwiched between them.

    “Ow, what-- CC-- what--” Darin stammered, caught off-guard.

    “The rest of us saw what you did,” CC said. She let him out of the hug but gripped his shoulders and held him in place before her. She made direct eye contact with him. “You’re a good kid, rookie.”

    Darin blushed and looked away. “It was just a sim.”

    “No. No, it wasn’t,” she said earnestly, gripping his shoulders a little tighter, willing him to see that she understood exactly what he’d just done and all of the ramifications of it. “You’re a good kid, rookie,” she repeated, to make sure that he heard it.

    Quiver’s loud voice from back by the group interrupted her. “What?!” CC and Darin looked over in time to see Quiver twist around to stare at Darin. Chopper’s smirk was ten times bigger. “You’re dead?” Quiver demanded. “What the hell happened?”

    Darin squirmed out of CC’s grip and shrugged. “The TIEs got me before I could jump,” he said. CC turned a perplexed look to him at the half-truth-- actually that was generous, it was a quarter-truth at best-- but he ignored it.

    Quiver sighed melodramatically and shook his head. “Rookie, I can’t do everything for you. Sooner or later you’re going to have to learn to defend yourself using your own two feet. Or whatever starfighter equivalent metaphor there is. Own four laser cannons, I guess.” He turned back to continue talking to Chopper and Kalre. Chopper was barely stifling laughter now.

    CC turned to Darin and kept her voice quiet. “Why didn’t you tell him?” she demanded.

    “Tell him what?” Darin asked, his volume also low.

    “That you just saved his sorry afterburner! That he’d be ionized particles right now if it wasn’t for you sacrificing yourself for him!”

    “Why would I?”

    CC actually couldn’t tell if Darin was being naive or dense. Either way, though, he was being sincere about it, and for some reason that was aggravating. “Because he’s taking you for granted,” she said. “He gets away with enough already-- don’t let him get away with this too.”

    Darin gave her an odd look. “It’s not a big deal. And what’s he taking for granted? The fact that his wingman will protect him? Isn’t that the point?”

    “But he doesn’t know you protected him. He’s selling you short and cheapening what you did. You just did something really important, really big.”

    “No, I didn’t. Why are you acting like this is some momentous event? Is it that inexplicable? That surprising? Is it that hard to believe that I would do the exact same thing for any one of you?” He was searching her eyes for something.

    CC shook her head. “Of course it’s not surprising,” she said flatly.

    “Then stop acting like it’s something that no one could have ever predicted the silly little rookie would do,” Darin cut in. He sounded miffed, and a bit insulted. “I’d do this for real for anyone here. Simple as that. It’s just a fact, and facts don’t need to be stated and glorified for no reason. I don’t go around announcing that space is black, either.”

    “But your oblivious wingman needs to hear it,” CC insisted, not giving in.

    “If he does, then I guess he doesn’t really know me very well or trust me, and we have much bigger issues. Can we please drop this?” Darin sidestepped her and walked past.

    It always rankled CC deep into her core when she saw a problem she could not or was not allowed to fix, and this incomprehensible attitude of Darin’s meant the obvious imbalance in the wingpair’s relationship would not be corrected like it should be. She scrunched her nose stubbornly and tried once more. “Darin, no. Listen, you really need--”

    Darin whirled around and walked backwards a few steps while he interrupted her again in a slightly raised voice. “Space is black! X-wings can fly! And oh, look, I can do the basic minimums of my blasted job!” It wasn’t the first time CC had seen him irritated, but it was one of the first times she could remember seeing him openly irritated at her. She closed her mouth in surprise, and Darin turned back around and walked toward the others.

    Most of them had heard his last pronouncements. Quiver raised an eyebrow at him in confusion and asked, “‘Space is black’? What?”

    “Your wingman is so smart, Quiver,” Chopper said. “I’m constantly impressed.”

    “Lay off,” Darin muttered. That was unexpected too: Darin never talked back to Chopper.

    Chopper noticed as well. “Wow,” he said in what sounded like part amazement, part reluctant respect. “The afterlife making you cranky?”

    “How are Lieutenant Weas and Slurry doing?” Darin asked, staring fixedly at the monitors. “They almost done?”

    CC had remained standing where she was, deep in confused thought. Maptoo walked over to her and quietly asked, “What happened?”

    “I’m not sure,” she replied slowly. She wondered what she’d done or what she was missing that had made Darin react that way.

    The problem-solving part of her kicked in. She would figure this out.

    *****
     
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  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Maybe it's a gal-thing but I'm 100% in agreement with CC. It has nothing to do with "my job" or "the Rookiee did it", self-sacrifice is to be applauded and commended because it's way too easy to be a coward and selfish. :p =D=
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
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  16. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Lovin' these little stories of Rebel pilots and their inner lives :D Love the theme of friendship (even though there is some teasing and pranks involved, as we see with the whole Darin and the "feeding your Cracian Thumpers" prank).

    This recent one is quite good--I like the tensions rising here, Quiver not valuing Darin and Darin just being all humble and not making the situation a big deal..but as we see, perhaps some anger about the situation is revealing itself....interested where this will be taken!
     
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  17. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Thanks! CC appreciates the support. ;) I agree that it's a commendable trait. Thanks a bunch for reading and replying!

    Thank you! It's fun exploring this friendship, even if it is a bit oddball at times. :p I'm glad you're enjoying it.

    Some unexpected emotions did pop up in this recent story. They kinda surprised me too when I started out thinking I was writing more of a light piece. Thanks very much for reading and commenting!

    The next entry should be up shortly.
     
  18. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    AU Archery: A story of at least 100 words set in an alternate universe with your character, family, friendship, or couple.

    In the main storyline (my Coronaverse, I suppose), the XO doesn't change his mind like Darin says he does here. That altered decision creates this AU.


    Quiver scowled at the scene playing out in front of him inside their quarters. “So that’s it then? You’re leaving?” he asked with an edge to his voice.

    Darin flinched a little, but he kept packing his meager belongings. “Yeah,” he said quietly, not looking at Quiver. “Just getting ready for whenever they tell me the transport is coming.”

    Quiver crossed his arms. He’d only known Darin for a couple of weeks, and sure, his new wingman could be high-maintenance at times, but damn it, he liked Darin. So far Darin had been so much better than Quiver’s previous wingman, and Quiver thought they could have worked well together. Gotten to know each other. Had some fun together. But now...

    “I didn’t think Mack or Snubber would approve your transfer request,” Quiver bit out, referring to their CO, Commander Mackin, and XO, Lieutenant Weas. He’d have to have a little chat with them and find out what the hell they were thinking. “Or I thought by now you would’ve realized this is a mistake and called it off.”

    “I don’t think they were going to at first, but Lieutenant Weas apparently changed his mind and convinced the commander to accept it,” Darin said. “It’s better this way anyway.”

    “Why?” Quiver demanded. “Why is it better? You still haven’t really told me why you’re leaving. All I know is that you’re changing to transports instead of starfighters, and it has something to do with our last mission.”

    Darin cringed, and Quiver knew he’d hit his mark. Quiver pressed on. “It was something about the mission, then? That blaster firefight in the base, I’m guessing?”

    Darin suddenly whirled around to face the taller pilot. “I shot someone, Quiver! I killed her!” His distraught voice was a little too high-pitched, and he looked a bit wild.

    “Yeah,” Quiver said, “because she was trying to kill you first.”

    “You-- you don’t get it!” Darin said. “I-- I’ve never shot someone before! Not face-to-face like that! I feel horrible! I can’t do it again!” He abruptly turned around and resumed his packing with an intense fervor.

    “Strine blink, I don’t like it either. Why do you think I hate using blasters so much?” Quiver countered. “I know it’s hard. But this doesn’t have to mean you should leave. You need to stay here and work through this. Let us help.”

    Darin shook his head hard. “No. I can’t ‘work through it.’ I can’t make myself get comfortable with it. The only way to do that is to keep killing people, and I can’t. Not again. Not ever. Flying transports with Fleet Command means I won’t have to be in that situation anymore. I’ve got a lot more experience with transports anyway. I won’t be messing up all the time and risking your life because of it like I do here.”

    Quiver snorted. “Well, I’m glad you’re taking my feelings and desires into account. Oh, wait, that’s right, you never even asked.” He couldn’t stop the bitter sarcasm from coming out. This all felt just a tiny bit personal. “Maybe I don’t want you to go. Ever think of that?”

    “You deserve a wingman who’s not afraid of pulling a trigger to protect you,” Darin said softly. “You’ll be able to have that once I’m out of the picture.”

    “Really? I know you’ve heard the stories of how long we were waiting for Command to send us a new pilot before you came. It was weeks. It’ll be weeks again, if not longer, to get someone else. And even with you, we’re still not up to full strength. Flying with ten pilots is hard, but flying with only nine is even worse. There’s nothing in this scenario that makes any of us safer.”

    “Quiver, I’m sorry, but I don’t know what to do!” Darin’s words rushed out, and Quiver had never heard him sound so anguished or conflicted before. “Staying is wrong. Leaving is wrong. So what can I do when all of my options are wrong?!”

    “You stick around and let us help you through this,” Quiver insisted.

    No. I can’t. I-- Sorry, I need to go take these back to the quartermaster.” Darin looked desperate when he grabbed his general duty uniforms, ducked his head, and hurried out the door.

    Quiver slammed his hand against the wall and swore. Darin was leaving, and he’d be alone again. Now what the hell was he supposed to do?

    *****
     
  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superbly realistic, totally relatable reaction:
    I can’t ‘work through it.’ I can’t make myself get comfortable with it. The only way to do that is to keep killing people, and I can’t. Not again. Not ever.

    This is a really awful dilemma, a truly stuck place :eek:
    “Staying is wrong. Leaving is wrong. So what can I do when all of my options are wrong?!”

    =D=
     
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  20. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Thank you! He's definitely between a rock and a hard place there, and I'm happy to hear his reaction is realistic. :) Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    The next two short entries will be up momentarily, and then the last event will probably be posted in a few days. It's written, just getting some editing.
     
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  21. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    200 Freestyle: A 200 word story about your character, family, friendship or couple with a free choice of any theme.


    Concerned, Darin rolled his X-wing 180 degrees and maneuvered it directly over Quiver’s fighter. When inverted and mirrored like this, they could look upward out of their respective cockpits to see each other, and they did so. “Ten, what’s your status?”

    “That blasted TIE put a crater in me, but the diagnostics can’t pin it down, and Sonic doesn’t know what to fix. It fried some internal sensors or wiring,” Quiver replied in aggravation. “Power’s too erratic to trust jumping without a repair.”

    Darin checked his sensors, anxious to get out of there before more Imperials showed up. “Stay as straight and level as you possibly can,” he said. Then Darin carefully circled his inverted X-wing around Quiver’s until the damage was visible through the top of his canopy. “Botch,” Darin asked his astromech, “can your sensors detect Ten’s damage?”

    Botch blatted a negative. Darin bit his lip and slowly moved his X-wing closer until Botch indicated he was within range. Two mere meters away.

    “Transmit what you can tell is damaged to Sonic so he knows what to fix,” Darin said.

    The two droids’ collaboration took forever as Darin struggled to keep their X-wings from colliding.

    Finally, they jumped.


    --------------------------------------------------------------


    400 Word Cross Country: 400 words about your character, couple, family or friendship with any theme.


    "What about you, Darin?" CC asked. "Do you know what you're going to do when the war is over?"

    Darin smiled to himself as he laid on the old couch in the pilots' lounge and gazed up at the ceiling. "I know exactly what I'm going to do," he said quietly.

    "So? What is it?" Quiver prompted from the chair he was sitting backwards on.

    Darin closed his eyes to see the mental picture better. "First I'm going to go back home. Get a house. Find work. When I get enough credits I'll buy a small cargo transport ship." There it was, that beautiful image in his mind. His wonderful ship. He couldn't wait. "I'll do shipping runs within the system, maybe to some of the nearby star systems too. During that time I'll find a nice girl, get married, settle down. We'll have a couple of kids, too. Definitely." It would be the perfect life, and someday, it would all be his.

    "Um, wow," Quiver said when Darin had finished. "Apparently I haven't put anywhere near as much thought into this as Darin has--"

    "There's a shock," CC muttered.

    "--But," Quiver continued, ignoring her, "I would like to travel and see the galaxy... without shooting at it. Or-- hey, Darin, you’ll need a co-pilot, right?"

    Darin opened his eyes and looked at Quiver, distracted by thoughts of a tantalizing life out of his current reach. “Huh?”

    “You’ll need a co-pilot for your shipping runs, right? Or a babysitter? I’ll babysit your kids.”

    “No one should ever entrust you with that kind of responsibility,” CC said.

    “Pfft. Kids love me,” Quiver said. “But tell me that wouldn’t be awesome. Or no, hey, all three of us should be involved with Darin’s transport stuff. It’d be the best transport company ever!”

    "It would, because Darin and I would end up doing all the work,” CC said, grinning.

    Quiver didn’t seem to hear her. “Trio Transport!” he exclaimed. “No, that’s too obvious. Give me a minute, I’ll think of a much better name for it.”

    “Don’t let him near your kids, Darin. He’ll corrupt them,” CC teased.

    “Quiv, have you ever even flown a cargo transport?” Darin asked.

    “Minor detail,” Quiver mumbled, deep in thought. “Hold on, I can make this be awesome.”

    Darin couldn’t help but grin. This hadn’t been his original idea, but maybe... maybe this would make it even better.

    *****
     
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  22. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Great coordinated effort in Freestyle and just in time! [face_relieved]

    Wonderful plans between friends in Cross Country. I hope they were able to make them a reality. [face_batting]
     
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  23. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Thank you! One of the things I enjoy with characters who are pretty familiar with each other is exploring how well they can work together when needed. It fascinates me. I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for reading! :)

    The final entry will be up momentarily.
     
  24. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Here's my tenth entry for the decathlon. Thanks to everyone who followed along on this little ride. :)

    Fantastical Fencing: A story of at least a 100 words involving your character, family, friendship or couple in which something fantastical happens.

    Note: The “fantastic” aspect of this story is based on a storytelling device/mechanism used in Due South, one of my all-time favorite TV shows. I know it’s not how this particular thing works in the Star Wars universe, so in that sense, this is an AU/quasi-crossover that won’t happen in my regular “Coronaverse.” But the idea came during a Due South marathon, and I couldn’t resist writing it out. No knowledge of Due South is needed here.


    “You’re sure you’re going to be okay?” his co-worker Restel asked.

    Quiver waved his hand dismissively, though it was largely for show. “Yeah, I’m fine. Not my first time going through this. Go on home so I can finish closing up.”

    “All right. See you tomorrow.” Restel stood from where he sat at the table with Quiver and walked out.

    From his own chair Quiver watched him go. After the door closed behind him, the empty taproom-slash-lounge of the New Republic base succumbed to silence. All of the tables except for his own had already been cleaned and the chairs put upside down on top for the droid sweeper’s ease. Usually it didn’t take long for Quiver to clean and lock up the place after closing in the evening, but this night in particular was always different. His wife knew not to expect him home for a while yet.

    Quiver slowly got up and walked to the door, with his footsteps echoing in the stillness. He locked it, ensuring his solitude, and then headed back behind the bar.

    He grabbed a tall glass and mixed himself the best approximation he’d been able to make of a Bacta, the popular drink in Crescent Star’s downtime bar The Bacta Tank from back in his Corona days. He brought it back to his table and sat down, slumping somewhat. Gravity always pulled a little more strongly on him over the course of this particular day.

    The years had not significantly softened what he felt on the anniversary of Darin’s death. This one was no different. And blast, it still ate him up inside that he hadn’t even been there when it happened. Intellectually, Quiver knew that wasn’t his fault: they’d been in different squadrons at that time after the Coronas were decommissioned. Darin had been flying X-wings for a Search and Rescue squadron, and Quiver was flying in a typical attack/composite X-wing squadron. They’d been stationed far away from each other. There was no way Quiver could have been at that fateful dogfight, but the small voice in the back of his mind always wondered what if. Could Quiver have protected him? Saved him? Or would it have been worse if it had happened on Quiver’s watch, right in front of his eyes like it had with CC?

    Quiver sat there for a few minutes staring at the drink in his hand until his gaze became unseeing. Finally he quietly said, “I miss ya, bud.” He took a hearty swig of his drink, then set the glass down on the table and closed his eyes.

    “I miss you too.”

    The reply was so unexpected and so... impossible that Quiver couldn’t react for a few long seconds. Then he snapped his eyes open and jerked his head up. He was hearing things.

    But the sight of Darin sitting at the table in the chair Restel had vacated earlier told him he wasn’t.

    But that was even more impossible. He had to be hearing things. And now seeing things too. Hallucinating. Had he really drunk so much already? What had he put in this Bacta?

    Darin smiled at him. “Hi, Quiv.”

    A prank. Some sick, sick prank. That’s what it was. It had to be.

    The stunned silence stretched on, and Darin cocked his head. “This could be the first time I’ve ever heard silence from you for more than five consecutive seconds when you were awake. Going for a record or something?”

    Quiver’s brain couldn’t process things on its own anymore and engaged his vocal cords. “Hi... Darin.” He couldn’t help still staring though. His former wingman was sitting comfortably across from him and wearing his orange flight suit. The Corona Squadron patch was visible on his sleeve, and his rank plate showed that of a lieutenant. All in all, he looked exactly like the Darin that Quiver had known so well. Same blond hairstyle, same green eyes, same quiet demeanor, but with fewer of the telltale signs of life’s hardships. When he’d spoken, he’d had the same quirky accent.

    “So you’re saying I’m awake?” Quiver asked. Though he didn’t know whom-- or what-- he was asking. “This isn’t a dream?”

    Darin shrugged. “You sure look like you’re awake.”

    “But... You... You’re--”

    “Dead,” Darin finished for him matter-of-factly. “Yeah. And I know what you’re thinking: no, this isn’t a prank. I don’t really understand what’s going on myself, but it is me. Go ahead, ask me something. I’ll prove it.”

    “But if you’re a hallucination or in my head, of course you’re going to know whatever I ask.”

    “True, but shouldn’t it quash any notions that someone else is causing this?”

    Quiver’s mind was completely blank, but at last he stammered out, “Your tattoo! What’s your tattoo look like?”

    “Oh, please,” Darin scoffed. “Too easy.” He rolled up his right pants leg, pulled his boot down a bit, and leaned back in his chair far enough to set his lower leg across the table in plain view of Quiver. Sure enough, the total solar eclipse was tattooed there on his calf, complete with the subtle profile of a Cracian thumper’s head created by irregularities in the star’s corona. It was exactly right. Quiver still had his from the drunken night he, CC, and Darin had gotten the matching set, though Quiver’s had a Q shape and CC’s had had a C shape instead of the thumper image. After Quiver had gotten a good look, Darin put his leg back down and re-tucked his flight suit into his boot.

    Quiver took a deep, shaky breath. “Darin,” he said at last, “what the hell is going on?”

    “Damned if I know,” Darin said in all seriousness. “And I wasn’t, last I checked.”

    “How are you here? Am I going crazy?”

    A smirk stole across Darin’s face. “You don’t really want me to answer that, do you?” Quiver’s expression turned distraught, and Darin relented. “Pleesh, I was just kidding.”

    “But my crazy Great Uncle Minnah--”

    “Look, Quiv, I don’t know what’s going on,” Darin interrupted. “But whatever’s happening is happening, and I took advantage of it because I really wanted to talk to you. I thought you’d be able to handle this all right or I wouldn’t have let you see me. I’ve never known anyone who could go with the flow as well as you. So try to relax. Loosen up a bit.” Darin grinned while he kicked Quiver lightly in the shin underneath the table. Quiver wasn’t expecting to feel a physical impact from a ghost, even one that looked as solid and “normal” as Darin did.

    When Quiver still could only stare, Darin’s small grin started morphing into the guilty, uncertain expression Quiver had seen countless times when Darin had been alive. “Well, unless you want me to go,” Darin said. He looked down. “I probably should. I should leave. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to freak you out or anything. Write me off as a drunken hallucination.” He stood.

    “No!” Quiver immediately leaned forward and grabbed Darin’s lower arm. This time he didn’t even wonder how he could feel substance in a ghost. “Don’t go. Please. Stay.” He tightened his grip in desperation. “Please.

    Darin met his gaze and smiled, that exact same half-smile he'd worn countless times before. He sat back down, and Quiver tentatively let go. And then Quiver smiled back at his best friend, hesitantly at first, then larger and larger while the years disappeared. How many times had Darin sat across a table from him in a bar while wearing that flight suit? It suddenly felt too normal to feel weird.

    “You have no idea how much I’ve missed you, Thumper,” Quiver said.

    “Same here! So fill me in,” Darin said, leaning back and clasping his hands behind his head with a laziness that belied the intense interest in his expression and voice. “The Recent Life of Quiver. Let’s hear it. Oh, and CC says hi. I’m supposed to report back with good ideas for her to haunt you with. Something about finally being able to prank you nonstop without the possibility of retaliation.”

    Quiver couldn’t help but smirk. “Oooh, she’s good.” Then Darin’s words caught up to him, and the old guilt he’d buried for so long churned up. His smirk disappeared. “So... she’s okay?” he asked uncertainly.

    Darin nodded. “She is. Honest.”

    Those three words and his trust in Darin’s sincerity caused a shift inside that Quiver didn’t expect. A lightness, or a possible prospect of future lightness that he’d forgotten could exist, sparked deep within. Losing the first member of what their commander had called the Trio had been devastating.

    “Tell her she’d better visit sometime too, and not just for pranking,” Quiver said.

    “I will. She really wants to.”

    “Good.”

    “Actually she pulled out that old joke of hers and said the only reason I was able to come now was because I was stuck with you.” Darin smiled.

    Quiver smiled back. If that didn’t confirm CC was okay, nothing would. A warm feeling of nostalgia grew inside.

    After another few moments, Darin raised his eyebrows expectantly. “So do I get to hear the Awesomely Epic Adventures of the Great and All-Knowing Quiver or not?”

    Quiver laughed, then he settled back in his chair and took a deep, happy breath. When he spoke, out came the accumulated years of everything he’d wanted to tell Darin.

    So much had happened since Quiver had last talked to Darin prior to his death that he almost didn’t know where to start. Darin had known about Quiver’s wife, seeing as how he’d been at the wedding when still alive, so Quiver updated him on how she was doing. Quiver told Darin about how he’d resigned from active service not long after Darin’s death. But most of all, Quiver told Darin about his kids. The kids he’d always been so sorry his friend had never met, whose lives he couldn’t be a part of. The rambunctious older daughter, and the quieter son who somehow happened to have a first name spelled exactly like that of a wingman Quiver had flown with for years with the Coronas. Coincidences were such funny things.

    Quiver loved every second of it.

    ***

    It wasn’t until hours later, long after Darin had had to say goodbye and promised to try to visit again somehow, when Quiver was still sitting there replaying everything for the hundredth time to ingrain it permanently in his mind, that he realized it. Like always, Darin had let Quiver do most of the talking. Darin had asked questions and eagerly asked for details or more information during the conversation, letting Quiver share what he wanted with his particular flair, as Quiver liked to call it. But a couple of times, after they’d really gotten the conversation going and were absorbed in it, Darin had let slip a word or two about something that he shouldn’t have known about at that point. Something Quiver was sure he hadn’t mentioned yet and had happened long after that fateful day.

    He thought about that hard for a while, needing to be sure he was right about it. Needing to be certain that he hadn’t actually mentioned those things earlier and just forgotten.

    But he hadn’t.

    Finally convinced, Quiver smiled. He basked in that feeling for a few minutes, and then stood and cleaned up his table.

    “G’night, Darin,” he said aloud, confident that Darin could hear it. He locked up and headed home.

    His best friend didn’t seem so far away anymore.

    *****
     
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  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Fascinating ... [face_thinking] Darin has mastered a Jedi skill and that's a fact! =D= on finishing. :D
     
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