Chapter 7: Never Tell Me the Odds!

Author’s Note:  Sorry for the slightly disjointed chapter.  Lot happening in game and screenshots was not a priority as I tried to deal with some bugs involving parties.  So again, apologies, but hope you enjoy!

Ulrike, a bit shaky after her brush with an incompetent doctor, slid off the table and went to pick up the small infant.  “Oh-oh look at you.  Y-you’re perfect.  Look at her, Watcher.  Isn’t she just-“

Perfect?  Yes, she’s a darling, Ulrike, truly.

Well, let’s get the both of you home.  I’ll uh, go retrieve, Han… I may have given him the wrong room number…  Otherwise poor little Ripley may have gotten to see a bit more of her daddy’s dark side than she really needs to.

The doctor shuffled nervously.  He was only too happy to see them all leave.


Back at home, the first one to the bassinet was Marcus, of all people.  “Hey little thang!  Aren’t you just the cutest!  Uncle Marcus could just eat you up!”

“Hey, there will be no eating of my daughter!” Han told his friend with a laugh, though there was a protective look in his eyes.  Sims didn’t eat children… did they?

Marcus grinned at him as he set Ripley back down.  “Don’t you worry none.  That lil angel will be well looked after!”

“I don’t doubt it.”  Han smiled at his friend.  Then it was his turn.  He looked down into the bassinet and his breathe caught.  He didn’t even have words.  So he simply reached down and gently picked her up, holding her to his chest.  He lost himself in looking into her eyes.  “Hello, darling.  I’m your Daddy,” he whispered to her.

“I love you very much.  You and your Mommy are my world.”  He had to swallow past the lump in his throat.  Had he really wanted to leave?  It was amazing that such a tiny creature could change- well, everything in such a short time.  Little Ripley made a soft noise and Han hoisted her up, holding her against his shoulder.  Ripley quieted, content in her father’s arms.  “I’ll always be here for you,” he promised her.


Having a baby in the house made things a little hectic for a while.  It seemed as soon as either Ulrike or Han lay down, Ripley needed something, whether it was a bottle or a diaper change, or just to be held.

“Here ya are, baby girl,” Han would murmur to his daughter.  He didn’t mind the sleepless nights, really.  Anything for his precious Ripley.

“Is someone hungry?  Yes she is.”  While Ulrike had decided she wanted to learn to cook in order to help Han meet the requirements of these Rules he had to follow, she loved spending time with her daughter too.  There was definitely something about that moment for mother and daughter.

Han didn’t even mind changing her diapers… well, at least not too much.  “Whoa, such a lot of stink for such a little thing!”  Ripley just smiled up at him from her bassinet.  “You just wait, you little stinker.  Wait till you have your own!”


But before anyone was ready, it was time for Ripley to age up! *

Author’s Note #2: *So… while Ripley was a wee babe, this was when the Watcher was trying to get a bunch of parties outta the way… but the timer bug hit and they were dismal failures, only reaching silver.  So yeah, I didn’t get as many shots as I wanted while Ripley was an infant.  All the adults in the house- when not doing things for parties—were always in the master bedroom, picking her up!

Ulrike did the honors.  “C’mon, baby girl.  Time to grow up!”  Her voice cracked a little, even as the bassinet shook.

There was a cry of “Woooo!  I’m free!  Whoa!  I need to chaaaange!” and then Ripley exploded out, a full-grown child.

Her first stop was definitely to change her clothes and to fix her hair.  She wasn’t a fan of poofy hair, not at all!  When she emerged, though, she grinned saucily.


And let’s not forget Marcus and Jaimie.  They both aged up to elder.  There was no party, since they were all pretty tired out, but they did have cake.

Ripley was given the other room downstairs and it was outfitted for a Princess.  But the only thing she cared about right away was the activity table that her parents had gotten for her.  She loved to draw.  She thought she wanted to do that when she was older, just like her mom, though she thought about writing too.  Maybe she’d do both!

“Mama, when I grow up, can I paint and write?”

Ulrike looked at Ripley.  “Of course, you can baby girl!  You can do anything you put your mind to.”

Ripley was certainly a precocious girl.  Han wasn’t quite sure he was ready for her growing up.  When she’d been a little bundle that could fit in his arms, it had been easy to keep track of her, to know what she needed and when.  Now, though, he was a bit adrift.  His little girl wasn’t so little now!  Then again, it was great to be able to sit at the counter with Ripley and talk about all sorts of things.

“Hey Dad, I get to go to school on Monday!”

“Mhm, you sure do.  Are you nervous?”

“No way!” she exclaimed.  “I can’t wait to sit down at my desk and crack open my books!  And the art room- oh, all those new paints and crayons!”

Han laughed.  “That’s my girl!”

Ripley hopped down off the stool.  “C’mon dad!  Hip bump!”

Han looked concerned at first.  “I don’t know, Ripley…”

His daughter laughed.  “Oh c’mon!  I’m a big girl!”

A short shaft of pain hit Han.  She was a big girl… and she was only going to grow older.  “You got it, baby girl,” he murmured.

“Ooof!  Easy on yer ol’ man!” Han complained, though he was grinning.  Ripley just laughed and ran off.  Han sighed a little, though he couldn’t help but grin.  She was a good kid.


Wow, gettin’ really good there, Ulrike!

“Check this out, Watcher!”

Nice trick!  Got some air on that.  Ready for your birthday?

Ulrike grimaced.  “Not so much.  But guess it’s gotta happen.”  Once the cake she was baking came out of the oven, she brought it out onto the counter and put the candles on it.  With her family watching, Ulrike leaned down to blow out the candles.

“Happy birthday, baby,” Han told his wife as the adults sat down at the table.

“Still lookin’ good as ever, though, huh?” Marcus commented with a grin.

“Oh you!” Ulrike laughed.

Jaimie shook her head, chuckling.  “Better watch it, Marcus.  Wouldn’t want Han to have to trounce your behind!”

“Nah, no way!”

The group laughed.  This was a long-standing joke among them.

“Pretty soon, we’ll be celebrating Ripley’s teen birthday!”

Han groaned.  “Don’t even go there!  I am sooo not ready for that!  She only just became a child!  Don’t make me think about her becoming a teen already!”

There was some snickering, but Jaimie pointed out, “You’ll have to come to terms with at some point.  Kids do grow.”

“Yeah, yeah… but I am going to ignore it until I absolutely have to!”


“If Han can’t even handle Ripley being a teen, what’s he gonna do when the first boys come around?” Jaimie asked Ulrike as the two women and Marcus enjoyed some peace out in the sunroom.

Ulrike grimaced.  “I have no idea… I don’t think it’s going to be pretty.  Ripley’s so good natured, but I have a feeling she’s as stubborn as her father, so it should be… interesting, to say the least.”

Marcus chuckled.  “Got that right.  Though, I don’t blame Han much.  Any boy hurts that little girl and I’ll help my buddy to hide the body.”

Ulrike rolled her eyes.  “Don’t you dare give him ideas!”

Now, now everyone.  The poor thing has a while to go before she’s a teen, so let’s worry about that when we get there.  For now, let her enjoy being a kid as much as she can.  She’ll have enough to worry about with the Dynasty huh?

“Hear hear, Watcher!”

Ripley would have enough to deal with was right…


 

Advertisements

Chapter 6: This is a New Day, a New Beginning

Ulrike ran out of the house, glowing.  She forgot her anger at Han- mostly even as she skidded to a stop next to his rocket.  “Han!”

He looked at her warily, wondering how much yelling she was going to do this time.  Not that he didn’t deserve it, but a man (of any species or race) could only take so much abuse from all fronts.  “Ul-ulrike… hi.”

“Hanhanhan!”

“What?  What is it?”  There was a sudden fear.  Was she alright?  She had been pretty ill…

“We’re gonna have a nooboo!”

Han could only stare at her for a moment, his mouth a big round ‘O’.  Then he pulled her to him, hugging her tightly before kissing her senseless.

After a moment, he put her at arm’s length.  “Ulrike… can you ever forgive me?  I-I… I had to try.  I-I thought maybe- maybe if I could talk to-to SOMEONE, maybe I could get my answers.  I-I didn’t want this- thing to hang over our heads.”

Ulrike smiled gently at him.  “I get it, Han.  I do.  I’m a Renegade, remember?  I-I know that when someone tells you not to do something, it’s the first thing you want to do- and that’s just a normal thing.  You- you lost your home.  But- you have a new home now.”  It was left unspoken that he had her- and now he would have a child as well.

“You’re right,” he whispered.  “You’re right.  Ulrike, I-I won’t do something so stupid again.  Y-you… you and the child you carry.  You’ll be my world now.”

“C’mon, let’s go inside.”  They went back into the house, hand in hand.


Han cringed.  “Is Ulrike in the bathroom again, Watcher?”

Afraid so.  The morning sickness hits hardest during the early trimesters.  And it’s hitting your poor wife pretty hard as it is.  I can’t believe how sick you guys have been getting lately!

“Are you feeling better, baby?” Han asked his wife as she emerged from their bedroom to join him at the table.

She nodded.  “Yeah, for now.  It comes and goes.”

Han leaned over. “Be nice to mommy, kiddo.”  Ulrike stood up and Han followed.  He grinned as he leaned down to place to his hands on his wife’s swelling abdomen.  “You’re gonna be the bestest wittle nooboo around!  Aren’t you, sweetie?”

Ulrike grinned.

Ugh, medicine for you pal, soon as you’re done.  Your wife doesn’t need to get sick again. 

He frowned.  “Yeah, need to do that.”


“Can’t believe it, man.  You gonna be a daddy!”

“I know… it-it’s so weird!  And yet- I can’t stop smiling about it, Marcus!”

Marcus gave a raucous laugh.  “Yeah, there’s just- something about it.”  He let out a deep breathe, still running.

Han concentrated on his reps for a moment, then asked tentatively, “You gotten to see any of your little ones lately?”

“Nah, not yet… I plan on making some rounds though.”

Han nodded.

How’s the painting coming along?

 “Well enough.  Helps take my mind off the backache… at least for a while,” Ulrike answered ruefully as she gave her painting a critical onceover.

Ulrike?  What would you think of becoming a full time painter?  You could quit your gallery job, spend your days here painting and still be around for when the nooboo arrives.  We don’t need the money as much and honestly, your paintings sell for more than enough on their own.

Ulrike tilted her head to the side, thinking.  “Actually… I think I’d like that.  I really would.  I only took the job at the gallery to get started, but you’re right.  I would have more time for my own work and be able to be home with our baby.”

I hear Han.  Why don’t you talk it over with him?  See what he thinks?

“There’s my beautiful wife.”  Han was beaming as he looked at Ulrike.  She responded with a flirtatious tilt of her head and a fluttering of her lashes at him.

“I love you,” she murmured.

“And I you,” he responded.  He had to lean down murmur to his wife’s belly.  “I love you too, baby.  I love you very much.  Mommy and daddy can’t wait to meet you.”

“Awww,” Ulrike sniffed.  “So cute!  You’re going to make a great daddy.”  She sighed and stretched, grimacing and letting out a groan as her back ached.

“Oh baby, why didn’t you say anything?  Here, let me see what I can do for ya.”  Han spun her around gently and then began to massage her back and shoulders.

“Uuuuhhhh, that feels so good!  Oh, thank you so much, baby!”  Once he was done, she turned around to wrap her arms around him, resting her head on his shoulder.

“Why don’t you get changed?  Get comfortable and we’ll spend the evening relaxing,” Han told her.

“That sounds lovely.”

They found themselves in the sunroom, relaxing as Marcus did his nightly run.  Han had gotten very comfortable, sitting in his skivvies with a glass of milk in hand.

“Hey hey!  Lookin’ good there, mama!” Marcus called out, waving at them both from the treadmill.

“Don’t you know it!” she replied.  Han just laughed.


“Hi, yes, I’m planning a birthday party.  It’s my own.  Turning into an adult.  Yeah, yeah, middle-aged my rear!  Yup, got what we needed.  Wife has made the cake already.  Yup, thanks!”

“Woo!  I’m an adult now!”

–sigh—Yes, but it only got to silver… this timer bug is going to be difficult to maneuver around.  That’s alright though.  We have time yet.

 “Yeah, I guess so.”

Ulrike, cake looks great, honey.

 “Thanks Watcher.”  Ulrike yawned.  “I’m beat.  I think I’m gonna call it a night.”

You do that.  You’ve earned it.  Anytime now and it’ll be time to meet your little one.

 Just as Ulrike went to climb into bed, she caught her breath and let out a sharp cry as something seemed to release inside of her.  “Oooooo!  W-watcher, I-I think it’s time!  M-my water just broke!”

Oh!  Alright, sweetie.  It’s ok.  Let’s get you to the hospital!  Han!  Get your butt moving!  It’s go time!


They arrived at the hospital, Han trying to remain calm, though his voice was about an octave higher than normal and he was talking much louder than necessary.  As Ulrike checked in, Han stood there, looking particularly menacing.  “If anything happens to her-“  He had been checking the computer on occasion and had stumbled upon Carl’s forums.  He’d seen some of the horror stories.  “I swear… I will hurt them like they’ve never been hurt!”

Yeah… I think you’re a bit too highly strung to be in there with her yet… C’mon, Han.  This way.  Don’t worry, Ulrike, I’m right here with you.

 “Th-thanks, Watcher.  This corridor is too darn long!”

I don’t know, sweetie.  Poor design maybe?  Almost there, though!

 Ulrike finally reached the room and changed into the gown provided for her.  She eased herself onto the cold steel table, a shiver running through her.

“Don’t worry Mrs. Galactus.  Everything will be alright,” the Doctor soothed.  He manned the controls, a thin sheen of sweat on his forehead.  He hadn’t quite gotten the hang of these new contraptions. He found the proper setting with a small sigh of relief and hit the button.  But as the machine whirred and the arm went through the slot, the EKG machine blared a warning and something that shouldn’t have been in the grip of the claws was!

“W-watch…er…”  Ulrike let out a gasp and her head lulled to the side.

Oh my God!  Do something you moron! 

Outside the door, there was an all-too familiar voice.  “Ulrike?  Ulrike!”

If you don’t fix this now, I can’t promise I can hold him back!  You are a dead Sim if he comes in and sees her like this!

Frantically, the doctor hit several buttons, his eyes wide in fear.  The orderly peeked outside the doors, putting his life into his own hands just in case Han was still out there.  The machines still blared their warning and Ulrike was still.

Doctor!

Finally, the machine responded to the doctor’s commands and a few moments later, the machine picked up a sinus rhythm.  Ulrike’s eyes opened.  “W-watcher?”

Oh thank the Forum!  You’re ok, Ulrike.  You’re fine, sweetie.  And guess what?  There’s someone here to see you.

A sharp cry split the air and Ulrike turned her head to look into the bassinet by the table.  A beautiful little blue baby stared back at her.

Welcome little Ripley Galactus, the heir to the Dynasty.


 

Chapter 5: With the First Link, the Chain is Forged

I hear you proposed to Ulrike yesterday.

Han looked up from where he was working on his rocket ship.  “Yes I did.  Why?  Is there a problem?”

No, not at all.  I’m happy to hear it in fact.  And it looks like you’re doing well with your little project there as well.

“Yeah, it’s coming along.”

Han… I don’t want to have to repeat myself.  You are not to try and return to Omega 4.  Once you leave this planet, I have no control over anything.

 “So you said before.  Look, I don’t have time for this.  I know what I’m doing, alright?”

Hm… we’ll see.


“How was work today, Han buddy?”

“It was actually pretty good, Marcus.  How was your day?”

Marcus winked at him.  “It was great man.  Thanks for inviting me into the house.  This job is great!”

Han’s brow furrowed.  “Job?  You mean gardening?”

Marcus laughed uproariously.  “No, this is a different kind of sowin’ if ya know what I mean!”

Han only looked bewildered.  “No… I don’t.”

“Wait… I thought you had finished readin’ the book,” Marcus said, realizing he wasn’t joking.

“Um, well… I skimmed some parts, I guess…”

Marcus’s eyes widened.  “Whoa, dude!  That’s- well, dangerous, isn’t it?”

“I read all the important parts!  I know what I have to do,” Han ground out, sounding defensive.  It was a good thing that the Watcher wasn’t around.  He could only imagine the earful he’d get.  “I’ll go back and reread it after the wedding.  Anyway, so tell me.  What’s your job?”

Marcus looked around quickly, then leaned in close.  “I make sure the town doesn’t die later on in the generations.  I uh, visit the eligible ladies and we-“  He winked at Han, “get busy with ‘pollinatin’.”

Han could only gap at him.  “Y-you… you procreate with a bunch of the females?”

“In a manner of speakin’, that’s exactly what I do.”

“Wait… that young woman that was here just yesterday… the pregnant one.  That-“

Marcus nodded.  “Yup, Candy’s carryin’ my baby.”

Han sat there for a moment, fuming.  He wasn’t mad at Marcus.  Not really.  He was angry with the Watcher.  Then again, he couldn’t say a word because then she’d know he hadn’t read the blerghing book!  Finally, he looked at Marcus.  “Does it- bother you?”

Marcus shrugged one shoulder.  “A little, maybe.  I mean, I’ve never been one fer the ol’ ball’n’chain myself, not like you pal.  Do I like going from one woman to another?  Not as much.  But hey, it helps you out later on, keeps people in the houses around town.  Can be hard to get new people in later on down the line.”

“I-I see…  Alright, well.  I do wish you luck.  And Marcus?  Don’t let the Watcher force you into anything you don’t wanna do.  If you wanna stop, tell her so.”

Marcus nodded.  “Got it.”  He grinned.  “Don’t you worry none.  I got this.  I’m gonna enjoy myself before I got old.”

Han gave an absent nod and went back to eating, lost in thought.


The day of their wedding dawned just like all the others, though Han would have said the sun was brighter, the air crisper, the birdsong louder.  He walked out of the house, taking a deep breath and letting out a sigh.

You’re in a better mood, at least, than you have been.

Not even the Watcher could ruin his mood.  “Yeah, well, I get to make Ulrike mine today.  We’ll be linked from this day forward.”

Yes, this is very true.  Perhaps she’ll be able to keep you in line better…

He glared up at the sky for a moment, then shook his head.  He wouldn’t fight with her, not today.  Then he heard a noise, a noise that took him back.  “What the-“

No!  On her wedding day!  Seriously!  Ooooo, when I get a hold of the High Council… she wasn’t even inoculated!

“Ulrike!!!”  Han sprinted across the lawn, watching the shape of the spaceship recede.  “No!  Ulrike!”

It’s ok, Han.  They’ll bring her back. 

“They?  Who was that?”

The High Council from Sixam sends a scouting party every so often to keep an eye on the Sims on this planet.  Some of them have even made their home here, somewhat like you, though for them, it’s by choice.  She’ll be alright.

 “She better be!” he growled.

Just wait for a little while.  She’ll be back.


You’re back!  Are you alright?

 “I-I feel a little light-headed,” Ulrike replied, “b-but I think I’m ok.  I didn’t miss the wedding did I!?”

No, you’re just in time.  Let me go tell, Han and then we can get things started!  Go change, alright?

She nodded and ran off.  She came back just in time to greet the first guests.  “Thank you so much for coming!”

Ulrike… wait a minute, sweetie, are you ok?  What- Oh, the High Council is sooo going to hear about this!  You poor thing!


“What?  What is it?  Ulrike?  Oh, my poor urdona!” Han had stepped out of the house after hearing his bride was back, safe and sound.

“It’s ok, Han.  I’m fine.”  Ulrike smiled brightly at him.  “I’ll be fine.  Let’s get married, ok?”

Though Han wanted nothing more than to wed Ulrike and make her his mate, he was worried for her.  But he couldn’t deny her so he nodded.  “You got it, my love.”

As the couple stood in front of the wedding arch at the edge of the property, Han could only swallow.  “Y-you are just- I don’t even have the words for how beautiful you are, Ulrike.”

“Oh, Han.  I-I’m so happy today!  I-I never imagined I’d have a wedding like this.”

“From this day forward, I promise to love you and cherish everything you are.  I swear that I will be your partner in all things and support you in everything you do,” Han vowed.

“From this day forward, I promise to you and cherish you, to give everything in me to see you succeed.  I will support you in any way you need and be your best friend now and forever.”  Ulrike leaned forward to softly kiss Han’s cheek.

As she stepped back, the world began to spin around her and she almost fell.  “Ulrike!” Han cried out.  “Ulrike, are you alright?  Let me get you to a doctor!”

“No!  No, I’m fine.  Please, Han.  I want to marry you.”

He swallowed.  “Alright, but as soon as we’re done, you need to go to bed!”

“Alright, love.  Alright.”

The two finished their vows and became husband and wife.

Rather than kiss his new wife, Han instead pulled Ulrike close for a gentle hug.  He was worried for her, but she seemed to so badly want to stay for the wedding.

She stayed for cake, though she had to sit down because she’d gotten dizzy yet again.

After Han and Ulrike had shared their first piece, Ulrike went to go lay down, sighing.  She felt bad.  Han went with her to tuck her in.  He had every intention of letting her rest, but as had already been proven, he had a very hard time denying her anything, so they both changed and celebrated their wedding night.


Where in the Simverse do you think you’re going, Han!?

“I have an appointment… I need to go home, Watcher!”

You just got MARRIED!?  You’re going to get yourself killed!  Don’t be a fool!

“I have to find out who set me up!” he snarled back.  He knew the Watcher couldn’t really stop him, so giving her his most obnoxious grin, he waved good bye as he climbed into his ship.

You idiot!  Han, don’t do this!  What about Ulrike?!

But he didn’t answer her.  The rockets fired and the ship was airborn.

Frantically, the Watcher monitored communications.  “-ship, you are not authorized.  Turn back or be shot down.”  The impersonal voice of the Omega 4’s planetary defense systems made the Watcher growl and utter a few expletives.  “Unknown ship, you have been warned!”

“Yeah, yeah.”  Han’s voice came out a little different over the radio frequency.  “I’m here on business.  This is Pr-  Whoa!  Hey, don’t fire!”

Ugh!  Get out of there!

The Watcher heard Han curse a bit in his native tongue, then the radio went dead, static echoing in the quiet.  N-no… Han!

Just as she had given up hope, she heard a horrific noise and zoomed back out.  The shape that was plummeting back to Earth was recognizable, but only barely.  Even as hope flared, the ship was coming in far too fast and it hit the ground with an ear-splitting, earth-rocking impact, pieces of ship and debris flying everywhere!

HAAAANNNNNNN!!!  The Watcher screamed his name again, but there was no response except for the crackling of the flames over the shattered hull…

Just as the Watcher was going to have to share the terrible news with Ulrike, there was a bit of a crash and coughing and a shape appeared amongst the wreckage.

“Ugh,” Han groaned as he struggled to pull himself from beneath the debris.

Han!  Oh Thank Carl and Metro and Pam!  You’re alive!  I can’t believe it!  Now I’m going to KILL you!  You stupid, idiotic-

 “Aww, I know you’re happy to see me, Watcher.”  He shook himself off and then stood there, looking far too pleased with himself.


You had better not be thinking of returning!  Did you learn NOTHING from your last try!?

 “Oh, so you’re speaking to me again?” he asked, still concentrating on tightening the rivet he was working on.

I wanted to know how your talk with Ulrike went. 

 “I’m sure you know very well how it went… she was mad enough that I almost wished the crash had finished me off…”  Han sighed.  “Look, I know I screwed up, ok?  I won’t be trying to go back.  We’ll do this your way…”

Good. Is Ulrike still mad at you?

“Yeah… she hasn’t spoken to me since I told her either…”

Ah… well, let me go see how she’s doing.


Ulrike?  How are you doing?

Ulrike sat on their bed and then hastily wiped tears away.  “I-I… Oh Watcher, what was he thinking?!  He-he almost died!”

I know, sweetie.  I know.  He was foolish.  But you know he loves you.  I think he’s been punished enough, don’t you?

“I- maybe… I, will you help me with something?  I- um… I’m well- late.  I was going to take a test.  Will you be with me when I take it?”

Of course, Ulrike!  You don’t even have to ask.  C’mon then.  Let’s see.

Ulrike went into the bathroom and grabbed the pregnancy test she’d bought.  There was a nervous silence as both she and the Watcher waited.  “Watcher, Watcher!  Look!  It’s positive!”


 

Chapter 4: Love Keeps Her in the Air

Ulrike looked up from the canvas she’d been working on.  Han had just come down the stairs.  “How are you doing, baby?”

Han sighed.  “Just- can’t believe he’s gone, ya know?”

“Oh I know.  I know.”

He took her hands in his.  “Ulrike… you’ve been- I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t been here.”

Han looked deep into her eyes.  “Y-you’ve helped keep me sane.  Thank you.”

“Han, you don’t need to thank me, truly.”

“Yes I do.”  He bit his lip and looked away for a moment.  It was uncharacteristic of him to seem so tongue-tied.

“Han?  What is it?”

“I uh… We’ve both been cooped up and you’ve been amazing.  I-I- Would you like to go to the park?  Just- get away for a little while?”

She smiled.  “I think I’d love that.”


Han sat down on the bench and Ulrike followed.  He let out a sigh.  “It really is nice here,” he murmured, unable to take his eyes off of her.

“Yeah, it is.”

“Though not as nice as the view right here,” he murmured.

That brought out a small blush.  “You’re too charming for your own good, ya know,” she murmured back.

“I don’t know, I like to think I’m just charming enough,” he retorted with a small grin.  Thought brought out a chuckle and she leaned against him.  He slipped his arms around her and let out a small sigh.

Ulrike began to fidget just a little bit.  Han looked at her.  “You ok?”

“Just a little stiff, I think.”

“Here, let me take care of that, then.”  Han waited for her to turn a bit and then he began do massage her shoulders, his fingers digging into her flesh.  She let out a small groan in bliss.

“Wow, that was great.  Thanks, baby.”

“You are more than welcome.”  Han stood up and he offered her his hand.  She took it, arching a brow at him as he helped her to her feet.  He pulled her close, his gaze intense on hers before he dipped her right over, kissing her fiercely.

When he righted her, Ulrike had to catch her breath.  “O-oh wow,” she managed.  “Th-that sure was something.”

Han grinned at her.  “Wanna go back home?”

She nodded.  But before they could go inside, Han took her hand and led her toward the edge of the property, to the river.  “I don’t wanna go inside quite yet,” he said.  They sat down on the bench together.  They sat in silence for a long moment, just letting the serenity of the gently flowing water and each other’s company soothe their hearts.

After a little while, Han took her hand in his.  She placed her hand over his.  “Ulrike… I-I love you.  I-I think I have since I first saw you.”

“I-I love you too,” she murmured, then gave a light laugh.  “I-it’s funny… I-I never thought this would happen to me.  I-I’m a rebel!  A- a Renegade.  And yet-“  She looked deeply into his eyes.  “I’ve never felt like this about anyone.”

Taking this as a sign, Han stood up.  He looked at the water for a moment, and then turned to her.  She had stood up, her brow furrowed, concerned.  “Han?”

Pulling in a deep breath, Han got down on one knee.  He had read up on Sim mating customs.  They weren’t that different from his own, but this whole ‘engagement’ business was a bit different than he was used to.  He hoped he didn’t screw it up.  He had to clear his throat as he took the little box from his pocket.  “Ulrike Faust, I-I know we haven’t known each other long, but I can’t imagine my life without you in it.  Th-that’s never happened before.  I know things are uncertain and this- task I have to do sounds insane.  Despite all that… will you take a chance and become my wife?”

She stared at him for a long moment, long enough that he began to feel his heart sink.  Then she let out a little squeal and a string of “Yesyesyesyesyes!”  She took the ring and he helped slip it onto her finger before she launched herself at him.  He caught her just in time, laughing.

Ulrike wrapped her arms around his neck and rested her forehead against his.  “Me, a wife,” she murmured, a sense of irony making her grin.

“You’ll make a beautiful bride and a wonderful wife, ya know,” he told her.  He gently let her down and drew her close, kissing her tenderly.

“We’ll have the wedding during the weekend.  I start the new job tomorrow.  But I have Saturday off.  Does that sound good to you?”

“That sounds wonderful.”  She laughed again.  “Me in a wedding dress…”

He grinned.  “You’ll look- breathtaking.  I know you will.”

The two walked back to the house, hand in hand.


“Hey Kade,” Han murmured, looking at the gravestone.  “I uh, wanted you to know, Ulrike and I will be getting married in another day or so.”

He smiled.  “She’s- a heck of a woman.  I know you only got to meet her just- well, just before.  But she’s already a part of the household, a part of the- family.  We miss ya, Kade.  We really do.”  He sighed, rubbing the back of his neck.  “But things are going well enough.  Aside from the wedding coming up, I have a job.  The garden is… well it’s beautiful.  Jaimie’s taken over that duty now too.  Marcus helps out… when he doesn’t disappear for days at a time.  The Watcher says he’s doin’ his job.  And he seems fairly happy, so I haven’t said much.  Oh!  The house is coming along.  The Watcher’s finally been able to finish things up.  There’s still a couple rooms that aren’t outfitted, but the majority are done.**”

“That’s all for now.  I’ll keep you updated, as we go.  We wouldn’t even have gotten this far, if not for you.  Thank you, my friend.  I’m sorry I didn’t say this to you when you were still with us.  That’s my biggest regret right now.  I know, I know.  I have a feeling you’d smack me upside the head right now, if you could, so I won’t say any more about that.  But I thought you should know what’s going on.  I’ll keep you updated, I promise.”  Han smiled a little and then turned to go back to the house, feeling a bit lighter than he had before.

**To check out more details about the house, go here:  Additions/Decorated Rooms


 

Chapter 3: Live Long and Prosper

“You look like you got something on your mind, lad.  What is it?” Kade asked, looking sideways at Han on the other end of the couch.

Han started and then looked over at the gardener.  “I uh… met someone, Kade.  I-I can’t seem to get her out of my mind.”

Kade laughed.  “A pretty woman’ll do that, son.  Did you get her number?”

Han had the grace to blush a little.  “Um, yeah.”

“You gonna call her?”

“I-I don’t know.  Maybe…”

“Let me give ya a little advice: it’s better to regret what you did do, than what you didn’t, alright?”

Han’s brow furrowed.  “Yeah… I guess.”

Kade grinned and stood.  “Well, I’m gettin’ old, so I’m gonna head to bed.  Have a good night, lad.”

“Night, Kade.”


Didn’t you learn your lesson the last time?

 “I’m doing much better, I promise.  That and it helps clear my head a bit.  Don’t be such a-a… what’s the term?  Worrywart?  Something like that.”

Hm… I hope so.  Wouldn’t want any unfortunate accidents, would we? 

“Yeah, yeah.”


Oh dear, Kade!  I didn’t realize your cowplant had grown up… Just be careful with him.

 

“Oh don’t worry, Watcher.  Rover here won’t hurt anyone!”

Rover?  Um, alright… Sims!


You two look as if you’ve hit it off.

 “Hey Watcher!  How’s it hangin’?”  Marcus grinned.

“Ain’t he a trip, Watcher?” Jaimie asked with a chuckle.

Hm, he’s something alright.  I’ll leave you to it.  Keep him out of trouble, Jaimie.

 “You got it!”


Han?  You have a visitor.

He looked up from the piece he was working on, this time he was clothed.  “A visitor?  Really?”

Mhm.

Intrigued, he left the workbench and stepped outside.  When he saw his visitor, he froze.  “Ulrike…”

She smiled at him.  “Hello Han.  I got a little tired of waiting.  I’d heard you were pretty busy, so thought I’d come and check on you myself.”

Han swallowed.  All thoughts had flown out of his head.  Without thinking, he opened up his mind, something he’d been warned about doing around Sims.  But it was too late!  Thoughts and feelings flowed between them in a matter of seconds, an intense flood that staggered them both for a moment.

Ulrike shook her head, trying to clear it.  She looked at Han intensely.  “Y-you’re an alien!”

Han tried to smile, though it was more of a grimace.  “Um… yes?”

“That’s really cool!  Everyone said I was crazy to think there were aliens, but… wow!”

“Wait… you aren’t… freaked out?”

“Freaked out?  No, of course not!  I think it’s really cool!”

“Y-you do?”  He couldn’t help but grin.  He had been worried about that.  It was one reason he hadn’t ventured out much.  No one in the house really cared about him being an alien, but he’d heard some insane stories about how Sims reacted.  The fact that Ulrike thought it was ‘cool’ seemed to be a sign!  He’d been careful to keep his glow down to a minimum, but this time he didn’t care.

“Poor thing,” she murmured.  “You ok, Han?”  She gave him a hug, having felt and seen some of what he had been feeling earlier.

“Yeah, yeah I am.  You uh, wanna stick around for a bit tonight?”

She lowered her gaze a little, looking at him through her long dark lashes.  “Sure, I’d like that.”


“Morning beautiful,” Han murmured to Ulrike.

“Hi yourself, handsome.”

“Thanks for hanging out.  Sorry to keep you so long.”

Ulrike laughed.  “I hardly noticed the time.  Thanks for having me.”  She wrapped her arms around him.

Hello Kade.  What do you see?


“W-watcher… It-it’s that time.  The Reaper is coming.  Y-you take care of Han, ok?  T-tell him I’m glad to have been a part of his family, even if only for a little while.  So-so tired.”

O-oh, Kade… Oh, I’m so sorry.

“Now, now.  N-none of that.  Y-you look after him.  And you make sure he listens to you.  And Watcher?”

Y-yes?

“Make sure he’s happy.”

I’ll-I’ll try,  Kade.

 

“What’s going on here?” Han came running over the grass, looking concerned.  Then he saw Kade on the ground.  “K-kade?  C’mon, man.  Thi-this isn’t funny!  Get up!” His hand went to his mouth as the realization that he was losing one of the only people in the world who had really believed in him, even when he hadn’t believed in himself.

“Han?  What is it?”  Ulrike was running toward them.

“Ah, man, not Kade!” Marcus exclaimed, not quite able to disguise the sniffle.

“Oh, Kade,” Jaimie whispered, tears in her eyes.

“Oh-oh, dear.  Oh Han… I-I’m sorry.”  Ulrike had talked to Kade a bit the previous night and she had seen how close he had been with Han.

Grim, if-if you could please hurry… this is agony.  He-he was a good man. 

 “Yes, Watcher, I see that here.  Don’t worry, he will be well taken care of.  You are right, he was a very good man.”  The Grim Reaper’s scythe swiped down, severing Kade’s soul from his body.  “I am sorry for your loss.  I am- only doing my job.”

“We know, Grim,” Jaimie told him gruffly.  “But… your job surely sucks.”

“That it does.”

RIP Kade Cotter.  You will be dearly missed.


 

Chapter 2: Do or Do Not, There is no Try!

“Lookin’ a little gloomy there, lad,” Kade observed at breakfast.

Han sighed, then shrugged one shoulder after he’d swallowed his bite of- (he thought it was called salad, but wasn’t sure).  “Yeah, guess so.  Still can’t seem to wrap my head around all of this.”

Kade nodded.  “It’ll get better.  Just buckle down.  You read the book fully?”

Han’s gaze shifted to the side.  “Sure, sure… I know what I gotta do.”

“Good.  That’s the first step,” Kade told him with a smile.

“Yeah… right,” Han agreed, though he couldn’t quite look Kade in the eye.  He stood up, mumbling, “Uh, gotta go do- something.  I’ll see ya later, Kade.”

Kade sat at the table for a moment.  “Watcher?”

Yes, Kade?

 “Think he’ll make it?”

I honestly don’t know.  Only time will tell.  Let me thank you, though for your contributions thus far.  You go above and beyond that which you were brought into the household for.

 Kade smiled.  “Gotta wait for plants to grow.  Might as well make myself useful in other ways.”

And it is much appreciated.  Though Han may be too shocked yet to say, I know he does.

 “No need for that.  It’s nice to have a real home in my dotage.”

Dotage?  You’re not fooling anyone, Mr. Cotter.  You’re more active than the young ‘uns here!

Kade chuckled.  “Maybe that’s true.”

That and gardening takes a lot too.  And your garden is already off to a wonderful start.

 

“Well, that’s what I’ve done all my life!  I better be good at it!”

Hm, you have a point, I suppose.

 “Go on, go on.  I’m sure you have better things to do than watch me.”


Hmm… Jaimie?  Have you seen Han?

 “Hm?  Oh, hello Watcher.  No, I haven’t.  Fishing’s pretty good today.  Got a couple angelfish for ya.”

Excellent!  Thank you!  I hope Han realizes how lucky he is to have both you and Kade.

 “No thanks needed.  Most Sims would do just about anything to be Watched, including become part of a Dynasty.”

Yes, though not sure Han feels the same.

 “Give him time.  He’ll thank you eventually.”

Hm… We’ll see.  Anyway, thanks, Jaimie!

She waved, then buckled down when she felt a bite on the line.


There you are! You look- deep in thought.

 “Can’t a Simlien take a bath in peace!?”

I’m your Watcher.  I told you that.  Are you alright?

He didn’t say anything for a moment, then exploded, “Alright?  Alright!  Of course I’m not alright!  I was framed for a crime I didn’t commit.  I was tried and sentenced by my own father!  I still don’t know who did it!  And, if that isn’t enough, I have been exiled to a backward planet and my only chance to MAYBE regain what is rightfully mine, to clear my name, is by doing something that sounds almost impossible!”

Are you finished?

“Um… yeah, I guess.”

Ok then.  No one promised that life was fair.  Why do you assume that you are an exception to that?  Now, as I said before, I cannot make a determination of your guilt or innocence.  I can only Watch, and to guide, when appropriate, when the Rules allow.  This is your journey, Han.  I cannot make it for you.  Now, have you changed your mind?

He was silent for a long moment, then cleared his throat.  “N-no…”

Then what is it?

 “Can you please go somewhere else so I can- uh, get out of the bathtub now?”

Oh… right…  Carry on!  I’ll just be… away, if you need me.


Han… what are you doing?

 “What does it look like?”

It looks like you plan on using very sharp tools… in your boxers.

 

“What?  I got this!”

Riiiight… and that’s why the chisel is now sticking out of the floor between your feet…

He straightened up, trying for some dignity.  “I uh… maybe I’ll get dressed, then work on this.”

Yeah… good idea.


“You look like you’re feelin’ a bit better, lad,” Kade observed.

“Yeah, I think I’m getting a handle on things.  If I want to get to the bottom of this, I just have to buckle down.”

“That’s a good attitude, lad.  And don’t worry, you aren’t alone.”

“Thank you, for that, truly Kade.  You and Jaimie have been wonderful and I don’t think I’ve really thanked you for that.  Nor can I ever repay you.”

Kade slapped him on the back.  “No thanks or repayment are necessary.  Just keep your eye on your goals and do your best.  That’s all anyone can ask of you.”

Han laughed.  “I’m going to go for a jog, finish clearing my head, I think.”

“Go on then, lad.  Jaimie and I can fend for ourselves.  I made some food and it’s in the fridge for when you get back.”


You’ve been doing well the last few days, Han.  The garden is progressing nicely, thanks to Kade and Jaimie has caught several angelfish already.  You’re progressing through your aspirations and almost have enough for the Connections reward.

“Ok, so what does all that mean?”

Soon as you have the Connections reward, you can join a career.  Have you thought about what you want to do?

He grinned, something in his expression worrying.  “Astronaut, of course.”

Han!  You can’t go back!  You will be fired upon!

“You just let me worry about that,” he said, his expression hard.  Then he grinned.  “I won’t do anything until I know who it was, alright?”

Han, you are forbidden to go back!

“Yeah, yeah, Watcher.  Whatever you say.  I’m going to head out for a bit.  I’m going a little stir-crazy, going to stretch my legs.  Like you said, things are moving along.”  Before the Watcher could say anything, he was heading out.


“Hm, Windenburg, eh?  Seems a nice enough town.  Oo, the gym!  Think this is just what I need.  And look, that pool looks great!”

He’d been spending his time not just on this Dynasty business.  He’d spent a lot of time learning about the Sims and the planet he had found himself on.

The water was perfect as he slid into it.  There was something about swimming that allowed one to just let it all- empty out.

Once he was done with his laps, Han hoisted himself out of the pool.  “Hello, handsome.  What brings you out here?”

Han stopped.  “Hm?”  The girl was cute, and not even just for a Sim.

She laughed.  “A man of few words, huh?”

“I wouldn’t say that.  Just got a lot on my mind.”

The two chatted for a while and Han moved off, deep in thought.  He’d felt something in the pit of his stomach while talking to her.  Was he attracted to her?  He supposed it was possible.  Other than Jaimie and Kade, he hadn’t had contact with any other Sim.  Deciding to fix that, Han began to introduce himself to those he met at the gym.

He had quite the conversation with a Sim named Marcus Flex.  He had some great tips on working out.

There was another young lady whose name he didn’t get, though she was another lovely Sim.

But all that went away when he laid his eyes on another young woman.  He had no trouble remembering her name at all.  What was this feeling?  It was no longer this subtle feeling in the pit of his stomach, but felt like a full-blown- explosion?  He went down to the locker rooms to grab his stuff and he knew by the tingling between his shoulder blades that she was there and she was definitely looking at him.

As he went to the locker, he felt a hand on his arm.  When he turned, there was, smiling, one corner turned up higher than the other.  She didn’t say a word, simply handed him a piece of paper and then turned and walked away.  He stared at it for a moment.  It read ‘Ulrike Faust’ and then it had her number on it.  He didn’t even bother getting dressed, simply went upstairs and then outside.  He took out his phone and entered her number, just staring at it for a moment.

“Hey Han!  Thought you were gonna be right behind me!  Get distracted by some of the gals?”

“Wha?  Oh, hey Marcus!  Yeah, sorry about that.  You settled in already?”

“Sure am,” Marcus agreed.  “Thanks for havin’ me.”

“The more the merrier,” Han murmured, still a bit dazed.  He needed to clear his head.  He got up and wandered off.  Marcus shrugged.


So, did you enjoy your time out?

“Hm?  Oh, hi Watcher.  Yeah, I guess I did.”  He pursed his lips as he looked at his next move.

Hm, well then.  I’ll make sure that our newest household member settles in well.  Good find, just so you know.  I’ll leave you to it.

Han waved her away, his thoughts not on his chess technique.  Instead, he was thinking of a certain green-eyed, tattooed lady.


 

Chapter 1: Express Elevator to-

“O-ow… man… I think that tech enjoyed that a little too much.”  Han groaned and sat up, rubbing at his head.  Then he froze, looking around.  “Wha-what?  What in the Universe is going on!  W-where am I?”

You are on a planet called Earth, Han Galactus.

He jumped up, giving a “manly” yell.  “Who was that?  Where are you?”

I am called the Watcher.

 “The who?  The what?  And… where are you?”

I am not there, not in a physical sense.  Han, I am here to oversee your- sentence.

 “My sentence?  What?  So-so… that wasn’t just a bad dream?”

No, I am afraid not.  You were tried and found guilty of all charges.  You were stripped of your title, your birthright, and your life as you know it.  The only reason you still live is because your father interceded. 

 “I-I don’t… but I didn’t DO anything!”

I am not a judge of whether you are innocent or guilty.  I am simply here to oversee your sentence.  The judge saw fit to grant you a way to possibly redeem yourself, to regain that which was taken.  But there is much work to be done.  Hanseron Zagathos, you have a decision to make.  You can live out your life here, in exile on a planet where you will eventually wither and die, or… you must undertake the Challenge.  This Challenge has Rules.  These Rules are inviolable.  Should any of Them be broken, your demise will be assured.  As it stands, it is still possible to fail.

 He said nothing for a long moment, simply standing there, memories of the trial washing over him.  His mother hadn’t even attended.  It had only been his father, and his uncle Caylan.  His father had pronounced the sentence, his face looking as if it were carved of dydrite, an extremely hard stone from his home.  Home- His chin came up.  “I’ll do it. Whatever it is.  If I succeed, can I go home?”

Yes, should you succeed, you will have completed the terms of your sentence and you will be able to return to Omega 4, to your home.

“Um… so where am I again?”

Earth.  Within the Sim System.  This is a town called Willow Creek.  And this is where you will reside.  Now… I suggest you assume a different form, at least for the time being.  You don’t want to scare the locals.  It could make things difficult.

 He grumped and grumbled, but did as he was bid, activating the holographic technology on his belt.  “This whole ‘Prime Directive’ thing is a little- ridiculous, isn’t it?  Especially given the circumstances.”

If you argue about everything with me, you will find this challenge to be all but impossible.  

 “Yeah, yeah… now- where’s my house?”

House?  Oh dear… you really are clueless, aren’t you?  You will need to the currency of this planet, Simoleans.  Your father was able to secure the bare minimum, but I’m afraid that it will not provide much of a home.  However, that can be remedied rather easily.  For now, I will at least make sure you are provided with the bare necessities. 

 

“Whoa!  Wh-where did all this come from!” he asked, jumping back, looking more than a little bewildered.

I am the Watcher.  As I said, I am to oversee your sentence and to provide what I can within the parameters.  Now, if you wish to succeed in your challenge, I believe you should head to the park.  You should find just the help you need there.

 “Wait?  Help?  Just what have I signed on for, anyway?”

Once you have a proper home, I will explain it further, however, I suggest you don’t waste time, hm?

 “Alright, alright!  Great Universe save me…”  And before he knew it, he was following the disembodied voices directions to the park.

He shrugged.  “This is- nice, I guess.”

Han?  There is a fellow over here I think you should meet, speak with.

 “Yeesh… fine then.  Not like I know what I’m actually talking about here…”

He approached the gentleman that had been pointed out to him.  “Um, hello.”  He seemed to be speaking slowly, as if the Sim at the chess table was either hard of hearing or perhaps didn’t understand.

The older Sim arched a brow.  “I’m older, lad, I’m not deaf.  Have a seat.  Care for a game?  You play?”

Han looked down at the table and with surprise realized it was a simple version of a game he had often played at home.  He smiled.  “I-I uh, yeah, I’d love to play.  I’m a little- rusty.”  He was thinking about how the voice- the Watcher- seemed to think it prudent that he not advertise what he was.  He’d play the game, at least until he better understood the Rules.  He dearly liked to bend the rules, even break them whenever he could get away with it.

“You uh, aren’t from around here, are ya, lad?”

Han jerked his head up from where he’d been studying the board.  Then he laughed.  “What makes you say that?”

“Well, for one, you’re a Watched Sim, aincha?”

Ah, very good.  You are a very astute man, Kade Cotter.

“Thank you, ma’am.  Uh, this is poor boy part of a Challenge?”

Yes, yes he is.  Now, if you know of Challenges, than you probably know what he wants.

 Kade settled back in his chair and looked at the young man across from him.  “You need a gardener, lad?”

Han looked blank for a moment.  Yes, he does, Kade.  A gardener would be perfect.

 Kade nodded slowly.  “Alright.  Yeah, I think I can help out.  Does he know all he has to do yet?”

Not totally.  That will be taken care of a bit later on.

 “Good.”  Kade smiled at Han.

Invite to move in with you, Han.  That’s the next step.

 “Oh!  Um, well, Kade, would you like to move in with me then and- well, do whatever it is that will help me with this- Challenge?”

Kade laughed.  “Aye, I think that sounds like a deal.”

Han?  I think there is someone else you should speak with, as well.  Over there.

 “Uh… ok.  Kade?  I think you know what to do better than I do.  There isn’t much there, but you’re welcome to whatever is at my- home.”

“I’ll manage well enough boy.  Go on, better listen to yer Watcher.”

Han followed the Watcher’s directions, looking bemused as he went up to the woman that She had been speaking about.  “Hi, I’m Han.  I-I know this is crazy, but-“

“Another Founder, is it?” she asked, arching a brow.

Yes, Jaimie.  He is a Founder.  A Dynasty, in fact.

 “Ah, of course.  Suppose you need an angler, then boy?”

“Uh… yes?”

Jaimie chuckled.  “Does he know what’s in store for him?”

I’m afraid he does not, not yet.  He’s still in a state of shock, I think.  Don’t worry, we’ll get that squared away, though.

 “Does everyone else know what’s going on?!” Han demanded angrily.

No, I am sure there are some that are unaware, though anyone with access to the Forum would most likely have at least an idea.  Anyway, as I said, you will be briefed fully in a little.  But time is an important factor.  Keep in mind, you were stripped of your powers, Han.  You are no longer immortal here.  You will eventually age and die here.  Only by following my instructions can you hope to succeed.

 Jaimie walked with Han back toward the front of the park.  He was sullen, brooding.  “Don’t worry.  You’ll get it soon enough.  I’m sure  it’s been a right shock for ya, but it’ll get better.  Once you get into it, you won’t have a lot of time to worry.”

Han sat down with a sigh.  “If you say so… sorry, I don’t mean to be short with you.”

She snorted.  “I’ve heard worse.  Now, I’m going to head off to Oakenstead.  I figure that’s where you gotta be settled at.  Not expecting much, since you’re just startin’ out.  See ya there!”  With that, she was gone.

Han held his head in his hands for a moment and then started when someone else sat down.

Before he could even speak, Han stood and was off, unable to take anymore ‘help’.  Once he returned to the mostly empty lot he had left upon arrival, he sighed.  Kade had already started a little fire.  Kade was also eating- something.  Han wasn’t quite sure what it was.  It certainly smelled different than anything he had ever smelt before.  He just stared into the flames of the fire for a moment, trying to collect his thoughts.

“Where’s Jaimie?” he finally managed after a little bit.

“She’s off doin’ what her kind does: fishin’.  It’s good for relaxin’, at times, or so I hear.  I prefer diggin’ in the earth, m’self.”

The two men went silent for a long moment, both just watching the flames dance.  Then Han began to fidget.  “Got ants in your britches?” Kade asked with snicker.

“What?” Poor Han looked distressed.

Kade laughed.  “If nature calls lad, go use the bush.  It won’t hurt anything.”  At Han’s blank look, Kade rolled his eyes.  “Go pee on the bush, lad.”

Han couldn’t look more horrified if he had tried.  “Th-that’s just- barbaric!”

“Yup, but it beats wettin’ yer pants, doesn’t it?”

Han approached the bush, looking as if it would bite him any second.  “Oh, this is so wrong…”

When he emerged, he looked much relieved, though there was a wrinkle around his nose.  “Feel better?”

Han gave a grunt in response.  He felt- impotent, helpless.  It wasn’t a feeling he liked, not at all.  Needing to do something, he grabbed a log and went to heave it on the fire.  “Easy, lad, not too much now!” Kade protested in a flare of sparks.

Alright then, Jaimie and Kade have been kind enough to bring money with them.  I can commence building a domicile for you.  It shouldn’t take long.

 “Finally!” Han grunted under his breath.


It took a little longer than was thought, but before Han realized it, the empty lot was not so empty anymore.  In the place of the tent and fire stood an actual standing structure. *

*To see what the house looks like inside, go here:  The Dynasty House

Here, Han.  Read this.  This will explain everything.  Read it carefully.  There is technically still time to change your mind, though it means admitting your guilt and living with your punishment.

Han picked up the book with an angry growl.  He opened it up and began to read.

His eyes roved over the page, his expression becoming more thoughtful as he went.  He wandered outside, where the campfire was still set up and sat down, still reading.

He threw up his hands.  “What is this?  How can you expect me to take this seriously!?”

As I said, I am only your Watcher.  It is up to you how serious you take it, but know this: if you do not follow the rules, your homeworld is lost to you.  This is the only way left to you, Han Galactus.

 “Fine, fine… where’s Kade?”

Doing his own part, as is Jaimie.

 

Han sighed, rubbing his hands over his face.  This had to be some bad dream, didn’t it?  This couldn’t be happening…

Why don’t you go lay down?  It has been a long day for you.  We’ll speak more in the morning.

 He nodded grudgingly and trekked up the stairs and then fell face down on the bed.  It was an uneasy sleep for the young alien.

Though morning would bring more clarity, it most likely wouldn’t bring the answers that he truly sought.