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.


 

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