More adventures of James Garen, my tabletop game character.
* * *
James walked across the courtyard in front of the dormitory, he was free from training for a little bit and had decided to take a walk. This place was so different from home and yet parts of it were the same. Still, James wasn’t used to the large buildings that surrounded him and sometimes when he was alone it made him a little uneasy. He guessed that he would get used to it eventually but it was all so new right at the moment.
It helped to have people like Luke around, who was a great distraction from missing home. Sometimes those distractions took the form of high speed battles but James never shied away from a fight if he could help it. Still, he never started a fight if it could be avoided.
It was thoughts of battle that went through his head and prevented him from seeing the three fellow students creeping up on him until it was almost too late.
“Garen!” Britt yelled, instantly making James’ mind leap to thoughts of defense. “We owe you for yesterday and we don’t let debts sit for too long.”
James looked around at the three young men who were now circling him like predators. There was Britt, Hal and Victor. They reminded James of the beasts of his home colony that had to be chased off from attacking livestock. He was outnumbered but there was no helping that. He raised his fists and got ready for a fight where the odds were obviously against him.
Hal struck first while he was looking at Britt but James could feel the strike coming and pivoted and lashed out with his right. A surprised Hal was hit right in the throat by a straight jab. He was lucky that James hadn’t powered up but even without doing so it had to hurt. Hal stumbled back, clutching his windpipe and looking surprised.
James turned back and took a swing at Britt but his target just barely moved out of the way. If James was going to get out of this one in one piece, he was going to have to kept things one on one. Hal would be up sooner than later and then it would be three on one again. James knew the odds were against him but he was not about to give up.
He aimed a kick at Victor, landing only a glancing blow but it was enough to allow him to slide past Victor and turn to face all three of them. He knew he had to keep them all in his line of sight if he was going to survive this. He needed them to come at him too so that he could conserve energy.
He swatted an incoming fist away and elbowed Britt in the face and stepped back again to keep out of their reach. He tried to keep his heart rate down. He had to remain calm.
“Nobody’s gotten hurt yet. Get out of here.” James didn’t think that they would just leave but it was worth a try. The three of them just laughed.
“Garen, we’re going to teach you a lesson and then we’ll find Luke and teach him one too.” said Hal, the biggest of the three.
It seemed that diplomacy was not an option. James fought the urge to look over his shoulder for the most direct path out of there. If he turned, they would just jump him. He kept watching them and wondered what they were waiting for. Hal was still rubbing his throat a little and a bruise was blossoming on Britt’s cheek.
Britt charged and a split second later the other two followed suit. In that frozen moment, James knew that there was very little chance of countering all three of them. As soon as he thought that, he was blocking Britt’s punch and that is when it happened.
A red blur suddenly cut off Hal and Victor and sent them crashing into some nearby bushes. James punched a distracted Victor hard, a right cross across the jaw that sent him to the ground hard. James and his three attackers all looked at the newcomer.
The girl stood tall, taller than James by by 5 inches and she looked strong. Her red hair was tied in a tight braid that went past her waist. Her eyes were fiercely green and he noticed her looking him over the same way he was doing to her. She didn’t even give the three guys on the ground a second look.
“Well, hello there.” She said to James with a smirk.
“Hey. Thanks.” said James Garen, sparkling conversationalist.
Britt and his crew started to get up from the ground. “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll leave now.” She said without taking her eyes off James. “We may be outnumbered but we easily achieved the upper hand.”
Britt turned red with anger for a moment but he couldn’t think of anything to say that would successfully argue the point.
“You better watch your back. Both of you.” was Britt’s threat before the three of them retreated to nurse their superficial injuries.
James had to smile, the girl was tough and seemed smart. She also had a smile that had not dimmed one bit since her arrival.
“Really, thanks. My name is James Garen.”
She smirked again, the look on her face making James wonder if she was making fun of him or just laughing at some private joke. “Nice to meet you, James. I’m Sabedra. I just couldn’t stand by and watch a 3 on 1 fight. Not that you weren’t holding your own.”
Something about the girl and her smirk made him crazy. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to fight her or kiss her. Maybe both.
“Thanks. It’s not the first run in with those guys. Usually, I have Luke around to pick up some of the slack.”
“Well, I hope my help is as welcome as Luke.”
“Moreso.” James smiled.
“Come on, James. Let’s go get something to eat. I’ll watch your back if you watch mine?”
“Sounds like a deal.”
They walked off side by side toward the mess hall. It was the start of a strong if somewhat chaotic relationship.