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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, '11, 1:12 pm
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This story is set a year before Corg and Dee went to college and is referenced in Chapter 2 of "The Savage Silence."
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Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears
Stand up and be counted
Don't be ashamed to cry

- Des’ree


The young man walked down the hallway dressed in attire that was fitting for a 17-year-old boy his age: jeans, sneakers, and a t-shirt that featured the image of a female arm sticking up out of a lake holding a slicer. It could’ve been any young man at the school had his name not been Lohengrin Corg, the school pariah. Well, “pariah” was perhaps putting it a bit strongly, but there were few students who looked at him without determining him to be a peculiar person, to put it lightly.

There was a sense of determination in his gait as he walked past the voice-activated lockers, ignoring the occasional shifty eye as he made his way to the corner of the hall closest to the gym. A group of girls was gathered, chatting about who-knows-what. None of them seemed to pay much attention to him at first, but when it became clear that he had something to say to them—or one of them—they all stopped and turned to face the blonde-haired boy. He looked at all of them amiably and then focused his gaze on Dorothea Shuzo, an attractive girl with long, curly, emerald green locks that fell down to her well-endowed chest.

With a awkward smile, he said, “Dorothea, can I have a quick word with you?” Noticing that her friends were already beginning to whisper something to each other, he added nervously, “It’ll only take a quick moment.”

Dorothea glanced at her friends and rolled her eyes—more at them than at him. “Sure, Corg.”

They stepped away a few feet so that her friends would be out of earshot. Corg stuffed his hands in his pockets so that Dorothea wouldn’t see his hands trembling.

“So, Corg, what’s up?” There was no hint of suspicion or impatience in her voice. It wasn’t unexpected; the two had worked together several times during the semester on projects for Political Science and Robotics Fundamentals, so she was well aware that he wouldn’t “bite.”

Corg’s face grew several shades of pale, bringing him close to “transparent.” He quickly wiped an errant bead of sweat from his forehead. It was now or never for him. He had a mission to complete. The words had to be expressed then and there. “I…I…” he stammered. “I wanted to know if you would like to go to the dance with me next month.”

There, he said it. The words had been pronounced. Whatever happened, he could live with himself now.

“Oh, Corg,” she said, almost tapping him playfully on the arm, but stopping a few inches short. “That’s sweet. It’s certainly unexpected, but it’s sweet.”

“Thanks,” he muttered, now looking at his feet and trying to breathe normally again.

“I’d love to go with you,” she said in a sugary voice that couldn’t hide the fact that she was lying. “But I already have a date. He’s from a neighboring town, but I was able to get permission for him to come.”

“Oh. Sorry.”

“If you want me to hook you up—“

Dorothea’s offer was interrupted by Corg’s abrupt turning away from her and walking away. She smiled and shrugged, soon joining her friends in whatever it was they had been chatting about during her short absence.

Corg walked to his next class and sat next to Dee Estiano, his closest friend and confident. Dee was hard at work in front of her monitor, working on some report that both of them had to do for their Palman history class. Corg had written the bulk of the report while Dee was putting it in digital format. That also included her correcting his occasional careless spelling and grammar error, plus putting certain sentences in less “oppressive” terms. It was symbiotic relationship at its best.

Dee glanced over at Corg and did a double-take. “Why, you’ve gone from a creamy ivory skin tone to white cumulus one.” Narrowing her eyes suspiciously, she ventured, “Did you try to ask someone out just now?”

Corg said nothing, but simply nodded.

“Fine work! So who was it? Mieu? Ankara?”

“Dorothea,” he said with a trembling voice.

“I swear those curls of hers are hypnotic,” she mused, turning back to her work. “So, what did she say?” Her eyes remained fixed on the monitor screen.

“She turned me down,” he said glumly.

Dee, her eyes not leaving her work for a second, reached over and ruffled her friend’s brownish-blond hair. “Sorry to hear it.” Then turning around and facing him, she enthusiastically suggested, “Hey, why don’t we go together?”

Corg’s eyes met hers and he lifted an eyebrow. “Huh? You and I? But didn’t you have like two suitors who were about to duel for your affections...d’I mean, who wanted to go to the dance with you.”

The purple-haired youth broke out into open laughter. “You weren’t there when John asked me, were you?”
Corg nodded.

“You should’ve seen the look in his eyes. It practically screamed, ‘I’ll take you to the dance and then to an enclosed bathroom stall the first chance I get.’ I had to turn him down. And Mittra was practically the same, although he seemed to willing to go the extra mile and want to go into a darkened auditorium.” Dee spoke with a dry tone that indicated more mild amusement than outright offense at her perceived notions of the boys’ intentions.

“Oh. Well, if they had done that, I’d have to…er…protect you.” Corg’s stammering came more from his trying to conceal his knowledge of fighting rather than from any lack of comfort in talking around Dee.

Dee blushed. “In any case, I’m pretty sure that if we go together, you won’t try to seduce me in a bathroom stall.” She narrowed her eyes again and gave him a piercing gaze. “Right?” she snapped sarcastically.

“Unless you consider my putting my jacket on you if it gets cold to be seduction, than no.”

The girl grinned. “Fabulous! Then it’s a date.”

***

For this sweet piece of work,
high maintenance and deserted
I've been different and deserving,
treated like a rose as an orchid

- Alanis Morissette


The tuxedo-clad Corg walked up to the dome-like structure that was Dee’s house and pressed the button on the intercom. A hollow, robotic voice declared, “Welcome to the Estiano estate. Please enter the code or wait for someone to attend you.”

Corg stood around for a couple of seconds, looking at the contents of the small, transparent box he was carrying.

Then a voice came through the intercom. “Who is it?” It was a male’s voice, most likely Dee’s father.

“This is…uh…Corg, sir.” It didn’t matter how many times Corg had been to Dee’s house for schoolwork and “play dates” (as she called them) over the last eight years, he never felt fully comfortable talking to her parents.

“Oh, hey there!” responded the voice. The mechanical door slid open and a short, balding man with indigo hair appeared to greet him. “Hello Corg,” said Dee’s father genially, extending his hand.

Corg shook it firmly and forced a smile.

“Well, don’t just stand there, come in!” Dee’s occasional outbursts of enthusiasm surely had come from her father.

The awkward adolescent bowed his head reverently and followed the jolly man into the house. He sat down on the velvet-y couch and looked around the house, as if he had expected Dee to simply be hanging around in the living room, waiting for him like usual. Her father went upstairs, leaving him to watch whatever it was on television.

Corg heard her father saying something and he heard his friend’s familiar voice respond. The young man took a deep breath. Going to social function like a school dance was a completely alien experience to him; Dee had schooled him in the basics of dance etiquette in the past month, as she had been to a few over the past couple of years. She told him about the dress code (“Tuxedoes with sneakers just won’t cut it,” she said), about flowers, dinner, and other things. He had gotten most of it down, but it was the actual dancing part that left him the most uneasy. Corg knew many things, including numerous ways to take down an opponent in the most painful way possible, but the idea of him trying to dance made him feel like that theoretical opponent.

Ten minutes passed before he heard Dee’s voice echo in the stairwell. He stood up, the box in hand, and waited patiently for his date to come downstairs. And come she did. Dee stepped into the living room dressed in a forest green satin dress with narrow straps that crossed in front, forming almost a halter neck and showing off her smooth, beguiling olive shoulders. Curly locks of purple hair hung near her face while the rest of it was done up and dotted with fake green jewels. She carried a small purse in her hands and wore a huge smile on her made-up face.

“Hi Corg!” she said, as if there was nothing particularly special about the evening.

“Hey Dee,” responded the boy, a little more comfortable around her. He got up and gave her a light hug, pulling away quickly when he saw her mother staring at them. With a little cough, he said, “Hello Mrs. Estiano.”

“Hello Lohengrin,” the lady sent gently. Dee’s mother was one of the only people who refused to refer to him by his last name. “You look nice and spiffy this evening.”

“As does your daughter,” he muttered, a little embarrassed.

“Ahem, Corg. Don’t you have something for me?” asked his friend with a wink, pointing at the box he carried.

“Oh, right.” He opened the box and showed the contents to Dee, whose large eyes widened to the point they threatened to account for the entire surface area of her face.

“Oh my…are those—“ Dee started, overcome with disbelief.

Corg smiled and nodded. “Yes, these are Palman orchids.”

Dee’s parents looked at the nosegay, composed of a trio of large purple flowers, inside the box and nodded, impressed.

“Don’t those flowers only come in pink and white?” asked Dee’s mother.

Corg nodded. “I had them specially made. Took me a few years of odd jobs to get the money to do it, but it had always been my intent to have them made for any girl I took to a dance.”

“This one’s a keeper,” whispered Dee’s father. Corg overheard it and blushed.

After taking some more pleasantries and picture-taking, Dee and Corg left her house to head to the school. As they were walking away from her home, Dee said, “Hey Corg, you said that dinner was on you tonight. So what do you have planned?”

“Paseo.”

“What?” Dee responded, surprised.

“We’re going to teleport to Paseo and go to a restaurant I heard good things about.” He produced a meseta card from the inside pocket of his jacket. “I hope you like Scion cuisine.”

“You’re kidding me, aren’t you?”

With a twinkle in his eye, the boy said, “Have I ever lied to you since we became friends?”

***

Bloody road remains a mystery.
This sudden darkness fills the air.
What are we waiting for? Won't anybody help us?
What are we waiting for?
We can't afford to be innocent stand up and face the enemy.
It's a do or die situation –
We will be invincible.

- Pat Benatar


The two had been at the dance for two hours. Corg hadn’t had as much trouble dancing as he thought he would. His “special abilities,” although unknown to everyone around him, allowed him to adapt to most of the steps, even though there was a peculiar fluidity and floweriness to his movements that made him stick out, not to mention his locusta finger movements inevitably found their way into most of his dancing, despite his attempts to control that. He was able to ignore the occasional finger-pointing and laughing in his direction for the most part, concentrating on moving to Dee’s rhythm and making her feel at home.

It was a while before the first slow song played: “To the Ends of Algo” by Numan Fan Service.

My love, I believe in You
And I would go, to the ends of Mota
To the ends of Dezo
For you alone are the great light
And all of Algo will see
That you are a goddess
You are a goddess


Dee was a bit too short to wrap her arms around Corg’s neck without eventually feeling a little uncomfortable, so she guided his right hand behind her and took his left hand into her right. They smiled at each other and Dee complimented him and his adapting relatively quickly to something “so strange as dancing.” As they moved slowly in circles, Dee gave Corg some advice.

“Lower,” she said with a toothy grin.

“What?” asked Corg, practically shoving his ear into her mouth.

“Move your hand lower. You’re clutching my upper back.”

Lohengrin blushed and lowered his hand a few inches.

“Lower.”

His hand was now on the small of her back.

“Lower.”

His quaking hand slid down slowly until he could feel the elastic of her panties pushing against her dress.

“There you go. Now keep it there.”

Corg smiled a little uncomfortably, not knowing if this was slow dance protocol or something else, but followed Dee’s instructions until the song ended.

“Corg,” started Dee as she removed his bow tie and wrapped it around her bicep. “Can you be a dear and get me something to drink?”

Dee’s date smiled and walked toward the drink table while she sat down on a chair near the wall. Dee was soon approached by a trio of girls, led by Ankara Keye, the “most popular girl in school,” as some declared. The harlequin-haired young lady approached Dee with a derisive sneer.

“If it isn’t the insect boy’s half-pint date,” she said, making her friends giggle.

Dee got up and glared into Ankara’s face. “You really haven’t changed since the fifth grade, have you, Kara? You’re still the same superficial halfwit you were eight years ago.”

“And you,” spat back the green girl. “Ignore us after all we went through in grade school for what? For a freak.” Ankara locked her thumbs and started flapping her hands and, with a mocking tone, said, “Hey there, Mr. Butterfly! Wanna be my friend? Nobody else likes me! Please, don’t fly away!”

Dee rolled her eyes and clenched her fists. While she was used to people pointing at her whenever she hung out with Corg, when people insulted him to her face, it was a different story.

“Hey, Kara,” suggested Dee sardonically. “Why don’t you go back to getting shtupped by any and every moronic athlete who catches your fancy and leave Corg the hell alone!”

Kara laughed bitterly. “You runty trollop. You’re just as much a whackjob as your date is.”

“Trollop? Hey, Mailin,” called Dee to one of Kara’s friends. “Did you know that Ankara here banged your boyfriend so that he’d change her grade in the Physics class he TA’d for last semester?”

Kara’s eyes immediately became giant white saucers. “You floozy!” she shrieked. The girl spun around and snatched the glass of punch from her shocked friend’s hand and turned to face Dee. “This one’s on the house!”

Suddenly, a large whitish blur passed between Dee and Ankara at the very moment that Ankara launched the punch in Dee’s direction. The reddish liquid flew out of the cup and was absorbed completely by the interloper, so that nary a single drop of liquid touched Dee’s dress or person. The figure landed with an acrobatic tumble and kicked up to his feet. It was Corg.

The young man looked at his white shirt, which was now dripping punch and stained red. He closed his eyes for a few moments and took a deep breath, ignoring the crowd that had gathered around them. Exhaling, he looked at Dee and said, “Dang. This is going to cost me a meseta or two.”

Dee’s face grew scarlet with anger. “Look what you did, Kara!” she howled. “Corg didn’t do a damn thing to deserve that!”

“D’awww,” responded Kara condescendingly. “The little squirt is standing up for the silent giant. How romantic.”

“You know, I really did make the right choice when I stopped hanging around you. I’d rather be dead than to be like you or your retard entourage.”

“Well, if you’d rather be dead, then let me oblige,” egged on Kara. She grabbed another glass of punch from her other flunky and turned to splash it onto Dee.

With a stealth cartwheel, Corg threw himself in between the two girls again, exposing him to a point-blank juice assault. He contorted his face in anger at the further humiliation, causing Ankara to double back in fear, while Dee gasped in disbelief at the punishment Corg was taking for her. For a few seconds, the drenched boy said nothing. If it weren’t for the song by Espers of Maharu playing, the Event Center where the dance was being held would’ve been enveloped in an uncomfortable silence, the type that often presages a violent stand-off of sorts.

Corg finally turned to Dee and said in a voice just audible enough to be heard over the music, “Dee, please get my jacket. I think it’s time we left.”

The stunned young lady nodded silently and ran quickly over to the chair where he had placed his jacket, the small crowd dispersing enough to let her through. Grabbing his black jacket, she quickly caught up with her date, who was already on his way out of the dance, leaving a collection of awestruck faces in his wake.

***

Let me be your hero
Would you dance,
if I asked you to dance?
Would you run,
and never look back?
Would you cry,
if you saw me crying?
And would you save my soul, tonight?
- Enrique Iglesias


Despite Dee’s protests regarding walking in the cold with a wet shirt, Corg insisted on covering her with his jacket as they walked the last few blocks to her house. It had been a very quiet trip home, neither of them really knowing what to say about what they had just been through. Dee clung to her friend’s arm and rested her head against his bicep and Corg, despite the humiliation, tried his best to wear a slightly-amused smile. It was he who eventually broke the silence.

“Dee, did this happen at the other dances you went to before?”

Dee couldn’t help but chuckle. “No, it didn’t.”

“I thought so. I figured it was me.” Taking a deep breath, he said, “I’m sorry—“

“No, Corg. Don’t—“ Dee’s voice quickly grew serious. “Don’t you ever apologize for being you. I don’t care what happened back there, it’s not your fault.” Dee had already stopped and was practically grabbing his arms and shaking him. Her voice was beginning to reach a crescendo, “Corg, don’t ever blame yourself for this, or for anything that you’ve been through! Do you hear me?”

Corg, his head slightly tilted down, gazed into her concerned eyes for a few moments. “I’m—“ He started, and then went silent and went back to walking.

“You know,” began Dee, a little more calm, “what happened tonight reminded me of why I tried to make friends with you in the first place.”

The young boy stopped and faced her, his sullen look now replaced with a curious one. “Oh? And why was that?”

The young girl smiled and looked up at the sky, as if there was something painted in it that only she could see. “Do you remember playing High-Velocity Jail Ball back in the fifth grade during our PE hour?”

Corg nodded.

“Do you remember a game where it boiled down to just you and I on our team?”

Corg shook his head. “I played the game so much that I don’t remember all of them.”

“How about the time where you did a super-duper dive and flip and somersault in order to catch the ball and prevent me from being struck with it?”

“I did that quite a few times; the kids were surprisingly more freaked out than impressed with it.”

“How about when you caught the ball, but landed on the pavement and scraped up your elbow and had to see the school nurse?”

“Oh. I guess I didn’t realize it was you that I was defending.”

Dee grinned and nodded. “It was indeed.”

“And that is what prompted you to become my friend?”

“Well, I think it was there I that began to wonder if everything people said about you, including Kara, who I hung out with at the time, wasn’t true.” Lowering her voice a little, as if to make a side comment, “I was also beginning to see that Kara and her lot were nothing but a bunch of twits, so if they said bad things about you, the opposite could very well be true.” Looking down at her high-heeled shoes as they walked, she continued, “I mean I didn’t have a change of heart then and there, of course. But that you were willing to hurt yourself for a teammate impressed me. So I started observing you and even glancing at the teacher’s computer when she wasn’t looking to see your grades and stuff.”

Corg let out a light chuckle. “You little sneak.”

His purple-haired date squeezed his arm gently. “Then when Mrs. Kemmerley had us do those percentage problems that day and I saw that you were alone, I decided to strike!” She poked him in the ribs as she said that last word, making him squirm and laugh. “And stained shirt or no stained shirt, I haven’t regretted it since.”

The young couple arrived in front of Dee’s house and Corg walked the young lady to her doorstep. She pressed the code on the intercom to open the door and was about to walk in when she paused and said, “The night is still young. Why don’t you come inside?”

“Are you sure? I guess I should get home and change before I catch my death from a cold.”

“Pfft! I’ll have you wear one of dad’s shirts and we can see if mom can’t save this piece of work.” She pointed to the white dress shirt whose front had been dyed red by two cruelly-thrown glasses of red-dyed fruit juices. “We can watch a movie together!”

“Uh…okay.” Corg entered the house reluctantly.

“Home already?” asked Dee’s father, who was sitting on the sofa watching something on the telescreen.

Dee silenced him with her hand and beckoned him to follow her into the kitchen, while simultaneously gesturing for Corg to have a seat on the sofa. The man got up and followed his daughter and eventually hustled upstairs with her. Corg sat the edge of the couch and soon was greeted by Dee, who handed him a pair of flannel pajamas. The young man unbuttoned the mess of a formal shirt in front of his gawking friend, who gave his toned body a thumb up.

“Impressive, although you need a tan.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment,” chuckled the young man as he put the pajamas on.

The two of them nestled together on the couch and flipped through the channels until Dee decided to stop at some random sci-fi movie.

It was late when the movie finished. Dee looked behind herself at her date, who had apparently fallen asleep during the movie. She smiled and got up, doing so slowly so as not to wake him. Placing his tuxedo jacket, which she hadn’t taken off since the walk home, on the loveseat, she removed a green blanket that had been draped over the side and threw it lightly over the sleeping boy. The telescreen flickered off.

Dee stood over her date for a few moments and smiled. “My hero.” She knelt forward and brushed her lips lightly against his forehead and cheek.

The young lady, now barefoot, moved swiftly toward the staircase, blending in with the shadows and disappearing into the darkness.

Last edited by H-Man on Wed Jun 15, '11, 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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