Episode 6: Jaryn and Sharia: The Nice Guy
Sharia was excited; Jaryn, however, was not.
Sharia dragged her fiancée by the hand, a smile on her face. She could see the nervousness in his glances. He looked at the front door with horror, like in some twisted way she was sending him to the underworld. In some ways, she was. Behind that door was one thing that even the devil feared, a very thing that sent demons to their knees. It was a horrible concoction of temper, fire, and judgment. It was Sharia's father, Erick…and he hadn't met Jaryn yet.
They never had a chance to meet, she thought. The N7 Demolisher had met Jaryn a long time ago in mission on Firebase Glacier a while back. She hadn't thought much of him when they were in the shuttle together. He barely talked, looking rather broody like the rest of his race did. But he had one thing that most of them lacked: a smile. He would often look away from the dark skinned woman every time their eyes met with a little smirk. He would quickly rearrange his face when he found that he was caught. It was amusing at first, until she started doing the same.
When they landed together that first time, they ended up being one of the best duos in the corp. Jaryn often ran dry out of his special biotic grenades known as X9Clusters. As their name suggested, he held nine; that didn't stop him from coming to her for more. He always sprinted towards her supply depot after a wave—but not after he had taken out at least two to three dozens of enemies. Needless to say, he was really polite about using her grenades, apologizing profusely about the over-usage. He would bow, smile, and continue of his way with his M-358 Talon ready for the next round of troops.
It wasn't until the last wave where he saved her life with one of those grenades and a medigel that she felt affection for him. Of course, he was apologizing for even allow her to get harmed. It was his fault that she was being careless. But there he was, feeling bad about himself for even letting that happen. Of course, her first instinct was to slap him for being so nice, but the next was to kiss him.
The triumph on Firebase Glacier sent good signals through their chains of command (his chain was a lot thinner than hers). They did everything in their power to keep these two people together. After a while, they just come to expect each other's company. Soon they began talking outside of battle. They started conversations with each other, longing each other's company. When away, they prayed for each other's safety throughout the war, and their prayers were answers.
Two years after the Reaper War and countless dates and smiles, he proposed to her. And here they were standing at her parent's front door. As usually, he was filled with utter terror. But Sharia was confident, confident that at least he might not die in this encounter. It was the holidays, and maybe dad was in a great mood. The worse that could happen was a lot of yelling, and an incorrect usage of a steak knife.
Sharia rapped on the door, dancing impatiently in her strapless black dress.
"Uh-maybe they aren't home," Jaryn muttered nervously. Obviously, he was hoping that this was the case.
"No, I just sent my mom a message, they're home," Sharia smiled.
Jaryn gave a bit of a gulp, shuffling his feet. "Maybe—maybe I shouldn't come…I mean this is a human holiday and—"
"Jaryn," Sharia scowled, and the man retreated. "You promised that if I said yes, you would finally meet my parents."
He muttered something unintelligible, probably in his native language. As much as Jaryn wanted to protest, he couldn't get past that glare. So he kept quiet, nervously shaking.
"You are nice man that looks incredibly dashing in human clothes. You didn't have to do that, you know?"
Honestly, it surprised her. Jaryn always wore human clothes to their dates. But she had expected him to be in something a little more towards his people to meet her parents. Instead, he had showed up with his collared plaid blue shirt, a leather coat, and a pair of jeans. She didn't care what he came in (to some extent), but he looked handsome.
"Just—thought it was appropriate, you know. I," he stuttered a bit from nervousness, "And you said I looked nice."
Her cheeks lit aflame with warmth, despite the cold weather. He was just too adorable.
She planned to turn around to give him a kiss, but the door swung open. Sharia cursed underneath her breath.
There stood a very intimidating dark man, much shorter than Jaryn or Sharia. Yet, he stood at his height proudly. The dark man wore only a loose fitting t-shirt and a pair of blue camouflaged pants, answering the frigid weather of Vancouver barefoot. Yet he held the grandeur as if he was dressed in dress blues. His dark eyes narrowed, brow already dripping sweat down the bridge nose. He ran fingers through peppered grey hair. This was Erick, the Demon of Vancouver.
Sharia wished with all of her heart that was an exaggeration. But it was very true. Like herself, Erick was an N7. N7 Paladin, master of Incinerate and Snap Freeze tech that was known for taking more than his share of blood in a battle. It was that and his nasty usage of a flaming shield that engulfed men like they were made of wood. He would protect his teammates and kill anyone in his way that thought otherwise. This was especially the case when it came to his daughter. She put a smile quickly.
"DADDY!" Sharia flung herself over the shoulder of her thinly built father.
"Sharia," he spoke simply, but lovingly. His dark brown eyes were focused not on his daughter however, but towards the person behind his daughter.
Never before had Jaryn wanted to jump into the nearest bush to avoid a glance.
Feeling the awkwardness from both parties, Sharia created some space between the two of them. She squared her shoulders, clamping her hands together in front of herself. "Dad, this is the guy I was talking about. This is Jaryn."
Erick approached his future son-in-law, completely unaware of the thinness of his clothes. He held no expression. Jaryn however, did. His entire face seemed to be nervously awaiting a punch, some awful tech, or worse a shotgun to the gullet. Instead, the smaller human just growled like a rabid animal. He opened his mouth to speak, "You brought a batarian home, Sharia."
Sharia just nodded, even though Erick wasn't facing her.
Erick growled again, stepping closer to the much taller batarian man. "Are you some slaver scum? Some kind of bandit." His voice sounded raspy up close as though he could cut through steel with it. "What did you do to convince my daughter…marry…" he spat the word out, "something like you."
"I didn't convince her anything, sir. I-I just-
"We fell in love, dad," Sharia interrupted quickly. Jaryn nodded rapidly in confirmation.
Erick opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted by the shouting of his wife inside of the house.
"Layla," he said, hardly shouting, but his voice still boomed.
"Is Sharia and her friend here? Bring them in already! And come inside before you catch cold!"
Sharia never felt more satisfied to hear her mother's voice. She was always much more reasonable than her father. Though she wasn't a soldier by any means, she managed somehow to keep him in check. And if anyone would accept Jaryn, it would be her. She had dealt with many more aliens outside of battle than Erick and knew that all of them had good and bad in all of them. Maybe she should start there. Or maybe…Jaryn's natural personality could win father dearest over.
Time will tell. She just hoped that her fiancée doesn't die from a heart attack first.
"Come in…" Erick growled, his bare feet shattering ice underneath his bare heel as he walked back in
Jaryn turned his head towards Sharia. All four of his eyes danced back and forth towards the open door. "He's gonna kill me," the batarian said lowly. "He's gonna kill me, honey…"
"He would have to get through me first, come on..."
"Batarian Slasher? Some kind of biotic."
Jaryn nodded nervously. He constantly stabbed at the slice of meat on his plate, turkey they called it. However, his stomach shook too fearfully to consume anything on the plate. Maybe he would eat after the constant staring from Erick subsided. He thought about politely asking him to stop. But every time he opened his mouth, he felt like he might get stabbed in one of his eyes. So, ultimately, he decided against it.
"He's pretty amazing with his biotics, Dad! You don't hear a lot about batarian biotics because the gift and the means to get the ability are considered a good sign amongst their people."
Erick seemed to just shrug that information aside. "So…what does he do for a living?"
This was the question that neither Jaryn nor Sharia wanted to answer.
From the outside point of view, it would look horrible. They would have to somewhat time their responses perfectly to avoid the natural jump to conclusions; as Sharia would say, avoid the whole jumping from the letter A to number 10. Either that…or….word in a way that made it seems a lot better. Sharia played with the wording in her head. It needed to be careful. It needed to be precise. It needed to be…
"I'm mercenary," Jaryn blurted out courageously. It needed not to be blunt.
Sharia slammed her head against the table. Why are you so damn honest, she shouted mentally.
"You're a what?"
"He's a merc, dad," she said, hoping that the cherry-wood table would muffle her words.
"I'm—notta bad merc or anything," Jaryn said, now realizing the flushing of Erick's dark skin and foam oozing from his mouth.
Jaryn had to watch Erick bubble over with anger. Every fiber of his being seemed to be looking for something adequate to kill this batarian scum quickly. Luckily, Erick was eating soup at the time. All of the other silverware was on their side of the table…and that was no coincidence.
"I knew it, Layla,"Erick shouted. "I knew that he had to be part of some merc band!"
This was a typical reaction from father, Sharia thought. She couldn't even bring herself to look at her fiancée's horrified expression. Of course, that is all he heard. He thought mercenary and instantly jumped to pirates, thieves, and cut-throats. Yes. He was paid for firing his weapon or crushing men with his warps. Yet, he never raised his hand to any innocent, never even thought about taking a job where innocent could be hurt.
That was the way of the Winter Moon.
Sharia quickly snapped her head off, warding off the headache she just gave herself. "Jaryn!"
The batarian covered in sweat, wiped off beads from his thin brown and white fur of his face. "Y—yeah, sweetie."
"Repeat the Winter Moon oath. The oath that you made as their leader."
"You are a leader of a merc band!"
"Dad!" Sharia shouted. "Let him speak!"
"You really shouldn't yell at your dad," Jaryn responded meekly, sinking into his chair. "I could leave—"
"No. He's going to listen to you!" Sharia, furious herself now, turned to her father. "You are going to listen to him, father!"
For once, Erick's eyes went big. Sharia never yelled at him, never got angry. But there she was, shouting at the top of her lungs. Worse of all, she never used father. "He's a good man! His group has never hurt anyone that hasn't needed to be hurt. They protect the weak in the Terminus Systems…the people that the Alliance and the Council forget about!"
Erick donned a new expression. It was hard to describe, but he was listening now.
Jaryn took a deep breath, taking advantage of the opportunity that was given to him. "Protect those who cannot protect themselves. We will protect them, through the good and the bad, through the glory and hatred. To those who ask and those to prideful to ask, we will be there for them. We are the Winter-Moon guardians that no one knows about, but it always there."
Jaryn finally gave a smile of his own. If there was one thing that he was proud about, it was his group of men. They were the nicest and most dangerous brotherhood around. No nonsense protection with limitless camaraderie. He went on to explain, we just a bit of confidence, about his work. There were plenty of planets, plenty of colonies that he made just a little better with his group's presence.
Winter-Moon was picky about their work. They worked up to get where they were. They didn't claw, and take any job that they felt the group needed. Yes, they didn't make as much credits as the Blue Suns or the Bloodpack, but they had a reputation—a good one. Plenty of people didn't even think of them as a merc group, but they were guns for hire and they were good at what they did.
The leader of merc went through several stories. He ended with a small one about an Alliance colony that was raided by the remains of Cerberus. The batarian gave an accurate account of what they brought, what they helped with despite natural distrust in the Terminus systems. "It was the most extraordinary experience, sir….I may not look like I'm much help to universe. I'll admit my race have done some really bad things. But—"He looked down for a moment, but Sharia nudged him on with her elbow. "I'm good person…and I'll treat your daughter with the utmost respect, even more than I treat anyone else."
There was silence for a moment. Erick fiddled with his fork now, stabbing at the turkey for a while. He didn't know what to say. Sharia watched as her father bit his lower tongue, angrily. It wasn't until Layla danced into the room where he somewhat changed expression.
The beautiful brown woman smiled as she took her place beside her husband. Obviously, she had been in the doorway the entire time, listening with dessert in hand. Layla placed the pie down in the table, giggling. She moved her hair from her face smiling.
"Pie anyone!" she announced, before turning to her husband. "I guess none for you, honey. You are probably full on crow."
Erick pitched the bridge of his nose, sweeping back his long greying hair in embarrassment. "Just be quiet, Layla. Not another word."
She didn't have to. He was dead wrong, and now everyone knew it.
The rest of the night went pretty well after that. Conversations came and went, and other members of Sharia's family poured in. Much like Erick, it took some time for them to get adjusted to the four eyed man in the room. However, they soon got over it and many of them enjoyed the company. Before long, the night died down, and everyone went their separate ways.
It was late at night when the two had some time to themselves. They sat outside. It was snowing. Jaryn had wrapped his arms around Sharia's shoulder, allowing his large jacket blanket both of them. They stared at the sky for a while, quietly enjoying each other's presence.
She looked towards Jaryn, who appeared to be falling asleep a little bit.
"Jaryn…sorry for not convincing my father sooner on how good of a person you BEFORE you came here."
"I would have been fine if you told him that I was…well," he looked down and gave a toothy grin. "You know."
"Don't be ashamed about what you are. Just be yourself. That's all you can be."
She gave him a quiet kiss, feeling more than happy that they met and made it through this.
Winter Moon Mercenary
Leader: Jaryn Vaer
Co-Leader: Rell of Clan Atrak
Races: Batarian, Human, Turian, Krogan, Asari, and Salarian
Stationed: Bekke, Terminus System
Merc Group Specializations: Tech, Biotic, and Assault Rifles
Winter Moon was founded in 2185 during the invasion of the Collector Troops on the human colonies. However, this was not the reason this group was formed. Winter Moon was inspired by the actions of a vigilante by the name of Arch-Angel, known for his fight against the three ruthless gangs that plagued Omega. Winter Moon was the answer to Arch-Angel's call of righteousness, keeping the hero alive in a way.
Jaryn, the leader of Winter-Moon, was directly affected by the Sidonis' betrayal on the group. His brother, a Batarian Engineer by the name of Barer Vaer, was a member of Arch-Angel's team. During that time, he would often receive different types of messages coming from his brother—who for once in his life felt like he was doing something right. So in fact, Winter-Moon was not only living on Arch-Angels foundation; but, also a living and thriving memorial of doing what's right for the galaxy no matter who you are.
They are a thriving force in change with the new Reaper-less galaxies. They have shown that unity can persist through many races, despite their differences.
Hello everyone! Sorry for the late end of the year post! Happy Holidays!
This chapter may or may not describe some of the holiday problems that I saw in my own family. Anyway!
I just wanted to thank everyone for being incredibly supportive of Affinity. I'm so happy to announce that it has reached 491 views, 6 favs, and 5 alerts! With everything else from my other site, it has reached OVER 1000 views! Thanks so much for the support in this! Thank you!
Thanks to my favorites and alerts list:
The Rahkshi Writer
Also, this is an important notice! The next chapter is going to be done by a friend of mine! She liked the idea of Affinity so she is writing a guest chapter! Be prepared, it is a good one from what I hear!
Keep it coming guys!