Heroes Among the Stars
Well hello there, you may not know me, but believe me when I say by the end of this story you will. You see I may look like you average, overweight college student who suffers from asthma and mild self-esteem issues, but that was only up until last year. You see a little over a year ago something happened that changed me and my friends forever, though I would sum it up right here and there I thought it would be best if you took a look at our very first adventure. But as much I would love to tell you the entire thing I think it would be best if my good old buddy, the narrator, took a seat and explained it all to you. Hit it up!
It began on an average day just like any other; the sun was out and the sounds of passing cars filled the air as young Richard pulled into the parking lot of his local community college. With most of his hours already filled up, and his last year approaching he knew that if he was serious about making in the real world that there could be no slacking off. So with his book bag over his shoulder, and his Art project in hand he began running towards the Cypress Building.
"Crap, only five minutes left. Come on, I can make it!" he thought to himself as he looked down at his watch.
Just as he turned the corner of the Goveners Building though he felt his cellphone vibrating in his pocket. He couldn't afford to stop and answer; so as he ran towards his first class he slipped his phone out and opened it up. Luckily it wasn't his parents calling to check up on him again, but instead his friend William, or as most knew him in the Anime/Manga Club as Kaos.
"Heyo Rich. How's it going this morning?" his friend asked.
"Can't talk~got to get to class." he replied as he felt his breath starting to short out.
"Whoa man, just take your time. If you push yourself too hard you'll keel over like last time remember?" he replied with concern.
"I can make it. Just give me~ another minute." he said as he bust into the building.
Damn his asthma, if it hadn't been for that he probably would be in the shape he was. Even when he was a kid and pretty thin it still caused so many problems for him, especially during baseball practice. Still, he was there and that was all that mattered. As he entered the elevator to head to the second floor though he heard the doors open again.
But once he saw who it was he jumped back in a slight panic. Her long, flowing light brown hair, those gorgeous hazel eyes, and those curves, oh those magnificent curves just enchanted him. Such beauty, such beauty that he would never obtain that was. Still it didn't help that his body was beginning to tense up. Around guys he was fairly alright, but when around girls, especially attractive girls, it was as if his voice would just vanish. Yes, he was just that shy. It probably had to do with the fact that she was so good-looking while he wasn't so much. Still it didn't seem she had noticed him when she walked in, instead she seemed to wrapped up in the music coming from her ear buds to even open her eyes.
"Oh~what do I do? Should start-up a conversation, or just leave things the way they are? Ah! Come on think faster!" he though loudly to himself.
But just when he was about to speak the elevator stopped as the doors opened up. With a sigh though he took a step forward only to stop when they both touched. It seemed she wanted to get out first, and he had no problem with that.
"U-Um, you can go if you want?" he said as he offered her the lead.
For a moment he could feel her looking straight at him, but after a few seconds she simply flashed a smile and went on her way. Christ was his heart beating fast; not because of her looks, but instead he was simply nervous about what she would say. Well it seemed he had nothing to worry about except class.
"Right, and with a minute and a half to spare." he sighed as he rounded the corner.
Out of the two classes he was taking that semester Art 210 was defiantly the smallest. With only about ten students in total it didn't take him much time to find a place to sit, especially if it was among his friends. With his body refreshed after that little ride on the elevator all he did was simply sit back and relax as William greeted him just as always.
"Hey, what's up? You look kind of burnt out." he pointed out as they pulled out their assignment.
"Yeah, traffic was pretty bad, but I made it in one piece so there's that." he replied as he pulled out his sketch.
"Heh, that's pretty nice. What's he suppose to be? Some kind of vampiric knight or something?" he asked as they tore out their drawings.
"Close, a modern-day vampire who fights off other monsters to protect his city."
"Sounds cool~wait modern day vampire? He doesn't sparkle right?" he asked in suspicion.
"Uh no, sunlight weakens him. Water paralyzes him, garlic burns him, you know all the classic stuff."
"Yeah, so what's yours?" he asked as he slipped his assignment into the proper tray.
"Ah, the always classic, and always hansom barbarian."
"A cybernetic barbarian. You see his electro hammer and all that going on?" he asked as he showed him the drawing.
"Oh yeah, heh sorry didn't notice it there." he replied back as they both relaxed as their instructor walked in.
As per the norm the entire class consisted of nothing but one big lecture, followed by another assignment for them to do for the next day. According to the sheet they were all instructed to design a character based on a mythological animal, but to also add a little twist to it. It seemed simple enough, but he didn't have time to scretch it out; next he had E-tech 215 to get to.
"Hey man I'll see you at the club after school right?" asked William.
"Sure will, just don't go starting without me." he replied back as he gave a little wave goodbye.
Ah their little club, it wasn't much, and it only consisted of he and his friends, but it was still the only place at school he could call home. With the day almost over though he kept his head held high, and just hoped the King of Salt didn't find him. That's all he wanted, for a day to go by when he didn't have to run into that punk.
"Oh...no stomach I can't feed you." he told himself as his stomach began growling.
Ever since the month before he had taken it upon himself to lose what weight he could, and that meant no big meals, no more junk food, no more sodas, and hitting up the gym at school at least four times a week. Though he had been going for some time though he couldn't tell if he was losing any or not. If anything he just wanted to lose that gut of his so he would look at least somewhat appealing, but maybe his family genes were stopping that from happening.
As he approached the room though he heard a familiar voice behind him as he opened the door. It was none other than his instructor, and friend, Ricky, though his real name was Ricardo. Though young and short he still did his best to teach all of his student about the entertainment industry, and what it took to make it. As an instructor he was great, as a friend though he was even better.
"Hey, what's up Richard?" he asked as he unlocked the door.
"Oh you know school, life."
"Cool, by the way do you have that screenplay I asked for?"
"Yeah, you know the one for our game?" he asked as he propped up the projector.
"No...when was this?"
Oh he was in trouble. When he saw his eyebrows twitch he knew he had royally screwed up.
"You don't remember?! I told you to have them by today. Seriously, all I asked for was a ten page screenplay for the beginning of Act 4 and you couldn't even do that."
"Alright I'm sorry. Look, how about I have them in by Thursday morning? That way Art is out-of-the-way, and I'll have time to work on them see?"
"Thursday...thursday...fine, but we'll need to switch some things up to make this work. I'll get Jeremy on working with the sprites, and Tiffany will be on designing the new characters, and as for you~?"
"I'll be sketching out the screenplay, gotcha."
"Good. Also were you heading to Comic Con this weekend?"
"Nah, I barely get enough money as it is, and with the end approaching I'm being kind of conservative with my money."
"Understandable, but are you planning on getting a job soon?" he asked as others began to arrive.
"Hopefully, but I'm not sure if I should do that with school happening and all that." he explained as he sat down at one of the tables.
"Yeah that can be a pain, and it looks like we are getting started in 3...2...1"
And with that class was off. Some would say being friends with a teacher was weird, but he called it lucky. Two years earlier when he began studying in the field of entertainment technology he barely knew anything about it, but after some pointers from good old Ricky he managed to grasp the basics, and heck even now he could program pretty well. Still, the road was a long and twisted one, but as long as he stayed on track he would be alright.
Nothing really of interest happened during the course of the hour. Instead of programming like they had done, they were all forced to watch some documentary on the history of computers, and how games back in the day were made. It was kind of interesting, but nothing they hadn't seen before. Once it was all over though everyone upped and left as class came to an end.
"Hey Rich, don't forget what I told you." Ricky said to remind him.
"Right, Thursday morning and the screenplay. Got it. I'll see you around." he said before dashing off towards the Magnolia Building.
"Jeez, well he's still young I guess." Ricky said as he packed up his things.
And after only three hours he was free to do whatever he wanted, or at least that would be the case if he didn't promise to stop by the club. Eh, it was no sweat. He had heard that someone had brought in some new anime, and if anything could lift the mood of the partly cloudy day it was come good animations.
"Hm...maybe it's the newest season of Psycho Pass, or even Log Horizon. Huh, eh oh well guess I'll see when I get there." he told himself as he approached the set of double doors.
But just as always it seemed he couldn't go a day without him coming around for a visit. Time after time again he had been there just to pick on him for all to see, and it was getting really damn annoying. As he reached for the handle he heard that all too familiar voice, tha squeaky, annoying, degrading voice.
"What's up Chunky." he heard as he turned to see his goatee wearing ass.
Phil Burny, year four, and how could he put it simply? He was a punk; always picking on others who beat him in an online match of Street Fighter or even Smash Bros. He claimed at one point that he was a pro, but that title seemed to fade away and now most dubbed him as the King of Salt. Not only did he act like a douche, but he looked like one as well. His slicked back black hair, that stupid looking goatee, and not to mention his annoying laugh.
"Oh great, it's the King of Salt. What do you want Phil?" he asked as he let out a sigh.
"You owe me some money." he said in an annoyed tone.
"For what?" he asked in return.
"I saw what you did last night. You used the online delay to cheat your way to victory didn't you? You fucking fatass."
"Oi, no Phil you just suck at the game. Now if you will excuse me I've got somewhere I've got to be."
It seemed their little confrontation was drawing in a little crowd, but as he knew Phil had too big of an ego to just walk away. Instead the moment he turned around to leave he grabbed his shoulder, and with one spin he turned and delivered a hard punch to the left side of his face.
"Ugh..." he groaned as he hit against the door.
"Now I'm telling you to pay me my fifty bucks!" he demanded as he gave him a kick to the stomach.
"Gah, fuck off loser. You're just being salty." he said as he pulled himself up.
As others gathered to watch the fight though he could see that tough old Phil was getting a bit nervous. The last time he got in a fight he was suspended for a week, and yet he still persisted on continuing. With both arms up he tried to block the punches, but he could to nothing about the kicks.
"Come on, cough it up punk!" he demanded once more.
"Heh hey Phil, why don't you go out and get a real job, or better yet why not just leave..." he replied as he stood back up.
All of this over a stupid game of Street Fighter, it just went to show how pathetic he had gotten. As he stood there with their eyes connected he prepared for the next attack when he heard a loud groan come from the punk. What had happened? When he opened his eyes though he saw he had gone cross-eyed as his hands covered his crotch.
"Ugh...you dick..." he groaned before falling over to the ground.
"Heh serves you right." he said as he spat some of the blood coming from his lip and onto Phil's head.
But who had saved him? He couldn't have kicked him, and everyone else were still keeping their distance. It wasn't until he looked back that he saw his savior. That hair, those eyes, it was her, the same girl from before. Her eyes were only on him as she approached him with a little packet of tissues. He wanted to move, but couldn't as he held his sore left arm. Instead of talking to him though she simply offered him the tissues.
"Uh, thanks." he said as he took them.
How did she reply though? All she did was giggle before running off without saying a word to him. Before he could understand why she didn't talk to him, but why didn't she just then? Was she that shy, or just that weird? As he looked down at the tissues he smiled a bit before he headed inside.
"Strange girl, but I guess I do owe her a thanks for helping me out back there." he told himself as he wiped his bleeding lip clean of any blood.
"I wonder how the guys are doing?" he wondered as he approached the club door on the first floor.
Normally the Magnolia only contained the library, and a few computer labs, but from time to time they would rent out an empty room for those who wished to form a club. The only ones he knew of though were the Book Club, Science Club, and of course his own. The rooms weren't exactly big, but they made do with what they had.
Everything seemed fairly peace, that was until he took a hold of the door handle. It sounded like they were at it again as he opened it up to see what all the commotion was about. From the look of things it seemed his other two friends, Miles and Levy, were about to kill each other over which anime they should watch first and which to review.
"I'm not doing it!" Levy shouted as Miles pulled his arms back.
"You're doing it!"
"I told you I'm not doing it!" he shouted again before stomping on his foot.
"Gah, you're in my club and you'll do as I say!" Miles replied as he hoped around on one foot for a second.
"I brought the DVDs and soda!" Levy exclaimed as he tried to ram into his friend.
"Uh guys...?" Richard asked as he looked on.
Eh, just a normal day in the Anime/Manga club. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary, and even William knew that as he stood watching as well. To be fair though, it was pretty funny looking to see those two go at it.
"What did you bring?" Levy groaned as he pushed Miles against the walls, the shelves of DVDs and manga shaking as he did.
"The pain, oh!" he shouted before kneeing him in the gut.
And the moment he felt his opponent go limp he simply pushed him back to the table before proclaiming victory. With the fight over though he walked in and shut the door so he could finally relax.
"Sup?" Levy asked as he laid on the table.
"Oh nothing much. Just watching two skinny nerds fight over anime." he answered as he took a seat.
"Yeah, sorry about that. Why don't you tell us which one we should watch today?" asked Miles as he held up two DVD boxes.
"One Piece Movie Z or Dragonball Z: Battle of the Gods huh? These are dubbed right?" he asked as he tried to pick between them.
"Yep." answered William.
"Alright, One Piece then. We can just watch Dragonball on Thursday." he answered.
"Righto." he said before laying the DVD in the tray.
"Now you see Levy? How hard is it to do that?" asked William.
"Very, you know how I feel about One Piece." he answered as he sat up.
As he sat up though he noticed the large bruise on the side of his friends face that had been inflicted earlier.
"Whoa, what happened to you?" he asked as he walked to the mini fridge to get him a bag of ice.
"It was nothing, just the King of Salt again."
"Again? What the hell is going on with that guy? Maybe we should go give him a good licking until he bows down and recognizes." said Levy as he handed him the bag.
"Now Levy you know what happened last time. Do you want to be sent home again for another week?" Miles asked as he turned the T.V on.
"No, but dang it I want to shove this DVD so far up his ass. He thinks he can just push those around who are different from him. Well let's see how different he looks when he's waddling everywhere." said Levy as he took the DVD box.
And just like that William took it from him.
"Come on Kaos give that back." he demanded.
"No way, Richard you should seriously consider going to the dean for help with this one." he said as he threw the DVD onto the table.
"Yeah and for what? All he'll get is another suspension."
"Then we'll all go with you." said Levy.
"Nah it's alright. I've just got to endure his stupidity for another year and I'll be out of here." he said as he pressed the bag of ice to his face.
Yep, his school life was almost nearly over. In only a years time he would graduate and be off to live in the real world just like his mother and father were. But for the time being he had to keep up with his work, and try his hardest, and hopefully one day he would make something of himself. One day he would, that was a guaranty.