SOL: Generation Four – Chapter One

“You cannot talk back to a teacher like that, Korra!”

Korra blew out a breath and rested her chin on her fist. Her mother stood over her with a deep frown, the expression so common that even when the grimace was gone the skin was still wrinkled with its shadow.

“He can’t teach for shit.”

“Korra!”

“For poop, then. Whatever.”

Cara scrubbed hands over cheeks, covering up her eyes, and counted to ten. Korra knew it was all for show. It had never worked to calm her mother down. “Your attitude is wearing incredibly thin, young lady. If you keep lashing out you’ll lose all credibility and respect, not to mention your friends.”

Korra glanced right, to the closed door, behind which Ayr would be resting. “Doe wouldn’t dare replace me.”

“I think one day you’ll find out you’re wrong.” The warning was given via gritted teeth. All the pent up frustration always got held in her jaw, as Cara dammed whatever words wanted to flow forth.

The anxiety was accompanied with a sinking feeling in her chest and stomach. Everything inside clenched in a fist and dragged down closer to the hole in the floor that Korra fantasied swallowing her. On her more cynical days she called it hell.

As quickly as that came, it was beaten back by the irrational and inevitable haughty pride. Korra should have been familiar with the emotion, but each time it proved impossible to resist. It wasn’t even that her willpower crumbled away in the face of an indomitable foe, but that it ceased to exist altogether.

The foreboding scrape of the chair was a prelude to Korra’s lurch upright. The house took a collective breath in.

“As if.” Her face twisted into a favourite sneer. “I’m his best friend, and I always will be. You know why? We have each other’s backs.”

Cue her mother, all the more tired, all the more beaten back by this latest round in the war of attrition, rolling her eyes. Everyone had an ego, and Korra depended on that. Achieving a rise from enemies was a formula at this point. Poke the ego, and it lashed forth a stream of caustic word-vomit for a defense mechanism. Much like the caterpillar Korra had picked up from the lemon-coloured evening primose the other day, which had turned around and spewed green stinging liquid over her hand.

She didn’t begrudge nature’s responses when it came from an entity without higher functioning. Yet despite her hand being the one to provoke such a reaction, she gave responsibility – and therefore ownership – of the responses to the hurt human who countered in much the same way.

“And what is that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing.” She shrugged a shoulder, feigning carelessness. “Just that we know each other better than anyone else ever will. Including our lame parents.”

“Do not use that word.”

Funny how thoughtless mistakes made her insides inch further down. In turn her hackles only rose further, the need to dig in being answered physically with heels grinding down into the cool flooring.

“I didn’t mean it like that.” Nevertheless, her voice grew small. Even when she didn’t mean to, her words hurt. She cast another look to the closed door, wondered if it was because of their last argument that he wasn’t coming out to try and cool tempers. The heavy lead weight of guilt dragged her down more but conversely the blood rushed to her face. The armour of pride couldn’t deafen that, try as it might.

“Is there going to be another damning report card next month? Mediocre grades and plenty of comments from teachers on how you could do better?”

“‘Do better’” Korra imitated in a high pitched voice. She could be a gifted mimic when she put her mind to it. That applied to most subjects and vocations, in actual fact, but why squander time on something which couldn’t assist her victory in a well-calculated goad? “Why should I? I’m going to be a stunt double or an athlete. Who needs grades for that?”

Cara pressed her lips together until the line of her mouth almost disappeared. Another attempt to hold back the gush of thoughtless words. “I am just about ready to give up with you, Korra.” She marched over to the coffee table where, in a pile, were dog-eared leaflets shining with promise. Cara stomped back and dumped them on the table beside her daughter.

“I get up at five every morning to drive you to swimming lessons, boxing practice, or the gym, all for you to turn around and disappoint me. If you don’t buckle down and improve both your grades and your attitude, then I will start having a lie-in.”

There was no longer a hole in the floor, but a rug which had been hauled out from underneath her feet. Korra’s jaw dropped. Her vision went blurry, like she’d sunk down below the water with her eyes open. The chlorine in the pools always stung her eyes, and much like then she had to blink them clear. Her throat remained traitorously tight.

“That’s not fair! What kind of parent ruins their kid’s future like this?”

“The kind that is bloody sick and tired of your disrespect!” Cara placed her hands on her hips, raising her chin for a picture-perfect haughty stance. “I’ve tried everything, but clearly nothing else will work. I’ve been patient, I’ve tried to let you talk to me, but since you repay me and your father with hateful words and a bad attitude, I’m resorting to this.” She prodded her finger down onto the leaflets, hard enough that one spun off the glossed surface and skidded across the floor. “It’s your choice to make.”

Korra fixed her jaw and held herself still, each line of her body taut and under the strictest control. She did not allow herself to think about the recent words to her father. “Then I’ll cycle to the gym myself.” Thrown out there like a threat. Or bait.

Or an appeal.

“Like hell you will.” Satisfied with the victory, Cara turned on her heel to retreat to her home base: the kitchen. The rules of childish games applied to this one, too. Cara was safe and the round was over.

Those leaflets which still remained on the table boasted sports scholarships and competitive bursaries. Korra marshalled her anger for a shield, forced her shoulders back and her chin high. Her footsteps on the stairs were loud enough to echo through the chamber-like hall, no doubt reverberating into the room with the closed door. If that hadn’t woken her father, then a slamming door was the last resort.


 

Dova roused himself from the comfort of his nest. If he could invent one thing in this world, it would be an app which automatically said yes whenever a site asked if you were still watching. At this point he was a connoisseur of the messages, which ranged from concerned to over-friendly, in that way corporate bodies often used to seem chummy and convince you to part with hard earned cash. Or, in his case, parental supplements to a meagre monthly allowance.

He clicked onto the next episode of Gilmore Girls. His phone rattled on the table, the fart-like vibration reminding him it was still on silent. The spiderweb screen was filled with stroppy messages from Korra, new alerts strong-arming older notifications off the screen to vie for his attention.

A cursory glance showed the rant for what it was. Dova might sigh at her dramatics, but he still typed a message back: his duty as the younger cousin.

The door squeaked as unoiled hinges bent. The cold draught made Dova huddle deeper, using his feet to trap the blanket underneath him. Their house was either too hot in the Summer, on those rare days of twenty degree heat, or too cold the rest of the year. It was only the coldest months that the heating was allowed on, Quinn guarding the thermostat with a sharp eye, and only then just hot enough to ‘take the edge off the cold’ as he was fond of saying.

Quinn splashed water onto dirty hands, making no impact on the black rings under his nails, and patted them dry on a flowery tea-towel. Dova had no idea where that came from. The idea that his mother had bought it was more absurd than if it had appeared out of nowhere.

As with all teens, Dova had an eye for spotting a good opportunity.

“Da-ad?”

As with all parents, Quinn knew exactly what that sweet tone was a prelude to.

“Done your homework yet?”

“It’s Friday.”

“No, then. Better to do it now than Sunday night.”

“Mm, no, always better to procrastinate and get it done in an hour rather than three.” Moving on, no time like the present, pass go and collect two hundred. “Korra is inviting me to a party tonight. Can I go?”

Quinn had a twin of the same look which followed Dova’s preemptive attempts to fix the die. This one suggested he’d rolled and landed right on the income tax. No point collecting the two hundred.

“We’ve talked about this before.”

They had. This answer covered a range of outings, not limited to parties. Camping and school trips were also off the board. A rugby game between Scotland and the Country Which Shall Not Be Named south of the wall? No chance.

Strict didn’t even cover it.

“Do you want me to be a social outcast at school? Do you want me to hang out with Korra for the rest of my life, for lack of better options? What if, at this party, I network with people who can one day fulfill my dream of becoming an extra on a Buffy reboot?”

Quinn weathered all this with a pained smile. “What if you get drunk and do something silly? Or get yourself into trouble with the police? Or accept a lift home with someone you shouldn’t?”

“Oh dad, Korra doesn’t drive yet.” His best gambit, the puppy dog eyes, came into play. “It’s a harmless party with other people in our year. Who among us can seriously spend enough money on alcohol to get everyone wasted?”

“You’re really convincing me,” Quinn said, resting his cheek on his hand. “In fact I think it would be remiss of me not to allow my son to be a stunningly good influence on the local youths.”

“Exactly! We’re on the same page. I’ll be back by eleven, my virtue intact.”

His father turned to put dried cups away. “Sorry, Dova. No.”

“Oh come on! This isn’t fair. It’s ageist towards teenagers. You know I’m not going to chug the piss they call lager and let some pretty girl take advantage of me.” It had already happened, and already been a great disappointment, though that could be attributed to her deciding she wanted another drink more than she wanted to shove her tongue down Dova’s throat. He hadn’t disagreed with the choice.

“I do trust you, as far as one can trust his teenage son.” The patient smile, well practiced, still sat oddly. “I don’t trust the people around you.”

“Aw, Kore isn’t so bad.”

“That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”

Dova huffed. On his screen, a similar argument was played out by the mother and daughter duo. He tried to focus on that rather than his growing annoyance, knowing it could turn into anger as quickly as their hot water lasted on Saturday mornings.

“What’s going to happen, dad, seriously? Do you think someone in this sleepy town is going to accost me?”

“It’s better to be safe rather than sorry.”

Dova stared at the back of his father’s head. His shoulders were tense and halfway up to his ears, a sure sign that Dova had somehow struck a nerve. He tutted and was rewarded by a strict glance.

The sound of a door closing alerted Dova to another player dealt into the game. He wriggled out of his blankets and looked expectantly at his mother as she came in.

As with all parents, she knew when she was being sucked into an argument in which sides had been drawn without her. On one team was the impatient frown from her son, the teenage staple of unfairness not yet given way to the adult’s understanding that life truly was unfair. On the other, her husband, wounded and in need of an ally. A dangerous position to play, and to play against.

“Mum, can I-”

“Dova, I already told you no.” The harsh counter paired with an exasperated look at his wife was meant to soften the blow among adult allies: a well played card, played often because it worked.

“What war have I walked into?” she sighed.

“No, it’s a battle in the ongoing war of me trying to have a life. Nothing important for a growing and impressionable teenage boy.”

“Impressionable, exactly. Your words…”

“Seriously, dad, I get the party. But a school trip? A rugby game? Getting an apprenticeship with a radio station – I mean come on. What’s with this draconian punishment?”

Mia sat down opposite her son, an unconscious hope to be on his level and somehow lessen the blow. “Honey, the world is a big and scary place. We’ve had more of our fair share of it. We’re just trying to protect you.”

“From fun?”

Dova once played a challenging game of Chase the Queen across the kitchen table, his short legs not yet reaching the floor. He was up against overwhelming talent, all of his skill and luck used to keep himself in the game. The frustration when his father’s trick to flush out the Queen of Spades – the bomb which he held in his hand – succeeded in landing him with the points and the title of loser had consumed his entire body. His head had been dipped in gasoline and set fire to, or so it felt, the enormous heat rushing down his body and shorting his brain.

The mirror of that hit him. Fire enveloped his skin. An explosion burst behind his eyes. Blankets were lost to the floor as Dova scrambled to right himself, an unconscious desire to rise above the authoritarian control he faced. Now that the anger was here, he couldn’t hope to control it.

“This is so FUCKING stupid.”

“Language,” Mia butted in.

“Part of your job as parents is to teach me how to get through life, not avoid it! All the opportunities I could have had that you’ve made me turn down. Are you hoping to keep me locked up indoors once I’ve turned eighteen? Because I have news for you – I’m going to move away and make sure everyone knows my name! Sure, it won’t be on a radio, because you butchered that career progression for me, but I’ll find a way.”

“Don’t be so ridiculous,” Mia said, as soon as the tirade was over. They were all tired of this argument, but no one was budging.

Dova snapped his laptop closed. He copied the tactics of a proven winner at this game: Korra. Go for the weakest, and go for the throat. “Jesus, anyone would have thought you never got over your parents’ death despite all the money you’ve spent on therapy.”

“Dova!” Mia shouted, her eyes growing wide.

“That’s enough,” Quinn said firmly.

“Well? What else am I supposed to think? Unless you want to try and control my thoughts too?”

“Not everything is about control, Dova. We’re looking after you.”

“You could have fooled me.” His face contorted into a snarl, ugly and expressive. It wasn’t a cheap hit. What else could he believe, after everything he had been taught? Everyone claimed that their control was in the name of keeping someone safe or happy. Whether government, parents, friends, or foe. All that changed was the line drawn, what was too far.

It was subjective, and the one in power always made that line, always decided where they wouldn’t cross.

Funny how often they moved the line when it suited them, too.

Unfortunately for them, Dova was an expert in loopholes. When loopholes couldn’t help him, he was down for some old fashioned cheating.

Dova stormed to his room and immediately shucked his jumper off, the anger an exothermic reaction inside. Then, he grabbed his phone.

It wasn’t his line, after all.


 

Risa settled on the floor by her mother’s feet, enjoying the pleasant tingle as fingers threaded through her hair. The opening credits of the film Pan’s labyrinth finished and as the film set the scene for the next two hours, Risa sank deeper into contentedness. Her mother had always advised her to treasure the day to day, the things that most people couldn’t wait to have pass in anticipation of some big holiday or celebratory event. She had taken it to heart from a young age, and even now their Friday movie nights were her favourite event of the week.

Isabelle’s hand pulled away from Risa’s hair as she settled into her husband’s hold, so Risa scooted closer to them. Kian’s knee nudged her shoulder and she turned to see him giving her a precious smile. Satisfied, she fidgeted around with her nest of pillows until comfy, and then she grew immersed in the film.

Risa didn’t need the subtitles – though her Spanish wasn’t as fluent as her mother’s – but she read them anyway, curious as to the difference between languages. There were certain things one could never translate effectively, hence why English had taken on so many words from other cultures. Grammatically speaking it was a complex and beautiful tongue, a few words or a punctuation mark the difference between an innuendo and an insult, but there was nothing native that could quite encompass words like hugge or schadenfreude.

It was at the tense moment that her father’s phone buzzed, lighting up the room in perfect synchronisation to the gunshot which buried bullets in the back of a doctor. Risa jumped and then laughed at herself, turning around just in time to see something pass between her parents: a look which spoke of a long discussion not yet finished.

Risa hurried to turn back around, kidding on that she hadn’t seen anything, when in reality her reaction proved just that. She felt her father’s knee again, gave a cursory look to see him with a knowing smile, and decided that whatever she’d missed couldn’t have been terribly important.

It was forgotten until the credits rolled on the ambiguous ending. Risa closed her eyes and savoured the last image and its feeling as though it had been seared into her vision. She had always chosen to believe that the girl’s imagination was more than that, that her death was actually her freedom, though really Risa should have been glad to think the opposite. She knew better than most how dangerous things from the imagination could be.

Isabelle stretched her legs with a satisfied sigh. “How about you pick out something a little happier to finish off the night?”

Risa nodded with enthusiasm, bouncing on soft cushions. The mid-evening break would herald special goodies her father had cooked the night before. Turkish desserts were her favourite and compounded the Friday night feeling.

Unusually, Kian also skirted off the sofa and went to help. Risa wondered why until she caught he sight of his phone balanced on the arm. Biting her lip, she went to her knees and crawled to listen at the door.

She knew she shouldn’t have done. Respecting privacy was the same as respecting people – and both had been taught to be indisputable rights – and yet Risa could never help herself. Yes, her parents were their own people, and yes, they were just as allowed to have secrets and lives as much as the next person, but being so obviously out of the loop on something only served to underline the fact that there were too many things Risa didn’t know about her parents, or her parent’s parents. That she had to get all the information second hand (technically third hand, from Fury) made her wonder just how much else she didn’t know.

And if there was one thing Risa hated, it was not being part of something.

It wasn’t a secret, more a guilty admission. Feeling like she constantly had to earn her place within her cousins always came home with her, and those insecurities nagged each time her parents carved out parts of their life that weren’t for her.

She pressed her ear to the door and ignored the little voice that reminded her of her own secrets.

“I know you feel like you owe him, but I’m not comfortable about this.”

“I don’t owe him,” her father said with his usual patience and simplicity. The words had the feel of ones that had been spoken time and time again. This was an old wound, reopened messily and with a witness nonetheless. “He’s my friend. There’s a significant difference.”

“Kian, I just-.” A quick sigh to cut off whatever was about to be said in anger. “Hasn’t he inserted himself in our lives enough? Christ, if he wants something, he should go to Shanna. She still worships the ground he walks on.”

Ah. Risa pulled back from the door. She knew who this was about, then.

(Another secret kept from her parents. Second verse, same as the first..)

Risa came back to the sofa and on a whim reached over to press the power button on her father’s phone. It was an old model – very old – and with a picture of her smiling as a eagle owl rested grumpily on her gloved hand. She ignored it in favour of skimming the alert at the top of the phone, an unknown number simply saying, ‘I’m in town. Stop by the usual place tonight? This isn’t-’, before the rest of the message was cut off.

Risa didn’t know her father’s password (though she could give it a good guess), but that went a littler further than she was comfortable with. She pushed the phone back to its resting place and glanced at hers instead, sighing as she read a back-and-forth in the group chat. Dova and Fury were arguing over some logic in a pop culture reference she didn’t understand, though Korra had put a stop to the entire thing by questioning both of their intelligence, with multiple swear words to boot. Risa had no idea what a ‘fudnugget’ was, but it sounded like it was something she’d learned from Great Uncle Rhoan.

As her parents returned with desserts, Risa organised the next film. It was an old black and white Carry On film, something that was easy to laugh to and talk over. There was a tension in the air, though, and it did not welcome any commentary. Instead Risa turned inward and began to wonder what the usual place could mean.

Eventually she decided it might just be the one place they’d met before.

And then she decided she might as well find out if she was right.


 

“Good, good.” A sharp nod from his father, Dustin, and a hand in a lazy circle to indicate a repeat. Fury didn’t bother glancing at the time but he knew from the position of the moon, combined with the calendar date, meant that it was roughly nine pm.

Fury said nothing and went through the flurry of blows, swung through moves that had names and rhymes he’d known since a child. His body was pleasantly warm, the motions easy in a way that showed both concentration and muscle-memory. There was a satisfaction in getting the movements perfectly right, and he often fell into a hypnotised trance. That was what kept him at this, if he was honest, though Fury wasn’t sure he’d be allowed to stop if he ever decided he wanted to.

The pressure from his parents to spend his free time training with them wasn’t something he often noticed. It was more like a slow turn of a screw rather than anything sudden or demanding. It had simply always been like this, and Fury didn’t want to find out what rocking the boat would be like.

Besides, he did like it. The pride that would light up his father’s eyes, or the giddy satisfaction of getting a perfect shot was near addictive, so the reason not to stop wasn’t just that it would displease his parents (or so he suspected).

Fury had learned that people generally wanted something from him. He didn’t hold that against them: this was just how humans operated, particularly when it came to him. Risa wanted reassurance and company, Korra wanted a little lamb to follow her, and his parents wanted him to act like some child savior. It was always a secret relief to hang out with Doe, who didn’t know enough about what he wanted to desire something from Fury.

“You feel that went well?” Dustin’s voice cut through Fury’s absent thoughts. He’d finished the series of dance-like movements without noticing.

“It was smooth,” Fury said with a nod, pleased when his father seemed to agree. Dustin hooked an arm around his shoulders and brought him to sit on a bench.

“About this weekend.” Dustin fixed his gaze ahead. “I don’t know if we’ll get to the campsite. Something might have come up.”

Fury stared at his father in surprise. His parents were strict about both work and play. They had never moved or cancelled a holiday which had no purpose other than pleasure. It was their subtle compromise for Fury’s dedication: a fair trade.

“Why not?” It came out more accusatory than he meant, but the whiplash of emotions was like he’d been driving as fast as Campbell’s Bluebird and then, just as fast, screeched to a stop. Dizziness blocked his better judgement.

“You need to go and meet Risa tonight.” Dustin’s voice sounded wrong. Tight, when it was usually so warm. Too controlled for someone saying such an easy sentence.

“It’s Friday. She watches movies and then sleeps.”

“Not tonight. She’s going to the rope swing. You remember the place?”

It was a pointless question, since the rope swing was on the shortcut to the neighbourhood where Dova and Korra lived.

The name was outdated, too. There hadn’t been a rope swing since a snapped branch and a broken arm had sent a mother to demand the council cut down the offending oak tree, a beautifully gnarled and twisted thing. The name had stuck even though it was little more than a path at the edge of fields, an old bench strangled with grass and brambles, and a couple of trees too afraid to grow much bigger in case the axe-man came back.

“Yeah.”

“Be there in thirty. You’ll get why when you’re there.”

This was weird, even for his life. Fury had grown up with drills and competitions where others had enjoyed soft-play or video games. His parents had always said odd things about his future, and to be fair, Fury believed them. It wasn’t hard when he had the sort of thing lurking around his head as he did.

Even so, the joke of being trained into a spy or saviour had never quite made his parents laugh, and that was when Fury had started believing it. In inches, at first, but he’d taken it as a given that something was going to come up one day.

Then again, maybe it was his great Uncle’s not-so-subtle talent of telling the future.

Yeah, was it really weird for his life?

“Alright,” Fury shrugged, getting up to change so he wouldn’t arrive in a sweaty set of clothes.


 

Korra was wiping her foot over the ground when Dova came to the fated stump of the oak tree. He tutted at her.

“Yeah, I’d never know you were having a fag if you destroy it before I get here. Wait, what’s that smell?”

Korra scowled at him. “Shut up. I have some rum if you want it tonight, if you’re on your best behaviour.”

Dova gaped at her, pressed a hand to his chest, and blinked back tears. “Me? Not on my best behaviour?”

“Given that you’ve actually snuck out for a change-”

“Sneaked-”

“You know you can’t be a smart arse if you can’t actually be bothered to be smart half the time.”

“And yet, here I am.”

“Ugh.” Korra shook her head in disgust and picked up her backpack. “You took your time.”

“I think the phrase is fashionably late.”

“Yeah?”

“I was doing my hair.”

“Looks shit as usual. Are you coming or not?”

Dova shrugged and fell in line with Korra, though before they could walk further a timid voice came out from the dark ahead of them.

“Doe? Korra?”

“Risa? What the fuck are you doing here? You’re too young to come to the party!”

“My mum was twelve when she went to train with Q,” Fury put in, hoping over the gate.

“Oh, the whole gang is here. We might as well stay here and get alcohol poisoning in a field. The typical British way.”

“You’re going to a party?!” Risa gawked, the sting of her words belying her green-eyed monster about to rise. “Wait, what is everyone doing here?”

“Going to a party!” Korra snapped. “Obviously.”

“Meeting you,” Fury said with a shrug.

“Trying to find a witch in the woods to make me a big dick potion.”

“Shut up Doe.”

Dova raised his hands in surrender.

“Meeting me?” Risa asked. “Why? I was coming here to see… well, to see Q.”

“O-oh,” Fury said, his tone indicating he finally understood what was going on. He was clearly the only one, and Dova spluttered with confusion when no one went on to explain.

“Great, have fun,” Korra grunted. “Doe, let’s go.”

“Eh, if Q is coming here, I want to stay. Don’t you?”

“Why would I?”

“Because this is a much better way of pissing off your parents?” Doe suggested, like it was obvious. Korra took a second to think about it, realised his point was correct, and then shrugged.

“Well where is he then?”

“I got here early in case my dad was coming too… We probably shouldn’t be in plain sight in case he does come…”

“Kian isn’t coming. That text was intended for your eyes, Ris.” Q strolled into the clearing with no preamble. Dova startled and swore loudly. Risa and Fury both jumped. Korra simply jerked her chin up in a wave.

“I see,” Doe muttered, glaring at her. “Too cool to be jump-scared.”

“I bet you’re wondering why I all called you here,” Q said, eyes twinkling.

“No,” Korra put in, just because she could.

“Fine, spoil my dramatic entrance. It’s time for us to talk, kiddos, and time for you to make a choice.”

“A choice?”

“Is there an echo in here?” Dova asked, jokingly, but felt his stomach clench as Q winced. “Right. Sorry.”

“Do you remember what I told all of you six years ago?”

The cousins shared a glance. That was the last time they’d seen Q, with the exception of Fury. He had delivered secrets and they still had weight tying them to the cousins, and tying them together.

Dova knew from the looks on his cousins’ faces that the same thing was going through their mind as it was his. Even Korra was uncharacteristically thoughtful. They were on the cusp of something great and playing along with Q would change everything. It was the scenario that the phrase ‘no-turning-back’ was coined for.

This was what Dova’s parents were trying to protect him from. He realised that belatedly and it was a slap in the face.

To agree was to show how tenuous a grip control had. It was a means of fighting for some of it back.

He was the first to nod. Korra wasn’t far behind. Anything that could get under her parents’ skin got a yes from her. It unsettled Dova to realise how similar their motivations were, even if it was just this once.

Risa was hesitant, but she would never purposefully leave herself out of something. Korra had once called her the walking version of FOMO, and as cruel as it may have been, it was always accurate.

Fury watched them all in satisfaction. When Q turned to him, he gave a deliberate nod. Dova eyed his younger cousin, thinking of all the times Fury had deliberated and left the decision up to others. Never had Doe seen him so confident or sure.

“Right,” Q clapped his hands together. “Let’s recap on the story so far.”


 

This monster of a chapter is like 5.5k words. So well done if you did that in one sitting.

I’m so excited to get going. Thoughts? Favourites?

13 thoughts on “SOL: Generation Four – Chapter One”

  1. Yes!! I am so excited for this generation to start!
    I love all of the cousins already. It is too hard to pick a favorite, they all have such different personalities. You can see how differently they were raised as well. Like how Dova is so sheltered, which probably has a lot to do with what happened to Quinn. Risa is very quiet, much like Kian. Or how Fury has been training since brith (I LOVE that name by the way).
    I can’t wait to see what Q has in store for the four of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you liked it! ❤
      Yeah, they're all products of their upbringing, which is in turn a product of what happened to their parents and how they dealt with it (or didn't). I really got into their heads about what their Big Issue was this gen too – so like Dova obviously hates control and authority that he isn't allowed to question.
      Glad you enjoyed ❤ I need to get my arse in gear and take photos for the next!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am SO sorry for how late I am to the party, Carys. Legit. Things have just been nutso lately and I simply didn’t have the energy to read – until now! 🙂
    Oh, I’m so hyped for this. 😀 I love all of the gang – they all have so much personality already. Korra and Dova’s banter cracks me up. 😀 I don’t think I could pick a favourite, yet.
    Shout-out to my babe Mia – I already saw the pic of her on Tumblr so I knew the mum-ifying would come, but it’s still glorious. Love how you’ve aged the parents – it’s clear time has passed and the ageing feels very realistic. 🙂
    Can’t wait for more! 😀 ❤ This was excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trust me, I’ve been there, and my heart goes out to you. This is why I’m so often like a week late at least!
      Korra and Dova are bantz goals. They’re a great duo and Doe is the only person that fully puts up with her, lmao.
      Yes, I’m so glad you think so! Since they’re all still pretty young, like mid thirties, you can’t just put wrinkles on them… but making them look like parents is so hard!!
      Thanks for reading Louise!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry it took me so long to comment! I’ve been meaning to do it since a couple of days back, but I always got interrupted..! Now I finally got enough time on my hands though! 😀
    I loved the way you introduced us to the next generation! Every kid seems really interesting, and I can already tell that every one of them has their own distinct personality! Like Louise said, I couldn’t pick a favorite at this point – but I’m more than excited to get to know everyone! 😀 (I can already tell poor Dova has it worse than the rest of them though… poor kid!)
    And of course Q makes a spectacular entrance – once more ❤ I wonder what he wants with the gang and how long before the $%&t hits the fan… I am very excited to see what's coming! This was great ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally understand, life gets mad!
      Thank you, I loved this chapter so much. I’m so excited for everyone to get to know our cast – and yeah, poor Dova has it worst.
      Haha, he has to! He is a dramatic bitch, after all. Thanks for reading ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I just checked and chapter 2 is not out yet. 😦 LOLOL Okay, I’m not trying to rush you, I just want you to know how much I’m enjoying this. I couldn’t wait for this gen to begin, and there are definitely no let downs. The cousins are awesome, and I love how all of their differences are so well noted. ❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, the rest of my job today is to try and get pictures so I can get the next chapter up in time! Yikes. I’ve been so busy lately D:
      Thank you, it was so much fun and I put way more effort than usual into it all haha.
      Thanks for your lovely comment Kymber!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my, Korra. Kind of hoping she’ll become more likable. I just love Ayr so much, and it seems that she must have said some really hurtful things to him. 🙁 Also the subtle comparison of her mother to a caterpillar is a little bit… sociopathic?

    I love Dova and Risa so much. The way Quinn and Mia have sheltered Dova is so over the top. They might as well homeschool him too (don’t know if that’s a thing in Britain). They can make the decision to do that, but I don’t know what else they expect from him.

    Fury is like a clone of his father with blonde hair. It’s cute.

    I love that pic of Risa walking towards the meeting place in the woods. Do you happen to remember where you got her jeans from?

    And the adventure is about to begin!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t promise anything re: Korra becoming nicer, haha. She’s caustic. We’ll eventually dive into that, and what the argument was about. But after a lot of anticipation is built, of course! Luckily Dova and Fury especially are a lot more likeable and will command the narrative 😉
      Maybe that was me getting carried away with the comparisons 😛 but Korra does understand other people’s emotions, she just seems to think everyone else is in control of them and she isn’t.
      They’re precious! Yes, you’re 100% right. They can homeschool kids (in fact that is what Q will be officially doing with the cousins) but I think even if they had considered it, the siblings would have stepped in. Shanna and Quinn certainly don’t approve of each other’s parenting methods…
      You’re so right! Fury is such a cutie. I love him.
      I’ll see if I can find out! I’m not sure they have an icon in game but I’ll do my best when I next go in 🙂
      Thanks for reading ❤

      Like

  6. It’s interesting to see how the four couples adapted after their losses in the previous gen. Makes sense that some are so overprotective.
    But they have to understand that teenagers will be teenagers. You can’t contain them for long.

    Liked by 1 person

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