Welcome back to The Games Next Door. For this chapter we're going to be taking a break from the Games to look at how the family's of Sector V are coping back home. I'm aiming for this to be an emotional chapter. I hope I don't disappoint. Enjoy.
If it was difficult to be a contestant in the Games Next Door, it was just as difficult to be a parent of a contestant. All they could do to support their children was to watch and wish that they would come home to them, but that wish usually only ever came true for one set of parents. This year would hopefully be different, especially for the parents of Sector V who were watching from home.
In District 10
Mr and Mrs Beetles were watching the Games on the TV with their seven-year-old son Joey. After seeing Wally get injured all three of them were overcome with worry.
"Mum, Dad, is Wally coming home?" asked Joey.
"I don't know sport, but he's gonna try," said Mrs Beetles.
Mr Beetles knew he had to do something to cheer up his family. Although he also had doubts over whether Wally would return, he needed to do something.
And so in his always optimistic tone he said, "Of course he's coming home. Our little Wallabee might not be the sharpest lightbulb in the shed, but if there is one thing that's always been true about him, it's that he's tough and he's not gonna let a little broken foot stop him from coming home," said Mr Beetles.
This lifted the spirits of both Joey and Mrs Beetles.
"I guess you're right, he is tough, and he can definitely fight through the pain," said Mrs Beetles.
"That's what I like to hear. Now let's cheer for Wally like I use to cheer for the Blues during the State of Origin," said Mr Beetles.
Even so, Joey silently pleaded, "Big brother, please come home."
The situation was not much better for the Sanban's who were also watching the events of the Games unfold. While Genki and Kani had both been strict and high strung parents, both had softened considerably over the years. They were both now far more caring and attentive with their children, as they knew that the only way they were going to survive in this world was as a family. While it hurt them to see their eldest child fighting for survival, they were forever grateful and proud she had volunteered for Mushi.
"This isn't right Kani, she shouldn't be out there fighting for her life. She should be at home being happy," said Genki remembering her own unahappy childhood.
"I don't think we have anything to worry about Genki," said Kani.
"Because she's far to stubborn to lose, much like how she was too stubborn to not touch the thermostat when I forbade her from doing so," said Kani.
Although his reasoning was silly, it managed to get Genki to give a rare smile. On the other hand, he was right, Kuki was a little stubborn with certain things and that would definitely help her through the Games. The one who was most worried however was Mushi. Although she and Kuki had fallen out after Mushi had damaged her Posh Party Rainbow Monkey, the two had grown very close over the years. After Mushi had apologised, Kuki forgave her immediately. Kuki also never said no to sharing the Rainbow Monkeys and even lent Mushi ones that helped her sleep at night. When Kuki had volunteered for her on the day of selection, it became clearer to Mushi than ever that Kuki would do anything to protect her, even if it meant giving up her own freedom.
"Don't give up Kuki, no matter what happens don't give up," said Mushi.
In District 11
Watching the Games Next Door had been particularly difficult for Dr and Mrs Lincoln. Both had already had to sit through Cree competing and to see Abigail competing now was nearly too much for them. While they had their son and grandkids, the thought of losing any of their kids was too much for them. Dr Lincoln in particular was having trouble coping. The ever-optimistic man had been brought to tears by what was happening to his youngest child.
"Dear, are you alright?" asked Mrs Lincoln.
"Yes. I just can't bear seeing Abigail go through this, I already saw Cree go through the shooting and the survival and, oh I can't even think about it," said Dr Lincoln breaking down.
"Don't worry, we worried for Cree and she came back to us. I know Abigail will do the same," said Mrs Lincoln.
"Normally I would agree, but she's having to put all her energy into protecting Hoagie Gilligan," said Dr Lincoln.
"Well you can't blame her. I've seen the way they look at each other and I know you have too, so I have a feeling Hoagie would do the same for her," said Mrs Lincoln.
"I guess you're right and if Abigail really does feel that way about Hoagie, she'll have more than enough strength to win. I just hate to think what'll happen if they're the last two standing, because I have serious doubts they'll want to fight each other," said Mr Lincoln.
"I also have those doubts, but I have a feeling it will all work out in the end," said Mrs Lincoln.
"I hope you're right," said Dr Lincoln.
The emotions at the Gilligan house were pretty much the same, that is for Betty and Tommy, Lydia had more or less lost interest by this point.
"Oh just give up already, you've already broken an arm and a leg, why are you even still fighting?" asked Lydia angrily.
"Mum, Hoagie needs our support," said Betty.
"He had my support when he was up and running, but he can't even walk anymore. At this point he's just embarrassing himself and us," said Lydia.
"Grandma don't talk about Hoagie that way," snapped Tommy.
"I'll talk about him anyway I like. Now be quiet or you'll get the cane," said Lydia.
"Yes Grandma," said Tommy.
Betty knew there was no arguing with her mother, but she also knew she could not kick her out. There was no one else to support her and they were all she had left. So despite her attitude, they all put up with it, even though she was clearly more concerned with getting more food then she was about her grandson winning. Betty on the other hand was scared, scared that her son would not come back to her. Although he was sixteen, in her eyes he would always be her little boy.
"Please Hoagie come home. I can't lose you to," thought Betty who started to tear up.
In District 12
The air of emotions in the McKenzie house was a little different. While Harvey and his father Roland were wishing Rachel the best, her mother Margo was quickly losing interest in the battle.
"If you ask me, she deserves to be where she is. Honestly, did she really think she could get away with calling my Harvey a spoilt brat and not be punished. The only one who's a spoilt brat is you Rachel," said Margo.
Neither Harvey nor Roland responded to Margo's remark, but Roland's patience with her was wearing out. Ever since they discovered that Harvey had a condition that made him a little different, Margo McKenzie had always favoured Harvey over Rachel. On the one hand Harvey never interacted with other children and he had certain quirks which drove the average person insane, but Margo didn't care, because the condition also made him brilliant and if that meant accepting a bit of an attitude problem that was fine with her. It made her angry whenever Rachel scolded Harvey for his attitude, like how he overreacted upon physical contact or how he never took other people's feelings into consideration. She would yell at, or even slap Rachel whenever she felt she crossed the line. For some reason no matter how hard she tried, Rachel could not see that Harvey couldn't waste time and energy on improving himself because he was busy improving the world. Rachel had stopped caring completely about this factor after the villains took over. She did not care if her mother outright beat her, she refused to accept Harvey's attitude, which made Margo furious, especially considering that Harvey's quirks had toned down in recent years and he was now more interested in helping support the family then getting a degree and becoming an important member of society.
Rachel's father on the other hand felt differently. He had been advised that they needed to help Harvey interact better in society which he was more than happy to do, but whenever he brought it up, Margo said it was a waste of time. Roland wanted to force this issue, but Margo had always been the primary beadmaker in the family which made him hesitant to ever fight her on a decision. Despite this, it hurt him terribly to see Margo hit their daughter but he did not know what he could do. If Rachel made it back that would change. Roland would be the father he should have been instead of constantly giving in to Margo.
Although Harvey had initially enjoyed how his mother gave in to all his demands he was happy that Rachel had refused to put up with his attitude for the last five years. It had helped him become more social and was now able to feel more empathy with the world around him. He was also beginning to see that Rachel had been right. Not just about his attitude, but about Sector V. Abigail had had every right to decommission him when he refused to follow her orders. Rachel had also been right about Nigel. Six years ago Nigel had risked his life to save Harvey and he never said thank you. And now Nigel had done it all over again, he had volunteered for Harvey so he would not have to fight his sister.
It had not taken Harvey long to see that Nigel and Rachel had teamed up. It was also pretty easy for him to figure out what they were up to and if his guess was right, he had a feeling he would be seeing both of them again soon. Should that happen he had something he wanted to say to Nigel.
"Beat them guys. Show them the true power of the KND," thought Harvey.
Finally, the Uno's were watching the games with an air of seriousness. Unlike the rest of Sector V, Nigel was an only child, making the pain of watching him compete immence. After the villains had taken over, both Monty and Katherine Uno had been recommissioned and had full memory of their days as Numbuh 0 and 999 respectively. Over the last five years both had failed to convince their son that what had happened was not his fault. They had tried to talk to him both as his parents and as KND operatives, but neither method worked, forcing them to watch their child wallow in depression for years. He had been lost. So lost in fact that when he had volunteered to compete, they feared they would lose their child for good. But in the time he had been away something had happened.
"I can't believe Nigel's lasted this long, I feared he would've been eliminated during the rush for weapons," said Katherine, grateful her son was still competing.
"It doesn't surprise me," said Monty.
"Why not?" asked Katherine.
"Because I saw it in his eyes, the spark he had when he was young. I don't know how, but something must have happened that allowed him to remember what he once fought for. What all KND members once fought for," said Monty proudly.
"How do think that happened. We could never reach him and we're his parents," said Katherine.
"I can't say for sure, but I have a feeling it has something to do with a certain lady friend of his," said Monty.
Katherine knew Monty was referring to Rachel.
"So, you think Nigel has a chance of winning?" asked Katherine.
"No. I think Numbuh 1 has a chance of winning," said Monty. "And not just Numbuh 1. I don't think Benny realised what could happen if an entire team became contestants for this competition. And not just any team, but the legendary Sector V. Mark my words Katherine. There won't be one winner this year. There'll be six."
"But there were only five members in Sector V," stated Katherine.
"That was the case then, but I have a feeling they have a new member. And her name is Numbuh 362," said Monty.
Katherine smiled upon realising what her son and his friends were up too. She had a feeling Monty was right. And if he was, this could be the very thing that would bring the KND back into existence. Given hope with this thought they cheered for their son to succeed in his plans.
Back in Villain's Capital
President Father was furious. Nothing was going according to plan. Although two members of Sector V were injured, none of them had been eliminated. Not only that, but the contestants he had bribed into competing had failed in their mission and there were only five contestants left who could take them out. He believed only one stood a chance against Sector V and he was now without weapons. President Father would have to rethink his strategy.
"I'm gonna have to think of a way to draw them out. Put them in a position that will leave them exposed and vulnerable to attack," said President Father.
Thanks for reading, please leave a review to let me know what you think, especially if there are aspects in need of improvement.
Before I go, I also believe I should explain two things that happened in this chapter.
The State of Origin is an Australian football competition between the states of Queensland (Maroons) and New South Wales (Blues), that occurs three times a year.
Furthermore, I'm portraying Harvey as being on the autism spectrum. I myself am on the spectrum and when I think back to Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S. I believe Harvey displayed symptoms common with being autistic. That's just my interpretation. I could be very wrong.
See you next time.