While wandering the galaxy contemplating my future I sat in the starport one day waiting on my shuttle. I was approached by a man dressed in a snappy uniform. He struck up a conversation and we chatted for a bit. He invited me to go with him to see his city and consider joining his guild of pilots.
But it didn’t end there. He contacted me several days later and figuring that he wasn’t going to let the matter go till I’d fully investigated what he was offering, I agreed to let him have his say. I didn’t know that trip to Journey’s End would forever change my life.
He was persuasive and I did agree to join his guild and live in Journey’s End. That one decision set me off on a journey I never could have dreamed. I still stand in awe looking back at everything that happened as a result.
It’s all recorded here.
The amazing people I met, the home I crafted for myself there, how I confronted my fears, the friends I made, the adventures I had, the loss that led to rebirth, the comings and goings of Bermuda, the friend I lost, the pilots who made me proud, the trouble one citizen caused, the intrigue of a stranger, the Life Day celebrations, the war that went on around us, the safe return of beloved friends and even the end of an amazing era and the beginning of a new one.
I’ve written it all. From beginning to end.
I don’t know what will happen next. I’ve lived long enough to know that life can change in a blink of an eye. But as I discovered in that dream, what matters most of all is the friends I’ve made along the way. No matter what happens, I’ll cherish them…. and brace myself for whatever the next chapter in life brings.
(( It’s been nearly a year since SWG shut down. I am so very fortunate that I’ve been able to keep in touch with so many of the friends I made while playing SWG. Several emulator projects are moving ahead full steam ensuring that Bahama’s story isn’t finished yet. I look forward to meeting and making new friends in those galaxies far, far away. See you there!))
I spent the next 16 years in a self-imposed exile. I hadn’t planned on the life I loved disappearing before my eyes but that’s exactly what had happened. In so many ways…
See, about the same time my world crumbled I discovered I was pregnant. I never intended to have children and this news just added to an overwhleming sense of defeat. I reluctantly returned to my parent’s home. There I helped with the family business, did my tailoring and raised my son, Bermuda Jr.
True to his nature, Bermuda was in and out of our lives over the course of those years. He was never around long enough to be full time father so B.J. readily accepted the attention and advice of an old man who lived nearby. I didn’t realize it at the time but this man was busy filling my son’s head with silly ideas about ‘the force’ and other such ideas. I regret not having put a stop to it sooner.
By the time I’d heard that things had changed and it might be safe to return to my life in Theed, it was too late. B.J. was a stubborn, independent-minded 16 year old with his heart set on becoming a ‘jedi’. Following in his parent’s footsteps, he left home young to go seek his own path. While I never agreed with the path he chose, I’m secretly proud that he had the courage to follow his heart.
Free of the responsibility of raising him, I longed to go home. I flew into Bestine nervous, not knowing what to expect. I was very disappointed to find things so different. So quiet.
Trainers were gone. There was no longer a tailor trainer in Bestine.
The cantinas were empty.
Even busy Mos Eisley was quiet. A ghost town.
Coronet, Theed,… the story was the same everywhere. Everyone was gone.
I really didn’t know at this point what would happen. I didn’t know what to do. The task of rebuilding my life seemed daunting and I wondered if it was worth even attempting. I travelled the galaxy searching for an answer…
I awoke that day in late autumn just as I had every other day before it. I lingered in bed, eyes closed, mentally writing my to do list…
…need to restock the fishing poles over in Lake Retreat and I should really send an email to that customer who hasn’t picked up their order yet…. oh, and don’t forget to do another factory run of synthetic cloth today…
If only I could have stayed in that place.
There was no warning, no preparation for the horror that would greet me upon opening my eyes. I can only describe it as a shift in the universe that rippled through the very fabric of life, changing everything everywhere. Changing everyone.
I was betrayed by my own body. I struggled to move. I gasped for breath.
I was betrayed in my mind. As if someone came and cut it out of my brain, hard-earned knowledge was gone. Forever gone.
Instantly I became a stranger to myself.
Burning in anger, crushed by sorrow, I was overwhelmed by a need to escape this nightmare… this demented reality…
And so I made a choice. I closed my eyes and fell back. Fallen away from consciousness.
(( Yes, I left when the NGE hit. Almost 2 full years would go by before I came back to what was left of the game I loved. ))
As usual, I got my mind off Bermuda’s absence by throwing myself into my work. With my shops in Theed and Lake Retreat firmly established, it was time to branch out.
I started by opening a |Bahama-Wear| right outside Coronet.
While I didn’t keep that branch open very long, it had a lasting impact on me. I first loved Tatooine and then I’d fallen for Naboo. It was during this time that Corellia took root in my heart. I didn’t know then what an important part it would play in my life in the years to come. Corellia would one day become ‘home’ more than anywhere else.
And to keep things interesting I tried my hand at a new type of business. High on a hill, I created a bed and breakfast in Lake Retreat.
I let my creativity flow and threw myself into decorating the perfect retreat get away. It seemed my life couldn’t get much better. I was on top of the world, literally.
But dark days were on the horizon…
Weeks went by and once again Bermuda’s wanderlust spirit led him to pack up for a trip far and away. No matter how many times the pattern played out in our relationship, it always brought a lump to my throat and fear to my heart.
Bermuda knew as much. He’d always make sure I had everything I needed before he left. He’d pay the mortgage on the houses, check my bank account balance and buy me a few trinkets to ease his conscience.
This time he’d also leave me with some company.
Zaza Gaboara was there to protect me and keep me safe…
but she also knew a few good tricks!
Knowing how I adored gnorts, he also gave me the most adorable baby gnort. Gnorton spent many days hopping around the shop while I worked. Bermuda knew just how to make me smile.
That’s not to say I didn’t do everything in my power to make him feel badly about leaving me. Oh, I could put on quite the show, pouting and begging and pleading that he stay. But in the end all it got me was a portrait of the two of us to cherish till his return.
With my new shop ready to go, I hired a vendor and began stocking. Eventually my hard work paid off and I attained the title of Master Tailor. To this day, I don’t think I have words to express the thrill I experienced having met this goal.
I do believe I gave my teacher, Odas Peadin, a hug after he’d uttered these words.
It was a new day. The accomplishment emboldened me. I got a makeover…
and I took Bermuda on a holiday to Lake Retreat.
There I offered him an engraved ring I’d made and asked him to marry me. He reluctantly agreed. He never was a jewelry kinda guy…
I enjoyed that holiday so much that I endeavored to expand my business there as well. I set up a droid to advertise at the shuttle.
Besides fishing supplies, I offered casual clothing for the forgetful vacationer and a full service bridal shop!
Things were looking up…
Back in the day, travel wasn’t something you took lightly. Public transportation was the only option and it wasn’t cheap. You examined your bank account and thought carefully before buying that ticket. The excitement you felt while waiting to board was often in direct proportion to the cost of the ticket and the time spent planning for the trip.
My first trip to Naboo was a big deal. From the moment I stepped foot into the beautiful city of Theed, I was in love. While I loved our hometown of Bestine, it was clear it wouldn’t be the best place to start a clothing business. Bermuda did a bit of research for me and came to the conclusion that Theed would be the best choice.
His involvement in the creation of |Bahama-Wear| didn’t stop there. He purchased the small generic house and found the ideal location just outside the city. He funded the initial furnishings, materials for me to stock my first vendor, paid for my tailor education and expressed complete faith in me. In short, he’s a huge part of how |Bahama-Wear| ever came into being. And I’m forever grateful for that.
|Bahama-Wear| was born. With my shop open for business, I updated my public contact info:
Please visit the |Bahama-Wear| showroom and vendor located just outside Theed at –4323 3419.
(My shop stood there in that same spot on Ahazi from the day I placed it in 2004 till it was packed in the housing pack up event in 2007. I returned shortly thereafter and replaced it in that same location. It will be right there when the lights go out 3 days from now.)
For all the drama I created over his absence, Bermuda was back within a few weeks and things were back to usual. He was back to adventuring and I was still busy about the task of learning everything I could about my chosen fields.
I continued my work toward becoming a master tailor but it was slow going. I made each item carefully by hand. To me, tailoring was an art. It wasn’t about quantity. Even then I knew that I had no interest in mass producing large numbers of standard, black shirts and pants. There was nothing I enjoyed more than to work with a customer one on one, designing each piece specifically for them.
It was around this time that I had an unexpected boost toward completing my medical education. I had made a goal to become a master doctor. Not really so much as a career, more of a hobby. I had no interest in starting my own practice. I just figured it would come in handy when Bermuda returned home from his adventures with various ailments.
Things were slow but steady at the medical center. There were sometimes many doctors looking to practice their skills so I’d have to wait patiently for my rotation. Well, I suppose I didn’t have to. There were always folks hanging around the medical center, willing to self-injure and subject themselves to your treatment…. usually for a price.
I found this practice distasteful and refused to take part in it. If I was going to bother to earn my medical degree, I was going to really earn it – even if it took me much, much longer to do so. I made it my personal policy to only heal ‘real’ wounds. If you self-injured, sorry, you were clearly in need of a mental doctor and I couldn’t help you with that.
One day I was taking a break in the Bestine cantina. Not my favorite place to be, but the day was hot and I needed a glass of tea and a break from the four walls of the medical center. I was surprised to get a tell from a name I did not recognize. He said he had something to give me.
I scanned the cantina but could not see him anywhere. Before I had a chance to respond, he said, “Look in your datapad. I put something there for you.”
What?! How could he access my datapad?!! I opened my datapad fully expecting this prankster’s lie to be exposed and instead found…
a perfectly designed surgical droid?!
To this day I have no idea who this person was or how they knew I needed this droid. And I still can’t figure out how they managed to put it there in my datapad without my knowledge. It will forever remain a mystery.
But despite the lack of information about it’s origins, I wasted no time putting that droid to good use. The droid gave me the ability to practice my medicine on the go – outside the medical center – anywhere.
I set up an emergency room at the starport. There I was able to heal wounds and cure sickness as folks unloaded from the transport. I gained enough experience to reach master doctor within a matter of days.
I’ve always wished I could thank that mysterious stranger for allowing me to fulfill my dream so quickly while maintaining my dignity and ethics.
The best part of visiting Naboo was the chance to see my favorite creature in the whole galaxy. You could find families of the gentle, adorable gnorts grazing just outside Theed. It was one factors that eventually led me to build my shop there sometime later.
Not long after Bermuda left I was invited to join a guild. I’d only chatted with the guild leader for a few minutes so I had very little information to base my decision on.
Up to this point, I’d simply declined any and all guild invites. I didn’t really have desire or need to join one. But with my main hide supplier, pest remover and companion gone, I decided it was a good time for me to step out of my comfort zone.
I joined and he led me to Dantooine where the guild headquarters was to be located. That’s when the first of several alarms went off inside my head. I ignored it.
I understand many folks wouldn’t have blinked an eye at travelling to such a remote location, but this was a real stretch for me. Not only did I avoid space travel whenever possible, but Dantooine was a wild planet, full of creatures a tailor should not have been within a hundred meters of.
Upon arriving at the the space port on Dantooine, the guild leader made a comment about how he loved the beautiful pink flowers that covered the landscape as far as the eye could see. I remember thinking how they constantly reminded me that everything on the planet was out of control – lacking boundaries, domestication and civility.
But I pressed on, determined that I should build a life where I was not dependant on Bermuda and convinced this was the way to go. Upon reaching the village he’d created in the middle of no where, he explained what exactly I’d signed up for. Given that the guild consisted of 3 members including he and I, there was much to be done.
The most obvious task was recruiting more members. Given instructions to go recruit people to a guild I’d just joined was akin to being asked to go build a space ship. I hadn’t the first clue about where to begin and I lacked all the right tools for job. I’m not the type to push my wares, clothing or guilds, on others. Nor am I skilled at starting up random conversations with strangers. But at that point my resolve was still strong so I made the long trek back to civilization to figure it out.
Whenever I need to do some serious thinking, I grab my fishing pole and head for water. That’s exactly what I did. I set up to fish in the river close to the Theed Spaceport. It was a fairly populated area. If I was lucky someone else might strike up a conversation with me and save me from that awkward initial contact.
My fishing was interrupted by the sound of blaster fire and grunts of pain as two men tried to hunt the mostly harmless nuna nearby. Ah-ha! My medical skills! That’s how I could meet people. After all, I had enjoyed my time in the medical center chatting with the patients. “Where does it hurt?” makes for a good, safe ice breaker… so long as you’re not in a cantina when you utter it.
I followed the gents around with my medical kit, healing and chatting as we went. They seemed like pretty decent folks and so I asked if they wanted to join the guild. Presto! Two new recruits. I’d single-handedly almost doubled the size of the guild. Go me!
My excitement was quickly deflated when I spoke to the guild leader about it. He was less than impressed with my measly 2 recruits. He wanted more. Way more.
And so it went with everything I did or gave to the guild. It was never enough and there was never so much as a thank you. Within a very short time I found myself weary of unreasonable responsibilities and expectations. How did I get here? Is THIS what guilds are about?
I suppose the icing on the cake was my very first trip to a cloning center courtesy of a gang of native peoples as I tried to travel to that village in the middle of no where. It just wasn’t worth the risk.
I quit the guild and swore that I’d never join another. Certainly it would be much better to develop friendships where there were no strings attached.