Shadows In The Black
Once, not that long ago, Jal was a brilliant young man studying medicine. He had it all. A loving family; amenities to excess; women throwing themselves at him, more money than he could count; and most importantly, an extremely bright future. Until the day he lost it all.
Born into an average family on Ord Mantell, Jal managed to attend one of the more prestigious universities on a scholarship and did very well. He was a natural, both with the empathic interaction needed with patients as well as the technical xeno-biological information needed to keep them alive
While he was always confident in his abilities, he was never arrogant about them. This self-confidence, along with his natural pheremonal charm, often led him to be the center of attention. Because of his charm, he often got invited to social parties well above his station and by the end of his time at school he had amassed a list of high-powered friends most political veterans didn’t have after forty years of service..
One of the people he met was Neva Suul, a Falleen like himself. She was the de facto queen of the upper crust social circles and took young Jal under her wing. Neva was older and married to an influential businessman named Grayson Suul (rumoured to have connections to the Black Sun Syndicate) but she and Jal shared a mutual attraction from the start that neither of them could deny.
Neva and Jal met as he was just finishing school, and she used her own not insignificant influence and charm to secure him a small private practice with a very specialized clientele: her rich friends.
Jal specialized in cosmetic medicine and initially wanted to help those innocents affected by both the rebel insurgencies and Imperial war machine but his time with Neva and her friends slowly coloured his views. Over time, he became somewhat jaded and less idealistic and cared more about money, position and power than about helping people. He preyed on the vanity of his wealthy clients and became wealthy himself.
Throughout all this, Jal and Neva’s relationship grew in secret. Their passion knew no bounds and they stole every minute together that they could. It was one of the few times Jal felt alive and as the years wore on, one of the only things anchoring him.
After a number of years, Neva’s husband grew suspicious and asked some of his “friends” to sniff around and see what they could find. With very little effort, they uncovered the relationship and presented their findings to Neva’s husband.
In a rage, he confronted the couple in Jal’s office. A fight broke out and in the chaos, Neva’s husband ended up stabbing her fatally. Jal tried to save her but couldn’t. She died in his arms. Neva’s husband, used all of his influence and connections to frame Jal for the murder.
Grayson ruined Jal. Severing the social connections that had been made. Jal became a disgrace. He lost his practice. His friends. Even his family feared to acknowledge him after Grayson Suul’s “friends” leaned on them. Soon he was living on the streets of Ord Mantell, drinking his sorrows (and life) away.
After several years of living life through a bottle, Jal finally had enough. He climbed to the top of an abandoned hab block in one of the seedier parts of town with the intent of jumping and ending his miserable life.
When he got there however, he found a young girl already there preparing to do the same thing. He contemplated just “waiting his turn” but some natural medical instinct took over and he spoke to her before she jumped. They talked and Jal realized life wasn’t over just yet. He remembered what he set out to do. To help people and vowed to start over.
He vowed to cut back on his alcohol intake and tried to get his life back together. He scraped and stole enough to book him passage off planet to… anywhere.
He eventually ended up on a backwater agri-world in the Gordian Reach with his life somewhat stitched back together, until that day in Kaliban’s…