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Monday, March 16 12:00 AM ET

Chicken Soup for the Geek Soul: Two Brothers

By Brian Briggs

The two brothers lived in the same neighborhood, but they were separated by light years, a divide that kept them apart for years.

It saddened their mother to see them so distant with each other.  She didn't understand the source of their conflict, but she knew it was serious, very serious.

One of the brothers, Gene, was a child of the late 60s.  Flower power, Vietnam, Star Trek.  It was the latter that caused the rift between them.

You see, the other brother, Luke, was a child of the 70s.  Bell bottoms, disco, Star Wars.  He couldn't understand Gene's fascination with Trek, and Gene couldn't understand Luke's fascination with Star Wars.

"It's a glorified space opera," said Gene of Star Wars.

"It's a hippie sci-fi," said Luke of Star Trek.

As teens, the two would argue for hours over which was better.  One drunken night the two came to blows after an argument over whether the Enterprise could defeat a Star Destroyer in a one-on-one battle.  After that the two stopped speaking to each other, and haven't for fifteen years.

Today, the two sit silent in the hospital waiting room.  Gene's two sons, James and Jean-Luc, sit by his side as he pages through The Star Trek Encyclopedia.  Luke sits with his wife Leia watching an episode of Clone Wars: The Animated Series on his iPod.

Their mother lies in bed in the ICU after suffering a heart attack earlier in the morning.  The boys haven't exchanged a word.

A nurse comes into the waiting room.  "Kirk-Walker family?"  The boys rise from their seats.

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"Your mother is resting, but two of you can visit the room."

"I'll watch the boys Gene. You and Luke go see your mother," says Leia.

The two grumble, but walk together down the hall to their mother's room.  They each take a hand of the woman. They both know this is an important moment in their lives. 

Finally, Gene breaks the silence, "May the Force be with you, mother."

"Live long and prosper," says Luke.

The years of ice melt away and  tears flow down their cheeks as they join hands, as brothers, across the bed.

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