Battle of Genre Round Two: Action/Adventure
Tsar Bomba Versus devi
Click me for the BoG R2 Main Thread for additional info!
Welcome to a Round Two Battle Thread for the BoG Tournament! Be mindful now, as your votes are the determining factor to who takes the win!
For a few reminders though:
Spoiler for REMINDERS:
Simple. 5 points per vote.
Comment and Critique
CnC is important for a writer to flourish and grow in his craft. Giving some will benefit the writer and you as well! A point will be given to you and tallied overall at the end of the tournament [this is a separate tally]. If your CnC proves to be substantial [ergo something that helps the writer improve rather than just saying its good or my favorite part is this] an additional point is awarded.
Now without further ado here are the works of our would-be Masters of Genre!
Tsar Bomba - Turtle Run
Spoiler for Turtle Run:
A strident noise broke the stillness of the air, trailed by an abrupt crash that brought the car to a halt. The distant ring of sirens made a slow crescendo as a man staggered out of the passenger side. He jerked back the slide of his pistol until the click affirmed readiness to kill.
The man glanced over his shoulder, then again, running to the opposite side of the vehicle. Within a moment, he wrapped his fingers around the handle and yanked the car door open.
“C’mon, Jimmy, get the fuck out of the car!” He gripped his brother’s shoulder. Jimmy rolled his head back sluggishly, producing a guttural groan. The man shifted his grasp to his sibling’s collar, hauling him out of the driver’s seat and onto the ground. A gunshot wound marked his arm. Sirens grew louder, nearer.
“Get up!” He hadn’t released his firm hold on Jimmy’s clothing. In a desperate attempt to steady him, the man pulled his brother upward and slapped him across the face.
Jimmy wobbled to a standing position. He stared his brother in the face, slurred words seeping from his lips, “I crashed the car, man… I crashed the car…”
“Don’t worry about it, Jimmy,” heavy panting slowed the man’s speech, “We gotta go! C’mon!”
The man slung a governing arm around his brother’s shoulders; his remaining hand wielded the small firearm. The two made their way toward the end of the alley. Guiding his sibling, the man could only manage a hurried jog. His gaze continually shifted in a perpetual frenzy. The piercing tone of a nearby siren seemed to echo harshly within the inner-walls of each man’s head. It was all they could hear. The police cruiser pulled into the alleyway, only to be met with gunfire. Each bullet met its mark. The windshield splintered as it was simultaneously splattered with liquid crimson. The man stood firm, a smoking barrel at the end of his extended arm. He lowered the gun and ushered his brother as they kept moving.
The pair moved from the shaded alleyway and fled down the street. Jimmy had recovered from his daze, allowing them to move at a quicker pace. The sirens persisted from afar. The weighted steps of the two brothers came to a stop as both took concurrent notice of another car, a convertible, heading in their direction. They stood, unmoving, waiting for an opportunity. It came. The vehicle eased to a halt. The duo brandished their firearms, causing the driver to cower behind the instrument panel and jerk his hands above his head.
“Get out of the car! Get out of the fucking car!” The barrel of the man’s pistol was inches from the driver’s face. The driver did his best to keep his head down as he frantically shoved the door open and staggered out from the convertible. Jimmy had already climbed into the passenger seat, his own blood soaked his arm and side. His brother sat firmly behind the wheel. The engine roared as the man slammed his foot on the accelerator. He clicked a button, causing the roof of the car to slowly slide into place.
After a few lengthy minutes of speeding, the enduring silence finally broke. Jimmy turned his head, his eyes settling on his brother. He imitated his sibling’s voice, “ ‘How’s your arm, Jimmy?’ Oh. It hurts like a motherfucking bitch, Roy. Thanks for asking.”
Roy looked straight ahead. His fists tightly wrapped around the wheel. He exhaled.
“Did you just huff?” Jimmy’s voice was sharp.
“Just now, you huffed. You just huffed at me.”
“I was just breathing.”
“No, you weren’t just breathing. You huffed at me. As in, ‘Shut the fuck up, Jimmy.’ As in, ‘You’re getting on my nerves, Jimmy.’ ”
Roy said nothing.
“If I annoy you, tell me I annoy you. You don’t have to huff and puff until you blow me away. Is it because I got shot? It is, isn’t it? Well, I’m sorry, Roy. I got shot! I’m sorry that I got shot driving your ass away from the cops!”
“Motherfu-- I can’t fucking breathe now?!”
Jimmy clenched his teeth, his expression changed, “Why’d you say it like that?”
“Because I have a lot on my mind right now...” Roy shrugged, looking between his brother and the road, “We gotta call Uncle Boone.”
“What? No! Why?!”
“Where the fuck are we gonna go, Jimmy?!” The man slammed his fist on the wheel, then quickly reclaimed his composure, “We can’t stay here. We have to go away, far away, and lay low for awhile.”
Jimmy didn’t produce a response. He just sunk further into his seat with a pout, his eyes wandered to the window.
The sirens were gone.
* * * *
“Lance, you like boobies?”
The boy looked up at his uncle, who matched his gaze in the reflection of the rearview mirror. The bearded man smiled, comfortably reclined in the passenger seat of the van.
“Well…?” He persisted.
The driver spoke up, “He’s too young to be into all that, Sid. His answer won’t mean anything.”
“What’s the matter, Bill? Scared your son’s into boys?”
“Let him be. He’s trying to play his game.”
As if on cue, the beeps and boops of Lance’s gameboy resumed. His eyes and attention were captured by the tiny glowing screen; they had been for the majority of the trip. The family had been driving for hours now. Grasslands had given way to desert. Lance barely noticed the transition, however, his sister did. The flat, parched land was all that was visible beyond the half-cracked window. Sarah watched it roll by, her headphones provided an unfitting accompaniment to the seemingly boundless yellows. Nothing ahead, save for blank, asphalt roads paired with the immensity of day.
Sid huffed and shifted a bit in his seat. They had been driving for awhile and he needed something to entertain himself. Unlike Lance, he didn’t have the luxury of a gameboy, he was far too old for one. He turned against his seatbelt, looking at Sarah, “Did you get anything besides clothes?”
Sarah perked up, taking off her headphones and letting them sit on her collar, “Huh?”
“From the mall, did you get anything besides clothes?” Sid repeated, nodding to the bag beside her.
The teenager nodded as she started digging through the plastic bag. It was stamped with a smiley face along with the phrase: ‘Have a nice day’. She had acquired it during her weekly mall trip. Since he was in town, Sarah invited her uncle to come along before they left to go on their mini-vacation. It was filled with outfits mostly, but she also had gotten a VHS tape of the second episode of Star Wars. She’d already seen the first and third and was always curious what happened in between. She presented it to her uncle.
“Empire Strikes Back?” Sid nodded in approval, “That’s the best one.”
Bill cut the conversation short, “We’re here.”
The car pulled into the motel parking lot. It wasn’t much to look at, especially considering it was in the middle of nowhere. ‘Turtle Run Motel’. That’s what the sign read. Bill glanced at his children, who both looked appalled. He shrugged, “We’re only staying here the one night. C’mon, let’s settle in.”
Bill got out first, then Sid. The kids exchanged glances before hopping out of the car. The plastic bag swung from Sarah’s forearm as she trotted beside her uncle. Lance tucked his gameboy away, trailing behind his father.
The room was as the family expected it to be, smallish and unkempt. Two beds, two lamps, one bathroom, one armchair, one TV. The men hurled their suitcases onto each bed, unzipping them and taking out what they needed.
Sid turned to the kids, whose eyes wandered around the space, “Why don’t you two get in your swimsuits? I could go for a dip.”
“There’s a pool?” Lance asked, a bit of surprise in his tone.
“No idea,” Sid smirked, “But if there is we’re jumping right in.”
“Shouldn’t we look for one first?” Sarah said, setting her CD player and headphones on the chair, “Like, before we get in our bathing suits?”
Sid crossed his arms, “Where’s the fun in that? C’mon, Sarah, where’s your sense of adventure? And if there’s a pool and we find it, we could hop in right away.”
“Yeah!” Lance shouted in agreement. Sarah just nodded and grabbed her shopping bag. She went to the bathroom to change into her swimsuit, she had bought a new one at the mall. The boys dug for their own in their suitcases.
* * * *
The pitter-patter of metal on metal followed as Roy shoved the quarter into the slot. He pressed each numbered button and waited. Jimmy was outside of the phonebooth, leaning against the hood of the convertible. A bandage was neatly wrapped around his limb. He fanned himself with his good arm; the heat of the desert sun seemed especially cruel today.
The recurrent ringing was finally interrupted by a click. Someone had answered. “Yeah?” A gruff voice spoke on the other end.
“Uncle Boone, it’s Roy.”
A second click was heard as the man hung up.
“Son of a bitch…” Roy dug searched his pockets until he found another quarter, he placed it in the slot and waited. The ringing lasted for significantly longer before he answered again.
“Listen, you old fuck, we need to talk,” Roy gripped the phone tightly.
Indiscernible grumbles came from the other end. Eventually, the voice returned, “What do you want, Roy?”
“Jimmy and I need help.”
“Big help…” Roy paused, “We need you to get us out of the country.”
The old man waited about a minute before responding, “...What’d you get yourself into? What’d you do this time?”
“The usual… just didn’t go so hot this time.”
“Your brother’s with you?”
Roy lowered his voice, speaking in a hushed tone, “Uncle Boone, we need this.”
The line was quiet for a long moment. “I’ll send someone,” the old man said.
Roy released a silent breath.
“He’ll meet you at the Turtle Run Motel, just like we always said. Remember where it is?”
“Yeah. I do.”
“Well, get there and stay quiet until they pick you up. And don’t do any more stupid shit.”
“Yeah, yeah. You owe me a quarter, asshole,” Roy hung up, stepping out from the booth. He made his way to the car. Jimmy walked to the passenger side. He stared at his brother for a moment before entering the convertible. The car started. The initial rumble of the engine settled into a low mechanical hum.
“What’d he say?” Jimmy was looking at his brother with big, hopeful eyes.
“Doesn’t matter. He’s gonna help us out.”
“Did he ask anything about me?”
“No,” the car began to make its way along the road.
Jimmy squirmed a bit in his chair, then looked to his brother once more, “Did you tell him I love him?”
“You didn’t say to.”
“Yes, I did. I said it like five fucking times,” He retorted, defensive.
Roy kept his eyes on the road. Clearly frustrated, he raised his voice a bit, “No. You didn’t say anything. I would’ve heard you if you said something, but you didn’t. We haven’t said anything since we left the city.”
Jimmy clenched his teeth and glared toward the window. They didn’t speak for the rest of the drive.
* * * *
“Brothers Roy and James Palacio fled from the scene, leaving three officers wounded and two dead. The two suspec--”
The image switched to animal planet, then a viagra commercial. Bill grumbled, setting the TV remote down. The man stood and walked out of the room. He figured he should spend some time with the others, it was a family vacation afterall. Traveling cross-country hadn’t been such a strenuous task thus far, however, they were only halfway to their destination.
Bill squinted as he stepped into the sunlight. It was mid-day and everything was still bright. It wasn’t long before he found the pool, the playful shrieks and giggles of the kids was enough to locate it. Bill entered the fenced-in area and stood near the spot where concrete turned to water.
Sid made monster sounds, chasing a laughing Lance around the shallow end. Sarah emerged from the depths of the deeper side, grabbing onto the edge and looking up at her father, “Hey, dad.”
“Hey there,” Bill smiled, glancing down at her.
Sid put his hands on his submerged knees, panting.
Bill looked over, “Tired, Sid?”
“I would be if I were your age,” Sid chuckled and took in a deep breath, “I could do this all day.”
The monster sounds resumed and Lance swam away, ecstatic. Bill wandered over to the nearest chair and settled under the umbrella. He watched them play. The smile hadn’t left his face.
* * * *
“Do they have a pool?”
“Maybe. I don’t fucking know,” Roy brought the car to a gradual stop, not bothering to look at his brother as he responded. He stepped out of the convertible and stretched a bit.
“Do they have cable?” Jimmy asked, hopping out of the car.
“We’ll get a room and find out,” A beep was heard as Roy clicked his keys. The doors of the vehicle locked.
Jimmy gandered at the motel for a moment, “This place is a shithole.”
“Sure is,” Roy agreed dismissively, starting toward the lobby. Jimmy followed close behind, his eyes wandered around. There was nothing besides the motel, asphalt, and desert. His expression projected disgust. Roy picked up on it, turning to his brother before entering, “Why don’t you go and try to find the pool?”
“What if there isn’t one?” Jimmy tilted his head a bit.
“Hope there is,” Roy wiped sweat from his brow to emphasize his point, “It’s hot as fuck out here.”
“You’ll get the room and all?”
“Yeah, Jimmy. I’ll handle the room.”
“Okay,” he nodded, venturing off in search of the pool.
Roy entered the lobby. He stepped to the vacant front desk, resting a forearm on the countertop. The man waited a moment before ringing the service bell.
* * * *
Lance was the one that noticed him. The man was standing by the pool entrance, watching the family swim. The boy waved at the stranger, who did nothing in return. Bill looked at his son curiously before noticing him. Jimmy was just standing there, staring. He almost appeared hungry, ravenous. He watched them as a vulture would. An abrupt hush pervaded the space.
“Hey,” Sid called, an attempt to break the awkward tension.
Jimmy clenched his teeth and slowly walked away from the pool area. The family exchanged quick glances.
“Creepy guy…” Sarah muttered, treading water.
They waited a moment before carrying on with their fun. It wasn’t long before Bill stood, announcing that he was going back to the room. Lance and Sid were preoccupied with their game, however, Sarah acknowledged him with a goodbye. Bill disappeared beyond the fence, catching a glimpse of Jimmy before entering the room.
He wasn’t discreet at all, but he wasn’t trying to be. Jimmy’s eyes followed Bill until he escaped behind the numbered door. The man took a few steps backwards before turning and walking off to find Roy.
* * * *
“What the fuck’re you talking about, Jimmy?” Roy opened the door, wandering into his room.
“I swear, man,” Jimmy followed him inside, “There were-- hey, can you fucking look at me?”
Roy set the room key on the TV stand, “Just tell me.”
“How do I know you're listening if you’re not looking at me?”
Roy took a moment to recline in a chair. He stared up at his brother, the concentration was exaggerated, “Alright, Jimmy… I’m looking at you.”
“I went to find the pool, like you said. Because you said it was fucking hot out, right?”
“So, I looked around the place until I find it and there’s this family there. Didn’t even look at them. All I did was walk over, take my shoes and socks off, and put my feet in the water. But then they started looking at me all weird,” Jimmy paused, “Are you still listening?”
“So, then I get up. ‘Cause at this point, I’m feeling fucking alienated. I put my shoes and stuff back on and go to walk out… then they started talking.”
Roy raised an eyebrow.
“They were talking all quiet and they didn’t think I could hear them, but I did. I heard the one guy say, ‘I’m going back to the room and calling the cops.’ ”
“You heard them say that?”
“I swear, Roy. The fucker said, ‘That’s Jimmy Palacio, his brother and him are running from the police. I’m going back to the room and calling the cops.’ ” Jimmy waited for another comment from his brother, but it didn’t come. He continued, “So, I’m thinking, I have to see where this guy goes. And I saw the room he went in.”
“The fuck do you mean?! He recognized us! He’s gonna call the cops if we don’t go over there, Roy!”
Roy slowly stood, reducing the distance between himself and his brother. His voice was low, edged, “So you’re saying… That if we don’t go over there and take this family hostage… Cops are gonna come here and get us?”
“Take them hostage?” Jimmy’s confusion was sincere, “We should kill them. Then we won’t hav--”
Roy grabbed Jimmy by the sides of his head. He slammed his sibling against the wall, their faces inches apart. He raised his voice, “I’m not killing an entire fucking family if I don’t have to, understand, Jimmy?! They have kids! There will be kids in that fucking room and if you’re fucking lying to me…”
Jimmy whimpered, closing his eyes, “I’m not lying! I’m not a liar! I’m not!”
“Look at me,” Roy tightened his grip on his brother’s face, “Look at me when you say it.”
Jimmy’s eyes popped open, “I’m not lying!”
“I’m not lying about those people recognizing us!” He pleaded.
Roy released his brother and turned away from him. Jimmy stumbled forward, rubbing the back of his head.
Jimmy’s voice was flat, “This isn’t like last time, Roy. I’m telling the truth. I swear.”
“Not like last time?”
“Not like last time.”
“What about the time before that? And the time before that? Not like those times either?”
Jimmy looked at his feet.
“I don’t kill people who I don’t have to,” Roy opened the door, “That’s not me. And that shouldn’t be you. Not anymore.”
Jimmy said nothing. He silently watched his brother leave the room before following.
* * * *
The knock was harsh. Bill lifted himself from the chair, moving toward the door. He closed one eye and pressed the other against the peephole. The slightly distorted image of a man could be seen. His face was mostly concealed by a tilted baseball cap.
“Yes?” Bill called, still looking at the man.
“Hey,” Roy spoke to the door, “I’m your neighbor from room 6. I need to ask a favor.”
Bill unlocked and opened the door, “What can I do for you?”
Roy slammed the butt of his gun into Bill’s face. Blood gushed from his broken nose as he staggered onto the floor. Roy stepped into the room along with Jimmy, who had been standing beside the doorway. He closed the door gently as Roy shoved Bill onto one of the beds.
Touching his fingertips to his nostrils, Bill stared up at the brothers with wide eyes, “What is this?”
Roy cocked his gun, keeping it carefully aimed at the man’s face, “What’s your name?”
“Bill? What’s that short for? William?”
Roy took off his cap and tossed it aside. He gestured to Jimmy, who went into the bathroom. After a brief search, he exited and shook his head at Roy.
Bill’s glance darted between them, “Look… I don’t know what this is or what it’s about…”
Jimmy rummaged through the suitcases. Roy kept his attention on their hostage.
“Who are you?” Bill asked, his voice shaky.
Roy’s eyes narrowed, now gritting his teeth. His eyebrows furrowed as he tightened his grip on the firearm. Jimmy had lied.
“Listen,” Bill swallowed, “I have a family…”
Roy scoffed, “And won’t they be devastated.”
The exchange was cut short as Sid opened the door. Jimmy and Roy quickly spun, guns pointed at the man and the children at his sides. Sarah and Lance gasped. Sid raised his hands.
“Wha-What’s going on…?” Sid divided his attention between Bill and the firearms.
Roy grabbed Sid, shoving him onto the bed, beside Bill. Jimmy grabbed Lance by the arm and directed Sarah with his pistol. He ushered them to the second bed.
“It’s gonna be okay, kids,” Bill affirmed, “Everything’s gonna be alright.”
Roy closed the door, “Is this everybody…?”
“Yeah,” Jimmy nodded.
Roy paused for a moment, thinking. He kept his gun aimed at Sid and Bill while Jimmy sat in the chair and watched the kids. Roy glanced at his brother for a moment before speaking again.
"We're gonna play the quiet game. Know how to play the quiet game?”
“See, that’s a start… but to make sure, I'm gonna tell you how I play the quiet game,” Roy gestured with his pistol, “If you make a sound, then my gun makes a sound. Understand?"
The kids nodded while Sid glared at the stranger. Bill held his bleeding nose.
Roy continued, “If I ask you a question, you answer. If I tell you to do something, you do it. If you’re thinking of running, don’t. That’s it. Simple. And hey, maybe, if you keep me in a good mood, my brother and I will leave here without killing you.”
No one said anything. Roy’s eyes settled on Bill, “What do you think, pops? You up for it?”
“Don’t call me that.”
“I can call you whatever I want. I’m holding a gun.”
Bill glanced at his family, a pained expression fell over his bloodied face. He returned his gaze to Roy, “If this is about money, I can--”
“It’s not,” Roy interrupted. He leaned against the wall, a condescending smile creased his lips.
Sarah, trying to abide by the rules of the quiet game, raised her hand. Roy looked to her, “Yes?”
“Mister…” She paused, hesitant, “Can I change out of my swimsuit...? I’m cold.”
Roy walked over to Sarah, grabbing her hair and yanking the girl to her feet. She yelped, Sid and Bill stood. Jimmy pointed his pistol at the men.
Roy put the barrel of his gun under Sarah’s chin, “Hey! Simon says: sit the fuck down!”
Sid scowled, speaking through clenched teeth, “I thought we were playing the quiet game.”
“Yeah and you’re doing a shit job at both,” Roy pressed the cold steel against Sarah’s skin, “Now, sit down.”
Sid exchanged glances with Bill, who nodded. They slowly sat back on the bed.
Roy kept his eyes on the men, but spoke to the girl, “Go into the bathroom. You get five minutes. Take any longer and I’m going to kill your entire family. Do you understand me?”
She whimpered, “Yes.”
“Do you believe me?”
Roy released her. Sarah scampered to the bathroom, taking clothes from her shopping bag and frantically changing. She was out again in two minutes. Lance changed next, then Sid. No one exceeded the confines of five minutes.
“What’s in your bag…?” Jimmy asked, staring at Sarah curiously. The bag sat in her lap, she hadn’t realized that she brought it out of the bathroom.
Sarah held it out. Jimmy stood, grabbing it. He emptied the contents onto the floor and tossed the plastic aside. The man kneeled upon seeing the VHS tape. He lifted it from the ground, “Empire Strikes Back?”
“I haven’t seen it,” Sarah said, almost speaking in a whisper.
Jimmy tossed the movie back onto the pile of clothes. He returned to his chair; the gun rested on his thigh, casually aimed at the kids.
Bill picked up the bag. He started to put everything back before Roy stopped him with a shake of his head. Bill returned to his spot on the bed, balling up the plastic and putting it in his pocket.
Roy took a few steps toward Bill and Sid, “You guys carry wallets?” He hoped the situation wouldn’t be entirely fruitless.
“In my other pants,” Sid said.
Roy nodded toward the suitcases, “Then go get it. What about you, pops?”
Bill reached in his pocket and handed his captor the small fold of leather. Roy flicked it open and took the cash inside. Before closing it, he noticed a picture. It was the family in a younger form, but instead of Sid, there was a woman.
Roy held up the wallet, pointing to the woman in the image, “Who’s she?”
“Yeah? Where’s the lucky lady now? She die?”
“How’d she die?”
Lance whimpered as tears rolled down his cheeks, Sarah put an arm around him. Bill didn’t move his gaze from Roy’s, “You’re upsetting my children.”
“How…” Roy gestured with his gun, “Did she die?”
Bill paused for a moment, “...Suicide.”
Sid returned to the bed, giving his wallet to Roy. Roy removed the money and tossed it back along with Bill’s.
“You said this wasn’t about money,” Sid asserted, glaring at the man.
“I also said if you make an unwarranted noise,” Roy pressed the barrel of the firearm against his captive’s forehead, “So would my gun.”
Sid narrowed his eyes.
“So what are you? To the kids, I mean.”
“I’m their uncle.”
“Oh. Alright. Well, those kids are gonna need a lot of fucking therapy if they have to see the inside of their uncle’s head, don’t you think?”
“I asked what you thought.”
“Yes-- They would.”
“You want them to go to therapy?”
“Then shut your fucking mouth. Keep it shut. And stop looking at me like that,” Roy stepped back, leaning against the wall. Sid stared at the floor.
* * * *
“Look, Roy, we’re on TV,” Jimmy pointed at the screen. He was laying on the right side of the bed, Lance and Sarah shared the left.
Roy didn’t respond to his brother’s observation, but he looked at the television. A news story. It detailed the events that occurred in the morning, followed by images of Roy and James Palacio, the suspects. Roy reclined in the chair. He wore a stern expression.
“You believe in karma, Bill?” Roy kept his eyes on the television.
There was a long pause before he answered, “Yes.”
“Think you did something bad to deserve this?”
“No,” Bill said simply.
“Why not? You’ve never done a bad thing in your life?”
“I have. I just don’t think karma has anything to do with this.”
“Can I ask you a question, now?” Bill faced Roy, still sitting on the bed with Sid.
“Is it a stupid question?”
“Yes,” Bill confessed, “But I’m gonna ask it anyway.”
Roy raised an eyebrow.
“Are you gonna let me and my family go?”
Roy’s response was quick, “Aw, c’mon, Bill. You know I can’t answer that.”
Jimmy tapped the gun against his thigh. He stared blankly at the TV, a look crossed his face. Sarah recognized it, from the pool.
“I’m hungry,” Jimmy whined, he looked at the children beside him, “Are you guys hungry?”
“It takes awhile to die of hunger, Jimmy. I’m sure you’ll be fine,” Roy responded.
“Yeah, maybe. But I’m still fucking hungry, Roy. My stomach is rumbling. I haven’t eaten anything all day.”
“What do you want me to do? Stop by McDonald's?”
“We could get room service.”
“Good idea, Jimmy. Let’s invite someone to the room with the wanted criminals and their hostages.”
Jimmy clenched his teeth, then looked to Sid and Bill, “We could have one of them answer the door for us.”
Roy stared at his brother for a moment, he shrugged, “Pick up the phone and get me whatever you’re getting.”
“Do we get something to eat…?” Sid uttered.
“Sure. Do you like bullets?” Roy said, holding up his pistol.
Jimmy cradled the phone between his shoulder and neck, the menu in his hands. He ordered with a complacent smile on his features. After hanging up, he leaned next to Sarah and Lance, whispering softly, “Don’t worry. I got you guys something too.”
Eventually, there was a soft knock on the door. Roy aimed his firearm at Bill’s torso, “Get the food.”
Bill nodded. He slowly stood and made his way to the door, the barrel of Roy’s gun followed him. He cracked open the door so only he could be seen. Bill smiled at the woman. There was a small, wheeled table with a white cloth draped over it. Two plates rested on top.
“Thank you, I, uh…” Bill paused, “You can leave it out there. I’ll bring it in the room myself.”
The woman raised an eyebrow, “Alright, sir. I’ll be back later t--”
“Jimmy, NO!” Roy shouted.
The door swung open all the way. Jimmy pulled the trigger and the woman fell to the ground. Blood and fragmentary brain matter splattered onto the pavement. Bill staggered from the sharp ringing in his ear. Jimmy shoved the man to the ground and prepared to shoot his head as well. Sarah screamed, gripping a shocked Lance.
Roy grabbed his brother, holding him firmly by the collar and slamming him against the wall, “WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?!”
Jimmy tried to struggle free, “He signaled the woman!”
Bill sat up, “I didn’t… I didn’t do anything...”
“Yes he did! I saw him! When he was talking, he mouthed the words ‘help me.’ ” Jimmy shoved himself from his brother’s grasp.
“LIAR!” Bill yelled, pointing at his captor.
Jimmy shot him. Bill fell flat onto the floor as blood spurted from his torso.
Roy shoved his brother back onto the wall, using his forearm to pin Jimmy’s neck down. Before he could speak, he was distracted by the sudden appearance of Sarah in the edge of his peripheral; the girl dashed out of the room. Jimmy took off, pursuing her.
Roy bolted to the doorway, stopping as he called after his sibling, “Jim--!”
He staggered forward as he took a blow to the back. Sid slammed the door shut, locking it and tossing the broken lamp aside.
Sid pulled Bill to his feet, “C’mon, Bill. Get up…”
“Open the fucking door!” Roy’s voice was followed by frenzied knocks.
Bill held his wounded side, panting, “Sarah…”
“Go out the bathroom and find her,” Sid reached for the phone, “I’ll call for help! Go!”
Bill rushed to the bathroom, climbing out the window and into the desert sun. He called for his daughter, “SARAH!”
Sarah sprinted through the parking lot in hysterics, tears streaming down her face. The girl couldn’t control her spasmodic gasps for air. She ran past all the doors, crying for help. Jimmy walked after her, the firearm at his side.
“Go into the bathroom and get out the window…” Sid told Lance, picking up the phone. He dialed three digits and turned. Lance hadn’t moved. “Lance! Go!”
The gunshots were loud. Two expanding rings of crimson stained Sid’s shirt, he fell to his knees. The curtains parted as Roy climbed through the window.
“SARAH!” Bill called again, blood soaked his palm. He darted his head around.
Roy stepped over Sid’s body. He grabbed Lance by the hair. The boy screamed and tried to struggle, but the man was much stronger. Roy yanked him from the room, “BILL!”
Sarah sprinted into the pool area, she ran toward the opposite side. She shrieked as a sharp pain crippled her leg. The girl fell onto the concrete, her forearms taking the bulk of the fall. Jimmy approached her with a smoking barrel.
Sarah sobbed, shaking her head slowly.
Jimmy crouched beside her. He tilted his head curiously. He closed one eye and held the gun inches from her face.
“Please…” She weeped, “Please stop…”
Jimmy smirked. In the next second, it had faded as a distant noise could be heard. A familiar sound. Sirens.
The plastic seemed to tighten around his face. Jimmy couldn’t breathe. Bill ripped the man off of his daughter, tensing as he suffocated him. The gun fired a few times amongst Jimmy’s violent convulsions. It seemed like an eternity before he finally surrendered to the shopping bag. His body fell limp.
Bill stood, staring down at Jimmy’s corpse. A smiley face was now draped over his head, accompanied by the phrase: ‘Have a nice day’.
The man kneeled beside his daughter, wrapping his arms around her. She cried into him. Bill panted, “We need to go… we need to get your brother…”
“He’s right here,” Roy took a few steps forward, his gun positioned beside the Lance’s skull. The man stared at his brother’s corpse then to his killer.
“Roy…” Bill spoke lowly, “Please…”
Roy narrowed his eyes, shaking Lance slightly as he moved the pistol closer to the boy’s flesh.
“You don’t have to do this… You don’t have to kill my son.”
The shouts of police officers seemed to go unnoticed to Roy. They demanded he put down his weapon, let the boy go. The man turned toward them. He was silent, maintaining a stoic expression.
Bill held Sarah, watching Roy with wide eyes.
Roy let out a heavy sigh, then released his grip on Lance’s hair. The boy looked up at his captor, his eyes translucent with tears.
“Go on… go to your dad,” Roy spoke quietly, almost a whisper.
Lance nodded and ran into his father’s arms.
Roy shrugged his shoulders, looking at the police, “Welp… guess that leaves us.”
He extended his arm, only able to shoot twice before being swept off his feet by gunfire. The man staggered into the pool, his body riddled with fresh wounds. He was surrounded by a cloud of red, pervading the otherwise clear water.
He’d finally gotten out of the country.
devi - Dangerous Jobs
Spoiler for Dangerous Jobs:
Usually my days are pretty normal, I wake up, clean my teeth, eat some food, go to work, go home, eat, and go to sleep. Nothing surprising really happens on this station, just meeting some new races or people or things were one of the few things that kept at my station. Of course, I didn’t have much choice back then, I had to do it to support my ungrateful family who just sent me off to earn them money.
Then when some regular stuff turns into weird stuff, well, that’s what’s happened to me. I just started as a regular day of work and turned into a weird transition from being me, a station officer, to being the Alien International Diplomat Speaker of the human race; the guy in charge with diplomacy and affairs that involve aliens. It was really strange at first, but it didn’t take me long to get used to it. Day in and day out was work, and work and more work. They didn’t give me the choice of adaption they forced me to.
I guess I make it sound is worse than it is, it can have its amazing moments at times. Meeting new races and learning about them is always fun, since I have discovered quite the love of learning about new people and things. I mean, just yesterday I met a trader from a faction called the Pivotin Technocracy. The dude was a large humanoid brown mech, with a rounded hatch on the top of it. The hatch opened when he spoke, revealing two snail like unblinking green eyes. Despite looking very intimidating in his suit of armor, he was pretty neutral, he was just there for the business and nothing else.
He had proposed a business agreement between the human company “Hologramfic”, a company that sells holograms, and his company called “Glory Heads”, a company that dealt with violent video games. Of course, in more “modern” terms, its now called holo games, as most games now use the advance holograph engines. Not that that’s bad, the hologram engine makes games look amazing, and you can still make games look like they were from 2025. It’s very adaptable.
Today sadly has so far turned into a pretty relaxing day, no scheduled meetings and I have no work. This feels to convenient to be true. Oh I hope nothing is going to happen to me, but the laws of convenience as usual state something much happen. Or those nerds back on earth were just dicking with me, that’s possible too.
Welp, nothing to do about it. Might as well enjoy it while its lasts, it could be the calm before a storm for as much as I know. I put my feet up on my table and lean back on my office chair. Of course, if someone from the ancient days saw this, they wouldn’t call it that. To them the table would look like a white upside-down shit, and the chair would look like a some sort of flat TV. I wouldn’t have a comment about the upside down shit comment, as I actually agree. What I would say though, is that the chairs of the future that we have can be adjusted in so many ways its unbelievable.
God, I sound like such an advertiser right now. Its funnier considering I’m talking about people from hundreds of years ago, when we had to use remotes to turn on a TV. Times sure were different back then. Now that I think of it, I’m not actually sure, we had a lot of wars back then and many history books were destroyed, so no one is actually a hundred percent sure.
John would have continued his train of thought, but a large explosion interrupted him right outside his room, the building around him violently shaking in tune with this loud sound. He immediately rose up from his comfortable seat and walked towards his door to investigate the sound. I walked up to his door slowly, and cautiously, tapping on a blue part of the door to open it.
The door slid silently open, not too different from John who silently sneaked through the doorway. He looked to the left, nothing there. He looked to the right, nothing there. It must have been nothing, he thought, but no sooner had he said that as a green light past right by his eyes. He could barely process it, and he fell back in surprise.
He quickly got himself up and pressed a red button on the door, which was just sticking a bit out of its socket. The door slid closed, but John would have no second of sanctuary to think. Before he could even try to understand, he heard a loud inhuman scream with the sounds of laser fire in the distance. What’s worse was the fact that it was coming from inside the building.
“Guess I couldn’t have been more right, if it’s too good, then it gon’ be bad real soon.” He whispered to himself, he whispered it so quietly that he wasn’t even sure if he spoke it, maybe he just echoed the words in his head so he imagined that he said it. John couldn’t tell.
The door slid open.
John didn’t even look to the door to see if there was someone there he simply pulled himself back behind his table. His body was filled with the awful feeling of terror, as he started to shake ferociously. He reached for the knob to one of the drawers and pulled it. He quickly reached in and took something out. It was his gun.
Since John had become to AIDs for humanity, he was always under constant threat from other people. People, who didn’t want humanity to become better than it is, people from races with a malevolent ideology most likely. The gun was the latest issue human hand blaster. It was a deep blue, patterned with bright orange lines from the tip to the back. The handle felt sturdy, and really fit with John’s hand, since he had gotten more comfortable with using a gun.
He gripped his weapon tightly with both his hands, having it ready for danger. He had to look what was behind the desk, there was no sound or anything after the door had slid open, and the silence was nerve-wracking.
He slowly pushed himself to the edge of the table, gently peeking his head over.
Purple blood covered the floor.
To say that John felt a bit queasy would be an understatement. The scene before his eyes was incredibly grotesque and horrifying. The body of a Maephelos was lying on the floor, presumably it’s own blood, completely still and unmoving, but that wasn’t the worst part of it. The body of this pink octopus like creature had a massive gaping hole in its back, showing the floor like as if it was a tunnel right through the poor bastard.
As John came closer he noticed that the dead octopus was wearing armor, must have been a security guard John thought, not one he knew though. Moving even more closer he noticed that the kill was fresh, the small embers caused by laser fire hadn’t quite extinguished themselves yet. John wanted to vomit, he really wanted to be free of the disgusting feeling in his stomach, but he stopped himself.
“I can’t let myself be caught off guard, someone in this building wants to kill me, and I shouldn’t let myself be attacked with my pants down.” He whispered to himself “or in this case my head down.”
He gently bypassed the frozen carcass, holding his gun close to his chest, his eyes darting everywhere in fear of something, anything being in his room. He felt cold stares on him somehow, penetrating him and looking at him with sadistic and malevolent eyes. He quickly turned around to confront this feeling of being watched.
The room was completely empty, letting John let out his breath. He turned back to the door, took a deep breath, and walked cautiously through. Without any thought, he turned to the right as he stepped out the doorway, holding out his gun, ready to shoot.
The room was fully lit and very peaceful, quite the contrast to the sound that was earlier. He was about to turn to the left to make sure he hadn’t screwed himself by looking at the wrong side first, if it wasn’t for an incredibly loud and sharp sound screaming right into his earlobe. He crashed to the floor in retaliation and aimed his gun at the source.
“It’s just a prank bro.” He heard, of course barely because of the loud sound that was just inflicted upon him and his poor ears. What he saw in front of him surprised him.
It was the guy who got him to who where he is.
“Hello Mrs, Rifter.” Josh says, surprisingly comedic despite the current situation. “Guess the translator has been updated since I can actually understand you now.”
“Fuck off, you dick” He replies angrily, his slimy voice complimenting his wet body.
“So what are you doing here exactly?”
“I’m here to protect you, by bringing all the people that want to kill you, to you.” He says smiling, holding up what seems to be an air horn.
“You’re fucking with me right? We are going to start running now?” John asks, staring at Rifter with large shocked eyes. Josh looks as if he’s about to explode with how mad he is, he shakes violently as he speaks.
“Nope, I would recommend us to get back in your room so we can use it as cover.” He replies as he motions me to get back in the room with his tentacle glove hand. As much as Josh hated this stupid idea, it was the only one he had, so he swiftly went back inside his room with Drifter following him. As they entered, Drifter pressed the door shut.
“So who and how many people want to kill me?” John asks, strangely calm about the situation all of the sudden, as if he’s safe in the knowledge that he’ll survive, thanks to his friend’s help.
“Originally around five, I’ve taken care of three of them. The last two have been very slippery, haven’t been able to find them. This time we have some Maephelos mercenaries after us, we had four Maephelos and one Slugger. Guessing that they’re hired by people who oppose the trade treaties between humans and the Trading Guild.” Rifter answered as he pushed out the corpse of the Maephelos guard. “This dude was one of them.”
John answered with a nod as he positioned himself by the corner of the doorway, out of sight of anyone who want to come in. Rifter does the same, but on the opposite side, he takes out a laser gun and his airhorn.
“Really dude?” John mouthed to his probably crazy friend, his friend said nothing but smirked like a child doing a prank.
“Think he might be in there?” They both hear someone say.
Both John and Rifter shut their mouths and held their breaths, both holding up their guns. In Rifter’s case both his guns. The sound of footsteps got louder and louder, as did the voices.
“That fucking sound came from around here after all.” The first voice was stern, sounding as if the one speaking it was very tough.
“Does it really hurt to hear loud noises? Are you that sensitive?” The second voice was more calm and questioning, as if it came from a small innocent child, of course innocent to the point of you would think that he’s sarcastic.
“Yes you fuck, even if it was just one hallway away it hurt. God I’m going to kill whoever did that.”
“Shame that your earpieces got destroyed, feels like someone was prepared for us coming.” John looks at Drifter as the guy says this, Drifter just lifts his eyebrows and smirks again. That’s when they hear the door slide open and into its socket. John felt his heart beat so fast that it felt like it was going to hop out of his body.
“I think someone’s in here, I hear a heartbeat.” The sterner guy whispered to his friend, as the sound of footsteps got even closer. As the sound felt right next to them, the two friends quickly came out of their spots and fired. John fired his laser gun to the right, while Drifter shot to the left while blowing his horn. The guns have little recoil, the only knowledge they have of that they shot is the sound of laser fire.
They quickly got back in their positions and slid for the table, quickly getting behind it before their foe could react to the bright laser fire.
“Ah shit!” The lighter voice sounded as laser fire was returned in full power. Luckily for John, he had reinforced his table to withstand laser fire, so they were safe behind their cover. For now.
The continuous barrage of laser fire from both sides continued for a very long time, some going just a bit short of everyone’s flesh, and some scraping off skin. The battle seemed to go nowhere, and looked like a rave of green and red laser, as both sides had excellent cover and equal training. What could our two heroes do? They were stuck in a stalemate of laser fire, no side getting any victories or losses.
That was when the laser fire slowly died down. John checked over the table, he saw the body of the enemy lying on the floor in a pool of blood, and John breathed out heavily, finally relieved.
“So are drinks on me, or do you want to pay this time?” John asked Drifter, chuckling a bit as he finished his sentence.
“I saved you two times now, you can bet your ass your paying.”
“Hey now, we made a bet. I told you that it would be the Maephelos again.”
“Doesn’t matter, I’ve still saved you twice.”