Short Story: Mascot Duty
Features characters from Mission Gone Wrong.
DD – Department of Defense
Theo pulled off the head of his costume with the gasp of a drowning man finding air.
After the last time Eileen pulled him out for a decoy date, Theo thought he would know better next time.
It was ‘next time’ now, and he was still caught off guard when his team stuffed him in a fluffy costume and threw him into a mascot job. He joined DD to fight monsters, not play undercover agent!
“Alright there, Theo?” asked Steven, his fellow mascot.
“Yeah. Just need to breathe.”
“I know what you mean,” Steven said with a commiserating chuckle.
None of his seniors had told him anything but to pretend to be normal and treat it like a real job. Was Steven one of their suspects? A target? Completely unrelated? It was hard to tell without more information.
So he did what they said, hid his strength, and focused on his job. He entertained the children as the mascot, pointed visitors to the right locations, and took care of lost children. There were always lost children. Sometimes, they found him, sometimes, he was asked to find them.
It was when he was looking for a girl who had wandered away from her school group that he walked right into trouble.
“Go away!” Steven said with his fluffy mascot arms around the missing girl, who was starting to realise the mascot she had trusted might not be as trustworthy as she thought.
Theo held his hands up in outward surrender. He didn’t want to let the girl out of his sight, but despite the special training he still didn’t feel comfortable fighting with normal humans. What should he do?
Ezra appeared behind Steven without a sound, and Theo’s dilemma was solved.
“I’m going away,” Theo said to keep Steven’s attention on him, “Just give me some time. It’s not easy walking backwards in this-”
One of his legs got caught behind the other and Theo fell with a yelp onto his back. By the time he pushed himself back up, one Ezra was fighting Steven while a second Ezra led the girl away. The first Ezra twisted Steven’s arm behind him and kicked him off his feet. Once down, the fluffy mascot suit became Steven’s prison until the rest of Theo’s team arrived.
Only after Steven was taken into custody and they returned to their training room did his seniors tell him their mission.
Find the one behind the recent kidnappings.
“We’re Fighters, not the police. Why are we doing this?” Theo asked.
“Apparently, you have a hidden talent in baiting out people they’re looking for. So expect more missions like this in the future,” Thomas said.
“Theo,” Alan cut in with an envelop, “Here’s your pay for your mascot work and a letter of recommendation. If you ever decide to change your career, they’ll be happy to have you back. Well done.”
“Thank you, Captain.” He got paid to play around?
“Back to what you were saying. But?” Thomas prompted with a glint in his eyes.
“If the police needs our help then we should help them.”