Category Archives: Defenders of the Wall

Stories about the people who defend the city wall and keep everyone safe from the monsters outside.

Short Story: Mascot Duty

Genre: fantasy
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.

“But…”

“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.”

Thomas laughed.

~End~

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Short Story: A Date?

Genre: humour
Features characters from Mission Gone Wrong.

 

Theo looked at the outfit handed to him in bewilderment.

“Thanks?”

“Change. We’re going on a date,” Eileen said.

He turned red from head to toe.

“Excuse me?”

“Or am I not good enough?”

“What? No. No. Of course not.”

“Good. I’ll be in the other room.” Eileen grabbed her own outfit and left.

What just happened?

“Go on newbie.” Thomas turned him towards the changing room.

Still bewildered, Theo did what he was told. The outfit was smarter and more restrictive than he was used to, but it was just his size. He didn’t know how to feel about that.

When he emerged, the others were ready with their comments.

“Better than expected.”

“Relax. The clothes aren’t going to eat you.”

Theo naively thought the day couldn’t get any worse, then Eileen returned, dressed up like a goddess, and wrapped her arm around his.

“Let’s go.”

They walked arm in arm in the city. Eileen leading the way like a flower, Theo following like a bumbling bee.

How… Why… Huh……………..???????????????????

“Hey, sweetie, wait here for me a tick. I’ll be right back.” Eileen patted him on the cheek and left.

He kept thinking that the day couldn’t get any worse, and the day kept proving him wrong.

“You don’t deserve her!”

A man burst out of nowhere with a hammer. Caught off guard, Theo shattered the hammer and flipped the man down the street in self-defence.

“Well done.”

It turned out that their date was just a ruse and he was the bait for a serial attacker who had injured and killed men of all walks of life. The only common point that tied the victims together was the fact that they were all attacked while on a date with someone ‘above their league’.

“I knew you were perfect.” Thomas clapped Theo on the back.

“Do I at least get to keep the clothes?” Theo asked.

“Nope.”

He sighed. “Thought so.”

~End~

Short Story: Like Fighting Glass

Genre: fantasy
Features the team from Mission Gone Wrong.

 

Theo was many things. Eager, clumsy, strong, naive, but he wasn’t tardy. So when he didn’t arrive fifteen minutes after their scheduled meet up time, they left the training room without hesitation to search for their newest member.

They found him locked in a storeroom outside the Department of Defense building, looking equal parts embarrassed and sorry for himself.

“Hi?”

“What happened?”

In hesitant bits and pieces, Theo told them the story of how a group of delinquents cornered and robbed him before locking him in the storeroom.

“Your super strength isn’t just for fighting monsters. You’re allowed to defend yourself too,” Ezra said, voice sharp with indignation on Theo’s behalf.

“No. I get it,” Thomas said, “It’s different for you, Ezra, but the rest of us… Fighting normal people is hard. It’s like fighting glass. One wrong move and they shatter. It’s good that the newbie held back. He’s not trained to fight with normal people.”

Thomas’ lips stretched into a cold smile. “But we are. Who are these delinquents?”

That evening, four young men were found mysteriously tied in ribbons like a giant present at the doorstep of the police department. Along with boxes of stolen items.

The next day, Theo began his special training sessions with glass.

~End~

Short Story: The Dignified Doorkeeper

Genre: fantasy, humour

 

He was on guard duty. Which meant no one came in and no one went out without his knowledge. He was the guardian. The door keeper. The ultimate-

“We’re leaving.”

He did not jump and he did not scream because dignified doorkeepers didn’t do that.

“When did you come in,” he blurted out.

“Not long ago,” said Shadow, who was outside fighting with the rest of the team just a few seconds ago.

“I’ll take the parents. You take the child,” Shadow said as she tapped the unconscious pair on one shoulder and lifted them into the air.

“What happened? Why are we leaving?” He scrambled to pick up the small boy.

“The monster called reinforcements. The rest of the team are relocating, and so are we. Let’s go.”

“Right behind you.”

It wouldn’t be appropriate to hum in front of Shadow, so he settled with thinking a suitably epic song in his head to suit his new role as the terrific transporter and still amazing guardian.

He almost took a wrong turn straight away but corrected himself before anyone noticed.

Excellent recovery. He deserved a reward when he got back.

~End~

Real title: The Dubious Doorkeeper :p

Short Story: Identity Reveal

Related to Shadowing Shadow. Also features characters from Before the Interview.
Genre: general

 

“Did they really?” they whispered.

“Heard she got cornered near the labs.”

Holding their food, Leora and Edmund made their way through the gossiping Fighters.

“Everyone’s lively today,” Leora commented.

“Someone found out who Shadow is. They’ll announce it tonight in Training Room E-5,” Edmund said.

“You going?”

“I haven’t decided yet. What about you?”

“No. I’m pretty sure Lavi’s going to shut the whole thing down anyway because ‘it’s a distraction and a waste of time’. You won’t want to get caught.”

When the time came, they deliberately started a game in Leora’s unofficial office, far away from the training room where the identity reveal was happening.

By the time they finished fifteen minutes later, everyone involved had been slapped with extra duties as punishment by a very unimpressed Lavi.

To rub salt into the wound, the people who organised the announcement weren’t even right.

~End~

Short Story: Vice-Captain Vincent

Genre: slice of life

 

It was only a superficial wound, but Vice-Captain was screaming as if his arm had been torn off.

“How did he become Vice-Captain?” Theo said before he could stop himself.

“You finally asked,” said Thomas.

“Do you know?”

“Of course. I know everything.”

“So how did Vice-Captain become Vice-Captain?” Theo asked.

“He’s full of drama, but he’s actually the brains of the group. Haven’t you noticed? Captain has the goals, but it’s Vincent who actually turns it into training exercises and battle plans. That’s why he’s always the one to brief us before we go out.”

“Whoa.”

Theo looked at his vice-captain with fresh eyes.

“I’m dying.”

The moment was lost.

“Vice-Captain really is the smartest guy on our team?”

“Yup.”

~End~

Short Story: Fashion Statement

Genre: humour
Read Scarf Lover first.

 

Last time, it was a long, impractical scarf. This time, it was multiple belts that hung fashionably but uselessly off the newbie’s waist.

The captain took one look at the shiny chains and changed his training plan.

“Today’s training is a free-for-all practice fight.”

The other team members turned as one to the newbie. The newbie blanched and frantically unclasped his many belts.

“Begin.”

~End~

 

 

Short Story: The Right Attitude

Genre: action, fantasy
Takes place in the Defenders of the Wall world.

 

They didn’t have the super power nor super strength of Fighters, but if they focused their attention on the monster, even they could bring it down.

Keyword: focus.

“Fight with me,” he yelled.

But no one would answer his call. They ran and hid, leaving him alone with the massive beast that had broken through the city wall.

“That’s fine,” he told himself, “I just need to be very careful.”

“You’re not wrong,” someone said, “But leave this to me.”

The monster roared and crumpled to the ground. Someone walked up it to stand on its head.

A Fighter.

“I like your attitude. Become my student. I’ll train you to fight.”

 

And that was how he became the first Fighter without super strength or powers, paving the way for a new type of Fighter.

The N Class.

~End~

Short Story: A Flavourful Team

Genre: slice of life
Talks about characters from Mission Gone Wrong. You’ll want to read that first.

 

“Eileen is like sugar. Sweet, but have too much of her and you get fat,” Theo said.

Eileen, who was offering cookies she baked over the weekend, looked at Theo. “So you don’t want any?”

“Gimme. I can be fat for you.”

“What about Vincent?” Thomas asked.

“He’s like pickles,” Theo said after some thought. “Best in small doses.”

Across the room, the vice-captain was freaking out over… something.

“Agreed. What about Alan?”

“Captain is like… meat. He’s the big man. He gets things done.”

“What about me? Aren’t I the big guy of this team?” Thomas flexed his arm.

“You’re like a turtle. We can throw you anywhere and you’ll still come back.”

“We’re talking about flavours, not animals.”

“We ate turtles on our last mission.”

“Fine. What flavour is Ezra?”

Theo’s eyes shone at the mention of the senior who had mentored him when he first joined the team. “Ezra is salt. Just sprinkle a bit of him on anything and everything becomes ten times better.”

“That sounds weird.”

“The conversation was weird from the start,” Ezra commented behind them. Theo choked on his cookie.

“What about you? What’s your flavour?” Thomas asked once Theo could breathe again.

“I’m bread. No. Rice. I don’t taste like much. I’m just there. But, I’m more flavourful when I’m with the rest of you.”

The last part was said in a mumbled whisper, but the rest of the team caught it anyway. Nosy eavesdroppers.

“Aww. Our little newbie is growing up.”

“Here. Have another cookie.”

“I knew we kept you for a reason.”

Theo ducked his head, cheeks burning but lips curled in a helpless smile.

“Don’t sell yourself short. I like rice. Rice goes well with a lot of food,” Ezra said.

Theo’s smile widened into a grin that lifted his whole face.

“You’re right. A little sprinkle of Ezra makes everything better,” Thomas said.

A few elbows dug into him.

“Shh. Don’t ruin the moment.”

~End~

Short Story: Hidden Heart

Genre: humour

 

“Captain hates me.”

“No he doesn’t.”

“He told me to quit the team.”

“We’ve all heard that before. Twice, at least.”

“He tried to kill me during training.”

“He just wants to make sure we’re strong enough to stay alive outside the wall.”

“You! What are you still doing here? Training’s over. Get out.”

“He just kicked me out!”

“You know how emotionally constipated he is. Hidden under that gruff exterior is a tender heart that cares for you.”

The captain approached them, grabbed them by their arms and threw them out of the room.

“He just threw me out. Literally.”

“… The heart is hidden really, really, deep down.”

~End~

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