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: 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~

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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~

Short Story: Because of a Lollipop

Genre: fantasy

 

Lavi took one look at what used to be a lab and demanded, “What happened here?”

Bennett and Benjamin, the only conscious people left, looked helplessly at each other.

How could they explain that the disaster started because someone stepped barefooted on a lollipop and freaked out, which startled the new Fighter they were examining, whose power lashed out and shocked every single equipment into malfunctioning and knocking out almost everyone and most of the lab.

Lavi pointed at Benjamin.

“You. Explain.”

Benjamin cleared his throat.

“Someone dropped a lollipop, sir.”

~End~

Short Story: The Second Passenger

Genre: fantasy
Takes place in the Defenders of the Wall universe.

 

In a world where monsters ruled the wastelands, travelling between cities was risky. That was why he always triple checked everything on his PB before leaving.

So why was he only discovering his second passenger one week into the journey?

“I’m sorry. My little brother snuck in,” said Lucy, his only official passenger, with a helpless shrug as the boy hid behind her.

There was no use turning back. They were already halfway to the next city. The kid would just have to come with them.

“Of course, I’ll pay for all his expenses.”

Rather than that, the bigger problem was the blow to his pride. Obviously, he wasn’t as meticulous as he thought if a little kid could stay undetected on board for so long.

* * *

“You weren’t even here for ten minutes. That’s just sad,” Lucy said once they were safely in her bunk.

“I have super speed. Not super stealth,” Cory grumbled.

“So? What are you doing here? Not that I don’t love you, but this was supposed to be a solo mission,” Lucy continued in a much lower voice.

“Mission update. There are two targets,” Cory reported.

Lucy nodded. “Got it.”

“Great. Then I’ll leave you to it.”

Lucy caught Cory by the arm before he fled.

“Where are you going?” she asked with a too-sweet smile.

“Back.”

“How can I let my little brother disappear?”

“But I’m not supposed to be here.”

“Too bad. They know you’re here now, so you might as well stay and help me.”

Cory’s lips twisted in disapproval. Lucy tightened her hold.

“If you stay and help, I won’t tell anyone you almost blew the mission.”

Put that way, there was really only one option.

“Fine.”

~End~

 

Lucy also appears briefly in Promise Me This and is mentioned in Team Goal Discussion.

PB: Private Bus. Distinct from the public Buses which people can use to travel in between cities.

Short Story: It Started as a Little Bud

Genre: fantasy

 

It started as a little bud.

Shadow had just returned after single-handedly saving the city from a colony of monsters. He wasn’t the only one to develop a crush that day, but as he watched the Fighter, he thought his feelings were more admiration than love.

Then one day, he was caught too close to the wall when a monster unexpectedly broke through. Caught in its claws, he thought he was dead, but a blur of purple killed the monster first and he lived.

The bud blossomed into a flower.

He wasn’t born with super strength of special powers, but Shadow was a Fighter, and becoming a Fighter himself was his best shot at getting close to her. He found someone willing to train him, giving the excuse that he wanted to become stronger so he could protect everyone.

What followed was two years of gruelling training before he broke down and finally told his teacher the real reason behind his decision to become a Fighter. By then, the flower was a monstrous thing that wrapped all around him.

“That’s a stupid reason, but it’s still better than that sorry excuse you gave me last time,” his teacher said.

Three months later, he was accepted into the Fighter program.

“This is only the beginning,” his teacher warned.

But it was still one step closer to Shadow, and he would take all the steps he needed to finally meet her.

~End~

 

Check out the related story Morning Training.

A Day of Firsts

Genre: fantasy, action
Follows after Before the Interview and Second Opinion.

 

~A Day of Firsts~

“Rule 1: No inappropriate touching,” was Lavi’s first words to Edmund on his first day as a bodyguard.

Edmund shifted Leora before she slipped off his back.

“Rule 2: Do not wake her up. Not even if the world is ending. Especially if the world is ending.” Read the rest of this entry

Second Opinion

Genre: slice of life, family
Follows after Before the Interview.

 

~Second Opinion~

“So. First impression?” Leora asked after Edmund left.

Lavi raised an eyebrow at her. “You’re asking this now?”

“It’s good to have a second opinion,” Leora argued.

“And what? If I say he’s not good you’ll fire him? Because I can do that.”

Leora frowned. “That’s mean.”

“What’s wrong with the other candidates? Lavi asked as he settled into his chair.

Leora leaned against his table. “What’s wrong with Edmund?”

“He’s a guy.”

“So?”

“What if he does this and that to you while you’re sleeping?” Lavi’s fingers rapped the table in growing agitation.

Leora drew back. “He won’t do that.”

“How do you know that?” Lavi shot back.

“He has three younger sisters. Protecting girls is in his blood.”

Lavi’s fingers stilled. “And you know this… how?”

Leora folded her arms and smirked. “Research.”

“… You’re a stalker. My sister is a stalker.”

The smirk fell.

“What? No. I’m not!”

Lavi made a show of rubbing his chin. “Maybe I should be protecting him from you instead.”

Leora spun over the table and starting slapping him. Lavi blocked with his arm.

“Brother abuse!”

In the end, they never found out what Lavi thought about Edmund.

~End~

 

Check out Edmund’s first day as a bodyguard in A Day of Firsts.

His Territory

Genre: fantasy

 

Growing up, he had always been told that beyond the city wall was an endless wasteland filled with monsters. In reality, there was plenty of fertile soil out there. The only challenge was staying alive long enough to reap the benefits.

The self-preserving side of him was content to stay in the city like everyone else and enjoy the safety provided by the wall, his entrepreneurial side saw the opportunity and found the risk worth taking.

Without any super strength or special abilities, it was hard to convince people that he could survive outside where all the monsters were. But when he camped outside So he designed and created anti-monster weapons to prove he could defend himself.

When that wasn’t enough, he camped outside for a whole week, relying only on his own tools to keep the monsters away. After that, it was a lot easier to convince people to let him go out and carve out his own territory beyond the wall. He even managed to get a few people to join him. Which was great, because he couldn’t stay awake forever to do guard duty.

Two monsters crossed his sensors on the edge of his territory.

He snapped out of his musings and picked up a rifle. Hidden out of sight, he waited for them to draw closer.

The monsters crossed a second invisible line, and the passive defences he buried in ground burst out to stun the monsters. He aimed. Two shots. Two dead monsters.

He scanned the vast land for any other monsters. None popped into view. He switched his rifle for a gun and a harvesting knife and approached the bodies.

No point in wasting perfectly good materials.

~End~

Before the Interview

Genre: fantasy (part of the Defenders of the Wall verse)

Before we start, this piece has a lot of abbreviations. Here’s what they mean:
S – someone with superhuman strength
P – someone with super powers
DD – Department of Defense
N – a normal person without super strength or powers

~Before the Interview~

By the time Edmund looked down, he had scratched a groove in the chair.

Nervous?” the girl beside him asked.

“No.”

The girl looked down at the chair’s new mark.

“Yes,” he admitted.

“Why?” Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: First Time

My response to the prompt exposure.
Genre: General
~First Time~

For many, the city wall marked the boundary of their life. They were born within the wall, lived within the wall, and died within the wall. The only exceptions were the Fighters, the travellers, and the wall builders.

From today onwards, he was one of those exceptions too.

“Get ready boys. We’re heading out.”

The heavy gates opened.

He gasped.

Outside the wall, the ground didn’t end, and the sky stretched forever. The land was so open. Completely different from inside, which was filled with people and buildings. Out here, he could run with his eyes closed and not hit anything.

A heavy hand landed on his shoulder.

“First time outside?” the team leader asked.

“Yes, sir.”

“Look all you want. Just keep walking.”

He realised too late that he had been blocking the gate like an idiot.

“Sorry, sir. Walking, sir.”

He ran out to the open world.

~End~

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