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: Just a Game

Genre: fantasy

 

The training session disguised as ‘just a game’ had three sides. Red, blue, and white. The goal for every team was to finish the game with the most members.

The game began with everyone on the white team except for one red and one blue starting member. The red and blue teams increased their numbers by touching the white members’ tags and ‘infecting‘ them into their team. The white team protected their numbers by touching the red and blue members’ tags, which turned them black and eliminated them from the game.

At first glance, the white team had the advantage because they completely outnumbered the other teams. That was a trap to lull them into a false sense of security. In reality, the starting red and blue members were often elite hunters, and the white team their unsuspecting prey.

“Begin!”

In a flash, both starting members pounced and infected two members each into their team. The white members nearby fled in terror.

‘Just a game’. Lies! More like merciless hunting ground. Would he be the hunter or the hunted?

He braced himself.

Time to go hunting.

~End~

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Short Story: From Magic to Monsters

Genre: fantasy

 

When Ezra was younger, he helped his aunt with her magic tricks. Under her tutelage, he learnt the techniques of sleight of hand, the power of decoys, the advantage of technology, the skills of showmanship, and the readiness to grab even the slightest opportunity.

When they discovered his ability to create doubles of himself, that was just the icing on the cake. It opened up more possibilities, and Ezra was certain he would follow his aunt’s footsteps into the world of magic.

Then a colony of monsters attacked the city. The wall crumbled under the onslaught and the monsters spilled in.

Shadow appeared not long after to single-handedly beat the monsters back. But there were still a few who slipped past and they pounced at the people nearby.

He saw an opportunity.

Safely tucked away, he created doubles as decoys. The doubles threw themselves at the monsters and bought time until Shadow picked the monsters up and tossed them out of the city.

One week later, he received an invitation to join the Department of Defense.

He took it.

~End~

 

The monster event mentioned can also be found in It Started as a Little Bud.

Short Story: Why You?

Genre: slice of life, fantasy
Features characters from Mission Gone Wrong. A more complete list of the team can be found near the bottom of the fiction navigation page.
Note: The ‘S’ in S Class Fighter refers to superhuman strength.

 

The thought hit Theo as he stared at the ceiling after getting knocked on his back for the third time in less than an hour.

Why was Ezra his mentor?

“Why do you ask?” Ezra asked above him.

Theo shot up with an embarrassing “Eep!” which of course drew the attention of everyone else in the room.

“Ask what?” Thomas asked. The rest circled closer like vultures.

“Why I’m his mentor,” Ezra said.

“I mean, I’m an S Class Fighter. Wouldn’t I normally get another S Class Fighter as my mentor?” Theo quickly explained before things spiralled out of control.

His seniors exchanged glances.

“You’re his mentor. You can do the honours,” Thomas said to Ezra.

“Well.” Ezra cleared his throat. “I was not given a reason when they assigned you as my mentee, but I believe I was chosen because you don’t need more help to improve your strength. I’m here to help you use it well.”

As expected of Ezra. He knew everything.

“Or,” Thomas said, “They just picked a random person and that person was Ezra.”

Theo’s shoulders slumped. The rest of the team glared at an unrepentantly cheerful Thomas.

“What’s the matter?” Eileen asked.

“Huh? Oh. Nothing. Just a random thought. I didn’t even realise I said it out loud.” Theo rubbed his neck with a nervous laugh.

“You know.” Thomas dropped an arm over Theo’s shoulders. “If you want a new mentor, you just need to ask.”

“Wha… but… Ezra’s perfect.”

The team burst into laughter. Theo’s words caught up to his brain a little too late and he dropped his face into his hands.

“Hear that Ezra? You’re perfect,” Thomas said.

“We’ll see how perfect he thinks I am after I’m done with him. Come on,” Ezra said.

Theo scrambled to his feet.

In the end, Theo decided that it didn’t matter why Ezra was his mentor, only that he was, and Theo would learn everything he could while he still had his amazing mentor.

~End~

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~

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~

 

 

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