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Old April 4th, 2019, 02:34 PM #3
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> scikaiju
Power Ranger
 
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 368
scikaiju
Power Ranger
scikaiju's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 368



3


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OP – Downstait – I came to play
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Sitting with his feet on the table Alex had his arms crossed and head down. Most of the people in the restaurant pretty much ignored him, a situation he was surprised exactly how fast he got used to. Before the armor was handed to him others had called him a people person. Lately not so much, more by his lake of activity than anything else. And in all honesty not everything he did lately was part of his “act”. His tired appearance stemmed from the fact this Sheriff thing wore his ass out. In fact the only keeping him awake at the moment was he was waiting for his food to arrive and somebody was suddenly standing next to him saying, “Feet on the floor Alex.”

Almost falling out his chair he looked up to see Sam looking at him. She wasn’t looking angry with him, which was a good thing. Then again she didn’t look happy to see him either. She looked indifferent. He would have preferred it if she was angry with him. Getting his feet on the floor he tried not to sound nervous, “Sam.” Despite the fact this was his flesh and blood he found himself checking to see where everybody else in the restaurant was, in case she decided to out him.

She caught the look and told him as she sat down, “People are far enough away that we shouldn’t be overheard.” A waitress walked up and Sam ordered a drink. After she left she continued, “I don’t think Ryan around either so you don’t have to worry about him.”

“So you’re not going to bust me in front of everybody?”

“I’m thinking more of Mom and Dad if news about you out got out,” she informed him. “Especially if that story about getting sued is true.”

“Oh it’s true,” he told her. “I stayed around just a little too long after capturing this one guy and some jackass in a suit tried to serve me a subpoena right then and there.”

“And it was for something that Orion guy still had the suit.” Alex nodded in response. “Even if it was for the wrong guy that took some balls.”

“I think he was just nuts. Even after I said ‘Do you see this suit?’ he didn’t budge.” He paused when the waitress brought their order. “Dez gave me an earful about the implied threat. Apparently it’s beneath a Sheriff to do so or something.”

“I see some things never change,” she said dryly. Alex eyes narrowed a bit, was that a friendly shot on him?

Leaning in he told her, “Look Sam I really wanted to tell you about this. Yeah I could have picked up the phone and said something but what was I supposed to say? Hey sis, do you know that armored guy on the news? Guess what.”

“Anything would have been better than the way I found out.” One more time things got real quiet between them Alex hated this with a passion, the two of them use to be able to talk about anything. Now this came between them. After awhile she asked, “Are you all right? According to you the armor failed with this Orion guy.”

“I’m fine Sam,” he assured her. “I’ve been bumped around a lot but I’m fine.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” she said looking a little relieved. “I don’t know if I’m ready to forgive you completely for keeping me in the dark about this but this is your only secret right? There’s nothing else you’ve been hiding from me?”

Acting like he was thinking it over Alex said, “I’m secretly planning on taking over the world.”

“You’ve been doing that since you were six.”

“Well it takes time.” Sam shook her head but she smiled, not a fake smile either. A truly genuine smile. Alex hoped it was a step in the right direction to getting their relationship close to where it was before.

***
Light years away smoke seemed to fill the air as the rotund gang leader and his minions watched images of the human pretending to be a Sheriff. A few chuckled as they watched him make a mistake or get caught by something even a rookie wouldn’t do. In a corner Galgamayde’s robotic eye flashed as he watched the flock do so. He had faced the human personally and had the scars to prove it. “Has this punk even zeroed anybody yet?”, one in particular laughed.

Galgamayde was more than happy to enlighten him, “Several times.”

“How can you be sure?”

“I still have contacts on Earth,” he said as his eye flashed. “Magmena disappeared a cycle after the human took possession of the armor and he hasn’t turned up on any of the penal asteroids.”

“The human probably just got lucky. He ain’t even a real Sheriff.”

“And that’s what makes him dangerous,” The droid said. Their blubber boss made those sounds that none but the accursed droid could understand. Still the scales over his natural eye arched slightly, he didn’t remember the lard ass speaking before the droid this time around. But he said nothing for the moment. “A trained Sheriff has normal procedures they have to follow, which makes them somewhat predictable. As always when Protocol Gamma is initiated it depends on how much the Monitor can rein them in.”

“Then we rein him in for this Monitor.” Most of the heads in the room including Galgamayde’s turned to the speaker. A pterodactyl like alien with red leather like skin and wing folded up close to his back walked foreword. He bowed slightly before speaking again, “I’ve dealt with this situation before.”

“Yes Killspan, I’ve heard stories of these conflicts before,” the droid said for their boss. “But from my understanding those fights took place shortly after Gamma was initiated. It has been two cycles since the human took over.”

“It adds to the thrill of the hunt,” Killspan responded.

Galgamayde forced his way forward through the crowd, “Killspan isn’t the only one who’s faced a Gamma.”

“True,” the droid said as their boss continued speaking, “but his judgment isn’t as clouded by revenge as are others I could mention.” Eye flashing in anger he stormed out of the room. “You have my leave my leave Killspan.” Their boss gestured with a wave as he said, “In the tradition of your people may your hunt be glorious.”

Bowing one more time he responded, “I will be as swift as the wind.” Exiting the chamber he saw Galgamayde still seething. A smug look in his eye he nodded his head in acknowledgment as he passed. Galgamayde’s hand hovered over the grip of his pistol but he kept himself in check. Making an enemy of the boss would not get him closer to that blasted human, not if he had to run from everybody in there. He might find an ally or two but that would be about it. No, he had to bid his time and be patient. But patience had it’s limit and there were few places the bulbous ass could hide once he had enough.

***
Above the Earth Dez noticed an unidentified object crash into the planet below. A couple of things set off some flags to her. One, as part of standard operating procedure the Watch Station monitored every asteroid and meteorite in sensor range, just for her own safety than anything else. The one that just come in didn’t match any known path projection she had on file. Two, the object had an ion trail. So somebody either put an engine on an asteroid, in which case she should be on the lookout for more just in case, or somebody just tried to sneak past her. Rather badly in her personal opinion. Either way she contacted Alex to investigate the crash site. She monitored other situations waiting for him to call in. “What did you find?”, she asked when he finally did.

“Not a whole lot, 5-O showed up before I did.” She rolled her eyes, this human and his euphemisms. “But from here it looks like the asteroid split in half.”

So far it was sounding like this was matching the second option. “Does the object appear hollow? Can you see any signs of a propulsion device?”

“Not from this angle. Wait,” he paused for a moment, “it looks like one of the cops just put his arm inside. Oh geez,” again he was quiet. Dez briefly wondered what happened before he spoke again. “Cops started looking this way, I had to make sure they didn’t see me.”

“This situation is frustrating,” she sighed.

“You’re the one who told me to avoid the police as much as possible after they pulled their guns on Orion.”

“I know,” she sighed again. “I was hoping that after we captured a few threats they couldn’t handle they would start to see you in a different light.”

“Well according to some of the aliens I’ve come across humans are considered one of the stupidest species in the galaxy.”

“I wouldn’t take the word of a few malcontents…”

“I’m talking about the ones just walking the streets.” Chuckling a bit he commented, “And based on a few people I know I’d say that’s a pretty fair assessment. Uh-oh.”

“What is it?”

“It looks like the cops are spreading out,” he explained. “I better get before they see me.”

“Understood, I’ll keep monitoring the situation in case something comes of it.”

Dez heard the weeds rustling as he moved over the line as he said, “Let me know if you do, Just to let you know more than likely I’ll be with Sam.”

“The two of you have reconciled? That’s wonderful.”

“More or less,” he answered. “I think she’s trying to tolerate the whole Sheriff thing at the moment.”

“It is a step in the right direction,” she said

“I suppose, but if I know my sister she’s never going to let me forget it. I’m going to go silent before they spot me.”

“Good idea, I’ll keep you informed if I find anything.” As the connection ended Dez leaned back in her chair. The Human was still rough, extremely rough that is, around the edges. She tried to heed Orion’s word and give him time. Granted at times he was more trying than other, but there was a spark here and there of someone who might have made a decent Sheriff if the planet was fully initiated into the galaxy council. Now if only he wasn’t so chatty.”

***
Killspan stayed hidden in a forest near the city the faux Sheriff was primarily located. He needed time to adjust to this planet’s atmosphere, feeling it’s air currents. Early in his days as a mercenary he quickly learned each planet was different than his own, and in different ways. On his very first job on a different world he foolishly expected to glide the winds like he did in his youth. The winds on his home world were similar to this one, long and calm. The winds on that planet were short, almost seeming to change directions at a moment’s notice.

He lived to learn from the experience but his pride as a creature of the sky was damaged. Although it disgusted he had to learn to adapt to using mechanical means of flight. But he quickly learned to push it aside when he realized the results he was getting. Now he was older and wiser, a listener to the native winds. He still used the device, but now he learned to use it to it’s maximum effect on any planet. It also allowed him to stay in his element, and gave him an advantage that outweighed any disgust that might still linger. Opening his eyes ad standing up he looked at the city. Experience told him the currents would be different there because of the building. Experience should allow him to compensate with no problem. Placing a gold gauntlet on is forearm he made a fist, two energy claws emerged. The faux Sheriff time was over.

***
Slowly but surely Alex and Sam’s relationship was getting back to where it was. Sam was able to get things set so it would just be the two siblings enjoying an evening out in town. As a bonus Alex could just be himself and drop the act. Unless somebody they knew crossed their path that is. Sam thought fast enough to watch him go through his “transformation”, his face going neutral, his eyes going distant and looking elsewhere. He returned to normal the moment that person left. “That’s a little unnerving,” she told him after it happened a couple of times.

“You got to see how many times I go into it when you’re not around.” Surprisingly he admitted, “There are times I actually forget if I’m supposed to e on or not.”

“If you’re looking for sympathy you’re looking in the wrong direction,” she told him. There was a strange beep she had never heard before. Looking around trying to locate it she noticed Alex stopped walking beside her. In fact he was looking a little guilty. “No,” she said realizing what it was, “Alex no.”

“I can’t just ignore it,” he said. Annoyed by this turn of events Sam still pointed out an alley he could duck into. She didn’t know why but she followed him. Away from the street Sam watched as he pulled that keypad device out of his pack. “Your timing could be a little better Dez,” he said into it.

“It can’t be helped,” Dez answered. “I just intercepted a report of an avian creature terrorizing the other end of the city.”

“Avian?”, Sam asked. “Wait, you can fly?”

Alex hesitantly said, “Kinda. Dez I’m powering up the suit.

“Acknowledged,” she responded. “I’ll scan your immediate area.”

Sam stepped back as Alex flipped the device open and slapped it on his forearm. -5-7-1-6- “Online.” Sam squinted her eyes a bit as he was covered in brief flash of light one second then wearing the armor in the next. Without hesitation he hit the seven key. –SKY BOARD- Alex turned around as something that looked like a wide surfboard, except bigger in the back and something that looked like rocket engines on the side just appear out of thin air. Stepping into a recessed rectangular patch in the middle he told her, “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

“Right,” Sam said, not sure what else to say. She watched as he headed straight up before flying off to whatever Dez sent him off to.

***
Alex shifted his body slightly to turn the board in the direction of the disturbance once he was over the building. Leaning forward a bit he made the board start in that direction. “What do we got Dez?” Almost immediately she fed images from a local media source into his heads up.

As a “mug shot” poped up she said, “From the look of things it appears to be a mercenary named Killspan. He has murdered numerous prominent figures on dozen of worlds across the galaxy. Protocol Zero has been authorized.”

Briefly he looked back to where he left Sam. For the first time in months he asked, “Are there any capture options?”

“Alex we’ve gone over this.”

“I know… I just… fine.” Muttering, “Just when she’s starting to accept all this crap,” he was silent for the rest of the way as Dez quickly fed him updates. Before long he found his target, with some sort of jetpack on his back and hovering above the street he took pot shots at the fleeing crowd below. Cries of help that were cut off mid scream caught his ear and he quickly pushed aside his concern about Sam. “Killspan!” he shouted once he got close enough. Thankfully the alien stopped firing to look at him. “You are in…”

“Violation of whatever inane regulation that says I can’t kill any slugs like the ones below,” Killspan mocked as he changed his aim toward him.

“Works for me,” Alex told him as he tried to avoid the shots. –DOUBLE GUN- -RAPID FIRE- Returning fire tried to ignore the shots pinging off his armor, making sure his shots were either dead level or slightly below his target. Too bad Killspan didn’t care if his shot hit the crowd below or not. Killspan came right at him and Alex had to move quickly to avoid getting run into. Keeping his eyes on the alien mercenary Alex brought the board and gun around as Killspan did the same. Energized shots passed each other they got closer to each other. Both moved at the last second to avoid a collision. As Alex turned back around he saw Killspan just hover there.

“New game human,” he sneered. “I believe you slugs call it catch me if you can.”

“What are you five?”, he asked as Killspan turned and flew away. “Just had to take that short cut didn’t you,” he chided himself as he gave chase. Killspan wove between the buildings as fast as he could handle. Alex worked every move he had crammed into his head the past couple of months and then some to keep up. If he picked up anything in the short time he had been doing this is you do not lose track of a zero, not even for a second. Killspan started flying a straight path, Alex leaned forward a little more to make the board go faster. Getting close enough he thought he could reach out and touch him Killspan suddenly shot up. And Alex was face to face with the side of a building.

“Whoa!” Alex stomped on the back of the board to point the nose up. He held on to the board for dear life as the engines protested the sudden change in direction. He realized he forgot about the rule about zeros the moment he leveled out and Killspan was practically on top of him. Energy claws out he slashed hard and sparks came off the armor as Alex fought to keep his balance, but he lost his grip on one of his guns in the process. Killspan slashed him again from behind and he fell to the board as it stopped and hovered in mid air. Getting to a knee he saw the mercenary come right at him. He fired on instinct but Killspan kept right at him and barreled into him. Alex was able to grab the board with his free arm as he was knocked off. Hanging on for as much as he was worth he watched as Killspan set up and take aim.

“Too easy,” he sneered.

Before he could pull the trigger Alex hit the seven key again. The board disappeared and he dropped as the bolt flew over his head. Falling a few stories he crashed on a rooftop below. Pulling himself out of the small creator he made he muttered, “Forget in the morning that hurts now.” Quickly finding some cover he looked at the remaining gun in his hand, the barrel bent at an awkward angle and was totally useless now. “Dez I lost a gun and broke the other one.”

“I’ve located the wayward weapon,” she said after a moment. “Transporting it out of civilian reach now.”

“Great, but now I’m down two guns,” he said as he spotted Killspan as he swooped in. –DISC- Throwing it for all he was worth he was able to make Killspan change course, just long enough for him to run for the edge of the rooftop. –SKY BOARD- Dez placed it so he’d land on it once he jumped off the roof. Flying off he looked at the keypad as he went over his remaining options. The cannon wasn’t going to do him much good in this situation and the cycle was definitely out of the question. “Let’s try another game of chicken.” –SWORD- Holding it at his side he located Killspan coming right at him again, claws out. Alex pointed the board at the alien and pushed it as fast as it could go.

“Stupid human.” If Killspan could smile he would at this very moment. Energy claw crackling he swiped right when Alex jumped. He looked down as the board passed underneath him. He heard Alex yell as he flipped over him and lashed out with his sword. The blade ripped into the metal of the jetpack rocket. Alex landed on the board as Killspan started to spin out of control. Quickly hitting a release the pack continued to fly off into a building and expanded his leathery wing after he righted himself. Experience allowed him to catch a current and start gliding. He had to find footing and fast.

Alex quickly turned around and shot past him. Before turning around again he changed his grip on the sword so the point of the blade was facing behind him. Then he hit the zero key as he raced toward him. –PROTOCOL ZERO- Holding the sword behind him as he leaned forward and picking up speed the blade started to glow as energy from his armor flowed into it. Seeing it coming Killspan fired away frantically. Alex took the hits but held firm. Screaming one more time he swung the sword. And energy trail seemed to follow the blade as he sliced through the mercenary. Alex flew past him as he seemed to hover there for a moment before disintegrating in a flash of light. Alex didn’t have time to do anything else as he saw police helicopters come at him. He flew past them flashing one of the pilots the peace sign as he got out of there.

***
Sam heard what happened over her car’s radio as she headed for Alex’s apartment. Fortunately his landlord let her in without much question, even unlocked his door for her although Alex gave her a spare key awhile ago. Closing the door behind her she looked at the wall that had whatever that was behind it. Would it work for her? “Dez.” She was slightly surprised when it appeared out of the wall and her image appeared.

“Hello again,” she said.

“Tell me one thing,” Sam started, “did Alex have to kill that… thing?”

Dez hesitated before answering, “Protocol zero was authorized, it is an automatic death sentence.”

“And who in the hell gets to decide who lives and who dies in your organization? What gives you the right?!”

“Protocol zero is only authorized for the most corrupt and evil individuals in the galaxy,” she explained. “And it is never given lightly. Any person brought up for zero their case must be scrutinized by a panel made up of a randomly selected individuals. If even one person finds a discrepancy in the file then it is not authorized.”

“Oh and I bet you’re real happy when a ‘zero’ happens aren’t you?”

“I was once,” Dez said surprising her. “I was fresh out of the academy and newly assigned to Orion. I was filled with ideal floating around in my head. The first time Orion zeroed a criminal I let my excitement show through. That was one of the few time Orion was ever angry with me.” With a sad smile she continued, “A life was just taken he had said, there is no cause for celebration. That is the difference between us and them. I was taken aback because no one, none of instructors none of my fellow students had told me that. Then I saw him afterwards, it took a toll on him. Physically he was fine but I could see it in his eyes. Suddenly I knew why he was so angry with me.”

“Does it affect Alex?”

“I’m afraid it does. I wish I couldn’t send him on those assignments but even as a temporary Sheriff he must full fill his duty as one.”

Dropping into a chair she asked, “What am I supposed to do now?”

“Orion and myself have tried to help him deal with this. But somebody who knows him personally would be much more helpful.”

“How am I supposed to do that?”

“Alex asked if there was a capture option, he hasn’t done that since he first received a zero authorization since talking the suit. Based on his mumbling I believe he was more worried about how you would look at him now. Samantha I don’t blame you for not being happy about all of this, but Alex needs your support more than anything especially after an assignment like this one. He need you to be there for him more than anything.”

The door opened up as Alex walked in. He looked at them for a moment before saying, “You came out for her?”

“I… bent some regulations slightly,” Dez answered.

“I knew you had it in you,” while he joked Sam watched him. He did look like there was a weight on his shoulder that wasn’t there before.

“How are you doing?”, Sam asked suddenly.

“I’m… fine,” he answered.

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah,” he said.

“You know if you need to talk about anything I’m there for you right?”

“I know Sam.” He gave her a very grateful sounding, “Thank you.”

“Come here,” she pulled him into a hug. He held on to her for dear life. “I’m proud of you, you know that? You’re doing a good thing.”

“I’m sorry Sam, I didn’t want to hurt you like that. I was afraid you’d never forgive me.”

“You’re my brother you lunkhead, of course I’m going to forgive you.” Dez smiled at the siblings before fading away. There was another thing Orion had taught her that the academy didn’t. A good personal support system was just as important to a Sheriff as his equipment was. And from the look of things Alex was in good hands.
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