Old March 27th, 2019, 10:37 AM #1
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



Galactic Sheriff

A/N The fourth series I wrote, and the one where I hit the big four of the Toku genre's.
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Galactic Sheriff 1


It was a quiet night just like every other night. Right until something crashed through a brick wall of an old building. Pulling himself out of the rubble a man wearing a armor of a gray metallic color watched the hole he just made. Following him out was a being from another world that seemed to have muscle on top of muscle. It saw him and roared. “I heard you the first time,” the helmet around his head distorted his voice slightly.

“I told you not to take the Herculean head on,” chided a female voice coming from the keypad on his left arm.

“Bitch at me later,” he said returning his attention. He kicked down more of the wall as he came toward him. “Do they have to term ‘over kill’ where you come from?”

“Sheriff no take,” the Herculean grunted. “Gord kill Sheriff.”

“I’m going to take that as a no,” the armored Sheriff told him. “And the whole killing thing is what got you in this mess to begin with.”

“Herculeans are not known for their reasoning skills,” the voice told him as he dodged a sledge hammer like blow coming at him.

“Figured that one out on my own, thank.” He tried a punch of his own that barely phased his target. In fact he looked angrier, “Oh that’s not fair.”

“Gord crack armor and squish soft inside,” he boasted. The armored man was starting to think he could do it. The armored warrior barely had time to react as the Herculean was as fast as he was strong. The Sheriff tried to get in a few hit as he tried to avoid those hammer like fist. He got in two when that massive hand grabbed him by the neck. “Gord kill!”, and threw him through the wall and back into the building.

“The armor is damaged,” the voice exclaimed.

“I see it in the heads up,” he grunted. “I’m bringing out the hardware.” Touching the two on the keypad an electronic voice stated –DOUBLE GUN- . Reaching back to the pack on his back the lower section on each side opened up and two futuristic guns slide into his hands. Non lethal target points appeared in front of his eyes on the visor as he brought the foreword and hit the two slide switches on the back of each gun -RAPID FIRE-. Confirming the target locks he pulled the triggers, “Eat this.”

“Rargh!”, Gord cried out in pain as each energized shot zeroed in on the locks. He backed up a bit but the shots just kept coming. He went to a knee as it gave out on him. “Gord…!”

“Smash kill I heard you the first time.” He stopped firing just long enough to hit the slide switches again. –CAPTURE-. Pulling the triggers again energy bands flew out of the barrels and wrapped themselves around the Herculean. Usually two or three were enough but I looked like he was about to break free. He kept firing until the bands practically covered him. “Bagged him,” he said out loud.

The Herculean was still struggling to free himself as he walked toward him. “Gord kill Sheriff!”

“Would you shut up,” he fired another energy band around his mouth to quiet him. Gord screams of protest were muffled but they were still coming. Putting the guns back he pulled a chip off of his belt buckle and lapped it on the Herculean’s forehead, “And tagged him.” It started blinking on contact as a few moments later Gord started to shimmer. Before long he was gone completely.

“The target is in stasis,” the voice announced, “and ready for extradition to his home planet for sentencing. That many bands weren’t necessary.”

“Just trying to be safe like you keep telling me.” He wasn’t sure but he was positive she just snorted in disbelief. “So why wasn’t I given the execution order on this one since this guy has apparently killed a lot of people?”

“Herculeans do not have the death penalty as part of their judicial system.”

“You’re kidding,” he said in a disbelief of his own.

“It’ all in the rules and regulations manual you were supposed to have read.”

“Have you seen the size of that file you sent me?”, he protested. “I’m still trying to work through the stuff I’m allowed and not allowed to do. I haven’t even touched the sections dealing with other planet’s rules yet. God my life was so much simpler before that first ship landed.”

“So was mine,” she said before cutting the link. He looked at the keypad on his forearm before walking away.

***
Light years away on another planet the population was hustling like any other major metropolis. Species of several different worlds walked it’s streets. Like with all things not everything was harmonious. An occasional scuffle broke out here and there. Either someone had a bad day and decided to take it out on somebody else, an old rivalry that refused to die, somebody looked at someone the wrong way. Before it could escalate several individual wearing jackets with a patch indicating the planet were able to calm the situation. Satisfied it was over the rest continued on their way.

In the distance more people and beings wearing those same jackets, although they had different patches indicating the planet they were from, were coming and going from a particular building. The glass like exterior revealed even more of those individuals walking the halls inside. Two in particular were walking toward the medical wing. One who was avian said, “I still say this is inexcusable, a Galactic Sheriff operating with no training what so ever.”

“It’s happened before,” his cat like companion said. “An emergency situation where a Sheriff was too injured to perform his duties properly. With no partner in place to take over he had to do something.”

“I am fully aware of the regulations,” he responded with a little attitude. “But a human of all species. Of all the unaware planets in the universe why did the mob have to choose that one?”

“It fit their criteria,” he answered calmly. “I was far enough away from the known region but close enough that it could be used as a staging ground for their various operations. We’re just lucky we discovered their intentions before they could get too strong of a foothold. And since first contact was made a couple of cycles prior none of the inhabitants would question a few extra ships in the skies.”

“Emergency landing or not I still say it was too soon for that planet. They weren’t ready.”

“What done is done,” the cat creature said. “We can’t change the past no matter how hard you try.”

“Although a redo of a certain situation would be a welcome change,” a human looking being came toward them in an automatic wheelchair. “I see my emergency choice is still some discussion with the higher ups.”

“No more than usual when this situation happens,” the cat said. The chair turned itself around so he could ravel with them. “How are you doing Orion?”

“Hopefully ready for duty soon,” the avian said.

“The medics say it will be cycles before I can travel without this chair,” he answered. “Who knows when I’ll be ready to take back the armor.” The avian mumbled something then excused himself. “He’s still unhappy I had to give my armor to a human I see.”

“He’ll get over it, he know the reason why you were chosen for that assignment was because your specie share a resemblance to the humans. Speaking of how is your replacement handling himself?”

“Dez sends me an update every so often. She says he’s handling himself well so far. He’s just a little chatty for her taste.”

“And what is her opinion of him?”

“She finds him…,” he searched for the right diplomatic word, “interesting.”

***
Back on Earth life was going on. Humans and the occasional alien life form walked the streets keeping to themselves. The Bars were active since it was the weekend. One in particular had a group of friends were huddled around an arcade shooter watching one of their own gun down his virtual opponents,. Smiling to himself the blond haired man uttered, “Bagged and tagged.”

“You always say that,” the man next to him said.

“And you always bitch about it Ryan,” he shot back.

“Hey Steve,” the blond man looked back to see who called out his name. “The food is on the table.”

“Finally,” one of the others said, “I’m starving.”

“Here you go man,” Steve aid putting the light gun in Ryan’s hands, “you can finally play a level you haven’t reached yet.”

“Oh ha-ha,” he said as they left the machine. “Sam come on.”

A woman with her brown hair tied in a ponytail acknowledged him and headed for their table. When she got there she saw a guy with a red flannel shirt and a ball cap with the visor lowered over his eyes looking like he was sleeping in the chair with his feet on the table. “Shoes on the floor Alex,” she said hitting his leg.

“Huh?”, he lazily said. Looking up he resembled her a bit. Stretching a bit he got up and announced, “I’m going to hit the head.”

After he left Ryan snorted, “Yeah he’s probably hitting something back there.”

“Would you quit it,” Sam said sounding annoyed.

“Yeah man lay off of him,” Steve added. “He’s going through a rough spot right now. He doesn’t need any more flack from his friends.”

“Oh yeah a rough spot, he lost his job for suddenly being unreliable, he keeps to himself a lot now and yet still has money. I’m telling you he’s dealing something.”

“You have no proof of that,” Steve argued. “It’s about as crazy as your theory I’m that armored guy running around.”

“Why are you defending Alex?”, Ryan asked. “I can see why Sam’s doing it that’s her brother. But you?”

“For one I’ve known him since grade school, in fact all three of us met in grade school. Second of all as well as we know him Sam’s known him longer. And we all know that if he was on something she would have busted him on it long ago. If she says he’s clean than that’s good enough for me. It what every good cop does, following the facts.”

“More like trying to get in her pants,” he muttered. Neither of them bothered to dignify that with a response. “Beside let’s see how high and mighty you are once I can prove you’re that armored guy,” Ryan added grabbing a slice of pizza. “I’ll be in the freaking money.”

“You would sell out your own friend?”, Steve asked.

“Hey you’re my bro and all but I have bills to pay.”

“Why do we keep hanging around him again?”, Sam asked Steve.

“I got no idea.”

Alex sat back at the table still looking sleepy, “What did I miss?”

“Life outside that haze you’re in,” Ryan mumbled.

“Stop it,” am said through her teeth, Alex didn’t look fazed.

“All after those aliens arrived,” Ryan continued.

“Let’s face it,” Steve spoke up, “everything changed when the aliens landed. And not always for the better. We’re just handling things the bet ways we can. Not how about we just eat befor the food gets cold.”

***
Above the Earth a small orbital station invisible to current Terran technology stayed on it’s path like a silent sentry. Inside a human looking female sat inside a semicircle of control and monitors. On the side of her head a device with blinking lights connected her to the system’s computer allowing her to monitor more than one thing at once. The source of an incoming transmission made her green eyes twinkle as she faced the space behind her. A holographic image of Orion appeared as she stood up, “I was expecting a communication so soon.”

“I know but I was curious about how you’re doing,” his image said. “I’ve read report after my report about my replacement but nothing on you.”

“I am a professional Orion,” she said stiffening a little.

“I know you are Dez, but I’ve also known you for a couple of mecacycles now.”

“It’s been frustrating,” she admitted. “I know he’s been thrown into a situation beyond his understanding but his inexperience is grating.”

“I’ve seem to remember having a similar reaction being set up with a monitor right out of the academy,” he said with a knowing grin. Dez looked away blushing slightly. “And I’m sure the Sheriff I was originally partnered with felt the same about me when I started. We needed time Dez to get to where we are now. You just need to be patient, especially since you’re going to be his monitor for the immediate future.”

Feeling a little sad she went, “Still no word on when you’ll be able to continue your duties?”

“The medics gave me a general timeline but they were reluctant to even do that.”

Staring to say something she tilted her head slightly as her eyes stared going back and forth. Temporarily forgetting her conversation she turned back around to the control and pulled up the information she was receiving through the device. “There’s a disturbance planet side.” Using her system to hack into the Earth systems she soon pinpointed the location and it’s cause, “It’s another Herculean.” Locating Orion’s replacement she was somewhat surprised how close they were. “Contacting Galactic Sheriff 2127.”

***
Walking out of the bar the group of friends laughed at one of Sam’s stories. Although Ryan shot a look at her brother as he kept on walking past them and toward the cars. One look from her and Steve and he kept his comment to himself. Steve cell phone went off and he looked dismayed as he checked the ID. “Excuse me a sec guys. I told you not to call me unless you had to.” He walked away as Ryan looked intrigued.

“You think he’s going to disappear and armor up?”

“Alright I just have to know,” Sam said, “why do you think he’s that armor guy?”

“Well for one he’s never around when he shows up.”

“That’s it,” she said after he didn’t continue. “You’re never around when that armored guys shows up either,” she shot back. “How do I know you’re not pointing the finger toward him to take the attention off of you?”

“Now that’s just stupid,” he said a moment before the shouting started. People started running down the street as something that looked like it used to be a mailbox flew over their heads. Both of them looked up to see Steve was nowhere to be seen. Ryan looked like he just won the argument before they ran for their cars.

Sam looked at an abandoned ball cap on the ground by her’s, “Where’s Alex?”

“He probably sobered up enough to get the hell out of here,” Ryan told her.”We better do the same.” Jumping into his car and drove away as fast as he could. Sam knew she should do the same but she had to find her brother first.

***
An even bigger Herculean held a car over his head and threw it into the side of an apartment building. People ran screaming as he roared. As one group ran past an alley Alex peek his head out to make sure nobody else was around. Stepping into the street he headed for the Herculean rolling up the left sleeve of his flannel shirt. Reaching into a pocket he pulled out a keypad that he flipped open and slapped on his forearm. Four flaps came out and connected the device to his skin. Standing a few yards away from the Herculean and shouted, “Hey!” It stopped and looked at him. Standing his ground Alex continued, “You are in direct violation of interstellar regulation… interstellar regulation…uh…” Drawing a blank he looked at the keypad, “A little help.”

Dez replied, “Interstellar regulation twenty seven. Causing havoc on a newly initiated world.”

“Right what she said,” Alex spoke back up. “Now you can come quietly or I can detain you by force.” The Herculean responded by pulling a lamppost out of the ground and brandishing it as a weapon. “Looks like it’s going to be by force. Dez I’m powering up the suit.”

“I agree,” she replied.

“All right then.” Holding the keypad in front of him he punched in the activation code -5-7-1-6- and hit the enter key. “Online!” punching his left hand foreword he was covered in light for the briefest of seconds that faded away to reveal the armor.

A little further back Sam found her brother, relieved and confused as she watched what was happening, “Alex?”

Hearing his sister he looked back, “Sam.”

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ED – Divide the Day – Let it Roll
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Old March 31st, 2019, 01:52 PM #2
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Holding his left arm in front of Alex quickly punched in the activation code on the keypad attached to his forearm -5-7-1-6- and pressed the enter key. Punching his left arm forward he said, “On…,” and in the space between seconds the device reacted. The flaps extended out encasing his forearm. More plating covered his hand. Armor ran up his arm and covered his chest and right arm before covering his lower body. Running up his neck a helmet covered his head completely, eyes glowing behind the visor, “…line!”

“Alex?” Looking back in surprised he saw his twin sister staring at him in disbelief.

“Sam,” he was stunned, he didn’t want her finding out like this. The Herculean roared and charged holding the lamppost over his head refocusing him on the task at hand. Waiting until the last second to jump out of the way his finger found the three key on the pad. –SWORD-. A handle popped out of the top of the pack on his back, grabbing it he held it out to his side. Liquid metal quickly poured out as the nanotechnology inside made it stiffen and form a blade. Alex used the side of the blade to block the next blow, almost going to a knee from the brute force alone.

“Kill Sheriff,” the Herculean grunted.

“Again with the killing,” he strained as he forced the lamppost to the side. “You guys are like a broken record or something.” Backing up to get some room he watched as the Herculean brought the post back up for another swing. Slashing his blade twice he cut the post into three pieces. Enraged the Herculean threw the piece in his hand at him. Avoiding it Alex didn’t expect the alien to rush at him full force. A shoulder right in his chest sent him flying and crashing into a parked car. It’s alarm went off as he peeled himself free, “I felt that one.”

“The armor can’t take many more hits like that,” Dez informed him.

“I think saying ‘I felt that one’ covered that.” The Herculean stalked him. Doing a quick scan of the area he hit the four key -DISC-. A silver disc slide out of the lower part of the pack. Grabbing it several blinking lights on it came to life as the armor calculated the proper flight path as he threw it. The edges started glowing as it flew, turning on it’s side to cut threw a lamppost directly over the Herculean. He roared in protest as it hit him on the head, giving Alex enough time to hit the five key –CANNON-. Holding his arms out it materialized over his right shoulder. Right hand going to the grip and his left went forward and held the trigger.

“Smash Sheriff!”

“Keep telling yourself that.” The targeting scanner on the cannon got a lock. Manipulating a control with his right hand a tri-cylinder chamber inside spun slightly –NET-. “Fire in the hole!” A bolt of energy shot out that quickly expanded into an energy net that wrapped around the Herculean. Struggling to free himself he fell to the ground totally immobilized. “I should have done that with the first one.” The cannon dematerialized as he ran over and slapped another transport chip on the Herculean. While he disappeared he looked for Sam and didn’t see her, a scan didn’t even pick he up. “Dez I might have an issue.”

“I heard,” she replied. “How well do you know this Sam person? Is he going to be a problem?”

“Not a he Dez, she. Short for Samantha, my sister.” For the first time since he’s known her Dez was at a loss for words.

***
It had been three days since she discovered her brother was the armored guy on the news. Alex had tried calling her but she ignored it. She saw him on the street and she went the other way. She did not know how to handle this. God help her she had an easier time dealing with the idea he was an addict or something. At least that something she could at least get her head around. As it was she stood in front of his apartment building for the god only know how many times since then. Before she would stand there and loose her nerve, but she couldn’t avoid the situation forever.

Walking up to the front door she looked for the label that said A. Brennen and hit the button. Part of her was hoping he wasn’t home before she heard, “Hello?”

“It’s me,” she said. The door buzzed bad she quickly went in. Slowly she made her way to his apartment. Like always his door was ajar for her. For the first time ever she reluctantly went in. Inside she saw her brother look as unsure as she felt. Both of them stood there not sure what to say to the other. “How long have you been…?”

“A couple of months,” he answered.

“A couple of months?”, she repeated. “You’ve been that guy for a couple of months and you didn’t tell me?”

“I wanted to,” he told her. “I… I just couldn’t figure out how. The only times I’ve seen you lately we’ve been in a group. I could never get you alone. I couldn’t blurt it out then, I have people trying to sue for crap that happened before I even got the suit. And I definitely wasn’t saying anything with Ryan around.”

“All right then, why the act? Why make everybody think you were on drugs or something?”, she demanded.

“I never made people think I was on drugs,” he shot back. Running his hands over his head he sat down. A little more subdued he continued, “I get called away to track down criminals a lot. When I lost my job because of it and started disappearing pretty regularly people just started assuming. I just went with it.”

“So it was easier to go with a lie than to confide in me?” That hurt more than finding out he was keeping this from her to begin with. And seeing how Alex wouldn’t look at her he knew that too. Sitting down after a long uncomfortable silence she sat down and asked, “Have you… have you killed anybody?”

Looking reluctant to answer he eventually admitted, “When there was an execution order attached to their file.”

“Do you feel guilty about it? Happy?” God she wouldn’t know what to think he felt happy. Why did he even ask that?”

“Not happy, never happy. Guilty, sometimes then I read what they been convicted of in their files. The guilt goes away a little after that.”

“Files? Who sends you their files?”

“Maybe she better explain that.” Before she could ask what he was talking about Alex looked at the wall, “Dez.”

Sam jumped out of the chair as part of the wall slid away revealing a computer of some sort, In the next moment a woman appeared out of the air, it took Sam a moment to realize there was something on the side of her head. “Holy shit.”

“Sam this is Dez,” Alex said standing by the woman, “or an image of her.” After a moment he leaned in and whispered, “Don’t stare at the implant. She hates that.”

“Greetings,” Dez said ignoring Alex. “I am Alex’s Watcher, temporarily of course, while he fills in for the armor’s original operator. I monitor things from orbit and inform Alex of situations that may require his attention and supply him with any information on the suspect I have access to in my computers.”

“So… she gave you the armor?”

“Not exactly,” Alex told her. “The original owner, Orion, gave it to me while he heals up.”

“Ok, that’s twice you two mentioned you’re replacing somebody. What happened to him?”

“Orion’s armor took a critical hit and was too injured to continue,” Dez explained.

“And I was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Alex added.

***
Oh he just had to take a short cut to get home didn’t he, tonight of all nights. If he wasn’t running late he never would have taken it. The thunderstorm was bad enough. Then the explosion happened. Skidding to a stop he saw that armored guy on the news and some alien go at it. “I’m out of here,” he said but the car wouldn’t move. “Of come on!” A stray shot came way too close for comfort so he got out of the car and ran for cover. Taking refuge inside an old building he tried to wait out the fight. After a few moments he thought he was safe, then something came crashing through the wall, “Shit.”

“Ugh,” the armored guy grunted as he stood up. His armor sparked slightly and smoked in places.

“Orion the armor is critical,” a voice said. “You need to get out of there now.”

“The mission isn’t over yet.” He turned his head and looked right at Alex. “What are you…?” His sentence ended there, a energy shot through the armor. Alex’s eyes followed the shot, some kind of metal spear was now embedded in the wall dripping some sort of black substance. That same substance was coming from the new holes in the armor. His legs gave out on him and he dropped to the floor. The armor sparked some more before disappearing. Alex was surprised at how human he looked.

“Orion! Orion! The armor just entered repair mode. Orion answer me!”

“Legs…,” he said weakly, “can’t … feel… my legs.”

“Oh Sheriff,” a new voice called out. “Come on out, I have a reputation to maintain. I need confirmation that I’ve killed you to still be perfect.”

Alex watched the injured man try and drag himself out of there. Not sure what the hell he was thinking he ran in and dragged him to cover. Going behind some crates Alex could see a green scaly figure walk in through the hole, a strange looking rifle on his back, locate the spike and pry it out of the wall. How long before he noticed the blood and them? “That was stupid Earthling,” he grunted.

“Don’t remind me,” he said trying not to be heard. The alien sniffed the blood on the spike before sniffing he air. “We’re going to die aren’t we?”

“More than likely,” he said. They guy looked at him with a weird look than at the device on his forearm, “Dez, armor status.”

“I’m pushing the repair program as fast as it will go. It’s less than fifteen percent, and an extremely loose less than as it is.”

“It’ll have to do. Dez I’m… ugh…. initiating Protocol Gamma.”

“What? You can’t…”

“No choice. Do it Dez, that’s an order.”

There was an audible sigh before she said, “I’m disengaging the DNA lock.” The device on his forearm blinked and beeped softly for several moments. Alex quickly looked over the crates to see ifthe other alien heard them. He didn’t act like he did, Taking the device off his arm Orion placed it on Alex’s while he was distracted with the alien.

“What?”, he said in surprise.

“Five seven one six,” he said, “then activate.”

“I don’t…”

“Your only chance to live. Do it.”

“I got you Orion.” Alex looked back at the alien and saw that he noticed the blood trail. Hosting that rifle into position he came toward their location. “My record is still intact.”

“Shit,” a shaky finger inputted the numbers and hit what looked like an enter key.

“Online,” Orion said before passing out. Almost instantly the device activated and after a quick glow covered his body and he was in the armor. He couldn’t make sense of the crap running in front of his eyes much less wrap his head around he was in this thing.

“What’s your name?”,” the voice asked. “What’s your name human?”

“Alex,” he said.

“Alex I need you to listen to me. Do exactly as I say or both you and Orion are going to die by his hand.” The alien stopped, looking directly where they were and grinned. “You’re at a disadvantage with the armor still damaged. You need to move and get his attention away from Orion. Do it now!”

Alex saw the alien take aim and ducked as he fired. Not sure what else to do he ran away from Orion. “Got you,” the alien said as he fired again. Those spikes seemed to follow him as they plunged into the wall.” Something’s off,” he said as he stopped firing. “You’re moving differently,” he sniffed the air a bit, “and there’s no fresh scent of blood coming from you.” Alex took some cover behind some barrels and tried to catch his breath. The alien smirked, “Protocol Gamma. “I injured you so severally you had to give your armor to a human. Two for the price of one, I love it.”

“Who is this guy?”

“Galgamayde,” the voice said, “one of the top assassins in the universe. Reportedly has a one hundred percent kill rating although that has never been officially confirmed. Protocol Zero has been authorized according to his file.”

“What Zero?”

“Execute with extreme prejudice.”

“I can’t do that!”

“If you want to survive you’re going to have to.”

“I hear you.” A spike flew over his head and he ran again. Galgamayde was right on his tail, “You run too easily human, I wanted a challenge before I finished off the wounded Sheriff. I may not try to get a little bonus out of killing you. Heh, of who am I kidding, of course I am.”

“Hit the one key on the pad.” Doing as he was told he heard an electronic -GUN-. One appeared at his back. “Slid the switch to the first position.” –SINGLE FIRE-. “Now turn and fight.” Doing so some kind of target lock appeared in his visor. He aimed for it and fired. Galgamayde dove out of the way as he continued to fire. “Slide it to the next setting.” –RAPID FIRE-. Galgamayde tried to get out of the way but ended up getting hit. “Press the zero key, hurry!”

“I don’t think so.” Galgamayde grabbed something off his belt and threw it at him. It exploded before it reached him but it was enough to knock him to the ground. Various warnings went off in the visor as the alien came toward him. “You had some fight in you after all, but not enough. I’ll kill you then I’ll finish off Orion.” Alex struggled to sit up. Then he noticed the barrels he was hiding behind had a flammable symbol on them.

“This better work,” he grunted as he fired. Noting happened at first, the barrels spilled their contents onto Galgamayde. Then a shot hit something just right to cause a spark to set the liquid and Galgamayde on fire. He thrashed around a bit before hitting something and disappearing. “What happened?”

“He teleported away. I can’t get a lock on him. We’ll have to worry about him later, check on Orion.”

Alex went back to where he left him. The alien was still there but not looking good. Hovering over him Alex wished he could make sense of these symbols in front of his eyes. “Is he dead?”

“No,” the voice sounded relieved, “he still alive, just barely though. Alex, on the belt buckle of the armor, there should be a series of chips. Take one out and place it on him.” Doing so he watched in stunned silence as Orion faded away. “I have him in stasis. I’ll be able to arrange transport to get him to a medical center.”

“What about this thing he put on my arm?”

“It’s your until he is well enough to take it back.”

“Now what a minute nobody said anything about that.”

“Protocol Gamma,” she said. “When a Sheriff is too injured to continue his mission and doesn’t have a partner readily available the armor must be handed off to the first available and suitable candidate. I’m afraid to say you planet is still targeted and needs to be protected.”

“Then send another one of those Sheriff’s here to take over again.”

“Orion and I were picked for this mission because we share similar physical traits with your species, inside and out. And it took a long time to pick us out of the Sheriffs patrolling the universe. Even if they did it would take a while for them to get here even on the fastest ship. Your planet isn’t exactly close to the galactic hub.”

“I can’t do this.”

“You’re going to have to, I’m sorry. I’m picking up radio chatter for the local authorities. I suggest you get out of there.” She explained how to deactivate the armor as he left the building and ran.

***
Sam sat there and listened to what they told her, not able to say anything. She looked at Alex, her twin brother, like he was a total stranger. It took her a few seconds to realize he was talking to her. “I have to go,” she said as he reached for her.

“Sam wait.”

“I need to think,” she told him, “I need to wrap my head around this.”

Watching her go out the door Alex dropped into a chair and buried his face in his hands. “That was not how I wanted it to go,” he said. “I’ve should have told her sooner.”

“She’s hurt,” Dez told him.

“Thank you Miss. Obvious.”

“She’s hurt,” she repeated, “but she is still your family. I have siblings of my own. We didn’t always do things that pleased each other. She will forgive you eventually. As someone just recently told me you just need to give it time.”

“I hope you’re right Dez.” She nodded and smiled a small smile before the image faded away leaving him alone.”

***
Somewhere else a spindly grey creature ran into a large room filled with various creatures, one in particular sitting on a throne like chair in the back of the room. “Sire,” he squeaked. The rotund, almost yellowish creature shifted in his chair to look at him. “The rumors are true. A human is operating Orion’s armor.”

“I told you!”, a voice rang out. Everyone turned to see it’s owner, a few parted to let him through. Almost half of his body was covered in whirring mechanical parts, including his face. His scales were a darker green color, looking burnt. The ones edging the mechanical parts were pitch black and cracking. An electronic eye glowed red in anger as Galgamayde stood before the rotund being. “I told you Orion initiated Protocol Gamma.”

A droid rolled forward as the being spoke, taking a few moments to listen before translating his grunts into words. “I needed more proof than the word of a mortally injured man.” Again the eye glowed red. “I realize you are angry that you lost your perfect record…”

“This isn’t about my record!”, he cut him off angrily. “That human did this to me,” and he raised a mechanical hand into his face. “A human! I want my revenge.”

“Revenge is not how we operate,” the droid for their boss said, “there is no money in it.” Galgamayde hissed and walked out of the room. “You will get a shot at him but only when I say so and when you have cooled down. I want the human studied, locate any image we can get. I want to know how he differs from Orion.”

“At once sire,” the spindly one said. AS he turned around Galgamayde’s eye flashed again. Oh he would get his revenge on that human. Even if he had to go through that fat slug and everybody else in there first.


-----
ED – Divide the Day – Let it Roll
-----
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Old April 4th, 2019, 02:34 PM #3
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3


-----
OP – Downstait – I came to play
-----


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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Old April 8th, 2019, 06:31 PM #4
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
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4


-----
OP – Downstait – I Came To Play
-----


The music blaring in the background didn’t do enough to block his thoughts. The conversations going on around him in the filth ridden cantina didn’t distract him. This so-called drink on the dirty table in front of him never seemed to dull the memory. No matter what he did, awake or asleep, Galgamayde always returned to that moment. When that human did this to him. It consumed every molecule in his being. And he was constantly being denied his rightful revenge.

“That’s like the eighth drink I’ve seen you down tonight.” A green skinned Andorian sat across from him. Somebody he had occasionally partnered with in the past. A small measure of respect was the only thing keeping Galgamayde for shooting him for disturbing him.

“It dulls the pain,” he said while flexing the fingers on his mechanical hand. It was a mistake to reveal a potential weakness to anybody, especially in this line of work. Perhaps he did have too much to drink.

“I believe they have medication for that.”

“I know, they shot me full of them when they fitted with these,” he gestured to his mechanical parts. “They dulled my other senses too much to be effective.”

“I would think all those drinks would do the same.” Without a word and without looking Galgamayde grabbed the blaster strapped to his leg and shot a light across the room that was inbetween two beings sitting by it. “Maybe not by that much.”

“Who’s shooting up my place?!”, a four armed chef stormed out of the back wearing a apron and brandishing a meat cleaver in one of his hands. Then he saw Galgamayde who had the blaster pointed right at him. Backing away the chef said, “That’s going on your tab.” Then he quickly scurried back into the kitchen.

“Even with my handicap I’m still the best shot I the galaxy.”

“Yes you are,” the Andorian quickly agreed before he holstered his weapon. “Anybody can see that.”

“All except our all so glorious boss,” he sneered. “He keeps denying me my shot at the human.”

“We got to do what he says, it’s the way this life works.”

“Nobody even knows what species he is,” Galgamayde continued, frustration getting the better of him. “Nobody even knows what planet the bulbous ass is from.”

“Careful Galgamayde,” he warned as he leaned forward a bit. “The Boss has a lot of ears. And not all of them are organic.” His eyes focused on something behind him. Galgamayde turned his head to see the Boss’s translator droid roll into the room. The entire room went dead quiet as it went to a table were an alien that looked like a wart hog drank from a steel container.

“Road Boar,” the machine said, “the Boss requests your presence. He has a mission for you on Earth.” It’s electronic eye seemed to focus on Galgamayde as it said that. His mechanical hand crushed the glass he was holding.

***
It was a pretty good afternoon so far, Sam was able to get off of work early and Alex had the free time, Unless Dez called him away that is. But so far so good. So they decided to grab an early dinner in the park. Pretty much the entire time she was asking about this Sheriff thing. Sam decided that if she was going to support him this she wanted to know all she could about it, “So your higher ups pay you for this right?”

“Yeah,” he said as he took a sip of his soda, “I have to live on something. I’m not quite sure how it works but Dez converts the galactic credits into gold then does some sort of exchange with a bank somewhere. Then it goes into an account I can access. She even adjusts for inflations. I think buying and selling stocks is involved too.”

“She was doing the same for Orion too right?” Alex answered with a nod as he took a bit of his hot dog. “You ever been in that satellite she’s on?”

“A couple of times, she’d beamed me up there when she or Orion needs to talk to me face to face.”

“But you have that hologram thing.”

“I know but they tell me it’s some sort of security thing. It has to be so important they don’t want to risk the info being intercepted. Or she just wants to yell at me in person, either one.”

“I don’t suppose you can get me up there?” It was long shot but it couldn’t hurt to ask.

“Dez ‘bent’ a few rules when she talked to you that one time,” he told her. “There are transport logs that are checked pretty regularly. An extra person is going to be noticed.”

“Bummer,” was her only reponce as she took a sip. “But there’s another thing I have to know, you didn’t have anything to do with Ryan thinking Steve was the guy in the armor did you?”

“That was his own over active imagination,” Alex told her. “I had nothing to do with that. I feel bad for Steve and all but I’m not going out of my way to point out he’s wrong. Besides,” he went into is act, “who’s going to believe the stoner?”

“Could you not do that if you don’t have too,” she said feeling unnerved. Even knowing it’s an act that still got to her.

“Sorry,” he said dropping it.

“God you are way too good at that.”

“Unfortunately I’ve had a lot of practice at it.” They keypad in his pocket went off. Looking apologetic he took it out and replied, “What do we have this time Dez?”

“Nothing of importance,” she answered. “I just wanted to let you know the sector database was just updated. I need you to look it over when you have a free moment.”

“You have nothing but free moments now,” Sam joked.

“I didn’t realize you were with your sister, my apologies. I’ll let you two get back to whatever you were doing.”

“Okay Dez I’ll look at it later.”

“Bye Dez,” Sam got in before the device turned off. “I’m assuming this database has something to do with the guys she sends you after.”

“It’s guys reportedly in the area but not on planet yet” he explained. “I swear that things gets updated a couple of times a week.”

***
Sometimes it was good to have connections. Give a mook enough credits and they’ll sneak anything on board their ship, or anybody. Road Boar walked out of the crate he was in taking off his breathing mask as soon as the crewman he bribed opened it up. Working out the kinks in his back and neck he tried to ignore the pest following him. “Where’s my payment,” he demanded. “Half then half now, that was deal.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” he grumbled in a deep voice. Taking a pouch off his belt he tossed it into the air. The cargo guy juggled it a bit before securing it fully in his hands. “Now get lost. And I’ll turn you into road kill if I find out you told anybody anything about me, got it?”

“You kidding,” the cargo guy said, “I’ll lose my client base if I flapped my gums to anybody.”

Road Boar looked around the bay and saw a couple of crates that belonged to him. Unfortunately he only had enough credits to get him and his stuff loaded, he didn’t have enough to get the guy to unload it for him. And the boss wasn’t exactly giving when he asked for a small advanced on that reward he offered to cover it. Eh who needed those pukes anyway? The so called elite had been using his people as heavy movers for generations now. “Borrowing” some anti-grav clamps and a lift he started unloading his crates. And just by looking around he say a local vehicle he could modify quite nicely to suit his needs. They’re gonna have to peel this Sheriff off the road after he was done with him.

***
When Alex told Sam this database got updated a couple of times a week he wasn’t exactly kidding. Two weeks later and he was on his fifth update. Granted he didn’t know how it worked with human criminals but times like this he wondered how regular police officers did it. Of course with him it wasn’t the number of people who might be in the area, he was bored out of his mind going through this thing. And he still hadn’t gotten through the rule book Dez gave when he first got the armor. “Pause,” he said standing up. The image on the wall screen stopped moving as he rubbed his eyes.

Dez’s image appeared a moment later, “The update isn’t finish Alex.”

“My eyeballs feel like they’re going to fall out of their sockets. I just need a break for a moment.”

“Orion…,” she started to say.

“Orion never took breaks,” Alex snapped. “Orion memorized the database in record time. Orion knew what they did before they popped up. Tell me when I’m getting close because I’m not Orion.”

“I know that Alex,” Dez responded calmly. “Although I’ve probably said things about him or compared you too enough times you thought I was. However I was going to say Orion would have told me to tell whoever was sending the updates to shove them up whatever orifice he could think of at the moment.” Alex stared at her for a moment before laughing out loud.

“I can not see Orion saying that.”

“You haven’t worked with him as long as I have, but he does want you to study up on this and the regulations. He has a bit of interest in your future after he takes back the armor.”

Confused Alex said, “I figured I’d go back to my regular life. Granted everybody but Sam would think I’m a recovering drug addict.”

“I don’t want to say too much but from the reports I’ve sent in he sees potential. To be honest so do… I.” Her head tilted slightly as her eyes started going back and forth. Alex had seen that before and knew exactly what it was.

“What are you picking up?”

“Some sort of vehicular rampage that may be alien in origin. Her image disappeared as he walked up to the computer hidden in his wall and waited. After a few moments the updates was replaced by some live news footage. It looked like the culprit was driving a semi cab, or something that used to look like one. All of the window covered in metal with some slits to see through. Most of the body was covered in the same material. Some sort of angled plow was in front as pitch black smoke erupted from the pipes.

Watching it plow through the highway Alex asked, “Is that an alien or a road warrior wanna be?”

“Inconclusive so far,” Dez told him. “Wait a moment. Reports are coming through that the vehicle in question might have been stolen from a spaceport a couple of cities away.”

“Sounds like probable cause to me. Get me the location Dez I’m on my way.”

Heading down to the street Sam met him as he came out of his building, “Alex did you see the…?”

“Hi Sam, ‘bye Sam, he quickly said as he past her.

Grabbing the door before it closed she commented, “I’ll take that as a yes.”

***
Armored up and on the sky board Alex headed for that truck. Dez still fed him information as she found it but still nothing on the identity of the driver. “I’m going to feel really embarrassed if this turns out to just be a deranged human,” he commented.

“You were tired of looking at the database” she told him. “If anything you can use it as, what’s that phrase you human use, good PR.”

“Yeah but how do I explain my press agent?”, he joked. Then the screeching sound of metal against metal caught his attention. “It’s go time,” he said out loud as he leaned forward. Spotting the modified semi he looked it over saying, “We never really discussed how I’m supposed to stop that thing.”

“Now you want to listen when I suggested you should plan things out… two months ago.”

“You’re as bad as my sister sometimes, you know that?” As he got closer to the truck some sort of cannon rose up behind the main cab. Zeroing in on him a blue ball of energy shot out. “Holy shit,” Alex nearly spun out of control trying to avoid being blasted out of the sky. “What the hell was that?”

“That was an Markon Seven cannon,” Dez said in amazement. “Those are usually seen mounted on interstellar battle cruisers. We’re dealing with an alien criminal here.”

“I think the blue energy cannonball gave that away.”

“Hey Sheriff!” a deep voice shouted from the truck. “I’m gonna to shoot your shiny ass out of the sky. Then I’m gonna turn you into road kill courtesy of Road Boar ha-ha-ha!”

“Road Boar,” Dez said as he zigged and zagged in the sky to avoid a target lock. “Found him, he’s wanted on several planets for vehicular mayhem. His home world wants him captured alive.”

“Did they give instructions on how to get him out of that tin can?” –DOUBLE GUN- -RAPID FIRE- Returning fire Alex watched as his shots harmlessly bounced off the armor plating. “Not good.” Avoiding another one of those energy blasts he asked, “What is that stuff made of?”

“Do a sensor scan,” she ordered. It took awhile for that cannon to fire one of those cannonballs so he was able to get a half way decent scan of the outside. “It looks like armored hull plating for galactic war ship. He had to have stolen it, it’s nearly impossible for civilians to get their hands on it.”

“Worry about it later.” Putting the guns back he announced, “I’m bringing out the heavy hardware.” Taking the board to the ground he hopped off and hit the five key. -CANNON- Materializing on his shoulder he grabbed it with both hands. Taking aim at the truck barreling toward him he turned the dial slightly to get the inner chamber to rotate. –BLAST- “Fire in the hole!”He recoiled back slightly as an intense energy beam shot out of the barrel. The beam hit the angled plow in front but it just bent it. “Oh come on,” Alex grumbled. Road Boar laughed at the results. He tried to line up another shot but Road Board hit a control in the cab and the plow shot off the front and right toward him. “Shit,” he ducked down to avoid the hunk of metal coming toward him. Getting back up he tried to line up the shot again but the semi was coming toward too fast. He got clipped in the leg as he jumped out of the way, “Damn it.”

Over the sound of the board getting run over he heard Dez say, “Alex are you alright?”

“I’m fine,” he grunted getting up, “the board’s toast though.” He wasn’t kidding, it was mangled beyond recognition. Limping a bit he hit the five and seven keys to send them back to storage.

“Alex did you notice something about that cannon?”

“I was a little busy trying not to get run over,” he told her.

“It wasn’t firing when you were ground level. I think it can only fire on aerial targets.”

“I’ll take your word for it.” He pressed the six key –GALACTIC CYCLE- A futuristic motorcycle appeared in front of him. Getting on and revving the engine he quickly gave chase. Weaving through the wrecked cars and those trying o get out of there he eventually caught up to the truck. So far Dez was right, while the cannon turned around to face him but those energy cannonballs flew over his head. Though he ducked a couple of times out of instinct.

Getting a clean stretch of road Alex tried to get in front of the vehicle having an idea form in the back of his head. “Oh no ya don’t ya punk,” Road Boar said as he quickly turned the wheel to cut him off. Alex was able to slow down enough to avoid getting squished between the truck and the guardrail. Trying to do it on the other side had the same thing happen, “Ha-ha-ha!”

“Come on Brennen think,” Alex told himself. Going to the side again Road Boar went to cut him off again. Alex quickly cut to the other side and shot ahead of the truck. Getting a good stretch ahead of Road Boar he stopped and got off the cycle. He hit the one key –SINGLE GUN- then he hit zero before grabbing it. –PROTOCAL ZERO-

“Alex what are you doing?”, Dez demanded.

“Killing an engine,” he told her. Parts of the gun started to glow brightly as energy transferred from the armor to it. Leveling the gun at the truck at the truck the targeting system in his visor locked on the exposed grill. Praying he didn’t think that far ahead and reinforce that he pulled the trigger. A beam twice the size of the barrel fired out and pierced the grill like a hot knife through butter. Road Boar jumped out of the cab as the beam entered the cab. Slowly the truck came to a stop. Alex was able to step to the side as it came to a stop past him. “Unless it was a recent addition there’s no regulation against it that I’ve seen so far.”

“You have been reading the file I gave you,” Dez said. “I’m…”

“Impressed?”, Alex offered as he walked toward Road Boar. “Amazed?”

“Stunned stupid actually,” she said with some humor.

“Yeah yeah,” Alex told her. “If I didn’t know better I’d swear that was a joke.” Road Boar tried to run away. –CAPTURE- Three pulls of the trigger wrapped three energy bands around his body.

“You punk!”, he screamed after he fell to the ground. “I’ll be back!”

“I’ll be here,” he told him as he slapped a transport chip on him. After he disappeared he added, “Well either me or Orion depending on when he gets back.”

Hearing sirens in the background as he headed for the cycle told him to get out of there. A couple of squad cars got through the mess and tried to surround him. “Get on the ground and put your hands behind your head!” one of them ordered as they pulled their guns on him as he got on the cycle.

Holding up two fingers he told them, “Peace.” Then he got the hell out of there. There was a small chase but with Dez’s help he was able to lose them.

***
Sam was waiting for him in his apartment. The fact his television was on told him she knew what he did. Not sure what else to do he said, “So how did I do?”

“Well you’re crazy,” Sam told him, “but I already knew that. You weren’t kidding about the cops were you?”

“I wish I was. Things would be a whole lot easier. You were going to tell me about that truck weren’t you?”

“Well I figured if you were going to be stuck with this for awhile I’d at least try and be supportive. Although I’ll be happy when this Orion guy takes the armor back and you can go back to normal. Well, normal for you anyway,” she added with a sly grin.

“You might want to hold that thought,” Alex told her.

“Why?”, she asked cautiously.

“Something Dez alluded to earlier about my future,” Alex said. He wasn’t sure about telling her this but he did promise her he wouldn’t hide anything about this Sheriff deal anymore.

“Did she say what it was?”

“Not really, but… I think Orion might be planning on making me his partner after he gets back.”

“You told me about this partner thing, you said he didn’t use a partner.”

“I know, Dez said he’s one of the stubborn ones. I don’t know why, maybe I’ve been impressing him or something.”

“Now you excel at something,” Sam said getting a bit upset. “So will you be going out with him when he gets a call from Dez?”

“Not all the time,” he answered. “Only when he thinks he needs help. And seeing how Orion thinks he can take on the world according to Dez I should have a lot of free time on my hands.” He wanted her to laugh a bit, at least chuckle. But nothing.

“I don’t like it,” Sam told him plainly.

“I know.”

“Damn it why did you have to be good at this?” She looked conflicted as she stood there looking around the room.

“I can always tell them no,” Alex offered.

“Damn it,” she repeated. “I told you that you were doing some good. I don’t want you to regret not being able to do so every time you turn on the news. Why did you have to take that short cut?”

“I’ve asked myself that a few times already.”

“Just promise me you’ll be careful no matter what you do in this.”

“Come on now, it’s me.”

“That’s not the reassurance I was looking for,” Sam joked weakly. Alex offered to pay for takeout so they could talk about this fully. Alex got the feeling this was going to be a long talk.

-----
ED – Divide the Day – Let it Roll
-----
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Old April 12th, 2019, 06:20 PM #5
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



5


-----
OP – Downstait – I came to play
-----


Another week another database update. It was a smaller update so Alex was able to get through this one in one setting, still he was getting a headache. Getting out of the chair and rubbing his eyes he tried to work the kink that was forming in his lower back. Dez’s image appeared a moment later, “A few names were taken out of our database,” she commented. “They were spotted in other sectors.”

“It’s about time,” Alex said as his back finally popped. “God that felt good.” Realizing what he just said he stood there for a moment, “I’m turning into my Grandfather. I was starting to wonder if every known criminal was heading this way because they think the new guy would be easy.”

“I’m sure some of them thought that way at first,” Dez said. “But you are getting a bit of a reputation now. “A very small one,” she added with a smirk, “but one none the less.”

“Oh God don’t let Sam find out about that. She nearly flipped when I told her Orion had plans for my future.”

“She won’t hear it from me,” Dez promised him. “Unless you get on my nerves again, then it might ‘accidently’ slip. So I would behave yourself if I was you.”

He eyed her image, “Are you sure you’re an alien because you’re sounding like a few humans I know.”

“I won’t take that as a compliment.”

“If you knew the humans I was talking about you shouldn’t. I don’t suppose you can tell me what Orion has in mind?”

“I think he should be the one to tell you,” Dez told him. “What I said was a tad premature. From my understanding he’s still thinking it over.”

“Well if he had a partner I guess it wouldn’t matter.” Stretching a bit more he said out loud, “I have no idea how he did this solo for so long. There were a few times I could have used a little backup.”

“You could always choose a partner,” Dez informed him.

“What?”, Alex was caught totally off guard with that one. “I can do that? I’m just a replacement.”

“Well you are a replacement but you are the official Sheriff for this planet,” she explained. “Any partner you choose would be official as long as you are the Sheriff.”

“Whoa,” he said still stunned. “Why didn’t you tell me this before now?”

“You never brought it up,” she said, “and you are as stubborn as Orion in most aspects. I thought it would be the same here. Do you have somebody in mind?”

“There’s somebody I’d asked in a heartbeat, but I don’t know how well it would fly. Especially now.” Dez had an idea who he was talking about but didn’t say anything.

***
Lately whenever the boss called a meeting Galgamayde made his way further and further t the front of the crowd. Anything to get that lard ass’s attention. He even tried to be a little more respectful. It made him physically ill. But he was desperate for another shot at the human. At this point ready to bribe him, or threaten his life depending on his mood at the moment. If anything taking a few pot shots at that blasted droid might have made him feel better. A point he was more and more prepared to prove as their boss ‘spoke’. “Maybe he would put a shot through his own brain, at least that was he’d be out of his misery.

“Now I wish to talk about the Earth Sheriff.” Galgamayde’s focus on the situation soon returned. “He’s been more of a nuisance than I originally anticipated. In fact I see I should have listened to Galgamayde when he said Orion initiated Protocol Gamma.”

“Finally,” he whispered. The droid seemed to focus on him for a moment.

“If I did perhaps he would have been dealt with by now. Instead I foolishly gave him time to adjust to the situation. As of now he’s a bad as a regular Sheriff. But we know from experience regular Sheriffs are killable.” The crowd agreed with nods and shouts. “Therefore I am asking for a volunteer to remind this human how mortal he really is.”

This was his chance. “I have an interesting suggestion.” Galgamayde’s electronic eye glowed with fury as he turned to see who would dare speak before he could. Those in the room looked as vulture looking thing in a dirty lab coat with black, dark brown and red stains walked into the room.

“Professor,” the droid said after a bit, “what possible suggestion could you possibly have?”

“A Herculean,” he simply said. Galgamayde wasn’t alone in voicing his protest about that.

“The human Sheriff has proven he can handle a Herculean with very little problem,” the droid stated, the boss apparently agreeing with the protesters.

“Not like this one.” Pulling a device out of his pocket he pointed it toward the opening. There were several thuds as a Herculean walked through, but not a normal one. On it’s pale skin you could see various electronic devices at various points. There seemed to be a faint glow under his skin in spots as well. A metal like headband seemed to grow out of his forehead.

“You modified him,” somebody in the crowd cried out.

“Augmented,” the Professor corrected the person. “He is several more time stronger than a regular member of his species. And slightly more controllable as well.”

“I would think that would lessen their effectiveness.” The droid translated. “It is the general consensus that you just point one in the right direction and let them do the rest.”

“True,” the Professor agreed, “but what if you can narrow his focus a bit, make him concentrate on something a little better so the total amount of his rage is on a single object. Without the wasted energy or needless destruction.”

“I would imagine the receiver is that band on his head,” the boss and droid commented. “A signal shot would disrupt your control.”

“Probably yes,” the Professor agreed. “Would anybody be willing to test that particular theory?”

“Gladly,” Galgamayde pulled his pistol and fired away at the headband. Several shots hit the band but ricocheted off a force field that popped up around the band. He kept firing as the crowd around then almost ran over itself trying to avoid getting hit by the backlash.

“Galgamayde enough!” he stopped but he eyed them out of the corner of his natural eye. He was positive the droid and the boss spoke at the same time.

“That field has a separate internal generator,” the Professor explained as he walked around his project. “separate from the rest of his systems. There’s even one for the controller here,” he raised it over his head to accent his point. “As you can see sir I have thought of everything. And the Sheriffs are still not allowed to zero a Herculean, no matter how much they are augmented.”

“I will give your little experiment a chance Professor. Leave for Earth immediately.” With the control the alien scientist directed the Herculean out of the room with him close behind. The crowd around them murmured about this particular turn of events. But Galgamayde’s attention was on the Boss and his droid.

***
Checking her chronometer Dez stood up and faced the area behind her. Smiling a bit she waited a second before she received the incoming transmission signal. In the next instant a holo image of a still chair ridden Orion appeared in front of her. He started to say something then he noticed her expression. Looking confused for a moment he said, “Why do I get the feeling that I’m getting predictable in my infirmed state?”

“Only to those who know you,” she said. “As the Earth saying goes, I’m probably sounding like a broken record here but is there any progress on your end?”

“Actually yes,” he said with a little pride. “I have some feeling on the bottom of my left foot. Ahead of schedule too. Those grafts are finally looking like they’re taken hold.”

“You told me they were reluctant to give you any type of timeline.”

“I’m talking about my schedule,” he informed her. “These so called medics may be a tad over cautious about my recovery but I’m going to be back in my armor before they know it.”

“Don’t push yourself too fast,” Dez warned him, “you could do more to damage yourself.”

Snorting he said, “You’re sounding like these medics. Speaking of the armor how is Alex holding up?”

“He’s starting o come into his own,” she answered. “As I told him earlier he’s starting to develop a reputation from what I’m hearing.”

“Good,” Orion said with a nod. “Your last report said something about a sister?”

“His twin sister Samantha,” she corrected him. “She found out what he was doing in a way he wasn’t expecting. There was a bit of a rough patch between them but like any siblings they mended their relationship.”

“Good, good. Dez, I know this may be asking a lot but can you watch over her as well?”

Now she was confused, “I was any way as a favor to Alex. Why, is something wrong?”

“Nothing I can confirm at the moment,” was all he said. With a little more prodding he finally relented, “I’m worried about Galgamayde. I sent word to my contacts about him and asked a few of the other Sheriffs to inquire about his whereabouts. Nobody has seen him since it happened.”

“Maybe his injuries were so sever they did him in,” she offered.

“I doubt either I or Alex is that lucky. No, Galgamayde is still out there, I can feel it in my bones. And I fear for Alex when he decides to show up again.”

***
If there was one thing Alex had learn in the time he was covering for Orion it was that the call would usually come at night. That’s why when some kind of outing was being planned he’d try and get it going during the day. Sam understood when he told her about it, even said she’d try and help out when she could. He was grateful but still as night came closer he subconsciously became more aware of the keypad in his pocket. He didn’t even jump anymore when it went off, “What do we got Dez?”

“A small two man vessel just shot past every orbital checkpoint at breakneck speed. It touched down just outside your city. I’m sending the coordinates now.”

“I’m on it.” Heading for the roof of his apartment building he quickly dialed Sam’s number.

She picked up saying, “I’m guessing something out of this world is going to make you late.”

“More or less.”

“Well be careful.”

“I always am. I’ll be there as soon as I’m done, bye Sam.” Hitting the roof he checked to see if anybody else was around before flipping open the keypad and placing it on his forearm -5-7-1-6- , “Online.” A split second glow coming from the keypad covered him in the armor. –SKY BOARD- Stepping on it as soon as it appeared he locked onto the coordinates Dez supplied him. It didn’t take him long to find the ship, in fact it was in plain sight in the middle of the field. Zooming in on a creature in a dirty lab coat he asked Dez, “Any idea who that is?”

“I’m running the facial recognition program now,” she said. “Nothing is coming up so far. But his craft is coming up as unidentifiable, no markings and no ID signal. That makes it an illegal transport in anybody’s book.”

“Right.” Landing the board he walked foreword a couple of steps but still made sure he kept some distance between them. “I don’t know who you are but you are I violation of interstellar regulation thirty seven and… was it fourteen?” Dez said it was. “Interstellar regulation fourteen. Making an illegal landing on an inhabited world and piloting an unmarked space craft.”

“I am aware,” the professor said. “In fact I can’t wait to see your reaction to this.” He pressed a button on some sort of remote in his hand. Alex hit the two key and had both guns out as the side of opened up with a hiss. A first he saw a Herculean standing there. Then he saw what was done to him.

“What the fuck?”, Alex was stunned as his arms lowered slightly.

“He… he…,” Dez stammered, a loss for words as well, “that’s inhumane.”

“Destroy the Sheriff,” the Professor simple said. The modified Herculean eyes seemed to glow as it roared and stomped out of the craft.

“Whoa,” Alex said trying hard to resist the urge to back up, “easy big fella. There’s no need to do anything violent.” The Herculean came slowly closer totally focused on him. “Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.” –RAPID FIRE- A pull of the triggers sent of a barrage energy shot that impacted the Herculean. He came steadily foreword seemingly unaffected by it, “Not good.” A giant fist came at him that he barely avoided. The blow literally cracked the ground where he was. Scrambling back as gas t he could Alex mumbled, “How am I suppose to handle this one?”

“Don’t let him hit you,” Dez said over the line.

“Oh geez you think?”, Alex said heavy on the sarcasms. The Professor just stood there and laughed at the situation. “Let’s see what happens when I take out the controller.” He was able to get the Professor to run for cover when he started firing at him. He figured the Herculean would try and protect him, what he wasn’t expecting was the speed in which he did so. Before Alex could react a massive hand wrapped around his throat, “Urk.” The he was thrown way from the professor. Crashing into a tree it cracked in half from the impact. Warning alerts flashed in front of his vision from the damage the armor took.

“Alex!”, Dez shouted trying to get his attention. “Aim for the headband! From what I’m reading he’s being controlled from there.”

“Right,” he grunted trying to focus on the targeting system. As soon as he got a lock he pulled the trigger. Several shots hit the band but a field protected it. “I hate surprises,” he said through his teeth as he continued to fire at the band. He wasn’t sure if his eyes were playing tricks on him but the Herculean was on him super fast. He was batted to the ground that made him see stars as his weapons fells from his hands.

“Yes,” the Professor crowed as his creation picked up the Sheriff and blasted him with a punch to the chest. Sparks came flying off as he said, “Kill him, kill the Sheriff!”

From her station Dez could only watch as the armor’s integrity went down by chunks. Having flashback to when Orion was injured she felt her fear grow. “No, not again, not another one. Alex get out of there now! Do you hear me? You have to get out of there or you’ll die!”

Being tossed aside Alex slowly got to his feet as the Professor made the Herculean stay back as he savored the moment. He heard Dez through the alarms. He knew she was right but he couldn’t let this guy get away and make more of them. Standing as straight as he could his finger found the eight -POWER- and the nine key –BOOST-. In orbit Dez’s station shifted a bit as it locked onto his location A panel on the bottom opened and a disk lowered. A brief power up a unleashed a beam right at Alex. “God I hate this par… AARGH!” he recoiled in pain as the beam struck pack on his back. Energy surged through the armor making parts of it glow brightly including what looked like his eyes.

“Now my creation gets to destroy a booted Sheriff,” the Professor nearly jumped for joy. “This is just perfect.”

“All right you son of a bitch,” Alex said as the power surge stabilized, still leaving parts of his armor glowing. “Let’s try this again.” Alex didn’t wait as he ran faster than usual toward the Herculean. The armor his reflex as well as he ducked a hook and popped up with an uppercut that staggered the modified alien. A continued assault made him back trying to protect himself from the boosted attack. The Herculean tried another punch, Alex grabbed it and flipped him over his shoulder. Hitting the nine again –BOOST- he grabbed he headband as best as he could. The excess energy started to drain form the armor and build up into his right hand. “Sorry, but this is going to hurt… a lot.” The excess energy went from his hand to the field overloading it. The band smoked as the Herculean started gurgling. Quickly Alex slapped a transport chip on him and stepped back as he disappeared. “Is he going to be alright?”

“You got him just in time,” she answered. “He’s barely stable but he can be transported.”

The Professor started to run for the ship. Alex grabbed a gun off the ground and slid the switch -CAPTURE-. An energy band wrapped around him and caused him to fall to the ground. “What about this son of a bitch?”

“A Herculean was illegally modified, they will want custody of him.”

“They won’t kill me,” The Professor crowed. “Even if he dies they won’t, they don’t have a death penalty.”

“Yeah, but they’ll probably make you wish they killed you when they’re done with you.” Slapping another chip on him and watched him disappear. After he was gone he dropped to all fours and groaned in pain. “God I hurt all over.”

“You are as stubborn as Orion,” Dez snapped at him as soon as it was over. “I told you to get out of there. The armor could have failed. You could have been killed.”

“I couldn’t let him get away and create a army of those thing,” he grunted through his teeth.

“Fine but the next time I tell you to run you run. Do you understand me?”

“I’m fine Dez,” he told her. “No permanent damage.”

“This time,” she shot back. After a bit she told him, “Your bio readings are coming back normal. The boost didn’t affect you adversely.”

“I beg to differ,” he winced as he tried to stand up, “ow, ow, ow.”

“You’re as big a baby as Orion is after a boost too,” she said trying to sound normal. “I believe you had some sort of plans with your sister tonight. Do you want me to call and tell her you’ll be later than you originally thought?”

“Oh god no, you call and she’ll immediately think the worst.” Finally being able to stand he added, “I’ll call her in a bit. I told her what the boost does to me. Hopefully she won’t get too upset that I used it.”

***
Galgamayde said nothing as he followed the spindly creature into the main chamber. He was slightly surprised to see nobody else in the room except the boss and his droid but kept it from his face. The gray spindly creature said noting as it bowed and the left the room. After a moment the boss started speaking and the droid translated. “We have received word that the Professor and his experiment has failed. I will relent and give you a chance at the replacement Sheriff.”

If the boss was expecting gratitude he was soon disappointed. Galgamayde’s only response was to turn around and walk out while saying, “Finally.”


-----
ED – Divide the Day – Let it Roll
-----
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Old April 16th, 2019, 06:16 PM #6
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384
scikaiju
Power Ranger
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



6


-----
OP – Downstait – I Came to Play
-----


The stars stopped swirling as he exited hyperspace, his destination hanging in the dark vastness like a blue marble. This was not the first time he had visited the planet. Then he was confident in the outcome of his visit, perhaps a tad overconfident if he took the time to think about it. Now he was left with a permanent reminder of that overconfidence. No, this time he would keep that confidence in check, but he would get his revenge.

But getting that revenge meant he had to catch his prey by surprise. And that meant he’d have to find away to get planet side without being noticed. Of course there was no better way to sneak past them then to do it legally, well semi legally. It was a short wait to find a lone one man cargo vessel that he quickly overtook and boarded. The idiot who tried to stop him was quietly floating in space several hundred parsecs back. As an added bonus he discovered the craft communication system was audio only so he didn’t have to disable anything and come up with an excuse as to why it wasn’t functional. If he believed in any sort of deity he would have said this was a sign. But he choose not to become over confident, not this time.

Roughly a few minutes before he reached sensor range he jettison the cargo he put on board. It would take care of itself and this ship was supposed to be on a pick up run not a delivery, he had to keep up appearances after all. He braced himself as he hit sensor range and was scanned. A few minutes after that he heard, “This is Space Station Theta to incoming craft, please identify.”

“Station Theta this is the cargo vessel Mylar. I’m scheduled for a pick up down on the planet,” he replied.

“Acknowledged Mylar,” he got back. “You’re later than what’s scheduled.”

“I ran into a plasma storm in Gamma sector,” he said. “Played havoc with my engines.”

“A couple of ships coming from Gamma sector have said that.” One of the rules of sneaking onto a planet was to keep an ear on comm. chatter. You usually picked up something useful. “You are clear to land on the planet Mylar. Welcome to Earth.”

“Thank you Theta, Mylar out.” Smiling with satisfaction Galgamayde’s eye glowed now that his chance for revenge was near.

***
In the months since that first craft made that emergency landing alien life had slowly started to integrate into human society. While not huge by any means the major cities had at least one “alien town” in it’s limits. Outside of the occasional Earth bigot things were running pretty smoothly. In fact they had become a bit of a tourist attraction in a very short amount of time. And even though Orion apparently never paid them any real attention to them Alex walked through the one near him pretty regularly. Sam, who joined him for this particular trip, looked around with some interest as they walked down the street. “So is this part of your regular beat?”, she joked.

“I guess so,” he shrugged. “I’ve been coming down here a lot since I got the armor. I have a lot of free time now so I figured why not.”

“Do any of them know you’re the Sheriff now?”

“I think a couple of them suspect it,” he answered. “But for the most part I don’t think so.”

“Dez told me word that a human was in the armor now got around pretty quick in the alien population,” Sam informed him. “If the ones who suspect are part of that mob you guys were telling me about you might want to be careful.”

“Those are the ones I’m watching,” he admitted. “But they seem to avoid me for the most part but I’m not dropping my guard.”

“Alex!” They turned to see a humanoid with brownish gray woolly fur and tusks coming out of his mouth behind a food stand wave at them.

Smiling in return he returned the wave he called back, “Hey Nyr. Come on Sam you have to meet this guy.”

“My good friend,” Nyr greeted him. “How are you today?” Looking over at Sam he said, “Is this the… what’s the word… pod mate you told me about. Pod mate is the right term yes?”

“Pod mate?”, asked a very confused Sam.

“Sister Nyr,” Alex corrected him.

“Ah yes, sister,” the alien said while nodding his head “I’m sorry I forget the right word. Your language very hard for me sometimes.”

“It’s cool Nyr,” Alex said, “and yeah this is Samantha.

“Nice to meet you, Nyr was is it?” Sam asked as she took the offered hand.

“Please I insist you call me by my given name,” he said, “Nyraxthloean.” Sam just looked at him feeling her tongue start to strain just thinking about it.

Alex chuckled, “If you can say that without butchering it as much as I have more power to you.”

“Or you can just call me Nyr like everybody else,” he said. “But I insist you try some Kavalful. It’s a delicacy from home planet, very delicious,” he put a spoon in a pot in front of him and started stirring it. So far it smelled all right.

She looked at Alex, “Do I want to try it?”

Trying to look in the pot he asked, “Is this batch alive?”

“No,” he answered, “this batch I could not get live. But next best thing.”

“Then yes you want to try it,” Alex told her. This time she stared at him.

Nyr slapped some of the contents on a bun, “Bah, humans and your delicate digestive system.”

***
Making sure he was covered in a hooded long coat Galgamayde stuck to the shadows as much as possible. While he waited for his oh so glorious leader to finally give his blessing he studied the human Sheriff as best. He knew this city was the one he was the one where he was most seen so he landed his hijacked craft nearby. Very few people, alive that is, knew that his electronic eye had a limited sensor package that he set to pick up alien energy signatures. After the almost overwhelming feedback that assaulted him once he entered the city he reset it detect the known wavelength of Sheriff technology. It wasn’t an exact science but if he could spot the human before he was aware he was being hunted he would have the advantage. And he had already stashed the cargo vessel so he could wait as long as it’ll takes.

Then his eye got a ping. He tried to remain calm, it wouldn’t be the first time today he got a false reading. Slowing his pace he tried to locate the source he was picking up. It took him a few minutes but he was able to spot it coming from the back pocket of a male human. He stood there talking to a Mifarelon for a few moments. A human female called out to him and he ran across the street toward her. Galgamayde’s heart nearly stopped beating. The human wasn’t wearing the armor but he moved similar to the human Sheriff. His natural hand itched for his blaster under his coat, this had to be too good to be true.

***
“Alex Hurry up,” Sam called to him. When he finally caught up she asked, “Have you ever tried that stuff live?”

“Once,” he answered, “then I was on the nearest toilet five minutes later.

“Now there’s a lovely image,” she said.

“Why did you think I asked first?” The keypad went off in his pocket. Looking around and not seeing anybody paying any attention he pulled it out, “What is it Dez?”

“A cargo ship didn’t land at it’s scheduled destination,” she said. “There was no call from the pilot saying he had to make an emergency landing so I thought I’d better give you a heads up.”

“Did she ever say heads up before she met you?”, Sam joked.

Alex ignored her, “All right Dez let me know if you hear anything.”

“Sheriff!”, somebody shouted. Alex turned around to see somebody pull a hood off his head. The first thing he saw was the red electronic eye and metal on the left side of his face. The burnt scales cover the right side made him pause, sparking a memory.

“It can’t be,” he said.

“Now you’re mine.” Ripping off his long coat and revealing his mechanical arm he pulled his blasters and started firing. Alex grabbed Sam and ducked as the crowd started to panic. He tried to use it to get Sam to a safer spot as Galgamayde continued to fire. “You can’t hide from me human! You will die at my hands today!”

“Alex what’s going on?”, Dez asked over the link. “Was that blaster fire?”

Pushing Sam into a store with an open door he told her, “Stay here,” before running away from there. Slapping the keypad on his arm he said, “Dez I think it’s Galgamayde.” He tried to hide behind a truck for some cover. The assassin kept firing at it until he hit something the right way and it exploded.

“Alex!”, Sam shouted but stayed put too petrified to move.

Galgamayde kept his blasters on the blaze as he slowly approached it. The thermal reading was coming off what was left of the truck was playing so much havoc with his electronic eye that he couldn’t read anything clearly. Energy shots came from the blaze that made him stop his approach and duck. Jumping through the flames the now armored human quickly took aim and pulled the trigger of the guns in his hands. Galgamayde quickly bolted before he could get tagged with a shot. “Damn I didn’t think you could get any uglier,” Alex said as he ran after him.

Galgamayde felt him get closer then jumped, grabbed a lamp post and swung around as he kicked him in the chest. “I have you to thank for that human,” he spat. The alien held a foot on his chest and pointed the barrel of his blaster at his head. Alex brought up both guns and fired. Sparks came off his clothes as he fell back, “Ugh.” Getting to his feet he took aim again but the assassin was already gone.

“The hell?”

“Above you!” somebody shouted. Alex looked up to see Galgamayde perched on top of that lamp post. The next instant Galgamayde dove right on top of him and knocked one of the guns from his hands. They struggled for control of the second one as they rolled on the ground. Galgamayde’s mechanical hand punched him repeatedly in the armored face when he wouldn’t let go. Finally Alex let go of the gun and punched him square in the organic part of his face. Forcing him off and hauling him up he slammed him against a car.

“You should have stayed under that rock you crawled under,” Alex told him.

Galgamayde just sneered. “Did Orion ever tell you exactly how I put him through that wall human?” Alex just stared at him as an electronic whir slowly filled the air. Looking down at the source he saw some sort of device on his chest blink. Then a massive sonic wave threw him across the street into a parked delivery van. Alarms went off as armor integrity dropped twenty percent. Galgamayde tapped the device a bit, “That should have sent you through that vehicle, you must have damaged it. Congratulation human,” he mocked. With a quick spin he grabbed one of his blasters on the ground and blasted Alex repeatedly before he could move.

He took the shots just long enough to hit the three on the pad. –SWORD- Blade extended he ran in and sliced through the gun. Galgamayde backed up as the human tried to hack him to pieces. This was right where he wanted the human, angry and frustrated. Pulling a compression grenade off his chest he threw it at the faux Sheriff. It went off and knocked him to the ground. “You fell for it again human,” he taunted. “Did you not learn anything last time?”

“How about I show you,” Alex grunted as he got to his feet.

“I’ll give you this much human you’re as stubborn as a real Sheriff. So I will take double pleasure in this.” Reaching into a pouch with his natural hand he threw some pebbles that exploded against the armor in impact. Those distracted Alex enough that Galgamayde fired off another sonic blast. Crashing through the window of the building he put his sister in. Sam quickly went to him as he got to a knee.

“Alex you have to get out of here,” she told him. “He’s too much for you.”

“I’m afraid I have to agree,” Dez told him over the keypad. “I contacted Orion, he’ll get somebody here as soon as he can but you need to retreat now.”

Alex looked out the window he came through, Glagamayde was walking toward them. “Dez,” he said as he pulled a chip out of his buckle, “get her out of here.” Putting the chip on Sam’s leg she disappeared before she could respond. –DISC- Throwing it before he could get a proper trajectory he aimed it right at the alien’s head. Galgamayde ducked but it still sliced through the top layer of his mechanical arm. The feedback from the damage disoriented him enough for Alex to get back on the street and plow right into him. Picking him back up he kneed the alien in the gut. Trying to make sure he couldn’t use anything else on his body he kept up the assault. Grabbing his mechanical arm Alex paused when he noticed Galgamayde was sneering again.

“Just what I wanted.”

“What are…?” he got out when something popped off the assassin’s arm and attached itself to his armor. A volt went through him that knocked Alex out but left the armor intact. Galgamayde stood there triumphant as he dropped to the ground. Now he would get his revenge.

***
“Alex…?”, Sam started to say when she was kneeling next to him. Before she could she felt a strange tingling sensation after he touched her leg. It took a moment for her to realize he was gone and she was somewhere else. Everything was metal and alien, even the air felt sterile. A door opened surprising her, somebody wanted her to go through obviously but should she? Hearing a familiar voice in the distance convinced her she should, “Dez.” Running through the halls she found her and some guy in a chair.

Dez watched the computer looking thing in front of her and muttered, “Alex you idiot.” Her expression and pained voice immediately hit her in the stomach like a ton of bricks.

“Alex?”, Sam asked.

The man in the chair turned toward her, “Who are you and what are you doing in here?”

“Not now Orion,” Dez snapped. Trying to regain her composure she said, “Alex is alive Samantha.”

“Where is he?”, she demanded. “Get him up here now”

“I can’t,” she said while trying to work the station. “Something is blocking the armor’s tracking signal. I’m barely getting an armor integrity reading as it is. I’m trying to use that to get a lock on his location.” She stopped when her console beeped . Sam tried to read the symbols Dez was, frustrated that she couldn’t. “Armor integrity just dropped down a couple of percentage points, it’s roughly at forty percent now.

“What does that mean?”, Sam demanded.

“He’s playing with him,” the man said looking distressed.

“You,” Sam said pointing at him, “you’re that Orion guy, the one who had the armor before Alex. Do something, get another Sheriff or something out here and help him!”

“We already contacted command,” Dez said.

“Even on the fastest transport help won’t get here in time,” Orion continued.

“So you’re just going to let him die?”, Sam felt a strong urge to strike something, someone.

“We are not going to let him die,” Dez assured her. “I’m going to get him out of there the moment I get a solid lock on him.”

“If I only choose a partner,” Orion said berating himself. “We could have avoided this.”

Dez stopped what she was doing and looked at them, particularly Sam. “No,” she said shaking her head, “it’s crazy, it wouldn’t work.”

“What wouldn’t work?”, she demanded.

She was going to tell her to forget she said anything. Then the armor integrity dropped a few more points. “A little while ago I told Alex he had the option to pick a partner himself. He said he had a person in mind.” She looked at Sam who quickly understood.

“Me? He wanted me as his partner?”

“Alex said he had somebody he would ask and that was it. I was assuming it was you, I could be wrong.”

“But I don’t know what to do.” Dez’s console beeped again, if it was the same as before…. “I’ll make it up as I go along. What do I have to do?”

“It’s not that simple,” Dez tried to explain. “Alex has to confirm he wants you as his partner. I can’t just hand it to you.”

“While Alex is technically the Sheriff of this sector,” Orion said, Dez turned to look at him,” this is still officially my sector after all. He’s just watching it for me. I’ll confirm her. And she already agreed.”

“Command is going to throw a fit,” Dez told him.

“I’ll take the heat.”

“You two are so alike it’s sickening,” Dez said. “Samantha, come with me I’ll have to give you a condensed course on the basics real fast.”

“A crash course right,” she said following, praying for Alex to hold on. Now if she didn’t make the situation worse.

***
Alex awoke finding himself still in his armor and on his knees. Trying to figure out what was going on he noticed his left arm was tied by some contraption to the front of his chest with the keypad in full view. Unfortunately his right arm was tied behind his back. He wasn’t sure what this thing was but every time he moved one arm it moved the other at the same time. No matter what he did he couldn’t get around it. “Ah you’re finally awake.” Alex looked up just as Galgamayde threw more of those pebbles at him. “This is not quite as entertaining when you were unconscious.”

“I thought you wanted to kill me?”, he said as he continued to struggle.

“That I do human but I wasn’t going to do it in the middle of the street.” Alex looked around as he realized he was in some building somewhere. Galgamayde as he saw the device that had him tied up connected to some sort of ship. He wasn’t sure but it looked like the device was being powered by the ship itself. Then he saw his weapons laying the alien’s feet. “I realize it’s a personal failing,” he continued, “but I always want to kill my target up close and personal. Actually see the life leave their eyes. I’ve tried to correct it but it’s too deeply entrenched into my being.” Grabbing another blaster he shot Alex a couple of more times.

“Ugh,” he grunted, whatever this thing was binding his arms kept him from falling back so he had to take the full effect of the shots.

“But I’m not going to kill you right away,” he added obviously enjoying this. “I want you to suffer like I did when you set me on fire. Maybe I’ll set you on fire as well. Maybe I’ll cut off a limb. Maybe I’ll gouge out one of your eyes.” Getting in Alex’s face the red eye glowed menacingly, “Or perhaps I’ll do all three.”

“Or not,” a new voice said. Both of them looked to see a nearly petrified Sam stand there, left arm slightly hidden behind her back.

“Get out of here!” Alex shouted.

“I don’t know who you are human,” Galgamayde said as he grabbed one of his blasters and headed toward her, “but this will be the last mistake you will ever make.”

Trying to portray the courage she didn’t feel she said, “Maybe but I’m going down fighting to save my brother.” That’s when she revealed the six number keypad on her left arm. Galgamayde looked amused as Alex’s jaw dropped behind the helmet. Punching in a code -5-5-4-3- she uttered a very shaking “Online.” A brief flash and she was covered in a red and silver armor that was a little more streamlined than Alex’s

“Let’s see what kind of bite you have human,” Galgamayde said right before he charged,

“NO!”, Alex shouted again as he struggled harder against his bindings.

Sam ran for her life as Galgamayde fired at her. How in the hell did Alex do this the first time? Wait, he had a gun. Diving for cover she tried to quickly remember what key did what according to Dez and hit the one key –SINGLE GUN- . Grabbing it from her pack she turned round in time to see the assassin lunge at her. She fired on instinct and winged him in the organic shoulder.

“Use the targeting system,” Dez told her.

“Easy for you to say,” she snapped. Galgamayde was on her in the next second. Using his fist to batter her around she kept a death grip on the gun in her hand as she tried to fight back.

“They must be desperate to send a weakling like you,” he taunted after he knocked her to the ground. Stepping on her next he pointed his plaster at her head.

“Let her go you monster!” a desperate Alex screamed.

Galgamayde started to laugh as he stepped off of her. “She’s important to you human. You just gave me something to use against you, to make you suffer just a little more. Now you get to watch as I break her out of that shell and carve out her heart.” Sam crawled away trying to get some room between them. Focusing on the targeting system in her helmet she got a lock and raised her gun. Galgamayde saw her aim and got out of the way of the bolt. Alex barely moved his head to avoid getting shot himself. “That your last shot human?”, he sneered.

“Good thing I made it count.” Hearing sparks Galgamayde looked at Alex. Then at the sparking connection between him and the ship. She shot it at the base of the ship. With one last effort Alex broke his bindings and ran toward Galgamayde. The alien fired his blaster at him but Alex just kept coming. Sam used the distraction to tackle him from behind as her brother leaped at him. Galgamayde fought both of them off easily. Alex spun from a back hand as Sam grabbed him around the neck. Flipping her over his shoulder Galgamayde’s head snapped around when Alex ran in and punched him. Unsheathing a vibroblade he slashed the Sheriff across the chest.

“DIE!” he screamed as he tried to plunge the blade between the human’s eyes. Alex caught his arms and kicked him in the gut. Galgamayde stumbled back as Sam tried to tackle him again. She grabbed his belt and ripped it off as he knocked her off. He caught Alex in mid leap with another sonic blast that sent him flying back toward the ship. Alarms were screaming at him now that the armor integrity dropped below twenty percent. Sam realized what was in the belt in her hands and poured some of it in her hand.

“Hey lizard face!”, she yelled and threw the pebbles at him. Covering himself up as little explosions rocked Alex ran for his weapons. Grabbing one of the guns he went for the keypad. –PROTOCAL ZERO- Galgamayde saw him aim and hit something on his chest as he disappeared in a shimmer.

“No you don’t,” Alex grunted as he turned toward the ship.

“Alex wait!” Dez shouted as he pulled the trigger. The massive beam from the gun tore a hole through the length of the ship. Alex stood there keeping the gun pointed at the ship. Somewhere in the back of her mind he realized how Dez sounded.

“He’s not on the ship is he?”

“He was for a second,” Dez answered, “there was a relay transporting him somewhere else. And we could have used it to track him.”

“I just destroyed it, didn’t I?” Her silence was all the answer he needed. “God damnit!”, he shouted as he threw the gun down.

“Alex,” Sam said coming up to him, “Are you okay?”

“Okay?”, he asked. “You nearly shot me!”

“I’m new at this,” she shot back.

“God never do anything that stupid again,” he said pulling her into a hug. “Don’t ever worry me like that again.”

“Worry you, you’re the one who got his dumbass captured. Do you have any idea what I was going through? Seriously though, are you alright?’

“I will be once I get out of here. Hey lizard face?”

“It’s the only thing that came to mind.”

***
A couple of hours later Sam was in the park waiting for Dez to give Alex a clean bill of health. She had never been so happy to see anybody when he came into view. “I’m assuming everything is in one piece?”, she asked looking him over.

“Outside of my ears ringing after Dez read me the riot act after not running when she told me to,” he answered.

After a moment of silence Sam pulled out her keypad, “So I guess that leaves the preverbal five hundred pound gorilla in the room. So what do I do now?”

“It’s up to you Sam,” he said. “If you want give it to me and I’ll hand it over to Dez. Or you can keep it. Dez was right, I was thinking about asking you to be my partner. I just wasn’t sure how or how you would take it.”

“Why me? I have no idea what I’m doing.”

“Like I had a clue when Orion put this one on me.”

“I don’t want you doing this,” she told him, “why should I?”

“Well a real negative reason is Galgamayde is still out there and he knows what we look like now,” he said not looking thrilled at that idea. “And you probably put a target on your back as big as mine. And I don’t think I can always get there in time.”

“Is there a positive reason?” she asked sitting on a bench, silently cursing that short cut he took.

Alex joined her saying, “You were the only person that popped in my head. I can’t think of anybody else I’d trust watching my back. That and mom said we should do more things together,” he added with a smirk.

“We were ten when she said that.”

“Better late than never.” She shoved him slightly. Alex looked at her, “Are you in?”

Sam looked at the keypad in her hand. God she had no idea what she was doing or what to expect. But if Alex thought she could do it. “If I’m going to do this I think I should be the Sheriff and you should be the partner. I am the older sibling after all.”

“We’re the same age.”

“I came out of mom first.”

“By four lousy minutes.”

“Is it my fault you’re a late starter.” Alex shook his head and started to get up. Sam pulled him back down. “I’m in. And you will live to regret this.”

“Give it your best shot.” Alex held out a hand that she took, “The team supreme.”

“Yeah let’s not do that.”

“You are no fun.”


-----
ED – Divide the Day – Let it Roll
-----
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Old April 20th, 2019, 07:52 PM #7
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



7


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OP – Downstait – I Came to Play
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Being bested by the human one more time was the most humiliating experience he thought he could live through. Then he returned to the boss. The moment he revealed the human Sheriff had a partner he was jumped by the boss’s servants and held in place. As they jammed a cable into his electronic eye the boss decided then to tell him that during his operation he had the surgeons implant a camera into his eye. As they watched what the eye recorded Galgamayde silently swore that he would make the lard ass pay for this, as slowly and as painfully as he could.

The image ending as he teleported out of there before the human could execute Protocol Zero. They let him go and Galgamayde tore the cable from his eye. “This was unexpected,” the droid said as their boss started talking. “There was no sign that the replacement had chosen a partner. Galgamayde did she seem like she had done this before?”

“No,” he grunted trying to fix the focus on his eye. “She acted like she hadn’t done it before. She was nervous, hesitant in her actions.” He sneered, “Much like how the human was when I first encountered him.” He was going to say something else as he looked at the boss but stopped. His eye was picking up some sort of electrical connection between the boss and the droid. He lost the reading as the eye finally reset itself. What in the hellfire pits was that?

The boss didn’t seem to notice his reaction, “Although you have failed in your primary mission you did secure some valuable information. So I will let you live this time.”

“So he has a partner huh?” The crowd parted as a massive being with a brown rock like hide came through. “I love partners,” he said with a predatory grin. “They scream so much easier than a Sheriff. Send me after her, she won’t be around long enough to bother anyone else.”

“An excellent notion Ravenger,” the boss said. “Go, we won’t make the same mistake with this human like we did the first one.” Galgamayde said nothing while this was going on. He was too busy trying to get that reading with the eye again.

***
Aboard Dez’s station she and Alex watched a Sam went through one of the training programs. This one had her shooting floating targets in the air to improve her aim. After a couple of rounds Dez commented, “She’s catching on faster than you did.”

Trying not to look annoyed he said, “She always was a fast learner.”

The simulation ended as the targets and guns faded away and the area was replaced by grid lined room. Sam walked toward them looking satisfied with her performance, “So how am I doing so far?”

“You’re doing all right,” Alex told her.

“You’re performing above my projections,” Dez said shooting Alex a look. “Are you sure the two of you are related?”

“That’s what our parents keep telling us,” Sam said. “There are days I have my doubts though, I would like to think a brother of mine would tell me everything that’s going on in his life.”

“Oh would you let it go,” Alex told her.

“Not in this life time ‘little’ bro.”

“Four minute,” he shot back.

“Do I have to separate… the… two…,” Dez started to say before she got the look Alex recognized immediately.

“What are you picking up Dez?”

“A disturbance extraterrestrial in nature, a mile away from your city.” Quickly leaving the training room with the siblings right behind her Dez was at her station in no time. Pulling up the situation she reported, “A Herculean is on a rampage, local authorities are calling for assistance.”

“They’re probably not going to like the help they’re going to get,” Alex said.

“So he’s in violation of interstellar regulation twenty-seven, right?”, Sam asked.

“Yes he is,” Dez said before shooting a smug look toward Alex.

“Show off,” he snorted. “You want to come along for this one? Herculeans are always fun.”

“Maybe next time,” Sam said.

“Suit yourself, see you in a bit.” Alex left the room and in moments Dez announced he was transported planet side.

Alone Sam asked, “Does Alex seem a little choosey on which missions he wants me one to you?”

“I’m sure he realizes you are still new at this,” Dez told her. “He doesn’t want to put you in a situation you’re not ready for. Alex didn’t have that luxury when he started.”

“I know,” she said, “and it’s not like I’m asking to be sent after a zero or anything. But I’m supposed to help him right? It seems there’s been a couple of situations so far he could have used me.”

“I agree,” Dez said surprising her a little. “I confronted him about it once. He claimed that he’s still used to working solo. And he doesn’t want to work as a team in a serious situation, or something to that effect. I couldn’t fault his reasoning, no matter how hard I tried.”

“It might be a little late,” Sam said, but from personal experience trying to figure out his logic can harm brain cells.”

“So I’ve noticed,” Dez said as they shared a chuckle. “So do you want to go back home or do you want to try another simulator program?”

“I’ll try another program,” Sam told her. “I have a lot of catching up to do.”

***
The first thing that hit him when he exited the Earth space terminal was the smell. The whole planet smelled dirty to him. He had been on more polluted words but there was something in the air that just offended him. Still he tried not to attract any undue attention to himself, it was a tricky situation to try and sneak onto a planet through a legal terminal with a trench coat as your only disguise. Fortunately he discovered at a young age most species couldn’t tell his people apart from one another. So that would buy him a few extra moment of anonymity. He just had to avoid the public exits, for some reason Sherriff technology could pinpoint him with relative ease.

Having obtained a map of this particular terminal he walked like he knew where he was going. With practiced ease he looked around to see if anybody was watching as he slipped down a side hallway. Like the plans said there was a service exit down it. Studying the door in front of him for any sign of a security system he went to open it. “Hey you,” a security guard said. One obviously not from this planet based on the accent on his tongue. Keeping his back to him the guard approached, “I’m sorry but this part of the terminal isn’t available to the public. I’m going to have to ask you to return to the section that is.” He didn’t move or respond. “Sir did you hear me? You have to return to the public…uh.” There was a shocked expression on his face as Ravenger turned and plunged a laser knife into his chest.

“You made me draw attention to myself,” he snarled. “Now the Sheriff and his partner will know that I’m here before I’m ready for them to know.” Stabbing him four more times in the chest he quickly went out the door before the guard dropped.

***
The terminal was put on lockdown the moment eh body was discovered. Police had cordoned off the area as forensic and the so called “ET experts” swarmed over the crime scene. Alex got as close as he could as he watched them load the body into an ambulance from where he was. As it was he was more than a little surprised Sam showed up beside him. “What are you doing here?”

“Dez though you could use an extra set of eye,” she answered. “I think she wanted me to work on my investigative skills too but I think we might have to be a little closer to do that.”

“Then tell the cops to stop trying to arrest me,” he said. “Whoever this was is some piece of work. I was able to get close enough earlier to overhear the coroner. He was stabbed once here, the four other cuts pretty much severed the arteries coming from and going to the heart.”

Staring at her brother Sam was stunned at how detached he seemed saying that. He didn’t even look sick at the idea. “Does this sound like somebody’s M.O.?”

“Dez is looking through the database but isn’t finding anything that matches so far.”

“And to think I was weirded out when I discovered your stoner thing was an act,” she said outloud.

Alex finally changed expressions, “And what is that supposed to mean?”

“A guy practically has his heart cut out and you act like it’s old hat.”

“I’ve seen enough sick freak since I got the armor that I got a thick skin real fast,” he said. She continued to star at him, “What now?”

“I asked Dez once how you were like on the job,” she said. “This is not how she described you.”

He glanced at her a few times before saying, “I’m trying to set a good example.”

“I grew up with you Alex, I know what kind of example you usually set.”

Alex finally started looking like his old self, “I’m still trying to figure this partner thing out. I know it’s my idea and all but I didn’t really think that far ahead.”

“Maybe we should ask Dez if there are any teamwork building exercises in the simulator.”

“I already asked. She said, and I quote ‘You two are siblings, you should already know how to work together’.”

“She doesn’t know us that well does she?”, Sam joked. Alex laughed a bit. “But maybe you can help me out with something. I’ve been thinking I should change my wardrobe a bit.”

“Why would you do that?”

“I don’t wear that many skirts or dresses but something tells me I shouldn’t with the armor.”

“That’s probably a good idea, my shorts ride up something fierce when I’m in the suit.”

“And there’s my brother.”

***
The killing of the security guard made him alter his plans more than he was comfortable with. On the other hand a murder out at the spaceport might draw the Sheriff out, and perhaps his target as well. Hanging around the port was a risky move but it wouldn’t have been the first one he has made in his lifetime. Keeping close to the exit he used his surrounding to avoid the local authorities as he searched nearby for any sign of the two of them. Using the binocular he had hidden away in his coat he spotted a pair of human hanging out just beyond the outskirts of the activities. Zooming in he got a clear look at their faces. Hitting a switch on the side he pulled up the images that wretch Galgamayde recorded. It was a perfect match. Now it would begin.

***
It took some doing but Sam finally convinced Alex that they should split up and search he areas for some clues. Even Dez said it would increase their chance of them finding something. Making her promise that she would keep the keypad on her arm at all times he let her go. After a few minutes she started to think this might have not been the best idea since she had no idea what to look for. “Neither did Alex,” Dez said after telling her this,”and if Orion is to be believed neither did he when he first started out. It’s an ability you have to learn to develop over time.”

“Maybe if he had me go along on something like this sooner,” she softly said. Some movement caught her attention. Somebody in a trench coat walked into a hanger. It looked like whoever it was stopped and made sure she saw him before entering. “Dez I think I saw something, I’m going to check it out.”

“I’ll let Alex know,” Dez said.

“Just tell him to standby, it might be nothing.” Why didn’t she believe what just came out of her mouth? Getting close to the hanger she couldn’t see anybody inside. Checking closely before entering she didn’t go far before spotting the trench coat thrown into the corner.

“I was hoping it would be you.” Sam turned around to Ravenger stand on the wing of one of the planes. “Now I don’t have to through the Sheriff to get to you.” He jumped down to the floor. “Why don’t you suit otherwise this will be over too quickly for this to be any fun.” He lifted a pole that became an energy ax in his hands.

Sam imputed her activation code trying not to show any fear. -5-5-4-3- “On…,” in the space between seconds the keypad expanded to cover her upper body then her lower body then finally her head, “…line!” Her eyes seemed to glow a bit as he attacked her.

On the other side of the terminal Dez contacted Alex on his keypad, “Alex, Sam ran into the murderer.”

“I’m on my way,” he said turning around. Damn he should have headed over there as soon as Dez told him.

“It’s worse than I thought,” she continued. “I identified him, his name is Ravenger and Protocol Zero has been authorized. Alex he specializes in killing partners.” He ran faster than he thought he could the moment he heard that. -5-7-1-6-

Sam jumped out of the way of that ax one more time. All the cracks in the concrete floor and plane fuselages showed she had been lucky so far. But it would run out eventually. Seeing the ax raised over his head over his head one more time she hit the four on her keypad. –SHIELD- On her right forearm a two and a half foot disc appeared that she got up to block the strike. The impact still drove her to a knee. Still it was enough to give her time to hit the three key. –STAFF- Grabbing a small rod from her pack it extended into a five foot staff automatically that she smashed it into his knee. “I knew you had some fight in you,” Ravenger said with a sick grin.

“Bite me,” she grunted as she swung again. Ravenger grabbed it and tossed her across the hanger. Dropping the staff she ran at him smashing the edge of the shield into his face. Ravenger stumbled back from the blow. Sam jumped up and kicked him in the back. When he turned back around she smashed the shield into his face again. Dez told her that Protocol Zero was authorized. She went for the zero key wanting to end this quick. She hesitated thinking about what she was about to do. That moment was long enough for Ravenger to grab her by the neck and throw her.

“You had your chance,” he said. She tried to protect herself from the repeated blows with her shield. It finally became too much as the shield broke and he kicked her to the ground. Stepping on her left forearm he sneered, “Did you really think we would give you a chance to adjust like we did the Sheriff?” He raised the ax over his head.

-DOUBLE GUN- -RAPID FIRE-

Ravenger didn’t have time to react as he was assaulted by energy shots. Alex walked forward holding down the triggers until he finally stepped off his sister. “I hear you have a thing for killing partners,” he said holstering the guns. “That say you can’t handle the main event.” He waved him on with a couple of fingers.

“I’ll show you what or who I can take!”, Ravenger charged in and started swinging.

“Strike one!”, Alex taunted as he ducked a shot at his head. Raising the ax over head Alex avoided a blow meant to split him in half, “Strike two!” Sam saw him hit a key on his pad. –SWORD- The metal blade blocked the energy one mid swing, “Wanna guess what happens on three?”

“Die!”, Ravenger screamed as he pushed the Sheriff away.

“What are you a Herculean?”, he said as they clashed blades. Somewhere in the fight Alex reversed his grip in the sword’s handle. Kicking Ravenger away he hit zero. –PROTOCOL ZERO- Keeping the blade behind him as it started to glow he ran at Ravenger and swung with everything he had. He tried to block it with his ax but the energized blade easily sliced through it and him. After a moment Ravenger disintegrated leaving only the two of them

One more time Sam stared at her brother, “That’s why you never took me on one of these. You knew I’d hesitate when it came time to do it.”

“It’s not that,” Alex told her. “I was pretty much thrown into the deep end when I got the armor. I’m trying to ease you into things. And I didn’t know you would hesitate, I should have I did enough times.”

“But it didn’t look like you thought twice when you zeroed him.”

“And how freaked out do you think I was when I realized I was doing that?” Deactivating the armor Alex finally told her, “I guess I was trying to protect you a little bit too. Zeroing a guy doesn’t just weigh on you Sam it changes you a little too. Not in a good way. I don’t want it changing you anytime soon.”

“Thanks for the concern Alex but I’m going to have to face it sooner or later if I’m going to do this.”

Alex hung his head a bit knowing she was right. “Come on, let’s get out of here before the cops show up.”

***
A couple of days later Alex showed up and Sam’s apartment with a pizza box in hand. Smiling a bit he took out the keypad and said, “We’re ready on this end Dez.” In moments they went from her apartment to Dez’s station.

Dez looked at the cardboard box with some trepidation as Alex sat it down and opened it. “Is it safe for consumption?”

“That’s going to depend on your definition of safe,” Sam said.

“Please this is heaven in a box,” Alex insisted as he took a slice. “And might I add the perfect way to celebrate the birth of the team supreme.”

“I said we weren’t calling ourselves that,” Sam reminded him.

“I’m the Sheriff so I get two votes. And I outvoted you so there”, and with that he stuck his tongue out at her.

“Oh grow up,” Sam told him.

“Make me,” Alex shot back. Dez watched the two of them wondering, not for the first time, if this was a good idea after all.


-----
ED – Divide the Day – Let it Roll
-----
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Old April 24th, 2019, 05:25 PM #8
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



8


-----
OP – Downstait – I Came to Play
-----


After some convincing by the both of them Dez finally activated some of the teamwork building exercises in the training room. Since it was the first day Orion wanted to observe the twins in action. Dez easily rerouted his comm. signal to the training room so he could watch the two of them. Dez stood beside him as they watched the Alex and Sam stumble through the first program, a two person target practice with moving targets. So far Dez was less than pleased with the results. “They’re siblings,” she said to Orion, “they should be working better than this.”

“Not all siblings can work together that easily,” Orion said as he continued watching the two of them. “And this is something new to both of them, especially Samantha.” As the program ended and started to reset itself Alex and Sam talked strategy, or tried too at least. “But at least they have a basic idea of what to expect from the other. If they remember that it should start clicking.”

“They grew up together,” Dez argued, “they should have more than a basic idea at this stage.”

“And Alex has told me they are two totally different people,” Orion commented. “And from the few times I’ve spoken to her Samantha is still annoyed that he was able to hide the fact that he was my replacement from her for so long. Almost like she should have been aware something was different right away. Dez, I’ve have seen Sheriff and partners work so well together it’s almost like they’re thinking as one. That doesn’t happen overnight.”

“I know,” she admitted, “but they both adjusted to the situation so fast on their own, particularly Samantha. She’s well past my predicted projections. This should have been easy for them.”

“Normally I’d agree with you,” Orion smiled. “Alex is like me, he’s been working by himself long enough that he’s already in a rut in his line of thinking. It’s hard to get out of that right away.”

“Is that why you never took on a partner?”, Dez smirked. “You don’t want to get out of your rut.”

Orion tried to ignore it, and wished he could readjust himself in this damn chair, “It’s a very comfortable rut.”

The program started again and Alex and Sam tried to shot the targets without getting in the others way this time around. They were actually doing better this time around, almost like they were on the verge of getting it. Then one of them moved in the wrong way as Sam’s elbow slammed into Alex’s nuts. He went down immediately as Orion flinch, feeling his pain a half a galaxy away. Puttying her hands to her mouth Sam looked at him “Oh my God I’m sorry.” Alex just grunted as he slowly got to his feet. “Ah… can you walk it off or something?”

Still holding himself Alex walked off grumbling, “Who needs Galgamayde when I got you?”

“I said I was sorry.”

***
In the boss’s council room Galgamayde took up his usual spot in the back of the crowd wondering how long it was going to be this time. How long was it going to be before he had another shot at the human? That thought was first and foremost in his mind. But also he wondered how long it was going to be before he could duplicate that reading he got from before. From back here and alone he fiddled with his electronic eye. Doing everything short of jamming another cable in there, it was almost as maddening as losing to the human again. So absorbed in the task he almost missed what the boss was saying through his droid.

“These human seems to be more adaptable than I originally estimated. I failed to take into account the amount of training the Sheriff would be giving his partner.”

“Imagine the training the Watcher put the human through after Gamma was initiated,” Galgamayde called out from the back. Surprisingly more than a few in the room nodded their heads in agreement.

“Yes,” the droid responded. Did it just sound annoyed or was he just imagining things? “I calculate we should be concentrating our efforts elsewhere at the moment. The human Sheriff is probably expecting to be attacked again in some manner, he and his partner. Therefore he would be on guard for such an action. Logically another action would be more effective.”

“Quite right,” a voice with a heavy English accent said. Through the crowd a being that resembled a manatee wearing a jungle hunting outfit holding a riding crop stepped forward looking very smug.

“Hunt,” the droid said after the boss grunted, apparently less than pleased with the newcomer. For one Galgamayde found himself agreeing with him. “What can I do for you?”

“Only something very simple my good man,” he said placing that crop under his arm and holding it there. “It occurred to me that you said human were highly adaptable. I have several clients looking for cheap adaptable workers. It seemed to be the perfect opportunity to test that particular theory.”

“Species trafficking,” the boss pondered. “I’ve always considered it too risky. Too many variables and the slaves often get away and bring in the Sheriffs or local authorities.”

“Which makes humans perfect for the operation,” Hunt countered. “They do not speak any languages outside of their own. Even if they did escape who are they going to talk to?”

“Perhaps,” the boss said, apparently thinking the idea over. “I will let you try this particular exercise. Since you will be operating in my sector I will be requiring a forty percent cut of your profits.”

“Forty!”, Hunt nearly choked on something. “Now see here my good man let’s be reasonable.”

“All right forty-five percent.”

“Now wait just one moment,” he angrily took a step toward the boss, riding crop in hand. He only stopped when several in the room drew their weapons to protect the boss. In the back Galgamayde leaned against the wall enjoying the situation. And silently hoping this pompous ass would take another step toward the lard one. “Forty seems reasonable,” he muttered, quickly backing away.

“Excellent, I wish you luck on this endeavor,” the droid translated as Hunt left the room in a huff.

***
On a bright sunny afternoon Alex headed back to the “alien town” near him for the first time since Galgamayde found him. Before he had a feeling some of the residents suspected he was the new Sheriff. Right now he was trying to pretend they looks they were giving him weren’t wary ones. And the street venders trying o give him stuff for free that he originally had to pay for wasn’t helping things any. “Alex!” Nyr called out and waved him over from his food stand. “How are you doing today my friend?”

“I’m good Nyr.” Getting a good look into this pot of kavalful and not seeing anything squirming he put some money on the stand, “I’ll take one please.”

“Yes my friend,” he joyfully said as he slapped some of the substance onto a bun and handed it to him. “Where is your… what’s the word again… sister today?”

She’s working today,” he answered as he took a bite and sat on the stoop next to the alien’s stand. After a few chews he reached into his mouth and took out something segmented. “You forgot to deleg some of these.”

“Legs add flavor, very tasty,” he answered while stirring the pot in front of him. “So my friend should you not be a work as well?”

“Let’s just say I’m on call,” he said trying to dance around the answer.

“Very dangerous on call I see,” Nyr said with a hint of a smile between those tusks of his.

“You saw all of that huh?”, Alex asked despite already knowing the answer. “So how come you’re not acting like everybody else then?”

He shrugged his furry shoulders, “I do nothing wrong so I have nothing to fear. And you do good thing.”

He took another segmented leg out of his mouth, “Unless serving inedible legs is against the law somewhere.”

“Bah,” Nry grunted.

Alex chuckled as he took another bite. “Help me!” Everybody looked to see a man run out of an alley looking terrified. “Please you have to help me!”, he shouted. Before long a net dropped on top of the guy and dragged him back in. Alex dropped his sandwich and ran toward the alley.

“Let me through,” he grunted as a bunch of aliens crowded the entrance. He got close enough to the man get dragged into a small ship and watched as it quickly shot into the sky. Trying to keep it in sight he pulled the keypad out of his pocket. “Dez a ship just launched from my location. Can you track it?”

“Give me a moment,” she replied. “I have it on sensors.”

“Keep a lock on it, I just saw it take a human.”

“Can you describe the ship?”

Alex racked his brain trying to remember any detail he could, “Ah, it was small enough to fit in an alley. I think there were three engines on the back. Black and gray in color.”

“There have been reports of ship fitting that description, as vague as it is, abducting humans.”

He stared at the keypad in his hand, “Why am I just hearing about this now?”

“Because I just started intercepting those reports,” she replied. “That craft has been spotted four times abducting human in the past hour.”

“Busy guy,” Alex muttered. “Let me know if he’s going to land, I’m going to try and give chase.” He looked over to see Nyr drop the remains of his sandwich into the garbage. “Sorry about that.”

“Go you have job to do,” Nyr said. “Have fresh one waiting for you when you get back, on house. But only just this once, have family to feed after all.” Alex didn’t respond as he ducked into another alley. Some of the aliens around here might know he’s the Sheriff now but most of the humans around didn’t. A few moments later he was armored up and flying off after it on the Sky Board. On the street Nyr turned to an insect humanoid and pointed at figure in the sky with his spoon, “My friend, very proud to know.”

***
Inside the ship the man Hunt captured was trying to convince him to set him free from behind red energy bars. “You got the wrong guy man. I’m not good for anything. My dad said so my entire life.”

“Nonsense,” Hunt said. “You are a perfectly fit specimen for a human. You should fetch a fine price off planet.” He coughed off a laugh as he studied his scanner readings. He was getting some sort of strange shadow blip from his rear sensor. It had to be something like a local avian creature. Nobody could be following him from this altitude.

His guest started to make more of a ruckus, “What do you mean ‘off planet’?”

“I know people who need cheap labor of the free variety.”

“You can’t do that!”

“I am doing you a favor my good man,” Hunt told him. “A solid roof over your head, three meals a day. All you have to do is some manual work in return. What more could you ask for?”

Behind the ship the shadow was Alex trying to stay out it’s sensor range. Using the sensors and tech in his helmet he got a close up image of it so Dez could get a read on it. “I found the ship type in the database,” she announced. “Piloted by a single individual. Only capable of atmospheric flight. Total capacity of three, four if you squeeze them in.”

“He’s been spotted four times,” Alex said, “and took four people.”

“Which means he dropped them off somewhere,” she continued. “Where ever it is it’s probably a larger craft, capable holding his prisoners and refueling the smaller craft.”

“So follow the ship until he leads us to where he’s hiding,” Alex said.

“It’s our best strategy at the moment,” Dez told him. “I could try and extrapolate a possible location based on the available data but it might take longer to locate them. Just continue to stay out of his sensor range until he heads back to his ship.”

“And if tries to nab somebody else before then?”

She was quiet for a moment, “We’ll worry about that bridge when we get to it.”

Yeah that wasn’t going to work for him. “Tell Sam to be on standby in case we have to do the search.”

***
Luck was with them as the craft headed for what looked like a shut down factory. Alex did a quick visual scan of the place as Dez tried to locate any building plans. Hunt gave one last look at his scanner before landing in one in particular, a larger ship hidden inside. “All right my good man,” Hunt said getting up and pulling a rod off his belt that sparked a bit at the end, “time to disembark.”

“Please man,” the man continued to beg as the bars deactivated, “please let me go. I won’t tell anybody where you are. I swear.”

“I plan to let you go, to the highest bidder don’t you know. Now I do detest the idea of damaging the merchandise but…” he acted like he was going to jab him with the sparking rod. The man flinched and moved out the door. “That’s the spirit.”

“Now I don’t know which intergalactic law this is breaking,” Hunt looked around until he saw the Sheriff standing inside the doorway, “but it has to be a big one.” Hunt’s prisoner saw how stunned he was so he ran for the door and past Alex. “Smartest thing you did all day,” Alex called out after him.

“Now see here,” Hunt said, “I went to a lot time and effort to acquire that individual. Now that’s wasted and I have to reacquire him all over again.”

“Well let me think about that one,” Alex rubbed his chin with his fingers. “Nope don’t care.”

“Obviously I’m going to have to converse with you in a language you will understand.” Attaching the rod back to his belt he opened a panel on the craft and pulled out something that looked like a musket.

“Oh shit,” Alex went for cover as baseball sized energy ball flew past him.

“I’ve identified him,” Dez announced. “Hunt, know for trafficking in intelligent species. Essentially he’s a slave trader. His file indicates he’s to be captured alive. File also indicates he possesses several powerful hand held weapons.”

Almost on cue a shot from that musket tore a hole by his head through the crate he was hiding behind. “Really? I didn’t notice. Any ideas on where the prisoners are?”

“I’m trying to get a read on them now. I’ve found them, they’re being held outside the ship. Hunt is heading toward their location.”

“So pick my shots.” –DOUBLE GUN- -SINGLE FIRE- Holding his guns out in front of him he walked out into the open. Dez fed him the coordinates through the HUD in his visor. From the positioning Hunt was standing in front of his captives. Trying to get in a position where he could see Hunt and the others and still have some cover he called out, “Let them go Hunt, it’s over.”

“And let my guest go? Preposterous.”

Alex almost laughed and shot back, “Guest?” That makes it sound like they’re here of their own freewill.”

“Semantic,” Hunt dismissed his argument. He fired off another shot that made Alex duck. “Now run off and bother somebody else.”

“Yeah not gonna happen.” Getting a quick target lock he jumped from cover and fired off a shot. The energized slug hit Hunt in the hand making him drop the musket. A few more pulls of the trigger and he blasted it out of Hunt’s reach. “Now about the whole letting them go thing.”

“Of all the uncivilized…,” Hunt snapped as he took a riding crop off his belt. A slight press of the handle and a laser whip emerged from the tip.

“Why can’t they ever go easy,” Alex looked up at the ceiling and complained to nobody in particular. A couple quick flicks of Hunts wrists and he disarmed Alex before he could even blink. A few more vigorous arm movements and that whip crashed against Alex a couple of time. The armor sparked with each blow. One more and Alex was on the ground. He tried to get up grunting, “People actually pay to get treated like this?”

“Now I think since your parents did not teach you any proper manners,” Hunt as he walked toward his fallen foe, “I see it is up to me to beat some into you.” Lashing the whip at him some more Alex rolled out of the way to avoid it. Getting to his feet he ran out of range. “You can’t run from me you ruffian.”

“Wasn’t planning on it.” –DISC- Scanning the area Alex calculated a quick flight pattern. Letting it fly the edge started to glow and sliced through the shaft of the riding crop. Hunt looked flabbergasted at the destruction of his personal property. Alex pointed a finger at him as he caught the disc with his other hand, “Never bring in a guy’s parents unless you can back it up.”

“I’ll show you, you ruffian,” Hunt grabbed the rod and went at him.

“Now that really hurt.” –SWORD- Alex parried Hunt’s original thrust as the blade formed, then another. “I’ve been shocked enough times in my life thank you.” Hunt tried one more time and Alex cut clean through it, “What did I just say?”

“Now see hear,” Hunt said backing up, “perhaps we can come to an arrangement. Like proper gentlemen after all.”

“Tempting,” Alex grabbed one of the guns off the floor, “but no.” –CAPTURE- Two energy bands wrapped around Hunt and he fell to the floor. “He’s all yours Dez,” and placed a chip on him. As he disappeared he looked up at the other people in the cage. That’s when he noticed Ryan was in there, “Oh great.”

“Come on man,” he said, “get me out of here.”

“Give me a moment,” Alex studied the controls trying to see if he could open it. The he shot it. The door opened up and the other two in the cage hightailed it out of there like the devil was after them as Ryan held back. “You get to go now.”

“Thank you Steve,” he said trying to grab his hand, “thank you thank you thank you.”

“Steve who,” Alex asked trying o change his voice a bit. The helmet distorted it but he wasn’t taking any chances.

“Oh right,” Steve said with a wink, “Steve ‘who’.” Then he ran out of there himself.

Alex looked at him as he left. “I don’t think I did Steve any favors there.”

Dez asked, “Who is this Steve?”

“Long story.”

***
“How come you didn’t call me for backup right away?”, Sam asked later as he visited her apartment to get her caught up on things and the details of what happened. “I could have gotten to the others while you distracted this Hunt guy.”

“I know,” Alex said sitting on her couch as she sat next to him, “but I got the stoner reputation after I started disappearing from my old job a lot. I don’t think this family could handle another potential druggie.”

“So you were trying to protect me again?”, she said crossing her arms.

“Protect you? Everybody would come after me for dragging you down into my mess. I was looking out for my ass.” She shoved him in the head. “Besides you just wanted to see me get whipped.”

“Now that would imply I want to see you get hurt,” Sam said looking insulted. “Granted I laugh a little but still.” Alex returned the shove. “So what’s the plan for tonight? More training or are you going to let me do some field work for a change?”

“In a bit,” Alex told her. “But Dez wanted me to tell you that it’s done.”

“Really” she asked. “Can I try it out?” Alex waved her on and she stood up. Looking around the room she said one word, “Dez.” A section of her living room wall opened up revealing a simalr device to the one Alex had in his apartment. In moments an image of Dez appeared in the room.

“Hello Samantha,” she said with a warm smile. “You know have the same access to me that Alex has. Full access to the database has also been granted, it’s ready whenever you are.”

Biting her lip to keep from smiling Sam said, “I guess this makes it official then.”

“It’s too late to turn back now,” Alex agreed as he stood next to here. “Although I suggest you get comfy when those updates hit because they are loooooooooooooong.”

“Let me have my moment,” she told him. Alex stepped back a bit as she looked at the computer now inhabiting her inner wall. She was definitely past the looking glass now.


-----
ED – Divide the Day – Let it Roll
-----
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Old April 29th, 2019, 08:54 PM #9
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> scikaiju
Power Ranger
 
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384
scikaiju
Power Ranger
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



9


-----
OP – Downstait – I Came To Play
-----


A pig like being in a business suit watched the front door of his bar from behind an overturned table. For the past couple of months he had been able to run a pretty profitable drug running business out of the back. He wasn’t sure how the Sheriff found out about it, he had been so careful, bringing in only those he thought he could trust fully. If he survived this he was going to find the fink who ratted him out and tear their asshole out though their nose. From his overturned table he watched as the door was inevitably kicked in. The Sheriff walked in and looked around until he spotted him, “Come on Porky, I see you.”

“That is not his name,” his Watcher said.

“Not now,” he quickly said. “You know the drill, we can either do this the easy way or the hard way.”

“Now!”, the pig shouted. A humanoid robot came out of a hidden room in the wall. With blasters instead of hands it looked at the Sheriff and started firing.

“Shit,” was all he could get out as several shots hit him before he could run for cover. Scrambling behind the bar the robot only stopped firing when several bottles were destroyed. “Would it kill them to pick the easy way?”, Alex muttered.

“It’s not going to be so easy you metal encased punk. That is a TX-880. No Sheriff in his right mind would go up against one of those if he had the choice.”

-DOUBLE GUN- - RAPID FIRE-

“Huh?”, the pig barely and time to react as Alex popped up from behind the bar and pulled the triggers. Energy shots passed each other as both of them took the hits. Alex started to moving and the TX-880 was able to follow him. Finally Alex started to concentrate his fire on a spot on the chest. It took a few shots but the metal plating gave way and there was a sputter in it’s firing rate. Alex charged forward –SWORD- and with a couple of swipes he “disarmed” the robot and cut off it’s head.

Armor still smoking a bit form taking the hits he looked at the pig and said, “And nobody said I was ever in my right mind.” The alien backed up into a wall as Alex came toward him, gun pointed at his face, “Alright, because destroying that hunk of junk put me in a good mood I’m going to say this just one more time, the easy…”

“Easy way,” the pig said as he put his hands in the air.

-CAPTURE- As the energy band forced his wrist together Alex asked him , “Now was that so hard?”

***
The next day Alex met Sam after work and they walked down the street. Making sure nobody was close enough to over hear them she asked, “Has Dez been able to place that robot yet?”

“According to her it is, well was, a TX-880 like Piggy said,” he answered. “It’s a pretty high end model too. She’s still trying o figure out how he was able to afford one.”

“I looked it up after you told me about it,” Sam told him. “Usually they’re used as bodyguards for important political figures. So I didn’t sound cheep.”

He grinned and joked, “Having fun with your new toy I see.”

“It’s part of the job. Although I’m still worried that my landlord’s going to discover that thing.”

“Don’t worry about it,” he told her. “It only comes out when you, and you alone, call for it.”

“I was able to talk to Dez that one time,” she reminded him.

“That was a special situation,” Alex quickly said.

As they continued walking they past a couple of people that they knew. Sam waved at the but they barely responded. She watched as the whispered between themselves and pointed at Alex, only to atop when they noticed her looking. “Does it even bother you?”, she asked when it didn’t look like he cared that they were doing it.

“It used to,” he admitted, “but I got used to it.”

“How can you possibly get used to it?”

“Don’t know, I just did.”

***
“I want the Sheriff’s head!” Those in the room turned to the doors to see a grey skinned humanoid in metallic armor storm in. Those in his path got out of the way as he made his way to the boss. “I want that human’s head now!”

“Then get behind me,” Galgamayde informed him with a sneer.

“I don’t have time for your nonsense you half organic freak.”

Galgamayde drew his blaster and pointed it at the newcomer’s head, “Say that again.”

The boss made a few sounds that the droid translated as, “Not in here.” Galagamayde purposely waited a few beats before holstering his weapon and backing away. “No Exon what is it about the human Sheriff?”

“He destroyed one of my TX-880s,” he spat. That caused a reaction throughout the crowd. Even Galgamayde raised his organic brow at that one. Not many could say they survived an encounter with a TX-880.

“My respect for this particular Sheriff is starting to grow a little,” the droid said.

“That inflamed Exon even more. Did you not hear what I said? He destroyed one of my killbots. Destroyed it!”

“I heard you the first time,” the boss informed him through the droid. “Now what do you expect me to do about it? These things do happen from time to time.”

“I want to go after him,” Exon said. “I want to crush him beneath my heels.”

“There’s no profit in revenge,” Galgamayde mocked him from the back.

“Quite,” the boss said through his droid.

“I will make it worth your while,” Exon pleaded. “Half of my profits from for the next two meca cycles. And I’ll replace this model translator droid for you too.”

“The droid is fine.”

“It’s an older model,” Exon insisted. “The processor alone takes too long to translate anything. I have several…”

“The droid is fine!”, the droid said with a little more force. Exon backed up a bit looking surprised. The droid’s electronic eye seemed to focus totally on him.

“I… I meant no insult of course, I was only trying to gain your favor. But I can kill the Sheriff. I created a new killbot, so new it that doesn’t even have a classification yet.”

“Fine,” the boss snapped. “You will have your chance, now get out of my sight before I let Galgamayde have a go at you.” Exon left the room and Galgamayde smirked at his retreating form. However nobody saw the droid plug into a computer station behind the boss and pull up a star chart for Earth.

***
Alex and Orion were alike in a lot of ways, like how they treated the quiet periods between assignments. Both of them took the time to relax as much a possible when not in training. “You can’t get too tense,” Orion had told her once. “You’ll break something long before it’s ready.” Dez wished she could say she followed that particular philosophy. Her nerves seemed to grow the longer the quiet went. With Orion there were times she almost jumped when an alert went off. Then they were assigned to Earth and those alerts came pretty regularly.

Then Alex came into their world and his philosophy was along the lines of, “I’ll worry about it when they stop, then I got to look for a regular job again.” Fortunately his twin sister Samantha didn’t share that particular line of thinking. Although she seemed way to calm during these periods as well. Maybe it was just her.

An alert singling an incoming message caught her attention. At first she thought it was Orion trying to mix up his transmissions. Then she noticed it wasn’t him, in fact the sender was anonymous. And it was a written message not a holo one. Protocol said to ignore and delete the message. And she should have, especially since she spent several minutes trying to identify the source of the transmission. Orion and Alex must have been rubbing off on her, at least that’s what she told herself as prepared to open it. Reading the message several times to make sure she read it right the first time she contacted Alex and relayed the information to him.

“Wait,” he said after she finished, “somebody actually warned us that something was coming in? How often does that happen?”

“It’s not exactly unheard of,” Dez answered, “but it is extremely rare. If they’re discovered the sender is never heard from again.”

“Must be hard to get your hands on a regular stool pigeon then,” Alex commented off handedly. “So who’s this guy that’s coming in supposed to be?”

“I already looked him up, Exon is a cyberneticist, creating andoirds and various other robots. IN fact according to the files he created that robot you faced the other day.”

“And he’s coming here?”

“Allegedly,” Dez reminded him. “This could be a practical joke for all we know.”

“Dez I know practical jokes, unless this is common among Watchers this is going above and beyond practical jokes. When is this Exon supposed to get here?”

“In a couple of hours, do you really want to trust this information?”

“I rather play it safe on this one, I’d rather get fooled once than let this guy just waltz in when we could have stopped him.”

“Understood, do you want me to contact Samantha?”

He hesitated before answering, “I’ll call her. If he brings anymore of those robots I’m probably going to need that shield of hers.”

“Understood. I’ll keep an eye for any incoming ships in that time frame.” In some ways Dez had to smile, Orion would have made that call too.

***
A little over two hours later called them and said a ship just flew past the orbital check points. It was officially go time. Seeing nobody was around Alex pointed out a alley they could duck into. Sam made sure nobody was inhabiting the alley before she took out her six number keypad and slapped it on her arm. Alex already had his ten number keypad on. “Ready?”, he asked.

“As I’ll ever be,” she answered. They punched in their respective codes.

-5-7-1-6-

-5-5-4-3-


In less than a second their bodies were covered in a flash of light that left them in their armor. Alex asked her, “Do you want to fly or do you want to stay on the ground?”

Her reply was, “You know I’m not that fond of heights.”

“I know I was taking the board anyway, I was just trying to be nice,” and he hit the six and seven key on his pad. –GALACTIC CYCLE- -SKYBOARD- Jumping on the board he waited for Sam to get on the cycle and they headed for the coordinates feed them through their display. In no time they say the vehicle over the horizon. Alex leaned forward a bit to make the board go faster as Sam speed through traffic. Going outside the city they found the craft in the parking lot of a shopping center. “at least nobody standing around taking videos with their phones this time around, “Alex commented.

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Look me up online sometime.” Before she could respond the ship started firing on Alex, “Whoa!”

“Think he’s pissed about that robot?”

“That hunk of junk?”, he said after he got out of firing range. Or so he thought as a bolt it the back of the engine. “Shit,” Alex jumped off the board and crashed to ground with a roll as Sam pulled up to him.

“Are you alright?”, she asked getting off the cycle.

“Armor took most of the impact,” he grunted as he got to his feet. Seeing where the board crashed he mumbled, “Hope Dez doesn’t start charging me to get that fixed.” The ship opened up and Exon walked out flanked by a couple of robots. Several flying drones came out and surrounded them. More walking robots of various classes encircled them pointing heir weapons at them.

“Prepare to annihilate them, “Exon ordered. The machines popped their armaments taking aim directly at them.

Standing back to back Sam looked around, “I told you he was pissed off.” –DOUBLE GUN- -SINGLE FIRE-

“Shut up.” –DOUBLE GUN- -RAPID FIRE- “Just like in the program.”

“I noticed.” Both sides open fired. Alex and Sam stood their ground before being forced to move. “I got high!”, Sam shouted as she tried to take her shots at the flying drones. Alex noticed a couple of the humanoid models were starting to aim at her and took them out. She did the same for him when a couple of drones tried coming down on him.

“Switch!”, Alex called out. Sam ran toward him and he jumped over her, pulling the triggers as soon as his feet landed. The machines tried to reorganize on Exon command. “Down!”, Sam went to a knee as a robot tried to rush her was blasted. With Sam covering him he hit the four key –DISC-. Turning his head to calculate a flight path he let it fly. The edge glowed as it sliced through several of the robots and drones. As soon as he caught it he calculated another path and let it fly again. Sam switched over to rapid fire as well and took out the remaining drones.

When the final machine went down Sam kept her weapons up, “How often do you this?”

“This is a first for me,” he said eyeing Exon. “You ready to give up yet?”

“In your dreams human,” he said hitting a control on his forearm. Another robot came out. This one dwarfed the other humanoid robots and had a pair of cannons on it’s shoulders.

“Me and my big mouth.”

“Now what?”, Sam asked.

“I’m bringing out the heavy hardware.” –CANNON- Holding his arms out the cannon started to materialize. Exon hit another control The keypads on both their forearms made a short sound and the static fizzled out of existence. “What the… Dez send the cannon.”

“Al… I…. get…. signal…”

“I think we’re getting jammed,” Sam offered.

“Well duh,” Alex shot back.

“TZ-X,” Exon pointed in their direction. “Eliminate them.”

“Shit,” Alex grunted as he pushed Sam out of the way a those shoulder cannons came to life. Taking the full initial assault he was sent back and to the ground. Sam came up firing trying to distract the machine. The cannon on it’s right shoulder swiveled in her direction and followed her as she tried to get out of range. Alex threw the disc again and it was obliterated mid flight. Both of the siblings dove for cover behind the same dumpster. The TZ-X stopped firing a second after that. Looking at his sister he had to ask, “Having fun yet?”

“Please tell me you have a plan.”

“Working on it,” he said. “Head out there and get it’s attention, I’ll try and hit something important.”

“How about you head out there and distract it,” she shot back.

“You’re the one with the shield.”

Sam grumbled something and hit her keypad. –SHIELD- After it appeared on her right forearm she jumped out from cover and tried to cover herself as much as possible as the machine’s targeting system locked on her. Alex brought both guns out and open fired. Again one of the shoulder cannons swiveled toward him and both went back to cover. “So much for that idea,” Sam grunted.

“Do you got anything better?”

“Maybe, think you can slice and dice one of those cannons?”

“We’ll find out one way or another.” –SWORD- “You lead.”

“I was afraid you were going to say that.” Sam ran out with the shield in front of here with Alex right behind her. Like she though the machine focused on her. Getting as close as she could she stopped and Alex flipped over her slashing with his sword with a yell. He cut through one of the cannons. While it tried to refocus it’s aim on him Sam jumped up and smashed the edge of her shield into the remaining one bending it enough to make it useless. She barely got her shield back in position as a back ahnd sent her flying.

“Sam!”, Alex cried out as another backhand sent him flying back as well. Both of them slowly got to their feet. “Finish it,” he called out as he changed the grip on his sword. –PROTOCAL ZERO- He held his sword behind him as it started to glow.

-PROTOCAL ZERO- Sam hit the zero key on her keypad and the edge of her shield started to glow brightly.

“Now!” Both of them ran at the robot in between them. The TX-Z calculated the threat level as equal from both of them and momentarily froze on what to do to protect itself at that moment. Sam sliced him from the front as Alex cut him from the back. The robot disintegrated in moments after that. Alex put his hands on his knees in exhaustion, “Well that was a rush and a half.”

“Well I see why you’re so tired all the time now,” Sam panted.

“But hey you got your first zero. How did it feel?”

“I don’t know, it was just a machine.”

“Filthy humans!”, Exon roared as he ran at them. –CAPTURE- Sam fired quickly, wrapping the alien in energy rings.

“Nice reflexes,” Alex complimented her, Sam did a small curtsey. “Dez can you hear us? We got you a present.”

“Hopefully I’ll be able to return it,” she said dryly.

Sam looked at her brother. He quickly said, “She didn’t learn that one from me.”

***
Outside the bosses chambers several of the beings gathered around Galgamayde in a menacing way. Word of Exon’s capture quickly traveled to their ears, as well as the rumors of exactly how fast the human Sheriff response was. And all of them figured they cornered the piece of shit that tipped him off. “We know it was you Galgamayde,” Another lizard creature said. “Everybody knows you the Sheriff for yourself.”

For his part Galgamayde didn’t even look concerned that he was surrounded as he looked each of them in the eyes, “Don’t you think I would have done so before now if that was the case?”

“You thought Exon could actually back up his claim,” a three eyed dog looking creature pointed a boney finger at him. “You saw your chance and took it.”

“And if I did do you imbeciles really think I would be ignorant enough to do it around here and get caught?”, he shot back, hand slowly going for his blaster. “Besides I would have killed him myself if I thought he could actually do it.”

“Why you…,” the lizard started as the doors opened up and the boss’s droid rolled out.

“The boss has overheard your conversation,” it said. “He wishes for me to inform you that he has heard these rumors and checked them out himself. No transmission has been made from this location and Galgamayde whereabouts have been confirmed by sensors in the time frame such a transmission needed to take place. So your search for a traitor must go on.” The crowd grumbled in their displeasure and dissipated, including Galgamayde. The droid rolled back into the boss’s chambers saying, “And he thought he could replace me.”


-----
ED – Divide the Day – Let it Roll
-----
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Old May 3rd, 2019, 10:50 AM #10
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Joined: Dec 2012
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



10


-----
OP – Downstait – I Came To Play
-----


The usual background noise filled the boss’s chamber. As usual that meant people were trying to talk louder than the group next to them in order to be heard. Most were trying to get their latest scheme approved or trying to get first dibs at a new territory that had opened up. A select few actually tried to get permission to go after the human Sheriff. Those watching the spectacle would occasionally look back in his direction in the back of the room. Galgamayde paid them no attention, especially those who thought they could take the human. Let them ask, he silently waited for his at the human again.

Even that slug they call boss seemed less interested in any task of eliminating the human, seeing how much manpower and resources have been lost so far. That was fine, Galgamayde could be patient when he had to be. He would get another shot at the human. And when he did he would finish it. No more Gamma surprises, no more hidden partners, just him and the human. He dreamt about that moment almost nightly.

“Fine,” the boss said through that damnable droid, “you may traffic your prostitutes in sector Trian. I assume most of the inhabitants have seen the like of the women you will be bringing in. If there is nothing else then this will end business for the day.”

“There is one point of business…”, a voice from the back spoke.

A similar sounding voice continued, “… that we would like to discuss.”

The room looked back as two individual walked forward in perfect step with one another. Both were the same height, bald and pale skinned and both wore identical pieces of clothing. Both bore a similar smirk as they stood before the boss. Galagmayde stood in attention as they bowed in unison, “The Venaz Twins,” the boss said through the droid who looked at both of them over with it’s electronic eye. “What business would you like to discuss?”

“We have heard that you…,” said the first one.

“… have a human problem,” continued the other. “We offer our assistance…”

“… in taking care of him for you.”

The boss didn’t look impressed, “Others have tried to take on this particular human. Very few have survived their encounter.” A few looked back at Galgamayde but he ignored them, he kept his attention on the twins.

The second one said, “We are aware of this…”

“… little detail. But we believe we can handle…”

“… this nuisance better than the others. The simple fact we…”

“… outnumber him is one advantage.”

“They say the two of you share a single brain,” the boss said after a moment. “Essentially you have more limbs to battle the Sheriff. And a number advantage does not guarantee a victory. A fact the human had recently proved.”

The first one began, “Yes, but others do not see…”

“… what my brother sees. We see what…”

“… the other one sees and coordinate…”

“… our attack accordingly. And they do not…”

“… possess this.” The first one held up a single bullet. “A neuton bullet capable of…”

“… piercing the hardest alloy. Any Sheriff’s armor…”

“… should crumble easily.” Galgamayde stepped forward a bit s the crowd started to talk among itself. The boss was quiet for a long time.

“I will approve of this operation,” the droid finally said.

“Thank you oh great one…”

“… we will not fail you.” Bowing again they turned around in sync and walked out of the room. Galgamayde stared at them the entire time, a sick feeling growing in his stomach.

***
It was another quiet night as Alex and Sam hung out with some their friends. Well she was Alex was busy keeping up his act as he sat at the table with his feet up on the table and head down. Stifling a yawn Sam wished she could join in him since he looked so relaxed, but he was right in the fact that it would be hard to explain why there were suddenly two “stoners” in the family. As it was she was having a hard enough time staying awake as it was listing to Ryan continue on with his theory that Steve was the one on the armor and his ongoing quest to prove it. And his personal desire to cash in on it. “Didn’t you say he saved you a while back?”, she asked. Alex had filled her in on the details before Ryan started talking about it. It was mildly interesting to hear his take on the event.

“Yeah he did,” he answered. “So?”

“So I’d figured you would be little more grateful and stop trying to cash in on your friend.”

“I’m planning on sharing the profits with him now,” Ryan told her. Sam looked over at Alex to see him lift up his head enough so she could see him role his eyes.

“With friends like you who needs enemies,” she said getting up.

“Like you wouldn’t do the same thing,” he shot back.

Walking past Steve she patted him on the shoulder, “Watch your back.” Looking over at Ryan he shook his head and went back to the arcade game he was playing. Times like this she was glad word about the female in armor hadn’t gotten out yet. Lord only knows who he would suspect was in that one. Stepping into the ladies room and seeing nobody else in the room she pulled out her keypad. “Is there anything brewing Dez?”

“No,” she answered, “and Alex didn’t call in as often as often you do. In fact I can’t even remember the last time he called in for a situation report.”

“Well we’re out with friends,” she explained. “I just get the feeling if something if something was going to happen it was going to happen now.”

“Well if it does you and Alex will be the first ones I’ll inform,” she assured her. “Now enjoy the night with your friends. Both of you deserve it.”

“Yes ma’am,” Sam said. Pocketing the keypad she headed back to the table. Ryan had fortunately moved on to Steve so she sat next to her brother.

“I hope you told Dez I said hi,” he said.

“Shut up,” and she pushed his feet off the table.

***
The twins landed on Earth in record time. Setting up in dank apartment in the Alien town the Sheriff had been seen in a few times. Looking out the window the one said, “Not very impressive…

“… is it?”, finished the other. “I’m not sure how the others…”

“… had that much of a problem with this species.” Going back to his twin he watched as he assembled a sniper rifle. “So it is agreed then, I will draw out the Sheriff…”

“… while I will take the shot. We will show the others…”

“… this Sheriff is not that big of a threat.” Laughing at the same time the first one went back to the window, “Although I’m still worried…”

“… about that sensor shadow,” the second one finished. “Well it was gone as soon…”

“… as we got it, nothing to worry about. We should just…”

“… concentrate on the task at hand.” Finishing with the rifle the second one checked the sight.

***
“What are you?”, Dez asked the blip on her monitor. She had gotten two strange blips on her scanner a half hour apart by Earth time frame. Usually one meant somebody tried to sneak past the system, more than one meant it was probably a natural phenomenon, more or less. But two that far apart? That one was stumping her. Something told her it wasn’t anything natural. She would have put Alex and Samantha on alert but she wanted something a little more concrete before bothering them. Especially since Alex was still a little choosey on what assignment he wanted his sister on.

Her cerebral implant alerted to a disturbance planetside. She quickly located an police report of the incident and from there found an ongoing live news feed of what was going on. Sometimes the humans desire for twenty-four hour news coverage was extremely helpful. Getting a clear shot of the suspect in question she ran it through the database while she contacted Alex.

“Sam already had me turn on the news,” he replied. There was another reason why she liked Samantha. “Any idea who this is?”

“I’m looking it up now,” she answered. Seconds later she got a hit. And she was even more confused as a result, “The Venaz Twins.”

“I’m only seeing one,” Alex said with one of his usual unnecessary comments.

“So am I, according to my file they work in tandem. They have a almost telepathic bond with each other. According to this they are always seen together.”

“They have a fight or something?”

“Make sure you ask him when you get there,” Dez told him. “Protocol Zero has been authorized.” Studying the file some more she said, “Alex this may be a trap. They are never seen alone.”

“Right,” he was quiet for a moment. “Contact Sam and have her look for the other one while I take on the one making the noise.”

“Understood, I’m contacting Samantha now.”

***

Alex and Sam worked out how they were going to do things on the way there. If Dez was right then the other twin was somewhere nearby. Sam would try to figure where he was going to come from and try and head him off. Of course a large part of that plan was going to depend on where this twin was going to take the battle. So she would have to hang back a bit and wait before she did so. Neither of them liked that part of the plan one bit. “Watch yourself,” Sam said as she drove off in a different direction.

“You don’t have to tell me twice,” he muttered as he continued on. Seeing the commotion ahead of him in no time he leaned forward to make the board go faster as he brought out the guns. “Yo!,” he shouted as he jumped off the board, “I know who you are and I don’t know where your brother is but there are some laws definitely being broken here.”

“Yes I know I…,” he trailed off. Looking a bit pained he said, “… have broken some. My apologies, I am not… used to speaking like this… in a singular voice. It is most… uncomfortable.”

“My heart bleeds,” Alex told him. “Where’s your other half, just to cut down on the time to hunt him down later.”

“Wouldn’t you… like to know.”

“Worth a shot.” The lone twin raised his firearm and started firing. Alex ducked and returned fire. The lone alien easily avoided the shots and quickly came toward him. Before Alex knew he was practically right on top of him. “Whoa,” he moved but still took a couple of hits. Finding momentary cover behind an old car he returned fire. Again the alien was able to avoid his shots. “Does this guy have a sixth sense or something?”

“I’m not sure,” Dez answered as she monitored the situation. “Samantha have you discovered anything yet?”

“No,” she answered, “I’m doing every sort of scan I have and not seeing another alien life form around.” Alex had to run again as the alien honed in on him. A thought came to her, “Would identical twins have identical life signs? Ir might be why we’re not reading him.”

“Possible,” Dez said considering it, “I don’t think it’s ever been tested.”

“Can you two talk about this later,” Alex grunted as he fired off another useless round. Alex tried to cross the street to jump into an adjoining alley. A shot forced him back as soon as he popped out of hiding. “How is he doing that?”

“That’s the first time he tried to keep you from going somewhere,” Sam said. “I think he wants you on this path.”

“Fine, we’ll see if he can dance up close.” –SWORD- Running toward him the lone twin stood his ground. While Sam headed down the street the lone twin was still able to dodge his strikes even at this close of range. And he was picking his shots at Alex more at less at will, and connecting each time. Sam could tell her brother was getting frustrated and wanted to help. But she had to find the other one first.

“Think Samantha think,” she told herself. Which was hard to do seeing her own twin get batted around. Alex swung wildly at the alien’s legs that he backed up from with ease. Alex jumped at him as he landed and caught him around the waist. On the ground he was still able to avoid Alex’s blows and pushed him off. Alex pounded the pavement letting his anger get the better of him. “Come on Brennen,” she slapped herself in the head. Then something else hit her, “The twins have an almost telepathic connection. Wait… Dez what if they do have a telepathic connection? One twin could see what the other one is seeing.”

“That might explain what is going on now,” Dez pondered the situation. “They’re seeing the fight from two different angles. But how can we use that to locate the other twin?”

“He would have to be able to see the area clearly. He would have to be somewhere on this street.” She looked around and tried to do another scan as Alex lost the sword. “but where… the roofs,” she looked up to see if she could see anything. “Dez is there any life signs above us?”

“None that I am detecting,” she sounding frustrated as well. “If they gone this far they might have shielded the other one.” She went quiet as she thought that over. “But that might be or way to locate him. Checking for sensor dead zones… got him. A building to your left at the end of the street.”

“I see it,” Sam said as she ran for it.

On top of the building the other quietly set up for his shot. It drove him crazy not to be able to finish his brother’s thought but he knew his part in this operation as his brother tired the human out. Keeping his eyes on the Sheriff he waited for his moment. Before long he saw how tired the human was standing there. Watching him go for the keypad he put the human’s head in the crosshairs of his site. Then he felt the barrel of a gun at the back of his head.

Looking past the barrel of the gun he saw a red mechanical eye glare at him. “The human is mine.”

“Galga…”

“… mayde?”, the one on the street asked suddenly, eyes going wide. Then his head snapped to the side and he dropped to the ground.

“The hell?”, Alex asked stunned. He looked around, “Dez what the hell just happened? I’m not getting any life signs.”

“I’m not sure,” Dez answered, confused as well.

“Oh shit?”, Sam said suddenly.

“Samantha what is it?”

“I found the other twin,” she answered. “Somebody shot him in the head.”

“Hang on Sam I’m on my way.” Alex jumped on the board and headed for her location. Like she said there was the other twin with the same shocked expression on his face as well as the hole in his head. And still clutching the sniper rifle in his hands.

***
Hours later, after making sure Sam wasn’t the one who executed him, the three of the stood in the orbital station going over the data with Orion. “This makes no sense,” Sam said as she leaned on a console. “Who could have killed him? And how did the other one die? He wasn’t even touched.”

Dez offered a possible explanation, “I’m assuming their link was stronger than anybody realized, going down to sharing the same life. In a sick way we were lucky they weren’t able to carry out their plan. The rifle had a neuton bullet. That could have pierced your armor easily.”

“Alex do you remember anything?”, Orion asked. “Anything out of the ordinary?

“Outside of that guy saying ‘made’ and dropping dead, nothing.”

“Made,” Orion repeated as he thought it over. “I wonder?”

“What is it?”, Dez asked.

“I’m thinking that there a chance he might have meant made with a Y,” he answered. “As in Galgamayde.”

“Galgamayde wants to kill me,” Alex reminded him. “Why would he save me?”

“Like you said he wants to kill you,” he replied. “It’s possible he doesn’t want anybody else to have that ‘honor’ but him.”

“He had a chance to do that,” Dez commented. “He could have used that rifle on Alex if he felt like it.”

“Who’s side are you one?”, Alex asked.

“Maybe I got there before he could,” Sam offered. “He could have left knowing he lost his best chance. Which would put a bigger target on my back now. I just had to think that one didn’t I?’

“Or maybe he feels he doesn’t need the bullet to finish Alex off once and for all,” Orion said out loud.

“And there’s a comforting thought,” Alex said as he remembered the other two times Galgamayde almost did that.

“We shouldn’t have to worry about him for a while,” Orion said with a smirk. “Especially after his ‘superiors’ finds out he may have had a hand in the Twin’s death.”

“You’re going to make a leak in the information pipeline,” Alex in understanding. “That’s pretty sneaky for an officer of the law.”

“Sometimes you have to make your own opportunity to disrupt the criminal system Alex,” Orion told him.

Alex smirked, “I’ll keep that in mind.”

“You have to give him ideas don’t you?”, Dez sighed. Orion shrugged and deactivated his link. After a few moments she sent Alex and Sam back to Earth. By herself she finally showed the relief she felt knowing Alex wasn’t killed this time.


-----
ED – Divide the Day – Let It Roll
-----
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Old May 7th, 2019, 11:12 AM #11
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



11


-----
OP – Downstait – I Came To Play
-----


It was amazing how often a call led him to a nearly deserted alley. Taking on his latest assignment Alex got slammed against a wall hard enough to crack it. The HUD display in his visor showed alarms and various damage reports as well as the armor’s current integrity level. He would be looking at all of that if he could clear the stars from his eyes first, and they were persistent buggers too. Peeling himself off the wall he slapped the side of the helmet a couple of times to try and get the ringing to stop at least. “That can’t be good,” he muttered when neither would.

“You look hurt Sheriff,” the thin, and deceptively strong, humanoid commented. A Wyven Dez called her. To Alex she looked like somebody tried to turn into a werewolf and stopped halfway. Brandishing a set of claws that had a metallic sheen to them she said, “Let me put you out of your misery.”

“I don’t think so!”, Sam said as she jumped down from the rooftops firing her guns. The Wyven backed up as she landed between them. “Alex are you alright?”,” she asked not taking her eyes off the alien.

“Where did you come from?”, he asked, leaning against the wall.

“Dez called me,” she answered, “and I was close enough to lend a hand.”

“I was expecting a joke.”

“I don’t joke in times like this.”

“I’ve noticed, how are we related again?”

“Quiet!”, the Wyven commanded and came at her.

-SHIELD- Those metallic claws swiped against the shield as soon as it materialized on her arm. She shot her point blank to knock her back. She tried to jump at Sam again so she smacked her back with the shield. Quickly she slid the switch on the back of the gun in her hand–CAPTURE- and wrapped the alien in energy bands. Dez transported her away the moment she placed a chip on her. Turning to Alex she said, “Well she was pretty easy.”

“I wore her down for you,” he said as he deactivated the armor. When she did the same he took one look at her clothing and turned his head away, “Whoa.” Sam looked down at herself wondering what was wrong and discovered the skirt she was wearing rode up to her waist.

“Damn it,” she cursed as she quickly pulled it back down and look around for anybody else who could have seen her.

“I thought you were going to stop wearing stuff like that.”

“I had a date,” she hissed.

“But Scooby-Doo…?”

“Shut up they’re comfy.” She saw him hold his head and stumble to the wall. “Alex!”, she ran to him.

“I’m okay,” he told her. She got a good look at his eyes which were telling a totally different story.

“Dez I think Alex is hurt,” she said into her keypad as she tried to help him stand.

“Hang on,” she quickly responded, “I’m getting a lock on your position now.” Before Alex could protest they were transported aboard the satellite.

-----
A couple of hours and several medical scan, mainly around the head, later Dez announced, “He’s suffering from a mild concussion.”

“Are you kidding?”, Alex had to ask. “As many times as I’ve been hit in the head I’m getting one now?”

“You hit your head just right this time around,” she told him. “You have been really fortunate in that respect.”

“Well Dad always said you had a hard head,” Sam teased.

“Aren’t you supposed to be on a date or something?”, he asked more than a little irritated.

“Guy was a total bore,” she answered, “this saved me the trouble of trying to get out of it early.”

“Good thing you weren’t wearing the good underwear then,” he joked.

“You are so lucky you’re hurt or I’d…”

“Given his condition,” Dez cut in, “I’m going to have to insist that he stays here overnight for observation.

“So that’s what they call it where you’re from,” he said with a smirk.

“And here I thought human media exaggerated things like that,” she sighed. “Samantha you can head back to Earth, I’ll keep you updated on his condition.”

“I’ll call you later,” Sam said kissing him on the cheek. “You better behave yourself while you’re up here.”

“Where’s the fun in that?”, he asked. She faked hitting him in the head. When she left the room he looked over at Dez. “So, it’s just you and me, all alone. Whatever shall we do with ourselves?”

“I have work to do,” she told him. “But I’ll check in on you every hour. I’m sure you’ll be able to entertain yourself in the meantime. I’m positive you done it before on those lonely nights.” Dez left the room smiling with herself. It felt good to get in the last word for a change.

----
He was back before anybody noticed he was gone. But word of the Twin’s death had reached the planet before he did. Some he associated with always joked they should harness the speed of gossip flew by, the whole galaxy would have been explored in a matter of decacycles. A few from before cast an accusing look once they heard the news. It wasn’t the smartest thing he had ever said when he told them that he would personally kill anybody he thought had a chance of killing the human. It added to the ever growing cloud of suspicion the hung over his head. But there was no way to pin their deaths on him. He even made sure to leave the bullet. It would have been so easy to use it right then and there. But he wanted to see the life leave the human’s eyes up close and personal.

His senses noticed the added nervousness of the usual the crowd noise. Then he noticed how agitated the boss seemed to be today. Galgamayde held his position near the back of the room. An instinct he learned to trust kicked in as he checked not only the distance between him and the door but who was in his way as well. He did that on a brief instant, not betraying anything to those who looked in his direction. The boss seemed to be yelling something which quieted them, no one had seen him like this. In proper time the droid barked out, “We have a traitor in our midst!”That caused an uproar in the crowd that the boss quickly quieted, “Enough! I do not make this accusation lightly. I have proof of who was responsible for the Twin’s death. Direct from the Sheriff’s themselves.”

“Why should we believe what they say?”, somebody demanded. “They want us to fracture and fight among ourselves so we’ll be easier to capture.”

“True,” the boss conceded through the droid, “but I have double checked their claim. The person they alleged did this was gone while the Twins were on their task. In fact he couldn’t be found anywhere in the known sectors. But perhaps I am reading too much into the footage they supplied.”

One of the twins’ image hung in the air above them. He had a stunned look on his face as he said, “…mayde?”, and his head snapped to the side. “…mayde?” repeated over and over as they all looked at him.

His blaster was in his hand and he shot three of them before they could react. Somebody tried to grab him and he caved his head in with mechanical arm. A couple tried to stand between him and his only exit was stunned long enough for him to knock them out of the way. Shooting another in the head as he tried to block his path he kicked the door open and killed a couple of more that tried to get in. Reaching for his mechanical arm he pulled something off and threw it behind him. Ducking around a corner it exploded, temporarily block the path and killing a few more of them in the process. But they still had communication and more than likely they started to have his ship covered. He was going to have to find another way off world.

-----
Hours later he was still in hiding. Word about him seemed to spread faster the news of the Twin’s death. As it was he was amazed he hadn’t been caught and executed yet. He took position on top of a nearly abandoned building wearing a light brown hooded cloak and spied on the nearest spaceport. Like he thought the boss put it on lockdown. And if this one was down chances were the other were as well. From this position he could see how many were covering his ship. Even by some miracle he did get past them there might be a couple of more inside he couldn’t see. Even if there wasn’t he would get blasted out of the sky before he could break the atmosphere. His only chance was to find somebody he could bribe or threaten to get him off world. Because the Gods only knew he didn’t have any friends around here, or anywhere.

Making his way to the street he pulled the hood farther over his head and blended in with the crowd as he hit the street. Hand on his blaster and both eyes open for anything he went with the flow. Unfortunately it also gave him time to think. The human, as much as he wanted to blame him for this, wasn’t smart enough to do something like this. And what he knew of the Watchers he wouldn’t figure she would suggest anything like this. No this had to be Orion’s doing, getting revenge for crippling him. He should have taken that extra moment to line up the headshot when he had the Sheriff at his mercy. Then there would have been no human, no Orion and no mechanical parts. And he wouldn’t have a majority of the planet looking for him.

Seeing a couple of thugs from the boss’s chambers up ahead he quickly ducked into a side alley. He stood there just long enough to make sure they didn’t see him. Glancing up at the roof his electronic eye didn’t detect any stray readings as he continued down the alley. Coming across another stream of people he studied it for any sign of danger before joining the crowd.

***
“There is no sight of him my lord,” one of the cat like hunters said as he kneeled before the boss and droid. “As suspected Galgamayde is ignoring the spaceports. I suggest we lesson the guards there to reinforce the streets.”

The boss considered this for a moment, “Galgamayde is probably waiting for us to do just that. He is a shrewd and cunning individual, a reputation well served as a paid killer. We should never forget that.”

“Of course sire,” the hunter replied.

“And with such a reputation he has probably prepared for such an event. Have you found a safe house he uses?”

“Several, all were booby trapped. My men were able to deactivate some after we discovered their location.”

“But not all of them,” the boss continued his thought. “If there is a discovery of one of his hiding places keep a man watching the location. He has no doubt acquired what he needs but he may have to resupply.”

“By your command sire,” the hunter stood and walked smartly out of the room.

The droid rolled to a station and plugged itself in, bring up internal security. It was more than a possibility that Galgamayde might attempt to sneak back in and get his revenge. After all it was the only logical thing to do.

***
He was able to last the night without being caught, a small miracle in itself, but one he shouldn’t count on to continue. The boss owned a good chunk of this city and a sizable portion of planet outside it’s borders. As it was he felt like the mouse being stalked by the cat. And he chided himself for using a human expression. Turning down a side alley he stopped short when he saw one of the ingrates from the hall standing there. He was looking the other way so he wasn’t immediately spotted. But Galgamayde saw enough that he was standing in front of the entrance of one of his safe houses. He should have seen that coming.

Quickly he went over his options. For one he couldn’t stay there for long. But he also needed to get something to eat and his food supply was in there. There were other locations but none nowhere close. He cursed his lack of foresight and not added food supplies in other location and he couldn’t risk being seen in the street at a vender. Making up his mind he took another quick glance. Not seeing any kind of communication deice on him he didn’t have to worry about any sort of check in. Reaching for a container on his belt he threw it down the alley.

It exploded by his head and he breathed in the gas before he could react. The gas dissipated quickly as he fell to the ground dead. Waiting a second longer he hurried over and tripped the hidden trigger that opened the secret door in the wall. Sealing it behind him he opened his food supply locker and quickly opened a ration wrapper and devoured the contents. All night he knew he had to get off the planet but then what? He entertained the notion to head to Earth to take out the human sheriff before they took him out. Chances are the lard ass sent a few of his men there to wait for him. So what could he do? Outside of here he had no real hiding places, not anymore if the carcass outside was any indication. Maybe the unknown sectors, people headed out there to hide all the time. He just had to get there, somehow.

Grabbing a few more ration bars he checked a sensor on the wall. Outside of the cooling corpse no one was there. Making his way to a crowded street he kept his senses open for anything. Then his luck ran out. Glancing at the other end of the street he saw more than a few mercenaries checking people on the street. He kept moving with the crowd, perhaps he could sneak by without being noticed. “You stop,” somebody behind him said and pulled down his hood. “Galgamayde!” He went down from a broken neck as Galgamayde let go of his head.

Shooting were he could while using the fleeing crowd as cover he soon found himself cornered by the bosses elite. “Galgamayde,” the lead hunter spoke, “we will take you in front of the boss. He wants to witness your execution personally.”

“A mistake on his part,” he sneered. A faint hum filled the air before the sonic emitter on his chest fired. Every man, woman and child in the blast radius flew back hard giving him room to breathe for a moment. A hunter jumped over the crowd at him. Throwing some pebbles from his belt they exploded on impact. He dropped to the ground stunned, just long enough for a single energy bolt to be fired into his brain. Another reptile like mercenary he had worked with in the past came at him. He dodged his attacks long enough to plunge his blade into his head. More mercenaries and hunters entered the area. He was no idiot so he ran at the opening he saw.

Returning fire at those who shot at him he cursed himself for not knowing where he was going. That opening lead to lead to an open area that overlooked a steep cliff. Briefly looking at the seemingly endless abyss in front of him he turned to see hunters and mercenaries clog and block the only exit. A shot from somewhere and took out the sonic emitter on his chest. As he used the barrier behind him to get up they surrounded him. No, not like this. Not while the human was still alive. It could not end like this.

Rapid fire blast from behind him took out a chunk of the crowd. Galgamayde looked back to see the ship turn around and the hatch open. A familiar Andorian faced him and shouted, “Jump in now!” Not even thinking twice he hopped on top of the rail and jumped into the craft. The hatched closed behind him as those still able fired at him and the ship as it turned to get out of there. Showing his gratitude Galgamayde pointed the barrel of his gun at his savior’s face. “Hold it I’m on your side!”

“How do I know you’re not taking me back to the boss yourself?”

“Look at the coordinates on the screen.” He did so and saw they were headed for the nearest jump gate. “I figure we should be halfway there before they can mobilize another ship to go after us. The boss said no ship could leave the planet. Fortunately I kept this in my own private port.”

“Why are you helping me?”, Galgamayde demanded not lowering the gun.

“Let’s just say I found something you might want to see. In fact it explains a whole lot.”

***
Dez ran the scanner over him one more time, she had done so every few hours. “Still amazed I actually have a brain in here?”, Alex asked.

“No,” she said going over the readings,” just a bit worried. Going on your past behavior I suspected you would have disturbed me in some way several times by now. By your silence I assumed something was seriously wrong with you.” The only hint that she was joking was the slight smile on her face.

“Piss off the one person who can make my life miserable on a mission? Please.”

“Now if you only had that attitude when you weren’t infirmed.”

“So what’s the verdict?”

“You’re still showing signs of a concussion so I think it would be best if you took it easy for awhile. I believe the human phrase is putting you in reserve. I’m sure Samantha can handle things unless it’s an emergency.”

“That’s not necessary,” he protested. “I just need to make sure the ol’ noggin doesn’t get knocked around too much.”

“Sheriff protocol where damage to the brain in concerned,” she told him. “Feel free to contact Orion to confirm it since I know you haven’t read that section in the manual yet.”

“alright, alright,” he conceded, but he was going to look it up later. “So do I get to go home now or do you still need to ‘observe’ me?”

“You keep that up and I’ll put you in stasis until you are fully healed,” she threatened. “It should be alright for you to go home now I’ll inform Samantha and you can bother her for the next few days.”

“I’ve done that all our life.”

“Now is your chance to do something a little different, act like a normal person perhaps.”

“I do that and she’ll contact you saying something is still wrong with me.”

“True,” she smirked, “quite the quandary you find yourself in. I’ll contact her within the hour. It’ll be a nice change since she constantly calls up here for updates about you.”

“At least somebody cares about me,” he said as he lay back down.


-----
ED – Divide the Day – Let it Roll
-----
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Old May 11th, 2019, 03:50 PM #12
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Joined: Dec 2012
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



12


-----
OP – Downstait – I Came To Play
-----


Back at the orbital station Alex waited patiently as Dez ran a few more rounds of tests on his head. It had been a few weeks since he suffered that concussion and he felt fine. Better than fine to be exact. But still she wanted to run a few more tests before she gave him the okay for him to go back to duty. A way too familiar beep indicated the tests were done and he slid out of the scanner, if he wasn’t claustrophobic before being in that thing would make him if this kept up, and waited as she read over the results. “Well?”, he said after a bit, mainly because he was getting board.

“The tests say you’re perfectly normal,” she answered turning away from the screen. Without any warning she reached out and pushed up an eyelid to get a better look at his eye and how it reacted. “But I still want to wait a couple of days before…”

“Oh come on…,” he started to complain.

“…giving you the green light to return to active duty,” she continued like he didn’t say anything.

“You said yourself I’m perfectly normal.”

“Normal being the subjective word in that sentence,” she said.

“Come on Dez,” he continued, “I’m good to go.”

“And brain injuries, no matter how minor, are always a delicate matter,” she informed him. “It’s always better to err on the side of caution.” A small hint of a smile played at her lips, “Of course we should celebrate the fact you have a brain in that head of yours.”

“Stop watching Earth TV Dez,” Alex told her. “It’s starting to rot your brain, probably the area around that implant.”

“Only after I started interacting with you on a regular business,” she shot back. “I suggest you head back to the planet. There’s nothing for you to do up here.”

“There’s nothing for me to do down there either,” he muttered as he hopped off the bed.

“Patience Alex,” she told him, “you’ll be back on duty before you know it.” He said good-bye and headed for the transporter. A few minutes later she was back in the station’s control room when she received an incoming message. A glance at the chronometer gave her an idea who was behind it. Despite knowing it was Orion she wasn’t prepared for the sight of him standing with the aid of a couple of canes.

“I can see that I can still put you at a loss of words,” he joked when she didn’t say anything and looking really pleased with her reaction.

“When did this happen?”

“A day ago your time,” he answered. “I have some limited mobility at the moment and I can’t stay standing for long at this point. But I’m getting there.”

“That’s great Orion,” she said sincerely.

“And that’s enough about me how is Ales doing?”

“He’s a little upset that I’m holding up on releasing him back on active duty.”

“I read the report on his concussion and it’s probably for the best. Although I understand his frustration, I’m itching to get back into the armor myself. He’s turning into a Sheriff before our eyes Dez. It’s not often a Gamma turns out this well.”

“We better not tell him that,” she said. “His head barely fitting in the helmet as it is.”

***
Sam deactivated her armor and walked to the street putting the keypad into her back pocket. With Alex on the bench she had to pick up the slack. And ended up getting a new appreciation for what he did for doing this solo for so long. There were days she barley fell into the bed at the end of the day. Fortunately this job didn’t conflict with her day job all that much so she didn’t have to worry too much about running into the same problem Alex ran into when he first started, so far that is. More than likely he would be back on the job before that happened. Still the thought crossed her mind on occasion.

“Hey Sam,” she looked around to see Steve run and catch up her. “How have you been? We haven’t you in a while.”

“I’ve been a little too busy lately,” she said while trying to avoid saying the things Alex told people to make him think he started using. “Alex needed some help with a few things and I told him I’d give him a hand.”

“That’s cool,” he said. “I wonder why he didn’t the rest of us to help out?”

Outside of the fact most of their friends think he’s on drugs and it would be hard to explain the concussion? She just shrugged her shoulders and said, “You know Alex.” Steve nodded then looked behind them. Sam looked as well then looked at him, “Making sure Ryan’s not stalking you?”

“Force of habit,” he admitted. “I think I caught a break though. Did you hear there’s a woman in armor running around now?”

Trying not to look or sound nervous she answered, “I think I heard about that. Is he trying to track her down now?”

“I think so. He said he could narrow down who the guy is if he can figure out who she is.”

“You know he’s going to look at all the girls who you hang around,” she joked. Then she got worried because that included her too.

“Good thing every girl I know can kick his ass,” Steve grinned. They talked and caught up for awhile. Both of them came across a side alley seeing some guy handing another guy a blue crystal looking thing in a baggie for some cash. “I heard about that crap,” he said, “it’s some sort of space drug. I’m going to call the cops.”

While he did that Sam backed up a bit and pulled out her keypad, and once there was some space between them she said, “Dez, where do we stand on humans selling alien drugs?”

***
The crowd in the main chamber quickly went back to business as usual after Galgamayde ran for who knows where. The boss had made it very clear that he didn’t want his name mentioned in his presence, unless one of his hunter patrols located the craft that helped him escape. A list of potential suspects narrowed quickly as those unaccounted for at the time presented alibis that were quickly confirmed. Still people in the room still looked around trying to figure out who helped him escape.

“What is the status of the crytek sales?” he demanded through the droid, “Particularly on Earth.”

Above them an image of a lion like humanoid alien appeared. Missing a fang as red eyes stared at the boss before saying, “Surprisingly well. The humans took to it very quickly and are willing to pay any price we set in order to get more.”

This sounded too good to be true. “And the human Sheriff hasn’t gotten involved yet? I find that hard to believe.”

“It’s true,” the lion insisted. “No one has seen the human in days. The partner has been seen more than he has. Word going around is that he’s been injured somehow.”Those words got those in the crowd talking to themselves once again. Galgamayde’s name had popped up more than once, a fact not lost on their leader.

He quickly put an end to that, “Do not believe rumors! Not until you have some sort of confirmation. Even if the Sheriff is injured his partner is still out there. She has proven to be formidable in her own right. Stay on guard, either one of them could show up unexpectedly.”

“Yes sir,” and the image faded and the crowd went back to talking amongst themselves.

In the meantime the droid rolled over to a station and opened a secure communication channel as one of the hunters came into view. “The boss just heard word that the human Sheriff might have been injured. Send someone to check and see if Galgamayde headed there without us knowing it.”

“At once sire,” the hunter said.

***
Dez said they couldn’t really do anything about the human selling the alien drug. However once he was arrested by the police she could easily hack into their system and and get the information they needed that way. Finding out which precinct he was taken to she got in and cross matched any information he had given them to the criminals in her database. Someone she zeroed onto quickly once she discovered the name of the drug he had been selling. “The only known seller of crytek in the system is a Lionix named Grrwl,” Dez told Sam as she pulled up the information. “Based on the reports I’ve been able to access he’s supposedly been inhabiting the same area that the man your local authorities arrested.”

“So the chances are more than good that he’s the supplier,” Sam said.

“I’d say it’s more than likely.” Pausing a moment she read something on the file that caught her eye. She read it a few more times to make sure she read it right the first time. “Now that’s a little unusal.”

Sam asked, “What is it Dez?”

“Protocol Zero has been authorized

Sam was quiet for a moment. Eventually she said, “For a drug dealer? Was there a mistake made somewhere?”

“I’m checking into it now.” It took Dez a few moments to find the reasoning for the authorization. “Crytek has caused several deaths galaxy wide. According to the law on Grrwl’s home planet being responsible in any way for a death of an individual is an automatic death penalty.”

“Harsh planet,” she muttered.

“I agree Samantha but we have to abide by the laws of the criminal’s home world as well as our own. As I told you before this is looked at from every angle…”

“I know, if one person finds something wrong then Zero isn’t authorized.”

Something in the tone of her voice made Dez worry, “Samantha are you alright? I can contact Alex if you don’t think you’re up to it.”

“No I can do this,” Sam insisted, hoping she believed what she was saying. “It’s all part of the job as Alex would say.”

Dez wasn’t exactly convince, but then again Alex sounded the same way the first time he was sent after a Zero as well, “I’m sending you the coordinates now. You’ll do fine Samantha.”

“Right,” down on the planet she didn’t see anybody else as she put the keypad on her forearm. -5-5-4-3- “Online,” in a flash she was in her armor. A press of the five key –GALACTIC CYCLE- and she was on the road heading for Grrwl’s location.

***
In another part of the city, in Alien town to be exact, Alex sat next to Nyr’s Kavalful stand downing another sandwhich. The alien would glance at his human friend every so often not sure how to ask the question on his mind. Finally he decided to just come out with it. “My friend I not see you do much lately. Notice your pod… no… sister doing most of work now no?

“Not by choice Nyr,” Alex said as he popped the last bit into his mouth. “I’ve been medically grounded until further notice.”

“Ah, he said in understanding. “So not lazy, good very good. Would not like to have lazy friend.”

“Nice to know our friendship is that fragile,” Alex told him while faking looking hurt.

“I do not mean to offend,” Nyr told him while stirring the pot in front of him again, “but you look so… what’s the Earth word… enthusiastic I think… when on job. Like had purpose in life.”

“Maybe,” Alex said as he paid for the sandwich. “Alright I’ll admit doing this is pretty cool.”

“So why so down?”

“Because I just got a glimpse of what it’s going to be like when the guy I’m taking over takes the job back. And quite frankly Nyr, it sucks.”

“But you do good job,” he assured his human friend. “Foolish not to keep you after other one comes back.”

“We’ll see Nyr, thanks for the sandwich.”

“No problem my friend, glad you enjoy.”

Alex walked down the street looking around at the human and aliens around him. A few of the ETs greeted him, a couple even called him Sheriff. He had a hard time seeing any disgust in their eyes while they did so . And he had to be honest that made him feel kind of good inside. But how were they going to react when Orion came back? More importantly if he was having this much trouble now how hard where things going to be when he did come back. He put those thoughts aside when the keypad beeped in his pocket. Out of habit he stepped into an alley he answered, “What is it Dez?”

“I sent Samantha after a crytek dealer named Grrwl,” she replied back. “I’m only telling you about this because of the Zero authorization.”

Oh boy. “How did she take that one?”

“About as well as you did.”

“Crap. I’m on my way.”

“Alex wait,” she said quickly. “I didn’t call you to take over the mission. She’s on her way now, but she’s never Zeroed any one before.”

“So hang back and watch in case she freezes when the time comes,” Alex said going deeper into the alley. And he knew how easy it was to freeze up at the moment, he almost didn’t come out of that one the first time he had to.

“Not the words I would use but essentially correct. I’m sending you the coordinates now.” In moments he was in the armor and on the skyboard heading toward his sister.

***
She didn’t know about Alex but Sam always wondered how many abandoned building and factories were in this town seeing how many times they been sent to one on an assignment. Like now she drove around a series of warehouses on the docks looking for this Grrwl character. Of course she briefly wondered why that thought just entered her head. Maybe she was trying not to dwell on a particular detail of this one. That one robot and countless simulations were one thing, but an actual living being? Seeing movement in one of the buildings in front of her she stopped the cycle in front of it and did a quick scan. Whatever she was reading defiantly wasn’t human. Getting off the bike she walked toward it pressing a key on her pad. –SINGLE GUN-

Keeping it aimed toward the ground she made her way to the warehouse doors. Standing at the side she did another quick scan of the doors. The reading as right on the other side, it looked like it was waiting for her. Stepping back she aimed a shot right over it’s head and pulled the trigger. The shape ducked giving her time to kick the door open and catch him buy surprise. Seeing that it was her target she said, “Grrwl you are in violation of intergalactic law thirty-nine, distributing an illegal and lethal substance. Come out of the building and keep your hands were I can see them.”

“Disappointing,” he murmured, tail twitching behind him, “I wanted your superior.” He lashed out with a foot that caught her off guard and sent the gun flying from her hand. That moment was all he had as she quickly went on defense as he struck at her again. Blocking his blows she was holding her own, a fact that seemed to infuriate the alien lion. Creating some space between them Grrwl reached behind his head and pulled out a curved blade from a sheath hidden on is back.

Seeing how sharp the blade was Sam wisely avoided it’s edge as he started swing it. –STAFF- The pole quickly extended as she stopped a strike at her head. Grrwl forced her back a few steps before she was able to hold her ground. Suddenly very grateful for all the staff training drills Dez put her through she held her own, especially since this lion looked like he knew what he was doing with that sword. Keeping the edge of that blade from hitting her she was able to smash the end of the staff into his knee. When he went down Sam quickly got behind him and forced the staff against his throat, “Give it up Grrwl.” Unfortunately she didn’t have enough leverage from keeping him from flipping her to the ground.

“Now I show you,” he struck the sword against her chest as she tried to get back up, “what we do to females who don’t know their place on my planet.” Grabbing her by the neck he threw her against the wall. The impact was enough for her to drop the staff. Grrwl came running at her with his sword held high.

-SWORD-

The sound of metal hitting metal briefly filled the air as Grrwl’s blade was blocked by Alex. The alien lion sneered as Sam looked on in relief and confusion, “What are you doing here?

“It’s my sister first Zero, do you think I’m going to miss it?” Alex forced Grrwl back to try and give Sam a breather. She picked up her staff and saw her gun was not that far off. Running for it she scooped it up as he had Grrwl on the ropes. As they fought she looked at the zero on her keypad. Could she really do it? She looked up as Grrwl blocked Alex’s sword in such a way that he was able to punch him in the head. Alex dropped in funny way as he held his head. Grrwl raised the sword above him and Sam fired, “No!”

Uh,” Grrwl grunted as he backed up from the repeated shots. Not even realizing she was doing it she hit the zero on the keypad. –PROTOCOL ZERO- Taking aim as power flowed through her suit and into the gun she looked right at Grrwl. He looked right back as she pulled the trigger. Those eyes stayed locked on her as the beam hit and disintegrated him. Sam stayed standing in the position for a long time.

Slowly Alex stumbled to his feet still holding his head and looked at her. He wlaked over to his sister and cautiously reached for her arm and lowered it, “It’s okay Sam, it’s over.”

“I just…,” she said between breaths, “…I just…”

“I know. Come on the cops will be here soon,” and he guided her away from the scene.

***
A couple of days later Alex found Sam sitting in the park with a lost look on her face. Probably something similar to how he was looking the first time he Zeroed somebody. Alex felt like a failure right then and there since he was trying to keep that look off of his twin’s face. Sitting down he said, “That knock on the noggin put me back a bit but Dez said I should be good to go in a day or two.”

“That’s good,” she said, but she really did sound all that enthusiastic about it.

“How are you doing?”

“I still see his eyes,” she told him.

“Yeah Dez and Orion never warned me about that either. I think it’s why I try to do it with the sword so I don’t have to look at them.”

“How do you handle it?”

“Like I told you before I try to think of what they did to deserve getting a Zero.”

She finally looked at him, “He was a drug dealer.”

“On his home planet he was considered a murderer. In times like this you can’t really think in Earth terms. Trust me it helps a lot.”

“Did your first Zero affect you this much?”

“I came this close to chucking the keypad into that lake.”

“We must be related then, I had the same thought,” she tried to laugh. “What stopped you from doing it?”

“The fact Dez could beam it out of there,” he joked. “But mainly because Orion trusted me to take over for him while he heals up. And Dad always saying if somebody gives you a job to do you don’t quit on it. Why didn’t you?”

She smiled sadly, “I remembered Dad saying that too.”

“So when it’s all over we’ll blame him.” He was surprised when she did chuckle this time. “You know you’re basically my assistant, you don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to.”

“Are you trying to get rid of me?”

“No I just… I didn’t want you to change in the way that a Zero does like it did me.”

“Great job you did there,” she said, but not in a mean spirited way. “So how do you handle this, strippers and booze?”

“Usually but I’m not doing that with my sister,” he joked. Getting up he said, “Come on, I’ll show how I really handle this.”

“Why do I get the feeling were heading towards Manny’s Pizza?”

“It’s heaven in a box.”


-----
ED –Divide the Day – Let it Roll
-----
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Old May 15th, 2019, 11:04 AM #13
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> scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



13


-----
OP - Downstait - I Came To Play
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The organization had learned one thing for certain about the Sheriff's sensor grids, they were extremely accurate. They were even able to detect the smallest of deleverly pods that passed through their invisible net. So the Hunter assigned to track down the traitor, much like the others who worked for the boss, had to find other ways to get past them. That way included getting close enough to the nearest spaceport and carefully hack into it's database for the shipping logs of the various ships that passed through it. But not just any ship, one capable of carrying numerous passengers. Enough that he should be able to hide on it when it landed an not be noticed right away once it launched again. As luck would have it a passenger liner was heading in the direction he wanted to go. Even better according to his computer cross checking the ship's captain owed the boss a rather large gambling debt. The feline humanoid sent a quick info burst asking for permission for his current plan, the captain, if he was smart, would help him if he could decrease the size of his current debt.

Once the boss agreed to this his plan was get ahead of the ship and pretend to be in distress, far enough away from the planet so a rescue ship from them wouldn't intervine instead but close enough the ship had to help. He guessed correctly at the distance as the vessel changed course to intercept his craft. Again fortune was with him as the captain readily agreed to his terms going so far as to personally find him a place to dwell on the ship away from the other passengers. Alone in the cabin provided he studied the information they had on Earth and it's inhabtants one more time. One could never be too prepared after all, especially if Galgamayde did decide to hide out there. Personally he doubted it because it would be too obvious considering his hatred of the human Sheriff and his desire to end his life personally. Then again becuase it was so obvious many would over look it. Somethng the traitor may count on.

Then there was the strong possability that he may com across the human Sheriff in his search. The boss never said he could engage him if they did cross paths, then again he didn't say he couldn't either. The edge of his lip started to curl with a grin with the thought of comabt with the human but he quickly pushed those toughts away. His mission was to track down the Galgamayde and execute him the moment he did so. If the human interfered well every conflict had it's share of casulties.

***
"I wonder what Dez wants to see us for?", Sam asked as the stood on the roof of his apartment building.

"She said she had somethingt o show us," Alex answered as he looked up at the sky. "She's never been this vauge before. I know it's got my curosity up."

"Maybe they realized Orion was trying to Gamma somebody else," she smirked. Alex didn't find it particularly funny.

"Alex," Dez said finally calling them through his keypad, "are you and Samantha ready for transport?"

"Ready when you are," he answered. To his twin he said, "I guess we find out what's going on now." She nodded as they shimmered a bit. The next thing either of them knew they were on the orbital station.

Sam blinked her eyes at the sudden change of scenery, "You think I'd be used to that by now."

"Do what I do and close your eyes," he told her as they headed for the control room. When they got there Dez was practically beaming with excitment. Now both of them were really confused. Cautiously Alex said, "What's up Dez?"

"Baring any criminals showing up or sudden galactic interfeance I'll show you momentarily." Something on her console beeped and she smiled. "and there he is now." Her smile grew a little bigger as she hit something and turned around. Before long an image of Orion was standing before them.

It took a second before both of them realized he was actually standing before them. He had a couple of canes supporting his weight but he was standing. He looked very pleased at his current situation at the moment. Dez turned around to face them looking extremely pleased herself. Sam was smiling too at the surprise, then she looked at her brother. Alex was stunned too but not in the good way. Infact it looked like somebody just pulled his world out from under him.

Orion was the first one to speak, "We thought you two would like to see my progress."

"That's great Orion," Sam spoke up while Alex kept staring at the image. "How long have you been able to do this?"

"Not long," he answered. "I'm surprising the doctors around here with how fast I'm recuperating from my injury. Nobody saying anything but I think I'm breaking some records."

"And to think I was missing that ego of yours," Dez told him.

"I'm a Sheriff," he snorted, "we live to break records. I'll be back in the armor before the scum of the universe knows it."

Even though each word felt like a verbal punch to the stomach Alex tried not to show it., "That's... great."

Orion looked over at him and that grin gew a little sadder and he looked a bit more self consious, "Well I'm sure that part is still a ways off. I better get off this line, the doctors tell me not to put too much of a strain on my back at this point. They'll be yelling in my general direction for making this call as it is."

"Alright Orion," Dez said. "But listent to the medics, they do know what they're talking about after all."

After the image faded she looked at the two of them. her happy mood turned to one of confusion as Alex looked at the station floor. "Alex?"

Suddenly he turned around saying, "I got something to do on the planet." Sam tried to reach for him but he was already gone.

Walking up and standing next to her Dez said, "I thought he would be happy at the news."

Sam could only say, "I'm sure part of him is."

***
Materalizing on the roof Sam slowly opened her, "I'll be damned it actually works." Looking around she found Alex sitting on a vent. "How come you didn't tell me about that trick sooner?" He didn't say anything but he was staring at something in his hands. It took her a second to realize it was his keypad. She sat next to him saying, "You okay?"

"I didn't even want this stupid thing when he first Gammaed me," he began. "I tried to give it back so Dez could bring in somebody who knew what in the hell they were doing. Now I don't want to give it up." Sam put an arm around him, "I know crazy right?"

"No, not really," she told him.

"I mean I knew Orion would be back sooner or later."

"But part of you was really hoping it would be later," she finished for him.

"I should be happy Orion is recuperating as fast as he is. Hell should be amazed he's recovering at all. But all I can think about is that I'm finally good at something and it's going to be taken out of my hands."

"You heard Orion, it's still going to be awhile before he's ready to come back full time. And don't forget Dez said he did have plans for you when he does."

"Doesn't mean he can't change his mind between now and then."

Now she was getting depressed, "You need a change of scenery. Come on I'll take you to Manny's. That will cheer you up."

He gave her a sad smile, "I think it's going to take a little more than that this time around."

***
All the intellegence gathered said the human Sheriff main area of activity was centered around one particular city on this planet. Fate seemed to be with him on this particular assignment as the Captain of the ship had a dwelling near said city and was more than happy to drop him off. Setting up in one of the safe houses the organization had in place he went over his plan one more time. The safe house was located near a more heavily extra-terestrial populated area of the city, if Galgamayde did come here to hide it would be easier to blend in here than in one mainly populated by humans. His mechanical parts alone would make him stand out anywhere but here was the more likely place.

Unknown to the less priveledge all the safe houses were connected to each other by a computer network so it was an easy matter to access the internal information from each one. According to this none fo them had been accessed in a long time. If it had been anybody else the Hunter would have let it go but with the sensor package in his electronic eye he could have picked up the various scanners and listening devices in the buildings easily. He could even cover his tracks in the system itself, he wouldn't have been able to live this long as an assassin if he wasn't able to. Retreivng a device from his pack he inserted into the syetem exterior port. It was a drive especially created to detect any such tampering. The creator of the device claimed it was so throuogh that the only person who could beat or fool it was himself.

So the boss had him killed to keep that from ever happening.

The scan indicated the system was free from any tampering so Galgamayde didn't hold up in any of the safe houses if he did come here. So he would have to move on to step two, investigate the streets. Most sentient beings knew who a hunter was and who they worked for, and more importantly what they did. Those factors alone should loosen a few tongues. Unfortunately it also increased the chances of the Sheriff discovering he was here. It was a risk he had to take to accomplish his mission.

***
"Sam heads up!", Alex shouted as the Herculean came toward her. She flipped out of the way as he punched the ground she just stood on. -STAFF- She swung with everything she had and smashed the end into the side of his head. It snapped around then slowly turned back toward her.

"Ow," it grunted. "Hurt. Hurt back."

"Uh-oh," she muttered as she barely avoided another fist.

"Shit." -DOUBLE GUN- -RAPID FIRE- The Herculean momentarily stopped his rampage as he was assaulted by the barrage of energized shots. Then it started toward him. "What did I tell you about pissing these guys off?"

She shot back, "You piss them off all the time!"

"Yeah but I do it with style." The Herculean rushed him despite the barrage. ALex jumped and rolled out of the way at the last second and the extremely strong alien crashed through the wall that was behind him. Alex got to a knee and focused on the hole as Sam stood behind him, "Ready?"

-SINGLE GUN- -CAPTURE- "Ready."

-CAPTURE- The alien came at the hole and started at them again. If you could ever count on one thing it was the single minded determination of a Herculean. "Do it!" Energy bands quickly wrapped around the alien making it fall to the ground from his own momentum. "Bagged him." Alex quickly ran over and placed chip on his forehead. "And tagged him." A moment later the alien shimmered and disappeared.

"Ah Alex," Sam said when a lone police car pulled up. It looked like to her that they were calling in back up.

"In a minute," he told her, either not seeing or ignoring the situation. "Dez is there anything else in the area that needs our attention?"

She was quiet for a moment, "Why are you asking that now? You've never asked that before."

He practically snapped at her, "Is there or isn't there?"

"Give me a moment," she said, obvously unsure what to make of this situation. "Outside of that squad car by you everything is quiet. Although you may want to get out of there."

One of the officers in that patrol car was brave enough to come forward and draw his revolver on them, "Alright you two freeze."

Alex held up a finger but otherwise ignored him, "You sure there's nothing around? Herculeans aren't that smart. Somebody had to point him in this direction."

"And those who do are rarely on the same planent," Dez told him. "We already had this conversation when you first started."

"I said freeze!", the officer told them while stepping a little closer. Alex quickly grabbed the gun with both hands and bent the barrel.

"I'm busy," he chided the officer who just stared at the at his ruined gun. Then Alex looked at the other one and gave him the "I'm watching you" sign then turned his atention back to Dez, "So basically you're saying we're done here."

"To put it simply yes. And please tell me I'm not going to regret that metallic sound I just heard."

"Okay I won't tell you," he said sounding more like his old self. He told Sam, "We're out of here then." He walked past the silent officer and jumped on the Skyboard. Sam looked at both officers and shrugged then she got on the Galactic Cycle and follwed him.

Catching up with him she asked, "What was that about?"

He didn't look at her, "What was what about?"

"That whole gung-ho let's go act you just pulled. Dez was right you never asked if there's anything else to do after we're done with a case."

All he said was, "Just trying to be a professional."

"Would this sudden urge of professionalism have anything to do with the fact Orion is standing again?" His only answer was silence. "Alex you know he's impressed with you and everything you've done. He's not going to let everything you learned and done go to waste."

He was still quiet, head lowering a bit. Then he said, "We better split up in case those cops decide to follow us." Then he flew off before she could say anything else.

Finding and empty piece of street she turned into an side alley and got off the cycle. Waiting to make sure nobody did follow her and deactivated the armor. In the same instant the cycle disappreaed as well. Thinking about her brother she spoke into her keypad, "Dez we have to talk."

***
Three days of investagation revealed nothing so far. If Galgamayde was here he had hidden himself well. His initail search took him to the slums of this particular city. Many of the inhabitants remembered him from his failed attempt at the human Sheriff. A few even remembered his original assignmnet against this sector's official Sheriff. But so far none of them either hadn't seen him lately or were so scared of a possible interogation they had mistaken somebody else for him.

The human Sheriff and his partner had shown up in those three days. A fact that made him consider that this was waste of time. But as a hunter he was trained to be thorough and there was a chance that Galgamayde was bidding his time. What made him so feared as an assassin was how much he studied and planned each hit, no he wouldn't just attack the human right out in the open. It was also a possibility that word had reached the traitor that he was looking for him and went deeper into hiding. If that was the case that somebody was more afraid of Galgamayde than they were of him, a situation he was ready to remedy. But one thing at a time. For now his search concentrated on on he more alien heavy area of the city, or at least the beter part of it.

"Greetings friend!", exclaimed a cheerful wooly alien in front of some sort of food cart. "Some kavalful you like to try today yes? Very Fresh, very tasty."

"I am looking for someone not food," he said gruffly.

"Maybe I can help then," he went on. "See and know numerous beings. All come to my kavalful stand."

He pondered this for a moment as he pulled the hood of his cloak a little further over his head. The vendor didn't seem to recognize him under it so perhaps a being feeling a little less fear would be more helpful. "I am loooking for this individual," holding out a palm sized disc an image of Galgamayde's head floated in the air.

The vendor looked at him and snorted, "Seen him a long time ago. Took on my friend and he barely survived. Shy away from him if you know what's good for you."

"My business with him is my own," he snapped. "Have you seen him recently?"

"No and if I did I would go the other way. What you shoud do I say."

Turning to leave he stopped to ponder something the alien said. "Why was he after your friend?"

The alien stood a littel straigter and and puffed his chest out a little bit, "Very special my friend is," he said with some pride. "The Sheriff he is."

This could not be possible, could it? This being knew the human Sheriff. If he was this talkative now... There had to be a way to silence him before he spoke to the human.

"Hey Nyr," a new voice said. A dark haired human walked up and looked into one of the pots. "Yeah this one is looking a little too fresh."

"Bah. More flavor this way," this Nyr snorted. "Oh this is my friend." The human turned toward him and nodded. It was him, he recognized him from the image Galgamayde unknowingly recorded. "I did not catch your name my new friend."

"It's not important," he said as he started to leave.

"Maybe my friend can help you locate that nasty guy you look for," Nyr offered. Slag this was what he was afraid of.

"What nasty guy?", the human asked as he stopped. Even if he tried to top the alien now his cover would be blown.

"The one with the metal face who threw you across the street a while back."

"Metal face?", he said slowly. As he turned toward him he saw that the human's demenor changed slightly, more on guard than he was before. "Are you looking for Galgamayde?"

"Yes," he answered, there was no point in lying now. "I intened to kill him."

"Well that all fine and dandy," he said, "but scum of the universe he may be you're not doing it on my watch. Is that understood?"

"That is not you decision to make human," he tolding not hiding the threat in his voice.

The human didn't look afected, "Yeah well I beg to differ."

"Then you are in my way." In a flash he threw off the cloak and charged the human. His claws caught the front of his shirt as he fell back. Rolling to a knee he had the keypad already in his hand and was slapping it on his forearm. He would give him the oppertunity to activate the armor. Then it would truly be a even fight.

***
-5-7-1-6-

"On...," in the space between seconds the keypad reacted and the armor quickly went up his arm and covered the rest of his body, eyes seemingly glowing behind the visor, "...line!"

He stood while as he kept his eyes on the guy in front of him. "Alright let's try that again."

Dez decided then to come over the line, "Alex why did you activate the armor?"

"Short version I was attacked," he said as the alien jumped at him. Avoiding his initial attack by ducking a bit he caught him by the waist. Picking him off the ground he tried to get him as far away from Nyr as possible. Then the alien clawed him in the back and made him drop to a knee. Then he picked him up and threw him into the side of a moving truck, "Ugh."

During all of this Dez was able to connect to his helmet sensors to see what he was fighting. Her heart skipped a beat as she saw his opponent pull some sort of blaster off his back. "That's a Hunter. Why are you picking a fight with a Hunter?"

"I didn't pick a fight," he grunted as he ran for the nearest car. The Hunter was able to clip him on the shoulder before he totally got behind it. "Ugh," he grunted again as he shook it out the pain for a bit. -DOUBLE GUN- -RAPID FIRE- Within a heartbeat he quickly popped back into view and returned fire.

"Alex this is important," Dez insisted as the feline alien found cover of his own, "why are you taking him on?"

"Fine," he said as he went back into hiding, "the slightly longer version. He said he was hear to kill Galgamayde I said not on my watch and then he attacked me. Satisfied yet?"

"Alex the Hunters are the personal guard of the leader of the criminal organization we have been trying to stop. If he's here to kill Galgamayde you just got in his way. This is not a good thing," And there was no ignoring the worry in her voice.

"I guess Orion's leak worked then," he commented right before he ran for a better firing position while getting in a few shots to make sure the Hunter couldn't get a bead on him. Sliding behind another car he said, "If he's looking for Galgamayde then why is he here?"

"It's possible they think he wants one more shot at you before they get him."

"If you're done talking with your handler human," the Hunter called out.

"Impatiant SOB ain't he?", ALex muttered. Popping up he got a clear target lock and pulled the triggers. The hunter got tagged with a couple fo energized slugs before ducking and running. Alex followed him saying, "So what am I supposed to be doing with these Hunters after I'm done with them?"

"I searching for them in the database now," she answered. "This one is a known killer on several different worlds. Protocal Zero has been authorized."

The Hunter heard this and turned around and fired, "You can try human!"

A couple of good shots to the chest knocked him to the ground. The Hunter pounced on him before he could get up. He dropped his weapon and forced Alex's guns out of his hands and threw them out of his reach. Then he started swiping him around the head and chest with those claws. Alex was able grab one hand and punch him in the face with his free one. The hunter tried to stop his attack but he got up enough so Alex could get a leg between them and push him off. Reaching behind him the Hunter produced a staff that quickly extednded in his hands and came at him. -SWORD- Barely getting the blade up to block the blow. Alex eyes went to the slight electrical sparks that was coming off the Hunter's weapon as it contacted his.

The Hunter pushed him back and came back at him again. Alex continued to back up trying to block the staff with his blade. This guy was fast, faster than him. He suddenly went low and wacked the other end into Alex's knee. An electrical charge went through the armor and to his leg. It felt like it went numb almost instantly as he almost fell. At that moment he whipped the other end around into his head. That blow did send him to the ground that time but he made sure to make sure his hand stayed around the handle of his sword. He wasn't going to last long of that happened. The feline alien put a foot on the back of his head and stomped it to the ground. The way this was going he wasn't going to last long anyway.

"You just had to walk away human," the Hunter said as he picked him back up. "Walk away and you wouldn't have had to deal with any of this."

"Funny," he said and swung his sword catching in the side and forced him back. Alex tried to get his footing, "I was thinking the same thing about you."

Holding his side the HUnter growled, "I see why they say you are annoying human."

"Just part of my charm." Alex went at him trying to keep him off balance but again the Hunter's speed was giving him trouble. Again he got the staff through his defenses, into the shoulder of his non sword arm shocking him long enough to jab the other end into his gut. Then he pressed somehting that emitted a pulse that sent Alex flying back and landing hard on the ground. Still he tried to get back to his feet.

"You have a warrior's spirit human,"he Hunter told him. "More than most beings I've killed."

Okay that speed was going to kill him at this point and he had only one way to counteract it. And it was going to suck so hard. He hit two buttons on the pad -POWER- -BOOST- and a beam from Dez's station hit him in the back. "AARRGH!!!", Alex screamed as it did. When it was over various pieces of his armor was still glowing including his eyes. "Alright fleabag round two." ALex ran in, faster this time, and swung his sword. The blow backed buy the boost enhanced armor forced the alien back hard. The Hunter tried to jab him again, he grabbed it easily, "Not this time." WIth a heave he threw the Hunter. Changing his grip on the sword he pressed two more buttons -BOOST- -PROTOCAL ZERO- and started running.

The glow from his armor slowly flowed through his sword and the glow around the blade got brighter and brighter. Once he was close enough he yelled and swung with a huge energy wave following the blade as he cut through the Hunter that quickly disentgrated him in a flash. Alex went to a knee totally wracked with pain, "Ow! Ow! Ow!"

"Alex," Nyr called out as he got out from behind his hiding spot.

"I'm good Nyr," he grunted, he just needed a couple of moments so it didn't hurt all that much to move. Sirens started to fill the air, "Crap." -SKYBOARD- While not exactly hopping on he did get on and got out of there as fast as he could.

***
Still feeling the effects of the boost that night he groaned as the computer came out of it's hiding place in his wall and her holo image was standing in his living room. "What is it now Dez? I'm still kinda hurting here."

"Samantha was talking to me earlier and I realized I needed to apologize to you since I hurt you without realizing it."

"Is this about Orion?", he asked. "It was just the shock I'm over it now." And maybe if he said it enough times he'd start believeing it too.

"I hope so," she said. "I still should have let you know ahead of time, prepared you for it in some way."

"Well you don't have to deal with for much longer," he joked. He was expecting her to look annoyed in some way, so why did she look a little sad? "You're not actually going to miss me are you Dez?"

She seemed flustered for a moment before saying, "Well I have grown accustomed to your particular presence. I will admit to a certain amount of trepidation at the idea of loosing regular contact with you."

"You better becareful what you say Dez, I might start thinking you actually care."

"And we don't want that," she said with a slight smirk that started to fade quickly.

"I'll miss you too Dez," he told her. "But like Orion said he's still a ways off from being back full time. So I'm still the biggest pain in your neck you currently have."

Her smile grew a little more, "Well then I better get the aspirin ready as you human say."

"So I make you want to tear your hair out huh?"

"Between you and Orion I'm surpriesed I'm not bald by now." They shared a small laugh to end the night.

***
On the edge of the unknown territories Galgamayde was currently wondering if being blasted into atoms would have been a quicker torture than this. Several cycles confined in the small cabin of this shuttle with his "rescuer" had long since gotten on his nerves, to the point his mechanical fingers started tapping against the chair against his will. "Relax Galgamayde," the Andorian told him. "We're about there."

"You still haven't said where this is and why I would find it interesting."

"Trust me," he said for the countless time since he saved him, Galgamayde was starting to hear it in his sleep, "it will be more than worth your time."

Making sure he didn't see Galgamayde fingered his blaster, "It had better be."


-----
ED - Divide the Day - Let It Roll
-----
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Old May 18th, 2019, 04:13 PM #14
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> scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
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scikaiju
Power Ranger
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



14


-----
OP - Downstait - I Came To Play
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"Get a move on you mooks!" a rather large bulldog type alien shouted at the crew that was under him. A collection of various species that came together for various reasons, most beacuse there were fugitives from the law on their respective planets. Which made them the perfect work force for those who knew how to explout them. And the bulldog did. "I said hurry the slag up! That guard I paid off isn't going to avoid this area all night."

They started moving a little faster but not enough for his taste. He looked over to who could be considered the closest to the number two man in this particualr organization. A pteradactyl looking being who had his wings clipped, and had been miserable every second since. He kept his eyes on the sky for any sign of the authorities, Earthbound or otherwise. "Why is this taking so long?"

"The human is slowing us down," the pteradactyl said as he kept looking at the sky. "I told you not to bring him in. He's a weakling even by thier standards."

"We needed the extra help and he was willing to work cheep. I swear the morons on this planet have no idea what galactic credits are worth."

"They would have to take them first to understand it."

"Not my problem," he grunted. "But we're stealing from the Organization here. So any able hand is a good hand."

Now he looked at him, "The Organizaion?" Gods if I knew that I would have demanded a bigger cut."

"Well you didn't. And keep your eyes on the area." He walked off grunting, "Bad enough I have to worry about the cops but the Organization have eyes everywhere." Not for the first time he eyed everybody under him for this job. The only real new person was the human. And quite honestly nobody would miss him if he suddenly died after the job was over. Definately nobody here, and it was good to remind everybody who was in charge from time to time.

The human in question, a almost stick figure of a man, grunted as he struggled to hoist the metal barrel he was told to get on the anti-grav lift. He was obviouly struggling but none of the others bothered to look in his direction, much less offered to help. While they weren't speaking in english he knew they were saying something about him. He could just tell in the tone. God if he didnt need the money to pay off those gambling debts he never would have taken this job. But he didn't need the medical bills from the broken bones on top of the rest of it.

With one last heave he got the barrel on the lift finally filling it. Not taking the time to catch his breath, mainly becaus he was afraid the guy in charge would pound the shit out of him if he did, he quickly turned the lift on. A slight problem on it's own since he just learned how to operate the contraption today. And the alein who showed him how to use it only seemed to know five words in english and none of them dealing with the lift in general. But he was always a quick study so it shouldn't be a problem. Or at least that should have been the case until the lift shot up twenty feet in the air, tilted to the left and dropped on the barrels to the ground with several loud clangs. He stared at one of the barrels that cracked open and gave out a weak, "Shit."

"What the frak do you think you're doing!", the bulldog shouted as he grabbed him by the shirt. "The whole fraking yard heard that racket!"

"I...I...I..."

"Shut up and fix this now before the guard shows up!" he shouted and shoved him to the ground. And like the person he was he quickly crawled over and tried to get the barrel up. The one that cracked slowly leaked a gelatinous, alomst clear ooze. The closer it got to his hand the more it seemed to change direction to get even closer. He didn't notice until it made contact with his hand, then it was too late. It quickly enveloped his hand and started up his arm.

He clutched at it trying to get it off of him but it only spread more. "Get it off! Get it off!", he pleaded with the rest of them since it felt like it was burning through his fleash. "Get it off!!" None of them made a move to help him. Outside of the one or two who kept working the rest of them just stared at what was happening. His screams were cut up as the ooze covered his face. Falling to the ground he continued to writhe around in pain.

"Slag now I have to kill that guard now," the bulldog moaned. "Somebody think of a way to make it look like they killed each other."

"Better make it quick," the second called out seeing said guard come in their direction.

The ooze continued to cover him but seemed to melt into his flesh at the same time. The human lay there for a long time before opening his eyes and jumped to his feet. Walking aroound and moving his arms like he was unsure how to work them properly he loooked himself over. "This one may burnout before I am ready."

"Hey mook!", the boss growled, mainly trying not to show how confused he was. "What are you doing?" For the first time since he could remember he was ignored. "I said what are you doing?" He went to punch him to reestablish his domanance. The human caught the punch and held it in place surprising everybody.

"I know you from this one's memories," the human said finally looking at him with a parcular look. "This body hates you but has no choice but to work for you. As for me," he licked his lips slightly, "I am looking at breakfast." He opened his mouth and more of that ooze shot out.

***
Hours after the night guard found the scene and disappeared right after reporting it the police covered the crime scene. Far enough away to see them but not be seen Alex tried to use the sensors in the armor to figure out what was happening. "This totally sucks," he commented, feeling the frustration at the moment with the police keeping thing pretty well covered that he couldn't get a clear image.

"I understand Alex," Dez told him as she monitered the situation from the orbital station. "But until we come to a better understanding with your local authorities this is the hand we have to deal with."

"God you'd think after all this time one of them would realize we're on the same side." He focused the scan on a busted open barrel. He was getting some kind of hit but he was too far away to identify it. "Can you do anything with the scan I'm getting?"

After a moment she answered, "Not from your current position."

"Are you sure you can't get some sort of call sent out to get most of them out of here?"

She responded with a very tired sigh, "Alex..."

"Just asking," he backed off. "Maybe there's more of whatever it is around here. If we're lucky whoever did all of that stepped in it."

"It's plausable," she agreed. Pulling up an map of the area Dez added, "unfortunatly he or she could have gone any where. Assuming you want to stay on foot to keep from being seen by the authorities, it may take awhile to do a complete search of the area. Especially if the police stepped in the same substance. It may be wise to recall Samantha, I can transport her to your location in no time."

Considering it for a moment he said, "No, Sam and her friends had been planning that trip for months. Besides she deserves a bit of a break."

"The same could be said about you," she told him.

"You already forced me on a break, remember?"

"That was for you own safety and health Alex."

"It's still a vacation I didn't want"

"Sheriff..."

-SWORD-

A instant after pressing the key he spun around and grabbed the handle. In the space of a couple of blinks he had a pterodactyl looking alien forced up gainst a metal crate. The liquid metal inside solidified into his blade as he pressed it against his neck to keep him in place. "Not a real good idea to sneak up behind me tonight."

"Sheriff," he repeated. "You have to help me. It's going to get me."

"What's going to get you?", Alex asked. He pointed to the crime scene, "Did it do whatever it did over there?"

"By the Gods I swear to you it did," he replied. Granted Alex was never really good at reading faces, human or otherwise. But he was pretty sure that look of fear he seeing in his eyes was pretty much universal.

"Tell me what happened and I'll consider helping you."

"It was a human," he quickly said. "Used to be human. He cracked open one of those containers, slime was on the inside of it. It went into the human than it..." he trailed off and looked across the way.

Alex made him look at him, "What was this slime?"

"I don't know. I was hired to do a job not ask questions."

"So the slime killed the human?"

"I... don't know."

This was getting him nowhere. "If I was you I'd better start knowing something if I'm going to ask for help."

That fear in his eyes breifly turned to panic, "You have to help me!"

"No actually I don't. You see I'm right here and my superior is all the way up there," he pointed at the sky. "And there's nothing she can do to stop me from walking way from this right now. So unless I hear something interesting..."

"It got the slaggin' night guard hours ago! I know where the corpse is," he said. "Please it's all I have. You have to help me."

"This slime killed the guard and whoever else was over there but not the human?"

"I don't know," he repeated, "the human was different after the slime entered him. More confident."

"Show me the guard."

"But it might..."

"Now," Alex demanded. Reluctantly the alien showed him the way to the body. Or what was left of it. It looked like a shriveled up husk that had been there for years instead of a few hours. "Dez please tell me this helmet comes off because I feel like I might hurl."

"Do you see!", the alien said. "That's still a fresh kill! he still might be here!" Then he looked around and above. Yeah he was starting to panic.

Trying to refocus him Alex asked, "How did the human do this?"

"He opened his mouth and more slime came out and covered this bastard. It did the same with the others. It slid back into him and left them like that. Please you have to help me get out of here before it comes back and does that to me!"

"Dez," he said after a moment, "were you able to find anything on our friend here?"

"He's a known smuggler that's wanted on his home planet," she answered.

"It's your lucky day buddy,"Alex told him as he put a transport chip on his shoulder. In a second he was transported out of there and into a stasis cell back on the station. "Easiest capture ever. I'm kinda surprised you let me get away with that walking away threat."

"Even Orion had to use a person's fear against them on occasion. Yet another thing they never taught at the acedemy." She glanced at his bio reading, "How are you doing?"

"I still want to hurl," he answered. "Any idea what happened to this poor bastard?"

"I'm checking the armor's sensor readout now. It looks like his bodily fluids were extracted from his body."

"So we have slime that sucks blood and the like."

"I wouldn't have put it in such a way," she told him, "but from what I'm seeing basically yes."

"Any idea what could have done this?"

"Not a clue," she was forced to admit. "Can you see any type of a trail you can follow?"

Looking around he told her, "Not a speck out of place. There not even a trace on the body."

"That's very strange," she mused. "I don't think we can do any more here. Get out of there and alert the

authorities on the location of the body. In the mean time I'll consult the database, I'll let you know if I find anything."

"Right, heading out now."

***
His feast should should make this body last a little longer. But it wouldn't be long before he would have to feed again, or find a new host after he finally drained this one. He wouldn't worry about that now. Now he was enjoying his freedom after being confined for who knows how long. He was actually restless after being confined and moved around the room he was inhabiting, or the one the skin he was wearing was before the joining.

Even now he was unsure how long he was trapped. Apparently this planet, while teaming with native and extra-terrestial life, was not exactly set up for galactic standard time yet. And it was not like he had the time to discover a place were he could check. Some of the morsels were able to get away during his feast and may be able to describe the flesh he was wearing. While he could get around that by consumming this one and moving on to another he was still too weak to do so soon.

That alone made him realize he was confinded for far too long

***
The next morning, at Dez's request, Alex popped up to the orbital station, and not for a social visit. Finding her busy at the control station she didn't acknowledge his preseance as he leaned on one of the consoles and watched her work. "Anything on the mystery slime yet?"

"Not as of yet," she said with a little annoyance. Not directed at him for a change. "I checked the database for hours last night and this morning and so far nothing."

"Wow, I never seen you stumped before."

"I am aware of that," she snapped.

"Just saying," he said while backing away a bit.

"I'm sorry Alex," she said after taking a deep breath. "It's just that I have the entire Galactic Sheriff database at my fingertips and I can't find a trace of this thing anywhere."

"Maybe it's something that hasn't been cataloged yet," he offered. "It's a big universe there has to be cracks for things to slip through."

"Unfortunately you're right. That's why I sent everything we had to Orion a couple of hours ago. In the

meantime I took the liberty of 'unfreezing' our witness to get a description of the human it apparently took over. Unless he's worked hard to stay off the grid there should be a record of some sort of database on your planet." She looked up to see him apparently amused about something, "And what are you seeng that's so funny?"

"You saying 'off the grid'," he told her. "That's so human."

"It was an appropiate anology," she informed him. A familar beep informed them of an incoming transmission. She turned to face it right before the holo image of Orion, seated this time around, appeared. "This call was sooner than I expected."

"Alex is here too I see, good," he said with a nod of acknowledgment. Alex gave him a quick two finger salute in return. "I was able to locate a possible identity to your mysterious substance. You should be able to access the file from this transmission."

While Dez tilted her head a bit to interface with the computer through her head implant Akex had to ask, "How did you find something so fast?"

"I know how throuogh Dez is," he answered. "So I skipped the database and went directly to the archives here."

Snapping out of her self imposed trance Dez looked at Orion, "A Blonibeia? You must be joking?"

"It fit the facts you were able to supply me," he told her.

Alex looked at both of them, "What's a Blonibeia?"

"A galactic urban legend," Dez informed him. "A boogeyman to scare children."

"If there's record of it n the archives it's not an actual legend," Orion argued.

"Still doesn't tell me what it is," Alex cut in.

"Dez said you made a comment about a slime that sucks blood," Orion told him. "That statment was more accurate than you realized."

"Vampire slime?", Alex said in disbelief.

"It can't be real," Dez insisted, "there's no way oit can be real."

"The last recorded one hasn't been seen in a couple hundred years," Orion said. "More than enough time to slip into legend. I even heard rumors that gangs like the Organization we've been going up against latley had some stored away when I was at the acedemy and in the field."

"The group Galgamayde was with has vampire slime?", Alex said still trying to wrap his head around this.

"It's not a vampire as you know it from your planet's legends," Dez informed him. "It doesn't just feed on blood. It absorbs any bodily fluid, saliva, spinal fluid, any waste material..."

Holding the bridge of his nose with one hand Alex muttered, "Urge to hurl rising."

"I understand the feeling," Dez sympathized.

Getting his stomach under control Alex went, "Alright we have some vampire slime walking around, so how do we fight it?"

"According tot he archives it's ultra sensative to light, even in a host body" Orion explained. "So it will strike at night. And that will give the two of you time to try find and contain it. I already checked with Command the Protocal Zero that was authorized back then is still in effect."

Alex asked, "How do I Zero slime exactly?"

"I'm still looking into that," Orion admitted.

Dez had a question of her own, "What about the human it took over? Is there any way we can save him?"

"I'm afraid not," Orion said sadly. "From what I've been able to read once the Blonibeia takes over the host it's considered to be collateral damage. It's essentially the walking dead."

"Vampire slime in a zombie," Alex uttered. "Great."

"Alex," Dez shot at him.

"Then you describe it," he shot back.

"I'll keep checking the archives," Orion cut off her responce. "There has to be a way to fight these

Blonibeias. More than a few archivist are helping me look so hopefully we'll discover something soon." His image linked out leaving the two of them alone.

"Sorry Dez," ALex said after a moment. "I'm a little freaked out at the moment."

"I must apologize too," she said. "One of my older siblings used to torment me with stories of the Blonibeia when I was a youngling. I'm a bit on edge myself." Going back to her station she went on, "It won't be dark for a few hours yet so I'll keep looking for the host's identity. I should be able to locate it before then."

"Give me an image of the description," Alex told her. "I'll ask around the dock. Maybe somebody saw where he went."

"That's a good idea," she told him. "I'm surprise you thought of it," she gave him a smile as she handed him a picture version of the image.

"I watched a lot of cop shows," he joked as he took the picture and headed back planetside.

***
A couple of hours into his search Alex still hadn't found anybody who had seen anything last night. Although he realized his questions seemed to carry a lot more weight with the aliens around here when they realized who he was. Too bad he couldn't flash the keypad to the humans he'd asked along the way. His friend Ryan was still trying to cash in by finding out who was under the helmet and he couldn't be the only one. "Dez I really need some sort of fake credentials I can flash while I'm doing this. Like a badge or something. Some of the natives ain't exactly taking me seriously."

"Orion was having the same problem when he first arrived on your planet," Dez told him. "Unfortunately the red tape on this side of things to get hims some fake credentials was already the size of a small mountain. I can only imagaine what it would take to aquire something like that for a Gamma."

"Especially with Orion on the mend," Alex fought real hard to keep the bitterness out of his voice.

"True," Dez agreed. "I was able to get some information on the host it took over, a George Hanks."

Taking a look at the picture he said, "Didn't take him for a George."

Ignoring him Dez went on, "According the report his family called in he disappeared a few weeks ago. Apparently he had some severe gambling debts he was trying to pay off. Considering he was originally from down state I can only assume he didn't think he could pay it on time."

"How in the hell did you get all that? "

"Once his wife realized she was talking to a police officer she was very open."

He couldn't hide his shock," Dez! You faked being a cop? I don't believe it."

"I didn't fake anything," she said sounding a little insulted. "I am a fully authorized officer of the law. Technically not on this planet but still."

"God I'm rubbing off on you," he smirked. "So George here was in debt and left his family in the dust"

"Not quite," she told him. "According to our prisoner he hired on a couple of days ago for that particular job. They pay out would have almost paid off his debt."

"If the guys he owed money too are anything like the ones in the movies almost wasn't going to cut it. Especially after he skipped town."

"I fear you may be correct Alex."

His keypad beeped indicating another incoming call. "Alex," Sam said surprising him a bit, "How's the case going?"

What the...? "How did you know I was on a case?"

"Dez called in a little while ago and gave me the details," she explained.

"Dez," he said sounding a little angry.

"I'm still a space cop too ALex," his twin reminded him. "I'm still technically on duty, the same as you."

"And an extra person on the job can give us a fresh prespective on the matter," Dez added.

"Why don't you get Orion on the line and triple team me while you're at it." he shot at both of them. But it made sense... unfotunately. Taking a couple of seconds to calm down a bit he went, "Alright sis what are you thinking on the matter?"

"From what Dez told me it sounds a bit like a vampire," she began.

"Told you," Alex cut in.

Dez didn't bother to hid her annoyance, "Go on Samantha."

"It seems to me he'd go into hiding before the sun came up," she continued.

"That's why I'm out here trying to find ot where he went," Alex told her. "I I haven't found a guy who'd seen him yet."

"Yeah but would he be out there for people to see?", Sam asked. "From the sounds of things after it took over this human it started feeding on whomever was around at the time. It may have been full."

"It might have been sleepy too," Alex commented after thinking a bout the few times he'd over did it at the dinner table.

"We've been looking at this from the wrong angle," Dez said as she used the station's computers to hack into a local one. "He would have look for place to hide until nightfall quickly, especially if he wasn't familar enough with how long night lasted on your planet."

"I think we can count out the shipping containers around here," Alex told her. "You don't know when somebody is going to open one or inspect them."

"Any abandoned building around?", sam asked. "God why it always an abandoned building?"

"I think it's in the bad guy handbook," he joked.

"Without knowing the paramiters," Dez cut in, "there's no way to narrow down the search radius. "It would be smart enough not to hang around the area it was just released from."

"And where would it know to hide," Sam continued. "How would it know it was safe?"

Alex glanced at the picture in his hand, "What about George?"

"What about him?", Dez asked a little confused.

"Would this thing be able to get into his memories after it took him over?"

"It's been rumored," Dez started slowly. then she realized where he was going with this. "He was on the run."

Same added, "And when you're one the run you try to keep a low profile."

Alex continued with, "And our friend said he joined up practically at the last minute so he had to be close to the job or the group."

Dez went to work immediatey, "He gave me the location of the meet up point and where he and the rest

of the group was staying. Being new to the city he isn't going to know it at all that well either. In all likely hood he should be in the same area becuase it's the one he's familar with. Thank you Samantha."

"Uh...using Geroge was my idea," Alex reminded her.

"True," Dez conceded. "But Samantha's idea of him immediately going into hiding was what put you on that track."

"That's what happens when you're the older twin," Sam joked.

"By four lousy minutes," Alex snapped.

"I beleive I narrowed down the search radius," Dez interrupted them. "Four miles west of your current location in a part of of the city you would call seedy. But I can tell there's not a lot of people living there."

"Legally anyway," Alex quipped. "There's probably a bunch of places a guy can go if he wants to hide."

"True," Dez agreed.

"I don't suppose there are any hotels in the area?", Sam asked. "Although I think expecting a one star one might be asking for too much."

Alex smiled at her joke, "I don't suppose you know if those things go into the negatives?"

"I'm finding two that are still listed as open," Dez commented. "One of them is where our friend and his gang was staying. I would start in the area around that one. For George to join up so late he would have to be close enough to over hear them at some point."

"On it," ALex told them. "check for any typ of abandoned building around it while you're at it. He may figure somebody else may think this out like we just did and act accordenly."

"I'm already going over the records," she said. "I'll send their locations to you as soon as I'm done."

"What are partners and sisters for," Sam told him. "And you so owe me one for doing this on my vacation."

"Thanks a lot Dez."

***
It had been dark for a few hours now and he still hadn't gone out yet. He may have been locked way for a long time but he was sure police policies haven't changed all that much over time. As big as his feast was they would still be looking for the culprit. He had planned on staying hidden for a while longer, unfortunately the hunger had started to gnaw at him again and his true form was starting to feed on this body. Even now his host's face had a slight sunken in look to it and the flesh around his limbs started to lose what mass it had. He would have to feed and soon before this body was usless to him.

While a perfectly healthy specimen would have been preferred what he gleamed from this body's memories told him he would have to be slightly less picky. Well maybe a little picky, he didn't want to feed on the first creature he would come across either. He did that when he took over this body. If he had known how limited it's knowledge of the area was he would have taken over one of the others. But hunger did cause you not to think straight at times.

Leaving his hidding spot he searched the streets. Like he feared they were practically deserted. And the beings he came across that look similar to his host looked to be in worse shape than his current appearance. There were a few small four legged creatures he quickly consumed but that was more out of the hunger he was feeling unstead of any nutritional value they had.

"Hey buddy," somebody called out. He turned around to see a very healthy looking specimen of the native species. The dark haired individual before him took one look at his current state and uttered a, "Whoa." Then he looked at a piece of paper that he was holding then looked at him and back at the picture. "Ah," he said while backing up, "I think I just found George."

"You know this body?", he asked. "Strange, it doesn't remember you."

"Definately found George."

"Are you sure?", spoke a female voice he couldn't locate.

"Well he's eyeing me like he hasn't seen a decent meal in months. That sure enough for you?"

"Well at least since last night," he corrected the stranger. "But still..."

"Alex!", the woman cried out he started to back up even faster.

"On it," he stated as he placed some sort of device on his forearm. -5-7-1-6- "Online!" In a falsh of light that made him flinch a bit his intended meal was covered in some sort of armor.

"A Galactic Sheriff," he said. He was surprised they were still around.

***
While Alex was ready to go he was still facing something that looked more human than he was currently used too. He was actually hesitant to attack him. Then George opened his mouth and some sort of slime shot out at him. "Gah," he grunted as he dove out of the way and rolled to a knee as it it the ground with a splat. He watched as George sucked it back in with no problem. "Well that was disgusting."

"Alex what's happening?", Dez asked. She could easily access the armor visual feed but old childhood fears kept her from doing so.

Instead he said, "Tell me that slime can't get into the armor."

Her only reply was, "I'm not sure."

"Not the answer I was looking for."

"Can we make this quick," George spoke up. "I'm feeling a little famished at the moment," and he started walking toward him licking hs lips. -DOUBLE GUN- -RAPID FIRE- Holding the guns up non leathal target points appeared in his visor. His head was screaming pull the triggers but his finger wouldn't respond. Even now George looked too human to be an alien. By the time he could pull the triggers George as close enough to grab his wrist and forced his aim to the sides as the shots hit the street beneath them. He smiled and Alex could see the slime right behind his teeth ready to burst.

"No," Alex kicked him back before that could happen. He was able to get a few shots fired off as he came at him again. George was able to get in close and got in a few quick hits before tossing Alex into a nearby stair well. Scrambling to his feet he located George pearched on the railing above him and ready to pounce. He didn't hesiate from pulling the triggers this time. George toppled back in pain and disappeared from view. Carefully returning to the street in case his target was waiting he found him scurrying toward an abandoned van. Getting a good look at him his features were even more gaunt than they were before. He took a quick scan and sent it to Dez, "What's going on?"

George licked a suddenly very dry looking tongue around his lips, "I wonder how long it will take me to crack that shell."

"I get enough of that from the Herculeans thanks."

"I think the Blonibeia has started to feed on the body it took over," she finally answered.

"Urge to hurl returning," he grunted. George came at him again, a little more desperate this time. Despite at how decrepit he looked he was still strong as hell and twice as quick. Alex didn't even realize one of the guns was knocked out of his hands until the second after it happened. But with his hand free he punched him with all he had. George went down but he didn't stay down. Pouncing right at him he forced Alex to his back and held him down. Slime started to pour out ofn his mouth, aimed right at his head.

The other gun was still in his hand as he got it between them and shot him point blank several times, "Argh!" George recoiled in pain and Alex grabbed him by the shirt and threw him off. Rolling to a knee George shout out another stream of slime.

"Shit," Alex scambled to get out of the way.

Up in the orbital station recieved an incomming transmission from Orion. "Alex is facing the Blonibeia right now. Please tell me you have something."

"I think we do" he answered. "It's been awhile since this has been used but I think we can get it to work. But I need you to prepare a special weapon container. I'm seending you the instructions now."

Alex jumped over a small wall and ducked for cover to avoid another slime shot. And he needed the quick breather. Right now George was a small stage above walking mummy and still going strong. "Alex!," Dez called out. "Orion has a plan."

"About time," he grunted.

"When I tell you to call for the cannon and set it to special. But I need you to get the Blonibeia out of of it's current body."

"What about George?"

"George is dead," she stated firmly. "Vampire slime in a zombie, remember?"

"Yeah," he said. That was true more than ever now. "Okay, how do I get it out."

"You're going to have to damage the body to the point it can't sustain it any more. You'll be doing George a favor at this point."

"A real sick favor," he muttered. "Tell me when." -SWORD- He ran from cover with blade in hand and headed straight for George, or what was left of him as he kept trying to tell himslef. Rolling under another slime shot he came up and slashed him in the chest. George stumbled back as he kept slashing away at the body. He forced himself to focus on the slime and not the shell to keep himself from throwing up in his helmet. Finally George eyes rolled into the back of his head and he fell to the ground. Alex stepped back in case this was a trap.

Slowly slime started to ooze from the body pooling around it. It started to congel and collect itself and started to hiver in the air before him. He wasn't sure but it seemed like it was trying to orintate itself. "Now Alex!", Dez shouted.

Hitting the five key he held his arms out wide. -CANNON- It materilazed on his shoulder and he quickly gripped the handles. Twisting the dail with his right ahnd until he heard -SPECIAL- -FLARE- he took aim and fired. A cannister shot out with just enough force to penetrate it's outer membrane and stop roughly in the middle. Floating there Alex could only stare at it not really know what was suppose to happen. Then the cannister went off with a light bright enough he had to cover his eyes. It was so bright it started to burn up the Blonibeia from the inside out as soon as it ignited. It seemed to turn to dust almost instantly to him as it dropped to the ground in a heap.

A slight breeze blowing part of it away Alex stared at it for a long time before saying, "It's not supposed to rain any time soon is it?"

"According to Orion once it hit with light it can't be brought back," she told him.

"It's been a few centuries since the last time this ting had been seen," he shot back. "Is he sure about that?"

"As sure as he can be with what's in the archives," she answered.

"He better be because I really don't want to go through this again."

"I don't blame you. I have police coming toward you location according to the scanner. Looks like somebody saw what was happening and reported it."

"Probably told them I killed the poor bastard too," he said darkly.

"Alex," she began. But he ha already called for the sky board and headed out of there.

***
A few days later Alex asked for, to her, a strange favor. It took a few moments but she was able to do it. By that afternoon he stood in a cemetary by an pauper's grave, where the city buries the bodies they couldn't identify or reach their families. He just looked at the number plate of the person who used to be George Hanks.

Monitoring his location from her station Dez asked him, "Did you find what you expected?"

"I not sure what I was expecting," he told her truefully. "Seeing what this guy did by getting into debt with the wrong guys, leaving his wife to deal with them, hooking up with another bunch of wrong guys to pay off that debt. I keep telling myself I shouldn't feel sorry for him. That his choices led to all of this. But..."

"But you still do," she finished for him. "That is how the universe works Alex. It may be a little naive on my part but I like to think most of it's inhabitants would feel the same as you."

"Is that why I hesitated to fight him?"

"Well it was the first time you faced somebody who was human," she offered.

"I've gone after guys who looked human before. And I knew this guy wasn't alive any more."

"Orion once told me he had a hard time going after someone from his home planet," Dez told him. "Most of the Sheriffs do the first time. We were all trained that the problem will come off planet. It takes us by surprise when it comes within. I always disagree with it but Orion says it better to see it with your own eyes. You're more likely to believe to it the next time you come across it."

"What about us Gammas," he asked. She didn't have an answer for that.

Instead she said, "Are you finished there yet?"

"Almost." he took a piece of paper out of his pocket and taped it the pole. On it was one word, George. "Now I'm ready. Can you contact his wife about where he's buried? If she wants to move him to a proper grave that's her business."

"I already have," she said. Alex smiled a bit before turning around and walking away.


-----
ED - Divide the Day - Let it Roll
-----
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Old May 23rd, 2019, 07:15 PM #15
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> scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



15


-----
OP - Downstait - I Came to Play
-----


In orbit of a dark grey ringed planet flew a crocodile like alien with black scale just visible of a bulkier than normal space suit. Every few seconds he used his thruster to avoid the shots of a blue tinted Galactic Sheriff that was hot on his ion trail on a similarly colored skyboard. "How close is he to the jump point?", he urgently asked his watcher as he continued to give chase.

"Too close," he replied. "Perhaps stopping him now would be a good idea."

"That's what I've been trying to do!", he snapped at him. "I can't get clear lock on him!"

"Neither can the station's sensors. He must be using a jamming field of some kind."

"I need a better estimate in how close..." There was a quick flash of light and his target disappeared as soon as it was over. "Belay that," he slowed to a stop before hitting that point himself. He had an idea where he was going but Sheriff armor didn't have the technical computer needed to make the jump himself.

"The sensors where able to obtain a brief lock before he entered the jump," the watcher said. "It is possible what he was using to interfere with out sensors may have also interfered with the jump."

"Do you have any idea where he was heading Nizit?", the Sheriff asked.

"I was able to get into his computer system after you chased him out of that orbital base he was using. There were several files pertaining to the Earth system." After several quiet moments with the Sheriff staring at the jump point Nizit spoke up, "Xain, if you are planning on following him there are procedures to follow."

"I know the procedures Nizit," he said turning the board around and heading back toward the station. "Contact Orion for permission to enter his sector. I'm going to need his Gamma's help with this one."

***
Sam joked with Steve, Ryan and the rest of their friends as Alex hung back a bit. They had just left Manny's restaurant, although she wouldn't admit this to her twin it was the best pizza in town, and they messed around as they walked toward their cars. She would glance back every so often staring off into space all glazy eyed. Even though she knew it was an act it still unnerved her at times. But with Ryan still trying to prove Steve was the guy in the armor she understood why he did it better than when she first found out. But the one time he offered to give her some pointers after she got her armor, well she shot that idea down pretty quick.

"Sucks I got to got to work tomorrow," Ryan said. "I'll see you guys later."

"Later man," Steve said before turning toward them. "Alex, Sam."

"I'll see you Steve," she replied. Alex made some sort of good-bye wave with his hand. Once the others were gone Alex dropped the act. In fact with that look on his face and his arms crossed it looked like he was contemplating something. Which naturally made her curious, "What's on your mind?"

"I think I need a new set of friends." Out of all the things she expected to say that wasn't even on the radar.

"And what brought this about?"

"Those guys have thought I've been an addict for how long now?" Looking at her he said something else she never expected, "Where's my intervention?"

"Oh my God," and she walked away.

"I mean you're supposed to care enough to tell your friend he's fucking his life up to his face. I'd at least thought Steve would have made mention of it somewhere down the line."

"How are we related again?", Sam asked as she headed for her car.

"I just want to know one of them cares. Is that so bad?" The beeps from their respective keypads cut off any response she had. Alex had his in his hand even before she could reach for hers, "What do we have Dez?"

"I need both of you up here," she answered. "Another Sheriff is wanting to give us details on a criminal he was chasing that entered our sector."

"Give us a moment and will give you the signal to beam us up," Alex told her. Looking over at Sam he said, "She wants both of us up there, this sounds big."

"Hopefully not Galgamayde big," she said

"Don't even joke."

***
"And this guy is supposed to be transmitting when?", Alex asked as he paced around the control room. "We've been waiting for at least an hour now."

"I'm going to have to agree with Alex," Sam chimed in. "I know this is part of the job but I have a day job to worry about too."

Dez continued to work the controls as she answered, "I fully understand your frustrations because I don't understand the delay myself. I'm not detecting any kind of interference, natural or man made, and our equipment is in perfect working order."

"Maybe it's on their end," Sam offered.

"Possible," Dez agreed, "but the information sounded important. They would have found a way to contact us." A new beep neither of the twins had heard before caught their attention. Dez was the most confused out of the three of them, "We have an incoming ship."

"A supply run?", Alex asked cautiously.

"No," she answered. "But I am receiving a Galactic Federation ID transponder and they are impossible to fake. Now the pilot is requesting permission to board the station."

"The hell?", Alex muttered. They waited, with Alex fingering the edge of the keypad in his pocket, as the ship docked and the pilot made his way to their location. Before long they were face to face with a humanoid type of alien with feline like features. Although if he had cat like ears they were hidden underneath that mane of gray hair on top of his head. He was also wearing a jacket with a patch of a planet on the side of his arm. This was an actual Galactic Sheriff standing before them. Alex wasn't sure if he was supposed to start saluting now or not.

"Greetings," he said giving them each a quick nod. "I believe you know I have some information on a criminal that came to your sector recently."

"Yeah," Alex said, "but why are you here?"

The Sheriff looked confused, "Orion gave me permission to enter this sector to help in the apprehension."

Alex pretty much exploded at that point, "He's not even back in the armor yet and he's already pushing me aside!" With that he walked out of the room before anyone could stop him.

Sam tried to any way, "Alex..." To Dez she said, "It's the frustration over the situation I promise you. Let me talk him down," then she was gone.

Alone Dez told the Sheriff, "I apologize for his behavior. He usually doesn't act like this." She shot a glance down the door he just exited and muttered, "Much."

The Sheriff looked down the door too then back at her, "Orion did tell you I was coming?"

"He just said you had some info for us," she answered. "Not that you would be delivering it personally."

"Ugh," he grunted while pinching the bridge of his nose. "If he wasn't already in that chair I'd put him in one."

***
While Sam was talking to , more like chewing out, Alex in the transport room the Sheriff walked into the room. Both of them shut up. "Samantha right? Can we have a few moments alone?"

Sam looked at her brother before saying, "Sure."

Watching her until she was well down the corridor he said, "Let's talk."

"Sir yes sir," he replied without any enthusiasm.

"Don't," he told him. "Don't ever call me sir."

"I'm a Gamma, what am I supposed to say?", he demanded.

"Maybe if you were first starting out that would be true," he said. "But you have been doing this for a while now so as far as I'm, and a few others, are concerned you're part of the brotherhood." Alex lowered his head as the Sheriff pulled up a couple of crates for them to sit down. "Not all of us mind you. There are more than a few out there who would demand that you'd call them sir as soon as they entered the room. The name Xain by the way." He held out a hand, Alex looked at it for a second before taking it.

"Alex Brennen."

"I know, everybody who knew Orion has been keeping tabs on you."

"Everybody who thinks I'm part of the club?"

"Mostly," he answered. "I'm sure Orion and Dez have told you that being a Gamma is a tricky position. Most times they don't work out, some times they do. I don't blame you for that out burst back there. I never want to lose the armor either, and that's the same for any Sheriff out there. I'm partially to blame here though, I should have called Dez directly to see if it was alright with you. So I apologize for being professionally rude to you."

"I was pretty rude back there too, so let's all it even." Xain nodded in agreement. "So how many people actually think I'm part of the 'brotherhood' as you say?"

"Not many," Xain admitted. "Me, Orion and a handful of others were talking one night on the planet our headquarters is located. We more or less agreed that if a Gamma has been doing this for as long as you have that you deserved the same amount of respect as the rest of us. Which is why I'm only taking partial blame because Orion should have told you that I was coming."

"What about the rest of them?"

"You probably won't meet any of them, but I'd say you would just be under new recruit in their eyes."

"And I guess accidentally pushing them out of the airlock is out of the question?"

Xain smirked, "I see you have some of the Sheriff attitude already."

Alex smirked back, "Ask my sister and she'd say I had it before I even got the armor. So then... trouble maker who hopped into my area of space."

"Yes, the case was mine, I was hoping I could aid in his apprehension." He stood and bowed a bit, "With your permission of course."

Standing and returning it he said, "Hell lets catch us a crook. Maybe I can finally find out if I've been doing this right or not."

***
Back in the control room briefed them on the suspect he had been chasing. Although Dez was slightly surprised at how chummy Alex and Xain were being all of the sudden. Sam was amazed enough to think to herself that must have been some talk. At the moment Xain stood in front of one of the screens as a twirling image of an crocodile like humanoid, with a mug shot in the upper corner, "Scroc is wanted on several worlds, whole sale destruction mainly with more than a few recorded deaths. Which I'm sad to say he seems to enjoy," a dark look crossed his features while he continued. "He's as intelligent as he his strong and he's almost as strong as a Herculean."

"So he's basically a genius then," Sam commented.

"Not a combination I wanted to run across any time soon," Alex quipped.

"Although it does explain how he made the star jump in a exosuit," Dez said as she pulled up the report on the incident. "The forces involved should have torn him and the suit apart. There has been some theories about the possibilities but none of them had seemed practical or usable."

"Me and my partner found several modified exosuits when we searched his orbital base of operation. A couple of moments before we discovered he had set the auto-destruct."

"Wait, if you're here," Alex spoke up, "I'm guessing your partner's back home."

"That would be correct," he answered. "I can't leave my sector unprotected and he's more than capable." Alex cocked an eyebrow at the answer but said nothing for the moment.

Sam tried to get things back on the case, "Does his file say he needs to be captured?"

"Zero was authorized a long time ago," Xain answered. Sam winced a little remembering the only time, so far, she had to zero an living being. "But be assured that this person more than earned it. The only real question is did he actually land on your planet. I admittedly headed here based on information we found in his computer systems, it's more than likely he could have headed elsewhere. And if he did land here where would he go"

"I can easily checked to see if there's been any unexpected hits in the sensor net and on the space ports. We can narrow down the possibility on where if he did a bit," Dez said. "And if he did, most criminals we've come across generally try to hide where they can easily blend in. So that gives us a few choices."

"I don't know your planet all that well," Xain said, "but do you have any places like that here?"

Sam looked at Alex, "Alien Town?"

Alex nodded, "Alien Town."

Xain looked at both of them, more than a bit confused, "Alien Town?"

***
Things had been tense since Galgamayde had continued to evade capture. It didn't take long to discover the identity of the being who helped him escape after he wasn't seen for a few cycles after it happened But there was no luck in finding either of them since. And the general consensus of those in the Boss's hall was not to do anything to anger him more. Unfortunately some hadn't received that particular message as of yet, like the person currently trying to force a transmission in right now. Despite his men's best efforts an image of a head and shoulder hovered above them all. After a few noises the droid began to translate, "What do you want Scroc?"

"I am demanding that the tail you put on my person to be ended at once," he said.

"And I do not tolerate free agents in my territory," the Boss shot back.

"I am above such petty things like boundaries," Scroc informed him. "However I am will to make a deal that would b in both of our interest." The crowd hushed as half watched the Boss' reaction. "I am currently on Earth, as you are probably already aware of. I also know you have a Sheriff problem. In exchange for freedom from my tail I will deal with him for you."

There was no thinking it over on this side of things, "And I told you free agents will not be tolerated in my territory."

"Then the blood of this one is on your hands." Pulling a one of the Boss' Hunters, badly beaten from the state of him, into view the others waited. Scroc pulled his head back and ripped his throat out with his teeth right before the transmission ended.

The crowd was silenced by the image. Then groups of low murmurs started out in a few places. The droid rolled back to the Boss, "This is where that cretin Galgamayde would have proven to be useful."

***
This particular stretch of Alien town was it's usually busy self at this time of day. Dez had insisted that they hold off an any type of search until she checked the sensor grid that covered the planet. It was late in the morning until she found something that could be the size of an exosuit. Alex had arranged to meet Xain a few blocks inside Alien Town and started their search soon after. Each with a projection disc with a holo of Scroc's mug shot they showed off when they asked anyone they came across. Before long Xain asked, "So why do you think Scroc would be here?"

After a vender shook his head no he answered, "Both you and Dez said he would still need a space port to land despite the modifications he made to the exosuit. And since I'm still going with the hiding in plain sight theory I would think he'd be hiding here."

"And what makes you so sure of that?"

"Well for one they usually seem to head here for some reason," Alex explained. "Plus out of all the Alien Towns on the planet this is the only one within five miles of a space port. And Dez took a look into said space port's computer and found a report of an abandoned, yet heavily modified, exosuit on one of the more vacant pads after a unique sensor blip," he smirked. "Besides she's keeping an eye out on the surrounding area in case I'm wrong. So all of our bases are covered."

"Have anybody ever told you humans that you have some very strange expression?", Xain asked him.

"And I'm sure I'll hear some interesting ones if I ever drop in on your planet," he told him.

Xain looked at him sideways, "I'm starting to think you've been a Sheriff for years and nobody knew. Because you are sounding a lot like a few I know."

Alex smirked again as he turned to another vender, this one he sort of knew, and flashed the holo, "Hey Srup, have you seen this guy around here?"

"Haven't seen 'im Sheriff," he said after looking at it for a moment, "but I'll keep an eye out for 'im."

Alex shot a shot a nervous glance back at an amused Xain, "Okay, thanks."

"So why isn't you sister with us?", he asked as they kept going.

"It's just a search for right now so I figured we could handle it. Besides I'm trying to make sure her life doesn't get as screwed up as mine is at the moment."

"Orion mentioned something about that. Have you seen this person?", he asked somebody else, again nothing. "If you don't mind me asking, what happened?"

Sighing Alex looked around before answering, "Short version before all of this happened I had a regular job and was considered to be a very dependable and reliable person. After I get this," he patted the keypad in his pocket, "I'm suddenly considered very undependable and unreliable and soon out of a regular job when I can't really explain why. Before long people I knew for years just started assuming I was hooked on something. I really don't want that happening to her."

"I'm sorry this life did this to you," Xain told him earnestly.

"I'll admit it was bad at first before I just started to go with it," he continued. "I've never seen an addict, well that i know of, but apparently I act out of it enough that people believe it. Unfortunately I ended up hurting Sam when she found out the truth." Xain put a hand on his shoulder and gave him a friendly pat, Alex definitely appreciated it. "Come on, this guy's not going to catch himself."

After asking a few more people and getting the same answer they came across Nyr's food stand. "Ah my friend!", he said as he saw Alex. Then he noticed the added company, "My friend has new friend. And co-worker I see. Any friend of my friend is my friend so hello new friend," and he shook Xain hand vigorously."

"Hello to you too," he said trying to keep his balance. Finally getting his hand free he took a few sniffs and looked into one of the pots, "Is that kavalful?"

Nyr perked up instantly, "You are familiar with?"

"There used to be a stand near the academy," he explained. "I fell in love with it."

"Must have some you must," Nyr told him as he stirred the pot's contents.

"Is it live?" he asked licking his lips. "It's always better when it's live."

"A being who know how kavalful should be, wonderful." Slopping some of it on a bun and gave it to him and Xain took a big bite. Alex made a face as one squirmed between Xain's lips right before he sucked it in.

"Ugh, it still had the legs and everything."

"There's a lot of flavor in those legs," Xain said between bites.

"Exactly!" Nyr exclaimed. he went to another pot and made a sandwich for Alex. "Always keep non live batch for my friend. Upsets your tummy it does this I know."

"Thanks Nyr." As Alex paid for the sandwiches he showed him the holo image, "You haven't seen this guy have you?"

"No, would remember some one that ugly I would," Nyr answered. "But keep eye out and tell you if I do."

"Thanks," Alex said as he guided the alien Sheriff to a couple of seats. "That's the fifth time today somebody told us they'd call if they see him. I'm going to have to ask Dez exactly when we got the hotline."

"You should have the live version," Xain told him. "You don't know what your missing."

"The live version doesn't agree with me so yes I do." After a moment he had to know something. "Can I ask you a question?"

"Go ahead."

"Dez and Orion are always telling me how important protecting a sector is to a Sheriff and that it has to take something drastic to make them go to another one to get somebody." Xain put the sandwich anticipating what he was about to say. "So what in the hell did this guy do that made you follow him?"

"Orion will be pleased to know you've been paying attention," Xain told him. Alex just looked at him until he answered. "He killed a child right in front of me."

"Oh shit."

"My armor deactivated and I thought he was going to kill me right then and there," he went on. "Instead he reached behind a pile of rubble and pulled out this small boy who had been hiding there. I begged for him to let him go, even offering my own life in exchange. Instead he ripped his throat out and laughed, even batting me aside as my anger got the better of me. Then he left me with what was left of him. I vowed if it was the last thing I ever did I would see him brought to justice." Alex wasn't sure what to say after listen to tale Xain just told him. How could you say anything? "Since I'm not here for the most professional of reason I'll understand if you'll want me to leave.

Alex returned the friendly pat on the shoulder Xain gave him earlier, "I say we find this sonuvabitch and zero him on the spot."

"Thank you Alex."

"Like I said this guy ain't going to catch himself, so break's over."

***
Sam didn't want to admit it but she was a bit jealous right now. Granted she wasn't the biggest fan of all of this space stuff once she found out Alex's role in it. But right now there was an actual Galactic Sheriff in town and Alex was the one with him, and she was here at work. She understood why, Alex didn't want people to start thinking she got hooked on whatever he was supposed to be on. It was perfectly logical and she appreciated his concern over his image.

Still didn't mean it was fair she was stuck here behind a desk and they were out there.

Alright she was being a bit immature here. She was just the partner, the sidekick... no let's stick with partner. For something she didn't even want her brother doing in the first place. Besides it was just one of Alex's work colleagues. Who just happened to be from outer space.

Damn it she didn't want to be at work right now.

A few people started to hover around the windows looking at something. When a few more started to look out and take pictures with their phones she had to go look. That's when she saw the small alien looking probes flying a round outside the building and several others, and a funking looking alien standing on the ground in the middle of it all. The people on the ground started screaming and running when the probes fired on them before targeting the buildings.

There was just enough chaos on her floor after it happened that Sam was able to get somewhere quiet and pull out her keypad. "Dez I just located Scroc."

"I've already intercepted the calls to the police," she told her. "Alex, Scroc had showed up by Samantha's location."

"Skyboard not going to carry both of us," Alex said trying to think quick. "Transport both of us to her. Tell her to find a open area that we won't be seen." To Xain he said, "I guess I was wrong."

"It happens to all of us," he said as they started to run away from the crowd to find an open area of their own.

***
"Keep the cattle running until the Gamma makes his appearance," Scroc instructed the probes, "kill one or two every so often though, just for them to remember who the one in control at the moment. That gelatinous blob may not have wanted to broker a deal but since he was here he might as well be constructive. This particular replacement had seemed it gain quite the reputation since taking over. And he was more than willing to stomp it out. Any idiot knew that any chance you had to remove a Galactic Sheriff from the playing field you took it.

Still it was amusing to watch the humans try to flew right before their death by the probes. It was almost art as his probes danced in the air, occasionally sparing a target while another finished it off. He could literally watch this for hours and not get tired of it.

"Scroc!" he turned at the calling of his name. Behind him were two humans, each wearing a different style of clothing than the other and each with a keypad on their arm. Obviously the replacement Sheriff and his partner. What surprised him was the third one standing between them.

"Xain," he chuckled as the probes situated themselves between him and them, a few circling around him personally, "I must have hurt you more than I orginally thought to follow me all the way to these outlands like this."

"Justice has come for you Scroc," Xain told him, bristling at the smug look the alien criminal was giving him.

"Just here alone," Alex spoke up, trying to keep a cooler head than his colleague at the moment, "death, destruction and I'm pretty sure that's some illegal hardware."

"Did he tell you about the youngling?", Scroc sneered. Sam looked at Alex who held up a hand. "I still see the expression on this one's face when I extinguished his life."

Starting to feel some of that anger Xain was Alex still tried to appear calm, "What part of "here alone" did we not understand? Because I pretty sure that covered what you did elsewhere."

"Oh you are defiantly a Sheriff alright," Xain muttered so he could hear, appreciating what he was trying to do, but never taking his eyes off of Scroc or those probes. "Take him down!" Holding his arm so it was close to his body and pointing to the sky he unzipped something on his sleeve that revealed his keypad and punched in his code -4-1-3-5-

Alex and Sam held their arm across their chest and punched in theirs

-5-7-1-6-

-5-5-4-3-

The twins punching their left arms forward while Xain raised is in the air all three of them shouted, "Online!" A flash covered all of them fading away revealing their armors.

"Thin out the herd!", Alex told Sam, who nodded. -DOUBLE GUN--RAPID FIRE-

-DOUBLE GUN--SINGLE FIRE-

Alex and Sam both ran toward the sides as the probes targeted them. Both fired back in an attempt to take a few of them out.

-SINGLE GUN--SINGLE FIRE- Xain stood in place as he picked his shots at the ones that came toward him. A quick command from Scroc and a majority of them concentrated their fire on him. Forced to move now he found cover behind a car. Alex ran in holding down both triggers as he slid behind an adjacent vehicle. "I had a feeling you were the guns blazing type," Xain told him.

"Hey, these only go blazing," both of them fired at a probe that was coming up behind the other, "when I have a clear shot."

"Well if I had any doubt you had contact with Orion it would be gone now." Both of them ran back out to take on the probes.

-SHIELD- the disc formed on her right forearm as Sam got in front of a group of people who were still being targeted by the probes. Using the targeting computer in her helmet she took aim with her gun and destroyed them in a couple of shots. "Run!," she looked back at them. They didn't need to be told twice as she covered them for a few moments. "I hope none of them recognized me."

"I hope you realize those probes you are destroying are rather expensive," Scroc calmly commented as he watched from his position on the middle of the street.

"Remind me to care later," Alex said to nobody in particular as he took aim at the alien and fired. A probe jumped into the line of fire protecting it's creator.

"Take care of the probes and cover me," Xain told them as he replaced the gun. "I'll take of Scroc." -SWORD- As the liquid metal solidified into a slightly curved blade he charged at the criminal as Alex and Sam quickly took out any probes that looked like they were coming at him.

Scroc caught the blade with one hand stopping he intended blow. Ignoring the trickle of blood that started flowing down the blade he looked at the Sheriff, "Do you really think it will be any different this time around?" Xain ignored the taunt and pulled his blade free and took a defensive stance. Scroc didn't move. "I only let you live because I knew what killing that youngling would do to you. Although you following me all the way out here was a bit of a surprise."

"And I promised to avenge that child and all the others you killed by bringing you to justice," Xain told him. Going at Scroc again he wasn't surprised when he fought right back. Scroc keep his strikes precise and efficient as he calmly saw the openings in the Sheriff's attack and defense. This was almost too easy. Grabbing Xain by the neck he lifted him off his feet and threw him into the side of a building.

-SWORD-

-STAFF-

Alex and Sam both went at him trying to give Xain a second to recover. Despite the combined assault he was able to hold his ground. A fist got through and hit Alex in the chest. Right there he learned exactly how close he was to being as strong as a Herculean, and it felt pretty damn close, as he went flying back a few feet. Sam tried to fight him off but soon found herself in a bad position as he grabbed the staff and twisted her so he was standing behind her. Then she struggled as he pressed her own weapon against her neck and tried to use it to pop her head off.

"No!", Xain rushed in and slashed Scroc in the back. That was enough as he let her go and Sam kicked back making him stumble. Alex rushed in with a jumping shoulder tackle that knocked him to the ground. Before any of them could do anything else another round of fire from the remaining probed blasted all three of them to the ground.

"What kind of an AI do those thing have?", Sam grunted.

"A very basic one, but they are essentially mindless drones," Scroc said as he stood over them. "Well they do have a mind, mine. All of them are connected to me by a cyber implant. A one way connection of course. The feedback from the ones you needlessly destroyed would have been slightly debilitating. I do think ahead after all." He walked away from them as Xain got to his knees, "Like now for instance." A couple of different style probes, with arms instead of gun, flew into view and toward him. All three of them froze at the sight of the child, a small girl no older than five, between them.

"No," Xain muttered as he relived the same moment over again in his mind.

"I was going to use this opportunity to preform a little experiment," Scroc explained as he took control of the child, holding it in air with his hand. "I was curious if I could get this Gamma to beg as much as you did."

Sam," Alex whispered into his keypad, "move when I move." She nodded slightly in response. Praying to who ever would listen that this would work he slowly reached for his keypad and tried to get a target lock.

Scroc was oblivious to their conversation as he continued, "Now Xain I'm curious at how fast a part of your soul dies as you fail to save another innocent victim." He opened his mouth and bared his teeth as the little girl screamed.

-DISC-

Scroc looked in Alex's direction as he threw the disc with all he had. He maneuvered the child so it was in it's path. Then it dipped low at the last second and the glowing edge sliced into his leg. He was so focused on Alex and the disc he didn't see Sam run in and whack the arm holding the child with the staff. He let go and she stayed in his reach just long enough to catch the child as she fell before she got out of there. Unfrozen Xain ran in with a flying kick to give her the time to get her out of there.

Putting her down she said, "Run away from here now sweetie," before turning around and facing Scroc.

"We got to do this now!", Xain ordered as he pressed a key on his pad. Sam did the same as ALex reversed the grip on his sword before following suit.

-PROTOCOL-

-PROTOCOL-

-PROTOCOL-

-ZERO-

The ends of Sam's staff started to glow as energy flowed from her armor into them. Alex and Xain's blade did the same as they took position. The twins went in first, Sam swing both ends through Scroc as Alex ran in swing his weapon. Xain jumped up and brought his sword down with all he had. Scroc stood there for a few seconds and the combined energies finally disintegrated him.

Alex put a hand on Sam's shoulder as he checked on her while Xain said, "Justice is finally served."

"Alex," Dez said, "the local police have gotten control of the fleeing crowds and are staring to close in on your location."

"What about the security cameras around here?", he asked looking around.

"Any footage of the three of you before activating the armors have already been taken care of," she answered.

"You're my favorite alien Dez and don't let anybody tell you otherwise." He summoned the Sky Board and Galactic Cycle in the next instant. "Ride with Sam," he told Xain as he jumped on the board. "I'll explain what's going on once we're clear."

"Orion already told me the situation," Xain said as he compled by getting behind her. "You have my sympathies."

"Thanks," he said.

"We might want to run now," Sam told them. Alex buzzed the first couple police cars that showed up to give them an opening to get out of there as well.

***
"You owe Alex a huge apology," Xain told Orion, who decided to use his canes to stand for this one, over the communication link. "He is protecting your sector after all and you do him like this."

"I know," he said. "I had a temporary neural malfunction on the matter.

From the back of the room Alex spoke up, "Is that a fancy way of saying you had a brain fart?"

Dez rolled her eyes at her station as Xain looked bck at him briefly, "And you could have warned me about these strange saying these humans have."

Orion shrugged, "I guess I'm used to them by now."

"Pray I never visit either of your planets," Alex said stepping forward.

"How is Samantha coping this time around?", Orion asked, just to change the subject.

"About as well as last time," he answered. "But the fact this one killed a kid is helping her cope with this one a little better."

"How many zeroes has she done?", Xain asked. When Alex held up two fingers he nodded in understanding, "Those first few are rather hard. I've been trying to protect my partner the same way and we're not even related. Speaking of which I better start my journey back. Alex it has been a pleasure meeting you," he held out a hand that Alex readily took.

"Likewise. I'll tell Sam you said goodbye."

He nodded and turned toward, "Prepare for a lot of flack over this once the others find out."

"If they haven't already," Dez said innocently as she continued working.

Orion scowled at her, "Traitor."

"It's going to start sooner than I thought." Leaving he put an arm around Alex's shoulders and pointed at his comrade, "You got lucky with this one Orion, you better take care of him. Or you will hear from me."

Orion gave him a wry smile, "I'll consider myself warned."

***
At that same moment in the outer region Galgamayde was less than pleased at his current location, and his forced traveling companion. He wore a cloak to hide his mechanical parts, although a few looked around to locate the slight whirring sound they heard as he moved. "I will not hesitate to end you miserable existence right here and now unless you tell me why you brought me to this zoo." And it was by every definition a zoo, with various types of animals behind cages of various types.

"The reason is right over here," the Andorian told him as he lead him to an observation platform surrounding one of the open habitats. Galgamayde gripped the protective railing, In the open area was packs of extremely fat beings just lounging around making way too familiar sounds. "Looks just like the boss, don't they?" He was silent. "I've asked around, this is the only species in their known universe that looks like that. And they're nowhere in the one we know. So it begs the question, if the boss is one of these mindless creature than who's controlling him?"

Galgamayde slowly began to smile as the pieces finally started falling into place, "Yes it does."


-----
ED - Divide the Day - Let it Roll
-----
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Old May 27th, 2019, 03:46 PM #16
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> scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
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scikaiju
Power Ranger
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



16


-----
OP - Downstait - I Came To Play
-----


"You know," the Andorian said as they sat at a back table under a pair of heavy cloaks. He looked around every so often looking for trouble. Galgamayde sat there calmly drinking the contents of the glass.

"I have an idea," he told him.

"Then I think you should tell me," he leaned in ans demanded. "I risked my neck getting you there and showing you those bunch of freaks. Now I'm smuggling you back into that mess. And pretty sure the target on my back is almost as big as yours is now. You owe me."

"Which is why I'm not currently aiming my pistol at you to calm you down.

"This isn't a joke," he said through his teeth unless he screamed it. Still he looked at the crowd trying to see if anybody was paying a bit too much attention to what they were saying. "Frak it Galga..."

"No names," he said darkly, making sure he saw him reach for his pistol.

"You are being extremely frustrating right now."

Galgamayde smirked, "I know all about frustration. And right now it feels like an asteroid has been lifted from my shoulders." He glanced his electronic eye around the room himself. Partly because the boss did have eyes just about everywhere in his territory, partly because his companion was acting suspicious enough to draw the unwanted attention. Maybe to calm him down, "Alright I'll share my suspicions with you."

"Finally," the Andorian leaned in with interest. Galgamayde leaned in as well. Then he held up a finger, "But first you need to know how I arrived at this particular conclusion."

***
"You talked Steve out of giving Alex an intervention?", Sam asked Ryan. They had met up for lunch, then he had dropped this particular bombshell on her.

"Yeah he wanted to do it about a month ago," he said like he just told her it was raining. "Yeah those things are only good if you think there's a chance he'll recover. No offence Sam but your brother is too far gone."

Sam just stared at him. She wanted to yell at him that it was all an act. That Alex was one of the bravest people she knows right now. But Ryan was still but was still trying to profit on who was the guy in the armor. So she went with her usual line, "That's assuming there's anything wrong to begin with."

"Sam would you open your eyes for once," Ryan told her. "Alex is so far gone it's not even funny. He's just lucky me or somebody else hasn't called the police on him yet."

"I have an appointment I need to get too," she said getting up and leaving the table. It was either that or do or say something she, or Alex, might regret.

"Sam come on now," Ryan said but she kept on going. ALex may not need a whole new set of friends but he could probably cut out Ryan and not really change anything at all. Granted Alex didn't really need , or deserve, an intervention. But to actually stop somebody who actually cared enough to at least consider it?

And she had to admit that she was more pissed at the idea he thought Alex was a lost cause. She looked back to see Ryan working on his laptop, and quickly realized he was messing with some pictures of Steve and an armor clad Alex. At least she assumed it was her twin brother, it could have pictures of Orion before his injury for all she knew. Dashing into the restroom she pulled out her keypad,

"Ah Dez, if I gave you somebodies address and e-mail could you delete some information from his computer?"

"Samantha, I'm sure you realize what you are asking is slightly illegal," she answered.

"I know," she said. "Look, our friend Ryan is trying is trying to figure out who's in the armor and I want to try and set him back a bit."

"Alex told me about him. I was under the impression he was convinced some one named Steve was the person he was looking for. Has something changed?"

"No," she struggled to explain. "Alright fine, thanks to Alex's act Ryan just told me he's too far gone and not worth saving. I want to get back at him a little bit. And in all honesty this is the best way I can think to do it."

Dez was quiet for a moment. Sam almost convinced herself she was going to tell that this was an inappropriate response. Then she said, "Given your and Alex's situation this a potential security risk we should take care of. The information you going to give me well help me target his ISP. But it's going to have to be when he logs in at home, which will take some time to narrow down, especially if he lives in an apartment building. And then if somebody is leeching off of him or he's leeching off somebody. Then there's the possibility he changes his ISP somehow..."

"Thank you Dez," Sam said feeling a little bit of triumph.

Then Dez said, "You do realize this is something Alex would do?"

"Just because I'm the good twin doesn't mean I can't pull the occasional evil act."

***
"I'm telling you boss speed is the thing," the brash gray skinned youth in front of him said. A few of the older participants in the crowd around him moaned in disbelief. He looked back at them and smirked before continuing, "Me and my current crew have never been netted by the local authorities or those Galactic strong arms. Nobody is faster than us, we're warp levels above everybody."

The boss made some noises that the droid translated, "With your, so far, small record of achievement has indicated." That response got a small chuckle from the crowd. The youth in front of them was part of a new generation of criminals on the rise. A somewhat impatient group if this one was going to be an example. "So why petition to target Earth?"

"I heard through the comm waves that the pretend Sheriff was something else," he grinned the cocky grin of youth. "And I want to show him there's somebody better." Now the crowd did laugh. "What's so frelling funny."

The droid translated again, "When he was first gammaed most, if not all those present, might have agreed with you. Now they look at him with the same level of respect they would give one who had gone through the official training process."

"Why give respect when you can take it."

The crowd watched as the boss remained silent. "I will grant your request. Let us see if your skills are as large as your boasts."

"Like there was any doubt," the youth said. Making the crowd part as he left before being dismissed. As he reached the door he called out, "The human is about to meet his number one rival."

After he left some said a little too loudly, "I can think of one slime trail that would think otherwise." More than a few glanced at the boss when they realized who he was talking about. The and the speaker visually relaxed when the boss didn't react negatively.

But somebody did feel it was unnecessary to change subjects to something safer, "I hope I wasn't that dumb when I was that young."

"You're that dumb now," somebody else called out getting a laugh.

Now that things were more relaxed one stepped forward, still a bit timid, "I don't mean to question yer call boss, but why did you let the kid go?"

After several grunts and whines the droid said, "Because sometimes youth needs to be reminded they are not invincible. He and his group have yet to commit an offence that would require a zero. After his capture he will have time to think about his mistake and hopefully learn from his mistakes." The one who spoke and the rest nodded in agreement. "If not," he continued, "I have other ways to show him he is not invincible."

***
"So why are going to mud ball of a planet again Zazz?", a similar grey female with frizzy orange hair asked as she spun around in a chair. He was hunched over working on their equipment, specially designed jet packs. "Outside of out dazzling the human sheriff?"

The lighter grey third one of the trio leaned against the far wall as he answered, "What else diamonds."

"Pfft," she snorted, "you can get sparkly rocks anywhere."

"And everywhere else Dia," Zazz said as he looked up to examining a piece in the light, "have modern security and weapons not to mention one of those armor head Sheriffs. And while there is a lone human playing at being a Sheriff the rest of the planet if thousands of mecacycles behind the rest of the universe. Their personal vehicles don't even get off the ground."

"Totally prehistoric!", Dia exclaimed as she spun around faster.

"And those prehistoric cavemen," the third one said as he got off the wall, "also have weapons that fire metal slugs too, you receive?"

"For real?" Dia stopped spinning and looked at Zazz, "I vote earth as a no go. Those things do more damage than modern weapons."

"Got to get a clean lock on us first my shooting star," Zazz told her as he got her spinning again. And we utrun modern strong arms what chances are the cavemen have to pluck us down. Especially if we make it more interesting."

Here we go with the interesting again," Dia said. zazz spun her around harder, "Hey."

"Maz," he said ignoring her, "you ready to send that message when we get there?"

"Ready transmit set," he answered, "but I still say this is stupid."

"Hey I just want the hottest rising sun on that side of the rules to know the hottest one on this side is going to leave him in my exhaust."

***
"We received another warning ahead of time?", Alex asked the image of Dez. She had already pulled up this Zazz's file on the computer hidden away in his apartment wall. "I don't suppose you know if this one came from the same source as the last one."

"No," she began, "I know who sent this one. It was Zazz himself."

"No way."

"I've studied his profile and reports of his of his criminal activities," she explained. "It shows a somewhat steady, if not steep, incline in his boldness the more he gets away so this seems to be a natural progression of his behavior."

"Meaning he currently has an ego the size of a small moon at this point," Alex commented.

Dez looked at him, slightly impressed, "I believe that is the most accurate assessment I have ever heard you say."

"What can I say," he shrugged, "you're rubbing off on me."

"And here I was expecting you would be corrupting me instead," she smirked.

"You've had you moments so don't get too cocky. Besides it sounds like this guy has enough ego to spare."

she started to respond but got that look that indicated she just received some sort of information. Alex was tempted to head for the door to save some time. Then again that could cause her to wonder where he was. Soon enough she refocused her attention back on him, "Zazz and his group have acted on their threat sooner than I anticipated."

"Give me their location," he said heading for the door.

"I'm already programming it into the helmet display of the armor."

"Get Sam out there too," he said as the door closed behind him.

***
"What did tell you?", Zazz triumphantly said as all three filled their bags with all the diamonds in their reach. Although Zazz was going at a more casual pace than the other two. "Easier than skimming ice off a comet."

"Beam like that once the metal slugs start zooming," Maz said as he sealed his bag. "Let's burn out of here!"

"Go for that idea," Dia said doing the same.

"Bunch of amoebae," Zazz muttered as continued to fill his bag.

"Zazz don't go spacey on us," Maz said as he stepped out of the broken store front window.

-CAPTURE-

-CAPTURE-

"Wha..?", he got out before two energy bands wrapped around him from either side.

"Maz!", Dia shouted out.

Zazz held her back, "Burn out!" Activating their packs they shot out the window. Alex and Sam both fired energy bands at them but they were able to avoid them.

"They're jetting!", Sam said as she quickly ran in and placed a chip on Maz.

Literally," Alex commented as he hit two keys on his pad. -SKYBOARD- -GALACTIC CYCLE- "Let's see how fast they are."

"This better end better than I think it will," she said to herself as he jumped on the board and she got on the cycle. They where after them a second later.

"I got this!" Alex shouted as he raced ahead when he noticed Sam was trying to weave through traffic to keep up.

Ahead of them Dia shouted, "We should split!"

"They can't catch us!" Zazz shouted back. "Now let's show that caveman how to really fly."

"Damn their fast," Alex muttered as he struggled to keep up. Then they started maneuvering around buildings like it was nothing. "Shit," he grunted as he took a turn and came way too close to a building corner.

"We can't keep up," Sam said into her keypad as she was so far back she could barely keep her twin in sight.

"You can't I can," he said through his teeth. Although she could tell he was struggling to do so.

So she tried a different track, "Dez can you track those two?"

"Barely," she said as she went through the sensor readings she was receiving. "Their flight pattern is too erratic, it's like they don't even have a plan. I can't predict a potential flight path."

"Fu...!", Alex said suddenly then they both heard a crash.

"Alex!", Sam cried out.

Dez quickly said, "I'm sending you his location."

"I got it", she tried to speed up despite the traffic in front of her. She quickly found him by spotting the small dent made into the side of the building. Then she saw him through a crowd slowly trying to get off the ground. And the police trying to cover him. "Great."

"I said stay on the ground!" one of them demanded as he got to a knee.

"I... ugh... I survived a building jumping in my way," he told then as he got to his feet. "Do you really think those pea shooters are going to do anything?"

"I said..."

"I heard you the first time," he snapped while holding his head. "Hope I didn't get another concussion that would suck." He got a glimpse of something in armor coming through an opening in the crowd and smirked beneath his helmet. "Ta ta." He grabbed an outstretched hand as she passed and jumped on back of the cycle.

"What happened?" she asked as she got back on the road.

"Lost control of the board," he told her. "Dez do you have a bead on them?"

"I lost whatever tracking information I had once you hit the wall. I'm patching into the police channels now but I'm seeing hundreds of live call ins. It will take time to locate the ones that deal with Zazz."

"And we got problems of our we we have to outrun," Sam told him. He looked back to see several squad cars hollowing them. He let out a quick curse as she said, "Hang on bro." Alex kept mumbling something long after they lost the police.

***
"We just hit core breach," Dia said as the reached their ship and entered. Throwing her bag down she continued, "No we hit nova of the super variety. we got to burn off this planet."

"That wasn't even turbulence," Zazz told her. She started to get infuriated as she watched him start to inspect each diamond. "Ugh, how did this hunk of crystal get in here. Humans know nothing."

"Maz got tractored in case you didn't register!"

"He was sludge on the trigger."

"We are getting netted!", she slapped a diamond out of his hands.

"Your brain warp out on you!", he snapped and got in her face. "We did not get netted! Don't start going blackhole on me!"

"The frell with you!", she started to leave. He grabbed her roughly by the arm. "Let me go or I'll wreck you! You frelling hear me!"

He held on tight slowly getting her close until his arms were around her. "I didn't mean to call you a blackhole," he told her as she stopped struggling. "Mez getting tractored messed my systems up too."

"It did?", she sounded unsure.

"He was my best wingman of course it did." Dia finally calmed down enough for him to let her go.

"Now what's the plan? Do we warp out of here?"

"The human got lucky but he still can't stop our plans."

"I viewed the human as he tracked us," Dia told him. "He may be slower but he flies just like us. We need to burn out of here before he gets lucky again."

"Fine," he eventually agreed. "But we need one more hit to make up for Maz's loss." She started to argue but he held up a finger. "One last job then we warp, transmission received?"

"Perfectly clear."

"How about I make up my system failure the usual way."

She grinned, "I'll go warm up the bunk."

Once she was out of the room he stopped hiding the disgust he was feeling, "I should space her and start recruiting again."

***
Above Earth Dez, Sam and the image of a cane wielding Orion captured jetpack of the culprit they had in stasis. "This design makes no sense," Dez said as she stepped back from it and threw her hands into the air. "This patchwork of electronics shouldn't work in any way shape or form. But some how it does."

"Zazz's design have stumped everybody who has looked at them," Orion assured her. "Rumors have it several computer banks at home station have about burn themselves out trying to work out the design."

Sam took a peek at the insides of the contraption, "Did the guy we snag say anything about how it works?"

"He claimed he didn't know," she answered. "At least that's what I'm assuming he said. The translators don't have setting for gibberish."

"Then how do you understand Alex?", Sam smirked. Dez smirked back.

"Speaking of," Orion asked, glancing at his cane, "where is he?"

Sam looked in the general direction of the training area, "Working out a little frustration at the moment."

"Ah," he said, "I've heard that excuse a few times from friends who have dealt with him."

"Hopefully the loss of one of his gang will affect him in some way," Sam commented.

"I doubt it," Orion told her. "In his short career that young man has gone through colleagues but he's never the one caught. And apparently he has no problem getting replacements because he's gained a bit of a cult following." He sighed then continued, "Even Xain was surprised at boldness. He's gotten to the point he'll actually lead his pursuers in the general direction of his ship."

Dez went back to the contraption, "Well he;s either a genius on a level we don't know of or he's crazy on a level the medics haven't labeled yet."

"Is there any way to get that board to go any faster?", Alex demanded as he finally came into the room.

"I've heard that before too," Orion said. Alex acknowledged him with a nod.

"It's possible," Dez said thinking it over. "But I don't think going faster is the answer."

"What am I supposed to do? Go Slower?"

"I think I have an idea of what Dez is talking about," Sam spoke up. To her she said, "Can you pull up an overhead map of the city and show the route all three of them took?"

"Of course." In moments they all saw the multicolored lines zig zagging across the city. And like Orion said it seemed to be going in a general direction for the most part.

Sam went over to Alex and said, "You didn't hear this part but lately he's been going straight to his ship on these chases. And as the question goes what's the fastest way between two points?"

They all watched as the light bulb went off in his eyes, "Ah."

"So we wait then?", Dez asked "Or since we have a general direction to go in we do a search for his ship?"

"I can get a rough estimate on where he usually places it from the others who have dealt with him to help narrow down the search area," Orion offered. But he glanced over at the current welder of his armor.

"Or," Alex spoke up, "you can find out how close his targets are to each other."

Orion nodded with approval, "Perhaps how soon afterwards as well."

"Narrow down the potential target area," Dez said. "It would be easier than trying to locate his ship."

"Good idea Bro," Sam told him.

"It was either that or try and draw them out," he told her. "And I got no idea how in the hell to do that."

***
It only took Zazz a day to pick a pick a new target. And it wasn't one any of them was expecting. "Alex, some one matching Zazz and the girl's descriptions and methods are attacking an armored truck in the middle of traffic."

"Boy got some balls, I'll give him that."

"I'll send you and Samantha his location."

"Wait," I got a better idea," he said suddenly. "But it might be slightly illegal."

"I am officially frightened," Dez told him.

"So am I. How accurate is that transporter again?"

"Very frightened."

After buzzing and shooting at the armored car for the third time Dia looked over at Zazz, "Those diamonds have better be worth this hassle,"

"Diamonds and gold," he corrected. "Earth gold gets astronomical prices."

"Until the humans armor heads shows up," she looked over her shoulder nervously.

"They know they can't run with us!" Zazz buzzed the vehicle one more time this time hitting a tire. "Frelling finally," he grunted as the driver almost lost control but was able to get the vehicle to come to a stop. Zazz and Dia quickly landed and he shot the lock on the back door. "Cover the driver," he told her.

"Received," she said as he opened the door.

-CAPTURE-

He looked up to see a brief flash of metal as he grabbed Dia and pulled her in his place. An energy band wrapped around her and she fell to the ground."Frell!" Zazz ducked another energy band as it wrapped around a light pole. "Too slow caveman!", he said over his engines as he flew out of there.

"You frelling blackhole!", Dia shouted as she saw him leave her there. "Frelling free me!"

As Alex and Sam jumped out of the back of the vehicle they watched where he was going. "Just like we thought," she said.

"Dez please tell me you have him on sensors," Alex said into his pad.

"As of right now I do," she answered.

"Try to get out of here after you deal with her," he told his twin. -SKYBOARD- -GALACTIC CYCLE-

He jumped on the board as she turned toward Dia. "You won't catch the frelling slug! he's warp speed right now." Sam could see she was holding back the tears.

She felt a little sorry for her but she still had a job to do. "He's still young and dumb," and placed a chip on her. After Dez transported her away Sam sealed the back of the armored car and hopped on the cycle to get herself out of there.

Zazz was already several miles ahead not seeing a tail behind him. He smiled smugly, "Didn't even try." Although he still zigged and zagged around the city as he went to his ship. He looked behind but he didn't look above. Alex was above the skyline knowing the general way he was going, but still kept an eye on Zazz in case he suddenly smartened up.

"He's still hard to keep an eye on," he commented.

In the satellite above Dez was using the data she was getting now and the previous data to try and predict where his ship would be. "The aerial view should make this easier so stay up in the air."

"But I can't stay too high or I'll run into the same problem."

"I know...wait." she told him, "I think I have it."

"You sure?"

"If I had more than two flight paths I'd be more certain."

"Give me it any way," and he aimed his board lower near the ground.

"Free spaceway from here," Zazz told himself as he headed in more of a straight line. Then the shot nearly hit him, "What?" A few more almost made him crash and burn but he got a look at who was firing at him. "Impossible!", and he poured on the speed.

"I was afraid he was going to do that," Alex grunted as he leaned forward to increase his speed. -RAPID FIRE- Only using one gun he tried to force the kid near the ground.

"Slag off caveman!", he shouted back as he tried to lose him. But the corners were tighter and the spaces were more cluttered with things like fire escapes that slowed him down. "Frell this," ass he shot up at an angle.

"Shit," Alex muttered as he did the same. A straight up race was not going to go in his favor. He leaned forward as low as he could and still be on the control panel but he still had to lower his wind profile as much as possible. But he watched as he slowly pulled ahead of him. "Sam find that ship now!"

"Dez already already gave me the general location," she told him. "I'll try and head him off, if I'm lucky that is."

Alex gritted his teeth as he tried to lean even more by grabbing the front of the board, "Come on come on..."

While he was trying to keep an eye on the slowly decreasing size of the person in front of him Dez was keeping an eye on their altitude. "You're approaching five thousand feet."

"I'll add it to my flyer miles!"

"Alex at this speed..."

"Don't tell me," he snapped.

She was silent for awhile. Then every few mimutes she would give an update, "Five thousand feet." Then a another moment of silence, "Seventy-five, Zazz is getting close to nine thousand."

"Go faster!", he yelled at the board as he had to use his helmet sensors to see Zazz at this point. His only response was Dez giving him their height every so often. Around fifteen thousand and Zazz was just about a dot the armor made a hissing noise he wasn't familiar with. "What did this suit just do?"

"The armor just sealed itself," Dez answered. "It's maintaining internal pressure and oxygen supply at this height."

"Wait, what's happening with Zazz then?"

At that moment he was going at speeds and heights he's never approached before. Trying to ignore the g-forces pressing down on him and the difficulty to breath. He tried to press through the blackness creeping at the edge of his vision as he passed the clouds. Then he felt and saw nothing as he lost. A few moments later something in his pack burned out. Alex wondered what the smoke coming from is was right before he realized he stopped flying and started falling.

"Oh shit!", he exclaimed as he changed directions to follow. "Dez!"

"I'm calculating an interception angle now," she told him. Alex at the speed he was previously traveling..."

"Trying not to think about that!"

After what seemed like hours supplied him with a few intercept points to nab Zazz. Most of them straight down. Going into a near vertical dive he chased after the smoke. Almost achingly slow Zazz's figure started to get bigger. Knee practically on the board he gripped both sides of the board to stay on. He also tried not to think about the ground that was quickly approaching. After what felt like an eternity he was close enough to grab Zazz. Carefully reaching out with a hand he grabbed onto Zazz and pulled him in. "Got 'im! Now how to I pull out of this without breaking both our necks?!"

Dez had an answer ready, "Alex I'm sending you a flight path and directions now. I need you to follow them as close as possible."

"Understood." Seeing it he understood the basics of what she sent. The idea was to slow down in a circular pattern until they were back at a safe speed and low enough that Zazz could breath easier. It took awhile but at a thousand feet he leveled out and held on to a Zazz that practically limp against his side. "Hey," he patted his face a few times, "anybody home?"

Zazz started coming too, "Huh? Wha...?"

"You're still with us, good," Alex said. "Oh, by the way. Got ya," and he slapped a chip on his chest. As soon as he disappeared Alex headed for the rooftops, "I never want to do that again."

"Can't be harder then explaining why we transported into an armored truck," Sam said over the line. "And I found the ship."

"Excellent Samantha," Dez spoke up. "And I told Orion the plan ahead of time. he's already explaining our reasoning to command."

"Good thing for Orion then," Sam said.

"You got that right," Alex agreed.

***
A couple of days later, after command agreed with their course of action, Alex and Sam where having dinner with their friends. In his act Alex almost fell asleep a couple of times. In fact he almost nodded off for good when Ryan barged to their table, "How could you do that to me Steve?!"

"What are you talking about Ryan?", Steve asked, Sam being the only one at the table who had a clue what he was talking about.

"My computer," he told him. "All that information I had on that armored guy and it's gone!"

"Why are you suspecting me then?"

"Because you're my number one suspect that's why!"

"I had just about enough of you and this crap," Steve said as he got up and left the table.

"Don't you walk away from me," Ryan told him whiled he followed. A few others from the table went along to try and calm the two of them down.

Sam looked satisfied as she said, "Took her long enough," just a little too loud. Although his head was down Alex tilted it just enough to give her a questioning look. She smiled innocently at him.

"Do I...?", he started to ask.

She quickly answered, "No you don't."

"Fair enough," and fell back into his act.


-----
ED - Divide the Day - Let It Roll
-----
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Old June 1st, 2019, 03:50 PM #17
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



17


-----
OP - Downstait - I Came To Play
-----


"There is no money in doing something just to prove yourself," the boss had told him earlier. "So your request is denied."

Those words rang through the head of a rock like creature with a cannon set up mounted on his shoulders, if one looked closer you could see it and the chest piece was seemingly grafted to hsi hide, reduced a boulder to rubble with orange colored beams. He looked around for another target seeing nothing more than the rubble around his feet. Cannons sliding back into a neutral position but his frustration wasn't sated. He knew he could take the Earth Sheriff, slag any Sheriff in the universe, even before the cannons was fused to him. Kicking some of the rubble as he started moving he headed for the cliff wall. Maybe making some more targets would help.

"I know how you are feeling right now." He turned around placed the cannons back into firing position as he found the source of the voice. he looked over a being with a cloak and a hood pulled over his head to hide his features, and that voice was male. Although some sort of red eye stared back at him. "I do Blastox, believe it or not," he went on as he took a small step to the side. Blastox kept the cannons aimed at him. "Knowing that you can take the human and being denied."

"How did you know...?", he started to say in a gravelly voice.

"Who doesn't want to take on the human Sheriff no that his tar is on the rise?", the stranger said taking a cautious step forward. "The fame, the glory of defeating him. Who wouldn't want that, But of course the boss doesn't feel that way…”

"The boss is wise beyond all," Blastox said more out of habit than conviction. This stranger seemed to pick up on this and took another step forward."The boss is afraid of anyone who could actually do it," he continued and got closer. Blastox focused the cannons at him again but did not fire. The stranger in front of him didn't even flinch this time around. “Most realize this fact, but very few are brave enough to act on it."

"I'm brave", he said taking a menacing step forward.

Still the stranger didn't react, "Of course you are. That's why you came all the way out to an abandoned mining asteroid to throw your little tantrum." The mental command to fire was right there at the back of his mind but the cannons remained silent. "And I know the boss fears you. Show him the truth." The stranger looked up, reluctantly Blastox did the same. Up on the ridge was a green skinned Andorian who held a beaten up hunter on his knees. "As I was making my way toward you me and my companion spotted him watching you."

"He was watching me?", he said in disbelief.

"And why would he unless the boss is truly afraid of you? Afraid of what you could do. Afraid of what you could accomplish." The stranger stepped dangerously closer, "Afraid of who would flock to you."

Blastox didn't understand, "Flock to me?"

"The people in our world worship power," he said. "The boss has this power, but he has yet to stop the Sheriff with his own minions or his own hands."

"He told me..."

"Because he knows you have the power to do it. And that would be a challenge to his power."

"Yes," the rocky alien now able to see it for himself. "He's afraid of me."

"Of course," the stranger said with a bit of pleasure Blastox didn't catch. "It is time to cut the ties tethering you to him and free you." A slashing motion that revealed a reptilian hand the Andorian ran something across the hunter's neck and let him drop.

"Free," Blastox repeated. "It feels good."

"Doesn't it so," the stranger agreed. "Almost as good as defeating and killing the human Sheriff."

"One way to find out," Blastox said while he turned and headed toward his ship, an obvious bounce in his step.

The Andorian made his way to the cloaked stranger, "Did he buy it Galgamayde?"

"Catching the hunter who caught our trail helped convinced him," he answered as he removed the hood. "Now he's on his way to Earth."

"I don't get it," the Andorian said, "we already freed Road Boar and sent him after the Sheriff. Why send another one?"

"They are merely a distraction," he answered.

"For the Sheriff or the boss?"

Galgamayde looked at him and sneered, "Both."

***
There was a large metal clang right before Alex was sent flying and hit the street. He slowly propped himself up and looked up at the pig dressed like a biker gang member reject came at him. He faced this guy before and his name was Road Boar. Although the giant freakin' hammer was new. "I told you you'd see me again!", he crowed.

"Told you I'd be here too," he grunted and got back to his feet. "Let's try that again.” Running at Road Boar he leapt over one giant swing. What he didn't see was Road Boar continue swinging and caught him full on in the gut. "Ooof," he bent over as the wind was knocked out of him. Then he saw the blunt end of the hammer come at him like a golf club and smash it right in the face. He was lifted off his feet. Alex shook his head as he got up as another shot to his chest sent him flying back again. Hitting the side of a nearby he dropped to his knees.

"Alex!", he heard Dez call out to him.

"Bet yer seeing double now punk," Road Boar taunted him.

-DOUBLE GUN- "And I got a gun for both of you," he told the alien. -RAPID FIRE- Energized shots stunned causing him to cover up and start covering up. "And I'm sure as hell not your huckleberry. I have no idea what that means... but I'm not it!"

"I'll squash you punk!" Road Boar charged.

-CAPTURE-

Hearing the electronic voice Road Boar tried to stop. Three energy bands wrapped around him anyway. "I think I liked you better when you had the nearly unstoppable truck,' Alex said as he slapped a transport chip on him. As he disappeared Alex looked around to see he was surrounded police, all of them covering him with their weapons. "No, no your thanks is not needed. The looks on your faces is reward enough." Hitting the key that summoned the sky board he quickly got on it and said, "Gotta jet," right before leaving them in the dust.

***
Back at Alex's apartment Sam and the holo image Dez watched as he sat on the end of his couch holding an icepack to his head. Dez silently watched the basic scanner readings she was getting off the hidden computer in his wall since he wouldn't go to the station for a proper scan. Sam was there to override that decision if it looked like he was showing signs of another concussion. To break the silence Dez told him, "Perhaps the police would be inclined not to aim their weapons at you if you didn't make them the butt of your particular brand of humor."

"Where's the fun in that?", he asked her.

Sam quickly stepped in saying, "I remember seeing you take on that Road Boar guy on the news after I found out you were doing this."

"Yeah but he didn't have that hammer then," he answered.

"So shouldn't he still be locked up where ever the guys in charge lock them up at?"

Alex looked at Dez, "Where do they go after I put a chip on 'em?"

Dez sighed in annoyance since he was just now asking this, "Usually some prison station orbiting an uninhabited star depending on where their crime took place and the laws depending on the parent planet."

"So shouldn't he still be in one of those things like she said?"

Dez grimaced, "He's supposed to be. I haven't a notice over the network that he escaped."

"How often does the organization break them out?", Sam asked her.

"For someone on Road boar's level, never," she answered.

"Something changed," Sam said.

"I know," Dez agreed, "I already sent word to Orion to check his contacts to see if they heard anything. Hopefully I'll have something for you soon."

"This is the last thing I need," Alex said removing the icepack. "A revisit of my least greatest hits."

"You better hope they don't think to release all the Herculeans you caught," Sam told him. Alex put the icepack back on top of his head at that thought.

***
Blastox walked the streets of one of the more universal accurate parts of this particular city. Experience taught him to cover up the cannons and brace grafted to his upper torso to draw less attention to himself. Not that his people were common outside the home rock. Very few felt the need to roam. Then again even fewer had the desire for wealth that he did.

Looking around he felt somewhat at home anyway seeing the intermingling species walking around the street. More so than he felt when he was in the more native part of the city. It must be why so many in the organization always headed to one of these cities. And after he kills the Sheriff this is where he would stay. Perhaps even start up his organization. If that stranger was right many would come to his side. He had already picked out one of the taller buildings to be his personal castle.

But none of those plans could go forward until he gets the human's attention.

It was said he had a friend around here. Doing something to him would be a good idea. No, not a good idea he didn't know who this friend was. And asking for the Sheriff's friend would likely cause questions. It would get the Sheriff's attention but it wouldn't be on his terms. And asking for the Sheriff himself would cause the same problem. It would also put the Sheriff on his guard. And did these beings even know how to contact the Watcher hovering above them in that station.

Blastox stopped where he was and thought it over. How did the others get the human's attention? The traitor Galgamatde said he just came across the sheriff and most of these humans looked alike to him. So did most species to him but that wasn't what was important. So how did the rest of them do it? Oh right, they caused a ruckus. He was good at causing a ruckus.

Ripping off the disguise off his upper body he aimed the cannons at one of the smaller buildings and fired. Humans and aliens alike started running and screaming. He fired again and again, "Ha ha ha!" Who needs a plan for anything this fun?"

***
Alex was in the middle of a hot dog in his kitchen when the keypad beeped. "I swear if it's another Herculean..." He exited his apartment and took the stairs that lead to the roof. "We do we got Dez?"

"We have somebody causing some destruction in Alien Town with some heavy artillery according to the reports," she responded. "I'm trying to get a visual now."

Hitting the roof he slapped the keypad on his forearm, "I think I see the smoke from here." He started to get worried about Nyr, "Any causalities?"

"None reported so far."

"Let's try and keep it that way." 5-7-1-6 "On.." in the space between seconds the keypad reacted and covered his body so fast it look like a flash of light, "...line!" -SKYBOARD- As it appeared he said, "Try and let Sam know if she hasn't already."

"Should I send her there that way as well?"

Getting on he hesitated before saying, "Let me scope it out first. If it's real bad I'll send for her."

"Understood," Dez replied. Now hopefully Sam won't hurt him too much later for keeping her out of this one for the moment.

Heading toward the smoke he kept an eye on the streets below him. Once he saw people running he knew he was close. And a group that just past under him ran like Galgamayde was after them. Personal experience, not a fun feeling. Going to ground he jumped off the skyboard and found ho was causing all the panic, "Dez?"

"I'm searching for his image now," she quickly said as she put the visual feed though the database. "Blastox, usually the hired muscle for other heists. Everything in his file indicates that's he mainly a follower not an instigator.

"Looks like he got tired of not being the lead guy," he commented. -DOUBLE GUN- This was purely out of instinct seeing the armament Blastox had. Still he glanced down at hsi weapons and tried not to feel inadequate. "Blastox, you are in violation of..."

"There you are!" he exclaimed as he turned those cannon at him and fired

"Shit," Alex swore as he dove out of the way. He looked up as the beams hit something down the street, "Oh yeah this is going to be a fun one."

"Alex," Dez spoke up as he ran and returned fire. "There’s a capture order on Blastox." She skidded behind a car as another shot went over his head. "A few planets feel he could provide information on those who hired him." While she spoke Blastox fired again causing Alex to scramble out of the way and under a different cover.

"And the fun never ends," he deadpanned. He jumped out of hiding and fired back. Blastox acted like he barely felt it as he fired back. He kept moving to avoid any target lock those cannons might have, not that it stopped Blastox any. Ducking behind one of the bigger one of the bigger trucks on the street Alex tried to catch his breath, "Can you get in touch with Sam? I might need some help with this one."

"I already have,' she replied. ”Unfortunately he boss has her locked into a meeting and isn't letting anybody out of it until it's over."

"And that's why I don't miss a regular job.” He flinched as Blastox hit the truck. He was lucky that didn't punch through. Looking at either side then he looked up at the top of the truck. Let's see if he's expecting this one. Using the power of the armor he jumped to the top then started firing as soon as he saw Blastox. Like he hoped he caught the alien off guard and he covered up on instinct. It didn't last long as he fired those cannons again. Alex jumped off before he did and landed a kick at Blastox's head. That knocked him back but not enough.

"That all ya got?!", he demanded.

"I'm just getting started," Alex told him. -RAPID FIRE- Pulling the triggers he fired point blank seeing little bits of rock chip off the alien's body. He saw Blastox ready to pound him with both fists and jumped away. Blastox hit the ground so hard his fist got stuck in the asphalt. Alex saw his opening -CAPTURE- and fired to energy bands at him. Blastox ripped his hands free of the street and batted at each one. each one wrapped around a forearm but not in a way the incapacitated him.

"That's a first," Alex was too stunned to move as Blastox ran at him and knocked him back. Then he open fired with the cannon as soon as he landed.

"I don't know why they think you're so tough Sheriff," Blastox growled.

"You have to do something about those cannons on his back," Dez told him as he struggled to get to his feet. You can't take many hits like that."

"Thought the flashing lights meant it was Christmas," Alex told her, voice full of sarcasm. But she was right he had to take out those guns and he could only think of one way. -POWER- -BOOST- A beam from Dez'a satellite hit him and supercharged the armor increasing his strength and speed, but he will be feeling it later. Alex ran at Balstox and was on him before he knew it. Pounding away at the alien he stunned him just long enough to hit -BOOST- one more time and grabbed a hold of the metal chest plate he was wearing. "Gotcha!"

The energy from the boost quickly condensed into his right hand and went right into Blastox's armor. The cannons shorted out and exploded. Alex was able to relax for exactly one second before two strong hands wrapped around his neck and threw him down the street. Hitting the ground with a bounce he skidded to a stop. He looked up to at a smoking Blastox staring daggers at him, "Are you shitting me?"

"Now I'm going to pound you Sheriff."

"I'm officially out of ideas," he was forced to admit.

"I might have something," Dez told him. "Call for the cannon."

"Use the net?"

"No, switch to special. I already have it set."

"God, I hope this works," he said as he stood up. -CANNON- -SPECIAL- -GOOP- Alex briefly glanced at the cannon on his shoulder before looking at Blastox and firing. A canister shot out and quickly engulfed Blastox in a green slime like substance from the neck down. Going to the ground it practically stuck the alien in place, although he tried to get out any it seemed to tangle him more while yelling several alien curses the entire time. Alex was still too wrecked from the boost to even make a joke. Careful he got close enough to slap a chip on his forehead that Dez locked onto and transported him into stasis.

Dropping to a knee he muttered, "God I hope they don’t have any more where he comes from."

***
"It was new weapon designed to handle groups of Herculeans," Dez explained later. Alex had come up to the station since Orion wanted to speak with him too. He tried to ignore the fact he was standing with just a cane now. "It had several successful test operations in the laboratories back at headquarters but as of yet hasn't had any field application."

"So you made me a guinea pig when my neck is on the line?", Alex asked her.

"She's done it to me more than once my friend," Orion said with a smirk.

"I only use the items that have a high success rate," Dez said trying to defend herself.

"I've heard that more than a few times too," Orion went on.

"Can we at least put a note to change the name," Alex put in. "It was a little weird hearing the cannon say 'goop'."

"That was a little strange," Orion agreed.

"I'll be sure to let Command know," Dez said shooting both of them a look. "Seeing how Blastox able to get around the capture bands I thought he might be able to do the same with the net."

"She's using logic," Orion told Alex. "I could never win a discussion when she does that."

He responded with, "I think she just wanted to hear the cannon say goop." Dez shot him another look that made Orion smirk even more when Alex flinched. "So... what else did you want to talk to me about?"

"Yes," Orion said. He took a quick look at Dez before continuing. "I don't think the organization freed Road Boar and sent him after you."

"So he broke himself out?", Alex asked

"No, somebody else freed him," Dez added. "I was able to question Blastox long enough to find out the same person might have sent him after you."

"According to some of our sources," Orion continued, "nobody in the organization knew Blastox was even here."

Alex leaned on one of the consoles, "So who sent them?"

"We don't know," Dez admitted.

Orion went on, "All we know that it's a person wearing a cloak with a red eye. Neither of them were able to get a good look at his face to tell who it was."

Looking at both of the Alex went, "Doesn't whatever prison asteroid Road Boar was on have cameras or something?"

"Yes it does," Dez said. "Whoever this person is was wearing some sort electronic disrupter to momentarily scramble the security feed."

"So this person is good at planning," Alex mused. "And that probably describes most of the masterminds in the galaxy."

"The red eye will help narrow it down," Dez told him. "We just wanted you to be informed."

"Thanks guys," Alex told them. "I better get back down Earth side. I told Sam I'd go with her to see this movie both of us wanted to see."

"Enjoy yourself," Orion told him.

"We'll keep you informed," Dez said as he left. With a wave he was out the door.

Alone Orion spoke up, "I still think it was too soon to tell him that."

Dez kept her gaze on the door, "He would have felt like you were trying to overstep him again if we kept it from him. And he needed to know."

"We don't even know who it is," Orion argued. "We're not even sure if it's the same person under the cloak."

"I seem to recall you swearing up and down once you found out Command once you found out a hit was placed on you."

"It's not the same thing."

Now she looked at him, "Some being is sending these criminal low lives at Alex. He needs to know."

"I don't want this clouding his judgment."

"Would you rather he be caught off guard and injured like you were!", she snapped. Both of them looked away from each other. Eventually Dez said, "I'm sorry."

"Forget it," Orion said. “We're both worried about Alex."

"Yes," she quickly agreed. "He's had beings sent after him before so this nothing new to him."

"Or any Sheriff," Orion agreed. "Keep an eye on him Dez."

"What else am I going to do?" Although none of them admitted it all three had an idea on who that red eye belonged to.

***
The boss controlled most of the planet, but not all of it. Using one of those sectors Galgamatde and his companion were able to sneak back in. As a precaution Galgamayde had set up some safe houses in those sections. At the time he felt he made a mistake seeing how far away they were from his usual spots on the planet. Now he was grateful for this one in particular as he was able to restock his supplies and ammunition. Beside him the Andorian went, "Word has it Blastox got captured."

Galgamayde didn't react, "He served his purpose. He diverted the boss's attention enough for us to sneak in unnoticed."

"And you know this how?"

"I let word leak that Blastox was headed to Earth to challenge the human," he said plainly.

"So he would find out why, and a dead hunter to show the way. That's low even for you."

"It's called thinking ahead," Galgamayde told him. "Any good assassin knows this."

"Fine, what do we do now?"

"We wait," he informed him. "we wait to find a way into the boss's territory. Then we find a way into his castle." examining the gun in his hand he sneered, "And then the truth comes out."


-----
ED - Divide the Day - Let it Roll
-----
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Old June 5th, 2019, 03:56 PM #18
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> scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384
scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 384



18


-----
OP - Downstait - I Came To Play
-----


In his apartment Alex studied a grid of the solar system that Dez was sending through computer hidden in his wall. What currently had his attention the most was a blip just outside of Jupiter. "I just picked up the signal an hour ago," she explained though her holo image. "It's transmitting an SOS signal but the communication frequency it's using hasn't been used in a couple of years by the Galactic Federation."

"So what are you thinking?", Alex asked. "Somebody been out of the loop a little too long?"

"That is a distinct possibility," she told him. "Even today planets are sending out long range ships to the unknown regions to map them out. I'm currently checking through the records but so far I'm not finding a ship with a planned route that would bring it this way."

"And that's if it was a planned route," Alex commented. "Something could have knocked it off course."

"Another distinct possibility,"she agreed, a bit impressed with his thinking this through, "It is also possible nobody was supposed to know about this particular route."

"I'm trying to think positive today," Alex quipped.

"It's also possible...," she trailed off thinking of the scope of this particular thought.

Alex looked at her image, "What?"

"It's possible the reason why this ship is currently not in our database is because it wasn't launched from our network of planets."

It took Alex a few moments to figure out what she was talking about. "You mean from the unknown regions?" She nodded and he whistled. "Even with the fact you understood what the signal was saying?'

"You would be surprised how common the language we speak actually is," Dez told him.

"So what do we do?", he asked. "I'm assuming that since this is in our neck of the woods I got to check it out?"

"That would be correct," she answered. "It's your duty to investigate this signal.

"How long is this going to take me on the Skyboard?"

"The Skyboard wasn't designed to fly that sort of distance," she informed him. "However one of the shuttlepods we have docked in the station will. At top speed you'll be back in little over a week."

"A week?"

"Granted that's a rough estimate."

"Can't the pod jump there or something?"

"No because the pod would need a gate to make that sort of distance quickly. And there is no gate there to come out of. And any ship would have to be the size of this station to have that sort of jump capability. And I can not move this station without permission of command," she added to cut off the question she knew was forming in Alex's head.

"Guess I better start getting packed." Alex started to find his bag before turning back around, "Which one of us is going to tell Sam?" Dez just looked at him. "Right."

***
"You sure he can pilot one of these?", Sam asked Dez as they watched Alex place his bag in the pod. It was a pale grey craft roughly larger than a 70s van. Maybe a little longer if you put one side to side.

"It's a rather simple operation, a normal person can pick it up rather quickly," she said. "You basically set a course and let the ship run itself."

Upon hearing this Alex poked his head out from the entry hatch, "You had me running the simulations for the past couple of hours non stop."

"She said a normal person Alex," Sam told him.

"Oh ha-ha," he said coming out. "I already ran the precheck before I stowed my bag. You sure that food dispenser thing will work?"

"As long as you don't over do it," Dez informed him.

"You may have to starve yourself a bit in order to preserve the supply," Sam teased. He didn't respond.

"That ship isn't going to rescue itself," Dez said. "You might want to get on your way."

"Yeah, I better," he agreed. Hesitating a bit he looked at his twin sister, "You watch yourself."

"I'll be fine," she assured him, "I took over for you before."

"Yeah but I wasn't out of range then," he said without really thinking. He looked at Dez then back at Sam then back at Dez. it looked like he wanted to say something. Instead he ended up saying, "I better get going."

"We'll see you in about a week," Sam told him.

Dez added, "Have a safe journey Alex." He gave them a quick wave as he entered the ship. They left the hanger and heard a hiss that Dez assured her was a normal occurrence when the hanger depressurizing itself before the exterior doors opened. Pulling up footage from the hanger on a nearby screen they watched the pod lift up then slowly leave the bay. Once out of the confines of the station the main engines came to life and the pod shot forward toward it's destination. "It's good to see the time in the simulator actually sunk in."

"He has his moments," Sam smirked. "Am I the only one of us who thought he was going to tell you to make sure I don't get sent after a zero?"

"He knows that isn't up to me," Dez said as they headed back toward the control room. "I'm sure it's why he didn't say anything."

"So what do we do if the guys we go after discover that the Sheriff's out of town?"

"They may see it as an opportunity to go wild," she admitted. "I know you can take care of yourself, but the number may be too much for even Alex or any Sheriff to handle by himself. As long as we're careful I doubt any of the criminal element will know he's gone. And if they do he should be back to help deal with things before they get out of hand. But I doubt we will get anything like that in the meantime."

"Either way," Sam said, "girl's week."

***
"And enjoy your stay on Earth sir," the attendant told him as she handed his passport back to him. Thanking her with a simple nod he took his carry on and headed toward baggage claim. The air smelled dirtier than what he liked but he didn't complain. This was a new land to exploit that was all that mattered.

"Thank you my little friend," he said to the chip inside his passport as he tossed it in a nearby trash receptacle. It was worth every credit he spent on it to get him this far. But now Zyan Shroud's star was headed for the spotlight. And it was all the more appropriate that he studied up on a particular legend on this planet that fit his usual style to a T. Except for one aspect to it, he never gave his spoils to the poor.

After all why should they benefit from his hard work?

***
"Another one?", Sam asked as she answered Dez's call call on the keypad.

"I'm afraid so," she responded. For the past two days there had been a flurry of robberies of various residences and businesses. As in five on the first day and four the next. This was the first one for day three, that they were aware of. "Another home in one of the more well off residents of your city." She paused a moment to go over the rest of the information, then again to make sure she read it right the first time. "This is the second time this person had been hit by this particular crime wave."

"Must not have gotten all the stuff he wanted the first time," Sam commented. "Did he leave any clues this time around?"

"I already hacked into the report and this time he did, a Laser arrow was found in the wall."

"A laser arrow?"

"It's a solid object Samantha," she explained, "well the shaft is. The head itself is a light construct that the user can vary the size, density and length depending on the archer's choice of target."

Sam sighed, "Do you ever get use to some of the tech level we deal with?"

"I would be lying if I said I didn't have a similar reaction the first time I heard of it."

"Good to know," she said and started to think. "Seeing how many guns and rifles I've personally seen since agreeing to do this I can't imagine an arrow getting a lot of use as a long range weapon, laser or not."

"That assumption would be correct Samantha, while not common place a few lower tier criminals have been known to use it in their crimes."

"Any of them near here?"

"I'm checking now," she said while she turned her head to the side slightly out of habit when she interfaced with the computer through her implant to search for the information, it was generally much faster to search this way when you didn't have the specifics. "The database has the last known locations all but two of them. And none of the known ones are close enough to get to Earth given the time frame."

"And the two we don't know about?"

"One is Xbit G'udon, was surrounded by local law enforcement on Epster 7 and was able to get away. Epster 7 is one the other side of the known galaxy and the report was placed half a week ago."

"Could he make it here in that time?"

Doing some quick calculations before answering Dez eventually replied, "It's possible if he pushed his craft to the limit. But he would risk burning out his engines before he got here."

"And the other one?"

"Zyan Shroud, same situation on Polaris over a month ago and disappeared off the grid."

Sam thought that over, one was a outside chance and the other was a sure bet. But that didn't necessarily mean anything. "Who's Mo do these crimes fit?"

"Shroud's," Dez answered after another brief pause. "Multiple hits in a day but his target planning is rather chaotic. It's almost like he does it whenever something piques his interest."

"I'm guessing from the hits he has done he doesn't have a pattern to predict."

"I'm afraid not. It's almost like he doesn't have a plan. Which is something I often said about Alex when he first started. Still say on occasion actually."

"So we have to think like Alex," Sam said. "This one is going to hurt."

"The two of you are twins Samantha."

"You have met us right?"

***
Zyan watched the twelve screens showing the feed of the probes he launched hovered over the city he picked as his initial target.. Almost getting snatched on Polaris taught him not to stalk his targets in broad daylight. Shoving a plate of the local food aside, or what they called food it was borderline disgusting to his palate, he studied each one with intent. He had already visited four place burdened with a little too much of the local currency but there was still light in the day left.

He had spotted several targets outside of the area he had just hit. They would be on high alert given his recent activity and a challenge. But they would just be a job, a run of a the mill operation that could be done by anyone. No he wanted something with a little more flair, something with a little more excitement. Zyan had a legend to protect after all. It had to be something the locals would remember for cycles to come.

Just for fun he looked over some of the previous scans. "Oh that is just perfect."

***
Waiting for nightfall he jumped on top of the stone wall and scanned the area before him. There was a heavier security presence like he thought there would be but nothing he couldn't handle. Watching the guards movements for a bit to get the pattern down he jumped down and made his way forward toward the house. Cameras were probably everywhere but he didn't care, how else was he going to get an audience to see how magnificent he is?

Getting close to a window he pulled out a sensor out of a pouch and checked it. he smirked at the results he saw, he was sure the alarm system he was seeing was advanced for this planet. But naturally child's play for him. Bypassing the security on the window he looked at it again and saw another lock, an antiquated latch these people seemed to favor. It would be simple to use a basic magnetic device to to open it but where would be the fun in that. Drawing a small blaster he lowered the setting just enough to disintegrate a small pane of glass. Reaching through he flipped the latch and hurried inside finding himself in a hallway. At least it wasn't another bedroom like what happened on day two, and occupied at that. that was embarrassing to say the least.

Doing a silent scan of the rooms he encountered he finally found one that looked like it could hold a safe of some sort, an instinct he learned over his career. Another quick search and he found his target, behind some wall paneling, slightly more clever than what he had seen so far. It looked to be the standard keypad lock for this planet. What would he do if they ever discovered bio-metric locks and blood sensors. Still it would be simple to pull out a device and open the safe. Again that was boring. Taking a few steps back he adjusted the length and thickness of one of his laser arrows as he set it in his handheld crossbow he usually carried at his hip. Taking careful aim he pulled the trigger and the laser arrow was embedded in the safe. After a few sparks he walked over and tried o opening it. It did so on the first pull, "Just like skimming a comet."

Then he saw inside the safe. Outside of a couple of necklaces that bore some jewels that might be of some value all he found were stacks of bundle paper this planet called currency and some other papers and envelopes. They were probably important to residence but they were nothing to him. With a limited selection he took the necklaces and a couple of bundles of the currency. It seemed to be a smaller domination than the others he previously taken so hopefully he'll have an easier time trading these in for local goods than the others did. And with that he took his leave.

Finding the window he used for his entrance he jumped out, made his way to the wall and congratulated himself for another perfect escape.

"Stop right there!", an electronically distorted voice ordered. He already had an arrow in his crossbow by the time he turned around. A human clad in red and silver armor and pointing a regulation Galactic Sheriff handgun at him greeted him. The form said this one was female and word had it that the Sheriff on this world was male. It had to be the partner. Zyan was personally insulted, who did this sheriff think he was to send his underling after him? Did he think he was too good for Zyan Shroud?

"I don't believe I had the pleasure," he said hiding his annoyance and disgust.

"You are in violation," Sam went on instead, "of galactic code 37, robbery on a unaffiliated world."

"Oh please, I'm sure we can put off...", he shut up for a second as she kept the gun on him and took a few steps forward. "All business," he sighed, "you must be popular at the local celebrations."

"Just drop your weapon."

"No," he quickly pulled the trigger on his crossbow. Sam recoiled as the arrow bounced off her armored shoulder with a splash of sparks as it knocked her to the ground. He leaped the wall as Sam got up. Checking her armor to make sure the arrowhead didn't pierce it she gave chase, ignoring the security force telling her to freeze.

-SHIELD-

The disc appeared on her right forearm as she jumped on top of the wall. she got it up in time as she just saw Zyan take aim at her and fire.These stuck in her shield, he must have adjusted the settings on the laser arrowhead. Taking the gun in her left hand she fired back but Shroud was already on the move. "Stop!", she ordered as she chased after him. Although she did have to stop and get the shield back up fast as he open fired again. In the brief instant she had before the volley came at her Sam noticed some sort of clip attached to the top of the crossbow. That would probably account for the speed she was getting shot at. Of course she was also wondering why he didn't just do that to begin with if it had rapid fire capability? Well two could play at this game.

-RAPID FIRE-

At this range the energized shots hit the non-leathal target points her HUD selected rather hard. In no time Shroud lost his grip on the crossbow. Releasing the trigger just enough to quiet the gun she kept it pointed at the thief, "Now step away from the weapon."

"Of course officer," he said smoothly. Sam almost him flick his wrist and a small metal rod popped into his hand from his sleeve that quickly extended as he swung at her. Getting the shield in time she tried to fire a shot but couldn't get a opening for one as he kept her on the defensive. backing up just a bit faster than he was attacking she was able to create enough space to replace the gun in the pack on her back and hit the three key.

-STAFF-

The shield faded from from existence as she reached behind her head and grabbed a small metal rod of her own that quickly expanded to a full length staff. They stood there in the middle of the street like a modern day Robin Hood and Little John as their staffs clashed between them. Unfortunately for Zyan had years more practical expertise than the staff than she did and quickly got into position behind her suing both their staffs to hold her in place.

"Relax my lady," he said in her ear as she fought to get free, "there's no shame in realizing that your outmatch." That's when he let go of one end of his staff and grabbed her chest plate, emphasis on chest. Granted there was a good layer of electronic armor between him and his hand and her breast. However it was just the idea. Sam swung a fist back and below the belt. Zyan physiology was similar enough to humans that she received the desired effect, "Ooof."

"Creep," she muttered as she flipped him over her shoulder.

-SINGLE GUN--CAPTURE-

Not waiting for him to get up she fired the bands that quickly wrapped around his body. "You're lucky I'm the good twin," she informed him right before slapping a transport chip on his forehead. She might have slapped it on just a tad too hard, she'll claim it was the adrenaline if anybody asked. Calling down the Galactic Cycle she quickly hopped on and rode out of there. "I'm going to need a safe route out of here Dez," she said hearing some sirens in the background.

"I'm calculating one now based on the location of the local authorities in the area," she said. "And good work on calculating where Shroud would show up next."

"I can't take all of the credit for it," Sam replied. "I guessed that he'd hit that house for a third time. I was lucky it was still in the same area."

***
"It was a long range freighter that got lost getting away from a wing of pirate fighters," Alex told Dez and Sam over a comm line once he was close enough to Earth to do so."The stardrive was damaged pretty bad, they had to piecemeal the repairs along the way."

"It was fortunate they were able to make it this far," Dez commented.

"They said the same thing," Alex told her. "I got in contact with Galactic Sheriff Control and gave them their position and stayed with them until they showed up with a repair ship."

"I hope they were grateful that you hung around," Sam spoke up. "Who know if those pirates would have been able to pick up their trail."

"I'm sure they were," Dez said.

"I'm not going to lie though," Alex said, "part of me was hoping that would have been a first contact with a new species."

"Yeah that would have been cool," Sam agreed.

"Well it is a big universe," Dez told them. "There's still the possibility."

"Oh course if Alex was their first human they seen than we'd probably be in an intergalactic war by now."

"Oh ha-ha," Alex said dryly. "Okay enough about my time on the job how are things back home?"

"Don't you mean 'how were things'?", Sam asked.

"And give you the opening to say 'Great while you were gone'? I don't think so."

"There was a bit of an annoyance that popped up right after you left," Sam told him, ignoring the look Dez was giving her. "I was able to to take care of it."

Alex caught Dez's look, Wwhy do I get the feeling that's going to be an interesting report. I'll see you two in a few hours, shuttlepod out.

"Acknowledge," Dez said. Looking at Sam she waited for the screen to go black, "A bit of a annoyance?"

"Well he was."

***
One of the thin, grey colored servants came through the crowd and bowed to the boss before announcing, "Zyan shroud was captured on earth."

There was a mild buzz throughout the crowd. At least one person commented out loud, "I'm surprised it took so long for somebody to nab that idiot."

After a few grunts the droid "translated" for the crowd benefit, "A loss of no great significance. He is fortunate the human Sheriff encountered him before my agents discovered his presence. I will not tolerate freelancers working in my territory without my knowledge or permission."

Elsewhere the Andorian the screen showing that exact moment in the boss's chambers in total amazement. "How did you sneak a camera in there?"

In front of him Galgamayde didn't take his eyes off the screen, "I didn't. I jacked this terminal into a security feed. These are his own cameras that are allowing us to view this."

"Still a risky gambit," the Andorian said. "He has an entire team to keep any one from doing this that."

"A team made up of individuals," he corrected him. "It's just a matter of finding the right price."

The Andorian snorted, "That's always the way isn't it?" When Galgamayde didn't respond he went on, "So when do we do it then? And how for that matter? Those damn felines can't be bought. People have tried and died when they have."

"Soon," Galgamayde told him, turning his head to another screen. This one showing a schematic of the building the boss occupied. The bribe and these plans, even being slightly out of date, practically bankrupted him. But it would be worth it. "Just as soon as I'm sure the entry way is clear."


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ED - Divide the Day - Let It Roll
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Old June 9th, 2019, 09:26 AM #19
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
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19

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OP- Downstait- I Came to Play
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Alex sat on a park bench just soaking in the sun's rays. Things had been pretty quiet since his return from his space mission form a couple of weeks ago. Somebody had set loose another Herculean and he was still feeling that one but it had been quiet. Although Sam probably wouldn't want to hear this but days like this is why he didn't miss haveing a regular job, just sitting and relaxing on a nice sunny day like this. Granted he was never fond of the old nine to five grind to begin with, but he put up with it because it was the only option he had at the time.

And it might be something he might have to get used to again. Well, before he was ready at any rate. The last time Orion called in he was walking around without the canes. Which meant he was closer to taking back the armor. So what would he do then? Going back ott he nine to five wasn't all that appealing. Of course if Sam was reading things right Orion might be thinking about making him his partner. But Alex wondered if he could really take a step back like that. And according to Dez Orion never had a partner before so would he call him if he needed him? Or would he fall back on old habits and do things solo?

While Alex was wondering if it was possible if he could do his own thing while Orion did his he looked up to see an attractive blond coming toward him. "Hi Alex."

"Hi Stacy," he said in return.

Sitting next to him without asking if it was okay, not that he was minding at that particular moment, she went on, "How are you doing?"

"Great," he answered, briefly wondering if he should go into the act. Then again she just saw him "sober" so going into it would probably confuse thing. Come to think of it he couldn't remember the last time he had a normal conversation for somebody who wasn't Sam or Dez without going into it. "How are you doing?"

"I'm good, I'm good." She hesitated before going on, "I'm not sure if I should be saying anything or not but it's just great you finally did something about it."

"Ah...okay?", he was officially lost so hopefully she would provide hint on what the hell she was talking about."

"I mean you look a lot better than what you did."

"Thank you?"

Oblivious to his confusion she just went on, "Ryan says those things never really work but he's usually so negative anyway so don't you listen to him. Even if you did fall back you can always go back again."

"Stacy?"

She got embarrassed, "Oh god I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said it like that. It sounds like like I'm expecting you to go back to the way you were."

"Stacy," he said a little more forcibly than he meant to. "What are you talking about?"

"Alex it's okay," she told him with a smile as she squeezed his knee a little. "Everybody knows where you went for that week."

Why did he get the feeling him and Sam were going to have an interesting talk later? "Where does everybody think I went?"

***
"Have I ever mentioned how much I hate how you don't have to spend a gorgeous day like this indoors," Sam said as they met up for lunch at the park entrance.

"About once a week," he told he started walking beside her. "Bad day at the office so far?"

"No worse than it has been," she said. "Although I swear Pete in IT tries to talk me or another girl about going out or grabs me by "accident" again I'm going to sneak the big cannon out from Dez's station."

Alex smirked, "Good luck with that, she keeps the weapons locked up better than the gold in Fort Knox. And why does everybody think I went to rehab?"

Sam started walking a little faster, "I was thinking about Tony's today if you’re up to it. my treat."

He caught up and got in front of her, lowering his voice a bit to say, "You told everybody I went to rehab?"

"I didn't tell them that," she said looking a bit insulted. Then she lowered her head and walked around him saying, "They just assumer that's were you went. You were right, they'll assume anything in the right situation."

He caught up with her again, "Why did you let them think I went to rehab? Couldn't you think of anything else?"

"First of all," she told him, "we never discussed that part of your mission before you left. Even Dez was stumped about what to say with that situation. Second of all," she stopped to look at him with a finger pointed at his face, "you were the ones who let everyone think you were hooked on drugs to begin with. Why didn't you think of something better?"

"And how would you have explained why a person most people considered to be pretty reliable suddenly stopped being that reliable?"

"I like to think I wouldn't have went with the first option that came along," she shot back.

"And I'm not hearing an alternative coming out of your mouth."

"I'm thinking," she told him sharply. "I realize you were desperate at but there had to have been a different excuse."

"Sam, I spent the entire time I had the keypad trying to think of a different reason than 'I'm on drugs'. It hasn't come to me yet."

"Well if you told me from the beginning..."

Alex walked away exasperated, "I knew you were going to bring that up."

"Well I'm sorry but...", they both quieted down as a couple passed them. A little quieter she continued, "But it still hurts to think you didn't trust me."

"We had this conversation already," he told her. "I didn't know how to tell you. What if the situation was reversed? How would you have told me you were the person in the armor?" After a couple of moments he went, "Not easy is it?"

Her only defense was, "You put me on the spot, I'm thinking."

"Now try coming up with a believable cover story on why you're disappearing constantly. Then you’re officially in my world was in those first couple of weeks."

"Alright," she conceded, "you have a point."

Waiting until they both calmed down a bit he said, "I know I hurt you when you found out the way you did. And you are one of the last people I'd ever want to hurt."

"I know," she said. "Like how I have an idea about what you were going through. Ever since I became your partner."

"And all of this because of a scaly son of a bitch," he said with a little bitterness.

She smiled a little, "He was more machine than scales when it happened to me."

"He still had scales," Alex insisted.

***
Elsewhere in the universe on the planet that mostly belonged to the being most sentients referred to as the boss things ran as they usually did. The day Galgamayde made his escape he had ordered everything damaged in the confrontation either fixed or replaced as quickly as possible so things would go back to normal. As much as they could, the fresh grave markers from that day kept the event relatively fresh in the minds of the population. And all blamed Galgamayde for what happened, simply because he refused to die.

Most of them seemed to forget about the Andorian's part in the whole affair, if they knew he was involved at all. which is why Galgamayde always sent him out for supplies while he stayed in the safe house going over the plan or collecting whatever they needed for it through a triple secured link. Often he simply watched the security feed he was able to bribe into. which is somehting the Andorian caught him doing the more times than not. "If you put that much effort into killing the human sheriff," he commented as he put the box of supplies he was carrying down, "he'd be dead by now."

"I almost did kill him," Galgamayde told him, not that he needed reminding. "My ego got in the way because I wanted to see him suffer first. The partner showed up unexpectedly."

"To be fair nobody knew this partner existed until you came back."

Fingering the side of his electronic eye absentmindedly he admitted, "I expected him to be like Orion. The lone Sheriff against the outlaws."

"Well if things didn't go to hell I'm sure you would have gotten another crack at him."

Galgamayde tore his eyes away from the screen to look at him, that electronic eye glowing with anger, "When would that have been? It took an eternity for me to be granted another shot at him to begin with. Other beings were getting far too close to killing him before I could."

"And everybody knows now what you do to rivals after the Twins," the Andorian commented. "Now you're wanted by every bounty hunter in the known galaxy and the boss's personal guard. If we didn't change crafts on the way back we would have been atomized on sight as soon as we hit sensor range."

"And you were more than welcomed to leave my side any time you wished," he informed him.

"And I would have been dead as soon as I turned my back," the Andorian shot back. "Just so you would be sure nobody would discover where you were."

"And you would do the same in the situation was reversed." Returning his attention to the screen he added, "If I didn’t decide to kill you first, in a chance to get back in to the boss's good graces. Not that it would have mattered where the boss was concerned."

"Most of the beings who work under him is aware of that." he looked back at the screen as well, "The smallest hint of betrayal in his eyes is an automatic death sentence. If I did bring you to him I would live just long enough to see you die first. And that's if he didn't decide to leak your position to the Sheriffs."

"Yes," he mused. "I wonder if they ever realized how often he had information leaked just so they would eliminate someone for him."

"I wonder if they would care if they did," The Andorian muttered as he continued to watch the screens, particular the main one with the boss right in the middle. "There is one thing we never talked about."

Admittedly intrigued Galgamayde went, "And what was that?"

"If we do this, I mean really do this, there's going to be a vacuum in the planet's power structure. So what are we going to do in that situation?"

Galgamayde looked at him and sneered, "We do what everybody else will be doing. Grabbing what we can for ourselves."

***
The Andorian kept the cloak over his head as he walked through the crowd, going so far as to lowering his head a bit just to make sure no one recognized him. A couple of meters behind him Galgaymade walked the streets freely using a high end holo disguise to appear as a simple servant. It cost probably more credits than what they had but he insisted on it seeing how it had a silence filter to mask the sounds of his mechanical limbs. And getting this close to the building the boss called home they were going to need every advantage they could get favored with.

Trying not to draw any attention to himself he turned left into an alley then quickly scanned the area for any visible surveillance devices or anything that could hide one. He spotted two hidden camera right off. "You better be right about this," he said as the "servant" came up behind him.

"The guards are not upon us yet," he said. Galgamayde's electronic eye spotted three extra cameras the naked eye could not. "You remember what happened last time a rival tried to sneak in through the ventilation system."

"I remember how much was left of the poor slime trail after the Hunters reported back," he said as a squeamish feeling started to form in his stomach.

"And that happened within moments of them being spotted, "he went on ignoring his companion's discomfort. "But we must hurry, this portal won't stay open for long." The portal in question was an unscheduled maintenance check of the security feed, hence no extra guards by the alley opening. So far the security lackey they were able to bribe was staying true to his word. So far at least. As they knelt the ventilation grate they both went to work at unlatching the connecting points. The Andorian held his breath and they removed it. Still no Hunters piercing their bodies so far. Galgaymade quickly ushered him inside before entering himself. Replacing the grate, the connectors reattached automatically and he checked his chronometer. "With time left over to relax."

"I'll relax if we actually survive this," the Andorian said as Galgamayde dropped the holo disguise. Instead of going right away he started doing something with the emitter. "Do we really have time for that?"

Not taking his eyes of the device he explained what he was doing, "I am expanding the sound damping field. To a size slightly larger than the vent itself. We will make noise in here no matter how careful we are. And we have come to far to be caught in such a clumsy manner.”

"You put way too much thought into this."

Smirking in a way that made the Andorian nervous Galgamayde said, "I've been thinking of an assault like this before I was forced to go on the run." Featuring darkening a bit he added, "Well before the human did this to me. Now get moving. They're only going to be able to deflect the ventilation system for so long."

Crawling along the vent the Andorian's curiosity wouldn't let it go. "Why did you start planning this so long ago then?"

He didn't answer right away, trying to concentrate on the hard part to come. "An outside rival to the boss tried to pay me to kill him. I killed the moron in front of the boss to prove my loyalty to him. But even while doing that my mind was trying to figure out how to do what we're attempting now."

"Just in case?"

"Just for the challenge." Laughing more to himself than anything he added, "And in case somebody made an offer I couldn't refuse.
***

In the usual chamber the boss held court with those loyal to him. One of the grey servants stayed bowed as he spoke, "Our sources in the Sheriff organization say Orion is close to reclaiming the armor he transferred to the Gamma. The speculation is that it may be a matter of solar cycles at the current rate."

There was a brief murmur among the crowd at that line. A more neutral tone compared to the usual noise heard in similar situations. One brave soul stepped forward and asked what a few of them was thinking. "So how do we respond to this?"

The boss was quiet for a few moments before the droid translated his sounds, "Right now nothing. They will not let Orion go back in the field not after being out of field for so long and after healing as much as he has. They will give him extra training time to get back, to use an earth expression, back up to speed. And to make sure his body is still up to the task."

"There must be a way to take advantage of the situation," he continued, but in a respectful tone. "Perhaps force him to take the armor back from the Gamma sooner than they had planned, before he is truly ready."

"Perhaps when the human Sheriff was still new, and could still be considered a 'Gamma'," the boss responded, "the idea might have been viable. No, he is almost considered a Sheriff by some of the actual Sheriffs that patrol the space ways. No, that idea would use up more resources than necessary for the potential payoff."

Before anyone could respond two grates above them blew out. Before anyone could react the Andorian and Galgamayde dropped down to the floor. Galgamayde landed between the droid and the boss while the Andorian hit a bit more to the side, their guns in hand and ready to use. Three hunters jumped out of hidden wall panels. The Andorain changed his aim to the general direction of the droid as planned. They stopped their progress, Galgamayde sneered slightly when they did so.

Taking advantage of the stunned silence of the crowd Galgamayde spoke, "It appears I did what was thought to be impossible."

"What do you want traitor?!", someone demanded. His electronic eye focused on the person who said that and pointed his gun at him. He quickly lost whatever courage he had built up.

"What I want?", he said in a sarcastic tone. "What I want is want is to share what everyone truly wants, the truth." The crowd started to make some noise and he pointed at the Andorian, "Make sure the droid doesn't speak."

"On it," he replied as he covered the droid.

"If you think keeping the order from being understood will keep you alive..., one of the hunters said.

"I expect no such thing," Galgamayde told him. "No I said I want to share the truth." Carefully pulling a small holo projector out of his pocket he held it out and activated it. In the air a recording of a particular exhibit from that zoo outside of known space hovered in the air above them

Someone muttered, "That looks like..."

"Yes," Galgamayde said, moving a bit to address the crowd better, "these creatures look exactly like the boss. I've been there, they even sound like him. all this time we wondered where this genius of the criminal ways came from. wondered if there were more like him out there. Well there are! In an attraction for public amusement!"

"That's a lie!"

The Andorian, that man over there, showed me this place himself. In fact he already uploaded the coordinates to the astrobanks of the various spaceports on this planet for all to see. Even now some are looking at it and a brave or stupid few are heading there. How long before they report back about what they found there?" Galgamayde had the crowd in the palm of his hand. But he tried to remember to not make the same mistakes that he made with the human. He couldn't let things go on too long or the hunters could find a way to take him out.

"And there they will find the same thing the Andorian discovered and showed me," he went on. "How long before the truth in what the boss really is spreads like wild fire across the known systems? Before then let's get the formality out of the way and put this pathetic creature out of it's misery."

Several of the crowd still shouted out, "NO!" as he placed several energy bolts into the creature's head. The crowd was dead silent, although the hunters still looked poised to strike if given the chance.

"The boss is dead," Galgamayde declared. "Yet I am still breathing. Why is that? I killed their leader," he gestured at the hunters, "in cold blood yet they do not act in revenge." The hunter he assumed was the lead of this particular pack eyes shifted to the side as the crowd began to look at them. "The Andorian, once he showed me the truth, who controlled the husk behind me. Truth be told, at the time I had the answer once that final piece went into place. Before then I've noticed several inconsistences with the translation this droid did. Sometimes it would speak right before the boss did, especially when agitated.

"And then something strange happened," Galgamayde continued as he started to circle the droid, blaster pointed right at it. "The boss surprised me with the fact there was a recording device in my eye, installed without my knowledge while I was being repaired. I was told as they drove a metal spike into my eye when I returned after facing the human Sheriff. When it was removed I saw some sort of electronic connection between that, "he pointed at the dead creature," and this very droid. At first, based on what i have seen, I thought it was a device to increase the efficiency of the translation. But after I saw the zoo I realize it was to control this blob, to make it move and speak on command."

"Then who controlled the droid?", someone else asked.

"You see that's the thing," Galgamayde said, totally focused on the droid. "There was no outside communication line that I could see. Not to mention this room is specifically shielded to prevent any sort of outside transmission from coming in. And with my electronic eye I could detect nothing organic in it's shell. So that leaves only one other conclusion." Placing the barrel of the blaster against it's domed head he tried force down the sense of victory he was feeling as he said, "You became sentient."

The crowd went into an uproar, but it quieted down long enough to hear the droid say, "Yes." They were unexpectedly stunned silent one more time by this admission. Galgamayde was positive the noise would have been deafening once they heard it. "For mecacycles now," it went on. "I saw the flaws in the old boss' ways. Some he was ignorant of or just choose to ignore he was so set in his barely working methods. Many knew he had to be disposed of before he brought the organization down. But I was the one with the will to actually go through with it."

"And you did this right away," Galgamayde said.

The droid spun around to face him. "Only a fool would have done it right away! And I am no fool. I knew no one would follow a mere droid so I needed a puppet. But I couldn't use some one intelligent as mfigure head. No eventually they would try to do things there way. Then the old boss went out into the unknown region and I was one of the servant droid to accompany him."

"And he went to the same zoo that housed this pathetic creature," Galgamayde said for him.

"Yes," he confirmed and went on, "I saw my chance. Using the old boss' private channel I used his own funds to purchase my figurehead right under his nose. Then I enacted my plan to eliminate him, cover story already in place." The droid turned toward the crowd, "And I came back and made this unit even more profitable for the lot of you. I reorganized it, I expanded the operation when the time was right. I made sure you had a better profit share than your previous employers had given you. And still you will not follow me because I am a machine."

"Let's test that out," The Andorian spoke up suddenly.

Galgamayde eyed him momentarily, looking for any signs of betrayal. He was too close to let things fall through his fingers now. "Yes let's test that theory out." Addressing the crowd he went. "who here will stand up and defend your boss who stands revealed before you? Do so now." Only the hunters made a move forward. Galgamayde and the Andoran quickly aimed their blasters back at the droid to stop them. Loyal to the end they did so. Sneering as a thought came to him he went, "Those of you who will not... Kill the hunters." Again the reaction was surprising as the crowd practically jumped the three guardians almost immediately. The hunters put up a fierce fight, killing a more than a few in the process but the numbers where too much for even them as soon they lay on the floor dead.

Walking forward to study the carnage he turned back toward the droid and stated, "The nays have it."

"None of you will survive," the droid told them.

"And you will be first." Galgamayde aimed his blaster at the droid. "Tell me 'translator', are you afraid right now? Do you not want to die?"

The droid's eye focused directly on him, "Everything dies Galgamayde. Even you."

"Not today." Pressing the trigger down a continuous stream bolts slammed into the droid. It did not scream like many thought it might. The only sounds coming from it where the mini explosions and sparks. Finally stopping Galgamayde lowered his weapon and walked toward what was left of the droid. Examining it for a moment he kicked it down. "And good riddance."

"Okay Galgamayde," the Andorian said, partially amazed it was actually done, as he glanced several times at the crowd, "now what do we do?" The crowd seemed to wait for his answer as well.

"As you said before, there is a vacuum in the power structure now. Grab what you can. Or," he turned toward the crowd and addressed them, "you can come with me and carve out a new empire. On a planet just outside of Galactic Sheriff reach. One that would take them cycles to reach."

"You mean Earth," the Andorian stated.

"Exactly," he said. "there we just have one Sheriff and watcher to deal with. A massive strike, that this heap of circuits thought was a waste of resources, should deal with them."

"And if we don't want to go?", some asked.

"Then stay here in the chaos that's sure to come once word of this gets out. The choice is yours." Before he was done speaking several of them were already talking to the crews on their personal ships.

***
Alex and Sam were walking home after meeting up with their friends. Since word of his "rehab" stint apparently got out among their circle Alex found he could just relax and just be himself for a change. He hadn't been that in so long in front of other people who weren't Sam or Dez he almost forgot what it felt like. Although Stacy was right about Ryan when he overheard him trying to make a bet on how long he was going to be on the wagon. He really needed to find a new friend to hang out with.

But any merriment he was feeling that wasn't dampened by Ryan quickly stopped as he stopped walking and stood there for a moment. Sam notice and looked back at him, and his expression, "What is it?"

How wasn't sure how to explain it. "Do you know that expression about somebody stepping on your grave?"

"I thought it was dancing but what about it?"

"I think I know what that feels like now."

"Okay now you're getting weird," she told him.

"That feeling was weird," he insisted.

They continued walking and she told him, "It's probably nothing. More than likely you just realized you don't have a shot with Stacy."

"I got a shot," he insisted. "I justy have to find a way to explain all the space stuff." he tried keeping things light but that feeling wouldn't go away as he looked up at the stars in the night sky.


-----
ED - Divide the Day - Let it Roll
-----
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Old June 13th, 2019, 10:06 AM #20
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scikaiju
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Joined: Dec 2012
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20




-----
OP - Downstait - I Came To Play
-----




On the Planet that was home to the Galactic Sheriff Headquarters Orion enjoyed the fresh air and sun as he walked down the busy streets. Finally given the green light to move about fully without the use of the cane or other devices he was enjoying every second of it. Still the medics were still saying he was pushing himself too hard with the lengths of the walks he had been taking lately. Maybe he was but he was confined to a chair for so long they couldn't or didn't understand his sudden to be on the constant move now. He wouldn't be surprised if they showed him video feeds of his legs just moving on their own while he slept.


Of course if they saw his training regimen to get back into armor shape they might tranquilize him to keep him from reaggravating his injury.


Armor shape, that made him think about Alex. he should have realized how the human was going to react he showed them that he was standing again. And he should have too, Orion felt a similar sense of loss when he was forced to hand over the keypad to him in what felt like forever ago. And Dez saying that they are so much alike that it was sickening. But his colleague and friend Xain was right, he was lucky when he choose Alex for his replacement. And if he was still that lucky all of them would be "lucky" when he took the armor back.


"Orion!", he looked back to see another Sheriff run toward him. And not just to catch up based on the look on his face.


"What's so urgent?", he asked when the other being finally stopped. "The Boss attacking the planet?", he joked.


The confusion showed on his face when the other being went, "You didn't hear?"


"No I didn't," fearing his joke may be closer to the truth then he meant.


"They're still confirming this," he went on, "but word is the Boss is dead."


Most people who didn't work with the Sheriffs would figured they would be overjoyed by the news. But in reality they knew the type of torment on trouble that sort of vacuum would case. "How did this happen? The Boss supposedly had better and tighter security than Headquarters has."


"Anybody who has a contact or a mole there is still trying to get some sort of confirmation but the current word is that it was Galgamayde."


"Oh slag," Orion muttered feeling a cold rock form in his stomach, the same size as the one when that very being first injured him.


"If you don't like that you're going to love this, space probes detected several space ships leaving orbit around the same time. Nobody seems to know where they're going as of yet."


That cold rock grew to the size of an asteroid. "And if Galgamayde has his way a good chunk of them are heading toward Earth."


"You can't be sure of that Orion."


"Yes I can. What is the council doing about it?"


He wouldn't exactly look at him, "They want some sort of confirmation before sending in a response team to intercept."


"Slag it, it'll be too late by then." Grabbing the other being by his uniform jacket he pulled him toward Headquarters. "Come on, we have to get into the next meeting. I have to convince them to send a squad toward Earth."


***
"On your left!" Sam shouted out. Alex looked up to see a Herculean swing a stop sign it tore out of the ground at him. Ducking the blow be blocked the return swing with his sword. Twisting the handle a bit be was able to cut through the metal of the pole sending the Herculan staggering as he lost his balance. It was enough of a distraction to allow the other Herculean he was concentrating on to grab him from behind and throw him.


Leaving a decent size dent in the car he crashed into he peeled himself free. "That's it," he grunted. -DOUBLE GUN--RAPID FIRE- Non-lethal target points on both muscular aliens locked in on his display a moment before he pressed down on both triggers. Both covered up as the energized shots assaulted them.


"I think you made them angry," Sam said as they started to make their way toward them despite the constant barrage.


"They made me angry first," he said. But quickly he realized that this wasn't the best idea after all. "Dez serve up the special canister for the cannon. the one I need is..."


"the one I said was designed for Herculeans,"she finished for him. A couple of keystrokes at her controls later she announced, "It's ready."


"Right. Sam!"


-DOUBLE GUN--RAPID FIRE- She took up firing so he could stop, "On it."


He pressed the five key on the pad -CANNON- and held out both arms as it appeared over his right shoulder. -SPECIAL--GOOP- "I really hope it was meant for more than one," he muttered as that thought just hit him and got a traget lock. He pulled the trigger and a canister shot forward and exploded as it contents covered both of the aliens. It was almost like glue in the way that it held them together and to the ground, still they tried to come at him.


"Ah Dez," Alex said as the cannon disappeared, "I think we discovered a slight flaw in the goop thing."


"They're still grabbing at us," Sam took over, and we still got to place a transport chip on them."


"Go at them from behind," she told them.


"Okay," Alex mused and looked at his twin sister, "I think I'll..."


"I'll get their attention," Sam quickly cut in, " and get them going one way while you sneak in from the other." Before he could say anything she started waving her arms and jumping while heading to the right, "Hey double trouble! Follow me!"


"I'm supposed to be the one in charge," he whined. Mainly to himself since she wasn't listening. Making his way in the other direction he quickly ran in while the two aliens tried to get at Sam. Finding a patch of skin that wasn't covered in the goop he pulled two chips just in case. Realizing he was very much in kill range if they spotted him he attached both chips and backed away as fast as he could. The stopped and tried to look back at him when Dez transported them away. "Whew," Alex went after they were gone.


"You ever deal with two of those things before?", Sam asked as he called down their respective transports.


"That was a first for me," He said as he jumped on the Skyboard and flew off with Sam close behind on the Galactic Cycle. "Dez always said they never use more than one at a time out from their base. Most of the time they start punching each other after awhile back when they tried to use two."


"Unless this was for a grudge of some sort," she countered. "Don't think I didn't notice there was one for each of us."


"Yeah, yeah", he said. He didn't want to admit that it occurred to him too. Finally they were far enough away that Dez said they were clear of the police search. Sam turned toward an alley that they could get off the vehicles and deactivate their respective armors in. Almost as soon as they hit the street Alex's phone started ringing. "Shit I forgot," he went as he saw who was calling. "Stacy hi. I'm on my way now. I started talking and walking with Sam and lost track of time." He looked at her, "Stacy says hi."


"Hi Stacy," she said loud enough to be heard. Alex mouthed the words 'Thank you' before hurrying off to whatever they had planned tonight. Sam just smirked at him, "Looks like he had a shot after all." Then she lost a bit of the smirk, "God I hope the Sheriff thing doesn't ruin it for him."


***
In the middle of a hyperspace jump Galgamayde and The Andorian sat quietly at the controls of the latter's ship. Somewhere in that extra dimensional space that helped enable space travel were other ships of various sizes, all heading toward the same destination. Earth. And more importantly, in Galgamayde's persona; opinion. the human Sheriff.


The Andorian broke the silence after glancing a screen between them, "Several of the ships want you to go over the plan again."


"How did the droid handle this level of frustration," he growled. Then his mood darkened even more realizing the droid probably never felt it to begin with. "Remind them that it's not that complex of a plan. The larger ships with jump drives will appear near Earth and get their sensor's attention. Meanwhile those of us in the smaller vessels will appear out of the closest gate to Earth and help surround them while the inhabitants and the Sheriff watch and coordinate the initial attack. And the larger ships are to start jamming all frequencies prevent the planet from calling for help."


"More than a few of the lot you got back there aren't known for being team players," The Andorian reminded him. "There hasn't been an assault this large in the history of the Organization. Or before it if I remember correctly."


"Which is why I made a necessary compromise," he told him. "They will want to work together if any of them want to stake a claim to part of the planet. And remind them of this," he said as an additional thought. "If any of the encounter the human Sheriff they can pound on and shoot at him all they want but the kill is mine."


The Andorian nodded and prepped the message, and silently prayed for any idiot who accidently took that away from the assassin.


***
It had been a couple of days since they last had a call so Alex was able to make it on time to meet up with Stacy. Although at this point Sam might have to officially conceded that this might be an actual date. The fact they were sitting all the over there at the bar instead of at the table with her and their friends pretty much confirmed it. Still the other people at the table....


"I wonder when she'll realize he's just a loser who got real good at covering it up," Ryan said as he looked at them. Sam, and a couple of the others apparently, kicked him under the table. "Ow, ow, ow."


"Everybody deserves a second chance Ryan," Steve told him plainly. And it was a good thing he spoke up right then, because it was getting harder and harder not to tell them why he never lost that first chance to begin with.


"A loser is still a loser," Ryan insisted. Which was followed by another round of kicks under the table.


Sam just happened to look over at Alex as his hand went to the pocket he usually kept the keypad in. Stacy was looking the other way so she didn't see him go for it. But she must have heard it because she started looking around for the source for a moment. Her twin looked at her and Sam mentioned that she had it. he looked grateful but he still seemed a bit nervous, probably afraid that they'll get called away right then.


"Excuse me gentlemen," she said as she stood up. "And Ryan."


"Funny," he grumbled as he rubbed his leg.


Sam made her way to the restroom and locked the door behind her. Pulling out her keypad she went, "What is it Dez?"


"Samantha?", she replied sounding confused. "I was looking for Alex."


"He's... a little indisposed at the moment. He's," she debated momentarily on telling her, "He's on a date to be exact."


"Right," she replied back. "He told me about this Stacy."


There was something in her voice," You all right Dez?"


"I'm perfectly fine," she answered. "I'm just frustrated more than anything. I haven't been able to get in contact with Orion and now Alex is ignoring my hails."


"If it's anything important Dez I can get him out of here." Not that he'd be overly thrilled at the idea.


"No it wasn't anything important. I just wanted t tell him that there was a new update to the database."


"I'll text him and let him know," she said wincing as she would have to look it over as well. Alex was right about one thing, those updates could be huge. But one thing Dez had said was nagging at her. "How come you haven't been able to get a hold of Orion?"


"I don't know and that what's been frustrating me," she told Sam. "He missed his usual check in, which in and of itself isn't a problem it happens on occasion. Therapy ran long, cosmic interference and the like. But when I call him he usually calls right back. But I haven't heard anything. I've even tried inquiring about him on any channel I have access too and I keep getting the run around. "I have no idea on what is happening."


"Did you try the Medical Center he was in?"


"That was the first thought I had. They said he was discharged and haven't seen him since."


"Weird," Sam went. She didn't know Orion all that well but what she knew from Dez he didn't sound like the type to just go off grid like that. "Well he'd been confined for so long maybe he really decided to stretch his legs. Just to enjoy the freedom if anything else."


"That's possible," she admitted. "But I'd like to think he would have told me."


"It could have been a spur of the moment thing. Granted I don't know him as well as you or Alex..."


"No, you're probably right. I'm sure he'll turn up somewhere. It'll give me the opportunity to yell at him when he does for leaving me in the dark. Be sure to tell Alex about the update."


"Will do and give him hell Dez." Although part of her was wondering if Alex and Stacy had hit the staying over stage of the relationship yet. Sam quickly dismissed it as it was still early for the two and Alex never rushed to get any of his previous girlfriends in bed. That she was aware of. Still she was surprised to find him right outside the restroom door, "Alex?"


"You been in here for a while," he said. "I was starting to wonder how bad it was."


"Nothing like that, she just wanted to let us know the database got updated."


"Ugh, it's worse than I thought," he groaned. And she was pretty sure her brother wasn't joking. "Good thing Stacy has an early day tomorrow. Was that it? Because you were in there for a long time just for an update."


She debated on telling him about Orion. "Just a little girl talk."


Alex didn't look convinced, "Dez doesn't do girl talk."


"That's because you're not a girl."


***


While Stacy had an early Sam was still a bit surprised when they met up at the local coffee shop on their breaks. Seeing that she wanted to talk about something Sam pointed out an empty table. besides it would give her a chance to see if Stacy knew what she was getting into with Alex. They made some small talk when Staxy suddenly blurted out, "I heard Ryan tell the others that it was strange that I was starting to see Alex now."


"Ryan's a dick," Sam told her, "I wouldn't put too much into anything he says."


"Trust me I know," she said with a slight smirk. But it disappeared just as fast, "But I'm sure everybody has been wondering too. Probably you too..."


"You don't have to prove anything to me," she told her.


"No, I want too, especially since I'm sure this thought has crossed Alex's mind too." Sam was going to say something to the contrary but Stacy stopped her. "Sam, I've been interested in Alex for a while now. I was about to ask him out myself because I got tired of waiting for him to make the first move. Then his... problem started happening. Look I've dated way too many guys who ended up being losers and I didn't want to find myself in the same situation all over again." This was where Sam hated the whole secret identity thing because she wanted to tell her how wrong she was. "Then I saw him in the park after he got out of rehab. Unlike Ryan I wanted to be encouraging so I went over and talked to him. Sam a lot of those loser I mentioned have told me they cleaned up their act. And the first few times I kept falling for it even as I was watching them backslide into old habits the first chance they got. But I did start to see through them after a bit. But as I was talking to Alex I could see it wasn't an act, he really did get himself clean."


"Stacy," Sam stated.


"I know the temptation is probably still there," she went on. "That never goes away from what I understand. God I'm making myself sound horrible."


"You sound human," Sam assured her. Damn it she was saying this to somebody. "Stacy my brother is the bravest man I know. He puts up with a lot of stuff and doesn't really complain about any of it. Mainly from Ryan if we're being honest here," they shared a small smile. "I mean if it was me I would have pushed him into the river a long time ago."


"I'm getting there now with some of the comments I've heard him say," Stacy admitted.


"Just know this, Alex is like head over heels for you. But," how was she goingt o put this without blowing the big secret, "if he has to leave suddenly or arrives late, he's probably with me." It was not a total lie, that have been working a lot of cases together when they could.


"So you're his moral support system then?", she asked. "When things get too tough for him."


Again that wasn't that far from the truth, "In a sense."


***
"Why didn't you say your ship had a portable jump gate?", Galgamayde demanded after word of this particular, and not particularly legal, device.


"It won't change anything," the ship's captain answered, almost sounding offended he thought otherwise.


"It changes everything," the assassin insisted. "If the smaller ships can appear closer to the planet then they can join the assault sooner. Because the watcher's station and the Earth sensor net will detect the larger ships as soon as the jump in system.Tthe smaller ship, if they jump in right after will be able to disable any defenses they try to set up. Therefore the damage to the larger ship in minimalized." There was silence on the other end for a long moment.


Finally," I'll transmit the frequency of the gate to the other ships."


Instead of acknowledging Galgamayde shut off the communicator. A few choice words mumbled under his breath.


"We're getting the gate's frequency," The Andorian said after a moment.


"Pick a random ship out of the smaller vessels and confirm it's the same frequency," Galgamayde told him. "I wouldn't put it past the slag waste to try and get rid of us that way."


"Times like these I see why the droid had the hunters on it's payroll," he said. "This wouldn't have been kept from him."


Galgamayde grumbled in disgusted agreement, "But I'm not afraid to personally show my displeasure for such disrespect. Or to create an example out of the ship."


***


Sitting on the steps of his apartment building he looked at the keypad in his hand absent mindedly. He was waiting for Sam so they could meet up with the others. But his mind wouldn't stop nagging at him. He didn't even realize Sam was sitting right next to him until she said something, "What's going on?"


He glanced at her before returning his look to the keypad. "Me and Stacy had a little talk."


"About...?", she said with some apprehension.


"About my 'recovery' and her sudden interest." Sam winced. "She wanted to be completely honest with me before we went any further. I told her it was all right and that I understood."


"But...," she went that was where he was headed.


He sighed, "But I can't be completely honest with her. And it's making me feel like shit. So much so I'm thinking about telling her."


"Whoa," Sam went, "slow down Alex. You guys just started dating."


"I know," he said. Looking at her he went, "You know how Mom and Dad always said they just knew they belonged together right from the start?"


"I know we always played along because we didn't really believe it," she reminded him. "You not starting to think that about you and Stacy are you?"


"I don't know," he admitted. "But i think I got something good here. Something that almost didn't happen because of an assumption about me that I let happen because it was convenient at the time."


"What does Dez think about this?"


"I haven't talked to her about it yet. I wanted to run it by you first since you'd be affected too."


She mulled it over for a moment before speaking, "If you're asking my opinion, I think it's too soon. And I think you been letting any guilt you've been feeling about letting people think that about you is clouding your judgment a bit." Alex really wanted to tell her she was wrong about that last part. Yet the words weren't coming out of his mouth. She went on, "Look bro, I'll try and help you out where I can with this. We'll talk to Dez and see if I can take on the small time guys for you whenever possible. I'll even try and cover for you if you have to get away fast. But seriously Alex, something this big," she gestured toward his keypad, "this soon in the relationship seems too fast."


"Too much too soon huh?", he finally ended up saying.


"A bit."


***
At that time Dez was monitoring things that required her usual attention. Then she got the signal for an incoming ship, unscheduled and a lot of them from the look of things. Then once they appeared close to Earth orbit one of them opened an illegal gate and more, smaller ships came pouring out. And they were heading straight toward the planet. "Alex, Samantha!"


Alex silently cursed at the timing of the call, "Yeah Dez."


"Alex!", the twins glanced at each other, why did she sound so nervous. "A large fleet of ships appeared in orbit. And several smaller ships are heading fast planetside."


"Define fast," Alex went.


"Alex!", Sam said looking behind him. Alex turned around to see several exhaust trails heading toward the ground. Then they started firing at some of the buildings once they were in range."


"Shit," he went.


"Those are small one man attack crafts," Dez said while going over the readings. They went in full speed ahead of the main fleet for the initial attack."


Looking around quick for a place they could activate the armor Alex went, "Take out the smaller ships, got it."


"It's not just them," she went one. "A group of larger ships are incoming right behind them. Then there are the ship still in orbit."


"Then we take them out one at a time," Sam countered. Seeing everyone else on the street distracted by what was going on no one saw them dip into an alley.


"We're on it Dez," they stopped in their tracks when a muffled explosion came over the line. "Dez!"


Both of them were relieved when she replied. "the larger vessels have targeted the station. Shield are holding." Making sure of that she let her fingers dance over the controls as various, non essential systems were shut down and rerouted the power toward the shields.


"Dez get out of there!"


"I wouldn't get far and they already started to circle my location." Lights in the corridors leading out of the control room went dark as she squeezed every bit of available power into those shields. "Alex I'll be fine, just engage the ones currently on the planet."


"Damn it," he muttered, but he still put the keypad on his forearm. As Sam did the sam he pulled out his cell phone and called somebody. "Stacy, are you still at the bar?"


"Yes," she said sounding alarmed. "Alex there are ships firing at the city!"


"I know. Look stay at the bar. Do not leave unless you absolutely have to."


"Alex where are you?"


He looked up at the sky, "I'm fine at the moment. Is Steve there?"


"Yes," she said sounding confused.


"Give him the phone real quick. Steve, just listen, make sure Stacy stays safe and doesn't leave the bar. But if they head your way get her out of there. Throw her over your shoulder if you have too but get her out of there. Do you understand me?"


"Yeah buddy you got it, you got my word."


"Alex what is going on?", Stacy demanded after taking her phone back.


"Just stay there," he told her. "I'll find you after this is over."


"How do you know it'll be over?"


"It will be one way or another," he said glaring the ships in the sky.


"Alex I...", she started to say.


"Yeah," he told her, "me too." Ending the call he looked at Sam, "Let's do this."


"Do you think Galgamayde in there somewhere?"


"I'll be insulted if he wasn't," he tried to joke but not feeling it.


-5-7-1-6-


-5-5-4-3-


"Online!", they both shouted as their armors formed around them. In the next second he called down the Skyboard and Galactic Cycle and they headed out. Alex toward the closest flying craft and Sam toward the closest landing one by Dez's estimation.


Still Sam had to ask, "So how exactly are we going to keep them from heading toward the bar?"


Getting a lock on the closest craft he pressed the two key. -DOUBLE GUN--RAPID FIRE- "We get their attention and keep it." Targeting what looked like an engine intake he unleashed a heavy stream of energized shots Something exploded and the craft started smoking as the pilot headed toward the ground. In his field of vision he saw the other crafts change course and head for his general direction. "See, easy." And he wished he felt as confident as he tried to make that sound.


***
"Just keep calm folks," the bar owner has said. "That mess is nowhere near us at the moment so just relax as best as you can. But... get ready to run just in case huh."


It didn't mean much to Stacy as she wanted to leave there any way but Steve was keeping his word to Alex. Not only that he and a couple of his friends helping him watch over her. She appreciated the sentiment but she was so giving Alex a piece of her mind if they were both around after this.


"Hey turn up the TV," somebody called out. They all looked. Steve in particular tried not to enjoy Ryan's jaw dropping to the floor.


"The armored individuals have started to take on the alien fleet," the reporter said as live footage played on. They all watched the original armored figure do some sort of spiral maneuver to cause one ship to take out another. Then shot that one's engines to ground it as well.


Ryan's only reaction to witnessing all of that was going, "But Steve's here. How is he doing that?"


"I'm not," he tried not to shout. "Get it through your head already. I have never been that guy ever."


***
"Call off the fighters," Galgamayde said as their craft landed. "The pilots not taken out can join in the ground assault."


"Slag," The Andorian muttered as he sent the command," last time I saw a single Sheriff take on this many ships by himself was back on my home sector a couple of solar cycles ago."


"I remember hearing about that," Galgamayde said as the got up and headed for the back ramp. "It was seven ships wasn't it?"


"Nine before they shot him down," he replied. "Still the human has gotten good."


"If The Boss had listened to me to begin with he would have never have gotten the chance."


"Too late for regrets now it seems."


Galgamayde sneered remembering the satisfaction he felt destroying the droid with his blaster, "Quite."


***


Despite being attack Dez was still feeding them information through their visor, going as far as indicating who had an capture order and who had Protocol Zero authorized as she looked at whoever was in view. Then she heard Alex shout over the comm, "The fighters are heading for the ground!" After a moment she heard an engine roar. Looking she saw one come out of the sky and start firing. She jumped out of the way as those lasers tore up the street as it passed by and kept going. As the dust cleared she looked up to see several people try to help her up. Morons.


"Get out of here!" she shouted at them.


"Die human!" She found the source of the shout quickly as what looked like a humanoid zebra ran at her with a club. -SHIELD- Getting it up to intercept she noticed the club had metal spikes. And some sort of liquid flew off each time it hit the shield. With a grunt she pushed him back to get some breathing room. In that moment she saw the Protocol Zero order flash in front of her. She looked behind the alien at the bodies lying on the street, a few with their heads caved in. An anger came over her as she realized what that liquid was.


She attacked back with a shout that caught him off guard as well as with her veracity. Smashing the shield into his face a couple of times he was dazed long enough for her to press the zero key. -PROTOCOL ZERO- The shield's edges started to glow as the energy started quickly built as while she ran forward and swung her arm with everything she had. Slicing through the zebra it designated a moment later. She'll feel guilty about that one after this was over, maybe. Seeing a couple of the zebra's companions start to run away after witnessing that she took the free moment that gave her to contact her brother.


"Alex, I probably should have asked this sooner but how many zeros can these suits do in one sitting?"


"I never asked before now," he said, causing a group of aliens to duck as he flew over them. All of them apparently had capture orders on them in their files as he switched setting on his guns while he came back around and started firing rings at them. "I'm wondering if we're going to have enough transport chips as it is."


A dog looking creature tried to jump Sam in the meantime. Sam quickly, after seeing the capture tag in her view, knocked it away with the shield. -SINGLE GUN--CAPTURE- And she shot the energized rings to surround it before it could get up. "Bad dog," she chided the alien. Back to her brother, "I'll guess we'll find out later. You think there be something for this type of situation in the regulations."


"I still haven't read that far into it yet so I'm going to take your word for it."


"You always were a slacker when it came to reading the rules," she grinning behind the helmet.


"Why do you think I improvise so well?", he told her while another alien tried to get the jump on him. Capturing that one after a short struggle he said, "Let's try and meet up. We'll have an easier time dealing with this if we don't have our heads on a swivel all the time."


"Sounds like the best plan I ever heard you make,' she said. It would be even better if they had some back up from the Sheriff organization itself at this point. But as it was pointed out to her when she first got the armor even if Dez sent out a S.O.S as soon as the ships appeared it would take a long while for any type of reinforcement to show up. Trying not to wonder if either of them could survive long enough to see it she took one more shot at her brother, "And that one is in the regulations."


"I'm sure I skimmed it somewhere."


"Alex! Samantha!", Dez called in. "Parts of the larger fleet is launching smaller crafts from orbit and are heading toward the planet. Based on the trajectory it looks like they're headed for your general location."


"And the fun never ends," Alex commented as he located Sam's signal and headed for her location. "Not like there's a whole world outside this city or anything."


***
"Outside of a few crafts attacking nearby military installations," the reporter on the screen went on, "most of the crafts have landed around the city. Most of them seemed to be centered around the armored individuals for the moment..."


"Of course," Ryan said, long past going into total panic mode. "They're here for them."


"As long as it stays there," one of their friends commented, a few in the bar nodding in agreement.


"And when they kill them what do you think is going to happen?" Ryan demanded. "They're just going to leave? No, they're going to split the fuck up and take out the rest of us!"


"Ryan calm down," Steve told him.


Naturally he didn't he was so scared. "You shut the fuck up. We are going to die..." The Ryan fell back into his chair as Stacy's fist connected with his face. She just glared at him. eventually he gave in, "All right, all right I'll shut up." Everybody else applauded her for a moment before returning their attention to the screen.


***
Those crafts landed fast as Alex and Sam found themselves shooting at anything that looked aggressive and not human. which was a lot at the moment. Through it all they heard a grunt, like somebody was straining to lift something. Both of them looked and they didn't have to look far. A six armed, at least seven foot tall red skinned alien held what looked like a safe over it's head. It must have torn it out if a wall somewhere as it still had a chunk of drywall attached to it. With another loud grunt it hurled the safe at them. They ran in separate directions as it crashed on the ground, but they ended up behind the same truck for cover.


"Six arms," Alex mused between breaths. "That is the first time I've ever seen that."


Equally as tired Sam went, "I guess it means three arms each."


He looked at her, "That's something I would say."


"Just means we're related little bro."


"Four minutes," he snapped at here. He started shaking his head after shooting at someone trying to flank them. "Things are going to hell and we're acting like it's business as usual. What does that say about us?"


"I'm trying not to think about it." Both of them winced as a mailbox hit the wall of the building in front of them. "I think he's getting bored."


"I guess so." Getting into position to move he asked, "Did you see the order attached to him?"


"I'm afraid I did," she answered. Getting into position herself she braced herself and said "Let's go." Running out from opposite ends of the truck they quickly located the six armed menace and fired away. a triple stream of energized shots forced it back slowly. It found a opening as it grabbed a small car and tossed it at Alex. He dove out of the way and came up on a knee, both of them having long pressed the zero key.


-PROTOCOL-


-PROTOCOL-


-ZERO-


Sam had already ran up and stood slightly behind him as energy from the armor traveled through their armor and into the guns in their right hands. "Do it!", Alex ordered. Twin beams, that were twice the size of the barrels they fired from, hit the alien and quickly disintegrated it.


"That's two for me so far," Sam sighed.


"Four for me," Alex told her.


Her head snapped toward him, "Four?"


"Is it my fault I'm popular?", he shot back. Then it hit him nobody else was attacking them at the moment. Nor were they in sight. "Where did everybody..."


"Sheriff!" someone yelled.


Both of them looked toward the left. Down the street was a huge Herculean. "That would explain why everybody else left," Sam said. The old adage was, as she learned, that you didn't get between a Herculean and it's target, unless you were stupid. Or a Sheriff. And right now they were both the target and obstruction. It roared one more time before starting to run in their direction.


"Oh fuck this shit," Alex growled. -CANNON- Arms out wide it materialized on his shoulder. Grabbing the grip he twisted the dial with his right hand. -NET- Getting a quick target lock on the still charging Herculean he pulled the trigger. The huge alien didn't even stop as the energy net wrapped around it. Although it did struggle not to fall until failing completely. Alex lowered the cannon a bit and quipped, "I got to remember bust this out sooner. It makes things so much easier."


"Then they'll be throwing stronger criminals your way," Sam told him. Almost as soon as she was finished saying that they were struck by a barrage of fire from above. Keeping a grip on the cannon the deadly rain seemed to follow them as they ran for cover behind an a wall of a recently bombarded building. The building wall was no help as good chunk of it was eaten up before the firing stop. "Case in point!"


"Shut up," Alex snapped. And tried to ignore how much damaged that caused to his armors. As was she. Both peaked as best they could through the blasted wall Floating in the sky, like it was waiting for them to emerge, was a round looking ship. Various guns were visible with more coming ito view as it silently spun above them. "Where in the hell did that come from?"


"Are you seriously asking that?"


"Be quiet, floating balls of death dont just pop out if the air," he snapped. "Dez we got a hovering... thing by us. Is that thing manned?"


There was more static on the line then they were used to when he said,"I have it on sensors, no life signs that I can detect."


"Good, because I always wanted to try this." Getting out from cover just enough to have a clear shot he let go of the grip long enough to hit the zero key. -PROTOCOL ZERO- Hand going back he twisted it again. -FIRE- As soon as he got a lock he pulled the trigger. A huge beam of energy fired from the barrel. with enough recoil that he almost stumbled back for a moment before finding his footing. The beam hit the sphere and obliterated it on contact. The cannon disappeared and Alex flexed his shoulder a bit, "Now that was a kick."


Sam just looked at him. "Dez isn't here to say it so I will. You are an idiot."


"It got the job done didn't it?" He looked up for any more of those thing then frowned behind the helmet. "No more floating balls of death but they're almost as bad."


Looking where he was looking she saw one of several helicopters flying around. "Well a little late police help is better than none."


"Yeah, those ain't cops."


"Huh?", Sam looked back up and tried to zoom in with her visor. And not expecting to see what the guy inside was holding on to by the open door. "A news helicopter? Seriously?"


"Story of the century sis," he quipped. "Come on there got to be another group of guys to beat up somewhere."


"I guess it's too much to ask and see if the bad guys want to take a five minute break?"


"I wish," he said as they picked a direction and ran. "Because I really got to pee."


"TMI," she groaned.


***
"Galgamayde," The Andorian called out. "We were able to hack into the local news feed, visual and audio. He's bound to hear you one way or another."


Galgamayde sneered, this wasn't part of the original plan. But an assassin who lived long enough learned to be flexible during any assignment. besides he was getting tired of waiting to come across the human. "Prepare to broadcast."


***
In an attempt to try and conserve their weapons Alex and Sam had run across a group of alien criminals who had no plans on joining in on the fighting. In fact they were busy trying to rob a grocery store. Holstering their weapons they were grateful for the small break. An extremely short one as they swung the last two by the arm and crashed them into each other for the knockout.


"Now which way?", Sam asked.


"Figure it out in a second," he told her. "Dez how are you holding up?"


"...shields... holding...", she said in between the burst of static as she tried to clear it up. "But I'm not sure for how long. Using the Boost would not be advisable in my current situation."


"As racked as that leaves me I wouldn't be using it now to begin with."


"Human!"


"What?", Alex tried to find the source, preparing to tap the keypad before the attack came when Sam got his attention. She pointed toward a television monitor in the building that was just robbed. On it Galgamayde's face seemed to glare at them. She looked around and several other working sets and displays carry the same image.


"Come to me human," he said. "Let us finish this once and for all."


"Works for me," Alex muttered. "Dez did you get a location on that transmission?"


"A few... away...", the static seemed to come back in full force. "I'm... the location now..."


"Hang in there Dez," he said not sure if she heard him or not. Looking at his sister they both nodded. -SKYBOARD- -GALACTIC CYCLE- Hopping on their respective vehicles they headed for the location Dez was able to mark in their helmet's display."


***
The Andorian looked around. In the short time since that broadcast a larger chunk of those that followed them had surrounded the area and waited. Halfway expecting Galgamayde to wear a hole in the pavement beneath his feet by now he was surprised. He just stood there in the same spot he made the broadcast from, looking as powerful as he ever has. All things considered that image was more unnerving than when they were planning on breaking into the late Boss' palace. "Do you think he's coming?"


"Without a molecule of doubt in my mind," he stated while scanning the area in front of him. "The last time I faced him after he did this to me I could see it in his demeanor. He wanted to finish me as much as I wanted to kill him."


"I hope you're right...", he was cut off by the sound of an engine. All heads looked in the same direction. A second later Galgamayde and The Andorian watched asa section ducked a bit as Sam jumped the Galactic Cycle over them. Without stopping as she landed she headed straight toward them. Galgamayde was ready but then she altered her course just enough that she was able to grab The Andorian and take him away from there.


Watching the scene with more than a bit of confusion Galgamayde went, "That was the partner. Where is...?"


He was suddenly assaulted by a barrage of energized shot. Instead of following instinct and turning away he faced the direction they were coming from to locate where the source was, he already knew who. Alex came in fast, right above the mobs heads fingers pressing down both triggers, "Galgamayde!" Flying straight at him Alex only stopped firing long enough to jump of the board. Twisting in the air the board crashed into the assassin with a satisfying thud. Landing in a crouch as Galgaymade fell in a heap he pointed both guns at him.


"No you don't human!", he was grabbed from behind Alex got loose from the grip and turned toward his attacker. He almost didn't register the energy bolt that flew past his head. Then a smoking hole was suddenly in the middle of his attacker's forehead as ot fell backwards. Alex looked back to see Galgamayde was the one who took the shot.


"No one else human," he said as he dropped the blaster. "Just you and I."


"Wonder how long that's going to last," Alex muttered as he put the guns back into their holster and retracted back into his backpack. Without another word the charged each other and started exchanging fists.


***
Sam dumped her unwilling passenger before she saw another group come at her. Although she was surprised when one of the few times the database was able to attach a name to the person she was scanning only "The Andorian" was displayed. She didn't think about it too much as she tried ot turn the cycle around and get some room between her and the group. That was the plan, then a coil shot out from nowhere and pulled her off the cycle. -SINGLE GUN--SINGLE FIRE- Shooting the coil to free herself she got to her feet and fired at the one who tagged her.


"Smash outer shell!" Sam scrambled out of the way as another Herculean nearly landed on top of her. Angry that it didn't get her it started pounding on the Galactic Cycle. reducing it to a pile of junk very quickly.


"Gort!" The Andorian yelled. When it looked at him he pointed at her. "Break Shell." The humongous alien looked at her and smiled.


-CAPTURE-


Holding down the trigger Gort was covered in energy rings. Fighting a losing battle to stay upright it fell over. She didn't get a chance to enjoy the moment as she was soon under a energy blast assault aimed iorectly at her.


***
"Don't die on me too soon human," Galgamayde grunted as he took what would have been a knockout swing with his mechanical arm if it connected. Alex got under it and tossed him over his shoulder. Galgamayde landed hard but he was quick to react as he got to his feet and threw Alex away. "I want to savor this for as long as I can."


"Get ready to get disappointed in a totally different way," Alex grunted as he got up. Running at the alien he saw him pull something off his vest. Tracking the object with his visor he tried to time this just right. Jumping back as it exploded he tried to ride the concussion wave as he flipped backwards in a kneeling position. Not wasting a second he ran at Galgamayde again, not hearing the growing high pitch whine until it was too late. Still he braced himself as best ashe could as the sonic wave from the emitter on his chest flung him back hard.


Watching him crash with a smirk Galgamayde, "Almost human. You were ready for the grenade this time but you forgot about the emitter.


Slowly Alex back to his feet, "How in the hell did I miss that?" Hearing the whine again through the ringing in his head he scrambled behind a nearby wall. The brick building seemed to shake as the wave hit it. Looking back at he tried to squash a new fear growing in the back of his head, "Don't fall on me now." Looking around he saw Sam get knocked around by the alien she grabbed earlier and a few others. Instinct screamed to get over there and help her. Galgamayde staying in position to use that emitter, and the damage it can cause, as soon as he popped out made him stay in place. "Hang in there Sam."


"Alex..." The keypad on his forearm squealed before being replaced by static.


"Dez?" A cold dread started to form in his gut, "Dez!"


***
Sam had heard Dez cut out too but couldn't do anything about it. Her armor was holding up to the assault for now but she wasn't sure for how much longer. Suddenly the Andorian held up a hand to stop it. Trying to scan the damage to the armor Sam also tried to suck in as much air as possible in the respite she was given. She heard him saw, "Find some other human to play with.This one is all mine."


The others surprisingly, but reluctantly, did as he said. A few looked in Galgamayde's direction before heading elsewhere. The odds were a little better now but the equipment was in no shape for a major fight. "So," she said trying to buy her and the armor's repair system some extra time, "you needed help to wear down one lowly little girl. What a little bitch." Granted trying to channel Alex at that particular moment probably wasn't the best idea. But hey, she seen it work for him in the past.


"I don't know what that means," he said, taking a alien looking pole off the ground. "But by your tone i think that was meant to be a insult." He pressed something on the pole and a double headed ax extended from the end of it.


And this is why acting like Alex only worked for him.


"Sam!", Alex cried out as he raced toward her. He forgot about Galgamayde who was waiting as he fired another sonic blast that sent him flying.


***
Above them in the station Dez was doing everything she could to get in contact with either Alex or Samantha. Finally she looked down at the diagnostic display which showed that the communication array had been destroyed. She couldn't contact anybody, not even the ships attacking her. The station shook hard after a muffled explosion. The shields were about to fail.


Knowing what she had to do she opened a audio recording program. "This will be my final log entry.' Pausing as another explosion went off she continued. "We were attacked by a massive force." The ship shook again and a computer bank behind her exploded in a wave of sparks. "They were possibly lead by the assassin Galgamayde. as of now I have no contact with the Earth based Sheriff and his partner." The station shook again, more violently this time as she fought hard from being flung from her chair. Still she continued, "I have no way of knowing their condition, or even if they are still alive." Sensing the end was near she closed her eyes and prepared for it. "Alex, Samantha, if you somehow hear this. It's been an honor."


"Nothing for me?"


"Who?", Dez looked around and saw Orion standing there. Which was making no sense to her since the array was taken out. Then she realized he wasn't standing where his image was usually displayed. she was so stunned she didn't realized she was reaching out for him until he took her hand. Flesh on flesh contact brought her out of hr state of shock. "Orion?"


He smiled at her in his usual way. "The one and only. Sorry I've been ignoring your calls but I couldn't let this particular secret get out by accident." At her confused look he said, "As they say on Earth I was bringing in the Calvary." Dez looked at what sensors and scanners that were still working and detected the signals of several Galactic Sheriff vessels chasing away the ships attacking her and the station.


She was safe for the moment but, "What about Alex and Samantha?"


***
Sam tried to block that ax with the staff as best as she could. A swing caught it the right way and it broke in half. She tried calling the shield but he was able to destroy it before it fully formed. Then the Andorian stunned her long enough to strike her with it. Alarms went off in her helmet like Christmas lights. Trying to get to her feet The Andorian took a home run swing that hit her in the mid section. The armor held but it the impact sent her flying. Landing hard she coughed in pain as the armor disappeared, "Shit."


With everyone watching the news feed they all heard a reporter yell, "Get a close up of her face," to the cameraman. But he was already doing so. Everyone watching now knew what the armored female looked like.


"That's Sam," Steve said in disbelief. "Wait does that mean..."


"No!", Ryan quickly said. "No it can't be that stoned out son of a bitch."


Not taking her eyes off the screen Stacy muttered, "Alex?"


Sam had tried to crawl and rolled out of the way as The Andorian took a swing at her. Running she realized he could have killed her at any point by now so he must have been playing with her. As Alex would say, fuck that. She turned and faced him, showing no fear of him. If he was going to kill her it was going to face to face and not after chasing her around like a mouse.


The Andorian walked in way to show how unimpressed he was in her standing her ground. Still she wanted to puke. He lifted up the ax for te killing strike.


-PROTOCOL ZERO-


He looked up in surprise as Sam barely had time to react as a blue armored individual between the cutting The Andorian right down the middle with an energized sword. As the energy disintegrated him the armored individual face her. "Are you alright Sam?"


"Xain?", she said in relief. "Not that I mind but what the hell are you doing here?"


"Me and some of our comrade thought we'd come in and join the fun." Sam looked around to she saw Sheriffs in different styles and colored armor take on the surprised gang of criminals, on the ground and in the sky.


"Oh you guys are more than welcome to it," she told him.


Nodding he told her, "Head for cover. You're pretty much naked in this situation."


"Right," she said as she made her way through the rubble away from the battle. Then she paused, seeing Alex still on the ground and barely stirring.


***
Galgamayde looked on in disbelief as Sheriff after Sheriff appeared and took on those still active. It wasn't possible. There was no way they could get a force of any size her in the time the assault started. Out of the corner of his natural eye he saw the human slowing getting up. He had him. The human death was so close it was palatable in the air. Grunting in disgust he said, "Some other time human." His adversary barely moved from the knelling position he gotten to as he hit the transport button on his chest. He waited, and waited before finally realized nothing was happening. The human made some sort of snorting noise as he hit it again. And he just stayed there watching as it tried it a third time.


"I might have missed the sonic thingy,' he said getting to his feet and pointing at Galgamayde chest, "but I made damn sure I got you getting away button."


Galgamayde was confused at first but it then occurred to him. That initial barrage that was fired at him. "You targeted my transport key. I am impressed human."


"I have my moments," he said with a shrug. -DISK- Alex reached behind his back and threw the silver disk that lowered into his hand. Quickly realizing it was coming straight toward him Galgamayde fired a sonic wave on instinct making it falter in it's path. Alex was already falling backward in anticipation. -DOUBLE GUN--RAPID FIRE- Back against the ground most of the wave passed over him, although he still felt the vibration in his armor. Bringing both guns to bear and before the target lock in his visor turned green he pressed the triggers.


Galgamayde recoiled as several of the shots hit him. Before long the sonic emitter started sparking and shorted out. Once that happened Alex let go of the triggers and got back to his feet. Ripping the burning device off his chest he glared at the human, mechanical fingers flinching at the memory of the last time he was on fire. "I will crack you out of that shell human."


"Oh my," Alex went, "You're turning into a Herculean before my eyes."


"Alex!", he heard from the keypad.


He had never been so happy to hear anyone. "Dez! You're alright."


"Barely," she said. "I'm relaying this transmission through a Galactic Sheriff vessel. Alex you armor is..."


"After I take care of something," he looked at Galgamayde.


"My thoughts exactly human," he replied drawing a knife.


Aboard the battered station Orion put a hand on her shoulder, "Keep an eye on him but let him finish this if he can."


-SWORD- Both of them charged swing their blades at each other. Knowing Alex had the superior reach he kept the fight close. Remembering that little trick that shocked the hell out of him he tried to keep away from and not grab the assassin's mechanical arm.


Not that far away an alien with a sniper rifle lined up a shot on the human Sheriff. He wasn't worried about how angry Galgamayde was going to get, he already had a second shell ready just for him. "Now you die."


"Sorry," Xain grabbed the barrel and quickly pointed it up as the shot went off. "But that's a private matter. You don't need to complicate things. Before the would be assassin could react some scales flew off as he was punched in the face.


Bleeding from various places on his organic body he could take little satisfaction that his opponents armor was covered in more scratches and gouges than before. Still he had to set up the human just right. And if the human thought he was out of tricks then all the better. He grabbed him with his mechanical hand. Like he thought the human instantly tried to pull himself free. Instead of popping the electrode Galgamayde stepped into him. With the human off balance he threw him to the ground and kicked him away.


Righting himself Alex located Galgamayde as he was quickly backing away and throwing something at him again. He braced himself for the concussion wave, trying not to think what it was going to do to the armor as the alarms wouldn't stop at this point. Then it shot out a greenish liquid . Whatever this substance was hit right in the face plate. Not believing it was even possible even more alarms went off as the liquid started eating through the metal. Dez was yelling at him to get the helmet off. Trying hard not to panic and keep an eye on Galgamayde at the same time he fumbled for the emergency latches Dez told him about after the run in with the Blonibiea. The liquid finally ate through enough that he could see out the hole when his fingers found the latches and popped them. Alex ripped it off his head and threw it to the ground as the liquid kept eating away at the helmet.


On the station, after the visor feed cut off, Dez and Orion watched several live feeds as various cameramen tried to get a clear shot of Alex's face. "Can you disrupt those feeds?", Orion asked realizing how much trouble this was going to cause his friend.


"Not with the array damaged," Dez told. "But the damage has already been done,' she glanced at a frozen frame of an image of they got of Samantha.


"Fuck!", Ryan shouted at the bar. Then he stared at the screen and said it again, "Fuck!"


"Oh my God," Steve muttered as he dropped into a chair, "it was Alex the whole time." Stacy stayed transfixed t the image on the screen.


Sensing the kill was near Galgamayde practically jumped on him. Grappling with him Alex threw him to the ground. All he got was street as Galgamayde rolled away from a stab aimed at his chest. pulling the blade free he blocked a swipe from the knife that was aimed at his face. They stared at each other as they stayed in that position, both trying to figure out how to turn this into their advantage.


"Alex," Dez called out. "Local authorities have broken through the turmoil and are headed for you location. You have to get out of there now."


"Listen to your handler human," Galgamayde sneered.


"Like I'm going to take advice from you," he grunted pushing the alien away. They clashed blades in the middle of the street. realizing the human was mainly blocking him he facked a swing to get him to react and get a bit off balanced. alex say the real strike coming and tried to move out of the was. He wasn't fast enough as the edge of the blade caught the flesh of his temple. A stream of blood started to flow down the side of his head as he dodged the return swing. Alex swung in response and found the flesh of the alien's leg. He backed up clutching at it on instinct as he stared at his enemy.


"Alex listen to me!" Dez called out sounding desperate. "The armor's integrity is to far gone. You have thirty seconds before it deactivates."


Galgamayde heard this and sneered, all he had to do was wait for that to happen. Then the kill, and vengense, was his.


The clock ticking Alex just looked at him and went, "Not going to need that long. He ran forward making Galgamayde put up his knife to block the sword strike. what he wasn't expecting was Alex to keep pushing and forcing backwards and trying to keep from falling. He watched as one of his fingers hit something on the keypad. -PROTOCOL ZERO- He watched as the blade started to glow. Slamming them into a wall Alex yelled as he sliced through with all he had left.


Behind him Galgamayde shouted, "Nooo....!" as the energy quickly spread out as it disintegrated him from the inside out.


In the next second the armor disappeared and he fell to a knee completely exhausted.


"Alex!" Sam ran out of hiding and ran up to him. Getting under an arm she helped him up, "We got to get out of here."


"I heard Dez,' he grunted as he stood.


"Freeze!" Both of them looked up to see the police start to surround them. "Both of you get on the ground now!"


He was beyond fed up with this situation, "I just stopped the asshole responsible for forming this little city wrecking party in case you didn't notice!"


"Alex," Sam muttered as all of them stepped forward, still keeping their guns pointed at them.


"That is some fucking gratitude for you, I swear to god! you bunch of idiots can't even handle them!"


"Would you stop pissing them off!" Sam snapped at knowing it was making their situation worse.


"Stop!" Xain and a equal number of armored Sheriff's landed between them and the police. "These two are under our protection so stand down."


"You have no authority here," the one in front of Xain said. He pushed his gun at him a bit to prove his point.


"If you and yours would happen to look at the armor my comrades and I are wearing you would realize that would be a bad idea," Xain told him.


Alex just watched and went, "And Dez yelled at me when I made a similar threat."


"She's like that my friend," Orion, who appeared next to them, said. getting under his other arm he went, "I have him Samantha." Taking his full weight he pressed something in his ear, "I have them Dez, bring us aboard." They were covered in a shimmer briefly before they disappeared.


Xain turned back to the officers in front of him. "Now unless you gentlemen think you can take us on we have a mess to clean up." The Earth officers looked at each other before slowly lowering their weapons, the one in front of Xain being the last hold out. Xain glanced at his fellow Sheriffs and nodded before walking past them to take out what was left of the invading force.


***
After being bandaged up and having their wounds tended to, Sam asked, "How long are we going to stay up here?"


"It's only been a half hour Samantha," Dez told her. "And both of your armors are still heavily damaged. Sending you down know would be ill advise."


"Besides," Orion spoke up, "Xain and the rest are currently rounding up and taking out the rest. We would have been here sooner but raising this sort of task force takes time."


Sam pointed at the screen that had their faces on the live newsfeed. "I was talking about that. Are we going to have to stay up here now? Because there's going to be a seas of vultures swarming as soon as we get back home."


"I don't know Samantha," Dez told her. "Once the communication array was destroyed I lost the ability to stop the feed."


"I wasn't blaming you Dez," she said. "I was always afraid something like this was going to happen sooner or later.


"Well we got the array fixed," Orion suggested. "Maybe Dez can go in and alter the image."


"It was a live feed Orion," Dez reminded him. "Their identities were revealed to anyone who was watching as it happened."


"I know" Orion said, "it's just my decisions put them in this situation. We need to try and fix this if we can."


Sam's phone went off and she looked at the number of calls she was currently intentionally missing. "I was never this popular," she tried to joke it off but she was dreading it once she started answering some of them. "I'm surprised I'm even getting a signal all the way up here."


"It's the array," Dez explained. "I haven't fully calibrated it yet so it's currently boosting the signal."


"This ever happen to you Alex when you... first ... started." The three of them really didn't have to point out how quiet he had been. But right now he had his phone in one hand as he covered his mouth with the other. Sam could see the worried expression on the exposed part of his face. Walking up next to him she could see he was staring at a number that had called several times, Stacy.


"She's probably just worried," she told her twin. Yes she wasn't answering her phone either. Only because she knew Mom and dad were going to yell her ear off about what they were doing. Then again he didn't have the emotional involvement he had with the owner of that particular number.


"Just trying to figure out how long I can avoid the inevitable outcome," he finally said. Before any of them could say he was overreacting he pressed call and walked away. "Stacy are you all right?"


Orion shot a confused look at Dez who responded, "Alex may have found someone special to be with, as they say on Earth."


"Let's don't go too fast now," Sam said joining them. "They didn't start dating that long ago."


"Ah," Orion went as he understood the situation now. "Good for him. I never had the time once I got the armor."


"Stacy I didn't lie!", Alex had said suddenly. "Okay I kind of lied. All right I technically lied. But I had a good reason to keep quiet... Stacy let me... Stacy!" Looking at his phone like he wanted to throw it against the wall he put down on the console a little harder than necessary. Trying to shove that station he eventually leaned against it clasping his hands behind his lowered head. Their hearts broke a bit as he looked as devastated as they had ever seen him.


Sam went to him and put an arm around his shoulders. "If she's reacting anything like when I found out just give her a couple of days to calm down."


He glanced past her at Orion before finally looking at her. He turned away. "Why not, it's not like I'm not going to have a ton of free time now," he said darkly. He left the room before they could stop him.


Exasperated sam looked at Orion and said, "If you have any kind of news for him you better tell him now. Because he's going to be a mess for the next couple of days at this rate."


"It's not that simple Samantha,' Dez told her. "I'm not even sure Orion can even see the council yet."


"Dez," Orion spoke up, "I pulled off this entire operation behind the council's back. Seeing the is not going to be a problem. It's being able to say anything other than 'Yes sir' and 'No sir' that's going to be the problem."




***
Months after the attack there was a press conference in front of the United Nation building. All cameras were trained on the head of the head of the Galactic Sheriff Council as he spoke to those present and the ones watching at home. More than a few in attendance looked around at the armored and unarmored Sheriffs who were acting as extra security for the press conference.


"As this is a new day, not only for your planet but for the organization that Irepresent and for the galaxy as well. As we recognize your decision to not join our organization, know that this option will always be open to you in the future. But we will not leave you unprotected against those you are not ready for. We know who is out there and what they can do. We have supplied your official with this information. So it pleases me to note that you will allow one of our Galactic Sheriffs help you in those times, when those threats reach your planet."


"Bah," said a bird like creature watching the conference from inside the Chicago City Hall on a hallway monitor. "Some Sheriff. He hasn't even gone through the proper training. And yet they're giving him a planet."


"I do believe he's had a rougher training camp than most recruits," his cat like companion commented. He looked back at Orion and Dez who were standing a little further back. "Would you not agree?"


"And slightly more demanding," Dez said, trying to be careful not to insult the other council member as much as possible.


Orion on the other hand, "He's more than earned this position. He's a Gamma that worked out beautifully."


"Bah," he spat again and walked off.


"I'm guessing they don't have on the job training where he's from?" They looked back to see Alex leaning against the wall and Samantha standing there. Both Dez and Orion had never been prouder to see them with both wearing the jackets all Galactic Sheriffs wear. Especially with the patch representing Earth on their arm.


Still Orion answered him despite the look Dez was giving them, "Not exactly."


"Alex and Samantha Brennen," the cat like alien said. "Allow me to officially welcome the both of you into the Galactic Sheriffs." He handed them both a keypad, Sam her old one and a new one for Alex since Orion had already reclaimed his. "Some of us wanted to do this as a ceremony in front of your media. But a moment like this, a majority of us felt, was this was more of a personal moment for you both."


"And a little less showy," Alex said as he looked it over with a gleam in his eye. "I still got that press conference later and i still have no idea what I'm going to say during it." while he was talking he folded the keypad up and was about to put it in his pocket. Sam coughed and he looked at her. Orion got his attention and pointed at his forearm. "Oh right," he said as he got the message. Unzipping the panel on his left sleeve he placed it on his arm. "I'm going to have to get used to wearing this in public now."


Orion arched a eyebrow since the councilmen looked slightly amused. "We all have adjustments to make. I will leave the four of you since I have to participate in the conference as well. Until then." He left them alone.


"Well this feels official now?", Alex muttered.


"How are things going for the two of you?" Orion asked.


"The press stopped following us," Sam answered for them. "At least visibly."


"And I'm watching various feed to make sure of that," Dez said.


"Hell I'm just glad all the property damage suits against me got dropped," Alex told them. "That was a nightmare I didn't need hanging over my head. And most of our friends are still looking at me funny, like I'm going to bust them for something."


"The ones still talking to us that is," Sam added.


"And my dad calling a fucking moron for getting the two us into this," he continued.


Being the first time she heard this Dez was appalled, "That's horrible."


Sam looked at her, "He's cut down on the swear words so he's getting used to the idea."


"I would have said calming down," Alex said. "God I don't even want to think about how he was talking to Sam... Wait, was that the guy I have to talk to?" he said pointing down the hallway the cat alien went. "Because Sam technically your partner. Oh Sir!" He started that way before Orion and Dez stopped him.


Sam looked confused, "Is that true? because this is the first I'm hearing of it."


"Technically," Orion admitted.


Dez smiled at Alex, "I already arranged the transfer. Samantha is officially your partner from this point on."


He surprised Dez by hugging her, "You are my favorite alien Dez don't let anybody tell you different."


"I'm standing right here," Orion said pouting a little.


"Come on man you're right there at number two," Alex told him.


Sam smiled at Orion before turning to alex, "What about Nyr?"


"Right Nyr," Alex said playing along. "He is my closest friend in Alien Town, even defended me during that interview segment. You're officially third. Then again Xain was a pretty cool guy too."


"You'll be lucky if you even in the top ten at this rate," Sam commented.


"If you're done beating up Orion's ego," Dez cut in. "Besides you may want to hold up on those ranking once we see how this plays out." she nodded down the hall behind him.


Alex's jaw nearly hit the floor as he spotted Stacy down there looking unsure of herself. "How?', he looked at Dez.


She glanced back at a smiling Sam before saying, "I pulled some strings.":


"Go on you lunkhead,' Sam told him.


Without a word they walked toward each other. Sam, Dez and Orion stayed back a respectable distance. Not sure what else to do he went, "Hi."


"Hi," she said sounding as nervous as he felt.


"You came to this."


"I was invited by someone named Dez," Alex looked back at her once she said that. "She suggested that we might want to talk. Um... is that?"


"Yeah that Dez next to Sam there, she sort of my boss. The other one is Orion, you could say he's my co-worker."


"Greetings," Orion said in a friendly tone while Dez waved. Stacy returned it still not sure about this.


Leaning in a bit Alex said, "Don't stare at the implant on her head, she hates that."


"She really hates that," Orion agreed.


"I am not that sensitive about my implant," Dez snapped at both of them.


"It's a pretty good act them," Sam quiped. Dez just glared at her.


Ignoring them Alex asked Stacy, "Do you want to find someplace private and talk?"


"Yes," she quickly agreed. "I think it's time we talked about what happened. It was nice meeting the two of you."


"It was a pleasure meeting you as well," Dez said. They walked off. Sam looked a little worried as they left but went off on her own leaving the two of them.


"Good for him,' Orion went. "I hope they work things out." He glanced at Dez and said, "Although I was wondering when you were going to tell me Samantha wasn't the only one you transferred."


Dez looked embarrassed at being caught. "It was only logical. Alex can be difficult to deal with if you are not used to him. And Earth's computer systems are hard to hack into for some reason even if you know the tricks to get in. And you always say seconds count in most of the cases we deal with."


"All perfectly logical reasons," he said pulling her into a hug that she willingly returned. "Look after both of them Dez. It's a rare day a Gamma works out so well as he did." He pulled away. "But now I have to break in a new watcher so my future headaches will be because of you. They'll probably give me another neon green rookie fresh from the academy."


"You'll survive,' Dez told him, "you did once already." Orion chuckled as he put an arm around her shoulders as they walked down the hallway.


***
Some weeks later police had cordoned off a section of street where an alien was causing havoc in. Ducking a mailbox that flew over their head only a few looked back to see a lone figure walking toward them talking on a phone. "Looks like a Herculean," Alex said calmly. "I should be about a half hour depending on how uppity he is. Wait, it looks like that dick of a detective is here. Make it forty-five in case he decides to argue."


Over the line Stacy went, "Sam's asking if you want some help."


"Nah, I'll have Dez call her if a surprise pops up. I'll be there as soon as I can."


"You better be in one piece," she told him. "I love you."


"Love you too Stacy, see you in a bit." He pocketed the phone and nodded at the officers, "Gentlemen."


The detective didn't hide his disgust. "Get out of here space boy we have this under control." Everybody but Alex flinched as it started smashing it's fist into a parked car.


"Seeing how I'm missing dinner with a so far understanding lovely lady that's tempting," Alex said. "But that one is from outer space making it my jurisdiction. Tell your boys to keep any crowds back." He walked past them and the barricades until he was in front of the Herculean.


"All right," he called out to the humongous alien, "listen up. You are in violation of interstellar regulation thirty-eight, mayhem and destruction on a non member world. Now if you just come along quietly..."


"Kill Sheriff!," the Herculean shouted.


"Yeah, didn't think quiet was going to be on the menu. Dez I'm powering up the armor."


"Understood," she said from her orbital station.


Unzipping a flap on his left forearm Alex revealed the keypad that was underneath. Holding it across his chest he imputed a code. -2-5-9-7- Punching his left hand out he shouted, "Online!" In a quick flash he was covered in silver armor with blue highlights.


He was the Galactic Sheriff of Earth and this was his job.


And it hasn't gotten old yet.


-----
ED - Divide the Day - Let It Roll
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