Rile sweats. “Well, not everyone is in such a chipper mood. Keep it down, okay?”
“Piss off, asshole,” one Guardian shouts.
Oh, wrong answer, guy.
“That's not very nice,” Rile glares.
“You want to make something of it?!” a blond-haired Guardian stands up to Rile.
Yeah, I want to. Please keep going.
I place my hand on the Guardian's shoulder from behind. “Listen here, guy.”
The Guardian sneers, turning around just to be met with a powerful punch to the face. My fist remains extended beyond the downed Guardian as he recoils from throwing the punch.
“I knew this would happen,” Rile shrugs.
“Hey!!” another Guardian shouts before they all charge at us.
Rile grins, assuming a defensive stance next to me. “I've got your back, big bro!”
Frack yeah, little brother. I did hope for this, deep down.
I smirk, raising my fists. “I've got yours.”
As the Guardians throw their fists, we dodge, retaliating with swift, powerful blows that send our assailants flying like ragdolls. The Guardians crash into the digital pool table, causing it to fizzle and spark.
The barkeep sighs. Reaching under the counter, he presses the security button.
The Guardians cry out and grunt as they continue to be tossed around.
The brawl goes back and forth, with Rile and me easily handling our opponents, our bodies moving in sync as if our thoughts are connected. The Guardians, despite their numbers, can't land a single effective blow on us, seasoned warriors.
Try a little harder, you assholes!
The Guardians, fueled by inebriation, seem to have no idea when to stop. Chairs and mugs fly through the air as the brawl spirals out of control, sending patrons scattering.
“You eerie-eyed frackers!” Rokker slurs, his words thick with alcohol. “Hold still so I can hit all of you!”
Is that supposed to insult me? Your attempt at punches already does.
I roll my eyes, unable to suppress a grin. “And here I was hoping this time things would be different.”
Rile's laughter rings out, infectious. “Just like old times, huh, big bro!” He bends to pick up a broken table leg, oblivious to the ten Enforcers entering the bar, each brandishing an electric arcing baton. We only realize their presence when two charges strike our backs, sending jolts of pain through our bodies.
Ugh, frack! That stings a little too much!
Rile spins, his fist connecting with an Enforcer's face. “You're a little late to join the party!”
Of course, we’re just going to escalate this…
More batons hit my back, causing me to arch in pain. “Way to go, Rile—you pissed them off!” I manage to punch two Enforcers before another zap drops me to one knee. Gritting my teeth, I tackle the nearest Enforcer into a Guardian.
Not that I’m helping to not do that either. Oh well.
Rile wipes blood from his lip, grinning. “Come on, big bro! Don't try and hide that you're having fun.”
You’re right. Blowing off steam is a little too fun.
I smirk, spitting out blood from the shock's intensity. “Yeah, okay, so I'm enjoying myself a little.”
The chaotic fight ensues, with Rile and me enduring numerous shocks. Eventually, all ten Enforcers converge on Rile, their combined attack sending him crumpling to the floor.
Frack me. I’m next.
Seeing my brother fall, my hearts quicken in their pace. “Ah, frack!” I barely have time to react before a jolt sends me sprawling.
The cell's cold floor greets Rile as he groans and sits up. Seated nearby, I cradle my head in one hand, a gloomy expression on my face.
“Damn, those batons hurt like hell,” Rile mutters, joining me.
“You know, big bro… I love it when you visit,” Rile offers a weak smirk. “But you're a terrible influence on your little bro.”
Yup. I’m just full of bad habits.
I return the smirk. “Yeah, my bad.”
“Love ya, big bro,” Rile yawns, wrapping an arm around me.
Love you too, little brother.
I smile, reciprocating the gesture. “Looks like we made it through another battle together.”
Rile chuckles, wincing as our shoulders slump forward. “And more resilient than before!”
“Frack, I don't miss drinking because of the feeling the next morning,” I groan.
“Yeah, well, getting electrocuted didn't help any,” Rile grumbles, rubbing his forehead.
An Enforcer, seated at a table on the other side of the cell, glances up from an old-fashioned newspaper. “You two are pieces of work.”
I shoot him an irritated look. “How long have we been out?”
“The whole night. I'd be surprised if you didn't feel the effects of the tasers—they shocked the zyster bricks out of you both, after all,” the Enforcer replies, casually licking his finger and turning a page.
The term 'zyster bricks' refers to the feces of the Tersar, an alien species that excretes waste in brick-like rectangles. It's an unpleasant phrase used as a swear word.
I tousle my hair, groaning. “It had a kick to it, I guess. I don't remember blacking out,” Rile adds. The Enforcer chuckles, setting down the paper.
“You two were hard to pin down, from what I heard. They had to use their batons on full charge,” he informs us. Rile and I groan in unison.
“No wonder I feel like hell,” Rile complains.
Me too, Rile. I think to myself.
“Now that's partially the alcohol talking, I'm sure. You may be Cyril, but you sure took in a lot of the Sluff—the strongest alcohol on this side of the quadrant,” the man says. Rile suddenly feels nauseous, leaning over the side to hurl, immediately evoking my own need to vomit.
Ugh, frack this sucks.
The Enforcer chuckles as he watches him. I sit back, my expression in a daze.
The Enforcer tosses a vial into the cell. “Do us all a favor and drink that so you can sober up,” he says.
I pick up the supplement, passing it to Rile, who downs half of it with a grimace. “Ugh, gross.” He hands the vial back to me and slumps backward.
Taking a swig, I cough and spit. “What the frack is this?!”
“Deezaka—it's a supplement that helps fight toxins—that's all that Sluff is for us Cyril, after all. It'll get the liquid out of your system within an hour without you puking your guts out,” the Enforcer explains.
With a name like that, no wonder it doesn’t taste any good. I sigh and take another sip.
“Thanks,” I mutter before finishing the vial. I let out a weary sigh, wiping my mouth, as drool cakes my lip from the foul taste. I lean back against the cell wall, staring at the ceiling.
My poor choices have always led me down crappy roads, I swear.
Within an hour, a Guardian arrives at the cell, standing before the bars. “Kayden Royal, Rile Royal. You're both free to go,” he announces, unlocking the cell.
“Are there any charges?” I ask.
“No, the Lieutenant General cleared you,” the Guardian replies. Rile and I exchange nervous glances.
Frack me. That’s gotta be Briggs…
“Ah, hell…” Rile tousles his mohawk.
“Yeah, and he wants you to call him as soon as you return to your ship,” the Guardian adds. I quietly nod, steeling myself for the conversation that is sure to come.
As Rile and I collect our belongings and leave the building, Rile ruffles his mohawk with a slight grin. “Can't say I didn't expect it to go a whole lot different.”
“Well, you did want to get together for a drink,” I respond, my eyes meeting Rile's with a playful smirk.
Rile hands an iridescent harmonica to me with a playful gleam in his eyes, accompanied by a soft curl of a smile.
Another one of your trinkets, huh?
“You know I have a handful of these kinds of things already.” I chuckle, holding the harmonica up to the light. It catches the ambient glow, scattering prismatic hues in a radiant arc.
“For the lonesome trails and the quiet nights,” Rile says. “It won’t summon a space-train or open a portal to another dimension, but it’ll give you something a lot of us forget we need—peace.”
Peace is something I don’t deserve.
I wear a sad smile momentarily, my tail slightly drooping. Then I softly smile. “I’ll add it to the collection of other assorted trinkets you’ve given me, Rile. Thanks.” I tuck it into my pocket.
Rile's expression turns serious as he places a hand on my shoulder. “As I was saying before, big bro… you need to come back to us.”
I avert my gaze, my arms crossing defensively. Rile's eyes bore into me, his voice filled with sincerity. “I mean it, Kay. Not just for your own sake, but because I miss you amongst us.”
You always knew how to get me in the heart balls, little brother.
A mixture of emotions swirls within me as I meet Rile's gaze again. “… I miss you too.”
Interrupted by a sharp ding from Rile's wristband, he answers to find a rough-looking Guardian who looks irritated. “Rile, get your ass back to the ship—the mission started this morning!”
Rile offers a nervous laugh as he sweats. “Alright, alright—I'm coming!” He sighs as he ends the call before turning his attention back to me. “It was good to see you again, Rile,” I say thoughtfully.
Returning the soft smile, Rile nods. “You too, big bro. Be careful out there.” I offer a casual salute before we go our separate ways.
A good brother bands together no matter the odds, even if they end up doing questionable things. 😂 This was based on how my sister and I always banded together in the thick of everything no matter the odds nor the consequences, lol. 💕
A loving family sticks together and has each other's back, even when they're in the wrong...
Any thoughts or remarks on the fluidity/immersion, scene images, as well as the character-driven content is greatly appreciated 💕
Kayden Royal is a returning Guardian after four years off the job after a tragedy.
His life takes a dramatic turn when he starts manifesting volatile abilities linked to elemental spirits—mythical entities that embody the fabric of the cosmos.
The line between science fiction and fantasy blurs, creating a vibrant tapestry of interstellar politics, mythical spirits, and a hero’s undying commitment to safeguard the universe.
Will Kayden master his elemental powers and thwart the dangers of the cosmos and celestial entities? Or will the universe fall into chaos by the interdimensional being known as the harbinger of doom?