Background

Wiping the sweat off my forehead with my hankerchief, I swiftly patted down my now crumpled suit, walking away from the scene. I hate getting in all these fights.
You would too if you had multiple deathmarks from various underground crime syndicates across several galaxies. Tonight was supposed to be dinner and a party at the Planetary Governor’s mansion. It ended up as four scuffles and a tear in time-space that ripped out an entire city.
I knew I should go back to HQ on Quartanis IV and check the weekly schedule for duties, though I guessed an emergency transmission would tell me what would be happening next. One that proclaimed its arrival with a beep in my pocket.
Walking swiftly toward the nearest hovercar, I pulled my receiver out of pocket flipping up the viewscreen, activating hover mode in front of me.
“Agent TK-421, I assume you know what has happened to New New York over there,” spoke a old man, of whom I address as P. And yes, there are always puns when he takes a washroom break.
“I’m already on it, though I’d like some directions to my best resource,” I responded, while activating my EM transmitter implant, opening and turning on the car.
“Well, that’s a little trickier. No known suspects have even been a lightyear within the Hermes system, and frankly, our psychic division is drawing a blank. As far as we know, the leading expert on tears was in NNY when it happened. However, you might want to visit his daughter on the next planet over. They have a family residence there, should be easy enough to find. You might be able to find some leads in his research. see what you can dig up. We’ll still be working over here.”
“Gotcha, I’ll get to the bottom of this. 421 out,” I finished, deactivating the receiver and pocketing it. Looking down, however, I also noticed a blinking light coming from the driver door. Tugging at it, I realized what it was.
I knew I should have packed my bomb defusal kit.

First Update of Jr. Year

Well, it’s been interesting. But in the interests of chronology…
Tuesday was Band Olympics day, which was pretty awesome. Started only signed up for the Naked Run, though ended up in also the wet t-shirt and fruit toss relay(all of which the jrs did well in). I ended up getting tossed in the pool(after which we had to fish for my glasses), and possible delays threatened the Olympics, but they went on. Our game, “Spooning” was another relatively simple game that wasn’t the most exciting to watch, but funny. The look on their faces when Janda told them the rules… and pulling the string back out was great. I had quite a bit of fun with my events, even though I ended up with a handprint of peanut butter on my back and a lot of mud as well(though I didn’t even come close to getting the worst). Olympics were as exciting as to be expected, even if many of my friends didn’t show…
Next day was the first day of school, of course, which was interesting. My schedule is as below, but I’ll give you my low-down on the classes.
Shellum- okay class, kind of dead being first period. She seems cool ’nuff, except for the “society sucks” rants. It’s going to be a lot of work, but at least I feel like I’ll be learning something.
Sweeney- okay class, kind of boring. It’s been review so far, which has been pretty stupid. Class goes like ‘ne other math one, checking hw then notes. She’s really bizzare, though I think I can get away with other work in it. w00t.
Soliman- okay class, kind of reminds me of Metcalfe; he talks a lot about nothing. We’ve gotten a lot of busy work without a whole lot of learning. He seems… not always on the ball, but I think I’ll pull through.
Janda- awesome class, kind of familiar though… =)
Lunch- okay lunch, C lunch, of course. Everyone’s ended up spread out, but I think I’ll sit with Kosine and play magic and talk to him. Besides, Mooney is right over there as well; endless entertainment.
George/Scott- awesome class, kind of pointless so far, however. For an extracurricular event, they seem awfully intent on grading us. I really wish teachers could trust us for our intristic motivation, but I guess it’s not very common in teenagers, so I really can’t blame them. Teachers are awesome, kids are awesome, internal competition sucks.
Cunningham- interesting class, kind of slow. Cunningham seems like a very interesting guy, though not quite cut out for teaching. He insists on moving at the same pace as the slowest person in a very hands on manner, so it’ll be slow, but I’ve got my own stuff to do. Along with other schoolwork and AD, I’m currently planning on writing a program to play VC with an intelligent comp opponent. Gonna be lots of work.
Ferland- Weird class, kind of nice at the end of the day. Ferland is pretty darn awesome, very weird(like Fin), but nice. He’s a nerd, which gives him awesome points. It’s fun and pretty easy so far; he understands students pretty well and seems like a good teacher. Great turn around from the physics department of past.
There you go. That’s my life for the next year. If I don’t have a life, however, blame it on periods 1,3,4,5. All serious time suckers for different reasons.
So for once, I like my high school schedule. I thought fishmen year scheduled sucked in the beginning, as well as wise idiot year, though both ended up okay. The fact that I like this is good. For the most part, it seems like it won’t be too challenging, just a lot of work and learning.
So after school that first day, we had money day, which I got to work at. I sat behind a laptop inputting data. Not the most fun, but not the worst(more on that later). It was a family event again, with 3 of us working it. It went smoothly ’nuff.
After that, as we always do, we went for dinner, this time at California Pizza Kitchen where my sister(Nicole) works. Matt had worked at money day as well, so he came long. He complained because he had wasted 4 hrs of his life, suffering by sitting next to Jane(ouch 1) for the duration who insisted on talking to everyone, slowing him up(ouch 2). I laughed.
Got home around 8, when I did the hw I actually got on the first day; real hw. Sleep is going to be a fight for this year.
Next day was the first day of school year band practice, which went fine. The tuba section is sort of coming together, which is good…
Friday night was rehearsal in what seemed to be an infernal setting, finishing with the Burger Bash.
I screwed up my part in the drilldown, doing a horns down on a detail halt command(?!?), though I was very proud of Lonnie for winning. Big pressure next year…
After eating, I played football with the band kids, playing a solid blocker and scoring one of… 2-3 touchdowns for the non-senior team. It was pathetic, as usual.
The weekend was a wonderful break to the not so nice schedule of jr year. I put off all my work till 8 on Sunday night(which I ended up regretting), though it all got done. I have the feeling that’ll be the story of my life.
Town pep rally sucked. There you go.

Tales of an Intergalactic Spy

When some thug points a gun at you, you really don’t have a whole lot of choices. Fortunately, reflexes don’t require you to make a choice.
The Genovian lifted his left arm from his holster and heft it up with one arm, extending his arm fully at me as he pulled the trigger.
Just a bit quicker, I hopped over the table, hoping it to be sturdy enough to deflect a DeathRae 4000. Barely clearing the glass top, I heard the sizzle of a released charge, a charge deadly enough to bring down a Harlexian Elephant. Following the burning path with my eyes through the titanium alloy wall, I realized I needed a new plan. Unfortunately, this plan would have to do without a gun; good tip for you: always check your catridge before you need it.
“Surrender, fool!” he yelled out. “You have no chance against this!” tapping his nail against the casing of his DeathRae. Good model, shame to be wasted on such a low-life.
“Alright, you got me. I’ve taken quite a few gambles in my life, but this one doesn’t quite have the same odds as the others,” I responded, raising my hands and popping up to face him. I was right; the odds were much better this time.
I walked slowly towards him, hands still up, though it did nothing to ease him.
“Stay back,” he said, shuffling back, “if you know what’s good for you.” See how easy it is to gain the upper hand?
In a flash, I had him disarmed and back against the wall, a nifty trick from Phar. He recovered quickly enough, raising his fists, ready for a fight. I’ll admit, I’m no brawler, but I can handle myself. He faked left, right, left, right, and over and over, though it didn’t matter. I knew which was coming.
I threw my right hand up for the early block, then allowing my knee to teach him a cheaper alternative to a vasectomy. The fight wasn’t quite fair, I’ll admit, but I don’t fight fair. Besides, he should have aimed his gun with both hands.

Tis Hee-ya

Well, I’ve managed to moan in multiple entries b4 this of the impending school year, and it is now officially upon us. Everyone is doing last summer reading cramming, and band has absorbed me. Yup, same as the last 2 years…
Well, last Sunday was my birthday, if you didn’t know(and Thanks). Felt like pretty much ‘ne other day, not really feeling the “sweet 16″ness of it. Other than getting an ultimate frisbee from my sister. It was funny; it came with a “how-to” DVD, which I laughed over for about 1/2 hr until I realized I was slowly dying as I watched it. In ‘ne case, my family went over to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch, my positively most favorite restaurant ’round these parts.
After that, I went to Jane’s party in the evening, where I had a pleasant time catching up a bit with a couple past graduates, like Johnson and Tyler and the Corbetts. One thing I did notice however was how much easier it was to hang with them. The day before, at the DI party, I just kind of wandered around, and I realized that I really don’t have that strong of connections to ‘ne of them in particular. I talk to the likes of Chief or Fairley or whoever from time to time, but… well. Yeah. ‘Neways, so I had a great time talk to ppl, jumping on Chris’s back as he played DDR, you know, just the usual.

Morning after, the end of summer finally came as I stepped onto the marching field.
Over the past week, I’ve been very impressed with how quickly we’ve developed. We learned and covered our basics really quickly, and the music sounds a lot better as well. The band is humongous, but I think we’ve made it work. To a certain extent.
The tuba section has come a bit, but we’ve still got a lot of work. We sounded really wimpy that first day, but after we did a 10 min blasting excercise after sectionals on monday and really got the air going when we started stands tunes, we’ve got sound handled. Well, some of us. So far, the section has been severely dominated by a minority. Right now, I think we could have a section half the size and still create about the same sound and size of sound as we do now, and probably march better overall. But I guess it’s my job as a DI to fix that, and I definitely see it as acheivable. Yeah, about being DI…
It’s been interesting, to say the least. I mean, last year, I was marching as one of, and probably lower than, the other guys, having played the instrument for only 1/2 a year and never marching it. The section being so small, we’re all buddies, and now that I’m DI… it’s awkward. Everytime I give a command, whether it be calling out “Up tubas” after a break, or praising them “Good job guys” after a box drill, or deriding them with “*insert name*, cut it“, it’s weird; outside of the field, I’m one of them. Just a peer. I always seem to expect that they’re not going to listen, and I can understand why, but they do. Usually. I cut them slack, joke around with them, and so on, but when it’s business, it’s business. Whenever I’m standing in front of them, clapping or yelling, it’s like something comes over me and bolsters me, but I guess that’s part of being a leader. I’d like to think I’m doing a good job; as far as I know, the section is doing well marching and competently playing. And I think they still like me. It’s a rowdy bunch though.
Johnson kept a really clean section last year. No cursing, no dirty jokes around him, not much screwing around, on or off the field. It was a great way to run the section, and I think Johnson had a good calming aura around him that settled us down, but the section’s a lot different this year. Last year, only Johnson, Tim, and Reuel really knew each other, as I had just switched over, Lee had just moved in, and the fish were… fish. But now we know each other really well, it’s been interesting.
As just a peer of them, I don’t feel it necessary to control them completely. It’s a rowdy bunch. From breaks to warmups to instructions, there’s always a dirty joke going around.*shrugs* Not my place to fight it. So what if they throw a bad word around or giggle over something Janda says? No point in fighting it; it’s almost their nature, and they’re having fun. Very quickly, however, the tuba section has changed to what I feel is restoring a lot of what it means to be the “section to be in”. Before I came, trombones had it hands down, from Blake C. to Peter to Matt and Matt, though when they left, all they really had left was Kevin Ewen, and for the past two, it’s been the trumpets headed up by Chris and Jeff, though I think it’s time the tubas ascended to their former glory. I won’t be the one to do it though; as far as I’m concerned, we’re not going in the middle of the night to claim the tower or making a fire on the top of the garage just to put it out with juice and pee, but if that’s the other guys’ perogative, I’m not going to fight it. The section is hilarious though. I was surprised only we were laughing when Janda said, “Have a floppy one; don’t carry a hard and heavy one”.(talking about the drill binder, of course).
Oh, and our olympic game with the bass clarinets is going to rock.

Well, after a week of band, I was tired, but last night was the Fortuna’s moving party, so seeing as the family was invited, I went. Had a good time hearing how Alex wants to ask Michael to HC, and how Shoshank and Kyle got high from 2nd hand pot. Watched Neville bust a move on the DDR pads, probably the funniest thing I’ve seen in years, and stayed until about 1 just hanging out. I was really hungry though; hadn’t eaten since lunch, and all they had were snacks. I know, it was sad.

Not Quite What He Wanted

You know how there’s always that story of the final mission?
That came too early.
My cry for help came too late; apparently someone was a little trigger happy.
The last thing I heard was, “Looks like we have another case of ‘swiss cheese’.”
But then again, if I’m dead, how am I recollecting this story?
Beats me. Ask the author.

(Author’s Note: I wasn’t too sure where this was going in the first place, but I soon realized it was nowhere. In ‘ne case, I’ll have a fresh adventure with a new lead soon.)

Breaking… In or Out?

Imagine being on a summer vacation in the Bahamas, the warm rays of sunshine engulfing you in its blinding glory, listening to the gentle sloshing of the tides against the beach, that has the smoothest sand in all the Caribbean, endless miles of clear water all around you, alone on your own private island.
This mission was nothing like that.
After bumping my head against the low air duct ceiling for the 5th time, I let out a silent curse, wondering why Jake always insisted on doing things the hard way.
“Dammit, Jake, they don’t have a front door for nothing!” I vehemently spat at him, intent on digging in the most guilt with every word.
“I’m sorry Dixon, but it simply isn’t in our best interests to make our presence known. Now we quiet, or we might be caught,” he whispered fiercly back at me.
I cursed again, for there were now oil stains in my best blazer that would never come out. Such is the life of a private investigator.
We continued in the air duct, taking several lefts when I felt right was right, and often taking rights I thought were wrong. After endless passages and several more bruises, Jake turned and smiled, apparently successful at finding our way to our destination. He quickly popped the grate out while we silently dropped into the dark room. I stood and waited, hoping that Jake knew where the light switch was.
“You know, why is it that the room you always need to get to always has an easy back door in it? It’s just ridiculous how easy things are; it’s almost as if they wanted us to just stroll right in,” I commented, a growing sense of pride at our apparent competence in making such a difficult assignment easy.
“Yes, it would seem that way, wouldn’t it?” responded a distinctly unfamiliar voice, to which I soon attributed to an unfamiliar face as the lights overwhelmed the darkness. “Now, you’ve met your end. Men, kill them,” the man ordered, and I look around to see several thugs who seemed very eager to let their index finger speak for them.
“I think we should fight,” Jake muttered to me.
“If by fight, you mean pull out a random device that has been alluded to by our mastermind toy maker earlier in the story and escape in a spectular manner, I agree,” I retorted.
“By fight, I meant something more like praying to every god you know that their weapon providers accidently filled their ammo boxes with blanks. Either that, or their aim sucks and they shoot each other instead.”
“I think we’ll just go classic,” I finished. I heard percussive clicks come from each gun as our doom moved into the barrel. I anxiously waited for the last moment, feeling the exact second before their trigger appendages tensed, and yelled, “Wait!”

Twists… are Best Saved for a Rope

Well, luck is fickle, but I just seem to always grab it at the right time.
“Well, that’s one bridge that I’ve crossed while burning,” Jake Rawlins muttered. “How you doing, Dixon?”
“Oh, you know, not so bad, just the usual, murder attempts, torture, etc. Hey, you mind undoing these bindings?” I casually requested of him.
“Oh, ya, sure,” he responded, putting his gun back in his holster, sweeping a couple blond locks back, then working on the rope behind me.
Within a minute, he had undone all of it, and we immediately began to plan.
“So, when you got me in here, did you have a plan for getting me out?”(‘neone catch the quote? Comment the source) I asked, rubbing my wrists, then checking to see what equipment they had stripped from me.
“Well, I know the guards on this hallway are knocked out from some ‘special’ whiskey I gave them, though past that, I don’t think there are any major obstacles. What are you doing down here, anyways?” he inquired. So he was bluffing before…
“A Mrs. Betty Belle came to my door, looking for some cover when she was killed in my office. Went down to Pops, and he pointed me in this direction,” I explained.
A ghastly look came over Rawlins when I turned to look, and his eyes widened. Apparently something was wrong.
“Did, did, did, you… say Betty Belle?” he repeated, blinking hard as though to rid it of his mind.
“Uh, yeah, didjya know her?”
Color seemed to return to his face as he eased slightly, wiping his sweat with a hankerchief.
“We need to break into Captain’s office. Now.” He held his voice carefully, making sure to enunciate every word precisely.
“Why is that?” I asked him, wondering why it was so neccesary to take such a big risk.
“Because there’s no way she could be dead in your office if she’s locked in the Captain’s.”

Strange Places

Waking up in a strange room with menacing men holding weapons no longer scared me. Or even surprised me. I’d been through this hundreds of times, and my survival is a testament to some ridiculous fortune.
Perturbed that my hat and coat had been removed, I also noticed my gun gone, along with my keys, wallet, and rubber duck. I tried to move, but found all limbs tied to the chair, and the chair seemed quite stable.
“Stop moving, or the boss says we can make a hit,” one of the men behind him said.
“Make a hit, you say? Hehe, well, my good friend Ricky has made a couple hits too, like “Fly me to the Random Space Junk” and “Come Soar with Me”, hehe,” I replied nervously. Humor always loosened up tense situations. It also loosened up restraint.
“Think you’re so funny, eh?” Darn Canadian hitmen(W00T!!). “Well, why don’t you tell your joke to Mr. Louisville Slugger?” His arm cocked back when a door I couldn’t see creaked open. His arm relaxed as another voice, much smoother, came across to me.
“Mr. Dills, I’m surprised to see you back again so early,” the man said as he closed the door behind him. “Does it not seem like just yesterday that you made a similar visit, under similar circumstances?”
“Perhaps,” I responded neutrally. Advice: don’t let anything on in an interrogation room.
“Ah, well I’m sure you know best. Of course, I actually know why you’re here this time,” he hinted.
“Oh, do you? Mind letting me in on that, I think I’ve forgotten.” I always chuckle in my mind after lines like that.
“Yes, I believe it was because of something like this,” he finished, pulling out his gun and cocking it.
Some people pray at moments like this. I just use my psychic powers to deflect the bullets.
Not really.
“See you in Hell, Mr. Rawlins,” I responded cheerfully, knowing all the little offenses would’ve stacked up against me.
“To be sure,” he responded, swinging his gun around and popping each of the thugs in the forehead.


Yeah. Because that one happens a lot.