Author Topic: No Roads to You - Ep 5: Factor "P"  (Read 1924 times)

Offline ApplesApplesApples

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No Roads to You - Ep 5: Factor "P"
« on: September 07, 2012, 06:59:49 PM »


Episode 1: Mailman Superhero

Episode 2: The Guardians

Episode 3: Are You There?

Episode 4: Boom

Episode 5: Factor "P"

This story is a prequel for my other story, Three Million Empty Words. The main character of this story, Paul, is the father of Liam, who's the hero of TMEW. The first episode of No Roads to You is set about forty years before the events of TMEW. You don't need to read TMEW to understand this story, though. :)

Offline ApplesApplesApples

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 1: Mailman Superhero
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 07:00:31 PM »
Episode 1: Mailman Superhero

"You don't have to leave, Paul."

Paul zipped up the last suitcase and got to his feet. "Yes, I do." He turned to face his uncle with determination. "I can't stay after that, uncle. Besides, it's time I try myself out, isn't it?"

His uncle's expression seemed to indicate that he didn't think much of this idea, but Paul had already made up his mind. Time to go. He took one last look around the tiny apartment he'd lived in for the past thirteen months (thirteen... wasn't that supposed to be an unlucky number? Yeah, they'd gotten that right...) Then he picked up his bags and walked out the door.

He didn't have a plan when he got to the bus station. For a moment he froze, looking around at all these people with destinations and things to do. Then he stood stoutly in the middle of the press of people and told himself: "Anywhere is better than here. Just pick somewhere at random and let destiny decide your fate."

A few people who'd heard him gave him odd looks, but it made him feel better. At least he had someone to talk to, even if it was just himself.

So Paul asked the pretty ticket saleswoman to choose a destination for him. After a moment of perplexity, she seemed to decide he was just flirting with her and pointed to a brochure. "I hear it's nice there at this time of year."

"Perfect. One one-way ticket, please."

Eight hours later Paul climbed off from the bus, bleary-eyed and with a sore rear end. He rented a room at an affordable motel that didn't look like a fleabag, and got settled in. The oppressive silence (except for the argument next door, of which he could hear almost every other word) unsettled him a little, and reminded him of how very alone he was. He'd never lived on his own before. He'd had his own apartment, but his uncle lived a few blocks away and would come if he called him.

So Paul decided to talk to himself, just to fill in the silence and maybe trick himself into thinking he wasn't completely alone.

"Unpack, you lazy slob!" he ordered himself genially. "And none of that stuffing things into drawers, mind you. You're going to be organized. One drawer for each type of clothing. Let's see, then. Stuff with pictures on it, top drawer. That means this T-shirt, this jacket, these boxers... oh, right, these socks, too... okay, here we go..."

He'd arranged several different articles in the top drawer when a spider decided to crawl out from a corner and scare the pants off of him. Not literally, of course. Paul fell over onto his sore rear end with a squeal.



"You see," he told himself after his heart had stopped hammering, "if you lived with someone else, they would have seen you make a fool out of yourself. Look on the bright side, Paul!"

He started to go after the spider with a shoe, but then he started to wonder if it was a radioactive spider like the one in the Spider-man comic books, so he decided to capture it and set it outside. His stuff unpacked, Paul sat on the bed and looked around the room. It wasn't so bad, really. But what was he going to do now?

"Any ideas?" he asked himself. "Ah, yes. Get a job. Peter Parker has a job. He also has a girlfriend. That would be good, too. Step one: get job. Step two: get girlfriend. Step three: get car. Possibly might not work in that order."

Paul hailed a taxi outside the motel. He didn't have that much money saved up, but it would be a good investment if he got a talkative driver. It turned out he did, but the man only wanted to talk about his favorite restaurants, and only gave him a few insights into the geography of this new city. He dropped him off in front of what he assured Paul was the best restaurant in the state, possibly even the universe (the driver's words―Paul, who had not yet tried any dishes prepared in the Alpha Centauri system, would not be so sure about such claims).



The restaurant looked homey and the smells that wafted out the front indicated that there might be some truth to the taxi driver's statement, but Paul didn't think he should splurge on restaurants. He'd find a grocery store and stock up on cheap ingredients for easy-to-prepare food... he yawned even as he thought about this. Living on his own seemed less and less glamorous by the minute.

Paul walked down the sidewalk, gazing around him at the sights of this new and unfamiliar territory. He saw a man just ahead that reminded him so much of his uncle that he thought the old man had come to talk sense into him until the stranger turned and revealed himself to be just that―a stranger. Paul sighed and kept walking.



He was going to have to think about things. If he really wanted his uncle to show up and talk sense into him, maybe that meant he'd made the wrong choice. But what else could he have done, after what had happened? He didn't even want to think about that, but he'd have to face it sooner or later.

Fortunately, at that moment Paul spotted something that allowed him to distract himself without feeling guilty about it. On a board covered in flyers he saw just the thing for him: "Apply to become a mail carrier today!"



The idea had never occurred to him before, but how perfect! If he became a mailman, he would be able to travel the city, talk to people, find out if anyone needed his help... and of course, get paid. He took off one of the cards attached to the flyer with the phone number and went to sit on a bench to think about it.

According to the flyer, he needed to take a standardized test, and would be placed on a list based on his score. That didn't seem so hard. Paul generally tested well. He'd had good SAT scores. Not that that had helped him any, because his uncle had plucked him up and taken him off to train and prepare him to follow in his footsteps before he could get into any colleges, but he'd still done well on the tests.

Yes, it seemed like a sensible thing to do. He wouldn't mind an apartment that smelled a bit less like vinegar than his motel room, either.



***

Paul walked down the street confidently, whistling and swinging his arms, enjoying the exercise and the scenery. This town really was picturesque, and this part of his route was quite charming. So far, he loved his new job. He hadn't even had dogs chase after him yet.



Of course, there was a part of his route that was less picturesque, and it worried him every time he went down those narrow, dirty streets full of garbage and strange smells. Very peculiar smells of all sorts, none of which Paul enjoyed. He was prepared for when he would turn onto the street that would take him to that part of town, steeling himself to face yet another test of his heroic resolve.

He was so prepared, in fact, that took him several moments to realize he was seeing something he shouldn't. Two men stood on the porch of one of the houses in his picturesque route, struggling with the lock on the door.



Paul took a step toward them, wondering if they lived there and were just having trouble with their key. Then one of them shifted to the side a little and he made out the lockpick.

He started to say, "It's broad daylight. Aren't you afraid someone will see you being naughty?" But as he opened his mouth to speak, three people came around from the other side of the porch, walking casually toward the two thieves. He couldn't fight five.



"Excuse me," said one of the three newcomers, a muscular redheaded woman with tattoos on her bare arms, making the thieves start and turn. "That's against the law."

The thief on the right pulled out a gun. Paul started to break into a sprint towards them, his mind casting about for something he could do to help. What was he supposed to do against a gun?

But someone caught his shoulder from behind, and a deep, compelling female voice said softly, "Wait."



Paul twisted his head around to see the newcomer. A young woman about his age with dark skin and long black hair wearing a fedora hat stood behind him. She smiled when she saw him looking. She had a very nice smile, but he wasn't in the mood to care.

"What's going on?" he asked.

"They're taking care of it, Paul," said the woman.



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Offline Gogowars329

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 1: Mailman Superhero
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 02:55:06 AM »
That was really good Apples! I can't wait for more!
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Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 1: Mailman Superhero
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 03:10:15 AM »
I had wondered about Paul's backstory. This is going to be interesting. :)

Offline ApplesApplesApples

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 1: Mailman Superhero
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2012, 10:54:44 AM »
Thank you, Gogowars and Raia! :D

I discovered bits and pieces of Paul's backstory while I was writing TMEW and I decided I needed to explore that further. Paul's very different from his son, but in other ways very similar. Also, I wanted to go into Liam's childhood a little as well, which hopefully I'll be able to do with this story later on. :)

Offline ApplesApplesApples

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 2: The Guardians
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2012, 08:12:06 PM »
Episode 2: The Guardians

"They're taking care of it, Paul."

He didn't have time to wonder at the fact that a complete stranger knew his name. On the porch, two of the three newcomers stepped toward the burglars easily, as if they did this every day. The burglar with the gun aimed it at the heavily muscled man who'd approached him.

"Shoot," said the man, who seemed almost bored.

The burglar started to, but he hadn't been paying attention to the young blond woman, who now stepped up beside him and twisted his arm around. The bullet buried itself in the gravel with a flurry of rocks and dirt. Then she had the gun, took it apart, and tossed the parts to the redheaded woman.

"I suggest you leave," said the redhead, pocketing the pieces. "That's usually the best thing to do here."



The other burglar threw a punch at the blond woman, but the man caught his fist and twisted it around behind his back. "Never heard of 'never hit a lady'?"

"Just let him go, Kite," said the redhead. "He's never going to learn manners anyway."

The man did as requested. The burglar fumbled out of his grip and stumbled down the stairs, closely followed by his partner. They ran across the yard, heading past Paul. He started to go after them, but again the strange young woman caught his arm, forcing him to watch them go.



"Why did you let them go?" asked Paul.

The redheaded woman strode down the steps toward him, the other two holding back a little, flanking her like bodyguards. It wasn't hard to see who was in charge here. "It's pointless to waste your time on minnows when there are sharks in the sea, Paul."

"Yeah, nice metaphors. How do you know my name?" He felt himself taking on a defensive tone. That woman standing behind him made him nervous; he couldn't see them all at the same time, and although they'd just chased off a couple of burglars he didn't know what to expect.



"We've been keeping an eye on you ever since you came to town."

"And why's that?"

"We were just waiting to see what you did. It wasn't too hard to figure out who you were. You look just like your uncle. A little more hair, grey eyes..."

"You know my uncle?" Paul eyed them all warily. His uncle had never mentioned them, and he'd talked about a few other people he'd worked with over the years.

"Nice guy. He's still a bachelor, isn't he?" She grinned. "I've been meaning to visit him."

"Who are you, again?"

"Me, you can call Wolf. He's Kite, and the blond's Peggy Smith."

"I'm Shayala," said the young woman from behind him. "Nice to meet you."

"Yeah, likewise," said Paul, glancing over his shoulder before turning back to face Wolf. "What kind of names are 'Wolf' and 'Kite,' anyway?"

"Well, we'd tell you our real names, except... we'd never do that. Aliases are useful. Quick, give me one for this one."

"Fresh meat?" said the man. He and the redhead laughed.

"Look, I know a lot about..."

"You won't last a month in this profession, sweetie. If you're interested, we're in need of another intern."



"Intern?"

"Like Shayala over there. We show you the ropes, you help us out in whatever capacity you can. Can you follow orders?"

"That depends on whether or not I like them."

Wolf chortled. "A bit of spirit, at least. Come on, let's check you out." They walked past him.

"Wait, I've got to..." They weren't waiting. Shayala looked back and beckoned to him, smiling. "Finish my deliveries," he muttered. He didn't know if he wanted to be treated like an ignorant boy by some weird guys whose name he didn't even know, but he had to admit that working in a team with experienced people might be better than bumbling along on his own. He hadn't done much it the way of superheroing since he'd gotten here, and, well... he was lonely. He ran to catch up.

Kite, the tough-looking guy, drove them to the riverside. The water flowed past the concrete structure that thrust out into the river, giving them a beautiful view of the setting sun on the far shore. It was getting so late. Paul hated the idea of losing his new job just a few weeks after he'd started.

"Is this going to be quick?"

"Dunno. Depends on you," said Wolf.



"What do you want me to do?"

"Just a small demonstration of your power, for future reference."

Paul sighed and concentrated on the water, noticing all the things he usually didn't pay attention to, memorizing all the small details, like the way the light danced across the surface, or how it rippled whenever a fish swam close to the air, or the little pools where it doubled back on itself, frothing. He let the information flood his mind, forming a replica of what he saw, until a river twin to the one that flowed beneath his feet ran through his head.



Then he pictured the water splashing up into the air, but instead of falling back down reaching farther up, up, up, like an arm of the river grasping at the pink sky. And what he saw inside his head became real, the leaping water catching the light of the dying sun, making his heart beat a little faster and the way it always did when he used his power successfully.

"Nice," said Wolf. "Limitations? Pros?"



"I can change things that are already there, but I can't make new ones, and I can only change their shape, not their essence. Besides, it's not something that works right away; it takes concentration and time."

"That could be useful. Maybe with some more practice you'll get better."

"I'm already good. It's a lot harder than it looks. I've had a lot of practice."

"How big an object can you change?" asked Kite. "How much matter?"

"I don't know. The largest thing I've done is about thirty-five to forty square feet."

"Well, it's a start," said Wolf. "Tomorrow, come to this address." She handed him a paper. "Eight o'clock sharp. Bring some coffee."



"Wait, wait. I'm not your secretary."

"Is that really an order you want to take a stand against, Galagher?"

Paul scowled. "I haven't even agreed to join you yet."

"Well, hurry up because this offer expires two minutes and seven seconds from now. You want a reference? Ask Shayala. She's been having the time of her life being our intern."

"Not exactly," said Shayala. "But you can really learn a lot from them, Paul. They've been doing this for a long time, and they're really good at what they do, they're not just talk."

Paul scratched his head, overwhelmed by their insistence that he decide right then something that could possibly change his life. He should call his uncle and ask him about these people, if they were trustworthy and if it would be good for him to join them. Shayala's very pretty, his brain pointed out irrelevantly. Thanks a lot, he thought back.

"I don't know. Give me time to think about it. I mean, how do I know I can believe anything you say? How do I know you're even superheroes? I haven't seen any demonstrations from you. No, look. I'll come by your place when I decide, okay?" He turned to leave.

"Superheroes? That's what you call them?" Wolf laughed, and with that laugh his head exploded in a sudden migraine that was so intense he momentarily forgot how to put one foot in front of the other.



It faded just as soon as it had started, though, leaving him holding his head and wondering what in the world had just happened and if he should see a doctor.

"That's how serious we are, Paul Galagher," said Wolf. "See you tomorrow. Eight sharp. And by the way, we prefer the name ‘Guardians.’"


Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the second episode of this story. ;D

Offline Gogowars329

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 2: The Guardians
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2012, 08:17:36 PM »
I'm starting to think those people aren't the good guys. Wolf sounds really nasty. Fantastic writing though!
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Offline ApplesApplesApples

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 2: The Guardians
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2012, 05:10:25 PM »
Thank you, Gogowars! You'll have to wait to find out. ;) Wolf certainly isn't sunshine and puppies, though, is she?

Offline ApplesApplesApples

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 3: Are You There?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2012, 02:15:55 PM »
Episode 3: Are You There?

The music pounded in Paul's ears, and in the background the water rushed noisily along the riverbed. The warm spring air ruffled his curls, carrying the scent of fish and mud. He really needed a haircut.



"How do you look for someone invisible?" he muttered to himself.

He'd spent the past few weeks following the Guardians around, watching them break up burglaries, muggings, brawls, and even one attempted murder. They'd never let him or Shayala step in. Now, when they'd finally decided to involve them in an investigation, they brought them here to his beach-side bar and asked them to find an invisible person.

At least, that's what they thought they were looking for. They'd heard reports of valuables going missing mysteriously here over the past week or so, and just yesterday a chair had hit someone, witnesses said, "as though someone invisible was holding it up."

Paul gulped, all thoughts of invisible criminals vanished when his scan of the rather sparse crowd was interrupted by his spotting Shayala. She was dancing by herself, blending in a lot better than him. Why was she so distracting? Watching her, his mind went pleasantly blank.



Invisible thief, he thought. Focus, Paul. Focus. He didn't even know Shayala that well. They hadn't exchanged more than a few words here and there. He had other things to do.

Near the bar, Kite was speaking to a young man who said he'd seen the floating chair.

"Yeah, it was kind of cool. I came back tonight hoping to see it again, but so far, no floating chairs."

"Whom did it hit?" asked Kite.



The man shrugged. "I don't know. Some guy. He'd been fighting with this girl about something, and all of a sudden the chair hits him over the head. He was out cold for two minutes."

"Where was this?"

"It was over there by that table. No, there, near the sound system. Or maybe a little closer to the bar... I can't remember. Anyway, my buddies are here. See you."

Kite gave a frustrated sigh. Wolf was over at the bar, drinking again. He would have gone over and tried to talk some sense into her, but the first time he'd tried that it had ended badly to say the least. Let her drown her sorrows for awhile. She was useless for days every time she spoke with her mother.

At one of the tables, Peggy Smith struggled to pay attention to what the other woman was telling her.

"And then my step son-in-law's second cousin, who's also my nephew twice removed, hooked up with this girl from the wrong side of the tracks and had a baby with her. My step son-in-law's mother's cousin, that's his second cousin's father, told him in no uncertain terms he'd disown him if he kept running around with that sort of person. I thought she was nice, for all she didn't have a good education or anything, and couldn't help provide for that baby."



"That's interesting," said Peggy mildly. "So were you here last night when the chair hit that person?"

"No," said the woman, leaning forward, full of curiosity. "I heard about it, though. Did you see it? I always said there were aliens among us. Like, listen to this. My cousin's daughter's friend has a boyfriend whose sister was abducted by aliens once. No one believed her, but I did. The government is hiding things from us, I told her. Just you wait and see. In a few years they'll come clean about everything they're hiding when someone finds them out."

Paul shifted around nervously, saying "Excuse me" to several people that passed by, but no one seemed to hear him. He really wasn't used to this sort of place. He should speak a little louder, so they could hear him over the music. He cleared his throat. Then out of the corner of his eyes he saw a man in a suit leaning toward Shayala, grinning. Shayala lifted her hands to stop him.



"What's the matter?" the man asked Shayala. "You're too good for me, is that it?"

Paul hurried over. "Leave her alone. She's not interested."

"Paul," said Shayala, trying to grab his arm to stop him.

"Who are you? Her boyfriend?" asked the man mockingly.



"I'm just her friend. She's not interested in you."

"How do you know that?"

"Because you're disgusting, Tom," said Shayala.

"If you're not interested, then maybe you shouldn't dress like that!" shouted the man, getting angry.

Paul felt his own anger boil over and before he could stop himself he'd socked the man in the jaw.



Several people shouted. Shayala yelled his name. Tom stumbled, recovered, and threw himself at Paul, who desperately tried to think of some way he could defend himself. His mind was as blank as earlier, though much less pleasantly.

An arm caught Tom around the chest and pulled him back. Tom struggled, but Kite was too strong for him.

"Let me go!" shouted Tom, and Kite complied, letting him stumble forward. "You just wait until I find you without your friends, whoever you are. You're dead!"



"That's terrifying, Tom," said Shayala. "Really, you've got us all quaking in fear."

Kite watched the exchange, deciding there was no further threat on that side. Then his eyes fell on one of the tables, which had been overturned in the struggle. Taped to the bottom was a bomb.



That's what we get for getting distracted while there's an invisible person around, thought Kite with resignation as he dove for the bomb, ripping through the tape clumsily with his fingers, the paint on the bottom of the table chipping off. He drew the attention of several people, who screamed when they saw the bomb. He didn't have time to deal with them, though.

Clutching the bomb with one hand, Kite bolted from the bar, tore across the grass until it turned into sand, and kept running for the water.



He was still running when the bomb detonated.


Thank you for reading! I hope you're enjoying my story.

Offline Gogowars329

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 3: Are You There?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2012, 05:30:39 PM »
Oh no! Is Kite going to be okay? Fantastic chapter.
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Offline ApplesApplesApples

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 3: Are You There?
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2012, 03:08:07 PM »
Thanks, Gogowars. ;D

Offline Roxanne07

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 3: Are You There?
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2012, 04:00:17 PM »
Brilliant! I haven't read your other story, but I'm really enjoying this one so far. I think Kite is my favorite "Guardian". Hopefully he's going to be alright!

Offline ApplesApplesApples

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 3: Are You There?
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2012, 12:33:04 PM »
Thank you, Roxanne. ;D I'll post the next chapter soon.

Offline ApplesApplesApples

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 4: Boom
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2012, 01:14:57 PM »
Episode 4: Boom

"Let me go!" shouted Tom. Kite let him go and he stumbled forward, narrowly avoiding falling flat on his face. "You just wait until I find you without your friends, whoever you are. You're dead!"

Paul shook his head, but he was too angry to answer.

"That's terrifying, Tom," said Shayala. "Really, you've got us all quaking in fear."



"You just wait," said Tom again, and started to stagger off. Sudden movement off to the side drew Paul's attention and he saw Kite ripping something off the bottom of the table. He caught a glimpse of a piece of machinery in Kite's hand as the man took off along the bank of the river.

Kite's reaction puzzled him, as did the screams of the people around him. His brain finally caught up to what was going on a few seconds before the bomb exploded near the end of the spit of land that jutted out into the river.

Next thing he knew, he was lying on his back, stunned. A few droplets of water spattered on his face. He struggled to sit up and see what had happened. Everyone around him was groaning, but no one seemed hurt. Kite must have made it to the water before...

Wolf had recovered her feet and was headed over to where the blast had originated, Peggy Smith not far behind. Shayala gave him a hand up.

"Why did you have to hit him?" she asked, exasperated. "I don't need you looking after me, Paul. I can travel between dimensions. I'm not a defenseless damsel."

"You can what? I'm sorry. I... is Kite...?"

She'd already gone after the other two. He stumbled after them, shaking his head to get rid of an unpleasant ringing. They reached two large stone outcrops that thrust up from the wet ground near the river. Kite lay on the riverbed in shallow water. He didn't seem like someone who'd been in contact with a bomb when it exploded.



They hadn't told him what their powers were, except for Wolf, who'd shown him that she could cause an agonizing headache somehow, although they hadn't even elaborated on that. But he remembered when the Guardians had apprehended those robbers when he'd first met them. One of them had pointed a gun at Kite and he'd said "Shoot" like he was bored by the threat.

"Is he okay?" asked Paul.



Kite groaned and opened his eyes. Wolf went over to help him get up. "I hate doing that," said Kite.

"So you've blown up before?" asked Paul, unsure what else to say.

"I'm surprised it even worked," said Wolf. "It looked like an amateur bomb. A homemade sort of thing."

"He was cleaning up evidence," said Kite, rubbing his head like he'd just fallen down or something. "The invisible guy. Must have been. Too many people witnessed him throwing that chair last night, and people like us were starting to get curious. I wouldn't be surprised if he figured out who we were."

"Did you see when he put the bomb in place?" asked Wolf. "It must have been less than a minute before you found it, judging by the design."



"No," said Kite. "He took advantage of us being distracted by Paul's little debacle."

"Right. Since you've almost cost us our lives, go and pick up the tab," said Wolf, barely glancing over her shoulder to acknowledge him.

Paul sighed. He deserved it. His uncle would have given him a lecture. "How much is it? I didn't bring that much." He put his hand in his pocket to get his wallet, but it wasn't there. He must have put it in the other pocket. No, also empty.



"Um," he said, looking around at the others. They all turned to stare at him. "I think I've been robbed."

"What did you have in your wallet?" asked Wolf.

"Money, driver's license..."

"Did it have your current address on it?"

"Yeah. Why?"

"Good. Now he'll know how to find you."

"What?" He glanced desperately at the others. He didn't think Shayala would stand up to the others for him, but Peggy Smith didn't seem as callous as Kite and Wolf. Surely she wouldn't let them do this. "I'm sorry I got into a fight and distracted you, but it was one mistake. Can't I...?"

"Relax, intern," said Wolf. "We're not going to let you get blown up. I meant that he'll know where to find you, and now he knows Kite was able to survive the blast he knows at least one of us has powers. I'm betting he'll seek us out. And we're going to set a trap."

"With me as bait? Is that a good idea?"

Kite walked up to him. His clothes weren't even torn. Paul couldn't help but wonder how that worked. What all could Kite survive? "You want to be one of us, Paul? You want to be a hero?"



"I'm not sure those two are compatible," said Paul.

Kite grinned humorlessly. "Good answer." He walked past him, back toward the bar.

"What does that mean?"

"Relax, Paul," said Shayala, patting his shoulder. "I'll keep an eye on you. I have ways of moving without being seen. I'll just keep you company for a while, until we catch this guy."

Paul put his face in his hands. "You're all crazy."

"Yes," said Wolf. "You've got to be, to do what we do."

They all walked off past him, leaving him standing alone with his best shoes starting to soak through.


Thanks for reading!

Offline Roxanne07

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 4: Boom
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2012, 01:56:57 PM »
Yay! Kite's fine! Lovely update. I feel sorry for Paul, he seems more lost than ever.

Offline ApplesApplesApples

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 4: Boom
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2012, 11:13:36 AM »
Yeah, Paul's out of his depth. ;) Thank you!

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 5: Factor "P"
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2012, 10:37:55 PM »
Episode 5: Factor "P"

Paul strolled down the street on his usual mail route, whistling to himself. He loved the early morning, the sleepiness of the town around him, and the satisfaction of not having been chased by any dogs so far today.



"Psst," said a voice in his ear.

Paul promptly ran into a garbage can.



"Shayala?" he said, looking wildly around. "Was that you?"

"Of course it is, silly." He felt something brush his sleeve, but he couldn't see anything. "I'm on guard duty, remember? After all, I want to become a guardian."

"Well, if you're supposed to be protecting me, I think you shouldn't sneak up and startle me like that." A little peeved, he set the trash can upright. "Just because you decided to use me as bait doesn't mean I don't have feelings and a job to do."



She didn't answer. He could still feel her there, though. He still felt watched, and not that much safer. In fact, he'd almost managed to forget about the threat before, and Shayala's presence only made him nervous.

Not entirely for the obvious reasons, though. As he continued along his route he wondered what it meant that she could travel through dimensions. Where was she now? Could she see everything over here? Was she staring at him? Did she notice that he needed a haircut? Could she smell him? Did he smell okay? He couldn't remember if he'd put on deodorant this morning, and he couldn't sniff at himself discreetly because he didn't even know which way she was looking at him from, if directions even existed for her.

Urgh, why was he acting so stupid? He fumbled at the next mailbox, dropping his letter, and went to recover it. When he straightened he ran into someone, cracking his head against the other man's quite painfully.

"I'm sorry," he said quickly. "I didn't... I didn't see you there."



"It's okay," said the man, laughing. "You'll get the hang of it."

"I'm actually a good mailman usually. I'm just distracted today. Sorry." He put the letter in the mailbox and walked on, not nearly so confidently as before.

When he finished his route he informed Shayala he would go back to the Guardians' headquarters instead of to his house, so she was off the hook. She didn't answer, but he felt her presence fade away. Immensely relieved, he headed back to the house that Kite, Wolf, and Peggy Smith shared, over in a less nice part of town than the one he went through on his route. He wondered if they'd bought the house using their real names, because "Kite" and "Wolf" would look pretty weird on the deed.

"I'm alive," he said, letting himself in. Only Kite was there, playing video games on the couch. Paul hadn't seen any of those games outside of stores next to exorbitant price tags, especially for his budget.



Kite didn't answer. Paul went around to see the screen. It looked pretty engrossing, to tell the truth.

"So Shayala was my bodyguard. Nothing bad happened. Well, except I might have killed someone's garbage can."

"There's food in the fridge."

"I didn't come for food. I actually have a real job. A paying job."

"Yeah, that won't last." Kite hammered on one of the buttons and then muttered a curse as the words "GAME OVER" flashed on the screen.



"I'm worried about something, actually." He hadn't spoken to his uncle since he'd gotten here, partly out of guilt over what had happened, partly because his uncle hadn't been there the few times he'd tried, and he could really use some advice right now.

"What?" Kite restarted the game.

"Shayala's really been distracting me lately, and I don't know what to do about it."

"Mm." Kite made something explode. "Let me tell you a secret of the trade, Galagher. It's called Factor 'P.' That stands for 'Power,' and power attracts. It's like the moth and the flame."

"You're saying I like Shayala because she can travel through dimensions and fights bad guys?"

"It's natural. We gravitate toward those more powerful than us so that they can protect us instead of destroying us. You know what happens if the moth actually touches the flame, though, don't you?"



Paul thought about this for a moment. "That's pretty cynical."

"Yes," said Kite. "It's also true. It won't end well, Paul. Just let it go. Find yourself a nice normal girl if you need one, or none at all, which is even better, because with our kind of lifestyle even that's bound to end up badly." He thrust one of the controllers at Paul. "And if you can beat me, I'll give you some chocolate. You're going to need it."

In the end, Kite won, of course, as Paul didn't even know what he was doing. He still gave him some chocolate, though, and advised he not tell Wolf about it.


Thank you for reading! ;D

Offline ApplesApplesApples

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 5: Factor "P"
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2013, 11:40:05 AM »
Hi everyone.

My apologies to anyone who was following this story. My sims game died and I've been trying to get it to work for the past few months. No luck. I won't be able to play until I get a new computer, and that doesn't look like it'll happen anytime soon. I'm really sorry. Thanks for reading and for your feedback.

Offline Ilessthan3TheSims

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 5: Factor "P"
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2013, 02:14:09 PM »
Aww I'm really sorry to hear that Apples :( I love your stories. Good luck with hopefully getting a new computer :)

Offline ApplesApplesApples

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Re: No Roads to You - Ep 5: Factor "P"
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2013, 03:13:08 PM »
Aww I'm really sorry to hear that Apples :( I love your stories. Good luck with hopefully getting a new computer :)

Thank you!!