Journey to Elvander

Ep 8- Here’s a Tip

The ship loudly hovered over the demolished diner that sent the distress call about a robot and a human wreaking havoc through their path. Shadow Cannon managed to intercept the call originally for the surrounding ally armies to respond to and decided that they would use the new information to make a surprise visit to the place.

The turbines underneath the ship blew away the dirt, rocks, trash, anything that littered the ground below them to make their landing. Car alarms blared loudly as the ship got closer and closer to the street.

Inside the bar, the bikers that wanted their non-existent fee barely woke from their beating that Ragnar laid on them when they were caught off-guard. The leader of the group stumbled on his feet while he tried to regain some balanced footing to deal with the noise outside. He almost felt like he was suffering from a hangover. His head was beating inside like a drum, the loud noise disoriented him, and he couldn’t remember much before his blackout.

“What the hell is going on?!” He yelled over the noise to the bartender who was still cleaning up the mess.

“I don’t know! Why don’t you go find out?!” The bartender frustratingly yelled back.

“Forget him.” He said to himself while he used his hands to send a crude expression. He fixed his vest, pulled up his pants, and readied himself for whatever was outside that was causing the noise.

His boots were heavy and any given day would’ve made loud thumps on the ground, but the turbines outside drowned them out. The biker figured now would be a great time to reclaim his superiority, no matter what was outside, big or small.

His face looked confused, but curious about what was going to be on the other side, maybe the large robot brought some more of its kind to finish the job. The noise outside began to slowly ease into a low, humming noise and then to a complete silence.

The leader slowly stomped toward the front door to see what he can do in case it was more robots. Before he reached for the door he was greeted with a heavy smack toward his chest causing him to fly backwards toward the floor.

“Is this where I can get the chili?!” Reves foot was coming down from the kick to the door.

“Sorry, we’re all out. As you can see,” the bartender showed him the damage, “We’re closed for renovations.”

“Shame, I was willing to pay top dollar for this Sweet Potato concoction you proudly announced on that sign outside.” Reves walked over the fallen biker leader.

“I think I can whip something up.” The bartender changed his tune.

“Attaboy!” Reves sat on one of the stools that wasn’t ripped from its post and placed his left elbow on whatever was left of the bar’s counter. His nicely tailored suit wasn’t exactly the kind of style one would see in a place like Valiant Diner.

Two familiar men entered the bar as well. The gruff voiced Toomes and the scar-lipped Yusef who followed their commander to trace the destruction the robot and its human friend left in their wake.

“I assume it was the missing Golem?” Toomes looked around the damaged floor where pieces of furniture scattered around like a desolate wasteland, only with more burgers and beer.

“Who are they?” Yusef crouched over the Geography major, who was still unconscious or faking it to avoid any more pain to his body. Either or, Yusef lifted the fallen biker’s head to examine him for any wounds and dropped him back on the ground, giving a large thud.

“Maybe they know about what happened in here.” Toomes turned to Reves, who was still waiting for his food.

“Really? I thought they were just having a sleepover.” Reves kept his sight on the kitchen’s entrance.

A quiet groaned emerged from below them almost as if the undead were trying to rise up. Reminded them of the Kaiser epidemic of 218X, where the sky grew polluted in the country of Kaiser when they didn’t keep track of what was coming out of their Disease Control Center’s exhaust vents and causing an infection of a good thirty million people leaving them to walk amongst the living as flesh-eating zombies, aiming to kill anything and anyone in front of their paths.

Thankfully, Elvander sent out their rescue team to flush out the toxins that polluted the air, quarantining the country, reverse-engineered the disease, and giving away the antidote to aid Kaiser. One of the benefits to being an ally for a medically advanced country like Elvander.

“It’s coming from the guy you kicked boss.” Yusef turned his attention away from the Geography major and to the leader of the bikers.

“Bring him to me.” Reves ordered the duo.

Toomes and Yusef picked up the man and dragged him to the stool next to the Shadow Cannon head while the bartender brought the chili.

“Hope you enjoy it.” The bartender gently laid it in front of Reves. Before he can say another word, Reves pulled out his handgun to make sure he understood the grave nature of their visit. The bartender tried to make a run for it, but Yusef vaulted over the bar to keep the scared man in place.

“I believe you two know why I’m here.” The suited man placed his gun on the bar to free his hands to eat the bowl of chili.

The spoon was steaming, but he didn’t mind it; he slipped the spoonful of chili into his mouth and chewed. The muffled sound of his mouth moving up and down could be heard from the uncomfortable silence.

“Are you from the insurance company?” The bartender nervously asked.

“What kind of insurance company do you have that brings a… nevermind.” Reves leaned back from his stool to swallow the chili. “You, biker man, do you know?”

“Is it about the robot that came in and destroyed the place?” The biker leader weakly answered with his own question.

“Oh so you do know what I’m talking about.” Reves happily chewed his chili.

“They didn’t want to pay their fee, so they decided to just destroy our bar and make a run for it.” The leader angrily slammed the counter. His face was bloodied from the assault, but his temper was nothing short of wounded. Especially when it came to missing an opportunity to make some money.

“A fee?” Reves wiped his mouth with a napkin that was next to his bowl of chili. The residue of the chili smeared over the cloth like a woman getting rid of last night’s lipstick.

“Yeah, a border fee,” the leader tried to use his ruse again. “It’s something that anyone that crosses the checkpoints have to pay before they set another foot into this little slice of paradise.”

“I see the robot hasn’t knocked the stupidity out of you just yet.” Reves chuckled. “I’m not here to play any games, kick the shit, or pay imaginary taxes. Do you know who I am?”

“Why should I give a damn? The thing that your after and that pansy-ass that was with him could’ve killed us! So someone needs to pay!” The biker leader gritted his teeth and turned to face his crew who were slowly beginning to come to their senses.

“Who was the pansy-ass?” Toomes stepped on one of the rising bikers to prevent him from getting up to prove their superiority was beyond their reach.

“Do I look like a damn FaceNet?” The biker leader spat on the ground below Reves, who took it in stride while he took another bite of the chili.

“Barkeep?!” Reves yelled over the biker at the same time, he swallowed his chili. “May I have a milk? On the rocks. I always wanted to say that.”

The terrorist leader let out a smile of getting to say something like that.

“What’s wrong with you?” The biker leader leaned a bit back.

“Nothing’s wrong with me, well…” Reves paused for a second, “Other than I have a missing Golem, someone who’s working for the enemy is smuggling him to who knows where, and I have an idiot who even though knows that I have a gun on my person is still being stubborn about sharing his findings! Now please tell me what I need to know before my patience begins to run thin. And you really don’t want to be on the receiving end of my impatience!”

“Fine, I will tell you, but only for a price of three million ursas.” The leader smiled with his bloody lips.

“Ursas? Toomes, what is that?” Reves looked over to his associate.

“It’s the local currency for Livica and its surrounding cities.” The Geography major blurted from the ground.

“Hm, who is he?” Reves looked back at the leader of the outlaws.

“He’s a Geography major.”

“You don’t say.” The Shadow Cannon boss nodded his head in amazement. “Thank you good man. Well, I don’t pay fees. Let alone in weird, alternative currencies.”

The bartender came back with a glass of milk and placed it in front of the terrorist leader.

“Thank you,” Reves pulled the glass toward him, “Do you know who I am talking about?”

“Those two ran out the… well… whatever was left of that door and ran out toward the west the last I saw.” The bartender nervously responded.

“West?” Reves thought about what was in that direction, “Did they say where they were going by any chance?”

“Nothing, they just wiped out my business and left as quick as they came in.”

Reves drank his milk.

“Thank you for aiding Shadow Cannon, your assistance will not be forgotten.” Toomes and his gruff voice gave them the update on who they were.

“What the hell?!” The bartender gasped, “You didn’t tell me I was going to help terrorists!”

“Really? I had a gun.” Reves picked up his pistol and quickly aimed at one of the biker’s crewmates who was still regaining his strength.

Boom!

A gunshot sounded and a bullet zipped straight through the man’s neck. The man fell back on the ground faster than he got up. Lifeless with blood spilling out of his wound and covering the wooden floor of the bar.

“Well, I really should be thanking the barkeep. He helped me more in the few seconds he was actually around than you did, Mr. Biker.” Reves fixed his suit and made his way toward the exit, which was nothing more than a wall with a hole in it.

“Wait, I’m sorry I didn’t know!” The leader pleaded.

“Mr. Yusef, please tip the barkeep, a generous one. Don’t be stingy.” Reves waved him off with his pistol.

Yusef gave out a sigh while he pulled out his wallet to pay for the bill and left a him a two-hundred piso tip.

“Is that attitude I hear, Mr. Yusef?” Reves holstered his gun.

“No sir, I’m merely practicing my breathing exercises.” Yusef nervously replied.

“That’s good, I hear it helps you relax and focus while under intense pressure. I should really start picking it up.”

“You totally should, Mr. Shadow Cannon, sir.” The biker nervously tried to avoid getting himself killed.

“Now now, no one likes a suck-up.” Reves stood by the exit. “Now about your fee.”

“No, don’t even worry about that, it was just a joke! I do that with all the new faces.”

“He doesn’t.” The other crew members disagreed. They were facing their own coward of a boss, so they didn’t care about the outcome.

“Jeez. Mr. Barkeep, I suggest you close up shop for the night and go with your family or cats… family of cats? I really don’t know, but just go.”

“Yes sir!” The barkeep quickly took the tab money and ran out through the back.

“Now, before I leave I just wanted to let you know all about something called respect…” Reves pointed his finger up to the ceiling and gave an awkward pause.

Everyone waited for the evil future world leader for any kind of words of wisdom. Their eyes opened and they were all ears hoping to get some great advice.

“I got nothing,” Reves walked away, “Kill them.”

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Eric Gutierrez Jr.

Eric Gutierrez Jr.

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Infosec Pentester, Writer, Lvl 20 Mastermind and code monkey… Thank you for coming to my TED talk.