Patrol Abroad Chapter 4

By Captain Gaul

Some weeks passed, and when Gaul was satisfied that the imps knew as much about fighting with clubs as he could teach them, he gave Magus the okay to send them onto the field. Within hours, the Mystic Search and Rescue Team had mobilized, divided into squads, and was preparing to step through the series of timegates Magus had prepared. Gaul volunteered to search off of the main force, mainly because the smell was starting to get to him.

Soon, Gaul regretted volunteering. Searching continents was dull, and repetitive; because he had to check leads, collect contact information, and recruit drunks from bars to help Magus. Strolling through the streets of some backwater town, he suddenly heard somebody break into a run. Acting on reflex, he pursued the sound, never seeing it’s maker but quite sure he was just behind it. All at once, there was a blue flash, and he fell to the ground as everything below his neck fell asleep.

As the pins-and-needles feeling subsided, he stood up and looked around. This was not the same town he had just been in. The sky was black, like night, but there were no stars…the air was heavy with a smell both musty and sulfurous. Gaul, who had been on the patrol long enough to know when he was in a bad part of a town, pulled out his nightstick and started to walk down the alley.

Not seeing many people on the streets, he walked into a bar.

The bar was bright and noisy, with lots of people laughing and drinking and falling off barstools. He donned his best ‘dangerous stranger’ demeanor and swaggered over to the bar. “Whatcha got to drink?”

“Try this, sir.” The barkeeper put a glass filled with frothing green liquid in front of Gaul.

Gaul took the thing down in one gulp, then doubled over. “Criminy! What is this stuff?!”

“That’s soda pop, mister. You act like you’ve never had a drink before.”

“You don’t put that much alcohol in soda pop!”

“Whaddaya talkin’ about? If it ain’t 160 proof, it ain’t soda. If we wanted to drink syrupy water with greenhouse gas dissolved in it, we’d turn on the tap.”

Gaul sat down. “Your water is…polluted?”

A fist hit him in the side of the head and he fell off the stool.

“Listen to him! Actin’ like he don’t know how bad we got it here. Look at the suit! May be old style, but he’s Shinra, dammit!” The man kicked at Gaul. “Corporate bastard!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, I swear, but I warn you—”

“Warn this!” And the man kicked him again. But this time, Gaul caught his foot, twisted it, and shoved it back up. The man screamed in pain, and many of his friends stood up.

Gaul, letting his adrenaline get the best of him, stood up and shouted “Alright, punks. You want some? Bring it on!”

Outside, a couple of Shinra officers patrolled the streets. Hearing the brawl in the tavern, one wanted to go in, but the other advised against it. “Let these morons fight it out.” Suddenly the owner of the tavern flew threw the window and landed on the street in front of the soldiers.

The first one knelt down by the man. “What the hell is going on?”

“One of your guys is beating the snot out of all my patrons!”

Without further word, the officers rushed in the tavern; only to see Gaul standing alone in a room filled with battered, moaning, subdued people. “Man…you are in big trouble.”

Alarmed at the prospect of being arrested in an unknown country, Gaul ran forward, clotheslined the soldiers, and dashed out the door. As the guards got up, massaging their skulls, a suited man walked by. “Something wrong, men?”

“Yeah…some guy dressed in an old-style security suit just beat the snot out of us and ran off.”

“And is he…responsible for all that mess in there?”


“Damn…guys, I’m real busy right now. I’ll send someone to tail him in a little bit.”

“Sure, Reno.” “See ya, boss.”


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