Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Watchmen Files // Chapter Six // The Job Accepted

Good morning, everyone!

   As you've probably already observed, it is Watchmen Wednesday again! And, as promised, the next chapter of the Watchmen Files is here! Let's get started, shall we?

Now it's about to begin with the half-chapter I posted last Wednesday, just in case any of you missed it

   "Mikey, I see you're playing the tourist part well," a young man's smug voice chirped from behind the postcard stand in the gift shop that Sargent Graham immediately recognized as Jason Gray.
   Michael Graham sighed, annoyed once more by the son of one of his best friend calling him that irritating nickname that just wouldn't go away. "Don't call me that," he remarked in his light Scottish accent.
   "Why?" Jason shrugged casually. "Dad calls you that all the time."
   Graham adjusted his Ducks football cap and kept the no-nonsense expression on his lightly scarred face. "You aren't your dad. Now why'd you call me here, kid?"
   Jason flinched, irritated by the use of the word kid. "If you remember, I'm Junior Director Gray now. I'm not a kid anymore." Then Jason's tone turned more playful again. "Just like you're not as young as you once were." After all, the guy's, like, in his fifties now. That was pretty old for a Watchman, but not too old to be a trainer of rookies.

   "We shouldn't talk out here," Graham whispered carefully, glancing around the Tillamook Air Museum gift shop warily.
   "You're right," Jason nodded toward the hanger where they kept the vintage aircraft for the public to view.
   When they entered, Jason admired to high open structure of the hanger. The crisscrossing beans when made in WWII out of wood, since they were running low on mettle for the air craft. It was first made to hold Blimps, but now housed many different vintage air craft. They moved closer to a group of planes and Graham ducked around the tail to move on and study the cockpit.
   "This is a PBY Catalina," Graham stated.
   "And how would you know that?" Jason questioned. "I mean, I know you're old and all, but you're not that old."
   Graham's expression grew cold. "Cut to the chase, Jase."
   "Right," he pulled out an old photo from his pocket and handed it to Graham. "We want to know if you'll train this little guy."
   The photo was of a boy, with dark curly hair and a smiling face seated at a table with a cake on top (most likely a birthday cake, with the six candles pocking out of it). The boy wasn't alone in the picture, a man Graham knew very well was standing near, along with his pretty red/brown haired wife. He wasn't smiling much (he hardly ever did) but he did have a small smile peeping out. It made Graham smile too, recalling the old memories fondly, then his face turned downcast when the not-so-fond memories came to him. That poor boy...
   He examined it carefully, taking in all the details before asking, "Where'd you get this?"
   "I've got connections," Jason examined a postcard as if it was an easy task to get his hands on the family's last real family picture. "And I knew you'd want to help. You knew his dad, you know what they're like."
   "They who?"
   "You know who. Supers. After all, you worked with them a lot."
   Graham turned to look the young ambitious man in the eyes. "Is he an active?"
   "Yup. Just take look at this," Jason handed him a iPad with a video of the little boy, except he was much older, probably in his mid-twenties, and he was smashing through a door and running from Watchmen. Just like his dad.
   "He's got the condition?"
   "Oh yeah. Except it's more muted than his father's, of course."
   He understood and considered the idea of becoming his trainer. There were a lot of difficulties with Supers: they were different than normal people, stronger, and specialized in different ways, but weaker in others. They often had emotional issues, and this kid would probably have them too. His dad had left him, his cousin had been captured, and he was alone in the world. The kid would be tough, like his dad.
   Jason tapped his foot impatiently. "What's the verdict, chief?"
   After considering the concept for a moment longer, Graham nodded, "I'll take him."

   "Kruger? Time to get up," Mason felt someone shove his side, trying to wake him. Mason groaned and rolled over. "C'mon, kid," the voice repeated in a mutter. "You're worse than my girls on Saturdays."
   With enough prodding, he gave up the fight and opened his eyes to find a middle-aged man (could be in his late forties/early fifties) with a dark tan (like he'd spent the winter in Hawaii) and dark brown eyes and an annoyed expression. "It's 6:53, you've got to get up and head over to start training."
   He was yanked up from bed and given the standard training uniform, which was just a short sleeved army green shirt and tan pants. He put too much force into pulling them on and almost ripped it. Man, I've gotta get this strength thing under control. After successfully changing, he then followed the guy down the halls until he finally woke up completely. "Wait a second... who are you?"
   "C.E.R." he stated plainly. Mason blinked. "Cesar Russell," he clarified. "Jason wanted me to make sure you got up on time to get to class. Graham is pretty strict on timing. You've got to learn to get up earlier, it's a Watchman's job to be on time. Not a minute sooner or later."
   "Yeah, well, about Graham..."
   "What about him?"
   "Well, from what I've heard," he asked while turning another corner, "he's sort of a... a..."
   "He's a tough guy." Mr. Russell responded flatly. "I should know, I was his partner."
   "Yep. We went on a lot missions together. I partly retired when my first daughter was born, but he can't get out of it."
   "Can't, or won't?"
   Mr. Russel didn't answer, but continued down the hall with the sign that read Main Training Room C. "You're going to get quite the training," he finally continued. "He's good at that."
   "Comforting," Mason commented back as they entered the training room. It was large, with no windows but bright, warm lights that made it look like it was full of sunlight hanging from the tall ceiling. There were about five groups of young men standing about in the standard training uniform all around the room, but not close enough to each other to talk. Training equipment scattered the edge, along with a track that circled the room and then led outside. "Nice."
   "The rest of your squad is over there," Mr. Russell pointed to about the middle, where a group was milling about. "Good luck."
   "Thanks," Mason called after him, took a deep breath, ran his hand nervously through his hair, and headed over to the guys and noted the look of each one: one of them had flaming red hair, two of them had dark brown hair and looked suspiciously alike, one had black hair, one was African American, one of them was blond, and one was... Duke? Oh crud. Not him again, he mentally groaned. And there was one more, standing farther away from the others, looking a bit lonely, like a lost puppy dog. Conner. Double crud. Okay, Mason devised is plan, all I have to do is not let him see me, and I'll be fi-
   "Mason?!" Conner chirped, spotting him immediately and scurrying over. "Hello!"
   Well, so much for that not letting him see me. "Hey," he stated lamely, trying not to encourage him.
   "I didn't know you were going to be in this class!" he nearly jumped for joy. "We get to train together! This is so exciting! Isn't it exciting?"
   Mason sighed. "Great."
   "I know," Conner continued, not understanding the sarcastic tone of his now very irritated classmate. "We're going to have such a smashing time! I've heard lots about Sargent Graham, he's said to be really good and experienced, and the training equipment is some of the best, and..."
   Mason nodded as he droned on, trying to conceive a plan to get away from the talkative Brit.
   "... and I saw the cafeteria, it's not too rough-"
   "Look, McKee," Mason broke in.
   Conner's ears perked. "Yes?"
   "I'm not here to make friends," he stated plainly, not considering if what he said was kind or not.
   "Oh. Right." Conner's voice softened, "I know, you're here to get your cousin back." Then his face lightened as he glanced across the room. "Look! I think that's Sargent Graham. I believe we are to stand in a Queue now."
   Seeing that his chance was gone, Mason gave up (both trying to get rid of him and figuring out what on earth a Q was suppose to be) and trotted over and stood in the end of the line with Conner on the right side, with the others continuing down the line after him.
   "Listen up, laddies: I'm only going to say this once," the deep, booming Scottish voice called down the line of trainees. Mason straightened his posture, along with the others as he approached. "My name is M.B.G., but you'll call me Sargent Graham, or sir."
   Mason peered down the line and saw him: He was an imposing figure, tall, taller than Mason's dad (and that's saying something), bald, with stubble on his face, and clothes much like that of the trainees. His green eyes flamed, staring down each rookie, practically glaring into their very souls.
   "I've been a Watchman since I was 19 years old," Sargent Graham informed them sternly as he marched back and forth down the line, "I've been through more missions than I care to count, and I've trained 17 squads and plan to train many more. And you are all going to survive, there is no turning back now. Unless an unfortunate event happens to occur, which has only happened twice under my watch."
   The trainees glanced nervously to each other, wondering about what had happened to those two.
   "Now a Watchman has some key values that you'll learn," Graham continued, "One: We do everything we can not to kill. I know it may come as a surprise to some of you as it did me, but Watchmen believe in life and second chances. We will not stoop as low as to do what the enemy does to us, which is why we use stun weaponry.
   Two: A Watchman is on time. Always. We arrive the second we are suppose to, not a moment sooner, not a moment later. It's practically our trademark.
   Three: Watchmen work in pairs and believe in the strength of teamwork. Yes, there are full squads, but those are made up of separate teams of two. There are nine of you in this squad, one of you isn't going to get along with the others. They will go to the naughty class, where the bad boys go. But that means everyone else must find a teammate. You are going to learn to work together, and it's your differences that make the best of teams.
   Now step forward and give your initials, then your first name and last name. It's protocol to call you by your initials, but I prefer to use your last name. It's easier to remember and yell. But the squad will call you by your first name. And if you're one of the three Supers, say so."
   Mason flinched. There were other Supers than himself?
   "Shoot," Graham nodded to the first in line, which was Duke.
   He nearly jumped forward, and said very loudly like he was a soldier, "D.S.Y., Duke York, and I am a Super."
   What? A Super?
Mason sputtered to himself. He couldn't believe that they had anything in common.
   Next, the brown haired boys hopped forward, and there names were Felipe and Jean-Claude Rousseau, They sounded French, and they made it quite clear that they were twins.
   Graham nodded to the next in line, the red haired guy, who moved forward and spoke more gently than Duke and the brothers had. "G.F.O., Gabriel O'Malley, and I'm a Super."
   The following guy was African American, and his name was Jared Washington, and the next one (the blondy's) name was Chris Wilson (he carried himself with a snobbish air), and then Hank Sulaven, who had black hair and acted like a soldier.
   Next up was Conner, who smiled brightly and stepped forward. "C.J.M., Conner McKee."
   Mason did the same, except he was less cheery than Conner was. "M.W.K., Mason Kruger. I'm a Super."
   "Now that we all know each other," Graham cracked his knuckles, "I've obviously already read up on all of you, but when I say your name, you step forward. McKee," he dictated.
   Conner didn't waste a moment to come forward with a smile on his face and a jump in his step. "Yes sir?" Without a response, Graham took no time before slugging Conner directly in the face. He was so surprised that he fell backwards when the blow was made and hit the floor hard.
   After a second of the squad staring in shock at Conner groaning on the floor, he half-turned back and sputtered with a hand over his bleeding nose to his Sargent, "What was that for?"
   "Clearly," he began flatly, "you've never been punched in the face, not even by a sibling."
   Now Conner was fuming, but in his own was-that-really-necessary? way, which kind of reminded Mason of an angry squirrel. "No, my mum didn't let me punch my sister. I live in a Christian home," Conner sniffed, "Thank you very much."
   "Pity, would have helped if she did," he continued emotionlessly. "Washington."
   Jared stepped forward and was immediately given the same treatment by him. "Now," Graham continued, "Note that he didn't fall back, but stood firm and absorbed the blow."
   "Unlike McKee, who took it like a girl," Duke commented with a sly grin, and first Chris's then all the squad's chuckles followed. Conner shrank, embarrassed, as Mason stayed silent.
   "I will do the talking." Graham stated, taking back their attention. "You can tell who has fought more: clearly McKee hasn't had much training, and Washington has. Where were you schooled?"
   "I was homeschooled," Conner replied, still holding his nose.
   Jared shrugged, "Public schooled."
   "You see the difference. McKee has had a quieter life than Washington, and that makes a big difference in your training. You have to learn to fight through the pain, and you will, you all will," he emphasized, glancing at Conner. "Now if you're a Super, show us what you do."
   Duke wasted no time in stepping forward and showing off. It surprised everyone, and gave Mason the creeps. His skin disappeared like a chameleon's, blending into the background. But it did leave his clothes, which appeared to float in thin air. He's disappearing.
   "That's enough, York," he settled everyone down with a stern tone as Duke stepped back in line. "O'Malley, let's see what you can do."
   Gabe nodded, snapped his finger, and a single small flickering flame appeared directly above it.
   "That's marvelous!" Conner gaped as the squad marveled at the ability.
   "Kruger is the second closest member of the Watchmen to being a Super Soldier," Graham explained for Mason.
   The guys eyed him suspiciously, not sure of what to think of him. After all, he looked a bit under-fed, un-kept, and hair uncut.
   "I know all of you have gone through some kind of training, physical and mental, but this is going to be different. You've had enough rest, time to get moving!"

   The track went all the way from the outside around the grounds (which included lots of trees and obstacle course that Graham informed them they would take tomorrow) back inside through the main training rooms and back outside again. This wasn't too tiresome, there was no one else on the track and there were no hurdles to jump. But there was a rather steep hill they had to run up.
  Mason's new ability was quite helpful in running long distances. He was not nearly as tired as the others, and ran at a steady pace in the front of the pack, before Duke, Chris, Hank, and Jared who were pretty fast themselves. Gabe and the French twins were in the back with Conner bringing up the rear.
   Even from the front, due to his extra sensitive hearing, he could hear Conner puffing along, struggling to keep up with the rest of the pack as Graham yelled at him such helpful sentiment as "Cmon ladies! My daughter has more life in her than you! Get moving!!" Graham was spending most of his time in the back trying to keep Conner going, but still raced up to yell at the boys in the front to keep it up.
   Ugh! Mason inwardly groaned. It hurts just to hear the guy try so hard! "Is anybody gonna help him?" he suggested to the others about Conner.
   Duke scoffed, "No way! Survival of the fittest!"
   "Man, the redhead is never gonna live through this!" Chris added with a laugh between heavy breaths.
   Mason rolled his eyes. Somebody needed to give him a hand. But obviously, no one was volunteering. If he backed down and helped him out, he'd loos his place to sly dog Duke. If he left didn't move, Conner would probably pass out, but hey, Mason would finish in first. But he still felt a twinge when Duke had made the remark earlier about Conner taking a hit like a girl. He sighed. I'm gonna regret this.
   Slowing down, he let Duke (who took full advantage of the situation and raced ahead), Chris, Hank, Jared, Gabe, the the twins pass by and let Conner catch up with him. "Cmon, man! You've gotta make it!" Conner could hardly breath, much less answer. But his eyes showed his gratitude when he continued to encourage him along. "You can make it, Con! Just keep up with me! One, two, three, one, two..." Mason counted his steps, keeping Conner in beat (if you could call it that). "We can do this!" Conner smiled as they stepped in sink with each other, continuing down the track.
   When they finished, just as Mason had predicted, Duke was in first, then Jared, Hank, Chris, Gabe, the twins, and Conner and himself finishing in the back of the pack.
   "Whoo who!" Duke gloated at them. "Losers! I won, I won, I won-"
   "It wasn't a race," Graham corrected him. "You did make good time, but we're going to have to work on some of you."
   Conner nodded, still catching his breath. Mason gave him a slap on the back that nearly made him fall forward. "Good job. You'll do better next time, you've just gotta work at it."
   Conner smiled gratefully. "Thank you, Mason. I need all the help I can get."
   "Obs!" Duke mocked. "You're never gonna make it, red head."
   "I'm not a red head!" Conner protested, running  his hand conscientiously through his short red/blond hair. "It's caramel, thank you very much."
   Mason shaded his eyes out of embarrassment. "Uh, Con?"
   "If you want to make friends, don't ever say that again."
   "Oh," Conner blushed.
   "Alright boys," Graham called for their attention, "Let's get back to work!"
   The rest of the day was spent lifting weights, doing pull ups, and every other form of exercise imaginable (no, Mason didn't have a degree in exercising, but what is a Isometric exercise anyway?). All he knew was that by the end of the day, all of them where sweating, panting, and wishing for the day to be over. Conner was doing to worst out of everyone, the poor guy's face was as red as a apple, and he was breathing hard.
    Duke wasn't fairing much better, he was sweating bullets just like the others. "Man, this is sure a workout," he commented as he began to take his sweat-soaked shirt off.
   "Hey, York!" Graham startled him with a holler. "Keep your shirt on! Eesh," he muttered to himself. "Boys."
   The squad bust out laughing and Duke began to look positively burgundy.

   "Today wasn't a bad start," the Sargent informed his squad when the day was coming to a close and they had been brought to their one room bunk. "You boys did a decent job. We're going to do most of those exercises every day from now on, and also fit in more tactical training and team work. Don't worry, I'll be showing you how to do everything. Now get some sleep, and be up and in Main Training Room C at 7:15."
   The squad waited until he left the room to collapse onto their beds in exhaustion.
   "My body aches," Conner groaned from the bottom bunk.
   "Shut up, McKee," Duke sneered.
   "We're all tired," Gabe added quietly, despite Duke's glare. "Keep calm and carry on."
   Mason rolled his eyes at Duke's comment and scanned the room. Since he was bunking with the rest of the squad and wasn't getting his own room, he would have to pick a bunk. There were three bunk beds and one triple bed lining a wall, enough for all of them. There was one desk in the corner on the other side and their trunks on the other. It wasn't too crowded, but the beds didn't look too cushy, either. Duke grabbed the top bunk and Chris got the bottom of one bunk bed, and Jared, Gabe, and Hank grabbed another, and the twins snatched one for themselves. And that left none other than Conner, who patted the top bunk and smiled. "This one's free."
   Why can't I just take the other room? he thought to himself as he jumped onto the top bunk.
   "Thanks for giving me a hand back there," Conner spoke to him meekly through the bunk.
   "Don't get used to it," Mason yawned.
   Soon enough, Mason's sensitive ears were full of snoring and Conner's whispered prayers. Mason was going to ask him to pray for Ava, but what was the point? He didn't believe there was a God. But deep down, that God-shaped vacuum was still open, tugging at him. Batting those thoughts away, he instead thought over the day's happenings and knew that he was one step closer to finding his cousin and holding her in his arms again.

And there you have it! If you liked something in particular about the characters, please, let me know! It's been a challenge to make them all different from each other. Any suggestions? 
Once I post this, I'm going to go edit the character page and add in his teammates. 
Next week, we get to hear more from Duke (I know, great, right?), Conner, and of course, Mason). 

Well, I think that's it... have a nice day :)



  1. Awesome! I love Connor, and I am so happy that Mason helped him in the running! (I don't really like duke XD)

  2. Bravo, D!!! Loved it!! I think Jean-Claude, Felipe, and Gabriel all sound really cool x)

  3. :) I love it!!! I esp. love this part: "Hey, York!" Graham startled him with a holler. "Keep your shirt on! Eesh," he muttered to himself. "Boys." I love Graham's character, and how Mason is hard, but with a little bit of heart deep down somewhere. I love how Conner is a bit naive :) And how none of the characters are perfectly good, but still have their quirks... Makes it more believable...

  4. This chapter is my favorite out of all.

    1. Really? Cool! Why do you like this chapter, if you don't mind me asking?

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  7. Okay, so initially I said "I think I'm really going to like Gabe," but then auto-correct completely messed it up, so I just decided to delete my previous comments. Oh, and I like Hank, Mason, Conner, and Ava too!! You have a great cast of characters, Darrion!!!

    1. Okay, that's fine! Auto-correct messes a tone of things up for me >:(
      So, anyway, thank you for reading :) I'm glad you like the characters. I like Gabe, too. He's kind of shy, but nicer than some other people (hint hint at Duke).


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