Welcome folks, to the third installment of Guess The Author!
The rules are simple! Simply PM me, Zaratan, with who you believe wrote each story. Send me your answers in one PM, to make things easier on me. No other method will be accepted. The person closest will get to choose the next subject for the contest! In the case of a tie, the person to get their response in first will get the win!
Brother to Vorlons got the win last time, though it was a close one. As such, he got to pick this month's story topic… Training! This one has created quite a group of stories, so sit back and enjoy!
Zaratan – Host supreme, contest starter, Fannie Award creator, writer extrodinaire... yeah yeah, I'll shut up now.
Yvj – A master at the art of the one-shot, and with several major stories, this artist is looking to claim a spot at the top.
Surforst - One-shot master, with a string of off-beat stories that tie together in a complex tapestry.
Aedan cameron - A new writer, but one that has hit the net with a bang!
Spectre666 - Comedy master, drama supreme, this writer does it all!
King in Yellow - This author has hit the scene in a huge way, and has crafted a remarkable series in just a few short months!
Cpneb - This author has taken an approach that has never been done, and has crafted a series of stories that explores in greater detail a number of characters that have never been explored in such a manner, with a depth that belies description.
There you have it folks! Be sure to check out all the stories, and place your votes before December 20th for a chance to win and choose the next topic!
"Wow, look at that!" the young blond behind the ticket counter whispered to the older woman at the console next to her. Her friend turned to see what she was talking about. A man in an Army dress uniform was approaching the counter. He was of average height and they could tell he was in good shape from the way the uniform fit him. As he strode towards the counter they could see that he had short cropped red hair, brilliant blue eyes, and a pearly white smile.
"I've always liked a man in uniform," the older woman replied quietly while he was still out of earshot.
"Yah, he looks," the young blond paused. "Just incredible."
The young man stepped up to the counter, a handsome smile coming across his face. "Good morning ladies. I called ahead for a flight to Middleton."
"Can I have your name please?" asked the older woman.
"Of course, its Credible, Justin Credible," he replied, handing over his identification.
The young blond blushed and giggled.
It was a long boring flight to Middleton. He was used to long boring flights though. They happened a lot when you were in an Army Special Forces rapid response team. He was just happy that there was something better than a firefight waiting for him at the end of this journey. The plane touched down and people rushed for the aisle. He waited, helping an old woman carry her carry on bag.
"Thank you so much, you kind, kind boy," the older woman said, smiling at him.
"Happy to help Mam," he said, leading her off the plane.
At the waiting area a middle-aged gentleman called out to the woman, rushing forward to embrace her. "Mom, I'm so glad you were able to make it!" he began.
Justin smiled and set the bag down next to the two of them and walked further down the aisle way to his own reception. A beautiful redhead in her twenties stood holding the hand of a young redheaded girl. Beside her stood a young man in a white lab coat, sporting a pocket protector.
"Uncle Justin!" shrieked the young girl, rushing into his arms. "I missed you!"
"I missed you too kiddo," he said, picking her up. "Hello James. Annie! How have you been Sis?"
"Hello Justin," James said with a nervous wave. He had been a little nervous around Justin ever since Justin had 'the talk' with him. It had involved Anne's happiness, deep-sea fishing, and the Mariana deep-sea trench.
"We've been great Justin, you know that, you call enough!" She smiled up at her older brother, happy to have him home again. "I bet you're famished after such a long flight. Let's all go get some dinner."
"Sounds good sis, after we pick up my bags." Justin turned around as someone tapped him on the shoulder. It was a middle-aged man, the man whose mother Justin had carried the bag off of the plane for.
"Excuse me young man, but I'd like to thank you for carrying my mother's bag out for her. It's unusual for such a young person to show such manners. I'd like to shake your hand." The man stuck out his hand to Justin.
Justin shifted his niece, Kim, to his left arm and warmly shook the man's hand. "No big deal sir. That's the way it should be."
He looked down at Justin's nametag on his uniform. "Well thank you Mr. Credible. I see you have an airborne patch, I was in the 101 myself."
"It's good to meet a fellow soldier sir," Justin said.
"Please, the name is Sam Wright." He pulled out a business card and handed it to Justin. I own a charter plane, if you ever feel the need to jump, just for fun, give me a jingle."
"Thank you sir, I may take you up on that sometime."
The man dipped his head to Justin and turned back to his mother, leading her to exit.
"That was unusual," James noted.
"It's the uniform," Justin replied, smiling as they headed towards the baggage area and then, a nice meal with his favorite relatives.
Kim Possible was up early that morning. She was watching her favorite uncle do a strange dance in the backyard. "Mommy, can I go out back and watch uncle Justin?" Kim asked excitedly.
"Sure Kimmie, let me put a sweater on you first." Ann went to the closet and pulled out a sweater for Kim.
"I can get it myself Mommy," piped the five year old.
"I know baby, just let me get it." Her mother slipped the sweater over her head and let her out into the backyard. "Justin, Kimmie is out here, she wants to watch you," she hollered to her brother.
Justin paused from practicing his forms. "Sure thing Ann, I'll keep an eye on her." He restarted his practice as Kim looked on, fascinated. She began mimicking his movements, trying to learn 'the dance'.
"Look at me Uncle, look at me!" Kim shouted as she danced.
Justin watched as Kim moved. "Wow, she's a natural. Good balance, fluid movement." He walked over to her and corrected her arm movement. "Like this kiddo," he said, showing her how to perform the block properly.
"What kind of dance is this Uncle?" Kim asked.
"It is called a taolu Kimmie. It is a form of practice for Kung fu," he replied.
"It's fun, can you show me more? Please?" she asked sweetly.
"I don't know if I should kiddo."
Kim used her ultimate weapon, the puppy dog pout. "Pweeeease?"
Justin's resistance melted as he looked at his niece. "Oh, OK. But I'll have to talk to your mother about it first." Ann said it would be fine. Suddenly dancing taolu was Kim's favorite pastime.
It was three weeks into Justin's stay at the Possible household. He was enjoying the time spent with his extended family and was a bit sad it had to end in just a few short days. He like being in the Army though, the camaraderie, the training, and the importance of what he was doing gave him a sense of pride. He loved it. He was going to miss his sister and even James, but especially his niece, Kim. He decided he would take them all out to the circus in Lowerton as a way of thanking them for letting him stay with them.
"So do you like the acrobats Kimmie?" Justin asked. Kim was seated on her mother's lap laughing gleefully as the acrobats preformed. They moved in perfect harmony together, flipping and cart wheeling across the ring.
"Yes! I do! I do!" she replied as she clapped, yawning.
"When you get older, I can show you how to do some of that stuff kiddo," Justin said smiling at her.
"Really?" Kim looked up at her uncle beaming.
"Sure Kiddo, if your mother and father don't mind."
"Mommie can I?"
"We'll see Kimmie, in a few years. We should get going though, it's getting a little late for you to be up." Ann said. She knew that he husband didn't like 'show folk' and was humoring her and his Kimmie-cub to come at all. It had a good evening though and they had seen many wonderful things. But like all good things it had to come to an end. Kim needed to be put to bed and they still had to drive home.
It was quite dark when they left the main circus tent. They walked out into the parking lot and went over to their car. As they wove between the aisles of cars in the parking lot they noticed there was a scuffle coming from the aisle across from their car. A little ways in front of them were two men beating another man to the ground. "Get his wallet!" the first man said to the second. A third man stood over a woman, probably the man's wife and tore a gold necklace off of her neck.
Justin tensed up. "James, get your family in the car and lock the doors. Then call the police." He began walking towards the men.
"Justin, you don't have to be a hero, there's three of them," Ann cried to him, trying to get him to stop.
"It's what I do Ann, please get in the car," he replied without looking back. "Hey, leave them alone, the police are on the way!" he yelled at the three men.
They turned, just noticing him. The biggest one piped up. "Beat it chump, before you get some of the same."
"Or better yet, toss your wallet over too," another sneered at him.
"I don't take orders from men like you. Now just step away from them and we won't have a problem here." Justin stopped about twenty feet from them.
The big one spoke up again. "Oh you're going to have a problem all right buddy. A problem chewing your food without teeth." He cracked his knuckles, nodding to his accomplice. They circled around to opposite sides of Justin.
Kim and her parents watched from inside the car. James was on the phone with 911 reporting the situation. Kim had tears rolling down her cheeks in fear for her uncle. She watched as the smaller man charged in.
Justin saw the man coming and neatly blocked the punch the man threw. He lashed out with a punch and followed it up with a roundhouse kick, knocking the man down. The bigger one took advantage Justin's back being turned and rushed in, but Justin ducked under his blow. He spun away and squared off again. The man threw another couple of punches that Justin blocked. Justin threw a couple of kicks at the man's thighs to soften him up. The man tried to rush in but Justin responded with a high kick, catching him in the head and stunning him. He dropped down and spun into a foot sweep, taking the man's legs out from under him, causing him to crash to the ground in a heap.
Kim watched in amazement. "Mommie. Mommie. Uncle Justin is doing the taolu dance." It was just like he had been showing her for the last few weeks, only much faster. The other men's 'dancing' seemed clumsy and slow in comparison.
The man standing over the woman watched as Justin took down his friends. He quickly pulled out a knife and rushed at him.
Justin heard the footsteps coming in behind him and turned just in time to block the stab the man was coming at him with. The block earned him a nice cut across his forearm. His face hardened and his eyes flashed in anger. The first man that Justin dropped struggled up to his feet. The situation was really getting serious.
"If you drop the knife and you both sit down until the police come I won't have to hurt you." Justin stepped back into a defensive stance.
The man with the knife rushed in to stab at him again and Justin grabbed his arm. He twisted the man's hand to the side and stepped into him, feeling the man's arm crunch as the bone snapped. He threw the man on his stomach sticking his knee into the man's back and taking away the knife. The other man who had just gotten to his feet pulled out a knife as well and was going to rush in. Justin threw the knife, embedding it into the man's leg. He dropped to the ground with a yell, dropping his knife and clutching at his leg. The big man started to get up.
"Sit. Down." Justin said with authority. The big man looked at his two accomplices and decided it was best to listen.
The police arrived, followed shortly by an ambulance. The woman and her husband were taken care of and the criminals were hauled away after receiving care. The police took reports from Justin, Ann, and James before they were allowed to leave. Justin had a bandage on his arm where he had been cut. It would require stitches, but he'd have his sister do that when they got home. They loaded up into the car and left.
"Uncle, I didn't know that our dancing could work like that." Kim stated to her uncle sitting beside her, her tears now dry on her face.
"I know you didn't Kim, and I don't like having to use it like that. But if I hadn't, they would have hurt those innocent people even more than they already had. Or they would have found someone else to hurt. That is why I learned Kung fu, to defend myself and help other people. I want you to remember that you only can use those dances to defend yourself too." Justin was looking into her eyes trying to judge whether or not she understood. He decided he would talk to her parents about what he had been thinking about a few years sooner than he had planned to.
The next day Justin took Kim and her parents to a dojo to show Kim how their 'taolu dance' was used in martial arts competitions. Kim watched as her uncle talked to the man in charge of the dojo. He had said the man was Mr. Parks and had taught him when he was younger. They bowed as they finished their talk and her uncle came back. "He has agreed to let us watch his students spar to show you what the sport aspect of this is all about. It is like the fighting I did against those men last night but they don't actually try to hurt each other. They hit lightly like this." He touched her arm with his fist to show her that the boys wouldn't be hurting each other.
Mr. Parks called two of his students forward to the sparring circle. They bowed to each other and began to spar. Kim watched and was once again amazed by the way the 'dance' she had learned was used to fight. The boys finished their bout and bowed to each other, returning to the line. Mr. Parks turned to Kim.
"Young child, I have been told about your taolu that you perform. Would you be kind enough to show me?" he said gently.
Kim looked up at her mother apprehensively. Her mother smiled down at her warmly and nodded her head. "Go ahead sweetie, if you want to."
Kim let go of her mother's hand and walked out onto the floor. She closed her eyes in concentration and breathed just like her uncle taught her to. She opened her eyes and began her dance. When she was done she bowed, the class looked on in amazement. Mr. Parks had a small smile on his face as he bowed slightly to Kim.
Mr. Parks went over to talk to James and Ann. "Your daughter has talent, Mr. and Mrs. Possible. I normally do not except students into my classes until they are at least eight years old, but I think in this case we can make an exception. She will not be able to spar for several years though."
"We will have to talk it over, she is so young," Mr. Possible said.
"I understand, here is my card," he handed them a business card. "If you decide you want her to learn call me. I will hold a spot open for her."
"Thank you Sensei," Justin said bowing. Ann and James thanked him as well and they left to enjoy Justin's last day there, his leave was just about over.
The parting at the airport was especially hard for Kim. Her uncle had taken care of her for the last month he was here and she had grown quite attached to him. Kim was in her mother's arms, her father standing next to them both. Her parents had already said their farewells to Justin but Kim wasn't talking to him. She knew he would come back next summer, he had said so and had never lied to her, but she was still upset he was leaving.
"I'm going to miss you kiddo." He hugged her and kissed her head gently, and turned to walk down the concourse to the plane.
"I love you Uncle Justin!" Kim yelled after him, trying her best not to cry.
Justin turned around and smiled at her, embracing her in a hug she tightly returned. "I love you too kiddo, take care of your Mom and Dad for me." He let go and picked up his bag, walking to the stewardess and handed her his ticket with a tear in his eye. Getting on a plane had never been so hard.
Kim held the flowers in a sweaty grip. It was June 3rd in the summer after her junior year in high school. She was dressed in a nice floral dress, with her hair pulled back into a ponytail. She walked slowly down the sidewalk in Middleton Park, taking in the familiar sites that brought back so many memories. She thought back to the June days of her youth. They were often spent laughing and playing with her uncle, he had liked to bring her brothers and her here. Justin had been true to his word and come back to stay with her family for a month that summer and every other summer until she turned fourteen. She remembered those times fondly. He had taught her so many of the things that he himself found fascinating. They had continued practicing numerous styles of Kung fu and had eventually begun sparring. He had shown her various acrobatic maneuvers and had taken Ron and her rock climbing. The last year he was there he had finally convinced Ron to jump with them out of Mr. Wright's airplane. She had been heartbroken when the Army officers came to their house bearing a flag. They had told the story of the ambassador's family that had been trapped in the embassy by guerilla resistance fighters. Justin's squad was sent in to rescue them. They were given bad intel on the number of evacuees though, and the chopper couldn't carry them all. Justin volunteered to stay behind and hold off the enemy forces until they got away. The ensuing firefight was fierce but the guerillas eventually took the house after bombarding it with mortar shells. His body was never recovered. Her brothers and her gathered donations and had a statue of an angel in a fountain donated to the park that he used to take Kim, Jim, and Tim to when they were little. She placed the flowers down next to the statue bearing the words:
In memory of:
SFC Justin Credible
June 3rd, 2000
Beloved Uncle, Brother, and Friend
She remembered what he had often told her when she complained about how much time the Army kept him from her family. She remembered that phrase every time she was called for a mission and was tired, at a dance, or just hanging out with her friends. "Freedom isn't free." It's something that so few people ever really think about. Justin understood it, and Kim can honestly say that she does now as well.