Nal paused at the site of the huge alien before him - he was a bright blue with sharp teeth that were currently ripping a chunk of meat off the bone. His eyes were red rimmed with gold and he wore what appeared to be a tunic and nothing else. "Well," he growled, spitting chunks of food as he spoke, "What have you got that's worth my time?"
"D-Devon Levin," Nal managed to stutter out.
"Is dead," JakJak snarled. "Laid waste by Ragnarok, it seems..." he gulped his food down and picked one of the bones off the table, snapping it in two before using one of the pieces to pick at his teeth. "Shame I didn't get to him first."
"His son is still alive," Nal managed to croak out. "I could help you find him..."
Were JakJak a wiser alien, he might have realist the futility of this. Certainly nothing was to be gained from killing an old enemy's son, especially with that enemy dead and buried. But no one had ever accused JakJak of being wise - cruel, sadistic and evil, yes...but certainly never wise.
"Tell me where he is."
"In good time," Nal felt himself growing braver. He had something JakJak wanted, and this was good enough that he would be able to trade.
"Very well," JakJak threw both pieces of bones over his shoulder. "Tell me what you want in return..."
"Kevin?" Tex poked his head out of his cave and motioned for Kevin to follow him. Kevin shrugged at the other half humans before following Tex into the cave.
"What's this about?"
"If anything happens to me," Tex pulled a remote out of his pocket, "I want you to get back here and press '3039' on this remote. Try to get the others back with you if you can."
"Why? What does this do?" Kevin demanded, though he already had the remote in his hands and was examining it.
"You'll see, kid. But only if something happens to me." Tex sighed and leaned back against the wall, sinking down slowly until he was sitting. "You're not a bad kid."
"Tell that to my mom," Kevin snorted.
Tex didn't answer, he merely closed his eyes, resting his head against the cave's wall. "This is going to be a long night for all of us, especially you. You'd be surprised how much one night could change a person..."
"Great, geezer story time?"
"No. You should get some rest while you still can. I'll stand watch for you," Tex attempted to stand himself up, but lost his grip on his cane and slipped. He caught himself before he actually fell, but Kevin found himself actually feeling sorry for the old man.
"Nah, I'm a lot younger than you are. You get some rest. I'll stand guard," he didn't give Tex the option to refuse. He ran off before Tex could say anything, going back outside with the others. All except Pierce were asleep. "You should get some rest, too."
Pierce shook his head. "Not now...If we're attacked someone will need to be guarding us...someone trustworthy."
Kevin rolled his eyes at the implication, but didn't bother to argue with Pierce. In spite his determination, Kevin felt his eyelids growing heavier. Moments later he fell to the ground, fast asleep.
"Wake up, they're here!" Pierce screamed it as he ran through the camp, ensuring that everyone was awake and handing out his spikes and some ray guns to any aliens who were unarmed.
Kevin recognized the alien he'd stolen food from standing beside a hulking blue beast he instantly figured must have been JakJak. Behind the pair of them were several other criminals Kevin recognized and even more he'd never seen before. Mercenaries, bought with the riches JakJak had managed to amass through sheer strength alone.
"Hand over Kevin Levin," JakJak growled, "There is no need to fight. Your army is small. You will lose."
"Numbers ain't everything, JakJak!" Tex called, quickly drawing one of his guns and blasting. The ray hit JakJak squarely in the stomach but just bounced off his skin, ricocheting and hitting one of the aliens closest to him. The alien groaned and went down.
"That won't work on me."
"Gee, cause we didn't just figure that out on our own," Kevin called sarcastically. "You're just as smart as you are pretty, and man, you ain't pleasant to look at." He leaned down and coated himself with stone before taking a running leap at JakJak, managing to hit him in the head with enough force to knock him back. "Looks like this works, though!"
"Don't get cocky," Tex called at him, "Concentrate on taking him down, we'll handle the rest of them!"
With that, the other half humans rushed forward, guns blazing as they attempted to take out any of JakJak's army. Kevin watched them for a moment before a hit brought him back to his own fight. JakJak had caught him in the stomach, knocking him to the ground. He gasped for a moment, winded, feeling like he might throw up.
"What's the matter? At least your old man could take a punch!"
"Shut up about my dad! You don't deserve to talk about him!" Kevin was too angry to focus on the fight and think rationally. Instinctively, he attempted to kick JakJak, but the alien was too fast for him - he seized his leg and once more tossed him.
Kevin pushed himself back up and ran at him, attempting to clothesline the alien, but JakJak was simply too large to be taken down that way. This time, JakJak caught him by the neck and lifted him up, squeezing with all his might. "It's not Devon...but at least I get to end one Levin..."
Kevin felt himself growing dizzy. He tried to struggle against the monstrous grip, but he was losing energy too fast, knowing that if he didn't find some way out of this he'd be dead within the next few seconds. His eyes closed and thought he was about to give in when he felt something warm splash against his cheek and the grip suddenly loosened. He was dropped unceremoniously on his behind as JakJak howled in pain.
A moment later, he was able to asses what had happened - Tex had grabbed one of Pierce's quills and snuck up close enough to stab JakJak with enough force to cause him to bleed. "How'd you get the quill through him when the phaser wouldn't work?" Kevin demanded.
"JakJak's an energy species, kind of like you are...his skin can repel phaser blasts because of their energy signature, but simple things like knives...no protection against that for them," Tex explained.
"Nice one...I owe you one," Kevin added as an after thought.
Tex smirked. "Tell you what, you behave yourself when you get back to Earth and we'll call it even. Your dad wouldn't have wanted you to be getting in all this trouble."
Unfortunately, because of their conversation they were distracted from JakJak, who'd pulled the quill out of his skin. Neither Tex nor Kevin saw him carefully take aim.
Kevin blinked. One moment Tex was standing in front of him, a little worn but healthy, the next he'd fallen to his knees, and Kevin spotted the quill in his back.
"Oh man...we'll get that out of you, one second," Kevin said, kneeling down beside Tex. "Don't worry, we'll get it out, you're going to be fine."
"Stop worrying, you sound like an old man," Tex snorted. "I'll be..." he coughed and tried to hide the blood flowing out of his mouth by covering his mouth with his hands. "I'll be fine..."
"We've gotta get you to a doctor..."
"No need," This time it was JakJak talking. "He'll be dead soon, and you'll be going with him."
"You're wrong," Kevin snapped at him. He refused to stand up, choosing to remain at Tex's side. "He's wrong," this time he spoke to Tex, "You're gonna make it through. Then we'll go to Texas together for that fishing trip of yours, okay?"
Tex shook his head. "Kid, I ain't much longer for this world. You wanna help me, you won't pull any of this touchy feely crap and you'll just promise me you'll go back to Earth and turn your life around..."
"I...I'll try," Kevin promised.
"Good...now go kick that piece of trash's butt," Tex muttered, blinking rapidly. His breath was becoming more shallow with each word, his gasping for air desperate for a moment. Kevin nodded, and helped Tex to lay down. It was only a few seconds more before Tex's heart stopped.
"Well, you heard the old man," Kevin said, cracking his knuckles, "It's not nice to deny someone their last wish...so I'm taking you down."
Kevin absorbed a nearby rock before taking a flying leap at JakJak. The alien batted him aside as though he were a fly. Kevin pushed himself off the ground, spitting out blood as he brushed himself off. "Is that the best you can do?" he taunted.
"You're the bloody one," JakJak pointed out. Behind them the fighting had increased as the half aliens fought desperately against the mercenaries JakJak had brought. Kevin watched them for a moment, a sudden idea coming to him.
"Hey, Tubby! How well can you keep up?" Kevin took off in a mad dash, hoping this would work.
"Running away? You're just making this harder on yourself," JakJak came chasing after, the ground shaking with each step he took. Kevin weaved in and out of the other fights, and JakJak attempted to do the same - only with the alien's monstrous size, he couldn't dodge the others as easily as Kevin could, and before he realized he was being played he'd accidentally knocked out a number of his own men. Glancing around, it finally dawned on him. "You did this on purpose!"
"Helping the others out was just a coincidence," Kevin shrugged, setting a hand on Pierce's shoulder, who in turn gave him a bewildered look. "This was my real goal," he grabbed onto one of Pierce's quills. Realizing what he was up to, he grew the quill out until it broke off of him. "Thanks."
"Just returning the favor..." Pierce's attention returned to his own group, "We outnumber them now, guys...let's get 'em!"
As Pierce's rag tag 'army' rushed what remained standing of JakJak's men, Kevin twirled his quill.
"What? You think this makes you the good guy?" JakJak taunted. "Killing you wouldn't be worth it. You're nothing like your dad."
"No. I'm not," Kevin admitted. "Which is why I'm going to do this..." he smirked as he ran at JakJak, his aim perfect. The quill sunk into JakJak's eye, and the gigantic alien fell onto his back, Kevin landing on his stomach. He stood there a minute, making sure he'd driven the quill deep enough.
JakJak would not be getting back up.
Kevin cracked his neck before drawing the remote from his pocket. The others were too far off for him to call to them and they were caught up in their fights. He still couldn't bring himself to care - after all, hadn't he already helped them more than he had to? - but he did hope they'd win. He whistled as he tossed the remote up in the air and caught it, making his way back to Tex's cave. When he reached the back, he pressed '3039', just like Tex had told him.
The first thing to happen was a compartment on the side of the wall opened, and a trunk came sliding towards him. He opened it up to find numerous guns and other devices, including what looked like a line for retrieving someone while scuba diving. On top was a note.
A portal will open when you close this trunk. You will have exactly one minute to cross over into your home. Sell the guns and find your way back to your mom. She probably misses you, though I can't say why anyone would miss your smart mouth around. If the others are with you, get them home safely. Either way, I've included some contacts. They're shady guys, but they'll get you a job - it'll be doing shady things, but I doubt you'll mind that. If you run into your old enemy again, at least leave his cousin out of it. She did nothing to you. Fight him like a man and don't cheat. Don't kill him, either. If he beats you again, accept your defeat. You saw today what continuing hatred can do to a person. Reading this means I'm certain JakJak's been killed, probably by you. You don't want to turn into JakJak, do you? Not even JakJak wants to be JakJak, so of course you don't. I've rambled long enough. Make sure you don't sell everything in the trunk, things like the Plumber's Snake could come in handy later.
~Theodore Evan Xavier.
Kevin pocketed the note before closing the trunk. Sure enough, a portal opened at the back of the cave. He shouldered the trunk before crossing through. He glanced back as the portal closed behind him and muttered "Thanks, Tex."
Kevin sat on the trunk, thinking for a while. How was he going to find out where his mother was? Even if she had a good explanation for everything, could he forgive her? Was Tex right about her missing him? He sighed. The only way to find out was to go find her.