Defenders Episode 1: Guardian Chapter 14

Chapter 14

The rest of the day went as normal as usual for Brandon. He continued to attend class and get his work done along with trying to keep his friend Dan focused. Once school ended, Brandon returned to the park to train more with his newly acquired powers. That was his pattern for the next several days. Each day after school, he would go to the park, train and then head home an hour before his mother got off work to prevent her from becoming suspicious. It’s a perfect situation that saves Brandon the trouble of lying to his mother.

One day, Brandon was running through some punching exercises. Since he began his speed has dramatically increased. He is able throw more punches in a short amount of time. Another thing Brandon noticed is that he wasn’t exerting himself as much. He learned how to manage his strength to a point where he can raise and lower his power at will rather than allowing it to happen spontaneously. Brandon discovered this covet ability a couple days ago when he wanted to see if he can break a large rock. The first time he tried it nothing happened. He hit it again. The result was the same. Eventually, Brandon grew frustrated and, in that moment, he drove his fist through the rock. Looking at the partly demolished rock made him realize that he needed to focus on controlling his powers. Brandon soon ends his punching exercises. He reflects for a moment on his progress over the past six days. “It isn’t as hard to do these drills as before. Probably because I haven’t done them in a while,” he says.

Brandon prepares to go through a couple techniques. While stretching, he notices the new layer of muscle mass on his arms. “Wow, all this working out is really giving me some bulk,” he says, flexing his arms. He checks himself over, taking in the noticeable changes in his physique. Once he’s done, Brandon sets his mind back on training. He takes a deep breath as he got into a stance. Suddenly, he feels a strange sensation; it tingled in the back of his mind. “What was that?” Brandon couldn’t make sense of it. The tingling sensation stayed at the back of mind. He doesn’t feel it anywhere else but that one spot. A couple moments pass and the tingle begins to move behind his ear. “Ok, I never heard of a moving headache.” The tingle intensifies, throwing Brandon’s senses on alert. It is then that he feels the presence of someone to his right. Turning right, Brandon sees a person wearing a dark cloak with a hood that obscured their face. Brandon looks at the person oddly. He found it strange for someone to be wearing a cloak in this day and age let alone on a warm day. He didn’t know why but there is something about the cloaked person that is putting him on edge.

“I don’t know what it is, but I don’t like the vibes I’m getting,” Brandon said quietly to himself. Every muscle in his body becomes tense. For a moment Brandon thought about avoiding a fight but his body and senses, both set on alert, are telling him otherwise. “It’s like my body got wind of something it doesn’t like. And I think I’m starting to agree.” Brandon decides to play it cool rather than doing anything to set his cloaked visitor off. “Hiya doin’? Nice day we’re havin’,” he says, banking that idle chit-chat would defuse the situation. The cloaked person gives no reaction. Brandon, sensing that his guest will only speak silently, tries a different approach. “Well, listen I have this thing about people standing over my shoulder watching me so I’m going to get back to my training so feel free to leave,” he says with sarcastic flare. However the stranger does not leave and takes a step forward instead. The simple step was enough the put Brandon on the offensive. But that wasn’t the only thing. “That weird sensation just got stronger for some reason. I’ve heard of something like this where a person can sense another person’s presence. Practitioners of Yoga and Buddhism refer to it as feeling someone’s Chi energy or aura. I guess that’s what I’m feeling from my cloak wearing friend here,” Brandon reckoned, “And what I feeling now is the rise in their aura. Wonder what happens now?”

No sooner than Brandon pondered his question, the cloaked person suddenly vanishes. Caught by surprise, Brandon begins searching for the cloaked person. He can feel their aura moving rapidly around him. Though the cloaked person is moving faster than the human eye Brandon, somehow, is able to keep a lock on them. Reacting to a strong sensation to his right, Brandon sways back to avoid a punch and then evades a fast kick with a quick hop backward. The cloaked person quickly closes the gap and thrusts forward another punch. Brandon blocks it and engages his unidentified guest in a speedy exchange of punches and kicks. The cloaked person is fast, attacking with speed that matched Brandon. Thanks to his training, Brandon is able to stave off his opponent’s assault, but just barely. The cloaked person drives at Brandon with another punch that gets blocked, and whips out a fast kick to Brandon’s chest. With him stunned, the cloaked person rushes in with a quick attack, a series of punch that ends with crushing uppercut. Then the cloaked person strikes Brandon’s jaw with an elbow and fades into a strong roundhouse kick, sending Brandon flying and slamming into a tree.

Brandon is a little slow to get up. The cloaked person’s kick was strong, but it didn’t cause him that much damage. He looks at his unknown assailant. “Alright slappy, now you’re in for it,” he said. Standing to his feet, Brandon takes a stance, showing his readiness. The cloaked person, though the face is obscured, looks back at Brandon. Then, like before, the person instantly vanishes. Brandon keeps track of his opponent’s movement; however, it is not as difficult as before. Soon he feels a strong presence slightly to his left. In a hair’s breath, he catches the cloaked person’s fist the moment he sees it.

“So you were ready to put some power behind this punch just like you did with that kick,” Brandon said, clenching the person’s fist tightly. He looks at his opponent’s face; he still can’t identify who’s under the hood. Strangely, the hood blotted the face out completely. No defining features can be seen nor the contour of the person’s face. Brandon is curious to see who is behind the hood. While still holding his opponent’s hand firmly, he reaches out with his right hand, only to have it slapped away when he went for the hood. “What’s wrong, bad hair day?” Brandon says with a charismatic flare, “C’mon, it can’t be that bad. What is it, dandruff, split ends?” The cloaked person didn’t seem to take a liking to Brandon’s taunting and lashes out with a fierce punch that only ends up being cleanly blocked.

“Hmph, can’t even take a joke, huh? At least now I know I can’t take you lightly,” said Brandon. Flashing a grin, he casually knocks the fist he just blocked aside and buries a punch deep in the cloaked person’s ribs. Brandon does not hold back as he releases the person’s right fist and bashes their face in with a hard left. He then drives an uppercut into the person’s chin and finishes with a fast and hard roundhouse kick to the side of the body. The mysterious person staggers from the powerful attack. Brandon can tell right away that his attacks were effective by the way his opponent was standing, like they were worn out. “Man, not even a yelp. Can I get an ‘ouch’? I’ll even take an ‘owie’,” said Brandon, commenting on the cloaked person’s silence.

The cloaked person thrusts one arm out to the side and quickly forms a yellow ball of energy and then hurls it at Brandon.

“Alright, I’ll play a game of catch,” Brandon said with a grin. With a quick twirl, he kicks the yellow energy ball back at its creator. The cloaked person jumps up, letting the ball of energy strike the ground. Suddenly the cloaked person is struck hard by Brandon when he connects with a shoulder ram. Gripping the cloak, Brandon whips his opponent around and hurls them straight into the ground with a thunderous slam. He lands afterward. “Now that introductions are out of the way, let’s get to know each other. I’ve got questions and you might have answers,” Brandon said. He then turns around only to find that the cloaked person is nowhere to be found. The crater left when he tossed his hooded opponent is devoid of a body. He regards the plight with a light heart, shaking his head shamefully. “Left without saying goodbye, some people,” Brandon says. He walks over to his book bag, which he sat next to a tree and picks it up. “Can’t even enjoy a nice day at the park without some nut bar wearing a cloak attacking you and what not,” he says as he put the book bag on his back. Less than a moment passes when he hears the siren of an approach police car. “Guess our little get together drew some attention. Better for me not to be here; it’d be kinda hard to explain what happened,” Brandon reckoned. He quickly takes to the sky before the police arrive.

During his fight with the cloaked person, someone nearby heard the two explosions and called the police. A police car arrives at the park where the fight took place. The officers were soon followed by a fire truck.

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