Patrol Abroad Chapter 5

By Captain Gaul

Gaul heard some muffled shouting and weapons firing, and so ran in the opposite direction. He stopped on a overpass, where he saw a train rumbling by underneath him. Thinking quickly, he jumped onto the train and held on tight as the engine picked up speed. The soldiers on the bridge held their fire, and instead jumped down and ran alongside the train, hoping to follow for just a bit longer.

Suddenly, there was another flash, and Gaul found himself on a different train. This one was a luxury train, whereas the last one was an urban express. Also, this train was obviously in a state of utter disrepair and neglect. Gaul leapt down from his position on the caboose’s roof and ran up to the next car. He checked in the door, saw the room to be filled with dozens of ghosts, milling about and chatting pleasantly. He did a double take, and still saw the ghosts. Rather than bother with this, he simply waited until the train reached a curve in the track, and jumped off.

With several bones broken from the landing, and still weary from his second dimensional jump that day, it was a struggle to crawl to his feet. After doing so, he limped off to the nearest town, which he could see on the horizon.

Four hours later, he decided that this world was much bigger than his own, and that the horizon was a lot further off. The monsters here behaved differently, and he didn’t like the change. At home, the monsters were usually predictable, you could usually run away before they had a chance to attack, and they never, ever attacked in open fields. Here, the monsters attacked randomly, brutally, and anywhere. These monsters were also considerably stronger than the ones at home, and he had to beat on them for quite some time before they’d leave him alone. After a while, he was too weak to fight back, and so had to run away. Also, these monsters would pursue you farther; running was harder. By the time he limped into town, he was battered, bleeding, worn out, panting for breath, and otherwise a real mess. Not having any currency the inn would accept, he stumbled back outside, took two steps, and collapsed asleep in front of the inn.

A few hours later, he awoke to some vague sounds he couldn’t quite discern. A minute later, his senses refocused, and he heard the unmistakable sound of maniacal laughter.

“Kefka, sir, are you sure?”

“Of course I am! This village disgusts me—burn it!”

Beams of concentrated fire shot through the air and set various homes ablaze. Gaul instinctively ducked behind a trash can and just missed getting hit. Angry, disgusted, and not thinking too clearly, Gaul crawled along the ground until he was close to his target, and then jumped up, smacked Kefka and on the back of the head, and punched him in the face as he turned around.

“Listen, PUNK!” He began as he grabbed Kefka by the neck, “I have been in more dimensions today than most people are in during a lifetime. I have been shot at, beaten on, spooked, bitten, spewed with boiling acid, infected, fried, frozen, and zapped, and what do I ask? A place to rest for a couple of hours while I recuperate. But NO--! Some idiot general who thinks he’s SPECIAL has to torch the place I’m trying to rest in! Tell me, punk, how do you think I feel?”

Kefka gibbered.

“Way wrong answer!” And Gaul threw another punch in Kefka’s face.


Meanwhile, in another dimension, Reno was flipping pages on his clipboard. “Now, let’s see, who can I send on this mission? KIA, KIA, POW, KIA, KIA, KIA, MIA, KIA—damn. Who’s left? Ray? Crud.” He paused, and looked out into the lunchroom. “Ray! Ray!”

Ray nearly choked on his bologna sandwich at the sound of someone important calling his name. He tried unsuccessfully to regain his composure, and ran up to his boss. “Yessa, yes-uh, yessir?”

“Ray,” Reno began, putting his hand on the young man’s shoulder, “of all the candidates to be Turks, I just want you to know that you are the most useless, least qualified, filthiest, rottenest, drunkest, weakest, stupidest, least professional, most cowardly loser who ever cheated to pass the written exam.” Tears rolled down Ray’s face. “That’s why I want you to take this mission.”

Ray’s jaw dropped.

“It’s not too complicated. The boys in the machine shop built this in a hurry—it works to trace otherworldly visitors back to where they came. Hold like this—no, no, goodman boy, like THIS—that’s it, and when the signal flatlines, hit this button—no, no, THIS button—and you’ll end up in that person’s world. Keep following the signal until you find the guy. I’ve taped his picture on here for reference. Okay, when you find him—oh, never mind. It’s all in the briefing. Read it carefully. Okay now, your car’s outside the door. Now go!” Reno shoved the still surprised boy into his car. He sighed. He wasn’t expecting to ever see the mysterious man again, but he filled the work request and gave Ray something to do. And maybe, just maybe, Ray wouldn’t come back. *One can only dream….*


The soldiers had formed an impenetrable ring around Kefka and the captain. The ones in the back, who knew they could shut up faster than Kefka could recognize them, were shouting “Fight! Fight! Fight!” while the ones in front were enjoying the show tremendously. For the most part, Kefka was losing the fistfight horribly, but they didn’t care. The soldiers liked Kefka about as much as they liked random executions or floggings, probably because those things usually went hand in hand.

Jab, jab, left hook, uppercut, roundhouse. Kefka’s nose was broken three times over and his face was oozing blood in several places. His head didn’t even have time to fly it’s total course from one punch before it was knocked a different way by another punch. Gaul kicked Kefka in the ribs, a pretty impressive feat considering both of them were still standing. As Kefka fell forward to his knees, Gaul slammed him on the back of the head with his night stick, then gave the same treatment to his upper and lower back. As he stood over Kefka’s battered body, he felt one last surge of aggression, and jumped onto Kefka, throwing his full 200 pounds onto Kefka’s wiry, 135 pound frame.

Finally, Gaul got up. Kefka was totally unconscious, and was bleeding heavily. A few soldiers came up behind the captain, and said, as politely and gently as possible: “Sir, I’m afraid we’re obligated to arrest you now. Please, come with us.”

Gaul, startled again, jumped back, and noticed he was surrounded. Yet again thinking and acting without really thinking it through, he picked up the unconscious figure on the ground by it’s now red-with-blood hair and help up a grenade in his other hand. “Not so fast! I’m not entirely sure what this thing does, or where I got it, but how much are you willing to bet that nothing bad happens if I pull the pin and make your ‘general’ eat it?”

One of the soldiers stepped forward, and Gaul pulled the pin, but rather than trying to make Kefka eat it, he threw it up in the air. The soldiers screamed and ran for cover. Gaul glanced around, but before he could decide on his next course of action, there was a blue flash and he disappeared; just in time to avoid getting hit on the head with a dud grenade.


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