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Veins of Valour

Alex Thompson, a lanky journalist with a penchant for tripping over his own shoes, was notorious at City Chronicles for two things: his endless curiosity and his unfortunate ability to spill coffee on any new shirt he wore.

By VoxVersaPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 6 min read

Alex Thompson, a lanky journalist with a penchant for tripping over his own shoes, was notorious at City Chronicles for two things: his endless curiosity and his unfortunate ability to spill coffee on any new shirt he wore.

“Alex! Another scoop or another stain?” teased Marcy, his desk neighbour, pointing at the brown blotch on his white shirt.

Rolling his eyes, he retorted, “Maybe both, if I'm lucky today!”

His luck, as it turned out, was about to change. He received an anonymous tip about VirtuTech, the city's most prestigious tech corporation. Whispered rumours suggested they weren't just dabbling in advanced tech but were mixing in some... unconventional ingredients.

Alex, with his unfailing blend of bravery and clumsiness, sneaked into VirtuTech one night. As he tiptoed (and occasionally stumbled) through the labyrinthine corridors, he discovered a vial labelled "Project Apex." Curiosity piqued; he pocketed it.

However, in classic Alex-fashion, he accidentally knocked over a nearby beaker. The crash echoed. Panicking, he hid in a closet as guards approached, and in the stifling darkness, he felt the vial shatter in his pocket, soaking him with its contents.

Exiting the closet once the coast was clear, he noticed something: he was suddenly... graceful. He effortlessly backflipped over a desk, dodged laser alarms, and even managed to escape without further incident—well, except for swiping a donut from the company kitchen.

The next morning, Alex felt off. He sneezed and accidentally ripped off his apartment door. Freaked out, he tried recalling the previous night. The serum! It must’ve enhanced his physical abilities.

Time for a career change,” Alex mused, crafting a makeshift costume, "Journalist by day, masked...uh, something by night?" After a few sketches, a few torn prototypes, and an unfortunate incident involving a stapler, “NexGuard” was born, a name inspired by the evolved abilities and guarding instincts the serum bestowed.

Marcy, seeing him doodling his logo at work, remarked, “Going for a comic book gig now? What’s this about?”

“Just, uh, exploring new frontiers of... fashion?” Alex stammered.

As days passed, Alex honed his abilities. Scaling buildings became a pastime, and he discovered he could heal rapidly from minor injuries. But when he learned of VirtuTech's plan to unleash a citywide airborne serum, fun and games screeched to a halt.

As the evening painted the skyline in hues of orange and pink, Alex, now NexGuard, scaled the shimmering glass exterior of VirtuTech Tower. On the rooftop, he spotted Dr. Lysander overseeing the final stages of the serum's airborne release.

Surprisingly, the rooftop was filled with an odd assortment of objects: trampolines, boxes of rubber chickens, and what suspiciously looked like a clown car. "Employee fun day or a trap?" Alex mused, chuckling.

Before he could strategize, a siren blared, and Lysander's voice echoed, "Ah, NexGuard! So kind of you to RSVP to my... party." Suddenly, a swarm of guards emerged from the clown car. "Yes, it's a compact model," Lysander smirked.

Alex grinned, "Hope they have good dental."

Leveraging the trampolines, NexGuard bounded over the guards, making them crash into each other. He then grabbed a box of rubber chickens, using them as impromptu nunchucks. The comical squeaks of the chickens added a whimsical soundtrack to the battle.

One guard, trying to get the drop on NexGuard, ended up slipping on a banana peel Alex strategically placed. Another, attempting a tackle, was swiftly diverted into a tub of colorful balls.

While the guards were distracted, trying to figure out why there were so many rubber ducks in their tactical gear, NexGuard approached Lysander.

Dr. Lysander, not one to be outdone, revealed a remote, "Even if you stop me, you'll never deactivate the serum disperser in time!"

A dance of cat and mouse ensued. NexGuard deftly dodged Lysander's attempts to zap him with the remote's hidden taser function, all while cracking jokes. "Did that come with a free TV subscription?"

Eventually, using a well-aimed rubber chicken, NexGuard knocked the remote from Lysander's hand and swiftly deactivated the disperser.

Lysander, panting and surrounded by his dazed security team, growled, "This isn't over, NexGuard."

Looking at the chaos around – guards tangled in streamers, some still trying to get rubber ducks out of their boots – Alex quipped, "You might want to reconsider the theme for your next event."

And with that, NexGuard made his grand exit, swinging from the tower's flagpole and diving into the city's neon-lit night.

Returning from the tower, Alex's heart raced for reasons other than the night's adventures. Marcy had been on his mind for some time. Their shared laughs, those stolen glances at work, and the deep conversations during late-night coffee breaks all pointed to something... more.

He found himself outside her apartment, a box of donuts in hand. "For old times' sake," he whispered to himself before knocking.

She answered, a touch of surprise in her eyes. "Alex? It's late. Everything okay?"

He hesitated before replying, "Just wanted some company. And maybe to share a donut?"

They sat down, reminiscing about past office blunders and tales, the atmosphere light and comfortable. As dawn approached, Marcy looked at him, her gaze searching. "You know, Alex, there's more to you than spilled coffee and stories. I've always felt that."

Alex caught his breath, the weight of his secret pressing down. Yet he also felt an undeniable connection with Marcy, one that wasn't about heroics or danger but genuine affection and understanding.

He smiled, eyes shining. "Marcy, there's a lot I wish I could share. But, for now, just know that you mean more to me than just a co-worker."

They sat there, in companionable silence, watching the sun rise over the city skyline. It was a simple, genuine moment – one that hinted at the deeper bond growing between them.

The days that followed were a blur of deadlines, NexGuard sightings, and office gossip. Marcy and Alex grew closer, finding solace in each other's company amidst the city's bustling chaos. The memory of their early morning chat, with donuts as silent witnesses, became a cherished secret.

One evening, as Alex was leaving the City Chronicles building, an envelope slid under his foot. It bore no return address, only his name written in precise letters.

Opening it, he found a photograph. It was a candid shot of him – not as NexGuard but as Alex – during one of his more "heroic" moments. The message on the back read, "We know."

A rush of paranoia gripped him. Who took this? How many people knew? And most importantly, was Marcy safe?

He needed answers, but he also realized that diving deeper might put those he cared for in peril. Was it time for Alex to confide in someone about his secret? Or would he have to push away those he held dear to keep them safe?

The city's lights blinked in the distance, each one a beacon of hope, danger, and mystery. The story of NexGuard had only just begun, and shadows, both old and new, lurked in every corner, waiting.

As Alex grapples with the cost of his double life, a new chapter awaits. Who’s watching him? What do they want? The answers will unfold in the next instalment of NexGuard’s thrilling journey.

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About the Creator


🎙️ VoxVersa: Where voice meets versatility. Diving deep into products, fiction tales, sports, & fitness. Join our sonic journey through life's diverse narratives. #VoxVibes

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