The Struggle

Warning: This short story is rated R21. It features highly controversial sexual content. Please do not proceed any further if you find such content offensive.

Quinton grabbed the gun underneath his pillow and shove it into the holster hanging by his bed the moment the earpiece in his ear crackled to life with a voice saying, “You got company.”

He had only slept a couple of hours and been relying on his adrenaline to get through his day. He didn’t even change out of his t-shirt and jogger pants from yesterday. He sprung away from his bed, put on the holster around his waist and tumbled towards the safe opposite his bed as though someone gave him a hard push. He knew his enemies had found him and had to get out fast. He punched in the codes to the safe and got the package out. It contained everything he needed to survive until he could get out of the city.

“Quinton, the enemy is two minutes away. They are coming up the stairs,” the slightly high-pitched voice on the earpiece spoke.

“I’m going,” he huffed as he went out to the living room to get his getaway bag. It was a large black backpack leaning against the couch in the living room he prepared several nights before. He chugged the package into a secure compartment of his bag and slung the bag over his shoulders, put on his favorite pair of black trainers, and made his way to the kitchen on his right where he could get out via the fire escape.

He opened the backdoor and made his way down the stairs to the seventh floor when he heard shouting and loud footsteps from below him. He looked over the railing to see four men in black suits coming up with their weapons out.

‘Shit!’ he thought. He did a quick study of his surroundings and decided to go through his neighbor’s apartment. He went over to the backdoor to his neighbor’s and shot off the locks. Plasma bolt leaving the barrel of the gun emitted only whistling sound but upon impact with something solid, it exploded with a loud boom as the air around the target expanded at speed of sound caused by intense heating. That boom caught the attention of both his neighbor and those men in suits below.

Quinton went through the door and beelined for living room. His neighbor, a man in his fifties, came rushing out from his bedroom still dressed in his pajamas armed with a shotgun. He almost fired his gun when he recognized Quinton and took his finger off the trigger.

“What the hell are you doing, Quinton?”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Hansel. The fire escape is blocked by government agents who want me dead.”

“Go! I will hold them off.”

“Thanks for the offer but please don’t risk your life for me. Find yourself a place to hide.”

“Blah! Go now. I got this!”

Quinton felt guilty for getting Mr. Hansel into trouble, possibly killed. He was like a father he never had during the short time he stayed at this apartment block. But he knew he had to get to the safe house his boyfriend had setup outside of the city before the local government locked down the city. He also knew he won’t survive in a drawn out fight with those government agents as he just didn’t have the necessary equipments and weapons with him.

He ran towards the main door, unlocked it and went out to the long poorly lit corridor. He ran as fast as he could to the stairwell.

***

Mr. Hansel went over to the cabinet near the kitchen entrance with a limp due to a knee injury he suffered when he was working in the police force. He took out a box of gunpowder-based shotgun shells from one of the drawers. He brought the box of shells and his shotgun to kitchen. He took up position behind the kitchen island, which had a reinforced concrete core, tough enough to withstand blasts from plasma guns. From here, he had a direct line of sight to the backdoor. He poured the shells out on the marble top of the island and loaded up his shotgun. The shotgun could hold twelve rounds, six in the chamber and six in the holder along the barrel. The rest of the shells remained scattered on the top.

He waited until he heard footsteps outside his kitchen and took aim at the door, which was now shut. The moment the door swung open and an agent in black suit appeared, he fired. The buckshot round blew a hole in the man’s torso and sending him tumbling backwards. Mr. Hansel fired again when he saw the edge of plasma gun by the door frame. This time he aimed his shot at the wall near the frame. The armor piercing slug went through the wall like it wasn’t there and struck whoever was standing behind it. The agent dropped to the ground grimacing from the bloody hole in his torso. Another shot from the shotgun shredded the head, killing the man.

The third agent poked his gun around the doorframe while Mr. Hansel was pumping another round into the chamber and started firing blindly. He dropped to the ground as fast as he could and that was when he heard the window in his living room shattered followed by heavy footsteps. He was also aware that the enemy was through the backdoor. While hiding behind the island, he poked his shotgun around the corner and fired. The round blew out the target’s legs, causing him to fall. A quick follow up shot blew out the head, sending brain matter flying everywhere.

Mr. Hansel was fast despite his age and old injury that didn’t quite heal. He was up and loading his shotgun as he moved into the living room to find two agents in tactical suits in the living room. He caught one of them off guard. A quick aim and a squeeze of the trigger sent the target falling to the ground with a yelp. The other agent spun around while another round was being loaded into the chamber and fired off a burst of plasma bolts that struck Mr. Hansel in the left arm and shoulder. But that didn’t stop him from firing off another round from his shotgun at the enemy. The high-velocity slug tore a hole through the body armor and shredded the internal organs. The target went down but not before firing another burst of plasma bolts. Those bolts struck Mr. Hansel on the right side of his chest and created a gaping hole one could see through. Despite the hole, there was no bleeding as the wound site was cauterized by hot plasma.

Mr. Hansel crumpled to the ground in pain, landing on his side. He could barely breathe and his body was in deep shock from the traumatic wound. Several more agents came storming in through the backdoor and began fanning out to sweep the apartment for more threats. One of the agent dressed in tactical suit stood beside him and flipped him over onto his back. Seeing he was still alive, the agent called out, “Sir, we got a live one.”

One of the agent in black suit came over. He had a scar that ran down the left side of his aging face. The eyes looked as though they had seen enough death and suffering.

The agent stood over Mr. Hansel and looked at him with a straight face.

“Where’s Quinton?”

“Screw you,” Mr. Hansel cursed with all his might.

The agent pressed his feet against the arm wound causing Mr. Hansel to yelp in pain, “I’m not going to ask again.”

“I’m not going to tell you anything.”

Without hesitation, the agent pulled out his gun and shot Mr. Hansel in the face.

***

Just as Quinton ran down the stairs, he could hear the sound of gunfire. He knew Mr. Hansel won’t survive that encounter and tears did roll down his face. Mr. Hansel served as a fatherly figure to him since he was seventeen and had gotten him out of trouble so many times that he lost count. They lost touch with each other when Quinton was twenty-six, having gone away on a two-year mission to hunt down his mother’s killer.

During those two years, Quinton discovered his mother, Shirley, was working on serum that could potentially extend a person’s life indefinitely and vastly expand their immune system to handle all kinds of diseases and illnesses. Soon, she found out the government wanted to use it to extend the lives of selected few while weaponizing it to kill anyone whom they deemed unworthy to live. Not wanting to be part of a genocide, his mother hid the formula to the serum and one working sample away, before destroying all records of it. She managed to stay in hiding for three years while building up a network of spies and safe houses. She also recruited people to sabotage any attempts by the government to reverse engineer that serum. But it didn’t take long before the government found her and had her killed by an assassin.

Quinton came back just a day before he turned twenty-nine and have been staying at this apartment building ever since. He managed to find and kill the person responsible. He also hunted down Lance, the assassin sent after Shirley. It turned out Lance wasn’t the one who killed her. On the contrary, he protected Shirley till the end after he realized the truth. Shirley was killed during a shootout when government agents caught up with them. After that, the assassin took over the organization Shirley created and militarized it to resist the government, which had grown increasingly authoritarian.

Four government agents were coming up the stairs when they saw Quinton on the stair landing between fourth and fifth floor. But before they could fire their weapons, he shot and killed two of them forcing the rest to retreat. He used the chance to run back up to the fifth floor and made his way to the other set of stairwell on the other side of the building.

As he was running through the decrepit and poorly lit corridor, his earpiece crackled to life once again, “Where are you? I’m on my way to your apartment to get you.”

He recognized that voice all too well and became exasperated with hints of worry, “What? I told you not to come. It’s too dangerous.”

“I know you are worried. So am I. Tell me where you are now.”

“I’m making my way to the east side of the building and I got a bunch of government agents on my tail.”

“Got it. Just hurry up.”

Quinton ran as fast as his slim legs could take him and was almost at the stairwell entrance when the walls around him started exploding from plasma bolts striking them. He pulled open the door and burst through to see two agents coming up the stairs. He had a faster reflex and shot them in the heads, leaving behind two semi-circle holes above their mouths. They were already dead before their bodies hit the floor.

He sprang down the stairs and killed two more agents who were coming up. As soon as he reached the ground floor, he opened the door leading to the alleyway and stepped out. The sound of tyres screeching to his right caught his attention. It was a large black SUV and the bright headlights prevented him from seeing who was the driver.

Quinton stepped back as the SUV came to a halt in front of him, just inches away from knocking him down. A head popped out from the side window and a familiar voice called out, “Get in!”

He got up, scrambled for the passenger side of the SUV and got in. Before he could fasten the seat belt, the SUV sped off. Two agents tried to stop them but the vehicle had been modified to withstand plasma blast. It steamrolled over the two agents and sped away on the highway.

“Thanks love,” Quinton smiled as he looked at Lance.

“You’re welcome.”

“How are we getting out of the city?”

“Highway 15. The mayor just declared martial law and locked down the exits but we got some of the guards on our payroll. We should be able to go through without much problem.”

Throughout the twenty minutes drive through the city, the SUV rotated its license plate and changed its color a few times to evade the authorities. Going through the checkpoint on Highway 15 proved to be a breeze. They had each put on a holographic projector around their neck that artificially changed their appearance. The guards waved them through after doing a brief verification of their identities.

They were out of the city and driving along the highway for the next one hour before coming upon an unpaved road leading into the forest. Lance turned the SUV in, continued to drive for another fifteen minutes and stopped just in front of a tree. Both of them got out of the vehicle and made their way to the entrance of their underground bunker on foot.

The entrance to the bunker was protected by a blast door capable of surviving a direct nuclear strike and was well hidden by a series of holographic projectors that gave the illusion of a thick undergrowth. If one wasn’t looking close enough, they could easily missed it. As soon as Lance and Quinton stepped through the projections, they could see the blast door.

Lance entered his passcode on the keypad and they both waited. After hearing a beep, the wheel crank began turning until a thud. The blast door gently swung open. They stepped through the entrance and went down the stairs into the bunker proper.

They made their way through the winding corridor until they reached the primary living quarters where most of the bunker’s personnel had gathered, pending a briefing by senior leadership.

Quinton decided to retreat to Lance’s room as he was exhausted from all the running and fighting to survive while Lance got down to business and briefed everyone on the situation and what’s next.

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Once in Lance’s room, he dropped his bag by the bedside and placed his gun on the nightstand. He went into the makeshift washroom and looked straight into the mirror.

All he saw was a skinny, dirty and tired boyish face with his medium-length sandy blonde hair in a total mess. His blue eyes looked as though they had seen too much with eye bags. He turned on the tap and started washing his face with cold water. He took a sip of water straight from the tap. He started to undress and was already naked when Lance came in.

Lance admired that slim but athletic body from behind before making his way over. He wrapped his arms around Quinton’s waist and rested his chin on the left shoulder. Both of them looked at the mirror in front of them. They looked almost similar to each other. One could claim because of their tight bond that they started to mimic each other.

“Hey beautiful,” Lance smiled.

“Hey love,” Quinton replied weakly.

Quinton turned around with Lance’s arms still around his waist. With both of them of the same height, he looked straight into Lance’s eyes and frowned.

“What’s wrong?”

“I’m just worried over what those people out there would think of us.”

“What’s there to worry about? Society has come far enough to accept us.”

“You know what I meant.”

“The fact that we are also brothers? If it comes down to it, I will protect you. I’m effectively immortal, remember?”

“All the more I’m worried. They can’t kill you but they can torture you indefinitely.”

Lance pulled his brother in for a warm embrace for what seemed to be forever. There were no words spoken. Actions and reactions were automatic. By the time they got into bed with each other, they were properly cleansed and overwhelmed with intense feelings. The room with its thick, blast-proof walls and door offered much comfort and safety, allowing soft cries of ecstasy that soon reverberated in the room. It didn’t take long for them to reach climax. They felt asleep in each other’s arms.

Tomorrow, they would both be leading the people to fight against the tyrannic government of Hammock City and inspire the rest to rise up against the federal government running the world known as Zeus III.