Serialized Science Fiction.

Strange Origins
Tom Haynes

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The leader pulled out a sword and two intents flashed into the sky, ""I'm Mike D. and I get respect - your cash and your jewelry is what I expect!"

Arthur didn't know what was more amazing, seeing sword energy shoot into the sky or a bandit quoting the Beastie Boys. This certainly wasn't your father's Wuxia. He wasn't sure he could handle this lack of culture shock let alone the swordsman.

Luckily some preteen wannabe jumped out in a perfect side flying kick, smashing the sword aside. He must have flown ten feet! Suddenly bodies were knocked all over the place. Arthur wasn't sure about the ages or skill levels. The bandits were adults, but the defenders were all kids.

So the bandits were flashy, but not all that skilled. It was a sword light that got fired off, not sword intent. Arthur realized that when a little boy blocked a light just like Wonderwoman.

Wait, that guy got knocked down and his kid ran away, bawling his eyes out. And it wasn't a bandit who laid him out, it was some snotty little princess. Anyone who got close at all to her got her size 5 upside the head.

The rest of the adults were too busy coaching the kids - wait, shades of his son's baseball games, helicopter parents were everywhere. Arthur ran over to the littlest kid and started to soothe him. "It's going to be fine. Your daddy is over there and all of the other kids are handling the bandits."

The bandits suddenly broke ranks and fled. Seeing a 300 lb thug being chased by a gaggle of tweens was an eye opening experience for him.

The flailing 12 year old was pulled aside by her parents - evidently her indiscriminate kicks were a common event. Arthur pulled the little tyke over to his dad. Everyone else was ignoring him, they were prepared to leave him stretched out on the ground.

Arthur didn't have any medicine, so he had to wait for the man to wake up on his own. As they waited, the mob left to go to Quaizmoe. "Hey kid, what's your name?"

"I am Tang Bo." the kid proudly replied. The other adults and the bandits were gone, so evidently his bravery increased.

"What about you dad, what is his name?" asked Arthur.

"He is Tang Hung. He runs the Devil Dog Martial Arts Studio." replied Bo. And Arthur immediately decided to make friends with Tang Hung.

"Really, do you have any moves? Show me your best form!", he commanded the youth.

Bo settled into a basic horse stance and started a kata of simple punches and transitioned into a sequence of kicks. "Hah!" he finished off with a flair.

"Can you teach me to do that?", asked Arthur. "Call out the names of the moves as you do them."

As Bo taught Arthur the kata, his confidence grew and his fear slowly eased away. After fifteen minutes of practice, Arthur finally noticed that Tang Hung's eyes were open.

"Hey Bo, look, your dad is awake." he informed the kid.

Bo quickly reprimanded him, "Quiet! Now bow to master."

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