Part 6

by CM Towns

   Kid Victory, Reina Titán and Sally, in her Red Sprite costume, awaited in the private hanger for the arrival of their main contact.
   Red Sprite was in her natural hair and eye colors and wore a sleeveless red top with black symbol in the center that resembled a tic-tac-toe grid inside a circle. She had a matching knee length skirt and combat boots with black long tights underneath as well as a black tiara. It was designed by a friend and Sprite had grown quite fond of the outfit despite her initial feelings for the costume.
   The three had arrived minutes earlier from their flight on a private jet arranged by friends of Kid Victory. Once landed they moved to this hangar quick, as they were instructed to. This is where they found a brand new armored SUV left for them to keep. Red Sprite was tired from their multiple flights and just wanted to rest while Reina, having been powered up for the last few hours was feeling awake and energetic. Kid Victory was having a long day himself-his mind all over the place. Issues back in Kirby City, the Teiwaz case, the formation of the team, and personal troubles.
   Kid Victory turned to to his partners, who were talking about a book Sprite was reading. Kid Victory turned back to the hangar doors and yawned. He had only worked with Reina Titán a couple times, Red Sprite once before. Since this case broke he has gotten to know them better-to the point where revealing their identities would make it easier to operate as a unit. Kid Victory entrusted the pair with personal information and introducing them to his associates the Professor and Tesla. Reina in turned admitted their main contact was the former SecDef George Blackwell, something everyone assumed but none could prove. The way they explained it was Blackwell had lots of friends and contacts who assisted in helping the duo in their cases.

   Kid Victory found it all a little suspicious. It worried him that his suspicions were relatively new and that three months ago he would have taken them at their word. Things change.
   An armored SUV pulled into the hangar and two agents stepped out of the driver and passenger sides. Kid Victory sized both men up, a natural instinct. The agent on the driver side opened the back door for their important passenger. The former SecDef, General George Blackwell walked around and toward the three.
   “Reina! Sprite!” he said happily. He shook their hands and then extended his hand to Kid Victory who shook it. Kid Victory noticed the firm grip and nodded while they shook.
   “Glad to finally meet you. Been a fan of you and your various partners,” Blackwell said.
   “I only had the one,” Kid Victory corrected him.
   “It does not take a smart man to deduce you have had more than one. A black teenager intelligent enough to design the tools you use would not go unnoticed by people like myself,” Blackwell countered.
   Kid Victory did not reply. He was unsure of how to respond because Blackwell made an excellent point.
   “Where were you coming from?” Sprite asked.
   “Had an interview. Now that I am the leading expert on superhumans many people want to talk with me,” he said.
   “Finally read your book. You restrained yourself,” Reina said.
   “Didn’t want to give away too many details of my friends. Now onto business,” he snapped his finger and one of the agents went to the trunk of the car. “How did you three make it from Kirby to DC. Wait-don’t tell me. Trade secret.”
   “Pretty much,” Kid Victory said keeping his eyes on the hangar doors and the agents.
   Blackwell followed his line of sight. “Don’t worry about these men. They believe in the work that we will be doing.”
   Victory inquired, “What exactly is this work? A superhero team for the government? One that can be disavowed if found out? Or are you playing another game?”
   “The BIG BOSS here can be trusted. He’s helped me and especially Red Sprite with her human identity,” Reina said.
   “I just find it interesting that Mr. Blackwell has been able to get us a secret headquarters. Been able to create contacts to get us information that should be confidential. Plus you’re the one handling the treasure Reina stole,” Victory said.
   The agent put two suitcases on the ground. “One of these cases contains a hundred thousand in all twenties. Courtesy of a couple European art collectors who appreciated pieces from said treasure. The other has every little piece of Teiwaz information I could get my hands on. Most is on a hard drive but I left some actual files that had not been converted digitally.”
   Reina grabbed both cases and walked to the parked SUV. Blackwell continued, “As for your suspicions Victory, I understand and agree. You should be suspicious but you should also believe that not everyone in the government agrees with what the Oval office does or with policies being handed down. There are those of us who work to ensure the continued existence of our great country. Ever since Red Sprite came over with her fellow journeyman and changed the course of human civilization it’s been clear to a number of us to expand our influence.”
   “So basically you want to change the direction of the USA?”
   “No. My associates and I want to make sure this country remains the bastion of freedom it was founded as. Free it from the clutches of corrupted individuals. This team is to protect the US, and the world, from threats both inside and out. The Teiwaz are proof the system is broken. The government is rushing to put a real team together but without people like yourself, the girls, it will not stand a real chance. You three, and the partners you make are tools to help achieve the goal-the dream,” he explained.
   “Why not just run for President?” Kid Victory asked.
   “Presidents come and go. Like politicians. But greed, fear, prejudice, corruption-they all remain. With the rise of superhumans you become the symbol of the battle for good and evil. You defeat the bad guys like the Teiwaz and it helps people like myself to beat the other ills that plague the system,” he replied.
   “It’s all well and good what you’re saying-and I know Reina and Sprite believe in you-but… I don’t plan on being a tool for anyone. If I’m leading this team we’re going to do what is necessary regardless of how it works into your plans,” Victory told him.
   “That’s good,” Blackwell put a hand on his shoulder. “The less I know, the better. I don’t interfere with Reina and Sprites operations. Always happy to assist. To give them information when needed or point them in a direction like this case. You don’t have to trust me but trust you can use me as tool to get the job done,” he finished.
   “Thank you Mr. Blackwell,” Red Sprite said.
   “Always so formal,” he smiled and added, “You know to just call me George. Good luck.” Blackwell waved to Reina by the second SUV and turned to walk away.
   “You think he has another goal in mind,” Sprite stated.
   Kid Victory turned to her before turning back to Blackwell’s vehicle as it pulled out. “My trust in people was recently shaken,” he finally answered.
   “If you are to lead the team you will have to deal with those issues,” she said.
   “Yeah. I know. Let’s go pick up the groceries and get to the base,” he said. Red Sprite nodded and the two joined Reina in the SUV, heading out to their destinations.