Part 9

by CM Towns

   Araminta listened to Antoine on his headset while speaking to the one they called the Professor. They were in Ops Rom #2, a nice sized room with ten rows of computer terminals split with an aisle down the middle, a giant screen at the far end, a small office in the back corner with a small lounge area opposite that. Antoine walked up and down the aisle between the rows of computer terminals talking with his intelligence partner. Sally And Elijah were seated in the front row on the left side, working on the computers while Frank and Jessie were one row ahead of Araminta talking. Reed was not with them, probably back in the theater playing video games.
   The team was reading through files, double checking data, looking for anything of note. All in hopes of gaining a lead on the whereabouts of the US stronghold of the Teiwaz. So far they had nothing. Several spies who were exposed used cyanide pills, others were uncooperative-refusing to divulge details of their organization, and the few who did cooperate had little of substance to give up. The Teiwaz had a smart system in place.
   Araminta was listening, paying attention, unsure of what she should do. Araminta only knew what she had been told and could not figure out how this group could investigate or even seek out their enemy. She looked back over at Elijah thinking about how he explained the Teiwaz to her, with as little vitriol in his voice as possible. After the crash course Araminta knew the basics. The name Teiwaz came from a Germanic variation of Tyr, the Norse God of single combat. It was believed the Teiwaz sprung forth from the ODESSA. The ODESSA was an SS established network set up to facilitate escape routes-or ratlines-for SS members escaping from prosecution of war crimes. Sometime in the late fifties the name Teiwaz became connected to an Italian group known as the Ordine Nuovo in connection with illegal firearm sales. Soon Interpol had started a file on the mysterious Teiwaz who they classified simply as arms-dealers until the early seventies when they seemed to drop of the map-at least in Europe. The groups name became connected to drugs and various revolutions in parts of South America for several years. In the USA the FBI became aware of them trough a number of hate groups in the mid-1970s, while the CIA had picked up on their activities around the same time as Interpol had opened a file on them.

   There was no strong leads to this terrorist organization until the wave of abductions being reported all around the world. Kid Victory, Reina Titán and Red Sprite had a hand in that exposure. This exposure lead to the discovery of agents within the various departments and agencies of governments worldwide. The little they could discern is that a number of men and women were recruited from hate groups and Fascist parties all around the globe. The Teiwaz also liked recruiting like minded youths. They would give them new identities, put them on the fast track to college, and eventually these men and women would pursue important positions in various government agencies and military branches. These spies and sleeper agents were contacted through middlemen or by use of elaborate dead drops which made it hard to track their partners and connections.
   The Teiwaz was now a number one threat internationally but little evidence gave them a clue to any of their base of operations worldwide.
   “You doing okay?” Antoine asked Araminta.
   “Yeah. Just… Watching all of you work. You do this often?” she asked as Antoine sat beside her.
   “Not like this. I mean I do follow up on leads and tips when I can get them but mostly it’s just being reactionary. This…,” he motioned ahead of himself. “This is some next level stuff.”
   “Shouldn’t Reed be here? I mean, just so he’s aware of what you all find?” Araminta wondered.
   “Reed’s a kid. We’ll catch him up later.”
   “Reed’s not too much younger than us,” she said.
   “What do you know about his story?” asked Antoine.
   “He survived an alien weapon that detonated in…,” Araminta stopped to think.
   “North Carolina. That was around two years ago. Reed was in a coma for over a year. He’s not thirteen mentally,” detailed Antoine.
   “Where’s his parents?”
   “Father died in the explosion, mother survived but is pretty frail. Reed was in a government facility after he woke up but he busted out after a couple of months. Wanted to go home but his Aunt was not interested in taking in a superhuman,” he said.
   “What a bitch,” Araminta commented.
   “Yeah, so he lived in a YMCA that his Uncle worked at. Most people there knew, felt sorry for him. He tried the superhero thing a few times.”
   “The people didn’t like him,” she remembered.
   Antoine nodded. “Now he’s here. A kid without a real home, much like you. Frank has a home but is worried that going back would make his family a target of the Teiwaz or even government stooges. Elijah… Well, I’m sure he could go back home but he’s scared.”
   “Because of what he looks like?”
   “He’s also the next in line to run the family empire.” Araminta was confused and Antoine added, “Collingsworth’s are rich. They are the second richest black family in the world.”
   Araminta was speechless. She looked over to his direction and quietly said to herself ‘wow.’
   “And he still has not called his parents yet,” Jessie commented from the seat ahead of the two.
   Frank turned toward their direction and added, “Yeah, I keep bugging him about that. I check in with my family when I can.”
   “What about Sally?” Araminta asked.
   “Sally is not from around here, which I’m sure you guessed,” Jessie said while spying her partner working diligently on a computer. Jessie added, “She lives with my family. Which if this does not pan out you’re welcome to crash for a while. So is Reed. My dad would love having a boy in the house.”
   Araminta was surprised by gesture and tried to form a response to express her gratitude but all she could say was, “Thats-thats so… Thank you.”
   Jessie looked back at her and smiled. “No problem. Least I can do.”
   “How about you take Araminta, Frank and Reed out like you planned. We got half the team on this anyway and so far we’re just reviewing what we got,” Antoine said.
   “Yeah? Cool. I hate this part of the gig anyway,” Jessie responded.