003: Part 6

by CM Towns

   Chris Zealous sat shirtless in the living room of the mostly empty house looking over the weapons he was given. The home had some furniture, food in the refrigerator, and little else. It was a safe house with little thought of long term guests. Chris Zealous arrived late at night-or early in the morning-along with two others; Warren Reese and Tanner Rolling. Those two men were up and out when Zealous awoke. Reese to hit up some contacts and Rolling to retrieve some materials of interest to their host-Mr. Ash.
   Chris Zealous was of Mediterranean descent, had shaggy brown hair, an ugly goatee he needed to shave, and his nose had recently been broken. Zealous stood about 5’10” and had a lean look to himself. In shape but not cut. He had a bullet wound on his right chest and a couple scars on his left side. Zealous was checking the sniper rifle when he heard Reese storm in from the hall. He was swearing aloud, obviously annoyed. Warren Reese was a tall, dark skinned black male who appeared all muscle, with a cut down his face and the whitest smile Zealous had ever seem. He had some gang and prison tats. Reese’s hair was freshly cut to throw off any suspicious glares as he worked his way around the city.
   “Calm down,” Zealous said to him.
   “Calm down? It’s been less than a day and my self appointed boss wants me to spread the word. Spread the gospel according to Ash. I barely got any sleep and I had to watch my back every step I made before I got back here. Here! Why couldn’t we get an invite to the secret base,” he spouted.
   “You think he has a secret base?”
   “He’s a god damn super villain of course he has a secret base.”

   Reese went on about how they had been recruited with no clear indication of any real plan. Zealous was only sort of listening. His mind was on finishing whatever it was Mr. Ash wanted them to do and then getting out of Florida. He needed back to Illinois and also wanted to hit up NYC for another round with the vigilante MidKnight.
   Reese yawned. He went into the kitchen, got some coffee. Drank a little and then complained about the coffee. Reese was not a super villain. He was thug. He ran a crew before and that was that. He was not too interested in getting involved with Mr. Ash but Reese was interested in helping get rid of that nuisance Kid Victory and his partner Kid Marvel.
   The two heard a vehicle pull into the driveway. Reese looked out a window and saw some men walk around and open the gate for the truck to drive in. Reese look over to the side door and waited for company. The door opened and a man used a dolly to bring in a crate. Behind that man was Tanner Rolling. The older Caucasian gentleman was graying up top and had a sage’s beard. Rolling nodded to Reese as he passed by and followed the crate. Once in the living room the big man used a crowbar to pop it open and inside was a black suit of armor. “Marvelous, isn’t it?” Rolling asked.
   “That things enchanted?” Zealous questioned.
   “Yes. Incredible strength and surprising speed. A gift from her highness.”
   “You really call her that when she’s not around?” Reese asked.
   “Of course I do.”
   “You have to appreciate that kind of commitment,” said the purple suited, naturally tanned man entering the kitchen. He had a matching pork pie hat and silver sunglasses. He took them off, making the burn scar on the left side of his face more visible. This was Mr. Ash; a gun runner with connections all over the globe. At one time even made numerous Most Wanted Lists. One of Kid Victory and Kid Marvels first major cases which took them outside Kirby and saw them shut down a major deal of Mr. Ash’s operation. That was the first of three run ins with the killer. The second his first piece of revenge terrorizing the city with an experimental bomb and the third time in Thailand.
   Ash strode in past Reese to the living room with one of his armed men staying by the door. He snapped his finger and the other burly man exited the living room. Ash was not a built man, in fact he looked like a chump in his bad designer suits and silly broad walk. Ash watched as his men made their way outside before he greeted his recruits.
   “Fascinating piece of material. So were those gems he gave me. They can be triggered to create fire, ice, lightening-oh so glorious,” Mr. Ash said.
   “It’s why you wanted me is it not?” Tanner said.
   “One of the reasons.”
   “So when do we start taking shots? I want to get this done with and be rid of Victory and Marvel,” Reese said.
   “Of course with us out and about the Guard are gonna be backing the pair up,” Zealous said.
   “First things first-that little bastard Marvel hasn’t been seen or heard from in months. So he is a non-factor at the moment. As for the Guard, that is the tricky tricky of it. Luckily I got the gear and know some rowdy, trash talking pricks willing to blow this city sky high and bring the fight to them,” Mr. Ash said.
   “You got more men en route?” Zealous asked.
   “I got my men, I got the criminals of the cities and a beast with a bad temper and a few scores to settle on his way. The gems our Knight here provided will add a little fuel to our fire and burn a hole through the kiddies and their stinking city,” Ash said.
   “We could still use some extra muscle. That ninja guy who claims he’s from the future. What’s that slanty-eyed ninja’s name?” Reese said.
   “Jai-Oin. I doubt he’d want to help us,” Rolling said.
   “He doesn’t so forget him,” Mr. Ash said.
   “The men on the street are gonna want cash to get into this fight. Not just take big black and bad’s word for why we’re causing trouble,” Zealous said.
   “Shut it white boy,” Reese shot back.
   Zealous laughed at that. “I’m kidding. Though you seem to only be important to this plan for the fact you have connections.”
   “Lets give Reese some credit. He was on the rise. A mover and shaker with big gains. A proto-villain in a manner of ways,” Mr. Ash pointed at Reese’s direction as he stood up for him.
   “Why are we having this conversation here? Don’t you types have cool headquarters or something? I feel stupid standing around, talking and talking in a boring crib like this,” Reese said.
   “Boring place like this? In this living room is an international villain, a top gun-for-hire, a true to life super-villain and a dangerous criminal. All speaking of high crime. It’s very Tarantino-esque would you not say?” questioned Ash.
   “No. I wouldn’t,” he replied.
   “A shame that we can not step back and appreciate the situation we’re in. Fine-we can vamoose to my Hall of Doom and begin the final countdown,” Mr. Ash stated.
   “So we’re hitting tonight? Why not just now?” asked Tanner.
   “The word needs to circulate. Plus money and guns need to spread at an accelerated rate so the rioting will be top notch and the common street thug will take shots at armored machine teens and red hot Asian alien chickies,” Mr. Ash explained and after a laugh he added, “Kirby City is going to burn like hell. Then all our names are going up in light.”