003: Part 8

by CM Towns

   Finding an assistant to help with filing, data retrieval, hacking, and coordinating on missions was tough. Especially for work with the Guard. Kid Victory and Professor looked first to people they knew of in their everyday lives who would rally behind superheroes. They also looked at people Kid Victory and Kid Marvel may have helped in their fight against crime. They sent out feelers, did some background checks, and a little surveillance until they got the few choices down to even slimmer choices. They were going to wait a few more weeks but with the jail break likely organized by Mr. Ash and the possibility of Cektic in the county Kid Victory told her to pick one and have them come in.
   “Hi I’m VIDYA MISTRY,” said the Indian girl at the door of the loft. She looked over the shorter brown haired teenage girl and followed with, “I think I might be in the wrong place.”
   Kate Stokes smiled at Vidya who was at least three inches taller and wore casual yet stylish clothes. Black skirt and purple top with big glasses and hat to try and look slightly inconspicuous. “No, you are in the right place,” Kate said motioning her in. Vidya had a big smile and stepped excited.

   Vidya was someone Kid Victory and Kid Marvel had helped in the past and was a vocal fan of the heroes. She went to a different school than them but Kid Victory had acquaintances who knew her.
   “So, you must be his partner. I-I guess I sort of imagined a costume,” Vidya said.
   “Sorry to disappoint but I don’t wear a costume. Oh wait, where are my manners? They call me Professor. Not really a Professor, just a handle I got,” Professor said.
   “Hello Professor. I am so psyched to meet you. So are you and Kid Victory dealing with the jail break?” Vidya asked.
   “Yes, we believe things are going to escalate,” she answered.
   Vidya looked around the loft. She saw the kitchen, the two work stations, a printer/fax machine set up and at the far end a living area with a wall mounted large flat screen. There was the stairs that lead up to the mezzanine and Vidya also got a gander at Wolf. “That-is that a dog?” she pointed back with her thumb.
   Professor shook her head as Wolf walked over to them. “He’s a red wolf actually but behaves like a house dog. Go ahead and pet him.”
   Vidya was trepidations but rubbed his head. “Wow…”
   “Yes. They adopted him-” Professor started before she heard a buzz. “Hold on.” Professor put on her headset and talked a little. Vidya listened, holding onto her purse and looking over the loft.
   “Okay, here is what is happening Vidya-three major criminals were busted out of Azzarello, possibly by Mr. Ash who we have confirmed is in the US,” she said.
   “He’s back in town!?” she shouted. Vidya followed up with, “OMG! That’s huge. I read all about his clashes with Kid Victory and Kid Marvel. Like in Thailand where they-”
   Professor interrupted with, “Mr. Ash is not confirmed specifically but he does have a problem with Kid Victory-”
   “What about Marvel?”
   “I can’t talk about that now but he’s alive and well.” Vidya nodded and Professor continued. “It’s believed that Ash has been responsible for the wave of weapons flooding our streets. We also have a hunch that Ash has brought in another heavy hitter to offset the challenge of the powerhouse heroes of the Guard.”
   “So the Guard are in the city?”
   “Right now just Mr. Monster and SubHuman. They just checked in from Goodwin while following up on a hot tip about the illegal weapons. Kid Victory is meeting up with members of the Oro Familia to see if they have any details that can be helpful,” Professor explained.
   “What do you need me to do?” Vidya asked.
   “It’s simple,” Professor walked over to a work station with two screens and said, “This is where you’ll man-I should say woman-the computer. I’m plugging you into the chatter from the police scanner with this headset. Make notes. Also-” she started showing her how the computer system worked. “You switch between screens here. This one is tracking some Disciples movements. This one here is plugged into a few security systems and I need you to keep an eye out for suspicious activity if you can. This is a lot of work,” Professor said.
   “What are you working on?”
   “I’m also checking cameras plus contacting friendlies in the police and local FBI office. Also looking for a possible hideout,” Professor said.
   “So this operation here is like the Intelligence wing of the Guard. Are they located in the-wait-” she stopped herself, “I don’t want to get too nosy. I just-wow. Seriously… Wow.”
   “It is a lot when you stop to think about it but when you actually have to work on these investigations it can be extremely stressful, tiring, frustrating and boring. Right now, we’re in stressful and frustrating mode,” she responded.
   “I know you want to get on this quick-I just have a few questions if you don’t mind. Nothing too evasive,” said Vidya.
   “I’m sorry-of course. I actually did want to talk a bit before but-minds scattered all over the place,” Professor said with a smile and a wave of hands.
   “How do you keep this from your parents?” she asked.= with a small laugh.
   Not the first question Professor expected to hear but one that would certainly be baffling to anyone. She answered, “Straight A student, I do my chores, have upstanding friends and parents who don’t think I could be a problem child.”
   “I’m kinda like that but my parents are still looking over my shoulder and concerned. I think I should let you know I have a curfew and-”
   “No problem. We’ll get you back home in time,” Professor said.
   “Are we the only-you know-assistants?”
   “Actually I’m the eight member of the team, not really an assistant. Intelligence Officer is my designation. You are the only assistant. We do however have several associates plus a number of contacts and sources. I’ll bringing you more up to speed on that later,” she said.
   Vidya nodded. “How did you get started?”
   “I was asked by a mutual friend to help out on a few things and here I am now,” Professor said.
   “Every other question I have is about them team. I’m like-whoa. Will I get to meet them?” Vidya inquired with her hand tightly gripped, big smile and such desire.
   “Of course.”
   “Awesome. Also-won’t someone notice if any of the heroes come and go from this loft?”
   “We have tricks to keep our operation in this loft under wraps,” Professor answered with a sly smile.
   “Everything else I want to ask is kinda superficial so I’ll save those questions and I apologize if I am getting very fan girly about this,” Vidya said.
   “It’s perfectly alright. We should get to work,” Professor said.
   “Yes! Do I get a cool codename?” inquired Vidya.
   “We’ll get you a work handle later. But right now-”
   “Of course,” she turned to the computer and looked at. She really wanted to pop up and cheer but knew that would probably not be a pretty sight.
   “You have any troubles or any questions or concerns you just let me know.”
   Vidya put on the headset. “I will.”