003: Part 15

by CM Towns

   “You okay?” questioned Red Sprite.
   SubHuman held his left forearm, gritting through the pain and shook his head with the obvious answer. He looked at Red Sprite who was concerned. At least SubHuman thought she was concerned. It was sometimes hard to tell with the humanoid. Red Sprite helped him up and the two retreated into a nearby antiques shop. The store was hit during the rioting making it easily accessible for the two.
   “Are you alright?” asked SubHuman, noticing the wound on her shoulder.
   “I was cut, it has healed. I’m going to make a splint for your arm,” she said moving around the shop.

   “This sucks!” SubHuman shouted. “They hit us good. Thought we were ready. We knew the bad guys would show and they still got the drop on us.”
   “That is quite common. Heroes react to the situation and learn to adapt to the surprises,” she shouted back.
   “They got KV and Monster. I’m guessing they got Araminta too,” he said.
   Red Sprite returned with broken wood and duct tape, placing it on the arm and taping it down. Red Sprite then started to relate exactly what had happen to her and Araminta. They were caught off guard by the Knight and a handful of Disciples. Araminta shielded up from bullets while Red Sprite laid down counter-fire between themselves and their enemies before the pair doubled back. Red Sprite played distraction so Araminta could come in through one of her gates to knock down some men. In between Red Sprite weaved in with some quick take downs but the Knight was the problem. He swung a longsword with ease, keeping Araminta at a distance. One swipe cut a lighting pole down clean. His suit also increased his strength exponentially so they had to try their best to avoid his punches and kicks. Once, when Araminta thought she had an opening she came in but a punch sent her gripping her gut, coughing up blood. The Knight did not seem to feel the heat from Red Sprites flames until she turned up the temperature. He would respond with a dagger, right into Red Sprites shoulder. It was poison, giving her chills and making her feel nauseous. Araminta grabbed Red Sprite, escaping into one of her gates.
   Araminta healed Sprite on the ground but that time cost them as more enemies descended on the pair. Not Disciples, pros. They had big guns-a sonic wave blaster that put enough force on Araminta’s last second shield to throw her back. Red Sprite tried fighting but had to make a retreat when the Knight showed up again.
   “I am sad to say I chose to lick my wounds and bide my time,” she told SubHuman.
   “You were poisoned.”
   “The poison had been removed from my system, I was still bleeding and felt weak. I stitched the wound soon after I found cover,” she said.
   “Really? That had to hurt.”
   “Yes it did. Now how did you guys get hit?” she inquired.
   “I can’t keep as good a track of a fight like you. Someone was shooting from up high. Sniper rifle. Think they were trying to herd us in a certain direction,” he said.
   “Chris Zealous.”
   “If it was him he swung in later to join the fight. The ambush was mean. Kid Victory is smooth with his moves. Knocking around guy after guy and Beastly-I Mean Mr. Monster was wailing too. That Reese fool had this mean ass gun-Current Gun I think they’re called,” he said.
   SubHuman continued, “Got Monster good, I overcharged the piece of crap weapon though. That’s when Zealous dropped in. We were trying to move, he tossed an explosive after us. I dropped and rolled. I was kinda deaf so I didn’t realize they weren’t behind me until I was a bit outta the way and holding my arm.”
   “I have not seen either Reina or Huntsman,” stated Red Sprite.
   “You think they were grabbed?” SubHuman questioned as Sprite considered their options. She did not answer and SubHuman started to get a little worried.
   He shook his head and said, “How do we find our partners and kick these pricks in their collective asses?”
   Red Sprite pulled a cell from her belt. “We contact Professor and see what she has to say.”
   SubHuman nodded as Red Sprite stepped off to make the call, then looked at his arm and let out a deep sigh. SubHuman was worried about going into battle again, not wanting to be a burden, but he was also jonesing for another crack at them. He stood up, reached out his bad arm, funneled the power through it. The arm hurt but not bad enough to put him off a second round. SubHuman was running through the last two months. He’s taken a gunshot, been captured, battled Nazi’s, mutants, superhumans, a mummy and now gang members and professional bad guys. This was a true extreme sport without any trophies or medals.
   “What’s the good word Ms. Spitfire?” he spoke, Sprite frowned, and SubHuman asked, “Not a fan of the nickname?”
   “Professor has not heard from Reina Titán or Huntsman. She does know Kid Victory is in transit and is tracking him,” she said.
   “A tracer in his left boot.”
   SubHuman laughed. “Total pro. How we getting there?”
   “We need a car,” Red Sprite responded as she walked past him back out into the street. SubHuman followed behind her as she marched down a sidewalk and then started into a jog. Red Sprite turned a corner at the sound of sirens and walked over to some cops watching a few handcuffed rioters.
   She walked up to one and said, “I need your car.”
   The cop looked at her and replied, “Excuse me?”
   “Your car, please? I need it.”
   “You do know you’re a wanted felon right?” He pulled his gun and a nearby burning car exploded. SubHuman jumped an inch and turned back. The cop was stunned by the explosion.
   “I need your car,” Red Sprite reiterated.
   “Of course. We need to defeat these bad guys,” he said putting his gun away before giving her the keys and pointing out his nearby police cruiser. The cops partner shook his head at the scene after Red Sprite thanked him for his assistance.
   The two were in the car a moment later with Red Sprite adjusting the seat.
   “You want me to drive?” SubHuman questioned as she seemed to be uncomfortable. She looked over to him and he changed his tune. SubHuman felt weird about the shortest member of his team-or rather shortest member of the field team-behind the wheel of a car. Red Sprite handed him the phone and he dialed Professor.
   “Okay we’re about-” SubHuman didn’t finish as the car jet forth with the sirens blaring, making him drop the phone into his lap. He pulled the phone up and said, “Okay, we’re headed to the rescue.”