003: Part 17

by CM Towns

   Reina Titán let herself be taken with the threat of harm to her teammates even though she was unsure if they had been captured. The sleep chamber only worked for a little while. Gases had limited effect on her and ones designed to put her to sleep usually only worked for a short time. Reina credited wikipedia for exaggerating her weakness’. So Reina Titán waited as patiently as possible for the right moment to emerge and she picked it well. Kid Victory had freed himself from his captors, caused some ruckus, and Reina bit her lip until the proper moment showed itself-she was a sucker for dramatic entrances. She blamed that on those shonen animé Michie made her watch.
   After stepping into the fray and targeting Cetic the two were standing across from one another in the parking lot of a mall. Cektic was foaming at the mouth with rage and Reina Titán just stod there cross armed and unimpressed. He rushed in and Reina fired in with rights and lefts before grabbing the purple aliens head and slamming it repeatedly into her knee. A move Cektic did earlier that night to Huntsman. Reina delivered a shot to the face of the alien who stumbled back.

   “KILL YOU!” he shouted and Reina countered his attempted grab into a throw. Cektic rolled with it but once up he got a big blast to the chest knocking him back. Cektic used his tail to stop the fall. He screamed and lunged forth, Reina side stepped his diving assault but her right ankle was ensnared by Cektics tail as he past by. What followed was her being slammed hard to the concrete. Cektic pulled her up and threw her into the side of the mall making an imprint. He launched toward her but got another of her sphere blasts for his trouble. This one bigger, badder, and far prettier in its iridescence than she normally delivers to enemies but Cektic was a special case.
   Reina did a slow walk over to him as Cektic started up to his feet. He roared, “I’ll kill you! Kill the others! I will not be made a fool of again! By you miserable Earth dirt!”
   Reina Titán stopped in her tracks and said, “What’s the matter Cektic? Don’t like being a punching bag? But you’re so good at it.”
   Cektic roared again ready to pounce. Reina pointed at him and shook her head. Cektic heard a noise behind him and turned to get a face full of laser cannon. Huntsman landed on Cektics gut and slammed his metal fist repeatedly into his face before flying up and letting another blast rip.
   Huntsman landed beside Reina who looked at him. His armor seemed dull, scratched, and there appeared to be cracks showing.
   “You okay?” she asked Huntsman.
   His voice broke, echo sounding even more haunting, “I’ll be fine. Especially after I end this bastard.”
   “You have fun. I’ll be the back up again,” Reina said just before Huntsman turned and tackled Cektic to the ground. He followed though by tossing him up into the sky and working on his aim. Reina smiled, curious to see how Huntsman had improved since the kid fought Powerhouse a few months earlier. She cheered him on as he let loose on the alien.

#G#

   Back underground Mr. Monster got Araminta out of her chamber while Kid Victory split to deal with Ash’s men. Once Monster and Araminta got into the tunnels, they made their way in the far direction. As they moved out they dealt with a handful of Ash’s men while others scrambled to be elsewhere. After a few minutes Knight Rolling called them out from behind. His challenge was for the pair to stand their and face him. Rolling was geared up in his enchanted armor and Araminta, tired and trembling, warned that it was not a good idea. Monster looked at her, winked, and then turned back to the villain.
   “If that is how you would have it,” Monster accepted.
   The Knight slung his longsword like a pro. It seemed as if the blade must have weighed little the way he swung it with ease. The knights movements were swift as if free of the armor. Mr. Monster was impressed with the criminal as he considered the best approach to this battle. He knew the armor and weapon were powered by magic. He also knew Araminta would not risk teleporting out of a location she was unfamiliar with. His mind also wondered about Reina, Kid Victory and the others. Monster’s mind also connected Rolling to the black knight in Monty Pyhton and the Holy Grail. He wanted to hear him say ‘Tis a flesh wound.’
   “This is a losing battle,” the Knight said.
   “For you all, yes. For me and mine it’s an assured victory,” Monster responded.
   “You are confident that you can defeat me? Surely you jest,” he replied.
   “Heh. Surely not, sir,” Mr. Monster responded.
   Rolling took swings, each carefully dodged by Mr. Monster. Araminta and Mr. Monster took sides around him. Rolling spun his blade, shot back toward Araminta who threw up a shield to block. Monster moved in but stopped cold to dodge a downward swipe. He connected with a punch that did nothing to the armored criminal and in return he got an elbow to the jaw. Monster jumped back catching the tip of the blade in the left side. He took more steps away, grabbed at the blood. Araminta rushed over to him, passing by Rolling and she slid on her knees, spun around and placed up a shield to block a few more strikes as Monster smiled.
   “Getting your wits about you, kitten,” he said.
   “Please think of something,” was Araminta’s reply.
   Rolling backed up, blade at the ready and said, “That cut is only the beginning. You should rethink the notion you’re victory is assured.”
   “Tis only a flesh wound. Or was,” Mr. Monster said pointing out he was healed. Monster spread his arms at the side, claws showing and fangs visible.
   Araminta was backing away, holding her shield until she felt comfortable enough to drop it and jump a portal. Araminta came out behind with a dropkick to the Knight but her strike with a dud that only pushed the knight a couple feet forward. He caught her as she stood up with a vicious kick to the gut.
   Monster used the distraction to grab and throw Rolling into the wall. He came in with punches and got a headbutt for his trouble. Rolling pulled a dagger and threw it. Monster caught it in both hands. He started to wave the dagger mockingly before tossing it away and taking a gander at his palms, now itching from the cuts.
   “Poison dagger? I can heal that too.”
   “You can not defeat me,” he said.
   “Oh well then!” Monster started laughing and pacing, “Where did you get your witty banter. Though I must say I admire the very simple, basic, cut right to point manner about you. Very gentlemanly.”
   Mr. Monster smiled while shifting his body left and right. He launched up and clung to the ceiling. Dived to the far wall, dived and rolled, ran around up the other wall and dove again with a roll and taunted Rolling. Rolling charged with a swing that was far off because now Monster was on the ceiling.
   “Fight me mutant!”
   Monster jumped off, flipped, landed on his feet and dodged every incoming swing with swerves and flips and ducks. Waited for the opportune moment and when it came he was able to knock the blade from Rolling’s grip. Once the sword hit the ground, Mr. Monster kicked it away. The two exchanged strikes-Monsters with no effect while the Knight struck with a left kidney shot, followed with a big right haymaker. Mr. Monster stumbled down to all fours and received a kick to the ribs.
   Araminta struck the Knight in the back with his own blade-except the blade was different now. A little shorter, the silver crossguard curved up with the pommel matching in design, and the grip colored in the shade of iris she wore. The knights once longsword appeared as a Celtic style sword now.
   Araminta struck again, putting another shot into the midsection of the armor. Knight grabbed her face and pushed her down. Monster tackled him, ripped at the chinks in the armor. Tore it apart before delivering fast blows to the side until Rolling was hurt enough to submit. Mr. Monster buried the urge to continue to pummel his adversary, backing away the Knight.
   “You okay kitten?” Mr. Monster asked Araminta.
   “Yeah,” she said looking at the sword in wonder.
   “I think it likes you. You should keep it.” He turned to Rolling who had taken off his helmet and spit up blood. Monster asked, “We done, fiend?”
   “You have bested me, Monster. I will go quietly.”

#G#

   Red Sprite hit the fleeing truck hard with the police cruiser. These men who tried to escape had all come out empty stores that were above small bunkers underground. These bunkers were connected by tunnels to a larger facility below. Professor explained it to SubHuman who explained it to Red Sprite as she drove in pursuit of their enemies. A number of bomb shelters were belt during the Cuban missile crisis and in the seventies the Mafia took advantage of a few in the city of Englehart. They used these to store drugs, money, and plot all series of criminal schemes. After the mob was taken down in the late eighties the feds had cemented over or destroyed all the entrances. That was until enterprising villains had found other ways to gain access. Red Sprite usually found history to be fascinating but at that moment she was more interested in ending the cadre of villains.
   Once the truck had properly settled after the collision, and SubHuman quit cussing up a storm (happy that he had his belt on), Red Sprite was out quick. They were on the street, close to a stripmall and just yards around away from a closed multiplex. First bad guy encountered was distracted by the fire flicked from Red Sprites thumb. The hesitation was long enough for a strike at the groin from the hero. Another pair ran for cover but got shot down by SubHuman. Sprite blocked a couple strikes from one assailant, burnt the mans forearm. He screamed, pulled back, and Red Sprite kicked at his knee so he’d be down to almost her height. A straight right punch to the face broke the mans nose and that was the end of that.
   “Come on, let’s check the multiplex. That was one of the entrance points,” Red Sprite said before sprinting that direction with SubHuman at her heels. They made their way to the theater quick, checked the entrance-door locked. Went around toward the side entrance.
   “THERE!” SubHuman shouted at one escaping. He turned to back track and a fireball caught the mans coat. He quickly removed it as he fled.
   “You! We’re not done yet!” SubHuman declared. Red Sprite looked at him and then back to the criminal-Chris Zealous. He was covered in armaments and wore a cocky smile across his face. Holsters on the hip, one on the left side of the chest. Belt had bombs, daggers in the boots, and another gun strapped to his back. Red Sprite believed he might have more hidden.
   “Yeah-this was not really my gig. Should have rethought the offer but the money was good. Plus the whole breaking me out of jail. I like to repay those kinds of debts. Still, I can salvage the day if I offed one of you,” said Zealous with his right hand twitching beside the gun on his right hip.
   Red Sprite saw the cowboy act and emulated. SubHuman looked back and forth and waited impatiently. Red Sprite counted in her head. Ticking the seconds by, drowning out all the other noises. Her eyes focused squarely on his hand. 32 she counted. Red Sprite heard SubHuman blast a man behind them who thought of taking a cheap shot. 47.
   “You got nerves of steel Ms. Spitfire,” he said.
   Red Sprite did not comment but did a simple nod. SubHuman felt strange about watching this showdown, especially since he wanted to blast the man himself. 71. Red Sprite’s peripheral vision saw SubHuman’s left fingers sparking as he was holding his forearm strapped to the splint. 83 she counted. That’s when he winked.
   He pulled his laser pistol quicker than she could have imagined. She moved and by dodging his blast the fireball she discharged was off by a half a foot. SubHuman took cover from the blasts, ducking around the corner they came from while Red Sprite threw fireballs from around a parked truck. He sheathed a gun, rolled a grenade and Red Sprite moved. The fire would not be a problem but the truck could be. It exploded, flipping the vehicle yet Red Sprite used her incredible power to take control of the flames, snuffed them out and saw Zealous was gone. She turned quick and was tackled down by SubHuman as a shot fired over head. They moved for cover against the wall as Zealous fired a couple more times from atop the building. SubHuman and Sprite returned fired, blasting straight up. Zealous took a few steps back, charged forward and flipped, landed on the street rolled, caught a blast by SubHuman on the shoulder but it was just a nick that barely staggered him.
   “I GOT HIM!” SubHuman shouted moving. Flash grenade blinded SubHuman.
   “Funny kid,” Zealous said with a swift series of body strikes and a kick. He pushed SubHuman forward, Red Sprite maneuvered around her teammate with a spin and tried a blast of fire but Zealous side stepped. He hooked around the bicep of her aiming arm and went for a hold around the neck that she blocked. Zealous forced her down to one knee, pushed her away. Went for his knife, tried a stab but a short burst and he dropped it, patting his gut. Sprite thought to press the attack but once she stepped in she received a back kick to the gut. Zealous swung his palm into her ear to cauliflower it. He went for the gun strapped on his back, aimed but SubHuman grabbed it to wrestle the weapon away. Zealous let go to avoid the attempt to electrify the metal. Tagged SubHuman with a jab, pulled his hair back and a downward chop to the throat. SubHuman grabbed his throat, dropped to his knees, having trouble breathing.
   Zealous went for his small arm on the back of his belt but Sprite gripped the wrist, tripped him forward and slammed his head hard into the concrete.
   “Okay,” Red Sprite said as she pulled him up by his hair. She then let go and allowed SubHuman to grab Chris Zealous face and send a serious shock through him-leaving the mercenary unconscious on the ground. The two looked at each other and Red Sprite nodded before pulling her wire cuffs.
   “While we won-God damn did he make us look bad,” SubHuman said.
   Sprite looked at SubHuman and than back down at Zealous.
   “You were going easy on him. Weren’t ya? For me?”
   Sprite did not answer, just got up and started to walk away. He started inquiring, “So basically if it was one on one it would have been quicker? C’mon? Don’t be like that. I need to know this.”

#G#

   Cektic slammed Huntsman into the ground. He walked four steps, grabbed a car, swung it into Huntsman. Reina Titán watched from a few feet away as they were making a mess of the lot. Cektic turned his attention to her started stomping over with threats.
   “Excuse me, you haven’t won yet,” Reina said.
   Cektic felt his tail being pulled. Huntsman used it to swing Cektic and throw him to another side of the lot. He flew over, came down on his chest and started hitting him with punches. Cektic grabbed Huntsman head, threw him off. Both up, Cektic took a blast to the face, started to fall back but used his tail to brake and sling him forward into the incoming Huntsman. Huntsman got hit hard, collided into a tree-smashing it. Cektic leaped up and came down with his leg across Huntsmans chest.
   Reina was now floating above the fight, deciding on if she should get involved.
   “This kid is not a challenge. None of his kind are!” Cektic shouted which confused Reina for a moment.
   She floated down to the sidewalk and asked, “You want to fight me?” Cektic hollered in response. “I would gladly paint the streets with your blood but you still haven’t kept Huntsman down.”
   A blast hit Cektic in the back of the head. He staggered forward and Reina Titán moved out of his way. Cektic turned and got a motorcycle thrown at his chest followed by a few more blasts to the gut. Cektic once more used his tail to break his fall and sling him forward but this time he got another cannon blast to the top of the skull, which made him spiral out of control. He hit the ground with a dent, then bounce, and then again onto the ground. Huntsman flew forward-caught Cektic-slammed him into the concrete wall of the mall. He throws right after left for what felt like a long minute before flying up a couple feet to grab Cektic by the head and forcing it down hard into the sidewalk. Huntsman stomped the head down four times before flying back a few yards and aiming his arm cannon. He waited for Cektic to to work his way back up, and on cue, a big shot to the face that pushed the alien prick through the wall into the mall.
   Huntsman breathed hard, holding his gun ready for the next attack. A couple minutes passed. And Reina said, “I think you won.”
   “Is he dead?”
   “Probably not.”
   “Then I haven’t won.”
   Reina kissed his forehead and said, “Come on. Its late, I’m tired, and I want to go to sleep,” she said motioning for Huntsman to follow.
   “Who the hell leaves their car here this late at night?” Huntsman wondered.
   “Stock people at department stores and the various villains who were hiding underground. Lets find the crew and get the hell outta here,” Reina said.

NEXT

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