Part 9

by CM Towns

   In Espinola, New Mexico the warm day had turned into a hotter night. A certain costumed crime fighter laid out atop an empty one story building along the US 84. This crime fighter had a number of names by the New Mexico media. Spider Woman, Tarantula, Black Widow, Lady Spider, and others. She herself had considered codenames but then figured it was not too important. She could not see a reason to stop and correct the reporters or even talk to the police.
   Her secret identity was that of APRIL O’DAY-a chosen name for herself. April was about five-foot seven-inches and a bit over one-thirty. Her brown hair curly and her eyes matching in color. Her black outfit was a long sleeve swimwear body suit for the top, PVC pants, cut black sleeves stitched to the swimwear, modified five finger running shoes, webbing under the arms to help for gliding, plus the domino mask that cover her face, and tape around her fingertips. Aprils ability to stick to walls was hampered by thick clothes which is why she wore the swimwear and adjusted the shoes down to the thinnest cloth on the bottom and wore no gloves. That and gloves could block the dispersing of Aprils webs from the back of her hands.
   April was using binoculars to watch the movements at the auto repair shop a little bit down and across the street. From her vantage point she could only see that the garage was closing and that the customers were leaving. April got up, moved from her building over to the next, a liquor store, up to the next which was a store that was a combination lumber yard, plumbing, electrical and garage. April checked around before running down and around the distance of the squared C building before getting atop the empty business next door. Now she was across from the large garage and could get a better sight of her target.

   The windows were tinted and the area around was fenced off. A week earlier April looked up the history of the garage and found out it was last a Ford service and car dealership. The next few days when she could April kept tabs on those coming in and out and how they moved. It was obvious to her this location was another front for the Daga Cartel but she could not tell if they were moving drugs or guns. April had been marking locations where members of the Daga Cartel, or that of local gangs and dealers, operated. Targeting the smaller ones and helping the police close the net on the groups. She tried to avoid more dangerous scenarios but occasionally she was dragged into them.
   April was uncomfortable on the roof of the business and after checking the area did a small leap onto the next building over-a local bank. She pulled off the bag she stuck to her back and dug in for a bag of Lucky Charms. April poured some in her mouth and washed the small snack down with a little water before she took out her notepad. She checked her notes and added some other observations and thoughts. After that April grabbed her binoculars and studied the garage and yard for several more minutes. April got bored and grabbed the book she brought along and started reading while keeping an eye out on the building.
   Time ticked by and eventually April spotted a familiar looking freight truck. She tucked away her book, put the bag back on and perfectly timed her jump as to land safely on the container. April laid down flat as it made its way behind the fence of the garage yard. She heard talking below, the gate closing and April quickly leaped on top of the main building. She ducked low and looked over the edge at the truck and the men scurrying around it. April watched as one man used a small forklift to remove a pallet of boxed crates. After removing the pallet others got up into the container.
   “What do they have?” April whispered to herself, wondering if it would be smarter for them to install a dock so to avoid spying eyes like her own.
   A shout from behind made April spin around in fear. She saw a man aiming a handgun and so April shot a ball of web, catching the man on his shoes and sticking him to the ground. The man, distracted, looking down, never saw the uppercut coming. April heard yelling and decided it was time to make a dramatic exit that would include leaving behind some thugs for the police to collar. She hopped from the roof of the building onto the truck, moved over to the side and dropped to the ground, landing in a squat between three men. They had guns drawn but hesitated because of their close proximity to one another. April grabbed the shorter one to her left, tossed him into one man while shooting a ball of web at the hands of the third. April rolled under the truck when she saw a couple of men turn the corner. They shouted her position but before anyone could catch April she was already scaling up the building. April saw only two more men with guns and figured she could take them both. She crawled the building wall to dodge the gunfire and suddenly decided to change tactics-flee and let the cops deal with the rest. April got back onto the roof, pulled the burner phone and dialed for the police. The gangsters would not have time to clear out before the police would arrive.
   The line picked up but before April could answer the roof of the building blew open and a robot emerged. A gold finish for the tall machine with a large central body and arms while the legs seemed thinner and shorter in comparison. The head also seemed small, with a red visor for eyes. Aprils thoughts were about how bad the robots anatomy was. Then it was to the fact she had never faced a robot. April had mostly dealt with gangster types and a few criminals wearing expensive robotic gear. It raised its right arm and fired a beam of energy from its palm. April used her incredible leaping abilities to go up and over the robot. She then used her underarm webbing to glide away.
   The robot used a burst from its feet to go up after her, bumping April hard enough to knock her down to the street. The crash knocked the air out of her body. April was trying to regain her composure while considering her options. There were no buildings high enough for her to swing away from. A major problem in New Mexico altogether so that’s why she relied on her leaps and gliding. This robot was powerful enough to make that sort of escape difficult. Her mind piqued at the question-Why send this robot after her? She settled on the fact she may been enough of a nuisance to them to warrant this response. That made April smile until she once again realized there was a robot facing her down. April’s mind swung back to what to do and she decided to try for an attack. April launched forward but was brushed aside-hitting the street and rolling on the hot concrete. No padding on her gear so the bumps were bad. April saw the robot march forward and she fired a shot of webbing to the visor to blind it.
   Should have did that first, April thought.
   April got to her feet, did a fifteen foot jump and expanded her arms to glide but a blast went through the right wing and skimmed her side. She landed on her feet, rolled, and grabbed her bruise. April knew right then that she had at least one cracked rib to go along with the bleeding. This worried her greatly. The robot had removed the webbing and was now approaching her with big strides. April was thinking of next move and the best option she had was to just get up and try and out run the machine.
   “This really sucks,” April said to herself. April leaned back onto her shoulder blades and the back of her head and neck, with her palms to the ground. She propelled herself up and into a dropkick to the robot before leaping off and into a back flip. Landing on her feet, stumbled and down on her behind. The robot was barely effected so April went with a string of webbing to its leg and used her strength to force him down onto his back. It fired a shot from the ground and April dodged it.
   She fell to a knee, considered her options once again as the robot stood back up. The police were on their way-she could hear the sirens. It was possible that if she held out long enough, the cops would provide enough distraction to allow her to escape. Aprils eyes then widen at the sight of the robot planning another blast. Before it fired a trio of iridescent spheres hit it from above. The robot stumbled back and April looked up. A figure landed in front of her and April beamed. The colors were a little different-yellow and black-but the outfit was legendary.
   Reina Titán.