Part 13

by CM Towns

   April O’Day rushed out the two story white house holding the first aid kit. The ranch she was running around on was secluded from the nearest town. It had that old fashion home she exited, a few silo bins, freight containers in the back behind the house and a long barn plus many abandoned vehicles. This was the site of their attack which lasted-much to April’s surprise-about four minutes. On the grounds were hurt men, tied up and some injured along with the remnants of the robot Reina made quick work of.
   The night before April regaled Reina with stories of the Daga Cartel in New Mexico and details of their movements which she had documented for months. The next day using Aprils notes and research with the help of the mysterious Acid Burn they isolated possible Daga Cartel fronts that could be used to manufacture drugs locally. They found the one closest and Reina flew them out there. Reina first left April by herself in an empty field while she surveyed the skies. April used that ten minutes to check out Reina Titán’s amazing tablet, watching video of local newscasters talk about Reina’s sudden appearance in New Mexico and her team up with the local Spider Woman, April of course. Once Reina felt she located it she picked up April and the two attacked. More like Reina Titán swiftly took out most the bad guys. April helped, did a lot of webbing and sneak attacks but it was mostly the Queen of Queens.

   Reina had sent her inside for First-Aid kits to help the scientists who were shot. Turns out the barn was a manufacturing plant for parts for Daga Cartels line of robots.
   “Here,” April said handing a kit to Reina who was stitching up a woman.
   “Check the guys over there,” she directed.
   April hopped over quick and saw one man bleeding from a bullet wound in his shoulder while a female scientist stood worried.
   “I don’t know what do,” April shouted.
   Reina Titán got up and joined them. She looked the mans wound over, checked the kit and saw some alcohol. She told April to pour some around the wound. Reina stepped aside and found some pliers. She took the alcohol from April, smeared some over the pliers, and went in to take the bullet. The man screamed and April applied a pressure bandage on the wound.
   “I think that’s the worst of it. Just pass the kit if anyone needs anything,” Reina said standing up and heading to the back of the long barn. Passing tables of wiring and various parts while walking over dead, unconscious or hurt bodies. One tied up Cartel member started cussing at her. April, despite her Latino heritage, never learned the language but had picked up a little Spanish. Reina grabbed the man threw him hard into the wall-knocking him out. She got to a work table in the back and checked the computer.
   “So what are you doing?” April said.
   “I hooked up a device to the computer-while I was checking over here for first aid. It’s transferring all info wireless to our main systems. Yay…” Reina Titán sarcastically cheered.
   “We’ll filter the info-drop many people leads and shut down a bunch of holes throughout the US and abroad that might be cleared out before anyone gets there,” she continued.
   “What is that map?” April said of the map behind the desk.
   “The locations they shipped these parts to in the US. Each location has a number of other organizations. Florida for example has the Colombians but also Italian mob and others. The East Coast we’re talking Russians, Italians, Irish, small factions of Triads, Yakuza, and Colombians. So on and so forth. They’re going to war over the drug trade,” Reina said. She shook her head and looked at April, “The villains don’t have big plans. At least these guys are aiming at something more realistic. Though I hear world domination actually exists.”
   “Can you please elaborate on that?”
   Reina shot the always curious April a look and she waved her hand, “You’d have to be read into the team.”
   “Well read me in!”
   “Probation period,” she replied. Sirens caught Reina Titáns attention and she said, “Cops and paramedics.”
   “Should we be going?” inquired April. Reina checked the parasite that was eating the computers info.
   She shook her head and April responded, “You sure?”
   The next five minutes went quick with the cops barging in, questioning Reina who answered everything clearly, and soon they were off. There was a little heat up over the info stealing but Reina assured them she did not steal the info as much as copy it and they would share it with as many people as they needed. She even informed them of a couple other barns that were Daga Cartel fronts. The two took one of the pick up trucks and drove off without the police bothering to following them-which surprised April greatly.
   “Cops were being nice. I thought they would hassle us.”
   “Their happy the cartel has been kicked around. It means cleaner streets for a few months before Daga reaffirms their control on the state. If this was just a bank robbery they would have pulled their guns and started shouting at us,” Reina Titán said.
   “This has been an eye opener,” April said.
   “You only seen a piece of the BS. This was easy. I’ve dealt with these pricks before. These guys-men and women, why? Why do they do what they do? Money? Do the top guys really need that kind of cash? No they don’t. All the cars, houses, gold diggers, yes men and luxurious really won’t mean anything in the end.
   “Now, the guys on the bottom who take the shit jobs? Yeah, they get good cash compared to what they’d make with a real minimum wage job but having to run in groups, always carry heat, and be worried about rivals, cops and feds? Some of them-their moral barometer is twisted and believe that God will forgive them. If there is a God, he ain’t forgiving shit. They’re going to burn in hell! I listened to some sob stories. Listen to them join up in fear or the need for quick cash. I understand-but in the end, it doesn’t change what they do. Murderers, rapists and thieves.
   “My advice to you-quit this shit,” Reina finished.
   “Trying to turn me around? See if I’m ready for the big time? Please-I want to help. Back when I was in school and had a home, I liked volunteering. I started doing this because I could. I always admired you, your partner, Kid Victory-you guys help people,” April said.
   “You don’t owe people anything. Especially with what you went through. Some people want to do this because they feel they can. For you-maybe its a way to be accepted but believe me-if you can find an exit take it,” advised Reina Titán.
   “Will you find an exit?”
   “I doubt it. The hand I have been dealt leaves very few paths for me,” said Reina.
   “Well I’m not quitting. Seeing you in action-what you do and the people you help, there is no reason for me to quit. We made a difference. It might only be temporary but lives have been saved, bad guys took a hit, that’s good. And you! Just so good at what you do. I definitely know the feeling and thoughts you have about the ‘why this and thats’ and I get that this is probably not where you expected to be but c’mon-you have to be proud of what you’ve,” April stated. Reina just shrugged.
   “Don’t give me that. Maybe today brought back some troubling thoughts but you did good,” continued April.
   “We did good,” Reina Titán corrected.
   “Barely. My point is, you should focus on the good. And I’m sure there will be a time when you can leave it behind and live happily ever after. Because heroes get those moments,” April said.
   “Okay. You’re welcome into the treehouse but we got rules.”
   “Like what?”
   “You need a name. A costume too. Can you draw?”
   “I have no artistic talent whatsoever,” she replied.
   Reina smirked. “Then your screwed because my costume designer will be handling all that now.”
   April smiled. “So whats next with the cartel?”
   “We ditch the truck, take the info, call my contacts. Hopefully the rest of the gang will have their business handled until these jackanapes pop up again to cause more trouble later,” Reina Titán replied.
   “And we’ll be ready for it.”
   Reina smiled. “So now tell me about that cat.”