Part 14

by CM Towns

   The police cruiser was holding a sparkling conversation between Kid Victory and Mr. Monster about the merits of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained all while newly christened Flash-Man sat in the back listening to a conversation he really did not care for. Kid Victory was in the driver seat going through some of the problems he had with the film while Monster listened keenly from the passenger side.
   “I agree on several points you made however the white savior dies and ultimately Django is the one who saves his wife and burns down CandiLand. In one manner of speaking you could view the King Schultz character as a wizard who points our potential hero in the right direction to save the princess,” Mr. Monster responded.
   “Really? Fairy tale?” asked Kid Victory.
   “Why not, Schultz does brign up the Broomhilda fable. As to some of your other points I totally agree that its not the truest depiction of slavery but how many negros have seen that movie and were taken back by the brutality. Not all black men and women are as educated about what our ancestors went through as we would like to imagine,” Mr. Monster said.
   “I still think its a waste of such talented people.”
   “At least those talented people are working. I’d rather a white man try and fail with diversity in entertainment than wait around for studios to hire more black writers and directors to make black films. In some cases those black creators don’t even put out material that invites these kinds of talks,” he responded.
   “Any comments from you?” Kid Victory asked.
   “I have not seen the movie because I could not careless,” Flash-Man shot back.

   “According to the news-my gal Reina and her new friend shut down a cartel front. The police are gathering address’ for more in New Mexico,” Mr. Monster said.
   “I knew she would be the best suited for the job. Recruiting a new prospect and quickly shattering robots and cartel fronts,” Kid Victory said.
   “The scum are scattering all over. Your Reina Titán smashing through New Mexico and we have already raided three Cartel holes. This Tiro Certero is no doubt seeking to return to Mexico and the gangsters are all locked up in their homes, hiding under their beds,” Flash-Man said from the back seat.
   “That doesn’t change the objective. We’ve still been able to knock a few heads,” Kid Victory said.
   “Hm… Text from Acid Burn. She has been following us on GPS and tracking info close to our location. Seems the closest police station has been hit by cartel members,” Mr. Monster said.
   “Seems they’re trying to get our attention but attacking the police is reckless,” Kid Victory said.
   “Its not unheard of.”
   “Maybe not in Mexico but here in the states-” Kid Victory switched on the siren and pulled a U-Turn “-Let’s get these assholes.”
   “Maybe Tiro Certero is leading them in this assault,” Flash-Man suggested.
   Kid Victory responded, “Even if we don’t catch Tiro at least-”
   The car was hit from the driver side, knocked onto its top and slid. Mr. Monster cussed, asked if everyone was okay. He heard a groan from Kid Victory. Monster pulled off his belt, dropped and kicked out the door to scurry out and meet their attacker while his teammates had a moment to recover.
   “Looks like Reina isn’t the only one whose going to have to fight a robot today,” Mr. Monster said looking at the ten foot tall, ugly machine who had his hand out, charging for the blast. Monster dodged the attack and nailed a diving shoulder block into the leg. The attack hurt Monsters shoulder but it did get the robot to stumble, they try to regain its footing. This time gave Monster the opportunity to jump on its back, keeping the robot occupied as Kid Victory pulled Flash-Man out of the car.
   “You okay, Flash?” asked Kid Victory.
   “Fu… no,” he answered.
   Kid Victory took a look at their surroundings. It was a busy street called McPherson Avenue. His mind raced with the possibilities of Cartel locations nearby as he went to the trunk to get the current gun. Mr. Monster had looked around the city map for Laredo, Texas earlier and navigated him around. Kid Victory remembered a list of streets with warehouses and factories to hold robots and equipment for the Cartel such as the lumber yard on Cerrito Prieto Court or the business’ on Gale street which was very close.
   Kid Victory opened the trunk and both the case and weapons fell out.
   He grabbed the current gun, shouted at Flash-Man, “Incoming car! Must be back up! Handle that!”
   Flash-Man pulled himself up off the ground, dashed at a pair of pick up trucks coming their way. Kid Victory aimed the current gun and fired on the robot after it knocked Mr. Monster down. The robot stopped in its tracks, the current gun with little effect as the enemy fired a blast toward Kid Victory. He dodged, dropped the current gun and pulled his folding boomerang, flipped the switch, and threw it at the robots head. It exploded but did little else. Mr. Monster threw the doors of a car at the robot, to turn its attention away from his teammate. The robot fired in his direction and Mr. Monster maneuvered around into the parking lot of a nearby shopping plaza.
   Kid Victory turned to where Flash-Man was and saw him trading blows with a couple men down by the empty lot while their friends were laying on the ground but those men were pulling themselves up. Kid Victory figured Flash-Man forgot about the bass knuckles and also he was not hitting the men with his full force. Kid Victory rushed over and pulled his stun gun-quick shots took all the men down. Kid Victory holstered his weapon and decided to go help Mr. Monster.
   Back in the empty lot near Gale Street a flash grenade blinded the four men and Flash-Man moved quick, taking advantage of the brass knuckles he just slipped on. All criminals down. The fourth man, who was wearing shades, fired erratically with his gun. Flash-Man nailed this one in the chest with rapid fire punches before pushing him down. He returned quick to where the police car was-now on fire-and took a look for his partners. Flash-Man saw the ugly robot lifting a car above him and Mr. Monster jumping from the vehicle. The car exploded in the robots hands forcing the machine to fumble back. Kid Victory moved in and connected two discs to the robot, there was a weird warping sound and the robot fell over. Flash-Man ran in and caught up with the two.
   “We only got a few seconds-rip open the chest and take the gem,” Kid Victory directed based on info from Reina.
   Mr. Monster put his short but sharp claws into the chest plate and started to tear. He used his strength to rip open a hole and Flash-Man reached in, swung his arm around and pulled parts and pieces until he had a blue gem in his hands.
   “That’s it,” Kid Victory said.
   Mr. Monster took the jewel and smashed it into pieces.
   “There,” Monster said before a blast to the back sent him down. Kid Victory and Flash-Man dodged shotgun blasts form the masked man-Tiro Certero.
   Flash-Man tried to rush in after Tiro but got the butt of the gun to the face, breaking his nose under his mask. Kid Victory tried for the stun gun but found that it slipped out a moment earlier. Victory threw his arms up as a couple rounds hit him in the side.
   “Must have protective gear. Smart. Slows your movements down?” Tiro Certero inquired.
   Flash-Man got up and ran toward Tiro, knocked away his shotgun, ducked a swing and pulled a gun from his holster tossing it, dodged a strike and came in with strikes all to the chest and the gut. Rapid fire but Tiro grabbed the heroes head and came with a knee to the gut before picking him up and throwing him down hard on his back. Kid Victory pulled his fighting sticks, breathed a sigh of relief that his clothes were as padded as they were. A mix of typical bulletproof wear and specialized alien fibers. There would be welts but that’s was far better than bullet holes.
   “You should be running Tiro. Cops will be here any minute,” Kid Victory said.
   “Foolish boy. Are we not the Dagger? The minute Reina arrived in New Mexico to complicate our operations I expected some of you to arrive here. I took precautions. Once I figured your movements it was easy to dispatch some men to lay fire on the closest locations to the departments in each way. As well as having my men fire on any officer they see. Killing police is something we do for fun down in my home country,” he replied with glee.
   Tiro pulled a knife and added, “Dealing with assaults, the murders of their own men, and arson are higher priorities than getting involved with masked men fighting miles away. By the time they arrive-in about seven to twelve minutes by my calculations I will have at least one of you dead. Possibly two.”
   Kid Victory came in with the sticks but Certero backed away before blocking one with his knife and the other by raising his leg so his boot could take the brunt of the strike. His free arm connected with Kid Victory’s forehead. Tiro tried a kick that Kid Victory blocked with one stick and swung the other, Tiro caught that and tried aiming at his wrist with the knife-forcing Kid Victory to let go of that weapon.
   “Too bad,” Certero said putting his knife away and now swinging the stick to use. The two collided with the fighting sticks. “I expected better of you,” Tiro taunted.
   Kid Victory raised the weapon but in doing so left himself open to be struck in the throat. Kid Victory dropped his weapon and Tiro got behind him with his own fighting stick across the throat, lifting him off the ground-choking him. Flash-Man jumped on Tiros back and locked a rear choke. Tiro released Kid Victory and used his considerable strength to throw Flash-Man hard to the street once more. Kid Victory leaped in but caught a back elbow to the jaw.
   Mr. Monster tackled Tiro down, pulled him up and tossed him. Tiro rolled with the landing and got up into fighting position as he now stood on the lawn in front of a gas station. Monster struck with a series of rights and lefts, Tiro did not go down and Mr. Monster gripped his neck to lift him. Mr. Monster sneered but was taken by a knife into the heart. Monster dropped Tiro Certero, who pulled his knife out and went for a swipe but Mr. Monster caught his wrist. Tiro went for the eye with his thumb, Monster let go and stepped back instinctively. Tiro took that moment to stab Monster in the back and picked him up by the waist and under the leg, dropped him backwards on his head. Tiro up quick, stomped on Mr. Monsters head a couple of times.
   Before he could go for a third Flash-Man caught him around the waist, pushing him down to the ground. Both up Tiro tried a few punches but each one was dodged easily.
   “Can’t hit what you can’t touch,” Flash-Man said before taking him down to one knee and locking around the front head. Tiro picked up Flash-Man and thrusted him into a gas pump. Flash-Man did not release but a second slam into the pump did make him break the hold.
   Tiro landed a pair of gut punches and would have continued the assault if not for Kid Victory hitting Tiro in the back of the head with one of his fighting sticks. Tiro went down to a knee and Kid Victory used the stick to choke Tiro Certero like Tiro did to him moments before. Tiro simply stood up, swung around but Kid Victory held on with a death grip. Tiro charged up the curb, spun and slammed Kid Victory into the plastic window of the gas station. Kid Victory held on but a second collision forced him to release. Tiro turned, connected with a big right fist to the visor-cracking it. He went for a choke.
   “The robot had all this power but was outsmarted. It has no sense of strategy. No understanding of its enemies. No tact. I on the other hand do,” Tiro said.
   Tiro let go as his leg buckled. Monster had used Tiro’s knife against him, stabbing into the vastus lateralis muscle. Monster threw the knife away, picked up Tiro and spun and swung before throwing him through the gas stations double door. He stepped in as Tiro started to his feet, caught Tiro across the side of the face with his claws before gripping him and slamming up head first into the ceiling. Monster roared and gripped his shirt, threw him across the little inside shop into the cooler doors. He pressed in with jabs, striking three times into Tiro’s forehead followed by a straight left punch to the right chest and then short right uppercut to the jaw. Tiro tried a forearm that Monster blocked by raising his left forearm, struck the kidney with his right palm before grabbing Tiro by the throat. He held the grip to choke the life out of Tiro.
   “MONSTER!” Kid Victory shouted. “That’s enough. Let’s get out of here. I think we all need a rest and I don’t feel like dealing with the cops when they do show,” Kid Victory instructed.
   “Of course,” Monster said before throwing Tiro Certero across the shop, bouncing against the plastic window of the shop, cracking it as Tiro Certero’s body landed behind the counter.
   “Sorry about the mess!” Mr. Monster shouted to the stunned gas station clerk who stood by the pumps and watched the three heroes rush off.