Part 16

by CM Towns

   Red Sprite had little problems facing off against Montalvo’s men as she entered the compound. Most turned tail and ran and the few that stood were quickly dealt with. When she arrived at Montalvo’s office he was clearing out his safe-documents, cash and gold. As he saw her, he smirked, went to his mini bar and poured a drink. Once he downed it he poured another one and he took his seat at his desk. Red Sprite watched him invite her and so she took the seat across from him.
   Montalvo smiled and spoke in Spanish, “I have to admit, I am disappointed in my own organization. I honestly thought we could provide stronger opposition. I should have known better-the time you and Titán came to Mexico those years ago you walked all over everyone of the old Cartels best men. While our weapons got better you two are still in a league of your own. Now with the others-free to operate from rules and regulation-there was no chance for us, was there?”
   “You were told to watch yourself. That your movements, your operations, anything with the scent of Daga would be observed and documented. That if you pushed hard we would remind you of your station,” Red Sprite said.

   “My station is different. Sure my men could not fight any of you and my robots-while daunting for the average man is a small obstacle for your most powerful members. Plus my men raided several military installations. Progress, little Dragon. This empire is not being pushed back to where it was when last we met,” responded Montalvo said.
   “You made some gains-but all your holes New Mexico and Texas will be cleaned out. Your operatives in a dozen different states will be targeted. Your plans-which I have been informed of-will be outed to your rivals. Enjoy your new toys, because they are meaningless,” Sprite countered.
   “I wouldn’t call them meaningless. They will be improved upon. Our robots stronger, are men sharper, and our weapons will have more firepower,” he retorted.
   “Like the orb you recently took from the military?”
   “That thing? My scientists still haven’t figured that one out,” he divulged before taking a sip of his drink and joking, “I imagine it has to be powerful or at least worth a pretty penny.”
   “You killed innocent men to-why do I feel shocked. This is traditional behavior for you and your lot,” Red Sprite stated.
   “Nothing traditional about what we;re doing. We are moving ahead of all other families and syndicates,” Montalvo responded.
   “Is money and power really that important?”
   “Of course it is. The more money, the more power-the more I can do what I want. Like becoming a legitimate business man-then I would be untouchable,” quipped Montalvo.
   “You will never be untouchable,” she refuted.
   “No one is untouchable. It just takes the right person, the right minded individual,” Red Sprite elaborated.
   “So what do we do now? You hand me over to the proper authorities?” queried the head of the Daga Cartel.
   “We both know that would do little. You would either continue control of Daga from behind bars or, using your resources, you would stay out of prison and all will remain the same. On the chance that I do hand you over and it ends your reign-someone will step in or multiple people will try their hand,” Sprite said.
   “I know. So how about we call it a day. You and your group just walk off, lesson learned,” Montalvo proposed.
   “I do not think that will be right. I need to leave a message here. One that will sink in better this time,” Red Sprite said.
   “Threaten me some more then.”
   “I do not threaten. I advise in the name of justice,” she responded.
   SubHuman walked into the room, sneered at Montalvo and walked over to Red Sprite to whisper into her ear. SubHuman stepped back as Red Sprite managed the lump in her throat. Her glance got even more ice cold and Montalvo knew something had happened. “Your friends find something?” he asked.
   “Yes. The basement.”
   “That. Well… That is kind of hard to explain. Especially with someone like you. At least you have the advantage of appearing human,” Montalvo said.
   Red Sprite smiled before she leaped over the table and burnt her hand onto his face. Montalvo screamed out in pain, trying to lash back but Red Sprite held as long as she felt was necessary.
   “You and your lot are sick, disgusting, and pathetic,” Sprite remarked before asking SubHuman, “Where’s Huntsman?”
   “Freeing the aliens,” SubHuman said after a deep breath.
   “She was in the bathroom. Not feeling well,” SubHuman answered.
   “Okay. You find one of the guards in the hall, tell him to drive Montalvo into the city,” Red Sprite said.
   “That smart?”
   “Yes,” she said before looking down at Montalvo thrashing about looking for his mini fridge by his mini bar. He takes out a bottle of water and pours it on his face.
   “Let the Daga Cartel view their leader and know what happens when you cross the Guard,” Red Sprite continued.
   Montalvo shouted and cursed. SubHuman blasted him with a heavy hit of voltage. Red Sprite left the office, made her way through the lavish compound until she saw Araminta standing by a door, holding herself. Red Sprite walked by her, through the door and down the stairs. Once she touched the ground she saw three beings half way down the daunting hall. Two white, furry, bald headed figures with thick fingers on their hands and their feet were like paws. Both were lanky-starved and covered in bruises and dirt. The other was quivering nearby. Four armed, round eyed, teal-type skin tone, possibly female and close to human in look. Red Sprite walked by the three and into the room-manacles, chains, torture tools. Huntsman was watching as two aliens embraced on the ground. Red Sprite knew these were both Harkin, beings from Red Sprites home planet of Niebleheim. Humans referred to them as Gray Elves for their skin color and similarities in look to fantasy characters. The two Harkin were no doubt once part of Mizer’s original garrison.
   Red Sprite approached and spoke her old language, “Fellow Neiblisht, come-we need to treat your wounds and get you food.”
   The larger Harkin looked at her, he sneered at first and then came to recognize her. “You,” he replied.
   “Yes. Please,” she let out her hand. The Harkin looked at it, pulled his friend up and walked past her toward the door.
   “Huntsman? Are you-?”
   “Please burn this room,” he said.
   “I would like to, but we need this home to shelter them until we can figure out what to do,” she replied trying to keep the shaking in her throat down.
   Huntsman turned to face Sprite who in turn tried to read his face but in his current state she only saw a expressionless robot face.
   “Was this how it was in Juarez?” he asked.
   Before she could answer, SubHuman walked in and said, “I took care of that thing.”
   “Thank you Frank. I know that must have been tough-but the enemy we know as your people say.”
   “So Montalvo leaves?”
   “A symbol to his cartel that we can hit them whenever we want and leave them a wreck,” Red Sprite said.
   “Did you hurt him?”
   “She fucked his face up,” SubHuman said.
   “Juarez was bad, maybe worst,” Sprite answered his earlier inquiry. She continued, “Before Juarez I still felt little confidence. Still hiding behind Jessie. Felt like I let her down in Brazil earlier that year. When we came here-she came her for practice she said. She was Mexican and felt why not try to help despite never having been to Mexico. I remember her face in one warehouse-what she did to those men who perpetrated their crimes against those women-”
   Red Sprite paused closing her eyes and said, “I had seen her angry-but not like that. Then-after what she did, she cried herself to sleep. I had never seen that before. The Cartels made Jessie realize this was her life now. It made me realize I had to be more ruthless. This is bad-terrible-but I am not overly surprised.”
   “Is this why Reina was sent to New Mexico?” asked Huntsman.
   “Even if Kid Victory had suggested her to come here-I would have objected. She would have killed Montalvo. She would spend the next week going to ever major hole that could possibly be like this-and I worry that her restraint would be greatly tested. Years ago, she left all those men cripples. Unable to hold a gun with ease-let alone being able to awaken without feeling constant pain. I would not be able to handle seeing Jessie after a sight like this,” Red Sprite said.
   “What do we do about the… Visitors?” SubHuman asked.
   “We ask them what they want to do. Offer to help. The US has an island to house them. They govern-the military still watches over, and hires some for jobs. If they turn it down-we let them go their own way,” Red Sprite answered.
   “Anything else we need to do?” SubHuman asked.
   “Have Araminta connect Montalvo’s home computer to this parasite-” she handed the handy contraption Tesla made them, “It will upload everything remotely and we will send it forth to our many contacts,” Red Sprite directed.
   “I’ll get her on it,” SubHuman said walking over to her. He kissed her on the top of her head and said, “I’m sorry.”
   “No reason for you to be sorry. We saved their lives. We shut down part of their US operation. We hit them at their heart and I left Montalvo with a scar to remind him of my fury,” Red Sprite said.
   SubHuman nodded and exited. Red Sprite looked to Huntsman who said, “I need some air.”
   “Huntsman-” she stopped him.
   “I don’t need a speech. Or someone to put this in perspective,” he said to her.
   Red Sprite reached around him and gave him a hug.