Part 8

by CM Towns

   The next day, inside Ops Room 2, the team gathered inside the large operations room and found seats behind unused terminals while Antoine, Jessie and Sally took their places in front of the large digital screen.
   Antoine was beginning the briefing “… Two operations which will be running concurrently. This means two teams. One team will be going to New York-”
   “Dibs!” Frank called.

   “As I was saying, in New York where sources have placed one of the worlds most wanted-Fliopt,” Antoine continued.
   Sally fiddled with her G-tablet and an image of Fliopt appeared on the screen. A gray colored humanoid with pointy ears and a sharp nose. He was short and balding on top.
   “Fliopt is a Harkin, from my home planet. He was one of Izam Mizers top soldiers-an enchanter and a gifted, as you would call it, alchemist. Enchanters are wizards who use spoken incantations or a medium like what you refer to as a magic wand. Fliopt has been extremely instrumental in the slate of weapons that have been introduced to Earth. Combination of Alien science and Earth technologies. Many of these designs were copied by various governments,” Sally explained.
   “He also has a guard of cloned Harkin soldiers,” Jessie chimed in.
   “Yo! Is that why there are so many Harkins? I thought there were like only ten or twenty when they showed up,” Hunter questioned from the back.
   “Yes,” Sally answered in brief.
   “We have no intel on why Fliopt would be in New York other than selling more weapons but there have been suspicions of Fliopt possibly digging through the vast underground of Manhattan for lost treasures,” Antoine said.
   Eartha raised her hand, “Could you elaborate?”
   “There is a vast network of underground tunnels in various parts of New York. Abandoned subway tunnels are just a part of it. The sewer system is massive too,” Frank answered.
   “With the discovery that magic did exist prior to the events over two years ago, magic hotspots and ancient treasures with the vaguest connections are sought after items. Fliopt has been known to utilize these to either make more money or to power weapons,” Antoine added.
   “Fliopt is a criminal who must be stopped. He has connections and information on several known crime lords and terrorists organizations. Including connections to a figure we have an open file on known as King,” Sally progressed the point.
   “Whose this King person?” questioned Eartha.
   “An unknown at the moment. The name has come out in connection with arms dealers, kidnappings, bank corruption and other case,” Antoine replied.
   “Moving on to the next mission,” Sally said pressing buttons on her tablet. The image on the screen got a low growl from Elijah who was seated up front and a loud ‘shit’ from Erica who was seated next to Hunter.
   “The second case will be another run in with the Teiwaz but this time it’ll be in Europe-France to be specific,” Jessie said.
   A few team members volunteered.
   “That’s cute but the teams were already hashed out so just shut up and wait for the details,” Jessie told them.
   “The Teiwaz have been connected to a series of kidnappings, robberies, terrorist attacks and suspected illegal weapons testing. There is a fear that Teiwaz are planning something big and have been running various ops all through Europe in connection. We need to find out what it is and shut them down,” Antoine detailed.
   “This case also gives us an opportunity to find out more about their European strongholds as well as the names of those within their rumored Inner Circle,” Sally included.
   “Two big cases,” Jessie said.
   “So what’s the line up,” Go asked from a few rows back and to the left.
   “Myself and Sally will run the Teiwaz operation. Sally is gifted in multiple languages such as French and a little German. Due to the fact that a multi-ethnic group of friends would be a bit suspicious most the team will be Caucasian. Hunter, April, Erica, Frank, Araminta and Arturo too,” Antoine stated.
   “Damn. I wanted back in NYC,” Frank said.
   “We figured you would but it came down to one team having Reed or the package deal of you and Araminta,” Jessie said.
   “Well I always wanted to see France,” Frank finally said.
   “You’re not including me in the whole white group are you? Because I’m not white,” April said.
   “You’re not?” Hunter asked very surprised.
   April opened her mouth to answer him and then closed it.
It was a common mistake. While she was Puerto Rican, she looked very much white.
   “What if I don’t want to fight?” Erica asked.
   “Than we ship you back to the boarding house to be under constant federal supervision after we use a telepath to make sure you don’t give away any important details about us,” Jessie said.
   “You’re joking, right?”
   “No we are not. We told you what we expected and we’ve kept up our end. A new identity. A chance at starting a new life. All we asked for is a few years of service,” Jessie said.
   “But I don’t want nothing to do with those assholes after what they did to me. Let me switch with Elijah-he wants a crack at them more than I do,” stressed Erica.
   “I do want another crack at them, but I believe I am to be Jessie’s second on the New York mission,” he said.
   “Yes he is. Plus it would be harder for Elijah to move in France than in New York. Trust me. You need to do this anyway,” Jessie said.
   Erica wanted to argue but Hunter put a hand on her shoulder and told her not to.
   “What about firepower? Huntsman and Reina Titán are in NYC, we don’t have a heavy hitter,” April inquired.
   “I am the firepower,” Sally responded.
   “Yes you are,” agreed Pearl who noticed Jessie shaking her head at that compliment.
   Sally looked down at the ground and Antoine stepped in to keep the briefing going, “We discussed that. We have a better idea of what to expect from the Teiwaz. We know they have geared weapons for Reina and Huntsman, even though it would accomplish little. Basically a more stealthy inclose combat approach would work fine. SubHuman is an excellent hero and Araminta’s healing and shielding abilities are important but its her teleportation gifts that give us an edge. They will not be expecting Erica, Hunter, April or Arturo.”
   “No offense to Art but his powers are… Weird,” Hunter said.
   “True, but I’m sure we can use him in some manner,” said Antoine.
   “How’d I land on the France team?” Arturo asked.
   “Coin flip,” Jessie answered and Arturo felt insulted.
   “How did Jessie come up with her team?” asked April.
   “I said they take most the white people so they could fit in, and I’ll take everyone else because a multi-ethnic gang in New York is a lot less weird,” she answered.
   “Any other questions?” Antoine asked. There was few murmurs but no one raised any more questioned.
   “So this is whats what-the away team need to get packed up and ship out in about an hour and a half. You will be flying with the Tuskegee-1. Interpol will be assisting,” Jessie said before continuing, “Home team we leave after they leave.”
   “That’s it. Let’s start getting ready,” Antoine finished.