Part 16

by CM Towns

   Pearl was yawning as she made her way from the kitchen to the dining table with waffles and hash browns. There was bacon, sausage, and eggs too but Pearl rarely ate meat and just did not care for scrambled eggs. At the table was Elijah reading the newspaper while his tablet was to his right side. Across from Pearl was Go, and he had his hair already styled.
   Go nodded at Aamil as he walked in, “Round of games?”
   Aamil pulled his handheld system and nodded. He took a seat and the two started.

   Pearl’s mind wandered to what Jessie told her about Sally. Pearl had admired Red Sprite more than Reina Titán. Reina had the power but that made it obvious Red Sprite worked harder to be who she is. When Pearl was offered the spot on the team she was apprehensive, allowing a group of people to know her identity was a risk. It was also a risk to go from street criminals-even ones heavily armed-to taking on terrorists and true super criminals. There were three things that convinced her. The first was the opportunity to help more people. The second was the challenge itself. The third was meeting Red Sprite, and to a lesser extent the others.
   Pearls first meeting with the big three was interesting. First was Antoine, who really wanted her to join up. That was when she was stuck in that interrogation room with that weird cat who kept giving her the evil glare. Antoine was energetic, interesting to listen to, very dedicated to the teams ideals and a little full of himself. Pearl met Jessie and Sally a little later that day. Jessie was more engaging but Sally was courteous, and spoke when she felt she had something to say. Jessie herself was different than Pearl expected. Very sure of herself but less arrogant than Antoine, almost playful. Pearl could tell she was the kind of girl that broke hearts.
   Sally moved with grace and it was obvious she had been raised to be a proper lady. When they spoke, alone, Sally showed a lot of modesty. Speaking plain and specific about details regarding her adventures. Sally was clear in answering questions pertaining to the Guard and what they did. Pearl savored their brief sparring session in the first training day. They rarely crossed over in training with Sally taking the novice class of fighting and working closer with the super powered teammates but they did work a little in weapons combat. Sally wanted to improve her own skills.
   Pearl admired Red Sprite and quickly became enamored with Sally in the brief time she’s known her. She actually did like Sally-but the whole courtship aspect made Pearl question if she should pursue this crush.
   Pearl finished her waffles and looked over the table. She had mixed feelings about Aamil. She respected what he did but his attitude blew. It felt to her like there was a sexist streak in there that he was trying to wrestle with. Go was cool. He was social, nice, but a bit of a mystery. Elijah was a a standup guy. She did not know what to expect when she met him. He was kindhearted, helpful, and came off as the kindly older brother.
   As for her other traveling partners, she liked Reed but everybody seemed to like Reed. One of her first nights over with the team she remembered seeing Jessie and Elijah on both sides of Reed on the couch in the game room as he sniped bad guys in some games. Reed was a bit bratty when it came to doing things he didn’t want but he was sweet all the other times. Amusing how he could break up a conversation. Lots of sass. Plus he loved that wolf and the wolf loved him. She got along great with Eartha. She could see them being real good friends. Of this group Pearl talked most with her. After that was Michie-a total fan girl. All the questions annoyed her a little but the enthusiasm was infectious.
   Pearl wondered what was happening with their teammates in France. She wished she could have went. More time to get to know Sally and also she could hang out with April who she’s come to enjoy hanging out with the most of everyone. The two had been texting back and forth and was enjoying the updates. Especially when it came to April gushing on Frank.
   “You’re up,” Elijah said as Jessie walked in with bacon in her mouth.
   Jessie responded, “Yeah-sorry.”
   “Vidya called, said the marking was alien. Specifically the language of the Wise Masters.”
   “Why am I not surprised?”
   “I also been looking up info on missing persons. A hunch I had. An archeologist and his assistant were recently reported missing,” said Elijah.
   “I already looked into that.”
   “That’s where you were last night?”
   “I couldn’t sleep. The professor’s wife didn’t give me anything to go on and I had to break into the University to find security footage. He had to be taken while off campus,” Jessie said.
   Reed walked in and asked, “Can I go play games with Joe?”
   “Um… Hold on,” Jessie turned to Elijah, “Anything else from Vidya?”
   “The address to the club Mr. Jack use to work for. It’s been closed for awhile. Also a rundown warehouse that was being used by Harkin men a couple years back. Worth checking out,” Elijah said.
   “Okay-Reed, you’re back up. Keep your phone on in case of emergencies.”
   “Yes!” Reed ran off.
   “Pearl-” Jessie started and she nodded, “I’m putting you in charge of a three person unit. You, Go here and Eartha will hit the warehouse and club.”
   “Got it,” she replied.
   “So what are we doing?” asked Elijah.
   “Aamil is taking us to where that symbol was.”
   “Sounds like an excellent plan,” Elijah said.
   “It is. Everybody be ready to move out in fifteen minutes! No, scratch that. Thirty minutes!” Jessie announced.
   Pearl saw Elijah get up while Go and Aamil stayed at their game.
   “No rush to get ready?” Pearl asked.
   “Super speed,” Aamil responded.
   “It takes longer to tie my shoes,” Go replied.
   “Well I’m in charge of the three person team you’re on Go so I want to be out at fifteen,” Pearl said.
   Go looked up from his game and his eyes zeroed in on hers. She smiled and he went back to the video game to see he lost.
   “Damn it!” he shouted.