Part 19

by CM Towns

   “They’re called the War Powers-roughly. Not originally from Barritis, but were created by one of this systems Wise Masters. Soldiers to their own empire. Basically they are the Manhunters from Mars. As you know-internal beefs between these Wise Masters-” Mr. Monster put his hand up to interrupt Jessie. Both were seated on the ground in front of the tunnel leading to where they had their skirmish earlier while Flash-Man paced anxiously.
   “Could you do me the favor and refer the Wise Masters as angels instead?” Monster asked.
   Flash-Man snickered at that request. While Barritis was real and substantiated a number of theories around magic the story behind the temples creation and purpose was still heresy.
   “These angels went to war with their various weapons and magic. Most of the statues were busted up but a few were decommissioned. They were suppose to be in Barritis,” Jessie finished.
   “So why are they here?” asked Flash-Man.
   “Someone moved them. There was a number of weapons in that temple. The real question is when were they moved? If Mizer had used them when she was pillaging the temple they would have turned the tide. I can just bless my heart she was too interested in finding me and Sally. That and being captivated by being a God among men. I guess with the military headed up to Barritis after her arrival slowed her from pillaging as much. You know-since she was not as low key as the other travelers,” Jessie explained.
   She then continued, “My guess is sometime when the US government was up there searching and collecting in the temple the statues were moved.”

   “How powerful are they?” asked Mr. Monster.
   “I don’t know. To be perfectly honest with you I’m not even sure how I know these details,” divulged Jessie.
   “Just great. Damn it…” Flash-Man said continuing his pacing.
   “You angry?” Jessie asked Flash-Man.
   He turned to her and replied, “Of course I am. We were made fools. Not just that but you! I expected more from you! But you got hit and had to call quits in the fight!”
   Jessie smiled and laughed as she got off the ground and stretched.
   Jessie said, “You kind of remind me of me.”
   “How so?”
   “I’m also impatient and I hate to lose.”
   “So much in common,” Flash-Mans sarcasm was thick. He saw Jessie chuckle and was a irked by it.
   “If this trio were me, Victory and Sprite I’d be spouting the same stuff you are. Pissed off and angry and pacing and talking down to myself,” she said to him.
   Flash-Man considered that. He did think of Jessie as the one most driven by emotions. Maybe he himself was letting his emotions get the better of him at that moment.
   “So you’re putting up a front right now?” he asked.
   “Pretty much. I don’t have the luxury of being my normal self since I’m in command. Look-I still have a hard time dealing with the idea that there is going to be people stronger, faster, smarter or overall more badass than me. But there is. We got shown up today by a legit super villain. Fliopt has been at it longer than I have and studied under Mizer. He’s no joke,” Jessie said.
   “That does not make me feel any better about the situation. What would make me feel better is if you powered up and smashed through that mess so we can stop them!”
   “Don’t raise your voice to me, Aamil. I’m in charge. I’m not feeling normal yet and I don’t want to drag Mr. Monster in there until his fingers are back,” she said.
   He showed his hand and said, “Almost there.”
   “So we wait a little while longer,” she continued.
   “So we wait? For Huntsman? Our secondary powerhouse can’t fight and can barely shoot. He’s a flying target to keep our opponents occupied. The other three-oh, they got their pros but if this statue is what you say it is then waiting for them to join up is not a smart move,” Flash-Man stressed.
   “Even if I power up and we go full blast and track them-believe me, it’s going to be too late,” Jessie told him.
   “That doesn’t matter. What matters is we meet them as soon as possible!”
   “What matters is that we are smart.”
   “Smart. There has been very little smart about this operation,” Flash-Man said. He turned his back and started walking off. He was annoyed with his teammates and angry over what had gone on. Jessie rushed over and grabbed his shoulder.
   “Where are you going?”
   “To clear my head.”
   “Of what? Losing? One battle? Being told to wait? What did you expect when you signed on? That everything would be easy?”
   “I don’t know what I expected when I joined. I don’t even understand why I did. I should have stuck to fighting off bank robbers and and street scum,” he replied.
   “Would you have been less miserable than you are?” inquired Jessie.
   “Would not joining this team have changed your mood at all?” she waited as he thought. “I thought not. You join this team because you felt you needed to go further than where you were. Why?”
   “My motivations are my own. It is none of your business,” Flash-Man spat back.
   “It is my business. I’m here to help you be a better hero. Look-I get the frustration, you’re not the only one,” Jessie assured him.
   Flash-Man took off his mask and said, “It’s more that.”
   “It always is. The frustration, the anger, all the emotions boiling up inside because of what we decided to do. This work is harder for some people and I imagine it is for you,” Jessie siad before whispering, “With what happened with your father and mother.”
   “You…,” Flash-Man responded.
   “You took your abilities and went out and helped people. You think this is some sort of redemption trip-I got news for you Aamil, you don’t need to be redeemed. You are one of the good guys. You just need to know in this life doing good work sometimes means dealing with guys like Fliopt. Being stuck in situations more troubling. You will have to work on patience, learn to be more calm-not seriously clam because being angry is fine but calm enough not to lash out at your mates. You are on the next level here and got the tools,” Jessie went on.
   Aamil shook his head, “You are right. Letting my emotions take too much. But do not ever bring up that… topic again.”
   An explosion happened behind them and they turned around. Huntsman flew in and said, “SORRY! I overshot it.”
   “Okay team, we’re going to exit the underground and wait for our cue,” Jessie said.
   “Whats our cue?” Mr. Monster asked.
   “Probably loud sirens and explosions,” answered Jessie.