Part 25

by CM Towns

   “This blows,” were the words that came from Eartha’s lips. Her two companions agreed with whole heartily. Eartha, Pearl and Go were looking out into the sunset from atop the classy hotel that was being used as their base of operations for the case. It had been a rough day. The night before the power blacked out through most of Manhattan. The power company started working on the problem but with the relics popping up and causing destruction progress was slow. Earlier in the day the team split into two small units and ventured out to confront the War Powers. Eartha (Gravity Woman) and Pearl 9Kestrel) went out with Reina Titán, while Go (Ichi Senshi) was with Mr. Monster, Huntsman and Flash-Man. It would have been better to go as one unit but with the two Manhunters operating solo and the uncertainty of their strengths compared to their weapons and powers Reina thought they might have a chance. It did not work nor did it fail.
   From what Go explained, when they encountered one of the War Powers Huntsman had hit hard and fast, however the one with the Star was stronger. It fought back and the blasts, while rocking it, did not have the desired effect. Huntsman did not have much time to put more behind the blasts before he was pulverized through a building. Monster tried to take it down to the ground and wrestle it but that did not work. Go tried assisting but when they collided weapons its strength was too much. Flash-Man stuck to keeping collateral damage to a minimal and did not get much time to help before it went back underground and lost them. Flash-Man wanted to pursue but Monster chose to hold back. The other fight was a different story. Reina Titán took on the enemy with Eartha playing back up while Pearl dealt with moving people to safety. Reina tried to make short work of it and her vicious strikes took the Manhunter from Mars by surprise. It created enough distance before slipping away in the wake of damage to cover slow Titán.

   They didn’t win, they didn’t learn anything useful, and now they waited for the two to strike again.
   “These things are powered by old magics. Designed to destroy. Feel outclassed and useless,” Pearl commented.
   “Chin up, you’re not useless. Its just a matter of finding what works and what doesn’t,” Go stated.
   “A lot doesn’t work. Relying on the Hub for most of our news. Most of which is coming in second hand. Made finding those things hard enough but now it will be even harder. They are probably devising tactics to use against us in our next run in,” Eartha said before reiterating, “This really blows.”
   “It won’t make tracking them hard. It simply means we have to split the team up further. Which makes fighting them hard,” Go said.
   “Air surveillance, a team on the ground. Elijah can sniff them out, Aamil has the speed. I am decent tracker. It’s the fighting that will be tough,” Pearl added.
   “The Hub’s doing a good job too for being as limited as they are,” Go stated.
   “Are you guys being optimistic cause I can’t hang with that right now,” Eartha said.
   “Not really. But we’re also not being as pessimistic as you. The situation sucks but I think we will win once we figure out a strategy,” Go said.
   “Find their weak spot?” asked Eartha.
   “I wonder how Jessie and Reed are doing,” Pearl said.
   “Reed came back a little while ago,” said Aamil walking up behind them before adding, “Jessie decided he needed to rest. So that’s what he’s doing.”
   “When’d you get back?” Eartha asked.
   “A little earlier. Ran and ran and hooked up with Jessie and Reed to go over notes. Then ran some more before returning here. These things are not going to hit again today. They have to be waiting for nightfall. I suggest we all get some rest,” Aamil answered.
   “You think they’re going to wait? They’ve been popping up and slashing since around six in the morning. Clashes with officers and ground troops have gone south quickly. Hundreds are dead or injured in the span of hours plus all the property damage,” Pearl said.
   Eartha thought about the fight again. There were a few bodies but most of the people they encountered were just hurt. Eartha was glad she had not seen as much destruction.
   “But they haven’t popped back up since our skirmishes. We may have not gotten much done but we did make them retreat for the rest of the day,” responded Aamil.
   “Anything else from Jessie?” Go inquired.
   “Yes. Details from a conversation in regards to the governments team. Seems the various agencies and departments want them up and running here but there are a few obstacles. The team leader has just been cleared and has not had much time to work with the team. Their telepath is still an issue in the field, blistering headaches if he overly exerts himself. They are working on the right medications. Plus a certain teammate or two might not be really ready for this kind of battle,” explained Aamil.
   “They don’t want their new team to lose their first fight,” Pearl figured.
   “Questions about our effectiveness, about the War Machines abilities and their current tactics,” finished Aamil before yawning and adding, “I’m going to get food and lay down. You should do the same.”
   The night had settled in and Pearl pulled a pocket flashlight.
   “Aamil’s right. We should get some rest,” Go said.
   “Wait a minute-does that mean Jessie’s still scouting around Manhattan?” asked Eartha concerned.