Part 26

by CM Towns

   The phone, or gPhone, was good. While many phones were down in Manhattan due to the power and the knocking out of towers Tesla did a good job making it so the Guard can communicate. Though it made it hard for allies to get into contact with them. The message Reina Titán received had to be minutes old. The news it gave even older. Nicole Stanis and the police, agents, feds and military were using Sat Phones, walkie talkies, or other devices that could keep the communication going in the dark. Stanis had to contact an outside source to pass the message. A message about where Reina should focus her forces. She sent a message to her teammates back at the suite and put the majority of them in and around the Upper West Side while she would take East Village with Flash-Man as her only back up.
   This split was smarter. Titán’s brief fight with one of the War Powers taught her one thing-they smelled Jerole’s power on her. She could beat them but it might involve a heavy response and that type of force could damage her surroundings. Peoples lives would be danger if she let it all out-but it might have to be that way. These relics, these Manhunters from the Red Planet, needed to be finished off quickly. Flash-Man can assist in dealing with damage and protecting lives. The other team should be able to handle the other War Machine, or at least wear it down. Huntsman had the most power and Mr. Monster had the smarts. The other three had their strengths. Gravity Woman could fight long range, Ichi had the guts and skill, while Kestrel could provide distraction and also work with keeping the sight clear of casualties.
   Reina Titán moved across the dark Manhattan skies thanks to her gPhones GPS, which guided her far enough to see fire in the distance. She landed on the intersection of 2nd Avenue and East 9th Street and Reina sensed movement up ahead. She squinted, her powers allowing her excellent vision. So even in complete darkness her eyes adjusted to so Reina could view movement.

   “HEY UGLY!!!” Reina Titán shouted. She charged forward down the street at top speed, heading toward the hard thuds and sounds of destruction. The closer she got the easier it was to see it’s figure. Reina flew forward and put everything she had in a right cross. The War Power fell back, tumbled and bounced a dozen yards before standing up.
   Reina Titán settled on the street and said, “I am going to guess that talking is useless here.”
   “I smell old magic on you,” said the Manhunter. It was the one with the broken O on its chest.
   “An old buddy of your dead boss put me in charge of Earth,” she responded.
   “Jerole chose a human. Gifted it with great power. Power that should not have been given to such a lowly beast,” it replied.
   “Says the old machine. You got no soul-”
   “I do have a soul.”
   “Oh. Okay then,” Reina said before flying up and forward landing a series of rights and lefts on the Manhunter with the fragmented O. The Manhunter struck its palm into Reina’s chest and sent her down to the street before following up with a swing of its hammer which connected with her gut. It turned to start walking away while Reina Titán sat up, brushed off the debris and shouted at it.
   “NOT DEAD YET!” Reina walked toward as the Manhunter watched her. It swung his hammer into a nearby car, chucking the vehicle at the wall into a brick house. It turned around and did it to another housing building. Reina moved to one home, flew in and checked on the people inside. A few scrapes, nothing bad. Then she flew to the next building, no one home. Reina flew out and above the street watching the War Power throw a van into the front of a business.
   “You having fun yet!?” Titán asked from above.
   The Manhunter looked up and said, “No. The ants are hiding in these structures. Humans are too afraid.”
   “Smart people know to hide when monsters start causing trouble! Smart enough to let the monster hunters deal with it. Thats what I am-a monster hunter. So its good their hiding because I don’t want them in my way! I want to let loose,” Reina said as she landed.
   The Fragmented Manhunter jumped up, smashed into the fourth floor of another brick housing building. Titán swooped in, caught it by its waits and flung it down to the street. It got up, and grabbed another vehicle, tossing it into the second floor of another building. Reina flew in and once again checked on the occupants. Once finished she flew down to meet the War Power in the intersection of 1st Ave. and 9th St.
   “Stop playing games and face me,” Reina Titán challenged.
   “I am not playing a game. Simply observing. Learning. You are a protector not a hunter. You had opportunities to strike but chose to check for those injured. That makes you weak,” it commented.
   Reina flew forward but the War Power swung its hammer quickly, smashing Reina Titán into the ground. She pulled herself up and hopped back three yards-fired an iridescent sphere. Her enemy took it to the chest. the impact forcing it to take two steps back. Reina spat, flew up and then dived down. The Fragmented Power caught her around the neck with one hand before slamming her down through the street.
    Reina Titán flew back up onto the street and saw the War Power walking away. A missile launched over her and hit him in the back. It stumbled before it fell to one knee. Reina turned to see Flash-Man tossing the weapon to the ground.
   “Sorry I’m late,” he said.
   “Man made weapons are interesting. In our old time the most we feared from humans were rocks and spears,” it commented.
   “Shut up,” Flash-Man said firing a current gun. A stream of electricity slammed into the Manhunters chest. Reina grabbed the top of the gun and told him to stop it.
   “Its no use. These things were made of sterner stuff,” she told Flash-Man.
   “Do you have a plan?”
   “I’m thinking,” Reina Titán responded.
   “Well you think,” he replied before zooming forward to look up at the over ten foot relic and challenging it. The Manhunter swung his hammer but missed. Flash-Man mocked from behind and ran around the Manhunter planting a pair of bombs. They exploded, taking his adversary off its feet. Flash-Man moved in for another attack but got a boot to the chest. The Power moved up onto its knees and swung its hammer. Flash-Man hopped back, shot in with brass knuckles but nothing phased the metal beast who pushed him back before missing with the hammer.
   “Okay-Flash, you did good. High marks but this bastards going to need more than quick punches,” Reina Titán said.
   “So you have a plan now?”
   “Hit it with everything I got.”
   Flash-Man turned to her, “I was wondering when this time would come.”
   “You wish to show me what Jerole graced you with? I am indeed curious,” it said.
   “First things first-” Reina stated before flying in and picking up the relic into the air, then driving it down into the street, right in front of Tompkins Square Park. The War Power caught Reina in the gut with its hammer, launched itself at her but she put her feet up, catching the Manhunter in the large chest area. From there Reina then used her incredible leg strength to throw the Manhunter deep into the park. Titán flew in and landed at the ready.
   “Show me what you have,” it said.
   Reina Titán pointed her palm forward, iridescent glow fading in and out. She pushed forward and fired multiple spheres the size of golf balls. A rapid fire blast, what she dubbed Full Auto. Each round connected to the chest, gut and head of the Fragmented Manhunter. It stepped back seven feet.
   “Unimpressive,” it spoke before the its face opened and a blue beam of power slammed into Reina Titán, making her the center of a crater. The hammer came down on Titán’s chest and then the Manhunter grabbed her by the ankle. It made a noise, possibly a laugh, before tossing Reina. She bounced a few times before landing in a squat.
   There she charged up her hands and used them to block the blue beam the Manhunter fired at her again. Reina Titán held her stance but was pushed into the center of the square. The blast dimmed and evaporated, the War Power stalked forward. Reina grinded her teeth, a glow of power washed over her. She disappeared and reappeared with an uppercut. The Manhunter’s body was knocked up into the air, fell down on its back, and rolled onto it’s feet.
   Reina glowed once more, disappeared, but as she reappeared she was caught by the enemy’s fist to the gut. All the air squeezed out, her heart thumped faster, a swelling of pain took a hold. It swung its hammer upward, flinging Reina Titán away while doubling the pain coursing through her body. Reina bounced on the ground and through the trees. Titán tried to get up but got struck in the back.
   “A form of travel that appears to be teleportation but is actually pure speed. Recreating yourself as a projectile. Sadly you can not change directions once you set your path and you are the type to attack head on. Not impressed,” the Manhunter said.
   Reina Titán was annoyed that her High Speed Strike technique was easily countered. Reina summoned a wave of power over herself, once more glowing. This glow took on her shape and from there expanded in size until it became an iridescent giant. In this Colossal form Reina Titán grabbed the War Power, started squeezing in it with both hands. A squeak escaped the Manhunters body. Its face opened and the blast hit the center of the Colossal form, connecting with Reina Titán and putting an end to the brief assault. The Manhunter with the Fragmented Circle on its chest landed on its feet and spun around, swung and slammed it hammer across Reina’s face. Before it could follow through it was tripped from behind by Flash-Man. He tossed a bomb, it exploded but left no effect on the War Power but Flash-Man simply wanted to buy time to move Reina away.
   “You are not doing well,” he said.
   “I slowed him a bit with that one.”
   “A bit doesn’t help,” replied Flash-Man.
   “Shut up, a little while longer I would have crushed him,” Reina Titán said.
   “Can you do it again?”
   “Possibly. But I have a better idea. First, you need to run. This ones going to leave a lot of damage,” Reina told him and he nodded before leaving her in his dust.
   Reina made her right hand into a gun and waited. She started cussing herself. The energy giant should have squashed this fight but it did not. The other techniques should have put more hurting on the Manhunter. It had been a long time since she used any of these moves. They did drain her but it felt different this time. Maybe she was rusty. So use to being the most powerful player on the battlefield she lost something. Or maybe she never fully recovered from Fliopts power draining attack a couple days ago. Reina’s finger tip started to glow and seemingly suck in light.
   “Your friend left you?” the Manhunter from Mars asked.
   Reina Titán shook her head. “I told him to duck for cover. I got one more trick this time.”
   “Do you?” it said with a hint of amusement. “Before I brush away your next pitiful attack would you like to know about the Gods? Tomian my master. Jerole, yours. Or Pziavl. TYGITUS. CRWABORKIAN.”
   “No thanks. I am not much for history. I really don’t give a fuck about some dead Gods and their pissing contest and most of all I don’t give a fuck about you,” Reina said.
   That was its last words. Reina Titán let loose a blast from her finger that engulfed the center of the War Powers body, disintegrating it, leaving nothing but part of his legs, arm and head. It crumbled from her big blast, her Kill Shot. Reina Titán laid on her back and looked up into the stars, her heart racing, head pounding, and body drained. She touched her forehead and rubbed her lips with her sweat.
   “Still got it.”