006: Part 2

by CM Towns

   The Tuskegee-1 cruised over the Atlantic ocean for hours after leaving the headquarters. The team got packed quick after the meeting and team assignments. Reina Titán and Mr. Monster would head the team going to New York while Kid Victory and Red Sprite would take another team to France to investigate Teiwaz activity. Kid Victory and Red Sprites team included original members Frank Tremaine alias SubHuman and Araminta as well as new additions April O’Day alias Brown Widow, Hunter Manly alias Bravado, Erica Wellman alias Water and Arturo Vargas alias El Hijo de la Bestia. A team assembled with half Caucasian members to blend in better. A more ethnically diverse team of teenagers would be more suspicious. Despite the fact the newly expanded team had not debut there was already rumors of the Guards expansion available. As for the non-Caucasian members there was Sally Majokko, alias Red Sprite, who was fluent in multiple languages including French. Plus she was third in command and had more experience then all but Antoine. Antoine Jackson, alias Kid Victory, Arturo and April were the only other non-white team mates. April though, being of mixed race origin, could pass as Caucasian. Arturo’s placement on the team was suggested by Reina. Antoine was there as team leader of course.
   The Tuskegee-1 touched down onto the water. The vehicle stopped for a few minutes with the PA announcement, “We are switching to sailing for the next couple hours to reserve fuel.”
   Inside the cockpit Sally hit a few switches, moved from fuel to solar power. Once accomplished Antoine put the Flier in gear and set sail on the water. Antoine put in the coordinates and yawned before taking off his belt. Sally looked at him and turned back to the computer monitor on the dashboard.
   “Something bothering you?” Sally asked.

   “I wish we could have swapped Reed for Arturo,” he admitted.
   “Jessie made a good point of splitting up the first division properly. It was Reed or Frank and Araminta,” Sally said.
   “If we run into some serious power we don’t have anyone on Jessie or Reeds level.”
   “We have us. We also have the ability to retreat and plan,” Sally reminded him.
   “I don’t like running.”
   “Neither do I but you know sometimes its better to fall back, learn from the battle, and then engage once more.”
   “I’m going to talk to the troops,” Antoine said before getting up and leaving.
   Outside the cockpit there was the bridge which had the restroom, cabinets and refrigeration unit for food plus an extra seat. Antoine stepped out into the transport section and looked over the team. Araminta was on the side to his right listening to Hunter talk with Erica. On his left Arturo was playing a handheld game while Frank and April were engaged in conversation.
   “Everyone alright?” Antoine asked.
   The team mostly shook their heads with Arturo saying something in his native tongue.
   Antoine looked over to April who said, “He wants to know how long its going to be.”
   “Tell him its going to be at least five more hours,” he responded.
   Arturo understood without Aprils help and responded with a, “JESUS!”
   “Shouldn’t this puppy be able to fly faster?” Hunter said.
   “We could make it quicker but than we would drain the fuel and batteries. We’re going to sail for about two hours. After that we will kick into overdrive for a little while,” stated Antoine.
   “Where are we staying. You didn’t go over any of that. After the assignments you sort of pushed us out the door,” Erica reminded him with a very annoyed tone.
   “Our friend Big Boss has arranged for a place to stay. The only issue is that we will not be able to land anywhere near by. So that means more traveling,” Antoine said to them.
   April helped Arturo with a few points in Spanish. Arturo nodded, he understood most of what Antoine had said but still had a little trouble with certain words.
   “More traveling? So we have to like-set the plane down and hop a ride into town? Why not take the bigger ship with the van?” Hunter questioned.
   “The van is too American. Or at least. At least part way that’s the excuse Jessie gave. Sally has contacted friends who are going to hide our ship and help provide travel arrangements when we arrive,” Antoine answered.
   “Part way?” inquired Erica.
   “We will be grabbing a couple local vehicles for the rest of the trip.”
   “Because we’re going to need transport anyway,” Antoine further explained.
   “Any updates on the Op. Or the other team?” questioned Frank.
   “None at the moment. Anyway, just relax, stretch your legs. Go grab some food. Once we get back in the air its going to be a wicked ride,” Antoine said before signaling to Frank and Araminta to follow him into storage.
   “Whats the problem?” Frank asked.
   “No problems, I just wanted to hear about any observations,” Antoine said.
   “Want to know what we think about our new teammates?” inquired Frank.
   “You guys have been working with them and talking with them, that gives you a different perspective from me and Sally. I want to know your thoughts and how comfortable you are with this group. So-how do you feel about April?” Antoine asked.
   “She’s very cool. Very inquisitive. I think she might be a natural,” Frank told him. Araminta just nodded in agreement.
   “Arturo?” asked Antoine.
   “Its hard to say but he does seem impatient and annoyed much the same way Reed is,” Frank answered.
   “His powers are also-like Hunter-hard to really see working when we absolutely need it too. Its worrisome,” Araminta said.
   “Except with Hunter he has got that enthusiasm and confidence-plus training with him we know he can fight. Still, kind of a meathead jock. I know that has nothing to do with anything but listening to him talk about the brilliance of Stallone made me shake my head,” Frank told Antoine.
   “Stallone’s made some good movies,” Kid Victory responded.
   “Like a few Rocky movies and that’s it. Oh-Death Race 2000.”
   “Anyway, what about Erica?” Antoine asked Araminta knowing she’s spent a bit more time hanging out with her.
   “She doesn’t want to be here. But what I have seen of her powers makes me think if we can get her to focus she could be very good,” Araminta answered.
   “Sounds about right to me,” Frank concurred.
   “Alright. I wish we would have had more time to train with the new members but once again the bad guys have to come in and screw up our plans,” Antoine said.
   “No worries. Between us and Red Sprite that is more than enough bad ass to take down some Teiwaz,” Frank said.
   “Frank’s right, we’ll be fine. The skills you and Sprite have, my defensive capabilities and Franks talents are a good base for this group,” Araminta added.
   “Probably right but we are going to be in unfamiliar territory working alongside people less trained than us. Makes me feel a little nervous. I don’t like feeling less than confident,” Antoine responded before yawning, “Alright, I’m heading back to the cockpit to take a nap. You guys make sure everyone’s comfortable and tended too.”
   They nodded before following Antoine out of the storage area.