Part 7

by CM Towns

   Back at their temporary base, gathered in the small living area, the team discussed the recent events that transpired. SubHuman was annoyed with Bravado for starting the fight with the Neo-Nazi members and partly with himself for not being able to reel Bravado in. Hunter was shaking off the criticisms while standing around shirtless with the bottom half of his Bravado costume on and showing off his recent tattoo (Dallas Cowboys logo on left shoulder).
   “We’re not angry,” Red Sprite said.
   “Yes we are. It was surveillance. Only engage if there is trouble,” Kid Victory countered playing with his visor in his hands.
   “I repeat we are not angry,” Red Sprite asserted to which Kid Victory turned to her annoyed.

   “You should be angry at yourselves. Sending a bunch of inexperienced types into battle with an untested leader,” Erica commented, wearing her PJs. She had quickly gotten out of her costume upon arriving back at base.
   “I’m getting a little tired of your attitude. You knew what you signed on for,” SubHuman said.
   “Whatever,” she said folding her arms and looking away.
   “Look, its my fault. I accept responsibility-but seriously, they needed a beating,” said Hunter.
   “I agree. You should be commended on quickly handling the criminals and the brothers,” Red Sprite said.
   “SubHuman was smart to split us around in that narrow path,” Araminta complimented.
   “Thanks doll,” SubHuman said.
   “The brothers-what were their names again?” questioned Kid Victory.
   “Knock Down and Meltdown,” Red Sprite answered.
   “Even in their villainous identities they share a surname. How cute,” Brown Widow quipped and that got Frank to smile.
   “The Meltdown guy reminded me of that one guy from the X-Men with the cards,” SubHuman said.
   “Gambit” cited Red Sprite.
   SubHuman pointed at her and stated, “That’s the one.”
   “Didn’t know you were into comic books,” Hunter said.
   “I am not,” she responded.
   “Anyway, us being revealed so soon will have consequences. The Teiwaz now know we are in Paris. They will be more prepared. They might even go underground which will make it hard for us to tackle them,” Kid Victory remarked.
   “There may be pros to this. Since we do not know what exactly their plans are we might have forced their hand. They may make mistakes,” suggested Red Sprite.
   “That is only one pro.”
   “True. What is also true is that you should be the one making positive of this situation rather than a negative stance,” countered Red Sprite.
   Kid Victory looked at SubHuman and questioned, “How did you guys recognize them anyway?”
   “All those photos you had Arturo go through,” Araminta said.
   “Where is Arturo?” “Kid Victory looked around.
   “Changing,” Red Sprite answered.
   “Did you guys at least get anything noteworthy?” Kid Victory then asked.
   “I went into one of the apartments being used. Got some nick-nacks. Matchbooks and cellphones. What I could grab in the limited time,” Araminta replied as she opened a tiny witches circle portal-dug out a bag she then handed to Kid Victory.
   “This is good. I’ll let April dig through this. See if she can get anything. Sally will get on the computer and further disseminate the information we already have. Frank get on the horn with the Hub, see if anythings popped up. Araminta, can you make us some soup. The rest can do whatever you want,” Kid Victory announced.
   Red Sprite nodded and opened her laptop which sat next to her on the table. Frank retrieved his tablet and then took a seat across from her. Brown Widow made her way to the bathroom to get out of her costume. Erica quickly retreated to the room to be alone and Araminta started putting together a few pots of soup for a late dinner. Kid Victory made his way to the roof to check in with his family. They all ate dinner soon and went back to work or to sleep.
   After Frank read up on the two brothers and other reports of superhumans in France he found April in one of the empty rooms connected to the base through a trapdoor. He went down the ladder and greeted her.
   “What are you up to?” he asked.
   “Working on the case. I brought this pad along to make notes and references. Its better for me to write it in pencil than to type on a tablet,” answered April.
   “Anything good?” Frank asked.
   “Well-I did not finish reading that lengthy report. I still need to do that-have it on the G-pad. G-pad. Funny,” smiled April pointing to the computer tablet next to her. She continued, “So I’ve made a list of names, a list of sites, a list of equipment, so on and so forth. Looking for links and clues.”
   Frank looked around the empty area and back toward her. He said, “Trying to fit all the pieces of the puzzle into an image.”
   “Exactly. A two thousand piece puzzle. I checked maps of some of the spots the Teiwaz hit and found the bar where this-” Aprils shows a matchbook “-came from.”
   “We should let the bosses know.”
   “I will. It’s too late to really do anything,” April responded.
   “We’re superheroes, it’s never too late for justice,” quipped Frank.
   April laughed. Frank yawned. “So why are you down here and not up stairs?” he asked.
   “I like space. I like having room to walk and think. Let it play out in my head. Back home, when it was warm and nice, I’d do all my homework on the roof of the building I lived in. At the church, when I was stuck and feeling cramped in that tiny room I’d walk around the empty church,” answered April.
   “That’s why you’re always slipping into Ops Room 1? No one uses it,” realized Frank.
   “We really don’t even use Ops Room 2 very much. Most of our intelligence comes from the Hub,” April pointed out.
   “That’s not entirely true. Sally, Antoine, Elijah, sometimes me-now you-we work and contribute,” cited Frank.
   “So tell me about yourself, Electro Punk. Felt good to be in charge for that fight?” April inquired.
   “Not really. I was with Bravado in spirit, but I wanted to do good by KV.”
   “So if it was Kid Victory in charge you’d have agreed with Hunter?”
   “Hunter Manly. Sounds like an action hero. Name comes off too fake,” April believed.
   “That his real name.”
   “I know. I wonder how his sisters feel about their surname.”
   “His sisters?”
   “Alannah, Britney, and the youngest Rosemary,” April answered.
   “I imagine they must be tough as nails.”
   “You have a sister too, right?” inquired April.
   Frank smirked. “You’re not turning the adventures of the Guard into a story are you?”
   “Maybe. Would that be so wrong? A living testament to the first superhero team in the world? Well-the first big superhero team. There needs to be documentation beyond who you fought, how you fought them, and what the world perceives you all to be. There needs to be a look at the day to day, the interaction, the drive, and the people behind the masks,” detailed April.
   “You are looking very hot to me right now,” Frank said.
   Aprils eyes widen. “Th-thanks.”
   “We should get some rest. Tomorrow is another day of ass kicking. And let Sally know what you found soon. She’s still working up there,” Frank told her.
   “I will. Good night.”
   “Good night to you too.”
   April watched him go, let out a breath and shot Pearl a message on her tablet.