Part 8

by CM Towns

   “It is quite an operation. So much to do. Targets, gathering of equipment, training. Too bad you have all been more exposed compared to the other, similar ops,” Europa said as she walked alongside the shorter, thickly build, Grip. Europa was fashioned in a debonaire manner. Slick red dress, looking more like she was out for a night on the town than the business of terror. Grip wore slacks, a mostly opened button shirt, with the sleeve on his left hand rolled up showing the extent of his robotic limb. His hair combed back and goatee perfectly trimmed.
   “I do apologize. Things have gotten out of hand. This will spoil other test runs I’m sure,” replied Grip.

   “Not exactly. One is now operating as we speak in New Zealand. We’re expanding focus though that one has less funding and resources, as well as less goals intended. All of this for the preparation of Operation New Authority. What we’re doing in France is important to that end,” Europa stated.
   “I must apologize for Johan once more.”
   “No. He is a fool. You are doing the best you can with-” Europa stopped at a group of Teiwaz soldiers lead by Knock Down.
   “Where are you going?” Europa asked in French.
   Knock Down responded, “Got word that their moving my brother in an hour. We’re going to surprise them, free him, and bring him back to base.”
   “No you are not,” Grip said.
   “Yes I am. He is family and part of the team. With those assholes now in France we need the power,” he argued.
   “Your commanding officer gave you an order,” Europa said.
   “Johan wouldn’t care,” Knock Down shot back.
   “Has Johan given you permission?” asked Grip.
   “I don’t run off to the boss every time I need permission. He got better things to do and he supports me and my brother,” answered Knock Down getting more and more heated.
   “All operations need clearance of a senior Teiwaz member, specifically operations involving superhumans. Beside that-you and your brother broke protocol being in that neighborhood. Identified Teiwaz soldiers are not allowed to be dealing directly with known friendlies who are under surveillance by various federal agents,” Europa stated as she opened up her bag.
   “Fuck that. Is that a gun? Are you serious?” Knock Down asked to the now armed Europa.
   “Yes,” she said pointing her Ruger LCR Revolver at him.
   “Put that gun away bitch,” Knock Down demanded.
   Europa shot him in the leg and Knock Down screamed out in pain, falling to the floor bleeding and holding his leg.
   “Take him to the infirmary and see that he is tended to,” she directed.
   Grip laughed as the men did just that. He then complimented her by saying, “You are my favorite person ever.”
   Europa smiled and responded, “I know.”
   “Nice gun by the way,” Grip added as he lead her through the base towards an exit so that they can head to the office of Johan.
   The base looked like a factory on the outside. Manufacturing wing and office buildings secured behind a fence with armed security all around. There was an underground facility below the size of the entire plant. They moved up from this area onto the ground floor and moved toward the office buildings. Up here Teiwaz soldiers both pretended to work and actually worked at the job. Inside the building the top floor was dedicated mostly to Johan, a member of the Teiwaz Inner Circle. The grandson of one of the founding members of the Teiwaz and as such guaranteed an important spot.
   “Finally she arrives!” Johan shouted in heavily accented English.
   Europa looked around the large office. Sofas, bar, pool table, art and sculptures, home entertainment system, private bathroom and one of the largest desks she had ever seen. Europa was not impressed. Grip lead Europa to one of the sofas while Johan finished pouring a drink and took the sofa across from them. Europa looked over Johan-late twenties, blond haired, leader in the Teiwaz but was not in any shape. Overweight, growing a second chin, and his mannerisms were close to being clumsy.
   “You were suppose to be here earlier,” Johan commented.
   “Layover in Spain. Assassinations,” she stated.
   “I just heard. Sickening how late I found out,” Johan said.
   “Apologies. I assumed you would have been notified.”
   “I was just notified about your assault on Knock Down,” he said.
   “It was not an assault. I put him in line for speaking out against a superior officer. He has no regard for the rules,” Europa said.
   “We need Meltdown,” Johan said.
   “No we do not. This operation does not need Meltdown. We can retrieve him at a later date,” Europa responded.
   “Don’t tell me what this operation needs. I run this show.”
   Grip interjected, “She meant no offense. Europa was simply stating that going after Meltdown now would be difficult. The authorities are not only expecting us but now the Guard is involved.”
   “Only part of the Guard,” Johan told them. They looked at each other.
   “Even with part of the Guard in New York we do not know how many are here. Besides, any of the Guards major players are formidable adversaries. We underestimate them again it will bite us in the ass,” stated Europa.
   “We confirmed SubHuman and Araminta,” Johan said.
   “The Water girl was part of Anslems brainwashing program. The other two we do not yet know. The powers of the shortest we can not confirm, he either flies or can jump high. The other, with a fist symbol, seems to be another vigilante,” Grip said.
   “SubHuman and Araminta are first stringers. SubHuman may not be the most powerful but superhumans with projectile powers are dangerous. Araminta means teleportation, healing and shields. I doubt these are the whole team. I would wager at least two others,” Europa stated.
   “As long as they do not have Reina. If their missing Reina and Huntsman we have nothing to worry about,” Johan suggested.
   Europa was going to snap at the response but Grip spoke up, “Did you not hear her? This is still serious trouble. How do we keep forgetting that Kid Victory has taken on and defeated enemies of incredible strength or means? I believe it would be best to move up the timeline while creating false breadcrumbs.”
   “Make them believe we plan on assassinating some important officials. Or planning big heists. Keep them busy until we can finish our important mission and then move out,” Europa said.
   Johan thought about it. “Okay. You set it up.”
   Europa nodded, stood up and walked away with Grip following her. Outside by the elevator she said to him, “Kid Victory is in France. Our information puts Reina as second in command so she must be operating in New York. If Huntsman is not in France than I would wager Red Sprite is. While Reina and Huntsman have the power that nigger Kid Victory may be one of the best fighters in the world and dangerous with weapons. Red Sprite is incredibly powerful. Also formidable in hand to hand combat.”
   “That would be seven. The Guard has expanded their ranks, this must be noted. This presents complications to operation New Authority,” Grip said.