Part 12

by CM Towns

   Araminta yawned before taking a sip of latte. She was seated at a table along with Frank, April, and Hunter outside the little cafe near the teams safe house.
   “It was so fucking boring. Almost fell asleep a few times,” Hunter said.
   “So those notes didn’t come in handy?” Frank asked.
   “I don’t know. Some of the team is going through them and the security footage and computer files from the bar. After getting back I crashed and just was not interested in looking through anything after getting up. Especially as I have to go with Erica to watch over the place again,” April said.
   “Erica is not thrilled about that,” Hunter commented.
   “Then Antoine and Araminta again,” said Frank.
   “Maybe. Maybe they’ll switch it up,” said Araminta.
   “I’m surprised you’re up and moving,” Frank said to her.
   “Hard to get good shut eye, even if I’m hiding in the room below the safe house.
   “This surveillance and we missed one of the two attacks. Barely got any sleep before the one we did respond to,” Frank said.
   “They’re tiring us out. Making us chase them around while they work on accomplishing their real goals,” April explained.
   “Sally suggested this is another version of the superhuman arms race. The Teiwaz have connections and weapons but with things the way they are, they need to build and assess more resources before going forth with whatever their world domination plans are,” continued Frank from Aprils point.
   “The Teiwaz might be gone before we can catch them,” Araminta stated.
   “They will be,” said a voice from the table next to them. Araminta froze up and Frank gritted his teeth.
   Hunter looked from the mystery woman to his teammates and asked, “You know this woman?”

   Araminta’s eyes focused on her drink as Frank said,”It’s Mizer,” with gritted teeth.
   Hunter snapped to his feet but April grabbed his arm and shook her head. Izam Mizer stood up, turned her chair around and scooted into their table.
   “Please sit down… Hunter is it? So many fresh faces to meet,” Mizer teased.
   “What do you want?” Frank asked.
   “No small talk before business? At least let me catch up with Araminta here. Did you know the people who murdered your parents are on their way here?” Mizer told her.
   Araminta’s head popped up to look at her devilish grin. She dropped her gaze away eyes to the table and quickly tried to push out the flash of bad memories.
   Frank repeated, “WHAT! Do you want?”
   “Gather your people at your base. I have a proposal that will be beneficial for the both of us,” Mizer said.
   “And if we say no?” Hunter asked.
   “You four have only so much clout. It is really Antoine and Sally whose voices matter. I’ll see you all in an hour,” Mizer placed some money and table, stood up and and said, “Au Revoir.”
   Frank quickly contacted Antoine while Araminta contacted Sally. Both the team leaders were on other jobs this morning. Everyone rushed back to base. There they waited, argued, discussed options-all unsure of what Izam Mizer wanted but knowing that her being in Paris could only be problematic. Time ticked down and anxiousness intensified. Erica discussed leaving the base and fleeing altogether which Araminta felt was the right call but did not back her vocally. Hunter wanted to stand and fight the ‘alien witch cunt.’ Arturo was unsure which option was the best. Frank was a mix of emotions but felt Hunter was right about them needing to stand their ground. Sally’s feelings were of course to kill Mizer but her brain told her that this meeting could give them a clue toward the Teiwaz. Mizer would not have requested this meeting if she had nothing to offer. Antoine, sat in a chair, calm demeanor as his mind ran though countless possibilities.
   The knock came as the hour was up. Mizer was punctual, a trait Sally noted earlier when the team was discussing tactics. The team all looked at each other to silently wonder who would open the door for her. Sally stood up from her seat, walked to the door and opened it for Mizer. The Mistress Izam Mizer stood there, smiled to her enemy and then walked past. She looked around the safe house and making mental notes. Noting the kitchen, the space with desks, computers and equipment laying around. Then Mizer looked over to the far room.
   “Hope you did not pay for this place,” Izam said.
   “Your offer?” Antoine asked.
   “You are in Paris because of the Teiwaz, who have been making moves all over Europe as well as other countries. You know they are up to something but are having a hard time finding out just what,” Mizer said.
   “And you know?” asked Frank unimpressed.
   “I know where their base is,” she answered.
   “So you wish to wager this information for a favor? Do you have any proof?” Sally said.
   “If I gave you proof, you could figure it out without me. Then I wouldn’t get what I need from you,” Mizer replied.
   “We do not want your help bitch,” Hunter said.
   Izam shook her head.
   “Little red witch, can you explain to your new comrade why it would be best to hold his tongue,” she said. Mizer studied the look on Sally’s face and continued, “Are you still angry about what happened to your parents? You really need to get over that. Parents always let you down in the end.”
   Sally’s hands sparked fire that turned blue and Antoine shouted at her.
   “We don’t want your help bitch. Bounce outta here,” Hunter said.
   Mizer raised her hand and summoned Hunter forward, drawing him into her grip around his neck. Frank and Sally pointed their hands as Araminta grabbed her sword. Erica jumped back scared, Arturo looked around for a weapon and April got into a defensive position.
   “Put him down!” Antoine said.
   “I’m not sure I want to. He’s actually kind of cute. I’d like to tie him up and-” before she could finish Sally, being the closet, gripped Mizers free wrist and burnt her with blue flames. Mizer dropped Hunter and waved around her burnt hand before rubbing it.
   “Get out!” Sally shouted.
   “Four days. That is all you have until the Teiwaz move the majority of operation out of France. Keep in mind that is an estimate. All these attacks-the real ones and the false ones will stop. The rest of their soldiers will be going underground for the next few months. Leaving only a small presence to keep their foothold. None of them will point you to the Inner Circle or any reliable shot caller,” Mizer stressed.
   “We will not cut any deals with you,” Araminta found the strength to speak.
   “Even if I knew a few Teiwaz agents inside the US government,” Mizer added.
   That was the comment. The one that gave them the push. Mizer could see it when Antoine turned to look at Sally.
   “Château de Coucy. A castle mostly in ruins. I want a book hidden there,” Mizer said as she pulled out a folded piece of paper from her cleavage and tossed it on the nearby desk.
   “A hidden camber, there are rules to get in. You give me the book, I give the address of the Teiwaz current base. Where one of their Inner Circle is running the operation. I also give you names of well placed Teiwaz soldiers.
   “I will be waiting at the Moulin Rouge in two days. We’ll say 10 pm on the roof,” Izam Mizer said before she pointed to her arm showing the burn was now gone. Then Mizer smiled at them.
   “Nice try little red witch. I will be seeing you again,” she said before taking her leave.
   The team looked around and Sally closed her eyes before letting out a scream and throwing over the desk. She started breathing really hard and Araminta walked over and hugged her.
   Antoine knelt down, picked up the paper and said, “Damn.”