Part 20

by CM Towns

   Four days had passed since the Guard left France. Giving the team time to wrap up and do a little sight seeing. Now, back at base, Sally and April were joined by Elijah, Aamil and Eartha around the poker table in the gaming room discussing the varied events of the mission.
   “It’s frustrating,” Sally admitted.
   “Of course it is. To rely on the woman Mizer for information. The options were not good. If you turn her down the Teiwaz might be gone, you take her up on the offer-like you did-we hand her something we do not even understand,” Elijah said.
   “The thing that most bothers me is her being in Paris at the same time. She knew you would be there. How?” Aamil asked.
   “I thought about this too, it’s possible she had something to do with getting us in place,” April suggested.
   “She had Interpol sources reach out? That still doesn’t account for the lack of superhero aid,” Eartha said.
   “Superhero activity in France has been rather minimal. There is either something stopping the growth of powers or those who can have chosen to keep to themselves,” Sally said.

   “Superhumans within the Muslim community in France would definitely keep to themselves. However we know of at least three active heroes in France and you ran into none of them. That is unsettling,” Aamil stated.
   “There is a belief one is dead. One we know operates outside Paris so its understandable that we missed them. The third is unaccounted for. The plan for a team run by the government is on the books but little information is available,” Sally detailed.
   “Mizer pushes the idea of Guard assistance to deal with the Teiwaz, just a maneuver to retrieve this book because she can not,” Aamil stated.
   “Mizer has to have spies inside the Teiwaz to get the information she has,” added April.
   “How much did we get from the Teiwaz base and Johan?” Eartha asked.
   “Johans dead. Died in transport. Victim of a car bombing. Very little from him. The information from the computers is being combed through slowly but was handed off to the CIA, FBI, Interpol-what have you. They have more resources. However the Teiwaz were ahead and shut down a number of bases. Still, hundreds caught and a few plants removed in our own government,” April answered.
   “Several wins but a big loss in Mizer,” Aamil said.
   “A thorn that needs removal,” said Sally harshly.
   “Let us review our brief time as heroes. We have the Teiwaz, who despite the advances we make to shut them down continue to operate in large numbers. They sacrifice pawn after pawn, a few knights and rooks but continue to make advances. They have infiltrated governments, acquired weapons of a great destructive values, recruited dangerous people and have shown even the premier superhero team can not cut all the heads from their hydra,” Elijah described.
   “Unsettling,” Eartha commented.
   “The Mistress Izam Mizer. We have encounter twice-once using a mummy to test the limits of its connection to ancient Gods and our own limits as a team. Now using us to retrieve a book of unknown power. We know she has help. We know she has eyes in the Teiwaz. We know that Mizer can track any of us down. What is her end game? Is it a new world order like the Teiwaz? Or maybe something simpler like great power?” questioned Elijah.
   “Scary,” Eartha commented.
   “Finally we have King. All we know is that he rules the world,” Elijah finished.
   “We know more than that. Jessie learned that King dates back to the 1930s during the depression. Using war and economic recovery to find its place. Control of wealth, land and positions of power increased over decades,” Sally gave detail to.
   “Even scarier. Can we like talk about something else now?” wondered Eartha.
   “Yes-like why are we not discussing this with the whole team?” Aamil asked.
   “No not that. I mean a happy topic. Like April-you getting some now, how do you feel?” Eartha asked April.
   “Oh God,” Aamil said.
   April ignores Aamil and says, “Its good. Very good,” with a big smile.
   “We are discussing important details that have a major impact on the team. Elijah, Sally help me out,” Aamil requested.
   “Aamil has a point, however it is nice to speak on other things. We can’t do much of anything right now,” Elijah said.
   “I agree with Elijah, yet I am uncomfortable talking about relationships so I would rather if we switch topics to something we can all engage in,” Sally said.
   “What would you want to talk about?” April asked her.
   “I read a fascinating book on Puritan life and religion. There was the article about the the havoc superhuman activity has had on some states economy while others have benefited. I am preparing for USC and its a strange feeling. I also started watching the Good Wife and now have two shows I like,” Sally said.
   “Whats the other show?” Aamil asked.
   “Supernatural,” Sally answered.
   “Really? You only like two shows produced on Earth and they are Supernatural-two guys in car fighting demons and monsters. The other is the Good Wife, a soap opera set in a law firm?” Eartha questioned.
   “I watch Supernatural. Mmmmmmmm,” April replied.
   Aamil shook his head.
   “Do you watch anything?” Elijah said.
   “Some. I prefer bad action films, video games, and books about pirates,” Aamil said.
   “Pirates?” Eartha repeated.
   “You have a problem with that?” he asked and she shook her head. Aamil continued by saying, “If we are not talking about the cases I’ll leave you all. I have more important things to do.”
   “Trying to finally beat Reed in a game?” April questioned.
   Aamil turned and walked away.
   “I should be off to, I still have episodes of Good Wife to catch up on,” Sally said before excusing herself.
   “So, what now?” Eartha asked.
   Elijah grabbed a deck of cards and pointed to them. April and Eartha declined and started talking about Aprils new relationship which lead Elijah to excusing himself.

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