Part 9

by CM Towns

   They were brasher now than they had been. The five young superhumans had accomplished so much in the past day, more than any other previous. Many times it was one or two acts of robbery, arson and/or vandalism. Starting with attacking banks or business with shady practices. When the team would expand the attacks became more daring. When they had a stronger team they would make the cops know that they were outgunned. The news called them terrorists, some called them criminal anarchists. Their actions brought split responses. Some hailing them for their proactive response in attempt to challenge the system. Others hated them because their actions were aggressive and violent, believing in peaceful means. For these five peaceful means accomplished nothing.
   On the day that passed these criminal anarchists robbed a major bank. Not just a million dollars but of precious valuables from security boxes. They split the money up to needs, some jewels for their own tastes, and planned the rest to dump into charities, shelters, or just burning it somewhere the police could find it. Part of the team smashed up a firm, one involved in protecting dangerous criminals and businesses that hurt everyday people. The attack including the execution of one of the partners. The other half of the team made a quick stop at a police station and made almost a dozen cruisers worthless. Then later that night, the whole of the team played demolition crew to an automobile factory whose CEO gave himself a raise while laying off a portion of the workforce. As the fire burned four stood in front of a camera dress in all black.
   “America-today we show you that nothing is safe. We will walk into your banks and take from you. We will walk into your firms that protect the corrupt and make these lawyers pay for their transgressions. We will come to one of your celebrated industries-and lay waste to it. An industry that is bankrupt and used government bailouts to keep it afloat but only for the money grubbing execs-none of that goes to the people work hard. They can be cut aside. We will take your wealth and dump it into the streets for the people who need it. America needs to pay. The government is a tool of corporate interest. The police protect the status quo, they don’t serve justice,” One of them said.
   Another stepped forward, “This country was about being the home of the brave and land of the free. It’s abused the brave and taken away the freedoms. Peaceful protests don’t work. The law doesn’t work. It’s time we burn this shithole to the ground.”
   “You will label us terrorists. We are not. We do what we must. Once we are done here, we will move on to every country that needs real freedom. Breaking the chains of the rulers. Our ideology is freedom from oppression. Government and corporate,” another added.
   The video went off and it was up twenty minutes later online.

   The group started with Mateo and Charm. Mateo, an almost six foot tall mixed race teenager with wild black hair, deep brown eyes and hailed from Arizona. He possessed the ability of energy absorption and redirection. A power that came as a result of surviving an explosion during a battle between military and invaders. The ability came to light in a conflict with a police officer who tried to use a current gun on him. Soon Mateo was locked up while the government sought to press gang him into service. he agreed but escaped the moment he saw an opportunity.
   An angry teenager who lived in a bad area, had problems in and out of school, and had a father in jail. Mateo had a small record with shop lifting and possession. He felt there was no future for him and the state of Arizona made sure to remind him time and again. Especially after a drug raid on his home which left his beloved dog dead. The raid was by officers believing Mateo was involved with his fathers old partners but they found nothing and that was it. No coverage for damage, no apologies for his pet. Mateo had a lot of anger and was sought out by Charm.
   Charm, a short black haired girl who told him she was a runaway. Running from the government who wanted to exploit her for her powers. She was angry at the world and wanted to fight back. The two started small and for a couple weeks caused trouble for the authorities without much attention. Charm disappeared and returned with Viridian.
   Viridian was Algerian with silver eyes, long brunette hair, sun kissed skin and the power to manipulate magnetism. A criminal in her home country even before her powers being the daughter of two outspoken protestors who were thrown in prison. When Viridians powers manifested they tried to lock her away, they failed and she started on the road of revenge. Viridian was hurt in battle and on the verge of death when Charm rescued her. Charm had a plan and one that she felt would appeal to her senses.
   They next recruited MC. A short black teen, with a shaved head, small cut on his chin and some diamond studs in his ears. MC was from Florida, a hot bed of controversy. The police force in his area, Miami-Dade have been in the news in an unflattering light, and the states Stand Your Ground law had been decried. Criticized as a way to protect white males especially after a black woman was sentenced to ten years for killing her attacker. They used Stand Your Ground as a defense but it was said that it did not apply in that circumstance.
   MC was angry at the city, the state. Then the banks when his family lost their home. A filing mistake, one that effected several homes through the city. Lawsuits were filed, lawyers called in, and money was running low as banks drew out the case. So when he found a mysterious box on the beach that contained mystical gauntlets he took that anger out on the banks and cops and lawyers. The gauntlets gave him the power of both fire and ice. However when things got too hot and he started to lay low.
   The last recruit was Renate. A petite teenager of German descent with blond hair that came down to her shoulders. Her life story involved being relocated by her mother to Windhoek in Namibia at the age of six. Their names changed to protect them from Renate’s father, a captain in the Teiwaz. A decade later she was found out when her bizarre ability to make paper as sharp as knives came to light. They abducted her and began their brainwashing. A new superhuman for the cause but soon the base was shut down and Renate was to be reunited with her mother, but she disappeared. Locked up somewhere with no contact with outside world until the one named Charm freed her.
   Charm informed Renate she was being imprisoned by wealthy businessman to one day use as a weapon. It was Renate’s destiny to help shut down corruption and greed. To fight the hordes of hate and evil.
   The morning after their eventful day Renate was playing with the food she cooked while seated across from Viridian. MC was on one of the lawn chairs with a laptop hooked to the TV watching Reina Titán’s interview. The group had set up in a two room house that had been abandoned. Charm casted a few spells for protection while the group moved in their few supplies to make the place liveable.
   “You still mad?” Viridian asked.
   “Not mad. I understand why the lawyer woman should have died but I just-I just don’t like that part of the work,” she answered.
   “Think of her as less of a person and as child devouring troll,” Viridian suggested.
   Renate had a weak smile before taking a bite of the eggs.
   “MC is watching that Reina interview again,” Viridian commented.
   “He has a crush.”
   “Its silly.”
   “Reina is an amazing woman.”
   “She doesn’t do enough. Her and the Guard.”
   “Charm says they will come for us now. We’ve made ourselves targets beyond the reach of the locals and the big agencies,” Renate said.
   “Maybe. Maybe they’ll let Division-1 come for us.”
   “You done?” Renate asked and Viridian nodded. Renate took the plate and utensils to the kitchen to clean up.
   Viridian stood up and walked over to the lawn chairs and sat on one.
   Reina had just started on a big tirade with, “… I am not some killing machine you can wind up and let loose. Especially working for a government with so many branches and agencies, workers and politicians, all who have an agenda. A number of which are corrupt. Many who do not really give a damn about the common American. Fuck that. The government doesn’t deserve me. I fight for justice, they fight for capitalism.
   “Take the war on drugs. America’s answer, put street level drug dealers in jail but not the big shot callers. Like those bankers who launder their money. Not to mention the men and women who get caught and tossed away like scum. Well, unless your white or got money. USA has failed at the drug war and still act like they’re doing the right thing,” Reina was obviously annoyed and stopped, shook her head.
   “You going to complain?” MC asked.
   “No, just turn on something different,” said Viridian.
   “We don’t got Netflix on this stolen laptop. Guess we can try Hulu,” MC stated kneeling over to the laptop.
   “Or maybe a news program. See how they are spinning the story,” Viridian suggested.
   “The original video was deleted and the snippets on the news have been edited to help them talk about how we’re the problem. How right they are though. The news-what a joke,” MC said.
   Mateo walked in and dropped some bags on the table, some groceries and supplies. Mateo yawned and took a seat at the table.
   “How is it out there?” Viridian asked.
   “Cops are on high alert. Some of the people on the street are behind us but you know-getting them to go out and fight is a whole different thing,” Mateo said.
   “You get a newspaper while you were out?” asked MC.
   “Yes I did, front page story here,” Mateo said pulling out a paper and tossing it to MC.
   MC took a look and then handed it to Viridian. Renate came out with some food for Mateo and he thanked her.
   “We did alright for national news but they saying what you’d expect. They ain’t even trying to screw around like they do with heroes versus villains. Nah-we worst than the worst,” MC stated.
   “As to be expected. Charm said we have to build and build to finally get it rolling,” Mateo said.
   “There is more to do,” said Charm walking in from the hall.
   “So whats the plan?” Mateo asked.
   “We have to turn their heroes or we have to crush them,” she said.
   “So the Division is coming for us?” asked Viridian.
   “The Division is busy…” Charm paused to look up, thinking, “Their fight in South America with Daga Cartel and its new allies. Then I sense them moving to certain issues in the south. Bad things are rising. They will be occupied.”
   “The Guard? Thats some serious manpower,” Mateo said.
   “Not the full team. My magics show me a portion of the team otherwise occupied so if we are smart, we can prevail,” Charm told them.
   “Prevail in turning them or beating them,” Renate reiterated Charms earlier point.
   “Yes-if they won’t see reason, we will use them to our benefit. Beating them show us as dangerous and might motivate others,” Charm said.
   “So you have a plan?” asked Viridian.
   “Of course,” Charm answered with a smile.