Part 19

by CM Towns

   “I’m not going back out there. Not to fight these jerks,” Erica said to Frank who was standing with April. The three were inside the Tuskegee-1. The pair had gone inside to check on Erica who was in a bad mood after the fight.
   “You faced down with Teiwaz baddies and you’re scared of some super-teens?” Frank asked.
   “I didn’t want to fight those baddies but in that case their wasn’t some wizard lady who totally kicked our asses. That’s different,” she replied.
   “They were still heavy odds against,” Frank responded.
   “We had Red Sprite and the element of surprise. These ones have powers and the wizard bitch was in my ears telling me to quit and telling me how bad I was at this!” Erica shouted.
   “She was not anywhere near you!” Frank shot back.
   “Are you saying I’m lying?”
   Frank went to respond but April put a hand on his shoulder.

   Erica continued, “Arturo’s hurt, who knows where Aamil is and Araminta? She’s shook up too. They had us figured out.”
   “Get some rest. We’ll call you when the food arrives,” April said leading Frank through the door into the storage area down the ramp into the hanger.
   “You okay?” she asked Frank.
   “No. We got beat by amateurs,” he replied.
   “Those amateurs had some incredible power on their side,” April reminded him.
   “That’s not an excuse. If the others were here-it would not have been an issue. I don’t want to have to run and call up Kid Victory or Reina or Sprite when we get our asses kicked. We should’ve been able to beat them!” Frank yelled. He looked around and the others who were looking his way.
   “Aamil called in,” Elijah said walking up, “He has stepped down and said it would be best to continue with out him.”
   “So much for second in command,” Frank said.
   “Frank! I understand you have problems with them giving Aamil position ahead but it takes a lot of courage to swallow your prde and step rise. Based on what Aamil told me happen to him-I could hear his anger and resentment at that call,” Elijah scolded.
   Frank felt bad for his snide remark. His annoyance at Aamil’s sudden position as second mixed with the teams defeat.
   “What happened to him?” April asked.
   “I don’t want to say too much but in short she made Aamil relive a traumatic experience. He believes it will effect his actions in the field,” Elijah said.
   “So we should call?” April said.
   “Not yet. This woman they had gave them the advantage but without her they had no footing,” Elijah said.
   “If we catch them without her we can over take them but how?” April asked.
   “I slipped a tracker on one of the ladies. The one who had a harder time fighting back. Tracker cut in and out a few times according to GR44 but the information might help,” he answered.
   “Good. Thats good. Teams cut down with Erica refusing to work, Aamil compromised and Artuto we’re unsure of. We cut them down too we have a good shot,” Frank said.
   “That’s the way I see it,” Elijah stated.
   Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to take a walk. Lots of pint up frustration,” Frank said.
   He kissed April and she said, “I’ll walk with you.”
   Elijah saw the, go and walked off to see Araminta who was checking on Arturo.
   “How is it?”
   “The arm will be better but he’ll be sore. Best not to over exert himself. Ribs are almost completely healed,” Araminta answered.
   “Your powers?” Elijah inquired of Arturo.
   “My head hurts every time I try,” he answered while looking down at the ground.
   “He may have suffered a serious concussion,” Araminta pointed out.
   “So you will have to be on the sidelines,” Elijah said.
   “CHINGATE! I’m not dropping out!” Arturo yelled.
   “It’s the best option for us,” Elijah said.
   “They hurt me, they hurt us, and they will pay!”
   “Shut up!” shouted Reed. “If Elijah says you’re done, you’re done!”
   “You’re going to stop me form going out there?” Arturo questioned.
   “No. You’re going to stop yourself. Because you know that a weak link will not help in this fight,” Reed said.
   “I’m not a weak link.”
   “Prove it. Fly right now,” Reed challenged. Arturo got up, focused his power. The girl said she opened his mental block. He tried to call on the power of pigeon. He focused and concentrated to get that connection. He did not know how to pull back the older connections so Arturo breathed another deep breath and decided to just take from a near by bird. He felt it but a blistering pain came over him, the right side of his head. He jerked forward and Araminta caught him.
   “I don’t… I don’t want to be the weak link,” Arturo said.
   “It’s okay,” Araminta hugged him. “I think I’m out too. Whatever Charm hit me with, it feels like I’m working extra hard to do everything.”
   “This leaves me, SubHuman, Huntsman, Brown Widow and Gravity Woman,” Elijah said.
   “I can still play support but a fighting role may not be best,” Araminta offered.
   “You are good at playing defensive so that would be handy,” Elijah said.
   “So whats the next move?” asked Reed.
   “We get rest,” Elijah stated.
   “And after that?” pressed Araminta.
   “We should have some pings on a map that will be cross checked with series of attacks and possible hide outs. We’re going to find them and surprise them next time,” Elijah explained.
   “And what about the mage?” Arturo questioned.
   “I’m working on that strategy right now,” Elijah answered.