Part 24

by CM Towns

   “We got movement,” Gravity Woman said into her collar which was hooked to a com link.
   “I’m linking into nearby camera’s but you know the limitations to that,” Professor said over the line.
   “Yes, I’m following them from the liquor store,” Gravity Woman told her.
   A couple blocks down SubHuman, Brown Widow and Mr. Monster were in a stolen van. SubHuman at the wheel, Widow in the passenger seat and Mr. Monster in the back.
   “I’m following now,” SubHuman announced into his jackets com.
   “Acknowledged,” Professor said.
   “You think they’re going back to their base?” Brown Widow asked.

   “One can hope. Whatever buffer the sorceress is using we’ve pinpointed a general vicinity. I’d like to get a better idea of where. If not we have to rely on the police and then swoop in if needed,” Mr. Monster said.
   SubHuman was following Brown Widows navigation.
   “They seem to be driving without a purpose,” Widow said.
   “Trying to shake any followers. Either they know we’re near or they are being cautious,” Mr. Monster said.
   “I don’t like it either way,” SubHuman stated.
   “Professor, Gravity, anything unusual?” Mr. Monster asked.
   “I don’t see anything suspicious,” Gravity Woman announced.
   “I am tune into to the chatter but I hear nothing. Water is reporting that nothing is happening at the hangar, so this maneuvering does not seem to be a distraction from any possible attack,” Professor said.
   “Then they are being cautious,” Brown Widow said.
   “Or something else. We know our Viridna and Mateo are moving. No signs of MC, the paper girl or the cyborg,” said Mr. Monster.
   “Nor the magical girl,” SubHuman reminded.
   “I do not expect to see her unless they absolutely need her,” said Mr. Monster.
   “If this is a trap they will.”
   “So you think its a trap?”
   “You don’t?” SubHuman replied.
   “I think something else is at play here,” Mr. Monster answered.
   “A stand off perhaps,” Brown Widow suggested.
   Mr. Monster felt Widow was close to truth on this one. The tracker had went dead but thanks to the data recovered and various surveillance pictures they matched a car the group had been using. The same vehicle was photographed at the location where the anarchists stole the two vehicles they were using earlier in the day.
   “Guys, their pulling into an alleyway behind a strip and now exiting vehicle,” Gravity Woman announced.
   “Any camera’s nearby?” SubHuman asked.
   “None,” replied the Professor.
   “Can you check on their location?” Mr. Monster asked her.
   “Already on it. Might take a couple minutes,” she announced.
   “Where should I park?” SubHuman questioned.
   “On the curb for now. Depending on what we get, we’ll move into the alley and proceed after them,” Mr. Monster instructed.
   “Might as well just park with them,” SubHuman recommended.
   “No. Just to be safe we’ll park right here on the curb,” Mr. Monster shot down. SubHuman parked and the three waited.
   “You okay Gravity?” Mr. Monster asked.
   “I’m fine. I see some movement but looks like locals,” she answered.
   “I got it,” Professor stated.
   “What’s the store?” SubHuman asked.
   “Previously a cleaner but now empty. I’m looking for anything of note,” she answered.
   “Its a trap. They want us to go in and face them,” SubHuman said.
   Mr. Monster disagreed with that thought, believing something else was at work.
   “That location, and those around, do not seem to hold any sort of value,” Professor finally said.
   “Its an invitation,” Mr. Monster told them.
   “How?” Gravity Woman asked.
   “If it was a trap they would not have waited this long to spring it. Go ahead and park beside them-we’ll go in the same way. Eee what they want,” Mr. Monster directed.
   “You think that’s wise?” asked Brown Widow.
   “I think we will find out shortly,” he answered her before adding, “Meet us in the alley Gravity Woman. Send word of our intentions to the hangar and our teammates elsewhere.”
   SubHuman drove the van into the alley and the three exited. Gravity Woman swooped down to join them. Mr. Monster took lead entering first with Gravity Woman and Brown Widow following and SubHuman watching their rear.
   “Two of them. Just two,” Mr. Monster noted as he sniffed the air. He then looked to SubHuman and directed, “SubHuman, you take the girls to confront our hosts. I’ll watch the back. Do not attack unless provoked.”
   “What if nothing happens? Let them go?” SubHuman asked.
   “I’ll let you decide, but I would caution that we are probably being watched. If they want to leave and we move against them-” he started and SubHuman nodded knowing where was going to go.
   Subhuman lead Widow and Gravity from the back area toward the front of what once was a cleaners. There they encountered Mateo and Viridian.
   “It’s the electro-punk and Widow and a local celeb, Gravity Woman,” Mateo greeted.
   “Who else is with you?” asked Viridian.
   “Mr. Monster. Just watching the door,” SubHuman answered.
   “So why haven’t you called in the big guns? We did take out a few of your members,” Mateo taunted.
   “Your fifth member did that along with a little help from a machine-man. Without her, or him, this would have been over now,” SubHuman said.
   “Last time you caught us off guard. Next time it’ll be different,” Viridian warned.
   “Especially lacking Flash-Man, Water, and El Hijo whatever,” Mateo said.
   “Was the point of this to compare battle notes? Because I’m already bored,” Gravity Woman.
   “No, it’s not. This is just a question-why? Why do you fight us? You’re suppose to be good guys but I guess that just means beating up super-nazi’s and crazed mad men. When it comes to real issues some of you just spout out support without doing anything,” Mateo stated.
   “Letting the people fight for themselves rather than fighting with them,” Viridian added.
   “We’re not really fans of innocent people suffering for what a group of radicals thing is change when its just acts of violence,” Brown Widow said.
   “Workers losing their jobs. People dying in the crossfire. A few dead cops-were they all bad or was there a decent one in there?” SubHuman pointed out.
   “A pig is a pig,” Mateo replied.
   “In that, I agree. But some pigs are slightly better than others. Some pigs have loving homes and children,” SubHuman responded.
   “We did them a service!” Viridian shouted.
   “Fatherless children is a service? Yes-the justice system is corrupt! Yes, there are officers who should not be allowed out on the streets with a gun-but what you’re doing does not help. It simply goes to further militarize them. To further make them suspicious. Instead of bringing the problems to light, instead fixing the structure and forcing the bad out you simply want to give more reason for conflict!” argued Brown Widow.
   “You believe in peaceful resistance? Never works,” Viridian replied to Brown Widow.
   “Its not about peace-its about being smart. You are not being smart. You allow your emotion to force your hand and innocent people can suffer, some did. You think we don’t do anything? Just because we’re not vocal doesn’t mean we sit on the sidelines. Reina and Sprite exposed corrupt cops by passing on details and keeping their names out. We march sometimes, true, and behind the scenes we pass on tips and evidence to get bad seeds removed. We may not be doing it everyday or every week but its a gradual process and our produced results and yours produces damage to everyone around,” Brown Widow shot back.
   “Police, corporations, governments so much that needs to be corrected. You say we need to be smart like oyu, I say there isn’t time for that. All that’s left is force. Gradual change is not happening fast enough-for every crooked cop you exposde their hundreds more workign and hundreds more being recruited. You expose a senator? What then? Five months in minimum security federal prsion and their victims get nothing? No,” Mateo said.
   “So how many stand with you?” Gravity Woman asked as she looked around.
   “There are those who are rising,” Mateo said.
   “A small scattering of angry people who are being put down. Disenfranchised and rightfully so but your way will not work and your going to get people needlessly hurt or worse-killed,” SubHuman said.
   “And your way is better?” Mateo inquired.
   “We’re fighting battles on a larger scale than you can perceive with ties to some of these corrupt systems you are battling against. We’re hitting from the front, back and sides and you’re just running around throwing rocks without hitting the right targets,” SubHuman spat back.
   “Bull shit!” Viridian shouted.
   “We are victims just as some of the Guard are victims. You say you’re battling on a different stage, smarter, more refined even-cool. You contribute but has it ever occurred maybe if you went straight for the heart of the machine all others will fall on the wayside,” Mateo added.
   “I got bad news for you-there will always be crime. Always greed and power to corrupt. Always a bad guy. You cut the head off the US and what does that do? Could it improve life, sure. But to not consider the alternative result, let alone the sacrifice shows what you are-you’re not anarchists, you are pathetic,” Subuman said.
   Mateo made a move and Viridian held him back.
“You have grievances, you wish to fight for whats just and we respect that but your methods bring trouble and collateral not needed. Our enemies can just rebuild what you tear down-you’re not going for the heart because you don’t know where it is. Is your mystery girl the one filling you heads with these thoughts? Taking your justified anger and twisting it? Exaggerating what you accomplish? Because you have accomplished little,” SubHuman continued.
   “Charm found us, all victims fighting. She put us together with a cause. One that we believe. You think what we want to do is too extreme-I get it. You think we’re sloppy? We have had the same discussions. Ultimately we have decided that our method is the one needed,” Viridian said.
   “Charm? Nice name. Can you really trust her?” Brown Widow asked thinking of what Water suggested days earlier about influence.
   “Yes. Charm has shown us the way. It was her idea for this meeting. To extend an olive branch. If refused, she will plot to defeat the Guard. Break your team,” Viridian answered.
   “Wow. I would like to see her try,” SubHuman mocked.
   “You will,” Mateo said before walking past them with Viridian at his heels. They went toward the back and Mr. Monster stepped aside as they exited.
   “Professor?” Mr. Monster asked.
   “Heard everything,” she said.
   The three joined Monster as he replied to her, “Your thoughts?”
   “Hit them hard and fast,” she replied.
   “The item I requested?” he said.
   “It’ll be there tomorrow morning,” she replied.
   “Item?” Brown Widow asked.
   “An equalizer. Tomorrow we show them that any combination of the Guard is an adversary not to take lightly,” he answered.