B1 — 6. Born To Fight

Rachel heard Maria separate from her group at a brisk pace.

Richard cleared his throat.  “You heard that?”

“Yeah, she thinks we might be compromising her healing deal with the hospital.”

Julia bit her lower lip for a moment.  “You and Scarlet can’t heal though, right?”

Taking a deep breath while stretching out, Rachel got up, continuing to stretch.  “Not that I know, but who knows. She seems like the violent type—who knows what she’ll do.  I better get ready in case she wants to fight.”

“You’re serious?”  Julia said, face growing ashen.

“I’ve known girls like her in high school.  They aren’t reserved about throwing a punch.”  She began easing her neck, long hair shifting as she pulled it back.  “You wouldn’t happen to have like an elastic strap or something? I wish I was in something besides a medical gown.”

Swallowing, Julia moved behind the big station in the center, returning with an elastic strip.  Rachel took it and tied back her hair in a high-ponytail before slowly rotating her neck. Shaking herself out, she took a few deep breaths.  Wow, why do I feel so calm?  I used to be nervous before training with Brock in the ring, but I feel perfectly comfortable with the idea of fighting.  I guess it’s just a part of the transformation.

She turned to smile at the doctors.  “Don’t worry about me. I don’t know much about Unicorns, but I’m no slouch.  You should go wait back by those empty rooms.” They nodded, following her suggestion.

Rachel waiting a few minutes, following Maria’s movements through the halls.  Her footsteps are light; probably something to do with being a Unicorn.  She could be light on her feet, I should watch for it. The military guards by the door to the wing opened the door as she neared.  I guess this is the Mythickin wing.

Time slowed as Rachel focused on the Unicorn as she rounded the corner.  She wore a black tank-top with 808 numbers across the front in white, and a black sports bra underneath; black slightly baggy pants with a white belt, and black Jordan shoes.  The shine of her gold chain around her neck paled in comparison to her glowing white skin, enhanced by her shimmering white hair. She definitely was radiant and her features beautiful; she was at least two inches shorter than Rachel with the Jordans and held hourglass proportions.  Her hair wasn’t as thick as Rachel’s, but had no pink hue and was silky, hanging straight down her back to her butt. Shockingly, she had no horn, but pointed ears poking through her silky locks.

Maria’s silver irises twinkled with an inner light as she caught sight of Rachel.  “So, this is the rabbit I’ve heard about. What’s your name?” Her voice was soft on Rachel’s ears but held a commanding tone.

“Rachel, and before you get all uptight; no, I’m not moving in on your business.”

She lifted an eyebrow.  “I see those big ears aren’t for show.  You’re a fly on the wall, eh?” Appraising her for a moment, she hummed.  “We could use someone with good ears in the crew; what do you say, chica?”

“Don’t think I’d be a good fit.”  Rachel said curtly.

A small smile lit Maria’s lips.  “Not afraid to speak your mind, eh?  ¿Qué pedo? Got some beef, sangrona?”

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“What’s up with charging people for something you can do with a snap of your fingers?”  Rachel asked, feet planted.

“Really are a sangrona, aren’t ya?  We with the business—we suffer every maldito minuto; I got eighty-eight killers with their aim on me, hating cabrones, trying to stop me from taking care of my barrio, my camaradas.  Who are you to judge what I’m doing is wrong? Only God can judge me; so I answer to no man. It’s programmed,” she said, tapping her head. “So, ¡Vete al infierno, perra, y comprate una vida.”  She huffed.

Rachel looked down at the floor, eyes narrowing.  I guess I don’t have the right to judge her.  I don’t know anything about her, but she could at least speak English … I don’t speak Korean to insult people.

“No tengo tiempo,” Maria said dryly.

“I don’t understand Spanish,” Rachel muttered.

“You’re wasting my time, perra.  Understand?”

“Is that all you came here to do?”  Rachel sighed. “Find out if I could damage your business and…”  She paused as she heard a commotion with Maria’s group.

“Quienes son estos … Marcus?”  A young man asked before yelping with surprise.

“¡Oye!  Dejalo ir tu…”  There was a sharp sound, and a few people grunted as multiple people hit solid objects.

“What a bunch of pansies,” a deep male voice chuckled.

“Hey,” Maria snapped her fingers.  “You high or something?”

“C’mon Marcus, these guys don’t even have abilities,” another man said with amusement.

Rachel held up a finger with a serious expression.  “Your crew were just attacked by someone named Marcus and someone else.”

Maria’s annoyed expression shifted to confusion.  “What are you on about? Marcus is causing trouble in Miami Beach…”  She went silent as Rachel put her fingers to her lips, staring in their direction, her ears twitching for a second.

“So,” Marcus said, throwing someone into a chair with a grunt.  “Felix, my boy! I hear your sister’s one of those Mythickin the news is all up in arms about; some kind of Unicorn or something.  Is that right?”

Felix spat on the floor.  “¡Vete a chingar!”

“Tsk,” Rachel breathed as she heard Marcus slap Felix.

“I know my Spanish slang, Felix.  You should choose your words carefully; you know who I am, show respect.”  He popped his tongue. “Now, can your sister really heal any kind of illness?”

“What’s going on,” Maria asked, concern in her soft voice.

“Marcus found out you’re a Unicorn—he’s asking Felix if you can heal anything.”

Maria’s nose twisted.  “¡Carajo! How did he find out?  He must want his father’s cancer cured…”

Rachel’s attention returned to the scene.  “Felix, my man,” the other voice stated, slugging his shoulder.  “You know, our gang’s got quite a few ability users now. We’re even giving the Military a run for their money up in Miami Beach … been at a standoff since their last failed attempt to push us out two hours ago.  We even got our hands on a Fairy Mythickin, but the tiny girl’s basically useless … then we hear about your sister’s miracles … now, that caught our interest. To think that little hothead got that sort of ability—shocked my brother and I, but even more shocking—you didn’t contact us.  Why’s that? I mean, you two know the favors I pulled for your father in prison; you owe me.”

Rachel’s eyes shot to Maria as she began to march toward her.  “What’s going…”

“Can you shut up,” Rachel snapped.  “I’m listening; they’re mad you didn’t contact them after all they did for your dad.”

Maria bared her teeth as she seethed, glaring at the wall.  “Mierda—mierda—¿esos wey tienen a mi hermano?” She took a deep breath.  “They have my brother?” Her shouting seemed to wake Roger and Cameron as their sharp eyes narrowed in her direction.

“Everything alright?”  Cameron asked, rising quickly, hand resting on his rifle strapped around his shoulders.

Rachel shook her head.  “There’s someone named Marcus that just attacked Maria’s gang and took her brother hostage.  I think his brother is with him; they probably want Maria to heal their father. They said they’re the ones the Military is trying to push out of Miami Beach right now.”  Roger and Cameron’s faces darkened as they repeated her information on their earpiece. She focused on the scene again.

“I doubt the boy’ll talk easily,” Marcus’ brother stated, burping.

“Yeah, let’s**** up the surveillance room and look for her there.  Check it out; this is where the room is.”

“Got it,” his brother stated as he grabbed Felix.  “Let’s go, kid.”

Rachel’s eyes widened as they vanished; not a sound followed, clothing or breathing.  “They’re gone?” She scanned through the hospital. “Wait, I found them … they’re in the surveillance room.  They knocked out the guards and … they found us.” Her eyes shot to a camera in the corner. “Marcus’ brother can teleport; they’re figuring out the exact location to get here.”

Roger and Cameron cursed before cocking their rifles and repeating the information through the network; Mateo voice fed through their headset shortly after.  “More units on the way.  They’re terrorists; green light, fire on sight.”

Running to different rooms, Roger and Cameron yelled, “Docs, get inside that room and lock the doors!”  The doctors ran to the room, the door slamming behind them. “Rachel…”

Three people appeared by the door the doctors had locked themselves in.  Roger and Cameron took aim and fired with sharp accuracy. Rachel’s focus slowed the world around her to the point she was able to see the bullets move like a professional pitcher throwing a baseball.  The rounds hit some kind of orange honeycomb shell, ricocheting off to strike the cement walls. Marcus has a shield while his brother can teleport … that’s a dangerous combination.

Cameron and Roger swore vehemently about ability users as Maria fearlessly marched over to the shell, face twisted with rage as her fist pounded against it once, causing it to light up for a moment.  “Daran, Marcus, libera a mi hermano … malditos wey!”

Both Daran and Marcus were African American with matching expensive pinstripe suits on with black ties and purple dress shirts; matching the look, they both wore dark aviator glasses, small gold earrings, and had short beards.

Daran pulled off his glasses with his left hand, right gripping Felix’s collar.  His dark brown eyes appraising Maria with raised eyebrows. “Wait, is that you Maria?  Turning into a Unicorn made you as white as it gets, chola.” He chuckled. “I’d be pissed.”

Marcus’ grin rose.  “Guess the info checked out.  She’s not bad to look at; what do you think, Daran?”

He smacked his lips.  “I’d go with exotic, definitely exotic; same with that fairy though—think about it, a girl that small; she could do all sorts of things.”  He chuckled.

Rachel’s teeth were clenched as she glanced over to Scarlet’s room.  Should I try to help?  I don’t know if I can break that barrier … I’m sure I could if I were in moonlight, but without it … Scarlet could handle them in literally a second, but me … a knee would be my strongest weapon.

Marcus looked over at Rachel.  “Check out the rabbit. That’s exotic for you—we should get some more of those Beastkin girls; some of them are hot as…”  He cut off as Maria clenched her teeth, pulled back her fist and struck the barrier. Nothing happened.

“Huh,” Daran muttered.  “How was it?”

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Marcus chuckled.  “Disappointing. Probably as strong as a muscular guy; a lot stronger than she looks, but weak.”

“Tsk,” Daran shook his head.  “All these Mythickin are such a disappointment for all the hype; first the Fairy and now the Unicorn—I guess she’s only good for healing.”  He put his glasses back on as the skinny Hispanic boy started struggling in his grip and brought him around to smack his face; making him cry out, cheeks darkening.

“la madre que te parió!”  Maria slammed both fists on the barrier, white face flushed with frustration.  “I’ll heal your dad; just let my brother go!”

Rachel had enough, her eyes locking on Felix’s bruised face; he was trying to hide his tears from his sister.  Okay, these guys are terrorists, right?  They’ve killed people and will likely kill Maria’s brother.  They’ve also kidnapped a Fairy Mythickin. I get the feeling that I won’t feel a thing killing people like this—more to do with my change?  Well, I’m a lot more powerful than a strong human man … let’s see how you like my punch.

Movement slowed around her as Rachel instantly accelerated, leaving a whirlwind in her wake as she raced beside Maria, hair waving behind her.  Her fist struck the honeycomb barrier; she heard a sharp sound as spiderweb cracks broke across a few feet at her point of impact before starting to heal.

Marcus dropped to a knee; clutching at his shoulder, he gasped, “What the—was I just hit by a truck?”

Both turned to look at Rachel’s anger filled pinkish-red eyes as the wind roared past her, hair fanning out.  Punch didn’t work, knee it is!  Firming her footing, she twisted her hips and threw all her strength into kneeing the barrier; the shield shattered.  Marchas quaked as he grasped his chest, blood spraying from his mouth.

Daran’s jaw dropped open, his sunglasses sliding down as his eyes bulged, staring at Rachel regained her footing and prepared for a roundhouse kick.  He reached down to grab his brother; touching his back just before Rachel’s heel struck his side, they vanished. A roar of wind slammed the door the doctors were in; the hinges creaked as it dispersed, glass shattering and flying inward.  No!  Did I just kill the doctors?

She raced toward the door, smashing through it; she saw Julia and Richard cowering in the back corner behind the bed, glass littering the floor.  Rachel sighed with relief. “I thought I might have killed you. I’m so sorry! I didn’t think that would happen.”

“We’re fine,” Julia squeaked, staying behind the bed.

Roger and Cameron ran into the room.  “Rachel, are they still in the building?”

Swallowing, Rachel took a deep breath to calm herself before scanning through sounds.  The other door guards are almost here … there they are; freaking a mile away!  “They’re a mile away,” she cursed.  “Scarlet wouldn’t have let them escape!”  She growled. Why do I keep comparing myself to her?  Whatever, she wouldn’t have! She listened to their conversation, the heat of failure burning her chest.

“Get in the corner!”  Daran yelled at Felix as he shoved him away.  He cried out, after hitting the ground and started to cry softly.  “What happened?”

Marcus coughed several times, rasping, “What—what—was—was that bunny-girl?  It’s—took a—a hit by a tank shell! If I didn’t—didn’t release—I’d be dead!”

“The other Beastkin weren’t anything like that,” Daran muttered.  “She must be a Mythickin, but what kind of legend is she from?”

Spitting a few times, Marcus cleared his throat.  “Doesn’t matter—she’s dangerous…”

Rachel’s eyes darted to Maria as she walked over to her, tears falling down her cheeks.  “You—you,” she was trembling as she stopped in front of her. Her balled fist shot out; Rachel saw it coming long before it landed, but decided to take it.  The blow itself didn’t hurt, just shifted her head a little. “You—they’ll kill him!” She cried.

She focused on their conversation again.  “What do we do with the boy?” Daran asked.

Clearing his throat again, Marcus swallowed.  “We need—I need to see the doc. Maria will come—come looking for her brother.”  He wheezed, coughing again, he cursed. “That rabbit!”

Rachel frowned as Maria began punching her chest in grief; Roger and Cameron unsure what to do as the other unit arrived.  She continued to listen to the brothers, Maria’s weak punches not fazing her.

Daran hummed darkly.  “Seems like the best plan, but what if that bunny-girl comes with her?”

“We—we got the force to deal with her—on our turf,” Marcus said with a vicious tone.

Taking a deep breath, Rachel grabbed Maria’s hands as Daran grabbed Felix and pulled him over to his brother by the hair.  The three of them vanished; she finally heard their voices two miles away before they disappeared again several seconds later.  It looks like he can only teleport a mile at a time.  Maybe he could go further, but it seems limited, and they’re in a rush, but took several seconds to jump again.

“Suéltame perra puta madre…”  Maria yelled as she struggled in her grip, kicking at her shins.

Rachel sighed.  “Could you settle down?  Your brother is fine right now.  They’re going to wait for you to go get him at their base in Miami Beach.”

Maria’s brow creased as her teary eyes locked with her.  “What? You heard them say that?”

Letting go of her hands, Rachel snapped back some of the buttons on her sleeve that had come undone.  “While you were whaling on me, yeah, I did. It’s a bit concerning that they also think they can handle me if both of us go together … they said they had more ability users earlier.  If the Military haven’t been able to handle them in the last several hours, they must have some strong abilities, but I think Marcus will be out of commission for a while.”

Cameron relayed the information over his headset as Roger explained what had happened to the soldiers flooding into the area.

Rachel listened for a minute before she saw Maria beginning to walk toward the exit.  “Hey!” When she didn’t stop, she ran in front of her. “Do you have any powers to fight?”

Maria glared at her.  “No, but…”

“Then you’re going to get yourself killed!”  Rachel glanced over at Scarlet’s room again. The Military can’t handle them, and they’re confident they can handle me … but Scarlet would probably eat all of them alive, literally … but I can’t…

“Get out of my way!”  Maria yelled, trying to move around her.

“Stop!”  She yelled, getting in her way again.

The soldiers noticing their confrontation, moving to block the exit.  “She’s right, Ma’am,” a soldier said. “We’ll handle it from here.”

“What!”  Maria screamed.  “Ni siquiera puedes tocar…”  Rachel frowned before reaching out and picking her up.  “You…”

Rachel whispered in her ear.  “Look, I’m going to help you get your brother back, but you need to calm down.”

Maria stopped struggling.  “Fine, you better not go back on your word.”  She whispered before shouting. “Fine! You handle it!”

Carrying her to the back room, she sat her down and looked into her silver eyes.  “Okay, we need a plan.”

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