Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Blue Nexus #82 - Micro Narcos Pt. 1

Previously on "Blue Nexus": Kyle and Kevin Miles AKA the Sentinel, a former mercenary turned vigilante turned superhero, have teamed up in the past to conquer incredible foes, as well as aid fallen cities in relief efforts. The two discovered Rafael in the Sentinel's home, Pacific City, and the Sentinel fought against Rafael's demonic forces in the final bout of the Magus War. The two have created a master-apprentice type bond over their time together, despite their worlds being incredibly far apart in terms of scope and abilities. 

            A car horn blared. Someone on the sidewalk screamed. Footsteps, running in the narrow alley between houses. Rustling of the hedges…he’s vaulted over them. A grunt, more footsteps. Someone talking in his ear, a woman, a friend. No time for it, though, no time for anything but…!
            The second car, a small, four-door family car, came zooming down the street. The Sentinel saw it far in his peripheral and at his speed versus its speed, even if it were to slow down, there would still be some kind of collision. He’d done this before, but, man, it’d been so long…
            The Sentinel took off, sucking everything in and pulling his legs in. He felt the barest parts of the car’s hood scrape against his foot as his body cleared the car and he hit the ground, rolled, and continue to sprint through the neighborhood. He vaulted over a taller fence and continued on.
            A man pulled his son away while he talked on the phone and Kevin sprinted through his backyard, pistol at the ready. He leaped over the second wall and heard a bullet ricochet off the wood and send a splinter into his cheek. The Sentinel rolled on the ground, pistol still out, and yanked his arm out from under him and had the assailant dead to rights. He fired and the bullet skimmed his leg as he turned to start running.
            The assailant yelped but kept going, pointing the gun back to shoot Kevin. Kevin slid behind a really nice car and felt just a little bit of sadness when the bullet broke through the glass and the alarm started blaring.
            “Goddamn it,” Kevin muttered and sprinted out from behind the car when he heard the assailant’s footsteps starting to fade away.
            He slid behind another car and grasped the second pistol on his belt. He counted a single beat and then took off once again, this time running at full-speed down the sidewalk. Police sirens were blaring in the distance, echoing off the walls of the houses and the Hollywood mountain in the distance.
            The Sentinel sprinted atop a car to gain a bit of air over the assailant, who was still about fifty yards away. Kevin shot twice, purposefully hitting only one side, and forced him to change his path. One of the cop cars swerved down the street, probably seeing Kevin. No! They were supposed to go to the next street. No wonder this guy’s friends were able to get away with so much, these cops had no idea what was going on.
            Kevin seriously wished for Detective Patton over in Adelita, the one always working with Kyle, instead of whoever was behind the wheel of that cop car. The assailant turned away from the cops and Kevin was already on it. He clipped his pistols to his belt and the runner didn’t even have a chance to see Kevin before the Sentinel just leveled him with his own shoulder. The runner slammed back against the ground, bashing his head against the pavement and screaming out in pain.
            The two cop cars pulled over. Kevin stood in their headlights, mask and hood still up, and turned the unconscious body of the runner over.
            “Realidad,” Kevin said to the sound of the officers taking up their stances to shoot the Sentinel. “You hear about these guys?”
            “Get on your knees, sir,” the younger policeman said.         
            “Here, how’s this,” Kevin said, pointing to the Realidad gangster. He had a thin coat on over a dirty shirt but had nice pants on. They were stained red from the murder he’d just walked away from, and there was still some white on his nose. “Give you guys this one for free.”
            “Who is he?” the same cop asked.
            “Same guy you were called in for,” Kevin said.
            “And which one of the superheroes are you?” the older cop said.
            “Silver Eagle,” Kevin lied, gesturing at the silver cloak he wore.
            “Heard he was Japanese,” the younger cop said.      
            “Japanese-American,” Kevin lied again. He bowed to the two cops. “Now, if you’ll excuse me.”
            “Wait!” the older cop exclaimed. “Realidad, which one are they?”
            Kevin turned around. “Ask your pal there. Tell him that the Segador Nocturno’s gonna get some friends soon.”
            Kevin smiled beneath his mask. “Nexo Azul.”
            Kyle’s phone buzzed the moment school ended. It was terrifying how simultaneous his phone ringing was to the final bell ringing and the humdrum of the class exploding into full-on cross-conversations. Kyle waited for just a second before answering, giving Kip the facial expression gesture to just go on to his locker without him.
            Kyle’s teacher eyed him oddly, as most of his teachers did. Her eyes flicked to his right arm where the Demon mark was still visible. Kyle just grinned at her and when he stepped out of the classroom he answered.
            “Kyle.” The voice was immediate. Kyle blinked in surprise.
            “So, are we allowed to use our regular names?” Kyle asked.
            “Whatever you want,” the Sentinel said. “Listen, I need you to get over here now. I wanted to be nice and wait until school was out.”
            “Alright, well, how urgent is this mission?” Kyle asked, keeping his voice low. He would be lost among the monotony of the crowd with just a few more steps, but he didn’t want anyone to catch a stray word.
            “Pretty damn,” the Sentinel said. “I could’ve used your help these last few nights but I figured I’d get as far as I could. I need someone with a bit more, um, abilities than I have.”
            “So Riko or Shindari are out of the question?” Kyle asked.
            “Riko and I aren’t on the best terms and Shindari has mages to deal with,” the Sentinel said. “I asked for you specifically, anyway.”                       
            Kyle grimaced. Great, he’d already cleared this with Phoenix. Now it wasn’t so much a choice for Kyle to make on whether or not to go on the mission, but rather at what time he’d head out for Pacific City to meet with the Sentinel.
“I still an excuse to get out of lacrosse, then,” Kyle said.     
“Already taken care of,” the Sentinel said. Kyle stopped and just ran his hand across his face.  
            “To what degree?” Kyle asked.
            “The degree that we’re wasting time and you need to get here. I need to brief you and then we need to move out. We have to be very particular in this assignment, or a lot of people are going to be hurt.”
            “Wanna give me some hints?” Kyle asked.
            “Drug ring,” the Sentinel said. “Very underground, dirty stuff. Like I said, we have to be careful. Get here within the hour.”
            “Ain’t that easy,” Kyle said.
            “For you, it is,” the Sentinel said, and Kyle just knew he was grinning on the other side of the phone. “Just hurry and get over here.”
            Kyle couldn’t even respond. The call ended and he just slid his phone right into his pocket with an indignant sigh.
            Kip and Luke waited for him at his locker with their stuff ready to go home. Kyle slid into the hallway between two groups of avid socialites and avoided the oddly raised eyebrows of some other students.
            “He has that look, Luke,” Kip said.
            Luke glowered across Kyle to Kip. “You just wanted to sound cool saying that? Who the hell talks like that?”
            “I wanted to rhyme.”
            “My name doesn’t rhyme with look,” Luke said.
            Kyle popped his locker open and just stared into it. “You know sometimes you just want, like, a little bit of normalcy.”
            “Off-world again?”
            “Same thing,” Luke said. Kyle raised his eyebrow and Luke shrunk a bit. “Okay, maybe not. I’ve only been once and it was to visit some pretty weird family.”
            Kip leaned against the locker and just nodded at Luke. “Right. Anyway, Sentinel stuff?”
            “Drug ring,” Kyle said. “Some underground stuff I guess.”
            “Wait, really?” Luke asked. “You always seemed like you did all the cosmic stuff. You were in space, like, a month ago.”
            Kyle shrugged and started rearranging things. “It sounded pretty serious. And if the Sentinel needs my help, it’s probably pretty serious.”
            “Wow, look who’s being humble,” Kip said.
            “Kip, I literally stopped someone from using negative energy to absorb the planet,” Kyle said. “I think that classifies me as someone handling serious threats.”
            “So you gonna be able to make it to school tomorrow?” Luke asked. “Or, you know, practice today?”
            “Apparently not,” Kyle said. “But the Sentinel said that he had it taken care of, so, I guess everything’ll work out pretty well.”
            Kyle shut his locker and sighed, strumming his hands on the textbook in his hands. Kip and Luke kept their gazes on him with patience.
            Despite how normal all of this had gotten for all of them it was still not doubt strange for them to think of Kyle not being around. Kyle had so little time to really give any thought to that. Kip and Luke watched Kyle a little longingly. He had been spending more time with them but there was certainly that feeling whenever he had to go away on an emergency that they wished he could stick around.
            Still, Kip reached out and grabbed Kyle’s backpack strap and pulled him forward, closer to the door.
            “Better get going, then,” Kip said. “Do you really want to keep the Sentinel waiting?”
            “Yeah, we’ve heard the horror stories,” Luke said. “Get your ass outta here!”
            Kip gave Kyle one last push out the door. Kyle turned and saw the two waving him off, and Kyle could only feel the smile touch his lips too. He strapped his backpack tighter and sprinted for the stairs. When he reached the base, he continued on until he rushed out of the school and was out in the parking lot. He dashed through the parking lot to go just beyond campus and out of the sight of the school cameras.
            He ran around one of the hills and swiped his hand on the Nexus bracelet and blasted through the sky to be at his house in an instant. He dropped his backpack and book off in the shed without his grandparents noticing.
            Kyle sighed, taking a minute to breath, and with a silent blast into the sky, he was off, cutting through the American sky like he’d become so accustomed. The sun shone bright upon his face. Kyle tugged at the cowl of his hood to blot the sun out and have the shadows cover over his face.
            He was just low enough to avoid any coming flights and was going fast enough to probably be at Pacific City in the hour. Kyle surged forward just a bit more, letting his thoughts drift in and out as they came.
            A drug ring, huh? He was sure they weren’t how they operated on all of those cop dramas, but what could someone like Kyle do? He didn’t know the first thing about any of that. He did know that things got super sketch, obviously, and that it involved moving pieces way below the surface of the problem.
            The Sentinel had his expertise in these areas. He was the best ground-level superhero Kyle knew. Phoenix used to operate on the ground, but when the Zanderia formed he began to be with the cosmic-level heroes, leaving others like the Sentinel in the dust. At least the Sentinel had Maya, who had been instrumental in their finding of Rafael’s sarcophagus months ago. Perhaps she could really help Kyle get up to speed with all of what was going on.       
            It was entirely possible that they wouldn’t actually do anything until later at night, anyway, so Kyle had plenty of time to get briefed. In fact, he had more time than the Sentinel technically would, since he was coming over from the East Coast. It was only around eleven for them. Perfect.
            Kyle spotted that he was around Las Vegas when his Zanderia communicator pinged. He immediately knew who it was and tapped his earpiece.
            “What’s up?” Kyle asked.
            “You’re headed for Pacific City, aren’t you?” the Sentinel asked.
            “Am I not supposed to be?” Kyle asked.       
            “We’re hanging out in Southern California for this mission,” the Sentinel said. “At least for the time being. If we need more backup, Phoenix said that Red Sun is going to be around.”
            “Red Sun?” Kyle asked.
            “Ryan Biggs,” the Sentinel said. “Actor. Superstar.”
            “Oh!” Kyle exclaimed. “Wait, no way. He’s Zanderia?”
            “Affiliated,” the Sentinel said. “Anyway, meet me by the Hollywood sign. We’ll go from there with your briefing and the information you’ll need for our raid tonight.”
            “I’ve been tailing these three guys for the last week. One died, the other I gave to the cops, hoping to get your help with the third guy. If we can get him, we can dig a little deeper.”
            “Sounds good,” Kyle said, and his voice wavered. The Sentinel heard it.
            “Relax, I’ll get you all up to speed when you get here,” the Sentinel said. “See you when I see you.”
            The communication cut and Kyle was left with the rushing of winds around him while his aura protected him from any serious harm at the speed he was moving. He veered southwest and bit, shrugging. The mission only seemed to get more and more interesting.
            Hollywood Hill came into view just a few minutes later. Kyle pulled back on his power and speed as the letters got larger and larger. Several helicopters and planes were flying around the area. Cars honked and a nice haze filtered in over the city. Kyle grimaced when he passed through it.
            The Sentinel stood behind the sign, leaned against it in shadow. Kyle dropped to the ground, creating a small bit of dust to billow at his feet.
            “Under an hour indeed,” the Sentinel said. He was in full-gear. It was odd to see him in such during the day. He had the silver cloak and jacket with his black pants and mask that covered the bottom half of his mouth, but the shadow of his cowl made his eyes difficult to discern. His finger-less gloves were at his side, and all of his weapons were properly arrayed on his belt; most notably his twin silver pistols and three daggers he kept at all times. Kyle always appreciated the level of detail the Sentinel kept; he didn’t have the most extensive utility belt, but he had something to at least help a little in most situations.
            “I do my best,” Kyle said, and held out his hand. The Sentinel clasped it.
            “Glad you could make it,” the Sentinel said. “Hopefully you adjust to the time difference.”
            “Implying I’m gonna be allowed to sleep?”
            “Oh, well, I’m glad I don’t have to burst that bubble.”
            They unlocked hands. The Sentinel checked over his shoulder, watching the city down below.
            “We won’t be operating in the city,” the Sentinel said. “Our gang has been known to have criminal activity located within the local neighborhoods. I’d call them suburbs, but, come on.”
            “Got a name for this gang?” Kyle asked. “Maybe the Zanderia database can pull something up on them.”
            “It wouldn’t find anything useful,” the Sentinel said. “They’re called Realidad. Not that old, but, not that new, either, I’m finding.”
            ‘A cartel?” Kyle asked. The Sentinel’s head turned, and Kyle shrugged. “What? I know something about this stuff.”
            “Basically,” the Sentinel said. “They prey on younger people to get their dirtiest work done for them. They rely mostly on the power of drugs, obviously, with some outside influences. A few members have snuck into leadership boards for neighborhoods or have strong businesses that are starting to cripple the businesses of the well-standing citizens.’
            “Sounds a bit bigger than you made it seem before,” Kyle said.
            “It only gets worse the deeper you go,” the Sentinel said.
            “The three guys you’ve been tracking down, are they noteworthy people or something?”
            “Unfortunately, it’s more of an or something,” the Sentinel said. He reached behind his back and pulled out a file, handing it to Kyle.
            There were only six pieces of paper, one for each of the members. There was a picture clipped to each, though one had a black “X” drawn on it. Kyle’s curiosity inched up a bit more with each proceeding file and image. He scanned through the last one, even if it were the same as all the others.
            “Rich white dudes,” Kyle said, folding the file back. “In a cartel called Realidad?”
            “Cartel in practice,” the Sentinel said. “Yeah, we’ve basically got a bunch of Klan wannabes. Fantastic, right? This last guy was apparently one of the first to ever be part of their little group back in college. That’s all I got out of the first guy, anyway, before he was shot and I had to hightail it for the second.”
            Kyle rubbed his chin. “So why call themselves a Spanish name if they’re, you know, like, white supremacists?”
            “They think they can scare people by posing as a Mexican cartel; at least, that’s my theory. If they just went by a different company name they could hide easier, sure, but they’d be tied to so many more legal ramifications instead of being a straight up drug ring that controls businesses from the shadows. I’ve seen my share of it before, and it’s not easy to take down.”
            “The more you talk about it, the more unqualified I am,” Kyle said.
            “I need to be so many places at once, kid, that at this phase of the operation, I need speed, not necessarily the greatest of wits or qualifications,” the Sentinel said. “Besides, when it gets down to it, how different is busting a moving operation of theirs compared to, I don’t know, tailing a hot pursuit?”
            Kyle nodded. “You need me to be brute force?”
            “Yeah, and something else.” The Sentinel waved it off, though. “Come on, we’ll drive out to my hideout and start planning out move. We’ve gotta find this third guy no matter what, understand?” He paused. “Hey, got a stealth mode or do you always have like a light blue glow around you?”
            “I can just have the dark blue cloak,” Kyle said. “The aura just protects me a bit more.”
            “Just checking.”
            The Sentinel jogged away from the Hollywood sign, to a small motorbike parked just up the hill from the two of them. Kyle took to the air and waited a bit, watching the Sentinel speed off back into the city, taking only the back roads and alleys that nobody would notice him in, before bursting out of the city limits toward the incredibly nice neighborhoods. Kyle blasted off after him, streaking a small blue line across the sky.
            The Sentinel vanished from sight behind one of the crappier houses in a small back lot, isolated from the rest of the neighborhood. Kyle cut his flight and dropped through the air, only buffeting himself with his aura just before he hit the ground. The garage door opened, and on the other side was, somehow speedily changed, Kevin Miles.
            Kyle glanced around, looking for cameras, and approached the house. He swiped his finger over the Nexus bracelet and the guise vanished around him, giving way to the normal clothing he’d been wearing at school.            
            “Nice tattoo,” the Sentinel said, gesturing at the Demon mark.
            Kyle gestured at the one on Kevin’s forearm. “You too, except yours is gonna get old and wrinkly. Mine won’t.”
            The Sentinel raised his eyebrow, and then nodded knowingly when he recalled Kyle was a mage. He led Kyle through the garage and then through the main living room, taking him straight to the kitchen, where dozens of papers, post-its, and a small TV were laid out before him.
            “Better to work while I prepare food, you know?” Kevin asked.
            “Seems a bit unorganized, though,” Kyle said, looking at two newspapers that had only the Sports and Business sections out. “What do Realidad want with a Los Angeles sports team?”
            “You don’t think the Lakers could give them a big enough buck?” Kevin asked. He slapped his file from before down on the kitchen island. “Like you said, these are rich white dudes. Not that uncommon around here, yeah, but that doesn’t mean they’re without pull. I’ve just been monitoring most Los Angeles sports management articles to make sure there’s been no drastic change.”
            Kyle nodded and glanced at the TV, showcasing just another normal day of the news, apparently. Kevin stepped in his way for just a second, snapping his attention away from the TV and back to pretending that he knew what he was doing. Kevin planted a file and a map in Kyle’s hands.
            “Read this, study that, nap for a couple hours, we leave,” Kevin said. “I’ve got other preparations to make.”
            “Like what?” Kyle asked.
            Kevin flicked some keys to his hand. “Like making sure we’ve got an out in case things go poorly.”
            He left without another word, sauntering into the garage and leaving Kyle alone in the investigative mess. Kyle sighed and took one more sweeping observation before just tapping the files and map of the city against his leg and heading to a couch in the den to start studying.
            Weird. Studying, for the Zanderia? The two didn’t as if they’d got all that well together. Kyle plumped down on a couch, sinking in deep. Hmm. Nice couch.
            He hadn’t even realized that would be his last coherent thought before something clamped hard on his leg and he was jarred back to awakeness. Kevin Miles no longer stood over him, but the Sentinel sure did, standing in a golden sunset bleeding through the thin blinds. Kyle blinked to try and make out exactly what he was seeing.
            The Sentinel took the map and file away from Kyle, just shaking his head, but Kyle could swear there was a smile beneath that mask. Kyle swung his legs out and flicked his finger over the Nexus bracelet, feeling the rush of power run through and around him.
            “My bad for sleeping,” Kyle said.
            “It’s not the most exciting work, I get it,” the Sentinel said. “Really I just felt better about giving you something to do even if I kinda knew you wouldn’t do it. Helps keep me at ease a bit.”
            “Eh. Alright, let’s go. We can move slowly until night comes. I already know where this guy is gonna be so we can take extra time scouting it out.”
            “Sounds good, let’s roll.”
            The Sentinel nodded, and rather than go out through the garage, he led Kyle through the back door to the garage, where a different motorbike was parked.
            “You have two?”
            “Someone else did. They didn’t need the second one, though.”
            Kyle just sighed. Sometimes it was easy to forget that Kevin Miles nurtured his gifted skills of martial arts and great cunning on an island of cutthroat mercenaries, and other times it was so obvious it kind of hurt. Kevin sat on the motorbike and slid a black helmet over his head.
            “Stay airborne, follow me,” he said. “I’ll give you the signal to land. Right now we’re just doing a bit of recon before we go in.”
            “I get how these things work,” Kyle said.
            “You get how it works when you go barging into a place looking to just throw down,” the Sentinel said. “I wanna get this guy without anyone noticing.”
            He revved the engine and Kyle just nodded. He raised his helmet’s visor and said. “Not off to a good start, but, whatever.”
            The engine continued to roar to life as he swerved out of the backyard and drove straight off the driveway. Kyle blasted into the Southern California sunset sky. His glow faded and Kyle was just a small black blot in the sky while he rose up through the clouds, still keeping track of the fast-moving Sentinel.
            Their journey took them once again through Los Angeles, but this time they circled back around the ring of the city on some of the highways, going against the slow-moving traffic. The neighborhoods they approached on the outskirts of the city were still nice, but seemed far busier.
            They rode the highway for a bit before another, much smaller, city came into view. Kyle tapped his Zanderia communicator and found the GPS on it.
            “Culver City?” he asked himself. He tapped his earpiece, but there was only chatter going on between Phoenix and Riko about their next assignment. Kyle shrugged it off and tapped the earpiece again.
            The Sentinel pulled over into an alleyway, taking a backstreet with no visible lights. Kyle hesitated and floated over the city for a few minutes. He swept his gaze across the city below. It had several roads intersecting in the main part of town. Small, local businesses covered a majority of the area they were in. A few apartment buildings and motels sprang up around the area. Dozens of nice cars were parked, and the fancier restaurants were turning on their night lights for the later crowds.
            His observation came to a sudden halt upon seeing a small light erupt from a motel room. More motion below informed him to start drifting. Someone burst from the door, and Kyle leapt into action.
            He cut across the sky, pulling up as a man leaped off the balcony of a motel’s second floor. Kyle caught the man and dropped him to the ground. The man sputtered for words but Kyle just punched him across the face, knocking him out.
            He glanced around and saw nobody near him. Kyle vaulted over the second story balcony and into the room where the bang had come from, where the door was kicked in. He stopped short, seeing the blood already pooling from a woman’s pale legs. He shut his eyes and backed out of the room.
            “Damn it, we were too late,” Kyle muttered.
            Footsteps echoed across the motel parking lot. Kyle kept his head bowed even as the Sentinel called for him.
            “We’re not even at the right place,” the Sentinel said. His voice grew somber. “Yeah, this guy’s no good either, but, we’re not looking for him.”
            “So we just turn a blind eye to it?” Kyle asked.
            “We let the cops do their job,” the Sentinel said, and right on cue, a police siren rang out.
            “It’s already too late,” Kyle said.
            “We don’t have time to discuss this,” the Sentinel said. “The guy we’re looking for isn’t going to be here much longer.”
            Kyle balled up a fist and sighed. He couldn’t get the image out of his head. How many more people had to die like this because he was up in the skies unable to see them? His chest trembled and he just shook his head.
            Realidad would be worse. Preying on people’s insecurities to get what they want and get a stranglehold on a powerful American city would lead to so many more people getting hurt. Kyle once again leapt over the side of the balcony, but the Sentinel was already gone, hidden in the shadows nearby.
            “Three blocks away,” the Sentinel said. “Seemed like a shady building. I’ll scout ahead of it, you check it out real quick. We’ll meet in ten.”
            The bushes rustled and he was gone. Kyle took to the skies again, making sure his aura wasn’t around him, and waited three blocks until dropping again and landing atop a roof. When he closed his eyes, he saw the woman’s half-body there, bleeding, but forced the image from his eyes and laid his hand upon the roof.
            Culver City was, for the most part, quiet, save for the errant music and cars driving by. A door slammed beneath him and heavy American voices carried over the sounds of Spanish music playing. Kyle opened his eyes and peered over the side. One man, with a bruised face, talked with another, who had a nice blazer and set of pants on.
            Kyle took a step forward but froze when they stopped talking. He dropped to the ground. Shoot. Had they seen him?
            Their footsteps shifted but then shifted much faster again when a gunshot rang out. Kyle was back on his feet in an instant. The man in the nice blazer was sprinting away. Kyle leaped over the wall and rammed his elbow into the man’s shoulder, sending him toppling to the ground. The other man was running out toward Kyle.
            He swung his arm out and clocked the man across the face, flipping him end-over-end until he crashed to the ground.
            “Good work,” the Sentinel said, walking around the corner.
            “I was bait, wasn’t I?” Kyle asked.
            “You’re no good at stealth,” the Sentinel said. He stooped down and held up the bruised man, one bleeding from the mouth thanks to Kyle’s little attack. Kyle checked the other man, who was whimpering and trying to slink away.
            “What about this guy?” Kyle asked.
            “Probably just a client,” the Sentinel said. He raised his gun. Kyle stepped in the way. “How’d you hear about them?” the Sentinel asked, ignoring Kyle.
            The man froze up. The Sentinel’s eyes leered and he tossed the bruised man to the side. The man in the blazer scrambled for something in his pocket. The Sentinel raised his gun again. Kyle slapped it away.
            “No!” Kyle exclaimed.
            “You idiot!” the Sentinel roared
            Another gunshot rang out behind them both. Kyle just shut his eyes while the Sentinel pushed passed him. He bowed his head but his eyes only fell to the trembling and beaten man at his feet, staring up in awe at him.    
            “No way, you’re the Blue Nexus,” the guy said. He couldn’t have been more than thirty. “Ah, man, this is…this is crazy. You coming after us. I can barely believe it.”
            “Shut the hell up,” the Sentinel said, stepping around Kyle. “Shut up. Was he your boss?”
            “I never seen him before,” the man said.
            Kyle couldn’t comprehend any words. That man looked at Kyle with reverence. With respect, and awe. A criminal.
            “He was,” the Sentinel said. “Tell me why you guys came out here and you’ll only end up in jail.”
            “In one piece.”
            The Sentinel slammed his foot atop the man’s chest and knocked him to the ground. He raised an eyebrow and the man just chuckled.
            “Go ahead, do it!” he said, with words laced in fear. “I already know we’re gonna do what we gotta do. You called in the Blue Nexus, someone that fights gods and monsters. If we’re big enough for him to come, you’re already done. Besides, I’m just one guy. You know how many of me there are?” He gestured at the dead man behind them. “Even my boss. Nothing. You’re just gonna run in circles.”
            The Sentinel glanced at Kyle, who made no response. He kicked the bruised man hard across the face, knocking him out.
            “Nobody can know you were here,” the Sentinel said. “I need you to go to Pacific City and find Maya and my friend Cassidy. We’re gonna dig up any information on these two guys that we can, got it?”

            Kyle didn’t respond. He didn’t move. He just floated into the air, keeping his aura down. The Sentinel watched him drift away, moving north, toward Pacific City, away from the horror that filled the streets, and hollowed out Kyle’s soul. 

Next time: The war against Realidad continues and the Sentinel is calling in more friends! However, more problems also start to arise, and Kyle and the Sentinel realize what it is they're exactly up against in "Blue Nexus #83 - Micro Narcos Pt. 2"!

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