Chapter 22: Team Meeting
Later That Night…
Dark Vengeance sat outside Drake’s lab, waiting for Sarah James to show up. A few minutes later, a black, 1968 Dodge Charger pulled in the drive way. A woman in white got out of the car.
Dark Vengeance got up and walked closer to her. She watched as the woman, wearing white satin pants and shirt, white boots, and blonde hair, walked closer to her. “You’re my new hero?”
“Yes, we are,” the woman replied.
“We?” She saw a monkey walk out of the shadows. “You’ve got to be kidding.”
“I am The Princess of Peace, and this is Scotty Dog,” the woman said, as she pointed to the monkey, who’s wearing a kilt, tie-die shirt, and flip-flops. “Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.”
“Well, I did say I needed all the help I could get…even from a monkey, I guess.” Dark Vengeance shook The Princess of Peace’s hand.
“Watch the jokes,” Scotty Dog warned, in a Jamaican accent.
“And he talks, how wonderful.” She sighed. “Follow me. When we get inside, you can meet the rest of the team.” They followed her across the parking lot and inside. They went upstairs to the elevators. When the doors opened, they walked inside and went down two floors.
Then, they stepped out into a big white room, full of equipment. Dark Vengeance led them to a room, in the corner, where everyone else was waiting. “Guys, this is The Princess of Peace and Scotty Dog.”
Feeling out of place, The Princess of Peace shook everyone’s hands. “I thought Card Shark was a villain.”
“Well, this is great,” Foreshadow said. “Even the school teacher recognized him. We are so hosed.”
“I go under cover as a villain,” Card Shark told her, as she sat down.
“Well, now you do,” The Crystal Girl said.
“You just can’t stop bringing that up, can you?”
“Okay, stop,” Dark Vengeance said. “We are not going to start this, again.” Everyone looked around the room.
“What’s with the monkey?” Foreshadow asked.
“What’s with the human?” Scotty Dog replied.
“No more fighting,” Dark Vengeance ordered. “And that goes for everyone.” Everyone went silent. “One at a time, I want everyone to say their name, real name, power, and anything else you can think of.”
“You want us to trust someone we just met, with our identities?” The Crystal Girl asked.
“No. I want you to trust me.”
“Okay, my name is Foreshadow and Drake Mathews. With the suit I built, I can see people’s destinies. And now, it has increased strength and is fire proof,” Foreshadow said. “Well…in theory.”
“I’m The Crystal Girl and Abigail Lancaster. I’ve had my powers for three years and I keep finding new things I can do with them. I have a belt of crystal balls, and each one can do something different. I can heal and shock people, with these crystal guns I’ve made.”
“I’m Card Shark or Danny Habanero. I don’t have powers. Instead, I use hand-to-hand combat. And I’ve got every villain thinking I’m on their side.”
“My name is The Princess of Peace and Sarah James. I’ve had my powers for four years and, for the most part, I know what I’m doing. Whoever holds this necklace, has the power to bring peace to anyone they want, but will always be in a constant battle. This necklace has a twin that brings harm and hatred. The necklaces can only be destroyed by each other. That’s why I’m not a public hero. It’s a lot of responsibility and a heavy burden.”
“Hey, with great power.” Foreshadow shrugged. He looked up and saw everyone staring at him. “Sorry. Go on.”
“My name is Scotty Dog or Keko. I was a science experiment, so now I can change the color of my fur and talk. I lived in Israel, until the Princess, here, found me. As for weapons, I don’t have any, but I’m sure I’ll come in handy.”
Then, they all looked at Dark Vengeance.
“Well, my name is Dark Vengeance or Rebbeca Stone. I’ve been doing this for six years and have made some big enemies. My weapon is the same as Card Shark’s, but I also have a Crystal Gun, which everyone will get. As of this moment we’re a team. Card Shark is going to tell us everything he knows about our enemies.”
“No pressure.” He stood and turned on a projector in the middle of the table, pointed at the wall. He picked up a remote and pressed a button, as a picture of Dark Rose appeared on the screen. “This is Dark Rose. Her real name is Angel Brown.”
“No way,” The Crystal Girl said.
“Have you seen her before?” Foreshadow asked.
“We went to school together in Riverstone for a few years.” She motioned for him to continue.
“Somehow, she can create portals that will suck any and everything into them,” Card Shark said.
“Makes you glad you aren’t any and everything,” Foreshadow said, in a joking tone of voice.
“As I was saying, no one knows where her portals lead, not even her. Her weapon is mainly a hand gun, but she is a really good boxer.” He changed the picture.
“I thought she was a human,” Foreshadow said. He could see the rage building up inside Card Shark.
“Foreshadow, that’s enough,” Dark Vengeance said, trying not to laugh.
“This is Bandit. His real name is Sky, and yes, a first name is all I have.” He pointed at Foreshadow. “You need to do some research on him.”
“Because I don’t trust Sky. He never takes his mask off, always keeps to himself, and only talks to Angel…should I go on?”
“No, thanks, I’m good.”
“Sky’s main weapon is a bow.” He changed the picture.
“A lot of good that did him,” The Crystal Girl said.
“Next, is Oystra. Her real name is Samantha Jordon. She controls sea life with her necklace. And she’s strong.”
“How strong?” Foreshadow asked.
“Car lifting strong,” he replied. “I’ve known her most of my life, and I have to say that she is very controlling.” He changed the picture. “This is Caster, or Rachel Johnson. She’s a scientist, and a really good one at that. Her necklace is called The Stone of Darkness. Its twin is The Diamond Jewel, which The Princess of Peace uses. As you know, she can control people.”
“So, yes, Master Habanero, tell us…how?” Foreshadow asked.
“I like that kid,” Scotty Dog whispered to The Princess of Peace.
“I was getting to that,” Card Shark told him.
“Oh, I’m sure you were,” Foreshadow replied.
“Just ignore him, Danny,” Dark Vengeance said and then turned to Foreshadow. “You and I are going to have a long talk after this.”
“Rachel uses the necklace to find your greatest fear, and uses it against you, like she did with Sam,” Card Shark said.
“What, he has a fear of hurting people?”
“No. If you have a fear, even if it’s something stupid, it gives her a window into your head. When she’s in control of you, you are trapped in your own personal hell in your head.”
“Living that fear?”
“Exactly. Sometimes they know what she’s making them do, and others they don’t know til later.” He looked at his watch and then changed the picture. “This is Alley Cat, real name Isabella, or Bella, Roads. She’s a master at stealth and has a black belt.”
He changed the picture again. “Next, is third in command, Shadow Sweeper. His real name is unknown to us and so are his powers, if he has any. Now, before I go on, are there any more comments from the peanut gallery?”
Why do I even bother? Dark Vengeance thought. Everyone looked at Foreshadow.
“Oh, you’re talking to me?” he asked. “See, I thought you were just talking to yourself in the mirror again.”
“You brought that on yourself,” Dark Vengeance told Card Shark.
“Never argue with idiots,” The Crystal Girl said. “They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” Foreshadow glared at her.
Card Shark smiled and then continued. “His second in command is Sarah Whitney. But everyone calls her Whitney, for short.”
The Crystal Girl took one look at the photo of Whitney, and knew exactly who she was. “It’s her.”
“What?” Foreshadow asked.
“You know her?” The Princess of Peace asked.
“She’s my mother. And I doubt she’s second in command.”
“Yeah, well she’s very deceptive,” Card Shark added.
“Yeah, and she has the power to make copies of people.”
“She even has me on a side mission that Retsacnal doesn’t know about.”
“Doing what?” Scotty Dog asked.
“What?!” everyone asked at the same time.
“Wow, calm down.”
“Is she on to me?” Dark Vengeance asked.
“I’m not sure, but she thinks I’m pretending to be in love with you. And don’t worry, I’m only telling her what she needs to know.”
He changed the picture. “This is Retsacnal.” The picture is of a man standing in the shadows.
“It’s a shadow,” Scotty Dog said.
“Really?” Foreshadow asked. “Because I thought it was a rainbow.”
“Ha ha,” The Crystal Girl said.
“Believe it or not, this is all we ever see of him,” Card Shark told them.
“I think you have the picture backwards,” Foreshadow said.
“See? The word Retsacnal, it’s backward. It spells Lancaster, not Retsacnal.”
The whole room froze.
“Don’t tell me he chose that name for that reason,” The Crystal Girl said, fearing the worst.
“How many other Lancasters are in Kernsville?” Card Shark asked.
“Two, my father and brother.”
Foreshadow and Card Shark gave each other the same look.
“You can’t be serious.”
“It’s just an idea,” Foreshadow told her.
“And a very stupid one at that.”
“I don’t think so,” Card Shark said.
The Crystal Girl stood up. “What?”
“Since Whitney’s your mother, that explains why she’s so close to him.”
“Why would my mother have kids, fake her death, and then spend her free time trying to kill my friends?!” she yelled. After the room went quiet, she left.
“Well, someone’s got family issues,” Scotty Dog said.
“We all do, Keko.” Foreshadow got up and followed The Crystal Girl.
“We’ll have to watch Mark and Sam Lancaster for a while,” Dark Vengeance said. “Card Shark, watch him from your end. Scotty Dog and Proto will follow Sam, and The Princess and I will watch Mark.” They all stood up.
“When do we start?” The Princess of Peace asked. Abigail and Foreshadow came back in.
“As much as I don’t want to, I need to know which one it is,” Abigail told them. A tear ran down her face.
Dark Vengeance looked at her and nodded. “Everyone in position. Drake and Abby, stay here. Try to find out whatever you can.”