Chapter 24: Six A.M.
Rebbeca, half asleep, rolled over and answered the phone on her nightstand. “Hello?”
“Hey…were you sleeping?” Drake asked.
“Yeah, why, what time is it?”
“Why are you calling me at six in the morning on a Sunday?”
“I found out where the call came from. It came from Critters Pet Shop.”
“Cool, thanks. I’ll check it out when I’ve gotten more than four hours of sleep.”
“And just so you know, I’m replacing your coffee with decaf.”
Six hours later, Rebbeca arrived at Headquarters to find Drake and Keko sleeping. Drake was slumped over on an office chair and Keko was passed out on the couch, holding a bag of potato chips.
She smiled, walked up to Drake, and tapped her foot against his. “Get up.”
He quickly sat up and started acting like he wasn’t sleeping. “What?”
“So, where am I going?”
“You called this morning and said you found out where the call came from. Since it was six, I was half asleep when you told me.”
“No, I didn’t. I was going to tell you I couldn’t figure it out.”
“So, someone called my house pretending to be you.”
“What did they say?”
“You said it had something to do with the pet shop.”
“You had a pretty freaky dream.”
“I wasn’t dreaming.”
“You thought I told you to go to Critters to find our blow happy friend?” Drake asked, laughing. After a few minutes of Drake laughing, Rebbeca left. She called Abigail and Sarah J, and told them to meet her at Critters Pet Shop.
When Rebbeca arrived, Abigail and Sarah J were already there.
“Want to tell us what this is all about?” Abigail asked.
“Not really,” Rebbeca replied, as they crossed the road. “All I know is that something’s not right with that pet shop.” They walked in the store and looked around. Then, a young woman walked up and stood behind the counter.
“Bella,” Rebbeca said.
“Hey, guys, never thought I’d see you here,” Bella said.
“Yeah, well I ran out of dog food and won’t be going into Riverstone for three more days, so I need enough to tie me over.”
“Okay, what brand?”
“Okay, be right back.” She left the room.
“What are you doing?” Abigail asked.
“Humor me,” Rebbeca replied as Bella came back.
“Here you go.”
“Thanks,” Rebbeca said. She handed her a twenty dollar bill. “Hey, I am helping my dad with a case and I was wondering if I could ask you something.”
“Did anyone make a call from here in the last twenty-four hours?”
“Yeah, some idiot banged on the door at six.”
“You live here?” Sarah J asked.
“No, I was working late. He said his name was John, and that’s all I can remember.”
“Okay, thanks,” Rebbeca said. She took the bag and left with the others. They walked out to the corner and waited for traffic to stop.
“Who doesn’t ask for a last name?” Abigail asked.
“In small towns, like this, people only know each other by their first name or where they live.”
Danny walked up to them. “His name is John Hall. And we need to call a team meeting.”
A few minutes later, they arrived at Headquarters and gathered everyone around the table, like they did the other day.
“I started talking with one of my team mates, and here’s what I learned: six years ago,” Danny began, “Whitney made a clone that could change its appearance and become whoever it wanted to. Then, three months later, it broke free from her control and went off the grid. That copy goes by Amy Traf. Then, she did the same thing again, but he never completely broke free from her control. That one goes by John Hall.”
“Great,” Drake said.
“Is that all?” Keko asked.
“No,” Danny replied.
“You said you had shocking news.”
“So, shock me,” Keko said, smiling.
“The real shocking news is that I found out who Shadow Sweeper is,” Danny sighed. He looked at Drake. “He’s John Mathews.” Drake got up and left the room.
“Are you sure?” Rebbeca asked him.
Abigail started to get up when Sarah J put her hand on her shoulder. “Let me talk to him.” Sarah J left the room to follow Drake and Abigail and Keko went into the next room.
“Thanks for telling him,” Rebbeca said.
“How long have you known?”
“Not long, but I think he took it better coming from you. After everything we’ve been through, he wouldn’t have taken it well from me.”
Sarah J walked outside and sat down on the steps next to Drake. “You okay?”
“You already know, so, why bother asking?”
“It doesn’t work that way.”
“I just want to know the same thing Abigail does: why?”
“You know what you have to do,” she said, as he looked at her. “You have to stop him, we have to stop him. Then you can ask all of the questions you want to. But until then, I expect you to do your best as Foreshadow.”
“Great pep talk.” He smiled. “You spend too much time with Rebbeca.”