Chapter 26: A New Hope
The Next Day…
Danny woke up to the sound of someone beating on the door. He got up and answered it.
“Why are…I’m not going to ask.” Drake waved it away and walked inside.
“Why are you here, Mathews?”
“How is she?”
“How do you think? Her parents were killed, last night.”
“Speaking of which, I talked to Sam, and based on the evidence, I’m pretty sure I know who did it.”
“Yep,” Drake said. They looked around the room, not knowing what to say. “I almost forgot.” Drake pulled a disc out of his pocket and gave it to Danny. “Frank had this on him.” He walked to the door.
“Drake, what do you think she’ll do, now that they’re gone?”
“Don’t tell her I told you this,” Drake said. “Her mother died in a car crash with a drunk driver. After she found out what his name was, she went to his house and tried to kill him. And after her father found out what she tried to do, she locked herself in her room for, like, three months. So, to answer your question, I have no idea what she’ll do now that they’re both gone. If I were you, I wouldn’t leave her side.”
“Thanks, Drake.” He closed the door behind him. Danny turned around and saw Rebbeca coming down the stairs. “Hey.”
“Who was that?”
“What did he want?” she spoke in a low, soft voice.
“He came to drop this off.” Danny held up the disc. “And to tell us that they know who killed them.”
“I’m not going to tell you unless you promise me you won’t go after them.”
“You need to trust in your friends and your team, that we, as a team, will stop them. You’re not a solo act anymore and you keep forgetting that.”
“So, what am I supposed to do? Let him go unpunished?”
“They will all be punished, but the right way.”
“Fine, I promise I won’t do anything.”
“Now, who did it?”
“Why is he doing this to me, again?”
“My guess is that Whitney told him to. What do you mean by again?”
Rebbeca sat down. “He also killed my mother eleven years ago. Did Drake tell you what was on the disc?”
“No. Do you want me to put it in?”
Rebbeca replied with a nod. Danny walked over to the TV and put the disc in. They both stared at the TV as her parent’s room appeared on the screen. Then, her father sat down in front of the camera.
“Hello, Rebbeca,” he said. “Today is your sixteenth birthday. If you’re watching this, then that means I’m gone. I’m not sure if May’s there with you or not, but I want you to know that you are not alone. I’ll always be watching over you. Hopefully, by the time I’m gone, you’ll have some friends, besides Drake, or at least someone to help keep your mind off of me. I don’t want you to forget me, but I do want you to move on with your life. Don’t trap yourself in your room, like you did when your mother died”
Danny sat down next to her.
“Starting now, I’m going to make a disc for each birthday you have until the day I die. I’ll hide them in places where, in time, I know you’ll find them. I don’t want you to be sad, I want you to grow into the woman your mother and I always knew you’d be. My final mission for you is to find a husband, start a family, and live your life to its fullest. Remember that no matter what, you’ll always be my hero. I love you, Rebbeca. Goodbye.”
The screen went black.
“You okay?” Danny asked.
“Yeah,” she replied. “I think I need some fresh air.”
Drake pulled into the parking lot at the shooting range. He walked inside and then out to the range, where he found Danny.
“How long have you been here?” Drake asked, as he watched Rebbeca reload her gun.
“Yeah. I’m pretty sure this isn’t what most girls mean when they say they need fresh air.”
“I’m late for a meeting, so she’s all yours. Have fun.”
“Oh, thank you…” Drake rocked on his heels as Danny left. He looked back at Rebbeca. “…very much.” Drake waited for her to empty her gun, and then walked over to her. “Hey.”
“What do you want?”
“Danny had to leave, so I thought I’d see how you were doing.”
“I don’t need babysat.”
“Tell that to the three thousand pictures of my dad, you put bullet holes in,” Drake said. “You know, the first strike would’ve been enough to end a friendship. And, after two and three-”
“I don’t blame you.”
“Well, maybe I do.”
She stopped and looked at him. “Well, you shouldn’t. You didn’t do anything.”
“Exactly. He’s my dad; I should’ve known he was a really evil dude. And I should’ve-”
“What? Seen it coming?” She looked back at her gun, sliding the clip into place. “Don’t feel sorry for yourself, and don’t feel sorry for me.” She pointed down the shooting range, at the photos she was shooting. “He’s the only one who should be sorry, and will be, when I’m done with him.”
“When we are done with him. You brought us together for things like this.”
“Because you basically told me too.”
“And you were smart enough to listen, finally.” Drake stopped and sighed. “Beca, we’re just trying to help. So let us do what we’re supposed too.”
She sighed. “Okay.” She hugged him.
“Good. Now, come on, I’ll take you home.” He led her to his car. A few minutes later Drake pulled up in front of Rebbeca’s house.
“Go,” she said.
“No, I’ll go in with you.”
“Drake… go home. I’ll be fine.” Rebbeca opened her door to leave.
“Here.” He handed her a disc. “Sam found this in your dad’s office.”
“Thanks.” She took the disc from him and got out of the car. She watched as he pulled out of the driveway and then she went inside.
She put the disc in the DVD player and sat down. The video started like the last one; her father sat down in front of the camera.
“Hello, again, Rebbeca,” her father began. “I want to clear something up with you: I’m not afraid of dying. That’s why I became a cop. As you know, more criminals are coming out of the shadows. And I’m not doing this because I feel I have to. I’m doing it because I want to. I want you to know that no matter who it was that killed me, I don’t blame you. Now, go find whoever killed me, and stop them. I know that with Drake and Proto’s help, there is nothing the three of you can’t do.”
Rebbeca held back tears.
“I know we’ve always agreed to disagree on your super hero life, but no matter what you think…no matter what I’ve said…I want you to be you. And if Dark Vengeance is who you are…then I will still love and support you. Now, go protect our city. I love you. Goodbye.”
The screen went black. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “How am I supposed to lead my team?” she asked, as she heard her father’s words. Find whoever killed me and stop them.
The words kept playing in her head. She raised her head, and with a determined look on her face, she walked outside and got in her car.
A few minutes later, she walked out of the elevators at Headquarters, to see everyone arguing. She pulled a chair up to the table, in the middle of the room, and used it to get up on the table.
She looked down, and on the table was a newspaper that’s headline read: The Guardians of Kernsville. Yeah right, she thought as she looked at everyone. “Everyone stop!” Everyone stopped and looked at her.
“Beca, we-” Drake began.
“Zip-it, Mathews,” Rebbeca told him. “You guys seen today’s paper? Seems like the whole city thinks we’re heroes. Don’t know why, because we are not acting like it. Abigail won’t drop the fact that Danny has a criminal record. Because of his past, Danny can’t really be a part of this team. Drake and Keko won’t stop arguing over every little thing, and the whole time, Sarah J and I are just watching.”
She looked around. “Well, I’m tired of watching. We all should be. We are all random people, and sometimes we won’t get along, but really? Do you have to fight this often? I just can’t believe that you guys won’t stop arguing for more than two seconds.”
They all gave her blank stares.
“So, here’s what I’m going to do: I am going to find Retsacnal, Whitney, and Shadow Sweeper and put them away, for good. One by one. No matter what, this city still needs Dark Vengeance, and I will always be there for it. You guys can go back to what you were doing, but think about this: we didn’t choose this city, this city chose us.
"I know I’m supposed to be the leader of this team, and I’ve let you all down, but I am going to change that. So here’s your choice: you, as heroes, can stand by my side and fight to protect the city, or you can leave…right now, and never come back. There is a war starting and we don’t know where. All we know is that we have to stop them. I am your leader as Dark Vengeance, not Rebbeca.
“When we enter this building, that’s it…friends, enemies, lovers, whatever…forget about your normal life, because when we’re in here, we’re a team. We are something more than normal people. As this city calls us, we are The Guardians of Kernsville. And I think it’s about time we start acting like it. I’ll be in the next room…when you’re ready to start your next mission.” Rebbeca jumped off the table, walked past them, and went into the meeting room.
“That’s my girl,” Drake whispered, as he looked at everyone. Rebbeca sat at the head of the table, waiting to see who would walk through the door. A few minutes went by. Nothing. Then, the door opened and Drake walked in, followed by Sarah J, Keko, Proto, Abigail, and Danny.
Everyone took their seats and looked at Rebbeca.
“Well, it’s about time.” She stood and put a map on the table, opening it. “Now, here’s what we’re going to do.”