Blood and Water
Blood and Water
Written by Lisa Gruenwald
A young brunet girl walks down the cold streets of Washington DC in a hurry. Her jeans nearly faded, her white top dragging down over her jeans covered by a red flannel, and her laces hanging off her tennis shoes. She sighed after missing her bus back to the orphanage, for the millionth time in her record book.
“Why does this always happen to me, “she states after kicking a can on the ground. “I get so wrapped up in hacking into things I never bother to check the time.” She shrugs at the thought. “Oh well, it was worth it, I’m probably the first person who actually hacked into M.A.S.K. computers and lived to tell about it. Of course, a little longer and I might of been in the personal files. Oh I’d give anything for a chance to ride in one of those awesome vehicles. Even if I don’t have a driver’s license yet,” giggling to herself.
She stops as she remembers the punishment she’s going to get for being 3 hours late,” The head master is probably going to ground me for life this time, maybe,” she stops as she looks down an alley way. “If I take a short cut down here I might make it in an hour? It’s worth the shot,” she glances at the creepy alley, something about it told her it was a bad idea, yet she didn’t care she like the risk.
Further down the alley, three bad looking figures also move with haste. “Hurry up with that computer equipment boys,” Vanessa demanded.
“Yeah well maybe if you’d start helping us we’d pick up the pace,” Sly replied back in a cool voice. Vanessa just scold him as though he was the scum of the earth. “Besides what’s the big deal here,” Sly argues as he loads a box into truck nearly dropping it, “Boss wants a new computer for his birthday?”
“Easy with that stuff! With this computer were going to get are hands on the ultimate weapon to defeat MASK. As long as we keep a low profile, they won’t know what were up too. So get back to work!” Vanessa demanded.
“Really Vanessa?” Cliff Dagger says with a smirk on his face putting a box down. “Who’s the girl in the corner you just told everything too?”
The three of them froze, as all eyes fell on this 14 year old girl, who just so happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
She saw them as a couple of thieves just looting a computer store or something. She ponders for a moment, “I caught them just as much as their going to catch me, if I don’t start running.” She turns away and starts running for her life in fear.
Vanessa screams,” After her!” The men dropped the computer equipment they were handling and chased after her. She felt lost in the dark alley way and she couldn’t remember the way out. Her heart was pounding harder with every breath, and then all of a sudden she slammed into something hard. She staggers to the ground looking up at a buff man with a cloth over his eye.
“Well look who I caught,” he laughs in her face as he spoke. She tried to get back on her feet to get away, but he picked her up and threw her over his shoulder and walked back to the truck. She kicked and screamed hoping somebody will come help her, yet there was no one in sight.
Sly shakes his head, “Put a sock in it kid or we’ll give ya something to scream about.” All of a sudden she fell quiet; he was right the more resistance she gave the more likely she’d be in bigger trouble.
“So what are we supposed to do with her?” Cliff Dagger asks Vanessa.
Vanessa ponders the situation, “We’re almost done loading everything up, throw her in the back we’ll let the boss decide her fate.” The last thing the girl remembered was those words and pitch blackness as the sound of a thump rang through her head.
She slowly opens her eyes, as she feels a streak of pain through her head, ” Uhh,” rubbing her forehead,” I feel like I got hit by a semi-truck.”
Sly laughs,” Well that’s another way to put it, so how’s our little hostage doing this lovely afternoon?”
She looks at him oddly. She was sure they’d killed her by now, yet this one seems to be friendly, “Could be better if I wasn’t knocked out.”
“Ah well we couldn’t have any witnesses little lady,” he leans back on his chair.
“Witnesses?” she laughs, ” That’s funny I could of sworn I saw a security camera or two.” Sly falls out of his chair surprised,
“You’re lying; I checked the place out myself and disabled the cameras.”
“What about the one next store?” she gives him an evil look.
The room then fell quiet as Mayhem walk in with Vanessa. He looked serious and in a bad mood, ” Vanessa what am I going to do with her?” pointing directly at the young girl. “I have MASK to deal with not some baby-sitting job. Get rid of her this instant.”
His very words brought fear to her heart, usually get rid of her meant end of the line she thought. Maybe this would be a good time to speak up, ” I…I..I might be able to help you guys out.”
Mayhem says in a powerful yet mocking voice. “You? What on earth can a childlike yourself do to help around here?”
“You need a hacker, well you have one me,” she replied with her eyes focus solely on him knowing he held her fate in his hands.
“What are you qualifications hacker?” he smirks.
She thinks for a minute, ‘Better not tell them about MASK’s computer that would be too much trouble, I know’. She lifts her head up saying proudly, “I’ve broke into CIA headquarters, Pentagon, and even the president’s private e-mail line. Is that good enough for you?”
Mayhem shakes his head, “I’m supposed to believe you?”
She stands before him almost begging, “I can prove it. Tell me what you want and I’ll hack into it for you.”
Miles nods as he walks out, “You got 24 hours, make sure she doesn’t leave that computer.”
All night she stayed at the computer trying to hack into top secret military files. Apparently Mayhem wanted access to a new high tech laser prototype. Every two hours someone would sit with her to make sure she didn’t do anything crazy like send an e-mail for help or escape. Ten hours had passed since she started, and she could feel her fingers were stiffening from typing, her eyes were red from looking at the screen, and her entire body was feeling as though it were ready to pass out.
“Finally!” she remark after receiving access to the top secret files. She quickly copied everything and printed out as much as she could. She then glances over to Bruno snoozing in his chair. She thought,” Now’s a perfect time to get away, but… I don’t want to go. They need me here unlike at the orphanage.” After that she spent a couple hours figuring out how this laser worked. She then passed out on her keyboard.
She felt a tap on her shoulder, Mayhem looked down on her as thought he was a disappointed father. “Falling asleep on the job?”
Roxanne rubbed her eyes slowly and yawns. She then pulls out a stack of papers and a disk, “Actually while chubby was sleeping I got everything ya asked for without being traced.” Mayhem grabs the information out of her hands forcefully with disbelief.
“Well I’ll be darn, the kid was actually telling the truth, and probably put us ahead of schedule as well. Hmm..” He glances at each paper, and then looks up at her. “What are we supposed to do with our new friend here? I suppose I could let you go.”
She speaks up, “Why I’m too valuable for you to lose. I know way too much information, I’m sure I could contact MASK or the military in no time. Besides you guys could use me.”
Vanessa smiles, “You know she has a point, sir.”
Miles nods, “Indeed she does. What of your parents?”
“My parents are dead, nobody going to miss me.” She can’t believe she’s begging them not to let her go.
“What’s your name child?” Mayhem moved closer.
“Roxanne Trakker, but everyone calls me Roxy,” she felt unease as she saw Mayhem make a funny face as though he hated her name or something.
“No relatives you say?” he looks at her curious.
“None,” she reassures him.
“Welcome to Venom,” he then walked out of the room with everyone else to set their plan in motion.
Roxanne smiles at his words, she now found a place where she belonged and felt needed. She had dreamed of being part of a family. Now, her wish had come true…she was now a member of Venom.
It’s been two months since Roxanne left her home at the orphanage and started a new life with Venom. To her it felt like one big happy family, despite the losses due to MASK interference.
Cliff Dagger, Bruno, and Sly Rax were like the brothers she never had. They were always quarreling about something. Every time they fought she would hide her giggling. Vanessa was more like her own mother in some ways, always looking out for her and teaching her. Thanks to her she now understood the complicated structure of Venom vehicles and their masks. She may not have her own, but she certainly knew how to repair them. Lastly there was Miles Mayhem, she spend most of her time staying out of his way, since he seemed to always be in a grumpy mood. Vanessa had told her that he had a lot on his mind and it’s always best to stay away especially since he didn’t like children. Although she doesn’t have much of a relationship with him, she still liked finding ways to impress him.
Roxanne yawns as she helps Vanessa repair her vehicle Manta. “Gee MASK sure hit you good this time,” she notice looking the car over.
“Yeah well if Bruno was watching my back, as he was supposed to, it wouldn’t of happened,” Vanessa threw a fit.
Roxy smiled and shakes her head,” Oh well, if I were watching your back I would never take off to pursue MASK, I’d wait, it would obviously be a trap.”
“Roxy get over it Mayhem not going to give a 14 year old one of these,” Vanessa replies throwing a rag stained in oil at her.
She catches it, “A girl can dream, can’t she?” She sighs as she and Vanessa look under the hood, “It would be nice if for once I could go with you guys on a mission, instead of being stuck at base all the time.”
Vanessa thinks of a nice way to put it, “Mayhem only doing it for your safety. What we do is no place for child like you, give it some time he’ll put you on something eventually.”
“Another thing,” she places her hands on her waist,” I don’t understand why Mayhem keeps trying to steal some old statues or rotted old maps. Sure he wants to get rich, we all do. I thought he was planning to destroy MASK.”
“Well these things..uhh take time..and well umm…,” Vanessa wasn’t sure how to reply.
“Because I need to know how to make my ultimate weapon without MASK interference,” Mayhem said in a loud booming voice. Both of them hit their heads on the hood as they look up at him.
Roxy was a bit stun and realized she shouldn’t have opened her mouth, “Uh Mayhem, sir I didn’t know you were there.”
Mayhem didn’t look amused with her previous statement,” We’re having a meeting in 30 minutes be there.” He walks off looking for his other members, while mumbling something under his lip.
“You know he creeps me out sometimes he never smiles,” She remarks looking to Vanessa.
“I’ve seen him but that’s only before you know what spoils it,” both finish off the car and walk off to get ready for the meeting.
Roxanne walks into Mayhems office. Everyone was quiet as she quickly took her seat. “Now that were all here,” Mayhem replied looking down on her for being 10 minutes late, “It’s time to put operation lights out into play. We need 5 major parts in order for this laser to work. We’re going to need two solar panel mirrors. Cliff Dagger and Sly Rax I expect you to handle them with extreme care.”
Both nod in agreement. Mayhem continues, “Bruno I need you to get some quartz metal, enough to make a very big tube, even you can’t screw that up. Vanessa you’re in charge of getting two extremely hazardous chemical gases on this list.”
Mayhem hands the list to her with haste,” I expect at least 200 gallons of each. And to make sure MASK doesn’t catch us were all going to do this exactly at 100 hours this Friday. Yeah I think that is all,” Mayhem states thinking for a minute.
“Ugh sir I thought you said there were five major parts you’ve only mentioned four,” Roxanne speaks up acting a bit like a smart ass.
He narrows his eyes on her, ” Ah yes, we need a special chip that will allow this laser to work properly. This chip can not only be used to kill but cure. My dear dear old friend,” he looks at the wall with a bit of a smile,” Matt Trakker is having a fund-raiser for the development of this chip. Therefore, it will be on display.”
Sly speaks up leaning back with his hands behind his head, “So when do you want me to break in and get it?”
Mayhem shakes his head,” I’m sorry not you, her.”
Roxanne lifted her head up in disbelief and pointed at herself, “Me? I’ve never stole anything in my life, besides a pack of gum.”
Mayhem stands in front of her,” That’s not the point. By the time we steal the first four parts MASK will be on alert and know what were up too. Therefore, Mr. Trakker will willingly allow MASK to take over security. MASK has no idea who you are; therefore, you are the best choice. You will be debriefed about everyone who is attending that party, and Sly will teach you everything you need to know. Well?” he looks down on her waiting for an answer.
“I…I don’t know if I can do it,” she looks uncertain.
“I believe you can do it,” he puts a hand on her shoulder with a smile. To her it felt as though he was trying to be nice to her, to get what he wanted. Yet when she looked at him it reminded her of the father-daughter moment she always wanted to have.
“I’ll do it, I want to do it.”
“Good you have two weeks to get ready for this,” he sits down at his desk. “Soon MASK will no long interfere with our plans,” he laughs and so did everyone else, except her.
Roxanne walks out of the office, while Mayhem was still busy trying to organize his whole plan with the rest of the team. She heads towards the garage and sits inside Manta. She hits her head against the steering wheel lightly enough not to hit the horn. She then looks at herself in the mirror, “What am I doing? This can’t be right. Since when was I ever a thief? I can’t do it. I should have backed out a long time ago, now I’m stuck in this way too deep. Maybe it’s time to call a quit. I’m not Venom material.”
Without even realizing it Vanessa slips in the passenger side door, “What do you say we go for a ride away from the guys?”
She turns her head in surprise rubbing her eyes a bit,” Yeah sure I’ll…”
“You drive,” Vanessa sits back comfortable.
“All right, let’s see if I remember,” she puts her hand on the clutch and puts her foot gently on the gas. She drives slowly out of the base, keeping her full concentration on the road.
“All right not bad, now take it up in the air,” Vanessa says in a calm voice.
Roxanne looks at her a bit shaken,” The air? Ugh I don’t know about this. I’ve never flown before, especially not in this car.”
“Relax after you get it the first time, it’s a breeze,” Vanessa smiled.
After a few minutes of explaining, she was up in the air flying. Roxanne smiles,” Wow your right it is easy. This is amazing.”
“Tell me about it, I love flying,” Vanessa looks out the window then back to her. “You see Roxy if you put your mind too it you can do anything. Mayhem is right to pick you for the job. You’re brighter and quicker than you think. Once you learn everything the first time, it will seem like a piece of cake the next time. Besides somebody got to show Sly who’s the better thief.”
Roxy looks out the window and completely forgets her worries, “Yeah, your right. Everything’s going to be all right.”
“All right then when you’re ready to land let me know,” Vanessa smiles.
Roxanne face went blank, “Ugh land? Umm no sweat.”
The week was very rough for Roxanne. Everybody was running around base getting everything ready for operation lights out. She hardly saw Vanessa, which disappointed her, and most of the time Sly Rax was too busy getting things organized with Cliff Dagger that he couldn’t fit in the training Mayhem told him to give her. When he did he always rushed it, which made it even harder to learn.
Roxanne tried to pick a lock with some lock picks Rax had given her. “Grr this is hopeless every time. He shows me once then runs off,” she slams them on the ground. “I can’t give up Vanessa told me I shouldn’t, calm down you can do it,” she picks up the picks and tries again.
Meanwhile, Sly was talking to Cliff Dagger, “That kid will never get it. It usually takes a person at least 50 tries before they actually get the hang of it. She’ll take a year.”
“Why don’t you help her out, I can handle setting the operation up,” Cliff Dagger insisted.
“That wouldn’t be fair I need some part in planning this,” Sly protested.
Just then Roxy walks up to him, “So teach, what next?”
He let his shades slide down a bit, “You’re telling me you’re done?”
She nods her head,” Well yeah, it wasn’t too hard to figure out what I was doing wrong. Do you want me to show you?”
He laughs softly to himself, “Yeah.”
She walks back to the lock and gives him a demonstration. “Umm how many tries?” he asked curiously.
“Seventeen, I figure you probable got it on the tenth time,” She remarked putting the lock picks away.
“Yeah you got that right,” he says lying through his teeth, “Just meet me in my room in 2 hours, and I’ll show you how to disable security locks.”
“I’ll be there,” She replied before walking off whistling a tune.
“Oh really Sly? I though you said it took you at least 50 tries on your first lock.” Cliff Dagger laughed at him.
“Shut your trap, let’s get back to work,” he says in an angry voice.
That Friday afternoon the base was loud and crowded. Everybody was returning from their mission and bring in their loot. Roxanne walked around in her boxer shorts and a T-shirt yawing. She glances around the base. Sheets of metal were stacked all over the place, two very large canisters marked flammable and toxic gas now stood in the middle of the base, and Cliff Dagger and Sly were placing the solar panel mirrors in a safe spot or so she hope.
She walks right up to Vanessa, “So it looks like the missions were a success?”
Vanessa smiled wickedly, “Correct and nobody knew what hit them. I’d love to see the expression on MASK faces when they realized the stunt we pulled. Did you just get up?”
She looks up at the canisters, “Yeah well nobody woke me up this morning, this place was deserted, and of course it’s always like that when you all take off on a mission. So when are we going to start putting the laser together?” She asked like an excited child.
“We don’t exactly have an instruction booklet to put it together. After we…I mean you get the chip, Mayhem going to get himself a scientist who will willingly work for us,” Vanessa responded.
“Don’t you mean kidnap?” she says trying to clarify it better English.
“Yeah, what do you say we get something to eat,” Vanessa leads her towards the mess hall.
“All right lead the way,” she follows.” So what hell is Mayhem going to put me through this week?” she looks to Vanessa curiously.
“Well I hear you’ve so far outsmarted Sly Rax a few times, so Mayhem figures you need some basic training. You know target practice, hand-to-hand combat, that sort of stuff,” Vanessa grabs a plate and makes herself a sandwich.
“That sounds kind of hard,” Roxanne remarked doubtful of being able to handle such training.
“Don’t worry I’m going to be teaching you. When I’m through you’ll be just as good as I am. Training starts at midnight, I suggest you get more sleep,” Vanessa walks to the table and eats.
Roxy gulps as she gets her lunch,” This is going to be a long week.”
MASK agents sat around a huge round table, as they discussed the latest hit done by VENOM. All they knew was what they heard from the news.
The room goes silent as Matt Trakker enters. He takes his seat,” Last night about 1am VENOM stole two solar power mirrors, several pounds of quartz metal, and 200 gallons of two dangerous chemicals. The question is what will VENOM do with these parts. After consulting with the military, it has been brought to my attention that VENOM maybe building a deadly high tech laser. This will make our weapons virtually impossible to compete with theirs and make them unstoppable. The good news is they are missing one part to complete it. This!” he pulls out a little black box which contained a small microchip inside.
Gloria speaks up “Isn’t that the same chip you’re having that fund-raiser for?” Matt sets the box down and walks around the table.
“Same one. This microchip has the power to kill as well as to heal. Previously the military was using this to upgrade their weaponry, but it was found to be too powerful to handle. All knowledge of its existence was closed to the public eye. Until last month a hacker penetrated security. This is why I need all MASK agents on alert this coming Saturday. Me, Alex, and Brad will be keeping close watch on the guests, the rest of you will be stationed outside and ready in case of an all-out assault.”
Brad spoke up with an argumentative tone,” What makes you think they’ll strike Saturday? Why not tomorrow?” Matt stops walking and stands straight across from him.
“Right now they don’t know the location of the chip. And if they waited until after the party the chip will be locked up and under guard. I plan to put a decoy in its place just in case something goes wrong. The real chip is going to be in my office. All right, let’s get started beefing up security to ensure VENOM gets a warm welcome.”
Matt Trakker’s agents all stood up agreeing with his plan. They then took off to ensure that extra security precautions were in place for the event.
Mayhem sat at his desk tapping his fingers as he waits for Vanessa and Sly Rax impatiently. Both step into his office and pulled up a chair. Mayhem eyes glance at both of them wanting to hear only the truth, “Is she ready?”
Vanessa replied, “She passed basic training successfully, even if she fumbled a few times. I believe she will be able to handle herself in any situation.”
Sly leans back,” That baby probably couldn’t hurt a fly.”
Vanessa growled under her lip, “You want me to show you a demonstration?”
After having the kid out smart him a few times he figured he better back off, “Naa wouldn’t want to hurt the girl before the big mission.”
“Sly?” Mayhem looked at him serious wanted a straight answer.
He smiles at him, ” Of course she’s ready she learned from the best.”
Vanessa smirks, “That’s not what I heard more like she bested you at everything.”
“Why you?” he jumps out of his seat ready to strangle her.
Mayhem slammed his fist down on his desk. “Knock it off!” Both restrained themselves and looked straight at him, “Will she rat on us if she is caught?”
Vanessa spoke up on Roxy behalf, “She knows very well the consequences, if she chooses to betray us. I trust she will do her best not to get caught. The way I see it she considers VENOM her family. She would never betray her family she told me that herself.”
“Hmm,” Mayhem ponders her words. “I still question her loyalty. Anybody with the name Trakker has caused too much trouble for me. The way that little brat talks to me drives me nuts. If it wasn’t for the fact that I need her, I would have thrown her to the dogs a long time ago. When she gets back, she’s going to learn a few things about respecting her superiors.”
Vanessa wanted to speak up to defend Roxy, but she knew better. “Rax I want you to go along in piranha, but keep your distance from Trakker’s mansion and stay out of MASK radar. I want you around just in case something goes terribly wrong,” Mayhem walked around the room. Rax nodded in agreement. “You’re both dismissed,” Mayhem waves his hand indicating for them to leave, “Make sure all final preparations are made for the mission.” When they both walked out Mayhem took his seat and hope he wasn’t making a big mistake.
Roxy steps out of her quarters wearing a short red dress, matching red heals, and her brown hair nicely put up. As she walked across the base, the guys whistled at her. Every time she heard a whistle her face would turn red. She never realized how beautiful and grown up she looked just by dressing up. Most of all when she saw her reflection she saw the lasting image of her mother in her. She wiped her eyes. The last thing she needed was to make her makeup run before she got there.
Roxanne walks up to the Limousine where Vanessa was waiting for her, “All right Vanessa I went over all the information you gave me on that rich hot shot Trakker and most of the guest list. Is there by any chance something we can do about my fake name, Barbara Gordon? It has no style and it’s been used already.” Vanessa gives her a strange yet angry look, as if she’s the one who picked it herself. Roxanne apologizes. “Never mind, Barbara Gordon at your service.”
Vanessa pulls out a red purse. “Now let’s get down to business. In this purse contains wire cutters, a mini computer you can use to disable any security lock. Your lip stick contains a receiver just in case you need to contact Rax, and your compact has a compartment for you to store the chip in.”
“Where’s the exploding gum? All of a sudden I feel like I’m James Bond,” Roxy blurts out.
Vanessa cracked a smile but moved onto a more pressing issue,” Here you might need this.” Vanessa hands her a small silver gun.
“I don’t know Vanessa,” Roxy looks down at the gun in her hands,” I don’t think I’m ready to shoot a person.”
Vanessa places her hand on her shoulder,” You might not have to use it, just have it for backup. If all runs smoothly you’ll be out of there and Sly will bring you back safely. Well good luck Roxy,” she gives her a hug.
“Thanks,” Roxy smiled as she returned the hug.
Sly Rax drove Piranha right up to the Limousine and eyes Roxy, “Wow baby, how old did you say you were again?”
She giggles,” Sly cut it out.”
He gives her a small smile, “I would if I could. Anyway no matter what happens tonight, I won’t be too far away. Just give me a holler and I’ll be there princess. Talk to you soon,” Rax put his mask on and takes off on Piranha towards his stakeout spot.
Just as she was going to step into the Limousine, Mayhem walks up to her, “You’re forgetting something.” She looked at him surprised. Mayhem looks her over something about the way she looked shocked him. He wasn’t marveled by her beauty, but was sure he’d seen her face some place before. He pushes the thought aside and pulls out a diamond necklace, “You can’t go without a necklace.” Mayhem puts it around her neck and gives her a kiss on the cheek, “Good luck! I’m counting on you Roxanne.” She smiles as she steps into the Limousine.
She looks down at the necklace, “This is the same necklace he stole from the crown jewels last month. Don’t worry sir I won’t let you down,” she says to herself, determined.
Her heart pounded harder the closer the mansion came into view. She pulled out her invitation, “Stay calm Roxy. They won’t suspect anything if you just be yourself.” The Limousine stops in front of the mansion. The driver then hoped out and opens the door for her. She steps out slowly, smiling as she thanked the driver. She then looks at her surrounding and thinks, “If I make it through the front door everything will be fine.
A gentleman stops her at the door, “Invitation ma’am?” She hands him her invitation avoiding all eye contact. He nods his head and motions for her to pass, “Have a wonderful evening Miss Gordon.
“Thank you,” she walks further in. “Oh my, I’m in,” her heart races as she looks around pondering what she should do next, “I should probably mingle with the guest to pass some time.” She walks towards the guest room. Everywhere she looked people were huddled all over the place engaged in conversation. A long table of containing food was placed against the wall, a band played soft soothing music in one corner of the room, and in the center was a glass display case with two guards. She thinks,” Most likely that is the main attraction. I’m going to have to think of a way to get my hands on it without all these people knowing. Well I have 5 hours to come up with a solution. I’m sure something will turn up.”
She walks around the room and stops as she admires a well-dressed man with shades on. Her jaw almost dropped,” Oh my that’s Brad Turner what a hunk, but he wasn’t on the guest list? If I would have known I would have brought my CD and got a free autograph in the process. I should introduce myself; gee Vanessa’s going to be jealous.”
She starts to walk over in his direction, when she identifies the man he was talking to. She then steps out of view, “Damn he’s talking to Matt Trakker. I guess I’ll have to ask for an autograph later. Might was well fill up on the food, it’s never good to work on an empty stomach.” As she walks back towards the table she notices a boy and his talking robot. She smiles thinking, “That’s Trakker’s kid, he might be the key to getting my hands on that chip.”
Scott and T-Bob looked through the food, “For once dad should pick some actual food, this stuff is gross.”
T-Bob puts numerous things on his plate, “Your telling me who’s going to eat squid?”
“I hate these parties there so boring and this tie is killing me, “Scott pulls on his tie. Roxy grabs a plate and giggles as she overhears Scott. Scott looks at her, “What’s so funny?”
She looks right at him, “Just the way you said it, and I agree with you this is a boring party. It needs lively music and cooked food. Here,” She puts her plate down and loosens his tie,” Is that better?”
“Yeah thanks, of course, as soon as my dad comes around I’m going to have to put it back,” Scott glances over towards his father’s direction.
“Then why don’t we go outside for a walk away from the boring adults?”
“Sounds like a good plan to me, Um T-Bob you stay here, “Scott takes her arm and leads her to the back yard.
“Ugh huh Scott?” T-Bob looks at him confused as he grabs more food.
“So why all the security it’s just a stupid chip,” She asks curiously as they pass a military guard on the lawn.
“It’s a precaution dad feels VENOM going to try and steal it,” he answers her.
“I’ve heard of VENOM on the news, doesn’t that mean there are MASK agents around here too?” she glances about excitedly wanting to see one. “Of course there are, dads got the best agents out there keeping guard,” he blurts out. “He even planted a decoy.”
She looks at him with a wide smile,” No way how clever. No idiot of VENOM would ever figure that one out.”
“I know,” Scott says excited. “Only my dad would have thought of something so clever.”
She tugs on Scott’s arms playfully,” So if the one in the guest hall is a fake, where’s the real one?”
“It’s locked away in my dad’s office,” he says proudly.
“Can I see it?” she says curiously.
“Sorry I don’t know the code to get in,” Scott says apologetically.
“Oh well it was a shot,” She smiles.
“Anyway we’ve been talking most the night I don’t even know your name, mine’s Scott,” he says.
“The names Roxy,” she smiles.
She then realizes she just blew her cover by saying her real name. She tries to keep smiling as she thinks, “Stupid, stupid, stupid your supposed to be Barbara Gordon remember.”
“Well Roxy he offers her his arm shall we join the party and hope something crashes it?”
She takes his arm laughing, “Might as well.”
As they walked back to the guest room, the crowd gathers around the display case to hear a presentation from Matt Trakker. Both kids stayed to the back of the room uninterested in the lecture.
Scott motions towards the podium, “That’s my dad.”
“Wow you’re lucky to have a father like that,” she thinks to herself that now would be a good time to find that office. She whispers into Scott’s ear, “Is there a restroom I can use around here?”
“Use the one upstairs on the right,” Scott replied.
She smiles, “Thanks sugar.” She then walks off towards the stairs.
Brad walks up to Scott nudging him, “Who’s the girlfriend?”
Scott blushed, “She’s just a friend her names Roxy.”
Brad nodded and thinks out loud,” I don’t remember a Roxy on the list,”
“Um…Brad how do you get a girl to like you?” Scott asked, wanting advice.
Brad’s face went blank, “Maybe you should talk to your father about that. I’m not the best guy to give you this information on girls, Scott. I have a hard enough time keeping them off me.” Both guys went silent as they listen to Matt’s welcome speech.
Upstairs was just as huge and confusing as downstairs. She sighs,” Why must people live in big houses, what can they possible do with all these rooms.” So far all she found was a couple bed rooms, a few bathrooms, and a game room. Nothing that looks like an office.
“If I were Matt Trakker’s office where would I be? Maybe the first floor, “She smirks,” but there are guards everywhere down there.” She turns down another hallway and notices a door with a key pad, “Bingo!” She looks around the coast was clear. Since everybody was down stairs, she pulled out her mini-computer. After 5 minutes of deciphering the code, the pad finally gave her the green light and the door opened. She moved in with haste and locked the door behind her.
She looks around the room, “Wow what does a billionaire do with all this computer equipment? Either this guy is paranoid with security or he’s keeping a big secret. Too bad I don’t have the time to find out.” She smiles as she sees a little black box on the table,” This is just too easy.”
Downstairs, “I hope you all enjoy your evening,” Matt Trakker finishes up as the crowd gives him applause. Just then his watch flashes, Matt knew something was up. He made his way through the crowded and signaled Brad and Alex to join him to the side. “My watch just went off, somebody is in my office.” All three men starred at each other for a moment in disbelief. They then all three headed towards the stairs in a hurry.
Matt touches his watch and contacts his MASK agents outside, “Has VENOM started their attack?”
Gloria responded,” Nope everything is dead out here.”
Dusty replied next,” My radar is clean and no sign of Venom.
Bruce shook his head,” Matt nobody has seen anything, why do you ask?” Matt voice was very serious, “Cause somebody in my office. Dusty, move Gator towards the west wing and keep an eye out.”
“Got ya Matt,” Dusty put his foot to the pedal and was on his way.
“The rest of you stay on full alert,” Matt makes his way towards the west wing with his companions Brad and Alex.
Meanwhile, Roxy pulls out the bottom of her compact and secures the chip. She smiles pulling out her lip stick,” Hey Sly you still alive out there.”
Sly Rax speaks to her in anger,” Ugh where the heck have you been, I’ve been waiting for you to contact me. I thought maybe you got caught and lord knows what.”
She laughs,” Relax everything is just fine, I got the chip. And the reason I was unable to contact you is I’ve been getting aquatinted with Trakker’s brat.”
He yawns, “Can’t you think of guys some other time, and get your ass out of there before you’re caught.”
“All right,” She smirks,” I’ll just go back to the Limousine and take off.” “See you in a few minutes,” she puts the lip stick and the compact in her purse and heads for the door. Just as she stepped out of the door, three men turn the corner and all four of them made eye contact.
Matt Trakker looked at her as though he saw a ghost from his past. He says softly under his lips, “Rebecca?”
“Oh Shit!” She said out loud as she starts to run down the hall way.” Matt and Brad raced after her. She reaches the end of the hall running for her life holding her purse, “A dead end!” She looks out the window, “Two stories up and my only way out. I can do it, anything not to get caught.”
She backs away from the window. Just as she backs away Brad grabs the corner of her dress. She knees him in the crotch causing him to fall to his knees. She picks up speed and covers her face with her arms as she jumps right through the window.
She landed on her feet, sort of, and falls flat on her face. She rolls over on her back her eyes staring up at the window. The three men looked down on her from the window, and then quickly moved away. She knew they were coming to get her, but it hurt like hell to get up.
Dusty puts Gator in park and hurries up next to the girl lying on ground covered in blood and glass,”
Are you ok?” Of course, as soon as she saw this man in a mask looking right over her she screamed for her life and used both her feet to kick him as far away as she could. She pushed herself off the ground grabbing her purse and curse herself as she tried to run in pain.
She looks at Gator,” It’s my only chance to get away.”
Dusty recovers his balance off the ground and heads after to her, “Come back here!”
She hops into Gator, “I’ve read about this it should be a piece of cake to drive” She shifts it into drive and takes off. Matt, Brad, and Alex join Dusty at the bottom.
“Matt she took off with Gator,” Dusty said in an angry tone.
“Don’t worry,” Matt presses his watch,” Gloria, Bruce I need you to stop Gator, use all means necessary.
Bruce replied, “We copy ya Matt.”
“Come on let’s go get Thunderhawk and Condor,” Matt, Brad, and Dusty headed towards the vehicles and took off after Gator.
Roxanne drove like crazy wanting to put as much distance from the mansion as she could. “I can’t believe I stole Gator. Now I know they’re all after me,” She constantly glanced in her side and rear mirrors, “So far the coast is clear,” She then opened her purse trying to pull out her lipstick. “Come on where is it,” she remark trying to drive and look through her purse at the same time. She first pulled out her gun and sets it on the seat. She then pulled her lip stick out and yell frantically,” Rax come in I need you. Rax help me!”
“Roxy where are you,” Sly says worried.
“Oh shit they found me,” She glances back as she sees two MASK vehicles on her tail. She swerves the car nervously hitting a bump on the road, causing both the lipstick and her gun to go flying out of Gator.
“Roxy come in!” Rax yelled back but it was hopeless the last feedback he got was a car crushing the signal. Sly Rax started Piranha and went out in search for Roxy hoping that she was alright.
Both Gloria and Bruce were on Roxanne tail. “How about we give our thief a little fireworks?” Gloria suggested as she fires a missile at Gator.
Roxy turns the steering wheel in the opposite direction moving out of the missile’s path,” They’re firing at me, somebody save me! Up ahead I see Piranha.” She steps on the gas speeding up towards Piranha.
“I’ve been spotted by MASK well I’m not going to let them get away with Roxy,” Rax moves Piranha towards Gator. As soon as Piranha came into close view, it fired like crazy at Gator.
Roxy screamed and turn the steering wheel in a panic to get out of the way. Gator slams right into a tree.
Sly Rax then sees Shark and Rhino coming up the path and decides to turn around and go back, “They’ll be busy taking care of the car I just totaled, I need to find Roxy.”
Roxy lay there in Gator, knocked out cold in the seat and covered in blood.
Sly Rax drove Piranha down the deserted road. For once he was actually driving the speed limit. He was in no hurry to get back to base, not after losing Roxy. He didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news nor did he want to give up hope on Roxy. Rax pulled over to the side and threw his mask off and kicks the dirt. He sits there trying to gather his thoughts. He knew he should have radioed in to Mayhem on the situation, yet he was too overwhelmed with anger to do so. Sly Rax watches as the sun comes up over the horizon, “This wasn’t supposed to happen; I should have been at her side not watching in the distance. Maybe I should have looked longer, she could be hurt or caught.”
He pounds his fist into Piranha,” I can’t believe I searched every ounce of that area and had no sign of her. If anything happens to her I’ll never forgive myself for not being there.” His eyes lit up with fire as he swears to himself,” I’ll get you MASK this time you’ll all pay dearly.” He puts his mask back on and speeds off towards base, driving like a crazy maniac.
Sly Rax accelerated through the base doors and came to a streaking halt. He jumps off Piranha removing his mask, in a hurry. He runs up to Mayhem’s office and practically broke down the door.
“Hey, what’s the meaning of this?” Mayhem stands up enraged.
“Roxy in trouble, we have to save her. Assemble the team,” Sly Rax says demandingly. Mayhem just stands there looking at him as though he was thinking about it. “Well don’t just stand there, do something!” Rax went up to him nearly threatening him to take action.
“Sit down Rax,” Mayhem suggested. Rax refused his orders.” I said sit down!” Mayhem’s voice echoed throughout the room. “I figured this situation might come up and I’m perfectly prepared to deal with it,” Mayhem says trying to calm Rax down. “Right now Roxanne is going to have to take care of herself for the time being. We have a schedule to keep with and this is a major setback.”
“Is that all your worried about your stupid plan?” Rax burst out.
“Well I’m surprised, Sly Rax actually cares about somebody except himself,” Mayhem walks around his office. “Now shut up and let me talk,” Mayhem insisted giving him a warning. He continues, “After we capture Professor Michael to start development on our laser, we will go after Roxanne. The only reason I’m agreeing to save that ungrateful little brat is because it is just a matter of time before she tells MASK our location.”
Mayhem moves up to him and threatens him,” If you even think about going back to get her you’re a dead man, ya hear Rax.” Sly Rax nodded with a hateful expression on his face. He knew very well that Mayhem had connections in high places.
He gets up and slams the door behind him and exchanges a glance with Vanessa. She clenched her fist in anger after what she heard coming out of Mayhem’s office.
Vanessa walks over to him, “Who does he think he is? Roxy is a part of the team. We don’t leave team members behind.”
Sly Rax picks up a can of beer, “All he cares about is his freak’n revenge. One of these days Miles is going to get it right between the eyes.” Rax takes a long sip of his beer, “When he does I want to be there.” Rax crushes his can and walks away, wanting to be alone.
Vanessa watched as he walked away,” I hope you’re all right Roxy, just hang on. We’ll be there soon.” Vanessa takes a glance at Mayhem’s office,” I hope.” She walks off too seeing darkness of her room the only comfort for this cold hour.
At MASK headquarters, deep inside boulder hill, several agents stood around in a hallway waiting. They watched as this young mysterious girl receives medical attention in the other room.
Roxy laid there unconscious on a medical bed with an IV stuck in her arm. Both her arms were bandaged up along with her head. Matt walks into the room, his eyes fall upon the girls face. Just looking at her brought flashbacks of someone dear to his heart he thought he had forgotten.
Alex Sector finishes up wrapping bandages around her arms,” You know Matt she needs to go to the hospital; I’m hardly qualified to take care of her injuries. She has a concussion, a sprained ankle, and she has lost a lot blood.”
“I see what you mean Alex, but I can’t risk losing her. She obviously knows something otherwise she wouldn’t have stolen that chip.”
Alex checks Roxy’s pulse,” You know she’s lucky to be alive, if she didn’t have a seatbelt on in Gator. She would of gone splat all over that tree.”
Matt nods,” I’m surprised she even drove Gator, it’s supposed to have a failsafe device in case the wrong person jumps into it. Somehow she knew about it. There’s no question in my mind that she’s working for VENOM, but it doesn’t make sense.” Alex turns and looks to Matt sharing the same feeling,
“Why would VENOM send a child to do their dirty work?”
“Exactly what I was thinking,” Matt smiled. Both Alex and Matt walk out of the room, locking the door behind them.
Bruce steps forward, “Well after looking through her purse, it looks like she knew what she was doing. She had all she needed to break into your office. The latest in thief technology.” Bruce then pulls out her compact opening it,” And here’s our missing chip. Also that necklace she had around neck was the same one VENOM walked off with last month.”
“Good job, Bruce. I’m going to investigate our mysterious thief. See if I can figure out who she is. Dusty I suggest you get started on repairing Gator, were going to need it soon. Gloria do me a favor and talk to Scott for me. Obviously he was talking to our friend all night,” Matt then stops in front of Brad. “Do me a favor scout the area, make sure VENOM is not around. If Sly Rax was in the area, the others are sure to follow.”
Brad nodded, “Come on Buddy we’re out for a long night.”
Just as everyone took off, Alex speaks, “Is there some particular reason you’re blaming Brad for something?”
“He makes me angry. He is always questioning me. If you’ll excuse me Alex, I have work to do,” Matt takes off towards his office not wishing to further discuss the matter.
Matt sits alone in his office sipping his coffee. “Computer access all criminal records on a matching suspect,” Matt leans back in his chair waiting.
The computer replies,” No criminal record on suspect.”
Matt nodded his head,” Bring up a missing person report matching our suspect.” After a couple minutes,” Match acquired, Roxanne Trakker, age 14. She was reported missing 3 months ago, evidence report to possible runaway. If found contact Social Services of Washington DC”
Matt set his coffee down the girl’s name made him speechless. Matt voice grew serious, “Computer tell me who her parents are?”
“Mother Rebecca Travis-Trakker, deceased, Father unknown.”
Matt sat there in shock,” She wouldn’t have done that…would she? Computer bring up Rebecca’s file.” Matt couldn’t believe it as he read her file, after all these years she never told him. He picks up his coffee mug to take a sip, his eyes fall strongly on Rebecca’s face. “How could you!” He throws his coffee mug at the screen and walks out of his office heading towards his room. He locks his bedroom door behind him, and pulls out a turned over picture frame from his dresser drawer. He sits on his bed running his hand over it to clear off some dust. In the picture was Matt dressed up in a tuxedo and a young woman dressed in a bridal outfit. Matt lies back on his bed as flashbacks flood his mind.
Fifteen Years ago:
Matt Trakker stands in his backyard catching a breath of fresh air, after being in his workshop for hours. A young woman with blue eyes and brown hair sneaks up behind Matt. She wraps her arms around his waist, “Where have you been?”
Matt kisses her,” Rebecca I was…umm.”
She kisses his nose,” Trakker you can’t keep any secrets from me, you know better.”
“Me, Andy, and Miles are working on an important project you know that I can’t tell you.”
Rebecca forces him to sit down on a bench, she then sits in his lap,” Well hun I guess I don’t have to tell you my secret then.”
He looks concerned, “What secret?” She wraps her arms around his head,” I can’t tell you, I took an oath.” She stands up and starts to walk away, just then Matt’s brother Andy walks up to him.
“She’s hiding something really big isn’t she?” Matt raises a brow to him wanting a clue.
Andy laughs,” So are we. You’re telling me you haven’t figured it out yet? Maybe you’ve been working on the plans too long. I can’t believe you haven’t notice the way she’s been acting around the house. Come on Dad we need you to help with the car configuration.”
Matt think for a second,” You mean?” His eyes light up.
Andy nods, “Come on Miles wants to talk to you about the car were planning to build.” Matt follows him with a smile.
A few hours later, Rebecca walks out to the pool in short black bathing suit and shades. She places a towel over the chair and lays out over it. Just then a shadow appears over her, “Huh?”
“Oh sorry to disturb you Mrs. Trakker,” Mayhem smiles.
“Oh it’s you Miles you scared me there for a second,” she takes a deep breath.
“It’s quite all right I get that one all the time,” Mayhem apologizes. She looks at him as though there were something different about him.
“Is there something you want?” she looks up at him.
Mayhem looks her over with a smile, “Oh I’m sorry. I wanted to ask you Rebecca if you have reconsidered my offer.” Miles runs his hand over her cheek, “You know I would treat you better then way Matt has, and I do love you.”
She pushes his hand away in anger, “How many times do I have to tell you. What happened between us was an accident Miles. At the time I felt very lonely ok? I thought we both agreed never to discuss it again. I love Matt, remember that.”
Miles stands up narrows her eyes on her, “You’ll regret this, Rebecca.”
She lies back ignoring him,” Hardly.” She lays back and takes a nap; meanwhile Mayhem walks off mumbling under his breath.
Later that evening, Matt walks into his bedroom. Rebecca lays in bed yawning,” You really shouldn’t work that late you need rest. I don’t like it when you’re cranky in the morning.”
“What about you?” he sits on the bed placing his hand over her stomach.
She giggles,” Let me guess Andy told you.”
“Well technically, ya,” he holds her hand. “I’m sorry I haven’t been around much I just feel like I have a lot riding on this project. As soon as were done I promise to spend more time with you and…”
She bursts out,” her.”
He smiles, “What makes you think it’s a her?”
She kisses him,” A mother intuition.” She looks down and takes a more serious tone, “Matt I don’t like this project you and Andy are working on.”
“Were almost done all we need to do is build our prototype,” he lies down beside her.
“Another thing, I have this bad feeling about Miles. He makes me feel uncomfortable every time he comes up to the house,” she hopes her words will mean something to him.
Matt kisses her cheek,” Miles Mayhem is an old friend of the family, he can be trusted.” Matt glances at the clock, “Now if you’ll excuse me I should tell Andy to get some rest.” Matt walks out of the room.
Matt heads towards their work station he built just a few feet from the house. He knocks on the door, “Hey Andy call it a night will ya?” The door slides open all the way.
The room was in a blaze and the heat was unbearable. Matt looked around, “ANDY! Where are you?” Matt covers his mouth as he tries to break through the growing flames. He notices Andy’s body on the floor semi-conscious.
Matt heart raced as he ran to his brother’s side, “I’m going to get you out of here.” Andy reaches towards some plans left by Mayhem. “Forget about the plans,” Matt yelled as he picked Andy up. Andy refused him and used his last bit of strength to hold on tight to them. Matt scoops him up in his arms and jumps threw the flames bravely. He then sets Andy on ground coughing, “Please Andy don’t die on me, who did this!”
Andy tried to speak as he gasped for air, “Mayhem..stole…plans…I’m sorry.” Andy spoke his last breath and died Matt’s arms. Matt’s eyes filled with tears as he holds his brother’s dead body up to his,” NOOOOOO! I promise I will avenge your death.”
A month went by and Matt was still tortured by his brother’s death. Rebecca watched from the house, shaking her head, as she looks over at the work shop. She walks towards the work shop and knocks on the door. Matt opens the door, his eyes were bloodshot and the smell of sweat and dirt filled the air.
“Matt you have to stop this! You’ve practically locked yourself away in there working day and night, since the funeral. I know you don’t want to hear this, but Andy would have wanted you to move on. The police will deal with Mayhem,” She practically pleads to him.
He says in a harsh tone, “Nobody will be able to stop him. I have to do this. Now leave me alone.”
Tears formed in her eyes, “Please Matt don’t do this to me, I love you doesn’t that mean anything to you? I’m carrying your child why can’t you see how much you’re hurting me.” Matt closes the door on her face and goes back to working. She looks down to her feet banging on the door sobbing her eyes out. Matt holds his eyes close to block out her crying and continues to work on his mask.
Another two month had gone by and Matt was in a more spirited mood. He drives his car Thunder Hawk out of his work shop and up the driveway,” This will stop him.” He then looks up at the upstairs window.
Rebecca pulls out some suit cases and starts to pack her stuff away. Her eyes full of tears, “I can’t take this anymore.”
He heads into the house towards their bedroom. Matt watches her in the door way,” Planning a trip?”
She practically jumps as she hears his voice,” Well I’m surprise you know how to talk, I’m leaving you Matt.” Rebecca quickened her pace in packing her belongings.
Matt grabs her by the arm, “Where are you going to go?”
She says in a frustrated voice, “Someplace far from here.”
Matt runs his hand over her teary eyed face, “Rebecca I’m sorry. I’ve been going through a rough time. Please don’t go. Everything will be different I promise.”
Rebecca’s eyes weld up in tears. She turns to look at him feeling as though she owed him a second chance. She sits on the bed looking up at him, he did look better, maybe he had changed.
Matt holds her hand, “Let me make it up to you, let’s go out tonight and talk.”
She nods with a smile, “Yes let’s do that.” She quickly dresses up for the evening.
“If you don’t mind we’ll be taking my new car,” He opens the door for her.
“This is what you were working on a car?” she thought this must me a joke.
“You could say that,” he closes the door for her and jumps in. “I know a nice cozy restaurant we can go to,” Matt states as he drove off.
Towards the end of the evening, Rebecca was convinced that Matt was a new man. She wasn’t sure how or why, but she was glad to see him acting like his old self.
“I love you Matt,” she smiles as he drives them home from the restaurant.
“I love…” Matt starts to speak until he picks up a signal on his radar, “I don’t believe it, he’s actually in the area.”
“What are you talking about Matt? What is that?” Rebecca started to worry.
“It’s the radar, Mayhem’s in the area,” Matt started hitting some switches in his car.
“Mayhem? Matt this no time to play war games,” her tone became serious.
Matt grabs his Mask and places it on his head, “I’m not playing games.” Both doors open and Thunder Hawk took off into the air.
“Oh my god! We’re flying,” she looks at him scared. “Matt Trakker put me on the ground this instant, I’ll have nothing to do with this,” she orders.
“I can’t do that I’ll lose him, he’s coming into range,” Matt ignores her. Just then Switchblade came into view.
Mayhem laughs,” Who do we have here? Competition? We’ll see how that piece of junk does under some fireworks.” Mayhem hits a switch and a missile is released from the bottom of Switchblade.
Matt eyes widened as he attempted to dodge it. Rebecca screamed as she saw it heading straight for them. Matt tried to avoid it yet the missile hit Thunder Hawk in the back. Mayhem laughs at the hit, “You messed with the best and you go down like rest.”
Thunderhawk came crashing straight down with a bang. Matt shakes his head, ” What a landing, don’t you think Rebecca?” He turns to look at her,” Rebecca?”
She grunts in pain, “Uhh.”
Matt gets out and hurries to get her out of her seat, “What have I done?” He lays her on the ground some distance from the car. Matt then sees a car and flags it down and quickly rushes her to the hospital.
At the hospital, Matt waited, in the waiting room, for a report about his wife. He blamed himself for not listening to her. The doctor entered Rebecca’s room,
“How do you feel Mrs. Trakker?”
“I feel much better now, how’s the baby?” she looks at the doctor concern.
“It’s hard to tell she might not make it, if she does there might be complications,” the doctor says in a sad tone. “Right now all you need is rest. Would you like me to get your husband?” the doctor asks.
She sighs, “Can you do me a favor?”
“Yes,” he replies.
“Tell him he can see me in the morning, I need time to think. Just seeing him right now is upsetting to me.”
“Very well,” the doctor walks out and heads towards the waiting room.
Matt stands up as soon as the doctor enters, “How is she?”
“She’ll be find after some rest,” the doctor reassures him.
” The baby?” “It’s not looking so good, and even if the child does pull through there might be complications. We’ll know in the morning,” doctor reassures him.
“Can I see her?” Matt says in a haste wanting to see her.
“I’m afraid not she needs to rest, wait until tomorrow. Feel free to stay here for the night,” the doctor then takes off. Matt returns to his seat and decides to sleep in the waiting room for tonight.
The next morning Matt wakes up sitting in the waiting room. He yawns as he looks at the clock, “I must have been exhausted.” He makes his way toward the front desk, “Excuse me which room is Rebecca Trakker in?” The nurse looks up at him, “She checked out 2 hours ago. Didn’t you know?”
Matt heart pounded he knew where she went and she had a two hour head start. He ran through the hospital and out to the parking lot to his car. He just hoped he wasn’t too late getting home. When he reached the mansion he ran up to his room, “Rebecca?” There was no response.
He enters their room and noticed half her belongings missing. She didn’t bother taking her time, she wanted to get out of there before he found out. He sat on the bed holding his head, he then notices a letter on the dresser. He picks it up.
I’ve spent all last night considering our fate together. The man I fell in love with no longer exists. I can no longer live my life in your shadow. You’ve locked yourself away from the world for 3 months and lost all touch with reality. I feel I have no choice but to leave you. Your rage for revenge is too strong for our love. I’ve tried to accept this by forgetting, yet you’re too dangerous to be around. You’d risk my own life and your child’s just to satisfy your revenge. Just this morning I learned the sad truth that our daughter no longer exists. You’ve killed your own child. Your savage rage for revenge killed your own child. How could you expect to raise a family and peruse your dangerous escapades at the same time? You knew the risk and you didn’t care. It’s fine by me if you are willing to risk your own life, but what about mine? Did you for once consider anyone but yourself? I can’t imagine what type of father you would have been. If you had to choose between your own child and Mayhem, you’d choose Mayhem. That is how cruel and cold hearted you have become. I am now forever scared by this physically and mentally. Please do not attempt to find me. I do not wish to be found. You are heartless Matt Trakker, and if Andy could see you now he would shun you. You’re just like Miles Mayhem in many ways then you know. I hate you Matt and I will never forgive you.
Matt crumpled up the letter and throws it away. He was full of anger and guilt. He started knocking furniture over and cursing. He threw off his wedding ring and stood there in silence.
“Maybe she was right I have forgotten about the world around me. I’ll show her I can get my revenge and have a family at the same time. She’ll be back here crawling on her knees for forgiveness.” He picks up the phone,” All I need are a few friends to get me back on track. Soon Miles will pay for making me lose everything.”
Matt opened his eyes as he heard a knock on his door, “Who is it?” Matt sits up on his bed.
“It’s Alex, I’ve just came to tell you she is waking up,” he replied.
Matt shoves the picture into his draw and opens the door, “Well let’s not keep our guest waiting.”
Alex looks at him as they walk towards the transport to Boulder Hill,” Are you ok Matt?”
Matt rubs his eyes, “Yeah just got a lot on my mind.”
Alex put his hand on his shoulder, ” You know you can tell me anything.”
Matt smiles, “Don’t worry about it, you’ll know soon enough.”
Roxanne rubs her eyes as she wakes up. She looked at her surroundings. She sits up, “Ugh my head.” She rests her hand over her head, then takes another look about the room. “Where am I? A hospital?” Just then the door open she stared at the door. Her heart races as she kept thinking she wasn’t safe.
Matt Trakker entered the room, “Well it’s nice to see you’ve come around.” A hateful expression landed on her face. She remembered what happened last night and knew very well she didn’t get away as planned. She sat there in silence. She took an oath she wasn’t going to spill to the enemy.
Matt moves closer, “Roxanne I’m….”
She looks at him with narrowed eyes, ” I know who you are so don’t bother introducing yourself. Just turn me over to the authorities already and spare me the lecture.”
Matt takes back his friendly tone, ” You’re not going to the authorities just yet. Roxanne whatever Mayhem promised you, I assure you he won’t keep his promise.”
“Who said I was working for VENOM?” she blurts out.
“You did,” Matt pulls up a chair. She rubs her head and curses to herself. She couldn’t think straight, maybe she should just shut up.
“Roxanne if you tell me everything you know I will see to it nothing will happen to you?” Matt reassures her.
“Why should I trust you?” She looks at him with cold eyes.
“This may be hard to understand, but I’m your father.” She turns her face away.
“Of all the manipulative things he could of say he had to say that one,” she thought. Her face was full of anger as her mind sorts this out, “Who does he think he is. Does he really think I’m that gullible? If he was my father, why the heck was I in an orphanage for half my life?”
“Roxanne I know this is hard, I didn’t believe it myself,” Matt puts his hand on hers. “I loved your mother and I had no idea that you were still alive.”
She still doesn’t look at him. She continues to think, ” Vanessa told me they might play games with my mind, maybe I should just go along.”
She turns and looks at him, her eyes in tears, “Dad?”
Matt smiles as he runs his hand over her face, “It’s all right, everything will be all right.”
She wraps her arms around him giving him a hug; something told her she just bought her ticket out of trouble. All she had to do was keep up the act; a small sly smile appeared on her face. She knew everything was going to be all right from now on.
A young girl, about the age of seven, in a white night gown walks down a long, dark hallway. A couple feet in front of her was a door that was open just a crack. A bright white light shone strongly enough, through the door, to light up the hall. She tip-toed slowly towards the door, as she hears arguing voices.
She says softly, “Mommy.” No response is given and the voices grow louder. She could make out her mother voice, but not the man she was with. She covered her eyes as the bright light blinded her the closer she got. She peeped through the door.
She saw her mother crying in terror. A man’s voice boomed loudly, “I told you Rebecca you’d regret leaving me!” Just then the man moves towards the door and slams it shut and locking it.
The girl hears her mother scream for help… yet she just stands there crying.
Roxy opens her eyes with haste. Sweat pours down her face, as she breathes heavily. She lay there rubbing her eyes repeatedly saying to herself, “only a dream…only a dream.” She looks around, hoping her surroundings would ease her terror, but she was still stuck in the same miserable room she was in last week.
The room was painted white. It only contained one chair, her bed, and too many monitors that she didn’t feel necessary to be hooked up to. She wanted out so bad that if she had to she’d kill for it. She sighs, ” I have to think of some way to get out of here.”
She sits up in her bed and thinks to herself, “Somehow I have to get Trakker to put me in a more free moving about position. Of course, only having one good leg and being locked up in this dull room isn’t going to accomplish anything.”
She looks about, puzzled, “Why hasn’t anybody tried to rescue me yet? Maybe they don’t think I’m important enough, but Vanessa wouldn’t let Mayhem get away with that would she? Naa….” She shakes the thought from her head, “They probably don’t know my location. That has to be it. Their probably working on that right now, just waiting for the right time to strike.”
She calms herself down, “Now I have to start walking, and maybe I can get that lock picked and get the heck out of here, before anyone notices.”
She stands up on both her feet. She closes her eyes grunting as a rush of pain run throughout her entire body. Every step she took towards the door she would bit harder down on her lip, attempting to block out the pain. Her eyes welled up in tears, as she attempts not to scream, “Come on just a bit further.”
She limps as she walks halfway across the room, until the door slides open. Matt steps in and quickly heads over to her side, ” What are you doing out of bed?”
“Would you believe I wanted a glass of water?” she smiles to him innocently. He picks her up and lays her back on the bed. She sits up and pulls her knees in. Her head looks down as thought she was ashamed of herself. She thinks, “I should have known he’d be watching the room. I’ll bet he has a camera hidden in one of those lights or maybe the vent.”
Matt speaks as he lifts her head up to face him, ” Roxanne you know better than to get out of bed. Your body is still trying to get its strength back.”
“I can’t help it. I can’t stand being in this room any longer,” she looks to him frustrated. “So I figured if I started walking again you’d let me out of here, “she gives him a sad looking face.
Matt looks at her for a few minutes. He knew he couldn’t let her out of his sight just yet. She knows too much and she is weak, but he couldn’t stand making her feel so miserable. Not after what he put his wife throughout 15 years ago. “How about we talk about it in the morning?” He stated figuring this will give him time to think about it.
She sighs, “Truthfully, I can’t sleep. I think I’ve slept more than I ever have in my entire lifetime.”
Matt yawns, “Why not?”
She looked at him obviously it must be late, but then again she had no way to tell time, ” You wouldn’t want to know.”
“If it’s about a bed time story I’m sure I could squeeze one in, ” Matt says. She laughs, ” I’m 14 years old, I’m far too old for a bed time story. I’m just troubled by a lot of nightmares. It makes it harder to fall asleep.”
Matt reassures her, “your safe here. Nothing can get in this room to hurt you. I won’t let that happen.
“No it’s not that, it’s just everything that has happened to me just comes back to haunt me,” She looks away.
“You can tell me anything, Roxanne,” Matt holds her hand.
Roxanne thinks for a moment, “I can’t tell him my dreams, I hardly even know this guy. Besides their far too personal, only Vanessa would understand. On the other hand I could just tell a little white lie.”
“I..I keep having dreams about VENOM. I’m constantly trying to run away from them, everywhere I went down that alley another agent would pop up to stop me, ”
She looks at him in tears. “For two months I was locked away in a small darkroom, sometimes I wouldn’t get fed for days or weeks, because nobody was around. Some….sometimes he would come in.” She starts to shake as her tone grows more upsetting. “Everything hurt so bad. He was so angry about his plans being spoiled by MASK. He’d hit harder and harder”
Matt looked at her shocked, he had no idea that she had been through so much. He put his arm around her holding her tightly.
She rests her head against him, “They told me if I got that chip for them they’d let me go, otherwise they’d come back for me. I was scared I had to do whatever they told me.” She cries, “They trained me day and night. I’d be beaten until I finally got it right.”
Her face turns looks to him in terror, ” Now they’re going to come get me. I have to get out of here before they find me and finish the job!”
“Shhh, nobody is going to find you. I promise,” Matt rocks her in his arms. “Just tell me where they are?” Matt says softly.
“I …I don’t know. I was knocked out or blindfolded every time I was taken off base, “she replies quietly.
Matt continues to rock her, “can you tell me anything that would help MASK stop VENOM.” She ponders for a moment. She couldn’t tell him the plan she promised she wouldn’t rat on her new family. Her teary eyed face looked at him, “I overheard him talking about needing somebody to put it together…”
Matt agreed with her information. After a few more minutes of crying, Roxanne fell asleep on Matt. He looks down on her; maybe he was wrong about her. No matter what his companions would think he was determine to move her up to the house. Maybe being around Scott and T-bob would cheer her up a bit.
Matt lays her down gently and kisses her cheek, “Tomorrow you’ll feel much better.” He turns the light off and leaves the room.
Several hours had passed, Roxanne opens her groggy eyes. She felt more tired than usual; she wondered if somebody had drugged her. This time she was in a more cozier room. She laid in the king-sized bed admiring the nicely expensively furnished bedroom. Not even Mayhem himself could afford such luxury as this.
The open window brought in a nice cool summer’s breeze. She smiled to the smell of fresh air. She also noticed a set of crutches to the right of her bed.
For a second she wondered how serious Matt was about her being his daughter. She could be spoiled beyond her wildest dreams. Yet she remembered how much she hated her father for not being around.
She had a deep burning rage of hate for him. She blamed her father solely for her mother’s death, and strongly believed he was the one who killed her.
Just then, there was a knock on the door, “Come in.” Scott stepped in, “I didn’t wake you did I?”
“No please come in,” a big smile shows on her face. As usual T-Bob followed behind Scott, she wondered if he was Scott’s protector.
She was sure Matt had enemies; she was even more sure he had a big secret. When she figures out how to access that huge computer of his, she’ll find it all out.
Scott sits on the edge of the bed. “I wanted to know why you used me?” Scott looked really distraught.
She figured he must have gotten into serious trouble for giving away that information. She looks down, “I’m sorry Scott, but I personally didn’t intend to use you. I was scared and I had to do whatever it took to carry out orders. I thought they were going to kill me if I didn’t get that chip. I hope this isn’t going to affect our friendship, or should I say relationship… brother?”
Scott boyish eyes gazes onto hers, “No I forgive you, but technically I’m not your brother.”
She looked at him, shocked, “I thought you were dad’s son.”
“I am, it’s just I’m adopted,” Scott replies.
She raises a brow, “Adopted?”
“Yeah my mother died when I was a baby and well dad and T-bob are all I have,” he answered.
The thought that Matt would neglect his own daughter and adopt a son really pushed her buttons. She thinks, “So that’s it! I wasn’t a boy. Forget about the girl and her mother and go adopt a son. Gee, I think I have the urge to stake them both. What am I thinking? He’s not my father otherwise he be a dead man right now!”
“Are you all right?” Scott looks at her worried.
She tries to remove her disgusted face, ” Yeah! I’m a bit angry that he just pops into my life after 14 years.”
Scott nods, “I understand.”
She looks at him with a blank face as she thinks, “Whatever kid, you’d been living like God all your life.” She wanted to argue with him and kick him around the room a few times, but she figured what was the point? She knew if she even touched or said anything to him he’d go running to daddy. If she wanted out she was going to have to beat Matt at his own game, even if it meant playing the disguise of little Miss. Goodie-Two-Shoes.
She smirks, ” Why don’t you give me a tour of my new home?”
Scott says in a joyous voice, “Sure, there is so much to show you.” Scott grabs the crutches and hands them to her. He then searches through the closet for a robe.
T-Bob intervenes, “I don’t know about this Scott. It’s one thing to disobey your dad’s orders of disturbing her, but your father said she was too weak to walk.
“A robot with a conscience,” she thinks as she laughs about it out loud.
“What so funny?” T-Bob looked at her seriously.
“Relax T-Bob I’m not going to fall down and kick the bucket, if I walk. A walk is just what I need to regain my strength. If I was really that weak, I wouldn’t of even let you entered the room in the first place.”
“Ok if you say so,” T-Bob replies.
Scott hands her a blue silk robe. She puts the robe on. Something about the scent brought back old memories, “Mommy,” her lips whisper.
Scott looked at her, ” Did you say something?”
She jumped slightly as she turned to look at him, “No! Nothing important, so what do you want to show me first?” She stands up by using the crutches and follows Scott out of the room. T-Bob tags behind him.
She walks beside Scott and talks softly, “Does he always follow you everywhere?”
“Who? T-Bob.” Scott replied, “well yeah.”
She looked at him oddly, ” Don’t you have human friends to hang out with?”
He looks back at T-Bob hoping he didn’t hear her remark, “I don’t have the chance to make friends. Dad is always traveling and he takes me with him.”
“So he’s your bodyguard then?” she looks at him, guessing.
Scott laughs, “He couldn’t hurt a mouse, but he’s not an ordinary robot. He can transform into a cycle and I can always get in touch with my dad.”
She adds, “Still it’s just another way for you dad to keep an eye on you at all times.”
Scott shrugs, “I guess you could say that. It doesn’t matter to me because T-Bob is my friend. Dad spends too much time dealing with issues for the PNA, so he has a lot of enemies.”
She looks at him curiously, “What does dad do for the PNA?” She figures it has to be something big, this guy stinkin’ rich.
Scott remembers what his father told him about leaking information, “Well Umm… he.. Oh you have to see this.” Scott avoids the question and leads her into a nearby room. “This is the coolest room in the house, the game room,”
Scott acts like a giddy school boy. Roxanne smiled, yet she was unhappy that he didn’t answer the question.
Meanwhile at Mask headquarters, agents gather around a huge round table.
Matt speaks, “It has been over a week since VENOM attempted to recover parts to build their laser. Even though we have stopped them for the moment, VENOM is still going to find a way to continue their plans. Roxanne has told me that VENOM needs somebody to build their laser. Right now the computer is analyzing the data for possible subjects who are capable in building such a weapon.”
Just then Brad interrupts, “Speaking of Roxanne, Mayhem’s new recruit. Why isn’t she locked up?”
Matt replies, “She is not posing a threat to anyone. VENOM hasn’t even attempted a rescue mission nor do I believe they will try.”
Brad continues, “What are you basing this hunch on? Her acting ability, the skills she used to break into your office, the way she jumped out that window, and crashed Gator. There is no way anyone that determined would be a victim in all this. For all you know she could be dialing an invite to Mayhem right this minute.”
Matt tries to calm Brad down, without losing his own nerves, “I assure you Brad, I have T-Bob keeping a close eye on her, plus she wouldn’t get far in her medical condition.”
Brad starts to crack up, “T-Bob? We’re talking about the same robot who’s supposed to watch your son Matt. I’m sure the rest of you will agree with me when I say Scott has repeatedly interfered with our missions, and somehow always ends up in the middle of the battle. If Mayhem had the brains to put two and two together, he’d trace that robot back to you.”
Matt grows angry, “What do you want me to do, leave her in that room and ignore her and let her health deteriorate? I’m not going to turn her over to the authorities.”
Brad argues back, “Why not? That kid is smart enough to figure a way out. After all she nearly escaped us twice in one night.”
Matt stood up and pounded his fist against the table. “I’m not about to turn my own daughter in.”
Everyone’s eyes fell on Matt. Matt rarely kept secrets from the group, but this was unbelievable.
Brad continues, “Your daughter? What took you so long to tell us Matt?”
Alex speaks up hoping to ease the tension, “He didn’t know Brad.”
Brad crosses his arms, “Still if he barely knows this girl, why is he letting her walk around freely, she’s a threat to every MASK agent in this room including his son.”
Matt eyes stared at Brad, “You want to talk about threats? What about you and Vanessa? I’m not stupid Brad, I’ve seen you flirting with the enemy. How much information did you give her?”
Brad and Matt were just about ready to grab each other’s throats.
Bruce steps in, ” This is not the time to discuss personal differences. Both have relevant arguments, but we must focus on the facts. Continue with what you were going to tell us.”
The computer spits out a sheet of paper with 3 names.
“These names are possible people VENOM will be after. Professor Michael, Mr. Ken Reskoff, and Mr. Barry Wong. There is no telling who or even when VENOM is going to strike. So were going to have to keep a close watch on each of them.
Brad and Buddy will watch Professor Michael. Gloria and Dusty you take Mr. Reskoff, and Alex and Bruce will handle Mr. Wong. Meanwhile, Hondo and I are going to beef up security around that chip and continue the search for Mayhem’s hideout. I wish you all good luck, dismissed.”
Two weeks later at Harvard University. A man in a plain brown suit in his late fifties lectures in an auditorium filled with hundreds of students. Most of these students were fascinated with his explanation on how physics is involved in the production of a laser. A few others were either asleep or chatting in a soft tone to their neighbor.
Brad and Buddy sat in the very back of the auditorium. Brad whispers to Buddy, ” I can’t take another week of this, either we see some action or I’m dropping this class.”
Buddy crosses his arms, ” Gee if only it were that simple. Nobody said this stake out job was going to be fun.”
“I wonder if this is Matt’s way of telling me I should go back to school and give up on my music career,” Brad removes his shades and rubs his eyes.
“Brad you know very well that Matt couldn’t care less about what you do for a living, as long as, you put MASK first. It’s surprising that any of you guys still have a job, considering were on 24 hour alert. I know this is boring. I never cared much for school either. But look on the bright side you might learn something and be inspired to write a song about physics and dedicate it to the dear professor.”
Brad smirks,” You’re not making fun of my music are you?”
Buddy chuckles,” Lighten up.”
The professor looked out into the crowd,” Remember the chapter test is next Tuesday, I recommend that everyone should get an early start re-looking over their notes. Class dismissed.”
The professor started to pack his belongings into his suitcase. Just then a woman in a nice gray business suit, long brown hair, and glasses approaches the professor.
She speaks up attempting to disguise her actual voice, “I have to say Professor Michael. That was one of your best lectures yet.”
He looks at the attractive young woman, ” Why thank you, Miss…?”
She smiles, “Oh where are my manners? Miss Halanski. I was wondering if we could further discuss you presentation. I know now is a bad time, but I’d be willing to arrange an appointment to meet with you later.”
The professor smiled, “Well I could see you after my last class. How about we meet in my office at 5pm?”
She nods, “That works for me, thanks a lot this means the world to me.” Buddy and Brad walk down the flight of stairs in the auditorium towards the professor. Just as Brad was walking down he accidentally bumps into the young woman, “Sorry.”
She glances at him for a second and continues on her way out.
Brad stood there in deep thought, “Those eyes… I know them.” He could never forget a pretty face. He continues down and meets Buddy at the bottom.
Buddy leans on the desk, “Real powerful lecture Professor Michael.” He smirks, ” I’m sure that conversation you two were having was much more riveting.”
Buddy replied, “Ouch!”
The professor looks at both of them as he speaks in a frustrated voice, “Gentlemen, I’m going to have to request that the PNA needs to stop this ridiculous baby-sitting job. I have an important schedule to keep and I don’t need you watching my every move. The idea that…that loony Mayhem would kidnap me is preposterous. There is no point in putting something together that is missing parts.”
Brad interrupts, “We’re doing this to protect you and were following orders. So unless the PNA tells us to were not moving an inch.”
The professor speaks in anger, “I don’t care what your boss or the PNA told you. It’s over. Now leave me be.”
The professor walks out. Buddy attempts to go after him, but Brad stops him, “Let him be for a while, just watch him from an unnoticeable distance.
Buddy nodded, “Where are you going?” Brad thinks for a moment before replying, “I’m going to check something out. I’ll catch up with you later.”
Both men headed out in opposite directions. Brad walked out of the building. He looked around for a trace of that woman’s whereabouts.
He walks down several walkways on campus hoping to find some trace of her. He then looks up and sees her waiting against a building. As soon as she notices him, she steps back into the shadows of the building. Brad hurries towards her hoping not to lose her.
She stands there waiting, “I thought I saw you picking your nose up there, you finally figured it out.”
Brad smiles, “Of course, I never forget a pretty face, interesting new look for you I have to say. I hope you are trying out a new option for a career choice, Vanessa.”
She laughs, “Oh come now you know why I’m here, but I’m glad they sent you to deal with me.”
Brad moves closer, “Really, well this time I’m not going to let you get away.”
She laughs again, “Oh and you think you can stop me?”
Brad voice grows serious, “I have no choice you’ve gone too far.”
She moves closer to him, “What your employers found out didn’t they? You’re scared to let your feelings for me interfere with your job. No matter it’s far too late for you or any of your MASK agents to do anything. It’s almost 5 o’clock and VENOM will be one step closer to MASK destruction. I would hate to see you die. Please join us,” She offers her hand.
He pushes her hand away “You’d like that wouldn’t you? No more hiding from the boss. I can’t do that, it’s wrong. It stands against everything I joined up the MASK for.”
Vanessa looked down, “Somehow I knew you’d say that. Tell me Brad, how is Roxanne doing? I’ve been worried about her.” Brad raises a brow as he thinks, “Why would she be concerned about Roxanne? Wasn’t she neglected?”
Brad looks at Vanessa, “She getting better every day from what I hear.”
She smiles, “That is good news.” She moves closer to him, “Brad.” She wraps her arms around him, “I miss you.”
Brad looks down,” I miss you too.” Her lips lock with his in a passionate kiss.
She breaks away and steps back watching him. Brad starts to speak, “Vanessa I…” Brad shakes his head as he feels dizzy. Brad falls to his knees, “What is going on?”
Vanessa looked down on him, “Do you like my new shade of lipstick. I wore it especially for this occasion. I told you that there was nothing you can do. In a few days the poison will wear off. I hope you’ll come to your senses an join us, I would hate to have to kill you my sweet.”
Brad falls on the ground, knocked out. Vanessa takes a deep breath to let out her disappointment, “Excuse me but I have an appointment to keep.” She steps over Brad and heads towards the Professor Michael’s office.
Vanessa signals nearby towards her comrades, before she steps into the building and knocks on Professor Michael’s office door.
Professor Michael sits at his desk, “Come in.” She walks in and takes a seat crossing her legs.
He leans forward on his desk, “So what did you want to discuss with me.”
Vanessa smiles, “Well me and my friends are conducting a rather large experiment. We wanted your advice. Oh well, actually we want you to do the job for us.”
He adjusts his glasses, “I don’t get what you mean ma’am.”
Vanessa pulls her wig off and pulls out a gun with a silencer ” I mean you’re going on a little trip.” She then fires the gun at him. A dart hits him in the arm and he instantly passes out. Vanessa pulls out her radio from her purse and sits on the desk, “He’s down Rax, come pick him up in 10.” She then walks out of the room as if nothing happened.
Buddy sits down the hall watching curiously. About 10 minutes later, Rax disguised as a janitor walked into Professor Michael office with a huge cart.
Rax hurries up to put the professor’s unconscious body into the basket and cover him with dirty rags.
He then says to draw away suspicion, “Sorry to have disturb you sir.”
Vanessa waited by the car, “What took you so long?”
“There was a guy watching I had to be careful,” Rax tried to put the old man in the back of the car. Rax attempts to lift him,” Are you going to help me? He’s not exactly light as a feather.”
Vanessa helps him put the unconscious man in the trunk of the car. Rax then slams the trunk shut, “Where were you?”
Vanessa hops into the car, “Taking care of unfinished business. Now drive away before anybody notices.”
Buddy glances at his watch it was 7pm. Usually the professor would go home by now and where the heck was Brad? He hopes he didn’t decide to go to a bar by himself.
Buddy walks up to his office and taps on the door, “Professor Michael?” No response was given.
Buddy opens the door and looks around.
Nobody was in the room.
Buddy runs out of the room and heads towards the phone. He calls Matt in haste, “Matt we have a big problem. Professor Michael is gone and Brad is nowhere in sight.”
Matt was in his study waiting anxiously for Buddy to call back with more information. He sat at his desk letting his hand rest against his chin. His eyes would glance constantly at the clock on the wall. He saw this as slow torture with every passing minute. It had been 2 hours since he received that disturbing phone call from Buddy and his nerves could no longer take it. He was filled with so much anger and disappointment he had to stay out of sight of his own children. He didn’t want Roxanne asking too many questions, and he definitely didn’t want to worry Scott. The only thing he could do was sit in silence.
He was waiting patiently and thinking of the next step to take. Matt spoke to himself, “M.A.S.K. has always been ready to take whatever V.E.N.O.M. threw at it, but now…” He was stumped as he thought about what mistakes he made or could have prevented, “Did Mayhem magically grow a brain over night or is somebody to blame for all this?”
The first name that popped into his mind was Brad Turner. He had a gut instinct that he was the traitor among them. The fact that he told Buddy he was going to investigate something without him was very suspicious. The whole reason Matt paired everybody up was for their safety and to ensure backup.
Matt crossed his arms, “Apparently Brad Turner doesn’t understand the reason for the team up. He doesn’t realize that we all work and think as a team and nobody does anything by themselves. If he would have followed orders, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
He stands up and begins to pace around the room, “But who am I to say he hasn’t been working with V.E.N.O.M. all this time? Maybe I was right about him and Vanessa. No matter, when this is over with Brad Turner is through with M.A.S.K.”
Just then the phone rang, Matt picked it up, “Yes?”
Buddy answered, “Matt it’s me Buddy.”
Matt sat down on his desk, “So how’s the situation?”
Buddy was thinking of how to tell him, “Matt, you’re not going to believe this.”
Matt says curiously, “What?”
Buddy continues, “Well the authorities combed the entire campus, until they found him hidden in the shadow of one of the buildings.” His tone sounds sorrowful, “I thought he was dead, Matt. He was unconscious and barely breathing. The color was practically drained from his face. I wish I could have stopped him from going off like that.”
Matt sat there for a moment in silence. He wanted to take back all the awful things he said about Brad. He then snapped back into reality.
“It’s all right Buddy, I don’t think you could have stopped him. How is he?”
Buddy rubs his head, “I don’t know Matt I’m waiting here in the ER to find out some news on his condition. Meanwhile, the authorities are doing everything in their power to locate the professor. We know very well from experience at this point V.E.N.O.M. can be anywhere.”
Matt nodded and agreed with his statement, “Buddy I’m going to take the first plane out there. As soon as, Brad wakes up find out what happened.”
Buddy replied, “Will do Matt.”
Matt continued, “I’m going to alert the other agents to change their position and guard that chip. I’ll see you as soon as I get there. Bye.”
“Bye Matt,” Buddy replies before hanging up.
Matt walked out of his office. Roxy and Scott walked towards him. “Hey dad are we still going to see that movie?” Scott asked eagerly.
Matt put his hand on his shoulder, “I’m sorry Scott something very important just came up.” Scott looked into his father’s eyes, he knew it was M.A.S.K. business and it looked serious. Roxy looks at them both as though they had some special bond she didn’t know about.
She crosses her arms, “Where are you going that is so urgent?”
Matt looked at her, “Well a friend of mine is injured very badly.”
“Oh…I hope your friend gets better then,” She says trying not to sound arrogant.
Matt says in a concerned voice, “So do I. I’m going to have Mrs. Simpson come over and watch you guys, while I’m gone.”
Scott objects, “Why can’t we come with you dad, you..”
Matt looks down on him, “Not this time Scott. The hospital is no place for kids.”
Roxy smirks, “I don’t see why we need a baby-sitter in the first place. I’m old enough to take care of myself. I’ve always been on my own.”
Matt wished he knew what to tell her, “Roxanne I just want somebody around in case of an emergency. It’s not like I’m not coming back.”
She shrugs as she walks off, “That’s what they all say.”
Scott looks up at his father, “she’s just having trouble adjusting.”
Matt nodded, “I know.”
Roxanne stood there silently watching from the upstairs window. Scott Trakker hugged his father and waved good-bye. Matt then stepped into a cool looking red sports car with lightening painted on its sides.
Her hopes for a rescue mission slowly died as time passed by. A couple times she thought about phoning the base but chose not to. She feared the idea of being caught, but that’s not what stopped her. She had failed Mayhem, V.E.N.O.M., the mission, and even herself. She was too ashamed to call.
She laughs at herself, “To think I was a fool for ever thinking I was part of V.E.N.O.M.. I will always be a screw up and a nobody. Why would V.E.N.O.M. even bother to rescue me?” She holds her fist tight and narrows her eyes on both Scott and Matt Trakker, “I’ll prove to them and V.E.N.O.M. that I’m not a force to be reckoned with. I’ll complete my mission and show Mayhem he made the biggest mistake of his life leaving me stranded behind enemy lines. I’ll do anything to get that chip.”
She feels her sorrow being chased away by hopes of escape. Her eyes then drift upon T-Bob, “Of course I could use a little help.”
She walked down the hallway towards Matt’s study. She hastily moved around the desk to sit in the expensive padded leather chair. She turns the computer on and accessed the Internet. “Log on user,” the computer asks. She sits back in the chair, as she ponders. She’d been off line too long to remember her Screen Name. She taps her fingers on the desk nervously and stares at the screen,
“Well duh…I picked something I wasn’t suppose to forget.” She smacks her forehead and types in user name, “RIFT.” The best password to use for everything she thought. She glances threw her mail, “Gee didn’t know somebody actually missed me?” She then runs the cursor over to her favorite places,
“Yes that’s it, Virus-R-Us.” She scans over hundreds of files hoping to find one to best suit her situation. “I need something that will make a robot bypass its original subroutines. Then I can take control of it.”
She looks threw Matt’s desk for a disk. She quickly downloads a virus she needed. She then leans back in the chair holding the disk, “All I need to do now is to get that stupid robot to download this.”
She rushes out of the room and goes on a hunt for T-Bob. She smiles as she sees him alone in his personal storage area. “Hey T-Bob, I was wondering if you could help me out,” She says in a nice friendly voice.
He turns and looks at her, “Sure Roxanne I’m always willing to help. What’s the problem?”
She looks down at her feet, “Well I downloaded this really cool game that I know you and Scott would love to play, but…” She gives him a disappointed face, “Since I don’t know much about computers I think I might have deleted whatever dad had originally on the disk. I know I should have asked first, but I wasn’t thinking. Is there any way to check to make sure the file is still on the disk?”
T-Bob takes the disk, “Well then let’s go back to the computer and we’ll find out.”
She had to think of something fast, “We can’t.” He looks at her curiously, “Why not?”
She thinks for a second, “Well Scott is using the computer right now and I don’t want him to find out about what I did.”
T-Bob hands her the disk back, “Oh well then. There really isn’t anything I can do about it.”
She looks disappointed and gives him a suggestion, “But you’re a robot, can’t you do a quick scan on the disk?”
T-Bob shakes his head, “I really shouldn’t I could contract a virus, especially since you don’t know what you’ve downloaded.”
She begs, “Please. Pretty please.”
T-Bob gives in, “Oh all right to make you happy and get you out of my circuits.”
She hands him back the disk and watches him place it into his system. T-Bob feels worried, “Hmm this disk feels funny.”
She tilts her head and looks at him, “How so?”
He asks her, “Better shut me off, it’s starting to corrupt my files.”
She crosses her arms, “Really? I’d like to do that my friend, but 1. I don’t know how to shut you off and 2. at this point it would take me another 5 hours just to re-download that virus into your system.”
T-Bob tries to move but his arms and legs felt rusted, “It’s getting dark in here.”
She reassures him, “Don’t worry T-Bob in a couple of days this will all be over with, ya piece of junk.” She looks at the clock and then to T-Bob.
His once sweet friendly eyes were now replaced with red lights of terror. She smiles, “T-Bob can you hear me?” His voice sounds as though it were in a trance, ” Yes mistress.”
She smiles, “Worked like a charm, now for some reprogramming. T-Bob you are to only respond to my voice alone, all original shutdown protocols and authorization codes are deleted. What I say goes. You are to act as yourself around Scott for the time being. He isn’t allowed to know or suspect anything. For you first assignment…” She thinks before she continues, “I need to you to comb the road side north of house for about 20 miles. You’re looking for a small silver gun. When you find it hide it in your storage compartments and return to me. Dismissed.” T-Bob took off and her smile widened, “Now all I have to do is think of the next step in my plan.”
Mrs. Simpson called from the stairs, “Scott, Roxanne supper is ready.” Both kids met up in the dining room and took a seat. Scott looked a bit troubled.
Mrs. Simpson handed him a dish of mash potatoes, “What is wrong Scott?” He sighs, “I can’t find T-Bob anywhere. Were suppose to work on a model together.
Roxanne shoves food in her mouth trying not to laugh at his behavior towards that robot.” She then talks with her mouth full, “How awful.”
Mrs. Simpson interrupts, “Don’t talk with your mouth full.”
She wipes her mouth, “sorry. Any ways I wouldn’t worry about T-Bob he’s probably picking up lose change along the road. This is a big estate so he could be anywhere. He might show up in the morning.” Scott looked at her thinking that was an odd response, but she was probably right about him showing up in the morning. The discussion ended and they continued to eat dinner.
Meanwhile at V.E.N.O.M. headquarters, a black van pulls up. Sly and Vanessa stepped out of the van. Sly opened the side door of the van and forcefully pulled the semi-conscious professor out. The professor mumbled under his tired voice, “You’ll never get away with this.”
Mayhem approached him laughing, “I already have.”
Professor Michael tried to stand up and be strong, “I won’t work for you.”
Mayhem shakes his head, “Ah well that’d be a shame, but unfortunately I have methods of making you work. Lock the professor up until he regains his senses.”
Cliff Dagger step forwards and pushes the professor, “Move it!” The professor looked up at the buff man, and turned away feeling terror striking his own face. He tried to get up and walk, but every time he tried Cliff Dagger would push him further, causing him to fall to the ground. Mayhem waited for Cliff Dagger to lead the professor out of the room, before continuing to speak.
Sly leaned against the car, “So how are you going to get that old man to work for us.” Mayhem smirk, “I’ve done my homework unlike you Sly. When the professor has cleared his mind a bit, I’ll just tell him about using his grandkids for target practice, if he doesn’t help.”
All three of them laugh at the idea. Vanessa smiled, “Sounds like he’ll be sobbing on his knees begging to work for us.”
Mayhem smiled, “Of course, now all we need to do is get that chip and are weapon will be near completion. From this point on nothing is going to stop us from reaching our goal.” Mayhem felt like bringing out the booze and celebrating, until Vanessa spoke.
“Aren’t you forgetting something boss? You agreed to let us rescue Roxy after we grabbed the professor.” Mayhem good mood broke and his brow pointed downward in a flurry.
He thought, “She had to bring that brat’s name up.”
Cliff Dagger returned to join his companions and agreed with Vanessa, “I agree boss.”
Sly just looked up and nodded, “We don’t continue until we have all our members.”
Mayhem turned and looked at Sly Rax he wanted to burst out in laughter. He stood there deep in thought trying to keep a straight face. That one name just made his winning plan go downhill. He hoped that they’d forget the girl, but apparently he was wrong about how much they cared about that little brat. As much as he wanted to demand them to drop the ridiculous idea of saving Roxy, he needed their loyalty to V.E.N.O.M. to successfully retrieve that chip. The amount of security is surely going to be beefed up and M.A.S.K. will probably be guarding it personally. He needed all the manpower he could get, for this mission to be a success. He grumbles under his breath, “all right well go get her.”
Sly suggested, ” I’ll go find out where M.A.S.K. has her imprisoned at.” Mayhem shook his head, “Don’t bother I already know where she’s at. I’ve been keeping tabs on her, only because she was a security risk. Apparently you both taught her well about keeping her mouth shut, she’s staying at Matt Trakker’s estate. Of course the real mystery is why she hasn’t been turned over to the authorities. I have to blue prints somewhere in my office, I’ll go get them.”
Mayhem walks off still cursing under his breath. The three of them watched him as he walked towards his office.
Mayhem slammed the door shut furious. He walks towards a wooden trunk in his office. He pulls a key out of his pocket and unlocks it. He was never thrilled about leaving plans and other personal items around the base. Especially since most of the people he hired were crooks. He digs through piles of plans and old junk. “Here we go,” He pulls out old blue prints of Matt Trakker estate. He sets it out on the table, “Knowing him he probably remodeled it, but this will do.” He rolls the plans out, he figured if he organized a quick go in and get out mission this would be over in a few days.
When he rolled the plans out it was filled with dust an old picture that was stuck to the plans, of the house. He picks up the picture and examines it. It was a picture of him, Matt, Andy, and Rebecca having a barbecue in Matt’s back yard. His eyes fall on Rebecca, “Oh how I missed the smell of your expensive perfume. It’s a shame things couldn’t have worked out differently.” He begins to set the photo down until a light struck his brain.
He sat back in his chair looking at the picture of Rebecca. Mayhem started laughing out loud in his office, “Oh dear how could I of been so stupid not to notice. Rebecca was Roxanne mother. I thought I heard crying that last night I saw her. That explains why Matt didn’t turn her over to the police. She really was his….” he grumbles. “I knew it the first day I laid eyes on her and when she told me that name…Trakker. Curse that name.” He rips of the photo and trashes it.
He walks out of his office towards Vanessa, Sly Rax, and Cliff Dagger. Mayhem face drew serious, “You guys can forget about a rescue mission.”
Vanessa felt double crossed, “Why?”
“She’s not going to come back, even if you rescue her. Apparently she is Trakker’s daughter,” Mayhem says.
Sly says in disbelief,” You’re kidding? Then why the heck was she…”
Mayhem interrupted, “I don’t know, but I do know she’s not going to choose you over that rich father of hers. Starting today no more talk about Roxanne, she’s not coming back. We need to plan our strategy to get that microchip. We have not only M.A.S.K. to worry about but the military.”
Matt walked into Harvard Medical Hospital. He walks towards the front desk, “What room is Brad Turner in?”
The nurse replied, “314.” Matt nodded, “Thank you.” Matt walked down the hall towards Brad’s room. He knocked on the door. Buddy replied, “Come in.” Matt enters.
Buddy stood up, happy to see him, “Oh Matt it’s good to see you.”
Matt moved over to Brad’s bedside, “Has he awakened yet.”
“No he hasn’t moved a muscle,” Buddy said disappointedly. Just then the doctor entered the room.
“Are you his family?” he asked. Matt shook his head.
“Concerned friends. How is he?”
The doctor moved towards them, “Apparently he was poisoned. The drug is designed to knock a person out for several days. We flushed out most of the drug from his system so sometime in the next 24 hours he’ll awaken.” Both Buddy and Matt felt relief to hear that, he was going to be all right.
The doctor shook his head, “Of course that funny part was instead of having it injected into his system, we found traces of it around his lip.
Matt smirked as he looked at Brad laying there asleep, “Really?”
“Well excuse me gentlemen I have other patients to attend too. The doctor leaves the room.
Matt walks towards the window looking out, “That woman who kissed him was probably Vanessa.”
Buddy sat back, “Well say it was, doesn’t that tell you she was just too dangerous of a woman to around. She probably cornered Brad, but who’s to say he wanted it or not.”
Matt turned to look at Buddy, “He could have also agreed to do this to cover up their relationship.” Buddy knew Matt was drawing to conclusions.
“Matt I think we should wait until he wakes up, before we jump to what happened. I know it’s funny that he got poisoned by one of her kisses, but we should still hear the man out.”
Matt heads towards the door, “Still it better be a good reason. You want some coffee?” Buddy nodded.
Roxanne awoke to a knock on her door at 3am. She opens it up T-Bob stood there.
“It’s a about time,” she huffed. She motions him to come in, “Well did you find it.” T-Bob opened his compartment and hands her the gun. She smiles as she takes it. She opens the chambers, “It looks good.” She takes the gun and hides it between her mattresses.
“Return to your room T-Bob,” she demands.” She then lays back on her bed, “Tomorrow will be the day to set the plan into effect.” She closed her eyes in anticipation of a good day.
“Hey Scott,” she runs over to him, with T-Bob trailing behind her, “I found T-Bob and you’ll never guess what he found.”
She looked so excited Scott thought this had to be big, “What is it?”
She tried to explain, “Well it’s umm…oh it’s too hard for me to explain. You’re just going to have to see it with your own eyes to believe it.”
Scott smiled anxiously, “All right show me.”
She smiles back and suggests, “Ok well let’s take T-Bob along; we’ll get there much faster.”
Scott nods, “T-Bob cycle.” T-Bob just stands there ignoring Scott.
She laughs softly trying not to seemed worried, “You know you might want to get his circuits checked when we get back.” She kicks T-Bob gently, “T-Bob cycle now.” T-Bob obeys and changes into motorcycle mode.
Scott looked worried as he looked at T-Bob, “Are you ok T-Bob? You don’t look so hot.”
T-Bob responds in an empty voice, “I’m fine.”
She hops onto T-Bob, “He said he’s fine, why would he lie to you Scott?” Scott hopped on behind her, “All right let’s go, but when we get back I’m having Bruce run a diagnostic on you T-Bob.”
T-Bob took them down the road and a couple of old trails. Scott asked, sounding concerned, “We’ve been riding half the day, I think we should go back.”
She replies, “We’re too close to turn around, don’t worry we’ll be back before dark. It’s right over that hill.”
T-Bob drove over the hill and cleared off the trail that lead to an abandon town. T-Bob stops in the middle of the town.
She gets off him and looks around, “It’s perfect.” Scott crosses his arms, “I’ve been here before with dad, what’s so special about this place?”
She sounds very giddy, “This is where were going to camp for tonight.”
Scott was confused, ” You told me we were going to be back by dark. Besides, you could have asked before dragging me out to the middle of nowhere.”
She sighed, “I could have done that, but Mrs. Simpson wouldn’t let either of us do that. Plus I don’t want her know where we are.” Scott raised a brow and becomes nervous feeling danger. Roxy looks at Scott, “If she knew about this she’d ruin my entire plan, that I’ve been setting up for months.”
Scott backs towards T-Bob, “What plan?”
She giggles, “Oh you know, the plan where I kidnap Matt Trakker’s only son, in exchange for a certain microchip.”
Scott shouted, “We won’t let you do that.” He jumps on T-Bob, “Let’s go!”
She stands there laughing out loud, “It’s pointless Scott, I have total control over T-Bob.” She says in a hostile voice, “T-Bob grab Scott!” T-Bob’s arms extended and wrapped around Scott body. Scott tried to break free, but T-Bob just squeezed harder.
Scott looked into her eyes, “Why are you doing this?”
She replies in an angry voice, “Do I look stupid? Since day one your father has been playing some stupid little father-daughter game with me. I don’t enjoy being used or lied too. Matt Trakker has been using that as some sort of set up to use me. He found my weakness and attempted to break me. Well I have news for him… I know his weakness.”
Scott protested, “How can you say that about our father. You don’t even know him, he would never lie!”
She grabs Scott’s cheeks, “He wouldn’t lie would he? He sure does keep a lot of secrets and he’s NOT my father! He’s a sick old man who takes advantage of poor girls like me. Vanessa warned me they’d do anything to get what they want, but this where I draw the line.” She looks deeply into Scott’s eyes, “Don’t think about escaping. Either T-Bob will squeeze you to death or I might have to shoot you.” She pulled out a silver gun and points it at him.
“The question you should be asking is how good of a shot is she?” Scott gulps, yet stays silent. She walks towards one of the buildings. T-Bob drags Scott with him. She looks at T-Bob, “Now to stage the next part of my plan.”
Matt looked out of the hospital window, as he drank his coffee. Just then his watch started to beep. He turns and looks at Buddy, “I’ll be back. I need to go to Thunderhawk to get a message.” Matt makes his way out of the hospital and heads towards the parking garage. He opens the car door and sits down in Thunderhawk. “Computer pass through the message,” Matt ordered. The video link screen was all static, but the sound made it through. “Hello?” he replied wondering who’s sending the message or if his equipment was malfunctioning.
He then hears Roxanne voice speaking in terror, “Dad help us!” Matt was worried, “Roxanne what’s wrong?” She cries, “They found us dad, if you don’t turn over that chip they’re going to kill me and Scott.”
He tried not to overreact, “Don’t worry I’ll be there soon with backup!”
Matt then hears a gun fire in the back ground and Roxanne screams. He stood still, scared and wondering if one of his kids had been shot.
Her voice sounds as though she was shaking, “Dad that was a warning, you have 24 hours to get the chip and you have to come alone. Any notification of M.A.S.K. or any force what so ever will result in our immediate deaths.”
She starts to cry again, “They want you to meet at this location.” The location was transferred to him by the computer.
“Roxy I’ll be there soon, everything will be all right.” Just then the signal dies and Matt rests his head on the steering wheel of his car.
Matt sat there staring at the intercom. He couldn’t believe what he just heard. His own children kidnapped. How could this happen? He thought about calling Mrs. Simpson to verify it, but that voice was clearly Roxanne. He sighs as though he was defeated, “I should do what they want. I won’t let anybody hurt my kids. If I let the others know and get involved they will defiantly kill them within miles of their location.”
“Then again, I’d be deceiving my own team. What type of leader would I be?” Matt thinks for a moment, “I’ll tell them after the trade, my children’s lives are more important. Afterwards, I’ll nail V.E.N.O.M. with everything I got.”
Matt pulls out his cell phone, “General Ford.” The voice on the other line replied, “Matt Trakker if you’re calling about the chip the parameters are crystal clear. Even with your forces around nothing will break through.”
Matt voice grew dark and very serious, “I have a change of plan. I’m going to need that chip in order for my plan to be a success. I’m intending to move it to a more secret location.” The General protested, “But Matt we have the best watching here it’s safer.” Matt cuts him off, “I don’t need you questioning my orders. Please carry out my demands and don’t tell anyone not even my agents about this. Is that clear?”
The General sighs, “Of course sir.”
Matt continues, “I’ll be there in 1300 hours. Matt out.” Matt decided he’d tell Buddy he had to leave for a family emergency and then head off to Idaho to retrieve the chip.
Roxy lay sound asleep on her sleeping bag, meanwhile Scott stayed awake. He tried to loosen the ropes she tied around him, but all of his attempts failed.
Even if he did get out of the ropes, he’d still have to deal with T-Bob. He watches her as she tosses and turns in her sleep. Her face drenched in sweat, and she starts to mumble under her lip, “mommy..no.” She wakes up in haste and breathes heavily.
Scott stares at her, “Nightmare?”
She curls up, “That’s none of your business. ”
Scott continues, hoping a conversation will alter the outcome of the situation, “You were calling for your mother.”
She wipes her eyes, “I was not.”
He shakes his head, “I’m sorry to say, but I heard you in your sleep.”
She doesn’t look at him, “So what if I was, maybe I miss my mother. She was all I had before any of this happened.” Scott knew he hit a soft point, “My parents died in a fire. What happened to you mother?”
Roxy covers her eyes trying to stop from crying, “She was murdered.”
Scott as curiously, “Did they catch the guy who did it?”
She tried to keep a straight face, “No, but I know who did it, when I find him he’ll surely pay with his life.”
Scott asks, “Who do you think did it?”
She looks at him coldly, ” My father.” She changes the subject, “Get some sleep tomorrow going to be a big day.” Both then dozed off to sleep.
Buddy sat in a chair next to Brad’s bedside. His body slumped down in the chair as he rested after a long exhausting day. Brad lay in his bed peacefully and undisturbed. His opens his eyes slowly as he tries to fight off his tiredness.
He bring his hands up to his face trying to focus his eyes, yet all he could see was a blur. Brad turned his head and notices somebody next to his bed. His eyes were too out of focus to tell who, so he figured he’d guess, “Matt?”
The figure next to his bed didn’t respond. Brad attempted to speak up, “Matt is that you?”
Buddy then stirred and practically jumped out of his chair a bit, “Brad?” Buddy moves over to him in disbelief, “You’re finally awake. You have no idea how much you scared me, so what on earth happened?”
Brad recognized the voice, “Buddy, I guess she poisoned me.”
Buddy smirked, “We kind of figured that, what’s this nonsense of her kissing ya on the lips.”
Brad really didn’t have an answer; he was still unsure exactly what happened. Brad attempts to answer, “I tried to keep her away. Buddy I even told her she should turn herself in. In the end, I guess she surprised me.”
Buddy nods, “Well I’m just glad you’re all right, I think Matt might get down your throat, but he’ll be glad to hear it too.”
Just as Buddy tells him that Brad remembers something important. Brad reaches out and grabs Buddy’s jacket, “Buddy where’s Matt I need to speak to him.” Buddy forced him to let go.
“He had to go home some sort of family emergency. Personally I think Roxy has something to do with it.”
Brad urges him, “You need to get a hold of Matt and tell him Roxy one of them.”
Buddy scratched his chin as he thought not this argument again. Brad continues, “I’m not losing my mind Buddy. Vanessa asked me how Roxy was doing. If she wasn’t important she wouldn’t have asked me in the first place. All I’m asking you to do is tell Matt to keep an extremely close watch on her.” Buddy agrees,
“Sure thing Brad I’ll do it in the morning.” Brad lay back, feeling his eyelids become heavy.
“Thanks.” Brad falls back asleep.
Matt accelerated down the road in Thunderhawk. He didn’t want anything to stop him from making that deadline. He glances at his watch 1 hour left, he prayed silently that everything was going to be fine. It took him longer than he expected to get a hold of the microchip. The general was constantly trying to get Matt to reconsider other options. Matt wanted to tell him the truth about his needing of the chip, but if he did he was sure the general would see to it that Matt would never set eyes on it.
Just then the computer broke Matt’s thoughts, “Incoming message from agent code named Clutch.” Matt thought,
“What now? I don’t time for this.” Matt responds as though nothing was going on, “What’s up Buddy?”
Buddy answered, “Well Brad finally awoke. The details on his so called kiss of death is still unclear, but when wakes up again he’ll probably tell me more. I know you’re busy, but Brad wanted me to tell you this. During his little encounter with Vanessa, she asked about how Roxy was doing. What I guess Brad is saying is she’s one of them.”
Matt didn’t want to believe it, “He’s probably delirious. He said the same thing during the meeting, why should I believe him now?”
Buddy shrugged as he replies, “I don’t know Matt I’m just the messenger here. Still I’d keep a close eye on her, just in case. Buddy out.”
Matt turned his full concentration to the road. Matt started to wonder about this whole kidnapping. He did think it was strange that he only heard Roxanne’s voice when he got that terrifying message. Plus V.E.N.O.M. wouldn’t know anything about T-Bob working parameters. Matt was puzzled at this point
“Well when I get there. I’ll learn the truth.”
Roxanne watched from inside one of the abandon buildings in the town. She looks at her watch then to Scott, “You know your dad’s kind of cutting it close.”
Scott tried not to think about it, “He’ll be here. I know he will.”
She smirks, “If you say so.”
Scott smiled as he heard the sound of a car headed up the road. She peeks out the window, as Thunderhawk stops in the middle of town, “Show time.”
Matt steps out of Thunderhawk and glances around waiting for some kind of sign. Roxy quickly grabs her gun and tucks it securely in her back. She steps out the door, “15 more minutes and we could have been goners. But hey at least you made it.”
Matt turns and looks at Roxy, “What’s going on? I thought V.E.N.O.M. kidnapped you and Scott?” She moves closer towards Matt, “Well actually that is true. I was kidnapped by V.E.N.O.M.. And since I’m a member of V.E.N.O.M., I choose to kidnap Scott.”
Matt was shocked as he spoke to himself, “So Brad was right? Where’s Scott?”
“Ah yes, ” she replied, “T-Bob bring Scott out.” T-Bob walked out of the building leading Scott outside. She crossed her arms, “Now where’s the chip?”
Matt pulls out a little black box “Here.”
She demands, ” Toss it over here.”
Matt shook his head, “No not until Scott out of here.”
She laughs, “Matt do I look like I’m playing a game?” She pulls the gun out from behind her back and points it at Scott, “Toss it over, DADDY!”
Matt attempts to calm her down, “All right just put the gun away.” Matt tosses it over to her and she picks it up.
“Well if you would have complied the first time I wouldn’t have had to pull it in the first place.” She looks at it curiously and then hands it to T-Bob, “Do a scan to make sure it’s real.” T-Bob takes the chip and places it in circuits.
Matt stood there watching Roxanne every move, “Why are you doing this Roxanne? I’m your own father. If you even think that V.E.N.O.M. want’s you back, you’re thinking wrong.”
She looks at him angrily, “Let’s get one thing straight pops, you’re not my father. We may have the same last name, but so do 20 thousand other people in the phone books. Since day one you’ve tried to deceive me into believe that. Vanessa warned me you people would attempt anything to get information from me. I’m not a fool to believe such a thing. I don’t see any evidence that shows me you are my father, other than your own word. My mother was very poor and was hiding from someone probably my father. How or what she’d be doing with a billionaire like Matt Trakker I don’t know.” She grows angrier as she continues to talk about the subject.
“Besides Mr. Trakker, if you were my father I’d have shot this bullet straight into that head of yours. I was neglected by my father all my life and to think the one man I hated could come back into my life at any moment makes me angry. You have no idea what a hard life I’ve had since my mother death. I don’t wish to tell you anymore, because you don’t need to know about my personal life.”
Matt tries to speak, “If you want proof end this now. We’ll go home and I’ll show you what pictures I have left of you mother. Believe me when I say I’m sorry I didn’t know about you Roxanne. Rebecca left me after I endangered her life and she chose to keep you a secret from me. I’m sure you’ve been through a lot too. If we’d just sit down and talk this through we’d both get through this.”
She laughs, “Hardly. I want nothing to do with your family, besides after I complete my mission I’ll be a full-fledged member of V.E.N.O.M.. The only reason they didn’t come get me in the first place had to do with Mayhem telling me never to come back if I didn’t have it.”
T-Bob finishes the scan, “Chip is real.”
She smiles, “This just tells me you must really care about the both of us. How sweet.” She orders T-Bob, “Untie Scott.”
T-Bob does what she tells him. Scott then runs over to his father hugging him. Matt puts his arms around him, “Are you all right?”
Scott nods, “Yeah.”
Matt then says, “You won’t get far you know.”
She then turns to look at him, “You know you’re probably right Matt. So I think maybe I should do something to keep you off my back.” She looks around then looks down at the gun in her hand. She then points the gun straight at them both, “One of you is going to have to take a bullet then. But who?” She points the gun moving back’n forth between Scott and Matt.”
She sighs, “Forgive me Scott for what I’m about to do. I hope this doesn’t ruin our friendship, and I know you’ll understand one day about why I’m about to do this.” She closes her eyes, “Enie Meanie Minie Moe.” She then stops the gun on who she was about to shoot.
Her gun fires, and the sound echoes for thousands of miles.
Roxanne closed her eyes for a second as she felt the power of the gun run throughout her entire body.
Scott’s eyes were wide with disbelief. He looked up to his father in pure terror and says in a quivering voice, “Dad?” Scott looked down as his breathing increased rapidly. He felt more fear than pain when he saw the red blood soaking through his favorite shirt. He stood there in shock. His knees felt too weak to sustain his own weight…
Finally, he gave in. His body fell forward, but Matt’s strong hands reached out to catch his son before he hit the ground.
He couldn’t believe she actually pulled the trigger. He never would have guessed she was that cold hearted and full of hate. The image and remembrance of her mother clouded his image of the truth, he finally realized.
He pushed his pondering thoughts aside and looked down at Scott. Matt brushed Scott’s hair aside to glance into his son’s eyes, “Scott how are you doing?”
Scott replies weakly, “I feel cold dad. I’m scared.”
Roxanne still stood there. Her gun was still aimed straight at the both of them. She never moved an inch after firing. She forced her hands to keep the gun still and pointed on Matt, “If I were you I’d take him to a hospital right now. If you want him to live.”
She turns her back on him and hops onto T-Bob. Her face showed no emotion, despite her emotions building up inside of her. She couldn’t believe it herself that she shot Scott. Sure he got on her nerves, but it didn’t feel right. She figured she better leave the scene before she changed her mind,
“Move out T-Bob- and fast.” She planted her hands firmly on his handle bars, and then T-bob took off in the opposite direction.
Matt took off his jacket and applied it over Scott’s right side. He pressed down hard on the wound. He was hoping to stop the blood flow, and to prevent Scott from losing too much blood. Scott cried out in pain. Matt picked him up and carried him to Thunderhawk’s passenger side.
Matt tried desperately to think quickly and held back any frustrations. Sweat poured down Scott’s face as he grunted out in pain. Matt grabbed Scott’s hand and placed it over his jacket, “Scott you’re going to have to hold this here, as tight as you possible can.”
Scott nodded slightly as his glassy eyes followed his father. Matt ran over to the driver’s side. He hastily shifted it into gears and sent it flying off the ground. Matt headed in the direction to the nearest medical facility.
He constantly glanced at Scott, knowing his heath was deteriorating by the minute. He tried to comfort his son, but felt his words were doing more harm than good.
As Thunderhawk flew from above, he noticed Roxanne on T-bob racing away. He felt his blood boil as he saw her, but now wasn’t the time nor the place to think about revenge. He turned on his turbo boosters and Thunderhawk sped past them.
Thunderhawk landed at Mercy Hospital and pulled up to the entrance of the Emergency Room. Matt jumped out of Thunderhawk. He shouted, “Somebody help my son!”
He opened the passenger side door. Scott’s eyes were barely open. “Hang on,” He grabbed Scott and rushed him inside the hospital. Matt yelled again, “I need help!”
A couple of doctors came racing towards them with a stretcher. Matt laid Scott out on the stretcher. The doctors surrounded Scott, yet Scott grabbed onto his father’s hand, refusing to let to.
The doctors rolled Scott off to medical room three. Scott refused to let go, so Matt was forced to be dragged along side of him. Once they reached the room, a nurse stopped him from going any further.
Scott cried out, reaching his arms towards him, “Dad!”
Matt replied hoping to ease his fears, “Don’t worry you’ll be fine.” Scott lay there watching his father being pulled away from him. Once the doors closed in, he lost sight of his father and tears fell down his cheeks.
Matt stood against the wall, his mind still trying to make sense of what happened. He looked down at his hands which were shaking violently. The sight of them just made him feel sick to his stomach. His hands were stained with his son’s blood.
Matt stormed off towards the men’s room. He grabbed the bar of soap and ran his hands under the sink. He hastily tried to get the blood off his hands. His eyes watched as the blood trickled down the drain.
He grabbed the paper towel and wiped his hands. He then looked up at himself in the mirror, his hands still shaking violently.
He promised himself he would protect his family and he failed again. “If only he had listened to Brad in the first place, none of this would have happened. If only he told his teammates, they could have stopped her. If only…”
These thoughts ran constantly through Matt’s head. He could figure just about anything out if he put his mind to it, but not this. He had lost all control of the situation and was about to have a breakdown.
Matt closed his eyes, ” I need help… I can’t do this alone. I completely forgot I have a team to back me up.”
As soon as Matt walked out of the men’s room a doctor approached him, “Are you the boy’s father?”
Matt looked up, trying to remain calm, but he was practically fearing the worst, “Yeah…how…?”
The doctor rested his hands on his shoulder, “Don’t worry he’s in good hands now. He’s in surgery at the moment having the bullet removed. From what I can tell the bullet didn’t do any major damage. No organs were hit; it was a straight clean shot. I’m surprised the shot didn’t pull all the way through. All he’s going to need is a few stitches and several days of rest. He’ll be running and jumping around in no time.”
Matt let out a sigh of relief, “Oh thank you very much.” He asked, “When can I see him?”
The doctor says in a slightly aggressive tone, “I’m afraid we can’t let you see him until the police arrive.”
Matt looked appalled. “Are you implying I shot my own son?”
The doctor shook his head, “No it’s just standard procedure. Any shooting incidents must be reported to the police. We are just concerned for the boy’s wellbeing.”
Matt grew angry. He grabbed the doctor’s white coat, “You want to know the truth?! His sister shot him and since I cared for my son so much, I choose to rush him over here in fear for his life, instead of going after her. Nothing is going to stop me from seeing my son-is that clear?”
The doctor looked shaken, “Uh securi…”
Matt let go of the doctor and threatened, “As soon as my son out of surgery I want to see him. Or else you’ll have the PNA down your neck is that clear?”
The doctor nodded and walked away almost too scared to look back.
Matt walked towards the waiting room and sat down. He slumped down in the chair in the back of the room. Ironically this was the same room he waited in when Rebecca was injured.
Somehow this puzzle was causing his life to go in circles, but this time he wasn’t going to let anyone get away. He had to put a stop to this, even if it meant sending his daughter to juvenile hall. It was for her own good and she was beyond his reach.
Matt stared blankly at the clock pondering his next move. He figured as soon as Scott got out of surgery, he’d call a meeting.
Her head rested against T-Bob’s head, as she attempted to clear that horrifying vision from her thoughts. They both pleaded to her, yet she showed no mercy and pulled the trigger.
She looked around and saw nothing but sand for miles. She lifted her head, “T-bob stop.” She hops off him and walks along the side of the road looking for a marker to tell her the location. She smiled as she saw the hidden marker on the side of the road, “Soon I’ll be home.”
She faced in the direction the marker pointed off the road. To the average person it was nothing but endless sand. To a VENOM agent, it was a hidden driveway leading to their private base. She knew she had at least 5 more miles to go until she reached the base, but she couldn’t allow T-Bob to tag along. He was not only a security risk, but had a tracking device located on him. “So I guess I’ll be walking from here on,” she crosses her arms. She looks at T-Bob and pulled out the black box from his compartment. She stuffs it into her pocket, “Ok T-Bob your orders are to keep going to straight down that road.”
“Yes Ma’am,” T-Bob takes off driving straight down the road. “Well at least I don’t have to worry about anybody following me now.” She walked down the hidden driveway hoping she’d make it to the base before the sun set. The last thing she wanted was to be alone and lost in the desert.
She walked through the desert slowly dragging her feet. The hot sun beat down on her body, causing her to grow tired. She wiped her forehead and remembered the last time she was alone in the desert. Vanessa made her run those 5 miles back to the base. Of course, now she felt completely out of shape after being in bed for a month. She grumbled to herself, “Oh quit your bitch’n. You can do it. You’ve done it before.”
She stopped a couple times dumping hot sand from her shoes. The heat wasn’t the only thing that was troubling her, her stomach growled violently. She spent so much time putting her operation into effect she forgotten to eat. On the other hand, the image of shooting Scott was still fresh in her mind. It was hard to even think of eating after experiencing that. Vanessa never told her what it actually felt like to shoot somebody. Then again she probably didn’t shoot anybody she had any association with. She closed her eyes and held her stomach, “I’m not going to be sick, I’m not going to be sick.”
She took a breath of fresh fire-burning air. She says with confidence, “I didn’t kill him, I know that for a fact. That wound was hardly fatal. I know Matt made it to the hospital in time. He’s not that foolish. When this situation clears up, I’ll just give Scott a call and tell him I’m sorry for the whole thing. That will make me feel much better. Then I’ll never have to see or hear from him again.” She shuffled her feet in the sand and sank her hands in her pockets. “Maybe I should have shot Matt, Scott really didn’t deserve it.” She growls, “This whole situation was Matt fault, he’s the one that deserved it. He’s the one who pressured me to do this. I can’t believe I shot that kid over him. Why did I? I can’t be jealous; he’s not my real father.” She continues to talk to herself, “Maybe I had to hurt him and this was the only way.”
The sun finally set as she stopped in front of a door to an abandoned plane hangar. On the outside it looked like nothing but rusted metal, but actually the hangar was a cover up for a 20 level below ground abandoned military base. She knew Mayhem and his team far too well to know he wouldn’t post a guard. He could install several video cameras and still anybody could walk through the front door unnoticed.
Mayhem was never worried about MASK or any other officials finding VENOM official headquarters. He was always moving his team around the globe, each time taking different escape routes back home. She never understood why MASK didn’t bother to chase after VENOM. It would seem like a logical choice to end this never ending battle between them. She figured they must see this as some sort of cat and mouse game, a hobby to do in their spare time.
She knew everything about this base, weak points, escape locks, and vents. If she wanted to she could walk right in there and fire her gun away like crazy. She shakes her head, “What on earth am I thinking? I’m not a mass murderer. Sure I’m angry they left me behind, but that’s beyond what I’m capable of doing. I’m just going to walk right in there and give each and every one of them a piece of my mind.”
She walks into the hangar and heads towards the elevator. She tucks her gun in the back, as she waits for the elevator to reach floor 12. She crossed her arms running several possible scenarios threw her head, “They’ll either forgive me or kill me. Either way I’m ready. If they won’t take me in then I have no place to go.”
The elevator came to a stop and the doors flew open. She walked out of the elevator showing no emotions and no fear of the future. She walked straight down the hallway standing tall, yet enraged with anger.
Several of Mayhem followers stood dead on the spot. It was hard to believe that she came back. She stopped in front of Mayhem’s office. At first she thought of knocking, but why spoil the surprise. She couldn’t care less about what he’s doing in his office. She thought, “He can’t order me around not while I have that chip. I hold his future in the palm of my hand, and if he refuses me. I’ll crush it and even tell MASK where his base is.” She smiled wickedly at the thought.
She opens the door and barges in. Mayhem, Vanessa, Cliff dagger, Bruno, and Floyd Malloy were standing around Mayhem’s desk looking over the layout, of the Idaho compound holding a microchip. Mayhem spoke up enraged, “I thought I ordered not to be disturbed!”
Roxanne narrowed her eyes, “Well unfortunately your orders mean absolutely nothing to me.” Each and every one of their faces looked up surprised.
Vanessa was the first to break the ongoing silence, “What are you doing here?”
Roxy speaks harshly, “From the last I checked, I lived here? Or am I not welcome here anymore?”
Mayhem grabbed her arm, “Oh of course you’re not welcome. Floyd go scout the area. She probably led MASK to our headquarters.”
She pushed him away from her and laughs, “Oh come now, you taught me better than that.” She walked around him. Her hands behind her back covering the gun, “If I even thought of betraying you, for just a moment. Would I be that crazy to walk back in here? I’m not stupid. I don’t betray people like you do, Mayhem.” She raised her voice in anger, “I know you left me behind to be forgotten. I’ve known since day one, you’d try anything to get rid of me. All this time I was fooled into believing that I fitted into this group of misfits. I thought we had a family going on here, where we all watch each other’s backs. Well I see now I was wrong about everything,” she said in a serious tone.
Mayhem looked at her with disgust, “You failed your mission, I don’t tolerate failures.”
She started to laugh extremely loud and looked around the room glancing into everyone’s face. She suggested, “Maybe you should open your eyes wider, Miles. Cause if you look around this room it’s full of them. Every attempt to overcome MASK failed miserably. Don’t sound so sure of yourself Miles, you’ve failed countless times. Nothing makes you any better than me.”
The heat in the room went soaring up, as she said those words. Everyone turned and looked at her with anger. Each one of them wanted to wring her throat. Mayhem expression was beyond hate, he had never liked it when the truth was brought to his face.
He lunged at her violently and grabbed her shirt by the fist of his hand, “I’ve been waiting a long time to teach you a lesson girl.”
Sly speaks up behind him, “Yeah well when you’re done with her, the rest of us want a piece.”
Cliff Dagger pounded his fists together. She figured now would be a good idea to tell them, before they got in line to pound her. Her eyes looked straight at Mayhem showing no fear whatsoever, “Before you even think of teaching me any lessons, I have a business proposition you need to hear.”
Mayhem’s hot breath filled her face, “You’re in no position to do that.”
She reaches her hand to her back and pulled out her gun pointing it on Mayhem. Mayhem takes a few steps back, “You’re going to shoot us all, if we don’t listen?”
She shook her head, “I know I wouldn’t make it far, but I’m still a good shot. If I have to take one person with me to my grave it’d best be you.” She glanced at his desk seeing some sort of plan in the making, “I’m here to tell you your plan isn’t going to work.”
Vanessa raised a brow, “And why not?” She said in a mocking tone,
“The chip is no longer there.”
Sly shook his head in disbelief, “I’ve received no such information.” She held the gun firmly in her hands, “Of course you haven’t it’s suppose to be a secret.”
Mayhem grew impatient, “What are you getting at?”
She smiles, “Well if you’re willing to accept me back, I might be willing to tell you where it is.”
Bruno burst out, “I bet you she’s lying.”
She turned and looked at Bruno, “And if I’m not, I destroy it. Then your plan for defeating MASK is terminated.”
Mayhem was curious yet intrigued by her effort, “I want you all to leave the room. I’ll hear you out.” She nodded with a smile, “That’s much better.”
She set the gun down at her side, while each agent left the room. Roxanne avoided all eye contact with any of them. She knew she’d have to regain their trust, after saying such blunt words. Unfortunately, she didn’t care at the moment- they had all deserted her. She had a right to lash out at them.
Mayhem slammed the door shut, when the room was cleared, “Take a seat.” Instead of taking the arm chair in front of her, she walked around his desk. She sat back in his chair snuggling nice and comfortably into it. Mayhem eyes narrowed on her. He knew something was up, but until he got it out of her, he figured he better control his anger. She pulled the gun out and set it on the table. She then kicked her feet up on his desk and swung slightly in his chair.
Mayhem moved closer to the desk, “Show me the chip and maybe I’ll listen to you.”
She nodded, “Reasonable enough for me.” She reached into her pocket and pulled out a black box. She opened it slightly to reveal a computer chip inside, then hastily snapped it shut. Mayhem looked at her, a bit amused. He was inches away from what he needed, but what did she want in return for it?
Mayhem sat down in the chair opposite to her, “What do you want for it?”
She rested a finger on her cheek, “What do I want? hmm. You know I came all this way and I still don’t really know. It’s too hard to decide, there are several things I want. First, I want in on every mission. I don’t want to be on the side lines, while you guys out have all the fun.”
Mayhem smirked, “Fun?”
She said in a cheery voice, “Well it sure beats cleaning up the base. I want my own mask and vehicle.”
Mayhem protested, “You can’t expect me to put one together over night, besides you don’t have your driver’s license yet. You’re far too young to handle such power.”
She shook her head, “You know that wasn’t the answer I was looking for. I know it will take time to develop such equipment, so I’m giving you 6 month to have them made. Like I said I want in on the action every aspect of it. I already know how to drive, I’ve practiced using Vanessa’s mask several times. I say I’m ready to handle the power and the responsibility. I used all my resources to get this chip, if you refuse I’m afraid it’s going to become junk.”
Mayhem protested, “I never said I wouldn’t. Seeing that I don’t have a choice, I’ll grant your request. Can I have it now?”
She was just about ready to hand it over, before something else grabbed her attention. She held the box in her hands, “I have one more thing to ask of you.” Mayhem growled under his lip, “What else could she want?”
She looked straight at him, “Tell me the truth. Why did you leave me behind?”
Mayhem figured she already knew the answer, “That’s a stupid question to ask.”
She orders, “Tell me!”
Mayhem looks at her reading her facial expression, “At first it was so we’d stay on schedule. I then felt that you’d be happier living with your father; instead, of this cold base which has nothing to offer you.”
Her eyes widened a bit, “Not you too! That can’t be true!” She stood up and threw the box on the desk, “Matt Trakker is and will never be my father! It was a lie. He used me.” She went ballistic and walked around the room, “Don’t you dare tell me that high class bigot is my father!”
Mayhem stopped her rampage and said questionably, “My dear… you didn’t know?”
She sat down on the corner of the desk in disbelief, “I didn’t want to believe it. Vanessa told me MASK would do anything to get information. He can’t be my father. He just can’t be the same man who killed my mother.”
Mayhem rubbed his chin. It was obvious the girl had all her facts mixed up and was vulnerable.
“Roxanne I was a dear friend of your mother. I had no idea she had a child, until I saw a picture of her a couple weeks ago.” Mayhem moves closer to her and kneels in front of her, “Your mother was trying to hide from your father-Matt when one mad night he nearly killed her. Of course before I could help her,” Mayhem gave her an expression of grief. “He found her. I’ll never forgive Matt for killing her, which is why I hate him and that name so much.”
She holds her fist tight, “I should have killed him when I had a chance.” Tears fall down her face.
Mayhem brushes his hand over her face to rub them away, “My dear I’ll give you a chance to have your revenge. Will you trust me?” Her eyes look deeply into his. His performance was far too believable for her to turn away. Mayhem sticks out his hand. Roxanne reaches out and puts the black box in his hand.
Mayhem stands up and places his other hand on her shoulder, “I’m proud of you Roxanne. I wish you could have been my daughter.”
She smiles a bit, “I would like that a lot Dad.”
He smiles back, “Come on let’s celebrate your home coming and tell everyone the good news.” Mayhem shoved the box into his pocket. This whole situation was a joke to him. He could see Matt suffering more trauma when he found out about his daughter. He was just hoping for a chance to rub this into his face. Then again she could grow up to be one of his best agents. She was far too determined to succeed, he realized that now.
Scott opens his eyes slightly. His hand runs over his eyes covering them from the light, which nearly blinded him.
“Good Morning,” Matt smiled as he sat by his son.
Scott smiled back, “Oh dad I thought I was…”
Matt interrupted him, “Shh don’t talk like that. I wouldn’t let anything like that happen to you.” Matt ruffles his hair slightly, “The doctor said you’ll be running and jumping around in no time.”
Scott wanted to be happy, yet he felt sad, “But it won’t be the same without T-bob.” Matt tried to cheer him up, “Don’t worry I’m going to get him back. This time I’m going to have Bruce put a permanent lock on his programming, so this doesn’t happen again.” Matt wanted to get off the subject. The last thing he needed to do was upset his son and himself, “How about I get you some breakfast.”
Scott nodded, “Bacon and scrambled eggs.” Matt replied, “Ok I’ll be back in a second.” Scott closed his eyes. He could still hear that gun ringing throughout his ears, just then the phone rang. Scott looked over to the phone; he thought it was probably one of dad’s agents. Scott reaches over to grab the phone, “Hello?”
The voice on the other end was silent. Scott could hear the stranger’s breathing, “Who is this?”
A girl’s voice replies, “I’m sorry Scott forgive me.” The stranger slams the phone down. Scott moved the phone from his ear and says softly to himself, “Roxanne?” Just then Matt walked in with a tray of food.
“Calling somebody?” Matt moved the table over to Scott and set the tray down in front of him.
Scott shook his head uneasily, “No it was a wrong number.” Scott started to eat his breakfast, “Dad can I ask you something?”
Matt sits down, “You can ask me anything.” Scott asks, “Is Roxanne really your daughter?”
Matt looked at his son. He probably should have told him ask me anything but that. Matt looks into his son’s eyes, “Truthfully I’m having a hard time believing it myself at the moment. She is my daughter; I’ve done so many tests and background checks. They all point to me.”
Scott remembered his talk with Roxanne the other night, “Did you kill her mother?”
Matt couldn’t believe the question he just asked, “What would make you ask that?”
Scott shrugged, “Something Roxanne told me. She said her father killed her mother. Maybe you weren’t what she pictured.”
Matt held his son’s hand, “Maybe that was my mistake. I didn’t want to talk about her mother. I loved her, but when she left me I couldn’t deal with it. Just thinking about her mother makes me angry. No more talking about this right now, Scott. You need to eat and rest. I’ll deal with Roxanne, just concentrate on getting better.”
A few minutes later there was a knock on the door. Matt said softly, “come in.”
The door opened and there stood Brad and Buddy. Buddy was holding his hat, “We got here as soon as we could. How are you doing Scott?”
Scott said with a smile, “Good I just want to get out of here.”
Brad smirks, “I know the feeling, you know they wanted to keep me for another week.” Matt stood up and said seriously, “Buddy will you stay with Scott. I want to have a little talk with Brad.”
Buddy glanced at both of them, “Yeah… sure thing.”
Buddy sat back and watched through the window. He knew Brad and Matt were fighting about something, but he couldn’t make out their conversation. About ten minutes later their talk was over, and Brad took off. Matt reentered the room. Buddy raised a brow despite knowing what they were talking about,
“Where’s Brad off too?”
Matt sat down next to his son, “I can’t really tell you, Buddy. I can never keep tabs on him.”
Buddy leaned back in his chair, “So what are you planning to do about Brad?”
Matt looked undecided, “I’m not sure. I’ll let you know before our next meeting. I need to think about this before I make a final decision.”
Buddy nodded and chose to stop pressing the issue.
Two days later at MASK headquarters. Matt sat at the head of the huge round table. He looked to each of his friends, before he had the guts to speak.
Matt spoke in a serious tone, “I’m sure you’re all wondering, why Brad isn’t here.” From the look of it only Buddy knew the actual reason. He just tilted his head down, as though he was a bit of ashamed of it. Matt looked at everybody in the room, “Brad is no longer a MASK agent. He’s been stripped of his vehicle and mask. He has betrayed his teammates.”
Matt stood up and turned his back to the group, “I know what I did was just as bad. I acted selfishly and might have even cost our own lives. I’m willing to make up for my mistakes anyway I can.”
Alex tapped his finger on the table in thought, “Matt we don’t blame you for what you did. Any of us would of done the same for Scott. In some ways we feel as though we’ve all helped to raise the boy.”
Gloria agreed with Alex, “And don’t beat yourself up over Roxanne. She fooled us all, but why does Brad have to leave?”
Matt turned to face her, “He’s been giving confidential information away, for several months now. It was only a matter of time before he was caught. I decided to just let him go, after what he’s done for this team I thought it best.”
Dusty argued, “But with VENOM building its new weapon were going to need all our strength.” Matt nodded, “I know that is why I’m looking for a replacement.”
Gloria decided to protest, “This new replacement won’t be familiar with Condor. I don’t think that was a good judgment call Matt.”
Matt leans on the table, “Are you suggesting I go back to Brad and ask him to come back? I’m afraid this discussion is over with. Brad is not coming back, nor do I want any of you to have contact with him. We’re having a serious information leakage problem. I assure you I will only find the best to replace the best.”
Bruce added, “All right then. What is the plan to stop VENOM? We don’t know where they’re hiding.”
Alex answered, “Well we’ve picked up T-bob yesterday in hope that Roxanne would still be with him. Unfortunately, the girl left him behind. I’ve tried checking his program for any possible answers, but all I can give is an estimate. She probably anywhere between here and the Mexican border.”
Buddy shook his head, “That’s a lot of territory to cover.”
Matt said with an unhappy voice, “Unless VENOM makes a move, we have no choice but to wait until they give us an invitation.”
Dusty said with disbelief, “So were just going to stand by and let them build their killing machine.”
“I’m afraid so,” Matt answered.
Alex suggested, “In the meantime, we should learn about this weapon were up against. Repair and improve our vehicles and be on close watch for VENOM.”
Matt sat back down, “Agreed, this meeting is adjourned.”
VENOM headquarters was completely silent, except for the pounding of Roxanne’s fists against a punching bag hanging from the ceiling. The weights room was actually deserted for once, so she had it all to herself. No guys running around bragging about how much they could lift, and the room was practically stench-free.
Of course, nobody in their right mind would get up at 4am to train and work out. Roxanne felt it important to get in shape and be ready for anything. On the other hand, the other agents were slightly slacking off, Vanessa and Mayhem being the exceptions. They had no worries about the upcoming final confrontation between MASK and VENOM. They all felt so strongly about an instant victory, they wanted to celebrate. As long as that laser was up and running they could just grab a bowl of popcorn, sit back, and have a good laugh.
Roxanne felt differently about the entire situation and did not believe in an instant victory. She learned from all her mistakes of overconfidence, during her first mission, and since this was the first time VENOM has ever made it this far into the game, anything could go wrong. Roxanne figured that somehow fate would find a way to screw this up.
She stopped hitting the punching bag and grabbed her bottle of water. As she sat down on a nearby weights bench, she wondered if Mayhem was keeping his so-called promise. Roxanne wanted so badly to be a part of this upcoming battle. She had so much anger towards MASK and Matt Trakker. She clenched her fist as his name ran through her thoughts. What they did to her was inexcusable and she wanted revenge. Every ten minutes, she’d daydream about getting her own vehicle and mask and giving them something they would never forget. A few times at night she dreamt of pulling her gun trigger at Matt’s head.
She closed her eyes and sighs. Of course, every time she had that dream she had to face Scott. There was far too much pain involved from shooting him; she didn’t think she could hurt him again. He loved his father, how could she take that away from him. She says softly to herself, “Haven’t I caused him enough pain already?”
After calling Scott last week, she still felt miserable. She regretted slamming the phone down on him. Maybe if she had waited just a little bit longer he would have told her that he forgave her. She shook her head, “That’s ridiculous. Forgive me after everything I did to him? He knows I’m going to come back for his old man. I’m sooo..” She walks over to the punching bag and slams her fist into it extremely hard, “frustrated!” Her eyes began to play tricks on her as she stared at the punching bag. She saw Matt’s face etched onto that bag. She slammed her fist repeatedly into the bag with haste, “This is all your fault!”
Vanessa stood by the door yawning, “What in the blazes are you doing up this late?”
She stopped pounding and rubbed her fist, as they felt as if they were on fire. She grabbed her water bottle and took a long sip, “Oh just working out, I couldn’t sleep.”
Vanessa moves closer to her, “Still having those nightmares?”
Roxanne shrugged, “Well sort of. I just have too much on my mind at the moment.” For the first time she couldn’t talk to Vanessa about her problems. Sure she apologized for her outburst and everybody forgot it ever happened. Or more like Mayhem told them to forget it. She couldn’t explain it, but she felt that it was too personal for anyone to know. She decided to change the subject in hope that Vanessa would drop it. “Did I wake you? Cause I could have sworn your room was 3 levels above me.”
Vanessa hands her a towel, “Well after getting up for a light snack in the kitchen, I had no choice but to see where all this pounding and grunting was coming from. For a second there, I thought one of the boys was beating up on the professor again. The last thing we need is another setback.”
Vanessa put her arm around her seeing that Roxanne looked down. She wished Roxanne would tell her, being the only other female on the base she was the only one to have a rational conversation with. “Come on I know what will cheer ya up,” Vanessa leaded her out of the room. Finally Vanessa stopped in front of Mayhem office and opens the door.
Roxanne crossed her arms, “What are we going to do? Steal from Mayhem’s private liquor cabinet?”
Vanessa laughed softly, “Another night kiddo.” Vanessa opened the door and walked behind Mayhem’s desk. She grabbed a bundle of rolled-up papers and laid them out on the desk, “I’m not supposed to show you this.”
Roxanne moved closer and glanced it over with her face glowing, “This is really going to be mine?”
Vanessa smiles, “Yeah we were going to start on it this weekend. Mayhem wants it done by the time the laser is completed. So by the end of the month is what we estimated.” Vanessa rolled it up and put it back, “But you’re going to have to be surprised when you see it.”
She looked up at Vanessa with a huge smile, “That’s not going to be a problem.”
Vanessa lead Roxanne out of the room, “OK then you’ve seen enough now off to bed.”
Brad sat on a stool in the middle of the music studio. He plucked his fingers against his guitar and looked down on it deeply in thought. His band and manager all left him alone in the studio. They figured Brad was trying to put together another hit song to go on his next CD, but Brad wasn’t concentrating on his music. He had his teammates, VENOM, and Vanessa on his mind.
Usually he’d complain about how much MASK had ruined his music career, each year he lost more and more fans. This was mostly because of his constant leaving in a middle of a concert to perform MASK duties. Some fans thought Brad was a big shot and didn’t think about anybody but himself, and others just made fun of him. If he could only tell them what his other job was, they would have treated him differently. Having his teammates and Condor around made him forget his troubles. At the moment, he had nothing to cheer him up and was uncertain what course of action he should take next.
Just then a knock was heard on the door, and Brad lifted his head up, “Come in.”
Dusty walked in with a welcoming smile on his face, “Brad.” Brad looked at Dusty a bit surprised. He wished he could give him a warm friendly smile back in return, but he was in no mood for it. He had made an agreement with Matt when he was discharged. No contact with any associates with MASK or the PNA.
Brad said bluntly, “Dusty what are you doing here?”
Dusty replies, “I came to see how you were doing.” Brad stands up and sets his guitar against the stool. “I’m fine. You shouldn’t be here… if anyone finds out, you’ll probably be kicked out as well. Better yet you could get me arrested for even being in the same room with you. So I suggest you’d better leave.”
Dusty shrugged and disregarded what Brad just said, “Who’s going to find out? Personally Gloria and I think Matt isn’t thinking clearly at the moment. He’s too hard-headed, after everything that has happened over the last few months. We don’t think you’d give information away like that. We’ve been friends and teammates for several years now, I know you well enough to know you’re no traitor. So maybe we can work on a plan to get you back into MASK.”
Brad stopped him from talking any further and looked straight in his eyes, “Dusty maybe you don’t know me as well as you think you do.”
Dusty was confused, “What do you mean?”
Brad face looked darker than usual, “I am a traitor, Dusty.”
Dusty shook his head, disagreeing.
Brad grabbed his leather jacket and his shades, “Believe what you want, but I’m never going to be allowed back in MASK. I suggest you stay away from me, if ya know what’s good for you. I definitely don’t a more severe punishment then the one given to me either.” Brad took off and didn’t bother to say good-bye.
Dusty walked out behind him slowly. He couldn’t comprehend it. Was Brad really a traitor or was he pulling his leg? He stopped and watched Brad from the window. Brad hopped onto his motorcycle. Dusty wanted answers, but didn’t know who to turn too.
Brad drove his motorcycle speedily down the highway. The sun had finally set before he realized he had been driving all day. After his little scene with Buddy, he’d just got lost in his own thoughts. He was trying to figure out all his problems or was he running away from them? Brad was too wrapped up in his own emotions to bother checking where he was heading. He continued to drive down the deserted highway hoping to soon come across a gas station or a town to rest up and ask directions. He could have turned around and gone back the way he came at any time, but at the moment he felt there was nothing behind him worth going back to.
The fact he was running low on gas also troubled him. He hated it when he ignored the gas gage. He should have gotten gas before he set foot out in the desert, but he had been too hot headed to do so. Brad couldn’t help but stare at the gas light as it came on more than the road. Brad said repeatedly to himself, “Just a bit further come on, don’t go on me yet.”
Finally Brad saw a light, in the darkness, up the road. He felt relief to some extent as he parked his bike out front of a bar. Of course, his wasn’t the only bike. He figured a few bikers shouldn’t be a problem; they might be willing to help him out. Two other vehicles were also parked next to the building. Brad couldn’t make them out very well, but something about them made him ponder. Brad was just about to move towards the two vehicles, when he realized it would be best to ask for gas, before he decided to snoop around in the dark. For all he knew, he might need a fast getaway.
Brad opened the door and stepped into the dark noisy bar. The place was jammed packed with several motorcycle gangs and roughriders. Everywhere he glance he saw a biker in black leather and tattooed up in one way or another. The juke box was blaring loud heavy metal music and people constantly raised their voices to be heard over it. Brad just stood there in his leather jacket and shades.
He removed his shades and stuck them in his pocket. He couldn’t help but get the feeling that all eyes were staring at him. Plus the way he looked sort of pointed out that he was out of place. Brad made his way to the bar, at the same time he was trying not to eye anyone specifically.
Once he made it to the bar he felt even more unease; he recognized a couple faces he had seen off of America’s Most Wanted. At this point, Brad figured he’d never let Alex put that show on ever again. Brad was nervous and tried to hide it. He didn’t want to do anything to draw attention. The bar keeper dressed in open sleeve white shirt and jeans approached him. He seemed to be friendlier looking, even though he looked slightly dirty and overweight.
He said in a semi-friendly voice, “What can I do for you?”
Brad snapped out of this thoughts, “Oh I seem to be out of gas. I was wondering if you have a pump I could use.”
The tender smiled, “Yeah I got one in the back, you look like ya need a beer.”
Brad was feeling much better, “Yeah been driving out to nowhere all day.”
Bartender hands him a beer, “Ah well this ain’t no Cheers. This is the perfect place where nobody knows anybody. This is where everybody goes to get lost.”
Brad was about to mention about all the criminals hanging out at his joint, but the tender stopped him. The tender leans closer to Brad, “I got one word of advice for ya though, choose your words wisely.”
Brad nodded and the tender said, “Well I got customers to attend. Let me know when you ready and I’ll unlock the gas pump for ya.” Brad then looked to his far left and he couldn’t believe who he saw. Sly Rax, Bruno, Cliff Dagger, and Floyd Malloy were standing around a pool table. Brad said to himself, “I thought that was Piranha and Jackhammer out front. That must mean the VENOM hideout is somewhere around this area.”
Brad stood up and moved closer to the group. He sat at a table right next to the pool table to listen in on their conversation.
Floyd grabbed his beer and raised it to his fellow agents, “Cheers to a soon defeated MASK.”
Each one of them raised their beers, “Cheers!” Sly takes a sip, “well if that professor would hurry his ass up, we’d be partying and stinking rich by now.”
Bruno grabbed a pool stick, “Yeah well I tried to beat some sense into him, but apparently Mayhem didn’t like my idea of persuasion.”
Cliff Dagger laughed, “Hey we know you meant well.”
After Bruno breaks the balls on the table, Sly Rax grabs his stick, “Too bad it didn’t work. Then things might have lightened up on base. I’m sick’n tired of all that yelling coming from the boss and Vanessa. Do this, do that, don’t go out. Well confinement sucks, man.”
Floyd laughed, “Well Vanessa and Mayhem are going to be mighty pissed when they find out we left base.”
Sly shook his head with a sly smile, “No they won’t. I told Bruno to tell Vanessa we were going to test some new features on our vehicles.”
Bruno looked confused, “I thought you told her.”
Just then Sly’s beeper went off. He glanced at the number.” I bet you this is the Misses right now,” Sly walked over to the corner of the room and pulled out his cell phone. Vanessa sounded extremely angry on the other line.
“Rax, where on earth are you?”
Sly sounded cool and calm about the situation, “Well it’s kind of hard to hear ya Vanessa could you repeat that.”
Vanessa threw a fit, “You guys are hanging out at that bar again, ain’t you? Why can’t you follow orders for once Rax. Did it occur to you that there is a reason why you guys have to stay on base? MASK can be anywhere or anyone.
Sly Rax laughed, “What MASK agent in his right mind would come to this bar full of throat-slitting bikers?”
Brad couldn’t help but spit his beer out a bit as he drank it. Brad thought, “If only you knew.”
Sly started to makes some lame sound effects of a breaking signal, “I’m sorry Vanessa I’m losing the signal.”
Vanessa started to say in a loud tone, “I’m going to drag your sorry asses back here and…”
Sly then turned his phone and beeper off, “That should keep her quiet.” He returned back to his group, “Well guys I got good news and bad news. The good news is we can probably get away with 3 more hours of fun. The bad news is Mayhem going to have our heads on a silver platter.”
Each of them grumbled at the idea. Sly picked up his pool stick, “Well let’s not think about all that unnecessary labor he’s going to have us doing and enjoy ourselves.”
Brad just couldn’t help but laugh. If he knew Vanessa well enough, she wasn’t going to let Sly Rax get away with anything. He actually thought this whole situation was far too amusing and just made his day.
Sly Rax turned and looked toward the young stranger, “Hey what’s so funny? Are you drunk?”
Floyd also turned and looked at the stranger, “I doubt it one beer in 20 minutes can make anyone close to drunk, unless this guy’s some sort of psycho.”
Brad recovered himself, “I just couldn’t help myself but laugh at the way you,” he tried to think of a word replacing Vanessa,” cut off your wife.”
Bruno looked at Sly, confused, “You have a wife?”
Floyd hit Bruno in the shoulder, “I think you’ve had too much to drink Bruno”
Sly felt a bit insulted at that idea, it just didn’t fit his cool image. Sly Rax stood towering over Brad, “What are you doing listening over other people conversations? Didn’t your mother ever teach ya some manners.”
Brad thought back and pondered that question, “No, she just taught me to have a good time.”
Sly smirks “Don’t get smart with me boy. You don’t know who you’re dealing with.” Cliff Dagger cracked his knuckles as though he was ready for a fight.
Brad figured he should back off, “You’re right I don’t. You guys look like smart individuals. Sorry, I should learn to keep my ears and mouth closed.” Brad mumbled something under his breath as he walked back over to the bar. Cliff Dagger and Bruno exchanged a glance of hate toward the stranger.
Sly calmed them down and said in a low tone facing them, “Don’t worry we’ll teach him a little lesson before we head back.”
Brad walked back up to the bar to get the keys to the gas pump. Brad wasted no time grabbing his bike and bringing it around the back. He walked his bike over towards the red gas pump. There was only one light in the back of the bar and it constantly kept flickering on and off. Brad unlocked the pump and stuck the keys on top. He wanted to fill up in a hurry. The sooner he got out of sight the easier it would be to follow Rax and his buddies back to their hideout.
He glanced over to Jackhammer and Piranha, as he pumped gas into his motorcycle. Brad wondered if he should look through their vehicles. Rax did say they were planning to stay at the bar another 3 hours or so. He might find something useful that could reveal their hideout. Brad walked away from the pump and headed over to Jackhammer. Brad glanced around several times, he felt his entire body shaking as he stood inches away from Cliff Dagger’s car. If he walked out and saw him, he wouldn’t waste his time pounding into his face. Brad tested the handle; he silently hoped it would be locked. He closed his eyes as he pulled up on the handle. The door opened and Brad just stood there a second glancing at the inside.
Well… he was definitely wrong about them being smart individuals, what kind of idiot would leave his car unlocked at a place like this? Brad stepped into Jackhammer and made his way to the glove compartment. As soon as he opened it loads of junk and papers came flying out. He dug through the piles. Most of it was old assignments given from Mayhem and cutouts from some old playboy magazines.
Brad talked to himself, “Well I guess I’m just going to have to follow them.”
He grabbed the pile off the floor of Jackhammer and crammed it all back into the glove compartment. Just as he closed the door to Jackhammer, the four VENOM agents walked out the door.
Cliff Dagger noticed Brad standing next to his car. Cliff Dagger shouted, “What are you doing? Get away from my car!”
Brad stepped back, “Sorry I was just admiring it.” Cliff Dagger growled, “I bet you that’s highly unlikely.”
Brad kept taking steps back towards his bike. Cliff Dagger opened his car door, “The door is open. You were in my car weren’t you? You were trying to steal it!”
Brad smirked as he thought, “Gee how stupid are you.” Brad replied with an innocent smile, “You must have left it open, pal.”
Sly Rax checked out Piranha. After seeing everything was in place he said, “I say our new friend here needs to be taught a lesson about respecting other people’s property.”
Bruno and Cliff Dagger ran towards Brad. Brad picked up the pace and tried to make it to his bike. Just as he was going to get on his bike, Bruno grabbed him by his jacket and yanked him off. Cliff Dagger slammed his fist into Brad stomach, “Nobody touches my car inside or out!”
Brad fell to his knees, “OK! I’m sorry!”
Cliff Dagger spat into Brad face, “Sorry- not good enough!” Bruno grabbed Brad by the arms and stood him up on his feet. Brad struggled to get free, but Cliff landed a good hard punch into his gut. Brad winced at the feeling.
Floyd approached them, “Oh this looks like fun. Let me have a shot.”
Cliff Dagger smiled, “Be my guest Floyd.” Floyd hopped around a bit, as thought he was ready for a boxing match. Floyd then slammed his fist forward into Brad jaw. Brad turned his head to spit out some blood, while Floyd was shaking his hand off. Floyd rubbed his hand, “That hurts.”
Bruno laughed, “You need to work out in the gym more often Floyd.” Bruno put Brad’s head into a head lock under his arms. His muscles squeezed violently against Brad neck. Brad continued to squirm attempting anything to break free, to catch his breath.
Sly Rax pulled out his knife from his jacket,” I think a little face remodeling will wipe those smiles off his face.”
Just as Sly Rax was about to run the blade of his knife against Brad’s cheek, a car approached them. The headlights were too bright to make out who it was, so most of them shaded their eyes with their hands for a second.
Vanessa stepped out of Manta with her arms crossed. She hadn’t wanted to fly all the way out there, but she knew she had no choice. Vanessa approached the guys, “I thought I told you to come back to base!”
Sly Rax put his knife away, “Well we were until we caught somebody snooping around our vehicles.”
Vanessa looked at the guy Bruno had in a head lock. A small smile appeared on her face. It was the one person she hadn’t expected to see for another month. Vanessa’s smile disappeared, “Drop him Bruno!”
Bruno did what she ordered him to. Brad stayed up on his knees rubbing his throat and holding his stomach. He glanced up at Vanessa slightly. Vanessa turned towards her teammates, “You’re all ordered to go straight back to base! If you’re not there by the time I get there, you’re all doing cleaning duties. Is that clear?!”
Each of them responded understanding her orders. She was practically second in command next to Mayhem. Even though Sly Rax enjoyed overstepping his rank in the group, he knew she could beat the crap out of him. The four of them scrambled towards Jackhammer and Piranha and took off.
Vanessa waited until they drove off, before offering a hand to Brad. Brad took her hand and stood up grunting slightly, “You went easy on them.”
Vanessa smiled, “Naa when they get back to base, I have a little surprise in store for them. You know, there are better ways to get my attention.”
Brad rubbed his stomach, “You’re right, but this was the best I could come up with.”
Vanessa walked over to Manta and leaned on it, “What would you have done, if I hadn’t showed up?”
Brad walked over towards her, “Probably take out Bruno and hop on my bike.”
Vanessa laughed, “Somehow I can’t imagine you doing that. Besides if you did escape on your bike. Rax might have blown you off the highway.” Brad just smiled and rubbed his jaw. Vanessa looked at him and said seriously, “What are you doing out here?”
Brad looked over to his bike, “Just going for a joy ride.”
Vanessa didn’t believe him, “Really and getting Cliff, Rax, Bruno, and Floyd to butcher you to death is part of it?”
Brad shrugged, “You caught me. I was hoping I could find out where you were hiding. After that lovely kiss you gave me, I couldn’t help but think about you all the time.”
Vanessa smiled slightly, “You really expect me to believe that?”
Brad looked at her and said in a doubtful tone, “No… After what you did to me, my entire life’s been turned upside down.”
Vanessa looked at him, crossing her arms, “Well I have been known for ruining men’s lives.”
Brad stood up and looked Manta over, “They kicked me out.”
Vanessa raised a brow, “Why?” Brad looked up at the night sky, “They thought I was a double agent and I have you to thank for that.”
Vanessa giggled slightly, “I hate to tell you this Brad, but technically you were. Those flirting matches of yours sure helped me squeeze valuable information off of you.”
Brad nodded, “I realized that now. Since they took Condor away, I just seem to have lost all inspiration in my work and music. I was actually hoping you could help me get it back.”
Vanessa looked at him oddly, “The boy and his bike, how touching.”
Brad grabbed Vanessa’s hand, “You are the only person who can help me. They are going to train somebody to take my place. Since you are building that laser it’s the perfect opportunity for me to get it back.”
Vanessa rested a hand against Brad’s forehead, “Are you ill or just plain mad?”
Brad stared at her silently, yet his face looked dead serious. Vanessa walked away from him, “You expect me to let you walk into VENOM headquarters and have me explain to Mayhem that my ex-double ex-MASK agent wants his bike back?” Vanessa shook her head in disbelief the more she looked back at Brad.
Brad spoke up,” No you wouldn’t have to tell Mayhem that. Just tell him an ex-PNA agent is looking for refuge from the government. In exchange I’ll give him valuable information.”
She knew she was taking a risk, but she didn’t mind spicing up her life if it was for a good cause, “What am I going to get out of this, if I agree?”
Brad offers, “3/4 of the profit off my next album.”
Vanessa rolled her eyes, “What if only two people buy it Brad? You have to think of something more reasonable.” Brad nodded, “I know how to get my hands on the Trakker fortune.”
Vanessa nodded, “That is an interesting offer, but how do you propose to offer it?”
Brad moved closer, “Blackmailing of course. There is so much that goes behind that good image of MASK that nobody knows about.”
Vanessa walks over to Brad, “I’m intrigued by your offer. We’ll see how it works out.”
Brad’s sprits lifted, “So you’ll help?”
Vanessa walked over to Manta and opened the door, “At the moment, you better keep up with me if you want my finally answer.” Vanessa sat inside Manta and drove off. Brad rushed over to his bike and drove off after her.
After an hour of driving, they stopped inside an abandoned air hanger. Vanessa drove Manta into the elevator and Brad parked beside her. In some ways Brad thought this was exciting, he was actually getting a chance to check out VENOM’s base. Vanessa hopped out of Manta and hit the bottom floor on elevator panel.
Brad had to wonder, “How do you get Switch Blade in here?”
Vanessa laughed, “We don’t. The bottom level has a tunnel that exists out someplace in the middle of the desert. I guess the military wanted a back door out of the base. The fact that nobody lives out here stops us from being discovered.” As soon as the elevator reached the bottom, Vanessa drove Manta into her private parking spot. Brad walked out with his bike. He couldn’t believe how similar their garage was to Boulder Hill’s.
Brad parked his bike and walked over to Vanessa. Brad stood by Vanessa still admiring the garage, “This feels kind of odd being around all these VENOM vehicles.”
Vanessa smiled, “Well I guess telling you there’s another one on the way isn’t going to make ya feel any better. Come on- the sooner we get this over with, the better we’ll both feel.”
Vanessa led Brad back to the elevator. Vanessa watched Brad as she waited in the elevator. He seemed to be calmer about the situation then she was. After all this was her job and her reputation on the line. As soon as they stepped out of the elevator, they both could hear Mayhem’s booming voice. Apparently he wasn’t overjoyed with his agents sneaking off the base. Mayhem was shouting his lungs out.
“IF I EVER CATCH YOU GUYS DISOBEYING MY ORDERS AGAIN YOU WON’T SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY EVER AGAIN!”
Sly Rax, Floyd Malloy, Cliff Dagger, and Bruno all looked down like disappointed children. Neither of them spoke up, otherwise Mayhem’s yelling spree would never end.
Just then Sly looked up and saw Brad coming towards them, “Hey what’s he doing here?!”
Mayhem turned around to look at the stranger standing beside Vanessa. Cliff Dagger was furious as well, “That’s the hot shot who was digging through my car!”
Mayhem looked to Vanessa for an answer, “If that’s true why did you bring him here Vanessa?” Vanessa sounded so sure of herself, “My contact wants to make a proposition with you Mayhem. I thought it was too big to pass up.”
Sly Rax narrowed his eyes at Brad, “Contact? More like an old boyfriend.” Rax then turns to Mayhem arguing, “You tell us not to go out and have fun. Well now here’s your second in command bringing back her boy toy- Who’s probably a spy!”
Vanessa clenched her fist tightly in anger. Mayhem knew Rax had a legitimate argument, “Boys leave, I’ll deal with this, but don’t go far. Our uninvited guest might not be staying long.”
The four men walked out of Mayhem office closing the door behind them. They stood there waiting in hope to throw the stranger out. Vanessa spoke up, “This is Brad Turner one of my contacts. He is an ex-PNA agent, and he’s just been accused of treason. I told him that you would refuse to help him, but he insisted that he has information that could prove useful to you, sir.”
Mayhem sat on the corner of his desk, “Brad Turner, eh, isn’t he some famous musician or am I thinking of someone else?”
Brad nodded, “Yes I am. The PNA prefers to have agents in numerous occupations. My job allows me to move freely through countries that have problems with our government, yet want to entertain it’s people. As Vanessa said they learned of my other dealings and now they are after me. I know I’ve started on the wrong foot with your other agents, but I assure you I was just trying to get hold of my VENOM contact.”
Mayhem looked at him suspiciously, “So basically what your saying is you’ll offer me useful information in exchange for a place to stay?”
Brad nodded again,” I’d stay out of the way, unless you need my expertise to help.”
Mayhem looked at him reasonable, “Since I know and trust Vanessa I’ll hear this out. So what information are you offering, singer?”
Brad moved closer to him, “I know how to get into MASK headquarters.”
Mayhem laughed, “Now, how am I supposed to believe that? I blew it to smithereens! I saw it burning in rubble.”
Brad smiled, “I’m afraid you were fooled. MASK has the technology of illusion, something they have used to fool you countless number of times. With my information, I’ll get you past the illusions and the armory of the base.” Brad started to sound more like a gambler, “The PNA is well aware that you’re soon to be completed with that laser. They also know it’s going to be difficult to move something of that size. With Boulder Hill’s defenses down, you can destroy it in a matter of seconds. Without a base MASK won’t be able to repair their mask or vehicle, after they’ve sustained damage by your laser.”
Mayhem pondered for a moment, “You drive a hard bargain, why not throw in the names of the agents as well? It sounds as though you hate MASK just as much.”
Brad shook his head, “I will not give their names. To do so would endanger their families. I do not wish to destroy innocent lives. Especially after one family has already been destroyed.”
Vanessa laughed a bit, “If you’re talking about Roxy that was a family issue nothing to do with VENOM.”
Brad says in a serious tone, “Still let’s keep it to a professional level.”
Mayhem laughed for a moment, “All right you have deal, but you must realize your stay here will be restricted. Vanessa, I’m holding you personally responsible for him.”
Vanessa smiles, “Of course.” Mayhem waved for them to leave, “Give him that extra room across from Roxy. I expect to hear more from you tomorrow, Mr. Turner.”
Brad smiles and lies through his teeth, “I’ll be looking forward to it.” As both of them exited the room the four VENOM agents looked at them confused.
Bruno whispered, “How come Mayhem didn’t ask us to knock him out?” Vanessa smiled and rubbed it into their faces, “Cause he’s a guest now, and I expect you to treat him as one.”
Cliff Dagger narrowed his eyes, “Of course, We’ll treat him like one of the guys.”
Vanessa led Brad towards the elevator, “See, they’re starting to warm up to you already.”
Brad smirks, “Something tells me he didn’t mean that in a nice way.”
They got off the elevator on the 16th floor. This floor was practically a prison floor. Security cameras and several motion detectors were everywhere. Vanessa spoke up as Brad admired the security, “This is pretty much where we keep our prisoners or the Brig to some people.” Vanessa looked at Brad and led him down a long corridor, “It’s extremely quiet down here, but we ran out of rooms up-stairs. Too many Contraworld employees running around here. Contraworld is backing Mayhem with 75% of their resources to see to it his plan succeeds. The rest of the rooms aren’t habitable. This base is far too big to clean every room.”
Brad felt a shiver down his spine as he looked around, “It’s far too quiet down here.” Vanessa laughs, “It won’t be when Roxy wakes up.”
Brad gives her a questioning look,” Why is Roxanne on this floor?”
Vanessa stopped, “Well as I said no room, plus this is one of the few floors that Mayhem prefers to monitor. He’s paranoid about his hostages escaping, and he doesn’t exactly trust everybody he works with. Especially Roxy. Mayhem wasn’t sure what to make of her at first site. She knows the reason why Mayhem stuck her on this floor, and she doesn’t bother asking for another one because it’s her room. Although she does occasionally seem to enjoy grabbing the attention of the security cameras.”
They continued to walk, until they stopped at the end of the hall. Vanessa opened the door, “Well here’s your room. Nothing special, but it’s livable.”
As Vanessa was showing Brad around his room, Sly Rax came on the speaker demanding to see Vanessa. Sly Rax spoke with rage, “VANESSA, what did you do to my stereo system!?”
Vanessa smiled, “As I said earlier I left him a surprise, excuse me while I go chew his head off.” Brad laughed softly. Vanessa added, “I’ll give you a tour tomorrow, you look like you need the rest.” Vanessa walked off towards the elevator.
Right after Sly Rax turned the speaker phone off, Roxanne woke up. She had a hard enough time getting some decent sleep around there, the last thing she needed was to be woken up. She opened her door grumbling, “For crying out loud can’t those two just get along?”
She figured she’d go and see what was going on, after all she was up anyways. As she stepped out of her room in her T-shirt and boxer shorts, she couldn’t help but notice the room next door to her was open and the light was on.
She knew something was wrong. She knew there were supposed to be only two people on this floor- her and the locked up professor. Either he escaped, somebody got kicked out of their room, or a spy was lurking around. She crept over to the other door softly. She pressed her ear against it, wondering if somebody was in there.
At the same time, Brad figured he’d go asked Vanessa for an icepack before he hit the sack. His entire body was sore after having his little encounter.
Brad walked over to the door and yanked it open hastily.
Roxanne fell forward as the door opened and she let out a soft scream. She smiled slightly, but when she realized who it was her smile disappeared. She said bluntly, “What the hell are you doing here?”
Brad hadn’t anticipated that she would remember him after a few months, “I live here now.” She rested her shoulder against his door and crosses her arms, “Not if I have something to say about it. I remember you….you’re friends with Matt Trakker.”
Brad shook his head, “I’m afraid not little miss.”
She gets into his face, “You can deny it all you want, but I saw you that night at the fund-raiser. You ran towards me trying to stop me from jumping out the window.”
Brad sat on the bed realizing he couldn’t avoid the subject, “You know, now that you mentioned it I do remember you too. Spunky little girl you were. Of course I didn’t try to stop you from jumping out the window; I was just trying to restrain a thief.”
Roxy had an ugly look on her face,” I’m going to march right into Mayhem’s office…”
Brad said in a cool and calm voice, “Tell him what?”
She moved closer to him,” You’re a spy. No… worse- I think you have some sort of connection to MASK.”
Brad reached out and grabbed her arm and pulled her closer, “And you have no proof. It’s going your word against Vanessa.”
Roxy stopped her bickering. She couldn’t believe it Vanessa was the one who let him in here. What had she hoped to gain by doing that? Roxy pointed her finger in his face, “I got my eye on you. When you screw up, I’ll have your grave already dug for ya.”
Roxy walked out of his room, pouting slightly. She knew she’d have to dig up some dirt on this guy. The only problem was if she did Vanessa’s career at VENOM could be destroyed.
No, she didn’t want that, she was going to have to deal with this guy with her own ways.
A black Rolls Royce pulled up the driveway of the Trakker estate. The driver stepped out and made his way to the back passenger side door. He held the door open for a beautiful young woman with black hair and green eyes. She had a mixture of Oriental and European features and was dressed in her formal military attire and carrying a black suit case.
Inaya Vendun hated making house calls on her day off, but she was actually looking forward to her big assignment. This assignment was her big chance for a promotion in the PNA, not to mention a chance to give Matt Trakker a dressing down, and nothing was going to stop her from screwing this up. She was prepared for anything and looked presentable enough to surprise even Matt Trakker. Inaya pressed the doorbell several times before the door finally opened. An old woman, supposedly Matt Trakker’s housemaid, answered the door. She said in a sweet and friendly voice, “May I help you?”
Inaya returned the smile, “Yes I need to speak to Matthew Trakker. It is extremely urgent, and I need to see him at once.” The woman glanced at Inaya’s uniform and agreed that the situation must have been urgent. It wasn’t often the PNA would show up on somebody’s door step.
The old woman led Inaya towards Matt’s study, “Please wait here, while I get Mr. Trakker. Who should I say is here?”
Inaya walked around the study, and set her briefcase on the desk. She took a few minutes to reply to the question. Inaya then looked towards the old woman and said, “Just tell him Ivy Green from the PNA is here to see him.”
The maid bowed her head and took off closing the door behind her. Inaya, or rather Ivy now, sat down on the couch, crossing her legs slightly grinning to herself about the name she had made up, “Ivy Green..” She thought, “Good thing I didn’t use my real name or I might have blown my cover. The last thing I need is Trakker checking up my records.”
About ten minutes later, Matt walked into the study wearing a blue polo shirt and khakis. Ivy a.k.a.Inaya was a bit surprised at Matt’s appearance. His face looked tired as though he hadn’t slept in weeks. The wrinkles under his eyes made him look much older.
Matt sat behind his desk trying not to show his disappointment. He knew eventually the PNA would send somebody to check up on him, but now was not the time. He looked at Inaya. He was sure they were going to send somebody who absolutely hated his guts. He didn’t even know this woman. Maybe, just maybe he could talk his way out of any troubles that might have been bestowed upon him.
Inaya walked over to him, “Not getting enough sleep?”
Matt let out a breath of air, “I’ve been busy with MASK, my business, and my ill son.”
Inaya nodded, “So I’ve heard.”
Matt said in a not-so-amused tone, “Miss Green I presume? I don’t want to be rude since this is our first meeting together, but whatever the reason you’ve been sent here I suggest you tell me now. I’m in no mood to deal with the PNA at the moment.”
Inaya threw away her nice tone and became a bit more aggressive. She knew Matt was going through a hard time, but she wasn’t going to let him off the hook that easily. “Well you don’t have a choice and neither do I. I don’t exactly enjoy being in the same room with a traitor. Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Many members of the PNA are doubting your performance and your loyalties.” Inaya opened her briefcase and pulled out a huge stack of files. She dropped them all down in front of Matt’s face for him to glance at. She pointed at the stack.
“Each one of these files contains several violations of PNA policy and treasonous acts.”
Matt leaned back in his chair staring at the overflowing pile. Matt then glanced over to her and said in an expectant voice, “So you’ve come to arrest me?”
Inaya sighed, “If only that was the case. I wish that were true Mr. Trakker, but you still have some followers in the PNA who strongly believe in you, like President Kennedy. But I don’t understand why. Despite all the good deeds you’ve done in the past, you’ve overstepped your bounds. You’ve disobeyed orders from higher up and have continuously kept the PNA in the dark about all your actions.”
Matt was just about to open his mouth to speak when Inaya rudely interrupted him, “Oh yes we know about Roxanne. You’ve become an assessment to the crime she committed, when you chose to house her or in other words hide her from the proper authorities. You’ve violated the PNA’s strict conduct on dealing with terrorists.”
Matt said defending his daughter, “She is not a terrorist. She’s just a child who needs help.”
Inaya pulled another file from her briefcase and threw it right in front of Matt. Inaya said in an agreeing voice, “Of course she needs help. She’s a disturbed child, Matt. You are not even qualified to handle her problems. She should have been handed over to the PNA’s authorities. We are not the enemy, Matt. No harm would have come to her. Instead, she would have gotten the help she needed and none of us would be in this particular situation right now.”
Matt rested his hand over his chin, pondering his bad judgment call. Inaya felt like she was on a yelling rampage, she could go on for hours telling Matt everything he had screwed up on. She continued, “I advise you to look over her file, you might learn something about why your daughter acts the way she does.” Matt took a brief glance at the file and set it aside to read later. Inaya opened the first file on the desk and took a quick glance at it before she shut it, “Why did you deceive the military and your team to give VENOM the microchip?”
Matt spoke softly, “I thought my kids were in danger.”
Inaya refused to accept that for an answer, “Two lives are not worth as much as millions of innocent people. I know you’re regretting a lot of the choices you’ve made over the past few months. Don’t you see? Because you refused to ask for help your son nearly died!”
Matt lifted his head and stood up. He was tired of her beating down on him, “That’s ENOUGH! Things are different now; everything is going to be fine.”
Inaya didn’t believe that, “I doubt it! This was not the first time you’ve put your family first before your duty. I recall a mission log of your son being kidnapped. You willingly gave Miles your agents’ masks and top secret PNA information. What if that plan of yours to destroy the glass skull that caused VENOM to learn your true identity hadn’t worked? Would your family be any safer than it was before?”
Matt narrowed his eyes on her, “What exactly are you getting at with all this?”
Inaya slammed her hand on the table, “The PNA does not and will never negotiate with terrorists. You are under the PNA jurisdiction. You cannot negotiate with VENOM no matter the cost.”
Matt shouted angrily back at her, “This is not the PNA. Mobile Armored Strike Kommand will handle the terrorists VENOM any way they deem necessary!”
Inaya sighed as she sat down on the couch shaking her head. “May I remind you the PNA is the one who gives your agents a pay check?”
Matt walked over to her and suggested, “Then I suggest the PNA should take that money and shove it. I don’t need their funding to run my organization- which I started!”
Inaya held her head slightly as she felt a bad head ache coming on. She eased her tone to stop the rising tension in the room, “Matt the PNA is not through with MASK. They know as well as I do that MASK is the only force that can counter VENOM. We are in no way trying to get you to run this operation solo. We’re here to help you. Now let’s move on, I know all about Brad going as wall. He was a good friend of yours and he was an exceptional agent, but he needs to be apprehended.
Matt disagreed, “I don’t think that’s going to be necessary.”
Inaya walked over to his desk and sat on the edge of it, “There is a chance that Brad knows the location of VENOM’s hideout, and we need to know who his contacts are. I already have the police picking him up at his apartment, at this very moment.”
Matt felt outraged about this, she hadn’t even discussed this with him. She just went ahead and did whatever she felt like.
Inaya smiled, “Oh I’m not done yet. You might want to wait a few more minutes, before you decide to speak your piece. You and me are going to be working together, until this entire mess is cleared up. Since you need a new pilot for Condor, and I have the expertise and clearance, I will be driving or flying it. Whichever way you wish to perceive it.”
Matt was felt like he had no say in this. “So you’ll be working under me.” Inaya laughed, “Do you really think I would have volunteered for this job, if I was going to work under you? We are going to have a wonderful partnership, Trakker, you and I. We’re going to share the job of leading MASK. Any plans or decisions you make have be cleared through me. If you have any problems with this I think you had better step down from your position, because these terms have been approved through the president himself.”
Matt clenched his fist and looked extremely angry. He thought, “Who does she thinks she is, walking in on my turf? I’ll just have to play along until I get this situation straightened out.”
Matt crossed his arms, “No, I have no problems with this, Miss Green.”
‘Miss Green’ alias Inaya raised a brow. She had thought she would have had to do more convincing. Then again he might have something up his sleeve, this was way too easy. Inaya thought to herself, “No matter, when I expose the man, he’ll have more to worry about.” Inaya smiled, “Good then you can show me around Boulder Hill and keep me up to date on what MASK plans to do, to counter VENOM’s future attack.”
Matt led her out of the study and towards the transport that connected his mansion and Boulder Hill.
Scott walked slowly down the stairs in his blue pajamas. He practically hung onto the railing, as though he was afraid of falling down the stairs. Scott hardly felt any pain in his side, but all the drugs the doctor gave him made him feel worse. He was tired of lying in bed and constantly wondering what was going on around him.
The last couple days since he came home from the hospital had been very difficult. He was constantly arguing with his father about taking all that medication. Of course, Scott gave up when he saw how frustrated his father had become. Never had he seen him act so much like a complete stranger. Scott finally realized how much he meant to his father, and understood that he was probably the one thing keeping him stable at the moment.
Scott finally reached the bottom step. Just then T-bob came walking by singing, “Dumm-dee-dumm.” T-bob noticed Scott and stopped in front of him, ” What are you doing out of bed? Matt’s not going to be too happy if he sees you walking around.”
Scott smirked and placed his hand on his waist, “Well I’m not going back to lie in that death bed. T-Bob, he’s not going to know unless you go off and tell him. Then again you do that too often.”
T-bob said in a giddy voice, “Well I’m just doing my job.” In some ways Scott was pleased to have his friend back, yet he felt his father ordered Bruce to do way too much programming. T-bob was acting more like a mother half the time then a friend. Scott said in a boyish tone,” Let’s go find out what dad’s up to.”
T-bob shook his head, “A few days out of the hospital and you’re still trying to spy on your dad. Well we’re not going to do it this time. You’re going to walk back up the sta….”
Scott just grabbed him by the hand and dragged him part of the way, “Just like old times ehh.” Scott knew that if he didn’t take T-bob he was bound to go tell somebody. Scott let go of T-bob and he walked beside him,” Tell me about it.”
Scott started to guide his hand against the wall as he walked down the hall. T-bob started to become concerned, “Scott you don’t look so hot. I think you really need to go back to bed.” The robot moved in front of Scott forbidding him from moving any further.
Scott promised, ” I’ll go back to bed, after I find out what dad’s up too. I swear on my life. He won’t tell me anything T-bob and I’m worried. It’s not like dad to keep things to himself. I just want to know how I can help him.”
T-bob turns his head and crosses his arms, “You sure it’s not Roxanne you’re worried about?”
Scott looked away a bit and says in a disbelieving tone, “Oh don’t be silly.” Scott pushed T-bob out of the way and walked up to the door to the study. Scott rested his ear against the door, yet he heard nothing but T-bob jittering in the background. Scott then knocked softly on the door, yet no one replied. Scott rested his head against the door and closed his eyes. “Ummm T-bob,” He says in a sickish tone. “I don’t feel so good. All this medication is making me fell nauseated. I think maybe you should go get dad,” Scott suggested.
T-bob said, extremely worried, “See? I told you. This is what you get when you hop out of bed. All right, just wait right here I’ll be back in a jiffy.”
As soon as T-bob disappeared out of sight, Scott opened his eyes and walked into Matt’s study. He noticed a pile of files on his desk and proceeded towards them. Scott sat behind the desk and grabbed the file on the far left of the desk, “I wonder what this is.”
He opened it and couldn’t believe that the file belonged to Roxanne. Scott was tempted to know more about his new sister, so he decided to breeze through some of it. The file was mostly a collection of police reports, medical and school records, and basically the most important aspects of Roxanne’s history. Scott read it silently to himself.
“The girl was found by her next door neighbor about 6pm Friday night. The neighbor claims she was worried when Rebecca missed work for the past few days, and Roxanne never showed up at her bus stop. The front door was left unlocked and there were no signs of a forced entry into the house. Also all valuables found in the house were left intact. The neighbor notice there was a strange smell coming from the inside as she entered the house. She then found the 6 year old girl resting next to her deceased mother. The girl was in complete shock. She was not moving nor responding to anything. The coroner believes that the girl was by her mother’s side 3 days prior to her killing. We’re absolutely certain the girl knows who murdered her mother, but we were unable to question the girl. She will not talk to anybody. Fortunately, we were able to track the killer from some finger prints and hair samples found left in the house. All evidence points to Miles Mayhem, head of the terrorist organization VENOM. A warrant has been already issued in his name and so are several others ranging in several areas. We hope the government will succeed in their efforts in capturing the killer, until then this will stay upon his record. Waiting for the day when he will face Judgment. The girl will be taken to Washington’s Children’s Hospital where she will receive treatment. As far as we can tell the girl has no living known relatives.”
Dr. Foster Notes:
“Roxanne Trakker was a resident at the Washington’s Children’s Hospital for 4 years. It was fairly obvious the girl had a difficult time dealing with her mother’s death. Such a traumatic experience as hers can put anybody into shock. She will not speak to anyone and has locked herself away into her own world. Her experiences have caused insomnia and at other times she stares off reliving that horrible memory. This leads to paranoia and forces us to restrain her. Even though she has trouble making acquaintances and interacting with other people, I feel that by moving her to a place with more children she might be able to open up more. Possibly resulting in her growing up like a normal child. She now capable of speaking again and I feel she is able to cope with her mother’s death to a certain level. I recommend she continue to take her medication and be re-evaluated every 3 months until a full recovery can be achieved.”
Scott was reading it all word for word, he completely forgot that his father was soon to be on his way.
Meanwhile in Boulder Hill, Matt showed Inaya the meeting room. Inaya was rather interested in the entire place, and couldn’t wait for her chance to see Condor.
Bruce was over at the computer checking out several satellite photos of possible locations of VENOM’s hideout. Matt, hiding his anger, said, “Bruce, I want you to meet Brad replacement, Ivy Green.”
Bruce turned around and smiled at Inaya cum Ivy Green. “It’s a pleasure to meet such a beautiful lady.”
Inaya laughed, “Ok Bruce cut the flattery. I don’t expect to be treated any differently cause I’m a woman.”
Matt shook his head, “Maybe you should talk to Gloria, if you want to get heavy on that subject. We’ve already dealt with most those issues the first month MASK was in commission.”
Bruce could tell something was up; Matt was definitely acting a bit hot headed.
“Well Matt, are you going to take me to see my vehicle or what?” Inaya said impatiently. Matt nodded and started to lead the way to the garage.
Just then T-bob come driving in on scooter-mode. He talked, practically out of breath, “I’ve been looking for you everywhere.”
Matt moved over to T-bob, “What is it?” T-bob spoke with haste, “Scott’s out of bed and he needs help. He’s outside the study.”
Matt took off running towards the transport. Inaya ran after him, also worried.
“Wait for me!”
Scott looked up from the file. He couldn’t imagine what it felt like, finding your own mother dead. He hardly even knew his real parents, who had died in a car accident when he was little. If only Roxanne could have read this, she would see the truth. This was probably the one thing that could bring her into the light and stop her from running away from her own problems. The worst part was that she was in the hands of the same man who killed her mother and her uncle.
The door to the study flew open and Scott literally jumped out of his chair. Matt said in a sort-of out of breath voice, “Scott? I thought you were sick.”
Scott said in an innocent tone, “I started to feel better.”
Inaya appeared behind Matt and moved closer to Scott. She grabbed the file forcefully out of his hands. She looked disappointed in both him and Matt. “More like snooping around in stuff that doesn’t concern you. This is exactly what I mean, Trakker. You wonder why you have security leaks. Now your son is brown nosing in your work.”
Scott burst out, “I would never give that information out!” Matt walked over to his son and led him out of the room, “Scott just go to your room.”
Scott said in disbelief, “Dad?” Matt stopped at the door, as soon as Scott was out of the room, “Not now. We’ll talk about it later. Go back to bed.”
Scott looked at him angrily, “You know it’s always later and never now. You never tell me what’s going on anymore.” Scott stormed off towards his bedroom. Matt was speechless as he watched him walk away. Inaya glanced at Matt. Matt could read her expression. It was obviously saying,” Don’t you think you ought to go talk to the boy?”
Matt was about to go after Scott, but Bruce was calling for Matt off the intercom in the study. Matt walked over to the intercom on his desk and pressed the button. “What is it Bruce?”
Bruce said in a confused voice, “Matt, I’m receiving an encrypted message. Give me a moment to analyze it.”
Inaya asked Matt, “Who would send an encrypted message? Do you have a source that I don’t know about?”
Matt shook his head, “Really I don’t have any idea.” Matt leaned on his desk curiously pondering where this message was coming from.
Bruce came back on the intercom, “The message claims that VENOM is going to infiltrate a military test site, known as Area 53. That’s all the message says Matt. What are you planning to do?”
Matt replies,” Give me a few minutes and I’ll get back to you.” Inaya was trying to remember everything she could about Area 53, “You know I’ve read about area 53 somewhere, but I don’t think it’s a weapon test site.”
Matt says nodding, “Well I don’t believe VENOM really needs any more fire power. I think they’d be more interested in something that gave them an advantage defensively. So what exactly do they test at area 53?”
Inaya walked over to Matt’s phone and picked it up, “Well I have friends in the Pentagon. Hopefully they’ll be willing enough to give us a grand tour to check the site out.”
About five hours later, after getting clearance to enter Area 53 Inaya, Matt, and Bruce were already on their way there. Inaya agreed to ride with Matt in Thunderhawk. She wasn’t exactly familiar with Condor controls nor was she dressed to drive it. Bruce followed behind them in Rhino. Inaya looked over to Matt, “Don’t you think we should bring in a bigger attack force? Venom could attack the base. We wouldn’t be a match for them with two vehicles.”
Matt didn’t like the idea of her questioning his choice of action. “Ivy, VENOM is not going to do anything that’s going to draw attention to them. If they did Mayhem would risk losing his safe house. Mostly likely he’s probably going to send in one or two of his agents to go in and grab whatever it is he is after.”
Ivy a.k.a. Inaya glanced out the window. “So in other words, he’s sending his agents in under cover.”
Matt nodded, “One of Mayhem least favorite tactics when it comes to getting what he wants.”
Inaya smirked at that comment, “That might change if he keeps up his winning streak. Well then we have no idea if they’ve already hit the target or they could be there right this minute.”
Matt concentrated on driving, “Well all we can do is look for clues, and maybe if we’re lucky we can get ourselves an agent.”
Area 53 was practically out in the middle of nowhere. There were only a few buildings in the area and it was heavily guarded by military personnel. As Thunderhawk and Rhino pulled up to the main building, a man in his late 40s and in a military uniform approached them. The look on his face suggested that they were not welcome.
Colonel Mayborn was against the idea of letting MASK on his base; of course he had no choice but to follow orders from the Pentagon. Colonel Mayborn was a stubborn man; he believed that only the Army should handle the terrorist organization VENOM. Mayborn even pleaded to the PNA once, claiming that the army would have brought those terrorist in by now and the threat would have been annihilated. He thought the idea that VENOM would even attempt to break onto his base was ludicrous. Also after hearing what Matt Trakker did to save his kids, he was rather suspicious of his visit.
Matt, Inaya, and Bruce approached him. Matt spoke in a friendly tone, “Colonel Mayborn it was nice of you to let us visit, on such short notice. I’d like you to meet my associates Bruce Sato and Ivy Green.” Colonel Mayborn stood there, not even bothering to make a friendly gesture.
“Ok Matt, what little scheme are you planning here? At the moment you have a bad reputation, and I’m not even 100% certain I should even let you walk through that door.”
Inaya stepped forward, “Colonel I was under the impression you didn’t have a choice. I made an agreement, as long as he doesn’t walk in there by himself he’s cleared.” Matt felt strange about this. He felt more like a criminal then the leader of MASK.
The Colonel grinned, “Let’s get this over with. When this little tour is over with, I expect each and every one of ya off my base.”
Matt said in a serious tone, “That’s all were asking for.” The Colonel led them towards the huge medal door of the building. He pulled out his security card, and then placed his hand on a scanner. The door opened to reveal an elevator. As they stepped into the elevator and it descended, Matt turned and looked towards the Colonel.
Matt asked, “Have there been any reports of suspicious behavior or anything turning up missing?”
The Colonel smiled and said bluntly, “No and you’re all wasting your time. Nobody besides the people who work here can get into this base. Without the proper card and hand print you can’t get anywhere. Security is tight and not even an ant could get in here. We have all the latest in technology since this is a new base, and there isn’t one spot that isn’t monitored.”
Inaya asked, “How many entry points do you have?”
The Colonel wanted to laugh; they were actually trying to find a weak point to his perfect base, “This elevator is the only entrance.”
Bruce jumps into the conversation, “But surely you must have more than one way out. Else you’d have a panic on your hands if an emergency rose.
Colonel nodded, “Trying to outsmart me Mr. Sato? A base is designed to keep people out not in. There are a few emergency exits from the underground to the surface. They are sealed from the inside and are cleverly disguised. Again each one is monitored at all times and there is an alarm attached to each and every one of them.”
The elevator stopped on the 12th floor below ground. The Colonel stepped out of the elevator, “If you’ll follow me we’ll start our little tour.” He led them into a private viewing area that looked out over several labs on the 13th floor. Each of them glanced into the lab where several people were dressed in white protective suits from head to toe. The Colonel looked down as well.
“So you want to know what we do at area 53. Basically, we work on defensive technology that our boys can use in action. Shielding capabilities, camouflage, and anything that might help our boys gain an advantage on the battle field. Down there is our latest discovery. Our scientists have figured out a way to make metal transparent. Matt was actually surprised by this, “Invisibility. That is incredible. How are you able to do that?”
The Colonel looked at Matt, “Well when you come back with proper clearance, I might tell ya the secret. All I can tell ya is that they’ve developed some sort of liquid metal, that when it is shocked by the right frequencies causes something to become transparent. The whole process is rather complex and only they understand it, ” He motions his head toward the men and women below.” He adds, “All formulae and projects at this test site are stashed away safely, so there isn’t any worry that it might fall into the wrong hands. Now if you’ll follow me we’ll move onto the next room.”
Each of them followed after him.
Down in the lab people were moving all over the place and were too busy to notice their uninvited visitor. The stranger moved through the lab practically unnoticed. The doctors and scientist were too busy working on their own individual problems to notice. Everybody wore the same protective suit, so unless you spoke to the person face to face. You really had no idea who you were talking too.
The stranger made it to the opposite side of the room and pulled out a card from the pocket of the suit. Of course the card’s rightful owner was resting uncomfortably in a cramp locker. The stranger worked hastily, grabbing a sample of some liquid metal and a file from a nearby filing cabinet.
In a matter of minutes after properly storing each item, the stranger made her way back to the locker room laughing under her suit. Vanessa hated wearing that monkey suit, but it was a great way to move in and out quickly without being noticed. She removed the suit and hung it up back where she got it from. She took extra precaution to blend in on this mission. Her hair was dyed blond and grown out a bit. She also wore contact lens that changed the color of her eyes.
She opened one of the lockers and there inside was the poor, unfortunate doctor who was awake, yet tied up and gagged. She grabbed the lab coat above him, “Don’t worry at about 5 or 6 somebody will hear you and let ya out.” She put the coat on and slammed the door shut. She pounded on the locker as she walked away. She smiled another job well done, and all she and Rax needed to do was to get out of this place.
A couple times she had considered paying Colonel Mayborn a nice little visit. His so-called impenetrable base had been far too easy for her and Rax to get into.
Vanessa made her way to the elevator slowly and with a firm grip on her bag. Just as she was waiting for the elevator Colonel Mayborn lead his three visitors towards her.
The Colonel was glad to get rid of Matt and his group after 2 hours. “Well I hope your satisfied with your visit. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do. Take the elevator to the surface, and if I find out you don’t make it. I’ll put ya all under arrest.”
Matt didn’t bother trying to compete with him, “All right then thank you for the information Colonel. If you have any problems please keep us informed.”
The Colonel nodded unhappily,” Good day.” He then took off. Vanessa stood there calmly glancing at her watch. All she had to do was make it to the 4th floor where Rax was at.
The elevator finally made it and all four of them stepped into the elevator. Inaya turned to look at Matt and Bruce. “You know after all that, the only thing I think they might be interested in is that liquid metal.”
Matt agreed. “That was exactly what I was thinking, they could use that to cover up the laser and keep it hidden.”
Vanessa looked towards them and was sort of interested in this conversation. Vanessa intruded and altered her voice to sound more professional, “Excuse me, but how do you know all this information? It’s suppose to be top secret.”
Bruce replied, “Colonel Mayborn was showing us around the base.”
Vanessa smiled, “Well in that case I won’t have to call security. My name is Doctor Halanski, and I’m head of the research department of that particular project.”
Bruce smiled and asked, “Well then Doctor Halanski do you think it’s possible to use that cloaking technology on a big laser.”
Vanessa thought for a moment before answering, “I doubt it. Depending on the size you’d need a vast amount of that liquid metal. Plus the frequency of the laser would interrupt the frequency needed to keep the item hidden in its surroundings.”
The elevator then stopped on the 4th floor and Vanessa stepped out of the elevator. Matt smiled, “Thank you for that information doctor.”
She stopped and turns to look at them as she steps out of the elevator. She smiles, “You’re welcome.” Just as the elevator doors were about to close she couldn’t resist adding another line, “Oh by the way, why on earth would VENOM make their laser invisible, when it’s already hidden in a great place?”
All three of them stood there in silence for a second. Matt was the first to yell out her name, “Vanessa!” The doors closed and the elevator started moving again. Vanessa pulled out her radio, “Sly you still in the control room?”
Sly answered happily, “Yeah the guards are out like sleeping babies.”
She said in an evil tone, “Do me a favor shut the elevator down.”
Sly looked at the monitor of the three individuals trying to get the elevator to go back to the 4th floor and laughed,” No problem.”
Inaya and Bruce were pushing buttons like crazy. Inaya was frustrated, “Come on you stupid thing go back down!”
When the elevator came to a stop they all exchanged a glance. Matt said, leaning against the wall, “You hit the stop button didn’t you?”
Inaya shouted back,” No, we did not hit the red button.”
Bruce tried hitting the fourth floor button again, “It’s not working, let me try calling the control room.” Bruce grabbed the phone, “Hello somebody there?”
Sly Rax answered the phone, “Yes….”
Bruce said desperately, “We need help we’re trapped in the elevator and…”
Rax watches them in the monitor, “Yeah I can see that but unfortunately the guys’ are probably not going to come to for couple of hours.” Bruce recognized the voice and his jaw dropped.
Rax said just before hanging up, “You know… if you all jump up and down a couple times. You could get lucky and the elevator might move again.”
Bruce hung the phone up, “It’s hopeless! Sly Rax has control of their control room.”
Matt hit the wall, “I can’t believe it. We let her slip right through out fingers!”
Inaya says just as unhappily, “You’re not the only one who feels bad about it. Of course by the time we get out of here they’ll be long gone.”
All three of them looked up at the panel in the elevator and knew it was the only way out at the moment. Inaya said, “I tell you one thing- I’m defiantly not going to rot in here with you two.” Inaya kicked her heels off and looked to Matt.
Matt moved over the hatch, “You’ll need a lift.”
Inaya smirked, “Of course, but if you look up you’re dead.” At moments like this Inaya wished she wasn’t wearing a skirt. After this, she vowed was never going to wear a skirt for any military business again. Bruce helped Inaya get up on Matt’s shoulder. Inaya pounded away on the hatch door.
Matt said, trying to hold her up. “Have you got it yet? You’re not exactly light.”
Inaya says angrily, “Well I’m working as fast as I can, this thing is tight.” She finally got it knocked open and pulled herself up. Matt gave Bruce a lift up after Inaya. Matt had to jump up a couple times before he actually could grab a hold of the opening. Both Bruce and Inaya pulled him up.
All they had to do was climb up the wall towards the door on the 2nd floor and get it open. Inaya looked at them a smile, “Gentlemen first.”
Matt went first and started climbing up, “I’m telling you this has been one crazy day.” Matt reached the door and used all his muscle to get the door open to the 2nd floor. Both Bruce and Inaya climbed up after him, exhausted. Matt rushed over to nearby phone, and called Colonel Mayborn.
Mayborn answered. “Trakker, why the hell are you still on my base?”
Matt said urgently, “The elevator was sabotaged and we got stuck in it. I’m afraid you’ve already been hit Mayborn. Vanessa Warfield and Sly Rax took over your control room and snatched whatever they were after.”
Mayborn laughed, “You have to be joking.” Matt says serious, “Go see for yourself, by now they’re probably long gone.”
Mayborn still didn’t want to believe them, “If the elevator’s out how on earth could they of gotten out of here? The alarm hasn’t gone off yet.”
Matt asked arrogantly, “Are the alarm controls in the control room?”
Mayborn raised a brow, “Yes…”
Matt wanted to scream it in his face, “Then that’s why!!” I suggest you get your men on top looking for them and get this elevator working.” Matt hung up the phone and slumped down on the ground. Both Bruce and Inaya joined him.
Inaya sighed, “I hate that guy, he’s so arrogant.”
Bruce looked towards both of them, “One thing for sure, we’ll find out what they took after they do an inventory check.”
Matt said unhappily, “That could take a while. Maybe Vanessa gave us a hint.”
Bruce sat there remembering what Vanessa said, “She said why would VENOM use it on a laser that well-hidden. From what she told us VENOM couldn’t use it on the laser any way.”
Inaya also looked deep in thought, “She could have lied.”
Matt looked to her, “Maybe or they might have another purpose for it. I guess were going to have to wait again.”
Bruce said unhappily, “Something tells me the surprise is bigger than we imagine.”
Matt smirked, “That’s one way to put it.”
Roxanne stood there holding a water hose in her hand, on the bottom level of VENOM base. She let the hose’s water spray uncontrollably against Switch Blade. She absolutely hated this job and couldn’t stand how boring it was. To make her job more exciting, she took it upon herself to provide some entertainment. There was no way to bring in a regular radio into the garage; the sound waves never seemed to penetrate far below the surface. So she did the next best thing. Roxanne opened her mouth and started to sing her heart out. Of course, she chose to sing the most annoying song that could pop into her head: Britney Spears, “Oops I did it again.”
Roxanne knew very well that she didn’t have a great singing voice and she didn’t care. Even though she was having a blast, several other agents were suffering dearly. They would cover their ears, talk louder, and even attempt to shut her up. Unfortunately Roxanne threatened them in return, claiming she’d make up some corny lie that Mayhem would believe. After their attempts to quiet her failed, she just sang louder with a bigger smile on her face. About every ten minutes, somebody else would sneak their way towards the elevator seeking relief and a hand full of aspirin.
Roxanne laughed as she saw the last man standing rush over towards the elevator. Roxanne shut the hose off, “I don’t think I sounded that bad.” She set the hose down next to a bucket and some rags. She stretched out, “Finally some peace and quiet, I really shouldn’t be working this hard. Bruno’s supposed to be doing this, not me.” She sighs,” I’m never going to play poker with Bruno again, especially when he stakes his chores.”
Roxanne headed over to Switch Blade and opened the hatch. She jumped inside and snuggles into the seat yawning, “All this work is making me tired. No one’s going to mind if I take a nap.”
Twenty minutes went by until the elevator door opened. A man walked into the garage and curiously noticed that there was no one around. He started to walk towards a bike parked in the corner of the garage, but stumbled right over a bucket full of soap.
Roxanne woke up instantly, “I’m up! I’m up!” She peeked out of Switch Blade to see where the racket was coming from.
Brad stood by the knocked over bucket. His shoes were soaked in soap and water,” You shouldn’t leave this stuff out like that; you nearly gave me a heart attack tripping over it.”
Roxanne hopped out of Switch Blade, “Well maybe if you wouldn’t wear those stupid shades indoors like a normal person, you would have seen them there. What are you doing down here anywise? You trying to make a run for it?”
Brad stepped out of the puddle on the floor and looked to her, “I just came down here to check my bike. I was afraid one of the guys might have tampered with it.” Ever since Brad showed up several of the guys had been constantly on his back. Every day Roxy would see him in the mess hall with new decorative bruises on his face. It was obvious she wasn’t the only one suspicious of his existence on the base. Even though Brad was becoming a punching bag, he never fought back. Roxanne figured if he really wanted to fight in he’d hit back, else he had wimp written all over his forehead.
Brad walked over to his bike and started to checks it out. He then glanced over to her direction, “I was also hoping to run into you. After hearing several of the guys complain, I kind of figured I’d find you here.”
She laughed, “So you’re going to give me singing lessons?”
Brad smiled slightly, “Maybe later. Actually somebody took away my access to the computer in the rec. room. I figured you might be able to help me out and….”
Roxanne cuts him off, “Yeah I know about that, cause I did it. So cut the BS you’re not getting it back.”
Brad said in a serious tone, “Well I want it back. Now!” She mocks him, “Or you’ll what, tell on me? I know you’ve been sending messages to the outside, who I don’t know. But for a man who’s supposed to be hiding you sure want to be found.”
Brad tried to reason with her, “I’m trying to blackmail somebody. I really need to have access to that computer.”
Roxanne rolled her eyes in disbelief, “Who do I look like, Cliff Dagger? I’m not stupid enough to actually believe that mumbo jumbo.” Roxanne reached down to pick the bucket off the floor.
Brad grabbed her arm and forced her to look at him, “You know this isn’t a game. You mean absolutely nothing to VENOM.”
Roxanne pulled away and laughed, “I think maybe you have that backwards.” Roxanne pointed her finger into Brad chest, “You see you’re the one who means absolutely nothing, meanwhile I serve a higher purpose.”
Brad smirked, “cleaning and picking up after VENOM.” She held her fist tightly, “Oh I see what you’re doing. You’re trying to use reverse psychology to get what you want. Well I got news for you. Soon I’ll have my own mask and vehicle, and they won’t be some little kid’s toys- we’re talking the real thing. I’ve proven myself worthy of being here and Mayhem has even adopted me as his own daughter, if that isn’t proof enough. You on the other hand have nothing to show for.”
Brad asked her curiously, “What about your real father?”
Roxanne looked to the ground, “He’s a cold blooded killer who doesn’t care about me.”
Brad replied back, “So is the man you call your father now.”
She looked straight into his eyes and said with a strong belief, “At least he didn’t kill my mother.”
Just then the elevator opened and Vanessa steps out, “Hey Roxy it’s time.”
Roxanne dropped everything with excitement. She rushed over towards the elevator, “All right!”
Vanessa motions for Brad to join them as well, “Come along you’re not going to want to miss the big surprise.” Brad moved towards the both of them. Brad knew what was going to be unveiled, but was the surprise really what he expected.
Everybody was gathered around in the warehouse, on the ground level of VENOM base. Vanessa, Roxy, and Brad had to push their way through the crow of VENOM and contra world agents, to get front row seats to the main attraction. Vanessa nodded to Mayhem which gave him the signal that everyone was present. Roxanne glanced up at the 20 foot long laser that was attached to a long truck platform.
Roxanne’s mind pondered, “Wow this is really it and I can smell victory actually approaching.” Her eyes then glanced over to an object which was covered by a white sheet. She knew what it was and tried to control herself. She couldn’t keep the huge smile down off her face, but she tried her hardest to hold back the excitement.
Mayhem stood up on the platform, next to the laser, “My fellow Agents this is the moment of truth. We hold the key,” he let his hand rest upon the laser, “to destroying MASK, and finally gaining the well-deserved respect from the world leaders and the PNA. From this moment on WE are the ones in power and feared by everyone!”
Roxanne crossed her arms thinking, “Gee he must have spent all day writing this crap. Since when does he use the word ‘we’ to replace ‘I’?”
Mayhem looked out among his agents, “Our first step will be to utterly humiliate MASK and show the world we are a threat and we mean business. Shortly after, we’ll show up and pay MASK a little visit in their own backyard leaving nothing left of their base. This will mean the end of MASK, and then nothing can stand in our way.”
Everyone cheered with enjoyment as Mayhem rallied up his agents with a burning fire of rage. Mayhem stepped down from the platform and moved over towards the object covered by a white sheet,” Of course, we also have a new addition to our defenses, to make sure we are unbeatable.” Roxy’s eyes lit up. She bit her lip as her eyes glanced heavily on the object. This is what she had been dreaming about all her life. Mayhem removed the sheet to reveal a Suzuki GSX-R1100 motorcycle, which was painted purple with black tiger stripes. Roxanne jaw dropped as she saw it.
Even Brad was shocked about how nice the bike looked. He couldn’t believe anyone from VENOM could own a better bike then his. Mayhem looked at Roxanne and motioned a hand for her to come closer, “My dear I honor my promise, here is your vehicle, Chameleon.”
Roxanne wasted no time rushing over towards her bike. She ran her hand over it letting her ambitions of taking the bike overcome her. Of course, she couldn’t take it for a spin until she knew how to operate it. She look to Mayhem with gleaming eyes, “What does it do?”
Vanessa cracked a smile and moved towards her, “Well there is a good reason why we call it Chameleon. Allow me to demonstrate.”
Roxy and Mayhem backed away from the vehicle a couple of feet. Vanessa hopped on the cycle and hit the switch on one of the handlebars to activate the weaponry. The two headlights converted into two laser guns and a rocket launcher appeared on both sides of the bike. Roxy said smiling and practically jumping with joy, “Cool!” Roxanne knew she was over reacting at Mayhem’s present, but she didn’t care.
Vanessa reassured her, “That’s not all, allow me to give the full demonstration, before you lose your head.” Vanessa pressed her body down towards the bike and activated another switch, causing the entire bike to be covered by a black thick shell.
Roxy jumped back as she watched how fast the shell quickly engulfed the bike, “How am I going to drive with no visibility?”
Mayhem spoke up, “The windshield inside the car is like a computer screen. It gives you several angles of view and night vision. That thick shell you see around the bike is bullet proof and can withstand a good beating before actually breaking. Which leads to the best part- keep your eyes on the bike. Go ahead Vanessa.”
Roxanne watched curiously as a shiny silver metal like liquid began to cover the outer shell of the bike. After the bike was covered by the liquid metal, there was a blinding flash of light that came from the vehicle. Roxanne turned away for a moment to readjust her eyes, but when she looked back the bike was gone. She looked over to Mayhem confused, “Where?”
Mayhem said, quite proud of his latest design, “It’s still here in that same spot.”
After a few minutes the bike became visible again, and Vanessa hopped off the bike. Roxanne stilled had her eyes locked onto her bike and said in a trilled voice, “so basically, the enemy is never going to know where I’m coming from when I hit them.”
Vanessa walked over to her and said, correcting her statement, “Not necessarily. After doing some testing we’ve noticed that the bike is unable to maintain its invisibility when using your arsenal. So as long as you don’t fire you’ll stay hidden.”
Roxanne sat on the seat of her new bike, “This is great, but where’s the full package? What about my mask?”
Nash Gorey approached them with the mask in his arms, “I have it right here. Just had to put a few minor last minute adjustments on it.” Roxanne didn’t look too thrilled to see Nash and there was always bad blood between them. Nash despised the girl computer hacker, she invaded his turf. He felt that she was taking over his role in VENOM, and soon he’d be out of the job. If Roxy hadn’t popped up in the first place, Nash would have received full credit from hacking into the military’s system for the new laser’s plans. Roxanne never minded the fact that Nash was VENOM computer expert, before she came along. She figured he’d just have to get use to it and accept the idea. She hated the way he always sucked up to Mayhem, trying to be the boss’s pet. Nash handed the black mask in the shape of a cobra’s head to Roxy. At first Roxy was thinking possible foul play, since she didn’t trust Nash. But he wouldn’t do anything that would endanger his position or upset the boss. Roxy glanced into the purple jeweled eyes of the mask.
“Ya keep starring into Medusa it’ll turn ya to stone,” Nash joked and laughed in his nerdy tone.
Roxanne glared at him, “How about I bury you in stone?” She put the mask on, “Let me try this out!”
Vanessa stops her, “Um hun not in here. If you miss Nash and hit the laser, Mayhem not going to be trilled.”
Roxanne takes it off, “Shucks. I guess another time.” Vanessa began to explain the function of the mask, “I’m afraid it doesn’t turn things into stone. Instead, it immobilizes people and electrical equipment. You see energy pulses are emitted from the eyes.”
Roxanne looked as though she wasn’t really listening to what Vanessa was saying, “Ohhhh. Well this is all awesome. If you don’t mind I really want to spend a few hours getting acquainted with my new partner.”
Mayhem nodded, “all right, but you better not go too far. I expect you to be careful as well, the last thing I need you to do is attract attention.”
Roxanne said innocently, “Attract attention? I’ll be invisible.”
Mayhem gave her a stern look, “I mean shooting your mask and guns out in public.”
Roxanne smiles, “Oh well why would I want to go do something like that?” Roxanne put her mask on and hopped onto Chameleon. Roxanne turned the key on her bike and pulled back on the handle a few times to hear the engine roar a few times.
Vanessa added something else before Roxanne took off,” Roxy, make sure you don’t aim your mask at your vehicle.”
Roxanne made a funny expression under her mask, “Well duh.” In just a matter of seconds she was gone and out of the door of the warehouse on her new bike.
Vanessa shook her head, “She’s going to get in trouble I just know it.”
Brad steps up beside her,” Well if I was in her position, I’d do the same thing.”
Chameleon drove down the dark highway about 90 mph. It passed two cop cars, who were hidden waiting to catch the typical speeders and drunk drivers. Sure the cops heard the sound of something speeding down the road, but they had no image to put with it. So instead, they disregarded it as the wind playing tricks on their ears. Roxanne loved the idea of nobody seeing her, she could go anywhere with no one telling her she was going too fast or the wrong way. The only thing was she had to be more aware of her surroundings; else somebody would bump into her and send her crashing.
A light was blinking on the windshield of Chameleon, but Roxanne ignored it. Somebody was trying to get contact with her, but she refused to accept the transmission. She already knew what Vanessa or Mayhem was going to say, “Where heck are you? I want you back here this instant. Don’t you know were leaving for San Francisco tomorrow?”
She shook her head trying to stay awake, “I’ll be back tomorrow, before we leave. At the rate I’m driving, I could get to San Francisco before them.” After spending two hours getting aquatinted with her bike and mask, Roxanne figured she’d go take a little trip to take care of some unfinished business. She knew it was selfish to put her personal life before her friends and comrades, but this was important to her. If she answered that call and told somebody where she was going, she’d probably be branded as a traitor.
She pondered the punishment she would get for telling her objective, “Better yet they’ll send one of the guys after me and I’ll get to put this baby in action. Naa they wouldn’t do that. They’re too busy getting ready for VENOM’s typical plan of attack. First pick a major city on a map, then threaten, and finally lay out a trap for MASK. Except this time the trap will actually work, maybe if the guys put it together right.
Chameleon stopped in front of a huge locked gate and revealed itself. Roxanne pressed a button to remove the shell covering over Chameleon, sat up and stretched her back. She hopped off the bike and cracked her back a few times, “Gee that’s not really made for long trips.”
Her eyes glanced through the bars on the gate towards the Trakker mansion, “Why did I come back? This is stupid.” She shakes her head, “Well I’m here I might as well get it over with.” Roxanne grabbed Chameleon and walked it over to a group of bushes, on the opposite side of the road, meanwhile leaving her mask with her bike. She then walked over to one of the several trees planted next to the brick wall outlining Trakker’s property. Roxanne climbed up the tree with haste, then jumps onto the wall from a nearby branch. She glanced about curiously and hops down rushing towards some cover, “What am I worried for, this is just going to be a short visit. Besides, I bet the camera at the front gate already got a nice shot of me. If somebody knew I was here, they’d be out looking for me right this instant.” She moved swiftly towards the house taking cover from whatever she could find on the lawn.
The house looked quiet and dead, except for the light that was on in the study. Her eyes glanced at the window with the light. It was obvious Matt Trakker was in that room working after hours. For a moment she felt the thirst of revenge overcome her feelings, “Now would be the perfect time to strike. He’d never expect it, my mother didn’t.” She sat on the ground, talking to herself softly trying to give an excuse, “I can’t, it will screw everything up. It would interfere with VENOM’s plans, and I’d have the police chasing after me. Next time when this is over with I’ll come back, by then he will fear me.”
Roxanne moved further down the house and looks up at one of the upstairs windows. She swoops up a few rocks that she could scavenge off the ground. The first stone hit the window smack dab in the center. Roxanne glanced in the direction of the study, hoping Matt wasn’t alert about the noise. All she wanted to do was have a talk with Scott and avoid any contact with her father. She then threw two more stones at the window, “Come on Scott you sleepy head get up.”
Scott opened his eyes slightly as he was awakened to the noise of stones hitting his window. He yawned as he opened the window. Just as he stuck his head out the window to see where the racket was coming from, a stone went flying through the air straight at this forehead. Scott put his hand over his head, “Ouch!”
Roxanne covers her mouth as she moved into sight, “Sorry I wasn’t paying attention.”
Scott recognized the voice and looked down surprised, “What are you doing here besides trying to kill me again?”
She insisted, “Keep it down I don’t want him to know I’m here. Actually I really don’t know why, I just had to come. I needed to see in the flesh that you were all right.” She looks down, “I…I feel bad about what happened, sure you drove me crazy a few times, but you didn’t deserve that.”
Scott leaned out the window, “Oh so throwing rocks at my head is more appropriate?”
She shouted, “Oh drop it already! I’m sorry Scott! If you want I’ll take a bullet for you when I get back! How else do you want me to say I’m sorry?”
Scott smiled, “I think you just did and I’m pretty sure Dad heard that.”
Roxanne hits herself in the head, “For once I’d like to think before I do something.”
Matt raised his head up from his loads of paper work after hearing the yelling. He recognized the voice immediately after he heard it, “She’s back…Scott!” He rushed out of the study towards his room.
Scott asked, “Where are you going exactly?”
She smiled, “I can’t tell ya it’s top secret. If I could take you along for the adventure I would. Well I better get going, if I don’t make it back in time they’ll take off without me. I guess this is good bye Scott, I doubt I’ll ever see you again. So you won’t have to worry about me trying to kill ya for the third time. So long Scott.”
Scott says silently to himself, “I wouldn’t count on that.” Roxanne waves to him and starts to turn and walk away.
Scott yelled out, “Wait! I need to tell you something.”
Roxanne replied back, “What? I’m kind of in a hurry!”
Scott shouted back, “I know who killed your mother it was…”
Just then Matt stormed into Scott’s room, “Where is she?” Matt rushed over towards the window his son was sticking his head out of. Matt looked out the window and glanced down at Roxanne.
Roxanne waved at Matt, “Next time Trakker, I’ll be back for your head.” She rushed towards the main gate.
Matt pushed Scott aside and headed as quickly as possible outside. Of course by the time he made it to the front gate she was nowhere in sight. He breathed heavily, “Where did she go?”
Matt walked back up towards the house, meanwhile Scott walks towards him. Matt looked at his son’s face, “She hurt you.”
Scott pushed his hand away gently, “It’s nothing. It was an accident.”
Matt looked down on him not believing a word, “Nothing with that girl is an accident, she plans ahead for everything.”
Scott mumbles, “Just like you, a chip off the old block if you ask me.”
Matt stopped dead in his tracks. Scott never talked back him, until Roxanne showed up. Matt said feeling a bit angry, “You have something to say Scott?”
Scott looked him in the face, “Yeah I do. You know she came here to apologize to me, despite what it may look like. You heard her, didn’t you?”
Matt replied back, “Of course and you also heard how she threatened me.”
Scott crossed his arms, “From the looks of it, she doesn’t know any better. She’s been blinded by the truth all her life.”
Matt shook his head, “She’s a part of VENOM, and as long as she stays with them she becomes more like them.” Scott says in a softer tone, “No I think she becomes more like you, but on the opposite side of the war. Dad…She called me in the hospital. How many VENOM’s agents would actually call their victims after shooting them? She felt guilty about it and she was right I do understand why she shot me. She did it to hurt you for taking away the one person that meant everything to her.” A tear falls down Scott cheek, “Dad she couldn’t kill me, she didn’t hate me as much as she thought she could.”
There was a moment of silence before Matt could act. Matt wrapped his arms around his son, “I understand now.”
Scott looked up at him, “Please forgive her for not knowing.”
Matt kissed Scott head, “All right I’ll forgive her.”
Scott smiled, “Then all we need to do is give her that file and everything will straighten itself out.”
Matt looked down at him, “Maybe. She won’t listen to me, and there is one thing I can do, but it’s a long shot.”
Scott suggests, “You can take me with you.”
Matt shook his head, “No not this time. It will be far too dangerous. To tell you the truth, for the first time I’m actually worried about the future. I fear some of us might not make it back.”
Scott looked worried, “Don’t say that dad. You’re the good guys- you’re supposed to win.”
Matt turned Scott’s frown into a smile, “You’re right, we will win.” Matt grabs Scott and throws him over his shoulder.
Scott laughed, “Dad put me down I’m not a kid anymore.”
Matt set him down and ruffled his hair, “Funny you still look like one, now off to bed hot shot.” Both Matt and Scott headed inside the house.
Roxanne drove Chameleon into VENOM headquarters, about a quarter to noon. Everybody was in a rush to leave for San Francisco. She slightly hoped that everybody would be too busy, to even notice that she just got back. She turned off the engine of Chameleon and took off her mask. She felt tired and bags were showing under her eyes. She drove straight to Trakker’s mansion and back. If she had made any stops, then she wouldn’t have made it back in time.
Mayhem and Vanessa approached her as soon as she got off Chameleon. Mayhem says in an angry voice, “Where the blazes were you? We’re leaving in 40 minutes.”
Her tired eyes look at him wincing, “I had personal business to deal with.”
Mayhem points his finger in her face, “You disobeyed a direct order not to go far.” She yawns, “You have no idea where I’ve been for the last 24 hours. I could of been in town all that time.”
Vanessa crossed her arms, “Your bike has a tracking device.”
She widened her eyes, “No shit, why didn’t I think of that. Anyways next time defined how far is far. I made it back in time I don’t see what the big deal is.”
Vanessa looked down at her disappointed, “We know where you went.”
She looks to her as though it wasn’t a big deal, “So what, I went back there. It doesn’t mean anything.”
Nash walks by gradually listening in on the conversation, “The traitor probably spilled her guts.”
She lunges out at Nash, “You’re dead Nash!”
Bruno stepped in and grabbed her before she could set a finger on Nash.
Mayhem demands, “You better start telling the truth young lady.”
She pushed Bruno away, causing him to let go of her, “Fine, you want the truth. I went back to see Trakker’s son.”
Bruno says in a teasing tone, “ohh Roxy got a boyfriend.”
Mayhem shouts, “Enough Bruno go grab the professor!”
She looks down, “I just went there to find out how he was doing. I…I shot him a few months ago. I felt guilty about it, I’m sorry for leaving like that. I should have told you Vanessa the minute I got back.
Mayhem turned his back and walked away, “Vanessa, take care of this.” He thought this was absolutely ridiculous. He killed several people in his life time and he had never had an inch of regret.
Vanessa still didn’t look too pleased with what Roxy did, “Roxanne I want you to go to your room. You have thirty minutes to get your stuff together and get cleaned up. Then I want you to report back here to Manta.”
Roxanne looked at her questioningly, “Why am I not taking Chameleon?”
Vanessa replied, “Don’t worry Chameleon is coming along, but you’re too tired to drive it. We don’t want you crashing during the eight hour drive.”
Roxy nodded, “Yes ma’am.” She ran off towards the elevator, just before she left Brad walked in front of her.
She sighs, “What do you want? I don’t have time for your games.”
Brad asked curiously, ” I find it hard to believe that a VENOM agent would care so much about her victim.”
She shook her head, “You know, butt out of other people’s conversation’s, spy.”
Brad adds, “Is he all right?”
She pressed the button on the elevator and stepped inside of it, “yeah.”
Brad smiled and walked over to Vanessa. Vanessa shouted over to Cliff Dagger, “Grab Chameleon and fill her up. Then put her on the same rig as the laser.”
Bruno carried Professor Michael on his shoulder. His feet and hands were cuffed together by a tight plastic strips.
He said repeatedly, “I built your laser, now let me go!”
Mayhem looked at him in the face, “Not until we see it works properly.” Dagger placed the old man into the passenger side of Jack hammer.
Vanessa looked to Brad, “You know, you’re coming too.”
Brad looked surprise, “Nobody told me. Well then you better hop to it and get your things together. You’ll be coming with me in Manta.”
Brad ask questioningly, “Why am I coming?”
Vanessa looked at her check list and then to Brad, “Cause Mayhem said so, is that good enough for you or do you have to ask him?”
Brad agreed, “Your right, I’d get hung for asking.”
By 1pm the base was deserted and everyone was on their way to San Francisco. While everyone else was driving and alert, Roxanne lay sound asleep in the back of Manta.
It was a nice cool summer afternoon at the Trakker mansion, but of course all that was about to change. Inaya Vendun, cleverly disguised as Ivy Green, pulled up in her green Ford Ranger. This time she was not dressed in her military uniform, instead she was dressed more casually, wearing jeans and a T-shirt.
Despite the change of appearance, she still had a strong attitude towards Trakker and following her job description. She had no time to sit back and relax. Her investigation of MASK was the utmost importance. The more information she dug out the better her promotion was going to be. She barged into the mansion as though she owned the place. She did not care about respecting Matt or his house hold, all she wanted was answers. As hot headed and irritated as Inaya was becoming, due to her frustrating job, she did not have time for 20 questions from the billionaire. She opened every door and glanced around every corner.
The house maid walked up to Inaya who was snooping around, “Miss Green! I have never seen such rude manners. I would appreciate it if you’d knock next time you decided to visit.”
Inaya a.k.a. Ivy Green stopped peeking and turned to look at her, “Where is he!” Her tone was slightly cold, and maid was a bit scared to face her wrath, “He’s… He’s in the back around the pool.”
Inaya smiled and apologized, “Sorry I’m a bit tensed. I’ve been up the last 48 hours drinking
coffee. I promise I’ll knock next time.”
She hastily walked through the house towards the pool. Trakker was sitting in a lawn chair under a yellow umbrella; meanwhile both Scott and T-bob were playing in the pool. Matt was busy talking to a business partner over his cell phone and keeping a sharp eye on his son in the pool.
Inaya walked up behind him taking him by surprise. She said in a loud angry voice, “Trakker you have some explaining to do!” He turned around and nearly jumped out of his seat as he saw her, “Ivy this is definitely unexpected.”
She yanked the cell phone out of his hand and placed it to her ear, “He’ll call you back.” She hit the end transmission button and slammed the phone on the nearby table.
Matt stood up towering over her with a paranoid expression, “I don’t appreciate you barging in here, disrupting me and my business, and expecting me to drop everything for your sake.”
Inaya said bluntly, “Relax Trakker you’re not putting your private life on hold for me. This issue concerns MASK.”
Matt suggests, “Then you could have called ahead of time or better yet just say so
to being with.”
Inaya crosses her arms, “I’ve been up too long to have patience with anyone.” She turns her head to notice Scott in the pool staring curiously at her, “I would appreciate it if we would go someplace more private for this conversation.”
Matt leads her into the house and into his private study. Matt shuts the door and glances at her wardrobe and tired face, “I see you’re out of uniform major. You look as though you’ve been on a stake out.” She rubs her forehead as she sits down on the leather couch, “I have been. We’ve been staking out Brad Turner’s apartment complex, studio, and any other place he usually hangs out. He’s been gone for about a month now and nobody knows where he is.”
Matt walks over to her shrugging, “And you think I know where he is?”
Inaya crossed her arms, “Everyone tells me you were such good friends with him, and I know how much you love to cover things up.”
Matt sits on the edge of his desk, “Obviously you’ve been talking to his associates at his record company and not any of my agents. My agents would tell you I’ve been at his throat a couple times.” Matt looks at her suspiciously, “Any ways what do I have to cover up? I’ve been honest with you since the day we’ve met, after all you’ve read my entire file and there really isn’t much I could keep from you. The way I look at it you’re the one who is covering something up.”
She felt like he was turning the spot light on her, “Trakker I have nothing to hide and quit avoiding the question.”
Matt interrupts, “That’s just like you, always sticking your head in, trying to find out as much dirt as you possibly can on me, so you can take over my job. For your information, I don’t keep tabs on my agents. What they choose to do during their spare time is none of my concern. I especially see no reason as to why I would bother baby-sitting an ex-agent, who is forbidden to step anywhere on the premises.” Matt points a finger in her face, “No the real question is, who are you? I’ve tried to do a back ground check on you, but all my searches have brought me to a dead end. Nobody at the PNA has heard of your name before, and
I’m starting to wonder where you fit into all of this.”
Inaya didn’t like the hot seat and she knew her cover was soon to be blown if she didn’t do something, “Matt my background information is highly classified and since you’ve lost that privilege I feel you have no right snoopy around in my life.”
He replies back, “Then what gives you the right to go and analyze mine!”
Just before Inaya could defend herself, both their watches started to beep. It was obvious somebody was trying to reach the leaders of MASK. Matt leads her into his private computer room, next to his study. He hits the switch on the computer and an image of President Duane Kennedy appeared.
He wasted no time getting to the point, “Good you’re both here. The day we’ve feared has finally arrived. VENOM has sent their ransom demands and it isn’t pretty. Mayhem is demanding $100 billion dollars or else he’ll blow up San Francisco. Of course that’s not the end of the deal, he want’s $100 billion per each major city he intends to blow up in the future. Considering the United States has several major cities throughout the country, just trying to figure out the math and logic of it is driving everyone in Washington crazy.”
Inaya couldn’t believe that such a hefty impossible demand was even made, “Surely Mayhem not that stupid to know that nobody going to have that kind of money.”
Matt rest his hand on his chin, “He’s a smart man and no doubt already knows that. He’s just looking for a way to play with his new toy. Of course, he already knows the government is not going to negotiate with terrorist.
Duane Kennedy nodded, “That’s right Matt. That is why we’re hoping you’ll be able to get your team out there, before he actually hits that red button.”
Matt reassures him, “Duane, you can tell the government not to worry. Mayhem is not going to blow up San Francisco.”
Duane looked at him confused, “Have you lost your marbles, he threaten..” Matt stays cool headed, “I know what he told you guy in Washington, but he has a bigger mouse to test in his new maze, MASK. We’re the target not San Francisco.”
Duane eyes shift over to Inaya hoping she’d disagree with his statement. After a minute of silence Duane said, “All right I’ve never doubted you before. Good luck and please do come back in one piece.”
The transmission ends and Matt turns around in his chair. He glances at Inaya, “I thought you were going to speak up and tell Duane I’ve gone crazy.”
Inaya rested her hand on her waist and snickers a bit, “You have gone crazy, but your brain still functioning somewhere in there. Besides all those diplomats in Washington know nothing about what happens out on the battlefield. Once Mayhem gets MASK out of the way, he can blow up anything he wants.”
Matt smiles slightly, maybe she wasn’t that bad after all, “All right then! Let’s assemble Mobile Arm Strike Kommand. Computer select the best agents suited for this assignment…”
Roxanne leaned up against Chameleon, wearing her black and purple race uniform. Her mask rested securely on the seat of the bike. The entire area was covered by dense forest, which was the prefect disguise for the laser. It was also a great spot facing San Francisco, which was several miles away from their location. She thought, “We can’t just mass murder everybody who’s living down there. Most those people are innocent bystanders.” Her conscious really started to get to her, and her faced defiantly looked worried.
Vanessa headed over to her direction, “Hey why so gloomy? If it’s Mayhem your worried about,
he’s probably already forgotten about your joy ride. He’s got enough trouble with the guys going out and looking for booze and parties. What you did is forgivable.”
Roxanne cracked a small smile, ” Naa I was actually wondering. Are we really going to blow up San Francisco?”
Vanessa lead her off the bike and towards a clearing in the forest, “Now if you wouldn’t of drove off last night, you’d know what is going on.” Vanessa pointed to a valley just below their location, “That’s where the laser is set to fire.”
Roxanne looked at her questionable, “A valley?”
Vanessa elaborates, “As soon as MASK comes into view were going to pick them off one by one. Does that make you feel better?”
Roxanne smiled wickedly, “Defiantly!”
Brad approaches the two, “Roxanne, Vanessa, Mayhem wants to see you.”
Mayhem had a map set up against the side of Outlaw. “Rax, Bruno” he points to two points hidden in dense forest, “I want you two hidden here and here. Roxanne you’re going to be stationed at the edge of this hill just overlooking the road way. I want you keeping an eye out for MASK. Once you’ve radioed their position, both Rax and Bruno will start to lead them into the clearing. Then it will be show time and we’ll pull off our greatest attack yet.”
She sound disappointed, “So basically I’m a sitting duck on a hill waiting and watch, while you guys get all the fun and action. I feel really hurt.”
Mayhem’s voiced boomed, “That was a direct order that I expect you to follow and stay out of sight. Unless things get out of hand you’ll be staying put rookie.”
She sighs, “Yes sir.”
Mayhem continues with his instructions, “Turner I need you to stay by and operate Outlaw’s cannon in case MASK gets beyond our defenses. Nash is going to be too busy operating the laser and I can’t have him running both weapons.”
Roxanne grumbled as she walked towards Chameleon, “Oh ya! You trust him more then you trust me.” Roxanne puts on her mask and gets on Chameleon, “Right now I’m hoping this entire operation screws up. That way he will see with his own eyes how ready I am for battle.”
Chameleon was waiting at its designated stake out spot in stealth mode. To Roxanne it felt like she’d been watching the same scenery for the past six hours. She was yawning constantly and could barely keep her eyes open. Her screen kept showing the same dull boring image, and no matter how any times she zoomed the image in and out it was putting her asleep. She shakes her head, “Too bad this thing doesn’t have an alarm system. I could snooze while I wait.”
Just then her tired eyes caught five MASK vehicles coming up the road side. She radioed in, “Roxanne calling Mayhem. MASK has been sighted, and they’ll be at my location in about 5 minutes.” Mayhem replies back, “All right make sure they stay on that road and alert Rax and Bruno as soon as they leave your sight.”
She says in a hesitant voice, “Yeah will do.” Roxanne looked at the oncoming MASK vehicles. The first thing she noticed was the red Camaro with 2 streaks of lighting, on the front of the hood. She laughs out loud as she instantly recognized the vehicle, “I can’t believe I never figured it out before. It all makes perfect sense and all the pieces have fallen into place. I wonder why Mayhem never figured this out. Well guess what, I’m not going to sit by and let someone else take my revenge. As soon as they pass by, I’m going to shoot down that red Camaro. Nothing like a deadly game of follow the MASK leader.” She waited impatiently for the chance to blow her own father to smithereens and to satisfy her deadly thirst for revenge.
Mayhem shouts to Nash, “Ok, let’s get the laser ready to fire.” Nash smiles, “You got it boss and may I say this will be one for the history books.” Mayhem grumbles, “Nash just get the laser ready and stop gobbling at my feet.” Nash nodded and hits the power button, but nothing happened. “Oh come on you piece of junk, “he repeatedly hits the on button. Mayhem walked up to Professor Michael, who was tied up next to the laser cannon. He grabs him by the collar of his shirt “What did you do to it? It was working perfectly two days ago!”
The professor cowers before Mayhem, “I…I didn’t do…”
Mayhem throws him aside and looks at Nash who was opening the control panel. Nash glances inside and moves his fingers around to get a better look. Nash lifts his head up and turns to Mayhem, ” All the wrong wires have been crossed, if it would of powered up it could have short circuited, he was trying to stop our scheme.”
Mayhem shouts in anger, “I know that you idiot can you fix it!”
Nash says in a sly voice, “Yeah sure thing boss just give me 10 minutes to clean up this mess.” Mayhem replies back, “Well you better get it done in 5 minutes!” He gets back on the radio, “Sly, Bruno, ” he then says hesitantly, “Roxanne, I need you to lead MASK away from this site and keep them busy for the next 10 minutes!”
Roxanne eyes widened with pleasure. Her prayers had been answered. Well it wouldn’t of mattered much any ways if Mayhem gave her the go or not. She had no intentions of missing out of the battle of the century. She hastily started the engine and started her journey straight towards the enemy. She raced her motorcycle down the hill as fast as she could. Roxanne snickered at the fact that they couldn’t even see her coming straight at them. She wanted to so badly to give them all the surprise of their lives, but in order to do that she had to beat both Sly Rax and Bruno to the welcoming committee.
By the time she reached the road, she was trailing behind Rhino. Roxanne grumbled, “I don’t want the back, I want the front of the action. I want the driver in Thunderhawk to see who he’s dealing with.” Roxanne waited for a second, to see if Rhino radar could actually pick her up. Her suspicion was right they hardly even noticed her. She sped Chameleon right down the center of the parade passing Rhino, Firecracker, Gator, and finally Condor.
Every driver pretty much thought it was the wind picking up around them, as they saw the dust trail. Inaya waved her hand around in front of her face, as she drove Condor behind Thunderhawk, “Quit picking up the dirt Trakker you’re not the only one back here.”
Chameleon made its way right up against Thunderhawk’s passenger side. She looked over at the driver, and she could feel the rage building up inside, “Finally dad we can end this once and for all. Soon my mother’s soul will be at rest, and I can go on with my life. I’ll never forgive you for screwing my life up.” Roxanne speeds up ahead of Thunderhawk about a half a mile. She turns her bike around to face the oncoming challenge. She knew Sly Rax in Piranha was going to be the first to show up on the scene, and now was her only chance to introduce herself.
Roxanne waited until Thunderhawk came back into view, before she deactivated the stealth and over protective shell mode.
Matt was confused as he notices the appearing cycle out of nowhere, “Where did that come from?”
Roxanne says under her mask, “Have a nice death daddy!” She flicks a switch that activates a rocket on the side of the bike. The missile leaves the bike heading straight towards Thunderhawk.
Matt was quick to react and evaded the missile before it made contact.
By this time, both Sly Rax and Bruno, in Piranha and Stinger, were heading over the horizon towards the MASK vehicles. Rax yells over his radio, “Roxanne what the hell are you doing! Are you crazy? You’ll get caught in the line of fire!”
Roxanne says in a howling rage, “I don’t CARE I want him DEAD!” Bruno looked over to Rax in Piranha,” That doesn’t sound like the Roxy I know.” Sly Rax pressing the pedal to the metal, “Great we have to deal with MASK and one rogue VENOM agent who’s let it all gone to her head.”
Bruno suggests proudly, “I think she’s just learning the fundamentals of battle.”
Sly demand, “Bruno try to get Stinger between Chameleon and MASK. Maybe the kid will come to her senses and back down.”
Bruno says disagreeing with the plan, “I don’t think that’s going to be even remotely possible.”
Sly Rax didn’t like people disobeyed his orders, “Why not?”
Bruno says in an unbelievable tone, “That nut heading right towards
Chameleon converted its two headlights into two laser guns. Roxanne grunted under her mask, as her eyes stayed strongly focused on Thunderhawk. She again stepped on the gas and sped towards the five oncoming MASK vehicles. Chameleon lasers were pounding hard against the front of Thunderhawk. Matt was trying his best to evade the laser fire, but found it difficult due to how close both laser shots were.
Matt orders, “Come on let’s show our guest who he dealing with.” Each vehicle broke out into a V formation coming up the road. Gator, Condor, Rhino, Firecracker, and Thunderhawk all fired their lasers at the oncoming bike.
Roxanne swayed her bike all over the road ceasing fire. She was spending more time dodging laser fire, then actually shooting it. Of course, that didn’t stop her from heading straight towards them. Hondo speaks up, “I’m tell you Matt this nut got more guts all then all those VENOM agents combined. By this point, their usually turning around and running for their lives.”
Inaya suggest, “Well if this idiot doesn’t stop with this game of chicken, he’s going to end up splat all over your car Matt!”
Roxanne started to think more clearly as she got closer to Thunderhawk, “What the hell am I doing, I’m not on my death bed. I’ll get another chance at him.” She shut off the radio. She was sick’n tired of both Rax and Bruno yelling at her, to get out of the way. She thinks, “They can’t fire as long as I’m in the way, and I know nobody going to be proud of me if I get myself killed. I guess I’ll back off for the moment.” Roxanne hits another button and in a matter of seconds the bike was covered by a black shell. The lasers were pounding hard against Chameleon, yet they were unable to do any damage.
Matt, Hondo, Dusty, and Bruce all stopped their vehicles rapidly as they saw a bright blinding flash come from the bike. Dusty says concerned, “You didn’t hit him did you?”
Matt shook his head, “No, what the heck was that!”
Alex said from Rhino passenger seat, “I say Matt there isn’t a trace of that renegade anywhere on the radar.” Dusty added rubbing his eyes, “It’s like he vanished like a ghost in a shell.”
Matt replies, “You just took the words out of my mouth, Dusty.”
Inaya yells back at the guys, “Why did you all stop? Rax and Bruno are starting to fire. I would appreciate some back up!”
The guys took their foot off the break and sped up towards Condor’s position. Matt adds, “I have a feeling that’s not the last of our mystery guest. Keep a very sharp eye out for him.”
Sly Rax said slightly relieved that Roxanne left the battlefield, “Finally! She moved out of the way! Let’s get to it Bruno!”
Bruno changed Stringer from a cleverly disguised sports car to an armor tank. Bruno added, “Maybe we don’t need no stink’n laser to defeat MASK. We could probably take them all on ourselves.”
Rax replies, “As much as I wish it was possible, we’re still sticking to Mayhem’s plan.” Sly says silently to himself, “That’s if he doesn’t blow it like the last five dozen of his plans.” Rax and Bruno quitted their small talk and turn their focus directly towards MASK. Rax started the attack by fixing the machine guns, on the front of Piranha, right at Condor. Bruno’s two front retractable wheel guns were also aimed at Condor.
Inaya didn’t like this scenario. She tried her best not to panic or get hit. Her front laser was hardly enough fire power to take on the two VENOM agent. While she was busy dealing with them, the rest of the MASK team was trail behind her a couple yards. Inaya radioed to her teammates, “Guys I’m taking Condor up, before Rax and Bruno ground me permanently.” Condor then converted from a motorcycle into a helicopter.
Rax was unable to get near her. Bruno, on the other hand, made an attempt to aim his front cannon at Condor, but the air allowed Condor more space to maneuver. Firecracker pulled forward and elevated its body. Hondo shouted, “See how you like being under the heat” He then activated the thermal detonators on the front of Firecracker at piranha. Rhino lowered its smoke stacks as it came in range of Stinger.
Rhino first shot was a direct hit on the front of Stringer, but it’s tank armor absorbed most of the damage. Gator came up behind Firecracker and Rhino offering support to its friends. Meanwhile in the back, Matt Trakker was more concern with the mysterious motorcycle driver who disappeared without a trace. Sly Rax radioed to Mayhem, “Mayhem we’re pretty much taking a beating out here. This 2-5 ratio isn’t working as an advantage in our favor.”
A large explosion hits right next to Piranha, yet Rax continues with his transmission, “That was too close! We need reinforcements. They already have Condor flying in the air and it won’t be long until Thunderhawk does the same.”
The plan was going haywire, like every other plan he attempted, but the battle wasn’t even close to being over yet. Mayhem thought, “I’m just going to have to re-strategize this whole operation.” He goes back to the radio, “I’m sending Vanessa right out to your location to give you help. Where in the blazes is Roxanne? She should be backing you up.”
Rax says irritated, “She started this mess out here, and I’m guessing she’s probably hiding in the woods. I’m hoping she’s waiting for a chance to come back in. I have no way to reach her, because she turned her radio off.”
Mayhem grumbled under his breath. He then looks to Nash, “How much longer?” Nash says putting all his focus on the laser, “Two minutes max. Mayhem sir.” Mayhem sends another transmission over the radio, “In exactly two minutes I want everyone to act as though you’re retreating back to his point. You better make sure MASK is following your trail. Then you’ll have a full force to back you up.”
Bruce says to Alex, “I think their distracting us. Rax and Bruno are making us run in circles.” Alex says nodding, “I agree with you Bruce this is hardly the force Mayhem would use to guard his ultimate weapon.”
Inaya said contradicting them, “I don’t know about that guys. Vanessa in Manta is about to join the party. We have to be getting closer.” Vanessa did not like how the plan was coming along either. She had no problems with chasing Condor and Thunderhawk through rings of fire. The whole object of the game was not to get burn. She came up behind Condor like a hawk and began firing her magazine gun on her wings.
Matt knew from personal experience that Condor could not out run Manta. Matt says to Inaya over the radio, “Ivy I’m coming up to help you.”
Inaya did not want Matt’s help. She was new to the team and felt she needed to prove she could handle Condor in any situation. Inaya thought, “Since I’m out gun and out whited speed wise. I guess I’m going to have to use my brain for this operation.” She shouts to Trakker, “Don’t bother; by the time you get up here I’ll have her right where I want her. Over and out.”
Vanessa laughs, “I think ya better jump out missy. Only 1 person is qualified to drive Condor and I’m sure he’s dying to get it back.”
Inaya shouts, “Come and get me if you can!” Inaya flew low towards the trees. She waited for an appropriate opening big enough for her and Manta to crawl through. As Inaya predicted, Vanessa followed Condor straight into the trees. Condor then converted back to a motorcycle as it touched the ground. For a moment, Vanessa thought she lost Condor, but she soon saw Condor flying in the distance in front of Manta. Of course, what Vanessa didn’t know was Inaya was driving parallel to Manta using Hocus Pocus to fool her with an image of Condor.
Vanessa smiled slightly, “Now I’ve got you!” Just as Vanessa was going to fire a missile, Inaya turned Hocus Pocus off, which caused the image of Condor to disappear. Vanessa’s eye widen as she came within inches of hitting a tree head on. She turned her steering wheel hard to the right, but her effort to avoid the tree failed causing her left wing to be clipped. Vanessa slammed her fist against the wheel, “Grounded!” She converted Manta back to a car, “When I find you, I’ll see how you like your own wings getting clipped. I may not be able to fly, but I can still hunt and shoot you down!”
Roxanne watches the battle from deep within the bushes. She stationed herself there ever since she left the battleground. She watches the battle with eagerness, “I shouldn’t be a bystander. I have to go out there and help them. I made a complete idiot of myself, by trying to get run over. She says in a confused voice, “I don’t want to destroy MASK. I just want to destroy him. I’ll be dammed if I let Mayhem or anyone else take that away from me. As soon as they enter the target area, I’ll lose my only chance to get revenge. I have to have him all for myself. The only way to do that is to separate him from the group. It’s now or never, but how am I going to accomplish that? Mayhem hasn’t asked his agents to retreat yet. That will be the perfect time to resurface.” She starts up Chameleon and heads back on the battlefield invisible, to the
Sly Rax ask Bruno, “How’s it going?” Bruno shouts, “If I have to take another hit, I’m going to grab each and every one of them with my claw and disassemble them piece by piece.”
Rax pulled up alongside Rhino, “Stiletto Fire!” sharp metal darts slam right into Rhino’s front tire.”
Bruce tries to maintain control. Alex says laughing, “The lad should know by now that shooting out tires is an old parlor trick.” Bruce his a switch and the flat tire instantly replenishes it’s air. Mayhem then gets on the radio to his VENOM agents. “All right boys and girls this is it. Nash has gotten the laser operational. Start looking like your retreating.” Bruno smirks, “That won’t be too hard. We’ve done it so many times, I feel like a natural at it.” Rax, Bruno, and Vanessa all started to head towards the valley clearing. Dusty says joyously, “Their retreating! Should we follow after them?” Matt replies, “Defiantly! They might lead us right towards the laser, but be careful it could still be a trap.”
Each of the MASK vehicles followed behind the retreating VENOM vehicles. Matt was still driving in the back. Just then he began to receive a radio transmission from someone outside of his team. It was obvious that he was the only one receiving it, and the voice was hardly recognizable. The voice sounded like a female computer.
“Hello there Matt Trakker. I take it you’re a man of too many words and so little action today.” Matt narrows his eye brow under his mask, “Who is this?” The mysterious voice laughs, “Ah come on you should know by now.”
Matt order’s his computer, “Computer tell me where this transmission is being sent from?” The computer replies, “Transmission unknown.”
The voice answered, “Trying to find my location. Here let me give you a hint. Better keep your eyes on the road!” Chameleon appeared in front of Thunderhawk. Matt slams his foot on the breaks. He came within 12 feet of actually hitting Chameleon.
Roxanne sat on Chameleon clapping her hands, “Good job! You wouldn’t want to accidentally kill somebody. But silly me you find it more suitable to kill intentionally.” She waves to him, “Catch me if you can, daddy.” She drives off in the opposite direction. Matt turns Thunderhawk around to follow her.
Inaya replies, “Trakker where are you going?”
Matt answers, “I just found out who our mysterious cyclist is. I’m going to follow her. Inaya I trust you’ll have no problems taking over command. I’ll join up with you guys shortly.”
Inaya sure wasn’t going to argue with that order. The idea of having full command was a dream of hers, “All right Trakker, but be careful you don’t know what that cycle is capable of.” The four MASK vehicles stayed close together in formation. Inaya order, “Let’s stay close together now. I’m going up to get a better look.”
Inaya converted Condor to helicopter mode and flew high above the tree tops. She radios back to the guys, “That’s odd the coast is clear.”
Alex said worried, “That’s not a good sign, anything else you can make out up there.” Inaya looks below, “That’s weird…I might have something.” She increases her range of vision on Hocus Pocus, on a shiny metal object sticking out of the tree top. She continues to inform the team, “I can defiantly see the laser, it’s coming up in a couple of kilometers. It looks as though Nash Gordy is operating it. I don’t see Mayhem yet or any other VENOM agents.”
Inaya smiles as her suspicions were right all along, “Well..well look who we have here, if it isn’t our dear old bud Brad.”
Dusty says, “Your joking right, Ivy? Please tell me you are.” She says, “Afraid not Dusty, I’ve been fearing this for a while.”
While Inaya was surveying the area, Switchblade in helicopter mode popped up right in front of her. Inaya pulled Condor to a hard right to avoid a collision. The three MASK vehicles entered the valley clearing and were meet by Cliff Dagger, Sly Rax, Bruno, and Vanessa.
Hondo says surprise, “It’s an ambush!”
Inaya says encouraging her teammates, “Ok gang let’s stay strong. All we need to do is sneak by their forces and bomb that laser.” Dusty says, “That’s easier said than done.”
Bruce suggests, “We’re going to have to distract Switchblade. Condor is our only hope to breach their defense line.”
Alex suggests, “Hondo and Dusty keep Dagger, Rax, Bruno, and Vanessa busy. We’ll use Rhino to occupy Switchblade.” Condor attempts to go around Switchblade. Mayhem twitches his mustache, “Think you can sneak by me, this will make you change your mind.” Mayhem launches a missile at Condor.
Inaya used the front laser on Condor to blow it up before it came into range. Alex radioed to Inaya, “Ivy we’ll take it from here!” Inaya a.k.a. Ivy replied, “Roger that!”
Rhino side cannons both aim at Switchblade and started to fire repeatedly. Switchblade was running circles in the sky attempting to avoid Rhino’s fire power. Nash saw Condor heading towards his position, “So you think you’re going to destroy this baby. Well I’ve got news for you. You’re going to be my first target.” Nash starts to lock the target on Condor.
Brad also saw Condor heading towards their location. His view from Outlaw wasn’t the best, but he could see most of the battle going on below.
Brad thought, “So he replaced me. Should have known, well I hate to do this to my precious bike.”
Brad activates the computer in Outlaw and targets the cannon at Condor as well. Brad lines up the target, “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.” Brad launches the missile at Condor’s back side.
The missile was a direct hit on the back end of Condor. Inaya tried not to panic, as she was going down, and had absolutely no control over Condor. She yells over the radio, “I’m going down! I’m hit! Brad Turner shot me out of the sky!” The bike fell to the ground slowly, since the propeller was trying to use the last of its power. Inaya jumps off Condor, before it crashes into the ground.
Dusty stops Gator right next to her, “Get in!”
“You don’t have to tell me,” Inaya hoped into Gator without a scratch on her. She says as Dusty drives Gator away from Condor, “I’m lucky that didn’t hit me head on or I would of been done for.”
Dusty ask trying to focus on driving, “Was it the laser?”
Inaya says confused, “No. I could have sworn they were going to activate it on me, instead I got hit with Outlaw’s missile”
Nash walks over to Brad yelling, “What did you do that for?” You took my target away from me!”
Brad shrugs, “Hey I’m only following orders. It was heading this way, it’s not like you told me you were going to shoot it down. If you would of told me, I wouldn’t of done it.”
Nash growls, “I’m going to have to pick another target. Any ideas out there?”
Rax says over the radio, “What about that annoying red Camaro?” Nash says looking all over the battlefield,
“What red Camaro?” Rax said, “He was right behind the group”
Bruno suggests, “Maybe Roxy keeping him busy.” Nash says, “Never mind I’ll pick the target myself. Hmm I pick that one!” Nash lines the laser up to Firecracker. Brad walks right up besides Nash. Nash scolds him, “What do you want?”
Brad says in a friendly tone, “I’m staying away from Outlaw, so I don’t take another one of your targets. Who’s the target this time?”
Nash says laughing, “The orange truck is soon to be history.” Brad leans over the control panel paying close attention to the screen. Nash rubs his hands together, “All right this time nothing going to interfere with this perfect shot I have set up. It will be in range in 4..3..2..1.” Nash hits the fire button, but at the same time Brad steps back accidentally hitting the controls that activate the spinning platform that is hooked up to the laser. Brad apologizes, “Whoops sorry I didn’t mean too.” There was nothing Nash could do the laser was activated and ready to fire.
Hondo drives Firecracker unsuspected of the surprise. He was more focus on Cliff Dagger trailing behind him. His eyes widen as he saw a bright red beam head straight towards him, “Oh Shit!” The beam hit the ground right before Firecracker, and the dirt went flying everywhere. A huge crater was left from the blast, and there was no way for Hondo to avoid it, at his current speed. Firecracker fell right into the hole landing upside-down. Hondo could not believe his eyes. He was upside-down and still attach to his seat thanks to his strong seat belt. He lets out a huge breath of air, “I think I just saw my life flash before my eyes.”
Rhino stopped right next to the newly formed crater. “Hondo!” Bruce yells.
Hondo cuts his seat belt and exits Firecracker, “Yeah I’m still alive. Firecracker is another story. Mayhem shouts to Nash on the radio, “Don’t you know how to aim Gordy! I can’t believe you didn’t hit one of our own with your aiming.” Nash protest, “It..It’s not my fault Mayhem sir.” Mayhem continues, “I don’t want excuses Gordy. I want results!”
Bruce uses lifter to get Hondo out of the giant hole. Hondo hastily enters Rhino. Alex says, “We have to retreat were outnumbered.”
Inaya agreed, “Yes let’s fall back. If Matt was here we wouldn’t have to retreat.”
Dusty says doubting that, “I don’t know about that. Their pretty tuff varmints with an ace up their sleeves. We need to fight on our own turf.”
Inaya orders, “Alex track Matt’s location.”
Matt was still chasing Chameleon around the forest, “Roxanne can we talk!”
She snickers, “We are talking.”
Matt insists, “No in person.”
She laughs, “Am I going too fast for you to keep up? When you shoot me down, well talk.”
Matt argues, “I’m not going to shoot you down.”
She shrugs, “Well then it’s your loss.” She turns around and heads towards his direction. She begins to fire her front lasers at Thunderhawk.
Matt says angry, “All right Roxanne you leave me choice, but to do this.” Matt opens Thunderhawk’s doors and takes her flying in the sky.
Roxanne pouts since she had no way to aim her lasers towards the sky, “That’s not fair!”
Matt replies, “Life isn’t suppose to be fair.” Matt leans out of Thunderhawk and aims Spectrum right on Roxanne. He shouts, “Spectrum fire!” Spectrum let out sound waves of an awful shrilling noise. Roxanne lift her hands to the side of her mask wanting to protect her ears, but couldn’t. Both her hands were off the handles of the bike. She lost complete control of her bike which was going 70 mph. The bike fell to its side skidding along the ground to halt. Roxanne just laid there with the bike on top of her.
Matt looked down at her. It was obvious that he stopped her, but she wasn’t moving. Matt looked for a big enough clearing for Thunderhawk to land. He moved as fast as he could towards Roxanne location.
Roxanne opened her eyes, “What a ride.” She pushes the heavy bike off herself. She says grunting, “I better hide.” She moves towards a tree and hides behind it, attempting to say as quiet as possible.
Matt ran through the bushes until he came across Chameleon. He was a bit disappointed not to see the driver next to it. He looks around shouting, “Roxanne show yourself!”
Roxanne thinks, “He’ll find me soon enough, I’ll just get this over with.” She stands up and steps out from behind a nearby tree. She walks towards him wearing her cobra shaped mask and her uniform which was ripped and dirty. Roxanne ignores the scrapes the bruises on her left side and focus solely on her anger for Matt Trakker, “Well I admit I didn’t see that coming. Ok you got what you wanted. I’m standing here face to face with you. But that doesn’t mean I’m coming quietly into your custody.”
Matt removes his mask and throws it on the ground, “I’m not going to take you anywhere, unless you want me too. I’m going to settle this whole grudge thing once and for all.” Roxanne stood there crossing her arms and staring at him silently. Matt continues, “I know you’re not going to believe a word I say. Your mother never did and maybe that was my fault. I was never much of a listener.”
Roxanne shouted in anger, “So that gives you the right to kill her!”
Matt says keeping up with the tone of her voice, “Let’s get one thing perfectly clear. I did not kill Rebecca! I could never physically hurt her. I loved her so much, she was the light of my life before any of this happened. If you’re so destined to find the man who killed your mother, why not ask him yourself.”
Roxanne mocks him, “Really and who would that person be?”
Matt says in a cold voice, “Miles Mayhem.”
Roxanne face turned ugly, “Your lying!”
Matt said questioning her judgment, “Am I?” He pulls out a CD case from his pocket, “On this CD is your mothers FBI file. It contains everything you ever wanted to know about Rebecca Travis-Trakker. I want
you to have it.”
Her eyes fell on the disk. She wonders silently to herself, “Is it a trick?” She looks down uncertain what to do. She looks him in the eye, “Medusa On!” The eyes of her mask shot an electrical beam straight into Matt Trakker’s body. He falls to the ground and is instantly knocked out. She walks over to him standing directly over his head. She knees down and takes the disk out of his hand, “All right I’ll see what you have.” She stands up and places the CD into her pocket.
Roxanne walks over to Chameleon and picks it off the ground. She then heads off towards VENOM temporary headquarters.
About 10 minutes later, Rhino and Gator arrive at Thunderhawk. Each driver gets out feeling the exhaustion of battle. Both Hondo and Inaya looked their worst. Alex suggests, “I think you two should stay here, while we check the area for Matt.”
After 15 minutes of searching, Dusty spots Matt lying on the ground, “Oh dear Lord please don’t be dead.” Dusty rushes over to Matt’s side and nudges him hoping he would wake up.
Matt opens his eyes, “What was that!”
Dusty said worried, “I don’t know partner, but you sure the heck scared me.”
Matt sits up and looks for the CD, “She took it.” Dusty looks at him confused.
Matt gets up and slightly smiles, “I’ll tell you later Dusty. What’s the status of the team?” Dusty shook his head, “Not good. We got our butts whipped. Firecracker is out of commission and Condor might be reparable, but only Buddy can tell you that. Both drivers are doing find, just exhausted like the rest of us.” Both agents headed to rejoin the group.
Everyone was relieved to see Matt alive and well. Of course, Inaya felt like slapping him in the face. She says with her arms crossed in front of her, “So Matt what exactly were you doing out there, while we were dealing with the real fight. Your daughter was driving that thing wasn’t she? That’s it Trakker your off the team!”
Matt walks over to her, “What makes you think that what I was doing wasn’t equally as important?” Inaya shouts, “We could of used you out there fly boy!”
Matt says honestly, “What I did was to assure that we get the upper hand in the next fight.”
She continues ignoring that statement, “Anyone of us could of gotten killed!”
He says calmly, “But you didn’t. If I felt I didn’t have faith in my own team, then I wouldn’t of pursued her.”
Inaya was out of breath, “What makes you certain that the next victory is ours. In case you didn’t know already, Brad Turner has joined up with VENOM.”
Matt raises a brow, “No I didn’t know that. Well that’s just a minor setback.” Inaya couldn’t believe he was taking it so well. Matt orders, “Come on we have to get back to Boulder Hill and get ready for the final show down.” Inaya ask, “What makes you so certain there’s going to be an attack on Boulder Hill?”
Matt smiles, “Call it a hutch.”
Nights seem to overcome the abandon battlefield with haste, after MASK’s retreat, or so Roxanne thought. She lost all track of time, since her last encounter with her father. Roxanne drove around in circles most the night, for the first time she actually felt scared to return to camp. The more time she wasted, the harder it became to go back. She stopped Chameleon right next to the upside-down Firecracker still lying in the freshly dug crater. She threw her mask off and looked up at the stars in the sky, “Mom this would be the best time as any to give me advice.”
Roxanne pulled out the CD from her pocket and starred at it, “This one little thing could change everything, but how can I believe it’s the truth. He’s probably planting more lies. Then again I could be giving myself the same fate my mother faced.” Roxanne eyes stayed focus on the CD, “I’ve never had a father before, and Mayhem has been the closes thing to one. Then why am I so scared to go back?”
For a moment she thought about destroying it, the fear of what knowledge it behold was far too great, but she choose not to. She sighs, “Just get it over with girl, makeup your mind after you see what’s on it.” She picks up her mask, and rides Chameleon towards the temporary base camp.
Roxanne drove Chameleon towards a brightly lit campfire. The camp was small considering it only accommodated a couple agents, and Mayhem tent was set up in the center of camp. When Chameleon came to a complete halt, all eyes were upon her. Vanessa walked out of Mayhem tent, when she heard the commotion outside. She walked straight towards Roxanne, and her movements suggested she wasn’t in a good mood. Roxanne removed her mask and set it on the bike. Vanessa stopped right in front of her and slapped her hard in the face.
“Ouch!” Roxanne rubbed her cheek hoping it would ease the sting sensation. Vanessa looked at her furious,
“What the hell were you thinking? Is this how I taught you to handle yourself.”
Roxanne tried to come up with a good explanation, “I…I.”
Vanessa continues, “After hearing the entire story from Rax and Bruno, I’d say you’re lucky you didn’t get killed.”
Roxanne sighs not wishing to hear how close she might of came to death, “Yeah well I’m still alive and standing here. So I say the experience was well worth it.”
Vanessa grabs her by the ear and drags her towards Mayhem’s tent. Roxanne shouts, “Cut that out I’m not a child!” Vanessa adds, “Have you looked in the mirror lately? You look like one to everyone here. If you even expect Mayhem to allow you to drive Chameleon, you’re going to have to grow up.”
Roxanne pleaded, “Can you take is easy. I’m not exactly resisting.”
This was the first time she’s ever seen Vanessa this angry with her, she was almost afraid to speak her piece. This entire situation felt awkward to Roxanne, she was the closes to Vanessa and never imagined her being this aggressive on her. Vanessa pushed her through door of the tent. Roxanne stumbled over her own two feet and fell to her knees, “Hey you don’t have to be that ruff!” She stands up dusting her knees off and looks up.
Mayhem, Brad, and Nash were discussing about Boulder Hill security on a map in the center of the tent. Mayhem stopped talking as she stumbled in. Roxanne didn’t look at him or anyone else in the room. Her gaze caught the complete attention of the floor. Mayhem says walking around her, “What am I going to do with you girl? I went through all that trouble to make you a vehicle and mask, and this is how you repay me?” He says in an angry voice, “Look at me when I’m talking to you, or I’ll beat some discipline into you.” His hand went under her chin forcefully and raised her head to meet his angry gaze.
She gulps, “I’m sorry sir. It won’t happen again.”
Mayhem removes his hand, “Of course is won’t. You’ll be sitting on the sidelines, until you are given the proper training. Fighting with your emotions and not your brains makes you do stupid things on the battle field.”
She says in a quiet voice, “You want me to take Chameleon back to base?”
Mayhem walks back over to the map of Boulder Hill, “No I still have a use for my new bike. Turner, “He asked, “You seem to know how to ride a motorcycle.”
Brad raised a brow and insisted, “Yeah but I wouldn’t know how to drive that…” Mayhem continued not wanting to hear any excuses, “Then it’s settled, you’ll be brief on how to work it, so you can use it during your mission.”
Nash says smiling, “Finally nothing will get in my way this time.” Mayhem glairs at Nash, “Nash if you miss again I’ll be using your ass for target practice.”
Roxanne asks wanting to leave, “Is that all sir?”
Mayhem shoos his hand at her gesturing for her to leave. She walks out of the tent as fast as she could. As soon as she exited, she let out a huge breath of air. She could hardly breathe with Mayhem breathing down her throat. She walked away trying to keep her cool, as though nothing had happen. The military discipline from Mayhem was sometimes hard for Roxanne to take. The very idea of him even punishing her was frightening enough. Rax told her horrifying stories about times when Mayhem went berserk on some Contraworld soldiers who screwed up his plans. Of course, Rax was drunk most those nights and tends to tell a lot of strange stories. Just about everybody had an eye on her, as though they were expecting her to break down in tears.
That was the last thing she wanted to give them a show. She rubs her chin, “What’s next a face lift from Cliff Dagger?” The light humor kept her mind going as she started to focus on more pressing matters. She walks over to Outlaw and pulls out a lab top from its glove compartment, “I know Nash is going to mind, but it’s not like that nerd could ever understand.” She grab the computer and dashes off to a clearing several feet from camp, where she knew she could have some privacy.
About two hours later Brad exited Mayhem tent disappointed. Since the day he joined VENOM, he always knew this day would come. Brad’s job was to infiltrate MASK headquarters with Chameleon to lower their shield and other defenses. Brad wasn’t crazy about the idea of back stabbing his friends, and he defiantly wasn’t crazy about Mayhem’s plan either. With Chameleon, he now had a better chance at succeeding in his mission. Still pulling off the raid at Boulder Hill was going to be tricky. He stretched his back out and yawned, “So much to do in so little time.”
Cliff Dagger shouted to Brad from the campfire, “Hey singer get Roxy, the stew ready!” Brad grumbled, “Oh great don’t tell me he cooked again. Not another night of road kill stew.” Brad attempted to cover his displeasure and nodded. Brad asked around, yet nobody seemed to know where she went.
As he pasted by Nash, he overheard him cursing about Roxanne under his breath, “Great that brat took my computer again. Wow am I suppose to play Diablo 2.”
Brad stepped over to him offering a solution, “Tell me where she could of taken it, and I’ll get it back.” Nash points over towards some trees, “Beyond there is a clearing. She was seen hanging around there yesterday.” Brad nodded to Nash, “Ok I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
The clearing was lit up by the bright moonlight. An active lab top rested on the ground next to an old log flashing a familiar image. Roxanne sat there on the log and starred off into oblivion as she watched it. Brad made his way through the forest and shouted as he saw her, “Hey kid-o you going to eat?” She says with a crack in her voice, “Go away! I’m not hungry!”
Brad lift his head up surprise, he didn’t expect her to sound so depress. He moves closer, “Hey cheer up. It’s not that bad, once you get use to the taste.”
She shakes her head and says with anger, “I said leave me be.”
Brad became serious and rubbed the back of his neck, “Ok it’s not the food. I knew that. Roxanne did I do something wrong? If it’s about Chameleon believe me if I could, I’d give you the bike back. But Mayhem right what you did out there was insane. Sometimes things have to be taken away in order for someone to learn a lesson.”
Roxanne moved her hands over her head and started to cry, “It’s not the stupid bike. Why can’t you just shut your mouth for once Brad? Leave me alone!”
Brad walked up to her and placed a hand on her shoulder, “I’m sorry.” Roxanne face was red and her eyes blood shot from crying. Her hands where shaking as though she was in shock. The last time he saw her in tears she was acting, but this time she was really distraught. Brad kneels down in front of her and grabs her hands and holds them in his, “Tell me what’s troubling you.”
She stutters slightly, “I…I can’t tell anyone.”
Brad stands up, “Then I’ll get Vanessa, this is obviously a woman issue that I can’t handle.”
Her face turned ugly and she reached out grabbing his shirt, from where she sat, “Don’t you dare!”
Brad pulled her hand off his clothing, “Dear I’m not going to leave you here in the dark to cry your eyes out. Either you tell me what’s wrong or I’ll get Vanessa. And I’m pretty sure she’ll do a much better job, at getting whatever it is that is upsetting you out in the open.” Brad began to walk back to camp.
Roxanne knew she couldn’t trust Vanessa with her secret, because she was Mayhem second in command. She says in a sad tone, “Wait I’ll tell you. Please don’t get Vanessa or anyone else.”
Brad stops, he knew something big had to be up if she wouldn’t talk to Vanessa. Those two always act like sisters around one another. Roxanne pointed down at the lab top resting on the ground. Brad picked it up off the ground and looked at the screen. Brad thought, “Rebecca’s FBI file, Matt must of slipped it to her.” Brad pulls out the disk and closes the lab top. He already knew what was on her file, so he didn’t waste any time reading it.
Roxanne looks at him worried, “You’re going to turn that in?”
Brad smiled slightly, “No I wouldn’t do that, but let’s get rid of the evidence first, before we talk.”
Brad rips the cover off the disk and looks for a nice rock to bury the remains under. Brad then sat next to her on the log, “Now no one else will know.” S
he ask hoping, “Tell me it’s not true. Matt Trakker is a liar, he’s just playing games with me.”
Brad put an arm around her, “Hun that looked pretty real to me.”
She says trying to convince herself otherwise, “He is the leader of MASK, my enemy, he’s suppose to deceive me.” Brad looked around for the words to say, apparently she knew far more than he expected.
Brad says, “He was never your enemy to begin with, you only think that because you’re angry with him.”
She covers her face, “It don’t matter anymore, I…I have to.”
Brad gently lifts her face to look at him, “You have to go home.”
She looks at him with disbelief, “And let Mayhem get away for his crime? He’s gone on long enough gloating over her death. Somebody has to do something.”
He motions her to keep her voice down, “What are you going to do? Kill him! Of course silly me, you’ve been hanging around him for so long you’re starting to think like him. Is that what you want?”
She looks down and says disappointed, “No, but I can’t go home. I have no home to go home to.”
Brad replies, “You have both your father and your brother to go home to.” She stands up looking at him with sad eyes, “They don’t want me. I’ve brought them nothing but misery. I shot Scott, and I tried to kill my father. Plus joining up with VENOM really hasn’t improved our relationship.”
Brad grabs her and forces her to sit back down, “Believe me when I say, Matt would want nothing else in the world but to see you back home safe and sound.”
She says not convince, “How would you know that?”
Brad says knowing there was no one else around, “Because he told me.”
She looks at him, “Then you really are with…” He places a finger up to her lips stopping her from talking,
“Yes I am. Roxanne when he saw you he couldn’t believe his eyes. You reminded him so much of Rebecca that he couldn’t afford to lose you. From the looks of it, he’s taking the last stand by giving you that disk. If you refuse to acknowledge what you now know, you’ll lose your last chance of having a real father. Even though I told Matt you’d never give in, he’s too stubborn to give up, as you’re too stubborn to believe the truth. He’d welcome you with open arms the minute you walk back to him”
She stops her sobbing and looks up towards the moon, “But I can’t leave yet, I have unfinished business.”
He says in a serious tone, “You don’t need to worry about VENOM, I have it taken care of.”
She looks at him smirking, “Really? And you did such a wonderful job sabotaging last time.”
Brad says trying to come up with a lame excuse, “Hey it’s not easy finding time alone with that laser. Besides I’m going to break the professor out, he can give me a hand this time.”
She says shaking her head, “That’s your brilliant plan? By the time you do that you’ll be caught. Let me handle the laser, you worry about whatever it is your planning to do.”
Brad disagrees, “What makes you think you’ll do a better job?” She says in a sad tone, “I’m the one who gave them the instructions and the key. So therefore, I know how to shut it down permanently. This is all my fault, and I’m the only one who can fix it.”
Brad says, “You don’t have to be the only one. I’m here to help you every step of the way. We’re moving out towards a new position tomorrow; tonight would be the perfect time for you to sneak away. I’ll just tell everybody you went for a walk in the woods.”
She says refusing his request, “I’m not going. Brad you need my help, without it MASK will surely lose the next battle.”
Brad ask not wanting to negotiate, “How are you going to escape, I’m going to have Chameleon.”
She says convincing him, “I have other means of escaping. After all we Trakkers are pretty smart, aren’t we?”
Brad smiles, “I’m not going to be the one to admit that. All right, but we go by my plan. And you have to promise me you’ll stay far away from Mayhem.”
She nods, “Believe me that won’t be a problem.” Brad says, “Ok I’ll give ya my plan tomorrow when camp breaks.” She asks, “Why not tell me now, while we don’t have to worry about anybody listening in.” He says smiling, “I would, but I haven’t made the plan yet.” She crosses her arms and says sarcastically, “What a great plan to follow.” He stands up, “How about we go get some of that stuff they call food, and give Nashy his computer back before he loses his mind.” She agrees feeling much better, “Alright, but for you information he lost his mind a long time ago.”
Hondo watch from a nearby cliff with binoculars the parade of VENOM vehicles. Hondo remained hidden from the enemy with the help of his desert storm camouflage. He pulls out his radio, “It looks like the whole gang here. Unlike last time he’s got the entire team.” Every MASK agent was present and accounted for at Boulder Hill. They sat around the big round table listening on the details of VENOM’s approach. Gloria says, “Looks like Mayhem through with the games. He’s finally got the courage to face us on our home turf.”
Matt says, “Then we’ll make him regret he even tried.”
Inaya a.k.a Ivy Green looked at him not convinced, “How can you say that Matt? I don’t mean to be the party pooper around here, but he has more firepower then we do. Alex has been running some simulations through his computer regarding how much heat our defenses can take. From what he tells me, 3 hits from that laser and we’re in serious trouble. Heck one hit will kill us if we go out in our vehicles.”
Alex corrected her, “My dear that is merely a simulation and everyone in this room is well aware of the risk.” Everyone at the table nodded as they all sat there in silence.
Matt says, “Hondo how far are they stationed?” Hondo guessed off the top of his head, “I’m guessing about 5 miles south of Boulder Hill. So that gives us a good 15 minutes to be ready when they attack. There actually setting up camp right now, so the real battle probably not going to happen until tomorrow. My guest is mostly likely daybreak, but I’ll continue to keep a watch full eye out. Hondo out.”
Matt says, “Thanks Hondo. Ok Buddy what’s the situation on the vehicles.”
Buddy says, “Ace Riker retrieved Condor and Firecracker from the battlefield a couple hours ago. Condor is going to take most the night to fix. Firecracker has undertaken too much damage to be repaired in time. Hurricane should prove useful in its place. I’ve checked every vehicle and their ready for battle and loaded with ammo.”
Matt smiled with approval with his report, “Ok I’m ordering everyone to stay within Boulder Hill. So we’ll finally put to use those sleeping quarters we never use. We’re going to need all our strengths for this fight, and I suggest you all get some rest. I’ll inform you if Hondo has any further updates. Dismissed.” Most the agents went off to relax, call family members, or handle preparations for the battle.
Inaya approached him, “Don’t you think we should ready the shields, in case of a surprise attack.”
Matt says walking over to a computer panel marking Venom location on the radar, “I prefer the element of surprise myself Ivy.”
She crosses her arms, “How nice of you to ignore me.” She places some papers on the panel next to him, “You might want to know. By noon tomorrow, you’re relieved of your command. I’ll be taking over.”
He ignores the papers and focuses on the radar, “You got those fast. How many strings did you pull for that?” She narrows her eyes at him, as if it was none of his business.
He says in a clam voice,” Well then I guess this means I’m in charged, until that goes into effect. So I’m ordering you to rest as I told everyone else. Worrying about whether I can hand this job should be the last thing on your mind. Tomorrow could be the last day for all of us.”
Inaya turned around and walked away. Matt looked over to Bruce, “Will you take over? I’m going to spend some time with Scott.” Bruce said understanding, “Sure thing Matt.”
It was just after sundown when VENOM camp became settled into its new surroundings. Everybody was gearing up for the big fight; meanwhile Roxanne was roaming around the camp bored out of her mind. She had absolutely nothing to do; everybody was too busy with planning to notice her. Roxanne was unhappy to learn that Mayhem wasn’t kidding about her staying on the sidelines; she had orders to stay at Nash’s side to assist him during the battle. Of course, that meant she’d probably be running coffee errands for the dweeb. Yet she had a gut feeling that it wasn’t going to be the safest place on the battlefield, after she tampers with the laser.
Roxanne thought long and hard about whom she was the daughter of billionaire Matt Trakker or a reneged VENOM agent. The night before changed her entire image. She was no longer goofy and looking to have fun with the guys, or starting fights, but more serious and determine on getting revenge. She promised Brad she would stay away from Mayhem, yet all she had to do was pick up a nearby gun and end his whole existence. But Brad was right, what would make her any different than Mayhem. Over this entire year she had given her life in devotion to VENOM, and now she had to undo everything.
She thinks, “The only way to make Mayhem truly suffer would be to ruin his plan and his dream.” As she walked through the dark, somebody came up behind her and placed a hand over her mouth. Only a muffle could be heard from her mouth, and she squirmed to get away.
The voice said in a soft whisper, “It’s me. Take it easy.”
She stops squirming and he removes his hand. She turns and scolds him, “What’s the big idea trying to scare me like that?”
Brad said, “Didn’t know how else to approach you.” She narrows her eye on him, “A tap on the shoulder works, unless you intend on kidnapping me.”
Brad apologized again, but got to the point, “I got my plan all worked out. I need you to get the professor away from Cliff Dagger and over towards those rocks in the distance.” She looks over in the distance, “I’m suppose to be able to see the rocks in the darkness?” He says reassuring her, “Trust me they’re there. When I leave for my mission in 6 hours with Chameleon I’ll stop right by there and pick the both of you up.”
She smiles, “Not a bad plan. Getting the professor out is going to be a piece of cake. The only problem is Chameleon is a 2 seater and if you add a 3rd person you’re not going to be able to use stealth capabilities.”
Brad says, “Then we have a problem.”
She looks to him, “I told you I’m not ready to leave. Besides I’m not going to be able to disarm the laser until tomorrow. Nash was running a checkup on it all day. He’s scared of another malfunction like last time.” He says not agreeing, “I’m not leaving you behind. Your father will defiantly kill me.”
She smiles, “Have faith in me, Brad. I have to disarm that thing or else somebody going to die. You have nothing to worry about I already worked out my escape plan. So no matter how hard you try, you’re not going to get me to come with you.” She starts to walk away, “See ya later.”
Roxanne kept walking and didn’t bother to look back. She says to herself, “I want nothing more than to leave right now. I hate that I’m a good liar.”
She walks up towards Cliff Dagger who was leaning up against Outlaw. The professor was handcuff to the side of the rig. The old man looked tired, was in a desperate need of a shave, and lost a lot of weight. Roxanne skipped up to Cliff Dagger smiling, “Hey Dagger, what’s up?” He smiles adjusting his eye patch, “Ah nothing much they stuck me on guard duty. Like who’d want to save this loser?”
She leaned up against Outlaw next to him pretending to laugh, “No one.”
The professor grunted in his distraught state, as he attempted to rest his head and fall asleep. Cliff Dagger says, “I know I’m not suppose to tell you this, but what you did yesterday took guts. Mayhem wants us keeping a lid on the gossip, so we don’t encourage ya. I’ll give ya some advice.”
She smiles thinking, “Oh this will be useful, not.” Cliff Dagger lowers his voice, “You keep doing stunts like that and you’re guaranteed to get promoted.” She continues to smile, “Ah well I’ll be sure to put my life on the line more often for VENOM, after all I have 9 lives.”
Cliff Dagger looked at her shocked, “Really care to tell me how I can get 9 lives as well?”
She suggest, “Try looking on the Internet. Anyways don’t you have something more important to do then guard duty?” Cliff Dagger widens his eye, “Yeah I need to ready Jack Hammer, but I’m suck here.”
Roxanne suggests,”You know I’m not doing anything Cliff Dagger. I can watch him. After all who’s going to save him?” Cliff Dagger smiled, “Good point! Mayhem must be silly to think that anyone would even bother trying. Jack Hammer is more important than this guy. Thanks Roxy I owe ya one.”
She smiles, “Anytime, Cliff Dagger, anytime.” Cliff Dagger begins to walk way, yet Roxanne stops him, “Wait Dagger, are you forgetting something?” He scratches his head, “What?” She reaches her hand out to him, “The key? How can I guard him if I don’t have the key? Somebody might come along and ask to move him elsewhere.” Cliff searches his pockets, “Silly me I forgot.” He hands her the key to the cuffs, “Ok give me a holler if you have any problems.”
She waves to him as he walks away, “Ok.” She turns her back and rolls her eyes. She sat on the ground next to Outlaw, “Ok, you can do this. You’ve done stupider more crazier things before.” She turns and looks at Professor Michael. He really was a sad sight to look at. The poor man was worked to death by Mayhem and was only given what he needed to stay alive. Through her entire stay at VENOM base, Roxanne had never seen much of the professor. Mostly because she forgotten he was even there, even when she heard his cries echo through the hallways. She looked down regretting that she didn’t attempt to do something. She walks over to him cautiously, “Professor wakeup.” The old man continues to drift into deep sleep. She looks around and kicks Outlaw right next to him to alert him.
He looks up dazed and huddles to protect himself, “Who? What?”
She says trying to calm him,” Shhh, I’m getting you out of here.”
He looks at the young girl confused, “You, but your Mayhem’s daughter why would you?”
She looks at him with an ugly expression on her face, “First off I’m not his daughter. If you don’t want my help, then I’ll gladly leave you here die.”
He says, “I…I didn’t know I only assumed. You just act so much like him when I see you around him. I assumed.”
She says unlocking his cuffs, “Well you assumed wrong! Just can it!” His words pierced her heart with the pain of the truth.
The man stands up stretching his back, and rubs his red wrist, “It feels good to get those finally off.”
She says not wishing to stay any longer, “We have to get moving. Do you think you can move without making too much noise?” He says in a tired voice, “I’ll try.” She pulls him into the shadows of Outlaw, “Were going to have to move around the entire outside of the camp to make sure we make it over to that group of rocks on the opposite side, without being seen.”
The professor looks, “My eye sight must be bad, I don’t see anything.” She says agreeing, “Believe me it’s not your eyes.” He raises a brow, “You don’t know?” She says softly, “I have faith that the information given me is correct.”
Both of them moved carefully through the night. Both of them tripped up a couple times, but nobody seems to notice. After an hour of dodging agents and finding awkward hiding places for the professor to catch his breath, they finally arrived at the rocks. They both sat behind the rocks and tried to catch their breaths.
Roxanne attempts to smile, “Well that was fun. Next time we’ll have to break our record.” The professor looked at her exhausted, “My dear I hope they’ll never be a next time. I was sure you were going to ditch me out there.”
She says, “It’s the least I could do. Don’t worry you’ll be home in no time.” He looks to her, “So what’s next?” She lays back and look at her watch, “We wait for somebody to pick you up.” He looks to her, “Won’t they go looking for us?”
She shakes her head, “No, everybody busy. Cliff Dagger is too stupid to come back and check up on me.”
Brad was dressed in Black from head to toe. He grabs his bag out of Manta and turns to find Vanessa standing there. He smiles, “Well here to give me a kiss for good luck?” She smirks, “I think you should of learned your lesson, after the first kiss I gave you. No, I want to know what you’re planning.”
He looks at her innocently, “Planning? After all this time we spent together you still don’t trust me.” She reminds him, “The only reason you’re here is for my amusement and that you’re a friend of mine. Even if we are enemies.”
He smiles as he realizes, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. So this whole time you were trying to figure me out.”
She walks over to him, “Oh I already have you figured out. You’re not planning to come back, afterwards.”
He nods, “Of course, I have no escape once I get in. The place going to be swarming with MASK agents, so what choice do I have? “She disagrees, “Ah but you do, after all you are a double agent.” Brad knew there was no fooling Vanessa, “So you going to turn me in.” She shakes her head, “Doing so would get me in serious trouble as well.” She reaches her hand out to shake his,” Still good luck Turner, may the best team win.”
Brad grabs her hand and shakes it smiling, “Hope to see ya soon.” She says behind his back,” I’ll probably be the first to shoot ya down.” Brad puts his bag on his back and hops on Chameleon. It was now 1am, and he was running a bit behind schedule. Brad hit the switch on Chameleon and activated its defenses and invisibility. This way nobody would notice his little stop. Brad’s first stop was the spot he promised to meet Roxy.
When he got there both Roxanne and the professor were sleeping soundly. He removed the stealth and walked up to the two sleeping like sound babies. He kicks the side of Roxy leg, “Wake up!” She yawns and rubs her eyes, “Sorry we got kind of tired waiting for ya.” She glances at her watch, “You’re late.” He says, “Had to go over a few things before leaving.”
Roxanne wakes the professor. Professor Michael instantly recognizes Brad, “You…You traitor.” Brad tried to calm him down, “Relax I’m going to get you out of here.” He looks at him angry, “Now? After all this time, I thought it was your job to protect me. Instead you let me stay in that hell hole.” Brad says not wanting to waste any more time, “Listen we have to move out now. If I stay here any longer, they’ll suspect something. I’m heading to MASK headquarters. You can file a complaint there.” He forcefully pulls the professor off the ground, “Now get on the bike.”
The Professor Michael got on the bike; he was too confused and angry to go on fighting. Brad looks at Roxanne and ruffles her hair, “Take care kid. I expect to see ya alive next week. Promise me you’ll be careful, because I’m regretting letting you doing this.”
She nods, “I promise. Now go. They’re tracking you. Every second you waste, is going to lead to Mayhem sending somebody over here to investigate. Brad looked at her worried, still wondering if he was doing the right thing leaving her behind. Brad says, “Professor stay close to me, the shield going up.” Within a matter of second Brad was gone from her sight.” Roxanne sat back down on the ground. Now she was alone, and the weight of everything was on her shoulders. She says to herself, “Please don’t let me screw this up.”
Brad drove Chameleon up the road towards Boulder Hill gas station. As he suspected nobody was around, yet inside the mountain would be a different story. He stops the bike just inside the garage.
He says to the professor, “Wait over there,” he pointed to a small waiting room, designed for guest waiting for automobile repairs.
He demands, “I want to come with you to talk to your superiors.”
Brad drags him in the room and locks the door behind him, “I don’t want to hear it.” Brad moves into the room in the back of the auto shop, which was Buddy office. He walks towards a door, which had a number keypad next to it. He enters his password and waits for it to comply. The keypad then asks for a figure print. Brad placed his thumb on the pad, and waited for the door to open. He silently thanked Matt, “Thanks for not deleting me out of the system.”
Brad moved carefully through the hallway, “Just make it to Matt first and everything will turn out just find.” Brad was doing his best to avoid the security cameras in the base. Brad walked into the garage and instantly ducked behind Rhino when he saw Buddy. Buddy yawns and stands up, “Well that’s it.” He talks to Condor,” Now just stay in one piece tomorrow and I’ll give ya a new coat of paint.” Inaya walked into the garage with two cups of coffee, “Here Buddy though you could use some.” Buddy takes the cup smiling, “Thanks Ivy, I thought you were sleeping?” Inaya a.k.a Ivy Green shook her head, “With all the commotion about tomorrow it’s kind of hard to sleep.” Buddy nodded, “I know what you mean.”
Brad sort of eased drop on the conversation and looked at who buddy was talking too, “I wonder who that is? Probably my replacement, I wonder if she’ll go on a date with me when this is all over, as an apology for shooting her down.” A small crocked smile appeared on his face.
Inaya ask referring to the bike, “So is she ready?” Buddy pats the bike, “Yeap, well I think I’m going to grab something to eat, care to join me?” Inaya smiled, “Sure I have nothing better to do.” Both exited the garage to head towards the mess hall. Brad walks out of his hiding spot and over to Condor. He runs a hand over it, “How I miss this bike so much. I’m never letting anything part us again. Ah well I’ll associate with it later, I got more pressing matters to attend to.” He moved down the hall slowly towards the center of the base.
Just as he was about to reach the control room, Inaya walked straight into him from around the corner. She shouted trying wipe some of the coffee off her uniform, “Hey watch where you’re going!” Brad tried to weasel his way around her,” Um sorry.” She looks up not recognizing the voice, “I know you. You’re Brad Turner.”
He stops in front of her and smiles,” Really?”
Her face turns ugly, “The traitor who shot me down.” She throws her coffee mug at him. Brad ducks, yet some of the hot coffee dribbled over his skin. Brad stands up and begins to run, “Hey I did it to save your life.”
She runs after him yelling in hope to catch someone attention, “Intruder in the building.” As she was running by she hit a red button on the wall to alert everyone, just then the computer activated the security system. The halls were now lit in red and the sound of a siren filled the air.
Brad thought, “Just what I need.” Inaya cornered him in computer room. Brad was tempting to try and run around her, but she looked ready to put up a fight. He says, “This is not what it looks like.” She narrows her eyes watching him, “Oh what you’re not spying?”
He says hoping she’ll believe him, “I’m here to help you guys.” He tries to run past her, but she jump kicks him in the stomach. He stumbles back holding his stomach, “Oh great not again.”
She rushes towards him and tackles him to the ground. The two of them were rolling over the ground strangling at each other’s throats. Matt and everybody else were on full alert. They rushed to the computer room to get the latest on the emergency. Most of them though VENOM started the attack, but they were all surprise to see Brad and Inaya battling it out on the floor.
Buddy and Dusty both jumped in there and pulled Inaya and Brad apart. Alex ended the alert on the computer and everything went back to normal. Matt walked forward towards Brad and Inaya. Matt looked at Inaya whose hair was an absolute wreck, and then he glanced at Brad who didn’t look any better. Matt orders both Dusty and Buddy, “Let go of both of them.” Brad and Inaya exchanged an angry glance at one another.
Matt says to Brad, “So Brad welcome back. I trust you can fill us in on what brought you back here?” Brad smiled at Matt, “Well yeah I kind of stumbled across Mayhem battle plans for tomorrow. Thought somebody would be mighty interest in them.”
Inaya looks at him angry, “Who’s going to believe that. He works for VENOM.”
The agents in the room sort of talked amongst themselves. Inaya was right, Brad did change sides. How could they ever trust him again? Matt said, “Well then it best that I come forward with the truth, now that the cat out of the bag. Brad was acting as a double agent.” Brad said adding, “We thought it best that only Matt and I knew, so we could make it look realistic enough to pull off. Getting in worked like a charm, but I wouldn’t say it was a complete success.”
Matt walks over to him and asks curiously, “What’s wrong?” Brad pulls up a chair, “Every attempt I made to sabotage the laser failed. I got the professor out. He’s in gas station might pissed off I’ll add. Also Mayhem plans for tomorrow are pretty much a head on attack. He’s so assured that the laser going to work this time, he’s just figuring out where to put the chest pieces on the board.”
Bruce says, “Then we should send some of our forces around him and attack him from the behind. They’ll have everything in the front; the laser shouldn’t be too hard to get at.” Brad says, “Outlaw going to be with it again, of course I’m not going to be able to distract Nash like I did last time. The good news for you all is Chameleon is out of the battle.”
Inaya ask, “How do you know that?” He replies, “It’s in the garage.”
Dusty says, “Well then why don’t we use it against VENOM. We can just drive by and drop a grenade on the dang thing.”
Brad shakes his head, “If only it was that simple. Mayhem got a tracking device on it. The battle going to begin in 3 hours, and I don’t have the faintest idea where the tracking device is located on the bike. Mayhem thinks I’m lowering the shields. Considering I have a lot to tell ya guys, he’s probably thinking at this point I’m not coming back.” Brad looks down wonder what he should say next, “I know you all want to blow that laser out of proportions, but there something I need to tell ya. Matt, Mayhem station Roxanne in the back with the laser.”
All eyes looked to Matt. Matt understood what he meant so he made no attempt to show any emotion. Brad walked over to him and put a hand on his shoulder, “She told me she was going to disarm the laser tomorrow.”
Inaya says with disbelief, “When tomorrow? Brad you don’t even know if she can do it. On top of that, she’s an expert when it comes to lying, she could have been pulling your chain.”
Brad looks to Inaya understanding her, “Ivy if it wasn’t for Roxanne’s help I wouldn’t have been able to get the professor out. Believe me I’ve doubted her as well, but that kid seems to be able to do anything she puts her heart into. I know you all want to talk, but I need to speak to Matt, before we get down to business.”
Both Matt and Brad stepped into the infirmary to talk privately. Matt says glad to see Brad again, “I take it was a great learning experience.” Brad said smirking, “Yeah well don’t ask me do to it again. I got enough bruises to last me a life time.” Brad got down to the important stuff, “I’m really worried.” Matt nods, “So am I.” Brad says, “I have no doubt that she’ll find a way to disarm it, I just hope she’s smart enough to get away when you guys attack. Matt she’s trying to make heads and tails of her life; she thinks she has to fix everything. I wish I would have forced her to come with me.”
Matt leans up against the wall in deep thought,” I’m going to see to it that I lead the attack on the laser. Hopefully if Roxanne does her part, I’ll be in one piece and I can pick her upon the way back.” Brad says, “Matt you can’t have eyes everywhere. There’s no way you can avoid fire and keep watch on Roxanne’s whereabouts. I’ll come with you.”
Matt disagrees, “I can’t let ya Brad. You have to stay here; if Mayhem sees you he might change his strategy. I can’t give you Condor back either, until I clear all this mess with the PNA. As long as I’m out there, I’ll make sure she doesn’t get hit. Come on we have to discuss our strategy with the team.” Both of them exited the infirmary, but were met by Inaya who was standing right by the door.
Brad looks at her and then to the group, “I think I’ll mingle for a while.”
Matt looked at Inaya, “Ok Ivy what is it?” She crosses her arms, “I can’t believe you kept this from me?”
Matt smiles,” Well it sort of slipped my mind, and I can’t believe you charged me with insubordination to demote me. You know if all goes well tomorrow, the PNA going to rip that up when they find out what’s really going on here.”
She was lost for words, “Let’s talk about that later. What are you going to do, your daughter going to be in the line of fire this time. You do realize that even if she is on that laser, it has to be blown up.” Matt looks her in the eye, “I know that, that’s why I’m going to lead the attack.” She looks at him doubtful, “Do you really think you can bring yourself to kill her?”
Matt said in a sad tone, “No I don’t, but I’m praying that it won’t come to that.”
Inaya could see the pain in his eyes, “Ok Matt, for once I believe you.” Both of them ended their small discussion and everybody gathered around the table to discuss their battle plan.
It was an hour before daybreak, and Roxanne was riding in Outlaw. Nash drove Outlaw, which was tagging along the laser from the behind, up to a nearby plateau. Roxanne stared out the window quietly planning everything in her mind. Nash looked at her, “What’s up with you? You’re usually giggling and talking about how you’re going to make my life a living hell. Today’s suppose to be a major victory for VENOM and you’re depressed about it.”
She turns away from the window, “Yeah I know, just having a bad day. You know kind of depressed that I can’t really help out.”
Nash says, “That’s not true you’ll be operating Outlaw.” She smirks slightly, “Oh yeah, so much fun following blimps on a radar and shooting them down like space invaders.”
Nash says a bit angry, “That’s my vehicle you’re taking about.” Nash stops Outlaw at its designated position, “Now quit your gripping and give me a hand.” Nash and Roxanne hop out of Outlaw. Nash activates the stand on the laser, then unhooks it from Outlaw, “Ok I’m going to give it a test.”
She looks at him wonder, “Why? You were practically babysitting the dang thing since the last battle.” Nash orders “Just move Outlaw and set it ready in battle mode.” Roxanne complied, “Ok.”
She hopped in the driver seat of Outlaw and watched Nash testing the system in the rear view mirror. Nash looked for a target, “That boulder will do nicely.” Nash quickly powers up the laser and within a matter of minutes a red beam shot straight at the boulder leaving nothing but rubble. Nash jumped up and down with joy, “Yes!” Just then Mayhem answered on the radio, “Nash what the hell are you doing? Your letting the enemy know your position!” Nash says, “Well I needed to…” Mayhem continued as if he hadn’t heard him, “Nobody fires until I order. Is that clear?” Nash says not wishing to upset Mayhem, “Yes Mayhem sir.”
Mayhem shouts, “Why isn’t Outlaw in the correct position?” Nash looks back at Outlaw, wondering what Roxanne was up too, “I’ll fix that.”
Roxanne took her eyes off the mirror, as she notices Nash walking towards her. Nash opens the driver side door, “What’s wrong I thought I told you to move Outlaw?” She looks at him confused, “Um Nash don’t take this the wrong way, but I kind of forgotten how. All these buttons and I just don’t remember which one to hit. I was actually scared I might blow ya up if I hit the wrong one. You know Nash I guess this proves you are a much smarter person then me.”
Nash smiles, “Well it’s about time you admit it. Ah don’t worry about it I’ll take care of it, you just watch the laser”
She hops out, “Sure thing boss.” Nash was glowing. He liked that she called him boss, made him feel superior inside.
Roxanne walked over to the laser with haste. She knew she had to get her job done fast, or she was done for. She quickly opens the control panel, and yanks out the chip from the switchboard. She then grabs another chip from her pocket that she stole from Nash’s computer, which was the same size and placed into the other’s spot.” She placed the chip in her pocket patting it gently, “This will fry this sucker to high hell.”
Nash walks over to the laser and sees her over the open panel, “Hey what are you doing?” She looks to him, “Oh some insect crawled into the system. I got rid of him.” Nash walks over and looks over the open panel everything appeared to be in place. He closes the panel; meanwhile she kept a straight face about it. He says, “Well Outlaw is all set up for ya, do you remember how to fire the rocket?”
She says sitting on the edge of the platform, “Hit the red button after some other buttons.” Nash looked at her frustrated, “Come on girl we’ll go over this one more time.”
He takes her hand and drags her over to Outlaw to show her how to operate it. This was exactly what she wanted have him to do stay focus on something other than the laser. If he decided to do another test, she would surely be found out. As the sun rose over the horizon, so did VENOM with a massive line of offense.
Roxanne pulled out her binoculars and looked at where the line was headed. She looked puzzled, “A gas station? We’re going to raid a gas station? Ok I know the gas prices are kind of ridiculous, but if we needed gas that bad, I’m sure Rax and Bruno could do a good job looting the place without this much fire power.”
Of course she went dead silent as she saw the gas station transform. A giant metal wall surrounded the building, and both the pumps and the sign were now weapons. She says to herself, “Wow, who would ever expect that. I wonder how they build such a place.”
Nash says over hearing her, “How about we get the plans after we burn it to the ground. Then we’ll make up our own little gas station.” She gave him an angry glair, “Was I talking to you?”
Nash takes the binoculars away, “Besides you should be watching the sky, not down there.”
She smiles, “Your absolutely right Nash, we wouldn’t want somebody to sneak up behind us and pulling a fast one.”
She looks around nervously wondering if she should just run away now or wait. She looks from distance and she could see a door opening up and several vehicles exiting Boulder Hill. She says to herself, “I have to wait. If I run now Mayhem might as well start shooting at me.” She watch as each vehicle left one by one Gator, Condor, Hurricane, Firefly, Rhino, and Volcano. Yet she felt disappointed when she didn’t see the red Camaro. She wonders, “Dad where are you? Don’t you abandon me too.”
Nash says overly excited, “Ok let’s fire this baby up.” Roxanne kept an eye on Nash, her nerves really began to jump. Nash says, “Initiating power up.” Nash hits a button and the laser began to gather its energy.
Roxanne couldn’t believe it, “How is it working. It was suppose to deactivate if you remove the circuit.” Roxanne got worried she didn’t know what to do. The battle on the ground and in the air was heating up. Mayhem and Vanessa were doing an excellent job at keeping MASK far away as possible from their location.
Nash yells at Roxanne, “I thought I told you to keep watch we have somebody on our tail.”
Roxanne turns around and to her surprise it was Thunderhawk rising up into view, “Dad?” Nash says, “No matter the laser powered up he’ll be my first target.” Roxanne felt terror strike her heart, “NO!!!” She runs over towards Nash hoping to knock him off the platform, but it was too late he hit the red button.
Roxanne closed her eyes, but to open them to find that nothing happened. The control panel was going berserk and there was nothing Nash could do to control it. Nash screamed, “No…no…no…no what went wrong!” The laser was going crazy and firing all over the place. She now understood why the chip was so important, such a powerful weapon that can only be control through one complex design chip.
She yells as she stays low, “Nash get out of there!”
Matt was having a hard time steering Thunderhawk clear of the laser’s firepower. Matt knew he had no choice, he had only one shot to blow that weapon, or else it will hit him first. He hit the fire button on his rockets, “I’m sorry Roxanne.” She grabs Nash and tugs at him to get moving, “We lost control we have to go!” Just as she said that she saw the missiles coming towards them, “Oh shit!” Nash’s eyes widen as well. Both of them ran and jumped for cover, as the missiles came in contact with the laser.
Matt flew up high to avoid to impact of the explosion. Debris was everywhere and nothing but a huge cloud of dark smoke could be seen up on the Plateau. The battlefield was silent and seized fire. Mayhem couldn’t believe it, “What the blazes just happen!” Nothing could be seen. Rubble left from the explosion rested over
Roxanne. She groans, “Can’t breathe…” The air around both her and Nash was toxic. The chemical that were previously inside the laser surrounded them. Both their lungs were burning from the inside out. Nash moves over her and helps her up.
Both of them covered their noses in hope that it would help. Nash leads Roxanne towards Outlaw and neither wasted time getting in. Nash and Roxanne couldn’t stop coughing and gasp for air. Nash pushed his foot to the accelerator and cleared Outlaw out of the area in a hurry. He tries to speak on the radio, “Fail…Blew…up…”
Mayhem says angry, “Retreat for now!” VENOM pulled their vehicles out of the area. Bruce asks over the radio, “Shall we pursue them?” Matt says finally coming out of the clouds, “No Bruce we have to clean up this mess. We’ll get VENOM another day. Most the area is contaminated. Ivy alert the PNA at once!”
Matt looks around at the plateau wondering if any bodies were mixed in the debris. He was still unable to see anything, “Mask heat detector.” His mask scans the area picking up only the blaze from the fire, “Looks like she made it.”
Matt watched as VENOM retreated. Outlaw looked like it was still in good shape, and Matt was certain Roxanne was still alive. He was gravely disappointed that he had no way to rescue her from her captures, “I won’t give up, I promise.”
Roxanne despite her constant coughing glanced at the passenger side mirror. She watched Thunderhawk circling the wreckage in the background. Her hand slipped into her pocket and clenches the chip. She didn’t know what to do next, but whatever it was she was certain she had to get far away from VENOM as possible. Her life depended on it.
Roxanne laid peacefully in her bed. It had been three days since VENOM’s latest defeat, and she never set foot outside her room. After being exposed to the gases of the laser, she used quarantine as an excuse to stay out of site. Yet she knew very well that Nash was walking about in good health, and he was exposed just as much as she was. It was only a matter of time before somebody forced her out of her room. Her sick routine was worthless and she was pretty much running out of ideas. Deep inside she felt that everybody already knew her secret. Of course, if they knew she was a traitor, why haven’t they come forward yet? Her primary focus was to figure a way out of VENOM’s headquarters. She had no transportation and surveillance was extremely tight. She figured she could make it 2 miles up the road max, before she got caught. Just then a knock on the door alerted her sense. She gulped, “Come in.” As she watched the door open she hope silently they weren’t coming for her.
Rax opened the door and leans on it, “Hey kiddo we have a meeting.”
She turns her head to look at him and says in a not so thrilled voice, “I’m sick tell me what happens later.” She pulls the covers over her head.
Rax walks over to her and pulls the covers off, “Do I have to physically carry you up there? Stop mopping about what happen. Now get dress and be up there in five minutes. You know how impatient Mayhem is, the last thing you want him to think is you’re a traitor.”
She sits up and looks at him nervously, “Why did you say that?”
Rax says walking out the door, “Just an expression, now get a move on. We don’t have all day.”
Roxanne got dress and made her way towards Mayhem’s office. She stood outside of it hesitating to enter. Roxanne slowly turned the knob and entered the office. All of Mayhem VENOM agents were present. She crossed her arms and stepped further into the room. She felt like all eyes were upon her staring at her forehead, which was marked in bold black letters ‘guilty’. The office felt a bit cramp with everyone in it and the heat was rising fast. Bruno slams the door shut and she could feel her nerves jumping. Rax offered her his seat, yet she refused. She wonders, “Why is he being so nice, something has to be up. I don’t like the looks of this.”
Mayhem turned around in his chair and looked at his team, “We had MASK in our grasp, yet you all seem to find a way to foul up every mission I plan.” Everyone had an ugly look on their face, feeling it was just as much his fault as it was theirs. Mayhem continues, “It makes me wonder if I should take up Contra World’s offer for better train replacements. But it’s been brought to my attention we have a traitor among our ranks. And we all know what happens to traitors.” Roxanne bit her lip. Mayhem looked at Roxanne, but then shift his view to Vanessa, “Vanessa what do you know about this?”
Vanessa was a bit shock that he even called on her, “Nothing. I’ve been by your side through most the planning.”
Mayhem looked at her as though he was accusing her of his down fall, “I know you have, but it’s your fault you can’t cover your informer’s tracks.”
Vanessa laugh, “You think Brad sabotage this mission. I really don’t think that’s even remotely possible.”
Nash says trying to back Mayhem up, “He interfered with our first battle by screwing up my perfect shot. Plus he was the last person with my computer, which is now missing parts.”
Vanessa says with sarcasm, “Oh were all so heartbroken over your stupid computer. Plus I’m not totally convinced it was Brad fault during the first battle. I think you need to get stronger prescription glasses.”
Dagger says in Vanessa’s face, “You know he’s always snooping around so much. I bet he’s the one who stole the key from my pocket. He had a habit of starting fights.”
Vanessa shook her head, “Isn’t it kind of the other way around, because from the way I perceived it? When Brad was within 2 feet of you, your fist was in his face. So that doesn’t prove anything.”
Rax jumped on the conversation as well, “Anyways who’s to say he didn’t free the professor. You don’t know exactly where he was when the professor was set free.”
Vanessa stands up angry, “Neither do you Rax, because you were suppose to be guarding the professor. Besides Brad was with us when we discovered the professor missing.”
Rax shouts, “Well of course he could have, he had you as an accomplice.”
Vanessa looks to Mayhem with disbelief, “You don’t seriously believe this garbage? I’ve been you second in command since the beginning. How can you not trust me after all these years?”
Mayhem walks around the desk and looks her right in the eye, “It’s been brought to my attention that you’ve been taking jobs on the side. How much were you paid to screw up my operations?”
Vanessa looked just as angry, “First off, I can’t help it if I have a better reputation to getting the job done, then the rest of those morons who work for you. Second if I did take such a job, I wouldn’t be here letting you breath fire down my throat.”
Roxanne sat there quietly as she eyed Rax, Nash, and Dagger. It was obvious what was going on. The three of them teamed up to get rid of Vanessa and planting her as the saboteur was the perfect opportunity. Even if their plan worked out, they’d have complete leverage over her, which meant more trouble. She couldn’t let this happen; she respected Vanessa and felt she owed her something in return. Why should she take the fall for her job? Bruno and Dagger were about to put Vanessa in a lock down, until Roxanne spoke up with her snotty attitude, “Please, you can’t really think Vanessa would jeopardize her entire career like that?”
Mayhem turns to look at her, “What do you know about this?”
She says in a tuff voice. “A lot more then you do, since your blind about everything that goes on behind your back old man.”
Mayhem expression was like a raging bull, “It was you!”
She smiles slyly, “Who else could of pulled off such an escapade?”
Mayhem lunged at her slamming her up against the wall. Both his hands were wrap tightly around her neck. Roxanne’s hands try to pull his away, as she gasps for air. Mayhem says trying to strangle her to death with his strong hands, “I’ve had it with you! You’ve been trouble since day one. Now you’re going to pay for wasting my time!” Even though Rax already knew Roxanne was the traitor, he couldn’t let Mayhem kill her. He had grown to enjoy the company of the girl and felt she didn’t deserve this. Rax attempted to pull Mayhem away from her. Of course Mayhem was more powerful then he perceived for his age. Dagger stepped in as well sharing his friend concern and placed a hand on Mayhem shoulder, forcing him away from her. Roxanne slumps to the ground rubbing her red neck. Mayhem shouts while being held back, “Where’s my microchip?”
She says in a sore voice, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. It was barbequed in the fire.”
Mayhem orders, “Floyd, Nash, tear her room apart. Bruno lock her in a holding cell, with a guard!” Bruno forces her off the ground and pushes her out of Mayhem’s office. Roxanne exchanged a glance with Vanessa, then stumbles off towards her holding cell. Mayhem said furious pushing Dagger and Rax off him, “If you two do that again, you’ll join her!”
Roxanne sat on the bench in her cell. She knew she was in trouble, deep trouble. The room had plain gray walls with only a metal door that had an opening for a guard to look thru. She stood on her toes to look through the opening. Bruno was standing next to the door. Roxanne asks, “Hey Bruno can you do me a huge favor?” Bruno stood there quietly ignoring her. She continues hoping to soften him up, “I know we’ve never been the best of friends, but is there any chance you could find it in your heart to pretend I somehow escaped?”
Bruno laugh, “Oh that’s the best one I’ve heard out of ya yet.” Roxanne steps back and crosses her arms, as Bruno looks through the opening. Bruno says in a harsh tone, “Listen little lady. You do the crime you pay with your life. This isn’t a game where you can quit when you get scared. You have no idea who you’re messing with.”
Roxanne said frustrated, “Why don’t you lecture me?”
Bruno went ahead and did that, “You’re messing with us, Mayhem, and Contra World. And believe me treason is punishable by death.”
She says hopelessly, “So that’s it everybody going to throw me at the firing squad. I’ll pay you, my daddy rich.”
Bruno turns around, “Nothing you can offer is worth joining you in the firing squad. Speaking of the devil, here comes your executioner.” Roxanne could hear Mayhem’s feet like thunder up the hallway. She stood there nervously trying not to shake with fear.
Vanessa came up the hallway behind him, “Mayhem.”
He stops and turns to look at her, “What do you want, can’t you see I’m busy.” Vanessa crossed her arms, “I know what you’re going to do. She’s only a child.” Mayhem snorted, “A child doesn’t blow up a 5 million dollar operation. I have Contra World’s approval on this, so I intend you to understand.” Mayhem continues to walk towards Roxanne’s cell.
Vanessa’s face turned ugly, “There must be some other way to punish her, your signing her death warrant by handing her over to Contra World.”
Mayhem laughs,” Unlike you I could care less about that miserable little brat. If I had the first say in her future I’d shoot her in the head, to relieve my own head ache. Contra World seems to think she is some sort of valuable asset for the future. Now I’m not going to discuss this anymore. She leaves first thing tomorrow morning.” Mayhem stops in front of Bruno, “Take off Bruno, I’m taking over.”
Bruno raised a brow, thinking it was strange for Mayhem to release him, “Why?”
Mayhem orders a bit paranoid, “I have business to discuss with the traitor that doesn’t concern you.”
Bruno shrugs and takes off, “Just curious, boss.”
Vanessa narrowed her eyes as she watches Mayhem enter Roxanne’s cell. She thinks of a mischief plan, “Well see about that, two can play at this game.” She turned around and walked down the hallway towards the elevator.
Mayhem stepped into the cell, meanwhile Roxanne stood there watching the angry expression on Mayhem’s face. His teeth gritted evilly, and Roxanne felt scarred. Mayhem spoke in a calm tone, “Roxanne it seems you’ve outdone yourself in your latest act of vandalism. You’ll be relieved to know Contra World is being generous enough to spare your pathetic life, in exchange for future services.”
Roxanne protest, “And if I refuse?”
Mayhem smiled, “Well an execution can be arranged.” She fell silent. Mayhem continues, “Tomorrow you’ll be handed over to Contra World soldiers, so we’ll never have to see each other ever again.” Mayhem adds, “Of course, I wouldn’t want you to go without something to remember me by.” Mayhem leaves the room for a moment and returns carrying a long black leather whip. “Roxanne eyes widen as she saw him crack the whip with an evil grin. Mayhem smiles, “You know your mother had the same expression on her face the last time I saw her.” He laughs darkly as he cracks the whip inches from her feet. She moved back until she hit the wall, her entire body was trembling with terror.
Meanwhile Vanessa reached the elevator and the doors were just about to close. She shouts, “Bruno hold that.” Of course like a gentleman he was, he ignored her request, “Get the next one.” She huffed a bit and slammed her fist again the elevator door as he took off, “Jerk.” She crossed her arms thinking about all the work she was going to have to do, to pull her plan off. The elevator finally returned and she entered. Just as she was going to press the 10th floor on the elevator, she hears Roxanne scream in agony. Vanessa couldn’t believe what she was hearing, what could he possibly be doing to her to make her scream in such a horrific manor. She opens the elevator door and runs down the hallway.
The crying mixed with screaming became louder every corner she turned. She rushed through the open door to Roxanne’s cell. Roxanne stayed huddle in the corner her back facing Mayhem. The back of her shirt already had 3 slashes and was stained with blood. Mayhem had the whip ready to strike again. Before Mayhem could do that, Vanessa grabbed the end of it in mid-air and yanked it out of Mayhem’s hand.
Mayhem turned around confused, “What in the blue blazes?”
Vanessa spoke outraged as she held the whipped all bundled up in her hand firmly, “Are you crazy? You’re going to kill her with this!”
Mayhem demanding to have the whip back, “She needs proper disciplines. She seems to of forgotten where her loyalties lie. I’ve done this before Vanessa; without killing anyone, so don’t worry about it. A few lashes will put her back on track.”
Vanessa approaches Roxanne who was shaking violently from the severe pain. She turns to Mayhem, “She’s not one of your POWs (Prisoners of War) from back in your Vietnam days. For crying out loud she’s not even an adult, her body can’t withstand that much force.”
Mayhem grunt in amusement, “Go ahead Vanessa mother her to death, like you always do. For your information, I know more about how much pain a human being can take then you do.” He walks out of the cell mumbling under his breath.
Vanessa kneels down next to Roxanne, “He’s gone.” She continues to stay huddle in the corner afraid to move. Vanessa said in a concern voice, “Can you move?” Roxanne continued to remain silent. Vanessa threw the whip to the opposite side of the room and reached out for Roxanne face. She turned it towards her. Roxanne eye expressed true terror and tears were falling nonstop. Vanessa tried to wipe her tears, “Ah Hun I wish I would have gotten here sooner.”
She says in a shaky voice hating herself, “Finish it!”
Vanessa looked at her feeling that she had miss something, “Why would I do such a thing?”
She replies, “I don’t deserve to live for everything I’ve done. I’ve hurt everyone I love. This is the only way to put it right.”
Vanessa brushed a few strands of hair from her eyes, “Getting whipped to death isn’t going to fix anything. The only thing it’s going to do is hurt the ones you love more.”
Roxanne looked down in guilt, “I never…”
Vanessa put her hands under her underarms, “It’s ok. Now let’s get you off the floor.” Roxanne was very weak and her legs were trembling as Vanessa did most the work to pull her off the ground. Roxanne leaned on Vanessa as she stood up. Vanessa put Roxanne arm around her neck so she could walk with her, “Anything broken?”
Roxanne said grunting slightly, “Everything.”
Vanessa moved her to another room on the floor, which had a cot for her to lie on. Roxanne laid down on her stomach, yet no matter what position she was in, the pain just wouldn’t go away. Vanessa apologized, “I’d let you rest in your room, but the guys sort of tore the place apart.”
Roxanne said not really caring since her mind was elsewhere, “It’s alright.”
Vanessa nodded, “I’ll go see what I can find in the first aid kit. You try to relax.”
The door was unlocked and opened slowly at around 2 am. Roxanne eyes were wide open and tired. It was too hard to sleep especially with your back feeling like it’s being stabbed. Vanessa had kept her company for few hours during the day, but she had other duties to attend too. Roxanne felt a bit relieved the Vanessa kept the key to the room. Vanessa walked in asking, “How are you holding up?”
Roxanne said quietly, “Pain…in a lot of pain.”
Vanessa acknowledge, “I know give it 48 hours and the pain won’t be that bad. I need you to get up again.”
Roxanne mumbled to her, “Their here to take me away aren’t they? Forget it just…just tell Mayhem to kill me. I can’t take any more of this.”
Vanessa said in a serious tone, “Now you listen to me. You’re lucky you only got a few lashes on your back. I’ve been in situations where I’ve received worst. You need to hang in there, because that’s what they want you to do cave in and cower before them. Never give up hope. Your very strong like I was at your age, else you wouldn’t have done what you did. I’m going to give you the second chance I never had, before I got myself mixed up in this mess. So what do you say we get you out of this joint?”
Roxanne looked up to her, “It hurts to move, but I’ll do my best to keep quiet. Can you give me a hand?” Vanessa helps her off her stomach. Roxanne grunted in pain, her entire body was shaking and she tried hard to hold back her tears.
Vanessa says to her, “We don’t have far to walk, once we get to the garage you’ll have your ride home.”
Roxanne asks, “Cameras…Mayhem?”
Vanessa replied, “Don’t worry about it, the cameras are shut off, and this little escape is a team effort. Mayhem wouldn’t dare tell anyone what’s about to go down tonight. It would be an embarrassment on his record.” Both Roxanne and Vanessa headed down the hallway towards the elevator. Roxanne couldn’t help but wonder what she meant by a team effort.
When they reached the garage Rax was waiting in Piranha. Vanessa walks over to Manta and digs threw her trunk for a blanket. Roxanne looked at Rax, “What are you doing here?”
Rax said in a not so happy tone, “She’s black mailing the 3 of us for trying to get her kicked out. She already gave Nash a nice mark on the face. Anyways if you would of kept your trap shut, the plan would of worked out great.”
Roxanne smirked, “Well my conscious got the best of me and I don’t expect my friends to take credit for my work.”
Vanessa puts the blanket around her. Rax then gives Roxanne a hand as she steps into Piranha’s sidecar. She looks to Vanessa, “Thanks.”
Vanessa smiled, “Your welcome, I don’t expect to see you again anytime soon.”
Roxanne slightly wished the same, yet as long as her father was in MASK she will always have a connection to VENOM. She says with an honest face, “I’ll try my best to stay as far away as possible, but I will miss you guys.”
Rax said yawning, “This is all very touching, but we got to get going.” The two said their final good-byes and Piranha was gone.
Piranha stopped in front of the gate to Matt Trakker’s mansion just after sun set. The rain was beginning to pour down hard and Rax was getting quit agitated. Rax turned to her, “Ok kiddo end of the line.” Rax was starting to get soak, he pressed a button to remove the cover over the passenger sidecar. Despite the long drive she couldn’t fall asleep. Her back kept her awake throughout the entire ride. Rax gives her a hand as she steps out of Piranha, “Anyways good luck Roxy. I’m going to find some place dry. Catch ya later.” She waves to Rax as he drives off. She wraps the blanket tighter around her body, in hope to keep the rain off her back, and began her journey up the driveway.
By the time she reached the porch of the mansion, she looked just as soak as Rax did when he left. She stood in front of the door practicing what to say or do in her mind, “If I don’t get this over with, I might as well pass out on the porch. My back is killing me.” She slipped off her right shoe and painfully bent down to pick it up. She stuck her hand in her shoe and pulled out a wade of cotton and a microchip, “Walking with his thing isn’t any better.” She drops her shoe on the ground and slides her foot back into it. Her hand clenched the chip, while her other hand reached for the doorbell.
Matt was in his study helping Scott with his homework. T-bob said as he heard the doorbell, “I’ll get it.” He opens the door and glances at Roxanne. He then slammed the door shut and rushed back into the study, “Somebody save me, she’s going to reprogram me!”
Scott said shaking his head, “T-bob you’re not making any sense. Who is it?”
T-bob said with a jitter in his voice, “Roxanne.”
Matt stood up and left the room heading straight for the door. Scott was going to follow as well. Matt turned to him before opening the door, “Give me a couple minutes.” Scott reluctantly nodded and went back to doing his homework.
Matt opened the door and looked at Roxanne. She was dripping wet and look very exhausted. She didn’t dare look up at him. Roxanne was full of guilt and shame, and to look at his eyes were a constant reminder of what a failure she had become. She reached out for his hand and placed the chip into it. She says in a soft tired voice, “I’m sorry.” She turned around and walked back into the rain.
Matt looked down at his hand to glance at the chip. He then slipped the chip inside of his pocket and stepped outside to head after her, “Roxanne, wait!”
She continued to walk as if she hadn’t heard him call her name. He walks out to her and puts a hand on her shoulder. She grunted softly and turned to look at him, “What else could you possible want? I gave you back what I’ve stolen.”
Matt tilts her head to look at him, “I want my daughter back.”
She smirks, “I wasn’t really much of a daughter to begin with.”
Matt said with a smile, “We can work on that. Why don’t you come inside? I’ll get you some clean clothes and you can warm up, then we can talk.”
Roxanne didn’t know what to say. Tears fell down her face, “I don’t deserve this, not after everything I did to you, Scott and your teammates.”
Matt answers, “We need to restart over somewhere.” She started to break down and cry. She was physically and emotionally exhausted and for the first time in months she could let her guard down. Matt moved closer and wraps his arms around her, to give her a hug. She screeched out in agony as he hugged her. He let go, “What’s wrong?”
She sort of slides around the truth, “My back sore from the drive, that’s all.”
Matt nods, “Ok then let’s go inside.”
Roxanne and Matt enter the mansion. Matt says, “I’ll go find you some clean clothes.” He takes off and Roxanne walked over towards the mirror in the hallway. She glanced about; hoping no one else was around. She pulled back the blanket, to get a first glance at her back. She didn’t like the reflection she saw in the mirror and it only caused more tears to fall down her face. Scott came out of the study and smiled as he saw Roxanne, but as he moved closer he could see the slash marks on her back. He said in a worried tone, “Roxanne what happen to you back?”
She quickly covered it up with the blanket, “It’s really nothing. It doesn’t even hurt.” She wipes the tears from her face.
Scott looked at her suspiciously, “That looked pretty bad to me.”
Matt returns with a pair of sweats. He hands them to Roxanne and she takes off towards her room with haste. Matt then glances at Scott, “What’s troubling you? I thought you were happy to have your sister back.”
Scott replies, “I am, it’s just she’s having problems with her back. I’m worried that’s all.”
Matt says patting him on the shoulder, “She told me it was sore from the long drive.”
Scott shook his head, “Dad that didn’t look even close to it.”
Matt face took a turn for the worst. He marched up towards Roxanne’s bedroom and knocked on the door.
She opens it up in her sweats, “Hey dad, I was just going to see you. I was hoping maybe we could hold off our talk until the morning. I’m really tired.”
Matt says, “Sure thing after you let me look at your back.”
She looks at him knowing there was no way around it, “It’s really not that bad.” She turns around and lets him lift the back of her shirt up. Her back had some open flesh wounds and was colored purple and blue. Matt ran his hand over her back and she grunted in pain. She asks, “Please don’t do that.”
He says with anger, “Why did you lie to me? Who did this?”
She turns to face him, “I think it’s kind of obvious who did this to me, and I know I deserved every minute of it.”
Matt tried to control his anger, just like Mayhem he figured to let his frustrations out on a child. Matt replies, “Nobody deserves to be beaten like this. You and I are going to have a nice long discussion about lying. You’re seriously injured Roxanne. I don’t see how you even expect to get any sleep tonight. I’m going to call my friend Julio over to check you out.”
Julio exited Roxanne room taking off his surgical gloves. He came down the stairs and into the living room where Matt waited in an armchair. Matt broke his chain of thoughts as he saw Julio approached. Julio sat down across from him, “She’s sleeping.”
Matt asks, “How did it look?”
Julio rubbed his eyes, “Just as bad as you said it was over the phone. The painkillers are helping her sleep and she has a bit of a temperature. I expect that to die down by the morning. I took care of the infection, but she’s going to be scared for life. The best I can do is give you a number of a friend of mine, who is an excellent plastic surgeon. It won’t be gone permanently, but it won’t look that bad when he’s done.” Julio looked at Matt who was rather frustrated, “What’s going through your head?”
Matt says wanted revenge, “How I’d like to rip out Mayhem’s heart, if he had one.”
Julio asked, “And what are you going to do about her?”
Matt stood up and walked over to the fireplace, and put more wood in it, “I’m going to wait a couple days for her to get better, and then I’m calling the PNA. It’s too dangerous for her to stay here right now. This is the first obvious place they’ll look for her.” Julio stands up, “You’re doing the right thing Matt. I’ll be back in the morning to check up on her.”
Roxanne continued to lie in bed throughout the next day. Julio ordered her to take it easy and rest for a couple of days. She joked to herself, “Maybe I should take up sleeping as a new hobby.” Just then there was a knock on the door. “Come in,” she replied.
Brad Turner stepped in wearing jeans, a nice white shirt, and his usual shades. Brad smiled as he saw her, “Hey you’re not looking so great.”
She smirked slightly, “Well you’re not exactly god’s gift to women.”
Brad laughs slightly, “Most women would disagree with that.” Brad removed his shades and put them in his shirt pocket, then he pull out some flowers he was hiding behind his back, “These are for you.”
She takes them smiling as she smells the flowers, “What this for?”
He sits on the bed, “Ah well you know a thank you for helping me out, and also a get well present.”
She looks to him, “So you’ve heard.”
Brad said, “At this point everyone knows. Why didn’t you come with me? None of this would of happened.”
She looks down, “I kind of wished I would of taken you up on that offer.”
Brad asks feeling a bit responsible for leaving her there, “If you hadn’t lied about an escape plan, we could have done something different. I might have been able to come back to get you.”
She replies feeling guilty, “I’m sorry it just seemed the right thing to do at the time. Once I start lying it’s hard to stop, and look where the truth got me.”
Brad holds her hand, “Cheer up. I guess were both to blame for this one way or another. Now that your home everything should only get better from this point on.” Roxanne smiled, as she felt a bit better about herself.
Five days later Inaya Vendun a.k.a Ivy Green showed up at Matt Trakker’s mansion. She and Matt walk down the hall towards his office. Inaya asked, “Is it true what I’ve heard?”
Matt nodded, “Yes Roxanne came home.”
She smiles, “Oh I knew that. I was referring more to following policy and notifying the PNA.”
Both of them entered his office and Matt said, “Don’t get so full of yourself.”
Inaya couldn’t help but giggle slightly. Now that VENOM was less of a threat the tension between her and Matt die down quite a bit. Even if she still had issues to settle with him. Inaya added to tease him slightly, “Now that my promotion is going through, I really didn’t expect us to see each other again.”
Matt sat down behind his desk, “I know congratulations on your promotion. You kind of have me to thank for that Inaya Vendun.”
She was surprise, “How long have you known? I mean I thought I took care of everything to cover my tracks.”
Matt says with a sly smile on his face, “Oh you did an excellent job covering your tracks. And I admit you had me puzzled for some time now. But when I got reinstated as the leader of MASK, the first thing I ask Duane was who my mysterious co-worker was. He told me you had an interest of having your own team. I figure by convincing him your ready you’d be off my back. So now that you have your own team, I won’t have to hear you bicker about my decisions.”
Inaya was still a bit shock, “I don’t know what to say, besides the fact I’m appalled by the fact you wanted to get rid of me. But we never did hit it off on the right foot to begin with. Thank you Matt that means a lot to me.”
Matt smiles, “Your welcome, you do deserve it Major. Anyways that’s not the reason why I request to see you. I have a favor to ask you before you head off on your new assignment. I’m going to have Roxanne taken to a safe house, where she can receive treatment. I would feel much better, if you were the one escorting her there.”
Inaya asked curious, “You’re not worried she’s going to pull a fast one are you?”
Matt said not to happy with this decision, “Yes and No. I haven’t exactly told her yet, so I have a gut feeling she’s not going to react to the news well. The thing is she’s made some enemies after blowing up Contra World’s big operation. I just feel a lot better with someone like you who is smart and physically capable of protecting herself to handle to job.”
Inaya smiled, “Now I do feel honored and might take ya up on the request. Sure Matt I’ll do it.”
Matt reaches out to shake her hand, “Thank you. She’ll be leaving next week. I’ll have the info fax to your office.”
Roxanne was running on the treadmill. She kept increasing the speed after every mile. Matt stood there in the doorway watching her. She looked tired and her legs were about to cave in, yet she kept pushing herself to the limit. He approached her, “Hey you’re suppose to be taking it easy.” She looks at him confused all she could hear was the treadmill running and her feet pounding hard against it. Matt lowered the speed on it, and then turned the machine off. She grab strongly onto the treadmill waiting for the dizziness to pass by.
She breathes heavily, “What did you do that for?”
Matt hands her a water bottle, “What part of taking it easy don’t you understand?”
She questions him, “What’s wrong with getting in shape?”
He answer, “Nothing when your healthy and at full strength. This morning you couldn’t get out of bed, now you’re running a marathon.”
She winces as she stands up straight from her slouching position, “Well pain is a good motivator. It strives a person to do better, even if it kills them. If I don’t get my strength back I’ll never be ready for Contra World when they come.”
Matt said, ” Roxanne doing this is only going to make it hurt worst. Plus you don’t need to worry about Contra World. I won’t let them near you.”
She says with disbelief, “What you’re going to baby-sit me 24/7? Dad no offense, but your no superman. I can’t go or do anything without wondering if Contra World is over my shoulder watching me. And If I’m not ready I’m good as dead.”
Matt said agreeing with her, “Your right. That’s why you’re going to a nice little place to disappear for a while.”
She glares at him, “You’re putting me into the witness protection program?”
Matt reassures her, “It’s a safe house for PNA affiliates.”
She says in an angry tone, “I just got here and you’re already trying to get rid of me.” She storms out of the room upset.
Matt grabs her arm as she attempts to leave, “Would you rather have the alternative? Right now you could be sitting in a prison for your crimes. Yes I said crimes. You didn’t think joining VENOM was going to get you in trouble with the law, did you? I told the PNA that you were brainwash and considering your very young they bought it. Now if putting you in Prison is the only way for me to be reassure that you’re alive and well, I’ll do it. I know I can’t undo the past. I love you very much Roxanne and I don’t want anything else to happen to you.”
She looks down uncertain as to what to say, “But I just got you in my life, I don’t want to lose you. I don’t want to be alone again.”
Matt said trying to comfort her, “You’re not alone anymore. I’m going to keep in touch with you.”
She says not believing you, “That’s what they all say.”
He runs his hand over her face, “It’s only going to be for a couple months. I promise to call you ever couple days to check up on you. As much as you’re afraid of losing me, I’m more afraid of losing you. Please do this for me Roxanne; I don’t want anything to happen to you. I don’t think I could forgive myself if it did.”
She walks over towards the window and looks out. Roxanne was confused about Matt’s offer. Of course she didn’t have much of a choice: safe house or prison. Maybe this is what she needs time away to reflect on everything, without worrying about snipers or kidnappers. She says refusing to look at him, “I’ll go.” Matt attempts to approach her, but she adds, “I want to be alone for a while.” Matt nodded and walked out of the room.
Roxanne gathered her bags together. She could hear Inaya honking the horn outside for her to hurry up. Scott walked in her room, “You need a hand?”
She says not wanting any help, “No I can take it.”
Scott orders T-bob who was waiting out in the hall, “T-bob grab her bags.”
T-bob didn’t object, “Anything to get rid…”
Scott glared and interrupted the robot, “T-bob shut your metal trap.”
Roxanne looked at him angry, “What part of I don’t need help did you not hear? I especially don’t need that trash can throwing my stuff all over the place.” Roxanne had been in a sour mood, since her father mentioned she’d be going away so soon. It hurt her deep inside, and she just didn’t know how to react.
Scott said apologizing, “I figured you’d needed help. You can’t carry 3 bags by yourself, especially with your back…”
She says attempting to pick up all 3 bags, “I’m not a cripple Scott. I don’t need your help.” Of course, she made it as far as her bedroom door before she dropped 2 bags. She said with a mumble, “Can you please carry my bags out.” Scott smiled and him and T-bob took her luggage outside.
Once outside, Inaya and Matt were having a discussion while Scott and T-bob were loading up the car. Matt walked over towards Roxanne, “Roxanne don’t worry it will be over before you know it. I’ll call you first thing tomorrow morning to find out how everything is.”
She said in a not so trilled tone, “Whatever.” She walked towards Inaya car and hops in not even bothering to say good-bye.
Matt watched her disappointed. Inaya patted his arm, “Don’t worry she’ll be alright.”
Inaya hops into the driver seat and looks at Roxanne. She was already staring off into oblivion with a depressing face. Inaya looked to her, “I know you’re angry, but blaming him isn’t going to help.”
Roxanne says, “What do you know?”
Inaya replies, “I use fight with my parents. They always knew what was best for me, yet I would never listen. The worst part is both of them are dead and I can’t take it back. I guess my point is, if you don’t say goodbye now, you might regret it later.” Inaya begins to start up the car.
Roxanne said understanding, “Wait I have something I want to do.” She hops out of the car and walks over to Matt. She looks for the right words, “I’m sorry I’ve been kind of grumpy lately. I really don’t want to go. I kept thinking it would be easier if I just stayed mad at you, but it’s not really working.” She pleads to him, “Please let me stay here.”
Matt gave her a light hug and a kiss on the cheek, “I know you don’t want to go. If I could have it any other way I’d let you stay. Your life is in danger sweat pea.”
She says softly, “But I’m not scared to face that.”
Matt says kneeling down to meet her level, “I know you’re very strong. I just can’t live with that reality. I blame myself for losing your mother; I don’t want to lose you as well.”
Roxanne put her arms around his neck hugging him and whispers, “It was not your fault. Mom loved you.”
Matt stands up, “You better get going, or you’ll miss your plane.”
She says waving to him as she rushes to the car, “Bye dad. Tell Scott and T-bob bye as well.” The car then disappeared down the driveway and headed towards the airport.