A Death in his Family
Previously on Red Revenge...
"All units, murder suspect on fifth and third proceeding north on foot. Pursuing. Require backup. Suspect is heavily armed and protected. Female, mid-twenties. White hair, black clothes, sword and possible body armor." the radio crackled.
"She cut them in three pieces and set fire to their car." Revenge replied, and swung off.
"I assume you did your homework?" Revenge asked.
"Yes." Rose replied, untying her snow-white hair from its ponytail. She was dressed simply. White tank top, skinny jeans, white eyepatch. Her hair hung loosely behind her.
"As far as I can see, this is her first appearance. At least in this century."
"This century?" Revenge asked as Rose lay down on the couch, facing opposite of him.
"Yeah." she said, tossing him a packet of papers. "Apparently, this woman has appeared, same outfit, dozens of time throughout recorded history. Each time she kills people, befriends someone, mostly the hero of the turn, and then kills them after they try and stop her from killing more people."
"Holly!" Sam exclaimed, standing up. Rose sat up and flipped on the couch.
Holly flew at Sam and pinned him to the wall, one hand around his throat. For once, Sam couldn't defeat her.
"Do you know who she is and what she has done?!" Holly exclaimed.
Sam gagged. "Yes! I do! Let me down and I'll explain!"
"So she's the one undercover?" Holly asked.
"Yes." Revenge replied. "Well, me too, but mostly her."
"I kept wanting to get you in on this." Rose said. "I would've loved to have you by my side."
"But he didn't want me to." Holly said, glaring at Sam.
"No." Sam replied.
"And why the hell not?"
"I didn't want you to get hurt." Sam said sadly, turning to the computer.
Holly's expression softened.
"But you're in it now." Sam sighed.
"Does the rest of the Team know about this?" Holly asked. "Nightwing, Batman?"
"Surprisingly, no." Rose said. "And somehow, Sam's kept it that way."
"Speaking of secret identities, how long-"
"Two months." Sam replied.
The woman with the white hair was moving as if she were liquid. Slipping to one side or the other, smoothly dodging, countering, an attacking Rose. The police had (thankfully) formed a barrier, keeping the citizens behind it.
"Left." Revenge whispered, leaping from his motorcycle. Ravager dodged to the left, her armor glistening in the lights of the night street. Revenge tossed daggers at the woman.
They passed right through her. Revenge continued his descent. She landed a kick and knocked him straight through a building into a street on the other side. Revenge groaned, trying to stand, but unable to. He groaned and fell unconscious onto the concrete.
"My agenda belongs to me. No one else." the woman replied calmly, stabbing Ravager through the side. "I advise you mind that."
Ravager gasped and sucked in her breath until the sword withdrew. She collapsed to the ground and the woman disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
Every camera in New York City went offline for thirty seconds. In that time, Ravager and Revenge disappeared.
"She'll be okay." Revenge said, pulling the blanket over Rose's body. "That sword sucked out her energy. She'll be out for a day."
Holly looked down in concern. "What about you?"
"No results in police database, google-"
The large computer chimed.
"One result..." Sam muttered, opening it. A chill ran down his spine as he read the two words. "Turn around"
He spun, grabbing his sword and pointing it at the figure in the shadows.
"Come out." he said.
The woman walked out. Now that she was standing still in front of him, he could get a better look at her.
She was tall, that was for sure. She wasn't bad looking either, but the tattoos ruined it all. They covered her left shoulder and arm as well as her right hip and leg. Blackness swirled around the upper half of her torso as if it were from Hell itself. Her white, spiky hair blew in the dry, harsh wind that had entered with her. She was wearing pants that barely started above her thighs and a tube top. A scarf covered the lower half of her face and an eyepatch hung over her left eye. She had a dog collar tight around her throat and two black leather gloves that went almost all the way to her shoulders.
"Who are you?" Revenge growled. "And why did you murder those people?"
"She didn't murder them!" Holly exclaimed. "She massacred them! Cut them to pieces with a very curious looking sword!"
"This?" the woman asked, pulling out the dark violet blade and laying it before Revenge. He instantly shoved Holly behind him.
"Don't worry. I shan't hurt you." she said.
"Who-who are you?" Revenge asked again. He felt Holly's fingers wrap around his other blade and slide it from his belt.
"I am Diabhal from Iffrean. I come merely to assist you." the woman replied.
"Assist me in what?" Revenge asked cautiously. He still felt Holly's small, gentle fingers moving on his back, clutching at him occasionally in fear.
"In saving this city from your arch-nemesis." Diabhal replied. "I believe you call him...Reaper, my Lord."
"The one you call Reaper is going to detonate Grant Tower. With tens of thousands of people inside. By the time your enforcers call you, it will be too late. And among the deceased will be your mother."
"Draxx!" Revenge yelled, hopping on his motorcycle.
"Whats with the yelling?" Draxx asked. "No, no donuts."
"I wants full evac of Grant Tower!" Revenge yelled. Holly wrapped her arms around his middle and Revenge sped off into the city, Diabhal flying behind him.
"Why?" Draxx asked.
"There's a bomb there! Great big one. Want me to take you in the basement and show you?!" Revenge yelled.
"On my way!" Draxx yelled.
A moment later the police radio crackled. "All units to Grant Tower. Bomb threat high. Full evacuation of surrounding areas."
Revenge leaped from his motorcycle and fired a grappling hook at the roof of a small building. He swung up as Emerald continued speeding towards Grant Tower on the motorbike followed closely by Diabhal.
Revenge jumped onto higher and higher buildings as he got closer to the Tower. Below police cars screeched up to the front of the Tower. They started pushing people back while officers, Emerald, and a bomb squad ran inside.
Revenge turned his concentration back to the building in front of him. He calculated the jump out before firing his grappling hook, running, and crashing through the window of the 82nd story.
His mother screamed as glass rained down around her. "We've got to go! Now!" Revenge yelled.
"Can you disarm it?" Holly asked, looking down at the bomb squad trooper with concern.
"No." he said, standing up. "What about you?"
"If I could, I wouldn't have asked if you could." Holly said, arms folded over her chest. She looked at Diabhal and raised an inquiring eyebrow.
"No," Diabhal replied, closing her eyes and shaking her head once. "I am afraid I can not."
"So now what?" Holly asked.
"We've got three minutes to get everyone out of that building." the officer said.
"We're talking about tens of thousands of people." Holly said. "You do realize-"
"Yes." the officer said gravely. I don't know how we can get the message to everyone though. This building is the tallest building in New York City!
Holly looked around and saw the fire alarm. She smashed the glass and rammed her fist on the button. Sirens sounded.
"You get as many people out in three minutes as you can!" Holly exclaimed, running towards the stairs.
"The bomb goes off in three minutes! We'll die!"
"That's your job." Holly growled, and flew through the door.
"Screw this!" the trooper exclaimed. "I'm outta here!" he ran towards the doorway, but three soldiers blocked his way. A gun clicked behind him.
"You get your ass upstairs now and get those people out, or I'll kill you on the spot." the commander of the bomb squad said.
The trooper shivered and slowly walked up the stairs.
"You're wasting time! Move!"
The man ran up the stairs.
"All personell, evacuate building. This is not a drill. Repeat this is not a drill."
"Good going, Emerald." Revenge muttered. "Come on, we've got to go!"
"What is going on?" his mother asked.
Revenge yanked off his mask. "The building is going to explode! You'll be trapped underneath the rubble and die! Now please! We've got to move!"
"Sam?!" the woman exclaimed, literally taking a step backwards in shock.
"Please, mom." Sam pleaded. "We've got to go. What's the fastest way up to the roof?"
"Um, my express elevator, but with the bomb or fire or whatever-"
"It's perfect." Sam said, pulling his mask on. "Let's go."
The two ran into the hallway and Revenge pried open the door to the elevator. He sliced the cable and he heard the elevator make a distinct "thump" as it landed eighty stories below. He fired his grappling hook up and, grabbing his mother by the waist, pulled himself up the shaft.
"Holly!" he yelled. "Any luck disarming that bomb?"
"Negative!" the echoey voice came over his com. "We're evacuating the staff now!"
"I've got Ms. Grant. We're on our way to the roof!"
"Right. You've got thirty seconds!"
Revenge pressed a button on his utility belt to signal his plane. He busted down a doorway and went up the second elevator. He busted out onto the roof with ten seconds to spare.
"Where the hell is it?!" Revenge exclaimed.
"Where is it?!"
"Three... Two... One..."
Revenge looked at his feet as a rumbling shook the building. It lurched.
"I love you. And I always will."
The building lurched again and the floor gave out beneath the woman. Sam fired his grappling hook.
His mother fell five stories before landing on a piece of concrete. Sam cried out her name even as the building lurched again. He fell, shooting his grappling hook at the nearest building. He swung, crashing through the wall even as it collapsed, hitting the edge of the neighboring building and rolling onto his back. He heard the building collapse and people screaming.
"Revenge! Revenge!" Holly's voice screamed in his ear. "For the Love of-"
"I'm here." Revenge said shakily.
"Are you two-"
Revenge took a deep breath. "Just me. Just-just me."
"Go take some time off." Holly said. "I've got this."
"No." Revenge said, standing up. "I'm-I'm good."
Holly did not protest.
It was rain. Rain, Sam grimly noted, that had clouded over his father's funeral just as it did his mother's.
While the rest of the members of the funeral party melted into the grim morning, two figures remained with Samuel Grant. One was standing beside him, a dark hood and umbrella over her blonde hair. Her emerald eyes were full of sorrow.
The other was wearing dark clothes appropriate for occasion, but her bright red-pink hair was uncovered and flowed freely over her damp skin. Her true-green eyes looked with compassion upon the billionaire who stood with his head down, brown-black hair flowing freely over his face.
The girl with the red hair put a comforting, gloved hand on the boy's shoulder.
"Thanks, Rose." Sam said. The woman nodded and waked off. Holly walked in front of Sam and hugged him tightly, as if she were afraid to let him go. Sam hugged her tightly as well, due to the same fear. Holly knew he'd claim it was rain, but she could tell tears from the water of the heavens.
"Sarah." Sam greeted blankly. The Hispanic walked in and hugged the boy.
"I'm sorry about your mom." she said.
"Thanks," Sam replied, returning the embrace. Sarah pulled away. "So, what's changed about the place?"
The floor flipped up and Rose Wilson appeared in the room.
"Oh-" she said, looking at Sarah. "Is this a bad time?"
"Err... Nooo..." Sam said. "Come in, um, Lilian."
Rose shot him a glare that said "You'll pay for that" before smiling at Sarah.
"Umm..." Sarah said, looking from Rose to Sam. "Does Holly...?"
"Yes," Holly said tiredly, walking in. "Sarah, this is getting crowded in here and Rose can't find the hot chocolate."
"Rose?" 'Lilian' asked.
"Original partner." Sam sighed. "It should be on the third shelf-"
"Checked." Holly said. "Come on, Sarah."
"Lilian?!" Rose exclaimed as soon as the two girls were gone. "That was my mother's name! The mother who have birth to me and died because I was Deathstroke's daughter!"
"Off the top of my head!" Sam exclaimed. "I've got enough on my mind right now without having to think up fake names!"
Rose's expression turned to sorrow. "Sam, I'm sorry-"
"Don't be." Sam said. "I was the only one who could've saved her and I didn't. Now what did you want?"
Rose looked at him sorrowfully before replying. "I need some information on the little kryptonian."
"Uh-huh." Sam said, tossing a USB drive at Rose. "I knew you'd need his info sometime or later."
"Thanks." Rose said, catching it. "You want me to hang around for a-"
"No." Revenge replied. "I think "Lilian" might cause problems that warrant explanation."
"Right." Rose said, stepping back onto the platform. "See ya around?"
"Probably not." Revenge said as Rose teleported away.
Sam sighed and looked at his reflection in the dark computer screen. He sighed and headed towards the kitchen where everyone was. A large chime rang through the base. Anyone who had every worked with Sam knew that was a high alert distress beacon from the police chief.
"That new partner of yours? The living shadow? She's downtown wrecking the Empire State Building."
"Diabhal?" Sam asked, glancing at Holly.
"Whatever her name is." Draxx said. "You better get down here. Now!"
"Where's that mystic sword?" Revenge asked.
"Uhh... Right there!" Holly said. She grabbed it and tossed it to Revenge.
"You three stay here!" Revenge said. "If she's really what R-Lillian said, you three need to stay here!"
"But nothing!" Sam exclaimed. He bused open the door to the garage and hopped into his jet, flying off to downtown.
Revenge sped down the busy street, dodging traffic and people who were all looking at the rising smoke-cloud at the Empire State Building.
"Get out of the way!" Revenge yelled.
The closer he got to the Empire State Building, the more chaotic the people got. Some were running away, some walking towards the destruction as if in a trance, and some were looking at the smoke cloud as if trying to decide whether it looked more like a donut or a tire.
Revenge growled and pressed a button. Smoke and a large boom came from his motorcycle. People ran. The scene was more chaotic than ever. Revenge gave up and tossed a grenade at the source of the smoke cloud. A moment later, he was standing there.
Diabhal had...changed. Vastly. Instead of a thirty year old girl, she was a twenty-foot tall shadow monster. Sparks flew out from the flames that licked themselves along her body.
"What the hell-" Revenge started. He froze when Diabhal's icy gaze met his.
"Don't educate me on Hell!" she yelled, throwing a ball of flame at him. Revenge rolled to the side and watched as his motorcycle erupted in a pillar of heat.
"Damn it!" he exclaimed. "There goes half a million dollars!"
Diabhal laughed and Revenge threw daggers at her, keeping her attention from the girl in grey and orange running along the rooftops placing the devices Revenge had given her.
Diabhal's form flickered.
"You're a shapeshifter!" Revenge exclaimed. His voice turned to a growl. "Shapeshifters are demonic."
"Oh, I'm much more powerful than a demon."
A knot formed in Revenge's stomach.
Diabhal cackled. Revenge growled and looked at the innocent people fleeing from the giant, shadowy figure. "Teleport. Frequency A-99. 10 foot radius"
Diabhal and Revenge, along with Ravager, teleported to a field outside of New York.
"You've got a soft spot." the echoey voice of Diabhal said.
"I don't want innocents killed."
"Like I said, soft." Diabhal started walking forward.
"Gotta go." Ravager's voice echoed in his comm. The Black Hero saw why a moment later when a pulse of energy hit Diabhal in the back. Vendicta, Emerald, and Sarah ran up, all tossing weapons or bursts of energy at the shadow figure.
"Ah! Your girlfriends showed up! Take your seats ladies! For the death of Red-ugh!"
Vendicta grinned as Diabhal flew back and shrunk to her former human form. Then she stood up, re-aligned all of her bones, and glared at Vendicta.
"Uhh...oops?" Rose asked.
"This is going to hurt." Diabhal said, her eyes turning to white pockets of flames. "A lot."
Vendicta leaped to the side as the flames scorched past her. What was once her cape was burned off. Revenge tossed daggers at the woman, but they merely passed through Diabhal.
"Join your girlfriend?" Diabhal asked, scorching Revenge's body with flames. His armor held up, but his suit was seared off again. Then his armor started heating up. The mystical sword clattered to the side.
"Your armor and protective clothing may be able to handle heat up to a thousand degrees Red Revenge," she said. "But a constant flame will melt through the armor, burn through the cloth, and roast you alive."
Vendicta, Emerald, and Sarah ran towards the two, but Diabhal raised a blood red shield. While his partners pounded on it, Revenge was busy figuring out how much longer until he was fried alive when his electronic systems failed. He could already feel his armor turning red-hot. His protective suit under his armor was slowly disintegrating. He could feel the armor scalding his skin.
"How many people have you failed, Red Revenge?" Diabhal demanded. "How many families have you destroyed? You deserve this!"
Revenge growled and slowly stood up. He began walking towards Diabhal. One step at a time. Partly because his legs burnt so badly, he wasn't sure if they were there or not.
"I've destroyed quite a few families. Caused the death of a few people, yes. Maybe I don't deserve this."
Diabhal grinned wickedly. But it quickly faded at Revenge's next words.
"But I've saved many more. The world, several times to be exact. The families are still alive. I can't save everyone. I've tried. But I do the most good I can do. Which is more than you, Satan."
Diabhal frowned and shifted back to her shadowy form. Revenge continued walking towards her. Though no one could see it from the outside, he was grinning. He was thinking of every happy memory he had. Diabhal's flames flickered as Revenge walked towards her. His legs gave out though.
It was too late. He was laughing. Laughing in the face of the Devil. Satan fell back and his shield faltered. Vendicta, Emerald, and Sarah ran up to help Revenge whose laugh had turned to a wheezing.
"Come on!" Sarah said, tugging on his arm. "Let's get you out of here!"
Revenge started clunking along with the girls when Sarah gasped.
"What?" Revenge asked, turning around. Sarah looked down at the purple blade sticking from her stomach.
"Sarah!" Revenge yelled, running to catch the girl. Holly indicated he should stay back because his armor was still burning holes in the ground and glowing red-hot. Rose caught the girl instead.
"Sarah." she breathed.
Satan laughed wickedly and disappeared in a burst of flames and black smoke.
Rose looked up sadly. "No pulse." she said sadly. "She's gone, Revenge."
The funeral was a small one. Sarah had no family, her only friends had roamed the city at night in tights and suits of armor. Artemis and Wally showed up, Wally and Revenge for once getting along. A few other, more compassionate, members of the Team showed up, but no one from the Justice League. Also, not to Revenge's surprise, no one from the Freedom Fighters.
Most of the people dispersed, the Team being called away for a mission, Rose having to leave for England*, Artemis and Wally headed back to Palo Alto leaving Red Revenge and Emerald to watch over Sarah as she was lowered into the ground.
"You just pissed off the most powerful creature in the universe." Emerald said.
"There is another that is more powerful." Revenge said.
"Who, or what?" Holly asked. Revenge turned around and hopped in the jet waiting on the side of the building. He jerked his thumb to the sky.
Holly raised an eyebrow.
"Ye are all children of the light, not of the darkness." Revenge quoted. Emerald had a sneaky suspicion from where he quoted. She hopped into the jet, and before Revenge closed the roof, she noticed, for the first time, one of the stars in the sky was brighter than the others. Glistening like a cross of hope and salvation through the evening sky.