Chapter 23: "Ambush"
"This is more than the 'development' you mentioned in your second report."
"What else was I supposed to call it, one-eye?" Shego drawled, laying back on her bed. "It just developed like that before my eyes and I never expected it to happen! It was by chance that I saw that dated photograph of Balken Steel and his family."
"Are you certain that the girl is Balken Steel's child?"
Shego frowned. "Sure enough," she answered. "She's a damned carbon copy of Balken Steel." Through the closed blinds, Shego knew that it was midmorning. She had stayed up late making another report to send to the director. The Global Justice boss called her as soon as she got the report. "It's unlikely that she's a mere clone. The technology hasn't even been perfected as you've seen with my former employer's past efforts." She couldn't help but smile with the mishaps Draken had gone through when he tried to create an army of Kim Possible clones. "There's just one thing that's been keeping me in the dark until now…"
"Allison Sharper or should I say Allison Wainwright genuinely doesn't seem to know that her father is Balken Steel," Shego told her temporary employer. "From the short time I've spent with her, it looks like she really does believe that Langsley is her father."
"And her mother?"
Shego shrugged. "She's the biological mother for sure," she replied. "The photo was a dead giveaway especially for her." A sigh escaped the villainess' lips. "I need more information," she grunted. "There are just too many blanks in this story. How the hell did Langsley end up marrying Balken Steel's wife, bring his daughter back to life and alter her memories?"
"Like you, I have the same questions, but I have too many things in my hands for the moment to find those answers." The director paused. "As much as I would like to give you more time to get to Langsley, I can't give you an extension. You're needed more here especially with the reports we've been getting."
"What reports?" Shego demanded, immediately worrying about Kim.
"Extraction of the Silver Lifeblood has been painfully slow-going. The doctors and scientists are working round the clock doing their best to get the technology out of as many people as possible and find a more efficient and painless way to do it."
"Just spit it out already!"
"Strange symptoms have been appearing on those with the Silver Lifeblood still in them," Betty anxiously explained. "No one has died yet, but people are starting to panic. So far, we've gotten reports of people experiencing partial paralysis, blood-poisoning, burst blood vessels, dysentery and a lot of other not too fatal symptoms."
Shego was frowning so hard, she could almost hear her furrowed eyebrows clicking. "He's making his move," she easily guessed, not hiding the anger in her voice. "He's mocking us, one-eye. He could easily program his invention to instantly kill the recipients, but he's drawing it out as painfully as possible."
"The reconnaissance team is working nonstop in pinpointing the cyborg's location. Once we get a valid hit, you and Kim will storm his base along with a select number of Global Justice operatives. Do what you can with Langsley within the time limit. Threaten him for all I care because I have this gut feeling that he's more than just the right-hand man of Balken Steel."
"How about Allison?"
"If you can convince her about her past and she accepts the truth, then maybe we could use her against her father. It's not exactly honorable, but we aren't left with much of a choice."
Shego nodded and got to her feet. Right now, she couldn't waste time. She had to meet with Langsley as soon as possible. "I'll do my best," she said, halting for a moment as she thought.
"Shego? Is there anything else?"
"Yeah… don't tell Kim about this," Shego said, knowing that the director was probably surprised at her sudden request.
"But why? It would greatly benefit her if she knew about Allison!"
"Don't bite my head off," Shego scoffed at the rising tone of voice the director was using on her. "Kim has too much on her shoulders now. Obviously, everybody expects her to be the one to stop Balken Steel, but the pressure is too much." Shego sighed and thought about her recent encounter with Allison. "I have a strong feeling that Balken Steel's daughter will be in denial and might refuse helping us at all."
"And how does this still relate to Kim?"
"I don't want to give her any false hopes," Shego replied. "There's too much shit going on in that head of hers and if I add Allison into the picture, it will most likely put her at a disadvantage when she goes up against the cyborg." Shego glanced at her wrist watch and decided that if she wanted to track down Langsley, she'd best start now. "It's better to stay quiet since we aren't even assured that Langsley and Allison will help us."
Betty let out a defeated sigh. "As much as I want to argue, I understand your intentions of keeping this from Kim. Very well, stick with your assignment then. Report to me if anything important comes up."
Shego agreed, ended the conversation then began to get ready. Her underground sources had informed her that Langsley and his family were attending a picnic sponsored by the surgery department of the private hospital he worked in. While she gathered her equipment and packed her things just in case she needed to make a quick getaway, she noticed several annoying buzzing sounds. She chose to ignore it first, but when she felt the stings to her bared arms and neck, she did take the time to find out what was biting her. To her dismay, mosquitoes were flying around her motel room and she had gotten several bites. She immediately called the front desk and demanded that they clean up the room while she was gone.
"I might as well go to a clinic and get some shots just in case," Shego muttered to herself as she idly scratched at the raised bumps on her flesh. She was after all still prone to getting sick despite the powers she had. She knew very well that mosquito bites may develop into dengue fever or malaria and she'd rather not get sick especially with the situation as it is. Dressed in tight jeans, a green tank top, combat boots, leather jacket, and her ever reliable skin tone alteration patch Shego headed out of her room and to the front desk. She repeated her request to the nervous receptionist then asked where the nearest clinic was, which was just a couple of blocks away. It took less than thirty minutes to explain her case to the doctor in charge and got the necessary shots.
"Is there anything else you require Miss Kane?" the doctor asked Shego who was putting her jacket back on after allowing the shot to be done on her arm.
Shego shook her head. "Nothing else," she replied, soon changing her mind. "Actually, do you know any car and motorcycle rentals nearby?"
The doctor frowned. "I'm not sure…" she walked over to the door and stuck her head outside. "Ben! Are there any nearby car or motorcycle rentals?"
"There's one on Mcduff street, but they rent out luxury models and the like."
"That will do," Shego said, getting the address from the doctor's assistant then heading out of the clinic. Once she found the place, she immediately made a beeline for the motorcycles for rent. She settled for a Triumph Daytona bike and helmet then paid the clerk in full, promising to return the bike the following day. Now that she had a ride, it was much easier to get to the public park where the hospital picnic was being held. All she had to do was figure out how she was going to explain her presence at the event. Once she cruised into the parking lot and secured the rented motorcycle, Shego ambled down the path towards a large crowd at the other end of the field. Stopping for a moment beneath the shade of a tree, she scanned the crowd and immediately picked out Allison and her mother Loraine sitting among mothers and daughters. It took another few sweeps before she finally identified Langsley who was manning the grill with a few other men. The surgeon, despite the change in name, looked exactly like he did in the photos she dug up from MCO's database. He looked very much at ease for the moment as he cheerfully talked to his colleagues.
Shego was thinking about how she could get up close and personal without making anyone suspicious when a football thumped against the ground in front of her.
"Hey! Pass us the ball!" a young man waved at Shego. He and a group of boys were playing a friendly game of touch football as others attending the department clinic looked on.
Fixing the shades on her face, Shego bent down and grabbed the football. Sighting at the farthest boy, she wound her arm back and threw a long pass. She watched the ball sail through the air without a wobble and neatly land in the hands of her chosen target.
"Woah! Nice throw lady! Want to play with us?" The boy who had asked her to pass the ball made the suggestion.
"She's on our team!"
"No way! I saw her first so she plays on our team!"
"Boys," Shego interrupted them before the argument could escalate. "I'm actually just walking through and having me join either of the teams will make the competition lopsided."
"Awww!" the boys chorused their disappointment.
The disguised Shego turned her head and saw Allison Sharper jogging towards her with a smile on her face. Perfect timing, Shego thought as she thrust her hands into her pockets and waited for her target to get to her. "Fancy bumping into you here," she remarked as Allison skid to a halt in front of her.
"I should be the one saying that to you!" Allison exclaimed, grinning up at the taller woman. "How was the motorcycle show?"
Shego shrugged. "I've seen better," she replied. She hadn't had the time to go at all, but she'd rather lie than give the truth. It would have made her more suspicious if she had done the latter. "I rented out a motorcycle to do some touring and ended up making a stop here."
"Well, you're just in time for lunch!" Allison hooked her arm around Shego's and towed her towards the crowded picnic benches. "Hey mom! Look who I found!"
Loraine Sharper looked up from her conversation with other women her age and raised her eyebrows at her daughter's company. "Why if it isn't Miss Logan Kane!" She gracefully got to her feet and offered her hand to Shego.
"Hello Mrs. Sharper," Shego politely greeted the woman and firmly shook hands with her. "And please, it's just Logan."
"What brings you to this area? Weren't you going to that motorcycle show in the city?"
"She's already went and didn't find it that interesting so she rented a bike and toured around until she got here," Allison readily answered for Shego, which earned her a disapproving look from her mother. Apparently, Loraine Sharper was quite particular about manners.
"I see…" Loraine remarked. "Let me introduce you to my friends." She named several women her age seated on the nearby benches. "Logan here… ermmm… helped my daughter out of a… potentially sticky situation."
Allison rolled her eyes. "Mom! Why can't you just be straight-forward?" she demanded. She opened her mouth to explain what happened when she felt a hand grip her shoulder. She looked up into the raven-haired woman's emerald green eyes and understood that she shouldn't bother giving details. She sighed instead and said, "Anyway mom, since Logan's here can she join us for lunch?"
Lorraine smiled and gracefully nodded her head in agreement. "You're more than welcome to join us! I'll introduce you to my husband, Allison's father when he's done socializing at the grill."
"Thank you, Mrs. Sharper," Shego extended her gratitude then followed Allison to a vacant picnic table. "You don't look like you're having fun," she told the teenager.
"Who would be when you're stuck with my mom's elitist group of friends?" Allison retorted, shooting a scornful glare at her mom's table. "I'm just glad that you came along."
"So I'm a distraction then?" Shego wryly said.
"What?" Allison had a look of shock on her face. "No Logan! I didn't mean it that way!"
"Relax sweetie, I'm just teasing."
"Sweetie?" Allison blurted out.
Shego grinned. "Sorry, I'm used to calling you young ones by those monikers."
"How old are you anyway? You don't look that old."
"I'm twenty-eight," Shego readily replied, thinking there was no point in lying about her age.
"Are you married?"
Shego had to laugh. "What is this? An in-depth interview?"
Allison grinned and decided that her companion was an astoundingly beautiful woman especially when she laughed. "I'm just curious about you and besides, it beats talking to those dried-up old ladies at the other table."
"I'm certainly more interesting than them," Shego agreed, deciding to entertain the teenager at least until she managed to get to Langsley. "No, I'm not married," she gave her answer to Allison's question.
Shego shook her head. "No."
"How strange…" Allison murmured. "You're certainly a woman the men would go after."
"Thanks for the compliment," Shego dryly remarked. "I've certainly been chased after, but the men you refer to ended up either being naïve boys or bumbling idiots." She rested her arms against the table and leaned forward. "It would be a waste of time and effort to even entertain them."
Allison giggled. "Maybe you're just too intimidating."
Shego shrugged. "It's in my character. Why should I change? Don't people say that if you truly love someone, you wouldn't make them change say their looks or personality?"
"That's true… so you're single?"
"For the moment." Shego's gaze left Allison's pretty face and focused on the lanky figure of Langsley. He was still at the grill cavorting with his colleagues. She needed to find a way to get him alone so that she could interrogate him.
"That's my dad over there at the grill," Allison interrupted Shego's thoughts. "He's the head of the surgery department."
"That's a pretty lofty position he holds," Shego remarked, watching Langsley like a hawk.
"Well, he's good at what he does so I guess he's deserving of that position."
"Has your family lived here your whole life?"
Allison nodded. "Well at least since I was born, we've been living here. My mom mentioned that she and my dad met in the east coast then settled here to raise a family."
Alarm bells were already ringing in Shego's mind. "Do you study here then?"
"Just for elementary then my dad shipped me off to a private school in Go City."
"Why so far off?" Shego asked, getting even more suspicious. "There are plenty of good private schools close by."
"No idea, but I didn't refuse since it meant getting away from the both of them." Allison tapped her feet against the ground. "They get so overbearing especially when I got into my teens."
"Aren't all parents like that?"
"Well, my parents are very overbearing especially my mom!" Her cellphone started ringing. "Excuse me," she told Shego and walked off to answer her phone.
Shego relaxed and went back to watching Langsley. She found it very strange that he'd send his daughter to Go City when she could have continued her education in the area. Why did he send her to a far-off school? To lessen the attention on himself, his wife and supposed daughter? That made sense at least. Their family was inconspicuous after all. Despite having different names now, Langsley and Lorraine wouldn't garner as much suspicion as husband and wife. It was their daughter who stood out. She didn't look a thing like Langsley. She would bet that many people have gossiped that Allison wasn't the true daughter of Neil Sharper.
"Sorry," Allison said as she rejoined Shego at the table. "My friend was asking if I wanted to visit her in Los Angeles, but I doubt my parents will let me go to her."
"Allison! The food is ready! Bring Logan over here!" Loraine called.
"Shall we eat then?" Allison got to her feet and ambled down the path towards the lengthening line at the makeshift buffet table.
Shego had just gotten a paper plate and was about to help herself to the steaming rack of barbecue ribs when a sudden gust of wind nearly knocked her off her feet. She let go of her plate and braced Allison as the sudden wind continued to buffet them and the rest of the picnic goers.
"What's happening?" Allison shouted to be heard over the wind.
Shego didn't answer but looked up into a seemingly empty sky. Suddenly, the image rippled then revealed a large maroon-colored jet hovering in the air. The bay doors slid open to let familiarly-uniformed men descend to the ground on ropes. They were followed by a diminutive masked man.
"Spread out men and make sure no one escapes!" Doctor Dementor ordered his men who snapped to carry out his order. Dementor clasped his hands behind his back and strolled towards the cowering picnic-goers, looking over each person's face.
Allison tugged at Shego's sleeve. "What are we going to do? Are we going to get killed?" she whispered.
"Hush!" Shego told the terrified girl. Since she was disguised, she highly doubted that Dementor would recognize her. If she had been in her typical racing suit and jacket, he might have recognized her as Kim's protector. What was he doing here anyway? She couldn't understand why he suddenly dropped by to terrorize a hospital staff picnic.
The small criminal passed by Shego and Allison then stopped in front of Neil and Loraine Sharper. "Ah there you are! It took a lot of research to find you Doctor Langsley!"
Langsley and Loraine visibly stiffened. "I don't know what you're talking about," Langsley tried to explain. "I'm not Langsley."
Dementor laughed. "Really now? There's no point in lying to me." He brought out his handheld computer and pointed it at Langsley. The device shone a green beam at the frozen Langsley.
"Confirmed. Doctor Neil Sharper, currently head surgeon. Formerly known as Robert Langsley from Medicinal Cybernetics Organization." The device dictated.
Dementor pocketed his computer. "Care to revise your answer then, Doctor Langsley?"
Langsley swallowed hard and pushed his glasses up his nose. "What do you want?" he asked, pushing his wife behind him.
"Why you, of course!" Dementor easily replied. "I am in need of your services particularly your skill in cybernetics."
Langsley frowned and motioned for his wife to move away from him. "I have given up that field years ago."
"But I'm sure your knowledge of the matter hasn't disappeared," Dementor easily replied. "I've heard that you were developing technology that could physically enhance the human body. I wish to have it and implant it in my henchmen."
"There are other technologies you can use," Langsley pointed out.
"True enough, but I prefer internal methods if you know what I mean."
"I'm afraid I cannot help you."
Dementor grinned. "I'm afraid you don't have a choice." He raised his hand and signaled his men. "Take the good doctor and take him aboard," he ordered his men. "Actually, let me rephrase that. He's not a good doctor after all from what I've seen in my research."
"Don't insult my father!" Allison shouted, ripping free from Shego's hold to defend her father. "He's the best doctor in the field! He's saved many lives!" She ran over to her father and stood in front of him.
"Allison! No!" Loraine screamed.
"Don't move, Loraine!" Langsley shouted at his wife.
Dementor looked up at the pale raven-haired teenager before him. "Saved many lives you say?" he murmured. "Contrary to your belief, he's contributed to the loss of lives happening now."
"What are you talking about?" Allison demanded, looking at her suddenly guilt-stricken father. "Dad, what is he saying?"
"You've certainly heard about this mad cyborg business, right?" Dementor casually asked, looking at his nails and appreciating the full attention he was getting from the hundred or so people attending the picnic. "Your father was the cyborg's right-hand man back in the day."
"No way! He's always been a surgeon!" Allison insisted.
"His real name is Robert Langsley. He changed his name after his boss's antics at MCO was found out." Dementor shrugged his broad shoulders. "He was the one who ratted him out from what I know and caused him to go rogue as a killer cyborg. You see, I don't only want Langsley's technology to aid in my criminal work. I want his technology as added protection as well from this cyborg and my rival criminals."
"Dad?" Allison looked at her father who turned his head away in shame.
"I'm sorry, Allison."
Dementor clapped his hands. "I'm quickly tiring of all this explaining I had to do. Grab the doctor and let's be off!" He stepped aside as his henchmen strode over and took hold of Langsley's arms.
"No! You can't take him!" Allison threw herself at the closest henchman who easily knocked her aside with a swipe of his arm.
Dementor shook his head at the girl's folly. "I suggest you and the rest of you people to stay still. We only want Langsley. None of you will get hurt."
"I'll tell you who's going to get hurt," a woman's voice drawled. Green energy thudded into the two henchmen holding onto Langsley, which knocked them off their feet.
"Logan?" Allison sat up and stared at the older woman, whose emerald green eyes blazed with anger. Her pale hands were engulfed in the dangerous green energy that just disposed of the henchmen.
"Shego! I should have known!" Dementor cried out. "Langsley is mine!"
Shego grinned. "I don't think so Dementor. As you can see, I was here first. Besides, I need Langsley for far more important purposes." She lunged away as another henchman tried to grapple her. She snapped a hard kick at the man's head then threw more of her green plasma at three other approaching henchmen. It was short and easy work dealing with non-super-powered humans even with their weapons. She knew from experience that Dementor's men weren't a match for her. Soon, all the henchmen were incapacitated leaving their employer cowering before Shego.
"You can have him! That cyborg is going to end up killing him anyway!" Dementor shrieked as he ran towards the rope ladder hanging down from his still hovering jet.
Shego watched as Dementor and his injured henchmen made their escape. As the jet blasted off, the disguised Shego squared her shoulders and looked for Langsley who was subtly trying to make his own escape. "If you don't want the same treatment, I suggest you stand still Langsley," Shego threatened the doctor. Her patience was all used up. The doctor fortunately stopped and slowly turned towards Shego who was striding towards him.
"Please, just let me go," Langsley begged as Shego got to him and grabbed hold of his arm.
"We need to talk. Now," Shego ordered in a steely voice. She started to drag him to a secluded area when Allison and Loraine caught up to them.
"Let go of him!" Allison demanded, dragging at Shego's other arm. "You're a criminal!"
"Don't Allison! She'll hurt you!" Loraine cried out.
Shego had enough. She once more ignited both her hands, quieting her companions. "That's better. Now, if you want to come along for this talk, I want none of this nonsense." She saw both Loraine and Allison nod. She led the family to a vacant picnic table at one corner of the park. She sat Langsley down and waited for his wife and daughter to follow his example. "Let me get straight to the point Doc," Shego began. "I need you to come with me."
Langsley slipped fingers underneath his glasses to rub his eyes. "Why do you need me? You certainly know why I've been in hiding."
"Now is not the time to hide," Shego told him. "Balken Steel is wreaking havoc across the country." She locked eyes with Balken's right-hand man. "People are dying and you're the only one who understands the technology behind his Silver Lifeblood."
"He'll kill me," Langsley mournfully said.
"And he has every right to kill you after what you did!" Shego snapped. She pointed at Loraine. "Do you think I don't recognize her?" She then pointed at Allison. "And her especially?"
Loraine bit her lip and looked like she was about to burst out into tears. "It's not our fault!"
"Really?" Shego sneered. "Allison there doesn't know anything, huh?"
"What is she talking about? Mom… Dad?" Allison looked at both of her guilt-stricken parents. "Is it true what that criminal said about Dad? He worked with Balken Steel?"
Loraine cringed at the name and turned away to finally cry. Langsley didn't seem to want to explain anything to his daughter.
"Shall I explain then? I'm rather informed after all the research I did," Shego said, waiting for Allison to give her attention. "Your father there worked with Doctor Balken Wainwright in MCO years ago. He helped him develop the Silver Lifeblood, but ratted out Balken in the end that he embezzled the funds of MCO to complete his project. He got a huge sum of money for doing so and got even more when MCO decided to sell the Silver Lifeblood as their own invention."
"Why did he leave then?" Allison asked.
"To protect himself and he had other motives for ratting out Balken Steel," Shego continued, glaring at both Langsley and Loraine. "I'm sorry for being blunt, but Langsley isn't your father."
"That's bullshit!" Allison exclaimed.
"Your mother on the other hand is the real deal," Shego said, ignoring Allison's use of curse words. She was on a roll. Everything was falling into place and as she continued her explanation, it was easy to see that she was hitting close to home. She had considered the remote possibility that Langsley had an affair with Loraine while she was still married to Balken Steel, but she wasn't sure of it until now. "Langsley here was having an affair with her back in his MCO days."
"Enough! Don't say-" Loraine pleaded.
"Your so-called father ratted out his boss and best friend so that he could keep his wife," Shego interrupted, seeing Langsley flinch from her bold accusation. The way he reacted clearly said that he was guilty of the act.
Allison's gray eyes blinked. "W-What are you saying? Mom was married before?"
"She was still married when your father whisked her away to live a life with different names," Shego explained, bringing out her own version of the Kimmunicator. "You on the other hand already existed before your mother and Langsley got together. You were in a coma after a freak accident until Langsley decided to use the Silver Lifeblood on you to bring you back to life." Shego shrugged. "A token of his undying love for her I suppose," she guessed.
Allison was silent as she pondered all of this. "But… who am I then?"
"Just change your last name, kid," Shego said, showing the young girl the screen of her computer. It showed the biological data and information of Allison Wainwright.
"Wainwright…" Allison murmured, eyes widening when she saw the dated family photo Shego had discovered a few nights ago. "But… how? Balken Steel… he's my father?"
Shego nodded. "I supposed Langsley and your mother took advantage when you woke up from your coma not remembering a thing." She grimly pocketed her computer and crossed her arms over her chest. "Balken Steel has gone on a rampage to get revenge on MCO for tarnishing his name and allowing his daughter to die before he could use his invention to save her."
Allison didn't say a word to that. Instead, she turned away and ran.
"Allison! Wait!" Loraine shouted and was about to chase after her when Shego stopped her.
"Let her go. We still need to talk," Shego growled. "I don't care that you did this for love," she told them. "Either way, both of you are as much a cause to Balken Steel's rampage. Make amends now."
"But how? He'll kill us if he finds out about us," Loraine whimpered.
Shego looked at the defeated Langsley. "I need him to come back with me. I'm turning him over to Global Justice. Your husband can help with the efforts of removing the Silver Lifeblood from the affected population. He did aid Balken Steel in creating it so I'm quite sure that he can use his knowledge of it to treat the victims."
"And me?" Loraine asked.
"Talk to your daughter," Shego simply said. "Right now she's angry at what you've kept from her. I need you to talk to her and convince her that she could help in stopping her father."
Loraine gasped. "How can you possibly-"
"Allison's important!" Shego interrupted. "She's our last resort to stop Balken Steel. If he finds out that his daughter is alive, it might make him rethink his actions and stop his plans."
"She'll never do it…" Loraine whispered. "She's too angry."
"Then you got a lot of talking to do," Shego snapped, pushing Loraine off. "Go find her and start talking!" She watched Loraine do her bidding then turned to Langsley. "Are you going to make things difficult for me?"
Langsley shook his head. "I'll go," he told Shego. "I only ask for protection in case Balken comes to take my head off my body."
"I'll bring it up with Global Justice," Shego replied, taking her communicator and calling for her ride. "You've got a lot of work to do and lot to own up to apparently."
It was a few hours later and Allison still couldn't stop the flow of tears coursing down her cheeks. She was back at home in her own room considering what she had just found out. At first, she denied everything that she was told earlier. It was just so farfetched and she could not bring herself to believe that she was the daughter of an insane cyborg criminal. She also could not believe that her mother would commit adultery with her real father's best friend. Why did her mother allow herself to do that? Allison looked down at her trembling hands. Why was she still alive? Logan or should she say Shego had said that she was brought back to life through the Silver Lifeblood invented by her father. If that was the case, why wasn't she experiencing the adverse effects of the current victims?
The raven-haired girl was still thinking when she heard a knock on her door. "Go away! I don't want to talk to you!" Allison shouted at the door, knowing that it was her mother.
"Allison, please," Loraine begged from the other side of the door. "We really need to talk."
"Why should we?" Allison demanded angrily. "You and dad have been lying to me for years!"
Loraine sighed and jiggled the locked doorknob. "Since the truth is out, I'm willing to come clean so will you please open your door and let me in?"
Allison thought about it for a moment before finally deciding to allow her mother inside her room. "Explain," she ordered as her mother sat down next to her on her bed.
Loraine eyed her daughter. "It's true that Robert or should I say Neil isn't your true father. I met your real father, Balken Wainwright when I took up a research position at MCO." She wrung her hands nervously on her lap. "He was an up and coming scientist at that time and he courted me when I was assigned to his research team." Her eyes seemingly glazed over remembering the good times. "We got married two years after that and had you a year after."
"How did I get into a coma?"
"You were around seven years old when it happened," Loraine began. "The school bus you were riding got smashed by an out-of-control eighteen-wheeler truck. You were very unlucky because you sat at the wrong side of the bus. Three other children who sat on the same side were killed instantly, but you were miraculously still alive when they rushed you to the hospital."
"But I was too badly injured and in a coma," Allison put in.
"Yes," Loraine agreed. "The doctors told us that you had no chance of waking up. You were considered brain-dead, but your father refused to accept that." A bitter light flickered in her eyes. "After that, he became distant and obsessed with his research. He kept claiming that he was going to invent something that would bring you back."
Allison considered her mother's words. "You all thought that he was becoming mad," she hypothesized.
"Yes," Loraine agreed. "It was just so farfetched and the more he believed in his plan, the stranger and more aloof he became. Things just started to fall apart for us. I tried to reason with him that what he was trying to do was impossible, but he wouldn't listen. He insisted on keeping you on life support while he kept working on his Silver Lifeblood." Loraine gripped her hands together. "Soon, he started living in his laboratory and that's when…" she paused and swallowed a gulp. "… that's when Robert started calling and giving me his attention."
"You were married and entertaining another man's affections!" Allison almost shouted out the accusation.
Loraine nodded her head and looked properly ashamed. "It was wrong, but I just couldn't help it," she told her daughter. "I was so alone and your father was just too obsessed with his work."
Allison shook her head. "But why didn't you tell Balken that I was alive?" Having lost all memory of her real father, she couldn't bring herself to call him dad. "This whole mess wouldn't be happening if you had just told him."
"It was on a whim when Robert suggested trying the Silver Lifeblood on you. There were no willing and conscious patients who wanted to be test subjects. I initially didn't agree because you were going to be used as an unwilling guinea pig." She took hold of Allison's hands and squeezed. "As a mother, I would do anything to keep my daughter alive and if there was a slight chance that Balken's invention might work, I was going to take it."
"And it worked," Allison said. "The only side effect was that I lost all my memories prior to getting into a coma." She tightened her hold on her mom's hands. "But still, you knew that dad and the others were wrongfully claiming and using Balken's invention for their own profit!"
"I knew it," Loraine admitted. "But I felt some need for revenge for what he did to me and besides, he did wrongfully use the organization's funds for the development of his Silver Lifeblood. He got what was coming to him."
"And now, he's a cyborg hell bent on revenge! People are suffering and dying!"
"Robert will do what he can to help those with the tainted Silver Lifeblood in their bodies," Loraine assured her daughter. "They'll be needing your help as well."
"Me?" Allison demanded. "What would they need me for?"
"The authorities handling this matter believe that revealing you to Balken may make him stop his rampage."
Allison shook her head. "I don't think he'll do that. Even if he finds out that I'm alive, he's still going to complete his revenge on MCO."
Loraine looked troubled. "We have to try."
"I'm not endangering myself and our family!" Allison flatly replied. "Why would I want to help my real father who's gone rogue and killed people? He might even decide that I'm not the real deal and end up killing all of us!"
"Shego and the people she works with won't like that," Loraine reasoned with the teenager.
"I don't care!" Allison angrily said, shooting up to her feet. "I'm not doing it and that's that!" She stormed out of the room, leaving her deeply troubled mother behind.
The following day...
Shego wasn't much of a romantic and she certainly wasn't into being mushy. Her reunion with Kim had been swift and rather passionate. Once she delivered Langsley into the waiting hands of Global Justice, she impatiently received her next set of orders from Betty then made a quick getaway to her apartment. The villainess burst through her apartment door and found Kim on the living room floor doing routine maintenance on her gear. After the stressful and rather hassling trip, Shego suddenly felt rejuvenated upon seeing the ecstatic look on the teen heroine's face.
"Hey Pumpkin," Shego easily greeted, winking at her lover. "Missed me?"
Kim's first response was to scramble to her feet and launch herself into Shego's waiting arms. "What took you so long?" Kim demanded, burying her face into Shego's chest. "You should have been here yesterday! I was worried!"
Shego wrapped her arms around Kim's waist and held her tight. "I got Langsley and it took some time to arrange safe transport for him to Global Justice headquarters," she explained. "I got held up even longer giving my report to the director and being given new orders." Before Kim could get in another word, Shego lifted Kim off the floor and headed for the stairs.
"Wait a minute! Where are we going?"
Shego smirked. "To our bedroom," she simply replied.
"Why?" Kim dumbly asked, silently cursing herself at how her mind seemed to slow down whenever Shego was being… naughty.
The villainess laughed. "I don't think you'd like it if we did our sexy time on the living room floor. The bed is more comfortable after all."
Kim blushed, but didn't protest at all as Shego kicked open the bedroom door and tossed her onto the bed. "It's only been a few days," Kim stammered, turning even redder when Shego began to strip out of her clothing.
Shego grinned and slithered atop Kim's body. "I really dislike having my schedule broken," she wickedly told her younger lover before sealing her lips with a kiss full of yearning.
Aside from the incessant pangs of hunger, Shego was rather content. Kim was still breathing a little bit hard from the strenuous love-making and pressed herself against her lover's side. It was hard to admit and it might take her awhile to actually say it, but it was getting more difficult to be separated from Kim for long periods. First, she didn't trust anyone else to protect her lover from Balken Steel and second, she missed the physical and emotional intimacy she shared with her.
"Are you alright?" Shego murmured into Kim's ear.
"Just a little bit winded," Kim replied, smiling up at Shego. "You were after all overeager and energetic," she teased, her smile getting wider when she made her lover laugh. "So what happened in San Francisco?"
Shego grunted. "Do we have to talk about serious matters when I just got home?" she complained, barely flinching when Kim slapped her exposed waist. "Oh alright…" she relented. "Things didn't go according to plan. I was supposed to subtly corner Langsley and Loraine by getting close to Allison, but Dementor dropped in unannounced and tried to lay claim on Langsley and his expertise on cybernetics."
"Your cover was blown?" Kim guessed.
"Well, Dementor forced my hand," Shego replied as she soothingly ran her fingers across Kim's bare back. "I couldn't just stand there and let him take Langsley." She consciously stopped herself from revealing to her lover that during her trip she had also discovered that Allison was the real daughter of Balken Steel. "Anyway, Langsley has agreed to help out with the Silver Lifeblood victims."
"But his help won't mean much until we deal with the root of the problem," Kim pointed out.
"We've been preparing for that, Kimmie," Shego remarked. "In the end, we won't be able to stop the Silver Lifeblood from wreaking havoc unless we deal with the mastermind." She exchanged a serious look with her lover and embraced her tightly. "Truthfully, it's most likely going to have to end with Balken Steel's death."
Kim grimaced. "You really think there's no other way?"
Shego thought about Allison, but pushed it to the back of her mind. She was realistic and couldn't rely on a method that wasn't foolproof. She also didn't want to give false hopes to Kim who was practically carrying the world on her already overburdened shoulders. "He's clearly deranged and hell bent on revenge. Langsley will do his part and come up with a way to get the Silver Lifeblood out of the victims, but the only way to stop Balken Steel is to put him down."
"I don't know if I can take a life," Kim whispered.
Shego felt her heart pull painfully against her chest. She knew that Kim would hesitate at taking a life and it would burden the young woman for the rest of her life. "Well, most likely you'll be with me when we have a final showdown with the cyborg." She pressed her lips against Kim's forehead. "If it comes to it, I'll take responsibility."
Kim gasped. "But Shego-"
"If it's to protect you, then I'll do it," Shego interrupted with steely resolve in her voice. "Besides, a hero shouldn't have blood staining her hands."
"And as a villainess, it's alright for you?" Kim quietly asked.
Shego shrugged. "We're expected to be evil and merciless when it comes to life. It shouldn't be a big deal if I'm the one who kills him. My reputation is shot already to begin with," she dryly said.
"There's still a chance that we don't have to take his life," Kim hopefully said.
"Miniscule you mean," Shego pointed out with a yawn. "We'll deal with it when it happens, alright?" The green-hued woman sat up and grabbed her discarded clothes. "In the meantime, I want to eat."
Kim also sat up and began to get dressed. "I'll cook."
"You sure?" Shego asked. "You do know that I cook better than you."
"There goes your ego again," Kim remarked, rolling her eyes.
"You still missed me anyway," Shego called over her shoulder as she made her way out of the room and downstairs to the kitchen.
Kim smiled to herself as she followed her lover. There were plenty of things to worry about with the cyborg at the top of her list, but she could momentarily forget about everything especially with Shego home and back to being her usual snarky self. She certainly needed this downtime with Shego with the uncertain future she was facing.