Recycled - Chapter 2
So here I am now, sitting on the top of a skyscraper on the outskirts of the business area of the city. I don't fear falling or heights, so this is something I do pretty often. Although I'd never admit it to anyone else, this is one of my favorite pastimes. I like to watch the frantic businessmen and nicely dressed executive ladies go about their daily lives as perfectly normal people. In a non-creepy way, of course. I'm not a rapist.
"Hey girl. What'cha doin' up here?" I literally jump in to the air at hearing a voice other than that of my thoughts in the early morning. I turn my head around, gratefully seeing my best friend Naomi appear behind me and hand me some coffee.
"Y-you scared the living heck out of me!" I hiss, taking the coffee with a playful glare. We hold the look for a second, then burst out laughing as she sits down next to me. She's a Tier 3 member, Rank 1. She likes to help out as a field agent, too. Kind of like Riley from that old American movie, National Treasure. She's in the field a lot actually, hacking and gaining entry in to sticky areas.
"So what are you doing up here? All week, this is where I've found you in the morning. Spill." She sends me a meaning look, which I pretend not to notice. I open the top of my coffee nonchalantly, seeing a light-colored brew with some cream and sugar stirred in well. Even some whipped cream on top, light like the soul I wished I could carry.
"I... I'm scouting out the local landscape."
"Liar. You know this city like the back of your eyeball."
"Hey! I ne-" I was saved by the beeping of my watch. I touched the receiver in my ear gently. My light gear is all synched to each other, so my watch alerts me to a call, I have different technological contacts I can wear, a bunch of cool stuff. Let me give you some advice, though: the contacts burn like the fire in hell the first time you wear them. After that, it still burns, but on a slightly lesser scale.
"Alice, we need you to report back to headquarters immediately." A familiar male voice drones. I groan rather audibly.
"And here I thought I could actually enjoy the morning..."
"We need you back here right now!" The voice of my friend Alfred whines, obviously tired and cranky.
"Hush it, Alfredo. Go back to bed." I click the transceiver off and stand up, finishing my coffee. Naomi looks up at me earnestly.
"Yeah. We've gotta go back to base. You should probably come, too."
"Agent Alice reporting for duty." I state rather blandly, throwing open the doors to the briefing room. I'm "lucky", at least according to the people that give us codenames, that I get to use my actual name and not something stupid as an agent. Barely any of us actually use them since we're all on first-name basis with each other. Mine was because of an old book by Lewis Caroll called "Through the Looking Glass." Some sound pretty awesome, others suck pretty badly. My favorite?
"Good, you're here. I'm glad you brought Naomi, too." Xavier smiles warmly at me, and my heart warms up. He's quite literally my father, even if not biologically. I like to make him happy. Alfred "Alfredo" turns around in his computer chair from the super-computer he runs that monitors the entire city. There's some irony in the fact that he uses what the city officials use to monitor us to monitor them.
The look on his face tells a lot. Tired, unhappy, and really praying for caffeine. He looks dead in the face.
"So what's going on?" I ask, sensing a little bit of urgency in the air. I perch on the briefing table, looking at what was pulled up on the enormous computer.
"We intercepted a message from the head government to the S.R.A.S.' Commons Agents."
"Okay, so that's a little odd..." Naomi starts, looking at me.
"And a "but" is sure to follow." I finish, squinting at the screen. "Care to share the premise?"
"It's an assassination letter." I bolt up. Those are as rare as grass blades in the city, few and far between.
"Who's the target? Do we know them? Why is this such a big deal? Likearewesupposedtointerceptthemandohmygoshwhatifit'ssomeonethatIknow-Imeanweknowand-"
"ALICE! SHUT UP!" Alfred yells in an outburst of annoyance. I'm stricken with the feeling in his voice, the unimaginable hatred in those few words. My head immediately finds a new place, hanging low to hide the tears that I'm biting back. One of my best friends just yelled at me. Like that.
I may be a criminal, but my feelings for my job are professional. I'm a real softie in my private life.
"Alfred!" Xavier hisses angrily. Alfred whips around to his computer and starts to occupy himself with busy typing. Xavier clears his throat and continues in a softer voice; "We're sending an interception squad to take out the assassin. We believe that there will be more than a single murderer to ensure that the job gets done."
"...Murderer?" Naomi mutters, looking back and forth between the tabs appearing on the supercomputer and my trainer in wonder. "Why'd you call them murderers?"
She brings up a good point. They're just "assassins" or "blues" to us normally.
"Seriously Xavier. Spill." I put my hand on the table, looking up at him with childish demand in my eyes. He's hesitant. This is not good.
"There's been a twist in the plan that was going to be carried out. It's happening tonight." This is really not good.
"And that is?" I ask in caution.
"It's William Schnieder." He names the one politician who supports our underground efforts to end the dystopian and corrupt government.
This is seriously not good.
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