“What the hell do you mean they’re former agents?” He asks for the millionth time. Cody, your voice is becoming an annoyance.
I slam the hotel room door in his face and walk over to the closet, removing my backpack and duffle bag. I toss them on the couch and begin to pack my things. The door finally opens.
“Get packing it’ll take them no time at all to track us here, and Ryan I already messaged Zero to send the nearest agent to come pick you up,” I say, completely ignoring Cody’s constant questions.
“What?” Ryan all but shouts.
“You honestly didn’t think I’d let you stay with us did you?” I ask and my response is a huff of annoyance.
“You didn’t answer the question.” Chase grits out.
“Well, I thought former agents was pretty specific on what they are.” I retort as I toss some clothes into the duffle bag and my laptop into my backpack. I continue grabbing my things and tossing them into the different bags. I zip up the backpack and leave the duffle bag open so they can throw their things into it. I proceed towards the door. My way is blocked by Cody as he puts his hand on the doorknob.
My eyes darken a whole hell of a lot, and I don’t look up at him so he can’t see my face. If there’s one thing I hate more than anything it’s being a caged animal. I hate feeling like I have no options and right now he’s making me feel option less.
“Answer the question.” He orders and I remain staring at the floor. He makes a strange sound in the back of his throat. “Look at me and answer the question.”
Thing is, I don’t want to look at him, cause right now I’m sure my eyes are so dark that he’ll back away. I don’t ever try to scare the people I work with but right now until he moves aside I’ll have no control over how dark my eyes go, no doubt I look evil.
“Look at me, and answer the damn question,” he repeats, his voice at a growl. No doubt he’s glaring. I finally look up at him and when I do he takes a step back, which I give him kudos for since he was already practically backed into the wall. I turn my back to him and sit on the couch placing my head in my hands, my elbows propped up on my knees. I watch as he takes his hand off the door, I feel myself relax. I let out a resigned sigh.
“They’re on the D.D.K.O.S. list,” I say.
“What the hell does that mean?” Jason questions. “I’m starting to believe you’re making things up.”
“She’s not” Chase speaks up, “D.D. stands for Dishonorable Discharge right?”
“So what is K.O.S.?” Devin asks.
“Kill on sight,” I reply. “These people aren’t good people.”
“So we’ve noticed.” Cody retorts. I glare at him.
“You all remember four years ago when the original agency headquarters caught fire, but by then Zero already had a new building in construction that was practically done?”
“Yeah.” Cody answers.
“The fire wasn’t an accident...I started it.”
“Why?” Chase asks, a look of disbelief plastered on his face.
“We were fighting a losing battle. I told all the agents still on our side to get out, and I burned the place and anyone left in it to the ground. Four years ago we had what Zero calls a ‘Split’. The agency was split between the people who wanted to use their skills for good and the people who just wanted to kill and didn’t care who it was.
We lost a good half the agency to death, and even then they were still others that weren’t on our side. I’ll put it like this, before the split our numbers were in the thousands, now, we’re lucky if we even have a thousand.” I glance up at them to see their expressions, most of them look confused. Of course.
“How did we never know about this?” Jason asks quietly.
“All the younger agents without a team at the time were at the training facility, it’s an entirely different building and luckily no one there was out for blood,” I reply.
“Wait then how do you know about this?” Cody questions and I look away from them.
“I found out the hard way.” I whisper, “Two weeks before they planned to strike, I was on a mission with my team, and...it was nothing we hadn’t done a hundred times before, but...he wanted to take us out beforehand since we were really some of the only people who would actually pose a big threat to them. He was supposed to take us out and be done...and he killed all of them...except me.” I pause and just stare at my hands in my lap.
“Do you know what’s worse than dying?” I ask quietly, “Watching all the people you care about the most die and there’s nothing you can do about it. Not a day goes by where I don’t wish I had died that day too.” No one says anything. “I warned Zero as soon as I got out of there, and he was overconfident that nothing would happen, or that we’d be able to handle it. He didn’t listen to me, and now all those deaths are not only him but me too. So yes Cody, my guilty conscience does keep me up at night.” I finish. I don’t look at any of them. I hear them shuffle their feet uncomfortably. I can’t help but replay the last real conversation I had with Zero.
Zero calls my name again.
“I’m burning this building to the ground,” I warn him as bullets fly over our heads. I don’t make eye contact with him. “And I don’t care whether or not you’re out but I want anyone else that’s still on our side out.” I hiss.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t listen.” He repeats again as if I’ll suddenly open up my arms and welcome him back. My eyes darken as I finally look at him, the hatred burning bright in my eyes I’m sure. He looks back at me trying to hide the hurt in his eyes but is unsuccessful.
“I’ll never forgive you for what you’ve done.” I retort sharply, “You still have my trust as a chief, but as a person, my trust is gone, and don’t ever expect to earn it back.”
He opens his mouth and starts to call me by name again but I cut him off.
“Don’t you ever call me by my name again, that’s the last thing I want to hear from your mouth.” I snap at him. He shakes his head sadly but at the same time, I see him resign.
“What should I call you then?”
End of Flashback
A loud knock on the door jolts me back to the present. My hand grabs my dagger. I hold it behind my back as I walk cautiously towards the door. I feel the boys move in quietly behind me. I throw open the door and stare at the familiar face looking back at me.
“Ryan’s right here,” I tell Ninety-one as I grab Ryan’s arm and drag him over.
“Hey.” Ryan protests.
Ninety-one shakes his head with a small smile on his face. “Where you off to?” he asks me.
“Somewhere safe.” I reply, “Get him back to the agency.” Ninety-one nods and leads Ryan out the door. I close it behind him. “Pack your stuff,” I order before grabbing my backpack and hoisting it over my shoulder.
“Where the hell are we?” Chase asks cautiously as he stares up at the one-story warehouse in front of us.
“We’re at a warehouse, duh.” Devin retorts, at least someone’s in a good mood. The ride here was eerily silent. I pull the key from my pocket and unlock the door.
“Do you own this place?” Devin asks curiously.
“Yeah,” I reply quietly. I turn on the lights. “I have one of these in every other state.”
“What is this place.” Cody questions.
“Supply warehouse.” I shrug, I really need to change out of these burned, torn, ash-covered clothes. “Anything I need for missions I usually stash here. Go ahead and take whatever you need, weapons are on the left, hair dye, wigs, contacts, etcetera, is on the right, and then there are some fresh clothes on the racks over there.” I say as I point everything out.
I make my way to the racks of clothes and grab another black shirt and a pair of black shorts, I then grab underwear and a sports bra from the dressers nearby. Luckily I had some handymen come in here (after I removed everything of course) and install some bathrooms with showers. I pull the shower curtain away and peel the ruined clothing off my body. I step into the shower and turn on the water, not bothering to wait for it warm up first.
I run my fingers through my hair and scrub all the dirt off my body. I step out as soon as I’m done and grab one of the towels off the rack. I quickly dry myself off and slip on my sports bra and underwear. I pull the black tank top over my head and then put on the black jean shorts. I slip on some socks and slip my feet into my boots. I comb through my hair and pull it up into a ponytail like usual.
I stare at myself in the mirror. I don’t recognize the girl staring back at me. Time for a change.
I hear a gun go off. I race out of the bathroom and back into the main section of the warehouse.
“My bad!” Devin calls out. I see him holding one of my guns. He looks at Chase sheepishly. “I didn’t know it was loaded.”
“Why the hell wouldn’t it be?” Chase growls back. “You almost shot me!”
"Almost says I didn’t.” Devin retorts. Chase lets out a frustrated groan. They have yet to notice me.
Devin places the gun back on the table and picks up another. Everyone, me included, takes an automatic step back, out of his line of sight. I lean against the wall farthest from them just outside the bathrooms.
“Oh come on,” Devin grumbles, “It’s not like I’m going to make that mistake again.” He frowns and tosses the gun onto the table, folding his arms over his chest. I decide to make my presence known.
I make my way over to the table and grab most of the knives laid out across it. I feel their stares burning into the back of my head. I pull my leather jacket from my backpack and slip it on over the tank top. They’re all still staring.
“It’s rude to stare,” I say as I rummage through drawers in front of me. I find two of the five things I’m looking for.
“You dyed your hair.” Cody states.
“Again,” Devin adds.
I just shrug in response “Needed a change. I usually dye my hair every three to five missions. Just never got around to it this time.”
My hair is now a light brown with blonde highlights throughout. Instead of pulling it into a ponytail I left it down and let it take its natural wavy shape. I finally find the other three.
I toss four of them to the boys and keep the last one for me.
“What are these?” Cody asks.
“Keys,” I reply.
He rolls his eyes “I’m aware of that. What are they to?”
“I’ll show you.” I lead them out the back door to a small garage-like building next to the warehouse. I open the door and step inside with them all right behind me.
“Wow,” Devin says as he stares at the five motorcycles in front of him.
“Hope you guys know how to ride them.” I speak up, “They’re agency made so they’ve all got a few...extras.”
“Sweet!” Devin shouts and immediately runs towards them like an over-enthusiastic child you can’t but so desperately try to control.
I see Cody roll his eyes, with a small smile on his lips. Same with the other two. Devin is already trying out the buttons on the motorcycle.
“Hey genius” He turns towards me “None of those buttons work without the keys.”
“Oh right.” He smiles sheepishly and puts the key in the ignition.
No matter how hard I try to fight it, I can’t stop the smile that appears on my face for the first time in four years, as I watch him...I can only turn away to make sure they don’t see.