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One night while I was stuck at home, there was a knock on my door. I expected to see a neighbor who needed help. Let's just say that I was wrong...

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Chapter 1

It’s a quiet, peaceful night and I am typing away at my computer, allowing my imagination to run wild through intense tales of right and wrong, death and life. It is quite strange that I find pleasure in writing these things, but I do. They remind me of the job—my job—which I love so much. I love being able to protect my country. I love having the upper hand in every conversation; I’m able to look at someone and know their fate. I love doing the right thing. However, most of all, I love the adrenaline that the job gives me. I suppose that you could call me an adrenaline junky at this point, but I don’t care anymore. This was my life and I didn’t want to give it up.

But I didn’t have a choice.
I’ve been sidelined from my job and forced to stay at home because some analyst who doesn’t know what they’re talking about was convinced that my cover was blown. I’m the best at my job. That’s impossible and she must have known it. I would love to ruin her career. Yes, I will. When I get back at the agency, I’ll make sure that she never steps foot in headquarters again.

Oh well, none of that can happen until I get back to work. For right now, I’ll just sit at my computer and enjoy the world of my imagination and fantasy. I remove myself from my true work and mentally insert myself into the role of one of those paramilitary officers as they’re portrayed in a 007 movie. It’s exhilarating.

But it’s still not the same. I let out a deep sigh. All I have for right now is my writing, nothing more. For now, I can’t think of my job or anything else of importance. I need to truly immerse myself in my imagination.

So, I return my attention to my computer and continue to type.

As he tailed his adversary, he tried his best to hide his heightened awareness and fit in with the crowd. He looked up at the target only to notice that he was sprinting away. He began to run, clutching the handgun secreted in his waistband. He knew that he had been spotted. He may be a good spy, but his adversary was even better…

Knock, knock, knock

I look up from my computer and glance at my watch. 23:30. Who could be here at such a late hour? Immediately my instincts kick in. I drop to the ground and crawl alongside my office window, trying to stay flush to the wall below so that I can’t be seen. Reaching the far side of the wall, I type the twelve-digit code into my small safe and pull out its contents. I slip the handgun into my waistband and the spare magazine into my pocket. Then I freeze.

What am I doing? How do I know that there isn’t a neighbor at the door who needs help? How do I know that whoever is at my door is truly a threat? Am I being paranoid?

Yes, I think that I’m being paranoid. I stand up from my previous position, fully aware that anyone would be able to see me through my window. Then, I march towards the front door.

I throw open the door and put on a friendly smile. “Hey, what’s up? Can I help…”

My heart sinks. My mouth hangs open. Before me stands a tall and muscular man. He glares down at me with green eyes filled with hatred and bloodlust. He takes a step towards me. I counter with a step back.

“You know what?” I start as I slowly back away, “I don’t want to help you.”

“That’s too bad”

I spin around to hear the man speaking to me. A small man is standing there in my house. Despite his unimpressive physique, his eyes gleam with a combination of intellect and coldness, sending shivers down my spine. I position myself against the doorframe so that I have both men in my sight.

“I was hoping that we could talk here in a civilized fashion.”

Oh no. “About…” I prompt, trying to hide the fear from my voice.

The short man smiled slyly. “Mikhailovich”

How did he know that name? Wait, Mikhailovich is one of the most common Russian patronymics. No, he knows exactly who he was talking about. No, no, no. There’s no way that this is happening! It can’t be.

It is. It doesn’t matter who these people are or what they have to do with my former asset. I must stay strong.

I lift my head and look the short man straight in the eyes. “No.”

“It’s a shame…”

I do not attempt to stay and listen to the short man. I quickly raise my gun and fire two shots at the tall man. The first hits him in the stomach and the second wizzes over his shoulder, wide of its mark. He doubles over in pain as I shove my way past him, trying to leave as much distance between myself and the two men. Only now does the realization hit me: I have no idea where to go. I can’t go to anyone else because I can’t put a civilian in danger. I don’t have anywhere to go. My best bet is to lose them and hide.

Something flies past my ear. A bullet?

No, a dart.

Who on earth are these guys? They have dart guns! A lot of people want Mikhailovich dead. They probably aren’t terrorists because terrorists wouldn’t have this tech. That must mean they’re foreign intelligence. From where?

I run to the street, zigzagging to make myself a harder target. Where should I go? Maybe I should go somewhere with a lot of people after all. It looks like these men aren’t shooting to kill.

Only at that thought do I realize what it means for me.

I can’t let them catch me.

I think that I’ll go to a crowded street. Maybe I can find a kind driver to help me get away. Or… I glance at my gun… I can convince them to help me. Yes, that would work. I would never actually shoot them of course but maybe if I convinced someone that I was going to if they didn’t help me…

I feel a sharp pain in my right thigh.

A dart.

I lose feeling in my leg and I fall to the ground.

As I feel the numbness spreading across my body, I think about my writing.

I wanted an adventure.

I don’t anymore.

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