My phone buzzed again. It’s Daniel. I haven’t told him about my mission. We are back on the job which means I’m back in this old apartment. I read his text,
*Good morning, beautiful. Wake up.*
I smiled at that. My perfect boyfriend, but it would have been better if I was actually in the bed, waking up. He have no idea that the Angels had woke us up in the middle of the night and sent us away in secret. They don’t want to risk anyone noticing the new guy, Justin leaving with us. And the agents from Ghost also went back early this morning. Everything is being done very discreetly. The two agencies are too afraid to be seen working together. I just don’t get that part. I stared at the laptop and the papers sprawled on the table in front of me. I had to keep an eye on the laptop all the time, to watch my friends’ movement. The last time I didn’t watch, Jane got taken. I’m not going to repeat the same mistake again. And for the papers, it’s a compilation of the strategy for our mission. The two Agencies did their research competitively that now we have to go through bulky files.
I ate my chocolate nutty doughnut while I read each paper. The first few were the biodatas and the images of the suspects. I have seen some of the faces previously, only now we have more gang members. I closed the file after I went through it for the third time. There is another file given to each of us, a file that has everything about Drago. Mr. Henderson told us that we will need to know about him at some point so better start now though he recommended us to focus on the mission first. I haven’t read the file but my hand had been twitching to open it since morning. I stared at the file at the other end of the rusty table. My phone vibrated, demanding my attention. It’s Daniel, again. “Hey, sweetie.” He greeted me. “Hey, what’s up.”
“Guess what, I have a day off. We can meet today.” He told me cheerfully. “Oh no.” I muttered. “What? Ivy, you’re busy?” He asked me. “Yeah, I’m back on the job. I’m no longer at the Angels, Daniel.” I told him the truth. He felt silence for awhile. “Are you there?” I asked him and he mumbled, “Yes. Too bad I can’t see you today. Anyway when they called you back?” “Today.” I answered curtly. “It’s strange your mission had been called off and now back on again.” He stated. I couldn’t be sure if he’s upset or just curious since I cannot see his expression. “Yeah, it is.” He has no idea how strange it is for real. “Ivy, by any chance are you related to the recent secret operation.” His asked me in a low tone. I played it cool. “What you mean, Daniel?” “I heard and notice there is something huge going on here at the Agency and some sort of gathering held at the Angels. Do you know anything about it?” His voice was very low, as though he’s whispering. I didn’t expect the words to get out this soon. This is not good, especially for us. “No. I was there and nothing odd was going on. Not from what I noticed.” I told him casually and he bought it. “Oh okay then.” “Daniel, I got to go so I will call you when this job is done. I’m going miss you. Okay, bye.” I wanted to end the conversation because I don’t want him to suspect further and also we’re not supposed to talk to anyone else but those allowed by the Agency. “Oh bye, Ivy. Miss you too.” He hangs up immediately.
No matter how discreet it was news still goes around. I felt bad to not tell the truth to Daniel but well it’s not my choice. I shut my handphone and grabbed the red file. I opened the file and started to read each page slowly. The first bio was Drago’s of course. There’s no picture of him though. Drago’s bio has the least information. Obviously even the top espionage agency in the country could not get his full details. No wonder they treat this mission importantly, this is the best shot to get to Drago. The principal of the college, Mr. Russell Chant is the best chance. I flipped through the pages that contained the stories of Drago’s history, his activities and the complete details of his mob. I stop reading and set the file aside when Naomi punched in the code to unlock the door. Since it’s a two agencies’ project, we had been given the layout of how the whole thing will work after this.
According to Justin, he had seen one of the missing girls at the gang’s base, that is the Brickfields. Naomi and I are asked to head a road trip to look for the girls. Jane and Justin are now trying to get into the group and gain their trust. To make that happen, it’s going to be a lot of work for them. Meanwhile Anna is in charge of keeping an eye on Mr. Two Face, the principal. “Hey, you ready?” She walked in. She was wearing a white top with a bright blue jeans. “In a minute.” I told her as I put my laptop into my sling back. I made sure everything documented into my laptop and spycell, just in case if I happened to loose one. I had channeled the small map with the red dots into the cell so it’s easier to watch my friend while on the road. I wore a cardigan and slipped a knife into my left sock. The Agency had finally given each of us a weapon, following our score record. I wanted a gun because it’s easier but I didn’t complain. “It’s in the bag.” I told Naomi and she searched for her authorized weapon, a gun. “A 9mm. Compact.” She examined her gun before hiding it in her bag. “Let’s go.” We headed downstairs and got into the camper van. It’s Justin’s and the Ghost gave us the permission to use it but in condition to return it unscratched. The van is huge and ugly. The interior not so bad, it has a mini kitchen with enough food supply for a week, a few camping bags trashed at the back. Naomi decided to drive. We left the town in ten minutes time, the road was clear. We headed north, following the map. From the information we received, the specific area is supposed to be an abandoned land.
As soon as we got out of the highway, the vehicles gradually decreased so Naomi had no problem driving fast. “So…” I started and she smiled knowing what I’m about to ask. I gave her my best shocked look, “You’re smiling. No, no. This is not right, Naomi.” I told her. She kept her eyes on the road while talking to me, “What? Why it’s not right?”
“Are you out of your mind?” I questioned. “I think so.” She answered, smiling. “Don’t tell me you’re in love.” I shook my head at her. She stop smiling, her eyes troubled. She glanced at me and I saw her expression, scared and confused. “I am.” She admitted but no smiley face. “He’s your teacher.” I pointed out and she nodded. “I know but not anymore. He’s not going to teach next semester.” She said. “Oh, that makes everything right? You do know about the Angels rule, how the tyros aren’t supposed to be in any sort of love entanglement. I’m sure that includes the graduated ones too.” I didn’t hide my disapproval in my tone. “I know but you’re in a much serious relationship compared to my one day old love story.” She defended herself. “Hey, this is not about me. Daniel is different and you know it. Your trainer, his whole other level and this could create a very big scandal, much worse than the one circulating around us.” I reminded her about how rocky our status already is at the Angels. “For the record, he’s only 23. Not old and the system in the Angels not the same as the normal schools. Many agents come in to teach in their spare time. So technically, he’s an agent like how Daniel is now. This can work. I thought this through.” She stated, more to convincing herself than me.
I don’t know what else to say. I don’t want to pin point every single thing to reason with her because I could see even she is doubting herself. “Look, just don’t get hurt. It’s good you have moved on from Aaron but I don’t want you to make a mess of yourself with this rebound love with your trainer.” I told her. “Ivy, I’m not using Hugh to move on. I’m crazy to do that. This is real. I can feel it in me. The way he looks at me, that night.” She was momentarily lost in her thoughts. “He feels the same way.” Her voice dropped. The way she said it as though she couldn’t believe it. “Since when?” I questioned. I remember the last few months Naomi spent most of the days in mood swing just because of her combat classes. She hated her trainer and now it’s the other way around. “I liked him ever since I met him on the first day. He’s too good looking not to like but I thought it was a normal crush until he started to change especially last two days.” She explained in a dazed voice. “We are here.” She stopped the car suddenly. If not for the seatbelt, I might have stuck on the windscreen like a lizard. “Sorry.” She muttered. The place does look abandoned but it’s not an empty land as I expected. There are a few buildings, not fully build. The construction stopped midway. Probably, there’s no soul trying build the houses anymore.
We got down from the van and started on foot. We don’t want to attract any attention. If at all there is anyone here they will hear the engine loud and clear. The quiet and eerie nature gave me goose bumps. We walked along the road as we searched for any sign of people. We reached the end of the street and found none. The neighborhood ends there. The other side is empty land with wild bushes. We almost turned around but the sight of a fully built house stopped us. We crept through the bushes to get a closer look. The house was big, two storey and a Range Rover parked outside. “Bingo.” Naomi whispered to me. We decided to split. I went to the left to watch the back of the house while Naomi to the right to get the full view of the front. The house should only have two entrances so better to watch both. I grabbed the mini binocular from my bag and watched the grey back door. There was no movement at the back of the house. We stayed low and watched the house for about an hour. I lied on my stomach and kept an eye on the house and my laptop. Jane and Justin are no longer in the college compound, which mean they have started their part. My spycell buzzed. It’s Naomi. I looked up to my right and found Naomi sling her beg and started to run. I stuffed my gadgets in my bag and ran after her. “The girl.” Naomi pointed at the Range Rover that is now reversing at the front porch of the house. We bolted to our van. This could be a golden opportunity to get to the girl. She got to use the same road to get out from this neighborhood so we waited until the car passes us. Good thing we parked in between the row of houses. She drove away fast. We caught up with her easily. We tailed her until she stopped at the nearest town, in front of a grocery store. We stepped out of the van and went to her ride as soon as she went into the shop. It’s the same girl we saw in the picture. The only different is her hair is much longer now. The short and thin frame is identical to the missing girl. “This is fishy. If she got kidnapped, how come she’s driving a Range Rover.?” Naomi questioned in confusion. “Let’s find that out.” I stated. Naomi took out an umbrella from her handbag. “It’s a pretty one.” She muttered regretfully before breaking a rib from the umbrella. She pulled out the rib and guided it through the car door. It took her a few try before unlocking the door.
We crept into the car quickly and waited for the girl. I watched her swinging her purchased items while made her way to the car and unlocked it. She barely registered us in the car until she sat in. I grabbed her and covered her mouth from the back. She struggled but went still when Naomi produced the handgun. We instructed her to drive away and stopped in an alley where nobody is passing by. “Who are you? What do you want from me?” She screamed in fear. I covered her mouth again to stop her from making loud noises. Naomi raised the gun and placed it over her lips, gesturing the girl to make no more sound. The girl stared at Naomi wide eyes. Naomi did look dangerous with the handgun over her lips. I removed my hand and she stayed quiet. “Your name is Stella Rowland, right?” I asked her. Her face went pale. She nodded slowly. “Care to explain what happened to you and your friend, Mary Ann?” I went on. She hesitated before answering. “We got kidnapped.” She answered in a small voice. “We got tricked and the boys took us away from the college. We were unconscious for two days. Only then we realized we were no longer at our college.” Her distant voice was sad. I shifted and sat in the middle of the seat to take a good look at her face. She glanced at me from the front, her eyes were fearful. “We are not going to harm you. We are here to bring you back home.” I assured her. I felt bad for her misfortune. She looked at both of us in horror. Her expression was not what we expected. She turned quick enough and tried to open the door to run away. She tried to open the locked door roughly and the wailing came back. “No! I don’t want to go home. Leave me alone.” She wailed as she tried the door. We had to restrain her in her seat. “We are here to save you from the bad guys. What is wrong with you?” Naomi yelled at her. “Nothing. I’m fine. I don’t need your help. Let me go.” She begged us. I had trouble watching her from the back but her words were enough to stun me. “Why?” I asked her. “I liked it there.” She muttered. “What?” Naomi and I spat the word out at her. She cringed away from us. “I chose to stay there.” She went on. “At first, they treated us bad, very bad. We had nowhere to run away and the drugs kept us in one place. But slowly we started to listen to them because we had no choice and we weren’t the slaves anymore.” “What do you mean slaves? Why they kidnapped you?” Naomi questioned her. “The plan was to ship us away but Andy wanted us to stay. He liked us.” “Who is Andy?” I asked. “The big guy. The one that cared for us.” She answered. “Where is Marry?” Naomi asked. Stella remained quiet. “Stella, where is your friend?” Naomi stressed on. Tears started to roll down her cheeks. “She didn’t make it.” Stella sobbed. “What do you mean?” I asked her. “I decided to stay but she didn’t. She wanted to escape. They caught her and shot her.” Her sobbed harder. Both of us stared at the weeping girl in dazed. I have no idea what to make up of this girl. “You want to go back to that awful place where they tortured you and killed your friend?” I asked her. “I have to go back. They will kill me if they knew I bolted and I need the drug. I can’t walk away from it. I chose my way. Let me go. Tell my family that I’m no longer alive. I can’t go back now. Not like this.” She cried her eyes out. I noticed her hands, full of syringe shots. I was too shock to witness something like this. I have never seen a girl, acting in a very helpless and twisted manner. I wanted to comfort her but I know that’s not the right thing to do now. “I’m sorry, Stella but we have to take you in.” Naomi nodded in my direction. Both of us acted fast. We tied her down and taped her mouth before moving her to the back of the car. I stayed beside her as Naomi drove us back to the town to retrieve our van. We abandoned the car and took Stella straight to the Agency.
I called the Agency and informed them that we are on the way with one of the missing girl. The girl on the line put us on hold for five minutes before giving us a series of code number. I memorized the number but had no idea for what it is. The building is situated ten minutes away from the Angels. It is in the middle of the city. The building built tall and metallic. The title, Angels’ Town Agency is painted in black on top of the building. It’s resembles a normal business company. I wonder people surrounding it knew about the true purpose of the place. We were stopped by the security at the front. Of course, two young men in perfectly tailored suit checked the van. They asked for the code number. We were allowed in after I wrote down the correct code. We were directed to the centre of the building where a huge porch built and surrounded by ten suited up agents. They stood still like a statue even after we got out of the van. A tall framed woman in a navy blue dress welcomed us. “Welcome to the Agency, agents.” I wanted to correct her that we are not agents but she didn’t wait for our response. She turned swiftly and started to walk back into the building. “Excuse me, the girl is still in the van.” Naomi called out. She stopped and told us, “We will take her from here. Both of you had been asked to Ms. Angela’s room.” She informed us. We hurried behind the lady. We took the elevator to the fifteenth floor. I walked past the office like room while searching for familiar face, Daniel but then I realized he’s on leave today. The lady knocked the third door, “They are here.” She informed whoever in there. “Let them in.” A woman’s voice ordered. The lady opened the door wide, we walked in and she shut the door behind us. “Hello Ivy and Naomi.” A middle aged woman greeted us. “Hello.” Both of us mumbled awkwardly. “Sit down.” She ordered us and we obeyed. “This is a great opportunity to meet you. You have been quite famous here.” She stated, her tone were flat. I smiled awkwardly don’t know how to respond to that. “Okay, straight to the point. Explain the situation.” She sat straight and watched us. It took us seconds to realize what she meant. Both of us tried our best to fill her in about Stella and her unfortunate friend. “Very wise, to bring her here. She is no longer under the victim list. She needs to be arrested. Good job, both of you. Not what I expected.” The lady spoke up. My mouth fell open, “But, I don’t think she should be arrested. She needs rehabilitation. She is not in her right mind. She had been drugged and…” “Your opinion is not required, Ivy. We have the information and now we will do the necessary. Both of you can leave, now.” She dismissed us. I felt shocked to be shut off like that. I pursed my lips and stood up. “What you mean, not what you expected earlier?” Naomi questioned the lady. The lady gave us a half smile, “As much as Mr. Henderson I know everything about your little group so roughly I know on what standard each of you is. Now, I don’t owe you any more explanation. I believe you’re supposed to be at your required place, performing your job for a very crucial mission.” Her judgemental tone was very rude. We left the room without another word.