For Your Eyes Only
Disclaimer: I don't own Fire Emblem.
Children characters are NOT still children of the characters you know and love. Some may end up being so, but most are only loosely related to their parents.
The only backstory you need is that Gaius and Anna were childhood friends. And that there was a war between Plegia, Ylisse and Ferox that ended seven years ago.
For Your Eyes Only:
All information that you receive is for you alone. If you choose to reveal said information, we will have no choice but to disavow all knowledge of said secrets. If you are caught revealing our secrets, we at SHEPHERD have the right to deny any affiliation with you or your team. You will be hunted down and terminated. Good luck, Agent.
It all happened very quickly. The assassination was only the start. To be fair, she wasn't well liked, even by her family. But a Princess is a Princess. And Ferox had to pay. But no one expected Plegia to enter the war. As for why they got involved, you do not have a high enough level of clearance to know that.
Ylisse, Ferox and Plegia would have destroyed each other, leaving Valm to conquer. But one team of SHEPHERDs was able to stop that. A daring plan was concocted that could have spelt their deaths. But they stopped the ones responsible. Or so we thought.
I would know, I was part of that team seven years ago. That's why I was promoted. Now it's my job to assemble the next great team. And they won't even know how much we depend upon them.
Ylissean District CourthouseVirion Chandler
Virion slammed fist down on the table in front of him, "I'd ask that you prove that, Ms. Dawson!"
Eirika Dawson glared at him from where she stood in the Defense stand, "We already saw the photographs yesterday, Mr. Chandler. My client was not in a single one of those pictures!"
The Judge slammed his gavel down, "Prosecutor Chandler, this is the third and final day of the trial. If you have nothing to say that has not already been proven, rest you case."
Virion Chandler, "I apologize, your honor. But I am not finished yet."
"Then what are you waiting for?" Eirika asked.
Virion chuckled to himself, "Why don't we look at this case from the very beginning, shall we?"
Half of the gallery groaned. To them it seemed obvious that the defendant was innocent. And Dew Thompson was a very innocent looking person. The gallery was far fuller than usual. Trials like this didn't happen very often. A murder in the precinct? It didn't happen. And the gunning down of two respectable detectives? The public was hungry for the killer. But only a halfwit couldn't tell that Dew was innocent. The defendant stood in a roped off section guarded by three people near the defense stand. It gave Virion, who was on the opposite side, direct eye contact with Dew.
Eirika yawned, "Wake me up when it's over."
Virion cleared his throat, "This case all started with a simple thievery. The accused, Mr. Thompson, was found in the precinct holding evidence from our evidence room. But was this a simple case of thievery? Goodness no, for later that day two detectives were found in an evidence locker. One was Detective Leila Gryfflet who was injured having been shot twice near the heart. The other was Detective Inspector Marcus Olson."
"He was shot in the head, if I remember correctly?" the Judge asked.
"Yes, your honor. Naturally, the police arrested Dew Thompson since he was without an alibi at the time of the crime and he had obviously been in the evidence room-" Virion was cut off.
"Objection! You can't prove that, Chandler," Eirika said.
Virion only smiled and shook his head, "Ms. Dawson, as majestic a woman you are, you should have checked out the background of your client far more carefully."
"Meaning what?" she said slowly.
"Meaning the man you are defending right now is actually a famous thief, who steals for hire," Virion said smugly. "Direct your attention to this file folder of the high profile thieves of our time. Dew Thompson is sitting at number five." Virion handed the file folder to the bailiff.
Or perhaps not as innocent as they thought.
Eirika slammed her hands on the table, "What is this!?"
"I merely asked some of my friends to look into his background," Virion shrugged. No need to mention that his friends were secret agents that worked at one of the most feared agencies in the world.
"Why, I do believe this is all in order," the Judge said. "It's the real thing. Our defendant is a thief!"
Now the gallery was at attention.
Eirika fumed, "That doesn't prove my client is a murderer!"
"Patience, Ms. Dawson. I would bet my cravat that we'll have our murderer before the day is up," the prosecutor said, making careful eye contact with her. Eirika's lips curled with disgust as she looked at the fancily dressed prosecutor.
Eirika settled back down and continued to glare at Virion.
Guess I'm not popular with all of the ladies.
Virion looked up at the gallery and made eye contact with his mentor, Renault Robespierre and his fellow colleague Marisa Beckett. Renault caught his look and nodded. Both were renown prosecutors, Renault being probably the best in the business.
Feeling reassured, Virion began the final steps of his plan.
"Now, I do not believe Mr. Thompson is the murderer. He is a thief, not a killer. Tell me Dew, did you have a contract to steal evidence from the evidence storage room?" Virion said, looking at the man sitting in his designated area of the courtroom.
Dew hesitated, then nodded, "I was hired to steal evidence. I don't know why or who hired me, it was just another job. I'm no murderer though!" There were several gasps throughout the gallery. Hearing a confession from a man's own mouth was far more important than what prosecutors had to say.
Virion nodded, satisfied, "If Dew is telling the truth, then I believe we need to find a new culprit. And as we established early on, Dew, nor anyone else appears in the security photos of the crime scene. Ergo-"
Eirika slammed her hands on the table furiously, "Get on with it."
"The photos were tampered with. They're fakes," Virion said.
There was silence, then…
"Hold it! Those photos were authenticated, they can't be fake!" Eirika yelled.
Virion shook his head with a smile, "That's because they're real too."
The Judge was confused, "How can they be real and fake at the same time!?"
"The timestamp, your honor. The murderer only had to cut off the time stamp, then we would never know when it was taken. But, when shown next to another photograph, you can clearly see the timestamp is not there!" Virion shouted. "But we never checked them against other pictures that had been take, did we?"
"But how would these 'fake' photos get into this trial?" the Judge asked.
Virion held up a finger, "Patience your honor. All in due time. Now, yesterday after the trial I went and looked for the actual security footage from the day, and it had been deleted. However…"
The gallery got on the edge of their seats. It was time for Virion's turnabout he usually made of the case.
"However the police had already made copies, just as they do daily. Photos of the day are kept for two weeks before being disposed, it's protocol. And the YPD were kind enough to give me them!" Virion said triumphantly.
Virion handed the photos to the bailiff who handed them to the Judge. Virion kept a careful eye on his opponent in the courtroom.
"What…? Ms. Dawson! This is you in these pictures!" the Judge shouted in surprise. There was a collective gasp throughout the entire gallery, as well as from Dew Thompson.
Eirika only looked maliciously at Virion, "Who are you, Chandler?"
"I'm a Prosecutor," Virion said simply. Inwardly he was celebrating and laughing. He had her.
She shook her head, "No, who are you really?"
Virion merely smirked and bowed, "No one of consequence."
"Good. Then I won't feel guilty!" Eirika dropped all pretenses and exposed the gun she had been holding. A gunshot rang out!
Virion felt as though he was in slow motion. The bullet smashed into his midsection violently. But there was no blood! Just the thump that went unnoticed by Ms. Dawson. Virion Chandler felt his back collide with the floor. Grunting with irritation, he checked the gunshot 'wound.'
"She better not have gotten my cravat!" he whispered to himself, annoyed. Of course he was wearing a bulletproof vest. A SHEPHERD couldn't be taken advantage of so easily. But even with one on, it still hurt some when a bullet traveling hundreds of miles per hour struck him in the chest.
"Nobody move!" yelled Eirika furiously, her blue hair swinging back and forth as she whipped around, pointing the gun to and fro. The gallery, thankfully wasn't screaming and trying to run away. Oh sure, they were certainly ducking and hiding for cover, but no screaming. If one were to look in the back of the gallery, they would see Marisa and Renault in a ready position to jump up and do something.
Virion took a deep breath from behind the Prosecutor's bench. Eirika couldn't see him starting to get up since it obstructed her view. He took gasping breaths, using all his concentration to keep them silent.
Lithely, he stood up. Thankfully, her back was to him and he reached into the evidence envelope he had on his desk from earlier in the trial. Pulling the murder weapon out, he pointed it at Eirika. It was a typical handgun, a standard issue to all of the YPD. His finger tightened on the trigger as he heard the familiar crack of a gunshot.
The bullet struck Ms. Dawson in the shoulder. Her face lit up with surprise, and immediately went to horror as she screamed in pain. She dropped her pistol and fell to the ground holding her shoulder and screaming.
All was silent and Virion bent down to Eirika's ear and muttered quietly so only she would hear, "Virion Chandler, Agent of SHEPHERD." Virion smirked at her horrified expression and looked up at the gallery, "All in a day's work, folks." And he bowed with a smile on his face. After all, this was what he lived for.
Abandoned Ylissean Military FacilityFrederick Quinn
Frederick opened his eyes slowly. That sleeping drug had really taken him by surprise. Frederick should have been more careful. He'd remember that next time.
"Oi! Wake up Quinn!" came a voice from the doorway of the small room he was located in. As his senses quickly returned, he found himself handcuffed to a wooden chair and a table in front of him. Frederick Quinn found himself in the usual kind of interrogation room, grey walls, grey floor, two chairs and a table.
Kenneth sat down in front of Frederick with a smile, "You know Quinn, torture doesn't work. Any man will say whatever he can to get you to stop. So why don't we do this civilly? Why were you and your agent friend here snooping?"
Frederick tried to form words in his mouth, but for the first time in a long time, his mind was so muddled he couldn't think of a cover story. Getting caught wasn't his and Claude's plan. It was a quick reconnaissance mission. But they saw something that had to have been dealt with immediately. Nuclear triggers in enemy hands were not a good thing. They trusted the Director to forgive them.
Damn sleeping drugs.
"Frederick Quinn, answer me now or it'll be worse off for your friend," Kenneth said, an edge in his voice.
"The Director wanted us to see who had taken up residence in this base. The Director doesn't take kindly to people using Ylisse's military bases without permission," Frederick said in partial honesty. He had to busy Kenneth long enough to escape and find Claude.
Kenneth stared at him for a long moment, then said, "Fair enough."
Frederick couldn't believe his luck! Had Kenneth believed him? Just in case, Frederick managed to get the lockpick out of the secret compartment in his watch and began picking the lock on the handcuffs. Silly Kenneth, you're supposed to take the watch off the agent's hand. That's where the gadgets always are.
"But…" Kenneth began with a condescending smile. Frederick swore silently as the man continued, "Why would that involve two agents?"
"Because…" Frederick said, stalling for time.
Frederick jumped up, one arm free from his restraints. Frederick grabbed the chair he had been sitting in and swung it at Kenneth in a fluid motion.
The man was too startled to dodge and it broke into pieces as it collided with his midsection. Kenneth fell to the ground in pain. Grabbing the chair Kenneth had been sitting in, Frederick set the man in that chair forcefully. He pushed the man's head upright.
Frederick checked his watch and smiled, "Good. I've got time."
"For what?" Kenneth said weakly.
"To test your theory," Frederick began advancing on Kenneth with a slight smile.
"Theory?" the man said, still dazed.
"Torture doesn't work."
Knowing where Claude was being held, Frederick left the room with caution. He and Claude had seen several guards before getting captured.
Frederick ran silently down the long, vacant hallways, encountering none until he came upon the place where Claude was being held. There was only one way into the cell, past the guards. Having been imprisoned in one of these cells as part of training had taught Frederick well. They were like a typical prison cell, though every bar was reinforced with something that Frederick had never cared to learn about.
Two men stood guard. There were about Frederick's height, and by their stance Frederick recognized them as ex-HBI (Halidom Bureau of Investigation). Though due to their lack of attention, Fredrick determined they weren't the top notch quality he was used to.
Frederick sprung from behind the corner and threw a punch at the closer guard. Frederick felt his fist collide with the man's stomach, making him involuntarily lurch forward. The second guard began to react, missing his face and punching Frederick in his left shoulder.
Frederick's SHEPHERD training took over as he reached out a leg and pulled it towards him, tripping the second goon. The first one had recovered from Frederick's attack when the SHEPHERD struck him in the solar plexus with another punch, this time sending him to the ground, wheezing for air.
Frederick kicked the man he'd tripped in the face and jumped up, his elbow pointing down. His attack connected when his elbow hit the wheezing man in the ribs, shattering at least five of his ribs, judging from the screams and snaps.
The SHEPHERD was suddenly hit in the back of the head with the remaining goon's fist. Quickly shaking it off, he turned about with a roundhouse kick, slamming the goon into the wall, cracking his skull.
Frederick breathed heavily as he looked at his work, his adrenaline starting to wear off.
Claude stood up in his cell and clapped, "It's easier to appreciate your skill when I'm watching and not participating. I pray to Naga that we sabotaged that nuclear trigger successfully?"
Frederick nodded, "We disabled it. Permanently. The few people that could even hope to repair it are in SHEPHERD or the HBI. All is good." Realizing there was dust from his earlier scuffle on his shoulder, Frederick quickly wiped it off like it was never there.
Frederick searched the men, finding the keys on the man with broken ribs, he unlocked the door to Claude's cell.
"As for the initial mission?" Claude asked as he walked out.
"The fuse is set, the detonator is placed. Light the fuse," Frederick held out the trigger to Claude.
The holy man chuckled and clicked the button, "We better get running."
Ylissean Royal Castle: Lissa's RoomLissa Caverly
Lissa yawned as she clicked out of the card game she was playing on her laptop. The laptop had been a present for her fifteenth birthday, and she was an expert with it and all other computers.
She felt her hand drift across the winking smiley face on the top of her laptop and Lissa smiled, remembering when she put it on there.
There was a knock at the door. Lissa sat up from her swivel chair and brushed the wrinkles out of her pants she was wearing. A Princess' appearance was crucial as she was always reminded.
Her older sister, and Queen of Ylisse walked in. Emmeryn had the grace she didn't, it showed in her stride constantly, but it made Lissa look up to her even more.
"There's someone here to see you," Emmeryn Caverly said.
Lissa nodded and walked out of the door Emmeryn had open for her. Lissa's older sister led her to the smaller of the several meeting rooms in the castle. Smiling, Emmeryn excused herself since she had matters to attend to. Lissa opened the door and walked in.
Inside was a man with bright green hair and behind him a man that must have been his bodyguard. Said bodyguard wore a suit and so did the green haired man. He bowed to the Princess as she walked in, "Ms. Caverly, it is a pleasure to meet you formally."
Lissa recognized him from his visits to the castle before, "You're…Stefan?"
Stefan nodded and extended his hand, "I am Stefan Gerrard, Director of the YIA, or more commonly known as SHEPHERD."
Lissa's eyes widened, this was the Director of one of the best intelligence agencies in the world? Ylisse had two intelligence agencies. HBI for internal affairs and SHEPHERD, or YIA as it was also known as, for external and internal.
Stefan wasn't paying attention to her at the moment, "Volug, briefcase."
The wolfish man behind him handed Stefan the briefcase, who set it on the table and opened it. "Lissa Caverly, three days ago our agency was hacked, did you know that?" He gave her a sideways look.
Lissa's eyes widened, "N-no sir."
Stefan glanced at her as he took some papers out of the case, "Every picture of our agents were replaced by smiley faces and every logo of SHEPHERD was replaced by a unicorn, tell me, do you know how this could happen?"
Lissa shook her head and Stefan continued while looking her in the eyes, "We traced the computer back to this castle. To your room specifically. So Ms. Caverly, are you telling the truth?"
Lissa had never been more frightened in her nineteen years of her life. One of the most dangerous men in the world was here for her? Was there anything she could even do? It had been a joke, she didn't think they'd actually do something.
"Are…are you going to arrest me?" she said in a small voice.
Stefan laughed and even Volug gave a snicker, "Ms. Caverly, I'm not here to arrest you. I'm here to hire you!"
Lissa blinked, "W-what?"
Stefan kept laughing, "Not many can hack our servers in SHEPHERD. And someone as young as yourself is truly amazing. I'm offering you a career as a YIA Agent, or as some like to call it, I'm making you a SHEPHERD if you want it."
Lissa slowly asked, "It can't be that simple, can it?"
Stefan hesitated, and shook his head, "Nope, it's not. Your old life will never be the same. It may even cease to exist. If you take this job, you will have to commit yourself to the agency. We're the best for a reason. But if it makes you feel better, you'll save the world. That's for certain. And the team we're going to put you with will have a small failure rate. You'll be in little danger of dying."
"What exactly would I do?" Lissa asked curiously.
Stefan ran a hand through his hair, "Well, you'd be using very high tech equipment to hack into various security systems and other computers. You might do some grifting-"
"Yeah, the art of conning someone. To grift is to… fool someone. Convincing you I'm someone else through acting is grifting. You'll learn as you go along. Trust me," Stefan smirked. "But if you enjoy hacking, you'll enjoy the job."
Lissa sat quietly for a long time, thinking on her choice. Stefan leaned over, "I know I'm biased and you may think I'm trying to manipulate you, but hear me out. The life you have here, you'll never escape it. Once a royal, always a royal. This is your chance to feel free and alive. Serving your country, it's what you're supposed to do as a Princess anyway. It'll be scary, and you may regret the decision a few times, but the people you meet…they'll be the best people you'll ever meet. And saving the world has a very nice feel to it." Stefan grinned.
Lissa opened her mouth, then closed it. A few seconds later, she said, "Yes."
Stefan smiled widely, "Welcome to SHEPHERD, Agent Lissa." He held out his hand for her to shake.
Lissa shook his hand, giving him a firm handshake.
I am not delicate. I'm going to save the world!
The Ylissean Police DepartmentStahl Donivore
Detective Inspector Stahl stood up from his chair in his office. Pushing open the doors, he walked into the busy main room of the YPD. The Ylissean Police Department was home to one of the biggest police forces in any country. So the result was dozens of men and women running back and forth, telephones ringing and constant chatter. Desks everywhere trying to accommodate every officer. Each desk littered with papers and the like.
A usual police department.
Stahl wasn't the head of the YPD, but he certainly was up in the rankings. In fact, he had been chosen to lead a special group of detectives and take on the darker crimes of the city. There was one wrinkle, but Stahl figured he could manage it when the time came. He wasn't high up in the department for nothing.
DI Stahl headed to the conference room with his usual gait and no hurriedness. He and the other members of his team were gathering to see the final day of the trial of the man who had shot their friend Leila Gryfflet as they had the past two days of the trial. The others were worried the defendant would get off.
Stahl wasn't worried, he knew Prosecutor Chandler personally. It was Stahl who asked Virion to take up the case. Chandler owed him a favor or two anyway.
The detective twisted the door handle of the conference room and walked inside. He strode forward and took his usual seat at the head of the table facing the huge TV on the wall.
To his right sat Heather Starr, who had recently passed her training to become a detective. Heather was enrapt with the trial, barely flirting with Mia. And to his left sat Mia Meridas, a detective in training that Stahl had bent some rules so she could join the team, even though she wasn't a full detective. But the purple haired woman had tons of potential.
Missing from the table were Matthew and Leila. The latter was still in the hospital for gunshot wounds and the former was visiting her, since that was the usual job of a boyfriend. Matthew hadn't been around at all ever since Leila had been shot.
And then they had a new person coming in today. The wrinkle Stahl had to deal with, for he wasn't a detective. He was an agent of the HBI. And Stahl had no idea what to do with him.
Stahl sighed and watch the trial as Virion began summarizing the case. People all over the city were watching the fate of Dew Thompson probably much like Heather.
"This isn't looking good boss," Mia said. Even if she hadn't worked with everyone for as long as the others had known each other, she still cared about Leila a lot. It was one of the things that would make her a great detective.
"Hey, have a little faith Mia. Stahl says this Virion's good. He'll find Leila's killer," Heather said with certainty. Stahl nodded approvingly.
"Have any of you seen Matthew? Is he still visiting Leila?" Stahl asked Heather.
"He was in earlier to pick up some things, but he left quickly. So I assume he's going to be there for a while," Heather said. "Chandler better get the killer," she muttered darkly.
Reaching towards the center of the table where a muffin had been left for him, Stahl asked, "Who got these?"
"I did boss!" said Mia energetically.
Stahl nodded approvingly and swiftly gobbled down the muffin.
Then there was a gunshot.
Stahl almost choked as he looked up at the TV to see DA Dawson shoot Prosecutor Chandler.
"What the hell!?" yelled Heather as she fell out of her chair. Her feet had been resting on the table as she watched. Trying to jump up in that position was not a good idea.
Mia only gasped and looked at Stahl for an explanation. Stahl didn't have one. This came completely out of nowhere! Virion Chandler, dead?!
"Look!" Heather said from the floor amidst several swear words, pointing towards the corner of the TV screen. Stahl stared at the corner to see Virion slowly getting up and brushing the wrinkles out of his fancy shirt.
The three watched, stunned with surprise as Virion stood up, apparently unharmed and shot DA Dawson.
The film cut to the news anchors and the three detectives looked at each other. There was a knock at the door.
Mia got up to open it, still bewildered from the event of a few seconds ago. Twisting the handle slowly, she pulled the door open.
A man with a scar down his face walked in, "Which one of you is Donivore?"
Stahl swung his chair around and stood up, "That's me. Who're you?" Stahl sized him up and came to the conclusion that this could be only one person.
The man reached into the inner pocket of his suit and pulled out a badge, "Agent Adair, HBI."
"Who is this guy?" Heather asked bluntly. She was giving him the Heather death stare. Detective Heather wasn't a big fan of men. It had taken her a long time to warm up to Stahl.
"Legault Adair, I'm the new member of your team here," Legault said, smirking.
"Boss?" Mia asked.
Stahl nodded, "Our team is an experiment. We're going to see how a diverse group of detectives and HBI agents cooperate."
No telling if it'll work. At least there's only one HBI agent the agency had to spare.
"We'll be stopping crime with the help of two agencies to see if it's more effective," Legault said.
Stahl unconsciously felt for one of his badges in his pocket, his detective badge. He kept the other one away. Bad memories. And food made bad memories go away, "Indeed, now there's no better time to start then the present. Mia, are there any more of those muffins left?"
Gaius popped the piece of candy into his mouth as he swung open the door into the shop. Anna Cassidy had been his friend since childhood. And now they ran a shop together.
All members of Anna's look-alike family ran some form of store. Anna Cassidy had a pawnshop. It was a very nice pawnshop, easy access to the street, an optimal location and the two of them both lived above the store in the second floor that they had turned into a place of living. And with their other jobs, they were able to afford it.
"Uncle G! About time you got back!" Morgan shouted to him from across the store. It was a slow day, she didn't have any customers to tend to. Morgan was their assistant as well as Gaius' apprentice in the art of thievery.
Morgan had found her way to the two friends seven years ago, at the end of the war. Near the end, she turned up looking for her mother. Morgan had thought Anna was her mother at first. Which was expected, but Morgan couldn't remember anything else except her mother. Gaius personally thought Morgan had had some sort of traumatic experience that led to her memory loss. She was Anna's niece, so to her that made Gaius her uncle even though the two weren't married.
"Having fun taking my place?" he said, laughing as he set down the groceries he'd just gotten.
Morgan rolled her eyes and stood up and gave him a hug. He hugged her back, "Any customers?" He ruffled her hair. She hated that.
They separated and she shrugged, "One or two, they didn't buy anything."
Gaius smirked, "Too bad. And Morgan, I'll be needing my wallet back."
Morgan smirked and handed his wallet back to him, "I can't help it if I compulsively steal Uncle. You know me."
"That's okay. You want your wallet back?" It was Gaius' turn to smirk as he held up the wallet that he'd lifted from her. Morgan furiously checked her pockets.
"How did you…!" Morgan said, outraged.
Gaius laughed, "You got miles to go yet kid. But you're learning from the best." He threw the wallet to her with a trademark smirk and she tucked it in her pocket again. Her hand hovering protectively around her pocket did not go unnoticed by Gaius.
Morgan sat back in the chair she was sitting in before Gaius entered and went back to the TV she was watching.
"Where's Red?" Gaius said, using one the many nicknames he had for the people he cared for. Though unlike others, hers was obvious.
"On a job," Morgan said vaguely. "Someone came by and asked for her help quickly."
Gaius nodded. Both he and Anna were con artists, accomplished thieves and grifters respectively. And they were both training Morgan in their respective strengths, Gaius with thievery and Anna with grifting. Though Morgan was a natural thief. Someone who compulsively steals can really only do one thing in life.
"Is that the trial?" Gaius asked, nodding toward the TV. It was all anyone was watching these past few days. Even Gaius was caught watching it occasionally.
Morgan nodded, "I don't know about this Virion Chandler, he doesn't seem very good."
Gaius shrugged, "He's trying to fool Dawson. Letting her lower her guard. I know how Virion works, I've worked with him before." Gaius felt obligated to defend the man he'd known for a long time. But Morgan didn't know that.
"On a job?"
"You could say that."
"And who's this Renault Robespierre they keep mentioning along with his name?" the redheaded girl asked.
"He's a famous prosecutor, one of the best. Virion's his student," Gaius answered.
Morgan nodded and went back to watching the TV.
The bell on the door jingled and Gaius walked toward the noise. A tall man with blue hair walked through, his usual smile on his face, "Gaius! How's it been?"
The thief's eyes widened, "P! Long time no see!"
Priam laughed, "It has been a while, one or two years or something?"
"The good ol' days," Gaius said with a smirk. Priam had been a member of the team from seven years ago.
"Well, I've been…ah, taking a nap for a long time," Priam said, slipping into the slang SHEPHERDs used. Priam was a Sleeper Agent, a man who only sprung from his deep cover when commanded. So most of the time he had was spent doing nothing related to the YIA.
"Has it been restful?" Gaius asked with a knowing smile.
Priam laughed, but suddenly looked serious and spoke in a low voice, "They want you back, my friend. Things're getting bad. Not even this old warrior or Stef can do everything."
Gaius' happy attitude soured, "P, I'm done. I left the life. Green can handle it all."
Priam just sighed, "I knew you'd say that."
Gaius changed topics at lightning speed, "What brings you here?"
"I just wanted to pawn this ring, I need some money," Priam gestured to a ring on his finger.
Gaius frowned, "No. I'm not letting you give up on her." That was Priam's wedding ring, his wife had left him several years ago. Working in the field was very hard on relationships, that's why only relationships between fellow agents seemed to work out.
Priam's radiant posture dimmed considerably, "She's…not coming back. There's no point in waiting."
"I know while you're taking a nap, you can't get money from the YIA to avoid suspicion, take this," Gaius reached into his wallet and pulled out a one thousand gold bill. Carrying around one thousand gold pieces became troublesome so the world solved the problem with the creation of paper money along with gold pieces. Only Annas had large quantities of gold pieces anymore.
"I can't-" began Priam.
"Take it. I'm not letting you suffer out there for them P. Let me know if you ever need help again. Keep the ring, and keep waiting for her. She'll be back, I know it," Gaius commanded.
Priam paused, then nodded and accepted the money, "Try to stay out of trouble Gaius. Though I know trouble always finds you no matter what."
Priam left through the door he came through. Gaius walked back over to Morgan, deep in thought.
"Anything interesting happen?" Gaius said distractedly, though his lack of cheer went unnoticed by Morgan.
"Chandler was shot by Dawson, and he shot her back. Now I see why so many people watch these trials," Morgan said.
"Are you joking?" Gaius asked, slightly more alert. Then the phone rang, cutting him off any follow up. Muting the TV with the remote and abandoning all prior thoughts, he set the phone on speaker and answered it.
"This is the Annamart, you pawn it we sell it, how can I help you?" Gaius said the usual phrase.
"Good afternoon, I'm calling to inform you that you have just won an all-expenses paid trip to Chon'sin-"
The man on the phone never finished as Gaius quickly hung up the phone. Morgan gave him a strange look, then unmuted the TV.
Damn them. Damn the agency. I left the life, I'm done.
"I'm going for a walk Morgan, let Red know where I am," Gaius said, throwing his green sweatshirt on and putting his headband on straight. He'd said he would never go back when he left a little more than a year ago. And he never intended to.
The orange haired man walked out of the shop, attempting to outrun his past.
He'd been walking and thinking for several hours. Gaius knew there was no way to way to get SHEPHERD to stop asking after him unless he had a hold over them. And blackmail against the Director was a bad idea. Plus the Director was his friend. Green wasn't someone to cross either.
Gaius was so preoccupied in his thoughts he didn't hear a car approach and follow him for a short while. By the time he turned around and noticed it, it pulled up alongside of him and opened the door. A man from within the car spoke, "Step into the car, agent. That's an order."
Swearing under his breath, Gaius stepped into the SHEPHERD car. Inside was a man Gaius had gotten to know well, Henry Talbot as well as another familiar face, Cordelia Shaw. And Gaius was not happy to see them.
"Crivens! What'll it take for you and the others to leave me alone?" Gaius said angrily. They'd left him alone for so long, why now?
"Nyah ha ha! Good to see you too buddy!" Henry said with his trademark smile. Well that hadn't changed.
"Hello Gaius, long time no see," Cordelia said while flipping through a file folder. And neither had the workaholic.
"I have nothing to say. I quit, I'm done. Stop following me and calling," the thief said, quite irked.
"You were one of our best agents. We need you," Cordelia looked him in the eye.
"Big things are going on in the covert world. Big things with lots of blood," Henry said dreamily.
"What kind of big things?" Gaius said despite his anger.
"We've gotten whispers that he's out there. And if those whispers are true, then he is responsible for the embassy bombing a few months back," Cordelia said. "And that means you and the others never actually got him."
Gaius' felt his face grow pale. Three months ago, the Ylissean embassy in Plegia was bombed. The tensions between the two countries were higher than they had been in years. And if it truly was him…
"We need you back to stop him. You know his style, he's going to have an endgame planned. You are the only one who is in any position to stop him, besides the Director of course," Cordelia said. "And he's a bit too busy with keeping the world together."
Gaius was silent for a long time. He knew the risks of being in the intelligence community. It would bring danger to Anna and Morgan.
Then the thief had an idea. Probably a bad one, but this was something that needed to be done.
"I'll agree to come back, under a few conditions though," Gaius said slowly.
"Nyah ha ha! Fair enough," Henry said.
"I get to pick my own team," Gaius said.
Cordelia nodded, "But we already have a Hacker for you. Director's orders."
Gaius nodded, "Fine. And I pick the missions. You can present me with them, but I decide whether my team does 'em."
Both of them looked uncertain, but hesitantly nodded. "Is that all?" Henry asked. Gaius thought he sounded hopeful.
"I want to use the hideout my teams always used, and I want to take the team I pick on one of my cons. I need to see how they think, act and work together before doing anything large scale," Gaius said. His role in the YIA was being a Mastermind, he was the man who planned each mission, the one who gave the orders and every other little task that popped was his to deal with as well. Booking plane tickets, finding local YIA safehouses, etc. He used to have the role as the Thief, but Green had taught him well.
"That can be arranged," nodded Henry.
Cordelia handed Gaius a laptop, "Pick those you want on your team."
Gaius took the laptop (after putting a piece of candy in his mouth) and looked through his options. "Who's my Hacker?" he asked. Gaius wanted something to work with.
"Lissa Caverly," Henry chuckled.
"Crivens, wasn't expecting that," muttered Gaius. "What about Erk? I'd rather have him. Best Hacker I've met."
Henry's chuckling ceased for once, "Erk was killed in the embassy explosion."
"Shit," said Gaius. "He was a good man. He didn't deserve to brought down by the man we'd thought we'd taken care of. …I'll take Frederick as my Hitter…and Virion as my Observer of course. And since I'll be the Mastermind, that leaves two more. I already have my Grifter and Thief, they're fellow con artists however."
"Who are they?" Cordelia asked sternly. "We can't let you use non-agents without a background check. Though we probably shouldn't let you use them at all"
"Anna Cassidy and Morgan Cassidy," Gaius said. "Are we done? I hate these cars. Too small."
Henry nodded, "We'll contact you in a few days."
"I'm looking forward to it," Gaius said sarcastically. The thief jumped out of the car and got away from it as fast as he could.
It had been three months since he'd bombed the embassy. Knowing SHEPHERD, they'd be after him within a month or so. There wasn't much time to waste, but he wasn't about to smudge the Sterling name by rushing his plan.
"What do you want?" the man said in a bored tone.
The fat man in front of him cleared his throat, "I will deliver you the goods and you will put them to use. Any profits made out of this deal will be split fifty-fifty."
"I don't like your tone, Oliver," the man said. Sterling folded his hands in front of his chin emotionlessly.
"What do you mean, Mr. Sterling?" Oliver said. The fat man disgusted Sterling.
"I mean fifty-fifty isn't going to cut it. Twenty-eighty," Sterling took a drink from his mug of tea.
"Tharja!" shouted Mr. Sterling.
Oliver suddenly felt something sharp poke into his back. He took a sharp intake of breath as he saw a dark haired woman standing next to him.
"Thank you Tharja, do you mind finding Ishtar for me? I have new orders for her," Sterling said lightly.
He refocused his attention on the fat man. "Now Oliver, you had best get your sorry ass out of here. And take the twenty-eighty deal, it's me being generous," Mr. Sterling. "And do remember the most important rule when dealing with me."
"What is that?" Oliver said in a small voice.
Mr. Sterling grinned, "That my name is Robin Sterling. Now get out."
Author Notes: So you saw the introduction of The Crew, or the main team. And then you saw a bit of the YPD, more on them later. But just in case you're all jumbled up or something, I organized it all nicely.
Gaius Faraday: Mastermind
Anna Cassidy: Grifter
Frederick Quinn: Hitter
Virion Chandler: Observer
Lissa Caverly: Hacker
Morgan Cassidy: Thief
So what does each job entail? You'll find out next time/soon. And what will Anna and Morgan's reactions be to being signed up for the secret service? You'll just have to wait for next chapter.
And lastly, this story will be organized into 'Jobs.' Each job will have a different number of chapters, I don't know yet.
And finally, I don't know what my update schedule will be. I lose track of which day it is during the summer when I'm not at school.
"You have a wife...girlfriend? Because if you do, I'm gonna find her, whoever she is. I'm gonna hurt her. I'm gonna make her bleed, and cry, and call out your name. And then I'm gonna find you, and kill you right in front of her."
-Owen Davian, Mission Impossible 3