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Agent Shadow

By lezaanv

Adventure / Scifi

Chapter 1


Mist was drifting aimlessly above the dark palace, heavily guarded by Italy's finest military. Amongst the guards is a woman disguised as a top military officer. What they don't know is that this officer is a skilful spy working for the USA. There is no one better to barge through this barricade. Her name: Special Agent Shadow.

Shadow started out as someone who loved to be adventurous, this spilled over into: hunting, tracking, sword fighting, shooting and archery. Never did she think her skill-set would offer her a chance to infiltrate the toughest, most secretive places that remained unknown to civilians around the world.

She slips away unnoticed from the guard house and moves over to the east side of the Palace.

I can do this. I just have to climb up this drain pipe, then I'll be in lion's den. Your secret is out, Mr President. No longer will you hide your precious art collection away from your country!

Within a few seconds, she's in the main room. She darts to her left along a corridor, then right, entering into a small room. She gently walks over to where the safe is and takes out a small device that quickly deciphers the safe's lock. Quietly, she opens the safe.

Nice to have gadgets to do this. Awesome, got the map to the President's collection. Looks like my next stop is Milan…..

Special Agent Shadow, also known as Eva Sitwell, grew up in a small town near Washington, D.C., where her parents owned a farm, allowing her to explore the nearby woods. She would get lost in there for hours on end. As she grew older, her fascination with adventure expanded into hunting and tracking. Her parents saw her talents and allowed her to attend archery- and rifling school. But it didn't end there - later, she enrolled into hand-to-hand combat and sword fighting; she liked all things ancient and primal. The desire to develop in these forms of sport was evident to all who knew her.

On the side, she played baseball, which, in turn, gave her a competitive spirit, as well as accuracy and anticipation. She was to be the pick of the crop when she entered into military school. After five years of dedicated service in the military's Special OPS Division, Eva received the rank of covert spy. Her faithfulness and willingness to submit to her superiors allowed for her fluent progression through the ranks. Her superiors saw her talent for analysis, strategy and anticipation, which, in turn, found her working in the military's private sector. Eva's training in all forms of combat - ancient and modern - gave her the upper hand and, later on, helped see her appointed to doing secret solo missions. She had been working for the U.S. Government for three years, receiving her assignments straight from the Secretary of Defence.

Eva's favourite weaponry (dependent upon the mission) includes: two Heckler & Koch USP semi-automatic side arms with mounted flash lights, holstered on her thighs, and a XM8 compact assault rifle, whilst her ancient warfare collection includes: twin-swords, most suitably strapped to her back, and a Re-curve bow, with a quiver full of arrows. Eva likes to be on her own, as this allows her to analyse, investigate, plan and anticipate. No other people means that she can do her work as efficiently and quickly as possible. Known for her stealthy techniques, Eva can go in and finish the job without the opponent knowing about it, hence her codename: Agent Shadow.

After successfully finishing her mission in Italy, she was approached by Star Gate Command, an organization that explores Galaxies in the hopes of finding other civilizations, similar to Earth, to exchange knowledge and technology with. Her newly assigned mission is to track down an unknown enemy who could become a threat to the Pegasus Galaxy - and to Earth. Her expertise will be put to the test as she explores this Galaxy, as certain pressurized situations bring to the surface a person she never knew she was: a shadow, both to those around her and to herself. Shadow finds out what her character has become and how this expedition could shape it in another direction. As she learns to balance her strengths and her weaknesses, to acknowledge that she's not invincible, she soon realises she needs others to help her. This directs her, causing her to care for those around her, as well as her estranged family, whom she has left behind on earth. Is it worth losing everyone, to be a shadow infiltrating new civilizations, seeking out their secrets? What secret keeps her running away, preventing her from living a real life?

Chapter 1

SOMEWHERE IN THE PEGASUS GALAXY, Agent Shadow is currently on assignment with her new colleague, Major Kyle Wilson. They are carrying out scouting missions for their leader, General Steven Caldwell - a stern, by-the-book military man - who is the Commander of Earth's advanced battle cruiser, Daedalus. Both Shadow and Wilson are newly assigned to the General and are in hot pursuit of a new lead in regards to their main investigation.

Six months ago, Star Gate Command approached Agent Shadow and asked her to join them on a secret mission. This mission was so classified, even the current S.G.C. teams knew nothing about it. At that time, she was curious as to why they would choose a civilian for the mission and not one of their own members. Later it was revealed to her, that her skill-set was the only thing attracting their attention. No one in their organization had the skills and expertise to better fulfil the task at hand.

Major Kyle Wilson, an outstanding military S.G.C. member, is to be the liaise between her and the General. Accompanying Shadow on missions, would give him the knowhow on how she operated. Wilson, 5.9 ft., with his tanned skin, dark brown eyes and black hair, styled in the military-cut, was the best analytical soldier in the unit, allocated to the battle cruiser, Daedalus. Well, almost the best... Shadow held the top position in all areas of analyses and investigation. However, Wilson's task was to analyse her and report anything out of place. No one knew who she really was and what she had done before she agreed to join the S.G.C. The International Oversight Advisory was skeptical about appointing a civilian. They wanted it to remain in-house, as the people involved were the Star Gate Atlantis team, currently off-world in the Pegasus Galaxy.

And the person who assigned her to the S.G.C. was the Secretary of Defence, having personally received the order directly from the President. This went deep, deeper than Shadow realized. She had never once received such a mission before and having it given to her directly from the President, made her doubt her decision to submit. She was an American spy who worked for the S.O.D., not the whole world - not to mention the whole Galaxy! There must have been plenty of other spies who would do anything for an opportunity like this... Why not choose one of them, why her?

During a private conversation with the President, she had discovered the truth behind her appointment. No, she was the only spy who could help with this expedition - and she was also the only spy who personally worked for the President. It seemed he wanted someone on the inside who could report on the work the I.O.A. and S.G.C. did involving the Atlantis Expedition. It was the only place that didn't allow the President to have a proper foothold, due to its being the first International Project in another Galaxy. Yet, having her there would provide that foothold. The I.O.A. needed help and the President saw the opportunity to step in and monitor their operations. With his foot in the door, he could assess the threat coming their way. He made an oath to the American people to defend them at all cost - but how could he, if didn't know who his enemies were?

An I.O.A. spy came across a threat in the Pegasus Galaxy without Atlantis knowing about it. This threat was a new enemy who couldn't be identified, however, sources stumbled across victims of their latest attack. The damage was greater than that done by the life-sucking aliens whom Atlantis was currently dealing with.

The Wraith were powerful, yes, but these aliens added more trouble to the Atlantis Expedition than that which they currently faced and the I.O.A. didn't want to add more pressure to their current battle. If S.G.C. and the I.O.A. could handle this without their help or knowledge, they would never even know there had been a threat to begin with. Agent Shadow, known for her stealthy, covert missions, was brought on board to scout the planets situated in the Pegasus Galaxy. And when the time came, to help eliminate the enemy. A special project had been opened for the purpose of her concealment, as far as possible. They wanted her to be invisible - really invisible. Just before they initiated their mission, the S.G.C. had made her invisibility possible by the completion of a human cloak. This device could make her disappear and reappear any time she wanted to. No one could see her. She was the ultimate covert spy.

The I.O.A. made it very clear that she wasn't to engage or reveal herself to anyone, especially the Atlantis Expedition. She must scout and report back on what she heard and saw. This enemy had no identity, so they didn't know who or even what they were looking for. The planets their previous spy had come across were to be revisited quietly and quickly to see the damage done. That was the starting point. Further developments were left to General Caldwell's direction. He, too, was under the President's wing and wanted to make sure that he received the proper information. No one knew of this agreement except Shadow.

Anything that may lead to a war on Earth's side; they were to inform the President as soon as they could.

- Romas: attacked by unknown enemy -

Agent Shadow and Major Wilson are doing reconnaissance work. Their mission: to track down some of the inhabitants, who have gone into hiding since the last attack.The whole planet is covered by dense forests and shrubbery, a disadvantage to outsiders, who don't have tracking skills. For Wilson, it feels like he is back in boot camp, but for Shadow, it feels like home.

"This sucks... since when did I become an explorer?"

"Stop complaining, Wilson, this is nothing compared to what I've come across in the past."

"I can't imagine it, nor will I imagine it. I'm an analyst, not a backpacker."

"Do you call this backpacking? This is not backpacking, this is hunting and tracking - it's exciting!"

"For you, yes... for me, not so much. When will we reach the Romas village?"

"We're not going to the village, remember?"

"We're not? Thought you said we're headed for the closest village?" Wilson's eyes showed frustration and dislike for the trek, causing her to giggle a little.
"I'm glad you're entertained." He says, managing to grin for a few seconds.

"Wilson, you've got to learn to relax and enjoy what you have around you, otherwise you'll turn into a lemon…sour."

Wilson stares at her, as he climbs over a fallen tree trunk, with Shadow a few feet away, following a small path."Back to civilization, please! I didn't sign up for this." 

Shadow halts, startling him."What, what is it?" Wilson whispers, as he darts towards her position. "What did you see?"

"Something's wrong... Are you sure the Daedalus picked up signs of life on the planet?"

"Yes, it showed some on the eastern part of the planet, just a few clicks away from where we beamed down... Why?"

Shadow kneels down and looks at the path heading off to her right. Wilson gazes after her in the same direction."This is the place, but no one is here. There are no tracks coming or going. Either they know how to disappear without leaving a footprint - or they know how to fly, with the latter being impossible."

Wilson looks up and scans the treetops hoping he might see something. It just makes him feel like he knows what is going on."Didn't our source say some of them were brilliant trackers? They probably covered their tracks in the event of being tailed, by, let's say, us."

"Do you know who you are talking to? I know how to track those who don't want to be found."

"You can track someone's covered-up tracks?"

"Yes, I can… Look, they didn't cover their tracks because there were none to begin with."

"They couldn't have disappeared, we saw their signatures thirty minutes ago!"

Shadow doesn't answer him. She moves off the path, heading west."Hey, wait! Where are you going? The path leads this way."
"Clearly they aren't here and it seems as if they stayed off the path... I would if I were them."

Wilson runs after her, as she vanishes into the bushes."How do you even know they went in this direction?"

She mutters something under her breath. It's evident the man is getting under her skin. The environment she's usually familiar with involved total quiet and peacefulness. She'd have to get used to someone tagging along. At least he wouldn't have to go with her on all the missions, just the ones already surveyed by their source. If it wasn't for his good looks, she would have knocked him out. She sighs... patience is the key.

"Before we were beamed down, I managed to scan the layout of the planet. There was a cave just west of these coordinates. It would be the perfect place to conceal yourself from humans and animals."

"I see, it's what you would do, right?"

"Yes, it is. Now, come along, you're wasting time. The quicker we get there, the quicker we can solve this mystery and get back to the rendezvous point."

Shadow turns around to see his expression. It's one of discomfort. She smirks, thinking He calls himself a solider.

"Alright, my friend, let's get moving. I want to reach that cave before the sun goes down. With all these bushes and trees around, I wouldn't like to be outside at night."

He moves as quickly as his gear will allow him to, falling into stride alongside her. She peers across at him as he comes up alongside her. Where on earth did the General find this man?

What she doesn't know, however, is that this man is actually a well-trained soldier, pretending to be a useless explorer, to lure the truth of Agent Shadow out of her.

"I think I'm starting to get the hang of this. Maybe when you have time, you can train me in your fighting art. I've seen you in action and found it quite fascinating." 

She gazes at him momentarily and then turns her attention back to finding the cave.

After a few minutes of walking through dense shrubbery, Shadow stops and goes down on one knee. Wilson follows, close behind.

"Look there, at your one o'clock," she says, pointing in the direction, "do you see the cave?" Wilson nods when he spots it."I advise you to stay here, while I check it out... and don't worry, nothing will happen to you, just as long as you remain quiet."

Shadow pats him on the back before disappearing into the bushes.

"Great, leave me here to look after myself. Just fantastic." He looks around and finds a dense spot to hide in. Fantastic.

Meanwhile, Agent Shadow is a few feet away from the cave, quietly approaching the entrance, cloak engaged. No one can see her, yet she can see everything. No one here, how can that be? This would be the perfect spot to hide. She taps on her earpiece and radios Wilson to come to the cave.

Shadow walks further in, noticing the heavy tread of her partner outside the cave. She disengages her cloaking ability.

"Shadow, I'm here!" He calls out, his voice echoing throughout the cave.

"Hey, keep your voice down." 

Frustration in her voice.He notices it and decides to back off for a while. "Sorry." Wilson says, before halting at the entrance and quietly observing her movements. At a slow pace, she checks for clues. She disappears around what seemed to be a corner at the back of the cave. Wilson has an urge to follow, but decides against it. A minute or so passes by before Shadow returns, looking surprised.

"Alright, so the cave shows evidence of recent activity, but no one is here. They left for the Gate… there, where you are standing, indicates they went in that direction. They are gone. Probably knew something was up because this time they didn't bother to cover up their tracks." Shadow motions to the back of the cave.

Wilson moves to the place she indicated."I believe the real reason behind their attack was that they were hiding something or else, they just happened to be in the way. There's a secret room just around this corner." 

She points to her left and walks in the same direction, Wilson following closely behind.

There, a door lies hidden behind some overhanging branches. Wilson walks up to it and pushes them aside and it is then that Shadow notices something interesting... The texture of the door looks like Ancient architecture. While still on-board the battle cruiser, Daedalus, she had asked to see the S.G.C. files on the Atlantis Expedition. She had managed to study the necessary available information, which, amongst it, also contained pictures of Atlantis and its design.

She walks up to the door and brushes her hand over it. "This door is of Ancient design…"

Wilson's heart skips a beat. If this was Ancient…"This means these people were of Ancient ancestry."

"I don't think so. This door hasn't been opened in a while. If they were Ancients, they would have used this place. I think they're just inhabitants."

"Why would this enemy attack them then? Most importantly, what were they after in this 'room'?"

Shadow sighs and looks for a way to get past the door. On the right, underneath the branches, she sights a panel in the shape of a hand.

"Well, there is only one way to find out." 

Shadow places her hand on the panel and with some resistance, the door slides open. The room lights up as they step in.

"Wait." Shadow places her arm before Wilson's path and then points to the ground.

"Footprints? But I thought you said there wasn't any evidence of entry."

"I said there hasn't been for a while." 

She pauses and looks at the floor of the cave and then back at the room. "That's odd, only one pair of prints entering and leaving, but the floor of the cave shows many coming and going."

"Maybe someone knew what they were looking for and asked the others to remain outside."

"That means the person knows Ancient technology."

"And had the means to take whatever was here."

"So I assume, our enemy either knows of the Ancients and their technology..."

"...Or they are descendents of the Ancients." 

Wilson's face bears a smile, but it soon dampens when he looks at Shadow, who has a worried look on hers. 

"You can smile all you want, Wilson but it won't help us to find them. Whatever it is they are planning, they want to keep it hidden. I suggest we send down a science team to collect data in here."
"I agree."

As Wilson radios the Daedalus with their update, they head for the rendezvous point. In the distance, behind them, Shadow hears a faint noise. It sounds like something moving in the trees above them.

Could it be the breeze or is someone following us? She ignores it.

A few minutes pass by, after which time Wilson briefs Shadow."The General has agreed to send down a science team. You should have heard how excited he was. We've finally found something that might bring us closer to this enemy."

"Great, let's hope this is what we've been scouting for. It could just be another technological discovery that has nothing to do with our objective."

"What do you mean? I thought you would be glad that we've finally got something."

She turns to him, hiding the frustration wanting to reveal itself. "Kyle, one thing that I've learned is to wait until all the facts have been confirmed, otherwise you'll be disappointed when your expectations aren't met. Up till now, we have circumstantial evidence but we have nothing concrete pointing us to our unknown enemy. I take this mission as a success, yes, but not as one that's going to bring us closer to finding them - and we still don't know why the Romas were attacked and if they even knew that there was a hidden room in that cave." Shadow finishes speaking, with a gesture in the cave's direction.

Wilson mulls over what has been said, before asking, "So we need to find them and question them?"
"Yes, something we should have done when we got here. There are a lot of unanswered questions."

Shadow stops when an idea pops into her mind. Maybe I can convince the General to allow me to stay behind and wait for the Romas to return.

Behind her, Wilson, unaware of the fact that she had stopped, bumps into her. He has a puzzled, confused expression as he asks, "Oh, sorry…..why did you stop?"

She stares at him and taps on her earpiece. A distortion can be heard and after a few seconds, a female voice responds."Yes, patch me through to the General."

While waiting for the General, she answers Wilson's question, "I have an idea I would like to share with the General."

"Well, would you mind filling me in?"

Was that an irritated tone I heard in his voice?

"No, but you're welcome to listen to our conversation."
She smirks as he submits to this.

That's a good boy.

She hides her realization of his excessive questions. No one could be so curious and not have a motive.

The best way to keep an analyst at bay is to feed him or her false information. It's too early to let this one in...

"Go ahead, Agent Shadow... and well done with the discovery of that hidden room."
"Thank you, General. I suppose Wilson has filled you in on everything that has happened today, so I'll keep this short. I would like to stay behind and wait for the Romas to return to their village. I have an idea that they might be able to help us with what we've found in the cave. They could also tell us what happened on the day of the attack."

"Do you think they'll come back? They seemed to have disappeared very quickly when you arrived."
"Yes, General, that's because they had scouts around their villages. That's how they knew we were coming," she goes down to one knee and looks up to her left, spotting a dark figure sitting quietly in a tree a few feet away from them.

She whispers, "I believe we are being watched right now." She secretly motions for Wilson to remain where he is.

"Is it possible for you to capture this scout or maybe even question him?"

Shadow looks down at the ground, trying to figure out a plan.

She whispers over the earpiece, "Yes Sir, but I think it best to go on to the rendezvous point and beam up Wilson. I can fake my own disappearance and capture this scout on my own. I can report back when I have info. And for safety's sake, you can monitor me from the Daedalus."

There's silence over their radios as the General considers her request.She noticed his hesitation, "General, this is my job, this is why I was chosen for this expedition. Please trust me to do it."

Shadow keeps her head down, sparing herself from having to see the look on Wilson's face. She knows he is against this idea, but needs to be done. Leaving questions unanswered gnaws at her being; she has to figure out why these people were punished for finding this secret room.

"I'm sorry, Shadow, but I'm declining your request this time. I'll send the science team down to investigate. Hopefully they'll find something. It's best to leave these people alone for the time being. We can come back to Romas at a later stage."

Shadow is shocked. "But General, if we don't take this opportunity now, who says we'll find them later on? I have this scout in my sight, I can capture him. We'll have more info. Than what can be found in that room."

"My answer remains the same, Shadow... Head for the rendezvous point. I'll ask the technician to scan for signs of life when you are beamed on-board. Caldwell out."

Shadow hits the ground in frustration. She could have saved them a week by catching this scout.

Looking at Wilson, she says, "No 'I told you so' from you. Do you hear me?"

Wilson raises his hands to signal his retreat.

"Good, let's get a move on, only a half a mile to go."

"Ode Joy!"

They were silent for the rest of the trip, the only sound that of their boots treading on the muddy path.

When they reach their location, they radio the Daedalus. Shadow's frustration had been building up, something Wilson could clearly see. Compassion sweeps over him, but he ignores it. He isn't there to sympathize, he is there to analyse her behaviour and report back to the General.

A sharp light envelopes them as they are beamed up to the Bridge. An hour later, the science team are beamed down to the cave to investigate the discovery they had made.

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