Chapter 1: The Eagle
Chapter One: The Eagle
~ o ~
“Ugh...where am I...”
My eyes slowly opened as my body returned to life. I examined my surroundings slowly as I tried to figure out what happened. I was laying in a bed with covers drawn over me. The room was dark, except for the lamp beside me sitting on an end table. The table had a tray containing a mug with steaming hot tea, two croissants and a small cup of what looked like freshly made chocolate mousse. I suddenly began to feel very cold and upon examining my body, my trench coat was gone. I also realized that the majority of my leggings had been removed...forcefully as if ripped off. A bandage was now wrapped around my leg and there was some blood seeping through it, but not enough to warrant much worry. I cursed under my breath at my incompetence...and weakness. I then looked to my PDA to see that no other calls had come in.
“If I didn’t go to that graveyard...if I had only taken Reyes’s offer...”
I immediately looked up to see the same hooded man, still wearing his balaclava. He had walked into the room with another plate of food, which contained what appeared to be two pairs of filet mignon steaks with some kind of sauce next to them. He approached me and placed the plate on the end table, his dark red eyes now focused on me.
“How do you feel?” he asked.
I felt a pang of anger go through me as I shot him a very irritated glare.
“Start explaining yourself.” I demanded.
He closed his eyes and raised his hands in defeat.
“A promise is a promise,” he said.
He lowered his hood but did not remove his balaclava.
“How did you know I would be there?” I asked.
“Because I’ve been waiting for you to visit that grave for nearly a year Amélie,” he said.
I hissed upon hearing him call me by my real name.
“We are not friends so do not call me by that name,” I snapped.
He shook his head before reaching into his jacket pocket and pulling out a picture...of Gerard and I.
“I’m probably the person who knows the most about you right now,” he replied.
He handed me the picture before letting out a heavy breath.
“You’re in grave danger. You should know that Talon doesn’t take defiance very well and you refusing that job offer from Reyes is what set them on the hunt for you,” he said.
I raised an eyebrow.
“How the hell do you know that?” I growled.
“I know a lot of things; I’ve been watching over you ever since you left Overwatch to join Talon,” he replied.
He then pointed to the picture.
“Gerard Lacroix was my closest friend and he was the one who helped me see the light...because I used to be an assassin for the organization as well,” he explained.
I shook my head, not even remotely recognizing him.
“Have you ever heard about an assassin codenamed The Eagle or perhaps The Specter Of Annecy?” he asked.
I put a finger to my chin and began to think of everything I had learned during my time with the terrorist organization. The name...was familiar. There was always some talk about a man who was seemingly a ghost no matter where he went and that he never failed a single mission assigned to him, no matter the difficulty. He got his name because he ordinarily used an eagle to bring back the evidence that he had killed his target, preferring not to return to a base where he could be followed. He also had a signature style, using more roguish methods of killing his targets such as poisons, darts and drugs. He was considered one of the best trained assassins the organization had ever seen...but no one had ever seen his face... at least anyone still breathing.
“Who are you?” I asked again.
Much to my surprise, he closed his eyes.
“I’d thought you’d have recognized my voice Amélie, because I’ve been your friend for years...”
He reached up and removed the balaclava, to reveal his face. He was astonishingly handsome, with medium length raven hair that was shaved at the sides and the rest left to flare over his crimson eyes. He had a scar on his right cheek and had a skin tone just a few shades shy of tan. Upon examining his face, I gasped audibly.
“...It can’t be...I thought you were killed in the assault on the Talon cell in Paris,” I said in disbelief.
“I almost was, but I managed to escape and spent several months recovering from my injuries,” he explained.
He smiled at me before bowing his head.
“I’m sorry about being so secretive Amélie. That’s no way to treat a friend but I had to ensure you were safe before I could say anything to you,” he said.
For some reason, my hand reached out to his face and gently touched his cheek.
“Aiden Beuclair,” I whispered.
He smiled before removing my hand from his face and looking towards the food on the table.
“I’ll explain more once you eat; you need to in order to fight off that venom that’s still in your system,” he explained.
For some reason, even though I didn’t want to trust him...I began to eat the food. He got to his feet.
“When you’re finished, let me know...there are some things we need to discuss,” he said before leaving the room.
“Start from the top and don’t lie to me.” I demanded again.
Aiden nodded as he took a seat in front of me.
“When you went missing, Gerard panicked and believed that he was the reason that you were taken. However, when you came back, he asked me to watch over you until he could figure out exactly what happened to you...and he also asked me to take care of you should you get into trouble and he was no longer around to do so himself,” he replied.
I looked at him in disbelief.
“He always believed that Talon would succeed in killing him...or that Overwatch would cost him his life so he thought ahead for you Amélie. Even though you’re the one that killed him...you’re not the one to blame for it; it’s Talon’s fault.”
Him saying those words immediately brought a slight pain within my heart. Though I didn’t wince, I noticed it because I hadn’t felt something like that in a very long time.
“You were kidnapped and subjected to neural reconditioning, which turned you into a sleeper agent and once the two weeks of hibernation were over, you completed your mission to kill Gerard. However...what they didn’t account for was how strongly you felt towards him and that you still felt guilt upon finishing your mission. That is why they continued the brainwashing; to make you into an emotionless killer.” he continued.
He then reached over to his right and handed a picture to me. It contained...a woman and a young girl.
“Who are they?” I asked.
“My wife and daughter...Talon had my wife assassinated and my daughter taken away from me in order to remove any kind of emotional trigger that could break my reconditioning.” he explained.
He smiled slightly.
“Until I met you and Gerard six years ago. I was sent to kill him myself, but I couldn’t pull the trigger because I saw how much he cared for you. That voided my employment with Talon and rather than to let me go out and face them myself, Gerard pleaded to allow Overwatch to take me as an informant. They accepted, and that’s how you and I met and became friends,” he explained.
My eyes narrowed.
“Did you ever find your daughter?” I asked.
“That is what I was going to ask you about next...I need your help Amélie,” he said.
He took his PDA out of his pocket and pressed the screen several times before handing it to me. It showed a triangulated signal of what appeared to be a tracker.
“I found her one week ago; they were moving her to a different location to keep me guessing and I managed to stick a tracker to her clothes...however, I don’t think I’ll be able to rescue her on my own,” he explained.
I nodded slowly, now beginning to feel slight empathy for his situation. Now that I thought about it, helping this man was probably what Gerard would do in my situation. In fact...that’s exactly what my husband would do; he was always the type to help a friend.
“You saved my life. The least I can do is help you,” I replied.
He smiled and bowed once more.
“We’ll have to go back to my apartment to get my equipment however.” I said.
“Give me the location and I’ll get it myself; you can’t afford to be exposed at all now that Talon is hunting for you.” he replied.
Though it annoyed me greatly that he was being so concerned for me, I couldn’t deny that he was right. I was in no condition to fight anyone as long as my leg was still healing. Even though it was an invasion of my privacy...it was probably a better idea for him to go get everything there because at least he could run. Going with him would probably be a terrible idea as well because I would only slow us down if we had to make a getaway. I opened the mapping app on his PDA and inputted the location of my apartment before handing it back to him.
“I’ll go there in the morning. I’ll be back before you wake up,” he said.
“Merci,” I said.
He shook his head and smiled.
“No. Thank you...hopefully the drug I gave you will accelerate the healing of your leg wound,” he said.
He looked down at my leg before looking back at me.
“Do you mind if I take a look at it?” he asked.
I responded by lifting my leg from under the covers and sticking it out towards him. He responded by scooting closer before beginning to unwrap the bandage. Once he did, he politely asked me to lay on my stomach. I did as he asked before he sighed.
“A few minutes more and that poison would’ve likely killed you. The anti-venom I gave you stopped all of the fatal effects but it has the side effect of slowing the body’s healing ability. Which is why I gave you the same drug that I sometimes use to heal from wounds faster. Thankfully, it’s working even better than I expected.” he said.
I couldn’t see him from the angle I was, but I felt a very soothing warmth coming from where my injury was supposed to be.
“You weren’t hit anywhere that would’ve hindered you too much...but better to be safe than sorry,” he said.
I turned my head to see that he was now rubbing some kind of ointment on the wound. It was heating up rapidly, causing me to wince just slightly because the wound was still fresh.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to rub it so roughly.” he said.
Now beginning to feel uncomfortable from his seemingly endless concern, I cleared my throat.
“How long will your daughter be at that location?” I asked.
He shook his head.
“I have no idea, but they moved her there two days ago so I doubt they will be doing so for at least a week or two.” he replied.
Feeling curious, I took a breath and turned back to face him.
“What is her name?” I asked.
“Nicole,” he replied.
I smiled slightly.
“A beautiful name...you’re awfully righteous for someone who used to kill for a living,” I said.
He shook his head.
“I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to do enough to account for all the lives I’ve taken...so I try to live my life to help others as much as I can. You however, are an old friend and your husband was my closest friend. You’re a different case entirely,” he said with a soft laugh.
He stopped rubbing the wound and began to wrap a fresh bandage around it.
“Your tendon is already nearly back to normal thanks to the drug. You should be fine in about a day or two at this rate,” he said.
He tied the bandage on tightly before getting to his feet.
“If you need anything, I’m in the next room. Just call me.” he said.
My face softened at his kind words as I smiled at him.
“Thank you Aiden,” I said.
“Anytime...now get some rest,”
He left the room, leaving me to my thoughts.