Alex Rider, age 11 was heading home from Brookland School when it happened. He had just walked past a dark alley when a set of hands reached out and grabbed him from behind. They pulled him into the alley; Alex struggling to get loose as hard as he could. He slipped out of the strong grip and turned around to face his attacker when he froze. It was his uncle, Ian Rider, who was supposed to be in America and not come back for another week.
"Ian?" Alex shouted out of happiness and curiosity.
"Hey Al," Ian replied.
"What are you doing back? I thought you weren't supposed to be home for a while?" asked Alex.
"What, don't you want to see me!" exclaimed Ian mock offended. Alex just rolled his eyes and said, "Yes, I'm happy you're back but still, why are you back so early?"
"Pushy pushy, aren't you," muttered the elder Rider jokingly. "My client suddenly had other very important matters so he couldn't come and the meeting was cancelled." Alex nodded, "That makes sense," he said to himself thoughtfully.
"Also, my bosses said that they have something important to show the both of us," Ian added on to his previous statement.
"What would the bank have that would be important enough that they would want me to be there," inquired Alex. Ian shrugged.
"I have no idea but they said that they wanted the both of us there soon, so we'd better go." After that was said Ian put his arm around Alex's shoulders and they began to walk towards the Royal and General Bank, talking about everything under the sun; from school, to where they would go on to vacation next, to what they were going to have for dinner, now that Ian was home.
The pair, Alex and Ian Rider, arrived at the Royal and General Bank at approximately 3:30 pm. When they got there they walked up to the reception desk where a nice looking young woman was sitting doing paperwork. She smiled and said, "Welcome to the Royal and General Bank, how may I help you?" Ian gave a small smile in return and said, "Mr. Blunt asked me to come in." She looked up from her paperwork.
"Of course, what is your name?"
"Ian Rider and Mr. Blunt also said to bring in my nephew, Alex," he gestured to Alex.
"Go right on up." Ian nodded and together the Riders walked over to the elevator, stepped inside, and pressed the button for the fifteenth floor. It carried them up, only stopping once, and when it reached their floor, they stepped off.
"So, do you have any clue yet as to why we're here?" asked a curious Alex. Ian shook his head.
"Nope, sorry." They continued walking until they reached a door with a black nameplate with white letter that said Alan Blunt.
"Who's he," the younger Rider asked.
"Mr. Blunt is the chairman of the bank, answered the elder Rider and Alex nodded. Ian knocked on the door quickly three times. A swift, "Come in," was said and they complied with Ian going in first.
"God evening gentlemen," said a masculine looking woman. She was standing next to a man who was sitting at the desk. He was all grey. Grey skin, grey hair, grey clothes.
"Good evening Mrs. Jones. Mr. Blunt," Ian said politely.
"I bet you are wondering why we have brought you here," said the woman, Mrs. Jones. Both Ian and Alex nodded. "Alex, we have something to tell you." Ian's eyes widened in surprise, realizing what she meant.
"What do you mean," asked Alex, his eyebrows furrowing in confusion.
"This bank is not actually a bank and your uncle is not actually a banker."
"What!" exclaimed Alex, shock evident in his voice. He looked over at Ian in confusion.
"The Royal and General Bank is just a cover, as is Ian's status of a banker. This bank is actually the headquarters of the Special Operation Division of MI6," Mrs. Jones continued. Alex stared at her in shock of what she just said.
"You mean, like James Bond," asked Alex.
"Kind of," Ian piped up. "But why exactly did you call us here, sir. Surely not just to tell him about MI6, sir," he continued.
"No," Alan Blunt answered. "This morning we received a package from Mr. Smithers, our gadget maker," he added the last part for Alex's benefit. "We opened the box and there was a note that said that it was sent from future Smithers. We had our experts search the package and they confirmed that it was in fact from the future." Ian interrupted. "I'm sorry sir but what does this have to do with us?"
"Everything. There was a book in there titled Alex Rider: Stormbreaker. It is about what Alex does in the future." Alex and Ian blinked in surprise.
"Wow," breathed Alex.
"We have decided to send you both down to Smithers' workshop to read the book," said Mr. Blunt.
"We may also be coming down to see how everything is going," added Mrs. Jones.
"I have already sent an agent to collect Miss Starbright and explain to her what is going on. She should be here soon. The note also said that future Smithers will be sending some people, so I suggest you head down now." The Riders took that as a dismissal and left without another word, both thinking about what just happened.
"That was-" started Alex.
"-weird," supplied Ian.
"Yeah, definitely weird. So you're a spy, huh?" said Alex
"Yep," said Ian hesitantly, unsure of what Alex thinks about that.
"I always knew there was something strange about you," joked Alex in a teasing tone. Ian rolled his eyes.
"Oh ha ha, very funny." Alex opened his mouth to retort, but whatever he was about to say was cut off by the sound of the elevator dinging. They stepped out and Alex gasped in awe, never before having seen something as amazing as Mr. Smithers' workshop.
"Amazing, isn't it," said a very fat man who had walked out from behind a large table full of lots of different odds and ends. "Names Smithers and you must be Alex Rider," he said reaching out to shake Alex's hand.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, my boy." Alex smiled.
"You too," he replied.
"Hello Smithers," Ian said grinning.
"Ah, old chap! It's good to see you again," Smithers said, pulling Ian into a great big hug.
"Ian! Alex!" a woman cried out from somewhere to their left. They all turned to see a lady with bright red hair, Jack Starbright. "They told me about what this place really is. Ian, I never would've suspected that you would be a spy! Isn't this exciting Alex? We get to see what you're like in the future," she nearly screamed. The Riders smiled
"Hey, Jack," Alex and Ian chorused.
"Well then, let's get this party started," beamed Smithers. He quickly wobbled over to his desk and grabbed something off of it. The book.
"Please, take a seat." Smithers gestured to a couple chairs and a couch off to the side. "Who wants to read first," he asked. Alex raised his hand.
"Of course lad." He tossed the book to Alex, who easily caught it.
"Okay, Chapter One: Funeral Voices.”