Achilles Heel

23. No One's POV

No one’s Point of View.

London, England. T minus 21 hours before heist in Monaco.

“For an MI6 agent, her apartment isn’t the cleanest,” They snicker, pulling open one of the cabinet doors only to curl their nose in disgust at the lack of food that is present. “And she sucks at taking care of herself. What does she eat on the daily? Take out?”

“Are we even at the right fucking place?” The male voice spat, slamming one of the doors shut when all that is behind it is a bathroom. They could care less about the bathroom. They know Astar and the last place she would hide her journal is in the bathroom. Drugs? Sure. A weapon? Sure. However, her journal? Absolutely not. She would need it close to her for easy access.

“Wolf!” The other chastises, turning to look right at Wolf before they give a shake of their head and walk into the living room. “We can’t have Astar becoming suspicious. Be gentle for fucks sake.”

Wolf makes his way into the living room, eyes running over the bare walls before he raises a fist and starts to tap lightly against the walls. To his surprise, none of the walls sound hollow to him. This only confuses him further.

“Are you sure this is her apartment?” He questions, turning to look at his partner. They stop what they’re doing to pull a piece of folded paper out of their pocket before reading aloud what it says.

“A lot of it is redacted, but this is her address. You know Ghostrider doesn’t give us shit to go off of. Quit complaining and do your job. You’re never this annoying,” They huff, folding the piece of paper back up before stuffing it right back into their back pocket.

“Maybe we shouldn’t take her word at face value. Ever thought of that?” Wolf questions as he finds a card that blends in with the edge of the table, a smirk growing on his face. On the outside, Astar doesn’t seem like someone that is up to date with technology.

However, he should have expected it given the security cameras that took them about twenty minutes to disable along with the alarm system she has. They were careful with the alarm system, knowing any wrong move could trigger it to go off. The wrong wire. The wrong pin code. Anything.

They got there in the end.

“Hey bluebird,” Wolf breathes out, turning to look at the other person as he holds up the RFID card. “Our little girl seems to think she’s clever. She just leaves the card out in the open though. So trusting,” he says in a condescending tone, slowly running the RFID card against the hardwood of the coffee table before an audible click is heard.

Wolf sets down the RFID card for just a brief moment, watching as Bluebird makes their way over to sit down on the couch next to him.

The journal is tattered on the front, the pages worn as if Astar picks at them when she’s nervous. Some pages have water damage, as if she wrote whilst tears fell down her face and damaged the pages. Some pages have pen and pencil smudges, like she was pressing down on the page so hard that her hand brushed over it to smudge the words and make them unrecognisable.

This isn’t her work journal.

They found her personal journal, the one that holds her deepest of thoughts. The ones she wouldn’t dare utter out into the void in fear of someone taking her words and twisting them.

Wolf hesitates at first, just briefly flipping through the pages but not actually settling on one of them. He eventually gets over that little hurdle, not actually caring about Astar’s privacy as he reads out the first page.

Bluebird goes through the rest of the hidden compartment, finding a picture of Kaia and it makes them laugh. “Reckon if I keep this she’ll miss it?” They question, looking up at Wolf before placing the picture back where it belongs. They needed to leave the space exactly how it was.

Close contact isn’t the order of operation.

At least...not yet.

“There’s not much on here besides Astar’s thoughts. Just sad shit really. I think it’s a little embarrassing. Should she even be in this field if she’s such a loose cannon? It’s like she’s a ticking time bomb and the second something doesn’t go her way, she’s going to become a tornado that destroys anything and everything in her path,” Wolf exhales slowly out of his nose as he flips back a few pages. His eyebrows raise up in interest when he finds Harry’s name with little devil horns above the H.

Bluebird eventually looks over at the Journal when Wolf provides a page for them to look at together.

Their eyes read over the words quickly, the sides of their mouth twitching up a bit before they stand up. “I think it’s time we find her work journal, Wolf. Our little cannon is becoming a little loose.”

Bluebird pushes themselves up off of the couch, making sure there aren’t any indentations left in the cushions before they start rubbing the RFID card against random surfaces. They don’t find too much of value. Hidden guns. Ammunition. A picture of a dog from back home that was sent recently.

They don’t find anything that they really want until they enter her room, the jackpot being hidden away in her desk along with an image of her mum which makes the both of them laugh.

“I’m pretty sure the last time you were here, you forgot to put that back into the desk.” Bluebird scoffs, giving a shake of their head as they move to sit down on Astar’s bed. First they look around the room, making sure there aren’t any hidden cameras but none that they can see with their naked eyes.

They’re completely alone. They couldn’t have picked better timing.

Bluebird reads over the journal slowly, taking in every little detail and pointing out some things to Wolf who is reading over their shoulder.

“A loose cannon indeed. Already lying for someone that couldn’t give a rats ass about her. What a shame,” Wolf smirks, crossing his arms over his chest as he stands in the middle of the room and does a three sixty. This room is smaller than it appears to be. The blueprints have it listed as a bedroom with a walk-in closet, yet when he opens the door he can barely even fit into the closet.

There’s a false backing.

Wolf taps two fingers against the back of the closet, hearing the tap echo whenever he places his ear up against the back of the closet.

Bluebird slowly looks up from the journal that they have been buried in, flipping it shut and returning the item back into its confines before they close the desk. It’s almost as if they were never there in the first place.

“How long did you turn off the alarm?” Wolf breathes out, glancing back at Bluebird who glances at the time just briefly on their watch.

Bluebird gives a slow shake of their head. “We don’t have enough time to try and figure out how to open this. We got more than we came for, we can leave now without whatever is behind that door,” they admit, moving to grasp onto Wolf’s arm and pull them back.

“We have a little under five minutes to look around, make sure nothing seems disturbed before leaving. If we don’t make it out in time, the alarm will go off the second we open the door and we will be caught by the security cameras.”

That’s enough for Wolf to take a cautious step back, making sure all of the clothes that are hanging up look just like they did before he pushed them to the side. With that, he slowly shut the door and made his way out of the room. “This time you put the picture of her mum back right?”

Bluebird just nods, their eyes scanning the kitchen to make sure nothing looks out of place before doing a one-eighty to look over the living room.

“Three minutes and thirty seconds, Wolf!” Bluebird reminds, taking a step into the living room. They make sure to fluff the pillows, but not before they walk over to where the fireplace is. Bluebird takes another look at their watch.

Two minutes.

“Help me,” They breathe out, lifting the large picture down off of the mantle only to stick a bug to the back. Bluebird switches it on, watching as the red light turns green before Wolf hangs it right back up on the mantle. They take a slow step back, making sure that it isn’t uneven in the slightest.

One minute and thirty seconds. At this point it’s a race against the clock.

“Did you bring the camera?” They rush out, watching as Wolf nods and pulls out the little figurine. It looks innocent to the naked eye, but if you look close enough you can see the camera working overtime inside of it to capture anything and everything.

“You run faster than me, go. We made that replica for a reason.” Bluebird lets Wolf run off to do their thing whilst they make their way over to the alarm, noticing that it is starting to count down as well.

59 seconds.

If they don’t make it out, it’ll not only trip the alarm and notify Astar but it will also notify anyone who works at MI6. That’s the last thing they need.

Bluebird’s foot is now incessantly tapping against the hardwood floor, taking a final glance around as a shaky breath falls from their lips. Instead of shouting, they place two fingers against their inner ear piece to communicate with Wolf.

“Wolf, do you copy? We have forty-two seconds,” They rush out.

Blood is running heavy in their ears, creating raging oceans as their heart works overtime. The anxiety has settled into their veins.

A bead of sweat trickles slowly down Wolf’s forehead as he grasps onto the figurine tightly, just staring at it for a few moments. He doesn’t have time to overthink this. Especially not now. Without giving it another thought, he trades the ballerina out for the camera. He does a quick comparison, making sure they don’t look different to the naked eye before placing the camera down in his spot. He makes sure that it’s activated, hearing the little beep before he’s rushing out of the room without a second thought.

15 seconds.

Wolf slides out of the front door the second the monotone voice coming from Bluebird’s watch hits one.

They barely made it out. If Wolf would have thought a little longer, Astar would have been notified that the house had been broken into.

They’re out of the camera’s frame right as it comes back on and is no longer looping the footage over and over. By the time Astar even notices that her camera was tampered with, she won’t be able to figure out who was there and what they took.

Hell, she won’t even know that someone was in her space.

They were ghosts. Trained ghosts.

“You think Ghost Rider will be happy with this?” Wolf questions as he climbs into the passenger seat of the car, deciding to let Bluebird drive them back to the meeting point. “And the all black ensemble is really starting to get itchy,” He adds, pulling at the collar on his turtle neck before removing the black beanie on his head.

Wolf then picks up the ballerina figurine once more, looking over it before he notices a few differences that do stand out and once he turns it over onto the bottom he sees the biggest difference of all.

Written in faded crayons is Kaia’s name.

Wolf’s fingers brush over the fading crayon marks slowly, almost in a reminiscing manner before he turns the ballerina figurine back over so that he isn’t able to see it. He also doesn’t want to alert Bluebird of this new discovery.

Even if Astar finds out, they still have the bug in the living room and judging by the state of Astar’s apartment, that’s where she spends most of her time.

In the end, that’s all the need. The camera is just an extra measure to tie Astar’s hands behind her back and leave her begging for mercy in the end.

Bluebird’s hair flips behind them as they drive, hanging one hand out of the window as they drive towards the meeting point which is near the outskirts of London.

“We gathered what Ghostrider suspected, that she would start to deviate from the original mission plan.” There is no emotion behind Bluebird’s voice. It’s completely monotone as they pull off onto the gravel road, the car shifting from side to side everytime one of the tires would slip into a small hole that has yet to be filled in.

Wolf’s hands shake just slightly, the ballerina seeming to burn a hole in his pocket the more he thought about it. He’s never wanted to get rid of something more than that damn ballerina. Of all things for Bluebird to replicate, it has to be this.

He knows they did it on purpose.

Once Astar finds out the last piece of her sister that she has with her on this mission is gone, her sanity will slowly but surely start to diminish. She’ll start to deviate more and that just makes their plan easier for them.

“Hey, I can practically hear your mind from here.” Bluebird scoffs, backing up into a few trees that hide the car once they back up far enough. “You remember the plan for the next few weeks, yes? You know exactly what we have to do,”

A psychotic grin grows on Bluebird’s face as they step out of the car, making sure that Wolf is following close behind them before they descend down into the hidden bunker. It’s an old doomsday bunker but Ghostrider transformed it into their home base just for this.

The next few weeks will be long, treacherous. Blood will be shed and secrets that haven’t met the light of day will step out and be left blinded.

They’re walking on a swinging tightrope, their feet dangling right over the edge with every minute that passes. The amount of times they have nearly been caught is laughable at this point but time and time again they escape with only slight burnt hairs.

They’re close to the fire that is Astar. They can reach out and touch her, but have yet to be properly burnt.

Astar is a wildfire and every time the fire is close to being put out, the individual’s dressed in black come in clothed as a tornado made out of only accelerants to light the path and add fuel to her misery.

They have been at this for days, weeks, years.

It’s time they come out of hiding finally.

It’s time for the wildfire that is Astar to upgrade from a class E wildfire that spans over a mere three hundred acres to a Class G wildfire, burning over five thousand acres.

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