My first mission is tonight and I am so nervous my palms are sweating and my stomach is tying itself into knots. I have to compose myself before I head to the Shadow's office. The Shadow is the leader of this organization, and she is wicked scary. I check my outfit in the mirror one more time before I slip on my mask and head out the door. My hand starts to slip off the knob because my palms are so sweaty, but I manage to retain my grip and open the door enough to slip through without alerting my roommate.
I start walking down the hallway and take notice of my surroundings like a good operative. The walls are white with small grey and blue diamonds bordering the top and bottom, while the paint is slowly starting to crack and peel away near the ceiling revealing the wood paneling beneath.
I walk along the hallway for a long time before finally turning right and heading for a door at the end. The door is black with large white spiders painted on it and a blood red handle. I knock three times and wait, wondering what my first mission will be. I allow myself to partially slip into a daydream about what kind of mission it could be.
All too soon I hear the door creak open and I get drawn out of my fantasies by a woman's voice quietly drifting out of the darkness. "Come in child, close the door behind you." I walk into the room and shut the door as I was told.
I'm standing in the darkness and hear nothing for several minutes before the woman speaks again, "So, tonight is your first mission. Are you ready?" I start to nod my head, and then remember that she can't see me. "Yes Ma'am. I understand what is expected of me." I hear a faint chuckle, so quiet I almost believe I imagined it. "Good, then it's time. As you know, your roommate had his first mission last week, but he didn't pass, in fact he failed." I hear her breathing slow before she finishes, "Your first mission is to retire him permanently," I stood there in shock, 'kill Tyson? but we had been raised together, we had done everything together for as long as I could remember.
In fact,Tyson was my first kiss, why would they want me to kill him?' I let my thoughts drift away as I heard the woman speaking again, "If you refuse as Tyson did, then you fail this mission and you will both be retired in front of the rest of the academy in the morning to set an example." I was stunned, I know we were trained to be ruthless and not let our emotions get in the way, but I wasn't prepared for this.
I wasn't prepared to have to kill my childhood best friend, my adolescent crush, my first love. There must be some mistake, this must be some kind of test. Surely that's all it was. I finally found my voice. "I understand, consider it done." I then turned on my heel and exited through the door that had opened behind me.
I agonized over my mission all the way back to my room. I love Tyson, but do I love him enough to give up this opportunity? For as long as I can remember I've only wanted to belong, and the only way to belong here is to be one of Them. The elite, the darkness that creeps up when you least expect it, the ones who get to leave the compound. I want to be one of Them so badly I can almost taste it. Before I even reach the corridor that leads to my dorm I've already made up my mind.
Even though I had made my decision, I was still covered in sweat when I reached my room and I slowly cracked open the door making sure no light fell through and woke Tyson. I then silently crept to his bed, being sure not to make a single sound as I drew my knife from the ankle sheath attached to my boot. Once I got close enough to the bed I reached out and put my hand across his mouth to muffle any sounds if I woke him. I took a deep breath and slowly put my knife against his throat, slitting it effortlessly.
I felt the blade as it slid through the tendons and muscles and I couldn't stop the smile that spread across my face under the mask. I loved it, I loved the feeling of the warm blood running across my finger-less gloves, I loved the sound of the skin ripping beneath the blade and the gurgling noises as he tried to breathe. I loved the feeling of listening to his life slipping away, and knowing that I was the one who ended it. I knew in this moment, while my best friend lay dying under my hands, that I had found where I belonged.
Once I felt the last fleeting beats of his heart, I stood and cleaned my knife on his sheets before returning it to the ankle sheath and exiting the room. I didn't bother to turn on the lights, or to look back one more time at my handy work. I knew the job was done and I was excited, I couldn't erase the adrenaline running through my veins. I wanted to have that feeling again, and I wanted it badly. I was like a junkie addicted to crack, except my crack was death. I returned to The Shadow's office and knocked.
Slowly the door crept open as it had before and I stood waiting for the invitation to enter. I heard nothing and stood there staring into the darkness listening for any sign that I was welcome. All too soon, I caught the faint eerie sound of quiet laughter as a scroll rolled across the floor and bounced off the toe of my boot. The laughter continued until I picked up the scroll and then the door slammed shut. I opened it and read it as I walked back to my room, 'Welcome to the family, may you serve your brothers and sisters well.'
My name is Gwynnifer Falcon, and I am finally Lohkri