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IV. Pajamas

Rosalina’s POV:

Alexander Kuznetsov.

The Russian mafia leader.

A man who shows no mercy to even his own offspring.

So, yes, I have heard of him.

I never saw him, but I would be a fool not to know him when I worked in this field.

“Yeah, I’ve heard about him,” I respond.

“Your thoughts?”

My thoughts? Why would he want to know about what I think about him? Is it possible? He may believe I’m a double agent, working for Russia.

I mean, at one point, I was offered a good amount of money to jump ships, but I declined it. It’s too troublesome to work for both sides.

“Nothing,” I responded. “I don’t know him enough to have an opinion towards him.” It’s a trap. Agents aren’t supposed to be biased towards anyone. If the man told me to kill Maisley right now, I have to do it. No question asked.

The man nods, “Understandable response.”

“And the reasoning for bringing him up?”

“He’s your assignment.” The man gestures to me to look at the tablet. As if on cue, the screen turned on. “Further information will be dispersed after your travel to California.”

“So, our missions are different?” I cannot see the connection between a high school and a mafia.

“Not necessarily.” The lights in the room switched off, and a projection made its appearance. “As you know, for the past few decades, there has been the establishment of academies for the wealthy and young geniuses across the world. There are quite a few in the United States, but the two notable ones are Harrison High School and Pandora Academy.”

The projections show different visions of both academies and its development over the years. “Of course, these schools wouldn’t have been such an issue if properly monitored by the government.”

“The problem?” Maisley asks.

“They aren’t monitored by the government.” Now, I understood why SAGE would send in an agent to infiltrate a high school. “The institutions are privately funded, so the government doesn’t have the right to interfere with their projects.” I cannot believe the big bosses. They want to own everything.

“And what does this have to do with the mafia?” I question. I wanted him to get straight to the point.

“The students,” he said. “Some of them are birth from-”

Maisley claps her hands together, “Some of the students going to these schools are children of the mafia.” She only wanted to say something dramatic. It was actually obvious information.

“Yes. They came to the realization that by sending their children to these schools, not only are they safe from their enemies. But, their children can learn how to blend in better with high society and establish proper connections.”

How smart. Protecting your children from your enemies and teaching them how to blend in with the wealthy.

“You want me to infiltrate the academy to keep an eye on Alexander Kuznetsov’s son,” Maisley blankly stated.

I scrolled to the next screen on my tablet.

Alexander Kuznetsov - age 36 - had fathered several children over the years.

Unfortunately, many of them had passed due to murder by either their enemies or relatives of other family members. When asked for protection by his relatives for his offsprings, he said: “Only the strongest may inherit my seat. Do as you see fit.”

In other words, kill each other until one survives. That child will take over the seat.

The only heir to the throne left was his second son, Andrei Kuznetsov - age 14.

His first son died due to a heart attack. I nearly wanted to laugh. A supposedly healthy young teenager died due to a heart attack. Sounds reasonable to me.

I scroll to the next page. Currently, his soon-to-be-divorced wife is pregnant. Yes. He had a long history of marrying and divorcing women. The longest marriage lasted half a year; the shortest was forty-eight hours.

My eyes narrowed at the soon-to-be-divorced wife picture. She seems oddly familiar. I’ve seen her somewhere before, but I can’t wrap my mind around the image.

“I didn’t say that,” the man replies. “Your job is to retrieve information regarding the missing agent 46. But-” There’s always a but. “If you happen to come across some particular behavior in regards to Andrei Kuznetsov, please do tell.” How sneaky.

“And where do I come into play?” I don’t want to sit around and babysit a bunch of future world rulers.

“Like I stated previously. Your role will be discussed in California.” It’s obvious what he is saying. My eyes peek towards Maisley, who’s reading the screen. He doesn’t want to talk about it in front of Maisley. But why?

“Understood,” I responded. I flicked to the next page, and my finger froze.

No way.

Now, I understood why that woman earlier looked familiar. It’s the bitch that slapped me.

“Something wrong?” The man asks.

I continued to stare at the handsome devil in front of me. “No.”

After we finished the meeting, we all packed up and left the conference room.

“What do you think about the mission?” Maisley asks.

“Suspicious as always.”

“This will be a new experience.” We continued our walk down the hallways. “I’ve never been to high school.”

None of us had. My highest level of education is probably in first or second grade. Every agent in SAGE recruited are young orphans. Our identities are immediately scratched out of records the moment we took their hands.

Rosalina Rivera isn’t my real name.

I don’t remember my name.

And I don’t care enough to find out.

The elevator doors spread open, and we stepped inside. Silently, it went back up into the company’s lobby. Once it opened, we headed out. “Be careful,” I said.

Maisley chuckles, “I didn’t think you’d cared.”

Silently, I smiled. No matter how much intensive training we all went through. How many times they say it. We can never void ourselves from emotions. Even the insane can feel.

Maisley turned her shoes and made her way towards a more secluded area to leave the building. I walked out the front door. Once I left the spinning door, the sun beamed into my eyes. I need to go back to the building to finish reading all of the documents. How burdensome.

I came back to the apartment, and realized I have nothing to pack. I can always get new clothes over there. The documents are all handled by SAGE. What’s there to pack?

I flopped onto the bed and stared at the ceiling. Then, I can hear it—the growl. I’m hungry. I rolled off the bed and went to the fridge. When I opened the door, leftovers greeted me.

I grabbed the spared ribs, and cold rice then threw it into the microwave. While I’m waiting, an ID caught my sight. With the edge of my fingertips, I grabbed the plastic card. “Officer Allen Gibson Bates.” I snicker, “How adorable.”

I laid the ID down and picked up the paper that I borrowed from SAGE. My fingers tapped against the cold counter and my lips formed a pout.

"Brilliant in Trials for Cognitive Humans has been performing unauthorized activities and thereby is under investigation. B.I.T.C.H-” I paused at the acronym. I cannot believe someone allows this to pass. “had been suspected of performing illegal operations in infants and minors. Originally, the sole purpose of B.I.T.C.H is to evaluate the progress of human intellectual capabilities. Therefore, if found that B.I.T.C.H had operated unauthorized activities, we shall close operations.”

I laid down the piece of paper. This is the first time I’ve read about Brilliant in Trials for Cognitive Humans. I scrolled once more through the paper until I saw a familiar school. “One of the unauthorized trials is suspected to be a former student of Harrison High School.”

It seems SAGE is keeping more from their agents then I would suspect.

“Emerson Hanson - Location - unknown. Suspected to be captured and imprisoned by Brilliant in Trials for Cognitive Humans."

I threw myself off the counter and made my way towards the microwave. I probably should return that paper before anyone notices it’s missing. Who knows how long they’re going to spank my ass for stea-borrowing.

After I finished dinner, I went back to bed. To be honest, outside my life as an agent, it’s pretty dull. I don’t have any particular hobby except for participating in auctions. Right now, there aren’t any auctions I’m interested in.

Maybe, I should learn how to ride horses. I’ve never had any use for it, but why not?

I hate this part of my life; the quietness. My eyes closed, and the darkness arrived.

Maybe I should take a trip to Paris after this upcoming mission. Not Paris, perhaps Rome. I’ve heard of good things about that place. No. Not Rome. I want to go somewhere less popular. Somewhere people generally don’t go. Which place is beautiful yet relaxing, and lacks tourists?

Then, again. Would I be allowed to take some days off?

Let’s see.

I joined SAGE when I was five or six. They trained me until I was twelve or thirteen. After that, I started my missions. Now, I’m-

Then blank.


How old am I?

I dug through my memories, piles and piles of them, for my age.


I don’t remember how old I am.

My eyes open, “When was I born?” I asked myself. My lips tucked over my teeth, and I sucked in a deep breath. “I was born in the year-” I attempted to remember anything connected to my birth.


I got up from the bed and headed towards the bathroom. My hands rested on the cold surface, and with a single lift, I sat on it. I stared at myself in the mirror. “You don’t look old. Maybe in your twenties?”

I cannot believe it.

“Or maybe you look like a young woman in her thirties?”

I’m talking to myself.

After several hours, I went back to bed. I decided to ask Maisley if I see her tomorrow. We are going on a mission together. Well, two missions that happened to overlap. Or maybe, I’ll contact Aaron or Diego.

I called Aaron.

“What?” His greetings are still as warm as always.

“How old am I?”

“How the fuck should I know? Go to sleep.” The phone call ends.

I called Diego.

“What up?” I can hear barking in the background.

“How old am I?”

After momentarily silence - rather aggressive dog barking - Diego chuckles, “Are you having a moment?”

“You don’t know, do you?”

“I don’t even know how old I am. So, how would I know your age? The only age that matters is my cute little-” I end the phone call. It seems no one knows how old I am.

I exhale softly and drop the phone on the carpet. Maybe, I’ll ask Maisley about my age tomorrow. The blanket rolled on top of my body. My age shouldn’t bother me. After all, it’s unnecessary.




All of those things are unnecessary.

The government will provide me everything I need to accomplish my mission.

But it bothers me—my age. I want to know how old I am.

After a few days had passed, I found myself at the airport with my fake identifications. I sat on the chair, with my body swaying left to right. I’m sleepy.

With all the money in the government, I would think they would purchase me a first-class ticket. They’re too cheap for that. No. There’s an actual reason why they won’t. They prefer it if we blend in with the crowd.

My body sways to the left, and then it drops. I would’ve fallen asleep if it weren’t for the old lady beside me. She held up my weight.

“Agent 86?”

My eyes were still closed behind the sunglasses. It’s too early and bright inside the airport. “Hm.”

“I’m here to inform you that Agent 88 will be flying another plane.”


“When you’re in California. There will be a blue suitcase with a red polka dot luggage waiting for you. Your name will be written on it.”

“Hm.” Steadily, I moved my body to the other side of the chair. I rest my head against the knuckles. When I opened my eyes, the older lady was gone.

Finally, my flight number was called. I took the small bag and made my way towards the line. When I reached the front, I handed the attendant my ticket and ID. She scanned it, and off I went.

I threw myself on the chair. At least SAGE is kind enough to allow me to have a whole row to myself. Once the plane took off, I made myself comfortable. I rested my body on the chairs and took a nap.

One of my talents is, I can sleep anywhere. Even on a shaky plane. With my mouth wide open, ready to catch any crawling creatures and limbs spread all over the place. I blend in with the everyday citizen.

The meal was a bust.

And my back hurts from the seatbelts.

When the plane ride was over, I gathered what’s left of my energy and made my way towards the luggage. While waiting for the stuff, I realized that they didn’t tell me who I’m supposed to look for or where I’m going. I scratched my head and snatched the assigned luggage.

After I got it, I followed the herd towards the exit. There must be some sort of hint as to where I should be going. I allowed a light yawn to escape and found a place to sit down. I guess I can play some games while I wait.

Out of the blue, I felt it—an unsettled feeling. My eyes move around the airport, driven by curiosity. I popped the bubble gum in my mouth.

“I don’t know,” someone said to my left. I turn my head to see a couple; tall guy, short girl. And I must say, the short girl hit the lottery with him. How unbelievably handsome.

“Short Stack.” I agree with that nickname. “Do you not trust me?”

She shook her head, “It’s not that I don’t, but you have to understand Matt. I’m-” she scratches her arm. “I’m leaving my whole life behind. I’m moving to freaking New York. That’s halfway across the country.”

Matt smiles lightly, “I understand it’s a difficult decision, and I’ll be there with you. Each step of the way. If things get too hard, no one will blame you for going back home.” He tucks her hair behind her ear. “Alright?”

She gave him a small smile and nodded. He took her hand, then led her towards the entrance. Without warning, Matt’s eyes met mine. Immediately, the softness disappeared, and a hard cold glare took its place.

What a two-face.

I take it back.

The girl beside him did not hit the lottery, more like she fell into a trap.

“Good luck,” I whispered.

“Good luck to who?” I turned my head to see Diego, who had the broadest grin on his face.

“Oh? Why are you here?”

He settled down beside me, “Same as you.” How unusual. Diego got assigned the same mission as me. But, why would they ask him to go into a different room if we have the same mission? “I’m here to support you on your job.”

I highly doubt that’s the reason. He must have been assigned here for something else. I smiled, “I hope you’re here to take me somewhere nice so I can sleep well.” I stood up and cracked my back. Of course, I wouldn’t confront him about the matter. I’ll wait it out and see what he does.

Diego escorted me towards a hotel. Average looking. Nothing out of place. Once he showed me my room, we went our separate way. I’m pretty sure the hotel room is bugged.

Diego told me that someone would come tomorrow to give us full details about our mission. Maisley will also be there. Too bad Aaron isn’t assigned to this mission. The four of us can work together again.

Then, there it is.

Another unsettling feeling.

My eyes flicker open to meet a dark ceiling. I must have fallen asleep. I released a yawn and made my way towards the balcony. The air is warm in California. With my arms resting against the edge, I look forward. A light caught my attention, and I looked downward.

In the middle of the night, several cars made their appearance. Not suspicious at all. I rest my chin against the open palm. One by one, the car doors open to reveal multiple men. Someone important is coming here. Then, there it is. The main person of the grand show. The fanciest door popped open and-

Is that man wearing pajamas?

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