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NYC—Within Range of Base 4: 22-00 hours


BAM! Her knuckles crunched with gruesome agony as she punched her fist into the solid wall. Prickles of pain shot up her arm. She pulled it back, slammed again, pounding in frustration. Reaching back for another blow, she realized cuts on her fingers and her knuckles beginning to turn black and blue—she stopped. Practice hurt. Pained, she thumped down on a chair. But the rickety scrap, unable to hold her weight, collapsed and she lay sprawled pitifully on the floor. However, it was not her size (or width) that caused this collapse—not in the slightest—but her 100 pounds of solid wiry muscle adding to her weight making her mass seemingly enormous. Her fit body was tall and slender, yet muscular at the same time. Her hair was the deepest brown and her eyes the brightest blue. Her skin, flawless in every aspect—an envy of the women who knew her—and her white shining teeth, perfect, as if she was built just to be the most gorgeous person on Earth. When she stood, muscles flexed down her back and in her arms. And as she ran, her ultimate power was revealed in the agility and strength of her robust legs. She ran faster and faster around the block, never tiring, showing off her beauty to all who were awake and happened to be gazing out their windows at such a late hour. Not a single drop of sweat lingered on her brow, perfect rhythm thumped through her veins, she was invincible.

Suddenly she stopped, not abruptly but with a perfect ease that was unthinkable to most human beings. She had come to a halt, with such utter grace, in front of a tall, black, rather wide lamppost. The light at the top slowly flickered but otherwise there was no movement. She was completely alone and she preferred it that way. She glanced around one last time to confirm her solitude and finding that it was indeed the case, she reached up and pressed her eyelid to the smooth surface of the post. Immediately there was a green flash of light and for a dizzying moment she almost fell over. She regained her footing just in time, as a portal opened beneath her feet and she vanished beneath the surface of the ground.

Base 4—NYC Headquarters: 23-00 hours


There was buzzing everywhere. Machines whirred and whizzed as they operated their respective tasks in a scrambled frenzy of moving parts. Repairing body suits, making hand guns, designing bulletproof skins, creating cloaking devices, inventing gadgets and new ‘toys’ (as the agents liked to call them)—it was all tProxy-Connection: keep-alive
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re.

She propelled herself out of the tube with ease, flowing over the ground with purpose and direction. She gave a curt yet still manageably respectful nod to all those she passed, continuing down the aisle way until she halted at a heavy pine door. The ebony placard on the door read ‘THE Director’ and that was all. For that was all anyone knew of him. No one had ever found out his name so it was assumed that they would title him ‘THE Director’ and that would remain all there needed to be known. No one had ever found out about his living whereabouts, family, or anything about his ancestry. He was simply ‘THE Director’ and they were to refer to him as such. There were rumors; of course, as there is everywhere, but nothing that could be presented as concrete fact.

She knocked; three hard raps followed by two shorter ones that echoed off the solid wood of the door.

“Enter,” commanded a voice from inside. She obeyed, taking a red laser from her belt pocket and slicing through the lock. The door opened and immediately started repairing itself.

“Agent Silver Stag, reporting for duty, sir, at 23-00 hours this fourteenth day of October 2023, sir.”

“Agent Silver Stag, you are free to resume as you were,” at this she relaxed slightly but retained a posture of utmost respect and discipline, “Today you will be paired with Agent Tiger Eye on a very important mission concerning the security of our nation,” at this he paused for effect and her lips twitched in effort to contain a smile, “An alchemist, in the chemical sense not the heretic sense, has gotten lose from a prison in our neighboring enemy country, Gamean. He was originally put in prison for threatening to destroy the temporary peace treaty in place between our two countries. The Gamean government did not want to provoke any more tension to the matter and therefore imprisoned him. However, he has recently “escaped” (if it was indeed an accident as their government databases claim) into our country and is running loose somewhere in our division, NYC. Your mission, along with Tiger Eye, is to track this alchemist down and then await further instructions. Understood?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Then be off.”

She found Tiger Eye waiting for her at the edge of the hallway. He fell into step beside her, his brown eyes sparkling with excitement. She smiled. She liked those brown eyes.

“What did he want?” he asked. She told him and was rushed back to the present. His eyebrows rose and his handsome frame tensed slightly at the mention of “escape” and she knew what he was thinking. Only three months working together, and already they could read each other’s expressions like a book. It was an important skill to have, especially in dangerous situations where silent communication was needed. She did not want to hope that these situations would not arise, for they were thrilling and exhilarating, but the last time one occurred she almost got herself killed by her own stupidity. Luckily Tiger Eye, reading her, had saved her just in time. But that was in the past and she had to focus on the case at hand now…He was saying something but she wasn’t really processing…“Iris!”
“Yeah, what?” Outside of the range of ‘THE Director’ they could forget formalities, using their birth names instead of coded ones. But code names were used so often that his name still sounded alien on her tongue. “Dailen…” she drew out his name until she could hear and feel each syllable. It was a beautiful name, she thought.
“Yes?” Now he inquired why she had used his name.
“Nothing..” She scolded herself. She had to remain focused on the mission at hand and worry about her romantic fantasies later. They walked on. Down the hall, to the left, another right and stop. They halted in front of a giant machine with a screen the size of a car and controls each as large as her face. They walked up to the enormous touch screen and both leaned their eyelids in to be scanned. Once the computer recognized their authenticity, it loaded a menu screen and they started to receive information on their mission.
“Mission 146413,” the computer droned, “Mission Alchemist Search. Information database loading. Loading. Loading. Information database opened. Orders:” now a voice recording of ‘THE Director’ began, “Agent Tiger Eye and Silver Stag, I have given you direct commands in my office. The alchemist is loose in our division. You MUST find him. It is a matter of national security. Comp. A3 will give you basic instructions and tools for which to complete your mission. Good luck. Director Out.” The droning of Comp A3 returned again. “Tools provided in receptacle below. GPS, laser ray, hand guns, trackers, toys and gadgets included. All safety, emergency, and security guidelines in effect. Mission commenced.” As they walked away with their equipment, another team arrived. This pair had black masks on identifying them as a team who constructed weapons in the labs. They acknowledged each other with nods as they passed. As they walked out the door the drone began again, “Eyelid scans commencing. Processing scan. Scan not recognized. Please try again.” An intruder had found a way in. As Iris and Dailen walked out the door, oblivious to this fact, the voice droned on, “Not recognized. Please try again.” There was a pause, “Hack commencing. Loading Missions 146413 and 255641. Security breached. Warning, warning. Security breached.” Then they heard the sirens.
They were loud and blaring. Red lights went off everywhere. Alarms flashing, sirens screaming. And they ran. Ran back to the Comp Room A3. But the door was locked. They cursed their stupidity. Taking a laser they tried slicing open the lock, but it wouldn’t respond. The intruders had secured themselves inside. No one could get in and no one out. And they were stealing classified information from the database. ‘THE Director’ pushed his way through the crowd now gathered at the door. Using a series of complicated commands in the door’s keypad, he entered through a tiny hole barely big enough for a small man. But he managed to get through. He gave orders not to follow. They obeyed, waiting. All was quiet for what seemed like hours. Then there was a crash and a curse rang through the air. ‘THE Director’ opened the door from the inside.
“Nothing,” he said straining. His left knee was cut badly and doctors rushed forward and took him away to the hospital wing. Slowly, cautiously they stepped inside to inspect the damage. Comp. A3 was whizzing madly, going through random command sequences. The lone table in the corner had been smashed to pieces and drops of blood from ‘THE Director’s torn knee lay scattered on the floor. But there was no one in sight. The suspicious thing was that there was no broken window, wall, or door that showed any difficulty in escape. It was as if they just casually strolled out the door or vanished into thin air. Whichever the case, something was terribly wrong.
As they continued their examination more thoroughly, they found that the intruders had concealed their identity entirely, with not a loose hair or fingerprint to be found. This unsettled the agents, seeing straightforwardly that they were working against experts. They did have some pre-notions, for it would have to have been an expert that had hacked their database. But now they saw unwavering proof that their intruders indeed knew what they were doing.

Suddenly there was a yell from the other side of the room. All heads turned simultaneously toward the sound. A smudge had been found where the intruders had pressed their eyelids to the screen to be scanned. A triumphant murmur went through all the agents. But whispers continued down the line. Would it work? Some asked. Could you analyze a DNA sample from an eyelid smear? Anxious, laboratory specialists entered and collected the sample. Results would be verified and arrive later on. For now all the teams were assigned to catching the intruders. And that was enough to worry about.

Streets of NYC—Within Range of Base 4: 2-00 hours

Iris and Dailen crept along the floor. Hiding behind trashcans, in alleyways and under shadows of buildings. The DNA samples had come in. Their intruders went by the names of Jadey Refton and Tass Lefko. They were of average height: 6’2” and judging by sweat, tissue, and force components in the imprint, they were extremely strong. Now, as the two agents skulked around on the ground, they were constantly on the lookout for the intruders. They had traced slight foot impressions on the ground out of their base to a small shed with shattered windows and a rickety door frame. The entire shelter creaked and rocked with the wind. They ducked down, a man was plodding through the door. His white garb was ripped and tattered but they recognized it at once. It was the uniform of the Agents. This was their intruder.

The door slammed. Using a radar scan, they made sure of the DNA match of the suspect. Confirming it, they nodded, signaling each other to start. She grinned dryly. This was when their training of recognizing each other’s thoughts and signals came in handy. Motioning to each other with small, barely perceptible movements behind the garbage disposal, they readied their paralyzing rays. As soon as the man was out of the line of vision for anyone remaining inside the house, they fired. Simultaneously, their bullets whizzed toward their target, hitting their mark just before the intruder realized what was going on. He fell to the ground with a loud ‘thump’. Stealthily, they scurried over to where his body lay and dragged it behind a massive building. They took turns carrying him in a large sack and sprinted to the nearest portal. Their eyelids scanned, they disappeared beneath the ground into Base 4 and found themselves surrounded.

Base 4—NYC Headquarters: 3-00 hours

Guns pointed at them everywhere. They recognized none of the faces that smirked at them with superiority except the one standing in the very center, closest to them. It was ‘THE Director’. Iris and Dailen smiled, realizing it was only a simulation and began to step out of the circle. But they were mistaken. As they moved, the whole circle adjusted with them, enclosing every exit. The two agents frowned and looked questioningly at ‘THE Director’ who only smirked with complete assurance of himself. Then he began:

“You see,” he said, “I am not truly only ‘THE Director’ as you have probably all guessed. My name is Marnix Ajax and I am the leader of the Gamean Committee for Utter Takeover.” At this the two nearly gasped. They had been trying to hunt down Marnix Ajax and extinguish the GCUT for years and the leader had been here all along? Posing as their own leader? It was unbelievable. “The stupidity of this organization is incredible!” he laughed haughtily, “But anyhow, I staged this whole incident. And now at your failure and my complete success the alchemist will destroy this organization and your country!” He cackled away as Iris and Dailen stared aghast in horror. Just then two agents, Leopard Claw and Spiral Horn, emerged dragging another man. This one was scrawny and wore thick glasses and he was dressed in something that resembled a lab suit. They were about to speak when a warning glare from Iris and Dailen silenced them.

“Who is that?” Marnix Ajax asked.

“Sir, he is..ummm…he is a distraught man found wandering the premises, sir.” They lied, quickly recovering from their hesitation. Ajax didn’t seem to notice.

“I see..take him to the dungeons.” They nodded and left, all the while Spiral Horn signing to the two that the man was in fact the alchemist. “Now where was I?” inquired ‘THE Director’, “Oh yes, as soon as I push this button, the alchemist will receive my signal to deploy the bombs and Ansaay will be mine!” Marnix circled around the two agents as he was talking but he was so involved in his epic speech he did not realize Iris silently ordering all reinforcements back to the base on her arm wristpad. Two seconds later, they burst in.

Weapons armed, the reinforcements had come faster than expected. In the confusion Iris and Dailen slipped into the crowd and became one with the force of agents they had trained with for so long. In a matter of minutes they overpowered their rivals and ‘THE Director’ and his followers were captured and thrown into the dungeon with the alchemist. Late into the night they celebrated their success until it was time to return to their respective homes and rest after a long night of hard work and well-deserved victory.

Iris and Dailen arrived the next day together brushing ever so slightly against each other as they walked in. They beamed when congratulated for their success but were only too modest of their achievements. It had been a miracle. They had successfully captured and gotten rid of Marnix Ajax and the GCUT in one night! Their long search had finally ended and only due to the stupidity of their own director. However, none of them could deny that the secrecy and genius of Marnix Ajax was nonexistent. For behind all of their backs he had posed as ‘THE Director’. But luckily, he had ultimately failed. The GCUT would be in disarray for another couple of years as they tried to find a new leader and plan, but The Agents would stand strong, protecting their country till the very end...





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