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There she is. Ms. Mandy Clarence. She is wearing a flowery spring dress and sandals. A Coach purse. Gucci sunglasses. I watch her as she answers a phone call from her pink iPhone.
“Oh, hello, Lucas!” she says. “Yes, I’m at the train station right now. I’ve been waiting for a while, and it’s quite atrocious here. Why did you even want me to take the train! It’s disgusting, and I have a car. Oh. Ok. Well, alright. It should be here any minute. Ok. I’ll see you in a bit, muffin! Ok, bye.”
Lucas. Lucas Mershire. Secret Agent 47. Born in Ukraine in 1986. Currently resides in New York City. According to the Boss, Mershire’s been selected for a special job by the A.M.R. What is it? To assassinate little Miss Clarence. So far, he’s made quite a bit of progress. He has convinced Ms. Mandy that he is in love with her, and she, unfortunately, is returning the affection.
I know what you’re thinking. Alright, we know who Ms. Clarence is, we’ve met Mr. Mershire, but who is this enigmatic narrator?
Well, my name is Nathaniel Grant. I work for the FBI. Maybe I shouldn’t be telling you this, but who knows? By the time you read this, I could be dead.
Three hours ago, the Boss assigned me this job. Oh no, I’m not trying to save little Ms. Mandy. We don’t have time for that. No, my job is to assassinate Lucas Mershire.
Not that we don’t care about Clarence, but look at it this way. If I save Ms. Clarence, Mershire gets away, defeated, but only temporarily. Sooner or later he’s going to get another job. He will assassinate someone else, someone more important than a millionaire’s spoiled daughter. Or, I can assassinate Mershire, thus saving dozens of other lives with the loss of just one.
You get it now?
My phone vibrates. It’s the Boss. I answer it.
“Alright, Agent 6Q, breaking news. Agent 47 is not, I repeat NOT going to assassinate the subject in private! His previous plan of a murder in a penthouse apartment is off.”
“Kind of late to chicken out, isn’t it?”
“He’s not backing out. His orders have changed.”
“So, what’s he going to do?”
“He’s going to blow up the whole train.”
“What! You’re kidding!”
“Look around you, 6Q. See anyone familiar?”
I casually searched the platform. There were plenty of impatient citizens in a rush to get home from school or work. Teenagers, businessmen.......
“Ah. I see him.”
Agent 82, aka, Thomas Landry. Newest addition to the A.M.R Noticeable because of his bright red hair and a height of 6 foot 4.
“That’s right, Agent,” says the Boss. “Mershire ain’t in it alone. Apparently, he does the sweet talk, and 82’s stuck with the dirty work.”
“Dirty work as in, blowing up a train.”
“So what do I have to do?”
“Get that briefcase away from 82. It contains a bomb. And don’t let Clarence get on the train.”
“Oh, and Agent, remember, 82’s armed, so try not to get shot. We need you.”
I smiled. “Got it.”
“Alright then, Agent. I’ll be seeing you in a bit.”
I closed my phone just as the train pulled into the station. “Okay,” I whispered to myself. “It’s game time.”
I watched as Agent 82 followed Ms. Clarence into the train. A moment later, he came back out again, minus the briefcase he’d been holding a minute before.
I pushed my way into the train. It was crowded with people, so crowded that I could barely see the floor. Fortunately, 82’s briefcase was pretty easy to spot. Mandy Clarence was holding it. I pushed my way over to her.
“Doors closing,” declared a robotic voice coming from the ceiling.
When I reached Ms. Clarence, I dropped my own briefcase, and as I bent to pick it up, I turned to and whispered in her ear, “Ms. Mandy Clarence, you are in grave and immediate danger and you need to come with me.” Without waiting for a response, I grabbed her wrist and dragged us both back out of the train.
Or at least, that was what I tried to do.
Ms. Mandy had other plans.
“Let go of me!” she screamed. “How dare you!”
“Doors closing,” said the robot again. I watched helplessly as the doors slid together and the train lurched to a start.
Ms. Clarence went on screaming, ignorant to the fact that we were all about to die. “Do you know who I am?! My daddy owns the Clarence Oil Company! He could have you put in jail for the rest of your life!”
I wasn’t even listening.
Quickly, I snatched the briefcase away from her and searched it. There was a tiny countdown on the bottom.
One minute, forty nine seconds.
One minute, forty eight seconds.
“Hey!” Mandy screamed. “I was holding that for someone! You give that back right now, or I swear, I will have you sued!”
I made my way through the crowd of stunned people to the emergency door. It was locked, or stuck.
One minute, twenty two seconds.
I pushed my way back to the other end of the train, although it was difficult. The people on the train seemed to have come back to their senses. Several of them tried to grab me as I squeezed past.
“Hey, what were you doing to that lady?”
“Yea, leave her alone!”
“Give her back the briefcase!”
I turned around and held up my hands. “Okay, nobody panic, but there is a bomb on this train. Do not worry, I will get rid of it, but everyone has to leave me alone.”
There were several gasps. Someone shrieked.
And then Ms. Clarence had to step in again.
“Liar!” she screamed. “He’s lying! He’s just trying to scare us! Someone call the police!”
I was seriously starting to regret trying to save her life.
Several people took out their cellphones, unsure of who to trust.
I sighed, then pulled at the emergency door. It slid open smoothly.
Okay, I thought. Now what do I do?
Seeing no other choice, I dropped the briefcase on a building as the EL passed over it.
“Okay,” said a man behind me. “I’ve called the police. They’ll be waiting at the next station.”
I cursed, then grabbed hold of Ms. Clarence and, without further hesitation, launched myself off the train. All that I could feel on the way down was a violent scream of terror in my ear coming from her. And then there was the sickening crack of a bone breaking when we landed on top of another building. It took me a moment to realize that the broken bone belonged to me.
I moaned and turned over, just in time to see the building next to us exploding in a cloud of dust and bits of brick.
And then there was silence.
I woke up later in a hospital. As the world came into focus, I realized that it was the FBI’s own private hospital. Yes, the FBI has their own hospital. What does that tell you?
Just then, the Boss walked in. “I thought I told you not to get hurt?” she said with a smile. I smiled back, grimacing slightly. “You told me not to get shot, and I obeyed you for once, didn’t I?” She shook her head. “One of these days, you’re going to get yourself killed.” I chuckled.
“So what happened to little Ms. Clarence? She’s still alive, I hope.”
The Boss nodded. “Don’t you worry about her. She’s sobbing over a couple of bruises while you’re in here with a broken rib.”
I smiled. “She could never be a Secret Agent.”
The Boss shook her head. “Definitely not. But you know what’s harder than being a Secret Agent?”
“What?” I asked.
She leaned down and kissed me.
“Being married to one.”