On Our Own AgainMature

As Christian got settled into the back of the truck, I asked, “All set?”

“Yeah,” he responded. “All set. You?”

“Yeah. Christian, this is Brianna Sanchez. Brianna, Christian.”

Christian snorted. “Are we that desperate for backup that we're resorting to old acquaintances that clearly cannot handle themselves up against our opponent? If so, Jon, I'm sure I could make a few calls and get tons of canon fodder down here,” he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. He turned his gaze to her disdainfully, and scowled slightly returning his focus to me. “That is her purpose, right? Just another body between us and the enemy?”

“Christian,” I half-barked at him, immediately feeling embarrassed for having scolded him like a child who was impolite at the dinner table. “She’s an old friend, and I believe – given her background as a professional assassin – that she could be a valuable asset to us. Besides, meeting her where I did taught me something…interesting.”

“What’s that?”

“She was, until recently, under the control of some kind of device the North Koreans thought up – a device that can alter one’s motivations, make them serve a different cause than they’d normally choose. I learned about someone else being manipulated by the same thing, as well.”

“Well, Jon,” he said, again as sarcastic as can be, “You’re just making all kinds of wonderful friends. Who is it?”

I hesitated. Should I tell him? I didn’t want him going after Sarah, not before I got to her. Finally, I sighed and said, “It’s Sarah, alright? It can be reversed…”

By the time I’d gotten that far, Christian was talking over me. “Are you kidding me? She needs to be taken care of. We can’t afford to have obstacles in our own group.”

I was adamant – I would not let Christian kill the woman simply because of his ignorance. “I won’t make that decision,” I said. “It…”

Again, I got cut off. “Well,” he said, his voice dangerously low, even when he was raising his voice to be heard over the hum of the truck’s engine, “Maybe you shouldn’t be leading this group, then.”

“Maybe I shouldn’t, Christian,” I said, lowering my voice in turn. “Maybe you, being so infinitely perfect, should take over and take responsibility for this mission yourself.”

"Pretty much been carrying the weight the last week anyway, boss. At least now I can get it done." With that, Christian hopped off the truck bed and watched us drive away.

“Hey," Brianna said a short while later. I thought of something. That Christian guy - he’s kind of an ass.”

I snorted – I really hoped she knew how ridiculous it was that she was making this discovery now. “Really? I never imagined.”

The End

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