Ruby Bevans

 Before I knew it, it was morning, I was allowed to get out of bed and wander around the ward, I was offered breakfast in the form of toast. By this time I’d come to resolve this wasn’t a dream and I needed to talk to Jackson, I didn’t need to ask for him because he walked into the ward.

“Here,” he shoved a newspaper under my nose, I took it slowly watching his angry face, I glanced down at the front page.‘Fifty dead in road collision’I looked back at Jackson, “read on,” he muttered,

‘Yesterday morning there was a fatal crash involving a bus full of students, a car and two trucks. The bus travelled into the wrong lane where a truck crashed into it, seconds later a car collided with the other side and an oil truck ended the destruction when it caught alight and blew up,’

“Why are you so angry?” I asked looking at him; he took the paper out my hands and finished reading,

“Ruby Bevans?” asked a nurse with a clipboard,

“The collision proved fatal for all members, there was no hope of survival for any,” Jackson whispered,

“Ruby Bevans?” the nurse repeated looking directly at me,

“Well we should let somebody know that we’re alive!” I exclaimed,

“Ruby Bevans, please come with me,” she called sternly, I walked passed Jackson towards the nurse, he took hold of my arm and pulled my ear to his mouth,

“Thing is Rubes, we’re not getting out of this place,” Jackson folded up the newspaper, “we’re registered as dead, to the rest of the world we no longer exist.”

 *

 The nurse took me along for some lab tests, she took my blood pressure, pulse, pulse after ten minutes of running, my muscle to fat ratio and a couple of blood tests. Before long she handed me over to a man named Owen and he walked me down into an office area, Owen knocked on the door and waited for a reply,

“I’m busy!” the man inside called,

“It’s Owen!” Owen replied,

“Oh, come on in,” the man called back, Owen turned the door knob and opened the door, it was all just in time to see Jackson grab the man’s shoulders and pull him down to the ground, he grabbed Jackson’s leg and twisted it up. Jackson landed a fist on his face, the man pushed Jackson off and pinned his arms to the ground, Jackson groin-kicked him and pushed him off, rolling over and using his weight to pin him down. Owen ran forward and caught Jackson in a headlock from behind, I could see Owen’s bicep tighten as he strangled Jackson,

“Stop!” Owen commanded, I rushed forwards and tried to pull Owen’s hands off him, to no avail, Jackson relaxed into his embrace and Owen released him, “Looks like we’ve found ourselves a fighter, Alexander, what is it? Karate? Judo?”

“Both I believe,” Alexander said getting up and wiping his sleeves slowly,

“Let us out,” Jackson said through gritted teeth, his voice was hoarse and he was breathless,

“All in good time,” Alexander said again, Jackson clamped his teeth together and knocked the pen pot off the desk,

“Now!” he yelled, I jumped at the sudden movement but both men stood calm and collective, both in a stance which was ready for any sudden movements – they were trained fighters.

“Ruby Bevans, 17, Riverside CA, family of one, GPA 4.0, five foot five with a background of mental illness,” Owen read, Jackson glanced at me,

“Mental illness? Are you sure we can afford to take on instability?” said a woman’s voice from the door, we all turned to see a 40-year-old woman standing in heels,

“I don’t have a mental illness,” I burst,

“She’s experienced a series of panic attacks ever since her father was murdered,” Alexander informed us, Jackson glanced at me again,

“How was he murdered?” Owen asked, I tried to hold back the tears as the lump in my throat expanded,

“He was shot, shot right in front of my eyes,” I told them

“Was the murderer ever caught?”

I shook her head in reply.

“Can I do my job now?” the woman asked walking in,

“Go ahead Mia,” Alexander waved his hands at us, “Jackson, be prepared to listen,” he smiled slowly, Mia’s eyes glanced over us both,

“This way,” she commanded, then turned on her heel and walked off, I followed behind and Jackson kept close by my side, “It’s time for you to learn about The Vortex, pay attention because the first few days, any slip ups and you’ll…” she paused, “…die.”

_____________________________________________________________________________________

“Do you know where you are?” Mia asked leaning forward over her desk, Jackson laid back casually in his chair but I couldn’t relax in this situation and sat in an uncomfortable position with my hands on my lap.

“Somewhere in the desert,” Jackson replied,

“The Vortex is a secret society,” Mia explained, “set up by the government and forgotten,”

“How do you mean, forgotten?” I asked,

“The vast majority of senators in government have no idea that we operate, only the high up members such as the President,”

“How do you operate?” Jackson asked leaning forward, “I take it you don’t sit around in offices all day,”

“Some of us do,” she replied leaning back, “but you’re right, we like to take action,”

“But…” I began,

“I can’t explain if you’re interrupting me,” Mia spoke calmly, “we’re like an advanced CIA, we get given missions to complete by high up officials and we have a 97.5% success ratio,”

“Good for you, why are we here?” Jackson asked,

“The beauty of The Vortex is that no one knows we exist, none of our agents or trainees are on government records, none of our papers get published and we leave operations with no trace,”

“So you’re saying you’ll wipe us off the records?” I checked,

“It’s done, you’re already cleared, to the rest of the world you’re dead.”

The End

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