I resist the urge to vomit as I enter the premises of the school.
Couldn't hurt to check, they'd said. Short reconnaissance mission, they'd said.
I trudge forward in my supple combat boots, trying not to think of what I'm wearing. Just to blend in, they'd said.
I don't wear anything that costs less than a hundred dollars. I have standards, I'll have you know. Just a few months ago I was in a British private school, wearing a tailored uniform with a beautiful crest emblazoned on it.
And now, I'm wearing some infernally cheap jeans and a horrifically gauche print shirt. The only article of my clothing the society let me keep for the mission are my boots.
The boots which are now squeaking against the cheap linoleum flooring in the hallway.
One of the fluorescent tube lights flickers and I try my level best not to show my disgust.
Mingling with the common crowd. Stupid, smelly teenagers all stuffed into the building like cattle in an overpopulated ranch.
The bell screams to life and, shaking my head to take the poorly-tuned noise out of my ears, I walk to my first designated class.
Chemistry. One of my favourites.
I sit in the back, pushing the hair out of my face with a bobby pin. I would tie it up, but a trained eye could notice the communication piece hidden in my left ear. And I know for a fact that there are at least some trained eyes in the school.
I had been sent as backup for an agent who suspected members of the other society to have infiltrated the school. I had been briefed during a 3am flight from Cairo, so I was still somewhat unclear on the details.
"Class," the old teacher drones, her grey hair moving like possessed cotton candy, "Today I'm going to do a bit of a group assessment to see how well you remember your compounds."
I try not to snicker at her nasally voice and at the groans coming from my uncultured peers and instead watch her ask question after so-easy-it's-sad question. Eventually she draws a compound on the board and nobody seems to be answering for far too long.
"It's cyanide." I offer, bored, "Causes histotoxic hypoxia. Death within three minutes."
A few faces turn to eye me oddly, but I notice a girl watching me out of curiosity. She quickly turns away and I tune out of the rest of the lesson.
I wonder briefly if she's the agent I've been sent to cover, and decide to put my theory to the test.
When the class ends, I follow her, matching the timing of my footfalls to hers so that she can't hear me coming.
As soon as I'm within reach I hook my arm around her throat, watching as she nimbly moves out of the hold and prepares for a takedown.
I block her impending punch and smirk.
"No need to engage, agent. I'm the backup."