Mr Forest took a remote from the corner of his desk and brought up an interactive projection on the screen behind him. A large world map appeared on the screen. My boss keyed in some coordinates on the keypad. A small, emerald island filled the screen.
“Myra,” he began, “this is the island of Mercyship, twenty miles off the coast of America.”
Mercyship...where did I recognise that name from?
“You may have heard about the recent disquiet in Mercyship.” I nodded. “We have received a number of reports regarding a strange epidemic. This illness alters the brain, to the extent that the sufferers are left unable to control their limbs, their organs or their voices. It is a waking coma. Myra, we need you to head to Mercyship, and work out what is causing this epidemic. If you can, I need you to destroy the pathogen.” I nodded decisively, stood up, and shook his hand. “We have put you on a flight to America for tomorrow. You will need to head to the harbour and get a boat to Mercyship. Oh, and one more thing.” My ears pricked up as I turned to face Mr Forest. “No one must know that you are going to Mercyship. The whole island is under lockdown and the only ships permitted to the port are carrying food and medicine. I trust you will make your way by yourself.” I nodded. I turned to leave when his voice rang in my ears again, “Myra, your new voice is coming along nicely, we’re just having a few issues with the naturalisation.” I smiled happily.
I left the room and used the lift opposite to ascend the shimmering glass structure, taking in the sight of the Thames before me. London Bridge stood in all its glory, glowing in the evening sun. Eventually, I reached a more welcoming level - the agent’s quarters. I found my room - 414, just like my agent code, and placed my finger over the track pad. The track pad glowed, I heard a click, and the door opened. The doors opened, I strutted inside and flung myself upon the large divan, surrounding myself in the soft furnishings. Tired out by a long day’s training, I had a long soak in the shower, slipped into some more comfortable clothes and went to bed. Unfortunately, my slumber was disturbed.
I felt the cold air as it was sucked into the tunnel. My hair was whipped about my face by the wind. My tight, black catsuit clung to me as tightly as I grasped my gun. The cold metal was wedged snugly in my hand. I took a step; it echoed loudly, reverberating countless times. A man appeared at my side. I tensed, studied him, and relaxed.
It was Gregory Asthore - my husband. His fair hair contrasted his outfit, and was smooth at the root, but flaring out into separate spikes at the tips, like flames, or golden daggers. His eyes were a light blue, and mesmerising, his skin like milk, but a shade darker. He also held a gun in his hands. We turned to leave the wind tunnel when the light pouring in stopped. Shadows crept their way across the floor, drawing closer. We were surrounded. I began to fire the messengers of death into the mass of shadows, but to no avail. I reached out for Gregory’s hand. It was gone. He had melted away into the shadow of death. I screamed. The knife approached.
There was pain.
There was blood.
Everything went black.
My eyes snapped open, my skin coated in cold sweat. I opened my mouth and felt inside. My tongue, my voice, was gone. Aware once more of my compulsory silence, I brought up my knees to my head, burying my face between my legs, and poured my tears into the silence.