“Avery…” a soft voice whispered, cutting through my sluggish thoughts. “It’s time to wake up.”
I shook my head and attempted to open my eyes, but I couldn’t. “Who’s there?” I called out, my voice slightly echoing.
Suddenly, fingers that resembled claws more than actually human joints gently touched my cheek. “Find her,” the voice I heard before whispered into my ear. “Keep her safe.”
Then I was thrown into some kind of body of water. I struggled and tried to reach the surface but I was sinking too fast.
“Avery…” a different voice whispered and I felt someone touch my shoulder.
That was the last thing I heard before I awoke and sat up so quickly, I nearly rammed into the nurse.
I panted for breath, relieved to find that I was not drowning.
“It’s good to see you awake,” the nurse said cheerfully, busying herself with moving bottles of medicine around in the cabinet across the room from me. “You were having a nightmare.”
“Errr… sorry about that,” I mumbled before looking down at my torso that was wrapped in a bandage. “I’m sorry, but how did I get back here?”
The last thing I could remember was fooling two thugs in the woods but I didn’t recall returning to base.
“We had some extra agents following you, but that didn’t stop the two hired men from cracking of your ribs,” the nurse told me coolly before handing me a dose of medicine, which I obediently took.
“And the mission…?”
“It was a success,” she finished shortly and I sighed with relief. “The doctor will want to see you.”
After she left the room to find the doctor, I carefully slid out of bed, wincing at the pain in my chest. Seeing a set of clothes draped over the only chair in the corner of the room, I struggled to put them on while looking at the familiar surroundings.
All the hospital rooms at base looked the same. Boring gray paint? Check. Cold, hard floor? Check. A small window obscured by gray curtains? Check.
I finally managed to get my shirt on before the doctor arrived.
“Going somewhere?” He asked, slightly amused.
“Hello to you too, Assan,” I responded, smiling at the elderly man.
“I see that another one of your missions has landed you here.”
“Yeah…” I mumbled rubbing a sore spot on the back of my head.
Standing up, Assan strode to the window, peeking out. “Our bosses want you to visit them ASAP,” he sighed. “I tried to tell them that you needed more time to recover but they wouldn’t listen.”
I raised an eyebrow. “What’d they want?”
“That’s something you’ll have to ask them yourself.”
I smiled again and went to the door. “I better go see what they want. I’ll see you later Doc.”
He muttered something and I stifled my laughter, before leaving the room and medical offices.
The halls leading to the main offices were crowded with people holding papers running back and forth. I vaguely wondered what was happening but cleared my mind as I reached the door that separated the hall from the Council room. Carefully, I slipped into the room.
Despite being held in high regard, the Council room was rather bland. However, it still contained my bosses who I still didn’t know the identities of. A small metal chair sat it the center of the room.
Knowing the drill, I calmly made my way to the center of the room and sat down glancing at the moving shadows of people. “You wanted to speak to me?”
“It has come to our attention that our base has been breached by a mole,” a gruff voice said, who’s owner never wasted time getting to the point.
“It is dire that we find this traitor and deal with him or her before our enemies find out about the location of the Box,” another voice, the voice of a woman called softly, a little farther away in the room.
“Sounds easy enough…” I answered confidently. I had dealt with many cases like this one before. “What’s the catch?”
“This time you will not be working alone,” the woman said as a folder slid across the floor towards me. Picking it up, I saw that it contained a basic mission outline and two photos. One of the photos contained a late teenager/young adult, the other a young teenager.
“These are my accomplices?” I asked, not fond of the idea of having to work with other people.
“Yes and they will be waiting for you once you leave this room,” the man spoke up again. “You probably didn’t notice them when you came in. Now go.”
Nodding my head to the shadows, I stood and exited the room quickly. This was not going to be fun. I didn’t like partners in the cases I worked in but it had to be done. Looking about the busy hallway I noticed the two girls from the photos, plastered a smile on my face, and went to meet them, barely noticing a man slip into the Council room with a package.
When I reached them, I extended my hand. “Hello, I’m—“was all that I had time to say as a loud, booming noise sounded from behind me and knocked everyone in the hall off their feet. Confused screams filled the air and looking back, I saw that the Council room was now visible through a gigantic gap in the wall.
That was when I heard the intercom voice blare out, “We’re under attack! I repeat under attack!”