July Ninteenth, Year 3000
The starry night sky domed over our large city, the moonlight sifting through the dark clouds and lighting the round room I stood inside. James stood next to me, his eyes intent on the same thing that mine were. We stared attentively in the center of the spacious room, concentration unwavering. There, in the middle of the room crouched a boy. A new initiate. He was our age, roughly fourteen, fifteen at most.
In front of him stood a taller man--the Queen's right hand man-- with an item in his hand. The item was long, made from a specially reinforced steel. The object was unbreakable, and everyone knew. It was a sword.
Three melancholy chimes erupted through the room, echoing throughout it. The man pulled back his hood, and the moonlight fell upon his pale complexion and his dark locks of raven hair that fell across his undeterred face. He lifted the sword in the air, not to harm the boy, but rather to do something more... symbolic. He touched the tip of the glinting sword to the boy's forehead, twisting it carefully so as not to break any skin.
"Tonight, is different than many others. Though we have seen such a ceremony before, this one, is special. This shall be the recruit that will complete our secret society, our last man in the Secret Queen's Service. Should there be dubiousness among the crowd, may your words be spoken now, before the ceremony has begun," said the Queen's assistant. He paused, and silence fell over the room, no one daring to object to the ceremonious event where the new recruit would join our elite group of spies. His voice light as falling snow, he began. "You are here on this night to join our elite group in service of the Queen. These tasks are not to leave your breath, and should this occur, there shall be consequences. Do you agree to this single condition?"
"Yes," said the boy, his voice raspy, like metal on tree bark.
"And do you promise to follow the Queen's orders faithfully and unwaveringly? Without disobedience?"
"Yes," replied the boy again. "Should you disobey any of these conditions of your sacred duty unknowingly, these same conditions shall apply. Do you understand this?"
"Yes," answered the boy for the third and final time. The Queen's assistant pushed back the boy's hood, and his blond hair fell to his shoulders. He touched the boy's forehead with three fingers, and produced an object from within his cloak. Taking the boy's right arm, he pressed the object to it. A thriving spark of light exploded through the room, and then faded into oblivion.
"Then it is done," the assistant said. "Rise, Jareth Ridge." The boy did as he was told. "You are now a member of SQS." Silence reigned over the place until the assistant left the room. He walked out gracefully, kind of a stalking motion, similar to a panther. When he left the room, the six other members of SQS--including me-- surrounded the new member, congratulating him on his newly sworn alleigence. But he had no idea of what he'd gotten into.
I looked over at my friend, James, whose face was just as solemn as mine. We were the senior members of the team, and we'd been in the Secret Queen's Service for what seemed like forever. Both of us orphaned, this place had become our home. Nobody knew this job better than we did. Nobody.
The assistant walked into the room again, and silence took its domain once more. "The Queen would like to speak to the both of you," he said gently to James and I. Quietly and complacently, we both followed the brooding man out of the room, eyes boring into our backs...