Ashes21: Agent Trickster (Number XIII)

An agent is assigned to kill her mentor by the Corporation, also known as Ashes21, and is on the watch by not one but the entire Watchers' Division, a situation which has never happened in Corporation history. She knows that every step is fatal, every breath she takes is vital and ever move she makes will determine whether she has the courage to do something her entire body is rejecting to or to go against the people she works for.
The stakes are high, the iron is hot, will Agent Trickster pass this test to get her coveted position or will she fail it deliberately to join The Uprising to initiate what every top leader fears of, The Annexation?

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1. Chapter 1

The world always looked better at night. When there is silence, peace and sleeping souls. It always had been better like this. It has always been my daily routine; looking around at the cold winter night, watching the people flock back to their homes and enjoying the view of everything below from the roof top. I, specially, liked the wind blowing my hair away from my face. Or sometimes into my face.

“Tricia,” Trehan coughed. “You have another assignment.”

 Trehan was a thin lean boy of seventeen, with blonde hair and harsh grey eyes covered under his convex glasses. He looked like one of those boys that keep getting bullied in high school. Well, he did get bullied. But that was only because he let them. Don’t judge him by his appearance; you’ll be in for a shock. Trehan Werner, a.k.a. Altair, the world’s deadliest sniper. And also the world’s youngest.

“They just love me, don’t they?” I scoffed. “Stupid Ashes21 can’t even let me enjoy my break”

Trehan and I work for Ashes21. Never heard that name before? Well, remember it this time. It’s the world’s largest and most active criminal organization in the world, under the radar. If you’re wondering why the Ashes21 doesn’t get caught, the answer is simple. We work both ways. The United Nations bestow favors on us, and well, we repay them. How do you think the world’s worst tyrants get caught? The answer is: Ashes21.

“Be careful, Tricia,” he laughed. “They must have a hidden microphone out here somewhere.”

That wouldn’t be a first for the Ashes21. Last year it installed a dozen surveillance cameras at Phoenix’s secret hideout. They wanted him back on the job, but well, he was bored with the Ashes21 and didn’t pay heed to them. The coolest assassin I ever met. Even though, our ‘encounter’ was for ten seconds. But, that’s a lot. Others die within five seconds flat.

“So, what is the so-called ‘assignment’?” I asked. “Let me guess, another kill?”

I jumped down from the rooftop, two floors down and landed right in front of Trehan. I was tired of killing people. It was boring. People didn’t value their lives. No one, I mean, no one has ever begged me for their life till now. They want me to deliver their last messages or transfer the money from their accounts to someone else’s. It’s no wonder that Phoenix left. I wish I could. But I don’t have that kind of influence. I’m still XIII. There are twelve Whisperers ahead of me. And only the first three of every division get to quit or have a say in the matters of their division. And becoming I, II or III, called for utmost discipline and 'fealty', as they call it. I was loyal and disciplined, but they thought what they wanted to think. In other words: Bummer.

“I’m pretty sure that this kill will get you to V,” he snickered. “Have a go.”

He handed me his phone, or was it mine? I remember those Crazy Frog stickers. Ok, it’s mine. I looked at the screen. The message was addressed to Agent Trickster. I hated that name. Others got cool names like ‘Phoenix’, ‘Alistair’ and even ‘Zephyr’. And what did I get? Trickster.

Agent Trickster

Assignment: Terminate RED Talisman

Reward: Promotion To III

Additional Information: The Details Are In The Attachment. Your Effort And Success Will Be Highly Appreciated.

Thank You.

-Articus Caleb

“When did Articus become the Directioner?” I snickered hiding my amazement.

“When Phoenix killed his aunt,” Trehan said nonchalantly. “Phoenix requested Wilderness to step down. And Max Muller agreed to that, so Wilderness had no choice but to step down. Rumor has it that Wilderness is out for Phoenix’s blood. But nothing is carved in stone.”

“Phoenix did what!?” I exclaimed. Phoenix was an orphan and only had his aunt as his support. To kill his aunt would be like killing his very soul. Shrugging it off, I checked the attachments.

“No Frickin’ Way,” I gasped.

I tried to ignore Trehan’s questions about what happened, but I was too well trained to ignore any sound.

I remember Phoenix saying, ‘The Annexation has begun.’ It was right after he quit the Ashes21. Now I knew what he meant.

Trehan snatched the phone and let out a gasp.

“They can’t be serious, Tricia!” he gasped. “We’ll talk about it to them! They can’t do this to you!”

Was being III worth what I was assigned to? No. Freaking. Way.

“You can’t do this!” he exclaimed. “Tricia, speak something!”

I glanced at the screen one more time. The face peering at me looked so old. I remember it being younger than that. He had grown old. Has it really been four years? I thought it was longer than that.

He took care of me for my entire thirteen years, after which I was handed over to the Ashes21.

He was my care-taker. My father.

“Are you going to do this assignment, Tricia?” Rehan demanded to know.

I slowly snatched the phone back from him. I looked into his watering eyes. The world’s deadliest sniper was going to shed tears for me? A low XIII whisperer of the Ashes21? Known only by the Directioner, the victims and him? It was pathetic. Not him. But me.

I slowly gathered the courage to speak.

“I’m going to complete this assignment, Alistair,” I announced bringing in distance, formality and coldness between us. I didn’t need any pity or remorse. I had to do this.

Like Phoenix did.

Like I would.

The Annexation has begun.  

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