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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2. Chapter 2

 “Articus Caleb would like to speak to you,” a soft female voice echoed in the darkness. Her voice was barely audible over the noise of the traffic and the rustling of the winds. In the darkness I could only make out the glowing white insignia of a flower with an eye in the middle around her neck. I guessed that she must be a Watcher.

“Umm… Agent?” she repeated. “Articus Caleb would like to speak to you.”

A week had passed since I received my assignment, but I wasn’t ‘on the move’. It definitely got noticed by the Corporation, and it wasn’t a surprise that I was being visited by one of the watchers, a division of the Ashes21 that occasionally visited and questioned agents-in-suspicion and agents-in-doubt. I believe they think I am one of the latter.

“It’s about your assignment,” the female spoke again cutting the silence that was almost forming in this dark chilly night. A wind blew making her skirt flutter. I could just see her silhouette in this darkness. She was trying to be composed, but was having a hard time doing that. Mostly due to fear, some watchers fear the combat division, maybe she’s one of them. The wind blew again, knocking down some empty cans and dragging it along.  

“Are you listening to me?” she asked.

It’s not like I have a choice.

 The wind is strong. Is a thunder storm coming?

“I know you can hear me, Agent,” she insisted.

Of course I can. I’m not deaf, Watcher.

There is no sign of the moon, and it’s not a full moon light. The clouds wrap the entire sky in its embrace.

“Agent,” she snapped. “I’m here to talk to you.”

I glance downwards and noticed a small boy carrying a brown paper sack down the street. He must be around five or six years of age.

“Isn’t that what you’re doing?” I replied my gaze fixed on the boy, who now bought a lollipop. “You know, talking.”

She let out a small sigh of frustration and kicked the ground.

“Would you mind coming down here, Agent?” she pleaded. “I can’t see you from here.”

“Its better that way, whoever you are,” I replied. She exhaled and repeated, “Please?”

I jumped down in front of her from the water tank atop the rooftop, and glared at her. She looked like a young girl of seventeen or eighteen, an oval face with green eyes and dark red hair. I never saw her before, must be a newbie with no experience. If Wilderness were the Directioner now, she would never have been hired and a more efficient watcher would be here instead of her. But Articus Caleb is the Directioner, a man whose specialty is twisting the rules, even if he is the one enforcing them.

“Agent,” she began in a newly composed formal tone, “I’m here to inform you that a week has passed since the assignment was sent to you however you have not made any move on your target and have not contacted the Directioner regarding your actions. We are certain that you have received the message, because Agent Altair has strongly suggested that the Director give your assignment to Agent Kasper. Also-”

Agent Altair has strongly suggested that the Director give your assignment to Agent Kasper. Am I hearing it right?

“-your actions reflect poorly on the entire corporation-”

There is no way Altair would do that. It would make me suspicious.

“-one week to prove your fealty-”

No wonder the Watcher is here. I need to have a talk with him. What was he thinking?

“-the offer remains,” she ended with a smile and an exhale.

“What offer?” I repeated. Maybe I should have listened when she was blabbering.

She sighed. “You still get to be ‘Number III’ if you complete your task,” she said.

“Is it so?” I replied.

“Yes, that is what I have been told, but you have to meet Articus before going off for your mission,” she explained. “He wants to talk to you.”

“Doesn’t he know how to use a phone?” I uttered.

“Excuse me, what did you say?” she asked. Probably she never met anyone disrespecting the Great Directioner.

“Nothing,” I mumbled. “Has Trehan spoken to Articus?”

“Agent Altair, you mean? Indeed he did,” she nodded with a smile that I knew too well. “He seems impressive.”

Impressive? That’s an understatement. He is way beyond that.

“I’m Serrah, by the way,” she smiled. “And, your name is…?”

“Trickster,” I answered looking straight into her eyes.

She laughed. “I meant your real identity.”

I remained silent. She doesn’t have to know who I am or what I do, although she does know what I do.

“Come on,” she laughed. “I know you have one.”

“The Corporation stripped it away,” I replied coldly.

“What?” she laughed. “I know the rules, and the Ashes21 doesn’t do that.”

“Does it not?” I scoffed down a laugh. She doesn’t know. “The situation has changed, Serrah.”

I walked over to the door leading downstairs towards the exit of the building.

Without glancing back at her, I repeated Phoenix’s words.

"The Annexation Has Begun”

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