~~After Orave congratulated us we were dismissed early for lunch but he warned us that we need to be back on time because we’re having an important meeting this afternoon. We all quickly walk out of the room and make our way down to the canteen. I sit on a table eating my jacket potato with Marcus, Cody, Finn, Kestra, Jilly, Ethan, James and Harry. We all laugh as Finn teases Harry and James about their loss and James pretends to punch him. “We never did find out where your flag was” Harry says when the boys had finished bantering and Marcus turns to me “Well you have Ashlyn over here to thank for that. She’s a right little brain box” He says and ruffles my hair.
“So you going to tell us where this hiding place is?” James asks me and I shake my head
“No chance” I say and flash a cheeky grin at him.
“Aw man, that’s annoying” Harry complains but I catch him wink at me from the other side of the table.
“Hey, what do you think the meeting ‘ill be about?” Ethan says suddenly, changing the subject and I notice that Jilly’s sat next to him, her piercing blue eyes glaring at me.
“Probably about the mission we’re supposed to be going on” Finn says and we all turn quiet for a moment until Jilly clears her throat “Well I hope it doesn’t go down like the previous one” She says and looks at me and Marcus. “Don’t want anyone else dying” She adds stonily. I scowl at her and Marcus clenches his jaw. “Hey, no need for that, Liam knew what he was getting into” Finn says. “Yeah but I hear that he died protecting her” She says nodding at me “Why did you even go? Why are you here, your, like, half our age” She says venomously and I can see the hatred in her eyes for me. “Umm Jilly, I think we should go” Ethan says standing up and giving me an apologetic glance. She looks up at him and scowls “Why? I’m only making a point” She says and smiles when she see’s my reddening race. Images of Liam flash through my head and I hear the gun shot that took his life over and over again in my head. Instead of leaving to run it off or something I turn to look at Jilly “I may be a few years younger than you but I’ve done a hell of a lot more that you’ve done” I snap at her and her smile vanishes “Did you even know Liam? Do you even know the full story? Liam died protecting something I was given to use, something the government wanted” I spit at her, disgusted how she’d used Liam’s death as a dig at me. The table goes quiet then Ethan pulls Jilly out of her seat and drags her out of the canteen. I turn away from them shaking my head “What a bitch” Marcus says. The gun shots in my head fade away and I try to join back in with the convocation but don’t feel as into it any more. Ethan doesn’t come back but I see him standing away from Jilly in the hall when we walk back in after lunch. “Right guys follow me; we’re going to the meeting room” We follow him over to the room Marcus brought me to on the day that Julie announced I’d be on the elite squad. Orave knocks and we all walk inside the dark room and take a seat around the table. Julie is there and what makes me pause is when I see Marlec’s crinkly face next to her.
When we’ve all sat down Julie licks her red lips then stands up “I assume you’ve all been introduced to the new visitor” She starts and waits for us all to nod “Well about an hour ago he stopped wanting the Dream Dust and even refused to have any when we offered it. This, to us, is a major advantage. The government’s precious Zone 3 pets rely on them to supply this. The government use it to make sure that their most important people don’t betray them or decide to overthrow them. What happens if you take that power away from them and show the people what the government have been doing?” A smile grows across Julie’s tight face “We’ll have a government with some very angry pets to deal with. So angry that they may even start a revolution. So where do you fit in? Well your job is to destroy the labs, the source in which the Dust is made” I look around at every ones nervous faces; we’d be going into the heart of one of the most guarded places in Zone 3. “Don’t look so worried, the reason we’ve chose you is your youth. You’re going to pose as part of the annual school group visiting the labs. Every year students from Zone 2 visit it to see where they could work we’ve managed to get you on the list pretending your from one of the smaller sections, we know the head.” Surly it couldn’t be that easy to get to the labs, I speculate as she explains the arrangements. “Team 1 you’ll be part of the group who go to the group visiting the packaging part and destroy the supplies in storage and team 2 you’ll be in the group who actually go into the lab. You’ve proved in training that you’re the more capable team.” Julie’s words are harsh and I feel a pang of sympathy for team 1 who’ve just been told they’re inferior. “You’ll be leaving for the school tomorrow and will stay there the night then move with the head to the lab. We’ll supply you with the tools you will need tomorrow, your dismissed” She ends it abruptly then waits for Marlec to rise from his seat and nod at us then they walk out leaving us a little startled.
When the door swings shut behind them I can hear everyone in the room let out a breath and look around at each other as we all try to take the news in. “You can go” Orave says after what seems like fore ever. We all slowly drizzle out of the room some people mumbling at each other quietly. I walk over to the canteen and find my friends sat at our usual spot. “How come you were hanging out with the in crowd at lunch?” Sina demands as I sit down with my bolognaise.
“They’re my friends” I say simply. Sina leans forward and narrows her eyes “Ok, what is it?” She asks and I watch Jaylyn and Tamara look at me expectantly.
“I’m going on a real mission tomorrow” I say and twirl my spaghetti around on my fork.
“Oh” Sina says
“So you’re going to fight?” Jaylyn asks
“Sort of, we’re going to destroy the dream dust” I explain, Sina’s jaw drops and the other two stare at me in surprise. “That’s so cool” Sina says and I frown at her
“And it’s also incredibly dangerous” I point out and she stops looking amazed as she realises this. “Well good luck then” She says weakly and worry suddenly flashes across her face and I see it on Jaylyn and Tamara’s face too “Guys I’ll be fine, you know me I’m good at avoiding trouble” I offer them feebly. “No Ashlyn you’re good at getting into trouble” Jaylyn responds.
After I’ve said good bye to my friends and left the awkward convocation I walk back to my apartment. I quickly have a shower and pull some trackies on, then climb into bed. As I stare up at the dark ceiling butterflies build up in my stomach fluttering more and more as I think about the mission. I close my eyes and try to fall asleep, wanting to get an early night before the mission. I take deep breaths and finally fall into slumber but far later than I’d planned too,
It’s dark, probably mid night, and I’m standing in the entrance opposite Julies office watching a figure concealed be a black cloak walking towards the door that leads to the cave entrance. They open the door quietly and I quickly slip in after them. I follow them as they make their way to the ladder then quickly scale the ladder before they can close the lid on me. I can’t see their face but judging by their petit frame it’s probably a girl. They pull the cloak around them tighter and walk down the alley and around the corner. Someone is stood a few meters away in a grey suit looking a little nervous. When the cloaked person reaches them they breathe a sigh of relief. “You made it then” He says quietly.
“No thanks to you” The cloaked person hisses, it’s defiantly a female voice. “Your agent, Cam, almost got my cover blown. Marlec’s been giving me odd looks ever since.” She says bitterly. My eyes widen as I realise what’s going on, Cam was a traitor and who ever this person is they must me to. “What about the girl, did she do what we wanted?”
“Yes again your agent almost killed her, did you not even tell him what he was supposed to do? Thank god she can defend herself” the woman murmurs. The man frown but decides not to go into the topic “Can I have it then?” he asks the puts his hand out, the lady slides something into it but I can’t see what it is because he slips it into his pocket quickly. “We told you to leave the girl for us, where is she?” The man demands suddenly.
“She’s safe, don’t worry I’ll get her to you” She says quickly.
“Make sure you do” The man says sternly then turns on his heels and walks away. The scene melts away around me only to be replaced by another similar one. The same man and woman stands there, she’s still concealed by a cloak. “You’ve had a week and still no girl, what is taking you so long” The man demands. “Don’t worry, she’ll step right into your arms the day after tomorrow, she’s going to the labs on the school trip. There’s a whole lot of them going so you can capture their elite squad as well.” The man smiles craftily.
“Well done” He says then turns and leaves again. This time I watch the woman turn round and I catch a glimpse of scarlet red lips and all I can think of as light fills my eyes is that Julie is a traitor.