I am

"She was made out of pure spirit and life. A star on earth. Yet a hurricane in space. Cassiopeia Turow was different."
When Cassiopeia leaves her small island of Sars for the continent Irille she's in for more than she bargained for. Between seeking out adventure and making a tenuous friendship with the King, she has a drug that grants superpowers and the elusive Sect organisation to deal with.


18. "... you very well can't stab yourself in the back."



“Friends are the only people you can trust right?”

“No, the only person you can trust is yourself because you very well can’t stab yourself in the back now can you?”


Three and a half months ago

The Golden Compass


Cassiopeia Turow was kidnapped from her bed on a bright and early morning. She didn’t expect it and the reason why was not because she was asleep, no in fact she had been awake for quite some hours, but it was from someone she had grown to trust.

Bruce Wilkins had always been a quiet man who awoke early. He always claimed that it was not dreams but habit from birth that gave him a physical urge to wake before the sun on some days. He didn’t usually come into Cassiopeia’s room, so this was the only thing she didn’t expect, but she knew that he wouldn’t hurt her.

“I thought I’d make breakfast,” He had said, growing jovial, “Lisa will get hers at midday.” They shared a rare smile at Lisa’s tendencies to sleep in on her days off.

“That’s nice of you Bruce, thank you. I’ll have to make breakfast one day.”

Allowed to rest for a while longer, Cassiopeia turned back to her book. The book that she had lent off of Bruce himself wasn’t as dry as she expected, in fact it was a fictional story about a hero who saved the world from the apocalypse. It rewrote history, allowing a possibility of this world not to exist, and for the previous world, the Old World, to dominate.

She was so engrossed in it that she didn’t realise that Bruce had walked back in with the tray of breakfast, “You didn’t answer to my calls, so I brought it up for you.”

Bruce sure was sweet. The tray included a banquet, a selection of breakfast foods from pastries and fruit, to orange juice on the side. It even had a flower, a giant daisy by the look of it, in a small glass. Lowering to smell the flower, Cassiopeia caught another scent.

What was that?

Lifting the glass closer to examine it, the potency of the smell increased. The room liquefied slightly.

What was going on…?

“Bruce what…” The question halted as the girl slumped and the tray slid to the side. Bruce was there to pick it up, rest it on the dresser, and neatly bundle the young girl into his arms.

Lisa didn’t notice as her husband carried the girl she had come to know as her pseudo daughter, out of the house and down the still sleeping streets.




Chloroform, under the right conditions took at least five minutes to incapacitate someone. The higher the potency of the drug, the quicker the victim was put under its spell. But the higher the potency, also meant the higher the danger of waking up unharmed. Those types of drugs meant a special hand had to get them at the apothecary.

Surprisingly, it was in a hospital type room that Cassiopeia was being held in. Although slightly dark, the girl was hooked up to a machine monitoring her heart rate, and positioned into a bed. Upon waking, she thought of the irony of never actually leaving her bed that day. How lazy she would have been considered. A groan left her lips as her eyes opened fully and she hurried to push herself up. Her whole body ached.

Confusion. Confusion. What?

Bruce had drugged her but why? He had appeared unassuming to her, but then again all secret agents did until they turned on you. Thinking of big Bruce as a secret agent provoked a laugh from her.

“I’m glad that you weren’t affected too badly,”

A nurse? The petite fair haired lady, entered and unhooked her from the machine, the continuous whine from it was headache inducing enough.

Cassiopeia knew that she could try to run away, but the two cameras in the corners of the room would track her movements. She would not get very far at all. Seeming to catch her thoughts, the nurse turned to her, “It would take five seconds for a guard to grab you,” apparently this nurse was very passive aggressive, “The President will arrive promptly.”

“The President? You need to pick better names for your leaders.” Cassiopeia scoffed and couldn’t help herself, “Who even are you?”

“We are the Sect.”

The Sect were meant to be the good guys and the Hoods suddenly all made sense. But if they were going around and kidnapping people then that meant that the definition of ‘good’ was skewed heavily.

The nurse left and Cassiopeia didn’t get the anger that she needed from the other woman. Anger would mean the guards would escort the nurse out, and Cassiopeia would have an opening.




The President did not arrive promptly. Cassiopeia counted in her head and it had roughly been nearly ten minutes since the nurse had left.

But she knew when he came down the corridor. Clack. Clack. Step. Step. The sound of something hitting the floor, before a footstep fell. The man that entered was not who she was expecting either. But who would you expect to be the leader of a secret organization dealing with political corruption?

The President was blind. The glass in his eyes did not move at all, they simply stared ahead, like a painting whose deadened eyes followed the watchers around even though that was impossible. The monk’s robes and the ceremonial baldness was also not a known quality of someone masterminding murder.

Weren’t monks meant to be about world peace and equality for all?

The nurse entered again then, and hooked the heart monitor to the President instead, “So you know that he never lies,” the nurse smirked over the head of her leader. Instead of a quick departure, the nurse stayed, appearing as a stiff shadow in the corner of the room.

“I apologize for the circumstances that you had to arrive in. Even worse I had to call in a favour of an old friend, someone who had no choice but to accept, to betray your trust so readily.” His cane clacked ahead of him as he sat on the edge of the bed. Cassiopeia tried to inch as high up on the bed as she could get. But she had to admit that it wasn’t that far from the man. She suddenly wished for the bed to be longer.

The President seemed amused at her actions, even if he couldn’t properly see them.

“However, your position in our plans is vital in determining on whether we win or lose this game.”

“I won’t have anything to do with you and your plans.”

The President moved closer to her, sensing her discomfort about his presence, soon his side was touching her knees, and his hands rested on her knee caps. Cassiopeia stilled at this – she wasn’t going anywhere as his grip was concrete. She was cornered and she hated it. Cassiopeia Turow was not an animal in captivity damnit.

“But you don’t have a choice,” the man’s head cocked to the side, “Ever since that ball, we have sent operatives to your home. They are in walking distance of your parents. Another operative is aboard the fabled Night Thief, one word from a walkie-talkie and things will get awfully bloody.”

To arrive at Sars that quickly implied that they already had operatives all over the world, and not just in Irille. They could definitely not travel all the way there in such a short space of time. This group was more dangerous than what they wanted to admit.

He was threatening her? With the lives of those she loved no less. He was being serious about it as well. It wasn’t the look in his eyes, or lack thereof, but it was the way he held himself, the way that his heart was beating at the exact same tempo as it was before. She wasn’t just a cornered animal anymore, she was a collared and chained animal.

“I thought you guys were meant to be the good people, fighting corruption and all?”

“Ah, Miss Turow. But there aren’t no good guys or bad guys, good deeds or bad deeds. There are just those who decide to act on the opportunities provided to them and those who ignore them like they are the plague.” The President smiled and clacked the cane again. He didn’t need it for movement, not this time, but he did it to appear threatening, resting the cane at his side, in reaching distance. She could reach out and take it, she could just…

The cane was in her hand quicker than an inhale and positioned to attack. She was not an animal, she was a woman and like all woman she could defend herself against perverted men. The President moved quicker than half an inhale and the cane was held tightly in his hand. Wrenching it from her grip, he chucked it in the opposite direction, where it slammed into the wall.

The nurse flinched. The heart monitor didn’t flicker.

“Now why did you do that?” The President whined as though he wasn’t a fully grown man, “You know that everything is on the line here, and you do something reckless like that.” He tutted at her as though she was a little child and it was incredibly patronizing. “Now that was a warning, next time you try to escape your attempts won’t be taken so lightly.”

Although the man didn’t have any eyes, he sure made up for it. His eyebrows furrowed and his chin was stern despite his lips appearing to be aloof.

“You won’t be harmed if you don’t do anything else stupid. If you listen and then cooperate with us, then you will be released without injury,” he smiled, “Do you understand?”

Cassiopeia responded with tightly lipped affirmation.

“Hadrian Wyrick is an important chess piece, people outside of this organisation as well as people inside, need him to be protected. You are close enough to him, that if the time comes you can protect him. If you don’t deliver, and Hadrian manages to be harmed in a way that you could have prevented, the people you love, either on the Night Thief, or your parents, will be affected. Therefore, their fates lie in your decisions.”

Cassiopeia was ashamed to admit that she was scared. Who wouldn’t when people threatened your parents and blamed it on you and your actions?

“How can I believe you?” Cassiopeia tried hard to keep her voice from trembling, “How can I know that you are near my parents?”

The nurse moved then. Taking two walkie-talkies from her overalls and walking over to her leader and their captive.

“Come in over,” the nurse asked the first, “Evidence of proximity to target required, over,”

No answer from the operative on the other end of the line came, but the answer was in the form of the normal sounds of the hustle and bustle of Sars:

“So there this fish was and you should have seen it, as wide as you and I put end to end.” That was her father.

“I don’t know how you survived that encounter,” her mother joked lightly.

They had her parents. This was not a joke. They were really near them. Anything could happen… Cassiopeia didn’t want to think of the consequences. “Thank you, over.” The nurse switched walkie-talkies and asked the same questions. Cassiopeia could hear Avery over the device:

“Plot a course west, we may be able to catch the sunset at this rate.”

“Captain, we’ll see the sunset either way, there’s nothing but sun and sea around here.” That was Tommen.

They had her family and her friends, and she had no choice in this matter.

“I will follow along with your plans,” Cassiopeia whispered.

The President smiled, his teeth shiny and sharp. This was a dangerous man, a very dangerous man indeed. “We will be watching your every move.” 


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