Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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This is never how I thought my life would end up. I always imagined a purposeful life where I would learn to love, care, and nurture my children. Instead I find myself staring into a long abyss that will never end. The dank smell of mold seeping from the walls mixed with the scent of sewer water fills my nose. I writhed to my left trying to escape the ropes that bind me to my fate. The faintest of light seeps through my pupils searching for the hope that I will never see. My mind tells me that I will get through this nightmare but I know better. This is the end. I will never get home. Never.
I’m jolted awake by an unfamiliar language. Before I can react I feel a piercing pain greet me in my lower back.
“I don’t know what you are saying!!”
“Warum Sind Sie hier Madchen?”
“I don’t know what you are saying!!” I don’t even know if he speaks English. Let alone understand me through my sobs.
“Why are you here girl?”
His German accent was so heavy I thought he was still talking German.
“I’m only here for vacation, I’m not here to do anything wrong.”
“I do not believe you child. This here is a letter from one of you American persons that you are here as a spy. Why are you here!!!?”
“I’m not a spy damn it!” spit dribbled down my chin, “I’m here for vacation! That is it. Why the hell won’t you believe me?”
“I do not know what you are trying to tell me little one.”
Oh my god. How am I supposed to make him realize that I’m not what he thinks I am? A spy. Thank God for tourist books on how to speak German, and grade nine German class. Let’s see…
“Ich bin nicht spy. Ich auf … urlaub. Bitte lassen mir gehen zuhause.
“Ah, the little dieb speaks German. Let’s see how much I can make you squirm schwein.”
OK this is not good. First I’m pretty sure he just called me a thief and being called a pig does not lead to good things.
Before I can even think of the next move he roughly slips a cloth bag over my eyes. I try to focus through the fabrics holes but the stench of the bag overwhelms me, almost knocking me over. I hear his boots clicking back and forth followed by the sound of metal against each other, which I guess are his keys. Promptly I hear the sound of a door hitting the wall which changes into the sound of various metals and clicks. My mind goes straight for the worst knowing that whatever is coming, I know I may not survive it.
“Okay schwein, time to see if you are the thief you are.”
With that, the most excruciating pain I’ve ever experience coursed through my body ending with a blood curling scream, that I didn’t even realized came from my own quivering body.
“Please! Don’t, please I’m not a spy. Please. Dear God.” my only sanity was to beg for mercy.
“Little schweinchen can’t even handle one. Too bad for you because a lot more is coming little piggy.”
Shutting my eyes tight in anticipation for the next blow, I prayed that someone would end this nightmare and rescued me.
“I demand to see her. Where is she? You cannot hide her from me!” a faint voice rang out.
“Who is interrupting me now!” the guard groaned grumpy.
With my eyes still clenched together, I hear the jail cell door swing open and simultaneously the bag being ripped off my head. I blinked while my eyes adjusted back to the dimly lit cell to see a sharp dress women, who looked to be in her thirties standing above me offering her hand out to me.
“Come on Jen, let’s get you out of here.”
“Who are you?” I asked with suspicion.
“My name is Maria Garcia. Just do what I say and we will get you back home safely.”
I grab her hand and scurried to my feet. The residual pain from the whip makes me cry out as I straighten my back out.
“Are you okay Jen?” Maria questions.
“Yeah I’m fine, just get me out of here.”
We exited the cell, leaving a pissed off guard grumbling in the background about his fun or something always being ended with what he calls sohne idioten genannt Anwalte. Which I think translates to sons of jerks called lawyers. Not surprised by that remark there. As we navigate through the halls I hear the faint sounds of screams behind us. As we exit through a door at the top, a bright light hits me like a bullet. I’m out!
“Jen do not say anything, don’t look at anyone, and try not to even breathe. I want this to go as fast and smooth as possible, just stay behind me.”
She directs me to stay behind her as we make our way for the gates. I stand far enough from her and the guards not to rise any alarms or to even make them think I can hear them, which makes no difference because they are conversing in German way too fast for me to even follow along. With what seemed like forever Maria turns around given me the nod. The nod of freedom, I am now in the custody of the beautiful and powerful US of A. We made a quiet and swift exit through the front doors. We scurried to the car waiting for us to take us straight to the airport. Once in the car, with no warning at all I burst into a combustion of tears that spewed out of me. With no words Maria held onto me knowing that no words where needed at that moment.
Maria held on to me for most of the trip to the airport. Once I got the tears and sniffling under control, I quickly got my composer back and untangled my arms from around her.
“I have no idea how to thank you Maria.”
“You don’t have to Jennifer. What you went through no one should every have to go through that. I wish that I could explain what is going on but you will soon be debrief when we get back.”
“Debriefed? What would I need to be talked to about? I haven’t ever done anything wrong. I was just want to go home.”
“I’m afraid that can’t happen just yet Jen. Don’t worry though, where we are going you will be safe.”
I debate arguing with her but I decide that it’s pointless. I’m already locked in a car headed to an airport with these people. I have no way to get from them. I spend the rest of the car ride watching out the window, and listen to Maria taking various phone calls and typing away on her laptop. The fast pace sound of the keys clicking soon lull me into a deep and restless sleep.
The sounds of blood curling screams make me jolt awake, drenched in sweat.
“Jen! Jen! Wake up! You were dreaming, it’s ok. You’re safe. Jen, you’re safe”
My eyes finally come back to reality and I see that we had arrived at the airport. I looked over towards Maria to make sure that she was still actually here. She gives me a quick smile before jumping out her side of the car and coming around to open my door for me.
I climb out of the car and see that we are in the middle of a makeshift runway. I glance over at Maria who seems perfectly ok with this.
“Where are we?”
“Don’t worry Jen. This is just a runway we use to stay off radar. There times where we rely on stealth, not just for top secret projects but also for one hundred percent guarantee removal of unauthorized captures of American citizens in any country. And to answer your question we are right on the border of Germany and France. Come Jen, we need to go.”
I follow Maria and walk on to one of the most luxurious planes I’ve ever seen in my life. The floor was finished in a beautiful dark stained hard wood that matches the tables and window frames. The walls where painted a deep red with a gray ceiling. The main area held six lazy boy recliners with a plush sectional facing what looks like a 72” television. I flopped in the one of the chairs and wince at the sting of pain from my back.
“You okay?” Maria asked concerned.
“Yeah I’m good. Where can I go to freshen up?”
“There is a bedroom to the left of the corridor, there is a bathroom in the there. First door to your right”
I head towards the bedroom to find my luggage sitting on the bed. I happily ripped it open to find all my clothes freshly dry cleaned and wrinkle free. I sort through it to see what I could throw on that I would be comfortable in for the long flight ahead of me. I locate my sweats and baggy t-shirt and head for the bathroom. I open the door to find myself in a four piece bathroom that even had a sauna. I did a quick change into my clothes and found the medicine cabinet behind the mirror. I grab the polysporin, rubbing alcohol, and cotton balls. I put a towel into the back fold of my sweats and gripped the edge of the sink, bracing myself for the stinging to commence. I tilted the bottle just enough to get enough rubbing alcohol to flow own the width of my back and reach the bottom. I whimper as the alcohol hits the lashes and I hold back with all might not to let out a blood curling scream. I hold onto the edge of the sink and turn my screams into silent tears. After repeating the process two more times, I carefully follow up by applying polysporin the each open wound.
I slip my t-shirt over my head and head back out to the main sitting area to find Maria typing away on her laptop.
“Hey how are you feeling?”
“I’m okay. Are we taking off soon?”
“Yes, we were just waiting for last minute details, but we are ready to go. You might want to sit down for take-off.” Maria chuckled to herself, thinking that she was hilarious.
I walked over the chair facing Maria and strapped myself in waiting for takeoff. Before I know it and without warning, we were taking off and quickly gaining height. Within minutes we were at cruising level and given the go ahead to wonder around the cabin. I took off my seat belt and informed Maria I’m headed to the bedroom as I made my way there. I quickly made my way into what I assumed was my room and closed the door behind me. I went straight for the bed and buried myself underneath the covers. I dosed off with my last thoughts of being looked in a dingy cell being chained up and beaten.
I wake up to find myself drenched in sweat and Maria standing over me.
“Jen are you okay? I could hear you screaming from the lounge area. You don’t have to be scared anymore. You will never be back there ever again.”
“I know. I know. It’s just going to take time. I’m good. I’m ok. Thanks Maria.”
“Glad to hear and not to seem rude but perfect timing for the wakeup call. We are landing soon. I need to return to the lounge.”
“We just took off how are we there already?”
“We’ve been in the air for the last fourteen hours Jennifer. You slept the entire time.”
“Oh. Okay. I will be out there in a minute.”
“Before I forget, make sure you dress professionally. You will want to when you see where we land.”
Just as I open my mouth to ask were we are landing, Maria was out the door. I got up and quickly found my black slacks, white buttoned blouse, black low heeled shoes, and blazer. Looking in the mirror I welcomed back the sight of the previous jail cell version of me. I fished through my purse and quickly found my hair tie and threw my hair up in a bun. I stare at myself in the mirror at the finished product to see a big brown eyed girl with dingy shoulder length hair twenty four year old staring back. I head out to the lounge and take my place next to Maria who is, once again, working in her laptop. I look out the window to be welcomed by the sight of clouds and the mystery of where we are.
After a bumpy landing, we are given the clear to unstrap our seat belts and to gather our belongings.
“Maria, I appreciate everything you have done for me, but you still haven’t told me were we are.”
“All in due time Jen. Follow me. There is someone that would like to meet you.”
I follow Maria off the plane to find ourselves in a tunnel of sorts. I look around to see hundreds of vehicles and huge stacks of metal crates. I keep my pace up with Maria who just seems to glide in and out of every turn, but while also trying to find any clue to where we are. We head towards the most southern wall from the plane to meet the elevator which is being held open for us. I look up near the ceiling and that’s when the butterflies entered my stomach. Holy crap. We are in the CIA!
“Really the CIA is interested with me? Actually?”
“Believe it or not Jen but you are more important than you think you are. Come we are almost there.”
We slip into the elevator and Maria presses the button for the very top floor, twenty.
“Not quite.” Maria glances my way to give me a smile but quickly turns her head back towards the door.
When we finally get to the top the elevator doors open to reveal a huge lobby with absolutely no color whatsoever. Everything from the ceiling to the decorations to the outfits people wore were white. Geez, who took all the fun of this room and threw it away? I follow Maria out the elevator and take a sharp left to find another elevator with no call button. Maria quickly grabs her card and scans it to open the doors. I step in and she follows right behind.
“What’s with everything being white?”
“New director. He hasn’t chosen what he wants yet.”
“Before I forget, I just have one little piece of advice before we get in there.”
“Whatever you do, don’t argue, slump, talk unless asked, interrupt, talk without permission, or sit before invited. Follow those simple things and you will do perfectly fine.”
“So pretty much I can only breathe?” I respond with an attitude.
“Yeah pretty much, but don’t breathe too obvious.”
“Of course my apologies.” I responded with sarcasm. I’m very grateful for what they have done for me but they have to realize that in a way, they are still in prisoning me!
Before Maria gets a chance to verbally smack me upside the head, the elevator doors open up to reveal a very glamorous yet professional office. The walls were paint a very deep blue with white wainscoting and trim. There was a library and lounge area that took up the corner next to door with a fireplace and everything. The back wall was fitted with all windows overlooking the DC metropolitan area. In front of the windows sat a huge L shaped desk that housed three computer monitors and a separate work area. On the wall to the right featured many works of art with lights focused on each one.
We walked towards the desk and stood there until, who I assume is the director, finished with his phone call and turned his attention towards us.
“Jennifer Grays, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Please, take a seat you two.”
I glance over at Maria to her gracefully sitting down and mimic her actions.
“Jennifer, I’m Director Jackson. I imagine you are wondering why you are here.”
“Um something about being debriefed or something.” I mumble.
“Sure we can call it that.” He replies uncertainty, “Jennifer, gave you ever thought about leaving your current job?”
“Uhh, sure doesn’t everyone dream that?”
“What I mean to say is, have you ever thought about coming to join the CIA.”
“Um. No? May I ask why you are asking that?”
“Jennifer, we here think that you would make a wonder asset to our, shall we say, incognito information gathering team. I believe that you could be the best.”
“Why would I want a new job? I have a job that I love. It may not be all fun and bullets, but I enjoying working in retail. I think I’ll pass. Thanks.” I cross my arms and flop back in the chair only wincing a little when I land on the cuts. I glare over at Maria and see a look of shock and a look of being apologetic for the situation.
“I don’t think you quite understand Jennifer. We know you can handle the job. Germany proved that. You may not think you are up for it but you’ve already proved you can. Maria you can take her to her room. Jennifer, lets meet tomorrow. Someone will walk you back over around two. That’s all for now.”
“Director Jackson.” Maria calmly states by over pronouncing his name.
We silently walk back to the elevator and ride down to the foyer in an awkward silence. When we get there I follow her out the elevator to the elevator directly in front of us.
“Why do I have to stay here over night?”
“Protocol. The Director just wants to make sure we don’t need know anything else about what happened.”
“Oh.” I go back to the awkward silence and debated about trying to break out of here in the middle the night.
We enter the elevator and Maria presses the button for floor thirty six. Marked residents. The elevator stops a couple time picking up others who also are headed up to the same floor as us. After a very crowded and silent ride, the elevator finally comes to a stop and when the doors open everyone flooded off to their apartments. I follow Maria who takes a sharp right leaving everyone else, who is walking down the hall.
“Why aren’t we going that way?”
“Those apartments are for permanent residents. You will be staying in the visitors rooms. Come.”
I follow Maria to the ended of the hallway to the second last door on the right.
“This here is your room until you go. If you need help my number is by the bed and there will be a guard in the hallway when you need help getting anywhere. There is enough food in the kitchen for a week, just in case. Tomorrow I will be here at one forty-five to walk you back to Director Jackson’s office. Here is your copy of the key. Any questions?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Alright, have a goodnight. I will see you tomorrow.”
I wait until Maria is almost halfway down the hallway before entering my room. I unlock the door and walk into a massive suite. The entry way had its own in wall fireplace that also looked into an ultra-sleek kitchen. The living was decorated in the same sleek ultra-modern design with various shades of. I went into the bedroom and was greeted with four post king size dark wooden bed. On each side there was metal side tables with crystal lamps. Across from the bed sat a medium size dresser that matched the bed with a 60” flat screen resting above it. On the far way next to the door leading out to the patio was a walk in closet so big you could fit at least two military vehicles. On the opposite wall was the bathroom with the same look of the kitchen featuring a deep set tub, double sink and shower with a steam feature.
I headed back out the living room and found my suitcase sitting next to the couch. I grab it and threw it onto my bed. I went back out to the living quickly found the standard bugs under the two side lamps and in the smoke detector. I went to the bedroom and grab the same bugs from under the lamps and from behind the light switch by the closet. I head to the kitchen looking for any planted bugs and after a while found them underneath the faceplates in the coffee maker, microwave, and under the fridge. I grab a trash bag from underneath the sink, throw the bugs in it and toss it down the trash shoot.
I head to bedroom and withdraw two phones from a discreet pocket in my suitcase. I tune the first phones radio to 90.5 and head out to the patio carrying both of them. As soon as I sit down my phone rings.
“Hello? Yes. Yes Sir. Yes Sir they have. Yes they want me to stay until they get a yes. Yes sir. Yes I understand. I will be ready. Yes sir. Goodbye Sir.”
I head back inside, and tuck the phones back into a concealed pouch in the bottom of my bag. I tuck the bag in the corner of my room and covered it with a blanket. Just as I flop onto my bed I hear a knock at the door.
Strange. Maria wasn’t supposed to come back for me until tomorrow. I know my cover hasn’t been blown, if it was they would have just knock on my door. They would have broken it down.
I head to the door but before opening it I peer through the peephole to see who it is. Instead of Maria, it is a young gentlemen who is dressed in the nines from head to toe. Black suit with a white shirt, black tie. Typical government issued uniform.
“Yes, can I help you?” I asked before opening the door.
“Hello, yes ma’am. My name is Agent Rickson. Maria has asked that I escort you to her office.”
“I’m not due to meet her until tomorrow morning.”
“Yes, she is aware of that. Still Maria asks that you do come. She says it is urgent”
Reluctantly I unbolt all of the locks and give Agent Rickson a quick smile.
“Let me just grab my sweater. Unless this is a formal meeting?”
“No ma’am. The sweater will do just fine.”
I grab my sweater off of the couch and follow Agent Rickson down the hall after locking the door behind me.
As we make it down the hall Rickson gives the guard in the hall a nod and continues down towards the elevator. We wait in silence and I turn my eyes from him onto the number system that informs you where the elevator is.
Before the elevator dings open I start walking towards to gain as much distance as possible.
“Which level is her office on?”
“Don’t worry about it, I’ve got it.” Rickson snapped sternly
Well that’s rude.
Agent Rickson punch the number 5 and stood away from me on the other side of the elevator. Thankfully we were only going down two floors so it wasn’t one of those awkward rides. The doors opened up revealing another pure white reception area with not one thing of color.
“I guess the director hasn’t chosen a color theme for this area as well?”
So much for small talk. Agent Rickson leads me down the closet hall on the left and stops at a door marked, ‘Closet’.
“Her office in in a closet?” I questioned?
“Not exactly. Follow me please.” Rickson asked.
Agent Rickson punched in a key on the number pad and after a second or two the door beeped open.
“Hurry please. Before someone sees us.” Rickson beckoned.
Before I could move Rickson pushed me inside just as we heard footsteps rounding the corner. Inside the closet it wasn’t a closet at all but another elevator.
“What is this? Why is Maria’s office hidden? Yet the Directors is not. This makes absolutely no sense.”
“It does make perfect sense, in a world where we have to hide inside the CIA. Jennifer Grays. It is truly a pleasure to meet you. Sorry about all the sternness back there but we all have our parts to play. My real name is Mitchell Thains. I’ve been undercover here for about four years. It’s my job to help you with yours.”
I knew we had resources but did not realize I was not a solo job. I need to test this guy before I can trust him.
“What do you mean you are here to help me with my job? I’m not on a job. I here for protocol reason in the reason of the incident in Germany.”
Mitchell hits a combinatio0n of numbers on the elevator keypad and we start moving down.
“I am also employed with AACO. I know you are here to assassinate the Director of the CIA because of his ties to terrorist that have been planning on bombing the states. I am also aware of the fact you have to convince them that you are nothing but a tourist that was in the wrong place at the wrong time. That and the fact that your AACO code name is Red Wing. You are also the granddaughter of the founder of AACO. AACO, the Assassins against corrupted organizations was renamed in 1952 because of one Mr. Jimmy Station, who blew cover and exposed us. I know we went underground for twenty five years until it was safe to resurface. Oh and you have a cat named Billy.”
“…..How do you know my cats’ name?”
“Ah, yes well that would make sense. What part does Maria play in all of this? What part are you playing in this?”
“Me? I’m simply here to make sure no one gets wise to what you are up. If my cover if blown then it’s just up to Maria to watch out for you. Maria’s part here is your handler, she will take care of all the jobs you get assigned to and that they get completed without any deaths on our side.”
“When I took this assignment I was told that it would be a solo mission. No help on either side.”
“It started the way but while you will held captive in Germany, we got some information for a confidential source that the Director was planning jobs from with his coordinators. Seeing how Maria and I were already on the inside for years and had the trust from the previous director and the current one. We were perfect candidates for the job.”
The elevator reached the bottom and opened up to an empty room with hardwood floors and dark gray painted walls.
“So no color down here either huh?”
“Ha-ha just this area down here. The rest of the facility is pretty awesome. If I do say so myself.”
“I’ll take your word for it. If it isn’t…I’ll kill you, and you know I can without you knowing where the hot came from.”
“I will take your word on it Jen.” Mitchell said with an unnerving laugh.
“I’m just kidding.” I said with a light punch to his shoulders.
“I know.” He responded in a chuckle.
Mitchell walked to the far wall and pushed on a small section that opened up the wall on the right, revealing a set of stairs going down.
“How did you guys build this without being seen??”
“Why do you think I’ve been here for four years? We have had multiple people here that have put in time to complete this. It has been completed for a couple of months now.”
We make our way down the stairs that lead into a reception area with a couple of chairs and couches. There is one girl sitting at the desk typing away. She waves us into the office behind her without glancing up from the screen. We enter the office that is decorated in a glam rock style. Sitting behind a desk at the back of the room is Maria chatting away on the phone.
“I’ve got to go I will call you back.” Maria said quickly. “Jennifer! Glad to see you. You are probably a bit confused.”
“No, No I’m all caught up to speed thanks to Mitchell here.” I said gesturing to him.
“Good I’m glad. Now. For your first assignment.”
I took a seat next to her desk and prepared myself for the next step in what will begin my real assignment. Assassinating the Director of the CIA.
End of Part One.