Yet Another SDAASaturday! Enjoy!
Chapter numbers are hard.
Okay, so it’s the day after the night before.
I wake up at around midday to my phone buzzing.
Well done. New mission brief available.
Great… What are they gonna have me doing this time? Hold up a 7/11?
I stumble my way through a shower, breakfast and getting dressed.
When I walk outside, it’s pouring down rain, which gives me a sense of calm that makes me forget about last night… funnily enough, I’m more upset about what happened with Chloe than I am about the armed robbery.
I slowly stroll through the rain, making my way to the HQ.
I love the rain. The cool breeze, the icy splash on my face reminding me that I’m alive, the smell, the feeling or peace that occurs when I hear the raindrops falling on the ground around me.
It takes me a long time to get to the HQ, partially because I’m walking, not running, but mostly because of the rain. I can’t help but stand outside and feel the cold shower running over my face, washing all the events of the last week off my body and out of my mind… and I’m ready to start again. I walk through the door.
“Careful, Mate… He’s in a mood.” Lennox whispers as he walks past me.
I haven’t even reached his office yet, and I can hear Dwight’s voice grumbling through the halls.
I push his door open.
“You called, boss?” I say, lazily.
“Wait outside, Aaron.” He sharply snaps.
Lennox was right…
Moments later a young blonde girl exits his office. She seems to be in a bit of trouble… she shakes off the meeting and in the process locks eyes with me. “You’re Aaron Curtis, aren’t you? Prodigy?”
“That’s what they keep telling me…” I respond.
“I’m Selina Hudson! My codename is ‘Cheerleader’…I’m a big fan of yours! Well more of your parents, but I’ll be following your career as well!” she says, buzzing with excitement.
“How wonderful…” I respond
“My goal is to be like your mother, she was my idol growing up! My father worked with her a lot.”
“So did mine…” I dryly joke.
She awkwardly chuckles, “Sadly, I don’t think I’ll ever get the chance to be like her… Dwight says if I screw up one more mission, I’m fired.”
“Is that really the worst thing?”
I’m not consciously trying to be rude, but I really don’t want to be conscious right now.
“Is it true your mother once walked into an open war zone armed with a pocketknife and walked out with the head of one of Uganda’s biggest warlords?”
“You’d probably know better that I would, they died when I was a baby… didn’t get to ask them many questions.”
“Oh, right… sorry, how stupid of me.”
“Don’t worry about it.” Several awkward milliseconds drag on… “Well, I gotta get in there.
I push past here and enter Dwight’s office.
“So, you’ve met Ms Hudson?” Dwight asks.
“Yeah, she’s great at talking.” I sarcastically smile.
“Not so great at following orders… which is why you’re here.”
“To follow orders?” I’m slightly confused.
“You did so well on your last mission, you even got back more than the owed amount. So, you’ll take Selina on a few missions, teach her how we work, and if she doesn’t noticeably improve within a week…”
“More or less.”
“Brilliant… What’s the mission?”
“File’s on the table.”
Target: Jonah Bridge
Target is CEO of Bridge International and a high value member of ‘The Guild’
Target will be inside his Dreyburn City office on the top floor of the Bridge International building
Target will be most accessible after sundown
See Iceman for details of transportation
“Any questions?” Dwight asks.
“Several!” I shoot back, “What the hell is ‘The Guild’? how the hell am I supposed to get to Dreyburn City? And who the hell is ‘Iceman’?”
“Iceman is Gabe North’s alias, he’s also organising transport, and The Guild is a long story.”
“Okay, that about covers it…”
“Go see North, and take the Cheerleader with you” Dwight directs.
“Is that her codename, or an insult?”
“Little of both.” Dwight grins slightly.
Great… killing a CEO with a cheerleader… if that doesn’t sound like a terrible idea, I’m Harry Potter!
I find Selina and drag her to the garage where North is waiting.
“Whaddup, iceman!” I say, mocking the stupid codename.
“We can’t all be ‘Prodigy’…” he says, staring daggers. “For the record, I advised against putting the two of you on this mission, given its sensitive nature and that you are our two least qualified recruits… but Dwight says you can handle it.”
“Thanks for the vote of confidence, Icey…” Selina chirps.
“Ugh… Children…” North mutters under his breath. “You’ll be air dropped onto the roof of the Bridge Building in one of our most advanced Techjets, it lifts off from here at 9pm this evening, be here, geared up by 8:30pm.” He says, snapping back to business mode. “Here’s a detailed copy of tonight’s mission specifics, study it. Aaron, you’re taking the lead on this one, don’t screw it up.”
“Noted.” I reply, then leave.
But Selina follows me…
“It’s really cool that we’re going on a mission together!” she says, buzzing.
“They only put you on with me so that I could fix any messed that you made, okay? We’re not going to be partners, we’re not going to be friends… I’m only here to bring you up to a decent standard, and then you’re on your own!” I snap…
Even I thought that was too much, and I said it…
“See you at 8:3O.” She snaps before abruptly exiting.
“And they call me ‘Iceman’” North mocks.
I respond with a certain gesture that consists of a finger protruding from the centre of the hand.
I’ve had enough of this place for one day… I need food.
I run through the town a few times before deciding on a place to eat. Sushi is always great.
I walk in and grab the fullest looking Sushi platter I can and sit on a table, when who should walk in, but the Cheerleader herself.
I can only just hear what she’s saying… “Dawn, it’s been a long and disappointing day… gimme the usual and a coke please.”
“I’m sorry Sal, we had a super busy lunch rush… We just sold the last one to the guy on table 6”
She wanders her eyes around the room before spotting me, the guy on table 6… she rolls her eyes and swiftly exits, I stand and rush after her.
“I’m the reason she’s had a bad day…” I defend to Dawn, the sushi dispenser.
“Wait, Cheerleader!” I scream after her.
“What? I have nothing to say to you!” she fires at me.
“Well, I do!” I shoot back.
“Well what is it!” she grumbles, expecting me to up the argument.
But I don’t, instead I smile. “I ordered too much, would you wanna split with me?”
She grins slightly, “Only for the Sushi, not you.”
“Fair enough.” I say as I hold the door for her.
Once we’re inside, and have downed a few Tuna Rolls, I explain why I snapped at her…I tell her I’m trying to distance myself from the memory of my family, I tell her what happened with Chloe, I tell her I’m trying to be a good guy… hence, lunch.
“So, you were a dick, because you’re trying to be a good guy?” she asks, looking just as annoyed as I feel.
“You know that’s totally messed up, right?”
“Why do you think we’re having lunch together? I felt terrible.”
“And here I was thinking it was some kind of move…” she says slightly smirking. “Thank you, Aaron, I appreciate this.”
“It was the least I could do.”
“Literally the least.” She says laughing.
For a moment, we laugh and it’s almost like we’re friends… until I look out the window and see Chloe, shaking her head… god I hate small towns, you run into everyone…
“Hey, I’ll see you tonight… I gotta run!” I say as I spring onto my feet and head after Chloe.
I catch up to her pretty quickly, considering after she hears me call her name, she stops dead in her tracks and spins around like a thing that spins fast. “You know what, Aaron! I’m really glad that I saw that… because after the most emotionally draining morning of my life, I was just heading to meet Cody to tell him I was breaking up with him, then I saw you with some cheerleader, sharing Sushi and having a great laugh!”
“Okay, I’m gonna need you to calm down while I explain this…”
“Don’t bother! I’m so over guys!”
“She’s a co-worker…”
“I just got a job, I come here for my lunch break and I happened to run into someone from work… I’m not on a date.”
“Sure, like I can believe that…”
Right then Selina walks up behind me taps me on the shoulder, saving my ass. “See you at work, Aaron!” before quickly disappearing back towards the HQ.
“Oh my god, Aaron! I’m so sorry!” Chloe says, wrapping her arms around me… it’d be perfect if she hadn’t just accused me of something. “Why do I always think the worst of you?” she says, still wrapped around me.
“Past experience with guys?” I tease.
She pulls herself away and smiles… “Maybe…”
“Were you really about to break up with Cody, for me?” I ask… not really wanting to know the answer.
“Maybe… I don’t know… I mean, it’s definitely time to re-evaluate our relationship, but weather it’s because of you or because it’s time is still rattling in my head…”
“If it helps,” I pause for a moment and put my hand on her shoulder, “I can do a British accent.”
“How would that help?”
I turn on my best British voice, “How would it not?”
She giggles, “You’re right, that made my choice so much easier, I’m walking away from you before I tear your clothes off right here.” She says walking turning away from me and continuing her path. She looks over her shoulder at me and smiles, “Sorry again about accusing you of… well, I don’t know what. But I’m sorry.” Then she disappears back into the street and I, back into my head.
I read through my mission file again, a few times.
This one’s a little more detailed than my last one… although the gum wrapper in my pocket is more detailed than my last mission file.
Apparently, Jonah pissed a lot of people off…
‘A high value member of ‘the guild’ until his ambition pushed him to try and overthrow the leaders’
Would mean a lot more, if I knew what the guild was…
Maybe I’ll ask Lennox next chapter…
Which is now!
I text Lennox and ask him to meet me at my place, he does.
Time to get some straight answers.
Lennox knocks on my door, I invite him in.
“Hey buddy, come on in. can I get you anything?” I ask.
“Do you have any beer?”
“I’m 16, where would I get beer from?”
“Good point.” He says, pulling a hip flask out of his jacket and taking a sip. “What brings me here?” he asks taking another sip.
“I have a few questions, about something called ‘The Guild’.”
“The guild? They’re a secret society of rich A-holes who use their money and influence to control every faction of assassins. They’re the original Corps. Why would you wanna know about that?”
“One of my targets is an ex-member.”
“That’s not good news, Aaron.” Lennox says turning white.
“The guild always takes care of their own, in every sense… they offer protection, and in the event of betrayal, they take heads. If they’re sending you against a member of the guild, there’s a shady reason.” He says taking a much larger drink than before.
“Should I decline the mission?”
“No, go! Take the guy out. Don’t mention anything I’ve said to anyone. Give me a chance to investigate.”
“Investigate?” I ask.
“You can’t know. I’ve already said too much to you.”
“Fair enough, but promise me something? If you find something, come to me with it and I’ll help you, don’t do anything alone.”
“Deal, now I’m going to a bar.”
And he did, and I got everything ready for my mission.
It’s 8 pm and I’m at the HQ, geared up and ready. All I need now is a partner…
“Where’s the other blonde?” asks North.
“I told her to be here early… already not looking great for her.”
We wait… but god knows why…
“Aaron, it’s wheels up in 5! You haven’t even been briefed yet. I strongly suggest we forget her.” North commands.
“She has a right to prove herself. She’s probably just making sure everything’s fine before she gets here. It’s her last chance after all.”
Seconds later, Selina bounds through the door… wearing a sleeveless mini dress with tights underneath, with a sword hanging off her hip.
“looks like she’s taken the ‘cheerleader’ name literally…” North scoffs to the pilot.
“Selina… a word in private?” I sharply request. Before pulling her away behind the jet. “Where the hell have you been? I just spent the last hour defending you and you show up dressed like an extra in Suckerpunch! And if that wasn’t bad enough, you show up to a covert mission with a sword, where’s your gun?”
“Well, my personal gun is broken at the moment and the British guy at the armoury said that all the guns were being used so he gave me this.”
Lennox… you ass.
“Okay fair enough, get in the jet… we’re behind schedule.”
We take off and get briefed in the jet… our objective is to breach Bridge’s office from the roof and take out any security we find. It’s not going to be easy, especially watching over Selina as well…
The trip to Dreyburn takes about 15 minutes, when we arrive North puts the jet in camo mode and hovers above the building.
“We can’t land, you guys will have to jump… you’ve got half an hour to get in and out and make it too the extraction point. If you don’t we leave without you.”
“Roger that Iceman.” I say, jumping out of the plane, Selina following closely behind… A little too closely if you ask me, seeing as she landed on me. I push her off the top of me and spring to my feet, “Let’s go!” I say heading towards the door.
“Wait,” Selina cries. “We gotta take care of alarms and security cameras, I have a controlled EMP burst that will cut the power to the building for 2 hours, we just gotta hook it to a fuse box.”
“Wow, that’s smart. I would’ve just shot the cameras…”
Selina winks at me as she attaches the small box to the big box and flicks a few switches.
The power to the whole building flickers for a few seconds and then cuts out completely, then we enter.
Now, let’s fast forward to our mission report… just to make things interesting.
The two of us are sitting in Dwight’s office a few days later, safe to say, he isn’t happy. Lennox and North are sitting in the corner, North also isn’t happy, but Lennox looks like he’s having a ball… so there’s a win.
“25 dead guards, the top floor of the building burned down and the two of you missed the extraction and didn’t check in for several hours. Anyone wanna tell me what happened?” Dwight growls.
“Well Dwight…” I say, and lie my ass off…” I brought a focused EMP that shut off the buildings power, but I forgot to account for the backup generators. So after about 5 minutes, power came back and we had to improvise. After we’d taken care of the target, the guards had us completely surrounded, so I threw a grenade or 5 at them all and that led to the fire… then we realized the cameras were still up, so Selina and I went floor by floor and shut down every camera.” I smirk, “Any questions?”
Dwight’s face turned to stone. Well, not literally… but his expression was, ya know, stone like.
“The two of you are suspended from active duty for a week. Maybe when you come back, you’ve grown a brain… Selina, I suggest you use this week to improve your skills, so we don’t need to have another conversation like this. Now get out… all of you.” He sternly growls.
We all exit swiftly, but Selina grabs my arm and holds me at the door for a moment, “Hey, Aaron. I just wanna say thanks. Even though nothing went right on our mission, I had a blast. Especially when it was over.” She smiles timidly then leaves, as Lennox appears behind me.
“Aaron, my friend. You are insane… let’s talk in my office.”
“Wait, you have an office.”
Apparently, he did!
“I have a few questions, mate. Number 1, what really happened on that mission?” he grins.
“I just told you, in Dwight’s office.”
“Aaron, buddy, I’m not Dwight. I don’t believe for a second that you were stupid enough to let any of the things you described happen. Which begs the question, what did happen?”
“I have no idea… I went in to take out the target, and when I walked out, Selina had started a fire…”
“She’s a little useless, isn’t she?”
“Yeah, but she’s really trying… I made the story up to cover her ass, she’s on her last legs with Dwight.”
“And is covering the only thing you’re interested in doing with her arse?” he asks grinning cheekily.
“I’m just sayin’… you guys disappeared from our radar for a few hours, she’s a pretty young thing, and you’re a guy, just like the rest of us. Plus, I heard what she said, ‘Especially when it ended’” he says, sarcastically fluttering his eyelashes. “Why else would you be throwing yourself under a bus, if you weren’t getting a little…”
I throw a stapler at his head. “I’m not interested in her, romantically or physically. She’s nice, and fun! She deserves a chance to prove herself, just like I had.”
“Okay, okay!” he says, chuckling. “I’m just saying, she seems interested in you, if you weren’t so hung up on the brunette.”
“I’m gonna ignore that.”
“Okay, final question… what happened when you went off radar?”
“Selina spotted a karaoke place near the Bridge building, and wanted to go in for a bit, I thought it sounded fun, so I said sure. We kinda lost track after the first few songs.”
“Aaron, you’re truly an idiot.”
“Ditto, Chuck!” I say as I leave his office. “Let me know how the investigation goes, see you in a week.”
Okay, before I end this chapter, let me give you a quick overview of the next week.
On Monday the 24th, I went to school, and Chloe had talked to Cody, who is threatening me every second.
On Tuesday the 25th, I found out I can get next doors wi-fi.
On Wednesday the 26th, Tim and I watched Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix.
On Thursday the 27th, Cody and Chloe had apparently repaired their relationship, and Cody rubbed it in my face by sending me a series of pictures of them on dates over Facebook.
On Friday the 28th, Ally gave me an invitation to a birthday/Halloween party.
On Saturday the 29th, I went shopping with Tim and Ryan for said party, also went back to work.
And we’ll pick it up from there next chapter, which I’m gonna say is 10?
Hope you enjoyed!
Peace out homies!