“Ah, I’m sorry. I forget to explain sometimes.”

Sci-fi Assassins 2

By: Parker Randall

San Antonio, Texas.

“Hello, Sarah,” he smiles and holds out his hand. “Nice to finally meet you.”

            Today’s the day she’s been waiting for. It’s her shipping out day. She was sent to meet her representative today and found him on this cargo ship. She’ll finally be reunited with her best friend at the Academy and become member of the Order.

            “My pleasure, sir,” she shakes his hand.”

“You can call me 23. I’m the member who scouted you.”

“23? That’s your name?”

            “Ah, I’m sorry. I forget to explain sometimes,” he chuckles. “The Order is a secret organization and there are ways to keep identities under wraps including calling agents by their assigned number.”

            She nods understandingly before 23 invites her to take a seat while proceeding to a desk. She sets down her bags and rests in a large red chair opposite the desk while he pulls out some files. There’s a moment of silence before he looks up and addresses her again.

            “So, you’re going to the Academy. Our purpose is to train agents for the Order. Our organization works in secrecy and in shadows, using stealth and Intel to take out our targets. Your job from here on out is to learn the ways of the Order at the Academy and train with your class to become a top agent. Do you understand?”

            She nods her affirmation.

            “Alright,” 23 says. “Now, you’ll have an assigned number following your training. Be aware that what awaits you is not an easy task. You will be pushed past your limits and you will be expected to perform even in the worst conditions. You will be starving, sleep deprived, and suffering. But upon graduation you will join the ranks of the best agents in the world.”

            Sarah nods. “Yes, sir. I’m ready.”

            “Good, then we shall be off.”

            23 moves to the stowaway door and Sarah follows him after picking up her bags.

            “Leave them,” he calls over his shoulder, “You won’t need them.”

            She nods and leaves her bags before following him onto the deck quietly. He pulls a trigger and a grappling hook launches out into the open space with a large metallic clink. He motions her forwards, attaches a carbine hook to her belt, and launches up for the wire to pull them through the air. Sarah hears the ear deafening wind rushing about her and looks at the ship as they go into the sky. It disappears in the clouds and she looks above until there’s a large granite building in her field of view. They finally reach the ground level and 23 pulls her onto the pavement.

            There are battalions of students around the lush, green campus and others arriving in wonder just like her. 23 calls her attention and removes the hook from her belt.

            “Remember,” he says quietly. “This is not supposed to be a fun experience and you will probably not like it. But I scouted you and I know just what you’re capable of. So you use your determination and wit to get you through and I’ll be at your graduation, alright?”

            Sarah smiles and nods her head.

            “Good,” he smiles in return. “I’m rooting for you.”

            All of a sudden a blaring alarm goes off and 23 disappears in smoke while she hunches over. She hears commands to move but is so disoriented that a burly man had to grab her and shove her in line. This is it. Her training starts now.

By: Parker Randall

San Antonio, Texas.

Photo: Calgary public Library.

Produced by: Eugenio Zorrilla.

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