Friday, July 11, 2014
Candice Kent is most well known as the assistant and right hand to Bailey Chase current director of the Knights Foundation division called The Trust. But what most don't realize is her connection to Marcus. they have a history, one that could be used to anyone's benefit.
Look for more Candice Kent and Marcus Hunt in Episode 9 of The Trust.
Monday, January 13, 2014
Episode 8: Russian Roulette
The intricate tunnel system had led both Liz and Jenna to a certain exit but there was an unexpected complication on their tale in the form of Marcus who was now under the influence of a sketchy ADP (Advanced Digital Personality). Now, after his injury, he had reverted to an old implanted set of memories that in theory should never be possible but definitely was proving to be a problem for the girls.
Liz Hunter scrambled up the long dark tunnel that led upward. The stairs were made of bent rods that had seen better days. This exit hadn't been accessed in ages. She made it to the top of the ladder and unscrewed the latch holding the door in place. It was hard to see anything in the pitch black and her fingers were not as nimble as usual. She figured the fear must be making her jittery. She cursed as the latch broke off in her hand and she threw it to the ground in frustration hoping to hit Marcus with a lucky knock on the head, but to no avail.
She would tell the lock had disengaged but she had to use her back to push open the heavy oval door as if she was exiting an old rickety submarine. The opening led to an area that had to be 50 feet outside the gates of the facility. This was quite a relief. Getting out had been of paramount importance. She reached down and helped Jenna through the opening who had been clinging to her heels helplessly. It was obvious this gal was not someone who handled stress in the field well.
It was as dark as midnight outside. The sun had set ages ago and this would only help their departure giving them more of a stealthy option in hiding places. This made Liz, who had remained emotionless for the last hour, find a bright spot in her heart she didn't know she possessed.
"We have to get out of this area as quickly as possible, Liz said. "The facility has the entire perimeter monitored, but there is a blind spot." She pointed to a dense forest that reminded Jenna of the place where the headless horseman or Jack the Ripper might reign.
"In there? Are you kidding?" Jenna West said, her fear obvious.
"It's either that or get capture by Echelon's men." Liz shrugged. "Your choice."
Jenna heaved a heavy sigh. Why couldn't escape be easy?
Phoenix Gray had cleverly evaded Marcus and made it to the top rung of the latter, but he could hear Marcus pounding up the stairway behind him. That Mac truck just wouldn't die. He pulled himself up and vaulted out of the hatch like a professional gymnast and tried to secure it, but found the latch broken. He cursed but didn't dally too long. He knew Marcus was not far behind. Phoenix ran towards the woods looking for cover and discovered the tracks of what could only be human footprints. Jenna and Liz's tracks in the mud, it had to be. He followed the direction the tracks were leading and sprinted at an amazing pace. Within seconds he was no longer visible by the lights of the Facility.
The strike team comprised of Trust and AS (Alpha site) agents filed into two military vehicles. They stealthfully found access points around the Facility to enter the compound. They were professionals and didn't trigger the surveillance of the secret agency. Shayne Michaels and Candice Kent led the team on the north side. The two exchanged knowing glances that spoke volumes about their previous relationship.
"I can't believe you're nosing in on my mission," Candice said.
"It's not like I went out looking for the job, honey. Your scientist friend brought it to me." Shayne was the cocky and annoying type. He enjoyed tormenting Candice.
Everyone in the team exited the vehicle and fanned out. Shayne and Candice came upon the point in the military schematics showing a hidden entrance. Candice spied the broken latch and held her firearm at the ready. Shayne motioned silently that he could hear someone climbing the access ladder. They held their positions as Marcus shoved the heavy door aside and jumped to the ground.
"Freeze!" Candace's voice rough and controlling.
Shayne hefted his semi-automatic in position. It was then he got a good look at the subject.
Marcus was still flashing back and forth between killer mode and his own personality. He was huffing from the exertion of the climb combined with the near electrocution. Sweat dotted his face and his eyes were wild and dangerous.
"What happened to you?" Shayne noticed the black sunburst pattern on Marcus's chest where the live wire had met his skin.
Marcus's eyes returned to normal and took in the situation. His sheer willpower had compelled the killer personality to retreat.
"Take me into custody," Marcus said in a moment of coherence. "Before it's too late." Suddenly, he collapsed to the ground. Candice and Shayne came to the side. When he regained consciousness seconds later his voice had dropped to a lower, more evil tone. He grabbed Candice by her ponytail and disarmed her. Now she was his prisoner.
"Six against one," he said with a laugh noting the positions of the other agents. "I guess that's fair odds."
He pressed the gun to Candice's temple and smiled. "Who wants to play Russian roulette?"
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Shattered: Guardians of the Knight
by Toni Walker
by Toni Walker
Everything seemed to be a struggle. His legs didn’t work properly, his arms moved as if in slow motion. Something definitely was up. Phoenix wasn’t sure how long he was out, but judging by the lethargic nature of his actions, not to mention his thinking, it had been some time.
He placed a hand gingerly to his forehead, then his aching neck. He felt like he’d been put through the ringer -- backwards -- and twice.
Looking up didn’t seem to make his head feel any better. In fact, the lights seemed to glare down on him making his headache worse.
“For someone who’s not a real agent,” Phoenix Gray murmured to himself. “The once-over *and* the twice-over? This is a bit much, don’t you think?”
He wasn’t speaking to anyone in particular since he was the only person in the room. It merely felt better to talk out loud. It seemed to keep him awake longer. The days in this place weren’t the easiest to endure, but the memory loss seemed to make it easier. Every time he awoke, he couldn’t remember much of what had happened the day before.
He was sure they must be drugging him. Each day blurred into the next. He wasn’t certain how long he had been there. And this place, this prison, was the oddest thing of all.
He wasn’t locked into his room. The door opened easily. The room itself was a marvel of decorating finesse. Phoenix gave it two thumbs up for having that comfy-homespun feeling. It was easy to forget he was a prisoner, which, he was sure, was the purpose for the elaborate room. Or cell, depending on how you looked at it.
His back pressed into the comfortable mattress as lights began to dance in front of his eyes. “No, not yet. I’ve got to stay awake!”
He rotated off the bed and fell onto all fours. The hardwood floors slammed into his knees forcing him to immediately roll on his back. He spit out a muttered curse and rubbed the pain.
He arched his back off the freezing floor, but it jostled him enough that the blood began pumping faster through his body. His drooping eyes opened wider until he could get a good look into the hallway. All he could see was that one wall of his room was a large viewing window.
He was a rat in a cage!
Behind the window stood a woman with red hair raining down to her shoulders and a haggard man with wild, white hair. He kind of reminded Phoenix of Doc Brown from ‘Back To The Future’ except he was sure this man didn’t have his best interest at heart.
The woman whispered something to him that Phoenix couldn’t hear. He strained his eyes to get a better look at her. When he focused in on her, he was surprised by what was staring back at him.
Faith gasped and hauled her fist back. She wanted to slug him, she really did, but he had just saved her life.
“Marcus! Are you trying to give me a heart attack?”
“I know I deserve whatever hell you want to rain down on me, but why don’t we discuss it later -- when we’re not being chased by Black Council minions.”
She nodded and took his hand. They ran for what seemed like hours. The tunnels underneath Club Crave weren’t exactly the easiest to navigate. Faith Fairchild and Marcus Hunter stopped at yet another dead end.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Faith murmured. “I thought you knew where you were going.”
“Come on, Shiloh. You know me,” Marcus said with a chuckle. “I act first and seek directions later.”
“Shiloh? Who is Shiloh?” Faith leaned over at the waist trying to catch her breath.
“You’re kidding, right? It’s been your alias for the last three years. You took it after escaping from Bulgaria.” Marcus took a deep breath and looked down the darkened tunnel. His micro-flashlight was barely helping them in the pitch blackness of the area.
“What in the hell happened to me? I don’t remember you except for our past five years ago. And I have no memory of this Shiloh character.”
Shouts from the end of the corridor drew closer and heavy footsteps echoed down the tunnel.
“I would love to sit you down and tell you the whole story, but those Black Council idiots are closing in on us. It’s best if we find a safe house. Liz will meet us later.”
“What did they do to me, Marcus?”
He grabbed her hand and drug her behind him down the dim passageway. “Later, Shy. Later.”
She resisted. He knew she would. She was stubborn that way.
“I know they did something to me,” Faith yelled, scratching her chest. “I can feel it inside of me!”
Marcus knew he had only one option if either of them were to survive.
“Sorry about this, Shy.”
Her questioning glance lasted only seconds when he pushed a combination of pressure points on her neck. She crumpled and he threw her small body over his shoulder.
“I’ll pay for that tomorrow,” Marcus muttered. “But, at least, you’ll be alive.
The man with wild white hair thrust a paper in front of Phoenix.
Phoenix angled his head up to the stranger.
“You captured me so that I could *read* to you? Is this some new type of psycho-torture? Because frankly, as torture goes, this is pretty lame.”
He glanced to the window where his mother stood staring at him then shrugged a shoulder toward her.
“Why don’t you have *her* read to you? I’m sure she’s all up on bedtime stories.”
His grandfather, Chandelor Knight joined his mother at the window.
“Great--” Phoenix said slowly. “It’s a family reunion.”
Knight pressed an intercom switch before him and leaned toward the microphone.
“Read the note, son.”
Chandelor Knight *is* your grandfather by birthright. And your mother *is* alive and has been all these years. I‘m sorry for the deception. But at the time, it was the only solution. You must trust them in your time of need. If I’m not around, they will be your guardians.
Your Father, Graham Gray
It was an awfully convenient note as far as notes went. It didn’t say much and he didn’t believe a word of it. Knight may be his grandfather but gramps and his mother didn’t have his best interests in mind. In fact, his inner sense was screaming at him that his was all some sort of elaborate deception.
He knew he had to find a way out of the prison, and he had to find it soon before they drugged him into a stupor again.
“It’s my father’s handwriting,” Phoenix said. “At least, it *looks* like my father’s handwriting. I doubt he would have had time to write a note just to me and leave my sister, Scarlett, out of it. So, that makes me think that you’re trying to pull a fast one. The thing I don’t understand is -- why?”
Bobbie Sullivan followed when the red haired woman in the goth outfit led him into a secret passageway behind the bar. He wasn’t certain of her loyalties but his first priority was to get away from the Black Council.
“You’ve got to move a lot faster,” the woman yelled. “They’ll catch us if you don’t get a move on.”
“Where are you taking me? And a better question is, ‘who the hell are you?’”
“Just know that I’m one of the good guys.”
Bobbie shook his head. He knew from experience that the bad guys always said they were the good guys to get the dumb, inexperienced operatives to follow their lead and then lead them into danger.
“I have a contact out in the plaza. He can help us.”
Bobbie didn’t have a good feeling about this contact. He ducked his head as they exited out onto the plaza three doors down from the club.
“There he is,” Liz pointed at the man sitting casually on the bench outside the café.
Bobbie stopped short. It was Cameron Cash.
“Cameron Cash is your contact? Are you insane? Not long ago he was the security advisor to Julian Black.” Bobbie began to run in the opposite direction.
“No, wait!” Liz yelled. “He’s on our side.”
She turned around to run after him but Cameron came up behind her.
“Let him run. We don’t need his intel anyway.” He led her to the bathroom to the other side of the café. “Clean up. Change your look and we’ll meet up with Marcus. He should be safely away by now with the package in hand.”
Liz Hunter nodded. “Right away, I’ll be just a minute.”
Three minutes later, Liz looked like a completely different person. She resembled the typical American college student with a backpack she’d swiped from someone in the restroom and her normal straight light brown hair.
She strolled with Cameron down the plaza easily in sight of the Black Council minions they’d been evading earlier.
“I told you he wouldn’t buy the deception.” Esta Cooper removed the necklace from around her neck which effectively turned off the holographic image that made the world believe she was Roanna Ambrose.
Miles Hayworth, one of the top Knights Foundation scientists, nodded in agreement with Esta.
“You can’t keep him here hoping he might not run into Marcus or Liz or stop your plan for Scarlett. He’s bull-headed. You know that better than anyone.”
Esta thrust her hip out and secured her hand there.
“Phoenix is compromising the Echelon Project. Liz and Marcus are both a great success and you can’t let him any closer to finding out the truth surrounding his birth. The truth about Scarlett’s birth. About either of your son’s births. The legacy you have created here is greater than any one person.”
“You’re both right. I know, but he can’t be reprogrammed. We’ve already tried that.” Chandelor paced in front of the viewing window. “You have to understand. I can’t kill the boy. He’s like another son to me.”
Esta laughed. It was a harsh and ugly sound.
“You are deluding yourself, Knight. You probably even believe the lies you hock on your brochure for the Knights Foundation. We have a responsibility to the governments of the world. You can’t forget your mission.”
Esta put the holographic necklace back on and stepped into the viewing window in sight of Phoenix who was still lying on the floor.
“You’re not my mother, are you?” Phoenix said.
Esta turned to Knight who was about to leave the room. “And you think we don’t need to deal with him? He’s more intuitive than you figured. Your dash of psychic goo in his DNA mix is becoming a problem.”
“Don’t kill him, Esta. I’m warning you. You will regret it if you defy me.” Knight turned and strode out of the room and his loafers clicked down the hallway until he was out of earshot.
Esta turned back to Phoenix. “You’re very good, Mr. Gray. What gave me away?”
Phoenix shrugged. “Bad vibes. You don’t emit the same energy patterns as my mother, which is why I didn’t stay to chat when we were first introduced in Cameron Cash’s hospital room.”
She nodded. “You’re a very gifted empath. We‘ve known about your abilities for a while. We knew it was only a matter of time before you discovered them for yourself.”
“I don’t know what you call it, but I pay attention to my gut feelings.”
Phoenix glanced at the molding around the window. There had to be a way out of there that didn’t involve him going out the door. He had a bad feeling about the door. He figured it had to be rigged somehow. Everything about this place made him feel like he was a rat in a very complex maze.
“So, why me? Why me and my sister? What did you think you could get from us? Intel? That’s a joke.”
“The location of your father, of course. Gray has been very hard to track down-- as has his brother, Mac.”
Phoenix laughed and then coughed spitting up blood. He wiped his mouth and glared up at her.
“You must not have read up much on me and my family because if you had, you’d know my father doesn’t have a lot of interest in us. And frankly, the feeling is mutual.”
“You must know something,” Esta said, eagerly.
The woman was reaching. Phoenix found it rather pathetic.
“All I know is where I thought he would be -- the American Embassy -- surprisingly, he wasn’t there. But I’m sure you already know that. He hasn’t been there for quite a while.”
Phoenix lunged at the window and slammed his fist on the glass. The blood from his mouth smeared on the window.
“All your hard work has been for nothing. Satisfied? Now-- I have a question for you. Where’s my sister?”
Bobbie ran until he came to the underground railway. From there it was easy to hop a train and get safely back into the old Legacy Headquarters. He knew he would be safe down there, at least for awhile. That location had been abandoned three years earlier after an explosion decimated the building.
He had left certain hidden objects in areas only he was aware of. He let himself into the security office and switched on the monitoring system. At least, he’d be able to tell if someone had followed him.
There was a red light blinking alerting him that someone had entered Phillip Lancaster’s office. The windows overlooking the Com area were blown out and the shades ripped. It was easy to zoom into the office to get a better look.
Nadia Kassoff was pacing back and forth with a pained expression on her face. What was she doing in here? She shouldn’t even be aware of the location of this office. This was before her time.
But Nadia wasn’t the only surprise guest of the night. A man entered the office and Nadia rushed to him wrapping her arms around him. It took Bobbie a minute to discover the identity of the man but when he zoomed in on the face and focused the camera he jumped backward.
Shattered: The Scarlett Illusions
by Toni Walker
by Toni Walker
Bobby glanced around at the spattering of Black Council minions. Kevin had been right. It was a trap. But he knew that the voice on the phone had been Faith and Kevin agreed with him on that front. But a new terrorist cell called Echelon had been activated that even trumped the Black Council when it came to evil schemes. The new one was quite a doozie. They were calling their new technique the Lazarus Protocol.
"Bobby, can you hear me?" Kevin's voice came through the miniature earpiece perfectly.
"Yep. Loud and clear. Can you see all the friendly guys hanging around waiting to chat with me?"
"That's an affirmative. Someone should be there in a few minutes."
"Great," Bobby said slowly. "In a few minutes I should be mince meat."
It was then he saw a blur of energy come jumping into the fray. She was a mere stick of a girl, but her fighting stance said she was ninja ready.
"Hello boys." Liz smiled and raised a manicured fingernail. She crooked it at them and motioned for them to come closer.
It may have been five to one, but Liz Hunter made kicking Black Council butt seem like child's play. Within minutes it was over. She then grabbed Bobby's hand and pulled him toward a dark entrance near the back of the nightclub called Crave.
"Man, Kevin is good. How did you get called in so fast?"
Liz looked at Bobby, her eyes filled with confusion. "Who's Kevin?"
"Let go of me!" Scarlett Gray struggled with her captors. Their grip was firm but they were careful not to hut her. It wasn't everyday you were kidnapped by polite hooligans. Even though she was their prisoner, they seemed to want to ensure her safety.
The compound they landed at was elaborate and posh. Even her "cell" was like a room in a five-star hotel.
The only thing she could do was sit and wonder... What did they want her for?
Gray adjusted his black leather trench coat and ripped the dark sunglasses from his face. His facade was calm and cool but the emotions in his own heart were in hyper drive. He had stalled long enough. Maybe too long. Tonight he would be forced to implant the HAVEN virus into one of the unsuspecting girls they'd captured.
At least he had a clear conscious. Faith was safe in the hands of Marcus. Marcus was one person Gray knew he could trust.
"What have you brought for me?" Gray asked using Solomon's rich, European accent.
"Oh, a fine selection, sir." The henchman laughed. "The master is particularly fond of number nine. He wants her to be the first."
Gray nodded. "Bring her to me."
"Oh, no sir, Mr. Black has already sedated her and set her to Room Four. He's waiting there for you now."
The henchman watched as Gray exited the room and entered Room Four. There was great delight in his eyes when Gray realized that the "real" Helms Solomon was back and already performing the implantation. Then his face paled. The girl on the table... it was Scarlett! It was his daughter!
"Is there something wrong, Solomon? Or should I call you, Gray? That is what you go by, isn't it?" Helms Solomon smiled and returned to his work.
Gray could barely speak. He never thought... He never imagined that Julian Black would pick Gray's own daughter as a subject. And there was nothing he could do. No way he could stop the implantation that had already started by the time he arrived.
"She's perfect," Solomon whispered. "This one is going to work."
"Yes, Solomon, she is perfect," Julian said as his eyes traveled over Scarlett's young body. "My sentiments exactly. She will make a wonderful addition to my organization. She'll do anything I want. Kill anyone I wish with no remorse, and with no memory of ever committing the act."
Gray could see the light in Julian's eyes. He had more in mind for Scarlett than a life as a killing machine. He'd chosen her because he desired her. The mere thought of this mad man laying one finger on his daughter's body had him near insanity. He glanced around the room looking for any way to get Scarlett free.
Solomon's eyes warily regarded Gray.
"Don't worry Solomon," Julian said. "No one will interrupt the procedure this time. I have a special friend watching over Scarlett's annoying brother. Please... continue. I'll stay and watch the transformation."
Julian was such an S.O.B., Gray thought. He knew there were some in the organization who wanted to believe the fairy tale that the Head of the Black Council was an undercover agent working secretly for his father who ran the Knights Foundation. But Gray knew better. He knew the evil Julian had done in the name of the Council. He knew the bastard was guilty – all the way to his dark, black heart
They may have similar blood running through their veins, but not a similar soul. He would never believe that he and his half brother were anything alike. He'd rather die than believe that.
"Would you two like to be alone?" Cameron Cash asked. Cameron knew that Roanna Ambrose was surprised to see him inside the headquarters of the Knights Foundation, but he couldn't go into all the details about why he was there or what their motives were.
Abraham Moses nodded at him and Cameron walked out of the room, his arm in a sling and a sad expression on his face.
"Exactly what is going on here," Roanna asked, her glassy-eyed stare was full of confusion.
"I'm not at liberty to tell you that due to the classified nature of this mission."
"Don't give me that ‘need-to-know' crap. This is my daughter and son we're talking about. I can't believe Graham kept them away from me for all these years."
Roanna didn't know exactly why she was in Abraham Moses's office, but she felt like she needed to do something.
"Yes, that is quite unfortunate, but I'm not certain what you want me to do about it."
"I want you to let them go. Release them from this insane spy game you and my husband play. They're only children."
Moses shrugged. "It's truly out of my hands, Ms. Ambrose."
"Faith isn't the first to disappear," Bobby told her as they raced through the network of tunnels. "There have been several. Now there's a good chance they've taken Scarlett as well."
"Why would they want young girls?" Liz Hunter asked.
"The technology will only interface with a woman. A man is just not genetically compatible. And they pick them young because their cells are more resilient."
Liz angled closer to Bobby. "I'm afraid to ask exactly what that technology is."
"It's like the PARIS artificial intelligence, only more advanced. It was a fluke when the PARIS program took over that agent's body a few years back. It wasn't meant to be inside a human mind, but amazingly, somehow she adapted. Then she split, part of her stayed with the agent. The other escaped into Lee Myers computer when Ethan was being refueled with the nanite's ATP juice."
Liz could hardly believe what she was hearing.
"It's being speculated that this new off-shoot of PARIS has incorporated nanite technology. From the whispers I'm hearing on the hi-tech grapevine, the new artificial intelligence is calling herself HAVEN.
Phoenix had to get up. Scarlett was in danger. His twin radar was flashing redder than it ever had before. He knew it as if he were experiencing the sensation himself. But there was something wrong. His body refused to move. It wasn't responding to his mental commands.
Soon he knew why.
"Hush now. Go back to sleep. Give the medicine time to do it's job. I have people out looking for your sister."
Chandelor Knight watched as his grandson's eyes grew heavier. It was better this way. Better that he didn't know what was truly going on.
"Is he out?" Nadia stood behind Chandelor, the head of the Knights Foundation and laid a hand on his shoulder.
"Yes, unfortunately, he is."
"This was the only way. You know he'd go after her, but Scarlett can handle herself. It was her choice. She knew what she was getting into. Phoenix, however, is another story. We need to distract his attention. And I think I have the perfect way.... Faith Fairchild."
Chandelor nodded. "Maybe all he needs is a push in the right direction. I have an idea that might just do the trick."
"It's done," Solomon said as he glanced to the guards holding Gray hostage.
Julian smiled at Gray. "You couldn't save your daughter and now you won't be able to save yourself. When she's ready, Solomon, have your men bring her to me."
Gray struggled against his captors. "NO! You cannot have my daughter."
"I'm afraid that choice is not up to you," he said. "We'll let your daughter decide."
As he walked away, he could hear Gray yelling "I will kill you."
As he exited the door, he threw a comment over his shoulder. "I'll look forward to it."
The first sound she recognized was the sound of her breathing. Labored but basically unhampered. She was lying in what felt like a hospital room She could hear beeps and machines running all around her.
There were sensations in her body that were new. Her mind felt full, as if she had downloaded the information of the ancients into her brain. The wound at the base of her neck near the top of her spine ached but only from tightness.
What's going on, she wondered mentally.
"You're a new creation," her mind answered back. In that moment she was consciously aware of the duality alive in all people, but she knew this voice was different.
"You're right. I am different."
"Who said that?" Scarlett asked, this time out loud. She glanced around, but she was the only one in the room.
"You're stronger than the others. The best I've seen in some time."
"What? What are you talking about?... Who are you? ... Where am I?"
"You, my dear, have the privilege of being my new host."
"Yes, you see, I need a body to live and you, well, you conveniently have one. It will do well for me."
"What if I say no."
"You can't say no. I'm already inside you, taking over access to everything you remember, everything you hold dear.
"You can't," Scarlett pleaded. "I won't let you."
"You can't resist me. I'm everywhere. "I've been everywhere since you opened your eyes. I am the One. I will be the one in control and you will be merely the whisperings inside my mind that I can easily ignore."
"Who are you?"
"I am Haven. I am you. You and I are the One."
"No," Scarlett resisted. "I am my own person. You can't be in my mind."
Haven snickered. "Who are you?" she asked Scarlett.
Scarlett could no longer speak. Nothing came to her mind. It was then she realized she had no past. No family and no name.
Shattered: The Impostors-Part 1
by Toni Walker
by Toni Walker
Bobby Sullivan glanced over at Faith. She was different. The plastic surgery had made her that way. At least, that was the official Knights Foundation story. Three years ago she had shown up out of the blue. Her face different. Her speech different. Everything about her slightly off. But he had believed the cover story the KF had supplied. Hell, they all had. The only question was... what was the truth? Was the truth this woman in front of him or was the truth the woman waiting for him at Crave?
A woman working at the next terminal named Maggie smiled at him then returned to her duties. She couldn't see his monitor, and the higher ups wouldn't know what he was doing until it was too late. However, what Bobby failed to realize was that the Legacy was always watching, always waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting, foolish employee. By the time he had made the arrangements for the helicopter and walked out of the control room, forces were already converging on Faith's position.
The woman at the next terminal spoke softly into her wireless microphone. "He's gone."
"Don't worry. It will all be over before he ever gets there," said a voice on the other end.
Faith's eyes narrowed. She knew there was someone working on the inside, and there were probably more. Moles who were only in place to make reports to the corporate office about the activities of key personnel. Bobby hadn't noticed Maggie's blatant betrayal, but she had. She was familiar with the beast. Betrayal was her gift as well.
Faith walked up and nonchalantly elbowed Maggie in the face. The woman collapsed in her arms and Faith caught her easily.
"Someone call a doctor," she said with a quickness to her voice. "This woman just fainted."
Two guards from the door came and took Maggie away toward the direction of the infirmary. Faith followed along until an easy exit revealed itself. She stood out on the front lawn past the point where people came to smoke and spoke into her own nearly invisible wireless microphone.
"Faith has surfaced," she said. "They've sent a team after her. Extraction point? Crave, a club in Athens. Just be careful, Marcus. These people mean business. Nadia out."
Nadia Kassoff turned and smiled at the throng of smokers gathered outside for their break. She pawned a cigarette off of one and drew heavily. It wouldn't be long now. Three years was a long time to play double Jeopardy, and she had a feeling it wouldn't be long before someone discovered her ruse. But by then it would be too late.
Marcus inwardly cursed. He didn't know if he was ready to see Faith again. But ready or not, the Legacy cleaners were coming to deal with their most pressing problem. They, like most of the others, didn't know which Faith was real and which Faith was fake. But he knew. Betrayal was his gift as well. And this gift had come the hard way, through personal experience. Experience the real Faith Fairchild would know all too well.
"Faith has turned up. It's time to go." Marcus and his red headed partner gathered into the waiting van and adorned themselves with a disguise that would make them blend into the crowd at the gothic vampire club.
Liz, his partner, exited first and walked across the plaza. They knew this would attract Faith's attention, because Liz was a very familiar looking woman, someone Faith would recognize. Marcus kept close to the building and slipped into the club unnoticed. All he had to do now was wait.
If Liz was good at anything, it was dealing with men. She had learned a lot in three years of hard knocks being a secret agent. Her Nancy Drew days were over and would probably never return again.
Out of pure happenstance, a friendly face appeared in the crowd outside the club. He was a rebel and everyone knew she loved a dangerous man. She sat down beside Cameron Cash and kissed him hard on the lips.
"For a man supposedly mortally wounded, you look none the worse for wear." Liz smiled and wiped the lipstick off his mouth.
"I have to say, out of all your disguises, I do like this look on you." Cameron took advantage and fondled the wide expanse of skin revealed by her outfit. He was surprised when Liz didn't brush his hand away. "What's wrong, Liz? Am I finally getting under your creamy skin?" He pulled her ever closer. Their lips only inches apart. "Am I?"
Liz's breath came faster in her chest. What was wrong with her? She had been able to push away Cameron's advances before now. Maybe he was right. Maybe a part of her really did desire him even knowing who he really was. Even with his amorous come ons Liz was able to note Faith's position with ease. Her eyes were filled with confusion, and it was obvious why. She still didn't remember fully what had happened. But had any of them really regained all their memories? They may never know for sure.
Faith entered the club just as Cameron pulled Liz closer. "I've been denying myself way too long." This time, when he kissed her, he put his real emotion into it and Liz was helpless if not to comply. And Liz could not remember the last time she surrendered to something she wanted, needed.
Their kisses became rampant, their breathing heavy. "I can't do this now," she whispered.
"I know," Cameron replied. "But this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up." He stole one last kiss from her and disappeared like a shadow into the crowd.
Liz tried to compose herself. That was something she hadn't been expecting... the revelation that she did indeed have feelings still churning away inside her body. She thought emotion was a technique she had lost long ago.
It was easy to spot Bobby Sullivan among the crowd at Crave. He looked like an angel among a sea of sinners.
"Marcus, he's here," Liz said into her wireless microphone.
Marcus watched as Faith saw Bobby enter the club. Relief filled her eyes, but he knew that relief would be short lived. He also knew that she would think he betrayed her and that was a fact that Marcus knew he had to keep to himself. Bobby would have to deal with the fallout on his own. That was just how it worked around here.
Shortly after Bobby entered, a group of military commandos dressed all in black dominated the patrons of the club. A look of horrific realization filled Faith's eyes. Marcus felt that realization like a knife in his own heart. The only thing he hadn't anticipated was the swiftness of the commandos. They circled around Faith before he could do anything to intervene.
"What do you want with me?"
"Leave her alone," shouted a voice from the doorway. He looked like a dark knight straight out of Lord of the Rings. It was Graham Gray, aka Helms Solomon. To many in these parts he was part devil part savior, but only a few knew where his real loyalties lay.
Marcus was one of those people.
He took Gray's distraction as the voice of God telling him to move on. He grabbed two shots from the bar, and filled his mouth with one seizing a patron's lighter he spit out the alcohol onto two of the men while lighting the liquid. For a moment he became a human blow torch. The other shot he threw at another man and lit him up as well.
The diversion gave him only seconds, but that was all the time he needed. He grabbed Faith and melted into the bowels of the club.
The commandos were momentarily surprised and looked from the doorway to the bar and both men who had commanded their attention were now gone. The only outsider left was Bobby, and he was quickly taken into custody.
Marcus led Faith down into the basement where he knew an entrance to the tunnels existed. Once inside he knew they would be safe. No one without formal knowledge of the tunnels would dare ventre more than a few feet.
"Where are you taking me?" Faith asked. She knew not to question too much, after all, this man had just saved her life.
"I'm taking you to safety. That's all you need to know."
Faith knew that voice. She recognized it from her past. She pulled them both to an abrupt halt.
"Who are you?" she asked. "I know I know you. I recognize your voice."
Against his better judgement, Marcus lit one of the unlit torches lining the outer wall of the tunnel.
"Oh, my God! It's you!" Faith hauled her arm back and punched him in the face.
Marcus should have known she wouldn't welcome him back with open arms.
Footsteps pounded behind them and they both knew this shocking revelation would have to wait for later. There would be much to discuss then. But right now, the only thing they had to do was survive.
Shattered: Lost Faith
by Toni Walker
by Toni Walker
"Where am I?"
The words were barely audible but the man sitting in the chair next to her seemed to be waiting to hear them. He rushed to her side, tripping in the process. When he recovered his balance, he didn't touch her. He didn't seem to have it in him to touch her. He merely came closer.
"Thank you!" Nigel uttered the words to the heavens and then stared back down at Faith. "You gave us quite a scare. I had no idea the drugs they gave you were so potent."
The man was definitely British. He had the accent and the bumblesome manner. It was only then she noticed the monk's robe he was wearing. The man seemed uncomfortable in it making her think he wasn't really a man of God.
She took in more than the dress of the man. She'd been trained to look for subtle nuances her entire life. Both of her brothers were operatives for the ultra secret covert agency known as the Legacy.
Her eyes moved from the man to her surroundings. The room was dark. Shadows painted frightening shapes on the walls making Faith Fairchild feel like she was five years old again. She had bad memories of being five. Memories she didn't talk about with anyone, not even her best friend, Bobby.
Faith searched her memory. Why was she here? Her last memory was meeting with a rogue Black Council operative seeking intel about his previous employer's upper echelon of agents. After that, nothing.
She already had a three year gap in her memory. She didn't need any more memory lapses.
"When I saw you the other day at the cafe I could barely believe my eyes. Everyone thought you were dead after the Bulgarian mission. Now here you were looking as far removed from Faith Fairchild as anyone could be. You definitely weren't yourself."
He reached for the sleeve of her gown as if proving to himself that she was really lying before him. Nigel sat beside Faith. He knew losing three years would be hard on anyone.
"What do you mean, I wasn't me?" Faith decided to subtly question this British man and then when she had the chance, she would run for her life. Her head throbbed and a pain criss-crossed her chest. Her entire body felt as if it had been thrown around like a rag doll.
The man continued speaking even as she tried to tune him out to develop a plan of escape. But talking seemed to comfort him more than silence.
"I saw you in Athens. I was on my lunch break from the American Embassy and you came strutting past me and sat down with Cameron Cash. He's a known operative for the Black Council who's gone rogue." The tone of Nigel's voice rose and his excitement in telling the story caused his speech to quicken.
"I barely recognized you. You had this awful black and green hair hanging to your waist. Your body was encased in skin tight black leather. Then you boldly kissed that maniac as if he was your prom date and you were looking to get lucky."
Faith didn't falter in her assessment of him. He might have been talking a mile a minute now but Nigel was a born listener.
"What did you find out from listening to us?"
He seemed surprised by her question.
"Wha...? You were quite a distance from where I was seated. It's not like I was prepared for surveillance. Cash called you Shiloh. He had to suspect who you were given his past history with both your brothers. I was concerned for your safety."
"Anything else?" she snapped, noticing a ball point pen lying not a foot away from where she was lying.
"No, nothing. He did mention something about a next job, but didn't elaborate on it."
She didn't know who this crazy Brit was or why he had brought her here, but she knew she had to escape. Faith jumped off the bed grabbing the pen from the night stand. Her quick action had Nigel edging backward and tripping over his own feet. She took the opportunity and shoved him against the wall aiming the ballpoint at his jugular vein.
He was shocked. She could tell. Didn't he think a woman could take care of herself?
"I don't know who the hell you are but you are compromising an ongoing Knights Foundation operation."
Faith's eyes gleamed with a dangerous intent. The fear in his eyes made it known that he knew she wouldn't hesitate to use any weapon at her disposal. The pen inched toward his throat.
"Why are you holding me against my will?"
Nigel's eyes grew round. "Against your ... We're helping you. Julian Black tried to brainwash you!"
"I'm not buying it. Start talking or you're a dead man."
He stared at the pen and then back to Faith.
"After that day at the cafe, Gray started following you. He knew first hand what atrocities the Legacy put their operatives through. He's suspected a link's existed between them and the Black Council for years. He thought you'd been brainwashed and given a prototype AI (Artificial Intelligence) that would cause you to bend to the will of the BC. You would do their bidding and then experience a memory gap, sometimes as long as a month or more. You'd wake up in familiar surroundings not realizing what crimes you had committed in the past months."
Faith knew she couldn't let on what she knew about the brainwashing.
"You're crazier than I thought." She held the pen at his jugular and motioned toward the doorway. "Which way leads out? Don't test me because I will use this thing."
"Left. But it's a maze of corridors out there. You may never find your way out."
"I'll take my chances."
She knew he could be right, but this job was filled with risks. Her fist impacted with his face. She didn't have time to deal with the likes of him. She had a mission to attend to. Freelancers need not apply.
Faith shook out her hand as she ran down the long stretch of hallway looking for an exit. Her hand hurt like hell. That punch had connected with his jawbone. As she stared up at the cathedral ceiling she knew the reason the man was wearing a robe. This place was a church.
"Sick bastard," she muttered.
She had to find a way out and back to Bobby. He was her solid ground. He could help her. She'd hear the truth, whatever that was, straight from him.
Finally, after what seemed hours, she found her goal. Light shone through the front door like a beacon of hope. As she stepped out into the light she realized she'd never left Athens. Shielding her eyes from the sun, she stumbled down the cobblestone street looking for a phone. It didn't take long to find one. In a manner of minutes she was dialing the only man in the world she could trust.
"Do you believe in God?" she asked as a familiar voice picked up the extension. He audibly gasped at the sound of her voice.
"I don't know about God," he said. "But I believe everyone needs some kind of faith."
The code phrase was intact. He hadn't been compromised.
"I need an extraction point."
"Where are you?" She could hear him typing away at his keyboard.
"Looks like Athens."
He paused for a moment before adding, "Find a club called Crave. I'll meet you there."
"I'll have to confiscate a helicopter. Maybe an hour?"
Bobby's voice was uneven but hopeful. It was the dose of strength she needed.
"Are you all right?" he asked.
"I will be when you get here."