|Wind Blown Ashes
Author: Moonlite Star PM
Now an official agent, Natalie Noe, 17, must learn to adapt to her new life. In spite of the world terrorists and WMDs that fill her day, she still manages to find time for friends and family, as well as romance. But nothing is as it seems.Rated: Fiction T - English - Suspense/Mystery - Chapters: 11 - Words: 39,849 - Reviews: 34 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 03-16-07 - Published: 07-22-06 - id: 2216468
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This is a sequel to Covert Operation Progeny (COP). You should be able to read it without reading COP, but prequels are always fun to read…and authors love reviews. Returning readers – I left a note at the end of COP detailing some differences and some teasers. Although not necessary, if you haven't read it, I would advise you to check it out. D
August 25; 20:23 local time
"Hey! Stop right there!"
Nicole stopped and turned around to face the approaching guard. She had what she came for. All she needed now was a means of extraction. The guard finally caught up as Nicole slowed to a stop. She turned to face the guard and smiled sweetly as he looked her up and down.
"I've never seen you here before, miss. Do you have any ID?" he asked in Korean.
"Oh, umm yes, of course. I just started here," Nicole replied meekly, recalling the few survival Korean phrases she recently learned. She revealed her purse and dug through the myriad of items she had in there, finally pulling out an ID. She slipped a pen into her jacket sleeve as she did.
She handed him the ID, searching the area for cameras – not that it would really matter: the pen would see to it. She twisted the pen counterclockwise to activate a minor electro-magnetic pulse, shutting off any cameras within her field of vision.
"Miss, I think you gave me the wrong card. This is your driver's license."
Nicole took the card back and apologized profusely before rummaging through her purse once more and pulling out another ID card. She handed it to the guard after slipping yet another object into her sleeve. She would have to act soon, as the effects of the EMP would not last long.
"I'm sorry miss, but d– "
Nicole had approached the guard with such swiftness, embracing him with one hand around his neck, another with a knife in his kidney. "Sorry," she whispered into his ears.
She quickly covered his mouth before he could scream after overcoming the shock of what happened. Just as quickly, she slit his throat. She then dragged him to the nearest janitor closet. She would have to move fast, for if anyone found the body, she would be out of luck. Dan had warned her that any alarms would send them into lock down. Their security was definitely tight, but fortunately, it wasn't impenetrable.
She walked quickly, following the path she and Dan had spent days planning for a successful extraction. She wasn't really that far from the exit when the guard had caught up with her. She was actually hoping she'd be able to make the few steps left without any problems. If any more problems should arise, she knew she'd have to take care of it in a manner Dan wouldn't approve. If the North Koreans had any proof she had been there, they'd be at war with the US already, and only god knows how catastrophic that would be.
She climbed the ladder and picked the lock that held the latch into place. She carefully stepped onto the rooftop, wary that there still could be guards on the lookout. She pushed a button on her watch to activate the thermal scanning module, allowing her to check for other bodies in the area. Fortunately, the only readings she received were of those in the lower levels. She smiled slightly as the wind blew through her hair, easing the tension she felt. The coast was clear. She walked towards the edge of the building and looked over into the sea she would soon soar towards. The facility was situated conveniently for them on a cliff. Of course, this was mainly because the missiles had been stored in an underwater facility.
Nevertheless, the cliffs provided an easy escape. She took out her gear – it wasn't that much. Their engineers did well to ensure that useful technology could be available in compact sizes. She striped down to the unique suit they had provided her and packed her clothes into the small waterproof backpack she had brought along. The suit would insulate her from the coldness of the water while masking her body temperature from any detectors. A beep was heard as Nicole deactivated the thermal scan and activated the GPS module on her watch. She finally took out her last bit of equipment – a scuba mask and put it on. Then she quickly folded out the wings that would help her soar a reasonable distance before hitting sea level. The backpack would do the rest, as it had a built in motor to help her quickly and silently propel through the cold ocean waters. She would only receive help from the US Marines after she crossed the thin line separating North Korean waters from international waters.
She took several deep breaths and backed away from the edge. With a running leap, she took off, letting the wings catch the wind currents. By the time she jumped off the edge, she was soaring quickly, but correctly, moving diagonally downwards through the air, as if following the hypotenuse of a right triangle. Within minutes, she hit sea level. The wings automatically retracted upon impact so that she was able to easily store it in an outside pouch of the backpack. She turned the motor on and began making her way across the border.
After about half an hour, she check the map on her watch and was relieved to see that she was safe. After a few more minutes of paddling through the waters, she met up with a US ship and boarded.
"Hey guys!" Nicole greeted cheerfully.
"Good to have you aboard, Agent Travis," a man in his mid twenties welcomed. "We've set up video conferencing in the other room for you to meet with your case officer. He's already there any waiting for you."
"If you want any chow, just let me know. We've only got some MREs, but they're not that bad."
"You know where to find me."
Nicole nodded and headed towards the cabin with the video conferencing room. This was not the first time she had worked with the Marines, so she was accustomed to the general layout of their ships by now. In fact, she had already worked with this unit of soldiers, so she knew several of the crew already. She enjoyed meeting the different officers working aboard the ships. If it weren't for COP (Covert Operation Progeny), the top-secret and illegal teen spy training program she had honor of being a participant, she would have joined the Marines. Of course, being a spy does have its perks too.
Nicole arrived in front of the cabin and entered, seeing Dan sitting back in his chair and reading a book.
"Oh…DAN!" she said loudly, hoping to startle him. Sure enough, Dan nearly jumped at his name. Then he realized he was on TV.
"Nicole?! Show yourself!" he said a bit frustrated, mostly from embarrassment at his reaction.
Nicole took a seat in the chair, smiling mischievously. She held up the disk that was the mission objective. "Am I good or am I good?"
Dan smiled. "Well done. Any casualties this time?" Dan asked, looking rather seriously.
Nicole looked away slightly, "Just one. I was almost out of there and then he came along. He got in the wa–"
"Nicole, how many times have I had to tell you? You have to be more careful!"
"I know, I know. But I improved!"
"That you did…" Dan muttered, remembering the last mission which almost had Hemmingwell at their – his throat when word got out.
"Everything else go smoothly?"
"Yes, sir. Got in and out without them knowing. Copied the disk. Everything went well."
"Good, I expect a full report from you when you get back."
"As always," she said glumly. She wasn't fond of writing the reports. They always seemed to take forever.
"You have a flight back in 12. Get some rest."
"Sure thing, boss."
Dan rolled his eyes. "It's Mr. Dan."
"Good night, Mr. Dan."
He sighed. He had gotten used to Nicole's addresses for him, but that didn't mean he was comfortable with them. He preferred the relation more as a partnership and less so supervisor-employee. Of course, Nicole always made it the latter anyway, so he came to accept it. Now, he had other things to attend, such as his meeting with a new agent.
Nicole signed off video conferencing and left the cabin. She went to search for Luke, the soldier who had offered her some chow. As the adrenaline rush died down, her stomach was once again active and she was getting hungry. She checked his usual place and smiled when she found him looking beyond the dark ocean waters.
"Nicole," he turned around. "Done?"
"Yep. I'm starting to feel my stomach growl."
Luke chuckled. "Right this way…"
"So, whatcha thinking?"
"How peaceful it is."
"Yeah…it is peaceful."
They arrived in front of a closet where Luke found some MREs. He handed her one and took a granola bar for himself.
"Can I get one too?"
"Sure." He tossed her a granola bar.
"Thanks." Nicole opened the granola bar before eating the MRE.
Luke led them to a table where they would be able to eat comfortably.
"Anything interesting happen lately?"
Luke shrugged. "Nothing too special. You can't beat an undercover op in North Korea."
Nicole smiled, "Yeah, you can't."
"So, what was the mission this time?"
"You know better than to ask that."
Luke smiled, "I can try, can't I?"
Nicole feigned a punch. "Doesn't mean I'll tell you."
Nicole finished her meal and stretched her arms. "Well, Imma let you go save the world. I need to crash."
"I can't save the world if you've already done it. Have a good night's sleep."
"Will do. I'll probably be gone by the time you're up tomorrow. So…until next time."
Nicole headed to the guest cabin to crash for the night. As morning came, the ship docked at a port in China. Nicole got out and was met by some locals who would take her to the closest airport for her flight home. She had some time to explore the surrounding markets, but had no interest at the time, so she went on ahead and checked in at the airport. She requested to be a standby passenger as she checked her bags in, and fortunately, there was a seat available. So, within the hour, she was on her way home. The trip was long, as any trip traveling half way around the world would be. Nicole spent her time resting, working on her report, and watching the in-flight movie, hoping the time would go by faster.
August 26; 10:48 Local Time
A little over a week had passed since Noë moved from the base to her new home. The misery she once felt as a result of her "honorary" acceptance into COP gradually faded as she settled into her new life. She missed her friends and fellow trainees, as they had accounted for a bulk of the small group that made up her circle of friends. Before COP, she had always been a loner. COP changed all of that, bringing her into a life she never imagined but in her dreams.
After graduation, which earned all recruits official agent status, Noë relocated to her own apartment in Maryland. The apartment had already been furnished with a washer and dryer, but she had to purchase everything else using the money they provided her. Before she could do that though, she headed to the car dealership and placed a downpayment on a car. She didn't mind the idea of public transportation, but she liked the idea of being able to get to wherever she needed whenever she needed. It would also make buying things much easier. She found her dream car – a Mini Cooper and filled out the necessary paperwork. After purchasing some car insurance, she drove out with her new car. It had been such a long time since she had last drove, however, so she hoped she still remember what she was doing.
Her kitchen probably took her the longest amount of time to fill, as she had to find a refrigerator, microwave, pots and pans, cooking and eating utensils, dining table with chairs, as well as food. She kept her bedroom simple – she found a bed, a desk, and a dresser. She bought herself some new clothes, but they were very simple and elegant in terms of style. Her living room was filled with a sofa and rug where guests would be able to relax and watch the medium sized flat screen TV hanging on the wall, if she were to ever have guests over.
Noë then purchased a computer (a Mac laptop at that) as well as internet connection. She spent the remaining days decorating and surfing the web, re-establishing a life she once had. She browsed through the packets of paper Walton had handed her detailing work policies relating to COP graduates in particular. Tomorrow, she would officially begin work, so she wanted to make sure she knew what she was getting herself into, or rather, what she would be stuck to deal with.
A/N 2: For anyone wondering, the above stated furnishings Noë purchased are indeed things I'd like to see in my new home whenever I get one, lol. If only I had that kind of money! Oh and if anyone really keeps up with these things, I recently edited the amount COP left her with - instead of two credit cards with 50k, she has two debit cards each with 20k, and a bank account with a 10k deposit (so she can withdraw cash). So...I'm changing it to half of what she initally had. I just felt 100k was way too much, lol. Although it would be nice...