a/n thx to all my wonderful reviewers!
Kidnapped: Chapter 4
"The first day is always the worst." I completely agreed with the phrase. After running that damned obstacle course countless times, I was just about ready to collapse, but Aron, my mentor in all things assassinly, made me do sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups, all kinds of something-ups, stretches and sprints. Oh how I loathed the man. Sure I liked him at first, a nice guy in a world of evil maniacs, but now . . . BUT NOW, I think he's a sadist!
As of currently, I'm stretched on my brand new bed in my brand new room, in a brand new part of the building I've never seen before. Then again, I've probably seen only about three rooms out of the countless others in the thirty story building that was my jail.
My room was huge. There's really no other way to describe it: two levels, the second level being a bit like a balcony overhanging the first level. That second level, of course, holds my king-sized bed and a luxury bathroom. The lower level has a lounge, a thirty-six inch plasma screen TV, a balcony over a garden, and a kitchenette. Isn't it a small change from my cell with a pile of straw for a bed and a bucket for a toilet?
I was exhausted but later planned on doing some exploring and seeing how much I could do with my newfound freedom. Some may say I was stupid and pushing the limits, but may I remind you of whom I am? One whom happens to be a bloody EIGHT YEARS OLD?!
Of course, I happen to be unusually intelligent for my age. It's supposed to be a wonder I'm literate and have the ability to speak English, but I practiced talking in my cell when I was left alone. Uncle Krust was the reason I could read and talk at all actually. My brain probably morphed the primal intelligence I had gained through MANY experiments into something a bit more like modern-day smarts. Don't worry; I can still tear you apart with my bare hands and claws.
Six o'clock PM. Two hours passed by so quickly! Somewhere along the way, I must have dozed off, because I woke up to the sun from the sunset blazing through one of the wide windows in my room. I was well rested by then after my short nap, although I was hungry, which gave me the perfect excuse to wander outside my room.
The door opened quietly on well-greased hinges. I poked my little raven head into the hallway and stepped out after a second. No alarms went blaring, there were no guards bursting out from both ends of the corridor, pretty much nothing happened when both of my feet touched the carpeted ground outside my room.
I took this as a good sign: I was at least allowed to go outside of my living quarters.
First things first, I have to figure out where in the stupid frickin' insanely HUGE building I was. Then I'd have to figure out where to get some chow around here. I looked left and right, my golden eyes taking in the details of the immediate area. There were no distinguishing features to help me get back, so I rubbed my hand on my door, making a scent marker. What? I rely on my nose when sight, hearing, touch, and taste fail me!
My choices were left and right. Some noise echoed from the left, so right it was. The walls were dull beige with doors interrupting the color every twenty feet or so, but had no windows or pictures. My feet carried me along this corridor for maybe five minutes (I had no watch, saw no clocks, and didn't see any hint of natural sunlight) when I finally came to an intersection. The area where three halls met was large, almost like a waiting room. It even had the fake potted plants and magazines! On the only free wall were two elevators. I rubbed some more of my scent on the wall of the hall (hardy har-har, I'm a poet) that I came from and headed towards the elevators. The little number next to the doors indicated I was on the seventeenth floor.
My eyes glanced around, doing a quick three-sixty of the room, checking for anyone who might've followed me. I pressed the down button and then stepped in the small lift.
Elevator music assaulted my ears and this isn't an exaggeration; the sounds were bloody annoying! Mostly ignoring the music, I observed the plaque next to the buttons that explained the lowest few floors. They were as follows:
Track and Field gym
Ice hockey rink
Martial Arts Dojo
Indoor shooting ranges
It was interesting to say the least. I'd expected all the floors to be offices, exercise rooms, and shooting ranges. Looks like these crazies sure care about the health of their assassins and spies. Fourth floor was where I could get some food, so I pressed the button labeled "4".
The lift neither stopped nor opened for anyone on my way down, a source of my great relief. When the doors finally did open at the fourth floor, I stepped out and was wondering, "Where the heck is the cafeteria?" The thought died in my brain as I took in another amazing sight (aside from my first look outside in three years): a shiningly clean elevator lobby leading into a sort of lounge where I could see a few other "employees" of SCORAE hanging out and sipping some drinks. The entrance to the cafeteria was visible past a . . . oh my gosh was that slushie machine?!
Someone in the lounge must have noticed my gaping mouth and confused features, for a woman reading a book looked up, nudged a man sitting next to her who looked up at me. Just my luck, it was Aron. "Andy, what are you doing down here? I thought you would be asleep by now," he stated, not showing the least bit of surprise.
I glared at my mentor. "Yeah, you would think that, considering you were the one who practically ran me into the ground!" I sharply retorted. Aron looked irritatingly amused at my verbal bite.
The man then smugly said, "I only assumed that since you were eight, your bedtime would be at an early time, like seven. Then again, you aren't an ordinary eight year old." I rolled my eyes, annoyed at my mentor for stating the obvious.
"I'm hungry. Would you be kind enough to shut up so I can go get some food in peace and quiet?" I huffed, my little kid tantrum instincts firing away. The woman sitting next to Aron laughed lightly and leaned towards me. My golden eyes peered up at her, wondering who exactly she was.
The lady had straight brown hair and green eyes flecked with blue. Her face was heart-shaped and had a plump mouth with rosy cheeks. She was thin, as everyone in this building seemed to be, and dressed in a camouflage jacket and skinny jeans. "My name is Haley, what's yours?" she asked in a sweet voice.
"Andy," I curtly answered and strode past Haley, past the slushie machine, and through the door where food awaited. Once the door was open, wonderful smells wafted through the door and into my nose, causing my mouth to water. I suppose the food might've been terrific, or it might have been terrible, but it was all good food to me compared to what they fed me in the laboratories.
Food, thy name is Andy.
-the next day-
I sighed, rolling over in the soft-as-down sheets that were on my new, heavenly bed. It was pure silence and comfort, for there was no cold stone floor under me and no screams of the damned in the cells next to me.
My mind and body wanted to relax in the warm bliss, but the sun apparently wanted me to get up early today. Or it could also be Aron, shaking my shoulder and telling me to get my butt out of bed for training.
"Urrgh . . . Just a few more minutes, you great big lump of evil," I muttered into my pillow, having turned over when Aron first touched my shoulder. A gusty sigh was clearly audible from Aron's general direction, the sigh unfortunately accompanied by words.
Aron flipped me over and said, "Get used to it. From now on, you have to wake up by yourself at five AM on the dot without my gracious help. So get up so we could start training. You know the old saying 'the sooner you start, the sooner you finish'?" No matter how much I wanted to argue, he was right. I rolled out of bed and prepared myself for the day, right after grumbling something that sounded suspiciously like "bloody wanker that won't let me sleep".
-walking through the hall-
"So, Andy, how're you settling in?" Aron asked.
I rolled my eyes and said, "Just fine, who wouldn't with a giant room and practically free access to the cafeteria?" That irritating bastard just smirked! I growled low in my throat, insanely pissed off at getting up early and from the smirk on his face!
Aron ignored the growl and continued talking to me, explaining which floor was for what. The floor we're on, the seventeenth, for instance, is the living quarters for a good chunk of the assassin-spy population. He then said something about my training today which involved . . . guns? What the fu-er . . . fudge.
Okay, let me tell you something. These maddies NEVER let me near a gun, let alone close enough to one to pick it up. Also, by the looks people gave me in the cafeteria last night, an eight year old in the building is a very rare, almost impossible sight to see. I can already imagine looks I would get if I ran around with a gun . . .
Only after I bumped into Aron did I actually start paying full attention to my surroundings. My annoying mentor led me to the elevator lobby. A moment later, one of the two elevators dinged and the doors slid open. I briskly stepped in, brushing past Aron on the way in. He followed me in and pressed the button for the basement. From looking at what was worth mentioning in the basement, I was either learning how to drive, use a weapon, or learning how to shoot. I'd bet my tail (yup I have a tail) on the latter two.
The elevator dinged as we arrived at our destination. Steel doors slid open and out we walked, into the cool air of the basement.
All the lighting was from fluorescent light bulbs, giving everything within the harsh lights' reach a bleached quality. The cement hallway stretched from left to right. If you walk left and go around the corner, there will be a sort of fork in the path, a fork that branches off at a right angle to the right, then turns a right angle to the left, leading to the weapons storage room. At the place where the path forks, there is also one going straight forward to the indoor shooting range.
On the right hand side of the corridor, it's just a hallway to a garage. In that garage is every car available in so many colors, it's not even funny! There are also motorcycles, electric scooters, motor bikes, rollerblades, scooters, and . . . there's probably some more stuff that I don't know about in there too . . .
Aron started walking to the left. Today's lesson was apparently going to be about weapons.
Suddenly, I remembered what Aron had said about this island. "Hey, Aron," I piped up.
"Hn." I gaped at his response. Seriously, this guy is the only person I know that talks in these fluid words and sentences, even if there's just one syllable. Now, to hear a noncommittal grunt coming from my mentor is pretty surprising and actually, kind of funny!
Once, twice, I giggled. I honestly couldn't help it! In front of me, I heard a soft snort of what was probably disbelief. "So," I drawled. "Other than my usually eloquent mentor grunting, I was wondering, what exactly did you mean by 'let the wind and water carry you to land'?" I stared hard at the back of his head. "Does it mean that you just sit back and relax in whatever boat or plane you're in on your way to the island?"
Aron's chuckling, why is he chuckling? He actually stopped walking and turned around to face me. The guy's icy blue eyes were crinkled in amusement. Then, the fluid words started flowing from that damned mouth of his: "Andy, that is precisely what you do! Or," he looked a bit sheepish for a cold, hard assassin, "in simplest terms that is. Other people would describe it as 'on a plane, maintain a steady altitude, but catch the wind beneath the wings and on a boat, you sit on your ass until you reach the shore'." Aron paused for a second.
"The strange wind and water patterns are due to the island's location and shape. I suppose the location could be described as a location as mysterious as the Bermuda Triangle and the island's shape is literally a thing shape. Maybe later, I'll draw it out for you," Aron concluded. We started walking down the hall again.
Around the corner we went and the door to the shooting range came into sight. Instead of going straight to the door that leads to the range, Aron took me along the path that led us to the weapons room. Aron turned around and said to me, "When we walk into this room, you are to touch absolutely nothing. Got it?" His expression turned fierce and I believe his eyes just froze.
I nodded. He gazed at me for a second longer, nodded slightly and swiped a card through an electronic lock just above the doorknob. There was a slight click and the door opened. My mentor stepped into the room, which was chock-full of guns and other probably more dangerous stuff.
"Almost all the doors in this building are key-card activated. I'll get you one later, but for now, get used to sticking with me almost twenty-four seven." I muttered something under my breath that probably rhymed with 'ducking glass bowl'. I stalked in and froze at the doorway. I knew there were a lot of weapons from my point of view outside the room, but seriously?! Weapons of all kinds covered the walls from floor to ceiling; daggers, bombs, guns, EVERYTHING. Heck, I think I even saw a sword somewhere!
Aron took in my dumbfounded expression with a stupid smirk on his lips. He gestured for me to step further in. I complied, although with stiff, baby steps.
"Welcome to the room that will soon be your new best friend."