Blank

"You are now one of us. You are now…a Blank."

I can hear voices. That's all they are—voices, no faces. I have never seen anyone in person before, only in textbooks.

The people that teach me aren't exactly people—they are robots. I know that the voices I have been hearing for the past hour aren't robots—robots have deep monotone voices. These voices are real and true voices, but ominous all the less.

The room I have known for as long as I can remember is now drenched in darkness. The room is actually more like a cell, empty of personality and a dreary white color. A cot is pushed up against the wall, and a desk is in the far corner. The chair that usually goes with the desk is now in the center of the room, with me in it.

My hands are cuffed to the armrests, and for some unexplainable reason, I do not flinch when a hand reaches out of the darkness towards me.

The hand belongs to the first person that I have ever seen in person before. The hand is olive-colored, strong, and ominous. It reaches toward my head. It grabs a hold of my straight blonde hair and yanks hard on it. My head impulsively follows with the jerk, and, strangely, nothing hurts.

Silence follows. Then…lights click on. The bright white lights temporarily make it harder for me to see.

I am wearing blue jeans, a dark green shirt, and four-inch-tall black stilettos. Five people were in front of me, one standing closer than the rest, and he was holding my hair.

The one holding my hair was wearing a lab coat and dress pants. His olive-colored skin and unruly black hair contrasted deeply with his outfit. Under his lab coat, I could see how muscular this man really was.

Seeing me staring at him, he chuckled and explained, "My name is Dr. Kyle. I can see that you are a little apprehensive. Do not be, we will not hurt you." Turning to his colleagues, Dr. Kyle noted, "She is ready. She did not wince at all when I pulled on her hair with all my might. We shall give her the final task."

The other four nodded and made notes on their clipboard as they walked out of the room.

"Now," Dr. Kyle whispered, "your name is Miss Amy L. Robb. You grew up orphaned, neglected, on the streets of Los Angeles, California. You are twenty years old. Your birthday is November 10, 1989. Today is September 15, 2010. Today is also a Wednesday. We are in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States of America. I am going to take off the cuffs binding you to this seat so you can stand up. When I have you stand up, you may teeter a little bit on your heels, but, trust me, it is much easier the longer you stand in them."

He let go of my hair and reached into his coat and brought out a large key ring with many other keys on it. It took him a few seconds to find the correct key. When he unlocked the cuffs and helped me to stand up, I almost fell on top of him. Thankfully, though, he caught me.

"Now, Miss Amy, you have been kept here all of your life for one special reason—you are assigned to assassinate the President of the United States of America. Your task begins as soon as you step foot out of this compound."

************

I wake up with a jolt, startled and slightly scared.

Huh, I thought, puzzled, that's completely new. I had absolutely no idea that I had feelings like that. This feeling, I have felt it before. This is what I was feeling two weeks ago when I was given my first assignment. I was told to follow my instincts and never, ever, EVER to eat waffles. But, why is it waffles that I can't eat? Why not something positively revolting, like, for instance, say, nachos? Well, I can't worry about that now—oh, no! Is that the time?! Four-fifteen! I am going to be late if I want to shower, eat breakfast, and put on the correct amount of makeup before I go out to the meeting of the 'Less Fortunate Children' for 'myself'—Amy Lauren Robb, orphan, no living relatives, no one who really cared about me, et cetra, et cetra, et cetra.

I jump out of the hotel bed quickly and walk into the tiny bathroom. I take off my pajamas, courtesy of Dr. Kyle, and jump into the icy-cold spray. I make no move to turn up the water temperature, because, frankly, I enjoy the cold.

As soon as I finish in the shower, I pull on a bathrobe, also courtesy of Dr. Kyle, and look in the room's closet for something to wear. I decide on a dark green tank top, similar in color to the long-sleeve shirt I wore two weeks ago. I also put on distressed, bleached skinny jeans. To complete my outfit, I pull out my black stilettos.

Surveying myself in the full-length mirror, I pull out a makeup kit from my suitcase. I brush my elbow-length blonde hair and pull it back into a messy ponytail. I dig around the bag until I find pale green eye shadow that makes my deep green eyes seem even deeper. Applying the eye shadow, I pull out a pearl pink lipstick, black mascara, and blush. I quickly put all of those on and, picking up my shoulder bag, headed out the hotel room door, key card in hand.

Walking down the hall towards the stairs, knowing how few people take stairs and how hard it'll be to be overheard, I pull out my new Blackberry. Pushing open the door to the stairway, I punch in the phone number that Dr. Kyle had me memorize before I left.

Ring…Ring…Ring…Click.

"Hello?" Dr. Kyle's voice asked.

"Dr. Kyle," I rush, jogging down the stairs from floor twenty to the lobby, "I know that calling you this early is very inconvenient, but there is something that I must discuss with you about."

Dr. Kyle chuckled and answered, "Amy, I presume? Well, of course, it is never too early or too late for my favorite patient." His voice dropping, Dr. Kyle mentioned, "Now, Amy, I am in a public area, so anyone can overhear this conversation. I want you to be very careful of what you say."

"Dr. Kyle today is the big day of the conference. All of the 'Less Fortunate Children' will be meeting the president today. That is including me. So, the task will be done before the week is over."

I could almost hear Dr. Kyle's grin as he proclaimed, "That is excellent news, Amy! I am sure everyone back at the office will be absolutely delighted to hear that. I suppose I will see you in a few weeks, when we have our next 'appointment'. Good-bye, Amy."

Click…Beep…Beep…Beep.

I hang up and whisper, "Well, that went excellent. Now if only I was able to talk to the other people here like I can talk to Dr. Kyle. Then this would be much easier."

"What would be a lot easier?" A voice behind me asked.

I whip around and come face-to-face with the creepiest guy in the 'Less Fortunate' category. He has dark brown hair, light blue eyes, gorgeous smile, creepy, gothic clothes, and a HUGE crush on me.

"Oh," I conversationally mutter, "so good to see you again, Drake Ziminsky. I was just talking to my…er…psychiatrist, Dr. Kyle. He helps me try to improve my people skills. He was the one who recommended me to take this trip to the east coast for this conference and meeting the President."

"Well," Drake answered, walking in front of me and continuing his descent of the stairs, "that seems perfectly reasonable. I only have one question, though. If you're from Los Angeles, California, and your 'psychiatrist' works out of there, too, why are you calling him now, when it is two in the morning in L.A.?"

I turn around and follow him while answering, "Um…Dr. Kyle has always told me to call him whenever I need to talk to him. He also was the one who convinced LAPD not to arrest me for pick pocketing last year. He gave me this Blackberry, a room in this hotel, and flights into Washington-Reagan airport and then back to LAX. Dr. Kyle basically gave me a whole new life."

Drake only nodded and held the lobby door open for me. I walked quickly past him and into the room where the free breakfast was being served. I made myself a cup of black coffee and walked over to an empty seat.

I was soon joined by Drake and his two friends. Drake set down next to me and whispered, "Are you sure that's all you want? All of this food is free. Do you want me to get you some waffles?"

I shook my head in disgust and replied, "No, thanks. I like to have my first meal of the day at lunch. In the mornings, all I have is black coffee. Plus, I don't like waffles."

"What did you say?!?!" one of Drake's friends exclaimed. "You don't like waffles?! How are you human, lady?!"

I'm not human, I thought, getting up and walking outside, depositing my empty mug in the dirty dishes bin along the way.

I walk against the chilly, fifty-nine-degree fall air. I don't wrap my arms around myself as most people do, nor do I put on a jacket. I just walk towards the White House, knowing that my task was going to be very, very difficult.

************

Three hours later, after going through a complete body scanning and Security had looked through my bag; I was standing in a conference room in the White House. The televised 'Meeting of the Less Fortunate Children of Our Nation' was about to begin.

The President was sitting at the head of the conference table. He reminded me a little of Drake—short, dark brown hair, startling blue eyes, tall, regal stature. He had offered us all a seat and I decided to sit to seem polite.

In my opinion, the plush, leather, swiveling chair seemed slightly uncomfortable. Maybe that was because I was used to firmer surfaces.

The actual conference itself was quite boring, but I used my best effort to make my expression look interested.

Most of the time, I was looking down at the table in front of me, looking at a program of what will be happening today. Really, I was constructing a custom-made revolver and a silencer to fit on it. I had managed to get it past security because of the shapes and sizes of the pieces. They were made to look and act like ordinary items that any twenty-year-old woman would have—lipsticks, mascaras, compacts, breath mints (the bullets), and other items like that. Dr. Kyle had me take apart and rebuild the revolver until I could build it with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back. The revolver is a polished, dignified weapon that can hold ten bullets, five in a main chamber and five in a secondary chamber. Dr. Kyle had attempted to teach me all about how the gun and all other guns work, but none of what he was saying made any sense.

After the conference was over and almost all of the teens and all the TV cameras and tech personnel were gone, I approached the President.

"Mr. President?" I asked. "I was wondering if I could have a word with you, privately. It's about the conference and the things that you said you would try to fix."

The President looked at me and skeptically responded, "Well, I guess that I could spare a few minutes to talk with you."

He waved all of the Secret Service agents away. They did not look comfortable with leaving him alone with me, but they still did as he instructed.

"Now," the President asked, "what exactly is it that you want to talk about, Miss…?"

"Miss Amy Robb," I respectfully answer. "And I was wondering…what would you do if someone was a terrorist and they were protected as one of the 'Less Fortunate'?"

The President looked at me all weird-like and slowly explained, "Miss Robb, any member of any terrorist group operating on American soil will be caught and brought to justice. If they are protected as a 'Less Fortunate' they still will be brought to justice, no matter what."

I shook my head and informed, "Mr. President, I am not talking about foreign terrorists—I am talking about American terrorists on American soil. What would you do if an American terrorist came and attempted to assassinate you, here, today?"

"Well," the President responded, "surely there wouldn't be any Americans wanting me dead. I have kept all of my promises and done everything that I can to make the lives of all Americans better. I don't understand why any of my citizens would want me dead."

I grin and hiss, "Oh, Mr. President, I can, I can."

Then, to prove my point, I pull out the revolver that I had re-constructed earlier and cock it, ready to shoot.

"You—you," he stutters, "you have a gun, but how did you get it past security?! What is this all about? I have invited you, among many, to visit me here at the White House and give your opinions on the laws that I have passed and a chance to redeem yourself, to get a new life! Why would you want me dead?! Who do you work for?!"

"Those questions, Mr. President," I chide, "are things that I cannot, nor will not, answer. My employers hired me because of my ability to disappear, my ability to be a seemingly 'blank' face. When I go through with this, I will—"

I got cut off by the sound of the door being kicked open.

"Freeze!" half-a-dozen voices shouted.

I turn my head ninety degrees and see out of my peripheral vision, not shockingly, eight Secret Service agents standing in the room, six of whose guns were all trained on me. The other two were holding a handcuffed Dr. Kyle by the forearms.

"Dr. Kyle!" I exclaim. "What are you do—?"

I cut myself off seeing the look in his eyes. The look was full of pain, of regret. Also his eyes were saying that I have to finish my job here, no matter what the stakes.

"Sir," One agent holding Dr. Kyle explained, "we found this man, known to the crime world by the name of 'Kyle Erickson' lingering outside of the gates. He has been arrested under many accusations, but has always been dismissed of all charges. He claims that he hired her to kill you."

I turn around to face the President. "That is not true, Sir," I mock. "I chose this task of my own free will, and I will, no matter what stands in the way, complete this task. I will bring you down."

Turning all the way around, I look Dr. Kyle in the eye and shout, "This day will not go unremembered. Mark my words, gentleman and ladies, every year, on this hour of this day, you will feel guilty for not doing your jobs. You did not keep the President of the United States of America from getting shot by a completely nonexistent killer—a Blank."

Whipping back around, I sent three of the bullets from my gun into the President's heart.

Then, dramatically, I turn around to face the agents and Dr. Kyle.

I hold up my gun, taking it from pointing ahead of me at the agents to pointing under my jaw, suicide-style.

"Now," I explain, "you are going to let Dr. Kyle free, and erase his entire criminal past. You are going to take me in, and put me on trial for murder. Before my trial, however, you are going to release me and clear me of all charges. We all will go on living our normal lives.

"If you fail to comply, however," I add, seeing the expressions on the faces in front of me, "I will pull this trigger and end my own life, and you will never hear of an 'Amy Lauren Robb' again."

The one who seemed to be their leader replied, "We, of course, will bring you to justice. Men, release this man."

The two men holding Dr. Kyle released him and uncuffed him. Dr. Kyle walked toward me and whispered, "What do you think you're doing? These people will never let you walk away. They would rather kill you and arrest me instead."

"Dr. Kyle," I responded, "that is exactly why I am going to end this all. I am going to end it in a few seconds. I just want to know—what is my real name?"

Dr. Kyle looked shocked as he slowly informed, "Your parents never had time to name you. They were thinking of naming you Opal Rae, after both of your parents' mothers. Your last name was to be Johnson. You were to be…the first daughter, in the White House. We did not know that at the time, when we took you from the hospital. Your mother died a few weeks later of a broken heart and spirit."

"So," I exclaimed, "I just killed my FATHER?! Well, that's all the more reason to end this. Good-bye, world. Good-bye, Dr. Kyle, my friend."

Then I pulled the trigger and everything went Blank, permanently.

The End