Prologue

"Hello?"

"Hello, ma'am. Can I speak to Anthony Roberts?"

"This is his mother… Can I ask who is speaking?"

"Of course, my apologies." She brushed her platinum blonde hair off her shoulder and spoke with the friendliest voice she could manage. "My name is Caroline Nelson. I am the Director of SJN Incorporated, an elite fitness camp in the state of Ohio. We pride ourselves in recruiting teenagers of all ages to fully realize their physical potential and become more confident in their abilities. We are looking to expand our program outside of the state, and your son is the perfect candidate to join us."

"This sounds wonderful! I would love for Anthony to be a part of this." She put her hand over the phone and called to Anthony in the next room. "Anthony! Come get the phone!"

Anthony slowly opened the door and walked to his mother. He cleared his throat and put the phone to his ear. "Hello?"

"Hello Anthony, my name is Caroline Nelson. Could you please go into a private room?"

"Um, okay?" Anthony walked into his bedroom and shut the door. "Who are you?"

"I told you, I am Caroline Nelson. But you probably know me as 117." No response. "Haven't heard that in a while, have you? You're friends with Allison Kare, and she told you all about SJN Operations; how she thought it was a fitness camp, and how she went on missions, killing people and learning how to be an assassin. But you didn't believe her, you thought she was lying. She wasn't. This all is reality, it's all real. And reality is about to slap you in the face, because I have formally invited you to join the operation."

Anthony was speechless. A wave of shock and guilt came over him as he realized that all the torture he put Alli through wasn't even justified anymore. She helped him with so many things, but when she needed his help, he refused her. "But you… and Alli… but what about…"

Caroline laughed. "I expected as much. Your mother has already approved of this. Welcome to the truth, Anthony. Welcome to the program."