It was the first official day of fall. The air was cool and crisp, the sun shined just right on the autumn leaves. Red and orange leaves covered the ground. The wind felt good as I walked to work. I worked at the Karate Academy run by Mr. Wong. Mr. Wong happened to be my karate teacher when I was growing up. He's taught me everything I know and even has taken the time to teach some of his skills, skills that he doesn't share with his classes. I arrived in time to open the academy before Mr. Wong was due to show up. As I went to unlock the door I noticed that the door was slightly opened. I assumed Mr. Wong had arrived early.
"Mr. Wong!?...Mr. Wong...Hmm
I checked his office but he wasn't there. I started checking each of the class rooms but Mr. Wong was nowhere to be found. So I headed to the much bigger class rooms that we only used for big groups. I turned the corner and standing in the shadows was a tall figure. When it saw me it moved into the light reveling a tall man with black hair, dressed in a long black coat with eyes that were so dark that they almost looked scary. What was very distinctive about him was his scar over his right eye.
"S-Sorry, but we aren't open yet you'll have to come back later," I said nervously. My heart felt like it was about jump out of my chest.
"I'm not going anywhere, Nicole. Not until I get what I came for", he said with a dark voice that sent a shiver up my spin. He moved across the room getting closer.
"How do you…Who are you?"
"See I'm looking for crystal, a blue one as a matter of fact. It was taken from me, have you seen it?"
"No I haven't, but I'm sure if I had I wouldn't tell you."
"Not the answer I was looking for. I guess you're of no use to me."
He lunges at me throwing a punch that almost knocked me down. I stood up and returned the gesture. I grazed his chin knocking him down. Next thing I know we were fighting. Kicking and punching which seemed to last forever. I felt like every part of my body was about to give but I shook it off, I was good but this guy could fight. I took swing but he ducked under it, taking one last shot to my stomach knocking the wind out of me. I couldn't catch my breath. I scooted back towards the wall. This time I couldn't get up.
He stood over me. His face was bleeding and he was favoring his right side, "You're pretty fast," he said with this sly smirk on his face. "I came here hoping to find what it is I came for and for it to be an easy kill."
"What do you mean? What do you want," but before he could answer, the ceiling collapsed. Dust filled the air. Five figures came in through the ceiling. The stranger took off out the room, making two of the figures chase after him. Two more check the room and eventually left to check the rest of the building. The last one walked over to me. He had dark hair and he was rather tall. He bent down.
"You alright?" he asked as he help me up off the floor.
"Y-Yeah I'm fine, just a little out of it but thx." I felt dizzy. Everything was happening so fast. The two checking the room came back. One was a girl about my height with short blonde hair, the other was a guy a little older looking, tall, and who also had blonde hair.
"Blade! It looks like the owner wasn't here. The guy got in through the door, it's been tampered with."
"There's no cameras so if Jake and Jason don't catch him we may not be able to ID him."
Blade looked relieved for a moment, "Good, now no one will know we here. Bad about the guy though."
"Is this her.?" the girl pointed at me with this disapproval look on her face. I assumed she was being sarcastic.
"Yes, Nicole will ride with me. We'll meet back at Base." Blade seemed to be in charge of everything. I followed him outside to his car. "Jake? Jason? Where are you?" I could hear the two come over the receiver, "We lost him but we're pretty sure it's Austin." "Ok, you two get back to Base."
I was so out of focus. So much that I didn't even realize we were at the car. I couldn't believe what was going on, but considering the fact that they did save my life, I decided to go along. I just hope there wouldn't be any more trouble.
"I'm Blade by the way."
"Nicole, but I guess you already knew that." It was a long way to base but with the way Blade was driving it only took what seemed like a few minutes. As we got closer, I could make out what looked like to be a fence surrounding an abandon factory on an empty lot. We came closer to the gate and with the speed that Blade was going at, made it seem like we were going to bust through the gate. I flinched not realizing that the gate opened and then closed right behind us. Embarrassed, I decided to sit still the rest of the ride. Blade drove the car into the factory and made a sudden stop.
"You might want to hold on"
"What do you mean?"
At that point the car shifted forward. The car was being lowered into the floor of the factor. I looked out the window to see a whole other space. There had to be hundreds of people wondering the place. Cars, trucks, and even motorcycles filled the floor. We got out of the car and walked down a ramp. There was so much going on. It looked to be a training sessions. One area for one on one fighting, another for fire gun handling, and even team sessions. Feeling just a little more confused than I was, we were approached by a young man in a uniform.
"Sir, the Commander wants to see you as soon as possible."
"Let him know I'm on my way."
"Yes sir", he walked away quickly disappeared into the crowd.
"Let's get you looked at" That was the best idea I had heard so far. He led me through the crowed where I saw a few familiar faces from earlier. We walked down a hall way that was filled with open glassed windows. We entered an empty room where the nurse looked me over. She did a full check up on me, making sure I didn't have any major injuries. Just a bloody nose, cuts and bruises on my knuckles, face, and arms. It took a while so Blade waited in the hall and I figured this was the perfect time for him to answer some of my questions. When the nurse finished with me, I met him out in the hall.
"Feel better?" he asked as I entered the hall.
"Yes. Now that I've gotten my head together, mind telling what's going on?"
"I can imagine the confusing your feeling and how overwhelming and scary today has been. But there's someone who would like to see you."
This time we headed to a big wide open room. It was dimmer than the rest of the place and was filled of screens showing maps and locations. It looked as if they've been tracking someone. In the room were all was the others that I had met earlier. There was an older gentleman who looked like he was in charge. He turned around in time to see Blade and I come through the door and then he smiled.
"Nicole I assume, nice to meet you. I'm Mr. B but everyone calls me Commander." He smiled and shook my hand. "I can't imagine what you're feeling right now but if you give me a chance I can clarify everything."
He had to do a lot more than just "clarify" if he planned on making anything that happened to me so far make sense.
"That would be nice." I said nicely. I was still a little shaken. We all followed the commander to the center of the room and sat around the table.
"This place here is what we like to call the Phoenix Law Enforcement Spy Agency. In the simplest terms we protect people from things that tend to lead to destruction or death. This morning you were attacked by a guy we know as Austin. As far as we can tell, he was given orders to kill you. We don't know why or who he reports too or even how he found you. Your grandfather made sure to keep his family away from this life."
"Wait…what's my grandfather have to do with any of this?"
"He never told you? Your grandfather was a Phoenix agent. One of the best. I'm not really surprised he kept this form you and your family. Back when we were young, your grandfather and I were partners. We took down a lot crazies together. Before your grandfather passed, he was working a case. I have his files but known of his notes add up. It's like we only have half of the puzzle. I believe it's what got him killed and that Austin is working for whoever is responsible, sense he did go after you. However we do now that he's looking for something and according to your grandfather's notes, it's a blue crystal. I'm not what it does but it seem pretty important according to his notes. Austin went after you hoping you knew its location."
I wasn't believing what I was hearing. I felt like my world had been flipped upside down. I was beginning to feel nauseous. I couldn't breathe.
"Nicole? You ok?" Blade asked out of concern. Everyone was staring at me. I guess I even looked sick.
"Y-Yeah I'm fine." I took a few deep breaths before trying to speak again. "So let me get this straight. My grandfather was a secret agent…a Phoenix agent. His death wasn't just some accident someone wanted him dead and now that same person wants me dead because they think I know the where a bouts of some crystal."
"And I'm supposed to just trust you? Just an hour ago a man attacks me at my job. Then I'm brought here where you tell me that my grandfather had a secret life as an agent and that his death was not an accident but murder. This is all too weird, I just want to go home."
At this point I just wanted to pretend that today never happened. Easier said than done. The others remained quiet, all eyes on me. I didn't know what they expected me to say or do. I was still trying to process everything.
Commander asked all the other agents to leave the room so that he could talk with me privately. They all quickly left, on to do better things I supposed. Commander walked over me and sat down.
"I wanted to ask if you'd like to join us. Be an agent like your grandfather. You're talented just like him, he always did say you remind him of himself. You don't have to answer right away but do think about it. You're welcome to say here as long as you need too. We're not related but you'll always be family to me."
I had to admit, the offer was tempting. I couldn't go home, not with someone after me and knowing that my grandfather was murdered just made it seem right to help catch the person responsible, but the agency, the story about my grandfather, and with my life in danger, it was all too much.
"Thanks, that's thoughtful. Ill sleep on it and get back to you, how's that sound?"
"Sounds good to me." He smile, liking the fact that there was hope.
"Blade will show you to a room or your new room if you decide to stay. Feel free to explore for the time being."
Blade came in and took me to where I'd be staying for the night. It was a long walk but having Blade there made it easier for me to bare all the staring eyes. I felt like the new shiny toy and everyone was just waiting for the right moment to charge in to get it first. We suddenly came to another part of base that was off to the side but back in the back. This was the sleeping quarters. Some people shared and others didn't. But it seemed nice but quiet.
"Well this is it. It's not much but after a while it starts to feel like home." Blade said as he opened the door to the room.
The room was no bigger than my living room. A bed sat towards the back of the room with a side table. A bookshelf in the corner along with a desk. Very plan and very simple.
"It's fine." I assured him. He turned to leave.
"By the way, if you decide to stay, I train every morning at six. It'll be a good chance to get you up to speed."
"I'll keep that in mind."
He left and I started going through the day's events. Bouncing back and forth between staying and not staying. I pacing back and forth without realizing it. I usually listen to music when I'm in a deep thought. Music helps me clear my head.
I was running a list in my head of reasons why I should stay and why I shouldn't. There were still questions that needed answers. Answers that I would need help getting.
If I leave then I'll just be putting myself in danger. The mystery guy would still be after me. But what if I could be of some help to this case? The question hunted me. I was exhausted. I spent most of day debating on what decision to make. I basically stayed in the room. Blade come by a few times to check on me. I took a cat nap and was wakened by another knock at the door.
"You ok in there?" Blade asked.
I stumbled to open the door. "I'm fine, just thinking. What time is it?"
"It's 9 o'clock at night. I came by to give you this." He handed me a sliver container. "I figured you'd be hungry so I grabbed you what was made in the cafeteria. I hope its ok."
I opened the container which contained meatloaf and mac n' cheese. "Its fine…thank you."
"You're welcome…well, I'll see you in the morning then. Goodnight."
He smiled and turned to leave, I closed the door. It was nice of him to bring this to me. I hadn't realize how hungry I was till I opened the container and got a whiff of that meatloaf.
I finished my dinner only to find myself think about what I should do. I still couldn't believe that my grandfather had secret life or that he wouldn't tell me. We told each other everything. It wasn't like us to keep secrets from each other. Now there's a whole other part of him, a whole other life that I knew nothing about. It was scary to think that someone would want to harm my grandfather. He was a good man.
I laid back down and debated with myself on what was the right choice. Was there even a wrong choice? What would my grandfather do? What would he say?
I eventually fell asleep starring at the ceiling still wondering what I should do.