Chapter 5: New Toys

Chapter 5: New Toys

A Chapter by Patrick Masters

Alice and I entered the conference room where the rest of our task force had been gathered. While the group had paid no heed to us on the plane and little more after we had disembarked; they now gave us their full attention. All those who were selected for this group knew who our target was. No other beast could have demanded such a skilled group of hunters. The gravity of the situation was apparent to all. Alice began the briefing, which at this point was basically a formality.

“Agents, as you are aware great care was taken in bringing you all together. The crisis this group has been formed to face is perhaps the greatest in our organization’s history. You are all the best, handpicked, from around the world to face a threat unlike any other. Lucian Magus, thought to have been killed thirty years ago, lives, and he is on the move.” Alice told them all in a stern, serious tone. It may have been a bit more dramatic than I would have liked, but it got the point across. The other agents expressions had not changed. They knew the threat before us was serious, and had composed themselves in preparation for the news. After her short pause, Alice continued.

“The executive council has assembled this squad for the sole purpose of hunting down, and eliminating this threat. I have been assigned to supervise this task, and my first act in this position will be to decide who is to lead in you in the field. For this task I have convinced one of our agencies greatest agents to cut his retirement short. Your field leader will be the now formerly retired agent Benjamin Blackwell.”

As soon as my name was spoken the expressions in the room changed. Both Sophia and Arima gazed towards me with an expression of astonishment. It was flattering to be a bit honest. Malik though did not seem as excited. I suppose when you have been king of the hill for the last few years it’s difficult when the old one comes back. I’ll have to tread lightly with him. It would be best not to invite unnecessary conflict into the group, especially early on. Taking the floor I gave the spiel Alice had rehearsed me through on our walk here.

“As Ms. Townsend has said, I will take the lead when it comes time to enter the field. Though I look forward to working with you I must admit the circumstances are less than optimal.” Saying the words almost made me cringe. “I look forward to working with you” what a crock of s**t. Every bone in my body hated this situation. Now she tells me to sugarcoat it and act like this is business as usual. It was almost to much for me. Nonetheless I carried on.

“As of the moment, we don’t have any concrete intel on our target’s whereabouts so the next few days will largely be preparations. You will be given the rest of the day to settle in. However being tomorrow you will be given various training exercises to prepare you for the mission to come. These will serve two purposes. First and most obviously is that it will give me an opportunity to familiarize myself with each of your skill sets and plan ahead for how to best apply them in the field. Second, what we are facing is far from a conventional opponent, I know better than any living person. That is why these exercises will be far from your conventional training drills. They have all been created to deal with a different facet of our enemy’s strength. As far as plans for the coming week, that is all I have been made aware of.” I finished, looking towards Alice, who immediately picked up where I left off.

“Unfortunately that is all that we have for the moment. You are all dismissed. There are various aides outside that will lead you to your respective quarters.”

With that we each began to proceed out into the hallway. While most of the group was led in the same general direction; my aide led me in a different direction from the rest of the group.

“Are we heading towards the personnel quarters? Everyone else went in a different direction.” I told the young man

“Were you not informed? I have been assigned to lead you to the armory.” he replied politely

“I was not informed but it’s not an issue worth getting hung up on, just lead the way.”

“Yes sir.”

Soon we came upon a set of double doors with a placard next to them the simply read “Armory A”. Swiping a key card the man opened the door, revealing an unlit room, and motioned for me to enter. Walking forward, the lights came on one, then a couple at a time, until the entire room was lit. It was an impressive cache of firepower to say the least. Stepping towards one of the open crates I looked inside to find silver rounds of ammunition stack up in perfect order. Picking one up I twisted it around to get a good look at it. It was a pistol round, but a large one, .50 caliber. It had been a while since I had used one, perhaps I would get a chance today. My studying of the bullet was broken by the steps of someone entering the room. Turning to see the visitor, my heart nearly lept out of its chest. I could not believe my eyes.

“Well well well, Benjamin Blackwell, Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes.” she said with a sharp, sarcastic tone. Turning around I confirmed it was her face. She had aged, though more gracefully than myself, and her face had begun to develop wrinkles. Looking at her my eyes wandered towards her most noticeable feature. She was olive skinned aside from her right hand, which was a colorless gray from an injury she endured during a failed weapon’s test.

“Sasha! I didn’t imagine I’d see you here.” I responded in astonishment

“What? Did you really think you could just show up after damn near a decade and not say hi?” Her tongue continued to stab with questions while she feigned offense

“No, it’s just a big place with a lot going on, didn’t think I’d get an opportunity. At least, not so soon. But it is good to see you.”  I said sticking out my hand. Turning to the aide that had led me here she told him

“I can handle things from here, thank you for bringing him to see me, you can go report to whoever is supervising you that Agent Blackwell has met me at Armory A, as scheduled.” she said to the man politely.

“Ma’am I’m afraid I’ve been assigned to stay with Agent Blackwell for the rest of the day. I don’t have to report until much later tonight.” he replied

“Well, why not get a head start now. We might be here awhile and I wouldn’t have anything for you to do while your here. In fact, with what we’ll be testing out, it’s better if there are fewer people. There might be a few accidents and I would hate for you to get caught in one.” she told him in a much more ominous tone. He fearfully looked to me before I waved him off. After leaving and closing the door behind him she brushed off my handshake and simply embraced me.

“Ten damn years and not so much as a phone call. I ought to kick your a*s.” she said to me

“I’m sorry. It was just with the whole mess of me leaving…”

“I get that things didn’t end well and you had your beef with the higher ups but that doesn’t change how you left me high and dry.” she interrupted

“I uh... you um… It was complicated ok!” I said, my tongue twisting to all kinds of knots, muting me. Sasha always had that effect on me. She cut through BS like a knife through warm butter. It’s what I liked about her.

“Uh huh? Well I guess since you decided to come back you can tell me all about it. But I suppose now is not the time for that. Now I’ll show you what we have to load you out with.” She said, separating ourselves and thankfully changing the subject.

“So what have you got for me today.” I inquired

“Oh I think you will like this one!” she said in a more positive tone as she pulled out a large pistol, likely the one meant for the bullets I looked at earlier. Handing me the gun I could see it was a Desert Eagle.

“This should give you a bit more punching power than that 9 mm you’ve been using. Your not dealing with rogue half-bloods, you’ll be fighting the real deal now. So your gonna need more punching power.” She informed me. Pressing a button on the side of a wall she revealed a small firing range for me to test it out. Walking in in and grabbing the ear protectors on the small shelf I prepared to aim at the target in front of me. Knowing there would be more recoil I decided to check if I could keep a high rate while staying accurate. Firing off five rounds in quick succession I noticed the difference. Looking out at the target I managed to hit within the bullseye four out of five times. However There was one that just hit outside. So it’s a bit less accurate, but I can definitely manage. Sasha provided me with a few new silver daggers and a couple of other weapons. I was now loaded out like an agent as opposed to a wandering vigilante. Before I left she simply told me.

“We are gonna talk later. You understand.”

“Yes I do. I’ll give you all the details.” I agreed

“Alright. I guess we’re finished here.” she said. I started to leave but stopped before I could exit

“Benjamin? You still need something?” she asked curiously

“Yeah. I know you have things to ask me but I also have questions for you. Ones I only really trust you to be straight with me on.”

“Ok. I guess I can try to help you. What do you need to ask?” she asked me

“How… gosh how do I put this? How have things been here since I left?” I asked her. She stared blankly for a moment and sighed a couple of times.

“There’s a lot of ways you can answer that. Things most certainly are different. It’s kinda hard to put it into words though. Honestly I can’t find the words. Though I guess for you it is pretty night and day. Let’s just say things are a lot different here now.” She said walking towards me “But it is good to have you back. It’s good to have something go back to normal. I missed you.” She said as she embraced me. Then she stretched up and whispered in my ear and my heart stopped. Stepping back, she simply nodded at me and went on with her business, leaving me to contemplate her words on my walk back. Starting to familiarize myself with the new layout I made my way up to the library looking to find some information. Combing through the information on the computer my search came up empty. Leaning back and stretching my tired body, cracking various joints I spotted a welcome sight after the stress of today. Abby was at a another computer on the other side of the room. She seemed swallowed by whatever was on the screen, the periphery didn’t even exist to her. I debated for a moment before heading over to her side of the room and checking up on her.

“Well look at you. I imagine you’ve been pretty busy today.”

“Huh... uh… Oh! Mr. Blackwell! Yes… um yes I have…” she said after turning to face me. “I can’t believe all of the information here. I always thought the library back home was big but this is just on a whole different level. I can’t thank you enough for bringing me here with you!” she said with a smile on her face. Blissfully ignorant of the circumstances that brought us here.

“So what have you been looking at? Anything catch your eye?” I asked here

“Oh yeah, I’ve actually been reading about this one vampire that Alice suggested I look up.”

Oh god no I think I know who.

“I bet you’ve heard of him. His name is Lucian Magus. Apparently he was killed about thirty years ago. That was when you were here right.”

“Yes it was. That was pretty big at the time.”

“I can imagine. Honestly, just reading about him makes him sound unbelievable. He’s in a class of his own compared to the ones I had been reading about.”

“That he was. Lucian was perhaps the greatest threat The bureau has ever faced.”

“Yeah, it sounds like it. Did you know the person that beat him. It’s classified in here so I guess you can’t give any specifics but I was curious.” she inquired I took a second to think on my answer and told her.”

“Yeah I did know him. He was quite the hunter at the time. I imagine he’s starting to get pretty old now though! Wonder if he still has it in him or if he retired.”





© 2018 Patrick Masters



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Added on November 1, 2017
Last Updated on January 21, 2018


Author

Patrick Masters
Patrick Masters

Cleveland, OH



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A Story by Patrick Masters