A Chapter by Alexx White

“Wake up, Marina.”
I jerk awake and reach for a gun that isn’t there. It takes me a minute to recall that though I am free, I am as unarmed as I was in captivity, which is completely. It takes me another minute to realize that I am no longer in a car, but in a blue room on a soft bed. Austin throws his hands up in surrender at my empty hands. His jacket is hanging on the back of the chair and his gun is on the bedside table.
“Are you mocking me?”
“Not at all. Showing you I’m unarmed, is all.”
“Where am I?”
“Receiving room at AMP headquarters.”
“This doesn’t look like my HQ.”
“Because it’s not, well, not exactly, anyway. The old HQ was destroyed.”
I sit up slowly, only now realizing how sore my entire body is, “What do you mean ‘destroyed?’”
Austin smiles. Somehow, it’s slightly less unfriendly when that smile is on your side. It doesn’t have the same maniacal turning of the corners and crinkling of the eyes. It’s smaller, softer. Natural. He raises his hands again, this time to push me back onto the bed.
“Calm down. Every ten years or so, the building has to be destroyed for security purposes. That one was built over twelve years ago, so it was well past its due date.”
“Why’d it stay open?”
“Files that had yet to be uploaded to the system. It took two and half years to go through them all, and then we moved everything over and trashed the old building. I’m guessing the people in the apartments beside us are glad to have a view of more than just the polished glass walls of HQ.” He presses a hand to my forehead, “You’re on fire.”
“I feel fine.”
“But you’re not, and that’s why I woke you up. There’s an infection somewhere we can’t see.”
“I’ve been seen by a physician while I’m filthy?”
“I saw absolutely none of this concern of your state of cleanliness when you were in my truck.”
“Answer my question!”
“What would you say if I told you that I am your physician for the time being?”
I quack.
He smiles, “I earned that. No, you haven’t been seen, but considering that you are outwardly healthy otherwise, it’s a reasonable assumption. Now go shower so that you can be seen.” He points to an open door, and I climb out of bed and walk to the bathroom.


The shower is larger than I remembered, and it legitimately sickens me to see the amount of dirt that swirls around the drain as I scrub my skin and hair clean. I discover that my skin is not truly that dark, but it was all weeks of filth piled on my skin. I find lacerations and abrasions I never knew were there, some swollen and hot and painful, pain that was previously ignored.  When I get out, feeling as if pounds of weight have been lifted from my body, I stare at myself in the huge mirror across the room.
The door opens, “I think you forgot towels"whoa now! Sorry!”
I grab the towel and wrap up, “Thank you. You can open your eyes now.”
Austin slowly opens his eyes, “You’re more pleasant already. Why were you staring at yourself?”
“I haven’t seen my clean, bare skin in a month and a half.”
Austin tilts his head to the side, “Marina…do you have any idea how long you have actually been gone?”
“Six weeks, right?”
His jaw drops and he slowly shakes his head, “Try six months. They’ve had you for half a year.”
“That isn’t possible. The birds sang forty two times while I was there, I heard it.”
“Marina, there were times you slept for days on end, times they thought you were dead and were prepared to cart you off until you coughed or sneezed or moved.”
I back up, “You were going to let me die? You couldn’t have done something?”
“I didn’t know, Marina! I never knew you were down there until the month and a half before I got you out.”
“You’re lying! Why should I trust you at all? You were going to let me die!”
“Why do you do that? Why do you keep saying my name?”
“Because I’m sure you were enclosed in silence for so long you almost forgot what it was. Didn’t you notice that just before I got you out, you got extra rations? That the food was a little hotter? The water a bit colder?”
I rack my brain, and realize that the soups were thicker and the breads were warmer. The water was clean and refreshing, and at first, I drank it so fast they refilled it twice, which was also unusual.
“I was the one bringing you food then, wearing wigs and costumes. Didn’t you notice I never kicked you?”
I had. The bruising in my ribs and stomach had time to heal a bit, giving me the energy to run and break that bolt securing my chain to the floor. Austin had been giving me the tools for escape before I even knew it.
I look up at him, “And the bolt?”
“Nitro. I froze them to make them fragile, so you could break free. Now do you believe me? I almost blew my cover for you.”
“Actually, you did.”
“And you still have the audacity to distrust me?”
“I’m sorry, which one of us was held in captivity? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t you, especially since you were living in a penthouse suite with a fancy car and designer clothes and shoes. I bet you even had a maid. Meanwhile, I was rolling around in the dirt and hoping I don’t wake up in a puddle of someone’s urine because they decided it’d be funny to piss on me in my sleep. I’ll have the audacity to distrust anyone I want right now, thank you very f*****g much, and if you have a problem with me, I’ll gladly be assigned a new partner.”
“You assume I’m your partner?”
“You wouldn’t be standing here listening to me if you weren’t, you’d have left. You keep turning like you’re going to walk out and yet you continue standing here.”
Austin sticks his hands in his vest pockets, “Or maybe I keep turning because you’re naked save for that towel and I’m a decent human being and not a pervert.”
“Oh please. All of the men here are perverted, and so are the women. When every day is potentially your last, you’re not going to fight an opportunity for sex or to see bare skin. As far as you being a ‘decent human being,’ you get shot at for a living, just like I do. You don’t have to deal with someone who’s not a member of your team bitching, so you don’t. It’s a simple as that. If you can walk out, then you do, and you would if you could. I can tell from the way that you’re swaying that you’re still contemplating leaving, and you’re jingling the keys to your flat"the place you actually live, not the penthouse you live in for show"in your pocket. You want to leave, but you can’t leave, because you have to deal with me for some reason, and that reason is that you’ve been assigned as my new partner…which means the old one is dead, right? Jason died. He was killed in action?”
Austin sighs, “He’s not dead. Just…reassigned. I got him out under the guise that he was stupid and useless.”
“Jason is not"”
“Listen for once instead of talking. I said ‘guise.’ He’s working with Matthew now, special ops.”
“That boy walks with the grace of a moose.”
“Which is why he’s partners with Matthew, who’s light on his feet, and they’re both fast. They work with explosives; Jason rigs them, Matt sets them, and Jason trips them.”
I laugh as I remember Jason picking me up, flinging me over a shoulder and hightailing it out of an enemy base as he blew the entire thing up with strategically placed pipe bombs he made with nearby objects while I distracted the guards, “Yeah, I remember him being good with speed and explosives. Matt’s a good match.”
“Get dressed. You have an appointment, and they requested PT clothes. No fussing with your skinny jeans or ruffled tops.”
“I don’t wear ruffles.”
“Well, I wouldn’t know.” He checks his phone, “Especially considering I just got assigned to you thirty seconds ago.”
I scoff, “So I was right.”
He shifts back and forth on the balls of his feet, “Well, you weren’t wrong.”
“There is no right, ‘not wrong,’ and wrong.”
“There is a gray area. The world isn’t black and white.”
“This scenario is.”
“Get dressed and stop being difficult.”
“I have to break you in and this is how I’m doing it. Answer my question.”
He groans in frustration, “We were both right. I was your partner off the record, but if they scanned us both, we would be listed as solos. Now please stop being difficult. Are you this difficult to all your partners? Why do I only get difficult partners?”
I smirk, “I’m only difficult towards the ones with tattoos on their wrists and I’ll stop being difficult when you’ve been sufficiently broken in.”
“When will that be?”
“You’ll know.”

© 2012 Alexx White

Author's Note

Alexx White
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Added on April 18, 2012
Last Updated on April 18, 2012
Tags: Gone Daddy Gone, 4, spies, espionage, nuclear winter, science fiction, action


Alexx White
Alexx White

Chesapeake, VA

Heyo. My name is Alexx and I am most definitely in college. I write because I think faster than I speak and was raised that pretty girls are seen, not heard and quickly realized that absolutely nothin.. more..

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A Chapter by Alexx White

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A Chapter by Alexx White