Reader’s Writing

20 Jul
Emily Parastan    
                                                         La Rebelle

                                               Alex Rider Series cont.

A lone assassin silently scaled the walls of a house in a cozy suburb of England. The window of the room where the boy slept was open. “Perfect.” The cool voice blended in with the night breeze. The Assassin knew why her master had sent her; they had nothing more to lose. This boy, this Alex Rider, had to go. The assassin smiled menacingly, teeth locked in a ferocious grin. Looking again at the still form of the boy, one thought of many was repetitively prominent, He may not look like much, but he must be eliminated now. No mistakes. The assassin felt a strange pang of regret; she would miss this boy, the only one with a chance of defeating them.
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Sixteen year old Alex Rider was asleep in his bed when something woke him. Out of tendency rather than need, he froze and listened hard. A light brushing sound, and there it was again! Something or someone was coming up the side of the house. Alex froze and closed his eyes, faking sleep. He knew he was to stiff, to still, not at all how he slept, but the person at the window would not know that. Alex heard the almost imperceptible creak of the floorboards as the person swung down through the window and approached stealthily. Taking his time. Alex grew cold and barely repressed a shiver and felt his hairs rise on end. A professional. Alex’s instincts told him to run. He knew he was out of his league. It had been a year since he’d really fought anyone, though he’d taken care to resume Karate when he returned from his confrontation with Snakehead and Scorpia in Australia.
A cool breeze carried across the room from an open window and Alex felt himself straighten slightly, forcing himself to relax, he slid his hand under his pillow and reached for the gun he kept there. If worse came to worse, he knew he could use it. He felt a moment of pure shock when he realized it wasn’t there, and then he remembered. His girlfriend Sabina had asked him to keep it in his drawer so he wouldn’t accidentally blow his own head off in his sleep. He mentally grimaced, a fat lot of good it would do there. Bile rose to his mouth. He longed to take a deep breath but knew he couldn’t risk it. Slowly, slowly, he became aware that the man, whoever he was, was taking something from a bag. Alex risked a peek from under his lashes. Through his hair he could see a hypodermic needle. The man approached Alex and slid his hair away from his neck with a touch cool and lithe. Alex was sure the contents of the needle would bring a long and painful death. Now was his time to make a move.
Just as the needle was coming down towards him, he lashed out his feet in front of him, catching his attacker in the chest. His attacker stumbled off balance, and, flying to his feet, Alex took this chance to drive the palm of his hand upward into his attacker’s face. Too late he learned that the stumble was feigned. While his weight was forward, his attacker slid a heel behind Alex’s feet and yanked, sending him to the wooden flooring beneath him.
The man went to plunge the needle into Alex’s outstretched wrist, but Alex managed to grab the man’s forearm just in time and keep it in position just less than an inch away. Through the gauzy black mask worn by his attacker, the only thing visible was the glint of startling white teeth that betrayed a savage grin, as if this was no more than a game. Alex felt a searing pain as the man wrenched backwards out of his grasp, twisting his wrist. The snap of bone was audible even over Alex’s tortured groan. He arched his back in an attempt to throw of his attacker, but the figure stayed on him with an unearthly practiced air. He turned suddenly to get the upper hand and managed to get on top of his attacker. The apparent assassin arched his back, but Alex held on with dogged determination. Alex pinned the man down with his good hand and grappled for the needle. Getting it, he let out his breath with a gasp. “Phew!” He reached behind him for the alarm clock Smithers had installed for him as a 16th birthday gift. Just as he switched the emergency signal, the person under him made his move, swiftly he brought his knee up in a crippling blow between Alex’s legs.
“Pardon me,” Alex groaned in a weirdly high voice. “But are you always this difficult?”
The assassin hissed a quick, one-worded reply, “Yes!” and brought the needle down upon Alex’s exposed neck.
 Alex immediately began to feel distant. He barely processed it when the person slid off his, no… HER gauzy mask. His shock pleased her.
Her violet eyes flashing with reflected moonlight, and looking strangely innocent, she trailed a gloved black finger over his cheek. Her black hair billowed as a strong wind came through the window. Alex was barely conscious of the fact that he was convulsing with pain. She grinned wickedly once more, transforming her features to loose their look of innocence, and whispered, “My name is Rachel Janine Rider, more commonly known as Dark Angel,” her smile transformed into a vicious smirk. “Bet you didn’t know you had a cousin.” Here she turned, and rewrapping her mask, she scaled once more down the side of the house just as Alex lost consciousness.

Ch. 2-
Alex woke to the erratic beeping of machinery. He tried to sit up but the pounding of his head forced him back down. Opening his eyes a crack, he groaned when the bright surgical lights burned his eyes. Immediately he heard hurried footsteps and low voices.
“He’s awake!” cried a pleasant feminine voice that his drugged and sluggish brain took a few moments to identify as Sab’s.
“Hey,” he croaked, the sound barely audible.
“Oh! I told them they couldn’t do this, not again, when you’ve just acclimated to a normal life and…” here she broke off.
Alex felt adrenaline give him energy and he jerked upward, eyes open. “Who? Do what?” Sabina looked beyond tears. While she sniffled and babbled, Alex looked around. The plain white walls told him he was in the hospital. In a chair at the other end of the room sat a very familiar black clad figure.
“Ms. Jones! What are you doing here? I never thought I’d see you again after…” Ms. Jones put a finger to her lip, cutting him off. She turned to Sabina and asked if she and Alex could speak alone.
After Sabina left, Ms. Jones got out of her chair and moved to the end of the bed. “When Smithers received your signal, he knew something was wrong, and he sent five armed agents to investigate. What they found was shocking, we must admit. We thought that after you had left the agency you would be safe. Apparently not. We assume the reason you were attacked was the risk we might recruit you once more. When our men arrived, they waited to make sure the signal was not accidental. When the assassin climbed out from your second story bedroom window, they knew there was a problem. This is where they came in. Two men were sent to check on you, saving your life I might add, and the other three went after the figure in black. They have not been seen since. Now it is apparent that they will not be coming back, it’s been six days.” Six days, Alex thought. I was out for that long?
“The solution you were drugged with was later determined to be a poison derived from the oleander plant. We managed to get you the antidote just in time. I must get back to work soon and Jack Starbright is waiting to speak to you, but I have several inquiries I need answered, I’ll need to see you as soon as you get out in my office for debriefing. Alex, I fear you have no choice in this. We need you once more. Welcome back.”

Ch. 3-
Alex looked at the plain work area around him. It hadn’t changed a bit since the last time he was here. Back then he had thought he would never see it again. He was wrong.

In front of him sat Mr. Blunt and Ms. Jones, who (as always) was sucking on a peppermint. He looked at them expectantly. They were both silent. He sighed. Things were never easy with the two of them. Oh well, one thing had changed though. Him. This time they would speak first. He knew it was childish but he kept his mouth shut and stared them fixedly in the eye. Ms. Jones shifted uncomfortably and her eyes drifted towards the clock. The steady tick of time passing was the only noise. Alex wondered if it was his imagination or if Blunt really was antsy. He doubted it. The man’s eyes narrowed expectantly and Alex suppressed a grin. He would willingly wait in there in the dull office for hours if it meant making Blunt uncomfortable. He deserved it for bringing him back here again…

Of course Alex knew Blunt wasn’t really what, or who, had brought him there. It was that girl. It seemed he could never stay away from this part of his life. He had made it a year without any major catastrophes, but he was, it seemed, destined always to be shoved back into the waiting arms of MI6.

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