History books call me a hero, brave, and the savior of all that is good.
The history books are wrong. They've always been. I am nothing that you would call a hero, or brave, or a savior. Heck, I'm not even confident enough to say that I'm on good's side. But despite that, I still did something that saved everyone.
I took down the biggest threat on the planet.
The point was, and it was a big point, I hadn't volunteered for this.
On the outside, the meditation retreat was by far the best place in the world to go relax: it was renown for it's calm orchards, beautiful views, and world-famous gardens. Everyone wanted to try it, but not everyone got to, only so-called "special" people who would receive an invitation. Sure, you could say you didn't want to go, but they were always ready, with a private jet and other offers for you that made you wonder, "Is this heaven?"
No, quite the opposite. Welcome to hell.
I visited the place when I was very young, with my parents. I had practically grown up there, as my parents were invited to actually work there, a great honor. By the way, when I say hell, I mean literal hell, in its purest sense.
You are shaking your head right now, I can see you. A retreat? A hell? You're out of your mind, lady, and you'd be right, at least about the out-of-your-mind part. But you'd have to believe me, because listen, I've been there. I've seen it first-hand.
What can be so bad about it? Well, my friend, let's just say this.
I have my powers because of them.
"Shut up!" I said with a sharp intake of breath, turning over sharply and bringing an angry fist down on the clock. Yes, I have anger issues, but they're quite useful with my day job, which is yelling at people to pay off their loans.
The clock rang again despite the fact I had broken the glass on it, so I hurled it across the room with precision you can only achieve when you do it day after day. It a large dartboard and fell off into the trashcan. Rubbing my neck and seething, I got up and walked over to it, thinking, I've got to quit doing that, and then I pulled on my slippers and went downstairs.
Like every morning, I turned on the TV and flipped through the channels back to the news. I sat there in the living room, eating my cereal, as the 6 o'clock news started. And as it did every morning, the news anchor, with her beaming smile, turned the subject to the meditation retreat.
"So," she said, "The Serenity retreat recently opened its doors for another invited guest. Isn't it great," she said, turning to the man on set with her with their fake grins, "that the retreat allows people to stay there all their lives? It is truly a gift to mankind."
"Yes, it is, Jane," said the newsman, "Now to Cherry with the weather."
I groaned. Nobody knew the secret behind the retreat, only me, as I had been told to leave when I was young after my parents had secured their job. I came back to visit, I had to live with my aunt, but now I was nineteen and capable of living on my own in an apartment, with the occasional check-in from Aunt Rosie.
The retreat was all it promised, with a catch. It used its promise as its hook, line, and sinker, and then reeled 'em in for their unpleasant reawakening.
And I mean reawakening very seriously.
I pulled on some jeans, jacket, and fixed my long black hair into a glossy ponytail. I grabbed my suitcase and hurried down the apartment stairs and out to the bank where I worked. Of course, it wasn't a very fun job, but it gave me an out for my anger issues: I could yell at people like I was the IRS all day.
"You owe a total of $772,719 US dollars on your loan," I droned, in my bare black chair at a not-so-bare black desk strewn with papers in a bare black room full of silver cubicles. "Mr. Petas, if you don't pay this loan you know very well what will happen."
Mr. Petas spluttered on the other line. "I, I promise I will have the money ready very soon!" he said. "My restaurant is going very well-"
"I don't care," I said calmly. "We need the money back from your loan, or your credit score will be punctured."
Mr. Petas made a scared noise on the other line. Some children were playing in the background. "Yes, ma'am, I will get that paid very soon, mark my words, just please hold back a little longer... "
"Hold back?" I said in a snappy voice, and then he told me bye and hung up. I flipped through my paper for the next people to call and yell at, and found a particular person I hated quite a bit. Grinning, I dialed her number.
"Hello?' said the sweet voice of Mrs. Waters.
"Is Ms. Richards there?" I said, "This is Thornston Bank."
"Oh!" said Mrs. Waters. "I will get her on, thank you."
"Thank you," I purred, determined to keep my anger back until Ms. Richards was on the line. I knew how mean she could be, like she was last time. And sure enough, she was already screaming when she got the phone.
"'ELLO, JUNIPER," said the snotty, fire-fed voice of Ms. Richards.
"It's June," I said politely, but, yes, Juniper was my actual name.. "Oh, Ms. Richy, it turns out you have almost a million dollars in debt. Is that from the yacht you've been parading up and down the river near my apartment?"
"YES IT IS, JUNIPER," Ms. Richards said. "AND MY HUSBAND IS THE PROUD OWNER OF THE RICHEST ESTABLISHMENT OF THIS TOWN, SO I ASSURE YOU, YOU AND YOUR GREEDY BANK WILL GET YOUR MONEY SOON."
"Thank you," I said sweetly.
"BUT I AIN'T PAYING, ON SECOND THOUGHT."
"YOU ARE GONNA PAY WHAT YA OWE, WOMAN!" I yelled through the phone, and from beside me, the ruffled face of Davis peered at me, his glasses askew. He was a young redhead. "AND IF YOU DON'T, I'LL CALL MY FRIEND THE IRS TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR TAXES, AS WELL!"
"YOU DON'T HAVE ANY FRIENDS," said Ms. Richards, "AND IF YOU DID, THEY SURE AS HECK WOULDN'T BE THE IRS." she hung up. I sighed, and Davis glanced at me, peering over his cubicle.
"Bad luck?" he said.
"This business is full of bad luck," I said back, smiling. "We call people and yell at them, because if they don't pay then we won't get paid, and there's hate all around."
"Ditto," he said, and retreated back over when the manager came to talk to him.
After a few minutes, the cell phone rang. I looked down and smiled. I picked it up without even looking at the caller ID and said in a soft, quiet voice, "Agent reporting. What's up, or is it too secret to risk knowing about?"
"The second option, Agent." said a male voice. "You're needed at HQ."
HQ, you ask?
Yes, your theory is correct.
I'm a freakin' flesh-and-bone spy for the government.
"So, what is it?" I asked when I had arrived. I cannot disclose the location, for obvious reasons, spy stuff. If you've seen James Bond or Jason Bourne, you should have an inkling of what I mean, only I'm a lady. Anyway.
"You've seen all the news stuff about the Serenity retreat?" said the same man from the phone. I nodded, weary. "Well, we need someone to go check it out, make sure it's safe. We got 4 or 5 people telling us it's not."
"What's your sources?" I said automatically.
"The witnesses I mentioned," said the man.
"Hm. Are there stories all the same? Or different?" I asked as we walked.
"The same major details. You've been there, right? What did you see?" said the man with a new sense of formality. He looked at me steadily, and I chuckled darkly, pulling my baseball cap over my eyes.
"It's not a retreat, Agent Black," I told him, the man turned to face me, his short brown hair cropped close to his head. "That's just their excuse. It's a genetic experimental facility and so far they've been successful. "
"And where are your sources?" he asked slyly.
"The greatest one can have," I said, pulling up my jacket and revealing the train of spots that ran up my spine. Leopard spots, black and gold, confined to the center of my spine, big and bold and beautiful... "Myself."
Hold on, everyone, it's gonna be one bumpy ride.
Hope you enjoyed. If you liked it, please like/comment. If it gets 4 or more upvotes or 2 or more comments, I will make a chapter 2 and 3. Thank you, and let's get this ride started!!!!!!!!!!!!!!