Our Fearless Leader

posted : Thursday, June 20th, 2013

reblogged from : running with dinosaurs

Old Friends: 24

   “So,” I started, awkwardly. “When did you move back over?”

   I leaned back against the stark, white walls of the hospital. Doc and I were finally able to find out what hospital Eagle Eye was taken to. Soon after that it wasn’t very long until I was reunited with this person. After quite the wait, the doctor finally came out and said that Eagle Eye would live. Thank whatever god out there. Taking a lollipop out of my jacket pocket, I was finally calm enough to eat something after 24 hours of waiting. Even if it was candy.

   “I don’t know, a few years? Maybe more?” He responds.

   “And you didn’t tell me.”

   “I couldn’t find you! I tried to call but the residents said you’d moved out. Heard about your brother, though… Sucks.”

   I glanced at him. He looked the same. He still had those goofy glasses and looked just as skinny. I knew the kid ate… Some things are just not fair.

   “It’s fine.”

   “Quit lying to yourself,” he scolded. “And me. You’ve gotten better at it, though!”

   “I kind of do this for a living.” I retorted.

   I moved the lollipop to the other side of my mouth as his eyes shifted to the waiting room. Doc was talking to the doctor, Luthor was reading an outdated magazine, Honey Badger was on the brink of tears—if they were of joy or worry, I don’t know—, Raven was sitting there almost in a daze… Everyone was torn up about the situation. We all knew what we were risking by coming out here all at once.

   “Along with your friends?” Joey asked.

   His voice snapped me back to the fact that I was carrying a conversation with him.

   “…Yeah,” I hesitate to answer.

   “I guess that’s why I couldn’t find you. Not a very flashy job.”

   We stood there for a minute. I looked at his hand and saw that stupid mask he used to have. How does he even fit that over his glasses?

   “So…” He starts this time. “You kill people as a job?”

   It’s not a curious question. It was more of a question of intrigue. He found out what we did the moment he brought Eagle Eye in.

   “Yeah,” I already know what he’s going to say.

   “Wow… Any way I could join?”

   I thought for a moment.

   “Well…” I answered slowly. “It’s not something you just join.”

   “Nice! I like it, just encourages me to get in even more! So can I? Please?” He asked genuinely.

   I glared at him.

   “Look,” I snapped, “I would ask the person in charge. However, he’s busy doing something else at the moment and his right hand man is currently unconscious.”

   He put his hands in his pockets and gave me a suspicious stare.

   “What, do you think I’m lying to you?” I accused.

   “I don’t know…” He smiled, crossing his arms.


    He grins.

   “Just kidding! But still, anyone else I could speak to?”

   God, he’s making it sound like a job application or something.

   I glanced at Doc and sighed before I turned back to face him. If anyone is going to give some reliable information, it would be Doc.

   “I guess. Let me go see. Stay here.”

   I took the lollipop stick out of my mouth and tossed it in the trash. Taking a final look over my shoulder, I made my way towards Doc. She was done talking to the doctor and he passed by me. She was scribbling something down on her small notebook when I stepped behind her. I tapped her shoulder.

   “I have a favor to ask.” I said.

   I pulled another lollipop out of my jacket pocket. We were the only remaining people in the waiting room and the sound of the paper coming off of the lump of sugar echoed awkwardly in the halls and was drowned out by the slight hum of various machinery.

   “Depends on the favor.”

   Doc placed the pen in her notebook and closed it. I stuck the lollipop in my mouth and stuffed the parchment wrapper back in my jacket pocket.

   “My friend over there,” I jerk my head in Joey’s direction. “He was asking about recruitment. I said Zephyr and Eagle Eye are busy, but he really wants to talk to someone about it. I’m not surprised.”

   I see Doc glance over in that direction.

   “So you came over here to ask of my opinion?” She confirmed.

   I nodded slowly. I could see Doc taking a moment to think of what to do. She first glanced at me and then back at Joey before she pushed herself out of the small armchair she was sitting in. I raised my eyebrow and followed her as she made her way towards Joey and introduced herself. They shook hands and Doc spoke first.  


posted : Monday, March 4th, 2013

Unexpected: 23

   I exhale as I push the door to the roof open. The life of an anti-socialite can be stuffy, so fresh air is the only thing I truly require. I stretch, letting out a soft yawn before I carefully remove my glasses and rub my eyes. It’s ironic just how stressful video games are. You’d expect them to be fun, but no, instead you spend most of the time screaming orders at each other while one of you is driving away and the other is being mauled by Zeds.

   I smile. Totally worth it though. My mind blanks for a second before I forget what I was doing. This seems to happen quite a bit, too many things to think about on low processing power. Especially because of that one video, sweet mother of god. I close my eyes before glancing behind myself to find nothing.

   You’ve got to stop scaring yourself with these sorts of things, I mentally scold myself. One of these days you’re going to tulpa-form it. I quickly pull out my cellphone and push my many small fears to the back of my mind. Typing in the four-digit code, my screen unlocks, revealing my background: a black figure, it’s face a strange pattern of shapes. My insignia, my mask, sitting there with its wide mouth and squinty eye. My hand instinctually touches my backside and quickly finds the hard plastic that is tied to my belt. I smile as I sidestep to remove the glare on my screen, moving into the shade of a neighbouring building. That’s when I spot it.

   “Oh no,” I say quickly as something glints in my phone’s reflection.
Paranoia takes over as I press my back to the stair-access door. Then the sound comes. A high pitched whoosh, extremely hard to describe, gets louder as the bullet gets closer. In less than a second, the sniper’s fired and hit something. I hear a grunt and a metallic clang. Silence reigns as the sound of the bullet’s impact echoes in my mind.
My thoughts race, my heart rate quickens. Someone or something was just fired upon by a sniper directly west of my current position. Reason: unknown yet, perhaps a hit was placed on someone in my building. That wouldn’t explain the clashing-metal sound, that extremely loud ping! Either way, someone got hit. And I want to investigate this awesome, albeit dangerous, incident. I hear the person shuffle around before the crackle of a radio emits from their direction.

   “Zephyr… Zephyr… this… this is Eagle Eye…” The person heaves out, his breath labored. He’s obviously in pain. His injury must be pretty bad. Judging from the direction, I’d have to say he was either shot in the leg, side, shoulder, or arm. Whomever this “Zephyr” character is, he isn’t responding.

   “My… my arm… I don’t know where the bullet came from. I… I think there was another sniper… shit…” Maybe I should go over there and finish the job. I mean, if I’d gotten shot in the side and were completely abandoned on top of a building, I’d want to die as fast as possible. Letting it drag out just seems unfair. Okay, I decide. If he’s been shot in the side or shoulder, I’ll just finish the job. The radio was still silent.

   “I’m losing a lot of blood… I need you to send someone over here… oh god… there’s so much blood… Alex—Zephyr, help me.” Alex had to be Zephyr, seeing as how this one called himself Eagle Eye. Code names, perhaps? I unlatched my mask from my belt before tying it onto my face. I peered through the tinted, one-way glass of the eye holes and counted to ten before leaving my cover.

  “Well, damn, you were right. There is a lot of blood,” I chuckle, walking confidently over to the figure. The voice modulator in my mask activates as soon as I begin speaking. How you carry yourself can mean a lot of things when speaking to other beings, human or not. If you show fear, they won’t. An L115A3 AWM lay not too far from the still figure. I nudge him with my foot.

   I laugh and quote one of my favorite stories, “You’ve met a terrible fate, haven’t you?…”


posted : Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

The Arrival: 22

          ‘It-It’s Ian. He’s in trouble. He was calling out to Zephyr. He’s shot, he’s bleeding out… he— he needs assistance.” Man down. Bullet wound. My mind goes on autopilot. Of the first aid kits I keep in the hangar, bullet wound is four across, two up. We’ll need a stretcher. Depending on the severity of the wound, he may need additional care beyond my resources— I remind myself to check for the nearest institution that won’t ask too many questions while in the air. Once I’ve located that I’ll check my laptop, then get out what I immediately need, and then arrange it all so I can land on the rooftop without incident. I can’t extrapolate from there— where was he shot? I’ll have to bring kits for all bullet wounds, and the stretcher, and my bag—
          “GET ASSISTANCE. LUTHOR, GET ON A FUCKING CHOPPER AND GET OUT THERE. HE NEEDS A MEDIC. HE’S BLEEDING AND HE’S GOING TO DIE IF WE DON’T GET THERE.” No fucking shit. That’s what happens when people get shot. Is there anything I’m missing? No, I’ve thought of everything. Right. Bag first. I sit for a moment.
          “I said Ian is dying. He needs help. NOW GET OUT THERE!” Lacey’s shrill shrieks startle me out of my trance. I cross the room in a bound. I raise my hand and wave it at the motion sensor. I shove my arm in, grab my bag off the hook, and am heading up the stairs before the door slides shut, Blood Falcon right in front of me.
          I gasp for air— I’m not built for this— and we’re on the hangar. He dashes over to the chopper, I head for the nearest wall. I tear the kits and twist the stretcher off the wall. I sense— rather than hear— the heavy blades beginning to rotate above me. I open the back doors and shove everything in. ugh this is terrible kill me now. I tumble through the doors, slam them shut, and we’re off.
          Blood Falcon apparently knows where we’re headed. I feel uneasy trusting them but I have to at this point. I momentarily wonder about Lacey’s extreme reaction— is she trying to hide something? But I suppose she just hasn’t lost anyone yet and begin checking openings at my personal list of hospitals. I decide the nearest one is within five minutes (I hate the weather, but L.A. has its benefits) and scour my inboxes for any messages. If this is personal— but there’s nothing, and I give a tiny exhale of relief. I glance out at the skyline, recognize some landmarks, and crawl back to the rear of the chopper. I crouch, preparing to leap as soon as we land.
          We begin to descend, and I peer out the window. I see the rifle set up and a pool of blood. Yet no body. Hm. Somehow I think this won’t go over well with the team. Blood Falcon lands, and I swing open a door, leaping out to see if he really is missing. I jog over to the edge and look over. Long way down, but no bodies as far as I can tell. Well, we have that going for us.

          I go back to the scene of the crime. Large pool of blood, around a meter around. Rifle— I snatch it and toss it in the back of the chopper. (Maybe you shouldn’t do that with expensive sniper rifles. It’s not my area of expertise.) I get on my knees looking for a note, a scrap of fabric, a footprint, a helpful glass slide with an unfamiliar fingerprint imprinted on it, anything that could lead us to him. Hell, “You’re Next” fingerpainted in blood be helpful at this point. But there’s nothing.

          I scuff the heel of my boot on the rough concrete. If this were my mission— but I remind myself of what my one-time therapist said, and “focus on the task at hand rather than dwelling on my arguable [read: infinite]  superiority over others within the confines of my highly specified skill set”. God, he was annoying. I don’t go a day without reminiscing about killing him.

          Focus, Luthor.

          I glance at Blood Falcon— hands folded behind their back, feet shoulder distance apart, eyes staring at the puddle of blood, too still. They glance up at me and I shake my head. I’m not sure what I was trying to convey with this gesture, but it seemed like the appropriate thing to do. We hop back into the helicopter, buckle up (safety first), and wonder for a moment where we should go from here and/or where our lives went so terribly wrong. (I kid, I kid, I love this life.) (I won’t speak for Blood Falcon, though. I mean, have you been on a mission with him? The kid’s messed up.)
I sigh and pull out my phone. As much as I’d like to go on a manhunt myself, we should probably inform headquarters of Ian’s wanderings. Ugh. It’s bad enough that I have to make a phone call— but to tell someone that their close and personal friend is missing and probably dead? I tap the number and pray Lacey doesn’t pick up.
          “Luthor, is that you?” I bite back the sarcastic reply.
          “Yeah. Um. Eagle Eye isn’t… here.”
          “Well,” DEAR SATAN IN HELL, THE SARCASTIC THINGS I COULD SAY ARE KILLING ME INSIDE, “we landed, but he isn’t here.” Straightforward terms are probably the best course of action, especially with Doc.
          “Someone moved him,” I added, “There weren’t any bloody splatters around the— okay, we need someone to search the local hospitals, it’s most likely someone heard the shots and took him somewhere. We’ve got all his aliases’ info on file, can you get some to-”
         “Oh my god.” This is gonna take forever.
         “Yeah, it’s terrible and scary and whatever, but can we please get to work? If y’all don’t stop lamenting, you’re gonna have to hack into the cemeteries, not the hospitals.” I hang up with a melodramatic slam of my thumb and sink into the stained, ripped seat, letting out a soft groan.
          “They need to get their shit together.”
          “…Are we just supposed to wait here, or…”
          “I… don’t know.” Well, you’re so helpful.
         “Hey, can we go over to that rooftop over there? It’s the only one at the right height, and since he was facing over there, he wouldn’t see whoever it was-”
          “You want me to fly 14 feet?”
          “What, as opposed to going down ten billion flights of stairs, then across the street, and then up another ten billion flights, and then having to come back down-”
          “Okay, fine.”
           Having the opposing rooftop also be devoid of clues: 2/5 stars. Would not recommend.


posted : Friday, December 14th, 2012


I AM DONE! HAPPY DANCE!!!!! (Taken with Cinemagram)

Our fearless leader.


I AM DONE! HAPPY DANCE!!!!! (Taken with Cinemagram)

Our fearless leader.

posted : Saturday, November 24th, 2012

reblogged from : alex

Silent Observation: 21

          The room is silent, as Lacey’s words find their way into my head. The hairs on the back of my neck tingle. I know I’ve often anticipated a day like this one, I’d known it was inevitable, but I always imagined it different. We would be in the control room, closely watching while a select few of our team moved in on an operation. The situation gets sour, we command them to pull out, someone gets caught in the crossfire. The medic is already on site. They get out without much damage, fly back to HQ and we patch up whoever’s shot.

          I’d never seen it like this, a moment suddenly split by Lacey’s raw words. To me, it was more terrifying to witness the stillness. Everyone frozen momentarily, soft whispers of breath exhaled, or taken in sharply. But that was only a moment. Doc is rushing to Lacy, hurried loud words are thrown into the room, wide eyes rove wildly, and bodies stumble to follow direction.

          Then it’s only us in the room. Echo and me. We exchange a glance then go our respective ways. Me at a run. I feel tears of shock building up, and brush them away. I have a thing with showing emotions that relate to weakness.

          My room seems dark and cold and uncomforting. I go to the closet and lift my heavy packed go-bag. The backpack is black, and the straps are built in with a rappelling harness. The contents includes a set of clothes, a jumble of extra clips of ammo, zip ties, duct tape, trauma bandages, nylon rope, rubber gloves and tactical gloves, a heavy felt tip sharpie, a water bottle, binoculars, and a pen light. I like to be prepared. I take the time to gather up my notebooks and laptop, placing them carefully into their compartments. I change into cargo pants, combat boots and a long sleeve shirt. I have a few extra moments, since I keep my pack ready at all times.

          My head starts pounding and panic overtakes me. The tears spill out, I brush them away furiously. Standing up, I strap my pack on and go find Echo. I have to tell her our emergency plan with her staying at base. Newest recruits usually do.

          The rest are probably headed to the cars.


posted : Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Waiting: 20

          It’s been four hours.

          I’m pacing back and forth in the library. I at first walked around the empty rooms, checking and double-checking the security to make sure I was doing my job well. Eventually I was too frazzled for that, and came here. A cold mug of tea I made for myself a while back waits on the desk, beside a stack of books that I tried to read to distract myself.

          An hour ago, I couldn’t take it any longer, and I pulled out my cell phone and started calling. I know there’s a possibility that they haven’t even reached the hospital yet, but still, they could at least answer their phones. Eagle Eye could be dead for all I know. I bite my lip and force back tears despite the fact that there is no one here to see me cry.

          Would they have called me already if he was dead? Or would they be too busy mourning? I pulled out my cell phone and dialed Raven again. Five rings and then to voicemail. The first time I heard that my friend’s voice was a comfort, but now, after my tenth try, it seems like the ordinary “leave a message” speech was an ominous warning. I think about trying Lacey or Doc or Luthor again, but I decide against it. What if I’m just getting in the way? No one likes ringtones in the ER.

          Suddenly, a wave of anger decides to pay me a visit. Can’t just one of them bother to call me? Give me thirty seconds to tell me that he’s okay? I may not have had as traumatizing a life as they all had before, but I’ve dealt with death before, and I know that I don’t want to again.

          Tears leak out of my squeezed-shut eyes. When I open them, the first thing I notice is the security camera. It’s facing me, perched up on the highest bookshelf. Why didn’t I remember that before letting myself cry? Why didn’t it cross my mind that it’s not outsiders being watched, it’s me too? Sometimes I despise this job. With a sudden burst of adrenaline, I take a paperweight from the desk and hurl it at the camera. By some amazing luck (I’ve never been able to throw), it flies true. The camera is out. I’m alone, and I’m no longer angry— except at myself. Why’d I do that? Stupid. I was being a selfish idiot. Eagle Eye is in danger and I’m acting like a child.

          I close my eyes again. Breathe in, breathe out. They’ll call me if anything happens. They’ll call. I repeated to myself over and over, lulling myself into a forced calm. I know that this won’t help me later, but the mantra soothes me. I sink to the floor and lie on my back, scrutinizing the ceiling. It’s nothing special, not enough to distract me. My hand has curled itself tightly into the maroon carpet. It only unclenches when I drift off to an uneasy sleep.

          I wake to the sound of my phone ringing.


posted : Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

An Unfair Position:19

            I’ll admit— when Lacey came charging up the stairs and broke up the nice normal day that we were all having by yelling at me, I was about ready to spit fire. I should’ve known that something was wrong, though. Even though Lacey isn’t huge on the whole TLC thing, shouting at me like that was out of character. There’s hardly anything quite like one of your best friends getting shot and beginning an agonizing descent into death to throw you off.

            Within minutes of Blood Falcon and Luthor taking off in the helicopter, everyone was rushing around making preparations to go to the hospital, hopefully to greet Eagle Eye alive. I steadied myself, bit back panic, and headed to my room to throw a few things in the backpack before we left.

            Before I could leave, however, Raven laid a quick hand on my shoulder and reminded me of the protocol, “I know it’s not an enjoyable task, but we’ll need you to stay behind and watch base. It’s the rules.”

            I was torn. A very large part of me was overcome with hurt and worry- I had almost been hoping that this bit of our emergency plan would go unnoticed. I wanted to see Eagle Eye, too! What if I never saw him again? What if— No, not thinking that, nope, nope, nope. The other part of me, however, was relieved, though I despised myself for it. I hate hospitals. And what if I freaked at the hospital? It made more sense for someone who was level headed, and who could actually help, like Doc, to go, instead of me. But what if…

            As I struggled with how to react, Raven left and now Black Heart was passing and shouldering his pack, “I’ll need you to help me check the vehicles, since you won’t be packing.”

            The benign words reminded me of my earlier dilemma. I knew that the best way to help Eagle Eye would be to stay back and make sure that he had someplace to come back to, but there was a certain sting in the reminder that I wasn’t high enough rank to go and visit my dying friend. A moment later, though, I was overcome with worry for Eagle Eye and I jogged to catch up with Black Heart to check the cars. Two minutes after, they had sped off, leaving me alone with an empty HQ and a promise to call with news.


posted : Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Why Can’t It Just Be a Dream?: 18

          “He’s shot…bleeding out…”

          This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. It’s all just a bad dream, I’ll wake up. I’ll wake up and everyone will be okay. We’ll go eat breakfast together and be a happy little family of killers for hire.

          Everything will be okay, right?

          “I don’t know, to be honest,” Someone says. Was I talking out loud? Everyone is moving quickly, and I’m doing nothing. I’m just standing here.  I should go prepare the infirmary for when he comes back. I stumble down the stairs, leaning an arm against the wall for support. Once I reach the small, dark room, I collapse against the door frame, the memory of what just happened playing over and over in my brain.


          My chest tightens, and the sensation creeps up into my throat. The air is being squeezed out of my lungs and my throat seizes up and no matter how hard I try I can’t get enough air. The only sound I hear is the rapid phump-phump of my heart attempting to break free of my chest. The world around me blurs as the tears well up and I use a shaky hand to wipe them away.  I manage to pull myself up on shaky legs, take as deep a breath as possible, and get to work while I make a weak attempt to assure myself that everything will be alright.

~Honey Badger

posted : Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The Guilt of Past Hate: 17

        It was just another day. Blood Falcon and Black Heart playing video games, Luthor, Raven, and me munching on some of Honey Badger’s homemade poptarts. On slow days like those when one or two people go on solo missions, it’s nice. Normally.

        The only three people actually working were Zephyr— doing some mission god knows where, Lacey— on Radio duty since it was my day off technically, and Eagle Eye. Eagle Eye was on a mission in the Los Angeles, he had to kill some politician on his vacation. An easy job.

       But it wasn’t.


        “SHUT UP, AMELIA.”

        I run to Lacey as she fell to the ground. I know something serious happened, we don’t use our real names unless it’s important. She wouldn’t have called Echo by her real name if this wasn’t.

        “Lacey, tell me what’s wrong,” I say gently, trying to relax her.
        It seems to work when she replies, “It— It’s Eagle Eye. He’s in trouble. He was calling out to Zephyr. He’s shot, he’s bleeding out… he— he needs assistance.”

        I throw my hand to the wall to stop myself from falling over. I shut down. I hear Lacey screaming at the others to go save him but I stay where I am, leaning against my hand, my feet barely holding my body from falling to the beige carpet of the main room.

        Ian can’t die.
        He can’t.

        If he dies, it’s my fault. Months ago, back when Echo had just joined, before I trusted everyone, I wished that he would die. I wished for him to get shot so he couldn’t kill me and I could leave. I don’t want that anymore. I don’t want him to die.

        As Blood Falcon and Luthor run to the hangar, I focus on Alexa, who has always been more open about her emotions than me. I lead her to the couch, knowing I have to be strong. Strong for her.

        I say to her, “He’s going to be okay.” But I don’t really believe it myself.

        We don’t have a jet. We just have a helicopter. There are about two hundred miles between Los Angeles and our headquarters. Our helicopter flies at a speed of 183 miles per hour. That means it will take over an hour to get to Eagle Eye.

        Blood has a velocity or speed of 0.14 meters per second. If he was shot in a main artery, it would take minutes for him to die from exsanguination. I can only hope he knows to put pressure on the wound and pray that it didn’t hit an artery.

         Lacey says to me, “You don’t know that.”
        “Lacey, he’s going to be okay,” I repeat, telling myself more than her.
        “But what if he isn’t? I—I can’t do that again. I can’t,” She shouts at me. She leaves me in the room with everyone else.

        Black Heart stares at the feedback screens for a moment and starts shouting orders. I stare at my hands. I don’t even notice him talking to me.

        “Doc!” I look up when he says my code name.
        “Yes?” I say weakly.

        “I need you to get in touch with the closest hospital, which is Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, and make sure they know what’s going on.”

       “Right,” I say mechanically.
       “Don’t tell them Eagle Eye is coming, use one of his aliases.”
       “Okay,” I stand up and walk to my laboratory down the hall, but it feels like it’s some other person walking down the hall and opening the door. It’s someone else who calls up the head surgeon who owes her a favor for past happenings. It’s some other girl who is worrying about Eagle Eye.
        It’s not Ian who’s dying.


posted : Wednesday, October 17th, 2012