“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.
“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 Doc was talking to the doctor, Luthor was reading an outdated magazine, Honey Badger was on the brink of tears—if they were of joy or worry, I don’t know—, Raven was sitting there almost in a daze… Everyone was torn up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.
“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.
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?…”