Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Based upon Scorpia by Anthony Horowitz.


Alex Rider faced the one person in the world that had been responsible for his father's death. His mind raged against the feelings flooding through his heart. His mind told him that Scorpia--that Mrs. Rothman--had fooled him. Fooled him into making his father a hero--an idol. His heart insisted that Scorpia was right. Mrs. Jones was a wicked woman, who had given the order to kill John Rider.

A battle roared inside Alex, but the room in which he stood was eerily silent. He held the gun trained on Mrs. Jones's head. "Why did you do it?" he demanded quietly.

"Why did I do what?" she asked calmly.

"Why did you give the order to kill my father?" Alex demanded.

"The truth hurts, Alex. Your father was a dangerous man. What if he had lived? What if you'd found out that your father was an assassin? What would you think of him? You would hate him, wouldn't you? MI6 hated him, in a way. It was hard for me to give that order, Alex. I cannot bear to see someone die. It broke me, that day, Alex. It broke my heart, knowing I was sending your life and your mother's into a tailspin. But I gave the order because it would have broken my heart worse letting your father send hundreds of others' lives into the same whirlpool." she smiled wryly at Alex for a moment. "You have the same determination that defined your father. But in the end, that alone was what killed him.

"Shoot me, Alex." she told him. "Shoot me, and you will discover that the only thing you will feel is emptiness. You will feel empty and barren, knowing you killed someone. Someone with family, friends, pets, and a history. And I can almost guarantee that you will contemplate turning the gun upon yourself when you have shot me. Goodbye, Alex Rider."

And Alex's heart won over his mind. His hand shook, but the bullet flew from the barrel, and he saw it hit the mark with lightning precision. Mrs. Jones crumpled, and the adrenaline that had been flowing in Alex stopped instantly. He felt sick to his stomach, and vomited on the floor of Mrs. Jones's apartment. He sat on the floor in his vomit, gathered his knees to himself and rocked back and forth, sobbing. He had shot her. He had killed Mrs. Jones. And then he knew that his heart had lied.

Mrs. Jones had been right. He felt empty, barren, and fought against himself not to turn the gun to his own temple. "I wouldn't do that if I were you." a voice advised. It was a familiar voice--and one he could have sworn up and down on a stack of Holy Bibles that he would never hear again. It was Mrs. Jones!

"Wha...?" was the only sound that emerged from Alex's uncertain lips.

Instantly, his hands were cuffed behind his back. Mrs. Jones stood before him as her guard held the handcuff chain taut. Her hair was perfectly coiffured, her clothes a little wrinkled, and a deadly serious expression presided upon her face. "That, Alex Rider, is how it feels to have killed someone." was all she said.