Notes: If the title hasn't given it away, this fic is a crossover between the X-Men and The Bourne Identity. There's been massive liberties taken with both continuities. Just warning you. As always, feedback of any kind is appreciated!
The Frost Identity
Another sunrise meant another day on the Mediterranean's restless seas. The crew grumbled as they sipped from steaming mugs of coffee and tea. Not even 5 AM and the men were already looking forward to lunch. To the sight, the captain shook his head as he heaved a heavy cord of rope around his broad shoulders.
"Lazy bastards," he scoffed in his thick Sicilian accent.
Back in his day, men would already be up and about at this time, ready to haul in the morning's first catch. Times changed though, and with it, the roughened, hearty edges of real fishermen. These pups had no idea what it was like to work these waters in the aftermath of World War II. They knew nothing of desperate ex-soldiers who resorted to piracy or the scores of dead marine life thanks to spilled oil from the guts of battleships. They knew nothing of families starving, heirlooms being sold, and desperation born from weeks without pay. They had no clue how kindly the sea treated them these peaceful, bountiful days.
The old trawler jolted, shaking the captain from his woolgathering. There were baits to set, nets to fill, and pockets to be lined. Another sunrise, another day, nothing special.
The captain stiffened. He immediately assumed one of the crew--one of the young ones--had fallen. Probably horsing around, tried to show off, and then slipped. He'd seen such stupid antics before, and every time, a few more hairs on his balding head went gray.
He never looked forward to telling a mother her son drowned.
With quick strides belying a man his age, he raced to the ship's aft. He immediately took stock of his crew, nine in total, and blinked. Yes, there were nine people leaning over the rails. Including himself, that made ten which was how many who were suppose to be on the ship. Man overboard? Well, at least it wasn't any of his own.
"What are all you imbeciles standing there for?" he bellowed while throwing on a lifejacket. "Stop the engines, lower the dingy, and stop staring! We have a man to save!"
Honestly, kids these days. What kind of seaman stood and stared while one of their brothers lay at the water's mercy?
"Woman," one of the young ones corrected. "And I think she's dead."
Woman? Dead? "How the hell would you know? Get your lazy butts moving!"
Goddamn dense as bricks kids.
I blinked at the darkness. Steady beeps accompanied my heart's beat. A rough, uncomfortable blanket kept me unreasonably warm and annoyingly itchy. A door let a flood of light in. There were tubes, tubes everywhere, all over my arms, some on my neck, one even to my private regions. My throat burned as if scrapped raw by sandpaper and my joints felt as stiff as a corpse's.
Rising above my senses, however, were voices. I heard them as if a crowd stood next to me, together jumbled with only a few snippets of intelligible words. Tired eyes whipped around as best they could to find the source. Hidden speakers? Perhaps the television? Was it under her bed? In the closet?
Actually, "Who am I?"
The voices offered no answers.
My own voice sounded foreign, a splash of English amidst the tidal wave of Italian. English meant either American or British, but then what business did I have in understanding Italian? What was going on? How did I get to this hospital? This was a hospital, right?
And why did I have the world's hugest headache?
Willing myself to sit, I bit back a gasp at the sudden pain lighting my back and shoulder on fire. Some sheer miracle allowed me to not scream, so instead I let out a pathetic moan. As tears trickled down the corners of my eyes, I reached out for the clipboard at the end of the bed. It took some determined stretching and a great deal of pain tolerance, but in the end, I hooked the clipboard with my trembling index finger.
At least I knew four things about myself: female, English speaking, stubborn, and masochistic.
The clipboard had my "medical history." Name: Unknown. Address: Unknown. Date of Birth: Unknown. Patient presents with critical blood loss due to two gunshot wounds to the upper left shoulder region, hypothermia from being immersed in the ocean, and blunt head trauma. CT scan shows signs of intracranial swelling. Surgeon found RF chip imbedded into patient's left shoulder, believed it was bullet shrapnel. Chip removed then scanned. Results pending.
Stupid piece of paper was about as helpful as a kick in the face. Frustrated, I threw the clipboard against the wall and buried my head in my hands. A nagging sensation told me I should've been doing something important, but my brain refused to cooperate. All it could do was hear these voices that weren't there and hurt like it was hung-over on the world's cheapest alcohol.
"Miss, how are you feeling?"
Italian. Nurse. 5'9" tall. Late thirties. Relatively tight, light blue scrubs. Hands at her sides. Not a threat at all. On the off chance she was, the IV line could be used as a deadly weapon.
Hold the phone. An IV line as a deadly weapon? What kind of twisted thought process was that? How would you even use one as a deadly weapon?
Well, naturally strangulation. Barring that, ripping the needle out of my arm and stabbing the nurse in the eye would be a viable-
"What happened to me?" I whimpered, afraid of these violent images.
Panic. Don't understand English. Maybe Doctor Giovannati would know what to do. Probably get some food for her too.
As the nurse's footsteps echoed down the hall, I realized she hadn't said a word beyond her initial greeting. I listened to the voices surrounding me, instead now focusing, my eyes peering out and trying to listen to the next person who walked by.
... meal. Have to turn him before he gets a...
Stupid visiting family. Don't they know people on dialysis should be left alone?!
I want to go home. What time is it? Fifteen minutes till break...
I was listening to their thoughts. I should be surprised, ecstatic even, but I failed to even be enthusiastic. Somehow, this must've been normal for me, so normal that even without my memory, I didn't find it exhilarating or frightening. It felt like a given, natural perhaps.
But the constant droning of the masses pissed me off.
Yearning for some peace and quiet, I struggled off the bed and dragged myself to the bathroom. Unfortunately, I didn't consider the things attached to me--pulsoxcimter, waste bag, a host of tubes--before moving. Painful pulling and a bunch of crashes sent my heart racing, and right then, I wished no one would notice me. I waited for nurses and doctors to come rushing in, ask me if I was ok, tell me to lie back down.
I waited. And waited. And waited.
Not even the nurse who went to get Doctor Giovannati returned. I made my way to the bathroom, this time taking much more care in not hurting myself. As I locked the door and turned on the light, I saw a blonde woman staring back at me with a steely, icy gaze. She... and I mean, I... I looked worse for the wear, my cheeks ashen, my lips chapped, and my hair a tangled mess.
At the risk of sounding narcissistic, I was rather fetching despite my disheveled appearance. Even my baggy hospital gown couldn't hide my ample breasts or completely offset what seemed like an impressive physique. I ran a hand over my firm washboard stomach; my other one cupped said breasts, curious as to whether they were real or not.
A girl could wake up to less welcoming visions.
The smirk I let out must've tickled something in the back of my mind, because the next time I focused on the mirror, I saw myself dressed in an elegant, white evening gown. Long gloves encased my hands and forearms while a diamond necklace plunged into my cleavage. My ruby red lips puckered up as my hips swayed to and fro.
My mirror image leaned forward and breathed in a harsh, sultry tone, "Give us a kiss, baby."
"Miss, are you in the restroom?"
As suddenly as it appeared, my pampered self winked out of existence. Those five words, "Give us a kiss, baby," sent chills up my spine. My shaky knees wouldn't hold and sent me collapsing onto the filthy ground. A kaleidoscope of people and places assaulted me, each passing by too fast for me to grasp. I felt like God was giving me the Cliff's Notes version of my life, only He decided to put this particular video on fast-forward instead of play. I struggled, struggled with the half-understood remembrances and the shocking imagery splashed against moments of peace and solitude.
My breaths grew short and ragged.
I grabbed at fistfuls of my hair.
The stitches on my back tore but I didn't care.
"Miss, I'm going to unlock the door. The doctor needs to see you."
The nurse and doctor found me sprawled out on the filthy ground, hyperventilating, tearing at myself, and bleeding. I gritted my teeth together and said in perfect Italian, "Leave me the fuck alone."
Both stepped back, shocked at the venom in my voice. Neither expected this kind of response, and as for me? A sick wisp of satisfaction warmed my jumbled mind. I liked their fear and my strength. For brief second, I was in control and it felt damned good.
Then reality came crashing back in: I was weak, I couldn't remember a thing about myself, and I was essentially at their mercy. The doctor acted first and pulled me up by the arm. As I tried to flail at him, the nurse took my other arm. Together, they escorted me back into the room like an uncooperative prisoner. The more I struggled, the more a memory tried to come to the forefront. My hoarse screams reminded me of... of...
"Will you commit yourself entirely to this program?"
Me, my hands cuffed behind my back, and him, a man with a ponytail and a menacing aura. "Yes," I replied.
"Are you sure? This is the point of no return. You will die, and in your place will be someone devoid of mercy. You will exist only for this program, for Hellfire."
I tried to shrug off the people holding my shoulders still. "I wouldn't be here if I wasn't sure."
"Well then, let us begin."
Those rock steady hands yanked me backwards, but before I could even scream, they pulled a hood over my head and snapped a collar around my neck. The next thing I knew, I was drowning.
My screams stopped. I twisted out of their grasps. My left leg kicked the heart monitor into the room's door, closing it. A sharp, precise chop caught the doctor in his neck. He immediately clutched his throat and began wheezing. My free hand grabbed the bed sheets and wrapped it around the nurse's head. The cloth muffled her surprised yelp as I viciously took her to the ground. A quick elbow to the temple silenced her.
The doctor was still struggling for breath by the time I could pay him more attention. My racing heart slowed, and with it, the adrenaline subsided. I expected a dose of disgust at watching a man die, but I couldn't summon the wherewithal to care. I simply watched, not quite bored, certainly not depressed, and strangely not even excited.
One look told me his clothes wouldn't fit me. The nurse's would though. I began stripping her, but I stopped myself. Where was I going? I was in a hospital, my shoulder hurt like nothing else, and I didn't even know who I was. This was where I belonged until I got better or someone came to get me.
I winced at the idea of someone coming to get me.
"Give us a kiss, baby."
Teeth clenched and head thumping, I spun around ready for a fight, but all I got was a closed door. If I could've, I would've leapt out of my skin. Those words and the associated sultry, seductive voice put the fear of God into me. Running, if just to get away from that voice, sounded like a fine plan.
I resumed stripping the nurse.
The scrubs were a size too big but the shoes fit fine. Taking care not to cause myself further pain, I hoisted her into the bed, turned her on her side, and pulled the blankets up. On cursory inspection, she'd pass for a sleeping patient. Now the dead doctor, he required more attention. Two patients in one bed would look odd, so that left me with stuffing him in the coat closet or the bathroom.
The coat closet got chosen because it was closer.
I rummaged through the doctor's pockets. Keys to a BMW. An ID badge. A PDA-cell phone. A wallet with a healthy amount of cash inside. A small, thin voice recorder. Why a voice recorder?
I hit the play button. "Thursday, 6:47 PM. Patient is a 27 year old female named Tasha Snell. She is under observation for heat exhaustion after-"
Fast forward. "Thursday, 7:12 PM. Patient is a 68 year old Asian male named Liu Tran. Post-surgical for his-"
Smart man. He'd visit with his patients, record his observations, then transcribe his notes when he had time. Fast forward again. "Thursday, 7:31 PM. Patient is a female, name and age are unknown. Our mystery patient's wounds are healing well as of last check up. Lab reports are back showing no signs of infection. The RF chip was read and displayed '1274002319' along with the Swiss National Bank Insignia. Nurse reports that patient is now conscious."
So my instincts told me to run? Fine, at least now I had a place to run to.
The Manhattan skyline carved a niche for itself through the blood red horizon. Inside the world's tallest and most majestic buildings worked proud men and women, tireless in their pursuit for whatever their superiors wanted. Some worked on investments, others cutting edge projects, but only a select few got to pursue less tangible goals like national security.
Engrossed with his laptop, Sebastian Shaw didn't even look up at his assistant, Tessa. "Mm," he grunted.
"We have confirmation: the target was not killed."
If he was angry, he didn't show it. All he did was continue typing. "What happened?"
Used to her boss' terse words, Tessa stepped forward to lay the file on his desk. "The agent sent to do the assassination was discovered prematurely. There was a confrontation, our agent tried to escape, and then she reportedly disappeared into the Mediterranean Sea."
The constant tapping of the keyboard stopped. "Do we have her body?"
"Do we know exactly why and how she failed the mission?"
"Call our men in Italy and have them monitor the situation as close as possible. Reconnaissance, re-evaluate, and report back to me when you have additional facts."
Just as she turned to leave, he added, "Activate the Inner Circle as well."
A hesitant "Yes, sir" followed the order.
- To be continued...