Chapter III: A New Operation
Abigail Russell: Senator's daughter, good student, and just a few hours ago, hostage. Now, she's been pulled into a secret government organization.
"What you've seen, Miss Russell, is classified. I don't think I need to tell you the consequences you will receive if you let this get out. I think you understand."
Abigail gulped. "I understand." The old man in front of her was quite intimidating. She knew right away that he was the boss around here.
"Good. I've talked to your father. He wants you to stay here until he gets back." He turned his attention to the woman from the helicopter. "Miss Proietti, escort our guest to the dormitories."
The woman nodded and turned to Abigail with a smile. "Please, follow me."
She complied. What have I gotten myself into?
Nero walked slowly into the dorm lobby, his hair damp from the shower. "Ugh, homework," he muttered under his breath as he sat down at a table containing things he laid out before hand.
"Hey Nero," he heard behind him, "you're back! How did the mission go?"
"Oh, hey Maggie. Not bad I guess," he replied, "just a little more complex then it should have been." Shuffling through the backpack before him, he pulled out a large, hardbound Math book and a notebook. He immediately opened up the book and flipped to a clean sheet in the notebook.
"Complex how?" Maggie questioned as she sat down across from him, auburn hair swaying.
Nero sighed as he placed his pencil down on the table. "Complex as in I rescued the daughter of one of our supporters."
"Well that doesn't sound so bad," Maggie responded. "If he's such a big supporter, I'm sure we would have gotten the mission sooner or later."
Nero frowned. "That's true, but I'm sure that in that mission, not only would I have been better equipped, but there would be more cyborgs on it too. I don't even want to think of what would have happened if something would have happened to her."
Maggie gave him a reassuring smile. "But nothing happened right? There's no reason to worry about what-ifs."
"I suppose you're right, but now I'll probably have to shake hands with this guy and listen to him ramble on about how he's so glad I saved his daughter," he muttered, becoming overly cheery at the last part.
"Nero!" Maggie scolded him, her amber eyes glaring. "That's not very nice. I'm sure he's relieved that his daughter is safe."
Nero frowned again. "That's not what I meant, it's just, he's a politician. He'll say whatever it takes to get supporters."
"Well if it benefits us, I don't see how it matters." Maggie had her hands on her hips.
"Look," he responded, "you haven't been around here long enough to actually meet any of them. They're all looking to further their career and dick over everyone else. I wouldn't be surprised if he used this to take the next presidential election."
Maggie sighed. "You're just stressed. I'll give you some time to yourself. Make sure you finish your homework, 'kay?"
"Yeah, sure," Nero replied as he picked up his pencil and started back on his homework.
Abigail followed Wendy through the facility. "Um, Miss Proietti, did my father mention if he was coming back soon?"
Wendy sighed audibly. "Actually, he said he was going to stay in Washington until he finishes business. He said that we were more then capable of protecting you."
"Thought so," Abigail muttered. "So my father knows about what goes on here?"
Wendy opened a door and led Abigail outside to go to the dorms. "He's one of our biggest supporters," Wendy replied. "Nero's not very fond of him actually," she added in with a laugh.
Abigail giggled. "He comes off as the serious type."
"Most of the time, but when he's not on a job, he's usually a lot more laid back. He takes his work very seriously. You should consider it an honor. It means he won't let anything happen to you."
"Wait, you mean he's going to be guarding me? What about school? Am I even going to be able to go?" Abigail continued rambling.
You're making a big deal out of nothing. Nero already goes to the same school that you do. The only difference will be Nero's presence. He's quite adept at fitting in with regular people his own age."
Abigail was stunned. "You mean to tell me the same person who killed all of those people goes to MY highschool? Aren't you worried that he may blow his cover? What if people find out?"
"You'd be surprised at how many governments use cyborgs," Wendy replied as she led Abigail into the dorm building.
Abigail shook her head. She's avoiding the question.
Wendy led Abigail down a hall and stopped in front of a door in the middle of the hallway. "Here is your room."
Abigail looked around. The door looked fairly standard. The only thing setting it apart from the others was the blank nameplate on the wall beside it. "Thank you," she said gratefully. "Would you mind if I called my mom sometime soon?"
Wendy shook her head. "Not at all. I'm sure she would love to hear from you." She pulled a small black cell phone from her pocket and handed it to Abigail. "If you excuse me, I must find Nero and inform him of the recent events. You can give the phone to Nero when you are done if you don't see me first." As she moved to leave, she spotted another girl coming down the hallway.
"Oh, Wendy," she called, "what a coincidence. I just left Nero at the lounge. He's pretty grumpy right now."
"Thank you Maggie." Giving the girl a nod, Wendy left the two girls to themselves.
Abigail was surprised to recognize the girl. She was a sophomore at her school. They shared a study hall.
Maggie studied Abigail up and down. "Well that's interesting. Nero didn't tell me you were the one he rescued." She held out her hand. "My name is Maggie. It's nice to officially meet you."
"Uh, Abigail Russell. Likewise..." She awkwardly shook her hand.
"Someone's obviously shocked that people like me exist."
"It's not that," Abigail started. "You seem so human, and you can fit in with regular school girls."
"Of course. I'm not a robot," Maggie chuckled. "Tell you what, how about I explain it to you over some food."
Having finished his homework, Nero picked up his things and left for his dorm. He had had a talk with Wendy and she explained his new mission. Bodyguard huh? The lack of weapons will be a bit of a challenge, but I should be fine. I can do this, he thought. Yeah, I can do this.
The cafeteria buzzed with chatter as Maggie led Abigail to a table, a plate of food piled high in her hands. Maggie eye Abigail's plate warily. "That looks a little small. Are you sure you took enough food?"
"Well," she started, "this is a lot already. Are you sure you don't have too much?"
Maggie laughed. "Not at all. Oh oh, Angel! Over here!"
A pale skinned, dull blonde haired girl with her hair pulled into a ponytail strode over and sat down. She looked younger then them, maybe 12. "Hello Maggie." She took a look at Abigail. "I wasn't aware we were getting any new cyborgs in."
"Nah, she's not a cyborg. This is Abby. She's a civilian from my school. Nero saved her, so we're probably going to be watching after her for a while. Abby, this is my roommate Angel."
Angel took a bite from her large salad. "Interesting. It's nice to meet you Abby."
"Likewise." Abigail took a look at her own plate and compared it to that of Angel's. While both Maggie's and her own plate held several things picked out like a stake, french fries, and a garden salad, Angel's plate consisted only of a large salad, rivaling Maggie's plate in size. Instead of milk, Angel was drinking a glass of apple juice. "A vegetarian cyborg?"
"Vegan actually," Angel corrected. "She knows?"
"More or less," Maggie replied. "Speaking of which, I believe you had some questions?"
Abigail nodded slowly. "I wanted to know how you seem so... I don't know, normal. It's hard to believe you can kill people."
Angel laughed a little and raised her hand a bit. "I can answer this one. You see, we are still humans. We are just upgraded with cybernetic implants. Each of us has a handler that teaches us how to shoot and interact in public. Without them, we'd probably be dead right now." She tugged nervously at the hem of her skirt. "Besides, killing is our job." She cracked a smile, pink eyes sparkling. "Someone has to fight them. Why not us?"
Abigail laughed nervously. "Haha, right..."