So this is my first time posting fan fiction, though this document has been on my computer for quite a while.
The Alex of my imagination is tougher. He's older and wiser and he doesn't take shit from others. He's comfortable with who he is and what he does. He's flawed, sure, but he's no longer obsessed with finding a way out (that was the one thing about the books that always made me want to bang my head against the wall). The one thing I always wanted to see was Alex take charge and realize his full potential.
There are probably a handful of scenes in this story that have been done plenty of times before in this fandom, but I've tried to ad my own twist to them and take the plots in unexpected directions when you leas expect it. Also, there's plenty of influence from the likes of James Bond, Jason Bourne and some of my other favorite Ludlum novels.
This story definitely earns its M rating for violence and swearing, so be warned. There's plenty of fistfights, gun slinging, and knife wielding to go around.
Disclaimer: I do not own Alex Rider. Enough Said.
Summary: At 17, MI6's once reluctant teenage spy Alex Rider's two lives are about to come crashing together in the worst way possible. Between a large-scale attack on his school and the looming threat of World War III, the fate of the world is once again on his shoulders. Everyone knows that Alex is the best, but can he survive his most difficult mission to date and keep himself together when he is forced to face the betrayal of a lifetime?
Mr. Bray was the headmaster of Brookland Comprehensive School in London. He was in his mid-fifties, beginning to bald and wore nondescript metal-framed glasses that went well with his collection of boring grey suits. He was the kind of principal that, despite his responsibilities, managed to find the time to take a personal interest in the lives and education of each of his students. It was one of these students that was sitting in his office across the desk from him now.
He was a young man in his late teens—seventeen to be exact— but he could have been easily mistaken for someone much older. He was well built; standing about 6'2" and well muscled, though not distractingly so. He had fair hair that flopped over his eyebrows and into his eyes and a piercing in one ear, in which he wore a simple steel stud. The young man moved with a smooth air of practiced control, and he radiated power and martial expertise even in stillness. His physical appearance alone was enough to hint at his dangerous nature, as well as attract plenty of women, but it was not the most shocking thing about him. No, the most shocking things about the young man were his eyes. They were brown and serious and it was obvious looking into them that they had seen much more than any person should seen in their first seventeen years— more than most see in a lifetime. They were a soldier's eyes, and while the depth of experience could clearly bee seen, they were otherwise emotionless, examining the world with a cool steadiness. The young man wore a black tee shirt, covered by a forest green Gore-Tex windbreaker, just tight enough to hint at his musculature, and a pair of camouflage cargo pants.
Alex Rider had been the mystery of Brookland since the death of his uncle just over three years previous. He had done well in school, was one of the football team's star athletes, and had many friends. He had been open and friendly to everyone. But it seemed that his uncle's death had started a downward trend. Soon after the incident, Alex had begun to disappear without notice for weeks at a time only to come back with an assortment of injuries, the flimsy excuse of sickness, and the threat of another disappearance to happen at any given time. Hardly anyone believed that Alex had really been sick— his appearance alone was usually enough to confirm that— and naturally, rumors of every shape and size had sprung up in the information gap. They ranged from drugs to gangs, arrests to prison sentences, and even a few of the more outlandish sort. Needless to say, none of them were positive as the student body preferred rumors of a more scandalous nature. Over time the doctor's notes had morphed into more plausible excuses but his track record and their frequency kept the student population— and the teachers for that matter— from giving them any merit.
When he was in school, Alex was left with excessive amounts of homework to catch up on— a feat Mr. Bray had to admit he tended to accomplish quickly and efficiently. It had been touch-and-go at the beginning, but Alex had soon found a balance between his schoolwork and his absences. There was no doubt that the boy was extraordinarily intelligent— his GCSE scores were enough to prove that. But in the three years since his uncle's death, Alex's friends had dwindled down to a single individual, his best friend Tom Harris, and the other students made a point to avoid him, warning the new students to follow suit. Although he had miraculously maintained a captain's spot on the football team out of pure skill and an uncanny ability to keep others in line, he was rarely there to make use of the title and he had become reclusive and solitary, alienating himself from his team members. On top of all that, it was now known that Alex lived alone in his house in Chelsea, having become an emancipated minor when his guardian had died mysteriously just over a year earlier. There was no doubt though that he could take care of himself. It was apparent to many of the adults that the boy had aged and become more and more hardened with each absence.
It was no wonder then, that Mr. Bray was reluctant, in fact anxious, going into his discussion with Alex. The young man's demeanor alone was enough to warn him that it was best not to pry. Unfortunately though, the matter of Alex's attendance had come to a point where it was seriously threatening his education. There were questions of whether or not he could graduate at the end of the next spring term due to the fact that he was rarely in school and his frequent absences were enough to warrant expulsion at the end of the current term, effectively not allowing him to come back after the summer recess to finish his last year as an A level student. Even more than that, Mr. Bray was concerned for the young man's future. Even with a mind like his, no one would take him with such a patchy attendance record.
Mr. Bray shifted uncomfortably under Alex's steady gaze as the young man waited for him to begin. It was obvious that he knew what was coming. The headmaster cleared his throat before he spoke.
"Alex, I'm sure you know why I called this meeting. The fact is, that I can no longer ignore your constant absences. You have managed to keep up with your course work without issue and manage to remain at the top of your class, but the fact remains that your education and future are still at risk. Your absences create enough grounds to argue for letting you come back for the fall term and bar that, there has been debate on whether or not you should be allowed to graduate this coming June. Not only that, but I fear that you are going to have a very hard time finding employment."
Mr. Bray noticed the sardonic smile and the amusement that briefly appeared in Alex's eyes in response to his concerns. He was confused, but he mentally shook himself and plowed on. "You are well aware that no one believes the reasons that you have given for your absences in the past three years. They are over used and the absences to frequent and to long. If you had really had every sickness that you have claimed to have, you would be a medical miracle to still be alive by now."
The amusement in Alex's eyes was more evident at that statement but Mr. Bray still wasn't finished. He hated to do it but it had come to the point where the ultimatum was necessary. "If you can't give me a legitimate reason for your continued absences then I will have to seriously consider asking you to leave the school. It is not a choice I wish to make, but the likely hood that you will be able to continue your education at this school is slim to none."
Alex continued to gaze steadily at Mr. Bray in complete silence. He appeared relaxed, but there was a sense of underlying tension in his muscles. Mr. Bray sensed that there was a calculating nature to Alex's gaze, as if the young man was sizing him up. He shivered under its intensity.
The silence stretched on for a moment before Alex seemed to make a decision. He reached into his back pocket for his cell phone, keeping his eyes locked with Mr. Bray's. "I knew that this would happen eventually," he muttered as he flipped open the phone and dialed a preprogrammed number and brought the phone to his ear.
Mr. Bray frowned at the action in disapproval. "Alex, what—"
"I'm requesting clearance. Have you ever thought that there may be a reason I don't talk about my absences?" Alex's tone was calm, but held an edge of sharpness that warned the principal not to interrupt again. There was silence for a moment as Alex waited for the person on the other end to pick up.
Finally, there was a rustle as the phone on the other end was removed from its cradle and a voice came over the line. "Yes?" the person said, not bothering with cursory pleasantries.
"This is Rider," Alex said curtly, "Patch me through to Jones."
There was a pause before Mrs. Jones' voice came through the line. "Yes, Alex?"
"I'm in a meeting with my principal right now and he has just relayed the news that unless I can give him a legitimate excuse— and by that he means the truth— for my absences, I risk expulsion from the school."
"I assume you are asking for clearance? You know how sensitive this information is Alex."
"You know as well as I do that I'm no use to you uneducated," Alex growled, ignoring the headmaster's confused expression. "There's going to come a time when I'll need the official educational credentials in my background, if I am going to continue to be successful. If Brookland kicks me out, my attendance is going to keep me from being admitted anywhere else."
There was a pause as Mrs. Jones considered the situation. After a long moment, she sighed. "Alright, you have a point. And despite the security risks, its probably better if you have an adult in the building that is on your side."
"What a nice change that will be," Alex muttered sarcastically. "Send someone over with a copy of the OSA so we can get down to business. I don't want to be here all day."
"I'm sending Ben over now."
"Isn't he busy?"
"He got in thirty minutes ago."
"Good to hear," he replied sarcastically.
Unlike Mrs. Jones, Mr. Bray was oblivious to the undercurrents of disapproval, concern, and relief in Alex's voice.
"He'll be there in ten minutes. Good bye Alex."
"Roger that." Alex ended the call and returned the cell phone to his pocket before returning his attention to a very confused Mr. Bray. Alex knew that the headmaster was waiting for an explanation but he remained silent.
After a moment, Mr. Bray's patience began to wane. He cleared his throat before speaking. "Well?"
"We are waiting for one of my co-workers to arrive. There is some documentation that you need to sign before I am allowed to speak to you."
By this time, Mr. Bray was exceptionally confused. Why would he need to sign anything in order to hear the truth? And what did Alex mean by co-workers? He decided to clear that question up since it seemed to be the safest part of the whole topic. "Co-workers?"
Alex gave a small smile but the headmaster noticed that it didn't reach his eyes. "Yes. Co-workers. See, despite your concerns that my frequent absences will prove hurtful in the future, the truth is those very absences are connected to the fact that I already have a very demanding job. One that makes it necessary for me to travel a fair amount."
"And you have had this job since you were fourteen?"
"What kind of job is this?"
"All will be explained momentarily; as soon as you have signed all of the appropriate paperwork."
"Paperwork," Mr. Bray muttered under his breath. He was still too confused to say anything else. Alex just gave another small smile.
"I guess in the meantime, I guess we can discuss Academics," Alex said eventually. "I know you're concerned with whether or not my admittedly less-than-stellar attendance record will count against me in terms of higher education, but what you aren't aware of is the fact that I've done quite a lot of university level independent study in whatever free time I manage to find. In fact, I've done enough independently to equal the amount of study needed for several degrees in various areas of specialization."
"I see," the headmaster said slowly. He knew what Alex was saying was entirely plausible—the young man's IQ was off the charts and he soaked up information like a sponge—it was definitely within his abilities of he could find the time. Mr. Bray was shocked that it had happened right under his nose, yet no one was ever really sure of what was happening when it came to Alex Rider.
"Yes," Alex replied, amusement sparking in his eyes. "I'm not too fussed about university, Mr. Bray. I learn what I need to when I need it and occupy myself with whatever interests me in between. I already have a secure, well paying job and as far as my superiors are concerned, it makes no difference whether I continue to pursue education at a higher level institution or on my own time."
"Right," Mr. Bray muttered, noticing how everything about Alex seemed to circulate back to his absences and what really happened while he was gone. "Your job."
Alex let another amused slide across his face as the conversation hit a dead end and the headmaster frowned as he became caught up in his thoughts.
Silence enveloped them as they waited for Ben to arrive and several minutes later there was a soft rap on the door before Ben entered the office without waiting for an invitation. He smiled tiredly as he approached Alex. It was evident from his appearance that he was exhausted, and his right arm was in a sling.
Alex frowned at the sling, his eyes narrowing. "What happened this time?" he asked by way of a greeting as he grasped Ben's good arm firmly.
"Dislocation. They wouldn't usually put it in a sling but given past injuries…"
Ben sighed and a shadow of guilt crossed Alex's face. Neither him nor Alex was eager to discuss the events on Dragon 9.
They were pulled out of their brooding by the sound of Mr. Bray clearing his throat. It was apparent the headmaster was tired of being ignored.
Alex pulled himself out of his depressing train of thought to make the introduction. "Ben, this is the headmaster of Brookland, Mr. Henry Bray. Mr. Bray, this is my co-worker, Benjamin Daniels."
The two men nodded in acknowledgement and shook hands before settling into their chairs.
Alex turned his attention to Ben. "You have the paperwork?"
Ben nodded silently in response and handed Alex the document.
Alex continued, this time addressing the headmaster. "This is a copy of the Official Secrets Act. As I'm sure you are aware, by signing your name you are guaranteeing that you will not tell anyone what we are about to tell you here today. You will need to sign it before we can continue." Alex slid the document across the desk as Mr. Bray stared at him in bewilderment.
"The Official Secrets Act?" he asked incredulously, his mind filled with ideas of what Alex would have to be involved in to require that he sign official government paperwork to guarantee his silence.
Alex nodded. It was clear to the headmaster that he would not be offering up any more information until the document was signed. Mr. Bray sighed and pulled the document toward him and signed his name shakily on the line. He was beginning to wonder what he had gotten himself into when he had requested to know the truth. When he had signed the document he pushed it back toward the other side of the desk and Daniels retrieved it, tucking it into an inside pocked of his jacket. He then looked at Alex expectantly.
Alex sighed, rubbing his temples and squeezing his eyes shut before he began. After a moment he opened his eyes, boring them into Mr. Bray's. "The things I'm about to tell you are highly classified state secrets. There's no easy way to tell you, so I'm not going to beat around the bush. I'll start by making a more proper introduction." He paused before jutting his chin in Ben's direction and continuing. "This is Agent Ben Daniels. He works for the Special Operations division of MI6…as do I."
There was silence for a moment as Alex gave a minute for his declaration to sink in. Mr. Bray was shocked. Out of all the things it could have been, this answer was the least expected and he was speechless.
Eventually, he managed to choke out a response. "A Special Ops Agent?" he asked disbelievingly, "You mean to say that you're a spy?"
"Yes." This time it was Ben who answered, and his assured tone went a long way in wiping away any of the headmaster's hopes that the whole situation was one big hoax. "Alex completed his first round of training with my unit when I was in the Special Air Service. I have worked with him on an assignment several times since I was switched over to MI6."
Mr. Bray's gaze kept flickering between the two stoic men sitting across from him as he struggled to come to terms with what he was being told. His mind was rebelling against the flood of information- what he was hearing could not be possible. No one in his right mind would make a spy out of a fourteen-year-old boy. He frowned at this thought and focused his attention back on Alex. "You've been doing this since you were fourteen?" he questioned angrily, disturbed that his government would willingly endanger the life of a teenage boy with full knowledge of the possible consequences.
Alex nodded curtly in response.
"How did you get involved? Aren't you far to young for this line of work?"
"It runs in the family," Alex responded dryly. "My father and uncle were two of the best spies MI6 ever had. Both of them died for the job. My uncle had been training me to follow in their footsteps since I could walk. When he was killed on assignment, I was brought in to finish his operation."
"But why couldn't they just send in another agent?"
"To obvious. Ian Rider was one of the best, and even his cover didn't hold. They would have been expecting another adult. It was easier for me to infiltrate since no one expected me to have an ulterior motive."
"So all of your absences…"
"So you were never really sick. Not that we all hadn't guessed that already."
Alex let out a humorless chuckle before answering. "There are only a few times where I was actually in the hospital and they were due to injuries inflicted on assignment."
Mr. Bray rose an eyebrow "Any I should know about?" he enquired dryly, but with a hint of concern.
"I think I'll keep that to myself for now," Alex replied.
"I can only assume that the injuries were horrific if you refuse to talk about them," the headmaster said before he quietly expressed the thought that had been nagging him since the beginning of their talk. "I can't believe that the government would put a child in a life threatening situation!" he muttered, "It must be illegal."
It was at this point that Daniels reentered the conversation. "You should know that Alex is one of the nations best kept secrets. He is the source of major success for both MI6 and the CIA. From the outset he quickly became one of MI6's most effective operatives. In other words, he is the most powerful secret weapon that this country has ever had. He was asked to attend a meeting of COBRA and became the youngest human being in space all before he turned fifteen. He has been a leader in bringing down plots of some of the world's worst terror organizations where no other operative had been successful. The government never would have employed him if it weren't for his aptitude for success."
Mr. Bray stared incredulously at the two agents. He did not want to believe what he was hearing but the fact alone that Alex was making no effort to refute the older man's words forced the headmaster to believe that Daniels was speaking the truth. It was a known fact that Alex was honest where possible, despite the speculation over his shaky cover stories, and this was just to big to lie about.
After a minute, Alex spoke up. "As, you may have realized, my reputation in the field has earned me a very long list of enemies. Precautions have been taken to prevent attempts on my life while I'm not on assignment. The school is under 24 hour watch by government agents, but there is always the chance that something my happen. That is why, for the most part, I rely on instinct and training to keep myself alive."
"And what kind of training have you had?" Mr. Bray questioned.
"As I said earlier, my uncle had been teaching me the skills of an effective spy from a very young age. I have done karate since the age of six and have achieved the level of eighth dan and I have picked up black belts of various degrees in seven other martial arts. When I was first approached by MI6, I was given an eleven-day crash course in SAS survival technique at their camp up in the Welsh Beacons. I train with the SAS every summer and winter break and completed and passed every phase of the SAS selection process before I turned sixteen. I also have an extensive amount of comprehensive weapons training, though I did not receive it through MI6 or the SAS."
"How extensive?" Mr. Bray asked warily as he began to realize just how lethal the young man in front of him actually was.
Alex smirked, a deadly glint flashing in his eyes. "Lets just say that I can shoot just about anything with 100% accuracy, among many other things."
Mr. Bray shivered at Alex's response but he plowed on. He had one more question that he deemed important concerning Alex's mastery of weapons.
"Do you carry concealed?" he asked quietly, not sure if he wanted to hear the answer.
Instead of answering right away, Alex reached behind his back and silently pulled his gun—a Sig Sauer p229 DAK pistol— from the holster at the small of his back, where it had been concealed by his jacket and the hem of his shirt. He placed it on the desk in front of him and the headmaster eyed the weapon warily. "All the time." Alex stated quietly.
"Even in school?" Mr. Bray asked, a tad sharply.
Alex eyed him steadily and once again Mr. Bray was unnerved by his cool, emotionless disposition. Alex waited until the headmaster looked away before he spoke again. "My government status grants me the right to carry concealed at all times. I have too many enemies out there to ever relax my guard by going anywhere unarmed. I also carry several other concealed weapons— usually knives— with me at all times," Alex paused for a moment to remove a Steel Eagle 107c tactical ops combat knife from a sheath strapped under his shirt and between his shoulder blades and then its twin from the sheath strapped to his calf and placed one of the deadly looking blades on the desk next to his gun while he twirled the other casually in his hands.
The headmaster noticed that the teen handled the blade with a finesse that could only be gained by an intimate understanding of how to use it.
"The security risks are also the reason I drive, rather than bike to school," Alex continued. "That's not just a car out there," he said, jerking his chin towards the parking lot, where his prize possession was parked, "It's a class three armored vehicle."
"Ah, we were all wondering about that Aston Martin. I think that many of the students are under the impression that you stole it." Mr. Bray said with evident humor in his voice.
Alex chuckled, and for the first time real humor entered his tone. "Well that would fit the image of me that they have created. What can I say though? My job pays well."
"And you just had to go for the Bond car," Daniels inserted dryly.
At this Alex outright laughed, something that Mr. Bray hadn't seen him do since before his disappearances began. "Maybe," he conceded. "I might not be a fan of Bond, but if there is one thing that the man got right, it was his taste in cars." He sighed and seemed to sober up in an instant, only a hint of the previous humor remaining. "I'll never have time to really spend the money I make anyway. The least I could do was buy the car of my dreams."
There was a pause before Alex continued. "Well I think we have covered the necessary information. I'm assuming that we have explained the situation satisfactorily and that the question of my expulsion is now cleared up?" He asked as he swiftly stowed away his weapons.
Mr. Bray sighed. He was overwhelmed with what he had learned about one of his students in such a short period of time. His view of Alex had suddenly been transformed from the school's problem child to one of the nations most closely guarded, not to mention lethal, secrets. The fact was that the day's revelations made the man feel slightly uncomfortable with Alex. It was unnerving to know the extent of the danger that lurked both within and around him. The thought made the older man shiver.
"Alright," he said finally. "Given the circumstances I believe that we will be able to keep you here at the school. You are doing extremely well in keeping up with your course work and I can't fault you on what you are doing when you are not here, even if I am not particularly fond of the situation. The fact that you carry a concealed firearm and several blades to school makes me uncomfortable, but I can see the wisdom in it. Let me make it very clear though that I expect it to remain concealed unless you are in a situation of upmost need."
Alex nodded in acquiescence, "Agreed," he said. "That's standard procedure anyway."
"Good. Then I expect to see you back at the start of the fall term Mr. Rider."
The three of them stood up and shook hands before Daniels took off back to SO headquarters to return the paperwork. Alex made his way to his Aston Martin in the parking lot and headed home. Mr. Bray sat at his desk fighting mental exhaustion, his face buried in his hands. He was struggling to come to terms with the day's turn of events and attempting to bully his mind into preparing for the line up of meetings he had later that night in order to prepare for end of the current spring term in two month's time.
Tell me what you think!