If you're interested in reading, I highly recommend that you download the PDF with the full story! (Link can be found on my profile)
It contains edited images from the game, a fancy layout, and is how I intended the story to be read in the first place.
Cheers, & happy reading!
ALPHA PROTOCOL: G22
"The Bird and the Fox"
"Jamming with Heck"
"St. George and the King's Daughter"
"Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
His gaze swept across the room, registering any possible anomalies.
The room was large and spacious, luxuriously decorated – but lacked a personal touch – more resembling a five star hotel suite than someones permanent residence. Its most prominent feature was an abnormally large flat screen TV hanging on the living room wall, sandwiched between two stacked bookshelves. The TV was on, but showed only static.
Nothing was out of the ordinary. He relaxed his eyes. Others would say that his caution bordered on the paranoid, but he knew a little paranoia went a long way to keep you alive in the business he was in.
He took a few steps toward the TV while loosening the backpack he wore from his shoulders. Reaching into the backpack, he procured a thin and lithe laptop that he placed on the sofa opposite the TV screen. Another dip into the bag turned up a few black wires that he proceeded to link between the TV and the laptop. He checked the wristwatch on his left arm.
"Any minute now." He murmured.
Part I - "The Bird and the Fox"
Out of the static on the screen a balding man wearing square glasses and a scarf materialized, flanked on either side by goggled men sporting red jumpsuits and semi-automatic rifles.
"Mike." The man said matter-of-factly.
"I see you changed your scarf, Albatross." Michael Thorton replied. "I'm curious, do you knit those yourself while leading super-secret ops over the comm?"
The man known as Albatross shook his head wearily and sighed. "Despite that trademark wit of yours, I am glad to see you made it out alive Mike." He paused. "Of course I..."
"Already knew that." Thorton filled in.
"Yes." He gave a quick nod and continued. "Sis filled me in on the blanks after I lost you over the comm, but tell me, why have you gone through the trouble of contacting me Mike? I would think with Leland dead and Alpha Protocol made public that our temporary alliance is at an end?"
It was true – the deal Michael Thorton had made with the enigmatic G22 cell leader known only as codename Albatross had been a kind of "A favor for a favor" type of deal. Thorton had garnered the trust and cooperation of Albatross after encountering his personal bodyguard, codename Sis, on a mission and spared her life after a prolonged firefight. Finding a common enemy in the corrupt government blackops program dubbed Alpha Protocol, they formed a temporary alliance of convenience - "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." ...Until my enemy is no more, apparently.
"Would you believe me if I said I just missed our little chats?" Thorton said. "No, I don't suppose you would." He sighed theatrically.
Albatross's face remained unchanged, as much of a mask as ever. "Alriiight." He sighed, realizing his efforts were wasted. "I'll get to the point. I'm just calling to say that I know." He deliberately emphasized the last word for added effect.
"You... know?" Albatross repeated. "And what exactly is it that you know agent Thorton?" His voice took on a barely noticeable edginess, while the lines on his forehead creased ever so slightly.
"Well, it hasn't been easy, I had to dig reeally deep. You guys don't like to leave traces. Kinda paranoid that way huh."
"I suggest you get to the point." Albatross interjected, clearly irritated now.
"Don't like being stringed along Albatross? Neither do I." Thorton said bluntly, all playfulness suddenly gone from his voice. "I know you used to work for the United States government as an intelligence analyst. At a separate black ops division to be exact. With its own chain of command, its own missions and - here's a shocker - no accountability. Any of this ring a bell?"
A frown was slowly spreading across Albatross's face but he remained silent, watching Thorton intently now.
"My point Albatross?" Thorton continued, contempt spilling into his voice. "You used to be Alpha Protocol. Hell, you used to be Parker."
Despite his rather vast repertoire of insults, Thorton could think of few things worse than being likened to Alpha Protocol's former chief analyst, Alan Parker. In Thorton's opinion, Parker was little more than a glorified calculator with a nasty temper. A particularly scary example of what happens when you think the world runs like a machine that you can control with the right push of a button.
Without warning, Albatross started laughing. A rare and slightly disconcerting sight as the man seemed to lack any sense of humor under normal circumstances.
"I'm afraid you have things somewhat backwards, Mike, but I commend you for your thorough research." Albatross said, still looking somewhat amused. "By all accounts I thought we had buried those files forever." He paused, looking thoughtful for a moment. "You seem to have a knack for... prying into other people's business, a useful trait in our line of work. I would advice caution in the future however, some things are meant to stay buried. Digging them up could have... unforeseen consequences."
"Resorting to veiled threats now Albatross?" Thorton scoffed. "Nothing stays buried forever, you of all people should know that."
"Perhaps." Albatross replied tersely. "And? Now what?"
"Now, I think you owe me an explanation."
"Do I? Mike? I don't think I owe you anything, not anymore." Albatross stated flatly.
"You're referring to Sis helping me out at the Alpha Protocol facility I assume? Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for the assist but I hardly think I have you or G22 to thank for that. If anything, I owe her. Not you."
Albatross raised an eyebrow. "So you think Sis coming to your aid had nothing to do with the fact that I ordered her to?" He paused for a second. "Interesting. I'll tell her you feel that way, but you won't change my mind in this. All I can say is, whatever you think you know, you don't. For both our sakes Mike, leave it alone."
"Fine." Thorton sighed. "Have it your way."
"Good." Albatross said. "Are we done then?"
"Yes." He nodded slowly. "Just one more thing."
"What's that Mike?"
Thorton threw a quick glance to his right before turning back to Albatross, a fierce look in his eyes.
"I'm going to take her away from you."
He cut the feed and the image of Albatross went black. What was that, shock? Surprise? It was hard to tell with Albatross, the man wasn't exactly known for wearing his feelings on his sleeve. Thorton turned his gaze toward the laptop on his right again. As expected the G22 signal had been re-routed through several different dummy locations to throw off traces. Bouncing from Seattle to London, through Scandinavia and Russia, jumping all the way to Tokyo, Japan and beyond. He had prolonged the call until the signal had stopped - permanently - in Ontario, Canada of all places.
"Gotcha." He muttered under his breath.