I've no idea why I woke up, but it's a fucking good job I did. The blinds were half-open allowing stray rays of sunlight into the room. As I half-opened my eyes I caught a glimpse of light glinting off something metal. Instinct took over and I rolled off the bed onto the floor.
I was beta testing an upgraded plasma rifle for the EQIA and as I hit the floor, I pulled it out from beneath my bed.
I heard the shot before I had chance to look up. Luckily the rifle had a little charge so I took aim and fired. There was no need to check I'd hit my target. I knew I had, so instead I turned my attention to the now dead Xax hooker whose blood was already soaking into my bedsheets. On the upside she wouldn't need paying but my fucking sheets were ruined.
Leaving the alien corpse where it was I went quickly through to the next room and lifted my com from the coffee table.
“Any idea who just tried to kill me?” To be honest I wasn't too worried, I mean this kinda' thing was getting pretty regular although this was the first time there'd been an attempt on my life whilst I was at home. When the reply came back over the com I didn't recognise the voice, not that it mattered.
“No Sir.” Definitely a rookie. Only the newbies called me 'Sir', and I fucking hated it, reminded me of shit that happened way back when.
“Fat lotta' good you are.” I was almost joking, but the rookie didn't know that. “Send a clean-up crew to my place, and put me through to her.”
“Yes Sir.” I heard the slightest of clicks over the device as he transferred me through and a few seconds later, she answered.
“Ma'am,” I replied as politely as I could manage at 07.45 in the fucking morning.
“It seems you've had a little trouble.”
“Yeah, you could say that. Bastards tried to take me out when I was sleeping, sneaky fucking wankers.”
“Indeed,” she replied thoughtfully.
“Most likely one of our competitors.”
“Well that don't really narrow it down.”
“Unfortunately Ecks, you're correct,” she paused for a few seconds before she spoke again. “I assume you tested the weapon?”
“Aye, worked like a dream. Bit heavy for my liking though.”
“Bring it in and I'll have it sent down to the techs, you know how they love your beta test reports.”
“Yes Ma'am.” She cut the transmission and left me in silence to get dressed, down a coffee, and head out the door. I met the clean-up crew down the corridor. “Door's open lads, body's in the bedroom,” I said as I passed them on my way to the elevator.
Two years down the line and the EQIA still hadn't reformed the Blood, formerly their most brutal and effective unit. It's not as if they hadn't tried but I couldn't do it. I mean fuck, I was the unit's CO which as far as I was concerned, meant those three deaths were on my hands. I wasn't about to risk history repeating itself, not on my fucking watch and I'd said as much each and every time the subject had been broached.
I stepped inside her office expecting to find her alone but there was a girl there too. I say 'girl' 'cos that's exactly what she was. I'm fucked if she was a day over twenty.
“Ma'am,” I nodded a greeting as I took a seat.
“Ecks meet Halo, you're new partner,” she paused as if she knew what my reaction would be, and wanted to give the anger a few seconds to boil up. She carried on before I had chance to respond. “Now I know what you're thinking and no, we've decided not to reform your former unit.”
“Good fucking job, too,” I muttered in reply.
“That doesn't mean that you don't need someone to watch your back though, especially considering the recent attempts on your life. You're our top agent Ecks and everybody knows it.”
“Shut the fuck up, you'll make me blush.”
“Ecks...” it wasn't what she said but her tone, so I shut my mouth and smiled.
“That's better,” she replied and matched my smile before she turned to Halo. “He's rough round the edges but trust me Halo, there is no better agent in the EQIA.”
“So I'm told,” my new partner replied. Her voice was much more mature than her appearance, and that fact alone surprised me.