Liii. first sparks

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Blood, which usually courses through my veins, freezes. In the time frame of just a few minutes, everything about the last six months had just blew wide open. Skye immediately takes control of the situation.

"What do we do now?" Skye raises an eyebrow. "We need to get to Thirteen's Queen before he does."

"Good call. Let's head out immediately," Ace states, rising from his chair. The Director places his hand on Ace's shoulder.

"Hang, Blackwell," the Director winces. "We can't risk you being seen in public. It's a danger to you and the agency. Not when you're wanted by all the agencies of the world. We'll get you colored contacts and prosthetics will take care of the rest."

Ace sighs. "I understand. Though I think Octavia needs some prosthetics too."

"—What? Well excuse me, I didn't realize—" I stammer.

"Sure. Whatever it takes to keep you compliant," the Director says while completely dismissing me. I didn't realize I was at a bowling alley because my eyes just rolled a strike.

Chase, Skye, Daniel, and Xavier start preparing to leave for Croatia, where the DNA match from the database and the USB was found. Ace is still slumped against the chair with his arms folded across his chest. I bite my lip. One could only imagine what was going through Banana Bread's mind.

"What do we do once we find his Queen?" Chase says.

"We surely can't hide her," Chase grimaces. "I hate to be the one that says this, but the last couple of people we tried to protect haven't exactly ended up alive..."

"Well what else could we do?" I flinch. "There's no way we can just hand her over."

"Rookie is right," Xavier affirms. "It's not up to us to determine her fate."

"But what if it will stop Thirteen for good? Since he willingly exposed the Thorned Kings to the world, he clearly is sacrificing his entire crime empire for her. What if she could get him to stop?" Skye questions.

I shake my head. "We can't condemn anyone to an eternity with him. Besides, we can't guarantee that Thirteen will stop after he gets her."

"We'll have this discussion later," the Director states. "We need to extract her first."


A solemn emptiness rang out in the penthouse. Everyone had retreated for their rooms while the mission for Croatia was being finalized. Meanwhile, Ace and I sat in the living room in silence, looking out under the dim light of the night sky.

We sit in silence, both thinking, both running simulations. Thoughts run rampant in my mind. When Charlene had looked at me with pure terror in her eyes, I couldn't help but see everyone who Ian Lochland had hurt. Eve Miyazaki had been replaced with Grant Deschamps who had been replaced with Ethan Tansin. I didn't want this innocent girl to suffer the same fate.

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