"A whole newwwww worrrrrrrllllldddd...a fantasmic point of vieeewwwssss.....hiccup." Her slurred speech echoed in the dark alleyway of Hell's Kitchen as the girl stumbled from one side of the alleyway to another. She slid down the wall and slumped to the ground next to the trashcan. Her face and red hair falling forward onto her chest. She hummed a few lines, her sequined dress flashing dimly in the yellow alley light.
Two large guards stood in front of a heavy metal door, eyed her lecherously. One of them jerked his head to the other and grinned. The other one nodded.
The burly man walked over to the girl and leaned down, "Hey baby, let's go somewhere. Just you and me."
She looked up at him, her startlingly green eyes a sharp contrast with her flame red hair. She grinned stupidly, "What?"
The man grabbed her arm and pulled. She jerked back. To his surprise, her movement almost made him fall forward. He glared at her, "Get up."
"What's taking you so long?" His friend growled, "If you don't go now, I won't have enough time with her."
The big man who was pulling on the girl scowled, "Come and help then. She's fighting me."
The other man sighed and walked over, "You gotta make it look like she wants to go with you." He smirked, "Come on baby. Come here."
She looked up, her astounding green eyes sparkling dangerously, they would be the last things they saw. Her soft lips curved up in a cruel smile, "If you insist."
With almost inhuman speed, she whipped out a gun.
Two bullets, fired with surgical precision killed the men instantly. The girl got up and stretched. Looking at the two men in disgust, she casually took the hoodie she had hidden behind the trash can three days ago and pulled it over her short dress.
The girl's face turned from cool ruthlessness to horror in an instant as she stuffed her gun and silencer into her hoodie. She pounded at the door, " H-h-help!"
A tall, thin man stepped outside, "What the hell is going on?"
He blanched as he saw the dead men. "What the hell? Paco, Dennis!"
The girl whimpered, "Please, I found them like this. Please help them!"
If the man had been smarter, he would taken the precaution of calling for back up. But he only saw one small young girl, how much danger could she be?
He had the IQ of a gold fish and generally was known as Ivan the Terrible Idiot by his friends. Quickly, he opened the door and rushed out, not noticing that the young woman slid quietly past him. A bullet in the back of the head ended his less than stellar existence as a henchmen.
Once inside, she took out the black mask shaped like black butterfly wings and placed it over her face. She ran quietly down the long corridor, her flats barely making a sound on the floor.
So confident in their power, the Trabucco crime family did not think their central headquarters could be so easily infiltrated. The unprepared souls who met her soon went to meet their maker, their last memory was of the black winged mask.
"All surveillance still offline?" The girl muttered as she shot three men she passed.
"Yep, I got you." The voice that came through was muffled by chewing. In the control room set up in an abandoned building a twenty something man worked simultaneously on three screens while communicating with the girl.
Cybelline scowled, "Are you chewing gravel?"
"Psh." The voice said, "I aways eat when I'm on a mission with the Winged Reaper. How else will I remember the greatest covert agent in the history of our country by?"
"I'm retiring, not dying. And stop using that silly nickname." Cybelline scoffed, "You make me sound like a super villain."
The voice on the other end chuckled and went silent.
She checked the map on her phone and turned left. The maze of halls and corridors in massive building was designed to confuse a seasoned thief. Luckily she had a multi million agency backing her, and one of the best hackers in the world.
"Turn. Third panel on your right." Ted instructed.
Cybelline nodded, "Found it. Once I get in, you'll have access to their intranet. Work your magic."
She held up her phone, it projected the image of a hand onto the wall. On the nondescript wall, a panel appeared and glowed blue, it accepted the hand print with a quiet beep. The hidden door opened.
"That phone can beat any bio-metrics system in the world. It's like a sonic screwdriver, too bad you nixed the idea of actually letting me make it into a sonic screw driver." Ted said almost reproachfully.
Cybelline grinned but said nothing.
"I can hear you gloating about your power over me." Ted grumbled.
Behind the wall was five flights of steps which lead to a darkened hall.
"Pressure sensors on the walls and steps. I'm hacking in now, you'll have access in three minutes."
"How long do I have" Cybelline asked as she eyed the stairs. Five Flights in total, sixty feet drop.
"15 minutes, give or take. I've hacked the surveillance feed to cover you, so they won't until they check in. Really great shooting back there, I was in the range the other day and they said that no one has beaten your recorded confirmed kills in the past seven years. Well, I said to them, you are the best that the agency has ever seen." Throughout his monologue, he kept typing like a fiend.
"Ted, focus. How long does it take for you to deactivate all the security traps?" She asked. Ted typed furiously, "The stair sensors and lasers on the ground floor are the hardest, they'll take me five minutes. The rest are difficult, but I'm a genius."
"Focus on those, I'll handle the stairs and lasers." Cybelline said. She squinted, "Do the stair railings have pressure-sensors?
"Nope, but it's a hard jump, and you've got to land precisely on that three inch strip. Too much vibration from the railing might set off the floor sensors." Ted reminded her as he crunched away.
"No worries." Taking two steps back into the hall, Cybelline leaped and flipped in mid-air, landing lightly onto the stair rails. She took a step and landed silently on the rails of the next floor, moving as quietly as a cat.
"Ballet parkour." Ted noted, "Nice."
"Thanks, I did two years in a camp run by SEALS and spent three in an active war zone. Also the shock absorber shoes you designed are not bad."
"Aren't you going to miss this?" Ted asked, "Imagine, living a boring life, going to college after all of this excitement. I'd rather jump off a cliff."
Cybelline shrugged, "I've already jumped off a lot of cliffs. Besides, I've been at this for too long." She smiled a self-deprecating smile, "I'm kind of tired being a monster."
Ted was silent for a minute as she prepared herself for the lasers. Then he said quietly, "You've done a lot of good for your country. I only made that name up for fun, no one thinks you're a monster."
Cybelline shrugged, "I want to go find out what other things I'm good at, besides killing."
"You're not going to find it in college." Ted muttered, "It's super slow and dumb men will try to make a pass at you."
Cybelline smiled and began to move through the lasers with easy, doing splits and flips like an Olympic gymnast.She added, "Ted, you went to college at age 13. You were probably getting wedgies because you've pissed off some frat boy or another with your intelligence."
"Maybe I did. But maybe I also changed all his grades to straight Fs senior year, causing him to repeat it." Ted grinned evilly, "Okay. I've disable the first trap. You won't die by machine gun fire today. Admit it, you're going to miss my genius when you retire."
"Uh huh." Cybelline said as she stared at the floor, "What about the twenty hidden land mines two feet in front of me." She had recognized floor pattern from another mission in Istanbul.
"Oh shit." Ted said as he looked through the hijacked surveillance feed. He started to type furiously, "Okay, done. I'll buy you a beer at the next team dinner after this as an apology. Sorry for almost blowing you up."
Cybelline scoffed, "Not gonna cut it, you're buying a dinner only for me, genius. We're going on a date as soon as I retire."
Ted didn't speak for a whole minute, which, for him, was an incredible record.
"Are you dead?" Cybelline asked after a moment, "Because if you are, I need to get a new ops specialist stat."
"A date... date? But you're out of my league." Ted said after a moment, "Not that I mind, I mean I would say yes in a heartbeat. And-and-and, I'm not old fashioned or whatever so I'm really happy you asked me out. And not that I'm intimidated by you, even though you're fantastic, and one of the best field agents in the world. Everyone practically worships the ground you walk on, even your enemies. I know because I've hacked their phones. And I don't just think you're a ruthless killing machine. I mean, you are. But you're so much more than that, you're so smart, resourceful, and funny --"
"Ted." Cybelline said as she vaulted over the deactivated bombs. Back in the control room, Ted shut up.
"Yeah." Ted said anxiously, realizing that he might have just blown his date with the most incredible woman before he had a chance to redeem it.
"I'm trying to figure out if I want to date you or strangle you, help me out man."
"Okay. I mean. Of course. I mean absolutely, I mean Yes. Yes. Yes."
Cybelline smiled, "Okay, genius, focus on getting me to the vault alive and we can talk more about this when we're done here."
After a moment, Ted seemed to come back to his senses as he examined the security, "This is better than stuff I've seen at the DOD, must be nice to have a budget like this."
"You get more money than all our departments combined. Stop admiring the dark side." Cybelline took one more cursory look.
She made a Star Wars reference, Ted thought as he worked, is it too early to propose marriage? Our babies are going to be smart and lethal.
Despite the bombs and guns being deactivated, she still moved with cautiously. In two minutes, she was at the end of the hall. The lock had been red, but has she neared it clicked green and slid open carefully.
"Abracadabra, Open Sesame." Ted said smugly, "Praise please."
He stretched his neck, 45 interlinking firewalls later, he had finally cracked the securest safe in the world.
Cybelline ignored him and went inside. The lights went up in the room as soon as it sensed her presence.
"Holy cow." She breathed, "Are you seeing what I'm seeing?"
"Yep. I think I should consider retirement too." Ted said after a moment.
They took a minute to stare at the enormity of the underground warehouse as it housed every stolen artifact imaginable that had made it to America.
Ancient doubloons from the Spanish armada pooled in piles surrounded by roman and Grecian urns. Jewels as big as the Koh-I-Noor lay quietly in the displace cases, next to the lost national jewels of English kings. Scrolls from the lost library of Alexandria, cuneiform from the Hittite Empire, and even works from the greatest of western philosophers were labeled and placed carefully into state-of-the-art glass preservation shelves. Slabs of amber, most likely from the Amber room of Catherine The Great's palace lay dissembled in such cases. It was as if they walked to the Metropolitan Museum .
"Now we know what happened to all the things the Nazis stole during World War 2 that the Allies didn't find." Ted said quietly, as he observed it all through her glasses. "This is insane."
Cybelline shrugged "I'm here for one thing. Then we're out." She took out her phone and turned on an app, the phone did an automatic x-ray of the foundation and sent it to Ted.
"Locked onto the radiocarbon signature. Third row from the left, sixth shelf. I think that's where they house the 3000 B.C. items. " Ted said after a few minutes. A beeping sound alerted him, and he looked up. He cursed, "They've found the dead guards at the door. You've got three minutes."
"Plenty of time." Cybelline said as she ran for the third row. On the sixth shelf she pressed the master code that Ted gave her. Inside the compartment was a small oblong tube the length of her hand, "Found it." Quickly, she stuffed the scroll in her hoodie.
Perhaps there was a slight glitch in the system but the compartment next to the scroll opened with a quiet hiss.
"Did you do that?" Cybelline asked, her body alert.
"Nope. Strange." Ted replied, "Ignore it. You need to get out of there."
Cybelline looked into the case. An ancient wooden ring box, inlaid with mother of pearl drew her eye. Ancient, Gaelic inscription swirled the Celtic knots. As if in a trance Cybelline picked it up and after a moment, took it as well.