Blackbird, Chapter Four - Remember
Posted August 7th, 2019 by katchyboo
Blackbird stared out the window of the train. Her first assignment as an actual agent of something, and it was to catch her best friend. She sighed. Everything seemed to happen to her. Ever since…
It had started just like any other day. Maybe slightly more sunny. There was no indication of anything that was about to happen. It was Alessia, Aurora, and Luca’s day off from training, and they were walking on a country road, laughing and talking.
‘And then I kicked him! Like this!’ Alessia drop-kicked the air. ‘And I said, “Got a nice kick to it, HUH?”’ They giggled.
Little did any of them know, this would be the last time they laughed together for years.
A man walked up to them.
‘Those are some pretty impressive skills,’ he said.
‘Thank you!’ They got into chatting. So much so that, despite all their training, the three didn’t notice when someone snuck up on them.
They were grabbed all at once. Whoever it was clamped a cloth over each one’s mouth and nose. They smelled of chemicals. Alessia held her breath for as long as possible, and so did the others, but they did eventually have to breathe. Alessia felt herself getting sleepy. The last thing she saw before slipping into darkness was the man’s smirking face.
She woke up strapped to a chair beside Luca and Aurora.
‘Well hello there,’ a woman said, her face masked. ‘Fancy seeing you here.’
‘Ugh,’ Alessia groaned. ‘Where are we?’
‘That’s a very good question, my dear, one I’m afraid I can’t answer right now.’
‘Why not?’ Alessia was still a bit under the influence of whatever they’d used to drug her, so she was a little silly. ‘I mean, I want to know.’
‘I don’t,’ muttered Luca. ‘I want to go home.’
‘I like buttons!’ said Aurora, who had gotten the worst of it.
‘Now,’ the woman said, ‘Who will we go for first?’ Everyone shook off the daze and glanced at each other worriedly. ‘Hmm, I think… you.’ She pointed at Aurora. Aurora screamed as two goons grabbed her and held her still. ‘Don’t worry, this won’t hurt a bit.’ the woman said as she placed a sort of helmet thing on Aurora’s head. The screaming stopped. The woman took the helmet off with a flourish. Aurora was out cold. She chuckled. ‘You next, I think,’ she said, glancing at Luca. She laughed at his terrified expression. ‘Why so scared?’ He opened his mouth, but no sound came out. ‘Well, little Luca, I’m giving you a choice: Join us without any fuss, or…’
‘Or what?’ His voice was dry and raspy.
‘Or we’ll erase you from her mind.’ The woman pointed at Alessia.
‘Mmf!’ Alessia, eyes wide, shook her head. Don’t join them! She thought desperately, hoping that somehow Luca would hear her. Don’t worry about me!
‘You can’t do that! It, it’s not possible!’ he said, getting slightly panicked. Did I say “slightly”? A LOT panicked. He was getting a lot panicked.
‘Oh, but it is,’ the woman said with what was possibly the cruelest smile imaginable. ‘And I think this counts as “fuss”.’
‘No!’ he screamed, but it was too late. They had already taken the helmet off her. Her eyes were blank and expressionless. ‘No,’ he whispered.
‘Well, Luca,’ the woman said, leering at him. ‘Are you going to join us? Or am I going to have to do to you what I did to your friends?’
Blackbird stared into space, her blank expression masking the whirlwind of thoughts going on in her mind.
‘You thinking about it too?’ Shock said with a sad smile. His voice snapped her out of her trance.
‘If we’re talking about the same thing, then yes.’
‘I think we are.’
No one said anything for a while.
‘It feels like so long ago.’
‘It was five years ago, Alessia- oops, Blackbird,’ Shock began, but Blackbird interrupted him.
‘Call me Alessia. That’s my real name.’ she said, staring out of the window. She turned to look at him. ‘No one’s called me that in a long time, if they weren’t evil.’
‘Yeah. It’s actually kind of nice, to hear it again.’ She smiled at him and looked out the window again.
Shock didn’t know what to say. He’d never really heard her talk like that, even back in training. She always had some snappy response and she never really talked about her feelings. It was sort of weird to hear her like that. He sighed. Everything seemed to change so quickly. But it had been five years - five years he hadn’t seen her, five years he hadn’t even existed to her - of course she’d changed. But still… she looked the same. Older, definitely. She talked the same, mostly, but now he was just looping back to where he was at the start. Why couldn’t anything ever be simple? No matter what they did, where they went, everything just went crazy. And not in a good way. Aurora was just one of the many casualties of their stupid bad luck. And to be honest, even he was luckier than Blackbird. She’d had bad luck for much longer than him…
‘So, uh… where do you come from?’ It was Luca, Aurora, and Alessia’s first day at the training camp. Luca felt he might as well try to introduce them all to each other.
‘Italy. Like where we are now?’
‘Oh, um, I was thinking more like town?’
‘I don’t actually know.’ This was the first time Alessia had spoken since they had arrived. She didn’t look up from her book. ‘I was left at the doorstep of an orphanage when I was a few days old. I was covered in bruises and cuts, so the matron told me.’ Luca and Aurora stared at her. ‘What?’ she said, finally looking up from her book. ‘Nothing like that ever happened to you?’ They both shook their heads. They stared at each other for a while, and then Alessia filled the silence. ‘I’d always thought that was normal…’ Luca shook his head.
‘It’s not, not to be rude, but… that’s really weird.’
‘All of you, out here now!’ their instructor called to them.
‘Okay, we’d better go.’ Aurora said to the others with a mischievous grin. ‘After all, we don’t want to make a bad impression… do we?’ They all smiled identically and ran off laughing as their instructor yelled at them angrily.
And that was that.
They became friends.
Their fate was sealed.
Shock stared into space. He was also kind of looking at Blackbird. He couldn’t help feeling sort of guilty, even though he didn’t have much reason.
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