Posted August 2nd, 2019 by katchyboo
Old Friends & New
‘Huh? Wha- where am I?’
‘You failed a mission, dear.’
‘Hah! You must be joking. I’ve never failed a mission. Not once.’
‘There’s a first time for everything - and a last.’
‘Wait, what? What are you saying?’
‘Hate to break it to you, sweetie, but you’re already dead.’
She gasped, bolting upright. Just a bad dream, she thought, relaxing. Nothing to be worried about.
‘Ow, my head…’ she said, looking around. She was sitting on a white, hard bed. Come to think of it, everything in the room was white. Not even a hint of any other colour. She noticed a door and stood up, walking towards it. Something made a sort of jingling sound as she walked. Halfway to the door she stopped. Something was pulling on her legs and arms, stopping her going any further. She looked down and icy fear gripped her heart. Chains. First of all, someone had captured her, and they didn’t want her to leave. Second, they were good enough to capture her, which was saying something. Whoever I’m up against is really good at it. And they aren’t on my side. The chains started to retract into the wall.
‘Oh crap, I know who this is.’ She struggled for all she was worth, but the shackles wouldn’t budge. A screen came out of the ceiling and a woman in a mask looked out at her.
‘Hello, Blackbird.’ the woman said. Blackbird scowled. The woman laughed. ‘Or should I say… Alessia?’
Blackbird’s heart missed a beat. ‘How do you know my name?’ she asked, trying to keep the fear from her voice, but her eyes gave her away.
The woman laughed again.
‘Truth serum. You sang like a - forgive the pun - bird.’
‘Alright, what do you want with me, you freak?
The woman’s light, easygoing attitude evaporated.
‘As right to the point as ever,’ she said stiffly. ‘Fine. To put it simply, I want you.’
‘Explain this to me like I have no idea what’s going on.’
The woman sighed irritably.
‘I am the Weaver, head of the Spider Web. I want you to join our-’
‘I’ll never join you.’ Blackbird growled.
The woman smiled.
‘Oh, Blackbird, what have we ever done to you?’
‘You know what you’ve done, you witch.’
‘I suppose that’s true…’ The woman’s face hardened. ‘But I’m afraid we can’t let you leave. So we’ll make you join.’
‘What do you mean?’
The woman smiled, a terrible, cruel smile.
‘Oh, you’ll find out soon enough, and it won’t be pleasant.’ She laughed as the screen retracted into the ceiling.
‘Wait, what’s-’ Blackbird heard something charging up. She started to tingle all over, first in her hands and feet, spreading slowly all over her body. She tried to get out, but it was no use. The tingling intensified until it started to hurt. Then it went even further, she was in agony. She screamed, electricity surging through her body. Just as it became too much to bear, it stopped. The shackles released her. She stumbled to the door, but her vision blurred, her eyelids flickered and as she fell backwards through darkness she thought one thing over and over.
I need to get out of this place.
Her eyelids fluttered open. Someone was shaking her awake, a boy. He had curly, neck-length hair, and a black fingerless glove on his right hand. Something about him seemed vaguely familiar, but she couldn’t place it. He seemed very concerned. Her training kicked in and she jumped up, knocking him into the wall.
‘Oh, I’m so sorry! Are you alright?’ she said, helping him up.
‘Yeah, I’m fine. But are you okay?’ he said, rubbing his head.
‘You know, the whole ‘mwahaha, I will make you join’ thing?’ His voice, the way he spoke... it all seemed as if she’d known him for years, but she’d never seen him in his life.
‘Oh, yeah, right. Well, I think I’m fine, but…’ She shrugged. ‘Who can tell? Anyway, who are you?’
‘Shock. It’s a codename, like Blackbird.’
‘Wait a minute!’ She spotted the Spider Web logo on his glove. Anyone else would have just thought it was a design or something, but not Blackbird. She had had too much experience with them. She backed away. ‘You’re with them!’
‘No, I’m not! They forced me to join!’ he said pleadingly. ‘Please, you have to believe me.’ He sounded sincere, but Blackbird wasn’t taking any chances.
‘How can I trust you?’
‘Does this sound familiar: The Spider Web kidnaps you and your best friend, and then brainwashes them into forgetting you were ever their friend and into being one of their agents?’
‘I was there, Blackbird. I was kidnapped with you and Aurora. And she wasn’t the only one they wiped memories from.’
‘You - you can’t mean…’ She stumbled backwards, the world spinning around her.
‘You were my best friend, Blackbird,’ he said, his voice cracking. ‘They said they'd erase your memories of me if I didn’t join. I refused, thinking that they must be bluffing, but…’ He looked away. ‘I was wrong.’ He heard a crash and looked up. Blackbird was sitting on the floor, hand held to her head. ‘Blackbird, are you okay?’ he said, alarmed. She looked up, brushing her hair away from her face.
Blackbird felt the memories come rushing back.
‘I… How’d I ever forget you?’
‘It’s not your fault, Blackbird.’
‘I feel like it is.’
‘It’s not your fault. It’s them,’ Shock spat. ‘And that’s why we need to get out of here.’
‘Not a problem. But I’m gonna need a phone.’ Blackbird said.
‘Er… okay. Why?’ Shock said, passing her his phone.
‘I need to call a friend.’ Blackbird rang the phone.
‘Bonjour. Parlez-vous français?’ someone said in a terrible French accent.
‘Stop it, Player One, I know it’s you.’
‘Blackbird? Is that you?
‘Of course it’s me! We need a pickup.’
‘See if you can get my location.’
‘Um, can’t...’ Player One hesitated. ‘Hang on. There’s a video…’ She clicked play. A masked face appeared on her screen.
‘Hello, Savannah,’ said the person on the screen. ‘Trying to find your little friend, are you?’ Player One froze.
‘My… my name…’ she whispered. ‘How do they know my name?’
‘What’s happening, Player One?’ said Blackbird. ‘You okay?’
‘Er, yes,’ Player One said. ‘There’s this video. It’s sent from…’ She didn’t need to finish. ‘They know my name.’
‘Oh no,’ Shock looked out the window. ‘Blackbird, get back in the shackles.’
‘There’s a patrol of agents coming. Quick!’ Blackbird ran over to the shackles. Shock handed her the key. ‘I’m not really meant to be here. I said I was checking on you, but I don’t have much time left.’ He looked back at Blackbird as he opened the door. ‘Be careful, okay?’ She nodded, not having time for words.
‘Gotta go, Player One. We have a situation.’ On the other side of the world Player One watched her friend’s face disappear from the phone screen.
Please, be okay, she thought. I couldn’t bear losing you again.
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