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Chapter V

The Chief entered the briefing room in a deliberate, almost lyrical saunter. He gave the appearance of having measured out his entrance into the room, his progress past the line of red leather chairs and the exact foot he would use pivot on to sit in his chair across from Marcus and Spaceman. The Chief didn’t walk, he danced.

Tall and pale, with a pinched expression, like he had just bit his tongue, the Chief dressed in black: black slacks, black turtle neck and a black beret. He took a few papers out of his black portfolio and dealt them out like a deck of cards.
“Unacceptable,” he said in a high, musical tenor. “Marcus Dillacross, baby, how did you make it this far in the service?”

Shield flinched. He knew he was taking risk in reporting a 20-year veteran like Spaceman but the facts were clear and collaborated. Spaceman had deserted a fellow agent in the middle of an operation.

“It’s pronounced Dellacroix, sir, Marcus Dellacroix.”

Chapter IV

Spaceman woke up staring at an old water stained ceiling, surrounded by distressing moans and coughs of the terminally ill. He looked around and saw hospital cots lined up on either side of him. Trying to sit up he found his limbs bound to the rails of his cot with soft leather straps.

“I wouldn’t move too much,” said a familiar voice. “You were brought in here comatose. Electrolyte imbalance.”

Spaceman didn’t bother asking where he was. There was only one sanitarium in Vienna and he had been a guest there more than a few times.

“I’d like some water,” he managed to croak out.

“I bet you would,” said the figure as he came into view. Marcus, the agent he had left in the embassy. He wore his left arm in a sling but was still alive and capable of filing a report. Not good. “We all want something. I, for instance, would like some answers.”

“I was poisoned.”

Marcus casually flipped through a clipboard, humming as he did so. “…

Chapter III

Agent Shield had never experienced a moment without the knowledge that he was special. Never doubted for one second that he was destined for something great. Never doubted that he was meant to change the world.
Until now.
The Hungarian Demtak Mine blinked silently on the table, marking the passage from his short pointless life to the longer eternity of his defeat.
Agent Shield slowly took his left hand in his right and put pressure on his ring finger. The specially crafted brace snapped the bone along its old break and Agent Shield gritted his teeth. At least he could depend on some things.
The force bubble was extremely subtle in appearance. The human eye did not want to see it, worked hard at denying it, only picking up its faint blue outline in transit. But it existence was irrefutable. If the bomb exploded now, Shield was confident he could contain the blast. The problem was the mine was remotely controlled. There was no way to determine when the bomb would explode, so he was at the m…

Chapter II

Agent Spaceman did not have much difficulty leaving the embassy. He had features and a demeanor easy to forget. Only his habits left their unsavory, distinctive marks.

Apparently there had been some kind of intrusion into the embassy. Every hall, staircase and exit was blocked by yellow-suited mercenaries of the AC’s. There was a time in the dim, distant past where this situation would have demanded his attention, his action. Thankfully, he had moved past such concerns.

Why had he even bothered coming out of his ‘retirement’ in Morocco? His inactive status stipend had been more than generous for his limited needs and the climate had been more favorable to his health. Really, if hadn’t been for that fever dream he would have stayed there the rest of his life. Having secured the object of his curiosity, he intended to return as soon as possible.

Which meant he needed money.

Finally finding a room with a broken lock on its window, Spaceman made his exit. A…

Chapter I

When the light came back on, the room was empty save for a corpse and two baffled agents of Section Starfire, the premier Anarchist Spy Agency employed by the United States government.

Two trained pairs of eyes quickly scanned the room and found it devoid of anything worth mentioning besides an old battle-scarred table along one wall and a book shelf against the other and, of course, the body of the man Spaceman had just shot. For his part, Marcus Delacroix, Agent Shield, stood across the room from him, blinking in the sudden light, unable to focus. On the table by his right hand was a squat metal object about the same color and shape as a wheel of cheddar cheese. Instantly recognizing this object, Spaceman allowed himself a rare moment of panic.

Pushing past Marcus, Space dashed to the door and tried the handle. Inevitably, it was locked.

“Do you know what this is?” said Marcus, slowly regaining his faculties.

“Yes,” said Spaceman as he darted to the b…