The tendency to work after the sun set was one she had acquired with age. Not much age though, for she was only 17 going on 18. Still, those 17 year old eyes had seen enough to certify her maturity, and her intelligence.
“But that’s the thing about Ekats” she thought to herself as she spun around once in her desk chair, “Age never illustrates our intelligence.”
The cold blue glow of the monitor gave the dimly lit room an intense sense of isolation, and somberness. And how appropriate such a mood was, since she always thought about her regrets when she was alone.
Or should we say, she thought she was alone.
“A 17 year old should not have so many regrets” she thought to herself spinning again and again in her chair as the loading bar on the computer screen slowly filled with opaque blue color. “I don’t have as many as other people. True that. Yet I still have my share.”
A quick glance to the monitor informed her the new security system was now 80% downloaded. A few more moments of the blue glow and she could finally rest her head on a pillow. The spinning was beginning to make her weary, and she didn’t like being weary. Exhaustion intensifies emotions, and emotions stop you from behaving properly. She’d learn that a long time ago.
“You know, you were a traitor…”
A chill ran up her spine as those seven heavy words spoke up in her mind. This was not the first time her conscious had tortured her like that.
“You’re betrayed your best friend. Remember?”
Stretching, though calming, was not the solution to a scarred past. It did not suffice this time.
“Yes they still talk about it. ‘Sinead Starling. The two faced Ekat. Did you hear she was once a Vesper? Oh yes she was! But we all know Amy is a such a softy. Took her back in. Oh yes she did!’”
The only solution to the death of that voice in her mind was a good night’s sleep. And the monitor’s progress bar did not indicate she would get that soon.
“ ‘Oh yes, Amy forgave her. If you call head of file security “forgiving”. Don’t post anything on the Cahill File Program! Or else your data will go bye bye to the highest bidder!’ Don’t fool yourself Sinead. They still haven’t forgotten.”
Sinead Starling dug her nails into her hair and shook her hard as regret filled her chest like water filling a void of memories. No matter how hard she tried, the past never took its evil clutches off of her soul. Yes she had been forgiven, but there were consequences. There are always consequences. And a spoiled reputation was always one of them.
“You’ll always be a traitor Sinead.” The voice burned her heart like a blistering flame, “In their eyes, and yours. Don’t be a fool. Even Dan gives you wary glances.”
“He does not!” she grinded her teeth as the monitor beeped 99% complete.
“Just remember Sinead. You chose this.”
“I did not!” she shook her head and coughed back tears, “I had no choice! I had no choice… I…”
“Download complete.” Flipping to the screen, reality set in as she looked around the room.
“Pull yourself together…” she swallowed reaching over and clicking the ok button on the screen, “…You’re alone. No one is calling you names now.”
Sniffing away any more torturous memories, she shut the computer off and slid the chair back in place. Sleep called to her dreamily. Yet, as she moved to the door, the screen began to glow again. Seeing her dark shadow outlined in blue light confused Sinead. And she spun around back to the screen, now all blue and on again.
“What the…” she furrowed her brow as she moved back to the computer and pushed the off button. No response. The computer monitor would not shut down.
“Piece of junk what’s wrong with you?” she pressed the button several times. Frustrated, she hit the top of the monitor dully with her hand.
The sudden appearance of black font on the boring blue screen made her jump unexpectently. “Oh no…” she whispered to herself realizing what was happening, “…The security system was hacked…”
More black font appeared on the screen almost instantly.
We appreciate your help in providing us access to your files.
It would have taken approximately two months, five days, three hours, twenty-two minutes, and eighteen seconds to achieve it ourselves.
It must’ve been her experience with clue-hunting, vesper fighting, and serum-antidote analyzing that caused her to reach across the desk, pick up her cell-phone, and dial a number. Placing the phone on her ear, she heard a click, then silence. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
And thank you for providing us access to your wireless cell. We are going to need it later.
The phone slid from her palm and landed on the floor with a “pong!” Taking a step back she tried to desperately remember her training as more messages filled the screen.
Trust us, Sinead. None of your training will help you with this. This is beyond anything you have experienced.
“Please.” Sinead rolled her eyes, “I’ve seen my fair share.”
The next line truly scared her.
You have. But nothing like this.
Fear welling up inside her, she frantically glanced around the room. “You bugged my house…”
Not such a smart female after all. Feather overestimated you. But she does like your grey blouse and your black pinstripe jacket.
It was then Sinead noticed the little green light at the top of the monitor was glowing. Automatically, she grabbed a sticky-not from her desk and stamped it onto the green light. But that was not sufficient.
Certainly not a smart female. One down, ten more to go. And trust us, they do not have glowing green lights to indicate their positions.
Of course there were more cameras. But she didn’t have time to disable them, she needed to alert her brothers.
Move, and they die. Left.
She didn’t need to turn. Her peripherals were enough to notice the hidden weapon: a signal-transmitting blowgun. The newest Ekat technology, hidden in the folds of the curtains on the left side windows. How could she have missed that?
Maybe Feather did not overestimate you. 80% of your files are encrypted. *tisk tisk*
A smile cracked on Sinead’s profile.
Your Lucian-based codes have been reassembled. She does not recognize them. Give us the encryption method, or your brothers die.
Flipping to the screen Sinead raised one eyebrow, “who are you?” she spat at the screen quickly, “And who doesn’t recognize our codes? A Madrigal is working for you!”
You are in no position to ask questions. If you want your brothers to live, give us the encryption method.
Sinead narrowed her eyes, “I don’t know the encryption method.” She admitted truthfully, “My job is the program design. I don’t have access to the files after encryption.”
There was a brief moment of inaction. Then suddenly:
Your facial response is negative for lying. Who knows the encryption method?
Something suddenly cracked behind Sinead, and she wiped around to see the door fling open. Backing up slowly, Sinead watched two black-clad, masked figures aiming large guns at her move through the open doorway. Putting her hands up automatically, Sinead noted their height and stature as a third individual also clad in black and masked slipped between the other two and moved towards her stealthily. But this third individual surprised Sinead. Its body was slender, like a woman, and just as tall as Sinead. Her built was also very young, almost like… a teenager.
Sinead started as the third figure approached her slowly, a sort of regal essence in her step. It was then Sinead noticed the figure’s eyes. A soft green hue, almost like, the color of jade.
Sinead whispered stunned as the individual stopped short. Ten seconds went by without a sound, the air seemed to get thick with the lack of movement. Then suddenly, the female intruder cocked her head towards Sinead. She didn’t even get a chance to scream. The masked intruder on the right, what looked to Sinead like a young man, grabbed Sinead’s arm and swung her to the right wall. She crashed into a desk on the side, probably bruising her chest as she slammed into the hard surface, and eventually landing in pain on the paper covered floor.
Now she had the chance to scream, a scream filled with stinging pain. The green-eyed intruder moved to her and knelt down by Sinead’s side as the Cahill gripped her side in anguish. Then ever so gently, the intruder reached up and pulled the black ski-mask off her female profile.
“Ms. Starling. What a pleasure it is.”
Sinead’s pain only dissipated by the shock she received. The girl’s voice was smooth, silky, and British. The same exact accent she had heard Ian Kabra speak with a million times. But it didn’t match the familiar face she gazed at, and those familiar green jade eyes.
She was staring directly at the profile of Amy Cahill.
“Amy?!?” Sinead gasped as another wave of pain singed her side. But it was then she saw, this was not the Amy Cahill she knew. This one’s hair was darker. A caramel color, with not a single drop of auburn highlights, clear and silky and pulled back into a stylish low bun with perfect side-bangs. The eyes were the same, but the lips were slightly fuller and painted peach. There was warm brown eye shadow, and mascara rimmed the green irises.
There was no question about it, this was the body of Amy Cahill, but where was the Amy she knew?
The copy of Amy smiled smugly, “How odd.” The words danced into the air with an air of confidence and a perfect British accent, “I am still trying to decide if I underestimated you, or I overestimated you. Seems the latter is beginning to be more accurate.”
Letting out a squeal of pain Sinead shivered, “Who are you? Where’s Amy?”
The girl just raised an eyebrow playfully, “Is that the name of your Bearer? How trivial. It seems so typical, so… dull. Of course the dimensions leaning towards emotion always have such uninspiring names.”
Gritting her teeth Sinead spat, “Who are you!”
“I?” The Amy snapped a finger and the masked intruder who had thrown Sinead handed her what appeared to be a towel, “I’m here to clean up this undesirable dimension and possess it myself.” She smiled almost eagerly, “I am the Feather that breaks the camel’s back.” It was all so surreal, if anything could not make sense to Sinead, this was it.
“I don’t… I don’t understand…”
“Oh you are so slow.” The girl clicked her tongue, “Back to business. Who knows the encryption method?”
Sinead glanced up at her, “No one in this house. That’s for sure.”
Nodding frustrated, the Amy raised an eyebrow again. “There are wireless weapons in both of your brothers rooms.” She spoke with a cold, unemotional tone, “Again. Who knows the encryption method?”
Her hands were tied. What could she do? Sighing, Sinead glanced up at the celling, then back at the girl. “They were created by a Lucian.”
“I have your ‘Lucian’ code models.” The girl narrowed her eyes and rubbed her thumb against the towel in her hand, “This one is different.”
“How did you get those models!?! No one knows them except the Kabras…”
The mistake flying out of Sinead’s lips planted another smug smile on the Amy’s face, “Ah…” she cocked her head to one side, “…So you are the ones I’ve been searching for.”
“What do you mean…?”
“Ian Kabra designed the codes did he not?” The silence from Sinead was all the girl needed. “Thank you Sinead.” The Amy transferred the towel to her other hand, “You’ve been such a help. I guess I should rephrase that, you will be such a help.”
Furrowing her brow Sinead’s inner alarm began to warn her of the gravity of the situation, “What do you mean, ‘will be’?” Instantly, the copy of Amy grabbed Sinead by the hair with one hand, and pushed the towel into Sinead’s nose and mouth with the other.
“Rose will be proud of her version.” The British Amy said as Sinead tried to scream through the chemical smelling towel, “I wish I could say the same about mine.” The last thing Sinead saw before she passed out, was the eerie evil grin on the very same profile she had once betrayed.
-39 Clues. The Bearer of the Reflections.
Want to know whats coming up next? -
The Cahills face a new threat, one they are not prepared for. Relationships are tested as they are plunged into an experience beyond their control, and one Cahill faces almost certain death. The line between duty and family is strained when a young Cahill witnesses the unbelievable... and one question, pushes his entire world to the boundaries of near insanity.
"Is she alive?"
All this and more, next time. In 39 clues: Bearer of the Reflections. (a fanfic by NKK)
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azuregrateful1 aka AssassinCrimson4
"Our differences are what bring us together."