Jump to content
    Solus Magus
  • Author
  • 5,337 Words
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

From Nescience - 2. Six: The Assignment

“Pretty bold of you to show yourself.” I commented. My eyes casually scanned the surrounding area. No one else was in the vicinity. It was all clear. That was my opportunity since my trap was still under the bench between us. I could trigger it at any moment if he acted funny. “What are you after, little boy.”

“You can call me a little boy. But I will always be the bigger man.” He retorted with a high-pitched tone. His voice was still a kid’s. Angelic but possibly deadly if underestimated. “Because I will make sure I will always call the shots from here on out.”

“What makes you think I will allow you to do that?” I asked.

“Because I have all the information everyone else needs. And those who have all the answers get to make the decisions.” He said nonchalantly. Then he started walking around the bench. Slowly he sat with a crossed leg. He even looked very comfortable in it. “If you think The Tribunal has a vast network of spies, you’re wrong. So, if you want to play on the big boys’ table, you will need a vast amount of resources as I do. But you don’t have that and never will.”

I wanted to comment but stopped myself. He was aggressive in showing some of his cards up his sleeve. And he was willing to give it to me. It would not be beneficial for me if I stopped him.

“In a span of a year, I have surpassed their boasted ability to gather crucial information.” The boy remarked with a confident tone. His chin turned slightly, angling upwards as if looking down on me. Despite his size, he was so full of confidence as if I was unable to kill him at a moment’s notice. “The only difference is that my interests do not have anything to do with this world. Some things are still out of my reach, and I am not contented until they are under my control.”

“You have no place in the criminal world, little man.” I stated. But at the back of my head, I wondered if he may have something up his sleeve. “There are atrocities you have yet to see. You don’t know what you are talking about.”

“Spare me the lecture, please.” He replied. Then he stared at me. Eye-to-eye. “I know you have a snare under the bench. I do know the limitations of your abilities, and the trap under me is only meant to freeze any magical abilities or at least baffle my thought process.”

Then he raised his finger and pointed it behind him. My heart almost skipped a beat as I saw some machinery hovering behind him. The way it looked gave me the idea that it was a weapon similar to a gun. It was silvery white and looked like futuristic rifles. But at the same time, it seemed like a sword as well. It was too far to inspect. The thing was at least seventy meters away. But the boy was not done. He kept pointing in various spots until I found all five of the weapons that were all aimed at me.

“Those are automated weapons meant to protect me. They can fire armor-piercing rounds. If you know the Cobalt Mk. IV rifle that the Iranian military had devised from last year, I turned it up a notch and increased the firing rate by thirty percent.” The boy taunted. He even put both his hands on top of the backrest. Open arms as if inviting me to attack him. Then the little imp had a devilish smile. “I also know the magical barriers that Qah’livan mages can instantly summon. That’s why I added avroi-based rounds with barrier-piercing properties. It was a simple innovation I would require to make you kneel.”

Just like that, I was disarmed. There was no way out. My mind spun a hundred times a minute, trying to figure out a way. Even if I triggered the traps, those things could still kill me before I even moved. Even worse, he taunted me by making himself even nearer for me to strike at him.

A minute passed, and no one spoke. There was tension in the air.

“Like what I said, I am not here as the adversary.” He said to break the ice. “Rest assured that I will invariably be one step ahead of our enemy.”

“Our enemy?” I asked. “We’re not allies.”

“Not yet. That’s why I am assembling a special task force under my command for this special assignment.” He answered and stood up. Then he started to walk away while motioning for me to follow him. I obliged to do so and noticed that the weapons slowly gravitated their aim consistently on me. “This man is protected by other people like me who have a great mastery of technology. But I cannot bypass their firewalls because they are also using magic. I need you to extract information. But I also don’t want him dead. I will not obligate unnecessary bloodshed.”

The little guy continued to walk away from me and towards the main road. I noticed a notification from his watch, and he looked at it briefly. Then from afar, I saw a car coming over.

“Where are you going?” I questioned.

“I will meet you later, at 7 in the evening. 58 Sherlock Southwest. Your Handler just agreed.” He stated promptly as he got into the car. I could not believe this little kid threatened me, dismantled my defenses so quickly, and got away with it like walking in the park. And he literally did walk in the park! “The Taskforce will be there. I have prepared this meeting for months.”

“If you have this much resources, then why me?” I asked him. It was an authentic question at that point. With how much planning he is able to do, I was pretty sure he didn’t need The Tribunal to do his bidding. “I don’t understand.”

“Nothing. I have a special interest in you.” The boy smiled. Partly genuine. Partly provoking. He had mixed feelings about his plan. This was also inconsistent with how he had portrayed himself with bolstering tenacity. With that, he closed the door, and the car left me alone in the cemetery park.

As I looked around, even the mysterious hovering weapons were gone.

There was so much happening in my head. First of all, how could I have been caught off guard? During that meeting, I had two weapons: secrecy and the literal weapon under the bench. But despite that, he knew my abilities, weaknesses, and how I would react. He was right. He was always one step ahead. And I was not too fond of it.

For the first time, I felt a bit of fear. In every assignment, I did my research and prepared accordingly. This time, it was utterly impossible. Yet despite that, I sensed no ill intention from him. He wanted to impress me. And he did. But as he stated, he was seeking an alliance. He wanted something.

My burner phone vibrated in my pocket and zapped me out of my thoughts. I was sure it was Ms. Lisichka.

[I assume you have met the client?] She said.

[Yeah.] I replied promptly.

[No words? No comments?] The woman asked provocatively. Mocking me somehow. [That’s new.]

[He caught me off-guard.] I confessed. It was not an assignment that I sabotaged. This person was good at sniffing people out.

[So was I.] She admitted. [We will be meeting with him tonight. But I want to know your thoughts first.]

[He speaks with a hundred percent assurance because he has contingencies and is prepared well.] I said robotically. I tried to remember what else that would have given me away. But his body language was pretty straightforward. His calm demeanor and tone of voice. The way he crossed his arms. The tilt of his head. I even found it annoying that there was no shred of fear. [He knows what he is capable of and what he is not. I honestly didn’t expect that a little boy would beat me.]

[You are only a few years older than him. You are just as impressive when you operate.] My Handler assured me. [But that boy is the mind behind FordTech. He is not some sort of joke.]

[You mean the tech business that rose to power a year ago?] I asked. My Handler had given me an assignment the year before that involved someone involved with the company but not directly. My mission had nothing to do with them, so I didn’t bother to do further research on my target’s background that had something to do with FordTech. [That was something unnatural. You said it yourself.]

[That’s because Ainan Rutherford used magical means to create something far too advanced even for this world.] She explained. If he did have avroi, it was barely there. [He’s a boy genius.]

[How come no one ever did that if it was possible all this time?] I questioned. And it was a legitimate one.

[Hmm.] My Handler thought with a long pause. As if she was retrieving information from the back of her brain. [I can only think of a few possible reasons why. One, people from Fuhrstenvald are isolationists. Normally, they want to keep what they know private. Second, some people tried to make radical changes in technological advancement, but they were most likely murdered before they were given a platform. And third, Ainan had the resources to keep himself hidden and the opportunities that the dead visionaries never had.]

[It sounded more like all of what you said happened for that boy’s case.] I commented.

[Either way. We’re here now.] Ms. Lischika pointed out. [I also want to hear him out. Plus, he is still considered a potential client if he pays well. I find it weird that he had to do all this when he has the resources to contact us the same way our other clients would. ]

[You’re right.] I agreed. She was pertaining to the Pizza Hotline that works as a secret means to get ahold of The Tribunal. [I’m sure he could have done that. He doesn’t make total sense if he’s already that influential.]

[I will see you later, Six.] Then she immediately ended the call.

Since I had time on my hands, I decided to leave in my car and went straight away to the venue to check in advance. Once on the street, I slipped through the security of a nearby building and did some sightseeing from above. Inside my bag was my laptop with specialized security for my protection.

One of the first things I did when I started receiving a paycheck for my assignments was to hire different services that could offer me protection. I had multiple safehouses from foreign countries. Different identities. I have made numerous connections from the criminal underworld that could help me get away from most countries. And one of those essential things was cybersecurity.

I was in a hotel and still in my casual attire. No one could notice because the brand of my clothes speaks middle-class. Even if I looked like a lost kid, I looked like someone’s kid who could afford to stay in the hotel. Then I bumped into one of the bellboys whose wallet was visible in his pocket. I took it quickly, then took out a keycard that could help me access multiple things.

The next step was to find a vacant room. I went up to the middle floor, which should give me a high enough vantage point of the target building. Clerks would usually prefer prioritizing rooms away from the elevator, so I took the second room I could find. The keycard opened the door like magic. And I got in so smoothly.

I took out the laptop from my bag and ran a program that allowed me to look for building blueprints. I downloaded it, and the map was pretty straightforward since it was a modern design. There were seven different exit points in case things went south. I also took out a gadget that functions as my scope. I spied in the room for an hour to study the behavior of the people inside.

It looked like an average commercial building. There were probably dozens of office spaces for various companies. People were coming in and out. Corporate attire, mostly. From how they walk, none would walk similarly to a soldier or anyone with battle experience. That crossed out the idea that it was an undercover organization of some sort. Which means that there would be further instructions. I don’t have any way of knowing which specific room will be used. Even worse, there is the possibility that we will not even be using that building.

As a last resort, I decided to prepare traps under my attire. A hoodie was efficient for people like me because it was typical for a teenager. I learned how to hide various weapons and magical traps.

For the next hour, that’s what I did. The room became a small armory as I unsealed different weapons. One of the things I learned in Qah’livan was the Miftahya, which enables me to distort the volume of diverse weapons and turn them into ink. They turn into information that is written in my scrolls. By pumping avroi into them, I can undo the seal, and the weapon can return to its original form.

Another was a Taj-lahadda seal that I often use like an EMP explosive but disrupts avroi usage. It’s massively disorienting, as if a flashbang was thrown in your face. Any mage should not be able to use any form of magic for almost a minute. But that was more than enough time for me.

I also would have wanted to use barrier seals for defense, but it won’t be enough. All in all, I have prepared five handguns of my preference with suppressors, a Benelli M4 shotgun, and an H&K H416 assault rifle. They were usually with me most of the time. There were also a bunch of spare magazines for extra ammunition. Plus, more Taj-lahadda explosive paper tags.

There were also other spells I have learned that would cause more damage, but I prefer something else. Any physical explosion would cause a ruckus. Using a chaotic crowd is not always practical. Either way, I always prioritize a silent assassination. All I need would be the opening to render any potential threat disabled in case of a shoot-out. I have great trust in my marksmanship skills as well. So that should not be a problem.

Twenty-five minutes before the rendezvous time, I decided to slip off the building. I also made sure there was no trace of my presence. Ms. Lisichka taught me how when I was younger. That was by memorizing different building protocols. Including types of hotels and how the rooms are usually kept clean. I passed by a nearby clothing store and changed my attire. They are still casual street clothes that would help me blend in with the crowd.

Then paid it with cash. Cards are too traceable. I couldn’t risk it anymore. Almost got caught once because of a stupid previous mistake.

But when I got back in my car to drive to the building, the screen started to act on its own. Then it went blank, and a map was uploaded to the interface. Even the programming was different. That was when I noticed the map pointing in a different direction.

[Hello, Six.] Ainan’s voice spoke through my speakers. High-pitched and obnoxious. [I’m sure you’re amazed once again that I have this much control over you. I am sure you appreciate how contingency plans are essential for people like us.]

[I was pretty sure this was not the meeting place, to begin with.] I replied.

[If that was so, then I find your detour in the hotel and scouting from afar was a waste of time. That is most inefficient of you.] The boy argued. I almost gritted my teeth. I was caught red-handed once again. It makes me wonder how he could spy on me from afar. [That should have been used to prepare more weapons. More than what you have with you right now.]

Before I could speak, my car suddenly moved on its own. Self-drive was not a feature of my car since it was not electronic, but it looked like he managed to change the programming. And that was something impossible. There was not supposed to be a mechanism that would allow it.

[I will take it from here.] Ainan said. [I am sure you’re wondering how I did this but rest assured, your limited intellect cannot fathom or even grasp the kind of magic I can do.]

[You’ll be surprised how creative I can be.] I stated dryly. My arms crossed as I allowed the wheel to move on its own. Based on the map, we were headed a few kilometers west of the supposed rendezvous point. [Besides, as long as I have enough intellect to be able to kill you. That should be more than enough.]

The boy giggled loudly as if I said a joke. [That was a good one! Trust me. I have no intention of putting enmity between us. I have a big job for you. And as cliche, as it sounds, this can tip the balance of this world and Altimeraea. So consider yourself as privileged.]

[Whatever.] I replied coldly.

[I will explain more when you get here.] The boy admonished arrogantly. [I am still being kind here.]

Before I could reply, the call ended. But the ride going to the new spot was relatively fast. For some reason, all of the stoplights we passed by were green. He was probably controlling it from somewhere. Given his excellent mastery of technology, that was not much of a surprise.

The building that we arrived at looked like another commercial building. But it has a darker tone. There was also a powerful magical presence inside. It felt like a thick slime dancing on my skin. Heavy and unnaturally sinister. I couldn’t explain it particularly.

As the car went through the valet, I stepped out, and my car just drove itself. A butler was waiting for me. He motioned me to follow him to an elevator. It was only me who got in. Once the elevator closed, the wall opened, and another elevator was inside. It was behind the first one. Plus, it also had a more military look. The metal looked like it was thick enough to withstand a good blast.

I stepped in and waited for it to move. It took a second before the elevator went downwards. The panel had no indicators to check how many floors were underneath. But based on the length of time, it would have been a quarter mile of depth.

It was an underground facility.

The door opened, and an empty hallway was before me. A guiding light opened up and started to lead me somewhere. Of course, I intuitively followed where it led me to. I also tried to observe, but there was nothing but metallic walls. It looked like a maze since there were intersections, but no one else was there. All I knew was that I was led to another door.

Only Ms. Lisichka and another man were inside when I entered the room. I first took notice that there were only two exits. My Handler just nodded, and since the room was lit dimly, it took a second to recognize the other man. Samson Everett. Another half-Asian like me who defected from their nation. He stood a couple of inches taller than me, and we passed off as father and son in the immigration.

He was my partner for a particular assignment in Germany a year ago. It was a disposal job, and the man was well acquainted with a bit of everything. I had more natural skill sets, but he beat me by experience. He also learned different torture and interrogation techniques from Israel’s Mossad. From the looks of it, I already knew where it was going.

I sat down and waited. We all kept to ourselves and thought deeply about our client’s demands. After a good ten minutes, two more people entered the door where I got into. All the other people in the room were familiar faces. I had interacted with them in an assignment at some point.

Sam, the first guy, was a deep cover agent like me. His forte was information extraction, and he was also a tech guy. A good conversationalist and quite charismatic, he always knew what to say next. My expertise would be disposing of any threats from the other dimension. Despite all 5 of us in the room being formidable, only me and Ms. Lisichka had the upper hand when dealing with mages.

Isaiah Sanders was the other guy. Then there was Katherine Dupont. Both were Europeans. Isaiah was a mercenary for hire with a small team called Point Blank. They were a group of war veterans and had experience with Black Ops. I had yet to learn their exact number since I heard they would swap members depending on availability. He was a towering man with long gray hair tied in a man bun. Full facial hair. And clothes that were trying their best to hold his muscles in. The guy was probably in his early fifties, but I would not dare underestimate him.

On the other hand, the woman was a field surgeon with a background in crime scene investigations. She looked like the CEO’s favorite administrative assistant. Dark brown hair. Blue eyes. Stoic face. Businesswoman attire. And a sharp pair of glasses. Even her lipstick was deep red. Everything she does is purely professional.

Katherine was the designated Cleaner for my team at one point and would dispose of any dead bodies during our assignment. She also had a mobile unit in case of medical emergencies. The Tribunal had tons of resources by blackmailing particular individuals in different hospitals. They can be one call away if anyone on the team gets shot or needs an emergency operation.

As a powerful organization with clients from the elites of society, it has almost unlimited resources to carry out assignments like these. None of us were using our real names. Our identities are assets that must not be compromised. It was also not a point of interest for me. We will do fine as long as they are efficient in the field.

A minute after we all sat down, Ainan Rutherford entered the room. He was alone and unguarded. At the back of my head, I knew I could take him out. But I was in his territory. For a guy with so many contingencies and always several steps ahead, I cannot be careless.

“Greetings, everyone.” The boy spoke in his thick British accent. His green eyes grazed mine. As if he was singling me out. “This meeting will be brief because I will say my demands for this assignment. Ms. Lisichka will take care of any strategies needed to fulfill my needs.”

There was silence in the room. But everyone was paying attention. With a wave of a hand, the wall behind him turned into a screen. Several photos appeared on them, along with profiles of various individuals. One of the men was the guy in the dossier he had given me prior.

“As you have noticed, I have picked all of you to form this team to do two particular things. The first is to investigate the ties between Helix Corp and Teios Kyr. It is an unlikely alliance but a very dangerous one.” The boy started explaining. All of us were familiar with Helix Corp. It was a multi-billion dollar international company influential in pharmacy, medicine, and genetic research. Then the screen displayed the man we were targeting. “This is Dr. Hans Albrecht, who was seen in the company of none other than Samael Aspheraltz. My intel is trustworthy so far, and if they are meeting, then Samael has something in mind.”

“Dr. Albrecht is a leading scientist and scholar of genetic engineering and biotechnology. They have imported them here from Germany under the name of Dr. Nolan Schneider.” The boy continued. Then he proceeded to scan us one by one. “I am aware that as field agents with experience, you can agree that you will only take on a new identity if high discretion is needed. We can infer from there that Samael is hiding Dr. Albrecht.”

“How long have they been here?” Ms. Lisichka asked curiously. “And what are they working on?”

“Honestly, I have yet no idea because I am unable to hack into their systems. I could only extrapolate that they have received assistance from mages of Fuhrstenvald. They are the only people that can block me out.” The boy admitted grudgingly. He could have spat out of distaste. “But according to my intel, they have been here for the past two decades. This means that whatever they are working on, we must suppose they have made tremendous progress already.”

Based on the photos, the man had no family except for his kid. All the other images of his personal life never implied a woman or a partner. Something was not right. I don’t think he would also adopt a kid out of loneliness. But the eyes of the man spoke of fear. And it was something I could capitalize on.

“All you need to do is uncover the connection and irrefutable proof of their work. Use any means necessary with minimal bloodshed.” Ainan quipped sharply. His were fixated on the big screen. Scanning it as if he may have missed something. “I have an awful sentiment about this. We must be a step ahead, or we might lose the upcoming war.”

“War?” Isaiah Sanders asked. A veteran combatant knew what it meant.

“Yes. That’s correct. Samael has been instigating an uprising on the side of Altimeraea. You three may only have heard of legends.” Then out of nowhere, he raised his arm. A part of the ceiling opened up, and one of the rifles he summoned back at the park appeared and pointed at me. My reflexes kicked, and with one swing, I threw a throwing knife with a Taj-lahadda tag at the weapon. It made a loud popping sounded and zapped the avroi powering it. The thing fell lifelessly on the ground as I produced a handgun with my spacial sealing spell. Just like that, I was aiming at his head. He was absolutely defenseless. Everyone was out of their seats with weapons out. Yet the boy smiled. “But here comes the proof that magic is real. And with it can make our society crumble down. As people cursed with the knowledge of how the enemy is moving about, we have the moral obligation to defend our home.”

Complete silence roared in the room. Slowly, Ainan raised both his hands in surrender. But his eyes were fixed on me. Slowly, I lowered my weapon. He was trying to make a point. On the upside, disabling the avroi inside would render his weapons effective.

“If you have resources at your disposal to even spy on us, why need our help?” My Handler asked. I knew she was itching to raise that question. “It does not make sense to me.”

“I want you to be my eyes and ears. My informants.” The boy genius bluntly replied. “As powerful and smart as I am, my influence also has limits. I can only extract information from unprotected technology in this realm. But extracting information from human beings that’s your forte. I need that.”

His explanation was clear as day. Everyone got the agenda. For sure, my Handler already had a plan formulated in her head. Sam and I will be placed in deep cover and infiltrate via friendship with the kid. The boy my age would be the weak link that we can expose.

“Is there a particular timeline for this assignment?” My Handler asked with a steel voice. It was almost a hiss. “And do you have any other information to help us grasp what we’re looking at?”

“As soon as you possibly can. I understand that normally, examining your intended targets may take weeks or even months.” Rutherford responded. “All I need is to gauge their timeline to prepare things on my end. I need to know if we still have the luxury of waiting. According to my sources, they may have a scientific breakthrough soon. And that’s not going to be nice for us.”

“Why do you say it as if it’s our fight as well?” I interrupted. Our eyes locked once again. The other people in the room watched the little kid intently. I wonder why they were not even wondering why a mere child was giving them directives. “We’re just private contractors. Personally, I don’t have much interest in this war you are talking about.”

The boy snapped his fingers, and the screen switched to video footage.

“This happened more than a year ago somewhere near Atlanta. It’s a peaceful small suburban town and became a battleground.” He explained. The video showed people being slaughtered by monstrous beings. Some were ripped apart. Kids were torn into shreds. In the background, there were also sightings of mages that were fighting. “I did what I could within my influence to protect the people there. Despite all my efforts, I discovered that only 30 percent of the people survived. And this is just a sample experiment of Teios Kyr.”

“What the hell are those things?” Isaiah commented. His eyes were filled with both awe and fear. “I have never seen anything like it.”

I saw the different footage that showed people being attacked. One was unlucky enough to get close under them. It was the size of an SUV. The thing ran on all four and had a muscular predatory body structure. Similar to a Jaguar. Its skin was covered with dark fur, and it moved like a large feline. Stealth was also its weapon. The head looked like a lion, but with enormous horns coming out of its head. Huge fangs like Sabertooth protruded from its gaping mouth. Then behind it were gigantic bat-like wings and a thick tail. It looked similar to how I would imagine a manticore from the Greek legends.

“Neither have I.” Rutherford admitted. His eyes still watched the various footage. “I can only understand the basic code of the MagiTechnology of the other world. And used their database to check if there were similar beasts to theirs. But there was none. So whatever those things are, they are neither from our world nor theirs.”

“How come this was not on the news?” Sam Everett inquired. “Something like this would have made national headlines. Even the dark web is silent about these things. I have never heard about this until now.”

“There is an alliance between the politicians of both worlds. And they have deemed it necessary to bury this under the rug. With both resources and magic at their fingertips, I couldn’t imagine what they cannot do.” Rutherford explained. “But I am sure the threat of Teios Kyr is now more taken seriously.”

“You said that you have two assignments for us.” Ms. Lisichka interjected softly. “What’s the other one?”

“Yes. There is another person I want you to investigate. And this will be the tougher part of the assignment.” Ainan muttered. His tone was more serious. Everyone felt the tension. The screen switched to a picture of a boy with a familiar face. Dark hair. Gray eyes. Pale skin. His name was mentioned even within The Tribunal. “I want you to help me find the whereabouts of Chance Valentine.”

Copyright © 2023 Solus Magus; All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 3
  • Love 2

Please don't forget to react, leave a comment/feedback below, and follow the story! It may sound a little demanding, but it means a lot to me. It really helps my motivation to keep writing this project. No kidding. Thank you so much! ☺️ 😁  

Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
You are not currently following this story. Be sure to follow to keep up to date with new chapters.

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments

There are no comments to display.

View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Newsletter

    Want to keep up to date with all our latest news and information?
    Sign Up
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..