Friday, November 25, 2011

Cloak & Dagger - Episode 2

Episode 2: The Unknown

London, 2011

"Technically, she didn't blow him up," Director Daniel Fouts explained to Ethan Fairchild. "A detonator malfunctioned causing the death of Cal Yates."

"I set the charge," Bette Marstan said. "His death was my responsibility."

Ethan didn't respond like he wanted. He still needed time to assess his new recruit before passing judgement.

"Disrespecting your superior officer, even in death, just isn't done, Agent Marstan," Fouts said.

Bette nodded. "Duly noted, director."

Fouts motioned toward his office. The three entered and as they were seated the fiberglass walls morphed from see-through to opaque. This part of their conversation was confidential.

"Ethan, I know you were surprised by my knowledge of the search for your brother but your new assignment has everything to do with your past."

Ethan didn't like the idea of others getting involved in his recent obsession. Even his sister, Faith, knew nothing about his search for Ian. She and Ian had never been close. Even though Ian was Ethan's twin.

"We've been aware of your brother's location ever since Bulgaria. We thought the problem eventually would work itself out, but unfortunately it didn't."

"Problem?" Ethan asked. "What exactly is the problem?"

Daniel wasn't comfortable revealing this truth even though the decision concerning Ian weren't his.

"Ian believes he's you."


Gateway City, 1987

Michela Forsythe was in a rush, per usual. Her boyfriend, Cade, the newly crowned King jock of Gateway High was waiting in the car. She gave her mother a wave and blew her a kiss.

"Please try to be on time tonight," Mrs. Forsythe asked her daughter who was already out the door. She sighed and turned back to her Eggs Benedict. "That girl is going to be the death of me."

Michela and Cade walked onto campus as seniors at the top echelon of the social scene. Cade migrated toward the footballers and she found her best friend, Bliss, slamming poor, dorky Alison Corday into a locker and pouring soda on her head. Not exactly one of Bliss' better moments but the all consuming power of being a senior from the popular crowd was going straight to her head.

Michela's theory was that everyone was allowed at least one pre-season foible. Bliss was just getting it out of her system early.

"You're going to hell. You know that, right?" Michela said trying to keep the smile off her lips.

Bliss pulled out a string of her mother's pearls and began rubbing the beads dramatically as if they were a rosary and the key to her salvation.

"I'll say ten hail Mary's and then all will be good. I have Father Benedict in my back pocket. He can put in a good word for me upstairs."

"So, that's how it's done?" Michela snickered. "I knew I'd been doing something wrong."

Michela couldn't say she had it bad. In fact, her life was pretty awesome. Could she help it that she wanted everyone to know it?

Michela's father owned one of the biggest publishing companies in the world. And all the money he raked in being a workaholic was very attractive to all her friends. Sometimes she wondered if what money didn't stick to me might be transfered to them.

She knew being popular wouldn't get her anything in the outside world. Her older sister, Diana, spoke the theory like a mantra. Once out of high school, she'd lost nearly everyone of her best friends to other people who had things her friends wanted that Diana couldn't give them.

In the end, Michela took advantage of the perks of her father's job. She had the best of everything she wanted. Super-sized birthday parties and clothes from designers who had collections that weren't even out yet. Everything under the sun was available to  her... except more time.

That evening she stood outside the school all alone waiting for someone to pick her up. She assumed it would be Pierre, her father's driver, but he'd been detained with some corporate bigwig.

She dialed her father's phone for the third time but it kept going to voicemail. She guessed this was what it felt like to be truly forgotten. She experienced a good five minutes of feeling sorry for herself. It was cruel but she needed it. These were the things that could truly keep her grounded in the future.

Fifteen minutes later, her sister came tooling down the avenue in her new Buick. As she watched Diana's car round the corner, it took her sister too long to react as a dog ran into her path. Diana immediately lost control of the vehicle. She swerved back into her lane but the damage was done. The vehicle was coming straight at Michela faster than the speed limit in that area condoned. The terror in her sister's eyes was the last thing Michela saw before everything went black.


London 2011

The streets of London were still bustling when Ethan exited headquarters two hours later. He hadn't heard much of the debriefing after Fouts dropped the bomb about his brother. The notion completely boggled his mind.

Ethan clearly remembered the Bulgarian mission. At least, he thought he did. There were technologies out there that could easily do what Fouts explained. It made him wonder momentarily exactly who was the impostor. Maybe Ian's memories of Bulgaria had been implanted to cover up a conspiracy. Anything was possible when it came to dealing with his father's experiments. If he wanted to know what really happened back then, he had to go to the source.


Bette Marstan wasn't a newcomer to the world of espionage. Fouts wanted her to stick to Ethan like glue, and that's what she intended to do. The only problem being that he was very good at ditching a tail. Which is why she found herself outside the London branch of ForeCross Publishing wondering where he could have run off to.

The Legacy wasn't  good at sharing the details of an agent's life, but Bette had run across a photo of Ethan with a  brunette woman she didn't recognize and a man frowning in the background. She fingered it as she searched the scene for Ethan. The other man in the photo resembled a picture she'd once seen of Ethan's brother, Kevin. There was plenty of bad blood between the brothers. So, she was more than surprised when she spotted Kevin Fairchild entering ForeCross. The coincidence was too strange. It gave Bette the perfect motive to follow Kevin inside.


Undisclosed Location 2011

Michela found herself lying on the street. The gritty surface covered her hands and cheek. She must have passed out. And Michela wondered how much this fender bender was going to cost her daddy. All she could think was that she was glad she wasn't the one driving. Diana would have to take the blame for this accident.

She opened her eyes and scrambled to her feet but what she saw wasn't the parking lot at school. It was a dark alley way too close to a pier that reeked of fish guts and motor oil

"Michela? What are you doing?" The voice seemed to come from nowhere. She wheeled around looking for the source.

"Who's there?" she whispered. She looked around seeing no one in the darkness. "I think I'm losing my mind. All she could wonder was how had she gotten here and where exactly was here? It definitely wasn't the high school parking lot.

"Lose your mind later," said the voice again. "You have a mission to complete."

"Mission? If this is God, you're barking up the wrong cheerleader. The only mission I have is to go home and practice my routine until all eyes are on me."

It was in this moment she finally realized something was in her ear, some sort of device like a hearing aid. She studied it momentarily.

"Your technology is cool and all but ... can I get a ride home? Mom and Dad are going to be miffed if I'm late again."

Another voice came over the ear piece. This one was distinctly feminine and perfectly familiar. Alison Corday.

"Michela? What are you talking about? Your mother's been dead for years. Have you been compromised? Is this channel being monitored?"

Michela stilled. "Dead? I just talked to her this morning."

"You couldn't have. You've been on this mission for the last forty-eight hours." Alison's voice was speaking in riddles and nothing she was saying was making sense.

Michela shook her head. "No, no. That's not right. I've just started my senior year. I've never been on any sort of  mission. Alison? You believe me, right? You saw me this morning."

"We've got to get her out of there." Alison was speaking to someone else. Someone Michela couldn't hear. "She's been affected mentally. We knew this could be a problem."

The sound of a car engine roared to life near Michela's position. She flinched and her heart raced. The more she focused on her surroundings and the dark shadows, the more fearful she became.

Footsteps sounded like gunshots as they drew closer. "Someone's coming," she whispered. "Alison, you have to help me!"

"Some things never change," Alison muttered. "We're sending in an extraction team. Stay put."

The only problem was that Michela didn't stay put. She ran off toward the dock and the ear piece she'd been studying was now lying on the ground.

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