Alright, so I have no idea where this story came from. One second, I'm reading a Twilight FanFic, and the next, I've got a semi-plot of where this could go.
Yes, I know I've got another story running, and trust me, that will be the main priority; this is just something I spontaneously thought of, and as such, I don't think it would be updated as quickly as Escape will be.
For more details/ if you're wondering what I'm up to when I'm not posting Chapters, visit my LiveJournal website (I don't know if it's private or public, so you may need an account/create an account to view it) at 04williamsl. Live journal Just take out the spaces.
I knew when I got a phone call shortly after five in the afternoon that it would be one of two businesses; one, some stupid telemarketers who always seemed to phone at tea-time, or the bank. However, due to it being a Bank Holiday Monday, Alex doubted it would be telemarketers, as they normally seemed to take this day off.
You may think that the 'bank' would take the Bank Holiday Monday off too, because you know, the 'bank' in the name would give you a clue as to whom the holiday was aimed at, but no. This certain 'bank' (note the quotation marks) wasn't exactly a bank.
As Alex thought about this on his way to the phone in the front hall, he wondered what the 'bank' did on Bank Holiday Mondays. After all, they would have to put on a front to show that the 'bank' was also taking the day off. But then, how did the agents get inside? Alex figured there must be a back- or underground-entrance.
The bank was, of course, MI6's Headquarters.
Sighing, Alex reached for the phone, picked it up, and answered in a girlish, bored tone.
"Thank you for phoning Pizza Hut, this is Sheila speaking, can I take your order, please?"
"Mr Rider, think is the bank speaking-"
"Hello Mr Bankes, what would you like to order?"
"Mr Rider, this is not a joke. Please come to-"
"Would you like extra cheese with your order, sir, or perhaps we can interesft you in our special meal deal? Two twin 10" London Pizzas for £6.95 Order with-"
"Mr Rider. You are expected at the bank at six. We insist that you come - we have information we think you'd like to hear."
Alex, amused, hung up the phone on the speaker, and walked back into the front room where his guardian, Jack, lay on the couch, looking at him inquisitively, totally ignoring the goings on of Come Dine With Me that was currently on on the television.
"What did they want?" She asked, even though she knew perfectly well what they wanted.
"Same as usual. 'Come to the bank, Mr. Rider' 'We insist that you come, Mr Rider,'" He replied, deepening his tone of voice as he mocked the bank's representative.
"Please don't tell me you're going, Alex!"
He didn't reply to her, instead sitting on the chair near to her. He was deep in thought; had been since he'd hung up the phone. What did they mean they had information he wanted?
After a pause, Alex finally replied to her question.
"I think I have to, Jack," He sighed. "They 'have information' that apparently I need to hear. You know me Jack, it'll bug me until I know what they're on about." He looked at her, willing her to understand.
She looked back at him, looking into his sad brown eyes. Finally, she herself sighed, resigned to Alex and his needing to know of information.
"Fine! Go! But I swear to Jeebus himself, if you don't come back by tonight, I'm going to hunt you down and drag you back home myself. You hear me? And you better be in the condition you went out in, too, or else your dead meat. Capiche?"
Smiling at Jack's unproductive speech, Alex stood up and went to the hall, grabbing his coat and putting on his shoes, before leaving the house and going to the side wall where his bike was locked to a hook in the wall. Using his keys from his jacket pocket, Alex unlatched the bike, and rode off to the Royal and General bank.
When Alex arrived, it was just after six o'clock. Better late than never.
As he walked up the front steps, bringing the bike along with him, a fairly muscled man in a security guard's clothing opened the front doors for him. Not speaking, the man pointed to the elevators, an unspoken message for Alex to go to them.
Doing as the guard told him to, Alex walked to the lift doors that were open, and stepped inside. Without having to touch a button, the doors slid closed, and the lift began to ascend.
Reaching the 17th floor, the doors slid open without a sound, an Alex walked forwards into the grey corridor, reaching the office he knew held a man in a grey suit with grey hair and an expressionless face. Possibly, a woman similar to the grey man with a similar expressionless face may also be there.
Walking to Mr Blunt's office, Alex decided to forgo a knock on the door, instead opting to barge into the room.
Of course, Mr Blunt and Mrs Jones had been told to expect Alex Rider the moment the boy had rode onto Liverpool Street, and again been told of his arrival as soon as he had went inside of the lift. As such, Alex's unexpected arrival to his door actually wasn't unexpected.
Alex walked into the room and sat on the chair provided for him. Unblinking, Alex stared at the man in front of him. And stared. And stared. No way am I speaking first.
Mrs Jones was the first to break the tension filled and silent room, opting to get straight to the point.
"Alex, we called you in to give you some information we recently acquired," she paused, looking towards her boss before continuing, "this certainly came as a… surprise to us. No, surprise isn't the right word."
Alex watched, surprised himself at how Mrs Jones was floundering with her words.
"More alarmed, shocked and even slightly appalled at both the information we received and because we didn't find out soone-"
"And what, exactly, is this information?" Alex asked, becoming quite annoyed at how they weren't telling him, or at least not telling him soon enough for his liking.
"Oh, right, yes, well. The information. It seems that MI5 have been up to no good under our noses. Since the middle of World War Two, it seems that MI5 have been recruiting children to act as their spies. Since World War Two, and we didn't even know about it!"
The woman went on, but Alex had stopped listening at the words "recruiting children to act as their spies."
Alex interrupted her ramblings, confused.
"So wait, MI5 are using kids as their spies, right?" at their nodding heads, Alex continued. "Then why did Mr Crawley ask me to do a mission for him when they already had people at their disposal?"
Mr Blunt was the one to answer him, answering his question with almost humour in his tone - that's right. Humour.
"Well, MI5 and their pet spies, aren't really spies. All they basically do is place bugs and listen devices into things like chair seats and plant-pots, then leave the mission. Sometimes, it's more than that, and agents have been known - according to our sources - to spend up to three or four years on a mission." He paused, then continued, "to answer your question as to why you were used by Crawley, well, you are simply better than his pets" If Alex wasn't listening as raptly as he was, he would have almost missed the proud tone Blunt had in his voice, "These agents, or CHERUB's, as they are known to be called, can only go on missions that a 'committee' has passed as doable and not extremely dangerous to the children. Therefore, when a mission needed a child, but was to dangerous to that child, they sought out you, instead."
Alex was surprised; no, like Mrs Jones said, that wasn't the right word. Shocked and appalled where the right words.
"So, why are you giving me this information? Why are you telling me all this?" At the look Blunt and Jones expressed to each other, Alex realised why they were telling him this. "Oh no! No way. I'm not going on another mission. You said you'd leave me alone!"
"We're sorry Alex, but we really need you on this mission; you are, literally, the only person that can infiltrate CHERUB," Mrs Jones said, "and I think we failed to mention a few things. For starters, all CHERUB agents are given extreme schooling; most agents pass their GCSE's by the time they're fourteen. You're behind on school work, right?"
"No thanks to you," Alex said petulantly.
Ignoring him, Blunt continued "Well, if you manage to get to CHERUB bases, they will give you a very high standard education. Another thing is that if they give you a mission, you can refuse to go on it. And like we said, these missions are extremely easy. You go in, place some listening devices, then you're out.
"And finally, we don't even know where CHERUB is based. It is an extremely well kept secret, we must assure you of that. If you were to go there, then there would be little doubt that you'd be safe; any enemies that may want to retaliate on you won't be able to find you…"
Mrs Jones took over, trying to persuade Alex to agree to do the mission "Look, all we need you to do is get into CHERUB. If, after a month, we hear nothing from them, then you can go back to your normal life. But Alex, we need you. You are the only person who can do this mission. CHERUB believe that adults never suspect that children are spying on them; you're a child, and as such, if their policy is correct, means that you should never be suspected if they find out you're spying on them. After all, why would one of their recruits be a suspect?"
Alex looked between the two adults, contemplating.
"And what, exactly, do I have to do?"
"Firstly, we'd need to place you in a children's home which has been confirmed to have a retired agent in it; that's how they pick their agents - children with no parents, so that no one misses them if they go missing, and no one sues them if their children get hurt on a mission. We already know of a children's home for this. Then, we'll let that home look after you; you'll get a new identity, which means that you will have to move schools. If you're picked as a CHERUB, then we just need you to get information, things like their location, how many agents they have, how they train them, who their instructors are. Things like this; easy information you can get by just watching. Easy."
Again, Alex looked at the two eager expressions of the people in front of him. Coming to a decision, Alex leaned back in his seat.
"Fine, I'll do it. I'm guessing I need to go see Smithers?"
"Yes, you do. Somebody will collect you at 7 tomorrow morning to take you to a block of flats. That'll be your home for two hours or so until a social worker at the children's home will come for you. A concerned neighbour will be in the room with you; she's the one who called social services. Go with the social worker, and try to show your brains; hide your stuff in secret places, find innovative ways to avoid bullies, etcetera etcetera. Smithers has your file with your new identity in it. Goodbye, Alex, until we meet again."
A clear dismissal, Alex stood from his seat, walked to the door, and got in the lift. It was only after the doors closed that Alex realised he forgot to ask a very important question: If I get chosen to go to CHERUB, then how will I get out when the mission's over?
A scowl on his face, Alex reached Smithers' floor and stepped out of the elevator. Walking to where the fat man sat working on some gadget or other, Alex greeted the older more podgy man.
"Hello Mr Smithers!" he said warmly, a smile replacing the scowl.
"Alex, my boy! Just the chap I was expecting to see," the man winked at Alex, "I must say that I wasn't wishing to see you any time soon, even if I do have fun with coming up with gadgets to suit you. Although, on this mission, I can't really give you much. The source said that anything in the child's pockets when on their travels to CHERUB's base is removed. Meaning, of course, that I had an even harder challenge! But, I must say I am proud with these ideas."
Smithers walked towards a drawer placed in the middle of the room, and talked into the handle "Shelly, please bring me articles 19540688 and 932145703, thank you my dear."
Within seconds, the drawer was flipped, and a woman in a suit replaced it, sat on a chair. 'Shelly' handed files and a box to Smithers. Again, within seconds, 'Shelly' was gone, and the drawer was back in place.
Alex decided not to comment on what he'd just witnessed.
"Right, old chap, here's the boring stuff you need to read," Smithers rolled his eyes, and mumbled under his breath "Could have used paper-waiter, but noo. Can't do that!" Before continuing talking to Alex "It has all the information you need about your new persona; name, age, background, parents details. Some other stuff added in there, too, but the rest, like your likes and dislikes, you can just make-up. And now to the fun stuff!"
Smithers shook the box 'Shelly' had given him, before opening it carefully with a pen-knife. No doubt, the pen-knife had other features placed inside of it.
"Here we are. Now then, I remembered that you used to have a pierced ear, right?" Smithers continued, not bothering to wait for Alex to confirm his unobvious rhetorical question, "So, because you're not allowed to take anything in your pockets, they'll most focus on that when transporting you to wherever it is you're going. Therefore, they'll most likely miss the obvious ear-stud. It has three functions. One, a walkie-talkie device. Take the ear-stud out of your ear, and the front part is your ear-piece. The back part is what you talk into. It's automatically hard-wired to call me, and I'll pass on whatever message you have to Blunt and Jones up-top. The second function is an explosive - press the two parts together three times within ten seconds, and kaboom! I'd suggest you don't stand too close when that thing goes off, either. The third function would be that both sides can attach themselves to anything, metal, wood, plastic; you name it, it'll stick to it. You can remove it, too, by simply tapping it."
Smithers took a deep breath, before removing three other items from the box; a white vest, a red Nike top and jeans.
"Now then, I couldn't really do much with these, but they are bullet-proof, fire-proof, and if necessary, you can use the as rope, although the rope won't exactly go that far… Make sure you wear these if you're called into an office for any reason whatsoever after the first day you get there. I doubt they'll try to recruit you before you even do anything worth-while.
"And that's about it, my boy. Just try not to get yourself killed. Goodbye, Alex."
Alex collected the items Smithers gave to him, as well as his identification information, and left the building, heading home to Jack for the last time for a while.
Alright, so yeah, I know that Alex most probs wouldn't be picked to become a CHERUB because he's a bit older than the selection age, but whatever.
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