Alex Rider stumbled out from the mess that had at one point be called a bed and made his way to the bathroom. As he rubbed the sleep from his eyes, he had to steal himself as he passed the mirror.
Whilst many would not believe it, Alex Rider was actually what could be classed as a teenage spy, having worked for MI6, no less than 6 times, and then done them favours twice, when he either landed himself in trouble, or it found him. And he had the scars to prove it. Across his body, there was a mirage of marks, ranging from the burns all along his shoulders, to a gunshot wound just above the heart. Just remnants of things he should not have had to do.
The cold eyes that stared back at him were not his own anymore. It looked like something had sucked the life out of them, leaving behind the empty shell that was Alex. And to him, that's what he felt like. As quickly as he could, he slipped in and out of the shower, wrapping a towel around himself before heading back to his room. It was 3:04am.
As was common in his life, sleep was next to non-existant. Grabbing only four hours a night, to say he was sleep deprived would be an understatement. Alex felt like crap. And there was nothing he could do about it. Since coming back from Africa, he'd had enough. It didn't matter to him that his birthday was coming up, nothing seemed to concern him anymore. Not even Jack.
Yesterday, his housekeeper, guardian, and best friend had told him that her dad was ill back home in America where she was from. She had wanted him to go with her, when she went over to see him. Alex however, couldn't bring himself to go. He had told her that he had missed too much school, and she should just go and see him, spend sometime with him while she can. Even though it had broken her heart, in the end she had agreed, because she knew her dad was dying. She had left late last night, with promises of calling when she got there and keeping him up to date.
Slowly, Alex pulled on a pair of jeans and grabbed his school books. Settling himself down on his bed again, textbook next to him, Alex felt the common wave of pain wash over him. The burns on his back just wouldn't go away. The doctor had told him so. For the rest of his life, he would have to see the marks, that reached all the way from his hip to his neck, on the right side of his body. He was lucky; it had missed the bullet wound that sat on his chest.
In the early hours of the morning, the house was quiet, the only sounds that of the clock on his wall and the cat in the neighbours backyard yowling to be let back in coming through the open window. It was only because of this lapse, that Alex heard the engine.
Suddenly alert, her made his way through the house to the top of the stairs, carefully keeping himself in shadow. There, in front of his door, was a silhouette of man, crouching down. If he listened, he could hear the telltale sounds of a pin, and knew someone was breaking in to his house.
As quietly as possible, Alex backed up, heading for the bathroom- the quickest way out the house from the first floor. Alex had found out when he was 10, that if he jumped from the drain pipe next to the bathroom window, he could reach his neighbours shed. And if he was careful, he might not fall through this time. Throwing caution to the wind, he pushed open the window and dropped, hands grabbing the sill. It wasn't far to the pipe, and within seconds, his feet had hit the wood.
Pausing, he cursed himself for not putting on more clothes, before jumping over the fence that ran on to the ally at the back of his house. Rubbish littered the floor as he made his way down, trying to stick to the shadows.
It was when he reached the corner that he allowed himself to look for the car that had alerted him. There, on the opposite side of the house, a black van with 'S. Corp' written on the side. Alex would have laughed under any other circumstances with the originality of the name. At least now he knew who it was.
With one last look, Alex mad his way carefully through his neighbours front gardens before turning down Alabasta road and contemplating what this meant.
Scorpia- a criminal organisation that specialises in sabotage, corruption, intelligence and assassination- was after him. Again. And there was nothing he could do. That was the downside of having pissed of the world most dangerous group. Not only had he ruined Scorpia's integrity and reputation, he had also cost them what was probably millions of pounds, as well as caused the deaths of two, if not three of their top people.
So much for MI6 having sorted the problem.
With a sigh, Alex surveyed the road in front of him, looking for any kind of sign of an ambush lying in wait for him. The street was empty, with nothing moving. Bare feet on the cold ground, he headed towards the only place he felt he could go, face masked against the emotion that was boiling within him. At least Jack hadn't been here.
The man in the car bristled with anticipation. Scorpia had paid well- but it had come with a warning. There were to be no mistakes. This was a do or die mission, and his death was not anticipated on his half.
The man saw no reason to be worried. The target was a child. A boy. And yet with the amount of money he was receiving, he found he didn't care. There was enough money for him to retire if he so wished. But he knew he wouldn't. The feeling he got from his line of work made him get up in the morning. It wasn't something he could live with out.
Inhaling heavily, he stared out the tinted windows to the place he knew where his partner would be waiting. The man was surrounded in shadow, impossible to see if you didn't already know he was there. He was good at what he did. And that was why he didn't care that it was him out there and not himself. Although he was all for the thrill, he would rather not put his neck on the block.
Sighing the man leaned back, content that the boy would come at some point. And then the man would earn his pay check.
Alex tottered on the corner of the street, unsure whether to actually go to his best friends house. He may have needed somewhere to go, but he had no wish to drag Tom or his family into his problems. There was nothing to gain. And if Scorpia did find him, they would not care to add a few extra deaths on the list that they already had.
As he turned away, to walk toward the centre of the town, he noticed the car. There, in the driver's seat, barely distinguishable through the shadows sat a man. Watching him. It was then Alex knew he had been set up. Trying to calm himself, Alex set off again at a slightly faster pace, heading away from the car. Scorpia had known all along about Tom. He prayed that his best friend would be okay.
Listening carefully, Alex could hear the door to the car opening and closing. He shivered, tormenting himself with the idea of a pistol focusing on the center of his back, the man slowly pulling the trigger, savouring the moment when the boy in front of him fell slowly to the-
Alex mentally shook his head, trying to dispel the image from his head. It was one of his nightmares, come to life in the heat of the moment. Just what he didn't need.
It was luck that saved him. Alex stubbed his toe on the pavement as he misjudged his step and fell, landing in a heap on the ground. The man who had followed him stumbled as his foot was caught between Alex's legs.
The two stared at each other, carefully watching, one crouched over the other. Alex pulled his legs in, ready to run or to fight at any moment. He never even spotted the needle until it was in him.
There was a sharp pain in his leg as he punched the man in the nose, satisfied with the crack he got in reply. As the man fell away, Alex whirled and ran, taking three steps before he was aware of being numb. He couldn't feel his feet slapping against the cold, hard pavement, or even the burns on his back that had to be screaming at him. His last thought before he fell to the ground, blacked out was 'oh shit'.
The man in the car took a deep drag of the cigarette that he had lit, watching the boy fall to the ground unconscious. It was a job well down.
The man who had done the job picked himself up off the floor and dragged his sleeve across his nose, taking note of the amount of blood pouring from it. He had to hand it to the kid- he had a good punch.
Back at the car, the man put out his cigarette on the floor. As his friend carried the boy to the car, the man looked up at the sky, before allowing himself a wide smile. He was looking forward to the six zero's on his paycheck.
(A/N) Hey guy's! What do you think? Any good? I have loads of idea's for this fanfic; the plot bunnies have gotta hold! Argh! Should be good anyway :D Let me know what you think!