Mikaela stared at her phone and sighed. She'd just sent another text to Sam. This was the twelfth one she'd sent him today. She swore it would be the last one, but she knew that was a lie. At least it wasn't twenty texts. There was this guy she'd hooked up with in college. He thought it was more than just a one night stand and kept texting her, hoping for a second date. He must've sent her at least twenty texts. That was her standard for crazy. If she was ever obsessing about a boy, she always told herself, "I'm not crazy. I haven't sent him twenty texts." Now she was eight texts away from surpassing that standard.
She put her phone down and looked around her apartment. Her eyes passed over her family pictures. There was a picture of her and her Dad working on a car. That was the first time he'd let her help out at the shop. She then looked at a small pewter figurine. She wasn't sure what it was supposed to be. It looked like a crystal, but she couldn't tell. It was supposed to be something abstract. Sam had gotten it for her. If she had to guess why he'd gotten it for her, he probably assumed it was a care part and figured she'd appreciate it. Mikaela was torn on what to do with it. Part of her wanted to bash Sam's head in with it every time she looked at it. However, another part of her wanted to keep it. She couldn't put it in words. Maybe she felt that the statue represented the last vestige of their relationship and if she got rid of it, things would be over. Of course, it was over already, regardless of what Mikaela thought.
Mikaela looked at her phone and prepared to type another text. However, then she heard the creaking of floorboards. Before she could turn to see what it was, she felt a sharp pain in her neck and everything went black.
Mikaela Banes. That was the name Abel was given. She had a record when she was younger, having helped steal cars. She'd seemed to turn her life around, now finding gainful employment as a mechanic. Abel didn't know why she was being targeted. She knew something. All his targets knew something they weren't supposed to. The government couldn't have them running around, so they sent him to take care of things. Whatever Miss Banes knew, she wasn't going to be remembering it in the morning.
Abel disguised himself as a repairman. He got access to Mikaela's apartment using a key given to him by his superiors. All he had to do now was wait. When Mikaela came home, he watched her, preparing to take his shot. She sat down on her couch and began furiously texting. She seemed angry. If he had to guess, she was mad at a boyfriend. She put her phone down and began staring off into space. Abel had to admit she was pretty. If things were different, he might even ask her out. But he had a job to do. He aimed his gun at Mikaela and pulled the trigger. A dart flew out of the gun and hit her in the neck. Her eyes rolled up in the back of her head and she collapsed. Abel spoke into his walkie talkie. "She's out."
"Good," said a voice on the other end. "Our team will be up there shortly."
In no time, the team entered Mikaela's apartment. They lifted her unconscious body and carried her to her bed. Once she was there, they began applying electrodes to her head. Abel watched. He usually left before this part, but for some reason he wanted to stick around. After the electrodes were in place, someone began typing things into a computer. Abel wasn't clear about the science of it. He knew the computer created a new narrative that would be sent into the target's brain. Someone couldn't just have their mind erased. There'd be holes in their memory that they'd need to fill. The new narrative helped them fill in those holes. Say someone worked in a secret government agency for years. The new narrative would be that they spent that time working for an insurance company or something like that.
Once the computer tech was done typing, he pressed a button. "Initiating. Everybody clear."
The rest of the team took a step back, but Abel wasn't sure that there was a physical danger to being near the target. The electrodes started to buzz and Mikaela's body started to convulse. Abel had seen videos of this during training. It was always uncomfortable to watch. Part of him wanted to do something for this poor girl, but what could he do? Soon the procedure was over. The electrodes were removed and the team exited Mikaela's apartment. In the morning she would awake with a slight headache. The government secrets she knew, whatever they were, would be lost to time.
Mikaela took a sick day. She had a pounding headache. She didn't remember what she did last night, but whatever it was, it involved plenty of alcohol. She checked her phone. She'd only sent Sam twelve text messages. By her standards, she still wasn't crazy. Thank god she didn't send him any drunk texts. She debated calling Sam, maybe leaving him an angry voice mail. However, she decided against it. She instead went to get some coffee. That would sober her up a bit. There was a coffeeshop done the street from her apartment. It had some good coffee. Maybe she'd meet someone when she was out. That would be a nice remedy for her breakup. When she got to the shop, she looked around, scanning the place for a cute guy. She wasn't looking for a serious commitment. Just a fun fling to get over Sam. She saw a guy standing in line. He was handsome and well built. Definitely an upgrade over Sam. She went up to him and cleared her throat. "Hello."
"Hi," said the Man.
"I come here a lot and I haven't seen you around here," said Mikaela. "Are you new to town?"
"Yes," said the Man. "My company just transferred me here."
"Well, I'm Mikaela and I'd like to welcome you here." She extended her hand.
The man smiled and shook her hand. "Thank you."
Mikaela giggled. "So what's your name?"