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Predator turned Prey

Caught Off Guard

By Kishan BaskaranPublished 2 years ago 6 min read
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Predator turned Prey
Photo by Olivier Guillard on Unsplash

With the backdrop of songbirds and the sun rays painting the cabin a golden hue, Anne found peace. This was the first time in eight years Anne had taken time off work as her next assignment hadn’t been determined yet. The getaway wasn’t by choice, for if Anne had it her way, she’d have work piled up for months in advance. It was quite peculiar, that there was no work for her, but Anne didn’t mind as she forgot what it was like to live her life, not having to be on edge all the time.

The agency recruited Anne after one of their directors saw her performance of Peter Parker in Spider Man at Vancouver’s Blue Dreams Theatre. Anne stunned the audience and greatly impressed the director having done most of her stunts unassisted and her ability to change roles effortlessly. As an only child, Anne grew up studying all the characters around her. When she was alone, she’d embody a character, hoping to live life the way they did. What was originally a coping mechanism for loneliness, allowed her to navigate a multitude of social situations and further test the limits of her own character.

By Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

Having roleplayed so often, she built the range of her voice, taking on any role if that was how she spoke all her life. Despite being 24, her dynamic switches even surprised the best of her vocal coaches. Her favourite act was initiating a conversation with the honeyed voice of a child and immediately responding with the guttural and raspy voice of her father who was a life-long smoker. She was involved in gymnastics, soccer, and archery, all of which honed her physical abilities and focus. Her hawk-eye vision allowed her to pick up numerous details about her surroundings at an incomprehensible speed, and her athleticism always made her elusive to track.

By Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Getting close to targets without being discovered as an asset made her excel in reconnaissance. The agency depended on her for catching large targets that seemed to have no break in their security detail. Her unassuming character was perceived as no threat and often broke the strict timelines these people of importance adhered to without compromise. However for Anne, reconnaissance was never going to be enough. Her skills felt wasted there, given the extensive training she received to harness her innate abilities, she could have easily lay waste to guard teams or eliminated targets without ever being considered a suspect. Fortunately for her, faulty intel by the agency forced her to act near the end of her one-year probation at the agency.

Her intended target had been held captive in their hotel room by another agent. The agency they belonged to was unknown, but Anne had to act quickly before they could extract the target. After having picked the lock to the supply room, she put on a receptionist’s uniform and approached the door. Although not belonging to the uniform, the necklace she wore provided audio and visuals to those observing the case back at the agency. Her earpiece gave her a direct line to her handler, but they rarely spoke, trusting Anne’s decisions. She had her firearm equipped with a silencer and felt confident using it. Years of archery and extensive training at the agency made her an excellent shot, but she never had the need to use it in the field, until that day.

By Colin Lloyd on Unsplash

“Mr. Rayleigh, I have the documents you requested from the manager. I’ll just need your signature before I can be on my way.” Anne hoped this was enough to get the agent to come to the door or at least Mr. Rayleigh himself so she could capture him somehow.

“My assistant can sign for it, he’ll come to the door.” Now, Anne knew that there was no way this would be okay normally. Highly sensitive information needed to be handed directly to the intended recipient or at least have them acknowledge they received it.

“I’m sorry sir, but I need your signature. I can give it to your assistant at the door and can wait for the form.” Anne could hear murmuring behind the door. The agent must have been directing commands at Mr. Rayleigh, but it didn’t matter because Anne was prepared for whoever opened the door.

“Alright. They’ll be with you shortly.” Footsteps could be heard approaching the door. With a document in hand concealing her firearm, Anne just needed visual confirmation before she could fire. The door handle turned, but hadn’t opened. There was a momentary pause.

“Hello there,” said the agent, as they opened the door.

“Take them out,” was immediately delivered through Anne’s earpiece and without hesitation she neutralized the target. After kicking the firearm they had in their hand, Anne approached Mr. Rayleigh who was ecstatic about being freed. Unfortunate for him, this wasn’t a rescue mission. Impressing the agency with her quick thinking, flawless execution and not raising any suspicions, Anne was quickly promoted to an active field agent.

By Max Kleinen on Unsplash

She had carried out numerous assignments, some deemed impossible, which she only excited her. Prior to her first elimination, Anne exhibited some apprehension. She wasn’t scared to complete a kill, instead she was scared that she’d enjoy it too much and it was the adrenaline rush she’d been seeking. She felt invincible when she was on the hunt. Her bloodlust permeated the air, making her prey uneasy but never enough to change their routine. Anne was rarely noticed, but if someone ever raised any suspicions, she was still the predator even when she was the one being hunted.

By Martin Adams on Unsplash

Her cabin vacation gave her a moment to enjoy nature. She could take in the light, the sounds around her and look for wildlife and not have register and remember every sensory input, searching for abnormalities. Initially, being woken up by the whispers of the night or the crashing of the day amused Anne. She was always on alert, never entering sleep so deep that she was unaware of her surroundings. Dreams didn’t entice her either as she was living her best life and didn’t want to spend anytime not enjoying it. Everyday was a challenge and brought with it new thrills.

By Marek Szturc on Unsplash

Four days had passed by, and she knew it was time to return to the agency soon. Tracking her surroundings, ensuring she wasn’t being followed and four car transfers later, it took her two days to arrive at the cabin 6 hours from the agency. Prepping her afternoon tea, she heard a knock at the door. Startled, her immediate response was to assume it was an animal. That thought was immediately followed by fear because Anne doesn’t assume. She knows or goes out of her way to find out since the unknown is fatal. It’s not a sound she’s heard while being in the cabin so it had to be someone or something else.

Anne slowly approached the door, with a firearm in hand. Creaking the door open, to see a brown paper box on her doorstep. Alert, thoughts started to race in Anne’s mind. Who was it? How did they find her? How is she going to get out of this? Is this a threat? Was is the agency? She listened for movement, any sounds that didn’t feel familiar or seemed out of place. Nothing. The trip had dulled her skills, for the first time in her life, she felt hunted.

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