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Category Archives: Ixi Agency

Fiction: Unanswered (518 words)

Darren paced the length of his room, seven steps each way.  He’d never tried to bring The Woman to him before—to summon her to answer his questions.  But he had to try this time.  He needed answers and she would be able to give him some.  He was sure of it.

He paced for the better part of two hours before there was a soft tapping on the door.  He swung the door open so hard that the doorknob left a mark on the wall where it bounced back.  The Woman was there, in her usual black hoodie and blue jeans.  She did at least have the decency to look a little bit ashamed of herself.

“You wanted to see me?” She asked, stepping into his bunk.  He slammed the door behind her, but she didn’t flinch.  She just sat down in her usual spot on the edge of his bed.

“What the fuck?”  Darren started in.  He was going to try to be more civil about the whole thing—but he found he was just too pissed off to even start civil.

“I know, I know.” She buried her face in her hands.

“Willow? Why? I mean, of all people Willow?” Darren spat.

“I know,” The Woman sat up straight again, “I know, you’re mad at me and I know that you probably have a hundred questions that you want to ask me—and I hope you can understand when I tell you that I can’t really answer any of your questions.  It just can’t work that way here.  I can’t tell you more than you already know.  It would unbalance everything.”

“Willow is dead,” Darren yelled, “Willow is dead and it’s your fault.”  He looked at her like he expected her to deny it.

She didn’t.  “Yes. Willow is dead, and it is my fault.”

“And you refuse to answer any questions I have on the matter?”  Darren confirmed.

“Yes. I refuse to answer any questions.  Because you can’t know.  I am here so that you can let off some steam—take out your anger on me, because I probably do deserve it.  But I won’t answer any of your questions.”  She folded her hands carefully in her lap and fixed him with a level stare.  “Now.  Do you want to scream some more, or should I just go?”

Darren considered his options for a moment.  He would like to scream at this woman who had all the answers and refused to give him any—but at the same time, he couldn’t.  He did understand that she could’ answer his questions.  He didn’t like it, and he wasn’t exactly sure why he understood.  But he did understand, and that didn’t make him feel any better.

“Get out.” His voice was level.  His mind was calm.  This woman wouldn’t be troubling him again. He could already feel t in his bones.  It was time for her to go.  “Get out.”

And she left, without a word, without a backwards glance, without any indication that she would be back at all.  And Darren was okay with that.

 

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2016 in Ixi Agency

 

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Fiction: Ixi Agency Part 36 (883 words)

Willow wished that people would stop making a fuss.  Yes, she was tired, and she was sore, but no more than if she had a particularly difficult work out the day before, and if Hank had gotten in a lucky shot and opened the skin over her eye. To be honest, the stitches bugger her more than anything else.   Yes, she’d technically been tortured for sixteen days, but that was what she trained for. No one would make a fuss if Brian had been in disguise for sixteen days, or if Maria had to beat up sixteen bad guys.

But still, despite her overwhelming feeling of irritation, Willow was still a little flattered.  They cared about her, enough to want to make a fuss.  The boys (Frankie and Joey) were at her side as long as the Matron would allow them to be.  Marcy was there literally the whole time not leaving her side for even a second.  Matron had tried to make her leave, as well, but there was very little in the world as terrifying and as dangerous as Marcy when she set her mind to something.  And when Willow refused to speak up to make Marcy leave, Marcy stayed.  Willow knew she probably should have spoken up for Joey and Frankie too, but at the same time, they weren’t nearly as threatening to her well-being as angry Marcy was.  If she made Marcy leave, she would never hear the end of it.  And that was a fact.

But after about two days, Marcy finally left after a couple of very pointed looks from Joey, and one slightly unsubtle comment about Marcy’s BO from Willow herself, Marcy said she head out for an hour or so, but told Willow not to get too comfortable, because  she’d be back. And she’d be back soon.

Marcy needn’t have worried.  Joey made sure that Willow didn’t get comfortable at all.

“Come on, Joe. What can we do about getting me out of here?  I’m going to go completely stir crazy if I’m confined to this bed for too much longer.

“Sixteen days, Willow.  It’s been a while since you’ve been held that long.  We all just want to make sure that you are doing all right.” Joey laughed

“I was once held for three and half months, and I was only in this bed for eight days.  Shouldn’t these things scale in one way or another?  Shouldn’t I be out of here by now?”

“Matron Say sat least one more day, so at least one more day.”  Joey patted her carefully on the arm.

“Aw—why won’t you go to bat for me, Joey?”

“Because I want to be sure that you’re okay.”

“C’mon Joe, why would you want something like that?” Willow teased.

“Because I love you.”  That stopped them both short.  Joey looked like he didn’t believe what he’d just said.  Willow pulled her hand out of Joey’s gently, but with a small amount of haste.

“Uh—Joe?”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to blurt it out like that, but it is true.  I love you, Willow.  I have for a very long time.  Almost as long as I can remember.  And I was so scared—will—that you weren’t coming back.  And I love you. That’s all there is to it.”  Joey leaned back his chair. And Willow frowned.

“Joe. I don’t—I mean, of course I love you but not like that. You’re my best friend, Joey. And I don’t want to hurt your feelings.  But no. I’m sorry, I don’t love you the way you want me to.” She folded her hands neatly in her lap. If Joey couldn’t accept this, the next couple millennia were going to get really awkward really fast.

“Right.  It’s because of Frankie, isn’t it?”

“No.”  There was more bite to the word than Willow meant to put in it, but she didn’t feel that bad about it. “I don’t have to be love with someone else to not love you.  And no matter who I end up with or never end up with, I’ve had years to think of you that way, and it hasn’t happened.  Don’t go carrying a grudge against anyone or blaming anyone other than me for my lack of feelings.  And for the love of god, please do not go on any kind of ‘Win her over’ vendetta because I will kick your ass harder than you could even begin to imagine.  Okay?”

Joey at least had the decency to look slightly ashamed of himself. “Okay. I’m sorry.”

“I’ll forgive you, because this is a sucky situation, but don’t think that shit will fly again.” Willow crossed her arms over her chest, but she could already feel her anger melting away.  He was her best friend after all.  She didn’t want him to be miserable.  Why’d he have to drag love into all of this?  “Are we okay, Joey? Is this going to become a thing?”

“I’ll—I don’t know—get over it I guess.”  The both looked up when the infirmary door opened again to see Marcy come in with wet hair. “I’ll go. You can talk to Marcy.”

“Okay.” Willow reached out as if to touch him but decided against it.  “For what it’s worth, I am sorry.”

Joey didn’t meet her eye. “Thanks.”

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2014 in Ixi Agency

 

Fiction: Ixi Agency Part 35 (423 words)

Marcy paced quickly around the perimeter of gym three.  She was allowed to go the gym to stretch and do some gentle exercises, as long as she promised not to over exert herself.  And she had hoped to burn off some of her nervous energy, but thus far she had been entirely unsuccessful in that regard. She couldn’t even make herself sit still long enough to stretch. She just kept pacing.

She knew that at that very moment, Frankie, Hank, Natalie, Joey, everyone that she had come to consider a friend at the agency, were all off trying to rescue Willow, her friend much longer than that.  She knew that she wouldn’t have been able to help.  Even if she had reached some sort of reasonable training, even if she wasn’t recovering from a major blow to the head, even if she were a part of the agency, she knew there was no way in hell she would be allowed on that mission to rescue Willow.  It was simply not worth the risk of taking a top-tier user into the bad guy’s facility, no matter how well they had planned it.

So, she stayed at home. She paced the floors. She drove herself crazy little bit by little bit. She reminded herself that it was way too early to hear anything. She reminded herself that news at this point would most certainly have to be bad news.  She fretted about what was taking them so long.  She reminded herself that they were well-trained and they had done this before.   She wanted to rip out her hair with the frustration of not knowing what was going on.  She was positively certain that she was about to lose her mind, and she had no idea what to do with that, or where to go with that.

Finally, she just sank down on to one of the benches along the wall and started to cry from the stress of it all.  Really, who could blame her?

She lost track of time, sitting there with her face in her hands, alternating between crying and just sitting in silence.  But then finally someone came bursting into the room.  One of Hank’s trainees, who Marcy vaguely recognized, smiled at her.  “News from the front gate.  They’re coming in.  They’ve got her.  Agent Six is safe.”

Marcy jumped up and ran out of the room.  She headed straight to infirmary, where she was sure that Willow would be taken.  And she had no plans on leaving for a long time.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Ixi Agency

 

Fiction: Ixi Agency Part 34 (342 words)

Everything was not going to plan.  Well, not the perfect plan, anyway. They had seamless transitioned through plans A to I, and would probably have to move into plan J soon. Joey was very aware of the fact that they had triggered several alerts, and that as they spoke, it was very likely that the marbles were being moved to a new location.  But Willow was still on campus, he could see that no real effort was being used to move her.  After all, there were other top-tier users.  There were no other Marbles.

So, since the primary objective of this mission was to actually get Willow home, Joey continued on.  Frankie would have to find the marbles for them again. But he wouldn’t have to start from scratch.  And, that would keep him locked away in his lab and out of Joey’s face for a while.   So, it wasn’t necessarily a win-win, but definitely had its fair share of silver lining.  Joey and Maria led the way, and finally, after what seemed to be the longest mission of his life, they finally burst into a room, and found Willow–bleeding pretty badly and most certainly not looking at full strength, but she was there, and she was alive, and as they came into the room, she smiled.

“Took you long enough.” She taunted. “You know they’re moving The Marbles, right? I’m here to be a decoy while they get them out of dodge.”

“You’re the primary objective, Six.  Seven has a way to find the marbles, and I’m sure he can do it again if we ask him to.   Come on. Let’s get you out of here.”

Natalie and Frankie came in soon behind Joey and Maria, and when she was free of her restraints, they supported Willow as they made their way back out of the agency. Joey couldn’t even care that Frankie was there.  She was with them again.  She had smiled.  All in all, she was going to be okay.  And what more did he need than that?

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2014 in Ixi Agency

 

Fiction: Ixi Agency Part 33 (373 words)

Frankie was only half surprised when Joey showed up to invite him to the final meetings for the planning of Willow’s rescue, and to invite him to be a part of the away team.  He was cold, and he was more guarded than Frankie had ever seen, but he was there, and Frankie supposed that was good enough for him.  After all, this was about Willow, not whatever rivalry was forming between Joey and himself.

So Frankie went to the meetings.  The plans were pretty straight forward.  Using the information that Frankie and his team had been able to glean about the location of the marbles, Brian, Joey, and Natalie lead a short term and fast paced recon mission to gain information on the location.  After that, Joey formed an infiltration plan, and after consulting with Hank and Maria to make sure that he was up for it, he invited Frankie to come along.

And things went to plan.  They tend to go to plan with Joey in charge.  After all, Frankie could give credit where credit was due.  But, he was still extremely nervous, anxious for things to continue going well.

He knew this was what she was trained for. He knew that she could handle herself.  But even still he willed himself to move a little faster, to push a little harder, just to bring this thing to an end a little bit quicker.  Because, after all, that was Willow in there.  Sweet, beautiful, amazing Willow, who never missed an episode of How I Met Your Mother, and who is afraid of spiders, and sometimes acted like a hang nail was the end of the world.  Willow, who through her own actions, she had protected friend, sacrificed herself to prevent someone else’s torture.  Trained or not, shouldn’t her misery be ended as quickly as possible?

He watched the mission leader for his sign to start the next phase, and grew increasingly impatient as the sign didn’t come.  Willow may be the one who was being tortured, but it was probably worse for him then it was ever going to seem to her.

Finally, the signal came, and the team moved forward.  Every step was a step closer to getting Willow out.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2014 in Ixi Agency

 

Fiction: Ixi Agency part 32 (342 words)

When she rounded the corner, Marcy almost felt bad for Joey.  He looked haggard.  He looked overstretched. She knew that he was stressed and overworked with Willow’s absence. And she knew that he missed Willow and that he wanted her back, safe and sound, and she could relate to that, and she could understand that. So she almost felt guilty for him, and she almost just headed back to her room, before she’d spoken her mind. She almost decided to just pretend she hadn’t seen him at all.  Almost.

She didn’t attack him, like she had half a mind to.  She didn’t threaten him, like she really wanted to.  She didn’t even raise her voice. Instead, in a trait she had picked up from her mother that she didn’t even realized she had learned or was capable of doing, she stood right in front of Joey, looked him squarely in the eye, and said simply, “Joey. Why?” and he stopped in his tracks, looking up from his files, giving her his full attention.

He looked shocked, and slightly flustered. “I just—Well, I have concerns.  That’s all. I might have lost my temper a little bit, but I have concerns.”

“Are they actually about Frankie, or the fact that you feel like you were losing Willow before she got taken?”  Joey gapped at her like a fish out of water.  “The truth is—it doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter if you both love her. It doesn’t matter if she loves you both. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t give two rats about either of you.  Nothing can be done about until she is safely back within these walls. And the only way to do that is for you and Frankie, and the rest of the team for that matter, to work together.  So please. Don’t be a little bitch.”

She sounded so much like her mother until the last moment.  Ah well, what’s life without a little change.  With another small shake of her head, Marcy turned away from Joey and headed back to bed.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2014 in Ixi Agency

 

Fiction: Ixi Agency Part 31 (522 words)

–Joey–

For a second, Frankie didn’t look like himself. He looked more intense than anyone had ever seen him before.  Before anyone could realize what he was doing, he rushed at Joey and pushed him up against the wall, the element of surprise helping him more than anything else.  He push the blade of his arm up against Joey’s throat.

“You have to be fucking kidding me right now, Joey.  I care about her.  I care about her in a way that is more than professional is probably even more than friendly.  You should be able to recognize it because you love her.  None of us are stupid enough to not notice that.  Here’s the difference between you and me, Joey.  I was just trying to go to find out exact what happened to her, to weed out the real person who did it.  You are watching me, accusing me when you know full well I didn’t do it.  Darryl and I have had far too many conversations about the whole ordeal for me to have been able to hide any guilt had it.  The mole may be in my department, but it is not me. I can only assume that you’re keeping suspicion on me to try to eliminate the competition so that you can have Willow to yourself.  Well, good luck, asshole, but if we don’t find her, she’ll never choose you. She’ll be dead.”

Frankie released Joey, and he gasped and reached for his neck, and almost immediately started to cough.  “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and find out who sold us out to the bad guys, I am going to double-check on the program that is looking for the Marbles to make sure it will be effective, and I am going to find out exactly what I need to do to get Willow back here safe and sound.”  And then Frankie was gone.

Joey continued to rub at his throat as he turned to look at the others in the room.  Brian was steadfastly looking down at the table.  Natalie was glaring at Joey like he’d killed her puppy. Darryl sighed and looked at Joey sternly.

“Well,” Darryl said simply, “Frankie wasn’t lying.”

“What I said wasn’t wrong.”  Joey defended weakly. “The Mole is in his department.  Anything that he gets involved with could leak back to the mole.”

“Yes, the mole is in his department, but Frankie himself was one of the first people we cleared, bar none.  To accuse him of allowing Willow to be captured was just out of line, and a gross abuse of the situation.”  Darryl said simply and Joey realized he had no friends in this room at the moment.

“You know what. Fine.  I know that he’s not the actual mole, but I also don’t want him involved with the rescue mission.  I’m in charge of this mission, and what I say goes.  Can we get back to work please?”

And whether the others had more to say or not, Joey didn’t care. He got back to work, and ignored the rest of the group.

 

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2014 in Ixi Agency