| Chapter One
Jack Smith was travelling incognito. He slipped his fake passport and ID out of his pocket, and handed it to the un-suspecting security guard. Jack cautiously stepped onto the aircraft examining his surroundings. A mere child of 12, Jack was never questioned. He traveled alone. He liked it that way. The ability to focus on a target alone and not have a nagging side-kick was what Jack was good at.
2 Hours Later.
Jack had been studying the man in the tux. He was in the seat diagonal from him. His movements were scarce. For this man was a professional. And he was also a very rich criminal. And every so often the man in the tux would look around, catching a glimpse of Jack's un-emotional face. As he did Jack looked at his watch, 3:55pm. The people at Intigo wanted this man dead by four. It was go time.
Jack stood up and slipped his Swiss Army knife out of his pocket. The men at Intigo had developed this knife to where it could not be detected. Jack took a deep breath. Its simple, he told him self over and over again. Just walk over, slit his throat, grab your bag/parachute, jump out of the plane and parachute to safety.
But Before Jack could even think about moving the plane made a horrible screeching noise and began on a journey downwards. Jack was thrown down the isle at a dangerous speed, crashing into the food cabinets. Pain seared through the right half of his body. Screams shot from ever direction possible. Jack looked up to see the coffee machine fly right at him straight in the face. Pain, then complete darkness.
The smell of gasoline is never a pleasing smell to wake up to. Especially when you tie that to waking up on a metal raft.
Jack opened his eyes. His whole forehead throbbed. Jack felt where the coffee machine had struck him. Sure enough there was a "cartoon sized" lump. The pain momentarily subsided when Jack realized he was floating on a raft in the middle of the ocean.
Debris floated everywhere. Bags, cups, seats, you name it. Looked like a garage sale. But Jack was not amused. This was serious. Jack had not completed his mission completely. The men at Intigo had told him that when he killed that man he had to take his wallet. For an unknown reason. He was also not supposed to peek inside the wallet either. The men at Intigo had also said that should he fail the mission he would be better off not coming back.
This displeased jack. Jack then started experiencing pain in the right half of his body. He pulled off his shirt and checked his side. His ribs were obviously broken. And to just touch them was excruciating. Jack repositioned himself on the raft so that he could lie on his left side. This made Jack wince.
Stress and physical pain are not the best combination. And for the first time in Jacks life he cried.
Jack opened his eyes to the sound of crashing waves. Jack peered up to see an island. The island was decent size. Surrounded by trees, the island was like any other. Jacks heart leaped inside him. He wiped his dry face and splashed some salty water on it. The island was only about half a mile from his current position.
Jack lied down on his stomach. Pain rocketed through his whole body. In all the excitement Jack had completely forgotten about his ribs. Jack slowly forced himself into a sitting position. Still writhing in pain. Jack needed something to use as a paddle. After momentarily looking for a makeshift paddle Jack resorted to using his hands.
1 Hour later
Jack was inching closer the island. Only about ten more meters. Jacks arms were exhausted along with the rest of his body. Jack let the waves carry him the rest of the way. He hit the shore with a thump and scrambled of the scap.
Jack had made it. A short moment of relief filed his head. Jack lifted his arm to look at his watch. 6:34pm. Jack knew that he would need to find a place to sleep. Jack slowly stood up holding back tears. The pain was impossible to bear.
Slowly but surely Jack made his way into the labyrinth of trees.
The sun slowly made its journey down. Jack found himself constantly slapping at his legs. Like the rest of the world Jack despised mosquitoes. When he was young he made a goal. Eliminate all mosquitoes. He failed.
Trees as massive as skyscrapers surrounded him. During his training Jack had been in a forest similar to this one, but he knew where to go. This time he was just walking, hoping to find a shelter of some sort. Far off in the distance Jack could see what seemed to be a cave. Cautiously Jack walked towards the cave. He knew that there was a possibility that the cave was home to another creature. Jack picked up a large rock and tossed it in just to make sure.
The rock hit something with soft a thud. It had obviously not made contact with the caves wall. "Grrrr" roared an angry creature. A large and ugly face peered out of the cave. It was like something Jack had never seen before. A basketball backboard sized head along with a pair of tusks the size of a small child. The creature opened its mouth. Showing off approximately six rows of large serrated teeth. Jacks first instinct would be to run. But this creature was magnificent. The creature stepped out of the cave. It walked on all fours. Jack saw the enormous size of it. It was completely purple with a thin glowing aura around it. Its back was filled with spikes that were at least 2 feet each. It had a tail was about 3 meters long, with spikes on the top. Jack marveled the creature.
But before he could come closer to look at it in more detail the creature swung its tail at Jack. Growling as it did. Jack was tossed into the air. He landed in a pile of dirt (lucky for him). Ignoring the pain, Jack hopped up and started running. He looked back to see what the creature was doing. Sure enough it was chasing chasing him. The ground shook with every step it took.
Jack swerved around trees, trying to lose the creature. It was useless. The enormous creature just ran right into the trees and knocked them over. Jack was very agile which enabled him to do many things an average teenage boy couldn't do. Like run away from a 20 foot creature!
Jack looked back again. The creature was still gaining on him. "BLAM!" Jack fell unconscious.
Jack awoke to the sound of gunfire. He opened his eyes and wiped the sweat from his brow.
A group of 15 or so men were firing at a huge purple dragon-like creature with crystal spikes. Jack’s head throbbed, making him unable to think properly. The 40-foot giant was roaring and thrashing at the men. One of its claws caught a man under his chin. The man was thrown into the air. Blood squirted everywhere.
Another man was savagely stabbed with a claw. Presumably puncturing his heart. Death was instant. One man yelled at Jack who had managed to stand up despite his numerous injuries.
“Catch!” He yelled.
Jack caught the pistol and by instinct turned the safety off. He pointed at the beast and shot three rounds, all hitting the chest. The beast yelped with surprising force. Jack shot three more rounds two in the arms while the other skinned its shoulder.
“Take out its arms first, then it wont be able to attack!” Jack ordered like he was the leader of the group.
The men exchanged glances but did as Jack ordered seeing that it was a pretty reasonable idea. Before soon the beast was completely immobilized. Its arms were too brutally injured to be of any use. So the beast just gave up and died seeing that it was no use to fight anymore.
A group of men ran over to the beast with huge serrated knives. They began cutting the thick hide of the beast. One man ran over to Jack to see if he was okay.
“That was quite a hit.” The man said referring to the tree encounter.
“You saw me… But how? ” Jack asked curiously.
“We live about a mile from this cave. It is our duty to protect our city, Brokham.”
“Protect it from what?”
“Enemies of course. You saw that giant. The Raggers are a dangerous species of giant.
Jack gave the man a look of confusion.
“You see, we have been at war with the Merdon for centuries. From the first time man set foot on this island the Merdon have raided, murdered, and taken our people as slaves. And the Raggers are just one of the many horrid species in the Merdon empire. All this to say, you’re impressive with a weapon. And we need your help.”
“And what will I get out of this.” Jack asked naively.
“Well let me put it this way. There is no way to get off this island so you either help us or your on your own.” The man replied with a smile. The man knew that only an idiot would decline the offer.
“I guess I’m in.” Jack said hesitantly.
“Come follow me. We will begin your training at the break of dawn. For now lets get something to eat. Oh and by the way, my name is Fred.”
“Mines Jack.” He replied.
As Jack entered the village he could hear screams and cries for help. Fred pulled out a large battle rifle that was strapped to his back. He shoved a cartridge into the gun and frantically ran towards the city. As Jack drew nearer he saw a large boar with thick armor chasing a little girl.
Fred ran to the city entrance and dropped low. He adjusted his scope and aimed his crosshair at the armored boars head. His finger stroked the trigger till he was spot on. Bam! The boar fell to the ground. The gun blast echoed.
The screams stopped. Fred ran to aid the wounded girl. The boar had taken a chunk out of her calf. Fred wrapped a turnicate around her calf and sent her on her way to the local doctor. Jack watched this event unfold a few meters away from the city entrance.
“Come on, lets go, time is a wasting!” Fred yelled over to Jack urging him to follow.
From outside of the city it looked like an undeveloped village. But as Jack crossed the border of the entrance everything changed from being old and shabby to super modernized in a flash. Jack was bewildered.
“Amazing isn’t it?” Fred said seeing Jack’s expression.
“But… But what is the point?” Jack asked curiously, as always.
“Good question. See if a Merdon scout happened to come by and see our drastic progress the Merdon’s would then prepare for war. But if our city seems undeveloped then they have nothing to worry about. Gives us more time to plan and invent new technology. Though there are the few rare minor attacks from the Merdon.”
High-rise buildings with huge plasma screens planted at the top filled the city. People bustled along the sidewalks. Hover cars filled the streets and to Jacks amazement there was the occasional super sweet flying car. Jack felt at home in an instant.
Fred led him to a huge penthouse. The front mat was the ever so common: “Home sweet Home.”
The door was airtight. Fred used an eye scanner built into the door to open it. Cold Air conditioner air engulfed Jack. Guns and more guns filled the walls of Fred’s penthouse. Fred led Jack across the living room and into a long corridor. Fred opened the first door to the right. Inside was a super huge king-sized bed big enough to fit five people without cramming. Jack walked in and slumped into the bed.
“Get cleaned up for dinner. I will set a pair of fresh clothes for you on the bed.” Fred said.
Fred left the room. Jack walked over to the bathroom. The shower, like everything else in the house, was huge.
Jack finished his shower hastily. He didn’t want to be late for dinner. Sure enough on top of his bed was a tux. Jack got dressed and proceeded to the Dinning Room. Fred was waiting for him at the end of the long table. He was drinking a glass of scotch. Jack pulled up the seat at the other end of the table.
A robotic butler came out of the kitchen with two plates of chicken and mashed potatoes. When dinner was served Jack broke the silence.
“So, please tell me more about this place.”
“What would you like to know?”
“Tell me of what my part will be in this community.”
Fred gave Jack a strong look.
“You will be the scout.”
Jack dropped his fork.
“Your kidding right? I am an Assassin not a spy. I have had no training in the art of stealth.”
“I did say you were going to go through training. Our community has been hoping for a child of your age for years. Children are generally more agile and reasonably smaller. They make the perfect spy. And you are skilled with a weapon.” Fred explained.
Jack twiddled with the idea in his head.
“What time is training?”
Jack woke up to the sound of Fred yelling.
“Wake up! Wake up Jack! You’re going to be late. And trust me the head trainer hates people who are late. I know from experience.”
Jack sat up in his bed. He yawned and rubbed his eyes. Fred peeked through his door and threw an apple at him.
“Breakfast.” Fred said after throwing it.
Jack ate the apple as he got dressed into another pair of clean clothes on top of his drawer. He quickly wetted his hair under the sink to show a little personal hygiene. Jack hastily ran out of the house and shut the door behind him. Fred was waiting for Jack inside his Turbo 2000 Ferrari Hovercar. Jack jumped into the car and Fred started the ignition.
“Nice Ride.” Jack said impressed.
Thirty Minutes Later
Fred pulled the car into a large car park next to a building the size of a football stadium. Fred and Jack hopped out of the car and headed towards the training facility. A young man around his twenties greeted them.
“How can I assist you?” The man asked.
“We are here to see Commander Bolton.”
The man checked his computer.
“Fred, I’m guessing.”
“You are correct.”
The man handed Fred and Jack ID cards. They proceeded through a bulletproof glass sliding door. Security cameras filled the corridor.
“A lot of security for a training facility don’t ya’ think?” Jack asked.
“Its all necessary. We keep all of our latest prototypes in here.”
“So who is Commander Bolton anyway?” He asked.
“He is the head of our Cities training. One of the best really.”
Fred led Jack onto a Football Size firing range. Far off there was a man with a Berret firing rounds at cans about 100 meters away. He was dead accurate.
The man looked over in their direction. He was built and buff. He looked around his fifties. Jack noticed a scar on his left cheek.
“Ello, you must be Jack. You can call me Commander Bolton.” The man said reaching his hand out to shake. Jack shook it.
“I’ve heard a lot of great things about you. But for now lets begin your training.” The Commander remarked handing him a simple SMG.
Jack took the gun. He aimed with precision at one of the cans. Jack held the trigger. The cans went down one after another. The Commander smiled knowing that that was one less thing he needed to teach the kid.
One year of training later…
Jack awoke to the sounds of screams and heavy gunfire.
‘Just another mild Merdon attack I suppose.’ Jack thought to himself. Jack went over to his window to take a peek at what was happening. To his horror it wasn’t just another attack. This time it was big. Hordes of Merdon warriors were tearing the city up. Jack ran over to his wardrobe and grabbed his Colt M16 automatic rifle. Fred was already cocking his gun by the time Jack was down.
“Hurry your little ass!” Fred ordered.
Jack grabbed three cartridges and leashed them to his belt.
Outside was a mess. The sounds of gunshots polluted the air. A Merdon warrior foolishly ran at Jack knife held high. Jack shot two rounds and watched him fall. A few meters a girl whom Jack fancied a little was being pursued by a warrior. Jack ran over to her and shot two rounds into the warrior’s head.
The girl clutched her thigh to stop the bleeding from a talon wound.
“Your going to be okay.” Jack said as he began wrapping her leg with a bandage. But just as those words slipped out a warrior plowed into him sending him flying. Jack fell knocking his head on a small rock. Jack looked up just in time to see the warrior leap at him. He whacked its head with the butt of his gun, and then shot him as he flew back.
Jack could see a bunker made of sandbags not too far from his current position. Jack mustered all of his courage and ran into the middle of all the fire. Jack was only a short distance from the bunker when a seering pain ran through his shoulder. His left shoulder had been struck by an arrow. But not just any arrow, a “PT” (poison tip) arrow as the citizens of Brokham called it.
Jack could tell immediately that it was a poison tip because of the bright green head. Fear immediately came. He knew of the hospital which carried the antidote. But that was a good mile away from here. He also knew that anyone who had been struck would only last for approximately 15-20 minutes before falling unconscious. A few minutes later that would be followed by death.
Jack knew that he couldn’t just sit here and die. He needed to act. Jack stood up, held his gun in one hand and ran. A warrior jumped out at him. Jack shot him down. He could see three more warriors running full speed. He held the trigger and shot them down one by one. The warriors weren’t much but for one thing they were fast and stupid.
Jack turned a corner and put a few rounds in a couple of unsuspecting warriors. He estimated that he had another seven minutes left. The hospital was in view. Jack was beginning to feel the effects of the poison. He was moving a lot slower and wondered if he would make it.
Jack reached the doors of the hospital and looked at his watch. Three more minutes. He hastily ran to the elevator and pushed the “up” button. It was taking too long. Jack resorted to running up the stairs. Two more minutes. The room with the antidote was on the fourth floor. By the second floor he had barely one minute left. Jack was slipping in and out consciousness. The room was on the left of the corridor. With an inch of strength jack opened the door, then the cabinet with the antidote. But it was too late. Jack fell to the floor, unconscious with only minutes before death would greet him.
Jack awoke to the sound of construction. He looked up and the room he was in was familiar. Then he registered. He was in his own room. Jack felt relived at once. But how could he be alive. He had fallen unconscious and wasn’t able to get the antidote. As the thoughts raced through his mind Fred walked in with a bowl of soup.
“Have some of this. It should make you feel better.” He said handing Jack the bowl.
“Yah, thanks.” He replied feebly.
“That was a close call. The doctor reckoned you had about a minute before you would have died.”
“But…But how did you find me?” Jack asked curious.
“While I was fighting I saw you run through all the gunfire. Well I thought that was strange because no one in their right mind would attempt a stunt like that. So I followed you to the hospital. When I got there I saw the arrow and quickly gave you a shot of the antidote.”
“So what happened to the Merdons?”
“We took care of them. Don’t worry. The most important thing for you right now is to get some sleep.”
Jack looked at his watch, 10:13pm. Jack set his alarm for 7:00am. He had an important meeting the next day. Then without a moment of thought he drifted into a deep sleep.