|2:17 a.m. Thursday, April 14, 2025 Location: Bedford, MA, USA Maddie
The door flew open with a bang. Three masked figures stood, blocking my only way out.
“Target secured,” the first man, a big, burly sort of guy with no hair on his head and way too much on his arms, grumbled into a walkie-talkie strapped to his chest. To me, he said, “Set down your things and come with us, girl.”
I sighed. I was so tired of beating up tough guys. But, that’s what he wanted, I guess.
Then the door flew open with a bang.
For real this time.
I jerked my head up from my desk. Darn it! I thought. I fell asleep during my work again!
I grabbed my file, phone, notebook, and P.L.U.T.O., my AI, off my desk and headed over to my bookshelf.
I suppose I should get some rest. I have reason to believe the suspect will arrive at [insert a place here] tomorrow, and I want to be awake for that.
I pulled A Spy’s Guide to Spying out of my bookshelf halfway and the shelf slid into the wall. I stepped into my lab.
Ah. Feels like home.
The lab was my favourite place in the world. I loved how there were so many bottles of chemicals, the number of dangerous metals lying around. Oh, the lab had something for everyone. I sat down in my favourite chair, a swivel chair right in front of my computer. I logged on, and a message popped up from my mother. It said S.O.S wants you to come to our informational meeting this weekend. You are required to attend. Your status at S.O.S may depend on this meeting.
Well, that was ominous. I suppose I should attend, though. I really liked S.O.S. I didn’t want to leave it.
S.O.S was a pretty cool place. There was an aquarium with sharks in it. SHARKS! I walked into the doors, which happen to go straight through the aquarium, (glass ceiling style, not swimming through the tank), and met up with who I assume to be one of the chiefs of S.O.S on the other side of the aquarium.
“Maddie,” she says, her voice completely monotonous. “Please follow me to the meeting room.”
I followed her, listening to the click of her heels on the floor. She continued to talk in her monotonous way, but I didn’t know what she was saying.
She kind of looks like a robot, I thought to myself. She was wearing tights of some sort that gave her legs a silvery hue. But that’s crazy. She talks semi-normally, and she looks normal enough…
Then she stops in front of a door and I don’t have time to wonder about anything anymore. This was the most ominous door I had ever seen, and I wasn’t even inside yet.
“Good to see you again, Maddie, it’s been too long,” The old woman sitting at the end of the very lengthy table said to me, as soon as the woman who walked me here opened the door. She turned to the woman who walked me in. They looked very similar, actually, with glasses, a pointy nose, and gray hair pulled back into a bun. “Thank you, Marjorie,” the chief said. To me she said, “I see you’ve met M.A.I.B.L.E., My Artificial Intelligence Bot & Leader of Espionage.”
So she was a robot!
“And I’m Marjorie, the chief spy at S.O.S.”
“Pleasure,” I said. I knew she was trying to intimidate me, but I was a good spy. I wouldn’t be intimidated.
“M.A.I.B.L.E. and I have been considering setting you off your current case.” Marjorie marched up to the chalkboard and pulled a screen down, her high heels clicking on the ground as she walked over, smoothing out an invisible hair.
Did I say I wasn’t intimidated by her? I meant...I meant I wasn’t going to be...related to her. Yeah. I wasn’t going to be related to her. But boy is she scary!
“I assume you’ve heard about the recent string of armed robberies? We want you to head to Europe, we think there’s something worth finding there. We’ll be relocating you, of course, you can’t stay here. We also will have to give you your mission briefing obviously.” Marjorie seems to be semi-oblivious to the fact she’s stood up and is walking around the room. “Do you understand your mission?”
“Yeah, I do. Can I still see my friends? Please? I was supposed to go on a date with my boyfriend Ty?”
“Maddie, you know the rules, a relocation means everyone must forget you. So, no. Starting after this meeting, no more contact. Understood?”
I had always believed that I was in control of my life, but this meeting taught me something. I learned that I will always obey a higher order of command. Maybe. I think. I’m not necessarily sure. As I walk down the endless flights of stairs, I pull my phone out. I’ve got a couple texts from Ty, all asking where I was and if I was fine. He was so sweet. Never missed a day texting me. They always started with hey, and then went on for hours later. Ty was the best person in the universe. What I knew I had to do next tore hole through my heart. Swiping out the words, I broke up with the star of my life.
Hey Ty, I just wanted to let you-
No. That was bad. Made it sound casual, as if tearing his heart and mine apart was no biggie.
Ty, I have something important to say. I-
Shoot. How am I supposed to do this? I’m not exactly very good at ruining peoples lives. Well, that wasn’t exactly true, I did enjoy foiling robbers’ plots. But Ty? The purpose of my existence? Not so much.
Tyler, I need to talk to you. I hate to do this in text, but I don’t have very much time. I’m moving to Europe for a while. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone. It’s hard for me to say this...no, scratch that. It’s impossible for me to say this because I don’t want to break your heart, but I can’t date you anymore. Maybe not forever. I love you, Ty, and I always will. I get it if you hate me for the rest of your life, but I love you more than life itself. I will miss you, Ty. I hope you understand that this wasn’t my choice. I don’t want to leave you, but I have too.
Goodbye, Tyler. I love you.
7:15 a.m. Friday, April 15, 2025, Location: Concord, MA, USA Tyler
I don’t know where to start. I never really did though. But if I was held at gunpoint and said they would shoot me if I didn’t tell them when it started, I guess I would say the day Maddie broke my heart. Heavens only knows how it went downhill. So, I guess the place to start at would be two months ago, back in my school, The Westminster School of Fine Arts and Applied Technology. The school wasn’t that big and was close to the Scarborough Academy of Music. I was a special case and went to both. I had a crazy life. Through my time in both schools, I met many firm friends. So, when Emma asked me if I wanted to come with her and a few friends for a trip across Europe I almost said yes. Almost, because I had been courting a young lady recently. So, going to Europe almost seemed like a pipe dream. That is, until Monday.
“Tyler! Time to wake up! You have to go to school today!” My mom means well. She really does. But I just didn’t want to wake up. “Ty!!! Wake up, now.”
“Mooooom. Do I have too?” Her response is drowned out by my phone. I snag it up, or at least try to. Blinking away the last dregs of sleep from my eyes, I see it’s from Maddie, the lady I’m courting. It’s kinda long and seems to be in some urgent, almost...too urgent. Seconds later, the message came. It seemed to be an innocent text, asking my plans for the summer, but little did I know. The rest of the morning passed without much interest, that is till lunch time.
“TY!!! Over here! Sit with us!” Samantha seemed to have a lot more energy than usual. Sitting down at the table, I find that she had eaten a tub of chocolate frosting. Typical Sam. “Did you here? There’s a trip to Europe, students from SCAM and Westminster can go. Oh, do you think Rex will be there? Do you?” Leaving Sam to her fantasy I turned to the others at my table.
“So how long has this been going on for? I don’t remember seeing it on the message boards, it seems awful sudden. I mean, I think I’ll just stay home.” The one thing that my friends do is try to make me feel better when I’m down.
“Aw, Ty, you still can’t be feeling bad about Maddie dumping you to go to Europe and the fact that she’ll probably find someone else in a span of minutes after being there.”
I have to give them credit for trying, but it’s not really helping.
“ I mean, it’s not like she straight out said she was breaking up with you because she doesn’t like you...it’s more like she’s too busy or something like that. I mean, she has always been faithful to you, never cheated. Or at least not that you know of..”
“Listen, guys, I know y’all are trying to be helpful, but it really isn't working. I...I just need some time to myself.” And with those parting words, I stood up and promptly fell over. Not my finest moment. The world around me seemed to be getting cloudy. That’s not usually a good thing.
7:00 am, Friday, April 16th, 2025 Location: Concord, Massachusetts Samantha
When I was first told by Shawn, the chief at C.O.B.W.A.C.A., that I was being relocated to Concord, I thought my life was over. Why would he need me in Concord, Massachusetts of all places? The second I got there I knew it would the worst year of my life. It was so boring! Nothing interesting ever happened. The only thing that somewhat resembles a crime that I got to help with has happened was six months ago when Robbie Smith stole a jalapeno pepper from Mr. Crunler’s garden. Poor Robbie had an allergic reaction to the pepper, so Mr. Crunler decided not to press charges. But besides that, nothing else interesting happened. Shame.
Well, there have been some crimes. But by the time I get there, it’s already taken care of. And it drives me nuts. Who else in town would be busting my crimes? But I have a sneaking suspicion that Shawn sent in some secret back up because he didn’t trust me. Figures.
Ever since my parents split up, Shawn decided that I was ‘emotionally unstable’ and assigned me to the most boring places. And he took away my blaster. I mean, I only shot my mom’s eye out because I was mad that they were getting a divorce in the first place, and that was over a year ago! And they got her a glass eye anyway, she looks completely fine! It’s totally unfair! And if someone is robbing a bank or something, shooting their eye out is a good thing, it stops them from robbing the bank! Sigh.
I wake up to the sound of rain. Not that it’s raining outside, but Shawn decided that an alarm clock with nature sounds would be more relaxing than just beeping. So far I’ve overslept thirteen times because the alarm is too soothing. I groan and start to roll out of bed. I never have been a morning person, and I was never fond of coffee either, so I stumble into the kitchen and grab a tube of strawberry frosting to wake me up. Well, the label says it’s strawberry, but everyone knows that it’s just pink dye and extra sugar. Perfect. But today it doesn’t seem to be working, so I reach into the cabinet to get the sugar container, and I dump half of it into my bowl of frosting and mix it up with my spoon.
As I’m eating my frosting is when Veronica decides to enter the room, already wearing one of her infamous black cocktail dresses. Veronica is my “mom”. I put this into quotes because she is not my real mom, but a fake mom C.O.B.W.A.C.A. assigned me, since they thought me living on my own would raise a few eyebrows, and because they don’t trust me on my own. Despite the fact that we aren’t related at all whatsoever, she still treats me like her kid.
“Sam, you know the rules. No frosting till you get home from school. That much sugar can’t be good for you. Why don’t you eat something healthy, like eggs, or oatmeal, or you could try one of my protein shakes with the pea powder in it. It sounds disgusting, but it’s delicious, I swear. And a much better breakfast than frosting”
Despite the fact that Veronica is my “mom”, she has no idea that I’m allergic to all three foods she just listened. I tell her almost every morning that I’m allergic to almost all breakfast foods, but she never listens. Not that I’m surprised. All she ever does is play dress up in black cocktail dresses, paint her nails, and watches Real Housewives all day.
I decide to ignore Veronica and take an extra big bite of my frosting. Veronica shoots me a dirty look and turns around to sit down in front of the TV. Whatever channel she turned on to, it was some news. The guy on the TV was blaring about the Hero of Concord. The unknown superhero(ine) that was foiling all the bank robberies that I should be foiling. I feel as if Veronica is just doing this to annoy me, she knows how much I hate that hero.
“Can you please change the channel. You know how much that guy gets on my nerves,” I groan. Veronica gives me a look. I have no idea what this look means until I see her gesturing towards my frosting.
“Fine,” I grumble and go to put the bowl in the fridge as Veronica starts channel surfing.
“Last night there was yet another European bank robbery, this time in Paris,” Chuck Williams, the local news reporter, says.
“The police department still has no idea whodunnit. According to the surveillance cameras, nothing happened, but the bank teller cam in this morning and all the money was gone” This was worse. As much as I hated that hero, I hated hearing about all these robberies that I could do nothing to stop, and Veronica knew that too.
“Fine!” I exclaim. “Change it back!” Veronica gave one of her infamous smirks and changed the channel. I blocked out the sound of the tv and grabbed my backpack.
“Bye Ronica!” I yell at her and run out the door. Just as Veronica knows how to push all my buttons, I know how to push hers. She hates that nickname.
1:35 P.M Friday, April 15 2025, Location: Unknown Tyler
The first thing I noticed when I woke up was the lack of color in the place I was in. The second thing I noticed was my phone, it was glowing. The screen lit up to show I had a new notification. It was a notification from the news app. Reaching over, eyes scanning the screen, Breaking News! String of bank robberies across Europe. Culprit is still at large! And the best part was the giant, oversized photo of my face. Looks like going to Europe may give me a little thrill in my life. I think. Snagging my phone from the table, I pull up my messaging app. Swiping through, I stop on Maddie’s number. Tapping it, I start to type.
Maddie, look, I know you’re not going to answer this. Or anything I send you as a matter of fact, but just want you to know, I love you. Oh, and I’m going to Europe, so maybe see you? Yours forever, Ty.
After sending the most awkward text of the year, I decided to find a way out of this weird place. Stepping out of the door, I cross down the hallways. Reaching another door, I step out into the light. Pulling out my phone, I call Emma. “Any room left? I want to go to Europe.”
“Oh hey Ty! Yeah, we still have room left. Just fill out the form I’m sending you right now and then you should be fine.” Emma almost sounds relieved.
“Hey, Emma, you ok?”
“Yeah, thanks, Ty.”
Shutting off the phone, I step out into the street with two goals in my mind, find out where I am and how soon can I make it to Europe. Striding down the street, I start to feel queasy….again. That’s not good, I think as the ground comes way to close for comfort.
12:30 A.M Sunday, May 14th, 2025, Location: Paris, France Maddie
Paris sucks. I mean, the food is amazing, the museums are beautiful, but there’s no Ty. I’m literally all alone here and there’s nothing to do. S.O.S has severed all contact with me, so I have to try and figure out where the robber is on my own, which is proving to be a lot more difficult than I thought. The school they put me in is way harder than SCAM or Westminster. Worst of all, it seems that there is no way I’ll be ever returning to Bedford again. I’m no closer to finding the bank robber than I was a month ago. I spend a lot of time wondering, since I’m bored. I’ve done a little hacking and some reading. Nothing big, just War and Peace, a couple of novels by Plato. Although, the one thing I do find comfort in is Ty’s texts. I do know he’s coming to Europe and I’m ecstatic. This is a one in a lifetime chance. There’s no way I’m going to miss this for anything. Out of the corner of my eye, I see someone. That’s not normally a good thing. Turning last moment, I can only watch as the fifth (or was it ninth?) phone this week is destroyed.
“Stop! Stop!” The night was turning into a mess. This dude was maybe the fourth person this week that's either broken my stuff or tried to stab me, (once it was a combination of both). Whoever this is, he (or she) is nimble. Seriously nimble, the mysterious assailant is running on the roofs. Hurtling over a chimney, I slip. Not my finest moment. Catching myself, I jump back into the chase. The mystery person is maybe three hundred meters ahead when all of a sudden, the person disappears in thin air. There’s only person I know who can do that. Ty used to practice to become a magician, his best trick was disappearing ones. The shock hits me in mid-stride. I stumble again, but this time fall off the roof. A sharp pain flys up my ankle, sprained. Cursing myself for being such a fool, I stumble back to my house. It’s around one in the morning by the time I return. I stumble into bed and pass out. In the morning I roll out of bed and promptly fall on my face. Stumbling to my feet, I spy a note on my bedside that wasn’t there when I fell into bed first. The note’s simple, just says that I have a family living with me now. Wait, a family? I head downstairs and sure enough, a family waits. Trying to ignore the weird feeling I’m getting, I just grab my bag and run out the door. Spying a trolley, I rush over and hop on. Sitting down, I reach for my phone, forgetting it’s destroyed. So, the first thing I do is attempt to track down a phone. Sitting down, I glance up at the signs flashing by. Glancing up, I happen to spy a figure, cloaked in black, or maybe it’s silver. The figure glances down at me, then salutes, and finally disappears. Shaking off the unseemingly specter as a product of a sleepless night, I turn back to my life. Reaching my stop, I step out and nearly get run over. Stumbling, I grab the nearest semi-sturdy thing I can. Swinging myself up, I head to the first phone store I can find, T-Mobile. Fun. Heading inside, I grab the closest thing I can and pay. Running out of the store, I open the phone’s box. Scrolling through, I enter my special code and return all of my files, data, and contacts.
9:32 A.M Monday, May 15th, 2025, Location: Concord, Massachusetts Samantha
Something’s wrong. Last night, there was a break-in in town. I was the only one there. The so-called hero wasn’t there. Ha! That means now I am the sole champion. I am the only person the people of this town can come to me and only me.
Veronica is annoyed. The first thing she does in the morning is call Shawn to tell him about last night. Even over the phone I can hear Shawn yelling at her, saying that the only reason he sent me to Concord was so I wouldn’t have any crimes to bust, not so I would be able to do the exact thing that he didn’t want me to do.