Good evening. It’s a little later then normal but I hope you enjoy it.
“Not again,” Molly said as she peered out of the train window. The rain was falling in thick sheets, making the station blurry. Even if she ran for it, the undercover area was too far away. She was going to get drenched one way or another.
“It’s supposed to be like this all week,” a man behind her said. He wiped the window with a gloved hand, clearing the condensation, not that it helped much, it was raining too hard.
Molly sighed and leant her forehead against a glass divider, trying not to think of all the germs dancing on it and transferring onto her skin. At least if she was sick, she could stay at home in bed tomorrow. Work was tedious, as usual. The monotony of getting coffee and answering phones at the most prominent law firm in Sydney was wearing her down. She had a law degree for God’s sake and only took the job to start to pay back her student debt and get a foot in the door. But once the partners saw her making coffee, that was it. She was Molly the tea lady, not Molly the junior lawyer.
The train skidded to a stop, and she didn’t have time to brace herself, her face was smooshed against the glass divider, and someone knocked into her from behind, pushing her harder into the glass.
“Sorry,” the gloved man said.
He gripped her by the elbow and steadied her. Molly rubbed her cheek and looked at him properly.
“Thank you,” she said and smiled. He was debonair, in an old guy kind of way, and way too old for her.
The train doors opened, and she turned away.
“Here, Miss. Take my umbrella.” He shoved the curved black handle into her hand, and he sidestepped her, leaving her mouth hanging open.
She looked down at the umbrella and followed the stream of people getting off. She popped it open and realised that it was big enough to have fitted both of them comfortably.
Molly got to the top of the stairs, surely he was waiting to get his umbrella back. It looked expensive, and she wasn’t the sort of person to just accept gifts from strangers, no matter how thoughtful.
Her phone rung in her pocket, she slipped her hand in and pulled it out. This wasn’t her phone; the slick black case wasn’t her purple snakeskin one. She waited until it stopped ringing and looked around. How strange. She turned to the Station Master’s office to hand it in, maybe in the commotion, someone dropped it.
It rung again, and a text message popped up on the screen.
Answer me, Molly.
Molly frowned and turned around slowly on the spot. The rush of commuters had trickled down to the ones who had crammed into the ancient elevator to get to the street level.
She answered it. “Hello?”
“Molly. My name is Patrick Kensington.”
“How do you know my name? And who are you? Where the hell did this phone come from?” Her heart thundered in her ears, and she thought about dropping it and running to her car.
“You and I have known each other for a long time, Molly. Now, it’s time you got back into the game. I thought you might have recognised me on the train, I gave you my umbrella.”
She thought about the man who commented on the weather, and who gave her the umbrella. She dropped it on the floor and stepped away from it. She had never met him before. Ever.
“I’m hanging up now.”
“Are you?” He drawled, “Don’t you want to know why you are so unsatisfied in your job? Why you dream of another life? A bigger life?”
When she didn’t say anything, he continued.
“It’s because you have one, Molly. Or should I say, Anjelica? The best agent we have. A specialist in international espionage.”
Molly laughed and hung up. Right. She wondered which prick at the firm thought this would be funny. She dragged her feet back to her car, the lot was almost empty, because she finished work late. A last-minute meeting meant she needed to cater for dinner and drinks. The bill was more than her yearly salary.
She pushed her wet hair off her face and dug in her pocket for her keys. She pressed the AutoStart button, and was hit with a blast of heat that knocked her backwards, she skidded on the gravel and slammed into a hatchback.
Dizzy, she pushed herself up, her shredded hands bleeding, but she stared at the orange and red flames, black smoke rising thickly in the air. Her car was a bundle of twisted metal and shattered glass.
Someone ran past her, and skidded on the gravel, she shielded her eyes with a bloody hand and saw the man.
“Angie!” he screamed and ran at the car, looking for a way into the inferno.
“Hey,” she called, and he spun around. He ran at her and dropped to his knees, ripping his fine woollen pants on the rocks.
“I saw the fire, and I thought. Shit,” he ran his hands through his hair and stood, eyeing the area around them. “I told them to bring you in earlier, that they had found you, but we received the latest intelligence too late.”
He helped her up and examined her hands and the back of her head.
“Get away from me.” She stepped back but was sandwiched between him and the hatchback.
He held out his gloved hands in front of him. “Wait.” He used his teeth to remove his right glove and held his palm up again. A tattoo was dark against his pale skin.
She traced the lines with her eyes, and something clicked in her brain, images and thoughts came flooding back. Military training, intelligence gathering, joining the Agency, becoming a spy, her first kill. And him, Patrick. She remembered him too. He was the Director, he led them, and something else.
“Dad?” Angelica said. “How did they find me?”
He closed his eyes, relieved that it worked. “I don’t know, Angie. They’re mobilising as we speak. We’ve got to go.”
“It works, Dad. The memory training. We can plant spies around the world, and they wouldn’t even know they were one until we unlocked it. We could take down Governments.”
He smiled at her in the light of her flaming car. “And that’s precisely what we’ll do.