Jack narrowed his eyes slightly as if he heard her thoughts, then nodded. “You’re dismissed; after what you’ve been through in the past forty-eight hours I think you deserve a break more than the rest of us.” Cree nodded, turned on her heel, and roughly pushed the door to the debriefing room opened.
Then slammed it shut behind her.
Forty-eight hours Earlier…
Creedyn Riko Amata blew an errant strand of hair out of her face as she laid there on her back, tossing the little paper ball she had made out of her failed writing attempt up into the air. The alarm had stopped a long time ago, though the door still remained closed firmly shut which trapped her in her own dorm room. Her blue eyes narrowed as the moment of her leaving the psych evaluation room flashed through her mind…
Next time, listen to the obvious instincts yelling at you to stay with the damned group. You know, unless you want to die like every ditzy blonde in a token horror movie.
She sighed as she caught the ball.
She turned her head to the bedside table; a picture of her and her sister Yuzuki, a small box, pens, writing pad, her cellphone unhooked from its charger, her Swiss army knife, and her backpack leaning against the table.
The conversation with her sister was still fresh in her memory, her sister’s quirky sense of humor bringing a smirk to her face.
“How did I know you would smack a guy sooner or later…” Yuzuki had asked.
Cree huffed indignantly, “ Hey, I’m not that predictable… ”
“You’re more predictable than the lifespan of the strut-mounts and shocks on a typical Michigan resident’s car.” Cree rolled her eyes and snorted, smiling and shaking her head though she knew her sister couldn’t see her.
There was a little bit of silence before she heard her sister yawn; time difference. Right.
“ Hey, I won’t keep you up; you got all your homework done, right? ”
“ Don’t make me smack ya through this phone. ”
“As if you could; the laws of science won’t allow it.”
“ Says you there missy, there could be some sort of mass-conversion-device-thingy that lets me send my hand through the phone lines to the other end of the connection and materialize there. ”
“Do you even know what you just said?”
“ Not… really. Gotobed. ” Cree made shooing sounds, “Go, bed now; go to bed. You’ve got school tomorrow, be-e-e-e-ed… no-o-o-o-o-ow…”
“Alright, alright. I’m going, I’m going… I’ll talk to you later when I’m not half out of it.”
“Okay… loves you, Ziki.”
“Loves you too sis…” As Cree went to pull the phone from her face her sister’s voice caught her attention, “Hey…
You know I miss you, right?”
Cree paused, air frozen in her lungs before her brain finally processed that her sister had spoken again, “ Yeah… yeah I know. I miss you too. Stay safe. ”
“I will. Bye.”
“ Bye. ”
Cree felt a pang in her chest as she remembered why she was so far away and not keeping an eye on her sister herself; being stuck in the slums and then being forced to go to another country to handle the affairs of a dead relative she never knew… she was already half scared out of her wits when she found out that someone had tried to kill her sister. Said sister refused to give out the identity of her savior, but the fact that a stranger was there instead of her…
Cree crushed the ball in her hand.
She hated this.
She hated being away from home, she hated being away from her sister, and she hated relying on someone whose character she couldn’t judge for herself to do what she couldn’t.
All she could offer were words.
She growled as threw the ball at the steel slab of a door; she was more than frustrated at being trapped in this room, at leaving her sister behind, at being stupid enough to-
A loud click.
The sound of hydraulics.
Cree blinked as the offending door slowly inched open, new cool air pouring in and green lights flashed as she looked to the room across from her, the door there having a mirrored slab lowering like hers.
Magical door-opening paper ball. Or coincidence.
“ Crisis Averted; thank you for your patience. ”
Damn, why did it have to be coincidence?
Cree gave the ceiling a suspicious look before hopping off her bed and going to the doorway, looking this-way-and-that down the hallway. She straightened out her shirt as she turned back into her room for her backpack, grabbing it, her phone, and knife before heading back out the door. She snuck the Swiss hardware it into her pant pocket before closing the regular door to her room behind her and locking it.
Trust was a thing she didn’t have in droves.
Cree walked down the hallway, her steps silent as walked; she smirked with pride as she noticed her shoes’ footsteps barely echoed off the pristine walls of the compound. Her sensitive ears picking up the heavily muffled footsteps of workers above her, possibly cleaning up from whatever had-
That’s when she smelled it.
There was no mistaking it; she had smelled her own blood through many an injured nose and beating, and others’ through what she dished out in kind. What it didn’t prepare her for though was the sight she would see as she turned the corner, the sight and the smell hitting her like wall, almost as if someone had made the blood aerosol and sprayed too much.
Three men, all looked to be in their late twenties to early thirties…
With their throats ripped out and half eaten.
Her fist tightened around her pocket knife she had grabbed, fear being a prominent feeling before it was pushed to the side as an overwhelming calm overcame her; she approached them carefully, using only the balls of her feet. Her jaw tightened as her eyes traced themselves over the hanging flesh of skin still attached to the throat of one man, his face still screwed in fear and agony though his eyes were dull and lifeless.
She quickly made her way around them, dancing around the blood pooling on the ground and the carelessly strewn bodies. Her pace was quick and efficient, in case they decided to reanimate themselves; whatever had caused this carnage obviously wasn’t human, and she really didn’t feel like getting infected with some sort of mutating virus like in a Resident Evil horror game.
Once she was past the massacre of nightmares she darted down the hallway, her knife now already out and opened, the blade pointed down to avoid injury by a fall. A few turns here, a few corridors there, and she nearly ran straight into a security detail… and nearly ran one straight through with her knife.
It’s to be expected when you see half-eaten monster victims.
Said man ducked but was too slow to catch Cree’s wrist as she pulled back into a defensive position, one she relaxed when she realized they were humans and… not something else.
“Geez, lass; yer gonna get people killed tha’ way, swingin’ a knife around.”
“Yeah, tell that to the three guys back near the dorms who had their throats ripped out and looked like they were eaten alive.”
She heard someone swear as she turned right back around and watched the corridor she came from.
“There are others then…” said a man in the back with a light Scottish accent.
“I wouldn’t be runnin’ and gunnin’ if there wasn’t.” she replied smartly, slowly backing away from the hallway she came from with her knife still at the ready.
“Right, onwards men; we’ve got a few more floors to clear before we can say these Weevils are gone.”
One of them men stopped and turned to her, “Ya don’t get Weevils in America, don’t ya?”
Cree’s eye twitched, “Obviously not.”
“Private! Stop flirtin’ with the girl an’ get your arse movin’.”
“Aye!” he called out, “See ya later miss; you might want to get yerself a guidebook for these things. There’s a lot of stuff out there that that little pocket knife ain’t gonna protect you from so well.”
She just stared at him incredulously as he ran off to rejoin his squad.
She pinched the bridge of her nose and walked off, deciding that she was going to get a cold one after this then go see that Doctor guy about getting some info about these monsters…
Then maybe some time off. Yeah, that’d be nice.
Cree breathed in a deep sigh of real fresh air as she stood outside of the bar-slash-tavern that Torchwood Two was based in; she had already been given the next two days off for somehow making it through a Weevil infested area unscathed, which they had seen as a major plus in her favor.
Still have to take those Psych evaluations later though. That was a bummer.
Though, now that she thought about it, maybe an assessment of her psychological state wouldn’t be a bad idea, seeing as she could barely get those slaughtered men out of her mind…
But still, now she had some time to be by herself for a bit. Cree turned on her heel and made her way down a random direction, not really caring where she was going so long as none of those…. Things popped up. Or dead bodies, since that would be a doozy to explain to the police force here. Yes, I found these bodies here and I believe them to be victims of aliens because I just got done looking at bodies like theirs elsewhere.
She walked across a street a few minutes away from the tavern. Anyway, all jokes aside, she really didn’t want to have to deal with anymore mishaps than she already did. So, she was just going to take a lovely stroll around town, learn the area a little bit, and maybe find a few places that she’d just go in-
Cree groaned as she came around, her head feeling like someone had been pounding on it with a metal pipe. She cursed internally as she blinked her eyes open; never before has she ever been abducted, and she was angry at herself for letting it happen. In Detroit this would never had happened; the other guys would have been half dead and bloody if anyone tried anything.
There was a reason why after the Irish mob suffered her wrath no one else came within a half block of her or her sister.
She wriggled her wrists, noting that they had been restrained. Smart; they had enough intelligence to restrain her. Her knife was still in her pocket; not so smart. She narrowed her eyes as they came into focus; the room was cast in a dim red light, giving the space a foreign, dangerous feeling. The walls were cobblestone and damp, the air itself smelled of moisture and it stuck to her throat, skin, and hair, and she swore she could see some moss growing in the corner. There was a table with some sort of tools on it, though their nature was lost on her as the light prevented her from seeing it clearly.
In front of her was a simple wooden chair, and to her right was the door, which began to open when her eyes slid to it in her appraisal of the room. A figure walked in; male, bulky, and tall. He had to lean down in order to avoid hitting his head on the ceiling.
The man cleared his throat before he sat down; he looked to be about forty-forty five, salt and pepper hair with his years showing on his face.
“’Ello,” he smiled a little, “Your name is Creedyn Amata, am I correct?”
Cree remained silent.
“I’ll take that as a yes. You work for Torchwood Two, correct?”
“Not much of talker for an American, are you?”
“What do you want?” Cree snapped.
The man’s eyebrows rose a little as he leaned back in his chair, relaxed and seemingly unfazed. “Don’t like beating around the bush then; all we want is to work with you.”
Cree narrowed her eyes as she worked, what she called, her Lie Detector.
The smile twitched on the man’s face.
“I assure you–”
“And I’ll assure you that my foot is going to go up where the sun don’t shine in two seconds if you tell me one more lie; what the hell do you want?”
The smile dropped and the man sighed, “They said you were unusually perceptive…” he reached down beside him to retrieve a briefcase Cree hadn’t noticed until now. “We want information.”
‘ That’s a start. ’ Cree thought, her eye twitching as her annoyance cooled a little. “What kind of information?”
He shrugged as he opened it in front of him and began to rifle through papers, “Basic things; what does Torchwood have hidden in their labs, where the entrance is located, etcetera, etcetera.”
She blinked; did she just seriously get nabbed by some sort of run-of-the-mill greedy human mob that wanted alien tech for power?
“What makes you think I’d be forthcoming with this information,” Cree paused, “If such information existed… which it doesn’t by the way.” She internally kicked herself.
’ Smooth move, ex-lax. ’
The man chuckled, “Your speech skills leave something to be desired, Creedyn.”
She shrugged as best as she could, “I try, but it’s really not my department.” She wriggled her right foot slightly.
The binding was loose.
The man hummed, then rifled through some more papers. Cree wriggled her foot some more, feeling the loose knot get even looser; just who in the hell tied these things? A grade schooler? She tested her other one; it’s ropes were tight, but she noted a structure weakness in the frame of the chair as she looked down at it; enough pressure at the right angle and the force would snap the leg off.
Cree kept her face like stone as she analyzed her situation; she had her knife – or at least it felt like it – and the rope on her right foot was hilariously loose, on top of that there was a minor weakness in the chair. Either the men who captured her were extremely stupid, or they were smarter than she thought.
Her instincts said the latter was more viable than the former, because the likelihood of someone being that dumb was extremely low, given how the man held himself and practically took glee in pushing her buttons. Said man looked up as she did, holding a folder in one hand and picking up the briefcase in the other. He set it down on the table to Cree’s left with the mysterious items on it, and with his hand free he opened the folder and flipped a few pages.
“Creedyn Riko Amata; age 20, one sister named Yuzuki Aviya Amata; age seventeen. Born in Detroit Michigan, February 8th. Five foot six, roughly 55 kilograms; Talented fighter and extremely aware of her surroundings, but terrible at espionage and diplomatic negotiations.”
Cree tilted her head and had a mock-thoughtful look on her face, “Sounds about right.”
“She is also prone to outbursts of sarcasm and complaining.”
“Again sounds about right…” Cree cracked her neck and look the man head on, drawing his attention from his paperwork to her, “So you know about who I am, where I come from, and who I’m related to. Whoop-ti-doo, basil, ” she said with and edge, hoping to get under his skin by using American references that he probably didn’t get… or did, which actually would be funnier, “All of that is a matter of public record, amongst many other things. Unless you’ve got one of my deep, dark secrets – which there are none – written down there, I don’t see a point in this little session.”
The man nodded his head and tossed the file to the side, “I suppose so; not like you’re a spy or anything.”
“Did the file say I was? Because the file lies, if that’s the case.”
He smiled as he stood up, “No, I was just seeing what you would do.”
Cree raised an eyebrow, “Why, exactly?”
He took a step closer, “I’m sure by now you’ve noticed the binding on your right leg was laughably loose, and I was waiting for you to use your leg in an attempt to escape.”
Cree rolled her eyes, “I may be American, but I’m not stupid.”
He kicked out and knocked her chair off balance, sending her flying backwards and angled against the wall. He leaned in close, almost nose-to-nose with her. Her startled jump was covered by the shockwave of her chair, and managed to not flinch when the man came in close. He smiled again as she stared right back, her ice blue eyes drilling into his brown ones.
“Nerves of steel; indomitable.”
“Gotta be when you’re fighting for your life on the streets of Detroit, you know, the number one city for all murders under the sun in the good ol’ USA?”
He chuckled and grabbed her chair, sending it flying forwards until it was on it’s two front legs, holding it there as Cree hung forward.
Cree grunted, “You know, this little game of ‘Shake the baby’ is really getting annoying…”
She grunted again as he shook the chair slightly.
She pressed the toes of her left foot onto the ground, and the rest of her foot onto the weak leg.
“For you, it is; but I find it fun. Plus, I have a few toys we can play with afterwards.” Cree paused; he must be talking about the items on the table. Torture instruments, no doubt. “Of course, we won’t play with them unless you tell me what I need to know.”
Let go of the chair, let go of the chair…
“Not a chance.”
He sighed, “Pity.”
He let go of the chair.
It went forward.
The leg snapped.
Her right leg came loose.
Cree tucked and rolled forward onto her feet, still strapped down to the chair and jumped, kicking out at the wall and propelling herself backwards, knocking the man down and breaking the rest of the chair apart with the force of her landing.
She rolled away and reached into her pocket, and smirked when she flipped the blade open.
The man groaned and tried to wobbly get to his feet.
She drove her knife into his ribcage, then again into his neck, and a few times into his head – or what she thought was his head; she jumped back then kicked him in the stomach and groin, making sure he wouldn’t be able to get up again.
The man whined and moaned what little he could in pain as blood began to fill up his throat, his death imminent and swift. Cree looked away from him and to the briefcase; she grabbed the discarded folder and shoved it into the briefcase, closed it, and tore the door open to her cell.
She bolted out, diving to the wooden stairs in the basement-like underground, grabbed her bag that was hanging on a hook, and bum-rushed to door at the top, busting it down and stepping into a blinding light…
That became a Café full of startled people.
She grinned sheepishly and made her way out, “Excuse me; pardon me, sorry- Whoops,” she caught a waiter’s tray before it could fall, “Sorry, gotta go. Have a nice day!”
She wriggled her way through the last set of seats when she heard something.
“There she is!”
‘ Crap. ’
Cree rushed through the door and out onto the street, mowing over a few hapless tourists in her rush to get to safety; she dodged, weaved, and pushed her way through as she swung her backpack onto her shoulder and lifted the suitcase in front of her, running like the mad woman she was from whoever the hell was chasing her.
For her job to revolve around aliens, this was definitely too James bond for her not to notice; she quickly dove into an alleyway and hid behind a trashcan; her blue eyes watched carefully as the two men chasing her flew past her alley, knocking down other people in their wake.
“Oi! Watch w’ere ya going ya damned wanka! ”
Cree raised an eyebrow at the cockney accent, wasn’t she in Scotland?
She waited a few moments before rising from her spot; she put her backpack down and slipped the case into her pack, freeing her hands. Swinging it back onto her back, she carefully walked towards the entrance of the alley, and blended in with the crowd. As she walked, her eyes were drawn to the busy streets; the accents all around her weren’t the Scottish ones she was familiar with, and the rustic surroundings were a thing of the past now.
She stood at the stop light and turned to the man to her right.
The man turned. “Yes?”
She smiled sheepishly, trying to use her looks to her advantage, “I’m seem a bit lost; can you tell me where exactly I’m at?”
The man blinked, “Well, you’re in London obviously; where you trying to go?”
She smiled, “Oh, just to some random Café I don’t remember the name of, I’m from out of the country so I don’t know the area that well.”
He shrugged, “Well, there’s cafés sprinkled all over the place. If you look around I’m sure you’ll find it.”
‘ Much help you would have been if I actually was looking for a café… ’ “Thanks.”
“No problem.” The sign for pedestrians turned green and he walked away, Cree falling in behind him as the man walked further way.
She was in London.
How the hell did she end up in London?!
Dammit, why was she always the one who got into these weird situations… was it because she was a blue-eyed Asian American? Just because it’s rare for Asians to have blue eyes doesn’t mean that-
The two men from before stood a few hundred feet down the way.
Cree quickly turned a corner and sped-walked her way through the crowd; she needed to find other Torchwood operatives and get to safety now, because she really didn’t want to end up in the good graces of whoever the hell caught her last time. Especially now since she just killed one of them.
She twitched as she remembered the blood covered knife hidden in her pocket, knowing that the moment she even took her hand out people would flip; can’t stab someone without getting your hand covered too.
She turned down another corner when a hand reached out and pulled her in.
She kicked and swiped at the figure making them jump back and curse.
“Dammit woman! Do you not recognize me?!”
The young man just glared at her, “What kind of trouble have you gotten yourself into for you to take a swipe at me?” he paused, “And you can call me ‘Shadow’, Lass.”
She sighed, “Look, I don’t care how you got here or why, but can you get me to Torchwood HQ in one piece before whoever the hell is on my tail gets to me first?” Cree cautiously peaked out from the entrance, keeping an eye out for the men trying to find her.
He rolled his eyes, “Follow me then if you can.”
Cree narrowed her own as she turned towards him.
‘ Challenge Accepted. ’
Shadow made a running leap and jumped onto a fire escape ladder, climbing the old rungs and crawling onto the roof. Cree performed the same move with ease, following Shadow as he ran and leaped onto the neighboring roof, with Cree following easily after him. They continued like this, jumping from place to place and running like the devil was on their tails; Shadow challenging Cree all along the way.
Too bad he didn’t realize that her name meant warrior, and she lived up to the name for sure.
When they finally arrived at the new HQ for Torchwood prime, Shadow looked mildly impressed. “Didn’t expect you to keep up there, lass.”
Cree shrugged, “Before I learned how to fight, I learned how to run.” She grinned wickedly, “Plus, 120lbs coming at-speed leaves at least a dent on a person.”
He nodded, “Good thinking.” He looked around before he walked off, “Have fun at work today, lass.”
Cree’s eyebrows knitted together, “You’re not coming in?”
Shadow shook his head as he continued to walk off, “I’m taking the day off. See you back in Scotland later.”
Cree blinked as he walked away, watching as he became his namesake and disappeared from sight. She rolled her eyes slightly and adjusted her backpack on her shoulders, turning on her heel and walking into HQ.
She was not prepared for what would come next.