Chapter 4: Jack

Allspades lazily hopped onto the stage and kicked the chair around. Will felt his eye twitching when he saw the younger man sit on it backwards like an 80’s movie delinquent. Despite himself, Will leaned forward a bit in his seat. He always found origin day interesting, but something about this one’s movements seemed more…practiced than normal. (‘I think he’s been in the business for longer than the rest of these kids. He’s breaking the pattern.’).

It wasn’t just Will either. Everyone seemed to be paying extra attention to the man who had been oddly quiet during the last meeting.

Allspades drummed his fingers on the chair. “I suppose the best place to start is a little over 6 years ago.”

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If I’m going to be straight with you all, you should know that I haven’t been a civvie for a long time. But I was never a hero.

My old man was military. That didn’t mean much to me then, but I have no doubt it’s why I was selected. All I really know is that when I was twelve, I dropped out of school, packed up my things, and left behind what little life I had.

There were four of us, and none of us were older than 15. I don’t know what agency we worked for, or if we even had an organization above us except for our handler, and whoever gave him his orders. All I know is that we spent the next four years training. They ran us through every type of mental and physical test I’ve ever heard of, and plenty I’m pretty sure no one ever has.

Most importantly they trained our powers. I told you already that I’m a tank. They decided that meant I could get up close and walk away from it. That’s why I got the sword. They called me the Knight.

Our leader was a gambler. He could identify someone’s tells within two minutes, and he was never wrong. He could also flick a coin fast enough to knock a heavy tank off course. The metal ones, not the walkers. He was the King.

Next was the spymaster. She was a long distance tel. Give her a sample of someone’s blood or something they’d held onto for long enough and she could watch them from the other side of the world. She liked to carry around an old goblet with her to show us what she saw. She usually served as mission control. She was the Queen.

The last…was our mage. I never could understand how her powers worked too well. But if she held onto her staff, nothing seemed impossible for her. The Page.

They called us The Cards.

I’m not going to pretend that we were nice people. We travelled all over the world, to countries whose names I can’t even pronounce. And we did things there that no one should have to hear about.

Most of what I know isn’t something I should be telling you all, so I’ll skip to the last mission. They never got the chance to classify most of that one. I can’t say any names, because frankly I don’t feel like coming to the next meeting and finding out you’d all been shot, but I’ll give you what details I can.

This one wasn’t supposed to be anything dangerous. We were supposed to infiltrate a…(He glanced down at Red Racer)…a party. It wasn’t supposed to be anything serious. Me and Page were the frontrunners. We went into the party itself, keeping an eye on everyone, and keeping their eyes on us.

She was a good dancer.

King was infiltrating through the back. His job was to get to the big guy on top. The man was notorious for running his mouth, and King was good at getting people to talk. It was a good fit.

Queen stayed back, in a van about four blocks away. She had some of our blood with her, and we had nabbed the big guy’s glasses so she could keep an eye on him to.

It was supposed to be simple, nobody should have even known we were there, let alone what we found out.

Someone had tipped him off.

King had barely even said a word when the guy called out his goons. There weren’t any walkers, they were all just normal people. But there were so goddamn many of them.

Almost everyone in the place was on his payroll. It’s how they made us so easily. A small gesture from him and the whole room was armed and ready to take us out.

I heard Queen screaming through the mental link. They’d known where the van would be. We were trapped in a room full of hostiles and no link back to base.

He was laughing. Every detail of our plan, every escape route, he knew them all. He even got us to swipe his assistant’s glasses so we would think we knew what he was doing.

King was the next to die. They had a gun to his head before he knew what was going on.

We held out for a long time. Even without my sword I was bulletproof, and I took them down well enough. And she had shrunk her staff down and kept it hidden.

We fought for a half hour before her shield ran out. I watched her eyes grow dimmer as the bullet pierced her chest. I caught her before she hit the ground, but I didn’t even get the chance to hear her last words. The gunfire was just too loud.

I don’t remember much of what happened after that. But I think I killed all of them. I woke up in an alley a few blocks away, and the building was roped off and surrounded by too many people for me to get back inside.

I was trapped there. Our only contact with our superior had been in that van and nobody was coming to see if we made it out.

By the time I made my way back, our home was abandoned. They even covered up the holes where pictures had been nailed to the walls. Our identities had long been scrubbed, and our families were more than willing to let us go without a fight. I had nothing left.

Luckily I had made a few friends on missions. We’d been put in contact with less legal elements more than often enough for me to call in a couple of favors and get a new identity. I made my way here last year, and I put the costume together within a week.

As insane as it was, I missed it. Not what I had to do, but the action, the movement, I needed some of it back. But after a few months I started having a problem. I can’t hold back as well since the incident. A few weeks ago I put someone in the hospital. He wasn’t’ even a walker, just some average punk with a knife.

I don’t want to see what’ll happen if I lose any more control.

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Allspades leaped off the stage immediately after he finished talking. But it didn’t look like anyone was going to ask him any questions anyway. Will saved his thoughts until he could get Allspades alone. He had a feeling the group work wouldn’t be enough for him. (‘We really need to get a trained therapist for these things. Sooner or later I won’t be enough.’).

Will was about to call out the next speaker when he noticed Burnout was already on his way to the stage.

 

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2 comments

  1. 1.They ran us through every types (remove s) of mental and physical test I’ve ever
    heard of, and plenty I’m pretty sure no one ever has.

    2.I can’t same any names. -Same for give or name

    3.I (w)as trapped there.

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