The sun was shining high but his surrounding was dominated by darkness. The water runoff clothed the crisp air of the corridor. His eyes locked on the stains, his hands repeated the same pattern automatically. What are you doing? What are you doing? The question was on a loop in his head. Suddenly, footsteps pulled him out of his bubble.
‘No.4! Where is he?’ The latter looked straight in the eyes of his commander. ‘The asset? Where is he?’ As the commander stepped closer, he noticed the disfigured visage of his subordinate. ‘What happened?’
What happened? Years earlier, No.4 had a different name. A different life. Away from the on-going war that his family found itself involved in. He managed to escape his destiny longer than he ever could have imagined. He has found peace in isolation, lived life in his world. Until a girl dared to talk to him, made him love her and created a life with her. His peace extended. He started to appreciate what life was really about: the meaningless moments that everyone seemed to have taken for granted over time. He has forgotten the horror of his kind. Until the greedy daddy’s boy decided to resurface. In a matter of hours, No.4’s world shifted from simplicity to complete mess. His wife and kid were taken away, giving him no choice but to dive into the world he tried in vain to avoid. Over a span of months, he helped track and torture more souls than his father did in his lifetime, his hands constantly covered in red. His heart and mind weren’t in synch anymore, giving frustration and anger fuel to invade his body. His actions became natural. Emotionless. As his conscious took a leave of absence until an opportunity or a brillant idea would come up to save his family and himself, his unconscious made all the decisions for him. A routine installed. His skills were noticed and an important assignement was giving to him. ‘Find the child’, his commander ordered him. It took him few months on the field to find any lead on the whereabouts of the child prodigy. His lead was kidnapped and tortured for days but results weren’t as conclusif as No.4 hoped for. In front of him, chained to the floor, a young man was kneeled, his face down, blood dripping off of his face and body, his clothes stained and soaked in blood, sweat and tears. As he stared at his prey, No.4 slowly started to realize his doings. I’ve become a monster, that’s what happened.
‘An intruder infiltrated the forteress and found its way to the captive. He took down the guards at the door and myself. I blacked out few seconds. When i came back to myself, the intruder was caring the captive away. In an attempt of stopping them, i managed to injure him on the leg.’ No.4 pulled a piece of fabric out of his pocket and handed to his commander. ‘This is a bit of his cloak. The embroidery is from one of the council members.’ No.4 paused. ‘The Turners.’
The commander looked startled. Then his serious expression rapidly came back.
‘He’s onto us. We need to alarm Master Garner.’
To be continued