Run - O

An almost deafening explosion nearby startled Scarlett causing her to turn her head away from the pair of technologically advanced binoculars perched on her face. Her eyes darted back and forth across the plain, brown room she was currently in, barely realizing that night had surfaced and harsh shadows danced across the lived in furniture of the flat. After nothing out of the ordinary jumped out at her, and everything around her stayed silent besides the occasional car honking on the streets of India, Scarlett went back to peaking through the binoculars. She pressed a button near her right thumb and adjusted her eyes to the bright green that filled her vision. As she grew accustomed to the new setting, Scarlett was finally able to make out an abandoned warehouse a mile away with it’s broken windows and destroyed walls.

“Agents 1, 3, 4 & 5, did you hear that explosion? It sounded as if it came from East of my current position,” Scarlett, also known as Agent 2, whispered. There was a beat and static before a gruff voice filled her right ear.

“Vaguely,” Agent 1 said. Scarlett could tell he was distracted with something so she kept quiet. She knew the drill, get her team in and out before anything terrible happened to them all the while trying to gain access to the perpretator. It wasn’t a normal occurrence for Scarlett to be Watch Tower – she mostly did field work and hand to hand combat – but she new everything she needed to do the job properly.  Today, she would lead her team out safely from the warehouse and out of India and tomorrow she would get her hands dirty in, let’s say, Moscow. These jobs came to her frequently and as one of the youngest field agents in the MI6, Scarlett was always recruited because she had an upper hand. No one ever expected a 19-year-old girl to be doing the job of a 35-year-old man. But that was beside the point, she wanted to hone her skills as field support and communications.

Scarlett felt for a button near her left thumb and pushed it before four little red dots scattered throughout her vision through the binoculars, surrounding the warehouse.

“I have you all on visual.” She lifted the binoculars away from her face and looked down at the laptop off to the right where a series of windows played CCTV scans of the perimeter of the warehouse. “Everything is clear.”

“All clear on my end,” Agent 4 whispered into the transmitter. She was the only other woman on the team and that gave Scarlett a sense of comfort knowing that she wasn’t completely alone on these missions. They were a family, they’ve been together since Scarlett joined the MI6 and have worked every mission as one.

There was a chorus of responses from the remaining agents as they also gave the all clear signal. Scarlett looked back into the binoculars as she saw four red dots move forward on her screen.

Scarlett sighed as she began to unconsciously chew on her lip, a habit she had picked up since becoming a field agent two year ago. It was strange, getting a job with the MI6 at the age of seventeen was something that was uncalled for. It never happened, but for some reason the Chief operative knew there was something special bout Scarlett. Not only did she graduate from high school and college early, she knew 15 languages, 2 dead languages, had acquired skills in hand to hand combat and also gun combat. It was helped that she was the daughter of Ryder Nova, the top operative in the MI6, who was killed while out on a field mission in Egypt. Some would say that this agent business was in her blood.

Another explosion rattled Scarlett out of her reverie and slightly shook the windows of the flat. Her neck prickled as if someone was out there, closely monitoring her but as she checked the CCTV on the laptop and found nothing strange surrounding the flat nor the warehouse, she let that feeling go. Deep down, she knew she shouldn’t let the feeling go, but acting as Watch Tower made her usually spot on intuition faulty.

“There was another explosion, this one was closer but I don’t see anything on camera or through the binoculars.”

“We’re almost done here, Agent 2, just get us to him and out as quickly as you can.”

“Yes, sir, Agent 1,” Scarlett smirked knowing how much he hated to be called sir.

She looked down at the screens, not noticing anything out of the ordinary with the perimeter, when another explosion erupted from just beyond the flat, violently shaking the windows this time and throwing her onto her back, the binoculars skidding to the end of the room. She let out a gasp as she scrambled up into a sitting position, looking out onto the streets to see that just a mile away, the exact same area where the warehouse was located, black smoke filled the air. She looked at the laptop, the CCTV showing absolute serenity, and that was when she knew they had been fucked.

Cursing violently to herself she spoke into the earpiece, trying to stay calm. “Abort mission, I repeat abort mission. “ She felt ridiculous because the warehouse was already in flames and then she had that gut sinking feeling that she probably just failed everyone on her team.

“Oh, god.”

She ran to get the binoculars before looking through them out the window. The red dots were still being shown, a good sign in her books but then she spoke too soon, and heart stopped beating for a split second.

A red dot flashed on and off three times before stilling and slowly fading into nothingness. That only meant one thing and Scarlett did not want to believe it. She did not want to believe that she just killed someone on her team.

“Where are you, agents?” She half screamed, half whispered. “Give me your locations.” She ran to the laptop and started pulling up codes onto the monitor to try and get the live feed of the CCTV but she wasn’t as advanced as Agent 4 was with a computer. “Fucking shit,” she screamed, as she peered through the binoculars once again. This time only two dots were brightly lit and that made Scarlett sick to her stomach. “Someone say something.”

It was peculiar because until this very moment, Scarlett never knew what it was like to lose someone. Sure, she lost her dad but she was young and she hardly knew him, but her team, they became a family who watched each other’s backs and she probably just killed them. The anger and self-loathing Scarlett felt was anything but small. She felt everything from that to sorrow to absolute disbelief.  She was trained to handle situations like this one but it was as if everything she learned flew out the window. She stood in the flat, pacing across the floor and pulling at her hair, her eyes rimmed with red as if she had already been crying.

A noise that was so quiet it went by almost undetected made Scarlett pause. Static echoed her earpiece before someone came on with only one word.

It was merely a whisper and it confused her for only a split second.

“Run.”

Her blood ran cold as she froze, but it was in that split second that an object came soaring towards the window of the flat. Scarlett ducked, falling flat on her stomach and covering her head with her hands as the foreign object smashed against the window, sending shards of glass all over her, and landing with a thud against the wall on the other side of the room. She quickly scrambled up to look out the window but she saw nothing. She lifted the binoculars to her face at the same time the last red dot started to fade away. She couldn’t think as she threw the binoculars down. She needed to know if what she saw was real but before she could even gather a thought from her messed up head, a rather loud ticking noise echoed off the empty walls of the room. Scarlett felt the blood rush to her head and her adrenaline kick up a notch as she looked towards the object lying on the floor. One look at the brightly lit number had her legs working again and with everything she had, she bolted for the door.

She was on the third floor, and Scarlett panicked as she descended the steps onto the second story landing. She wanted that to be enough, she truly wished that that could have gotten her a safe distance away, but she knew that logically, it wasn’t.

The makeshift bomb in the third story flat landed on zero before detonating. The initial blast sent Scarlett down the stairs in an extremely ungraceful manner. Rubble and debris flew everywhere, destroying the whole complex. Scarlett landed on her left arm somewhere on the first floor landing just as the ceiling came tumbling down.

Scarlett closed her eyes, wishing for something good, but she knew she would never get that. She had just killed her team. And that was her last thought before the wreckage of the complex came plummeting down onto her.