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Virus- Contest Entry


Ms. Malone
Ok, this is like my latest Fiction. I think it's written better than my Power Within series.

Summery: Cooper Ray is THD's top agent. She's smart, skillful, and quick thinker and works ALONE! But when fifteen year old Dai drops into her life, along with a dangerous mission, she has to learn to be more than just a weapon...

Chapter One.
A female figure slowly lowered into a dimly lit room. She was dressed in a tight black tank top, pants, gloves and boots, and her hair was up in a tight bun with a hair clip slid in at the front. She was suspended upside down by nothing more than a long thick cord. She had her legs crossed around it to keep her in position. She stopped a few centimeters above a glass case. Inside, was a small vile with a purple liquid within it. She pulled out the hair clip and a small blade flicked out of the plastic, she drew a circle on the glass and with her index finger she pulled the glass out. A tiny smirk pulled at her lips as she admired the little suction cup attached to her glove. She reached inside the case, slowly pulled out the vile and carefully slid it into a thin case attached to her pants. She replaced the glass, slid the clip back into her hair and the cord retracted, lifting her up to the window she entered through. A guard dressed in dark blue pants, jacket and black boots, cradling an M16 walked past the room, glancing at the case as he did. He stopped and turned fully. He pulled a walkie-talkie from his belt and raised it to his lips. Seconds later the alarm echoed around the building. The female strolled along the roof confidently, pulling her hair free from the hair tie. She was seventeen year old Copper Ray and she was a spy. She stopped at the edge of the roof; her emerald green eyes sparkled in the moonlight as she pulled out a set of brass knuckle dusters. She slid them onto her right hand and lifted her arm into the air. A twitch of her index finger shot and arrow, with a thin line attached to it, into a wall next to a door leading to the stairwell. She lowered her arm slightly, adjusting the angle and twitched her index finger again. Another arrow shot out, but this time it embedded itself into a tree three hundred meters diagonally down, a few feet past the barbed wired fence. Cooper tugged the line to make sure it was secure and stepped off the roof just as the guards burst through the stairwell door. They fired their guns at her, but it was no use. Cooper zipped down the line and out of their reach. When she passed over the fence she slipped her hand free and rolled into a crouched position. She took one last look over her shoulder at the building before dropping off the edge off the cliff into the water below.

Cooper sat outside a café in Edinburgh. She had caught a train from the north of Scotland in the early hours and it was now mid afternoon. She wore a white tank top, pants and trainers. Her eyes were hidden by dark sunglasses. She had a video phone leaning against the salt and pepper holder. The person she was talking to was a man in his late forties with thinning brown hair and hazel eyes. He wore a gray suit with a white shirt and a black tie.

“So I take it everything went well?†The man smiled. “Good to hear.â€Â

“Yeah, I should be back in a few hours.†She blew on a chip and bit into it.

“Y’know, you should try the haggis. I’ve heard it’s very nice.â€Â

Cooper frowned. “Don’t make me gag, Jeff.â€Â

He chuckled. “Well, the train should be at the station soon. Have a safe trip.â€Â

“Will do.†She licked the salt off her fingers.

“Oh, and there’s someone I’d like you to meet when you get back.â€Â

“Who?†She raised a brow. Jeff just tapped the side of his nose then waved. The screen went black. Cooper shook her head, picked up her things and left. She went to the nearest payphone and called for a taxi. The journey was short. Cooper paid the driver and walked into the station. It was quiet. Most of the noise was from the Scottish man through the speakers, other than that there was a low hum of conversation. Cooper had no time to waist. She walked up to a man at the desk. He looked to be thirty with blonde hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a black suit and tie, and spoke with a thick Scottish accent.

“May I help you?†He smiled.

“My name’s Cooper Ray. There should be a train waiting for me.†She watched as he tapped away at the keys, looking at the computer screen.

“Aye, there is. Just follow the signs for the toilets then make a left, they’re waiting for you.â€Â

“Cheers.†She nodded and followed his directions. And sure enough two agents dressed in black suits waited for her. They both had a coil leading from somewhere under their blazers to their earpieces. Both had light brown hair cut into an army like style, but one of them was slightly shorter than the other. They led her to the platform where a large black six carriage train waited for her. On the side of the train, below the windows was a picture of the world with THD written across it. Cooper shook her head. THD stood for The Organization of Human Defense. Cooper just called it HD. She climbed aboard the train and soon it took off for Yorkshire.

“Welcome home!†Jeff stood up from his dusty silver desk to greet Cooper. The room was more of a metallic sliver and the floor was tiled. Behind Jeff’s desk was a large plasma screen TV. There was a white sofa in front of his desk but there were no filing cabinets around or a computer. It didn’t look much like an office. More like a lab. “How was the trip?â€Â

“Long…†She sat on the sofa. “…And boring…â€Â

“Have you got the sample?â€Â

Cooper nodded and pulled out the vile she had stolen. “What’s it for?â€Â

“We believe if contains a virus. Although I doubted the men at that base would have know that. But this virus, if released, could kill the entire population of Britain in a matter of days. It travels through the air.â€Â

“I’m glad I didn’t break it.†Cooper rested her elbow in her knee and her chin in her hand. “And the Russians wanted to sell it to the Germans, why?â€Â

“We’ve sent another team of agents to find that out. To give you a rest.†Jeff handed the vile carefully to a lab technician. “So you won’t be needed for a while.†He smiled.

“So who’s this person you wanted me to meet?â€Â

“Ah of course! You remember Alan Pierson, right?â€Â

“Yeah, he trained me…†Her voice trailed off. She sat back and crossed her arms. Her eyes narrowed and she looked at Jeff suspiciously. “Why…?â€Â

“You know he had a son didn’t you? He’s about fifteen now andâ€Â

“Whoa!†She raised her hands in protest. “I know where you’re going with this and the answer is no. I work alone!â€Â

“He just needs training.†Jeff explained. “I think you owe it to Alan.â€Â

She frowned. He had her there. “Fine.†She sighed and rubbed her head. She knew she was going to regret it. Jeff pushed a button on his desk and a small door slid open to the right of Cooper. A tall fifteen year old boy stepped into the room. He had short brown hair, parted into curtains and deep blue eyes. He wore black jeans, a Newcastle football shirt and trainers. He was slender and tanned. Cooper took in every detail then turned to Jeff.

“That scrawny thing is Alan’s lad?†The boy frowned.

“Yes. His name is Dai.†Jeff turned to Dai. “Dai, this is Cooper. She’ll be your new guardian.â€Â

“Hey I never agreed to that!†Cooper jumped to her feet.

“For Alan.†Jeff simply replied. Cooper sighed again. Dai shoved his hands into his pockets. “Now Dai will be home tutored by a HD agent. And I’m afraid you won’t be on a mission for a while. I want you two to get used to each other.â€Â


“No buts, Cooper.†Jeff sat down in his black leather chair. “A car will be waiting for you outside.â€Â

Cooper headed for the door and Dai followed halfheartedly. They took the lift down to the car park in silence. When the doors opened Cooper set here eyes upon a dark blue Toyota Celica GT. She ran a finger gently along the bonnet paint work and slid into the driver’s side. The keys were already in the ignition. Dai dropped in next to her and put on his seatbelt. Cooper turned the key and the engine roared to life. A screen on the dashboard flashed and Jeff’s face appeared.

“So am I forgiven?†He smiled.

“That depends.†She buckled her seatbelt. “Have you fixed my bike as well?â€Â

“It’s almost complete.â€Â

“I guess that’s good enough.†She put the Toyota into gear and sped off into the street.

“And Dai.†The teen turned to look at Jeff. “Your bags are already at Coopers.†The screen flicked again and Jeff’s face disappeared. Cooper glanced at Dai as he stared out of the window.

“Where are you from?†She reluctantly asked. She figured if she was living with him she should get to know him a little bit. He didn’t answer her. “Don’t you speak or something?â€Â

“Grew up in Spain.†He mumbled. “But I’m British.†There was silence again. “How long have you been a spy?â€Â

“Too long.†She stopped at a traffic light. “I was younger than you when I started…I knew your old man.â€Â

“When did he die?â€Â

“…Four years ago. He was a good man.†She watched as Dai nodded and noticed a single tear roll down his cheek in his reflection in the window. She decided not to say anything and they were quiet until they pulled up at Coopers home.


Re: Virus

Wonderful descriptions and great characters. The plot is twisting too. At first, I thought Cooper was the bad person but she wasn't. So, great job.


Ms. Malone
Re: Virus

Long and descriptive chapter, but it'll get better.

Chapter 2
The pale white house stood next to a garage with a deep blue door. Cooper pushed a button on the dash board and the door opened. Dai watched in silent awe as the Toyota pulled into the garage and door shut behind it. The lights flickered on and Dai stared into the almost empty space. The walls were white with a few shelves hung up in places and in the corner was a dusty green quad bike. He slid out of the Toyota and walked over to it.

“Just something I’m tinkering with.†Cooper headed towards a doorway that led to some stone steps. He followed her up them into a cream kitchen with beige cupboards and black countertops. The kitchen led to a small, round, dark polished table and four chairs. To the left of the table were three steps that led down to a seating area with black leather recliner chairs and a black leather three seat sofa facing a silver wide screen TV with a picture frame on top of it. In the middle was a glass coffee table with a beige file marked ‘Confidential’ in red letters. Dai made his way over to it.

“Slow down hotshot.†Cooper grabbed his shoulder. “For my eyes only.†She gave him a stern look and gently steered him towards the white front door. To the left of it was another room, the door was open and Dai could see a huge glass conservatory with a swimming pool in the middle. He stopped in his tracks and admired the sparkling blue water reflecting the night sky. Cooper steered him to the red carpeted stairs and led him to the top where they faced a brown oak door with a gold door knob.

“Bathroom.†She pointed to it and took a left. “My gym, if you can’t find me in the house I’ll be in there.†She pointed to another door matching the bathroom to her right and continued on. “My room.†She pointed to her right again and then to her left. “Yours.†She opened the door for him. There was a small balcony at the other end looking over the huge side garden. Against the left wall which stretched into the room was a king sized bed with clean red covers with Chinese kanji patterned on it. The carpet was white and the curtains where white to match. Across from the bed was a cream desk and chair, a cream wardrobe stood to the left of it and Dai’s blue suitcase sat in front of it.

“The study down the hall is off limits to you, ok?†She took his silence has a yes. She sighed. “Do you need anything?â€Â

“No.†He almost whispered. “I’ll be ok.â€Â

Cooper glanced at the sports watch on her wrists. “It’s eleven; the tutor will be here at nine. I’ll knock you up and five to seven and I’d like you downstairs for breakfast at seven sharp. Got that?†She didn’t get an answer. “Goodnight…†She closed the door and headed downstairs. She picked up the file from the table and dropped onto the sofa. She kicked her trainers off and put her feet up on the armrest. She glanced at the photograph on top of the TV. There was a man in the photo, bald with deep blue eyes and huge muscles that could match any professional bodybuilder, but he was handsome. His muscular arms were wrapped around a teenage girl with black hair and emerald green eyes. It was their harmless trip to Ibiza that somehow turned into a mission, the one Alan never came back from. Cooper stared at the photo a few seconds longer before turning her attention back to the file. When she opened it she was met with a single page with Dai’s picture paper clipped to it.

Name: Dai Pierson

Date of Birth: 6/6/90

Parents: Mother- Ally Pierson, Father- Alan Pierson (both deceased)

Hobbies: Football, martial arts and video games

Favorite Food: Burgers, bacon and eggs and Chinese

Grades: English- D, Spanish- B, Science- D, P.E-D, Geography- C

Cooper closed the file. It was just basic information and seemed totally useless to her. She stood and headed to her room, turning off the lights as she did. She stopped outside Dai’s room and looked at the door for a moment. She slowly reached out for the handle. Inches away she jerked her hand back and shook her head. She turned and walked into her room. The walls were a warm, deep red and the curtains and carpet matched. The layout of the room was the same as Dai’s. She dropped the file onto the desk and changed into a pair of black silk shorts and shirt, leaving the top two buttons undone. She turned off the light and slid into the blood red silk covers with a black silk throw over and rested her head on the pillow. She stared into the never ending darkness for a moment before drifting off to sleep.

“Five minutes, Dai!†Cooper yelled as she pounded on the door the next morning. Dai reluctantly pulled himself from the comfort of his bed and changed into the clothes her wore the day before. He slowly made his way downstairs and slid onto a chair at the table. He watched Cooper by the cooker dressed in black baggy pants and a long black baggy, short sleeved shirt. The occasional sizzling sound was heard and sometimes a spitting sound. Dai guessed she was making a fry up.

“Dai!†She turned her head and looked surprised to find him sitting at the table. “Oh…sneaky little thing aren’t ya?†Dai just crossed his arms on the table and rested his chin on them.

“Maybe you should have a real conversation with him.†Dai heard a voice from somewhere in the kitchen. “Or take him somewhere after his lessons.â€Â

“Why bother?†Cooper looked to the video phone resting in a holder. “He barely says anything to me.â€Â

“He’s just shy.†Jeff smiled. He was already at THD HQ, happily munching on a crumpet.

“When do you want the training to start?â€Â

“In a few days, can you handle it?â€Â

“If I can handle breaking into a base, I think I can handle training a kid.†She frowned. “Who did you send out to Russia anyway?â€Â

“Team Alpha.†He smiled.

“You know…I’d probably be back by now.†She smirked.

“No, Cooper.†Her smirk faltered. “Just do as you’ve been told.†The screen flickered and turned black. Cooper sighed and carried two plates of bacon, eggs and sausage on toast to the table.

“Do you want a drink?†She asked as she placed the plate in front of him. He said nothing. She sat down next to him. “Look, I know its scary being in a new environment, ‘specially one as complicated as this but…I need no…I’d like you to meet me halfway on this.†She watched him. He made no movement, no attempt to answer her. She sighed and cut into a sausage.

“How did he die…?†He suddenly asked. Cooper stopped in her tracks, the fork and sausage was halfway to her lips. She thought for a moment.

“Classified.†She shoved the food into her mouth and chewed. “Eat something.â€Â

Dai eyed the food on his plate then pushed it away. “No thanks.†Cooper sighed and scratched her left arm. That’s when Dai noticed a long thin scar a few centimeters below her TB scar. “Did you get that on a mission?â€Â

“Get what?â€Â

“That scar on your arm.â€Â

“No…†She looked down at her plate for a moment, her hair hiding her eyes. She slowly lifted her head up and looked at him. “Stupid little thing. It doesn’t matter. Now will you eat something?†He pulled the plate towards himself as he sat up and ate. Copper watched him with slight amusement in her eyes. “How about Chinese for dinner? Take out.â€Â

He thought for a moment then nodded. “Ok.â€Â

“Good†She nodded.

Left right left right roundhouse kick. A right into the stomach and then an uppercut to the chin. Cooper stepped back from the half dummy, balanced on the balls of her feet. The dummy was in the shape of a male from the waist up, obviously skin coloured that was bolted to the floor in one corner by a thick black pole. She had been punching it in a mixture of series since nine o clock, when the tutor from THD arrived. It was a woman. Tall and slender with dark brown hair and eyes hidden behind thin framed glasses. She wore a gray blazer and skirt, tanned tights and black heeled shoes. Her name was Sue Collins, age twenty nine, married with no children. It was strange how Cooper had to know everything about everyone. She shook her head and picked up a towel on the way out. She draped it over her shoulders and headed downstairs. Sue and Dai were sat at the kitchen table working on fractions. Poor Dai looked bored. Cooper looked at her watch. Five to twelve. Dai only had to endure the torture for five more minutes. Perhaps Sue would leave earlier, if he was lucky. Cooper opened the fridge and pulled out a bottle of water. She closed the door over and leaned against the counter. She took a long drink, feeling the cool liquid run down the back of her throat. She then looked to Dai. It was only then she noticed how much he looked like Alan.

“I’d better be going.†Sue stood and looked over to Cooper. “Same time tomorrow?â€Â

“Sure.†Cooper nodded. “Which subjects?â€Â

“I think English and Geography.†Sue smiled and tucked the chair neatly under the table.

“We’ll see you tomorrow then.†Cooper walked to the door and watched Sue leave in her little green VW Golf. She turned to Dai who looked to be drained of life. “What do you want to do now?â€Â


Ms. Malone
Re: Virus

Due to contest rules i will be double posting so i can make the deadline i'll be setting (it's a long story, already 13 chapters and i'm not even done!)

Chapter 3 (double update btw)

“I know you’ll say ‘confidential’ but…what was your last mission?†Dai asked as he sat at the table next to Cooper. “I think I should know if we’ll be working together.â€Â

“We won’t be working together.†She tipped the contents of her Chinese food onto her plate. Beef and rice. “I’m just training you.â€Â

“Can you tell me anyway?â€Â

“If I do, will you stop pestering me about it?†The younger teen nodded as he forked a chunk of chicken into his mouth. Cooper sighed. “There isn’t much to say really. All I had to do was break into a base, on a so called ‘abandoned’ island somewhere off the coast of northern Scotland, and steal a vile.†She shrugged. “Poorly guarded. You could’ve done itâ€Â

“Do you get weapons? Y’know. Guns and stuff?â€Â

She shook her head. “I’ve been using gadgets since I was twelve, I work better with them. But I do carry a knife around.â€Â

“Ever killed anyone?â€Â

“Ever stop asking questions?†She glared at him then sighed. “Plenty of people.â€Â

“First kill?†She stopped eating and looked at him for a moment. She could remember it like it was yesterday. The intense heat, the low rumble from the boiler, the clanging on the metal platform as their feet came into contact with it, and the final scream.

“Thirteen. But it was an accident.†She sighed and hoped Dai wouldn’t ask her about it, but she could see the curiosity in his eyes. “It was a few months before your father died. We were in France or Italy or something. We found out from a source that there was something going on in a biomedical lab, I can’t remember what exactly. Anyway.†She paused. “Your dad managed to track down the leader, some snooty French bloke, a fight broke out. I made a run for it. His freaky assistant came after me and I was cornered in the boiler room. The pressure had dramatically risen and it was going to blow sky high. I was cornered on the edge of the platform where the stairs had been blown off by an exploding pipe. We fought. Me with my limited martial arts skills and him…well he was better than me.†She looked up at Dai who had eagerly leaned forward inch by inch as she spoke. “It was over in a flash. He left himself open and I kicked him in the chest. He stumbled back into the railings and they gave in under his weight. He fell.†She moved her hands under the table when she realized she was shaking. She couldn’t let Dai see. Dai sat in silence, staring at his plate. He had noticed her shaking and the slight quiver in her voice as she finished her story. He could imagine what it was like. The only picture in his head was of a shadowed figure falling backwards. He shuddered and looked at Cooper. Her eyes had softened as she drifted back into her memory. He knew then he should stop asking questions about her.

“When does training start?â€Â

“Hm?†She snapped back to the real world. “Training? When Jeff gives the all clear.†She then noticed the worried look on his face. She smirked. “You should be worried. I won’t be going easy on you because you’re a rookie.â€Â

Dai dragged himself out of bed the next morning. He barely slept a wink. All he could think about was Cooper’s first ‘kill’ and wondered when his would be. Would it be an accident too? Or would he drive a knife into someone’s stomach? He changed to a pair of blue GAP jeans with a rip across the knee, a plain white shirt and a gray hooded sweatshirt. The scene was the same as the morning before. Cooper stood at the cooker in baggy pants and shirt talking to Jeff on the video phone while she made breakfast. There was no sizzling or spitting this time though.
“It’s toast today, kid.†She looked over her shoulder at him. “I’m out of eggs and bacon.â€Â

“Need anything else?†Jeff asked.

“I’ll email you a list.†Jeff nodded, waved then the screen flickered off. Cooper looked to Dai again. “Cheese on toast, you like it right?â€Â

“Yep.†He nodded and smiled, he thought he saw a small smile on Cooper’s face too as she turned back to the cooker. Moments later they were eating.

“Did you sleep ok? You look knackered.â€Â

“Homesick.†He lied.

“Just don’t fall asleep in front of your tutor.†She smirked. “Or I’ll make you swim lengths in your clothes.â€Â

Dai suddenly felt awake. He knew how hard it would be to swim in his clothes and hoped he could stay awake until lunch. He bit into his toast and tore it apart. He found himself imagining what life as a spy would be like. Going to exotic places, meeting dangerous people, all the adventures he’ll have.

“Dai!†Cooper yelled.

“Huh? What?†He gave her a confused look. She frowned.

“I said I want to test your martial arts skills today. Ok?â€Â

“Sure.†He nodded. He had done martial arts since he was five and had earned a black belt in karate. Suddenly, Dai felt worried. He knew Cooper would be trained in all arts, not just karate. He was screwed and he knew it.

Finally, it was twelve o clock! Sue was heading for the door when she stopped and looked at Dai.
“Could you get Cooper for me? I’d like a word.â€Â

“Sure.†He got up from his seat and dashed up the stairs. He slowly walked down the hallway to Cooper’s gym. It sounded quiet. He knocked but got no answer. He turned the knob and opened the door slowly, peering onside. The floor was just one big blue mat, except for one corner where a punching dummy was. The walls were a pale white and all around the room there was exercise equipment, from a treadmill to weights. But there was no Cooper. He closed the door and thought for a moment, and then looking down the hall past his room was Cooper’s study. Would she be in there? He slowly made his way over and knocked. Again he got no answer. He tried the knob and was surprised to find it open. He peered in and found Cooper. Her back was to him and she seemed to be writing. There were earphones in her ears and she seemed to mouth some words, writing them down on a pad then looking from one book she had to another. Dai stepped into the room. Cooper was sat at a brown oak polished desk with three draws on each side; she was sat on an old computer chair. The floor was wood and a few boards creaked under Dai’s weight. The walls was also wood that was sanded down. It was covered in pictures, postcards, letters and other bits of paper. There were three ceiling to floor bookshelves dotted around the room full of atlases, maps, history books and fiction. Dai looked around as he made his way to Cooper. He peered over her shoulder and saw her reading through a Japanese linguistic book and Japanese for dummies. A board creaked. Next thing Dai knew there was a knife to his neck. It was a long knife with a black handle. Dai could see his reflection in the blade and a single bead of sweat ran down his face. Cooper had moved quickly and he never saw where the knife came from. Cooper pulled out an earphone.

“I told you not to come in here, you’re lucky I didn’t aim lower.†She frowned. “What do you want?â€Â

“S-Sue wants to talk to you.†His voice shook. Cooper slid the knife under the desk and stood, turning off the CD player. Dai wondered if there was a compartment under the desk for her knife. He followed Cooper out, closing the door behind him. She stopped outside their rooms.

“Wait in your room.†Her voice was cold and full of venom. She didn’t look at him. Dai quickly opened the door and closed it behind him. He pressed his ear against it and waited for Cooper’s footsteps to disappear down the steps. He quietly opened the door again and stepped out. He tip-toed down the hall to the top of the stairs, pressed his back against the wall and peaked down the steps.

“Why so soon?†He heard Cooper ask.

“Jeffery hasn’t heard from Team Alfa since they left. He’s worried and said he might have to send you out.â€Â

“With Dai? I’m not doing that, he can stay at HQ.†There was a short pause. “Why didn’t he say anything this morning?â€Â

“I’m not sure. Perhaps he didn’t want Dai to overhear.â€Â

“Perhaps. Well tell him to keep me posted.â€Â

“Will do. And one more thing.â€Â


“Don’t be too hard on him.â€Â

“No promises.â€Â

Dai could picture the smirk on Coopers face as she said that. He quickly tip-toed back to his room and sat on his bed. He hoped Cooper hadn’t noticed him at the top of the stairs or he’d be swimming lengths, or worse. The door opened and Cooper stepped in. She still didn’t look pleased with him, but he hadn’t had time to explain.

“C’mon, it’s time for training.â€Â

Chapter 4

Dai stopped on the gritted path and looked at his map. Cooper had woken him up in the early hours and dumped him in the middle of nowhere. Why didn’t he memorize the route they had taken? Simple. He didn’t see it; he was blindfolded and didn’t see where they were driving to.

“If I catch you looking I’ll slash your arm.†She had said as she passed him the blindfold and held up her favorite knife to prove her point. It was a scare tactic that had proven most useful and Dai had no doubts that she’d use it again. He sighed. When they had stopped she marched him up a steep hill and left him in a cluster of trees. At least she had left a ‘You are here’ mark on his map. She also left his old school bag he had brought over with a few bottles of water and his map inside it. He never realized she’d gone until he took his blindfold off, ten minutes later! Now his was stood, possibly lost, on a grit path between two large fields which were fenced off. He found an old tree stump and sat down.

“Evil woman…†He grumbled and took a large gulp of water. He was convinced she had something against him. He thought it was at least the afternoon, his stomach kept crying out for lunch and the breakfast he had missed. If he knew she would leave him in the middle of nowhere he would have had seconds, maybe thirds at dinner the evening before. He was surprised he didn’t. Cooper had worked him like a dog and he thought they would be sparring all night. But Cooper had finished it swiftly. He had thrown his foot at her in a roundhouse kick and she caught it with a smirk. Next thing he knew he was spinning in midair for a few seconds before landing hard on his back. It had winded him.

“You need to be better than that, kid.†She stood leaning over him. Her hair was flowing towards him, like a waterfall, over one shoulder. It never seemed to get in her way when they sparred.

“I’ll show you ‘better’†Dai growled and stood. He took one last look at his map, plotting his route and continued on.

Cooper sat on the sofa with an amused smirk on her face. She had slipped a tiny camera on his bag and could see every move he made on her video phone. The sky had darkened and the rain fell. Cooper couldn’t help but laugh since Dai hadn’t taken a coat, and it was typical British weather.

“Maybe you should go get him.†Jeff’s face appeared. Dai’s adventure had shrunk into the bottom corner.

“Alan never came for me.†She smirked. “Like teacher like student.â€Â

“Yes.†Jeff sighed. “Did you at least tell him about the alarm system?â€Â

“Oops.†The smirk remained and she shrugged.


“Hey, I’m just doing it the way Alan did. Ok?†She frowned. “Besides, I never asked for him to be thrown into my life.â€Â

“Neither did Alan.â€Â

“Hey!†She snapped. “He chose to take me in under his wing. I never asked him to.â€Â

“Calm down Cooper, I’m sorry.†He looked at her silently for a moment. “Do you at least have a soft spot for him?â€Â

Cooper was taken by surprise, she never expected Jeff to ask such a question. He knew her too well. She turned her head from him. “He’s fun to torment, that’s all.â€Â

“I see.†She missed the quick smile. “Just don’t give him hell when he gets hurt, ok?â€Â

“Fine.†She grunted. Jeff disappeared and Dai’s adventure became full size again.

The day was disappearing and night began to creep over Dai. He had somehow taken a wrong turn and all seemed lost…including him. He ran out of water a few hours ago and he was dieing for a drink, he was still soaked through to the skin from the rain and his stomach ached from hunger. He rubbed his arms to try and keep himself warm and fell to his knees. He wanted his mother to appear and tell him everything was ok, that she was waiting at home for him. But he knew she wasn’t, so why should he bother?

“You need to be better than that, kid.â€Â

Cooper’s face flashed in front of his eyes and he suddenly found new strength. He forced himself to his feet and looked around. The he saw it. The house. It was just two hundred meters across an over grown field, he could do it! He stumbled down a small slope and ran through the tall grass; it was up to his shoulders. Suddenly he was finding it difficult to move his feet. The rain had made the ground boggy and it was sucking him under like quicksand. Every move he made seemed to zap his energy more and more. He felt like giving in but he was almost there he could see…a steep slope. He groaned and cursed under his breath. The slope was only a two meter diagonal climb with a brown wooden fence at the top. Dai willed himself up and hauled himself over the fence into the bushes. He lay still for a moment, catching his breath and regaining his strength. Then he sat up and pulled himself to his feet with the help of the fence. The house looked unusually welcoming. Dai stepped onto the grass and something hit the ground inches away from his foot. He looked to his right where a long metal pole had risen from the bushes with a camera and laser on the end. The camera made a whirring noise as it zoomed in. Dai didn’t think twice, he didn’t even think as he leapt back over the fence and tumbled down the backing. The second laser beam had missed him by a hair. Dai slowly sat up, holding back the tears. Now his was cold, wet and muddy. He cursed THD, he cursed Cooper’s training and he cursed Cooper. He wanted to go home and never see Cooper or THD again! He pulled himself back up and over the fence again. He laid low on his stomach and began to crawl through the bushes towards the side of the house. From there, he’d run into the conservatory by the pool and be home free. He peered above the bushes. All the lights were out and he couldn’t see any movement in the conservatory. He looked around once more and made a dash for safety.

Cooper was ready and waiting. She had her hands and feet out sideways in the rafters between two beams and she could stay there all day if she needed to. She was dressed in her favorite black outfit, minus the boots, with her knife tucked into its sheath and clipped to her side. She heard the conservatory door burst open and smirked.

“Cooper!†Dai yelled into the house. “Cooper where are you!?†She watched from above as he stepped into the room and stop just above her, looking up the stairs. He then walked to the dining table towards the kitchen. That’s when Cooper made her move. She let her hands go first and had enough room to flip once in the air before landing. She landed quietly and slowly stood, drawing her knife and holding the blade between her fingers. She turned at the same time as Dai, throwing her knife. She knew what she was doing and knew the knife would miss. It flew over Dai’s shoulder and into the wall. Dai looked at Cooper for a moment, shocked. He felt his knees shake and give way and just kneeled there in disbelief. Cooper nearly killed him again! He hung his head and felt the rage boil up inside. Cooper had walked past him and collected her knife from the wall.

“Almost kid.†She walked towards the front door and switched on the lights. She turned back to Dai and saw him kneeling on the floor; his head hung low and clenched fists in front of him. She knew he had been caught in the rain and had fallen down the banking, but now she knew how terrible he looked. “Dai?â€Â

“I hate you!†He suddenly yelled and looked up at her with tears streaming down his face. She didn’t look surprised. “I hate you! Everything about you! I haven’t done anything to you and you treat me like dirt!†He took a few breaths to calm himself down and wiped away the tears. “I want to go home!â€Â

Cooper just stood there and watched him, taking in everything he had said. It was a de ja vu, except Dai wasn’t her and she wasn’t Alan. She thought for a moment. What had he said to her?

“I ran you a bath.†She repeated Alan in the exact same dry tone of voice. “Get in and I’ll make you some dinner.â€Â

“What…?†Dai looked at her in disbelief. “A-a bath?â€Â

“Yes. Get in before it gets cold.†She walked over and pulled him to his feet. He dropped the bag and staggered up the stairs. The bathroom door was open a crack and steam swirled into the hallway. He pushed it open fully and stepped inside. Cooper had run him a bath and it looked steaming hot and inviting. He stripped off, leaving his muddy clothes on the floor and slowly sunk into the water. He looked around. The floor and the bath were black marble while the walls where white and the sink, cabinet and toilet were a light silver. On the toilet seat was a clean pair of blue boxers, a towel and a dark blue robe. He wanted to sit in the bath until it was cold, but he cleaned himself up and was out in about fifteen minutes. He dried off, put on his boxers and robe then headed downstairs.

“Feeling better?†Cooper was stood by the cooker watching Dai as he sat down. He didn’t answer her. She sighed and opened the over door. Next thing Dai knew there was whole meat feast pizza under his nose.

“You’re not having any?â€Â

“Meat feast? Yuck, no.†She rested an arm on the back of the chair as she sat down. She watched Dai rip into his food like he hadn’t eaten in weeks. “Now that you’ve calmed down a little.†She paused. “Do you really want to leave? ‘Cause if you do I can call Jeff now and he can arrange foster care or whatever for you like that.†She snapped her fingers emphasizing her point. “You’re only here ‘cause your old man wanted you to be apart of THD.â€Â

Dai licked his top lip and thought for a moment. What he had said was all through rage, he didn’t really hate Cooper…just disliked her. He shook his head. “No…I don’t want to go.â€Â

She nodded and sat back. She didn’t seem disappointed or pleased about his decision “Ok then.â€Â


Re: Virus

great job. I like the twist in chapter 4. Hope you write more.


blue 3
Re: Virus

Probably the best short story I've seen submitted so far. You've got a nice writing style; I really like the way you incorpoerate everything together. Keep up the great work; can't wait to read more.

You've got a lot of talent; keep it up!


Ms. Malone
Re: Virus

Thankies to all who reviewed (i like getting reviews ^_^)

Chapter 5
“Remember to keep your arm steady, Cooper.†The older man smiled at the young green eyed girl. “And don’t leave yourself open.†He spun a knife around his finger in one swift movement and jabbed at his opponent, stopping inches from her face. She had raised her weapon to defend herself, but at the same time squeezed her eyes shut. He chuckled. “You told me you knew how to fight with a knife.â€Â

“I do!†Cooper opened her eyes and jumped back.

“You’re not lying to me, are you?†She didn’t answer. “Sarah.†He scolded.

“Little bit…†She whimpered. He gently took the knife from her and knelt down.

“Well, we’ll just keep practicing until it’s perfect.†He smiled and ran a hand through her hair. She flinched. “You’re safe with me, ok?â€Â

“And you’ll never leave me?â€Â

“No.†He shook his head. “Never.â€Â

“I’m sorry…†A younger Jeff stood over Cooper. “Sarah, he’s not coming back.â€Â

“You’re lying! He said he’d never leave!†She clenched her fists.

“Sarah…†Jeff pleaded.

“Don’t call me Sarah! Only he can call me Sarah!†She took a deep breath.
“Alan!†Cooper bolted upright. She looked around, seeing she was back in her room and dropped back onto the bed. She felt something trickle down her face and wiped it away. She hated crying. She sighed deeply. Since Dai had moved in she’d had the same dream, it was starting to rattle her nerves. She looked to the door. Did Dai hear? She waited a moment and decided he didn’t. She looked at her watch. Six AM. A fifty-five minute workout then she’ll knock Dai up. She pulled herself from bed, changed into her black pants and shirt, pulled her sheathed knife from under her pillow and headed to the gym, quietly closing the door behind her. She pulled her knife free and began to slash the air, pretending there was a person there. She’d let the knife spin from one hand to the other, slash a few more times and switch back. She’d throw it the air, perform a few quick kicks and catch the knife by the handle. Cooper was skilled. Alan would be proud. At five to seven Cooper strolled out of the gym, spinning the knife around her finger. She raised her fist to the door then stopped. She stood still for a moment then lowered it. She’ll leave Dai alone today.

Dai woke to the sound of a vacuum cleaner. He rubbed his eyes and sat up, looking at the door. It seemed to be coming from the hallway.

“Since when does Cooper vac’?†He walked over to the door and opened it, just as a plump woman passed. She was a bit taller than Dai with short thick curly hair and tanned skin, much like his own. She was wearing a blue cleaner’s outfit, black shoes and white socks. She looked over her shoulder at him and turned the vacuum off.

“Ah, you must be Dai!†She smiled and spoke with a slight Spanish accent. Her dark brown eyes studied every inch of him. “Sarah was right; you do look like your papa!â€Â

“Sarah?†Dai blinked. “I think you have the wrong house.â€Â

“Oh dear, I’ll never get used to calling her Cooper.†The woman giggled. “I’m Anita, the cleaner. I’ve known S-Cooper and your papa for years!â€Â

“Where is Cooper?â€Â

“In her room, she seems very upset about something.†Anita looked to the door. “I hope you can soften her up, Dai. Maybe then she could enjoy life a little bit.â€Â

“Doubt it.†He mumbled and knocked on the door. When he didn’t get an answer he slowly opened it and stepped in. He quietly closed the door over to drown out Anita’s cleaning and stepped further into the room. The doors to the balcony were wide open, letting in the spring breeze. Cooper was stood leaning against the railings, looking out into the field. Rather than move closer and startle her Dai decided to keep his distance. “Cooper…â€Â

“Hm?†She looked ever her shoulder. “Afternoon Dai.â€Â

“Afternoon?†He walked over and stood next to her. She looked out to the field again.

“Yeah. It’s just about midday.†Her voice seemed unusually soft as she spoke and she didn’t look as threatening, even with her knife at her side. Dai followed her gaze to the field and shuddered, remembering the incident the night before. He pushed it to the back of his mind.

“You let me sleep in…â€Â

“Thought you’d be tired after yesterday, and it’s not like Sue’s coming today either.†The pair was silent. A gentle breeze danced around them and swayed the long grass. A butterfly fluttered by and Cooper tilted her head to the side, admiring the blue of its wings.

“Where did you meet dad?†Dai didn’t turn his head to her and she didn’t turn her head to him. She smirked.

“Police station.†She shook her head and chuckled. “He scared the hell out of me.â€Â

“How come?â€Â

“Your dad was huge! Build like a brick wall and just as tall.†A laugh brushed past her lips. “He must have been visiting someone there, a copper probably; I was in the cells making such a racket.â€Â

“You were arrested?†Dai looked at her. “What for?â€Â

“Shoplifting. A kid’s got to eat.†She laughed again. Dai stared at her, she was laughing and smiling. He wondered how long it had been since she laughed like that.

“So what happened?â€Â


“So what’s a sweet little thing like you doing in here?†He smiled.

“I’m not little!†Cooper kicked the bars. “You’re just bigger than me!â€Â

Alan turned to the policeman behind him. Short blonde hair, green eyes and still in uniform. “How old is she?â€Â

“Eleven. Darren managed to catch her when she ran out of a shop.†He scratched the back of his head. “She bit him, he’s ok though.â€Â

“So what’s your name?†Alan turned back to Cooper.

“It’s Cooper.†She smirked.

The officer butted in again. “She’s been on the streets for about a year. Parent’s don’t want anything to do with her, and it’s taken this long to catch her.â€Â

She slammed her hands against the bars. “Le’ me out, y’asshole!â€Â

Alan started to laugh and knelt down in front of her. “I’ll look after her.â€Â

“Really? You sure you have the time?†The policeman blinked. Cooper looked from one to the other, confused.

“I’m sure I can take some time off.†Alan smiled again. “Jeff will understand.â€Â

Dai laughed. “You called a cop an asshole? And dad just laughed?â€Â

“Yeah, he had a good sense of humor, didn’t like me swearing though.â€Â

“What did he do when you did?â€Â

“It only happened once but…he drained the swimming pool and made me clean it with a toothbrush. Never swore in front of him after that.†She sighed, resting her chin in her hand. “Want to go out for lunch?â€Â


She shrugged. “Where ever you want. Today’s your day off, but tomorrow training starts again.â€Â

“I want to stay home.†He looked at Cooper. “Have you heard from Jeff today?â€Â

“You mean about Alpha?†He nodded. “Yep, they were working under cover, but they’ve managed to pull away long enough to make a report. They think the leader is somewhere in Spain. Ah well.â€Â

“Were you looking forward to going out?â€Â

“Yeah, but there’s still time.†She shrugged.

“I’m sorry…†He looked out into the field again. “I didn’t want to come but…it sounded better than adoption…â€Â

“It’s alright…but if you think about it, it’s kind of the same. You’re still living with a total stranger.â€Â

“At least you’ll talk about my dad…mum wouldn’t.â€Â

“It’s not my place to know, nor is it to ask but…how did she die?â€Â

“An illness.†He paused. “It hit her so quickly she didn’t have time to get treatment. The doctors thought she caught it off a chemical at work.†He sighed. Cooper placed a hand on his shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze.

“I guess we both lost someone we loved suddenly…â€Â

Chapter 6
Beyond the islands of Ibiza and Formentera, out of sight and reach to the tourists there is an unnamed island. At the summit of this island is a magnificent clean white stone mansion. Two floors up and twenty six rooms long, eight of them bathrooms. It could pass as a hotel or a holiday resort, but it wasn’t. Within it, on the ground floor in the oversized study sat what looked to be a child with a skin decease. The child was actually forty with gray wrinkled skin, yellow eyes and long white hair that was tied back, dressed in a blue captain’s suit and black shoes. He sat on a dark brown chair, his legs dangling over the edge, and sipped a glass of red wine while observing the ocean, listening to it crash against the island. The door opened and a large muscular man squeezed into the study. He had short shaggy red hair on his square head and his eyes could barely be seen under his huge eyebrows. His clothes were a pair of black jeans, boots and a plain white shirt that molded into the muscles of his body. He stood hunched over with his arms dangling in front. He looked more like an ape than a human.

“Mr. Poseidon.†He spoke slowly. “Those um…people…um…they were taken care of.†He laughed dumbly.

“Good. I was worried I was starving the poor little fish.†Poseidon smirked. He didn’t seem to have an accent.

“They were really hungry.†The ape laughed again.

“I’m sure they were, Larry.†He sipped his wine. “But I have no doubts more will come.â€Â


“Agents, Larry, agents.†Poseidon sighed. “We have some time before whoever sent them realizes they’re dead. And I’m positive they’ve figured out the vile they stole is a fake.†He cackled. “It was nothing more than grape juice! But now it’s time to put the virus into full swing…but I need a test subject…â€Â

“Please, not me Mr. Poseidon.†Larry pleaded.

“Of course it won’t be you. But it might have to be one of the other technicians…†He thought for a moment. “We’ll just see how things play out. If I can’t find a subject, the sample will go out untested.â€Â

“You’re really smart, Mr. Poseidon.â€Â

“I know.†He sipped his wine. “I know.â€Â

At THD HQ Jeff was ready to pull out whatever hair he had left. They had received a stress signal from Team Alpha but lost it moments later. Jeff was sat at his desk staring at a single blue button. The button, when pressed only by him, would link him to Cooper’s video phone. It was the emergency button. Any other time he needed her he used a computer. He was unsure what to do, unsure of the situation Alpha was in. Were they in danger and hiding? Or were they already dead? One of the agents that escorted Cooper from Scotland had stepped into the office.

“Sir, we need a decision.â€Â

“I know, I know!†He ran a hand over his head and looked at the button once more. He pressed it and turned to the plasma screen behind him. It flickered to life and he could see Cooper pinning Dai to the mat. “Cooper!â€Â

“Jeff?†She was off Dai and in front on the phone in a split second. Dai peered over her shoulder, rubbing his arm. “What’s the matter?â€Â

“It’s Team Alpha. Report to HQ immediately for briefing.â€Â

“What about Dai?â€Â

“We’ll sort him out when you get here.†The screen flickered and he disappeared. Dai watched Cooper as she picked up her knife, spin it around her finger and drop it into the sheath in one movement. She looked at him. The serious look had returned to her face and her eyes had a dangerous glimmer in them. The old Cooper was back.

“Time to go.â€Â

When they arrived they were instantly sent up to Jeff’s office. Dai found himself looking at very serious Jeff and sat next to a more serious Cooper. Jeff stood and leaned forward, resting his hands firmly against the desk.

“At four o clock this morning.†He began. “We received a stress signal from Team Alpha. The signal only lasted for a few minutes, but it was enough to pin point the location.†He turned to the screen where Spain and a few islands appeared. One was glowing red. “We believe this is where Alpha was when they sent the signal.â€Â

“Isn’t that unmanned?†Cooper asked.

“That’s what we thought.†Jeff picked up a remote and the screen changed. “These satellite pictures show a mansion at the peak of the island. Some is living there.†He turned to Cooper. “I’m sure you can guess what your mission is.â€Â

“To, if possible, to retrieve Team Alpha and finish what they set out to do.†Cooper replied professionally. “What happened to the sample I stole?â€Â

“Well…one of the technicians accidentally dropped the vile; when the alarms didn’t sound we knew something was fishy.â€Â

“It was a fake?†Dai asked.

“Yes. It was grape juice.†Jeff coughed nervously. “Now Cooper, report to Bubbles for your gadgets and then we’ll send you on your way.â€Â

“Where to?â€Â

“I’m sorry Cooper. Ibiza is closest.†Dai looked to Cooper. She sat back with her arms crossed and eyes closed for a moment, then opened them again.

“It’s fine. Set me up in a small hotel, I can’t draw attention to myself that way.†She stood and looked at Dai. “What about him?â€Â

“I suppose he can keep Bubbles company while you’re gone.†Jeff rubbed his chin in thought. “And we have rooms here.â€Â

“Good. C’mon Dai.†She headed for the door on the left. Dai quickly followed her down a corridor full of technicians and agents. They turned down another corridor where it was silent.

“Who’s Bubbles?â€Â

“He makes my gadgets and agents navigation systems, cars, motorcycles that kind of stuff.â€Â

“How did he get the name ‘Bubbles’?†The pair came up to a huge gray door that opened automatically.

“I probably gave it him.†Cooper shrugged and walked inside. The room was full of gadgets and blueprints for other gadgets all over the tables. “Yo, Bubbles!â€Â

“Cooper?†A tall man with short black and blue eyes hidden behind thin glasses stood up from under a desk. He had a magnifier attached to his glasses that made his eyes look bigger. He had a black suit on underneath his white lab coat. “Ah! It is you!†He smiled. “I have your gadgets all ready for you!†He walked over to a large metal cabinet and opened it. “First off we have this lovely blue denim jacket and baggy blue denim pants.â€Â

“Denim?†Cooper raised a brow.

“Not you I know, but when you close up the jacket and dive into the water it’ll become water proof. The pants will tighten too and also become water proof.â€Â

“What about after the swim?â€Â

“They dry instantly.†He smiled. “You like?â€Â

“Apart from the denim bit…yeah.†Dai observed Bubbles as he handed the clothes to Cooper, who stepped behind a screen to put them on.

“What else you got?†She stepped back out, pulling on the jacket.

“This!†He pulled a brown hair slide from his pocket.

“A hair slide?†Dai raised a brow.

“The ribs change shape in any lock!†He smiled. “No bad guy would ever suspect it!â€Â

“Nice!†Cooper slid it into her boot. She didn’t like to put them in her hair unless she had to.

“There’s a navigation system in the inside pocket of your jacket.â€Â

“Cheers.†She pushed Dai towards him. “This is Dai; he’ll be hanging with you.†She turned to the door.

“One more thing, Cooper.†Bubbles held up a thick gun and handed it to her. “A new grappling gun!†She nodded and left.

“I have to go with her!†Dai looked at Bubbles.

“What? You can’t!â€Â

“Please, I have a really bad feeling about all this.â€Â

Bubbles looked around and sighed. “You don’t tell Cooper it was me!â€Â


Re: Virus

wow, nice imagination for the gadgets. great description of "Bubbles"


Ms. Malone
Re: Virus

Chapter 7
The Orosol Hotel was a great white seven floored building between a sorry looking stadium with only one stand and a bike hire shop. Cooper stood across from it at a roundabout with a single bag flung over her shoulder. Memories came flooding back all at once. She shook them away and looked towards the Orosol bar. It seemed quiet. A warm breeze swayed the yellow canopy and the lush green leaves on the tree outside it. She yawned as she crossed the street. She had been on a long four hour flight on a private jet, and then another hour in a private car from the airport. Cooper could’ve slept at anytime, but she’d spent the time researching. Sleep is for the weak. She stepped into the small, yet cool, reception area. To her left was a small seating area, to her right was the bar and in front was the stairs stone stairs and lift. She took a small left corner to the reception desk where a young girl with long black hair, tanned skin and brown eyes sat. She was dressed in a dark blue shirt and black pants. She smiled at Cooper.

“How may I help you?â€Â

“My name is Cooper Ray; I’ve booked a room here.â€Â

“Just a moment.†The girl flicked through a book and nodded. “Yes it’s here. Would you like to pay for air conditioning and safe now?â€Â

“Yes please.†Cooper pulled out a roll of Euros given to her by THD. They were always prepared. She paid and was handed a card and a small key.

“The card is for the door. You put it in the slot, wait then pull it out.†The woman said slowly. “Next to the door is another slot, put the key in there for electricity. Someone has been and taken your bags upstairs.â€Â

“Alright, cheers.†Cooper smiled as politely as she could in her tired state and made her was upstairs to the fourth floor. She opened the door and placed the card in the plastic case next to the door. The room was a white box with white tiles on the floor, a double bed with thin brown sheets and a cream bedside table. Across from the bed were a cream desk and a chair, to left of that a brown open wardrobe and a tiny cream table next to the sliding door leading to the balcony. Cooper headed into the bathroom to her left and stopped at the door. She raised a brow and turned to look at the bed. There was an extra suitcase and she remembered packing one. She walked over to the large black case and frowned, she knew what type of case it was and what it did. She knew it held a small tank of oxygen inside somewhere, and the case kept the heat in. Why Dai hadn’t gotten out when he arrived, she didn’t know. She kicked it over and heard a grunt as it hit the floor.

“Get out Dai!†The case slowly opened and Dai sat up, he stretched and yawned then looked at Cooper.

“Uh oh…†Cooper grabbed him by the shirt and dragged him out onto the balcony. From there she grabbed his neck and leaned him over the railing. “N-no Cooper! Please!†He grabbed her arm, fearing she’ll let go.

“I told you to stay at THD!†She growled.

“I-I’m sorry! But I was worried.†He glanced over his shoulder then looked back at her. “Please, don’t drop me…â€Â

“Get in there!†She pulled him up and pushed him back into the room. He landed on the bed and just lay there quietly. Cooper closed the door, leaving it open enough for her to get back in, and sat on one of the plastic chairs. She took a few deep breaths before pulling out her video phone, hitting the emergency button. Jeff’s face instantly appeared.

“You’ve just arrived, what’s gone wrong?†He asked with a worried tone.

“Dai. He stowed away, I want you to come get him.â€Â

“Ah.†Jeff looked away. “I don’t think we can, for the sake of causing suspicion.â€Â

“What!?†Dai heard Cooper yell. He sighed and rubbed his neck; she had gripped it pretty tight and probably left a mark. He dug around in his pocket and pulled out a blue and white super ball, a pen and another brown hair slide.

“Remember.†Bubbles looked at Dai with his magnified eyes. “Turn the blue side clockwise once and throw it, it’s a smoke bomb. Useful for get a ways.â€Â

“Right…†Dai bounced it on the floor, it shot up, hit the ceiling and landed in Dai’s hand. He blinked. “Sweet.â€Â

“Just be careful with that, as you can see it’s very bouncy.†Bubbles held out a black pen. “Laser pen. Point the nip at something and press and hold the top. I can also be used as a regular pen.†He smiled.

“Ok.†Dai pocketed it and frowned when the slide was produced. “No way! It’s a girl’s accessory!â€Â

“Then keep it spare, for Cooper.â€Â

“Fine!†He snatched it and instantly pocketed it. “So how am I getting there?â€Â

“THD have clothes for Cooper here, so she’ll be packing. The bags are sent to the destination by torpedo…well it’s not much of a torpedo but you know what I mean. They’re sent a head of her so there’s no extra baggage in the way if something goes wrong. And that’s where this beauty comes in.†He pulled out the black suitcase and smiled. “Cooper used something similar once. It has a built in oxygen tank so you won’t suffocate and it’ll keep you warm too.â€Â

“Won’t the weight be a give away?†Dai raised a brow.

“They’ll just think Cooper’s packed a load of weapons or something.†Bubbles shrugged.

Dai sighed and slowly sat up. He looked at the door for a moment before risking facing Cooper again. He stepped out into the warm air and sat down on the spare plastic seat. Cooper was staring into the stadium.

“I guess there’s a pre-season match on.†Dai managed to say.

“I guess.â€Â

“Do…you like football?â€Â

“I like watching the local team when I have a spare weekend, yeah. But that’s not often.†She sighed. “I bet you don’t have any clothes, do you?â€Â

“It’s not like I had time to go home and pack.†He almost snapped.

“Jeff’s sending some over, they’ll be here in the morning.†She yawned.

Dai frowned. “So you were getting at me about it for no reason?â€Â

“Pretty much.â€Â

“What is your damn problem!?†He jumped to his feet. “First you hate me, then you’re nice, then you try to kill me; three times! Then you’re nice again and then you get at me for no reason!â€Â

“My ‘damn problem’ is that you can’t follow a single command!†She stood and took a step towards him. “I told you to stay at THD so you wouldn’t get killed! You’re not ready to be out on a mission, I don’t want to see.†She stopped.

“See what?â€Â

“Nothing. Forget it.†She slipped past him into the room. He heard her open her case and then the bathroom door closing.

“Oh dear, that sounded like a terrible fight.†Dai looked at Cooper’s video phone and picked it up.

“Hey Jeff…â€Â

“She’s right though, Dai. You’re not ready.â€Â

“I know…†He sat down again. “I’m…I’m just scared, that’s all.â€Â

“So is she.â€Â

“She is?â€Â

Jeff nodded. “When she looks at you, she sees Alan. She doesn’t want a repeat of what happened last time. Ibiza was your father’s last mission and Cooper blames herself for not following him like you did.â€Â

“I see, so when she gets at me…she’s just scared.â€Â

“That’s right.†He smiled. “But I’m on your side; there was no need for her to dangle you over the balcony edge. Are you ok?â€Â

“I think she left her mark, but yeah. I’m ok.â€Â

“Ok then.†He nodded. “Have fun while Cooper’s on her mission, and try to keep on her softer side. As you’ve found out, she has a very short fuse.â€Â

“Very.†He laughed. “Later Jeff.†The screen flickered and Dai carried the phone inside, leaving it on the side desk. He picked up his gadgets and put them back in his pocket. He could hear the shower running in the bathroom and watched the door for a moment.

When Cooper was finished showering she stood at the sink drying her hair, in nothing more than her silk pajama shorts. She sighed and draped the towel over her shoulder and looked in the mirror.

“Same hotel, near enough the same time…†She sighed. “Which one of us is going to die?†She felt eyes sting and rubbed them with her finger. She wouldn’t allow herself to cry. She brushed her hair and pulled on her shirt before leaving the bathroom. Dai was lying on the bed and seemed to be asleep. Cooper pulled out a laptop from the bag she brought along and sat down at the desk. She worked as quietly as she could, but felt the sudden need to eat. When had she last eaten? Before she left? No. It was before she was training with Dai, hours ago. She ignored the growl of her stomach and continued working, looking at satellite photos and reports sent by Alpha.



“Where are you sleeping?†He sat up and rubbed one of his eyes sleepily.

“I’m not sleeping tonight; I have stuff to read through.â€Â

“You have to sleep. What if something happens tomorrow and you’re too tired to do anything?â€Â

She looked at him. He had taken off his trousers and was sleeping in his boxers and shirt. “I’ll sleep in a bit, ok? Get some rest.†She heard him lie back down but knew he was watching her, she could feel his eyes fixed on her. Eventually she decided to call it a night. She lay on top of the covers, while Dai had curled up under them, and stared at the ceiling. She turned her head to Dai and saw he was fast asleep. She gently brushed a bit of hair from his face.

“I don’t want to see you get hurt.†She whispered.

Chapter 8
The long white boat bobbed about gently in the Mediterranean. The sun was bright and warm and the sea was calm. Dai sat on the deck in a chair looking out at the water, willing himself not to look at Cooper. She was in a one piece swimsuit with a section cut out around her stomach and had her hair braided. Dai knew she was slender but he had no idea how good she looked without the baggy clothes. She had convinced him to wear a pair of blue trunks.

“Cooper, why are we out here?â€Â

She peered over her dark sunglasses at him. “Checking out the island from a distance. Stupid.â€Â

He frowned. “Then why aren’t we closer?â€Â

“Safer to observe from a distance.†She looked back to the cliffs of the island where the mansion was perched on top. Her sunglasses had binoculars built into them. It wasn’t a gadget made especially for her, all agents had them. Through the lens, in the bottom corner, showed how far they were zoomed in. She could almost see into the house, even from five hundred meters away. Just like Dai couldn’t look at her, she couldn’t look at him, but for a whole different reason. When she had awoke that morning she found her arms around him. She had actually considered, for a split second, to stay like that. She felt comfortable.

“I can’t get involved.†She thought. “Nor can I let my feelings get in the way of the mission.â€Â

“Hey Cooper…†Dai risked looking at her. “Can I ask you personal question?â€Â

“I guess so…†She sighed.

“Have you…have you ever had a boyfriend?†He readied himself for any form of attack that might come his way. It’s not his business to know, he knew that. He was just curious.

“No.†Sadness filled her voice for a moment. “Never had time for one.â€Â

“Oh…†He looked at the island. “See anything interesting?â€Â

“There’s a cave of some sort about halfway up. Maybe I could get in that way.â€Â

He nodded and tore his eyes away before he found himself staring. He picked up the bottle of water they had brought with them and took a long drink. He looked at the water again, clear and crystal blue. “Can I go for a swim?â€Â

“Knock yourself out.†She mumbled. He smiled put the bottle down and dived over the edge of the boat. The water was cool and refreshing. Cooper shook her head. “Boys.â€Â

“You coming in, Cooper!?†He shouted. “The water’s great!â€Â

“No.†She shouted back. Spies have no time for play.

“Help Cooper! Something has my leg!†She tore off her glasses and ran to the side of the boat. Dai was treading water with a grin. “I knew you liked me really.â€Â

She grunted and frowned. “Hardly.â€Â

“Will you help me out?†He held his hand up to her.

“Use the ladder.â€Â

“What’s the matter?†He smirked. “Too weak to pull me out?â€Â

She glared. He had hit the spot; Cooper grabbed his hand and put her foot on the edge of the boat. She pulled. He pulled back. The next thing she knew she was surrounded by bubbles and blue. When she surfaced she found Dai in a fit of laughter.

“That’s the oldest trick in the book, Cooper!†He heard her growl. “Oh lighten up.†He splashed her. She frowned and dunked his head under. When she let him up they were face to face. Dai’s hair was plastered to his face and Cooper’s fringe was stuck to hers. He looked at her and his eyes fell to her lips. Did he feel that way about her? The sound of a speed boat pulled him from his thoughts and he turned to see a blue boat slow down as it approached. On board was a huge ape looking man.

“Mr. Poseidon doesn’t like people in his water.†The ape man spoke slowly.

“Poseidon? The owner of the mansion?†Cooper asked. The ape nodded. “Alright, we’ll go.â€Â

“Wait!†Dai protested. “He may own the house but he doesn’t own the water!â€Â

“Shut up.†Cooper hissed and pulled him back to the boat. The ape stood on his boat, watching until the pair and their boat was out of sight.

“That was stupid, Cooper. We weren’t doing anything wrong!†Dai protested as they took the long street back to the hotel.
“That doesn’t matter.†She pinned him against a wall. “We’re not here for fun and games remember?â€Â

“I know…but it wouldn’t hurt for you to relax. And so we’ve got a lead, but what if Poseidon is a fake name?â€Â

“It’s a chance we…I have to take.†She let him go and made her way back to the room. Dai followed in silence. When they reached the room Cooper was instantly on her vid’ phone.

“Poseidon?†Jeff rubbed his chin. “Never heard of him, but I can take a look for you if you want.â€Â

“That’d be great, Jeff.â€Â

“Meanwhile.†He smiled. “You should take Dai out clubbing tonight; it’ll be a while before I find any info on him.â€Â

Cooper sighed. “He’s too young.â€Â

“I can pass for sixteen!†Dai frowned.

“I think he could too, and maybe one of the locals knows about this Poseidon.â€Â

“Fine, fine. I’ll go out!â€Â