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Published by Achilles Sangster
A young lady on a quest of discovery in the urban jungle.
A young lady on a quest of discovery in the urban jungle.

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Published by: Achilles Sangster on Nov 05, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Achilles Sangster / Serpentine / 1“Serpentine”Just like in the spy movies, Sally hid behind fences, around corners in alleyways, obscured bygarbage cans. She sucked in her belly and stood bolt straight and stiff as a board behind telephone poles when she saw him suspiciously look back over his shoulder. Daddy's a secret agent, she toldherself. I've always known. I've got to meet him beat-for-beat if I'm going to prove it.Suddenly he pulled something thin and narrow from his breast pocket. She could not see it properly, but it must be the pen. The pen! The dark blue, golden-embossed twisting pen. It was hiscovert communication device. This was not the first time she had seen him stare at it, though he only began doing so in the last week. How he would fidget with it, turning and clicking it. He would never let her mother borrow it when she needed a writing utensil: He would quickly pocket the pen andsearch arduously for another one in a messy desk drawer or cupboard and throw his hands inresignation when one could not be found. But Sally knew he had one. She mustn't tell, though, or hiscover would be blown.He looked at the pen for a few seconds, eyes squinting under the sunlight gleaming frommirrored office windows overhead. He continued forward. Sally followed.Passersby took little notice. Just a child, they thought. Just a child. A child of a spy, shemouthed silently with a smirk. Made from the same stuff as Daddy, I'm just as swift and conniving. Not like that clumsy 007, loudly bumbling his way through otherwise covert operations in Her Majesty's honor, daddy was a real agent, taking out the enemy, getting him to talk with a determinedglance and an empty (or was it?) threat. Like a samurai, winning a battle before it's even beendeclared. I have his eyes. Granddad always said so. The eyes of a cobra!Then those serpentine eyes saw odd movement. He looked at his pen (talking to hiscommander through it, no doubt) paused, and turned sharp to the right into a tall office building. Shenoticed that he didn't need a key, an access card, or even security clearance to enter. There were noguards, no snipers that she could see--and she ought to be able to see them all, if she had daddy'sabilities--and she wondered if he was trying to fool her, having been alerted to her presence.Impossible, she told herself as she walked with cool confidence towards a free newsletter kiosk. Thereshe removed an issue and held it high over her face before turning back to watch more closely. All buther eyes were hidden behind that open tabloid, and she encroached upon the front door to catch a closer look at her father.
Achilles Sangster / Serpentine / 2She leaned against the glass, occasionally laying eyes upon the text of the newspaper out of superficial necessity. Her attention remained fixed on him, though, and he did not respond to her  presence outside.The lobby inside was full of elevators on the left and right sides. She suspected that at anymoment dozens or even hundreds of armed guards would emerge, guns blazing, and he would be leftalone to dismantle the army single handedly with nothing but that pen. The pen was just one of themany common objects made deadly in the right hands. She held the newspaper tight and consideredhow she could make it a more efficient weapon. Paper cut to the carotid? Bundled into a bludgeon andstricken upon an enemy's temple? Or made into rope to stealthily strangle an unsuspecting foe?Her concentration wavered too long before she realized something had happened: Another manwas taking him into one of the elevators. His skin was a pale pink and he smiled with forcibly baredteeth. He was much taller and probably stronger than Sally's daddy, which was made more disturbing because she could see his muscles bulging even through his finely pressed charcoal suit. His hand wason her daddy's back and the elevator doors closed as the man drew closer to him. She knew it: It wasan ambush!She nearly fell into a panic but soon regathered her thoughts. I can't help him, she thought, if Idon't know where he's going.So she waited outside until the elevator stopped. Soon the light stopped for a few seconds onthe glowing number four and began to descend back to the ground floor.Sally rushed forward. She threw open the large glass door and entered, waiting for theelevator's door to open, but not directly in front of it so that if any assailants emerged she would havethe first chance to attack. When she heard the sound, that gentle computerized bell, she waited amoment, then leapt out with a tightly rolled newspaper, ready to strike. Nobody was waiting. Shelooked back, suspicious that it was another trap, but saw nobody there. So she quickly entered theelevator and pressed the button for the fourth floor. It remained illuminated for only a second beforegoing dark. She attempted again several times with the same results. The floor, she realized after seeing the card swiping mechanism next to the control panel, was locked to all but those with specialsecret access. Damn those bastards! she thought.Sally controlled her breathing, taking slow inhalations and even slower exhalations to calmherself while she thought of another plan. The stairs! She dashed towards the door for the stairwell, but it was sealed via a red-lit electronic security lock. It seemed there was no hope. She had no

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