Surreptitious – Episode 11 |
By: Nidheesh Samant |


“Well, you are the only man in this room. And, the second you entered this room, I alerted all the operatives in Turin. They will be here in less than half an hour. They could be here faster, but I do enjoy the company of soon-to-die agents. So, tell me Ice, what do you want to know?”

It had been a trap.

“So Paolo, he’s your man?”

Valkyrie laughed. It was suppressed and evil, but it was the most charming laugh Ice had ever heard.

“That fool? No, I only let him collect the information that he collected. He was just a pawn. Not even worth killing. But, let’s cut to the chase. You are here to talk about more important things than pawns, I’m sure.”

“Okay, let’s cut to the chase. Tell me about Viper. What was he doing here? What is his connection to The Jaeger?”

“Viper, Viper. His own curiosity brought him here. During the Tokyo mission, after Owl got injured, Viper was left all alone. However, he managed to infiltrate the target’s hideout. He believed it was his skills and training that led him to that. But, he was so wrong. It was a trap sprung for him, much like the one you walked into, Agent Ice. He realized that after he came face-to-face with his target. Someone he did not expect to meet.”

“And who was that?”

“The Boss. Viper ended up meeting with our leader, the leader of The Jaeger. Viper was offered a chance to work with us and he accepted. Our leader is quite convincing. Viper was then sent to work here, in Turin. I was his point of contact here. I furnished him with the information and he completed the jobs. Viper was quite good. A little too good, I think. He was probing into our affairs a little too much. So, the time had come to take him out. But, he was too wary of us. We could not risk our operatives. But, we did not need to either. Viper was a rogue Agent. We knew The Agency was looking for him. So, we just let a little information leak. I believe it was you who killed him, wasn’t it, Agent Ice?”

Ice began to understand now. It had been a game set up by The Jaeger. Viper had never gone rogue. The weight of Ice’s actions began building up on Ice’s shoulders and mind. Valkyrie smiled at him.

“Now, do you realize your mistake, Agent Ice. Well, you don’t have to punish yourself by dying. Put down your weapon and come join us. Join the right side. The Agency is crumbling, from the inside. We made sure of that. Let’s just say we have The Agency fooled and at our fingertips. Join us and you will be spared, I promise. Our revenge, my revenge on The Agency will be complete. They should have never tossed me out.”

Valkyrie took a large gulp of the wine and refilled her glass. Ice half smiled.

“I knew I had seen you before. You were in my basic training group and you were quite good. But, you did not make the cut. But, The Agency terminates all the rejects. How did you survive?”

“You know, if I had not been good and I was rejected, I would have been fine with that. But, this was unfair. I was indeed taken to be terminated. But our leader rescued me. Killed all the terminator Agents, and took me into The Jaeger.”

“That is not possible. If a whole squad was dispatched off, there would have been reports.”

 Valkyrie smiled again.

“I told you, we have The Agency fooled. But would you look at the time? It’s flown by so fast. My operatives will be here any moment now. So, tell me Agent Ice. Will you join us, or die?”

“How about I kill you, right now?”

At that moment, the two heard the whirring of wheels entering the warehouse premises. Ice sneaked a glance outside the window. He could make out three SUVs and operatives stepping out of them. Valkyrie took advantage of Ice’s half-attention and tossed the bottle and glass at him. Ice dodged the two and instantly fired in the direction of Valkyrie. Only, Valkyrie wasn’t there anymore. Ice took half a second to register she had rolled under the table next to her chair, and that much time had been enough for Valkyrie to kick the table over at Ice. That move not only forced Ice to back towards the window, but also provided Valkyrie cover to go for her pistol. Ice heard footsteps approaching from the stairs. He knew he had no time to deal with Valkyrie if he wanted to get out alive. He jumped out of the window.

A few seconds after Ice had made his jump, The Jaeger operatives reached the room and headed towards the window.

“Should we pursue him? He has not gone far.”

“No, no. Let him run.”

Valkyrie looked out of the window and then at the shards of the broken bottle of wine. She smiled to herself and retrieved her phone. Selecting a number, she placed a call.

“Well, it wasted a lot of good wine. But, everything went according to plan, boss.”

Ice observed the wound on his left arm. The window’s glass had cut a deep gash across the length of his arm. Ice had managed to make it to the safe-house without getting tailed. He had made sure of that. He knew he had to sterilize the wound before it got infected and he had no time to go to a medical store. He grabbed a bottle of the cheap rum he had used while torturing and poured it on his wound. He cleaned up his wound and bandaged it. After he was done, he noticed a text message on his phone. It was from Owl:

Emergency. Get back ASAP.

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