The forest stood, silent and black, glowing with an unnatural fog. The full moon shimmered high above, like a great silver eye gone blind to the world. The perfect clearing among the pine trees seemed so beautifully haunted, it was the sort of place a unicorn or a vampire might be expected to cross. But most certainly not a human.
And yet, that was precisely what passed out of the trees into the cold light.
It was a woman; a woman of such heartlessly superior beauty that it seemed that she might fit in with those mystical beings of the haunted wood. Her straight, silken hair was a rich reddish-brown, streaming lightly down her shoulders, almost to her waist. Her features were straight and elegant, each angle precisely cut in her pale skin. The large, long-lashed brown eyes seemed mismatched beneath the severe brows. They looked too innocent for the unfeeling white of her face. Too young and gentle for the tall, gorgeous, muscular figure she cut in her skin-tight black garb. And they looked much too warm for the guns strapped at her hips.
She strode purposefully through the clearing, coming to a halt at the center. She gazed patiently up through the trees at the hovering moon, unconcerned by the unseeing gaze of the sky. She was in control; she always was. And she had no intention of frightening herself with thoughts of being watched from the heavens.
Something rustled in the bushes across from where she had come. She reacted almost too fast for the eye to see, pulling her gun and whirling around to aim. She would have pulled the trigger, but the cause of the interruption had stepped into sight.
"Greetings, Shoshana." The black figure laughed, "I am glad to see you have not lost your touch."
Shoshana snapped back upright as the man spoke, her gun slipping back into the holster faster than the observer could see.
"Agent Graye." She responded. Her voice was level and cold, but there was a velvet texture to it which might have appealed even to this cold, indistinct figure of a man, "You have an assignment for me?"
"I do." Graye agreed quietly.
"And do you plan on giving it to me?"She asked, her voice still tightly controlled, refusing to be provoked.
"Wouldn't you like to guess?"
She raised one sharp eyebrow in chilled disdain. Graye laughed.
"Alright, fine. But someday I will get you out."
"You can try." She whispered.
Graye pulled something out of the front of his coat; flat, rectangular. A folder, Shoshana knew, containing the details on her next assignment.
"Read it, learn it, burn it." Graye called to her, laying the folder on the ground where he stood before melting back into the fog, "Do your job well."
"I always do." Shoshana whispered.
But Graye was gone.
Her expression did not change as she crossed the clearing and picked up the folder. She barely glanced at the name before flipping it open to review the details.