Angelika ploughed the bristle brush through her long, caramel-blonde hair, before bringing it up into a high ponytail, the lengths still managing to reach her middle back. Pleased with her appearance, which included an orage tank top with the CHERUB logo and Skins, she walked out of her domitary room on the eighth floor, stepping out of the threshhold into a long corridor, lined with doors to other agents' rooms. Sighing, the blonde, blue-eyed agent proceeded to the silver-doored elevator on her left, walking down the panelled floor, florescent lights overhead. Angelika had been at Campus for just over four-months, easily passing through the 100-day training, and wondered what dreams the other agent would be experiencing at 6:15 in the morning as she pressed the call button. Expecting a wait, she was surprised when the doors opened instantly, and stepped inside. Her tanned finger pressed 'ground floor', the elevator doors closing and proceeding smoothly down. As 5 lit up above, her head sounded with Victorian's voice: Your job here is to shut this place down and to work for Specen. You're an imposter, nothing more, and nothing less. Don't make friends, because CHERUBs are your targets.
The doors opened with a ping, revealing the newly renovated cafeteria, but Angelika bypassed that - with the exception of grabbing a banana and a bottle of Mt. Franklin - and proceeded outside, the sun barely high in the late January morning. After lightly jogging down the dirt track to the Atheletic Track,jumped over the bordering gate and walked over to one of the 400m lanes.
* * *
Angelika slowed at the painted-white start line, panting lightly after the 75th lap. Walking across to a wooden bench, she reached down, grasping her bottle, sitting down as she greedily sucked, the fluid salvation on her needy body. Satisfied, Angelika raised the container high and squirted H2O onto her sweat-beaded face, the water washing the taste of her sweat onto her lips.
“Wow. You do this every day?”
She disciplined the impulsive rolling of eyes. Yes, dimwit, I do, while you and your lazy arse sleep and dream about booze and sex.
Instead, Angelika forced smile, revealing just enough poker face to make it look sincere, turning towards the blonde and blue-eyed adolescent, his almost ogling staring exasperating the agent. “Yes,” she replied in a strained voice, kicking out as much sarcasm as she could, “I do.”
He snickered – something causing a flame of irritation to seethe like a quiet hum in Angelika. “Is something funny?”
A grin widened, revealing mostly white teeth, some garnished with traces of breakfast and yellow. “Only naughty kids do laps.”
Angelika stood, just managing to rise over him, despite many of the male agents’ testosterone levels forcing alarming growth rates. “At least I bother while you and your friends act like primates in class,” she sneered back, now remembering him as Justin. “So much so that I’m surprised you're not doing laps right now.”
The quick abandon away from her gaze made Angelika grin. Ha! He is doing laps. “How many, young man?”
He made a face, storming past her.
Wimps, the fifteen-year-old thought, striding back to the main building, finding her bedroom window on the eighth floor as the agent gazed skyward. Even the chickens at Specen are tougher.
Such a thought made the Specen mantra echo in her head: Push hard, push high - give up and you die.
Angelika stepped into the cafeteria, trying to be discreet on her way towards the elevators - to now avial, a eventual hush coming over the 350 or so adolescent agents. She had the urge to look down - but that would make her look vulnerble, and instead, strode past the stares and gawping of younger boys, pressing the call button. This time, frustratingly, she had to wait, forced to endure before the elevators doors glided open and she rose up.
* * *
Skype's ringtone besseched at the beautiful agent as she turned away from her Level 1 Maths homework, differential calculus and trigonometry all ready to be marked with a tick tomorrow. Angelika turned towards her MacBook Pro, clicking on the Skype application and accepting the call, relaxing back into her chair. A deep, resounate voice shocked her to the core: "Angelika."
Oh shit. It's The Commander.
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