“GET ME THAT GIRL NOW!” Cypher banged on his desk, “Natalya’s a master at martial arts and she can tell fake from real better than anyone. I’m afraid that’s easier said than done.” Cypher glared at the calm face on his computer, “You dare speak to me like that!” his face red as a tomato, “No master” the boy on the other end mumbled, “Good. Now get me the Shield of Destiny, and you shall not fail. Do I make myself clear?” Cypher said “No one has lived to tell the tale of what happens when somebody fails me” Cypher left the threat in the air as his face disappeared from the boy’s computer.
I sat up in bed breathing hard; it’s been years since I’ve had a nightmare like that. I replayed the events of my dream, the silver shield flashing in and out with Cypher laughing in the background. I shook the nightmare out my head then climbed up to the upper bunk. Nick was staring at a computer screen as if he’d seen a ghost. “Nick? Are you okay?” Nick jumped then adopted a fighting stance; he stared at me then dropped his hands, his face turning a shade of pink. “Sorry” Nick mumbled. I laughed, “You okay? You seem really tense” the smile melting off my face. “Oh, yeah, I’m okay” he gave me one of those smiles that always warms me, but this time it looked more forced. Something was wrong; he usually doesn’t act like this, “Is it about the shield? I’ve been having nightmares too.” Nick shook his head “I’m okay” he mumbled. “Hey, can I see your computer?” I asked, Nick shook his head again, “Why not?” There’s something really wrong, Nick never keeps anything from me. “Why don’t you go back to bed? It’s still kind of early.” Nick was always an early bird too. “Ok” I said, climbing down the ladder, I waited a few seconds before I spun around grabbing the computer. Nick opened his mouth to say something but quickly closed it as I raised an eyebrow.
The computer screen was black with the words “Cypher Disconnected”, I stared at Nick in disbelief, tears pricking my eyes. “Natalya, I didn’t have a choice!” Nick said hurriedly but I barely heard it. The tears now replaced with anger. “Nick” I whispered, tears of anger streaming down my face, “How could you!” I screamed, smashing the computer on the floor “Is there anything else you can use to get in touch with your….master?” I asked, lingering on the word master. “Natalya, listen, he’s not my master. I have to, please-“I cut him off with a slap across the cheek, “How long have you been doing this?” , a note of utter hurt in my voice. “Ever since we first defeated Cypher” Nick said quietly, his own eyes brimming with tears. Before he could stop me I ran out the doors, “No Natalya! It’s a trap! Natalya! Come back!” Nick screamed, ignoring him I kept on running.
A dark silhouette rounded the corner, I turned around only to be blocked by another man. “Good job boys” a familiar voice said. A man walked towards us, he motioned with his hands for men to back off. Cypher leaned in close to my face “Hello my pretty” my nose stinging with the smell of spoiled milk and rotten eggs, Cypher smiled “Long time no see” one of Cypher’s men clamped a hand over my mouth as a canvas bag lowered down on me.