Volume 4 Number 2
Felix Hart sat at his desk, fingers poised above his computer keyboard, staring at the screen. Every few minutes his fingers would beat out a staccato rhythm on the keys, then pause again. He'd been working on this report for hours but was making very little progress. It was filled with figures and technical jargon and some double-talk all meant to give the impression that he had a better understanding of the subject than he really did. In reality, Felix only had a tenuous grasp of what he actually did for a living, and most of his time at work was spent trying to hide that fact from his supervisor.
Felix's watch buzzed.
He glanced around to make sure no one was in earshot, raised the watch to his lips, clicked a discreet button on the side, and said, "Agent Hart here."
"Agent Hart," said a small, tinny voice from the watch. "We have a mission for you."
"In approximately five minutes, a gang of master ninjas will be attacking a beautiful damsel in the office break room. It is up to you to save her."
"I copy. You can count on me."
"Good luck, Agent Hart, and Godspeed."
Felix picked up a Bic pen from the desktop, placed it in his shirt pocket, and pushed away from his desk. He left his office and walked discreetly down the hallway toward the break room. He'd only gotten a few steps when a terrified scream filled the air. Damn. The ninjas were ahead of schedule.
He ran the rest of the way down the hall and rounded the corner into the break room. A lovely young woman with flaxen hair and a heaving bosom was backed against the soda machine, hand pressed to her mouth, while three men in black clothes and facemasks closed in on her.
"Why don't you pick on someone your own size?" Felix taunted in a booming voice.
The ninjas were not in the least disconcerted by Felix's arrival. Without the slightest hesitation, they turned from the blonde and launched an attack on Felix, two on foot, the third, as if to defy gravity, leapt into the air.
A roundhouse kick took out the two ninjas on foot, and Felix tossed one of the metal folding chairs at the airborne assassin, knocking him flat on the ground.
"Behind you!" the buxom blonde screamed.
Felix turned to find a fourth ninja attempting to sneak up on his rear. Felix vaulted into the air, grabbing hold of one of the light fixtures and swinging forward. His feet caught the ninja just under the chin, sending him flying head over heels.
This ninja was nimble and fast. He somersaulted backward, slapped his palms on the floor, and completed the flip by landing on his feet, facing Felix. With a quick flick of his wrist, as if he were shooing away a fly, the ninja sent two throwing stars hurtling toward Felix.
On instinct, Felix pulled the pen from his pocket and flicked the tip, emitting an invisible force field that deflected the stars, sending them whizzing back the way they had come. This all happened too quickly for the ninja to react. One star took him in the forehead, the other in the chest. The force of the impact raised him off his feet and sent him crashing onto a tabletop.
All the ninjas dead or incapacitated, Felix turned toward the young woman still cringing against the soda machine. She had watched the fight with eyes wide, frightened, and green as a summer field.
"It's okay now, Miss," Felix said in a soothing voice, while holding out a hand to her. "You are safe now."
"Oh, thank you," she said, bursting into tears and throwing her arms around Felix. "You were so brave; how can I ever repay you?"
"Your gratitude is all the payment I need."
"Oh, but there must be something I can do for you," she said earnestly. "Name it."
"A single kiss," Felix said with a smile. "That is all I ask."
The young woman tilted her head back and closed her eyes, her full red lips slightly parted in acquiescence. Felix held her firmly, dipped her, and lowered his head toward hers . . . .
"Hart! Snap out of it!"
Felix jerked, his eyes focusing again on the computer and the half-finished report. He turned to find Mr. Kase, his supervisor, standing over his desk, glaring down at him.
"I'm sorry, what was that, sir?"
Mr. Kase rolled his eyes in exasperation. "I said, where the hell is that report?"
"Oh, almost finished with it, sir. I thought I had until 3:00 to get it in."
"It's after three already, Hart."
Felix glanced at his watch -- he had received orders for his mission from it earlier, but now it was silent -- and saw that it was a quarter to four. The day had really slipped away from him.
"Hart, you will not leave this office until you have that report completed and on my desk. Do you understand me?"
"Yes, of course, sir."
Without another word, Mr. Kase turned and left the office. Felix returned his attention to the mind-numbing report. He pecked at the keys, deleted what he'd written, then pecked some more. He was going to be here for a while.
Felix's scissors buzzed.
"Agent Hart here."