Jack Eason was usually a practical man, but not in this instance. Most of the time he kept his forcebelt off, but walking through the perilous no-mans land was a different story. Though most of the Western Front was on an unofficial truce, he wasn’t taking any chances. It was an uneasy truce, one that could end very quickly. Dressed in a somewhat warm British uniform, he trudged through the frozen mud and snow. The area was filled with a slew of dead bodies, downed airplanes, and rusty, tangled barbed wire that was so deadly sharp, just brushing against it could slice you open. He only wished he could filter the smell of death that perverted the air around him.
Unsure German eyes watched him closely as he neared a small group of British and German soldiers that were huddled together, smoking cigarettes and drinking what he known was lukewarm coffee. He watched intently as they talked and laughed of families and friends. Though the Great War was rather in its early stages, the longing and sorrow could be felt in their words. Jack wondered how many of these men survived the war and how many of them would be dead in a matter of days. He thought about asking some names but did not want to draw any attention to himself. This was the delicateness of his mission; as much as he wanted to do his missions by the book, he had that compassion to help and maybe right some wrongs, but to do so could have dire consequences on the world after.
As he focused on that group, a light tap on his left shoulder instantly froze him. He had not expected anyone to really notice him. If his cover was blown, the results could be devastating.
“Hey Jackie-boy, what you be up to?” Said a ragged voice that seemed to be familiar with him.
Jack cringed his eyes as he turned around. Someone knew him and that wasn’t good. His right hand slowly rested on his holster as he made eye contact. Though a young English soldier stood next to him, he was now pretty sure that wasn’t his true identity. He looked hard into the soldier’s eyes as he gave Jack a goofy grin and laughed. When they did that, Jack rolled his eyes in disgust.
“Mally, what the hell are you doing here?” He asked, his voice straining with annoyance. “I’m the only one assigned here!”
“I know,” she replied as a grin flitted across her face. “Didn’t recognize me at first with my gen-blen on, did ya?” When Jack didn’t comment, she continued on. “ Anyway, Burks sent me here to replace you. The Council want a word with you for some reason.”
“Why?” Jack asked curiously.
“No idea,” Mally replied. “All I know is that I’m here to finish your mission.”
Jack shook his in disgust. He hated not finishing his own missions, though he knew Mally to be a capable back-up. Burks was a problem, too. Everyone considered him to be an arrogant, selfish fool. No one understood how he managed to hold on to his ‘Mission Coordinator’ status. As he regathered his thoughts, Jack became somewhat suspicious.
“That’s unusual,” he told her
“Yeah, I know,” she replied hesitantly. “Normally we just return and finish the assignment, but Burks insisted I replace you. Said something about uncovering a hidden player in the truce.”
Jack gave Mally a look of suspicion, that seemed to unnerve her a bit, but it only lasted a second and they both seemed to relax. Jack didn’t like the situation, but he couldn’t just disobey a direct order if he had misgivings about it. Though he didn’t trust Burks, he couldn’t take a chance just in case the Council did want him back.
“Alright,” he told her reluctantly. “Make sure that gen-blen stays working. There weren’t any female soldiers here. Get caught and you’re in a lot of trouble. There’ve been reports that the Germans shot several female spies.
Mally gave him an indignant look. “It’s working, you dork,” she said with sardonically. She then smiled. “You still owe me.”
Jack nodded. “First chance you get, February 1996, at that one place we visited near St. Louis.”
Mally smiled and nodded as Jack gave her a small encryption disk. He then headed off behind the British lines to a secluded area so he could leave. Mally watched him as he faded away and then turned to immerse herself amongst the British soldiers. As she made her way into the trench, a strong forceful arm grabbed her and turned her around. Her own eyes widened in fear as she looked into the cruel blue eyes of her attacker.
“YOU! What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be dead!” She said angrily.
The man, who was dressed in a British officer’s uniform smiled menacingly and as he spoke, his voice was filled with hatred and venomous spite.
“To kill you, Mallory Gans.”
He pulled out a small metallic device and clicked it twice. The scene around them began to slow down until everyone around them was motionless. He pocketed the device and pulled out a small dagger that was clasped at his side and with a strong thrust stabbed her with it into her left abdomen. The blow was immediately fatal as the blood gushed from her wound. She gasped once as the life quickly faded from her as she went limp, falling into his. He then lifted her onto his shoulders and carried her to a shallow grave that was dug behind the German trenches. Without remorse, he dropped her in the grave and proceeded to bury her. When he was done, he walked back to the British trenches and pulled out the metallic device and clicked it, restoring time to it’s original speed. He pushed a small green button and faded away into the time stream.