Outcast (Children of Ossiria #1)
Outcast (Children of Ossiria #1)
The Agency recruited me two years ago, a kid with scarred knuckles and the stomach for a thousand fights. Born and raised on the more colorful streets of London, I graduated to the rank of Agent at eighteen and spent months of nights out fighting the good fight.
With the dawn, another shift killing vampires and other assorted creatures came to an end. A city this old had a lot of ghosts and not all of them were friendly. Some weeks were full of nothin' but banishments.
Above ground, our headquarters were located in a nondescript two-story brick building full of offices. The not-so-ordinary part came in the form of spells: one to discourage notice and another to bar entry unless you were wearing a coded ring. Even inside, HQ was nothin' special. The building was a hundred years old tops, looking like a set from an old detective movie with each office door holding frosted glass with someone's name printed on it.
It was the secret elevator with voice-recognition software that gave you a second's pause. I descended into Sanctuary below. A massive underground installation, the "basement" consisted of two levels, with the upper containing labs, more offices, and training facilities for recruits, a mini hospital, and living quarters for Agents. Most of the staff also being British, lamps were used instead of fluorescent bulbs. Desks and tables were wood. Carpets had been imported from Asia long ago. The Director had only recently banned tobacco indoors, so the common rooms still smelled like pipes. Though our organization used the latest in tech where it counted, anyone new instantly felt the history of our work.
The lower level was more restricted, and for good reason.
Approaching my room, I found the boss with a group of kids.
"Ah, Thirteen, good. You saved me the effort of finding you later. Since you're the resident Agent on staff, I want you to take an active part in the training of these new recruits," the Director said.
"Yes, sir." Great-just what I wanted to do-babysitting. The boss introduced me to the kids by their new designations.
"Thirteen? You jinxed or something?" the blonde called Nine said. Jean jacket, matching miniskirt, a golden tan, and mischief and attitude in her eyes. They'd brought in Malibu Barbie. She smacked her gum.
"It's only a number," I said, and stuck my key in the lock to my room.
"To some people. So, like, are we going to be like James Bond? Do we get to meet the Queen? Or ooo , Princess Diana?"
"No." I looked for the boss to corral the children away, but me and Miss California were the only people left in the hall. "Look, I've been up all night, so go away."
"Because monsters come out at night, why do you think? You're supposed to stick with the tour. Shoo."
I shut the door in her face and flipped the bolt.
Pieces of gear and body armor dropped to the floor on my path to the bed, and I flopped down face first and fell asleep.
Though I was only eighteen, I felt ancient next to these fresh-faced buggers The Agency let in. Aged fifteen-to-seventeen, they weren't really "kids" to me in the chronological sense, but they had no clue what they were up against.
This particular batch had never seen a vampire, demon, ghost, werewolf, or any other monster other than on a movie screen. Left me with a lot of misconceptions to clear up. Oh, The Agency put every recruit through a rigorous training program in and out of classrooms, but these kids seemed to save every question for me.
The job wasn't nearly as exciting as they thought it would be. I spent more nights watching than fighting, and when I did find prey, The Agency wanted it taken from a distan