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The Blue Queen (Part 3)

Chapter 1 – Frost (Part 2)

Ciara arrived to the facility in record time. She could never get used to the building she had to report to since she had started. The Hidden Haven as it had been known to be called was a Hunter facility built next to an abandoned subway. It was mostly underground but had emergency exits in a pub nearby called The Golden Horseshoe, a strictly Hunter-only joint. As she walked down the grimy steps she was met by the usual guard. She was never told his name, and when she had tried to ask, he shooed her away. She pitied the guards that worked here, as they had to appear to be homeless seeking shelter in the abandoned subway, and had to make sure normals didn't make their way to the entrance. She waved to the guard who nodded as she walked down the tracks, and to a panel hidden by some undergrowth. She hated touching the undergrowth, as it was always freshly put there, but she placed her hand on the panel and spoke clearly, "Domino entering the boneyard." Every agent of the Hidden Haven had their own code phrase. Something linked to their ID, and recognised only in their voice. The Hunter Society had built this so that no one could enter unauthorised. Ciara heard the gears to the door shift, and a hole in the wall appeared. Now was for phase two. She walked in, and the door shut behind her. She was in darkness for a moment before the room lit up with lights. The light flickered all over her, and she knew the scanner was almost done. It was a specially designed scanning system that scanned your blood, and the DNA in it. There were many beings in this world like Changelings or Shapeshifting Mystics that could replicate everything except the inside of the body; the blood could not be changed. She waited a moment as a red light shone in the corner, it turned green, and another door slid open. "Welcome Agent Domino," a female voice announced. It was the automated system. Ciara had always thought it was an artificial intelligence, but was always explained it was just a voice programmed to answer. "I need access to my room, and my supplies, and don't tell The Control I'm here," Ciara announced as she walked down a corridor.

"I am sorry Agent Domino, that is against my programming, plus she is already waiting for you in your room," the voice announced. Ciara sighed, she didn't want to be stopped by her supervisor, she wanted to be in and out.

She walked into a dimly lit room, and saw the figure sat on a bench. "If you don't want to be caught sneaking in, because you forgot your equipment, I don't know why you don't keep everything in your apartment, nothing in the rules says you can't," the woman spoke as Ciara made her way to a cupboard.

"Vanessa, the last time I kept my stuff in my apartment I had to chase after the guy who I'd invited over, so that we could use a memory spell on him, and then he never called me again," Ciara spat.

“That’s because you didn’t let me install the secret compartments when you first took them.” Vanessa turned as she laughed, and walked to Ciara. Ciara turned as she pulled out a handgun, and placed it in a holster hidden beneath her coat. As Vanessa placed her hand on her shoulder, Ciara noticed her dark skin, and her freshly red nail polished fingertips. She turned towards her, and saw that she was wearing the usual grey pants suit, but with a bright orange blouse today. She looked down as Vanessa was shorter than her, and stared deep into Vanessa's hazel eyes as she spoke. "I mean, that was probably a one off, anyway he didn't call you because you was too embarrassed, and asked that he forget you too. It was a one time thing almost two years ago. It's not like you've tried since," she explained with a grin. Ciara rolled her eyes before turning back to the cupboard. "Sometimes I hate that you're my boss, and the only person I can trust in this place. We're almost like friends, you know," Ciara retorted. Vanessa feigned a dramatic display of upset. "Almost, and I thought we were BFFs through and through. How will I get on with my day, no my life, knowing this?" Vanessa laughed. Ciara pulled out a small dagger, and placed it in a second holster beneath her coat, before reaching for what appeared to be a stick. She swished it carefully in her right hand, and watched as a curved blade jumped out. "You think you're going to need that tonight?" Vanessa questioned curiously, watching as Ciara clicked a button, and retracted the blade back inside. She placed it in a slot that was between her shoulder blades. "I take Hope's Glory on every mission, and just pray that I don't use it," Ciara replied. She thought about how she was more skilled with this sword than any other equipment. She lifted her jacket, and watched as the equipment camouflaged itself into the rest of her clothing. "Wait, you're distracting me, why are you waiting for me in my room?" Ciara questioned, as her train of thought caught up. She watched Vanessa sigh. "I was waiting for you to finish the mission, I have something urgent that needs to be discussed, but I can't let it distract you from your current job. How long until you're due at the location?" Vanessa explained, she wished she didn't have to, and Ciara could hear it in her voice.

"A while, but I was going to scout the area first, so that leaves me with an hour at most," Ciara answered. Vanessa nodded. "If you want to go get some Dutch Courage with me before you go to wish you luck then I'm more than happy," Vanessa said. A chill went down Ciara's spine as she recalled the first and only time she had drunk it. She thought back, and visualised the silver whiskey shot that she had been forced to drink due to tradition. It had made her feel sick. "I know it's tradition to have a last drink just in case, but I can't stand that stuff," Ciara announced returning back to place.

"Fine we don't have to follow tradition completely, but you ditched me this morning for breakfast, so I'm taking you to the Horseshoe now, we have time." Before Ciara had time to say no she was being dragged out of her room by Vanessa.

Vanessa sat herself opposite the depressed-looking Ciara, and ordered her a drink. "A Dutch Courage and..."

"A Drawven Tequila, slammer please." The two woman looked at each other and smiled. Ciara liked Vanessa, and could have seen them being actual friends if she didn't think Vanessa befriended her because of the job. She vaguely recalled the treatment she got because of her age, and it was only Vanessa who tried to make an effort to actually get to know her. She grimaced as she finally felt guilty for skipping her weekly breakfast with her. They’d started when she was new, and she enjoyed it, but it was weird being social with her boss. She looked around as she waited for her drink, and saw the other Hunters sitting there, most not talking. She already knew that they were getting weird looks from other Hunters that surrounded them. These were people who worked in the Hidden Haven, but weren't as high class as they were, or never went on missions. "The Control is going on a mission," they murmured in confusion, Ciara could just about hear the slurs. She knew it was because of the Dutch Courage that she'd ordered for her sake. She sighed, and tried to slump into the uncomfortable wooden chair, as she looked around. The Horseshoe was an old fashioned pub, or at least that was the style they had chosen. It meant that it could easily be overlooked by the party goers of the city, and Hunters were usually left alone. Ciara knew she hadn't been here in a while, not since Vanessa forced her when she had gotten her heart broken. She sighed and knew that she didn't want to be here for longer than she had to. The bartender brought over the shots, and before Vanessa had chance to say cheers Ciara had downed her shot, and slammed it onto the table. Drawven Tequila was always a good quick drink for her, it was stronger than any other Tequila she'd heard of, and always hit the right spot. She quickly looked as she saw the last drop slide back to the bottom. It still had a couple of the golden flecks that tequila naturally had. She looked up and met Vanessa’s gaze. "Well cheers I guess," Vanessa announced as the whole bar cheered with her. She sipped the silvery shot, and after a moment it was gone. "Can I go now?" Ciara asked feeling the warmth from the shot. Vanessa nodded. Ciara was already out the door when Vanessa shouted, "Good Luck." 

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