Special Agent Miranda Walker ran her hands through her long blonde hair. Things had just started to settle down in the Office. HQ was back up and running at full capacity for the first time in almost three years. The Master and his lackeys had hit The Agency pretty hard, and it was only due to the efforts of Agents Jane Blue and Cameron Tam, with some help from their group of supernatural misfits, that The Master had been stopped.
Since then, The Director had been pushing her people hard. HQ had been damaged by The Master’s people, and there had been more than a few casualties. And casualties meant replacements. While The Agency licked its wounds and repaired the damage, Miranda was stuck on recruitment detail.
Miranda sighed, and signed off on yet another report, filing it in the computer network, as she reflected on the year following The Master’s defeat. Meeting with people, all supernatural, many working for Government Agencies across the globe. She could have complained to The Director, probably even persuaded her to reassign her to field duty. After all, her record merited it. But, as her father always told her, “It is not ours to argue, but to serve.”. And so, Miranda found herself using her knack for judging people’s character as well as her strong personality, to recruit new Agents.
And then came the Training. Once The Agency’s ranks had been refilled, it was up to the Veteran agents to take a new recruit as a partner and show them the ropes. For her, her partner was a young man named Jacob Taylor, a dashing African-American, who, like herself, had served in the Marines. After his honorable discharge, Taylor had found himself recruited by the CIA. Miranda had sought him out on the recommendation of Jane Blue, actually, during her recruitment drive, and she found the young man personable, eager, and more than competent. She also discovered that, much like herself, he had a talent for magic, a talent he had been keeping secret.
So, there she was, in the field, with a man, though competent and skilled, still very unacquainted with The Supernatural, as her partner. And what should their first assignment be? A trip to Las Vegas, to deal with a pack of demons that had a bunch of Hellmouth Vampires working for them. Thank God that Taylor kept his cool, even if the vampires and their bosses did freak him out. The man at least waited till after their opponents were defeated, and the girls they had abducted for their rituals were freed, to freak out.
However, following that case, Jacob took to things quite well, and their partnership even ventured over lines they shouldn’t have crossed, as Miranda found herself letting him through the boundaries to her soul. They were more than partners, more than lovers, it was almost like they were one.
For two years, Miranda had more than just her work to make her happy. And they were good years. And then they crossed paths withTthe Shadow Cloak. Reports had come into The Agency that women were yet again, being abducted. After a few remarks regarding why these shadowy types always abducted women or children, The Director had assigned the case to Miranda and Jacob. It had seemed easy enough. The abductors had been seen a few times now, caught on camera, at the abduction sites. Big, hulking brutes of men, armed with very medieval gear. Miranda knew some who preferred swords and such for fighting the darkness, but she always preferred her trusty Glock, for those things that her magic could not handle.
She and Jacob had located the ‘Brute Squad’ and tailed them to their hideout. Surveillance revealed the abductees inside, along with a man, who she later identified as an underworld figure calling himself The Shadow Cloak. Miranda wanted to play it safe and call in backup, but Jacob got over confident and said they could handle this themselves. Too this day, Miranda wished she had listened to her own instincts and shot his suggestion down, but instead, she smiled, and the two burst in to the warehouse where the girls were being held.
Finding the abductees was easy, and after a few swishes of a knife, the women were free and fleeing out the door Miranda and Jacob had come in. And then they hit. Gunfire erupted from across the room, followed by beastial howls. Miranda quickly switched to her Sight, and saw the ‘Brute Squad’ for what they were. Red skinned humanoids with tusks bursting from their teeth.
Jacob fired on one repeatedly, before it dropped, only to be swarmed by the other three. Miranda, threw a spell at the pile atop Jacob, pulling the three into the air and hurling them across the room. She heard the crunch of their bones as they hit the wall of the warehouse. Quickly, she turned to Jacob and indicated they should exit from the building themselves, only to see him burst into green flames as something, like a living fire, erupted from within him, followed by n almost impish sounding stream of cackling. In the instant the creature of living green flame appeared, Jacob was gone.
Miranda screamed and threw her most powerful spell at the thing, her anger and despair adding to its strength, and it was quickly snuffed out. However, the laughter of the one who summoned the thing still haunted her nightmares.
Leads on the Shadow Cloak turned up empty. She knew he, and she was positive he was a he, was located somewhere in New York, but little else. He had supernatural forces at his command, alliances with others, and with Lucciano and Escobado busy with their fighting with The Fomor, his two biggest potential rivals paid him little heed as long as he did not trespass on their territory. And with everything going on now, The Agency was stretched thin.
She looked over the latest report on The Blood Taker murders. This murderer was fairly gruesome and graphic. And The Agency was stretched to its limit dealing with the fallout from Escobado and Lucciano’s private war with The Fomor. Throw into the mix issues with the four Faerie courts, these rumors that the Olympian Apollo now stalked the streets as a mortal, and the latest string of hacking incidents by Anonymous, and you had an agency stretched beyond its limits. The Director’s plate was more than full and she and Agent Ivanova were taking it out on the rest. That had to be what had her off her game. She was positive this Blood Taker was supernatural in some way. The NYPD UCU was convinced the same. Several Persons of Interest were being brought in by the NYPD, all based on several anonymous tips and a rather questionable string of evidence, but the NYPD was desperate. The Agency, even stretched as it was, was not impatient, and Miranda had been attached to the case, publically as an FBI liaison, to find the latest supernatural nutball to show up in New York, and stop him or her. If these people were involved, she would see them brought to justice. The job, was all she had now. Justice all she knew. As she had done her entire life, she again wondered how her father had managed his steely pursuit of justice and his duties as a Ranger, and still found time not only for friends, but to raise a family as well.
Miranda smiled and looked at the picture of her dad on her desk, she signed off her computer, and headed for home. Her mind ran through details regarding the persons being held by the NYPD. Then sighed again, clearing her head. Questioning them was tomorrow’s task.