Ivanka sat in the small cafe on the corner. The aroma of the newly ground Colombian beans wafted through the air. Even though she was preferably too young to drink coffee, she still enjoyed the smell of coffee beans in the morning. It was uplifting in the morning smog that eternally carried over the city. Her phone rang in her bag, vibrating in the pouch. She pressed the button on her earpiece.

“Mirage.” the voice in her ear called out, “Where are you? We need your status on the Mikealsburg heist.”

She stood up, leaving a five for her drink. She had been assigned to the Mikealsburg heist earlier this week. In the chilly November air, she wrapped her scarf tighter around her neck. Her hair fluttered in the wind, some leaves flying past at breakneck speeds.

“Yes, I know Rouge. I’ve been scouting the area for the last week.” she looked over the bridge, taking note of the service tunnel hidden underneath. “Extraction is secure, tunnel underneath the Ninth Street Bridge. Have a ski-doo ready and waiting at 2300 hours. I’m going in tonight.”

The voice in her ear sounded pleased at this.

“Good to hear that. I’m sure that Owl will be pleased with your surveillance and work. Keep up the good work.” she added.

“Thank you ma’am. For sure.”

“Oh, and Mirage?”


“Leave no witnesses. The guards have been doubled in light of the robberies in the area. Lethal force is authorized. If you are caught, there will be no rescue.”

“Understood. Mirage, going dark.”

Ivanka walked across the bridge, strolling past her mark, back to the apartment complex where she was currently staying. The receptionist waved as she walked by, but her gesture went cold. Ivanka pressed the button to open the elevator, then waited for it to close after she pressed the ‘4’ button. A young man, probably about 18 years old, rushed into the lift before the doors could close. She side-eyed him, being careful not to meet his gaze.

“So,” she started. “You are new around here?” she tightened her fists, seeing his hand move under the back of his jacket.

“You could say that.” he replied, a hint of Russian coming through in his accent.
Her eyes widened with realization, and she threw herself into a bridge, just as a knife sliced right over her navel. She brought her foot up, kicking his hand. The knife, now free from his grip, continued with the force of the kick, and flew into the roof of the elevator, out of reach. Ivanka had no time to rest, as a punch came through her field of vision. She was able to raise her hand just in time, deflecting the blow up to the left. She grabbed his arm, and struck down on his elbow. His bones pulled apart as his elbow broke. She let herself crack a smile, and ducked under the blow from his other fist. She ducked around back and let a roundhouse heel kick into his right leg. He reeled down in pain, and she used this opportunity to strike him in the head, knocking him unconscious. The elevator doors opened, and she dragged him down the corridor into her small room, tying his hands to her bedpost. She wouldn’t have to worry about him for some time, but just to be sure, she stuffed a sock in his mouth. She then went to get ready for her job.

She finished zipping up her catsuit, getting ready for the heist. She clipped her phone into the inside pocket, and slid her taser into her holster. She checked on her hostage. He had been quiet for too long. She went into the other room, expecting to still see her new favourite Russian, but he was nowhere to be found. The belt she had used was still on the floor, so at least he had no hard feelings. She gathered all her belongings into a pile, then lit it on fire. She locked the apartment , sliding the key beneath the door. Getting off the elevator, she pulled the fire alarm, and jumped into the mirrored walls of the lobby. She walked in between the mirrors for a while, before peeking out in the store. She slithered over to the alarm system, and plugged the kill stick in. The alarm system disarmed, and she chuckled.

“Too easy. Technology makes theft,” she flipped the kill stick in her hands. “So simple.” she whispered, perhaps to an imaginary audience. The heist was going as planned, the guards of the mall not noticing her yet. She opened her sack, prying the display cases open. She slid the motherboards into her bag, making sure none were broken. Rouge would be proud. A door opened behind her. She froze. A figure lurked in the doorway,

“Well done, Mirage” the figure applauded, coming into view, “You’ve passed the test.”

The walls fell down around her, revealing a set piece, and that this entire mall must have been staged. She felt the hairs on the back of her neck raise. The woman walked forward. She was a Latino, standing around five feet seven , wearing a black turtleneck and tights. She stretched out an open hand.

“We at T.I.E.M would love to have you, if you’d have us.” the lady said, her glasses gleaming in the faint light.

Mirage cautiously took the woman’s hand, and shook it. The woman’s eyes narrowed, a smile creeping across her features.

“Excellent.” She paused, seemingly only to show dramatic effect. “My dear, you and I are going to get along wonderfully.”

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