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Character Development Challenge

Wren Ridere, Age 14

Prompt: What are your character’s most prominent physical features?

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Wren’s stomach churned in disgust as the pig at her side stroked her hair yet again. She wasn’t a dog and didn’t appreciate being treated like a pet. The only way she was making through this task was by repeating her orders.

Keep his drink full, him entertained, and do not kill him until Alpha gives the order.

Keeping the drink full was easy enough and her sitting there seemed to entertain him enough that he didn’t notice the disgust in her eyes every time she smiled at him but she was having trouble waiting for the kill order. The only reason that she was doing this and not one of her superiors was that she was his type; underage, slim, blonde, and they assumed it would be a good practice for her.

For a man who was supposedly in the upper echelons of the Ruasian intelligence, he was extremely easy to get to. Maybe his power had made him cocky or he was in his position by sheer luck, either way, he was a sad excuse of a spy.

Was this the best that the Ruasians had to offer? The history that had been drilled into her said that Russia had some of the most intelligent spies and that when they had joined together with the Asian countries; their intelligence network had only grown in power. How was it that the adults couldn’t win this war without resorting to dragging children into it?

There was a time and a place to dwell on such thoughts and here was not it. She needed to focus on the task at hand. Unfortunately, the task meant being man handled without the ability to retaliate while they waited for the right information to come out.

“What do you think of my companion for the night?” He stroked her hair once more before the hand went lower and pressed him into his side. She forced out a realistic sounding giggle and smiled across the table at the others. “Doesn’t she have the most striking hair?”

“She is beautiful.” Though Wren ducked her head as if she was shy, she mentally plotted to kick her team’s ass when this was over. Not only were they taking too long in the search but the ‘disgruntled officer’ sitting across the table was taking too much enjoyment in this.

It wasn’t a secret that their countries were forcing younger men and women to take up arms in anticipation for the blood bath of the world war but at the same time, the younger generations were thought to be easier to sway.

Most countries also didn’t realize that their country recruited them at nine years old. The poor spy didn’t realize that Wren was there to kill him or that the officer he was talking to was the bait to draw out the necessary information for the assassination.

“I have proposition for you Kevin,” Wren perked up and spared a glance across the table again. This is what they were waiting for. To keep the conversation going, she topped off the glass and took a sip from her own.

“Oh?”

“I may have a job for you if you’re interested in getting out of the military.” Kevin looked appropriately interested and Wren nearly smiled. Maybe she wouldn’t kick his ass too badly when they got back to the compound.

Brushing her hair back innocently, she pressed the button in her radio. The signal would tell Alpha what was going on and he’d listen in. Once he decided they had enough, he’d give the order.

Since she was only there to look nice and carry out the final order, she looked around the club and focused most of her attention on listening for the order. With enough money flashed around, they had managed to get one of the private booths. She didn’t both worrying about the cameras; they had already been hacked and prepared for this mission. No one would know who it was that took out the spy and most of the eye witnesses dancing were already took drunk to remember much.

The idiot was explaining the job in minor details but they needed more than that. They needed to figure out if there was a possibility of more Ruasian spies trying to recruit their people.

A wandering hand sent chills up her back and she prayed the order came soon. If the hand inched any further up her leg, it was possible he’d feel the strap of her knife holster on the opposite thigh.

Kevin tapped his glass on the table three times, nothing that would set off any alarms since many a thoughtful drinkers would do it but it was a message that they had set up beforehand. Two would have meant that the mission failed, three meant that he couldn’t get any more information, and four meant that things were going out of their control.

“Songbird,” Wren didn’t speak when her codename sounded in her ear but she did focus, “Your partner is going to see if a meeting can be set up with others. Regardless if there will be or not, you’ll exterminate the target once he’s done.”

Adrenaline surged through her veins as the order sunk in. Only a few more moments and they’d be on their way back to the rendezvous point before back to the compound with their reports. All she needed was for Kevin to stop wasting time.

“I am interested,” Kevin smiled warmly across the table, setting down his glass. “Is there a place where we can go over the finer details in private?” A pointed glance was sent her way and she pouted as best she could. The dead man talking only laughed, squeezed her leg one last time, and reached into his coat pocket.

While his attention was off of her, she crossed one leg over the other and readjusted her dress. With the adjustment, she slipped out one of her small knives and put it in the groove on the back of the seat.

“Here is the address where you’ll meet like-minded individuals and we’ll weed out any who aren’t suitable.” He laughed again and Wren smiled again, knowing it’d be the last one she’d have to hear. “After all, not everyone is suited for this sort of work.”

“That’s right,” she smiled as they turned to look at her, as she turned ever so slightly and her fingers slid the knife to a better position before they curled around the handle. “Not everyone is suited for this work.” With a quick jerk, she sunk the blade into the back of the man’s neck. Angled up towards the middle of the head, the death was swift enough but she twisted it once before pulling it out just to be sure.

Carefully, she leaned his head back and closed the eyes. Not only would he bleed down the back of the chair but in the dark of the club, no one would notice he wasn’t breathing and just assume he had passed out. The ruse would last long enough for them to have disappeared.

“Damn,” Kevin whistled while she cleaned her blade on the Ruasian’s pants. “Commander Thomas said you were efficient but I didn’t expect this. When was your first kill?”

“Ten.” Wren didn’t really want to get into details but the look on Kevin’s face was enough to tell her ten years old was earlier than most in the camps. Pushing that aside, she reached up to tap her finger against her ear piece.

“Yes?”

“This is Songbird to Alpha. Target has been eliminated and the meeting has been set. Phase one of Operation Butterfly is complete.”

“Good job Songbird, meet at the rendezvous point for debriefing and your next set of orders.”

“Yes sir.” Wren returned her knife to its hiding place readjusted her dress. When she looked back up, Kevin was giving her an odd look. “What is it?”

“He was wrong.” His answer was confusing and her brows furrowed in. Who was wrong? Alpha? Saying that was just asking for a beating when they got back, even if Kevin wasn’t technically a trainee anymore. Or maybe it was something that their target had said.

“About?” That was a safe question. She wouldn’t have to outright ask who he was talking about but she’d still understand what was going on in Kevin’s head.

“It’s not your hair that’s striking,” Kevin’s lips turned upwards as he shoved his hands in his pockets as if he hadn’t just played a part in an assassination. Then again, this is what they spent most of their lives learning to do. Death didn’t faze them much anymore. “It’s your eyes. The gray-blue mix is very distinct.”

Wren’s jaw twitched as Kevin laughed. Though it was a compliment of sorts, she was in no sort of mood for them after being felt up and put on display like a pet. With that in mind, her first clenched and sunk into Kevin’s gut before she passed him.

“Time and place, Lieutenant, time and place,” She murmured as he hunched over. Hitting him probably was going to get her in trouble, but it felt nice after all the laughing he’d done at her expense. Pleased that her message got across, she made her way through the crowd of bodies on the dance floor. Not a single one of them were aware of what had happened and Wren found herself envious. They got to live normal lives thanks to one circumstance or another while she was already fighting a war.

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