The Agent Files

The Agent Files
The adventures of
lots of different junior agents,
by the names of Anna,
Sarah, and Jo. Proceed
with caution.

Name: Anna Turner
Agent name: Agent Archer
Agent #: 77
Age: 14
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader
Location: Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

My eyes flicked across the field, narrowed in concentration. My feet moved with blinding speed as I paused and then kicked it to my teammate, Carolyn. She in turn kicked it into the goal. The whistle blew.
    “Practice’s over!” declared Coach Holliman, smiling at us, a soccer ball tucked underneath his arm. “That was just great, girls. Great kick, Anna. Good score, Carolyn. You guys work great together. And everybody else? Good defending and blocking. Don’t forget to be here early tomorrow. Dismissed!”
     We chattered together as we walked towards the school to change back into our normal clothes. Carolyn, my best friend on the soccer team, jogged up to me.
      “That was a great idea, Anna,” she told me with a grin. “I can’t believe you figured out that play. And it worked!”
     I smiled. “Well, I needed you to do it with me.”
     “Yeah,” shrugged Carolyn. “But it was your idea.”
     I caught sight of the pretty blonde haired girl sitting on the picnic table before Carolyn was even done with her last sentence. The girl’s blue eyes, made bigger by her glasses, challenged me. 
      I had Carolyn and I walk right past her. I could barely feel her slipping the note into my gym bag. I looked at her and smiled. She nodded and winked, picking up her notebook and walking towards the parking lot.
      Carolyn and I changed into our normal clothes, and Carolyn took off for the doors, where her mom was going to come and pick her up. I shouldered my gym bag and backpack and walked quietly off towards the back of the school.
       I stopped by locker 890. It was one of the many lockers in the Denver high school. But, unlike the others, this one had never been used.
      I placed my hand down flat on the front of the locker. It beeped, scanned, and then the door flipped open. There were no shelves inside like the other lockers. I stepped inside.
      The locker opened up into a small room that had a steel table. As I stepped in, the door closed behind me. The whole room was made of steel and it made it feel that much more top-secret than it already was.
       Sitting on the table by itself was a huge laptop and lots of complicated-looking computer wires and gadgets. I sat down on the stool in front of it, plopping my bags down beside me. I moved the mouse around the screen and up popped sign-in.
        As it was loading my files, I took the note out of my pocket.
More training at five. The whole squad’s going to be there. Don’t be late. I think that something good’s going to happen for once. Maybe we’ll finally get to patrol the streets of Denver haha.

I snorted and put it through the shredder sitting in the mass of computer cords. Sometimes I was surprised at how much stuff hid in those computer cords.
      When the screen finally popped up, I quickly turned on what would normally be mail. I had 3 notifications. I clicked on the first one.

Squad training for Junior Delta Squad 101 at five. Being late is not acceptable.

I sighed and clicked on the next one.

Since the disappearance of Agent Dakota, a new member will be joining Junior Delta Squad 101. Be prepared to welcome them, Agent Archer.

Oh, brother. I at least hoped that they picked somebody good. We’d passed through lots of junior-agents, but, hey, they had to be good. I paused and then clicked on the next one.

Agent Archer,
I would like to change my agent name to Agent Awesome. Please tell the Board of CIA about it. Thank you.
  Agent Iceskater

I sighed.
  OK, so if you’re reading this you’re probably wondering. Why on earth do I know about a secret compartment inside of a locker? How come I’m getting all of these strange messages and whatever about squads and agents and—oops, did I actually just show you the email with the word “CIA” in it? I guess I did. 
     Sorry. I hate to inform you of this, but you might as well know. If you’re reading this, your life is in danger.
     Anyway, so proceed with caution.
    Oh, and no letting this get out to the public. Understand? If so, I might have to hunt you down. And I don’t only play soccer.
     So, you ready for the truth?
     I’m a junior-agent. Yes, I’m a spy. Well, junior-spy. I work for the CIA. Sort of. I’m apart of a society for kids who aren’t old enough to be real spies yet. It’s called the Junior-CIA, code name Infiltrator.
     I’m part of the one here in Denver, Colorado (U.S.A., if you didn’t know). I’m the leader of one of the most elite squads in all the whole operation—Junior Delta Squad 101. Yes, there is a Junior Delta Squad 100. But they’re not half as cool.
       My job as the leader of Junior Delta Squad 101 can sometimes be trying, but it’s lots of fun.
     After I sifted through some old messages and shredded some more paper, I grabbed my bags and hit the red button on the wall. The locker door beeped, “clear”, and then it swung open.
       I shouldered my bags and walked off down the hallway. The pretty blonde girl, otherwise known as Sarah Pearson, otherwise known as Agent Bookworm, had given me a reminder. She was always giving me reminders. It was kind of her job.
   See, she’s the leader of our intelligence squad, which, just to say, is still part of our squad. The squad only consists of two, though—her and Abby Ben-Judah, otherwise known as Agent Library.
    Abby’s older sister, Jo Ben-Judah, was kind of my “buddy”. I guess. On our squad all-together there was me, Jo Ben-Judah, Sarah Pearson, Abby Ben-Judah, and Em Jackson, also known as Agent Dakota.
      I sighed, thinking of Agent Dakota. She’d been kidnapped not two weeks ago. It made me sad to think about it. Agent Dakota had been dedicated to acting before her parents had had her put into the agency with us. She’d always been willing to do any of the things that needed acting.
    On the squad, I was the second-best actor after Em. Then Jo. Then Sarah. And then Abby, but she didn’t act—she just helped Sarah mostly. But she was good at her job. She collected lots of information, and loved reading, which was why she picked the name Agent Library.
      I sighed, shaking my head. I walked off down the hallway, starting for the doors. Duty called.

Name: Sarah Pearson
Agent Name: Agent Bookworm
Agent #:153
Age: 15
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader of Intelligence Sub-Squad
Location: Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

         I sat at the picnic table where I had just given Anna her message, and dug my cell phone out of my backpack. I pushed the speed dial button and waited.
         “Hello, this is Ann Pearson,” my mom’s voice sounded on the other end.
         “Uh, hi, Mom,” I said. “I have to stay out a little longer today. Do you think you could expect me home at seven instead of six? It’s important.”
         I heard Mom sigh. “Alright Sarah, but please try to not be much later than that.”
         “Okay, thanks Mom,” I said cheerfully. “Don’t worry, I’ll be home before a quarter ‘til eight. I can guarantee that.”
         “Alright, good, Sarah. I’ll see you then.”
         “Alright, Mom. See you.”
         “See you.” I hung up the phone. My being a secret agent was hard on Mom. Mom knew I was one, since I was underage, but she didn’t know where anything happened, and I couldn’t talk to her about anything. She didn’t even know when our meetings and trainings happened.
         I stood up and walked out to the street. Walking down the sidewalk, I soon came to a florists shop. I stepped in and went right to the back of the store, to a door that had a sign on it: Warning! Electric Shock! Danger! I laid my hand on the door. It scanned my hand, beeped, and opened. I went in. Inside, there was a fairly large room with a computer, chairs, and an elevator. I sat down at the computer and signed in.
         I had 2 new emails, I mean, notifications. I clicked on the first one.
Since the disappearance of Agent Dakota, a new agent will be joining Junior Delta Squad 101. They may be joining you in intelligence, Agent Bookworm.
     I groaned. I and Abby were perfect for the intelligence squad. I didn’t look forward to anyone joining us. The experiences I had had with that before were not fun. I clicked on the next one.
Agent Bookworm,
I can’t believe it! Agent Iceskater is trying to get her Agent name changed to Agent Awesome! Did you know that? I guess Agent Awesome is a good name, but it’s different.

Anyway, we might be doing some investigation and deduction soon. I’m looking forward to it!
Agent Library
I shook my head. It didn’t matter much to me whether Agent Iceskater was Agent Awesome or not. But it would be hard to get used to calling her Agent Awesome. I logged out of the computer and went into the elevator, punching the “Level 3” button.
Soon the elevator beeped and opened the doors. I stepped out, into an entirely different world. People were walking every which way, hurrying down the aisles of a huge underground complex. I checked my watch. By now it was 4:30, and I needed to get to the training room.
I walked down the aisles and finally stopped at the door labeled “Junior Agent Training Room 3”. I had to scan my hand again, and then I was in the room. Three people were already there: Agent Archer, Agent Iceskater/Awesome, and Agent Library. The new agent hadn’t got there yet, I guessed. I slid into a seat by Agent Library, smiling at the others.
Agent Archer leaned over to me. “I think something’s up, Agent Bookworm. Oh, thanks for giving me the reminder.”
I smiled and shrugged. “You’re welcome. By the way, I think you did a good job at the soccer practice. It looked like it.”
Before she had a chance to reply, the door opened and our trainer and the new agent came in.
“Oh, boy,” I whispered under my breath. The new agent didn’t look very friendly.

Name: Jo Ben-Judah
Agent Name: Agent Awesome
Agent #: 8
Age: 14
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: second in command
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.

Click, click, click, the sound of clicking high heels coming down the hall was a token of upcoming misery for me. I grabbed my backpack and started running across the gym to the other entrance. Too late, Alison Blake, the meanest bully around entered. The sound of her heels was like the sound of drumming when a convict was led to the guillotine. Not that there were any guillotines around here, sometimes I just have an over-active imagination.
Then she laughed. Not a pleasant sound. In fact, Alison Blake’s laugh sounds uncannily like a boiled tomato sucking lemonade, if you’ve ever heard the sound. “Hey Ben-Judah!” she yelled. “Playing doll house?”
I was seeing red. Sucking in my anger I yelled to her over my shoulder, “Can’t stop now, Alison.” She laughed her boiled-tomato-sucking-lemonade laugh, but this time scornfully. I did not like that laugh.
I was almost on the other side of the gym when Mandy Wilson, Alison’s comrade in bullying arms stepped into view. Alison’s hair was a bright red and she wore neon green braces. She laughed at me when I stopped short. Trapped. I looked back at Alison. She was smiling sweetly and conveniently standing in front of the other entrance. I looked back at Mandy. She was coming towards me. I backed up.
“You see, Ben Judah” said Alison. We’ve heard that you’re a Jewish Christian.” I said nothing. “We’ve heard it said that Christians turn the other cheek. We’ll just see about that.” I looked back at Mandy just in time to see her hand making contact with my left cheek. The force spun me around and I fell to the floor. She grabbed me by my shoulder and jerked me to my feet. I could feel my cheek smarting like someone had poured hot oil on it and lit it on fire, so naturally I couldn’t stop a tear from dripping down my cheek. Then Alison spoke, Mandy keeping me there by not letting go of my shoulder. “So, Ben Judah, this is your chance to prove to us you’re a Christian. You can walk away, or you can suffer the indignity of having a black-eye. What’s it gonna be?”
I could see the gym door, standing there with wide open spaces beyond. And besides, a black eye from Many Wilson was no joking matter. It is said... well, maybe I’d better not let my imagination run away with me again.
Alison tapped her shoe impatiently. Finally I said. “Okay, Alison. I’ll take the black-eye.” First she stared at me as if I had a duck laying goose eggs on my head. Then her eyes narrowed into black slits and she nodded to Mandy. Mandy let me go and I stood there with closed eyes, waiting for the punch. It came, and I left the gym with a smarting cheek and a rapidly turning-purple eye. Ah well, the trials of life. But you know, sometimes those trials hurt, and this one did not only hurt my face, but also my heart.
Checking to make sure no one was watching me, I walked to the food vendor that stood at the end of the hall. It was an old thing with dim lights and a slow, old fumbling noise. If you kicked it you were bound to get a loud siren noise, and if you selected a lemonade you got a coke.
I placed my hand on the O in Cola and waited while it scanned my hand. Minutes later I was inside the secret room of Agent Awesome. I sure hoped it was all right with the rest of the team if I changed my name to Agent Awesome. I just felt like I ought to try to be a bit cooler. I checked my messages and found that there was a meeting that night of the Junior Delta Squad 101 [cool name, huh?]. I still had half and hour before I had to get moving.
I let my head fall onto the desk. I, Jo Ben-Judah, was feeling very tired of this world. I gave myself the award of letting a tear roll down my nose. It wasn’t often I had that luxury. Why did high-school have to be so hard? Why did life for that matter? Why wasn’t I popular, pretty, liked, admired, good at school? Right then I didn’t have answers to that question, but maybe in time.
I slipped back out of my hiding place and was on my way.
Slipping into the high-tech secret conference room was one of my favorite things to do. It was, well, high-tech and secret. Anna Tuner a.k.a. Agent Archer was already there, along with my sister, Abby a.k.a. Agent Library. My sister adored Agent Bookworm [Sarah Pearson] and was her constant shadow. I waved at Abby and sat down by Anna, hoping my long brown bangs would cover most of the black eye. No such luck. Anna looked at me and gasped. “Wow,” she said, “where in the world did you get that?”
“Gym,” I shrugged.
“Who?” she pressed.
“Alison and Mandy.”
That said it all. Sarah came into the room right then and sat by my sister Abby. I smiled. It was so nice of Sarah to hang around my sister. They liked the same things and suited each other perfectly.
Evidently a new member was joining the group. Just then our Squad leader and the new girl entered. I could see by Sarah’s expression that the girl would be hard to work with even before I looked at the new girl’s face. I had no idea how true that would be.
I turned and saw before me the red-hair and neon green braces of Mandy Wilson. “Everyone,” said our leader, “This is Mandy Wilson, your new team member!”

Name: Anna Turner
Agent name: Agent Archer
Agent #: 77
Age: 14
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader
Location: Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

    I ran a hand through my short dark brown hair in agitation. Oh, great. How on earth did Mandy get into the ops? Even as I read the foul words off the page I almost couldn’t believe it. Mandy sauntered into the room with a smug smile on her ugly face and plopped down in a chair across from Jo. I could see the second-in-command quivering as it was.
       My greenish-blue eyes flicked across the assembly of quiet girls. Sighing, I ran a tanned hand through my hair and stood up to my full 5 ft 7 inches. Carolyn used to say that it made me seem even taller because I was so skinny.
     “OK, everybody, just a moment,” I said. “I think there’s been a little trouble.”
     “What kind?” sneered Mandy.
     I glared at her and spoke in my comms unit with a hiss, “Are you guys sure you sent the right girl?”
     “Girl?” the surprised voice took me aback. “You guys aren’t supposed to have a girl replacing Emma. Ben Sonja was supposed to replace Agent Dakota for the time being.”
      I froze, feeling sick. A guy? As far as I knew, Junior Delta Squad 101 had always been girls. Especially since I’d been in command. Hurriedly, I spoke back into the device.
    “Are you sure you’re not wrong again?”
      Just then the door opened again. In walked a tall, stocky kid with a mop of dark blonde hair and arrogant blue eyes. I immediately didn’t like him. He looked like he thought the world revolved around him and for him only. I glared fiercely at him.
      “And who are you?” I demanded, stepping forward. “If you haven’t noticed, you just interrupted a meeting of Junior Delta Squad 101 and—”
    “Whoa,” he laughed. “Cool it.”  
     “Excuse me…?” I started, infuriated.
    “I’m Ben Sonja,” he told me, as if that answered everything. Those ugly eyes of his searched the room. “I guess they weren’t kidding when they said it was a squad of chicks.”
     Excuse me?!” I burst, standing right in front of him. “We are not ‘a squad of chicks’. We are one of the most elite forces of junior-agents in all of America. If I wanted to, I could easily flip you over and cut your guts out!” for good measure I drew my knife out of the sheath at my side.
    Ben’s eyes widened. “Whoa, dude, I’m not going to hurt you. Seriously. I didn’t mean anything by it.”
     “I’m not ‘dude’ to you,” I spat. “I’m Leader Agent Archer, and I expect that you’ll treat me that way!” I turned on my heel towards Mandy. “And you! You’re not supposed to be here. Get out before I call the higher authorities on you!”
     Mandy’s eyes bulged in horror as she practically fled from the room. The girls of my squad were either looking at me in surprise-horror or in surprise-adoration. Mostly adoration. At least they backed me up.
   “Wow, that was amazing!” Ben declared. “You really are a one-of-a-kind leader. I can see why they picked you.” He shrugged. “Of course, my area of expertise is, of course, intelligence. I’m sure none of you will mind if I take that over.”
     I managed to calm myself down enough to say in a deadly quiet voice, “Just to say, that position is filled at the moment by our trusted Agent Bookworm.”
    He gave me a look. “Huh?”
    I sighed. “Sarah Pearson. How long have you been in this agency, might I ask?”
     “I started last week,” Ben admitted. “My dad’s just put me in.”
     Infuriated that they wouldn’t give us somebody a lot more qualified for the team, I whipped back out my comms unit and hissed into it, “How could you not send me somebody who’s qualified?!”
     “It was either him or Tom Jackson,” shrugged the person on the other end.
     I froze, horror sinking in. Tom Jackson, though he was Emma’s brother, was a horror. He thought he was the awesomest snot on the earth seemed to think that everybody else should think so, too. Especially me. It was mostly because he was the leader of the Junior Delta Squad 100 and I was the leader of Junior Delta Squad 101. Oh, the horror.
     “Of course we knew that you and Tom didn’t get along very well,” the person admitted, “so we sent Ben.”
     “No, this is horrible…!” I tried.
    “I’m sorry, Anna.”
    Oh, no. Nothing could get any worse. I glanced over at Ben. I was going to make sure that nothing happened to him. If anything did happen, then Tom would immediately take his place. And the battle for the leadership of Junior Delta Squad 101 would begin. 
     “Look, just…” I started.
     Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. Just as I started to speak, Ben stepped forward and tripped on the leg of my open chair. He fell down with a cry, writing in pain on the floor.
   “OH!” he screamed. “I think I broke my foot!”
    NO!!!!! The cry echoed through my brain.
     Sarah quickly contacted the nurse, and then Ben was hauled off to the infirmary.
    “Well, I guess our meeting’s busted,” Agent Library snorted. “See you guys later. Come on, Jo—Mom said we should be home by five.”  
     The Ben-Judah girls took off. Agent Bookworm shrugged apologetically at me and walked off after him. Sighing, I walked off down the hallway towards my special secret entrance by the park. Just as I was about to leave, somebody grabbed my arm. I turned and saw that it was the director, Howard Hewes, otherwise known in the spy world as Hawk.
     “I’m sorry about Agent Dakota and Ben,” Hawk smiled wanly.
     I sighed. “I guess…well…” 
    “Look, I didn’t come to talk to you about Tom joining the squad,” started Hawk. His gray eyes were kind, but serious. “I have something I need to talk to you about.”
     “Yes?” I prompted.
    “There’s a special mission in downtown Denver that I need you to complete. It’s a one-person job, so I only need you. I’ll be getting you more information soon.”
    “OK,” I nodded. “Bye, Hawk.”
     Then I walked off.

Name: Sarah Pearson
Agent Name: Agent Bookworm
Agent #:153
Age: 15
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader of Intelligence Sub-Squad
Location: Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

I couldn't figure out what exactly had just happened. Two different people trying to join the squad, and neither of them were very experienced. I felt sorry for Ben, but I was a little bit glad that he wouldn't be on intelligence with me. And when I thought about him calling us "chicks," I was really glad that he wasn't going to be on the squad. Looking at the time, I saw I had plenty of time. Enough to go back to my little room and do some research.
Soon I was sitting at my computer. I checked my notifications first, then I went to the internet to search for clues about what had happened to Agent Dakota. The internet screen had just popped up when the notification dinged. I clicked back to see what it was.
Agent Bookworm:
We have a job for you. Investigate smaller terrorist organizations. We do not think it was one of the larger ones that kidnapped Agent Dakota. Report to Agent Archer when you are done. Agent Library may help you.

And that was all. I couldn't believe it! So they thought that a smaller terrorist organization had kidnapped Agent Dakota. And they wanted me to investigate it!
As I clicked back to the internet screen, I thought about Agent Dakota. Her kidnapping just didn't make sense. Any terrorist organization would know that they couldn't get ransom from the CIA. But still. I typed in "Small Terrorist Organizations". When the list of websites popped up, one caught my eye. It was "Small Terror Organizations: Are they a threat?"
I clicked on the link and came to the website. It looked very informative. As I scrolled through the articles, I saw that most of the terror organizations they were talking about were not considered much of a threat. Then I saw another one.

The Band of Forty
This is a lesser-known terrorist organization in western Pakistan. The leader of this band is known as "Ali Baba". His real name is not known. Ali has been reported as saying, "We will show everyone we are not to be taken lightly. The Band of Forty will become a power in the world!" Despite its name, Ali Baba has quite a large band. It is not known if they have members of the band in other countries. If they do, the most likely country would be the U.S.A, since they have shown particular animosity towards us.

Hmmm. This looked interesting. I did a quick search for "The Band of Forty." All the other articles I found had the same basic facts. It would make sense for a rising terrorist group trying to prove its influence to kidnap a CIA agent. I sent a quick notification to Abby.

Agent Library:
Investigate "the Band of Forty" terror group if you have a chance. We may have a lead here.
Agent Bookworm

I looked at the time. 6:30. Wow, my research had taken a lot of time. I had to get home. I logged off the computer and headed toward home.

Name: Jo Ben-Judah
Agent Name: Agent Awesome
Agent #: 8
Age: 14
Squad:  Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: second in command
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.

I lay in bed, staring at the pair of ice skates that hung on my bedroom wall. They had been my mom’s. My mom had loved skating. I remember when I was little she would skate backwards and pull me behind her. But all that ended when my mom died of cancer. I hadn’t been on the ice since she’d died.
I turned over the day’s events in my mind. I still couldn’t believe that Anna had pulled a knife on Ben, or that he had called everyone “chicks”! But I had to admit that Anna looked beautiful standing there, knife drawn, fire in her eyes. But still, what a wicked old world we lived in. I said my prayers, for my Dad and Abby, for the Squad, for Em, wherever she was, for the world. I drifted off to sleep and dreamt of knives, guns, and the dull, red glow of the fires of hell trying to suck everyone into it. I could see Anna being pulled nearer and nearer to the edge of the pit. See screamed at me to help her but I couldn’t move, I was terrified. Then I woke up in a cold sweat shivering with exhaustion.
After school that day I went to the hockey rink. It was open skate and I paid my fee and pulled on my pair of rentals. I stepped out onto the ice to try it out, and suddenly I had the feeling that someone was watching me. I shook the feeling off as I sped up. Then I crouched so that I skated in an almost sitting position and made a sharp turn while running my hand along the ice. It was cold, and burned when I lifted my bare hand from the frozen water. I stood back up and sped up. Then suddenly I put down the teeth on my left skate. The one skidded maneuver turned me halfway around so that I skated backwards. I did a few more tricky maneuvers then just skated to the music. It was one of my favorite songs by Third Day, Cry Out to Jesus. And as I skated that day, I did cry out to Jesus. For strength, courage, and a heart large enough to encase the whole world in love, and drag them back from the edge of the pit.
My cell phone beeped in my pocket. I slowed down and flipped it open. It was a text from Agent Archer.
meet me @ cr in 30min
I sighed and skated out of the rink. I pulled off the rentals and slipped into my regular shoes. 25 Minutes later I was in the conference room waiting for Anna. She came in looking a bit flushed. "Sit down," she said, indicating a chair. I did. "Look Jo," said Anna, "I want to talk to you about that black eye." I self consciously touched the bruise. "You have all the training and strength the overthrow Mandy and Alison together. Why do you keep on letting them beat you up?" I opened my mouth to reply, but she rushed on. "Look, I just don't know if we can let you stay in the group. We can't have cow...." her voice trailed off.
I started up from my chair, angry. "Why don't you just say it Anna? Say it to my face?" she opened her mouth to say something, but this time I rushed on. "It isn't a matter of being afraid. It's a matter of turning the other cheek. I did. And I will continue to do so even if you throw me out." I took a deep breath and contineud slower. "My faith isn't a crutch, it's my life." Suddenly I felt a wave of dispair wash over me. I sat down and put my head in my hands. "How can I make you understand?"
Anna was silent a moment then she said, "I'm sorry Jo, I didn't really mean it, but sometimes this faith of yours gets in the way." she ran and aggitated hand through her short brown hair. "I just don't want to see you hurt. It isn't fair."
I reached across the table and squeexed her hand. "i'm sorry too. I shouldn't have said that."
She smiled that beautiful smile of her's and squeezed back. We had a good laugh over our mistakes. In case you were wondering, Anna's laugh does not sound like a boiled tomato sucking lemonade.
That night I got home just in time for dinner. Abby had made it. She was good at that, but she did leave the laundry and most of the vacuming to me. Dad, Abby and I ate, and as we ate we talked. Dad was close to a new breakthrough on his envention. Abby was reading a new book about a closet, lion, and some kids from England.
I couldn't have know it, but in a very short time I would wish that I was still here, talking with my family, safe and sound, instead of on a sercret mission, with death staring me and the ones I loved right in the face.

Name: Anna Turner
Agent name: Agent Archer
Agent #: 77
Age: 14
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader
Location: Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

 “Anna, wake up.” Mom’s soft breath caressed my face.
    My eyes flicked open. I glanced at the alarm clock out of the corner of my eye and saw that it was five o’clock in the morning. Sleeping in compared to some mornings, especially when my parents woke me up.
    “I hear that Hawk’s gotten you on a solo mission,” Mom started, sitting down on my bed.
     Both of my parents are CIA agents. Like, real ones. Usually they try to switch on and off missions so that at least one of them is home all the time. Sometimes it didn’t work, though, and I ended up staying at Sarah’s house. 
     Other than being one of the best agents in the agency (the other best one was probably Dad), Mom was pretty much gorgeous. She had the same eyes and face as me, but her hair had been dyed so many times that she declared she didn’t know what color it really was. I guessed brown, but who knew? At the moment her hair was dyed beach-blonde.
    “Yeah,” I admitted.
    “You’re going to do great,” she continued, smoothing out the covers. She looked up at me and smiled. “You’re going to be one of the greatest agents the CIA has seen in years. You know that?”
      I grinned. “You tell me that about every day.”
     Mom shrugged. “It’s true, though. Your squad’s great, too.”
     “I agree,” I smiled.
     “You be careful, OK?” Mom winked. “I’m going on a mission today. Your Dad’s going to be back around supper. I think he said something about taking you out to eat or something, so don’t get yourself killed.” She grinned.
      “Bye, Mom.” I hugged her.
       “Bye.” And then she was gone.

“So what’s the mission?” I asked.
    Hawk and I were striding down the hallway towards the equipping room. That was where we collected gadgets and costumes, and got our last briefing before we were set off.
      “In down-town Denver there’s a drug gang,” Hawk explained. “Unfortunately, one of our operatives lost…something very important there. You’re going to pick it up.”
     “So why aren’t you sending a senior agent?” I questioned in surprise.
     “Because they’ll be expecting it,” sighed Hawk. “They killed the other agent we sent. They don’t even know that there’s a Junior-CIA. You’ll be fine, but you’re going to have to change your looks some.”
      I sent him a look but he didn’t catch it. We got into the big room. There were rows and rows of closets, wardrobes, shelves, and drawers in the room. I knew that all of them were crammed full of things.
      “Follow me.” Hawk started into a room I’d never been in before. But I’d read the sign lots before.
       Hair, Eye, and Plastic Surgery.
        I gulped. “I’m not having plastic surgery, am I?”
       Hawk laughed. “No.”
       Inside the room looked like the inside of a hair salon. Standing next to the swivel chair was a pleasantly plump young woman with a head of fair hair that flew in all directions and had purple streaks through it.
     “Agent Moby, here’s your new victim.” Hawk grinned.
     “Sit down, honey,” Moby directed, giving Hawk a glare. “Stop scaring the girl.”
     She shooed Hawk out of the room and plopped me down in the chair.
    “Just relax,” she advised. “Just relax.”

“Don’t stray from the path, remember,” Hawk’s voice crackled from the other end of the comms unit.
    “I won’t,” I whispered into the microphone.
    I paused, thinking about my transformation.
    First of all, my hair. Agent Moby had dyed it pink. I’m not joking—pink. And she’d layered it. I was wearing black clothes that were supposed to look “bad” and had my knife strapped to my thigh. For the clothes there was a black T-shirt, black skirt, black-and-gray striped long tights, and big black boots. I had a few extra gadgets, but they were hidden in the black backpack I had on.
      I went quietly down the alley in front of me, coming out the other end. I checked quickly before running out. It was in the afternoon, a hot day in downtown Denver. Cars zoomed past, rough and old cars with huge dents and places where the paint had been scratched off.
     Hawk, back at the agency’s station, was tracking me. He was giving me directions while I did the work. It worked out all pretty good in the end, though.
    “OK, turn to your right,” Hawk told me.
     I started to do what I was told. Up ahead I could see a gang walking together on the street, looking pretty much like I did in my new getup. Total punk. Total stupid, more like it.
     All of a sudden, the gang members stopped. The leader, a guy with a blue mohawk, stopped the rest of the group. His eyes narrowed on me, and then he signaled to me.
     “Agent Archer, you’re compromised!” Hawk’s frantic voice burst into my ears. “Get out of there right away!”
      “But I haven’t even…” I started.
       He was out. Angrily I started running back the way I was coming, the gang’s footsteps pounding behind me, catching up. I closed my eyes and remembered the map that Hawk had showed me before I’d started off on the mission.
      I could see the X. The spot where It was. I started off in that direction. The footsteps running behind me didn’t intimidate me. I’d been chased by people before, and always come out good. I turned the corner. There it was—the secret entrance, inside of a garbage dump.
       I lifted the lid and jumped in. I heard their footsteps running by. I waited for the secret entrance to open. It didn’t. I caught my breath as I heard more footsteps outside of the dumpster. Fear coursed through my body for almost the first time in my life.
      And then…
     The lid flipped open.
     “Archer, I’m having to rescue your sorry bum again!” hissed the horribly familiar voice.
     Before I got any help, I jumped out of the dumpster and landed on my feet, crossing my arms and glaring right at Tom.
     “You were compromised,” he told me, eyes glaring. “Hawk needs to see you.”

Name: Sarah Pearson
Agent Name: Agent Bookworm
Agent #:153
Age: 15
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader of Intelligence Sub-Squad
Location: Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

    The next day was Saturday. I didn’t have to go to any meetings, but I decided to research “The Band of Forty” some more. On the CIA main database, the part I had access to anyway, there were some more suspicious factors. For one thing, one of the known members of the band had been seen in Denver the day before Agent Dakota had been kidnapped. Thinking about it, I realized that a lot more, unknown, members of the band could have been here too.
    I clicked on the notifications button on my “Start” menu. As I was waiting for the screen to finally start showing notifications, I looked back at the internet site I had been at. A new post had been added on the Band of Forty.

The Band of Forty has just released the statement that they have done something to prove their power to the world. As of now, we do not know what they have done, but we warn people to be cautious. The Band of Forty may be a genuine threat.

This just added to my suspicions that The Band of Forty had kidnapped Agent Dakota. I clicked back to my notifications. They ought to be up by now.
I had a few new notifications. One from Abby, one from headquarters, and one from someone who’s ID was not available. I clicked on the one from Agent Library first.
Agent Bookworm,
I looked up The Band of Forty. Do you think that they kidnapped Agent Dakota? It looks likely. I’ll keep looking.
Agent Library

    Then I clicked on the anonymous one. As I read it, I could feel my heart beating faster with fear. Sweat broke out on my forehead, and I quickly typed off a letter to our leader, Agent Archer.

 I received this letter in my notifications. It is urgent. What do we do?
Agent Bookworm:
This is Agent Dakota. The Band of Forty told me to send a notification to you. They know who you are. They know who Junior Delta Squad 101 is. They intend to find every person in the squad. and get them. You cannot avoid them. Agent Dakota.
 I looked at it again. That didn’t sound very much like Em. She would have said something like: “Be careful”, or “Don’t worry.” And she and I had a secret phrase that we always put in our um, notifications to each other. We always said:  “SYSH,” which means See You Soon, Hopefully. It was a little thing we always did. And this notification didn’t have it. Uh oh. That meant that the Band of Forty knew my email address. And this was probably not a vain threat.
    I clicked the ‘send’ button and waited anxiously for a reply. If this was true, I could be placing my family in grave danger, just by staying at home.

     Name: Jo Ben-Judah
     Agent Name: Agent Awesome
     Agent #: 8
     Age: 14
     Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
     Position: second in command
     Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.

     Friday night I got home just in time to light the candles for the Sabbath. Since Mom was dead it was my job as the oldest daughter to light the candles. I slipped something over my head and lit them. Then we ate our special meal and went to bed. The next day was Saturday and I went straight to the DQ where I worked every Saturday. 
     Before I went I logged onto the computer and typed in the password for my email account. There was one from Anna, but I didn't bother to look at it. What caught my attention was an anonymous note. I opened it and read:

      Agent Awesome, this is agent Dakota. I've been taken by the band of forty and they made me send this notification to you. You are in danger. The band of forty will find everyone on the Squad and take them away.

     I was speechless. This couldn't be happening! I looked at the time. I wouldn't have time to look at Anna's email, I had to get to DQ.
     The restaurant was only a few blocks from our house, so I rode my bike. I opened the door, went in and slipped on my red apron. I said hi to Angie, the cashiered, and started making shakes. A tall man with a black suit and gold rimmed sunglasses ordered a chocolate shake. He had black hair, had  a beard, and was dressed totally in black. I made his shake an d brought it over to him. I set it down, smiled, and said "Enjoy!" I turned around to go back behind the counter, but he grabbed my wrist and pulled me nearer. He put his face close to mine and whispered in a smooth, silky voice, "Thank you, Agent Awesome. I vill be sure to tell your friend Emma that the shake was excellent." He smiled and showed a row of perfect white teeth. 
     I tried to remain calm and said in a n even voice, "Well, if would tell me where she is perhaps I could tell her myself."
     He smiled again, but I could see agitation behind his sunglasses. "Just you wait, my tough little one. We vill break you. Agent Archer has already been compromised." He smiled and put his mouth next to my ear. "You sister, Abby will be soon to go. I vill take care of you both my self. My people, the sons of Mohammad, have always had a quarrel with the lowly Jew." He spat on the floor. Unbelievably all I could think about when he said this was how bad his breath smell. It smelled like a boiled tomato sucking up rotten chocolate shake. 
     "Sir," I said, "You need to brush your teeth. Your breath smells like a boiled tomato sucking up rotten chocolate shake. Good day." I jerked my wrist out of his and turned, leaving a very angry man behind. Filled up a little girl's ice cream cone calmed my nerves. He came up to the counter when he was done and said, "You're shakes are most excellent. I vill be back for another some time." Then he bowed and left. I looked down at the cone in my hands. It was melting, like a fragile flower withering in the deserts of Asia.

Name: Anna Turner
Agent name: Agent Archer
Agent #: 77
Age: 14
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader
Location: Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

I was disturbed about the email. Dad, who’d finally showed up after Mom had left, had took one look at it and announced that we were going undercover.
    “We can’t come back to the house,” he continued, stuffing family photo albums into a black duffle back. “It’s too dangerous. Anna, grab a backpack and put some things that you’ll be needing.”
     I did just as I was told. We packed our things into our car and drove off towards the Junior-CIA headquarters. I wondered faintly why Dad wasn’t driving me to the CIA headquarters themselves.
    “This is dangerous,” Dad told me, his eyes fixed on the road. “I have no idea how they found out about you guys.” He glanced at me. “Have you given any thought to your new agent name since you’ve been compromised?”
      I shrugged, fingering my still-pink hair.
      “What was that one movie that you really loved?” Dad questioned, his commanding eyes locked on the road. “Remember? Before you started working with the Junior-CIA?”
       “The Lord of the Rings,” I answered. All of a sudden, it clicked. “My name’s going to be Agent Rohan,” I told Dad quickly before I forgot. “That’ll be it.”
     “Perfect,” he agreed.
      We road the rest of the way to the HQ in silence.

“Oh, look, what do you know.”
      I froze, anger boiling in me. If only Dad hadn’t walked off down the hallway to find Hawk. If only he hadn’t left me alone by myself in the hallways of the Junior-CIA.
    I turned. “Tom, what do you want?”
    Tom had dark brown hair that he’d bleached blonde, tanned skin from being at the beach (when, I didn’t know—but he was always bragging about it. What a jerk.), and hazel eyes that had that “I’m so awesome and you stink!” look in them that made me want to punch his little ugly head off his maggoty maggot shoulders!
       “I hope you heard I’m joining your squad.” He leaned up against the wall and crossed his arms. “I hope you’re not going to give me anything less than a leader.”
     “Well you’re certainly not getting that!” I spat. “Or second-in-command!”
      Tom shrugged. “Hawk already promised me that. Besides, I bet I’m better than any Jewish girl.”
      I bristled. “You shut up about Jo, you hear?”
     “Oh, defensive, are we?” his eyes twinkled. I came this close—this close—to punching his head off his shoulders. If only Jo hadn’t come walking down the hallway at that very moment.
      The pretty brunette stopped when she saw us, eyes scared. Tom snickered and hissed to me, “Looks like ugly’s coming.”
    “You better shut your gob!” I glared back at him.
     “Uh, Anna?” Jo asked tentatively, walking forward slowly. “Could…could I talk to you?”
     “Can’t you see she’s busy talking to me?” Tom spoke quickly before I could reply. “Bug off. I’m having an important conversation and I’m not going to be done until I’ve taken your spot on the squad.”
     “You know what?!” I yelled angrily, stepping between Jo and Tom. “You can just shut up and leave! You should be lucky if I even let you empty porta-potties!”
     Tom, for once in his puny life, was speechless.
     I grabbed Jo’s arm and my backpack and hurried off down the hallway before Tom could sputter anything more out.
     “I hate that kid,” I muttered.
     “You should love him,” Jo pointed out. “God says…”
      “I don’t care what he says!” I hissed at her. “You should be lucky I saved your skin back there. Ugh! That kid annoys me!”
       There was silence. I sighed.
       “Look, I’m sorry, Jo. I really shouldn’t have said that. I know what God means to you.” I looked away. “But God’s not for everybody, Jo. Can’t you see that? Can’t you see that you can’t force your religion on me?” I shivered. “You’re always trying to, like, convert me. It’s creepy.”
      Jo’s eyes were wide. “You think I’m creepy?”
      “Well, no,” I answered. “But can you please stop bugging me about becoming a Christian?”
      She was quiet.

Hawk had given Dad and I basically our own apartment. I was horrified when I found out that Jo had had to do that, too. So far there hadn’t been any word from Sarah’s house.
    Before I went to bed that night, I checked my emails. I frowned at one email, and then clicked it open.
Bug off, Archer, and we’ll let your squad live. Meet us at the Pepsi Center. Come alone. Don’t tell anybody.

Name: Sarah Pearson
Agent Name: Agent Bookworm
Agent #:153
Age: 15
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader of Intelligence Sub-Squad
Location: Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

I looked at Mom, then at the floor. It was so hard to convince her of things when she had made up her mind.
    “Mom, you don’t understand. I have to go! It’s really important!”
    Mom pressed her lips together firmly. Her braid swished as she turned back to the pancakes she was mixing up.
    “Sarah, if you won’t tell me exactly why you have to be gone for a week, you aren’t going!” There was a note of exasperation in her voice. “Besides, today’s Sunday. We were all going to go to church together, remember?”
    Inwardly I rolled my eyes. Who cared about church when a terrorist organization was about to take over your life! But I couldn’t tell Mom that part. How would I get her to let me go into hiding, without her knowing I was going into hiding? It made me feel like screaming. Probably the other agents already were in some bunker in the secret CIA underground compound.
    My bags were already packed, but what was the use if Mom wouldn’t let me go? I tried one more tactic.
    “Mom, I can’t tell you why I have to go. But I can tell you that I don’t want to, but I have to, and I might get forced to if I don’t go now.”
    Mom sighed. “It’s something to do with …that?”
    When I nodded, I could see the fear come into her eyes.
    “You’ve got in some sort of trouble, haven’t you?”
I didn’t say anything.
“I forgot. You can’t tell me anything.”
I looked down to hide that I hated Mom sounding like that. She sounded. . . I don’t know. Like I had abandoned her.
She spoke again, tears in her voice.
“Oh, Sarah.” She held out her arms, and I rushed into them. Sometimes it was nice to forget that I was a fifteen year old CIA agent, on the run from radical terrorists. Mom sighed.
“I suppose you need to go.” Her voice faded down to a whisper. “But be safe, Sarah.” I nodded dumbly.
“I love you, Mom.”
She looked up, tears in her eyes.
“I love you, too, Sarah. Be careful, please.”
I nodded again and turned up the stairs to my room that I shared with my sisters. I grabbed my bags, and came back down stairs, hugging Dad on the way out the door.

As before, I went to the entrance in the florist’s shop. This time, I had tried to be very careful that no one followed me. I didn’t see anyone, and I slipped into the shop quickly. This time, I went to the manager’s office before going underground. The manager was really a CIA operative, Agent Amazon by agent name.
She looked up as I came in.
“Oh, Agent Bookworm. It took you a while.”
I nodded. “My mom took some convincing.”
She lowered her head in acknowledgment. “I see. Well, late or not, I have some instructions for you.” She slipped me a note. “Now, go to your usual training room. Hawk will meet you there and tell you more.”
On impulse, I saluted. She seemed so commanding! “Yes, ma’am.”
She laughed and waved me on to the secret entrance.
After I had gone into my secret room, I looked at the note. It said:
Agent Bookworm,
We have need of your squad’s skill. Do not be surprised when you hear of a mission. If you absolutely have to, contact your parents and tell them not to worry if you are gone for more than a week.
I frowned. What was that all about? Anyway, I had to get to the training room.

Hawk was waiting for me. I felt a little shy, since I didn’t usually talk to the higher agents directly. That was what Anna did. I contacted them through email.
“Agent Bookworm,” he said. “You will be staying with agent Awesome. Is that all right with you?”
I nodded. “Yessir. I’m fine with that.”
A twinkle shone in his eye. “Good. Here’s directions to the place. You should be able to figure it out.”
I nodded. “Um, sir? Do you know why I got this note? I couldn’t figure it out.” I showed him the note.
He smiled grimly. “I’m sure you’ll figure it out. And I have another piece of information for you. When you go on the mission, the code name will be Operation War Horse.”
“Operation War Horse. Got it, sir.”
He nodded. “Good. Now you may go ahead and go to your temporary living quarters.”

I followed the map and was soon in the hallway leading to my quarters. I passed a girl in the hall; she had pink hair. As I passed, she stopped.
“Sarah? I’m glad to see you’re safe!”
I looked at her again. “Anna? Your hair’s pink.”
“Yeah, well, that’s a long story.”
I nodded. “Have you heard any more from the Band of Forty?”

Name: Jo Ben-Judah
     Agent Name: Agent Awesome
     Agent #: 8
     Age: 14
     Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
     Position: second in command
     Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.

     Tom's words hurt. I cried myself to sleep that night, after Sarah had gone to sleep. But in the morning I woke with new resolve. I think that it's the trials of life that make us better people, but still, I was feeling a little nervous. 
     My phone beeped. The text message said we had to be in the conference room in five minutes. I grabbed my backpack and headed down the hall, hoping to get there before anyone else. The room was still dark when I entered. I took a deep breath and sat down in my chair. Suddenly the light came on. I whirled around in my seat. There stood Tom, next to the light switch, with a nasty look on his face. I could tell he was about to say something mean, so I jumped in before he could.
     "Hey Tom!" I smiled as brightly as I could, "You are just the person I wanted to see." he opened his mouth to say something, but I rushed on. "I heard you joined the Squad. Welcome! I also wanted to tell you that if you want my position as second in command, then it's yours." 
     He stood there with his mouth open. I laughed, "Hey, don't catch anymore flies! You want it?" 
     "Um..... yeah," he said. looking confused, but he closed his mouth [no more flies]. " you're just going to give it to me?"
     "Sure. Why not?"
     "Well.....anyone else would have fought over it."
     "What would that have accomplish?"
     "Yeah, I guess I see your point. No one would want to fight over it with me." he laughed, and that's when my anger got the better of me.
     "Do you think I'm afraid to fight with you, Tom?" I said, bitterly. "Everyone thinks that. But you know," I straightened up, "Perhaps someday they'll see. I don't have to prove anything to you, or to anyone else." 
     "Yeah, I guess you're right." he said. "Sorry." he scuffed at the carpet. Just then Abby, Sarah and Anna entered. Anna's eyes narrowed when she was Tom. Interrupting Tom wasn't my hobby, but I did it once again. 
     "Anna," I said, "I told Tom he could have second." Her eyes narrowed even more. 
     "No way, Jo. I'm NOT letting him have second," she said. 
     "Yes, you are," I said, quietly and firmly. "I'll be third."
     She stared at me. Tom stared at the floor. The tension was broken with the entrance of Hawk. The rest of the Squad began to arrive and we all took our seats. Hawk began. "As some of you know, your new team member will be Tom here. He's to be the new second in command." I could feel Anna's eyes boring a hole through me into Tom. "Your new mission will be to track down Agent Dakota. We believe that a terrorist group known as the band of forty has taken her captive and holds her in Jerusalem. I hope you all know where that is." everyone laughed. "We'll be sending your squad over seas for however long it takes." He kept on talking, but I wasn't paying any attention. Jerusalem! How many times had I dreamed of going there? But just the same it was going to be a dangerous place to be. Of course it made sense, the band of forty taking Emma there. It was a hotbed of three cultures. The Arab, Jewish, and Christians. Much dispute and violence went on there. It would be easy to get away with violence of any kind. Suddenly my ears perked up "....Agent Awesome will be leading the expedition into the city." he turned to me. "Because Agent Awesome has a middle east background, we though it would be a good idea to let her take the lead here. Also, Tom will not be officially in second until we return. Agent Awesome will remain in her position until after. Agent Rohan," he turned to Anna, "will be head of operations at the base, and you will also be going along on the expedition. If we by chance have to pursue the band of forty into the desert, you is in charge of getting the transportation, and taking the lead from there. Agents Bookworm and Library," he turned to them, "will need to do all their research beforehand. You leave day after tomorrow." One thought kept coursing through me brain. Find Emma. And that's just what I intended to do.

Name: Anna Turner
Agent name: Agent Archer Rohan
Agent #: 77
Age: 14
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader
Location: Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

I was not happy. Not happy. I mean, are you kidding?! Jo had totally gone off the edge. I knew that she said she was a “Christian”, but if mean, ugly, jerks of boys just demanded something you just didn’t give in! What about God disciplining those he loves?! Didn’t that mean that if Jo loved Tom (not in you way you might be thinking ahem, ahem) then she wouldn’t let him have the post for his own good and the own good of the rest of the squad!?!?
         We were going to be leaving for the mission soon. But there was still the email. I had to go to the Pepsi Center and see what was going to happen. I couldn’t just leave it like that.
        I waited until everything was quiet outside of my room. Nobody else was in my room with me. I quickly dressed in a black T-shirt with a layered black tank top underneath it, short black shirts with black tights going into black combat boots.
      With my slightly still-pink hair, I certainly looked the part of the bad girl. Perfect.
     I made my way through the halls carefully. I didn’t want to be found out by anybody—especially not Jo or Sarah. They were always suspecting things. I didn’t like that.
      I went to Sarah’s special entrance to the Junior-CIA headquarters. It went right out onto the street, which was what I needed—not the hallways of our school.
      Only when I was walking on the streets of Denver did I finally start to relax some. This was different than my last mission. I didn’t have a comms unit; I didn’t have people talking annoyingly on the other end; and…nobody knew where I was going.
      That wasn’t the relaxing part. If anything went wrong, nobody would know.
     I finally got to the center. I crept up by the building, wanting to see the person, or people, before they saw me. I didn’t see anybody, and started to creep around to the back.
      I stopped when I heard voices.
     “…And the chief said for us to grab the girl,” a man was saying. “He’s hoping to turn her against the agency.”
     “Do you think it’s possible? Agent Rohan has way too many connections to the agency to just throw it off.”
      I took a step backwards. How on earth did they know my agent name? It wasn’t possible. And yet I’d just heard it with my own ears.
      My agent name was no longer safe.
     “Oh, she’ll bend.”
     “How do you know?”
      “Oh, she will.”
      I’d heard enough. They knew my agent name. It was obvious they were just going to kidnap me.
      I turned on my heel and took off at a run.

Name: Sarah Pearson
Agent Name: Agent Bookworm
Agent #:153
Age: 15
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader of Intelligence Sub-Squad
Location: Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

Jo and I were getting ready for bed. I was brushing my teeth when she got out her Bible and began reading. I had noticed that she read her Bible a lot. And I mean a lot. She would read it in the morning, and when she got ready for bed, at least. And sometimes she read it other times, too. I spit the toothpaste out of my mouth and turned to Jo.
“You sure read the Bible a lot, Jo. Isn’t it boring sometimes?”
She smiled. “Not really. I always learn something new. Don’t you read the Bible, Sarah? You’re a Christian, aren’t you?”
I shrugged. “Sure, I’m a Christian. I go to church. But I like reading other books better than the Bible.”
Jo frowned. Not mean, but like she was worried or something. “You are a Christian, Sarah? You’re sure?”
I shrugged again. “I suppose. I don’t do bad things, and I go to church. Doesn’t that make you a Christian?”
Jo looked at me with wide, sad, eyes. “Oh, Sarah, being a Christian is so much more than that!”
My head twisted toward the door as I heard a sound. “Did you hear that, Jo?”
She shook her head. “No, what was it?”
“I thought I heard someone walk by.”
I went over to the door and looked through the peephole. I couldn’t see anyone, but you can’t see far through peepholes.
Jo and I continued getting ready for bed. I got out a book and started reading it while I waited for Jo to finish her devotions. We had talked too long earlier, which was why we were so late getting to bed.
Then I heard the distinct sound of running feet. I jumped up and opened the door. Just then Anna came into view, her face white.
“Anna! What are you doing here?” I exclaimed in a whisper.
She looked around like she was afraid someone would see her, and then she came in the door, pulling it shut behind her.
“Anna, what’s the matter?” I asked again.
She looked at me, her lips set in a thin line. “Someone is leaking our secrets. Even my new name isn’t safe!”

Name: Jo Ben-Judah
Agent Name: Agent Awesome
Agent #: 8
Age: 14
Squad: Junior Delta squad 101
Position: temporary Second in Command
Location: Jerusalem, Israel

     I stepped into the crumbling hotel room in the poor section of Jerusalem, Israel.  Headquarters had arranged a very inconspicuous flight over the Atlantic, and had arranged for transportation to the operations base, which happened to be a dirty hotel room in the poor section of the holy city. It wasn't much, but it would work. Sarah and Abby got right to work setting up our communications system. Abby popped up google earth on her laptop, and everyone gathered around as Abby handed the laptop to Anna. "Okay," she said, "This is the hotel room where we are," she put her mouse on the screen, "and this," she moved it to section of bare desert, "is where the base says the fortress is where Agent Dakota is imprisoned. We will be taking a jeep from here," she pointed to a market on the outskirts of the city, "to just outside the fortress. Does everyone understand?" we nodded. "Good. Now everyone has to get dressed up, and out we go." we all filed down the hall to the next room. Inside the base had set up the disguise unit. The disguise team got right to work transforming our small group. Anna, Sarah, and Abby were all transformed into Arab men. The team did a great job, but I thought they still looked too pretty. They all got brown eye contacts, because none of them had brown eyes. I was to be the Jewish prisoner, and was dressed in the native Jewish garb for women. Just as we were about to head out the door I held my hand up for silence. "As you guys know," I said, "we are risking more than our lives here, and in order to work like a team we need to put off any differences we may have until after the mission." I glanced at Tom and Anna. 
     "Fine." said Anna. "Let's go."
     "Just a minute, Anna." I said, quickly. "whatever your personal beliefs may be, I believe it would be right to pray before we go." Anna looked angry, but glanced at the terrified faces in front of her and nodded silently. Abby and I nodded at each other, and moved our group closer together. I put my hand on Anna's shoulder, and my other on Tom's while Abby my hers on Sarah's and mine. I closed my eyes and bowed my head. "Father, we come before You to ask for protection. You know more than we the dangers that are involved, and You know the outcome. I pray that You would guide our steps. And, whatever the outcome may be, I pray that Your sovereign will will be done. I love You, Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen." I looked up, seeing the tears I Abby's and Sarah's eyes. Tom looked passive, Anna stony. 
     "Let's go." she said. I nodded. 
     An hour later we were zooming up to the fortress. We got out up next to the doors. Anna walked up boldly, the rest following and making a ring around me. Anna pounded on the door with the but of her rifle-standered Arab weapon-and waited. The door creaked open and out stepped six guards dressed just like us. "I want to see the commander," said Anna, in her rough-tough voice. The guards glanced at us, then one of them nodded his head and headed inside. We followed. Inside we were led through dark chambers, down steel stairs, until finally we stood outside a steel door with a red light blinking at the top. The guard pushed a few buttons on the wall and the door opened. Inside was complete darkness. The guard stood aside as we passed through and shut the door behind us. I was about to say something when suddenly the room was flooded in light. In front of us there was a long conference table with plush chairs. Only one was occupied, in the center sat the man who had been at DQ that day, so long ago. I kept my face passive, though my feelings were much the opposite. Behind him stood a row of armed Arabs, staring straight ahead. The DQ man smiled. "Welcome, my friends. Or should I say Agents Rohan, Awesome, Thief, Bookworm, and Library? Which do you prefer?" I stared in shock at the man. 
     "What do you mean?" asked Anna. 
     "Agent Rohan. Perhaps you do not realize that this is, indeed, how do you say it, for real. You are captured. Face it. You have let your team down. You have failed."
     "That's a lie!" I cried. "It's obvious you have us cornered, Mr. DQ, but what exactly do you want from us?"
     He chuckled. "Mr. DQ. That's hilarious. But it's not what I want of you, Jo Ben-Judah, but what Mal wants of you."
     "Who is this Mal?" I asked.
     "Someone you know very well. Perhaps you would like to meet him?" he signaled to his guards. Two stepped forward and started to lead me away. Anna stepped forward, but another lowered his gun at her. I glanced over my shoulder and smiled bravely at them, willing them to be strong. They took my to a room and Mr. DQ stepped in and stood aside. "My friend. May I introduce Mal?" the light flipped on, and there, before me stood the very person whom I had trusted in most. It was Hawk. The surprise must have shown on my face. He laughed. The guard had me sit down in a straight backed wooden chair. I stared at him as he prowled around me. "Let me explain all of this, Jo." I nodded. "You see, I've always wanted a CIA base of my own, with no one to tell me what to do or where to go. So I started looking for likely agents. I found your squad to be most ingenious. So I began to target it by first taking Em, then working on Anna, then on you. I want you to join my base. And if you don't" he stared at his fingernails. "Then I suppose you'll have to disappear." 
     I shook my head in disbelief. "I can't believe you would forsake everyone."
     "You always were one for looking for the good in people."
     "Hawk. There is no way I will ever change my allegiance. I could not be a traitor! How could I face my family? How could I face God?"
     He whirled and spat on the floor. "You God!" he screamed. "Why do you do this to me? Your God does not exist. He is not real! He does not exist!" 
     I smiled and said softly, "Oh, but you're wrong. Hawk. He does." I looked him in the eye and for a moment he wavered. He turned to Mr. DQ. "Take her away." he said, with a wave of his hand. I stood and followed the guards, glancing back once at the man who had betrayed us. "Father," I prayed. "Don't let them give in. Show them Your hand, and save Hawk." Then I walked on, down the hall, to whatever fate would await me. But I knew this: Whatever happened, God  would be my strength. My stronghold.

Name: Anna Turner
Agent name: Agent Archer Rohan
Agent #: 77
Age: 14
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader
Location: Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

“We’re going to die!” wailed Abby.
    “We are not going to die!” I glared. “Stop that wailing. It’s not helping me to think.” I gripped the iron bars as I thought about how to escape. I quickly turned to Agent Bookworm. “Sarah,” I started, “you saw the layout of the place. Any weaknesses?”
     Sarah stood up from the cold cement floor quickly, brushing stray, moldy hay off her clothes. “Not that I could see. However, I’m pretty sure that there must be some way to dislocate the bars on the door.”
      I glanced at it. “Yeah, I think you’re right. It’s just like that one door in practice.” I flashed a grin at the immobile Agent Awesome on the floor. I kicked her boot. “Hey, Jo, you want to help me?”
     She glanced up at me with a glare, and then closed her eyes again. I realized she’d been praying. When she was finally done she got up. We quickly went to either side of the door.
     “It’s a Hardlock door,” I confirmed to Sarah. “It’s the new kind that Hawk’s men had created.”
     “Makes sense since Hawk’s the bad guy,” snorted Sarah.
     Jo and I lifted and the door creaked upwards. We both quickly jerked and then applied just the right amount of pressure. The door came easily off the hinges. We laid it quietly in the hay. I stuck my head out the opening. Just as before, there was no one.
    “Come on,” I urged.
    Agent Bookworm, Agent Awesome, and Agent Library followed me. When we had been captured, we’d been separated from Tom. I had no idea where he was, but I knew before we left we had to find him.
      I turned. “Abby, do you still have the secret transmitter?”
     Abby smiled and pulled it out of her pocket. It beeped a red light, over to our right. On the other end of the signal was Tom. At least we’d be able to find him, even if we didn’t find Emma.
     We went quietly through the hallways, avoiding people and ducking through lots of doors and hallways. Yet the light consisted on beeping. At least they hadn’t cut Tom’s transmission yet.
     We were about to turn another corner when I heard somebody in high heels coming our way.
     I quickly pushed the others back. Glancing around, my eyes caught sight of a janitor’s closet. I quickly pushed the rest of the team inside and shut the door.
      We waited with bated breaths as the person walked by the door…and stopped.
    “What’s this?” the person asked themselves. By the rich tone of the voice, I knew it was a girl.
      I glanced at the rest of the girls—had we dropped something? Jo was looking miserable and Abby was glaring at her older sister. I looked and saw that Jo’s head covering was missing. Oh. No.
     “I’ll have to report this to Hawk,” the girl whispered to herself, and then the high heels started again.
     As the footsteps got fainter, I quietly opened the door to get a good look of the person, just as they glanced over their shoulder.
    They eyed the hallway, but didn’t see anything. 
    I almost gasped.
    It was Emma Jackson.

Name: Sarah Pearson
Agent Name: Agent Bookworm
Agent #:153
Age: 15
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader of Intelligence Sub-Squad
Location: Jerusalem, Israel

         We all looked at Anna in surprise, for the moment forgetting about Jo’s blunder.
         “What happened?” I asked. What else could go wrong on this mission, I wondered. I looked at Anna. She looked like she had just had a shock.
         “That person… it looked like it was Em. And she was talking about reporting to Hawk.”
         Jo burst out. “Em? No! That can’t be right! Em wouldn’t betray us like that.”
         Anna shrugged. “I don’t know. That’s just what I saw.”
         I bit my lip. We couldn’t stay here. It was too dangerous, whether the person who had found us out was Em or not. And I really hoped it wasn’t Em. Em was. . . better than that. I took a deep breath.
         “You know, we need to leave here. But it’s too dangerous to stay, and pretty soon, it’ll be too dangerous to leave. We need to go now.” I tried to sound business-like, but it came out sounding more scared.
         Anna took over. “Yes, Sarah’s right. We need to leave right away.” She looked to Jo. “How far away is Tom now?”
         Jo took out the transmitter and looked at it. “It looks like he’s still quite a ways away. We’re going to have to be very careful.”
         We quietly stepped out of the closet and snuck down the hallway. I realized the building seemed to be getting fuller of people the closer to Tom we got as we ducked through a door just in the nick of time. Abby looked more scared than any of the rest of us, I thought. She stayed close to Jo, her lips pressed firmly together and her eyes more serious than usual.
         “Do you think we’re getting close?” she asked.
         Jo and Anna looked at me. I sighed. “I don’t know. It’s too bad I couldn’t find a map of this place before we started.”
         Jo looked at the transmitter again. “Well, we’re closer than we have been before. We should be able to find the door after a few more hallways, hopefully. I’m praying we will find it without more difficulty.”
         I looked at Anna. She didn’t look as angry as she had some other times Jo had mentioned God. But she still looked annoyed.
         “Alright then, squad,” Anna said. “Let’s keep going!”

Name: Jo Ben-Judah
Agent Name: Agent Awesome
Agent #: 8
Age: 14
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: temporary second in command
Location: Jerusalem, Israel

I couldn't believe what was happening! Emma traitor. That just didn't fit. I had trusted Em! And Hawk too! And now Tom was missing, and we had no way to get out. I turned to Anna. "Maybe we should split up." I said. "You take Sarah and find Tom, and Abby and I will see what we can find about Em." 
     She nodded. I slipped her the transmitter on Tom and motioned for Abby to follow me. We crept down the hall after Em. I heard voices coming our way, and Abby and I quickly jumped behind a trash can. It was Hawk and someone else. "Where are they?" Hawk screamed. The other person sobbed. "I don't know. Look, I'm done. I joined you and compromised, and now all I do is get yelled at. It would be better not to give in." "Why you!" Hawk yelled. "You promised!" "And I promised to stay with the squad, but I broke that promise. Why can't I break this one?" 
     "You're right Em." I said, stepping out into the hall. They both swirled around. "i mean, if Hawk breaks his promise to his team, why wouldn't you want to do the same to this team? And what's to stop him from running out on you again? You can't trust anyone who's already broken a promise." Hawk glared at me and reached behind him for something. "So Hawk," I said, "why did you desert in the first place?"
     "Because I wanted power and freedom to do as I wished!' he spat.
     "Then you admit that you tried to compromise the squad and went against your supior's and broke your oath?" I asked, trying to keep him talking.
     "Yes, I did." he said, with complete coolness. "Now if you'll come with me," he held a pistol up from behind his back. Emma's eyes were round with fright as Hawk made her clap the handcuffs on me. As Hawk pushed me roughly down the hall I looked back over my shoulder where Abby was still hidden, the wire to the table recorder barely visible against the black tile.

Name: Anna Turner
Agent name: Agent Archer Rohan
Agent #: 77
Age: 14
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader
Location: Jerusalem, Israel

Sarah and I quietly went down the hallway. My hands were ready for action, mostly in the form of punching somebody. And at the moment, Hawk’s face had a pretty big target on it. But we couldn’t go after Hawk. Sarah and my mission was to go and get Tom out of there.
        “Agent Rohan.” Sarah grabbed my arm and pointed to a thin wire stretched across the floor.
       I smiled. “Good work. Come on.”
       We carefully stepped over the wire and started down the hallway again. I alerted Sarah of some security cameras and, using stealth, she went over and took them out.
        We turned around the next corner and…
        …ran right into a squad of soldiers.
       We stared at each other for a few moments before I yelled, “Agent Bookworm, run!”
       We sprinted off down the hallway, the soldiers on our heels and yelling loudly in Arabic. I grabbed Sarah’s arm and pulled her around another corner, just to run smack-dab into another squad of soldiers. I groaned as the leader pointed his gun at me.
        Then he spoke something to the other squad. To my horror, the leader of the new squad grabbed my arm, and the leader of the other squad grabbed Sarah’s arm and started pulling us away in opposite directions.
        “Let me go!” I yelled. “Let me go!
         The leader said something in Arabic and the rest of the men laughed. I kicked the man in the shins, but he seemed unaffected. They pulled me through several other hallways until I found myself being pulled down cold stone stairs.
      At the bottom of the stairs was a dungeon’s door. The leader threw the door open and pulled me inside. There was a row of black-iron cells holding moaning prisoners. An unearthly scent lingered in the air and I gagged, almost puking all over the leader.
        “Throw her in with the American!” the leader directed the jailer, throwing me at him. The jailer caught me just before I landed in a pile of questionable-smelling hay.
        Before I could say anything, I was hoisted over the man’s shoulder, kicking and screaming my head off. The squad just laughed. The slamming of the dungeon door vibrated to the very core of my being.
        The jailer stopped at the door at the end of the row and threw it open, throwing me violently inside. I screamed, the door slamming in my ears. But amazingly, I wasn’t hurt. In fact, I’d landed on something that was actually rather soft…
       It groaned.
       I shrieked and jumped back.
       “Anna?” came the hesitant voice.
      Tom?” I almost couldn’t believe it. “Are…are you already?”
       He groaned and got to his feet. “I was before you landed on top of me.”
       I steadied him. “Oh, sorry.”
       And that’s when it hit me.
      This whole time, I’d been a horrible jerk to all of my squad. Even Sarah, who’d never even been as annoying and irritating as Jo. I was a shmuck, and I didn’t deserve to lead the best squad in all of the junior-CIA. I didn’t even deserve to lead Tom.
        “I’m sorry,” I whispered in between my sobs, sinking to the floor and hugging my knees. “I’m so sorry, God.” God. I’d been horrible to him, too.
        “It’s…it’s OK, Anna.” Tom uncomfortably sat across me. “Please just stop crying. It’s going to be OK.”
       “I’m a horrible person!” I screamed.
       “Yeah…well, I’m not much better,” Tom pointed out. “Being in prison’s made me realize that maybe Jo’s been right all along, Anna.”
       I looked up, tears in my eyes. “You mean about God?”
       He nodded. “Yeah. I…well, I’m a Christian now.”
       I paused. “You are?”
       He nodded again.
       “Could…could you show me how to become one, too?” I whispered.
       He smiled. “Sure, Anna—sure.”

Name: Sarah Pearson
Agent Name: Agent Bookworm
Agent #:153
Age: 15
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader of Intelligence Sub-Squad
Location: Jerusalem, Israel

I struggled as they dragged me away from Anna. Why were they separating us? I gritted my teeth, determined not to tell them anything—that is, if they wanted to know anything. It might just have been my imaginative side taking over for a minute. I shook my head. You have read too many books, Sarah, I said to myself. They probably don’t want to know anything. You don’t really have anything to worry about. Jo and Abby are still out there, I’m sure they’ll rescue Anna and me.
We came around a corner and to a large door. I wasn’t sure, but it looked pretty familiar. I couldn’t remember from where though, or what we were doing when we saw it.
The soldier leading the ones dragging me along opened it. And there we were, back in the row of cells that the squad had just escaped from.
Now I understood. They knew we would be able to escape again if we were all together. So they were putting us in different cells this time.
They tossed me in one of the filthy cells. I wasn’t really paying attention to anything, because it sort of seemed hopeless right then. But I knew better than that. I had to keep paying attention—to everything. If I didn’t, I might miss a chance.
I straightened up and watched the soldiers depart, joking about “the little brats”. That made me mad. I took a deep breath, about to start yelling at them.
“Sarah, don’t.” The words startled me, and I looked over to the cell next to me—and covered my mouth. There sat Jo, looking through the bars of the door.
“What happened?” I asked, unable to keep the words out of my mouth. “How did they get you? Where’s Agent Library?”
“She still hasn’t been caught. I hope she can evade them, because she has evidence against him.”
I raised my eyebrows. “Really? It looks like you have a story to tell me.”
As Jo filled me in on what had happened to her and Abby, I listened carefully. Anything—any bit of information, any slight weakness—might make it possible for us to escape.
“. . . and then they brought me here,” Jo concluded. “I was here for only a little while before they threw you in there.”
I sighed and slumped down. “I don’t see how we can get out,” I mumbled. “It looks pretty hopeless, even though Agent Library still is free. And for all we know, they might have captured her too, and put her in a different cell! We are in separate cells, so we can’t escape like we did last time, I just don’t see any way.” But even as I said that something niggled at the back of my mind. I had forgotten something. But what?
Jo looked at me gravely. “You know, nothing is totally hopeless when you have God on your side.”
I shrugged. “It sure seems hopeless now.”
Tilting her head, Jo surveyed me. “Sarah, let’s pray. God can help us.”
I nodded. I didn’t care. Praying usually didn’t make any difference, it seemed, but it couldn’t hurt.
Jo bowed her head, and I followed her example. “Father, we need Your help now; if not to get us out of here, then to sustain us during this trial. Please guide Abby as she is by herself now, and Anna, wherever she is. Show us what to do. May Your will be done, whatever happens to us. Amen.”
As we raised our heads, that one thing that had been bothering me again came to my mind. I smacked my hand on my forehead as I realized what I had forgotten.
“Jo! We still have our phones!” I whispered urgently. Her mouth dropped open.
“I can’t believe that we forgot that! We do! They didn’t search us!” The amazed look on her face slowly turned into a smile. “Sarah, God must have brought that to your mind. He is looking out for us!”
I shrugged. “Maybe. Anyway, we can use these, but we need to be careful. There’s sure to be cameras all over the place, maybe even in our cells. Can you see any?”
We looked around in our own cells. I found one camera, but I couldn’t reach it. This called for another plan of action. I went back to the door and whispered to Jo. “I can’t take the camera here out. How about you?”
Her whisper came back. “Neither can I. What do you think we should do about them?”
“We could probably avoid them by sitting in the corner facing away from the camera, and not holding the phone to our ear, I think,” I replied.
Jo nodded. “Good. We’ll try that. You call headquarters, and I’ll call Abby and see what’s going on.”
“Okay. Should we call Anna?”
Nodding once more, Jo gave the affirmative. “Go ahead, after you call headquarters.”
           I sat down and pulled out my phone.

Name: Jo Ben-Judah
Agent Name: Agent Awesome
Agent #: 8
Age: 14
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: temporary second in command
Location: Somewhere in a hidden fortress in Israel

I couldn't believe that we had forgotten about our phones. I tried not to stare at Sarah as she phoned Anna. She whispered for a few minutes then turned to me, keeping the phone hidden. She nodded. After she finished talking to Anna she turned to me. "Ok, she is with Tom. They are going to phone Abby. Meanwhile we have to figure out a way to get out of here!"
    I examined the cell. There really wasn't anything that caught the eye. Some straw on the floor, and a steal cage with a bared door. Nothing came to mind. Besides, there was the camera in the corner to deal with. Suddenly the door to the prison opened, and in stepped a figure in a blue uniform with flashy red high heels on. I peered at her face as she walked confidently up to my cell.  
      "Emma!" I gasped. 
      She grinned wickedly at me. "Listen, Jo, the camera can see every move we make. Don't you dare smile. Look scared. I'm going to help you get out of here. I'm going to open the cell door. Back against the wall as if you don't want to come with me. I'm going to drag you out. Resist.”
       I nodded, and backed up against the steal wall of my cell as she opened the door, as if feeling for an escape. Emma jerked the door open and yanked me out. She grabbed my hands behind my back and handcuffed them again. I was getting kind of tired of this. I mean, how many times had I been handcuffed this day? She did the same to Sarah, and shoved us out into the hall. I gasped. Emma knew her stuff.
      She had Abby dressed in the same way as her shoving Tom and Anna in front of her. Emma nodded to Abby then pretended to speak into her walkie-talkie. She and Abby started to march us down the hall. I realized that we were headed away from the front entrance. There must be a back way in. After a little more walking Emma scanned her hand and opened a door. We all stepped inside. It was more of a tunnel, and we followed it for a long time, what seemed like a mile or more. Suddenly Emma stopped and I ran into her.
     "Sorry!" I whispered. She turned around.
     "Ok, here is were I let you guys off. A little way farther and you'll find the other entrance into a hotel room in Jerusalem. You're out." She began to unfasten our handcuffs.
      "Wow Emma," said Anna, "Thanks! I can't believe that you got us out of there. And we came here to rescue you!"
     Emma said nothing.
     "You were great, Emma!" said Sarah. "I'm sorry that I doubted you. It just looked like you were working for Hawk."
     Emma looked up, her eyes meeting mine. "I was, at first. But then I realized what a mistake I had made. Sorry. Anyways, you're free." She didn't answer my smile.
     Tom interjected. "Hurrah! That was great escaping! I love this job!"
      "No kidding!" Abby grinned.
     Anna led the way past Emma to the end of the tunnel. We all turned to follow her. I was just about to follow when I noticed that Emma wasn't coming. "Emma," I asked, "aren't you coming?"
     “What?" I said in disbelief. "You have to. What will Hawk do when he finds out?"
     "But I can't. I betrayed you."
     "You saved us!"
    "But I was also the one who helped to capture you."
    "And are you sorry for it?" I asked more softly.
    "Of course!" Her eyes flashed. "But no way would they accept me again."
    I put my hand on her shoulder. "You know, Emma, there is such a thing as forgiveness."
   "But that doesn't always work."
   I laughed softly. "Doesn't it! Emma, God can forgive anything. No matter how bad it is. I should know......" my voice trailed off. 
   She sniffed a bit then asked. "But how can I get Him to forgive me?"
   "Just ask Him! Tell Him you were wrong."
   "Ok." And then she prayed, in a small voice, the wonderful, beautiful, prayer of repentance. I shall not write it down, for it was too precious, too beautiful. It was between Emma and her Maker.
      We rushed to catch up to the others. We broke through the tunnel into the hotel room and ran down the hall and down the stairs, too excited to take the elevator. The hotel clerk looked at us strangely as we ran past her and through the doors into the sunlight were the others were. I spread my arms and looked up into that beautiful Middle East sky.    
     And it was then that Sarah said what we must all have been feeling. "Let's go home."

Name: Anna Turner
Agent name: Agent Archer Rohan
Agent #: 77
Age: 14
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader
Location: Jerusalem, Israel

“Ok,” I started, “we really need to get out of here.”
    “Relax.” Tom just grinned and flipped his cell phone out of his pocket, calling somebody.
    “And who on earth are you calling?” I demanded, temporarily forgetting that I was trying to be nice to him.
     He grinned. “My pen pal.”
     I burst out laughing. “Your what?”
     “Tom’s had a pen pal in Jerusalem ever since they hooked up through one of those kid magazines,” explained Emma with a smile.
     “And we’re getting picked up by them?” Even Sarah seemed to not be able to believe it.
    “This is strange,” admitted Jo. “I thought we’d be picked up by the agency.”
    Tom shrugged. “If you haven’t noticed, the mission don’t go according to plan, so they would’ve called it off. See, if they called it off, then that means that, of course, they would’ve called off backup and they would’ve called off our getaway. So we’re stuck here until we can contact the agency.”
      I pulled out my agency phone. “I can take care of that.”
      “Wait.” Sarah put her hand on mine. “What about Hawk? He runs the agency. What if he…”
      “…says we’re traitors,” finished Jo in horror. She turned to us. “What’re we going to do?!”
      “Pray.” I was already on my knees.
      Jo looked dumbfounded, and a little bit sheepish, that she hadn’t thought of that before me. They all gathered around me in a circle and, at my command, we held hands. Then I cleared my throat and started.
      “God,” I started, “please protect us and the rest of the agents, and please keep all of us safe from Hawk. Thank you for letting us escape. Amen.” I stood up. I wasn’t necessarily proud of myself. I mean, it was hardly one of those “Jo prayers” that sounded as if they’d been memorized from a book. But it was something from my heart. And I was glad.
      “Great job.” Jo sounded impressed.
      “My buddy’s going to be here in a few minutes,” Tom told me. “Apparently, their family are missionaries. So you don’t have to go and freak out that they’re weirdoes or anything.”
      I raised an eyebrow. “Did I say anything about them being weirdoes?”    
      “Well, no,” he admitted. “I was just saying…”
      Abby chuckled. “It’s OK, Tom. We gotcha covered.” She winked and then turned to her sister. “So, Jo—what’re we going to do when we get back to the States?”
     “Well I’m getting a bath,” she declared, groaning as if just smelling herself for the first time. “Sand can do horrible things to a girl.”
       “Relax,” Sarah chuckled. “I doubt it’ll ruin your good looks.”
       Jo glared. “Humph. Thanks.”
       Just then a jeep drove up.
       Tom smiled. “Meet the Monroes.”

Name: Sarah Pearson
Agent Name: Agent Bookworm
Agent #:153
Age: 15
Squad: Junior Delta Squad 101
Position: Leader of Intelligence Sub-Squad
Location: Jerusalem, Israel

We stood in front of the slightly normalish looking house, and Mr. Monroe, a bald-headed guy who had a round face with a genial expression on it, went up and opened the door.
         “Brice will be really excited to meet you, Tom,” he said as we stepped in the door. And then we stopped in astonishment. There were lots of people in here.
         Mr. Monroe must have seen the looks on our faces, because he grinned. “These are our neighbors,” he said. “This is our apartment building.”
         I nodded slowly. Jerusalem was definitely not America. We went down the aisle and found ourselves in a kitchen/living room area. A boy was sitting on the couch, playing with a Nintendo DSI. He had close cropped, spiky blond hair, and grey eyes. I raised my eyebrows.
         “Brice?” Mr. Monroe called. “Tom’s here.” The blond kid slowly got up from the couch, still playing his game. I clamped my mouth shut or my jaw would have dropped.
         “Uh, hi Brice,” said Tom.
         “Hey, man,” replied Brice. “Watcha doin?”
         “We’re here on a—” Tom started to say.
         “Sightseeing trip,” Anna interrupted. Tom glared at her. Anna frowned and raised her eyebrows. Tom sighed.
         “Yeah. What she said.”

We stayed at the Monroe’s house for a day and a half, until we were able to get plane tickets back to Denver.

The plane circled before landing. I looked forward. There in the window seat was Jo, then Em was in the middle, then Tom sat in the aisle seat. I was behind Jo, Anna was behind Em, and then Abby sat next to her. The seatbelt light glowed. Abby still had her seatbelt on, but the rest of us clicked ours in place. As the announcement went over the intercom Jo twisted her head around to look at Anna and me.
         “I’m glad we’re back,” she said.
         I nodded. “Yeah. But who knows how long it will last?”

We had gotten through security finally. Anna looked around with a gleam in her eye.
         “This way, everyone,” she said and started down a hallway. And then we stopped. Right in front of the restrooms.
         Tom nodded. “See you there.” He went in the boys’ room, obviously.
         We went in to the restroom. Anna walked past all the stalls and pushed on the wall in a certain place. The wall opened up, revealing what looked like the inside of a metal elevator. Anna turned to us with a smile.
         “Come on,” she urged.
         We all got into the elevator. The second we were all in, the doors closed and we dropped at what seemed like a million miles per hour. Abby nearly puked, but thankfully Jo had brought one of the barf bags from the plane.
         All of a sudden, we stopped. I sighed in relief, thinking that the ride was over. But then we shot sideways, sending all of us onto the floor of the elevator. Then all of a sudden we were flying upwards.
         By the time the doors opened, I thought I might need the barf bag. We stepped out and found Tom, looking slightly green.
         “Some ride, huh Tom?” grinned Anna. He nodded weakly.
         I looked around. We were back in headquarters. Footsteps sounded on the tile floor, and Agent Amazon appeared.
         “Hello girls… and Tom. I’m glad to see you are back. I took Hawk’s place after we learned of his betrayal, thanks to you. But there is no time for rest, unfortunately. You have a new mission: Mission Hobbit.”

To be continued in:
The Agent Files: Mission Hobbit.


  1. Thanks, Maddie! ;) Piano Bookworm did Sarah Pearson/Agent Bookworm's part! We have another person doing the third part (Agent Iceskater--maybe you've heard of the person?).

    1. OK, so Hadassah's doing Agent Awesome's part. :)

  2. When will you write more?

    1. We've written more, and I'll have to post it soon!! =D

  3. I want more of this! Great beginning!

  4. More please!! Just read this and LOVED it!!!!

  5. Just read it! Soooooo awesome. Can you please check my blog out? I am going to be posting a mystery series on there soon.


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