Now, if there is one thing you should know about the Sergeant is that he did not scare easy. He did not get shocked. Or surprised. He was a man who had gone through war. He’s killed and seen people be killed. He did not survive by being kindhearted or understanding. He was not cruel; he just wasn’t going to sugarcoat the real world.
Then the MI6 send a bloody schoolboy to him; and give him 11 days for a 14-week training coarse. Maybe someone up there finally cracked, maybe the world has gotten even more messed up, maybe there was no other choice. But here was a teenager who obviously did not want to be there. And maybe that was his mistake. Thinking of him as some little kid who didn’t know a thing. But that kid, could take full-grown armed men and leave without a scratch. He finished the ‘playground from hell’ in 17 minutes. Even his best man only finished in 12.
But the Sergeant did not admit defeat easy; even to him-self. He went easy on the kid. Let his guard down. He was just a kid. And maybe that’s the point. No one thinks some kid with seemingly no talents or skills what so ever to be a black belt or a spy.
Even so, it was just a box of matches. Pick-pocketed using one of the oldest, simplest tricks; the stumble and grab. And maybe that’s why he didn’t realize it. Didn’t expect it. Maybe he was waiting for something like this to happen. To prove him wrong. To show him he’d underestimated the kid, cub, Alex Rider. Even if he didn’t show it, that trick with the little box of matches told him a lot more then it should have… maybe the kid would make it. Maybe he would save the world. He would watch and see. But, after all, it’s just a box of matches. Right?
Alan Blunt once said, “…With Alex, we have a spy who wants to be a schoolboy.”
Doesn’t that seem a bit backwards to you? A bit unusual? But, Alex Rider had never been considered normal by any definition; even before he joined the MI6 at 14 years old (no matter how unwillingly).
As a rule, all teenage schoolboys, at some point in time, dream of being police men, firemen, rich and famous, and spies. But, Alex Rider was the exception to every rule. He was a spy even if he only wanted to be a schoolboy. The fact of the matter was this; he was too good at what he did. He never failed, never gave up and as a stubborn, proud, teenager, he was easily tricked, blackmailed or pushed into missions. The price to pay for being 14, no control of your own life.
But, this wasn’t the only rule he completely deteriorated, not by a long shot. Because, he was the exception to every rule. School rules: he lied, skipped, and brought weapons. House rules: he stayed out past curfew, disappeared for hours, talked back and sat in the dark playing video games when grounded in the dead of night. Most of these are common enough in teenagers. But, there are some that are unspoken rules that are seemingly impossible to cross or overstep enough to break. The universe’s laws: he survived a bullet to the heart, became friends with his uncle’s murderer, kept his spy life a secret, had an 100% percent success rate at the MI6 and CIA, survived SAS training at 14 years of age, saved the world… he defied the MI6 and CIA. He breached the official secrets act, has killed, he still ended up with a girlfriend, he still gets good grades, he’s been around the world. He has more lethal enemies then you can count. There are no more boundaries when you survive with the devil’s luck… when you face and a million aliases’ are all over the world. But, he has even managed to break his own rules: he told Sabina and Tom, he went to school, he left Jack and Ben in the dark, he refused to do the mission Blunt assigned… it takes some skill to break your own morals but even more to know where to draw a line. No, Alex Rider was the exception to every rule, be it karma, fate, irony or physics.
He truly should not be alive. But, one day his devil’s luck run out and he’ll find the line…right? The spy who wanted to be a schoolboy was still there…somewhere. He still had his head above water…even if one little thing could send over the edge. Spies don’t show emotion, but that’s another rule he can break. Maybe one day he can follow the rules. But he’s too good at what he does. He won’t be free till he drowns and is 10 feet under the ground. He’s about this close to that line, but it might just be another law of the universe to shatter. Be it heaven or hell, Alex Rider has survived this long. Let’s see how long he can last, breaking all the rules, before it all comes crushing down.
The teacher had given them a simple assignment. Write a short poem/paragraph/essay answering this three-worded question: Who are you? It was those three words, a blank sheet of paper and an hour of class time that had Alex Rider on the verge of a panic attack. It was his first day back from a mission and just his luck: Tom sat on the opposite side of the room. He had no cover story or way out of the room that would not end in a death sentence for both him and many in that very room.
Most of the kids in his 7th period English class were at least nearly finished if not finished already having written a short five-sentence paragraph. The spy part of him had the vague paranoid suspicion that this was not the assignment originally planned for that day but rather a spur of the moment thing assigned due to the fact he was at school. The normal teenaged boy part of his brain (however small) thought this stupid and arrogant. His mind finally registering the words on the page in front of him, he took out two sheets of paper. On the first he wrote his truthful version of the assignment.
Who I am
By: Alexander Rider
For: Ms. Murphy’s 7th period English class
I am a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
To myself, I am a teenage boy in over my head.
To criminals, I am a threat.
To the governments of the world, I am a teenaged James Bond.
To Yassen, I was “little Alex,” a child.
To Ian, I was a nephew in constant danger.
To Jack, I was the little brother she never had but always wanted.
To John and Helen, I was the son they never knew.
To Blunt, I am a tool to be used.
To Ms. Jones, I am a child in over my head.
To Sayle, I am a ‘bliddy’ schoolboy.
To the sergeant, I am merely a child.
To Tom, I am a best friend.
To Julius, I am a worst nightmare that has destroyed his life.
To Sabina, I am a boyfriend.
To Fox, I am a partner.
To Wolf, I am a rich guy’s son.
To Snake, I am a medical nightmare that survived a bullet to the heart.
To Eagle, I am a pain.
To my teachers, I am a troublemaker.
To the students of Brookland, I am a druggie.
I am Alex Rider: MI6 Top Spy and Scorpia Top Assassin.
After he was finished, Alex carefully placed the sheet into his backpack and started on the one he would actually turn in. after all he needed to do his class work and he needed to…not break the official secrets act.
Who I am
By: Alexander Rider
I am an orphan.
I am a schoolboy.
I am in over my head.
I am a liar and secret-keeper.
I am someone who cannot tell you who I am.
I am someone who you wouldn’t believe even if I did.
I am Alex Rider.
I am sorry.
With that, the bell rang and he dropped the sheet on his teacher’s desk before bolting from the room. The spy part of his brain had a vague but sure suspicion that this would not be the last attempt to unravel Alex Rider.
Ms. Murphy had one purpose and one purpose only when she assigned this particular essay to the class; figure out what the deal was with Alex Rider. There was something not right with the boy. Up until a few months ago, if someone had asked her what she thought of Alex Rider she would have said, “He is a good student, one of the highest in every class, he was captain of the school football (soccer) team, was friends with nearly every one and while he stirred up trouble every once and a while it was nothing that invoked more than a few laughs and a couple a detentions… He was a good kid.” Now however, if someone had asked her that she would not have even the slightest clue on how to answer. After his uncle died he had become withdrawn, he quit the football team, he stopped talking to his friends, got in fights, was sick for long frequent periods of time, and his grades slipped from A’s and high B’s to low C’s and D’s. The rumors flying from the kids were absurd; he’s a druggie, he’s in a gang, he’s faking it, he killed his uncle, and the most absurd of all, he’s a spy! No, Ms. Murphy did not understand one iota of a thing about Alex Rider…and she intended to learn exactly what happened to him, even if it was encrypted in an essay.
Life sucked. But, it was getting better. Tom was still my best friend and didn’t freak about the whole Scorpia thing…much. Sabina’s parents decided to stay in the UK and she was officially my girlfriend. Best of all, MI6 promised no more missions until I graduated high school, unless it’s a major emergency like, every other agent they have has died/gone MIA/turned traitor/gone on a mission and if I’m not sent on this mission the world will be blown up… They cleaned up my record. They paid me for all my missions and got me permission to live on my own. So, like the good teenaged boy I was, I started paying attention in class. I got mostly A’s and B’s; surprisingly it’s not too hard to catch up even when you’ve practically missed a year and a half of school. I thought I was ready to actually do my homework and not worry the as soon as I started I would be forced to be half way around the world that time tomorrow. But, it seems I still had my luck of the devil, even when not on a mission because my English homework was a personal perspective essay:
Most people know where they stand or how they look to other people. How to you see yourself? What do you think of when you see your reflection? Are you proud or ashamed? What do you what to change about yourself? Where do you see yourself in 20 years? Must be at least one page long typed or at least has long as you can make it. Bonus question: what do you think makes a hero? Do you see yourself as one? If not, what role do you think you play?
The words were innocent enough but the answers would violate several official secrets acts, his personal privacy and lead to many awkward questions and most likely a few arrests… it seemed karma was a fan of irony. His first assignment had to be the one he could not complete…either that or history loved repeating itself… He sighed. He’d have to make up some B- answers in order to keep his secret. But, he had already started thinking about the answers and they were giving him a migraine. Knowing, they would not leave him alone until he told someone or something equally draining distracted him, he had an idea. He had promised himself he would do his homework, what stopped him from writing two essays: one truthful to be thrown away simply to ease the guilt and prevent the nightmares that were sure to follow the reawakened memories, and one fake to turn in for his English homework.
With that, he turned on his MI6 secure laptop Smithers made him and got to work. His first essay flowed easily and he thought he should do this every time memories plagued him, it felt good to release your pent up emotions, without, you know, hurting someone either emotionally or physically.
A personal perspective essay by: Alexander John Rider (Alex R.)
For Ms. Murphy’s year 10 English class
Contrary to popular belief, I do know where I stand with my peers. I know the rumors that circulate about me; I can tell you, of all the ones I’ve heard none are true. I must look like a zombie back from the dead to most people. And truthfully, I don’t care; I have my best friend (Tom Harris) and my girlfriend (Sabina Pleasure), so why should I care what every one else thinks about me? They don’t know me. They don’t know my parents, John and Helen Rider, died in a plane crash, caused by a bomb planted by my traitor godfather ASH, when I was a few months old. They don’t know my uncle Ian was almost never around when I was growing up and died a little over a year ago. They don’t know my housekeeper and older sister by adoption Jack Starbright died a few months ago and it’s all my fault no matter how much I tried to save her. They don’t know that the man who killed my uncle, the assassin I vowed to kill, saved my life and died with a bullet in the chest for me was Yassen Gregorvitch, the most wanted contract killer in he world. They don’t know it was my godfather who more or less killed him. They don’t know that my godfather tried to kill me. They don’t know I’ve been a pawn of the MI6 the entire time I’ve been ‘sick’. They don’t know I’ve saved the world my times then I can count. That I’ve been in space and I’ve survived SAS training camp. They don’t know I’ve been through hell on earth. That I’ve shot at and killed people with uncanny accuracy. That I’ve been shot at more times then there are stars in the heavens and that once I took a bullet to the chest, an inch above my heart. They don’t know I have more enemies then every super hero, spy, James Bond and terrorist/assassin put together. They don’t know I have wanted posters in most intelligence agencies and terrorist organizations around the world. Oh, it’s my face, but matched to a different name. Always a different name. a different cover story, another way around the rules every time. Some times it’s easy to pretend and play a part with not consequences and a totally different personality and life and not deal with every thing. Sometimes it’s easy to play spy cause if you get caught there are ways out, there are no rules and all you have to do is stay alive till your exposed the bad guys. But I’ve never been Alex Rider; Alex Rider is never the spy.
Cub is the first teenager to survive SAS training.
Felix Lester was a computer nerd with both parents.
Kevin Blake was obsessed with soccer and never seemed to shut up.
Alex Friend was the disrespectful son of a billionaire with an older sister.
Alex Gardiner just wanted to go on vacation with his parents.
Federico Casali just wanted to get into another country to learn to be a criminal.
Abdul Hassan couldn’t care less about the MI6 and didn’t know a thing about politics.
Alex Brenner had divorced parents and was shy around girls.
Alex Tanner was a sports jock that had a different girlfriend every week.
The only thing these boys had in common with each other is several of them have the same, common, first name and they all have the same face. Shortish, shaggy blond hair with light brown pieces. Dark brown/hazel eyes and an athletic body. Slim muscles. And a tendency to blurt things out, as well as an unquenchable curiosity of all things. Some times it’s easy to just memorize a whole other story, then try and figure out your own. It’s one thing when no one else knows you. But, Alex Rider will never tell a soul. It’s one thing when the bad guys don’t know the right name to match to a face. But, I know that the name to that face is Alex Rider. I just don’t know who Alex Rider is anymore.
Alex Rider is the best spy in the MI6.
Alex Rider is a teenaged James Bond.
Alex Rider wants to be a soccer player.
Alex Rider is a troublemaker.
Alex Rider is not someone you want to mess with.
Alex Rider is an assassin.
Alex Rider is a killer.
Alex Rider has saved the world.
Alex Rider is a schoolboy.
Alex Rider is a black-belt.
Alex Rider can kill a man with one good kick.
Alex Rider can pickpocket and defy the most powerful people.
Alex Rider doesn’t now when to shut his mouth.
Alex Rider has a temper.
Alex Rider has seen too much.
Alex Rider has the scars to prove it.
Alex Rider is a model student.
Alex Rider is respectful and polite.
Alex Rider shatters all rules.
Alex Rider has crossed every line.
Alex Rider wears a mask.
Alex Rider is too good at what he does.
Alex Rider is the perfect liar.
Alex Rider is good at pretending and faking.
Alex Rider doesn’t know who Alex Rider really is.
When I see myself in the mirror, I don’t see a 15-year-old schoolboy, not really. The frame is there but there’s a different picture in place. I see disheveled hair soaked in sweat and dirt and grime. I see blood strained clothes that lay in tatters. I see scars and bruises. I see a bullet wound an inch above my heart. I see the cold lifeless eyes of Alan Blunt but in brown not gray, and tinged in red. I see a killer, a murderer, and an assassin. But I also see the schoolboy who was forced into the spy world and was still struggling against it in vain. I see the pessimist and the realist. The glint of humor in his eyes. But, it doesn’t look like me. A 15-teen-year-old should not seem normal or happy after what I’ve seen. I am torn. I am proud I have saved the world and saved thousands of lives. But ashamed of the means I had to use to achieve that. Ashamed of the unfeelingness and of the apparent lack of guilt. Of the stubborn temper, pride and unwillingness to face the truth that has cost the people closest to me their lives…
If I could, I would eliminate the murders. Take back the harsh words. Not learn to kill. Learn the truth a different way. Never involve the spy world with my world. But I can’t, so there’s no use dwelling on what ifs. it only hurts more when you realize there’s nothing you can do. Your helpless, powerless, completely out of control of your own life and held up by puppet strings. You can follow the motions or resist and break. They say you have a choice. There is no choice. There never is. Thinking about it will only drive you insane. No looking back. No fearing going forward. Keep calm now. That’s all you can do. That’s all you can ever do. In 20 years, I’m still going to say the same things I say now; but instead of school I’ll have a family. Instead of a girlfriend and best friend, I’ll have a wife and best man. Maybe kids. And I’ll still be in the MI6 watching them ruin other kids lives like they messed up mine. I was the guinea pig, and there are going to be results and products from the experiment. Maybe it’s not that a teenage spy is too complex, maybe it’s too simple. Nothing will have changed. I’ll still be a pawn on puppet strings. I’ll still rely on my luck of the devil; and I’m always going to pay for it.
As for the heroes? I don’t believe in them. The world isn’t painted in black and white. Shades of gray look different in different lightings. There is no such thing as good and bad. The heroes and villains. They is only my side and your side. Somewhere in-between is where you find the truth. Everyone has his or her own twisted versions of reality. Everyone thinks they are the good guys. But, the role I play is different. I don’t play superhero or supervillian. I’m the spy. I walk that truthful middle. I’m not on any side. I fight for the one that has to win for the good of the majority. But sometimes that makes you easy to sway. It makes you a liability. It makes you a target. And I’m much to good at my job.
I am not evil. There is no such thing as truly evil. I am not good. No one has a pure heart and guilt free conscience. I’m the one that walks the line and makes sure that line stays there. Makes sure the right people get knocked down and built up. I play be different rules. But I’ve never been normal, have I? You don’t notice me. You don’t know me. I don’t care, your not supposed to. I’m the one who saves the world but never lets anyone know. Why? Well, cub can’t tell you, he’s not sure himself. Alex friend doesn’t know. Alex Gardiner doesn’t know. Felix Lester doesn’t know. Kevin Blake doesn’t know. Alex Tanner doesn’t know. Alex Brenner doesn’t know. Federico Casali doesn’t know. Abdul Hassan doesn’t know. Alex Rider will never tell soul.
Satisfied with his work, Alex pressed save then filed it under classified so that he didn’t get it mixed up with the essay he would turn in. It had taken him a little over two hours write the rant/blow off steam/memories essay but it was worth it to get rid of his sure to be nightmares. As for the essay he would turn in, he simply wrote.
A personal perspective essay by: Alex Rider
For Ms. Murphy’s year 10 English class
I know what people say about me. I don’t care. I see a lot of things in the mirror and am ashamed I didn’t try to prevent from happening. In 20 years I’ll probably be in the same part-time job I have now but full time. Maybe with a family. I’d probably change my grades if I could and I am trying but it’s difficult. Especially when our teachers grade us on personal questions to find out our secrets. I’m not the hero; I’m never the hero. I’m not saying what I am through. No one is going to care or believe what I say, so why waste words? What role do you think I play? That’s all that probably matters.
He saved and printed his work as he laughed silently to himself. Let’s see what his teacher made of that. After all, he hadn’t lied; he just used a very censored version of the truth. After all, while covers were easy then real life; the best lies and covers were based on tiny fragments of truth. Realizing the clock now read 9:58 he mentally counting down the seconds to 10:00, as that was when Tom would call him in a panic for homework help. Still, chuckling to himself, he picked up the phone “Calm down Tom… yes I’ll help you.” He rolled his eyes at his insane friend ever though he couldn’t see him and started dictating him through maths. Yes, life was good.
Blunt/ Ms. Jones P.O.V
Unbeknownst to Alex the MI6 was alerted when he added files to the classified tab on his computer. After all, they had to spy, um, check up on him somehow right? The heads of the MI6 sat in the dark room from where they first saw Alex, starting to shut down the computers so that they may go home when, a blood red light alerted them. Opening the file Blunt read it with no outward emotion though it was clear it affected him in some way. “Still think using the boy was a good idea Alan. You might just have burned him out before he truly started.” Ms. Jones commented as if she was speaking of the weather, though the I-told-you-so was still faintly heard in her statement. Brow slightly furrowed Blunt left the room, leaving Ms. Jones to lock up. Quietly, she printed out the report and placed it in a file marked ‘AR CLASSIFIED LEVEL 9 CLEARANCE’. Turning off everything but the security, Ms. Jones left with only one thought on the matter “It may be a useful reminder one day. But all the same, I hope the boy does not intend to turn that in as his homework.” With that, she walked out, into the night.
There is a difference.
There is a dividing line.
A killer kills for no reason.
A murderer murders for their own gain and the feeling of blood on their hands.
An assassin shots unfeelingly.
It’s a job.
The target has no name.
The target has no family.
If you humanize a target you can’t shot.
Not even the worst villains are that heartless.
Yassen Gregorvitch is not a killer.
He is not a murderer.
He is an assassin.
John Rider was not an assassin.
He was a spy.
Alex Rider is not a spy.
He is a child.
He is in way over his head.
He is too young to kill.
It’s a bit like playing god.
You make the rules.
You hold all the cards.
You hide in the shadows.
You chose who lives and dies.
Which fragments become stained?
Ghosts of the past lurk in the shadows.
You’re only human.
You drag up little bits of truth.
You unfold secrets.
You hide under a cover.
You have a heart.
You have morals.
You do not kill children.
Or do you?
You have limits.
But limits can break.
Everyone thinks there’re the good guys in the equation.
Is it an excuse?
So you don’t have to kill Rider child?
So you can protect your secrets?
So your heart won’t break if he dies?
So he doesn’t think you’ll always save his life?
Or is it to save his life?
You’re not really sure.
He is little Alex.
Always has been.
Always will be.
But little Alex isn’t so little.
He’s lost everything.
He thinks he’s lost you.
Better to learn sleeping dogs lie. Right?
Then to drag up old scars and wounds.
Little Alex has killed.
But he is not a killer.
He’s an assassin.
He’s a spy.
He’s not evil.
But, not exactly the good guy.
He’s somewhere in the middle.
But you can’t tell him that.
There’s a difference.
You told him that once.
A killer is for nothing but the blood on his hands.
An assassin is different.
It’s a target.
Not a person.
It’s a job.
Not a hobby.
I don’t kill children.
I don’t kill friends.
Maybe it was an excuse.
Maybe it was a semi-truthful lie.
Maybe you wanted him to see through it.
Maybe he did.
But you’re not a killer.
Little Alex is not a killer.
There’s a difference.
There are still ghosts lurking.
But it’s less guilty.
It’s not your fault.
You pulled the trigger but it wasn’t your choice.
Trust will get you killed.
Maybe that’s why you pushed him away.
There is dark and light.
But there is no black and white.
There is a difference.
It’s your job to pull the trigger.
Not to shatter glass hearts.
Not to build up dreams or wishes.
Not to feel.
There’s a difference.
You know that.
You just hope that he does too.
You just hope little Alex knows the truth.
That’s the heart of the assassin.
You learn to live with it.
Felix Lester, computer nerd.
Alex Tanner, rich guy’s son.
Cub, a kid in over his head.
Agent Rider, an underestimated spy.
Assassin Rider, the best shot in Scorpia. Second only to Yassen and Rothman.
Alex Brenner, soccer player.
Alex Johnson, a kid on vacation. A normal teenager.
A thousand different names.
A thousand different stories.
A thousand different lives.
A thousand different lies.
Each had the same face, same looks, same person.
Blond hair that hangs in his eyes, hazel colored eyes that were more darkish brown with only a trace of green and gold. Tan Caucasian skin. Lithe(al) muscles. A fourteen year old boy. Never a threat. Never a liability. But exactly that.
He knows all your secrets.
He knows all about you.
He knows your schemes and plans.
Your convoluted reasons.
Your maniac madness.
Your insane methods.
He knows your biggest hopes and dreams.
He’s the thing of your very nightmares.
A teenager with a temper.
An assassin with a target.
A spy on a mission.
He’s a wanted criminal.
A blackmailed hero.
A tabooed name.
A thousand different lies.
All yet none of them true.
He has no parents.
He has no family.
He has no guardian.
He has no teammates.
He has no one on his side.
He is on no ones side.
Walks the line, like every spy.
But his mask fits a little to well.
He has no life, he barley has a name.
You use him because he is underestimated.
You underestimate him. Or maybe over estimate.
You never know because he is far to good at what he does.
That scares you.
You no longer hold the cards.
He can twist your words back at you as easily as you speak them.
It’s his job.
He isn’t supposed to feel.
Hidden in a mask.
Tom Harris, his best friend is at risk.
Ben his partner got shot.
Jack his guardian is dead.
Yassen Gregorvitch took a bullet to the heart.
His godfather killed his parents.
All his fault. But you can’t change the past.
He’s a child.
He’s a teenager.
He has a temper.
He’s a sharpshooter.
He’s an assassin.
He does damage control.
He’s saved the world.
He’s a hero.
He’s killed in cold blood.
He’s the villain.
He is all these things.
He is none of these things.
He is a liar.
He plays each like a role.
Slipping between them like a one-man play.
And you never realize.
You never believe.
Maybe cause it’s crazy.
Maybe cause it scares.
Maybe you just don’t want to, because he’s a child.
He is simply Alex Rider.
All these things.
Yet none at all.
You paint a picture only to find the image has changed.
The backgrounds different.
The lightings all wrong.
He’s a little worse for wear.
He realize he’s 14 bloody year old.
You don’t know who he is.
But why should he?
Your only ever what people make you out to be.
The truth is, there is no truth.
In a life of lies, he is his disguise.
It changes and twists and there is always some part of truth.
But you never know what is mask and what is an emotion.
Real and true.
What makes you think he doesn’t too?
Live a life of lies.
You’ll never find the real you.
You dig your self in a little deeper.
You take another wrong turn.
But your luck is running out.
What truth is there to unfold?
It’s all secrets, some you don’t even realize.
No ones left to dig you out.
You dug your own grave but it wasn’t your fault.
Your Alex Rider.
Nothing more, nothing less.
It keeps you alive, but only just.
You never know whom to trust.
You really don’t know the answer.
Except that, you are your cover stories.
And that is that.
Sometimes a life of lies is simpler.
It hurts less.
No one to fake for.
No one really cares.
It gets easier they say.
You lost yourself so you hide the holes with a mask.
Sometimes it’s easier to live with a cover.
No one sees through you.
And nobody wants to.