The Little Lies We Tell

Three Weeks after Lichter's visit to Tyrus' family...a little apartment in New York City.

Tyrus paused as she approached the front door of the apartment, her battlemapping already adjusting for the broken windows and the shards of glass near the front door. She placed her hand on the door knob, noting the splintered door frame. Tyrus pushed the door open, her ears picking up the sound of crunching glass under her boots and the snapping of cameras as a pair of STRIKE investigators moved carefully around the room. One of the Agents immediately came up to her, placing a hand on her shoulder and obstructing her view.

"Director, you should stay outside, we'll give you the briefing when we're done here. There's nothing for you to see here." He said.

"He's wrong." A male voice said from behind Tyrus. She didn't need to look behind her to know who it belonged to. STRIKE had...internal assets that most field agents and heroes were never made aware of. Tyrus had someone above her, she also had certain people on call twenty four hours a day, people that had a certain set of skills. These assets were called various names by the rumors that swirled through the STRIKE carrier. Cleaners, Scrubbers, Wraiths, Shadows...The truth was something of a combination of the four.

"You need to see it, you need to confront what happened." He finished.

"I called you." Tyrus said quietly.

"Yes I know, which is why it took this long." He replied, still standing behind her.

"It's his fault...someone followed him didn't they?" She asked.

"Not followed as much media is a terrible thing for the untrained. Once they knew it was just a matter of time before it slipped out. It happened sooner than I expected."

Tyrus brushed past the Agent and walked to the center of the apartment. Her brother was sprayed across half the kitchen, his body all but blown in two with a butcher knife in his hand, a last ditch attempt to defend himself. Her mother was in the living room, shot six times in the chest and her father's head was mostly on the couch where he'd been watching TV.

No Caption Provided

For the first time since she could remember, all the alien emotions and instincts just...stopped. Replaced with the truth her mother had told her of last she saw her. Samantha Arkett still existed, she was just buried beneath carefully crafted layers of DNA modifications. She opened her mouth as if to speak, but couldn't. Instead she stood, her hands tightening into fists that grew tight enough that her leather gloves creaked and her knuckles turned white under them. A mix of unbridled rage and grief washed over her like a tsunami.

"WHO?!" She barked suddenly, her voice quivering.

"I have a few leads." The Wraith said, walking up beside the Director. "But it all goes back to The Organization. The Who of it is just a mercenary or three, nothing special, nothing to worry about. The people you want are the ones who did the hiring."

She turned her head, glaring holes through the Wraith. "When I called you...what did you do?"

"I established a security perimeter, I watched them like hawks, I scrubbed their social media accounts if they posted things. It was your brother's boyfriend who made the post. I scrubbed it, but these things have a way of lingering in the dark recesses of the internet. It takes time and the people you want found it in that time. It was a race against the clock after that...a race that I..." He glanced away. "They knew about me, instead of getting here, I had to defend myself against a sudden assault on the highway. Director, my apologies..."

Tyrus bit her lip until it drew blood and then simply walked away from him, she crossed the room to her mother and knelt down, taking her cold hand in both of her own, one hand on top, the other on bottom. "I'm sorry..." She whispered softly.

"Wraith." Tyrus said after a few moments, shifting her eyes past the body and to the operative. "Five rings." Tyrus said, her eyes alight with simmering rage.

He nodded, turned on his heel and left the scene.