The Secret Agent

by SecretAgentPlotTwist

Not quite herself

“Is this necessary? We’re gonna have them all beat soon enough so why spend time humouring them?”

Lyra, who was standing in the middle of the gymnasium with Sweetie Drops, gave her a confident smirk. “We’ll beat them soon enough, but let's just eye up our competition for now.”

Drops looked around the pre-event party and at the other contestants. “Competition is a strong word,” she said.

Out of the many people throwing their hat into the ring, very few were of any worry to Drops. And even then, she wasn’t exactly worried.

The only ones who Drops had her eyes on were the Rainbooms, who were gathered around the snack bar. They better not use their equestrian magic to rob me of my much-deserved victory, she thought.

She also noticed they had brought along a purple-haired girl who was awkwardly standing with them. Must have brought in back-up once they heard I was competing. They’ll need it.

“Well, it would seem you two are blissfully confident.”

Both Lyra and Sweetie Drops turned to see that Octavia had come over to them, giving Lyra a little smirk. “Wasn’t confident enough you could win by yourself you had to bring in the school's mystery girl to help.”

Lyra glared at Octavia, but she had no retort.

Drops moved over to close the distance between them. “Listen, Cello girl, you may be skilled at your craft but I don’t consider you a threat. Why? Because I’ve already noted that your lack of self-confidence undermines your abilities to get where you want. As soon as the prospects of winning become within reach, you’ll falter. You won’t make it past the semi-finals.”

There was a flash of anger on Octavia’s face. “Oh, that’s big coming from you. You act as though you can do anything, and yet you can’t even be honest about your own feelings. You’re just a repressed prodigy.”

Drops backed off slightly but kept her glare. “That’s funny, considering I recall observing your repressed feelings when it came to a certain sunglasses wearing—”

Drops suddenly felt a piercing pain in her head. She recoiled, clenching her head in her hand.

“What’s the matter,” Octavia scoffed. “Did I say something you weren’t ready to hear?”

Another pain hit her. This time it was more intense, causing her to lose balance.

Lyra quickly grabbed her so she wouldn’t fall. “Hey, are you alright?” She asked.

“Yes, I just—” Another pain. “I just need to go to the toilet.”

Drops moved off Lyra’s support and headed straight for the exit. As she rushed along the corridor the pains became more frequent and intense, causing her to almost fall over a few times.

She managed to make her way into the toilets and to the sink. Using the sink to steady herself, she looked into the mirror. Her vision was getting more and more blurry. Another minute of this and she was certain she’d lose consciousness.

“What’s happening? What on earth is happening?”

“Come on Drops. You can do this.”

“It hurts!” She cried.

“That’s good. It means you’re in control.”

Drops clenched onto the arms of her chair. Her eyes were closed and she was desperately trying to slow her accelerated breathing. “Sir, I don’t know how long I can do this.”

She opened her eyes slightly. She could just about see her mentor, Fast Glider, watching over her through her blurred vision. “You’ll do as long as it takes. I know you can.”

Drops flinched as her headpiece shot another beat of pain through her head.

“Come on, damn it. Stay with me,” Fast Glider practically yelled.

Drops clenched her jaw, just about holding onto consciousness.

“You can feel it can’t you,” Fast Glider said, moving closer. “You know which thoughts aren’t your own. Now you just need to fight them.”

He was right. Through the pain she could see her thoughts distorting, her memories blurring. Her head was filling up with anger that had no origin and was quickly becoming impossible to suppress. A flash of hatred spread over her face.

“Don’t let it win Drops,” he yelled again. “Focus on something you know to be true. Remember who and what you are.”

Drops tried to think but the pain was unbearable. Her thoughts were distorting and combining. She could barely remember where she was, what she was doing. The only thing she could clearly see was the anger, the anger she knew wasn’t hers.

“Sir,” began the man operating the machinery to Drops’ left, “we’re beginning to lose her. We should probably turn down the intensity.”

“Not yet.” Fast Glider walked closer to Drops and knelt down in front of her. “Come on Drops. Show me that determination of yours. Remember where it stems from.”

Drops could just about make out what was being said through her ringing ears. It made her remember something. Between the anger, she could just about hear the calming sound of a lyre. She focused on it, and it slowly filled her mind.

For a moment, her mind was focused. She had control. Quickly, she isolated the foreign thoughts and anger in her mind and moved them to the side as she was taught. She grunted as she used what was left of her energy to crush them together and shrink them until they were no more.

She let out an exhausted breath, finally able to breathe properly. She slowly opened her eyes and was greeted by Fast Glider’s smile.

“You did good kid,” he said, a hint of pride in voice. “A couple more successful tests and you’ll have built up a defence against mind control.”

“I think I’m gonna throw up,” Drops said.

“The bucket’s to your left.”

Mind control.

Another head-splitting pain rushed through her. This was her defences kicking in. Her mind was trying to remove a foreign presence.

She was in grave danger.

Drops tensed her muscles and focused her mind as she had been taught. “Get out of my head damn it!” She yelled.

Without warning, her body spasmed violently and her legs fell through, barely managing to use her hands to shield her impact as she hit the floor.

She shook her head. Her body was weak, but her headache had stopped. It had worked, she was in control.

Trying to pick herself up, she faltered and feel back to the floor. Whatever had controlled her mind, it was strong enough that removing it had caused her serious damage. She instead started to use her arms to drag herself towards the door.

What could have done this? she thought. Her mind quickly went over just how out of it she was, only focusing on the battle of the bands. Those three girls, ever since they sang that song… sang that song.

That’s when everything made sense. The Sirens. I have to get out of here.

She pushed herself through the door and moved to lean on the wall next to it. She pulled up her legs close to her and started massaging some of the nerves.

“Come on legs,” she muttered, “Don’t fail me now.”

“Now what do we have here.”

Drops froze. She slowly turned her head to see the three girls from the canteen standing above her.

“See, I told you I saw someone suspicious,” the one in the middle said with a smirk. “Now what would an agency junior recruit be doing here all alone?”