Cover Is Only Skin Deep
Katelyn, Age 16, Copley, OH
CHAPTER 1

The cool Hawaiian breeze blew my newly dyed hair across my face. I looked around the Hanni Airport. Everybody was going to different places, except for one man who casually stood off to the side. My instincts said that no one would pay over two hundred dollars to get to an airport to stay there. He had a yellow backpack and a red Hawaiian shirt that said “Aloha” across it. Something was not quite right with this picture, although I couldn't place anything other than that no one had picked him up yet. He suddenly looked at me, and then he slipped into the crowd.

I followed him, but I kept almost tripping over my long grass skirt. Oh, why oh why did I agree to dress like a native? My blue contacts made it hard to keep track of him in the crowded airport. Finally, he stopped. My instincts said to play out the part of the hula girl greeters. Snatching a lei from another hula girl, I walked up to him, promptly threw the lei around his neck, and gave him the traditional Hawaiian greeting.

“Weren't you on the other side of the airport? Why did you follow me? I'm not breaking any laws, am I?”

“Not at all,” I said, my Hawaiian accent helping me to perfectly play my role.

“Then what is a beautiful thing like you doing following me?” he asked, flirting with me. I fished out my compact mirror that had spy technology, the picture flashing inside my contacts, and his face matched the picture perfectly. He was my target.

“I noticed a handsome man who wasn't greeted and had to give him a lei. It is my job, you know.” I said, flirting right back.

“Rachelle, have you spotted your target yet?” my boss asked through my comms unit.

“Who was that?” the guy asked, a flash of worry passing through his eyes.

“That was just my boss yelling at me to stop chatting and to start working. After all, what do I get paid for?” I asked him. If I learned anything in SPY academy, I learned that the best covers have a bit of truth in them. “Look, let's get you to where you're going. I know a taxi driver personally that could give you a discount,” I offered, wondering if he would take the bait.

“Let's go,” he said, sounding as if he were in a hurry. We went outside, and I spotted my fellow spies who were placed in a taxi. I waved them down. Immediately, they jumped out and shoved the guy into the car, as I jumped in with them. My friend Rachel was tying him up and putting a gag on him while Bobby was driving. The guy obviously was knocked out cold because he wasn't struggling or fighting.

“Rachelle, how ever did you get him out here?” Bobby asked, going only slightly over the speed limit.

“Lots of flirting,” I sighed, glad that the job was almost done. I took out the blue contacts and blinked, my eyes tired from working so hard to see. The next step would be the interrogation, which was usually the hardest, especially since most foreign political people are stubborn.

CHAPTER 2

As I changed into more comfortable clothes (with the guy blindfolded and the curtain drawn), I filled in Rachel. I looked at the Mexican senator, and I felt a little sorry for him. He didn't ask to be kidnapped. He seemed decent enough. Of course, we spies have learned not to judge by an initial reaction. But I suppose if you're dumb enough, as a politician from another country, to come to America without a disguise or some sort of bodyguard, you deserve to be kidnapped; at that point you're just asking for it. After all, the CIA did report that he was trying to use his political immunity to steal our small pox vials. You have to be stupid if you think that you can get away with it without an “accident” happening.

Rachel stared at me with her penetrating stare, one that looked past your face into your soul. “Are you okay?” she asked me, worry lines showing across her heart-shaped face. Her worry was genuine, a rarity for spies. My only living parent had died last week while I was on an assignment in the Amazon. My father, who was fighting cancer, had lost the fight. When I had left, the cancer was in remission, and things were looking good. I never knew that when I kissed his cheek, that was the last time I would see him alive.

“I'm fine,” I replied, my professionalism taking over. I checked my bag for the rope that we needed to tie the senator up. It was right where I left it. I looked through the back window and saw a black car following us. I quickly noted the make, model, year, and license plate number and wrote them down. I searched for my cell phone, and then called my professor on speed dial. “Code red, code red!” I whispered, not sure my friends had checked the car for bugs (a thing spies use to listen in on your conversation), and I guess I was about to find out. “A car's following us, and we need backup, now,” I told him as quickly and quietly as I could in Portuguese. I could only hope they didn't know that language. I heard him assign the closest person in a car to go and help us, which would mean that they would have to drop their mission. That would get us a few points deducted. But we needed backup. We couldn't cause a scene and blow our cover. Everyone else was just trying to get information for the CIA.

“I'm on my way,” Jacob told us through the comms. We saw him just crash into the black car, and luckily he technically had the right of way. Just a normal accident on a small back road of Hawaii. Thank God for backup. “Thanks, Jake. You saved our skins,” I told him. I could feel him smiling, quite proud of himself for making it look inconspicuous.

“Any time,” he said, turning his comms unit off. He probably was hiding it in the secret slot all of us have in the back of our glove departments. As we pulled into the driveway of our college, I again thanked God that Jacob was nearby. We never could have made it without him. And we always had the most important missions on our hands.
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