Part 3

It looked like The Pawn Shop was back in business.
 
That’s what we called ourselves back in the day - unofficially, of course. We were one of the best infiltration and retrieval cells around:
 
Apex, a walking mountain, and a crack shot to boot.
Rook, who handled all our point work, and who’d saved our backsides more times than I could count.
Pariah, who knew his way around anything with a motor.
Then there’s the man known simply as Used, who could acquire or build practically anything. This guy made that TV character with the Swiss Army knife look like an amateur.
Velvet, whom I affectionately called Lexi.
Finally, there was me, the searing flame of the computer screen known as Pheonyx. Yeah, I know it’s spelled funny, but it’s all about style.
I remember being surprised that the good old boys were able to bring everyone back. From what I’d heard, most of the team was moving on, headed for greatness. Apex was showing promise in some independent wrestling federation and the big names sounded interested in him. Pariah was pushing to be the next stock car racing god. But I guess the home office made sure they “realized” that our work was more important than fame and fortune.
 
We were all together at one of our safe houses, catching up, when the scrambled video feed came up. A man in his early 40s with strands of his graying brown hair faced us. He brushed them away as he began to speak.
 
“Greetings Cell PS 843, welcome back,” he said.
 
That’s why we called ourselves The Pawn Shop - because our cell name sounded like an inner-city high school.
 
Control got straight to business. The screen filled with a still picture of a scientist in his mid 50s as Control continued his tried-and-true voiceover.
 
“This is Dr. Herbert Ingles, head of the Chemistry Department at Aurora University in Pennsylvania. For years he’s been working on a chemical formula to enhance the abilities of the human mind.”
 
The name of the university set off about twenty thousand warning signals in my head and I didn’t even hear half of what he said for the next few moments. When I came back, Control’s moved on.
 
“…assignment is to retrieve Ingles. We cannot let his formula fall into the wrong hands.”
 
Rook spoke to the screen, “If you don’t mind me asking, what’s this project Dr. Ingles’ working on?”
 
Control responded simultaneously with me. “Archimedes,” we said.
 
Everyone in the room was looking at me, shock spreading across their faces.
 
“How…” questioned Used.
 
“Long story", I replied. “I’ll tell you later.” I turned to the screen. “Consider it done.”
 
As I turned from the screen, the smirk on my face was positively evil - a sure sign that I had something vicious planned.
 
Hell yeah. It was time for a little payback.