JULIA O’HIELDER’S PLACE, THE PEAK
O’Hielder opened the door. Ivanka had never actually met her before, so was slightly taken aback by how stern she looked. Grey hair, piercing blue eyes and stern mouth. Ivanka gulped and said: “O’Hielder?”
“Who else could I be? Think!” O’Hielder snapped. She’s quite an austere character, observed Ivanka.
“I’m Ivanka Brown. I was told that you wanted to see me,” Ivanka choked out. Even though the woman had only glared and snapped, Ivanka felt terrified of O’Hielder.
“Yes. Get inside. Don’t stand around all day,” O’Hielder replied. Ivanka stepped inside. She followed O’Hielder into a room which she thought might be the lounge. “Sit down,” O’Hielder ordered. Ivanka sat down on a couch and then O’Hielder sat down herself.
Clearing her throat, O’Hielder began. “I was talking to Agrippas the other day, the espionage master, which one of his students had any potential as I wanted one, and still do. He told me that Petrus’s ward, you, were the best,” O’Hielder said, her eyes boring into Ivanka’s the whole time. “I spoke to Petrus and says you would be perfect for the job.”
O’Hielder paused then, and as the silence grew, Ivanka realised that she was expected to say something. “Uh…what job?” Ivanka asked.
“Geez, don’t you guys ever think? You are going to become one of the Shamrock Council’s agents. Well, really one of the Court of Scarlet’s agent. They’ll create your orders and I’ll give them,” O’Hielder explained with austerity.
Ivanka was dumbfounded. The Court of Scarlet, the highest global court, the most well-kept secret ever, was actually considering her as an agent as she knew that Julia did not really want her, it was the Court of Scarlet who did and that Julia was just following orders. It was so mind-boggling. “When do I start?” Ivanka accepted with alacrity.
“First, you have to send them a copy of your birth certificate, copies of your medical records, school records, any documents or records of yourself and send it to them and they will make their final decision of whether or not to take you based on the information they are provided about you. It’s a proof of identity or something like that, and it helps them decide whether you’ll be good enough,” O’Hielder said.
“I have to send all that?” Ivanka complained.
O’Hielder gave Ivanka a very cold stare. Ivanka was petrified. “Yep. I’ll do that,” she hastily agreed.
“You have one week to get it together and send it to the Court of Scarlet. They prefer things being sent by physical mail.” O’Hielder stood up and so did Ivanka. She showed Ivanka to the door and Ivanka went over to the car and climbed in.
“My apartment, please,” Ivanka told the driver.
IVANKA’S APARTMENT, THE PEAK
At her apartment, Ivanka shut her door and sat down at the desk. She opened her laptop and logged in. She opened Google and in the search bar at the top, typed in ‘Library Archives, the Peak’. The Library Archives at the Peak contained old documents, files, birth records, records of everyone in all one hundred and fifty-seven regions – when they were all born, everything about them, all executions, imprisonments, enslavery, missions done by Peak agents – the Archives meticulously recorded everything and had records on everything and everyone.
Finding the site, Ivanka clicked on it and signed in. She knew that every keystroke of everyone who searched the site or actually visited the Library was recorded. In the Archives search bar, she typed in ‘Ivanka Brown Records’. It came up with her birth certificate, her school records, medical records, her certificate she was given when she started her espionage training and the certificate she was given when she completed her course in espionage training. It also came up with a list of all her friends she made in Region 12, really all to try and keep the Emperor updated on everything that was happening in Region 12.
She clicked on ‘print all documents’ and waited while her printer kicked in and began printing off the documents. Halfway through printing, it ran out of paper. Ivanka took out the printed pages and replaced the paper in her printer. As it continued, Ivanka decided to take a cursory glance at the printed-off pages to pass the time. She knew her birth certificate –
Name: Ivanka Brown. DOB: 22nd December 2035. Place of Birth: Royal Hospital, the Peak. Nurse(s) and Doctor(s): Nurse Patricia Godfrey and Dr. Hillary Gillard. Parents: Agent Mark Brown and Agent Lucy Brown. Weight: 7 pounds 20 oz. Length: 12 inches.
Next thing she read surprised her.
REGISTER OF NAME CHANGE
‘This is to acknowledge the change of the first name and surname of the female baby to Ivanka Brown. Appropriate changes have been made to the Birth Certificate. Original name and history is now forgotten and wiped from the record.’
It was signed by Emperor Noland, the entire Court of Scarlet and the entire Shamrock Council. And her parents signatures were also on there. The date the name change occurred was mentioned as being the 9th August, 2036. Ivanka was rather shocked. I went through a name change? So, Ivanka Brown isn’t my birth name? She looked again at the date and then realised. 9th August 2036 was about two or three months after her parents had been killed. So that means my parents surname was not Brown. What was my REAL name? Who am I? What were my parents real names? And why is my parents signatures on this when they were dead when my name change occurred?
The next one was the official papers that stated that Petrus Romanus was to be her carer. Not adopted or anything like that, but just look after her. She knew about that one. But then, she saw that that was ordered in June 2036. Two months before her name change to Ivanka Brown, but his signature was not on the register as it should have been as he was her official guardian at the time. What’s going on and why have they been lying to me and hiding this all from me? Ivanka wondered.
The printer finished printing everything. She decided to take a thorough look through everything. She picked up her school records. Her report cards were alright from Kindergarten to Primary School. Her teachers were all praising how smart she was, that she showed ‘amazing intellect for girl her age’ which was ‘extremely rare’. In her school records, she always kept up an A+ or B+ or B-. Then, it was during Primary School, things started turning suspicious. Because it recorded how one day she received an F- for all her homework. She remembered it was due to an unexplainable headache she suddenly had and that had affected her performance in school. The next week, she did not go to school at all, said the reports. Ivanka also remembered that. She had suddenly became really, really sick and had to be kept at home and was immobile for a few days. Ivanka had puzzled over that episode as she had always eaten healthy, exercised frequently. As Petrus had said, she was a very healthy girl, so why she had become sick she had never been able to find out.
Quickly grabbing her medical records, she found the only records were the times she had the headache, the strange sickness and the time she had broken her arm through espionage training at the beginning of her course. The reports did not give a reason, medical theory, explanation or a prescription of what to do in the records of her headache and sickness episode. Looking again at her school records, she found that there was one month, when she was eight, she had only shown up for school four times in total. Ivanka tried hard to remember why, but she had no memory of it. And she remembered that the medical records never mentioned anything about her when that occurred.
Ivanka was very disturbed. Who was she really? Who were her parents? Why did she have that odd sickness and headache? Why had she only shown up four times at school in October when she was eight, almost nine, in 2045? Why did she have no memory of that particular time frame? Why was Petrus’s signature missing from the name change register as it should have been? Why were her parents signatures on there when they were dead at the time? Why was the League of Nations, the people whom she had grown up with and was loyal to, lying to her and hiding it from her? What was her past?
The ultimate question was: What the heck was going on?
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