All's Fair In Love and War (Chapter One, page 1 of 3)

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"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

-Colin Powell

R.O.S.S. Headquarters, Belle City, 11:57p.m

"Well done, Oakley. You always get the job done. You know you're one of my best agents." John Reed said with a pleasant smile.

"Thanks, boss." Denella replied as she tied back her long hair into a ponytail.

John examined the file he held in his hands. "I've got another mission for you. Apparently, the Amarillo Starlight, an expensive diamond, was stolen from the Silver Wood Museum last night. We've got a location on it. It's inside the Blue Bridges Warehouse, which has been closed down for three years, right outside of Belle City. I need you to check it out."

"Sure thing, boss." Denella said as she walked to the elevator, eager to get the job done so she could get some rest before another big day. She pressed the down button and patiently waited for the elevator to come. It slowly opened and she stepped inside. After inhaling the stuffy elevator smell and pushing P1, the elevator was about to close.

"Hold the elevator, please!" A young man shouted who was suddenly running towards the elevator. "Thank you," he paused to take a breath, "My name is Brandon Switz." He said as he outstretched his skinny hand that resembled a toothpick.

Ignoring his hand, Denella said, "I'm Denella. Denella Oakley."

"You're D-Denella? It's a pleasure to finally meet you. You're the best agent at R.O.S.S. Headquarters."

" . . . Thanks, I guess. Are you new here?" she inquired.

"Yes, I just started yesterday. I've always dreamt of becoming an agent when I grew up. When I was younger, I used to play these video games and, believe it or not, I was a pretty good spy. I always thought it would be fun, especially if I got to go on a mission with you. I could be your partner, or maybe your sidekick, since I'm not as good as you are."

The elevator came to a stop at the main floor. The doors opened and Brandon stepped outside.

"See you around." He said as he waved goodbye. "Maybe sometime we can go out and catch a movie or something and get to know each other.

"Sure, that would be nice." She said. "Wait, before you go, I just wanted to tell you that," Denella started as Brandon's face lit up like fireflies in the night, "That . . . working at R.O.S.S. isn't about fun. There's no playing, no fooling around; this is serious work. This isn't one of those video games you played when you were a kid, this is real life."

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