Chen – The Tale of a Spy

This is a short story I had to write for a narrative essay task in English. Hope you enjoy it!




High Street, Sfax, Tunisia

He ran. He ran as fast as his powerful, athletic legs could carry him, through the crowded Tunisian streets of Sfax, his stick-straight, jet-black hair whipping through the air, the brilliant sunlight sharply reflecting off his Oakley’s plutonium lenses. Whenever he got the chance to, between dodging the bullets and the thousands of hawkers packing the narrow street to its capacity – and then some more, he would return the fire from his own pistol, the gunshots muffled by the attached silencer.

Suddenly, he slipped, falling flat on his face, next to an array of Tunisian rugs. And then he heard the footsteps…

“At last, we meet, Chen,” the greasy voice from above his head said. Chen looked up; his Oakley’s lay in the dust at his side, knocked off his face from the fall. His dark brown eyes were full of hatred…

Standing above him, his pursuer laughed manically, his long, dark hair framing his pale face, bloodshot eyes piercing into Chen…


The Kola Peninsula, Murmansk, Russia

A lone, silent figure stood on the summit of the iced hill, looking down on the array of buildings laid out before him.

The compound consisted of three large buildings, all painted white and grey. If not for the numerous spotlights trained on them, they would most definitely be lost in the backdrop of the desolate environment.

Chen’s sharp, angular features, a trait of his Asian nationality, accentuated his slight, yet powerful frame. He, himself blended immaculately into the snowy environment, with his white hoodie, pallid thermal pants and specialized white shoes.

After studying the compound for a good thirty minutes, Chen managed to decipher the guards’ system: there were only three in total, one at the main entrance, and two positioned at opposite far corners of the perimeter. He calculated the distances; the two outer guards would never be able to see what he had planned… Perfect, he thought to himself.

He began the decent, creeping stealthily through the thick snow, silver knife in hand, glinting in the moonlight…

The guard at the gate was facing the compound, leaving his back exposed. Chen silently approached him…

Suddenly, a muffled gasp escaped the mouth of the guard, glistening scarlet staining the whiteness of the frozen Russian ground.

Chen continued forward, into the hostile compound, and proceeded to the rusted door of the central building ahead. He tried the latch; of course, it was locked. So he produced a strange looking device, thin and long, with a jagged edge on both sides. He inserted this into the rusted lock, and immediately gained access into the room beyond. He smirked silently to himself; this was just one of the many perks of working for The Agency, even though he was only on contract.

Cautiously, he stepped into the room; even in here, the hostility seemed to be oozing and freeze the place, perhaps in competition with the bitter weather outside. Chen shivered; it was not like him to be afraid on missions such as this, but this one seemed to be the most dangerous yet. As he crept stealthily further into the room, he thought back over the past week…

He had mysteriously received a phone call from a one Robert Affleck, a person he didn’t take to liking very much. But Affleck worked for The Agency, as Head of Operations, and so Chen had no choice but to tolerate him. He learnt that a new terrorist organization was planning an attack at the upcoming presidential inauguration ceremony in the United States. Affleck had said that this would prove the perfect opportunity to make themselves known to the world.

The organization was controlled by a Russian, and ex-KGB operative known only as Miktar. The Agency had received intelligence of a new kind of explosive, called GHOST that was being developed in an abandoned compound once owned by the KGB, in Murmansk, Russia.

“It doesn’t take a genius to put two together,” Chen recalled Affleck drawl over the secure line.

“We know that our friend, Miktar, is involved in this project, GHOST, and we know that this is the detonation device that he’s going to use in the States. What we want, is for you to get to it before him, and disable it before it’s flown to America. It’s simple, Chen. All we’re asking for is a simple search and destroy operation…”

Chen was abruptly brought back from his reverie, when he noticed what lay before him, on a single wooden table in the dilapidated room he’d just entered.

A white polycarbonate cube, no bigger than that of a shoe box, was positioned at the centre of the table. On top of the box, a red light flickered. Next to it, a square, grey pin-pad was fitted flush into the box. Now Chen realized why the small box was called GHOST – its sheer bright whiteness made even the most pallid of phantoms pale in comparison.

Without wasting any time, Chen began the most crucial part of the operation. He produced yet another gadget from his backpack, and attached it to GHOST. Almost instantly, a graphic of the detonator’s circuitry appeared on the screen of his gadget. Next, he unrolled a black rubber keyboard, and connected it to the gadget. He typed in a command, and the flickering light atop GHOST changed to orange, and then switched off. The graphic on Chen’s screen also blanked, but a message appeared on screen: DEVICE TERMINATED.

At last, his mission was nearly complete. Chen re-packed his gadgets, and darted out the building into the chilly air, past the slain guard, and stumbled up the frozen hill he had only minutes ago stood on.

Right on cue, a black Bell Jet Ranger helicopter descended ahead of him. Chen ran forward, head bent to avoid the rotors, and entered the safety and warmth of the chopper’s cabin.

The Jet Ranger ascended high into the dark, sub-zero Russian night, and began its journey south, to Sfax, Tunisia…


Sfax, Tunisia

Two days had passed since the operation. Chen was scheduled to meet Robert Affleck in the bustling city-centre of Sfax for a de-briefing, at precisely midday. Tunisia was believed to be an “out-of-the-way” place, and its capital’s packed streets provided the perfect cover for a meeting of two spies.

It was fast approaching twelve o’clock, and Chen began to make his way into the heart of Sfax. He decided to carry his firearm with him, just in case…

He exited a narrow alley, lined with exotic Tunisian rugs, and entered the High Street, the city-centre of Sfax. And that was when he realized that his worst fears had come true.

Chen began to run, attempting to gain distance over his pursuer. He heard gunshots, and realized that the Russian was shooting at him.

Quick as a flash, whilst dodging the civilian of the crowded street, Chen produced his own pistol. Whenever he got the chance to, he fired back at his pursuer.

But he didn’t see the pile of rolled-up rugs laid out on the pavement. Suddenly, he slipped, falling flat on his face. And then he heard the footsteps…

“At last, we meet, Chen,” the greasy voice from above his head said. Chen looked up, his dark brown eyes full of hatred…

Standing above him, his pursuer laughed manically, his long, dark hair framing his pale face, bloodshot eyes piercing into Chen…

Miktar raised his .9mm silver pistol, and a gunshot, like the crack of thunder before a fearsome storm, cut through the air around it…

But the sound wasn’t from Miktar’s weapon. The blood was already trickling down the back of his neck from the devastating bullet wound to his head. Miktar collapsed, and that was when the surrounding merchants, consumers and tourists of Sfax began to scream.

A man had just fallen into a pool of his own blood, in the middle of the city-centre…

But Chen took no notice of the commotion. His eyes, a mixture of shock and disbelief, were fixed on a single figure standing a slight distance away from where Miktar had once stood, a smoking pistol in his right hand.

It seemed that Robert Affleck was dead on time for the de-briefing.


2 thoughts on “Chen – The Tale of a Spy

  1. Lol why thank you 🙂 You’ll be happy to know, then, that I have (albeit rather slowly) started writing my first full-length novel! Stay tuned to my official blog for more on this. Thanks for visiting 🙂

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