Sunlight scorched the already burning desert. The wind carried wisps of sand across the dunes: beautiful rippling patterns of golden fire. No one watched the scene unfold, no one except a lone woman who stood in the midst of the sand. She wore a loose tunic of white with a large golden symbol on the chest, shining like the sand around her. The dark skin of her face was wrapped with a crimson hijab.
Few people knew the identity of this elusive woman. She had never revealed her name to anyone, not even those at Argo Force, though she suspected that the pale one with the glowing eyes knew more about her than she would like to admit. But Luke was reclusive, and he respected the wishes of others. The Founders would learn her identity— eventually. For now, she had her reasons to keep it secret. But her secrets didn’t keep her from helping. She was one of the five Founders, people from all over time who would eventually come together (or had already done so) to create that great organization: Argo Force. So far, she had only met three of the other Founders, but her part in the Foundation of the Force had not yet taken place, and the Hand would not reveal much of her future.
Her gray eyes surveyed the land. Before her was a dusty, sand-covered street. It connected two of the neighboring villages. She recognized the road immediately—the one from her dreams. It appeared ordinary, yet that sudden twist in the road was unmistakable to those who were looking for it.
She moved forward to find her goal. After a few minutes of careful searching, she found it: a small cylindrical object, made to blend in with the sand. It was partially uncovered, but still well hidden. A land mine.
The woman observed it carefully, keeping her distance. After some thought, she retreated behind the nearest dune, a safe distance from the mine. She planted her feet, feeling a connection to the ground. The sand swirled around her. A light from her hand glittered through the particles. It was her ring— her Argo Force ring. A power unknown to most lifted the hair on her skin as she directed it ahead of her. Suddenly, the land mine exploded in a shower of sand. The woman covered her face, then looked back. A small crater lay where the mine had been. It no longer threatened anyone.
The woman waited a moment longer before she saw the convoy in the distance. Multiple military trucks approached, full of soldiers. One of those soldiers was going to be President of the United States in about 30 years, and he would be one of the greatest presidents the nation had ever known. He would go on to bridge international barriers and save countless lives. She had just saved his life, though no one, including the boy, would ever know it. The woman watched from a safe distance as the convoy passed. Her work here was done.
Suddenly a thought pressed unexpectedly into her mind. A prompting—like the one that had brought her here to save the future president—yet stronger. She needed to return to Argo Force Headquarters. She hesitated; her last trip to Headquarters had not been pleasant. While she respected the organization and its cause, she had little patience for some of its members. She preferred to operate alone. However, as the prompting came again, she realized that she couldn’t ignore it. She had to go. Something was about to happen and they would need her. The incantation poured from her mouth even though she had not spoken the words in years.
Only the swirling sand remained.