|“||I will track them to the ends of the earth. I do not use the word 'evil' very often but I think it perfectly applies to them.||”|
—Mrs Jones describing Nightshade.
Nightshade is the third antagonist organization to appear in the Alex Rider series, the other two being SCORPIA and Snakehead. They first appear in the novel Nightshade, though they are briefly mentioned in Never Say Die. Unlike SCORPIA, who is a criminal organization, or Snakehead, which is a criminal syndicate, Nightshade is a Private Military Company. It is the main antagonist of the novel Nightshade.
So far, the only operation they have attempted is Leap Of Faith, a major terrorist attack located in St. Paul's Cathedral. This operation takes place in Alex Rider: Nightshade.
However, they have also done several other acts, as told by John Crawley. Unlike other organisations, Nightshade do not obey any rules. The organisation was suspected to be responsible for a bombing in Istanbul, assassinations in Moscow, Riyadh and Beijing, and kidnapping Paul Sabar, the banker of Vatican City State; even after receiving a ransom of €2million, they killed him anyway. In Crawley's words, "they're efficient. They're ruthless. And they don't obey any rules".
Leap of Faith
Nightshade were hired by Dominic Royce, then Permanent Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the British civil service, to assassinate all of Parliament, due to Royce's belief in their incompetence. For this, Nightshade asked for $20million, which Royce paid, to their bank account in Geneva, Switzerland.
To execute this plan, Nightshade aimed to use the payment they had received from the Third Command drug cartel: a canister of North Korean-made VX, which they had received in return for killing their main rivals, which involved thirty-seven deaths in fourteen days, including entire families. To assemble the targets, they arranged for the death of popular former Home Secretary James, Lord Clifford, via poisoning. (WIP)
The leaders of Nightshade are a quartet of Americans, who, in the eyes of their agents, are the Teachers.