If Unity Security Chief Sagarath survies this teleconference, it will be something to celebrate after a long day of shit raining down from all sides. The men hovering holographically over the seats in the conference room, however, leave little to be optimistic about. CONTROL has taken notice. The Committee on Internal Security. If not for the bio-regulators that Agent River had implanted before…the incident…Sagarath would be sweating bullets. He wondered if the regulators would prevent him urinating on himself.
The Chairwoman is something other than beautiful – genetically perfected. Gleaming. Robustly more than human. “Chief Sagarath, you must understand our disappointment. Not only was there an unresolved incident at your building last night, but we are now told that one of our housing units in the city was attacked, some of our high-priority personnel murdered, and the attackers went unapprehended. Of course you can see why this is of such conern to us. Our internal security is vital, even in a time of war. Especially in a time of war.”
Sagarath clears his throat. “Of course, madam Chairwoman. There is no excuse. Obviously, there have been the recent complications -“
A red-faced older man, no more perfect than the next, balding, obese, spits out “Atlantis isn’t your fucking conern, is it? You’re the Chief of Security in Manhattan and that’s your fucking concern. Now you need to tell us how this all went to shit during your watch. You realize your position isn’t fucking priviliged. There are dozens of operatives out there who would love a promotion to Chief of fucking Security at one of our key offices. Tell us why we don’t do just that and ship your ass back to Bangalore so you can micromanage fucking telemarketing firms.” With each invective he gets redder and, seemingly, larger.
“Sir, you must understand, these were highly organized in a way we haven’t seen in years -“
“And why, pray, were you not even more highly organized -” says an imperious man with a hatchet nose in the corner seat.
“Don’t fucking tell me about fucking organization -” says the red-faced man – isn’t he from Chicago?
The Chinese sub-chairman’s lips move and what he says is translated as “Do you have any idea what this will cost us to replace the -“
And with a chill, Sagarath realizes that Agent Winter has entered the room. That man is invisible when he wants to be.
“If it pleases the committeed, I believe I can shed some light on our current predicament.”
“I should fucking hope someone fucking can.”
The Chariwoman nods. “Go on, Agent Winter. You weren’t summoned to this briefing, so I’ll assume this is both pertinent and of great import…”
Winter is standing next to Sagarath. He wishes, for the hundreth time around this man, that he’d studied Neuropsychology. He feels himself already agreeing with Winter, tries to fight, knows he’ll lose given enough time.
“It is both. You see, certain opportunities have opened up for us. As you know, direct access to our opponents is often relatively difficult – and only so much can be accomplished from a distance. We currently have three individuals in our custody, one of whom was involved in the attack on the main building last night and was apprehended while fleeing, severely wounded. The other two came of their own accord…for a meeting with Agent Trainee White. While they are not highly placed in their respective RD organizations, I have a plan that I think will make use of all of them.”
“About fucking time. Let’s hear it, Winter.” Red-face from Chicago has deflated somewhat but is still menacing, even as a hologram.
And Winter tells them. It is clever in the way that Winter is clever. That is, in a way that few have the stomach for. Or the patience. Sagarath is already nodding in agreement to whatever comes out of his mouth – it isn’t worth fighting.