Monday, June 26, 2023

Microstory 1916: Partners No More

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Fugitive Agent 2: Where have you been, man? We’re supposed to be partners.
Fugitive Agent: I’m on special assignment. I sent you a text, and the OSI should have sent Senior Fugitive Agent an email about it.
Fugitive Agent 2: Yeah, and she’s presently working on a replacement partner, but I wanted to speak with you in person. What is this assignment? What are you doing?
Fugitive Agent: I’m looking for the escapees.
Fugitive Agent 2: That’s what we were doing...together. Why am I being reassigned?
Fugitive Agent: I’m sorry, man. I gotta do this. I’m just here to pick up my stuff. The road is gonna be my office for the foreseeable future.
Fugitive Agent 2: You saw something.
Fugitive Agent: What?
Fugitive Agent 2: OSI asked for a meeting, and then suddenly we don’t work together anymore. What did they show you? What exactly are they asking you to do?
Fugitive Agent: I can’t talk about it, Fugitive Agent 2. I really am sorry. I gotta go.
Fugitive Agent 2: No, that’s not good enough for me.
Fugitive Agent: Let go of my arm.
Fugitive Agent 2: Hey, it’s cool. We’re cool. No need to give me that tone, or that look.
Fugitive Agent: What tone? What look?
Fugitive Agent 2: You’re treating me like one of our fugitives. You always say that there’s a line between us and them, and now it feels like you’ve drawn a new line, and left me on the wrong side of it.
Fugitive Agent: That was not my intention, I’m just trying to do my job.
Fugitive Agent 2: Your new job with OSI. I read the brief—or what was left of it after the redactors got their hands on it. The Fugitive Service has nothing to do with it anymore. When I said I was reassigned, I meant the whole department. Who are those detainees, and what makes them so important? This should be an open and shut case.
Fugitive Agent: I don’t know what to tell ya. That’s above my paygrade, same as you. I just go where I’m told, and right now, I’ve been told to go in deep.
Fugitive Agent 2: In deep? You’re undercover?
Fugitive Agent: I didn’t say that.
Fugitive Agent 2: But you are..undercover.
Fugitive Agent: You need to stop asking questions. I can’t protect you anymore.
Fugitive Agent 2: What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Fugitive Agent: You remember last fall; those kids from Baltimore?
Fugitive Agent 2: That wasn’t my fault. You didn’t lie for me. It was complicated.
Fugitive Agent: No, I didn’t lie, but I didn’t tell them the whole truth either. Now, I’m not threatening you. That goes to my grave, just like it was always going to. I’m just explaining that I can’t do those kinds of things for you anymore, and you can’t do them for me. You’re getting a new partner. Learn to trust them, and teach them to trust you. This is the nature of the business. We don’t always get to choose.
Fugitive Agent 2: Funny how you always seem to choose, and I always get screwed.
Fugitive Agent: Fugitive Agent 2. Fugitive Agent 2! Come on, don’t end it like this!

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