Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Microstory 1928: Crossed Again

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Agent Parsons: Is this just you manipulating me? What’s the real secret plan here?
OSI Director: We’re not manipulating you, Agent. We need you. This is the plan.
Agent Parsons: Where exactly in the basement are they?
Special Investigator: The parole officer hasn’t been detained yet. We’ll let you know when that changes. Until then, we ask that you stay away from his hotel entirely.
OSI Director: If we catch you there, we’ll assume that the mission is compromised, and modify the basement to accommodate three prisoners.
Agent Parsons: Right. *leaves*
Special Investigator: *sighs*
OSI Director: You think we should read him into this situation fully, don’t you?
Special Investigator: Actually, I would go further than that. I think we should stop double-crossing everyone we lay eyes on. The P.O. is tricking the alien, but little does he know that the fugitive agent is tricking him, but little does he know that I’m tricking him. Little do I know that you’re tricking me, and who knows what the NatCo isn’t telling you? Where does it end?
OSI Director: Right there, what you just said. It ends with the National Commander. That’s why we elected him.
Special Investigator: Did we elect him?
OSI Director: Watch yourself, Special Investigator. That’s the future leader of the free world you’re talking about.
Special Investigator: If he wants to lead the free world, he’s going to have to take the free part seriously, which would entail allowing his constituents to criticize him however they feel necessary. That’s how other nations do it, and it’s why they’re on top.
OSI Director: We are on top...the rest of the world just doesn’t know it yet. I know you have a particular problem with corruption, which is why you chose to work for the OSI, and honestly, it’s why we selected you. But make no mistake, you serve at the pleasure of the Commander, and in service to the United States. Your opinions don’t matter.
Special Investigator: Well, okay, if my opinions don’t matter, then fine, but I’ll still state them. This is a bad idea. All of these lies are going to catch up with us. It’s not a matter of principle. When you lie to people, think about how much you hate being lied to, and ask yourself whether they—for some reason—would somehow hate it less.
OSI Director: So, what, trust starts from the top?
Special Investigator: Kind of, yeah, if you don’t want them to retaliate. I would rather make all the terrorists and other threats my friends than have them realize how to beat me before I get the chance to stop them.
OSI Director: *turns to face her window* Noted, Special Investigator.
Special Investigator: Sorry if I offended you.
OSI Director: That will be all. I’ll let you know when to move the alien, and when to detain the human.
Special Investigator: If we’re going through with the plan, I think we should put the paroler in the basement first, for strategic purposes.
OSI Director: That is noted as well. Have a nice day.

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