Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Microstory 1932: Building Trust

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Freewoman: Hey, are you okay? You look upset.
Agent Parsons: I can’t talk about it.
Freewoman: You can tell me anything. That’s what the couple bond means.
Agent Parsons: We made a commitment to each other, yes, but you didn’t make a commitment to the U.S. government. That’s the issue. That means I can’t tell you everything, even if I wanted to.
Freewoman: Well, how about you talk in generalizations, so you’re not giving anything away about what you’re investigating, or whatever.
Agent Parsons: I dunno...
Freewoman: When I was seven years old, my grandmother died. I didn’t want to, but my mother made me go up to her casket, and give her my goodbyes. I tried to walk away, but she made me go back and give her a kiss on her forehead. “It’s tradition, Myka,” she said. I’ll always remember that nasally tone she took with me. “It’s tradition, Myka.” Fine, I thought to myself, I’ll lean over and give her a kiss, but I’m not leaving empty-handed. I swiped the gold locket they were trying to bury with her, and later sold it at a pawn shop. That was the first crime I ever committed. I’m a graverobber, Reese.
Reese Parsons: I appreciate you trusting me with this story, but why are you telling it?
Myka: Just building trust. Your turn.
Reese: *cracking a smile* Okay. I betrayed a friend at work. I could have helped him directly. I could have protected him from my bosses, but I chose to go about it in such a way as to protect myself, and it didn’t work. He...was reprimanded, even though he didn’t do anything wrong, and now they won’t even let me talk to him.
Myka: Reese, I know what you’re talking about. I’m the one who helped try to get the word back to the escapee.
Reese: Oh yeah, I forgot.
Myka: So, he never got the message? I didn’t hear how that all turned out.
Reese: No, he got the message; he just chose to ignore it.
Myka: So it wasn’t your fault.
Reese: I can’t help but wonder if he would have listened if I had talked to him myself. I could have answered questions, and pushed harder, because I’m the one who understands what’s at stake. Who knows what information was left over once Freeman 11 got his hands on it? Maybe he warned Leonard that a pack of rabid zebras were running through the streets, instead of the true message.
Myka: Well, where is he now? Again, you don’t have to be specific, just clarify what’s stopping you from talking to him now.
Reese: He’s in a jail they built in the basement. They said they were gonna let me see him. They said that I would be able to help, but I guess they changed their minds.
Myka: What would happen if you disobeyed orders? Would they fire you?
Reese: They would remove me from the special assignment, but they wouldn’t have the authority to terminate my position with Fugitive Services. However, if she were so motivated, the Director could make a call, and make it happen.
Myka: Then I guess you’re gonna have to be sneaky about it, won’t you?

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