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Thursday, September 7, 2023

Microstory 1969: Out of the Loop

Generated by Google Workspace Labs text-to-image AI software
SI Eliot: Director? I need to talk to you.
Director Washington: What is it, Hisham? I’m very busy.
SI Eliot: I just tried to call Agent Parsons, and Myka Tennison responded instead.
Director Washington: Okay. That’s normal. She works at DExA as well.
SI Eliot: Yes, but evidently she’s been left in charge, which I did not clear her for. She hasn’t gone through the proper training.
Director Washington: The other agents haven’t even started yet. She’s perfectly capable of holding down the fort during these early days.
SI Eliot: Ah, but why would she need to do that? If Parsons were just on some small errand, I wouldn’t care, but that’s not where he is, is he?
Director Washington: You make it sound, Eliot, that you already know where he is.
SI Eliot: What business do we have in Mississippi?
Director Washington: *finally turning away from her computer* I don’t know how you found out that he was there, but it is no concern of yours.
SI Eliot: It’s not, huh? When we were first conceiving the Department for Exogenic Affairs, it was understood that the staff would report to Parsons, Miazga, and Tennison, and that they would report to me. Then I would report to you, and you to NatCo.
Director Washington: That’s right, Special Investigator. You report to me. And so does everyone else. I don’t have to ask you for permission to do anything.
SI Eliot: I’m not asking to give you my permission, but I can’t do my job if I’m constantly kept out of the loop.
Director Washington: This is one time. How is that constant?
SI Eliot: It’s setting a tone, sir. Like you said, nothing should really be happening in those offices right now, so I hardly understand why anyone would have to leave it for a field operation. If I’m not authorized to know about it, then I deserve to know why.
Director Washington: *standing up* No, you don’t. You are entitled to nothing. Agent Parsons is following my orders, and if there is any reason to read you into the situation, I’ll make the decision, and act accordingly. And we didn’t conceive of anything. DExA is a pet project for the National Commander, and something that he’s been thinking about for longer than he’s been in command. It’s just that we’ve finally given him an excuse to budget for it. If I were you, I would stop asking questions. You have plenty of work to do, so I suggest you go back to your floor, and do it.
SI Eliot: *frowning and thinking* There’s a mole, isn’t there? Or at least there may be.
Director Washington: Goodbye, Mister Eliot.
SI Eliot: You only call me mister when I’m getting too close to the edge of my privilege. Okay. Well, that makes sense. When you’re dealing with this many people, internal investigations are bound to happen. I want you to know that you can count on me, sir. I have nothing to hide, and will be fully cooperative.
Director Washington: If you really mean that, you’ll go back downstairs and drop it.
SI Eliot: Of course. Let me know if you need anything. Remember the skills that put me in this job in the first place. I’m good at getting information out of people.
Director Washington: Thank you, SI Eliot, goodbye.

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