Monday, September 11, 2023

Microstory 1971: Team One

Generated by Google Workspace Labs text-to-image AI software
Leonard: So, I hope this doesn’t sound judgy, because I’m genuinely interested. Who takes care of your kids while you’re out on stakeouts, and other missions? You have four of them, right?
Ophelia: My eldest stepson is 23, so he takes care of the two little ones. His sister’s in college right now. She’s in Baton Rouge, actually, so I’m geographically closer to her than the others in Kansas City. But I won’t be visiting her, of course. None of them has any idea where I am, or what I do now. I still don’t really know.
Leonard: What do they think you do?
Ophelia: They believe I’m a merch rep. I claimed that it was a promotion. I supposedly go all over the country, helping the satellite stores introduce new merchandise.
Leonard: Oh, that sounds nice. Nice and safe.
Ophelia: Yeah, no need to worry them. It was a bad cover, though. The idea was that I needed an excuse to be out of town all the time, which is why I volunteered for this assignment. Well, I didn’t know that I would be camped out in front of a restaurant, waiting for a mysterious possible traitor to come back home. I just asked to go in the field at the first opportunity, ya know, to sell the lie about having to travel for work.
Leonard: It’s not a lie. I have a feeling we’ll be doing more and more of this kind of thing as the department grows.
Ophelia: True, but I’m not so sure how I feel about it anymore. I miss them so much. I don’t mind the job itself, but I underestimated how much I prefer to go back home to them at the end of every day.
Leonard: Reese is a reasonable man. I’m sure if you asked for more domestic responsibilities, he would understand. We’re all trying to find our place here. Sasho thought he was gonna run the jail, because it was the obvious choice, but he’s been working hard with Sachs. He’ll be a spotter in no time.
Ophelia: Yeah. I’m sure you’re right.
Leonard: So, what about the other parents of your kids?
Ophelia: My first husband is dead. He was already a deadbeat, so it wasn’t much of a transition. My second husband and I drifted apart, but he’s still fairly involved. Mostly in a monetary sense, but we all have an okay relationship with him. He tried to go back to his girlfriend, who mothered my stepchildren, but it didn’t work out either. She’s still alive, and still a deadbeat.
Leonard: You care for her kids as if they were your own?
Ophelia: They are my own.
Leonard: *awkwardly* Right. Of course.
Ophelia: It’s all right, I know what you meant. They’re great kids. A lot of children in that position would idolize their birth mother no matter what, but they know who’s been there for them, and they consider me their real mother. They call me mom; just about always have. Wait, is that him?
Leonard: *holds up a photo* This is pretty grainy, but I think so. It looks like our guy.
Ophelia: *into the radio* Team Lead, this is Team One. We have eyes on the target. He’s heading upstairs.

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