Monday, September 18, 2023

Microstory 1976: Nuts or Chips

Generated by Google Workspace Labs text-to-image AI software
Leonard: Did anyone follow you?
Ophelia: Yes. The Mississippian Militia is right behind me, as are all of this guy’s friends, and my sixth grade math teacher.
Leonard: Okay, good.
Ophelia: I know how to lose a tail...which I didn’t have. Nobody is looking for us.
Leonard: Yeah, I’m not seeing anything on the news, but I don’t know enough about this territory to say if that’s typical. This feels a bit like a police state.
Ophelia: Not really. It’s just that, as far as anyone is concerned, nothing happened in that apartment hallway yesterday. There’s a hole in the brick, but I doubt anyone’s gonna notice. Our team may have even literally covered it up by now.
Leonard: We have to get the hell out of this place, and back to the U.S.
Vogel: I can get us all someplace safe, and smuggle us out of the city.
Leonard and Ophelia: *simultaneously* Shut up.
Vogel: Look, you’re gonna have to trust me at some point. I know Mississippi, and I know Memphis. You both are obviously highly capable, but still untrained. Let me help.
Leonard: We can’t trust you. We weren’t in that hallway accidentally. We’ve been looking for you for over a week.
Vogel: I’m not surprised, but you haven’t asked me any questions, except for who shot at us, and why, so whatever you think I did, you’re obviously not certain I’m guilty.
Leonard: We’re certain enough. *to Ophelia* What did you get?
Ophelia: Mostly nuts and chips. There wasn’t a great selection at the inconvenience store. All of the sandwiches looked bad.
Leonard: *tosses Vogel a bag* I prefer nuts. Eat your chips in the bathtub. Turn on the sink faucet. My partner and I need to have a private conversation.
Vogel: *reluctantly heads for the bathroom*
Ophelia: The window?
Leonard: Doesn’t exist. *turns on the TV, and raises the volume*
Ophelia: What the hell are we gonna do?
Leonard: I may have an idea, but it’s risky. I can find us a guy.
Ophelia: You know someone? Aren’t you from, like, another planet, or something?
Leonard: Agent Altimari has contacts here. *points to the bathroom* She found him when the rest of us couldn’t, which made Reese suspicious, so she had to explain where she got the information. I have the name of her supplier here. It’s no guarantee. The last we heard, he was trying to get out of the state himself, so he may already be gone.
Ophelia: Worth a shot, I guess. We don’t have a lot of options. Who is this supplier, and do you have his phone number, or something?
Leonard: I have a dead drop location. Someone is gonna have to stay with our detainee while the other goes out. You got the burner phones too, right?
Ophelia: *tosses him one of them* You sure we can’t reach out to anyone else on the team? Not even Agent Parsons?
Leonard: It’s not that we can’t trust him. We can’t be sure he hasn’t been compromised in some other way, like a tapped phone. Now, how do you work this thing?

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