Friday, September 22, 2023

Microstory 1980: Cover

Generated by Google Workspace Labs text-to-image AI software
Reese: How are we lookin’?
Micro: Fully secure...virtually. I can’t attest to the physical component. So if they find us, it won’t be because someone traces my signals. We’re ghosts. I’ll get the ceramics.
Reese: *phone rings* So if I answer this call, I’ll be fine?
Micro: Without a doubt.
Reese: *answers the phone* Go for Parsons.
SI Eliot: *through the phone* Agent Parsons, where are you?
Reese: I’m afraid I can’t tell you that, sir.
*SI Eliot will continue to communicate via phone call for this conversation*
SI Eliot: Don’t make me laugh, calling me sir while you’re actively betraying the government. Come back in, and I’ll protect you.
Reese: That’s not going to happen. We can’t trust anyone.
SI Eliot: How do you know that you can trust each other?
Reese: I trust the freemen and women. I trust Leonard. I don’t trust anyone with current, or former, ties to the government. You’ll notice that Agents Altimari, Robles, and Flynn are not with us. They could be plants too, as could Dreyer.
SI Eliot: Washington agreed to conscript the freepersons for their low probability of being corrupt. And Robles, Flynn, and Altimari are my people. I trust them implicitly.
Reese: But we can’t trust you either, or Director Washington. She’s the one who assigned Sachs to us. It was always suspicious, and now we know why. We asked him about his loyalties. He said two things. First, he admitted to attempting to kill Vogel to protect his own identity, and second, he claimed to be a continuing patriot. That usually means he still answers to someone in the government. Until that person is found, along with all of their cohorts, we have no choice but to operate independently.
SI Eliot: It’s not me, and it’s not Washington.
Reese: Sure.
SI Eliot: Reese, if you do this, I can’t help you. You and your team will be considered enemies of the state. They’ll be branded as traitors, and hunted down with the full force of the law. Your old partner will probably ask to arrest you himself.
Reese: They’re not traitors, and neither am I. Think through this logically. The country is in trouble. Trust is in short supply, which leads to mistakes and general inefficacy.
Micro: *saluting* General Inefficacy.
Reese: *holding the mouthpiece* Shh. *to SI Eliot* More aliens are coming. I can feel it. The best thing we can do to stop them is to compartmentalize our forces. We need to learn to attack from all angles, because I can guarantee you that that’s what the Ochivari are gonna do. They’ve been found in Kansas and Wyoming. How long before it’s Indonesia? How long before Russia? What if they’re already working with the Chinese?
SI Eliot: What are you going to do for money?
Reese: *looks at Micro* We have that covered.
SI Eliot: *sighs* I’ve been asked to rein you in nonviolently. I can’t stop them from sending in the troops. How could you possibly hope to defend yourselves?
Reese: *looks at Anaïs* We have that covered too. Goodbye, Hisham. *hangs up*

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