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E S P I O N A G E

1

Emilia strides into the walk-in clinic's lobby. She's ruffled, as though she has just narrowly missed a chance at dying. Her garishly red and purple jacket already stands out, and the weighty backpack she carries is like baggage on a pack mule.

She hurriedly asks the receptionist, "I need to see my friend - he's staying in one of the rooms here, it's urgent. Can you have someone show me over?"

"Calm down, miss," the receptionist goes. "What's your name?"

"Emilia."

"And who's this patient?"

"His name is Tre."

The receptionist sniffs, gives her mousy nose a little brush-over before checking on one of the computers. Emilia notices the nametag on her blouse -- Belinda. The name suitably fits her worn-out appearance; the greying hair, the conservative taste in makeup and dress. It is everything Emilia despises and is not.

"Well, Emilia.." Belinda the receptionist gives her a stern look. "Trevor Listman is still recovering, and he needs his rest in order to get better."

"Please, I have to see him," Emilia pleads. "I have to tell him something."

"But if you really do care about Trevor, you will listen to me and come back on a later time. Rest is very important, did you know?"

Urrgh. Emilia can tell she is hardly going to make much progress with this woman, at this rate. She hesitates at first about pressuring her -- but outside, the sirens start to go off, though their wailing is muffled indoors.

Moments before, Emilia had been struggling on-board a stealth carrier, up in the sky. Her mission had been to sabotage it, and bring its contents crash-landing. She had snuck aboard through one of the exhaust ports and knocked out both of the pilots before they could shout emergency. So far, her mission had been a success; she set the autopilot to plummet straight into the ground, and climbed out with one of the emergency backpacks and jackets.

When she had safely landed, the plane was already in shambles some parts away. She could see the smoke rising, and she walked over to the nearest signs of civilisation. This town, intimately familiar to her -- the place where she grew up in. What a coincidence.

That siren means that they have discovered the plane. Emilia is hoping they won't connect who she is with the wreckage any time soon. There's very little chance of it happening, she imaigines.

"Please, it's only a minute," Emilia goes. "You have to let me see him."

"Erm," Belinda goes, "this means bye-bye, get it? Unless you're here for a check-up yourself."

And without thinking, Emilia slams her hand on the counter. "I'm through being polite, goddamnit!" she goes. "I didn't come here for nothing-- If you won't let me in, I promise I won't ever let anyone I love come to this clinic!"

The people waiting are staring at Emilia - finally, there's some popcorn drama for the enjoying!

Belinda the receptionist seems unfazed; after what seems like a while passes, she finally says, "I guess I will have to grant you your precious minute with Tre--" (she half-snarls 'precious') "--with you making such a ruckus. Fred, take over for me while I escort this woman."

June 2017

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