So there he is,  Agent Yoesph Torrell. My field supervisor for this mission. Standing there all “snarky, better than you” on his youngish fair face.  A basically small dude, blonde close-cropped hair, blue-eyed  and asshole complexion.  I would have thought of him as good-looking but I talked to him for more than 5 minutes and all thoughts of handsome or even cute go right down the tubes.  Arrogant, self-proselytizing and just all around unlikable kind of guy and now I have to work with him. As I approach, the he glances at me under his condescending brows  and looks me up and down lips sneering, cell phone pasted to his ear he swings away and finishes the call “yeah yeah yeah, later” and tucks the cell phone in his top pocket of his canvas tech field jacket.  “So, you wanna work with me huh” he glints his eyes at me with a mock smile then squinting  his face distorts in distaste as he casts another look over me.

” I hear you know this area pretty well?” I asked with a reserved expression. Best not to give too much of myself away with this type of personality.  Guys like this are better left not sure of you and what you are capable of.

“Grew up round here, but haven’t been here for a while”, he says casting a half lidded eye around the truck yard we were standing in. A small light took to his eyes that looked like a small memory pushing thru his plasticine expression, he shakes his head as if to rid the memory with the action and chases off the little light as soon as it was realized.  He tosses his head up, lip curled at the  corner of his mouth and eyes blazing with ego.  “You should start on the paper work in the car.” he says leaning  his head toward the rental car that we had to acquire at the airport “and I will canvass the yard”. I held myself for a minute hesitant to react least give away any ground. He was not about to sideline me for this operation.  “I will back you up” I stated firmly and focus on getting my tech out without looking toward Agent Torell. Out of my peripheral, I could see him staring hard at me as  I begin to eye the search grids and pull out my scanners.

Working in the TTF for the last year has been a study in personality disorders for the most part.  The Technical Terrorist Foundation seems to only employ the largest most annoying egos available.  I, unfortunately, have a talent in Surveillance Tech Detection so I was able to land this gig, it was either here or a job fixing digital word processing stations at the educational compendium for just under a living wage.  Torell cautiously started walking toward the north edge of the yard I could hear the squeals of the weapons scanners digital feedback as they were being turned on as I walked  southward and initiated tech clearing protocols.  My job was to clear  all eavesdropping, neurological suppression, optical nerve stimulates and other devices that allow union terrorists to operate without intervention.  This location seemed an unlikely place to use as a base, but orders were orders.

As I started working the grid, I couldn’t help thinking that things on this assignment had gotten really weird for the last few days.  Not only was I stuck with the last agent on the planet anyone would assign to real terrorists and I personally do just enough not to be fired, I have no interest whatsoever in the hypocrisy of the corporation I work for.  So we are the last team to sent out to start a new covert base of operations.  My comm beeped to let me know it’s pair was out of range.  Curious I check the connectivity of the comm as I was nowhere near 20 miles out of range with Torell’s Comm unit. All links seem up and communicating but it has lost its comm partner.  I click the comm communication button. “Torell?” let go  and nothing.  I sent thru a test ping and get a digital tone indicating that the other comm is offline or out of range.  “Fuck” , I hate when tech goes bad.  I resort to old-fashioned yelling “Hey Torell!”.  Nothing.  I pull my neuro stabilizer out of my shoulder holster and quietly lope toward the south side of yard.  Hiding behind retired trucks and slipping beside the warehouse I edge to the corner of the building where I can sight the south yard.  I slink around the corner and there is nothing.  Stumped, I pull out my scanner and check for heat signatures.  No human body heat detected.

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