There is nothing more dangerous than a woman with nothing to lose.
Bureaucracy: It’s Wonderful
Disciplinary action meetings for extramural anti-terrorism units (EAT-U) were held in a secure auditorium-like basement beneath a Virginia shopping mall. It was a grim room, but the middle-aged woman in the baggy tan suit had triumphed so often in rooms even grimmer than this one that it gave her a warm feeling in her thoracic cavity. The room was stuffy, but she was unfazed by it. Her face was a calm, resigned mask, as if she were merely facing another mountain of paperwork in a windowless back office. She wore the Glock 9mm in her shoulder holster as lightly as her cheap wristwatch and pearl stud earrings. She knew she could think her way out of anything, but violence, done well, was sometimes more effective. She was seated across from her abashed Section Manager and his boss, the Department Manager, whom she’d never met before. There were no introductions; they all knew as much as they needed to know about each other and why they were there. And technically, none of them existed outside of discreet payments to secure accounts under approved aliases, so introductions were pointless.
“Okay, Titania, what happened in Los Angeles?” the Department Manager asked.
“The mission went to hell,” she said.
“After the Irvine incident, I was instructed to cut back on the kill numbers and, unwisely, I complied,” she said, taking a sip of over-roasted coffee purchased from the shop above them.
“Only because wherever your squad goes turns into a bloodbath,” her Section Manager gritted out. “People were beginning to notice.”
“It got the results you wanted,” she said smoothly. “But there was more to this than just kill numbers. There was romance involved and we were foolishly touched by it. We all were.”
The Department Manager gazed at her over his own cup of over-roasted coffee. He’d looked at Titania’s personnel file before the meeting. At least he looked at what was available to him on his security level. Based on his reading, he would never have associated the woman before him or her underlings with being foolish, romantic or capable of tender feelings for anything. “And what does that mean?” he asked when the silence went on too long for him.
“I’m sure if we’d not been sentimental and killed Detective Russek before Andrew Ryan was incarcerated or at any time up to his release, this would have all gone more smoothly,” she said. “Or at least not as messily as it did.”
“Agent Titania,” her Section Manager scolded. “This department is not in the business of killing police officers, even Los Angeles police officers, on Federal funding.”
“Oh?” Titania sipped her coffee and tried to look interested. “Since when?”
For those of who’d rather read this as a pdf, it’s here: Electricland_by_Mayerson_Serialization_Pages. Ain’t I nice?
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