Tina And The Agency

Tina would not say she was a bad person.  In fact, she would tell you she was quite the opposite.  Her work involved the protection of all of mankind, regardless of nationality, religion, gender, etc.  When she was recruited from The University of Nevada and told about the agency, she was very uninterested at first.  When Deputy Director Charles flew out to meet with her and first told her about the agency’s mission and history, she thought he was insane and read too many Men In Black comics.

The agency, of course, was nothing like the fictional Men In Black.  While it was formed in response to concerns about alien invasions (later proven to be unfounded), the parallels ended there.  In fact, the agency was almost scrapped, until a story about a 3 1/2 month baby genius made the network news in March of 1978.  The birth of Amber was predicted by one of the agency’s scientists.  That scientist (Tina’s father) committed suicide because his prediction was largely seen as a ploy to keep the agency alive.  He died of a self-inflicted gun-shot wound in October of 1977, one month before Amber’s birth.

The agency did not have the resources to learn of Amber’s birth in Los Angeles.  At that point, it barely had enough money to pay the janitors in its Washington, DC office building.

All of that would change thanks to an overly ambitious mother, a news story about a spelling baby, and an inadvertent and largely unnoticed over-the-shoulder shot of a floating teddy bear.

The agency was back in business and began tracking Amber.  It soon had field offices across the country, including Nevada, where Tina’s mother had moved the two of them after her father’s suicide.

In the following months and for a few years, the agency worked with Amber’s mother to direct her talents to benign pursuits and the suppression of the ones it deemed a threat to humanity.  Amber’s mother, fearful of the power her daughter displayed, was happy to go along.  When the agency recommended Amber be moved to a more isolated location, her mother convinced the family to move to Nevada; where Amber first met Jake.

The tactics worked, and the agency was diligently working to keep Amber from realizing her power all the way into her adulthood.  They also tried to stifle her attempts at reproduction, but then the agent assigned to her went rogue.  He moved them to Massachusetts, and the asshole gave her Brandon.  The agency began preparing for the eventuality that Brandon and Amber would become a threat.  At the same time, they were monitoring births and development of more emerging new ones.

In her third year at the agency, Tina made the decision to assign the asshole to Amber.  When he went off the reservation, she took it personally.  She blamed Amber for the death of her father, and for turning one of her best agents into a traitor.  In fact, the asshole was just a sociopath, but Tina could not see it due to her family connection.

Her assignment to Jake was just to get close to him since he was identified as a potential contact point for Amber.  She tracked his movements and invented a cover including a fictional business nearby the coffee shop he was known to frequent.  It just so happened they had met at a mutual friend’s party years earlier, so Tina could use that to her advantage.  She was in position when one of her colleagues notified her through her earpiece that he was en route.

The assignment was to get close.  Tina had very high moral standards and would not be the agency’s whore.  She would not use herself for the job.  She was just trying to establish a basis for contact.  She didn’t expect to be so attracted to Jake.  After their kiss, she went home and cried.  She felt wrong for letting her feelings interfere with her work, and for crossing a line she thought she had.  She wondered if the asshole started out the same way with Amber.

Tina was an expert at compartmentalizing.  She convinced herself that she could become involved with Jake because he was not the target, but was merely a person of interest.  She justified her growing relationship with him on the basis that nothing he had done so far had proven him to be an ally to Amber and the new ones.  Tina didn’t feel bad for inventing a fake life for Jake to believe, because it was a matter of human security.  As far as Tina was concerned, she was looking out for him.

When she was notified through her earpiece that Amber sent Jake a message, she smiled with the knowledge that her agency now had a covert way to get close.  After the news of Brandon’s genius has spread, the agency tried posing as press to find out if they knew of their powers, but Amber did not want the publicity and rebuffed them.  They had to settle for wire taps, but Amber had become increasingly reclusive.  They attempted to monitor the computer traffic in and out of her home, but the level of encryption was too sophisticated for the top minds and systems they had borrowed from the NSA.

But she talked with Jake.

The professional side of Tina couldn’t wait for Jake to respond to Amber.  This was the first step in the culmination of her life’s work.  This would be the operation that would validate the life of her father.

There was another side to Tina, however.  The side that hoped her boyfriend had written off Amber for good.  The side that hoped Jake would be a dead-end in the operation due to his feelings for her.  There was the side that wanted Jake to be so happy with her that Amber’s attention would be ignored.

For a week, Jake did just that.  Aware of Amber’s message, he simply ignored it.

Tina’s conflicted emotions made her blow up at Jake over imagined flirtations between him and their waitress.  After a massive fight in which she stormed out of his house and went back to her place where she hadn’t stayed in some time, Jake went to message Tina to try to smooth things over.  He accidentally opened the message from Amber.

Tina, crying at her kitchen table, was startled by the buzz from her earpiece.  “Jake checked the message.”

“Well did he fucking respond?” she yelled to the listening devices.

“He is responding,” replied the analyst in Washington.

“They’re fucking dead.  They’re all dead!” she shouted.

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Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

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