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Condition Red

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Week 1 (June 1-June 7)  .

The Iceberg, Freedom City


In AEGIS circles Wednesday gave everyone a case of the Mondays.  Those assigned to AEGIS posts had to attend 15 minute stand up meetings with their teams.  But Wednesdays the meetings were an hour and a half conferences.  Sometimes you could be assigned to a separate department's conference.  Which is where Yves Zermeño found herself this very Wednesday.  Having the unfortunate draw of being assigned to a private conference with Stewart “Rock Star” Bonham. 


It wasn't that Yves hated Bonham.  Quite the opposite.  But, a conference with a department head often lead to a special assignment.  And in her experience an assignment from Bonham was babysitting duty.  The Dame might send Yves to investigate Terminus related crimes.  Dr. Volk would want to collect data.  And her team would just do the weekly review.  But, Bonham always made it a production.


And judging by the smoke filling the room as Yves entered, this meeting would be no different.  That was until it became readily apparent that Bonham was nowhere to be seen.  Yves quickly scanned the office. It was a windowless conference room with a holographic display in the center of the table.  There were a dozen seats all around and a series of computers.  But no acting Director to be seen.  There were however five people sitting on the chairs around the conference table.  The first person Yves recognized was Jessie Baker.  Jessie had a reputation on the Iceberg for being opinionated to the point of fault.  If there was a thought that went through agent Baker's head, she let everyone know about it.  Said thought was often about how wrong everyone else was which didn't endear her too many friends.  If not for her impressively accurate results, she would've been out of a job a long time ago.  But, it did seem like an inevitability. 


Next to Jessie Baker was Lee Franks.  Aside from Yves, Franks was the only other field agent in the room.  And likely the only other person over 40.  Yves, had also heard rumors that Franks was a former costumed hero.  Though she had never personally inquired as to his past.  Everyone deserved their secrets.  That was everyone but the person sitting next to Franks, Lyla Chen.


Lyla Chen had worked for just about every super-criminal one could think of.  A professional henchman, Chen had actually bankrolled her entire career by stealing from a wide variety of her superiors.  After all, super-criminals always ended up caught.  And their last concern would be remembering the henchman who took a few trinkets here and there.  AEGIS was less forgiving, at least on the surface.  But, once it turned out that Chen's loyalty lasted as far as her mouth she quickly turned confidential informant with the matching leg jewelry to prove it.  The government had made a deal for an earlier release if she cooperated.  And somehow she wasn't even the most untrustworthy person in the room.  Not with Matti Scoggins there.


Matti Scoggins had been the talk of AEGIS for a week.  An embezzler among their ranks.  The Harvard grad worked for their financial crimes division, and had been skimming a little off the top for years.  He was fearless in amassing his collection of stolen goods from super criminals.  But, after years he had been caught by the tireless efforts of none other than Jessie Baker.  No wonder the two hadn't been placed together. 


The last person in the room was Hamid Zafiya.  The Fresh MIT graduate was a star in the cyber crimes division.  Or at least he would've been if he ever took the job seriously rather than playing games with the criminals he targeted.  No amount of reprimands and threats of demotions had any effect on the young agent and clear thrill chaser who time and time again had been denied field duty status.  It was a motley crew of people that didn't need to be motleying up anything.


Agent Alyssa Wild walked up behind Yves.  She was Argonaut's long-time partner in the field.  And jokingly her work-wife despite the fact that Yves' husband also worked for AEGIS.  That was just how much time the pair spent together at work.  So when Wild tapped Yves on the soldier to be let in with a whispered, "glad you could make it."  The Freed drone was utterly confused.  "Well now we can start.  Acting Director Bonhan has noted a failing on AEGIs' part-"


"Ahem.  I noticed a failing on AEGIS' part."  Agent Baker interrupted.  Only to get stared at by Wild.  Neither woman backing down before Wild continued.


"As I was saying.  After a completely preventable incident, Acting Director Bonham has deemed it necessary to circumvent traditional AEGIS operating procedures.  As such he has created a task force with one simple mandate to think like villains in order to predict upcoming conflicts and sabotage them before they happen.  This task force will report directly to Special Agent Zermeño."  As they all turned their heads to hear Yves say 'No' before storming out of the conference room.  She absolutely wasn't going to be in charge of AEGIS castoffs and outcasts.  Alyssa chased after her friend in a huff, quickly catching the Lor whom was simply walking at a leisurely pace.


"You know when Jack Simmons founded AEGIS, he specifically sought the most insubordinate members of every br1anch of government for his recruits.  The Dirty Forty as we call them now.  The Patriot believed that a willingness to question orders was the one of the most important foundations of an AEGIS agent.  Assuming they were competent and with a bit of drive that is."  Alyssa told Yves.


"Why me?  Most people don't know what or who I am.  Why me?  Does Bonham really need me to be his fall girl when this entire crapshoot blows up in our faces.  And believe me it will."


"Someone just has to get them up and running.  They'll report to you as needed.  You don't need to tell them your story if you don't want.  And Bonham's not expecting Argonaut to suddenly slink to the shadows.  But, they need oversight,  And frankly this is your job."


"I'm no leader."


"Agent!  When there's trouble..."


"AEGIS takes the initiative.  AEGIS does not play it safe."  Every agent worth their salt new how to answer a challenge response to one of the mantras in the AEGIS code.

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