She's this close to flirting her way into a very private Magnacorp office (for intel; don't be coarse) when her partner's voice comes in over her comm.
"Caroline? We've got a problem."
For a while she just stares at the video, unable to process what she's seeing. Really the most offensive part of the whole thing is the shoes. Or the punch colored walls. Or the incorrect Italian.
Absolutely one of those three.
"You maintain, then, that this person isn't you," Catherine says, pushing a pair of elegant black frames down her nose and peering critically over them at Caroline.
"Obviously," she scoffs. "As established, I was in Durban attempting to finish your op when this was taken."
She doesn't add that she wants to cringe with each clunky reference to her social circle, and that she wouldn't be caught dead parading around in low-end nude pumps or pastel-checked coordinated separates without it being some kind of elaborate cover—clearly not the case here.
Catherine almost smiles, like she can hear the train of thought. "In that case the resemblance is uncanny, dear. A doppelgänger, perhaps," she muses. "When I was at the CIA our office came across something similar about ten years ago; 'Project Helix'. A doubling protocol one can undergo to take on the appearance of someone else."
"How would that even—"
"I'm not a scientist," Catherine declares with a dismissive hand-wave, before adding, "Though I'm certain I would have been a great proficient, had I completed schooling for it. This woman is leveraging your name and your identity for some purpose, and for the security of this agency I demand to know why."
"If I may ask—where did you get this footage?"
"Our electronic surveillance systems were alerted when your name appeared on this," she glances down to double-check the file on her desk, "Emma Woodhouse's fashion blog. Closer scrutiny revealed she's been filming her day-to-day business activities and archiving it on a private server. Accessing that was, of course, a simple matter, and I had an intern—that younger Lu girl—review it."
Catherine stares at her appraisingly for a minute before handing over Maria's report. Caroline scans it, phrases like 'stated purpose for filming seems tenuous at best' and 'suspicious lack of clients' and 'seriously flawed business model' jumping out at her.
"Highbury Partners is a front," she says, at last. "It has to be."
"I rather think Ms. Woodhouse has no idea," Catherine replies, "But, yes, that was my suspicion. I've had business dealings with Henry Woodhouse before, strictly aboveboard of course, but there may be more to him than meets the eye."
Caroline lifts up the penultimate page of the report and reads the conclusions, before looking back up at Catherine. "I assume my objectives are to find out what this—double actually wants from him or the state senator, obtain it before she does, and neutralize her. I'll set up a meeting with my handler."
"No," Catherine shakes her head, "I want her alive for questioning; you'll bring her in. And you'll of course need to run interference on anything your acquaintances may have heard about your rather…whirlwind romance."
She nods, standing. "Not a problem. And the hacked Twitter account?"
"We'll leave it for now. It hasn't been operational since we closed the Bennet case, besides. Speaking of which, Caroline, so help me you will keep my nephew as far away from all of this as possible."
"I'll not have him simply wandering around large swaths of Orange County in search of a target again. There's a reason Anne never recruited him."
Augusta Hawkins, alias "Caroline Lee", is still wearing a ModCloth™ peplum top when Caroline brings her in.
The first thing she says, when she's placed in a temporary holding cell, is: "You know, our cells at Maple Grove are a lot bigger than these. Of course I can make do anywhere; it's why everyone says I'm such a good agent, but…"