Defeating Áglǽca

Chapter One

Fay Carson walked swiftly through the halls inside Langley and then entered into Director Higgins' office without knocking. As she did so, she saw that she was interrupting a meeting between the director, Adele, and Higgins' slimy assistant. They all stopped talking and stared at Fay as she stepped in.

Higgins was the first to speak as he said, "Yes, Miss. Carson? I take it that you have something important, due to your less than subtle intrusion."

Fay cleared her throat and replied, "Forgive me for interrupting, Sir, but I have just received a short and very odd call from one of our assets set up in India. He said that he had just discovered some very important information regarding a weapons dealer. The asset refused to tell me anymore, but will speak to us if we travel there to meet with him in person. He sounded extremely paranoid."

"Let me guess," Higgins continued. "You think we should send in the ODS to speak with this paranoid asset?"

"The only other thing he told me was that he would only speak to Michael, Billy, and Casey," she answered. "If you'd like, I can go inform them for you?"

Higgins sighed as he looked down at the folder on his desk and said, "You do that. And Fay, tell those clowns to listen to the information the asset has for us and nothing else until they relay the information back to me and I give them new orders, understood?"

Fay nodded and responded, "Yes, Sir."

"Do you really think that order is going to be acknowledged, Sir?" Adel asked as Fay walked out of the room.

"No," Higgins replied as he chuckled sarcastically. "But I have to at least try to act like their boss. I refuse to allow them to make me completely incompetent in front of everyone else who works for this agency."

Adele smiled as she nodded and responded, "Yes, Sir."

Fay continued walking through the halls with as much speed as she had when she headed to the director's office. Now she was heading to where the four members of the ODS worked, including her ex-husband, Michael. Most days it bothered her that she was stuck working with Michael, but because he was often gone on missions, they didn't really see much of each other. However, she couldn't help but worry when he and the others were sent on potentially dangerous missions. This was only a fact gathering mission, but these things had a way escalating, especially with the ODS involved.

As Fay walked up to the office door, she knocked twice and walked in without waiting for a response. As she did, she found Rick Martinez down on the floor doing push-ups, while Billy sat in his chair with his feet on top of Rick's back and holding a book in his hand. Both Michael and Casey looked like they were doing paper work, but Fay doubted that they were concentrating on anything else except Rick.

Billy was the first to speak as she entered as he said, "Fay, how lovely it is to see you this fine morning. As always, you look stunning."

Fay smiled as she looked down at Rick, who quit his push-ups and was now staring up at her, then looked over at Michael as she asked, "Do I want to know what is going on in here?"

Michael looked around at his friends and then back at Fay as he answered, "Rick here lost a bet. Fifty pushups are his punishment."

"Billy bet Martinez that he could get him to reveal the name of the first girl he ever kissed," Casey added.

"They bugged Blanke and tricked him into helping them get the answer," Rick responded as he began to get up from the floor. "You would think I would have learned not to put anything past them by now."

Billy stood and held out his hand to Rick in order to help him up the rest of the way as he replied, "Don't be sore, Martinez. We were only trying to help you to open up a little more."

Rick stared at Billy as he asked, "About my love life before Adele? That's none of your business. I don't want anything to get back to Adele, in case…"

"In case you dated someone or did something with anyone she wouldn't approve of?" Billy continued. "Relax, my friend. Everything you say to us, stays between us."

"Unless of course something you say is a threat to national security," Michael interrupted.

"Or you say anything that is just too good to keep between us," Casey added. "Just because you are officially a part of our team now, doesn't mean we still can't have a little fun with you. That will never change."

As Rick glared at his friends, Fay jumped in as she finally said, "Despite how amusing this conversation has been, I am afraid I didn't come down here for any of your childish games. I came here with an assignment. I just received a call from Ronnie Habbish."

Michael asked, "Ronnie Habbish, our paranoid, superstitious friend from India? What did he possibly have to say that would require Higgins to call us in?"

Fay responded, "That is your mission. To go to India and find out what he knows. He claimed that he has information of vital importance about a weapons dealer."

"Let me guess," Billy replied. "Higgins is ordering us to go there right away, gather the information, and then do nothing until he gives us further instruction, am I right?"

"Exactly right," she answered. "But you won't be following those orders, will you?"

As each of them walked out of their office, Casey turned to face Fay and said, "Probably not."

Fay watched as each of the members of the ODS walked away and headed off to make travel arrangements. As she did so, she smiled. She couldn't help but feel that all four of those men were her friends, despite her twisted and strained relationship with Michael. The four of them were heroes, no matter how hard Director Higgins tried to deny it.