I wouldn’t say that I’m a favorite of the powers that be. As a matter of fact, I’ve rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. I never pretended otherwise. That’s another thing to talk about later. What I will talk about is the mundane feeling that occurs day-to-day, when you’re craning your neck for your next mission. I’ve probably looked the furthest behind the curtain, but I can’t tell any rhyme or reason behind who gets what mission, or who gets promoted first, or how they distribute the androids between their minions, I mean, agents. Sometimes you can go weeks or months without any sign of a mission, and then you start wondering if it was all real in the first place as you trod along in the civilian life you lead as a cover.
They take your name, your time, your spirit, and they give you a flimsy promise. It’s something you hold close to your heart, because it’s really all you have once you sign up for that legendary ark that will boat the chosen ones over to After. There was one agent who I came to know, who kept looking for her golden ticket. Most agents can pass by one another on the street and never realize it, but I spotted her a mile away. I saw the furtive glances, the look of despair, and the thirst of desperation that guided her jerky movements as she walked through Prism City. Newbies often looked like that, but I didn’t know it at the time. At that point, I didn’t even realize how rare it was to be given an android right off the bat. Whoever had confidence in me, I had no idea why.
This particular newbie I later found out was Laney, a personification of her divinely-bestowed codename. I noticed that most of her missions revolved around reconnaissance, but her technique left something to be desired, like discretion. I understand why she was nervous. She didn’t yet know whether to trust if she would be given the gift that would lead us to After, just like the rest of us. Trust goes both ways, and those at the top of the D-MISE hierarchy weren’t exactly transparent. Perhaps that was why only a select few chose to truly believe with all their hearts, enough to dedicate their mortal lives to the cause. These were the ones that truly had nothing.
It was too late when I realized just how little Laney truly had – what drove her to compliance to an unbending titan. If I were Laney, I would be scared too. Especially if I were the one that had to take the blame for what happened to the Star Dog clan that night when the ship pulled out of the dock, taking Laney’s hope for redemption very far away.