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Shhh... It's SECRET
“Call me Laurie.” A gentle statement, perhaps a friendly one, Harrison could not and would not be sure. The woman looked at him pleasantly, her business décor making him feel awkward in his blue jeans and white t-shirt. He didn’t notice the interview was so formal until he arrived, and it was too late by then.
His eyes darted around the formal office room, taking in the lush furniture, the high ceiling, and the young woman standing right in front of him. When he had approached the old and withered building and all of five minutes ago, he did not expect the inside to be so… modern. Perhaps SECRET was more put together than he thought.
“Laurie. That’s a pretty name. Where does it come from?” he tried to sound smooth, in touch, deep. He stuck his hands in his pockets, then thought better of it, and let them rest awkwardly by his sides. He felt like an idiot.
“Oh, my parents actually named me Christina Leigh. Laurie is what I decided I wanted to be called though. It’s more me. I mean, I am not a Christina. I never have been.” Laurie flashed a perfect white smile at him. He did his best to smile back, but it came grudgingly, ending in more of a scowl. She acted like she didn’t notice.
Harrison wondered if that was her real story or not. He wasn’t a genius, but he could tell if someone was lying to him, he always had that ability. She may have looked pretty and professional, but he knew a crook when he saw one. SECRET, as he had already guessed, was probably full of them. That was the point though, right? He tried to shrug off the small talk, get down to business. He wanted to start immediately.
“So, how does this work? Do you think you can tell me? I’m new, with all of this you know.” Harrison dropped his gaze from her black eyes. Nope, he wasn’t succeeding with “smooth”.
Laurie placed her hands on his shoulders and squeezed. She was a good six inches shorter than him, staring up into his confused face. Perhaps this was tradition, being confused. “You’re scared. That’s understandable. I can’t tell you anything though. You know that. In order to make sure you have the mind capacity to work for us, we have to see you in raw action.” Her lips curled up into another smile. Harrison nodded. He had been given a light initiation some few minutes earlier by Laurie’s secretary.
“What time then? Who shall it be?”
“An old woman, close to retirement. Tonight, if you aren’t too busy. You can handle it, I know.” She winked and dropped her hands. “That is, only if you want to. We don’t take those you are unwilling or wary to serve. You can understand, too much of a risk.” She leaned over some papers and started scanning them. Their meeting was coming to an end, he could tell.
“What happens if I do change my mind, or if I’m not acceptable?” He stared at the papers in her hands. They were profiles of mostly old people, a few young-bloods.
“So curious. Well, if you must know, if we can’t put a good use to you, or if you back out, we dismiss you. Of course though, I’m sure you understand secrecy is a must, so you will be, well, disposed of.” She waved the statement off like you would swat a fly. Harrison felt his palms sweat, and he knew there must me stains on the pits of his sleeves.
“I see. I will follow through, of course.” Struggling to regain composure from the sudden one-way situation, he held tight to the back of a chair until his knuckles ghosted white.
“Great. Tonight then? There will be someone to give you the necessary personal information at your home around dusk. In all concern for the company and yourself, be as quick as possible.” Laurie smiled again, and then started to take her leave, but Harrison grabbed her wrist, one more question on his mind.
“Yes?” She asked brightly, a touch of annoyance and impatience in her composed voice.
“I was wondering. I was just led here, and no one is announced or anything. What role do you exactly play for SECRET?” Laurie smiled at him, she happiness and patience renewed.
“Of course you know SECRET has only been around for a short and condensed matter of time. The government started the private organization in order to manage the population and security of our nation. We are of upmost importance and highly directed by the president himself. However, that has changed recently on account of the recent election. In orders of our last chief, we are now known by nobody but a few intertwined senators, mainly for money matters. Our secrecy much be kept, and we must have a reigning chief to keep order.” She smiled again, rich and beautiful. “I was appointed head of SECRET two days ago.” Harrison was shocked. All this time, he had been talking to the top one, the new master-mind behind SECRET. She shook his hand, patted his shoulder, and walked off into the hall, her heels clicking shrilly against the tile. Harrison gained his composure, and discarded himself from the premises soon after she could no longer be heard.