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The official sat behind a large, curved desk. He tried his best to not consider himself a receptionist as his desk was in the lobby directly in-front of the door. He felt the sensation creeping in, but held fast with the thought that he was a high-ranking official in the company. He provided orders to so many people. Not the CEO, but definitely a middle man in the company.
“Excuse me, where is the bathroom?” one asked him
“It is…” the official began. “Oh god no!”
With that, the agent followed the hand and sped-walked to the restrooms. The official was slowly coming to grips that he had in-fact been demoted a long time ago. As of now, it all made sense in the grand scheme of things, but he wasn’t happy with it.
“Agent Seventy, reporting it,” one agent greeted as the official wept into his palms.
“Ugh...is this a collection?” the official asked through teary eyes.
“Uh...yeah,” Seventy replied. “Contract B45.”
“One sec,” the newly-released receptionist replied with a nasal tone.
The receptionist began tapping away at his computer and entering in the appropriate details.
“What’s up with you?” Seventy asked.
“Nothing, nothing…” the receptionist replied between sniffs. “Will that be cash transaction through dead-drop or do you have an agency account?”
“Dead-drop,” Seventy answered. He watched as the receptionist held back his cries and it was painful. The face of the meek man was twisted by emotions gradually, as if there were a spoon mixing his doughy face. “Listen, I can’t not ask what is up with you, man. What’s your problem?”
“Well...I was an agent in the offices.”
“The offices upstairs? Receptionist is a promotion then.”
“Not upstairs, downstairs!”
“Oh...I’m so sorry.”
The agent wanted to leave. He wanted to turn in place and walk out the shady building. He wanted to go to his assigned safehouse, turn on the TV and watch the movie he rented, but not stay any longer and listen to this man weep.
“Your drop will be here at two tomorrow morning,” the receptionist said handing Seventy a card. “Sorry that doesn’t give you much time to sleep.”
With that, Seventy spun on his heels and marched towards the front doors. On the way there he saw another agent enter, his suit covered in blood and an axe in one hand.
“Hey, Splitter, hang on a second,” Seventy half-whispered.
“Seventy, what is it?” Splitter asked impatiently. “I need to make a collection.”
“I figured. Don’t use receptionist two, he is having a proper mental breakdown.”
“I see, thanks for the heads up.”
Splitter began to march past the centre receptionist towards another only to have his attention caught by the one he was trying to avoid.
“Hey, you!” the receptionist called.
“Me?” Splitter asked, regretfully turning to face the teary face.
“Yes...have you ever had a dream?”
Splitter rolled his eyes, but he was caught now. The only way out was for someone to take his place or to endure the worst of it.
“Well...I suppose I am doing my dream job now,” Splitter nodded. “I’ve always wanted to kill people, brutally and now I can do it legally, which is a plus.”
“That’s nice,” the receptionist nodded with a smile. “I had a dream too. My sister started this whole place and-”
“You’re the Queen’s brother?”
“I am and I thought that would mean something, but apparently not. I only ever go a desk job downstairs and...and… other workers made me get coffee for them. I couldn’t refuse, I wanted to be polite, you know?”
Splitter began to juggle his axe between hands, paying more attention than he would before the receptionist mentioned his connection to the Queen.
“Of course, it wasn’t long before some started telling what was wrong with the coffee. How am I supposed to remember how many sugars each worker takes?”
Splitter’s deadly trained eyes focused on another agent walking in. It was the Sonic Flamer, a high ranking assassin. Perfect.
“Excuse me...Flamer!” Splitter called after him.
Sonic was fully unaware that he was about to betrayed in a way he could not imagine.
“Hey, Sonic I would like you to meet...uh…” Splitter began, gesturing towards the receptionist with his axe.
“Ashley,” the official replied
“Ash-...really? That’s your name?” Splitter asked the teary man.
“Right, Sonic, here is a high ranking assassin, I’m sure he would like to hear a lot about your relation with the Queen and so on.”
“He knows the Queen?” Sonic asked, genuinely interested.
“Oh, don’t get me started,” Ashley, the receptionist, started.
It was at this point that Splitter pulled Sonic closer to the desk and backpedaled towards another receptionist. Only a sentence into the conversation did Sonic realise he had fooled, suckered into a pain worse than the knives he took in past missions. All that he wanted to do was make a quick collection, like every assassin.
Splitter finished his collection, taking a card from the other receptionist, in less than a minute. Sonic gave him the evil eye as Splitter skipped past him and through the front doors. In all his life, Sonic could not recall being so betrayed.
“And of course, there was the computers downstairs,” Ashley, the ever-speaking, ever-weeping receptionist moped on. “I begged on my knees to have a better computer. One that was more modern with access to the internet at least, but that was a big no! Like I care about company data being stolen, I have a great series to watch and Emails to read, so I thought I would take matters into my own hands.”
At this Sonic suddenly came to attention.
“You didn’t...connect your computer...to the internet, right?” Sonic asked him.
“Well, let’s just keep that info secret between you and me,” Ashley smiled, turning his monitor so Sonic could see the Email box that was filled with Emails from subscriptions and the government. “Hey, where you going? That’s just rude to leave when I am-!”
“That...damn...idiot,” Splitter cursed as he ran outside and as far from the building as he could, hearing sirens in the distance.
Be sure to follow!