Fiction: The Ixi Agency (Part 6)

07 Mar


All in all, Willow thought it went pretty well.  Joey had a point, she might have been a bit tactless in her first arrival, and her explanation was not nearly as polished as someone else in the group might have been, but Marcy seemed to be believing her, and relatively calm, so that was something.

With Marcy in the passenger seat and Joey stretched out in the back sleeping, Willow had to actually drive legally within the limits. Marcy was constantly afraid of car crashes, and Willow figured the last thing she wanted to do was aggravate Marcy’s paranoia and fears.  Unfortunately, that meant they had already been driving for about five hours, and still had several hours to go.

While the idea of sitting in the car for several long hours on end was mind numbingly, it had provided a nice opportunity for Marcy to start wrapping her head around things.  Most of the drive had been spent with Marcy asking questions and Willow answering what she could.

“So, you’re not actually twenty-four?”

“No, I am not.”

“How old are you?”

“Oh god, I don’t really know.  A couple thousand, or something like that.  You can ask Joey when he wakes up. He’s good at knowing those kinds of things.”

“Can you remember all that time?”

“No, we’re limited to only a certain number of life cycles for actual memories.  It has something to do with the fact that biologically we are still technically human, so we do have a certain capacity of knowledge or some shit like that.  You can ask one of the brains at the agency and they can give you a more detailed description if you’re really interested.”

“All right.  Joey is?”

“My partner.”

“As in?”

“As in we work together on missions.  It’s like Shawn or Gus, or Booth and Brennan, or Castle and Beckett, or…”

“So are you guys like—together? Dating?”

“What? No. He’s one of my very good friends, but no, there’s nothing romantic between us.”

“And you’ve been partnered for how long?”

“As long as I can remember.”

“And you’ve gotten along the whole time?”

“More or less.  I mean, you know me. There are always the moments when I am an absolute pain in the ass to get along with.  And heaven knows, he’s no saint himself.”

“That’s fair.  God bless his poor little soul for putting up with you as long as he has.”  Marcy teased, so Willow stuck out her tongue.  “So, are there items like the hair color changing bracelets at this place?”

“Things like it, yes. Understandably, the hair changing bracelets are not our top priority for collection, considering there are things out there that involve killing people and the like, but we do have some of the smaller things, yes.”

“Can I have another hair changing bracelet?”

Willow had to laugh at that.  Of course, Marcy would ask for something small like that.  She had just learned that she had insane amounts of power, and what she wanted to do with it is change her hair color without hair dye.  If Willow had just become a Top Tier User, then she would want to learn how to do something extreme, as big as she could go. But then again, that wasn’t very Marcy, was it.  “I don’t know. We’d have to ask the tech guy if we have one on file.  I’ll see what I can do about getting you one, okay?”

Marcy smiled contentedly to herself for a moment, staring out the windshield. “So, who all is part of this agency?”

“Well, there are eleven actual agents. Laurel is the leader of the group, Agent One, and the only one who the cycle lifestyle doesn’t seem to apply to. She’s been stuck somewhere in between sixty and seventy years old for as long as I’ve known her.  For the other ten of us, there are Joey and me, the two brains, two fighters, the human lie detector, the two masters of disguise and camouflage, and the—well—the seducer, for a lack of a better thing to call her.  She can get almost anyone to tell her anything.  Each of us has a team when we’re on duty from anywhere between ten and fifty people to help us with whatever we need, each of them with various levels of security clearances.  They also help keep things cataloged, files sorted, users trained, etc., etc.”

“Am I going to get to play with any of these powerful objects?”

“Well, I’m going to urge you to avoid the world play, but there is training available for users who are brought into the agency, yes.”

“Can I go through this training?”

“I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to.  We can talk to Laurel once things get settled down a little bit and see what we can get you signed up for.”

Marcy was silent for the longest period since they had both gotten into the car. Willow looked over to see if she had fallen asleep, but instead found her staring intently out the front window, her eyebrows drawn together, her arms crossed tightly over her chest.  Willow couldn’t help but wonder if this was all starting to crash in on Marcy. “Hey. You okay?”

“Willow. Just how much danger is my life actually in?”

Willow figured it was only a matter of time before paranoid little Marcy realized that someone might actually be out for her life.  Really, she expected a bigger freak out than this. But then again, the night was still young—in a manner of speaking.  “I don’t know,” Willow answered honestly. “I mean, we can’t be sure. We’ve never had a theft of this magnitude before. For all we know, the thieves already have a top-tier user in their employ, in which case your life is no more in danger than the average human being on the planet earth. If they don’t already have a top-tier user, well there is no way for us to know exactly when they’ll realize that they need one, or how desperate they will be to get their hands on one, but you can rest assured that while you are under the protection of the agency, it will be our top priority to keep you safe. Or at the very least, it is my top priority to keep you safe. And you know how dedicated I get when I set my mind to something.”

“Yes. I think the number of superhero movies I’ve seen in the last year speaks to that,” Marcy gave her a soft smile, but she still looked older than she had just a few moments ago. “One last question, then I think I’m going to try to take a nap.”

“All right. Fire away.”

“What can I do to help you guys?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, it is potentially my ass on the line, and I don’t want to sit in the corner while you guys all fight to save my life. I want to help. As much and as frequently as possible.”

Willow had never seen Marcy like this before.  There was a set in her jaw, a crease in between her eyebrows. She was determined, more determined than she had ever been in the years Willow had known her. “I will make sure that every opportunity to help, you can try to help us, within the limitations of trying to make sure that you stay safe. Sound fair?”

“You promise?”

“I promise.”

Marcy nodded once sternly, and then curled her feet up under her, leaned against the door, and shut her eyes.  Exactly six minutes later, when Marcy’s breathing evened out and Willow was sure she was asleep, Willow looked into the rearview mirror and said very softly, “I’m going to need you to help me keep that last promise, you know?”

“Don’t worry,” Joey’s voice came up from the back seat. “You won’t break that promise. Not if I can help it.”

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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in Ixi Agency


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