Joey knocked sharply three times. When he heard Laurel’s voice call out, he slipped into the room, clicked the door shut behind him, and almost immediately shot into his explanation. “We returned with Marcy Jenkins about an hour ago, and since then have been coordinating with Agent Two, Three, Five, Nine and Eleven for retrievals of the other five top tiers. We have positive locations for three out of five and are sending out retrieval teams soon. I know it was unprofessional to leave the briefing the way I did, but Agent Six was going regardless so I figured the smart thing to do was give her back up and –“
Laurel held up her hand, so Joey stopped talking. “You are correct, it was unprofessional. It was also unprofessional to inform Miss Jenkins about who we are—Oh, yes, I am already aware of how much you and Agent Six told her—but I understand why you did what you did, and for right now, at least, you are not in trouble. I called you in here to speak about something else entirely. Please, do take a seat.” Joey sank down into the chair facing Laurel’s desk. He had no idea how Laurel could possibly know what they had told Marcy, and yet, somehow, Laurel knew. But he wasn’t in trouble, even though he probably should be, so whatever Laurel had to give him must be something pretty important. “Agent Four, as has already been pointed out several times in the past couple of days, the theft of the marbles is a security breech that is unrivaled in the history of the Ixi Agency. This is not something that can be allowed to just go uninvestigated.”
“Of course not, Ma’am.”
Laurel looked over her desk, and Joey felt like he was being scanned and weighed to determine if he was actually good enough to do what she was about to ask him to do. He guessed he passed because Laurel spoke again. “I am forced to assume that there is a leak within the agency itself, a mole, if you will, who has been feeding information to someone who does not have the agency’s best interests at heart. Every single member of this base, anyone who had ever been in or out prior to the thefts of the marbles will need to be looked at, and looked at closely. I am inclined to believe that it is not one of the Agents, because I think I would be a good enough judge of character to learn over a couple thousand years, whether or not someone is going to turn on me, but we cannot leave any stone unturned. Do you understand?”
“Yes, I think I do.”
“I would like you like to head up this investigation. I understand that Agent Six and you usually work together, so you’ll probably want to pull her in as well, but I strong advise that you consult with Agent Five for this because his unnatural ability to be able to tell when people are lying will certainly come in handy. Beyond that, though, I encourage you to keep your team small. We do not want the moles digging their way in again.
“Yes, Ma’am, of course.” Joey was trying not to show his excitement. The part of his brain that was several thousand years old knew that he had done tasks and missions like this before, and that it was no big deal. But then there was the part of his brain that was biologically twenty four years old which was absolutely eager to prove his worth to Laurel and the rest of the team. “I will get started on that as soon as possible.”
“See that you do. The top tier users are still priority number one, but this should be your priority number two. You are dismissed.”
Joey rose from his chair and walked quickly towards the door. As he headed down the hall, he couldn’t help but smile to himself. This was going to be fun.