Marcy was wrong. She had barely stepped into the meeting when it became very clear that no bonding was going to occur. Almost everyone was sitting in their chairs, glaring off in opposite directions, all in complete silence except for the Asian teenaged boy who was talking in low hurried tones to a man wearing an Agent Charm. Marcy couldn’t understand a word he was saying, but he certainly didn’t sound happy.
There were two other agents in the room as well, a smaller looking woman with dark hair and well-tanned skin, and a taller woman with blonde hair that fell in waves down her back. They stood next to each other, leaning against the wall watching the group as a whole.
Cutting it extremely close to the nine am meeting time, Willow hurried into the conference room just in time for a hasty “hi” before Laurel came into the room and the meeting started.
As Laurel got herself set up, the two women leaning on the wall came forward, the blonde one standing near the little boy from Africa and the darker haired one standing near the thirty-something who was from Venezuela. “Since three of you consider English to be your primary language, I will conduct this meeting in English, and Agent Two, Agent Eight, and Agent Nine will provide translations into the other primary languages. Are there any objections?”
Laurel waited a moment while quick translations were done, and no objections were raised. “Very good. Now, as you were all informed, you have been brought here for your own protection. You each have a power in you that is very great, and we do not yet know what lengths our current enemies will go to in order to get their hands on such power. We are working as hard as we can to get the whole situation resolved as quickly as possible, so that you all may be returned to your normal lives with as little interruption as possible.
“That being said, despite our best efforts, you might have to be our guests for a while. We have several things for you to do to occupy your time, if you do so desire, such as libraries and research facilities that you can have access to. Also, our esteemed fighters, Agent Ten and Agent Nine have agreed to teach you all some self-defense classes if you feel so inclined. There will also be opportunities to study how to become more aware of the power that you have and to use it to your best of your abilities. We have limited access to cell phones and internet because they do make it easier for the base to become infiltrated, but what little access we do have, you will have access to.
“Are there any question while we are all together in this capacity?”
There was a pause while they all waited for the translators to catch up. For a moment, they all sat in silence.
Finally, the Australian man, easily the oldest person in the room (save the true age of the agents) stood up. “Don’t worry about my comfort or my entertainment. Solve the problem, and let me go back to my family. If you’ll excuse me.” And then he left, walked right out of the room.
“Fair enough,” Laurel said to his empty chair, then addressing the rest of the room, “Anything else?”
The little boy with the blonde girl started talking rapidly. The blonde girl spoke back, and after a brief exchange the girl said in English, “He wants to be sure that his family is safe, and that the bad guys won’t attack anyone because he isn’t there.”
“Rest assured, all of you, that your families are perfectly safe. We have teams watching all of them, keeping them safe and unharmed.” Once the blonde girl translated that, the little boy relaxed visibly in his seat. “If that is all, then this meeting is dismissed. I will be in further contact with each of you as time goes on to make more specific agreements. Have a good day.” Laurel collected her things and left the room without another word.
“I just agree with that man.” The British twentysomething said, “I want this nonsense to end so that I can go home.”
People left the room one or two at a time until only Marcy and Willow were left.
“I never thought I would have to be the one to say this,” Marcy commented, turning in her chair to face Willow, “But where is the world is their sense of adventure?”
Willow smiled and pushed away from the table. “Who knows? Come on, let’s go meet with Maria and Hank and see if we can’t get your self-defense lessons set up, yeah?”