Something big was happening. It was the first time an all agent meeting had been called since the official announcement of the marbles being taken, the second all agent meeting of all time.
This time, Joey was not fashionably early. In fact, he was running pretty close to late. When he finally ducked into the council room and sank down into seat number four, the clock was just starting to strike the Ten AM start time of the meeting.
Laurel stood and began the meeting as the clock just finished its tenth chime. “We have our first lead on the theft of the marbles.” She began, passing manila folders labeled “Top Secret” down both sides of the table. “It seems our thieves have finally discovered they need a Top Tier User to operate the marbles, and they have also noticed that they lack the ability to recognize who the Top Tier users are, or the ability to retrieve one. We have received the following message.
Joey flipped open his top secret folder and found it only contained two sheets of paper, photocopied front and back of the typed letter that they received. The Thieves had detailed what they knew of the agency’s security system, confirmation that they had a mole in their ranks, a description of what The Marbles did, and vague threats of what they would do to the agency if they didn’t turn over the users. All in all, it wasn’t a particularly pleasant read.
When Joey finished reading he looked up at the others around the table. A couple of people like Frankie and Brian had finished reading as well and were also looking around to gauge other people’s reactions. Others, like Darryl and Hank, had finished reading and were just staring off into space, probably trying to process what they had just read. Even other still were still reading the page again and again.
When Laurel seemed to have determined that enough time had passed, she began the briefing again. “As you can all see, their threats are not fully formed, which leads us to believe that they would not have a fully formed attack plan to carry out their threats either. However, we are still to act as if they have all the forces they need to penetrate the facilities and kidnap a Top Tier User until we receive more solid intel. We now certainly believe that the thieves do have every intention of using the marbles to the fullest extent of their abilities and that they believe they are doing the right thing in doing so.”
Joey looked across the table, not really seeing Agent X, Hank, due to the pure panic that was starting to run through his system. It had been weeks since the first meeting since all of the agency had been called on to active duty, since he had been assigned to find a mole within the employ of the Ixi Agency.
However, it wasn’t until just this moment that he fully realized what was going on. The Ixi Agency was under attack, no matter how slow or subtle that attack was, it was still an attack. And if they failed, then quite literally the fate of the world, past, present, and future could be irreparably changed. Not like it was any pressure or anything.
Joey half listened to the rest of Laurel’s briefing. She spoke about protective details on each of the Top Tier Users, reinforcing the security on the Agency itself, and the potential of putting together a task force to go out and do some recon, to see if they can find out more about these big bad who had stolen the marbles away.
He would ask Willow to fill him in on the detail later.
Right then, he just had to concentrate on not panicking. For the moment, it was a full time though process.