Velis Enge leaned back in her office chair, blearily rubbing the sleep from her eyes as she forced herself to finish reading the mission debrief. She thought back wistfully to her days as a field agent, complaining about having to write them. She smiled briefly—relishing the irony—then forced herself to pay attention to her work. When she finished, she placed the data tablet down on her desk with a sigh and reached for the lukewarm cup of coffee on her desk.
WHEREIN Offers Are Made, And Refusal Is Not Up For Consideration
“Captain Vindh!” Yidoc Messhik, crime lord of the Tyrelos Barony and other principalities, beamed through the video link at Grif’s scowling face. More accurately, he appeared to beam, strictly by human standards, though his facial spines—an integral emotive component for every Invagi Grif had ever met—hardly so much as twitched in place. “I confess I didn’t expect to hear from you so soon. On the other hand, I didn’t expect someone to try to assassinate our Baron, either.”
His smile faded slightly. “If you had any dealings in that, Captain, I’m afraid we have no business worth discussing. The Baron was very good for business, and I’ve no interest in rewarding either her brother or Lord Sonim for foolish ambition.”
Special Agent Philip Henry has a reputation for coolness under fire. This reputation has sometimes been described in semi-flattering terms, like when one of his superiors compared him to Joe Friday from the old Dragnet radio programs. Sometimes the description is less flattering, like when one of his colleagues accused him of being a soulless, cold-hearted son of a bitch.
At the moment his reputation is being tested. As Sergeant Alishia Webb glowers at him from across the table of the sole booth in Elliot’s Diner, he fights back the urge to flinch away from her gaze.