The image of the iron eagle lingered in front of Ghenn’s vision. It seemed to be staring at her, studying her with its glowing red eyes. A voice, loud and cold and deliberately mechanical in way that Daddy Dearest was not, echoed through her head. “Recipient confirmed: Ghennifer Davies, founder and ex-CEO of Friendulate, LLC. Four years, four months, and 27 days of volunteer work currently served.”
There was a moment of silence, and then a human voice began speaking. “Hello, Ms. Davies. We’re pleased that you’ve taken the time to open this message. It’s prerecorded, unfortunately, but we don’t think that needs to be an issue.” Ghenn blinked in surprise. It was a woman’s voice she heard, purposefully distorted, but unmistakably feminine. She’d never met an Agent that she’d known of (although supposedly no one ever knew they were meeting an agent until it was too late,) but she always imagined them as tall, faceless men in antiquated suits. Or else completely non-descript, the kind of person who could only be described as forgettable. A nobody with a gun in their pocket and a suicide pill in their mouth.
Maybe she’d been mistaken about them. Or maybe it was deliberate, an image deliberately cultivated just so those who encountered one contrary to it would be caught off-guard.
“We’ll be direct. There are certain individuals in the volunteer program that we don’t want to return. It doesn’t serve the world’s interests.”
Ghenn’s eyes went wide. This had to be fake. Some kind of prank. It had to be.
“It’s impractical for us to get our Agents inside the Debris Collection Corps, which is why we approach individuals such as yourself. Now, you’re a smart, self-motivated woman. You started your own business and become a multi-millionaire all on your own; of course you are. You’re probably asking, what’s in it for me? ‘I’ve lived and worked alongside these people for years. They’re practically family. Why would I betray them?’ Well, it’s simple.
“One assignment, and you’re done. Ghennifer Davies disappears and you get a new life. Outstanding credit history, impeccable references, some cosmetic surgery, and a quarter of your old wealth. More than enough to make a new go of things.
“Not everyone can do this kind of work, of course. We understand that. All we ask is that you ask yourself if you could. Really think it over. We’ll send you another message in a few days. If you accept, open it, read the details, and get the job done. If you don’t, delete it and you won’t be contacted again. You can serve out the rest of your volunteer contract in peace.
“We’ll be in touch, Ms. Davies.”
The voice went silent. The eyes of the eagle stopped glowing and the image disappeared, replaced by an advertisement for a synthetic protein that eliminated the need to sleep and increased virility. But Ghenn barely saw it.
Would it be murder? It had to be. The Agency only dealt in murder, didn’t it? Could she kill someone? No one up here was innocent, but they were white-collar criminals, not killers and rapists. Although there were rumors… But could she do it?
“My God, are there limits to your depravity?” a phlegmy, petulant voice called out behind her. Honestly, using the public terminal to peruse illegal drugs? What’s the point up here? And how did you even get access to that site with Daddy Dearest watching?”
Ghenn’s cheeks burned red. Her eyes narrowed to slits. Her lips threatened to pull back in a snarl.
Oh, she could absolutely do it.