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Agent Nocturnal Bird In The Night

Posted on Jan 01, 2017 @ 6:16pm by Chloe Nielsen
Edited on on Jan 01, 2017 @ 6:17pm

Mission: Section 31

“Agent Nocturnal Bird in the Night”

Location: San Francisco, EARTH
SD: [2.16] 1222.2033
Scene: SFI office

“I have good news,” spoke a Vietnamese man, leaning forward in his chair with hands clasped on the desk. The three gold pips, pinned on his dark grey colour, indicated he was a full Commander. “HQ has reviewed your case and the evidence you presented to us. They have decided to drop the charges against you. They have removed any indications of the misdemeanors from your file. You have also been reinstated to your rank.”

A blonde woman, seated opposite him, nodded. “Thank you, sir.” She waited for over two years to hear those words from SFI and when that happened, she felt a heavy weight lifting off her shoulders. After all, she was right and it was about time her superiors realized the mistake they made in not believing her – dismissing her as a drug addicted lunatic who was obsessive and delusional. Well, the drug addict bit was true, which didn’t help her case at all. But she was clean now – at least that was what she kept telling herself. Today, Chloe Nielsen felt vindicated.

“However…” Oh the dreaded however – suddenly she was feeling nervous. “They have decided you will no longer serve as an intelligence officer.” He gave her a solemn look.

Chloe stiffened and her blue-grey eyes narrowed. “I don’t quite understand, Commander.”

Commander Nguyen sighed. “What I mean is you will be reassigned to another department in Starfleet.”

“This is incredible,” she said, anger seeping through her voice as she stood up. “My instincts about him were right and I even produced the evidence, nearly getting killed in the process.” She began pacing back and forth, not caring if it bothered the Commander or not.

“Lieutenant Commander, we appreciate your service to Starfleet Intelligence and acknowledge your efforts to keep the Federation safe through your work in the field but…” He paused, meeting her gaze. “HQ cannot overlook your transgressions.”

“My what?” Chloe stopped pacing and gave him a fixed stare. “But you just cleared me.”

Nguyen softened his tone but it was still firm. “While you were right, you still broke protocol on numerous occasions, not in this situation but in some of your previous missions.”

“Those missions were a success.”

“You were fortunate in their view,” he pointed out.

“This is unbelievable.” She resumed pacing, placing a hand on her forehand for a brief moment.

“And there is the…matter…” The Vietnamese cleared his throat. “Regarding your addiction.”

“I have been clean for a while,” the blonde said, having stopped her pacing to glare at him. “I haven’t touched the drug in the last thirty months and don’t even feel inclined to.”

“They have a hard time believing you,” he said, unfazed by her piercing stare. “You have after all kept the addiction from us for four years and likely had continued that way if we hadn’t caught you. You haven’t seen a medical officer or a counselor to get help and that is raising doubts about your fitness to serve.”

“Yoga and meditation are keeping those cravings from surfacing,” she quipped. “And taking a hike through the woods, watching birds.”

“The decision is final, Commander,” he informed with a tone of finality. “You will be contacted by Starfleet Operations, regarding your next assignment. You will first be required to undergo medical and psychological evaluations and only after we are satisfied with your results, then you will be assigned your next posting.”

“Understood, sir.” She nodded, resigning to the prospect of life not in espionage. “What about Dhillon? You can’t let that traitor loose, especially as Captain, responsible for hundreds of lives.”

“That is not your problem anymore.”

“Okay,” she said amidst gritted teeth.

“Anyway, that is all,” Nguyen said, putting aside a PADD. “You are dismissed.”

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, EARTH
Scene: Front porch, her sister’s house

Chloe walked up the steps to the porch, only to pause in front of the door – as if she was in no hurry to go inside. Sighing, she turned around and headed for the bench, found below a large, square window. She sat down, her back leaning against the wall, gazing at the garden. Her sister and niece were out, the latter having softball practice. She shivered – a cold wind blew past her. She could have gone inside, after all, she had the access codes but Chloe chose to remain outside to dwell on her thoughts.

Her day wasn’t going well at all – yes, she was cleared of the charges, was right about Dhillon but SFI still chose to push her out. Her career was over – sure she was still a Starfleet officer but where was she going to be placed? Having been an intelligence officer since her graduation from the academy, Chloe wasn’t sure if any other job would fulfill her. With a bitter taste in her mouth, Chloe thought, perhaps she should just quit all together. Maybe she could just retire to the woods and live in a cabin, taking care of birds, occasionally spending time with Sofia and Michela. Her sister and niece were right now the only persons she cared about.

How did she get to this point? Well, it all started over eight years ago during the Second Dominion War. In 2423, Henry Dhillon, a young Lieutenant and a flight control officer of the USS SAN MARINO, was KIA, when a Dominion vessel destroyed his ship. He was an average officer, three years out of the Academy and hardly any noteworthy accomplishments to his name, except for a commendation or two. He wouldn’t have been missed by anyone except by his family and friends. He left behind a wife and two small children, a daughter and son at the time.

A few weeks after SAN MARINO’s destruction, Chloe was on an intelligence gathering mission at the GATEWAY STATION.

Location: GS-2
Scene: Promenade-> Satellite Sickbay
Time index: New Year’s Day, 2424

Lieutenant Nielsen was pretending to take a casual stroll in the busy promenade, where people, both civilians and Starfleet personnel alike, rushed past her, one of them a stout, Tellarite nearly knocking her aside. Chloe exhaled a sigh, filled with exasperation. Of course, she realized, it was the snow. Stopping briefly, she grabbed a handful of snow and grinned – someone was in the mood for a practical joke. The whole station was in chaos – it was snowing in the promenade. People were going nuts with the snow – a phenomenon they didn’t expect to happen on a space station. Some were irritated, while others embraced it with both children and adults building snowmen and engaging in snowball fights. If she weren’t on a mission, then she might have joined them but she was on the clock – vital information to be gathered.

She was passing the Angel’s Angst, where a large wedding reception was taking place. A young woman with strawberry blonde hair and wearing a rather skimpy red dress was seen chasing a taller, handsome man out of the restaurant. She noticed a red stain on the front of his light blue shirt. The two fell into a snow mound – apparently the woman had trouble walking on her high heels and the man’s expression showed he’d wanted nothing to do with her. Chuckling, she moved on, when spotting at the corner of her eyes, the Fedcom reporter, Cynthia Matilde, a blonde woman and a little boy arriving at the scene.

This was her chance. With the station in chaos, no one would pay attention to a lone intel agent sneaking onto the USS ACHERON. Wearing the grey, representing security, Chloe was able to walk down the corridor without arousing any suspicions from the paranoid acting CO and her minions. Speaking of which, the intercom activated - a station-wide announcement was imminent.

[[This is Captain Lovelace speaking…]]

Oh boy, that irritating voice, like nails on the chalkboard. Ever since her assignment as temporary CO of GS-2, Sophie Lovelace had instilled herself as dictator in chief, declaring martial law even when the station was not under attack and had not been for some time – though that could change.

[[You must all be outraged at the sudden appearance of snow in the promenade. I must sadly inform you this was an act of sabotage by an individual with a blatant disregard for Starfleet principles and our efforts in this war. Rest assured, security is sent all over the station to look for the culprit and once we find him or her, then he or she will suffer severe consequences, a warning to anyone even thinking of causing disruption to our war efforts.]]

Chloe rolled her eyes, hoping the saboteur wouldn’t be caught, after all it was just harmless snow, not an enemy bioweapon.

[[This is a time to be vigilant and be here, when, not if, the enemy strike. We cannot let delinquents, criminals or a wedding from distracting us. And remember it is due to my generosity that this wedding ever happened, so to all officers and crew, there will be severe consequences if any of you end up coming even a second late to your duty shifts tomorrow and missing your shifts for any reason like going on your honeymoon will land you in the brig with nothing but water and rations…]]

Wow, that was a lot of venom the Captain spit out, since the word ‘wedding’ was uttered. Then it hit her. Oh right, there was a big wedding that evening in the arboretum with the reception at the Angel’s Angst. The wedding of the station’s ExO and CMO. She entered a more secluded area and approached the large, grey doors, leading to the satellite sickbay.

[[…War is an emergency…]]

The intel agent let out an exasperated sigh and rolled her eyes. Lovelace sure loved her catch phrases. Stopping in front of the doors, she reached out for the access panel at the side and inputted the codes. The doors parted and Chloe walked inside, only to be met with a security guard, a young, human woman blocking her path and a phaser aimed at her. The guard’s brown eyes narrowed.

“Now, is that you greet a superior officer, *Ensign*,” Chloe said sternly, fixing her gaze on the other woman, who lowered her phaser.

“With all due respect, ma’am, I haven’t seen you before,” came a curt response.

“Lieutenant Giselle Mosley,” the blonde agent informed. “Alpha team leader, newly assigned to the USS ACHERON.” But the other woman wasn’t convinced. “Check with the chief. He will verify my assignment.”

“That won’t be necessary.” The suspicion in her eyes vanished and the guard relaxed. “What can I do for you, ma’am?”

Chloe said, maintaining a professional tone, “You have been recalled. Chief wants to reassign you somewhere else.”

The guard raised an eyebrow. “Did he say why?”

“No.” The agent shook her head. “Just that I should escort you back to the ship.”

“Okay.” The guard returned the phaser back into the holster.

Scene: Transporter room -> Sickbay

As soon as she transported onto the ship, Chloe parted ways with the guard. After leaving the transporter room, she jumped onto a turbolift. She got off the lift when it stopped at its destination and made her way down the long corridor to sickbay, where she expected to meet a prisoner and gather vital intelligence regarding a rumoured Neo-Essentialist conspiracy to prolong the war.

She entered sickbay without incident as it wasn’t very busy at this time of night. Night shift staff were beginning to arrive and none paid any heed to her even as she reached the entrance to ICU – the restricted section on this particular ship. For unknown reasons, Lovelace ordered ICU restricted to everyone except her own minions and herself. Chloe walked down the quiet and narrow hallway until she stopped beside a biobed, where a male Andorian lay unconscious. The Andorian was a pilot, whose fighter was shot down by a Jem’Hadar vessel during a skirmish two days ago. He was rescued by another starship that responded to his SOS and brought back to the station. But for some strange reason, instead of being brought to the station’s sickbay, he was immediately sent to the ACHERON. This strange reason was why Chloe snuck onboard the ACHERON.

It shouldn’t take long before the security guard realized she had been duped and within seconds, security would be done here. However, Chloe, with the help of a small, wearable device, within her collar, managed to jam the ship’s sensors, preventing them from locating her, thereby buying her some time. But the jamming would only last no more than fifteen minutes, more than enough time to extract the information from the Andorian. First, she had to wake him.

[[…Osiris to Screech Owl…]] a male voice spoke through her comm device, embedded within the skin at the back of her ear.

“Screech Owl here,” she replied, raising an eyebrow. “I didn’t expect to hear from you until after my extraction.”

[[Screech Owl, Abort.]]

Chloe blinked in confusion. “Abort? Are you kidding me, Osiris? I’m about to collect the package from the mail depot.”

[[Well, plans have changed,]] the man informed. [[You’re hereby ordered to abort.]]

The blonde produced a wry smile. “Sorry, can’t do that. Screech Owl out.” She abruptly ended transmission.

Pulling out a hypospray from her pocket, Chloe jammed it into the blue man. Within seconds, the pilot’s eyes opened and a low moan came out of his mouth. He blinked before slowly tilting his head to the side. His gaze met hers.

“Alright,” Chloe said, wearing a cold expression. “I don’t have much time but I need some answers from you.”

The Andorian inquired in a low, croaky voice, “Who are you?”

“That doesn’t matter.” She leaned forward. “I want to know what you found during your squadron’s investigation of the wreckage of the USS SAN MARINO. Did you find the special black box?

“I found nothing.” The man sported an innocent expression.

“Don’t lie to me. You definitely found something,” Chloe said in a sharp tone.

The blue skinned pilot’s mouth widened to produce a sly smile. “Well you’re too late. The black box has been destroyed. There is nothing left of that wreckage. You won’t stop our cause.” He coughed, wheezing as he spoke.

Inhaling deeply, the agent gave him a cold stare. “Well, looks like I’d have to do it the hard way.” Grabbing his arm, she pressed on the wound with her finger. The pilot bit his lip from screaming and his face paled to a lighter shade of blue.

“The black box….” He gritted his teeth to avoid screaming. Chloe pressed down harder. And then he finally gave in to his pain and let out a wail. “Stop! Stop!”

“Tell me where the black box is and I will stop.” When he nodded, she pulled her finger away from his injured arm.

“Okay,” the Andorian said, his voice shaking and his blue eyes giving her a pleading look. “I found the SAN MARINO’s special black box and brought it back with me.” He started panting, his chest heaving up and down. “And they took it away from me.”

“Who?” The blonde narrowed her eyes.

“One of the GATEWAY security officers,” he replied. “I have no idea what they did with it afterwards and they brought me here.” He pleaded, clutching at her hand. “Please, I swear it’s the truth. I don’t know what happened to the black box. For all I know, they already destroyed it.”

“Or they could have hidden it somewhere on this ship.” Chloe pulled her hand away from his grasp.

“Well,” the Andorian said, eager to not endure the pain again, “I heard someone here say the black box was taken to a secure locker in the Chief of Security’s office but like I said, it could already be destroyed.”

Alarm klaxons erupted, followed by a ship-wide announcement,

[[Intruder alert. Intruder alert.]]

They broke through the jam and located her – this was her que to leave. Chloe sighed, there was no time to find the black box if it is still there and had to find another way to expose the Neo-Essentialist conspiracy. She began to turn around, when a voice froze her on spot.

“A traitor on the SAN MARINO, now a prisoner of war.”

“POW?” She raised an eyebrow, turning around to face him. “But the destruction left no survivors.”

“That’s what they wanted everyone to think….”

Hearing voices down the hallway, Chloe glanced around, trying to find another escape route.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, EARTH
Scene: Sister’s home
Time index: present

She escaped from the ACHERON through another route out of ICU and returned safely to the station from where she was successfully extracted. Commander David Hernandez, her CO, was furious with her insubordination and sentenced her to desk work back at HQ on EARTH. As for exposing the Neo-Essentialist conspiracy, well apparently that investigation was closed without notice by the powers that be with the entire team split. David, she thought with sadness, her mentor and CO, the officer who took her under his wing, was now dead – killed during the destruction of Paris.

She didn’t end up returning to EARTH for the rest of the war. With the war not going well for the Federation and the need for more covert operations, Commander Hernandez decided to keep her in the field with permission from his superiors but he did so with reluctance. Chloe never thought much of the pilot’s words and even forgot about it until three years ago.

Scene: Apartment
Time index: Fall, 2428

{{Welcome to Good Morning Earth,}} came the cheery voice of the female host of Fedcom’s popular morning news show. {{I’m Marissa Diomedes and what a fine morning it is….}}

“Fine morning, my foot,” Chloe groaned, placing an elbow over her eyes to shield them from the sunlight as it enveloped the entire room. She lay there on the long, purple couch, while the program on her viewer continued,

{{A stunning development last night.}}

Stunning development. What stunning development? The two words peeked Chloe’s curiosity as she moved her hand away and sat up, her blue eyes fixed on the screen. Marissa was perky as usual with her larger than life personality. Caster Adams, the male host, was the calmer of the two, rarely ever getting excited, unlike his co-host. The Jamaican born human spoke,

{{Indeed it is, Marissa.}} Looking straight at the camera, the dark skinned man said, “a fortnight ago, a Dosi shuttlecraft arrived at the GATEWAY STATION – Now before we proceed, let me give you some facts about the Dosi….}}

“Oh for crying out loud,” Nielsen muttered, rolling her eyes. “People can check the Federation database to find stuff about the Dosi.” She got up from the couch and headed to the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea. While she was taking a mug from the shelf, Caster finally got to unveil the mystery of what was inside the Dosi shuttle. She pulled the lid of a pot, emblazoned with designs of green birds and grabbed a tea bag.

{{What was inside the shuttle was nothing short of a miracle,}} said Marissa with such excitement in her voice. {{Lieutenant H…sorry, Lt. Commander Henry Dhillon was the pilot in that shuttle. He was believed to be killed, following the destruction of the USS SAN MARINO five years ago by the Dominion. Lt. Cmdr. Dhillon was flight control officer at the time. Turns out he actually survived. What a miracle, especially after we all thought no one survived that battle.}}

{{Indeed it is,}} Caster agreed. {{But what has he been doing the past five years?}}

{{Well, first we know that he was a POW at a Dominion prison camp till the end of the war.}}

{{So if you are curious about where he has been since the war ended, stay tuned as you will hear from the man himself.}} He beamed, showing his shiny, white teeth.

{{That’s right. Lt. Cmdr. Dhillon will be joining us this morning to tell us about his time with the Dominion right after these messages.}} And cue, the show went on commercial break.

Chloe took a sip of her tea, speaking in a dry tone, “The hosts seem to spend more time on commercial breaks than on the actual show. A miracle, they are able to finish their segments on time.” Sighing, she took another sip of the tea. She was drinking green tea, giving off a citrus aroma – well the tea was mixed with lemon. But there was another ingredient in the tea that no one knew about, except for her tea suppliers – legitimate traders with a shady side business. It was an important ingredient that kept her going for the last five years – a drug that alleviated the pain from the war and helped her forget for short periods of time. A drug that was addictive – very difficult to quit unless there was an intervention, followed by rehab. But the pain of losing them was too unbearable for her, even as years had gone by. She still had nightmares of their deaths and felt survivor’s guilt.

The drug was made from the nectar of a rare flower on Betazed, sought after by various smugglers from all over the four quadrants. It was also difficult to obtain as the Betazoid government banned its uses for any reason and with no exceptions, not even for medical after a series of deaths, connected with the drug. The substance was found to be lethal for individuals with telepathic or empathic abilities, even at a small dose but for anyone else, it acted like any other narcotic. It was not illegal on the other worlds of the Federation, including EARTH, although there was a strong push to make it so and the Federation Council was seriously considering it.

Placing her cup down, she turned her attention to the viewer and the interview segment was taking place. She rolled her eyes at Marissa’s fawning of the Lieutenant Commander – he was tall and handsome with short, jet black hair and piercing blue-green eyes. But the way Marissa gushed, one would think she’d never seen a good looking man before. Right now, he was describing his captivity at the Dominion prison camp. Chloe raised an eyebrow – Dhillon seemed like a natural on camera. For a POW away from his loved ones for five years, he seemed at ease, discussing his harrowing experience with the two hosts. She was shaking her head at how the hosts were falling over themselves in their gushing over him. Dhillon wasn’t the only POW during the war.

{{Cmdr. Dhillon,}} Caster said. {{I am confused. When the war was over, the Dominion returned all the prisoners to us. Why did they keep you? Wouldn’t that be a violation of our treaty with them?”}}

Finally, someone with common sense. It did struck her as odd that Dhillon wasn’t returned with the other POWs after the war. She leaned forward, the interview now having her full attention. Dhillon inhaled deeply and took a minute before he gave his answer.

{{After the war was over, the Dominion informed us that we were to be returned to the Federation as part of the agreement. Unfortunately, our camp was attacked by Dosi pirates prior to our departure.}} He drew in another breath. {{The Jem’Hadar drove them away but the pirates managed to capture a dozen prisoners. We were then auctioned off as slaves in Dosi Confederation territory. I was sold to a wealthy Dosi merchant and taken to their homeworld, where I lived there for three years.}}

{{So,}} Marissa asked, inching towards him, {{How did you escape?}}

{{Well, in the last six months of my captivity, my captors decided to take me along in one of their merchant vessels.}} He paused, grabbing a glass of water and taking a sip. {{I managed to steal one of their shuttles and escaped.}}

{{Oh wow…that is so incredible,}} Marissa said, her eyes widening in amazement.

Chloe let out another sigh. Time to take a shower and head to work – David had another assignment for her. As she left the kitchen area, something flashed in her mind. She froze, remembering words forgotten over the years. ** A traitor on the SAN MARINO, now a prisoner of war. ** That Andorian pilot on the ACHERON. Her eyes widened and mouth held open, glancing at the viewer, where the interview just ended and hosts were shaking hands with their guest. Was that Andorian right? Did an officer betray the SAN MARINO? She felt something gnawing at the back of her mind. Something wasn’t right about Dhillon. He was the sole survivor of that battle and POW in a Dominion prison camp. Was the Andorian referring to Dhillon? Was Henry Dhillon a traitor to the Federation?

Or perhaps the Andorian was wrong and Dhillon wasn’t a traitor. So Chloe thought nothing more of it, until a few days later and then she was unable to ignore that nagging voice telling her to follow her instincts, leading the agent to launch her own investigation.

Scene: Sister’s home
Time index: present

So for four months, Chloe’s main focus was proving Henry Dhillon was a traitor and in the beginning she had her CO’s support. Dhillon was ExO at the time on a fast track to command for someone, once considered an average officer with no prospects for career advancement. Commander Hernandez, while skeptical, let her conduct the investigation into Dhillon, because of his immense trust in her abilities as agent. But sometime during the investigation, he ordered her to end all surveillance on Dhillon, claiming lack of evidence and she was wasting her time. Chloe knew her CO was pressured by his superiors in SFI to end the investigation and believed that given more time, she’d have found the proof. At first, Chloe chose to ignore his orders, a decision she took lightly as David was a friend as well as mentor but when another week passed, David put his foot down and pulled her out of the field. He suspended her until further notice and set a meeting with his superiors to discuss the case on Dhillon.

The investigation ended rather badly for her. At the meeting, her superiors refused to acknowledge the evidence obtained so far, which she argued was convincing enough to let her continue the investigation. In early 2429, she was arrested, charged with multiple breaches of Starfleet regulations, which included unauthorized surveillance on another Starfleet officer, insubordination, harassing another officer as well as concealing a medical problem. The discovery of her drug addiction was the last straw for her CO, who washed his hands off her at that time. She was sent to a psychiatric facility, hidden in the Delta Quadrant. The facility administrators, with some top ranking flag officers’ blessing, planned on breaking her down completely and then kill her.

However, in 2430, the facility was attacked by a small taskforce of Starfleet vessels, run by Captains who had chosen to defy Edgerton and the Neo-Essentialist dictatorship and she, along with others, were rescued. The year spent at the facility was torturous for Chloe, a time she’d rather forget but couldn’t. Instead of turning to the drug after the rescue, Nielsen used the opportunity to obtain the evidence to prove Dhillon was a traitor once and for all and there was no one to stop her that time.

“Michela’s asleep,” came her sister’s voice from behind.

Chloe glanced behind. “I wish I could have been there. Must have been a great game.”

“It was,” Sofia Nielsen-Ruiz said, beaming with pride. “This was Michela’s first home run and I’m just so proud of her.”

“I’m sure that made her day.” Chloe smiled.

“It did. She couldn’t stop talking about the game and how happy she was about the home run.” Sofia sat down on the stool, next to her older sister. Sighing, she added, giving her a tiny smile, “She did wish you were there.”

“So did I.” Chloe nodded.

“But not to worry, sis. You can see a holo vid of the game.”

“Let’s be thankful of modern technology.” The blonde woman grinned.

Sofia reached out for a jug and poured herself a glass of water. “So how did it go?”

The former intelligence officer let out a sigh of frustration. “I have been fired.”

“What?!?” Sofia’s mouth dropped. “They booted you out of Starfleet after all that you have done for them.”

“No,” she said, “I was fired from Intelligence. I am still a Starfleet officer.”

The younger woman exhaled a sigh of relief. “You scared me there.”

“You don’t seem too upset, sis.” Chloe frowned.

“Well…” Sofia took a sip of water and said with hesitation in her voice, “If I’m honest, after what you have been through in the last five years, with your pain from the war, the drugs and your obsession with Dhillon.”

“I was right about Dhillon and my superiors acknowledged that,” she snapped. “And I wasn’t obsessed with him.”

“It’s not whether I believed you were right or not about him…I have always believed you.” She paused, sounding hesitant. “But you became a mess in the process. I was scared you weren’t going to survive.”

“I have been clean for over two years.”

“I know but I’m still worried you can relapse at any time if placed under a highly stressful situation.”
Chloe sighed. “But I haven’t relapsed. I haven’t been near the drug and do not even crave for it.”

“Well I hope you are right.” She took another sip of the water. “And sorry, sis. I believe it’s best you are no longer part of intel because I worry you’d end up in a stressful situation that will lead you back to the drug again.” She sighed, looking forlorn. “I’m relieved you will be assigned somewhere that is less stressful. Maybe a job as instructor at Starfleet Academy will do you some good.”

“Sis, no job in Starfleet comes without stress.”

“Well,” Sofia began, finishing off her drink, “at least, I hope they assign you somewhere that allows me and Michela to see you often.”

“I agree with that.” Chloe gave her a weak smile. The door chime rang. “I’ll check it out.” She hopped down the stool and marched to the front door. Pressing a button at the side, the door slid apart and no one was there. The blonde raised her eyebrow. “There’s nobody out there.”

“Maybe someone came here by mistake,” said Sofia in a casual tone. “It happens.”

“I suppose,” Chloe said and was about to turn around until her gaze stopped on a flower pot just below the window. There was a slip of paper, sticking out through the black soil. Chloe bent down and reached out for the paper. She pulled it, tearing a corner – part of the paper was embedded amongst the roots. She unfolded the paper and saw words written on it – unusual in the 25th century. **Screech Owl. Go to Queen’s Quay terminal. **

“Is this a prank?” She was suspicious and was keen on ignoring the note until she realized it mentioned her code name. “I better check it out.” Placing the note in her pocket, Chloe went back inside, the door closing behind her.

“Everything okay?” Sofia inquired, sounding concerned.

Chloe gave her a faint smile. “Fine.” Taking in a deep breath, she grabbed her coat. “I’m taking a walk.”

“But it’s freezing out there,” Sofia said, a confused expression gracing her features.

Chloe chuckled, putting on her coat. “Since when has the cold ever bothered me. I do after all hike in this weather.”

“I much prefer a warmer weather.”

After putting on her gloves and toque, she made her way to the door. “See you later.”

Scene: Lakefront, near Queen’s Quay terminal

Despite wearing a thick coat, Chloe still shivered, walking at a casual pace down the street overlooking Lake Ontario. She wasn’t the only one here so late at night. Hundreds of people walked past her, all bundled up in their jackets, parkas, hats and gloves. Well, Toronto, as it had been for centuries, was one of the busiest cities in the world and here on the lakefront, there was always one event or another happening such as a hockey game or rock concert. She stopped a few feet from the busy terminal, bustling with people moving in and out of the building. With her eyes, she scanned her surroundings for a person or a package. She exhaled, letting out a puff of fog and shook her head in mild irritation. She was beginning to think it was all a prank, played on her by colleague(s) from SFI. Maybe ‘Corn’ or ‘Jewel’, the duo were well-known pranksters in the intelligence community. Perhaps it was their farewell gift to her.

“Ha Ha, Corn, Jewel, very funny…” She felt a short figure, wearing a sand coloured parka, head buried under the hood whoosh past her. “Wha…” She felt something in her hand – another paper. Chloe unfolded the paper and read, **Welcome to Section 31. Now go home and await further instructions. Oh and BTW, I hope you are a speed reader. ** The Canadian woman blinked in confusion and then the paper crumbled to grey dust.

Chloe chuckled, rubbing the dust off her glove. “Got to give it to them. They are trying to make this a very special farewell gift. Nice prank.” And time to go home. So she turned around and walked away. **Section 31. Seriously. ** But first she would head for her favorite coffee shop for a nice, hot, steaming tea.

NRPG: An introduction and some background on my new Section 31 agent character.

Ranjani S.
Writing for

Chloe Nielsen
Section 31 Agent


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