Make It 450 And You Have a Deal
Myr thought she would never get another mission after that last fiasco. Yet here she was, summoned by the Commander to receive her new assignment. Glee was written all over her features. She'd show them; she'd complete this one for sure.
"Good luck," said Dan, her partner during several reconnaissance duties.
"What for?" asked the Buzz. "You know I could handle these things." Then she paused, the memory of the previous task flashing across her mind.
The failure stung.
"Well, overlooking that last one," she said quickly.
Dan gave her a look. "I wasn't talking about the difficulty of the missions, Myr," he said as they passed by the laboratories.
The Organization's Sirius division was there, its scientists busy with experiments as per usual. It seemed to be a chaotic one, though; Myr could see them scrambling for cover as jets of green burst from a metal armor of sorts. One of the scientists bravely rushed forward to try and disable the robotic arm that fired at them, and judging from the lack of green glow a few minutes later, she seemed to have succeeded in stopping it.
Another one of those Mecha lab tests, Myr thought. "It sounds so exciting, working for them," she voiced out loud. "I wonder what would happen if I join the ranks of those scientists..."
The Wocky beside her shook his head. "I'd pity them if that happens," said he. "I imagine explosions."
"You're a klutz, Myr," he said mercilessly. "Not even the Organization's Altair division would take you in."
Tact was never part of Dan's vocabulary, and Myr was quite used to it now after all the Space missions they'd accomplished (though in her case, almost failed). Still, Myr pouted as she usually did. After all, the Altair division was the one stuck with watching Space-plants grow—the most boring task there is.
"As I was saying," continued Dan. "I wouldn't keep my hopes up for a proper mission." They rounded a corner, past the Virtu-Tech Room where the rookies gathered for training.
The Buzz raised a brow. "What do you mean by 'proper mission?"
"I mean, a nice, regular mission," he replied nonchalantly. "But in your case, the best mission they could give you is a cleaning up one as both punishment and practice. Perhaps one that involves sanitizing the Virtupets washrooms—which, by the way, are the dirtiest, grimiest, places in the Univer—"
"Oh shush, you." Myr rolled her eyes, waving a hand as though to shoo him away. "I will not get a cleaning job, do you hear me?"
"I'll bet 350 Nerkmids that you will."
A smug smile appeared on her face. "Make it 450 and you have a deal. That way, I could afford one of those nifty Space Boards when I win."
"If you win."
"Sure," said Myr as they arrived at the Commander's office. The two Space Agents stationed at the sides gave both of them a salute before opening the doors. "Don't hold your breath, Dan."
The Wocky smirked. "That's my line, but sure. Think what you want."
"Oh, I will." Myr waltzed right in the office, and heard the doors close behind her.
Unlike the other offices of the many agents and generals in Kreludor's Orion Space Station, the Commander's room was eerily clean. The floors were as white as she is to the point that she could easily blend in with her pale, translucent skin. The tiles appeared to be of the expensive kind that Myr was almost afraid to step forward for fear that she might break the seemingly fragile thing that held her, as well as call on the wrath of the room's occupant.
Across what seemed like an infinite distance of floor was a lone black table. Behind it was a figure hunched behind a pile of mission reports—one of them being hers.
She slowly moved forward.
"Myrrhajen Laprose, Agent 62 of the Intergalactic Space Unit 568," the Commander read from the report quite monotonously. If he were standing, he would be at a towering height, and, of course, much bigger compared to her thin and almost stick-like stature.
He wore a headpiece riddled with various devices that could protect its wearer, or zap a pesky agent at his command if need be. It was his most prized possession as it was a gift from an inventor back at the Virtupets Space Station, and, according to past agents who were also summoned by the Commander, it was not to be trifled with.
"Missions completed: 8. Missions failed: 10."
"Hideous performance, Agent." The Commander shook his head as he placed the folder with her records on the table. "Especially the last one. It would take years to fix the damage done due to your clumsiness."
"If it weren't for your eight other missions, I would have fired you and let you work as an assistant for the scientists, honestly." At the mention of the scientists, Myr brightened up a bit. The Kougra took a sip from the cup of tea on his right, and seemed to notice her new mood. "For the Altair division, mind you." The smile disappeared as quickly as it had come, and the Commander chuckled at that.
"But... there's hope for you yet in this field."
Myr didn't know what to say. The Buzz merely nodded, looked down, and tried to hide the evidence of embarrassment that flushed on her pale cheeks.
"As for your next mission, I do not want a repeat of what happened at Kreludor, do you hear?" He handed her a sealed brown envelope. "No more accidents.
"And by that, I meant no angering the Kreludor inhabitants with foul words."
It was an accident! I didn't know one slip up in pronouncing things in their language could turn a compliment about their hair into a nasty one about their face.
"No turning off the oxygen tank and putting an entire country in jeopardy."
I slipped and fell against the lever. And it's their fault! They should have put proper security around it.
"No knocking out the security personnel unconscious."
Okay... maybe there was security back then and I kinda knocked them out when I slipped. But they should at least learn self-defense! Or something,...
"And no trespassing private property."
I thought it was the bathroom.
"Do I make myself clear, Agent Myrrhajen?" He gave her The Look. That and his headpiece-of-a-thousand-doomsday-devices made him appear much more terrifying.
"Yes, sir!" she said with much enthusiasm as she could muster, though the excitement of having a new mission had worn off after the little sermon of his.
"Very well," said the Commander. "Your mission reports are with you. Go to the specified General in charge for it. Do well in guarding Space Area Code 834-B, Agent. You are dismissed."
At that, Myr turned with the envelope in hand. Excitement surged up again. She'd show them; she would never fail! And to top it all off, she'd have 450 Nerkmids from her bet with Dan.
Myr had a real mission in her hands—not just cleanup duty.
"Oh, and Agent Myr?"
She turned quickly.
The Commander's voice turned dark and sinister. "If you fail this mission, I swear I'd put you back with the rookies."
"That's where the kindergarteners are," he added.
"Yes... sir," she said weakly. The thought of being with the children unnerved her.
"Or perhaps I'll fire you. Or use you for target practice with this," he said, tapping the headpiece. "Whichever."
Myr forced herself to look as cheerful as possible.
"Well, then," said he, suddenly grinning. "Off you go!"
The change of mood almost drove Myr insane.
She hurried past the two doors before the Commander would have the chance to continue his threats. Outside, she saw Dan and showed him the envelope.
"Ha!" She grinned, quickly hiding away that expression of pain that must have stuck on her face right after the meeting. "I have a mission!"
And one that threatens my very existence in this station, she thought silently.
Dan crossed his arms. "But is it a real mission?"
"Of course it is."
"You haven't even opened it."
"Please. I don't need to open it to know that I'm on some secret stealthy space mission!"
"Don't get so cocky, Myr."
"Don't be so assuming, Dan." At that, she removed the seal and took out her mission reports.
Agent: Myrrhajen Laprose
Assigned Unit: Intergalactic Space Unit 568
General-in-charge: Thomin Lin.
Mission specifics: Guard Space Area Code 834-B (West of Kreludor) for three weeks, and execute whatever orders the General-in-charge gives out.
Difficulty level: Low.
"Well?" Dan asked.
"Guarding duty," Myr said, smugly. "I sense a highly important thing to guard, Dan!" She purposely left out the difficulty level, of course. Ignorance is bliss, and ignorance would definitely work for her in this case.
But instead of handing over the 450 Nerkmids as Myr thought he would, Dan laughed.
"What?" she asked, annoyed.
"Did you just say Space Area Code 834-B?" He barely got the words out. Laughter was eating him.
"Yes," Myr said, though confused.
Dan said something Myr couldn't quite catch due to his laughs.
"Speak louder, loser," she said with much scorn.
"I told you!" More laughter took hold. "I told you not to get too cocky, Myr! And 450 Nerkmids!"
It was Myr's turn to give him a look. "What are you babbling about?" She waved the mission reports in front of the Wocky's face. "Hello? Real mission? Here?"
"Yeah." He wiped a tear from his eye due to laughter. "A clean-up mission."
"Excuse me?" Myr said, frustrated. "What part of 'Guard Space Area Code 834-B and follow orders' don't you understand?"
"Do you even know what 834-B is?" He smirked.
"Well," Myr frowned. "Not exactly..."
Dan burst into one of his laughing fits yet again.
"What?" Myr said in exasperation. She was getting tired of this.
The Wocky managed to speak amidst the laughter. How, Myr never knew, but she didn't care much. What she heard next left her too in shock to do so.
"It's a dumpsite."