Agent Brame investigated the walk in pantry. “Okay, looks like we’ve probably got enough pasta for three, but there’s no jars of sauce left. Cheese and pasta it is then.”
Eridah asked, “Is there anything we can use to make a sauce?”
“Well, there’s tins and jars of stuff.” Agent Brame seemed doubtful.
“How about I have a look?” Eridah brushed past him into the pantry. A minute or two later she popped her head out the door and asked the two agents, “Do you prefer a sauce with mince in it, which would take time for the mince to thaw and cook, or would you prefer mainly vegetarian with a few anchovies, which could be ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta?”
Agents Tierce and Brame looked at each other and then at her. “Mainly vegetarian,” they said together.
“Okay then.” Eridah ducked back into the pantry to emerge with a number of jars, tins and packets. “Right. Where do the saucepans live around here?”
Barely twenty minutes later they were eating pasta doused with tomato, chargrilled capsicum and mushroom sauce and smothered in mixed grated cheese. Both the males ate enthusiastically after a first cautious mouthful. Eridah ate steadily too but not as fast as her companions. Halfway through his plate Agent Brame looked up and asked, “Hey, boss, can we come up with a reason to keep her on the team? She can cook!”
“This isn’t cooking,” said Eridah dismissively, “this is throwing a few things together in a pot and reheating them. I’m a uni student. This is what we do.”
“You’re better at throwing things together in a pot than either of us,” Agent Tierce replied, “and it’s much appreciated but that isn’t a basis for becoming an agent.”
Agent Brame made a disappointed noise while Eridah serenely said, “Thank you.”
They finished the meal and Agent Brame cleared the table while Agent Tierce checked in with their headquarters again. Agent Brame’s imprecations about people who didn’t even bother to run the dishwasher after they filled it were interrupted by the emergence of the senior agent from the communications room. “We’re clear to go in,” Agent Tierce announced, “but Operations want to have an eyeball at Eridah first.” He turned to her, “If you’d come into the communications room with me, they can have a look at you and then we can be on our way.”
“It’s very compact, isn’t it?” Eridah was able to stand beside Agent Tierce but if Agent Brame had been in there with them it would have been a little too snug for comfort.
“Very,” agreed the purple furred male on the screen. “It’s good to put a face to the name. I’m Supervising Agent Gurmon and one of my jobs is to make sure that people are who they say they are. I’m glad to see that you match your ID.”
“Isn’t that what those robots were for?” Eridah was confused.
“There are ways around that,” the Supervising Agent admitted, “especially if the person is being vouched for, so we like to check.” He smiled.
“And looking at me is enough to tell?” Eridah was sceptical.
“You don’t know what else I’m looking at,” Gurmon reminded her, “but we’ll be seeing you here shortly. Our external surveillance has been moved along and swept up, so there’s a clear window for you to arrive without trouble.”
“We look forward to that, sir,” said Agent Tierce. “I think we’ve seen enough gunplay for today.” Eridah nodded in agreement. “Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ll start moving.”
Agent Tierce turned off the terminal and said, “Right, let’s go.” Out in the kitchen he told Agent Brame, “We’ll use the second garage.”
“The second garage?” Eridah hadn’t seen a door that looked like the entrance to a second garage.
“In here,” Agent Brame opened what looked like a linen cupboard door to reveal a neat-sized lift. “We need to go down.”
This is followed by Changing Location.