There was something wrong with Sara’s husband. The change in his behavior was subtle, but after being together for ten years she could feel that something was wrong. She asked him about it but he insisted that everything was fine. She tried to let it go but the feeling persisted and after two weeks she couldn’t stand it anymore; she needed to find out what was going on. Her first inkling was that he was cheating on her. Just a few weeks earlier she wouldn’t have believed he was capable of cheating, he was far too introverted for that, but all other possible reasons were even less likely. She resolved to check his phone to confirm if this was indeed the case.
One evening when they were slouched in front of the TV, watching some show on Netflix, she couldn’t remember which one, she asked him to see his phone. The excuse that she’d come up with was that he had a photo she wanted, but she couldn’t describe which one and thus wanted to scroll through his Photo Gallery to find it. Without taking his eyes off the TV he unlocked the phone and handed it to her without question. She started scrolling through the pictures, making a comment here and there while quickly flashing him the screen. He was too absorbed by the show to care but she did it anyway, as a kind of alibi, mostly for her own peace of mind. Ever so often she would check that he was fully focused on the TV then quickly switch over to a messaging app and start searching for dubious messages. She checked all his messaging apps, Whatsapp, Line, even Facebook Messenger, but there was nothing, not even the slightest hint of flirting with another woman.
Sara felt conflicted, she was relieved she could find no evidence of her husband cheating, but at the same time she was disappointed she hadn’t found out why he had been acting strange. She tried asking him again, and again he insisted that nothing was wrong. She tried to put it out of her mind, pretending she hadn’t noticed that something had changed. She only managed for a few days before the feeling at the back of her mind became too strong. She had to try again to find out what was going on.
That Sunday afternoon she told her husband she wanted some time on her own, go get a coffee at a nice cafe and relax with a book. He, quite nonchalantly, agreed that it could be good to spend a few hours apart. She immediately started gathering up her stuff while he booted up the Playstation then went to the kitchen to prepare some snacks. She did actually go to the cafe like she had said, but reading a book was about as far from her mind as could be. Instead she spent the entire afternoon trying to come up with ways to find out what was going on with her husband. She researched several ways to spy on people, then rejected most of them, she wasn’t quite ready to go to such lengths yet. She looked up contact details for private detectives in the area, but never wrote any of them down. She pondered the issue for from every angle, and when she left, after three cups of black coffee, she finally had an idea that could work.
During the next three weeks she made sure to contact her husband during work hours, every single day. It had long been her habit to send him some little message almost daily, a mix of practical matters – what to have for dinner for example – and cute/funny memes she would see in her social media feed during breaks. As could be expected, she had sent all those messages to his cell phone, but now she would come up with plausible excuses to either call his desk phone or, just to break up the pattern a bit, send an email to his work address. She made sure to always call or email at different times during the day so he wouldn’t notice a pattern. What she found out was that he was at the office every day during those weeks. She didn’t dare contact him more often to confirm that he was actually there the whole day, but given that he would answer the phone no matter what time she called, she had to assume he was. Sara was disappointed: she had come up with what she considered to be a fool proof way of finding out if her husband was actually going to work, and it turned out he was living his life completely according to routine.
Over the next few days she contemplated other methods of finding out what was going on. She was so focused on this, that her husband reacted. One evening at dinner he commented that she had seemed distracted lately, and he wondered if everything was alright. She wanted to scream that he was the one who had been distracted lately, that she was only distracted because he was acting strange, but she held her tongue. Instead she told him, as nonchalantly as possible, that everything was fine, she was just a bit stressed at work. He accepted this explanation with a nod then went back to eating. This was a wakeup call for her, if she wasn’t careful her husband was bound to start thinking that she was acting strange. While she couldn’t pretend that things were normal, she resolved to act like it in front of her husband.
The following week she tried her best to put the whole thing out of her mind while at home, but when she was alone, on her drive to work in the morning or during her regular evening jog, her thoughts inevitably wandered back to the problem. She thought about taking a day off and following her husband around like some kind of stalker, but given the result of her phone calls, she would most likely end up just sitting outside his office building for eight hours. If he ever left the office to do something out of the routine, there was no way for her to know when it would happen. She would have to find a way to track his movements all day, every day for god knows how long, months perhaps, and it might not even result in anything. On top of that there was the risk of getting caught. The simple truth was that spying on him directly wouldn’t work, she had to find another way.
One evening when Sara and her husband were relaxing in front of the TV the answer came to her. They were watching a police procedural on HBO about some cops investigating organized crime. In one scene a young detective was struggling to find leads and his older colleague gave him the advice to ‘follow the money’. She immediately knew that this was the way forward in her investigation. She felt so excited, she actually had to restrain herself from jumping up from the sofa and starting immeadiately.
The next day at work she finished her lunch as quickly as possible then rushed back to her desk. Last year, while working on filing their taxes, Sara’s husband had given her his banking details. Now she keyed them in to the online bank, keeping her fingers crossed that he hadn’t changed any of his passwords. The site loaded and she was greeted with a message welcoming her husband back. She went back a couple of months in the records and started going through all the transactions looking for something that wasn’t supposed to be there. At first she couldn’t find anything, but when she was scrolling through the list a second time she noticed an odd transaction. There were 97.5 dollars going in to her husband’s account, seemingly without reason. The amount was small enough to be easily overlooked and the number was such that it looked more like a purchase than a transfer of funds. The sender was a man named Micheal Tuttle and as far as she knew, her husband didn’t have any friends or colleagues with that name. She made a note of it and started looking for other, similar transactions. Sure enough, she found several, always a relatively small amount, and never an even hundred or thousand, just 129, 204, 158 and so on. They were all, at least ostensibly, from people with generic sounding names that her husband had never mentioned. She made notes of the ones she found then went back further in the transaction history to see when they started. The bank only allowed her to go back one year but during that time these odd payments came in regularly every week. Whatever was going on had started at least one year ago, but what? Before she could do any further research her lunch break ended and she had to get back to work.
Over the next two days she spent her lunch breaks looking further into the odd transactions she had found. There seemed to be no connection between them other than the pattern of amounts she had noticed; they came from different people – most only had one transaction – different banks, and different parts of the country. She tried searching for the names, both on Google and Facebook, but they were all so common she found several people with the same name. When she tried to narrow the search to the region of the specific bank branch used, she got fewer results but not few enough. It seemed she had hit a dead end.
She lay awake that evening, pondering how to proceed. She couldn’t come up with any way that she herself could find out who the people behind the transactions were, and asking her husband was out of the question. She needed someone with greater researching skills than herself if she wanted to find out more. The question was, was she really prepared to hire a private investigator? What if it turned out to be nothing? Maybe those people sending him money were her husband’s real acquaintances, just that she had never heard of them. What if the investigator failed to find anything, what would she do then? No, she was sure there was something strange about those names, and she was certain there were people out there who could find out who they were. When she fell asleep that night it was way past midnight, but she had finally come to a decision.
It took her most of the lunch break the next day to find a researcher, as the person called themself, who promised to take on her case. She uploaded the data she had collected to her Dropbox and shared the link with the researcher, then payed the deposit she had agreed to, hoping she wasn’t doing something foolish.
A week later she got the results. According to the report there was not enough data to ‘identify a unique individual’ matching any of the names. When she read that, Sara’s heart sank. She had been a fool to spend all that money, a not inconsiderable sum, on a private investigator and it had lead to nothing. Downcast she read the rest of the report. While the researcher had been unable to find the people linked to the transactions, they had picked up on something interesting: none of the people who had made transactions were registered as living in the same area as their bank branch. This wasn’t entirely unusual, the researcher pointed out, people could move without changing bank, but none of them living in the same area was statistically unlikely. The researcher believed that there was a high probability that some, if not all, of the people making those transactions only existed on paper; if the names sounded generic it was because some unknown entity had simply made them up. The report concluded that if Sara wanted to find out more, the researcher would have to resort to some…’questionable methods’.
Sara decided that she wasn’t yet ready for ‘questionable methods’, whatever that meant. She wrote a quick ‘thank you’ email to the researcher then sat and pondered what to do next. In a kind of last ditch effort she did what she perhaps should have tried before hiring the investigator. She entered all the names, account numbers and bank branches locations into an Excel file. Then, using the skills she had acquired at work, she started making various searches in the dataset to see if she could find any patterns. Nearly all the transactions were from people who’s names only showed up once, with one bank branch and one account number tied to each name. There where however three that stood out. A person called Julie Barnes appeared twice but with different account numbers and one of those accounts had also been used by a person called Simon O’Connor. This was clear evidence that the people behind the transactions were fake.
Sara had never thought of such things before, but a bit of googling told her that creating a fake person is very cumbersome as it involves fake birth certificates, social registration numbers, school records and a whole bunch of other paperwork, all of which would require co-conspirators on the inside of various government institutions. She reckoned a far easier way to get a bank account in a fake person’s name must be to register a separate legal entity with that name. According to Wikipedia however, this was something that a human, or so called natural person, couldn’t do; only organizations such as companies or NGOs could do that. If here reasoning was correct, this meant the names she had collected from her husband’s bank account, weren’t names of people, they were names of companies, and companies end up in publicly accessible records.
By cross-referincing the names with the bank branch she could find a region. Using that to search the local company register she quickly found what she was looking for. There were two companies called Julie Barnes but in two different locations. One of them had been registered as going bankruptand and shortly after, a new company called Simon O’Connor had been created in the same area. It was almost as if someone had realized the name Julie Barnes had already been used, and tried to fix their mistake. Looking closer she noticed that Simon O’Connor had been created just a month before making a transfer to her husband. This was all the proof she needed, these companies were created specifically for making payments that would slip by unnoticed. Now all she needed to do was find who was registering the companies.
Digging a bit deeper in the company register she found the answer. Simon O’Connor was owned by a company called Lightfoot Investments Ltd. The same company had also acquired the remaining assets of Julie Barnes when it went bankrupt. She started looking up the other names on the list in the company register and sure enough, they were all there. All of them could be traced back to one of three holding/investment companies, Lightfoot Investment, Minaro Holdings or Investibles Inc. She was sure these three companies were a front for something bigger, and to find out what, she had to find the connection between them.
During the last week she had spent every minute of free time on her research and people around her had started to take notice; her colleagues wondered why she was distracted at work, her best friend wanted to know when they could meet up and her husband complained about her acting cold. Once again she had to force herself back into her normal routine in order to avoid raising suspicion. She compensated for that by getting up earlier “to do yoga” as she told her husband. In reality she would sit in front of the computer for 30 minutes while wearing her yoga outfit, but she made sure to always be in some yoga pose when her husband came lumbering out of the bedroom. When people told her she looked tired, she could dismiss it with a comment about early morning yoga, just as long as no one noticed that she wasn’t getting any fitter.
What she found in those early morning hours was that the CEO of Minaro Holdings, a man named David Lewis, was on the board for Investibles. She also found him working as a ‘special consultant’ for Lightfoot. Clearly he was the connection and she focused all her energy on him. She found his Facebook page and LinkedIn profile but they only contained basic information, there were no clear leads there. She did however get enough information to confirm that he was a real person who actually existed. Either that or he was an extremely well made fake. She kept digging, half an hour every day, and it was during this research that she first spotted the name The Agency. The way it was written indicated that it couldn’t just be any agency, but that ‘The Agency’ was one very specific one. David Lewis was connected to this agency in some way, and she knew right away that so was her husband.
She shifted focus from David Lewis to this agency, but with such a nondescript name it was extremely hard to find anything. After a lot of digging she managed to find two forum posts talking about it. The first one was from a reddit user claiming that The Agency was the real life Men In Black. There was nothing in the post showing how he got this information so she dismissed it as unreliable. The second one was a post on an old BBS, from the early days of the internet.
The post read: “I’ve been sworn to secrecy to never reveal anything about the organization I work for and could end up in serious trouble for writing this. Though I’ve been tempted to at times, I haven’t said a word about it to anyone, not even my family, for over ten years. Due to some recent events that I won’t go into too much here, I’ve decided to break my silence. The reason I’m posting here on some anonymous BBS, and not spreading it to the newspapers is to protect my own safety. This is not my main account, I created it for making this post and will not use it again after this. That way I can minimize the risk of them tracking me down.
I work for an organization simply known as The Agency. I am a field agent, more on that later. The first thing you need to know about The Agency is that it is a global organization, with a presence in every country on earth. This is vital for our ability to complete our mission. The second thing you need to know is that The Agency is supra-legal meaning that it stands above all national laws. There is a special set of global rules that govern The Agency. Note that the supra-legal status applies to the organization itself, not the individual agents acting on its behalf. Under the governing rules, the organization can however extend immunity from prosecution to any of its agents when deemed necessary for the mission. Basically we can do whatever we want. The third thing you need to know is that the existence and purpose of The Agency is kept secret from everyone including most government officials and even some heads of state. The organization is controlled much in the same way as a big corporation with an executive officer simply known as The Director and a governing body called The Council. So far, everything I’ve been talking about is known by everyone in the entire organization, down to cleaning staff. The details of how the organization is run however, is on a need-to-know basis, and most people, even internally, don’t need to know much more than the day to day of their own department. For example the names of the director and council members are officially not known by lower ranking personnel. I can add that the generic sounding names, “The Agency”, “The Director” and so on have been chosen deliberately to aid in keeping the whole thing secret.
The Agency’s mission is to “find and neutralize any and all anomalies in the fabric of reality”. Well technically speaking The Agency only deals with those anomalies that have a measurable effect. Some of the minor ones will self heal if left alone. In my opinion, a more accurate description of The Agency’s missions would be that the organization is tasked with protecting humanity against itself…at least when it comes to tampering with reality, all other things that could wipe out civilization are left in the hands of national governments. Anyway, the reason I say this is because more than 90 percent of the work consists of making sure that humans don’t come into contact with dangerous anomalies. Simply put, nearly the whole organization is dedicated to keeping anomalies hidden so that people don’t mess with them. This is where field agents like me come in.
The main approach we use is to search out rumors of of some kind of anomaly – stories of ‘strange happenings’ and so on – and verifying the truth in them. If it actually is an anomaly we try to figure out exactly what it is and if it is possible to neutralize it somehow. When possible anomalies will be neutralized but we field agents are rarely involved in that work and contact with other departments is limited so I can’t tell you much about it. When we can’t neutralize an anomaly we contain it in whatever way possible, making sure that people can’t access it.
Our secondary approach is to track down people who have acquired what we like to call ‘forbidden knowledge’ that is, definite knowledge that anomaly exists. We then hinder that person from spreading that knowledge further using any means necessary. This mostly takes the form of discrediting them, destroying evidence and so on. However, as field agents we are aware that if the situation calls for it, we are expected to eliminate (as it is called) people spreading forbidden knowledge, but only as a last resort. None of us want to do it, but all of us would because we know there’s more at stake than individual lives.
I can’t go into too much detail of what these anomalies actually are, where they come from or why they appear. Doing that would risk exposing the people who read this to forbidden knowledge. All I can say is that people who find an anomaly tend to use terms like “the laws of physics have been suspended” or “it’s almost like reality itself is broken” when they try to describe what they experienced. That’s more or less accurate, although things are more complicated than that, but like I said I can’t go into any of the details. I can however tell you what they are not. Many people seem to think that these are some kind of paranormal or supernatural phenomena. That is not the case. Ghosts, vampires, the Loch Ness Monster or whatever other paranormal thing you can think of does not exist as far as we are concerned. Or rather, if they do exist it’s not in any way relevant to us. For all I know, there could be other organizations similar to ours that deal with that kind of stuff. I can add one more thing, most anomalies are centered around a certain location but in some case you will get objects, so called artifacts, that can trigger anomalous effects in their surroundings.
I mentioned that if in an anomaly can’t be neutralized we contain it. Artifacts can simply be moved to one of our containment facilities where it can be put in safe storage. Places are more difficult. First we have to deny humans access in some way. We have learned through experience that a fence or a locked door isn’t enough. There needs to be a strong enclosure of some kind, for example a security door, but it also has to be inconspicuous, otherwise people might think there’s something valuable behind it and try to break in. Second, we have to make sure the anomalous effects don’t extend past whatever containment barriers we put up. This can get really tricky when an anomaly affects everything around it. Thankfully it’s often just a matter of putting up the barriers at a sufficient distance. In many cases we first contain it, so that people don’t mess around with it and we can study it in peace. We then neutralize it once we figure out how. I realize there might be people reading this who think it would be exciting to try to find an anomaly and mess with it but I assure you that’s a bad idea; there’s more than just your own life at stake.
So why post all this? A short while back I was involved in an incident, like I said I won’t go into any details about it, but it made me realize something about my employer. I believe that The Agency itself is a kind of anomaly. Not to say that The Agency is bending the laws of physics or anything like that. It’s just that an organization like this should not be able to exist in our modern society, at the most it should be some kind of conspiracy theory, and yet it is 100% real. I doubt it’s much of a big problem, all the secrecy means The Agency is kind of self contained, but I’m getting the information out there, just in case. It’s also a huge load off my chest. Anyway, that’s all I can tell you without endangering myself or anyone who reads this. If you believe any of this is up to you.”
After reading this Sara leaned back in her chair, her head spinning. An organization that keeps ‘anomalies in the fabric of reality’ – whatever that meant – hidden for the good of humanity. Could such a thing be real? Surely it was made up. And yet, she had found a connection to an organization with the same name in her husband’s bank statements. There must be at least a grain of truth in all that. She decided to dig deeper and find out if the person who posted this had written anything more. It didn’t take her long to find out that the account hadn’t made any other posts, they hadn’t even replied to any of the comments. Looking at the account itself, she couldn’t find any information about who owned it or how they could be contacted. Clearly the account was created specifically for that one post, and never used again, just like the poster had said.
Some further digging, aided by the info in the BBS post, lead her to a third forum post discussing The Agency. It was in a thread about strange experiences at work. The poster said she was working for a cleaning company, and she and two colleagues had been hired out to clean an office building. The sign in the lobby said Minaro Holdings but unlike most offices, she couldn’t see the company logo anywhere else in the building. From the name she had expected a lot of finance bros constantly on the phone but the place was surprisingly quite and none of the people working there seemed like the typical financial industry types. In fact, none of the people there seemed to be working with finances as far as she could see. It was almost as if the lobby belonged to a different company than the one she was cleaning. In the poster’s experience, people tended to act as if the cleaning staff wasn’t there, and this company was no exception. She then started listing some of the wierd things she had overheard while working. As Sara read she immediately recognized several things from the BBS post. It seemed clear to her that this woman had been cleaning one of The Agency’s facilities. A quick check showed her that the woman’s account was still active, so she sent a DM asking for more details. After a couple of messages back and forth she had all the info she needed for the next step in her search.
Minaro Holdings didn’t have an office in Sara’s area, neither did Lightfoot, but Investibles did, and it was located in the same industrial park as her husband’s company. A quick search on Google Maps showed that the two were within a couple hundred meters of each other. Sara immediately knew what was going on. While she had been spending her lunch breaks researching, her husband had been spending his in the office of Investibles, doing Agency work. Next step, find out exactly what his work consisted of.
A couple of days later she told her boss she had to run some errands during lunch and would be back later in the afternoon. She drove across town to the industrial park where her husband worked and navigated her way to the building where Investibles had their offices. It was a steel and glass building among many similar ones along a wide, mostly empty street with sidewalks lined with trees. There was no good vantage point where she could keep an eye on the door without being seen. She double checked that Investibles was indeed on the sign outside the building then parked just around the corner where she hoped the car wouldn’t be seen, then checked her watch. She had 20 minutes until her husband’s lunch break ended and, assuming he was in the building, he would likely exit at that time and go back to his normal work. She got out her sandwich and ate while she waited. When there was five minutes left to her husband’s break ending, Sara took up position behind a tree. It wasn’t a great hiding spot, if her husband paid enough attention he would likely notice her but it was the only place where she could get a clear view of the door, it would have to do.
A few minutes later the door opened and sure enough it was her husband. He turned and started walking down the street without even looking in her direction. She gave it another ten minutes before making up a pretense for calling and confirming he was in the office. Now all she had to do was get in.
She only had to a wait a couple of minutes until she spotted a group of young guys in jeans and light colored shirts heading towards the entrance. She took a deep breath then followed them into the lobby without so much as a glance at the receptionist. She squeezed into the elevator with them just as the doors were about to close. The guy by the control panel looked over to her. She mumbled ”eh, seven” and he swiped his badge and pressed the button, then went back to talking with his buddies. She kept her eyes on the floor the entire elevator ride and when it reached the seventh floor she stepped out without looking back at the young men. The elevator lobby was empty so she took a few moments to calm her self down before continuing. She had to look around a bit before she found the offices of Investibles. To her surprise the whole place was dark and the doors locked. She thought about coming back another day but instinct told her the place would be just as dead then; she was sure her husband was the only one working there. If she wanted to find out more, she would have to confront him but she wasn’t sure she was ready.
That night she lay awake for hours mulling the whole thing over. When she got up in the morning she had made her decision. She gave it two more days before once again telling her boss she needed to run a few errands. The remaining hours until lunch she was so anxious she could hardly concentrate and already ten minutes before twelve she got up from her seat and headed to her car. She drove across town in a flurry and arrived in the industrial park just 15 minutes later. She hastily parked the car then took up a position close to the Investibles building, waiting for someone she might follow inside. A couple of minutes later she saw a person coming her way and even at a distance she immediately recognized her husband. She ducked in behind cover, her heart racing. She could feel doubt starting to bubble up in her stomach but she pressed it down, forcing herself to concentrate; this was as good a chance as any. The moment her husband stepped through the doors, Sara left her hiding spot and followed him into the lobby, keeping her distance. When the elevator arrived she rushed in behind him and before he had time to react she jammed her finger onto the Door Close button.
He looked up at her, his eyes widening as he recognized her. “Sara?” he exclaimed. “So exactly what are you doing for The Agency,” she asked, her voice level. The slight smile on his face vanished, “so you figured out I’m working for them?”
“How much do you know?”
“It’s a global, supra-legal organization dealing with ‘anomalies’ – whatever they are – that’s so secret most government officials don’t even know it exists.”
“If you’ve come that far I can see no harm in telling you my role in it,” he said just as the elevator came to a halt and the doors slid open.
He lead her to the office of Investibles, unlocked the door and brought her inside. Inside the glass doors was a small lobby area with a reception desk backed by a sign saying Investibles. Knowing what she knew about The Agency, she could easily see that the lobby was just a front made to fool the casual observer. Behind the lobby was a small shared working space, four cubicles grouped together in a sterile, window-less room. Though she couldn’t put her finger on what, something made Sara feel like this area was also part of the front. From the shared space there were corridors leading off to the left and right. Her husband brought her to the left, passed a small meeting room and into an office. In the middle of the room was a large desk covered in all manner of things, as if someone was working on about four different hobby projects at the same time. To the left of the desk was a row of book shelves and to the right a row of metal shelving units loaded with cardboard boxes. Behind the desk was a large window with closed curtains and opposite that, a white board covered illegible writing. Her husband showed her to a chair then took his seat behind the desk.
“So this is me,” her husband began, “I’m really the only one working here which is why I got all this stuff in my office. The rest of the place is more or less just for show, although the shared spaces and meeting rooms do get used occasionally if someone from another branch comes to visit. We do also have someone who comes in to man the reception from time to time, but like you can probably guess, that’s just to make the front company seem real. I’m a field agent, my job is to keep track of, and “deal with” any anomalies in this region. The reason it’s only me doing this is because anomalies are extremely rare. Most of us field agents have very little to do, The Agency just keeps us at our stations in case an anomaly is discovered in the area.”
“Do you remember about two months ago,” she interjected, “when I called you at the office every day for like three weeks?” “Now that you mention it,” he responded, “that was a bit odd.” “That confirmed that you were at your “normal” office every day,” she continued, “how do you get this work done?” “Easy,” he replied, “most of my work can be done remotely. The main part of my job is to track down anomalies and the easiest way to do that is to listen to rumors. You see, when strange things start happening, people tend to talk about it. At breakfast I scan through the local newspaper for any stories of ‘strange events’, and at my normal job I like to keep the local talk radio station on in the background, in case someone calls talking about ‘bugs in The Matrix’ or something similar. Nowadays most stories like this come from isocial media and for that we have a software that scans the internet for certain keywords and produces a daily report. I really only come in here once a day to access Agency computer systems and go through that report. Of course, if I discover what I think is an anomaly I have to come in here to investigate it, but like I said, that rarely happens.” He leaned back in his chair and looked expectantly at her. “Anything else you want to know,” he added.”
“What exactly are these anomalies that you speak about,” came her reply directly. “How much do you already know,” he countered. “My sources didn’t say much, they mentioned suspending the laws of physics and reality being broken but no details. Frankly I didn’t quite understand what they were going on about.”
“In that case I can’t tell you anything more.”
“So far I’ve just been confirming things you already knew or could have figured out by yourself. The Agency won’t be too happy about that if they find out, but ultimately I don’t think it makes much of a difference. Explaining the anomalies in detail is another story.”
Sara frowned, “you can keep all this secret from me for I don’t know how many years but you can’t explain the anomalies to me?”
“It’s not that I don’t want to Sara, it’s just that explaining the anomalies would be to divulge forbidden knowledge and,”
“I don’t give a shit about forbidden knowledge, I just want to know what my husband is actually working with.”
“What I was about to say before you cut me off, is that I can’t tell you because it’s dangerous. Both of us could end up in serious trouble if I do.”
Sara stared at him but said nothing. “I can’t risk you getting hurt,” he continued, “I care about you too much”. Sara looked at the floor for a couple of moments then shrugged, “then I don’t have any more questions.” She got up from the chair and started moving towards the door. “Wait,” he shouted. Sara stopped and looked at him over her shoulder but said nothing.
“Before you leave I need to ask you one thing.”
“How did you find out about me working here?”
Sara briefly explained how she had managed to track him down; her suspicion that he was cheating, researching all those odd transactions, finding the connection to the holding companies, the old BBS post about The Agency, and finally tracking him down to the Investibles office. When she was finished her husband said “Impressive! With those research skills you could become a fine field agent.” She smiled but shook her head. “I’m not joking,” he continued. “I know,” she replied, “look, I really got to get back to work.” She started for the door again and this time he didn’t stop her.
When Sara’s husband was sure she had left the Investibles office, he logged on to the Agency computer and started the reporting software. He opened up the form for security issues and started filling it in, giving it the heading ‘Agency cover compromised by civilian’. When he was done he moved the mouse over to the send button but didn’t click. Instead he leaned back in his chair and sat there for a couple of moments before getting up and going to the pantry to get himself a cup of coffee. When he came back he deleted the form and opened an old case file titled Anomaly 0100467. Under the notes section he made a new entry for the current date: “Worriesome new development: anomolous subject Sara-0100467 has, by her own volition and effort, discovered the existance of The Agency. The full extent of subjects knowledge has not yet been confirmed but it cannot be considred minor. In connection with this incidnt, the cover of field agent AN-323, who is in charge of monitoring subject Sara-0100467, has been compromised. Sara-0100467 is not yet aware that she is anomalous. Recommend to continue treating subject as if she were a civilian. Situation requires close monitoring from now on.” He took a deep breath, exhaling slowly, then hung his head as he pressed the ‘update to server’ button.