The Y-files [GL]
I was still deep in my slumber when I realized my phone was ringing. Who the hell would call me at this godforsaken hour? Of course It was Anna. That woman!
I saw I also missed a lot of messages. What could have happened for her to call me in the middle of the night?
“Ah Claire, finally, because of the attack yesterday Ms Lourdes has exempted you from class for the meantime to work with me until this whole situation is under control, she will explain you the details later.”
“Attack what attack? You left the door and I went to sleep. What are you talking about?”
Ms Lyst explained to me that Elsa and Tina had been attacked during their date by Therese and Eve, and that Tina and Elsa were both in the hospital. Therese and Eve were being detained by the police but since they are minors they would be released within 48 hours.
That news woke me up alright. I felt bright awake. More awake than any strong cup of coffee ever could make me.
“Since the attacks are directly related to the victims' yuri status, and from the school where our project is being spearheaded, we have been given jurisdiction over the case as an official government agency. They are expecting quick results from us. The mayor called me personally to urge us.”
Has this joke not gone far enough? These were real victims you know… And what was this about us, being an official government agency now? What has that woman been doing behind the screens? Everything I planned to gain control just seemed like child's play now. I was again the playball of that woman. My regular life seemed to slip further and further away from me. I couldn't even go to class anymore.
“And what do you expect me to do at this hour? Couldn't this wait until tomorrow morning? ” I asked, a bit pissed off. I mean I could've been sleeping, and there was no way that I would fall asleep again, with my mind racing like this.
“Ms Odes asked for you to make your éclairs again. She said it was of the utmost importance, and that it could help us.”
My aphrodisiac éclairs? What could they be planning? My mind was not yet working on full throttle, but it sounded like a chance to save the day by baking sweets, so I answered “I will start immediately. They will be ready in 3 hours.”
“Okay, send me a message when you are done, I will pick you up.”
I put on my apron and went to the kitchen of the brasserie, and started measuring the ingredients. The precise work of making sweets is something that always brings me to a meditative state, so it was a good moment to think about what was happening.
What was that woman planning, and Ms Odes, she had already proven to be problematic too. But if I got it right, even Ms Lourdes and the mayor were in the game now. I was missing data. The only thing I could do for now is go with the flow. I had no control left, as there was nothing for me to control.
After I put the éclairs in the oven, I started gathering more info by skimming my messages, and even saw the images of the vicious attack. Seeing the interviews with Ms. Lourdes and the mayor I could not help but think that Anna and I were being framed as the guilty party. If that was the case, it was all my fault. I arranged with Ms. Lourdes that we would handle the bullying. This was not good. Would aunt Bernie really do something like that? No, I was sure she would always try to do what was best for me, but I wasn't so sure about our mayor, Polly Tick. She most likely wouldn't bat an eyelash if it would save her skin. I had seen her freak out a few times on the phone, and she can be pretty scary when she is mad. She sometimes visited the brasserie with her personal assistant. For bigger business lunches they went elsewhere, we weren't prestigious enough for that. I always thought she was rather enigmatic, and she always came up to say hi, and knew me by name. Well, I guess someone with that kind of a shallow relationship with everyone is the definition of a good politician.
I felt myself becoming angry and decided to do some work for the brasserie to relieve some stress. I checked the supplies in the freezers and saw they could use a new batch of tomato soup. I sharpened my vegetable knife and hacked and slashed through the veggies.
For once I was not mad at Anna, I felt angry because she was being attacked, that it was my fault she was in trouble. Just for political games. Unforgivable. I hate it. I hate it! I hate it! When I came out of my trance the veggies were already chopped and boiling in the broth. But I knew what I had to do. We needed to deliver results as the FBY. I would not let them pass the blame on Anna. I could not bear to face the responsibility for that.
I started on the filling and topping of the éclairs with even greater care. “Ms. Odes had better have a good idea for them.” I mumbled to myself.
I got the éclairs out of the oven and went to the apartment. Mom Frank and Emma were eating breakfast. Emma ran up to me and shouted “Auntie Claire!” and hugged me. I lifted her up and made her spin in our hug. Emma was laughing out loud. I put her back down and sat at the table. I told Frank I had made him a batch of tomato soup for the brasserie.
“Has something happened?” he asked. He knew me all too well. Mom looked up as well, wanting to hear the answer to that question.
I told them my friends were attacked and in the hospital. I did not tell them about my suspicions on the mayor framing Anna and me. I didn't want them to worry.
Then I suddenly remembered yesterday evening and said “Frank, could you help me with a school project?”
“Anything for my little sis, you know that.”
“Okay, first, this is my class photo. Show me the cutest girls in my class.
Frank started off by pointing his finger at the “me” in the picture. Well, at least he realized he did not really have a choice in the matter. Then after thinking for a second he showed Gazette, Therese, Elsa and Eve.
“What would you do if you met one of these 2 girls.?” I pointed his attention to Therese and Eve specifically.
“They are very cute, if they were older and I would meet them somewhere, I would definitely try to ask them out. But right now they are a little too young for me.”
Hmm so if the yuri detector theory was correct, they could be into girls themselves. But why attack Elsa and Tina? The plot just thickened, but it was certainly something to consider.
“Okay brilliant. Thanks bro. For the next part, I will tell Ms Odes that you gave the okay. She will contact you.”
“Hey, what is that school project?”
“It is kind of a scientific essay about your love life...”
Frank looked like he had just said yes to something really troublesome, and he would be right. I played him like a fiddle. It felt good for my self-confidence to not be the one being played for once.
After that I finished the éclairs, I got ready to go to school and sent a message to Anna. She came to pick me up like she promised. I gave that sweet Emma one last big hug and gave mom and Frank a kiss.
“Good morning Claire.” Anna said not five minutes after my message. “Our first appointment is with Ms. Lourdes in 15 minutes. Let's go!”
I felt a little nervous sitting in a car with Anna. It was my fault we were in this situation, but Anna seemed to be enjoying herself. The look in her eyes had the same determination as the one of the main character in a Hollywood movie in a chase scene. Anna was pretty tough wasn't she? I should take an example, if I ever want to beat her. This is indeed not the time to feel guilty. This is the time for action! By the time we arrived at Ms. Lourdes door, I felt pumped up, and ready to kick some ass.
Anna knocked, and opened the door.
“Ah Ms Lyst, Claire, it’s so good of you to come so early.”
She made us take a seat at her desk and then continued.
“First of all, I had a long talk with the mayor earlier, and we have decided to take some structural measures to show to the public that we mean business.”
It seemed like Ms. Lourdes had not been waiting for things to unfold like I had done. I should learn from her. She had the kind of control I always strive for. She had always been one of the role models in my life, I looked up to the most.
“For that reason, since the FBY became an official government instance, the both of you are as of today working for the FBY in an official capacity. Next to the FBY the two of you will also be working for a new agency led by me, called the Central Yurification Agency or CYA in short. This agency will focus more on spreading yuri awareness outside of the school. Because the recent incident happened outside of the school, it is clear that we need to cover a larger area. At the start the difference between the two organizations might be a little vague, but I am sure it will become clear as we expand.”
What, I got a job? And Ms Lourdes would be my boss? What about school? Seeing my befuddlement she continued.
“Claire, since you are underage, you will get an apprenticeship contract. You will only need to attend school one day a week from now on. We made you a special roster, but that does mean that you will be in different classes all the time. I just talked it over with your mom and she agreed, and decided to trust my judgment, if I thought this was the best course of action.”
She contacted mom again. Why did I always have to worry mom? I had done my best hadn't I? I felt a bit like crying, but when I saw Ms. Lourdes’ worried look, I reminded myself that this was not the time. It was the time to fight, and it seemed Ms. Lourdes had risked her career in order to give her a chance to fight back with us against the political attack we were facing, so I could not let that kindness go to waste.
Ms. Lourdes nodded approvingly when she saw my demeanor change.
“First of all we need to do some formalities. I need both of you to sign these documents. These are your job contracts. This is needed for the insurance and in order to pay you.”
I took a look at the contract and saw they were gonna pay me 3000 Euros a month. Ms. Lourdes saw me starting to doubt, and said “We can't pay you more as long as your apprenticeship lasts. But after that it will naturally go up.”
Has the world gone crazy? There is no way a high school student should make 3000 a month for an apprenticeship contract. Why was it that money seemed to have no value ever since this whole situation started?
I looked at Anna, and her eyes were sparkling behind her glasses the second she saw her contract. I guess she got some pretty good conditions too...
Well I was determined to get us out of this mess, and signing this contract appeared to be the first step, so I signed it.
“You will receive your badges as soon as they are ready. I'm sorry but we just haven't had the time yet.” Badges? We got badges? Well I guess since it is an official agency now...
“So with that out of the way, Ms Tick informed me that she had no choice to put your heads on the block, but that she will do everything possible to pull strings behind the curtains to help you girls get out of this mess. If you can get us out she promised, the rest of the FBY will be offered the same contract.”
Then Ms. Lourdes said “I will have to admit, I haven't been nice to the FBY and have already headhunted Ms. Odes for the CYA. She will head the yuriology research department there. We could use some more hard science to convince people in high places of our theories, and with the new structure, it is only logical, that yuriology should be a CYA department.”
Then there was a knock on the door. “Ah speak of the devil, I have invited Ms Odes to join us, I hope you girls don't mind. She insisted on talking to Claire.”