Chapter 5:

Chapter Five

Ivy's Bitter Poison


Ivy runs out of the bathroom by the kitchen, the gray skirt of the woman’s uniform restricts her movement a bit, but she is still able to hide the small capsule of poison in her skirt pocket. I keep a close eye on where everyone else is via cameras, as she heads for the nearest security guard– the one giving the Samantha girl a hard time earlier.

“Excuse me! The guest I was with, she passed out on me. I’m so sorry she was refusing help from everyone else earlier.” Ivy bows to show her ‘sincerity’. The guard waves her aside, clearly annoyed, as he hustles over to the bathroom, opening the door to find the girl unconscious. It’s clear that Ivy gave her best effort to make the girl look just as she did, even applying the false nose on her. I guess it’s easier applying it onto someone else than it is yourself.

“What exactly happened?” The guard asks with a hostile ring in his tone.

“I- well, she said she couldn’t handle her alcohol very well–” The guard puts up a hand, not wanting to hear anything more. With that, he carefully scoops up the motionless body, shoving Ivy aside as he passes by, and taking the real Samantha over to one of the few rooms on this floor for staff to rest in. I quickly take note of its location.

“Rude.” Ivy whispers under her breath as she walks back to the kitchen. She uses the back of her hand to open the kitchen doors, and before touching anything else, places a set of latex gloves on her hands. Carefully, she reaches into the pocket of her skirt, now holding the poison pellet in her clear gloves. The staff are hectically moving around one another, preparing for the first round of wine to be served. A classic red.

The steam from all the cooking fogs up the cameras, making it harder to see everything clearly in the kitchen. “Hey Samantha, is everything okay? You were gone for like 10 minutes.” A voice comes up from behind Ivy.

Startled, she places a hand to her chest and hides her other hand behind her back, replying “Yeah, I’m sorry, I guess I just got held up longer than I thought. She ended up passing out on me. After this round, I might go check up on her again. I’m just concerned for her. She seemed really nice, just very out of it.”

“Is she allergic to alcohol or something? I’ve never seen a guest like that after one glass. Did she sneak anything extra in?” Even with the little time remaining, he takes the time to calm down the fake Samantha. I wish I could see his facial expression clearer.

“Maybe… she did seem really out of it. And she said she only had one glass, but that is weird isn’t it?” ‘Samantha’ speculates; Ivy mimics her voice almost perfectly… but will it be enough?

“You don’t think someone drugged her drink do you?” Walter ponders, seemingly fooled by Ivy so far.

“I hope not, that wouldn’t look good for Eden’s, and then the backlash for the staff, too. Not to mention the poor guest passed out right now.” I’m certain Ivy is fabricating a worried look on her countenance.

“You’re always looking out for all parties in a situation aren’t you. Although, you seem a little out of it yourself. Are you sure you’re okay? Did anyone say something to you?” He sounds genuinely worried, but Ivy tries her best to keep some distance. Even with her fabricated features, she doesn’t look 100% like the girl now passed out.

“No, no I’m fine, just a little light headed. Maybe just from the adrenaline of helping her.” Ivy places a hand to her forehead.

“Well, hopefully she’s not sick and you didn’t catch anything yourself. Are you ready to serve?” He asks , the yelling from other co-workers obvious in the background.

“Yeah,” Ivy pauses, knowing she still needs to get one more thing arranged; being in charge of John Garner's table. “Um really quick, which table are you serving again?” The steam settling down ever so slightly, revealed her brown eyes looking into Walter’s.

“The one and only John Garner’s; table one. Remember I took one for the team? Since nobody wants the responsibility of his table.” He gives off a shrug, but obviously nervous due to the unsettled look on his face.

There’s only a few moments left according to the sound of the other staff resounding in the kitchen. One person yells to Walter, saying to get ready to line up. He begins to walk back over to his tray. “Ivy,” I speak into the ear piece, my stern tone discernible with the time rapidly running down.

“I’ll take it.” A sudden offer escapes her lips.

“What?” Walter seemingly does a double take, as if he couldn’t believe the words coming from her mouth.

“I’ll take it. As my thanks for you just always being there for me and supporting me. This night has been pretty bad for me, and I’m guessing you’ve been taking my share of work back here.”

“Really? Now I’m sure you must’ve gotten sick. You know I don’t mind.” Walter reassures her.

“I know, but I feel like I’m always being a burden. I want to help at least once.” Ivy pushes back.

“I guess… if you’re okay with it.” Walter shifts expressions, casting concern.

“Yup! Thank you! I’ll do my best to make it up to you.” Ivy tries her best to mimic the tone and expression of Samantha, but it can only carry her so far. Walter is a problem, being so close with the younger girl. Ivy needs to break away soon.

“... No problem…” Walter trails off, and Ivy walks back to her tray, already set with all the glasses thanks to Walter.

Carefully, she waves her hand holding ricin over one of the glasses, dropping the pellet in crimson liquid. The membrane of the capsule is made of organic materials that will dissolve in any significant amount of liquid. She pivots the glass closer to the edge of the tray than all the others, and everyone begins to line up, ready to serve. Ivy now takes the lead in distributing the drinks, heading straight to table one. It’s almost like a performance, with each server gallantly finding their way over to each table they serve. Looking back at the kitchen, the next set of servers get ready to bring out their dinners. Ivy receives a perplexing glance from Walter as she effortlessly takes command.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, your drinks.” She serves to each person from their left side, carefully handing over a glass to each person, with the first person being John Garner. She lifts the glass closest to the edge of the tray, and places it down before him, then moves on to the next person without saying a word. Ivy gracefully plays the role of a server, she might even be better than the girl who she replaced. Two minutes slip by, and everyone now has their drinks, next to be served their dinner. Following right behind her as she leaves the table is another waiter, handing out the plates with the party’s dinner. Slow-cooker beef ragu with pappardelle. Fifteen minutes have passed since Samantha was initially knocked out by the ketamine dosage. But we’re still waiting for her signal to see if everything has been executed well. While Raven and I can see and hear what is happening, we can’t pick up on instinct and our fellow agents' inner knowledge. At least, not without some help.

Garner eventually begins to lift the glass to his face, but the man next to him blocks my view. I lean forward against the set up, my blue eyes piercing into the screens, as if I glare at the pixels my point of view will change. I get my answer a few moments later, though, and Ivy finally rests her serving tray in between her left arm as she walks back to the kitchen with the rest of the staff. Success. Everything has gone exactly according to plan. However, now Ivy has to get back to her ‘doppleganger’ within the next ten minutes. Barely enough time to excuse herself, then change back into her normal clothes without being caught.

“Ivy, you need to get going soon. There’s only a few minutes until Samantha wakes up from her induced coma. She’s going to have a little amnesia, but you have to be there in order to change back into your own clothes and then convince her of what happened.” I rake my left hand through my platinum blonde hair. I’m still stressing out, to the point where it's showing, but at least Raven is too busy keeping her eye out through her scope. The mission isn’t over yet.

“I know.” A small mumble, just loud enough to hear, but quiet enough to not arouse suspicion from the other waiters. After passing the brooding security guards into the kitchen once more, Ivy pulls the familiar boy aside. “Hey, Walter, I’m gonna go check on that one guest now.”

“Now? But we have to clean up… Samantha it’s great that you’re concerned, but you know I’m always telling you you should focus on your own wellbeing. You should listen to me. They’re not going to keep accepting my excuses for you.” ‘They’? Managers? Chefs? Garner?

“I know, but I’m really anxious. To the point where it’s making me nauseous.”

“You’re pushing yourself too much again. At this rate you’re gonna pass out, just like you did before coming here.” He lowers his voice to a whisper. “Your empathy is a gift, but if you don’t take care of yourself, there’ll be no one you can share it with.” He seems to reach for Ivy’s hand, but pulls back quickly. His tone shifts, being more friendly once again, but distances him some. “I’ll try my best to cover for you...Hurry back, okay… Samantha.”

Ivy doesn’t look back at him, only parting with a quiet thank you before brushing herself off and setting her tray aside to switch places again. The way he said that. Does he know it’s not the real Samantha? That could be problematic. “Raven, switch your target to the man who was just speaking with Ivy. Walter Smith.”

“Roger. Turning on infrared.” She adjusts her scope, switching modes in order to see through the walls of the kitchen. “I have my sights on the kitchen, but there are too many heat signatures. I’ll have to wait until he leaves the kitchen again.”

“Keep an eye locked on the entrance of the kitchen. Ivy should be exiting in 3…2…1…” The doors burst open as Ivy passes the guards. As she walks off toward the staff rooms, the guard who’s been giving her a hard time calls out to her.

“Where are you causing trouble now? Should I turn you in for misconduct?” He takes a few steps closer, elongating himself to appear taller.

“No, I’m checking up on our guest. It’s important that we attend to the needs of our guests, no? Just leaving her in a room to rest isn’t exactly the best treatment for her.”

“Are you trying to say I’m incompetent?”

“Ivy, step down. You’re not challenging them. You have eight minutes to get to Samantha.” I remind her.

A small sigh escapes from Ivy’s mouth, “I never said that. All I’m saying is you’re busy protecting everyone, watching out for their safety. Let me take care of this one guest for you. Who knows if she’ll cause any more trouble if someone doesn’t check up on her. You shouldn’t leave your position in case anything happens out here, right?”

“If anything goes wrong the rest of this evening, believe me when I’m reporting your ass. You may fool everyone else with your innocent girl act, but you must get off on causing problems for other people.” The security guard sharply adjusts his suit, remaining at his post. Ivy stumbles off. What he said, isn’t going to sit well with Ivy.

“Which room is it, Shadow?” She whispers into the earpiece as she briskly walks down the hall. She’s keeping herself together for the mission.

“Third door to your left, should be labeled staff room three. There’s no company camera’s in there, just what Tech has set up previously, so you shouldn’t have to change locations.” I answer. Ivy enters the room, checking around the displays. Normally she’d wave at the cameras to playfully say hi, but I can tell her mind is elsewhere. She heads toward the couch in the room where Samantha lies in Ivy’s mesmerizing emerald dress. As she changes, I keep an eye out on the surrounding cameras, to notify her if anyone is coming. I double check on Fox, but she’s busy pretending to care about other guests' stories while enjoying the meal presented in front of her.

A few minutes pass, and Ivy signals over the devices, “All clear, I just need to convince her that she passed out from exhaustion after taking care of me. Seeing as how Walter says she’s done so before, I’m sure it should be a lot easier to pull it off now.” She takes off the silicon nose, carefully placing it back on her own face, this time successfully.

“Hopefully amnesia is one of her usual side effects.” Raven mocks over the micro earpiece. “She’s also gotta forget she’s served too. Good thing she seems like an idiot–”

“Unnecessary, Raven.” Ivy snaps back. Raven’s irreverent attitude on missions can irk all of us, but especially Ivy, who rarely errs. Ivy stands over the unconscious Samantha. After taking a deep breath, she pulls up a nearby chair in the room, and sits down, waiting for the girl to wake up.

Almost as soon as Ivy sits down, the girl begins to wake. The brunette quickly gets into character, easily tearing up after putting the green contacts back in too quickly. “Hey! Oh my gosh I hope you’re alright. I’m so sorry for all the trouble I put you through. You must’ve been so stressed out after helping me, and that putting you behind the rest of your duties. As soon as I woke up, I found you stumbling in here. You must’ve passed out for a second. I was about to bring over help, but then you woke up, and I wasn’t sure what to do. I’m so sorry!” Ivy acts out her nervous routine, pretending to be someone she’s not.

“... I can’t really remember what happened…” Samantha responds, the drowsiness apparent in her voice.

“Oh no, should I get someone for help?” Ivy quickly stands up from her seat, heading towards the door.

“No, no… that’ll just get me in more trouble than I already am.” She holds a hand to her head, steadying herself, attempting to remember what had happened.

Trouble? She’s already in trouble? It’s true that one security guard doesn't seem to like her very much. Is that why the one guy was willing to help cover for her so much? Walter was talking about them not taking any more excuses. And about life before coming here. Are these servers…?! “Ivy, these servers might be part of the trafficking ring.”

“What?” She breathlessly exclaims.

“Sorry?” Samantha questions. Still dizzy from the induced coma.

“I just meant what do you mean by trouble? They’re not treating their staff terribly are they?” Ivy recovers from her outburst.

Samantha quickly denies the claim. “No! Not at all, in fact they’ve given me a place to stay and food on my table. It’s my fault for being so useless really.”

“Where were you before coming here?”

“W- well…” Samantha stutters. “It doesn’t really matter, I just didn’t have a place to really call home. But now I have my place, and I hope I can give that to other people in the future as well. This place gave me hope when I didn’t have any.”

“I see…”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to…”

“No, no, It makes me happy to hear that the group my art firm supports is giving opportunities to those less fortunate. It must be infuriating to see all these frivolous guests here, while you’ve been struggling.” Ivy sombers.

“Not at all! It inspires me, actually. To know that if I work hard enough, one day, that could be me. To know that I won’t be held back in my potential, and maybe one day, I could help others in a much bigger way.” With that kind of reaction, there’s no doubt she’s from Seybral.

As far as their politics go, everyone should be equal. Equal in the most toxic way. And if anyone steps out of line, there’s only so many options for them. They get sent to the military, concentration camps, or they’re executed. Equal living, arranged partners, each household can only have two children, and everyone only receives a highschool education unless scouted by their government. You may make ‘more’ in any given job, but the taxes cut everyone back down to the same level. You can eat well, or live well, but you cannot have both. Not with their lack of resources. We’ve only been over there for a few missions, and everytime we visit, it’s like a dystopian novel. As if everyone has been brainwashed, they all say the same things, and never speak badly about anyone or anything. The government always seems to be watching them; like Big Brother. This is why Lynti, or any of the other two territories, don’t get along with Seybral. Our governments in Lynti, Niastein, and the Tule Isles aren’t perfect either, but I much prefer it to Seybral’s. Due to their policies, most of their population lives below the poverty line, with only those in the government living a satiating life. Hypocrites. Equality doesn’t equal fairness; fairness doesn’t equal equality– pick your poison.

Ivy gives a gentle smile to Samantha telling her to take her time to rest. Heading out of the employee lounge room, our fellow agent finally makes her way back to the main venue, explaining to the security guard, who suddenly has a much better attitude, about what had happened. Her green dress sashays with each step as she finally makes her way to her empty seat. While gone, the waiters didn’t serve any of the empty seats in the room, but as soon as she sits down one comes over asking if she would like anything to be brought out.

“No thank you, I think I’ve partaken enough this evening. Thank you, though.” She kindly refuses the service. Other staff are busy serving extra glasses of wine, or serving other guests who have arrived late.

“I hope you’re feeling alright, mademoiselle, you were gone for quite some time.” One of the older ladies comments, a snideness in her french accent.

“Yes, thank you. I wasn’t feeling very well.” Ivy politely states, putting on her best fake smile.

Fox chimes in, always ready to bite back. “My yes, it’s not often you get that sick from alcohol. You usually only get that ill when it's of such poor quality. We’ll have to make sure we keep you away from whatever they were serving beforehand. I guess they wanted to save the good stuff for dinner.”

“I assure you it was not of poor quality.” The older lady remarks, clearly offended.

“I’m sorry, is it your winery that served the first round of drinks today?” Fox plays ignorant.

“Yes, you should be careful of the remarks you make in front of others. The gall of this younger generation.” She huffs as she takes a sip of the red wine, served from a different winery. “This pales in comparison to my craft. Maybe you two just aren’t mature enough to understand what good quality is.”

“My bad, I guess I couldn’t recognize you from your social media. You look very different in real life compared to the photos you post. If I had known just how old and wise you were, I would’ve held back in my judgment some more.” Fox swirls the glass of red wine in front of her nose before taking a slow sip. Ivy and the rest of the table stifles a laugh, while the older lady, clearly flustered, excuses herself from the table to go to the restroom.

“It’s not very often someone stands up to their elders.” A middle aged gentleman speaks up with his Russian accent. He was quiet up until now.

“Older or not, you shouldn’t expect respect if you’re not going to be respectful yourself.” Fox replies.

“I couldn’t agree more. How could she expect two young ladies such as yourselves, to drown in the dullness of wine making. That would be as if I were asking you to understand the logistics of my law firm.”

“So you’re an educated man.” Fox pretends to be impressed.

“Oh, it’s complicated stuff you two wouldn’t like to listen to I’m sure. It’s a boring field of work that would be wasting your time.” He laughs a bit at his own statement.

“Nothing along the lines of Labor and Employment?” Ivy chimes in.

“Consumer finance?” Fox questions.

“Intellectual property?” Ivy interjects.

“Securities? Corporate?” Fox pursues the topic, now playfully resting her head upon her wrist.

“My my, you two seem to know a lot more than you let on.” He barely seems to string a few words together in response.

“Always curious and ready to learn.” Fox sighs as leans forward a bit more. The gentleman across the table gives a gross expression of lust as the two falsey show interest.

“You must be. I could teach you many more things, I’m sure. Two beautiful works of art, selling more art, but I wonder if you know more than just what is pretty and what is real work. It is one thing to know something, and another thing to do.” He sips from his own glass, the red wine disappearing quickly.

“Ahaha, yes. Experience and education are definitely not the same. I’m glad to see you’re not letting your education get in the way of your ignorance.” Fox taunts the man.

“Excuse me–” He drunkenly begins to speak, but is cut off by an announcement.

“We will now begin John Garner's presentation to welcome his take over of the grandest of hotels, Eden’s!” Everyone applauds as the man himself walks up the small stage. The camera’s are all trained on him, the reporters ready to ask their questions. Something strange I notice, none of the reporters had gone around asking any of the guests questions about the takeover. Maybe it was a request from John Garner himself if they wanted to be in attendance? Zooming in as much as I can with the camera, I see his empty wine glass left behind. As long as Ivy did her calculations correctly, which I’m sure she has, the rest of the evening should go smoothly. I drag the mouse across the screens, zooming in on each reporter, none of which stand out to me.

John Garner begins his public speech, something to be aired the next morning, along with the announcement of his death. “I hope to bring success to this business, an amount of which even my father could not surpass. To be able to unite people from every background, and to give everyone an equal opportunity to experience what life has to offer, and the luxuries of the rich. I believe my father had a vision before his passing, which is why I believe he invested so much into this hotel. Just as it is important to provide the benefits of a paradise, it is important where this paradise is located. Choosing the area where accessible to everyone. I want to take his vision a step further. To join all territories since their arrival in the late 40s. We’ve been tossed around from country to country, always trying to be won over. But our own self governing islands know what works best for each of our lands, and I hope to unite each of us, from Niastein to the Tule Isles, and even Seybral. As one, under the Tirea Islands, to truly be one.”

“I am just a part of a chain of luxury hotels, but it does not stop me from dreaming of a better world for Tirea. The first step to understanding one another better, is to extend a lending hand to those who need our help. I plan on expanding from Lynti, to Seybral first. We must make an effort to befriend Seybralians, for we should not hate their people, nor how they run their own land, but embrace our differences and welcome them with open arms. To show them that while we may have different ways of running our own people, that we believe our people deserve the best. We are all only trying to discover what is the best way to do things, to bring out the best in our people. We can’t keep things from our brother islands. We must share our knowledge and experience to find the best for Tirea. I’ve already talked with one of the business leaders there from their own kind of business bureau, and they agree that this expansion could lead to more opportunities for people struggling in both territories.”

John Garner is idealistic in wanting everyone to get along, and most everyone does. However, Seybral continues to try and force others to practice their own governing rules, hence why so many of us don’t care to get along with Seybralians. I’m sure many of the reporters will be skeptical. I wonder if he is pretending to be optimistic, as if some Seybralian leader has got him wrapped around their finger, or if he actually believes in their practices. It’s a bit hard to read him, and he knows how to dodge questions.

“Do you think the Seybralian government will try to implement more spies through your generous expansion plan?” Starting off strong with the questions. While many Seybralians do immigrate here, there is a lot of discrimination toward them. Mistrust has spread since the discovery of a few Seybralian spies, attempting to piece together information to overthrow Lynti. The ones reported were taken care of by the government, but the several others that have slipped by were taken care of by our company.

“I hope it does not come to that, and that we can trust all lands of Tirea, but it is something I am sure to be cautious of. I’ve only been able to talk to their business sectors, and they agree they want nothing to do with harming any of Tirea’s citizens.” He’s focusing on saying Tirea as a whole, avoiding any twisting of words later.

“How do you expect to get along with the Seybralian government? What shares of the earned money will go to you, and their governing practices? Will employees there still be able to live on the wages they receive?” Another reporter probes.

“I plan to have a pleasant relationship with the Seybralian government, and to find an agreement with their practices while still doing what is right for my employees. This expansion isn’t to take, but to give.” Once he expands into Seybral, it’ll be easy to hide transfers between the two countries. Cargo ships that could be holding several victims of human trafficking, under the guise of transporting goods. We’ll have to look into his suppliers, since they’re the most suspicious in aiding trafficking. Seybral has been losing a lot of its citizens due to their strict laws, many coming over to Lynti as refugees. A shame so many are treated so poorly because of their citizenship, rather than for who they are.

“Do you plan on discussing terms with the Tule Isles or Niastien anytime soon?”

“Eventually, but I would like to see if the expansion with Seybral will come to fruition first.” So he plans on bringing everyone together, but only if things go well with Seybral.

Another 40 minutes pass by, with typical words of the financial plans, and promoting partners. The most interesting questions already dealt with earlier. He doesn’t give much else away, but we will definitely take more interest in the names he is listing as his partners, even if they’re just red herrings. When the meeting ends, Fox and Ivy gather themselves to head out along with everyone else. Everyone courteously say their goodbyes, even the older lady who suddenly reappeared halfway through the media announcements. As the two women make their way onto the elevator down, Fox giggles softly to herself.

I look around the cameras to see what’s so funny, and I instantly spot it. “I see he’s found someone else to entertain himself with for the night.” I add, watching John Ganer escort a beautiful young lady on his right arm. Her copper hair shines delightfully against her cream dress.

“Like he was going to go empty handed.” Fox adds, pretending to gossip with Ivy rather than me. The rest of the elevator fills with mindless chatter.

“I’m heading on down.” Raven comments, her gear already packed and ready to leave. “That Walter guy didn’t seem to be giving much trouble, so I doubt we have to worry about him. I think he’s more concerned for that friend of his.”

“I’ll keep watch from here and let you know if anything goes wrong.” I assure, watching her head toward the exit doors, as I lean against the desk, the light illuminating my features.

“Aye aye captain.” Raven salutes off at me and rushes down the stairs with her white blazer trailing behind. The elevator makes it to the ground floor, allowing Ivy, Fox, and a few other guests to head out. Raven should be there within a few minutes.

“I’d hate to be her, stuck waiting for hours before he’s done with his private meeting, only to be greeted with him beginning to convulse, keel over, and die.” Ivy whispers back to Fox. Good thing the existing prattle is clamorous enough to stifle comments like that. Everyone is too absorbed in their own self-indulgence.

As predicted, within a few minutes, Ivy and Fox crawl inside the fancy sports car Raven handles. The anxiety from earlier begins to subside, like the ocean waves gently receding. I check the rest of the cameras for any other activity. Even with Tech and Fogs expertise, they couldn’t sneak their way to the higher floors where the more in depth private meeting will take place with current managers and other branch heads. We’re lucky we got as much set up as we did.

“God, I must’ve caused so much confusion for Samantha and Walter.” Ivy mutters into her ear piece.

“It shouldn’t matter as long as you don’t get caught.” I respond, still scanning my blue eyes around the clean up of the event. Looks like Samantha is back up and working again.

“But if the staff is part of the trafficking ring, if they’re victims… I… it doesn’t sit right with me if they get into more trouble.” She breathes deeply and exhales dramatically.

“I overheard the dilemma in my earpiece over dinner. To be frank, if they’re already pulled in, and they’re delusional about it, there’s not much we can do than what we are already doing. It sounds like they’re being promised a life here, while being tricked into trafficking others. They’re being manipulated into this without realizing what is actually happening.” Fox’s words cut deep, but provide much insight to the truth; something Ivy needs to hear. “By taking out John Garner, we stop, or at least halt, his expansion, and therefore we stop his attempts to traffick multiple individuals over to Seybral. We put an end to that, then even if those two get into trouble, at least they’re not in trouble over there, where they unquestionably will be treated atrociously. They would be made to join their military, which if it becomes big enough, will attempt to start a war with Lynti.”

“I guess.” Ivy mumbles. “When did our missions become so complicated?” I can’t see her face now, but I’m sure it’s not the face I’ve come so accustom to seeing. She knows Fox is right, but after being on hundreds of missions with her, it will still bother Ivy for a little bit until she’s able to process and let go. As far as Unit 47 goes, she’s the only one to openly express her distaste for this kind of procedure to outsiders.

“Don’t worry about it too much Ivy, Fox is right. What we’re doing is the best for the future. These people are in better hands if they get in trouble now, than if we let everything happen.” I try my best to reassure her. I’ll make sure to do a better job of comforting her as soon as we all make it back to the office safely, when I feel it is safe to let my guard down more.

“It’s the point of our organization, to t–” Fox is cut off by Ivy’s dull voice.

“We tame the outliers.” Ivy robotically reacts.

“Precisely.” Fox sounds content with Ivy’s answer.

“I just want the night to be over. That woman who went with him… she’ll probably be blamed, huh. Or the girl I pretended to be all night.” Ivy ponders, wondering who will be condemned for all the tragedies this night has to offer.

“Probably.” Fox sounds cold once again.

“But that’s not our problem, huh.” Ivy’s voice gives off a defeated tone.

“Exactly.” The older assassin replies.

“You’re pretty cold, Fox. I thought I’d be used to it by now, but I still can’t get over letting a few innocents get involved.” The brunette admits, almost shamefully. But, it’s not shameful to feel guilty over involving the innocent. However, it is a part of our job, no matter how much we may hate it.

“A few innocents is a lot better than several of them.” Raven chimes in, her cheeky attitude waving off the seriousness of what consequences may come to those outsiders tonight. “It’s not like they're dead, or at least you didn’t kill them directly or something.”

“They might as well be.” Ivy mutters so quietly I can barely make out what she is saying.

“What?” Raven looks back in the rearview mirror.

“You’re right, let's just go home already,” Ivy sighs in disappointment. The sound of her window rolling down is the last thing I hear before she turns off her earpiece. Whether the disappointment is directed at herself, or someone else, I can’t tell. The rest of the car ride is silent, and I set myself up to monitor the rest of the night. All we can do now is wait.