Danger - Ejection Seat

Published by Eugene in the journal Eugene's journal. Views: 505

(From an in character chat session on the old site. Heavily refined to reflect only Eugene's perspective.)

At 0700, the Academy cafeteria was only just beginning to see traffic for the day. Agents, trainees, and other early birds were beginning to trickle in, meaning Eugene was able to slide towards the coffee machine with a minimum of delay. He paid no mind to the sound of another person behind him, assuming it was someone simply waiting for their turn at the caffeine machine.

"Eugene, if I may have a word. What is this new OPSEC you are promoting to our agents?" Even if he didn't recognize the authority of Chiefs' baritone, only a select few addressed him by his full first name. Eugene turned from the hot water spout on the coffee machine to find Chief Weller looking at him with an unreadable expression. "I understand operational security," he continued, "but since when are we practicing this organization-wide?'

"Since someone gained unauthorized access to the C5 system to facilitate a crime." Eugene tried not to sass authority, he really did, but it still creeps in, despite his efforts to remain matter-of-fact.

"We're not going to sink to "someone's" level, are we?"

"No, I just feel it is appropriate for ACME agents to realize they handle privileged information."

"Why does this sound like Chase's idea?"

Eugene shrugged slightly. "USMC. Birds of a feather and all that."

"Hmm," Chief Weller muttered over a sip of coffee. "Birds of a feather."

Eugene, growing slightly irritated at his apparent lack of progress in selling the notion to The Chief, resorted to a different tack; "Or, we could just publish an indexed document detailing all of ACME's resources, pass codes, and operational structures. It doesn't affect me either way, but ACME could use the initiative."

"Obviously that's an extreme." Historical precedent aside, Chief Weller had called his bluff. "I should just let you young bloods get this out of your system." Ah, there it was; the refusal to recognize escalation.

"And stealing an entire building used for our command and control isn't an extreme?"

"VILE was certainally out of line, I can't disagree, and since I don't have any other suggestions, we'll have to stand by and watch your methods." This was degenerating into a battle over ideology; fight a classical war, or start playing to ACME's strengths in a modern engagement.

Eugene sighed. "This isn't my show."

"Whose show is it?" Whoops, Chief didn't seem to like that answer.

"You already answered that."

As if on cue, Chase Devineaux strode into the cafeteria, rumpled suit and empty coffee mug speaking of an all-nighter.

"Chase, yes. Just the man I wanted to see."

"Hope that's about good news Chief Weller."

"Good, I suppose. I assume you've considered your methods?"

"Yes, methods, considered. We're peachy. If you want a full report Chief, I'll get that done as soon as I have results." Chase, if anything, seemed a mite too dismissive of Chief Weller's concerns, prompting Eugene to speak up;

"We've taken considerable pains to ensure the relative safety of all involved."

"Exactly, what Euge said."

"I'm not concerned about VILE, I'm concerned about ACME. If you can promise me this doesn't surface badly for us, then you have my support." There was a hard tone to Chief Weller's voice Eugene had never heard before, and it explained so much; Chief had worked hard to bring ACME to its present level, and now a series of botch jobs and embarrassments were threatening to tear it down.

"Promises... haven't been doing well on those recently. But okay Chief, you'll have the promise you want."

"All right then." Chief Weller seemed resigned to the designs of the ‘young bloods,' "Tell an old man what you need from the department."
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