We all walked to the Chamber room. I didn’t usually like getting in the Box in front of strangers, but I guess I didn’t have a choice this time. I sadly stepped inside. This body was a good one. It was healthy and strong. There were no obvious maladies. I could work with it. The next one, I knew, could be anything. I could become anyone. Though, at least this time, I was unlikely to have a tail.
When the pain ended, the door opened. I looked down at my hands. They were a dark brown. I also noticed I now had breasts. “You’re a woman!” Agent Samuel exclaimed.
Doc laughed. “I see you’ve earned the ‘Intelligence’ part of your title.”
“It happens,” I said. “There are absolutely worse things I could be.”
“Thanks,” Doc said, sarcastically.
“You know what I mean.”
“We were expecting a father and daughter,” the agent said. “We had told the Ramstov government to expect a father and daughter.”
“Well,” I said, “this is what you got. Take it or leave it. There’s nothing we can do about it now.”
“Fine. We’ll do it this way. Come on. We’ll get this all worked out.” We followed Samuel outside where his car was waiting. “Sorry, Mr. Sampson. But you’re not going. Only the girl and the…the other g…the…and Clay.”
Jamal glared at him, his teeth on display. “It’s fine, Dad,” Tilly said. “I’ve got this. We’ll be fine.”
Jamal let out an angry breath. “I don’t like this.”
“I know, Dad.” They hugged and we got into the car and drove away.
Samuel took photos of us while we were in the car and had the IDs ready when we arrived. The airfield we came to was private. I hadn’t even known it existed. The support team had files for both Tilly and me with our new lives. “Madeleine?” Tilly groaned.
“We thought you’d want something close to your real name. You can still be called Maddy.”
Tilly glared. “No one calls me that. They call me Tilly. That’s my name.”
“It’s fine, Tilly,” I told her.
She shot the agent a look. “See?”
“Just let it go,” I warned her.
“Fine,” she muttered. “And what name did they give you?”
“The incredibly creative name of…Fran.”
“Fran?” Tilly giggled.
“We picked names that would be easy for you to remember,” the agent explained. “We don’t want slip ups.”
‘I guess we better start getting into our roles,” she said, giving me an evil grin. “Don’t you agree…mom?”
I did a double take. “What?”
“That’s our cover, Fran. Mother and daughter. I think we should start getting used to that, don’t you, Mommy?”
“Well-behaved daughter,” the agent corrected. “Remember this is a mission. You can’t blow your cover. You most stay on task.”
“You are no fun, Agent Samuel,” Tilly replied.
“This is work, Madeleine Stone,” the Agent said. “The fate of the world could depend on it.”
“The fate of the world,” Tilly chuckled. “I know the fate of the world and this…”
“This may just be one of those,” I finished for her. She glared at me. “If you’re not going to take the job seriously, Tilly…”
“I’m serious,” she assured me. “I’m ready to go. Let’s go!”
to be continued…