Vincent knocked again.
“Do I gotta call you Indiana?”
Vincent knocked once more. He lost count of how many times he’d knocked.
“Ah, forget it.”
He turned around and smacked right into Agent Jones.
“Need something, recruit?”
“Where’s the shitter?”
“Right there. What’d you really want?”
Suddenly there was a wooden plank balanced on Vincent’s head.
“That pun was a bit flat.”
“I thought it was funny. I…” He stared off into space for a second. “Why don’t you go talk to Ryan for a bit?”
“Why Ryan? Has he got something for me?”
“Not specifically. You’ll see when you get there.”
“I don’t like surprises, but okay.”
Vincent walked to the elevator, and stepped over a recruit that looked a little too absorbed in whichever Pokemon game that was. He took a few more steps, and knocked on the door to Ryan’s office.
“Come in, Recruit.”
He opened the door, made eye contact with Ryan, took the two or three steps into the office, and saw that there was someone else in his peripheral vision sitting on the couch.
“Jones suggested that I come down here.”
“Yes, he told me so. He wanted me to introduce you to Agent Mimosa.”
Vincent nodded, and turned to the Agent on the couch.
“Agent Mimosa. You’re shorter than I expected.”
“Trope reference right off the bat? You’re off to a good start, recruit.”
“Oh, good. Agent Jonathan told me you’d be the fun part of being down here.”
“I just took it to mean that you’re as crazy as I am.”
“I’ve yet to see anyone out-crazy me, but let’s just act as per ordinary circumstances and not make a contest… well, not actively make a contest out of it.”
“Well, a crazy contest would be more interesting than a staring contest.”
“This is true, but now I can’t help but notice that you haven’t blinked once since I came in here.”
“I’m a hacker. Blinking has never been a necessity.”
Vincent hadn’t really noticed, but they were officially in a staring contest now.
“Geez. I think I may have tripled my blinking output since Denver. Aside from staying indoors for a year, I don’t think I could ever slow my blinking again.”
“So just give up already.”
“I did ten minutes ago. You must be distracted.”
“Understatement of the week. Do you know how many apps I have open?”
“If any of those apps is Tetris, I’m never challenging you to anything ever again. …Except maybe dodgeball.”
“…can I shift while we play dodgeball?”
“That’s kinda cheating. Besides, if you can shift, then I can require more -there’s no way I can make this not sound pervy- balls. I would eventually fill the area.”
“Dad, this guy want to throw his balls at me!”
“… I walked into that, and even if that were the case… Wait, did you just call Agent Ryan ‘dad?'”
Vincent blinked. Agent Mimosa cheered.
“Yay, I won!”
“I’m not much surprised that I lost to Agent Mimo-”
“You have my permission to call me Stef.”
“Okay. Wow, Jones was right, you are the exact opposite of boring.”
“You want boring? Let’s go on a patrol.”
“If that’s anything like a corpse run, I did one last week, and those are only as boring as the people you’re with.”
“If you say so.”
Stef took a glance at Ryan, who Vincent thought looked like an amused statue.
“Okay. One potentially-boring patrol, coming up.”