Vincent ducked. He knew it was very likely that Magnolia would throw something at him, and just as likely that it would be a knife. After he’d been ducked for several seconds longer than it would take for Magnolia to kill him, he stood up.
“Umm. I thought you’d throw a knife at me or something.”
“I thought about it, but I thought I’d ask why you were here, first. No point in killing someone before interrogating them.”
“Ah, that’s understandable. As to why I’m here: you invited me. Back in the infirmary.”
“That’s right, I did. But then I thought you’d not make it, when Agent Ryan said he wanted to talk to you. I figured you as good as shifted back to wherever the fuck you came from.”
“So did I, for a moment, but then I argued my way into staying, and then I remembered that I had an appointment with a hot ass. And walked in on two of them. But I can come back later, much to the objection of my lower brain.”
“Yes, please do.”
Vincent quickly backed out of the room, quickly closing the door completely, and expecting a thunk of a knife being thrown into the door.
Well, that was some smooth talking.
“Yeah. I’m surprised at how much I can talk my way out of things.”
Hahahah. Talk your way out of that.
“Sorry! Just making sure I have all of my body parts!”
Vincent heard a snort from behind the door, then wandered off toward the Tech floor.
You’re supposed to be keeping an eye on Mags.
“Shut up. I know what I’m doing.”
Vincent walked into Jones’ office, throwing a Thermian salute.
“Evening, Recruit. What can I do for you?”
“I was hoping for a bug.”
“Insect or observational device?”
“If I wanted an insect, I’d have asked for a shift back to the US. There’s plenty of pests there to choose from. Observational device, please.”
“Now, before I just give one to you, I’ve got to ask what you’ll be using it for.”
“Ryan asked me to watch Magnolia. I figure she’ll want at least a little bit of privacy at times, so I can use the bug whenever I need to physically remove myself from her.”
“Okay, I get it. One bug, coming up.”
Vincent required a watch and looked at it. It said 95:21. He dismissed the watch and looked over Jones’ shoulder.
“Last thing before I turn this on. Because Ryan trusts you to watch Magnolia, he’s okay with this bug. That’s pretty much the only reason I’m handing this over to you. I hope you won’t actually need it.”
“I hope so, too.”
Jones handed Vincent a weird-looking headband.
“That’s for monitoring her tactile data. Things like what she’s feeling, heart and breathing rates, that sort of thing. It basically lets you sense what she’s sensing. I’ve set up a tablet to do the same, so try not to use the headband unless you think the data on the tablet is somehow not enough.”
“So noted. Thanks, Jones.”
“Seriously, Vincent. It’s not a toy.”
“Right. I’ll set it on ‘vibrate.'”
Vincent froze in his tracks.
“If there’s anything, ANYTHING, you need to take seriously, it’s this. I can’t even begin to describe all the ways it’s a violation of-”
“Magnolia’s personal and intimate privacy. I get it. I know she’s having a good fuck right now, so I will wait a few minutes before I even take a moment to familiarize myself with the equipment.”
“Good. I… actually, that’s probably the best thing you could say to get me to trust you with this stuff.”
“Yes, sir. I already walked in on her and Sc- someone else, and managed to not get stabbed. I don’t want to do it a second time.”
“Although, now that you mention it, you probably should familiarise yourself with the headband. I could set-”
“No, sir. Spying on Magnolia is plenty enough for my plate. I don’t want to have two people on my conscience, even if one is volunteering.”
“…Fair enough. Vincent, I’d have never pegged you as being as moral as you are insane.”
“I’m not that moral, Jonesy. I just happen to like the people here. I wouldn’t give a second thought about invading the space of some assholes I’ve met. No, that’s a lie. I wouldn’t spy on them, either. I’d set them on fire.”
“Vincent, stop talking before I rethink this.”
“Yessir. Magnolia has my respect.”
“Okay. As long as it stays that way, there should be no problems. Now go away before I decide you shouldn’t be allowed my toys… ever.”