Chapter 2

The organization's headquarters, much like its incredibly unique name, wasn't something to write home about. Situated at the heart of Brooklyn, New York, you'd think it would look like some grand and amazing homage to the relatively grand and amazing purpose it served. Simply put, it wasn't. The complex - a main building and two annexes connected to said main building by bridges placed every other floor - wasn't even the tallest one in the immediate vicinity. The one thing that was remarkable about the place was that it was so unremarkable (Now, aren't I poetic?).

The building was as dull inside as it is outside. You'd probably also think that, given the very interesting employees in the building, the interior would be one big science fiction tribute - chrome walls, bullet-proof windows, sliding doors. Nope, not at all. Of course, there were certain parts of the building like that but none the public would be allowed to see. Officially, and by that I mean publicly, the organization was one big publishing company for fiction and non-fiction alike. Makes sense, right? An organization dedicated to the safe-keeping of human knowledge masquerading as a company meant to spread human knowledge.

Anyone who stepped through those glass double doors would only see a mundanely decorated lobby and further into the depths, would still only see fairly decorated hallways and rooms. Where the real magic happens, well, I can't really say. Aside from Ms. Ashe's office and some employee facilities, I hadn't seen the whole of the place.

Stepping out and walking into heavy rain, I had to wonder if they had a teleporter room or something equally as helpful...like maybe some company cars I could hotwire. Still, beggars can't be choosers. My pockets were already lined with my check from the one mission. It wasn't a very hefty one. I would really like to know how James Bond lives such a luxurious life with a government-funded paycheck. Maybe then I could move out of my shabby apartment.

A subway ride and long jog later, I was in Manhattan, right in front of my old shabby apartment where a familiar face was waiting for me.

"Sleeping on the job again? You're going to get fired this way, Dan," I murmured as I bent down and brushed a lock of hair to the side of an olive-toned face.

"At least I actually go to my job. Hey, Chris," Dan yawned, stretching. Tossing back shoulder length hair, bright green eyes and an equally bright smile settled on me. She was beautiful, and no matter how hard I tried to hide it, it probably showed on my face.

Danielle Rodriguez was the first person I met when I first moved to Manhattan. She had been the one to recommend an apartment for me and hooked me up with my job at a coffee shop just across the street from the bookstore where she worked. Espionage doesn't really pay the bills much. That the first person I would meet in Manhattan also happened to be the nicest one there was sheer dumb luck proving once and for all that Lady Luck wasn't such a cruel mistress is if you kept her in AA.

Dan stood up from where she sat on the steps leading up to my apartment, staggering as she did.

"Still sleepy?" I mocked with a grin.

"Hardly," she snorted. "This is my last delivery and I've been waiting for, oh, around two hours. I'm all stiff." She pulled out a worn but somehow still clean book from her shoulder bag. If there was one thing she loved, it was books. So much so that the first time I met her, I had no trouble believing that she was a company agent. Of course, she had proven more than once that she wasn't but I had no doubt that she would've fit there more than me.

I took the tiny leather-bound book, a first edition copy of Through the Looking Glass by Louis Carroll, and paid her.

"You don't pay me enough," Dan muttered as she thumbed through the envelope. "Do you know how much digging it took me to get that copy? I bet you're not even going to read it."

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