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10: Seduce Me With Your Paperwork

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"The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend. "

~ Abraham Lincoln

~**~~**~

It wasn't what he was expecting.

Jack had been all over the world; missions in countries most people hadn't even heard of.

He had been in decrepit shacks, down in the trenches, visited holes in the wall, but he never expected this.

When the doors had creaked open, he had thought the upper floors would have mirrored the decor of the parking garage below.

But the room he stepped into was nothing of the sort.

For starters, he wasn't expecting the sudden influx of sunlight to blind him. Industrial windows lined the walls of the large room, reflecting natural light through each pane.

Twinkles of sunshine danced across the concrete charcoal floor in synchronized patterns.

Two concrete pillars stood at attention in front of the elevator, blocking Jack's view of the room.

A low humming thrummed towards Jack, so constant that he couldn't even begin to guess where it came from.

Into the vacant space, he called out, "Dr. Coldwater?"

A brief 'over here' echoed back to him.

At the sound of the voice, Jack ventured out of the box, with Thomas biting at his heels. He rounded the poles quickly, taking in the room as he went.

The first thing he noticed was a set of white folding tables, placed flush against the windows.

Buckling under the weight of computer monitors, wires swarmed from underneath, covering the surrounding floor in a tangle of cables running to electrical wall sockets.

The second thing he noticed was the back of an office chair, rotating slightly from side to side, obscuring most of the man occupying it.

Only a receding hairline peeked over the leather top.

At the sound of footsteps behind him, the man whirled around to give Jack a full view.

He looked like he had jumped straight out of the 20th century.

His blue jean dress shirt was stuffed into a pair of faded Wranglers; a monochrome stream of denim accented with rimless aviator eyeglasses that slouched down his nose.

Sock-clad feet slid into sandals before the man rose and extended a suspicious look towards Jack.

"So, you're Big Brother. The doc told me you were coming." He briefly ran his eyes up and down Jack, turning to do the same to Thomas. "You can call me Pager." He shouted, a bit too loud for Jack's taste, "Doc! The Fed is here."

At the call, V.C. sauntered over to the three men from an office in the corner. "Commander, you made it here in one piece. Surprising." She gave him a thorough once over before motioning to the hovering policeman by his side. "And it's good to see you again, Thomas."

Thomas blushed and looked anywhere but at the approaching doctor.

Jack glanced up and down at V.C. as she came closer.

Clothed in the same pair of skinny jeans as before, she seemed to have swapped her leather jacket for a form-fitting sweater with a swooping cut.

He noted that it accentuated her collarbones and elegant neck in a way fashion models would be jealous.

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