Six-One-Four marched obediently through the entry halls of Initiative-9's main headquarters.
Brennan Webster walked beside her on the left, a security detail on her right. In earlier times, these individuals may have guided her through these dark and secretive halls. But today they were simply along for the ride. She knew where she was going; if anything, she was escorting them.
As far as she was aware, clean up was going very well back at the house. There hadn't been issues at any of her former sites. All of the information streaming back to base right now was that she had delivered a crippling blow to a small cell that had previously operated while I-9 was left unawares. There was still the matter surrounding Fabian and his infiltration under the guise of James, but Six-One-Four suspected that she was too low on the pecking order to receive any sort of a briefing on that matter. For all intents and purposes, he was a closed book.
Unless, of course, he had survived their encounter. Even so, it was unlikely he would so quickly recover with all of his associates terminated. Still, Six-One-Four couldn't help feel a certain sense of anticipation. As if there was an unclosed door waiting for her there.
No matter. If Fabian was out there waiting for her, she would be far more ready for him if their eventual reunion came. And secretly, some part of her hoped so.
But not now. Right now, there was another doorway to close.
She pressed deeper into the bowels of I-9's facility, taking an elevator down and a corridor deep into the heart of a most highly secure section of the building. Here she found a conference room; the very same one she had been briefed in a long month past.
Director Simon Poletto stood waiting with hands clasped in front of him as she marched in, the security guard and Webster on her tail. He gladly accepted the bagged hard drive in her hands.
"Welcome back, Jade!" he greeted her cheerfully. "So our friend Fabian thinks he was too careful in destroying the secrets kept inside?"
It was right to business, then.
Six-One-Four nodded. "That was his claim, sir."
The Director hefted the bag higher, the drive falling right in line with his eyes. Six-One-Four wasn't the first to acknowledge that he could be a bit eccentric. But there was something about the way the Director's sight bore into the piece of hardware that made her feel as though he could see right into the flash memory.
But that was ridiculous. The Director was just being animated.
"Congratulations, Jade," he remarked, handing the bag off to a technician. "I doubt we will have information streaming into our laps after this, but we certainly have some clues."
He paused, folding his arms. There was a strange smile that played in his eyes. "If you had to conjecture, what do you believe Housten hid away on those drives?"
She blinked, uncertain of what to say. "Sir?"
"Go ahead, Jade," he replied, using her first name again as if it meant anything to her. But that was the Director, being eccentric as always. "Speculate."
Six-One-Four made a brief mental review of the events of the mission. Most importantly, she thought about Fabian, trying to assess his motives and character. At this point it was all guesswork. But then again, maybe her guesses might land her on the team assigned to make sense of his madness. Maybe she would find some answers after all.
"It is clear that Fabian believed these hard drives contained incriminating evidence against individuals of his…nature. Perhaps another cell, someone he directly reported to, or maybe even a movement that Housten had stumbled onto that exposed a great weakness in their entire front."
The Director laughed to himself, clapping an enthusiastic hand on her shoulder. "Very wise assessment, Jade. Very wise, indeed. You have proven yourself a worthy independent agent."
Six-One-Four felt an unconscious smile tug at her lips. Perhaps her time in the Young Recruits Program was coming to a close.