The crowds were massive . . . and very annoying.
Azimov would have probably shot them all by now if she had not been under strict orders . . . and if Leo and Alex had not been right there.
They were stalking out a suspect, of whom they had been brought many sightings of him here. The Palace mall, of all places.
So here were three agents from KIA, at a cookie table, pretending to be representing "Marianne's Cookie Empire." On top of all that they were wearing the most stupid pink aprons ever.
"Just a little longer." Alex said under her breath, pulling at locks of her long red hair.
"I'm SICK of waiting. I swear, if one more kid spits out a cookie in front of me imma lose it." Azimov angrily wiped the last bits of "spit up" cookie from the last kid.
"It's deceptive," Leo picked up a cookie and examined it. "They're oatmeal raisin. They must have been expecting chocolate chip. Typical deception."
"Yeah, well done Sherlock." Azimov rolled her eyes.
He gave her a weird look but put the cookie back down.
"Alex, can I have the description of our suspect again?" Leo said.
Alex was one of the hackers for KIA, and a very successful one too.
"One sec lemme pull it up..." Alex muttered. The blue light of her computer was glowing on her face. "That's odd."
"What?" Leo pulled a cookie apart.
"Somehow the signals are getting blocked," Alex muttered, furiously typing away.
"What do you mean?" Azimov looked over her shoulder.
"Well, look at this."
Alex's computer screen had two web pages open. One of which was a profile for their suspect, another that had miles worth of code.
"I don't see anything wrong?"
"Well-" Alex was scrolling through her lines of code, then she clicked again on the profile tab. "I think the WiFi is screwing with this profile page.
And she was right.
Every 5 seconds or so, the suspect's name or age or description would change.
"What?" Leo frowned at the screen. "That makes no sense."
"Maybe they hacked it?" Asimov suggested.
"No, that's impossible."
"Well, from memory what can you tell us about this guy?" Azimov sat back.
"Not much." Alex, disgruntled shut her computer. "Male, Age unknown. Name: KJ Rode, but supposedly an alias. Appearance, Living quarters, and associates, all unknown.
"Great, we might as well be looking for frikin ghost. HQ really can't give us anything more helpful?”
Alex ignored Leo. "Well, we know he carries a gun on his person at all times and has a love for oatmeal raisin cookies."
"So every shady person that comes to try to get a cookie, we just say, "Oh! And do you per chance have a gun?" Yeah that'll totally work," Azimov said sarcastically.
"You guys are no help." Alex shoved her computer back under the table and went back to organizing and shuffling around the cookies in an attempt to make them look better.
They didn't look very suspicious, the three of them. Leo and Azimov were both 21 and Alex was 22.
“Why does a word wide criminal come to a mall just for free cookies?”
“Well, I mean, he can’t buy them, and he probably dosen’t have time to bake them himself so he most likely only gets them when they’re free.” Alex shrugged.
“Honestly, you’re so smart it’s getting on my nerves.”
Alex rolled her eyes.
Suddenly a figure in black clothing briskly slipped through the glass doors.
Leo was fidgeting with a pencil but paused long enough to look up and stare at person in black through narrowed eyes. He nudged Azimov.
“That guy looks pretty shady.”
“Hmmmm . .”
The stranger was wearing a black suit and a black hat turned down to hide his face. He was also wearing reflective glasses and tall, shiny black boots.
“That guy looks EXTREMELY shady.” Alex looked up.
The man was looking cautiously around. He spotted the sign that read, “Marianne's Cookie Empire” and slowly veered toward them.
Alex held in her breath. “Okay, okay, keep cool, y’all. This might be him.”
The man walked right up to the table and asked in a low voice, “Oatmeal raisin?”
“Mhm.” Leo tried to keep his voice at his normal pitch. It was hard to hide your excitement with a break like this. “Would you like a cookie, sir?”
“Name please,” Azimov said.
“Oh, uh-” the man shifted uneasily.
“It’s for a survey. Free cookies are free cookies but we need you’re name just to know how popular it is and, uh, other . . things.” Azimov blurted out quickly before he could say anything else.
“Oh, well.” He leaned in as close as possible and muttered so he was barley audible. “KJ.”
“Rode?” Leo said before he could stop himself.
“What? Yes-” Then it hit him. “AGENTS!” He started darting away.
“DON’T LET HIM LEAVE!!” Azimov leapt up and tried to tackle him but he dodged and ran underneath and arch, firing his gun into the ceiling. Little bits of wreckage flew down among the distressed civilians.
“Aw, crap.” Leo helped Azimov up again before resuming to chase KJ. KJ continued to fire his gun at random intervals to scare crowds of people out of his way.
Azimov analyzed KJ’s course before darting up a flight stairs, her own gun pulled to her chest.
KJ, realizing two agents were now chasing him, whirled around and fired at Leo’s head.
Leo ducked and the bullet shattered the window behind him.
“Hey! Watch it, that’s my partner!” Azimov yelled.
KJ turned around and glared at her, giving Leo time to get up and retrieve his weapon.
“How’d you find me?” He snarled.
“You have an absurd love for oatmeal raisin cookies.” Asimov held up the gun, aimed right at KJ. “And I advise you drop the weapon.”
KJ slowly walked backwards and suddenly tried to make a run for it.
Leo bodychecked him and knocked him backward, he stumbled a little and then Leo yelled, “K.I.A.!! DROP THE WEAPON, NOW!”
A smile played on Azimov’s lips. She called to Alex, “We got him!”
Alex gave her two thumbs up.
And literally every person in the mall was staring bug eyed at them.