Tracy Sullivan had been waiting in line for her usual, a cranberry scone and the newest autumn drink. This year was a salted caramel latte.
Tracy thought about her young daughter at home and threw in chocolate milk and a large, buttery chocolate chip cookie. Just then, her phone started to buzz in her trench coat pocket. She picked it up and looked at the caller's identity, she did recognize the number. Tracy held the phone up hesitantly, a quiet raspy voice came through, a voice that would she thought she would never hear again. "Ms. Sullivan, we know of your dedicated service and your retirement, but I am afraid we must recall you." Tracy felt her anger boil. She replied slowly, "I left that life behind me." The familiar hint of anger crept into the man's voice. "We are perfectly aware of this, but we must insist."
The silence was filled with the hiss of static. The man on the other end broke it first. "Ms. Sullivan, you know well what is at stake." Tracy gritted her teeth. Looking around, she replied in a voice no louder than a sliver of a whisper, "May I be restored to the ranks of the Silver Rose." On the other end of the call, the man smiled slowly and replied, "We welcome you into our ranks. Get a table for two."
Tracy ordered her drink and scone then thought of the informant, she added the annual hot cider with a maple cinnamon bun. Then, she waited.
Hunter Woodrow was late. Strange, for a member of the Silver Rose. At last, a man in a black turtle neck walked nonchalantly to her table and sat himself down. To anyone else, it looked like two friends were about to engage in a friendly chat. Only, this wasn't a cordial meeting between friends. This was an all too serious discussion between two underground agents working to save the humans from themselves. Hunter looked around, checking the perimeter for hidden cameras, microphones, or assains. Satisfied, Hunter placed a pack of mint gum on the table, in reality, it was a custom high tech device made to interfere with radio waves so enemies could not overhear secret ordeals.
Tracy waited patiently, once upon a time she had lived Hunter's life. Constantly in fear, her life running, hiding. As well as other causes.
Hunter took a piece of the bun and dunked it in the cider. "You know why I am here?" Tracy nodded. "Who is it?" Hunter sighed and fidgeted with the ribbing of his shirt. "Jung Yi. Kidnapper, slave trader, murder, thief, and more. Location, unclear. We have gathered black-market, southeast Asia." Tracy closed her eyes. "How long has he been at it?" It was Woodrow's turn to sigh heavily. "Fifteen years and thirteen days of evading the death penalty" Finally Tracy opened her eyes, "You expect me to leave my only daughter alone while her mother is off on another mission? Have you forgotten over a decade of my services to the Silver Rose? An estimated amount of at least three hundred people in fifty countries want me and anyone remotely associated with me dead and rotting? Emily is two, she is too young to be orphaned. I don't want her to know what her mother does. I do not want to die, for her sake. She has lost enough already.
"Ms. Sullivan, you would be making the world a better place." Tracy felt her face get hot. "You don't understand, do you? No matter how many threats we takedown, eliminate, exterminate there are more. We cannot stop the evil in this world. I quit becasue I finally accepted that facet. Now, I have more to lose than ever. I have lost my husband, my sister, I am not about to lose my daughter as well." Woodrow sat there in silence. "Yes, I understand those facts more than you think. Both of my parents joined the Silver Rose, both were killed. I joined, despite their deaths. My parents had firmly believed that good would always outnumber evil as long as there was still good in the world. You, Ms. Sullivan, are one of the many good people in the world. As for your daughter, we can guard her at one of our many safe houses. We will send guards to watch her and provide for her daily. Just fill out some forms in return. Do we have a deal?"
Conflicting emotions battled for control. Anger, sadness, uncertainty, hate. What finally ruled was a strange calmness. Emily would be safe and she would come home. Just this once and she could really be left in peace. "Alright."
Hunter Woodrow allowed himself a smile. "Thank you so much." He meant much more than the drink and bun.
Hunter bent down and came back up with a leather messenger bag Tracy had seen earlier. She had assumed it just held a small handgun and some files. Normal for someone of the Silver Rose. Instead, he handed her a plane ticket, a passport, a Android phone, another small handgun, a card containing Jung's current information, an id card, and a travel-sized first aid.
"Well, this is quite the care package. Haven't had one of these in ages." Tracy commented. Hunter nodded. "You will need to return briefly back to headquarters to be reregistered. Your plane leaves in three days."
The two finished their food. Tracy made a call. In an apartment complex a few miles away, her mother, who watched Emily when Tracy was working; picked up. "Hi, Mom! How are you? I will be late tonight, is Emily still awake?" She heard her mother's warm voice over the receiver, "Yes honey, I am fine, Emily just finished taking her bath." In the background, Tracy heard her mom calling to Emily. It was only seconds before Tracy heard her daughter, "Hi Mommy! When are you going to be home?" Tracy smiled sadly, "Not for a while, honey. But guess what? I got treats!" Tracy's spirits lifted as she heard Emily's excited voice "Really?!" Tracy laughed, "Yes! Would somebody like chocolate milk and a cookie?" Emily immediately responded, "Me, me! I do!" Tracy's smile was bigger now, "And today is Speggheit Sunday too!" Tracy could almost feel her daughter's joy. "Honey, mommy will be going away for a while. You will be with some of Mommy's friends. What have you and Grandma been up to?" Emily giggled, "We've been playing with Play-Dough!" Tracy nodded with satisfaction. "Love you, Emily, night - night!" Emily chirped a reply, "Love you too!" With that, Tracy hung up.
She looked at the picture on her home screen, a little girl with cute blonde pigtails, adorable blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and a heartwarming smile. Tracy sighed, Emily was the light of her life. Oh, how she would miss that sweet, thoughtful girl. Hunter gathered his things, the "gum pack", and drink. Tracy did the same and followed Hunter to the exit. As Woodrow opened the door, Tracy whispered under her breath, "Mommy loves you, Emily." What a night it had been.