Legal Theft Project: Cats and Mice

Andy and I tended to be over looked when the three of us were presented as a team. When Meg, six and a half feet tall, tufted tail switching impatiently, strode to the front like death incarnate, well, it made sense to overlook the mere mortals behind her. After all, we didn’t have fur, claws, or a tail and neither Andy nor I look like we want to rip your face off. We let Meg roar at the room and faded softly to the sideline. Andy, the most honest of us, would keep count of how many prospective agents jumped at Meg’s roar, so we could settle the bets later.

Meg demanded attention. She paced, she spoke, and she made personal eye contact so intense that each cadet decided really quickly if they wanted to continue with this training. But Meg wasn’t the test. Andy slipped tags into pockets as he drifted down his side of the table. I stole nametags, cufflinks, and identification. Don’t mind us, we’re just here to feed the angry one her dinner and drag her off any unfortunate cadet she gets her claws into.

As I neared the end of my side, one of the cadet’s on Andy’s side looked over at me and his brow wrinkled in confusion. I smiled at him. Glad to see the room wasn’t completely hopeless.

Meg went into the real presentation and most of the cadets relax. I joined Andy at the back of the room. He raised an eyebrow in question and I nodded at the observant cadet. He was listening to the presentation, but he was much more alert.

I inquired with my eyes if Andy had seen any prospects. He shook his head. It was going to be a long year again if we couldn’t find more bodies to put in the field. Damn the Hinn.

Meg’s presentation wound to a close and she swept the room for a sign. I pointed out the curious one.

“You.” Meg pointed a claw tipped finger at the poor lad. She looked at his name tag. “Moreno. Stay. The rest of you, dismissed. Reconvene in conference room two in fifteen minutes.”

Andy and I walked back up to the front of the room as the recruits trickled out. A few glanced back at Moreno, but none of them put it together.

Moreno turned and looked at us, then turned back to Meg. “Why are there three of you for a single person presentation?” he asked.

“That’s a good question,” Meg said. “Why do you think?”

He shook his head. “I don’t know, but you were presented as a team so there must be something.”

“Check your pocket,” Andy said.

Moreno did, and came up with one of Andy’s tags. He looked at it silently for a minute. “So, did I pass?”

“Eh,” I said, “You squeaked by. You at least recognized something was going on. Which is more than anyone else.”

“Thanks for the confidence boost,” Moreno said dryly.

Andy grinned. “I like him.”

“Good,” Meg said. “Then you get to take him over to quarters while Ash and I go roast some cadets. You’re always too nice to them anyway.”

“Gee, thanks Meg. Come on, Private Moreno, we’ve got to get you a new uniform.”

Meg and I watched them go. “I hope we get more than one,” I said.

Meg shrugged. “Me too. I miss vacation. But such is life.” She shrugged then bared her teeth in a predatory smile. “Now, I want to watch you make the potentials wither in their boots.”

“As you’d like.” I flashed her my icy smile. “After all, I am very disappointed in them.”


I stole this first line from Bek over at BuildingaDoor. Check out her blog tomorrow to see the original fiction.


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