“Do you hate me Meredith?”
“No sir, I don’t hate you.”
“Then why are you putting more paperwork on my desk?”
“Because I don’t have the clearance to do it for you.”
“Who does have clearance to do it for me?”
“The only people with clearance in the building are your superiors.”
“So I’m the bottom of the chain for this particular pile of shit?”
“Yes, sir. But it’s very important shit sir.”
“Why isn’t my boss doing this, if it is so important?”
“She might hate you sir.”
“Thats enough out of you, leave me with it.”
Meredith laughed as she walked out of David’s office. She was a good looking woman, and David certainly enjoyed watching her walk out. It wasn’t why he had hired her as his personal assistant, but it hadn’t hurt during her interview. David looked down on the pile of folders before him, a pile that had the potential to ruin his career at any point. It was no wonder no one else wanted responsibility for this particular decision. Well, there was no one else below him on the ladder that could do it, so he was stuck with this pile. He opened the first folder and was greeted by a picture of a young looking girl, a check of the first document confirmed that she was fourteen.
Meredith walked back into the room smiling, as she always did. “Yes, sir?”
“Why is the first file for a fourteen year old girl, she is far to young for this kind of thing.”
“She comes with excellent references, sir.”
“How does a fourteen year old get any references?”
Meredith didn’t have an answer for him so stayed silent. David hadn’t been looking for much of an answer from her anyways.
“Fine go, let me do this.”
David started scanning the file after watching Meredith walk away again. Lisbeth, pretty name. Fourteen, in the foster system for the last four years, recently adopted. No paperwork on her birth family, no paperwork on her new mother. How did she get through the initial vetting? No paperwork on where she came from. Spent six months in a coma when twelve, no know cause. Trouble with her teachers in her current school, no records of schooling before age ten. No religious affiliations, no work history as a dream walker. Under observation from the dream walker agency since she woke up from her coma. Suspected immortal connections, how the hell did she make it past the initial round of vetting?
Then David got to the answer as to how she got past the initial vetting. She didn’t have one good letter of recommendation, she had four. All of them from priests that had spotless records for the last twenty years or more. These weren’t regular letters of recommendation, they were positively glowing. Every buzzword was used in these letters, ‘trustworthy’, ‘accommodating’, and ‘has displayed consummate discretion in previous dealings’. The letters were perfect, and looked like they were written by the same person. There was a sinking feeling in David’s stomach that they were.
“I need a full background check on these four priests.”
David passed her a list of the four priests the letters were from.
“How thorough of a check do you want, sir?”
“Rip them a new asshole if you have too.”
Meredith left again to deal with her new task, efficient and lovely as always. David put Lisbeth’s file aside and began working his way through the rest of the dream walker profiles. None of them were as interesting as Lisbeth’s was, also due to the initial vetting they were all qualified. It became an arbitrary process of culling the others. It took him most of the rest of the day to get through them. Eventually he got the pile down to five potential candidates, and the issue that was Lisbeth’s file.
“Do I have any messages that I can’t ignore?”
“Anything that needs immediate attention and can’t be put off till tomorrow?”
“Are you sure?”
“Can I put it off anyways?”
“Lets do that then.”
David squared away his desk quickly and efficiently. He still wasn’t done before Meredith had left.
“This is a dream isn’t it?”
The girl in front of him drinking tea didn’t answer. She was seated on a white metal chair, with a table set in front of her that appeared to have been made in a similar manner. David sat down on the only other chair opposite the girl. He noticed that it looked old, with flaking white paint and everything. The girl was clearly Lisbeth, she looked just like her picture, down to the outfit. As he sat a cup of tea appeared in front of him. The cup looked to be made from extremely delicate porcelain, painted with images of boats. An odd detail to be included.
“I’m right aren’t I. So what is this blackmail? A call for help?”
She didn’t answer, just continued drinking her tea.
“No way this happened without your knowledge, you set this up right?”
Silence, she just watched him with her piercing eyes.
“Damn it, say something. What do you want?”
“I would like to propose an alliance.”
The world faded and David woke up in his bed. He hadn’t been sleeping silently or calmly. His sheets were a mess, and soaked in sweat. David got up and rinsed his face at the wash basin that was set up in the corner of his small room. David looked at himself in the mirror.
“This is it isn’t it. This is what will make or break me. Do I do it, put everything on one girl keeping her mouth shut. Or do I wait for another chance.”
His reflection didn’t reply, just stared back silently. David laughed.
“Fine, lets do this. Make it or break it time.”