American Chimera – 24.3

American Chimera Cover Small

“Luckily,” Dallin said as he ate a slice of cinnamon-laced banana bread, “The CIA has plenty of operatives available when things leak or get out of hand.”

“You called your boss and told them about Elder Thorpe’s extortion?”

“Yup.” He swallowed the bread. “I sure hope he’s ok. No one ever heard about him again after that.”

The interrogator frowned. “That should have been expected.”

“Oh, true. You plan on eating some of your bread?”

The interrogator lifted the waxed canvas wrapped over the tin in front of her. “Yes. I’m sure it’ll be a new and exciting adventure. I’ve had a lot of firsts since I got here – many of which I can attribute to you, Dallin – and I guess I’ll just have to add cinnamon to the list.”

“Always glad to be of service.” He blushed.

“I’m afraid, however, that I must intrude upon your hospitality once more. I have every indication I’ll be back in this facility once the new budget has been approved, but that leaves me with six days to set up everything for my return.” She sighed. “I anticipate being assigned to fish information from the Huffmans and the others still imprisoned here in order to help you. I expect I will update the agents of the CIA as to your progress with the Chimeras. I don’t have much time to prepare for all that.”

Dallin smiled. “You really think they’re going to increase our funding?”

“I have every indication from the higher ups that your funding is going to increase significantly. And, because my own wellbeing and career will ride on your funding, I have vested interest to make sure I prepare for my return adequately.” She leaned over the table. “I’ve convinced a zip code’s worth of people to divulge their greatest secrets in the past month. I’ve convinced them to do things they wouldn’t normally do, and I’ve finagled my way into their hearts. I think I have enough information from Dani’s family that I might convince her to be more amenable to your research. I doubt I convince her to let you impregnate her, but I might make it so that she’ll listen. She might help you in other ways.”

“And you think you can do this?”

“I do,” the interrogator answered. “I know her parents. I have access to everything they’ve ever owned. I can convey messages from her parents, whatever we want them to say.” She cleared her throat. “If I get information from her, as well, I might gain some leverage against her parents. I believe her mother knows more about how they made her female, and that could be invaluable.”

Dallin nodded. “You want to see her before you leave?”

“The sooner the better,” the interrogator said. “Tomorrow or the next day would be best. The rest of the time I have will be spent on final reports.”

Dallin opened his holographic computer screen. “I’m sure we can work something out.”

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