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[2007: MAR-APR] "Life of Lies"


Toni
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((San Francisco, Earth))

::The house itself was nothing spectacular. Modest at best. But it was all that this family needed. Three bedrooms for the children, and a small master for he and his wife Mary. A den with a fire place and a nice spacious kitchen. They had found the place right after they married almost 15 years ago now. Three kids later, they were still as happy as ever and still madly in love. Standing on the rear porch, having his morning coffee, Edmond Long smiled. He looked out over the property admiring the view and thinking of all that he would have to get accomplished in the day to come. Busy, busy. Enjoying the blend, his nose catches the faint smell of breakfast. Turning toward the rear door leading from the porch to the kitchen, Edmond spots his wife inside near the old fashioned stove. Mary had always been a bit old fashioned. The Long's owned a replicator, one of Edmond's own models, but rarely used it. Since Mary did not work after her accident, she had wanted to do more, traditional things with her family. Home cooked meals were one of those things.::

MARY: Hurry down, breakfast is getting cold!!

::Opening the door, Edmond entered the kitchen smiling. Walked over to his wife, leaned down and kissed her on the cheek.::

EDMOND: I don't hear any movement up there. How late were they up?

MARY: Too late. Up watching the stars again.

::Mary maneuvers her chair over to the bottom of the stairs and yells up again.::

MARY: Kids, breakfast!!!!

::This time there is a thunderous response. Feet hitting the floor from the beds, the stairs sounded as if they would cave in. Edmond was not a big man, and Mary smaller than he. But the three boys they created in their union were something to be seen. Gary, Michael and Bobby were all fit young men. Huge for their respective ages. At the ages of 12, 10 and 8 they were just about as tall as their father. The three of them ran into the kitchen, in their pajamas still, and straight for the table. Edmond took his seat at the head of the kitchen table and watched as his three sons prepared plates of food that even a Klingon would have trouble finishing.::

EDMOND: Well, thank your mother.

BOYS: (all together with their mouths full) Thanks mom!!!

MARY: Just make sure that you get enough to eat.

::Mary wheeled to her position at the other end of the table and placed some food, what was left, on a plate for herself. Looking over at the plate in front of Edmond, seeing it was empty, she asked...::

MARY: Not hungry dear?

EDMOND: No honey, I'm sorry. Just coffee for me. (raising his mug)

MARY: But don't you have a busy day today? You'll need to eat something. The seminar you told me about scheduled for this morning could last well past lunch right?

EDMOND: Seminar?....

MARY: The replicator sales seminar.....you were launching the new model for home use. Isn't that today?

EDMOND: Oh yeah. You're right. I'm sorry, I'm a little out of it this morning. oO Oh hell, what a slip.Oo

MARY: (smiles) You'd better have another coffee honey.

GARY: Dad, you ever get bored with selling replicators to old people all day?

MARY: Your father does not only sell to "old" people.

GARY: Don't you miss Starfleet?

EDMOND: Not at all son. I've missed too much with you all when I was with Starfleet. I'm perfectly happy with my job, (smiling at his boys) selling replicators to old people. It keeps me busy and close to home.

GARY: But it seems like your gone more now then when you were with Starfleet.

EDMOND: I know. Its just that this is the up time for us now. I've been doing this for a long time now and we are always the most busy this time of year.

GARY: But...

MARY: Gary, finish your breakfast. Your father will be home as soon as he can, right honey?

EDMOND: I promise.

GARY: But you always make promises. And you never keep them.

EDMOND: Gary.....boys. I'm sorry if it seems that way, but what I do, I do for the good of our family.

GARY: Sellling replicators?

MARY: That is quite enough young man.

EDMOND: Listen....lets all calm down here. I'll tell you what, once this busy swing is over, we'll take a vacation. All of us go somewhere nice.

MICHAEL: Risa!!

::Mary almost choked on her breakfast...::

EDMOND: (laughing) I was thinking Florida.

::The Long family enjoyed the morning breakfast together and as the boys went back upstairs to ready for class, Edmond grabbed his briefcase from the counter and headed for the door.::

MARY: Off to save the galaxy.

EDMOND: One replicator at a time.

::He leaned over to her, kissed her goodbye and headed to the transport area to be shuttled to work. Mary closed the door behind her and headed back into the kitchen to clean up a little and prepare the boys lunches. Smiling as she entered the kitchen, Mary was proud of her husband. Back when they first met, he had been so enthralled with Starfleet that it was all he ever talked about. She knew nothing else about him for the first couple months of their courtship other than the fact that he loved Starfleet. Every aspect, every charter was like gospel to him. He wanted so much to be the finest Starfleet had to offer. And she was sure he would be. Until her accident. Things changed with him after that. He became less involved with Starfleet and after a while, he resigned his commission. Much to her surprise, he gave up Starfleet and went into replicator sales. Since then, they had raised a family, even with her limitations. And though he was still not home as much as she would have liked, he was not out there. Among the Stars. Too dangerous out there. Mary knew Edmond too well. He was meant for something different. Not to roam the stars. Edmond was too loving a man for that sort of life, not a hard man. And that was why she loved him so much.::

::Outside, Edmond walked down the street whistling to himself. A tune he knew he heard the night before, but couldn't quite figure the name. Walking briskly toward the transport shuttle, Edmond walked right past the shuttle area. Continuing down the street further to an unmarked building with tall glass windows. Edmond walked up to the side door and placed his thumb on the bare wall. To any other person the button was invisible. Only a select few knew where to place their thumb. The doors opened to a large empty room. White walls, no carpet, no furniture at all. Edmond stood in the middle of the room and touched a small pin that he always wore on the outside of his lapel. Within seconds Edmond was alight, held within a transporter beam. Materializing almost ten stories underground into a small holding room. Two guards in black jumpsuits ran scans on him twice over, checking his credentials both times as well.::

EDMOND: Fifteen years fellas. Do we have to do it every time?

GUARD: Yes.

::Edmond held out his arm as the blood sample was taken, scanned and cleared. Nodding to the guards, as they finally opened the doors for him to enter. Within was a dimly lit room of full of any and all types of surveillance equipment that had ever been created. From end to end the room was full. All necessary equipment for Edmond's true profession. Walking over to his desk, he placed his briefcase down and headed toward the meeting room. Opening the doors to find that the morning meeting had already started.::

EDMOND: Sorry, but the guards were a little more thorough this time.

STANLEY: No need to be sorry. We've only just begun the interview process.

::The meeting room was well lit, to the point of being overly bright. A large white table set up in a half moon shape filled most of the room, with one lone chair placed in the open area. Ten men sat at the white table and all their attention was placed on a man in the lone chair. The prospect.::

EDMOND: So this is him? (walking toward his seat at the white table)

STANLEY: This is Marcus Tolliver. We have been watching him for some time now. He is exactly what we have been looking for.

MITCHELL: So you say Stanley. We will determine that today.

EDMOND: All are accounted for? (looking over the room) Good. (the room fell silent as Edmond focused on the applicant) Marcus Tolliver, my first questions for you are this,......do you know who we are?

TOLLIVER: No sir.

EDMOND: (smiles) Exactly. So tell me Mr. Tolliver, can you lie?

TOLLIVER: Yes sir...I...

EDMOND: Do not be so hasty to answer that question Mr. Tolliver. When I say "can you lie" I mean to everyone. Everyone you know, have known, or will ever know. Family, Friends, you cannot utter a syllable, you cannot have a thought about us when you are not here. Your life as you have known it will cease to be. This is a rebirth of sorts Mr. Tolliver. You must understand this. You will be a ghost of the man you are now. You will be alone.

::Edmond waited a moment, letting his remarks sink in. Watching Tolliver closely. When he recieved no response, he continued...::

EDMOND: However, if you accept our offer, you will be a hero of the Federation, but you will received no praise for your actions. No medals for your deeds. Your heroics will be known by these select few. But the greater good must be done. It will be done. And we are the ones to do it. Can you accept a life like this Mr. Tolliver, can you make that sacrifice of yourself for the good of the Federation? Can you live a life of lies?

TOLLIVER: (without hesitation) Yes sir.

EDMOND: (nodding solemnly) Then let us begin.

::The interview process went on for over an hour. Once all questions had been sufficiently answered Mr. Tolliver stood before the counsel that had brought him here.::

EDMOND: (standing) What myself and the rest of these brave men do, we do for the good of the Federation. There is no higher calling. Now we ask you do join us in her defense, by whatever means necessary.

::With that Edmond Long, loving husband, proud father, and chief Intel agent of the officially nonexistent and uncondoned rogue agency within the Federation, walked over to Marcus Tolliver and extended his hand.::

EDMOND: Mr. Tolliver, welcome to Section 31.

The end.

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