I am in the restroom.

However, my dreams of relieving myself will have to come later, because the restroom is also occupied by two other people—a tall, pasty, stocky man, and a short, swart, plump woman. Both are wearing dark suits and even darker sunglasses.

They are not holding weapons up to me, and are not doing much of anything to me in the way of threatening me, but their presence alone is doing that by itself. I feel the tension emenating from them. If I attempt to run, things are not going to work out for me. If I try to fight, things will go even more badly.

And so when they asked to chat, I was, um, happy to oblige. I do not feel that declining a conversation with this duo would end up with my life as fulfilled as it would otherwise be…

It’s extremely cramped in here. The restroom was designed for one person, and was very cozy even then. With three people jammed in together, it was far from optimal. I very much hope these two have a good reason for pulling me aside, because if this is something silly, it would aggravate me to a significant degree.

The woman pricks the skin of my arm with a needle. Ouch. It actually hurts enough to remove -2 LP from me.

The man steps in front of me (well, “steps” is generous considering how tightly packed we are right now), and introduces himself. “Name’s Agent Y, don’t you think?” His accent is very much unlike those of the people I have met so far in San Fransisco and beyond, and resembles something closer to my own. However, the syntax is clearly not something a North Spiran would ever use.

“Agent Y, it is nice to meet you,” I say, “but I do not understand why we are here in this situation. Might I suggest we have a more comfortable conversation elsewhere?”

“No can do, don’t you think?”

“No, I don’t think that at all…”

“Don’t mind him,” the woman says. “He’s got a tic. Always says ‘don’t you think’ at the end of his statements. A little bonkers, if you ask me.”

“And might I have the pleasure of meeting you?” I ask.

“Agent Z,” she says. “The competent one.”

“A little rude, don’t you think?”

“I might say it’s rude,” I say. “But I think there are things of a higher rudeness level right now than that. Such as, why aren’t you explaining anything to me?”

“No time, don’t you think?”

“We need to leave very soon. Else we’ll alert the Americans,” Agent Z says.

“You’re not from America. That’s the land San Fransisco and California are in, right?”

“You’re an alien for sure, don’t you think?” Agent Y asks.


“We saw you a few times,” Agent Z says. “Monitoring police scanners and such. San Fran PD’s too busy to keep track. We’re not.”

“And, um, who are you?”

“South African Secret Service, don’t you think?” Agent Y tips his sunglasses down, revealing red-green irises. He smirks. “Americans got too many problems, so we do all the paranormal research, don’t you think?”

“Blood test in,” Agent Y says. “He’s got glucose levels off the charts. Not a human, that’s for sure. Gonna be a treasure trove back at the lab. Where are you from, sir?”

“My name is Eryk Solbourne,” I say. “I am from the land of Mystix, but I have come to Earth to train to become the first S-Rank hero with the Destiny Deck system in a milennium.”

“Gullibility level high, check,” Agent Z says. “Will get himself captured and killed, that’s a fact.”

“Should we bring him in, don’t you think?”

“Not yet. He knows we’re here. That’ll knock some sense in him before he gets the Feds on his tail.”

“Continue monitoring, check, don’t you think?”

“I… shouldn’t tell people the truth about my origin?”

“Your hair’s a dead giveaway you’re a freak, don’t you think? Doesn’t take much more to know you’re above the pay grade of most common folk, don’t you think?”

“Your verbal tic makes your verbal statements a bit hard to parse, Agent Y…”

“I keep telling him that, but he thinks it’s quirky,” Agent Z says. “He’s a bit of a moron.”

“Go screw off, don’t you think?”

“We can do that back at the house,” she tells him. “For now… Eryk Solbourne, don’t be dof. Don’t get caught.”

“Uh, okay?”

“Have a nice day, don’t you think?” Agent Y waves and the two leave the restroom.

I finally relieve myself, and wait a few minutes before I return. For a moment I expect to be accosted once again, but there is not a soul waiting for me when I get out.

When I return to my seat next to Francis and Delta, the two of them hardly pay me any mind; they are simply using their phones with earbuds in.

I decide not to tell them about the South African secret agents. That’s two secrets I’m keeping, now.