Magnolia stood in the doorway of the gym, observing the…observing Mimosa. Recruit. Agent. Experiment. Threat. Nerd.
All of the terror and threat that Mimosa represented was wrapped in a tiny body that lay on the blonde wood of Taylor’s gym, shivering like she was going through withdrawal.
Tarry Apples did various things to various fae races; but to agents, it made them feel as through all their blue was drying up, and put them through withdrawal symptoms – even if there was no recorded deaths of an agent consuming a Tarry Apple.
It was a shame. Everything would be better if the young woman died.
Everything would be better. Taylor would stop worrying. Taylor would start sleeping again. Taylor would-
Jones was worried. The Parkers were worried. If Ryan knew what was going on, and the status of her commander’s slowly evaporating integrity, he’d be worried.
Grigori knew – but like her, he could only see one answer. One way out that would satisfy Taylor.
And the one way out of the situation was Mimosa’s death.
Magnolia walked around the gym, slowly cleaning up the debris from the limit tests; and ensuring that everything was as close to status-quo as she could make it.
After a while, the agent-to-be stopped shivering – the effects of the apple, after all – if somewhat disappointingly – were temporary.
Mimosa was staring at her.
Magnolia wrapped a thin towel around her neck, and walked to the younger woman, wondering precisely what would happen if she were to crouch, draw her knife, and open Mimosa’s throat. Her life would be forfeit, but it would be serving Taylor in the way that he needed to be served; deserved to be served. It would mean she wouldn’t be there to assist him in the future; but it would deal with his biggest problem of the moment.
It was math that wasn’t quite adding up. There was an inherent value in continued service, even in the face of such a large threat.
She kept her knife in its sheath for now.
Mimosa’s eyes – wet with tears, met hers. ‘I don’t want to die.’
The words were simple, but Magnolia felt like she’d heard Mimosa say a hundred times over.
‘I don’t want you to succeed. I want you to fail. I want them to give up on this experiment entirely.’ Magnolia paused for a moment. ‘I understand this isn’t your fault, but when shit happens, and there’s collateral damage. You’re the damage. What you are, is dangerous, and that needs to be addressed, and I can’t understand why Ryan loving you is so much more important than all the people you could potentially kill.’
‘I don’t want to die.’
‘What you want doesn’t matter. The Agency is designed to look after the greater good, not the individual. I hope there’s some ulterior motive, some reason why they’re allowing you freedom, other than sentimentality.’
Magnolia required a bottle of water, a few feet from Mimosa, and watched the so-called-agent begin to crawl towards it.
‘My violence is quick. I do not linger in the middle ground, that isn’t where my talents lie. If I had to kill you, it would be quick. That is the most I can offer you.’ Magnolia put a foot on her side, and stopped her from crawling towards the water. ‘And I do not want everyone I love to die because someone decides to turn you into a bomb.’
Mimosa chuckled a little, tears running down her cheeks. ‘You…love people? I didn’t think you’d have room for love. You’re so…full of…awful.’
Magnolia crouched down beside her, hesitated for a moment, then slid the bottle of water closer to her. ‘When I have to be, I am cruel, because it is fairer than being kind.’
Mimosa hands shook as she tried to open the bottle, and she let out a cry as she finally managed it. She finished the water, and cradled the empty bottle to her chest, like a child with a teddy bear.
‘I won’t relish killing you, but I accept it as Duty. If the uniform means anything to you, if Ryan means anything to you, I hope you can understand that.’