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You walk briskly down the dimly lit, seemingly abandoned hall towards a cracked open door with light seeping out of it. Honestly, from what you've heard of her (which, for the most part are rumors that are some combination of ridiculous, horrible, and unfounded), it doesn't surprise you that Rose Lalonde would dwell in a place like this. With your resignation forced behind a smile, you gently push open the door.

 

The room is sporadic. There is no identifiable pattern for the placement of the lights, desks, chairs, and everything else lost in the chaos. A blonde, neatly dressed woman sits on a desk (on, not at) at juxtaposition with the rest of the room. She looks up at you, smiling insincerely in a way that causes you to adjust your posture just so. "You must be Ms. Pyrope."

 

She flips through a few pages she holding. "Let's see, attended Harvard Law, joined the bureau right after graduation. Your thesis was A statistical comparison of crime committed by those suffering from personality disorders and mental health issues to police brutality towards mentally ill individuals?This is quite the resume. Now tell me, Ms. Pyrope, why were you asked to accompany me?"

 

"It's my assignment," you say, straight-faced.

 

"Mmhm, but why?" You've known this woman for two minutes at most and you already hate that smirk.

 

"Is this vital information, Lalonde? Because, frankly, I don't know."

 

"Ah, naturally the spy knows nothing."

 

"Excuse me." Hate has become too weak a word. You despise. 

 

"I go snooping around obscure files, start raising eyebrows and asking questions, am denied access to files I requested to see, and the next thing I know, I have a partner I didn't ask for. Not suspicious in the least."

 

Her words pierce, but you've spent you whole life learning how to cut straight and deep with yours. Your voice is steady and not raised in the slightest but you take on the tone that has won you arguments going back to debate club. "I am here to assist you in your investigations, nothing more. If you wish to spend our time together making false accusations without making any attempt to achieve civility between colleagues, do so. It makes no difference to me. I will continue with my field reports and minimize the interaction between us. That'd lead to less subjectivity anyways, if we forego any relationship besides sharing a workspace."

 

She's...grinning. It's not a smirk or that oily smile she gave you earlier, either. She's pleasantly surprised. It is then you begin to wonder (or perhaps understand) who exactly Rose Lalonde is. For the first time this evening, she isn't sarcastic in the least. "I do believe I'll enjoy working with you, Pyrope. Now, how familiar are you with the reported UFO sightings and abductions above Route 395 in Oregon?"