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The Wonders Of Government Jobs

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Jasper stood still for a moment, the weight of a gun holstered away a heavy reminder of what she was about to do. She tightened her grip on the briefcase and watched as scientists walked in and out of the building. On reflex, she timed herself to fall a few steps behind one scientist before walking in herself. She held her breath as she did every time, waiting for someone to question her, but she managed to walk down the facility's entrance foyer without so much as a second glance.

Before her stretched a familiar network of sterile white doorways teeming with busy scientists. They milled about preoccupied with carrying presumably sensitive documents, transporting expensive equipment, or rushing across the hall to find another scientist. Still, Jasper kept her carefully cultivated excuse in mind as she weaved around them with practiced ease.

"Hey!" Someone yelled. Jasper froze in response, her face a careful neutral but her heart hammering in her ear. It's only when a well dressed man, one of the many federal agents that combed the place like herself, approached a distracted scientist that Jasper let her self relax just a little. Everyone's eyes were trained on the mystery agent thankfully. No one batted an eye as she continued on down the hall and turned right down a much more abandoned corridor. It was just business as usual.

A small metal door like an elevator's took up the corridor's ending wall. Towards the right wall, a small scanner cast a ghastly green glow. Jasper pulled out an ID badge that was clearly not her own and flashed it, praying that IT hadn't caught on to her yet. The scanner let out a little chime. Jasper sighed and watched the metal door slide open with a hiss.

Jasper walked in a huge, cluttered laboratory, it many computers and machines casting eerie blinking lights across the dark room. Even so, Jasper was able to make her way over to the Plexiglas tube set in the center of the room on a computerized pedestal. She gave its smooth glass a light knock.

A round face pressed against the glass where she knocked, her brilliant green skin looking a sickly teal in the weak light. Yellow eyes too big to be human glittered at her as an excited smile broke across her face. "Agent 45-X7! Boy, am I glad to see you!"

"Shhh!" Jasper felt her way around the tube until she found its control panel. She opened her briefcase and pulled out a list of passwords before getting to work. "I'm going to get you out of here, Peridot."

"Really? It's about time. Look where they stuck me!" Peridot banged her against the glass of her prison. The glass barely made a sound at her barrage much less any movement. "Much harder to escape than my last cell, X7. Let me tell you."

Jasper huffed. "I said be quiet. Unless you want the scientists to come back." Jasper said. That bought her a few seconds of precious seconds of silence. She managed to clear through security measures, allowing her to punch in the release button. The glass tube slowly raised into a metal casing over head.

"Woo, freedom!" Peridot cheered. That is until she careened forward, crashing down onto the tile floor with an echoing slap. Jasper flinched, the sound like a gunshot in the dead silence.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Jasper bit out on instinct, running on years of directing her fellow agents around. Jasper hauled her up to her feet only to realize there was a thick plastic sort of mit enveloping her arms and legs. Peridot had to lean heavily on Jasper just to stay upright.

Peridot thrust her trapped arms at her pointedly. "Why do you think escape is harder now, ya clod?" Peridot thrashed against her bounds and subsequently Jasper. "Get them off of me!"

"Alright! Alright!" Jasper hauled Peridot over to a nearby observation desk and sat her on top. She felt around until she felt a familiar thin case brush her fingers. Inside it, she pulled out a scalpel and used it to hack at Peridot's bounds. It was slow work, the thick material inching apart as she threw her strength into sawing at it.

"Hurry up. My arms are cramping." Peridot whined. Jasper halted her work to point the scalpel in her face. Peridot's eyes crossed to look at it before they looked at Jasper's scowling face.

"You know I didn't have to risk my neck for you? I could've left you to the mercy of the government."

"Of which this government doesn't have any." Peridot deadpanned.

"Correct." Jasper gave her a final look before going back to cutting off Peridot's bounds. "I doubt you want to stay, so could you please stop being so difficult?" She managed to spilt them halfway before she forced her fingers into the split. She tugged and pulled on the material, finding that it stretched like rubber under her strength. Peridot was able to wiggle her arms out.

Peridot rubbed her wrists. "My apologies. I do appreciate your help, X7. Without you, I'd probably wind up on some clod's table."


"Hmm?" Peridot frowned.

"My name is Jasper. Quit calling me by my code, runt."

Peridot nodded. "Alright, Jasper. Do you have a plan to get us out of here?"

Jasper opened her mouth, but a familiar hiss sounded. The lights flicked on, causing the both to flinch and miss the government agents pouring into the room. They circled the two, training their guns on them. Jasper cursed, eyes darting around for an escape but found none. Reluctantly, she raised her arms above her arms.

Then suddenly all at once, their guns ripped from their hands and dropped to the floors.

"You clods think they can trap me. Well, how do you like me now?" Peridot cackled. She held her hands up and twisted her face in concentration. The guns sprang back up, this time the barrels pointed at their previous owners. Jasper took that chance to add her own to the fray.

"Any move and we shoot." Jasper barked out. "I want a clear path out of the compound. Any resistance-"

"I'll bring this whole place to its knees!" Peridot cackled.

"...Actually, I have very sensitive information that I have relayed to a discrete colleague of mine. If I don't report to them in an hour, they'll spill everything about Area 51 and its research on extraterrestrials to every newspaper in the country." Jasper threatened. "Now, I want a ride for us waiting outside. No one follow, and Area 51 stays covert for another day."

The unarmed agents argued amongst each other, but they seemed to come to an agreement quick. They allowed Jasper to throw Peridot over her shoulder and walk out armed to a waiting military jeep.

"We did it!" Peridot cheered. Jasper tossed her into the passenger seat. She barely got in herself before she threw the Jeep into drive and took off out of Area 51.

"Hardly. The government will be on our tail soon enough." Jasper said. "They'll put a call out for our jeep now, probably issue an arrest warrant. They might even send helicopters after us."

"...But, we made it out." Peridot smiled.

"That doesn't solve the fact that we're wanted criminals now. We just held up a military base!" Jasper snapped.

That caused Peridot's smile to drop. She seemed to take on a more thoughtful look. Jasper ignored it, choosing instead to merge onto the highway and put as much distance between the military base and them as possible. A hefty silence stretched on for a long minute until-

"Why?" Jasper blinked. "Why what?"

"Why would you go through all this trouble for me?" Peridot asked, her yellow eyes wide. "You could die, X7. Are you nuts?" She asked dead serious.

"I told you to quick calling me that." Jasper said, because she couldn't answer the first. She mulled over the question in her head, an unease weighing on her mind.

When she first got assigned to Area 51, she hadn't expected to be assigned to this. She hadn't expected to find a green woman strapped on a gurney like an asylum patient. She hadn't expected to be told to ignore every painful cry and plea for mercy as scientists stripped her of the mechanical appendage from her like they were destroying parts of her identity. She hadn't expected to be reprimanded every time Jasper was caught conversing with her. She hadn't expected an alien from another galaxy to be such a sarcastic firecracker fluent in English. She didn't expect her to have such a big personality for someone who stood as tall as a child.

She hadn't expected Peridot to make her first escape attempt, but god, was she rooting for her.

She hadn't expected it to fail and for the scientists to order an immediate autopsy in response.

But, god was she not about to let that happen.

"It doesn't matter. We're in this together now. Like it or not." Jasper answered. She turned off of the highway, sending them towards Empire City.