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You aren’t ready.



Your Designated Mate is reading the paper, sipping a coffee.

It could be the scene out of a traditional movie. If such movies captured how quickly the heroine’s heart beat, how it raced forwards and begged her feet to run away.

When you feel fear, remember how much is riding on you. How much research and money was poured into your body, how there is no other chance if you fail us.

With that in mind, you will approach him.



Your husband kisses you. You try to keep it sweet.

You try many things these days.

Bitterness still slips through – for this may be the last time you kiss him.

And if it is only sweetness, surely, you will never go.



Beauties pack light. Beauties need to be ready to travel on a whim, to be swept up in any given moment.

Under no circumstances may you bring an item with sentimental value.



There will be a party before your departure. A reminder of how much we value you and your sacrifice.

You are going to help save our country.



You aren’t good at keeping the emotion out of your practice Field Instructions.

You can’t imagine being alone in a foreign country, seducing a bad man, and feeling less emotional. This will be a problem to solve later.

As the instructors have said: your training is on-going, you are your own teacher out there.



They gave you a test mark months ago. Before installing the most expensive of your equipment.

You seduced this civilian, succeeded in recording unimportant conversations. Two weeks of essentially living with him, documenting everything you could.

Today, you notice him in a hallway.

He is not a civilian, has a laminate that indicates he is a far higher rank than yourself, disappearing into an unauthorized area.

You do not know if the training was real or not.

You do not know if this is part of the training.

You do not know many things.



Late at night, you will stare at the water stained ceiling and wonder if children are worth all this. For there would be no obligation, no urgency to serve without them.

Your husband snores loudly, and you smile. How could you deny him a child?



They have you court a cpr dummy, for if you can make it convincing with an inanimate object, you’ll never struggle for conversation.

Most Designated Mates prefer the sound of their own voice to that of a Beauty’s.

It is far better to be over-prepared.



Your husband is proud of you. You can tell in the way his kisses linger longer.

It’s sweet that he thinks you can take this little piece of him, of your marriage, with you.

That isn’t how blank slates work.

(Comfort may come from memories, but reliance will betray you are not who you claim to be.)



You’re ready.

Your body no longer feels your own, unfamiliar with all its gadgetry. No matter how many times you record conversations on the subway, or take test photographs of the sunset, the motions are odd.

With practice, they will become familiar.