Recruiting had been a mess, transfer files had been almost too elusive to be normal, screening was a nightmare, and approval stamps had delayed three times. If Price didn't know any better he would think the Director was trying to make this harder on him. Fortunately, Price did know better, and he knew the Director was making this harder on him.
Things on the Mother of Invention were getting tense, the introduction of Agent Texas had been a risk the Director either hadn't thought to or didn't care to calculate or prepare for. Agents Carolina and South Dakota's competitiveness with both Agent North Dakota and Agent Texas were reaching reckless levels. Agent Maine was becoming more unpredictable by the hour. Agent Washington was slowly becoming alienated from the team at a social standpoint, but no matter how frustrated some were, no one seemed to see how close everything was too the breaking point. No one except for the Councilor. That made getting his team to work was more essential than ever.
And finally the day had come for the Agents' first mission.
It wasn't anything complicated, a simple stealth mission to an old alien weapons cache, long abandoned, but still with some automatic security measures in place to ward off thieves. It was really only one step up from a team building exercise, but the Agents' excitement to be on the field was tangible when he walked into the briefing room.
Agent Montana was sitting in his seat at the center of the table, with Agent Puerto Rico and Agent Massachusetts on his right and Agent Vermont and New Hampshire at his left. Both he and Vermont were tapping their foot, although Montana's was more paced and rhythmic while Vermont was sporadic and coiled with nervous energy. Agent Pennsylvania sat to the far right, on top of the table in front of Agent Delaware, with his legs crossed in front of him. He seemed to be retelling a story of his past, while Delaware simply stared at his thighs. Agent California was sitting on the far left, next to Massachusetts, making crudely drawn animals on blank sheets of paper for Massachusetts to color in with his.. impressive crayon collection splayed out before him.
"Good morning, Agents," Councilor Price addressed them all calmly, watching them all snap to attention, "Let's debrief."
* BEGIN AUDIO LOG*
"Agent Massachusetts, report. Slowly."
"We made a new friend!"
"I'm aware. Tell me about this new friend, how did you meet?"
"We were doing the sneaky mission, like you told us, when we found an alien! I thought we could be friends at first, but he was really mean, so we decided to explode him instead."
"So, the facility wasn't as abandoned as we thought. We'll have to investigate that. Go on, what happened next?"
"We found a room with a lot of naked people in it. A lot of them were sleeping."
"And how did you find this room?"
"I accidentally broke some walls."
"... Why were you breaking walls, Agent?"
"The loud lady wanted to see me punch. She said I would be good at fisting. I don't know what that means, but I think it was a condiment."
"A complement, and I'll be speaking with Agent California at a later date."
"She is nice."
"I'm aware, what else?"
"I found someone who was awake! His name was Tucker, and he asked me to help him leave because he was late for a doctor's appointment or something."
"And how was Mr. Tucker when you helped him?"
"He was kinda cold. At first I thought he might be a vampire. But he started getting warm when we took him outside. Sooooo I think he just needed some hot chocolate."
"We had to go home then, because playtime was over, but we took Tucker too because he was running away from home and he was going to be our new friend. And he got a baby while we were flying."
"Excuse me. Do you think you could explain that a bit, Agent Massachusetts?"
"He started yelling a lot, and whining about his belly hurting. Doc came over and diagnosised him with pregnancy."
"Did you witness the birth?"
"No, I hid in the bathroom. I didn't want to catch the pregnancy, and, y'know, there was a lot of gross stuff happening."
"Thank you, Agent. You may leave."
"Okay! I'm going to share my crayons to Junior. He likes to color too!"
*END AUDIO LOG*
Price looked over the found soldier in the medical room on base. He had entered a coma after the alien infant had been fully extracted according to Agent Delaware, and had not shown any signs of waking for two days. The alien, apparently lovingly named Junior by the soldier before passing out, had been placed in the care of Agent Montana and Agent Pennsylvania, with Agent Massachusetts as a play friend. He was debating on how to word this in his report.
Looking down at the file in his hand showed him a matching face to the one asleep on the medical table.
Private Lavernius Tucker. A young man that had been caught lying about being a doctor to look at naked women. According to the report he'd never actually reached his goal, not because someone had realized the credentials were fake, in fact they were nearly flawless, but he had given himself up after his first patient had been a sixty year old general coming for a colonoscopy. He was supposed to have been transported to the Blue Simulation Training Facility, but his CO had called them all on a spontaneous, last minute mission for the sake of, according to the CO herself, getting the Councilor's attention during his recruiting search.
What a funny coincidence.
"Sir?" Price looked to his side to see Agent New Hampshire standing in the doorway to the medical observation room.
"Yes, Agent New Hampshire?" He asked, turning to face the stout soldier.
"What exactly are we doing with this guy?" He asked, direct as always.
"Well, the initial plan was to heal him up and send him to his new training grounds." Price admitted, "Perhaps a bit of personal, one on one therapy with me, just to make sure he's In fighting form.., psychologically wise."
"'Initial'," New Hampshire scoffed, already skeptical of Price's motives, "What are you gonna talk about in "therapy"? How to blackmail him with his newborn son-thing-kinda?"
Price allowed himself to smirk, finding the hostility coming out New Hampshire's tone in waves highly amusing, "We'll see how it goes."
New Hampshire snorted distainfully in Tucker's direction, before turning on his heel back out of the room, likely to moan to Agent Vermont. He didn't trust anything the Councilor said.
Price knew this, and he was fine with it. Agent New Hampshire didn't have to trust him, he just had to obey orders, and as long as Agent California was on base, that wasn't even a question. He looked back at the soldier in a coma and tilted his chin up slightly to look at the glowing marks seemingly bonded with Private Tucker's skin structure, flowing across his entire body. He then let his gaze move to the sword handle in the corner of the room. The sword was clearly deactivated as no one could activate it upon inspection, but the fact it had been found on Private Tucker after his rescue was interesting enough on it's own.
Add an alien infant given life by a human biological male, and you had yourself a puzzle. One Price was eager to find the answer to.
"Hello, Agent," he said as Private Tucker twitched in his slumber.