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Looking Your Age

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Fifteen years after she dies for the first time, Nile is sitting in a room with the rest of the team going over a mission Copley has sent them, when Andy says “You know, we can do this without Copley, but I’m glad we found him. At least we get another thirty or forty years of this.”

“What?” Nile says. “You expect him to keep helping us ‘till he’s a hundred?”

“What?” Andy frowns at her. “He’s not that old.”

“He’s nearly sixty, Andy!”

“No,” Joe says, disbelieving. “That can’t be! He’s barely grey.”

“Well it is,” Nile says. “I remember when he told me all about his fiftieth birthday party. Which was eight years ago.”

“You hadn’t even met him eight years ago,” says Nicky.

“It’s been fifteen years.”

“No," Nicky says, disbelievingly.

“Yes!” Nile insists. “I died in 2019, and the Angola thing was ’24, and that mess in Maine was ’32, and –”

“No,” Andy says. “I refuse to believe it. He can’t be nearly sixty.”

“Well, he is!”

“How old are you, then?” Joe frowns at her.

“How old did you think I was when I died?”

“Uh.” Joe squints. “Eighteen?”

Nile pinches her nose. “That’s barely old enough to enlist.”

“Thirty,” Nicky tries.


Andy waves a hand. “Everybody looks like an infant until they start getting grey hair, these days. It’s all the sunscreen and plastic surgery.”

“You know most people don’t get plastic surgery, right?”

“Prove it.”

“Everybody,” Nicky says. “Is this actually important, right now?”

Nile throws up her hands. “It’s important that apparently you all can’t even guess someone’s age within a decade, yeah.”

“No, he’s right.” Joe sighs. “But really. I would have guessed forty for Copley, at most.” He frowns. “Or eighty, maybe. I can never tell.”

“Oh my god,” Nile says. “I can’t believe you.”

“Don’t worry.” Andy grins. “I believe us all the time.”