Palindrome

3

“I really don’t understand your dislike for suits. They’re comfortable and you look clean.” They were in the crew quarters where Jeremy had pilfered an outfit that was about the right size. Theodore didn’t approve, but he could always return it.

“O.E. said I didn’t look like a member of Rift, and I would’ve liked to keep it that way,” Theodore responded coldly, tightening his grey tie before putting on equally grey gloves.

“O.E.?”

“That’s the woman who tried to kill me. If I wanted to dress the part of a corporate elite, Boss would purchase all my clothes, and his tailor will stitch that broken R everywhere she can,” he sneered. Theodore scratched at the golden R embroidered on his vest. “Even now I want to rip it off. I can’t see myself wearing it every day.”

“Personal resentment aside, you should know that the O.E. chick is most likely part of the group called Palindrome.”

Theodore secured an ammo belt around his hips. “Never heard of ‘em.”

“They’ve apparently been stealing from a whole bunch of organizations both legal and criminal. According to our reports, thirty-three active members are stationed at their base of operations. That’s about all we know.”

“Seems a bit hasty to jump to war with them, don’t you think? We’re killing more roaches than dealing with the source.”

“Boss’ orders.”

Theodore twisted his lips and narrowed his eyes. This all sounded unlike him. Boss is more methodical and thorough. Storming in guns ablaze would only scatter the enemy. He considered sending in Jeremy and other spies to acquire a formal analysis on Palindrome. Like where was the puppet master? Can they minimize police interference and Rift casualties? He wanted to dip from this half-baked plan, but he wasoriginally assigned to eliminate the thieves.

If what O.E. said was true, Palindrome only stole from them because they believed they could get away with it. Perhaps Boss knew this too and was satisfied in leaving a message? He would sometimes toot competition was a good thing.

“Ready to go?” Jeremy asked, breaking his thoughts.

Theodore sighed and reluctantly answered, “I suppose.”


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Palindrome