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Sergei Ivanov stayed transfixed to the other 11 screens, even though they were now turned off. The meeting with the 12 had lasted too many hours. For some, the first real test of the new anti-influence TIK had not created the desired results. Sergei rose from the chair of his luxurious office and walked to the main window of the mansion. The view made him feel as though he dominated the region, and the old forest that surrounded his family home provided welcoming protection. Evening had arrived and a slight mist was present.

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Someone knocked at his door, then entered quietly. Sergei did not turn to see who it was and continued to scrutinize the strange fog. The light footsteps went away followed by the noise of the door closing. Unlike the others, he had expected failure. The medium had warned him. However, the bloodshed was not planned. Was it really failure or only a problem of timing? After all, the TIK had played its role.

It’s job was to remove and isolate a human from a mental influence. Collateral damage mattered little. ‘Too many irrelevant people on this planet’ he muttered without realizing. He simply thought that some agents only needed to learn how to master this new technology and it would be sufficient to avoid future adverse effects. He turned and approached the carved plateau someone brought to him. A bottle of vodka, a glass and caviar awaited.

His thoughts turned to Ivana, the weakest of his children. So naive, so idealist he thought. Yet he had chosen her mother with the utmost care. Surprising him, the medium told him that she had ‘seen’ great potential in her and that an important opportunity to ‘progress’ should not be overlooked.

Ulric Panopeus never made mistakes. His visions were sometimes sharp, but allowed the organization to anticipate the future and recruit some important people for times to come. Why though, was Panopeus placing so much emphasis on meeting a specific agent? Sergei thought he was playing a double game. Maybe he was lying to him? Maybe he was hiding some information? Maybe he knew details about the future of his daughter that he did not reveal. For now though, he was an invaluable ally and there was no reason to doubt his loyalty.

Sergei forced the participation of Ivana on the mission. He wanted to make her more hardened. He wanted her to become more realistic and to see the violence of this world. He did not know why he had sensed that this would be. Why this mission as opposed to another. Is it possible that his intuition guided his choice and a foresight was trying to manifest itself? He did not truly know. What he did know with certainty was that Ivana would do nothing without his intervention. Anyway, his first born daughter would continue to ignore his existence. She did not need to undertsand that her own father, whom she had not seen for over twenty years was the head of the Organization.

Sergei calmly took the iced bottle of vodka, poured and drank it quickly. While refilling his glass, his eyes looked at the photo of the agent… Alva. How could Ivana be interested in such a man. He looked so… ordinary. No class, no ambition, no fortune, no charm, no gift. His file described him as someone fairly affable with psychics. Surely, it was easy for such a field agent, with an obvious lack of intelligence to make somebody who can read minds feel comfortable. At this idea, Sergei smiled, raised his glass and drank to the health of ‘Ordinary simple minds’.

PS. You can read more about Virgo here

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