For my faithful readers, I just wanted to tell you that I’m taking a brief break from The Subject, the story I’ve been writing. I need some time to plan where the next part of this tale will go. If you’ve enjoyed it, and I hope you have, no worries. Charlie, Debra, and company will return. If you didn’t enjoy it, why are you reading this? Aha! Got ya!
In either case, thank you for coming along with me on this journey.
-Leo Byrne Jenicek
A.E.G.I.S. REPORT # 89H6-5C3-V90
PROJECT: November Delta Beta
DATE: December 31st, 20XX
6:34 P.M. EST
X: What is it, Agent Red? I dislike being disturbed.
RED: I know sir but you need to turn on BCA News At Night broadcast.
X: I’m aware of the tensions at Zmiinyi Island and it is being dealt with.
RED: That’s not it, sir. Charlie Ramirez is giving a live interview.
X: Hold on.
RED: Orders sir?
X: Stand by.
(OVERHEARD FROM BROADCAST)
CHARITY: Okay, I’ll call you Charlie if you call me Charity and not Ms. Wilson.
X: Make sure agents are at the studio.
RED: Yes sir, but Mister Ramirez isn’t in the studio. He’s broadcasting from Cambridge Massachusetts. We have operatives nearby. He and Ms. Feinberg are visiting friends for the New Year’s Holiday-
CHARITY: Well, you’ve certainly done a lot of good in your short time as America’s Hero.
RAMIREZ: I’ve tried.
CHARITY: Lots of people would say you’ve succeeded. If I listed all you’ve accomplished-
RAMIREZ: Please don’t.
CHARITY: You’re also known for your modesty.
RAMIREZ: There are millions of people who are working to make the world better.
CHARITY: Most of them can’t do the things you can.
RAMIREZ: Charity, they don’t need to. Everyone who does something to make the world a better place is a hero. It’s doesn’t have to be big and splashy, in fact, most of it isn’t. People working hard to make sure their kids have it better than they did. It’s a million tiny kindnesses. Holding the door for someone or just saying thank you. I know it doesn’t sound like much but all of that adds up, and it makes a huge difference.
(THREE SECOND PAUSE)
RAMIREZ: I’m sorry, I just wanted to say that.
CHARITY: No apology necessary.
RAMIREZ: Now, I did tell your producers that I wanted to say something.
CHARITY: I think you did.
RAMIREZ: No, not that.
CHARITY: That WASN’T your big statement.
RAMIREZ: No, I’m happy I said it though.
CHARITY: I can tell.
RAMIREZ: Now I want everyone to know I’m grateful for what I’ve been given. Truly. I’ve been given all sorts of opportunities, seen and done some amazing things. But all I wanted was to beat cancer and I’m not the only one who feels that way. Which is what I wanted to talk about. The process I went through saved my life. I have to wonder why governments first impulse is to make soldiers. No disrespect to those who serve, but the VA is full of folks who served and deserve better than they’re getting.
We don’t need better weapons, we need better medical care. Too many people have to choose between getting needed medical care and putting food on the table. Or having a roof over their heads. That’s just not a choice anyone should have to make.
The most fantastic thing I got from all this was a second chance at life. Now the people who made this happen are not governments. I’m not sure what they want. If it’s money, you could make a lot more by selling a cure for everything than you can from selling super-soldiers.
I’m asking those who made this fantastic thing to share it with the world. If you don’t, then why did you make it? This is your opportunity to make life a better place for everybody. Who can say that? Be real heroes. If you need money to make this happen, governments, it’s time to step up and do right by your people. There might be reasons not to do this but I can’t think of any that outweighs people are suffering when they don’t have to be.
None of it makes much sense to me, so I guess I’m not super smart. I just wanted to get that off my chest. Thanks for letting me.
CHARITY: Well… The ball is in their court now.
RAMIREZ: I guess it is.
CHARITY: Charlie, thank you for joining us, please come back anytime.
RAMIREZ: I might just take you up on that. Oh, and Happy New Year!
CHARITY: And Happy New Year to you! We’ll be back after these messages with a report about the crisis in the Black Sea.
X: Agent Red, I’m activating the Icarus Protocol. Have operatives bring Mister Ramirez, Miss Feinberg, and anyone they’ve had contact with.
RED: Yes sir.
(TEN SECOND PAUSE)
RED: Sir, the Icarus Protocol has failed.
X: How is that possible?
RED: Unclear sir, but Mister Ramirez is unaffected.
X: Our operatives?
RED: Unresponsive sir. But I am picking up some audio.
X: From Ramirez.
RED: No sir. I’ll play it for you, sir.
FEINBERG: I told you they were spying on us. You owe me a coke.