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Old 09-02-2006, 05:42 PM   #9
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"Fifteenth floor is your objective," Sara informed Mya. "Italian floors start at ten. Fifteen is the last, so they'll speak a mixture of Italian and... but I suppose you already know all this. And you're not going to talk to me since you're in a monitored elevator."

Mya would have loved to make a face, but what Sara said was true. There were at least two cameras in the elevator. The German floors started on sixteen, so the fifteenth and sixteenth floors would speak both languages. However, as an Inspection Services and Tech officer, 'Kayla Branson' was expected to know all four languages spoken in the compound. Fortunately, Kayla did.

"You have selected level fifteen," the elevator stated. "Slide your security clearance."

Kayla did as she was told. "Inspector Kayla Branson. Confirm level fifteen vocally."

"Confermare il livello quindici," Kayla ordered. The computer system in the elevator also shifted into Italian, letting her know they were now headed to the fifteenth floor, as she'd ordered. After exactly five seconds, the elevator stopped and opened. There to greet her was the commander of the Italian floors.

"Branson is an American name, is it not?" he asked in English. Kayla glared at him slightly.

"The English-speaking floors are one through five," she said in Italian. Shifting into German, she went on, "Given your proximity to the Germans, you are allowed to speak their language and your own." Again in Italian, "English is off limits, Sir."

"My apologies," the man said in Italian. "Our last American inspector could not speak our language without butchering it and could scarce understand it."

"Ugh!" Kayla grumbled. "Must IST continue hiring those fools?."

"You speak it fluently," the Commander complimented. "However, I do not expect you are here for compliments."

"You are correct," Kayla answered, her eyes narrowing slightly. "Your office. Now."

The commander led her to his office immediately.

"Mind if I ask you a personal question, Inspector Branson?" he asked once the door was closed. Kayla sat down in his chair.

"I really would rather you didn't," she answered. But he didn't care.

"How many languages do you speak fluently?"

Kayla rolled her eyes. "IST hires out to many different organizations, but it has a specific number for this building alone. I am one."

"But do you speak more than just these four?" the man pressed.

"French also," Kayla answered, flipping his computer on. "Does it matter?"

"Many of the men on my floor can speak only Italian, German, and English," the man said in French. "In fact, all of them have the limitation of being unable to understand French."

"Which is why I think you..." Kayla began in Italian, but the man cut her off.

"Things aren't right here, Inspector," he told her urgently, still speaking French. "Now the only reason I'm talking to you is that I know you're not who you claim to be."

"Explain," Kayla ordered, finally shifting into French.

"I've worked closely with IST before," he said. "Way I hear it, they don't teach languages unless their inspectors are going to use them. That's what confirmed my suspicion. What got me thinking? You're American. IST has only ten Americans. Of those ten, only three come here regularly. They've even confirmed that for me."

"Go on," Kayla muttered, turning back to his computer.

"I want out," the Commander included. "And you can get me out. I'll give you all the information you want if you'll just help me out of here."

"We tested the images you're sending us, Phi," Sara said through Mya's earpiece. "His story's confirmed. He's not lying. Get him out if you can."

"You're not lying," Kayla said quietly. "Alright. Unlock your computer, I'll get what I need. And then IST is making an arrest."

"So who are you?" the Commander asked. Kayla fixed him in a cold glare.

"You will only ever know me as Kayla Branson," she told him in Italian. He grinned reached for his keyboard.


Mom tells me I need brain food... but if writing ain't that, I don't know what is!

My work in progress:
Hidden Histories: The Galaxy Hacker

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