Geoff remained slumped in the large chair near the fire, but facing away from the rumblings of the gathering. He stared blankly at the wall as he ran through the possibilities in his mind.
Really? On purpose? But why? My mission was in Dubai.
'And this certainly ain't Dubai fella.' Tolstoff commented.
'Yes, well, thank you for that astute observation Tol. Real helpful.' He mumbled under his breath.
At that moment the auburn-haired girl, (Leigh was it?) accidentally bumped into his chair as she walked over to a dark corridor at the other side of the room. She glanced at him and swiftly mumbled,
'Sorry.' She seemed to pause for a moment to see if he would reply but he just stared lamely up at the human.
'Geoff are you dumb? Have you lost your ability to speak? So this is why you failed your iAssignment; you cannot fully string your words into a fully comprehensible senten-'
Geoff flicked a switch on his neckpiece and muted the raging Tolstoff. He gave a half-smile to the girl who looked a little confused and she moved away, heading for the stairs. He returned to his wall, becoming more and more depressed.
Would Flix have known about this? That I've been dumped in the middle of nowhere? Probably so I could be kept out of the division, away from the programme. How could they do this to me?
Then a high-pitched squeal, enough to make a human squirm in pain, emitted from his earpiece. Geoff screamed and grabbed his head. He reached and un-muted his operator.
'Ha! So you think you're getting rid of me that easily do you? No sir, not me! You deserved that you arsy faerie. No stop being such a baby and pull yourself together! You're a highly trained, elite specimen. You've dealt with worse, so stop wallowing in your own self-pity and make the best of it; ask around, see if you can find out anything.' Tolstoff finished his pep talk and waited.
At that moment a gaunt looking human who Geoff had not even noticed enter the room strolled over to him and helped him up; he was still on the floor from the noise that assaulted him.
'Are you alright?' Questioned the stranger. He had a Krinkov hanging from his belt; loaded by the looks of it. But Geoff didn't flinch, nor was he wary.
'Thank you. So, er, who are you then?' Geoff asked.