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The Driver
Evelyn slipped into the back seat of the car while the driver prepared their departure. Luckily for her, the DC was cloaked in the shadow of nightscape. The shadows concealed the tiredness around her eyes. Even if she was in the presence of only a driver, the appearance of confidence and competence was mandatory. The sharks of politics were circling and even a moment of weakness would give them a moment to strike.

Her driver’s name was Devin. He was in his mid-forties, lean and kept his hair styled short and neat. She came to know him in the few weeks he worked for her. His replacement was retracted by the Personal Security Committee after Evelyn’s stances changed from pro-CCD to pro-annexation. The Chairperson of the committee was staunchly opposed to both, and sudden budget-reallocation meant Evelyn was without personal security detail and a driver. It was quite inconvenient.

Until one day when Devin showed up. She explained that she couldn’t afford his salary at the time, but he reassured her that his services were affordable. There was something about him that Evie trusted, though she couldn’t define why. He was polite and cordial, and extremely respectful of Evelyn’s privacy. He knew routes through the city that impressed the Representative and handled himself with an air of easy attentiveness. They got on well.

Like the other evenings, this one was the conclusion of a particularly long day. Before she could go home to find rest, she was dropped at the door to another Congressman’s house, a Representative from California who chaired a committee pieced together to handle the legality of the recent Texas withdraw legislation. Evelyn managed to get herself an invite to the Representative’s house for drinks. She intended to sway his perspective toward annexation as a lesser of the two evils compared to the union breaking apart.

It was deep into the midnight hour when she left, rubbing her eyes despite the makeup likely to be smeared by the gesture. She was practically asleep in her heels but managed to gracefully descend the steps of the townhouse toward the street. Some rowdy, college-aged looking kids were laughing and hollering as they intercepted her on the sidewalk. One cat-called her. Another asked her to come back to their place. Evie was suddenly quite awake.

She declined and told the trio they should go home and take care of themselves. Suddenly one was tugging on her handbag.
“Hey! Let go,” she yanked back on instinct. Someone shoved her. She lost her balance and fell backward into the bushes.

Then there were yelps of pain and thuds. She twisted up and found the three sprawled unconscious on the sidewalk. Devin, the driver, was zip-tying their wrists, and after a few moments, Evelyn was assisted to her feet. The townhouse lit up with awareness. The police came. It was a far bigger of an ordeal than she wanted.

So much for her visit being on the down low.

As soon as Devin saw the drunk trio wandering up the street, he emerged from the town car and simply leaned against the hood. He watched them meander and joke, knowing trouble when he saw it. He had a charged up taser in his jacket, but for the Representative’s sake, didn’t want to use it unless necessary. When his lady exited the house at the same moment, Devin hurried to intercept. Two of the three made a scene with stealing her bag, but it was the third aiming a gun all too steadily at the Representative that Devin rushed. A punch knocked him down, and Devin kicked the gun far from grasp. The other two were finished just as quickly. In the aftermath while the police were in route and the homeowner came out to help the Representative inside to rest, Devin stashed the gun. If an attempted mugging was not good press for the Representative; an assassination attempt would be devastating. The late night invitation and the mugging gone bad in a nice neighborhood like this was too coincidental for his taste, and he made sure to put as much in his report to the Custody.

- Devin, undercover Custody agent assigned to Evelyn Avalon’s protection.

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