Tomas Proleque looked at the screen in front of him, frowning.
The message blinking on his screen wasn't, on the face of it, any reason for a frown. A bet laid on the fourth match in a mindclash tournament, for fifteen ISK, on Kurstan Ardmugar to win in twenty two minutes or less.
Tomas frowned, nonetheless.
Frowned, and reached for his comm handset, and punched in a number and then a code.
He had to wait a moment before the call went through. Even a section manager in the F.I.O.'s Anti-Piracy Division doesn't get automatic clearance to the division head's private line.
A click, a familiar voice. No need for introductions, not on this line, with this code.
"I think we've got a problem," Tomas said, instead of Hello.
He glanced back at his screen, and his frown grew deeper. There was absolutely nothing wrong with that message as a response to a recall signal. None of the signals that the message had been sent under coercion - a bet on an odd numbered match, for example. Agent wishes to stay in place, the message said to anyone who knew how to read it. Cover not compromised, intel forthcoming.
Except that this was the fifth time this particular agent had refused recall and the last two times had been orders, not suggestions.
Tomas rubbed a hand over his head, the habit his wife blamed for his baldness, and sighed. "I think we've got a problem," he said again. "With Jory."