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Too Many Words
Agent Matros was walking quietly in the building's garden during his afternoon walk among the trees. Lying on a bench, Silver was intent in looking at the sky with a thoughtful expression.
«Boy, what are you doing with that worried air?» said the agent softly.
«Good afternoon, Agent Matros.» Silver sat slowly, giving room to the agent «Nothing much, I was thinking...»
«Good workout for the mind. We should all do it,» said the agent sitting next to the boy, but not too much.
«You think so? Yet very often I have difficulty in focusing on my thoughts. It can be that I feel like a fish out of water here. »
«It's a sensation that goes away with time... When I became research director, I was transferred from Austria, my homeland. It had taken me 30 years to be able to work close to home and I have been here in France for 10 years instead. I can understand you, boy. »
«After all, Austria is not so far from here... a train and you can return, can’t you?» said Silver with an innocent air. The agent looked at him for a moment, smiled at him and then turned to one side, resting one leg on the other. Pointing at the wall surrounding the garden, he said:
«Do you see that? Beyond that wall, about 400km, there's my house. I walk every day here to remind myself that it's just that, just that wall, that’s stopping me from coming back to my wife and my children. At the same time I look at that wall and I know I cannot get out of here until I finish the project.»
The agent turned to look in front of himself again, staring at the leaves of the trees moving. Silver first watched the wall, then he turned to look at the leaves and slipped slightly on the bench to get comfortable. There were a few seconds of silence that were interrupted by the boy's words.
«What is the project, Agent Matras?»
«These are Top Secret things, dear Silver... I couldn’t tell you anything,» said the agent with tranquility and calmness.
«In the end, we just try to safeguard our agents on the field. We would like to find an optimal serum that allows them to live more. We all have a family to return to and the soldiers are no exception. It would be nice to find something that allows them, for example, to anticipate the moves of opponents, to dodge the bullets, or to recover quickly if they take one. It would be nice to have no agents on the conscience... »
«I didn’t take you for a sentimental, agent... it's a noble goal in any case, but it almost looks like an action movies of the 1990's.» The agent broke out laughing.
«Ineluctable, boy. The Super Soldier's theory is always present in the military apparatus of the movies. But we don’t want Superman, we want them to be able to learn from their mistakes and nothing teaches more than a bullet in the body. But we are human and we are constantly making mistakes, I don’t want a mistake to cost a life.»
«And what if these serums fall in the wrong hands?»
«This is also typical of Action Movies, isn’t it?» The agent laughed far a second and then returned serious, "But that's not just a movie. Reality is different and rich in nuances. There’s never a villain or a super hero. There are people who make choices, sometimes difficult, but in any case "right" choices, if you pass me the term. And I assure you that nobody comes in here without triggering the hell out of alarms »
«I suppose... maybe the serum I have in my body is the solution you are waiting for...»
«If that’s the case then you will also have to make a choice. Will you stay with us to become a good agent or will you go home in Italy?»
«I don’t know if I have a home, I don’t remember a thing, Agent Matros...»
«Call me Fred» said the agent, smiling at him.
«I have lost all of my past and I can hardly understand what the future will look like for me. I'm living in the moment in hope that something will happen and put everything into order. Agent Sunners and Dr. Preston are helping me a lot but... I feel inside me that something is not right.»
«Yes... Agent Sunners. Be careful about that girl, Silver. Her abilities cloud the mind.»
«What do you mean?»
«Alice has two different serums in her body and has the best of both of them.»
«She would never use them against me... She likes to act “oh so hard” but I know she cares.»
«When things will get tough...» The agent propped his hands on his knees to get up «she will not hesitate to use them to win... She is done this way and she has arrived where she is so young just because of her competitiveness. Ouch, my back... » said Fred as he stood up. He started massaging at the height of his kidneys.
«But for your retirement? How much longer till then?»
«Retirement is a dream, Silver. If you’d remember your days in Italy, you would probably say the same.»The officer began walking slowly down the path. «Have a nice continuation, Silver, and don’t think too much about the future! Is the present that makes you choose.»
«Have a nice day, Agent Ma ... Fred. Thank you for everything.» The agent, now from behind, gestured a greeting, continuing on his steps.