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by: Alexandra Taylor
#8971
Monday, 23 April, 2012
6:55 a.m.

Lex had arrived twenty minutes early. She had left home early in case traffic delayed her, yet naturally, it hadn't. She'd arrived at the parking garage precisely twenty minutes early, the hanging temporary pass on her rear view mirror enough to let her in much to her relief. The guard had also checked her ID against the roster just in case, naturally, and feeling jittery, Lex had pulled into the last parking space she could see. For all she knew those earlier gaps were people's normal spots and agents were polite enough with one another not to simply take them. She'd never been so relieved to be early than she'd felt in that moment.

At precisely 6:50 a.m., Lex finally dared to get out of her car and walked to the lift she saw others entering. She made sure the floor she'd been told had been pressed, and up and away the lift car went with her and those she assumed were fellow co-workers in it. She said nothing, afraid anything out of her mouth would sound stupid. When her floor came up, Lex stepped out, watching as some people went for the staircase to the right and others went straight through the hall toward a set of glass doors where they had to use a fob to get in. Lex rushed after the last one, but it was too late.

With a sigh, Lex decided to stand by the door, her hands clasped. She was still early enough. Surely there would be that one straggler. Surely. And hopefully they weren't that one late straggler. Wouldn't that be wonderful arriving twenty minutes early only to be five minutes late? Hopefully someone was watching for her. Because she desperately wanted in and to be guided to her department head for further instruction and hopefully a guesstimate of when her ID badge and fob would arrive. Perhaps the director would even have it. She could only hope. She didn't want to have to go through this for a week or longer.
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by: Cole Callaway
#8992
Cole decided to take the stairs this morning. Why? Because being crammed in an elevator with a bunch of the folks in the department, showered, unshowered, bathed in cologne and perfume, was not how he wanted to start his day. It was bad enough he spent the night trying to sort out details to report to Jones, something she requested be done by this afternoon, he had more on his plate, more recon to fetch before turning in his full assessment.

Why was she so interested in a bunch of office romance rumors and chit chat? If Katarina and Klaus--ahem--Katarina and Matt were wanting to engage in a relationship, let them be, right? He felt terrible doing so much snooping on Jones' behalf, but it was for the greater good, she'd insisted. His compliance was only fueled by the fact that he agreed, because a team would work better without such secrecy. How Jones would handle this, was going to be the next step...He worried about that, mostly because he didn't want to lose either one of them. Mostly Kat, because she was a fantastic agent. Matt, he didn't really know yet, but he seemed like a good guy.

He yawned again, holding his thermal mug with coffee he'd brewed at home. It was almost gone by now, so he'd have to grin and bear the dreadful coffee from the break room if he wanted a refill. After ascending the last set of steps, Cole turned the corner to see someone standing there, a girl, staring at the door. He approached slowly, with a confused grin as he reached in his pocket to fish for his fob to swipe at the door. "The department has a much nicer view on the other side of this door, I assure you."
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by: Alexandra Taylor
#9089
Lex looked up as she heard footsteps coming up the stairs. When the nice-looking man emerged from the stairwell and walked her way, Lex felt overjoyed, though she hardly showed it. Instead, she gave him a polite smile and an offered hand for a firm handshake and chose to ignore the fact it was that easy to tell she was new. After all, they probably were a small enough group to know one another, and it was doubtful any of them every forgot their fob. At least in Lex's mind, it was doubtful. "I'll hold you to it," she said. "Alexandra Taylor."

Once the hand shake was over, she let her hand drop and clasped it over her wrist so she could follow him inside. She wasn't entirely certain what she was expected to do aside from go see the director, yet she found herself hesitant to ask right away to be taken to see her. Ms. Jones was likely quite nice, but this was her first day, and Lex wasn't entirely certain she would be normal if she wasn't at least slightly anxious about it. She could do the job. She had no doubt about that. But meeting new people had never been Lex's forte. She always seemed to manage to say something wrong. But that had been friends. These were co-workers and a boss. Surely, it would be different. Surely.
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by: Cole Callaway
#9103
After fetching the fob from his pocket, he tucked it into his hand with the thermal mug and shook her hand. She did offer after all, it was the polite thing to do. "Cole. Cole Callaway." He smiled warmly at the girl, who was apparently quite new. He'd deduced that by her stance, her dress and her eagerness alone. She was quite polite, and he enjoyed that already. "Not quite the same cadence as Bond but, what can you do?" as much as he loathed small talk, he found that he was decent at it. All the time of hanging out with or doing field work with Klaus Schmidt would do that to you.

"Come on in." He wanted to make a joke about using the force or something abouts he opened the door, but Cole didn't want to scare off the pretty young newbie with his nerdish antics. As he started to walk, he expected her to follow, since she had been waiting after all. "New to the department? Or visiting with someone?" She didn't have a visitors pass on her, and he didn't recognize her, but it had to be one of the two.
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by: Alexandra Taylor
#9128
Alexandra's lips turned upward in a small smile. This man was trying to be funny and help her relax, she knew, yet relaxing wasn't quite on the agenda at the moment. No, she needed to get through the first day, first week, first month? Who knew how long, truly, until she would be able to relax. Possibly through the end of her trial period? Lex wasn't entirely certain that thought was particularly welcome at the moment. That was far too stressful to contemplate. Yet she would work through the stress if it meant a rewarding, worthwhile career where she accomplished something important in her life. That was what she thought of with the idea of MI5: doing something important for the crown and country even if it meant a more secretive lifestyle. The secrets wouldn't be so bad. She wasn't entirely all that outgoing.

"New," Lex replied. "Do I look appropriate? I have to meet with Director Jones today?" She regretted the question almost as soon as it was out of her mouth. It sounded so insecure and juvenile and, simply put, childish. She was young, but she wasn't that young. Mid twenties wasn't that young. It was old enough she felt she should have accomplished more, yet she realized that was likely a personal reservation. She'd graduated a wizarding school. She'd even kept pace with home studies for the muggle school system. She'd graduated a muggle university. She'd probably accomplished a lot more than what most had, but no one else knew that and therein lay the perception she had accomplished little for her age in her mind. So many of her uni friends had been married or married shortly after. Here she was, a fresh graduate who was now starting at MI5 yet she felt not enough. She certainly hadn't been enough for the wizarding world. Or her parents.
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by: Cole Callaway
#9130
Cole kept walking but he heard the footsteps of the young girl following close behind. When she responded, all he could do was grin, because his deduction was correct. Look appropriate? He echoed in his head, and turned back to get a good look at her. "You look better than almost all of these mugs in here..." He jut his head towards the tech pit specifically, and kept walking. "Don't stress out too much. Jones is harmless. I'd steer clear of her bad side anyway, just in case--but now that I think of it? I haven't seen her yell... maybe that's the scary part." He winked.

It was an adorable quirk, being so nervous on her first day. He'd seen the same sort of nerves on Bauer's first day, and look how far she'd come! From being awkward, closed-off and shy, she went to being...well, outspoken, awkward and able to deflect a lot of Schmidt's nonsense (most of the time), which was always amusing. Cole's desk was nearby but he'd remembered that they'd cleared off a desk for someone who was inbound, so after setting down his mug, he gestured to her to follow him. It was only a few steps away from his desk but it was gentlemanly thing to do, as he'd gone the gentlemanly approach already, saving her from the locked door and trying to calm her down. He gave a grand gesture, a waving motion over the open desk, void of any items except a computer, a pen cup with some pens and pencils in it, and a legal pad, the bare minimum package they'd started you out with. Everything else went through Jones and wherever else they conjured up supplies.

"All seriousness...don't be so scared. You'll be fine." He tried the assurance route. Hopefully it would take. "It's your first day. Just breathe."
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by: Alexandra Taylor
#9257
This man was nice, and Lex appreciated the slight bit of alliteration to his name. Cole Callaway. So, if she forgot, she just needed to think about getting coal for Christmas and the word "callow," as in inexperienced. Like she was at the moment. Simple enough. Lex rather liked when she could associate a name with visual cues. She liked even more when she could associate with someone else she knew. The connection was always stronger that way. But Cole was unique but not so unique it was absurd, and that in and of itself gave her a better chance of remembering it after the first day.

Lex gave the man a smile as he told her she looked better than "almost all" of the "mugs" in there. Looking at the lot in the direction Cole indicated, Lex wasn't entirely certain whether that was a compliment. To a degree, it clearly was, she decided. As he went on to try to relax her with his words about this Jones lady, Lex listened as though his words were the very elixir of life. A rather bitter tasting elixir since his words didn't really offer her any real comfort. The sort of personality Lex had found to accompany the non-yelling authoritative sort was unnerving at best.

She followed him to his desk, hoping there'd be some silver lining to his words. It scored her a look at what he seemed to believe was her new desk. At least it was near enough this Cole bloke. It was clinical, she decided, as she looked at it. It would do, however. She would bring in a couple photos from a beach trip that had actually turned out nice off her phone and it would be as homey as she needed it to be. Just something to look at for those moments she needed to look at something other than a computer screen.

"I can't recall the last time I could breathe normally," Lex replied and offered a small smile. She was somewhat joking. "Thanks for the reassurance, Mr. Callaway. Which way to Jones?"
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by: Cole Callaway
#9286
The way she said his name made him smile, but that was just because she was so kind and proper and seemed like a breath of fresh air considering the women he'd been dealing with here. Jones was firm, straightforward, and all business. Bauer was like a kid sister, joking, sarcastic, laid-back and open with him, as much as she wanted to be of course. Alexandra seemed nice enough, and made a great impression, and that resonated with Cole. First impressions were everything to him, and nothing stayed with him quite like when he first met the Hounds...or Veronika.

Cole extended his hand and pointed over at Jones' office, at the very back, at the end of the stretch of path between the cubicles. Her name was on the door, though not clearly seen unless one had some uncanny superhuman vision, which he knew he did not. "Don't let me keep you." He winked. "I'll be back at my desk buried in the wonderful lot of emails, so feel free to let me know if you need anything more, Ms. Taylor."

He smiled. The poor thing looked as if he was throwing her to the wolves. But that wasn't his call; Jones threw Bauer to one on her first day, God only knows what sort of task she'd be set on first. Nevertheless, he wished her luck.
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by: Alexandra Taylor
#9288
Lex began to lift her foot but about the time her toe was nearly off the floor, she planted it for a moment. "Ms. Taylor" just sounded so prim and proper. Lex liked things to have their place and to be proper enough, but for some reason, this struck her as a bit too prim and proper. "If we're to work together, I suppose it's not too out of the ordinary for you to call me Lex," she told him with a sort of awkward expression. At least he wouldn't try "Alex" or "Lexa" or "Lexi" if she told him what she preferred. There was something about those three that bugged her. Those were names family used, family she had little desire to have more to do with than she had to. Lex had always been used by friends and the teachers who asked for preferred nicknames at the beginning of term in primary before she'd begun schooling at Hogwarts. Hogwarts had primarily used "Ms. Taylor." Given everything in recent years, perhaps that was why she had slight aversion to the properness of the name.

"It was nice meeting you," Lex told him as she grabbed the notebook and tested a pen before deciding it worked. There, maybe she'd be appear professional to Jones since she came prepared to make any notes needed. Or did adults do notes in the real world outside of a business meeting? Or was that why there were typically meeting minutes? So adults didn't have to take notes? "I'll be sure to let you know when I'm back." Although, she supposed he'd notice if this was really her desk. She brushed a non-existent strand of her hair behind her ear before realizing it was back as per usual and had hairspray in it today to make sure she didn't have a hair faux pax in the middle of her work day. Oh well. She gave another small little smile before turning heel to face the music and head to Jones' office. Once there, she knocked twice just loudly enough to be heard and then stepped back, letting her arm return to her side as she waited.
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by: Cole Callaway
#9322
"Alright then. Lex." Cole echoed at her request, and this made him smile for some reason. She was a polite girl, that much was already obvious. "Pleasure's all mine, of course." He watched as she fiddled with what looked like a notebook and a pen. He wanted to explain to her that she might not need such things, but then considered that she may be a compulsive note-taker like he'd seen in training before, or other agent's he'd worked with in the past. Field agents, especially. Ones who were not so good on the memory front constantly had notebooks or notepads and pens handy, to jot down everything in that unreadable scribble language, shorthand. Cole was lucky he didn't need any of that, he left it all to memory and was grateful that his was at least accurate.

For her first day, she'd get the equivalent of a syllabus, he was sure of it. This is your desk. This is who you work with. This is your partner... Cole wondered who Jones would partner her up with. He'd gone a while without a partner of his own, siphoning dual-work with Klaus or Katarina if Jones saw fit, but would she think to put Lex with him? Part of him hoped so, the other part hoped she wouldn't. There was a difference between off-the clock Cole and Field Agent Callaway. Parts of which blurred at that fine line but there was enough of a separation there he wasn't sure he wanted her to see.

He nodded and gave a light wave as she said she'd let him know afterward, and watched her head towards Director Jones' office. He quietly wished her luck.
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by: Morgan Jones
#9353
Tap tap

Right on time. That was the pleasant thing about new hires. They were so eager and respectful...and punctual.

"Come in!"

Jones didn't quite look up from her papers until she had everything sorted out. Once she did, however, she gave the woman a bright smile and gestured to the chair across from her in an invitation to sit.

"Good morning, Ms. Taylor. I must say, you come highly recommended. Please, relax. We're just going to do some standard new hire paperwork. Afterwards, a tour of the department, you'll meet your partner, and then the oh-so-fun round of briefings mandatory for our department focus."

Her tone went dry at the mention of the briefings. Coupled with the wry twist of her lips, it was clear she was trying to share in the humor of her agents bemoaning the mandatory briefings. Why, they often asked, were briefings about magic so boring? It was a good question. Hopefully, some of the resident wizards would be in today to provide a more hands-on demonstration.

"Any questions?"
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by: Alexandra Taylor
#9463
The office felt clinical at first glance. It had what was needed an little more. Lex glanced at the bull dog and the vase of flowers before sitting down and listening to Jones' run-down of today's plans. Lex found her eyes momentarily drifting to the serene painting of the countryside behind her. Jones liked calm, though she also liked professional appearances. And perhaps she wasn't bad. In fact, she seemed calm and even keel and as though she was trying to relate to those under her. Definitely not so bad.

Of course, this was day one. Lex knew better than to make up her mind fully at this time. It was how she handled a tough situation that would matter from everything her mother had complained and talked about over the years. Bosses who would stand up for their employees despite their mistakes yet reprimand as needed were worth their weight in salt or something like that. Lex had only half-listened, but that seemed a fairly good summary of her complaints through the years and through the jobs.

And then there was the bit Lex had personally always hated when teachers had asked: "Any questions?" In primary and in Hogwarts, Lex had always had questions. So much so that it had earned her groans and eventually taught her to save them until after class. In this case, however, she had none. They would be doing standard paperwork and then would tour the department, introduce her to her partner, and then attend briefings about the department's focus. Well, perhaps she did have a question.

"Forgive me if the question's foolish or even redundant in light of later discussion, but what weapons, precisely, will I be working with? And what will my daily routine look like? I'm afraid they weren't very descriptive at the interview. Privacy and the like." She had babbled. Lex hated babbling. She wanted to crawl into a hole now.
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by: Morgan Jones
#9465
A good question. Jones nodded her understanding and then tried to explain.

"Nine millimeter pistols are the standard issue department weapon. On top of that, we permit agents to carry their personal choice of weaponry, within reason. Several agents carry knives, extendable batons, truncheons, tonfa...We test weaponry for more unusual situations as called for. Whatever you're comfortable using, if you can prove proficiency with it, you can use it."

That was the trick. Some of the young hotshots had brought in strange things that had no practical uses. One had brought in a science fiction blade from a television show. That was quickly nixed. Morgan slid the paperwork over and followed it with a pen.
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by: Alexandra Taylor
#9578
Well, Lex imagined that wasn't quite what she had been looking for. She had counted on something like that for any government-issued weapons perhaps, yet if that was what she was to work on daily as a weapons specialist, it sounded rather redundant for her position to exist. She would leave that for later. If it wasn't covered in the remainder of her orientation today, she would ask later. She wrote simply "Weapons" on the notepad then turned her attention back to Jones. "Well, I suppose that counts out my ninja stars," she said. It was a joke, clearly, though her delivery could have been better. That was almost always the case in Lex's experience. She had a tendency to be too matter-of-fact to the point some people took her seriously even in her most sarcastic moments, and she hated it.

"I suppose we should start on that paperwork, though," she said. She thought it needless to specify she was eager to get started with more interesting things. She had a feeling even the briefings would be more interesting than HR-related paperwork despite the fact Jones seemed to view it differently, yet wouldn't she if she had to go through the briefings more than once? Lex figured that would be a reasonable side effect of starting more than one person on orientation.
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by: Morgan Jones
#10898
Ninja stars? Jones caught the faint hint that it was a joke and smiled accordingly before responding in turn.

"I didn't take you for a ninja...but I guess that should have been my first clue, right?"

Jones stood and stretched her shoulders when Lex finished her paperwork.

"To answer your other question: your daily routine will be dictated by your partner for now. I want you to learn both the field work side of the business and the analyst side. To that end, I'd like for you to partner with Agent Cole Callaway. He's got a good handle on both sides of the job and can help you around the office. We have several contractors...don't let them boss you about. Other than that, try and have fun. It can be easy to burn out. Find your balance and don't let the job eat you alive."

Jones was worried about people like Matt. If you were too stiff in this job, it could break you. Dealing with the unknown and the weird could have an abrasive effect on a person.
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