The waiting room was so remarkably bland Bill was a little surprised to not be handed an insurance form to fill out as he sat down in the stiff chairs lining every spare bit of space. There was a strange plant in the center of the room, and a small windowed room on the far end. The mousy woman they had seen the other night was sitting inside the little room, focused on the monitor in front of her.
Julie walked straight up to the glass and rapped on it loudly, causing the woman to let out a squeek and startle herself out of her chair. She reappeared, fixing her hair a little and giving Julie a stern look. “You’re a little early, he’s on a call right now.”
“That’s okay, I can wait. Not like I have homework or anything.” Julie leaned against the window and started tapping on the glass idly. The woman looked ready to say something but narrowed her eyes and went back to whatever was on her monitor again.
A slow eternity passed, in the way time passes in a waiting room. Bill was starting to worry a little by the time the woman looked up at them again, but she flashed him a quick smile and stood up.
“Right through the door on the left, he’s ready for you now.” She gestured to the left hand wall, where an ornate wooden door Bill hadn’t noticed before opened itself. He followed Julie into an office that had clearly done it’s part in killing the rain forest. Wooden bookshelves full of books and trinkets went up higher than seemed practical, and a sprawling desk separated them from the man on the other side. He stood up to greet them and sat down and Julie flopped into the chair on the left.
“So what’s the story, George?”
The man simply smiled at the casual tone, “We did figure out what artifact caused the wave that washed Mr. Esler here out of his mortal coil, it was a gift to one of our new recruits who got a little… careless.”
“So we need their contact info and the type of artifact and we can get this all sorted. No worries, Billy-boy.” Julie looked over at Bill, who had phased partially through the chair instead of sitting down.
“Well the artifact’s info is all here.” The man handed her a few papers stapled together, “Contact info may be difficult though…”
“Why…” Julie glanced across the papers quickly, “Disappeared, huh?”
“We have an idea of where she ended up, but nobody available at the moment who’s capable of retrieving her.”
“Oh here it comes…” Julie rolled her eyes at Bill, who had not followed the conversation very well at this point.
“If you and your sister-”
“Do you have a phone I can use? I get no reception in here and need to talk to her before you say anything else.”
“I’m afraid our lines are internal only, but there’s a courtyard just outside and to the left that gets decent reception.”
“Ugh… fine. Don’t agree to anything or sign anything while I’m gone. I’ll be *right* back.” She directed the second part at Bill and hurried out the door, already dialing the number. Bill finally realized he was standing in the chair and adjusted himself to be sitting.
“We are so sorry about this Mr. Esler. One of our top priorities with new recruits is ensuring nobody else is harmed by their inexperience so I take personal responsibility for this. Ah, thank you Anna.” He smiled as the door opened and the mousy secretary came in. She set a cup of tea in front of the man and a soda in front of Julie’s chair.
“Is there anything you’d like, Mr. Esler?” She asked, leaning in a bit closer. Despite the fact that he shouldn’t have been able to smell anything she smelled heavenly and he could only nod dumbly in response. She gave him that cute smile again and with a quick heel turn retreated back through the door.
“I’m afraid we still haven’t found a proper refreshment to offer disembodied spirits, it’s a fortunately uncommon occurrence.” The man mumbled a little as he took a sip of his tea and Bill stared at the door.
“She’ll be here in fifteen. You okay?” Julie flopped back down into her chair and opened her soda as she looked at Bill, who seemed to snap out of it and nodded at her.