"We cannot back you."
"We had a deal!"
"Let me be clear: we will not back you." She scoffed.
"After all this time, now you let your true colors show."
"Careful with your tone. These are hard times, but that does not excuse all. This is business."
"Good luck on your own." She strode from the room, her companion with her. The Boss watched her leave, her own entourage a silent wall behind her. Through the door and into the main hall, she didn't stop walking until she reached the small door across the way. Inside was another of the Boss's guard, watching over a small child laying on a narrow bed, not asleep but clearly exhausted.
"Sirius, we need to go." She tried to gentle her words, but the sting of frustrated plans was sharp. The child clearly heard all that, but sat up anyways, and dutifully extended her hand. She took it and led her back into the main hall where her companion waited. With a last nod to each other and a derisive glance to the room at large, they left.
Outside, they passed a messenger carrying a package wrapped in black paper. He wore the colors of the Picketters.
"That's one way to let us know where shifting loyalties have landed."
Her companion gentled her with a touch to her shoulder.
"First, we get home. Then we'll debrief." She sighed and they left for safer waters.
One jump later, and they were at the main office, Janet, as always, manning the front desk. She stared unblinking from behind studious glassed as they passed, and they traveled unhindered into their command center.
"Do you think that package was the data?"
"I wouldn't put it past the Picketters to have the gall to grab it, but the resources?"
"That'd be where the Boss comes in."
Sirius still held her hand. She looked to the child.
"This place is as secure as we're gonna get. Time to rest up before the next big hit, alright?"
The girl, too stoic for her age, but thankfully so, simply nodded.