Kyra Mercer scanned the perimeter of the embassy. One hand rested over her holstered Glock, while the pointer finger of her other hand pressed her earpiece after the damn thing fell out for the umpteenth time. The badge revealed at her hip read: Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration Special AgentAnd despite her focused and deliberate demeanor, Kyra was sure her annoyance could have been read through her eyes by anyone who knew her well. It seemed like every corner she turned, another Marine scouted. They had so much manpower surveying the outer perimeter of the Embassy, Kyra was sure they would soon experience diseconomies of scale. And then she told herself to shut the fuck up and apply economic theory to the drug trade where it belonged. Especially here in Afghanistan. Their RSO often broke the chain of command and ordered Kyra around, and, usually, she directed her aggravation to him. A man who never bothered to spell her name right--‘Kira’ certainly wasn’t a first--and sometimes overstepped his mandate with regards to his female DSS agents. But the man was damn good at his job, even if he felt entitled to order around agents who were completely out of his jurisdiction. In any other circumstance, Agent Mercer would have argued or disobeyed when told to scout the perimeter of the embassy like a DSS agent. And she felt just as distraught as the rest of them over the loss of Ambassador Cortlandt when the sacking had occurred, and she felt just as angry with herself for not being able to stop the onslaught, even though that anger was better directed at the fucking Station Chief for not getting his shit together and catching the intel they had had all along. Goddamn--Kyra shouted silently as she all but ran into another Marine, all but opening the snap on her holster in surprise. This was such bullshit. And it wasn’t what she did, and the Marines didn’t seem all too happy to run into her, either. Their sanctimonious superiority complex never stopped being annoying. Kyra would have been happy if good had come from it. But in the hour and a half she’d been scouting, she hadn’t seen any loner insurgents, and the issues she spotted with the building itself were already being taken care of. But she kept on scanning the perimeter. “Mercer.” The grainy call came through her earpiece, and Kyra pushed it deeper into her ear as she acknowledged the RSO. “Yes, sir?” “Charge’ needs you in his office.” Pissed her off to get the request from him, but she wouldn’t voice that on the line, open as it was to the other embassy staffers. “Yes, boss,” she obliged herself in adding, the ironic twinge on the last word garnering a bit of a smirk she quickly erased as she headed inside to the DCM’s office, not quite ready to acknowledge the man’s technical current title of charge’. He would probably be their ambassador very soon, but Cortlandt’s absence was still an omnipresent fact of their embassy life. Kyra pulled on her suit jacket, straightening the black fabric and adjusting the collar of her white dress shirt before knocking on the DCM’s office door and waiting for his word to enter.