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Location: Washington D.C.

Colonel Diaz walked along a lonely street. The picture was one of poverty - dismal and grey. All around, the predominant colour was that of grey. The buildings were covered in a sooty film, the paint on the walls had faded. The pavement was made up of grey slabs, the black of the roads faded to a lighter, greyish tone.

The wind stirred the littered paper and leaves on the ground.

It was a sad, desolate place.

Diaz hated scenes like this. It reminded him of Cuba. He missed, instead, his Miami home: with his father, mother, and sisters, and the neighbours always ready to lend a hand to fellow Cuban.

Here, in Washington, the people on the streets were always ready with some racist remark. And the drab greyness depressed him. Where were the colours, the sun and sand, the beautiful sunsets of Miami?

America... Great America... What happened to the loveliness that drove us Cubans to come here in the first place?

He hated having to live here. He wished to return to Miami. But until his job required him to leave, he would have to remain.

He turned to open the door to his apartment.

Struggling with the key, he saw a kid coming down the street on his skateboard. The teen lost control of his board, and went hurtling towards a lamppost. Then, suddenly, as he was about to hit the post, his entire body seemed to flicker, and he appeared on the other side of the post, safe from any harm.

The kid looked around, a scared look on his face. He saw Diaz staring at him, and, his face contorted in fear, grabbed his skateboard and ran into a dark alley, hiding his face.

Damned mutant kid... Diaz had half a mind to go after him and put him down. But he remembered that he had no weapon anymore. And anyway, after today, it would matter no more. The kid would cause no more trouble.

He dropped the idea, and entered his apartment.

His room was as drab and plain as the street that it was located on. There were no frills, no decorations. It was a reminder of Diaz's military background. Functionality, simplicity, and practicality above all else.

He went over to the computer in the corner. And turned it on.

He wanted to contact someone. But it took him some time, before he got through.

Graydon Creed's face appeared on the screen.

" Miguel... congratulations on the success of your mission. You have served this cause well."

" Thank you, sir."

" Your reward will be forthcoming... as well as your promotion to the board."

" Thank you, sir." This was what he had wanted for a long time.

" Then I shall see you again at the next General Meeting. Your contribution to the success of the Plan, I shall say again, will be remembered in history."

" Thank you, sir. Good day, sir."

The screen blinked, and Creed was gone.

Diaz got up from the computer and went to the kitchen.

All that work today had made him hungry...


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