Amy looked up from the mission briefing at her controller, John Jones.
"I know this is quite a tough first mission, but you're working with Dave Moss, and he knows his stuff," John said encouragingly. Amy fingered the hem of her gray shirt. Dave clapped a hand on her shoulder and threw his mission briefing on the table, swinging his combat boots on to the table after it.
"I know all about first mission nerves, believe me," he said and smiled at her.
"Boots off the table please," John said sternly. Dave looked slightly sheepish as he set his feet on the ground again.
"When do we go to London?" Amy asked, wanting to change the subject.
"Tomorrow. We need to get Dave into school as soon as possible, and get him close to Greg Jennings. We think he's involved in Gwen Choke's shoplifting empire." John stood up and ran a hand through his hair. "Sorry, I have a lot to be doing right now, I'm a bit overworked at the moment. Any questions, get in touch. Try and learn your briefings for tomorrow, and we can go over them in the car." Amy shook his hand, feeling completely out of her depth. She decided to slip down to the swimming pool for a little bit; Amy always felt better when she was down in the water.
The next morning, Amy and Dave were up early and John drove them down to their flat in London. John gave them quick fire questions to answer about their backstories, until they could answer his questions barely having to think about the answer they were giving. Amy hadn't been able to sleep the night before, and she had spent several hours going over and over the briefing. She felt terrible, and the car journey didn't do much to make her feel better.
Amy and Dave looked around at the flat as they walked in. It was small, and the wallpaper was hanging off the walls. There was a suspicious smell coming from one of the bedrooms. Dave immediately rushed off to claim the room furthest away from the stench. Amy looked at John uncertainly. He sighed, and gestured for her to take the other, non-smelly bedroom. She took one look at her new room, and wondered if she'd be better sleeping on the sofa.
"It's a bit dingy," Dave said doubtfully. Amy got to her knees and looked under the sofa curiously, but quickly got up again, feeling sick at the sight of the mountain of furry food.
"I know you're used to having bigger missions than this, but it doesn't hurt to downsize every now and then. Not all your missions can be taking out drug cartels single handedly," John chastised him. Dave kicked at the tatty sofa. "We've got you enrolled in your schools already. You'll be starting tomorrow. Dave, there's a play park near here where we know Greg often shows his face. It would be good if you could make an appearance there this evening. Amy, just chill for this evening."
For the rest of the day, Amy paced around the flat. Her stomach felt like it was doing flips inside her. Finally, John ordered her to go outside and take a walk, as she was getting on his nerves too much.
Amy walked down the street aimlessly, glad to be out of the smelly flat. She didn't know why she was so nervous, her role was fairly small in this mission after all. She walked for about fifteen minutes, before realising she was hopelessly lost. Amy spotted a young girl in shorts on the other side of the street, and she quickly called out to her.
"Hey! I'm a bit lost, can you help?" The girl nodded as Amy recited the address, and pointed the way to her. "Thanks. I'm Amy," she said with a relieved smile.
"I'm Lauren," the girl said. Amy thought she was probably about seven.
"Do you live around here?" Amy asked. Lauren nodded and pointed to a house across the road. "Maybe I'll see you around," Lauren said. Amy nodded and made her way home.
"Good walk?" John greeted her. She shrugged.
"I got lost," she admitted. "Some kid called Lauren showed me the way back." John turned around from nuking a ready meal.
"Lauren? How old would you say she was?"
"I don't know, seven maybe?"
"Gwen Choke has a daughter about that age called Lauren. If you could make a connection to her, that could be very valuable for this mission."
"I don't know," Amy said. "There's a four year age gap, won't it look weird if I try and make friends with her?"
"It's worth a go," John said. "I don't know how successful this mission is going to be anyway."
Amy stared out of the window. The work at her new school was incredibly boring, not even taking into account how she was supposed to be playing down her intelligence to try and get extra tuition with Miss Voolt. She sighed, and looked down at the combined science worksheet. Amy knew all the answers, but didn't start filling it in.
"Amy," the elderly teacher said angrily. "I know it's your first day at school, but it would be nice if you could pay at least some attention to what's going on." Some of the girls in the back of her class sniggered, causing Amy to blush.
"Sorry Miss Voolt," Amy mumbled. "I just don't really get it."
"If you don't understand something, you need to tell me so I can help you." Amy nodded, and returned to staring out the window. All her nerves about the mission had disappeared. Now, she was just bored. She wondered if Dave's role in the mission was going any better than hers. Miss Voolt coughed pointedly. Amy blushed again and began to fill in the sheet incorrectly, taking her time. The teacher came and stood by her shoulder. She could feel Miss Voolt's gaze burning into the back of her head. After a few seconds, the bell rang. Everyone began shouting at each other, and walking out the classroom despite Miss Voolt's protests that they had not been dismissed.
"If you need any help, come and find me," Miss Voolt called to her as she left. Amy felt frustrated that Miss Voolt was doing the absolute bare minimum to help her students. She knew that it would look weird if she went up to her straight away and asked for help. Stupid teachers.
She kicked stones along the pavement as she walked back to the flat.
"Amy!" she heard someone call. She turned to see Lauren, also in school uniform, holding a football. "Want to come down to the park and have a kick about?" Maybe today wouldn't be so awful after all.