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Kristen and Kassara stood in the penthouse above Sylvia’s Lodge and looked out the view window.
“How’s your Ambassadorship?” Uncle Kristen said with a sly smile.
“My life as a spy?” Kassara asked. “Presence asked me to hang out with her brother. He’s my age. She wants me to ask him about being a contestant in the Ball Return, what it was like and what he learned. She also wanted me to find out if he’s trustworthy, a good ally.” Kassara looked to Kristen.
“Wow. That’s quite a job,” he laughed. “ And who is Sylvia investigating?” Kristen burst out laughing. “Those two,” he said laughing and shaking his head. A little out of your comfort zone, eh?”
Kassara looked at Kristen as he laughed and shook his head.
“Well, my acting skills are improving.” She said. “Her brother though,” Kassara said. “I met him briefly. He’s like, he made me nervous. I think I need a body guard.”
“And that is a fair request Ambassador Kassara,” Kristen said seriously. “How about you take your Uncle Kristen along?” he winked. “Uncle Kristen wants to go,” he said like a kid.
“Really? You will? Okay. I’m more comfortable already.”
“Ooh. It’ll be fun spying on Presence’ brother together. I can’t wait.” Kristen said. He smiled broadly. “It is my solemn duty to ensure my earthling’s questions are properly answered. Consider me your accomplice,” Kristen said. “Your strategy is to get that boy to brag about his experience in the Ball Return. We need to know how to get past the early stuff. Act amazed at his performance and keep asking for more details. Presence said there’s harrowing passages into the Upper Realms and he knows them,” Kristen said. “Keep steering the conversation to his strengths. I guarantee he will take the bait. He’s going to want to impress you for sure. A beautiful Earth girl? Are you kidding?”
“That’s why I was freaking out, Uncle Kristen.” Kassara said as her cheeks felt hot.
“Its an asset Kassara, being beautiful. You are still one hundred percent in charge of you. Set boundaries, you know rules for yourself that you’re comfortable with. Besides Ambassador Kassara,” He bowed deeply. “You’re schedule is booked solid. He can’t invite you anywhere. Anything we can learn that gives us safer passage through that Ball Return, we need all the help we can get. Few have ever witnessed the inside of that game. Presence found the door. Her brother got snagged. That means he’s second best. He probably relived his fail a million times by now. We need his knowledge. I’ll watch the conversation through my truth stone just in case impressing you leads him to exaggerate too much.”
Kassara nodded in understanding.
Kristen walked over to the window.
“Presence brother reminds me of this guy from school who wouldn’t leave me alone. I talked to him once at the bus stop. He acted like I was his property and I had to make a big deal to sit next to Tahendra. I was so uncomfortable, Tahendra and I started running after school to avoid the bus. He was so arrogant it was ridiculous.”
“I get it. Think about that boy for a minute Kassara,” Kristen suggested. “Imagine getting secret information out of that boy that made you so uncomfortable. What would you do if you wanted him to trust you enough to expose his vulnerability? If he’s that much of a jerk, it might be easier than we think.”
Kassara looked at Kristen and nodded. “I understand. Yeah.. We got this.” Kassara smiled. She bowed deeply towards Kristen Campbell “As your Ambassador I look forward to the challenge.” She stood up tall and raised her hand, giving Kristen Campbell a high five.
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