Achilles Sangster / Serpentine / 1“Serpentine”Just like in the spy movies, Sally hid behind fences, around corners in alleyways, obscured bygarbage cans. She sucked in her belly and stood bolt straight and stiff as a board behind telephone poles when she saw him suspiciously look back over his shoulder. Daddy's a secret agent, she toldherself. I've always known. I've got to meet him beat-for-beat if I'm going to prove it.Suddenly he pulled something thin and narrow from his breast pocket. She could not see it properly, but it must be the pen. The pen! The dark blue, golden-embossed twisting pen. It was hiscovert communication device. This was not the first time she had seen him stare at it, though he only began doing so in the last week. How he would fidget with it, turning and clicking it. He would never let her mother borrow it when she needed a writing utensil: He would quickly pocket the pen andsearch arduously for another one in a messy desk drawer or cupboard and throw his hands inresignation when one could not be found. But Sally knew he had one. She mustn't tell, though, or hiscover would be blown.He looked at the pen for a few seconds, eyes squinting under the sunlight gleaming frommirrored office windows overhead. He continued forward. Sally followed.Passersby took little notice. Just a child, they thought. Just a child. A child of a spy, shemouthed silently with a smirk. Made from the same stuff as Daddy, I'm just as swift and conniving. Not like that clumsy 007, loudly bumbling his way through otherwise covert operations in Her Majesty's honor, daddy was a real agent, taking out the enemy, getting him to talk with a determinedglance and an empty (or was it?) threat. Like a samurai, winning a battle before it's even beendeclared. I have his eyes. Granddad always said so. The eyes of a cobra!Then those serpentine eyes saw odd movement. He looked at his pen (talking to hiscommander through it, no doubt) paused, and turned sharp to the right into a tall office building. Shenoticed that he didn't need a key, an access card, or even security clearance to enter. There were noguards, no snipers that she could see--and she ought to be able to see them all, if she had daddy'sabilities--and she wondered if he was trying to fool her, having been alerted to her presence.Impossible, she told herself as she walked with cool confidence towards a free newsletter kiosk. Thereshe removed an issue and held it high over her face before turning back to watch more closely. All buther eyes were hidden behind that open tabloid, and she encroached upon the front door to catch a closer look at her father.