She inhaled, held her breath a few seconds, and exhaled deeply. How come the exercise only seemed to work when she was involved in some sort of stage production or audition, and not in the rest of her life? She turned on her iPod again -- she had a letter to dictate and only half an hour of privacy until her roommates returned from third period class. A sharp rap on the room door startled her just as she pressed the button to start the recording.
"Kristen Farman?" The voice was a woman's, unfamiliar, and even through the door she sounded tense, brisk. An "official" voice.
"Yes?" She got up off her desk chair and took the few steps to the door of the four-plex room to tug it open. "Can I help you?"
"Jody Daniels," the woman in the navy suit said, flipping open a leather folder to reveal a badge. "FBI. I'm sorry to inform you, but your Professor Endicott has been arrested for smuggling, and as his assistant--"
"I'm new. I just started working for him four weeks ago. I didn't know, I swear." For a second, Kristen thought about snatching at that badge as the women put it away, to somehow prove it was fake and this was just a bad joke, but what good would it do? No one she knew was that kind of prankster. Besides, she wouldn't know a genuine badge from a fake unless the fake was battered plastic and had "not a real badge" printed on the back.
"We know." Agent Daniels' somber expression softened and warmed a little. "We've been working on cracking his operations long enough to know you aren't involved. However, you know enough to be of some help to us. We need you to come down to our office.""Right -- right now?" She thought of the tests she had to study for. How long would this take?