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For genprompt_bingo: Old and New

"Who are you?" The woman looked familiar, with gray eyes and blond hair cut in a tight bob. Homer tried to place her face; she looked too much like the other girls he knew (with an obligatory crash course in the world outside of Lotus, New Jersey) that it wasn't easy. "Who are you, kid? Why are you here."

"Homer," Homer replied eventually. "I was looking for someone."

"Who? And what's your last name?"

"A girl and I don't have one." The woman's eyes lit up briefly before she grew suspicious.

"Where are you from?" Briefly, Homer considered lying before dismissing it as a royally bad idea.

"Lotus, New Jersey."

"Are you looking for Ulyssa?"

"Yeah, why?" The woman laughed.

"Oh god, my boss is not going to believe this." At Homer's confusion, she elaborated. "Of all the trails to follow, of all the things to leave Lotus for, you picked me." Sure enough, she did look like the girl in the photo, aged ten years and with a new life ahead of her. "And you found me, somehow, which is kind of creepy but I don't think you knew. I need to talk to my boss before I explain the rest of it, though." Ulyssa left and returned minutes later with a stack of paperwork and a much sterner-looking woman.

"Here's the deal," the older woman snapped. "You have stumbled upon the International Knowledge Commision, INK for short. You can leave now and go back to whatever life you had, you can sign these papers and become a normal citizen, or you can sign this one and become a junior agent." Homer nodded.

"Junior agent?" he asked. The woman snorted.

"INK is devoted to the preservation of knowledge. We're not that big of an organization, considering the task. So, since you're definitely over thirteen, you can become a junior agent and help Penn and I; once you're eighteen, you become a normal agent."

"Penn?"

"That's me," Ulyssa explained. "I can explain later."

"Continuing on," the woman said while glaring at Ulyssa, "you need to decide who you want to become. Do you want to be a junior agent?" Homer nodded. "Sign here and then it's sealed." Homer did. "I will be your supervisor; call me Athena. Penn here is your partner. Report to my office tomorrow and we'll get you started. Dismissed."

Soon, Homer found himself sucked into this world of old words and new beginnings. He could see why Ulyssa had stayed; it was addictive. More than that, it felt like he belonged.

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