Blaine D. Arden

A Day in the Life Of...
Ornella Amato

The Primrose Files


Primrose is not quite a regular company running not quite regular hours. While for some departments, like Administration, the basic hours run from nine to five, departments like Security regularly call their field teams out of bed in the middle of the night to hunt down A-watch alerts. A-watch being Primrose’s alien substance detection system.

One of those teams is team Alpha, one of the two teams under direct command of Chief Security Lieutenant Natalie Tallis and her personal assistant Connor Smith.

Italian born Ornella Amato is a member of team Alpha. Born and raised in Cremona, Italy, Ornella started out working for the Primrose office north of Milan, but after a whirlwind romance with an English intern, she moved to England to be with him. By the time the intern left Primrose, and her, Ornella had become a valued member of team Alpha, and decided to stay.

To show how hectic a field team Agent’s day may be, Ornella gives us a little glimpse into a day of her life, by letting us read an entry from her own, private diary.


Called out of bed to check up on an A-watch alert. I can’t believe we have an early call again. Yesterday it was three am. Can’t wait until we’re off call and I can sleep in until eight.

In SUV on our way to Eggleby. Dennis Kelp’s turn to arrange breakfast to go. Can’t say I like dry doughnuts very much, but it’s better than the home made soup he brought last time. Gregory Warren looks hung over and a little green in the face. You’d think, after being on this team for two years now, he’d know better than to go clubbing when on call. Friday or no Friday.

Arrived at the outer edge of Eggleby. Only barely getting light out. Area is deserted, seems like an old factory of some sort. Nothing to see from here.

In SUV, back to Primrose. Check up—including hour long detailed search of the factory, top to bottom—was a bust. No artefact in sight. Not the first time this has happened.

Debriefing by our team leader, Travis Simpson, in canteen with a warm lunch. All except Warren, who disappeared into the loo the minute we arrived, and is toying with a glass of water.

Run over in corridor by escaped walrus like creature. No idea what it was secreting from its pores, but my jacket was drenched in orangy goo. Had to take clothes to Cleaning and grab a clean set out of my locker—last set. Filled out replacement request and put it in the mailbox near the entrance.

Sent a text to Agent Smith about having cell four checked for faulty latches... again. The stupid thing keeps breaking. And yet they keep putting creatures in cell four. Hopefully he’ll scare Maintenance into finally doing a decent job of repairing it.

Barely dressed and we have another call. Alien sighting, called in by old biddy from Leybridge.

Arrived to quite a sight. Front garden completely demolished. If owner and neighbours hadn’t seen something large and black rooting around, you’d think they were doing a garden renovation, the hard way.

Caught the bastard. Fast bugger for its size. It managed to outrun us several times, until it reached the river. Who knew such a big fella would be so scared of a bit of water. The thing didn’t even reach our knees. Still managed to put up quite a fight, though. No serious wounds, its claws weren’t sharp, though it had a real mean left hook. Bryan Xiang’s cheek’s already starting to go blue. The rest of us came off with mere scratches. Only Quinn Flanigan got away unscathed, seeing as he was driving the SUV. I need to get me a licence. Clean up crew is going to have a difficult time explaining this one away. Too many clever witnesses. Can’t wait to read the report and see what they came up with. A small bear, maybe?

Black monster in lock up—Kelp only dared calling it blackie once, before Simpson cuffed him. Once we got it tranq’d, it was easy to get in the SUV. A bit of a tight ride on the way back, with the thing being stuffed in the back seat. I spotted a repair man in cell four. Agent Smith works fast.

Got a TIG treatment (tetanus immunoglobulin) in Medical, again, and had a quick shower.

I knew I shouldn’t have made a comment about it looking to be a quiet afternoon. Another sighting. And just when I was beating Warren at Halo. Probably won’t get another chance any time soon.

Ran into Stephanie Young from team Delta. I was about to comment on the blue streaks in her hair, when I noticed it wasn’t a dye job. Not sure what it was, but it would probably be hell to get it out.

Arrived at site. Nothing suspicious at first sight. Simpson is talking to the man who called it in.

And we’re on our way to Gelling—A-watch alert—leaving Kelp, Warren and Simpson to chase the “small ferret-like” thing that apparently chewed through his stainless steel fence.

And Bingo. When we arrived I thought it would be another dud, but we actually managed to find it, albeit buried underground. No idea what it is—we know better than to touch it—but it looked like a mediaeval torture apparatus. Safely sealed it in a container.

Picked up rest of the team, including one ferret-like creature in non-metallic crate. Two successful catches in little over an hour. Not bad at all. Though Kelp suffered a nasty bite from the ferret. Good thing he already had a tetanus shot earlier.

Delivered both packages and went to the canteen for dinner. Warren’s finally eating something. Kelp’s been recounting their ferret-catching tale, wildly gesturing with his bandaged hand, while Simpson keeps rolling his eyes.

Nothing for a while, so I decided to hit the gym for a nice run on the treadmill. If nothing hits us before eight, I’m going home. Fingers crossed.

On train home, texting with Teddy. He keeps pushing me to move in with him, but I’m glad I have my own flat to come home to when I’m on call. Couldn’t stand to wake him up at god-awful hours and unable to say more than, “Have to go.”

Hot chocolate and a classic Who, fourth doctor. Love the fake aliens. Though some are closer to creatures we’ve come across than the makers could have ever thought.

On train back into Primrose. Another alien sighting

On our way to Greyson’s Woods, joined by Young to replace Xiang, who’s down with a migraine.

Combed out the forest, twice, it feels. Gathered plenty of traces for Research, but no alien anywhere. Scanners didn’t pick up anything in the trees either. Whatever was here had long gone, or was too clever to let us and our scanners catch it.

Just noticed a text from Teddy, time-stamped 23:58, wishing me sweet dreams. Maybe I should see if he’s free for lunch tomorrow.

Dropped off home, since my place was en-route to Primrose. I’m not holding my breath to get a good night’s sleep, and I’m tempted to just veg out in front of the telly, but...


Cover for 'ALIENS, SMITH AND JONES' by Blaine D. Arden. Features a cosmic star-filled sky backdrop with two men in the foreground. The man on the left is dressed in a business suit, adjusting his cufflinks, and the man on the right is in casual attire, both standing against a blurred city nightscape. Below, the text 'A Primrose Files Novel'. Mockup cover with textured, crumpled paper background. At the top in purple text 'Coming... Some day'. Below, a torn paper effect reveals a dark cosmic background with the title 'ROBOTS, JACKSON AND MACALLISTAIR' in golden font with a slight reflection.  Mockup cover with textured, crumpled paper background. At the top, in purple text 'Coming... Some day'. Below, a torn paper effect reveals a cosmic scene with the title 'CYBORGS, KONRAD AND COPPERFIELD' in orange.
The Sea Serpent in Orkney The Start of a Friendship How Isa Met Jason Noah Makes Contact A Day in the Life of... Character Interview with Connor Smith Character Interview with Noah Jones Character Interview with Isa Griffin From the Desk of Connor Smith

A Day in the Life Of... Ornella Amato © 2012 Blaine D. Arden. All rights reserved