Emily Abbott is an agent with the ICS.
Before I explain what that organization is, I should mention that if Abbott heard me call her an agent she would laugh and there would be some eye-rolling; at first, anyways. Later not quite such a reaction but still, agent? Really? Yes, and no.
Emily Abbott is a barista. That is more accurate for when we first meet her and for some time after that. That is something she knows she is and knows she's good at it. She should be since she has been working at the same busy place for over a year when we meet up. But it is because she is a barista that she will become an agent. Thanks to Brent. More on him in a bit. For now let's concentrate on 19-year-old Abbott being at home behind the counter making lots of different coffee orders and fruit smoothees and trying like the dickens to save up money for college which is really hard on what a barista makes especially when she has a car that loves to suck up so-called extra cash. She is not an agent. Yet.
Now back to the ICS. When Abbott first hears that acronym, she was as ignorant about it as we are. International Covert Society is one guess she makes. Interim Coding Setup is another. Ice Cream Sandwich is a third. None of that is correct, apparently, but I can not tell you what is. In fact, Abbott explains finally that "It's something weird Brent calls [the] organization. Apparently, the real name of it is so top-secret, he had to invent an acronym to call it around me. I don't even know what the acronym stands for." Well, if she doesn't and she sort of works for them, off and on, I do not feel bad in my ignorance.
It would be more accurate to state that Abbott is "an accidental agent" because she was never supposed to become an agent. She was not supposed to even know that the agency, whatever it really is, exists. She just fell into the situation, well, accidentally. And then sort of does it again and again.
I mentioned there would be more on Brent so here it is. We meet him just a couple of pages after we meet Abbott and our meeting him is at the same time she does, which is when she arrives a tad late (again) at work to see him behind the counter very much not knowing how to make a decent expresso. Naturally being an operative, he is there undercover on a mission but Abbott has no way of knowing this and only sees that a really hunky guy is making a mess at barista-ing but is a perfect charmer when it comes to dealing with customers.
His real job and his real reason for being undercover will be revealed to Abbott, and us, soon thereafter and that is when the fun really begins.