Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Microstory 1913: Special Investigations

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Special Investigator: I appreciate you coming to me, I just couldn’t get away from the office today. It’s a madhouse. Unrelated.
Fugitive Agent: That’s all right, I don’t mind. Is this about my current case?
Special Investigator: It’s about one of the escapees. We don’t care about the others.
Fugitive Agent: Let me guess, it’s this mysterious so-called parole officer that no one knows anything about.
Special Investigator: We are very interested in who he is, and how he got here.
Fugitive Agent: Does the Office of Special Investigations think that he’s some kind of major threat to national security?
Special Investigator: Perhaps, perhaps not. I’m going to show you something that pertains specifically to your case, and then I’m going to show you something that may have nothing to do with it, or it may mean everything.
Fugitive Agent: Okay, go ahead.
Special Investigator: Watch both monitors closely. This camera is showing the lobby of the hotel. This other one is showing the exterior. Wait for it... Wait for it...there.
Fugitive Agent: Hm. That’s weird. Are you sure these are synced up correctly?
Special Investigator: Absolutely certain. Your man walks out of the hotel without ever actually being in the hotel. He appears out of nowhere, and it doesn’t seem to faze him one bit. To him this is normal.
Fugitive Agent: No, there has to be a logical explanation. A glitch, erased footage...
Special Investigator: That what I would guess if I were in your shoes, but then again, I haven’t shown you the other footage yet.
Fugitive Agent: Can I see this one one more time?
Special Investigator: Certainly.
Fugitive Agent: [...] Wow, that looks so real. The door doesn’t open from the inside. It really looks like it’s just two different scenes spliced together.
Special Investigator: It’s not. Look at that newspaper blowing in the wind on the sidewalk. You can see it on both cameras.
Fugitive Agent: You’re right. I don’t understand it.
Special Investigator: Then you definitely won’t understand this.
Fugitive Agent: *peering at the screen* What the hell is that thing?
Special Investigator: We’re still figuring that out.
Fugitive Agent: It looks like a giant...dragonfly, or maybe a cicada.
Special Investigator: It won’t speak, but it clearly understands English. It reacts predictably to verbal threats. It showed up six months ago. We’ve been studying it.
Fugitive Agent: Fascinating, but forgive me, what does it have to do with my guy?
Special Investigator: This...thing showed up on camera too. A meteorologist happened to be doing some kind of weather research nearby at the time of its arrival. It presented very unusual readings, so we’ve been secretly installing sensors all over the country, including near enough where the parole officer showed up.
Fugitive Agent: He set off the sensors, didn’t he? What do you want me to do?
Special Investigator: We want you to do what you were doing. Find him. For us.

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