Thursday, June 29, 2023

Microstory 1919: Safehouse Social

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Leonard: I won’t help you find the others.
Fugitive Agent: That’s okay.
Leonard: I escaped with them, but I’m not with them. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to tell you where they are...assuming I know that anyway. Which I may not.
Fugitive Agent: I’m not expecting you to tell me anything about them. They’re not my responsibility. I don’t even care that you broke out of jail. I wanted to speak with you for other reasons.
Leonard: And her? What does she want?
Freewoman: I’m just here to support him.
Leonard: Are you one of the street people...the ones who found me? They say you’re part of some sort of group of the formerly incarcerated.
Fugitive Agent: Freemen, they’re called. Or freewomen. I’m new, and still a lawman.
Leonard: I see. Well, anyway, what did you need from me?
Fugitive Agent: *looks at freewoman* The rest of the conversation will have to be in private. I was read in to certain things—
Freewoman: You don’t have to explain. I’ll go.
Fugitive Agent: We’ll talk later, okay?
Freewoman: If you want privacy, I’ll make sure you have it. No one will come near this room. Wait two minutes before you say whatever it is you can’t say in mixed company.
Leonard: [...] It’s been two minutes. Go ahead with your questions.
Fugitive Agent: Yeah, I know. I just don’t know how to start. I spent so much time trying to find you, I didn’t think much about what I was going to say.
Leonard: Well, what makes me so special? Why don’t you care about the other escapees? I’m nobody.
Fugitive Agent: You’re not, though, are you? Okay, I’m just going to say what the deal is. I was just informed of this the other day, but I saw footage of it. I don’t know if it’s real, but it came from the Office of Special Investigations, and they’re not known for their humor. It appeared to be—I don’t wanna say it...
Leonard: Don’t worry. I’ve learned to keep an open mind.
Fugitive Agent: It was an alien. At least I think it was. Maybe it was from another dimension, or maybe it’s been here this whole time, but invisible, so no human has ever seen it before. I don’t know, but it was weird, and it freaked me out—
Leonard: *leans forward in his chair* What did it look like?
Fugitive Agent: Like a bug. I think it had wings. It kind of had a human face, though. I think it can talk, but it has reportedly chosen not to. You don’t sound surprised. What is it? Do you know what it is? Its arrival matches science readings from your arrival. Did you come from the same place? What is it? Who are you? What is it!
Leonard: It sounds like an Ochivar.
Fugitive Agent: An Ochivar. Is that bad? What planet is it from? Where are you from? Are there others? Is this the beginning of a secret invasion?
Leonard: Look, I can tell you what I know, but you’ll have to calm down. It may be bad—it probably is—but let’s not jump to any conclusions. First...tell me everything.

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