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Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Microstory 1927: Infinite Crosses

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Agent Parsons: Sir, I’m sorry we couldn’t get Mr. Miazga on board. If I’m being honest, however, I see where he’s coming from. I follow the chain of command, and I’ll continue to follow your orders, but personally, I find the idea of amputating the alien rather distasteful. I hope we’re not going through with it anyway.
OSI Director: There’s nothing to worry about, Agent. We were never going to do that.
Agent Parsons: Um, sir?
Special Investigator: If I could explain, sir?
OSI Director: *nods*
Special Investigator: The plan was not to have the traveler break the alien out of the building, and try to gain his trust while they were on the outside.
OSI Director: To be clear, that was my original plan. It was the National Commander who shot it down. He came up with this instead.
Agent Parsons: With this, what?
Special Investigator: We still don’t if we can trust Leonard. Personally, I’m okay with the guy—my offer to deputize him will be waiting for him when he gets out.
Agent Parsons: When he gets out of what?
Special Investigator: We knew that he would never go for the amputation plan. That much was clear about the man’s character within the first minute of meeting him. NatCo wants him locked up, just in case he’s a threat. It won’t be a waste of resources, though. The two of them will be locked up together, and that is how he’ll gain its trust.
Agent Parsons: Really? That’s how we’ll get the Ochivar to talk? By letting it talk to someone it may or may not like through the air vent?
Special Investigator: It will be through a shared water drain, but yes.
Agent Parsons: Right. And what, do you suppose, will prompt this secret long-term interrogation? The alien is in a room with a one-way mirror and two cameras. It’s being monitored 24/7. Even if it started feeling like it could talk to Leonard, it won’t be able to do it there. That was the whole point of letting them break out.
OSI Director: We’re going to place them both in the basement. It’s so dank and unfinished down there, they won’t have any reason to believe there are any cameras. It will search for them, but won’t find one, because there will be nothing to find. All we need is audio, which will be in the form of an epimural amplifier.
Agent Parsons: I see that this has all been planned out. What do you need me for?
OSI Director: You’ve developed a friendship with Mr. Miazga. While he’s gaining the specimen’s trust, we need you to foster his trust in you. Someone else will escort him downstairs so you’re not the bad guy. What you can do is frequent his makeshift cell to let him know that you’re on his side, and that you’re working on a way to get him out.
Agent Parsons: One question: will I actually be working on a way to get him out, or is that just another manipulation?
OSI Director: It’s not a manipulation. We’ll let him out when he gets us what we need.
Agent Parsons: Okay, then. *starts to leave, but turns back* Wait. Is this just you manipulating me? What’s the real secret plan here?
OSI Director: We’re not manipulating you, Agent. We need you. This is the plan.

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