Friday, July 21, 2023

Microstory 1935: Insurrection Detection

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Special Investigator: Are you sure?
Scientist: No, I’m not sure. We’ve never done anything like this before. We were just running a test on the new satellite software. We didn’t think we would get a ping. I mean, maybe it blows our whole hypothesis up, and it turns out the equipment just happened to detect a specific instance of something that happens all the time.
Special Investigator: It happened twice. Your equipment registered both arrivals.
Scientist: That’s proof of nothing. We still don’t understand this data. This was new technology when I installed it in Kansas City in the first place. Perhaps it’s good at detecting—I don’t know—long-distance nanoquakes. Sure, your alien arrivals cause them, but so does fluid moving through rocks. It’s a very common phenomenon.
Special Investigator: Okay, but your tech isn’t detecting other nanoquakes. It’s only picked up three events, and two of them were travelers from other universes.
Scientist: It’s allegedly picked up two alleged interdimensional visitors. And the nanoquake thing was just an example. It could have just as easily been caused by unusual temperature fluctuations. Again, we still don’t understand this data. It’s all very complicated. I see nothing here that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that anything special happened in the Wyoming desert.
Special Investigator: I don’t need undeniable proof. I need you to tell me whether it’s worth it for me to send a team.
Scientist: To Wyoming? How much would a mission like that cost?
Special Investigator: An elite recon trio runs about $15,000 a day, though that can easily double for special necessities.
Scientist: So, like, nothing? I say go for it. Just don’t cite my science as a reason for greenlighting the operation. Like I said, we picked it up during a test.
Special Investigator: Don’t worry, I won’t blame you if it turns out to be a false positive. And I wouldn’t call 30-grand nothing. Maybe I’ll just send one, and maybe he doesn’t have to be elite...
Scientist: That’s not my department.
Special Investigator: Thank you, Scientist. I appreciate the insight. *leaves*
Agent Reese Parsons: Sir, I know you said it wasn’t time yet, but I would really like to see Parole Officer Miazga.
Special Investigator: This isn’t about that, son. I need you for a mission.
Reese: Sir, this is the mission. I’ve been trying—
Special Investigator: Don’t worry about the P.O. There has been a new development. I need you in Wyoming as soon as possible. We got a ping.
Reese: A ping, sir? I really would like to revisit—
Special Investigator: We’re not going to discuss you talking to the prisoner again, Agent Parsons. You can either do your job, or lose it. We think more intruders arrived in the Red Desert. I need you to go look into it for me. You’ll have limited resources—
Reese: Then I want to take a confidential informant as backup. We’ll split the cost.
Special Investigator: *shakes his head* No, I know what you’re thinking, but we—
Reese: Let Leonard Miazga out of his stupid cell right now, or I walk.

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