Friday, September 29, 2023

Microstory 1985: New Direction

Generated by Google Workspace Labs text-to-image AI software
Henley: O.
Ophelia: Yeah, is everything okay?
Henley: No, the others are getting antsy.
Ophelia: All we can do is wait. No one knows we’re here. I mean, of course the others do, but no one we need to be worried about.
Henley: They’re not worried about being discovered. But we all know that we can’t stay here forever. You have a family to get back to, don’t you?
Ophelia: Yes. And the only way I can keep them safe right now is to stay away from them. I hope you’re not thinking of contacting your family.
Henley: Of course not, but what’s going to happen afterwards? Parsons and the others are trying to fix this, but what if it can’t be fixed?
Ophelia: I don’t know. No one knows. That’s how life works.
Henley: Can you talk to them?
Ophelia: Are they all in that big room we’ve been eating out of?
Henley: Yeah, I think they’re expecting you.
Ophelia: Very well. *walks down to the room* Hello, everyone.
*they start to inundate her with questions and complaints*
Henley: All right, settle down. You can’t talk all at once.
Ophelia: Thank you. I have something to say. I know that we’re all sort of freaking out right now, but that’s not going to help. We have each been through worse. That’s how we ended up here. We’re doing something that has never been done before. We’re preparing for an alien invasion, and no matter what happens after the dust settles, that will always be true. When these damn locusts show up en masse, the world will see what we’ve seen, and they will know that you saw them first. They will learn how you fought against them, despite having no legal or moral obligation to. You could have gone home, and hidden in your bathtubs. You could have just completely ignored the risk. But you stood at the frontlines, and I commend you for that. One day, the history books will too. Now, by raising your hands, does anyone have any specific questions about what we should do, or what we can do about our situation? Yes, Yanna.
Yanna: When will we receive any news? Have you planned a call with Agent Parsons, or something? I think what’s causing the anxiety is not having any sort of timetable.
Ophelia: We have each other’s burner phone numbers. He’ll contact us when there’s an update worthy of our attention. It will come soon. We came up with a few code words in case he finds himself in mixed company. It’s best if you don’t know any more than that.
Reese: *steps in from the hallway* None of that will be necessary anyway.
Henley: Agent Parsons. Or should I call you Subdirector Parsons?
Reese: Neither. *pauses for dramatic effect* I’ve just been in meeting after meeting after meeting. It was all very boring, but your jobs are waiting for you when you’re ready to come back. I’m not the subdirector, but a full director. The Department of Exogenic Affairs is being spun out into its own full department. We’re no longer working under Special Investigations, but the executive branch of government. I answer directly to the National Commander. You can all relax. Everything’s gonna be okay.

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