• A.E. Hellstorm

Allen, June 1973

Updated: Jul 17

Every year, you have all these university students who fight to become a Star Student. You study them, you follow their work, watch their behavior, how they solve problems, how they treat obstacles in their every-day-life, how they do everything, to make sure you handpick the best of them, the one who can easily adapt to changes, who thinks outside the box, who always surprises you.

Then, you have four years – FOUR YEARS – to form their values, to make them great Field Researchers. And yet… yet you fail. It drives me out of my mind.

We met one of them yesterday, the newest graduate. He’s in Team C now, joined only a few weeks back, and it’s one of our best teams. Great Field Researchers all of them. They have a fantastic track record and I’m very proud of them. We put them on solving the murders of Team G, because something isn’t right with that one. It stood between them and the O’s, but the O’s needs to rest for a few months before they get back into the field. The C’s were the natural choice, and I have high hopes that the project will soon be solved.

The problem is, the autopsy showed anomalies none of us have heard of before with completely unknown substances. You can’t be too careful in that kind of situation, so Astor and I went there to look for ourselves, and, of course, we wanted to talk to the pathologist.

True, he was a Star Student for only two years, and he’s not good at adapting, but we have to go with what we have. Every teacher had clear instructions on how to prepare him for the Field Researcher job. And he lies. He lies to us. I know he hides something. Astor tells me to calm down. “We’ll get to know what it is sooner or later”, he says. “You’re probably right,” says I, “but what if it’s too late by then?” And he waves away my concerns. He’s always too lenient with them.

I swear something bad will come from this. I can feel it.

Don’t get me wrong. I know how it is. Astor and I were in the field together for eighteen years, after all. When you get your hands on something, you don’t want to share it with your contact. You’re eager to solve the puzzle and you’re afraid your contact’s going to take your treasure away from you. That’s still not the point! The point is, if he lies once, we won’t be able to trust him the next time, and I told Astor that. Of course, he just waved that away, too, as usual. Sometimes, he makes me furious with his casual attitude.

Trust me when I say this will end badly.



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