Half-Life: Resonance

Monday March 18, 2003:

What I’d give sometimes to be a fly on the wall in this place.

So I was strolling to lunch when I caught a glimpse of Dr Vance and Dr Breen arguing. The door to Vance’s office was shut, and their voices were muffled, but I figured that there was no harm in stopping to tie my shoelace just outside the window.

Okay, I admit it: I eavesdropped. But come on: the head of Anomalous Materials butting heads with The Administrator? Who wouldn’t be curious?

“We’re nowhere near ready for an experiment of that magnitude. We’re pushing our equipment to its limits, funding is too tight.”

“And you’re behind schedule. Anomalous Materials has been overly cautious for too long.”

“We’re close to a breakthrough, I can just feel it. Just give me a little more time.”

“Eli when I engaged you in this partnership I expected our work here to go down in history. But your reticence is impeding the progress of the whole facility.”

“Oh yeah? I’m still being kept in the dark about that progress. Only you seem to know the whole picture.”

“You know as much as you need to and no more.”

“I know more than that. I know we’re bringing samples back. I know some of the Lambda team has already crossed over.”

“Yes, and the observations they’ve made are decades ahead of your piddling experiments! They were bold enough to take risks. The things I’ve seen-”

“And what about Olegivich? He’s certainly seen something with that wall-eyed stare.”

“Ivan has been … under duress, I’ll admit. But I’ve been assured he is recovering well. His condition is irrelevant, I still want results.”

I heard Dr Breen approach the door, so I beat a hasty retreat. As I made for the elevator, I heard him say:

“Don’t model yourself on the trilobite Eli. Serve mankind.”

He walked into the elevator with me, and pushed the button. I kept my eyes fixed ahead, but I could feel his gaze on the back of my neck.

“Good morning,” I heard him say. “It’s Mr Calhoun. With an ‘L.’ Isn’t it?”

“Yes sir. Good morning sir,” I said, turning to face him. He was smiling again, but his eyes were too wide and his jaw too firm, for it to seem friendly.

“I recently approved your transfer from Sector A to Sector C, is that right?” he asked.

“Yes sir.”

“I can see you’re clearly a man of drive and ambition among security personnel,” he said. “So I’m sure you understand the importance of discretion.”

The lift stopped and he strode out, leaving me with more questions than ever. What’s Breen keeping secret? What’s been discovered? What happened to Dr Olegivich? Should I tell Gordon what I heard, or keep it quiet?

I think I preferred it when Dr Breen didn’t know who I was. The alternative makes me nervous.

Published by itshendo

Callum Henderson is a carbon-based life form who graduated with a degree in Journalism and Creative Writing from the University of Strathclyde in 2016.

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