The Sunlit Sky
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“Professer Wilbert!” Dr. McConner jogged up to my desk with a short, young red-head trailing behind her.

“Yes?”

“Your new assistant is here. Meet Dr. Epon Scarlett.” McConner gestured to the man who stood next to her.

“Hello.” Dr. Scarlett nodded and bit his lip. “Do you contain and discover stuff?” He inquired.

“I work with humanoids and other sapient beings.” I answered. An odd first question.

"Oh." He answered as his face dropped. "I was hopping I'd be able to discover anomalies." He stood on the balls of his feet and crossed his arms.

"Well, I'm a containment specialist for anomalies discovered by those who specialize in recovering and discovering anomalies." I explained as an attempt to make this interaction less awkward.

"Oh." Scarlett shrugged. "I bet I can still make the most of it." He grinned shyly.

I nodded with a smile. "That's the spirit."


Click-clack-click-clack-click-

The sound of the keyboard begun to imprint itself in my mind as the clock struck an hour of me working on Scarlett's paperwork. Did he have to end up being an anomaly?

Before I knew it, the door swung open and crashed against the wall. That better not have made a dent.

"Hey Liz." McConner greets, walking up to my desk. "What's up?"

"Hey Lilac." I sigh. "Just working on fucking Scarlett's paperwork. He hardly did it when he was still here, and now I have to deal with it. So much for having an assistant."

McConner frowns. "Aw, I can help you! It's my break." She offers, clasping her hands together.

"Thanks, Lilac, but it won't be your break forever. I've got half a year's worth of paperwork to make up." My fingers were starting to hurt.

McConner grimaces. "Ooooh, that's tough. You should get a new assistant! You could ask Marvin to borrow Researcher Whyte while they search for one."

I stop tying. "I think I should just handle it by myself." I explain. I needed to face the truth; I wasn't meant to have an assistant. Scarlett was a big, hard slap to the face.

McConner shrugs. "Hm, well, if you're sure. Let me know if you need anything." She waves, and walks out the door, without closing it.

Great, now I have to get up.


It's finally time to wrap up for the night — for me. Most people got out of here two hours ago, but fucking Scarlett's been keeping me at work extra nights.

I finish packing up, and reach to grab my bag.

SLAM

Standing at the doorway was McConner, who looks slightly irritated.

"Lilac, what's up?" I ask, slinging my bag over my shoulder.

"It's the sky!" She explains, running up to me. McConner grabs my arm, pulling me.

I shook her off.

"The sky?" I ask, raising an eyebrow. I stand up. I swear to god, this better not be that Anomalous-Ginger-Fuck's doing.

"Yeah!" Lilac nods frantically. "You have to come help me!"

I nod. "Alright. Let's go."

We make our way outside. My biggest fear was true; there was nothing wrong.

"Do you see? It's dark!" McConner exclaims.

"Yes…" I say slowly.

McConner clenches her fists. "It's not supposed to be!"

Epon Nathaniel Scarlett, I swear to christ I will motherfucking end you.

"Lilac, yes it is." I reply, attempting to suppress the fire from deep within me.

McConner frowns. "It's supposed to be light! So I can spend all the day working! But it's harder with this dark sky!"

"Lilac, you should get home, get some rest." I suggest.

"I don't need sleep, I need time!" She complains.

Yes, very funny. Making my best friend think like you. Can you stop this now?

"Lilac—"

"I'm not crazy! Jackie and Archer agree with me!"

This appears to be more than a joke.


I don't know what time it is. All I know is that I've been awake since I've got home. That ginger-fuck's stupid tricks have been clouding my mind. Will McConner still be like that tomorrow? Will Catt and Riles truly be on the same page as McConner? I really should have expected this sooner; Scarlett fucking hated me — that mother-ding-dong-fuck posted an article on the database about me being an anomalous bitch.

Before I knew it, it was the morning, and it was time to get to work.

I enter my office. Fuck me.

Sitting in my office chair was McConner with a stack of notes in her arms.

"Hey, McConner." I greet slowly as I walk up to my desk, setting my bag down.

"Hey! I'd like to show you my notes! I've been up all of the dark hours writing notes — about the dark hours! I thought I'd show them to you, you might understand where I'm from, then!"

"Oh, that's uh… that's cool." I reply. "Uh, look, Lilac. I'm kinda busy, so I don't really have the time today, or soon."

McConner frowns. "Oh, okay." She stands up, and slowly walks out the door.

I sigh. "Jesus."

Proof — that's it!


I enter the break room with my laptop in arms, ignoring my guilt and thoughts that I should be working, and sit on one of the couches. After a few seconds of scrolling through my laptop, I start feeling like there are eyes on me — like I'm being watched.

I look up from my phone, suddenly seeing dozens of eyes staring me down.

"Uh… Hi guys." I say, glancing around.

Things were silent.

"Elizabeth? Are you okay?"

Suddenly, Dr. Runnels was tapping me on the shoulder.

I blink. Everyone was behaving as normal.

"Yeah, yeah I'm okay." I reply. "Just day dreaming."

What was that? Did that happen? Was I hallucinating? Day dreaming?

"You awkwardly were like, "Uh… Hi guys"." Runnels replies. "You sure you're okay?"

"I am, yes." Fuck. Why did it have to be Sid? I always get the urge to flirt with him. But, now wasn't a good time.

Runnels nods and sits down next to me. "So, how've you been?"

I sigh. "Shitty." I answer honestly. "I'm still dealing with Scarlett's shit."

"Ah. Doing his paper work?"

"A bit more than that. He's been fucking with me, I swear. Lilac came up to be saying the night was fake. I came up with some evidence to dispute that point that I'm gonna show to anyone who brings it up to me." Please don't sound crazy.

Runnels raises an eyebrow. "That evidence thing isn't a bad idea. Ryuunosuke was doing that shit too. It was odd, he's not normally one for humor, but he told me he was one-hundred percent serious. Mel agreed with Ryu, too."

"Oh, really? So, Scarlett's messing with more of us."

"Elizabeth, you don't know it was him." Runnels attempts to reason.

"You haven't read his POI file! That motherfucker thinks the night is an anomaly! He can bend reality to his will, so he is! He's obviously doing this to fuck with me!" Anger is what made it out, but it was only a mask.

Runnels sighs. "Look, I'm upset about it, too. My best friend was infected with this weird thought process. But, I'm not gonna go around pointing fingers."

This had to be Scarlett, too! He knew I had a thing for Sid!

I take a deep breath. "I suppose I can chill out."

Who else doesn't believe in the night?


Half the site — maybe more. That's how many people I've been hearing chattering about why the night isn't real. I didn't expect that he'd affect this many people in four days.

I walk into the break room, being unable to handle anymore Scarlett-related thing right now. I haven't been able to show my evidence to anyone yet, maybe I'll be able to. The room is empty. That's odd.

I sat down on the couch, glancing around. With each glance, a felt more and more at unease.

I am definitely not alone.

"Do you believe in the dark sky?"

The room was staring at me — everyone there as well.

Is this actually happening?

"Do you believe in the dark sky?" Everyone spoke in unison in a monotonous tone.

"Uhhhh…" my eyes drift to the ground.

I open my eyes. Everyone is acting as normal.

"Hey." Runnels nods, sitting next to me. "You spaced out again." He runs his hand through his hair.

"Oh, did I?" I smile nervously. Typically the nerves come from Runnels' presence; that wasn't the case this time.

Runnels laughs, I bite my lip.

"Sid! Liz!"

Agent Mars skips over to us, holding out two sheets of paper.

"I was wondering if you wanted to attend our meeting tonight." He asks, pushing the papers forwards.

I grab one and scan it over. A meeting for "Non-Dark-Sky Believers"? Oh Jesus Christ, just end me now.

Runnels grabs the other one, and looks it over as well.

"I—" I begin, Runnels interrupting me.

"Sounds great, Mars. We'll be there." He smiles, gently placing his hands together. Please tell me he's not infected.

"Awesome!" Mars beams, pumping his fist in the air. "See you two there!" He begins to walk out the door.

"Mars!" I call.

Mars turns around to look at me, and walks back over. "Yes?"

"I'd like to show you this." I pull out my laptop, which was opened to a text document.

Mars takes my laptop and scans over the file. He raises an eyebrow.

"Here you say we have "night" every night so we can sleep and replenish our energy, but sleeping is optional." He points out, handing my laptop back to me.

I sigh. "Did you not see the picture of space?"

Mars shakes his head.

"Oh, no, I did, but it just looked like a big dark sky. Anyway, see you!" He walks out the door.

I turn to Runnels. "Well, that failed." I rubbed my hands over my face. "And, that meeting is at 3AM." I sigh, loosely pulling my hair.

"Relax." Runnels puts his hand on my shoulder. "I thought it could help us get a better insight on their thought process." He reasons.

I shrug, relaxing my posture. "I guess you're right. Especially after… that."

He better be.


BEEP-BEEP. BEEP-BEEP. BEEP-BEEP. BEEP-BE—

I awoke to the mirage of beeps from my alarm. I grab my phone, pressing "stop alarm". I look at the time.

Yep, it is 2:30AM.

I sit up, stretching. I don't want to be awake, but Runnels insisted that we both attend. I'm just praying that he really does want to go to this for research, and not because he's infected.

I'm all dressed, about ready to leave my house. A sense of unease makes itself into the room.

Am I being watched?

I look around, seeing nothing. I see nothing.

My house is now a blank, pale grey room.

"What the fuck? Give me my house back you asswipe!" I attempt to sound intimidating, but my voice comes out trembling. It would be a lie if I said I wasn't freaked out. I clench my fist and walk up to one of the walls and kick, feeling air.

I walk into the grey wall, and back into my living room. I look around, no trace of the grey room left behind.

I stand there for a few moments, taking in the events that just took place.

Comprehension is asking too much.


"Liz! You made it!" McConner trots up to me as I walk to the gathering place, the Site-107 parking lot.

"Hey, Lilac. Do you know where Sid is?" I ask. As I looked around, it appears that nearly the entire site is here. Oh my god.

McConner nods, her pigtails flopping. "Yep! He's Talking with Archer!"

Grr.

I nod. "Thanks." I make my way through the crowd, and eventually to Runnels.

"Hey." I greet, pulling at my jacket sleeves.

Runnels and Riles turn to look at me; Runnels smiles.

"Elizabeth, you made it. Archer was just explaining the true time system we should be using." Runnels gestures to Riles, who waves.

Every shred of hope I had that this wasn't going to be a complete and utter nightmare was obliterated in that very moment.

"Oh really?" I say, attempting to stop my voice from quivering.

Not Sid, too.

Runnels frowned softly. "Is something up?"

I failed.

"Oh, no no!" I shook my head and waved my hand. "Sounds very awesome."

"Everyone!" Catt calls through a megaphone. "It's time to officially start now that everyone is here!"

Am I crazy, or did she emphasize "everyone"?

"The first order of business," Catt began, walking up to Riles. "Why is it dark?"

Dozens of hands shot up.

"Cadence, what is your explanation?" Catt asks.

"Because an evil force believes that the restriction of freedom is necessary. But it's wrong!" She calls, prompting several cheers.

"Hm…." Catt's eyes scan the crowd. "Who should I pick next?" She snaps her fingers and clicks her tongue. "Elizabeth, would you like to explain?" Her piercing green eyes were staring me down.

"O-oh, um…"

One by one, every pair of eyes in the area from the humans to the animals drift to me.

Everyone stares at me, blinking simultaneously, waiting for an answer.

I can't see the parking lot anymore, only a pale grey room, and a thousand eyes.

I've worked with some of the most dangerous creatures and objects in existence.

For the first time in my life, I felt fear.

"Now you're the crazy one."

It can't be.

Behind me, I hear the laugh of the man that ruined my life.

Wait, what is that?

I could see a massive curtain blocking the sun, creating a dome around the earth.

I want to move, but I'm frozen. My vision is starting to fail, and I collapse to the ground.


I blink a few times, and open my eyes. It appears that I'm in the site infirmary. In chairs next to the bed were Runnels and McConner.

"She's awake!" McConner cheers, clapping her hands.

"What… What happened?" I ask. I thought I knew, maybe I didn't.

"Bells found you passed out in the parking lot." Runnels answers.

Parking lot?

The night is real. Did I actually hesitate?

"It was even stranger, cause you were loosely gripping this. Don't know what it means."

Runnels hands me a sheet of paper.

It was a poster for the "Non-Dark-Sky" Believers meeting.

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