Strange Things Happen on Quiet Days; Prologue
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"Focus. Yes, that is her." The man stepped closer to his subordinate.

"It is true, she is beautiful. But what will she take, from what we can give? She lives in a rusty cage, believing it to be her secure home."

Doubt swung in the other's voice. His master could not and would not tolerate it.

"She is a finely cut gem in a setting of dull, blunt, scratched lead. She will be broken out and see her own brilliance."

"And… the man? Without him she will… cannot become free."

"They are like our tree, they are for each other both crown and root, base and fulfilment. Yes. They will understand."

"As my Crown commands. Soon she will reach the airlock. Shall I give the Beauty…?" asked the lower-ranking one.

"Yes, you shall. Send her through."

Agent Alice Peterson briskly strided through one of the Site's long, bustling corridors. She was not really in stress as she had just returned from a successful mission of her MTF 20-Rena. She just wanted to get to her quarters as quickly as possible and enjoy a well-deserved break. Although her eyes were focused on the report of the mission, she dodged the researchers, assistants, engineers, Class D Subjects, nurses and cleaning staff coming towards her like a sleepwalker. Her attention was diverted when someone called out to her.

„Hey, Alice! Hey.“

The voice belonged to D-2510, who was accompanied by two agents and another D-class personnel. The two subjects were covered from top to bottom with something sticky that had a slight bluish shimmer.

"Ah, hello Lola." Alice raised her head and stopped short. The two agents, Fox and Wolf, allowed the oozing test subjects to stop as well. Alice surveyed the substance. "What happened?"

"We should- " D-2510 began before D-3618 interrupted her, "She told the gloop to eat us!" His voice almost tumbled over. "By all the old Gods you've got here: I swear you did that on purpose!"
D-2510 looked guilt-stricken. "I misunderstood …" she defended herself.
"What kind of chump can confuse 'try to eat it' with 'let you get eaten'?!" at which D-3618 began to cry heartbreakingly. It was clear to see that this situation was traumatising for someone with a cleanness obsession.
D-2510 took her test fellow in her arms, tried to comfort him. Her sense of guilt stood clearly out on her slime-smeared face. Fuchs had to stifle a laugh and Wolf also tried to camouflage his giggles with a cough. "Well, chat's over. Off to your cells with you."
Alice heard D-3618 ask from a distance, "Can I take a longer shower for once?"

Alice turned back to her after-work plans. She would probably curl up in bed and watch Dr Who. Maybe she could talk Dr. Faust into it.
Or use the thermal baths at the Site. Possibly also that with Stephan.

With a soft clack, her security badge met the card reader that regulated the airlock. Alice liked to hear the soft hiss of the door mechanism. It was a sound that gave her the impression that the building was alive, that it breathed. Briskly she stepped through into …

A branch broke under her feet and leaves rustled in the wind. She was in a forest. Before she could reflexively step back through the doorway, she heard a heavy garden gate close. She checked the gate, which was set into a wall, only to find that there was little more than a few feet of dense, sprawling forest on the other side.

She cursed internally, pulled out her SIG P220 pistol and checked the magazine. She was prepared to defend herself for a few minutes if necessary, but she had to go on the defensive.
The binge-watching she had hoped for was probably not going to happen.

Prologue || In the Nameless Forest

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