A Few Minor Counts of Bookkeeping
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Look, it went like this:

May 3, 2004:

"God, what a mess," Doctor Zimmerman said, as she surveyed the carnage in the room. "The incompetence on display…"

"They need a filing cabinet for sure," her assistant Navarro agreed.

They both gazed on the records room in awe and barely-veiled disgust.

"Well here it is," Patrick Gephart said, a little miffed that he had to be the day's designated tour guide. "And it's our problem now." He paused a second, slapping his arms against his sides. "What did you say you were looking for?" he asked, grudgingly.

"Nothing we'll find in here," Zimmerman said. "I thought your collections were all digitized…?"

"Oh, that's just the overseers," Gephart said. "We like to have hard copies."

"And who instituted that policy?" Zimmerman asked.

Gephart shrugged.

"I…see," Zimmerman said. "Well, I'm sorry I got so angry with you. I guess I'll—"

"Ah, hello there!" a voice from deep within the stacks said. A woman's head peeked out from some distant pile. "Hello! I'm, ah, Doctor Elliott! Nice to meet you!"

"What are you doing back there?" Gephart yelled.

"I'm looking for my basil," Elliott said, sounding a little alone. "It ran away in all the commotion yesterday. Have any of you happened to see it?"

July 16, 2013:

As time rolled on, Site 19 had developed more and more layers of architectural kludge and bloat; it worked on a similar design ethos as that of, say, a hospital: more and more extensions were slapped on wherever the room was needed, an incessant cycle of growth, a huge concrete tumor out There, in the desert. It just kept growing as the Foundation did, adding more and more and more…

But deep at the very core of the facility there was the start of it, and the tightest of the vaults. It was in one of these that Clef was stored.

After his outburst he had been deemed too unstable to remain free but too valuable to kill. To that end he was frozen and stored, locked up like a frozen turkey.

The mystery of consciousness had eluded the Foundation just as much as it had eluded everyone else, which should go some way towards assuaging the horrible mistake they made. For Francis, poor poor Francis, was still in there, alive and well, seeing and feeling, deep in the wreckage of the rest of his mind.

He'd seen all that Ukulele had done in his name, tried to scream through snarling wet lips, and now he was still alive, in a certain sense of the word, while the rest of his mind slumbered on. He had tried, through the years, to figure out why just this personality maintained consciousness, despite his brain being kept at subzero temperatures. Eventually, he'd been forced to concede that he had no idea.

Still, it was something to stave off the boredom. It had, after all, been nine years.

December 15, 2005:

"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Doctor Mann asked nervously, looking over Gephart's shoulder.

"No!" Gephart said, staring at his screen and listening to the sounds of typing coming from his partner. "That's what I've been telling you people!"

A pair of spectacles and a face that could only be described as "pasty" peered over the monitor opposite Gephart's.

"It's what the O5s wanted…" David Rosen said. He had a thin little voice, and the perpetual quaver of someone who wasn't quite sure if he was supposed to be here. "If you want to…I mean, if you wanted to—I suppose you could—I mean we could—stop?"

Gephart sighed. "Yeah—they wanted more of themselves." He paused and sighed again. "You're the wunderkid. What do you think?"

Rosen blanched further. In the glow of the monitors, he was near-fluorescent. A corner of Mann's brain wanted to dissect him and determine any possible sources of bioluminescence…

"Well, I, uh—I guess if—it has been…well, it has been approved, but—I mean—if you have…any…"

"Just press the button!" Gephart yelled, slamming his hand down on the table. "I give up! We'll deal with this later!"

"I—I—" Rosen swallowed and pressed a few buttons on the keyboard.

And just like that, three new lives flickered into existence. (Though there should have only been two…)

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