Foundation Mandated Interlude 2
rating: +17+x

Date. Creator. Materials. Results. Anomalous Properties.

Pages of data and words suqeezed into single entries, the most eye-pleasing image selected out of numberous photos, and then finally all of these slapped onto a electronic form, to be saved and and filed. And then the process was repeated again, until she exhausted the whole list of items.

Researcher Jennifer Mendez sighed. After yet another round of proofreading and checking, she pushed the submit button, sending the files to her superior. Information on the anomalous artworks created in the tests had now been compiled properly, ready to be received by field agents. She still remembered looking in slight awe as the items were displayed in the temporary containment chamber. But as interesting as those items first appeared to be, pages of their specific dimensions and materials only took all the fun out of it.

Mendez stretched a bit, yawned, and stood up from the chair. Checking her watch, she decided to grab a coffee, knowing that she had some more tests to run with Agent Cobalt this afternoon.

Ten or so minutes later, she was in front of her computer screen again, sipping coffee and treating herself with some small snacks, while half-mindedly browsing through the poorly maintained social network of the Foundation's intranet.

Her thoughts wandered about, and Mendez wondered how she, someone with literature and history degrees, came to help run tests that track someone's brain activity. Of course, she had picked up skills and knowledge here and there – one thing the Foundation did right was that education was effectively free, with proper application, you could even get very decent online courses – history of the world behind the veil, anart history, anomalous literature. She even dabbled in memetics. But still, this was a stretch.

Then again, it was just operating the machine. After being forced to go through several sessions, she got the hang of it. (Dr. Samuels was certainly not a terrible boss, but she had to wonder how come he didn't have to sit through those as well, being the head of the project.) Furthermore, readings from the tests were all filed for the professionals to analyze, along with the footage, so she didn't need to be concerned with that. As someone with a legit doctorate, Samuels was able to assemble a small team of medical and neurological professionals, conducting proper experiments on the D-Classes. Her work with Alex was just a bonus, if not something less.

But she couldn't tell Alex that, suspecting the agent would go from being stressed to utter defeat, finding her work largely useless to their effort to crack the workings of anart. At least for the time being. She did hear Dr. Samuels mention that the undercover job's importance would only show in the long run.

As the coffee ran dry and with her snacks into her stomach, Mendez checked her watch again. There was still some time, and she decided to move to the testing chamber, and maybe read a few papers there on her tablet. There were nothing better to do, and she suspected that Samuels' overenthusiasm over the whole matter was affecting her as well.

Then again, she did wish to get a proper doctorate, and with that, maybe a better position than being an assistant.


Two hours later, as Mendez sat in the testing chamber, half way through one of the papers, it was Dr. Samuels that walked in, not the agent she was expecting.

"Jennifer," Samuels stepped into the room, interrupting Medez's study plans. "Testing's cancelled, but I have a new job for you."

"Cancelled?" Mendez burst out in surprise, before quickly correcting herself. "Anything wrong, Dr. Samuels?"

"Oh no, nothing to worry about. Just that Agent Cobalt won't be able to participate in tests for the foreseeable future. Schedule changes."

Mendez couldn't help but become slightly worried with the information; didn't seem like good news if there were "schedule changes" in an undercover job. But Dr. Sameuls' face showed nothing but excitment.

"No need to be concerned, the testing with her is not essential anyways." Samuels added, having obviously mistaken the source of Mendez' worry. "Cheer up, we are going to work on something much more exciting."

"Is it the 'Project Fountain' you were planning, doctor?" Mendez had already put her tablet aside, and started to pack things up.

Samuels seemed to be in a really good mood today, as he joined the researcher in putting things back to their intended places. "Just got approved by the Site Command." He said smugly.

"Congratulations, doctor." Mendez smiled politely.

"Let me tell you this, Jennifer," Samuels grinned back. "What we had was just a warm-up, and this is going to be the real deal. No more fake anart and limited testing; closer to the source of it all than ever!"

That does sound exciting, Mendez thought as she followed Samuels out of the testing chamber, door shutting behind them.

"But first, I need you to make some preprations," Samuels said as he led Mendez back to the office building. "I need up to five D-Classes with art backgrounds. Well, at least two, that should suffice. I'll send the other requirements to you later."

"Of course." She answered.

An hour later, Mendez sat once again in her side office in front the computer screen, another cup of coffee in hand and a hastily assembled meal on the table. As she picked through the seemingly endless D-Class bios (still quite a lot even with keyword searches), she sighed again. And Dr. Samuels wonders why she is not as excited for this as he is.


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