Summer Job
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Randy wasn't sure from the beginning how his dad convinced him to take a summer job. Let alone in the same place where he worked. Randy wasn't an Agent like Dad. He was only working as a Level 0. Besides it being a top secret lab, he was still just a janitor.

Often, he saw a monkey in a lab coat running through the halls (Dad said to stay the Hell away from it; one of the few times he ever looked scared). Once, he saw one of the scientists holding a camcorder and following a six-foot-tall thing with eight legs and four arms; he hoped it was some kind of robot even though it didn't move like one. And he really wondered why they let that one man walk around in nothing but a bathrobe even though everyone looked like they hated him.

All of this, Randy saw while cleaning the floors or emptying the garbage cans. And then there was that tree. Though it creeped him out, he liked being in its courtyard because he could at least see the sky there. He had the job of cleaning up what came out of one side of the tree. He especially didn't like doing that. The smell alone was terrible, and it steamed up his glasses so that he had to keep cleaning them, leaving him almost completely blind.

Randy really really wanted to know what Dad was thinking, putting him through this. Even though he got to see a lot of weird stuff, it was a totally crap job.


Meanwhile, in another part of the same site, a member of the administrative staff was speaking to an Agent.

"Agent Foxtrot, I'm glad that I managed to speak to you at last."

"I'm always available to speak to a superior, Sir."

"I was looking through the site's personnel roster and I noticed a strange discrepancy. For some reason, I saw your name listed twice. One as an Agent, and one as a Level 0 worker."

"Yes, Sir. This is correct."

"I also noticed that the lower ranked Randy Foxtrot is somehow assigned to aid in maintaining an anomalous object, despite being Level 0. And I assume that you had something to do with this. Is that also correct?"

"Yes, Sir. Is there anything else?"

"Damn right, there's something else! I demand an explanation!"

"May I speak candidly, Sir?"

"If that gives me an explanation, then yes."

"Well, Sir, I'm sure you know that I'm going to retire in about a year. After that, the Foundation becomes nothing more than a memory. I wanted to leave this place with one less regret. That's all. I had to pull in a lot of favours for this to happen. The boy is still going to be given amnesics after this is all over. And I bet that my last year with the Foundation is going to be pure Hell. But I had to do it."

"All this. Sacrificing the rest of your career and risking your pension. Just for him. Why?"

"I raised Junior from when he was an infant. I love him like a son. I feel proud every time he calls me Dad, even though I know it's not the truth. I wanted to do this last thing for him while I still could. I wanted, just once, for him to meet his real father."


As Randy began to leave the courtyard, one of the tree's branches bent down in front of his face. The eyeballs at each tip hovered mere inches away from him, seeming to take in every feature. The branch, looking so much like an arm, then reached for his head and… tousled his hair? After that, the branch once again pointed back up to the sky. This place is weird.

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