In His Own Image: Interlude 3
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July 5, 2004:



It was an unholy din that surrounded the pair, people shouting and clamoring. There was a fifteen minute window when Site19 could have the yearly photo made, and currently, Dr. Glass was having a hard time getting people to listen, much less position themselves.

"C'mon, guys! Please! This shouldn't take long if you'll all just get into your places."

Lament found himself smiling. Waving at some friends as he worked toward the left of the room, moving to stand behind Gears' shoulder.

When he looked around, he saw Agatha, giving him a significant look. He looked back at her, tilting his head and shrugging, giving her one of those—'hell do you WANT me to do'—looks. She gave it to him again, and he sighed, tapping Gears' shoulder.

"Sir?" he asked.

"Yes, Agent," Gears replied without turning around.

"Smile, sir."

"And what purpose would that serve, Agent?"

He took a breath.

"Smiling would serve to put the others at ease, sir. As this is a social function for the entire site, your smiling could aid the others in the establishment of a more efficient and normalized workplace, something that I believe your own reports have called essential when dealing with the unnatural world in which we work."

It was obviously prepared. Rehearsed. Practiced.

Gears turned and looked at him. After a moment, the corners of his lips inclined in a corpse-like rictus that never touched his eyes.

"Is this sufficient?"

Lament found himself grinning now. Genuinely.

"Yes, sir."

"Everyone!" shouted Glass. "Say… Butterflies!"

"Butterfliiieeessss," said the chorus.

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