La Persistencia De La Memoria
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It was a particularly hot day in Site-55, as the climate control was under repairs. The typical lab coats and button-ups worn by the personnel of the GoI research lab had been traded in for t-shirts and shorts, a decision made in advance by the team lead. Despite them informing their staff that they could be out of usual dress code that day, they still wore their typical button-up, slacks, and labcoat with the empty right sleeve tied up in a nice knot. Researcher Rex found himself staring at his boss' unusual choice of outfit as they filed away paperwork.

"Aren't you hot?" asked Researcher Rex, fanning himself.

"Yes. Everyone is."

"Then why are you wearing that?"

"Because I can and because I feel like it."

"I'm just saying, I feel like you'd be more comfortable wearing anything else."

"I'd be more comfortable with you not bothering me."

"Sorry, boss."

Rex fanned himself with a folder for a moment before noticing something was off. He narrowed his eyes and leaned forward a bit, staring at the wall. Just then, the door to the GoI research lab opened, revealing a man carrying a cardboard box.

"I got a load of… uh… AWCY stuff for Doctor Everwood. Which one of you is that?" he asked gruffly, stepping into the office and dropping the box on the table the two were working on.

"Hey there, Bob. How's the heat treating ya?"

"Not as bad as some of the others. I did see someone trying to stuff themselves into the fridge on my way over here."

"Goodness. The heat really must be getting to folks."

"Hey, uh, boss?" Rex interjected.

"What is it?"

"Is it me or is the clock melting?"

"Very funny. It's not that hot, Rex."

"No, I'm serious. Look."

Dr. Everwood sighed and turned around to face where their subordinate was pointing. Their eyes widened. Much to their surprise, the clock did indeed appear to be sagging and drooping.

"What the hell? Looks like one of those surrealist paintings."

When people are hot, they sweat. When many people who are hot are brought into one area, they sweat more. Sweat produces an unpleasant smell. To say that the Site-55 auditorium was rancid within minutes of the meeting starting was an understatement.

The gathered crowd became unruly before the site director shambled onto the podium, wearing a sweat-stained suit and loosened tie.

"Hello, everyone. I'm sure you have all experienced the most recent anomalous effect to accost our fine Site."

"Just tell us what you plan on doing about it so we can all get out of here!" screamed Dr. Masterson, who was not wearing a shirt.

"Order! Order, damn it, order!" The director straightened his tie and cleared his throat. "Personnel will be collecting the melted clocks in approved bins shortly. We are investigating the cause of these events."

"Who cares? Just turn the AC on already!" shouted Researcher Carlson, who was desperately clutching a melting ice bag to her head.

"The site's climate control will be ready to work again in a few hours. Please remain patient and cooperate with us as we further investigate this latest anomaly."

"I swear on my life, if we stay in this room for another minute I am going to set off the sprinklers,"

"Yeah, we're sweating like dogs in here!"

"Actually, dogs don't sweat, we pant!"

"Shut the fuck up, Crow!"

"Hey, at least you get to take off your clothes, I can't shed all this fur!"

"Yeah it's hot but this fucking stench, oh my God!"

"Imagine how bad it is for me!"

"Shut the FUCK up, Crow!"

"Make me, you fat C.H.U.D.!"

Things were quickly unwinding into chaos and the director was having none of it.

"Fine," his voice boomed over the speakers. "Once you have turned in your affected clocks you may return to your work. In an orderly fashion, mind you!"

A large commotion was formed as various personnel clambered to be rid of their melted clocks. Sweaty flesh met sweaty flesh as hundreds tried to escape the dank smell which had overpowered the room. The site director doffed sweat off his brow and escaped into the wings of the stage.

Doctor Everwood grumbled, entering their lab with Rex in tow. "What a waste of time. Why couldn't they have just come to collect the melted clocks after making an announcement?"

"Beats me. At least we're not in that room anymore. It smelled like Dragoncon."

"Dragoncon? Wha- actually, I don't care. Worse things could happen. Do me a favor and sort through the crap that Bob brought earlier. I'll document it when you're done."

"Can do, boss."

The two worked in silence for a few minutes before Rex spoke up.

"Hey, boss?"

"What is it?"

"You mind if I take off my shirt? It's getting really bad in here."

"Not a problem."

Rex sighed in relief and removed his t-shirt, now only wearing his binder and shorts. The two got back to work.

"Hey, boss?"

"I swear to God, if you ask to take off another article of clothing we will have a problem."

"No, no. Look at this."

He held up a pocket watch in pristine condition.

"Huh. Wonder why it's not affected. Let me see it?"

Dr. Everwood glanced over the watch, their fingers finding grooves in the back. They turned it over to discover a message written in Spanish.

The Persistence of Memory
- S.D.
Are We Cool Yet?

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