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The sun rose to mark the start of the new day, its light bleeding out onto the expanse of trees visible from the high-rise window. Slowly, the light inched its way across the landscape until it brightened even the darkened room at the top of the concrete facility eking its way above the forest. From this darkened room the silhouette of a woman took shape: tall, upright, and clad in a suit as black as space. The sun illuminated a solemn frown below a narrow nose, finally brightening two eyes, dark and piercing. Many who saw these eyes would later say they were cold, unemotive. This was only partially true.

Her office was sparse, but perfect in that regard. A smooth black desk, a picture on one wall, a wall of cabinets on the other. A large window covered the wall opposite the door. A nervous knock came from this door, followed by the click of the same door opening. There was no time for waiting, apparently.

"Lieutenant Dean reporting, D.C. al Fine," came a voice from the door.

"Status report. Now," the haughty voice demanded.

"The countermeme has been, um, detected again. An anartist project displaying the countermeme prominently was identified about 20 minutes ago." The smaller voice stated.

A moment of silence. You could feel the smaller man's apprehension. You couldn't feel the sober woman's creeping fear. Her back remained turned as her eyes wavered across the pines. They weren't cold. They were calculating.

"How many infected?" There wasn't a single sign of fear in the firm voice asking the question.

"Unknown. The anartist threat has been on display for an unknown period of time, assumed to be about 2 days, in which the countermeme has entered the civilian population. Infected civilians have been identified and detained in every continent."

She knew that something would happen. Had known ever since the countermeme was detected that this would be a global threat. Somehow this didn't make hearing it any easier. More silence. More calculations.

"Then we must execute that procedure." Fine's words, heavy and grim, expanded and filled the room.

"Do you mean…?" Lieutenant Dean left the question to linger, afraid to even say the words.

"I do. We are out of alternatives." Fine turned from the window, looking Lieutenant Dean in the eyes. She saw a young man, naive and afraid.

She turned back to the window, back to her thoughts. The sun shined on her again. Were there really no other options? No. There weren't. This was the only chance. Humanity's only chance. The world weighed heavy on the shoulders of this woman judging the future of humanity. The next words were quiet. Still firm, but quiet.

"Execute Procedure Pizzicato."

The sun rose to mark the new doomsday.

From the PHYSICS division field manual:


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