The Butterfly Dream
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Agent Haoyu woke up covered in butterflies. He brushed them aside and proceeded to get dressed for another day at Biological Site-104. After the monasteries that housed these creatures burned down, the Foundation had sent out interest forms to various staff members. Every day he regretted his decision to put N/A on an interests form. This led to him being introduced to these butterflies and, upon the discovery of his immunity, he was given custody of the anomaly.

These butterflies subsisted off of interests and died without. However, the kaleidoscope seemed to maintain its numbers through an unknown reproduction method. Haoyu spent his days researching these creatures and recording mundane events. He had made little progress and received little budget. Today, Haoyu felt especially bored, no abnormal activity came from these rainbow creatures.

Haoyu realized that he was terribly depressed. At first, he had some sort of pipe dream of joining Alpha-9 by training the butterflies. Haoyu spent the better part of 5 years training them and had taught basic commands such as “over there.” His superiors weren’t very impressed. Now, Haoyu was simply a babysitter for some rainbow butterflies. He was given this job because of how boring he was, how pointless his life was. His life was worth so little, the butterflies had nothing to eat. The butterflies had eaten everything he could be, his very future eaten alive. He had dreamed of a happy life, but now realized he would die surrounded by this rainbow kaleidoscope.

Haoyu wondered whether he was any different from the butterflies. He sometimes dreamed he was a butterfly, flying free, a beautiful landscape below. All he did was sit in the containment cell and watch, same as them. He remembered when he would gather with friends and loved ones, how he would live through their interests, seeking to hide how little he cared and thus how little he mattered to them or how little they mattered to him. He sought to hide himself from the world’s expectations of him and his life. He had succeeded, now in a world where no one but the butterflies knew he existed.

And the world around Haoyu exploded. A Containment Breach. Haoyu looked out the gaping hole in the wall and spotted the guards engaging what appeared to be a porcupine woman. The guards were injured from the explosion and were quickly killed. Haoyu took stock of his kaleidoscope, approximately 30% had died in the explosion, the rest gathered in the far corner. He breathed hard, it had been a while since he exercised. Then, he remembered his one trick.

“Over there.”

The butterflies flew out of their cell and swarmed the porcupine woman. The woman removed spines from her neck and attempted to attack the swarm. However, the butterflies succeeded in their attack and the woman collapsed. Haoyu emerged from the cell, and the butterflies surrounded him. It felt like a dream.

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