The Specialist

Anevon sipped green tea as she looked over her notes and kept a few eyes on Andris. He was sitting across the room, scribbling in a notebook. Once she came to a stopping point, Anevon carefully set her cup in its saucer and asked, “How is it going?”

It took Andris a moment to realize he was being addressed. “Right— um..”

Anevon smiled to herself. It was nice to know he was so dedicated to this work.

“It’s going fine.” The young man smiled back. “Do you want to see so far?”

Anevon nodded and held out her hand. She read the entire page a few times over to ensure she hadn’t missed anything. This was good; Andris was remembering more now.

He knew he had worked on several projects at Tempest, though he only remembered “Psyche” and “Athena” by name. His title of “Specialist” made him a relatively high rank, but certainly not the top, giving him the freedom to develop and execute projects if they were approved by higher-ups. He didn’t remember being involved in the stasis pods’ design or construction.

He did, however, remember why the pods were built. Tempest had never formally planned to use them. The organization had simply decided that humanity would benefit from their top researchers and soldiers surviving a cataclysmic event such as nuclear war.

Anevon furrowed her brow. She glanced up at Andris while rereading the paper to make sure she understood it correctly. “If the pods were intended for that many people, why were you the only one found?”

The idea seemed to make Andris uncomfortable. Anevon might have regretted bringing it up if it didn’t mean getting important information. “I wish I knew” is all Andris said.

In the margins, Anevon jotted down a few ideas: broken pods? deception? late thaw? She would ask Andris for details on his projects later. It seemed like he needed rest. “Thank you,” she said. “That’s all I need for now.”