Hello Darkness, My Old Friend (2-14-18)

[WP] Unlike most stories, the world has actually listened to the prophecy of a Dark Lord rising in a thousand years. The world however, uses this time wisely in preparation for today, a thousand years later. [Link to post.]

“Ladies and gentlemen,…” the director of DarkWatch, Joseph Garcia, stood at the podium on the stage. Director Garcia looked younger than his 45 years, 20 of which he spent climbing his way to the top of DarkWatch. Only a hint of grey lapped at his sideburns. Now he addressed over 2000 field agents seated in the small auditorium, celebrating with snacks and drinks. “Happy New Year!” The crowd roared a cheer and they all gave a standing ovation. The director waited until the crowd calmed down before he continued to speak. 

“Today marks the beginning of year 1001, and the end of my first official year as Director. How’d I do?” He grinned at the crowd, and another round of applause flowed through the audience. “1001 years ago a prophecy warned the human race about a Dark Lord rising to power. It should have happened last year, but it didn’t. Or maybe it did and we caught it early. Either way, we’re not calling it off yet. This prophecy has united humanity, and we’re not going to abandon it on a technicality. While we are here to celebrate, I ask you all to remain vigilant. Whether or not this unknown Dark Lord will rise, we’ve done great things here. There’s still evil in the world, and we still have work to do. Thank you all for your service.” Director Garcia stood at attention on the stage and saluted the audience. They cheered for him. He exited the stage while the entertainment set up their equipment. Backstage his assistant, Dana, handed him a bottle of water, and began to read his remaining appointments for the day off a tablet device. 

“Reschedule everything,” the director said. He walked out of the auditorium toward his private office. Dana followed him close behind.

“Everythig, Sir?” Dana asked. Joseph nodded.

“We’re celebrating today. They’re a good bunch, performance reviews can wait. You know what, better yet. Just give them all excellent ratings.” Joseph smiled at Dana with a wink. Dana ran her finger on the screen of the tablet, and highlighted all the names in green. After another button press she nodded with satisfaction.

“Done Sir. What now?” Joseph cocked his head toward his office door. 

“Come inside. Let’s talk about your future.” He walked into his office after the invitation, leaving his door open for her. Dana had been Joseph’s personal assistant for the past eight years, long before he assumed the role of Director. Any time he got a new post, he made sure to bring her along. Usually those invitations began the same way; talking about her future. A bright smile formed on her face and she walked into his office. Joseph’s decor leaned more toward minimalism, almost clinical. White tile floors, white walls, bright fluorescent lights in the ceiling, and a glass desk that he sat behind.  Dana sat down in the brown leather chair in front of the desk. Director Garcia smiled at Dana.

“Dana, I couldn’t ask for a better, more reliable assistant. You get your own work done, you anticipate my needs, and you don’t complain. I’ve always done my best to reward your hard work, which is why you’ve been my assistant at every post for the past eight years.” Dana nodded politely with a large smile. 

“I trust you. Not only with the secrets of DarkWatch, but with my own personal secrets too. I’m going to share a secret with you that fits both categories, but only with your permission. Secrets are a burden, and I don’t want to burden you unnecessarily.” Joseph stood to pace the room while he spoke. he stopped and stared out a window, viewing the city below. People could be seen partying in the streets. 

“I want to know,” Dana said quietly. The Director nodded to himself, then returned to his seat. He stared across the desk at Dana. 

“I’m offering you a new position. More money of course, as well as several other benefits.”

“Yes!” Dana yelled before he finished. Joseph held a hand up.

“Wait, you haven’t even heard the details of the position yet, and I still have to share the secret with you.” Dana blushed

“Sorry Sir. But you know I trust you too, whatever it is.” Joseph smiled. 

“I lied. The Dark Lord did rise to power….” Director Garcia’s eyes began to glow with red light. “…last year.” 

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