That Time Tortoises Took Over The Galapagos

16

Interviewed: Vanessa Hardgrave, (Former?)Director of Agricultural Research Site-43

Interviewer: Dr Ramone Rhaul

Foreword: Interview conducted immediately after establishing contact with Director Hardgrave and a number of the surviving personnel assigned to Agricultural Research Site-43. Personnel were encountered on the Ecuadorian coast1 four weeks after contact with Agricultural Research Site-43 was abruptly lost. Personnel were equipped with a number of minor anomalous items fashioned into makeshift weapons.

<Begin Log>

Director Hardgrave: This is beyond stupid, there’s no point in keeping up bureaucracy anymore.

Dr Rhaul: Vanessa, we have to keep some decorum about this. For as long as we continue to have people to report to, we have to keep reporting.

Director Hardgrave sighs and leans back in her chair.

Director Hardgrave: Fine. Whatever, i’ll play along Ramone. What do you want to know?

Dr Rhaul: Let us… start with what happened to your site. Agricultural Research Site-43 went dark almost a month ago, and before now we hadn’t gotten any word from you. With everything going on, we assumed-

Director Hardgrave: Assumed we’d done a Site-42 and just vanished? God, I wish, that would’ve been so much easier.

Dr Rhaul: …Right. Then how did the Alpha Trigger impact your operations?

Director Hardgrave: You want to know the kicker? It didn’t. When you’re out in the middle of nowhere with a site full of magic fertilisers and weird chickens, there’s not a lot of things that can go wrong, even when everywhere else goes to shit. Even that fucking cow didn’t cause any trouble.

Dr Rhaul: Language, please. But- If the Alpha Trigger didn’t cause your site to go dark then why-

Director Hardgrave: Malthus. Or, fuck, I think they screamed something about “Hand of Darwin”? I don’t really care what they called themselves, they’d slipped into my veterinary staff and decided that the world going to hell meant it was time to get out of there. I’d had some of those shitheels on staff for years.

Dr Rhaul: Sleeper agents? And they… overpowered your entire security staff?

At this point Director Hardgrave appears to become uncomfortable, folding her arms defensively.

Director Hardgrave: Look, I- We didn’t have many of them left. Anyone who had families needed to get back to them. Or, at least, go back and try to find them in the chaos. I just… I let them go, I couldn’t say no to that- besides, the only thing that needed any real supervision was that that fucking cow, and nothing going on was going to phase it anyway.

Dr Rhaul: And it was at this point that the sleeper agents struck, taking advantage of your… lax situation?

Director Hardgrave: …Yes. Fuckers sprayed gunfire into every room they passed. A lot of good people, people that considered them friends, died there. Then they took anything useful, and opened the door for everything else on the way out. They- fucking, what’s a normal cow going to do to cause chaos for us if you let it out? What were they even think-

Director Hardgrave becomes increasingly frustrated, and is stopped by Dr Rhaul raising his hand.

Dr Rhaul: Vanessa, please, we must stay focused. Why were you and… the other staff unharmed?

Director Hardgrave: The worthless fucking- The Malthus, or Darwin or- whatever. The agents were after a specific thing we had locked up, some really old book that I thought’d been set as neutralised years ago. It was in east wing, and they did a beeline there leaving the rest of us alone. Do you get it? They did all this for a useless fucking book that doesn't even do anyth-

Dr Rhaul: These agents collected RPC-134?! I- Well, that would… certainly explain some recent events. Sorry, please, continue.

Director Hardgrave: What else is there to say? They fucked with our coms, and anyone we could've called was too busy with their own shit imploding to ask for help from anyway. We buried everyone we could, looted everything of worth left in the site, and took to the road after them. Fucking idiots didn’t even disable the tracking on the APC they took off with, and thankfully the satellites have stayed online long enough to track ‘em down.

Dr Rhaul frowns and remains silent for approximately four minutes, flipping through a number of papers present on his desk.

Dr Rhaul: …And you tracked these agents to the Galapagos Islands, correct? Pinta Island, specifically?

Director Hardgrave: We- Yes? How did you…?

Dr Rhaul: Vanessa, does the “Free Tortoise Republic of Galapagos” mean anything to you?

Director Hardgrave: …What the fuck?
<End Log>

Closing Statement: Director Hardgrave and surviving Agricultural Research Site-43 personnel have been detained in order to prevent an international incident. The Free Tortoise Republic of Galapagos has been contacted in regards to the allegations recounted in this interview, and have thus far declined to comment.

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