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Everybody hates the Foundation

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Dr. Jack Cowell stood in the doorway of a small, dusty office. It obviously hadn’t been used since he was last here, almost a year ago. He looked over his shoulder at the man behind him. Cowell couldn’t lie, he was absolutely furious that this man and a handful of others turned so quickly against the Foundation after he first arrived. Not to mention how they slaughtered his employees as if they were cattle.

“Thank you for housing me, VHS.” Cowell said, examining the room instead of speaking directly to the man he was addressing. “I’m aware that this is putting you and your friends in harm’s way yet again, but I want you to know that I do truly appreciate your cooperation,” he said, finally turning to face VHS to let the man know just how serious he was.

 

“It’s the least we could do… after all we did…” VHS responded softly, his voice trailing off. He didn’t want to mention what he had done with the others. Cowell already knew so it wasn’t worth bringing up sour memories. “If you ever need anything just give a hoot at one of these cameras.” He points to a small security camera in the hallway before continuing, his tone dark and almost threatening. “I’m always watching.”

 

Cowell nodded as VHS talked. “Understood,” was the only affirmative he gave. Cowell watched silently as VHS exited the room and left him alone in the dirty office. He could understand the warning, Cowell didn’t exactly trust the people who inhabited what remains of the Foundation either, but that didn’t mean he was going to voice his distrust. He remained silent as he dusted off the surface of the small desk in the room and sat in the musty chair. This wasn’t ideal, but he needed a place to stay that was close to Crain’s house, so he could continue to study it whilst staying out of that man’s cruel grasp.  

Cowell spun around in the chair, taking in his surroundings for a third time. His mind wandered to dark places. Namely, the location of his coworker and son, Elliott King. Elliott is mainly referred to by his alias, Snow. Cowell rubbed his rough hands along his face, exasperated and left one hand to cover his mouth and chin as he thinks. Snow was last seen at the house. The same house that was filled with people who despised the Foundation. If Snow wasn’t already dead, he was most certainly suffering.

Cowell’s face felt hot and his eyes started to tear up. This was his fault, and he knew it, if he had just kept Snow closer he would’ve been safe. Cowell refused to believe that he was going to lose another person he loved dearly. He did his absolute best to push the thoughts of Snow to the back of his mind; He has to think of how to take Crain down before they can help his son. Letting out a defeated sigh, Cowell turned back to the desk and rested his arms and head down on the still dusty surface. Dust allergies be damned, this man needed some well deserved sleep even if he was concerned about his dreams being plagued with nightmares.

Placing his glasses to the side, Cowell closes his eyes and wills himself to sleep. It certainly won’t be the most comfortable or refreshing night’s rest in the world but Cowell’s suffered plenty of sleepless nights that were worse. It took a bit of fighting but he eventually fell into a light slumber.

Cowell opened his eyes to find himself in a familiar clearing, surrounded by thick forests on all sides and a large, beautifully crafted house that sat in the middle of it all. He looked around, confused as to how he got to this location. He was just at the Foundation, this shouldn’t be… Cowell’s breath caught in his throat and his thoughts trailed off when he spotted his son, Snow standing beside him, watching the house eagerly. It dawned on him that this was a dream. It had to be. There was no other possible way that this could be happening again . This was the moment they both entered the house; It would be Snow’s first time stepping into the building and Cowell’s last.

Cowell was torn from his thoughts as Snow looked up at him, a large, childish smile on his face. Snow was 17, but due to certain circumstances he looked slightly younger, it obviously frustrated Snow at times when he’d constantly be treated like a child. The resemblance between the two was as clear as day; They both shared the same dark colored hair and fair skin. While Cowell’s eyes were unnaturally green, Snow’s were a handsome mint. Cowell also towered over Snow at 6’2” while Snow was a mere 5’5”. Unfortunately, Snow did not inherit his father’s height.

 

“What are we waiting for?” Snow’s question brought Cowell out of his thoughts. He fidgeted and shoved his hands in his pockets, wondering if it was possible for him to create a brand new timeline within this dream; One where Snow doesn’t die and Cowell isn’t despised by everyone. “I want to meet everyone! Your notes make them all sound so interesting.”

 

Cowell gazed at the house. Just looking at it unnerved him. There was something very off about it, but a quick glance at Snow made it obvious that he didn’t feel the same way. “Relax, Snow. We have to behave accordingly. After all, we are unexpected guests, so please refrain from getting over-excited.” Cowell found himself reciting the same words and the pitiful hope for a peaceful timeline immediately started disappearing. A new hope pops into his head; A hope that this dream is a one time deal.

Snow gave a pathetic sounding awh and followed Cowell as they walked up to the front porch of the large house. Cowell’s foot hovered over the first porch step as he hesitated. He didn’t want to relive this. Why was he being tortured? Would this help him answer some of his preexisting questions or would it only create more?

Snow gave him an odd look and stepped onto the porch and towards the impressive front doors. Gripping the hand-railing, Cowell placed his foot on the porch step and exhaled sharply as nothing happened. He wasn’t sure what he expected to happen but it is a dream and he was stuck fearing the worst.

The porch seemed to groan unhappily as Cowell moved to stand beside Snow in front of the large doors. Sucking in a deep breath, he reached out and grabbed the door knocker. It only took two knocks before Cowell could hear several locks being unlocked. He stopped knocking and lowered his hand. He knew exactly who was going to open the door and he dreaded it.

Just as Cowell expected, a ‘short’ 5’9” blonde man opened the doors. His dull blue eyes seeming to pierce Cowell as soon as he was spotted.

Oh, Waylon M. Park . A man who detested the Foundation and all it stood for. This was not a good first impression for his son in life and he assumed that the dream’s adaptation of this encounter was going to be just as sour. Cowell wished Waylon never opened his fucking mouth.