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Burning Bridges

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The corner of the coffee shop seemed to have always been reserved for her. It was vacant every day, which was probably the doing of the shop’s owner, Lillie.

    She yawned, leaning back in the armchair. It was a chilly autumn morning, and she needed just the right amount of caffeine to power her through the day. She didn’t have any classes, but she had a lot of work to catch up on.

    Her name was written in a messy scrawl across the tops of all her papers, the product of many nights of suffering and five-hour energy pills. All she had to do was- well- rewrite the whole thing. She sighed, pressing her fingers against her temples.

        “ You feeling okay, Moon?”

Lillie stared down at her, wide-eyed and concerned, two drinks in hand.

        “ Never better,” she huffed, “ how much are those two?”

        “ Nothing, they’re on the house today. Is Hau coming?”
Moon shook her head. “ It’s happy hour day at the malasada shop. He’s waiting it out down the street.”

Lillie’s eyes twinkled. “ Classic Hau. If you need anything, feel free to talk to my brother. I’ve got to go do something.”

She let her gaze drift off in the direction of the counter, where Lillie’s brother now stood, looking ridiculous in a white frilly apron.

        “ He doesn’t look like he wants to be there,” she observed.

Lillie laughed. “ Gladion doesn’t want to be anywhere but his apartment nowadays. But you’d be amazed at what some guilt-tripping can do.”

There was a great crashing sound, and Gladion cursed loudly. Lillie winced.

         “ Anyways, I’d better go.”

She left, the bell by the door tinkling as the wind closed it for her.

Moon sighed, returning her focus to her work.

There was an entire piece of paper dedicated to finding the perfect title for her research project. To keep it short, it was about tears in the fabric of reality.

News all over the city had reported sightings of extraterrestrial beings- while it was highly unlikely to be true, it was a rather fascinating topic, one that almost guaranteed her landing the Aether Foundation’s internship (should she manage to pull it off). There was hardly any concrete evidence pointing towards the truth of the aforementioned aliens, so her paper was edging towards highly theoretical.

But she knew she had the power of Alola University’s science department backing her.

Running a hand through her short black hair, she typed in the password to her phone. A picture of her, Hau, and Lillie when they were younger lit up the dark screen, bringing a smile to her face. She had definitely seen better days. Out of the three of them, only Hau had not changed. He was still the same happy, enthusiastic person he’d always been. Lillie had become more reclusive, dropping out of school with her brother to run the coffee shop.

Moon hadn’t really known why- and she hadn’t pressed Lillie for more information. It probably had something to do with her mother, who she’d been hiding from for years. She knew not to force people into explanations when they didn’t want to explain anything. She knew to be careful around such sensitive topics.

She opened up her email application and clicked on the conversation she’d had with one of her professors. With lightning speed, she screenshotted every email and sent the photos to her cloud drive before deleting the conversation. She turned on her laptop, pulling up her drive. She put her head down on the table and looked at the screenshots.

 

Professor Kukui

   to me:

 

Moon! I’m glad to hear you’ve finally decided on your topic. I had a gut feeling you’d choose something like this- though I’m not going to deny it’ll be hard. But I know you can do it, cousin!

I’ve attached some files below about the recent sightings out by the city. Witness sketches report several jellyfish-like creatures escaping from what appears to be a tear in the sky. Quite interesting, if I do say so myself! Personally, I believe it may be a product of mass hysteria, but as scientists, we cannot deny any possibility without testing.

 

alien.png     alien1.png    sighting.pdf



Me

   to Professor Kukui:

 

Thank you for the information.



Professor Kukui

     to me:

 

Anytime, cousin!

As I’m sure you know, the jellyfish-like creatures have “reappeared” again today. Crazy, am I right? There were some not too far from the school.

The department has decided on several code names for the creature should it exist (apparently, it’s enough to garner national attention): UB-01, also known as Symbiont.

I’ll have to ask you not to put the latter into your report, as it’s purely classified information. I trust you won’t share it.

UB stands for Ultra Beast, and the number stands for, well, the order of discovery, I suppose. Which means that we may expect more from these tears in the sky in the future.

 

ub01report.pdf



Me

    to Professor Kukui:

 

I wasn’t aware the Aether Foundation was this close to Alola’s science department. Also, shouldn’t that mean fishy business if the government is involved?

 

        “ Hey.”

Moon slammed her laptop shut.

        “ Yes?”

A single brownie on a plate was slid across the table to her.

        “ Lillie says you need to eat more.”

She found herself staring at Gladion, who immediately looked away from her gaze. “ And this is-”

        “ Her idea,” he grunted.

He made to walk away but stopped before Moon could open her laptop again.

        “ And I think,” he whispered, “ you’d be less suspicious if you didn’t close your laptop every time someone came near."

        “ There’s nothing to be suspicious about.”

Gladion laughed- a rare phenomenon indeed- and turned to face her again. “ Please. There’s everything to be suspicious about nowadays.”