Fillmore!

“Oh, this is so good!”

“I know, right? How is it you’ve not had this stuff before.”

“I’ve been living in the wastes, remember?”

“Oh, that’s right. I guess I’ve fallen into such a rhythm here I completely forgot.”

“How could you forget? I mean, you remember that time we shot that orb out of the sky and all that?”

“Sure, sure, I remember. Then we got invited into Atlas, and now here we are, eating delicious chocolate!”

Image courtesy Celene – www.artbycelyne.com

Helio sat starting at Khita. He’d seen her having conversations with herself several times since her arrival in Atlas, particularly when she discovered something new and exciting. Last time she sat in his office, he sat through a discussion she had with herself involving scented hair products. This morning Khita apparently needed to figure out chocolate. When she’d finished, she simply sat staring at Helio, taking bites from her chocolate bar.

“You wanted to discuss something regarding your freelancer contract?” Helio asked.

“Well, sort of. It’s something I don’t quite understand about the other freelancers.”

“Ok, go ahead.”

“Well, I’ve met just about everybody now,” Khita’s eyes rolled up toward the ceiling and she started counting off with the fingers of her free hand. “There’s the vomit monster, that crazy radiating baby, that bug babe, and the bombastic cosmic…”

“Right,” Helio held up a hand to stop her before she listed off all known freelancers. As intriguing as her naming scheme for them might be, he simply didn’t have all day. “So what’s the problem?”

“Well, there’s that one that isn’t anyone. Or, maybe it’s everyone.”

Helio stared for a moment running the list of known freelancers through his mind and analyzing their specific skills to try and determine who she might be talking about. Even though freelancers sometimes wore different attire, something that he saw to personally with the advent of his own new trust, he came up at a loss. There wasn’t any shape changing freelancer that he knew of. “Ok, maybe you should describe him for me?”

“I can’t.”

Helio started to wonder if her time in the wastes had perhaps damaged her psychological state a little more than he’d originally suspected. “Where have you seen him? Is he someone you’ve encountered on assignment?”

“Yes, but not during an assignment. I’ve only run into him during resurrection.”

Now Helio knew what she was going on about, “You’re talking about the dark figure you sometimes see during resurrection. A pure black silhouette. We’ve always just called him Fill. From numerous resurrections I’ve deduced that he’s merely a figment of our temporary formlessness imprinted on our psyche during the resurrection process. I think it has to do with a nanosecond of lag during resurrection that gives us the image of this silhouette until we become ourselves again. We’ve all seen Fill once or twice during or between assignments. He’s not real.”

“Yes, except he’s different now.” Khita paused a moment, then gasped, “What if he’s trying to become someone?”

“Well, he is. He’s trying to become you, when you resurrect.”

“No, wait. Someone else once said they saw him during an assignment. And get this, he was invincible, but also couldn’t do anything except move around a little bit. That was just once or twice, though, and nobody else has seen him on assignment since.”

“I heard about that, too. My analysis during those sightings has led me to conclude that the appearance of Fill in the real world was likely an after-effect of the reactor explosion. The Fill template was depicted in the real world temporarily because the resurrection process had developed a minor glitch. The reactor has since corrected itself and everything is fine.”

Helio knew full well that everything was changing. The release of energy from the reactor had spread, and Fill’s appearance was only the first of what was to come.

“But now he’s changing.”

“How do you mean?”

“He can be a she. Oh, and he or she is no longer just an all black silhouette. She’s all the colors of the rainbow.” Khita chomped down the last bite of her chocolate bar and stared at Helio, “She’s so much more. And speaking of more. I have to go now and find more chocolate.”

As Khita left his office, Helio listened after her as she marched down the hall. “I want to fill myself with more chocolate. Fill. More. Fillmore!”

Helio briefly considered the implications of Khita on too much chocolate and quickly found himself grateful that he wasn’t Titus in that inevitable scenario. Helio was pulled from his reverie by Emmett’s soothing voice, “That one certainly is a delight, isn’t she?”

“Indeed. What’s next on our agenda for today, Emmett?”

“We have your meeting with Su-Ren in just under one hour. Shall we review the offer?”

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