Ponies are cool yet, p6
- (continued from http://pastebin.com/6QTBQ4dx)
- The ride back to my own place was much longer, thanks to the city waking up and noticing how far too few streets were occupied by reckless drivers and traffic jams.
- The difference in temperature between Peter’s place and the city didn’t help much to improve my mood either, though I knew that my conflicted feelings had more to do with Peter calling me out than the sudden coldness as I left the building.
- I pushed the door to my apartment open, greeted by Philomena’s enthusiastic screeching song as usual. I replied with my usual two-tone whistle, trying to calm the excitable bird. Thankfully, she got the idea and turned down the volume.
- I tossed my coat over a chair, not in the mood to properly clean up after myself.
- Shaking my head, I started my computer. Knowing that old beast, it would be a good quarter of an hour before I could do anything useful with it, meaning I had some time on my hands.
- I looked at the clock. 10:30 am. Too early for lunch, too late for breakfast. Having nothing better to do, I ran down the stairs again to collect my mail. My mailbox didn’t seem to have much in it, relatively speaking, given it was last cleared out yesterday by Mark. Still, with the sheer amount of advertisements and leaflets that were delivered daily, there was a small stack of paper waiting for me. Most people would just toss the entire stack out with the trash, assuming it was only deals no-one cared for or things sent by scammers without internet connections. Still, a bill accidentially tossed away because of that line of reasoning had taught me to check the mail, even if it all seemed to be junk.
- I made my way back up the stairs, again greeted by Philomena’s enthusiastic song. After calming her down, I sat down on the chair in front of my computer, running through yesterday’s mail.
- “junk... junk... good junk... junk... letter... junk... official looking letter.”
- I stopped at that last one. The envelope only held a single A4 folded in two, but the letterhead of the Province of Noord Holland plus the way it was addressed to me specifically made it at least look important.
- “Dear mister Hillside,
- “First of all, we would like to give you our deepest apologies for the traumatic event you had to witness, and wish to offer you our support in this tragedy. As such, we’ve contacted the Scientific Center for Psychology to provide council and assistance in recovering from the psychological scars that...”
- The rest of the letter was much of the same politically correct nonsense, saying how they hoped to be of service in these trying times in more ways than I thought could fit in a single letter. Still, aside from the babble, there was a little useful information. Apparently, the local government had decided to cover all the costs involved in rehabilitation after... that, and had even made some agreement with some organization.
- The letter also included a phone number for this organization, along with a recommendation to make an appointment, just in case.
- “What do you think?” I asked Philomena, just as she started digging through her seeds again. She gave me a startled stare for a moment, before resuming her hunt for any uneaten seeds she might have missed the first time around. “Yeah, better safe than sorry.”
- I pulled my phone from my pocket and dialed the number.
- “Scientific Center for Psychology, Sandra speaking, how may I help you?” the slightly bored voice on the other end said, responding faster than I expected from an officially recommended institute.
- “h-hello, my name is Aaron Hillside, and I’m calling for that support program.”
- “The one for the attack yesterday? Well, you’re in luck. We’ve got a spot open tomorrow at eleven a.m. for an interview, would that be possible for you?”
- Slightly taken aback by the sheer speed at which the operator at the other end of the line handled things, I stammered for a second. “Err, yeah, I can make that. How do I get there?”
- “For directions, you can visit our site, it should be mentioned in the letter you got our number from, along with our address. Will that be sufficient?”
- I dumbly nodded. “Yes.”
- “Good. When you arrive, ask for mister Simon Janssen. Any questions?” she finished on a hurried tone.
- “n-no. I’ll be there,” I muttered in reply as I made a note of that name.
- “Good. Best of luck to you!” Sandra said, followed almost immediately by the sound of the connection being broken.
- I stared at the phone, a bit confused at the hurried conversation before shrugging it off. That letter was obviously some form letter sent to everyone they identified as being at the scene of the attack, meaning the phones at that Center would probably be ringing off the hook by now, so it was probably the sudden stress of the situation getting to her.
- Walking over to the dining table, I grabbed my agenda to add the appointment. “Wednesday, 11:00 : interview with the SCP.”
- I blinked, looking at the acronym.
- “What the...”
- I shook my head. It couldn’t be true. The SCP Foundation was only a setting for a bunch of creepypastas, a fairy tale for adults. And yet, with the sudden revelation of Are We Cool Yet?, the idea that the Foundation could be real suddenly went from ridiculous to something to be considered.
- On the other hand...
- “Keep in mind what’s real, would ya?” Peter’s parting words echoed through my head.
- I chuckled to myself. “Right. Just because one obscure reference turned out to be sort-of real, doesn’t mean they all are, right?”
- Philomena gave her usual whistled reply, more interested in how fast she could gnaw through the sticks in her cage.
- I shook my head, trying to get a hold of my imagination. “Besides, even if they are real, they’d never use a cover that obvious. I’m just... overreacting.”