3AM. National History Museum. Washington, DC Light flared out of two windows in the back of the building, casting part of the alleyway behind the building into sudden and harsh reality. The shadows that remained deepened, creating tiny isolated haven for all manner of things to hide. It was within one of those shadows that something stirred.

It leapt out of the shadow cast by the dumpster and dashed across the alley, pressing itself up against the the building itself. In the half light from the windows it’s features were impossible to make out, but it’s humanoid form wasn’t. It turned it’s head and peered into the windows, just the barest fraction of it’s hairless and wrinkled head captured in the bright light.

Ducking, it ran under the windows in a mad dash stopping at the steel door on the other side. It pulled two pieces of wire from it’s body and picked the lock in just over a minute, slipping in quietly as the door hissed shut.

In the light the creatures features were clearer. Its skin was and orangish-red and looked like it was made from clay that hadn’t yet hardened. It has the proportions of a human but was much smaller, only having to duck slightly to pass under the red velvet ropes that cordoned off the exhibits and halls. It paused and looked around, found a kiosk with a map of the exhibits and, after a few seconds, ran off down the hall and slipped into the Egyptian exhibit.

It made it’s way into one of the dioramas, made sure it’s shoes were hidden by the other pieces of the display and became completely still. After a few minutes a well dressed man entered the room followed by another man who looked like he had had a rough day. He kept looking behind him and in every direction as if he expected someone to be lying in wait.

“Relax Marcel. I told you, no one is here. I had my people check the place throughly. Now, tell me what you discovered at the Pentagon.”

Doctor Emily Carters turned a knob and made a note. She glanced up through the glass at the man sitting on the bed in the next room in the lotus position. She cringed slightly as the though of twisting her body like that, or sitting still for that long passed through her mind. She twisted another knob, made another note and set the clipboard down with one hand, pulling out her mobile phone in the other.

She quickly scanned through her messages and calls, saw nothing since she had checked five minutes ago, sighed and slipped the device back into the pocket of her lab coat.

“He’s still channeling,” came the question from behind her. She turned to see her new assistant carrying a bunch of folders.

“It’s not ‘channeling’ Alexander.”

“Whatever,” Alexander said dropping the folders on a desk. “It’s freaking me out.”

“Then why take this job,” asked Emily.

“Because it paid well. And I didn’t pick it per say. I was assigned to you. So what is he doing anyway?”

“As I explained yesterday, he is concentrating on controlling his homunculus.”

“Okay, see… that’s what I don’t get. I mean, I know what a homunculus is but I don’t get the controlling part. How does it work,” Alexander asked as he stared through the glass.

“That we don’t know. He’s not projecting or displacing. He’s actually controlling the little creature thing that left earlier.”

Alexander turned and leaned against the window, shoving his hands in his pockets. “But he can see and hear everything that’s happening here as well right?”

“Yes, which is the reason he is in the isolation room.”

“And tonights ‘mission’ is to spy on a couple of business men-“

“Between two suspected spies.”

“Fine,” Alexander said turning around to watch the man in the room again, “but I still don’t get how no one notices his… thing running around.”

Doctor Carters sighed in frustration, picked up her clipboard and walked over to the bank of computers. “Because people, by default, aren’t really all that observant. You ever have that moment where you are absolutely positive that you saw something out of the corner of your eye, or in a shadow but nothing is there. People are use to it, so much so in fact that other than a cursory look around we don’t really give it much thought.”

Doctor Carters sat in her chair and began slowing spinning around, tapping the floor with her feet to keep her motion, “So that gargoyle on the side of the building, or the statue in the park, or perhaps one of the figures in the diorama might be something other than what it seems. And there are enough alleyways, rooftops and sewers to get almost anywhere and everywhere without being seen by cameras and people.”

They both jumped as the knock on the window beside them. The man who had been sitting on the bed stood there him arms outstretched above him and his palms pressed flat against the window. He smiled and gave a thumbs up, “I got what we need! I’m bringing the little one back now!”