Jon sighed and sat down at his desk. Despite having stayed up late last night, he was determined to follow through with his plan of getting to the Institute early. As he set down his bag, he was surprised to find a statement labeled #8163103 already on his desk. He had stayed at the Institute quite last the previous night, but surely not late enough to remember taking out a file? He tried not to think about an ominous explanation for it and simply loaded a fresh tape into the recorder. He stretched and prepared himself.
"Statement of Albrecht von Closen, regarding a discovered tomb near his estate in the Black Forest."
And with that, he was lost in another statement. He gradually dissociated as he became more and more engrossed in reading the transcript. The feeling of being watched was ever-persistent, but he could never bring himself to look over his shoulder as if something was compelling him to just keep reading. Before the feeling reaches its peak, the door to his office opened.
"Martin, good lord," Jon was shocked at the sight of Martin in what was presumably his pajamas. "If you're going to be staying in the archives, at least have the decency to put some pants on."
"Oh, god, sorry, sorry!" Martin went red in the face. "I didn't think you were in 'til later... it's not even seven yet."
Jon sighed heavily, not wanting to explain this to Martin of all people. Martin, who already hovered over him at what seemed like every waking moment. The last thing he wanted was him worrying more, especially after what happened to him. Nevertheless, he couldn't come up with a feasible lie in time.
"I've been coming in early in hopes of leaving before dark," There was a silence as Jon studied Martin's face. "Are you alright? You look like you haven't slept in days."
"I could say the same for you," Martin laughed slightly as he sat down in the chair opposite Jon's. He brought his knees up to his chest like a small child. "But no, it's just the nightmares."
"Oh," Jon said softly. Jon was no stranger to nightmares, especially after particularly intense statements. But Martin... Martin has witnessed Jane Prentiss in a form that he could only imagine. From what he had described, it was a miracle that he wasn't harmed more than he was.
"Yeah, I've been alright, apart from that," He frowned and avoided Jon's eyes. "Do you really think she's still out there?"
"I have no idea, but I don't intend to take any chances."
Martin sighed. "No, I suppose not."
Jon felt a strange feeling in his chest as Martin's expression fell. Something deep within him wanted to help him, tell him that everything was going to be okay. He quickly realized that the more pressing matter at hand was the statement. The comfort could wait, possibly forever.
"Now, if you'll excuse me."
"Righto," Martin smiled sadly and exited the small office.
Jon tried to push the conversation (and, to be quite frank, the sight of Martin in his boxers) out of his mind as he finished the statement. Even then, he stumbled through his follow-up notes.
I need a cup of tea, he thought to himself.