People thought that nighttime south of the Antarctic Circle during the solstice was months of utter inky darkness, but that wasn’t so, at least not that far from the actual Pole. Instead, there was a long polar twilight, sunrise that never rose, sunset that was already set, and an eerie blue glow.

Matilda saw the lack of sun–even if there was often light–drive her fellow researchers to distraction. They lost sleep, suffered through disrupted circadian rhythms, and were irritable. Many turned to sleep masks and UV tables to keep a semblance of equilibrium.

Not Matilda.

She’d always been a night owl, preferring to work until exhaustion took her and waking up when she woke up. The polar twilight was actually an upside for her–research was getting done with fewer distractions. In fact, if she timed things right, her fractured schedule meant going days at a time without seeing anyone outside the canteen. It had been fine for everyone concerned, as Matilda’s colleagues were about as fond of her as she was of them.

Until her results began getting out of hand, that is.

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