Out Sick Condition in Secret Agent Someone | World Anvil

Out Sick

I apologize, class, but your fellow student has called out sick. You will have to complete your Final Assignment without them.  
-Mr. E

Transmission & Vectors

Despite what it may seem, the nature of being "Out Sick" is often viewed as more of a euphemism than an actual ailment. Many operatives are suspicious whenever they are informed that a collegue has supposedly called Out Sick. The condition itself is not often contagious, as most of the time, only one particular agent in a group is pinpointed as being Out Sick. The rest of the group, though they may have been exposed to said person for extended periods of time aforehand typically do not develop any kinds of symptoms of illnes afterwards, leading many to believe that the term "Out Sick" is designated by W.I.L.L.O.W.I.S.P. to specify that a certain person will no longer be available, but the nature of their absence will not be disclosed.


Some W.I.L.L.O.W.I.S.P. employees believe that the company may, for whatever reason, want to disable certain operatives and therefore decide to remove them from the field with an excuse of sickness to alleviate concerns and null curiosity. Unfortunately, the term being so widely and broadly used only increases suspicions.


Many operatives who are later informed to be "Out Sick" display absolutely no symptoms of illness. They seem to be in perfectly fine health up until their untimely absence.


A lot of the operatives who are supposedly Out Sick only remain out for a couple of days to a week. Upon return, they hardly speak of their purported ailment. Treatment for said condition varies from person to person, depending on the implied illness the agent is thought or said to have had.


Though the exact cause of Out Sick is unknown, many suspect that agents who misbehave, learn too much, or appear to be a threat to the company are discreetly removed. Some believe that these operatives are taught a lesson and returned, while others are convinced that partial Erasure is performed to eliminate the information they should not know.

Affected Groups

Though any employee in any rank and position at the company can be declared Out Sick at any time, the Introductory Interns, more specifically Junior Sprouts seem to be those most affected. Around the time of Final Assignments, it is not uncommon for a member of an assigned group to go missing, supposedly calling Out Sick and leaving the rest of their team to complete their most important test without them.


There are no known prevenative measures for this condition. Many agents are aware that the company can select an operative at any time, for any reason. Before anything more can be said or done, the agents are sure that the chosen person will be gone and declared "Out Sick" without a further thought. Their only hope is that the person returns safely and unscathed.


Throughout the history of W.I.L.L.O.W.I.S.P., many agents have been reported absent due to calling Out Sick. Most of these operatives returned, but there is the off case in which the employee was not seen again by their colleagues.

Cultural Reception

Whenever it is said that an agent has called Out Sick, the colleagues of said agent begin to worry. This is, unless they are new to the organization and are unfamiliar with the ominous nature of the term. Even if this is the case, most newcomers will quickly catch on that something is amiss about this phrase. Though the occurence naturally creates quite a tummultuous uproar in the hearts and minds of those who are informed about it, few dare to speak up and inquire more about the agent in question as they fear they may be the one calling Out Sick next. Still, it is rumored that a few brave souls have boldly attempted to contact Higher-Ups about the disappearance of their fellow workers before. Unfortunately, neither the full course of events nor the results of said upheaval are documented in W.I.L.L.O.W.I.S.P. databases.

Known Cases

Stewart's Final Assignment - A Short Story
Prose | Jun 8, 2024

Stewart and his fellow graduating Junior Sprouts prepare to face their biggest mission yet...

Commander McCox gives newbies the rundown:   Ah. Being Out Sick...it's a horrible thing. Sometimes, agents call out sick themselves. Most times, W.I.L.L.O.W.I.S.P. informs us that operatives that a fellow agent has called out sick. Sometimes, they really are sick. Sometimes they aren't.   If an agent fakes being sick, they can get some nasty reprecussions, so I wouldn't suggest you do that, calling off sick if you aren't really sick, you know. But, if you really are sick, it's okay. Let the company know. We don't want you spreading your germs and stuff to everyone else here. Soon, the whole force will be out of commission. That's not good. One time, almost all of Jack Pine Tower got sick. The Higher-Ups were on my tail, hounding me to get some agents on the missions that were flying in left and right. It wasn't my fault all my operatives were incapacitated. What did they want me to do, send some weak, coughing, sneezing people on a stealth run? That was NOT going to work.   Well, to be fair, I guess the Higher-Ups didn't know exactly what I meant when I said they were all sick. Sick can mean a lot of different things. It can be code for 'I can't be somewhere because I'm actually somewhere else'. It can be code for 'out of commission due to something that may or may not have been orchestrated by W.I.L.L.O.W.I.S.P.'. It can mean actually physically sick, like having fever and chills. It can mean 'cool', you know, like you youngin's say these days...or at least they used to say it in my day. Kids still say that kinda thing these days, right? I'm sure they do. It can mean you have the chicken pox or something. I had those back in the day, too. Wasn't pretty. And they made me take an oatmeal bath. That's what you call sick. And not the cool kind, either. Still can't stand that brand of oatmeal. Ugh. Gets me every time. But I do like other brands of oatmeal. I like to put blueberries and strawberries in it. Yeah. That makes a sick breakfast. Just add some waffles, eggs and cheese on the side. And grits. Oh, and bacon. Can't forget the bacon...


Please Login in order to comment!
Powered by World Anvil