Acquisitions - a Marshall, Carter & Dark Tale
rating: +105+x

Eight, sir; seven, sir;
Six, sir; five, sir;
Four, sir; three, sir;
Two, sir; one!
'Tenser,' said the Tensor.
'Tenser,' said the Tensor.
'Tension, apprehension,
And dissension have begun.'

Alfred Bester, 'The Demolished Man'

Prelude:

The boy sat pale and stiff in his chair, looking at the board with a curiously blank expression. His opponent, a teenager a couple of years older than him and about to enter his first tournament, moved his last minor piece to menace the boy's queen.

"Are you sure that's what you want to do?" asked the boy, distantly.

His older opponent blinked. The touch-rule was in effect, but the tips of his fingers were still brushing the knight's crest. He could still retract.

"Why do you ask?" The teenager glanced over his shoulder to see his mother and father sitting, watching intently. The younger boy's mother had wandered off somewhere to make a phone call.

"That approach leads to checkmate in four moves," said the boy, fixing his opponent with a large blue eye. The teenager looked over the board, then took his fingers off the black knight. He moved. Then moved again. Then moved again. Then he couldn't move. The younger boy had placed his king in double check between a knight and his remaining rook, with the teenager's promoted pawn on the far side of the board only able to capture one of them in his next move.

As the teenager's parents clapped him on the back gently and told him there was still plenty of time to raise his game, a couple of figures at the next bench looked on.

"That," said the Russian, jabbing his finger in the direction of the twelve-year-old, who still sat serenely in contemplation of the endgame. "That is what I want. Or will you tell me it's not possible?"

His companion peeled his lips back over perfect white teeth, and he chuckled, softly. "My dear fellow, nothing in this world is off-limits."

Acquisitions:

SCPs and Tales referenced, derivative elements and Author's Notes—spoiler-heavy:

Further documentation of phenomena relating to events referenced in this file:

SRegan's Personnel File

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