Ball Gags and Scrambled Eggs
rating: +45+x

It was midnight when they dragged Dietrich and Bridge out of their beds, pinning them down before they had a chance to react. Filthy rubber ball gags were thrust into their mouths, followed shortly by black bags over the head. Despite struggling, they were quickly zip-tied by the wrists and ankles, and then thrown roughly out into the hallway.

Dietrich struggled as best he could. He tried to blindly head butt his assailant, but missed. Before he could wind up for a second try he felt a pair of cold metal probes pressed against his bare inner thigh. "Try that again and I'll taze you until you shit yourself unconscious," a low voice growled.

Dietrich froze. He had no desire to spend his last moments in soiled underwear. And he was fucking sick to death of being tased at this point.

The next half hour passed by in a blur. He had the vague impression of being thrown into the back of a van together with Bridge who was also similarly bound and gagged. The van was driven for a long time, making sharp turns at odd intervals that indicated that the driver was trying to throw off his passengers' sense of direction. Eventually, though, the van came to a halt. The doors were opened and both were dragged out of the vehicle, inside of cold room, and strapped to a chair.

The bag was removed from Dietrich's head. His first impression was a bright flash of light: cold, hard, instantaneous, leaving a rectangular after-image in his abused retinas. Aside from that, only darkness and the vague impression of a sinister figure sitting in a high-backed chair.

bright.jpg

A low voice behind him growled in his ear. "Name."

Dietrich mumbled helplessly around the ball gag.

"Shit," the voice growled. A pair of hands wearing leather gloves removed the gag.

Dietrich immediately screamed as loud as he could. "AAAHH! FUCK! HELP! SOMEBO- mmmpmmhpmmhh!"

The gag was re-inserted and then Bridge's bag and gag was removed. The silent figure leaned forward into his ear. "Name."

"I'm the god damned Wizard of Oz." Dietrich heard Bridge say, the sound of spitting soon following. Then the sound of another muffled cry as the ball gag was reinserted.

Dietrich looked around desperately for any kind of reflective surface, and found none. His heart sank. Then his spirits rose. Alexandra might be listening. And if Alexandra was listening, there was a chance that rescue was already on its way.

He let out another low, muffled cry, and the shadowy figure came up behind him, undid the buckle on the ball-gag. "Let's try this one last time," the deep voice sneered, and Dietrich felt the muzzle of a gun pressed against the back of his head. "Tell me your name."

All Dietrich could do was stall. Stall for all he's worth till the cavalry rushed in. "D-Dietrich… Dietrich Lurk," he whimpered. "Pa's family was Scottish, that's where the last name comes from— oh God, just please don't kill me!"

"That depends on how you answer this next question," the voice said. "What's Lambda Two?"

"Lam… Lambda Two? I don't know nothin' about any Lambda two!" Dietrich whimpered, then let out a high-pitched scream when he heard a pistol's slide being drawn back behind his head. "WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! Please!" he howled. "I-I-I can tell you something!"

"Talk. Now!" the voice shouted angrily.

"I heard a rumor! It's-It's a secret mobile task force! They're all beautiful women, they're all naked, and they do nothin' but give Clef blowjobs all day!"

"WHAT!?" the voice shouted, and this time the cry was incredulous. He could hear Bridge cackling against the gag. "Where the FUCK did you hear that?"

Dietrich pondered on his next response, and then he felt a hand clamped over his mouth. Then a gunshot went off.

POP

There was silence for only a second. The feeling of early morning piss running down his leg was a sure indicator that he was not dead. He was still alive?

Then someone tipped over his chair onto its side, and he felt the ball-gag go back into his mouth… and then he heard someone come up behind Bridge and say, "I've just blown your redneck friend's brains out. Lie to me like he did, and you get the same. Now, tell me. What's Lambda-Two?"

A slow, shuddering breath… and then, in a panicked, pissed off scream, Dietrich heard Bridge shout, "IT'S UP YOUR MOM'S ASS!"

click

The other lights turned on. Standing over Bridge was a gentleman in a hunter green suit. Dietrich muffled a question through the ball gag, then felt it slide out of his mouth.

The room turned out to be a standard Foundation office block: Dietrich could see eight standard issue-cubicles of the type he'd spent countless hours in over the past few years. They were laying on plastic sheeting. The smell of urine and fear hung in the air.

A man wearing a ridiculous hat, smiling mirthlessly, stood before them. "Well you both pass," Director Alto Clef said.

"W-what!" Dietrich panted as he tried to regain his bearings. "You were fuckin' with us?"

Hands grabbed Dietrich by the shoulder as he was lifted right-side up off the hard floor. Then heard that same deep sinister voice. "Now the second part of the test is going to involve sexually pleasuring bodyguards for intel. You'll be practicing on us. Ready?"

Bridge coughed as Dietrich audibly gulped, but it was overshadowed by his assailant's laughter. A woman in a matte-black catsuit walked around in front of him. "These vox converters are awesome," she said in a surprisingly deep manly voice: the same manly voice that was threatening him earlier. She removed the device from around her neck and tossed it back to Clef. "Andrea S. Adams. Pleased to make your acquaintance. You've already met Agent Foxx."

Dietrich let out a frustrated sigh upon hearing that feminine voice. He'd been duped. Bridge cackled silently in relief and rage.

"Did I hear that right, though? I mean, I nearly broke character when you said that there was an entire task force dedicated to giving Clef blowjobs." Adams glowered suspiciously at Clef, sitting at his desk. "Makes me wonder who's starting those rumors."

"Wasn't me," Clef said. "Like I got the time or the semen for something like that. Let's get them cleaned up and have this meeting."


Everyone was calm and cool on the other side of the table. Both Bridge and Dietrich had trouble mixing the powdered creamer and sugar into their respective hot drinks with shaky hands. But their adrenaline was finally starting to plateau after getting changed into clean clothes. Alexandra's avatar was floating on the screen of the mounted LCD monitor on the wall and Merle was standing in a corner just listening to the conversation.

Adams and Clef sat together with a stack of papers off to the side while Foxx leaned against an adjacent wall.

"SO! I heard you both had a little trouble on the way in?" Clef sat there grinning from ear to ear with Adams on his left drumming her fingers.

«I'll say! I can only protect these two so much you know.» Alexandra smiled broadly at the group.

Bridge inhaled with a growl and said aloud what Dietrich was clearly thinking too. "Don't tell us you set that up too."

"Moi? No no no no, not my style to organize a firing squad on the highway. No, I imagine whoever set that up is playing their own games with you. But that's something to get into later." Clef then slid a file folder across the table. "Omega Seven. Here is the official report of what really happened to them. You'll need to know this in order to know why you've been assigned to Lambda Two."

Dietrich tilted his head. "Omega Seven's a dirty word whispered 'round the water cooler, sir. I've only read what was sent out after the accident… that and the rumors. Didn't believe either, but I always imagined it was a mix a both."

Adams piped up. "The truth is far worse. Omega Seven completely shit itself and imploded. Lost a lot of collateral. Lost a lot of good folks."

Clef nodded, then leaned forward. "Gents, according to all official records, Lambda Two is an adjunct task force intended to provide temporary support to other MTFs. For the foreseeable future, we will be adjunct to Mobile Task Force Alpha-Niner. Do you understand?"

Everyone nodded. "Great," Clef continued. "Because that's all a lie. We're not Alpha-Niner's assistants. We're their babysitters."

Bridge raised an eyebrow as he finished sipping his green tea. "Fuck's that mean?"

Clef and Adams glanced at each other briefly, "To put it bluntly," Adams said, "if you dig around a bit further, you'll find out that we're the eyes, ears, and the fail-safe."

Dietrich was already skimming through the file. By the time he reached the fourth page, he stopped drinking his coffee altogether. "Is this for real? Able? He- ?"

"Afraid so."

Bridge already did his homework and didn't need to see the file. His clearance and access to reports were unquestioned. "So why do you need us? You'd need an army to go after a rogue task force."

Clef just shook his head and chuckled. "Because our job isn't actually to make sure Alpha-Niner doesn't go rogue."

Dietrich and Bridge both looked at each other confusingly but Clef held up a hand before either could comment. "Let me explain. Lambda Two doesn't actually exist. It exists on the charts, it has a budget, it has offices. But the entire Mobile Task Force is actually a cover for MTF Tav-666?"

"Tau-666?" Bridge asked.

"No, Tav," Clef snapped. "Hebrew alphabet, not Greek — why is that so hard for people? — anyway. Our mission is to make sure that Alpha-Niner doesn't explode in our faces."

Dietrich nodded in understanding. "Ah."

"…I'm not sure I understand," Bridge said. "Isn't that the same thing as watching over Alpha-Niner?"

"Depends on how you define watching over," Adams interjected. "Do you mean in the sense of a prison warden? Or a bodyguard?"

Bridge nodded in understanding. "Ah," he said, echoing Dietrich.

"Alpha-Niner has the possibility of being the single most destructive thing to ever happen to the Foundation," Clef explained, "for two reasons. First of all, Alpha-Niner itself could go bad. Anomalies could go rogue. Able could happen again. But there's another possibility that's just as dangerous: sabotage."

"Who?" Dietrich asked.

"There are elements in the Overseer Council that have… a vested interest… in maintaining current policies regarding human anomalies," Clef said. He crumpled his paper cup and tossed it in the trash. "Given the recent information leaks and the current status of Alpha-Niner, we've decided that this is the more serious threat. So to go back and answer your question: a couple of techies might not help a lot when it comes to stopping a rogue Task Force. But they'd be a hell of a lot more useful in rooting out a saboteur."

"And don't think that the choice of you two wasn't deliberate," Clef continued. "Based on Agent Lurk's profile, he has the making of a man who has nearly made a profession of keeping under the radar. Him and his little friend both know the ins-and-outs of how to do just that."

Dietrich's eyes grew as large as dinner plates. Merle only shrugged, signifying that he too was dumbfounded.

"Alexandra-"

Dietrich stopped holding his breath and relaxed.

"-on loan from nineteen. Really a capable tool in achieving what is needed in the ways of surveillance. I saw how she handled herself after seventeen's little meltdown a few months ago. It impressed a lot more than just a few directors. Django Bridge… well… that was really Dietrich's choice to bring him along. Not my first pick but he'll do in a pinch."

Bridge rolled his eyes and looked to Foxx who gave a nasally snerk at Clef's statement. "And Agent Foxx," Clef continued. "You three met during the EVAC. He's going to be your semi-official escort."

"W-What?" Foxx stopped smirking. Bridge breathed a 'hah!'.

"You didn't get that memo? Yeah, with this last little assassination attempt they'll need an escort. Neither of them can shoot worth a damn, especially considering one of them is an ex-MTF. We won't mention any names for the sake of Dietrich Lurk."

Dietrich opened his mouth for a rebuttal, but then quickly shut it. Foxx then walked over from the wall. "So I'm babysitting them?"

Clef cocked his head slightly and leaned in his chair. "Just for a little while till things simmer down. Oh, and they'll need to crash at your place tonight. I can't have it on record that they were actually here. Espionage is a fickle bitch."

Foxx opened his mouth to protest. "Before you even start," Clef interrupted, "I did ensure that you are under VIP watch off-site. Nobody will be kicking down your door before I kick them in the balls."

He tossed a gold-plated USB drive to Bridge. "And you. Review that when you have a chance. Take care of it— it's the only copy."


"Well, one of you will sleep on the couch. The other will need to make do with the floor." Foxx set down a duffel bag.

"I'll take the floor, I don't mind." Dietrich moved past him and the door frame and started looking around nervously.

"You missing something, Dietrich?" Bridge came in behind him.

"What? No. I just… it's a nice house." Dietrich set his suitcase and laptop bag in the corner.

Foxx pressed his finger to his lips and whispered, "Shhh. Child is sleeping." He pointed above his head.

"Shit, sorry."

"Sorry."

"Now, I must go and pay the babysitter. Bathroom's down the hall."

Dietrich made a B-line for the bathroom first. He closed the door gently and stared into the mirror. He hadn't seen Merle since they left the site. "Merle? Merle? Where the hell you run off to?" He shrugged and used the opportunity to shower privately, which was a rare treat for him. Bridge did the same when it was his turn.

Dietrich stacked a few blankets on the floor and then draped one over himself. "At least I'm not gonna get kidnapped again tonight."

«Um. Dietrich, sir. Would you mind plugging me in? I'm down to twelve percent on this battery.»

"Woop. Sorry, Alex. Here." Dietrich fumbled for the charger and plugged his mobile device into the nearest outlet. "You want me to ask for the wifi password or—"

«No need. I cracked it when we first got in range. I'm all good for syncing.»

"Alright, good night then."

«Night, sir.»

Dietrich's phone went into a blank loading screen as Alexandra worked on syncing up with her mainframe counterpart. As he rolled over he saw Merle standing in the reflection of the metal refrigerator surface. Merle casually waved hello. Dietrich, knowing he wasn't the only one in the house, signed to him while lying down.

WERE-DID-YOU-GO

Merle paused and panned his head from side to side a bit before responding.

JUST-WANTED-TO-LOOK-AROUND

Dietrich started to sign back but paused when Bridge walked in. "You'll excuse me if I just go to bed direct, Dee. Kidnapping kinda wears me down." Dee, that's a familiar nickname he hadn't heard in a good long while.

"Heh, no problem, Bridge. Night."

"Night."

Dietrich waited for him to roll over and then continued.

STAY-AROUND-DO-NOT-WANDER

Merle just dismissed him with a gesture and moved over to the reflection of the window as the lookout. His usual routine since he was incapable of sleep. It didn't take long for Dietrich to doze off.


"Thanks again, Stephanie. Here's some extra money for the unexpected timing."

"No worries Mr. Foxx. I had to study for a big final tomorrow anyhow. Good night."

"Night."

Foxx closed the door on the babysitter and turned into the kitchen for a glass of water. A strange shiver crawled up his back as he felt compelled to look at the kitchen window. Nothing but a view overlooking the quiet suburban street.

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He then looked across the way to see both Bridge and Dietrich fast asleep. Foxx shook his head, put the glass in the sink, and yawned. One last stop before his bedroom, he wanted to check on Lucille . Passing through the hallway, he noticed that the light in her room was still on. "Honey?" Foxx opened the door gently and peeked in.

"Hi, Daddy." Lucille rubbed her eye and yawned as she placed a plastic kettle next to her books.

"Lucille, it's very late for tea time." Foxx looked down to see cups for four. "Elsa, Anna, and Olaf will be around for your breakfast tea in the morning." Admittedly, he's seen Frozen far too many times to know the characters and songs by heart. He gathered the cups and put them next to the kettle.

"No. Not Olaf, Daddy. I made a new friend."

"Oh really?" Foxx picked her up and tucked her into bed.

"He's black and fuzzy and wears a mask and likes to make shadow puppets and and he—"

"Alright. Hush now. Time to sleep. Tell your new friend to sleep too." Foxx tucked her in snuggly.

"He left already."

"Well I'm sure he has things to take care of. Maybe you will see him in the morning, hm?"

Lucille rolled over to the side of the bed facing the night light. "But I don't know if he likes pancakes."

"We don't have to have pancakes if you don't want to." He smiled. "We'll just ask him what he wants for breakfast in the morning then. Okay?"

"Okay. Goodnight, Daddy."

Foxx smiled and closed her door, leaving just a small crack open, then went to bed himself.


"DEE!" Betty squeezed her son as hard as she could.

"Ma, please!" Dietrich squeezed past the door frame and shuffled inside, mother still attached.

"Howdy, Dee. We cooked yer favorite. Open face roast beef sandwich." Jeff then lurched out of his chair towards the dining room. The old man pulled a chair out for his wife to sit next to him, then sat down himself.

Before Betty could even think of sitting down, she hustled up the stairs, down the hall, and through the first door on the right to retrieve one more person. What followed were the slow and steady footfalls of Dietrich's deaf older brother, Bertrand.

Why a simple country couple insisted on naming their offspring with Old German first names coupled with a proud Scottish family surname, Dietrich would never know. He also forgot why he was back home in the first place.

He looked at the wall to see blurry photographs of their relatives living in the old country. He used to love hearing about fairy tales from Granddaddy Murdoch. But that was very long ago when him and Bertrand were waist-high.

The whole Lurk family sat down and laughed and talked of older times. Funnier times. Even some strange times. Dietrich signed to Bertrand who was looking a bit worn for wear.

SICK-BIG-BROTHER

Bertrand shook his head and signed back.

NO-TIRED

BAD-SLEEP

Bertrand's phone vibrated loudly, but nobody seemed to care much… except Bertrand who struggled to get his phone out of his pocket and then stare at the text message. Dietrich cocked his head a bit as he chewed his meal.

WHO-IS-THAT

YOUR-BOSS

Bertrand signed nothing back and shuffled outside with slow hollow footsteps. Dietrich sat puzzled and looked at the fuzzy faces of his parents.

"…What's wrong with Bert?"


Dietrich woke himself up and rubbed his face trying to dismiss a weird dream. The smell of eggs and coffee were a good distraction. He rolled out and made several cracking noises as he rose up from the hard floor.

"Morning, Dietrich." Bridge was chewing on a bagel looking dressed and ready for the day while sitting in front of his laptop. He was preoccupied with monitoring Alexandra decrypt the flash drive. Dietrich groggily lurched for a chair and sat. Across from him was a six year old girl with messy brown hair wearing Frozen pajamas. He watched her almost zombified as she feverishly scribbled with a black crayon on paper.

"Dietrich!?"

"Huh, what?"

Foxx squinted his eyes at him. "I said, how do you like your eggs?"

Dietrich ran his fingers through his hair and straightened his shirt a bit. "Oh uh, over-easy… runny yolks if'n you can manage."

"Ew," Lucille commented.

Foxx cracked two eggs into a skillet. "Lucille that's not nice. Some people just like it that way."

Lucille looked up from her drawing. "But gooey eggs look like boogies."

"Lucille. We don't say gross things at the table." Foxx planted her fork into clump of scrambled egg and put it in her other hand. "C'mon, less drawing more eating."

"This one yours, Foxx?" Dietrich poured himself a cup of coffee. He could tell that Foxx used the European brands just by smell alone.

"Hm? No. I just found her outside this morning. Must be a stray."

Lucille giggled as Foxx straightened a few strands of messy hair. "Yeah. Lucille, this is Mister Lurk. Can you say, Hi?" Lucille smiled and waved. Dietrich nodded back.

"I like the way you talk. You talk like the tow truck in my Cars movie."

Bridge managed to not choke on his bagel in the background. Dietrich just smiled. "Where I comes from, e'ryone talks purty much like this, lil' lady." He made sure to add on an extra layer of twang for her. Foxx slid a plate of eggs in front of him. Dietrich reached over for the pepper to sprinkle some on. Foxx sat down with his own plate of food and looked over at Lucille's paper.

"What's this?"

"That's me. That's my new friend. And that's our house. Can we put it on the fridge?"

"We sure can."

He slid the paper towards him and stuck it to the fridge with a magnet. Foxx also made a mental note to have a chat with the babysitter about what kind of shows Lucille is watching before bedtime.

IMG_0785.JPG

Dietrich went pale and ejected coffee out of his mouth and nostrils, covering the front of his shirt and plated eggs.

"We don't spit at the table," Lucille corrected him.

Foxx actually got up and approached him. "Woah! You alright?"

Bridge, however, was frozen in place. He had an extensive knowledge of the SCP mainlist, with a specialization in the Euclid class. In two and a half seconds he connected the dots between Dietrich's behaviour, Lucille's drawing, and a particular image file recovered from a cell phone a while back. The pieces clicked together in his head - why Dietrich was always, always looking at his reflection, why he talked to himself, why he stayed under the radar for so long, what the hell Merle is.

"It's fucking fourteen-seventy-one," Bridge breathed, his eyes turning to Deitrich.

"Oooh! Daddy! He said a bad TV word!" shouted Lucille.

"Language! What's wrong with you two?" Foxx barked as he lifted up the oven mitt in preparation for a throw. Then he lowered it again, slowly.

"Bridge? What did you just say?"




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