Behold, my friends, a collaboration. The rules are simple. You can write one paragraph, then it moves on. You must wait for three other people to post, before you can post again. While it is all right to move the story along into different paths, you may not negate a previous story thread. No 'and it was all a dream' or 'that didn't actually happen.' Work with what you're given. Let's see how we can do! -Bright
It started on a day, like any day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and Tom Lilan was on the prowl. A day like this, school kids would be skipping class in droves. Which was fine with Tom. What was that line from that movie? Something 'bout 'the best thing about high school girls is they're always teenagers?' Something like that. Little did Tom know, today, he was going to find something different. Something he wasn't likely to walk away from.
He slipped his favorite knife into a hip pocket with a grin, and carefully folded the cloth mask so it would fit into the inside pocket of his jacket. "Today is going to be a good day." he said to himself, whistling softly as he strolled down the sidewalk toward the shopping mall. As he rounded a corner, he spotted something lying in the grass. A chef's knife. "A very good day." he muttered, kneeling to pick it up delicately between two fingers and wipe it for prints before slipping it carefully into another pocket.
His eyes drifted absently over the signs of stores on Washington Street. Boring names. No imagination. Suddenly his mind caught up to something his eyes had registered some time before. Bill. The bastard. "How dare he show his face on such a nice day?!" Tom said between gritted teeth, adding to himself "Fun can wait… A short while…" Bill turned a corner, and Tom found himself following the tall, emaciated man down 4th. Street, the grin returning to his face.
Bill, meanwhile, was in a world of his own. Even if Tom had not been skulking behind him like a cat stalking a mouse, it's doubtful he could have heard his neighbor. His head was too full of the sound of gears and servos turning and clicking. He made a mental note to himself to open up his skull and replace the lubricant for his brain before much longer. It wouldn't do to have stripped gears in his medulla oblongata.
Bill stopped abruptly in front of a storefront. A dingy sign identified the store as "Joey Wong's Healthy Cantonese Restaurant". A neon dragon in the window intermittently blinked and crackled like a mosquito coil. Fiberglass Foo lions that flanked the door concealed tinny speakers that squeaked out the dissonant sounds of Chinese opera. Bill navigated between these and was immediately addressed by Mr. Wong himself. "Hello hello my friend welcome to my humble establishment allow me to guide you to a table may I suggest the pork dumplings allow me to take your jacket," the proprietor delivered in a single breath. Despite the bright morning, the room was dark and smoky, with red and black lacquered walls and gaudy, plump Buddha statues and waving Maneki Neko figurines. Bill stared blankly at Wong, who was attired in a short-sleeved white shirt splattered with unidentifiable food stains. "I… need… to use… restroom."
Mr. Wong scowled, jabbing a crooked finger towards the back of the restaurant. Bill thanked the owner nervously, then began to pick his way through the tables and chairs that crowded the place. He quickly slipped his way to the back and reached for the doorknob. The knob was old and worn, and Bill winced as it spun loosely in his hand. It pained him to see the device in such a state of disrepair, the screws and levers and pins being held together by the sheer force of will. He mentally resolved to fix it once his business in the restroom was complete. As he slipped in the tiny, dingy bathroom, he didn't notice the door jingle from the front of the restaurant.
Tom slipped into the restaurant, barely noticing the owner as he stalked towards the restroom. He was not entirely sure what he was planning to do with Bill, other than make the bastard pay. Because that's just what you did to freaks, you made them pay. Tom had been taught that lesson well.
Bill had gone through the motions so many times he could do it with his eyes closed, even if it wasn't programmed in. Lock the door - even if he wasn't fully sure the lock would engage properly - get the tool pack out of the inner jacket pocket, get the can of lubricant out of the right pants pocket. The tiny, delicate key is inserted into the small slit in his skin just beneath the part in his hair. Quarter turn right, the click, and off comes his skull like a hat. He didn't have what he needed for a full change, but the can would top him off with a fresh batch. Thinking more clearly again, Bill re-affixed the top of his head, put the now emptied can away, and turned his attention to the doorknob. Just as he reached for it, the knob turned.
The knob turned, rattled, turned some more, and then slammed open. Revealed standing there was a creature, a rare and vile thing it's many mouth dripping slime. Vaguely humanoid, it waggled it's tentacles at Bill, something like a smile passing from mouth to mouth. "You've run for long enough."
Bill had barely enough had enough time to draw in a startled breath before Tom slammed him against the wall. His cruel tentacles squirmed their way around Bills neck, choking off his wind pipe. Bills mouth gaped open, a strained gurgle working its way out. Tom tightened his grip on Bill, and began going through his pockets. The slimy appendages flipped down and wiggled their way into his coat pocket, quickly finding the key stored safely in there. "What's this, Bill?" Tom hissed. "This important to you?" Bill jerked out his hand, making a desperate grab for the key. Tom whipped it out of reach just as quickly, a cruel smile twisting across his many faces. Bill made a second grab, only this time he made a reach for that familiar handle poking out of Toms belt.
Sadly, the swipe once again missed, and Tom began searching Bill's pockets for other items. "Wallet: keep that. House keys: think about those. Ooh, a piece of paper? What is this? Your… squeeze?" As Bill winced, struggled and attempted to avoid the searching pseudopods, the lopsided smile on Tom's misshapen face only got wider.
Mr. Wong was slightly annoyed. He had heard of Bill long enough to have a positive impression on such a man, but the moment he was waiting for was spoiled by bad manners. He pocketed his replaced salt shaker from what would have been Bill's table, and took his coat from the staff cupboard. Looking down at the passed out Mr. Wong, he smiled. His face contorted and his hair moved as he took the form of himself.
The wail of a police siren approaching interrupted Tom's inspection. He released Bill, who landed on the grungy floor like a sack of wet laundry. Effortlessly oozing through the tiny bathroom window, Tom plopped noisily on the ground in the alley behind the restaurant. Suddenly a searing pain shot through one of his pseudopods as a red-furred dog bit him savagely. Tom let loose a howl, more from surprise than pain and smashed the animal against the wall, dislodging it. The dog yelped loudly, got to it's feet and began to bark furiously. It leaped towards the monstrosity but was jerked back by the rope that tied it in place. Tom turned toward the tethered animal but the nearby siren quelled his murderous rage. Tom knew when to cut out, and the time was now. He moved down the alley, his form reverting to human as he went. Examining the set of keys in his hand, he started to smile again. "Bitches just love Mercedes, yes they do." The sound of the police car continuing on into the distance made him grin even more.
Bill groaned as he slowly picked himself up off of the bathroom floor, his gears aching from the stress. He was relieved now that Tom was gone, but then he remembered that the abomination had took his key. There was no telling what Tom was planning do with it, but Bill knew that it couldn't be good. Bill slowly limped out off the now-slimy bathroom, ignoring the doorknob that once preoccupied his mind. Taking his coat from Mr. Wong without saying a word, he left the mall and headed towards his car. Alone, he knew, he didn't stand a chance against Tom. He would have to go to the one place on earth where he could get help. Driving onto the highway, Bill started to head off towards Site 13.
Bill slowly inched his hand to his back of his head, near dreading his decision and its outcome. He had gone so far to distant himself from his birthplace, but now he had to come crawling back. His hand touched the communicator which was installed in the back of his head, as the dulcet tones of the ringing began and echoed throughout his metal framework. Moments upon moments went by as gratuitous ringing continued. Bill had not quite mastered the art of driving, since his internal manuals taught nothing about instinct. This made it quite difficult to pay attention to his communicator while driving. The ringing stopped. “Have you had enough of being a real boy yet, Pinocchio?”
Bill got out of the car silently. "I can't allow you access into the building without cleare-" "I have had an encounter with SCP 1-… "Tom". The guard stood there for a minute before letting him in, radioing something in as Bill walked to the main doors, and decontamination area, leaving all of his things in the car.
The radio crackled back to life, this time a new voice, not the site radio operator, spoke. "I see, that could be… Problematic. Its hard enough to keep Pinocchio's behaviors in line. The last thing we need is his memory shorting. You made the right call letting him in. Its obvious he is due for a 'check up'. Your assistance has been noted" The guard finally exhaled, hearing an O-5 on standard comms usually means you've been "reassigned", and according to all his paperwork his name was simply "Entry Guard 4". Even he began to think he was expendable… Maybe that note would change things. Starting with his pants…
Tom stood outside a pawnshop, money in his hand and no worries where it had come from. Plywood walls and bars in the windows marked this as a place that paid cash and didn't ask questions. Which was too bad. Tom Lilan liked to answer questions. He had a special method for people who talked too much. Like Bill. But forget about Bill. He'd come back. “They all come back, yes they do.” And on a day like today, with the overhead sun baking the day like a pie left in the oven by a senile grandma, today, well, it was a day for the beach. And the kids. They practically worshiped the sand and water. Tom's smile, that knowing and eager look, like a dog seeing a treat held just out of reach, it may as well have been glued to Tom's face.
As Bill walked in, he first expected to talk to the lady at the front, and ask to speak to an 0-5, or someone of that nature, but as he walked closer, he took notice of the guards heading towards him, and his suspicions were confirmed. They took his message as a memory shortage. So, Bill let them escort him to be checked, and upon seeing that he was not malfunctioning, they would have no choice but to believe him. 'Wait a second. This isn't the way to the regular malfunction & broken bots rooms'. He thought to himself. Then remembering which way this hallway DID lead to, he said aloud: "Shit". This could only mean one thing…
"It appears we've had a change of plans, Bill." Said one of the guards, after closing the door behind him. "I'm afraid we cannot allow you further into the facility."
"And why the Hell is that?!" Barked Bill, nervously. His mind was racing. Was there a malfunction within his memory? Had one of the guards picked up on something, some subtle hint that he truly had something wrong with him? "Go ahead, scan me! Test me! Do whatever you have to. They're's nothing wrong with me!", he yelled.
"Ah, yes, well, it seems that you've been… Compromised, Bill.", replied the guard standing across from him. "We believe it is due to your alleged encounters with this 'Tom' fellow. You see, a certain field agent of ours has been following you for the past week, and he's noticed something… Drastic."
Bill couldn't manage to get through his question before blacking out. All he could manage was a raspy, terrified "What the fuck is tha-"
And then it all went black…
When Bill woke up he noticed an immediate change in his eyesight, that is, it was non existent. He could hear people talking, two, no three. He didn't quite catch it as he was too caught up in the moment. he activated his "heat" function, after a few second he could hear "ouch" and "ahh" he no longer felt their fingers touching him, he turned on his backup eyesight, and found his legs were missing and his mechanics showing. he just now remembered the events that transpired before this moment. 'What WAS that' he said to himself. he didn't see it, but saw his eyes in a tray next to him, finding the wires to get one in, he reattached it. The other one, however, would prove more difficult, apparently they were operating on that part of him, and the wires were cut. One eye would have to do. The men kept trying to do something but he was blazing hot, they couldn't touch him. Two of them ran out to get help, and when the last one got close enough, Bill pulled him to his exterior and burned his face. as the man fell to the floor, he fixed his legs on. He could here marching men outside. "Right here, he's in here." "Damnit, how in the hell are you getting yourself out of this one Bill." He said aloud.