A 6-ball the size of a Volkswagen hovered placidly in the experimental chamber. It was proving very difficult to incinerate.
Dr. Ulysses Jackson bit at his thumbnail as he stared through the glass. He was sorry, of course. It's just that there had been six D-class in there a few moments ago, one of them had mentioned "pool" (the swimming kind, but it didn't matter), and he had forgotten most of that proof he had read during the recovery of a particularly interesting fundamentally real object. Forcefully forgotten it. Rubbed it from his memory so many times he was pretty sure there was a rut worn into his Broca's Area so deep that "pi" and "pie" now meant nearly the same thing to him.
But his recollection had never been so fuzzy as to screw it up this bad. At least he didn't think so. Of course, there were always "odd balls" when dealing with this particular memetic hazard.
The problem with the Class A amnestic wasn't so much that it wiped your memory (all of them do that), but how targeted the memory-wipe was. For example, despite numerous dosages throughout his career, he remembered very clearly what would come next.
First, A security klaxon would sound initiating a yellow alert in his sector. And so it did, just on schedule.
Next, a security officer would burst through the door and say:
"What the hell happened in here?!" Officer Kelly McDonnel said, looking out onto the chamber and spitting a few lines of a coded message into her walkie.
The third part, Dr. Jackson had down pat, although up until now it had taken a lot of rehearsing. "This is an official statement:" he always began, looking directly into the nearest security camera. "My name is Ulysses Jackson, and I have unwittingly caused a containment breach of SCP-609. I would like to officially remand myself into the custody of attendant security personnel and submit to amnestic therapy as per Procedure Odd-Ball Zero-Six." Surrender really was the way to go. Otherwise it's all boots and truncheons and hard linoleum tiles and a large dental bill.
Just then the last piece of the assembly instructions clicked into place, and the gigantic green globe in the room next door collapsed down to proper size and found itself subject to the laws of gravity. Thankfully, there wasn't much clean-up, as the initial manifestation had enveloped most of the people present in the room. Just a small pool of blood and the odd leg here and there, and those mostly ash and completely sterile thanks to several incineration attempts.. Nothing to lose much sleep over. He'd forget the looks on their faces in a few minutes anyway. Forget he had even requisitioned them.
But somehow wouldn't forget this procedure… Class A's are funny like that, he supposed.
"Jesus, Jackson…" Kelly said. Using her key, she opened the alarm box and disengaged yellow alert.
"I'm sure you are but… Jesus. All si-"
She didn't get any farther. One of them manifested inside her mouth, stopping it up.
"…I'm really sorry!" Jackson said, hanging his head. Goddamn trigger words. Why did her eyes have to be green?
Kelly gagged a moment, and slowly pried the cool ball from her jaw. She'd be fine, but those facial muscles would be sore and bruised for a while. "Why? Why do we keep doing this?"
"I don't know…" But he did. Three years of good production out of a tenured Researcher was a good bargain, considering the low cost of cleaning up after his little… episodes. By then a few others (they sent seven just to be sure) arrived to escort Dr. Jackson to an interrogation room. What triggered your recollection, how much do you remember of the initial containment, what do you think we could change about your environment to prevent recurrence, please swallow this and
Bam. Awake in his dormitory room. Jackson knew something about a bad experiment and a procedure he had been forced to forget, but remembered the entire arrest process with crystal clarity. Something of a deterrent, maybe? Who knew. Although there would be a 2% reduction in his pay, and more restrictions surrounding his off-site roaming privileges would arrive in the mail today. Even though he couldn't quite remember what he had done or why he deserved it, he knew it would happen again sooner or later, and also knew that the mistake was of such a nature that attempting to leave the Foundation now would mean a higher content of heavy metals in his diet than he was prepared to ingest.
So Dr. Jackson counted his fingers: 1-2-3-4-5-█-7-8-9-10. Yup. All present and accounted for. Maybe he would head down to the cafeteria, get himself a slice of 3.141592. Chocolate flavored. Cheer himself up a bit before getting back to work.