Every SCP - Part 1 - SCP-2339
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SCP Featured: SCP-2339

A part of Eli hoped that Dictator would not come back once they were released the next day. And yet, even taking into consideration the tension between the two of them…

Another part of him wished they would.

As much as he tried to convince himself it was only to save his own ass, Eli was starting to come to terms with the idea that maybe, just maybe, Dictator was more important than he originally thought. After all, he had seen for himself that Dictator possessed the power to fix a rift in the universe. For a moment, he pictured the two of them as the two main characters from the Men in Black franchise, giving himself a chuckle before shaking his head.

When the morning of Dictator’s return finally was upon him, Eli forced himself not to bust a blood vessel over it, no matter what the brat decided to do. If they knew what was good for them, they would come back to the Foundation. The last thing he wanted to do was have to drag Dictator kicking and screaming from whatever portal they had hidden in, because that might reveal Eli as being anomalous himself.

Though, perhaps, the Foundation already suspected him as being such; was that why he was assigned to Dictator?

He kept these thoughts to himself as he went about his rounds, before a noise stopped him. Whirling around on his heel, he tilted his head, recognizing the strange noise. It was the unmistakable sound of a portal being opened.

A few seconds after the portal – which appeared to be a section of wavering air – opened up, Dictator stepped through it, looking quite proud of themselves. Wrapped around their waist was a black leash, and attached to that black leash was none other than a huge, male, Sumatran tiger.

Despite being attached to such a creature, Dictator did not seem phased, and neither did Eli. Instead, Dictator just waved and marched over to Eli. “Hi Eli! I’m ready to start my sentence!”

“It’s not imprisonment, kid,” Eli grumbled, trying to dodge them when they went to give him a a hug, but missing and resigning himself to being hugged as he was not able to move fast enough. The tiger still attached to Dictator did not seem to oppose being moved around, as he walked next to Dictator without a problem. “Hey, have you fed that thing today?”

“His name is Oliver,” Dictator shot back, reaching over to pet the tiger. He offered up his head for pets, and Dictator rubbed behind his ears. “And yes, I have fed him. He got a whole horse leg today, and a head too. But I shoved it in the pocket dimension because he didn’t eat it all.”

“Well, at least it won't eat me,” Eli said, rolling his eyes. “Anyway, you might wanna get a vest for the cat. That way, some MTF won’t mistake it for an escaped anomaly and shoot it.”

“Well, you have a good point, but Oliver’s like me, remember? It’ll take a lot more than a bullet to get rid of us.”

“I know that."

Turning his back on Dictator, Eli dug a map out of the pocket of his lab coat and shoved it at Dictator. “Here, you’re probably gonna want this.”

“Ooh, is this one of the cool maps that shows us moving? I’ve always wanted one of those!” Dictator held the map up, unfolding it and holding it above their head as they studied it.

Eli groaned. “No, it’s not. It’s just a regular old map. If I had anything anomalous on me I’d be locked up and you would get to have some rando as your supervisor. And we don’t want that, now do we?” His voice held more than a hint of a threat.

“Well – no, even though you’re mean to me, at least I know you,” Dictator said, folding the map back up. They chewed on the thumb of their right hand, blinking wide at Eli. Around their thumb, they continued, “And, well, I guess that’s preferable. So I won’t say anything about you being… anomalous.” They paused, and then asked, “Do they know about… the other thing?”

“What, about my birth certificate and me? Yeah, they know,” Eli replied, shoving his hands in his pockets. “And they probably know about you, too. They’ll probably want to do a karyotype on you, just a warning.”

“Eh, let them. It won’t change anything, though I am a bit curious as to what my genes will say,” Dictator quipped. “Anyway, all of that aside, what are we gonna do today?”

“First, we need to go to my superiors, tell ‘em that you made it back and you’re ready to start,” Eli said. “And then, I’ll take you on my rounds.”

“Cool! What about Oliver?” Dictator asked, pointing to the aforementioned tiger, who had sat down and started grooming himself. “Will he get to come with us?”

“They already told you, he can, as long as I’m with you. But it had better not cause any problems, ‘cause if it does…”

“He’s well behaved,” Dictator assured him, waving one hand in the air dismissively. “Don’t worry about him.”

“It’s not him I’m worried about,” Eli muttered under his breath as he led Dictator back through the winding hallways.

—-

After checking in with the superiors and letting them know that Dictator and Oliver were (in a relative sense) safely within Foundation custody, Eli was given the clearance to go ahead and take them on the rounds.

Despite Dictator’s usual talkative nature, they mostly kept their nose in the map, following closely behind Eli. Oliver seemed to be leading them most of the way, steering Dictator left and right with the leash.

Eventually, Dictator finally spoke up. “Hey, when are we gonna see some anomalies? Isn’t that what we’re here for?”

“Don't forget, the Foundation thinks you are an anomaly,” Eli replied dismissively. “Honestly, most of these things would probably bore you. They’re just regular old objects that sometimes do irregular things. Like, for instance, we have a menu that, when you order it, uses meat and stuff from endangered animals. Pretty damn boring, right?”

“But how does it get the meat? Does it kill them?”

“No, it just takes muscle tissue and shit. Leaves ‘em in a daze and pretty confused but they never even leave their enclosure. Then we have a chessboard with the souls of little girls in it.”

That sounds interesting! How about we go see that one in action?”

“No, it requires a child psychologist to be present, and we don’t have one on call right now. ‘Sides, we don’t use it except for testing, so unless you wanna be the next subject, I’d suggest we check out Safe objects first.”

“That sounds so boring,” Dictator moaned, drawing out the “o” in “so” and “boring.” “Isn’t there something cool you can show me?”

Eli paused, heaving a heavy sigh.

“If I do, you gotta promise to keep that mouth of yours shut. Agreed?”

“Agreed,” Dictator replied, nodding resolutely.

“Alright then. Let’s go hear some music.”

—-

“So, you brought me to a creepy abandoned theatre?” Dictator asked, voice echoing through the mostly-empty structure. Eli, Dictator, and Oliver were all walking down the narrow hallway leading into the main theatre, forced to walk single-file. Eli took the lead, with Oliver bringing up the rear. Dictator was sandwiched uncomfortably in the middle, pushing themselves back and away from Eli with every step, whilst also attempting to keep themselves from tripping over Oliver. “What’s so cool about that?”

“I’ll show you when we get there,” Eli chided. “We’re almost at the main theatre. Then you’ll see what’s so cool about this place.”

“I can’t shake the feeling you made me walk two miles for nothing,” Dictator grumbled, crossing their arms but continuing to follow Eli through the narrow corridor.

Finally, there was light up ahead, and Dictator perked up a bit as they walked out of the corridor. And then, their eyes widened when they saw what they were here for.

A huge – no, an enormous – beehive was sitting in front of them. The buzz of the bees was almost deafening; there were thousands of bees, flying in and out through a broken window in a fairly predictable manner. Dictator gasped, reaching a hand up and catching a bee on their finger.

“Bees!” Dictator exclaimed, flapping their free hand excitedly. “Look – look at all the bees!”

“Yeah, bees,” Eli said, obviously faking excitement. “Lots of ‘em. But that’s not what makes them anomalous.” He blew air at a bee as it attempted to land on his nose, apparently not fazed by the flying insects. “Give them a few minutes and you’ll see.”

“See what?” Dictator asked as the bee on their finger took off again, flying clumsily through the air.

Eli motioned with his head towards the instruments placed carefully in the main performance area. “Watch.”

After a few more moments, slowly, a ripple seemed to pass through the hive, as if they were all getting a singular message. Carefully, the bees began floating away from the hive and windows and back towards the instruments, arranging themselves in a way they should not have been able to know on a cognitive level. One significantly larger bee flew herself over to the conductor’s stand, followed by several hundred worker bees. Together, they clumped together to pick up the conductor’s baton, just as the rest of the hive was taking their place.

Dictator opened their mouth to ask something, but Eli put his hand over their mouth, shooshing them as the “orchestra” began to play. A familiar tune floated through the air, and Dictator grew excited again.

“I know this one! It’s “This Land” from The Lion King!” They were practically jumping up and down in their spot at this point. Eli stifled a chuckle.

The music started out slowly, but built up to a crescendo a few minutes into the performance. Of course, Dictator knew the whole movie by heart, and Eli could practically see it running through their mind as they held their hands to their chest, overwhelmed with excitement.

“It’s perfect,” Dictator whispered. “How do they know?”

“They’re anomalous, there’s no way of knowing how or why they know,” Eli replied simply. “They just know.”

“Wow.” Dictator did not speak again until after the performance was finished, and at that time they simply clapped loudly, jumping up and down in place. “Bravo, bravo!”

Eli smiled smugly. “See? I told you there were some interesting Safe-class objects.”

Unbeknownst to the two of them, this was going to be a bright start to a very dark path.

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