For Old Time's Sake
rating: +19+x

“Bloody hell, did Bennett have to pick such a cold place?” Abby said, rubbing her hands together for warmth.

Larry placed a large crate in the snow in front of them. “It’s Finland, what’d you expect? Besides, we can’t exactly do it in the local Tesco, can we?”

“Why not? I thought the idea was we’re supposed to make them think people got attacked. Why would anybody be out here?” She motioned to the surrounding area; a decaying concrete building stood next to a rusted chain link fence, all enveloped by snow. The sky and the ground met at an undefined point of grey, and the lack of a reference point gave Abby a headache.

Larry took out his notes given to him by Bennett. “Something about a camping trip. Three people, all dramatically killed off one by one until only one person survived. That’s you.”

“Jesus, really? You really think they’ll buy that? Sounds like the most cliché thing ever.”

Larry pried open the crate using a crowbar. “People will believe anything if there’s enough evidence for it. Hold this.” He shoved the crowbar into her hands.

“What’s in there?” she asked.

“Pig entrails.”

A hideous smell hit the air, and Abby recoiled backwards. “Jesus Christ, that is vile. That is actually — Jesus Christ.”

“Now you know how I feel sitting next to you for the whole bloody journey.” He snapped on a pair of latex gloves, grabbed a handful of pig organs, and threw them haphazardly across the snow. They stained the white red. “Come on, help me.”

Wrinkling her nose up in disgust, she began throwing the organs around too. “Won’t the police be able to tell they’re not human?”

“Nah,” said Larry, moving the box back onto the truck. “Supposed to be some by-product of the creature.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

Larry shrugged. “Doesn’t have to, if they believe it.”

“Will they?”

“Probably. They always have. Besides, our men'll get here long before any Finns who know what they're doing do.”

He walked back over to the truck, and dragged out a black bodybag. Pulling it open revealed a pale and lifeless face.

“Who’s he?”

Larry read off the name tag. “Daniel Denney. Random Class-D. Don’t know how he actually died, and I don’t really care. What matters is the body’s intact.” He pulled the body from the bag, and threw it with a thump into the snow.

“But, as far as you’re concerned, SCP-8769 got him. Tore open his stomach, with its-“ he brought a knife down into the corpse’s belly, and sliced along it; a red mouth opened, but no blood came out. “Extremely knife-like teeth.”

He did the same with another body, belonging to Kevin Connors.

“Their names are now Jasper Kalio and Vlatter Hypiaa. Good friends of yours. Luckily for you, a side effect of SCP-8769 is memory loss. You won’t have to remember a thing.”

“At least Bennett did that,” she commented.

“Right, well, that’s that, then. Nearest town is three miles away. Have fun walking. Blizzard’s coming in, but you should be safe and warm within the hour. We’ve got teams monitoring you, so if exposure gets you you’ll be fine… well, at least from the snow. I can’t promise anything about Bennett going apeshit.”

He climbed into the truck and slammed the door shut.

The question had been lingering in the back of her mind since they arrived, and she finally gained the courage to say it. “Why are we doing this?”

“What?”

“Y’know, faking SCP attacks. What’s the point?”

“Money, dear boy. We want it, the Finns have it, and we don’t get it unless they need something; namely, protection. You can’t sell protection from nothing. You know this, why you asking?”

She sighed. “You ever see an anomaly?”

“Yeah, all the time.”

“I mean, in the flesh. Not on film or anything.”

He let off a vague “eeeh” sound, before saying, “Yeah, once or twice.”

“Which ones?”

“The killer spoon one… uh… that bag of potatoes… erm…” He struggled in thought for a few moments longer, before clapping his hands and saying, “Oh, 173. Classic, of course. Can’t forget that one.”

“See them do anything anomalous?” she asked.

“Yeah, all the time! This D-class picked one of the spoons up, and BAM! On the floor, dead!” He turned on the truck’s motor and it revved to life.

“He threw himself on the floor, and you think he’s dead? Not just faking it?”

“And why would they do that, huh?”

She shrugged. “For old time’s sake, I suppose.”

His voice took a sharp edge, like a dagger formed from ice. "There are anomalies, alright? Alright? They wouldn't — they wouldn't just fake it, okay."

"Okay," she lied. "Yeah, you're probably right."

“Right, well, I best be off. See ya back at the site.” He dug a Mars Bar from his pocket and threw it at her; she smacked her hands together and awkwardly caught it. “That’s on me; I have to say, I wouldn’t fancy that walk. Good luck.” He gave a little mock salute, and the truck started away into the distance.

Abby spent one last moment looking at the bodies, then at the pig entrails.

“For old time’s sake,” she said to no one, and began her long walk alone in the snow, eating Larry's Mars Bar.

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