Offices of the Federal Investigation Bureau, Los Santos, San Andreas | 11:40
“…Yeah. No. No, that’s not what I’m saying.”
“What are you saying, then?”
“I’m saying- fuck, hang on.” Veteran FIB agent Dave Norton is having a busy day, and the numerous knocks at his office window aren’t helping his focus. He takes his expensive dress shoes off the desk and tips forward in his chair, looking up at his coworker standing by the door. “What is it, Steve?”
“Oh, are you busy?” Steve Haines answers, gesturing to the phone in Norton’s hand.
“Yes, I am.” He turns the phone face-down to the table. “Now, what do you need?”
“It’s-“ Haines hesitates. “It’s that DeSanta again.”
“Townley? What’s he done this time?”
“We’re gonna need to talk to him. He's about to get himself in deep shit if we're not careful here. Meet me in the courtyard at lunch. Can you do that?”
“Of course, of course. What's wrong?”
Haines shakes his head and leans further in the doorway. "Don't wanna talk about it. Not here. Look, just come to the courtyard at lunch. It's all good."
"Alright, alright, I'll be there." Norton nods and moves the phone back to his ear.
“Good. Don’t miss it.”
Sandy Shores, San Andreas | 17:45
“No, fucking damn it, I said pineapple!”
“Sorry sir, you know there’s bad reception out here, haha. We’ll have it right over-”
“Bad reception? Bad reception? Listen buddy, if I can call the good times line at four AM without a single missing syllable in my dirty talk, I can definitely order a fucking pizza without my voice cracking up! ‘Reception’ my ass! Now get it over here in fifteen minutes and I’ll give you a twenty!”
Trevor Philips hasn’t had the chance to sit up off the toilet before his phone is ringing yet again. He rolls his eyes and answers it. “I’m taking a shit, Mikey, whaddaya want.”
Michael Townley's voice is smooth and calm to a degree that Trevor finds grating. “Your time. Look, I’ve got something big on the radar, buddy-”
“If this is another of your goddamn pyramid schemes, I swear I will personally rip off your h-”
“It’s not that, it’s not that. Listen, I’ve got something new, alright, something we haven’t seen before. Could land us in the black for good. And it’s not illegal.”
“When the fuck did that ever matter?”
“It didn’t, but it could make this easy. This is wacky shit, man, I’m tellin’ you! Give me a chance, will you? Look, drive out to the house. This ain’t the kind of shit I wanna be talking about on the phone.”
Trevor grits his teeth and resists the urge to slam his phone onto the ground. “…Fine,” he grumbles. “I’ll be over there tonight. Later. I’ve got a pizza coming.”
“Excellent. See you soon.”
“Mmm. This better be good.”
Rockford Hills, Los Santos, San Andreas | 19:30
“Hey Uncle Trevor!”
“Fuck off, kid.”
“Alright. Glad to see you!” Michael's son ambles back upstairs with a slow nod and a grin.
“Trevor, honey, can I get you a drink or anything?”
“No thanks, Mrs. DeSanta. Unless you got vodka-”
Michael DeSanta comes down the stairs, interrupting them. “Trev, come on. Let’s talk.”
“You sound awfully excited,” Trevor says, shooting a glance at Michael’s wife, who smiles as usual. “Get on with it, then.”
“Alright,” Michael starts, leading them outside onto the patio. “Franklin and I were talking and we’ve found something really damn good. Something that doesn’t- make sense." He clears his throat. "A glitch in the system.” He smiles and squints as he looks side-to-side, sitting down on one of the poolside chairs.
“What’s the glitch, then?”
Michael leans forward. “Alright, so you go into the supermarket, right? And you buy one of those prepaid cards. What happens then?”
“Then you have a prepaid card. Don’t talk to me like a fucking child, Mikey-”
“Shh, shh, don’t get pissed.” He laughs and slaps Trevor on the shoulder, earning a glare. “Okay, so you get a prepaid card, right? And then you use it, and then it’s gone. But Frank and I were at the old gas station down the hill, right? And we saw the employees fucking around with their registers. Talking about a computer glitch and shit, right? Registers showing some… abnormal screen, and ringing up merch that wasn’t actually at the counter. Looked weird, like super weird. So Frankie and I decided we were gonna stick around, see what they were messing with, didn’t have nothing else better to do, right? Alright, so we’re watching ‘em, pretending to talk by the cigarette cabinets, and we see this thing ringing up prepaid cards when they hit the buttons. On the register screen. Just all by itself!”
“You seeing this shit- How many tabs did you pop earlier?”
“What? Oh come on now, this was real, Trevor! Hell, call Franklin if you want-”
“Fine, fine, uuughhhh. Carry on.” Trevor puts his head in his hands and leans on his knees.
Michael nods. “Anyway, so what I’m saying is, we grabbed one of those cards that thing rang up, eh? And it worked.”
“The card worked. Hundred-dollar prepaid, wasn’t even rung up, wasn't even transacted, and it worked at the liquor store down in Morningwood!”
“…You called me over here to talk about a hundred dollars?”
“No, I called you over here to talk about the potential for thousands," he says, lowering his voice. "Think about it, Trev! Man, if we figure out how this thing works, this- this- fucked-up register system glitch thing, we could be in the black with infinite prepaids! It’s a glitch in the system, buddy, it doesn’t make any sense, but think about it!”
Trevor nods. “I don’t know, man. You talk to Franklin about this?”
Michael shrugs and lights a cigarette. “Eh, you know the kid. He’ll jump on board with us for anything, but the kid trusts his gut.”
“Mmm, and what’d his gut say?”
“Man, I don’t know. I don’t know the kid’s personal instincts. Look, you on board or not?”
“Just sounds like we’re playing with fire, man. If you don’t even understand how this thing works, you know, it might be- I don’t know, freaky government shit! You know they’re always installing shit- watching-”
“Eh, this ain’t government, buddy, you know it’s not. They don’t fuck with the- with the economy like this, you know? Nah, this is something weird.”
“You don’t think someone’s coming after it, then?”
“What do you mean?” He frowns. "No one's coming after it; there's nothing to come after. Imagine if this works at other places! We need to at least look into it, buddy, I'm telling you. I know money when I see it, and this is fuckin' A."
“No, I mean, you know, this weird shit. Not the money. Shit that doesn’t make sense. You don’t think there’s some freaky secret government shit, like FIB or IAA coming after this?”
“Pff, get outta here. I know you ain’t a white-collar guy, but some- what, secret organization, some Men In Black shit? Nah, man. That’s crazy. There ain't any shit like that out there, not like that. I've been in this business my whole life, man, you know I know my way around.”
“Mmm. Whatever you say, Mikey.”
“Trust me, buddy. We’ve struck gold.”
Trevor nods, stands, and walks back over to his truck. "We'll see!" he calls out, shaking his head as he starts the engine. "We'll see." He backs out of the driveway, flips off a pedestrian who he almost runs over, and starts the drive home.
Offices of the Federal Investigation Bureau, Los Santos, San Andreas | 09:15
“The who, again?”
"The SCP Foundation. My name is Agent Shaw. I had an appointment for nine with an Agent Haines? Is he around?"
"Oh, our apologies. He must be stuck in a meeting. I know he wouldn't mind if you went ahead into that conference room and waited for him. He should be out in a few minutes."
"Very well. Which room?"
"Down the hall, second door on the left."
"Alright. Thank you." Shaw picks up his briefcase and heads down the hall, instinctively closing the door behind himself before remembering Haines will be looking for him. He sits with his back to the window and opens his briefcase to remove his laptop and documents, keeping the spray can of Class-A amnestics in the bottom of the bag for easy access should anything go south.
There's a knock at the door, and then a firm "hello?" followed by the entry of a man who looks like he spends five hours a day on a golf course and another five in a tanning salon. He beams and sits down across from Shaw at the conference table. "You must be Agent Shaw! Pleasure to meet you." He extends his hand across the table to meet Shaw's. "So sorry I was late! I was stuck down the hall with some of the buffoons from HR. Anyway, interesting to see one of your organization out in the light of day! You're not gonna brain-wipe me after this, are ya?"
Shaw gives as genuine a chuckle as he can muster up, which isn't much. "Ha. No. I'm afraid we just need to discuss a newfound anomaly that may potentially be affecting businesses in this area. As this develops, it is heavily expected that we'll need full FIB cooperation in shielding its existence from the public eye; specifically, we will need to pose as FIB agents when containing instances, and a cover story will need to be developed immediately with which CEOs of major corporations will be informed that this anomaly is a credit fraud program and the FIB is investigating-"
"Whoa, whoa, slow down, my friend. One thing at a time. So, you need me to sign something, eh? Trust me, I know how it goes-"
"Oh, no- well, not yet. That's for the higher-ups. I actually need your help tracking instances in this area. A fellow named Norton told me you've got a few long-time criminals on your radar that may be getting involved."
"Oh, Norton gave you the run-down, eh? Yeah, we've got them on our radar alright."
"Trevor Philips and Michael DeSanta?"
"Well, his real name's Townley, not DeSanta. DeSanta's his post-witness protection program name. We helped the guy back in the day, see." He waves his hand. "But that's not relevant, we just need to figure out how to deal with this before it blows up."
"Helped him? I thought these guys were criminals."
"It's complicated. At this point they're flagged as hostile, yes."
"I see. Anyway, can I show you the preliminary documents?"
"Sure, sure. But say, why isn't our department in on this? You know, the abnormal events department?"
"What, the UIU? That's above my clearance level."
"Knowing why the UIU isn't involved. Look, I'm just a field agent. I don't know anything other than the research and tracking aspects of this."
"Alright, alright, sounds good, sounds good. Show me what you've got."
Item #: SCP-2738
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: MTF Lambda-13 (“Inventory Control”), based out of Site-12, is tasked with detecting and containing SCP-2738 instances as they manifest. As tests have shown that SCP-2738 is potentially spread between registers and between retailers through the use of items anomalously transacted using the SCP-2738 program, such as prepaid cards or gift cards, a cover story of SCP-2738 being a credit theft program has been fully developed and spread to the upper management of all major US retailers.
When SCP-2738 is found on a register system, the store's district manager is to contact Site-12 personnel and by extension MTF Lambda-13 personnel for containment operations. All retail employees, including high-level managers, are to be kept under the guise that Lambda-13 personnel and any involved Foundation research personnel are FIB agents investigating credit theft.
As investigations carried out by Foundation statisticians have shown that SCP-2738's spread rate is increasing, research efforts toward safe removal of SCP-2738 from register systems are ongoing.
"Why's this say you've developed the cover? Where's Site Twelve?"
"Twelve's across the country. Northern. And this is a draft. It won't be finished and added to the database until we get FIB approval for the cover, which my superiors are taking up with yours." Shaw folds the paperwork back up and starts packing his briefcase. "In the meantime, I need your help in field work. We suspect that this thing is already spreading around Los Santos, and potentially all of southern San Andreas if we don't catch it."
"…And Philips and Townley are about to spread it further, I suspect you're worried."
Shaw sighs and shrugs. "You know more about them than I do. But yes, if there are two wanted criminals aware of this anomaly, that is definitely something on the priority list of containment. To put it lightly."
"So you need my help in tracking them down and stopping them before they cause this thing to blow up and- what, I'm no statistician- er, destabilize the economy, basically? Is that an accurate estimation?"
"I mean, this thing has the same economic effects as printing cash, but with prepaid cards and merchandise. We're still figuring it out, but yes, it's bad if it gets spread."
"Do you know how it spreads?"
"We're still in research stages, but based on preliminary tests, it spreads fast and it spreads easily. If these two- is it only two of them?"
"Townley and Philips? They've got some kid from the south side helping them, I think, but he's low-threat."
"Alright. Look, these criminals - if they become aware of this, it's bad."
"So we need to stop them. Want me to try to call Townley?"
"…You have his phone number?"
"Like I said, the situation's always been weird. Look, let's just get this settled."
"You can't call him and reveal this information. That's exceptionally dangerous."
"You're right, you're right. Standard arrest. Got it."
"All two of them. Three of them. Soon."
"Alright, then. Let's head out." Shaw zips his bag and stands, pushing the chair under the table. "Get Norton too, come to think of it."
"He's out, I'm afraid. Gonna have to be just you and I. Don't worry, no crazy stuff."
"Not sure what that's supposed to imply, but I'll take your word for it."
Palomino Freeway, San Andreas | 10:10
“You… are a hipster.”
“You’re a hipster.”
“I hate hipsters!”
“Classic hipster denial.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake- can we please just focus on the road?”
"I'm just saying, you think you're edgy when you hate everyone, but really you're just a hip-"
"Do you want me to reach over and steer this car off that cliff?"
"Ha. Alright, buddy, you got it." Michael chuckles.
"I am not a hipster," Trevor mutters out the window. He clenches his fist and turns around to face the backseat. "Am I a hipster, Franklin?"
Franklin looks up from his phone. "I'm not saying anything, man, you know I don't fuck with that shit man."
"Hmm. Alrighty, fine." He faces Michael again. "So we're hitting the old liquor store first, right?"
"Later, yeah. We gotta meet with Lester first, remember?"
"I know, I know! Jesus! I just mean later! I'm trying to make some plans for once!"
"Easy, easy. It'll be good. No need to get angry yet."
"Yet," Trevor echoes, earning a scoff from Franklin. They ride in silence until they arrive at Lester's.
Darnell Bros Textile Factory, Los Santos, San Andreas | 10:50
"It just me or did Lester give this place a re-do?" Franklin mutters as the three of them walk through the door.
"Hmm, looks like he dusted the piles of shit," Trevor scoffs, clapping Franklin on the back. "Nice touch. Let's get this shit settled already; I wanna go home and drink."
"Oh, I would never have guessed," Lester groans, hobbling out from around the corner and adjusting his large glasses. "But, y'know, I've told you, you will kill that liver of yours-"
"Oh, okay, I'll just stick to meth then," Trevor snaps, rolling his eyes.
"Shh, shh." Michael waves his arms to direct the group over to the room's main table. "We need to focus! We've got something good here, Lester."
"Mmm, yes, yes, what you were vaguely referencing on the phone I presume. Well, I did my research, and what you were describing is no known software I've heard of in my time."
"Oh come on, Mike, you know what software means. The programs-"
"No, no, I know what it means, I'm just asking what you mean by calling this thing software."
"Well, your descriptions sounded like software. But you didn't say much on the phone, but luckily I did some looking in the old, er, 'underground communities' so to speak-"
"Some dark web shit?" Franklin asks.
"The dark web is a cheesy name for it, but sure. You know how it is. Anyway, people know about this thing, you know, it's spreading fast. Yeah. Got some people trying to get copies of it for sure. What it seems to be, see, is a computer program that piggybacks on the preexisting register system, and is undetectable unless you know to close out of your register system and check Task Manager."
"…Which no cashier is going to think to do."
"Exactly." Lester grabs a pen and paper from the edge of the table and starts scribbling. "Now, I can get a run-of-the-mill POS system set up in the shop, here. That's not a problem. I've got a dozen old machines I could boot up good as new. What I need that I can't get is a copy of that program."
"What are you going to load it onto?"
"Well, information I have thus far shows me it only runs on Facade OS, none of that Fruit bullshit. But that might be because almost all register systems are machines running Facade. But we can test it. Better to make sure. Need to figure out how this thing spreads. You know, so that our next step can be profit. Snag this before the other guys, yeah?"
Michael nods. "Okay, so this- the- what are we gonna call it?"
"Theft program, I guess?" Franklin shrugs.
"Sure. This theft program- you need us to break into a shop we know has it, and download it?"
Lester nods and leans on his cane. "Find it. It's an EXE file, I guarantee you. Put it on this flash drive and bring it back to me. You guys can do that, right? Copy a file?"
"Of course, of course. What if the computer is password-protected?"
Lester sighs. "I mean, I thought of that- I think of everything, as you know… er, let's just say that it's unlikely." He furrows his brow and looks down in thought for several seconds. "A tiny shop like the gas station or the liquor store near Mike's house- very unlikely."
"And if it fails?"
"Then take the cash and leave and we'll work on hacking later. It's not like it's a new thing for you three to break into stores."
"Pff, yeah, yeah, we get it. But we can't shoot anyone, unfortunately, or people will be after us."
Franklin narrows his eyes. "I mean, you're right, but that's a weird thing to hear comin' from you, Trevor…"
"Yeah, well, I'm also not an idiot. No body trail, or we blow it. Right Lester?"
"Wait, wait," Franklin says with a sigh. "If we don't want a trail, why we takin' the register cash?"
"Well, we don't have to-"
"Well, no reason not to!"
"Shut it, you guys," Lester hisses. "The problem, Franklin, is that I guarantee you the FIB is after this. If you break into somewhere they might be watching for the presence of this program and you don't take anything, they're going to know you went in there for that program based on likelihood alone."
Trevor widens his eyes. "Oh, Michael, look at that! What'd I tell ya!" He gestures to Lester. "I told you that there'd be some government fuckers after this thing!"
"Government is after everything, Trevor," Lester adds with a chuckle. "This is nothing new."
"Well, first it's the FIB, then it's someone else. You never know what government will pull out of its rotten stinking ass when new shit shows up, and we're in uncharted territory here."
"Uncharted territory, Michael. No one outside of whatever deep web crack-dealing site Lester's been trolling even knows what this thing is. There's no telling what unheard-of government monstrosities are watching this."
"Trust me, Trevor, I know every secret mystery crime-fighting organization in the book. Worst people coming after this are the FIB. I have sources."
"Fine, fine," Trevor sighs. "You know I trust you, Lester, but this shit gives me the worst feeling, I can't shake it!"
"It's alright, buddy," Michael assures. "We'll be safe. Hell, we pulled off the Union Depository! Not many people can do that, eh?"
"I wouldn't get so vain so fast, but that's just me. We're a trio of fuckups riding on luck, pal."
Franklin interrupts them. "We can do it, y'all, let's just get on this. The clock is ticking."
"Franklin is right," Lester says. "You three should get going. Take this flash drive and go by whichever store it was that Frank and Mike were at the other day. My fingers are crossed."
"Same. Thank you for your help, Lester. Not sure where we'd be without you."
"Jail, of course. But hey, so would I. Heh. Anyway, er, get out of here."
The three of them chuckle, grab their belongings and the flash drive, and start walking toward the door.
Rob's Liquor, Morningwood, Los Santos, San Andreas | 23:30
"Cops get here fast to this one," Trevor mutters, fiddling with a screwdriver before handing it to Michael.
"Nothing we can do." Michael takes it with a nod and starts going to work on the roof access vent. "This is where Frank and I were at. It's this one or we don't get the program, and you know they got looser security than the gas station."
Trevor grunts in response and stands up off the ground, peering down the street over the edge of the roof.
"No one's around, man, chill," Franklin says, beckoning him back over to the vent as Michael pulls the cover off. "You stay here, man, you be the lookout."
"Yeah, we'll only be a few minutes. Stay up here since you're the paranoid one."
"Yeah yeah, really funny. Whatever. Look, be careful."
"Of course," Michael whispers, dropping down into the vent with a loud clang. Franklin follows closely after him.
"Any security cameras under us?" Franklin wonders aloud.
"We can't worry about it. They'll see us anyway. You know the drill. Look, I'll get the file, you pop the register open. Can you do that?"
"Of course, man, we got this."
"Excellent. This is fuckin' A, man, this is fuckin' A. Alright, let's go ahead and drop down. Stay slow."
Franklin nods and positions himself above the vent opening, dropping down and hanging by his arms from the edge before closing the remaining distance to the ground with a surprisingly quiet thud. Michael watches him crouch and sneak over to the registers, climbing down after him with a significantly louder thud. "Sorry, I'm getting fucking old," he whispers as he creeps over to the registers. Franklin smirks and readies his crowbar while Michael turns on the computer and starts looking for the USB port.
Prosperity Street, Morningwood, Los Santos, San Andreas | 23:37
"Fun work, isn't it?"
"Mmm." Agent Shaw fidgets restlessly in the passenger seat and attempts to make casual communication. "So, uh, is this the type of field work you typically do?"
"Eh, it varies."
Shaw waits for Haines to provide more elaboration, but is only met with awkward silence. He sighs and cracks his knuckles restlessly. "Well, as long as you're ready to floor it as soon as you see them…"
"Floor it? Heavens no, we're keeping quiet until they get back in that car, there."
"Who's that on the roof, then?"
"Can't tell in the dark. Probably Michael. He's too old for this shit."
"I thought the file said Trevor was older."
"Heh. Yeah, but he's not tired… -er. He's a pretty nonstop guy."
"Always a fun type."
Both of them look out their respective windows for several seconds, unsure of what conversation to start.
"Shit, they're out!" Haines whispers, grabbing the steering wheel and causing Shaw to jolt in surprise. "That was fast, wish my team could transfer files in ten minutes, let me tell ya-"
"Can we go, please?"
"Easy, easy. I'm not the UIU, I know what I'm doing-"
"Then where did the car go?"
Haines pauses and looks forward. "…Shit-"
"Go, go! Turn left, that's the way their car was facing!"
"Okay, okay!" He throws the vehicle into gear and rolls forward. "We can't be loud, or they'll know."
"Turn, turn," Shaw mutters, head halfway in his hand.
"Going, going." He puts his blinker on and turns left at the intersection, lights immediately reflecting off the back of the crew's car.
"Stay far enough back that they don't freak out-"
"Trust me, my friend, I know what I'm doing. I'm an FIB agent, after all."
San Andreas Avenue, Backlot City, Los Santos, San Andreas | 23:45
"Merge, merge! God, you're a terrible driver-"
"Cut me some slack, Trev, I've got my mind on other things. Like-"
"Like someone following us?" Trevor demands at a volume loud enough to make Franklin wince. "Look in your motherfucking rearview mirror, Mikey, we've got hostiles at six o'clock!"
Michael turns around. "Buddy, people live on those streets, which logically means they also drive around. We're not being fucking followed. That car pulled out a long time after we did. Calm your nerves, man, we're fine, we did it!"
"Yeah man, Mike's right-"
"I'm not trusting that! Look how close they are behind us! And they're both suits!"
"Well, staring out the back of the goddamn window isn't exactly inconspicuous-"
Trevor cuts him off by removing a pistol from under the seat and reaching for the sunroof controls. "I'm not taking chances!"
"Whoa, whoa, don't go shooting people!" Michael yells, trying to stop him from climbing out of the sunroof.
"Trust me, buddy, they're already freaking out!" Trevor yells, now standing with his head and torso out of the vehicle as he aims his pistol at the driver of the car. "See? They're already panicking!"
"Don't fucking shoot them, Trevor, god fucking damn it-"
Del Perro Freeway, Los Santos, San Andreas | 23:48
"Oh Christ! Swerve, swerve!" Shaw instinctively ducks under the dashboard as a round strikes the car right above the windshield. Haines curses and swerves into the other lane before flooring it and coming up alongside the crew's vehicle. "What the fuck are you doing?" Shaw snaps, fumbling for his pistol, but realizing he left it in his bag in the backseat. "I can't reach my fucking gun! Get us a safe distance from them, for fuck's sake!"
"Trust me, I've worked with these guys a while, and this is definitely a safer option than letting them go!" Haines looks in his side mirrors twice before inching their vehicle leftward toward the crew's, much to the dismay of Shaw. Haines rolls his window down, checking his speedometer. Only 55. Not bad, given the situation. "Look," he calls out to Trevor. "You know you don't wanna shoot me! Remember last year? Before the heist? Let's work this out, Mr. Philips! You give us the flash drive, and we let you off, just like old times!"
He's answered with a round narrowly missing his head, instead lodging itself in the passenger-side door, inches from Shaw's huddled body. "Fucking- stop!" Shaw yells. "Either shoot Philips or give this up and let the cops handle it and the flash drive negotiations go through the legal channels!"
Haines watches Michael argue with Trevor before gritting his teeth and steering their vehicle into the side of theirs, slamming it to the right and into a guardrail. Shaw unbuckles his seatbelt and clambers into the backseat, trying to stay steady regardless of the rocking motions. He digs through his bag, removes his pistol, fumbles with the window controls, and aims his pistol out the window and toward Trevor. Trevor immediately notices and ducks back into the car, giving Shaw no chance to fire. He curses and flips the safety back on. "Get after them, then!" he snaps, earning an inexplicable laugh from Haines. He clenches his fists and sits back in his seat as Haines accelerates to almost 80 miles per hour in the wake of the crew's fleeing vehicle.
San Andreas Avenue, Los Santos, San Andreas | 00:00
"Why the fuck are you leading them right to Lester's?"
"Well, why the fuck did you shoot at them?" Michael snaps in return.
"We need to ditch this car, yo, this is bad-"
"How are we gonna manage that, Franklin? They're right on our tail, they're probably around the corner right now!" Michael says, yelling over the radio music.
…Oh it's a setup, it's a setup, it's a setup-
"Turn the fucking music down, Trevor, I can't focus!"
"I don't know where the fucking controls are! Maybe if you'd, I don't know, drive a car that actually belongs to you for once, you would know where the fucking volume button is!"
….bound to break you, get you beat! No no, we won't, won't fall, we got to get underground-
"If you can't turn it off then at least get it off the motherfucking hipster station! This fucking song-"
"I am not a hipster!"
"Y'all, shut up, they are right behind us," Franklin yells from the backseat. "Where'd they go? Shit, where'd they go-"
"I don't know, I just know one of those guys sure as fuck don't look FIB!"
"Which is why I tried to kill him," Trevor screeches, slamming his fist on the dashboard as Michael slams to a halt in the driveway. "God fucking damn it!" He throws the door open as he replaces the magazine in his pistol and chambers another round. "I fucking told you there would be freaky government shit going on here!"
"Franklin!" Michael yells as the headlights of the vehicle pull into the end of the driveway. "Take this flash drive and give it to Lester! Tell him to copy it as fast as possible! If anyone fucking comes in here that ain't us, you fucking shoot them!"
"I got it, boss!" Franklin snatches the flash drive, ducks, and sprints for the entrance of the building.
"This is fucked," Michael laughs, loading his pistol and turning to Trevor.
"Oh, it always is, Mikey! It always is!"
Darnell Bros Textile Factory, Los Santos, San Andreas | 00:03
"Y-you got it?"
"Sure did, Lester!" Franklin says, sweating. "Shit went south, man, shit! There's some FIB dudes out there with Trev and Mike right now, man, we gotta move! Transfer that shit, man!"
"Fuck, fuck," Lester mutters, snatching the flash drive from Franklin's hands and hurrying over to one of the computers as fast as he can manage. "Ugh, this is bad…" he says in a more nasally voice than usual, wiping his brow as he plugs the drive in.
Franklin checks his pistol and runs back over to the door, but is met with surprising silence. He pants and licks his lips nervously, trying to steady his pulse and breathing as he creeps forward in the shadows of the entryway.
"There!" someone yells.
Franklin instinctively ducks and rolls forward, but surprisingly hears no gunfire. "Lester, get the fuck out!" he calls out as loudly as he can manage, taking aim at the black-suited agent heading straight for him.
"Drop the weapon!" Haines orders.
"No! Bitch, don't make me shoot y-" He's interrupted by someone knocking him over the head, causing him to drop his pistol onto the concrete. "Fuck!" he says, spinning around. He's met with Shaw's frowning face and his arms being wrenched behind his back and handcuffed. He looks around wildly, still muttering profanities. Trevor and Michael are handcuffed and leaning against the side of a new black SUV that he assumes pulled up while he was inside with Lester.
"Man, fuck you FIB snitches-"
"Oh, but I'm not FIB," Shaw says with a chuckle. "Those guys have told us quite a bit about you three, though."
Franklin freezes. "What the fuck are you, then? IAA?"
"Not that either."
"Man, what the fuck-"
"You'll find out in time. Let's just say we're like the FIB, but for… weird shit."
Franklin glances at Trevor, mouth agape as Shaw walks him toward the same vehicle. "Trevor, you said- h-hadn't you said-"
Trevor leans out of the SUV he's being forced into. "I told you so!" he yells, kicking the side of the vehicle with a noise that reverberates against the concrete and walls. "I fucking told you!"
Franklin watches in dismay as four other agents drag Lester out of the safehouse in handcuffs. "Holy fuck, Trevor, shit man, you were-"
"Fucking right!" Trevor snaps as the agents sit Franklin down beside him in the back of the vehicle. "I was fucking right!"
"We are fucked, man," Franklin says under his breath. His eyes fixate on Michael's sweat-caked hair and the metallic gleam of the driver's holstered pistol while Lester is led into the vehicle and ordered to sit beside him.
"Well, fellas," Lester comments breathlessly as the vehicle pulls out of the drive, "I sure hope you like orange jumpsuits."
None of them speak as they pull onto the freeway and drive for hours into the empty desert.
Incident Report: SCP-2738 Research, Retrieval, and Criminal Implications
Report Summary: On ██/██/13, two established southern San Andreas area felons, one additional convict, and one additional person of interest were apprehended by Foundation agent and MTF Lambda-13 operative R. Shaw with assistance from Los Santos FIB branch agents on account of a known scheme to intentionally duplicate, utilize, and take financial advantage of the SCP-2738 program.
- Michael Townley/Michael DeSanta (age 45)
- Trevor Philips (age 48)
- Franklin Clinton (age 25)
- Lester Crest (questionable validity of legal name) (age unknown)
Containment Notes: SCP-2738 containment successful for Los Santos area. Pending confirmation of successful greater southern San Andreas area containment.
Additional Notes: I recommend we up personnel count on future excursions such as this. Addressing this singlehandedly would not have been possible without the assistance of Agents Haines and Norton and their backup; had the FIB not assisted Foundation operatives in this situation, we would have had a major destabilization of economy within several weeks, caused entirely by three notorious criminals and a rogue computing professional. Welcome to Los Santos, I guess.
In conclusion, this is a cautionary example of nonviolent and nonphysical anomalies breaching into the real world and affecting more than what a small Mobile Task Force can adequately contain, and not to mention causing publicly visible damage. If we are to function properly, we cannot make these mistakes again, as a task force and as an organization overall.
-Agent R. Shaw, ██/██/13