Site-19 Ancillary Research Wing
Agent Donnarson hadn't really expected to have to do a debriefing of this particular sort. As an information retrieval specialist, his job was to figure out the difference between report briefs, and the truth. However, "Dr." Magnus' file was several hundred pages long, and had started to become a little excessive, not to mention the content. A level 4 had made a request to figure out what the hell was going on, and the task fell to Rex.
As he walked through the halls of the Ancillary Research Wing at Site 19, he flipped through the case file, each entry more stupid than the last. This was going to take forever, and he could already imagine the headache this would cause.
The door to Magnus' office was open, and two men were sitting at chairs across from each other, making idle chatter. He hadn't met either of them before, and knocked softly on the wood of the office door. "Hello? I'm looking for Viktor Magnus?"
The shorter man stood up, and gestured to the blond man sitting on the drawer side of the desk. "Well, you found him. Here to finally terminate the idiot?"
Rex hesitated for a moment, caught off-guard by the joke. "I- What? No. Debrief."
The man grinned, and took a couple of steps, reaching across the distance. "I'm kidding. Sorry, I'm Researcher Kensington. Level 3. May I observe the interview?"
Rex shook the man's hand, and looked down at the directive sheet. "Anyone level 3 or higher could observe, technically, but this isn't being recorded. It's just a debrief I'm supposed to report on."
The other man, in the chair raised an eyebrow, and smiled. "I don't mind if he observes. I'm Dr. Michael Viktor Magnus."
Rex frowned for a second, then looked down at the personnel file. "It says here it's Researcher Magnus, as you don't have a—"
Magnus threw his hands up. "My degree is real dammit! Just because the subject isn't, doesn't mean anything! Doctor. Magnus."
Rex could already feel his pulse in his neck now, a surefire sign a headache was coming. When it rains, it pours. "Alright. May I sit down?"
Kensington moved out-of-the-way, and grabbed a third chair from the corner, pulling it up to the desk on the short side, leaning back. "Just pretend I'm not here. I'd love to hear this."
Rex sat down. "Right. My name is Agent Rex Donnarson, and I'm—" An upraised hand interrupted his speech, and Magnus leaned forward, his face incredulous.
"Rex. Rex Donnarson. Seriously? That's your actual name?" The look on his face was one he was intimately familiar with.
"Yes. That's my actual legal name. No I did not change it." Rex tried to smile, but ended up grinding his teeth instead.
Magnus leaned back in his chair and shrugged. "Right, sorry. I just couldn't not say something. I'm sure your parents thought it was a lovely name."
Rex counted back from five in his head, then opened the case file in front of him. "Right. Let's get started. I'm here to clear up some… unusual reports that have come through as after-action reports. From what this says, you've taken part in an unusually high number of combat missions for a non-combatant, and several circumstances of your… reports, have been suspect. I've been ordered to find out what actually happened."
Magnus leaned back, shifting downwards in his chair. "Alrighty then. Shoot."
Rex flipped open the first envelope, breaking the wax seal. "Right. Okay, 20 April 2017. There was a mission flying over Kansas, delivering SCP-3000. The plane reported distress, and we lost communication with it. You arrived at Site-27 sixteen hours later."
Magnus nodded. "Yes, that's right."
Rex pinched the bridge of his nose. "Could you recount how you survived this plane crash, as you did in your report?"
Magnus looked at the ceiling, and then nodded speaking with his eyes on the paper tile to the right of the overhead light. "Right. Plane was going down, but luckily for me, there was an alligator in the back."
"An alligator. In the depressurized section of a cargo plane? Seriously, you expect me to believe this?"
Magnus nodded again. "Yeah, and good thing too, it was a pretty good pilot."
Rex looked down at the sheet, with notes about the plane crash. SCP Flight 2557 was found twenty miles from Site-27, having gone through an apparent guided emergency landing on to a small uninhabited island. Most of the plane had deteriorated. One Nile Crocodile was found in the co-pilots seat. There were elevated hume levels in the area for six hours following the investigation.
Rex's mouth became a thin line. "You do realize how insane that sounds, right?"
Magnus tilted his head to the side eyes blank for a moment, before smirking. "That's a relative term, considering about two hundred yards away is an entity capable of reshaping reality at will. Assuming 343 is still kept in the same section this week."
Kensington snorted across from the two of them. "Seriously though, alligator, Magnus?"
He shrugged. "It might have been a crocodile. I can never tell them apart, I really should memorize the teeth thing."
Rex flipped the documents back in to the packet, then broke the seal on the next report. "Okay, that's… I'll note it down that your story is consistent with presented events. This one is from April 22, 2014."
Kensington held up a hand. "Wasn't that the rocket over Antarctica?"
Magnus nodded. "Yep. Six Russians, and an airlock. Man, that sucked."
Rex scanned the file, and looked up, annoyed. "Okay, come the hell on. You survived re-entry from orbit?"
Magnus nodded, taking off his glasses, and cleaning a lens, his eyes focused anywhere except on the Agent. "Yep! I mean, it was painful, but I was pretty okay. Burnt my eyebrows off though."
Rex let the file fall to the table, and sat up. "Eyebrows? It would have burned you to death!"
Magnus pointed at the file. "Snowstorm. We were in Antarctica, and there was a whole fuckton of snow that day."
Rex held his hands up in exasperation. "That… that isn't how convection works! You should have died on reentry, and slammed in to paste on the ground!"
Magnus shrugged. "Look, I'm a meta-physicist, not a physicist—"
Kensington cut in, "No you're not."
Magnus glared over at Kensington . "It's on my degree."
"Yes. Your fake degree. From the 'University of Deleware'. Delaware has two a's in it."
Magnus rolled his eyes, "As I've said, just because the subject is false doesn't mean the degree is. The University of Deleware is a perfectly accredit institution in the reality I got the degree in."
Kensington waggled his fingers. "I think that's literally the definition, 'cause—"
Rex's voice rang out: "Gentlemen! Either way, you can't survive an orbital re-entry." The pounding had spread up to his temples now.
Magnus spread his hands in a gesture of helplessness, his eyes roaming the room. "What can I tell you, it was really windy, and there was this big snowdrift, and—"
Rex slammed the file down. "You're not taking this seriously at all! You expect me to believe these ridiculous lies about how you apparently keep dodging death?"
Magnus' face grew serious, and he looked Agent Donnarson clear in the eye. "All I can say is that Legends Never Die." His expression softened, and he winked.
Kensington sighed heavily, and reached over to a side table where a stale cup of coffee was sitting. He took a sip, and shook his head slightly. "That's all he ever says. Annoying isn't it."
Rex took a moment to compose himself, and set the file on the stack of finished files. "Whatever. Let's continue, if that's alright with you." He pulled out the last of the sealed files. "Okay, this one you're going to have to give me more than just some nonsense explanation. You were in Louisiana during a hurricane and got washed in to the sewer system by a storm surge."
Magnus' eyes grew distant for a moment, before remembering the incident. "Ahh. Right. Yes, we'd been tracking SCP-4733, and discovered it had holed up in Golden Meadow. I was there with an MTF, I can't remember the name."
Rex nodded, and continued, "Zeta-22. Clockbots or something like that. So the hurricane hit, and you were swept in to the sewers."
Magnus grimaces for a moment, then continued. "Right. I was swept in to the sewer system. I got a melon barb stuck in my throat which—"
Rex dropped the pen he was holding. "I'm sorry, repeat that for me?"
Magnus shrugged. "Melon barb. It's a fish. Got it stuck right in my throat. Thankfully it kept taking in water, so I could use the gills to not drown."
Kensington leaned forward. "Hold on a second. The melon barb is native to India, not Louisiana. What the hell are you on about?"
Magnus turned to face Kensington. "Hell if I know. It was definitely a melon barb though. Someone might have had it as a pet or something?"
Rex couldn't help but just stare at the two of them. "That. That is what's incredulous about his story?! The SPECIES OF FISH!?"
Rex slammed the file shut. "Fine! Jesus fucking christ, enough! I can't believe you're wasting my time!"
He shoved all of the papers in to the overstuffed case file. "The only other question I have, that I've been specifically instructed to ask, is after the… 'plane crash', you claimed a pair of 'sea turtles' carried you to Hawaii. How did you get to the shore, smart guy? You reportedly crashed near the south pole."
Magnus shrugged again, as if the answer was obvious. "Well, I'd worn my Heelies that mission, so moving long distance wasn't really an iss—"
Rex slammed his hands on the table, and stood, grabbing up all the case file. "Fuck it! Fuck you!" He pointed to Kensington. "Fuck me! Fuck you all, and fuck your shit!" He stomped out of the room, slamming the door.
Kensington sat blinking. He looked at Magnus, confused. "What the hell did I do…?"
Magnus looked up from his phone, and shrugged. "Whatever. I told him everything I could about every single event. Not my fault he didn't believe me."
Kensington shrugged, and stood. "True. I'll catch you later Magnus."
Magnus waved vaguely. "Later bro."
Dr Kensington adjusted his glasses and walked out of the office, passing through the Ancillary wing in to the main facility grounds. He pulled out his phone, swiping a few times, looking up the map of the facility, idly pressing here and there.
He dipped his hand in to his pocket, and pulled out a tiny bottle labeled "Hand Sanitizer", squirting a bit on his right hand, rubbing it into his palm, and forearm.
Kensington followed the map to the wing labeled 'Intelligence'. He walked in to the main reception area, and called out: "'Scuse me? I'm looking for Agent Donnarson?"
An older balding man scooted his chair back out of the nearest cubicle. "Third office on the back wall. Name's on the door."
Kensington nodded, with a smile. "Thankya." He took a dozen steps to end up in front of the door to Rex's office. He hesitated a moment, and knocked.
"Come in," the agent's voice called out.
Kensington braced himself, and walked in. Agent Donnarson sat at his desk, typing away at a laptop, several stacks of documents on his desk, as well as the case file he and Magnus had fought over. He put on a sunny smile, and tried to sound cheerful, "Hey, Rex. I just wanted to say sorry about Magnus before. He's… flippant, but he's good at what he does."
Rex narrowed his eyes and sighed. "Oh. Doctor Kensington, wasn't it? It's fine. I'll report this, and my boss will probably order a full investigation. We'll get to the bottom of this." Kensington's neck involuntarily tightened, and he sighed internally.
He held out his right hand. "Just call me Kens. No hard feelings?"
Rex stood after a moment, and walked over. "No hard feelings." He took Kensington's hand in a firm grip.
Kensington's left hand moved to the bracelet on his right, touching the small stud. A barely perceptible swoosh of air escaped the heavy clasp. Rex's eyes fluttered for a moment as the Class B amnestic took hold through the topical.
"Hey, it's no biggie. This is all classified anyway, right? Don't worry about it. There's no need for a formal investigation. It's all just as Magnus said."
Rex's eyes fluttered for a moment more, before mumbling out: "But… who classified it?"
Kensington looked him dead in the eye. "O5-2." He released his hand, casually peeling away the flesh tone polymer covering his palm, and forearm, dropping it in to Rex's trashcan where it turned into less than fifty grams of unidentifiable gray dust. He turned, leaving the office, and out to the main research wing, his face an inscrutable mask.
Dimensional Site 4, April 20, 2017
The small transparent case in front of O5-2 crackled with whorls of light, which she knew her brain interpreted as colored purple, for lack of a way to really interpret the sixth dimensional distortions.
The technician beside her lifted a squarish device. "Soon."
O5-2 glanced down at her watch. 11:59 PM. The plane had gone down less than 20 minutes ago, and he should be emerging any moment.
The technician looked at the Overseer. "Hume readings increasing."
The bones in front of her in the clear plastic case vibrated slightly, moving forward, a purplish after image emerging out from the case. A series of unpleasant flashes depicted the after image slowly coating in fibrous muscles, nerves, eventually skin, tissues, hair… even clothing.
Dr. Michael Magnus fell to the ground in front of O5-2, the last of his screams fading into the chamber.
O5-2 took a step forward. "Welcome back again, Michael."
Dr. Magnus' bloodshot eyes lifted from the floor to hers, terror filling them, the pain slowly receding.
O5-2 smiled, and handed him a typewritten report. On it was more insanity and gibberish about sea turtles. "Why? Why do you keep making me do this?"
She tilted her head slightly. "Simple, Michael. You were a liar when you were just a Foundation employee, and everyone thinks you're just a liar now. And, frankly, you were the only personnel at the right time, who was expendable enough to qualify. What do you say if anyone presses you for what happened, and won't take that for an answer?"
Magnus skimmed the sheet a few more times, before rising to his feet. With a heavy sigh, he repeated the words that had been drilled in to his head death after death after death, "Legends never die. Where are you putting me back this time?"
O5-2 nodded to the door. "Just outside of Site-27. A little over twelve hours from the current chronographic time. You know the routine, Michael. The evidence has already been back-filled in to reality."
Magnus' head hung down. "Fine. What happened to the anomaly?"
O5-2 smiled slightly, "We're not sure. You've never died so close to a reality bending object before. We're still investigating what happened."
Magnus took a shaky step towards the door on the far wall, opening it, to reveal a peaceful island scene. Hawaii, home of Site-27. "Answer me this. Is it worth it?"
O5-2 thought for a moment, then nodded. "Yes. Completely. You've seen the combat reports from the Senior Research staff, yourself."
Magnus grimaced. "So be it." Then he stepped through the door, out of his own personal hell, and into the salt air of paradise.