Containment's A Beach
rating: +17+x

Charles Panthe looked over the Site-78 proposal one more time. All the paperwork was in order. It had all the right signatures (except for his). Hell, the proposal almost made it sound stupid that the Foundation hadn’t built this thing years ago. But it still felt so… so wrong.

“You’re serious about this?” Panthe asked the man sitting in front of his desk.

“Does Oh-Four’s signature look like a joke?” Dr. Hedler replied.

“No, but… a site on the beach?”

“A Foundation site for aquatic anomalies, specifically those that require large amount of—”

“Of sea water yeah, I read it. Aren’t the Canary Islands a prime tourist trap?”

“Actually, not on all of the islands. Lobos is largely uninhabited, and we have good relations with Spain so we will have little trouble building it.”

“And you’ve got a portion of the budget dedicated to ‘leisure’!”

“While I agree it isn’t the most descriptive term, that budget generally gets used for the break room, as well as psychological and emotional habilitation. Like the dogs that we rent on Wednesdays to improve D-Class morale, and stress relief for staff. I believe it's part of your Site-17 budget.”

“Um… why yes I suppose it is…” Pathe hadn’t actually read the full budget for his site in ages. He just checked that the R&D, security, and emergency funds were reasonable, and then signed. Kind of assumed the accountants had worked everything else out. He had also forgotten about the dogs. He quickly added the event to his calendar.

“But this will be a regular site like any other. Just in a more pleasant climate than most.”

“Ok… I mean Oh-Four already signed off. This is really just a formality at this point.”

And Charles Panthe signed off on the document.


597 Days Later

“But shouldn’t that have been accounted for in the construction of the habitat?”

“We thought we had, but it turns out SCP-4591’s corrosive properties were stronger than we anticipated. It might’ve been aided by the salt in the water as well.”

“That doesn’t excuse the fact that currently, there are at least a hundred acid sardines swimming around the Mediterranean, and we have no clue where they are. Not to mention the air shark that got relocated there, and like fourteen other anomalies that those concrete walls were holding in.”

“Actually, the sardines have probably reached the Atlantic by now.”

“You’re not helping your case.”

“Right, right.” It hadn’t even been two years, and Site-78 opened, and the funding was already being pulled. Everything had been running smoothly, until a group of anomalous sardines destroyed the reinforced concrete walls used throughout Site-78. The holes had formed in their chamber a month into containment, before testing was complete.

“And now you’re asking for extra budget not just for repairs, but also for underwater robots to survey the site for destruction?”

“Well we considered giving personnel diving training and equipment, but realized that aquatic drones would be more cost eff—“

“Just stop it, Hedler. You’re a smart guy, you gave this a real shot. But it’s time to face the facts. Your containment beach had a containment breach. I’m not signing for additional budget when we can just build oversized fish tanks like we always have.”

"I, um… ok. I understand. Thank you for your time." Dr. Hedler picked up his new proposal and started toward the door.

Panthe stood up and shouted after him, "Hey, it's Wednesday! The dogs should still be outside."

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