...Like a Russian Racehorse
rating: +16+x

Agent Strelnikov sat in his office, reading the latest reports on the recent round of tests on SCP-682. Nothing unusual. A few (actually, not so few) D-Class deaths, and a near-escape by that damned lizard.

Typical.

As he finished reading the section on the proposed use of other Keter SCP's when he heard a single *THUD* on his door. It was too hard to be a knock, but too light to be an attempt at entry. If nobody wanted to see him, and nobody was trying to kill him, what was it?

As usual, he answered the door with a loaded Makarov. Nobody stood outside the threshold. But there was a note stuck to his door by a small length of duct tape. Raising an eyebrow, he took the single sheet of 8.5" x 11" paper.

What he read made his eyes go wide. Wide with a burning, intense hatred, easily enough to scare even the most threatening SCP.

Dear Agent Strelnikov: Exactly one mile north from the site 19 entrance is a cache of exactly 144 bottles of Rodnik Gold Vodka. In case you don't know (which I highly doubt), this is some of the most expensive, authentic Russian Vodka on Earth. Do not use a vehicle to get to it. Do not use an SCP to get to it. I'm watching. You MUST get there on foot. If you DO violate these rules, I will detonate the entire cache using ten whole pounds of C4. Oh, and there's a time limit: 4 minutes from the very second you set foot outside of this facility… or KABOOM. No vodka for you. Happy April Fool's day.

Wasting not a second, he snatched his Soviet-era military uniform hat, placed it atop his head, and raced to the main entrance of site 19. He knew that those in Olympic-athlete condition could run a 4-minute mile, and while he was certainly in great shape, he was no olympic athlete. But, knowing what was at stake… he ran as a man on some abominable mixture between cocaine and meth.

Rushing straight through the exit's security checkpoint, he drew a small amount of fire, but was sprinting at such speeds, that the guards barely had time to aim. He burst out of the site, the image of a 4-minute countdown glaring in his mind.

tick-toc

He dashed through the area, going in a nearly impossible straight line. A straight line north.

tick-toc

Two minutes, twenty-eight seconds. He felt it. He pressed on.

tic-toc

One minute, four seconds. He felt his legs beginning to succumb to the pain of lactic acid production from the lack of oxygen.

But the prize was in sight. A crate with the word 'RODNIK' emblazoned on the side. On top was a relatively small object with a timer on it.

tic-toc

Sixteen seconds. Only a 120-foot sprint lay between him and his prize.

He was going to make it! He was going to-

Boom.

"No." thought the man.

"No! I followed the rules of bullshit! Son of bitch, what did I do wrong?"

He began to sob…

"What… did… I… do… WRONG!?!?"

Then, Dmitri Arkadeyevich Strelnikov fell headlong, unconscious from the massive effort of his mad dash.


Two figures watched from a distance through a pair of high-powered spotting scopes.

"You have done… well enough." said the first, in a deep, purposefully strained voice.

"I got the job done right." said the other, a hooded man, a hint of anger in his voice. "Don't tell me that like it didn't go as planned."

"You shouldn't speak to your superiors that way. It could get you terminated."

"That's bullshit, and you know it. As strict as Foundation regulations are, I refuse to accept that even the lowest non-D-class personnel are that expendable."

"Perhaps you're right… perhaps you aren't. Either way, we have the results we needed to see. Strelnikov can be easily manipulated into acts of greater-than-normal feats of human physical prowess with the promise of valuable alcohol."

There was a short pause.

"…particularly vodka."

"I don't understand why you needed an experiment to know any of this. It's pretty much Foundation-wide knowledge."

"Perhaps. But did you really think that he could do this? A mile in under four minutes is nearing super-human."

"…to tell you the truth? No. Now I have one question for you."

"Shoot."

"…why did you detonate the cache before he got to it?"

"It was empty. He would have died of pure disappointment, most likely, if he found he put in that much effort for nothing but an empty crate. He's probably extremely disappointed as is, but if he knew there was nothing in the first place…"

"You O5's are sick bastards."

"It's pretty much a pre-requisite for the job."

The hooded man began to walk away.

"Don't forget…" called the O5, "…speaking of this to anyone other than an O5 is grounds for termination."

The hooded man simply got into a black car, and drove away.

The O5 smiled, and walked over to a seemingly-innocuous boulder.

"I'm alone.", the now-female voice called. The rock shimmered, and disappeared, the holographic projecting device recognizing the shut-off command. In its place was a crate marked 'RODNIK'.

"Ah, yes." cooed the O5. "And now, for some time to myself, alone with my ill-gotten gains. They don't pay us enough for this damn job…" she complained, using a crowbar to pry the top of the crate open. "We're administers for one of the most powerful shadow-organizations to ever exist, and what do we get paid? A measly-"

"You are not alone." came a rough, thickly-accented voice. "You are dead."


That O5 never reported in to the Foundation the next day.

Nor the next day. Nor the next day. Or even the day after that. In fact, she was never heard from again.

After a month of searching, the other O5's decided that the Foundation's resources were best spent elsewhere. A new O5 was chosen, and things resumed, more or less, as usual.

Nobody asked Agent Strelnikov where he got the massive crate of Vodka that day.

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