Margaret couldn't have shoes. There was something about this entire experience that was so surreal, so far outside of her range of experience, so beyond anything she was prepared to deal with, she was too confused to be angry or sad or scared. So all her mind could focus on was the feeling of her feet on the cold tiles as the (soldiers? doctors?) half-dragged, half-pushed her down the hall. She couldn't have shoes. They wouldn't say why.
She had met plenty of the soldier-doctor people in the last day. Some of them were sympathetic, or pretended as much. Some were coldly clinical and ignored her, talked about her like an object, assigned her some kind of prisoner number, refused to talk to her directly.
SCP-2122. It's all they ever called her.
She hadn't seen any other prisoners here, wherever she was. They pushed her down the hallway and into a smaller room. She saw a bed and a desk. Her cell, she supposed. They muttered something at her about good behavior; she wasn't listening. She just walked over to the small bed, climbed in, pulled the sheets over her head, and cried. She heard them walk away.
Captured a new skip today. Humanoid, female, aged seventeen years, 132 cm in height. Body in some sort of perfect biological stasis; nearly unbreakable skin, nails, teeth, hair, everything; doesn't shed or regrow skin cells as far as we can tell. Got in some fights in school and drew some unwanted attention. Will send full file later today. More thorough experimentation to begin Wednesday.
There was writing on the wall of her cell. Literally. She knew that was the standard cliche, the "MARGARET WAS HERE" scraped into the brick, passing someone's last message from one poor soul to another. This was different, though, because she had been here almost a full day, and she was almost certain that this wall had been blank. Sterile, cold, and perfectly blank. She squinted at the writing.
HI Y0uR N3w WH@75 y0Ur n@M3?
Now that was strange. How did the author expect to get a response to that one? She didn't care. Half out of boredom, half out of a desperate urge to make any sort of rebellion, she used her thumbnail (that perfect thumbnail, the only nail they didn't try cutting off, the one they'd probably end up pulling out of her skin) to carve, little by little,
Im Margaret and Ive never been in hell before
into the white wall, just beneath the other writing. Harder than she thought it'd be; she had an appreciation for anybody who could carve an ampersat into a wall without special tools. She rolled over and lay on her bed.
An odd scraping sound beside her. She whipped her head around. The old writing and hers were both gone. Now the words
m@RG@r37 y0u 50UnD pr377Y I lIK3 y0u wIlL y0U b3 h3r3 L0ng
were the only things on the wall. How the hell did he do that? she thought to herself. But of course, she was the one with a fingernail like an X-Acto knife. How weird were the other people in this place?
Where am I?
7h3Y c@ll 7Hi5 site19 th3R3 aRe l07s 0f P30PL3 h3r3 FRI3nd5 y0u c@n H@V3 FrI3ND$ I b3t Y0u c0Uld M337 IrIs 5h3'd li3K y0U
Margaret thought about it. Home life had never been good for her. School was hell. And it sounded like there were other freaks here like her. But she thought about some of the things that creep Husmann had said. He tried to act aloof and detached, but he kept looking at her the way the boys in her class did, and he kept saying something (when she was paying attention) about "advanced experimentation." It reminded her of things they read about the Holocaust in her history classes, the euphemisms they used. She didn't think they were going to let her run around this site19 place making friends.
I think they're going to hurt me where are you?
Im eV3rywH3R3 $0r7 0F l3t Me $33 if 7h3ir g0iNg 7o HUr7 yoU i D0N'7 WaN7 +H3M t0o
Margaret waited. She didn't know how her messenger friend was going to help, but she didn't have anyone or anything else at this point. Scraping again. She looked back at the wall.
your in d@NG3R d0 y0u W@nt m3 t0 Ge7 Y0u oU7?
YES YES YES can you do that?
giv3 me tw0 H0uR5
Margaret waited yet again for her graffiti-scrawling knight to save her. She rolled over and tried to sleep.
The office of RAISA was quiet when Maria Jones checked her email. Mostly mundane stuff; more proposals for killing 682 (which never found their way into her spam folder the way they were supposed to), vaccine research for 008, potentially increased activity from 877, nothing too interesting. One email stuck out, though, from Dr. Husmann. Recent transfer from Site 38, a little creepy but seemed reliable in his position at Site 19. She clicked on the email and cursed the lag, even worse than usual. It opened eventually.
Found this sexy little thing in one of the reports the MTFs sent me. Got into a couple of fights, drew attention to herself, hard to injure or something. Just about legal, not that that matters to us lol. So…can I keep her? I'm sending pictures.
This had attached to it several pictures of an underage, clearly distressed girl being strip-searched extensively by a grinning Dr. Husmann. The pictures looked…off, slightly, as though they had been Photoshopped, but whether Husmann took these pictures or made them, Maria was sickened. She forwarded it to the director of Site 19, with a note added on top:
Get her out of there and stick him in her cell while we figure this out. This is disgusting.
The head of RAISA hit "send" and left a note on her secretary's desk that she would be taking the day off.
Margaret awoke to the sound of footsteps coming down the hallway. Frantic, she turned to look at the wall.
NiC3 kN0winG y0u, Go0d lucK, Love y0U
The words disappeared when the first soldier-doctor reached the door. He opened the door and put a pair of slippers on the floor. "If you would come with us, please, ma'am," he said sheepishly. Margaret stood up and walked to where the slippers were, sliding her feet into them. She walked down the hall, one soldier-doctor in front of her, one behind. She felt a cold needle slip into the side of her neck and fell into the arm waiting nearby.
Dr. Husmann had no idea what the hell was going on. He would be sure it was some kind of hazing prank, if he hadn't heard someone mention that the skip he just caught, one of his first, had just been set free. Some kind of procedural error or something, but he'd be hard-pressed to find this one again unless she drew attention to herself again. Meanwhile, he was sitting in the very containment cell he had her in. He had more pressing concerns.
She had only been here for a couple of hours, so it couldn't have been her who did all this carving in the wall. No, in every wall, Husmann noticed. And the ceiling. And the floor, for God's sake. And everywhere, all the carvings said the same thing.
b3 w@7chiNg Y0u