Jason surveyed the scene. The place was a mess, broken glass scattered across the floor, small puddles of blood and chemicals here and there, and three dead bodies lying in the middle of the room. Jason shook his head. Things had gotten out of hand real quick. Two of the scientists had pulled guns on the Foundation team, and in the ensuing firefight all three scientists were killed. Walking through the room, Jason spotted a piece of paper jutting out beneath a shelf, just the corner visible. He picked it up, and let out a sigh as he looked at it. A photograph of a family, smiling happily in the nice weather. A woman in her late forties, with a kind and caring look. A little girl, no more than ten years old, beaming like she’d just won the grand prize in the lottery. And a man, probably in his early fifties, one arm around his woman’s shoulder and the other holding the girl’s hand. On the back, in very neat handwriting, was written “We’ll miss you every day you’re away. Love, Carla and Lily”.
Jason shook his head. The two who had drawn guns were probably members of some shady organization, looking to weaponize or profit off of the SCPs they had acquired, but this man… He hadn’t fought, and had seemed completely surprised and terrified when his colleagues started shooting. He had cowered beneath a table, and been hit by a stray bullet. He probably had no idea what they were really doing, perhaps too excited about working with such unusual samples to notice anything suspicious. Jason looked around the room, making sure nobody could see him, and pocketed the photo. He took another round through the room, making sure he hadn’t missed anything important, and headed outside.
Back in his quarters, Jason sat down on his bed and took out the photo. He looked at it for a little while, and then pulled out the small box he kept in his desk. He unlocked and opened it, slowly looking over the contents. He’d have to get another box soon, this one was getting full. Inside were a number of items; a locket, a scratched and cracked CD plate, several photos, a broken watch, two drawings in crayon, and many other small objects. To anyone else, just a random assortment of trinkets and junk.
But Jason knew that each of these items had a history. Each had been taken from a site where the Foundation had run into a conflict that had claimed the life of someone whose only wrongdoing was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They hadn’t known why they were killed. And their loved ones would never know the truth. Jason knew though. He had held onto these things to make sure he would remember. The truth might be hidden, but it wouldn’t be forgotten. Not so long as he lived. He understood all too well how necessary the work of the Foundation was, and why secrecy was so important. He knew that sacrifices had to be made. But the least he could do was remember those who had been sacrificed for the sake of all of humanity.