Michael Sends His Regards
rating: +13+x

Doctor Bishop had a little ritual. A crack of the wrist, a minute adjustment of the spectacles, and a breathing pattern―two seconds in, one second out. This little ritual would be performed before an interview, with this particular interview being a special one. It’d be the first interview without a supervisor. Suffice to say, he was damn nervous.

After this, it would be a relaxing end day, with just a few routine tests on the anomaly he was scheduled to work on. Seemed easy enough. But then again, trying to keep a bunch of brash, intelligent, and hostile kangaroos somewhat docile was a challenge in its own right. Even with the recent advances in technology, they couldn’t get close to the nature reserve where the kangaroos resided, not without ensuring mass panic and provoking a coordinated attack from what were essentially muscles on legs.

Bishop sighed. This was going to be an adventure, he was sure of it. Picking up an audio recorder and a list of questions taped to a clipboard, he looked over the file attached to the list. Another unlucky victim of the anomalous effects of SCP-3502, and from the looks of it, he was quite traumatised too. He didn’t want to use anmestics on the poor bastard, but it was standard procedure, and any standard procedure was his procedure.

The doctor opened the ironclad door and saw the man, his head on the table and his arms flopped, swinging like a pendulum. The man looked unwashed, dirt in every crack and wrinkle on his skin and clothes, and his hair in a complete mess. Bishop didn’t even want to see what his beard looked like. Maybe if he told him to keep his head down, he wouldn’t have t― and it was too late. Bishop held back a gag as he saw the wet clump of what was presumably the beard of this unkempt man.

“Hello Michael, I’m Doctor Bishop, part of the Queensland Police. I’m here to ask you a few questions, is that okay?”

Bishop fought every urge in his body to run when Michael nodded. His eyes, they were bulged out like a bloody cartoon. Bishop tried to regain his composure and sat down. Professionalism is key, the human race would be doomed otherwise. The man tracked the doctor’s every movement from the moment he started recording the conversation. Maybe Bishop could ask for a weak amnestic to forget this interview and just listen to the audio.

“Right, now that we’ve got a yes, we can now start this interview. Great! First things first, your name and your date of birth.”

If Bishop thought the man’s looks were jarring, his voice was a whole other thing. It was a mix between a chronic smoker and someone who just swallowed the world's supply of gravel and sand.

“Hm. Thought you guys had that already. Guess I was wrong. Michael Palmer, June 12th, 1946.”

This is going to drag out, isn’t it?

“So, that means you're 68?”

“Yeah, so? Not like I get to keep meself pretty these days.”

“Fair, fair." Bishop flipped over to the next page, making a mental note to not space out his questions so much. "Let’s keep going, I don’t have many questions. Next one is the incident itself, do you remember anything about what happened? Any unusual persons, objects, animals? ”

The man shifted in his seat, making Bishop grip the clipboard just a little bit harder. Taking a deep breath, the man leaned back and stretched his arms, a sickening crack of his knuckles making the doctor flinch.

“I can tell you what happened. Not sure I really believe myself. Lots is foggy, for me, now, but this isn't. This isn't.”

Bishop crossed his legs. “Hm, okay. Interesting. Just tell me the parts you remember the most then.”

The man seemed to be unnaturally calm about this situation. Bishop decided he couldn’t take any chances. He hovered his finger under the table, where a button laid. A small push and an amnestic would spray them both, with no harm apart from a 12 hour gap in memory. The wonders of modern technology.

“Fine, if you really need it. I was driving out to Yaraka, grabbing stuff, you know. I get this… bloody migraine that feels like someone kept stabbing me with a needle. Next thing I know there’s kangaroos absolutely everywhere, and they all faced me, it was like a fucking horror film. One of them cracked my window, with its claw!" The man held his head in his hands. "All my stuff was in there, my life was in that car! And now it’s gone!”

The man made a gesture akin to nails down a chalkboard, with added sound effects for good measure. Bishop tried to keep his professional face on when confronted with such behaviour, but it wavered slightly when the man burst into tears in front of him. This was a good time to end the interview.

“Okay, okay. Michael, from what I can see you have some fuzzy memories, and I’m sorry about that. When they found you, you were on the side of the road dying of heatstroke. Look, I’ll get this put in the report and have it investigated, will that make you better?”

Bishop pressed the button underneath the table and stood up.

“I’ll get someone to escort you out. It’s been a pleasure, have a good day.”

He shut the door just as the gas seeped in from the floor tiles. Bishop threw the papers on the desk in front of him, and pulled out a chair. The effects of the gas were almost instant, with the man starting to slip in and out of consciousness. In a few minutes, his memory would be nothing but static.

The hand phone on the desk rang, and Bishop picked it up.

“Hey?”

“Nathaniel, it’s Amil from down the hall, do you know where the papers for 3502 are?”

“You need to be more specific, you mean the tests, the articles, the archives, or what?”

A long, hard sigh came from the receiver.

“The tests, you nitwit! You know damn well which ones I need!”

“Oh. Uh, they should be by your desk drawers, I think.”

The dial tone indicated a very pissed off Amil. No surprise there.

Bishop turned to the interview room. The man was nowhere to be seen. The gas was long gone by now. Of course, the one second his back is turned, the man just so happens to disappear right in front of his eyes. He didn't want to fear the worst, but his mind decided to go against his wishes. He pushed the door open and went through the standard procedures.

Make sure they’re not dead.

Ask if they’re okay.

Provide a cover story.

Additional steps may be included as necessary.

A wave of dread made him freeze in place. The heavy breathing behind him made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.

"Oh no."

A solid arm slid around his neck and tightened. Bishop thrashed and pulled trying to scream, but could only let out small gurgles. He swung the attacker off his feet, but the man had an iron grip, and shifted his weight to accommodate. Bishop couldn't see the attacker, but he had a pretty good idea who it was.

Bishop twisted his hip and threw the man against the wall. A piece of tile cracked and fell to the ground with a clang; it was as long as the blade of a kitchen knife. His suspicions turned correct, it was Michael. But there was something different. This wasn't Michael; his eyes were almost pure white from where Bishop was standing, and he was growling like a pack animal. Snatching the fractured tile, Michael roared and jabbed upwards, missing the doctor by a good inch.

Bishop tried to push Michael's chest, but merely swatted the attacker's hand away. Michael went in for another strike as Bishop held up one of the chairs from the interview. The tile pierced the soft leather-back and knocked the doctor's spectacles. Bishop made a run for the door, but was pulled back by the sleeve of his jacket. His head was all over the place, trying to focus in what went wrong with the amnesia process, and in an instant he remembered what Class A amnestics did. There was no way this should be happening, Class A amnestics induce sedation and nausea, not aggression! Bishop pulled away and threw off his jacket.

“Security! Security!”

They ended up on opposite sides of the table, Michael standing between Bishop and the door. The doctor tried to move left, but Michael followed. He tried to move right, but Michael followed as well. Bishop tried to coax the attacker into going left while he went right, but Michael didn't budge. As the doctor went to jump across one of the interview chairs, Micheal shot across the table and went in for the kill.

Within seconds, it was over.

Bishop’s body lay where Michael’s chair was, writhing and screaming in agony. A line of blood slithered along the edge of the jagged tile.

“Next time you get up, I’ll break yer legs, you government fuck!”

Bishop held his hand against his eye, unable to move as the man raced out the door, barging past facility staff. A group of guards rushed by after him, while another group of armed personnel came to the doctor’s aid. As the door alarm for the faux police station rang out, Bishop’s last state of consciousness gave him two words to think about before the blackness greeted him.

Oh lord…

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