No One Else Will Protect Us
rating: +58+x

My name is The Administrator. I don't know who I was before all this… happened? Or changed? Or whichever adjective you want to use, it all means the same thing. History itself has been changed, if that's possible. We tried to go back, edit this whole mess out of history, but it didn't work. Maybe that's how it spread back there, there's no way to be sure. Hell, how could we be sure?

It all started with… him. I don't know what we would call it, although at one point it was a human being. We brought him into Site-19 and classified him with all that pomp. A Keter, if I recall correctly. There was a lot of concern about the research team heading it up, that they weren't ready for the project… I was one of them. But, we were pacified and reassured. They were being supervised, everything was going to be peachy and lovely.

Two weeks after he came into the site, things… changed. It started small at first, like they all do. A small chink in the armor, and then you pick and pick and pick so you end up with a gaping hole. All it takes is one touch to shatter our world, after that. In the end it was the butterfly kid who broke things. Snapped the spine of reality neatly over his knee.

It was a big bang, then a big shush. You'd look out a window, and not a soul was out there. They were out cold, then, and didn't remember a thing about what was out there. Wiped the chalkboard of our world clean, with all of its gambits and strategies. I don't know why I can still see the lines, when nobody else can. Maybe I deserve it?

I can't leave the office anymore. My body… well, it's not what it used to be. I'm a shriveled infantile husk, with deep pits that occasionally bubble up some goo. My ears are twisted and broke off, but I still have my limbs. Crossed over my black, flaking chest, they hold my shoulders together, while my legs have curled into a spiral. I'm held aloft by my coat, with smooth metal and soft green. Sometimes, it lets me crawl, but most days I just wait. The staff run this place now.

When they leave Site-19, some rules of reality return to its vacant halls. The lockers droop and sag, while the tiles slowly crack and disintegrate. Occasionally, Dr. Gears walks through the hallway that faces me with his servant, Iceberg, and the halls suddenly leap back to virility and strength. Their discussion always passes through to another hall, though, and when their voices drift, so does the condition of the site.

Everywhere, corridors corrode and ceilings collapse. But, as these pantheons of reality pass through, they will be swept back into place as had been remembered, by them. Not always the same, but as long as the vague shape of their memory was preserved, it satisfied most tastes. The non-senior staffers, too, were chained to this ruse. As they were remembered, they popped back into existence, busying around the staffers and going to half-recalled research projects.

When they left, few remained to populate the halls. Decrepit and crammed with rot, some sections might lay in utter decay for decades while decadence and disarray destroyed the already disrupted universe. So it went, so it would always be.

Outside, Clef and Kondraki endlessly drove some anomalous car, the road collecting itself in their path, the pavement happy to be seen and given a reason to exist, before sighing and settling back into ashes. It was content, its purpose fulfilled, before it remembered it was not supposed to think and slumped once more into nothingness.

Going further, out in the city. Another wondrous city day. God, how long has it been? How long has the world been broken? I've probably lived more lifetimes than anyone could ever deserve, even for someone who helped the Foundation. But we all help the Foundation. Those lovable scamps.

They took the fear out of people. The shadows have mixed with the light, and created a shifting mix of grey. A universal twilight without beginning or end. It's so much better than before, we can have both without having to think about it.

We still see them, sometimes. When they walk down a street, we the pavement rise to greet them, and the people try to adore them. They love constant praise and attention to keep their worldview intact, and boy do we give it to them in spades!

The lights dim when they leave the towns. Street signs, once saying something like REDACTEDville, now blank out and fade away. People cease their fawning, and return to their daily routines. Maybe their office was now a demolished pile of rubble from the six-eight-two breach back in '76, and their local factory had been bombed in case it was The Factory, but the local business still went on as usual.

Some things were a little different. Without the staff in town, the sky grew a little darker, and the streets cracked a little deeper. Maybe Site-19 didn't always look like the grey building it had once been. Sometimes it might be a castle, or a tower, or a broken down rubble that may have once been a building. But that was daily business for them.

Mothers sent their children to roofless schools, where they learned in rain, snow, or shine, and often all three at once. The bubble of reality around Konny and Clef finally shrunk away for good, and all was right, all was just.

Sometimes… they change me too. I remember things the way they did. I can't remember how they used to be, and I know they can't remember either. It's all a big flaky crust slowly collapsing, as more memories homogenize and are dismembered, then becoming fact. But, we keep it up. So that others may live in an insane, abnormal world.

We secure. We contain. We protect.

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