☦The Old Guard Awaken.☦
The Last Era: 13, August, 2119 AD
Salina, Kansas, USA
A man who had long forgotten his name was driving down the twisting paths of the pinched barrens, his loyal dog at his side. He drove east, into the sunset, swerving left and right to avoid the spires and cracks of the twisted K-18. He was on a mission, following reports of some free radical anomalous jackass terrorizing the good people of OKS, and being a general eyesore.
He cranked down the window and tossed out his cigarette. “How ‘bout that? It’s not often you see an anomaly in the wild is it, boy?”
“No, not often at all, and don’t call me boy,” responded the sharply dressed canine, his words slurred by his cigar.
“I thought they had all been all wiped out topside, but I think we got ourselves a goddamn dodo.” He smiled and the dog rolled its eyes. “God, I think I’m gonna ash on my suit. Ash me, One.” One grabbed his cigar and flicked the excess out the window. “There ya go, Nine.” Nine panted excitedly.
Agent One pulled up the PSF report on his PA as they pulled aside the recently massacred Walking Stick colony. On the screen was a humanoid, appearing to be in his mid twenties.
One slammed the car door and wiped down his suit before making his way toward the Sticks. Nine jumped out of the window and galloped happily toward a family of three.
“Hello there. I’m with the SCP Foundation. We received a report that your tribe was attacked,” Nine said in a professional yet sympathetic tone. The family responded in a unified, sinking and rising wail as they twisted around on themselves.
“I see,” responded Nine, turning to One. “Did you hear that?”
One’s eyes narrowed. “Every last word.”
“We thank you for your time, and will try our best to provide assistance and protection for you and your family in the future. If you ever need anything else, please give us a call. We are very sorry this happened to you, and mark our words,” Nine bared his teeth. “He will be stopped. We will not go back to hiding in the dark. We will stand in the light.”
The family gathered around and gave Nine a good pat and belly rub as he rolled around the dirt excitedly.
“Oh for fuck sake, Nine.”
“Sorry. On my way.”
The SCP Foundation still existed well into the chaotic Age of Rot. Protecting the status quo at all costs and preserving normalcy, although it was only a shadow of its former self.
It’s not entirely certain when the Foundation changed its ethos. Some argued that they were simply preserving normalcy as it currently exists. Some claim the Foundation was already under control of something that wasn’t partial to human normalcy to begin with, and there’s the chance that the Foundation hadn't changed at all.
Beneath Yellowstone Park, in the fossilized remains of an ancient Foundation machine, was a colony of the last few remaining, unchanged humans on Earth. The Foundation’s objective of containing the anomalous had failed, and their priorities shifted. Humanity was contained and sterilized. A containment breach was never an issue, only a perimeter breach.
The chambers of the machine were rusted, and their gears whined. The Foundation tried for years to restore their miraculous machine to its former glory, but the resources simply weren’t available. It had died from overuse, the systems pushed to their limit. Only tertiary systems remained, which were not capable of creating life, but sustaining it.
Ten years ago, the last nine of the artificial humans stared in confusion at one another in the control room as their memories were suddenly lifted in line with the old protocol. By this time the world would have been reconstructed if the machine were functioning properly, but they did not know what the machine did, or who they were.
In time they learned of the Foundation, and found photographs of personnel in the data banks that looked a lot like them.
One remembered everything, and he decided to keep it that way. His colleagues scratched their heads over the man in the archival photo with the head of a goldfish.
Nine was still a dog, but luckily, no one knew what a dog was.
The backs of Two's forearms were covered in pale pink, raised lines of scar tissue, but he couldn't be blamed for not counting them.
The third was too busy researching their preservation to deal with his existential crises.
Four was propped up against a panel in an obscure recess of the labyrinth, its silver chain wrapped tightly around a broken control lever.
And the ninth wasn’t a dog, because nobody knew what a dog was.
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