…Two (2) pills have been used for Experiment 217-█████-█████. Number of pills is forty-seven (47) at the time of writing.
Request to have SCP-500 investigated for mental compulsion leading to obsessive fixation denied for triviality.
It was hard to be thrifty.
The petitions for SCP-500 usage piled in daily, and every day, the O5 Council sent out a fresh round of DENIED stamps. There were dozens of cases of Foundation agents who got too close to the target, researchers who'd found out the hard way that their protective garments were insufficient, and Site Directors who'd been exposed to too much, and were all suffering for it.
There were only 47 pills. Overwatch said no.
Eventually, inevitably, they would cave. A sob story too gut-wrenching for them to deny, and with it another round of petitions, of more desperate people with hope waiting to be killed. For the answer to all their prayers. The Overwatch council heard every petition. The surveillance machines recorded every dying wish for clemency. Sometimes it was granted.
Soon, there were only 40 pills. Overwatch clamped down, and said no.
Of course, more exceptions had to be made, as they always are. The Foundation endured for decades, and centuries. Years might pass between moments of weakness, but time was irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. The more Overwatch tightened their grip, the more the bright red pills slipped through their fingers.
The Foundation would endure for a thousand years. There was only one instance of SCP-500 remaining.
All records were wiped. It was easier, now that they were past paper. The minds of thousands of agents and doctors were wiped out in an instant. Nobody could petition them any longer. Locked safely away, the Overseer Council could keep SCP-500 hidden away for generations to come.
Nobody was supposed to know about SCP-500. The Council knew about SCP-500.
The meeting was called, for the councilors to make their case to the others. One by one, they stood in front of their fellows, and pleaded.
O5-1 was dead. He'd needed SCP-500 longer than any of them, and had suffered for it.
O5-4 had been among the Outsiders for too long. He had been nominated for his position, and it was their fault.
O5-2, for hundreds of years, had been ravaged by the sickness they found to be inherent to cross-dimensional travel. Her flickering, faded form only held out a hand, silently pleading for mercy. How could she be refused?
O5-5 hadn't been as lucky as the others, with their longevity equipment. Unlike most of them, he had once been a young man, and although he could live forever, what was living?
And so, the rest of the council, one by one, made their case. Each member looked at the other, a certainty in their face that their fellows would listen to their plea, and that the last pill would go to them. The votes were counted. A 13-way tie.
O5-6 didn't know who fired first. But he was the only one of the Overseers with an agent's training. Even now, thousands of years past his prime, he knew better than they how to live and how to make death.
He took the bottle, and emptied the last pill into his hand. For a second, the stink of death and black powder burned his nostrils. Then, he pinched his nose, and swallowed. As the pill passed through his gullet, the agent they used to call Cowboy felt his bones slide back into place, the tumors curling up into nothingness, and all of the sores and pains being washed away. Then, he heard a sound not unlike a gumball machine being refilled.
He looked down. SCP-500 was filled to the brim, with a new label. "YOU HAVE [unlimited!] REFILLS REMAINING."