Quiet Days
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It was over.

No one in the Foundation, from the lowliest security guard to the O5 council, could quite explain exactly what was over. If they were to hazard a guess, a likely answer would have been "everything".

It was generally agreed that the first one to notice this was Dr. Victor Balakirev. Dr. Balakirev, though a veteran of many a dangerous experiment and not one to be easily surprised, couldn't believe what his eyes, or rather his high-power telescope, were telling him. What Dr. Balakirev couldn't quite believe was that a routine scan of the Crab Nebula revealed nothing but empty space where a rather conspicuous and rather hateful star was supposed to be. The alarm was raised, a dozen more telescopes were commandeered from various facilities and agencies, and there was no small amount of shouting and running around. The star, however, stubbornly refused to reappear, despite Dr. Balakirev's insistent claims that "a star isn't a bloody remote control, you don't just lose it!"

The next one to experience this strange lack of all things strange was D-682-1356, though he couldn't quite appreciate the magnitude of the occasion. He didn't know he was supposed to be the bait in what most assumed would be just another futile attempt in an endless series of failures. D-682-1356 also didn't quite know what to feel when he entered the armored vault to discover nothing more than a badly mangled skeleton when the acid bath was stopped. "So, what do you guys want me to do with that? Do you have a bone to pick with me or something? Heh."

The joke was lost on the assembled researchers, who now had more important things to worry about than D-682-1356's poor sense of humor.

So began the end. When SCP-294 was prompted to produce a cup of Joe, it made a serviceable cup of cappuccino, which utterly failed to contain any D-class flavoring. In SCP-1981, Ronald Reagan spoke only of evil empires and managed to keep a perfect complexion throughout his speech. SCP-902 was opened and discovered to be empty, and no one could quite remember why they feared it so much in the first place. SCP-076 was found to be similarly empty, though no one forgot what scared them about it.

When SCP-1867 was asked if it realized it was a slug, it didn't think for a second to object, since it very clearly was. Besides, it didn't understand the question. SCP-085 was gone from its canvas, and its inky plains and fields felt bare and empty without the presence of the young woman who once inhabited them. They found the clothes which once belonged to SCP-1440 near the top of Mount Everest. Next to them, a single word was written in the snow. "Free".

Around the world, the echos of the end became seismic shocks, and no one was spared from their influence:

The Church of the Broken God was wiped off the face of the earth. It isn't easy to maintain a working religious organization when all of your artifacts crumble to dust, and it's even more difficult to do so when half of those artifacts are inside your head.

Marshall, Carter, and Dark Ltd, having lost most of their stock and shortly after most of their members, soon faded into obscurity. Their once busy clubhouse, a hub for all things mysterious and expensive, became a place for elderly gentlemen to read the Sunday paper in peace and doze in comfortable leather chairs.

The Global Occult Coalition, after it became clear that the threats it was created to thwart were gone, was soon disbanded. The budget once dedicated to fighting the forces of the unknown was allocated to some of humanity's more mundane needs, such as the prevention of global warming and the development of more advanced nuclear weapons.

No word was heard from Doctor Wondertainment for a long time. A year after the end, a new line of Doctor Wondertainment toys was released. While "Doctor Wondertainment's Shooty Man's Vengeance" was a perfectly decent game, it was clear his/her heart wasn't in it.

When Foundation agents arrived at the current supposed location of the Factory, they found nothing more than an ordinary canned vegetable factory. The capital F was clearly no longer needed.

The Serpent's Hand lost a considerable number of its members, and with no cause to rally behind, was destroyed by the Chaos Insurgency. The Insurgency itself soon tore itself asunder like a mad dog biting at its own innards. Very few were left to be caught and executed by the Foundation.

The members of Are We Cool Yet never did become cool.

Nobody was never heard from again.

The Unusual Incident Unit continued chasing flying saucers and reports of Bigfoot (this time entirely unrelated to SCP-1000). Its agents didn't really notice.

The Foundation, as resilient as ever, was the last one standing. As the years passed, however, the reasons for its continued existence grew fewer and fewer. With all things anomalous gone, the Foundation had lost its purpose. Site after site was closed down, personnel were let go or, in the case of the few remaining D-class, terminated. Soon, only one part of the organization remained.

It was the last meeting of the O5 council. There were no heartfelt speeches or commemorative plaques, because even at its end, the O5 council was a serious body of men and women who didn't muck about with nonsense. Instead, there were a few handshakes, a few quiet words, and mostly a whole lot of silence. Finally, one at a time, the former members began to leave, until only two were left.

"So, that's that, I suppose," said O5-04, rolling a cigarette. Smoking wasn't allowed in the boardroom, but there was no one left to object.

"Is… is this it? Everything we worked for, all of our sacrifices… just worthless?" asked O5-11, staring glumly at the floor.

"Now, I wouldn't say that. We kept the peace while we were needed, and we did so as best we could. We're simply not needed anymore."

"Shouldn't I be happy? All of those terrible things we kept locked in are gone, after all. Humanity is finally safe."

"From everything but itself, yes."

"Then why do I feel like some toy, used and abused then discarded when it is no longer useful?"

"It's just the way things are. We were the jailers, the wardens holding back the storm. Now, all of our prisoners are gone. There's no need for wardens in quiet days. C'mon, let me buy you a drink."

"Yeah. A drink would be nice. Or ten."

"Hey, I'm not made of money, you know."

The two left, and closed the door behind them.

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