Second Chances
rating: +20+x


To: Site-81 Director J.K. Aktus
   So Seung-Min, Office of O5-9

From: Site-623 Director Pennington

Subject: Request for Transfer of SCP-507 to Site-623 (Pending)

Supplementary Request: Conduction of Interview with SCP-507 (Approved)

You're roused from your sleep by a knock on your door.

You were dreaming of the other place again, the one you can barely remember anymore. You've overheard enough to know that the vague shapes swimming in your unconscious are probably the result of them erasing your memories, but you don't really mind. You know there are things you've asked them to make you forget.

There were still things you wish they'd let you forget.

There's a knock again. You jump and pull on your sweater, calling out a mumbled "come in," unable to stop the paranoia from creeping in. This was really weird. They never knocked twice. Usually the guards just marched on in. You appreciated the politeness, but deviations from the routine always threw you off.

The door eased open. Someone you didn't recognize entered slowly, waving off a security detail behind them. They shut the door quietly and nodded in your direction.

"Hello, SCP-507," they said. You stare up at them nervously, your brain racing through thoughts of termination orders and decommissioned humanoids. A small bead of sweat forms on your forehead and you resist the urge to wipe it away.

But instead of barking orders or drawing a weapon, they smiled gently. "Sorry. Just a formality. It's Tom, right?"

Your mouth opens and closes a few times before you manage to speak. "That… Tom, Tom works." You cringe slightly and sit up, trying to regain your composure. Your visitor nods, then cocks their head slightly. With fear slowly withdrawing, you notice more about them. They're surprisingly short, with cropped red hair and large glasses emanating a friendly, bookish aura.

"You're nervous," they say. You stare blankly, and they point to your hands. You realize you've been compulsively rubbing your left wrist- the small pink line where they attached your replacement hand. You're pretty sure that was years ago, yet it still feels slightly off. You quickly shift and fold your hands awkwardly on your knees.

"May I sit?" asked the visitor. You nod.

"Of course, um…" You trail off, trying to guess.

"I know. Ma'am or sir?" They ease down into one of your chairs, pulling off a small satchel and setting it on the floor. "Don't worry about it. Just call me Director." They reach their hand out. "Director Rei Pennington, Site-623."

You shake their hand. "Site-623..?" you ask.

"No, you haven't heard of it. Until now. It's classified." They pull some files out of their bag and hand them to you. You look down, confused.

"Tom, I'm with the Department of Ectodimensional Anomalies. I'm here to recruit you."

You choke on your words before responding. You finally manage to stutter, "R-Recruit me?!"

They smiled again. "That's what I said." They adjusted their glasses thoughtfully. "Tom, your abilities are incredible. The Foundation has never seen anyone like you. You're special, and to be frank, these people are wasting you."

You flip slowly through the papers, awestruck. "You said… Ectodimensional Anomalies Department?"

"Yes," they say. "Some use 'DEDA' for short, if you'd like. We're involved in most Foundation operations that encompass other dimensions and universes. Even you're technically under our jurisdiction."

You pause and look up quizzically at your visitor. "Why… if that's true, why haven't I heard of you before?"

They sighed. "We've been petitioning for you for years, but, well… recent events have convinced Overwatch to give us a lot more leeway." They adjusted their glasses. "Since they let me drop in and say hi, I have high hopes."

You feel a smile forming, and push back on your exhilaration. This feels almost too good to be true. You think it over for a moment before responding.

"So… I would go to Site-623? And what would I do there? Am I being 'recruited' for, for like, a position? Or an experiment, uh, a-a test subject?" You swallow as you recall previous tests; being restrained on beds and tables, getting injections, incisions. Your hand. You look down at it, glaring at its trembling. It still doesn't feel right after all this time.

They stood and moved towards you, putting a hand on your shoulder, drawing you back. "Tom, I know you've been through… well, some serious shit, to be blunt." They grimaced and looked away from you. "The Foundation can be cold. We say we aren't cruel, but sometimes 'the greater good' can be… stretched too far. I can't make up for any of your experiences, but I can give you a… a second chance. You can give us a second chance."

There was a lapse in the conversation, you trying to compose yourself, them staring into the distance. Finally, you worked up a sentence.

"So… so I'd become personnel?"

They sucked on their teeth, a brief ttschhh. "If it were solely up to me, yes. But unfortunately, I can't promise… it was hard to even get this meeting with you, and we really shouldn't push our luck. Your luck, in particular." They tried to smile, but you looked away sadly. How many years had you been here? How much time had you spent trying to build their trust?

"Hey." You sigh and slump back, looking up at the Director, who sighed. "Look, you won't get paid and you won't really get clearance. But I can promise you better living quarters, more freedom, and a lot more interaction. At Site-623 you would be involved in almost everything. Tom, I already told you, your abilities are nothing short of incredible. We've known about other universes since the fifties, and we've been in contact with other Foundations since the eighties. But you can do things we have yet to dream of. I've already had some of my analysts look over your file and data recorded from your 'shifts.' With time and more research, it's possible- not yet certain, but possible- that we could even help you learn, gradually, how to control your abilities."

In your mind, terrified memories surface. Howling trees and ferocious animals. Figures in darkness and unfathomable abysses. You called them 'bad trips,' and sometimes you could even laugh about them afterwards, but you always knew they were out there, that you could be thrust back into horror any moment. To be able to put those fears to rest? Hell, even just to know why and how you ended up like this in the first place?

You feel almost dazed, but manage to stammer out, "C-control?"

"We think it's plausible," the Director said. "And hell, if you could do that, you'd become the most valuable agent of the Department, maybe even the whole Foundation. They'd have no choice but to make you staff, and you'd burn through the ranks like that." They snapped their fingers, smiling.

You started to reply, and then the door opened. A guard stepped halfway in.

"Sorry to interrupt, Director, but your time is just about up. Security rotation is at 1300, and I think Aktus wants to see you before you go."

"Okay. I'll be right out." The guard shut the door, and Director Pennington picked up their bag and smoothed out their jacket. "Sorry, Tom. Duty calls."

Your smile wanes slightly. Picking up the files, you hold them out and say, "It was nice to meet you, Director."

"Keep those," they say. "And it was nice to meet you too, in person. I hope I've given you a lot to think about."

You can only nod at their incredible understatement.

"One last thing." They pointed at the papers. "Page six, after the dossier, has my contact information. I convinced them to set up a provisional account on your computer. When you make a decision, send me an email. I could order you, but I want you to decide for yourself."

You nod, and they smile one final time. "Goodbye, Tom. I hope to hear from you soon."

"Bye." The door opens and shuts, and you're alone once again. But this time, you don't feel so bad about it. For the first time in a while, you stand up from the bed of your own choice, not for testing or an exercise regimen. You pull over the chair that the Director had used, and sit at your computer. It powers on immediately.

Hello, SCP-507.
You have one (1) new notification
Your privileges have been upgraded
Would you like to send an email?

Feeling an unexpected surge of joy, you find the right paper, and you start typing.

To: Site-623 Director Pennington

From: O5-9

Request for Transfer of SCP-507 to Site-623


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