Dr. Bright sat in the middle of the Cafeteria, the old fashioned computer set before him. Atop said computer was a certain statue of a certain monkey, which many people had tried to obtain. Around him stood, sat, or otherwise existed quite a large number of the junior staff, with a few seniors, all eyes glued to the good doctor.
"And…save. There we go. The entirety of site 19, backed up, and emailed elsewhere, so if this goes as balls up as I expect it to, we can reboot." He sighed, and stood up. "In that case, I officially declare the beginning of the Staff Prank war of 2011. Whoever holds 050 at the end of a 24 hour period will be promoted to the ranks of Senior Staff. I currently hold it, so y'all can start by pranking me… May god have mercy on all our souls."
…And then the bomb under his chair detonated, covering the cafeteria with lime green paint, and incidentally blowing his legs off in the process. Several rooms away, research assistant Renfield took her fingers out of her ears and looked happily down at the monkey statue now gracing her new desk.
Dmitri studied his reflection for a moment, adjusted the angle of his hat, then exited his quarters. The heel irons in his boots clicked on the linoleum floors as he walked briskly through the halls of Site 19. Those going about their daily business knew to stay out of the way when Strelnikov was about; his movements had purpose, and that could only mean a disaster was looming.
Indeed it was. Renfield's office was only two floors down from his own.
Before he even knew it, he was reading the nametag on her door. Or rather, he was reading her name amongst a list of other assistants who shared this office. As he kicked the door off its hinges, he decided it didn't really matter whose office it was. His boots left dents in the sheet metal as he stepped over the broken door and surveyed the group of cowering interns, hand resting casually on his holster.
"Which ones of you is Rend Field." No answer.
"I WILL SHOOT ONE OF YOU EVERY MINUTE UNTIL I AM TOLD WHICH ONES OF YOU IS REND FIELD." The group parted like the Red Sea, leaving a smug looking young girl standing alone in the center. Dmitri's teeth shone as he growled at her.
TWO HOURS LATER
"SON OF THE BITCH, JACK. GOD DAMMIT."
"Dmitri, you can't just shoot whoever is holding the monkey and expect to get it. That isn't a prank." Bright's wheelchair bumped into the back of Dmitri's leg as he manhandled it around. "And get out of the damn way."
Dmitri jabbed a finger at Bright. "IT IS A PRANK. I HAVE DONE THIS PRANK SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE, IN BOTH WARS."
"It's not a prank, Dmitri."
"YES IT IS!"
"Dmitri. It's over. You're out of the competition now, for good. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go deal with Renfield in the infirmary….smug little bitch. You could have at least killed her."
Strelnikov sighed heavily and returned to the quiet of his quarters, trying to reconcile himself to the fact that 050 would never be his.
Agent Lament whistled quietly to himself, glancing down at his watch, nodding amiably to the nurse as she walked into Renfield's room carrying an IV bag of saline. Lament smirked slightly and started walking down the hallway, heading toward his extremely messy office and waiting outside the door.
Renfield moaned in her sleep, the drugs having her knocked out completely. The nurse hooked up the IV bag, checked the prone woman's vitals, and left the room. Within three minutes Renfield's skin started to develop large, round hives, then her neck and throat started to swell as a severe allergic reaction set in, followed by her eyes shooting open as the stimulants hit her bloodstream. She tried to scream but couldn't, her throat beginning to close as she desperately hit the call button again and again and again…
Lament opened his door, looking into his office and smiling slightly at the statue. Now… How the hell could he get rid of it before someone noticed that he had it?
Few people had a true appreciation for just how ingrained computers were with every single aspect of modern society, and the Foundation was no exception. Despite all the hard copies, every report, every researcher's note, every field log and every file photo was logged into a computer database somewhere. Every personnel transfer, every requisition form, every security feed, all set up in little 0's and 1's on a hard drive somewhere. When the transfer of Site 19's backup set off some alarms, he knew it was time. Kap - a name adopted because he was sick of people mispronouncing his full name - was sitting and typing away deep in the bowels of the Site. The coders and hardware gurus had a whole, unique set of regulations and security clearances, and the amount of information you were exposed to above your classification level was directly proportional to your time on the job. The guys that ran the networks and made sure the workstations functioned knew more than most of the researchers, though maybe not as much as that one janitor.
Once he realized that a mixed batch of saline and known allergens could only be used for the ever-escalating prank contests, a few key strokes were all it took to set retaliation in motion. A series of embedded programs ticked off other protocols which activated further batch processes. The sheer array of false IPs and bogus addresses would take the average user months to back-trace, and any of the other computer staff were already well-bribed with beer, pizza, and the promise of a neat and orderly work area. Lament opened the door to his office, seeing a single, solitary box laying there, carefully gift-wrapped and tied with a neat bow. It wasn't even close to his birthday, but there was no way any sort of bomb or other device could have made it that deep into a secure Foundation site, so he took it inside and opened it up.
Kap was as surprised as anyone when the little monkey appeared on top of his computer tower, and sighed slightly at the poor devil who was going to have to treat Lament and clean up the hundreds of tiny insects from his office. After all, the present was bees.
Researcher Eisenberg seen carrying a set of mechanic tattooing equipment, origin unknown
Researcher Eisenberg seen entering the enclosure of SCP-1006, carrying a bucket, a stack of papers, and his personal copies of Assorted Writings of V.I. Lenin, and History of VKS(b).
Researcher Eisenberg seen leaving the enclosure of SCP-1006, carrying a bucket.
Researcher Eisenberg enters SCP-786's secure room in Site-19 storage.
Junior System Administrator Kap seen entering medical wing, distraught, lacking vestments, and covered in spiderwebs. A 1:3 greyscale full body portrait of V.I.Lenin can be seen on his back, and a text later identified as the entire text of "State and Revolution" in 8 pt. font covering his chest, abdomen, and both thighs.
Desk of Researcher Eisenberg [REDACTED], markedly improving the filing order.
Dr. Los E. R. checked the sign again. Eisenberg's office was room…321? No, wait, 312. He set off at a brisk pace down the hallway, hoping to get there before anyone else did.
309, 310, 311…There we go, 312. Los E. R. gave a quick knock and pushed the door open without waiting for a reply. Researcher Eisenberg visibly balked at the sudden intrusion, his eyes darting to the statue on his desk before reaching for the top drawer.
"Whoa whoa whoa! Calm down, I'm not going to do anything!" Los E. R. held his palms out. "See? Sorry, didn't think you'd be so jumpy."
Eisenberg stopped, eyeing the doctor warily, but kept his hand resting on the top drawer. "What do you want?"
"Word around the site is that you got 1006 to net Kap. Just wanted to say, that's brilliant! No one ever expects nets!" Los E. R. chuckled to himself. "Oh, don't worry about me. I'm not going to pull some horrendous prank. I'd probably end up in the hospital, I've never been really good at elaborate pranks."
Eisenberg seemed to relax slightly at Los E. R.'s reassurance, but wasn't totally swayed. "No, it wasn't nets, exactly…I had them tattoo Lenin on him."
Los E. R. burst out laughing, leaning on the desk for support. "You had them tattoo a portrait of Lenin?! That's genius! How does someone come up with something like that?! Oh man, I'd never pull something like that off, I'm no good with those elaborate pranks. Did you actually talk to those little commies yourself?"
Eisenberg smiled and chuckled nervously. "Yeah, it wasn't too hard to get them to agree. I mean, it was Lenin after all. Talking to a bunch of spiders though…that was kinda creepy. They were all over the place."
"I can tell. You've got a cobweb on your coat, here let me…" Los E. R. reached forward and scratched at Eisenbergs lapel. On instinct, he glanced down to catch a glimpse of the bit of silk wafting from his collar, only to get a flick on the nose.
Stunned, he watched as Los E. R. laughed one more time before he scooped SCP-050 from his desk and exited the room. As he disappeared around the door frame, Eisenberg heard him chuckle.
"Never was any good with those elaborate pranks."
Los E. R. felt a chill run down his spine at the voice. "Oh no," he whimpered. "Not HIM…"
He turned around, clutching the monkey statue to his chest, as a breathtakingly ugly middle-aged man walked down the hall towards him. "Relax," Clef said. "I don't want that statue. I'm already senior staff, and I have no interest in Bright's games. You're safe from me."
Los E. R. sighed in relief. "Oh, thank god," he said. "I really did not want to be subject to a prank by you."
"Hey, don't worry about it. I'm beyond that sort of bullshit anyway. I always thought that stuff was kinda stupid. In fact, as a sign of my goodwill, I'll escort you back to your office."
Los E. R. quickly followed Clef down the hallway. It was amazing, he thought, what the presence of that man could do. A researcher leaped out from around the corner holding a giant creme pie, which he rapidly put down and walked away from. A man wearing a hockey mask and holding a machete took off his costume and had a sheepish talk with the Senior Researcher. It was wonderful.
"Well, here we are," Clef said.
Los E. R. looked up at the door and frowned. "This isn't my office," he said.
"What? Oh, oops. Sorry. 571, not 517. Let's go."
Clef led the junior staff member to the other side of the floor, and to his office. "Well, here we are… again," he said, a few minutes later.
"Thanks a lot, Dr. Clef," Los E. R. said. "I really appreciate it."
"No problem. Oh, Los? Remember when I said I had no interest in Bright's games?" Clef grinned, a huge, evil, sinister grin. "I lied."
That was when the door of Los' office exploded outward, and five thousand gallons of compressed shaving cream flooded the hallway.
Clef watched Los being carried away in the avalanche of white foam, and wiped a little spot off his jacket. "Go get em', Adams," he murmured.
Ed from Accounting (everyone thought of him as "Ed from Accounting" — including himself after 14 years at the job) hated the prank wars. A waste of staff time, the building maintenance budget, and the cost of injuries, if you asked him…which no one did. The usual threats — paperwork, budget cuts, audits — never seemed to work. More creative means were called for.
Ed called Junior Researcher Johnson. "Is it ready? … really? Good! Bring it around to my office."
Fifteen minutes later, Johnson was in Ed's dingy, cluttered office, handing him a small brown bag. Ed looked in the bag and smiled. "How long will it stay that way?"
"Weeks" Johnson replied. "at least, if no one touches it."
Ed put the bag in his briefcase, along with a small stack of papers. 12:20? Good. Adams would be off to lunch. He headed up to her office.
Ed knocked on the door, then let himself in. Good, no one there. It was easy to swap the item on Adams' desk for the one in the bag. He slipped the Form 1661-G under the inner door for Dr. Clef. That would excuse his visit; the auditors really did need it next week.
Back downstairs in his office, Ed opened a file cabinet and dropped SCP-050, still in its bag, next to the 2004 Operating Budget reports. It looked like someone's long-forgotten lunch. He didn't care the least bit about "winning" it — he just wanted it out of circulation.
No one would guess that he had the wit to obtain it.
No one would guess that he had pulled this particular prank, since he wasn't supposed to have any access to SCPs.
No one ever came down to Accounting if they could help it.
SCP-050 would be there for a long time.
When they found the fake, they would blame Johnson, who had shown some real success in training SCP-157.
Research Assistant Reject was having a nice, calm day, sipping his coffee and skimming through his newest batch of paperwork while strolling down the hallway to his office. He was called Reject for a very good reason: although he had been a member of the Foundation for ten years, he had been the same rank for over seven of them. He even called himself Reject. His bachelorhood had hopelessly dragged on much longer than he had ever hoped. He was used to being a reject. That was, until he spotted a man in a suit walking into Dr. Clef's office.
Reject was never known as an especially observant person, but today was different. He had heard about some pranks going on, but he didn't really care about any of that. He was determined to work his way up the ladder without shaving cream or explosives, just with hard work and dedication. Until he saw a very happy man running out of Dr. Clef's office, his arms crossed upon his chest. Reject could see a brown paper bag bobbing slightly above and below the man's arms. His interest piqued, Reject decided to follow him.
The man never turned around as he walked. Reject didn't have any trouble following him. Ten minutes later, Reject realized just how far they had walked. He turned his head. "Accounting —>" was written on a sign, pointing in the direction that he was going. After another couple of minutes, the man turned sharply into an office. Reject peeked into the room to see another man converse shortly with the man he had followed and take the bag. Reject ducked behind a corner as both men exited the office.
Reject attempted to follow the man with the bag, but lost him in the maze of cubicles and offices in this unknown sector. Reject turned to leave, but decided not to let this go. This chance was his. He called up an old friend from Sector 28 with a favor to ask. His friend agreed, and in an hour, Reject knew that he would have the chance to become a Senior Staff member. He went to his office and placed an empty coffee mug alongside a mostly unread folder of paperwork.
One hour later, Reject met his friend in the cafeteria. Reject's friend handed him a bag with two words written on it. "DON'T LOSE." Reject smiled, and walked briskly down towards the accounting offices. Once there, he took the item out of the bag. Staring at a sentient calculator was a new experience for him. After befriending SCP-168, he asked his new buddy a favor. The calculator agreed in return for the ability to see the rest of the prank war. Reject dropped SCP-168 in the office he had seen before as soon as the man inhabiting it left. Reject admired his handiwork. He took a seat on a nearby chair. When the man returned, he gave Reject a questioning glance, but dismissed it. After five minutes in his office, a scream was heard. When the man exited his office, his face was pale white. In his hand was SCP-168.
The man looked at the calculator and said "Okay, okay. I'll go get it. I didn't realize the world would end if I didn't! I feel so awful…" Reject chuckled to himself and began to shadow the man as he hurried down the hallways. When they arrived at a file cabinet, the man stopped. He ran his finger along the cabinet until he reached "2004 Operating Budget Reports Jan-Mar." He started typing on the calculator. After a short period, the calculator responded. The man jumped back, aghast. He yelped "No! I brought you to the stupid monkey! That can't be!" Reject quickly decided he'd had enough of complaining from this unknown man and dealt a swift uppercut to the jaw followed by an elbow to the nose. As he fell, Reject grabbed SCP-168 and the brown paper bag. Overjoyed, he began to walk back to his office. He looked once more at the unconscious accountant on the ground. And then he laughed, and left this bloody, deceptive business behind him as he strolled back towards his office with a renewed sense of confidence.
"Nevah let practicality stand in de way of art, my cousin." The humongously fat Hawaiian nodded ponderously at the uniformed corpse held aloft in his hand, then slowly shook it so that it's head nodded along. Chuckling to himself, he slipped the matchbook the poor guard had died failing to protect into an outer pocket of his enormous satchel next to a tarnished canteen, and waddled out of the ruined containment unit and down the hallway toward the personnel wing.
Flanked by a pair of traitor guards, their sleeves rolled up to reveal liberty cuffs emblazoned with blaring abstract designs, the huge man reflected on the work and planning that had gone into this effort. It was impractical, sure. Infiltrating the Foundation's security forces alone had taken months. Fortunately, the prank war was a regular yearly event, so he'd had plenty of time to prepare.
"Ah, here it tis."
He stopped in front of a particular office, grinning as he began pulling the necessary materials from his satchel. A small funnel, a length of tubing, the matchbox and canteen, and hundreds of small paper packets, which his helpers began opening one by one.
It didn't take long to tape the tubing to the mouth of the canteen, and slide the other end under the door. It took only a little longer to funnel the contents of the packets into the gap, and considerably less to open the matchbook and slide it in as well before sealing the gap completely with more tape. Once their work was done, the big man rose and nodded to his companions, then paused to doodle a small cartoon on the door before heading back down the hallway they'd come in by and leave the facility.
Later that day, as loyal security men tried desperately to work out what had happened to SCP's 649 and 109, Reject arrived at his office to find a scribbled caricature on his door of a fat man in a bowler hat giving him the finger, with the text "PRANKED BY BRUDDAH GROVE! Are We Cool Yet?".
Reject had just enough time to curse before the door burst and he was swamped by a massive wave of lime jello.
Dr. Los E. R. dug a finger in his ear, trying to dig out the last vestiges of shaving cream. He winced as the dried bits twisted painfully before crumbling lose. Site 19 was a maze on the best of days, and on Senior Staff Shenanigans day it was a minefield. He rerouted around the third floor; he had heard that someone had gotten their hands on a metric ton of hissing cockroaches and thermite. He skirted the south side of the fourth floor, trying to find his way back to the restrooms to wash up. If memory served, it was at the end of the hall on his right, next door to where they put Research Assistant Reject after he somehow managed to shrink his office to a third of its original size.
He was scrapping dried flakes of cream from his lower back when he noticed he what he was walking in. Quizzically, he raised a foot to get a better look. Smells a little like lime, kind of minty. Looks like some kind of green…slime? He glanced down the hallway and saw Reject, lying in a puddle of the stuff. He was either out cold, or dea-
Los E. R.'s heart skipped a beat as he put two and two together.
Screaming incoherently, Dr. Los E. R. hurtled back the way he came, sticky green jello foot prints marking his progress to the nearest SCP-447 alarm.
Bruddah Grove paused as the klaxon sounded. Blast doors slid into place over the exit. How poetic, so close to freedom with artifacts of power. With the dead security guard he had been dragging along, he waved at his companion.
"Dis noise, have they figured out what we are doing?"
The traitorous guard shook his head, the blood draining from his face. "That's the 447 alert. They've locked the exits. They're going to detonate the on-site warhead."
There was a full moment of silence.
Carefully picking each word, Bruddah Grove looked at the tiny man.
"How doh we get out den?"
The two guards looked at each other nervously. "We don't. We could try to get to the O5 bunker, but we can't make it from here. It's fifty levels down-"
"Wait!" The other guard perked up. "The Site septic tank! I know that they've started reenforcing them ever since Bright accidentally flushed 523. It might be able to withstand the blast!"
"The Sewage Access Hatch isn't far from here, we can make it if we hurry!"
Taking the slim glimmer of hope for what ever it was worth, the trio hurried desperately down the hall.
O5-8 sighed. This was not the first time the 447 alert had been sounded on Senior Staff Shenanigans Day. Before flipping the switch and killing everyone on-site, he took a moment to make sure it was a dead body. If it wasn't, no harm done. If it was, well…the nuke wouldn't do any good, anyways.
A quick check later confirmed that Research Assistant Reject was not, in fact, dead. Perhaps more importantly, it turned out that it wasn't even 447 slime at all. With an irritated grumble, he switched of the klaxon. This prank war was stupid.
Bruddah Grove sat in the filth of the entire Site, watching his two companions float face down in the lanterns pale light. He might be here for a while, and they were using up too much air. He reflected on how their lungs filled with filth and life drained from their bodies, a testament to how life starts pure and ignorance weighs innocence down with shit. A haiku rose unbidden from his lips.
"Here I stew in filth,
Waiting for the Bombs Big Boom.
Now, Are We Cool Yet?"
Dr. Los E. R. felt rather silly. Of course it was another prank. He should have known. It probably wasn't even meant for him.
Having long since given up hope of finding a bathroom to clean up in, he had started to work his way back to his office. Pushing the door open, a bucket of water immediately fell from atop the door. Irritated yet strangely grateful to get some kind of wash, he lifted the rim of the bucket to find the monkey sitting on his desk.
Junior Researcher Byantara had prepared a whole week in advance for this day. With Senior Staff position at stake, there was no reason not to be prepared. Crazy prepared, in his case.
Six days, thirteen hours, forty-five minutes and nine seconds ago, Byantara was profusely apologising to a very unamused Doctor Crow, surrounded by the products of twenty-three very startled Malayan Stink Badgers which had now escaped their cages and were clawing the wallpaper off Doctor Crow's office. Long story short, it was yet another round of maintenance duty for him.
Four days, seven hours, two minutes and fifty-five seconds ago, Byantara began painting the offices on the third floor of Block 2A, by himself, using two paint rollers, a crate of white paint, a box of plaster, a crate of tomatoes, and several dozen rolled-up meters of ultra-thin semi-permeable tubing.
Two days, twelve hours, thirty-seven minutes and thirty-two seconds ago, a parcel arrived for Site-19, sealed with black tape and hastily recovered from designated post box PO-2354 by a certain shifty-looking Junior Researcher sent to collect the daily personal mail.
One day, two hours, and exactly forty-nine seconds ago, Byantara finished his lab work, packed up, cleaned Chamber 2A-2-1 and secured several large marital aids to the floor before locking up. He proceeded similarly for Chamber 2A-2-3, -2-5, -2-7 and -2-9, and left the building with a little smile. Now, all that was left was to hope someone in Block 2A actually managed to get hold of 050.
One hour, three minutes and twenty-one seconds ago, he idly browsed through the frantically compiled digital record of SCP-050 possession. Soon it would arrive. From Bright, to Clef, to Reject…
Byantara refreshed the page, spat out his acrid coffee, and dashed out of the lab. In his right hand was a remote, with a single green button, and he mashed it in double time to his steps towards the central communications office. Tucked in safely mere inches above the ceiling of Doctor Los's freshly painted office, forty-eight plastic phalluses began to hum.
As expected, not only was the comms office a very long distance away, it was also utter chaos. Someone had sounded some sort of alarm beforehand, and whoever was meant to be guarding the place were long gone, leaving dog-eared papers in their wake. Chuckling to himself, he called up the speaker of Office 2A-3-5.
Five seconds. Four seconds. Byantara cleared his throat. Three. The collective vibrations caused by the forty-eight sex toys would be building up to the maximum by now, shaking the ceiling - and walls - of every office on the floor below it, rupturing the many little sachets of tomato juice seeded in the plaster beneath the apple-scented white paint. Two.
Junior Researcher Byantara took a deep breath. One.
In his office, Doctor Los E. R. cowered beneath his desk as the walls began to bleed and the ceiling screamed his name. He was too busy wetting his pants to notice SCP-050 disappear from his office, later to be found in the locker of Junior Researcher Byantara.
"Bloody Los… Surprised that even worked as a prank… " Researcher Eisenberg sat at his desk, absentmindedly stroking Nastasia, his linen cat. "I'll teach him to cut the latin…wait, that's an idea.".
Researcher Eisenberg rushed out of his office, and returned rather sweaty, holding a heavy Latin dictionary. Work has just begun.
About an hour later - languages weren't exactly his strong side - Researcher Eisenberg arrived into the containment cell of SCP-758, with a sheet of paper heavily worn out with eraser marks. It might have been his imagination, but it seemed that upon seeing it, Vasili let out a sigh before introducing an ample amount of corrections. A glance at the current tally showed him however, that the statue has changed owners several times since he started his preparations, currently residing at the desk of some no-name Junior Researcher… whose name was actually rather lengthy. "Byan-ta-ra… bloody hell, and I thought my surname was unwieldy." Researcher Eisenberg sighed and took out a pencil.
"Bloody hell, hope this ink is black enough…" His sweaty hands grabbed the worn leather of SCP-141, an act that would make many a bibliophile cringe, and he began to laboriously scribble onto the first free page, trying to imitate the original writing as well as possible. "..e-ra-tio … that should be it". Shaking with expectation, he ran to the nearest internet-enabled terminal.
A quick search, and even quicker email from a disposable address later, Vladim. A. Eisenberg, in his mind already a Senior Researcher, walked back to his office.
Sitting at his desk, Junior Researcher Byantara was enjoying the fruit of a day's work - SCP-050 stood on his surprisingly clean table, and if it was his lucky day, he might just about be among the few Foundation employees to ever skip a rank. "Wonder if Los has caught them all… he's lucky there isn't 151.. I wonder if the big one counts as Sn-"
His thoughts were interrupted by a kick into the door, and in the next moment, he had to take cover behind his desk from a hail of bullets, accompanied by an even stronger hail of high-fidelity Russian swearing. A desk that the monkey statue has conveniently disappeared from.
Subject: Take a look at who you work with, Dimitri
Junior Researcher Byantara is an interesting man, isn't it?
Researcher Eisenberg prepared himself a cup of tea, and against all rules of hygiene, kissed the small statue, which responded by giving him a mild electric shock.
" Hey buddy, I see no one has bothered to come see you today. I'm sorry for that, alot of shi..stuff has been going on ,but it's fun stuff. You know what a prank is? Good, you wanna help me with one? Oh don't worry no one will get hurt, and here have some MnMs. Tasty aren't they? You wanna help me now. That's great! Here's the plan."
As he watched the gelatinous form move from the room, a smile formed on Junior Researcher Tad's face. It was his time to shine for once. It was luck that he walked by Eisenberg's office just in time to see the statue appear on his desk.
Eisenberg sipped at his tea, giving glances to his prize every few seconds. He also kept an eye on the door. Making sure that no fool would try to win the statue. If only he thought to check the airvent. As the orange form lowered down, it's pseudopods at the ready. Eisenberg looked up; Even with the strong smell of herbs in his nose he picked up another scent. The smell of the fur was indistinguishable to him, yet how could it be? As he turned around a high pitched squealed erupted followed by a shout.
The statue appeared alongside Tad at his cubicle. He was going to enjoy the next few minutes, than probably regret getting involved in the first place. At least his desk looked organized for once.
As Tad passed through an open door, the bucket teetering there fell forward, onto his head. Have you even had your entire head covered, not just in horse shit, but horse shit filled with horrible ideas? It's not a pleasant feeling. Luckily, Tad passed out before something horrible crawled out of SCP-100-J.
Father Jakal looked up from his prayers, at the monkey statue which had appeared on his podium. A slight smile graced his lips. "Fuck, i didn't think that'd really work!"
Dr Pullo Vorenus, Level 2 Researcher and Safe item specialist, paused as he walked past Site-19's nondenominational multipurpose chapel-crematorium-ossuary. As far as he could tell, priests didn't usually swear like that in church. At least, the priests back home hadn't. Except for Father Kowalski. When he was drunk. He poked his head in, and saw Father Jakal stroking a small statue. Then he ran to his small, shared office.
After an hour or so of research, Doctor Vorenus was ready. He stopped by the Safe item storage lockers, and checked out a certain item, under the guise of "additional research on the effects of the object when combined with religious exultation and tagiatelle". A quick trip to the Site cafeteria, and the acquisition of some high-powered arc lights, and he was done. After telling the priest that his presence had been requested in the depths of the accounting department, he was ready to prepare.
Father Jakal returned, still clutching the statue with a death grip. He seemed determined that nobody separate him from 050 from even a moment. As he entered the multipurpose nondenominational chapel-crematorium-ossuary, the door slammed shut and a heavenly light shone down on him from On High. He fell to his knees as a voice from Above called out into his mind, "Father Jakal, thou hast been chosen." As he knelt gasping, trying to for a coherent sentence, the Voice continued, "Thou shalt be My prophet on this earth. I shall show thee My true form, that thou may tell of Me to all thy fellows." The lights brightened, and Father Jakal shaded his eyes, cowering even further before the Lord his God. All the lights in the chapel shut off suddenly, and a form appeared above him in the rafters, lit from within. As he looked up, in full religious exultation, something fell onto his shoulder and slid to the floor with a plop. "Thou hast been touched by My Noodly Appendage. Rejoice. And eat thy grains."
Doctor Vorenus smiled, as he heard Father Jackal stomp out and call for a janitor. After putting the megaphone back in its locker, he returned to his shared office, and found his half meticulously cleaned. The precise line between the dirty and clean carpet might be hard to explain to his office-mate, but he was sure he could figure it out. After all, he was Doctor Pullo Vorenus, Level 2 Researcher, Safe Item Specialist, current owner of a small statue, and devout Pastafarian.
It was an interesting day for Mess Hall 2. In the chaos of Prank Day, it had somehow transformed itself into both an eatery, sanctuary, and now makeshift medical treatment centre as a very injured Junior Researcher Byantara was wheeled in, dripping from Soviet bullets and blood. This did not do much justice to Doctor Vorenus's appetite, as he dropped his forkful of meatballs and linguini to gaze at what was - snigger - a man more holey than even himself. Strelnikov had not been kind on the trigger, and had been much less kinder to that "mother-fuck Chechen collaborator" Byantara. Poor guy looked as if he were covered in the bolognaise sauce that drenched Vorenus's plate. Eugh.
Elsewhere in Block 2A, forty-eight sex toys relentlessly continued to buzz, rattling the beams and shaking paint off the ceilings. A jostle, a twitch, and one clear plastic vibrator popped loose of its bolts, rattled across the floor and came to rest in a corner with a sharp click. There was a hissing noise as the micronised nuclear reactor powered up, resonating the device at a shrill hypersonic whine. Indeed, Byantara had prepared for the worst by including an ace up his blood-stained, bullet-hole-ridden sleeve.
It was when Vorenus had nearly finished his pasta that the ceiling of Mess Hall began to shake, dropping white frosty flakes into his plate. Nearby, Byantara was halfway through having bullets extracted from his groin by a doctor. Despite the pain, he managed to glance a look at Doctor Vorenus, current holder of SCP-050, as weighty chunks of ceiling plaster buried the pastor of pasta.
Byantara winced as the statue appeared on his bandaged chest, seemingly mocking his agony. Meanwhile, "Steely Dan" dropped from the gaping hole in Mess Hall 2's ceiling, its switch conveniently flicking to "Off" upon the impact against Vorenus's buried, gasping form.
Agent Wolf was having a rotten day.
Every year the prank war started and every year he had to clean up the mess that resulted from it.
He had to track down the SCPs used.
He had to find the vengeful personnel.
He had to find out how Clef had filled a room full of shaving cream without anyone noticing.
It was a dismal day for the agent, until he had happened into the mess hall just in time to see a little statue appear on the chest of one Junior Researcher Byantara.
Wolf couldn't help but stare, stricken with an idea.
He could actually play a prank to get 050, and he knew just what to do.
The agent couldn't help but smile as the plan formed in his head.
Little more than an hour passed after this thought, and now Byantara was walking rather quickly towards the safety of his office.
Byantara didn't hear the whisper, but he did become aware that something was now blocking his way. Something so horrific he couldn't even scream.
682 just stood there, blocking escape from the deserted hallway. The silence between researcher and monster stretched forever, until Byantara made a move to leave. As soon as he did, he was quickly swallowed whole. The eaten man tumbled down the nightmare's stomach, splashing into a disgusting ooze.
"Aw man, did you really have to eat him? I thought we were just gonna scare him."
Byantara found himself dumbfounded, he could hear Wolf's voice from the disgusting bowels.
"Hey Byantara, I see ya found my new partner, sorry about the whole gonna-die-soon thing."
"Come on, tell him to spit me out! Please!"
"Well," a few seconds' pause, "I guess I could… But ya really should use 'them'".
And on cue 682 split into a large number of butterflies, which revealed the researcher to be sitting in a pool of some store-bought slime. "Thanks pally!" Wolf smiled, showing an image on his laptop to the newly slimy man.
An image of a small monkey statue sitting next to the nameplate of Agent Wolf.
With no security clearence, being a guard for the Foundation could be a very boring job. Typically, Fortis was stuck manning the security feeds. The most monotonous of assignments. On Senior Staff Shenanigans day, however, it had certain advantages. He had everything on hand, just needed the right mark in the right place. When he saw Agent Wolf, J.R. Byantara, and SCP-408 in Corridor 2-B he knew he had just enough time to pull it off. He took a second to locate the office SCP-050 had appeared in before springing to action..
Fortis quickly changed into the red military uniform he had nearby, slathered his face with stage makeup, and donned the appropriate gloves and hat. He grabbed the can of paint stashed behind the door and headed out of the room. Finally, he made his way down the hall to pick up a container of Play-Doh, and rushed to SCP-786.
Ten minutes later, Fortis entered the agent's office.
“Agent Wolf, am I right?”
“Yes…….who are you? And why are you red?”
Without warning, the junior guard emptied a full can of blue paint on the agent.
“I found him boys! Get him!”
Agent Wolf had a second to register surprise as a squad of solid red army personell filled the room and riddled his torso with clay bullets.
Fortis couldn't help but smile to himself as he reentered Site 19's Surviellance Room. He changed back into his uniform and stached the red one. He had already washed off the paint, all that was left was to make sure no one else entered the area. He idly examined the monkey statue that was waiting for him on the console, slightly bemused at the thought of a junior guard entering the ranks of Senior Staff.
Linguistics/Supernatural Researcher Veldi had seemingly not participated in the contest, although he had been seen carting tomatoes all over the facility and setting them down at random. After emptying the cart, he retrieved SCP-005 from storage, and accessed an area from which he could work his magic.
With an enormous grin plastered on his face, Veldi spoke into the intercom.
“What happens when 682 gets heartburn? ….. Absolutely nothing, the Lizard doesn’t get heartburn!”
In that moment, dozens and dozens of SCP-504 splattered into speakers, personnel and everything in general.
“I freaking love these tomatoes.” Veldi checked the video feed to his office. Yup, there was the monkey, on his desk. Of course, there was the issue that he now had a PC instead of a MacBook…
As soon as the prank wars started, SCP-738 was Junior Researcher Gille's first destination. It followed contracts steadily, nevermind the side consequences. Nothing he was going to do would harm him THAT much.
The contract? Get the monkey of the last person to have it, and transport it to the middle of the Senior Break room.
Second destination: The Senior Break room. From there, it would be rigged with 20 paintball guns, all set to fire when the sensor picks up movement in a circle around the Monkey. Then, when someone inevitably gets pelted, he walks in and grabs the Monkey.
Third destination: His secret hiding spot, outfitted with a view of all the places he will need to be at.
Fourth destination: SCP-682's storage area. Considering it's been let free, but it's still the safest place on the site, that should be a logical place to store it. Hidden in the third drawer of his desk, however, are 3 pistols, fully loaded no less, with 5 clips, and rations to last 2 days. It pays to be prepared for this day.
Before leaving, Gille remembered to put a bucket of spiders on the door too his office. Someone will inevitably think to check there once he gets the monkey, so this should discourage them.
"Thanks for seeing me on such short notice."
"Not at all. Between you and me, dealing with amateurs day in and day out is so tedious."
"I'm sure. Now you know that one of our little annual celebrations is coming up soon, and it occured to me that one or more of my colleagues may come to you for help. I would appreciate it if you might extend me certain professional courtesies around that."
"Sir, are you suggesting that I breach confidentiality? I do have some scruples."
"Of course not! Wouldn't think of it. But perhaps you could take, let's say, the broadest possible interpretation of the agreed-upon terms."
"You want the monkey for yourself?"
"Since you bring it up, what compensation would you want, in exchange for my permanent posession of said monkey?"
The humanoid figure behind the desk beckons and the smaller man before the desk leans forward. He whispers something in his ear.
"Interesting. Not at all what I'd expected. And I must say that, while I'm flattered that you offer, I'm very happy to work for the Foundation, and don't contemplate a change anytime soon. Let me make a proposal of my own. In exchange for the aforesaid professional courtesies leading to temporary possession…"
It takes some time, but eventually the human and the entity wearing the face of a legendary law professor reach an agreement. A secretary is summoned from the accounting department, sworn to secrecy, duly threatened with death, and made to witness an agreement that bursts into flames the moment the formalities are complete.
Sheldon Katz and the entity shake hands.
Across the site, in a specially rigged broom closet, Junior Researcher Gille watches the Senior Break room on screen, then 682's pen, then his office, then back to the break room. Nothing. Wait. Something.
Something rushes into the room, something about knee-high and very fast, something with a single bright blue eye in the middle of its bulbous yellow body. It's dribbling a smaller object in front of it like a soccer ball. As it pauses on the periphery of the circle of paintball guns, the "ball" comes to rest. It's a statuette of a monkey.
Researcher Veldi runs into the room, panting and red-faced. The Eye-Pod skitters away from him. Veldi lunges, and a chase ensues around the edges of the room, with the Eye-Pod and the monkey always staying just out of Veldi's reach.
After four circuits of the room, the Eye-Pod makes a sudden break to the right. Veldi leaps, trying to tackle it, and trips over his own feet. On the floor, he hears a series of clicks followed immediately by splatting sounds, and wonders for a moment if he somehow missed some tomatoes. He picks himself up, and observes that the walls of the break room have a new paint job in the style of Jackson Pollock.
The Eye-Pod scurries out of the break room and heads down a corridor, rolling the monkey down the hall still. Gille jumps up from his seat and sprints down the hall. He figures if he goes down corridor 37, then makes a sharp right just before the firehose he can head them off—yes! Here they are, and he's just a pace behind Veldi. He drops his head and starts running as fast as he can.
"You think that's funny? I hate running," says Veldi between gasps.
The researchers sprint after the Eye-Pod, neither gaining any real advantage or getting any closer. They follow it now left, now right, now a long straightaway and into a dead end, a small chamber at the end of a long corridor. Gille jumps on the monkey and Veldi jumps on Gille. They grapple on the floor, neither noticing the Eye-Pod backing out of the room until they hear the door start to close. Gille looks up just in time to notice a third figure in the room: humanoid, but made of concrete and covered in spray paint.
In the awkward silence that ensues, the disappearance of the monkey barely registers on them.
Finally Veldi says: "I've got to blink on three. One…two…"
Katz notes the monkey statue that now sits atop his empty inbox. He's already senior staff, but his secretary is out sick and nobody from the temp pool can seem to ever type up his briefs just the way he likes them. He looks through the stack of neatly-formatted documents before him and nods in satisfaction. Yes, the devil will have his due, but he does love a nice-looking brief. Worth it.
He picks up the monkey and goes into the hallway outside his office, waiting for someone going in the right direction who looks sufficiently junior and sufficiently gullible. Soon enough, a cub researcher who he doesn't recognize passes by, and Sheldon intercepts him.
"Excuse me, young man, could I ask a favor? Someone left this in my office and they need it for a team-building exercise in the main cafeteria. Just take it up there and someone will show you what to do next."
He feels slightly bad, watching the eager youth hurry down the hall with the monkey, but better him than Sheldon, and in any case this will teach him a number of valuable lessons.
Doctor Briar sighed, looking over the contents of his small office. It had been a long, hard road to get here. So many times, he'd thought he would die. So many times, he had lost what he thought of as "everything", only to build himself up so he would have something else to lose when the time came again. It had certainly not been easy, but he'd managed, somehow…
He always wished it could have been easier, though. If only there had been some way he could have made his journey to a respected member of senior staff without having to endure so much suffering. Of course, he had only been a low-level recruit in the Foundation when they stopped holding the Staff Prank Wars. He had heard of them, of course, and how the cleverest member of the Foundation's personnel stood to be raised to Senior Staff for winning. It was truly a shame that he had been so new when they held the last of them, an all but nameless lab assistant, not trusted with anything more important than proofreading documents…but then, that was his advantage, wasn't it?
Briar smiled, looking at the assembled items and documents sitting on his desk. At the top of the pile was a death certificate. Just another Foundation employee that had finally met his end, but to the elderly man at the desk, an opportunity. After all, permanent ownership didn't extend past death. Most importantly, however, was the small locked box on top of the pile. There were so many anomalous objects with temporal effects in Foundation custody that they hardly bothered to catalogue them all. No one would notice he had "borrowed" SCP-█████ among a batch of other research materials, and the letter he planned to mail would not be going anywhere that it would be looked for. Chuckling to himself, Doctor Briar took out a fountain pen, and began to write.
Years earlier, a much younger version of the same man breathed heavily, hiding in a cubical and shaking. In his hand he held a much-folded piece of heavy parchment, written upon in flowing calligraphy. Nervous, he muttered the words aloud as he re-read the page, "Volunteer to assist in accounting. Short-staffed due to people calling in sick to avoid the contest. Agree to witness a contract. False name. Render null and void…"
He shook his head in disbelief, dizzy with the implications. It couldn't be that easy, could it? Of course, he had barely dared believe what he held in his hands until the prank war began to unfold, exactly as the note claimed it would. Still, it seemed too good to be true. A deal with the Devil shouldn't be so simple to thwart, even if it wasn't really the Devil. Of course, the plan wasn't over yet. Just botching Katz's deal wouldn't much of a prank by itself, after all. Steeling himself, the younger Briar stepped out of the cubical, and announced that he was going on his lunch break. As he entered into the corridor, he put on a ring, and pulled out the small electronic device from his pocket.
At the doors of the cafeteria, a young researcher was stopped by a polite cough. He turned, his face guileless and smiling. A dark-haired man snatched the bundle out of his hands before he had a moment to react.
"Oh, thank goodness I caught you in time! I am SO sorry! It seems that my colleague gave you the wrong article by mistake. This is the one they need in there."
A small device was pressed into the researcher's hands. He babbled for a few moments about how glad he was to help, and how sorry he was that the other man had to chase him all the way here. Briar, in turn, made his excuses, politely stating that it was no trouble, but he really had to get back to work. He gave the hapless researcher some basic instructions on how to set up the device, and told him to just "get it started for them". As he hurried to return SCP-399 to containment, he could hear his modified MP3 player begin to loop Rick Astley's most famous composition with enough bass to shake the light fixtures. The altered lyrics, bragging of the genius of one Sheldon Katz, could just barely be made out from where he stood. Since he didn't have an office, Briar made a note to check his locker later on.
A D-Class that had been fortunate enough to avoid all of the chaos of the day was desperately looking for a place to hide. He found an isolated cell, and quickly opened the door, failing to notice the number "173" emblazoned above the door.
The moment the door was fully open, he stepped through the frame. He saw two men on the floor, and then he looked up.
He recognized the sculpture a few seconds too late.
Veldi and Gille charged him, threw him in the cell, and quickly closed the door. The sound of bones breaking followed shortly after.
Veldi breathed a sigh of relief. "Well, that was fun. Next time, let's check doors before going in them. Don't want Blinky to be let out."
Gille was shivering from the experience. Veldi leaned down. "Oh, by the way… I think ahead." He pointed out that the wall opposite 173's containment had been painted red. Gille was still in a stupor, so Veldi walked away and pressed a button on his phone. A tinny, electronic voice came from above the door: "Leggo my Eggo-carrying Lego Winnebago full of–" The sound was cut short by a wall of tomato juice.
Veldi checked the video feed on his phone again. Yep, the monkey was on his desk. He figured that he should set some more traps so that it wouldn't stay away for long. He hurried to his supplies.