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Written by Whatopercy                                                                                                                            
It was a beautiful winter evening at Site-197 in ███████, [REDACTED]. The air, while cold, brought crisp relief to those who labored away in the building's decrepit interior. While it dominated the picturesque landscape, one could easily tell that it was long overdue for renovation. A curious researcher would later discover with pleasure that it was the longest-standing Foundation institution remaining in service. A few musty old bookshelves inhabited its rather diminutive library, and one could often spy a cricket or line of ants in the corners of the more ancient bunk rooms.

The pristine little hideaway was tasked with housing some of the most dangerous and mysterious objects in human history - in reality, the site was known as a repository for the more mundane artifacts to grace the Foundation collection. A few boxes secured under the watchful eyes of armed men could occasionally be seen by the off-duty loiterer, and if you were lucky, you might bear witness to a humanoid containment cell.

It was all quite boring, really. But the old doctor, Oppenheimer, loved it like it was home. He would bandage the burns, bites and scratches of fresh recruits with the care of a loving Uncle. The old veterans would grin when he strolled by.

"Doc, put down the syringe, huh?" they would joke, whenever they walked in on him checking on the medical equipment in the supply closet. He would smile; they were utterly kind, something that pleased him greatly.

He would smile and look away.

Cassandra, the on-site counselor - almost as ancient as he was, a fact that he chuckled softly at - would alight up from her seat whenever he would walk on by, encouraging him to take a minute and sit with her to talk.

"No, no," he would laugh. "Too much to do."

Each wound he treated brought him back to his days in Angola, as an aid worker. Yes, he thought, it was very, very similar to Angola. Boys far too young to be fighting were blinded, crippled, and concussed. The site had always been a maze for him, but these days it was even more so; it seemed like they added a new wing each day.

On a particularly blustery December afternoon, after retiring to his office, Oppenheimer decided to look at the stars.

Pulling over his sofa chair to the window, he put on the kettle for some tea - and then stopped.

"No," he said. "No tea for tonight."

He put a chair by the door. Doors, in the facility, had no locks, if they weren't built for containment. He didn't want to be disturbed. He rarely stargazed, and this was certainly not an occasion for unwanted visitors.

He sat down in the comfortable sofa, sighing in content. He took out his notepad (he would affectionately call it his "Tycho's book") and a dark, freshly sharpened pencil.

After a few minutes of sketching constellations, he put down his instruments.

"How beautiful the stars are tonight! If only," he thought wistfully, "I could go to them. Then, I could witness them in all of their glory." Yes. Oh, that would make him so happy.

He reached into his back pocket, and took out a packet of his pills. He slit open the bag carefully with a pin, so not to prick his fingers. He took one, swallowing it as if it was a delectable mallow.

He took another. He took a third, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth. He took the last pill in the packet, and put the wrapper on the armrest.

"Yes." He closed his eyes happily. "The stars are truly beautiful."

Mortician's report
Expired: Doctor Roger Oppenheimer, age 89
Location: Site 19
Preceding Conditions: Diagnosed with clinical depression. Acute dementia. Calcium deficiency. Iron deficiency.
Prescribed Medications: None.
Presiding medical officer: Doctor Harry Smithport
Time of death: 19:43
Cause of death: Substantial traces of potassium cyanide detected in patient's bloodstream.
Comment(s): Request disposal and release protocol. Requesting permission to launch an investigation into the circumstances of the patient's employment, at a time when he was mentally unfit to perform his duties.

Received. Cremate. Inform relatives. Request denied.
Site Director Stanley

Mortician Bradford

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