It had been sixty-eight days since the guard posted to her door had been reassigned in favor of the security cameras. Her mind was now mostly free of the deadening aftereffects of sedative, allowing her to spend more and more time thinking the way she was used to. They had even let her have shoelaces again. Most importantly, however, were the changes in the staff. Dr. Whitman was again permitting himself to furtively look at other case files during her sessions. The guards in Corridor Twelve began joking with her again. Director Hayakawa showed up less and less frequently. What passed for normal life in her corner of Site-17 was returning.
Now was the time.
Fighting the urge to glance sidelong at the security camera stationed in the corner of the room, Thompson clutched at her stomach through her bright-orange jumpsuit, doubling over in what she knew would be now-familiar pain to the security staff. The stress-induced nausea was nothing new. During her brief time with Pandora's Box, the medical staff had mostly controlled it with drugs, but now the Foundation saw no need to keep up an expensive pharmaceutical regimen. She suspected this was part of the "re-education" process. No matter. It would be turned to her advantage soon enough.
Quickly, she made her way to the steel toilet in the corner. The cold sweat on her forehead and the excess saliva came naturally, as expected. There was no need for acting; what she was about to do was cause enough for an attack all on its own.
She leaned into the bowl and heaved, wrenching herself free of the contents of her stomach. As she opened her eyes, she spotted the photograph, floating among the semi-digested remains of a cafeteria-issue eggplant sandwich. Gingerly, she lifted it out, making sure to keep her back between the security camera and her hard-won prize. Dr. Whitman, like everyone else in contact with her, had been ordered to clear his workspace of any and all photographs. Thompson had observed Dr. Whitman just as closely as he had observed her, and she knew that this was a man that could be trusted to never throw anything out. True to form, his desk was packed with forms, notebooks, old calendars, receipts from a decade prior. And, of course, the photographs that had formerly adorned his desk. While he had gone out to retrieve his briefcase, she hunted for the one picture that she remembered, the one that would bring her deliverance. And for once in this godforsaken place, luck was with her.
She studied the picture closely. She remembered it as a photograph of Dr. Whitman and an unnamed secretary, lost to time and staffing reorganization, drunk in the manner that office workers always seem to reserve for Christmas parties. She recalled that partially obscured behind the "Happy Holidays" banner was the bright yellow "LEVEL 3 STAFF ONLY" sign that adorned many rooms in the facility, and above this sign was a stained air vent. Without breathing, she looked at the photograph. It now featured only a door in a brightly-lit corridor. No sign of Dr. Whitman and the insensate secretary remained; only the entrance to the Site-17 pharmacological dispensary.
She smiled. Jackpot.
Thompson gingerly moved her hand into the photograph. As she neared the door's electronic keypad, she recited the mnemonic that she'd kept in her head for two months after overhearing a chance conversation in passing between two security techs.
"Four years in Site-17."
She touched "4" on the keypad.
"Fifteen dead in Operation Milk Run."
She entered a 1 and a 5.
"One plus zero plus five is six."
She entered a 6.
"The year of mom and dad's wedding."
She entered an 8 and a 7.
Upon entering the 3, a green light flashed above the door handle, and the deadbolt sharply clicked open. Thompson pushed open the door. Barely distinct now, shelves laden with bottles, boxes and plastic bags beckoned. Her elbow was now past the photograph's threshold, and she reached as far as she dared into the pharmacy. She picked up the nearest bottle she could find, grasping it like a grain of rice between her fingers. The bottle grew bigger and bigger as she pulled it out of the photograph. The label could now be read.
Acetylsalicylic acid. This wouldn't do. Thompson dropped the bottle in the toilet and reached back into the picture. Her second foray yielded a plastic bag full of eyedroppers. She scowled, dropped the bag into the toilet as well, and tried again. Reaching for the next shelf over, she saw a bright orange plastic bottle of larger relative size. As she retrieved it, she noticed that she had 200 capsules of orphenadrine. These would do the trick.
She opened the bottle, and shook a small pile of capsules into her hand. She noticed the designation on her fluorescent yellow tracking wristband: SCP-105. She closed her hand around the pills.
"My name is Iris Thompson."
She swallowed the first handful of pills. She poured herself another, swallowed them, and took a third handful. In the space of a minute and thirty seconds, she had ingested the entire contents of the bottle. Her stomach churned in rebellion. Her pulse quickened.
"My name is Iris Thompson," she said softly as the surroundings of her cell started to come in and out of focus.
The bottle fell from her grasp, and suddenly the cement floor rose to meet her, silently, without feeling.