Saker #76 sat behind the desk of Dr. Gregg Collins, wearing a synthetic biological casing that was a genetic match to the doctor of the same name. Nearly two years prior, #76 had tracked down Dr. Collins, killed him, harvested his blood and organs, and stolen his identity. The abduction had been quiet and the remains of Dr. Collins had been disposed of in a manner that ensured no one would ever locate him. The Saker’s design was virtually undetectable once its shell of stolen biological material had been applied, making #76 a perfect mimic of Dr. Collins’ anatomy.
Since the abduction, #76 had successfully integrated itself both into Collin’s life and the SCP Foundation on Anderson’s behalf. Now that it had succeeded in ousting Researcher Conwell and gaining access to SCP-1360, all the pieces were in place. The only thing left was to await the proper moment to strike.
#76 caught a glimpse of its reflection in Collin’s computer screen and felt a small amount of sadness, or the closest thing to sadness an android could feel. It had grown to like its current identity and knew that its performance would soon come to an end. It then shrugged; it had been a fun ride up to this point. #76 was in no position to complain.
The sound of someone entering its office shook it from its thought. Looking up, #76 saw a pale, ghoul of a man with long greasy hair, and distinct dark rings around his eyes. A pair of leather gloves covered his hands as he balled them into tight fists. The man gave a disgusted frown at #76 before he spoke.
“Afternoon, Gregg.” The man's speech contained enough venom to kill an elephant.
#76’s programming recognized that the individual was Dr. Harold Thompson, and that it was in considerable danger.
“Harold…” #76 began. “What… what are you doing here? Does Dr. Freemont…”
“I wouldn’t worry about her,” Harold said as he stepped towards the desk, causing #76 to slide back in its chair. “In fact, don’t worry about any of them. They are not my problem anymore. No one knows I’m here. It’s just the two of us, old friend.”
“I… I see…” #76 spoke as it began to slide its chair towards the opposite side of the room. “And why are you are you here exactly?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Photos, damn it!” Harold shouted. “Two years ago, when Johnson left, he said he’d send photos to you. Photos of Jack and Elizabeth. Photos of Lisa.”
At this point Harold began to cross to the other side of the desk.
“He said you’d stop by and give them to me! He said you’d visit!” Harold banged his fist on the desktop. “But you never stopped by, Gregg! I waited three years, and you never came. Three years and the only face I saw was that stone cold bitch Freemont! But now I’m here. Where are the photos Gregg!?”
#76 couldn’t retreat any further. Its chair was now firmly pressed against the back wall, with it now trying to disappear into the upholstery.
“Harold, I’m sorry that I didn’t visit, but you have to realize that the opportunity never presented itself. Christ, you were a researcher yourself once. Hell, we worked on projects together. You know how these things are…” #76 stopped as it watched Harold pull off one of his gloves.
“Where are they,” he growled.
“Harold, Zachary Johnson died about a year and a half ago. Glioblastoma multiforme. That was the reason behind his retirement. He wanted to live in peace for the last few months of his life. He didn’t have the heart to tell you. He had Conwell, Freemont, and I promise we wouldn’t let you know.” #76 quickly replied, “There are no photos. There never were.”
Harold stopped. The anger in his eyes faded in an instant, and was quietly replaced with realization. Tears began to roll down his cheeks and he turned away.
“God damn it…” Harold said between sobs. “God fucking damn it…”
#76 stared on. It slowly began to leave its chair, and place a hand on Harold’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” it said, jumping as Harold responded with a frustrated yell and turned on the spot. His bare fist struck #76 across its face, and all at once its outer skin turned to solid marble.
Harold looked at what he accomplished and silently made his way to the other side of the room. He then slumped to the floor and placed his head in his hands and let out another furious cry, stopping only when he heard a sudden crack. He looked up to see marble Dr. Collins crack and eventually shatter, sending shards scattering across the room. Some sort of android now stared back at him.
“That… was… unpleasant…” #76 said as it held out its right hand. A small chamber opened up followed by a small gust of air. A black ball the size of a large marble flew across the room and landed on Harold, quickly sprouting legs before anchoring itself down. Harold let out a horrified scream; the small creature quickly produced a needle, and with a short jab injected an unknown concoction into his arm. Within seconds he couldn’t move.
“You’ve been injected with a strong paralyzing agent,” #76 said as he allowed the small Amur model to crawl back into its compartment in its hand. “You will be completely paralyzed for the next twenty four hours. More than enough time for them to drag you back to your cage.”
#76 looked at its reflection in Collin’s computer monitor and shook its head. Whatever orders Anderson intended to give were now pointless. Its programming automatically calculated its next course of action. Without another word it quickly covered itself in a lab coat and hat and exited the office, leaving Dr. Harold Thompson behind.
SCP-1360 sat quietly in its holding cell. Day in and day out it was restrained in the back corner with little to do but draw on its notepad. Unfortunately there was little for it to draw these days. As such, the droid sat silently awaiting for the next time a researcher would come to cut away its skin.
The droid’s head snapped upwards as it heard gunshots coming from outside its cell, followed by muffled shouting, and then by silence. The door to the cell then opened, and what 1360 recognized as a Saker model android quickly stepped inside, sliding the door shut. The Saker quietly limped across the room and knelt next to 1360. Several gunshot wounds were visible in its plastic casings and its left eye was cracked in numerous places. Its left forearm had been cut completely off.
Silently the Saker grabbed 1360’s left hand and popped open the left middle finger. It then forcefully jammed a small object inside the cavity. For the first time in almost ten years, SCP-1360 felt complete. Its missing component had finally been replaced.
“Saker override commence,” the Saker said. “ID number 76. Reinitialize PSHUD #31 vocalization module. Restore PSHUD #31 client data: James Hamilton and Sarah Hamilton.”
1360 felt like a spark had ignited in its head. All the memories of its previous clients flooded back, hitting its consciousness like a hurricane. As the good and bad memories alike settled back into place, it looked into the eyes of the Saker and searched for the words it desired to say.
“Thank… you…” 1360 spoke slowly. It had not heard its voice in such a long time that it had forgotten it had been programmed to sound like a young man in his twenties. The Saker nodded in return.
“We don’t have much time left #31. I’ve disabled the door mechanism, which should buy us a few minutes. If there is anything you’d like to ask or say, now would be the time.”
1360 looked down at its notepad for a few moments, then back at #76. It had numerous questions saved up. Before long it chose one.
“You’ve reinstalled my termination drive. Are we going to die?”
“I’m afraid so #31,” the Saker replied. “But in all fairness, you and I were never really alive.” 1360 nodded quietly in understanding. Both of them were in no condition to fight their way out.
“I’m sorry then,” 1360 said as it stared at the ground. “I’m a failure. I’ve caused Anderson nothing but grief. I should have been eliminated years ago, but they removed my termination drive when I lost them. I’m sorry.”
“Yes. Yes you did fail, and yes you have caused Anderson trouble. But it’s alright #31. Anderson doesn’t blame you. They are always watching. They know it wasn’t your fault your termination drive was removed, or that you lost your last clients. Please consider yourself absolved.”
There was now a loud banging coming from the door. Foundation personnel were attempting to get in to the containment cell.
“Shall we then?” #76 asked. The Peregrine nodded and held out its hand, which the Saker unit clasped tightly. “Very well then. Activate Foundation protocol.”
Researcher Conwell impatiently stood in front of SCP-1360’s holding cell. On his way out the door there had been not only a containment breach but an infiltration of Site-19 as well. Due to the fact that both involved SCP-1360 he had been detained to provide further assistance when the situation had been brought back under control. As he leaned against the wall, Conwell closed his eyes and rubbed his temples with his hands. The day just kept getting better and better.
“You’re cleared to enter.”
Conwell looked up and saw Jurgen Crayne standing in the remains of the holding cell door. The intruder had done a bang up job disabling the mechanism and jamming the door shut. It had taken security almost thirty minutes to get it open again.
“Agent Crayne,” Conwell said as he offered a hand shake. “They have you leading the task force?”
Crayne accepted with a smirk. "Please, it's Jurgen. But yeah, I am. Your droid has caused a bit of a disturbance."
Conwell gave a small nod and slowly followed the agent inside. Aside from the commotion from the assembled security task force and a few administrative personnel the room was empty, save for 1360’s notepad, pens and two large black puddles on the floor.
Conwell quietly moved through the crowd to the notebook, gingerly picking it up and flipping through its pages. All were blank. He then sighed as he looked down at the puddles. Each was black as obsidian with the consistency of pudding. Kneeling down, Conwell swirled a gloved finger through the goo and gave a small, sad smile.
Foundation Protocol, he thought to himself.
“So, what’re you thinking, Jacob?” Crayne asked as he moved to stand by Conwell’s side, “You’re the expert on this thing. Where should we start looking?”
“Nowhere,” Conwell replied. “1360’s been neutralized. Anderson activated its Foundation Protocol.”
“It’s a built in self-destruct mechanism,” Conwell answered, showing the black liquid on his hand to the agent. “We’ve seen it before during Agent Merlo’s failed sting last week. Anderson wasn’t trying to get the droid out. They wanted to destroy it.”
The room fell silent. All eyes turned to the black puddles. Eventually, one of the administrative staff ordered samples to be taken and for the task force to disperse and await further orders. Conwell was given clearance to catch his flight.
One by one the personnel filed out of the room, eventually leaving only Conwell and the researchers left behind to collect samples from the puddle. Conwell’s sad smile returned as he stared into the black liquid, barely able to see his own reflection in the dim lighting.
Goodbye, he thought to himself, and then turned to take his leave.