No Dead Bodies. Ever.
rating: +39+x

"Just, don't let it touch dead bodies."

That's usually what Jacob Saunders heard when he asked his questions. A non-answer followed by a quick end of the conversation and the dismissing party often marching away without a care. Everyone above him had the same response. If he was lucky he might even get an extra remark stating that it would be pretty bad if it did touch a cadaver. Or to cover himself up in case he became the dead body. Or even how to initiate site lock-down if there was a chance a dead guy was taking a swan dive it right now.

No dead bodies. Ever.

Not that it would be difficult on Dr. Saunders to follow that one rule. He wasn't an overworked mortician at Site-19 and his time at the Foundation taught him not to throw bodies, especially of the dead variety, at everything. He knew the risks and punishments of unrestrained experimentation with a substance censored by the O5 Council themselves. Yet, as he was staring at a newly put up poster of stick-figure corpse falling into a vat of 447 with the caption No Dead Bodies. Ever. He had to wonder.

Why?

Why with all the redactions? Why all the reminders? Why all the board meetings, announcements, handouts, personal training, team training, emails, phone calls, texts, pagers and posters? Why no dead bodies?

This wasn't the only mystery that he would probably lie wondering about on his deathbed. He was not privileged to see behind the black bars. He had no clue why, let alone how, half of the stuff he researched disobeyed common science. But this green goo was the one enigma that like to flaunt it in his face. The Site screamed the order without the reason every day at work. Every comment, every suggestion, every thought, was somehow followed by a recitation of the commandment of Site-19. No dead bodies, ever. It was like it was all some sort of inside joke. Not only by his fellow staff but from the abnormality itself.

Why? he repeated to himself.

Senior Researcher Saunders reclined in his new office chair confused. He was just promoted the week before and for his entire career at the Foundation he never managed to get a clue. All he got from his colleagues was conspiracy theories and hearsay testimonies, each contradicting each other and sometimes themselves. And all he got from supervisors was stern remarks about insufficient clearance. Until a week ago.

I shouldn't be so rash, Jacob reminded himself. While most others would rush to get the classified information, he knew discount flubber was an exception. If he ran and begged there was a good chance they would give him nothing and if he ever brought it up again they would probably ghost him, or worse. However, if he acts confidently with his future assignments, then perhaps he will eventually garner enough respect from his superiors that they may trust him with some more delicate information. Maybe. He just has to wait for his moment and maybe some higher up may just tell him what the deal was with the dead bodies.

Just be calm Jacob, he told himself, You find out eventually. Eventually. Maybe.

He didn't last another week.


Jacob Saunders sat begrudgingly in the reception room of Intelligence, waiting for Site-19 Director Clara Laurent to call him in. He contacted the director inquiring about the higher clearance documentation on 447 and learned that he can only gain access to it after a mandatory meeting with her. Damn it, you couldn't wait at least a month, Jacob scolded to himself, She probably only scheduled this to scold me in person and drop my case with the dead bodies. He stomped his foot in displeasure. That earned him a concerned glance from the receptionist, "Mrs. Laurent is very busy today, Dr. Saunders. Please be patient."

Jacob sighed, "I wish I was."

The receptionist's phone buzzed and a voice came over, "Alright, bring him in."

Jacob stood before the receptionist could even respond. Let's get this over with. Jacob opened the director's door to a dimly lit office. "Come in Dr. Saunders. And close the door behind you." Clara Laurent's form sat behind a computer monitor. The mad zipping of a scroll wheel filled the room. This is a bad time for this, Jacob thought, as he approached the table. "You can turn on the lights," she barked suddenly, causing Jacob to flinch. He took two steps back as he felt the wall for a light switch.

Click

The room was showered with light, revealing all to Jacob. A broken antique desk lamp was knocked over by a desk phone and a half cup of coffee on the desk. A pile of papers slouched by her keyboard. Dr. Laurent, unfazed by the light, continued to scroll through her emails. Her eyes were hugged by dark circles and a stern frown.

Worst possible time.

As Jacob sat down, Clara straightened up to properly talk to her guest. "Good evening, Dr. Saunders. Congrats on your recent promotion." She smiled. "We need more people like you working at the Foundation."

Jacob relaxed. Maybe I have nothing to worry about. "Thank you. I hope I can continue to make great strides for the Foundation in the Future."

"Now, I believed you wanted to view the higher document clearance for…447?" Dr. Laurent continued narrowing her eyes.

"Yes, in order to continue my research, I require several high security level documents for 447." Jacob replied.

"Which ones?" Clara asked as she took a sip of her coffee.

No dead bodies.

"Appendix 447-D: Physical properties of SCP-447-1."

Dr. Laurent coughed back up her sip as Jacob grimaced. She is expecting it even! Why didn't I ask about the dead bodies? I just asked for a boring document that barely anyone knows about for the WRONG anomaly.

"…Are you sure, Dr. Saunders?" Dr. Laurent spoke after she cleared her voice, turning around for a tissue to wipe the coffee she hacked up on her desk, "With your new position you are privileged to more information than you may think."

Just ask about the dead bodies, Jacob thought It's the greatest mystery of the Foundation!

But as he was about to say the magic words he thought back to all the incidents. His former colleague Bill getting pistol whipped by a guard for bringing a severed figure to the experimentation room. A junior research getting fired for harassing a director for the issue. The O5 Council sending Site wide emails with just the phrase "Don't even think about it."

"Umm.. I guess Appendix-E also," Jacob said in resignation. I can't do it. They will detain me and transport me to a Site halfway across the world. I should just take what I can get and leave.

"How do you even know abou-" Dr. Laurent was about to say before she turned around and saw Jacob's face. Then she knew. She smiled as she held her hands together. "Listen Jacob, as Intelligence Director I know when someone wants something." She leaned towards Jacob and whispered in a hushed child-like tone, "You want to know about the dead bodies?"

Jacob felt like he melted. Finally "Yes, yes, yes," he said ecstatically, "What does 447 do to dead bodies?"

Clara smiled, "You know you lasted longer than most." She began typing permissions on her computer. "Most people don't last two weeks after getting the clearance for it."

"Well," Jacob responded "You can say I am a patient man."

"Alright, you should have permissions to view the uncensored version of Appendix 447-B," Clara said "Remember, DON'T tell anyone about this. You just got this position, don't lose it."

Jacob stood up to leave. "Don't worry," He assured her, "I know as much from the meetings."

As he closed the door behind him, he felt that he could jump with joy. FINALLY. ANSWERS. He practically ran to his office.


Clara Laurent didn't move for a few moments after Jacob left. She made sure that he heard him jog out and down the hall. She buzzed for her receptionist.

"Philips, cancel the rest of my plans for today."

"No problem, Dr. Laurent," her phone buzzed back.

She then picked up the phone and dialed the number for Site-19's Archivist. She waited for two rings before someone picked up. "Clara? What's the matter, you never call me in the middle of a work day?"

"Someone knows about Appendix-E," Clara replied somberly.

"Shit- Who was it? Did they ask about the other spheres?"

"Senior Researcher Saunders and no, it seemed like he only heard of it from someone else and wanted to use it to learn about the dead body property."

"Did you give him a document?"

"No, he was ecstatic that I would give him the uncensored Appendix B and left without a word about D and E," Clara replied.

"D AND E!" The phone yelled into Dr. Laurent's Ear. "What are you gonna do?"

"I am going to call for tighter control for 447 information, maybe even amnestics."

"No one will approve of that; the current disinformation and distraction campaign is working too well for them to consider amnestics."

"I know, that's why I need you to draft me up a fake D and E document in case someone starts asking questions. Luckily everyone is still distracted with dead bodies after 50 years."

"If anyone knew they wouldn't care about the bodies."

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