The Leader
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Part One | PART TWO | Part Three

James Micheals wasn't a person that was easy to impress.

Long ago, he worked for a Foundation. A Foundation that did horrible things. They thought that sacrificing thousands of human lives every year to keep the rest safe was the proper thing to do.

If James Micheals was honest, he didn't know if what they had done was right.

And even though he thought that after years of seeing things he wished to forget nothing could ever impress him, here he was, not believing his eyes.

They did it.

They actually did it.

You see, the first project James Micheals was assigned to was a sculpture that could only move when not observed.

He actually found it quite ironic that everything started with 173, and now everything ended with 173.

When the end of the world started and Site-120 got destroyed, he ran away. He was an archivist, not a goddamn hero of the day.

And even though he was not the brave type, he now ruled the last city of both of the Americas.

He obviously sent a distress signal to the others. They never cared enough to respond back. If he was honest though, he didn't care. They probably had more important things to do than rescue some archivist.

James Micheals used his knowledge of containment to be a ruler that knew what to do when faced with danger.

He created the Watch, a force that guarded the town's perimeter, making sure that nothing would ever trespass it.

He created the infrastructures of the last bastion of normalcy, making sure that nothing would disrupt the lives of those who never deserved to face such an armageddon.

But even though he was able to protect these survivors for almost 8 years now, he never was proud of them, like he always wanted to.

Until now.

They did it.

They actually did it.

He asked them to capture the only thing that could ever harm them in any way, and they did it.

He actually had a live, captured 173 specimen in front of his eyes.

James Micheals was ready for this moment since the end of the world.

"Is everything set up?!", he shouted out of excitement as he entered his lab. It was the most important building in the town. Here, he did everything - he gave orders, he slept and, most importantly, he researched. He wanted to make sure that every single camera was working properly and that every member of the Watch was, well, watching, his new acquisition. "Yes, boss", quickly came the response. "Let's then begin the test, shall we?",

The Sculpture hadn't moved an inch. James Micheals was a professional - he had standards. Everything he created to reach his goal was perfect. The laser cage he created to catch SCP-173 didn't even stutter when the Watch suppressed the entity. Every system he has set up to incapacitate the thing was almost one hundred percent idiot-proof. There was no way anything would ever backfire.

As he approached the statue, someone shouted: "Blinking!". "All clear", responded someone else. The Watch always used only these two sentences during their work.

Unless something backfired, of course. Which it never has.

James Micheals deactivated the Scranton Reality Anchor that was holding the Sculpture in its laser cage. He almost felt bad that he had to destroy one of these beauties to learn more about them. Sure, they murdered hundreds of thousands, if not even millions of people, but still, there was something to it. It… it felt like he was destroying someone's artistic vision. Sure, it was a vision of a madman, but a vision nonetheless.

173's 'arms' were no more. All that was left of them was the rebar.

But there was nothing more there than that.

173's 'legs' were gone too. All that was left of them was the rebar.

But there was nothing more there than that.

173's 'head' met it's demise. All that was left of it was the rebar.

But still, there was nothing more there than that.

"Is… is that really it?"

"Is there nothing more to it?"

Sure, the Sculpture was probably the least restricted SCP in the Foundation database. Everyone knew about it. It was just a thing that killed people for no reason. It was probably the most generic anomaly they contained.

But James Micheals thought that there must have been more to it. After all, statues don't just randomly start duplicating.

Maybe its torso had something to hide though.

He hoped.

If not, then, was there really no explanation?

One of the first things everyone learned when they started working for the Foundation is that questions are bad. Hell, that was the thing even the D-class learned as their first lesson. But even though he knew that wanting to explain the unexplained was not going to accomplish anything, he was really disappointed to learn that this one probably had nothing to hide.

But there still was its torso.










As the last part of 173 got destroyed by Micheals' hammer, he saw something.

The missing piece.

"Oh my god…"

And even though James Micheals wasn't a person that was easy to impress, for the second time this day, he couldn't believe his eyes.

All that was left of SCP-173 was a single apple tree twig.

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