The Secure Children Procedure
rating: +18+x

Really? Six years of service, building cages for things that could destroy the world faster than I could snap my fingers, and now they're throwing me in the trash. All because of one mistake, that wasn't even my fault, mind you, but I'm the one catching all the heat because of course I am.

"You can leave your personal belongings in your office, remember, we're not firing you, we just need to give you some time to look back, reflect on your mistakes and make sure it never happens again." The words of my supervisor - not like she nor any of my superiors understood my "mistake". "However," she continued, "I do have a job you could do for me while you're out, but you may not want it." An opportunity, I'd take anything I could get.

"What is it?" I asked.

She answered, "I have to go abroad for a little while to help revise the containment of an anomalous object that's been giving us trouble, and I need someone to look over my three children while I'm gone."

Dammit.

I wanted to decline, I really did, but everyone knows the best way to get past a severe punishment is to suck up to your superiors. "Sure, no problem," I replied, with fake nonchalance.

"Great! We'll discuss specifics over the phone later, but other than that, I don't think there's anything else to say. You know your punishment, and it officially comes into effect now."

Babysitting, great. Just the relaxing activity I needed. At least it shouldn't be too hard. I've got 6 years experience in containing the greatest horrors known to man. Harmless children are nothing but an annoyance to me. A terrible, terrible, annoyance.

A day later, I've got the text with the specifics. I guess I have no excuse not to go now.

My supervisor lives pretty humbly, I would've thought she lived in something more extravagant. This looks just like an average town home.

"Hey! I'm glad you could make it."said my supervisor, waiting at the door and leaving out the part that it was obvious I would show up. "Let's get you introduced to all the kids."

"Kids! Come down and meet the babysitter!" she called. Being called a babysitter hurt my pride, but I guess I am one. The first of her children to arrive had run over here frantically and energetically, he introduced himself to me, his name was Brandon. He said he was nine.

There was also a return call of "Hold on one second!" Followed by a loud thump from the upper floor and some giggling. My supervisor rolled her eyes.

By the time Brandon had introduced himself to me, the other two children had come barreling in, obviously being the source of the loud noise from upstairs. Their behavior, from what I had seen of them, did not fill me with optimism. In their rush to get over here, they had tripped over each other's feet and fallen over. The one that got up first introduced himself to me as James, age six.

The other child didn't spring to his feet immediately like James did, he had to take a second to find his footing. Once he got up, he introduced themselves to me as Gabriel.

With all the children having introduced themselves to me, my supervisor put on her coat and got ready to head out, but not before hugging each of her children and giving them all a peck on the forehead. She gave one final word to me before she left, "You're probably going to need to get them dinner relatively soon, they're all getting hungry, and lights out by 9:00." And with that, she was gone, the door was shut, and I was all alone with three children.

Even though I had met all three children and seen a little of their personality in the process, I really didn't have a whole lot of information about them. I was going to need to put together what little information I was given before I did anything that evening. Maybe something would reveal itself to me.

Subject: Brandon

Age: Nine

Gender: M

Description: Light brown curly hair and blue eyes. Wore a green-striped shirt and gym shorts. Very scrawny, and seemed energetic and erratic.

Subject: James

Age: Six

Gender: M

Description: Straight, thick, brown hair and blue eyes. Wore a plain red shirt and jeans. Seemed average size for a six-year-old and slightly clumsy and playful.

Subject: Gabriel

Age: 5

Gender: M

Description: Light brown curly hair and brown eyes. Wore a yellow shirt with a pink video game character and gym shorts. Slightly fat for a five-year-old and slightly clumsy and playful.

Nope, nothing. I didn't know really anything about these children, nevertheless what I was going to do to keep them content. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, after all, they're human children, they're not a mindless, destructive, anomaly. They're capable of telling me about them, surely. I'll start with Brandon.

Interviewed: Brandon

Interviewer: Me

<Begin Interview>

Me: Brandon, to get to know you better I'm going to need to ask you a few questions, alright?

Brandon: What do I get for doin' it?

Me: What? You don't get anything. I just need to get to know you better.

Brandon: Why wouldn't I get anything? That's stupid. I'm gonna go play with James.

Me: Wait, fine, I'll give you a… chocolate bar as dessert after dinner, alright?

Brandon: Ok fine, I'll listen.

Me: Well, what keeps you entertained?

Brandon: Well, I like to play basketball a lot! I'm really good at it, I can score goals like every time!

Me: Do you do any quieter activities? Like reading?

Brandon: What? No! That's boring, why would I want to read?

Gabriel: Brandon, what are you doing? James and I were going to go play tag, if you want to come.

Brandon: I have to answer the babysitter's questions, he's going to give me a candy bar if I do.

Gabriel: What? You get a candy bar? Unfair, I want a candy bar too!

Me: You'll get a candy bar if you do this, but right now you have to wait for-

James: When are we going to eat dinner? I'm hungry.

Me: You'll get dinner in a little bit, I just have-

Brandon: I'm also hungry, can we please go eat dinner?

Me: I give up. Fine, we can eat dinner.

Brandon: Do I still get my candy bar?

<End Interview>

This was getting really irritating. I didn't know anything about the children, and that interview was completely useless. I'm just as confused, left wondering as to what they like to do with themselves as I was when I walked in the door I needed to find a containment procedure that worked, a way to keep them out of my hair. The children had mentioned wanting dinner. Maybe that could be a solution. The only problem was what to get them for dinner, I didn't know what they liked to eat. In the interview, they seemed much more enthusiastic about wanting dinner than they did about telling me about themselves, so maybe if I just asked them, it would work.

I called the children down into the kitchen. I needed all of them to agree on something, or my new procedure wasn't going to work.

"What would you guys like for dinner?" I asked. Of course, no two answers were the same. Brandon wanted pasta. Gabriel didn't like pasta, but he wanted burgers. James liked neither, and wanted mac and cheese. Brandon said that mac and cheese was pasta, but James vehemently disagreed. That point evolved into an argument and I sighed, we were going to be here awhile.

I had to step in to end the argument after it started spiraling out of control. These children could never focus, it was driving me up a wall. A few more ideas were thrown around, including caviar, though it wasn't like any of the children even knew what that was. However, the word pizza was finally introduced. All of the children liked pizza, and it wasn't anything I had to make. It seemed perfect, and so the decision was made, the children would eat pizza for dinner.

I ordered the pizza, and then told them that once the pizza arrived, they were to go to their room and eat without making a mess. "Our mom never lets us eat in our rooms though." Said Gabriel. I just told him to keep it a secret. I would hear less noise if they ate in their rooms instead of in the dining room, and that was my goal. After 15 minutes, it arrived. Time to see if this new procedure would work.

Testing Log

Subjects: All three children - Brandon, James, and Gabriel.

Procedure: Pizza arrived and was placed on the dining room table and opened.

Results: Pizza was split among the subjects. All subjects returned to their containment area successfully.

Analysis: Experiment considered a success.

It had worked! The children were all in their rooms and eating mostly quietly. I had managed to figure out a way to contain them. I was starting to feel much more confident about myself. I still hated babysitting, but even so, maybe this job wouldn't be as hellish anymore.

And then reality came crashing back down.

I heard someone call me from upstairs. Damn, I knew my strategy worked a little too well. When I went to go check it out, it was James who had called me. He looked sheepish, and was just looking at the carpeted floor of his room. At first, I wondered why, then I followed his gaze and I found out. He had dropped an entire slice of pizza face down onto the floor. So much for a peaceful dinner.

I told James to go sit at the dining room table while I cleaned this up. James’ call for me had also brought his siblings over, they followed him down to the dining room table and soon the house once again filled with the annoying sounds of their play. My strategies weren't working at all. They were probably just making everything worse. I didn't know what to do, foundation tactics were failing and they were all that I knew.

Even so, I had to keep working. I wasn't just going to turn over and let myself get annoyed to death. Maybe if I let them play what they wanted, they would tire out, go to sleep, and leave me alone. The idea went against everything I had learned developing containment for the foundation, I mean, you never let an anomaly dictate the terms of their containment, in the hope that it'll make them easier to contain in the future. It would never fly at my job, and it sounded absurd compared to my previous strategies, but I was desperate, and if it goes wrong, what could really happen? They were just children. And besides, I didn't have any better ideas.

"Hey Brandon!" I yelled, and he came over quickly. "You mentioned you liked to play basketball, how about I drive you and your siblings over to the nearest basketball court and let you play around until your curfew?" Brandon was ecstatic, he was usually forced to use the short and cheap basketball hoop in their driveway, but an opportunity to play on a real court? He couldn't refuse. He went to go let his brothers know, and soon, they were all piled in my car ready to go play the day away.

It took around ten minutes of driving to actually find a court, considering I didn't actually know where the nearest one was, but we got there. Soon, the children were having a great time playing around, even if Brandon's claim of scoring goals "like every time" wasn't necessarily accurate.

Apart from a few scraped knees, it seemed like this new plan was going off without a hitch, and as the little hand on my watch began to approach 9:00, I got the children to pack it up, they seemed tuckered out. Which was exactly how I wanted them to be.

When we got back to my supervisor's house, they went to sleep without complaining, which was a big surprise for me. It seemed like my new approach to them had worked. I had peace and quiet for the next few hours before I went to sleep, and when I closed my eyes, I felt much more confident about being these children's guardian, and even more confident about the rest of my forced leave in general.

Soon, it was time for me to return to work. As surprising as it was, I felt like this leave had been good for me. I was much more sure of myself as I walked through those doors leading to my office. Of course, my supervisor was waiting in my chair. "Welcome back!" She said, "How was your break?"

Surprisingly, I answered truthfully, "It was good, you were right, the break put everything in perspective."

"Well that's great, let's hope we don't have any more mishaps in the future, alright?" And with that, she started to leave my office.

Everything felt right, but I still had something to say. "I'm just letting you know, if you ever need a babysitter and I'm available, I wouldn't be opposed to the job."

My supervisor turned around and smirked, "Of course, I'll let you know if I need one."

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