A Man At the Top of His Profession
rating: +171+x


Sometimes, when he was feeling particularly ungrateful, Doctor Glut wondered why his younger, redheaded wife had married him, and theorized that it might be because of some kind of father complex, troubled past, or undiscovered psychological issues. Today, however, he was simply trying to enjoy her loving stare, and attempted to push all confidence issues (that's what he thought was probably the real problem, a lack of self-esteem that made it hard to believe that anyone as gorgeous and intelligent as she would want to be with a slob like him) and just enjoy the dinner. The kindness emanating from Antoinette was directly counterbalanced by the sullen heat baking off his glaring son, a tiny Asian adopted boy glaring through a lock of black hair, which was why he was not all together saddened when his buzzer began beeping.

"I'm sorry Antoinette, it's a wonderful meal, but I have to go. Business at the base."

"Okay, but try to be back as early as possible," she said coyly and winked, and the boy made a rude gagging sound. He was furious at his son, who for the last couple years he become resentful for almost completely unexplainable reasons, but still a small smile played across his lips; yes, at least for tonight, he thought he could stop worrying about what he had done to deserve her.

"So what do we have here?"

"Some kind of creature resembling, according to the eyewitness reports, a 'lizard hog with gigantic horns' was rampaging through the building, breaking through each room, really knocking down the walls themselves with its head."

"I see," said Doctor Glut, not really listening. The event itself wasn't his line of work.

They both walked quickly and surely through the motel, which was divided into smaller sections by hanging plastic sheets. Doctor Glut was a man in his fifties, with greasy black hair streaked with gray, and a lab coat that hung over his potbelly. As they moved towards the person he was supposed to deal with, Doctor Glut pulled on an extremely thick black leather glove that went up to his right elbow.

He shoved aside the curtain and stepped into a tiny area framed by similar tarps. A light on a stand glared brightly at the man tied to a chair. Doctor Glut crouched and looked him in the eyes.

"What did you see?"

"Some kind of monster. Look, it bit a guys legs off," he whispered empathetically, looking fearful and asking for sympathy from the Doctor through his eyes. Doctor Glut shook his head slightly, little more than a twitch, and then briskly moved to one of the tarps, holding it aside.

"What's behind this one?"

One of the soldiers, dressed in black and wearing a gas mask, replied, "Well, when the site received structure damage, several walls separating rooms were knocked down. That hole leads into a bathroom."

Doctor Glut grabbed the man, cut the ropes, and pulled him out of the chair, dragging him away.

"Sir, this is your work area. You're not supposed to leave it. We're really short on space."

Doctor Glut disregarded him and turned sideways, working his way into the bathroom. Forcing the man to kneel, he plunged his face into the toilet with his leather-clad right arm. The man struggled, but Doctor Glut continued to force his head down as he gurgled, and choked, and struggled, flailing madly, drinking in the dirty water and screaming whenever his mouth left the surface for a few seconds. Doctor Glut pushed his hardest, holding him steadily under for a good amount of time, and then wrenched him out, the man's wet hair flinging around his terrified face.

"No, you saw nothing."

The sensory deprivation chamber was completely dark. It seemed to be a very large area, narrow but with a high ceiling like a chapel or tower, because when the door opened, a long thin crack of bright golden light appeared in front of the man. There was the sound of a scraping chair, and then the room became completely illuminated.

"Hello, Jason," said Doctor Glut, staring intently at the man in front of him.

The man, amazingly, smiled and piped up, almost perkily, "So you guys are like the men in black or something? And now you're just going to delete my memories! I knew you guys and all that stuff was real. That's why I was watching the sky when it flashed on by."

His stubbly face was actually grinning with awe, his fringe beliefs validated. "Even though I won't recall any of this, it's still cool that I experienced it. So how are you going to do it? Like a flash of light or an injection or something?"

"I'm afraid not, Jason."

Jason Strobixzek began to scream.

There was the sound of bone hitting meat, thrashing, and someone yelling out and falling to the ground. The door opened and Doctor Glut walked out, massaging his hand, and adjusting the large ring with a sharp gaudy gemstone speckled with blood and pieces of a man's lips on it.

"What is William Gun's cover story that the guys created?"

"He slipped and fell into a lake," said a specialist standing near by and watching the beating, "And almost drowned. All he is to remember is thrashing and bobbling up and down. Nothing about the tentacles…or the… mud creatures."

"Ah, well, I think you're going to have to modify it a little bit so he was thrown into the lake, Benjamin. Like a group of kids… beat him up or something…", he said, trailing off and crackling his knuckles nastily.

One of the guards said, "Administering a Class A Amnestic, Doc?"

"Yeah, that's right." he said ruefully.

"So what, it's all a lie?" asked Doctor Qalet, as they walked down the hallway to their prospective jobs.

"Look, no one knows everything. You probably have a secret about the Foundation's inner workings that I don't have, and I know stuff that would make your toes curl. It's just, no one can possess too much information. For their own safety. So we create these half-truths, to make things sound gentler, more humane. So people have pieces of the troubling stuff we do, but never the whole picture. They don't have to get their hands too dirty or feel too guilty. We divide the… the sin… amongst ourselves."

"I take it the injections are one of these 'half-truths.'"

"Yes, the mind… The mind is much more complicated then that. A simple syringe isn't the perfect solution. Okay, most of the amnestics in our possession can muddle the ability to form new memories and block out some of the more recent ones, true, so sometimes they're useful, but ninety percent of SCP-civilian contact is over a long-term time period. That's a fact. They don't just bump into them and then go about their merry way. We can deal with that type easily. But some objects become ingrained. Lives are changed by them, communities form around them, beliefs are created. How would a simple chemical choose which of these memories in a long chain of them to block? It's much too intricate and convoluted. So what we do is we sit down with them. Talk to them. And then we brainwash them…

"Gulag style… Okay? We don't have the wonder drug. It's a myth to make scientists sleep better at night. So they can write it up in their reports, a shorthand term for a very long and arduous process. So they can order the torture and desecration of civilians without knowing that's exactly what they're doing. Just another part that's hidden, secret."

"What exactly is a Class A Amnestic, then?"

"Class B and C are good for recent memories. Some times it can go without a hassle. But Class A… Class A does absolutely nothing. It's a mild sedative, Muhammad. That's all. A mild sedative that the scientists give them, that calms the people down. Its looks like they're forgetting, or emptied out, but they're just stoned for a couple seconds. But it makes the scientists feel better and they think that the civilians will get to continue their normal everyday lives soon. That it's all over for them. So they send them to us, thinking its just the tying up of a few loose ends, some paperwork to get written down, some orders to be looked over, finalized, and approved, not the beginning of the real process. But that's what it is. The start. Not the end, because its not just a one day thing, in and out. Sometimes they stay with us for months, years… The researchers and level four personnel think they're sending them to the exit, to be checked over, but really, we take them somewhere else… for a very long time."

Muhammad Qalet was very quiet for the rest of the way down the hallway. They stopped by a thick metal door. "Well here's my office… I have some business to do now." He cast his eyes down, and then looked up. "I hope I haven't unnerved you too much… But you wanted to know. And I think you need to understand… It's just, we don't have the technology yet. When you analyze the problem, everything is so primitive in reality. Nothing's as advanced as we think it is. Consider a rocket ship. Sounds so futuristic, doesn't it? But it's just a metal tube with a silly ancient explosion that's been around for hundreds of years coming out of the bottom. Nothing special. Just like our methods. Not impressive at all. Not some highly ingenious pill or liquid… just a well aimed strike with a hammer to the forehead. "

With that he threw the hatch open and entered. His office was a small, dank, modern-day dungeon. An emaciated man was chained to the wall. "Well hello there, Mr. Kynosiky! Have you come to the conclusion I arrived at yesterday? That you're insane? And imagined the whole thing?"

The starving bag of bones whispered, "It's all very fuzzy."

"Well, that's a start! Come stand up. Get up, get up! We have some exercises to do."

Doctor Qalet stared in horror and fought back the powerful urge to cry out in dismay. He fled the scene quickly, attempting to push it out of his consciousness. He succeeded, because sometimes you don't need strange scary men in black to wipe out memories with fire and heat and whips and mind games… Sometimes all that is necessary is a convenient lie or an overwhelming guilt complex that can't be solved.

Sometimes forgetting is very easy.

Doctor Glut produced a well-used handkerchief and wiped at her face. It was well-used, because frequently in his line of work he had to clean off spittle running down people's chins. A lot of his treatments tended to create drooling.

He poked with the thin needle, which had a current of electricity running from the boxy machine down the wires attached.

"Cindy, you moved into the city when you were 22 years old. When you arrived you found a job as a cashier at a small grocery store."

The women mumbled her agreeance groggily. "That's right, isn't it. Now it says here you want to eventually make your way to California." He poked her again. She twitched slightly. "Well guess what, that's exactly what your goal is. You're saving up money to become an actress! You'll probably have enough soon too." He picked up another pin and poked two at once. There was a crackling sound and a little bit of blood exploded on his face. "Dammit, turn down the voltage, Jim." The man fiddled with a few dials and buttons, then picked up a large syringe with an extremely thick needle. "Inject her in the left cortex." Jim didn't have to pierce bone, skin, drill a tiny hole, or go through her nose or back of the neck into the spine, because the top of Cindy's head had been sawed off and removed. Doctor Glut lifted up the electric pin again and poked at her slightly burnt frontal lobe.

"The only thing is… You can never visit your family again, Cindy. You got in a very big fight with them, okay?"

Doctor Glut walked down the sidewalk, enjoying the fresh breeze, staring down at his boots and the cracks they moved over. He only barely noticed the bicyclist speeding his way, and threw himself to the side. The bicyclist, apparently distracted by something, skidded, and tipped over, moving a couple knee scratching, skin grinding feet before coming to a stop. "Are you all right?" Doctor Glut asked, but the man avoided his extended hand, and got up slowly, not looking in Glut's eyes, like he was in a daze. He got on his bike silently and sped away.

To Ryan Glut he looked strangely familiar.

Doctor Glut entered the room to check up on Jason, to see how the process was working. The man's eyes spun madly in their sockets, he clawed at phantoms in the air, and screamed about incoherent colors. "Well then, the mixture of LSD and other hallucinogens seem to be working fabulously," said the brainwasher to his colleague. "It all fits together… Crazy guy living alone, believes in conspiracies, grows a little marijuana in his basement, wears tie die shirts… And then, one day, he overdoses on drugs and runs through town screaming about a gigantic plane covered with feathers in the sky. What else are people going to think?"

"Can we purge his system then?"

"No… other people may not believe him but that's not good enough. By the time we're done with him he wouldn't believe himself."


"Because he can't, he wouldn't be able to. We'll have destroyed his mind. You know, when we're finished. When we're done, even without the acid in his system, he'll do nothing but gibble and garble. It's truly going to be one bad trip…"

"Increase the dosage."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes… positive. Drop it in liquid form directly into his eyes. And for god sakes make sure the restraints are tight. Jessica still has claw marks on her cheeks. And when you're finished…."

He peeked halfway out of the door. "Strip him down and put him in the woods near his hometown."

"Would you like anything?" the girl at the register said as she scanned the last object, a carton of eggs, and began blowing a bright pink bubble of gum. "No, that will be all, thank you." He looked up from his wallet and handed her his card. The desert town was partially structured around the military base, so Foundation credit got him a discount here. "Wait… You remind me of someone. Have we met before?" he asked, smiling, casual. Her response was odd: she averted her gaze and looked away. "No," she said, almost whimpering. "Are you sure…? I mean I'm just struck by the most powerful sense of deja vu…" He trailed off. She still didn't change her odd behavior. "Okay," He picked up the two brown paper bags. "Well, I just thought… You know, maybe you have a sister or something?" he said awkwardly, and then left without waiting for her to answer the question.

The rest of the day he was very troubled.

"Why did this happen to me?"

"I don't know. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Sometime the world gets a little weird for no reason. People occasionally… just fall through the cracks of reality, of society, and strange things happen for no reason… It can't be helped."

He allowed himself a moment of weakness and patted the man on the arm. "Can… you hold my hand…" the man said with tears in his eyes, "While you guys do whatever you're going to do. Or just talk to me. And have a conversation."

Doctor Glut blinked. "I'm scared," the man said.

"No… I can't… We can't talk."


"You'll bite your tongue off," he said and then leaned forward and put the block of wood between the man's teeth.

All the faces were a blur, all causing the same sense of deja vu. They all danced with memories just behind his recollection. And he swore they all had the same shadow of recognition behind their vacant dead eyes. Speaking of which…when had people become so zombie-like lately? Had he missed something? Now it seemed everyone around him was staring off into space, walking and jerking like automatons, or speaking in emotionless monotones. Going about the motions. Not living life… Or was he just being critical? Was there something wrong with the economy, something that caused a lot of stress or worry or something? He worked in the government sector… So… He truly realized just how isolated he was from popular culture. There could be some phenomenon that just recently starting affecting these people, but he wouldn't know. It would never affect him. He looked around on the small downtown street and saw only blank expressionless masks. That still caused something to go off in his brain.

A man walked in front of Ryan on accident. They struggled foolishly, he would go one way, and so would Glut. Back and forth, both trying to get by, Doctor Glut with a silly grin on his face. When they finally worked it out, (Glut had to lightly put his hands on the man's shoulders) Glut's smile at the absurdity of it faded… The man had almost been in tears.

Regaski's teacher had called him in; the boy was misbehaving in class, acting up, getting in fights, and not doing his homework. The teacher, an intelligent, slim-looking black man, seemed disconnected through the whole interview, and finally ushered him out of his office without anything really being solved.

He noticed a lot of people made mistakes around him. Little slips in grammar or syntax… Almost as if they were nervous. Some even subconsciously slipped into old accents or languages.

He was almost sure he had spent a lot of time with this one sexy looking number in a jogging suit, running down the trail. He stopped her and she looked ready to bolt, her entire body stiff and erect. He asked if they went to high school or grew up in the same town or maybe even if she was a maintenance worker at the base or something. She chatted pleasantly but in a detached and halting manner with him as long as he wanted… But he got nothing… And when she left he had noticed a few drops of blood on the ground. She had been clenching his hands together so tightly she had punctured the skin with her long painted nails.

25 years earlier

A much younger Doctor Glut, with longer pure black hair and a slightly oily face, with a splash of remaining acne held his hand gently to the pretty girl's chin, feeling her smooth pale skin and forcing her to look at him. She had green eyes and straight strawberry blond hair, and was like a skittish little animal. His eyes moved over her childish body somewhat lecherously. There was something horribly perverse about the scene.

Her eyes were solemn.

"Just repeat after me and everything will be fine."

A contraption was drilled on his head, a miniature portable MRI, that swirled and beeped around his skull. Doctor Glut glanced at the screen showing the brain illuminated with different colors.

"Now, Chris, pick up the phone." Speaking through a microphone.

Chris slowly picked up the phone and said in a drugged voice, "Hello?"

An insanely happy tone came out of the other end and said, "Mr. Black, you've been hired. You'll need to pack up your bags and move immediately. We have a great future ahead of you."


A part of the brain turned bright red. Glut pushed the button, and the machine began to spin faster and then zapped it.

Extract from the The Handbook of Black Ops Mental Conditioning 1992 Second Edition, Written in Part by Doctor Glut, Doctor Synclaire, and Doctor Smithchrist

Much like in psychology, when a patient can develop strong displaced feeling for his counselor, a civilian can achieve a strong bond as well, in a much shorter time, due to the fact that we control their food, water, and interaction. As an infant is dependent on its mother, the patient is dependent on us. The shattering of the ego and the complete mastery over all their necessities sometimes means that the new personality can form around the brainwasher. Often in this view, the conditioned will hold the manager of the procedure in awe, and subconsciously elevate them to a godlike level. Now this can take the form of extreme sexual attraction, grudging respect that turns into worship, and even a puppy like cringing and urge to please, which is of course initially faked but becomes real over time. Of course, such sentiments can also go in the opposite direction….

"Thanks for the paper, Jase."

"Hey no problem Mr. Glut!" said the retarded man, grinning stupidly like a dog at the compliment. Jason had been delivering papers for years and on this fine day when Ryan mowed his lawn and his neighbor, the gaunt Mr. Kynosiky chattered amiably but distractedly as he hosed his flowers, Ryan felt he deserved to have it mentioned. Deserved his loyalty to be remarked upon.

Suddenly, a cold chill shot down his spine. It wasn't the fine mist of the hose that Mr. Kynosiky had accidentally aimed his way (god couldn't that man focus a little, he never seemed to have his head on straight) or the sudden gust of wind that made a couple of the papers in Jason's bag rustle away (he didn't bother chasing after them; the boy was really simple, he would have had a hell of time running after one little sheet and probably get hit by a truck, so why bother) but the thought that hit him in an instant. "Oh god, not him too."

Ryan felt very dizzy and went inside. That night he loaded his revolver, although he didn't quite know why.

When there was a crashing sound downstairs around 4:00 a.m, Glut jumped up immediately and grabbed the gun from under his pillow. He was ready for this; he wanted something. Something to rage at, something visible and tangible to fight, not this vague sense of creeping unease he had been dealing with. He ran downstairs, spinning the chamber aggressively, flicked the light, and exploded vengefully on his dew-wet lawn. It was only kids, and he lowered his gun disappointedly. He didn't even bother to shout them away.

Three of them sprinted away, some laughing mischievously, some frightened out of their wits and afraid that they were going to go to jail forever for throwing a rock through his window, but one collapsed to the ground at the sight of him, framed in the porch glow, and began twitching, having a seizure. Glut shoved the pistol inside his pajama pants waistline and ran towards the boy. The little child was frothing at his mouth and his limbs were jerking spasmodically. Glut ran with him inside and laid him on a counter, the tiny body bouncing up and down dangerously. He reached to call an ambulance, and then it echoed in his mind:

"If you ever think about what happened on September 15 again, you will fall to the ground. You will jerk and twitch. You will die. It hurts so much. It pains you to remember."

The urge to to reach the hospital was gone. Instead he called Line 5.

Doctor Glut meandered without reason in the center of the small shopping mall, bored and looking for something to do to pass the time while he was on leave. If a workaholic felt purpose and fulfillment only at his normal job, and was considered slightly disturbed or wrong because of this, what would that make him; he who was workaholic at an abnormal job, who only found fulfillment while operating racks and damaging minds. A sadist? Would he seem a complete monster in comparison? Or was it all the same, a driven man was a driven man regardless of his job; the difference in work had absolutely no bearing on the final viewpoint and judgment of him, at least in that respect. Everyone had to do something after all. Glut thought about this philosophical question as he browsed halfheartedly for a gift for his wife. He really had nothing better to think about… And maybe because of this lack of turbulence or occupying problem on his mind, maybe because of the relative dullness of the environment he was in, or maybe just because enough time had passed for it to click, he saw it. The pieces of the puzzle came together. And it drove him mad.

"No," he whispered, realizing the terrible and unexplainable pattern.

The man over there trying on coats; he had only to restrict food and keep him in solitary confinement before he developed Stockholm Syndrome and became easily pliable. The old lady by the decrepit mini-golf course, he had to break almost every bone in her body. She was a stubborn bitch, refusing to give up her beliefs. The younger chap down by the food court had been so disturbed when Glut walked in, showed him the report that proved what he saw was true, agreed with his story, and then shoved it in a small slot and burned it. It bothered Glut too, that control of what was real or not. He had got it from 1984 and instilled the mechanism that next day after reading it. It was one of his most effective techniques. The hunched broken looking lady with stringy hair… oh god… He had destroyed her slowly, formerly a proud sensual older woman, with insults and tricks and false compliments. Everyone in the mall, at one point in his life, was someone he had brainwashed. Oh god. Oh god! Everyone in the entire town too?! Could it be possible? He thought so… After all, he was a man at the top of his profession… He must have worked on thousands. More than enough to fill a small town in the middle of nowhere. Day in and day out, laboring endlessly. And no wonder he didn't realize it right away, with so many successes how could he remember each face? They trickled in anyways, one by one, blending in… It didn't spring on him all at once.

He was now running, frantically, wildly, towards the entrance of the store. He burst out and tripped over a curb, falling to the ground, splayed out and moaning. They gathered around him but no one helped. He realized now why he could never connect with anyone, why he had no friends. They weren't really there, the people around him. He had shattered them. They were missing something, and he was the one who had stolen it.

"No!" He gurgled and jumped up, sprinting to god-knows-where, just trying to outrun the thoughts that he knew deep down were true. But why? He asked in a shrieking voice. Why was this happening to him?! Some conspiracy, he thought, paranoia overwhelming him. The Foundation was trying to break him down, shun him out of his own department that he had helped create years ago. It was a power play, a gambit. But, no, that wasn't it. Impossible. It was too risky. Alter every single file so their cover stories all have them moving to his home town? Someone would notice that big of a change. And too dangerous. Their conditioning could break down. It was certainly already failing. The weird looks he got. The flashbacks he saw going on like movies behind their brows. The boy, oh god the boy. No, the Foundation wouldn't risk the possibility of having secrets escape, come to light, just to destroy him.

It was some cosmic joke, he decided, madly, uncomprehending and fully understanding at the same time, realizing the basic inexplicability of it all and giving in. Random occurrence that happens from time to time. Bad luck my friend. Maybe there was some karma involved, some punishment, retribution for his years of darkness, an ironic hell, but he thought, as much as he could think at that point, that it was just some scrapping away of reason and cause and effect and the chaos that was the true world had seeped in, fucking up his life for absolutely no reason. It came back to him: "Sometimes people just fall through the cracks of reality," he had said.

And that's what he was sure had happened to him; the sane world just left him behind for no clear logical reason.

The car screeched and hit him, sending him flying. He caught the eye of the driver - his body was probably still trying to deal with the massive amounts of hormones he had put in his bloodstream, and his arm looked bent and knobbly, had he broken it, he couldn't recall… And he saw it. He knew him. His pasty teenage face curdled in shock.

He knew him.

"He sees me!" Glut screamed in his head incoherently and began crawling, twisted leg behind him, snot and blood and tears running down his face. He finally realized where he was going. His home. His gorgeous, happy, peaceful tiny little home, with the kitchen where he and his wife read together and played games, the quiet study, seemingly entirely composed out of dark, supple, delicious-smelling leather, where dust became motes of light incarnate, the basketball court where he tried and tried again, a labor of love, to earn that suspicious boy's trust, the bedroom where he learned to be proud of his body as his aroused wife sprayed herself across him, erasing years of embarrassment and shame in one glorious moment, all the little niches and crannies, each one with an equal amount of comfort, safety and softness everywhere.

He just wanted to go home.

But there was a darker purpose as well. He had to see. He had to see if the last refuge, the sacred, had been infiltrated and sullied by the encroaching insanity. He stumbled through the door and collapsed onto the ground. His wife screamed and ran towards him, kneeling down and putting her arms around him frantically, asking in a panic, "Whats wrong, Ryan?! Jesus! Ryan!" Her voice was high and wavery.

He turned his head away and buried it in her thick red locks, sobbing like a small child. He pushed his face further into the sweet smelling hair and clutched at her body in comfort.

"Please let this at least be pure. Let it be true. True love. I have… I have nothing else. If this is all an illusion, this marriage, this relationship, I will have nothing left."

Nothing came to him for a moment, and he almost breathed a sigh of relief. But then it came back. Sure it took him a little longer… she was his first after all, but eventually it resurfaced.

It came back and he was lost. Of course she loved him! How could she not? He was an imposing figure in her mind, an authoritative father god in the background of her every thought. He was terrible and majestic. No wonder she was always so amorous and horny around him. No wonder she always agreed with him and took his word as law. He wasn't a human to her, he was an archetype! He had mastered her as a child… Reduced her… Diminished this brilliant, gorgeous human who could have done something for the world. Destroyed her. She had left college for him, studying to be a lawyer, the moment they bumped into each other. Like she had been waiting for him her whole life. And she had… He had came to her, all-knowing as a little girl, and thirty years later he had reaped what he had sown.

He bit a piece of his tongue off when he shouted in dismay. He pushed her away in disgust, but at himself or her he did not know. He staggered drunkenly, eyes huge and bloodshot, froth like a mad dog running down his face as he mumbled and screamed at himself, and he groped at his last chance for salvation. Or was he just uncovering the final revelation as soon as possible to make the destruction of his mind faster? Either way he had to know, empty cold curiosity overwhelmed him. He opened the safe and took out his son's adoption records. He had to know if he had raped his own child.

Glut, wearing an open throat shirt that flapped around him gently and a hat, stared into the rice fields as the ship glided across the top of the river. The long wooden vessel stopped rowing near a patch of mud and Glut got out, walking between reeds in the exotic locale. The agent nodded at him respectfully and said, "I'm glad you could come."

"It's not a problem. I was in the neighborhood. What seems to be the situation?"

"Over here."

They walked for a little bit through the tiny village and the agent said, "A bunch of schoolchildren. In that school house over there. They saw something they weren't suppose to. For the last couple weeks, their teacher has been showing them… Well… They call it magic."

A scientist with goggles and a charred sleeve on his lab coat standing by a totem in the town square walked up to them. "Why can't we just use a Class A Amnestic? I know we don't have any on us, but why did you cancel my order for a boxful to be delivered here, Kramar?"

"Amnestics are notoriously unreliable," Agent Kramar said, sharing a private smirk with Doctor Glut.

Doctor Glut attempted a more diplomatic approach, and rested his hand on the man's arm. "It's unsafe to use Class A Amnestics on children. Too large an amount is needed. It could be deadly. So alternative methods are required." He said all this in a perfectly calm and reasonable voice.

"So what are you going to do then?"

"Don't worry Hans, he's an expert."

The researcher looked confused. "Like what? He's a SCP that's working for us or something? Does he have powers… Or hypnosis eyes…" He trailed off as they both left him behind.

"I hope this is all ethical!" Hans said, calling after them.

"Goddammit," whispered the agent in a sneering voice, "now because of him we're going to need to find a soundproof room."

"She was a witch. And she could conjure fireballs. And juggle them. It was amazing," said the boy, a shaven head rascal who looked like a miniature monk in his robes, unaware anything was wrong.

"Now, little one… Children… Children have active imaginations. You fantasize about things. You're notoriously unreliable. You can't trust yourself, okay. You have to only believe in what I say."

"I know what I saw, I say-"

Glut slapped him across the face. "Who's the adult here? Children are stupid! Children are silly. You are a baby. You make up games and they become too real and then you start believing in them. You were playing and it got out of hand. Don't trust yourself. Never trust your own mind. Question your thoughts, because they're always wrong! You're always wrong!"

It had begun.

When he came to from the blackout, his worried and frightened wife holding onto him tightly, cradling up his torso as he laid sprawled on the tiles, he was still laughing. A few seconds later he realized he couldn't stop.

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