An Opportunity, Gained
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Well that was a spectacular fuckup.

Don’t say anything. This is gonna be another of those conversations where you don’t speak. There’s a thousand fires that need to be put out right now so let’s get this done with. You, Junior Researcher Henry Dromeus, have just survived a major site disaster.

You may think you know what happened, but it’s common to lose track of what happens in situations like these, so let’s set the record straight. Your superior, Dr. Evans, gave a Chinese zither with the ability to control an army of thousands of terracotta soldiers to a D-class. The D-class didn’t know how to play it. That’s not where things went wrong.

Things went wrong when Dr. Evans wasn’t clear enough about which notes to play. This caused him to play an untested chord, which formed a previously unknown command that he had not prepared for. There were no procedures for this occurrence in place. That was Dr. Evans’ mistake.

So with this mistake, hundreds of terracotta soldiers went on a killing spree in the middle of a site full of anomalous objects. They swarmed out of cells that were not prepared for their full force, another mistake on Dr. Evans’ part, and filled the hallways and rooms. Security was quick enough to make sure no other SCPs were breached. They were not quick enough to prevent the death of almost every individual on-site.

It was absolute chaos, as I’m sure you’re aware. We lost over a hundred men and women, from top researchers to a sizable chunk of D-class. Ancient Chinese terracotta soldiers completely overwhelmed us, and we had no choice but to shut down all access in and out of the site. By this time, you had already escaped the facility. The shutting-down didn’t help with the casualties, but it kept the soldiers contained. It wasn’t until we were able to call in large amounts of backup that we were able to subdue the rampaging warriors. We ended up destroying a lot of them in the process, too.

It was a…catastrophic failure.

You survived, and for that, you are one hell of a lucky man. That’s not the only reason, though.

See, the higher-ups know what you did. When you used your standard-issue handgun to save Dr. Evans, you scored yourself some brownie points. They liked it, and more importantly, they like you. You’ve got a nice track record and this recent incident is just the cherry on top. So your reward is that you get to walk out of this mess and be able to say you were there.

See, when something goes wrong, and I mean really goes wrong, you don’t usually get that opportunity. Whether it’s because of mental trauma, classified skips being witnessed, or just morale issues, most people involved in events of this scale tend to get their memories wiped. Nothing drastic, just enough to keep them going from day to day without losing their minds. I’m letting you know this because we like you, and we might as well let you know before you start asking us why no one else remembers the terracotta massacre.

Anyways, there’s something else you need to know too. Like I said, you’ve made a good impression: you’ve kept your nose clean and your head held high. You’ve worked with quite a few SCPs by now, and you know the way around.

All of this to say, we now have a new position as researcher open. We want you to have it.

Now don’t think this’ll be a walk in the park. Your workload will double in size, and your responsibilities will be magnified ten-fold, as will the consequences of failure. That being said, your privileges and freedoms will be multiplied too, and you’ll have access to so much more information.

Just don’t let us down like Dr. Evans did, okay?

So congratulations. You are now a doctor of the Foundation.

Hm? Well I know you already have a doctorate, but it’s sort of a joke we have around here. I’m surprised you’re not familiar.

You know how about half of American grad students don’t finish their degree? Well, it’s something like that with junior researchers getting promoted. It’s just like getting a doctorate.

So good luck, Dr. Dromeus. Make us proud.

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