Dr. King Turns Everyone at S&C Plastics into Appleseeds
rating: +75+x

Sloth's Pit, Wisconsin
March 2019

Dr. Johnathan King scooped a handful of apple seeds from the cup of water he had been drinking, and placed them on Director Nina Weiss's desk. "To answer your question, no, it isn't just a joke."

"It is a health hazard, however." Nina leaned over the desk to pick up one of the apple seeds. "Aren't you afraid of cyanide poisoning?"

"Funny thing: cyanide actually doesn't affect me." Dr. King rubbed his face. "Nina, how long have we known each other?"

"Since you and Tyler Bailey came to work here in… '79?"

"I didn't develop this… I'll just call it what it is, a fucking curse," he laughed, "Until I got transferred over to 19 after Tyler died. And for the life of me, I still don't know why." He put his head in his hands. "I'm going to be seventy-two in April. I requested a permanent transfer here prior to my retirement, but it still keeps happening."

"Well, John, I've got some good news." Nina steepled her hands. "We've got some of the Foundation's brightest minds here. They may be able to help you control, or even outright eliminate, this anomaly."

"I'd prefer the latter." Dr. King shook his head. "I'm so tired of everything I eat or see or touch or do turn into appleseeds."

"Everything?" Weiss's eyebrow quirked.

Dr. King took his wallet out from his back pocket, opened it, and turned it over. A stream of exactly 1,482 appleseeds poured out of it. "Everything."

Dr. Merrick Palmer, Site-87's psychologist, stood behind a one-way mirror and observed Dr. King. He was hooked up to several electrodes, and was seated, watching a series of pictures flash on the screen. Randomly, images of apples and apple-related products appeared on screen. Each time one of these pictures appeared, an anger response was triggered. "Interesting." Dr. Palmer pressed on an intercom button. "John, can you hear me?"

"I can…" He growled. "What is the point of this test?"

"We're seeing if we can trigger your anomalous properties by exposure to… unpleasant stimuli. Is it working?"

Dr. King's hand gripped the handle of his seat hard enough that the seventy-one-year-old felt the plastic crack. "You know something, Merrick?"


"I hate apples. I have always hated apples. I hate their taste, their texture, the way their skin gets stuck in your teeth. I hate apple pies, apple crisp, Apple Jacks, apple sauce, apple juice, appletinis, apple dumplings, apple-flavored soda, baked apples, raw apples, apple turnovers, apples in cake… if you gave me three wishes right now, I would use all three of those wishes to make the Malus genus extinct thrice over. And then the world decides to screw me over by apparently deciding I am the reincarnation of Johnny mother-fucking Appleseed, and making me literally sneeze and spit apples from everywhere!" He slammed his fist against the chair. "I. Hate. Apples. And. Apples. Hate. Me."

He slammed his fist again, and the chair was appleseeds. This fact did not escape the notice of Dr. Palmer and Dr. King, who suddenly fell from the chair. He attempted to stand, gripping the cart which had the EKG machine on it, only for that to turn into appleseeds as well.

"Jesus Christ." Dr. Palmer stepped back towards the door, pulling a lever which should have sealed the door to the testing chamber. Instead, the Door became appleseeds, and Dr. King walked through, a rictus grin on his face.

Dr. Palmer pulled the containment alarm as Dr. King grabbed his arm. Then, Dr. Palmer was appleseeds.

Two Hours Later

"What's our Sitrep?" Seren Pryce shouldered her rifle.

"We've lost the bottom half of the site's sublevels." Nicholas Ewell crouched behind the tactical barriers they had set up in the elevator bay. "Everything is appleseeds below Sublevel 6."

"He's taking the elevators, which is weird." Alison Carol frowned. "Shouldn't the elevators be appleseeds, too?"

Alison Carol's eyes widened as Dr. King stepped out. He was appleseeds. The elevator was appleseeds. The floor was appleseeds. King looked at their weapons, and they were appleseeds. Useless appleseeds at that.

"Fall back!" Robert Tofflemire stood. "Fall back!"

"Move, move, move!" Seren Pryce dropped her appleseeds and ran for the stairwell.

Tofflemire spoke into his radio, "Sublevel 5 is lost! Weapons are ineffective, and turn into applesee—" and then Robert felt an arm around his hand, and he, too, was appleseeds.

"Bob!" Alison yelled. "No!"

"It's too late!" Ewell grabbed Alice by her arm. "Don't let him have died in vain!"

Alison Carol broke away from Nicholas Ewell. She punched Dr. King, and miraculously, did not become appleseeds, a fact which was not obvious to her squad members as they ran up the stairwell.

Dr. Katherine Sinclair was almost glad that the elevator bay on sublevel 4 was under maintenance. Until, she realized, there was something wrong with the air. There was no air. The air was appleseeds, and she was choking on it, and when she choked, she, too, was appleseeds.

Nina Weiss sat at her desk, her hand resting on a revolver. She knew he was coming. She knew an anomaly like his could turn dangerous, any anomaly could. But Johnny King, her old friend, was some bizarre amalgamation of 106 and King Midas. She had read of encounters with 106, and if she had to choose between that and being turned into appleseeds, she'd go for the appleseeds.

But he would have to touch her first. The door turned into appleseeds, and Dr. King walked through. "Twenty. Years."

"Don't come any closer." Nina cocked the revolver.

"Twenty years, Director Weiss. For twenty years, I have had to live with the fact that I produce appleseeds everywhere from my nose to my ass. I didn't think I could turn things into appleseeds! And it's honestly fun. I could turn this entire town— no, this entire PLANET, into a gigantic mass of appleseeds! And then— and then, I wouldn't have to put up with any of it! No more vending machines or coffee makers giving me apple juice. No more sneezing into a tissue and finding apple sauce in it. No more." He raised his hand. Nina's revolver became appleseeds. "No. More."

Dr. King swooped his fingers across the air. Nina Weiss, her desk, and the entirety of Site-87 was appleseeds. And then, Dr. King was appleseeds. And Dr. King was happy.

Alison Carol, not appleseeds for reasons that were all too clear to her, walked into Director Weiss's office and hit the appleseeds that were Dr. King over the head with the butt of her pistol. As the appleseeds crumpled, the concept of 'appleseeds' was rendered non-existent in the context of Site-87.

Alison Carol hated pataphysics, and more than that, she hated semantic anomalies. She made her way to Weiss's desk and pressed the intercom button on it.

"Containment team to Director Weiss's office. Furthermore, semantic anomalies are the worst. We would like to inform you that 'appleseeds' is neither a valid concept, a thing you can be, or an actual word. If you find anything that can be identified as 'appleseeds', then I would like to remind you that it is pataphysics's problem, not mine. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk."

Director Weiss just looked at Alison Carol with her eyebrow quirked. "'Thank you for coming to my TED Talk', Agent Carol?"

"Lost a bet with Tofflemire."

"Hmm." She looked over her desk at Dr. King. "Well, don't leave town, Agent. I imagine that they'll want your help writing up his containment procedures."

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