Foundation Facilities, and How to Loot Them
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"Oh, hey, Shock, there's only like one life sign in a two kilometer radius, just take a blaster with you, just in case, and you'll be fine!" Shock said venomously to no one in particular. She paused her frantic run for a moment at a T-shaped intersection, panting lightly and darting her head left and right. The weapon in her hand was still warm from the rapid firing she'd put it through to bring her this far. She did some quick calculations in her head; based on the energy output of the shots and the fusion cell she'd jury-rigged into it, she had twelve shots left. Thirteen if her luck held out.

From her left, about 30 meters away, two labcoat-clad things that had once been human shambled at her. To her right, a locked door with a keypad that would take her minutes to hack. She bared her teeth and let out a throaty growl as her sidearm spat crackling, energetic death at each of the two things that, despite all evidence to the contrary, were not alive.

No matter what they were, they sure as hell stopped moving when half their bodies disintegrated. Shock turned to give the door lock the attention it would need. "We'll hang out in orbit and check for any other tech hotspots. It's a dead world, what's the worst that could go wrong?" She wasn't sure whether or not her crew could hear her. She hadn't gotten any response from Mariachi's Merchants since their last message, that they'd come under fire, telling her that they would ditch their pursuers and come back to pick her up.

She shoved a thin black creation of hers into the keycard slot and produced a slender, transparent screen from her bag to control it. "An abandoned Foundation facility built under an old-school spacecraft launch compound. You don't want to pass up a goldmine like that." To be fair, she had wanted to raid the place as much as the rest of them. Still, she wasn't going to pass up any chance to shift the blame for this predicament as far from herself as possible.

The keypad flashed green and she snatched her card from the reader. Her cry of triumph was cut short when the door slid open and another abomination rounded on her. Her weapon fired another bolt of luminous blue death before her brain told it to. "What are you and why the hell don't our sensors think you're alive!?" she howled at the collapsing body. There was a time and a place for contemplating the nature of life. This was neither of them. She hurdled the smoldering pile of flesh and took off down the new corridor at a bolt, making for the open office door a few dozen strides away.

Shock couldn't smell anything around the corner, so she flung herself into the empty office and hammered on the keypad to shut the door. She leaned against the wall, gulping in desperate lungfuls of air while her eyes darted around the modest room.

A hefty dark wood desk dominated the room, with an old but well maintained high backed leather chair looming ominously behind it. The eggbeater that served as her left hand struck hard against the closed door, satisfying her that it would keep out any wandering horrors. Once she caught her breath, she moved to investigate the sleek, slim computer set up on the workspace.

The leather chair rolled back smoothly and Shock plopped into it, wriggling her hindquarters back and forth on the cushioned seat. Her eggbeater arm slung off a satchel and she rested her blaster on the desk beside it.

"Alright, Dr… Dwyer," she said, glancing for a moment at the screen requesting a password. "Mind filling me in on what the actual fuck is going on around here?" Her hand pulled the keycard cracker from its satchel again, slotting it into a small slot at the side of the locked machine. She cracked her knuckles and got to work on her control screen.

The security was top notch. It took her almost half an hour to get in.

"Finally. Let's see what the hell is so interesting you need this kind of security on it." She dug around the emails for a moment before finding a folder labeled "Important". Inside were three messages.

From: 31dnammoc.latibro|7reesrevo#31dnammoc.latibro|7reesrevo
To: Site Director Richardet
Cc: Site 101 Senior Staff, Site 101 Junior Staff, Site 101 Security
Sent: 8:27 AM, October 23, 2217
Subject: Farewell

My friends,

That's the last of them. All of the escape ships launched from Site-101 have been recovered and everyone is safely onboard the colony stations.

You, each and every one of you, are the true heroes of this dark day. Even though the bickering of fools has already set in motion the machines of war that will ravage our own planet, thanks to your actions, the Foundation will persevere. Humanity will persevere.

Thanks to you, when the fallout settles, our grandchildren's grandchildren will be able to come back home to meet the descendants of the heroes that saved them on the day humanity shot itself in the foot.

Until that day, Godspeed, Site-101


She glanced down at the system's clock. 3:17 PM, July 7, 2235. She was suddenly intensely grateful that she had gotten the ship's spatial distorter operational before they'd come here; She'd hate to be mucking about in an irradiated wasteland trying to break into this place. She pulled up the next message.

From: Site Director Richardet
To: Site 101 Senior Staff, Site 101 Junior Staff, Site 101 Security
Sent: 10:41 PM, June 15, 2235
Subject: Intruder

At 10:35 PM, Officer Sanchez and Officer Metje discovered a breached section of ventilation structure located on the primary outflow system. Their preliminary analysis suggests forced entry with handheld metal implements.

Security personnel have been directed to meet any unknown entity with lethal force, and Officer Peterson has not responded to radio check.

Personnel are advised to travel in groups, under security escort, until the situation is resolved.

Her hackles threatened to rise up right out of the back of her neck. She cast an uneasy glance at the door, not quite as confident in its stability as she'd once been. She hesitated for a moment with the mouse hovering on the third email. "What the hell got in here?" Her hand was trembling. She'd lost her cool somewhere out in the hallways and hadn't bothered to pick it back up.

From: Site 101 Security
To: Site Director Richardet, Site 101 Senior Staff
Sent: 8:18 AM, June 16, 2235
Subject: Lockdown
Attachment: Capture_Camera31_t-0757-0804.dav

Security footage has provided positive identification of the intruder as SCP-049.

Officers Phillips, Cook, Bucholtz, and Grant are missing, presumed dead.

Officers Peterson and Mulvaney confirmed instances of SCP-049-2.

Security protocols are to remain in effect until such time as SCP-049 and all 049-2 instances have been confirmed to be destroyed.

Shock didn't know what an SCP-049 was, but she didn't savor the prospect of being stranded in here with one. Her curiosity got the better of her and she opened the linked security footage.

The screen showed a hallway similar to the ones she'd spent the last half hour panicking her way through. Before long, a monstrosity wearing a torn security uniform shambled into frame, up to a closed door, and began hammering its freakishly lengthened arms against it. Following it was a black-robed figure who held the guard's keycard in its hand, walking swiftly to slot it into the reader, opening the door for the frenzied abomination to pass through, before following suit.

Nearly a minute passed before there was any movement on screen, then the monster came trundling back out of the room, dragging behind it two limp, bloodied bodies and pulling them off-screen in the direction it originally came from. The intruder followed, gesturing as it, presumably, directed the monstrosity. She couldn't see its face behind the eerie mask it wore.

The video ended. Shock leaned back in the chair, her jowls flopping noisily from her lengthy sigh. She pondered her situation for a while, drumming her fingers rhythmically against the desk while her prosthetic eggbeater hand tapped out a complimentary beat on the metal handle of her blaster. She sorely missed the sound of Sevent's guitar right now.

"Alright," she told herself at last, "I find out as much as I can about this 049 thing. Then I tap into the security cameras and figure out the quickest way to get to wherever the hell they stored the propulsion tech around this place. Barricade myself in there with as much salvage as I can get my hands on, and wait for the crew to show back up." Hearing her own plan helped to solidify it within her mind.

"Aha!" She had found the database and scrolled down to the entry. "Now then, forty-nine, let's see what the hell they had on file about you." Her eyes scanned the page. "You got abandoned at defunct Site-19. Blah blah… Pestilence, blah… kill any such individual… causing all biological functions of an organism to cease through skin contact?" Shock had long since given up any hope that she was going to come across anything that was going to make her feel better about this situation. She read a bit longer, then closed the file. Best just to avoid him. She started rooting around for the camera feeds.

Half an hour later, Shock had her path mapped in her head. The 'dash twos', as she'd come to call them, didn't move around much when nothing was going on, and she had seen eight of them between her and a door labeled 'Propulsion Testing'. They wouldn't know what hit them.

Shock activated the door's control panel, dashing through in a blur of black fur. She kept a white-knuckle clench on her weapon and took off at a full sprint. She rounded the first corner with her weapon level; the cameras had told her it would be here, and her nose confirmed it a dozen strides before she got there. The smoldering remains dropped to the ground and she ran past it without a second thought.

Another corner, another two 'patients' collapsed to her salvo. Everything was going according to plan so far, but the next group were gathered in a cluster of five. She steeled herself as she navigated the hallways that would take her right to them. They would hear her coming, there was no avoiding it. She might as well give them as little time as possible to react.

Shock leaped the final few feet, turning to face around the corner when she landed. Her nerve nearly gave out when she saw how close they were. Her finger twitched, firing another two blasts of blue death at the oncoming mob. She screamed at them as she fired again and again, watching sections of each one seem to simply vanish as the blue light hit them, vaporized away in an instant.

Her fifth shot came out too quick. It hit the body of the one slightly in front of the final monster before it had dropped from the shot that killed it. Her scream intensified, howling out her fear and rage as she waited for it to close the final few feet between them. Waited to atomize it until she could almost reach out and touch it.

She waited too long. Its swollen, twisted arm hit her wrist hard, knocking her blaster to the ground to fire wildly against the wall. Her eggbeater punched out, crunching its jaw and turning its vision away from her. She ducked below the creature's next ungainly swing and scrambled away to gain some distance. Her hand pulled a fusion battery from her satchel, fumbling with it.

Shock threw herself backwards to the ground to avoid the monster as it tried to knock her head off, then rolled backwards to avoid its stomps. She managed to pull her arms free from her coat as she rolled along ground. Her legs coiled under her and she sprang to her feet, pulling her coat free and wrapping it around the energy cell in her hand, which was beginning to emit a high pitched humming noise. She caught the abomination's next swing with the coat, getting a vicious gash along her forearm as its stiff, rigid fingers tore the coat from her grasp. She turned and ran as soon as she felt the weight taken from her hand, ducking around the corner as the fusion cell detonated.

Trembling, she came back around the corner, her hands coming down from covering her ears. She curiously regarded the blackened smudge and cracked cement that were the only worldly remains of the dash-two and her coat. She shook her head and steadied her breathing, pausing on her way to bend down and collect and holster her dropped weapon. Tearing off a strip of fabric from her shirt, she turned it into a makeshift bandage around her torn arm. She winced and made her way down the home stretch, to Propulsion Testing.

In her rattled state, she didn't question why the door was open. Her nose told her there were no corpses in this room. Just some… lavender air freshener? She didn't waste any time thinking about it, frantically tapping on the control panel to shut the door and engage the lock. Her heart didn't stop pounding when the door was shut, though she wasn't sure why.

She looked around the large, reinforced room. One thing became immediately apparent: She had hit the jackpot. Modified reality anchors were being converted into some new, exciting purpose in this lab. No wonder her crew had been able to be chased off with this kind of tech. Still, she had faith in their skills. They would give their pursuers the slip and come back for her.

She sniffed the air, on alert again. Air fresheners didn't move. She whipped around, bringing her blaster up level with the plague doctor who had stepped out from behind some heavy equipment, looking at her with a steady, piercing gaze. She didn't hesitate, her finger squeezed the trigger. Her blaster discharged a shower of sparks as arcs of electricity built and broke across its aperture, lamely crackling in its failed attempt to fire.

She froze, looking at him.

He stood still, looking at her.

After a while, Shock figured one of them should say something.

Eventually, she realized it should probably be her.

"Uh. Hi." She offered, lowering her weapon and giving her head a tilt that had gotten her out of some pretty tight scrapes in the past.

He loomed, ominously. She really wished he would quit doing it.

"I'm Shock. Nice to meet you." She holstered the useless blaster, thankful for the relief. "You're… or rather, these people called you SCP forty-nine, right? You sure did a bang-up job of, mm, curing everyone in here from the looks of things." She saw his eyes narrow slightly at that remark. He nodded, then spoke.

"I heard them talking, when the pestilence still gripped them, talking of being the last men on Earth, of needing to survive. They are truly fortunate I was able to find them, buried away like this, and save them." His voice resonated deeply throughout the chamber.

"They might not've been wrong, 'ya know. Our scanners show pretty much all of the planet's surface to be irradiated to hell. Shit, you came from up top, right? No one living up there." Shock leaned back against a workbench as she spoke, discreetly sliding a piece of expensive-looking equipment into her nearly empty satchel.

"Not the last, no. Not the last, and not the best. Site-42 is the last bastion of humanity. Humanity untouched by the disease, pure and fresh. I have seen it with my own eyes."

Shock nodded knowingly. She absolutely could not care less. "Well, you know, I'm just waiting on my friends to come back by and pick me up." This, it seemed, he had a hard time understanding. "Our ship, it can… let's just say it can appear wherever we need." she clarified.

"Wherever you need?" The doctor pondered this for a moment. "Could you take me with you? To where the rest of the sick are. I know this isn't all of them left on this world — I know it!"

"You're… well, you're half right." She shrugged. "My friends might want to get some payback on these bastards for shooting at 'em. As long as you agree to keep your hands to yourself, we'll see what they say." Shock paused, watching as a grey orb manifested in the middle of the chamber, just large enough to hover without touching the floor or ceiling. "Ah. Speak of the devil."

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