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The first time I met her, it was by chance.

“Ah…that sounds like something you want to ask her about.” Those words changed everything. I needed a translation, and fast—and apparently, she was the one who could make it happen.

A room number was placed in my hand, and with my notebook under one arm I made my way to it.

47JMIyO.png I flashed my credentials, made my way inside, and found myself in a completely empty room. There was a bed. A desk. A table with a flower vase. A second room beyond the doorway was lit by a kitchen lamp.

“Hello?” I called.

“Sorry,” came the reply. The voice was cheerful, lovely, calm. A young woman, with a voice that reminded me of a strawberry milkshake. “I'm in the other room…What do you need?”

“I was told you might help me translate some Latin,” I called back. “And possibly identify its source—”

“Oh, of course, go ahead, read it out. It’s not infohazardous, is it?”

“No, it’s been cleared.” I pulled open the notebook. “Apparuit mortuus est mortuus; et apparuit animam viventem…” I read the passage clearly into the open air. I swore I could hear the sound of high heels clicking on the linoleum floor in the kitchen.

“Oh, that’s a terrible translation,” the voice replied with a laugh. “Sounds like someone ran it through an online translator from Italian to English to Latin. I say Italian—” she added, and her voice seemed clearer for some reason, “because the original was in Italian. It’s Commedia and Canzoniere. The Divine Comedy by Dante.”

“That’s amazing,” I said, scribbling it in my notes. “Thank you so much.”

“Oh, is that all?” She sounded disappointed. “Well, it was nice meeting you. What was your name again?”

“Larsen,” I said, closing the notebook. “Daniel Larsen. And you?”

“Oh, I’m nobody special,” came the reply. “It was nice meeting you, Dr. Larsen.”

The first time I left, I was in a hurry to get back to work.

The second time I met her, it was intentional.

It was months later. I ended up with a new thing requiring translation. I wasn’t sure if the mystery woman spoke the language, but it was worth a try. As I approached the door I stopped. When I’d first visited, I was new. I'd never seen a Euclid-class humanoid containment cell before, so to me it looked more like a heavy office door. Or maybe I wasn't paying enough attention. Now, though, I knew what it was, so I took out my phone and opened the database. SCP-126. I read the file.

I was therefore more cautious when I entered the containment cell. “Hello?” I asked.

“Daniel!” there was the voice, smooth as silk. “Been some time. Can I help you with anything?”
That voice. So bubbly, and filled with unbidden excitement at having a visitor. I couldn’t help but smile.

“Y-yeah, actually,” I said, setting a paper on the desk. “What do you make of this?”

I could sense her movement through the room. It wasn’t just the soft sound of footsteps on the carpet. It was a presence, which I didn’t pick up with any sense, but felt somewhere deep in my psyche. “Oh wow. Not a lot of people speak Pontic Greek.”

“Do you?”

I was sure she was rolling her eyes. “Of course,” she said, and laughed. “Do you have a pen? I can write down a translation.”

I remembered the containment file’s warning that SCP-126 could not manipulate physical items despite wanting to be helpful. “Oh that’s okay,” I said, opening my notebook. “I’ll just jot it here.”
SCP-126 read out a translation, and I thanked her for her kindness. And then…I decided to stay a bit.

We sat (or rather, I sat—she was incapable of sitting but her voice seemed to be next to me nonetheless) on the couch and we discussed languages. When she learned I worked for the office of the Historian, she was intrigued, and we spent over an hour discussing the old paperwork the Foundation had in its archives.

When I left, I was sad to go.

The third time I met her, it was not technically allowed.

I had nothing to translate. Instead, I showed up only wanting to talk. My credentials allowed me in, sure, but I really should have had a better reason than wanting to see her again. Okay, see is perhaps not the right word.

“I was hoping you would come by again, I had such a great time with you.” From the source of her voice I think she was sitting on the desk. I imagined she was playfully swinging her legs just above the floor.

“Me too!” I took what I had brought out of the folders and set them on the desk next to where I thought she might be.

“Oh my god!” I heard her drop off the desk onto the carpet beside me. “Are those—”

“17th century,” I said. “I’m cataloguing a few of these drawings from an archive the Foundation’s had for a while. I was able to check them out for a bit. So they can’t stay, but—”

“They’re wonderful.” She paused. “Ok, not trynna be weird, but I’mma hug you now.”

When I left, I was smiling.

The last time I met her, I got caught.

I had brought flowers. I had no idea if she could smell them, but it seemed that she had a full range of senses so it was worth a shot.

I had no sooner stepped into her containment cell and called out to her, that a black bag was thrown over my head. And I swear…I swear before her living room dissolved into darkness, I saw her. Her perfect hair. Her deep eyes, like the ocean. Her expression, of fear and surprise.

The last word I heard her say was my name.

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