Narrative - 4104

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SCP-4104 | Systems | Scene Two - 4104

Rain pattered against the window. An earthy, light scent wafted through the office and mingled with the scent of coffee gone cold. Sitting at the desk, swirling their cold coffee was a young researcher. He did his best to ignore the pile of paperwork that sat atop his desk with a resounding clack of his keyboard. Something, anything to ignore reality.

But soon, as the clock chimed 4:46PM, he realized he had no choice.

He took the first packet from the stack, flipping through the pages and recoiling sharply as he nicked his thumb along the edges. He waved his hand wildly about before biting his thumb to keep the blood from spattering onto the papers.

He almost missed the knock at his door as he did so.

"Dunno who you are," Issac began, "but make it quick."

In stepped a lanky-looking fellow. Black hair tied in a long, tight ponytail. Their face was set in a cold expression, but Issac swore to himself that with every blink, he forgot the features displayed.

That didn't stop him from scowling at the man. "Sen. How… Not so lovely. Don't you have some poor unsuspecting bastard to go kill?"

Sen began by clearing his throat, "no. I would like to leave the animosity behind, Issac. I have apologized for attempting to delete you, I was unaware of -"

"The circumstance - yeah - heard it before. I dunno if shooting you didn't get the message across, but I don't like you. And I really - really - don't enjoy this discussion. So please, kindly, go choke."

"I am unable to experience the phenomenon known as -"

"It's an expression, damn it!"

With a quick swipe of his arm, Issac knocked the stack of papers aloft. His mug, once full, now flew amongst the papers before shattering against the wall and spraying cold decaf across the room. Some of it stained the coats of the two men, but neither seemed to note it. Issac kept his eyes trained on Sen, his nails now dragging against the hardwood of his desk and leaving small little scratches in the finish.

"You took him from me. You took Tristan - and unless you're here to give him back? I don't give two shits about anything you have to say. Go away Sen, ruin someone else's life!"

Issac then sunk back into his chair. He slumped back, eyes flickering between the scattered papers and the coffee mug shards along the floor. None of it mattered. To him, his life was cut in two. Nowhere in this world was his second half, but he wished otherwise.

Sen began again, "I had something for you, Issac."

"Throw it in the trash with the rest of your bullshit."

There was a mild 'clunk' as Sen obliged. He continued to stand there, silent. Waiting for a cue or -

"Now can you - please - leave?"

Or that. Footsteps resounded and quickly faded as Sen exited the room, stepping down the hall to fade away back into the narrative. Why he came back into a story to bother Issac was a question that resounded in Issac's mind as he, hesitantly, stepped over to the trashcan. Sen was never one to be kind, and it piqued Issac's interest that Sen had a gift for him. He only hoped it didn't fade away with the man's presence.

It hadn't.

Sitting amongst crumples of paper was a simple black box.

Issac, albeit quite worriedly, reached into the trash to retrieve the box. With a held breath, he opened it to reveal a simply black fountain pen, and paper. It had a strange nib, much like the ones used for calligraphy. Even more interestingly, however, was the note that came alongside it.

~~~~~

Dear Issac Talbots,

I am sorry for what happened to Dr. Jake Tristans. I am sorry his story did not survive, but much like the words that have created you, maybe you can craft a surviving story for him. I am, once again, sorry.

-Sen

~~~~~

He didn't know what it meant.

He pocketed the pen, however, and began to gather the shattered coffee mug fragments. Coffee stained most, if not all, of the papers. Issac cursed aloud at this - there was no way he could turn in coffee-soaked pages to his superiors. He would have to print them out once again. He would have to sign and review just about everything a second time in what few hours he had left.

He would have to leave to grab a mop regardless.

He stepped out from his office, the sound of the rain muting and then falling silent as he stepped into the hall. He let the door slowly shut behind him as he strolled to the copy machine just down the other hall.

There was something off, however.

With every step, a voice resounded in his head. His actions, his thoughts, seemed to play back in stereo. He stopped, raised his hand, and then set it in his pocket atop the pen. This too was narrated to him.

"Holy -"

"I forgot to mention," Sen began from behind him.

Issac spun around to face him, not bothering to hide the scowl the grew along his lips at the sudden appearance of Sen.

"You are now aware of the narrative. More so than you may have been by understanding my existence, this is an irreversible effect of integrating you into the meta."

"Meta? What the fuck are you going on about now?!"

Quickly, Issac removed the pen from his pocket. He hocked it at Sen with every bit of strength he could, but it found itself lodged firmly back in Issac's pocket.

"I cannot bring back Dr. Tristan. You, however, may be able to. You will never be able to separate yourself from the narrative, but you may be able to see him again."

"And just what makes you think I'm going to agree to this? What the hell makes you think I want to hear every moment of my life played back in my head like some sick football game announcer took up residence in my skull?"

"Because you love him, Issac."

"…"

Sen was right. He remembered the rich taste of vanilla ice cream, faint against Tristan's lips when they kissed. Issac felt flushed, like he'd woken up all wrapped up in a blanket while Tristan cackled above him like some mad scientist, before playfully rolling him off of the futon with a loud 'thump' - he did love Tristan.

"…I fucking hate you."

"Are you rejecting the offer?"

"No. No, I'm not giving up the chance to - I want him back. I need him back - do you know what it's like? To remember someone who doesn't exist?"

"I know many who do not exist. I know many who exist only to die. I have seen every story to tell, Issac. I empathize with you entirely."

"…really?"

The copier let out a shrill whine as it began to print. It shifted Issac's attention, who rushed to collect his papers. He gathered them all and began to staple them all together. Hurriedly.

"As a personification of the deletions process, I see most everything in this world. I remove things that violate the set standards of this narrative, this has always included people. Characters."

Issac set his papers down once more, "…what does that do to you?"

"It is not unlike your friends in a Mobile Task Force. I complete my directive, my feelings are irrelevant."

"…do you have any?"

"Do you want me to?"

"Honestly, Sen? I didn't think you did. I thought you were just some fucked up anom that busted containment. The only reason I'm not calling containment is because I've done it - I've call them on you at least four times and they never fucking remember."

"I can complete my job in containment. Would that help you to feel better?"

Issac shook his head, "it wouldn't."

"Then I will remain as Dr. Sen to complete my directive."

"God, you're fucking creepy sometimes. I shot you - I shot you in the head and you're still maintaining this… Weirdly polite demeanor. Fucking Christ…"

With that, Issac collected his papers and began the walk back to his office. Sen did not move, they simply waited for a reply to a question left wordlessly in the air. Just as he reached his office door, Issac froze. He turned back to Sen, his lips set in a thin line as his eyes flickered back down to the pen in his pocket.

"…I'm going to bring Tristan back."

"I see. Then I wish you the best of luck with creating a story. Please know that my function remains, and if the story violates the codes of the narrative -"

"Then you'll kill it."

"Kill is a loaded word," was Sen's only reply.

Issac stepped back into his office, kicking the door closed and setting the stack of papers back down on his desk. The clock read 5:03PM - he'd never realized how fast time flew by him with Tristan. Never really realized how slow it was without him, but right now? It felt like a snail tied in place. Like he'd been trapped in a glue mat trying to inch his way along.

"…I'll get you back. I promise."

SCP-4104 | Systems | Scene Two - 4104

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