S & C Plastics Actually Does Their Job
rating: +97+x

“You’re telling me that we have to actually do our jobs?” the white-coated Sevens questioned with disbelief.

The man sitting on the other end of the bland white table proceeded to dramatically sigh. “Yes, I suppose so.”

“Jesus, do we even have like, the equipment for that? I mean— you’re asking for us to actually start being a plastics company! That takes a lot of stuff! Clients, materials, machines, actual knowledge of manufacturing!” she listed on her fingers, progressively shouting louder.

A sigh somehow more dramatic than the last escaped the man’s lips. “Listen, I know how you started here and I think you could be a lot of help to—”

Sevens interrupted, “Oh please, I know I came here because I thought this was a plastics company at first, but that doesn’t mean I have any knowledge of that stuff! I was looking for a job where I could actually use my computer science degree but instead I got thrown into a basket full of crazy!”

The man stood up. “And yet, you quickly became one of the best researchers here. I trust that if I throw you into a basket of… plastics…" he frowned slightly before continuing on. It sounded better in his head. "You will most likely be able to quickly adapt.” He walked over to the door of the barren room, leaving a final, slightly sassy statement before heading out. “So, Head Researcher Sevens, you better get started.”

Sevens jumped up and dashed out the door. “I don’t care if you’re a higher up, you’re still a jerk to me!”

The man looked back and shouted, “What was that? You want to be transferred to Site 19?”

A wicked smile spread across the man's face as he watched Sevens sigh in defeat, and he continued with his walking.

This is stupid, Sevens thought, retreating to her desk. How do I even start?

Evelyn was walking down the hall, coffee in hand, when she heard the sound of papers fluttering to the floor. She followed the sound to find Sevens in the file room, juggling papers in her hands, dropping many of them as she stumbled to a table full of many other files already. “Whoa, whoa, what're you doing?” Evelyn voiced her concern and helped her move the remaining files to the table.

Sevens’ panting filled up the room “Just… Looking…” She dug into the files, scanning them quickly.

“No, there’s something going on, what is it?”

Sevens stopped, then dropped the papers down, rubbing her eyes. “Alright so you’ll never believe this-”

Evelyn quickly interrupted. “I think you’re forgetting we all live in Sloth’s Pit.”

“Yeah, yeah," Sevens rubbed her eyes and dug back into the papers, shuffling another stack. "but y'know how we're S&C Plastics?”

“Yes.” Evelyn raised an eyebrow.

“Well the big guys up the chain," she sighed, still annoyed at the man from before. "They want me to actually start living up to the ‘plastics’ part of the name.”

“So… They want you to make this a plastics company—" Evelyn stuttered, trying to put the puzzle together. "Wait, wait, then what are you doing here?”

“Looking for…” Sevens floated a paper titled Past Business in front of Evelyn’s face, pointing specific line about halfway down. “This.”

Pop’s Plastic & Printing Co. flashed on the page. Evelyn pushed the paper down from in front of her face to look at Sevens. “And what do you intend to do with this information?”

A mischievous smile spread across Sevens’ face. “Why, I’m going to go on an adventure, obviously.”

Somewhere deep in the woods, a cricket chirped. It hopped around in the grass, minding its own business until it found a run-down brick building. It curiously hopped up onto a windowsill.

Then a brick was thrown, shattering the window instantly. The cricket hopped into the darkness, passing the celebrating Sevens. She ran past an old sign reading "Pop's" all the other words faded by time. She awkwardly climbed through the broken window, making sure not to cut herself on any of the scattered glass shards.

An old, raspy voice croaked, “H-hello? Who’s there!?”

Sevens proceeded to fall the rest of her way through, startled by the voice. She pulled herself off of the blood-stained carpeted floor, and stood up, checking for any wounds before replying. “Uh, firstly, who are you?”

“I’m- ARGHHH! Oh dear, please help me!” The voice begged.

Sevens quickly clicked her flashlight on, revealing a grotesque scene among the large machinery. In front of her was a rather green old man with discolored eyes and raggedy hair stuffed into the pipe of a machine, likely used for plastic molding.

“Please… Just turn it on…” The deformed man pleaded.

“I- Uh…” A green light flashed on the contraption, grabbing her attention. She hovered her hand over it for a second, before pulling it back. "I can't! What will it do?"

"Just press it…" The old man coughed and wheezed. "P- please…" He begged, his voice growing weaker.

Following the directions of the old man, she hesitently slammed her hand down on the green light, pressing the button into the machine, which burst into action, sucking the old man inside with a small pop. The machine's clunking and clanging filled her ears as she panicked.

Did I just kill him? Oh God, I've never killed anyone before, is he dead? Please don't let him be dead. Her hands clasped over her mouth, and she began to shake, tears leaking from her eyes. Why the hell did I do that?, I should have just stayed at the site, I should have called for backup, I should have-

Suddenly there was a loud whoosh that interrupted her frenzied stream of thoughts. The old man’s voice called out gleefully, “Oh dearie bless your soul! Thank you so!” Sevens nervously opened her now reddened eyes, peeling her hands away from her slightly teary face. There, at the end of the machine, was a green plastic strainer. It reminded her of those plastic strainers kids would sieve through sand with.

“Wh- What? Where are you?” she stuttered, wiping her eyes with her jacket's sleeve.

“The strainer, my girl, the strainer!” he exclaimed, and the strainer shook a small bit.

Sevens approached the plastic device carefully, “How did you- Are you in there?”

“Yes, yes! I am the strainer!” Sevens never thought she would be able to see a strainer express emotion until the happy vibrating of the strainer created a rapid click on the metal table it had been spit out on.

“Wait, so you- Are- What’s even happening right now?!” She backed up, resting herself on the windowsill she had climbed through prior.

“I have reached my true dream! To become what I made! Eternal life— It’s amazing, euphoric even!” Sevens paused, rubbed her eyes, then looked up at the strainer again. A few seconds passed as she processed the situation, then she burst into a bout of laughter. “Young lady, what's so funny about this!” The strainer heaved itself upwards, clanging on the table.

“Oh lord…” Sevens managed to calm down, stifling her laughter, “It’s just that this-” She stretched her hands forward, gesturing to the scene, “It’s so damned ridiculous! I just turned you into a strainer for godsakes!”

“You turned my soul into a strainer! Thank you for arriving when you did by the way, it was getting uncomfortable in there. Why are you here?”

“Well, sir, I did intend on seeing your setup here to know what I needed, but…” Sevens picked up the plastic strainer carefully, “Looks like I’ve found something far more interesting.”


“That I am, you… Strain-ger?” Sevens chuckled and awkwardly climbed back out the window, heading back to Site-87.

“You know, I never actually got your name.”

“Hector, but I suppose you can just call me Pop,” he shook as Sevens carried him through the Site, passing by many alarms. “Ah, that really sounds urgent, do you think-”

“Don’t worry, they’ve got it handled," She glanced back for a moment before continuing on. "Probably. Anyways, I’m Sevens! And this…” She pushed through a door, revealing a blank, white room, completely devoid of any personality or furnishings. Or in other words, a typical containment chamber. “Is going to be your new home! I plan on getting some machines, stuff like that, and launching a whole new plastics business!”

Pop popped himself upwards, almost flipping in Seven’s arms. “Ah! I can help you with that! It’ll be like reliving my glory days!”

“I’m glad you’re excited, but first we gotta do some tests with you, alright?” Sevens pulled out a clipboard and set Pop down. “Ready?”

“Well, I suppose I am!”

Procedure: Ran warm water through the strainer.
Results: Pop giggled and said that it felt strange, like he had just drunk something hot.
Analysis: The 'net' part of the strainer seems to be like his 'inside' body. Could it be that the body of his soul is still together in there, and it still has feeling?

Procedure: Ran boiling water though the strainer.
Results: Strainer hopped out of my hands, hitting against a wall. Pop noted that it felt like he was burning for a few seconds, and that he instinctively jolted his 'body' away.
Analysis: It seems that feelings— like excitement and pain— really help Pop's ability to move, but most times he cannot control the moving.

Procedure: At the request of Pop, ran molten plastic through the strainer…

Sevens knocked on the door to one of the many chemistry labs of Site-87, only to have the door opened right in her face. "Ah, sorry, that could have hit you!" The male researcher on the other side exclaimed.

"Don't worry about it." Sevens pointed into the lab. "Is this room open?"

"Yep, I just finished up. What do you need the lab for?"

"Ah, just gonna do some tests with this strainer." She held it up and shook it. "Say hi, Pop."

"Hi!" The strainer shook as it spoke in a cheery voice.

Sevens continued, "It's basically a horcrux for an old man's soul that still has feeling. Somehow."

The man stared blankly, slowly processing the story before walking away muttering, "Just another Tuesday, will anything normal ever happen…"

"That man seemed fun!" Pop exclaimed, shaking slightly. "But let's get that plastic melting already, I can't wait for this test!"

Sevens walked in and started melting plastic on a pan. "You surely seem pretty excited for this test, what if nothing even happens?"

"Well, then we try running something else through me!" Pop thought for a moment. "Like, molten metal! Or soda, I wonder how that'd feel!"

Sevens laughed and shook around the pan, watching the hot orange liquid move from side to side. It was made from the dumb toothbrushes they give the D-Class. "The plastic is melted. Are you ready?"

"I suppose so," he replied as Sevens moved her hand to the edge of the strainers' left handle, her other hand still resting on the pan. In one quick motion she tore the pan up and tilted it over the strainer, pouring the molten plastic through. A few quick clinks drew her attention to the ground under Pop, where there was an orange cup.

Pop shook with excitement before screaming out once more. "We did it! We did it! I- I just thought about a cup as the plastic went through and it popped out like that!"

Sevens grinned, kneeling down to look at the cup. "This is… This is great!" She shot up, cheering "I don't need tons of equipment, I just need you! We can make S&C Plastics a real company!"

"Well, I guess I don't have to retire yet!" Pop laughed.

As they celebrated, a small tug of hesitation pulled at Sevens. She shrugged it off, and set to work, heading to her desk with Pop in her hands.

A small pat on her shoulder caused Sevens to tense up, flinching away and craning her neck around. Connected to the hand was Evelyn, whom looked very surprised. "Gee, you must be very focused on your work." She knelt down to look at Sevens' computer screen. "Speaking of which, what are you working on?"

Sevens quickly relaxed, looking back at the screen. "Yeah, I'm just ordering some plastic that can be used to manufacture all the products that we are planning on making."

"What are you making?"

Sevens twirled her chair around. "Alright, so, what we're gonna do is get some of the plastics PETE and PP, or um, polyethylene terephthalate and polypropylene." She took a breath and coughed, then continued with her rant. "So the PETE plastic is used to make cups and that kind of stuff, while PP plastic is used to make utensils, but PP isn't recyclable… And for the cups I could use PS, or Styrofoam, cause I think it's cheaper, but it's really bad for the environment so whatever, PETE works. PETE is also a thermoplastic, which means it can go through numerous melting cycles without the quality of it degrading. Anyways, I'm thinking of trying to make deals with some of the food places around here, that way we don't have to spread the products out into the rest of the world. We don't really have to make a profit, so we can be good competition to their current suppliers. So that way, S&C Plastics becomes a real company!" She shot her arms outwards excitedly.

Meanwhile, Evelyn had her arms crossed, looking at Sevens as if she were a madman. "Remind me never to ask you about this again," she said.

Sevens lightly shoved Evelyn, who stumbled and laughed. "Alright, alright, so you have the plastics all planned out, but don't you need like, special machines or something?"

An old man's voice echoed through the room, "That's me!" it shouted. Evelyn's eyes widened, looking around the room.

"W- what was that, Sevens?" She questioned, a fearful quiver in her voice.

"Nothing! Must have been the wind, ha ha!"

There was an awkward silence before Sevens realized how truly terrible at lying she was, so she opened her desk drawer to reveal a green strainer. "This is Pop."

Evelyn sighed disapprovingly, sitting down as Sevens finished her story of Pop and what she currently knew about him. "You broke into the shop? And you just bought it here without following any proper procedures? That strainer could be dangerous!"

Sevens groaned. "Pop is not dangerous, okay? He's important to my operations! It's not like using anomalous items is anything new in the Foundation."

Pop quietly agreed. "Yes, I am very important! And very not dangerous!"

"I know, I know, but still, we have these rules for a reason." Evelyn sighed once more.

"Ugh, this is why I didn't want you to find out, you're too much of a stickler for the rules!"

Evelyn's face grew red. "I am not!" She retorted.

Sevens laughed at Evelyn's growing frustration. "Oh please, name one time you've broken the rules."

Evelyn's hand rose, one of her fingers pointing upwards. "Well I-" She lowered her hand back down, then raised it back up. "Once I- No…" She lowered her hand again and thought for a moment, then sheepishly admitted, "Alright, so I guess I do follow the rules all the time, but its not like that's a bad thing." She stood up and quickly walked to the door. "I'm going to leave now before you can say anything else about me." Evelyn swung it open and left, leaving the laughing Sevens behind.

"See ya!" She yelled after her, then turned to Pop, who had also been shaking from laughter. "Well, are you ready for some hard work?"

The strainer shuddered slightly. "Yes, yes I am."


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