The Decoy
rating: +16+x

Clef felt a little regretful, he would have to admit. He’d always found Rights very agreeable, if not the brightest bulb on the chandelier. At the very least, he felt sorry enough to sit at her bedside with a small sigh and take his time prepping the weapon. It really was regretful, he sighed, that it would come to this. Of all the people to ever get out of the foundation, Rights seemed like a good candidate to be able to stay out.

She had chutzpah.

Hell, anybody who left the Foundation without the Foundation’s express approval or a full memory wipe had chutzpah to spare.

And very good friends to smuggle herself out.

He absently hummed to himself as he screwed the suppressor onto the barrel of the gun, checking it over and re-checking it, before glancing back at Rights. She was still asleep, brow furrowed in fitful dreams. He paused, and wondered what life must have been like for her outside of the foundation, raising her little monster.

The years had taken their toll on both of them, it seemed. In forms of grey hair and deep lines and arthritic hands. He mused over what sort of strange traits the years and years of exposure to SCPs had awakened in her.

He had to do this quietly.

After all, even he wasn’t bullheaded enough to consider going up against even a low-level reality bender head-on anymore, if there was a choice. Especially one that knew him. He was getting far too old for that.

For too old indeed, he thought as he stood, feeling his joints creak a little.

Old, but still the best.

He leveled the weapon to her temple, and pulled the trigger with a dulled pop, like a car door slamming. She twitched once, the reflex tossing the blanket off her, and then went still permanently.

Clef took the time to say “I’m sorry.” And rearrange the blankets back around her.

After waiting a few seconds and listening to make sure nobody else awoken or was listening in, and then he crept back to the hallway, moving slow and checking the rooms as he passed them. Bathroom. An empty guest room. Work studio. Nursery…

He slipped into the nursery and glanced over the edge of the crib. The tot was fast asleep, thumb in mouth, holding on tight to a handmade quilt, entirely unaware. Clef sighed. This was too easy, but he’d rather too easy than too hard any day. He reached into the crib with the weapon, and with another dull pop, the porcelain head of the doll burst into fragments.

And he reeled back.

This wasn’t the target.

He reached into the crib, and his fears were confirmed. A doll, just a doll. It may have looked like a toddler in the dim light, but it was just a doll. He pulled the quilt off, and froze. A small black box with a post-it note on it sat there, amidst the broken doll and baby clothes.

He picked it up.

I knew you’d come for me,
I never did get to say goodbye.
-Hugs and Kisses
The former Dr. Rights”

There was a long moment of shocked silence, followed by intense cussing.

The man sat in his car across the street, window rolled down, and glanced up quietly as he heard Clef’s voice carrying, and rolled up the window. This was going to be loud.

Clef paused as he heard a noise, just a faint, high-pitched pinging, and glanced down. On the little black box, a red circle lit up. Followed by another. And another.

“Oh, come on-“

The man smirked slightly as the explosion rocked the car, before frowning when the child sleeping in the backseat stirred and let out a wail. “Oh, oh…hey, hey girl.” He murmured as he climbed into the backseat with her, offering a soft smile and taking the little girl’s hand, his middle-eastern skin so much darker than hers, pale as porcelain. Even this young, Bijhan could see the resemblance to her mother. “Shh, shh, shh…don’t you worry, Ophie. Lets get you to your new home…”

She looked up at him with such pale, pale eyes with no shine to them at all, glassy and inhuman, and sniffled.

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