The Lost Treasure of the Stranglefruits
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Much to his chagrin, Dr. Spanko hadn't been given a single gummy worm since the Ganymede Protocol was enacted.

There had been a great deal of screaming among the humans. He had overheard the Lesser Doctors speaking of a "Nightmare Regent Red" and a very tall, very fat, and very troublesome "devourer" with a problematic birth name. "XK" was said often, and this distressed the Lesser Doctors. Some cried. Some killed themselves. Spanko had tried time and again to lift their spirits with his award-winning yodeling skills, only to watch their ears bleed for entirely unrelated reasons.

One very unpleasant Lesser Doctor cited "trimming the fat in a time of crisis" when he stuffed Spanko in a gas chamber. Spanko was highly displeased, as potassium cyanide didn't do his chronic asthma any favors. He was sent into coughing fits that blasted the chamber open and sent the gas trailing into the Lesser Doctor's nostrils, promptly sending his astral projection to the Celestial Supermarket.

It was only a matter of time before Tall, Fat, and Troublesome stomped over to Spanko's humble abode, which had by then succumbed to structural failures due to the overabundance of fire. From a hole in the wall, Spanko could see large, speedy corn crakes made of metal as they whizzed around the scaly giant, shooting thundersticks from their bellies. Many times had the sky laid a steel egg upon T-F-and-T, and the resulting mushroom was pleasant to behold, if a bit hot on the feathers.

A truly enthralling display it was, but there was nary a show-enhancing gummy worm to be found.

Many years had passed since then. Spanko had searched long and hard for a single gummy worm, and all the local convenience stores had inconveniently been transmuted into radioactive ash. The Good Doctor's stomach twitched in frustration. Picking the flesh off the recently departed was unsanitary, tasteless, and a product of necessity, whereas everyone knew that gummy worms were a product of Dionysus on his Throne of Golden Corn Syrup.

If Spanko had been among Bog's lesser poultry, he would have aged considerably into various grey sticks by then, but he refused go down without at least 5,000,000 additional gummy worms.

Perhaps they had gone extinct in the Devourer Fiasco. With that thought, as he stood in an empty Foundation office building full of dust and bones, Spanko let out a mournful Cack to the full moon in the grey sky.

A phone rang.

Spanko hopped to the desk. Unhinging the talk machine from the other-stuff machine, he planted his ear to the speaker.

"Can you hear me?" spouted a gravelly throat on the other end. "This is O5-12. The Ganymede Protocol has been given the all clear. SCP-2317-K has been neutralized. Repeat, the Devourer has been neutralized. I am ordering any remaining Foundation personnel—"

"Oh, Fivetwelve!" said Spanko. "What am the haps?"

"…2337, is that you?"

"It me. Cack!"

"Good God, the world's gone to hell and you're the one that survived. Where's that damn cyanide pill…"

"Cyanerd? Pah! Gives coughing, much. You have stranglefruits? Have not had stranglefruits since Tall Fat and Troublesome did the Tornado Tango, says I."

"Gummy worms. Oh for—" the voice hesitated. "Yes, actually, there's a whole treasure trove of stranglefruits west of here. Would you like directions?"

Dr. Spanko gasped, and belted out a mighty "AND HOW!"

"Okay, okay, inside voice, Dr. Spanko."

"It am located in Sidevoice?"

"Never mind. Anyway, listen to me very carefully. There's a place called 'SCP-2000' in Yellowstone National Park. It's full of machines that build you magical slaves who can get you all the gummy worms you want after you press a few buttons."

"Thanksqueeze you, twelvefive! TALLY-HO!"

And so the Good Doctor was off like a shot, flying toward a direction he believed was West, as O5-12 relayed more specific, more important instructions to the empty air.

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