The Melody Is Familiar To Anyone Who Was There When It First Started

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Dr. Shaw cursed to himself. 682 had gone off hunting several days ago and hadn't returned. Probably just to spite him. Maybe he'd be back, but given how close Shaw was to Yellowstone it probably wouldn't matter.

The sky was covered in dark storm clouds that crackled with electricity. No rain. Not yet anyway. Just flashes and slow rumbling thunder. The land he trekked through was covered in burned out tree stumps, ash, and the remains of the humans who had lived there. What was left of those people's houses were scattered out among the landscape, broken down into rubble.

Dr. Shaw crested a hill, and finally he could see it. Right where he'd expected. The ranger station. He went down to one knee and took a moment to breathe. He hadn't noticed it, but this last day, he'd been clenched and holding his breath just a little. The idea that SCP-2000 might be gone had begun to creep in over the past 24 hours. He reached for the necklace around his neck and nodded, before moving forward.

The ranger station was strangely untouched by the surrounding devastation. It was the only standing building he'd seen for a week. That alone was enough to make him hopeful. Then he heard the buzzing.

It was low at first. A sort of hum in his ears that he couldn't shake. Then the door to the ranger station opened, and out of it walked a small mechanical being. It looked almost like a toy man with a voltmeter for a head, and began to speak almost immediately.

"Ha! Your doom approaches!" The little robot walked towards him and immediately fell down off the landing and tumbled down the stairs. It lay on the ground, its arms and legs moving in the air in an inept attempt to right itself.

Dr. Shaw shook his head, walked up to the robot and picked it up. He could hear the humming noise more clearly now, eminating directly from this toy.

"What's wrong little guy?" Shaw said with a chuckle.

"Nothing," it said, in a cold monotone.

Dr. Shaw almost didn't notice the red blinking light on the underside of the robot. He definitely didn't notice it in time to do anything about it. The robot exploded in a flash of blue energy. Everything went white and Dr. Shaw was thrown back and onto the ground. He lay there, unable to move as the rain started to fall.

Shaw was in and out of consciousness for several hours before finally coming to his senses. He imagined if he wasn't using Able's body, it would've taken him much longer to recover from whatever the little robot had done to him. He was strapped to a gurney, and a man in a white lab coat stood over him with a scalpel. Shaw flexed his arms and broke the straps, grabbing the man by the arms and jammed the scalpel into the man's neck.

The man hadn't stopped struggling though. As Shaw's eyes adjusted to the light, he noticed that the man's face was half coated in metal. Both eyes glowed a dull red. Shaw materialized a jet-black dirk and stabbed it through the robot man's temple. The machine shuddered a few more moments and then was still.

Dr. Shaw stood up from his kill and looked around. The room was dark, but incredibly large. The far wall had a series of video screens glowing in black and white. Then a deep rumble shook him to the bones. Shaw walked over to the video screens and saw a variety of surveillance cameras. Half of them showed various locations inside the SCP-2000 facility. Cloning tanks, power sources, reality restructure machines, all of it was here. All of it was inactive.

The outside cameras told another story entirely. He could see SCP-682 on the feed and what looked like several dozen doctors and agents. All were busy attacking it. Apparently the lizard had decided to come back after all. The people outside were moving incredibly fast, and he could see flashes of the same silvery metal that covered the corpse in the center. The screen he was viewing suddenly flashed with something that was only vaguely recognizable as a face. The speakers on the console in front of him startled him with a crackle.

"SCP-076-02. Why?"

Dr. Shaw briefly touched the amulet around his neck. "To start over."

"No. Inferior." Mechanical though it was, he could hear a bit of pain in the response.

"Why'd you use this room? Why not bury this place?"

"Contingency. Insult."

Dr. Shaw turned away from the screens and walked to the side of the station. He grabbed the entire thing and shoved it to the side.

"Smart and proud. I knew I liked you."

The wires connecting the station to the system disconnected, and the lights went dark. Behind the workstation, a small, recessed white button was present on the rock wall. Dr. Shaw reached out with Able's hand as another speaker above him beeped and he heard the old AI's voice again.

"Fear. Deletion of unwanted file."

Dr. Shaw pressed the button. The ground began to rumble, and a flash of white light began to pulse before everything went dark. There was nothing else at all for quite some time.

Then the music started over from the beginning.

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