The Night Beach
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"Let us be in agreement then. Our organization will be the foundation for humanity's survival in the coming century, and will be named as such."

O5-1 took a sip of his drink. Orange juice — it was a somewhat childish choice, but the taste buds liked what they liked. He leaned back in his chair, looking out at the blue moon reflecting off the black waters. A golden palm tree fluttered and warped in the breeze, and the silver sand of the beach spread out before him on his balcony.

This place was called the Night Beach. It was a small strip of land, the appearance of which had been swapped with that of its equivalent in an alternate universe. The moment you stepped on it, everything seemed…different. More colourful, more alive. Technically, it should be classified as an SCP, but O5-1 felt he deserved his indulgences. Didn't he? It wasn't like the beach actually did anything, apart from looking interesting. Buying the land it was on seemed containment enough.

O5-1 sighed. He'd grown selfish in his old age. A hundred years prior, he wouldn't have even considered exposing himself to an anomalous object. None of the Council would have — apart from the means they used to extend their lives, of course. The hypocrisy started early on, in that case. Nearly from the beginning. Had they not been the ones to form the Foundation, the O5 Council would most likely be in containment chambers themselves. Perhaps one day they would be anyway.

What year had he been born in? Sometimes he remembered a snippet of his own speech, speaking about guarding humanity in the next century. Which century was that? There were so many. He didn't even remember. His body may not have decayed, but he was sure his mind had. A human being was built to handle only so many memories, the way he saw it. There was only so much space.

He'd had grandchildren once, he knew that. Children, for that matter. What had happened to them? He had…not memories, but a vague framework of them, about children — his children — playing on a beach. Watching them and smiling and knowing that all was right with the world. That must have been before the Foundation, then, if it actually ever happened. Thirteen people, coming together to protect the world from what it didn't understand. How noble a goal. How many people had his noble hands killed? He couldn't remember that either — and worse, he didn't especially care. Was that another effect of his long, long life, or had he always been a monster?

He'd had a name once. What had happened to it? They'd taken the O5 titles as code-names, to protect their true identities, but those identities had faded over time. In his head, he called himself O5-1. People weren't meant to live like this — and if they did, they weren't people anymore. Simply extensions of the Foundation itself.

In the universe the Night Beach came from…was there a grave with O5-1's name on it? His actual name? Had he lived and died in the way a human being should, had he passed in the company of loved ones? The grandchildren he was sure he had once had? That man would be more real, O5-1 reflected, than the one with a number for a name.

He and the Night Beach were the same. They didn't belong, and yet they insisted themselves into the world. No, they intruded. Like a cigarette against a photograph. Maybe that was why O5-1 was so drawn to this place. Or perhaps he was simply old, and enjoyed the sound of waves.

"Sir?" said CM, walking up quietly behind him. O5-1's personal Attendant was holding a phone out to him. "News from Site 16. Containment breach of 4392. Fifty-six dead. Your orders?"

O5-1 put his drink down and got up. "4392's too potent a cognitohazard for us to allow it to slip through the cracks. We need to eliminate all witnesses to prevent the concept spreading further. Inform security on-site."

CM walked off to order the deaths of countless people. After a moment, O5-1 went to follow him. He stood up on thin, spindly legs, his too-pale and too-soft skin reflecting the moonlight just as easily as the water. He tried to close his eyes for a moment, to soak in the Night Beach while he had the chance, but his eyelids weren't quite big enough for that. They hadn't been for a while.

Oh, well. There were sacrifices that had to be made for mankind as a whole. Besides, O5-1 hadn't felt human for years.

He walked away. The Night Beach was left behind, and its colours were quickly replaced with those of the reality O5-1 lived in. It was a reality he'd made for himself, really. He had no choice but to lie in it.

The other members of the council clapped. "The Foundation, then," said O5-13. "That is alright with you, [DATA EXPUNGED]?"

The man named O5-1 nodded, and eternity began.

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