The Promotion
rating: +42+x

"You're being reassigned," Director Fordham said, his pen never stopping across the page. The pregnant silence that followed could have strangled a thesis. The cheap wood-esque paneling that Fordham had put in when he took his post always felt suffocating. Like all the air in the room was backwash from a giant set of lungs.

"I—. What? I'm being reassigned?" Researcher Scholl blinked a few times, confused. Their feet sunk into the deep forest green shag on the floor. The overhand fan spun in a lazy arc, as the seconds ticked by. A spectrum of thoughts cascaded through their mind, as they searched for a reason. "Is my work…not sufficient on SCP—"

Director Fordham looked up, and gave them the fixed, pointed stare they'd grown to dread over the past six months. "Of course not Jake. I recognize what you've done, and we want to put you somewhere I feel you deserve. And serve the Foundation, of course. We're putting you on a very important, and special object."

Jake Scholl's eyes fell to the desk. Reassigned. Their work with SCP-3872 as a consulting chemist was going slowly, to be sure, but they didn't think it was to the point they needed reassignment. "A-Alright. Which project am I assigned to?"

Fordham reached over to the glass panel, at odds with the decor which belonged in the late 1970's at best. He tapped a few symbols accessing Scholl's profile, and added an entry in their security clearance. He hastily swiped away all the other files listed and turned back to face Scholl. "You have access to it now. Please get on the first plane to Site-19. Your dormitory contents are already packed up."

Jake stood up woodenly, their hand slipping into their pocket, and absently checking the notifications on their cell phone.




They turned around, and walked slowly through the corridors, towards the transportation hub on the outskirts of the site. They opened the file on their phone, and quickly scanned the oddly phrased report.

Scholl's eyebrow raised as they noticed the timestamp on containment. SCP-173 was one of the first. One of the few objects that the Foundation came to posses through some organization or another, without losing its information.

Swiping down, they came to the section about assigned researchers and their eyes went wide as they read the list.

Current Research Director:

[Dr. Kondraki] [Dr. Gears] [Dr. Rights] [Dr. Clef] [Director Strelnikov] [Dr. Bright] [REDACTED] [Researcher Scholl]

At least one of those was rumored to be an O5 by now. All of them were legends. Jake's heart started to pick up, as they approached the transit hub, and the security officers located there. Maybe this wasn't so bad after all. A promotion to Level 3 was included in this reassignment, either way.

"Can I help you?" A bored looking level 1 Security officer looked up from a magazine.

Researcher Scholl straightened their tie, and stepped up to the off-white counter, nodding. "I need the first plane to Site-19. I've been reassigned."

Six years. Jake Scholl couldn't believe it had been six years. Six years assigned to SCP-173. The legendary object. The first, the original, the Statue.

And it was torture.

When they'd arrived, they quickly reviewed the research materials. Every word had become burned into their memory. All 233 words of them. The "additional research materials" turned out to be a few scribbled pages by bored researchers. A few had made hypothesis which had all turned out to be nonsense. There was a locked filing cabinet, but every time Scholl requested it opened, maintenance told them that the control room was designated "low priority" and they would get to it eventually.

Over the past six years, Jake Scholl had made 18 separate transfer requests. All of them had been denied. They were stuck here, technically a Level 3 staff now, but without any rights to view or work on any other objects.

They were assigned a staff of four. Three D-class, all of which were older men, and a level 2 Security Staff, who sat in his office, and was frankly going to seed. Jake could probably outrun the rapidly expanding security officer by now.

The D-class were all pretty docile, overall. They came in once a week, mopped the floor, mumbled "Clear" to each other, and left. Their days passed slowly…so slowly. Occasionally, there was a scrape, and the sounds of movement. Jake would flip open the observation ports on the double-concrete lock, and look at the damn thing.

Just concrete and rebar. Some spraypaint. That was it. There was nothing to find, nothing to determine.

When Jake first got there, they'd had the D-class, and their security staff hold steady as they collected samples of the concrete, some of the rebar, some spray paint. They were determined to find something worthy of research.

After four weeks, they'd finally gotten sick of getting no replies from admin, and cracked the lock on the filing cabinet, finding the research notes of all the previous researchers. All of the "legendary" doctors' notes turned out to be doodles, and random to-do lists which had nothing to do with the object.

After six weeks, they'd turned up nothing from their samples.

After eight weeks, they'd brought a Gameboy. After ten, they started bringing in anything they could to pass the time.

These days, they shuffled in, waved at the guard, and sat down at the dingy little control room where there was a terminal, which didn't have an internet connection, and tried to stay sane.

Ten years. They hadn't been kind. Jake had put on a lot of weight. Now pushing 400 pounds, Jake stood with a grunt, as the light came on, and the three D-class were escorted to the control room, with the mops and buckets in tow.

"Thanks Jimmy." Was the only conversation they had with the new security staff. The old guard had retired sometime in the eighth year. Honestly, Jake couldn't remember.

The D-class had gotten older too, most of them now grey haired, but still assigned to the project. At least one of them was starting to look the worse for wear.

The security guard walked over, and thumbed towards the break room. "Hey Jake, I'm going to get coffee. If anything happens, seal the door, you know the drill. Just keep an eye on the D's"

"Mmm. Hurry back Jimmy." They buzzed the doors open, and stood inside the door frame, keeping their eyes on the statue most of the time, but wandering over the containment chamber. A long time ago, they might have been concerned, but the D-class they worked with weren't violent. Frankly they had worked with these men long enough, that they extended a small measure of trust. All of them did their jobs without complaining, and had never made a mistake in ten years.

Unfortunately procedure says they had to have someone armed in the room with any D-class. Jake looked down at their hip, double checking the pistol there. They knew how to use it, but had never actually had to draw it.


The soft swish of a mop, followed by a splash of water.


The scraping of a bucket on concrete, the D-class grunting and straining with the weight of water, and years.


The familiar refrain felt like it was slowly turning Jake's grey matter to jelly, but it continued, as they absently traced a line on the hip rig of the holster. The only sound out of the ordinary was one of the D-class breathing heavily. Another goddamned week of mind-numbing—

"Cl.. Cl… fuck I think I'm having a—…" snap

"What, hey Nick, are you—" snap

"Oh fuck, no I don't wanna—" snap

Jake's eyes shot up, as the Statue stood inches away. Its eyes a simple painted green, but staring directly into their soul. In their periphery, Jake could see the three D-class with their heads turned at odd angles.

Jake desperately reached out for the emergency containment button on the wall. They hadn't had to use it ever, and it was supposed to be easy to find. They recalled the manual saying Move your hand anywhere along the right hand wall, the button takes up most of the wall. It will seal off the containment chamber, and SCP-173 from breaching containment.

It wasn't there. Jake's hands grew desperate, as their eyes began to water. Just as they started to close, a last thought crossed their mind. Move your hand anywhere along the left hand wall, the button takes up most of the wall. It will seal off the containment chamber, and SCP-173 from breaching containment.

Their hand darted out to the left, and they started to push down on the button, the red of the emergency button filling their vision, as the green eyes of SCP-173 slipped just barely out of— snap

"Fordham. Do you remember Jake Scholl?" Director Kingsley stood outside of the meeting room, a few minutes before the weekly briefing in the Site-217 administrative wing.

"Sure do." Fordham's hair had long since thinned out, his mustache turning into a grey curtain above his lip, stout, and unyielding.

"Just got a report from 19. Looks like there was a breach, and they bit it." Kingsley's jowls bounced slightly as they grimaced. His watery blue eyes narrowed slightly as he looked down at his phone.

"Damn. And I was just about to approve their transfer." Fordham waved to the colleagues as they streamed into the meeting room. Just a few more minutes.

"Really?" Kingsley's eyebrow went up, genuinely surprised.

"Of course not." Fordham smiled. "The only researchers to ever get out of that post needed Friends in very high places. Scholl, to their detriment, did not."

"Alas," Kingsley flipped a few sheets of paper on his clipboard. "There's already a new researcher lined up for the head of the project. It'll come up in the meeting."

Fordham winced. "What did they do?"

Kingsley smirked, and shuffled a few more pages. "They burned O5-7's coffee one too many times in the morning, I think. What was it that Scholl did exactly?"

Fordham shook his head. "The number of times that idiot parked in my space. I swear."

Kingsley frowned. "Site-217 doesn't have assigned parking."

Fordham waved the other director into the conference room as they took their places at the head of the table. "No, but that was my spot. Let's get started."

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