Mr Abadede


The cold, blue light flooded the dark hallway.

Neons.

I hate that cold, blueish light, hitting your eyes with blinking punches. The darkness, at least, embraces you.

Michael entered the lit room, and while lightly caressing the handle closed the door behind him. The times when he would have shivered were long gone. But still, he could feel his heart pumping vigorously blood through his circulatory system. After all, the individual in front of him could have turned to be an anomaly. A monster. It's not unheard that a Foundation agent would be eviscerated while investigating a seemingly inoffensive being.

"Inoffensive", yeah. Those are the worst.

But despite the aspect, that could always be the case. He didn't get accustomed to the idea of a sudden, otherwordly death. Nobody could get accustomed to that. Michael just become more courageous. Maybe stronger. Maybe crazier to get so close to a possible anomaly, alone, and while being only a little anxious when doing so.

But accustomed… no, that no.

Michael turned on the Rec-WHE neural multisensorial storage device. The puncture in the ear canal was always unpleasant, every time he wore that devilish device.

What was the "WHE" acronym for, again…?

No, that was no time to get distracted.

Possible anomaly. Sudden evisceration. Remember?

Michael inspired, and tightened his back muscles.

Stay focused, Michael, don't make sudden movements or noises. Just breathe.

Then he looked at the patient.

She was seated on a chair, in the middle of the room. The heartless neon was shining above her, and leaving the borders of the examination room in a slight darkness, drawing a sort of weird vignette all around.

She was covering herself in a heavy blanket, clutching the corners. Visibly shivering, her face and neck was covered by shiny little droplets that made their way to the bottom, leaving a shiny trail behind.

«Ah… good afternoon» she said, raising her head.

«Good afternoon, ms. Jameson, I am Dr. Michael McRue.»

Apart from the shivering, Ada's posture was completely static; her expression was locked on a sad and suffering pose. She paused for a while, slowly moving away a wet lock of dark hair stubbornly stuck to her cheek. «Nice to meet you, Dr. McRue. Where is Dr. Patterson?»

«He is not here today, but I have the authorization to talk with you.»

«Did you talk with him?»

«Yes, we discussed about your case.»

«Really? What did he sa–»

Ada stopped mid-sentence, taking two deep breaths.

«What did he… what did…»

She started gasping.

«Are you all right?»

«No… I'm…»

The girl started grasping her neck, leaving the blanket slowly glide towards the floor. Michael rushed to her.

«What's wrong?!»

What the are you doing, maintain distance! She is gonna remove your jaw with a single bite, or something like that.

«I can't breathe, Doctor…»

«Take deep breaths ms. Jameson, slowly.»

And yet… she didn't seem dangerous at all. A simple twenty-something university student. Pretty, but wouldn't stand out in a club, even with a good make-up on.

«I can't… I can't! Help…»

She gasped vigorously.

«Look at me, look at me! Follow my rhythm. Inhale… exhale… inhale… ex–»

«You don't understand! There's no air here! There's no air!»

No, not that she didn't seem dangerous. She didn't feel to be a hazard. And now, that girl was… suffocating? In front of him? Why?! How?!

«Ok, look, I'm calling for–»

«I can't… I CAN'T BREATHE! Help me! Help…»

She didn't end the phrase. Her gaze directed on the ceiling, while her eyelids closed, and the suffering expression evaporated into a neutral one. Michael grabbed her. Half a second before the girl was talking and acting all weird, and now she was no more than a flesh ragdoll. She collapsed to the floor, her fall softened by the blanket. Michael remained still for a second, thinking of how stupid he was to let her slip like that. But she was slippery from the profuse sweating.

What the fuck are you doing.

Michael rushed to the door, hammered the handle and shouted in the dark hallway.

«SOMEONE! BRING SOME OXIGEN! NOW!»




Michael stopped in front of the door like it was actually a wall of stone. He looked again at Ada's analyses, raising an eyebrow.

Nothing anomalous. Nothing at all, all the values are nearly perfect.

He rolled the papers into a tube, and patted one extremity on his shoulder.

So I "feel" that she is not an anomaly. I "feel". Very good science there, Dr. McRue, excellent work.

But even if that was true, it was still possible that the girl hosted an anomaly. And from what he witnessed… it could be a malevolent one.

«Good morning, ms. Jameson.»

«Good morning, Doctor… I… don't remember your name.»

«McRue. Michael McRue.»

«Nice to meet you.»

«My pleasure. How are you today? Can you breathe better?»

«It's still… not enough air… but yeah, I can.»

«I see you don't have shivers anymore. Well, actually…»

Ada was wearing a light t-shirt that she rolled over her belly, and a pair of shorts. She was weaving herself with a fan. Hospitals are always too warm, alright, but her reaction was too much. Again.

«It's not the time yet… now it's the "hot and humid" time.»

«"Hot and humid"? Can you elaborate?»

Watch your tone. While you are at it, assign her an SCP number on the spot, eh?

«It's what it looks like, Dr. I feel so hot, and like… 200% humidity, if that's even possible.»

«What do you mean it's not the time?»

«The "hot and humid" ends just before noon… then the "cold cold" begins.»

«The "cold cold"… like yesterday, is that right?»

«Yes.»

«How much does it last?»

«Up to midnight, more or less. Then the "hot" begins again. And it repeats. And repeats.»

«Every day?»

«Every day.»

«Since when?»

«It's been a month already. God, feels like a year. I… I can't sleep… I shiver until midnight, and then… this

Michael remained silent. He unrolled the papers, and started following the text with a finger. He actually memorized it, he just needed the time to think. Cold and hot, repeating, every day. Was that an anomaly of some sort?

Any of the SCP documents I've read… no, not even close. What is this?

He turned to Ada, only to meet a couple of corrugated eyebrows and two strained lips.

«You too… that look on your face… you have no idea, do you?» Ada whispered.

«I need more data, miss Wong. Would you mind telling me–»

«YOU HAVE NO IDEA! YOU ARE USELESS, LIKE THE OTHERS!»

Michael stood up. He was not scared, he just…

Why do I have goosebumps?!

«Go away» she muttered.

«Miss Wong, wait! I just–»

«GO AWAY! GO AWAY!»

Ada rushed at him, pushing on his chest, ending in a rain of flying papers. She was not very strong, but Michael retreated two steps. He felt a burning sensation where she touched him. But that was not an anomalous property. That was him. That was an emotion.

Ada suddenly stopped, the look of realization in her eyes.

«I am sorry… I am sorry…»

«It is OK, miss… Ada. It's OK, I understand.»

«Dr. Mahoney…»

McRue… ah, whatever.

Ada lookend into Michael's eyes. Her two dark brown pearls seemed to roll into his soul, looking for answers. Looking for a cure. Looking for hope. But there was nothing. Michael was a cold-hearted Foundation agent. No sympathy. No feelings, no emotions. An anomaly is an object. That's it.

But… what if she was not an anomaly after all? Would the rules still apply?

If there's an anomaly inside of her… you would have to call her "-1" in the future.

«What is happening to me, doctor?»

Fuck. Why that pleading look… you are an OBJECT. Objects don't behave like that. Do you understand, Ada?!

«Sometimes… it happens… I mean, new diseases are discovered almost daily. We'll have to figure it out.»

«Then… please leave.»

«I will.»

Michael haphazardly harvested the papers and headed at the door. He stopped midway, and turned. Ada was breathing heavily, rushing the fan as fast as she could.

«There is a place» he said.

«What…?»

«We can cure you there.»

«Doctor, what are you saying?»

«What you heard. But then, you will have to trust me.»

«What do you mean?»

«You will have to come with me. No questions.»

«But I can't leave the hospital. You can't just–»

«I can. We'll see soon, Ada.»

He vanished through the door, leaving Ada wondering if what she just saw was true.

That's an anomaly's doing. I can feel it. I feel it.



Ada
«What place is this?»

«It's a… very advanced clinic.»

«I… see… but… why are there… inmates?»

«Oh, that… it's just a uniform.»

«OK…»

«Let's return to us. Ada, would you tell me when did you experiencing the symptoms?»

«Well… it started a month ago. I felt a sudden aching sensation here.» she said, rubbing her belly, «It was a sudden, sharp pain. It was also cold, like there was ice inside. The pain was so excruciating that I collapsed to the floor, screaming. And there was nobody home… I… I panicked, I thought I was going to die right there.»

«And then what happened?»

«It lasted, like, a couple of minutes. Then it vanished. Not all of a sudden, it was like the "ice" melted.»

«Hmm. Continue, Ada.»

«Then, two days later… it began. The muscles…»

She suddenly stopped, waving a hand at her cheek.

«It's getting warm…»

«Do you want me to lower the temperature in the c– room?»

«Can you, doctor?»

«Yes. But first let's finish, OK? So, what happened?»

«My muscles… I felt–»

A sudden roar echoed through the hallway, outside the cell.

What now?!

Ada jumped from her seat, staring at the door in awe.

«WHAT WAS THAT, DOCTOR?!»

«I am sorry… I have to go!»

Michael rushed through the door.

«DOCTOR!»

Ada could see some men that looked like soldiers run through the corridor, and people with white coats along with the "inmates" uniforms running in the opposite way. One of the soldiers rushed at her door, closing it behind Dr. Mahoney. She could clearly hear a heavy lock moving inside the metal door. She tiptoed to the most far corner from the door, crouching there. She could hear screams, and more roars, echoing from what sounded like an another dimensions. Even gunshot were fired. But those roars didn't seem like from an animal… they sounded like a growling human. She was breathing heavily, and went soon out of air. Her lungs started to burn.

Ada gasped, her heart racing so furiously she could hear it in her ears.

«What is happening to me?!» she murmured.

Then cried herself to sleep.



«I am sorry for yesterday, Ada.»

Ada was seated on the bed, watching the light khaki wall. The blanket she requested was still folded beside her. She could enjoy an hour or so of normal temperature, before the "cold cold" would start again.

Michael was standing behind her, silent.

Yeah. How can I even think of explaining this.

«Ada, that was a very disturbed patient.»

«So that's what I am. Crazy.»

«Why… why do you say that?»

«This place, you intern crazy people here, am I right?»

«No. we study different… conditions here. It's a clinic, I told you.»

«But I am crazy.»

«No… why

«They don't even call me by my name! They call me SCP dash T dash twenty-seven

«That… is just…»

«I know that there is nothing wrong with my body! Yet I can't move, I can't breathe, I shiver, then I burn, then I shiver, then I burn again!»

Ada stopped, trying to breathe. She turned and nervously grasped the oxygen mask behind her, putting it on her face. She took deep breaths.

«This thing is useless.» she said, throwing the mask on the bed, «It's like breathing in a plastic bag. You just can't.»

«I can open the oxygen valve more, and–»

«No, I mean, even without this.»

Michael saw her shoulders start shivering. She grabbed the blanket and slowly wrapped herself in it. Her face was expressionless, like the muscles didn't work anymore, except for her mouth, gnarled in a grimace.

«I know you are upset for your condition, Ada.»

«I am "upset", doctor? Do you know what it feel? DO YOU KNOW?! I– AH!»

She screamed in stupor, holding her abdomen.

«What, Ada?»

«It's like something broke in my belly… liquid… there is liquid… I can feel it moving…»

«Ada…»

«It's pouring, penetrating here, and here… it's disgusting… oh my God… help me doctor, help me!»

She fainted on the bed, the world turning into an unresting darkness.




«Why can't I have my smartphone?»

«I am so sorry Ad– but it can interfere with devices that monitors the patients.»

«Can't I have a PC, or a TV, or something, then? I am all day watching the wall of my… cell, yes, this room is a cell. And I fell this liquid… when I am in bed I could swear there is a pool of that liquid behind me. And…»

«What?»

She extended her arms.

«And look

«Look what? There is nothing…»

«Exactly! Nothing! And I feel a liquid pouring from my arms… and from my legs… and my nails, i feel like they are detaching, falling to the ground… and the skin around, like it's being pulled…»

«But you are healthy, Ad– you are healthy.»

«What's the benefit in knowing that?»

«We'll do more analyses»

Michael went towards the door, only to be stopped by a feeble voice.

«Doctor…»

Michael turned slowly towards her.

Please, Ada, STOP PLEADING. They are watching us.

«…yes?»

«"Force has no place where there is need of skill."»

«I am sorry, what?»

«I wanted to graduate. Do you know why I chose ancient literature?»

«I didn't even know that… nevermind, tell me.»

«I love thinking about ancient people, how they lived, and all the wisdom they wrote… for us, that came later. They didn't even know who we were going to be, yet, they wanted to share their knowledge with us.»

«Yes… yes they have.»

While talking she uncomfortably tries to asciug herself with a napkin

«Have you read Herodotus?»

«Herodotus? No, I haven't.»

«I loved his quotes.»

«And you don't anymore?»

«Like,» she continued without answering, «"Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks.". Or "Men trust their ears less than their eyes."»

«Hmm

«"Of all men's miseries the bitterest is this: to know so much and to have control over nothing."»

Michael chuckled a little.

Well. If ain't that the Foundation's very own delusion.

«He was a wiseman, indeed.»

«Yeah. You know what I think, when I cannot sleep, because I shiver, and I feel too rigid to even leave the bed?»

«What?»

«That Herodotus was stupid.»

«…stupid?»

«And all the rest of the ancient writers… a bunch of idiots.»

«Why do you say that?»

«BECAUSE THEY ARE DEAD! What use was to them to write all that crap? THEY ARE DUST! DUST! USELESS, VALUELESS, DISGUSTING DUST!»

«We will help you…»

«No you won't.»

«No, listen, we have the best technology here, we can–»

«Am I… going to die?»

Michael remained speechless. «Ah… Ad– no… you are not. You are not.»

«I am dust, am I not?»

She started breathing heavily.

Her usual respiratory crisis?

«Since yesterday I felt my skin cracking… opening… I can't even touch my own hand because it feels wrinkled… like old paint rigidly peeling off… but it's my fucking skin!»

Ada started to gasp, and went for the oxygen mask, breathing with hunger for air in it.

«This thing is useless… useless… useless…» Her voice sounded weird through the plastic.

gasps. Starts to shivers. gets the blanket, and tries to dry off with it. dr leaves







«Good morn–»

«DOCTOR!»

«What, Ada?!»

«They are in my eyes!»

«What? What's in yo–»

«THEY ARE EATING MY EYES! Please make them stop! Make them stop! Make…»

Ada collapsed on the floor. Michael ran to her, holding her in his arms. He anxiously examined her eyes, opening her eyelids.

Perfectly fine. What is happening to you, Ada?!



Michael restlessly wandered through every room of his home.

That motherfucker.

He thought that if he was in a cartoon he would have made a hole in the room. He glanced at the floor.

I didn't really ruin the carpet, did I? What… what am I thinking.

He passed a hand on his face, clutching the skin.

I must be so tired.

He grabbed his laptop by a corner and sat on the couch.

"Force has no place where there is need of skill."

He opened the browser, and googled for "Herodotus".

Then maybe I have no skill. I am only trying to deceive myself. I hadn't any skill that time, I have no skill now.

«"Circumstances rule men; men do not rule circumstances."» he read loudly. «Well, ain't you right again, you ancient man.»

He scrolled down in the webpage.

"Death is a delightful hiding place for weary men."

He stopped, thinking.

Am I weary? No, I am not. How about Ada? May she be weary…? She's not even remembering anything right now. She's straight again left without hope. Not that I was able to do anything.

Then something struck.

Death if weary? What is weary of death…?!

He rushed to the library, frantically opening a book. Text, text, and different images in black and white, obviously taken with old cameras.

Where was the chapter on the process…

He read jumping a word every three, then he closed the book, staring at the windy trees outside the window.

Cannot be. Cannot be. That is not a mental condition. That is the action of an anomaly. I must find her.


Michael saw a ghost. She was pale, almost diaphanous, visibly thinner. Shaking into her blanket. Ada looked like she was made of tissue paper.

«Delusional parasitosis.»

«That's what they told me. But I searched on the web, and it doesn't say that other symptoms are coldness and hotness.»

«You shouldn't search on Google for health advice…»

«There's nothing anyway. But about the "parasites" the other doctor said are only in my mind… they should be under my skin, isn't it? But I feel them touching my bones… they are fasting with my body. I believe… they want to reach my soul.» Ada sighed. «In the end, they will be able to.»

«Ada… do you recognize me?»

«How can I? That's the first time I see you.»

«Of course.»

Idiot.

«Those are psychologist's tricks to test a patient…»

What's on your mind?! SHUT UP.

«Are they…? I… am very confused lately…»

«Ada, would you like to talk with me about your condition…»

«Yeah… I… I trust you…»

«You do?!»

«Sorry… too direct? I don't… I don't try to be… socially acceptable anymore…»

«I understand. Now, can I make a strange question?»

«I… yes…»

«Have you ever encountered… something… weird?»

«What do you mean?»

«Maybe a person that seemed abnormal, somehow… or an entity, not fully human. Or not human at all. Or an object that was out of the ordinary, or–»

«You… are scaring me… doctor…»

«I am sorry.»

Michael stood up.

I lost my professionalism. Dr. A was right. I'm just a loser. I lost her. Again.
He thought.
It was not Ada. It was not SCP-#. It was Tiffany, wasn't her?
All the technology of the Foundation… and then, just one fucking cell of SCP-2969???
I couldn't save my daughter. And Jenny left me. Of course. The mighty foundation… I was so stupid. So proud of myself… of what? I am not the Foundation, nor the Foundation is part of me. It is above me. I am an ingranaggio. I thought I had the Foundation's powers. but not. I was deluded. And I still am. Or…
not. not anymore. It's time to quit. It's time to confront my mirror… the disappointment that I am.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid, Dr. Abadede. What was I thinking? I am sorry Ada. I am sorry, Tiffany. I am sorry, Jenny. I am sorry, me.
he left the room. he was almost done closing the door, when.
«Maybe… the symbol.»

What was that?!

Michael turned to face her.

«What do you mea–»

She was unconscious. Michael ran a hand through his hair, then exhaled slowly.

«This is getting old.»


«How do you feel?»

«I… feel… dry…»

«I am sorry, Ada.»

«Did my belly… explode…?»

«No… quite the opposite. You lost weight.>

«I… feel it… inside… enormous…»

«There is nothing, Ada! Your only condition is exhaustion! When all this will be over, you will recover in no time!»

«What if… it'll not be over.»

What if you have no skills. What if you are a failure.

«I… no…»

«Doctor, I have this recurring dream… I am alone… alone… I can see the darkness… feel it… I know, it doesn't make sense…»

«Go on.»

«Nobody… not even the world itself… just me, left there, nobody cared… no, no, even worst, nobody could care… everybody was thinking… I… I could hear their thoughts, in the dream… they were thinking that nothing can be done… that was the only possible way of things to be…»

«Ada…»

«It's scary. No, terrifying.»

«Let's change the subject, OK?»

«Right…»

«What was that symbol you were talking about?»

«Eh…? What symbol?»

«The one you told me about yesterday… I mean, you literally said the words "the symbol", and then you passed away.»

«I… I don't… Ah! Tarja

«Who's she?»

«My ex… girlfriend…»

«Tell me more, Ada.»

«We wrote… symbol… on skin… for fun… gawk

«Ada!»

She tries to remove something in her gola; she triggered a vomit response and vomited on herself. The smell was acre. SHe started gratting, like there were insects into her body.
MAKE THEM STOP! MAKE THEM STOP! PLEASE, PLEASE! DOCTOR! DOCTOR! MAKE…
unconscious



What?

Michael was immobile in the dark room, his face only lit by the pale blueish light from the laptop's monitor. That was nothing at all like it was expecting. He thought that this Tarja could have been an anomalous humanoid.

Maybe an entity killed her and took her place? Aaah, no, it's public that she's dead. So what?!

Helen also sent him a couple links, from some local newspapers. Apparently Tarja was stabbed in the stomach by an ex boyfriend that became her stalker.

"Men trust their ears less than their eyes." Well, I am seeing that right now. She's dead.

Michael crossed his arms, bowing his head up and down.

"Death is a delightful hiding place for weary men." Yes, yes, dead. Cold dead.

That was pointless. If Tarja was dead, this "symbol" was only a dead end after all.

"Force has no place where there is need of skill." Skill. Skill. Skill… Wait…

Michael looked at the date when Tarja was killed. He raised an eyebrow.

Huh?

He rummaged from his agenda, nervously and impatient. The first interview with Ada. He searched the page with a finger. Then he stopped for a second, eyes wide open.

I was wrong, that makes even more sense!

Michael literally jumped, making the chair roll on the floor. He put a hand on his head.

The book that he searched for… full of cadavers

The date Tarja was killed, it was the very same day when Ada's symptoms began.

«I was not wrong then!» he yelled at nobody, but like the room was full of spectators.

«Those symptoms… the decomposition of a corpse



Ada's body was fine… but Tarja's was not. Ada was feeling… what the body of Tarja was "feeling". Or what she ould have felt not that dead feel, that matures my head hurt even thinning

Michael was strutting through the university campus, under a gazing sun.

That must have been truly horrible.

Why couldn't breathe, why cold hot

Ada was walking, her books in her arms. She had a beautiful smile. They made eye contact. She quickly looked away, augmenting her pace.

Of course. More amnestics. Right. I better go, before she thinks I am a stalker, or something.

Michael slowly dragged himself out of the campus.

I will go see Tiffany's grave. And maybe also Jenny, later. She's alive after all. We feel only when we are alive. After that… it's too late.

He smirked.

Unless the Foundation is involved, of course.

The sun was shining, hot and burning. A warm light, not like the dead blue light of the neon he saw when the story began. It almost made you forget all the monsters that lurks in the darkness. That want to embrace you. And then devour your head.

Michael inspired. It was time to continue. Go on the next case.

Myself. My errors.

Secure.

That anomalous symbol.

Contain.

Tiffany. Ada. Jenny.

Protect.

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