- Julius sat in his room, alone. He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, hastily put on a dirty uniform that he hadn't bothered getting washed, and headed out.
- His job at the Foundation was a tedious experience of designing various structures for different purposes. He was responsible for deciding how much SCP-148 would be necessary to contain a mental threat without being a mental hazard for those it was supposed to protect. He was responsible for a lot of things.
- And none of it interested him anymore.
- He was depressed. He was tired. And most of all, he was old. He had worked for the Foundation for a permanent 30 years. His life had gone by as he spent time in a permanent role for the Foundation as an architect.
- His wife had died three months earlier, and he hadn't been allowed to mourn her passing for more than a day when more containment cells had needed designed. He had been offered a longer period of bereavement leave with full pay, but had declined it, saying work was the best thing for him. Now he regretted it.
- He had left his wife while he was much younger. She believed he was divorcing her. He knew that being part of the Foundation permanently would just serve to protect her, his family, and the world. At least, that’s what he had believed when he was younger. But now, looking back, Julius realized that his wife had died believing that he had just upped and left her for no discernible reason. The only reason he had heard about her was through checking her Facebook on the SCP computers.
- The next stroke came in a containment breach in which 10 agents sacrificed themselves to contain the SCP. The breach had been determined to be caused by a flaw in the design of the cell, the cell design being that of Julius’s. He had designed it shortly after his wife’s death. Nobody had faulted him, but the weight of their deaths, even as faceless as they were to him was painful.
- It was this natural mental trauma coupled with the side effects of constant supervision of telekill metal that lead to Julius seeking counseling.
- The counseling never came through. Julius had waited for several hours to see a counselor before leaving in disgust. There were too many other people at site 19 who had to face the deep agony of mental illness.
- But Julius was past the stage of thinking of others. He could barely communicate.
- Julius remembered the first day he had been brought onto the job permanently. He had been given a tour by a simple, level 2 researcher at site-19. He had been shown an example of the only SCP other than the telekill metal he was supposed to have ever seen.
- “This is known as SCP-173.” The level 2 researcher told Julius. “Now that you’re a permanent part of the Foundation, these are the kind of things you will be building for. If you don’t design the buildings right, people will die.”
- The researcher quickly closed and locked the door, and blinked in relief.
- “For this one, it just requires a strong enclosure with a locked door. Your boss will tell you the requirements of the containment facility needed case-by-case.”
- Julius stepped into the containment where SCP-173 was. He thought briefly about whether he should’ve left notes on how he managed to get into this containment, despite the fact it was locked and he didn't possess the key.
- And then he blinked.
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