ダリル・ロイド博士がこれまでで最後になしたこと (年代順)



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With regards to Site 56's architectural issues

Some things to remember:

  1. ”物理パズル”型スキップの大半はサイト-56の外へと移されました。私の認知している限りでは、残っているものはサブ-イエローのSafeです。
  2. Most of the "physics puzzle" skips have been moved out of Site 56. Far as I'm aware, the remaining ones are sub-yellow Safes.
  3. 私の認知では、56のKeterは1055 (いずれにせよSafe棟の下敷きとなりそうです)、不気味なマスク (いずれにせよ自分では動けません)、SCP-871-128 (いずれにせよ”傾く地平”シナリオの影響を受けるには高すぎます)、そしてSCP-████だけであり、いずれにせよその収容プロトコルは現在の建築を必要としています。
  4. As I'm aware, the only Keters on 56 are 1055 (who'd probably be crushed under the Safe Wing, anyways), that creepy mask (which can't move on its own, anyways), SCP-871-128 (which is too high up to be affected by a Tilted Plane scenario, anyways), and SCP-████, whose containment procedures necessitate the current architecture, anyways.
  5. ”傾く地平”シナリオには[編集済]が必要です。そのためには、非常に限定的な一連の独立した事象が同時に発生するか、あるいはサイト-56の内部機構を知っている悪意ある現実改変者 (サイト-56にはいません) が瀕死になるまで力を使わねばなりません。
  6. A Tilted Plane scenario necessitates [REDACTED]. To do that, either a very specific set of independent events would need to occur at the same time, or a vindictive reality bender (which we do not store in Site 56) with knowledge of Site 56's inner workings would have to overexert itself to the point of death.


Given what SCP-████ does without ƟU-2677 and its associated GGM containment unit, I'm fine with delaying renovations until brass comes up with better containment procedures. We'll burn that bridge when we come to it, Director Harper.

Jared ████████, Maintenance Director

Item #: SCP-2677-ARC Level 1/S56
Object Class: Euclid/Archived Classified

特別収容プロトコル: SCP-2677-ARCに入ってはなりません。

Special Containment Procedures: Individuals are not to enter SCP-2677-ARC.

説明: SCP-2677-ARCはサイト-56の高価値収容棟と人型実体棟の間にある共同溝です。SCP-2677-ARCを認知している人物は小規模な情報災害の対象となり、誰であれSCP-2677-ARCには入りたくなくなります。

Description: SCP-2677-ARC is the service tunnel located between the High-Value Storage Wing and the Humanoid Wing of Site 56. Individuals aware of SCP-2677-ARC are subject to a minor infohazard wherein they do not wish for anyone to enter SCP-2677-ARC.


Dr. Darryl Loyd jolted awake with a pained gasp, as normal, in an emergency light-lit room where klaxons blared and gravity was off by about 30 degrees, which was not normal.


Okay. Breathe in, breathe out. They probably put him in some containment breach on the moon or something. Hardly any worse than last time, but he was hoping at least a few more weeks before some chucklehead busted his head open like hard playdo.

現在、ロイド博士はぐちゃついたオフィスの詰まりの悪いオフィスチェアに座り、目の前にはSCP-3428の文書とゲームオーバーになったマインスイーパで半々に分けられた (奇妙にも無傷な) コンピュータスクリーンがあった。何個かのオフィス雑貨が床一面に散らばっていたが、大部分の残骸はオフィスの隅にまとまっているようだった。大部分の壁の装飾 (ほとんどはこの宇宙iterationにおける彼の家族かなにかの額入り写真だった) は、この混乱を引き起こした何かのせいで壁から引き剥がされていた。そんなこんなで、これを片付ける必要が出るより前に彼が死ぬだろうことは幸いだった。

Currently, Dr. Loyd was sitting in an understuffed office chair in a wrecked office, facing a(n oddly intact) computer screen split evenly between SCP-3428's documentation and a lost game of minesweeper. A few office knick knacks lay scattered across the floor, although most detritus appeared to have settled in the corner of the office. Most of the wall decorations (mostly framed photos of whatever family he had in this iteration) had been jostled off the walls by whatever caused this mess. All in all, he was glad he'd probably die before he had to clean this up.


Dr. Loyd reached into his pocket for his wallet, which he promptly fumbled into the corner of the room. Today was not his day.



ああ、突然の電子音声はいつだっていい知らせだった。ロイド博士は起き上がり (± 30°)、部屋を見回した。こいつはきっと単なるキルボットだ。

Oh, sudden electronic voices always boded well. Dr. Loyd got up (± 30°) and looked around the room. Hopefully, this was just one of the killbots.


"Oh! Over here, your desktop! Sorry, this is my first deployment and all that."


Dr. Loyd looked back to his monitor, which had been replaced with a cartoonish rendition of the SCP logo. Always a good sign, of course, especially during a breach. "Yeah… can I help you?"

「ハロー!僕はシータ-アンシリー-1730!」この場では特に説得力ある名前だった。「僕はサイト全域のインフラ崩壊に対処するのを専門に作られた財団製の人工知能。見たところ君は”傾く地平”シナリオに困ってるみたいだけど……ちょっと待って、738が何かした? ……ああそうかい。ごめんよ相棒!」これが彼のコンピュータにいるべきなのかいないべきなのか、ロイド博士にはどちらの方が問題かはわからなかった。「でも心配しないで!僕は君を助けるために来たんだ。ほら、きっと君が何を考えているかもわかるよ──」

"Hello! My name is Theta-Unseelie 1730!" That's an especially convincing name, right there. "I'm a Foundation-made artificial intelligence designed for the express purpose of handling site-wide infrastructural collapses. Indeed, it appears you've suffered a Tilted Plane scenario, cutting off… wait, 738 did what?… oh, yeesh. Sorry, buddy!" Either this thing was or wasn't supposed to be on his computer, and Dr. Loyd wasn't sure which prospect was more worrying. "But don't worry! I'm here to help with that. Now, I probably know what you're thinking-"


Oh jesus christ, who put an AI in charge of site security?

"-but don't worry, I'm no HAL 9000! No, I've been designed to take a people-focused approach to containment breaches such as… well, this is a bit of a test run for me! Now, uh," for something with no face and no heart, R&D sure did put in a lot of effort to make this thing irritatingly human. "Okay, running a few scans… you're Dr. Darryl Loyd, correct? Senior researcher, currently assigned to SCP-1055. I know I'm correct, but, did I get the right guy?"

Ah, now the memories were coming back. "Yep, that would be me." He'd been on '55 for a few years now, some kid with a weird bear. Dr. Loyd didn't have the full picture right now, but he felt like '55 was something… well, unfortunate.

"Alright then!"

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever saw was a Class-4 visual-kill cognitohazard.

Dr. Darryl Loyd jolted awake with a pained gasp, as normal, in an emergency light-lit room where klaxons blared and gravity was off by about 30 degrees, which was distressingly familiar.

This time, he maintained a firm grip on his wallet long enough to pull out his Foundation ID, coming face to face with his own spitting image. Seemed normal enough. ID Number F-U03, Y00L1, level three clearance, Department of Infohazards. He could extrapolate the rest from his rapidly recorrected memory. Head of Research on passive infohazards such as SCP-1160 and-


Dr. Loyd yelped in surprise, accidently throwing his ID across the room.

"Oh dear! I'm soooo sorry about that. You should… you know, probably go pick that up. I mean, I already know who you are. You have a pretty distinct face, well, no offense, I mean. Still, best to keep your ID on you during a Tilted Plane scenario."

Dr. Loyd turned back to glare at his desktop monitor, which currently displayed a cartoonish Foundation logo.

"You already know what that is, don't you? I'll skip explaining that part, then. So, uh, by chance, do you happen to be Dr. Darryl Loyd? I mean, you are, but I gotta check. In case I got something wrong, and all that."

Dr. Darryl Loyd thought long and hard about his answer.

"… no."

"… huh."

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever saw was a Class-5 visual-kill cognitohazard.

Dr. Loyd woke up, yet again, in a room tilted to an incorrect angle.

Fate probably wanted Loyd to yet again drop his ID, but fate could get fisted by SCP-2800 for all he cared. The memories would come back to him anyways. They always did.

Dr. Darryl Loyd, level 3 researcher working for the Department of Infohazards. Current project was some ontokinetic that refuses to let go of its stuffed bear, for some reason, but he knew better than to question misplaced expertise; if there was anything he learned from his time in the Foundation, it was how to fit a round peg into a square hole. Regardless, Dr. Loyd was good at what he did, with a reputation for competence and integrity.

More importantly, he's pretty damn sure this reality had killed him twice already.

"Greetings!" He wasn't sure he'd ever get used to that grating electronic voice. For now, it was best to ignore it.

Just Loyd's luck, the door to his office (which seemingly opened inward) was situated at the top of the incline. He might be able to get some traction from the office carpeting, but if that was his lifeline out of a containment breach this bad, he might as well try for a different life.

Sighing, Dr. Loyd turned back to his desktop. "Yeah, I get it. Theta-Unseelie 1730, something about a tilted plane, yada yada yada, can you just skip to the part where you kill me?"

"Weird, but okay!"

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever saw was a Class-4 visual-kill cognitohazard.

You know, a normal person would've loved to have been suddenly awoken from such an abrupt and humiliating death.

Dr. Loyd nearly screamed in frustration as he found himself back in the tilted office. No, of course he didn't expect that to work, but couldn't reality throw him a bone every once in a while? For god's sake, what did they even expect him to do here? Anything? Whatever. Existence was his absurdist mistress and whether or not it wanted him to stay in his office, it'd almost certainly treat him better outside of it.

And so, Loyd began the ascent to his office door.

"Greetings!" Loyd chose to ignore 1730 this time. "Where you going? Don't you know it's dangerous to be out during a breach?"

"What does it even matter?" The office furniture, which Loyd held onto during his ascent, was thankfully bolted to the wall. "If I stay in here, you're just gonna kill me."

"Well, of course I'm gonna kill you! Standard procedure says I gotta kill SCP-1055 researchers if it dies in this site. Jeez, did you even read the manual?"

Technically he both did and didn't, but he wasn't about to explain his existential plight to a control freak AI. Either way, it wasn't long before he reached the door, which opened well enough.

The door opened into a normal hallway, similarly lit and tilted to his own office. The halls were empty, of course, aside from Dr. Loyd and a D-Class wielding a-

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever felt was a fire extinguisher cracking his head open.

Darryl Loyd wasn't a very inquisitive man by nature; he'd add that he'd never been, but he wasn't quite sure how much of his life he'd actually lived. Oh, fine, he was (usually) a researcher, and they were pretty inquisitive about science. After all, that's what researchers do: research. But when it came to the metaphysical questions that plagued his mind, like "am I me, or just a collection of my cells?", "how can one be moral in an existence where the only meaning in the universe is what one makes of it?", or "who created me, and how can I demand a refund?", Darryl Loyd preferred not to think about it too hard.

But hot damn, if "why do I keep waking up in the same room" wasn't at the top of his fucking list.

Still, existence couldn't keep him in here forever.

Loyd searched through his desk for something he could reliably defend himself with. He didn't have his gun with him, for some reason, but if he played his cards right, he wouldn't need it. No, a stapler's too unwieldy to bludgeon someone with. What would he do with a letter opener, anyways? No, a tiny flashlight wouldn't make a good baton. Tape dispenser? Fuck it, he'd have the element of surprise, anyways.

As soon as Loyd threw open the door, he charged the D-Class waiting outside, and quickly found himself knocked over by a prepared swing of a fire extinguisher.

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever saw was a near-feral 6'2" woman pounding his face in.

You know, it was a shame Alice in Spiderland never released an album after 2017.

He probably shouldn't be listening to old music during a containment breach, of course, but what else was he gonna do? His computer was trying to kill him and so was the D-Class hiding outside his door. Obviously, whatever primordial force ruled this universe didn't want a specific combination of atoms to go outside of a 120 ft2 tilted plane. Why not listen to the dulcet tones of Wayne Szalinski, or Hydrocide Sisters, or Astrochasm, fellow siblings in arms in a fight against fate that inevitably concludes with a premature end?

And so there's little to do but wait. They couldn't keep him in here forever, of course. Eventually, the D-Class had to die, security had to rescue him, and the breach had to end. And hey, if he really was stuck in a groundhog day loop, maybe it'd break if he got out of here.

And really, visual-kill coghaz? All he needed to do was turn away from the screen, there. ƟU-1730 didn't have a body, and he knew it was too chickenshit to blare an audio-kill, or it would've done so.

It was halfway through Electric Ladyland that Loyd heard two shots, followed by the sound of a figure slumping against the floor(?). This was followed by the door to his office bursting open, revealing the armored figure of a site security officer. Loyd might've been more excited if this sequence of events didn't logically result in a heavily armored man pointing a gun at him.

"Hands where I can-" Dr. Loyd's hands were already in the air by the time the officer interrupted himself. "… Dr. Loyd?"

Loyd looked between the officer and the carrion rapidly draining blood into his office. "… that would be me, yes."

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever heard was the crack of a Colt 1911.

"I know you're out there."

The force one needed to exert to stand against the adjacent line on a tilted right angle wasn't a physics question he ever expected to answer.1 Still, he'd run out of ideas on getting out of this locked room mystery, so he might as well try the Power of Friendship™.

For a few seconds, he thought on how he was literally and figuratively pushing against a wall, before a rough voice replied. "Yeah, that's two of us. What tipped you off, the breathing?"

"It's complicated. I suppose you expect to kill me as soon as I walk out."

"No, no, I'm just waiting here with milk and cookies from grandma. Yeah, no, you slip me that cute little ID of yours and we're good."

At least she was honest. "And, do tell: what do you intend to do with my ID? Do you think you can scrape off my fingerprints into the biometric scanners? Maybe I wrote my passwords onto one of them, to help me remember when I suddenly forget at the door. Or, maybe you're some sort of master of disguise, able to shrink a few inches and grow a penis at will."

"Eight years too late for that, unfortunately, but I can manage. Hell, got this far before the horns."

"Indeed." This woman was a good case for bringing back monthly termination. "I don't want to die any more than you do, and I want to kill you even less. Do you think you could be a dear and-"

The D-Class had a sharp laugh, like a witch about to burn, that might've terrified a man living a less absurd existence. "Oh, sure, yeah, you don't want to kill me. Shit, this whole place is just a haunted house and I didn't gotta fight for my life for two fucking years to earn a kill collar out of nowhere. Christ dude, I didn't suck mall cop dick for fun."

That was… well, he hadn't heard that appellation before. "You… do you want an apology? Fine. I'm sorry for subjecting you to unspeakable terrors at the cost of life in prison for crimes you almost certainly deserved to-"

"Fuck you too, asshole! You think I chose to be a criminal?! You think I like this?! I fucking don't!" The D-Class slammed her fist into the door; at least, that's what it sounded like. "I could've been fucking married! I-"

Physics had a habit of ruining emotional moments, just as it had a habit of breaking open doors once they're stressed too hard. Loyd was lucky(?) he didn't crack his head open as he fell onto his ass as this woman fell onto his lap. Hell on the legs, though.

Loyd had a better look at this woman now, and she was exactly as disheveled as he remembered and worse. Both skin and suit were covered in scratches and splinters, to the point that her ID was barely visible; it didn't quite help the whole thing framed a body nearly as wiry as the hair on her head. Loyd wasn't sure if the circles around her eyes were supposed to be prison makeup or if she was just that far gone, but it didn't speak well for her in any case.

D-952 blinked, before breaking out into another cackle. "Fuck, well, that ruined the moment, didn't it? Let's just get out of here."


"Why didn't you kill me?"

D-952 looked back at Loyd, barely missing a beat in her steady stride along the tilted hallway. "I was supposed to kill you? Nah, man, I just wanted your ID. Plan was to bean you with the hydrant, then take it while you're out."

"That would probably kill me."

Well, here was the esteemed Dr. Darryl Loyd, the immortal legend, esteemed researcher for the SCP Foundation, reduced to escorting a violent wildling through the ruined interior of Site 56. What would the dissertation committee before which he earned his doctorate think, assuming he had actually existed for that memory? How might his employers, the last, best hopes for humanity (snrk), view his fall from grace, before and after they put a bullet through his head? Who knows. Life never turns out the way you expect it to.

In any case, 952 shrugged. "Eh, maybe. But nah, I've only ever killed like… three people." 952 turned back to Loyd with a knowing smirk, but if she was trying to imply something, Loyd didn't get it. "And like, at least one of them deserved it."

"Charming, really." Loyd almost preferred when 952 was trying to murder him. At least then her emotions made sense.

The hallway, as he remembered, was located just outside the high-value anomalous object storage wing, which meant security would be a little tighter. How 952 found herself here without getting shot was anyone's guess, but they wouldn't be going back into that wing if they actually got out.

If. Dr. Loyd wasn't too keen on letting a D-Class escape, but "shoot on sight" was the rock between "D-952 is taller and stronger than me"'s hard place.

But Loyd digressed. Each end of the hall had a biometric scanner, fingerprint-based, which was useful when you didn't have to deal with shapeshifters (those were a floor below). One of those newfangled smart screens, connected to whatever Chinese Room (a phrase he somehow knew in this iteration) Director Harper had installed in 56, instantly processed your thumbprint, which then told the door whether or not it had permission to open up. Of course, if you wanted an analog 'out', you had to enter the service tunnel. Loyd did not want to enter the service tunnel. Nobody wanted to enter the service tunnel.

The impulsive moron Loyd was stuck with was already pushing at the door by the time he came by. Whatever. Looking down at the screen-

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever saw was a Class-4 visual-kill cognitohazard.


Darryl Loyd's keyboard was slammed against Darryl Loyd's computer monitor. This was followed by Darryl Loyd's chair being thrown into Darryl Loyd's office walls, then Darryl Loyd's office supplies being broken by Darryl Loyd's hands, and finally crescendoed into Darryl Loyd's body throwing itself onto Darryl Loyd's desk.

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever did was to curl up and wait for death, which came in the form of a bullet to the head.

Loyd sat against the far wall. It wasn't an ideal way to spend his absurd eternity, sure, but he'd spent the last few dozen iterations against the other three walls, and needed a change of pace before he went completely mad.

He'd always wondered when the sand would finally filter through the sieve and settle into his own personal eternity. He couldn't die forever, he knew that; eventually, Existence, that rough beast that counted by T as universes counted by X, would have to rear its ugly head, and he'd cease meaningful existence. Maybe this was his end: an eternity of death in a tomb of red lights and klaxons.

There was always the possibility that he was imagining this. That this was some twisted nightmare, and he'd wake up a child calling for his parents. Maybe he'd never died, and this was some twisted memetic unleashed by a careless scientist. Maybe he's in Hell, a lifetime of abuse heaped onto human cattle all funneled into one horrid existence. He didn't feel like the monster who deserved this, no, but maybe it was a judge of character.

Loyd looked back down to his phone. An ugly tablet provided by his employer, first in technology and last in humanity. Built-in database connection, Scipnet communications, even a dinky little music player for when he wanted a splash of color in a prison as black and white as a cartoon. One of the few things that kept him sane across the cycles.

Music. Such a transient thing by nature. Minutes of a song, each conveying a joy, a desperation, a sorrow, fucking something worth talking about, that had a definitive end. That never needed some sort of cycle, the turn of the universal dryer in a periodic dance, but could exist once and be done with. Or maybe that was just his taste, but goddammit, it was real to him! A song played when it needed to, and didn't have to turn forever in an ouroboric farce.

That preference probably extended to his favorite artists. People beyond their time, who never stayed long enough to reach said time. Never wore out their welcome, just burnt like a bonfire and vanished. Jimi Hendrix, Wayne Szalinski, Hydrocide Sisters, fuck, Syd Barrett if you wanted to count him.

Maybe he just liked experimental rock.

Let's see… he'd spent the past few iterations listening to Black Mirror on repeat. Before that, it was a Hendrix triple-dose. Then… fuck it, it's been a while since he listened to Tar Pits and the People Who Drink Them.

As "Cats in Plaid" faded in, Darryl Loyd closed his eyes and thought of nothing.

"… shit, is that Hydrocide?"

Was she still out there? "Yes. Yes it is."

Of all the things that kept him in this fucking site, her. ƟU-1730 was annoying, sure, but it was just doing its job. The guard that came by every three and a half hours to kill him rarely talked, and made it quick. But her. This fucking D-Class waiting to bash his face in to steal a card she can't even use. That folkloric hag that reduced his mobility by a factor he doubted she could even count to. Her.

"Nice. They were pretty tight, yeah. I mean, fuck, I knew the bassist."

… he hadn't expected that, of course. "… you what?"

"Oh, fuck, yeah, I was in a band with her. I mean, not Hydrocide specifically, but pretty adjacent. Less punk, more math."

Dr. Darryl Loyd was a man who could not stop dying and reviving, working for a "scientific" organization hellbent on screwing reality into whatever shape it felt was "normal". He had seen gods and devils, moving statues and pillbug babies, chandeliers that killed men and plague doctors that brought them back. And that was the thing he somehow had trouble believing.

"… interesting." But he'd be lying if he said he wasn't interested in where this went.


The time loop still sucked, of course. But it was better with company.

It was amazing what you could learn in 3 hour increments with the right questions and answers. Loyd was pretty sure he knew everything he ever wanted to know on tentacles, drumming, 4-person bedroom logistics, and screwing with the press by iteration 2. 952 was an entire case study on how not to live your life, or, alternatively, how to live it to your fullest ability. That much of what she said had to be either false or exaggerated didn't seem to matter in the moment; after all, how much of his own life could Loyd reasonably confirm?

And good lord, the ability to finally talk about his life without running through clearance hoops! Even if she wouldn't remember with each iteration, every word spoken was like a burden off his soul. Finally, he could actually complain about the things he'd seen, he'd been forced to do, the things that were all for naught once his iterations were snuffed and replaced…

… and every two hundred and eight minutes, an officer would come by to shoot D-952, always twice, then Loyd, always just once. And he was back to being a stranger in the dark, the rigid peg in its rigid hole.

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever thought was always just that.

By iteration 5, Dr. Loyd was certain the novelty of company would be wearing off. Novelties always did.

The motions might as well have been muscle memory by this point: Turn off his monitor, climb up to the door, play some Hydrocide Sisters, and talk about anything and everything with a woman who just met him. Maybe they'd dunk on Director Harper together, or discuss the failings of commercial music, or whatever passed for banter here. Existence was what it was.

This iteration began with something stupid, because it might as well have. Probably something about slasher flicks, turned to the horror industry and its cliches. From there, they talked of liminal spaces, the horrors of the unknown, and labyrinths.

Of course, eventually, there came discussion of the service tunnel. At the time, it didn't seem any more important than anything else. It began simply enough, at least.

"This site? Complete labyrinth. I really hope the architects involved were fired for their transgressions. You can't even make it out of this wing without power."

Loyd and 952 rarely bothered to open the door between them; there was a bit of an unspoken agreement that they'd kill one another in self defense against the other's own self defense (Loyd was learning to think in loops, and they rarely had to make much sense).

"Really? Hell, what about that one analog door next to the way out? Seems awful convenient, and need be I could just kick it off its hinges. I mean, what's the problem with passing through? Termites? Fuck it, dude, just go right the fuck on."

Hadn't he thought of that. Two ways out of the closed loop that was the storage wing, and one of them was blocked by a zealous AI. The other… well, he didn't want to enter the service tunnel. Nobody did, and nobody ever told him why, not even in his fake memories. Well, he knew the what: 2677-ARC was nearly as despised as whatever horror they kept beneath the actual site. But the actual why, the how, the if/then…

Why did she want to enter it? What was even in store for her? For… him?

"That's the service tunnel. I don't recommend entering it."

"… well shit, now I suddenly don't want to enter that thing. Thanks, bud. Really had to put a damper to that plan, huh."

wait a minute.

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever said was inarticulate, buried by his own laughter as he got up, turned on his monitor, and expired from a Class-4 visual-kill cognitohazard.

The first thing Darryl Loyd did at the beginning of the next two cycles was breaking his speakers, plugging his ears, and planning.

SCP-2677-ARC. That fucking thing. Active infohazard confined to the labyrinth that was Site 56, another obstacle for the people who worked there to navigate. Forced the Foundation to practically rewire the whole damn site's plumbing and electricity. And worst of all, it just sat there, doing nothing.

But it was an infohazard, and infohazards have rules.

Did Loyd have much to work with? Fuck no. A few files on his work computer, maybe, but that was currently being used to kill him. He had some paperwork, but most was about 1160 and occasionally 1055. He could access the entry on his tablet, sure, but documentation was sparse on account of archival.

But he could fill in the gaps.

There were the rules he already knew, of course: The tunnel started from the Storage Wing's offices and ended at the Humanoid Wing's containment area. The door wasn't electrically sealed, and only kept in place by the anomaly. And, of course, if you knew about it, you didn't want yourself or anyone else to enter it.

The first two revelations came from 952, bless her stupid heart and vulgar vocabulary.

  1. It stood to reason that, if you did not know the door lead to a service tunnel, you were not affected by the anomaly.
  2. The terminology was always "enter". Not "use", "pass through", and not even a synonym for "enter", but always the word "enter".

From there, you could extrapolate quite a bit. Because it was only an aversion to entering, it was possible to desire using the tunnel. If someone were to enter the tunnel before they saw what's inside, they'd be effectively immune to the anomaly until they left. "Enter" as a word had a bit too much nuance for certain circumstances to apply. Most importantly: since infohazards were almost entirely mental, semantics and wordplay might act as stumbling blocks.

For the first time since O5-7 put a bullet through his head, Dr. Loyd wasn't trapped by fate. Fate was trapped by him… and he didn't care how cheesy that sounded, dammit.


The plan was simple:
  1. Darryl Loyd would, as usual, wake up in his office. He would turn off the damn monitor, unplug the speakers, and do his usual routine with 952. He had her down to a pat, now: play the straight man to her wise guy, let her vent to him for a bit, all that stuff.
  2. He would then convince her that she needed his help to get out through biometric. It wouldn't work, of course, but that wasn't the point. He needed her to move close enough to the service tunnel that that wouldn't be a problem.
  3. Loyd would tell her to open the tunnel door; not "enter", just "open". While 952 might technically assume "opening" would lead to "entering", she would not realize it was a service tunnel at this point.
  4. Loyd had the element of surprise here, and all he needed to do was push her through.
    1. There was a snag, of course: wouldn't she technically be entering? The answer is no, not semantically. Entering is something you do; being pushed into a service tunnel is something that happens to you. It was hairsplitting, sure, but it was hairsplitting within an inhaz's hair's breadth of nuance.
    2. Snag two only made itself clear in practice: Loyd had planned for 952 to pull him into the tunnel (again, not "entering"). It turns out a highly volatile D-Class who had previously wanted to kill you not an hour before did not like being pushed touched. You had to do it slowly with an object, or you ended up with a broken nose and worse. Then, since she's no longer angry, you had to fake a muscle spasm to get her to drag you into the tunnel.

It took three iterations to get right, but when it did, it might as well have been Halloween in September.


Thankfully, with nothing wanting to enter the tunnel, there was nothing in the tunnel but them. Noooooobody but them. No saccharine AI to cogkill them, no "mall cop" to blow their craniums in, just two rejects, walking towards an uncertain future.

952 was the first to speak. "… you know, you look blander than I thought."

"Really? And what did you expect, Professor Frink?" Appearances rarely meant much these days, when an entire history was handcrafted for him on a weekly basis. Neither did standing out, when all you did was go with the flow. Bit of a boring existence, sure, but he existed and that was that.

"Bit more flaming, or like, at least a little bit funkier hair. I mean shit, you and Hydrocide? You look like an NPC from a game about accountants."

"I have to have a crummy sense of direction to end up working for the Foundation, then." How long did this tunnel go for, anyways? Site 56 couldn't be that big. "If you haven't noticed, 'normal people' don't work here. Everyone's got some 'lovable' quirks wrapped in a bundle of family problems and acquired sociopathy."

"I mean, maybe, yeah." 952 shrugged. "But I dunno many non-punks who listen to Hydrocide. Well, I do, but they're all Staten Island lesbians."

This scene. It was almost absurd, really. Two incredibly flawed people meandering down a dark tunnel, struggling to keep balance as they went. It'd make for a good horror movie; not those slasher flicks that played at horror, no, but real horror, the kind that played off your own existing fears. But no: here they were, talking about a single-album band and the kinds of people who might listen to them. In the past, Loyd might've written off moments like this as fleeting and ultimately pointless.

"And how do you know I'm not a punk in my free time?" He wasn't, but that was besides the point.

"I mean, obviously a lot of people aren't. But like… eh, maybe. I dunno. I feel like you don't like the job you chose."

"Really?" Dr. Loyd suppressed a grin. "I'm not gonna lie, free board has its benefits. Almost done paying off my education, too. But, I think you're ascribing a little too much importance to my line of work."

"Seriously dude? That's why you took the job?" Against all logic, D-952 took this time to stop, look back towards Loyd, and shoot an off-center grin. "You're fucking, like… dude, I can tell you're smart. Your nameplate's got a 'Dr.' on it and all that shit. Like… dude, you could be doing whatever you fucking want, right now. Why this?"

Who knows why he chose it. Maybe he didn't. Maybe fate chose it for him. The idea that he'd ever lived his own life was hard to believe when he'd be blown from… how many iterations had it been, now, since he'd actually been a person? Not just a psychologist assigned to a cereal bird, but an employee in a different wing of the same institution? Always around to be killed by something horrid, only to be thrust back into the same jigsaw puzzle.

"… it landed in my lap. So I just… I just do it." What else was there to do, after all? "It's not all that important, what I do. Everyone's a cog in someone's machine, and every machine has to rust over eventually. Nothing humans do really matters, all that much."

952 remained silent for a few seconds, before chuckling. Not the witch's laugh from before, but more like someone remembering a stupid joke from a day ago. "Sure, yeah, nothing matters. But you gotta find meaning somewhere."

The duo stayed silent for the remainder of the tunnel.


As it turned out, "entering" the humanoid wing was impossible from the tunnel, but "exiting" the tunnel into the humanoid wing wasn't. God, Loyd hated infohazards.

The humanoid wing was, of course, a fucking mess, as humanoid wings usually became during breaches. Immediately out the door and the two of them were stepping in freshly wet skeletons, which Loyd could only assume were related to the wet sloshing noise. It wasn't like they were just thrown there, either; whoever left this pile was careful to make sure it wouldn't just tumble down the incline. They were also careful to smash most of the emergency lights. While Loyd was fairly certain he could hear conversation further down the hall (half-muffled by the sloshing), it sounded jovial, light, and colorful, three words he probably wouldn't describe a site-wide containment breach with. Things would only get worse from here.

… no, they wouldn't, because there was a "here" and it wasn't that damn office, for once.

The incline grew less steep as the two descended into darkness, certain that-

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever felt was something large grabbing a hold of him as his skull split in two.

Do-over. Emergency desk flashlight.


Okay, remember to use the flashlight.


Dr. Loyd shone the flashlight down the hallway, and nearly regretted the decision.

There was a conversation going on, sure, but the combination of participants involved was downright awful. Of the three of them, he recognized Iris as the only "human", who was currently fiddling with a Foundation tablet she almost certainly looted. Next to her was a security guard wearing a tarry mask, although Loyd had to wonder if it wasn't the other way around. The two of them prattled on as the last figure, the ogreish brute known as Fernand, sucked the skin off a dead security guard like a human crawfish.

Worse, all three of them suddenly turned to face Loyd and 952 the exact moment Dr. Loyd realized how much trouble they were currently in.

82 was the first to speak, in a voice dreadful enough to whither forests and between teeth wicked enough to snap through lumber:

"Veronica! How've you been?!"

Loyd cringed as 82 stomped towards 952 (he really shouldn't be mixing numbers), sweeping her up into a hug that should have crushed her back by all means, as seconds passed not in time but in how long it had yet to devour either of them. "Oh, do I miss your company!"

As 952 squealed in apparent panic, 82's companions barely reacted. Iris even saw fit to snap a picture of Loyd, which she turned into a fuzzy green ball.

Why couldn't he work somewhere normal?

"It's been ages since they sent you down for dinner! Tell me, how've you been?! Has my royal entourage treated you well?!" Loyd took everything he'd thought about 952's voice back. This was worse. "And oh my word!" As 82 finally dropped 952, Loyd released a breath he didn't know he'd been holding.

"You've brought friends!"

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever smelled was the inside of an ogre's mouth.

This time, 952 held the flashlight, while Dr. Loyd stayed in the shadows.

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever smelled was still the same thing as last time.

Loyd didn't come out of the tunnel yet, not yet.

Maybe 82 was hungry? That was probably it. All he needed to do was let it eat 952 and that would be that. He'd be scot free unless those other two had plans with them, and they looked far too self-absorbed to be of any use.

And so he waited. And waited. And waited. And finally, it became clear that 82 just wasn't hungry anymore. Sighing, Loyd made his way to the now almost empty hallway intersection.

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever smelled was still the same thing as last time, and it pissed him off even harder this time.

Okay, 82 was basically just an ogre, right? What repels ogres?

That was the question of the day, right there. Already he was grasping at straws, and he had to think up a way of tricking a fairytale construct into not eating him. Really earning that doctorate, here. Really working for the betterment of humanity, here.

Ogres are simple, except they're not. They ate children under bridges, or something, but sometimes they didn't and they were just ugly people who smelled bad. They lived in swamps, or forests, or whatever, but Loyd wasn't sure he could terraform anything just yet. They were rarely killed through combat, although that may be a consequence of most stories starring children. He didn't have time to set up traps, and he didn't have a fabled strength worthy of an ogre-slaying hero. All he had was time and his wits…



"And oh my word! You've brought-"

"If you wish to eat me," this is fucking stupid, thought Loyd as he dramatically pointed a finger into the air, "you must solve my riddles three."

Loyd was certain he could feel the awkward stares coming from every other living thing in the halls. Not that he didn't expect it, of course, but that didn't make something this childish and inane any more bearable to do. Why did he expect this to work, anyways? 82 wasn't some cartoonish moron who'd stop trying to eat him just because-

"Very well!"

Fuck, okay, the shit stuck to the wall. Now he just had to come up with a riddle.

"Uh…"… fuck.


"Very well!"

"What has four legs in the-" "Man!" Fuck.


"If a tree falls in the forest-" "Yes!" Fuck!


"What do I have in my pock-" "A Foundation LCell, version 8S plus!" FUCK.


You know what? Screw it. "What's my middle name?"

For a tense few second, Loyd expected 82 to, out of nowhere, belt "Ezra", and he'd be dead again, like usual. Not like he could lie to this thing, anyways; he'd tried that the first few times, and if 82 didn't catch on Mask Thing would conveniently read his mind2 and tip off 82. Not that it mattered; Loyd fully expected 82 not to follow the terms of-

"… is it Orion?!"

Huh. Loyd wasn't used to things working out in his favor. "… no. No it's not."

And of course, his companions had to ruin it. "That? That's almost cheating. Have some respect for the game, doc." Iris could at least give him the dignity of eye contact while playing the devil's advocate, but she was too busy gawking at whatever she called those light spheres she generated. "Fernand's been a team player, whole time-"

"Iris3, you're better than this! Why are you trying to defend him?! He eats people!"

Dying constantly had driven him crazy, that must be it. He died once, was sent to hell, then died in hell and found himself transported to increasingly worse hells, which could only mean his original incarnation bombed a school bus full of orphans. This had to be rock fucking bottom, eternity in a world that made no sense.

"I mean," not a good phrase to start a sentence with! "All he killed was the mall cops. You know, doc. ACAB?"

Iris raised her left fist, and Loyd's peripheral vision better be lying to him because he's pretty sure he saw 952 doing the same thing.

"I'm… I'm genuinely worried. How do you not care that this-" Loyd gestured to 82, who was too busy sucking the flesh off a dead mall cop security officer to care for conversation. "is now free, and eating people! What is wrong with you?"

"It isn't her fault, you know~" Something not quite there, yet not quite not there, slipped into the back of Loyd's head. Christ, he'd heard Masky do this for about 14 iterations and he still wasn't used to this. "She has quite the research to be done, wouldn't you say~"

Loyd was pretty sure he saw 952 edge down the opposite hallway, which, congratulations, made her unequivocally smarter than him. "Research? What-what research? I-" Loyd sighed. There was no reason in attempting to reason with whatever this thing was. "You know what? Go ahead. If I worry too much I'm going to die."

With a quick wave the three of them didn't quite deserve, Dr. Loyd stumbled down the hallway like the kid he might have once been coming down the stairs for breakfast.

And suddenly stopped, as something sickening twitched in his mind. "One last thing, dear~"

"Spell Icup, Dr. Loyd~"

… what?

Loyd turned back, face stuck somewhere between grimace and confused scrunching. That's… the dumbest fucking thing an anomaly has ever asked him to do. Like, not even in the debasing sense, cause he certainly remembers having to perform a llama jig at least once in a previous life, but just… awful. Here was whatever this thing was, a mask that stole people's bodies and played with minds, and its best means of bullying him was schoolboy antics. Didn't it have something better to do, like escaping? Maybe even stealing 82 as a host?

"… what in god's name is wrong with-"

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever felt was his mind being torn asunder.

"Spell Icup, Dr. Loyd~" "… no."

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever felt was his mind being torn asunder.

"Spell Icup, Dr. Loyd~" "E-Y-E-C-U-P."

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever felt was his mind being torn asunder.

"Spell Icup, Dr. Loyd~"

Screw it. Dr. Loyd swallowed his pride, and spoke four letters he refused to think about.

All he could hear as the invisible tendrils left his mind with his dignity in their clutches was the sound of sickening laughter. Hot damn if bringing back decommissions wasn't on his mind right now.

Dr. Loyd hurried down the hall.


Against all odds, the humanoid wing was actually better maintained than the rest of 56.

Further down the hall, and you're heading towards the research labs, which housed the emergency stairs. Unlike the previous wings, they were tilted at a relatively correct angle, at the expense of cracked walls, burst pipes, busted hydraulic locks, and collapsed flooring. Already, the halls smelled of mildew and gas, and every now and then Loyd swore he could spot a streak of purple that left only glitter and the smell of moss. Aside from whatever that was, however, R&D was mostly free of anomalies.

It was the officers and the screens you had to worry about.

Not all of them were hostile towards the two, of course. Some would pass by if Loyd flashed his ID. Others would shoot him on sight. Some would even shoot him if and only if he flashed his ID. Loyd considered going trial & error, sure, but at some point everything blends together. Loyd would just have to be stealthy.

The screens, however… whatever ƟU-1730 was doing to the site, it was efficient and annoying. One wrong look in the wrong direction and you received a visual-kill coghaz right to the face. Unlike the guards, who could be reasonably ad-libbed, Loyd had to memorize where each screen would be.

Christ, and to think he once found stealth games fun. All this savestating was just wasted time, a tedium that didn't even have the courtesy of passing in a linear fashion.

But there was a possible light at the end of the tunnel, and so Loyd silently pressed forwards.

They'd reached the stairs a few times. Most of the time they ran, and got shot, just to chart out a path. Sometimes only 952 got shot, and the sudden shock was enough to throw Loyd off his game long enough to mess up. But they had an infinite amount of tries, and Loyd would rather die in the sun than live in a cage.

The perfect run always got a little closer, but with said progress came a mounting dread in Dr. Loyd. What if everything was ruined? What if the quickest way up was a deathtrap, and he'd wasted his time on nothing?

… he supposed he'd do what he always did, and keep swimming.


That was it. The perfect run. They'd reached the stairs, never spotted, never looking at a screen (and god damn was it hard to corral 952 into not looking at the screens), in one fucking piece, with no indication they'd ever been anywhere else but that one fucking stairway. If Loyd didn't know better, he'd think he was having a heart attack the way his heart was pounding.

Indeed, he nearly jumped the moment 952 finally broke her wing-long silence.

"You know," for someone as large and awkward as her, she was surprisingly good at stepping lightly as she ascended the crooked stairwell. "I honestly expected some stringy, boring nerd to come out of that office. I dunno many punks that'd work in this place. But yeah, you feel pretty punk."

Didn't they already have-right, time loop shenanigans. How exactly he'd changed was a mystery to him, however, but his heart was too busy doing cartwheels to navalgaze. "Do I, now?"

"I… I mean, I don't get this place any more than you do. Shit, been here two years and it reads like Kafka. Everyone I see here? Dead eyes, all of them. I should know what those look like." 952 audibly sighed, which he'd admonished her for if they weren't already talking. "You actually seem to care about stuff. You're a doctor with seniority enough for an office near that weird desk, so you're obviously older than me on that end." Loyd always wondered what that desk was supposed to be, other than a fancy Keter money sink. It's not like they did much but keep it in its room. "But, well… you know, you don't seem dead. You've got this weird drive to you I rarely see in this fucking place."

Did he, now? That was a first.

"And that's… pretty punk, if you ask me." Loyd almost felt something. A vestige from a thousand lifetimes past, perha- "No, wait a minute, you're still working for technofascists, so… pseudopunk."

Loyd forced himself to suppress an ugly chuckle.

Four floors up was the ground floor. All they needed to do was to reach that, somehow get outside, and Loyd's car would be waiting right there for him. Stuff 952 in the trunk, bullshit his way out or failing that crashing right through the gate, and he'd… be transporting a felon out of the Foundation.

They'd almost certainly kill him for that, even if they let this breach thing slide. He'd probably lose his life, or worse, his job. More importantly, it's hardly like he needed 952 out to bust the cycle, if it even could be busted. Whatever was doing this was probably based in 56, related to whatever caused the Tilted Plane. All he needed to do was get out of 56, with or without 952.

… he'd burn that bridge when he came to it.


Basement 3-1, the Safe wing, did not have an officer posted outside the stairwell, which Loyd found peculiar. Come to think of it, 4-1's door hadn't been guarded either. Wouldn't that be the prime anomalous escape route? It'd certainly be convenient if the other stairwells were guarded, although Loyd's pretty sure he just saw 1055's disturbingly realistic teddy bear dragging something somewhere, and would rather not deal with that.

Basement 2-1, computational anomalies, IT wing, and server storage, also not guarded. Loyd couldn't imagine any of the computers could get out, save the possibility that one of them had the ability to suddenly sprout legs. Loyd wasn't too worried about that.

On the way to the 1-1, three Mobile Task Force officers bearing an insignia Loyd didn't recognize rushed down the stairs, paying no mind to either of the two. Already, something perched in the pit of Loyd's stomach that hadn't perched there for ages: dread.

Basement 1-1, experimental containment wing and labs, still not guarded. Loyd could feel something rumbling from below, and picked up the pace.

Ground floor. Administrative. Not guarded. Not even locked. He got the hydraulics but this was analog and-

At the five hour mark of Loyd's odyssey, an otherworldly scream, like a fairy court's death rattle, rang throughout the site, as the Blackbox Under 56 signaled the climax of 26/9/2022's events.


Loyd ran, and ran, and ran, as Site 56 cracked around him. Glitter erupted from cracks in the walls, violet moss consumed the occasional houseplants, and lithe monstrosities battled officers who weren't payed nearly enough to deal with this shit. Where once the foundations of 56 had remained stable in their tilt, the machinations of whatever just escaped shook the Foundation's foundations to the very core, literally and figuratively.

It was 1504 all over again, and this time, nuking the mess wasn't an option.

Muscle memory and raw adrenaline were kicking in as Loyd made his beeline to an emergency exit, dodging furniture and bumping walls like a child playing indoor tag. Perhaps in another life, he'd have found joy in seeing 56 literally falling apart, but he'd rather have a clean labyrinth than broken one; the former at least guaranteed a way out.

56's automatic security systems were already working to seal off the building, but their design implied an intact building; most of the doors were stuck at an incorrect angle, or only just now closing.

Loyd didn't know how long he'd been running before he saw it: an exit. An honest to god exit, to the outside, facing the sky at a 20 degree angle but an actual exit out of 56.

Every second he bolted felt like an iteration unto itself. The phantom cold of imagined death was already starting to cloud his mind, taking up six of his precious figurative thought processes but all overshadowed by that fucking door. Distance faded into the background as Loyd pushed himself to the absolute brink.

Loyd burst through the door, and time and space stopped on a sunny day's noon, fifteen feet above the surface of rural Nevada.

He'd never noticed it before, but the desert was… nice, this time of year. Sure, it was a little hot, and sure, there wasn't much grown around here, but that didn't stop everything from having a simple little beauty to it. Even the rest of 56, the plant, the lodgings, auxiliary containment, seemed to play off that magic, like monoliths rising from the desert sands. And hell, maybe it wasn't quiet now, but the soft hums of a job well done mixing with the desert ambiance was always a symphony to behold after a long day's work.

For once, Loyd didn't care how fake his life here was. It was beautiful, and that's what mattered.


It was a minute before Loyd caught his bearings after his fifteen foot drop, two more before he caught his breath, and one more before he "remembered" where his car was parked.

The adrenaline had begun to wear off as the dread creeped back in. He couldn't fuck this up. Not after all the work he'd put in here. He'd get out of here, far away as fucking possible, and then he'd die and be free of whatever anomaly sink was responsible for this, or he wouldn't and he'd do this all over again forever but he fucking couldn't not after everything he put himself through. He'd just get out of here then, away from fucking everything, and not come back until it was fixed, live his life like he always wanted until then like a normal fucking person who didn't always die and who mattered.

Loyd half expected a bomb under his seat as he got in, a bomb in his engine as he revved up his car, and a bomb under his tires as he backed out carefully. Nothing happened. All was good and quiet.

… all was quiet.

He'd lost 952 in there. She was probably dead, never to come out, while he was finally free of 56. She'd… well, she did help him get out, at first. Not at second, or at third, or… however many times she almost died as he shepherded her through 56. Maybe you could make a case for Fernand, or possibly that mask (if only through chaos theory), but nothing besides that. She couldn't drag him down anymore.

The thought that he could die again to bring her back briefly flashed through his mind.

… no. No, he wouldn't. He'd been through god knows how many iterations now, barely escaping with his fucking life out of this horrible time loop. He was out, and he wouldn't be going back in. Besides, Loyd's seen her die hundreds of times already; why was now any different? What did it matter, when all of this was fake?

… goddammit, it was real to him!

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever heard was the opening bars of Two-Headed Boy (part 2) as he rammed his car straight into Site 56.

Loyd ran through everything, again, and again, and again, and again.


Loyd froze for a second. Of all the obstacles…

Dr. Darryl Loyd presented his ID to the officer at the checkpoint. "… awful day, isn't it?"

"Yeah, labcoat, you're telling me. Christ, if I-" The officer was briefly cut off by the Blackbox Under 56's cry. "Okay, let's just speed this up. I'm gonna be doing a quick Hume reading. If that thing's… Christ, they really did it, huh?"

The Kant Counter ticked almost as fast as Loyd's heart beat, and went almost as slow as eternity.

"Normal readings, no anomalies detected, now-" The officer was once more cut off by an unholy scream. "You know what, fuck the paperwork, just go!"

Loyd sped off.

One minute passed. Two minutes passed. Five minutes passed. He wasn't being pursued.

"You can come out, now."

D-952, now Veronica Fitzroy, climbed out from under the pile of junk, paperwork, and spare clothes in the back of Darryl Loyd's car, and into the passenger seat. The two remained silent for a further five minutes as the labyrinth known as Site 56 disappeared behind them.

"… we did that. We actually fucking did."

Loyd solemnly nodded, remaining silent.

"We…" Fitzroy laughed; not the witch's laugh from way back when they first spoke, a thousand lifetimes past, but the laugh of a woman who'd ran fate's red light, head-on collided with Death, and walked away with not but a faint limp. Happy, mirthful, alive. It was… distressingly contagious.

"We're free! We're fucking free!" Suddenly, Fitzroy pressed herself against Loyd in a hug, nearly causing him to swerve into oncoming traffic. "G-d, we should've fucking died but we're free and… " Fitzroy didn't have a face built for smiling. Yet there she was, grinning like she'd just killed the devil and slipped out of hell.

It almost felt… nice.


They couldn't drive forever. Not in the metaphorical "can't run forever" because anything was possible living this kind of existence. More in the sense that their gas would eventually run out, and being unable to return to the lodgings on account of 1730 wanting his head, Loyd would have to search elsewhere. Some shitty motel outside the nearest tourist trap would do. Fitzroy's uniform got them a few looks, but nobody asked questions when they paid in cash.

Fitzroy was the first to enter the room, immediately flopping down onto one of those fluff trap mattresses every motel had. Loyd would've likened it to a child, if not for the fact that she was still a six foot wildling.

"Fuck!" One thing he could say: nothing in there had tamed her fire. She must've been new. "You know how much I miss beds?" Loyd still wasn't used to seeing Fitzroy smile. "Jesus christ, two years in a prison and you lose out on the small shit. G-d… hey, labcoat. Turn on the tv."

Well, at least she wasn't trying to kill him. Loyd sat down on the far bed, taking the remote (why couldn't she just do it?) and, for the first time in… days? Weeks? Loyd just relaxed.

First channel they came to was some public access auction. Up for bid was some ugly clay pot.

"I can't believe I miss this shit. Public fuckin' access tv. Back in my free days, this was my jam and toast. I mean hell, put it on in the background and…" Fitzroy briefly trailed off. "… yeah. So, uh. Yeah… anything you wanna watch? Considering, you saved me and all that."

"It was nothing." Next channel was playing Groundhog Day. How fitting.

"Seriously? I dunno many labcoats who'd lay down their jobs for Class-Ds. I mean, that? That's pretty damn punk." It always came back to that, didn't it? "Shame they're gonna kill you. I mean…" Fitzroy turned over to stare at Loyd. "… they are gonna kill you, right? For all that?"

They always did find a way to kill him, in the end. "I wouldn't worry about that right now." Loyd flipped the channel once more, to a cartoon about talking dogs.

A couple hours passed. No MTF officer busted down the door to shoot them, no Unseelie Queen emerged from cracks in the wall to eat them. The two just laid in their respective beds, watching shitty public access Nevada tv. Life, for once was sedate and profoundly dull. Loyd didn't realize how much he needed something like this.

Fitzroy was the first to speak up. "… soooooooo. I'm free now."

"In theory."

"Yeah, well, I'm watching tv in a motel that isn't owned by technofascists."

"You don't know that."

Fitzroy snorted. "Right. Well, in any case… this is gonna sound out of nowhere but there's been things I've, uh… missed, since my time inside. And I don't wanna pressure you into anything but like… I've got no money. So… yeah."

Loyd looked back over to Fitzroy. Already, she'd unmade the bed into a mess of blankets stacked onto a mattress. "Just say what you're going to say."

"Well," Fitzroy sat up, briefly cracking her neck before curling her knees into her chest. "I always told myself I was gonna do three things once I got out of prison. If I got out of prison. Little reward for past me for not killing herself when she had the chance." A hollow chuckle escaped Fitzroy's lips. "One, I was gonna eat something either very fresh or very greasy. I can only live on prison rations for so fucking long before I die inside."

Ah, Foundation rations. Loyd always felt a little better in iterations with on-site commissaries.

"Two, I'm gonna take a bath. A nice, hot bath, either with someone I actually like or alone. Christ, I still wasn't used to the showers by the time I got out." Fitzroy stopped for a second, as if remembering something, before going back to her monologue. "Cold showers can blow me. Third, I… do you mind if I'm crass?"

After today, and the thousands of other todays? "Go ahead."

"Third, I'm gonna pleasure myself until I pass out. Fuck, six years without sex and two years without an orgasm. Cellmates suck. So… I don't really have any money for the first one, and I dunno if this rathouse has got a breakfast buffet. Basically… would you be interested in joining me for any of those three?"

"… just the first."


Torchlight Tacos, pride of the Southwestern United States, and almost certainly not good for you. Still, the two of them got their exercise in for the day, and what was a jailbreak without a celebration of the life outside of jail?

True to her word, Fitzroy eventually disappeared into the bathroom, not to be seen again for the rest of the day.

Loyd spent the rest of the day watching tv, and died of a heart attack in his sleep.

The last thing Darryl Loyd ever thought was that he'd accomplished something nice.

This tale was written for PeppersGhostPeppersGhost's Original Character Contest. Many thanks to MayDMayD for allowing me to use Darryl Loyd! Find their take on Veronica here!

en tale トラッシュファイア ベロニカ・フィッツロイ


執筆者: Dr_Kasugai
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最終更新: 26 Apr 2021 04:56
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  1. portal:3995762 (01 Jun 2018 11:19)
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