'The Foundation Life'

Slim grey corridors stretched endlessly in the never-ending site. Life in the Foundation was dull, with nothing major happening (except for the occasional blackout); while the sound of doors echoed through the empty corridors. Decoration was little, and the colour scheme no one enjoyed, for yellow with grey didn't match. Still, many a person continued their boring lives in a never-ending site, with bad decoration and all.

* * *

John was a simple person (not in the sense of being mentally simple), with a very normal life. He had a job in construction, a wife, two kids, and a reasonably sized house. This changed when he met the Foundation.

All he could remember was a knock on the door, from a mystical organisation, claiming that his: 'Building and construction skills were needed'. At first, he was skeptical, with his reasonably paid job, he was perfectly content. This was when he was offered a pay check he simply couldn't resist.

"Fifty grand, how can I resist that?!"

"It's simple. Have you seen the times that you will be out there, working? While i'm bloody well stuck here looking after two five year old children, cooking, and doing the housework." Argued his wife, Samantha.

"Yeah, I know, but think about the money. What we could do with an extra fifty grand a year!"

"Listen. The only reason I married you was because I knew you would stay here, and not work twenty-four seven. You can go and work for them, easily, but there's a catch. You'll lose me."

"What are you saying, dear?"

"What i'm saying is that... If... If you take the job, I want a divorce."

"What about the kids? You can't put a divorce on them, they're only five!"

"Then don't take the job."

"But i've got to! This will help us all, we can have money! Buy whatever we want!"

"I'll tell you what, money can't buy time with your children, it can't buy their first times, and it can't bloody well buy me."

"Dear, please, listen... If I ta-"

"No, they're my terms. Take the job and I don't want you any more."

"Fine then. Play it like that"

John hurried to the phone, picking up the Foundation contact card. He dialled the short number, and put the phone to his ear.

"Hello? Yes, i'm John, I would like to take the job offer you sent me."

Samantha stared at him, horrified at what her husband just did; while John continued his short conversation about his soon-to-be job. As if the weather had borne witness and heard his dramatic actions, rain streamed down, pouring onto the soft earth; with the wind blowing through the now damp tree leaves. The dismal day crawled into night, and a sadness filled the cool, damp air.

* * *

Slowly, the small man with short, brown hair approached, for the first time, the gates of the huge site. It was a first for him, a new age, with new money to spend on new things. His job, he was informed, was not in the least bit dangerous, although he was suspicious of being offered fifty thousand pounds a year just to be a janitor, it was a lot of money and he couldn't resist.

He tried to ignore what his wife had said to him, and focused solely working and doing his job (for the sake of his wife and kids, he kept telling himself). He never much liked any sort of job he had been given, and he thought back to his Primary School days, where he learnt (the hard way) that life wasn't fair.

John was six at this time, sometime in Year Two, when his headteacher offered the kids a break from lessons if one of them did a job. Of course, John, being a little naive, shot his hand up straight away. The other kids in his class knew that it would be some boring, annoying job, but John was determined to find out what it was, to get out of lessons. What he hadn't realised was that it involved picking up every single piece of litter that was dropped in the playground.

Now, in his thirties, he thought about the whole year he was a 'litter-picker', and considered about what his new job might involve; shivering at the idea. Now, at the entrance, he was met by two medium-sized security guards. After waiting (rather impatiently) for the two guards to check his security card, double-check it, phone their superiors, have their superiors phone their superiors, he was granted access.

He stumbled along the structured site, with no clue where he was going (for he was provided with no map). Eventually, after twenty minutes (what seemed like hours) wandering, he came across a scientist, which he had no choice but to ask where the janitorial office was. Being provided with the instructions: 'Straight ahead, a left, a right, and a left again.', he made his way through the concrete corridors of the site.

* * *

"Please, take a seat, John." said the hunched janitorial figure, slyly.

"Thank you. I hear that you are the Janitorial Manager? May I ask what I am going to be doing?"

"All in good time, John." replied the Scrooge-like figure.

"Now, the first thing you have to understand about working here is that it is... restricted. This isn't related to military, but it is very secret."

"So, what you're saying is that... if I tell anyone about my job here, I will be arrested?"

"No, what I am saying is worse. Tell anyone about here, and you will be... well, let's not get into details."

John gulped, guessing what would happen to him if he was to tell anyone about his top secret job at a restricted site.

"So, what exactly am I doing here?"

"Well, you will start from the bottom, just doing basic clean-ups, and janitorial stuff."

"Okay, sounds simple."

The man laughed, somewhat manically, with a tone which would send shivers through the deepest part of your bones.

"You will find this job in no way simple, boy." he stated, "You will work your hardest, do whatever anybody says, and you will not say anything about any of this to anyone, it is that easy."

"And if someone finds out?"

"Well, that's simple. You're shot, and your whole existence will be erased. No one will know that you were alive, or even existed. Your family won't exist, your house won't exist, your belongings won't exist and even you won't exist."

John stood up, threatened by the small, hunched man. He was never good at intimidating people, but he tried his very hardest to make a commando impression of himself. As for the man, he did not cower, but simply walked (as much as he could) up to the man and poked him, which caused John to sink back into his small, grey seat.

"So, are you ready to start your job?"

John nodded, too afraid of the small character to say no. And even more afraid of what would happen if he said no.

"Good, then go and get changed into your uniform. The mop is in the closet, if you can find it."

* * *

Now, changed into his soon to be grubby uniform, armed with a mop, John made his way through the site, obeying the intercom commands about cleaning. Of course it wasn't his particular dream to go and work as a janitor in a top secret site, but with the pay the way it was, he could hardly resist. As he mopped up some corroded material from outside a chamber with the sign: 'SCP-079', he thought that his job could've been worse, and there was no danger in it, at least. He could go, work up a stake, and then disappear from the job.

He thought on this idea long and hard, always thinking on what his dream life would be after he got the cash. He dreamed, endlessly. Which is why he didn't notice what happened next.

Suddenly, the smooth cream lights switched off, making way for the distressing red lights of an emergency. Jumping up, he realized where he was. He was in a top secret military site, with who knows what around every corner. He sprang to his feet, his vision a blur, while not knowing what to do. He thought back to what he was told by the small, hunched man: "Now, the first thing you have to understand about working here is that it is... restricted. This isn't related to military, but it is very secret.". What did he mean, 'very secret'. What was contained in these undecorated walls? Was he in danger? What would happen next? Now what?

A piercing roar filled the stale air, and John darted down the corridor he had been cleaning, hiding outside of SCP-079. He had no clue on what was screaming, or even if it was human. However, he knew he had to hide, and quickly; especially if some sort of creature was here. He thought on all the jump-scare, horror movie crap he had watched as an early adult (or in this case, early teenager). He reflected on all the genetic testing and mutations that had happened to poor, unsuspecting humans. What if that is what he was employed to do, clean up the creatures' messes. It was a ridiculous idea, but the longer he thought about it and where he was, the less stupid it seemed.

* * *

Hours had passed since John had heard the ear-piercing scream of what was unknown to him. He dared not move, in case the thing that made the terrifying noise showed its ugly face. At least here, for now, he was safe. Safe from his job, from other people, and from absolutely everything outside (for it must have been a HUGE site, with LOADS of concrete). Believing this, he stole a quick peek around the corner.

To his horror, there was not the plain hallway he was expecting (or even hoping for), instead loomed a tall, bear-like white figure, who dragged along the tiled floor. The creature slowly turned, ready to face John, much to his terror; and John could see the pure white face, with bloodshot eyes and blood streaming from its mouth. Before he had a chance to scream and panic, the creature did this for him. In a state of turmoil, the tall white figure flung itself to the ground, and for a few minutes sat still, hiding its face.

John, new to all this, approached the figure, asking it if it needed help. Of course, there was no response. No response, until the tall white bear jumped up, and flung its arms out; knocking John halfway across the corridor. Both his and the creature's face were lit up with complete terror, and John scrambled for the exit. Yet, he was too late. By the time he had got to his feet and staggered to the doorway with his light concussion (one which would be his last), the creature had started racing towards him.

Naturally, John panicked and ran, but it was no use; for the figure was running at a rate of knots, and John was knocked to the floor, his whole body trembling. The last image and feeling in his body was of his fingernails scratching the tiled floor as he was dragged through the narrow doorway; while the last thought in his mind was that of his wife and kids, the fifty grand he would've earned, and his satisfactory job in construction. He knew his life was ending, and would soon be gone; for life is but one of a million candles, with an extinguisher slowly falling down onto the hot wax...

Written by Skipper987/Skibbs (Sean R.A Brown) as a small "novel" intended as a short read for those who have time to spare.