Just Another Day Backup
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"Just another day at the SCP," Dr. Rights murmured.

Every few seconds another alert popped up on her computer screen. She let out a sigh and tapped a few keys; the windows arranged themselves in a tree, roughly ordered by estimated priority. At the top was a large banner, 'YELLOW SCALE CONTAINMENT BREACH'. Below were branches listing which SCPs had been released. Small green labels flicked back and forth to show personnel mobilizing to attend to each threat. Dr. Gerald was handling a chemical spill, Dr. Gears was on site to repair the security…

"Obviously, everyone should be doing something." Rights brushed a hand over her hair and frowned at the screen. "The only question is what." She scanned the alerts as they bumped and jostled each other. The staff was mobilizing quite splendidly; perhaps there was something that had fallen through the cracks, figuratively or literally, and could use some personal attention.


Rights paused. She hadn't heard that number for years. But she had heard it. A quick computer query confirmed her recollection: Extratech debris recovered from Anomaly 55456815.


Dr. Rights glanced at the calendar.

"She looks so sweet," the woman said.

The lady behind the desk smiled. "Of course she is. You look good together."

"And you don't have any idea where she came from?" the man asked.

"Completely clueless," the desk woman replied. "She was just—abandoned. Like the Lord himself put her on this earth for you."

"Just like a little angel," the woman said, gazing down into the bassinet.

"Stay back!" The man was breathing heavily, desperately, the wheezing sounding oddly musical. "Don't try to stop me!" Wires crawled over his neck and face, digging into his flesh. His orange jumpsuit wriggled, metal showing through tears. Clutched to his chest he held a squalling baby.

"Okay, okay!" Dr. Glass held out his hands. "Just, just tell us what you want. And, uh, put the baby down?"

"No!" The orange-suited man snarled, baring gleaming teeth. "This isn't just a baby, is it? You'd shoot me and the baby if you had to! You butchers probably have freezers full of roasted baby! No, this is an experiment!" He squeezed the baby tighter, making it howl.

"Okay! Right!" Dr. Glass took a deep breath, still holding out his hands. "Yeah, it's some sort of experiment. I don't know, I don't work in that lab. Look, can you just tell us what you want?"

"I want out of this hole," the man hissed. "And a car, all gassed up. That's all. You murderers will never hear from me again!" A cable snaked out of his shirt collar, flashed a red light at Dr. Glass, then plunged into the man's left eye. He didn't seem to notice.

Dr. Glass winced. "O-kay…Well, if you could just wait for a while, we're in the middle of an emergency. Right…Right? Rights?" He turned and stared.

Dr. Rights walked down the hall toward them. She was holding a folder open in her left hand, reading it as she walked. "Thank you, Dr. Glass," she said, still not looking up.

Both men stared at her. "Rights," Dr. Glass said, "What are you—"

"Stay back!" The other man pushed himself back against the wall. "I'll kill it!"

Dr. Rights suddenly lunged forward and punched at the man. There was a distinct crackle—then a flash of light.

Dr. Glass stumbled back and threw his arm up in front of his face. A wave of heat washed over him, and he squeezed his eyes shut tight. Tortured howls filled the air.

Then it all faded.

Dr. Glass lowered his arm and gaped. Nothing was left of the orange-suited man—or the baby—but a bit of ash and an odor of ozone.


"He broke into an old storage area and got some very dangerous tech," Dr. Rights said. "Fortunately, I was able to activate it before he had fully assimilated it." She held up her right hand, revealing a taser. Zzt.

"Angel, you got some mail!"

The girl glanced up from her book. There was something in her mother's voice, a hint of mischief. She tossed The DNA Story (Watson & Tooze) onto the bed and bounded out of the room and down the stairs.

Her mother smiled and handed over a letter. The girl grabbed it and tore it open.

Moments later, a shriek, and the two were hugging. "I got in, mom! I got in!"

Her mother sniffed. "I'm so proud of you…my little angel."

The staff cafeteria was packed. Technicians and staffers alike bought each other drinks, traded war stories and toasted fallen comrades.

In a corner, Dr. Glass and Dr. Rights sat at a small table. Rights sipped at a glass of water. Glass was still wide-eyed.

"Did…did you…" Dr. Glass swallowed. "You just killed—"

"Dr. Glass, let me tell you a story," Dr. Rights said. "Years ago, there was an event designated 'Anomaly 55456815'. A female infant appeared in a small town, out of thin air, accompanied by a few fragments of high-tech circuitry. The SCP recovered the fragments, and they also studied the baby; however, at the time they judged her to be a perfectly normal infant."

Dr. Glass straightened up from his crouch. "Perfectly normal?" he said. "So, uh, what did they do with her?"

"Nothing. She was adopted by a nice family, who made sure she got a good education." Dr. Rights smiled. "She had a good life."

Dr. Glass gazed at his colleague. Then he slumped back in his chair. "Let me guess," he said. "The fragments of circuitry ended up in long-term storage."

"Storage that was broken into by Subject 449A." Dr. Rights nodded.

Dr. Glass sighed and ran a hand over his hair. "So, you saved the timeline or something? Good job, Rights." He took a deep breath, then let it out and smiled. "Well, I'm just glad the baby wasn't, er, I'm just glad nothing bad happened to her."

Dr. Rights' smile didn't change. "Yes, nothing bad."

"The data is undeniable," the woman said. She sat up straight in her chair, frowning behind her glasses. "These are not natural gene sequences. This is evidence of genetic modification, on a scale and with a skill I never thought possible."

The man folded his hands on the desk and nodded. "And you are an authority on such modifications?" Icy silence was his only reply. He chuckled. "Well, yes. I would not have asked you to this meeting if you were not the authority." He smiled. "I'm curious, Doctor; do you suppose these modifications could be replicated in other subjects?"

She blinked. Her mouth opened, but she made no sound for several moments. "Yes," she finally said. "I mean, no. Uh, we don't have the tools for such, er, fine manipulations."

"You don't." The man leaned forward and fixed her with an unblinking stare. "There is an organization that has had its eye on you for, oh, quite a while. The SCP. You won't have heard of them."

"Oh, hey," Dr. Glass said. "Gears, how are you doing?" He sat up in his chair and waved.

Dr. Gears slipped free of the press of personnel and grasped their table to steady himself. A slight crease was visible in his forehead. "I don't see why a hiatus in nonessential tasks had to be called," he said.

"It's a celebration!" Dr. Glass stood up and patted Dr. Gears' shoulder. "Rights, did you hear? This guy was awesome! Gears, we're all grateful to you for containing the sentient clockwork fungus! They'll be telling that story for years!"

"Someone had to do it," Dr. Gears replied. He looked down at Dr. Glass' hand; after a moment, it was retracted.

"Good job, Gears," Dr. Rights suddenly said. She put her glass down and stood up. "I get the feeling you're not much for crowds. I've got some birthday cake in my office, why don't you join me for a quiet bite?"

Dr. Gears raised his eyebrows. "A small and quiet meal in the company of a respected colleague sounds pleasant," he replied. "But I should let you know; my birthday is not until Thursday."

Dr. Rights smiled. "Oh, I know. Just call it a whim. I feel like doing something…unscheduled."