The Six Meeting of Johnathan White

Everybody else does it, he told himself. Why on Earth should you feel guilty?
John White paced around restlessly under the decaying concrete roof that had been chosen for the meeting. It was stupid, stupid, stupid, and the Foundation would catch him and they’d terminate him- or worse-

“Calm down, would ya?” said Pauline Fuchs. This whole thing had been her idea, damn her.
The concept had been simple: since White had been given class-3 security clearance, it gave him the ability to choose which prisoners were offered the choice to become Class-D. What a lot of researchers did on the side was take bribes from anyone willing to pay to arrange for certain individuals to meet their ends inside the Foundation. Different people had different jurisdictions, of course, and White could take anyone he wanted inside the state of Maine.

“What if we get caught?”

“One: we won’t. Two: Commander Lewis does it, so it’s in his interest he doesn’t set a precedent of us getting punished.”

White turned to Pablo Renard, the third man of the trio. The half-French half-Spaniard never said much, and always wore a black visor across his face. White was never sure if he was going to hug him or shoot him. In fact, he didn’t even know what he looked like. Both Fuchs and Renard carried P90s, by way of intimidation more than anything else.

Fuchs nodded forward, and White span on his heel to see a large, intimidating man stomp forward. For a moment, White considered turning and bolting… but some hidden courage willed him to stay standing.

“H…hello,” he stuttered out. “Who… who would you like to die?”

God, he sounded so stupid, why had he-

The man took a photo from his pocket and pressed it into his hand.

“Alfred Dickson,” he grunted. “On death row for the rape and murder of three children.”

“Oh… Oh, Jesus, that’s terrible.”

“I know. Make sure his death is a painful one.”

White nodded. “Five…” Five grand had been the original asking price, but how could he charge for the death of such a monster? “Five hundred dollars.”

The man arched his eyebrows in surprise. “Y’know what?” He reached into his pocket, and took out a wad of notes. “Here’s ten grand. Keep the change.”

Alfred Dickson crawled along the corridor. His ankle burned; every time he put any weight on it, fire exploded out from his foot and slammed up his leg. The bastards had shattered his ankle with a sledgehammer.

But he couldn’t stop. He… couldn’t stop, because that…. That thing, it was behind him, and if he stopped then it’d kill him.

Once again, he tried to stand, and the pain dragged him down. Alone on the cold floor, he began to weep.

And then he realized he was wrong.

He was not alone.

Something soft and fleshy and twisted and sharp gripped his ankle.

And then he realized, once more, he was wrong.

It didn’t kill him.

The next twenty passed with a surprising simplicity, but number twenty two did prove to be the bump in the road. All sorts of people had come, requesting death: disposing of snitches and avenging murders were the most common, but others included clearing the way for an inheritance, getting rid of ugly blotches on the family history, or just a desire to see a killer they’d never known die. One even requested the tapes, although White had to refuse on security grounds.

The client this time was middle-aged, bespectacled, and looked thoroughly untrustworthy.

“You are the man who arranges for certain prisoners to meet their end on Class-D duty, correct?”
White nodded.

“Well, I have just the man I need dealt with. Name’s Thomas Williams. Currently serving five years for robbery.”

Fuchs shook her head. “Sorry. Death row only.”

White raised a hand to silence her. “How much you offering?”

“Half a million.”

Well, that got his attention. “Half a million?”

“I trust that’s enough?”

He glanced over at Fuchs, shaking her head, and Pablo, totally unmoving. “Can we discuss this in private?”

“Absolutely not,” said Fuchs. “He’s not on death row.”

“He’s a criminal anyway,” said White. “If we don’t kill him, then our client will have it done on his own.”

“Death row only. If you accept this, then this is the last deal we make.”

“What are you gonna do, inform Commander Lewis?"

Defiance sparked in Fuchs’ eyes. “Yeah. Y’know what, I will. If you go over and accept his deal, that’s it. I’m out.”

“You’re bluffing.”

She smirked. “Try me.”

White looked at Pauline, then at Pablo, who simply shrugged. Then at the Bespectacled man.

“Fine.”

Tommy Williams slodged through the alien flora. Strange blue moss enveloped everything; only the occasional patch of rusted metal could be glimpsed through it.

“Uh, everything’s covered in this weird slime stuff,” he said into his mike. “I can see this ladder. Want me to go up it?”

“Proceed onwards,” said Doctor White.

The ladder creaked and threatened to shatter under his weight, but he hauled himself up it regardless.

Above him, everything was dark. Something shifted in the corner of his vision- he jerked his head towards the moveme-

A shatter. A scream. And then, a long silence.

He agonized over it for hours.

“She hasn’t grassed yet,” he told himself. “She introduced you to this whole business in the first place.”

Besides, he had over $750,000 at this point anyway. Was he ever going to need any more?

But if Fuchs was alive, and she had a conscience, there was always a danger, and even if she never grassed, he was always going to be scared.

He cursed himself, had countless sleepless nights, and at times wished he’d rather died instead.
But he sent her in anyway.

That stupid fucking dickhead White, why the hell did I help him-

No, thought Pauline Fuchs. There was no point being angry. Better to die at peace, knowing you never sank to his levels.

He’d set the whole thing up with Commander Lewis. “Why don’t we sent a few agents into SCP-9865?” he’d asked. There was no benefit to manned missions over just sending in a drone, of course, but both wanted Fuchs out the way, so the mission was justified with some bullshit about “observing the effects of human contact” or something.

Peterson went first, although nobody was quite sure when. They’d walked for an hour until they noticed he’d gone. Sullivan and Oates had given up, ran back to the aperture back to Earth. She hoped they made it, although a sharp, shrill scream that was unmistakeably Oates sounded out shortly after.

And that left her here, alone, on some weird alternate Earth covered in that awful pulsating moss.
She considered waiting for that thing to get her, to hold out as long as possible simply to spite White.
No, she thought. On my own terms.

She removed her helmet and died within the second.

When White arrived at the bench overlooking the lake five minutes early, he found his client already waiting there.

Taking his seat and a bite of a sausage roll at the same time, he asked the first question. “I saw a fox today.”

“All red and little and fast,” replied the client. The agreed greeting. White wasn’t even sure why he bothered with it anymore. Five years, it had been, since Alfred Dickson died screaming, and not once had anyone come close to catching him. After Sullivan and Sullivan alone emerged from SCP-9865, he’d become White’s loyal man and even pocketed some of the profits himself.

Lewis, unfortunately, proved an obstacle to be removed. That was the closest he’d ever come to falling, but he pulled it off. “Why draw the line at criminals? We just need them in jail.” A few bribes to the police, and now White had over 500 kills to his name. Most of them guilty of something or the other.

Renard had simply vanished shortly after Fuchs’ death. Too scared to stick around, he supposed.

“So, who do you want dead?”

“A researcher of your Foundation,” he replied.

An unusual request, White supposed… and perhaps he could avoid setting a precedent for killing researchers… but still, it depended who they were. He’d only ever sent those who disagreed with him into the jaws of death before, but there was no reason to stop there.

“What’s his name?”

“You might know him,” he replied. “His name’s White.”

White’s face turned his namesake. “I have two men ready to have you shot on a moment’s notice.”

“Really? Because I have ten.”

Sullivan and McKay were marched out from behind there hiding places, their hands in the air. All around, figures clad in black swooped in from nowhere.

“This is for Pauline, you son of a bitch,” said Pablo, and he swung his fist straight into White’s face.

Well, ain’t karma a bitch?

As the terrible creature that inhabited SCP-9865 charged towards him, White expected himself to feel scared.

But honestly, it was almost a relief. It would all be over soon.

“You know what?” he said, knowing nobody could hear him. “It was fun while it lasted.”