Kings and Pawns

On a regular Sunday afternoon, in a regular family home, a slender, graceful woman sat in the living room enjoying her weekend. Don had the kids for the day, and for the first time in a while, the only thing Rachel had to worry about was finishing the latest novel she’d picked up.
Rachel hummed to herself as she walked to the kitchen. Her humming stopped momentarily as she noticed the man sitting at her table. He had a slight build and a friendly greying mustache. Under a brown blazer, he wore a tie with a blackbird design. Rachel smiled at the man, picking up her tune where she left off. She walked to the counter and grabbed herself an apple before addressing him.
“I didn’t know if I’d see you again. Ever, really.”
“Does the black moon howl?”
“When the moon is called, the moon calls back.”
The man smiled, pleased at the answer that Rachel had given him. Unswerving loyalty at it’s finest.
“Operative Designate Queen. Welcome back.”

A squat man in a plain grey suit and matching yarmulke waddled quickly through the underbelly of Site 76. His bodyguard, a hulking, bearish Sikh, struggled to keep up the pace, despite dwarfing his boss by nearly two-fold.
“They don’t usually call me in for things like this-” The small rabbi muttered to no one in particular. “-considering I don’t even get a vote.”
As the two men approached the door to a basement study, the Sikh rammed his fist against the frame. The resulting knock was enough to shake the hardwood door on it’s hinges. An eye-level slit in the door slid open to reveal two green eyes staring inquisitively back at the pair.
“What’s the racket?”
“Father Mcmanus?” The Rabbi had to stand on his toes to meet the eyes behind the door. “You don’t know me, but I know you. I admire your work greatly, to be honest.”
The father stood for a second on the other side of the door.
“So, does the black moon howl?” The Sikh finally spoke.
Father McManus quickly unlocked the door and let the duo into his study. The priest’s demeanor changed drastically from confusion to foreboding. He responded:
“It calls to assemble kings at armageddon.”
The rabbi stuck out his hand for the reverent priest to shake.
“O5-14. This is Guru Nanak Sahib. We have an invitation. Marching orders, really.”
He stood rigid, awaiting his assignment from the Council.
“The O5’s are impressed by your unorthodox hypotheses regarding SCP’s 076-2 and 073. Your new working title is Operative Designate Bishop. Gather your things, you’ll be reporting to Overwatch HQ tomorrow.”

In the dark of night, on an island whose data had long since been expunged from any civilian or government record, He woke suddenly, blurrily. He was heavily drugged and strapped to a surgical chair in a dank warehouse, seeing double.
“Humid” He thought to himself. “but late night. I hear bats. and…hogs? potentially florida queues area. Bermuda triangle? Why would I be captured in a nexus? …how do I know all of this?
The next thought that crossed His drug addled mind sent a cold shock down his spine.
“What’s my name?”
As He spoke, three men in all black stepped from the shadows. As one of the men began to take His vitals, the other prepared a hose and bucket. The torture began as casually as a conversation around a water cooler. The questions were asked in unobtrusive monotone.
“Where’s the object?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“What have you done with the SCP classified object?”
“You’ve got the wrong guy!”
“What sort of anomalous objects are you after?”
“Anom- what?”
“Who are you working for?”
“No one! I’m alone! I AM NO ONE!”
The waterboarding stopped as consciousness began slipping away from Him.
“He doesn’t know anything. Our option moving forward is termination.”
Termination. TERMINATION.
His mind was snapped with clarity at the shrouded man’s words. His knowledge, his history, his experiences came flooding back. Everything, except his name.
“You won’t terminate me.”
The men in black looked at him with confusion.
“You won’t terminate me. You’re with the foundation, I’m with the foundation, and I was brought here for a reason.”
“Correctamundo!” A fourth voice struck out from the shadows. Revealing himself at last, a man in a white suit and matching stetson hat stepped out of the shady corner of the warehouse and planted himself firmly across from the surgical chair.
“I knew you’d cut it. You know, we all hand-picked you guys. When I saw you in action with your last Task Force, I saw it in your demeanor. You got that kinda jawline, that stiff upper lip. ‘The cut of your jib’ as they say. Now, Does the black moon howl?”
Like a machine, the cogs in His head turned until they clicked, and he responded.
“Only when her sickle’s keen.”
“Good. You can call me The Cowboy. I’ll call you Operative Designate Knight.”

The atomic clock at the core of Overwatch HQ displayed “18:00” As three strangers gathered the undisclosed location. Designate Knight recognized mountain air, even with the blinders on. Deep inside what could only be described as an earthen fortress, the blinders were finally removed. Bishop was first to speak.
“Who the fuck are you?”
“Explain to me why I should answer that first?” the reply came from Knight, a strapping thirty-something man in black marpat.
“Listen here, G.I. Lovecraft, I’ll-”
“No, you listen. Both of you stop whimpering like children with level 2 clearance. You should both know why we’re here.”
Bishop was interrupted by a woman with easily ten years on either of them. Her bobbed hair stood perfectly still as her eyes scanned the entire room. She pointed at the soldier first.
“Operative Designate Knight, Kyle Forsythe. Former task force Nu-7, head of combat operations.”
Her finger followed her eyes to the priest
“Operative Designate Bishop, Father Sean McManus. Former Task Force Chi-3, head of occult research and operations.”
She proceeded to plant a thumb on her own collarbone
“I am Rachel Horvath. Operative Designate Queen, Former Task Force Alpha-1, head of logistics. The voice in the ear of the hand in the field. I helped recruit the both of you. The real question at hand” She added, looking past the two men “Is who are you?”
A voice echoed from behind Designates Knight and Bishop.
“To quote Ben Folds, I’m crazy, but I get the job done. Flynn Ross, Operative Designate Black Beauty, head of health and wellness.”
The man’s joke fell flat against his audience. He stepped out from the shadows to reveal himself; an ebony man in disheveled academic attire. This man was clearly the youngest of all of them, barely scraping the surface of Twenty-three. cleared his throat to start again.
“Operative Designate Rook, Flynn Ross. Head of quantum research. Specialty in anti-reality and multiverse operations. Are you guys this serious every time? Or did I just draw the short universal straw?”
Queen responded with a somewhat incredulous tone. “how old are you anyway?”
“Old enough.”
“What are you doing on a MTF? You work behind a computer screen safely in your lab.”
“My work has resulted in some valuable information.”
“So you get valuable info and suddenly you’re apart of a combat MTF? No. It doesn’t work that way. Maybe your lab gets extra funding. Maybe you get an extra clearance level, but field work? No. I won’t allow them to send someone this young, without field training, into the line of fire.”
Rook took a step closer to Queen and narrowed his gaze, cutting out Bishop and Knight completely.
“Tell me, Queen, have you ever fucked up? So royally that your only thought is ‘this is the end. The end of me and everything I stand for.’ Have you?”
Queen took a second to process what was happening. She had subconsciously slipped into a more combative stance when Rook moved closer. He was striking the head of a nail she preferred to keep loose.
“Have you ever, in that moment, wanted to go back and fix that mistake, Maybe by travelling back in time, or restructuring reality around you? With current Foundation tech, that wouldn’t be so hard, for an individual. But what if the Foundation itself fucked up? What if we fucked up so royally, on such a scale, that it couldn’t be hidden away. What if we jeopardize our ability to secure? To contain and protect? What if we damaged our universe so badly that instead of just hitting the big red button with skip-2000, we want to remember so we never fuck up this badly again?”
Queen had now taken a seat now, lost in racing thoughts.
“This is a combat task force, why are we invol-”
“Was.” Rook replied. “Until you fucked up. Then Alpha-1 was disbanded. Now Alpha-1 is back, but instead of running and gunning, they’ve decided they need a little bit of everything. A little combat here, a little theory there.” Rook pointed behind him toward Bishop. “A little faith if things get really hairy.”
Queen held up her hand to halt Rook’s monologue. Knight was the next to speak.
“So what? What now?”
“Now” Rook replied, “We dive in. For real this time. Not behind a computer screen. The Foundation has spent lifetimes running from CK-class reality restructuring events, and now I'm here to make one.”