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Tyler Palma leaned on the railing of the ship, taking in the droning of the vessel's engine and the salty aftertaste of the air, watching the thick red sun melt into the ocean. He cursed.

It had been a bad day.

Working as a "containment specialist" for a large faceless organization that secured the unexplainable already had its fair share of problems, as you could imagine, but today was a break from the norm. The first unwelcome occurance was that he was required to move from his home in Portugal for an unknown amount of time. The second was that he had to work in the field with a real SCP, which had already killed seven people, which was not a great track record. That was all unpleasant enough, but the third problem was that after all this he had to stay on a boat full of the secretive people who would keep the thing contained for two days.

And there was the shock that he had just watched the killing of dozens of innocent people. All they'd done was take a look at the meteor that had fallen outside of their village. How should they have known the thing was a skip? The whole ordeal had left a bitter taste in his mouth. And it wasn’t as if he wasn't used to death-people involved with the Foundation disappeared all the time. Still, he felt the lack of amnestics out in rural Portugal didn't necessitate immediate extermination of every witness.

But it wasn't about his opinion, was it?

The only opinion that mattered was The General's. General Mulhausen, captain of Dr. Palma's containment team, was a strict, severe old man; he was a militaristic relic that had passed his prime ages ago. His insistence that he be referred to as “General” was one aspect of this, as was his expeditious decisions and the stubbornness with which he upheld them.

The purpose of this naval trip that Dr. Palma had been brought upon was to transport this strange thing to a secure facility somewhere alone the French coast, where the Foundation could lock it up and hide it away forever. Apparently this was good, since the anomalous object was already locked up under intense precautions in the few hours since it had been located and brought onto the freight vessel. Dr. Palma hadn’t even seen the thing, even in the field he was just working with whatever scraps were left behind.

Of course, none of this information was officially provided to Dr. Palma, but word gets around fast when everyone’s stuck on the same boat.

At a dirty dining facility, more words were passed around.

“They’re being real hush-hush about whatever they’re keeping down below us. Honestly, I’ve been making the rounds but all that I’ve heard is that it looks like a big ball of flesh and it come from space. Tomorrow I should get more details, since a bunch of people around here are gonna get involved in testing the thing. Makes me thank my lucky stars I’m only here to process the paperwork.” Rob told Dr. Palma over dry hamburgers. Rob had the stature and dead state of a man working a job with too many hours and too little explanation. Workplace gossip, particularly the classified kind, was the only thing that provoked a bit of liveliness.“But you get stuck studying it up close, don’t you?”

“Just overseeing the research. I’ll be damned if they get me anywhere near that thing without a four-inch protective glass window between it and me.” Dr. Palma replied.

“So you are gonna see it?” Rob questioned.

“I honestly have no idea. All they tell me is that I gotta switch sites until they figure out this new abomination.” Dr. Palma answered, with a touch of annoyance.

As if on cue, a suited individual walked to their table, leaving a note with Dr. Palma. The standard CLASSIFIED stamp shined a bit as he picked it up and read it. He opened the note promptly.

“Well there you go. I’m overseeing testing in four hours.” Dr. Palma stood up and prepared to leave.

“Well, good luck there.” Rob called as Palma left the dining facility. “Seriously, don’t die!”

He was only partly joking.

In a cramped metal room, Dr. Palma looked over hastily-scrawled notes under a dim, faltering light. The only information available was from the initial finding and recovery of the anomaly, which wasn’t exactly helpful. Different reports pulled together a picture of a giant, ball of flesh, twice the size of a person crashing into that Portuguese field. Notes from one agent described the grimness of four villagers being ordered to walk one-by-one into a hole on the side of the ball. None of them came out. Another report documented seven deaths from the thing. There was no information on who the other three deaths were.

Dr. Palma would just have to ask General Mulhausen.

It was hideous. Dr. Palma stood next to three others in a small room crowded with computers and other scientific instruments. All four of the room’s occupants peered through the thick window on one wall of the room, showing a large, rusted chamber barren except for a large, black, malformed sphere in the center of it.