Don't Fight The Monsters

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June 12th, 2007

He left the room. He closed the door. He pushed it out of his mind. No reason to stress about it now. As if he didn't have enough on his plate as it is… As if he hasn't experienced this before… Well, nothing quite like this… But he almost felt as if he had. Even after so many years of working with human anomalies, Chris didn't feel like this job was getting any easier for him.

"It'll get better, you'll see," his colleagues used to tell him. He hasn't heard that in a long time now. Everyone assumed that Dr. Christopher Erwick was the expert when it came to in dealing with girls hunted by demons. That blindfolded and at one AM, he could write a motivational letter that would make all the literate anomalies in his care light up with joy and volunteer to be studied.

In a way, he had nothing to complain about… He came to the Foundation as a complete rookie. After the first week, he decided to quit, but a colleague talked him out of it. Chris used to be a nobody, a total loser… But now, he was getting paid well for a job he was good at. A job that, with the good will of fate, he even enjoyed. If he was lucky, he'd soon be the wing's lead researcher. Site-91 only had three wings, and the one Erwick worked in, the humanoid one, was by far the largest.

Yet his heart pounded every time he left a room after talking to one of the subjects. Today it was SCP-023-CS… Simonne… The poor girl had died a week ago when she was attacked by a black shape-shifting entity. An entity that's sitting in a holding cell 30 meters below Chris's office right now. An entity that will attack again sooner or later and most likely kill the girl again…

And a week later, Chris will get a request to conduct an interview so he can ask poor Simonne if it hurt or something… Because what else is he supposed to ask her? What do you want to talk about with a person who regularly dies a painful death every few months? Should he ask her about her favorite color? How is she liking the Foundation so far? Or should he just straight up ask her if he can go fuck himself? Because that was the topic of today's conversation… Not that he was surprised. He'd want to be alone in her shoes, too…

He glanced at the watch on his wrist, a reminder of two things. That there was a real world behind those white walls, and that with his salary he could get a new, working one already. The shorter hand on the watch hadn't worked in almost half a year. Of course, Dr. Erwick would most like to run out now, when he has nothing else on his agenda, start his Octavia in the garage and drive to the nearest shop to get a new one. In fact, he had to stop himself from even considering such a thing, because there's no way he could. He's out of luck.

On the way to the office, he wondered where his life had gone so wrong… Up until his arrival at the Foundation, he had been a perfectly ordinary man, fresh out of college, drinking coffee and sometimes spending too much time with his books. So how is it that almost ten years later he's a psychologist for people with paranormal abilities who can't even go into town because he's caught a paranormal parasite somewhere?

He didn't understand it himself… Is was… five? Maybe six months since Dr. Erwick was put under constant observation for possible symptoms. Best of all, no one knew about it but him. Management decided that for some reason it was best to keep it quiet. Chris has been with the Foundation long enough to know that asking questions is both his daily routine and something he has to avoid at all costs. The only difference being who he was talking to. Either way, it was getting very weird having to constantly ask someone to bring him something from the town. Luckily, he could always blame it on being busy.

A pleasant surprise awaited him outside the office. Dr. Ike stood there, leaning back in his knitted sweater, and as soon as he saw Erwick approach, he gave him a thumbs-up with a smile. At least someone was having a good day…

"Hey Chris, how did the interview go?" Erwick gestured that he'd rather not discuss it. "Never mind, I've got something to clear up your mind. Are you still quitting your job for the day?"

Chris nodded and watched as Ike revealed what was behind his back. It was a bottle of whiskey. Maybe tonight wouldn't have to be a write-off yet…

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