This Space Intentionally Left Blank

"Okay, now, I know this probably looks bad."

The guard closest to me motions with his gun for me to place mine on the ground. After a moment, I oblige.

"Would you believe me if I told you it isn't what it looks like?"

A pause.

"No? Okay, okay, fair enough. That- that's fair." I raise my arms slowly. "So, ah ha, you got me. Well done! Well done indeed, Mr…."

I pause. Something's off.

"Mr… Ah, hm. I don't seem to be able to- to find you. That's fine! Terrifying, but fine! At least your associate can help me. Isn't that right, Ms…"

I stare at their faces. All I can see is my Jones' face staring back, reflected in the polished black visors.

"Shit."

«Drop the facade.»

I blink. Loudspeaker. Right. I look to my captors for confirmation, and after a second's hesitation they nod. I shrug my way out of the former security guard's identity, and grin as I watch them flinch. There must be something wonderfully disconcerting about someone's facial features shifting from recognisable to exceptionally generic.

Anticipating the mysterious monotone voice's next question, I tilt my face in the general direction of the speaker.

"Dead. Ran into the minefield. It takes a lot of people like that, suddenly not knowing who you are. He was probably Isiah Crawford for a little bit, which couldn't have helped. It'd be like having someone else's existential crisis."

I lean against the wall, watching their firearms trace paths back and forth through the air.

"Nice place you have here. Clean. Not a massive fan of the bunker aesthetic, personally, but you do you. You do you, Mr…

"God dammit. Okay, I give in. How are you doing that? Come on, you got me fair and square, I'll come quietly. I'm just curious. It's like you're not even there."

«Amnestic regimen for all personnel, forged records, termination where possible. There's more than one way to make a nobody.»

"Hah! Clever, clever. And I expect that goes for you too, Mr. Intercom Voice, given that I can't find you either? No, no more tidbits? Suit yourself. Although… just for the sake of my own wellbeing, this facility…"

«Redacted on all records, location never specified. Disinformation and false leads in several major database entries and items of supplementary documentation. No other designation.»

"Cool, cool. What I thought, really. And my own classification…"

I leave the question hanging in the air. A minute later, the speaker crackles to life once more.

«Classified.»

"Oh, go on. You've got me, even I can't get out of this. Nothing named in my immediate vicinity, and as cool as my identity theft is, a gunshot will still take me down like anyone else. So come on, give me a taste of what kind of paperwork I've got to look forward to for the rest of my natural life."

«You have a normal lifespan?»

"Like this? Sure. If I'm someone younger, I age as normal, so provided you lock me up in here for the foreseeable future — and there's no reason you couldn't — I'd eventually exhaust everybody I've ever known of. The human population would move on, and I'd die a completely average death. Now. SCP me, Mister Doctor."

«Not present on ordinary database. No item number. Non-standard object class: Field intentionally left blank.»

"Naturally, naturally. And this squadron of goons is the containment procedures. Very nice they are, too. But tell me what you think I am."

«Humanoid. Indescribably average appearance when not in an active state. Requires little sustenance and no sleep. Goes by the name of "Nobody", relation to Group of Interest unknown. Possesses extremely potent nomenclative and ontologically-manipulative anomalous abilities. Full extent of powers unknown. May represent an Ely-Class paranormal threat.»

"Hah! I'm loving the meaningless classifications and disjointed tone, but you flatter me too much. I'm not any kind of threat, paranormal, anomalous, or otherwise. Just an average guy with thematically-coherent spooky powers. Did I tell you what I was here for, anyway?"

«No.»

"Most remiss of me. I apologise unreservedly. I'm here-" I pull the folded paper from my pocket with a flourish. "With a letter. I'm amazed you managed to ambush me so swiftly, but I suppose that's what you do best. Pass it on to the oh fives won't you?"

«We will do our best.» A crackle and a pause. «Do you possess any allergies?»

"Hm? No, not when I'm Nobody. Why do you ask?"

«We wish to keep you alive, and some subjects in the past have reacted extremely poorly to our airborne sedatives.»

I look at the masks surrounding me, and see for the first time the vent on the mouthpiece of each one. Gas masks. My head begins to feel woozy, and I slump down against the wall.

«Did you know you needed over three times the standard dose, Mr. Nobody? Quite unusual.»

I hear a faint chuckle.

«Preliminary detainment successful. Demobilise unnamed task force, mobilise unnamed containment team. Prepare unmarked containment cell for reception.»

My head hits the concrete and I black out.



White.

White walls.

White walls, white door.

No window.

White walls, grating in the ceiling. White door. No window.

Grey grating.

Small bunk, on which I am lying.

Blue covers. White plastic mattress.

White walls.

I haul myself off the bunk and try to stand up. Seconds later, bruised and nauseous, I resign myself to half-standing-half-leaning against the bookshelf.

Bookshelf.

Grey bookshelf.

I pull a book out at random, and open it with shaking hands. All the pages are completely and utterly blank. I suppose they think that's funny.

Rubbing the chemically-induced sleep from my eyes, I take stock of the room.

White walls, white door, no windows, grey grating, small bunk, bookshelf.

Nothing with a name. Nothing with an identity. An unmarked grave for an unknown nobody like myself.

Let's try something else. Someone else. Someone more perceptive. Jack.

Nope. Nothing new to see, no patterns to find, no weaknesses to take advantage of.

Joe.

Nothing new.

Reg.

Nothing new.

Tim.

Is that a fungus on the wall, or- no, no, just a stain. Dammit. Binomial classifications usually have some etymological exploit, maybe the name of a discoverer or something. Sorry Tim, you tried.

Cantor.

Nothing new.

William.

Nothing new.

Francis.

Nothing new.

Munroe.

Crack in the ceiling looks like a map of the M5. Thanks for that information, really useful.

LaFerrier.

Eurgh, no, not trying that again.

Allie.

Nothing new.

Rachael.

Nothing-

Hold on. Rewind a little bit. I place a hand on my face and feel my features morph as my identity shifts back. Allie, Allie… Forth, I think? But obviously she'd be useless, she was, what, a store clerk? So why did I pick her? What made me think she would be a good idea? Come back a moment, Nobody. Tell me what's going on.

I blink. Blissfully incognito once more. I was thinking Allie, Allie was on my mind. All the rest were smart people, creative people, weird people. People who might offer a new perspective. But Allie, old, grumpy Allie, she was normal. So what was I thinking?

Oh.

Oh oh oh.

I'd got the wrong person. The wrong name. The wrong Allie.

My eyes light up as I fling myself to my feet, mind ablaze. Oh, that would be naughty. That would be so naughty. I run up to the door of my cell and fling back the plastic window covering.

"Hey!"

The visor-clad guard looks up. I grin madly, my profile morphing to fit that of a young woman.

"Guess who?"

The guard looks away again.

"Oh, come on. I've got two words for you. Not a name, I promise. Don't you want to know?"

Nothing.

"I know they boiled off your personality, but come on. You must have some curiosity left. Let me tell you anyway. Two words."

I position my cheek close to the glass and press my lips up to the crack.

"Containment breach."

And suddenly, nobody was anybody and everybody was her.



"It's annoying, you know."

"I went through so much effort, and those bastards set me up."

"Do you think Cornelius planned it?"

"No, no, me neither. Not really his style, and anyway, he knows me. He's not stupid. Or at least, he's not malicious. He's certainly stupid enough to count on me to ensure his insane plan follows through."

"And you know what the worst part is? The absolute kicker of the whole godforsaken deal?"

"Now I've got to find some other way to give them the fucking letter."

I place Allison's skull back where I found it, and clamber out of the rubble of Allison Eckhart. Formerly Site-██, obviously. I shout over to the gaggle of humanoids on the other side of the crater left by the ontological warhead.

"You guys gonna be okay?"

There's a murmur of agreement.

"Good, good. That's… that's good. Oh, and Stripes?"

A faint 'Yeah?' echoes from across the nothing-hole.

"Funeral's in Stratford. England. I know you guys like symbolism and stuff, you might want to pay your respects or something. Just so you know."

Something that might be 'Cool'. I kick an Allison out of the way, brush some Eckhart off my trousers, and set off once again.

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