46 Termination: Alexander Ricci -44


Within minutes of leaving the plane, Natasha found herself bound and pressed to the ground in the back of an armored vehicle. The cold, hard muzzles of guns pressed into her, pinning her down, signaling a clear warning that any sudden movement could result in her being shot.


Fear, panic, and chaos filled the air, and the distant sound of gunfire outside the car was a grim reminder of the dire situation. Her captors shouted into their radios, their voices a mix of desperation and urgency.


"Check the perimeter!" one of the guards barked into the radio, his voice laced with tension. "I want every officer down, now!"


[Flashback 5 minutes earlier]


As they stepped off the plane, Natasha had taken her position in the line of guards shielding Alexander Ricci. Her mind was still clouded with thoughts from her conversation with him and the files about the Mandarin.


The convoy of armored vehicles and the surrounding law enforcement officers, likely under the Mandarin's influence, gave the scene the air of a high-level state visit, yet it was all for a criminal.


They were moving towards the vehicles when the unimaginable happened. Without warning, Ricci's head burst open in a grotesque explosion, his body collapsing to the ground. Time seemed to freeze, the silence deafening, before the distant sound of a gunshot echoed through the air.


Chaos erupted instantly. "Ambush! Ambush!" screamed one of Ricci's guards as they mistakenly opened fire on the local law enforcement officers.


"Fire back! Protect the Principal!" another guard yelled, contributing to the confusion and frenzy.


Natasha felt a rough shove as she was kicked into the car. The shouts of her captors filled the space, "Secure her! Watch for snipers!"


Outside, the sound of gunfire grew more intense. "Take them all out! Leave no witnesses!" commanded a voice, cold and merciless.


The local police, caught off guard and wrongly identified as aggressors, were quickly overwhelmed. "We're not your enemy!" a desperate voice from the law enforcement side called out, but it was quickly silenced by a barrage of gunfire.


Inside the vehicle, the radio chatter and panicked orders created an atmosphere of controlled chaos. Natasha ceased her struggle, realizing the gravity of her situation. The vehicle remained stationary, its occupants too focused on neutralizing the perceived threat outside.


A deadly silence soon settled over the area as the last of the local law enforcement officers fell. The gunfire ceased, replaced by the heavy breathing of Ricci's men and the occasional crackle of the radio.


Natasha lay still, a mix of fear and calculation in her eyes. She knew any attempt to resist or escape now could result in her death. She had to bide her time and wait for the right moment. The mission had taken a deadly turn, and survival was her only objective now.


In the back of the armored vehicle, Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, lay amidst the chaos, her mind racing with plans and contingencies. In the world of espionage, adaptability was survival, and she was a master of the art.


Outside the vehicle, it was still pure chaos. Right after Alex got shot, his body was covered with shields that were quickly deployed to serve as cover. Yet, with his head blown open like that, there was little chance anyone would bother taking another shot at him.


All around the airstrip were now covered in blood from the many people shot dead. Foundation personnel were running around quickly bringing wounded into the plane for cover while others franticly shouted into their radios.


Members of Alpha-1 had now gathered around the body of their boss. They didn't bother moving it; they knew it was pointless at this point.


They knew very well that within the plane, a few dozen feet from them was stored a powerful nuclear device, one which was activated by the death of their Principal. A measure to ensure that the Mandarin wouldn't try anything, yet now it would simply punish them for their failure.


Inside the makeshift shelter created by the diploid Shields sat Markus, looking at his dead boss. Next to him was another important member of Alpha-1 who served as the team's emergency doctor.


Not that any doctor could do anything here; the bullet had been far too high caliber and struck with such force at his fastest entire hit had exploded its top off, destroying his brain in an instant.


He knew well the consequences of this. Not only would he and his men die here when a nuclear device went off, but the foundation would also be left in an incredibly perilous situation as he knew very well that currently, the only member of all five lay dead before him.


He didn't know what to think or what to do. He had failed, and his men had failed, but they had all failed, and now the very well itself would pay the price as the foundation would fall into disarray at a time with so many SCP objects on the loose.


It was while he was cursing his fate that you started to hear something strange: the meowing of a bunch of cats. He had barely been able to hear the gunfighting happening outside the Shields, so how could you possibly hear cats?


Looking around for the source of the sounds, he found nothing. It didn't seem to be coming from any phone or other mechanical device, as no cats were around either. The sound had to be of an anomalous nature.


Yes, the sound continued to increase in volume. He grew extra on guard, ready to act if needed. Yet other than the sound growing, nothing seemed to happen, that was until suddenly faint cat-like shapes appeared around the cooling body of his boss.


I quickly reached out, trying to touch them, but his hand moved through them like they weren't there, an illusion of some kind of sound. For real, odyssey thought, so I hoped so.


Watching on in wonderment, one of the cat illusions stepped up to the corpse of O5-1 and next to him, after which the incredible sight of his injuries healing phone flesh and brain-regenerating hair growing back as if nothing had happened.




Alex cast as he suddenly found himself conscious once more, confused as to why he was lying on the ground surrounded by mechanical Shields and two amazed and bewildered guards.


In front of him, his system UI was floating, and one thing after the other continued to go off as it continuously informed him of something.


"Report!" He quipped, gasped, wanting to know the situation.


"An assassination attempt, Sir I. believe that succeeded, Sir, with all respect, they blew your head off." Came the response from one of his guards, at which point she looked over at Markus, who nodded in confirmation.


Having gotten a grasp of the situation and looked on his finger, the ring was still there, but like with all SCP objects, he looked at it physically with his eyes. He understood it, and he understood that this ring, which could grant one, 9 lives, was diminished. It could now only grant 8 lives.


Realizing that he had indeed died and only the ring on his finger, the first gift he had gotten from the system, had saved his life, Alex was incensed, furious, and scared.


Realizing the full gravity of what had just transpired, Alex's fury was palpable. "I want the shooter alive. I want to know who's behind this and how they breached our security!" His roar echoed a mix of rage and fear directed at the guards who had failed their most crucial duty.


Markus quickly relayed the orders and then turned back to Alex, urgency in his voice. "You should evacuate back to HQ, Sir."


Alex nodded in agreement. "Prepare the casket and get me inside. I need to disable the detonation device before we're all obliterated."


As preparations began for a hasty retreat, Alex lay in the casket, his mind a whirlwind of thoughts. He had narrowly escaped death, saved by an SCP artifact, but the shock of his own mortality and the vulnerability of his position weighed heavily on him.


The airstrip, once a scene of orchestrated precision, was now a tableau of failed plans and a stark reminder of the fragility of power.


In the world of shadowy organizations and clandestine operations, the line between life and death was perilously thin, and Alexander Ricci had just walked across the line, and he didn't intend to cross it again.


The foundation personnel quickly recovered their vim and vigor as they saw their boss, once thought dead, now fully recovered.


Alex himself was naturally busy rushing into the bowels of the plane with a nuclear device that was stored very sweet transported into one of the cars and brought with them.


While he was alive once again, the device had already started its countdown once it detected his heart stopped beating.


A security measure was put in place so that the device wouldn't disarm just because the heartbeat detector suddenly started detecting a heartbeat again. After all, should someone kill him, they could rip out the heartbeat detector and manipulate it.


So to disarm the device once activated, only he himself should do that, and time was very much precious as he did not wish to lose yet another life getting blown up, nor did he wish to draw the kind of attention a nuclear bomb exploding on a major Chinese airport would draw.


The attention that would no doubt be drawn already from the countless corpses now strong across it was already giving him a headache.


The system UI and its many, many pains had to be discarded for now, something he could deal with later once out of immediate danger.


"Half of you are to return back home to safeguard me. The rest are to continue the mission after clearing up this scene here. I will conduct this business remotely this time." He barked orders as he rushed to the nuclear device. The interface had already been opened and ready for him by nervous staff standing on either side.


Placing his hand in the designated groove, he felt that pinch. I say the needle was inserted into his palm. Next, he used his other hand to type a password while going through iris and vocal recognition.


The needle detected that it was him based on DNA and that he was, in fact, still alive, which allowed him to successfully disable the dead man switch.


In fact, he had been given a rather generous countdown timer for something like a deadman switch. Still, given its enormous radius, it was all but impossible for anyone responsible for his murder to escape its radius before it went off.


It was, after all, designed to ensure that the Mandarin could not evacuate his family and his belongings from his mansion should he try anything.


"What should we do about the Black Widow Sir?" Markus asks from his side.


"Continue bringing her along. I want to maintain the illusion for her that I have died; furthermore, I ensure that pictures of my death are allowed out. I'm sure some satellite somewhere caught it.


For now, focus on cleaning up and catching the shooter, and again, I want him alive, though he does not need to be whole, just alive enough for questioning. I will further communicate with whoever is in charge here after returning back home."


With that, he quickly moved to the prepared casket and looked at the cold waters within it." Ensure they expect me." He said as he entered the casket, pushing himself down under the surface.




Natasha wasn't quite sure what was happening, only that some communication that meant little to her, no doubt encoded, caused the guards surrounding her to calm down considerably. After that, they clearly waited for more information and instructions.


Natasha lay motionless in the armored vehicle, her mind racing, trying to piece together the rapidly unfolding events. The guards around her, now visibly relaxed, continued to monitor the radio, awaiting further instructions. The tension that had gripped them earlier seemed to have eased, replaced by an air of cautious anticipation.


The radio crackled to life again, and one of the guards responded promptly, his voice now steady, "Understood, we'll secure the area and await further orders."


Turning her attention outside, Natasha could see through the slit in the vehicle that Ricci's men were efficiently orchestrating a cleanup operation. Bodies were being moved, evidence collected, and the area cordoned off with a precision that spoke of their extensive training and preparation for such contingencies.


Natasha's thoughts were interrupted as the back door of the armored vehicle opened. A guard gestured for her to get out, his expression unreadable behind his tactical mask. "Follow me," he ordered tersely.


As she stepped out, Natasha quickly scanned her surroundings. The airstrip, once a scene of orderly arrival, was now a grim tableau of the aftermath of the assassination. She noted that Ricci's personnel moved with a purpose, their actions coordinated and deliberate despite the chaos that had just unfolded.


She was escorted to another vehicle, this one less fortified but still heavily guarded. Inside, she found a small group of operatives, their focus on their communications equipment, coordinating with teams both on the ground and remotely.


Natasha's escort spoke into his radio, "Package secured, moving to a secondary location." He glanced at Natasha, his eyes conveying a warning – she was still very much a captive in this rapidly evolving situation.


As the vehicle started moving, Natasha leaned back in her seat, her mind working overtime. She was unsure of what was happening and how to deal with it – the man she was supposed to guard was now dead.


His sudden demise and the subsequent actions of his team suggested a level of contingency planning that was almost paranoid in its thoroughness.


The drive was silent, save for the occasional radio communication confirming their route and updating them on the situation. Natasha knew she had to remain alert and watchful for any opportunity that might present itself. In the shadowy world of espionage, information was power, and right now, she was in the dark.


Back at the airstrip, Markus watched as Alex submerged in the cold waters, only to disappear completely. This was their emergency evacuation protocol, one they had hoped never to use.


His mind was a whirlwind of thoughts – the failure of their security, the implications of the assassination attempt, and the uncertain future that lay ahead for him and his men; he was sure that their failure would have consequences.


He turned to the remaining team, his voice firm, "Let's move out. We have a shooter to catch and a situation to contain. Our work is far from over."


The Foundation operatives quickly mobilized, and each team was assigned specific tasks as they embarked on the next phase of their operation. In the world of clandestine agencies, a crisis was an opportunity – an opportunity to regroup, strategize, and strike back.


And for Natasha, trapped in the web of these unfolding events, it was a chance to understand the true nature of the game she had become a part of – a game where the stakes were as high as they could get.


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