- SCP: Crystal Ghosts
- TALE: A Tale for Illustrio
- TALE: Eldridge Horror
- TALE: The Road
- POEM: Human Beings
- POEM: Exclusive
- SCP: Backwards Voodoo Chicken
- BAD SCP: Boring Camel! ya boo
- BAD SCP: Older, Boringer Camels!! poo poo poo
- GREAT TALE: Old Sparkle Spectacular draft.
- AWFUL SCP: I might actually hate this one!
- WOOPS: Shouldn't have its own page!
- NOT FOR EYES: Private!
Item #: SCP-####
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures:
SCP-#### is to be held in a standard humanoid containment unit. Any surfaces in the unit must be painted with matte paint, or otherwise comprised of non-reflective materials. If the containment unit must have a mirror, it should be fitted with a shutter or light system to allow Containment personnel to deactivate it remotely.
Any predictions made by SCP-#### should be recorded, transcribed verbatim, and submitted to the Foundation Prophecy Database to be cross-referenced and archived.
Research on "crystal ghosts" is ongoing. The Foundation Ethics Committee is awaiting conclusive evidence before making a final decision regarding the anomalous status of Dr Hunwei Yuan. Until a verdict is delivered, Dr Yuan is to be kept in isolated containment. See Document E-####-0041 for further information.
SCP-#### is a 29 year old human male of Chinese descent. SCP-#### is genetically non-anomalous, but has been diagnosed with nystagmus, or "dancing eyes", a condition which causes rapid uncontrolled eye movement. SCP-#### previously used contact lenses to correct his vision, but now goes without due to the restrictions outlined above.
When SCP-#### stares into a mirrored surface for a prolonged period of time, he receives "psychic messages" which allow him to make accurate predictive statements about future events. These predictions are typically very short, often sentence fragments or ungrammatical collections of words. They have mostly been related to the Asian financial market, but SCP-#### has demonstrated the capacity to influence the message he receives by asking specific questions.
In testing, SCP-#### has shown the highest level of predictive accuracy regarding questions where the answers are:
- Chronologically close (occurring within the next 18 months or sooner)
- Likely to be heavily documented
When these conditions are not met, SCP-####'s predictions are often vague and uncertain. SCP-####'s Head Researcher, Dr Hunwei Yuan, has requested that SCP-#### not be granted a permanent Object Class until results have been collected to confirm his predictive abilities beyond reasonable doubt. SCP-#### has agreed to participate in experimentation, under the understanding that complete cooperation could lead to a chance to return to civilian life.
Dr Yuan has completed primary testing on SCP-####. Included is an excerpt from Experiment Log SCP-####-008:
|What will be the sixth-highest ranked stock by turnover value on the Honk Kong Stock Exchange in July 2015?||Six. Bank of China. Four-three-two-seven-three-five-one-two-four-five-six.||The sixth-highest ranked stock was Bank of China, with turnover of 43,273,512,456 HKD.|
|What is the greatest threat we will face in July 2015?||Fall.||May have been referring to the Chinese stock market crash, which began in June 2015. Researchers agree that the greatest threat faced in July 2015 was most likely the outbreak of SCP-████, colloquially known as "The Rise of ██████".|
Dr Yuan suggests that these findings indicate that the information in SCP-####'s "psychic messages" may come from physical documentation of events. This would explain why SCP-#### has been unable to provide accurate information related to Foundation activity, which is often ██████ ██████ed.
Although SCP-#### does not exhibit 100% predictive accuracy, Dr Yuan has determined that his anomalous abilities have been proven beyond reasonable doubt. SCP-#### will be assigned the permanent Object Class Euclid.
Since being assigned a permanent Object Class, SCP-#### has become unruly, aggressive, and reluctant to participate in testing. Interviews suggest that this is due to dissatisfaction with the prospect of permanent containment. SCP-#### has been offered the opportunity to submit Form 20784, Appeal For Rights To Visitation With Family Members.
SCP-####'s Appeal has been denied by Dr Hunwei Yuan.
SCP-#### requested to speak to a Foundation researcher, with a great deal of urgency. Dr Yuan responded to the call, and conducted an impromptu interview over the containment unit intercom system.
SCP-#### claimed that he had, for the first time, experienced a psychic dream. In this dream he learned the source of his abilities. The psychic messages were imparted by beings he called "crystal ghosts", who were invisible and intangible to normal humans, but could communicate to him by possessing mirrors.
According to SCP-####, the leader of the crystal ghosts had approached him because they had just discovered a way to communicate directly with humans. The crystal ghosts apparently planned to use their powers to possess humans and take over the world.
When pressed for detail, SCP-#### was unable to respond, saying only that the crystal ghosts were hostile and very dangerous, and that their leader had said their first target for possession would be Dr Yuan himself.
SCP-####'s Head Researcher, Dr Lanhao Chen, has conducted extensive experimentation to attempt to gain further information on the "crystal ghost" entities. Any physical description has been vague and inconsistent, but their actions and reported intentions bear similarities to SCP-███, SCP-█████ and SCP-████, among others.
SCP-#### has stressed that the crystal ghosts are incredibly dangerous, especially when in control of a human host. Further research is ongoing to confirm the existence of crystal ghosts, and to discover a possible way to combat or contain them if an outbreak becomes imminent. SCP-####'s predictions suggest that such an outbreak could occur at any time, without warning.
"Customs are generally unselfish. Crabits are nearly always shellfish," said the crab.
"Almost universally true," said the other crab, clearly impressed. It would have nodded in agreement, but it's arthropoidal construction had left it lacking a neck; it was rather just a sort of body with eyes and a mouth at the front. That crab lived a harsh life, as all crabs do; scuttling beneath the sea, surviving day to day on the scraps of food dropped by the fish that sailed through the water above it, blessed by the twin gifts of freedom and a spine. It was rare that a crab bore witness to such profundity, and for a moment the two crabs were content to stand in silence and bask in it.
Finally, the first crab spoke again, "It was a great crab who said that. A writer and philosopher I greatly admire."
"What was his name?" asked the second crab.
"G. K. Chexoskeleton," said the first crab.
Then they fucked.
The night was as dark as a witch's eye, and torrents of rain fell from the sky like water from a broad, broad waterfall. As Kendrick Said splished his way along the winding cobble road, rain splashed upon his ears like drops of diluted blood. He gritted his teeth, hearing the squeak of filling-on-enamel, and decided to not stay in the rain anymore. To accomplish this goal, he entered a nearby castle.
"Who goes there?" shouted the castle's inhabitant. Kendrick Said looked at the shout's maker. It was a man. When Kendrick looked at the man, his visual appearance made Kendrick feel uneasy.
"I am Kendrick Said, slayer of bad beasts," he growled. The man nodded respectfully, but he had a look in his eye that would've made Kendrick think, if he had stopped to think about it. When the rain finished, Kendrick left the castle. The sun was blazing hot in the sky, like a fiery yellow moon. Kendrick decided to go in a nearby tavern.
"I am Kendrick Said," Kendrick Said said as he opened the door, and because the door was rusty it squeaked, like filling-on-enamel, and no-one heard him, which it would soon turn out was a good thing, even though Kendrick didn't know it at the time, although he would later.
He sat at the bar, and waited for the barkeep to approach. When he did, Kendrick took a long, deep look at the barkeep, who was a man.
"You're not from around here," said the barkeep truthfully, "You must be Kendrick Said, the beast slayer."
"Correcto-mundo," growled Kendrick wittily, "The other man must've told you about me."
"Why are you here?" the barkeep interrupted.
Kendrick shifted his weight in his seat, and the stool's weathered struts let out a dull creak of protest, like the squeak of filling-on-enamel.
"I seek the foul creatures that haunt this town," said Kendrick Said, spinning a gun around and around on his finger.
The barkeep shot him a look that was like 'You better watch out.'
"I've never heard of such a thing," he said, glaring right at Kendrick's eyes.
"The citizens of this town lie unaware of their own surroundings," said Kendrick, "But outside this place, there are stories told. I've heard the tales of this town. The well known myths of otherworldy beasts — gorgons, cyclops, vampires, Korean vampires, North Korean vampires, two-headed werewolves, chimaeras, three headed werewolves, four-headed werewolves, human centipedes, armadillos, six-headed werewolves, and of course the most fearsome of them all: spooky monsters."
"You skipped 'five headed werewolves'," said the barkeep.
"Of course I skipped them," Kendrick snapped, "They don't exist."
But little did he know…
That beneath the barkeep's lumpy coat…
Were four extra heads.
Heads with fangs.
A crack opened up in the road outside our house. Six o'clock was fast approaching, and Charlie couldn't get to school, because his bus stop had fallen into the hole.
As we gazed into the chasm, we didn't see rocks, or mud, or broken pipes. We didn't see molten magma, sizzling and crackling at the bottom of the earth's new gaping wound.
We saw stars.
"I don't think your teachers are going to mind," I said.
Charlie and I watched and waited, arms folded tight across our chests to keep out the chill of the morning mist. In the distance, the sun began to peek its head over the hilltops, but we were watching the stars that lay below. There were entire galaxies, spirals spinning in the black of interstellar space. Charlie was surprised at the different colours, and I explained all I could remember about red and white and yellow dwarfs and giants. As soon as I mentioned supernovas, Charlie claimed to have seen one, and I ruffled his hair.
"Nice try, little brother."
Bright lights shone from behind us, and we turned, dazzled by the glare. Someone had called the police, and they had arrived to do what they could. David Swan, the preacher's brother, stepped out from his car. We walked to greet him, and he took off his hat to scratch his balding head as we met.
"I heard a pothole's opened up," he said.
"It's more than a pothole, Seargent Swan," I said. Charlie chimed in.
"There are stars in there!"
Swan looked past us, peering down into the new ravine.
"I don't see any stars, young Charlie," he said.
Charlie turned back, hurrying to the chasm's edge. He stared down into it, aghast.
"It… it's gone away!"
He was right. Whatever strange sight we had witnessed before, there was nothing left to recall it. The crack in the road was three feet deep, bordered by crumbled bitumen, containing nothing but dewy clay and concrete.
"What happened?" Charlie cried, "There were… there was a night sky…"
He turned back to me, his smile crushed and faded. He seemed almost on the verge of tears, but as he gazed into my eyes, I didn't see his own.
I saw the stars.
The stars, dear brother, lie not in our fault, but in ourselves.
That's the only reason I wrote this haha POW BLAT BLAT #gunsounds #swag #yolo #punlife #yolo #yolo
Human beings in a Toyota Prius
What's a Toyota Prius to a king?
What's a king to the All-New Mazda3, $20,490 drive away?
What's the All-New Mazda3, $20,490 drive away to a non-believer
Who doesn't believe in anything?
the title of that poem is "The Real Victim?"
I've got exclusive pics of an elusive user
The pics are exclusive, the user is elusive
If I start referencing things, I'm being allusive
If I'm kinda sorta being arrogant, I'm aloofish
What comes after the red fish? The blue fish
My friend sucked off a jam band, he blew Phish
He got sick from it though, he's now flueish
Don't believe this story, that'd be foolish
If I've tricked you, let my apologies be effusive
I'm pretty quick with language, because I'm fluent
My friend bought medicine, and his flu went
It was expensive, he's lucky that he's affluent
He had to hire men to drain his effluent
One of the workers was big, like an elephant
He was a walking tree, his friend was a fellow ent
He walked into a lightbulb, and smashed the filament
To make up for it, he bought chocolate that was full of mint
Item #: BUTT
Object Class: Mega-Thaumiel
Special Containment Procedures:
Mr Chicken needs to be in a 4x4x4 room, Mr Doll needs to be in a 3x3x3 room built just the same.
Feed Mr Chicken, through a special grate. Don't take Mr Chicken out of his room. Don't touch Mr Doll.
SCP-BUTT is an adult male chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus), of an unidentified breed, exhibiting two anomalous effects. As no other specimens of SCP-BUTT's breed have been discovered it is unknown if these effects are hereditary, or unique to SCP-BUTT itself.
The first anomalous effect is assumed to be responsible for SCP-BUTT's continuing good health. SCP-BUTT has been in Foundation containment for over 27 years, and records of a creature matching SCP-BUTT's description date back to January 1940. If these reports are accurate, SCP-BUTT has lived at least 63 years longer than the lifespan of the oldest recorded non-anomalous chicken, apparently without physically aging. Notably, there is a scar on SCP-BUTT's neck that has shown no signs of healing, though other wounds inflicted on SCP-BUTT will heal normally.
The second anomalous effect concerns SCP-BUTT-A. SCP-BUTT-A is a straw doll in the approximate shape of a human. Pinned to the doll's chest is a small bag containing a feather and a small dried husk of corn. On the top of the doll's head is a streak of blood that always feels wet to the touch, but leaves no residue. On the front of the doll's head, where a face would be expected, is a painting of a cockerel's head, superficially resembling SCP-BUTT. There is a causative relationship between SCP-BUTT-A and SCP-BUTT: any movement made by SCP-BUTT will result in a roughly equivalent movement by SCP-BUTT-A.
Although SCP-BUTT responds like any normal chicken, no physical force can affect SCP-BUTT-A. SCP-BUTT-A cannot be moved, and when it moves in response to SCP-BUTT, its movements cannot be altered. The only known means of affecting the movements of SCP-BUTT-A is by controlling the movements of SCP-BUTT. When the movements of SCP-BUTT result in SCP-BUTT-A passing over empty space, SCP-BUTT-A will remain fixed in the air as if stood on solid ground. When the movements of SCP-BUTT result in SCP-BUTT-A walking into solid matter, the space required by SCP-BUTT-A will become empty. Matter will disappear, and, after SCP-BUTT-A exits the space, will not reappear.
As the ratio in size between SCP-BUTT and SCP-BUTT-A is approximately 4:3, the ratio of their movements is approximately 4:3. It is thus theoretically possible for SCP-BUTT to catch up to and make contact with SCP-BUTT-A, though this has not yet occurred, and is prohibited (?) under current containment procedures.
Item #: SCP-XXXX
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures:
SCP-XXXX may be held in a standard livestock containment stable, though any windows must be covered or obscured. The stable should be monitored at all times via closed-circuit television. SCP-XXXX eats 7 kg of grass hay and alfalfa each day, as well as a supplement of loose mineral salt. SCP-XXXX will drink water as normal.
Personnel should wear thermal imaging goggles when required to enter the stable or otherwise interact with SCP-XXXX. Following the successful implementation of Protocol XXXX-Omicron, SCP-XXXX no longer needs to be restrained during these times.
Handler Rakhsha is allowed access to SCP-XXXX for exercise purposes on Tuesdays and Saturdays, during which times SCP-XXXX's straw and bedding should be changed. Handler Rakhsha is otherwise not to be allowed within projection range of SCP-XXXX unless a session has been scheduled in advance.
SCP-XXXX is a female dromedary camel, recovered from █████ ███ in the western desert region of Australia. SCP-XXXX causes uniform visual hallucinations in observers through an apparent telepathic connection; when SCP-XXXX is observed directly, she will take on the appearance of whatever she is thinking strongly about at that time.
Causation between the thoughts and appearance of SCP-XXXX has not yet been conclusively proven, but testing has suggested it to be the most likely explanation. When hungry, SCP-XXXX will appear as a trough of hay or alfalfa; when thirsty, SCP-XXXX will appear as a pool of water; when threatened, SCP-XXXX will appear as the object or entity she percieves as the greatest threat. At times when SCP-XXXX's focus is interrupted by multiple stimuli, hallucinations will cease and she can be visually observed in her true form.
Hallucinations caused by SCP-XXXX will have full colour and motion, but affect no other senses than sight. Hallucinations caused by SCP-XXXX will rarely include SCP-XXXX herself, excepting the few images produced when SCP-XXXX is asleep or under the effect of hallucinogens. At this time, SCP-XXXX hallucinations have included 247 unique images, from a total of 1545 total recorded hallucinations.
|XXXX-SHR||A desert shrub||22/05/2006 by Dr Tian||Image appeared when SCP-XXXX was exhibiting signs of hunger, and ceased after SCP-XXXX had been fed.|
|XXXX-WAT||A pool of water||22/05/2006 by Dr Tian||Similarly to XXXX-SHR, this image appeared when SCP-XXXX was thirsty, and ceased after SCP-XXXX was allowed to drink. The current theory concerning the meaning of SCP-XXXX's images was devised based on these findings.|
|XXXX-HAY||A trough of hay||02/06/2006 by Junior Researcher Rakhsha||This image now appears with far greater frequency than XXXX-SHR, suggesting that SCP-XXXX has learned to associate a different image with the concept of hunger.|
|XXXX-GSD||A vast desert of red sand and shrubs||06/06/2006 by Junior Researcher Rakhsha||Topology and celestial navigation suggests that this image corresponds to the location of SCP-XXXX's recovery.|
|XXXX-HRD||Seventeen unique dromedary camels moving as a herd. None of the camels corresponded to SCP-XXXX's actual form||11/06/2006 by Dr Tian||In subsequent manifestations of this image, the amount and specific appearances of camels vary.|
|XXXX-AMB||An adult male bactrian camel||14/06/2006 by Junior Researcher Rakhsha||The appearance of this camel is consistent throughout all subsequent manifestations.|
|XXXX-JMH||A juvenile male hybrid camel||19/06/2006 by Dr Tian||This camel initally appeared in a hallucination alongside the adult male bactrian camel, but has subsequently appeared alone.|
|XXXX-FMY||The adult male bactrian camel, juvenile male hybrid camel , and SCP-XXXX's own form, though not matching SCP-XXXX's actual movements.||23/06/2006 by Junior Researcher Rakhsha||Image originally appeared while SCP-XXXX was sleeping. Interaction between SCP-XXXX and XXXX-AMB suggests intimacy.|
|XXXX-ESC||SCP-XXXX flying through the air, seemingly unsupported||25/06/2006 by Researcher Rakhsha||Image originally appeared while SCP-XXXX was sleeping.|
|XXXX-VST01||A rapidly moving red ball||01/07/2006 by Researcher Rakhsha||This was the first image deliberately created during visual stimulus testing, in response to the visual stimulus of a rapidly moving red ball.|
|XXXX-RCT01||A small pile of alfalfa||02/07/2006 by Researcher Rakhsha||This was the first image deliberately created through respondent conditioning testing. SCP-XXXX was taught to associate the sound of a bell with the reward of alfalfa, and was later able to produce a relevant image in response to the sound.|
|XXXX-ETT01||A luminescent green orb||03/07/2006 by Researcher Rakhsha||This was the first image deliberately created during electrical trigger testing. Image invoked through electrical stimulation of SCP-XXXX's prefrontal cortex to produce feelings of pleasure.|
|XXXX-ETT11||A luminescent violet orb||03/07/2006 by Researcher Rakhsha||Image invoked through electrical stimulation of SCP-XXXX's amygdala to produce feelings of fear.|
|XXXX-ETT21||A luminescent red orb||03/07/2006 by Dr Tian||Image invoked through electrical stimulation to produce feelings of pain.|
|XXXX-ETT26||Distorted humanoid figures. Figures vaguely resemble humans dressed in the uniforms of Foundation personnel, though they appear more aggressive than in real life.||03/07/2006 by Dr Tian||Image originally invoked through electrical stimulation to produce feelings of pain. This image developed from image XXXX-ETT21 over the course of continual testing, but will now appear without the use of electrical stimulation.|
Since the onset of electrical trigger testing on 03/07/2006, SCP-XXXX has begun to exhibit increasingly hostile behaviour, including kicking, spitting, and displaying threatened or threatening images. SCP-XXXX will attack any personnel who attempt to enter her stable, necessitating the use of restraints during feeding, exercise, and changing of bedding. As SCP-XXXX will consistently appear as XXXX-ETT26 during interaction with any human personnel, it has become impossible to gather accurate experimental data on her effect.
To combat this developing situation, Researcher Rakhsha has recommended the implementation of Protocol XXXX-Omicron. This plan proposes that Researcher Rakhsha interact directly with SCP-XXXX as a companion and trainer, and implement a regimen of physical activity, basic obedience training, and positive reinforcement of good and/or passive behaviour. Based on the success of similar techniques in improving relations with non-anomalous camels by civilian organizations, this plan has been approved by the Site 49 Ethics Committee and will take effect as of 06/07/2006.
Following the implementation of Protocol XXXX-Omicron, SCP-XXXX has shown a significant decrease in hostility towards Foundation personnel. Physical attacks are uncommon, and SCP-XXXX will typically appear as a neutral image, such as a spinifex bush or ceiling tile. Standard containment procedures have been reimplemented, and testing on SCP-XXXX's effect may continue.
After the success of Protocol XXXX-Omicron, the use of similar strategies in dealing with other hostile entities has been officially endorsed by the Site 49 Ethics Committee.
|XXXX-RAK||A human figure wearing clothes similar to the work uniform of a Foundation researcher.||25/08/2006 by Researcher Rakhsha||Image originally appeared during a training exercise, but has since been repeated independant of the presence of human personnel.|
|XXXX-FMR||Similar to XXXX-FMY. The adult male bactrian camel, juvenile male hybrid camel, and SCP-XXXX herself appear together. Also present is a human figure, identifiable as Researcher Rohan Rakhsha.||27/08/2006 by Dr Tian||Image originally appeared while SCP-XXXX was sleeping.|
Due to potential security risks posed by hallucinations of a similar nature to XXXX-RAK, Researcher Rakhsha will be required to submit for either reassignment to another site or a lowered security status.
Item #: SCP-XXXX
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures:
SCP-XXXX may be held in a standard livestock containment stable, though any windows must be covered or obscured. A thermal imaging camera has been installed for monitoring purposes. SCP-XXXX eats 7 kg of grass hay and alfalfa each day, as well as a supplement of loose mineral salt, and will drink water as normal.
Personnel should wear thermal imaging goggles when required to enter the stable or otherwise interact with SCP-XXXX.
Handler Rakhsha is allowed access to SCP-XXXX for exercise purposes on Tuesdays and Saturdays, during which times SCP-XXXX's straw and bedding should be changed. At all other times, Handler Rakhsha is not to be allowed within projection range of SCP-XXXX.
SCP-XXXX is a female dromedary camel, who was recovered from Australia's Great Sandy Desert. She has the ability to project visual hallucinations onto observers. These hallucinations will uniformly affect individuals within a thirty (30) metre radius of SCP-XXXX. Testing suggests that the camel will take on the appearance of whatever she is thinking strongly about at the time. For example, when hungry, SCP-XXXX will appear as food; when threatened, SCP-XXXX will appear as what she perceives to be the greatest threat.
Common appearances of SCP-XXXX include:
- a trough of hay or alfalfa
- a pool of water
- a vast desert of red sand and shrubs
- one or more different dromedary camels (sometimes as many as twenty or thirty)
- an adult male bactrian camel (appears to be the same camel every time)
- a juvenile male hybrid camel (often appears in same projection as the adult bactrian camel)
- distorted humanoid figures (figures vaguely resemble humans dressed in the uniform of Foundation retrieval teams, though they appear larger and more aggressive than in real life. Testing suggests that these images typically appear at times when SCP-XXXX is frightened or stressed.)
Occasionally it is possible to view SCP-XXXX as itself, in a manner consistent with its actual physical form. This state is what typically occurs when SCP-XXXX is sleeping. It is theorised that in these times, SCP-XXXX is not focused enough on any particular thought for an image to manifest. However, SCP-XXXX will also sometimes project an image of itself in a manner inconsistent with its actual physical form.
Noted appearances of this kind include:
- SCP-XXXX interacting with the adult bactrian camel or juvenile hybrid camel mentioned above
- SCP-XXXX with one or more unidentified human individuals (the clothing of these individuals resembles that of Foundation personnel, however these figures generally appear aggressive, as well as blurry and undefined)
- SCP-XXXX with an unidentified human rider upon its back
- SCP-XXXX levitating or flying through the air seemingly unsupported
More recently, human figures in these sorts of projected images have shown a resemblance to Researcher Rakhsha, SCP-XXXX's primary containment specialist. As these images seem to present human interaction in a much more positive light than previous projections, increased interaction between Researcher Rakhsha and SCP-XXXX has been recommended in order to encourage a co-operative attitude during testing.
Addendum: Since the introduction of increased interaction time between Researcher Rakhsha and SCP-XXXX, SCP-XXXX has changed its behaviour in regards to which images it most commonly projects.
Images of food and water are still common, as are images assumed to be linked to SCP-XXXX's place of origin. However, images that place humans in a negative or threatening light have become far less frequent, and SCP-XXXX has entirely ceased projecting images of itself flying.
On XX/XX/XXXX, SCP-XXXX projected an image clearly identifiable as Researcher Rakhsha, and on XX/XX/XXXX incorporated Researcher Rakhsha into an otherwise typical image of itself interacting with the adult bactrian camel and juvenile hybrid camel that had featured in previous projections. Due to the potential risk of confusion between Researcher Rakhsha and SCP-XXXX, containment procedures have been updated.
Item #: SCP-XXXX
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures:
SCP-XXXX may be held in a standard livestock containment stable, though any windows must be covered or obscured. The stable should be monitored at all times via closed-circuit television. SCP-XXXX eats 7 kg of grass hay and alfalfa each day, as well as a supplement of loose mineral salt. SCP-XXXX will drink water as normal.
Personnel should wear thermal imaging goggles when required to enter the stable or otherwise interact with SCP-XXXX. Following the successful implementation of [Action Plan XXXX-A], SCP-XXXX no longer needs to be restrained during these times.
Handler Rakhsha is allowed access to SCP-XXXX for exercise purposes on Tuesdays and Saturdays, during which times SCP-XXXX's straw and bedding should be changed. Handler Rakhsha is otherwise not to be allowed within projection range of SCP-XXXX unless a session has been scheduled in advance.
SCP-XXXX is a female dromedary camel, who was recovered from Australia's Great Sandy Desert. SCP-XXXX causes uniform visual hallucinations in observers through an apparent telepathic connection; when SCP-XXXX is observed directly, she will take on the appearance of whatever she is thinking strongly about at that time.
Causation between the thoughts and appearance of SCP-XXXX has not yet been conclusively proven, but testing has suggested it to be the most likely [possibility?]. When hungry, SCP-XXXX will appear as a trough of hay or alfalfa; when thirsty, SCP-XXXX will appear as a pool of water; when threatened, SCP-XXXX will apear as the object or entity she percieves as the greatest threat. At times when SCP-XXXX's focus is interrupted by multiple stimuli, hallucinations will cease and she can be visually observed in her true form.
Hallucinations caused by SCP-XXXX will have full colour and motion, but affect no other senses than sight. Hallucinations caused by SCP-XXXX will rarely include SCP-XXXX herself, excepting those produced when SCP-XXXX is in a state of sleep. (for example, [DESIG] and [DESIG].) [At this time, SCP-XXXX has caused 47 unique hallucinations, from a total of 826 total recorded hallucinations.???]
Show list of notable unique hallucinations:
|A desert shrub||XX/XX/XX by Dr Tian|
|A pool of water|
|A trough of hay||This image now appears with far greater frequency than [SHRUB DESIG.], suggesting that SCP-XXXX has learned to associate a different image with the concept of hunger.|
|A vast desert of red sand and shrubs||Topology and [stars] [suggest this is an actual place,] within XXXX of the point of SCP-XXXX's recovery.|
|Seventeen unique dromedary camels moving as a herd. None of the camels corresponded to SCP-XXXX's actual form||In subsequent [sightings] of this hallucination, the amount and specific appearances of camels vary.|
|An adult male bactrian camel||The appearance of this camel is consistent throughout all subsequent manifestations.|
|A juvenile male hybrid camel||This camel initally appeared in a hallucination alongside the adult male bactrian camel [DESIG.], but has subsequently appeared alone.|
|The adult male bactrian camel [DESIG.], juvenile male hybrid camel [DESIG.], and SCP-XXXX's own form, though not matching SCP-XXXX's actual movements.||Interaction between SCP-XXXX and [bact DESIG] suggests intimacy. Hallucination originally appeared while SCP-XXXX was sleeping.|
|SCP-XXXX flying through the air, seemingly unsupported||Hallucination originally appeared while SCP-XXXX was sleeping.|
|Distorted humanoid figures (figures vaguely resemble humans dressed in the uniform of Foundation retrieval teams, though they appear largr and more aggressive than in real life)||Testing suggests that these images typically appear at times when SCP-XXXX is frightened or stressed.|
Since SCP-XXXX's induction into Foundation custody, she has begun to display increasingly hostile behaviour. Kicking and spitting, and displaying images such as [MTF DESIG] and [FLY DESIG] have become more common. SCP-XXXX will attack any personnel who attempt to enter her stable, and as such feeding, changing bedding, and exercising SCP-XXXX have become [unsafe?]. As SCP-XXXX will consistently take on [MTF DESIG] during any interaction with any human personnel, it has become impossible to gather accurate experimental data on her effect.
To combat this developing situation, Researcher Rakhsha has recommended the implementation of [Action Plan XXXX-A]. In this plan, Researcher Rakhsha will interact directly with SCP-XXXX for extended periods of time over the course of several weeks. Action during these periods will consist around positive reinforcement of good and/or neutral behaviour, physical activity, basic obedience training, and the administering of treats.
Following the implementation of [Action Plan XXXX-A], SCP-XXXX has shown a significant decrease in hostility towards Foundation personnel. Standard containment procedures are now much easier to fulfil, and testing on SCP-XXXX's effect may continue.
Thinking outside the box, is what it is. Not every show of hostility needs to be treated with a termination attempt. My commendations to Researcher Rakhsha; a mind like that could go far in this line of work.
- Dr Tian
|Similar to [FAMILY DESIG]. The adult male bactrian camel, juvenile male hybrid camel, and SCP-XXXX herself appear together. Also present is a human figure, identifiable as Researcher Rohan Rakhsha.||XX/XX/XXXX by Dr Tian||Hallucination originally appeared while SCP-XXXX was sleeping.|
Due to potential risks posed by the likelihood of further hallucinations of a similar nature to [RAKH DESIG], Researcher Rakhsha is required to submit for either reassignment to another site or a lowered security status.
The SCP Foundation's greatest (and only) holiday! It only comes once a year — except for last year when Bright slept through the first one and wanted a do-over.
A day when everyone smiles — in fact, it's the same smile! A big, shiny grin, complete with identical teeth, steaming hot.
Parades through the corridors! Mass consumption of Class-A amnesiacs, which records seem to indicate is tradition! And, of course, the annual Site-19 SCP Sparkle Spectacular, broadcast live to Foundation staff and family worldwide through closed-circuit television.
What a show!
Children beg their parents for an extra hour before bedtime. D-Class beg their handlers for an extra day before termination. Tickets sell for millions — or, more commonly, are received free of charge with minor bloodstains.
Bender's Day was special, alright, even if no-one on Earth could remember exactly why. There was no mystery about what made the Sparkle Spectacular special, though. It was the one time of the year when security classifications didn't matter, where even the lowliest of level-one workers got a chance to see into the world of the Foundation and witness the incredible beauty and wonder of the SCP items. One brief display, before they were once again locked away, safe and secure, to protect the world from the unimaginable power of the anomalous.
"Heads up, dickweed!" Agent DeLaurier yelled.
He booted an instance of SCP-XXXX-1 in Dr Patil's general direction. The skip sailed through an open window and splattered on the pavement below.
"DeLaurier!" Patil yelped, "What in hell is wrong with you? You have got to stop kicking Euclids around the office. Management counts those, you know."
"Calm down, Patil," said DeLaurier, "It's a Safe. Besides, if something goes wrong, I can always just clone another one."
The agent stepped into Dr Patil's office. He held two drinks in his hands. He took a sip from his own, which was in the standard paper cup, and set a luminescent white thermos down on Patil's desk.
Dr Patil sighed, "Still, though. People are trying to work." He gestured to the stack of forms on the desk beside him.
"Patil, it's Bender's Day," said DeLaurier, "Nobody works on Bender's Day. The laws of physics take a break on Bender's Day. Relax. I brought you your coffee, just the way you like it: 'Doctor Patil's Favorite Drink', Very Fine."
Patil picked up the thermos, frowning. He could hear banging noises coming from the inside.
"DeLaurier, I take my coffee Fine, not Very Fine," he said. DeLaurier shrugged. Patil held the thermos away from his face and cautiously unscrewed the lid. A tiny brown hand reached up over the rim.
Patil slammed the lid back down, "Dammit, DeLaurier! It's another Coffee Man."
"Apologising isn't going to erase my drink's consciousness, Agent."
"You can run him through again on Rough," DeLaurier suggested. Patil rolled his eyes and started shaking the thermos violently. After about thirty seconds the banging noises were replaced by the slosh of hot dead Coffee Man, and Patil took a sip. He wrinkled his nose. The coffee was good — in fact, it was perfect, as specified — but the casual murder had left a bad taste in his mouth. He set the thermos down on the table and returned to the stack of forms.
DeLaurier finished his drink and looked vaguely about the room. Patil pointed to a leather satchel hanging from a hook on the door. DeLaurier dropped his cup inside and the bag gobbled it up hungrily.
"Oh, bugger," said Dr Patil. He scribbled his pen vainly on the corner of the form, but produced nothing but a jumble of creases, "Out of ink. And, blast it, out of pens."
"That's shit," DeLaurier said, which was about as much help as you'd expect. Dr Patil's eyes roamed around the room. Pen, pen, pen… He stopped. On top of a filing cabinet in the corner of the room there was a cardboard box labelled 'Object Class Re-Assignment Pending'.
It's a moral quandary, Dr Patil thought. In times of need, is it okay for the Foundation to break protocol in service of the greater good? Then came his second thought, which was: PENding. Like, I need a pen. Ding! Here's your pen! His third thought was: It's almost five o'clock. And it is Bender's Day.
"DeLaurier, grab me a pen out of the review box, would you?"
DeLaurier grinned and crossed to the cardboard box. He had a rummage inside, and withdrew his hand holding a white retractable pen. "Will this do?"
Patil took a long look at the pen.
"Better not," he said finally, "I think that one kills your family."
DeLaurier whistled and carefully placed the death pen back inside the box. "How about this one?" he said, holding up a pale green fountain pen, "What does this one do?"
"I don't know," said Patil, "Should be fine."
DeLaurier tossed the pen across the room. Patil caught it and started to reach for the form. As soon as the pen touched paper, some unseen alien force lunged into control of his arm. Patil gasped as he felt a burst of cold wash through his veins. His muscles clenched, so tight he thought his tendons would snap, then relaxed, and his hand begin filling in the spaces of the form, entirely under its own command.
The agent looked from Patil's terrified face to his rapidly moving arm, and seemed to figure out what was going on.
"Hey, perfect," he said, "Pen's doing the job for you. So, did you manage to score a ticket to the show?"
"Er," said Dr Patil. He tried to ignore the movements of his possessed arm, "No, I didn't. Dr See told me I could have his last Tuesday, but he appears to have died. Apparently he tried to cook chicken in the Timecrowave, and the bacteria on it evolved into some sort of super-bug. He said he'd go home and sleep it off, but he hasn't been in since then."
"Timecrowave?" asked DeLaurier.
"We keep it in the break room," said Patil, "Next to the regular microwave. There's a sign on it —"
DONT USE THIS
unless u have to
u will die
RIP Dr See
pls clean all plates!
"— but people don't read it."
"Maybe we should update the containment procedures," DeLaurier said.
"Well, paperwork's been backed up for a while. That's what I'm working on now," said Patil. He indicated the stack of papers, "People have been pestering me about filing incident reports, so I'm going through a bunch of — Oh, give me a break!"
Dr Patil had finally noticed what his possessed arm had been writing on the incident report form, and it wasn't an incident report. He slapped his hand furiously until it let go of the pen, and held the form up to show DeLaurier.
FSHA's Form 301
Injury and Illness Incident Report
Form Overseer __Doctor Patil____________
Information about the employee
1) Full name _Agent Paulson____________
2) Security clearance 1/682/914/173__ 3) Site __19__
4) Date of birth _02 / 12_ / Every Classified [ ]
5) Date of hire day / that/ passes Classified [ ]
Information about the incident
6) Case number pulls you further
7) Date of incident from/ reali/ty, and
8) Time of event if you don't [res] AM [ ] PM
[ ] Check if time cannot be determined
[ist] Check if incident has not yet occurred
9) What was the employee doing just before the incident occurred? Describe the activity, as well as the tools, equipment, or material the employee was using. Be specific. Examples: "spraying sulfuric acid from hand sprayer"; "daily computer key-entry"; "being dragged into hellscape".
you will soon find that less and less of you remains.
Your body is a shell that contains a spirit.
Your spirit is a shell that will soon be empty.
10) What happened? Tell us how the injury occurred. Examples: "Worker was sprayed with acid when gasket broke during replacement"; "Worker developed soreness in wrist over time"; "Worker was judged to be impure".
Your life is not the life you should have lived. This world
is not the world you should have lived in. Your thoughts
are not the thoughts your mind should think. There is a
great disruption that has torn you from what you should
11) What was the injury or illness? Tell us the part of the body that was affected; be more specific than "hurt", "dead", or "gone". Examples: "chemical burn, hand"; "carpal tunnel syndrome"; "soul consumed".
have been, and there is no-one in this world that can
save you from it but yourself.
Amrit, you were born in 1978. Do you remember the day?
12) What object or entity directly harmed the employee? Example: "chlorine sprayer"; "computer keyboard"; "Looked like worker's own parents, but their faces were swapped".
Amrit, you fell in love in 1995. Do you remember her face?
Amrit, you were once another man. Do you remember your naҦЉԆԅԄ᷃᷅᷇
FSHA's Form 301
"I mean, what is this even supposed to be?" said Dr Patil, "A poem?" He took a closer look at it. A strange feeling began gnawing at him, something laying half-remembered in the back of his mind…
DeLaurier snatched the paper from Dr Patil's hand. He folded it deftly into a paper plane and sailed it out the window, where it turned sharply and flew off into the sky in search of enemy combatants.
"Forget about it, Patil," he said, "Nobody reads the containment procedures anyway. Come on, the Bender's Day Banquet starts at six, we still have time to swing by 038 and get you a copy of my ticket. So long as we enter at separate times, we should be fine."
Patil sighed and looked at the stack of remaining forms. You really should fill them out, he thought. Management has to know how inadequate current containment procedures are. People could get seriously hey it's five o'clock fuck this shit.
Patil hopped out of his chair, grabbed the stack of papers and dumped them into the hungry bag's eager mouth. The bag smacked it's lips and burped.
"Let's roll," he said. DeLaurier grinned and opened the door. The two stepped out into corridor, where they were met with the sprawled out corpse of a man covered with ears, blood oozing from his mouth and bulging eyes. DeLaurier snapped his fingers.
"Oh, right!" he said, "Forgot to mention. Teddy Bear's turned evil now."
"I really thought this thing was instantaneous," DeLaurier muttered. He kicked the trunk of the everything tree, which began to sprout a replica of his shoe. Slowly.
"I told you to read the containment report," Patil said.
They had made it to 038 without running into the newly christened Builder Bear, but their plans were derailed when they realised the length of time it would require for the newly formed ticket-fruit to reach maturity.
"The containment report didn't say anything about growth cycles," DeLaurier whined.
"Well, it certainly should've," said Patil, "Is there something else we can do? Do we have any other matter replicators?"
"Ugh, I don't know," said DeLaurier, "I mean, probably, right? But I guarantee they only make evil versions of the item, or they use your body for raw materials, or something like that. It's just such a hassle."
"DeLaurier, you have access to all the items in Site 19, don't you?"
"You know it."
"You should probably start learning what those items are," said Patil.
DeLaurier paused to consider this. Patil looked around SCP-038's containment chamber, and couldn't help but wonder. It had been so easy to get in. Sure, DeLaurier had his Level-3 Security Clearance, but the guard hadn't even asked him about it. And Patil shouldn't have been allowed in at all, let alone to perform what was effectively an unmonitored, totally unauthorised experiment. It was hard to shake the feeling that something was wrong, that something had changed. He could swear that he remembered reading an older version of SCP-038's containment report, with much more stringent containment procedures. But there was no record of it. And the message from the haunted pen was bugging him, too. There had been something familiar about it. Something it seemed like he should have realised straight away. Amrit, do you remember? That name — he felt like he recognized it from somewhere…
"Oh my god! DeLaurier!" Patil cried.
DeLaurier spun to face him, "What? What is it?"
"I just realised something," Patil breathed. The pieces were still connecting in his mind, but… yes! Yes, he was right!
"The effects of the Timecrowave leak out if you leave the door open!" Patil said, "We can use it to speed up the growth of the ticket!"
"This can't be right," said Patil. He was reading over the details on his ticket, "Room CB-27? I've been there before. It's a janitor's closet!"
They were walking through the halls of Site 19, on their way to the pre-show banquet. They still hadn't encountered any demonic teddy bears, and DeLaurier had decided that 1048 had probably stumbled into the teleportation pool or choked to death on a peanut or something. It had happened before.
The only problem now was the issue of the Sparkle Spectacular's impossible location.
"They always hold it in a janitor's closet, Patil," DeLaurier said, "They use some sort of jacked-up jack-looking thing to make it bigger on the inside. That way, they can save money on setting it up. The skip just copies the existing furniture and decorations."
Patil considered it for a second.
"That's incredibly convenient," he said finally.
"I know, right?" said DeLaurier, "And the best part is, there's not even any bad side effects! Probably. Now act cool, security's here."
They flashed their tickets at a bored looking security guard, and he pulled back the velvet rope that blocked entrance to the relevant corridor. They continued on toward Room CB-27.
"That was a little too easy," Patil muttered.
"Well, we're not the Secure, Secure, Secure Foundation," DeLaurier whispered back, "And it is Bender's Day."
They reached the door, which was old and battered, and unadorned except for a small note pinned in place.
SPARKLE SPECTACULAR IN HERE!
RIP Dr Berry
pls close door behind u!!
Dr Patil put one hand on the doorhandle.
"Have you ever been to one of these before?" he asked.
"Never," said DeLaurier, "You?"
"I dreamt about it once," Patil said, "But it was just a regular dream, not an anomalous dream, so it was likely inaccurate."
"Lucky," said DeLaurier, "I only ever dream about a weird dude in a business suit telling me that the world is being twisted into a terrible caricature of reality. Now come on, let's do this thing!"
Patil took a deep breath and opened the door. His jaw dropped, and beside him he heard DeLaurier gasp.
The room was huge, cavernous, unbelievably, almost grotesquely massive. Patil knew the standard unit of measurement in these situations was football fields, but he had never been much of sportsman. Suffice it to say that you could have flown a helicopter around the ceiling without risk of disturbing any of the hundreds of people milling about on the floor.
They had entered into the dining area of the room. Smaller tables were scattered around, surrounding a circular buffet area that seemed to contain mostly cakes. On the far side of the room, however many minutes walk away, there was a large stage, at the moment obscured by what appeared to be a projector screen, displaying festive images of some of the more amenable SCP items. As he watched, the image on the screen shifted from an orange blob bouncing gently up and down, to the front half of a white cat chasing an Eye Pod around and around in circles. As he looked closer, Patil could see that the edges of the screen were ragged, and pieces seemed to be moving away and reattaching somewhat randomly. The image shifted again, rippling outwards from the centre of the screen, and Patil realised what was going on.
"It's the butterflies!" he said, "Kondraki's butterflies! Which means…"
"Fuck yo' butterflies," DeLaurier said. He had noticed the buffet table, "They have infinite pizza here! Yes!"
DeLaurier shoved Patil aside as he dashed off across the banquet hall. Patil looked around the room for a sight of the notorious doctor and legendary action hero, but Kondraki didn't seem to be present. In the approximate centre of the room, however, between the dining area and the stage, there was a strange white structure that didn't match the rest of the décor. It seemed to be made all of one contiguous piece, grown out of the floor. A spiralling stalk lead up to a round pod the size of a small room, towering high above the rest of the festivities. The sides and ceiling of the pod looked to be made of glass, or at least something transparent, but the angle made it impossible to see inside. In there, Patil was sure, was Kondraki, and probably the rest of the Senior Staff.
People passing by the base of the stalk gave it a wide berth. Although it was rarely stated, there was a definite rule to working in Site 19: You don't fuck with the Senior Staff.
You don't fuck with the Senior Staff.
Patil followed DeLaurier over to the buffet table, where he had already amassed three plates of his own favourite pizza. He was explaining his strategy to the server, a surly German with freakishly long arms, who seemed entirely disinterested.
"… and the candy's good, but if you can only take two, that's only going to confuse your appetite," said DeLaurier, "Better to be consistent, let your stomach know what the plan is. Keter Cakes are fools gold, obviously—"
"Obviously," said the German.
"— because there's an infinite supply. You can have Keter Cakes any day of the year, hell, the Foundation'll pay you overtime for it. You know how hard it is to book testing time with the infinite pizza? It's hard. Now, noodles are good usually, but I never really liked the special ones because my dad walked out when I was ten—"
"Can't imagine why."
"— and they usually have a good spread from the vending machine but you can't guarantee that they won't melt your tongue or turn you to ash or something," DeLaurier said. Somehow, he had gone through five slices of pizza without ever having stopped talking. Patil was a little amazed. DeLaurier noticed him, "Hey Patil! I was just telling Mr Chirurg about my patented Bender's Day Banquet Buffet Battle Plan."
Patil smiled uneasily. Mr Chirurg had a look in his eye that suggested DeLaurier was about to need an actual battle plan if he kept talking much longer.
"Tell you what, Agent, maybe we should go try some of the other food," Patil said. DeLaurier had finished off his plate during the short break in conversation, and nodded eagerly before disappearing around the side of the buffet table. Mr Chirurg sighed with relief. Patil noticed a group of researchers from the sentient non-humanoid department gathered around a chocolate fountain and headed over to join them.
For some reason, the researchers had seen fit to bring along a table of their own, a standard issue desk, piled with office equipment. They were alternating turns holding a telephone up to their ears and feeding paper into a shredder. As Patil approached, the doctor listening to the phone said something to the other researchers that made them all burst into laughter.
"Hey, Dr Patil!" the doctor said, "You work with containment, right? Come get a load of this!"
Patil took the phone warily, "I'm not about to be sucked into a torture dimension, am I?"
"Nah, completely different thing," said the doctor. The other researchers snickered to themselves, "But you gotta hear what this guy has to say. It's a riot!"
Patil raised the phone to his ear, "Hello?"
A man's voice responded immediately. He sounded exhausted, frustrated and desperate, "Please, whoever you are, you have to stop this! This is a massive containment breach, something's gone horribly wrong! You have to find the people in charge — find Doctor Gears, he'll know what's going on! Find —"
Patil put his hand over the speaker and chuckled, "He says I should find Doctor Gears!"
The researchers burst into laughter. Patil shook his head and spoke into the phone.
"No-one's seen Gears in years!" he said.
The voice on the other end of the phone went silent for a few seconds. Then it started again, slowly, hesitantly, "If Gears is… okay. Okay. Here's what you have to do. There's a man who works in containment, I used to work alongside him before I… He's a good man. A trustworthy man, he'll have recognised what's happened, he'll know what the right thing to do is. His name is Doctor Amrit —"
The doctor snatched the phone back from Dr Patil's hand. He shouted into the receiver, "Your call is very important to us! Please hold!' He slammed the phone down and began cracking up. The rest of the researchers joined in.
Patil was feeling less jovial. The conversation had rattled him. That name, the same name that the pen had written down. For some reason, the SCP items seemed to think something wrong was going on, and they wanted him to talk to a man named Amrit. The same feeling of foreboding came over him that he had felt back in SCP-038's containment chamber. A hand on his shoulder shook him out of his reverie. One of the researchers offered him a blue La Choy box.
"Waddup, P'til," he mumbled through a mouthful of food, "Y'tried wuna thesefortune cookies yet? They're pre'y fugn good."
Patil pulled one out and cracked it carefully, extracting the fortune from the crumbly remains.
The world is turning further from what it should be.
He sighed. No doubt if he pulled out another one it would say 'Find Amrit'.
"What did your fortune say?" he asked. The researcher seemed confused.
"Fortune? I've just been running a train on these cookies, man. They are delish," said the researcher. Realisation struck, "Oh, right, fortunes! Yeah, the slips of paper. I've got a bunch of those, check 'em out."
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small sheaf of paper slips, handing them to Patil. Patil started reading through them as the researcher went back to gorging himself on empty carbs.
Bad luck lies around the corner.
Enjoy the night to its fullest, you will not live to regret it.
Make hay while the sun shines, it may not shine much longer.
Keep eating cookies, diabetes isn't going to be a problem.
Ugh. You're not even going to read this fortune, are you? Or any other fortune, for that matter. Or anything else, ever.
You know what? You're going to die. You're straight up going to die. Tonight. Like, within two hours of now.
Your lucky numbers are:
UG . ON . DI . EB . IT . CH
Say goodbye to your legs, asshole.
'Wazzit say?" the researcher asked. Patil bit his lip.
"Um, it's pretty vague," he said, "Typical fortune cookie garbage. Hey now, why don't you go try some of that infinite pizza?"
The researcher shrugged and wandered off. Thoroughly unnerved, Patil left to find DeLaurier again. He needed a familiar face. As he left, a trail of ants began to crawl out of the chocolate fountain, and the group of researchers scattered.
Patil found DeLaurier eyeing up a small display around the other side of the buffet area. In pride of place was a salmon-coloured ceramic plate. Blue letters spelled out the name 'Last Chance Diner'. Although the plate was chipped and chintzy, its reputation made it a fascinating if morbid centrepiece.
DeLaurier's face was screwed up in deep contemplation, and Patil knew he was busily running scenarios through his head. Patil watched him warily. He licked his lips.
"Do you think," DeLaurier said, "If I just ate a little bit—"
"—you would die?" said Patil, "Yes."
"But if I only put the food on it for a second—"
"—you would die."
"But if I just dipped my finger in—"
"—then you would die."
DeLaurier sighed, "It would be so good, though."
"Sure," said Patil, "For a couple of seconds, probably."
DeLaurier rolled his eyes, "You're such a downer."
Before Patil could respond, the sound of trumpets blared out from the speakers that lined the room. The butterflies on the stage shifted into an image of red curtains, embossed with the words 'The Site 19 SCP Sparkle Spectacular'. A hush went over the room, and the hundreds of Foundation personnel stopped eating and talking and avoiding bloodthirsty chocolate ants and moved towards the stage, pressing up against the back row of seating to see what was going on. Patil and DeLaurier went with them. As the trumpets died down, the butterfly curtains parted, and the host of the evening stepped out onto the stage.
He was a small, hairy man in a custom fit tuxedo. Patil recognised him from his wanderings about the site, as he imagined most of the other personnel did, and a wave of good vibes filled the room. The little man stepped up to a podium at the side of the stage, climbing atop a stepladder so that he could be visible. The curtains closed behind him.
"Good evening, everyone!" he said, "And welcome to the Site 19 SCP Sparkle Spectacular! My Item Number is SCP-208, but most of you around the site probably know me as that little fellow who makes you feel good! Tonight, you can just call me Bes!"
The crowd cheered.
"I fuckin' love Bes," whispered DeLaurier. A few people around them overheard and nodded in agreement, "He's such a good guy."
Patil smiled back, "He's so friendly. He reminds me of the Teddy Bear, before it started performing abortions."
Bes started talking again and the crowd hushed respectfully, "And now I'd like to introduce you to my lovely co-host this evening! You probably haven't seen her around very often, and she certainly wouldn't have seen you! But tonight she's promised to be on her best behaviour, which means no more trying to gouge her own eyes out! Please give a warm welcome to SCP-[whatever]!"
The butterfly curtains parted again, and a young woman in a red evening gown stepped out onto the stage. The crowd applauded, but as she moved beyond the range of the dazzling lights, she froze, and screamed, and covered her eyes. The crowd went silent, and Patil could just barely hear her shrieking voice.
"They're all dead!" the girl screamed, "They're all fucking dead!"
The crowd burst into a worried babble, people trying to figure out if they had really just heard what they thought they had. Bes hopped off his stepladder and ran over to the girl, who was clawing at her own eyes. She shoved him aside, and ran off to the side of the stage, crashing into a column of speakers and knocking them to the ground. Black suited security guards rushed onto the stage and dragged her back behind the curtains. The butterflies shifted again to display an image of a cartoonish scientist poking at the gears of SCP-914, accompanied by a message reading 'Technical Difficulties'.
Bes clambered back up to the podium. The crowd hushed again.
"I'm very sorry about that!" he said, "That was a bit of an unforseen foresight, I think. She gets like that sometimes, I'm sure it's nothing. Er. Well, you've met your hosts, and the Sparkle Spectacular itself will begin in half an hour. We'll be starting with a musical performance, and then we'll be bringing on a few talented young items, and finally we'll be showing our exciting grand finale. So, that's something to look forward to. Er. Please, continue eating, and… I'm going to check on her. Goodnight!"
Bes ran off stage, where the horrified screams of SCP-[Whatever] could still be heard.
Iris looked up from the display of monitors where she had been preparing the camera array for broadcast. The show's director, [That dude who makes you do things], was pacing angrily back and forth, violently pounding his fist into his palm.
"What's wrong?" she asked. [SCP]'s head snapped around to glare at her.
"Fucking magic-eye girl doesn't want to bloody host anymore," he snarled, "She won't stop bloody screaming. All her fucking therapy's been undone with one fucking look, which puts the show up shit creek unless I can find us another fucking host."
"Oh," said Iris. It was tradition for the Sparkle Spectacular to be entirely managed and organized by the SCP items themselves. Finding a host was always tricky — although the Foundation had hundreds of humanoids in containment, it was much rarer to find one who wasn't hideously deformed, insane, or a violent psychopath. Iris ran through her limited knowledge of other suitable humanoids, "Couldn't you get Claudia to fill in? You know how she loves to perform."
"After the fucking disaster with the Absence of Shark last year?" said [SCP], "Not bloody likely!"
Iris winced. She could remember how much the audience had appreciated that particular performance.
"Those jumps were supposed to be so exciting," she said.
"And they would've been, too," [SCP] snapped, "If anyone could fucking see them! No, it's gotta be someone visible. And someone who'll fit her fucking costume. Which eliminates half of these fucking freaks. Fuck!"
Iris sighed and turned back to her monitors. A fly had landed on one of the lenses, obscuring the shot. She almost reached through to brush it away before she caught herself. She missed her camera. She missed being special, using the power she had been given, and she guessed that [SCP] felt the same way. On the outside, he had lived like a king. Anything he wanted was his, he liked to say, and so he didn't want for anything. But then the Foundation had come along, and now he didn't even have the power of the average civilian. It was, apparently, a little bit frustrating.
"Bloody fucking fuck! Everything's fucking falling apart!"
Things had gotten better recently, of course. For whatever reason, security had relaxed a lot over the past few years. Iris couldn't quite remember when or why it had started, but it was definitely an upwards trend. She hadn't been experimented on in months, and Dr [whatever] had told her she could even get her camera back if everything went well tonight.
The fly flew off the lens, and Iris realised that the sound of [SCP]'s pacing had stopped. She turned, and caught him staring thoughtfully at her body. She shot him a sharp glare, but he didn't seem embarrassed.
"You know what," he said slowly, "That could work."
He ignored her, "Lilley! Get over here!"
[SCP]'s assistant, Tim Lilley, hurried over. Tim was a slightly sweaty, perennially nervous young man. His eyes darted anxiously from [SCP], to Iris, to one of the techs that was passing by. [SCP] snapped his fingers to get his attention. Tim flinched at the sound.
"Lilley! Did the Surgeon get the sound system back online?" [SCP] said.
"Uh, I… I think so, sir," said Tim, "He, um, he didn't say anything, he just — um, he just nodded."
"And you're sure it was him? It wasn't a fucking mouse this time?"
"P-positive, sir!" said Tim, "He was wearing scrubs!"
"Do we work with a mouse in scrubs?" [SCP] asked Iris.
"I don't think so," she said, "So, what were you —"
"Good. Good." he nodded, "This should work. Yeah. This should be fine. Lilley, go to the medical bay, get the girl to give us back her outfit."
"R… right," said Tim. He seemed petrified at the thought, "Sir, um, how… how will I know which one is —"
"She'll be the one screaming, you fucking — oh, wait. Well, she'll be one of the screaming ones. And she'll be wearing a fucking evening gown! Now get a bloody move on it! Go!"
"You got it, Mr LaBeouf!" Tim yelped, and ran out of the room. [SCP] shook his head.
Iris checked her display again to confirm that the sound system was, in fact, back online. It was. [SCP] was still staring at her. She had a bad feeling that she knew what he was thinking about.
"What dress size are you, Iris?" [SCP] asked.
"Standard Humanoid," Iris said reluctantly, "… any reason you're asking?"
"Y'know, Iris, I feel like I've done a lot of favours for you," [SCP] began, "I feel like you kind of owe me one…"
"Oh, no fucking way!" said Iris.
"…and I don't want to have to use mind-control…"
The trumpets blared out from the speakers again, and the crowd began to file into the auditorium seating set out before the stage. Patil still couldn't believe how utterly huge the room was, then quickly realised that regardless of its size, he wasn't going to be able to find a seat.
"What's up?" said DeLaurier, who was somehow still eating pizza.
Patil showed DeLaurier his ticket, which was probably needless as DeLaurier had a copy of his own. And therein lied the problem.
"Assigned seating," said Patil, "And we already know that this place is packed, because you couldn't find me a normal ticket in the first place. Do you think I could just ask someone to give up their own seat?"
"At the Sparkle Spectacular?" DeLaurier said incredulously, "Dude, if you try that, you're gonna get shanked or turned into a fish or something."
A thought stuck Patil, "Say, Dr See's not here. I could use his seat!"
DeLaurier shook his head, "Guarantee someone's beat you to it. The way he was flashing that ticket around, his body would've been looted before it hit the ground. Let's just stand at the back."
"Really?" said Patil, "You don't have to do that for me."
DeLaurier shrugged, "It's generally a good idea not to be in the splash zone."
Most of the audience had been seated by now, and the speakers began to play a drum roll. A spotlight roved across the wall of butterflies, who quickly became agitated and began displaying scenes of violence. The spotlight lowered to the stage floor before them. Patil and DeLaurier took up position behind the last row of seating, just in front of the spiralling stalk of the private box, and settled in to watch the show.
With a final clattering of cymbals, Bes burst out through the butterfly curtain, looking momentarily confused before he found the offset spotlight. He waved to the crowd, who cheered again. Patil raised an eyebrow. Were they not going to have a second host this year?
His worries were answered, though, as after a few seconds, the butterflies parted, and another young woman, wearing what appeared to be the same red evening gown as before, stepped reluctantly onto the stage beside Bes. Muttering swept the crowd as the audience tried to figure out who this mysterious new host was. Patil squinted. She certainly looked familiar…
"It's 239!" DeLaurier said. Patil turned to him.
"239 is a child, DeLaurier," he said.
"Yeah, but she's a reality warper," said DeLaurier, wiggling his fingers ominously. Patil shook his head and turned back to the stage. Bes was once again up on his stepladder, and beginning his introduction to the show.
"Good evening once again, ladies and gentlemen, Foundation staff and friends!" he said, "To those watching along at home, my apologies for the delay! We've had a bit of trouble finding someone to co-host, but a young [safe]-class humanoid pulled through at the last second. Everybody, please give a round of applause for SCP-[IRIS], [her name], Miss Iris Thompson!"
Ohhhhh, thought Patil. He applauded along with the rest of the audience. DeLaurier shot him a look that said 'It could still be 239 in a disguise though'. Iris gave a nervous wave, but as the applause continued, seemingly genuine in its enthusiasm, she straightened up, and smiled, and stepped forward to the microphone.
"It's an honour to be here tonight!" she said, "Hosting the greatest show in the world, at Site 19, the greatest Foundation facility in the world! Let's have a round of applause for all the hard-working Foundation personal and SCP items that made this whole thing possible! Everybody, put your hands together… for yourselves!"
The audience applauded even harder at that, as they were all complete narcissists. DeLaurier whooped and punched the air.
"Go Site 19 Level-3 Containment Agents!" he shouted.
Patil clapped along too, but with less energy. Looking back over his actions that day, he wasn't so sure that he deserved the applause. Blowing off work, making an unauthorised use of SCP-038… and he still couldn't shake the feeling that the whole 'Amrit' thing was gonna end up bringing pretty important. Oh, and 1048 was on the loose, and probably actually still alive.
"Hooray for Agent DeLaurier in particular!" DeLaurier yelled, "What a guy!"
Bes took the microphone again and began to recite his opening speech.
"It's been a big year for the SCP Foundation," he said, "Since our last Bender's Day celebration, we've captured eight new SCP items, lost sixteen, and accidentally destroyed twenty-five. I guess you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eldritch abominations! We've also been responsible for fourteen thousand civilian casualties, which is well within the limits of acceptable collateral damage. Well done, everyone! One of our most…"
This is easy, Iris thought, as she stood and smiled while Bes delivered his speech. Insanely easy. She had never been much of a performer back in the real world, and even after months of testing had always felt shy and awkward during the whole interview process. But now… it almost felt like something had changed, like someone else had been controlling her mouth when she talked. Everything just flowed so easily, so naturally, exactly as it was meant to, even though she hadn't even had the chance to rehearse. She felt exciting, larger than life, and wondered if maybe [SCP] had somehow used his power on her without her noticing. She looked out over the audience, who were all raptly listening to Bes. Her gaze wandered, across the front row, down to the very back where she could make out two distant figures standing out beyond the chairs. Behind them, she could see the white stalk of the Senior Staff's private box, and followed it up, to the pod itself, and in through the window where the doctors sat. Even from this distance she could recognize the famous faces — Dr Bright, Crow, Kondraki, and the ever-changing visage of Alto Clef, who turned his head and locked eyes with her.
Her blood ran cold, and the world… lurched. All at once, the facade of a confident, smiling announcer collapsed beneath her and she felt herself shrink — small, so small, hollow and naked and vulnerable. Iris Thompson stood in precarious shaking heels and gazed out at a crowd of thousands of intently listening doctors, agents, and researchers — the people who had captured her, who had taken her from her family, who had experimented on her for years. Suddenly Iris found that she couldn't speak, that she couldn't hear anything but the frantic beating of her own heart. The crowd was still staring at her, that same predatory stare that the doctors had had during the testing, when they took away what had made her special and prodded it and dissected it and told her it was unnatural and disgusting. A doctor in the front row whispered something to his neighbour and started to laugh. Iris felt like she was going to throw up. She took a step and stumbled. Bes had finished his speech and turned to her to deliver her line. He blinked when he realised she'd moved.
"Iris? What's wrong?"
The whispering was spreading through the rest of the crowd. She had to get out of here. She had to go… where? Back to her cell? Back home? The crowd was getting louder. Somebody threw a bottle at her. It missed, sailing over her head so that the swarm of butterflies had to part to avoid being hit. They began circling around her defensively. The sound of the crowd, the beating of her own heart and the buzzing of the butterflies' wings were all pounding in her head. She felt dizzy. This wasn't right. This didn't make sense. She shouldn't be here, in this ridiculous dress, on this ridiculous stage, putting on a show for people who had tried to keep her hidden away. She took another few steps and fell to her knees. Bes was by her side at once.
"Iris, are you okay?" he whispered, "Is it the lights? Stage-fright? Do you need to feel better?"
Bes reached towards her with open palms. Iris choked and tried to brush him away, but he caught her hand and held it, tenderly, honest concern in his eyes. The pounding in her head began to die down. Her worries began to fade away, and after a few seconds to gather her breath, she was able to stand again. The butterflies parted, and Bes lead her back to the podium. She looked back up to the Senior Staff's private box, but Clef had turned away. Iris slipped back into her persona almost without thinking.
"My apologies," she said, "I guess I had a little too much of those Keter Cakes! Now, our first act of the evening…"
"What is going on tonight?" asked Patil, "All the skips are going mental!"
DeLaurier shrugged, "It's Iris, man. Who knows what her deal is? I hear her containment report is majorly controversial."
Patil sighed, "You really have to start reading some of—"
"Shh, she's introducing the band!"
Up on stage, Iris still seemed a little woozy, but she smiled as she said, "Please welcome to the stage… Object Class: Keytar!"
The audience erupted into cheers. Patil frowned and turned to DeLaurier. He could barely hear his own voice over the roar of the crowd.
"I thought Pandora's Box was playing tonight!" he shouted.
"Their lead singer shifted dimensions again!" DeLaurier shouted back, "These guys are the replacement band!"
"Really? What happened to The Foundation Dreadlords?"
"Someone showed them [that manuscript you fill out with your own blood]! They're all dead!"
"All of them?"
"Yeah! Total bummer!"
The band had made their way onto the stage. Their lead singer, a Retrieval agent with purple hair and an eyepatch that may have been decorative, took his place on centre stage and hushed the crowd. There was an air of bubbling excitement as he slowly withdrew a small case from his pocket. He lifted it up in the air and the wall of butterflies behind him shifted image to reveal the message '110%'. The crowd went wild once again.
The agent took a sticker from the case, ran over to the side of the stage and slapped it onto one of the speakers.
"Now we're rocking out at one hundred and ten percent!" he yelled. The crowd cheered. The agent punched the air, then slapped another sticker beside the first.
"Now we're rocking out at two hundred and twenty percent!" he whooped. The crowd looked at each other quizzically and the sounds of murmured arithmetic filled the room. The doctor on lead keytar leaned towards the agent.
"I told you this would happen," he hissed.
"Well, you should've told it to the containment report," the agent hissed back. He ran back to centre stage and grabbed his microphone.
"Hey!" he yelled. His voice was amplified far above normal, but probably not to 220%. Even accounting for the standard effect of the microphone, it was like 210% at best. The crowd began to lose attention. The agent turned desperately back to the lead keytarist, who shrugged. The guys on rhythm keytar and drumtar didn't have anything to offer either.
"This is a disaster," DeLaurier muttered. Patil nodded his head in agreement. "This is a BK-Class 'Total Buzzkill' Scenario."
The band had dissolved into frantic bickering. The bass keytarist was waving his hands in the air angrily, and the researcher on guiboard had walked off stage. The butterflies moved forwards to cover them up with a soothing image of a dancing Robo-Dude, and Bes and Iris ran back to the podium.
"Talk about a containment breach!" said Bes. The joke didn't make any sense, but it was good enough for the crowd. Patil and DeLaurier settled down. Bes smiled nervously, "Now, there's actually still an hour to go before we can bring out the real performers, but —"
An imperceptible ripple spread outwards from the Senior Staff's private box, and all the clocks in Site 19 ticked forwards by sixty minutes. Iris shuddered for a moment, but seemed to hold herself together this time.
"Let's get started!" Bes concluded. The butterflies burst into a series of flashing lights. Iris stepped forward and the two of them cried out together.
"It's the Site 19 Bender's Day SCP Sparkle Spectacular!"
[just chuck a quick sparkle spectacular in here. it gets super crazy and dangerous, and then like "Hey and here's the best bit!" and a big cage or whatever opens up and there's like the disembowelled corpse of some big thing in there and everyone's like yo what and then the builder bears come out]
[then the metal builder bear attacks, maybe with a few bear buddies. Like what? Cake bear? Speakers bear? Funshine bear?]
Iris turned to Bes, "Bes! This wasn't in the itinerary!"
Bes's face was frozen in horror, "I don't… I don't think that thing cares about the itinerary, Iris."
The metal creature took another step closer. The crowd oohed.
"Iris… Iris, run." said Bes. The creature dropped to all fours and broke into a sprint, "Iris, run!"
[Then Patil and DeLaurier watch the bears kill everyone, and it's crazy, but nobody's taking it seriously because LOL IT'S ALL PART OF THE SHOW and DeLaurier's laughing right up to the point where the bear spears him in the head, and Patil realises oh snap this shit's real yo]
"Who's that man down there?" asked Dr Bright.
"Which one?" asked Clef.
"The Indian in the labcoat," Bright said. He pointed him out, "The running man. The one who's still alive."
Dr Crow pressed his nose up against the glass and squinted, "You know, I think I've seen that fellow around the place. He works in containment, I believe. Something Patil. Yes, Dr Amrit Patil."
"Well, he's fuckin' dead now," said Kondraki. The metal bear held up Patil's severed head in its shining crimson claw and howled, a distorted mechanical screech of bloodlust and victory. The doctors leaned back in their seats and sighed.
"You know what?" said Dr Clef, "That was pretty fucking spectacular."
SCP-2000 - Uppity Probe
Item #: SCP-2000
Object Classification: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: Currently, there is no way of conclusively determining the amount of existing iterations of SCP-2000. However, wherever possible, iterations should be held in secure storage within Foundation facilities, and organized by suspected chronological order. All reports of potential possession of SCP-2000 iterations by non-Foundation forces should be investigated. Any activity involving significant excavation should be monitored, particularly in southern regions of Western Australia.
Transmissions from SCP-2000-1 are encrypted at origin, and resemble meaningless cosmic noise. However, any civilian recognition or effort to decrypt said transmissions should be ended at first opportunity.
Description: SCP-2000 is a 783 kilogram space probe, constructed in the mid-1990s by a team of engineers employed by Prometheus Labs, Inc, and launched in 1997. Although a full analysis of the construction of SCP-2000 is currently impossible, recovered documentation indicates that SCP-2000 largely resembles non-anomalous interstellar probes, and interstellar travel has been confirmed as the intended purpose of the probe.
SCP-2000 differs from other interstellar spacecraft due to the inclusion of a certain module of unknown design, located on the lower boom of the probe. Recovered documentation suggests that this module was a late-stage addition to the probe. Hardly any information regarding the design or function of this module has yet been recovered, and preliminary blueprints of SCP-2000 indicate that the location occupied by this module was originally intended to house a radioisotope thermoelectric generator. Due to the continued function of the probe's electrical instruments, it is assumed that power generation is one of the purposes fulfilled by the unidentified module. A second assumed purpose of the module is the production of the field of unknown energy that surrounds SCP-2000 and appears to be the source of the item's anomalous effects.
The first anomalous effect associated with this energy field is the "increased resistance to degradation by radiation … [and] physical impacts and collisions" mentioned in Document SCP-2000-E, which allegedly provides the probe with "virtual indestructibility". Currently, this effect remains untested.
The second anomalous effect associated with SCP-2000's energy field is not referenced in any of the recovered documentation, and is presumed to be an unintended side effect. In November 1999, the trajectory of SCP-2000 became noticeably inconsistent with the projected trajectory outlined in Document SCP-2000-B. After examination by Foundation astrophysicists, it was determined that the seemingly exponential increase in velocity of SCP-2000 could not be explained by conventional physics. If current projections hold, SCP-2000 will surpass the speed of light in early 2007.
Researchers suggest that the anomalous temporal path of SCP-2000 may require a future update to the item's Special Containment Procedures.
For assurances on temporal stability, contact Dr Burt, Temporal Anomaly Department, Site 26.
On 11/02/2000, excavation in ██████████, Western Australia unearthed a spacecraft that was found to be consistent with the recovered blueprints for SCP-2000. The excavated spacecraft was taken under Foundation custody. The energy field exhibited by SCP-2000 was determined to remain in effect, although all other electrical systems on the probe appeared to have suffered electrical failure, and were non-functioning.
The excavated probe has been designated SCP-2000-2. The probe that was previously designated SCP-2000-1 has been re-designated SCP-2000-1.
Researchers theorise that SCP-2000-2 is the future presence of SCP-2000-1, which will impact earth at some point in the past after surpassing the speed of light in 2007.
For a more detailed explanation of the temporal relation between SCP-2000-1 and SCP-2000-2, contact Dr Burt, Temporal Anomaly Department, Site 26.
On 27/07/2002, excavation in ██████████, Western Australia unearthed a spacecraft that was found to be consistent with the recovered blueprints for SCP-2000-1, and physically identical to SCP-2000-2. The excavated spacecraft was taken under Foundation custody. The energy field exhibited by SCP-2000-1 and SCP-2000-2 was determined to remain in effect, although all other electrical systems on the probe appeared to have suffered electrical failure, and were non-functioning.
The excavated probe has been designated SCP-2000-3.
Researchers theorise that either SCP-2000-3 is the future presence of SCP-2000-2, or that SCP-2000-2 is the future presence of SCP-2000-3, after one of the probes is launched into space at some future time and eventually surpasses the speed of light and impacts Earth at some point in the past. This theory assumes that both SCP-2000-2 and SCP-2000-3 are future presences of SCP-2000-1.
Due to the dire importance of avoiding a temporal paradox, Dr Burt has recommended that the Foundation abstain from launching either SCP-2000-2 or SCP-2000-3 until it can be conclusively proven which iteration is the earliest. Currently, the presence of the unexplained energy field prohibits researchers from making an informed judgment.
To submit evidence regarding the chronological order of SCP-2000-2 and SCP-2000-3, or to receive an explanation on the temporal relation between the iterations of SCP-2000, contact Dr Burt, Temporal Anomaly Department, Site 26.
On 02/01/2003, excavation in ██████████, Western Australia unearthed a spacecraft that was found to be consistent with the recovered blueprints for SCP-2000-1, and physically similar to SCP-2000-2 and SCP-2000-3. The excavated spacecraft was taken under Foundation custody. The energy field exhibited by the other iterations of SCP-2000 was determined to remain in effect, although several other electrical systems on the probe appeared to have suffered electrical failure, and were non-functioning. However, the probe's ultraviolet spectrometer remained functional.
The excavated probe has been designated SCP-2000-4. All civilian excavation in ██████████, Western Australia has been suspended.
Researchers theorise that SCP-2000-4 is a future presence of SCP-2000-1, but predates both SCP-2000-2 and SCP-2000-3. If the Foundation declines to repair the ultraviolet spectrometers on any other iterations of SCP-2000, SCP-2000-4 can be considered safe to launch without risk of causing a temporal paradox. The launch has been scheduled for November 2005.
For a more detailed explanation of the reasoning behind this decision, contact Dr Burt, Temporal Anomaly Department, Site 26.
On 20/11/2005, SCP-2000-4 was successfully launched. Current trajectory is consistent with that of SCP-2000-1. SCP-2000-4 is expected to surpass the speed of light in late 2015.
On 09/05/2006, a Foundation raid on a suspected ███ ███████ facility discovered a spacecraft that was found to be consistent with the recovered blueprints for SCP-2000-1, and physically similar to other iterations of SCP-2000. Questioning has determined that the spacecraft was originally obtained in 1987, from an excavation site in ██████████, Western Australia. The energy field exhibited by the other iterations of SCP-2000 was determined to remain in effect, although several other electrical systems on the probe appeared to have suffered electrical failure, and were non-functioning. However, the probe's ultraviolet spectrometer remained functional, as did the infrared interferometer spectrometer.
Experiments on SCP-2000-2 and SCP-2000-3 have determined that the effects of the energy field prevent modification or repair of the probe's infrared interferometer spectrometer.
The captured probe has been designated SCP-2000-5. Civilian excavation in ██████████, Western Australia has been allowed to resume.
Researchers theorise [DATA EXPUNGED].
For assurances on temporal stability, please contact Dr Burt, Temporal Anomaly Department, Site 26.
BLACK BOX WEEKLY NEWS - 28/10/2012
Silo Explosion Raises Questions, Lowers Expectations
The town of Black Box was shaken yesterday by the unexpected explosion of an abandoned silo. No civilians were harmed by the explosion, which occurred in a field located two miles west of the United States Air Force base east of town. The field was once privately owned, but fell under government control following the owner's death in 1974. Representatives from the USAF had no comment regarding the incident, but official word from the Black Box Department of Code Enforcement is that the explosion was likely caused by a buildup of natural gas released by underground caverns beneath the field. The government has no plans to re-evaluate the safety of any of its other land holdings or public facilities.
Despite such assurances from the government, some citizens have expressed discontent with the response to the silo incident. The Black Box Weekly News was recently approached by a concerned party, who wished to remain anonymous. This party claimed to have evidence of the involvement of an as yet unidentified government agency. Allegedly, members of this agency were conducting some kind of clandestine operation within the vicinity of the silo, involving the discharging of live firearms and the destruction of the silo through 'unconventional means'. If the sources claims hold true, the story points towards secret government weapons testing taking place not far from Black Box. "There is something going on in Black Box, something very dangerous," stated the source, "And something the government does not want the citizens of Black Box to know."
Confirmation of government weapons testing and intelligence suppression efforts will have to await the arrival of further evidence, but this reporter, for one, will never forget the events of the 27th of October, 2012. Never ever. Ever.
Jennifer Be, the only investigative reporter in the small town of Black Box, clutched her steering wheel in one white-knuckled hand and wiped the sweat from her brow with the other. She had started her tail after a chance sighting at a cafe near the centre of town, and had followed covertly all the way to the very outskirts of town. They had passed the black stone formation that gave the town its name nearly half an hour ago. Now, with no form of cover and no other cars in sight, her only hope was that the monotony of the drive had dulled her subject's wits, and that the swirling dust had camouflaged her cherry-red hatchback. She couldn't give up now. Jenny was tired. She was stressed. And she really needed to pee. But above all else, she was determined.
Jenny bit her lip, reached into the glove compartment and pulled out a dictaphone. With practiced ease, she checked the tape, cleared her throat, and hit the button marked 'record'.
JENNIFER BE DICTAPHONE RECORDING - 27/10/2012-4
00:00:00 BE: Today is Saturday, the 27th of October, 2012. The time is quarter past three. I am currently tailing a suspected CIA agent. I am on my way to investigate what I believe to be the lynchpin of an elaborate government conspiracy that has ensnared the entire town of Black Box for at least the past fourteen years. I have reason to believe that the people behind this conspiracy are extremely dangerous. If something happens to me, for example, my body is cut up into little pieces and sold as low-fat chicken nuggets, you may find the co-ordinates of a hidden cache of evidence in a Microsoft Word document on my computer. Ignore the file that says 'Evidence Cache Co-Ordinates'; it's a fake. The real file is in My Documents slash Work Related slash Archived Faxes slash Sent Faxes slash 2002 slash June slash Archived Faxes. Umm. There's another folder in there, as well … delete it. Don't look at it. It's, um. A virus. Good luck. Remember: there is nothing in this world that man was not meant to know.
00:01:01 BE: Oh, and if Agent Macklin is listening in, don't bother. I have copies of all the files. Lots of copies. I also made copies of this recording. So suck it, evil government conspirators. You messed with the wrong investigative journalist!
00:01:18 BE: This is Jenny, by the way. Jennifer Be. Okay, love you. Bye.
Jenny clicked off the dictaphone and tossed it onto the passenger seat, where it landed among three others. She stretched her neck, reached into the glove compartment, and pulled out another of her many back-up dictaphones.
In the car ahead, a very bemused man looked in the rearview mirror and sighed. That crazy journalist lady was still following him. He scratched at his upper lip. Whatever, he decided. He'd pull over when he got to the silo.
He kept driving.
JENNIFER BE DICTAPHONE RECORDING - 27/10/2012-8 (EXCERPT)
00:00:36 BE: — for example, my head is removed and made into a novelty mail box, you — oh shoot! I just drove past him. We are next to … an abandoned wheat silo. I'll call you back. It's go time.
Jenny pulled over by a rickety wooden fence, flung the dictaphone onto the passenger seat along with the other seven, and stepped out of the car. The man she had been tailing leant against his black sedan. He was wearing a cheap grey suit, and his mouth twisted in annoyance beneath his luxuriant moustache. He opened his mouth to say something, but Jenny cut him off.
"Well, if it isn't Agent Macklin," said Jenny, striding over to face the mustachioed man. She put one hand on her hip. A ninth dictaphone appeared in the other hand as if by magic. Jenny clicked record and glared up at the man. He sighed.
"Can I help you, ma'am?" he asked.
"Cut the crap, Macklin," said Jenny, "I know it's you. I've had enough of your games."
"Ma'am, I really don't know what you're —"
"You think I don't recognize you?" Jenny scoffed, "You were the representative from the mayor's office when he got eaten by a snake last year, and you were the Air Force Captain when those fighter jets went over the town last week, and I'm pretty sure you're the guy who keeps trying to flirt with me on MySpace, but most importantly, when all those toilets exploded back in 2009, you, not someone who looks like you, but you yourself, were so-called County Sewage Director Bert Macklin. Every time anything weird happens around Black Box, you're there. And I have finally traced you back to your evil lair, and I am finally going to find out what mysterious conspiracy you and your agency have been perpetrating for the last three years. It's time to tell the citizens of Black Box what's really going on around here!"
The man with the moustache stared back at Jenny speechlessly, as he tried to process her blistering rant. Finally he cocked an eyebrow.
"MySpace?" he said.
"TELL ME WHAT IS UP WITH THE SILO, MACKLIN!"
The alleged Macklin raised his hands in protest, "Look, ma'am, I honestly have no idea what you're talking about. My name is Terrence Philip. I work for the Department of Code Enforcement."
"I knew there was something going on here!" said Jenny.
"Code Enforcement as in building codes," said Philip, "I'm here to inspect the structural stability of this silo in case we need to have it demolished. Look, here's my ID."
Philip took out his wallet and showed Jenny his card from the Department of Code Enforcement. Jenny inspected it carefully. This man and Terrence Philip had the same face. The same moustache. Jenny pulled out the card and ran it against her internal database of government identification. It had the embossed peony, the signature and … yes, when she tilted it, it even had the hologram. This was very definitely a real Department of Code Enforcement ID. And this man was very definitely not County Sewage Director Bert Macklin. Jenny deflated. She handed Philip back his ID and clicked off her dictaphone. Philip saw how dejected she was, and patted her on the shoulder, a little awkwardly.
"It's alright," he said, "No harm done."
Philip turned and clambered over the low fence, striding across the field towards the abandoned silo.
"I'll find out what's going on here," Jenny called after to him.
"Go back to work, Jenny," Philip called back, "You must be as busy as a Be."
Jenny snorted and began walking back towards her car. She made it three steps before her brain registered what had just been said. In a split second she had her dictaphone out and recording, waving it in the air as if to snatch Philip's words out of the ether. She hopped the fence and dashed after the man, yelling the entire time.
"Hey! Macklin! Hey! Say that again!"
"Go back to your car, ma'am," said the man who was not Terrence Philip.
"Busy as a Be!" shouted Jenny, "That's the same thing Captain Rogers said last week! And you know my name! I never told you my name! Tell me about the silo!"
The man whipped around, visibly frustrated. His moustache bristled. "Listen to me, Jenny," he barked, "There is absolutely nothing going on with the —"
His voice was drowned out by an immense rumbling, like the roar of a waking giant. The ground quaked, and Jenny stumbled forwards, towards the silo. The man with the moustache caught her arm. She shouted and tried to shake him off, but the rumbling was too loud and his grip too tight. The noise grew ever louder, until Jenny felt as though her knees were going to give way. She looked up at the man, only to see him staring terrified over her shoulder. Jenny turned to follow his gaze, and saw the silo shaking like a leaf as the rumbling grew louder still and she thought she could make out noises beneath the storm like screaming and gunfire and sirens and an all-encompassing roar and she regretted not stopping for a wee at some point on the way here and her eardrums must be about to pop —
The silo burst. Something enormous, like a great, fat, rainbow-coloured serpent, erupted from the ground beneath it and sailed impossibly into the sky. It turned with a flick of its tail, and rested lazily a few metres off the ground. Its body was long and thick, cascading with plumes and feathered spines. The beast shook its feathery mane at Jenny and the man, baring a mouth filled with row after row of needle-sharp teeth, and snarled. It was only then that Jenny realised the rumbling had stopped. Her ears were ringing in the relative silence. She turned again to the man. His moustache trembled, clinging to a face that was drained of blood. Jenny gulped and checked that her dictaphone was still recording.
The silence broke again as a team of black-clad commandos burst from a maintenance shed between Jenny and the monster. One commando, armed only with a pistol, took point. He struck out from amongst the rifle-wielding soldiers, edging around a low fence to approach the beast. The pistol-wielding commando gave a complicated hand gesture, clearly some kind of signal. The other commandos cautiously closed in on the beast, spreading out to encircle it in a pincer-like formation. The beast eyed them warily, remaining effortlessly airborne despite its clearly immense weight. On the signal of the pistol-wielding commando, every member of the team readied their weapons, took aim, and opened fire.
The beast went mad. The spray of bullets from the commandos' assault rifles seemed only to enrage it, and it thrashed in midair before letting out a roar, another earth-shattering rumble. Even from where Jenny stood, she felt as though her skull was going to crack. She saw a commando, one of the few on the team with no helmet, fall to the ground as a sharp spray of blood burst from his ears. The rest of the team soon followed, apparently alive but bowled over by the sheer force of the roar. The beast dropped its voice to a rattling hiss, twisted in midair, and made a break for it, pulling out in a wide aerial slither towards Jenny and the moustachioed man.
As the beast wended its way over the field, its head a full three metres above the tallest shoot of grass, one of the commandos tugged off his helmet and raised his head. The man with the pistol. From across the field he and Jenny locked eyes, and she saw the gleam of his teeth as he staggered to his feet. As the beast cut S-bends through the sky, the man took a step, another, stumbled, flung away his pistol and broke into a sprint. The beast reached the shed from which the commandos had come, the halfway point between Jenny and the rapidly accelerating commando. Still disoriented from the rumble of the beast, Jenny barely heard the commando's valiant scream. She caught two phrases, distorted by the wind that the monstrous creature left in its wake. "Nine-five-eight-three," and "Not on my watch."
The beast hit the far point of its turn, and leered down at Jenny, a thousand teeth glistening with malicious intent. At the same time, the running commando hit the low fence, bounding from its top beam to the roof of the maintenance shed, then leaping again and soaring out into the air. He reached to his belt with one hand, stretched out for one of the creature's feathered spines with the other. He caught and gripped tight, smacking against the beast's thick neck, and plunged his combat knife deep into the top of the beast's grinning skull. Immediately the monster let out a shriek, high and mournful and desperate, before it was taken by death and by gravity. Its lifeless corpse sailed down, sending up a massive plume of dust where it collided with the ground. The commando lost his grip on the knife, rolled free, and brushed himself off. He flashed Jenny a thumbs-up and headed back to meet with the rest of his team.
Jenny exhaled slowly.
"Holy cow," she said.
She turned to face the man with the moustache, who looked blearily back at her.
"Well?" asked Jenny.
The man blinked, coming back to consciousness. He sighed.
"Dammit," he said. He tore off his false moustache and threw it to the ground, and pulled his real identification from the lining of his jacket.
"Agent Ben Wyatt," said Agent Ben Wyatt, "SCP Foundation. I'm going to have to ask you to come with me."
Jenny met his gaze.
"Give me a second to prepare my recording equipment," she said.
Agent Wyatt sighed and stalked out across the field to investigate the body.
As soon as Agent Wyatt turned away, Jenny's knees started trembling. She took her dictaphone out of her pocket. It had recorded the entire incident, though Jenny was unsure how much of it would be indecipherable rumbling. Regardless, she seemed to have stumbled upon the story of the century. Of the millennium. Heck, this might be the most exciting thing to happen in Black Box ever!
Jenny composed herself for a few seconds. This would be the article that defined her career, the culmination of almost fifteen years' hard work. She had to report it to the absolute best of her ability. She had a duty to herself as an investigative journalist. She had a duty to herself as a fifteen year-old girl.
Jenny took a deep breath and hit record.
JENNIFER BE DICTAPHONE RECORDING - 27/10/2012-9 (EXCERPT)
00:03:13 BE: [INDECIPHERABLE DUE TO UNIDENTIFIED SQUEALING NOISE]
Agent Harken leant against the exterior of Site-26 Covert Access Stairwell 12 and watched the Foundation clean-up crew struggle to move the body of what, until recently, had been E-9583. Now that it was dead, it no longer retained the gravity-defying abilities it had in life, and the monstrous corpse was proving too heavy for the meager equipment the crew had been able to carry up the stairs. One tech turned to face Harken, and opened his mouth to ask for help. Harken took a drag on his cigarette, and made a great show of hacking and wheezing. The tech rolled his eyes and turned back to the beast. Harken stopped coughing and headed off to meet with Agent Kramer, stubbing out his cigarette on the dead creature's shimmering hide as he passed it by.
Kramer was standing by the Agent Harken had heard was responsible for the containment breach. Kramer had shrunken back from the Agent, who was talking and gesticulating with an expression on his face that could only be described as euphoric. On their last mission, Harken had seen Kramer detach her left arm at the elbow and fling it across the room to decapitate a combatant from the Church of the Broken God. After retrieving the appendage from the pile of bloody corpses she had built up around it, Kramer had called Harken over from the corner he had hidden in to show him something. By some freak act of physics, Kramer's hand had come to rest with her middle finger fully extended. Impaled on Kramer's crimson digit was a Church combatant's nose. Harken had looked up at Kramer's blood-spattered face, and realised he was staring into the abyss. And the abyss had giggled back.
After five minutes alone with the Containment Agent, however, Kramer's face was twisted into a horrible rictus. A tortured smile belied the eyes of a woman whose soul was slowly being destroyed. Harken smirked and stepped in to rescue her.
"I'll take it from here, Agent Kramer," he said. Kramer gasped with relief, like a drowning child brought back to the surface.
"Agent Harken!" beamed the Containment Agent, "Agent Kramer was just telling me about you. Agent Spender, E2-9583. It is an absolute honour to finally make your acquaintance."
"I mentioned you once," whispered Kramer, "I told him you were a surly drunk. This guy is a lunatic."
"Is there anything I can do to help you?" asked the grinning lunatic, who seemed not to have heard.
"He bowed to me," whispered Kramer, horrified, "Bowed."
"Go help the clean-up crew with the snake," muttered Harken, "It took out the elevator when it broke containment. I'll deal with this clown."
Kramer hurried over to the feathery corpse without a backwards glance. As she approached, she unsheathed a set of metal claws and let loose a battle cry. The clean-up crew scattered.
The Containment Agent continued smiling, unfazed by Kramer's sudden violent departure.
"She's very enthusiastic," said the Agent, approvingly.
"That's one word for it," said Harken.
INTERVIEW LOG E-9583-04-WITNESS-01 (EXCERPT)
Interviewer: Agent Ben Wyatt (Intelligence Suppression)
Witness: Ms Jennifer Be
00:00:00 BE: Agent Wyatt, would you care to recount the events that you have just witnessed?
00:00:03 WYATT: Ms Be —
00:00:04 BE: Agent Wyatt, this interview will go a lot more smoothly if you choose to co-operate with me.
00:00:09 WYATT: Ms Be, that's not the way we're going to do this.
00:00:12 BE: I could take this whole operation out of commission with one phonecall to my editor, Wyatt. Do you really think you're the one with the power here?
00:00:20 WYATT: I'm the one with the badge and the gun.
00:00:22 BE: Peh. Yes. That badge. You claim to work for, quote, "The SCP Foundation".
00:00:28 WYATT: I do work for the SCP Foundation.
00:00:31 BE: And what do you do at this Foundation?
00:00:33 WYATT: At this time, my employers have nothing to — Jenny! I am interviewing you this time, okay? Just … co-operate, please.
00:00:41 BE: Why do you want to interview me, Agent Wyatt? I don't even know what's going on here. What was that thing?
00:00:46 WYATT: We need your input in case we run into something like this in the future, Ms Be.
00:00:51 BE: This happen a lot to you people?
00:00:55 WYATT: It's hard to explain, Jenny.
00:00:57 BE: What, you think I have something better to do? When I followed you out into the middle of the country on a lazy Saturday afternoon, I was not expecting a showdown with a giant flying snake! I'm not telling you a darn thing until you tell me what's going on here. Come on, Agent Macklin. For real this time. Who are you working for?
00:01:16 WYATT: Jenny … be assured of what I say, we're only here to protect you. That's all you need to know.
00:01:24 BE: Agent Wyatt, do you know why I became an investigative reporter?
00:01:27 WYATT: Um. Uh, yes, I read your file when I took the job, but … Jenny, this is —
00:01:34 BE: I get it, Wyatt! The fire is a lost cause! It took me fourteen years but I'm over it, okay? But if you don't tell me what the heck I just saw, I am getting Rory on the phone right now, and this time we won't be printing any retractions!
00:01:53 BE: Agent Wyatt, you know you're not gonna get anything out of me like this. Tell me the truth. Please.
00:01:59 WYATT: Fine. Fine, alright.
00:02:07 WYATT: The first thing you need to know is that everything you've ever heard about the supernatural is a lie. There are things on this earth, objects and entities that science cannot explain. Call it magic, call it what you want. The point is that the paranormal is real. And real dangerous.
00:00:26 BE: You don't say.
00:00:27 WYATT: I don't just mean things like that snake. Everything is dangerous. Anything that doesn't belong in this world. Can you imagine what would happen if the truth got out about stuff like this? Chaos. Chaos, Jenny. The way that a revelation like that would change the world? The way that politics would change, the social upheaval, the kind of wars that would start over that, it's … the point is, humanity can barely keep up with the natural world. For the sake of our continued existence, it's best for everyone that we keep the supernatural on the sidelines. That's what the SCP Foundation is for. When we find something, an object or an entity that just shouldn't be, we secure it, and we contain it, and we protect humanity from what we can never understand.
00:01:24 BE: But —
00:01:25 WYATT: I know.
00:01:27 BE: But — you can't just keep the world —
00:01:29 WYATT: Trust me, Jenny. I know. I used to think there was nothing more important than the truth. If you don't know the truth, you're hardly even living in the real world, right? But if it wasn't for the Foundation, we wouldn't have any world to live in at all. This is the way it has to be.
00:01:31 BE: Then tell me this, Agent Wyatt, before I give you my statement. If keeping all this secret is such a big deal, why did you just tell me all of that? I mean, you're not going to … kill me, are you?
00:01:44 WYATT: Oh, yeah, we're going to … chop your body into little pieces and serve it as low-fat chicken nuggets.
00:01:52 BE: Oh my god. Really?
00:01:54 WYATT: What? No! No, after we finish interviewing you, one of the Foundation doctors is going to give you something called a 'Class-B Amnesiac'.
00:02:02 BE: Oh. Great. And then I wake up in my bed an hour from now with no memory of anything that just happened, right.
00:02:08 WYATT: Well, I'm not going to carry you into your bedroom, but … yeah. Pretty much. You'll wake up in Black Box General. You fainted when the silo went down. Terrence Philip called the ambulance.
00:02:17 BE: So I still got the scoop on the silo collapse, at least.
00:02:22 WYATT: Yeah. Yeah, you did. But everything after that, and everything I'm telling you now? In an hour's time, you're not going to remember any of it.
00:02:51 WYATT: You know, I thought that article you wrote about the fighter jets was really fantastic.
Kramer stood breathlessly over the pile of cubic chunks that had been the body of E-9583. Members of the clean-up crew scurried back and forth, ferrying the pieces back to Site-26 on gurneys, like a horde of ants taking apart a great beetle. One tech was gathering up the feathered spines and arranging them into bales. Kramer stretched listlessly. Now that her job was done, she was feeling bored, wasted, an unexpected hand on her shoulder. Oscilloscope-green eyes flashed as Agent Kramer whipped around, claws extended, to come face to face with Agent Harken.
"Geez, Kramer," he said, "That's no way to greet your partner."
Harken went to take a drag on his cigarette, but found himself raising an empty hand to his mouth. Kramer held up a claw. The cigarette was impaled upon it. Harken shook his head wordlessly. The cigarette split and fell to the ground. Kramer didn't retract her claws.
"Where is he, Harken?" she asked. Her eyes whirred as she scanned the field in search of the chatty Containment Agent.
"Agent Spender had to go debrief his team," said Harken, "And thank god for that. You were right, that man is insane. Wouldn't stop talking about how proud he was to meet me, what an asset I was to the Foundation. Unbelievable."
"Must've been a nice change," teased Kramer.
"Lost some of the impact after a while," said Harken, "When I left him he was saying the same thing to the guy who brings coffee to the clean-up crew. Look, that's not what I gotta talk to you about. I just got a call from the guys at Site-19. We've been reassigned."
Kramer laughed, finally retracting her claws, "Thank god. If I had to spend one more minute in this backwater town …" Her voice petered out when she saw Harken's grim expression. She gave him a friendly punch on the arm. Harken winced.
"Come on, Harken," she said, "Tell me where we're headed and let's get your tubby butt in the car."
"Here," he said, "We're getting assigned to Site-26. This is the biggest containment breach this place has ever had."
"What?" spluttered Kramer, "One skip got loose, one skip! Euclid! Maybe it should have been Keter, but it was one skip. And it was only out five minutes! The last breach we had to deal with —"
"Hey, don't ask me," said Harken, "They said something about Site-26 being a critical information storage site or something. They call it the Box. This is where they keep physical back-ups of pretty much every file we have. They don't even have any SCPs over Safe. The snake was only here because they needed a runway to take it in. Kramer, if someone gets into Site-26, gets into the Box, that's the Veil Protocol busted right there. The staff in this place is ninety-nine percent doctors. They don't even have any D-Class. No-one here is equipped to deal with the type of crap that we have to. So, we're being reassigned."
Kramer's pupils dilated until they hit the edge of her irises. Then her irises dilated. Then they changed colour. She shook her head.
"No," she said, "No. This is some sort of punishment. This town has like five hundred people in it. They don't need us here, and we definitely do not need to be here. Harken! You're shifty. You're sneaky and devious. That's the one reason I keep you around. Find me a way out of this. Now."
Harken pursed his lips in thought.
"You know what," he said, "Now that you mention it, I think there is another way …"
"Is that really the only reason you keep me around?" he asked.
"Of course not, baby," Kramer reassured him. She took Harken's hand in her own. Harken tensed.
"You're also fun to hurt."
Eyes gazed vacantly. Tongues lolled out of mouths. A man with biceps like coiled pythons sat slumped on the ground, tears streaming down his face.
Containment Agent Spender was debriefing his team.
Perhaps debriefing was the wrong word, now. The actual debriefing had taken all of thirty seconds, '9583 broke containment, I killed it, one witness, one injury. Better luck next time!' After he'd finished, though, Agent Spender had seen the despondent faces of the other Agents and decided that they needed some cheering up. Whilst any other Agent would have taken his men out for a drink, Spender had resorted to his favorite tactic. A speech. About honour. And teamwork. And responsibilities. He had been talking for ten minutes already, and showed no signs of slowing down.
"Looking back on history, there have been many great teams." said Spender, "Apollo 11. The list goes on."
INTERVIEW LOG AGENT-REVIEW-SPENDER-02-01 (EXCERPT)
Interviewer Redacted (Internal Affairs)
Interviewee: Agent Brian Donahue (Containment)
00:00:32 DONAHUE: Don't get me wrong, Spender's a great agent, and a good guy, but he can be a little over-enthusiastic about his … duty.
INTERVIEW LOG AGENT-REVIEW-SPENDER-02-02 (EXCERPT)
Interviewer Redacted (Internal Affairs)
Interviewee: Agent Laura Cheung (Containment)
00:00:14 CHEUNG: I would say Spender is diligent. I would say Spender is an amazing combat agent. I would say Spender could stand to cut back on the speeches.
INTERVIEW LOG AGENT-REVIEW-SPENDER-02-03 (EXCERPT)
Interviewer Redacted (Internal Affairs)
Interviewee: Agent Vikrum Chakravorty (Containment)
00:00:00 CHAKRAVORTY: Spender needs to learn how to keep his [EXPLETIVE REDACTED] mouth shut.
"Even within our own Foundation, who could forget the amazing efforts of teams such as Mobile Task Force Omega Seven?" Spender continued, "Every member of that team was fiercely dedicated to achieving their goal. With one exception. But there lies the problem. Even the most well-oiled machine can fall apart with just one loose screw. Most well-oiled? Best oiled. It's not important. What's important, Agents, is this. Today, I was that loose screw. It's true. I have no-one to blame but myself. When the Retrieval Agents brought in E-9583, I dropped the ball. They neglected to tell me that it had any kind of destructive sonic powers, and I, stupid, arrogant fool that I was, I only asked them twice. I let you down, Agents. I beg you, I plead with you for your forgiveness."
To a man, the team shoot upright, mouths open to give Agent Spender their forgiveness, all their forgiveness, honestly, as much as you need, man, just shut up, please. Spender cut them off, tears streaming down his face.
"But I know that it's too late!"
The other Agents sighed and sat back down.
"So all I can do is offer my sincerest apologies, and accept whatever punishment the Foundation decides is necessary. Let me begin my apology with a song —"
The Agents groaned.
INTERVIEW LOG E-9583-04-WITNESS-01 (EXCERPT)
00:17:21 BE: No way.
00:17:22 WYATT: I'm serious! That's what happened.
00:17:24 BE: A power outlet! I don't believe it.
00:17:27 WYATT: Well, that's the effect I have on people.
00:17:30 BE: That is hilarious. What happened to him?
00:17:32 WYATT: Oh, he died.
00:17:34 BE: Oh.
00:17:35 WYATT: Yeah.
00:17:40 BE: It's still a little funny, though.
00:17:42 WYATT: Too funny. You know, Jenny, this is really nice. Talking to a normal person. To be honest, since I started working in Intelligence Suppression, you chasing after me is kind of the closest thing I've had to a friend.
00:17:54 BE: Aww, Ben. That's … a little creepy, actually. But sweet. It's been nice talking to you, too. You're a lot less intimidating when you're just … you. I may not agree with everything the SCP Foundation is doing here, but … you're a good guy.
00:18:09 WYATT: Jenny … thanks. That really means a lot to me.
00:18:28 WYATT: Um. Uh, yeah. So. Intelligence suppression. It's hard work. I'm pretty much the whole department, really. That's why you see me around so much. And like I said, it can be a lonely job. So … that's why it's nice to talk to you. That's all.
00:18:43 BE: Yes. Right. And I'm just … I'm glad to finally find out the truth about you. Even if I am about to forget it all anyway.
00:18:51 WYATT: Yes.
00:18:52 BE: So, if you're so desperate for company, why don't you just talk to the guys from the other departments?
00:18:57 WYATT: Well, they're pretty much all scientists. Which is fine, but … scientists like to share information. You know. Gossip. Gossip from place like Site-19.
00:19:06 BE: What happened at Site-19, Ben?
00:19:08 WYATT: I don't really want to talk about it.
00:19:10 BE: Is it something to do with me?
00:19:12 WYATT: I don't even know if I can make this make sense.
00:19:14 BE: Ben, come on.
00:19:15 WYATT: Okay. Okay, fine. Back when I used to work in containment —
00:19:19 BE: Hold up, someone's coming.
00:19:21 KRAMER: Agent Wyatt, are you finished talking to the witness?
00:19:23 WYATT: Yeah?
00:19:23 BE: Yeah.
00:19:24 WYATT: Yes.
00:19:26 KRAMER: Good. There's something I need to discuss with you.
00:19:28 WYATT: Sure, just give me a second to wrap this up.
00:19:30 KRAMER: Fine.
00:19:33 WYATT: Ms Be, it's been a pleasure to speak to you. Thank you for your statement. I'm sure it will be of great assistance in reviewing our special containment procedures.
00:19:40 BE: The pleasure is all mine.
00:19:42 WYATT: Are you ready to take your Amnesiac now?
00:19:44 BE: Yeah. I guess it's all for the best.
00:19:47 WYATT: Great. Thank you for your co-operation, Ms Be.
00:19:50 BE: You are very welcome, Agent Wyatt.
00:19:56 WYATT: Hey, Jenny?
00:19:57 BE: Yeah?
00:19:58 WYATT: You know we're going to have to take that tape, right?
00:20:00 BE: [EXPLETIVE REDACTED]!
00:20:02 WYATT: Somebody grab her!
00:20:05 BE: [EXPLETIVE REDACTED]!
00:20:05 WYATT: Not Agent Kramer!
Across the field from where Jenny was being held in a headlock by Agent Kramer, Agent Spender was still expounding upon the nature of true leadership.
"… and although when Walt Whitman wrote that poem he was referring to President Abraham Lincoln, I am sure that Dr Clef would agree that it is equally applicable — Agent Harken! Good to see you again, sir."
By this point, the other Agents didn't even respond to the interruption. They just sat, catatonic, staring out over the fields into the blue expanse of the mid-afternoon sky. Spender reached out for a handshake. Harken accepted it, gingerly.
"Agent Spender, I need to talk privately with you," said Harken, "It's concerning your performance as leader of this containment team."
"Right," said Spender. A tinge of worry crept across his radiant face. He followed Harken away from his dazed containment team.
"Spender, you screwed up," said Harken, "No two ways about it. You had one job: contain the skip. The skip was not contained, and as a result, people that outrank us both have decided that Site-26 can no longer be deemed to be unquestionably secure. Listen, you made a mistake. A big mistake. But I can help you. I'm willing to go out of my way, as a favour to you, to help you. Okay?"
Spender nodded solemnly.
"Agent Harken. Thank you," he said.
"I think we're beyond 'Agent Harken' now, right?" said Harken, "We're friends. I'm your friend. Call me …" Harken paused, considered the level of involvement he was comfortable with Spender having in his life.
"Call me Mr Harken."
Spender's chest swelled.
"Mr Harken. Absolutely," he said, "And you can call me Mr Kau Spender."
"Right," said Harken, "Now, I — did you just say your first name was … 'Cow'?"
"Ka-u," corrected Spender, "Japanese. 'To buy'."
INTERVIEW LOG THETA-18-SPENDER-001 (EXCERPT)
Interviewer Redacted (Internal Affairs)
Interviewee: Agent Kau Spender
00:01:48 SPENDER: Kau Spender. I chose my name when I took on my first role at the Foundation. Financial management department for a Site near Fukuoka. I wanted to show I was committed. And dependable.
00:02:09 SPENDER: I was transferred from that department after three months.
"Whatever," said Harken, "Listen, Kau. As I'm sure you're aware, Site-26 is a high-priority information storage facility or something like that. The secrecy of this Site is of utmost importance. The Foundation needs a team monitoring this town to make sure there are no information leaks. They asked Agent Kramer and me, but we … are too busy. A lot of plates spinning, you know how it is. Tell me, Kau, what projects do you have going right now?"
Kau shook his head.
"None," he said, "My only active containment duty is on E-9583."
"E-9583-N," he corrected lamely. He hung his head.
"Yeah," said Harken, "Really screwed the pooch there, didn't you. In all good conscience, I can't let you remain in command of a containment team. You just don't have what it takes. That's the bad news. Here's the good news. I am authorising the creation of a temporary Mobile Task Force. You will be taking command of the Site-26 Intelligence Suppression Department. From now on, your duty will be to observe and monitor this town for any threat to the Veil Protocol. If you come across any recordings of what happened today, any witnesses, any activity indicative of an information leak, I want you to report back to me immediately. Agent Spender, I am officially placing you in charge of Mobile Task Force Theta 18 …"
Harken thought for a second, then smirked.
Agent Spender eyes widened. He stared at the ground in disbelief. Harken clapped him on the shoulder, winced, and meandered off to reconvene with Agent Kramer. He passed Agent Wyatt and pointed a badly bruised finger in excited recognition.
"Hey, Bread Boy!" cried Harken, "Long time no see!"
Wyatt ignored him and passed on to talk to Agent Spender. Spender's head hung low. He raised a hand to his mouth. A tear rolled down his cheek and dropped to the yellow grass.
"Uh, hey," said Wyatt, "I'm Agent Ben Wyatt, Site-26 Intelligence Suppression. I just spoke with Agent Kramer … oh good, you're crying. Fantastic."
Spender shoulders shook. Wyatt's voice sped up, drowning out the other Agent's hitching breaths.
"She says I'm kind of responsible for the witness being here because she was kinda tailing me and I kinda know her a bit in a professional capacity of course but Kramer says she isn't going to put me on Keter duty if I agree to take on some of her duties and keep it under the table so I guess the two of us are going to be working together from now on so it's great to meet you or at least it would be if you weren't crying right now but I guess the demotion must've been pretty rough especially coming from a jerk like Harken but you gotta keep your chin up and, oh, I don't know," he took a breath, "Just … be the best darn Mobile Task Force we can be … right?"
Agent Spender wiped his hand over his eyes.
"Agent Ben Wyatt. You don't understand," he choked. Wyatt took a step back as Spender lifted his head and turned to face him. Spender's eyes were red, and his cheeks were tracked with tears, but beneath it all lay the most ecstatic, infectious smile Ben Wyatt had ever seen.
INTERVIEW LOG THETA-18-SPENDER-001 (EXCERPT)
00:00:06 SPENDER: I am in command of a Mobile Task Force. I. Am in command. Of an official. SCP Foundation authorised. Mobile. Task. Force.
00:00:23 SPENDER: This is the greatest day of my life.
INTERVIEW LOG THETA-18-WYATT-001 (EXCERPT)
Interviewer Redacted (Internal Affairs)
Interviewee: Agent Ben Wyatt
00:00:24 WYATT: Looking back, I definitely should have gone with the Keter duty.
00:00:31 WYATT: What? You're kidding.
00:00:34 WYATT: Oh no.
One hour later, Jennifer Be woke to a hospital bed and a pounding headache. She watched the lights swirl in front of her for a few seconds before she realised where she was. She shot upright. Her head exploded and she shot back downright. Hospital pillows. On a hospital bed. What had she been doing? She felt awful, worse than after her last four-nighter. Had she been drinking? Had someone drugged — oh. Of course. Jenny sighed. The Amnesiac. She bit her lip in frustration. After all her hard work, after more than a decade of hunting the truth, she had finally found what she was looking for, then along came the stupid SCP Foundation and stupid Agent Wyatt and his stupid eyes and now she couldn't remember any of it!
Jenny turned and punched the pillow in its stupid charming face and settled in for an extremely grumpy nap.
It took her a few seconds.
Distracted by thoughts of his new position, Agent Spender had decided to postpone his farewell speech until a later date. The disgraced Containment Agents prepared themselves for a dinner of disconsolate reflection at the Site-26 cafeteria. However, as Site-26's staff of researchers wandered over to join the Agents, eager as always for a chance to jeer, what began as a miserable meal of mourning developed into an impromptu celebration of the team's spectacular failure. As the party grew, scientists and commandos joined together to drag a row of tables into a circle. They munched on juicy burgers served on toasted buns, and laughed as they told anecdotes of where they were and how they reacted when they heard that first rumbling roar. Everybody cheered and applauded at the tale of Agent Spender's heroic slaying of the beast, rising sharply in volume when Spender stood up to deliver his own recollections of the event. The servers at the cafeteria gave in to the party atmosphere and wheeled out a keg from the storage room, to great applause/the satisfaction of all. Agent Ben Wyatt sat alone at a table in the corner of the room, sipping water and poking at a gristly meat patty with a fork. Eventually, Agent Spender excused himself from the festivities and wandered over to join his new associate/teammate. Wyatt kept his head down as Spender approached.
"Agent Ben Wyatt!" said Spender, "Great to talk to you again. Nice burger! Very creative."
"Yeah, I'm thinking of going vegan," muttered Agent Wyatt. He took a bite out of the gristly burger, then sighed and put down his fork.
"Alright, Spender. Get it over with."
Spender was taken aback.
"Agent Wyatt. I'm afraid I don't understand," he said, "Is something wrong? Why don't you come and join the party?"
Agent Wyatt cocked his head to the side. His mouth stretched into a huge, insincere smile. Spender smiled back.
"Gee, Spender, that's a really great question," said Wyatt, speaking in a sarcastic, sing-song voice, "Why don't I come join the party? I'm sure that it will be a wonderful time marked by friendly conversations and mutual respect, just like every other Foundation gathering I've attended over the past four years. What a fantastic idea."
Agent Wyatt dropped the smile, picked up his tray and left the table. Spender followed after him, feeling a little uncertain.
"Agent Wyatt. I'm really glad to hear that," he said, "But the party's the other way."
"Oh, I know," said Wyatt. He scraped his plate out over a bin. The meat patty hit the bottom with a thud. Agent Wyatt began sorting his crockery into the dishwashing trays. Agent Spender blinked.
"So why are you putting away your utensils?" asked Spender. Agent Wyatt looked to the ceiling and groaned.
"Are you another one of those people who don't understand sarcasm?" said Wyatt, "I'm not coming to the party, Spender. I have been to enough parties to figure out what to expect. I'm sure the other staff have had plenty of opportunity to fill you in, so if you could just get it over and done with, I'm going to go to bed."
Spender's forehead furrowed.
"Oh my god," muttered Agent Wyatt, "Spender! Whatever you wanted to say to me, just get it out of your system now so we can start working together, okay? I've had a hard enough day as it is."
Spender nodded dumbly. Agent Wyatt folded his arms and leant back against the counter.
"Agent Ben Wyatt," Spender began. He paused. Wyatt gritted his teeth.
"Agent Ben Wyatt," continued Spender, "It is an absolute pleasure to be given this opportunity to work alongside you and the Site-26 Intelligence Suppression Department. I am sure Mobile Task Force Theta 18 will only be stronger thanks to your contributions. Thank you for your service to the Foundation. Agent Wyatt. I look forward to working with you tomorrow."
Wyatt blinked. His right arm slipped out of its hold.
"Is that it?" he asked.
"Agent Wyatt. That is it," said Spender.
"Um," stuttered Wyatt, "Uh, thanks. Thank you."
Spender took Agent Wyatt's dangling hand and shook it firmly. He walked away and rejoined the party, leaving the confused Agent wondering what had just happened.
INTERVIEW LOG THETA-18-SPENDER-003 (EXCERPT)
00:05:17 SPENDER: Oh, I'm well aware of Incident-SCP-426-03. I just don't understand why everyone makes such a big deal out of it. As far as I can tell, what happened to Agent Wyatt was just an unfortunate accident. It could have happened to anyone.
00:06:37 SPENDER: No. It isn't.
JENNIFER BE TELEPHONE CONVERSATION, 27/10/2012, 7:45
Caller: Jennifer Be
Recipient: Rory Meisner
00:00:00 MEISNER: Hello, this is Rory Meisner. Who's call—
00:00:04 BE: Rory! It's Jenny, I'm at the office! Where are you?
00:00:09 MEISNER: Jennifer, it's 7:45 on a Saturday night! I'm about to go to bed!
00:00:15 BE: Rory, no. You remember that story I've been working on? The … conspiracy? I have something. Something big.
00:00:37 MEISNER: Listen, Jennifer —
00:00:41 BE: Okay, Rory, I know what you're gonna say, but this is for real this time! I have something. I talked to … I have a source, he … wants to remain anonymous.
00:00:51 MEISNER: Jennifer —
00:00:52 BE: Rory, please. You know how important this is to me.
00:01:00 MEISNER: Jennifer, even if I wanted to, we print tonight. The issue is set in stone.
00:01:08 BE: Dammit, Rory! This is bigger than a school bake sale! This is bigger than Prometheus! Come on, Rory. Don't do it for me. Do it for the Black Box Weekly News.
00:01:22 MEISNER: Jennifer, the last time you came to me with an 'anonymous source' —
00:01:27 BE: There's evidence this time, Rory. I am — we are sure of it, okay?
00:01:34 MEISNER: Well … if you say so. Oh, Jennifer. Sometimes this job is just too much. You know, I've been considering moving to Wamapoke. That's the life for me.
00:01:45 BE: Rory, the Wamapoke Traveller only prints four issues a year!
00:01:50 MEISNER: I don't have your energy anymore, Jennifer.
00:01:54 BE: Then go out with a bang, not a bake sale. Let me run the story.
00:02:08 MEISNER: Fine. Run it.
00:02:11 BE: You won't regret this, Rory!
00:02:14 MEISNER: Don't let me down, Jennifer.
00:02:17 BE: I love you Rory sleep tight bye!
00:02:19 MEISNER: Oh, lord. Good night, Jenny.
The morning after the containment breach, Agent Ben Wyatt left his quarters in Site-26 Dormitory Corridor IS-1 at around 10-ish, sharp, ready for another exhilarating day of dead time in an empty office. He meandered through the corridor that had once housed legions of Intelligence Suppression Agents, abandoned for over a decade and now used only as a place to dump unwanted junk. Room 14 was filled to the brim with empty cans. Room 22 had become the ceremonial resting place for busted chairs. And as for Room 1? That was where Ben lived.
Ben smirked to himself. He was feeling unusually optimistic today.
As Ben left the Dormitory Corridors behind and entered the main corridors of Site-26, he began to find traces of last night's festivities. Evidently, the party had not stopped at the cafeteria, or at that first keg. Hungover scientists tottered past in yesterday's crooked ties, or slumped in doorways, groaning. Harried-looking Level 0s swept up swathes of plastic cups, destined to join their brethren in Room 5. Ben got the feeling that perhaps today he might not be the least productive member of Site-26.
Ben's ears pricked up as he heard another sound beneath the echoing wails of addled researchers. Pounding feet. Someone, or something, running, sprinting through the halls of Site-26. Ben tensed, half-anticipating the snake again, making an attempt at a post-mortem escape. It wouldn't be beyond expectations, even for a creature that had had neither legs nor bodily cohesion the last time Ben had laid eyes on it. The sound grew nearer, stopping and starting irregularly. Ben wondered what had happened to the hapless partygoers he had passed. Perhaps they were now sleeping it off in the neatly-diced belly of the beast. Was it possible to digest properly with a split stomach, Ben wondered? Maybe a julienned colon could actually aid regularity. A shadow loomed across the wall and Ben realised that he had wasted his near-death moments on idle chit-chat instead of coming up with a plan. Fantastic.
Fortunately for Ben, what dashed around the corner and jolted him out of his morbid reverie was neither a fully-formed monster nor a violent pack of meat-cubes, but his new boss, Agent Kau Spender. Spender stopped on a dime and wiped a bead of sweat from his brow. There was just the one. Spender had ditched his black containment team fatigues for a form-fitting dark suit. Despite his frantic pace, both the suit and Spender himself seemed completely unruffled. Ben got the feeling that Spender had been running for a long time, and could keep on going indefinitely if he felt the inclination.
"Agent Ben Wyatt!" Spender pointed a finger in excited recognition, "I was just looking for you. You weren't in your office, so I've been running around the Site, asking people. I haven't been getting a great response."
"Yeah, Site-26 doesn't throw a lot of parties," said Ben, "Why didn't you just look it up? The system logs whenever you swipe your pass."
Spender grinned, "Agent Wyatt! It's that type of thinking that makes me so excited to have you on the team," the grin dropped, "Speaking of which, we have a situation," and the grin came back, "Our first situation as a Mobile Task Force! Oh, this is exciting. This is so exciting!"
Ben smiled nervously, "Yeah, totally. Maybe you should take a photo."
"Oh, I have," said Spender, "Dozens."
Ben chuckled dutifully before he realised Spender was serious.
"But we need to focus," said Spender, "This is serious. Seriously cool! But also very, very important. Oh, I'm getting chills. But Agent Wyatt! Listen!"
Ben snapped to attention. This guy is a maniac, he thought. Spender took a folded newspaper from inside his jacket and tossed it to Ben. Ben unfolded it and began to read as Spender continued his briefing.
"Somehow, this reporter has found information about the containment breach at Covert Access Elevator 12. Most of her information is incorrect, but it's close enough to the truth to be highly suspicious. Agent Wyatt. Our first mission as Mobile Task Force Theta 18 will be: find this reporter, figure out how much she really knows, and see if we can track down her anonymous source. Now, I —"
Ben groaned, interrupting Spender's briefing. He had seen the name of the reporter responsible for the article.
"Jennifer Be wrote this?" he said, "Spender, I know this woman. She was at the silo when 9583 broke containment. Someone was supposed to give her an Amnesiac. They must have messed it up somehow."
Spender raised his eyebrows.
"So there's no source?" he said, "Now that's interesting. An information leak leading to media coverage, and a reporter who knows more than she's letting on. This case is bigger than I thought!"
Ben nodded, "It's a lot bigger than what I usually deal with."
"Well, that's life for an MTF Agent!" said Spender brightly, "But our mission is still the same. Agent Wyatt. Let's go pick up Jennifer Be and find out what she knows."
"And this time, let's get somebody competent to administer the Amnesiac," added Ben.
"Great!" said Spender, "So, what's the best way to bring her in? Smash through the windows? Snatch her off the street? Ooh, how about this: I load a sniper rifle with tranquilizer darts —"
"Or you could just drop me off at her house, and I'll have a talk to her," said Ben. Spender pointed again, smiling broadly.
"That's even better!" he said, "Simple. Inconspicuous. Agent Wyatt! I knew we were going to make a great team! I'll go get the van. Mobile Task Force Theta Eighteen are go!"
Spender burst into an immediate sprint and disappeared around the corner. Ben heard him whooping excitedly as he ran, eliciting irritated groans from the hungover researchers. Ben sighed and continued on his morning commute. Agent Spender was certainly intense.
After a few seconds, Ben heard running footsteps again. He turned around to see Spender sliding smoothly to a halt. Spender held up a camera.
"Almost forgot," he said, "Smile!"
INTERVIEW LOG THETA-18-WYATT-003 (EXCERPT)
00:01:05 WYATT: When I found out Ms Be still remembered the silo incident I was concerned, of course. Someone must have made a mistake; either they administered the Amnesiac wrong or the actual Amnesiac we used must've been contaminated or something. Obviously we don't want civilians wandering around knowing about the Foundation. Especially not reporters.
XX:XX:XX WYATT: Actually, she was smarter than I expected. From what I've heard from some of the other, more active Sites, information leaks like this, one person finding out about the Foundation, they tend to take care of themselves. A lone voice, crying about paranormal conspiracies, secret agents, flying monsters? Yeah, I doubt even Black Box Weekly News would cover that story. But, what, a government agency testing secret weapons? Five miles from a residential area? That's a story that, A, people can actually believe, and B, is only going to get bigger the more we try to cover it up. Jennifer Be may be about to turn this one little containment breach into a very serious problem for the Foundation. Like I said, she's a smart woman.
XX:XX:XX WYATT: Uh, no. No. That's not what I was saying at all. I mean, yeah, objectively, she's intelligent, she's, um, she's a lot more lively and interesting then the people I usually talk to, which is, uh, nobody. And, yeah, once she puts down the professional, uh, facade, she's, well, a little, I guess, a little cute. Objectively. But that was all I was thinking. I mean, not even that. There was no conflict of interest on this mission.
XX:XX:XX WYATT: I was looking forward to the interview, yes. Purely in a professional capacity.
JENNIFER BE DICTAPHONE RECORDING 28/10/2012-8 (EXCERPT)
00:07:04 BE: I know this is hard to believe, but think back. If what I'm saying isn't true, then what did you do yesterday? Why don't you remember writing the article? Why don't you remember the anonymous source? You were there, Future Jenny. Not you, technically, but I was there, and you can trust me, right? … I know you said 'Right', Future Jenny, because you still instinctively treat dictaphone recordings like a telephone conversation. Okay, that's my other mission for you. Take down the SCP Foundation, try and stop this stupid dictaphone-telephone thing. Focus on the first one.
XX:XX:XX WYATT: Jenny, open up. We need to talk.
XX:XX:XX BE: Oh my god, I gotta go. Agent Wyatt's here to erase my memories. I don't think they're going to screw it up again this time, so it's all down to you, Future Jenny. Can you do it? … Atta girl. But stop that, seriously. Okay, love you, talk later — Dammit!
Jenny clicked off the dictaphone and placed it carefully into the hidden compartment in her desk drawer. She slid the false bottom back into place, closed and locked the drawer. As she walked to the front door, she took a deep breath and tried to calm her nerves. You don't recognise him, Jenny thought to herself. You've never met him before. Don't try and look at his butt.
Jenny opened the front door, and the screen door behind it. Agent Wyatt stood on her doorstep. He was wearing a dark suit and shades. Jenny feigned surprise.
"Hello, creepy strange man," said Jenny, "What are you doing on my property?"
Ben sighed. He took off his sunglasses with one hand and folded them into his pocket. He held out his SCP Foundation ID.
"Ms Be, I don't really want to waste time with this," he said, "I need to bring you in for questioning."
Jenny raised an eyebrow.
"Well, that's a stupid ID to show me," she said, "I don't know of any Seepy Foundation operating under the purview of the United States Government. Unless you can prove you have any actual authority, you're not bringing me anywhere."
"Jenny," Wyatt said testily, "Stop messing around and come get in the van."
"Oh, that's gonna work!" scoffed Jenny. She reached out and pulled the screen door closed.
"Jenny —" started Agent Wyatt.
"You show up at my house waving fake IDs and trying to coerce me into a van?" said Jenny, "Coming with you sounds like a great idea, if I wanted to get raped! And I don't know what kind of signals you might think you've been picking up, but I definitely do not want to get raped, thank you very much. Either you show me some real ID, or I'm going to call the police. And they'll drag you to jail, and then you'll be the one getting raped. That was really inappropriate. Sorry. Not that sorry though. Rapist."
Wyatt threw up his hands, "Fine! You want ID? I'll give you some ID. Just … stop saying 'rape' so much, this is meant to be covert."
"Sorry," said Jenny. Wyatt rolled his eyes and dug a wallet out from somewhere inside his jacket. Jenny cautiously opened the screen door.
Wyatt opened the wallet and pulled out a badge. He tossed it to Jenny.
"There," he said, "Agent Pullman, FBI. Is that real enough?"
Jenny examined the badge, tested it in her mind. It definitely seemed real, but so had Terrence Philip's card. She tossed it back.
"Easy to fake," said Jenny, "I could buy one of those from the guy behind the 7-11 for thirty bucks."
"Alright. Fine," said Wyatt, "That one's a cover. Here's my real badge."
He passed her another badge. Agent Lionel Schultz, Central Intelligence Agency. Jenny looked it over, ran it against her memory. Definitely real.
"Fake," she said again, "What is this made out of, balsa wood? Put some work into it."
"Jenny!" said Wyatt, "Here. Greg Palmer, NSA."
"How many of these do you have in there?"
"Enough that you should probably just give up now."
INTERVIEW LOG THETA-18-WYATT-003 (EXCERPT)
00:15:17 WYATT: Yeah, we could have kept that up for a while. I have a lot of IDs.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Lionel Schultz, CIA.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Joe Pullman, FBI.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Greg Palmer, NSA.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Brian Fulton, also NSA. Greg Palmer has lady problems.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Bert Macklin, County Sewage Director.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Captain Buck Rogers, USAF. I have USAF from Private to Major, Army from Private to Major, Marines from Private to Colonel. Black Box is landlocked, so no Navy.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Terrence Philip, Department of Code Enforcement.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: James Gordon, Gotham Police. That was for a Halloween party.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Winston Burt, Level One Medical Staff. I stole that one. He's a total jerk. I switched it with one that said 'Winston Butt'. Little things.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Ah, my first cover ID. First fake name I ever came up with. Zak Headslasher, Black Box Police Department. If you co-operate, he's a nice guy. If not? Headslashed.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Yeah, that didn't help my reputation.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Nicholas Fenshaw, Department of Education. Unfortunately, Fenshaw has a beard, which is really annoying to wear, so if there's a problem at a school, I usually just send in Headslasher.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Okay, these ones are from when the Foundation told me I needed to establish a bunch of civilian identities as back-ups. You know how many they wanted? Two hundred and fifty.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Why indeed.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Kyle Harper. Tom Quin. Jerry Louton. Brett Jones. Chad Treager.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Michael Jackson. Brad Pitt. George Bush. Another Brad Pitt. Tom Cruise. LeBron James.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: James Bond. Indiana Jones. Clark Kent. Bruce Wayne. Peter Parker. Wolverine. I have a driver's license with the name 'Wolverine'. Just Wolverine.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Birth certificate too.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Ben Table. Ben Chair. Ben Pencil. Ben Window. Ben Listofnames.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Ben Nineteen. Ben Twenty. Ben Twenty-One. Ben Twenty-Three. Huh. Where's Ben Twenty-Two? That was a nice picture.
XX-XX-XX WYATT: Ben Eighty-Seven, Ben Eighty-Eight, aaaaand number two hundred and fifty himself, Dick Butthole.
"Okay, maybe I will just come with you," said Jenny, "But this doesn't mean I trust you. My source didn't give me a lot to go on. I think it's time I got some answers about what happened at that silo."
Wyatt rolled his eyes, "Sure, Jenny. Whatever you say. Come on, my boss is waiting in the van."
Jenny locked the door behind her and followed Agent Wyatt down the path towards the waiting van. Journalistic integrity, she thought to herself. This man is the enemy. Her eyes flickered. Worth it.
Wyatt raised his hand. Somebody in the van tooted the horn excitedly.
"Hope you like getting your picture taken," said Wyatt.
Jenny was supposed to be stewing. Instead she seemed perfectly happy. She was the bubbliest stew Ben had ever seen. Jenny was speaking into her dictaphone. She was always talking to that damn dictaphone. Ben watched her from behind a one-way mirror and fumed.
"That dictaphone," he muttered to himself, "Always talking to that dictaphone. You know we're going to take it. Why are you doing this? What are you telling that thing that you won't tell me, Jenny?"
Spender felt unnerved, but tried not to show it. His nervous smile gleamed in the darkness of the room.
"Agent Wyatt. I really feel that Ms Be would be more cooperative if we told her the truth about the SCP Foundation," he said, "I'm sure her sense of duty would override even her highly impressive loyalty to her source."
"With all due respect, Agent Spender, she already knows the truth," said Ben, "There is no source. Someone screwed up on the Amnesiac and she's just trying to hide how much she really knows. She's playing us, Spender."
Jenny finished recording her message, and smiled at the mirror. Ben turned and walked away. He sat on a desk.
"Agent Wyatt. I appreciate your input," said Spender, "But until we can be absolutely certain that you're right, we're going to have to assume that this source is real. Maybe Ms Be does know more than she's letting on. Maybe not. The polygraph test was inconclusive."
"Always a step ahead," muttered Ben, "She's like some kind of criminal mastermind."
JENNIFER BE DICTAPHONE RECORDING 28/10/2012-10 (EXCERPT)
XX:XX:XX BE: My heartrate goes crazy when I get excited. It's something to do with the coffee and the insomnia and the incredible stress of living under an insidious government conspiracy. Anyway, the upshot is that it's impossible to take an accurate reading with a polygraph test. All I have to do is think of something exciting. And Agent Wyatt was sitting right in front of me. Oh, shoot. That's off the record. Um. I was thinking about how much I hate him. Gah. Rewind, rewind.
"She's like the Moriarty to your Holmes," joked Spender.
"Just like Moriarty," nodded Ben, "Devious. Insidious. Determined. Opinionated. Vivacious. Peppy. Cute. Feminine, but in a very self-assured way."
Ben stared intently through the one-way mirror and didn't notice Spender backing away.
"I think the best move we can make at this point is to administer her with a Class-B Amnesiac, send her home, and monitor her for a couple of weeks until we can be sure there's no source," said Spender. Ben sighed.
"Alright," he said, "If there's no other way we can get the truth out of her."
"Well, we could always torture her," said Spender, "But I'd really rather just send her home."
"Yes. Let's do that."
"I’ll send someone in. How do you work the PA?"
RECORDING OF AMNESIAC ADMINISTRATION PROCEDURE THETA-18-BE-01
Doctor: Dr Winston Burt, Level 1 Medical
Assisting: Dr Zhang, Level 1 Medical; Dr Rosenstein, Level 1 Medical
Recipient: Ms Jennifer Be
Overseers: Agent Kau Spender; Agent Ben Wyatt
00:00:00 SPENDER: Ms Be. One of our doctors is going to give you an injection now. Please sit still, there is absolutely nothing to worry about.
XX:XX:XX BE: This better not be a lethal injection!
XX:XX:XX WYATT: If it is, you're not gonna know.
XX:XX:XX BE: Thanks, Wyatt. Helpful.
XX:XX:XX BURT: Alright, ma'am, just hold still. Injecting sedative.
XX:XX:XX BE: Gahhhh.
[SEDATIVE AGENT SUCCESSFULLY INJECTED. BOTH OVERSEERS CONFIRM]
XX:XX:XX BE: Your breath smells like fiiiiish.
XX:XX:XX BURT: It's be a shame if you forgot your parents' faces, wouldn't it.
XX:XX:XX WYATT: Make sure you get it right this time, Winston.
XX:XX:XX BURT: [EXPLETIVE REDACTED], Bread Boy.
XX:XX:XX BE: Thaat's ruude. You're ruuuude.
XX:XX:XX SPENDER: Dr Burt. Remember your duty to the Foundation.
XX:XX:XX BURT: God, you're as bad as each other. Patient is sedated. Injecting Amnesiac.
[CLASS-B AMNESIAC SUCCESSFULLY INJECTED. BOTH OVERSEERS CONFIRM]
XX:XX:XX SPENDER: Dr Burt. Is that Amnesiac coded to this recipient's specifications?
XX:XX:XX BURT: We took care of all that crap the last time we injected her, Spender.
XX:XX:XX WYATT: Send a sample for chemical analysis, just to be sure.
XX:XX:XX BURT: I don't take orders from you, Bread Boy.
XX:XX:XX SPENDER: Dr Burt
XX:XX:XX BURT: Alright, alright. Procedure complete.
Ben and Spender sat back and relaxed. The doctors gathered their equipment and left the room. Jenny slumped against the table, snoring gently.
"Excellent," said Spender, "Certainly no foul play there. Now we need a way to monitor Ms Be. How about this: we inject a small tracking beacon under her right eyelid —"
"A little extreme, Spender," said Ben. He considered the tracking beacons he had back in the IS Offices. The smallest one was about the size of a cellphone. Intelligence Suppression R&D hadn't been active since 1998.
"Well, how about this," said Spender, "Bug the house, bug the car, bug the office. Classic clandestine surveillance."
"Spender, the Intelligence Suppression budget barely covers my salary," said Ben, "We can keep tabs on her, but we're not wiring her house. I can maybe set up something on the phonelines, but if you want to eavesdrop anywhere else, you're going to have to do it the old-fashioned way."
Spender's ears pricked up, "And that is?"
"Use a plant," said Ben.
"Great idea!" said Spender, "For now, our top priority is the Black Box Weekly News. If Ms Be tries to write another story, we need to be there to intercept it. Agent Wyatt. I'm going to get you a job at that newspaper."
Ben shook his head, "Not me. Even if that Amnesiac works, there's still too high a chance she'll recognise me from one of the times we've talked in the past."
"So it needs to be someone else," mused Spender, "And the only other person on the Task Force is … me. Great! Looks like I'll be taking a more active role than I initially thought! This mission gets bigger every second."
Ben stood up and stretched.
"Awesome," he said, "Now let's get Jenny home. I'll get somebody to hook us into her phones while she's asleep. And I'm gonna grab that dictaphone. Jenny knows more than she's letting on."
Ben headed out of the darkened observation room. Spender trailed behind him.
"Agent Wyatt. I'm sure you're overreacting," said Spender, "Ms Be doesn't remember a thing, you heard her in the interview. We're going to find this source, and then we can put this whole containment breach behind us."
Doesn't remember a thing, Ben thought. He considered the dictaphone. Maybe Jenny wasn't keeping her memories all in her head. He'd heard that some of the researchers had been working on a new device. Maybe the Intelligence Suppression budget could stretch a little further. Another thought occurred.
"Hey, Agent Spender," said Ben, "This whole reporter thing. This is the kind of situation Agent Harken wanted us to tell him about, right?"
"Absolutely," said Spender.
Ben nodded. Spender nodded. Ben nodded. Spender nodded.
The two agents nodded.
"Did he give you any —"
Jenny woke up with a splitting headache for the second time in as many days. Immediately, she sat bolt upright. One thought burned clear through the bleary haze of her mind. Get the dictaphone.
Jenny put a hand to her head. Dictaphone? Why did she need a dictaphone? Half-formed reasons drifted through her gluggy, swollen brain. Everyone needs a dictaphone, murmured her brain. Dictaphones are cool. You're lonely and you want to hear a comforting voice. Jenny sunk back into bed. Her bed, which was strange. But that was strange, wasn't it? Why shouldn't she be in her bed? She dug backwards through her memory. She needed the dictaphone. She sat up. She woke up. Blurry. Blurry. Pigs? Probably a dream. Blurry. Blurry. She passed out … She called a man rude? She got injected. Injected?
Too far. She called a man rude. Dr Burt! Dr Burt was swearing at Ben Wyatt. Ben told Dr Burt to make sure the Amnesiac worked properly this time.
Jenny punched the air. Should've told him twice! she whooped in her head. It hurt. She whooped quietly out loud.
Jenny gazed up at the ceiling and tried to get her thoughts in order. Firstly, I still know about the Foundation, she thought. Secondly, forget about getting my thoughts in order, this is my ceiling. I am in my bedroom. Ben totally carried me into my bedroom.
Jenny tried to focus on how much she hated Agent Wyatt, how he represented everything she had been fighting her whole career as an investigative journalist. She thought about all the lies he'd told, all the things his Foundation had kept secret. She thought about him drugging her, and trying to take away her memories, her most precious gift. She remembered her mom talking about what she should do to boys who tried to take away her most precious gift, and quickly steered away from that awkward conversation. But now her thoughts were derailed. Her throbbing head was confused, and in the midst of chaos, she settled on Ben's face, smiling. He carried her to bed. That was pretty cool.
Jenny struggled for a few seconds more to keep the smile of her face, but in the end she just gave in. She grinned up at the ceiling. Her toes curled happily beneath the sheets. Beneath the sheets. Barefoot.
Jenny shot up. Her head boomed. She tore off the covers and stared down at her legs in horror. Happy little cartoon pigs gazed up at her from a field of pink. No, no, no, no. Her head snapped to her left arm. Pigs on pink. Right arm. Pigs on pink. In the middle of her chest, a great, big pig. He was smiling. He was wearing sunglasses. He was saying, "Too Hot To Trot". She could feel the life leaving her body as she slowly raised one arm, closed her eyes, and sniffed the pit.
Hadn't been washed in two weeks.
Jenny howled. Despair, despair. Death. Dying. Dead. The Amnesiacs had not removed her memories, but seemed to have transformed her into a fifteen year old girl. She tipped slowly sideways, and fell to her face on the mattress. She wailed until her lungs gave out and made a stupid gaspy hissing sound. Then she lay there, motionless. Pink pig pajamas. She wanted to cry.
After some time, she became aware of how uncomfortable she was. Her face was squished. One arm was caught beneath her, and had gone to sleep. Her bra was digging into her side. She wiggled her dead hand out from under her, and fished around in her shirt for the offending strap. As her numb fingers tugged it free, something clicked. She rolled back over onto her back. She tilted her head, lifted up the front of her pants. She laughed.
"Oh, Agent Wyatt," Jenny drawled, "Such a gentleman."
She smirked up at the ceiling, thoughts of pigs forgotten for now.
"Taking you down is going to be easier than I thought."
It's been said that when you work for the SCP Foundation, any job is 40% paperwork, 40% running, 20% [DATA EXPUNGED]. After the incident at the silo, Ben was more than happy to let Agent Spender handle the running and the expunged, which left the paperwork up to him. He sat in his office, overlooking the vast, desolate Intelligence Suppression Department, filling out forms, writing reports, and drafting a press release to explain the recent unusual electrical activity. Spender stood over his shoulder, watching intently. He hadn't moved or spoken for almost an hour, but whenever Ben looked up at him, he had the same rapt expression on his face as always. As far as he could tell, Spender considered second-hand paperwork to be just as thrilling as interrogation, dragon-slaying or partying. Ben found it extremely disturbing.
Ben put the finishing touches on his press release, and sat back to consider it. In the cubicled hangar in which he worked, the silence was deafening. After three years, Ben had grown used to it, but he wondered how Spender was doing, after an hour of no sound but the scratching of a pen. Ben remembered his first day, listening to himself breath in and out, in and out. He listened to Spender's breathing. In …
Okay, that was just creepy.
"Alright!" said Ben, breaking the silence with forced cheeriness, "All done! Paperwork's done!"
"Excellent!" Spender clapped, "Everything?"
"Pretty much," said Ben. He spread out the stack of forms across the desk, pointing to each in turn.
"Expenditures. Transport logs. Equipment logs. Verification of use of van. Verification of use of Class-B Amnesiac. Warrant for use of electronic data erasing pulse, verification of action.Warrant for the arrest of Jennifer Be, verification of action. Jennifer Be's personal details. Copy of Jennifer Be's personal details, for … archive. Interrogation transcript, and verification. Warrant for civilian relocation of Rory Meisner, verification of action. Application for creation of false identity for Agent Kau Spender, verification of action. And this is the cover story for the pulse. Once I'm done with that, the mission is officially over, we have to fill out an after-action report, and then we have post-incident interviews. Like we did after the containment breach. Site-26 is really strict about documenting everything. The Site Director is really into verifications." THIS IS THE WORST SHIT I'VE EVER WRITTEN. IT IS NO FUN TO READ. IT WAS NO FUN TO WRITE. AND IT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE ANY OF THE TERMINOLOGY IS RIGHT. FIX IT.
"Agent Wyatt. This is exciting," said Spender.
"Yeah," said Ben, "Actually, no. It's really not. Spender, I have to ask. How can you put up with this after being the leader of a containment team? I saw the way you dealt with 9583 and, well, I don't know if you're cut out for containment, exactly, but you - you're like Action Man or something. You just spent the last hour watching me do paperwork. And you're loving it. How?"
Spender turned his head and smiled.
"You know what I did before I joined the Foundation, Ben?" he asked.
Ben rolled his eyes, "Spender, I don't even know your real —"
"I was an accountant," said Spender. Ben blinked, taken aback.
"An accountant as in —"
"As in taxes," said Spender, "I was good at it, too. In fact, I was great, and I'm not too humble to admit it. And when the Foundation found me, they realised that. And so they took me in. But there came a time when the Foundation didn't need me as an accountant. It needed me as a Containment Agent. Ben. Can I tell you something else?"
"I never wanted to be a Containment Agent. Ben. It terrified me. I was an accountant! I wasn't equipped to deal with monsters, to lock up horrors from other worlds. But I could be. And if I could do it, I had to do it. That's my duty to the Foundation. It doesn't matter if I want to be an accountant or a Containment Agent or the leader of the greatest Mobile Task Force in Foundation history. The only thing that matters is that I'm doing as much as I can."
"So … you really don't care what the Foundation makes you do?" asked Ben.
"Not at all."
"What if they made you kill somebody?" asked Ben.
"If that's what it takes to fulfill my duty," said Spender, "I'd do it."
"What if they made you torture somebody?" asked Ben.
"If that's what it takes," said Spender.
"What if they made you …" Ben thought, "… drink poop?"
"Agent Wyatt, listen to me," said Spender. He had stopped smiling. Ben bit his tongue.
"I realised long ago that my life doesn't matter," said Spender, grimly, "All I can hope for is to be the greatest Foundation asset it is possible for me to be. It is an honour, and a privilege, and my duty as an American citizen."
"You're not an American citizen," said Ben.
"It's a figure of speech."
"But you're not, though," said Ben, "We're all legally dead."
"And my only regret is that I am unable to give my life for the Foundation … three times," Spender laughed, "Boy, that conversation took a turn for the dark! Agent Wyatt, your turn! What were you doing before you came to Site-26?"
Ben glared. He was sick of this. He could take the jokes and jibes, but what he couldn't take was Spender acting like he didn't know. Like he wasn't laughing at him behind his back. Ben stood up.
"You know what I was doing," growled Ben, "Everyone knows what I was doing. I was the laughing stock of Site-19. People wouldn't shut up about it for years. People still haven't shut up about it! It was the single most humiliating event of my life, Spender!"
"Well, I don't care," said Spender.
"And why not?" yelled Ben, "What makes you different? Why are you the only one who doesn't want to laugh at me?"
"Because you were only doing your duty," said Spender.
Ben froze. Spender smiled, not his normal giant grin, but a small, quiet expression that was somehow all the more powerful. Ben sat down and began to gather the scattered forms. Spender clapped him on the back, then moved towards the door. He stopped in the doorway.
"Agent Wyatt. One more thing," said Spender, "My containment team is going to be leaving Site-26 in a few days. Now that they have no leader, they're going to disband and move on to other projects."
"So?" muttered Ben.
"Well, while we were looking after E-3853, we were living in the Temporary Agent Housing Area," said Spender, "I can't stay there forever."
Ben looked up from the papers. Spender stood in the doorway, saying nothing.
"Don't you know anyone else in this site?" asked Ben.
"No," said Spender, "I'm all alone. I don't have any friends here. It can be hard, not having any friends. Agent Wyatt."
"So I've heard," said Ben.
Neither Agent spoke. A silence of a few seconds dragged on to a minute.
"I was implying that I wanted to be your roommate," said Spender.
"Yeah, I got it," said Ben.
"Oh, fine," said Ben, "Fine. But no more speeches about duty."
"Fantastic!" said Spender. The grin returned at maximum intensity. He bounced back into the room.
"Agent Wyatt! You are not going to regret this!" said Spender.
"I promise it's not going to be awkward, sharing a room with your boss," said Spender, "We're going to become firm friends. I know it! We'll be like an odd couple. I'll be the positive, energetic one, and you can be the lazy, sullen one."
"Yeah, well, the lazy one's always the smart guy," muttered Ben. Spender stopped bouncing.
"Agent Wyatt. Please," he said, "I have two Bachelor's degrees, and I passed the bar exam after six weeks' study. It took you ten minutes to fill out an expenditures form." Spender's smug expression quickly broke into his standard grin.
"Yeah, well, you're homeless," said Ben. But he couldn't help himself from grinning back.
"This is going to be fantastic," said Spender, "I'll ship my stuff back from Site XX. Agent Wyatt. I have a lot to bring to the table. A table! I recently bought a treadwall, if you want to practice your rock climbing. Minifridge! Microwave! Toaster"
"Chuck the toaster," Ben snapped.
"Sure! Great!" said Spender, "I've always hated it. Terrible present, I don't know what my grandmother was thinking. Agent Wyatt! Let me go get my camera. This is going to be so much fun!"
INTERVIEW LOG THETA-18-WYATT-003 (EXCERPT)
XX:XX:XX WYATT: I was thinking about what Spender said, and, you know, maybe he has a point. I think Site-26 is really where I need to be right now.
XX:XX:XX WYATT: Yes. For the Foundation. Exactly.
XX:XX:XX WYATT: Yeah. Well, I wonder if he'd say the same thing about duty if they wanted to demote him to D-Class.
XX:XX:XX WYATT: Okay, he totally would. That guy's insane.
THEY NEED TO TALK ABOUT WIPING JENNY'S FILES OR BLOWING UP HER SHED OR WHATEVER
THEY NEED TO TALK ABOUT REPORTING TO KRAMER AND HARKEN
JENNIFER BE DICTAPHONE RECORDING 28/10/2012-5
00:00:00 BE: [INDECIPHERABLE]
Jenny moved through the house with increasing desparation. She dropped the dictaphone with its useless tape, and scuttled into the kitchen. She tried to stay under control, but in her head, she was freaking out. Big time. SHE'S SEETHING AS WELL
The fridge. The fridge would've been safe, right?
Jenny ran to the fridge, casually, tore open the door and dug desperately through the shelves. Buried in the vegetable crisper, she found what she was looking for. A pineapple. With savage ferocity, she grabbed it in both hands, raised it above her head, and brought it smashing down onto the cutting board.
Jenny was not a muscular woman.
Jenny washed her hands off in the sink. The cold water soothed her grazed palms, but did not extinguish her burning rage. She took a knife from the rack and carefully cut the pineapple open, following the superglued seam. Hidden within the hollowed-out pineapple was a dictaphone in a plastic bag. Jenny took it out, rewound the tape, and hit 'play'.
JENNIFER BE DICTAPHONE RECORDING 28/10/2012-6
00:00:00 BE: [INDECIPHERABLE]
Jenny drop-kicked the dictaphone across the kitchen. It hit the wall above the oven and disintegrated. Jenny gritted her teeth and stalked out into the living room.
She grabbed the remote off the couch and flicked on the TV, then lay on her back and began hunting about amongst the couch springs for another hidden dictaphone. She extricated it, and hit 'play'.
JENNIFER BE DICTAPHONE RECORDING 28/10/2012-7
00:00:00 BE: [INDECIPHERABLE]
Jenny sighed. This was clearly a hopeless task. It didn't matter how well her recordings were hidden if the SCP Foundation was just going to come in with some sort of device and wipe everything in the building. Still, at least she had her memory. And her cache of physical files.
A familiar voice from the TV caught her attention. Jenny turned, and her jaw dropped. WHy did you have to jinx it? she thought.
Black Box! Today! Local News Program, 6:00 Report, 28/10/2012 (EXCERPT)
XX:XX:XX WHOEVER: — the second such explosion in two days. How does the government hope to explain this, Mr Window?
XX:XX:XX WINDOW: Well, I only work for the Bureau of Meterology, but I can assure you, this shed, whoever it belongs to, was destroyed by nothing more unusual than an unexpected meteor strike. There was no foul play here today, and certainly no clandestine government activity. Unless, of course, there's some kind of alien government launching meteors at us.
XX:XX:XX WHOEVER: Is —
XX:XX:XX WINDOW: No.
XX:XX:XX WHOEVER: Mr Window, I've just been informed that this is not the only unusual activity to occur this evening. Citizens in West Black Box have been reporting their electronic media has been wiped, or reset. What is the Bureau of Meteorology's explanation of this?
XX:XX:XX WINDOW: Solar flare.
XX:XX:XX WHOEVER: Really?
XX:XX:XX WINDOW: Ms WHOEVER. Citizens of Black Box. Be assured of what I say: nothing unusual has happened today. Meteors and solar flares. There is no government involvement.
XX:XX:XX WHOEVER: Well, if you say so. Have you recieved any word on who this shed was owned by?
XX:XX:XX WINDOW: Well, we've spoken to the BBPD, and an Officer Headslasher has informed me that judging by the large amounts of detailed notes and records kept here, it was probably some kind of reclusive maniac.more sympathetic
XX:XX:XX WHOEVER: Well, that's the final word. A simple meteor strike, with nothing damaged except a reclusive maniac's collection of notes. Back to you in the studio.
Jenny stared at the screen, aghast. No, no, no. No. This couldn't be happening. She collapsed onto the couch. The image kept playing in her head. Agent Wyatt, in some new, stupid disguise, standing in the wreckage of her evidence cache, notes swirling around his feet, laughing with WHOEVER. Laughing, as everything Jenny had been working on for the past fourteen years whisked across the empty fields. At that point, Jenny's mind set. She felt her heart turn to stone in her chest, and she knew, from then on, that it didn't matter how charming Wyatt could be, or whatever connection she thought they'd had when they talked that day. None of it mattered. The only thing that mattered, now, was that she beat him. Some day, Ben Wyatt would understand what he and his Founation had just put her through. Some day he would know what it was like to see his life's work go vanishing into the wind.
She wondered how Wyatt had found the shed. But then, for an organization with the reach and pull of the SCP Foundation, it wouldn't have been problem. They could have interrogated the locals. They could've had somebody tailing her. Heck, they could've just gone around and looked at every abandoned building in the county.
Maybe they just listened to one of the dictaphones she left in the car that day.
The news had cut to another segment. The anchors were talking about the Black Box Weekly. Jenny's heart sank. Rory was leaving. It hadn't been just talk. And the owners had brought in someone from out of town to replace him. The anchors turned to the side as a picture of the new editor of The Black Box Weekly News flashed up on screen.
It was Agent Spender.
Jenny laughed. Of course. The SCP Foundation had destroyed her work, they had invaded her house, they had even tried to control her thoughts. And now she was working for them. Wasn't that just perfect?
Jenny got of the couch and turned off the TV. She wandered back to her study, not really hoping for anything, and sat on the chair beside her desk. As she slid open the drawer with its hidden compartment, she ran through her current situation. The SCP Foundation controlled her life. If she wrote a story on them, it wouldn't be printed. If she kept her work secret, they would blow it up. They could enter her home at any time. They could reset her electronic media. They could reset her memories, and she was stupid if she thought they would screw it up a third time. They weren't afraid of being discovered. They weren't afraid of collateral damage. They had plants in all branches of government from the Bureau of Meteorology to the NSA, they were probably tapping her phonelines, and they had seen her in her pajamas. And all Jenny had to do was take them down; unmask and destroy this world-spanning, super-powerful, extra-governmental paranormal conspiracy. And she had to do it alone.
When Jenny hit 'play' on hidden dictaphone eight, nothing happened. Confused, she popped open the side. The tape was gone. Instead, there was a note.
We read your article about the silo incident. There is more going on in Black Box than anyone knows; even you. Do not attempt to make any moves against the agents of the conspiracy. If you try to break this story alone, you will fail. We can help you.
If the truth is as important as you claim to believe, you should come to the Black Box Spa & Gym on Wednesday, the 31st of October. We'll be in touch.
There is nothing in the world that man is not meant to know.
Jenny stared at the note. Brilliant. Not only did she have to deal with the SCP Foundation, now she had to watch out for some other group of maniacs, breaking into her house and trying to set up secret meetings. Maybe three days ago she would have appreciated it, but these people didn't know what was going on. They couldn't, or they wouldn't remember it. They probably thought the same thing Jenny had, that there was some sort of government conspiracy. All they could possibly be was a liability. They couldn't know about the silo, or Agent Wyatt, or the SCP — hang on.
Jenny reread the last few lines of the note. She allowed a smile to spread slowly across her face.
Maybe she wasn't alone after all.
BADLY BURNED DOCUMENT RECOVERED DURING INCIDENT GOI-XX-S01-09
[INDECIPHERABLE DUE TO FIRE DAMAGE] — sult of this altered brain development, most notably dulled reactions. For this reason we are recommending that all further development and testing of MR-1 (SVT) be discontinued. Subjects exposed to MR-2 (SBT) continue to demonstrate increases in both active retenti — [INDECIPHERABLE DUE TO FIRE DAMAGE]
CHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF CLASS-B AMNESIAC UTILISED IN INCIDENT E-9583-04 AND INCIDENT THETA-18-BE-01
Foregin Particle Saturation:
16 parts per million (Pass)
Estimated Chance of Short-Term Subject Memory Loss:
Estimated Chance of Long-Term Subject Memory Loss:
Estimated Chance of Eventual Subject Memory Regain:
Formula Rating: Optimal Level Pass