Cuahtemoc stood stoically at the top of the pyramid, watching the festivities below. While part of him was jealous that he could not join the others in the celebrations, he knew he had a duty to perform. As the head priest, it was his duty to see to it that the ritual was carried out as planned.
Below, a lone figure clad in a jaguar skin began to climb the side the pyramid, playing an elegantly made flute as he ascended. Behind him, countless people both cheered and cried for the young god about to meet his destiny. However, Cuahtemoc knew the figure was no god in the slightest. The lone figure was in fact a mere mortal boy, chosen to act in Tezcatlipoca's place. The ritual they were about to perform required the sacrifice of a god, and the the only offering suitable for Tezcatlipoca was himself.
The boy dressed as a god finally reached the top the pyramid, where he stood in front of Cuahtemoc and his priests, ready to accept his fate. Both Cuahtemoc and the boy looked up to the Sun. Sure enough, as prophesied before, the Sun was swallowed by the Moon. As the city was engulfed in shadow, Cuahtemoc's grip on his ceremonial knife tightened. The moment the Sun was completely blocked, the priest made his move. Without word or warning, Cuahtemoc drew his knife and stabbed downward. The obsidian blade buried itself deep into the boy's chest. The flute he was holding fell from his grasp and shattered on the stone the floor. The other priests rushed forward to hold the boy up as Cuahtemoc began his grisly work. To his credit, the boy did not scream in pain or anguish like the others. He only gave a resolute stare that pierced Cuahtemoc straight to the bone. Perhaps this boy was being possessed by Tezcatlipoca after all, Cuahtemoc silently thought to himself.
A few seconds later, and the deed was done. With one last cut and pull, and Cuahtemoc was holding the boy's heart in his hand. He then placed the organ in front of an altar dedicated to Tezcatlipoca. A sacrifice of himself to himself. Meanwhile, the other priests carried the lifeless boy's body to the edge of the pyramid and tossed it off the side, where it tumbled down the stairs to the ground below.
At first, Cuahtemoc was unsure if the ritual had worked or not. But then he suddenly felt an odd sensation emanating from his obsidian blade. It was difficult to describe. If the priest had to put the sensation into words, it would have to be a cold warmth that flowed out from the blade. Cuahtemoc smiled. Tezcatlipoca was pleased by the offering, and rewarded him by leaving a small fragment of himself behind. Cuahtemoc reverently placed the blade on the altar as well, next to the boy's still beating heart.
Valleto and his fellow conquistadors sprinted through the jungle, chasing the elderly priest they had targeted. According to the local tribes, he carried something of great value. To Valleto and his friends, that could only mean gold. Lots of it.
Unfortunately, they had to catch the damn man first. How could such an old man be so fast? The conquistadors began to split up so they could search a larger area. Valleto crept through the thick brush, his halberd at the ready. However, the priest knew this jungle better than he did, and before the conquistador realized it, he was struck in the back of the head by a heavy wooden club.
When Valleto regained consciousness, he realized he was naked and bound and gagged with thick vines. In front of him, he saw the priest, who was now wearing his armor. This confused Valleto, because he knew that there was no way for his fellow conquistadors to mistake the priest for one of them. The armor didn't even fit the old man that well either. However, the priest bent down and drew an obsidian blade, slicing off a chunk of Valleto's flesh. The bound conquistador tried to scream in pain, but was muffled by the makeshift gag. The priest then pressed the flesh against the skin of his exposed arm, and what happened next defied anything Valleto could comprehend. The priest's flesh seemed to melt into water, until he looked to be an exact copy of Valleto. The priest was wearing his face!
Valleto squirmed and twitched as he tried to break free from his bonds, only for the fake Valleto to give him a wry grin before marching off into the jungle.
"Prepare for boarding!" Nathaniel yelled as he climbed aboard the treasure ship. The Spanish crew probably wouldn't be able to understand him anyways, but Nathaniel considered it common courtesy to let someone know he was boarding their ship. Of course, the crew wasn't really all that happy about him boarding, but considering they had over twenty of Her Majesty's finest cannons pointed directly at them, they didn't have much room to complain. While the rest of his crew headed straight for the cargo holds to grab the chests of gold and silver they undoubtedly held, Nathaniel headed for the captain's quarters. In his experience, that was where the truly valuable treasures were stored.
Sure enough, after some quick searching, Nathaniel found an intricate wooden box hidden inside a secret compartment in the captain's desk. Opening it up, Nathaniel was a bit disappointed to see that it was only some sort of obsidian knife. What sort of man would go through so much trouble just to hide a hunk of obsidian? Then again, there seemed to be this otherwordly aura around the knife he couldn't quite figure out…
"I'll be taking that."
Nathaniel spun around to see Captain Hawkins standing behind him, which was perplexing. The Captain rarely stepped foot aboard enemy ships himself.
"The knife. I'll be taking it."
"Why?" Nathaniel asked as he carefully handed the knife over to Hawkins.
"Her Majesty's orders. You best let it end there." Hawkins warned.
Hours later, after safely being secured in his quarters, Hawkins carefully set down a small patch of skin he had cut off from one of the prisoners. Peeling off his protective glove, Hawkins then picked up the piece of the skin. He then smiled as his flesh began to ripple. The Crown would have much use for an item like this.
Palmer could feel a bead of sweat dribble down his neck as this one critical moment seemed to drag on forever.
Dear Lord, the seconds were simply agonizing.
Please just let it end already!
"SOLD! To number thirty four!"
Palmer would have leaned back to give a sigh a relief as the assembled crowd applauded his most recent acquisition, but that would have looked ungentlemanly, and among this crowd, image was everything. In short order, an auction house attendant came out to personally present Palmer's newly acquired item to him. He opened the box to see a pristine obsidian knife that seemed to glow in the dusty air of the old auction house. He slid his finger across the smooth, yet jagged surface, reveling in the oddly warm aura that it generated.
"Congratulations on your acquisition, Mr. Palmer." A finely dressed man suddenly appeared beside Palmer. "I guarantee you, it will not disappoint."
"I simply must know, Mr. Carter." Palmer was giddy with anticipation. "How did you get the item out of the Tower?"
"At great cost, Mr. Palmer. A cost that you have more than made up for." Carter said simply before melding back into the crowd.
Later that night, Palmer, unable to hide his enthusiasm, strode openly into one of London's many brothels. Normally, this was an act no proper gentleman would ever do, or at least be caught doing. However, that was the genius of it, as Palmer's face was not his own. No, with his newly acquired item, he could now roam wherever he pleased. Sure, the actual means of pulling it off were a bit messy, but nothing a bit of money and some medical care couldn't solve. Entering one of the brothel's private rooms, Palmer's heart began beating faster. Before him was a handsome young gentleman, probably half his age. This would be perfect.
"Well? What are you waiting for? Off with it, then." The man said somewhat impatiently.
"As you wish, sir." Palmer curtsied as she began to slowly unbutton her dress.
"Dr. Bergman? You're back awfully early." Agent Williams blinked as the doctor lined up in the queue behind him to pass the Site-8 security gate. "You weren't due back for another week."
"Everything's fine, Agent Spoon. Just some emergency business." Dr. Bergman replied.
Williams' eyes shifted over his partner Agent Richards. She nodded and without missing a beat, they both drew their weapons on Bergman.
"WHAT THE FUCK?!" Bergman screamed and backed away. The security staff manning the checkpoint drew their weapons as well, but they weren't quite sure who they should be pointing them at.
"You're pretty good. Almost could have fooled me." Williams grinned. "Didn't do your homework, though. Nobody's called me by that codename in years."
"This man isn't who he says he is." Richards explained to the security staff. "Inform Site Security that we have a Doppleganger-class threat alert."
"So, how did you do it?" Williams asked, his curiosity kicking in. "You look just like Bergman. There's not a lot of surgeons or fleshcrafters around that can do that sort of work. Or maybe it's some kind of mental element?"
"We'll figure that out later. Let's just get him into custody."
Richards then moved forward to cuff the fake Bergman. However, the impostor reached into one his coat pockets and desperately lashed out with what looked like some sort of obsidian knife. Richards was fast enough to dodge the attack, only getting her cheek sliced instead of her neck. One of the security guards then tackled the impostor, sending the knife sliding across the tiled floor. The gathered crowd of researchers and site staff all quickly backed away from it. They've worked for the Foundation long enough to know a possible SCP when they saw it.
"Hey Richards, you okay?" Williams asked, grabbing a gauze pad from a nearby first aid kid.
"Just a cut." Richards shrugged. However, her eyes widened in surprise and horror. "Williams, your hand-"
Williams looked at his right hand, where some of Richards' blood had spattered onto due to fake Bergman's knife attack. Where the blood droplets had fallen, Williams could see his skin growing paler. Then the pain started to spread throughout his body as flesh melted and bone snapped and crunched as his body tried to reform itself into something different. He felt like he was literally being crushed into a ball by an invisible fist. Even more disconcerting was that he could feel his organs being rearranged inside his body as well, which felt just as pleasant as it sounded. By the time the pain dissipated, Williams found himself lying on the ground, with Richards and a medical team kneeling over him.
"W-what happened?" Williams asked and was shocked that it was Richards' voice that was speaking. Looking at his hands and body, he quickly realized that Richards' voice was not the only thing he had picked up.
"Huh… so this must be what it feels like to be Bright." Williams laughed weakly, poking his (her?) own chest. Really, it was the only way he could deal with such an alien occurrence.
"Stop that." Richards gave Williams' hand a quick smack. "The last thing I want to see is me groping myself."
"You secured the knife, right? Let me see it." Williams said.
"Wait, we don't know how it will-"
"Handling SCPs is our damn job. Let me see that knife." Man, Williams thought to himself, speaking in Richards' voice was just plain weird.
Richards reluctantly handed Williams the obsidian knife the fake Bergman had dropped. Snapping on a pair of surgical gloves, Williams held the item in his hands. A little tingle in his (or Richards'?) spine as well as the otherworldly warmth the knife generated was telling him that this was definitely an SCP. He wondered exactly how old it was, considering it looked just as new as the day it was first carved. He also wondered what other malicious uses this knife had been used for. Either way, it was in good hands now. The Foundation would see to it that it got a nice home.
"Bag it. Let's get some Doctors on this." Williams ordered.
"Right away, Agent Richar- I mean- Agent Williams." One of the security staff nodded.
And once again, the knife was tucked away in a dark little corner where it could never be found. But it could wait. Sooner or later, something would whisk it away from its hiding place, to be used in however its owner at the time would see fit. It could wait.