This is the first part of my story that I am writing for my english class. I just feel like sharing it while I work on it. It is loosely connected to the SCP foundation, as in case you hadn't guessed, the company at the beginning is a front for the Foundation's profits generating and a storage facility. I mean, the Foundation has to get their money from somewhere, and stealing from the government will only get you so far. Feel free to give suggestions on teh IRCs.
Will finish this later. I actually need to finish it by friday, so I need to be writing really fast and quickly.
Edit: Meh the indents aren't showing up and I'm too lazy to fix it.
“Hey John, I need you to proofread this report for me!”
John sighed. Ever since he got a job as an intern here, all he had been doing was proofreading assignments. “When do you need it?” he called.
“By tomorrow morning” said Kevin, dropping a pile of papers six inches thick on his desk. John sighed again. It looked like it was going to be another long night working. It seemed no matter how hard he worked, the company wanted him to work harder. He had been working at the company for a month now, and he still had no idea what the company actually did. All he knew is that whatever they do, they must be making a lot of money if these income reports are true. John grabbed the stack of papers and began to work, committed to completing it before ten o'clock so he could go home and relax.
By eleven, he had finished about half of the papers. John sat back, checking his watch, and sighed once again. Life was not easy for an intern. He was the only one left in the office, the other interns having left hours ago. John stood up. If he was going to be here all night, at least he would go get something to eat from the company vending machine.
John walked down the hallway as he searched his pockets for and loose change. He found a dollar in quarters and another in nickels and dimes, so he decided to get a mini-pizza. As he approached the machine, he heard the distant sound of talking. That was strange, who else could be here at this hour. John followed the sound to a door that he had thought to be just a janitor’s closet. He was sneaking towards the door when it flung open. John froze. Two people who he didn’t know came out of the door, and walked in the opposite direction from John, not even glancing back at him. As they turned the corner, John grabbed the door before it could shut. He peeked in, only to find that all there was behind the door was some janitorial supplies. Now why would two men be hiding in a janitor's closet? He entered the closet, searching for something that might give him a clue. Then the door swung shut. John swung around, and was about to open the door, when he heard the voices outside again. He froze once again. It was all he could do to hope that they wouldn’t open the closet. He heard them talking as they passed by.
“Looks like we can finally go home now.”
“Yeah, all the vaults are safe.”
“Hey wait, did you close the door in that last one?”
“Yeah, I remember turning the coat hanger back.”
“Alright then, that’s great.”
John waited as the voices faded, then turned around. They had to be talking about the coat hangers on the back wall of this closet. It seemed that John had stumbled upon some secret of the company. He felt along the back wall until he found a coat hanger. Turning, he had said. John tried to turn it clockwise. Nothing happened. He tried turning it counterclockwise. Still nothing happened. He was about to give up when he noticed that the hanger pushed in. John pushed it in, and then turned it clockwise. This time, it turned. He stepped back as he heard a loud rumbling. The entire section of the wall rose up, revealing a staircase behind it, leading down. John hesitated for a second. He really didn’t know what he was getting into. Then he thought back to what he had back at the office, and he stepped onto the staircase, and descended into the unknown.
John reached the bottom of the staircase, and took in the sight before him. He was in a room filled with glass containers containing all manner of things, from ancient pots to what looked like a mini-fridge. John couldn’t believe his eyes. Was the company some kind of artifact collecting company? John walked between the containers, looking at each one, wondering what they could be. He saw a ceramic bowl, an acoustic guitar, 3 bowling pins, and some kind of carved stone disc. But what really drew his attention was a large glass case near the back of the room, bigger than all the rest of the cases. He approached the case, and glanced into it. Inside was a golden rod, with a carving of an elephant on the top. John looked at it for a few seconds, and then turned to leave. Just as he was turning, John saw a flash of light behind him. He spun back around, and saw on the case was a sticky note with some writing on it. John grabbed it apprehensively, and read.
“If you have found this scepter,” the note read, “then please return it to the high elephant of Zooneeville. You will be rewarded with whatever you desire for your efforts.”
John read and reread the note. None of it made any sense. What was this “Zooneeville”, and what is a high elephant? John put the note back down. He was probably just dreaming, having fallen asleep at his desk. Suddenly, he remembered his job as an intern. If this was a dream, then at least it was better than that job. He decided that he would do what the note said. John looked all over the glass case, looking for a way to open it. He didn’t find any doors, latches, or anything. Finally, he balled up his fist, and punched through the glass. As the glass shattered, shards of glass flew around him. Suddenly an alarm sounded. John looked up in surprise, then grabbed the stick and ran for the entrance. As he approached, he saw that the stairway had been closed off by a metal doorway. Behind the doorway, John heard the yelling of the two men from before struggling to open the door. John looked around in desperation for another exit. Just then, the stick moved in his hand. He looked down at it. It was rotating, trying to turn to point at something. John let it lay flat in his palm. It turned like a compass to point in a direction. He followed the way it pointed. By now, he could hear the door as it slowly opened. He ran faster.
Finally, he got to where the stick appeared to be pointing. John looked up. It was the mini-fridge from before. He didn’t stop to wonder. Raising the stick above his head, he smashed the glass. He quickly opened the fridge. Inside was a bright glowing light. John could hear the men behind him. They had gotten through the door. “Stop right there!” one yelled, but John ignored him. He reached his hand forward, and his hand bumped against some kind of solid surface in the light. He quickly pulled his hand back. “Step away from that!” he heard, but he ignored that too. The stick in his other hand was moving like crazy now. He reached forward with the stick, pointing it at the light. “I’m warning you!” John heard, but it was too late. John touched the stick to the light, and was engulfed by it. The voices behind him went silent. He was in an empty white space, the light all around him so bright that it hurt his eyes. He yelled out in pain, falling to the floor. Suddenly he saw a man approach him, wearing a pair of dark sunglasses.
“Are you okay?” the man asked. “What are you doing in here, especially without glasses?” The man put a pair of sunglasses over his eyes, and so John could see again.
“I don’t know how you could have gotten in here without me seeing you!” he said, helping John up.
“I… I…” John spoke falteringly, “Where am I?” he asked.
“You’re in the Sun Room,” the man asked, “though I don’t know how you could have gotten here.” He led John through a doorway in the wall that the man must have come through. Once outside, the man removed his sunglasses. John did the same. They were in some sort of room that reminded John of the Chinese food restaurant that he sometimes went to eat at.
“So how did you end up in the Sun Room?” the man asked, “My name’s Elhain by the way.”
“I… well, I got here through a mini-fridge… there was a stick… some guys… and a bright light…” John paused, “Wait, I’m dreaming aren’t I?”
Elhain smiled. “Well if you’re dreaming, then I must be too. A most wonderful dream it is as well.”
“Yes yes, that would explain all this wouldn’t it.” He pinched himself. “Ow!”
“Well, it would appear as though none of us are dreaming. I assume the stick you are referring to is that scepter in your hand.” Elhain gestured toward it. John looked down. He had forgotten that he was still carrying it.
“Yeah. I got some kind of note that said to return this to a high elephant…” John held it up to the light. The shaking from beforehand was completely gone.
“The scepter of the high elephant? I heard that was stolen from the royal throne room a month ago.” Elhain looked surprised, “Since then the kingdom has largely fallen, and monsters have begun to invade since the king lost his scepter of power. This needs to be returned to him as quickly as possible!”
“You will have to travel through the Great Forest, over the Mighty Mountains, and past the Horrid Canyons to get to the royal palace.” Elhain went to his desk and pulled out a rolled up paper. He unrolled the paper and circled something with a pencil. He handed it to John. “Take this map. It will guide you there.”
“Ok, I guess.” John took the map from him. This was shaping up to be a great adventure, just like the ones he read about at home. All he was missing was some kind of magic sword. “Do you have some kind of weapon I could use?”
Elhain laughed. “What would you need a weapon for when you have the scepter?” John looked confused. While the stick had been good for smashing glass cases, he doubted it could be of much use in fighting monsters.
“Well it seems to be a bit fragile for a club…” John began, but then Elhain interrupted him.
“Hah. Using the royal scepter as a club? Hah.” Elhain laughed again. “You really don’t understand the power of the scepter?”
“Well, no?” John tried to hand the stick to him. “Could you show me?”
Elhain pushed the staff back. “I couldn’t take the staff from you, it’s much too valuable. If you want to use it, just concentrate on what you want to do. If you believe in what you want enough, it will happen. That’s all there is to it.”
John held the staff up, and tried to think about a bird appearing on the staff. But no bird appeared. He tried concentrating harder, but still no bird appeared. This was ridiculous. You couldn’t create matter out of nothing. He resigned. “It’s not working.” John said, “I must be doing something wrong.”
“You will be able to use it when the time comes for it to be used.” Elhain opened the door for him. Outside, John saw that the sun was just rising. “Take this bit of food that I can offer you.” He handed John a bag.
“Aren’t you coming with me?” John asked.
“No, I must stay and protect the Sun Room. But I wish you the best of luck in your journey.”
“Thank you.” And so, John walked through the doorway. He saw that they were atop a mountain, and below him were steps leading down. The steps stretched on further than he could see. He sighed, then turned and waved to Elhain. Elhain waved back, then John began the long descent down the steps.
The sun had fully risen by the time John reached the bottom of the mountain. In front of him was a large plain, and past it was a forest. John checked the map, then started walking to the forest. It wasn’t that far away, so he should be there pretty soon.
By the time the sun started setting, the forest still seemed to be the same distance away. John had already stopped to eat twice, and now stopped a third time. He would have to find some sort of shelter before night fell. He looked around, but all he could see was the empty plains in all directions. There was nothing to go for. He began rummaging through the bag, looking for anything he could use. Suddenly he heard a faint, distant, sound. He listened closely, and there it was again. It was some sort of music. The sound seemed to be coming from off to the left. He walked toward it. It was getting louder, and he seemed to be getting closer and closer. He kept walking towards the music, but then, when he got to the top of a hill, the music seemed to be coming from below him. He looked down at the hill he was standing on. There seemed to be nothing unnatural about the hill. He jumped up and down a few times. Nothing happened. He began to walk back when a small section of the ground popped up. Beneath it a trapdoor flipped open, and underneath and creature popped his head out. The creature was both small and very hairy.
The creature spoke. “Would you mind not jumping on my roof like that? It does throw me off tempo such.”
“I’m sorry if I bothered you.” John replied, “But I have nowhere to stay the night.”
“You don’t? Well feel free to stay here for the night.” The creature motioned him in. “I quite enjoy visitors.”
John walked to the trapdoor. Through it was a ladder leading into a little cottage house in the shape of the hill. John climbed down the ladder, and the creature followed, replacing the section of ground and closing the trapdoor. Once inside, John looked around the cottage. It was completely filled with musical instruments, from a grand piano down to a little kazoo. Every instrument he could imagine, even some he couldn’t, was represented.
“Do make yourself at home” the creature said. “Just set your things down anywhere, and find a seat. I’ll go get the tea.” The creature walked through a door that was partially hidden behind an upright bass. John sat down on the bench of the harpsichord, admiring the collection of ancient lutes and drums. He heard some noises coming from the kitchen, and a few minutes later the creature emerged carrying a tray with a teapot and some teacups. He placed them on the timpani, then pulled the piano bench up to it. “Come, have some tea. Be careful not to spill on the timpani though, I only have four of them.”
“Thank you so very much.” John pulled his bench over. “I don’t even know your name.”
“It’s Kotak. How about yours?”
“Well it’s nice to meet you John. What are you doing out here in the Open Field at night?”
“We’ll I’ve been sent to return this stick to some high elephant.” John held it up.
“Oh, why that’s the royal scepter!” Kotak seemed shocked. “If you want to get to the palace, you’ll have to go through the Great Forest, and over…”
John interrupted. “Yes, I know already. I’m traveling there right now.”
“Well this seems like a nice adventure, and I’m afraid to say that we don’t get much adventure around here.” Kotak thought for a second, then asked, “Do you mind if I come with you?”
“Of course not! The more the merrier.” John was glad. The journey had seemed horrible when he was alone. Now that he had a companion, this would be a lot less lonely.
“Oh delightful! I’ll pack some things, and we can leave in the morning. I’ll just get a bed for you.” He led John to a staircase that was behind a Dagu drum. They walked down the steps to a hallway with several doorways leading off of it. He showed John to the farthest room. “This is the guest room, where you’ll be staying.” He turned on the lamp to a room of cobwebs and dust. “I’m afraid it doesn’t get used as often as I’d like.” They set to work clearing out the cobwebs and sweeping away the dust until the room looked almost clean. “Well I think that’s as much as we’ll get out. There’s your bed. I’ll see you in the morning then.”
Kotak left John’s room and John heard him walk back up the stairs. John placed all of his possessions on the floor next to his bed and climbed into bed. Had all of this really happened to him? Could he really trust this strange creature whose house he was staying in? John thought about it for a few minutes. Then he realised that there was no good answer to any of these questions. And so, he settled down to sleep, and fell asleep mere minutes later.
The next morning John was woken up by Kotak. “Are you going to spend all day in bed, or are we going to start moving?” Kotak had obviously prepared for the journey, carrying a bulging backpack and wearing a wide-brimmed hat. John got out of bed drowsily, and grabbed his backpack.
“Alright, alright. I’m getting ready.” John and followed Kotak back into the main room. Kotak opened up the trap door and removed the section of dirt. After John climbed out, he looked back into the house. “Are you okay?”
Turning away, Kotak replied, “Yes, I’m fine. Lets get going then.”
They began walking towards the forest, and John asked Kotak about how the forest hadn’t seemed to be getting any closer when he was walking. Kotak laughed, then said, “That’s a common illusion that people who haven’t visited the forest see.” When John asked him what he meant by that, Kotak just smiled and told him that he’d see.
When they stopped to eat lunch, John noticed that in addition to food, Kotak had also packed several small musical instruments. John asked him about them, and Kotak replied, “Well how else am I supposed to defend myself?” John was still confused, but decided not to ask again.
It was nearing nightfall when John noticed something about the forest ahead of them. Two days ago, when he first started walking, the trees in the forest had looked to be the same size as the nail on his outstretched thumb. Now when he compared them, the trees were the size of his outstretched thumb itself, but the trees still didn’t seem any closer. He thought about this mystery for a while, then resigned again to waiting to see. Kotak had brought a tent, so they were able to pitch it and shelter in there for the night. The next morning they continued walking, hopefully drawing ever closer to the Great Forest. At noon on the third day, John finally realised what he was looking at. The trees were now looking like they were the size of his entire hand, and he realised that it wasn’t that the trees were continually far away, but that they were absolutely enormous trees. Each one had to be at least the size of a skyscraper. He stopped and stared in amazement at this sudden shift in perspective. Kotak, seeing his amazement, laughed. “It’s quite amazing to look at isn’t it.”
“Yes, yes it is.”
They continued walking like this for another day before finally reaching the edge of the forest. They agreed to camp in the plains until morning to give them the maximum possible daylight when in the forest. As they pitched the tent again, they began to hear strange clicking sounds and scratching coming out of the forest. “What’s that?” John whispered.
“I don’t know.” Kotak replied. They quickly finished pitching the tent and climbed inside. Kotak pulled a flute out of his bag and began quickly playing a melody. After several measures he stopped playing and put the flute back into his bag.
“Why did you do that?” John asked as they prepared some food for their meal.
“It’s a simple protection melody of my own invention. Now our tent will be protected from any creepy crawlies until morning.”
“Ah.” It seemed that the more John learned about this new place, the more questions he had. How could a song protect them from monsters? He decided that this would probably be like the forest, that he should just go with it, and he would figure it out it later. For now, all that mattered was that it works. They ate some more food, and John commented that their food supplies seemed to be depleting.
“Yes, it is isn’t it. Well I’m fairly certain that there’s a town on the other side of the forest, so we should be able to pick up some more food there. We should have plenty to get us through the forest.” As Kotak said this however, he looked concerned. He obviously hadn’t thought about the entire journey. Regardless, they slept. The next morning, they began walking into the forest as soon as the sun rose. Kotak took out a fiddle “for safety”, but somehow John didn’t feel any more safe. As they entered the forest, John noticed that all across the trees there were large scratch marks, larger than could be made by any creatures that he could think of. The ground here was covered in leaves and dirt, and the air was much cooler and more humid than it had been on the plains. They walked for about ten minutes before they came upon a deep pit in the ground. John almost walked in before Kotak stopped him. As they looked down into the pit, a warm gust of air suddenly rose out of it. They skirted the pit, and then continued walking. About halfway through the day, they suddenly heard a loud roaring noise in the distance. Suddenly a giant beast jumped out of the forest at them. John fell over in surprise.
It was a giant beetle, one the size of a car at least. John quickly got back to his feet, and began slowly backing away. Then, he heard another roar behind him as another beetle walked out of the forest.
“Battle-beetles. They usually hunt in groups.” Kotak readied his fiddle. You might want to cover your ears. John quickly covered his ears, and Kotak began playing the fiddle. Though John couldn’t hear what he was playing, he could see that Kotak was fiddling extremely quickly. Suddenly the beatles let out a loud wail that John could hear even with his ears covered. The beatles shook their heads and wailed as they turned and ran away. Once they had completely left, Kotak stopped fiddling. He collapsed onto the ground. John ran to him. “Ugh, those fighting tunes really take a lot out of me. I don’t think I can walk today. Can we sleep here for the night?”
“Alright then. I’ll get the tent.” John took Kotak’s bag from him, and busied himself pitching the tent. What was that that Kotak had done? He had just played the fiddle, and those giant monster beetles had just run away. It took him longer to pitch the tent by himself, but he got it done before the sun began to set. By that time, Kotak was a bit more rested, and helped him build a fire. Kotak took his flute out and played the same tune from the previous night again, and this time John saw a light blue dome over the camp. He went up to it to inspect it, and was about to stick his hand through when Kotak told him not to.
“I wouldn’t suggest doing that. Unless you happen to be made of some form of fireproof material, it’ll burn your arm right off.” John quickly jumped away from the wall, and went back to the fire to help cook some food. They prepared and ate some food, and John noticed that Kotak seemed to be eating a bit more than usual. After eating dinner, Kotak said that he had fully recovered, “But let’s hope I don’t have to do that too often. Musicmancy is more of a defensive art, so fighting them off like that was quite difficult. Luckily I happen to have invented that little tune myself, as offensive musicmancy tunes are quite rare.”
“Musicmancy? What’s that?”
“Do you really not understand about magic?”
“Well, no. I mean I just got to wherever this is, and where I come from magic doesn’t exist.”
Kotak looked at him as if he didn’t quite believe him. “A place where magic doesn’t exist? Ha! That’s like saying you come from a place where gravity doesn’t exist!”
“But I really don’t know.”
“Alright, fine then. If you truly don’t understand about magic, then I’ll give you a quick explanation.” He grabbed a piece of paper from his bag that was half covered in musical scores and drew a grid on it. He labeled the two axis of the grid offensive, neutral, and defensive, and light, neutral, and dark. “There are nine primary types of magic in the world. All magics draw their power from the power that they represent. For instance, musicmancy is a defensive light magic, and draws its power from music. As such, offensive tunes like the one I just used are very hard to use. On the other side of the grid, the offensive dark magic is bloodmancy, which draws its power from blood. A bloodmancer would be hard pressed to use a defensive or a light spell, as both of them are the opposite of its nature. These are both very specialised magics though. It is very hard for a specialised magic type to use a power that is against their nature, which is what makes imaginamancy the strongest magic type. Imaginamancers are able to use powers and spells of all the natures, and a sufficiently powerful imaginamancer will be stronger than most other magicians. All magics need a channeling tool though. For me, it’s my instruments. For a bloodmancer it would be the blood runes. Imaginamancers are the only magic type that does not require a channeling tool, but when one has one, their imaginamancy becomes much stronger. That elephant scepter you’re carrying there is an imaginamancy channeling tool, in fact, it is one of the only three known imaginamancy channeling tools. The high elephant is an imaginamancer, so is why it is so important that the high elephant gets the scepter back so that he can combat the other magicians that want to take his throne. Unfortunately, we might not even make it there if we don’t have a user of some form of offensive magic. My defensive magic might get us part way, but by strength may not hold out long enough for us to reach the palace. I just hope we can get through this forest so that we may hopefully be able to recruit another companion at the next town.”