A Day Notable to Nobody
rating: +48+x

Euclid-Level Containment Wing B4, Site-42, Seabreeze, North Carolina
10:15 ██/██/22

Euclid-Level Containment Wing B4 is a square-edged figure eight. There are 45 white bulbs on each long hallway and 30 on each of the three short ones; a light every two meters, and they're recessed halogen at that. The Foundation can afford to make things a little nicer sometimes, it would seem.

It takes Agent Trauss about four minutes to walk the full perimeter and the middle hallway if he checks each containment chamber's security room as he passes. Four minutes: also the maximum amount of time he can be alone with a human SCP object in its room before the security system automatically freezes his access card and sends an email to Site Director Radford. There have been some stiff changes to interaction protocol recently, and Trauss knows who he has to thank for that.

Still, that's enough time to make this work. He hurries past the shuttered surveillance room and knocks on the steel door at the end of the hall.

1.gif

"You have three minutes and fifty seconds," Trauss announces as he enters Room 35 to greet SCP-4427-B. He starts a timer on his watch and removes a bulky plastic box from his belt as he walks further in. He stops at the table beside the entrance, where 4427-B has already laid out two rubber mats.

"Yes, I knew you'd do it," the anomaly says, rolling off their bed and scrambling over to the table. They comb their hair with their fingers and throw it over their shoulder as they sit across from him.

He removes his gloves and opens the box. "Good morning, Jasper. And no, I don't see any issue with it, because I double-checked the regulations and-"

"Don't make it boring," they whine.

Trauss scoffs and starts shuffling his cards, avoiding eye contact.

"Shiny card sleeves," Jasper comments. "I like the matte ones."

Trauss draws seven cards as they do the same. "After you," he offers.

Jasper selects a Mountain from their hand and places it on the mat. "Pass."

He draws an Island and sets it down. "Pass."

They place a Swamp on their mat and rotate the Mountain to the side. "I tap one red land to cast Goblin Guide and attack you for two with Haste. Should've done that to begin with. Pass."

Trauss rotates his D20 to 18 and places a Plains on the mat. He taps the Island. "I'm putting down a Shore Keeper to put an end to that shit. Should've done that to begin with," he counters.

"You-"

His watch beeps. He bolts up out of the chair. "Pause, back in four minutes," he says, rushing out. Jasper groans and taps their fingernails on the table.

Clack. Clack. Clump. The hallway is dead silent save for the sound of his boots pounding down it. He makes an effort to walk in a manner that produces more clumps than clacks, but it's difficult. He checks the camera feeds of six humans and ten other sapient entities sleeping or similar as he walks the perimeter before stopping back into Room 35 for another three minutes and fifty seconds. The next three hours repeat much the same.

"I attack you for four with Vexing Devil."

"Block with Shore Keeper."

"Rip."

Four minutes of walking again. This time he sees two other employees, one of whom is wearing a green tutu and faux antennae over her clothing. He watches them over his shoulder for a moment, but he can feel several people's eyes on him through the little red lenses dotted along the ceiling. He tries to figure out what that's for as he paces.

"I'm putting down Bloodghast. It's a vampire." They stare at him as if that's supposed to mean something. "I also have… some zombies. But not in this deck."

A dull pain thuds in his skull. What are they referencing? He plays a card. "Edifice of Authority; target creature can't attack this turn."

"Oh my god."

Four minutes. Shoes on concrete. Eyes on cameras. Back to the room.

Jasper has their hands flat on the table. "Scourge of the Throne," they tell him excitedly as he reenters. "I attack you for five-"

"Not if I play an Instant. Aethertow; put that shit back on top of your library."

They glance up at him. "For some reason, I didn't expect a control deck from you."

"It's the only deck I have. And how else would I make a round of three games last three or more hours?" He checks his watch: 15 seconds left. He looks into Jasper's eyes, which meet his with a contempt, semi-vacant stare.

"What?"

"Do you feel okay?"

"You think I look pale too?"

"Yeah, I do."

"I'm lightheaded and out of it as usual, I guess. I just feel like sleeping, but I don't want to. God I wish you'd let me have caffeine-"

His watch beeps. He stands and pushes the chair under the table, rubber stoppers squeaking on the painted concrete. "Back in ten minutes or fewer."

This time, he detours into the first auxiliary room outside of the chamber's inner door, teeth gritted as he snaps the bolt out of the lock and rolls up the shutter, soft blue light washing over his face. He shuts it behind him and approaches the panel on the wall, removing his red outer glove and reaching for the leftmost dial.

"C-51174, what are you doing in there?"

He jolts and turns his radio volume down. "I'm playing Magic: The Gathering. You can see the feeds." This must be the wing's security supervisor, probably B-class and sitting on his ass in some office two or three stories above his head; that would be the type to address him by his designation for kicks.

"Actually, I can't see inside its chamber unless I am watching in real-time with the guard on duty in the monitoring office, or I get permission to access those records. I'm sure you know this."

"If you're not happy with my performance despite the fact that I am acting within regulations, you know how to report it." He turns all five of the leftmost dials down by two notches and touches the console's center monitor. "I'm not even from this department, I'm just covering some of Jacobson's missing shifts."

Enter ID# (numerical only)

51174



51174 Agent Cyrus Trauss

Offsite_Response (primary)
Field_Operations (secondary)
Security (tertiary)
MTF_λ12 (former)

Class C
L4/Temporary Provisional 4/4427 (expires in 45 DAYS)


ENTER PASSWORD OR USE RETINAL SCANNER

The supervisor laughs, the radio spurting it out as a disjointed three seconds of static. "You're not doing anything wrong, per se. But should you really be taking half your time away from patrolling?"

"I'm supposed to make one round every 10 minutes and allocate time to check on 4427-B specifically. That's what my orders said."

"But there's still no good reason to play cards with it, even if its containment procedures permits physical access and your personnel class permits physical contact."



RETINAL SCAN ACCEPTED

Connected to B4.35.A (Mk. XII Localized Static Scranton Reality Anchor)
Connected to B4.35.B (Mk. XIII Localized Static Scranton Field Stabilizer)

Connected to B4.35.C (Mk. VII Aetheric Resonance Imaging Indicator)

INPUT PROMPT

"In your opinion, sir. You could ask the Ethics Committee."

"What are you doing?"

"I'm changing these settings a little because this thing is draining the life out of-"

"Hey, uh-uh. Don't do that."

SHOW SETTINGS B4.35.A

ELECTRICAL INPUT
5500 WATTS 320000 VOLTS AC LOCAL GENERATOR

FLUID LEVELS
SCRANTON 98%
S-56 (COOLANT) 45%
S-85 (LUBRICANT) 90%

REFILL COOLANT BEFORE 40%
PERFORM FULL LUBRICANT CHANGE WITHIN 72 HOURS

"I read the ConProcs thrice this morning. I am changing it because the documents I was provided explicitly state that I am permitted to do so, and because it is in the anomaly's best interests." He can already imagine himself citing his phrasing in Radford's office to explain himself to this guy; whatever. People like this are all bark. The two people watching him in real-time would have called him through his headset by this point if they had an issue.

HUME LEVELS
SURROUNDING 25
INDIVIDUAL 193 (READING SYNCHRONIZED FROM PII ██/██/22 07:46)
ANCHOR OUTPUT 60
ADJUSTED SURROUNDING 85

"Agent, just because you are authorized to do that doesn't mean you should. The containment specialist does not spend two hours a week on calculations alone just so you can-"

CLEAR ANCHOR OUTPUT

CLEARED FIELD ANCHOR OUTPUT

"-and beyond that, you'd better watch it with your card games, because you know how sensitive that position is, especially after Jacobson's shitfest, and-"

SET ANCHOR OUTPUT 45

SET FIELD ANCHOR OUTPUT 45 HUMES

SET EDIT LOCK 48

SET FIELD EDIT LOCK 48 HOURS

"-even listening to me right now? Your shift's over in fifteen. If you want to make yourself useful in that room before you leave, you can climb in that compartment under that panel and replace the goddamn oil."

"Sure."

"Did you catch any of that?"

"Yep. I'll do it."

The supervisor huffs. "Thank you."

"Mmm-hmm."

51174 SIGN OUT

"That was five minutes," Jasper tells him as he reenters.

"I have to switch shifts now, after I do a little maintenance in there. But I changed the settings on that equipment, and I think your headache should go away now. And you can keep my cards in here for next time if you want. I kind of threw them together in a hurry anyway."

"Oh. Thank you."

"I'll see you later."

"Can you- hang on a second?" They wait a beat to say it and stand with their arms crossed but shoulders hunched. "I'm, uh- I don't know if you know that I recognize you, and this is five years late, but I'm sorry I punched you in the jaw." They wait for recognition to show on his face. "In May. 2019. You know, the day everything first- yeah."

He smiles and looks at his feet. "It's fine. That kind of stuff comes with the job description. You were scared."

They nod and brush their hair back with a sniff. "You looked way different then."

"Yep. I did." He waits for any number of several predictable questions.

"You know, I- I wouldn't have known if I hadn't seen you then and then compared. How long have you been on testosterone?"

"Six years." He feels like he's not supposed to be disclosing this.

"Does the Foundation cover it?"

"Yes."

"Would they cover estrogen for me?"

"I would expect so. Have you ever brought it up to medical personnel?"

"Nope."

He doesn't pry. "Well, you can. You're safe and your information is safe."

"I haven't waited to talk about that sort of thing. Personal things. With people. Since, uh, since Reggie."

"Understandable."

"Do you know what happened to him? Can you tell me?"

"I don't know." It's true.

They lick their lips and move their hands to their pockets. "We didn't love each other, you know," they mutter. "We were just fucking around. I don't know which you think is worse. I hate thinking about it. I already think we were being stupid as fuck."

He feels his spine tense and checks his watch. "I'm not going to speak on that topic, and time is almost up in here. Please let me fix some things in the other room for you."

"Okay." They turn around and walk into the bathroom in a few hurried motions.

He ducks back into the equipment room and removes his portable SRA from his belt, placing it on the counter and taking one of the 50-milliliter bottles of Scranton fluid from the drawer. He justifies using the B4 wing's materials to maintain his own equipment with the fact that its supervisor seems to be an asshole.

After a few swift motions, the old fluid is down the drain and replaced. He slides the funnel back out of the tube and screws the cap back onto the bottle, the device now back at his hip. Setting his jaw, he pulls his gloves all the way up around his forearms and hefts one of the five-gallon drums of odorless transparent slime out from inside the cabinet and over to the maintenance panel.

"Hate this part," he whispers to no one as he reaches under the bulk of tubing and wires to unscrew the rightmost of three valve caps. He yanks it off the last few threads as quickly as he can, managing to miss the stream of viscous, brown-and-blue-tinted sludge gushing out into the pan. He refastens the cap after the last globs have dropped out and stands up to pour in the replacement.

With materials back in their respective places and his hands washed, he turns the interior's thermostat two degrees warmer before he shuts the outer chamber lock and clumps down the hallway toward the elevators.

His earpiece beeps. "You switching shifts?" Kenton Lookingbill says.

"Yes sir."

"I need you to meet Shaw and Rogers in Carolina Beach. They're at the boardwalk, said you can't miss it."

"Multiple anomalies?"

"Yes. And multiple humanoids."

"Consider me there."

"Thank you."

"Always." He steps on the elevator and presses the third floor button. When the doors open, two researchers are chatting and wearing rubber masks. "Excuse us," the scarecrow says. She ushers the pumpkin into the elevator after he steps out.

"He looked so confused," the pumpkin whispers, chuckling.

The scarecrow calls out as her coworker presses one of the buttons. "Hey, happy-"

The doors shut. Trauss shrugs and keeps walking.


2.gif

Carolina Beach Boardwalk, Carolina Beach, North Carolina
16:40 ██/██/22

The boardwalk is packed, especially for a Monday night. Trauss reaches down to make sure his name tag is straight on his vest before he steps out of the car. He presses the lower button on the side of his earpiece, wincing at the pressure; he'd changed out the socket recently and found that the piercing had become somewhat dry and irritated. "I'm here," he says aloud once it beeps to signify a local device connection.

"Come onto the boardwalk itself. We're standing above the restrooms."

"Gotcha." He strides past the Ferris wheel line and down the sidewalk, trying not to push past people.

"Hi!" a little boy says as his mom carries him past. She looks annoyed.

"Hi there," he says. The boy beams. He keeps walking.

"Out here to have fun tonight, I hope," a middle-aged man in a Salt Life shirt tells him with a smile.

"I could just be down here to get some fresh air," he jokes back, not understanding what the original comment was meant to imply. The man laughs in response, so he smiles and keeps moving. He jogs up the ramp to where Rogers and Shaw are standing, both wearing only the default white polo and black slacks uniform. "What's going on here? Am I overdressed?"

"That," Rogers says. He points toward the bar Trauss just passed. "Take a good look in the windows."

He squints. Some sort of bipedal, furred creature is sitting in the window with its back against the glass. "Odd. Why haven't you gone in there?"

Rogers looks nervous. "There are a lot of them. Look."

He watches the windows over the next few minutes, frowning. "Yeah. There are a lot of issues going on here. Do you feel anything weird when you look at them? Like you're looking at something you can't recognize?"

"In a memetic hazard way?"

"Sorta."

"Yeah."

He thinks, which starts to hurt. "I'm just going to go down there and head straight for the manager."

"Wait, you're talking about just the furred things, right? In the window closest to us?"

"No, I'm talking about all of them. You see the others?" Trauss points to the entrance, where a man with some sort of glowing green skin condition is entering the bar.

"God, how did I not see that? It's like I forget about them as soon as I look at them. Let's get in there." The two of them trail after him.

The interior is a mess of loud talking, screaming, laughing, and people and monsters talking to each other in English and Spanish. Trauss doesn't know what word to use other than 'monster' — the entities he's seeing are grotesque caricatures of creatures from media or similar, and nearly every one of them is humanoid. He'll sometimes feel like he recognizes one from somewhere, but a stabbing pain in his head always kills the thought shortly afterward.

Trauss weaves through to the counter, already feeling multiple eyes on him. He makes a beeline for the less crowded end and sits down to wait for the bartender, trying to convey urgency without attracting attention.

3.gif

"Hi. Hi, sir? Can I talk to you real quick?" He reaches into his pocket and removes his badge and ID card, flipping it open. "I'm Agent Trauss, SCP Foundation Offsite Response."

The man walks over, splashes of liquor on his dress shirt. He smiles. "I, uh, can see that."

Trauss feigns a laugh. "Is your manager here tonight?"

"I'm the manager. How are you doing?"

"Oh I'm well, thank you, and yourself?"

"Just swell."

"Great." He scratches his ear and leans forward on his elbows. "Listen, uh, while we at the Foundation respect North Carolina Anomalous Persons Privacy Law 4-C6-NC and cannot prevent persons with an anomalous appearance from congregating in public, for the sake of preserving normalcy we still cannot allow them to spread anomalous contaminants or otherwise expose people to any uncontrollable effects…"

He looks to his left. There are two people in green Information Breach Publications T-shirts hunched over at the bar, camera now aimed at him as they laugh to each other. He groans internally and picks back up. "…Because that would violate NC-APP and thus require us to step in. I see a few individuals in here who are most definitely shedding contaminants, such as that humanoid, doglike entity in the window-"

He guffaws, waving his hand. Another bartender comes up beside him. "You here to contain the furries?" she asks.

"What?"

"Well, are you allowed to joke with people or not?" the manager interjects.

"I mean, sure, but there's a lot going on here so I'd rather stay on-topic."

"Just let him, man, just play along," the bartender murmurs, laughing to herself.

"Sir, there are clearly multiple anomalous entities in your establishment right now, some of whom are contaminating the environment, as I said before. Would you please take us to your office or the kitchen so that I can interview you while they get started?" He gestures over his shoulder to Rogers, who is approaching a decayed-looking humanoid in tattered clothing with a copy of NC-APP already on his clipboard.

The man stares, fingers stroking his mustache. "Can I just check with you real quick, man? Because you didn't seem to get my joke earlier. Are you being serious?"

"Yes, of course I'm being serious."

The man leans in over the counter, his voice lowered. "Then what the hell is wrong with you guys? These people are wearing costumes and makeup. Don't you know what day it is?"

Trauss does feel like he's forgotten what day it is. His earpiece beeps, interrupting the onset of a headache. He gestures for Shaw to take his place and walks away to take the call. "Call from: space alien space alien clipboard not sign eyeball," it says. He withholds a snort as he remembers that he had it paired to his phone instead of on the Foundation satellite network when he left the Site. He's about to decline the call when he remembers who he'd saved as that string of emojis.

"Answer call. Uh, hi Elaine, currently in the field right now, is it an emergency?"

"I'm afraid you got me, son."

He winces. "Oh, hi Doctor Blanchard."

"Oh, hi Agent Trauss," he mocks. "Listen, Elaine and the psych were pretty fond of your attempt to engage with 4427-B in a recreational but appropriate manner, but the containment specialist was not. And you're going to have some trouble getting in the gate with a playing card, so once the boys wave you through, you can go straight to Wing B4 to assist with recontainment efforts."

His muscles contract as he reaches into his pants pocket and withdraws his plastic ID holder, its cord still attached to his belt. His 4/4427 access card is missing, and in its place is a foil copy of Memory Jar. How had they even done that? "…I understand what has happened, I apologize for my incompetence, and I will head straight there." Blanchard hangs up. He curses under his breath and jogs out the door. He passes more and more anomalies as he walks back; most of them look almost fake somehow, but thinking about them in detail is becoming more and more painful, and more and more of them are coming out as the sun sets. He's almost thankful that he's being called back to the Site as he gets into the car and locks the doors.

Euclid-Level Containment Wing B4, Site-42, Seabreeze, North Carolina
17:00 ██/██/22

The breach alarm is yowling out of the elevator speakers as Trauss descends, sweat forming under his clothes. The still-nameless wing supervisor from earlier will be grilling him for this.

He exits and rounds the corner, short of breath. Several meters in front of him, the hallway is more than three quarters of the way obscured by a jagged, unmoving shape, the contents of it switching between a view of the hallway behind it and a swirling mass of gray static in-between bright flashes of light. Two figures clad in gray-and-blue engineering department polo shirts are crouched in front of it, the taller of them removing a different size of metal component from a plastic case and replacing one of the cylinders in the directional reality anchor he's placed on the floor.

"Hello Trauss," the man adjusting the anchor says. He doesn't introduce himself, and has his ID tucked into his chest pocket. "Good timing. This thing just showed up about two minutes ago. The supervisor said he walked in on 4427-B taking off that way before it caused this anomaly to appear and disappeared into it. So take this here and go on the other side of that to set it up. All you need to do is plug it in; I've already got the dials set and the refractor calibrated, so just face it directly mirrored from this one and plug it in and this thing should stabilize."

He doesn't argue; there's barely any clearance between the wall and the anomaly and they don't want to risk themselves because it's his fault it's there. Trauss nods and picks up the directional SRA with a low groan, never remembering how heavy they are until he holds one. He grits his teeth and tries to approach the narrow path between the wall and the flashing edges with it held against his chest, but it's apparent he won't have room. He holds it in his left hand by the tripod legs, arm trembling as he shimmies along the wall, chest sucked in. He scrapes by one of the pointed extrusions, light flashing around it and bouncing off the edges and vertices. He closes his eyes and keeps moving, swearing his can feel something burning the end of his nose.

When he's sure he's past it, he hurries over to the flat side facing the rest of the hall and arranges the anchor on the floor, trying to catch a glimpse of the other one in-between the flashes and murkiness. His vision is obscured by five security officers storming in on the other side, tranquilizer rifles pointed at the floor. He aligns the markers on the cone as closely as he can and plugs it in, shielding his eyes from the blue glare. The air crackles with static as the anomaly's edges wither and shrink back into its vertices. To Trauss' surprise, it disappears within several seconds, leaving no trace.

"Oh, shit," the shorter technician says. "That doesn't help."

"Let's go, then," one of the men says, flipping his rifle's flashlight on and powering up the reality anchor at his hip. His team follows behind him, doing the same.

"The lights are on," Trauss can't help but say. He shakes his head and runs after them as they storm down the hall, splitting up at the middle fork. He darts past Jasper's room, the door wide open and the interior a blur.

"Um, hey?"

He stops, stumbling forward, and spins around. Jasper is standing in their doorway, hands clasped around the frame and holding his access card. He motions for the other men to stop.

"…So you didn't do that on purpose?" they ask.

He feels like he's in a dream. "I- what? What stunt are you pulling right now?"

Their fingers clench. "I- I thought you said that if someone ever intentionally leaves my access card in there that it means an emergency is happening and I need to use it to get out and find the nearest guard or Onsite Response personnel." They twist a finger in their hair. "So that's what I was doing."

He tries to process information faster, temple pounding. "Y- That is a thing, yes, but I left like 30 minutes ago and I never removed my card from my person in the first place."

"But you left it on the table."

"No I didn't-" He checks his tone. "We can figure out what happened later. Get back in there right now."

"Yes sir," they groan, sinking back behind the wall. Trauss trails after them, hand extended. "Wait. Give me that card." The other five men linger at the outer entrance as he walks down the hall, relieved to see that the surveillance room's lock says it was last opened five hours ago. That would probably have guaranteed him a worse demotion than whatever he'd be getting for this.

They turn around and give it to him, fingers bumping into his glove. "I'm sorry. I guess I just thought too hard about it and extrapolated. Like, I didn't even notice it was there until a while after you'd left, so I panicked. What would I even do if there was a fire down here or something? And now I know that I can't even get down the hallway without some fucking- thing like that thing happening. I hope it goes without saying that I didn't make that on purpose."

"And you didn't mess with the SRAs? With the- with all that shit in that room there?" He points past them.

"No. I was just trying to follow procedure because, again, when I turned around, you had left it on the table."

"You didn't replace it with-" He pulls his lanyard out of his pocket. "Memory Jar?"

"I don't have any copies of Memory Jar. Especially not foil. How rich are you?"

He frowns. It isn't his either.

He glances over his shoulder, the others' eyes meeting his. The technician in the back sucks his teeth, a confused gaze on him. He faces Jasper again. "Okay. Well, let's get back to normal then." He gestures for them to walk back into their room. "Someone's going to be here within the next few hours to ask you what happened here."

"Fine. I'll tell them what I told you. And you forgot something, you know. Don't you know what day it is?"

His head throbs. "I think I do." He doesn't want to think about it.

"It's in my file, isn't it? It's my birthday. I hope you don't remember how old I am."

"I'm sorry. I would have acknowledged it if I had noticed the date. I just haven't been able to pay attention all day. Isn't something else happening today?"

They frown and shake their head. "Not that I know of." They press their fingers against their temple and walk back into their room, shutting the door behind them. The lock shuts itself and flashes a red LED on the scanner.

"You know where to go," the technician tells Trauss as he walks toward the exit.

"Yep." He makes his way to Director Radford's office.

4.gif

.


.







Nobody had replaced C-51174's Level 4 access card earlier today. It was in his pocket the entire time. He definitely would have felt someone taking it. There was a second while standing that he thought he did, but when he glanced down, nobody was there. Nobody had left it on the table, as SCP-4427-B claims occurred; nobody had replaced it with an expensive foil Magic: The Gathering colorless artifact card as C-51174 claims occurred.

Nobody had done any of that, and nobody knows how to erase footage from live transmission; it's impossible.

Nobody glances twice as an empty car rises up from B4; nobody can get in or out of Site-42 without the appropriate clearance. Nobody walks past all of the confused researchers pointing at each other's costumes and questioning their appearances as personnel from outside the Site's limits storm in, unaffected by the chaos induced by nobody in particular. Nobody is around to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic that morning and read Information Breach's seasonal special as C-51174 is ushered into the no-longer-nameless Euclid Security Supervisor's office 30 meters below the sand.

Nobody will remember today, because Nobody took care of it.

Log Added: 07:30 ██/██/22

Date of Occurrence: ██/██/22

Location Affected: Site-42, Seabreeze, North Carolina, USA

Number of Civilians Affected: 0

Number of Foundation Personnel Affected: Approx. 2,300

Number of Sapient Anomalies Affected: 16

Description of Concept Affected: The existence of [SENSITIVE INFORMATION REMOVED; SITE-42 IP ADDRESS DETECTED] as well as conceptually related celebrations and attire.

Events Transpired: [SENSITIVE INFORMATION REMOVED; SITE-42 IP ADDRESS DETECTED] This did not occur at the same time for all personnel; however, over the course of 12 hours, all personnel in Site-42 were affected.

Results and Impact: Confusion among staff and public [SENSITIVE INFORMATION REMOVED; SITE-42 IP ADDRESS DETECTED] resulting in brief but significant local media attention.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License