After Destruction
rating: +35+x

Document 144b-O5-EO was discovered in █████, ████████ on ██/██/████, following an experiment with SCP-███ to investigate nearby ██████████████. Refer to Document 144a-O5-EO for full recovery report.

Hello world. Goodbye world.

I'm writing this now, before it's too late. Turns out a good, thick layer of SCP-███ (and a few other precautions) can slow down… Whatever they're doing to us. It's already hard to remember, though, but putting this on paper helps a bit. Keeps me from losing my train of thought again. It's a little like being detailed on SCP-… Well, I don't remember which one it was, but you know. That one you can't remember. I think.

It started about two years ago, in the fall. We thought it was the GOC, maybe even those stupid CI bastards making a move on us. The damn skips were going missing left and right all of a sudden, and it was scaring hell out of O5, because people barely remembered we'd had 'em a few weeks after they'd disappear. There was a bunch of new regs we had to follow, stuff to help catch benders and detect reality shifts I guess, but nothing came up.

But then someone remembered 1050 and its damn predictions. About six months back, we'd damn near shit ourselves worrying about the arrival of "the Destroyers", but gradually stopped worrying about it after that mess over in Uganda, figured that was what the prediction was about. Heck, we even patted ourselves on the back about how we'd contained it with "acceptable losses" and kept it from getting near XK.

Turns out we were wrong. Uganda had nothing to do with the event timer, as far as I can guess. We let our guard down… And then it all started. Or stopped. Or whatever.

If you ask me what the Destroyers are, let me just tell you: I have no idea. Maybe I did a few months ago. Maybe I didn't. But all those nightmare stories on SCP-████… Those weren't about the Destroyers. Not really, anyway. It was just memories and fragments of whatever was before. Stories about black claws, dark souls from beyond the cosmos and fire and blood? We hear those every day over lunch in the cafeteria about what we did on our morning shifts. That doesn't scare anyone very much, not at the Foundation.

No, whatever the Destroyers are, they're a lot worse than that, in the same way that having your soul stolen by Cthulhu is worse than dying. Death is a little scary, but compared to a timeless eternity in a mad hellscape, I'd pick death every time.

I'm not sure what the right words are for what happened to us, but I remember once in my one semester of community college, some professor was talking about Jung's archetypes. He didn't say too much about them, but it got me interested enough to check a few books out of the library. I guess I've still got them somewhere, because I dropped out a week later and never bothered to return them. Anyway, I had plenty of time to read them on my way to Argentina in the Marine Corps, so I did. Turns out that we've all got these shapes in our head of the way things are, like creation myths, your mom and dad as these wise and magical figures, heroes and villains… And the Shadow. Those things always scared the hell out of me, in a way, because it sounded too much like the skips that I deal with; these weird things that sound like they were dredged out of the dark places in our minds, the "collective unconscious" as Jung called it.

And the Shadow. Man, let me tell you, I'm not afraid to say that that one always kind of freaked me out. It's like Jung just waved his hand and said "Okay, and here's all the bad stuff. It's meaninglessness, emptiness and seeing it makes you want to be dead, because it's better than being alive in the shadows.". Damn if that doesn't sound like what I'm seeing out there.

Let me also just say, I really believe in what we're doing in the Foundation. I like even more that, outside of preventing the Apocalypse, we sometimes manage to improve the world a little bit with some of the technology, medicine and ideas we derive from studying these fucking insane things. I don't know how much of this is true, but some of the senior lab rats have told me that we've leaked tech to tons of industries, and that we're probably fifty years ahead of where we'd be without the skips. It's nice knowing that we've improved the world in so many ways, you know? Makes it a little easier to get through a day of D-Class testing, and makes you feel a bit like the skips are just parts of something larger, part of the magic (Heh, the docs would kill me if they heard me use that word) that makes the world go 'round.

But these things, whatever they are, they're the opposite of that. They're the end of the magic, the dying of the soul or whatever really makes us human. You want to know what they look like? Just look in the eyes of an Auschwitz survivor, or a kid that watched his parents hacked to death in the Rwandan genocide. Those are eyes with something just …gone… from them.

And now that's what the world is. We're all still here, and the world's still spinning, but something's missing. We are, for one. Most of the Foundation has just up and disappeared, day by day, rooms and sites and people just not here anymore. I saw Dr. █ ████ at the bar the other day in ██████, but he's apparently a mid-level university professor now, and he had no idea who I was. Looked dead inside, too, like the only thing he was worried about was tenure and bills, not like the man I'd known and looked up to, and occasionally stole my sandwiches from the breakroom fridge.

So here we are. Only a few pieces of Site ██ are left, and only a couple of the skips. Oh, and -███ is here, but he's different, too. He's dying, and I think when he's gone, the rest of the site will be, too. I think he's protecting us, but it's killing him. That's something I was thinking about, that the reality benders are like… Not exactly the opposite of the Destroyers, but like the shadows cast from their light, I guess? But anyway, I'm in the room here with him, watching him sleep. His breathing doesn't sound good, and I don't think I've got long to finish this.

So let me just say this, before I do something crazy to try and preserve this letter. The Destroyers don't care about us, about humanity. They care about what we could become. They don't kill us, but they take away what it means to be alive. The stories are gone now; you know all the hollow shit on the radio, on TV, in the movies? That's all we've got left. Dead stories. I tried to remember what music sounded like before they came, what it was like to go to a show on Saturday night on the silver screen. It's like only seeing in black and white when you remember color. It's like going tone-deaf after hearing Beethoven. All the life and the soul are gone, all the magic is washed out, and I don't think they're done yet. They came to a world full of amazing, thriving humanity, and they're going to leave behind a bunch of scared, over-evolved monkeys. It's going to be the Dark Ages all over again, and after I seal this thing up with -00█, I'm going to finish my bottle of whiskey and put a bullet in my head. I can't live like this, living in the Shadow of what we used to be. Goodbye.

-Agent █████

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