After that / Until then
rating: +37+x

7 June 2029

Today, I watched a giant jellyfish give birth to a full-grown woman dressed in an owl costume. It was strange to think that I knew it would happen today.

The jellyfish floated in the humidified air, carefully lowering the woman to rest on the ground. The medical team with me was hesitant, not sure whether it was safe to go to her. I walked forward with tears in my eyes, calling out her name.

Sun-hee looked up at me, smiling, and I knelt down and embraced her. I kissed the foam mask covering her head, nothing in my thoughts except how lucky I was to have her back.

I finally noticed the nurses around us. They offered Sun-hee a wheelchair, but she was adamant that she didn't need it. She had forgotten how long it was since she had to stand on her own. As she stood up, her weakened legs buckled, and I caught her in my arms. But a second before it happened, I could swear I saw the jellyfish reach its own arms out towards her. Sun-hee leaned on my shoulder for support, and together we walked out of the containment cell.

In six months, the Foundation will find a way to counteract Sun-hee's condition, releasing her identity from the cruel mockery of her costume, giving her true self back to her. In two years, they will declare her non-anomalous, give her an amnestic and release her to the world outside, to a normal life.

In three years, I will retire, and leave my life in the Foundation behind.

And the jellyfish? Before my retirement I will come to see it; sometimes, when they let me. The jellyfish will spend the next three years quietly in its containment. After that, I don't know.


14 August 2023

Interview Excerpt: 2338-293/J/4
Date: 14/8/2023
Interviewer: Ms. Ryoko Sato
Interviewed: SCP-2338-B

Foreword: Ms. Sato conducts scheduled daily interactions with the anomaly, for the purposes of emotional management of SCP-2338-B. Interviews have also obtained information about SCP-2338-A, with which SCP-2338-B has become able to communicate. Interview was conducted in ASL, and transcribed from video recordings in the containment cell. This is an excerpt from a longer log spanning several hours.

Ms. Sato: I think that's all we need to do for your classes, Sun-hee. Have you been able to do your exercise?

SCP-2338-B: Yes, thanks. It's sometimes a little difficult - there's not much room in here!

Ms. Sato: <laughing> That's true.

SCP-2338-B: But I enjoy the pilates. I think Eomi likes it too.

Ms. Sato: Really? Why does Eomi like pilates?

SCP-2338-B: I don't know - she just does. It's like I said - she doesn't talk like you or me, or like speaking out loud.

Ms. Sato: It's just images, feelings, right?

SCP-2338-B: Yes. A bright, happy feeling when I'm stretching, or an image of tentacles stretching out too. Or sometimes she signs to me.

Ms. Sato: She signs? How?

SCP-2338-B: Well, it's just an image of hands making the sign, really. She doesn't do it very often - sometimes she gets the signs back-to-front.

Ms. Sato: It's very impressive that she can sign at all. Did you teach her?

SCP-2338-B: Um, maybe? She showed me a memory of me teaching her, but I was much older. Oh!

Ms. Sato: Are you okay, Sun-hee?

SCP-2338-B: Yes. Um.

Ms. Sato: Did you say that Eomi remembers the future?

SCP-2338-B: Oh dear. I didn't mean to say it, although she knew I would. Yes, Eomi remembers the future. Time goes the other way for her, from the future into the past.

Ms. Sato: But how does -

SCP-2338-B: It's a bit confusing, but I think everything is the same, just happening in the opposite order. That's how she knows when I'll be able to leave her - for her, it's already happened.

Ms. Sato: I see. You do seem very confident about getting out - I hope that you're right. We haven't seen anything that suggests that Eomi will let you go.

SCP-2338-B: She will. There's lots that you don't know about Eomi. Like I don't think the glass would stop her getting out, if she really wanted to.

Ms. Sato: Are you sure? Then I certainly hope she never really wants to.

SCP-2338-B: Oh I don't think so - she likes it when I'm happy, and I'm happy staying here because then you can visit. You'll keep visiting, right?

Ms. Sato: Of course, Sun-hee. And perhaps you can tell me more about Eomi some time. Like where she comes from.

SCP-2338-B: Which bit of her?

Ms. Sato: What do you mean?

SCP-2338-B: Well, there's kind of separate parts. Eomi tried to explain once. The images didn't really make sense, but I think that this is like - well, it's like…

Ms. Sato: Yes?

SCP-2338-B: Oh! It's like a costume, like my costume! Something that you can put on - although I don't know about taking it off…

Ms. Sato: Hey, Sun-hee - it's okay. They'll work something out. So you mean you're wearing a jellyfish costume over your owl costume?

SCP-2338-B: No, that's not it. I know I'm inside Eomi, but I'm not really inside her. My mind isn't inside her, I mean. She sometimes gets frustrated by that, I think - it would be easier to communicate if my mind was travelling in the jellyfish costume too.

Ms. Sato: So you could put your mind inside the jellyfish?

SCP-2338-B: I guess - Eomi showed me how, but she made me promise not to do it. It would mean I go backwards through time as well, and Eomi says I've got to keep travelling forwards - to the day I get out!

Ms. Sato: It's definitely good to have something to look forward to.

SCP-2338-B: You don't believe me, do you? That's okay. Eomi said that you wouldn't right now, but you will.

Ms. Sato: Eomi seems to know a lot of things.

SCP-2338-B: She does, Ms. Sato. She really does. Hey, would you turn the TV on for me when you leave today?

<end of excerpt>


19 October 2013

Incident 2013101904
Logs compiled from multiple camera feeds

SITE 19 CONTAINMENT CELL ███

1310: Foundation medical staff enter with stretchers, bearing the bodies of 22 children and one unconscious, heavily injured woman. Personnel lay the bodies on the floor of the cell before leaving. SCP-███ is floating in the centre point of the room.

1235: SCP-███ descends to the floor of the cell, gathering the bodies and lifting them up. It places the body of the woman on top of its bell, and cradles the children in its tentacles.

1234: Several personnel enter the chamber in a state of panic. They see SCP-███ and become calmer, watching as SCP-███ floats up towards the ceiling of the cell. The personnel soon cease to pay attention to SCP-███, which remains still, holding the children, for almost an hour.

1205: Foundation staff leave the chamber. Shortly thereafter, water bubbles up from drains in the floor, flooding the cell.

1140: SCP-███ floats further upward, carrying the bodies through the ceiling of the cell.

SITE 19 E-BLOCK LOW SECURITY DORM

1137: SCP-███ enters the common room. The bodies of two men are lying on the ground. SCP-███ lifts the unconscious woman from its bell and carefully deposits her in the entrance to the room.

1136: SCP-███ remains hovering over the woman. Its tentacles reach out in several directions, bearing the children's bodies through doorways and into nearby bedrooms. The tentacles lay the children in their beds, resting for a second on their faces or shoulders before retreating to SCP-███. Two of the children are placed on the floor of the common room.

1135: SCP-███ retreats behind the wall of the room. A single tentacle reaches out to the body of one of the men, stroking his head. The man rises from the ground, alive.

1134: Several dozen tentacles embrace the body of the other man, lifting him to his feet near the body of the woman. He calls out, alive, and the tentacles release him.

1133: The woman appears to be regaining consciousness. The man near her points an implement at her, healing a wound on her neck. He walks over to the other man, and they turn to the children on the floor, bringing them back to life. The children run into one of the bedrooms.

1131: The men walk from bedroom to bedroom, healing the children within. After a short time, they leave the common room.


4 February 2012

It is mid-afternoon. The classroom is full of bright colours: pastel drawings on the walls, festooned with strings of paper stars. The young teacher is sitting in front of her class, a large picture book propped on her knees. The book is called "Creatures of the Deep", and the teacher is pointing at vivid images of fantastical underwater beasts. Spider crabs, sunfish, blue whales. The teacher signs to the class, explaining where they come from and how they live.

The children are sitting on the floor, a little menagerie in cheerful costumes. They stare at the pictures, spellbound. Occasionally one will sign a question, then the teacher calls on them, and they raise their hand. The teacher flips slowly backwards through the pages of the book. Once, she is momentarily distracted - was that a shadow in the room? The moment passes; she resumes signing.

The signing is backwards too, but I can follow it. I've had twenty years to learn. The first three were the hardest, before Sun-hee came back to me. But I kept myself company, when they let me.

Now the teacher turns back to a page showing a giant squid. A little boy in an octopus costume jumps up and dances around, showing off. He is ridiculous, and he doesn't care - the teacher is grinning, and half the children are signing at once, the other half rolling with silent laughter.

In a little over a year, the children will be gone - delivered by the Foundation to men who will remove their costumes and return them to their families. Until then, I come to see them; sometimes, whenever I can.

In fifteen years, the Foundation will take my tank from its cell, transport me thousands of miles and release me on a remote beach in Australia. I will hurt people - I think that being abandoned by the Foundation must make me angry. But where the heart breaks, time can mend it. And the Foundation will bring to life other jellyfish - perhaps companions? Perhaps children?

After that, I don't know.

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