And the Winner Is...
rating: +210+x

"Before I announce the winner," Assistant Site Director Edmunds said to the small group of researchers gathered in Site 73's cafeteria, "I'd just like to thank and congratulate all of you for participating. This has been a difficult year for us, and activities like this always help staff morale. I've enjoyed reading all your submissions - yes, Greg, even yours - and it was very difficult for the judges to pick a winner."

"With that out of the way," he said as he opened the envelope in his hands, "the winner of this year's Site 73 short story contest is - Dr. Tom Malthus, for his story 'Night of the Revenge of the Wrath of the Ghost of the Fury!'" The two dozen or so assembled authors clapped politely as Dr. Malthus rose from his seat, took a short bow, and accepted the $100 gift card that was his grand prize.

Later, in his office, Dr. James Anderson, associate managing supervisor of temporal anomaly research, cursed to himself under his breath. Malthus had won? His story was a ridiculous B-movie parody! He'd put so much time into his own submission, a self-referential piece about a man who'll do anything to win a writing contest, only to be outdone by this over-the-top piece of hack work that Malthus wrote in about fifteen minutes and submitted two hours before the deadline! "Well," he said to himself, "it's over and done with now. I can't change the past."

Or could he? His position gave him research access to a number of SCP objects that operated outside of linear time. It would be a major violation of protocol if he got caught, of course - but as he went about his work, he idly wondered to himself whether there was any way he could use any of the objects he knew about to change the outcome of the contest.

982? Not likely. 728? Too unpredictable. 276? Maybe, but there's no way he could pull it off without getting caught. 869? 869. Hmm. He'd overseen experiments in the past that involved using SCP-869 to attempt to send information back through time. It'd be risky, but if it worked he'd have had the satisfaction of seeing the look on Malthus' face when he himself came out on top. If nothing else, he could call it just another experiment, right?

It wasn't for six months that he worked up the courage to prepare his parcel; an envelope with a 1948 postage stamp affixed to it, addressed to Site 73. Inside it, another envelope marked with the Foundation's seal and instructions not to open it until decades later - the day the site writing contest was announced. Within that, a third envelope, to be delivered to his own office - and within that, a copy of Malthus' story and a letter to himself instructing him to submit it as his contest entry.

Anderson was on pins and needles the entire drive to Galveston, the entire time bluffing his way past the guards at the entrance of SCP-869, the entire time he made his way past the crowds of people enjoying the park on that sunny summer day in 1948. Looking over his shoulder to make sure nobody else from the Foundation was following him, he made his way out the front entrance of the park, crossed the street, walked down the block to a waiting mailbox, opened it, and dropped his missive in.


"And the winner of this year's Site 73 short story contest is - Dr. James Anderson, for his story 'Night of the Revenge of the Wrath of the Ghost of the Fury!'" The two dozen or so assembled authors clapped politely as Dr. Anderson rose from his seat, took a short bow, and accepted the $100 gift card that was his grand prize.

Success! Anderson was on Cloud Nine as he made his way back to his office. When the office gopher first handed him a letter that purported to be from his future self, he thought he was being set up. The story it instructed him to submit was frankly ridiculous, and he wasn't even sure almost until the end of the contest that he wanted to submit it - but he did, and it had worked! He'd take himself out for a nice steak dinner that night to celebrate.

He never did, however, bother to write himself a letter.


"And the winner of this year's Site 73 short story contest is - Dr. Tom Malthus, for his story 'Night of the Revenge of the Wrath of the Ghost of the Fury!'" The two dozen or so assembled authors clapped politely as Dr. Malthus rose from his seat, took a short bow, and accepted the $100 gift card that was his grand prize.

Later, in his office, Dr. James Anderson, associate managing supervisor of temporal anomaly research, cursed to himself under his breath. Malthus had won? His story was a ridiculous B-movie parody! He'd put so much time into his own submission, a self-referential piece about a man who'll do anything to win a writing contest, only to be outdone by this over-the-top piece of hack work that Malthus wrote in about fifteen minutes and submitted two hours before the deadline! "Well," he said to himself, "it's over and done with now. I can't change the past."

Or could he?


"And the winner of this year's Site 73 short story contest is - Dr. James Anderson, for his story 'Night of the Revenge of the Wrath of the Ghost of the Fury!'" The two dozen or so assembled authors clapped politely as Dr. Anderson rose from his seat, took a short bow, and accepted the $100 gift card that was his grand prize.

Success! Anderson was on Cloud Nine as he made his way back to his office. When the office gopher first handed him a letter that purported to be from his future self, he thought he was being set up. The story it instructed him to submit was frankly ridiculous, and he wasn't even sure almost until the end of the contest that he wanted to submit it - but he did, and it had worked! He'd take himself out for a nice steak dinner that night to celebrate.

It wasn't until thirty years later, his last month on the job before retirement, as he cleaned a career's worth of paperwork out of his filing cabinet, that he rediscovered the certificate he'd been given to commemorate his victory. He realized that he'd never closed the time loop by sending himself a letter with the story in it - and he'd better do so fast, because if he left the Foundation without ever having done so, thirty years of history could wind up in flux. He searched through his papers for hours looking for a copy of the story that had won him that contest so many years ago - in vain. I'll just have to improvise, he thought to himself, as he sat down at his computer and began typing out the story as best as he could remember it after all these years.


"And the winner of this year's Site 73 short story contest is - Dr. Tom Malthus, for his story 'Night of the Revenge of the Wrath of the Ghost of the Fury!'" The two dozen or so assembled authors clapped politely as Dr. Malthus rose from his seat, took a short bow, and accepted the $100 gift card that was his grand prize.

Later, in his office, Dr. James Anderson, associate managing supervisor of temporal anomaly research, cursed to himself under his breath. How could this happen? His own story, "Revenge of the Ghostly Wrath," was exactly what the letter had told him to submit! Malthus must have seen his story and ripped it off - he had to admit that Tom's story was a little less silly than his own. Clearly, when he closed the temporal loop that had started when he got a letter from his future self, he'd have to send that story instead…


"And the winner of this year's Site 73 short story contest is - Dr. Tom Malthus, for his story 'I Was A Teenage Carrot!'" The two dozen or so assembled authors clapped politely as Dr. Malthus rose from his seat, took a short bow, and accepted the $100 gift card that was his grand prize.

Later, in his office, Dr. James Anderson, associate managing supervisor of temporal anomaly research, cursed to himself under his breath. How could this happen? His own story, "Night of the Revenge of the Wrath of the Ghost of the Fury," was exactly what the letter had told him to submit! He thought it over for hours and hours before he realized he must have submitted his entry too early - and when Malthus found out there was already a story exactly like what he planned on submitting, he had to come up with something else. Clearly, when he closed the temporal loop that had started when he got a letter from his future self, he'd have to be more specific with his instructions…


"And the winner of this year's Site 73 short story contest is - Dr. Sarah Evans, for her story 'Love At 80,000 AU!'" The two dozen or so assembled authors clapped politely as Dr. Evans rose from her seat, took a short bow, and accepted the $100 gift card that was her grand prize.

Later, in his office, Dr. James Anderson, associate managing supervisor of temporal anomaly research, cursed to himself under his breath. Director Edmunds had told him that he and Dr. Malthus had both submitted the exact same story, and since he couldn't tell which of them had plagiarized the other he had no choice but to disqualify them both. He'd waited too long - and by the time he submitted the story the letter had told him to, Malthus had already submitted his 'original'. Clearly, when he closed the temporal loop that had started when he got a letter from his future self, he'd have to be more specific with his instructions…


And the winner of this year's Site 73 short story contest is - Dr. Tom Malthus, for his story 'How Jester Got His Groove Back!'" The two dozen or so assembled authors clapped politely as Dr. Malthus rose from his seat, took a short bow, and accepted the $100 gift card that was his grand prize.

Later, in his office, Dr. James Anderson, associate managing supervisor of temporal anomaly research, cursed to himself under his breath. The letter he'd gotten from his future self had explained every last detail of how to ensure his victory. What had gone wrong? Perhaps it was inevitable that Malthus would win. Perhaps he'd always write a better story than the one Anderson submitted. Clearly, when he closed the temporal loop that had started when he got a letter from his future self, he'd have to send a second letter as well - one to remove Malthus from the picture altogether…


"And the winner of this year's Site 73 short story contest is - Dr. James Anderson, for his story 'Night of the Revenge of the Wrath of the Ghost of the Fury!'" The two dozen or so assembled authors clapped politely as Dr. Anderson rose from his seat on a pair of mechanical legs, took a short bow, and accepted the $100 gift card that was his grand prize.

Success! Anderson was on Cloud Nine as he made his way back to his office. It was a small victory in his long career with the Foundation and all the accomplishments they'd made to improve mankind, but it was a victory all the same. Immediately, he grabbed some digipaper and an E-quill, and started writing the instructions to his past self that would close the loop and ensure time remained unaltered…


Assistant Site Director Edmunds' thoughts radiated immediately across the great neural network to all those who had become part of the Foundation-Mind. "And the winner of this year's Site 73 short story contest is - Unit 483012, James Anderson, for his story 'Night of the Revenge of the Wrath of the Ghost of the Fury!'"

Anderson hid his feelings from the accolades of his peers as they drifted into his mind. In the stasis pod where his physical body lay connected to the tubes and machines that sustained it, he rolled over and unplugged his neural jack. This is all wrong, he thought as he suddenly found himself alone with his thoughts. The world isn't supposed to be like this. My past self must have introduced some anachronism when he sent that letter. I've got to fix it somehow…


"Et le gagnant de cette année pour le concours de nouvelles littéraires du Site 73 est - Dr. Tom Malthus, avec son histoire intitulée : Nuit de la Vengeance du Courroux du Fantôme de la Fureur!" Les quelques deux douzaines d’auteurs réunis applaudirent poliment, tandis que le Dr. Malthus se levait, s’inclinait rapidement et acceptait la carte-cadeau de 100 Francs qui était son grand prix.

Plus tard dans son bureau, le Dr. James Anderson, gestionnaire associé à la supervision de la recherche sur les anomalies temporelles, se maudit dans sa barbe. Malthus avait gagné? Son histoire n’était qu’une ridicule parodie de films de série B! Il avait mis tellement de temps dans sa propre soumission, une histoire autoréférentielle sur un homme prêt à tout pour gagner un concours d’écriture, simplement pour être surpassé par ce torchon bâclé et outrancier que Malthus avait écrit en quinze minutes et soumit deux heures avant la fin du délai! "Eh bien," se dit-il "c’est bel et bien terminé maintenant. Je ne peux pas changer le passé. "

Ou pourrait-il?


9/8/13: The Time Contest has ended! The winner is Dr. Gears, with his tale 'Foundation 2099'. Thanks for all of your great entries!

James Anderson cursed under his breath as he read the announcement on the front page of the SCP wiki. His story about Lord Blackwood joining forces with SCP-173 to fight crime had been leading in upvotes for two weeks - and then Gears pops out of the blue again and posts a story that makes it to +100 in under two days? How is anyone supposed to compete with that? If only there were some way to travel back in time and submit Gears' own story before he could…


The quivering purple mass of flesh towered over the two dozen humans who kneeled in chains below it. It began to undulate as speech echoed from within its hulking body. "I have reviewed the literary tributes you pitiful creatures have submitted to me, and none of them are worthy. None of you shall earn your freedom today!"

The slave who had once been called Dr. James Anderson, back before the coming of the Age of Flesh, cursed under his breath. Sure, freedom probably meant a slow death alone in the ruins of the world above, but it had to be better than this. There must be one of the Master's playthings I can get at, he thought to himself, to ensure that he would be free…


Dr. James Anderson woke up in his office and climbed out of bed. It was a sunny Sunday midnight and lunch break was over - time to get back to work and think about his entry in the writing contest he'd be hearing about next week. Outside his door, he heard the sound of a gong - the office courier was here.

He opened the door and shivered as the cold winter air hit him. "L-l-l-letter for you, sir," said the Hawaiian-shirt-wearing courier as he handed him an envelope. Anderson smiled, tipped the boy six shillings and thruppence, and sent him on his way. Closing the door, he sat back down in front of his typewriter and opened the envelope to find a single page, written in what appeared to be human blood;

We were fools to try and play with history. Millions and millions of paradoxes colliding with one another. Now it's all broken. Space and time are meaningless. It's just us, millions of Andersons alone in the empty desert below a sunless sky. He looks down on us, the great gray-faced god where the Sun should be, and His gaze burns our flesh. He sees us now. HIDE THE NUCLEAR LAUNCH CODES IN THE CREDENZA SO I CAN KILL HIM! IT'S NOT WORKING! HE'S IMMUNE! THERE IS NO HOPE FOR SALVA

Anderson yawned as his alarm clock went off - 37:65 on Marsday, Quatuordecimber 72nd. Time for work. He laid the letter down on his desk and started typing out a copy of it to submit for the writing contest he'd be hearing about next week.

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