☦A collaborative writing game that is currently on hiatus. Please get in touch with Decibelles or Agent Macleod if you wish to continue it.☦
Welcome to the 3rd edition of And Then I Died…, an SCP collective writing game! Useful information is held behind a collapsible tab right here:
Rounds 1 - 20
Round 21: Decibelles
We had sailed back from the Callahan-Willow Sector, from the galaxy previous. After several ordeals resulting in battered men in a battered ship, we were all relieved to head back into Earth's major port for repairs. A long journey was coming to an end, and maybe this time, we would be able to rest for a few months more before heading off again.
No sooner had we sailed near the Moon than we heard the calls from a barbaric sort of group. Their ship was approaching ours, and though they did not raise their weapons, they had put on an aura of intimidation, and the attempts to reach us via communications had left us thoroughly puzzled.
"Can you make it out, Captain?" the young lad questioned. I let the words flow through my ears as I looked through the references on-hand, trying to decipher what I could.
"It's some sort of ancient, near-extinct dialect. Given the language and the materials their ship are made out of indicates that they have been around for far longer than expected… and potentially easy to overcome." They had all looked at me with doubt and surprise in their eyes, but I know my men and their capabilities. It would be nothing for them, even in our condition.
We sent out two pods of men to their ship, and I had elected to follow them. The combined firepower we carried would most certainly prove to be enough to take down theirs, and we would return home with more than we had set out for. The brutes had even seemed to take no mind in us approaching and safely going onto their ship, despite the differences in technology.
As we approached the group waiting for us, it struck me that they were made entirely of some type of earthenware, one I had rarely been able to view up close at home. It was exotic, and the fact that they were animate no less… it made me lose my train of thought. There was no time to admire these wonders, however. As their supposed general finished speaking, I nodded to my right-hand shot, and he raised his weapon and blasted the man's head into pieces.
The next thing I felt immediately was a blade traveling through and out my stomach. I only had time to look down at it for a brief second before all sound and light drained from me.
And then I died.
Round 22: minmin
I begin to smell the incense and know that they’ve started for real. My eyes are blindfolded, but firelight peeks in through the edges. Though I can feel the weight of the ornaments in my hair - solid gold, no doubt - the cloth of the blindfold is rough, almost like tree bark. Idly, I wonder if they couldn’t have at least prepared something more comfortable. At any rate, it’s too late for complaining now.
The stone beneath me is cold, but not unpleasant. I trace the ridges with my index finger, feeling familiar patterns I’d only ever been allowed to see, not touch. The sensation is strangely underwhelming. Is this it? Can this be it?
Will they miss me?
There’s a voice above me. It’s not mom’s or dad’s. Drier. Older. I recognize it as the elder’s, rising and falling in a gentle cadence of archaic syllables. I used to be scared of this when I was younger, clinging tightly to mother as the elder rolled his eyes and chanted and chanted and rocked back and forth. Yet today it is somehow familiar. Comforting. Perhaps it is the spirits at work. Perhaps it is the incense.
Even though my vision is mostly pitch-black, I can already see the scene in my mind’s eye - the incense bowl should be above my head by now, about three hands up and slightly to my right. I can almost feel the worms, wet with river water and fat as tubers, as the maidens slide them into the ridges of the stone slab. They tickle my back and I almost smile, but control myself. It is very important to keep still during the ceremony, said father before we’d left in the morning. Be still like rocks on the river floor. Only then will the river accept you as one of her own.
We’re proud of you, our child, added mother.
It's happening at last - the worms start to move over me, tentatively feeling for, then wrapping around my skin. The bag of keepsakes resting on my bare chest - mother even insisted I pack the comb - is also soon engulfed in the shifting wetness, which presses it into my skin and digs it into my ribs. I try to gasp for air, but find that my chest is too tightly restrained. Soft, damp appendages soon cover my face, and now I am unable to breathe at all. Somehow, I don't feel panicked. And despite most of my past few months leading up towards this moment, I don't feel ecstatic, either.
There is a sense of being lifted up, gently, reverently. I hear the sound of flowing water. My vision fades to white. Before I go completely, the soft damp coils around me seem to widen - not in size, but in a kind of presence. Is this what She feels like?
Yes, comes the answer from a thousand tiny teethed mouths around me. You come into good hands, little girl.
We protect you now.
And then I died.
Round 23: Agent MacLeod
Everything I'd ever done had been leading to it. Every sport I was in, from elementary clear through until then, every mile ran and every exercise out on the field. Every locker room pep talk, every touchdown made, every good and every bad tackle. All of the injuries. All of it had been leading to that.
That season had been one of our best in decades. Coach Simmons didn't say it, because he didn't want to jinx it, but I could tell he thought we'd finally make it. Things hadn't been the same since Coach Wilson went missing, or so I'd been told, but things had been looking up after a decades-long losing streak. Sometimes, it felt like the whole world was conspiring to prevent us from getting to the Sugar Bowl.
And then, at that moment, I had the ball, and I… Oh my god, I was almost miles ahead of the guys from the other team. There was only one play left in the game, and we only needed one touchdown to get ahead and put us on the fast track to the Sugar Bowl. My heart was pounding, and my feet flying. I'd never felt this way during a game before. I knew I was going to make it.
I ran just a few more yards and crossed into the End Zone. Touchdown. We'd won. We'd finally made it. We were going to the Sugar Bowl.
And then I died.
Round 24: Amuness Creeps
I rose out of the ocean. I escaped all of my fears and troubles. The surface was not as bad as the deep, dark ocean. I finally escaped. I drowned. I was supposed to die.
In the distance, I found a light. I swam towards that light as fast as I could. I was completely dizzy and my lungs were filled with sea water. But, I don't care. In the mist was a light and it was the only thing I could see.
This house…was it my house? No. I quickly entered the house and slammed the door. I couldn't hear it. It must have left…
"Honey!" my mother said behind me. I looked at her and she looked at me. "Listen, you've been out for hours! We're gonna have a small party because you're relatives are here!" I looked into the living room. She was right. They waved at me. I waved back.
"Mom, r-really I um…I need to change out of my clothes."
"Of yes of course!" she said. "It's been raining for hours!"
"N-no mom I…"
This was too weird. I got out of there and I headed up to my room. I heard something breathing behind me as I went up the stairs. A loud breathing and grunting. Aggravated grunting. I turned around and saw a man. He was completely burned and his bones were showing through his skin.
"Mom!" I yelled.
"Yes honey?" she replied.
"There's some man here and…wh-what is he?! Mom, who is this guy!?"
"Oh that's Peter, Sweety! He's here to have dinner with us!"
He screamed like a demon at me. I noticed that he was trying to come towards me. "Stay back!" He screamed much louder and he ran towards me, screaming.
And then I died.
Round 25: BOXER9999
It was dark. The stars shone dimly through the clouds that enveloped the skies around my ship. A glance to the side window of the control cabin revealed the whirling Pacific ocean under me.
I just had recorded my last words, the only archive which will speak of my effort fighting the enemy. My soon to be death did not bother me though. No, it was the fact that I had failed my mission that really saddened me. I had failed and my enemy will continue to terrorize earth.
Again and again, I had tried to destroy my nemesis. Half a century after the beginning of my mission and I had stayed at the same point. Oh things had changed of course. The crew for example; once they were all like me, men made of flesh and blood. But now they were things resembling the enemy in almost every way. But my superiors had told me that the appearance of the crew wasn't my business, and I always followed all my orders and so I stopped thinking about these strange companions.
As my mind slipped in and out of consciousness a vague memory stirred through my mind. It had been a cold night very much like this one. He had encountered a few strange flying vehicles with which he was trying to communicate. But then his enemy appeared attacking my vessel and destroying a couple of the strange ships. However the strange vessel who did survive helped defeating the enemy that day; the serpent had fled their combined firepower. A smile crossed my lips as I recalled that encounter. It had been a good battle, and a worthy ally. But soon my grim demeanor came back as I remembered what was my task today.
Standing up from my chair, I felt the feeling of exhilaration I always had when looking at my vessel's command board. Then I slowly walked to my living quarters, there I looked for a moment at the objects who brought back my memories: the picture of me with my old crew mates; the one we had took on V-day.. On the walls my old stuffed hunting trophies hanged, while my trusty navigation maps lay on the table.. Then slowly, as I regarded these remains I calmly took my weapon and pointed it towards my head.
No, I suddenly thought. This is not how I will end. At first thinking hesitantly, my thoughts quickly resolved what I wanted to do.
First I broke my weapon with my hands; I thought I had heard once that when disbanded a soldier shouldn't give away his weapon. Then I calmly went back to the instrument board, sitting on my command chair in which I sat, staring at the dark night.
And then I died.
"What a beautiful day for a war!" I said, laughing. "Have some of the umbidvo wetintsanga, please. After we conclude this you gentlemen simply must stay for the Reed Dance, as my guests."
"I would be delighted, Your Majesty," said Cardinal Langa.
"Unfortunately, I won't be able to stay that long, Your Majesty", said Agent Bekker, "They need me to fly to the States to report on today's test. My sincere apologies."
"It is nothing, Kerk, I will send you an invitation for next year. I will insist upon it, in fact. I will tell them you work very hard and need a holiday," I said, slapping the man's shoulder, "They cannot refuse my request, after all, I am King. Well, let us get this over with so we can enjoy the rest of the day, eh? I have the document here. Agent Bekker, does this fulfill the requirements? Good! I will sign it then. And … there! Here, Your Eminence, as you can see I have officially declared war. I must now ask for your immediate surrender, with no conditions, other than that you admit defeat."
"Thank you, Your Majesty. As you can see, I have been empowered by His Holiness to negotiate on his behalf in this matter, and I officially surren … Your Majesty! Are you well? Are you choking?"
And then I died.
Round 27: minmin
The motor died on the 24th. The radios went soon after. Then the generator sputtered to a stop as the fuel ran out, and we drifted silently in the moonlit sea.
It was four in the morning on the 26th when Skipper woke me up. "Jo, Jo, you have to see this." I follow him blearily to the hold, sallow torchbeams lighting our way. There is a trickling sound of water. He squats down and shows me the source: a small, perfectly circular hole has been punched in neatly about two inches above the floor. The edges aren't ragged - they bend in smoothly like butter. Skipper turns to me with a worried look on his face. "Well? What do you think?"
"I think we should patch this up," I tell him nonchalantly. I don't bring up the fact that directly across the room, a round, black mark has been burnt into the wall. I inspect it when Skipper leaves to find his tools, and find that it's still warm.
We find several more over the next few days. They're always small, always impossibly round. Skipper tries to set up a shift system, both of us keeping watch on the hold, but it never quite works out. Meanwhile, I busy myself most of the time trying to get the radio to work. It remains dumb, taunting us with the occasional burst of static.
It happened on the 31st. We're down to our last box of batteries and Skipper goes to check the hold again to find some to salvage, when we both hear a sharp cracking sound. It's coming from portside. I run over and peer over the railings, only to see a bright beam of green arc from the sea and cut across the deck like a searchlight. Below me, strange lights rove in the deep. "Skipper! Get the lifeboat!" I find myself crying out. He's yelling too, but I can't make out the words.
There's another sharp crack. The floor beneath me lurches as more green arcs tear from the water and cut through the deck like hot wires through wax. I run for the lifeboat and in my panic, I almost think I see small grey fins and large, white eyes darting in the water. More lights. Crrrrrack.
And then I died.
"Peace be upon you, my friend. I thank you for the generous hospitality of your home," I said.
"Think nothing of it, my motivations are entirely selfish. I intend for you to make me wealthy," said Luzio, laughing.
"God willing, this will make us both wealthy, my friend!" I said.
"Good news then, I went over the plans you sent me with my cousin the mason and we think we can build your irrigation channels without much trouble. Now that you have rested, we shall break our fast and then I would like to take you see the orchard. Are we agreed?"
"I am eager to begin, honestly. I did not come all the way from Kairouan to sit in your lovely home. Perhaps we can eat as we walk? " I replied.
"Khalid, you warm my heart with your eagerness to make me a wealthy man! Yes, I will have Donna pack up some bread and olives for us and we will set forth within the hour. Let me tell you, my blessed father might come down from Heaven and strike me, but I think being conquered by Saracen Ifriqiya was the best thing to happen to this city."
We chatted pleasantly as we walked north through the city, Donna Carmino's bread was delicious and warm and the fresh orchard olives juicy and piquant. We stopped at the basilica, so that Luzio could get a blessing for this venture, I made a note of the location of the mosque for evening prayers, and then we crossed the river.
Suddenly, Luzio turned to me and shouted, "What the hell? You baby-burning son of a bitch! How many innocent babes did you shovel into that brazen gullet, eh?" With a swift motion, he drew his dagger and stabbed me again and again in the road.
And then I died.
It was a fluke that I survived at all and that was likely to be temporary. The storm that had capsized me also drove me far to the south into the Antarctic circle. The boat righted itself, but the masts were lost, the radio hopelessly destroyed, and I lost the emergency beacon when I tried to use it, swept overboard.
I got the generator working at least, and I managed to keep warm and avoid hypothermia, but the farther south that I drifted the more likely that I would run out of fuel and freeze to death. At least it was summer and the days were long.
As I drifted closer to the Antarctic coast, I scanned the horizon for any sign of human activity, though the odds of having randomly drifted near one of the research stations in the whole of a continental coastline aren't great.
Then I saw in the distance, a dozen regular round shapes. Those had to be geodesic domes! I started to allow myself to hope. Even the current seemed to be on my side as it pushed me inexorably in that direction.
As I washed ashore, I fired off a flare. I had enough fuel to maybe keep me alive for a few hours. Exhausted, I fell asleep.
I was awoken by the sound of a helicopter, and I quickly scrambled outside, frantically waving at the circling aircraft.
Suddenly there was the crack of a gunshot.
And then I died.
Round 30: Dexanote
I’ve just been feeling… better lately. It’s hard to explain, I’m just… happier. I’m not so nervous or sad any more and I guess the world just feels better.
After moving out here, I got over myself pretty fast and got in touch with a couple of the clubs out in town. There’s a lot of stuff out here, I had no idea. And the house is perfect for having little parties, the basement’s almost finished and the den has a bunch of old- well actually it’s not even that old, it’s a little worn but it’s perfectly good furniture. Even a pool table. Little too drafty though, I keep getting chills and the air’s way too dry. The humidifier is working well enough but I really need to get the furnace replaced. I’ll see if Bill can take a look at it tomorrow.
Oh, doorbell. Good. Work party tonight, just because. Couldn’t resist, made a bunch of cookies and stuff - I actually just took up baking, I’ve been on a bit of a sweet tooth kick lately, getting really really good at it too. People love cookies, I’ve met tons of new people just bringing cookies every week to work. Bowling night’s next Thursday, people will meet and warm up here before going out - it’s a great central place.
Little tired, but that’s alright… Oh, new faces. I wonder if they have time for a quick bite, the cookies smell great…
… They’re yelling…
… Why am I so ANGRY?
… and then I died.