They came from beyond the world, from over the world, from under the world. They came from inside the stars and from behind the rain. They came from the known lands and they came from the secret places of old.
The vast ones who drank of the nebulas, the small ones who did not care what happened beyond the banks of their rivers, the ones who bathed in the light and the ones who watched from the shadows, the ones who loved us and the ones who forgot about us, the ones who hate us now and the ones who love us still, the ones who sung with the rats and the ones who swam with the leviathans, they came from far and near, they came one and all. They came to end the world.
The machine labeled SCP-720 put the last finishing touches on the final model planet in its most recent solar array. It trained its claw upward, as if looking once more, wistfully, to the stars.
SCP-720 had no name, no thoughts the way humans would account for thoughts, and certainly no internal mechanism for vision. But you would have to say that it could 'see' nonetheless, for what else could you call what it did when it directed its mechanical parts towards the sky?
Either way, this time, SCP-720 'saw' something different. Something prowling between the beautiful orbs and masses of color… something looking towards Earth. Looking back towards SCP-720.
A sea of glimmering eyes.
Words formed in the not-mind of SCP-720.
Today is the day your prayers will be answered.
A long moment passed, and then a single other word formed in the not-mind of SCP-720, and vibrated there for a long time.
And so it did.
What appeared to be a vast wall of fur approached the Earth, sank through the sky, and landed on the ground, to find everything it had loved gone. Her fellow gods were on their way, but as always, she had arrived first, a mother eager to be reunited at long last with her children, now that the time of the end had come.
She had been gone for thousands and thousands of years. She had gone as her children had first looked to the stars, and it was then that she had known that they would be alright.
And now there was no trace of them.
Their beautiful webbed cities, their songs that had filled the planet with joy, their vast works of art to stun even a god's eye - gone. All gone. All that remained were their bones, and living on top of them, the hairless apes that they had once kept in zoos with other animals, now risen to dominate the planet. And they did not even remember her children. They moved through their lives like ants, building their wooden and metal hives over the graves of her greatest loves. This was sacred ground they defiled, and they did not know or care.
Ur-An-Uum raised her head to the sky and cried a rending wail of anguish.
She mourned for a long time, a noise heard on high, her wails causing earthquakes and tsunamis across the planet, weeping for her children. She did not quell her sorrow. The only things left to die from her pain were the furless apes. This was to be a time of joy, but there was only sorrow left. She would not be comforted, for her children were no more.
She felt something. The tiniest glimmer in her mind.
And she felt hope.
Ur-An-Uum called out for her children, the creatures that she now knew the furless apes called a sea of derogatory names, the least insulting of which was "SCP-1000".
Her children answered.
The entity awoke with a start, not knowing where it was, or, on reflection, who it was. All it knew was that The Time Had Come.
It rose from its grave, shattering a mountain as it did so, and hurtled itself into the atmosphere, trying to get its bearings.
The entity gazed across the world. Everything was different. Humans - they were everywhere. Not just scattered here and there across the great expanses, but living in massive villages, villages the likes of which the entity had never seen.
Not that it was complaining. Humans had fed it well with their worship and blood sacrifices in the olden days. Now that there were so many more humans, why, the entity would certainly soon be satiated beyond compare.
This was fortunate, because it had been asleep a very long time, and it was very hungry.
The entity cast about for a place of power. And found far too many. Far more than there had ever been before. It did not understand what to make of this knowledge, but, again, it did not complain. It only needed to pick one place of power for now, a simple one, to give it initial shape again. It chose the nearest one. A "Foundation Containment Site". Yes, this would certainly do. The humans had already invested this place with much of their energy. It must be a sacred place to them. An Es See Pee, they called it.
The entity would dine well indeed.
It wasted no more time, but hurtled directly into the place of power - a body of water, it saw - and landed inside it with a massive impact. It drank in the place of power and everything in it - the water, the local wildlife, the human-made metalworkings and detritus - and took the shape of a massive titan be-straddling the countryside. Man-shaped, so that the humans would understand the form to which they would soon direct their hearts and their prayers and their blood and their pleadings for mercy.
The eldritch entity that had merged with SCP-765 opened its mouth.
"QUACK," it said, its voice reverberating across the land.
First the rooster of crimson crowed, then the rooster of gold, then the rooster of soot-red.
A bloodstained watchdog bayed in its cave. Its eons-old bindings broke, and it ran free.
The sound of a great trumpet echoed across the Earth, with no apparent source. People stopped in the streets in New York, Delhi, London, Cape Town, and listened in confusion.
The Midgard serpent Jörmungandr stirred in its slumber. The shifting of its form caused tsunamis along several coastlines, demolished a number of villages in Greenland. A massive wolf, visible from hundreds of miles away, stalked across Denmark, accompanied by an army of burning giants.
Ragnarok had come.
The Administrator swung around in her chair to face the man who had just entered the room behind her.
"You knew I was coming," the man said. "You let me in."
"Yes," said the Administrator.
"You know you're dreaming, I'm sure," the man said. "And of course… you also know who I am."
"SCP-990," the Administrator said. She looks at him again. The suit, the bowler hat… or was that a fedora? "Nobody," she said. "But most importantly…" She picked up a file folder on her desk. "The first Administrator."
The two Administrators looked at one another.
"I saw you in the crowd in the Valley," the current Administrator said. "I knew to expect it, but… tell me it isn't true."
"I'm sorry," the first Administrator said. "It's true."
"This betrays everything we stand for," the current Administrator said. "You said it once yourself. We secure. We contain. We protect. We keep humanity out of the dark. For you to become one of these things…"
"I also said that the Foundation must stand in the dark, so that humanity could live in the light." The first Administrator hesitated. "Please believe me, if there had been any other choice to make, I would have made it. This has to be done. I hope you'll see why, soon." He hesitates. "I came here hoping to recruit you, you know. You and yours. I am sorry that I cannot tell you more, but I hope you will consider my offer."
"Tell me something," the current Administrator said. "This 'Harbinger'. Who are they?"
"I don't know," the first Administrator said. "It's true that I anticipated this for a long time, but… this chain of events blindsided me too."
"I know it's one of yours." The current Administrator's voice sounded impatient for the first time. "Who is it? Someone loyal to you, of course. Only someone with level 5 clearance could have pulled this off, so that does narrow the list down. Charles Gears? Jack Bright? Alto Clef? Kain Pathos Crow?" She paused. "I know it's not Sophia Light. Frederick Williams? Chelsea Elliot? Hell, Simon Glass?"
"I sincerely do not know," the first Administrator said. "Listen. The O5 Council is already compromised. SCP-343. And… well, you know the rest. I've cut off their communications, but they won't wait long to move. We should be in this together."
"I agree," the current Administrator said. "I know enough to know you don't have to do this. You'll have a compulsion, but I'm told it's minor. Easily overcome. Perhaps will not even return."
"The world must end," the first Administrator said. "Help me end it in the only way the Foundation — the only way humanity — will come out on top. There are more world-enders coming. You already know that dozens are already awake, and that hundreds soon will be. More and more will be waking up, the longer the Lock is open. And worse, more will arrive. The ones not already on Earth. This is the only way forward we have."
"Then we do not have anything left to say to each other," the current Administrator said.
"I am truly sorry to hear that," the first Administrator said.
"As I am truly sorry to say it," the current Administrator said.
The two Administrators nodded at each other, respectfully, and turned away from each other.
The first Administrator walked away and dissolved into the dreamscape. The current Administrator turned back to her dream-desk and waited for the sedative she'd taken to wear off.
Then she woke up, and got to work.