Lilibeth Orion was sitting on the swing-set lazily kicking her feet back and forth. It was Autumn, and the trees were beginning to shed themselves of leaves. Their delicate descent from the branches to the ground had turned the landscape beautiful shades of orange and red, welcoming the changing seasons.
She wasn't as spry as she was when she first came here, those many years ago. Her once precise hands now shook when she wrote down her observations of the constellations. Her transition to living at SCP-2508 had not changed her fascination with space (nor her degree in astrophysics).
Sometimes, during quiet evenings before making dinner, Lilibeth would sit outside- as she did now- and watch the sun set. The swirls of flaming color would descend with that massive luminous sphere, until it gave way to the cool touch of the night. Dark shades of somniferous blues and black would seep through the horizon until all appeared still, and all was quiet.
This time, however, things were slightly different. She was steeling herself. The lull of gears turning beneath the surface of the field was clearer than it had been in times past, as the sound escaped from a small hole in the ground no bigger than 2 meters in diameter. With months upon months of arduous tunneling behind her, she had finally broken her way into some kind of structure.
She hadn't entered it yet. She needed to work up the nerve.
Perhaps it was time.
Lilibeth had not anticipated having to build a pulley system and makeshift elevator, but it had come in handy in the later stages of moving the rock and earth from the field. As the old scientist descended into the darkness, the metallic clanking of clockwork became all the more noticeable.
Finally, her junky elevator hit a metal grated floor.
With her flashlight clenched tightly in her hand, she stepped out into the tunnel. Her light scanned over the interior; copper-colored walls, rusted metal pipes, and wiring. It was clear that something was below the grate floor, but her flashlight could not see the bottom. There was no way of telling how far down this place actually went. One thing was certain though, and that was that the noise was becoming much louder. Lilibeth could feel the walls vibrate ever so slightly when she put her hand to them. When she removed it, her palm came away coated in a black grease.
The flashlight was Lilibeth's solitary source of light here. The air was humid and filthy, blowing through a series of vents above her. She followed the tunnel, turning towards the noise when it presented her with intersections. With the turning of the gears, the walls hummed all around, and the grating buzzed below. It was trancelike.
A brief investigation revealed half a dozen empty rooms throughout the tunnel system, with dirty and chipped tiled floors. There was little indication anyone had ever been there. They were not the interesting thing, though. The interesting thing was what lay at the end of one of the halls. There stood a large metal door, which seemed to be opened via a rusty crank on the wall. It's old surface still sported the remnants of a label: "Tower".
This was undoubtably where all the noise was coming from. But now there was another noise accompanying the gears, and it was the sound of rushing water. With hesitation, Lilibeth turned the crank, and the door opened.
Inside the sphere-shaped room she could see that she was still on a small catwalk (albeit one with stairs), that looked over the source of the now deafening noise. The machine in question was about 50 or so gears; huge ones and small ones, bronze ones and silver ones. Long chains of them connected to various bits of machinery and tubing that Lilibeth couldn't wrap her head around. All in all, the device was two stories tall, descending downward further into the dark. Lilibeth made her way down the small flight of stairs to the concrete base of the room. She was awestruck by the intensity and complexity of what she was looking at. Pipes labelled "FRout" connected to immense opaque containers that churned with liquid as the gears moved smaller bits of strange equipment. Layers upon layers of metal plates spun around beams, and tiny lifts no bigger than a book carried cylindrical canisters down from a small hole in the ceiling, to a small in the floor. Directly above her head several of the canisters were transported throughout the room via pneumatic tubes.
The old scientist was lost for words. All she could do was stare at what was in front of her. She was almost about ready to turn back when she spotted a narrow corridor tucked into the corner of the room. It wasn't the same copper color of the rest of the complex, but instead was made of cobblestone lined with pipes coming from the machine and the walls themselves.
Upon entering the room, it could have been mistaken for a spacious sewer; a river made of stone bordered by walkways and little bridges. But it wasn't a sewer. It didn't smell like one, and the water flowing from the evenly spaced pipes in the wall looked crystal clear. At the far end of the room the water fell past a grate and into what could have very well been an unending darkness.
The pipes were separated into groups of 6 small PVC pipes. All trickled a very slow stream of water, and all sets of 6 were marked by a wooden board next to it with some kind of identification. Lilibeth read the names as she traversed the walkway; "#322", "Projet Avalon", "91-XSM", "Slouthering", "KPI-&4", "Number 18504"…
And finally: "SCP-2508"
Lilibeth's heart skipped a beat as the information sank in: There were more.