Recovered Journal of Dr. Garland and Attached Documentation
Huǒjù zhi Zi has been busy. After three years of grasping at straws I finally have the damned thing in my hands. I find myself somewhat disappointed; it is crude and mundane, maybe because it's illegitimate? It was crafted by ███████████, after all. It passed the incinerator test, so I guess it at least qualifies as one of their artifacts.
I should probably be grateful; it's been three years of nothing, and this gets delivered directly into my lap.
Anyway, onto business. I've pretty much established that, aside from not being able to light it on fire, the mask doesn't do anything until it's put on. Obviously, strapping an ancient magical relic to my face isn't the brightest of ideas, but the D-Class we made wear it are fine, and we won't make any more progress until someone puts it on. That someone might as well be me, there's only one other person with the qualifications, and I don't want Albert to take this risk. He at least still has a family.
This certainly is intriguing.
I did catch a glimpse of the mask's powers when the D-Class wore it, but I had no idea the effect was this intricate. I hooked up a Bunsen burner for the first few tests, and when I put my hand over the flame, it collapsed in my hand like a puddle of water. It was warm (not hot, just warm), and it really felt like I was holding water. I slowly drained the liquid flame from my right hand into my left, and then back to my right. Nothing spilled, at least until I thought that it logically should spill, then it did. The floor caught fire. Instinctively, I reached down and scooped the flame back up into my hands, and thought that it would be easier to hold on to it if it were solid. It became solid. I was holding a ball made out of solid flame.
I may have given ███████████ less credit than he deserved, this is certainly a remarkable toy that he's created. It doesn't seem, however, that the mask can create "gaseous" fire. When I tried, the ball in my hands shuddered and exploded into a fine mist; perhaps that's the closest it can get to actual gas. Maybe it was intentional, maybe he didn't want invisible fire "vapor." Maybe it was just too difficult. In any case, realizing that the mist would probably light the entire room on fire, I gathered it back in my hands and returned it to the burner.
The tricks it can do are interesting, but I'm failing to see ritual value to this thing. The cult never just made toys, they always had a greater purpose. I'm hoping that it will reveal its secrets under more…specific circumstances.
I'll conduct some routine human immolation tests tomorrow.
I don't understand.
Three subjects offered exactly according to the protocols described in [REDACTED], and nothing happened. Is the damn thing a dud? Was ███████████ just an incompetent fool? No, this mask has…something. There is power here, I know it. Why the hell won't it show itself? What am I doing wrong? I've spent a decade working on this project, I must figure out how it works. My entire career at the Foundation has been leading to this.
I'm not burning them the right way.
I must burn them the right way.
It is believed that the following two entries were written after the third testing session but before the destruction of the site.
let burn the warmth swim
The entry consists of three consecutive pages of inane text, often written over itself. The phrase "the third eye burns as it looks to the Father" is repeated in several places.
It is believed that the following two entries were written after the destruction of the site but before the arrival of security forces.
The molecules and thoughts of this facility have been liberated in the billowing. Flesh and steel alike return to iridescent heat, and to our Father. Only one soul remains, a D-Class that I found huddled and quivering in his cell. So young; he arrived here for the crime of liberating himself from his abusive father. Gene. His name is Gene. I will bring him to his true Father, and complete his liberation.
This entry is written entirely in burn marks upon the back of the previous entry; how these marks were formed so precisely is unclear.
Gene and I have become one, our flesh made into light reverberating with songs for the Father. Constructs burn away. I took his body unto me, and we became lost to the fires of passion. Then our bodies were sublimated, and only the passion remained. We have become the gaseous flame. We are a spiraling fume, outreached to the Father, and we will draw breath from his body once more.
Contact with Site-278 (Dr. Garland's location) was lost at 5:15AM on ██/██/2008. Aerial reconnaissance made contact with the site approximately four (4) hours later. Upon discovery, the facility had been largely demolished by what was later determined to be a series of explosions. Thirty-five (35) minutes were required to extinguish the flames, after which a closer inspection was instigated, resulting [DATA EXPUNGED]. Mobile Task Force Alpha-77 ("Crux Ablation," which is specialized to engage electromagnetic/thermokinetic entities) was dispatched to the area following initial losses, and successfully terminated the entity. The entity's post-transformation form, as indicated by recordings from the on-site aerial unit, was an autonomous and mobile (via levitation) mass of flame. Ground units have attested that the flames emitted frequently resembled human faces. SCP-2814 was recovered from the rough location of the entity's disintegration, undamaged and intact.
Eight (8) minutes following the entity's termination, multiple astronomical observation stations reported a 2.45% increase in detected solar radiation, lasting 14 minutes and 28 seconds. Standard information suppression protocols were sufficient to prevent public knowledge of the incident.
Attached Interview Log
Interviewer: Dr. Ryan Albert
Interviewed: Agent Esteban Vasquez
Foreword: Agent Vasquez was attacked by the entity at Site-278 and rendered temporarily unconscious by the encounter. Due to the possibility of contamination, Agent Vasquez is classified as an anomaly until further notice.
Dr. Albert: Agent Vasquez, is there anything you require or would like to say before we commence this interview?
Agent Vasquez: Are you going to kill me?
Dr. Albert: Not in the foreseeable future. My supervisor made an injunction to preserve your life on a conditional basis. You are aware of why we have to classify and treat you as an anomalous humanoid?
Agent Vasquez: Oh, I am. Are you?
Dr. Albert: Honestly-no. I only have the after-action report of what happened to you. This debriefing exists to verify our provisional decision to classify you as anomalous.
Agent Vasquez: So I have to give testimony supporting your decision to treat me as a scip?
Dr. Albert: Frankly, yes. We can't rule out the possibility that you will turn into something like Garland.
Dr. Albert: (Sighs) Look, Jack Garland was my friend. I knew him for ten years. We worked on the Huǒjù zhi Zi artifacts since the beginning. I need to know what you saw.
Agent Vasquez: …I don't remember what happened before I lost consciousness, there was just that thing coming at us and my teammates shouting. Then I woke up in the…storm.
Dr. Albert: Storm?
Agent Vasquez: A vortex, I guess. A tight column of fire; I remember that even as abstract and overwhelming as the place was, I was terrified by how tightly wound it was. Just…stretched and agonizing.
Dr. Albert: A vortex of fire?
Agent Vasquez: Well, partly fire. It was also made of voices. I don't mean that there were voices in it, I mean it was made of screaming.
Dr. Albert: Can you clarify further?
Agent Vasquez: Not really. I could see the voices, not people-I didn't hear anything. I didn't hear anything at all while I was there. It was horribly silent, but I could see the flames and the screaming.
Dr. Albert: Did you see anything else?
Agent Vasquez: I saw Garland, I saw the D-Class he killed, I saw my…teammates, and I saw the guy who made the mask.
Dr. Albert: You saw Jack?
Agent Vasquez: I saw their voices.
Dr. Albert: How do you know it was the mask's creator?
Agent Vasquez: I don't know.
Dr. Albert: Did they communicate anything to you, in one way or another?
Agent Vasquez: No…but I could tell that they were all helpless, even the creator.
Dr. Albert: Helpless?
Agent Vasquez: I'm sorry.
Dr. Albert: …Did you see or feel anything else?
Agent Vasquez: I saw the voices…attack the creator. I don't know if it was verbal or physical, I think both are the same, there. They called him "Heretic," and said something about "the father's brothers."
Dr. Albert: "The father's brothers?"
Agent Vasquez: I honestly know nothing more about what they said.
Dr. Albert: Do you have anything else to add at all?
Agent Vasquez: I saw stars. One of them, I think, was our sun. But I saw four more, and something wrong with all of them, our sun included.
Dr. Albert: Clarify "wrong," to the best of your ability, at least.
Agent Vasquez: The stars were very dim. The vortex seemed like it was…feeding our sun. It was making it brighter. But the other stars were trying to leach on it, I think. They were trying to "steal" the vortex from our sun. As the other stars got brighter, the screaming got larger. Not louder, well, maybe it's the same thing…I don't know. I…don't know anything more.
Update: While Agent Vasquez's anomalous status in relation to SCP-2814 has not been fully evaluated, he has been remanded to an undisclosed location for safety. Huǒjù zhi Zi is aware of Vasquez's interaction with and connection to SCP-2814. On ██/██/20██, a letter with no return address arrived at Vasquez's most recent residence. The only thing contained in the letter was Huǒjù zhi Zi's insignia (a three-legged crow, known as Yangwu or Jinwu).