Document 3813-L
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SCP-3813-P-75.jpg

Section of artwork 3813-P-75: Neapolitan artist Zhaites's depiction of SCP-3813 during its retreat to the sea.

Modern historical accounts indicate that the Second Punic War was fought mostly in what is now northern Italy, when Hannibal’s army descended through Transalpine Gaul and beat the Roman military in several key engagements. During this march Hasdrubal brought SCP-3813 south along the North African coastline, through Sicily and up the Italian Peninsula to Rome, where he met the Republic in open combat.

The Carthaginian Advance (218 BC):

In 218 BC, Hasdrubal met Hannibal and the Carthaginian army near what would be modern Valencia before their expedition east. After a week with the troops, Hasdrubal sailed south for Carthage. After several months of preparations, in the beginning of summer 217 BC, Hasdrubal, his brother Mago, and Hannibal's brother-in-law Naravas commanded a Carthaginian fleet east, towards Sicily accompanied by SCP-3813. As SCP-3813 was much too large to be transported in a ship, Hasdrubal instead walked the entity through the shallower waters of the coast and then across the narrow sea towards the island.

After passing Sicily on the north, the Carthaginians turned north along the Italian Peninsula and began to march towards Naples. The Roman general Cladius assembled a defense fleet at Scalia that was able to drive most of the approaching Carthaginian ships back out to sea, but was shattered once SCP-3813 reached the shallower waters and was able to emerge from below the surface. Hasdrubal halted his fleet in Scalia to await word from Hannibal in the north. After three days, the group continued north towards Rome.

Another defense fleet, this time assembled by a group of powerful Napalitan merchants, converged on SCP-3813 in the late fall of 217 BC. The leader of this group, a retired Roman commander named Alexius Marius Trudeus, launched several volleys on the Carthaginian fleet before retreating, being careful to avoid the much slower SCP-3813. Long-range catapults on the Neapolitan shore were able to deter SCP-3813 slightly and do some small amount of damage to the overall structure, but these were quickly dispatched by SCP-3813 as it swept its tusks across the beachhead and destroyed them.

The Ostian Beach head (Spring - 216 BC)

Hasdrubal and his fleet reached the Ostian beach head in the spring of 216 BC. Because Hannibal was still two weeks march from the city, Hasdrubal opted to wait until reinforcements arrived over land before attempting his beach landing. As he did, Alexius Marius Trudeus’ fleet arrived in Rome and reinforced the garrison there, preventing any Carthaginian retreat that did not involve action by SCP-3813.

At the same time, a larger Roman army under command of Marcus Claudius Marcellus approached from the south to reinforce the troops that had fled to Rome after their disastrous victory at the Battle of Cannae. The general is reported to have said, upon seeing SCP-3813 for the first time:

“They say Hyperion has descended upon Rome… and Rome will welcome him. As Apollo did to Helios, so shall the might of our Republic do to this bastard god.”

As Claudius Marcellus reinforced the beach, word of a second army approaching from the northeast arrived at the front. Hasdrubal, perhaps eager to see SCP-3813 in action and concerned about his growing number of enemies without word from Hannibal, decided to begin his attack.

On a spring morning in 216 BC, the Carthaginian ships made landfall. They were met by intense fighting by the Roman garrison, and were repelled. However, with SCP-3813 threatening to make landfall, the garrison was forced into a hasty retreat.

After two days of fighting on the beach, word arrived that Hannibal and the Carthaginian army had arrived from the north, and had established a camp near modern Ladispoli. Eager to reinforce the beach, Hasdrubal had ships fitted to move north and resupply the army, as well as ferry it to the established beach head further south. However the ships were not able to escape Marius Trudeas’ blockade and were all either captured or destroyed.

The Battle of La Dragona (Summer - 216)

With the Ostian beach established and supplies running low, Hasdrubal moved his entire fleet onto the beach to prepare an advance towards Rome. The advance was slowed by the fleet of Marius Trudeus, who ordered his ships to attach tow ropes to the legs of SCP-3813 and keep it from advancing. While the confusion did give Claudius Marcellus time to retreat to a more fortified position at La Dragona, SCP-3813 was able to shrug off the attached ships and, during a short battle near the beach, destroy many of them.

As Hannibal marched on Rome from the north, the entire Roman column fell back to the village at La Dragona, where Claudius Marcellus met up with the Roman rear guard under command of Gaius Flaminius. The Roman strategy was simple - find a way to slow the advance of SCP-3813, and wait for heavy siege equipment from the main Roman army of Scipio Africanus marching from the northeast.

However the men garrisoned within SCP-3813 were now able to fire arrows and drop oil and stones on Roman targets, as well as fire large ballista mounted on the sides of the entity and use its trunks and tusks to sweep any approaching army.

Roman catapults kept SCP-3813 and the Carthaginian advance at bay throughout most of the second week of the summer, but Hasdrubal continued to apply pressure to the Roman line. At the end of the second week of summer, SCP-3813 charged the Romans for the first time, resulting in many fleeing or being crushed beneath it.

While the entity did sustain some damage from Roman siege equipment, the Roman losses were significant. The better part of the Roman guard would not have been able to escape had it not been for a charge of heavy cavalry led by Gaius Flaminius himself, who was killed in the attempt.

The Roman West (Summer - 216)

With Rome finally in his sights, Hasdrubal drove his men up the hills past La Dragona and was met by a Roman wall. The wall quickly buckled under the weight of SCP-3813 and was destroyed, but not before further delaying the Carthaginian advance.

As they did, small pockets of Roman resistance continued to attack the army in skirmishes - most disappearing before SCP-3813 could be called to the defense. Annoyed by the lack of progress, Hasdrubal pushed forward, ignoring the attacks on his men.

The Carthaginians then experienced a significant setback when Hasdrubal’s son, Hyrum, was killed during an ambush. In a rage, Hasdrubal destroyed the nearby Roman camp utilizing SCP-3813, which suffered heavy damage. Hasdrubal then marched towards the Roman’s western camps.

The Carthaginians overwhelmed the Romans using SCP-3813 and large, sweeping lines across the battlefield, but each attack was followed by a Roman charge that threatened to breach the Carthaginian fronts.

Carthaginian runners indicated that Scipio Africanus was less than a day's ride out, and the smoke from his camps could be seen from atop the tower on SCP-3813. Hasdrubal, realizing he needed to seize Rome or face an attack on two fronts, charged forward, using SCP-3813 to smash Roman lines and disorganize their charges. One such charge resulted in the deaths of Claudius Marcellus’ most trusted officers and over 200 heavy horses.

The Roman lines fell into full retreat. However, the smoke Hasdrubal had seen in the distance was a decoy. Scipio Africanus’ host arrived and began a full rout of the Carthaginian infantry. Utilizing large rams mounted on the sides of wagons, Scipio furiously attacked SCP-3813’s legs, dealing damage to them and forcing the entity to defend itself instead of attacking the heavily armored Roman cavalry.

Realizing that he had been outmaneuvered, Hasdrubal ordered a retreat to the more fortified position at La Dragona, but found it too was overrun with Roman reserves. Using SCP-3813 as little more than a battering ram to clear a path, Hasdrubal and his troops eventually fled to their ships.

The retreat did not signal the end of Scipio’s attack, however. Utilizing technology gained from some of Rome’s Gallic allies, Scipio had assembled a number of large counterweight catapults and loaded them into horse-drawn carts. Scipio utilized these trebuchets to launch projectiles at SCP-3813 from a distance, dealing damage to the entity and forcing it back into the sea.

At this time, Hasdrubal received word that Hannibal had begun his attack on the Roman north, and that reinforcements were at hand. Seeing that the majority of Scipio’s host had turned away from the retreating Carthaginians to return to the city, Hasdrubal ordered his men to turn and fight.

The fighting continued for nearly a week. Occasionally SCP-3813 would move onto the beach and into range of the trebuchets, and would be repelled. The Carthaginian beachfront stood strong the entire time, occasionally reinforced by soldiers from Hannibal’s detachment. After six days of fighting, Hasdrubal began to move SCP-3813 north to reinforce the main force under Hannibal.

However a Roman general named Maximillian Arcturus Phenios sent divers under the cover of darkness to attach many large anchored tow-lines around the feet of SCP-3813. At the same time, as the Carthaginian encampment moved off of the beach, Arcturus had Claudius Marcellus move Scipio’s trebuchets further up and into range of SCP-3813’s position in the sea.

At first light, Claudius launched at SCP-3813 with no fewer than thirty of the siege engines. As SCP-3813 sustained damage on its side, Hasdrubal ordered the entity forward. The tow lines were strained, but held SCP-3813 in place long enough for Claudius to release several more volleys.

The front right leg crumpled first, collapsing on itself at the knee joint and causing SCP-3813 to lean forward precariously. Fires began to break out within SCP-3813 as a Roman trebuchet punched a hole through the steel frame. Several escape vessels were lowered from the bottom of SCP-3813, but most of these were destroyed when the fires burned through the ropes lowering the ships and they fell into the sea.

According to Carthaginian historians, it was a strike to SCP-3813’s back right knee that brought the machine down. As both of the right legs began to buckle and collapse, the remainder of the crew jumped to their deaths. Records indicate that before collapsing completely, SCP-3813 took one more step with its front right foot towards Rome before the joint came apart entirely and the entity fell down into the sea.

Post-Event Analysis

SCP-3813 remains where it collapsed, leaning towards its right side with its front right leg trapped in the seabed underneath the main superstructure and its left two legs outstretched towards the other side. The story of Arcturus Phenios and the tow lines was originally believed to have been a myth1, but large stone anchors were discovered near the collapsed SCP-3813, furthering strengthening the story’s claim.

Despite the nature of the attack on Rome by SCP-3813 and the effect it is believed to have had on the Roman psyche, almost no information about it survived to the modern day as part of the collective historical consciousness. Indeed, it seems that in the years following SCP-3813’s collapse2, as Hannibal continued his conquest against Rome, a massive undertaking occurred to obscure the facts of the event or erase them entirely. Which group was responsible for this, if any, is also unknown.

Despite this, and due to the number of texts detailing the event that Foundation assets have been able to compile, it is believed that the destruction of SCP-3813 is the single largest pre-modern history example of a supernatural event being removed from the historical record.

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