Every SCP - Part 3 - Beltane
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SCP Presented: SCP-2952

Dictator did not sleep that night. Eli had hoped that the exposure to the previous object would not have affected them that badly, but it had provoked them into an agitated state which they would not leave for several hours. They were unusually snappy with guards and other personnel, leading Eli to quickly finish his rounds and put them to bed for the night. They did not argue when they went to bed, only gripped Oliver tightly by his black leather collar and allowed him to guide them towards the bed.

Some of the higher-class personnel witnessed this change, and debated amongst themselves about the reason why. It was a debate Eli had to stay out of. He knew why Dictator had reacted so viscerally and almost violently, and it all had to do with the reason why they were created.

Dictator was created with the goal of eventual world domination. An impossible goal, yes, even for the most well-bred homunculus one could come up with. Their indestructibility ensured they would not die, but on their own, Dictator had no interest in hurting others.

The rest of the details from here were fuzzy, but Eli could piece together what he knew from talking with Dictator before to create a bigger picture.

Apparently, horrible things had been done to Dictator by the one they mentioned as being their Overseer: the one who had created them. They had been conditioned — no — programmed to kill, to hurt, to destroy, to eliminate. When they saw something they deemed as unworthy, it was wired into their brain to get rid of it.

After the Overseer died and more time passed, Dictator had gained more control over these impulses. They were still a child at heart, and wanted to be as “normal” as possible, but some things would never be erased. Time had brought back some of the innocence they had lost, but they would never be like a normal fifteen year old.

Normal fifteen year olds did not have blood on their hands.

—-

“Hey, kid. Let’s go see somethin’ to cheer you up with.”

Eli’s voice crackled over the intercom into the containment cell, where Dictator was slumped over against the wall with Oliver’s head resting on their lap. The tiger had curled protectively around them, and Dictator continued to stroke his head as they spoke.

“What do you mean?” They asked, eyes bleary and voice heavy with sleep. They were not immune to the effects of exhaustion, that much was for sure. “I’m not in a bad mood…”

“Yes, you are,” Eli replied. “And I’m gonna get it out of you, alright? Today’s gonna be better than yesterday.”

“Okay… yesterday wasn’t that bad though.” Shakily, Dictator rose to their feet, supported on one side by Oliver. The cat let out what sounded like a noise of distress, although Dictator did not appear to be hurting him in any way.

They walked slowly towards the door, and then waited for Eli to come down and let them out. Once the door opened, they stared at Eli for a moment, apparently not recognizing that he had even opened the door. Dictator was exhausted, that much was for sure.

“C’mon, we gotta hurry if we’re gonna make it on time,” Eli said, much more gently than he usually would. He gripped Dictator by the hand that was not currently curled into Oliver’s collar.

“Alright,” Dictator yawned. “Okay.”

They did not say anything else as Eli led them through the facility.

—-

When Eli got in the car to drive to the site where SCP-2952 was currently stationed, he did not know what to expect of Dictator. When they crawled into the front seat, they simply fell asleep, head bobbing at some points when the car went over a bump at any point.

It was thirty miles from the site where Eli was stationed to the site where the object was, which was why he chose to drive rather than walk. Foundation personnel of high enough clearance were allowed to use their personal vehicles to travel from one site to the next, provided they took the back ways illustrated by the Foundation rather than main roads. Sometimes, this caused their commute to be substantially longer, but it was better to do that than drive on a road where one could be easily followed.

When the ride was over, Eli reached over to push on Dictator’s shoulder. “Hey, kid, wake up. We’re here.”

“Mmm — hmm, leave me alone,” Dictator muttered, swatting half-heartedly at Eli’s hand. “I just got to sleep.”

“Yeah, I know, but you gotta get up,” Eli said, a bit more firmly. “I can’t have you outta my sight, remember? Up you go.”

Dictator grumbled once more, then leaned up in their seat and opened the door. Eli stepped out as well, walking around the side of the car to open the door for Oliver. The tiger jumped out, and immediately went to Dictator’s side, chuffing and rubbing his head against their leg.

Eli turned to lead them through the bushes, into the area where the object in question was kept. Dictator followed along on shaky legs, then paused as they noticed the object.

What appeared to be the front half of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi stuck out from between two bushes, mouth open and tongue hanging out as it panted. Although it was a hot day out, the canine did not appear to have any water or food nearby, though it did perk up when it noticed the two humans approaching it.

For a moment, Dictator was quiet, and Eli feared that they might react in the same way as they had the night before. Then, a smile broke along their face, and Eli relaxed.

“He’s so cute!” Dictator exclaimed, kneeling down to pet the corgi. He panted happily as he was pet, lifting his chin so Dictator could scratch it. “But, where’s the other half of him?”

“The other half would be the reason why he’s anomalous,” Eli replied. “He’s about thirty-thousand kilometers in length, give or take a few. His bottom half’s in Japan.”

“Wow! He really is long,” Dictator said, sitting down whilst continuing to pet the dog. “How come he’s so long? What does he do with all of that?”

“He’s a transportation system,” Eli said simply. “Parts of his body open up and take people from one point to the other. The entrances are tiny, but the inside is much bigger. We’re not really sure how he does it, but that’s a part of the beauty of the mystery, I think.”

“He’s adorable,” Dictator declared, leaning down to kiss the pup on the nose. He panted excitedly. “I would take you home if I could, yes I would!” Dictator cooed, squishing the corgi’s cheeks in their hands.

Eli smiled, and for a moment, he saw the childish innocence returning to Dictator’s eyes, and that was all he wanted.

“Do you want to ride him?” Eli asked suddenly. “We won’t go far. We can get on at the closest platform and get off at the first stop after that.”

“Wait — we’re allowed to do that?” Dictator jumped up suddenly, all signs of exhaustion long gone. “I’d love to! Wait, will we get in trouble? I don’t wanna be stuck in my cell for a week.”

“We won’t get in trouble, it’s classified as safe, and personnel are allowed to ride it since we figured out it’s not any danger. In fact, sometimes we have to ride it, to make sure he doesn’t get kidney stones again, or get sick.”

“Oh… well, good for us then!” Dictator replied cheerfully. “But, uh — how exactly do we get on? Do we have to crawl or something?”

“You’ll see,” Eli told them. “Just follow me. And make sure you stay close, alright?”

Dictator nodded, and stepped up next to Eli as the three of them made their way through the wooded area. They did not have to walk far; an uncovered section of the dog was resting a few meters away. Eli checked his watch as they walked up, then turned to Dictator.

“It’ll be about five minutes. Make sure you step back a bit.” Dictator nodded, and stayed back along with Eli about a meter away from the section. After a few minutes, it appeared to wriggle with excitement, before a tiny opening opened up along its side.

“Whoa — does that hurt him?” Dictator asked, worry tinging their voice.

Eli shook his head. “No, he’ll be fine. We’ve done some tests before, and it doesn’t seem to bother him.”

A few moments after the opening appeared, a few tiny entities walked out of it. They were only a few centimeters tall, and Dictator blinked in confusion as they walked away from the opening. “So… tiny people come in and out of it?”

“Yep. Now, do you still wanna get on?”

Dictator stared at Eli, as if he had just asked the most ridiculous question. “Yeah I do! Let’s go!”

They rushed forward, and in the blink of an eye, Dictator too had shrunk down to the size of the entities leaving 2952. Whether or not they noticed it in the moment, Eli did not know, and he simply shrugged as he stepped forward. There was no noticeable effect when he did shrink down, and he only noticed it when he tilted his head back and saw grass stalks towering over him.

“Alright, kid, where’d you run off to?” Eli asked, walking in through the opening and looking around. He spotted Dictator a few seconds later, sitting down on one of the flower seats. They were gazing at the strange scene around them, sitting between an elderly couple and a young mother with a small child. They were dressed in strange robes, though Dictator did not seem to notice it. Or, if they did, they simply did not care.

“Hi Eli! I think I got the last seat,” Dictator said. The inside was quite packed, with several people already having to stand. Eli realized with slight dismay that he was going to have to stand, and he sighed, leaning on a pole nearest to Dictator.

“So what is this place? It looks… really weird,” Dictator asked, leaning in a bit closer to Eli.

For all intents and purposes, “weird” described the inside of 2952 quite well. The walls, ceiling, and floors appeared to be made of birch bark wrapped around thin twigs. Dictator bounced a bit on the flower cushion of the chair, which did not seem to bother the passengers around them.

A voice crackled over what they assumed to be an intercom. “Now departing the Innermost Forest stop. Next stop is the Outermost Forest.” Dictator was quiet for a few moments after that as the system began to move.

“So what’re you guys dressed up for?” Dictator asked the young mother beside them before Eli could tell them to shut up.

“Oh, the Beltane celebration!” The young mother replied, moving her toddler to her other leg and bouncing it up and down to keep him occupied. “It’s going to be great. There’s the family-friendly one, and the big one. We usually go to the family-friendly one, since Beltane celebrations tend to be a bit… x-rated, if you know what I mean.”

Dictator gave a nervous chuckle. “Yeah, I’ve been studying Paganism for a little while now,” they said. Their eyes drifted over to a poster plastered on the right wall, reading “GET READY FOR THE NEWEST BLOCKBUSTER, STARRING [REDACTED] IN THE ROLE OF [REDACTED].” Must be the doings of the Foundation, they thought, before continuing their previous line of thought. “And, uh, a lot of it seems pretty… adult. I’m not really used to it.”

“You should come to the family-friendly event then! It’s so much fun, especially for someone your age,” the young mother said. “There’s lots of food, and fun games to play. It’d be right up your alley.”

“I’d really love to, but unfortunately my schedule is booked,” Dictator said after a quick glance at Eli. “But, um, thanks for the info.”

They were quiet for quite some time after that, swinging their legs back and forth as the system moved along. Eli was mostly checking for any abnormalities, but he could find none. The corgi seemed to be in relatively good health, considering the activities that went on inside of it.

The ride only lasted about twenty minutes, before they started to come to a slow stop. “Now approaching Outermost Forest. Thank you for riding.”

Dictator stood up, reaching for the bar that Eli was holding on to as they finally stopped. The doors on the opposite side to which they came in opened, and the two stepped out after Dictator gave a friendly wave to the young mother.

“I think I’d like to do that again sometime,” Dictator remarked as they walked away, back towards Eli’s car that had, inexplicably, appeared in their path.

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