- Date: 2015-02-15
- Time: 17:56
- From: Subsite 23-Delta-K6 Lead Research Analyst Dr Marion Kelster
- To: Subsite 23-Delta-K6 Chief Security Officer Frank Onegra
- Subject: RE: (Ex)Agent Paris - observations and SCP-2982 testing to date
Tests confirm it. Changing the contact details changes the person. CCTS Golan's 'species' was changed to Patella vulgata - the common limpet - by another test subject.
Golan displayed signs of extreme distress almost immediately. Physiological changes were complete within an hour.
It took a security detail three hours to pry him off the floor using crowbars. The mucus was everywhere. We're currently arranging suitable salt water containment. Sometimes the little things make you smile.
Dr M Kelster
"Real name, date of birth and designation?"
The man blinked under the glare of the lights, not fully comprehending the question. The room was bright, clinical, shadowless; a faint, lingering smell of disinfectant; wipe-clean furnishings; tiled walls and floor. Hygienic and stark. Things happened here, he realised. Things that the sterility of the test chamber could not hide.
The question came again, and this time he answered. "David Golan. July the 5th. 1975. D-2982-13."
Somewhere nearby, a pleasantly banal three tone chime sounded softly. A light above the door outside would be changing from green to red.
Test In Progress; Do Not Enter, Do Not Disturb.
"Time is 14:30:01… Diamonte-Kircher Stress Scale Indicator Blue-Indigo-3… D-2982-13, can you read the first line in green on the display on the wall directly in front of you? Read it out loud, in your own time, and tap your foot as you speak."
Golan squinted, his eyes still adjusting to the test chamber's harsh, unnaturally bright light. "The sun shine… shines… on the beach. Jane is eating an… ice cream."
"You're doing great," said the voice. A slightly bored, humdrum voice. "Your foot, though? Can you tap your foot, please? In time?"
Golan looked down as he answered. "Look; I'm not super smart but - " He stopped mid sentence. His foot was still. "That's weird. I thought - I mean, I can feel it tapping. God." He looked up at the lights; there were no obvious cameras to direct his question to. "Did you do this? Is this you? What exactly is this a test of?"
"Try not to get ahead of yourself," the voice suggested. "Just focus on the here and now." And then, as an aside to someone else, "Time is 14:31:02. Possible positive." And back to Golan, "Please describe your physical and emotional condition."
"I don't know," he answered. "Starting to freak out a little here. Tired, thirsty."
"There's water in the hydrating pouches. Fresh in the blue, salt in the red. Feel free."
"Why would anyone want salt water?" he asked himself. Nevertheless he walked over to the alcove and found himself picking up one of the red water bottles. It sloshed with a surprisingly pleasant, soothing sound. He held it close to his cheek before putting the nozzle to his mouth.
"Time is 14:33:42: D-K SSI Green-Blue-2," noted the voice, again as an aside; muffled, as if a hand were being held over the microphone. "Second possible positive."
Golan sucked, not quite sure how the salt water would taste. He expected to have to fight the urge to be sick, but it was a revelation; like nectar, or champagne, or good strong beer. Delicious. He drank the contents of the bottle within seconds and discarded the crumpled plastic husk onto the floor.
He licked his lips. He understood that this sudden taste for brine was unnatural, and no doubt part of whatever test he was being subjected to, but at a deeper level he didn't care; it was delicious. He picked up the bottle again and sucked harder, eager to get every last drop from it.
Even as he discarded it he was reaching for the others. One, two, three, four… The fifth he poured over his face, relishing the sensation of the water on his skin.
He was vaguely aware of the disembodied voice again. "Time is 14:36:57. Subject D-2982-13 has consumed six litres of salt water in eighty five seconds. Yeah… Likewise. Not this quickly, though. Fascinating. D-K SSI down to Blue-5."
"You know I can hear you, right?" Golan said. "Shouldn't you be on mute or something?"
"Not important," came the response. "What we're discussing won't affect the validity of the test."
"Really? What if I don't like it? What if I refuse to cooperate?" Golan countered. "What if I clam up?"
Another voice, female, quieter and therefore, Golan guessed, sitting next to the first. "Clam up?" it said, just audible. "Now that is ironic. Best line of the day."
"What does that mean?" asked Golan. "What the hell does that mean?"
"D-K SSI increase to Green-Blue-1."
He drew a deep breath, ready to demand that the test be halted, ready to demand to see a lawyer - but stopped suddenly as a new sensation squirmed its way into his awareness.
"You okay in there?"
"I don't know," he answered. "My feet are sticky."
Golan didn't answer. Instead, he sat on the single plastic chair and removed his standard assignment slip-ons, fumbling with suddenly unresponsive fingers to remove them. He flicked the left one off first - strings of thick, slimy gunk splattered outwards as he did so - and without thinking put his foot down on the tiled floor.
"What the - "
As the sole of his foot made contact, it squelched.
"What is this?" He looked down, fascinated and disgusted, as his foot spread outwards; no mass, no structure, just something with vague, amok toes, adrift like little pink lifeboats in a sea of nonsensical skin and flesh, veins like tiny wriggling scrawls of spaghetti spasming against orphaned bones.
One second, two seconds, three seconds, four.
And then the horror, the reality of what he was witnessing hit home. He tried to stand up, to pull away, his senses in revolt, but his foot was anchored firmly to the floor and he fell backwards, his arms windmilling and his bowels and bladder failing.
"And there's the Anderson Reaction, right there," said the voice. "D-K SSI Yellow-5."
"Oh Christ in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name," he whispered. "Oh God our Father, give us this day our daily bread. Hail Mary, full of grace…"
"Time is 14:46:32. Subject D-2982-13 is showing signs consistent with expected test results. D-K SSI Yellow-1."
Golan struggled to regain his balance. "You're fucking with my mind," he said. "Drugs in the fucking water. Christ, this isn't happening. This is not real."
He lurched forwards, the shapeless omelette of his left foot spreading outwards ever further. Except, he realised, it wasn't just his foot any more. The bone, skin and meat of his ankle and shin was losing its form; his leg an amorphous, pink-grey candle melting from the bottom up and pooling on the floor as it softened.
His balance out of kilter, his hands went out in front of him. His palms scuffed the floor but they too stuck to the tiled surface. He tried to pull his right hand back, and it came away a little, but it was thick with slime that sucked it back down again. He shut his eyes and this time felt the same thick, gluey mucus behind his eyelids.
Half-crouching he rocked himself backwards and forwards in fear, feeling his hands, wrists and lower arms becoming the same homogenous mass as his legs. He couldn't open his eyes to look - they were shut tight, and either the mucus or some other change was being worked upon them. Golan realised instinctively that he had lost them forever, and in that knowing was born a horror equal to any others. He knew that his fingers were loose and drifting, the flesh of his hands merging and congealing with that of his feet and legs, even if he could no longer see them. Four twitching, flailing, shit-splattered limbs blancmangeing into one.
"Please," he wanted to beg, but the words were mis-shapen in his mouth, his tongue suffering the same misfortune as his limbs, while his jawbone and skull shifted position, moving up, up, up and ignoring the previous rigidity of his anatomy. He hunched down, aware acutely that his spine was hardening and spreading, becoming a hard plate above and around the malaise of his flesh. Its progress forced his head down to the floor; he could but comply as his tongue grew large and overtook the confines of his mouth, his teeth finding new purpose and housing along it. The thick muscle rasped against the cold white tiles, tasting mucus, disinfectant and his own bodily waste.
Dear Christ help me dear Christ help me.
And then - almost some kind of crazy relief as his eyesight came back, though not as he remembered it, and not as he wanted it.
From the observation room, Lead Research Analyst Dr Marion Kelster looked on, contemplating the small wonders of her job. "See that?" she said to herself, "Eye stalks. It has eye stalks now."
"Time is 14:57:34," said the researcher sitting next to her. "Subject D-2982-13 is on all fours, body mass is undergoing significant transition in accordance with expected test results. Transition includes homogenisation and refunctioning of limbs, homogenisation and refunctioning of spine and other bone mass into a single unit, and refunctioning of sensory organs. All of the above in keeping with the physiology of patella vulgata, as per contact changes on SCP-2982 performed by D-2982-06 at 14:26. Diamonte-Kircher Stress Scale Indicator Orange-4."
"Oh Christ, no," exclaimed Kelster. "This is horrible. Just horrible."
Her colleague turned to her in surprise, taking his gaze off the video feed. On screen, D-2982-13 was trying to reach the door; eye stalks swiveling wildly this way and that, urine and faeces sluicing out from under his newly forming shell as his internal organs shifted and changed to suit their new anatomy. Golan oozed and shuddered and quivered his bulk forwards, desperate for help, for comfort, for any kind of reassuring contact; but the nerves and ligaments and muscles were still reimagining themselves, and they could not be controlled. He felt tears bubbling up inside, felt them manifesting as a thick froth, a skirt of mucus around the base of his shell, and he tried to scream; but his vocal chords were gone now, subsumed into the thick cord of his tongue and the feeding tube therein.
His eyes swiveled up to the hot, bright lights, hoping that someone somewhere would see the lucidity in his eyes and recognise the humanity suffocating with terror behind them.
"Just horrible," Kelster said again, and this time noticed her colleague looking at her.
"The coffee," she said. "It's cold."