Into the Beetle Black Yonder
rating: +13+x

Incident 2161-BETA

Beginning on 2018/12/02 and ending on 2018/12/15, the rate at which SCP-2161-1 produced blank sheets of paper sharply increased. In addition, SCP-2161-2 affected several files on the Foundation database, producing a high amount of whitespace in essential containment documents. Measures were implemented to combat this: additional space was installed in SCP-2161-1's warehouse, and TSATPWTCOTTTADC.aic was commissioned to identify unauthorized file modifications and remove any whitespace.

At the conclusion of the incident, several sheets of paper were identified to contain typed text, apparently a series of journal entries detailing "Dr. Harper"'s investigations into an alien planet. The full text of this journal has been transcribed below, with all excess whitespace expunged.

After all of this time searching, I have finally found a planet. A future home for humanity, perhaps. Given the apocalyptic events the Earth is battered with on a nearly monthly basis, and I wish to find a new planet to reside on. After all of this time, I have found one.

I am observing it from a distance, as I have kept the engines in low-power mode, and it takes some time for them to return to full power. It is about the same size as Earth, and appears to be within the "Goldilocks Zone." With the tools available to me, I was able to determine that the planet has the same climates as Earth, and shares a temperature range comparable to that of Earth's.

I will update this journal when I am able to get closer to this planet, which I have named, perhaps out of my own ego, "Harper's Planet."

T Minus 7

I have now brought my craft within range of Harper's Planet, and my scanners can function properly.

Apparently, there is already sapient life here, and they have colonized the entirety of this planet's surface. In fact, I daresay that this life is almost as advanced as humans on Earth; they have a large amount of satellites, and, from what I am able to see from above, their technology is quite advanced.

I will stay within range of Harper's Planet for a week before I dock there, in order to let my scanners finish their work.

T Minus 6

I sent a radio message to Harper's Planet consisting of a simple greetings, in all of languages available on my ship's database. To my surprise, they sent back a long message, which my ship identified as Dutch. I was able to translate it; it mostly amounted to "what are you doing here?"

In Dutch, I sent back a message stating that I was simply a traveler from a distant world, exploring to find a new home for my people. I asserted that I had taken interest in their planet, and I wanted to come down to investigate their culture, or, at the very least, exchange some technological discoveries.

After a period of deliberation, they sent me another transmission. It entailed directions to an airport where I could land my spaceship safely, and a series of customs that would be expected of me as a visitor under their culture. I thanked them for their speedy response, and said that I would spend some time to familiarize myself with their rules.

In order to cover that lie, I changed my scanning system from active to passive, in order to make my analysis undetectable. However, in order to not offend them, I shall make use of this time to become knowledgeable in this planet's culture.

T Minus 1

As I have concluded my analysis, I have made the following conclusions about life on this planet:

1). It is human, or at least, genetically close to human. I was unable to get an accurate count of the lifeforms on the planet, but I know that they are human.

2). Their society is different from ours. Their code of law is thin, and there is little mention of thievery, deceit, or other slights. However, they do consistently mention "deviancy," which I am afraid to inquire about directly.

3). This society involves some object or animal that is referred to as a name that my ship has no translation for: "Marce."

Tomorrow, I will go down to this planet for myself in order to experience their society. Hopefully I will gain insight into another possible place of salvation for humanity, or at least walk away with some new technology.

T Equals 0

I have now landed on the planet. When I touched down at the airport, I was greeted by an introductory party of five natives. Two stayed behind, saying that they would keep my spaceship safe. Three other natives offered to take me to a local hotel while they requested a suitable transport.

Once I was escorted out of the airport and into the city, I saw their city. It was magnificent at a scale of magnitude that was not apparent from space. Beautiful skyscrapers jetted out of the ground and grazed, and even penetrated, the clouds. They do not have roads; rather, they have what I can best describe as "conveyor belt sidewalks." I did not see a single car, or any other vehicle; I asked one of my escort about this, and they remarked that they had an underground train system that had rendered most vehicles obsolete.

The most peculiar thing by far here, however, are the natives. They physically appear similar to humans. However, they are much larger; even the smaller children are about three fourths of my height. I feel like a dwarf among men in this world. In addition, they seem more organized, more structured. From what I saw, there were no conflicts in terms of movement; people would simply move out of the way for someone walked past. It was almost like they had a hive mind.

Eventually, as the sun set, we came to the hotel: a towering metal colossus that reminded me somewhat of the Eiffel Tower. They took me to a room, and asked me to sleep.

Even now, as I am writing this down, I have noticed several oddities. Firstly, the bed is much more firm than I remember of Earth's. Secondly, this hotel room is somewhat bare; it has a bed, a nightstand, a bathroom, and not much else. Thirdly, it is decorated in paraphernalia of what I presume to be beetles. Beetle paintings, beetle sculptures, even the bedsheet had beetle pictures integrated into it.

T Plus 1

Today, I played witness to a horrifying phenomenon.

I woke up early in the morning. The days here are longer than that of Earth's. In order to preoccupy myself, I looked out the window, at the number of people on the roads below on their way to an early commute. While I was looking out and daydreaming, I saw signs of a struggle. In contrast to the order I had seen so far, there was a native frantically trying to push through others. Shortly afterwards, I saw what I presumed to be law enforcement, who somehow stopped the conveyor belt and cornered the man in front of the building.

First, they used some kind of energy weapon to either stun or kill the man. Then they took out bonesaws, and they began to saw the man open. They took out his organs, and took apart some of his appendages. I could not stomach this, and I forced myself to turn away. Once I steeled myself to look back out to the window, the only remnant of the man was a bloodstain on the conveyor belt that disappeared soon after it activated.

Even while I am inside of the transport vehicle on the way to the capital of their Science Committee (as they call it), I remember this incident. The driver asked me what I was doing, and I replied that I was simply chronicling my time on this planet for safekeeping. It's not entirely a lie.

T Plus 2

Another oddity I have noticed of this world is that lack of wildlife. The only animal life I've seen here, come to think of it, are the native humans and beetles. I didn't notice it until recently; rather than pigeons and rats and the occasional stray dog, the large city I was in only had beetles. Out in the fields that we drove by, there were only beetles, flying in flocks. I even once saw a man with a leash, walking a pet beetle.

I met with the representative of the Science Committee today. It appears that this planet's technology is actually far, far more advanced than even my own ideas. The representative was able to provide diagrams of working quantum computers, zero-emission cars, and even artificial intelligence. It appears they simply aren't using those technologies. When I inquired why, the representative dodged the question.

Of my own technologies, the representative seemed especially interested in my Harper Engine. I explained how it was powered by whitespace, and how it allowed me to travel. Unfortunately, I'd left the journals of the process of invention in my residence on Earth.

After our exchange, we parted ways. I said, almost as an accident, that I did not know what the "Marce" really were. The representative seemed almost surprised by this, then he chuckled and explained that almost everyone on the planet assumed that everybody knew what the "Marce" were. He said that he couldn't exactly "show" me, but he could take me to a hospital where it would become apparent.

T Plus 3

I am now in imminent danger. I currently fear for my life, or at least, my sanity. If I do not chronicle in this journal again, it would be best to assume that I am lost.

The representative and I arrived at a hospital shortly after I awoke. It was not what I was expecting; the exterior of the hospital did not share the elegant architecture of the other buildings I'd seen, and reminded me somewhat of a warehouse. We were brought inside through an unused entrance, where a secretary at a desk asked for authorization. The representative flashed a badge at her, and said that I was a guest. Even after this show of credentials, four armed guards still followed us into the interior of the hospital.

We got into an elevator that brought us up to a panopticon. Once I was brought up their and brought to the glass, I saw sights that made the incident of the dismemberment seem tame in comparison. There were hundred, if not thousands, of hospital beds, with none unoccupied. They were all being cut open, and having beetles shoved inside of them. I remember seeing the beetles earlier; flocks of them flying about, the paintings of them in my hotel rooms. However, I did not suspect that this was their true significance.

Even now, as I am thinking of it, it makes me nauseous. I saw children, no older than 2 years, being held down by their parents as they screamed and had a beetle fed into their bodies. I saw men being cut open with no anesthetic, and having up to seven beetles and once crawl into their abdomens. The floor was littered with chunks of flesh and rotting meat, making the floor smell something like a slaughterhouse.

I'm not a squeamish man, nor do I consider myself someone who shies away from gore. But at the sight of the visceral, almost mass-produced violence there on the hospital floor, I found myself retching onto the floor.

On the contrary, the representative simply walked up to the window and smiled, as if he was looking at a painting. Once I was done expelling my innards onto the floor, he called over the guards, and one of them knocked me out with what I presume was a taser weapon. As my vision faded out, I heard him say: "We don't need him anymore."

They stripped me of my clothes, my tools, and my weapons. I would not doubt that they would have taken this journal too, had I not integrated it into my body.

They took my translator, so I am unable to understand what my guards are saying, but I know that they keep speaking of the "Marce," and I believe they intend to put one of the damned beetles into my being as well.

[Data Expunged. Symbol has been identified as a Class-III Lethal Cognitohazard, and viewing without proper inoculation results in seizures and coma.]

T Plus 4

On this day, I must count my blessings.

My first blessing is that my memetic inoculations are still functional. I was able to draw a cognitohazard in this journal, one that causes coma. I got my guards attention by making my jail cell dirty using excretion-related methods I am not proud of. When one of them entered the room to punish me, I showed him the cognitohazard, causing him to fall. I did the same to his colleague shortly after, and I was able to escape my cell.

My second blessing is that the prison I was kept in was actually sparsely guarded. As far as I know, my cell was the only one with armed guards. There were guards on each floor, but they fell easily to my cognitohazard. Aside from myself, I noticed that the prisoners seemed pacified. Maybe a side effect of the beetles?

One of the guards' outfits fit well, so I managed to go outside. I can see the airport from here, but it's still a long walk away without any kind of vehicle. My third blessing, I guess, is that, although there is a police presence here, there are enough natives crowding around that I can hide quite easily.

I am currently writing from what I consider my fourth blessing: a supply cabinet I found in an unsupervised building. My plan is to rest here, regain my strength, then see if I can make my way back to my starship. I may require a fifth blessing.

T Plus 5

I arrived at the airport shortly after the sun rose. I had acquired a janitor's outfit from the supply closet in which I slept, and, as apparently each individual profession in this world has their own designated uniform, I was allowed info the airport. However, once I had entered the lauchpad where I was allowed to park my ship, I found its engine half-disassembled, and the door padlocked.

I found a bolt cutter that allowed me to remove the padlock. However, it took me some time to reassemble the engine, from finding the appropriate tools, to reverse-engineering my surroundings, to actually assembling the parts. Three times, one of the natives walked in on me. Twice, I was able to use my primitive cognitohazard to render them comatose. However, I theorize that the third had a high enough mental resistance level to only walk away with a headache. They alerted security.

And there I was, piloting my hastily repaired spaceship through the skies, barely functional, through skyscrapers and satellites, all the while being fired at with a manner of assorted energy weapons, gunfire, and missiles. I consider it a miracle that I was able to escape the atmosphere. However, as I left their stratosphere, one of their missiles struck true, destroying my fragile engine.

Given the fact that I was drifting in space, I decided to assess my inventory. Fortunately, my computer says that we will intercept another planet at the edge of this solar system shortly. They didn't find my supply closet, and I should be able to mine enough material to repair my engine. In addition, who I guess is a native engineer left a cache of reverse-engineering supplies aboard. Among these is what I presume to be a computer, that contains a list of planets that the Science Committee has identified for "future terraforming efforts." I feel that these planets could be candidates for a future home for humanity; if nothing else, I can warn any life on them of the Beetles, and prepare them for a future attack.

And so, for whatever injuries I did incur upon myself in this expedition, it looks like I made it out alive.

Several description of "Harper's Planet" within this journal align with that of SCP-3003. It is of note that SCP-3003-3 closed all wormholes between SCP-3003 and Earth from 2018/12/09 to 2018/12/17, and has refused to answer Foundation inquiries regarding these events. However, SCP-3003-3's Ruling Committee has announced the invention of a "Quantic Pull Drive" that will allow them to advance to space travel, and has announced that their terraforming efforts will begin in as little as ten years.

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