Personal Log of: Agent A█████ A██████, Mobile Task Force Omega-7, "Pandora's Box."
Date: October 10, ████
I shoulda taken the blue pill.
When Dr. ██████████ told me that he had an opening for a doctoral research assistant with a high-level government agency, I thought he meant the CIA or NSA or something. I never expected… well, this.
This job is a nightmare. I haven't seen my family in months. I sleep down the hall from a field agent who has a giant gear sticking out of his neck after a bad run-in with some nano-agent. Thirty minutes ago, a guy ran in and told me to grab a mop: someone decided to feed the seven-legged dog a bit of cheese, and the stink is horrific. Sometimes I wonder whether I'm dead and in hell.
No, hell would be too sane compared to this madness.
At least I don't have to deal directly with any of the SCPs: my job is monitoring staff on site for signs of fatigue and PTSD, and I'm telling you, that's a full-time job. When your nine-to-five is trying to keep Things That Should Not Be from getting out and killing everyone with some mind-bending bizarro power, you tend to get a bit edgy. Had a patient the other day tried to put a knife through the back of his own hand: he'd been working around some thing that apparently gets into your bloodstream and eats you from the inside. He'd been getting less than four hours of sleep a night, and apparently got so messed up he got hallucinations, started thinking he'd been infected even though he checked out clean. Had to knock him out and keep him strapped to a bed overnight while he finally got some rest. Then he jumped back in and went back to his job like nothing happened. Insane.
It's better than what ████████████████████ has to do, though. He's trying to build a psychological profile of some freak bastard who apparently can't die and can make swords out of thin air. Yeah, just like that. Seriously, what is with this place? It's like some sort of insane story dreamed up by a fevered madman. My god.
Gonna try and get some sleep now. Hopefully I'll manage to do so without those freaky rolling eye things running in and staring at me all night.
Date: October 11, ████
So I walk in this morning, and Dr. Franks tells me that ████████████████████ is dead, and now I'm in charge of his project. Joy.
Spent the day going over the file on this SCP-076. My god, it's worse than I thought. This guy is not only a complete psychopath, he's got all the powers of some freakish adolescent fantasy. How the hell am I supposed to analyze someone who doesn't like to be analyzed and can kill an elephant with his bare hands?
This is gonna take a little finessing. I've got an idea, though.
I met Josie the Half-Cat today. I petted her and she rubbed up against my leg. Weirdest feeling having a cat rub hindquarters that aren't there against your shin.
Date: October 12, ████
My idea worked. TOO well.
I thought I'd gain some rapport with 076 by chatting with him over a game or something, something to break the ice. As a warrior type, I thought he might enjoy a board game, something that needs strategy. I chose Stratego, since I've never been a fan of chess, and I've never really enjoyed Go or checkers. He seemed amiable enough, although he kept staring at me hard the whole time I was explaining the rules.
Tried to break the ice and get him to talk more about himself between turns. Didn't work. He was totally engrossed in the game, trying to break apart my strategy. After a while, he got me doing it too. I'd intended to let him win, but about nine turns in, I realized that he was using a really simple tactic: he'd taken his Marshal and was using it to beat down everything by itself, carving a giant swath of destruction in my ranks. I managed to lure him into attacking my Bomb, blew up his Marshal. He then sent his Miners in to take out my Flag, but it wasn't there: I'd used the Bombs as a lure to draw him away from my left, where my Scouts and Miners were. His Flag wasn't too hard to find, and then my Scout ran in and captured it for the win, behind a screen of Miners who disabled his Bombs.
He got really quiet, and I thought he was going to get mad, but then he smiled. "Congratulations," he said, shaking my hand (my fingers still hurt even two hours later). "You are in."
"Task Force Omega-7. You defeated me in a battle of wits and honor, and now you are one of my chosen elite."
That wasn't what I'd planned at all. "I hadn't intended to join your group. I'm a scholar, not a warrior."
"Now you are both." He clapped my shoulder so hard it bruised and walked away.
I tried to get out of it with the section chief. He refused to allow it. "You've got a perfect chance to do a psych profile on Seventy Six," he said. "You'll be around him day and night. A perfect chance for long-term observation."
So ummmm… yeah. Tomorrow I'm checking in for basic training with a bunch of freaks and maniacs who hang around with a completely indestructable killing machine and go straight into the most dangerous situations the Foundation encounters with the intent of kicking its ass. Me, a desk jockey geek with a Masters in Psychology. I guess I could transfer out, but given SCP-076's history of behavior around people he considers weak, that might be career suicide. Or even actual suicide.
I'm so gonna die.
Date: October 27, ████
I'm not dead yet.
My first day of training, however, I wished I was. I shoulda known something was wrong when I showed up and saw about ██ guys (and a few girls) standing around wearing tiny shorts and tank tops: none of them seemed to have an ounce of fat on their bodies, and a couple looked like they could beat the fuck out of Arnold Schwartze… shwan… the Governator… in a no-holds barred brawl. And that's when I show up with my slight beer belly and wire-frame glasses and milquetoast smile, and everyone turns and looks at me like I'm something rather nasty that the dog just did on the carpet.
Seventy Six started them off with a five mile run, ran along next to the group… I should say jogged along… hitting the slowest guy with a rattan stick the whole time to encourage him to run faster. I've still got the welts. By the time it was over, I was nearly passed out on my feet, and then Seventy Six started having us do pushups and pullups and other exercises that I'm convinced were originally developed by the Spanish Inquisition to deal with particularly stubborn heretics.
So I went to bed hurting in places I didn't know I hurt, but if I thought that was pain, I was in for a treat. The next day, Seventy Six started me on some Israeli martial art called "Krav Maga," which I'm convinced is Hebrew for "Kill the Fucking Goyim," no matter what Wikipedia tells me. The highlight of that day's training was running the fuck away after B████ decided to pick up a fucking ROCK and chase me with it. I think I actually pissed myself.
The next day was actually worse.
This is the first chance I've had to write in my diary for a long time: I've just been too exhausted to do more than pass out every chance I get. But Seventy Six told me to take the weekend off. I slept the first thirty hours of it, and god, was it worth it.
He tells me that tomorrow is my final exam. I don't know what that's gonna be like. I'm not looking forward to it at all.
Date: October 28, ████
I wash and I wash, but I can't seem to get it out.
Seventy Six met me alone outside the testing chamber. I was a bit surprised to find any of the members of Omega Seven weren't there. "The last test you take alone," Seventy Six said.
He walked me into the room, and there was a guy tied to a chair: Class D Personnel from the looks of his jumpsuit. The entire room was very clean. Tiled floor, tiled walls, sprinklers in the ceiling, a big drain in the center. There was a tray of surgical instruments next to him.
"Pick up one of the blades, any one," Seventy Six told me, "and start cutting."
I started cutting the ropes. Seventy Six hit me in the face. "No. Start CUTTING."
I dropped the scalpel. "I can't."
He reached into his shadows and pulled out… it was long, and it had a lot of hooks and saw edges and ripping blades to it, whatever it was. "You will. Or I will tire of this entertainment and find some elsewhere. Probably by killing as many of your people as possible, saving you for last, so that you will see them all die."
I didn't answer. He looked at me for a long long while. Then he went to the door.
I think I screamed when I grabbed the knife and stabbed it into the guy. I'm pretty sure I did, because I tasted pennies, which means I'm pretty sure that some of the poor bastard's blood got in my mouth… Seventy Six smiled at that and turned around. "Good," he said. "Now use the hook to pull out his eyes."
… I don't think I can say any more, but… he screamed the whole time, and by the time it was done, I was gone. Stupid of me, I should have seen it coming. Break down my defenses, make me pliable to commands, classic example of mental reprogramming. I learned this in freshman year at █████ for crying out loud, but I fell for it.
He didn't seem pleased. He told me that I needed to get used to killing. He told me to go down to the labs every day, choose a cat or a monkey or a dog - no rats or mice - and kill one every day. Vivisect it alive. Really let myself feel the blood spurt. Said I needed to put aside my weaknesses. Learn to become harder. Stronger.
A monster, that's what he wants me to become. A sociopath. Just like him. No empathy, no guilt, no feelings other than fear and anger. A monster.
I won't let him beat me.
Date: October 31, ████
I was in the lab doing a live dissection of a rhesus monkey when B███████ knocked on the door. "Meet up in the deployment bay in fifteen," she said. "We've got a mission."
I gave the screaming monkey a lethal injection of adrenaline into its heart: it wasn't hard, given the fact that I'd already cracked the ribcage and laid the organ open. B████████ seemed a bit sympathetic as she waited for me to wash the blood off my apron. "We've got an active SCP somewhere in the ██████ area," she said. "Seems dormant, but Command believes it could go active at any moment. Keter-class."
"What's our cover story?" I asked.
"We don't need one," she said, tossing me a towel. "It's Halloween."
The others were suited up by the time I reached the staging area, and we really did look like freaks. The Hostile Environment Protective Isolation Suits (HEPIS) are designed to give you complete protection from all threats biological, chemical, and to also do a decent job against telepathic and mundane threats as well. In addition to the standard kevlar weave and biohazard suits, they contain a Telekill Alloy lined helmet and [DATA EXPUNGED]. End result is it makes you look like a super-soldier out of some videogame, all bulked up and scary-looking with a giant gun that M█████ F████ wouldn't mind using against some L██████. Seventy Six just wore his usual outfit, of course, which was scary enough.
That was the first time I met Iris, too: She was the only other one who wasn't wearing a uniform, was in fact dressed up like a video game character (whom I later found out was J███ from "██████ ████ ███ ████") She had this big camera around her neck and she was wearing a very sensible leather jacket and pants. When I saw her, she was arranging some polaroid pictures in various pockets around her vest and pants. "In case I need them" she said.
We piled into two vans and drove down to ██████ ████████. Fun times. A lot of young people standing around wearing fancy costumes and generally having a great time in a giant three-block outdoor party. We got a lot of attention, and even posed for a few pictures [REVIEWER'S NOTE: Upon Covert insertion and review of photographs, it has been determined that no essential data has leaked. Termination order for civilian bystanders cancelled]. We moved fast, though: our guy on-site was waiting for us, and Seventy Six looked like he was going to snap and kill some poor drunk valley-girl dressed up like L███ C████ who wouldn't stop trying to hit on the tall, brooding, strong goth guy with the realistic-looking prop sword.
The target was in the sewers underneath the party: SCP operatives had managed to trap it in a section of the tunnels, but eventually it was going to make a break for it. We met up with our guy on-site, who was guarding the only exit door. Two operatives set up claymore mines while Iris snapped a picture of the trigger mechanisms. "If it tries to open the door without me reaching through the photo and flipping the switches, it'll blow itself up," she said, sliding the photo into a waterproof bag and slipping it safely into a breast pocket.
Seventy-Six led one team, the other two were led by W███████ and K████. Iris and I were with Seventy Six in the "Special Elements" squad. I stuck close to Seventy-Six before Iris waved me back. "Don't get too close," she said, making a gesture like swinging a sword. "Sometimes, he swings without checking his blood circle first." I took a couple of steps back after that.
Seventy Six seemed to change the moment we went into the danger area: he leaned forward, like a panther, sniffing the air and smiling as he ran a finger along the slick, moldy brick wall. I wasn't so happy. I was in a big, bulky suit that cut down my vision to the sides and back, hearing the sound of my own breathing and the pounding of my own heart. The flashlight didn't light up the darkness enough, and my night vision didn't help either: just made things even spookier with its grainy green appearance.
So when it grabbed me by the neck and dragged me down into the sewage, all I could really do was scream a lot. My helmet was sealed, and I had my own O2 supply that kicked in the moment I got dragged under, so I wasn't in danger of drowning. Choking, yes, the thing's tentacles were grabbing me around the neck and squeezing the life out of me. I had barely enough time to pull the trigger of my gun, feel nothing go off, and realize that I'd forgotten to take it off safety before I blacked out.
I came to in the van, surrounded by a bunch of guys who were looking really tired and beat-up. There was something huge covered in a tarp and strapped down by bungie cords in the middle of the vehicle, something that looked like a cross between a squid, a bicycle, and an MC Escher painting. Seventy Six was nowhere to be found. "What happened?" I managed to croak out.
"You got grabbed," W███████ said. "Able killed it. He's still down there supervising the burning of the eggs and looking for more of them."
"I guess I screwed up, huh?"
"Nah, you did fine." He put a cigarette between my lips and lit it with his zippo. "You lived. That's all we can really ask out of a first-timer."
Cleaning my suit afterwards was a pain: they look kinda like space suits, but they don't put elimination tubes in them, and my bowels did what bowels will do when you get the shit scared out of you (Note to self: consider wearing Depends the next time I go into the field). Seventy Six didn't say a word to me afterwards. No one did. But everyone's thinking it: what the hell am I doing in this group? I'm not a soldier. I can't shoot, I can't fight, all I can do is write stupid papers trying to psychoanalyze that which can't be analyzed by mere psychology.
So what the hell am I doing here?
Date: November 19, ████
Killed three cats today in the lab. The process seems to be getting easier, which kinda scares me: the screaming and mewling doesn't bother me as much as it used to. Maybe I should try burning them alive, next time. Trying to make myself feel something. Revulsion. Fear. Anger. Self-Loathing. Anything's better than just… emptiness.
We did a mission in a quiet little town today. Mining town outside ██████████. By the time we got there, though, about half the town was infected: they all had these things growing out of their eye sockets that made them look like they were weeping blood. We tried shooting them, but they just regenerated the damaged parts. We tried using fire, but it just seemed to make the stuff grow faster, made the infected people explode with the force of a hand grenade, scattering spores all over the place: that's how we lost Y█████. Tried a few other things: [DATA EXPUNGED] We eventually switched tactics after L████ rolled a VX grenade into an infected house: she'd confused it for an incendiary, as it turned out, but it worked. The nerve gas seemed to react to the infection somehow, kill it cleanly, but it also killed the host as well, made them violently reject the infected body parts: heart, eyes, lungs, liver.
Able ordered a resupply and regroup. We traded our incendiaries for nerve gas bombs, kind of like roach foggers. The procedure was to cover the buildings with plastic isolation sheets to seal them up, toss in a half-dozen bombs, wait about an hour for the stuff to really permeate, then move in and mop up the leftovers as needed. At least half the casualties were clearly uninfected: civilians who'd holed up in their rooms and apartments waiting to be rescued.
The elementary school was the worst. There was this one teacher who'd barricaded the doors against the infected, had kept her kindergarten class blissfully ignorant and safe, playing games and listening to music while the monsters roamed around outside. I saw her through the second-story window as I started setting up the covers: she met my eyes, and the look on her face told me she knew what was gonna happen next. I saw her tell her class something, I couldn't tell what, then she walked away from the window.
I was the first one through that door. There were a dozen five-year olds laying on their little beds, blissfully sleeping: the nerve gas had killed them cleanly and instantly while they napped. The teacher was seated at her desk, sitting upright with her head bowed as if she were just taking a rest. She had a mug in her hand, said something like "World's Greatest Teacher," had a crayon-style drawing of a little girl hugging an older lady in a blue dress. There were tears in her eyes. Could have been condensation from the nerve gas.
There was an infected on the roof: the gas must not have permeated high enough to completely kill him. He was hacking up his lungs and twitching a bit, but he wasn't dead, could still walk, and he lunged towards me as I moved towards him. I think he might have been a janitor, he was wearing a blue jumpsuit, and his left wrist had a compound fracture with the bone sticking out. I shot him in the head. Then I kicked the hell out of him with my steel-toed boot. His eye fell out after the fifth kick, so I stomped on it. It popped like a grape.
We were all really quiet coming back, except Able. Seventy Six was his usual cheerful self (sarcasm sarcasm). The rest of us… well, we're just soldiers, not monsters. Wiping out the town had to be done, and an airstrike would have had too much risk of letting the gas fly downwind, hit ███████ and kill another ten thousand poor souls. Explosives could have set off a giant chain reaction, spread spores all across half the continent. We did what needed to be done, but we're not required to feel good about it.
B███████ came into the lab a few minutes ago just as I'd started cremating the remains. She looked tired. Asked me if I couldn't sleep either. I realized it was almost 2am. She offered to stay up with me in my room. As soon as I wash the blood off my hands, I might take her up on that.
Date: November 24, ████
Happy Thanksgiving! Back when I lived in the Real World, the most annoying thing about Turkey Day was hearing my dad demand that we all say at least one thing we were thankful for this year. Well. I've got a few things to be thankful for. I'm thankful that I'm not dead. I'm thankful that the world didn't end. I'm thankful that Able didn't decide to kill us all and use our skins to make drum heads. I'm thankful that no one decided to expose the Slime from Hell to any dead bodies. And mostly, I'm thankful for B██████, the most wonderful girl in the world, who can not only [DATA EXPUNGED], but can also cook a damn fine turkey.
Bit of a small Thanksgiving, though. Able and Squad One had to deploy at the last minute and were out in the field chasing some giant rust monster that apparently was rampaging around this sugar factory, so it was mostly just me, B███████, Iris, and whoever else wanted to drop by for a real Thanksgiving dinner instead of the mass-produced stuff the cafeteria prepared. I Went around the facility asking if anyone else wanted to drop by and get some turkey. Gathered up a few folks along the way, then headed over to Dr. Franks' office to see if my old boss wanted some food too.
He was chatting with a rather nice looking guy: possibly Indian or Arabic, was going over the newest field reports from our Mobile Task forces. The guy was just listening and nodding the whole time, stroking the tattoo on his forehead. I asked him if he wanted to come too. "That's fine," he said, smiling. "We'll be busy for a while. If you would like, however, please bring me a turkey leg later."
"That's a good idea," Dr. Franks said. "And save me a plate. I'll drop by to pick it up once we're finished."
Figured the guy was busy, so after dinner, I made two plates with all the fixings, headed over to Dr. Franks' office. As I got closer, though, I started noticing something funny: the cornbread stuffing was starting to smell bad. By the time I got outside the door, it had rotted through so badly that the mold was starting to spread to the meat as well. I dropped the plates and yelled in surprise, and almost hit the "Containment Breach" alarm, before the door opened and the stranger walked out.
"Oh, hell," he sighed. "Not again."
So that's how I first met Cain. Decent guy, even if he isn't much of a gardener. Turns out he was just in town for the day to help Dr. Franks back up some files. "It's best if I'm not around here when Able comes back," he said, before he headed back into the helicopter a few hours later. Then he gave me a funny look. "When the time comes," he said, "Don't hesitate. Do what you must. I'll be fine." I'm really not sure what that's supposed to mean.
Note to self: Whatever ██████ brand cranberry sauce is, it's apparently not made of cranberries: the stuff didn't break down one bit around Cain. Remind me to choose a different brand next year.
Date: November 19, ████
No, the date is not a typo. Yes, it is four days before my last entry. Damn temporal SCPs.
I'm spending the next four days in confinement with the rest of my team to make sure that we don't accidentally pollute the timeline. I'm arguing with the security staff that it would be okay to let us out because, you know, time being an infinite loop and all, if I was going to meet with my past self, I would have done it anyway, and the fact that I didn't means that I'm not gonna. They tell me that the fact that I don't remember ever meeting my future self means that I'm gonna stay in confinement, so there's no point arguing about it. Is it too much to ask for just to get a moment's walk out in the sunlight? The damn padded walls are starting to move in on me.
I don't like this one bit.
The mission was a success, relatively speaking, I guess. We went into the facility with isolation suits on, to retrieve the artifact. Joint mission with MTF ██████ ██, "███ ████ ████." They took the lead, given that they've had more experience underground than we have. We were just there to lay down the pressure once they met up with the artifact.
We lost Squad three two minutes later: the members of that squad just suddenly up and died of old age within three minutes of coming into contact with the artifact's holder. Squad two managed to get out a distress signal before dying. Able closed in on the target shortly afterwards: weirdest thing, watching other people growing old and dying around him while he just kept aging away, hair growing longer, fingernails growing longer, but his body just not aging at all…
<DATA EXPUNGED> had him pinned down under an I-beam, but couldn't reach the artifact because his arm was cut off, and he needed the other one to pin down the monster. I was the closest. Popped open my emergency dose of double-oh six and downed it in one go before running in.
My hand instantly withered the moment I touched the item. I screamed a bit as the insulation suit rotted around me, but managed to yank it away from Abel and the Morphophage and toss it into the Box. B███████ slammed the lid shut and hit the locks, and the entire thing <DATA EXPUNGED>
So yeah, that's how we wound up here four days before we left. I managed to convince them to let me keep my journal, since it's not really gonna have too many temporal effects once I leave. Also convinced them to issue my past self an emergency ration of double-oh six before he goes. I'm sure he'll be confused about why he needs it. I sure was.
Iris seems… I dunno. She's not doing well recently. I'm thinking the stress of the job might be getting to her. Being one of the youngest members of the team can't be easy.
Date: ██████████ ██,████
B███████ came into the room today and told me that she's been given TDY away from Omega-7. "Something bad happened to █████," she said. "I've been asked to talk to her."
█████. That would be SCP-███. [DATA EXPUNGED]
Anyway, B███████ was a ███████ before she transferred to Omega-7, so I guess they figured she was a good person to talk to ████ ██████. She didn't think so. "I've never been raped before, A█████," she pointed out. "How am I supposed to talk to someone who has?"
"Just… listen. Don't let her blame herself. Let her know no one blames her. And don't let her depersonalize. She might be suffering from some post-traumatic stress. I can find a pamphlet for you on that."
"How the hell do you know all this stuff?"
"I was a psych before I was a soldier, remember? This used to be my job."
"Oh yeah," she said, smiling. "I forget that sometimes."
"I do too," I said.
Date: ██████████ ██,████
Retrieval Mission. Dr. Dantensen let Iris out for some reason. They've got the good doctor in solitary. How could he be so stupid…
Date: ██████████ ██,████
Retrieval Mission a success. I'm listing it as, "Recovered under pain of death from SCP-173." That'll sound good on the report.
We caught up to Iris at the ██████ airport, waiting for a flight home. She burst into tears the moment she saw B███████ and I approaching. "Can't you guys just leave me alone?"
<DATA EXPUNGED> put the gun to my head and handed her the polaroid of the internal workings. "You can stop me from killing myself," I said. "All you have to do is reach into the photo and pull out the firing pin."
"You wouldn't dare," she whispered.
"I managed to bring a loaded handgun through airport security, I can and will. And if you can still do what you can do, you won't let me die, because you're too good of a person to let that happen."
I pulled the trigger, and there was a click. She was standing there with the polaroid in one hand and the firing pin in the other. Then she fell down and started crying.
I let B███████ take care of the rest. My job was do
DATE: ██████████ ██, ████
They're all dead.
V█████. N█████. L████ J██████. All of them, they're dead.
Hang on, getting a call from command.
Transcript of Communications between Field Command Mobile Task Force Omega 7 and Foundation Transport Learjet 223
Agent AA: "Field."
Command: "Command here. Let me patch you in to Able."
Agent AA: "My god…"
SCP-076: "I still have a jaw to chew you out with. What is the status on the infestation?"
Agent AA: "The… the colony is in flight over ██████. It's going after ███████… oh god, if it gets ahold of that much silicon, then…"
SCP-076: "I am handing over command to you."
Agent AA: "… what?"
SCP-076: "You're in charge. I have already let Squire know. You'll <DATA EXPUNGED>."
Agent AA: "I don't… I don't understand. There have to be better agents…"
SCP-076: "Better warriors. But warriors won't stop this now. I need a general. I knew you were my general when you bested me in a game of war. You must best this enemy now. Mind, not muscle, will win. Think!"
Agent AA: "Think… wait. I have an idea. It's a marshal, but it doesn't have any other troops. I just need to lead it into a bomb…"
Let it be known on this date, Agent A█████ A██████ (Mobile Task Force Omega-7, "Pandora's Box"), while in extreme personal danger to life and limb, did personally engage a Keter-level SCP for the purposes of completing a retrieval operation. Although grievously injured during the attack, which resulted in the death of Agent Beatrice Maddox, Agent A██████' actions allowed SCP-073 to come into attack range of SCP-███, which was at the time rampaging through Foundation Facilities. Upon engaging the enemy, ███████ did <DATA EXPUNGED>
DATE: ██████████ ██, ████
able came by today. he heard abouyt b. it was hard goingn to the funeral. buyt we've all lost friends.
it's hard typing with no hands and no fingers. n i'm still getting used to the mouth wand. sime tomes i mmiss keys. it's my jourmnal. so i don'rt really give a ashiut.
i took a shard to my head too. one piece went into my skull. they say that it hirt part of my brain. mnty sense of empathy might be gone. whatever thar means./
i watched the footaghe of the team dying.; nirt was weird. ni thought i'd feel it more but it was like watching cats being dissected. jusat more guts and blood.
i hear they have a machine that makes you mbetter., i think i'll give it a trey.
Permission for Agent A█████ A██████ to undergo enhancement by SCP-212 - GRANTED
Log Ends: For further information, please see SCP-784-ARC