It had drifted through the depths of space for millenia, an inert continent-sized mass of exotic matter full of horrific potential. Its target: the race of highly developed intelligent cephalopods probably inhabiting the blue-green third planet of an otherwise small, unremarkable sun. The beings who'd built it to tear apart the minds of what they believed would be the unassuming, betentacled inhabitants of the world had made a fatal error. Their vast intelligences had simply selected gelatinous proto-squids instead of scraggly, ratlike land mammals as the most likely future dominant species when they made their scouting run.
Now, the weapon unfurled its technicolor brilliance as it orbited just on the edge of the planet's atmosphere, blasting the hapless world below with skeins of obliterating energy. Billions of squid died instantly. But the bipedal mammals who swarmed the planet's surface… didn't. They gawped skywards at the huge machine, and as the killing energy washed over their minds something went… Click.
Deep beneath the earth, in a location so highly classified only 13 people knew about it, O5-1 took a drag on his cigar and adjusted the tattered fire-patterned cloak he wore over his bare, muscular chest.
"Ladies and gentlemen," he roared to the room. "Now we know for sure. This object… it-"
O5-7, whose long blonde hair cascaded like a curtain across the skimpy military outfit she wore, smirked.
"We know. It flames the passions of the soul! It can't stand in our way!"
There was a roar of assent from the Council, cut off by O5-1 jumping to his feet and punching a clean hole in the marble conference table with one brass-knuckled fist.
"It's been hijacked… by the toy maker."
There was a round of shocked manly gasping.
By the time the ancient weapon noticed the small, brightly-coloured spacecraft latch on to its outer hull, it was too late. The little vessel's airlock spilled open, and a small, sprightly woman in a purple spacesuit skipped gently out onto the weapon's surface. With a dramatic flourish, she reached into a satchel marked with a pinstripe 'W' and pulled out a small, remote-like device, it's surface blinking with horrifically whimsical lights. She raised it high and pressed a single button. Beneath her, the weapon shuddered as its firing protocols bent to her will.
"EXCELLENT," Doctor Wondertainment cackled to no one in particular. "AFTER FIVE THOUSAND YEARS THE ANCIENT WEAPON IS MINE! TIME TO CONQUER EARTH!"
O5-2, his hair a shocking shade of green, growled through clenched teeth as he stared in growing fury at the monitors.
"Impossible! Not even Wondertainment can wield such power!"
Down the table, O5-12, gigantic greatcoat swirling in an invisible breeze, stretched out a single gloved hand and bellowed "ALL FOUNDATION AIR AND SPACE ASSETS, LAUNCH FOR GREAT JUSTICE!"
"You fool!", O5-1 retorted. "Their weapons are useless against this kind of power!"
O5-4, blue-and-red eyes thunderous beneath a spiky set of green sunglasses, slammed the hilt of her katana against the table in anger.
"But what can we do?!", she wailed.
"We could use 'that' protocol," said a soft voice. It cut through the room like a knife. Silence fell and all eyes turned to the narrow pool of light at the far end of the table. All that was visible of O5-13 was the reflections from the light on his thick, mirrored glasses, and a pair gloved hands, fingers steepled.
"You don't mean-?", O5-1 replied, cigar falling from his mouth.
"But it is forbidden!", O5-7 protested, her face pale.
"IT IS OUR ONLY OPTION", O5-13 boomed. "WE MUST ENACT… THE GATTAI PROTOCOL."
The displays flickered, tactical readouts replaced with those two words, repeated endlessly. A mechanical pillar rose from the center of the room in a cloud of steam, its smooth surface broken only by twelve keyholes and a single red button underneath a plexiglass cover.
"All in favor?", O5-13 said softly. There was a rumbling chorus of assents. The O5, with the exception of -13, who remained in his pool of darkness, stood. They withdrew keys from their various manly, hot-blooded persons, turning them one by one in the locks. As O5-12 withdrew her hand-trembling slightly with excitement- from her key, the button began to glow red.
"Preparations are complete, " O5-13 said. "Activate when ready."
All eyes turned to O5-1, who lit a new cigar with a match struck off his thumb. Taking a deep breath, he stood before the pillar and raised a fist.
"FORBIDDEN CONTAINMENT SECRET TECHNIQUE: FOUNDATION PROTOCOL-!"
For a fraction of a second, there was an expectant pause. Then he drove his hand down on the button, shattering the plexiglass.
Doctor Bright knew that Site-19 had a couple annual costume contests. All quite normal, really. Still, as he knuckled hurriedly down the redlit hallway, emergency klaxons blaring above, he couldn't help but be struck by how… unusually some of the personnel passing him in the opposite direction were dressed. The hair, for one. Site-19's dress code was relatively loosely enforced, but it didn't generally cover dark purple hair with gold spikes. Or capes. Whole lot of capes, today. And several of the security personnel had apparently taken to painting ornate images of dragons on their helmets, and seemed to be carrying swords in addition to their sidearms.
Still, it was an emergency. Not that he'd been informed of anything. Which was worrying. He swung past a young female researcher with a bared midriff, wearing at least fifteen belts, and scuttled into an open elevator, hammering on the door-close button before anyone else could join him. As he pressed the button for the Site-19 central command hub, the elevator's small flat screen monitor snapped to life. He brightened as he saw the face on the screen.
"Agatha! Thank god, what's going o-aaaaaugh?"
Normally, the face of Dr. Rights on a TV screen was a comforting sight. In this case however, she appeared to be naked, floating in a tank of blue goo. Her hair (had it always been that long?) preserved her modesty, but the sight was still a surreal one. She smiled, and her lips didn't move as her voice flowed from the elevator speakers. There was a slight mechanical edge to it that scared Bright deeply.
"Bright! Thank goodness we've found you. The GATTAI protocol is in effect! We need you to pilot Site-19!"
"Didn't you get the memo? The Site is being converted to Mech mode as we speak!"
Rights giggled in a way that was entirely un-Rights. Before he could say more, the elevator dinged. The doors opened onto darkness, and something yanked him off his feet. He struggled in vain as his body was rapidly encased in a clingy garment, before being deposited abruptly into a small chamber that looked something like the cockpit of a jet, albeit one with four joysticks (one for each limb, it occurred to him), and a large wrap-around computer display instead of a canopy. The screen displayed nothing but swirling colours until he reached out a hesitant hand (oh god, what was he wearing? Was this spandex?) and touched one of the handles. It flickered into clarity, displaying a 360-degree view of the terrain outside Site-19. Rights' face popped up in one corner, and her voice hummed in his ear.
"You're all set, Doctor Bright! Attention, all Foundation personnel! Preparation for Protocol GATTAI is complete!"
A booming voice responded to her- it sounded almost like O5-1, but… more so.
"Rights, have you assembled five researchers with attitude?"
"Yes sir! Pilots, sound off!"
"Wha-", he protested, before being cut off by four windows appearing on the display. Oh god, he knew those faces. The first one, beard bristling, was-
"Grand Butterfly Knight Kondraki, ready to pierce the heavens!"
Next was Gears, and he was… smirking?
"Genius Brainiac Gears! Probability of mission success: 99%. Recommended action: Total destruction!"
Strelnikov was wearing far too much pink. And ribbons.
"Прекрасный Волшебный Солдат Dimitri-kun! In the name of the Motherland, we will of vanquishing them!"
Clef looked… about normal. Except for the helmet. And the soup.
"Chowder Ranger Clef: Justice will be served… hot!"
The golden retriever sitting on Clef's lap barked.
"Kain?", Bright gasped. "What the hell is going on? Are you affected too?"
Crow, who was wearing some kind of dog-leotard, barked cheerfully again, then adjusted his glasses.
"Oh I'm quite normal, Bright. Whatever it is, it only affects humans. But there's not much we can do at the moment."
"How can you say that? This is borderline XK, here!"
"Honestly, I'm having waaaaay too much fun. Just let it happen! Woof!"
Rights was speaking again.
"Protocol GATTAI is now entering Stage Two! All pilots prepare for synchronization!"
All across the planet, the earth shook as Foundation facilities (that were clearly not designed to fly) tore free from the earth on massive rocket boosters, soaring across the earth at improbable speeds to the location of Site-19, now hovering more than a kilometer above the planet's surface. As they approached, their various PAs wrung to the sound of Rights' soothing voice.
"Sites 15, 17 and 06 have arrived! Main torso interlocks engaged! Generator coils at 125% and rising! Combiner system online!"
The sites slammed together with impossible smoothness, exposed foundations unfolding into complicated mechanical structures that grasped each other before pulling tight.
"Site-28! -36! -38! Form: Left arm!"
At first, the object was little more than a vague outline.
"Site-66! -73! -76! Form: Right arm!"
Then, slowly, a shape began to emerge.
"Site-77! -103! -104! Form: Legs!"
It glistened in the sunlight.
"Area-02! -12! -14 -179! Form: Rocket Pack!"
It raised impossibly huge arms, chrome-white armor sparkling with black and gold designs.
"And Site-19 will form… THE HEAD!"
The gigantic machine was complete. A robot. A stupidly large humanoid robot, its face set in a look of stern confidence. When Rights spoke next, she was joined in her shout of triumph by the entire active staff of the Foundation. Except for Bright, of course.
"GATTAI PROTOCOL COMPLETE! BIG O5!! SHOWTIME!"
High above, Wondertainment smirked.
"So," she laughed. "They think their little action figure can defeat me? Jeremy, show them the power of a real toymaker!"
Far, far below, a small dog standing at the foot of the massive robot barked. Wondertainment pulled a small, colorful stick from her satchel.
"DR. WONDERTAINMENTTM'S ABRACADABRA SUPER PLAYTIME WANDTM, MAKE MY CORGI GROW!"
Abruptly, Bright's screen was full of dog. He ooked in surprise, scrabbling backwards as the hands of the robot rose up to defend against the immense jaws of the adorable, slavering beast. The others were… less surprised.
By the time he'd recovered from being thrown about the cockpit, the dog had already exploded.
"Wh-what the fuck..?", he murmured, dazed. And then, despite himself, "That- that was the tits."
Then the robot staggered as waves of pain washed over him. He gritted his teeth, grabbing the control levers with both hands and feet.
"The hell is going on?"
"It's… It's attacking my mind!", Rights screamed.
"Warning," Gears proclaimed, "Destructive energy attack in progress! System failure is imminent!"
Strelnikov just swore in Russian, but somehow managed to sparkle while doing so.
"It's… no worse than- than burning your tongue on hot chowder!", Clef gritted out.
"Wondertainment! You can't stop us!", Kondraki roared.
"She's- augh- doing a pretty good job of it!", Bright retorted. "Unless we have a way to- to contain this attack, we're fuckin' finished!"
"Containment? That's it!"
Clef gave him a thumbs up, and Gears just nodded.
"You are of genius, Bright-kun!", Strelnikov chirped, although it was patently impossible for a middle-aged slavic man with severe facial scarring to chirp. The pain began to fade.
"Energy effect diminishing! Shield strength increasing!"
"WHAT?! IMPOSSIBLE! HOW CAN THEY RESIST MY POWER! GO, MY WEAPON! DESTROY THEM UTTERLY!"
Kondraki stood, arms crossed.
"You fool, Wondertainment! You can hurt the Foundation! You can injure the Foundation! You can even try to contain the Foundation! But you can't contain…"
Bright joined in as they all spoke as one. He didn't know how he knew what to say, but he was saying it anyways.
"You can't contain the human spirit!"
And then, from between his simian lips slipped something he never would have ordinarily said. Within him a fire kindled.
"These four hands of mine burn with an awesome power! Their redacted glow tells me to defeat you! Take this! My Safes! My Euclids! And all of my Keters!
THAUMIEL-CLASS XK TECHNIQUE! CONTAINMENT BREACH OF JUSTICE!"
He screamed one final word, tendons standing out on his neck like cords.
In a single impossible instant, several thousand SCP objects breached containment at roughly the speed of light. As they sped towards Wondertainment, she had time for one last shout of rage and horror before their combined energies washed over her.
"I'LL GET YOU NEXT TIME, SCP FOUNDATION! NEXT TIIIIIIIIIIIIIME-!"
Bright grinned, and was in no way surprised to find that he'd grown about six feet in height and was now wearing an indescribably awesome scarf.
"You are already decommed."