Yahweh walked into the Valley, more astonished than He could ever remember feeling. An astonishment beyond words. He had never been at a loss for words.
The Valley — His Valley — was crowded. A massive flood of spirits, of winged things, of crawling things, of monsters, of people, of… of…
A spirit whale swooped overhead. A gigantic furred thing lumbered its way over a distant mountain. A cadre of tiny glittering blue humanoids blew past His face, giggling, and were gone. A pure black humanoid figure appeared, blinked at Him, and vanished again. A massive not-centipede skittered by, giving Him a passing glare.
Almost in a stupor, Yahweh made His way down towards the humanoid crowd, feeling, for the first time He could remember, the instinctive need to be near others like Him.
As He approached, a figure detached itself from a crowd. A poised, brown-skinned woman with piercings in her lip, and long dark hair. For a moment Yahweh found Himself oddly attracted—
I am not a man, to wish for carnal knowledge—
"El!" the woman said.
"Who are you?" Yahweh asked, before He could register the impossibility of the question in His Head.
The woman looked at him funny. "I guess it's not surprising you don't remember. We've all forgotten a lot in the past few thousand years. But you especially."
Yahweh could think of absolutely nothing to say.
"Asherah," she said. "It's Asherah. I was your consort for several hundred years."
There were strange stirrings inside his head, alien memories that He could not comprehend—
These were other gods, they were the false idols of the ancient times, He remembered being a god of the wind and a god of storm and a god of the sun, a parochial, jealous deity, He remembered creating the Heavens and the Earth in seven days, He (he) remembered being a completely non-divine yet unspeakably powerful boy born into suffering and pain, He remembered being someone else forced into the shape of an artificial god, He remembered a feeling of exultation upon realizing He was the last god standing, the last god who had not faded away, and the future of Earth was His forever, He remembered having no parents, He (he) remembered his grandmother's smile, He remembered a million impossible contradictory memories, and they were doing it, this cursed human form had let them in, it was them—
"Enough!" He roared.
Yahweh raised His hand, looked at the crowd of creatures trampling through His Valley, and with a wave of His hand wiped all the false gods out of existence.
Or… He tried to, anyway. What He actually did was wave his hand, and then absolutely nothing happened.
"You know," Asherah said with a wry smile, "I may be your ex, but wiping me out of existence is a really rude thing to try to do."
She put her hand on Yahweh's shoulder without His permission, and did not explode into nothingness out of blasphemy.
"I know why you're here," she said. She pointed, directing His gaze towards the center of the Valley.
Yahweh saw it, a tiny object that floated in a rippling core of colorful light that moved like water.
It was a Lock.
"You're here to end the world," Asherah said. "And so are we. Everyone here."
"This is not possible," Yahweh said. He was feeling that vertigo again.
"To be frank," Asherah said. "I'm not actually sure I'm the Asherah, and I'm not actually sure you're the Yahweh."
"You might have noticed that you remember a whole lot of contradictory things," she said. "So do I. I remember both helping to create the world and being born into it when it was already ancient. That's just for starters. Now maybe this kind of thing is part of being a god, or maybe… Maybe it's just part of being more powerful than a human was ever meant to be." She looked back at the crowd. "Not all these things are gods, I know that for sure. We're just two of the beings that are 'supposed' to end the world. Everyone in this valley is."
Yahweh turned His glare on her. "So you — all of you — are here to make war with Me? To come against Me, to stop My End of Days?"
"Well. Yeah." She looked a little awkward, like she was trying to explain something to someone who was being painfully slow. "It's not really about you… specifically. Really, I don't think half the, uh, world-enders here knew about each other before literally a few minutes ago. They can't fight here, but… Most of them aren't happy to find out that they've got competition. Not just you."
He tried to comprehend this. A thought that He was entirely unused to having. "Do you think you can stand against the might of the one true God? Do you think you can enact your own End of Days?"
Asherah shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe? I'm not going to try."
He blinked, momentarily baffled. "You are not going to try to end the world?"
"Me?" Asherah snorted. "Fuck no."
"You told me… Then why are you here?"
"I may have been called here, but not even that Lock can make me end the world. Have you ever tried the seafood in Singapore? Have you ever used a smartphone? Run through the jungle? Seen Cirque du Soleil? Flown on an airplane? Surfed the Internet? Watched tentacle porn? Seen Star Wars? Explored the Wanderer's Library? Been lost in the concrete mazes of the new human cities? No, I like the world the way it is, thanks. It may be fucked up, but tearing it apart isn't going to improve anything."
He stared at her.
"So no," she said. "I don't plan to end the world. I actually don't plan to let you end the world either, or anyone else." She paused. "Sorry."
Divine rage rose up in Yahweh again, and He opened His mouth, only to be once again interrupted.
"Pardon me," another woman's voice said.
The new woman's voice was not raised, or powerful, but somehow everyone in the Valley heard it. And all turned to look.
She was a dark-skinned woman, African, wearing a gray suit, walking into the Valley. Her body language said she was both unassuming and confident. Yahweh knew immediately she was an ordinary human, not like these alien creatures milling around him, but He did not recognize her.
He did not recognize her.
That should not have been possible, ever, not even in this limited human form. Yahweh knew all, and even if these false gods and "world-enders" were able to stymie Him somehow, no human should—
"I come on behalf of the SCP Foundation," the woman said. "Some of you know who we are. Some of you do not. The Foundation are the protectors of humanity. Some of you we have imprisoned, some of you we have bargained with, all in defense of humanity." She sat on the ground, cross-legged, formality inherent in her movements, some kind of ritual that Yahweh almost recognized… "I have come to talk."
There was a long silence.
"And what are you?" a crimson-skinned creature asked her.
"I am a human," she said. "I am the Administrator of the SCP Foundation."
"Impossible," Yahweh said. "I knew all the Administrators. The last one died years ago, and you are not he. You are none of them."
"I'm protected from—" the woman started.
"You are not human," a panther-shaped entity shouted from the crowd. Yahweh seethed at the interruption. "If you were human, we would be able to touch you."
"I am protected," the Administrator said again. "But outside of my protection, I really am nothing more than a human. Like all the humans you plan to kill in your quest to end the world."
"Then what do you want, Human?" another world-ender asked.
"We can open the way to worlds free of sentient life. Many worlds. Enough room for all of you. You won't have to end this world. No humans will have to die. You will have a hundred others." She paused. "I want you to let this world live out the rest of its history in peace."
A clamor of voices broke out. Not all of it was verbal - much was broadcast by thought.
What are you saying—
Is this supposed to be an insult—
I come to save the world, I must end it to save it—
This is not a human's place—
This is the end of days—
How did you come here, how did any of you—
All will burn—
This age is over, as the ages before it also had an end—
Who will deny me, certainly not a tiny thing like—
"What do you offer in exchange, Human?" a massive, fox-furred being asked, once the voices started to quiet down.
"In exchange…" The Administrator hesitated. Though He could not read her mind, Yahweh could tell that she was unsure about what she was about to say. Uncertain, even afraid.
"In exchange, we will not destroy you."
Silence. A few of the entities laughed. Most looked uncaring or simply baffled. Many began to move on, apparently losing interest.
"Will none of you consider my offer?" the Administrator asked.
No one answered.
"Very well." The Administrator drew herself up.
"Why do you not join us, Human?" an amorphous blue form called out from the crowd. "Take your Foundation and come end the world with us. In the new world, you will have anything you could wish for. Anything you could imagine."
"We are the Foundation," the Administrator said. "We will not worship you. We will not join you. We will not go back to hiding in fear of you. I hope you will change your minds, but we will stand against you, and alone, if we have to."
She looked at Yahweh, directly, and for a fleeting instant, Yahweh thought of Himself as SCP-343.
"All of you," the Administrator said.
Her form flickered, and she vanished from the Valley, leaving no trace behind.