The feeling of blinking and opening his eyes to an entirely new place was not new to number Five Zero Seven. Just a second ago, he had been standing in a dark cell, eating celebratory pumpkin pie. It was Halloween, and while Foundation workers longed for the feeling of terror, 507 abhorred it. It was too familiar.
As his eyes adjusted to the light, he breathed a sigh of relief. He had been dreading a Halloween trip, still trying to forget the one from last year. But he was not in a ghost town, or a dank graveyard. He was in the middle of what appeared to be an English mansion, with a large coat of arms and an even larger picture of Queen Victoria as the centerpieces of the room on the back wall. He felt a peculiar sense of deja vu, and 507 suddenly felt a lump in his throat. It was too familiar.
"You're back." 507 whipped his head around in terror, seeing exactly what he hoped he wouldn't. An older man, Caucasian, with deep blue eyes. But 507 knew he wasn't any of that. The man spoke up again. "Did you enjoy your, uh, trials?"
"I wouldn't call them trials. More of me thrashing around universes and other planes like a damn rag doll."
343 frowned. "Rag doll seems a bit harsh. It's not like I wanted anything that way."
507 sighed audibly. "How could you do this, huh? To me?"
"Not just you. Did you notice where is everyone else now?" 343 asked rhetorically, smiling. "Trapped. By their power, like you, or unconscious, or stuck within their own mind or body. Or maybe in the doorway."
"But you haven't. I've been just about everywhere, all thanks to you. I know for the most part who the players are and where they stand. And neither of us stand nearly as high as we'd like to think."
"Oh, come on. It can't have been that bad. Maybe it was just their way of saying hello?"
507 grimaced. He had been right about Halloween being terrifying.
"Well, you've entered my home without permission and insulted me. Anything you want to do here before you inevitably hop back to your cell?" 343 stood, staring blankly at 507.
There was a long, awkward silence. Finally, the younger of the two spoke up.
"Yeah, okay. Trick or treat?" he asked.
The older man laughed. "Here's some chocolate." A bar of Hershey's appeared in his hand, which was promptly thrust forward. 507 accepted, and walked to the wall to sit down. "I'm being nice and cordial, don't you think? Not like I used to be. We're not enemies, you can be afforded a little respect."
"Enemies? Do you know what I've gone through? You don't know half the shit I've seen and learned. And brought with me." He pulled out a small chunk of yellow metal. "Remember, asshole, all he needs is one hand to strangle you with."
The older man moved closer to 507, eying the object. "Hand?" he asked.
"Not as broken as you think."
A blink later, he was gone. In a split second, the old man's face changed from mild curiosity to anger and confusion. This was not familiar.
"Do you think he knows?"
Researcher Goldsheiner had far too much paperwork to relax. The stack of files on his desk seemed to be taunting him, to the point that he could not focus on it without feeling angry. He had planned to go on vacation with his family in the near future, contingent on him having time to plan. But work was getting in the way, and he was getting more stressed by the minute. He kept zoning in and out, all the while semi-focused on the stack of paper neatly on his desk. It was too big to do anything about.
Pushing unproductive thoughts aside, he unenthusiastically reached for the file on the top. All he had to do was read the request and either accept it or deny it, meaning that he could skim through and avoid doing any actual work. He opened the manilla envelope and read the memo inside. Sitting back in his chair, he glanced over to the potted plant in the corner of his office. Wasn't maintenance supposed to do something about that thing? He was certainly not strong enough to move the thing himself. He looked it at, admiring how the leaves could look artificial even while being wholly natural. With a jolt, he moved his attention to the request, deciding to get it out of the way. After all, it wasn't like someone like him could do anything about the plant. It was too big to do anything about.
This came to me in a dream. I had meditated for an hour or so before I went to bed, hoping to astrally project myself. It was around 10:40 when I went fell asleep. The next thing I knew, I was sitting in Central Park, throwing pieces of panini to the pigeons squabbling on the ground. I remember feeling a slight pity for them, having to take what I give and getting only the scraps of my sandwich. I turned to my side, and there was a man sitting there. I don't remember much, except that he had a trench coat and fedora on. He asked me if I liked what I was eating.
I replied affirmatively, and he laughed. I don't quite remember what he said, but I think it was something about irony.
Goldsheiner yawned. He skipped to the second-to-last paragraph.
But it couldn't really be just that, could it? An inanimate object? Or an entity, trying to free itself from an inanimate object, to be contained in an inanimate object? Or maybe just an entity, briefly stuck inside a small universe before bursting into ours. I can't be sure about what the man said; after all, it was in a dream, and we know very little about SCP-882.
A colleague of mine, who would prefer to remain nameless, told me that my experience was similar to an existing SCP entity, numbered 990. For this reason, I am officially submitting a transcript of my dream to Site Director Kondraki. I leave it up to the higher-ups to decide how to act, if any action is deemed necessary to undertake.
-Researcher Greens, Personnel Code #CN8978, Site 19
Too sleepy to fully understand what he had just read, Goldsheiner reached for his stamp and lethargically smacked the page with it. He grabbed a handful from the bag of candy corn the staff had put in all the offices and began to munch. There was no reason not to accept this request, after all, he rationalized. 990 was a Keter, if he remembered correctly. And better for it to be on the site director's plate than on his. Assuming the memo was accurate, the implications were out of his league anyway. It was too big to do anything about.
507 was sitting in his containment unit, clutching a small piece of metal. He had been sitting there for sixty four seconds, which he knew because they were possibly the longest sixty four seconds of his life. A doctor in a white lab coat entered with a clipboard, scribbling notes down.
"Five Oh Seven, you've been gone for almost nine hours. We can schedule an interview later to document your latest shift. Is there anything you'd like?"
"No, I'm okay. Thanks. How long have you been here?" he asked.
"In Site 19, I mean."
"Since the sun on the Horizon touched down," the doctor replied.
507 let out a much-needed sigh of relief. "Take this." he said, tossing the piece of metal to the doctor.
"Are we clear?"
"Not entirely. I couldn't help it. He saw it. Even a martyr wants to taste the sweetness in the fruit of revenge."
"I bet Adam thought that too." The two stood in silence, and the doctor turned to leave the unit. On his way out, the doctor turned back to the man sitting on the cot. "Does he know?"
The doctor left the room, with the chunk of metal in his pocket. Soon, it would be mailed to a friend in a distant Foundation facility. Then, it was out of his hands, and he would just have to wait for his reward. He walked through the halls of Site 19, admiring the tranquility. Even on Halloween night, when the kids were looking for sweets and the adults were partying, the Site 19 seemed like machine. Finely-oiled parts were working nonstop, accomplishing what would be an insurmountable task by separate parts, no matter how powerful.
"There's not much to say."
"Where is it?"
"I don't have it."
How many had he done. Twelve? Thirteen? Out of how many? Goldsheiner didn't want to think about it. He was lucky he was being this productive in fact. Many days, he'd read through that many requests in total. It was only half past 2:00, but the stack of work on his desk didn't seem any shorter. He groaned, imagining the work ahead of him, hoping that he had an assistant. Or four. The pang of reality hurt him when it hit him, looking at the pile. Even with a lot of people, they wouldn't be able to do much.
Note: Due to the attached interview, I'm formally requesting for SCP-882 to be sealed away and no longer be studied.
Dr. Dunner: State your name for the record, please.
D-43267: Franklin King Jackson.
Dr. Dunner: And do you know why you're here?
D-43267: I believe in the truth of the Broken God, whom you imprison.
Dr. Dunner: Is that it?
D-43267: You imprison more than just His heart: His mind, His flesh, more.
Dr. Dunner: Flesh? Could you describe it?
D-43267: Don't play dumb with me. We know.
Goldsheiner yawned, flipping through the next two pages of the interview until he landed just before the end. He glanced out the open door in his office to see a witch and a ghost discussing containment procedures. With much effort, he got up to close the door. Halloween was boring, not scary. Nothing chilling ever happened on October 31st, perhaps excepting the weather. Goldsheiner sat back down and reopened the file.
D-43267: The rest is just to expand its influence.
Dr. Dunner: So this metal that you describe is anomalous in and of itself, and potentially more powerful than SCP-882?
D-43267: However you label the Broken God, it will not matter, for He will soon be whole. And He will rise up and crush the heathens, and reward the faithful. They will be ground up and destroyed by His might, and their bodies will be strewn all through the Earth.
Dr. Dunner: I think we're done here.
Goldsheiner, having read very little and having cared even less, promptly denied the request. In his mind, he thought, there was nothing in that interview that could warrant ending the study of an SCP object. The Church was far too non-cohesive to pose a real threat. Even with a lot of people, they wouldn't be able to do much.
The feeling of blinking and opening his eyes to an entirely new place was not new to 507. The feeling of blinking and opening his eyes to his worst enemy standing above him, however, was.
"What was that piece of metal you had?"
343 grabbed 507 by the throat, and the unit they were in began to warp violently. He was no longer in a metal room, but a red cone that was centered on the old man clutching his neck. 507 tried to fight it, but his power was constrained. All he could do was throw himself into a new universe, but 343 kept dragging him back. The room was beginning to mesh from everywhere he tried to jump to, and it was soon no longer recognizable.
"Where is it."
He felt himself smash into the wall behind him. The room had grown considerably, and was now easily over a hundred feet long and half that in width.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about."
There was rubble all around him, Greek and Roman pillars being smashed as his body soared through them. He was blacking out in pain, but his eyes were being forced open by unseen hands. He couldn't cry, and watched his body go limp and reanimate and go limp again.
"WHAT IS IT?!" roared the old man, now five times his normal size in the massive conglomeration of jungle, ancient civilization, and Escher-esque mansion that 507's containment unit had become. 507 stayed silent.
343 drew a deep breath, and stood over 507's crushed body. "If you don't tell me, I won't bother punishing you. I'll just kill you."
"There's not much to say," he managed to say.
343 smiled. He picked up 507's body. "Where is it?"
"I don't have it."
343 threw him down. In his last seconds, 507 saw himself spread around the room. He heard 343 scream in anger, just before his vision went black.
"At least I didn't have to die in some far-gone universe or a cold cell. I got to die everywhere," his shattered mind thought, right before his shattered body gave in.
343 was panting hard. It wasn't as much the horrible act he'd just done, though he was still sorting through what had just happened in his head. He frantically ran through Site 19, looking for clues about whatever the metal chunk that 507 had given his life for was. The old man wasn't able to keep his mind focused though, because he was terrified.
"Is he really dead?"
"That's what they told me. Didn't really say much."
"That's a pretty huge deal."
"You'd be surprised."
Researcher Goldsheiner was extremely tired. After mountains of paperwork, all he could hope to do was sleep in his own bed for once rather than the leather chair in his office. He dragged himself up, and walked through the middle of a party in the break room. Orange and black streamers were covering the ceiling, with costumed staff members drinking and enjoying themselves.
"It's 11:32! Jesus, I remember when I was young," he muttered. He waded his way through candy and decorations, spiderwebs and six foot witch statues. The noise and light were hurting his ears. With a groan, he remembered that his kids would be out for the whole night.
Halloween had never been too exciting for Goldsheiner. It was so artificial that it made him sick. Faux scares and consumerism pretty much summed the whole holiday up in his mind. It was the same thing, year after year. Nothing ever changed. It was always a copy of the previous year, and the year before that, and the year before that. He grabbed his jacket and exited the main building. Goldsheiner grumbled, seeing his breath float up in the cold air, thinking about how much he loathed Halloween. It was too familiar, but it was too big to do anything about. Even with a lot of people, he wouldn't be able to do much.
A small yellow chunk of metal was thrown into the forge, being consumed by the monstrous Heart of the Broken God. The martyred fool had been wrong about the size of the chunk. There was more than enough for 882 to change it into a hand; in fact, an entire man was created. Feeling his regained power rushing through his limbs, he bent the metal mass and slowly levitated out of it. The Heart was getting bigger all the while, and all non-believers guarding Him had already been slaughtered. There was more work to do, but first, he had a demon to smite.