Site 19 wasn't deserted. It couldn't be. There was no way that…whatever that thing was had killed everybody except him. But John hadn't seen anybody in hours, at least, his radio was dead, his Foundation-issue phone had no service (how the hell had that happened? he thought to himself; the network was supposed to be nigh-on unkillable), and the silence in the building was total.
It took a while for John to find a single survivor, leaning against a wall. John wasn't a medic, but looking at those legs, he didn't think there was any chance of fixing that. Both femurs broken, looked like they were broken with a baseball bat. Bleeding from a head wound that had probably come from the same source. With some of the last energy he had left in him, the man turned toward John. "Item…number?" he wheezed before hacking up blood from someplace deep.
"SCP-1893," John replied, grabbing ahold of his hand. "Object class: Euclid."
"Sp…special containment procedures?"
"All stories containing or referencing SCP-1893," John started, "are to be contained in the tertiary mainframe at Site 38 until such time as Foundation researchers discover a method of transferring them without risking contamination to other computer systems. Multiple redundant stories are to be kept on the mainframe at all times. Should SCP-1893 begin displaying aggressive or otherwise unusual behavior, additional new stories written in the style used by SCP-1893 are to be downloaded onto the computer. Hard copies of all stories before and after SCP-1893 infestation are to be kept in the director's office in a triple-locked safe; no other copies are to be kept in any other location in any other form to avoid possible contamination. To whatever extent possible, discussion of SCP-1893 is to be restricted to non-electronic means, and references to item number SCP-1893 are to be prohibited on any Foundation server or computer other than the one mentioned above."
The other man nodded, appearing to understand John's words better than he would have thought possible. If it were John, he would have been seeing if that pistol beside him had any working rounds left. But the man seemed determined to continue. "Description?" he said, straining to keep his voice calm.
John would play along. "SCP-1893 is an incompletely understood phenomenon, believed to be electronic or digital in nature. The phenomenon has demonstrated at least a primitive sort of intelligence, in the form of adapting to new environments and avoiding inhospitable ones and a rudimentary ability to communicate with Foundation researchers, albeit indirectly. It is not known whether the entity is sapient or even sentient—"
A roar echoed down the halls. The roar of the beast responsible for this…this massacre. It couldn't be described accurately as a voice in any human sense, because whatever this thing was born as, it was no longer recognizable as the same sort of being that John was.
John heard another voice, this one human. The beast had found some prey. The voice rose in volume and pitch, going through the five stages of death in a matter of seconds. But the creature couldn't be denied, couldn't be bargained with, and you didn't have time for anger or depression. It didn't care if you accepted it or not. The sound of crunching bones crashed down the hallway, mixed with screams. Both stopped with a certain finality, accompanied by the sound of feet fading into the distance.
John knew there wasn't much time. "SCP-1893's principal trait is its memetic quality; it is impossible to perceive, interact with, or discuss the entity except through fictional narratives. Specifically, any electronic message referring to SCP-1893 will be altered by the entity into a prose passage of variable length, tone, or content. However, messages altered by SCP-1893 will always have certain constant qualities. First, the content of the original message will be left intact, replacing any dialogue between characters in the story. Second, stories will often contain between two to three characters; while the dialogue between them will remain constant, the setting and tone of the characters and their surroundings are believed to often reflect SCP-1893's 'mood' at the time of access. Third, components of the story's plot may change depending on whether or not SCP-1893 can determine the identity of the reader, though researchers have been unable to detect a pattern in the modifications to date."
The other man's breathing became ragged; John knew he didn't have much time. "Finally, all instances of stories altered by SCP-1893 will contain an unknown character, described as being unusually tall and muscular, often said to have tattoos of bull's horns on or near the face. The extent to which this character interacts with the others is often indicative of SCP-1893 's level of aggression at that moment; when the entity is calm, the character will barely be referenced or discussed. When SCP-1893 feels threatened or is prepared to attack, the character will display an increasingly important or central role to the story's plot."
The other man looked satisfied. John reached over and picked up the pistol, ejected the magazine.. Two bullets left. He reloaded the gun, pulled back the hammer, and put it in the other man's hand. There was nothing else either of them could do at this point, and John wasn't carrying around a better way of dying than that. John stood up and began to walk away.
The gun in the other man's hand went off. John was amazed initially by how loud it was in the narrow hallway. Then, he was amazed as he felt himself slumping to the ground, blood spilling down the front of his shirt through the bullet hole. He couldn't feel the gunshot, yet knew the pain would be there soon. Worse yet, he heard the roaring again. Coming toward him, this time.
"Addendum 1893-A," the man behind him said in a much calmer voice than John had expected.
John heard the sound of enormous feet coming closer and closer to him, and saw no point in stopping the game now. "Though no effort undertaken to date has succeeded in fully containing SCP-1893," John said, losing blood rapidly, "all evidence suggests that the Foundation's decision to classify the entity as such has caused it to adopt this as its 'name' and react specifically to any mention of that item number in electronic media."
John could see the creature now, lumbering closer to both of them. The head was just recognizably human enough for John to almost mistake the creature for one. The twin horns tattooed on either side of the forehead wrinkled as his face shifted into a rictus of excitement, almost glee, at seeing new prey. It began running towards the prostrate figures.
John kept talking, hoping to distract himself. "Assuming this to be true, a theoretical plan has been devised in the event that termination of SCP-1893 should become necessary. According to this plan, Foundation personnel would first—"
The gun's last round went off behind him. Whoever the other man was, he had chosen the easy way out, leaving John here to distract the predator. A brilliant move, if a bit heartless. The minotaur reached John before he could finish his last words, rushed out like a prayer before death. The beast smashed John's jaw to splinters with the first swing.