E-mail correspondence between Ret. Col. Otis H. L. Umber and Agent Priscilla Locke. Recovered from an intact computer hard drive located within SCP-2084
Note: No such individual by the name of Otis H. L. Umber has been found to have served in any branch of the United States armed forces between the years of 1937 and 2006.
Happy new year. Department of WestCiv says one-third of Australia is gone.
Define 'gone', I asked.
It was eleven hours until the Department even acknowledged what had happened. Six hours later, Anabasis was on everyone's lips.
The official story is that the Qing broke through into Indochina, and the resistance dropped a bomb spreading some mutated synthetic plague, killing themselves while decimating the Qing Banners. Shitstorm erupts when it turns out the components were sold to them by us. "We don't trade with or support subhuman mongrels" the President said last year, all the while trading and supporting the "subhuman mongrels".
Anabasis is the failsafe. In case the bio-weapon gets out of control.
Someone leaked to the Chinese about the bio-weapon and now they're pissed. Biological warfare wasn't their style, but when an eighth of their army is infected, they may as well go for it.
You're probably too young to remember, Locke: 1937, the Japanese invaded the Qing Empire. This was before the "Western Civilization Party" got popular in the US. We were still a democracy back then. They brought the Kaiser in, and the Qing brought in the British and French, and the second world war started.
It wasn't the war that turned people off from Asia; it was the occupation. How long do you occupy a nation of almost a billion before it stabilizes? Trick question; you don't.
When the enemy outnumbers you ten to one, they can afford the losses. If just one of their men killed one of ours, they'd lose a lot of men and take a generation or two to recover; we'd lose our entire nation.
And that's just the men—they had women and children fighting us, too. They'd dress as Japanese soldiers, Geishas, comfort women, then sneak back to their towns or villages and leave behind bombs. It got so bad, we tried to convince the Japanese to withdraw, just so we could identify the insurgents and make it easier for us round-eyes.
When the Japanese said no, a stand-off ensued. They were thinking only about the power; the lands they'd gained, and keeping them at all costs. Roosevelt blinked, and the Western Civvies devoured him. The propaganda campaign was indescribable. The coup that took place was brilliant; Klan members and communists and anti-semites, Southern Democrats and Northern Unionists, all united in hatred of the Chinese and fear of the Japanese, or the other way around. The distinction wouldn't matter for long.
The British and Germans were with the Japanese, and if we split with them, we'd lose out much of the European market in trade. And once they solidified their hold on China, we'd be out of the world stage for a long time. So the Western Civvies came to power, and right away started shedding all the "bloat" from the Constitution, to make America more "streamlined and competitive" on the world stage. Meaning less "E Pluribus Unum" and more "Unum."
You wouldn't have liked America pre-WestCiv, Locke. I know how you supremacist types are. Back then, it was a dirty secret if a politician had any links to the Klan. Now, it's mandatory. You're probably angry now, Locke, smirking as you come up with sharp-witted comebacks and insinuations that I'm "anti-white". Let me ask you this, at least: Can you name a single civilization in history that has come to power, expanded, flourished, and survived by being exclusive and conservative?
It's war, then. Won't last long; half of China's infected by now.
Has the Foundation told you what Anabasis is yet? I heard some from the Department today talking about it. I'm not sure they know what it is either.
Met a young girl earlier today. Marlowe, her name was. Pretty. She looks kind of like you, Locke. Debriefed by the Chiefs of Staff regarding Anabasis and the bio-weapon. Or rather, they tried to.
Story going around is the Anabasis is a quantum weapon of some sort only understood by people who know quantum. Quantum quantum, mass density, etc etc etc, photon spheres, something collapses, and a brand new something is born in space-time. "Not a black hole", she kept saying. Was a weapon, but they're talking about contingency plans for evacuating to some other dimension or universe. Pure science fiction turned reality. Everyone but me and Moreland understood. They wanted to know where Anabasis came from. That information is classified, she said with a smile, those sparkling blue eyes and alabaster skin so pretty when she came in, so disgustingly nasty and insufferable then. Couldn't get anything out of her.
I don't think I told you about how we fought the insurgents in China. Normal wars are decided by battles; the occupation was decided by atrocities. It's the only weapon the enemy understands, and it's the only one that gets our soldiers back to their barracks at the end of each day in one piece.
Average day in occupied China went like this: enemy attacks, falls back, we pursue into a village, enemy hides their weapons and put on civilian clothes. No one in the village knows anything. You can offer them chocolates, liquor, jewelry, any amount of western excess. They smile, pocket it, and say "Know nothing", as if that was the only English they knew.
While your men start letting their guard down, talking to a kindly old man or old woman or flirting with a coy young dame, someone whips out a gun, or a grenade, and in six seconds someone in your squad is dead.
They line up all the villagers, then. Orders are to execute them, as they sob and beg "Not kill, not kill. Innocent!" A private in our squad convinced the sergeant to let the women go one time. We started to untie them. One of them pulled a knife half as long as her forearm, and jabbed it in the private's throat hard enough to hit bone. The others started screaming. We killed them all.
"One has a weapon, they all have a weapon" Sergeant says as we clean the village.
The insurgents? As far as they were concerned, everyone in the village is dead as soon as American soldiers arrive. We learned from one of the POWs, "We make use of them before letting them rest" he said of supporting civilians. They don't know this; they think they'll get out alive somehow.
That's how we lost China: we were good soldiers, they were good murderers. I forgot, what did the Western Civvies say lost us the war? Same old shit, I think—lack of passion, heart, lack of faith in the race, seditious activity. Spoken by men who never saw the jungles in Southeast Asia, where wounded men swallowed bullets so their comrades could dig them up and resupply at a later date, or the steppes of Manchuria, where a road to the capital was laid with corpses as if they were wooden planks, stretching nearly forty miles.
So we left them, and let the Great Qing Empire defeat the Japanese and reclaim Indochina. And for that, the "Party for the Supremacy of Western Civilization" shamed us veterans. Small price to get out of China.
Bookstores are sold out of Xenophon. I don't see what his "Anabasis" has to do with ours. Thank you, by the way, for suffering an old man to ramble on about the past, I know you don't need any more miserable old stories of suffering and death.
What's going on with you and that North Georgia boy? I'm assuming you eloped and that's why your grandma and I haven't heard a word from you since. You don't have to keep secrets from me. I was in the same spot as you not so long ago; I doubt working for the federal government is much different from that Foundation, the way you tell it—or what little of it you do tell of.
I'd like to come down there some time. I know you'd rather come to me, but I could use a summer with actual heat for once.
Been hearing rumors that the Anabasis wasn't created by us. Web is exploding with idiots claiming it's "ancient alien" tech, or some kind of secret New World Order stuff. The idea that this regime would work with Africa and Asia and even Europe is laughable. Remembering Dr. Marlowe's answers to the Chiefs' questions a while ago; she refused to answer anything regarding how Anabasis came to be without our knowledge. If we weren't in such shit, I imagine heads would roll over there. Best be on alert, just in case.
I guess that trip to Florida will have to wait. Media blackout around here. Department's saying it's insurgents stirring shit in the south. Not sure what you know, but up here we've been getting signs since last September of neo-liberal groups plotting protests and demonstrations. Full-blown rebellion came out of nowhere, though with so many eyes fixated on the bio-weapon slaughtering the Pacific rim, something like this was bound to happen. Stay safe down there.
Haven't heard from you in a month. Hoping this reaches you somehow. Don't know how much the Department tells you nowadays, but this isn't a rebellion anymore—the whole Miami-Dade region has pretty much been secured and the Cuban-Americans have assumed control. Pretty much seceded. We're fifteen, sixteen miles from the front line. Can't move.
Heard the plague's reached the Midwest by now. Not sure what they're saying about its containment, but it's loose down here. I caught it. I survived. Usual symptoms. Immune. That helps; we've got a lock on a potential antibody, might have a cure within weeks. Front line is moving.
Vaccines aren't working. People keep dying. We're holed up in a school—every nearby building has been bombed out or scrapped for materiel. Rebels won't touch a school building. If they learn we're hoarding supplies in here, though, they'll tear the place apart.
Thought I heard Maine and Vermont were gone. Hoping against hope it was just a rumor. We're making progress on the vaccines. If this goes well enough, we might have a cure handy by the end of the month. We won't need Anabasis then. I know I said I wouldn't tell you anything about Anabasis but it's not the deus ex machina officials are making it out to be. I see it as our absolute last resort. It's imprecise, it's unstable, and it's completely beyond our capability to refine or control.
Status report. Situation has deteriorated significantly, as expected. Subjects aren't responding to vaccines. Best case scenario, asphyxiation within 2-3 minutes. Worst case… I don't know how to convey the horror. They keep moving. Twitching, jerking, some even standing upright for a moment, before collapsing in a heap. We have to burn them; they don't stop until they're ash. If you saw their corpses, you saw mercy.
Symptoms consistent with what we've been seeing in east Asia. Internal hemorrhaging, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of sweating leading to hyperthermia. A new symptom's showing in the newer cases; the itching. It's not enough to just scratch your ass and be done with it; it's persistent, and it burns. Some of the kids strip naked, unable to bear even the slightest touch, and start scratching until they bleed. Then they scratch some more.
Medical logs… Dante couldn't imagine anything this hellish. First you see their names, starting with the refugees. Name, age, sex, symptoms, prescription, prognosis… the survivors are checked off in blue. You can go fifty, sixty names without seeing a mark. Further down you go, brevity dictates the entries; no names, no symptoms. The handwriting changes. Newcomer doesn't bother mincing words: "Female, 31, death. Male, 13, death."
I could almost respect the inhumanity of an enemy willing to target civilians with a bio-weapon like this. When we learned the insurgents fumbled this badly… it's not even pitiable. People like that… they're too low to be animals, too stupid to be monsters, and too far gone to learn better.
No. This isn't gonna work. Yesterday it was just booms and cracks of gunfire. Today you can differentiate between their shouts and ours. They'll overrun us by nightfall. Probably too late for these people, but we have to start evacuating now if we're going to salvage anything from this. If we're lucky, Anabasis will fire before the enemy overruns the place. If not, we'll have the advantage while they're trying to figure out what the fuck happened. Maybe they'll stir up enough of a shitstorm on the other side that we won't even have to deal with them.
I hope this works. God save our race.