Exploration #440-A: Animal Enclosure #42
Due to an increase in airborne SCP-440 concentrations preventing external viewing, D-23467 was sent into AE#42. D-23467 is equipped with a standard Foundation NBC suit with respirator, a flashlight, and a cannister of compressed air.
Airlock Voice: Outside environment doors locked. Enclosure Door open. You may now enter the Enclosure. Have a safe and pleasant day.
D-23467: Command? Can you hear me?
Dr. █████████: Loud and clear, Delta. What can you see from the airlock?
D-23467: Um, not much, Command. The doors opening kicked up a bunch of this floating sand stuff. [sounds of compressed air firing] Booyah. Command, I see a bunch of rocks floating around. Lots of sand blowing around. None of the rocks are close, though.
Dr. █████████: Enter the Enclosure, Delta. Report what you see.
D-23467: Sure enough, Command. It's not that… oh, jesus!
Dr. █████████: Report, Delta!
D-23467: Oh, sorry, nothing serious. I have to [grunts] walk very slowly and carefully. I guess a lot of this floaty stuff eventually lands on the sand, cuz every step I take kicks it up. I have to, I dunno, goose-step to make sure I'm not kicking up plumes of this crap behind me. [pause] You sure this place is safe, Command?
Dr. █████████: Completely safe, Delta. Proceed at will. We've seen some stationary objects a few meters in front of you. We'd like you to examine them for us.
D-23467: Very well, Command. [grunting continues] Do you guys pump air into here from vents or something?
Dr. █████████: No, Delta. Why do you ask?
D-23467: Well, this stuff floats around, right? There's currents of this stuff, Command, like little floating rivers. It's sort of pretty, but wouldn't it just sorta… I dunno, disperse like clouds or something?
Dr. █████████: Unknown. Have you seen any stationary objects?
D-23467: [faint scratching noise]-rry, was walking through one of the rivers. Felt like walking through a really slow sandblaster. [pause] Oh yeah, I found it. Man… that's weird.
Dr. █████████: Report.
D-23467: It's.. it's like one of those big termite mounds you see in the desert back home, floating in the air [pause] Command, this thing is chained to the ground with a thick string of sand. The, um, big rock is about [30cm] around, [45cm] wide. It's got those bug things [SCP-440-1] on it, scurrying around. It's like… it's spinning a bit, bobbing a little. [pause] I thought you said this stuff floats, Command, how the hell is it not floating?
Dr. █████████: That's why you're in there, Delta.
D-23467: [groans] You're the boss, Command. Gonna try and get to the end of the string
D-23467 spends the next twenty minutes attempting to reach the base of the object. Because of the erratic motions of the object, D-23467 settles on lying prone and crawling towards the base. Because of the amount of SCP-440 this disturbs, this process required D-23467 to wait for 440 to disperse repeatedly.
D-23467: Alright, finally. Oh, wow…
Dr. █████████: Report, Delta.
D-23467: I was wrong, Command. The rock isn't connected to the ground with sand, it's got a metric ███load of Dustbugs keeping the whole thing from floating away. There's a few dozen of them in the sand here, holding onto a few more, who are holding on to a few more. It's like those ants in the jungle that make bridges out of themselves for the rest of em. [pause] Oh, that's interesting… looks like the Bugs keep the big rock up top touching those sand currents. Maybe they eat- [loud crash] Jesus ████!
Dr. █████████: Delta! What happened!
D-23467: I think one of the floating rocks hit the bug-chain, Command. I can't see shit! All I'm seeing is sand! Somethin' shook this ████ing snow globe! Get me out of here! Where is the ████ing airlock?
Dr. █████████: Negative, Delta. Try and get your bearings and let the 440 around you clear. Report, Delta.
D-23467: [breathing heavily] I was looking at the chain of these bugs, Command, and out of nowhere a fist-size rock came out of nowhere and smacked into it in the middle. The bugs just pulverized, and then everything exploded. It didn't help that I got my white ass out of there in a hurry! [nervous laughing] Command, that wasn't one of those floating rocks, something threw it. What else do you have in this place?! You told me about these bug things, what else is here?
Dr. █████████: That's why you're in there, Delta. Can you see anything?
D-23467: [bursts of compressed air] Yeah, Command, a little bit. There's a cloud of… oh, Command, you got more than bugs in here, now. I see three, I don't know, rocky squid things. Looks like we've found our chuckers. They have their tentacle things around the main dustbug rock. D-do I have to get closer? I can't see ████ from here, but…
Dr. █████████: Yes, Delta. Get as close as possible.
D-23467: I'm the one who is seeing squids made out of sand, Command, so I'm going to get as close as I ████ing feel like it. [grunts] Looks like these squid things are breaking up the rock the Bugs lived in, Command. I'm not stickin' my hand near em, but my guess is they are eatin' the thing. Sounds like a rock in one of those crusher things. Bugs look like they are trying to fight back, but it ain't working. I'm no scientist, but my guess is the squids do the rock-chucking thing surprise the Bugs long enough to do their job. [pause] Oh, Christ, Command… there's more of these things.
Dr. █████████: What things, Delta?
D-23467: Those rock-chain things, I didn't see them before, too much dust floating around. I guess these are dustbug hives or something. I can see at least six of these things in here, but I'd have to walk more to get through some of the sand currents in here. I see a few more groups of rock squids too flying around. [pause] Christ, the squids are done with the Bugrock! [gasps] They see me, Command! Permission to withdraw?
Dr. █████████: Negative, Delta. See what they want.
D-23467: Yeah, easy to say that, you asshole, you're not the one about to be- [pause] They are just… watching, using some of the rocks around me to circle around me. They don't have eyes, or at least ones that I can see. They look about [70cm] long all told. It's like someone made an octopus out of a rock, Command, but… how the hell is it so fluid? Rocks don't… rocks don't- [cursing] ████er just sprayed me with sand, Command, I can't see ████ right now. Squids do that ████ with ink, I guess these ████ing things do with sand. [sounds of compressed air] Oh thank God, they're gone now, Command. Permission to return to the airlock; I'm running out of air in this thing, and I'm not going to get caught in another duststorm without enough air.
D-23467's return to the airlock was uneventful. As per standard procedure, D-23467 stripped inside the airlock and was decontaminated of all SCP-440 grains and returned to D-Class dormitories.