Exploration #440-B: Large-Scale Wilderness Observation Dome (LSWOD), Site-██
Explorers: B-63351 (Lead), D-58243
On 9/30/████, subject D-24573 was lost during an excursion. His last communication was "Gotcha!". B-6335 and D-58243 were sent into the LSWOD in order to determine the fate of D-24573. Following the signal from D-24573's suit, the two have made an uneventful trip so far.
B-6335: Stay closer, boy. Something's different.
D-58243: Stop with that 'boy' shit, Beta. None of those rocktopods2 around, and the air is clear.
B-6335: I'll stop calling you 'boy' when you start paying attention. 440-2s are curious buggers. They don't attack, but they always follow us around. Watching. Only one reason you wouldn't see a rocktopod swarm following behind us: there's something out there that they don't want any part of.
D-58243: Uh huh. I've got ten bucks on that idiot Delta died trying to take a piss on a dustbug3 nest. [Beeping noise] Looks like he's behind that sandy current. C'mon.
B-6335: Slow down, Delta. I don't like this. Look at the motion in that cloud. You ever see a sandflow4 like that? Too damned fast, too wide.
D-58243: [scoffs] No, but I don't give a shit. We find 24573's body, I get a pardon. That's the rules.
B-6335: No, the rule is you don't do a damned thing until I tell you, understood? [scuffling sounds]
D-58243: GET THE FUCK OFF ME! WHY THE FUCK SHOULD I LISTEN TO YOU, OLD MAN?
B-6335: [sighs] Because you might not have noticed it, but that sandflow is now completely surrounding us. [To Foundation observer] Command, are you picking this up?
Dr. ██████: Loud and clear.
B-6335: These aren't rocktopods, [FIRST NAME REDACTED]. Whatever took that Delta, I believe it's now hunting me and the kid here.
D-58243: [To himself] Oh shit oh shit oh shit…
B-6335: [To D-58243] Quiet. [To Foundation observer] Command, I have no visual on what's causing this sandflow, but if I had to wager? It's circling us, agitating the ambient SCP-440 into a funnel. Ready-made ambush. [chuckles] No need to corner your prey, just surround it in sand that'll never fall down, and you've cornered it yourself. Clever girls.. hey, where are you-
D-58243: [panting loudly] Fuck this! Fuck this! Fuck this! [the sound of sand buffeting D-58243's suit, followed by a grinding noise, then sounds of D-58243 struggling, and then screaming]
B-6335: [breathing deeply, speaks quietly] Command, I now have visual on what I believe killed Delta-24573. Three of them. Hope you don't mind if I don't save the kid. He just… it was just looking at him, and he punched it. Instinct. Stupid kid. [mutters 'stupid, stupid']
Dr. ██████: Understood, Beta. Can you describe what you're seeing?
B-6335: Large suckers. Cylindrical. Two of them I'd say are around maybe [1 meter] long, front to back. Third one is bigger. [2m] or so. Snakelike, their torsos look like [grunt] like the spine of a T-Rex skeleton, made out of stone. Interlocking, very fluid movement. The head [sighs 'stupid kid'] the head looks like a standard floater5 . Didn't get a really good look at the thing's mouth before the kid punched it, but it reminded me of a wood chipper intake. [takes deep breath] The little ones are playing with the kid now, big one is just watching. If I had to guess, I'm looking at an Alpha creature with two immature specimens. Training to hunt, maybe? I don't think I can- oh fuck me.
Dr. ██████: Beta? Report!
B-6335: [breaths deeply] Big one decided to swim over to me, Command. Maybe an arm's length away. Mouth is definitely like a wood chipper intake. No eyes that I can see. [awed] It's amazing how fluid this cutie is, it's completely silent except for when it spins up its 'teeth'. I guess that's how it vocalizes. Sir, I… I don't think these beauties are actively hostile, sir. The kid switched from Flight to Fight… guess one of the little ones did too. [chuckles] Can't really blame them, I- [sound of struggling] oof! [sound of crashing]
Dr. ██████: Beta?
B-6335: [chuckles] I'm fine. Big guy just knocked me a ways back with his tail. Guess I was [pause] Oh, well, would you look at that. Found what's left of Delta-24573, sir. [whistles] If I had to guess, the big rock snake wanted me over there, and I wasn't moving.
Dr. ██████: What's his condition?
B-6335: Dead. Helmet broke, must have choked on the 440 floating around. No damage to his body, though. Suit is all fucked up. The corpse is hunched over something, I'm going to slide the body- [whispers] Oh, you idiot. You are a goddamned idiot. They sent you here to observe, not violate…
Dr. ██████: What did you find?
B-6335: It looks like Delta-24573 was holding onto a tiny version of one of those snakes. Bastard must have thought the parents wouldn't have cared if he tried to take one. Fucking idiot. The groups, the hunting… these snakes are pack animals, Command. Did the Foundation authorize this?
Dr. ██████: Sorry, Beta. You're not staff yet. Off the record, though? I doubt it.6.
B-6335: Whatever. Are we done here? I don't think the snakes'll attack again, but I don't want to be in their nesting areas anymore, if that's alright with you. I've got no interest in reinforcing the idea to these lovelies that us apes are threats… any more than we already have, that is.
B-6335 was allowed permission to leave, and reported being observed but unmolested by four instances of SCP-440-3. 5m from the airlock, he discovered the corpse of D-58243, who had tried to crawl away. As per standard procedure, both B-6335 and D-58243 were stripped and decontaminated of all SCP-440 grains.