ೋღ☃ Starch and Cream ☃ღೋ
-A Silly Dystopian Fiction in Three Parts-
Part One: The Wild Winds
Book of the Holy Feast, Chapter 4 - Episode 3 - Verse 7
Oh blessed Cake, first and foremost in our hearts,
Deliver us now from this foul demon,
Which doth tread particularly heavily upon our lands.
Praise be unto you,
The wild winds whistled through the many small cracks and creases in their makeshift stronghold, each piercing cry a testament to a great many small mistakes that had been made during its construction. But it was hastily designed and even more hastily cobbled together, and much could be forgiven about its drab appearance and inability to keep out the cold.
Much could be forgiven, but in the eyes of Sky Martin, it was too much. The old man pulled tight at a thick cloak wrapped around his neck, cheeks rosy from exposure, and cursed the haste in which they had settled into this place. It hadn't helped that they had put it on top of a hill, with nary a windblock for miles and miles across the Scottish countryside. The vantage point was useful, certainly, but the goddamn wind was almost too much.
Sky adjusted himself slightly, scanning the horizon as the sun rose. His shift was the early shift, and he would be returning to the barracks as soon as the children arose to take their breakfast. He looked down the length of his rifle, nicked and scarred from over-use and under-repair, and made sure everything was in order. The Marshall was strict about that; all firearms had to be kept functional. God knows what good they would be in the situation that would require them, but there were few enough to go around and they were more than suitable for handling the various hostile stragglers and brigands that had populated the highlands in recent years.
Dawn broke over Havenhall, a town in name only. The collection of worn and weathered individuals within were hardly a contingent, regardless of their original purpose. When they had come to the hill they had been twenty, men and weapons sharp and polished for a singular purpose. But as they had waited out the storm and grown older doing so, more had joined them. A group of refugees from across the channel. A family of pig farmers from West End. Before too long, they had a flock, and the flock began settling in. Havenhall was not supposed to be a settlement, but in time, they had settled. And the twenty still watched.
Little similarities remained between the twenty brave young men who had struck out from Site 76 so many years ago and the nineteen old men who protected Havenhall now. Age and fatigue had beaten them, bent their spines, threatened to break their backs, and now seemed willing to drag out the torment as long as they were willing to remain alive. Gerard had finally succumbed years ago, when the long winters chill of '48 had frozen his body to the parapets. Others, like Harrison, dared not leave the safety of the minor warmth afforded in the boilers, but pressed on nonetheless.
It wasn't just the cold, either. Radiation sickness threatened them, looming constantly in their minds like the low-hanging clouds left over from the bombs years ago. It would come in waves; the breeze would pick up in the middle of the night and the Geiger counters would start ringing. The women, children and infirmed would be shuttled down into the lower levels, and the men above would don their haz-masks and the thick goggles and heavy coats, and would continue to watch. When the wave passed, they would drag the scrubbers, long past their age of expiry, out to make the complex habitable again. When it was done, those below would quietly file out and return to their work, detectors strapped to their belts.
The buzz of the morning alarm signaled for the population of Havenhall, no more than three hundred souls, to rise from their beds and begin the days work. In the past, the alarm might accompany the rising sun. Now, the skies remained dark, with only the occasional patch of obscured light to remind them that the star hadn't gone out. Behind him and below, Sky could heard the masses moving slowly about, preparing for the day's work. Outside of the rickety walls were long rows of crop fields, covered in tarps and patrolled by guardsmen. He supposed he should feel fortunate, to at least have the porous walls between himself and the elements. Thomas only had the exposure gear to keep him warm, and like everything else in Havenhall, it had stopped functioning at optimal levels nearly fifteen years ago.
A heavy hand found Sky's shoulder, and he turned to see the Marshall behind him, no doubt here to relieve him of his duties. He was older than Sky, but was unfazed by the stresses of the world around him and unrelenting in his duty. The slightest stubble was seen as a personal failure, and the Marshall spent nearly an hour every morning making himself presentable. In contrast to the tattered and ragged masses within Havenhall, he might as well have been a golden god, especially considering it was often his iron will that stood between life and a slow, icy death.
"Martin," he said, his voice cutting through the morning air. "Any signs of danger?"
Sky stood slowly, speaking as he rose. "No, and nothing from the counters, either. A quiet night."
The Marshall nodded. "And any word from command?"
Sky sighed quietly. There had been no word from command in twenty years. "No, sir. Nothing on the radio."
The man stood quietly, gazing at the dim light of the rising sun. Sky could read him no better now than he could thirty years previous, and sensed nothing from him but resolute determination. "Very well," he said. "You are relieved, Martin."
Sky gave his thanks and gathered his meager belongings in a knapsack. He slung it over his shoulder, and began trudging down the slope towards the mess hall. In the distance, he could see children scurrying about, followed by their mothers and older siblings. He smiled.
As he opened the door and felt the warmth of the hall wash over him, he was aware of a hush that had fallen over the gathered mass of younglings within the doorway. All were seated in a circle by the hearth, and at his arrival all had fallen silent and turned to face him. He stood, draped in decaying exposure gear, face hidden behind a long-range optical helmet. As they watched, he bent his knees slightly and leaned back, before bellowing across the hall.
"THE WORLD IS FULL OF DARKNESS!"
The children squealed with delight before shouting back. "WE MUST SECURE THE DARKNESS!"
He grinned behind the mask, and shouted again. "WHO CAN STAND BEFORE IT?"
A few rolled over with laughter. "WE MUST CONTAIN THE DARKNESS!"
Sky stamped his feet, and rolled his torso like a raging bull. "ARE THERE ANY BRAVE ENOUGH?"
Pandemonium reigned in the circle of children. "WE MUST PROTECT THE… EARTH!"
Sky charged towards the circle, arms outstretched. "The Foundation lives!"
The children began chanting. "Secure contain protect! Secure contain protect!"
He took a flying leap into a tumble and sprung to his feet in the middle of the circle. His joints reminded him that he had gotten far too old for those types of shenanigans, but his mind ignored it. He gazed around the circle, which once again had grown hushed. In the background, he could hear some of the mothers laughing quietly, while the older siblings rolled their eyes and put the memories of their own childhoods away.
"Now," he said, slowly removing his helmet. "Who wants to hear a story today?"
The group exploded once more with approval, and drew quiet again when he raised a finger. "One," he said, moving swiftly around within the circle. "One of you gets to decide. I will tell you who it'll be, when I point-"
"Tell us about the Bard of Boston!" shouted a chunky child behind him.
Sky spun quickly. "Not you, Hafford! I said I will choose."
He moved quietly, picking up his pace as he goes, until he stopped in front of a young girl with braids in her hair. He went to take a single step forwards, stopped mid-stride, and scooted back until he was standing square before her. His outstretched index finger lowered until it pointed at a spot directly between her eyes.
"Amelia. What story do you want to hear?"
There was a hush, greater than any hush previous. All of them sat quietly, eyes wide with anticipation. The little girl, no older than seven years, furrowed her brow in thought. The silence lasted a second, and then five, and then fifteen, before she perked up and looked at him with blue eyes, untouched by the ravages of life outside of Havenhall.
"Tell the story about the King's Feast."
Sky felt his throat catch, but only for a moment. He smiled, and then moved slowly to his perch by the fire. The warmth of the flame felt good on his back, and he shrugged off the cloak as he sat.
"The King's Feast, it's been a while, hasn't it? Very well, gather around now. Where to begin…"
Once upon a time the world bathed in the light of the sun and the winds were not so cold, and in those days lived a young girl who was cursed by fell magic to hold within her the Son of the Left Hand of Destruction, a demon from ages past that had spoken ill words into the world and planted a seed of despair within it. The demon grew slowly within the young girl, watching and waiting for the time of his ascension.
But there was a Foundation set to contain him, a group of brilliant scientists and soldiers, who held the demon at bay with ancient magics and powerful sorcery. For a time, the demon was silent, powerless against the very forces that had first created him. The Foundation remained vigilant, never taking their watchful eyes off of the demon, prepared for any eventuality.
Until one night, when another creature in the Foundation's care broke free of its bindings and wreaked havoc throughout their numbers. The demon heard this, and knew his time was coming soon. As the monster outside drew more and more guardians away from the young girl, too few remained to protect her and to initiate the ritual that contained the demon. When the time for the ritual came and went with no sign of the binding magic, the fell beast burst forth into the world, strengthened by eons of waiting, and his name was the Scarlet King.
What little remained of the Foundation there was broken quickly by the might of the King, for his words were the Fires of Hell and his long arms stretched across the world to shatter it and remake it to his design. The Eyes of Darkness were cast across all mankind, and threatened to pull it all into the shadows where the Scarlet King reigned supreme.
In response, the Foundation joined with its friends and foes, and found themselves helpless against the King and its supremacy. In an act of desperation, the captors of the world released their captives, who turned in kind either against the King or for him. Regardless of their intent, the King swept them up in a sea of blood and returned them to nothingness. The King had not lingered in twilight for so long to make friends with mortals.
Finally, in the light of dusk on a cold November evening, a group of men of the Foundation brought forth the most powerful force left in their control, and left them to grow away from the power of the King. They prepared for him a most vile feast, and then fled.
It was a month until the King arrived at the feast, and realized that he was undone. Before him was a mountain, greater and more terrible than any in the universe, a mountain that would grow and move and smother the Scarlet King and his fires. A mountain of endless cakes.
It was the cakes, in the end, that were the undoing of the Scarlet King. The gift that the mysterious Adephagia gave to the King of Crete, in those days was called SCP-871. If left uneaten, the cakes would multiply, and multiply, and multiply again, until nothing remained but cake.
Beneath this mountain of cake, the Scarlet King became trapped, powerless again in the face of magic more powerful than himself, and beneath the mountain he suffocated and his fires went out. The Left Hand was broken, and his conquest of the Earth and of humanity was finally ended. The work that had begun by Hevel-Ab-Leshal was finished, under the growing strength of cream and flour.
But the men of the Foundation saw their own folly, as the might of the cakes grew exponentially and threatened to destroy their country. Out of fear, they then dropped the bombs, hoping to scorch the cakes into oblivion. Fire rained for thirteen months, and when the flames subsided the skies darkened and the cold winds began to blow. This was the beginning of the Winter That Will Not End, and at the dawn of that cold season all of the bombs were spent, and an entire country had slipped beneath the seas.
Thus ended the Feast that the men of the Foundation had prepared for the Scarlet King, Left Hand of Destruction and He Who Came Before.
"What happened to all the cake?"
Sky looked up, realizing he had had his eyes closed for the last five minutes. The children were eyeing him with curiosity, desperate for a truth that they did not need to know. He smiled at them, and tossed the hair of one to his right.
"The fires melted the cake, of course. There was no more cake after that, and hasn't been any cake ever since."
Another child across from him piped up. "But what about all the potatoes?"
A chill caught Sky unprepared, and the smile became false. He remembered a time, it could have easily been a day before, when a council met to discuss the devastation they had not avoided, the multicolored apocalypse growing once more on the horizon. He remembered a woman in a white lab coat, who presented the group with a burlap sack of potatoes. He remembered how she had described, in detail, the greatest deus ex machina he had ever heard: of how her team had been able to deduce, scientifically, that potatoes were the opposite of cakes and that exposing the two to each other would cause them to cancel out, thus ridding the world of the infinite cakes by means of the infinite potatoes.
He remembered a time when they all nodded and shook hands and agreed to the plan of action, a time before they learned that the potatoes were a hostile, extradimensional entity at odds with the concept of infinite cakes, locked away once in ages past to prevent the destruction of the planet in a food-based Armageddon. He remembered now that that probably had not been the smartest idea, and in the back of his throat he tasted potatoes. It almost made him vomit.
"The… potatoes were nourished by the sugar in the ground. Obviously the potatoes began to grow because there had been so many cakes, and…" he looked up, eyes searching for an excuse. "Hey, it looks like breakfast is ready! Come on now, let's get to eating."
The gathered children sprang to their feet and rushed off to the waiting food line, and Sky Martin stood slowly, now feeling the aches in his bones. He ambled over to the entrance of the mess hall, where another older man stood waiting.
"I feel like there are fewer cakes every time you tell that story." Monroe said, his southern accent warm against the biting cold of Havenhall.
"Yeah, well, here's hoping." Sky pulled the thick curtain aside, and exited the hall. He turned towards the barracks, desperate for rest. "Wishful thinking, if anything."
Monroe snorted. "Wishful thinking, yeah. Probably only that. You heard the latest scouting reports?" Sky replied with silence. "Figured not. Echo team saw a couple spuds, bout thirty miles to the southeast. Didn't disturb em or anything, and they think they got out without being seen."
Sky grunted. "Did they investigate and further south?"
"No. Rads were too high for safe travel, and they were already low on fuel. They placed a couple of Scranton Starch Dispersion Anchors in the area, might be enough to ward them off."
"Does Marshall know about this?"
"Aye, he does. Caught him after they had already gotten back, though. He was busy with Delta Team, who went north."
"Don't tell me."
"Yep. The Kant Pan-Dimensional Glucose Counters we had up there? All overloaded. Travel north of White Side is nearly impossible, it's too sticky. Rads were really high, there, too. Both sightings were more than we've seen in-"
"In about five years, I know." Sky rubbed his temples and pushed through the doorway to the barracks. It was warmer inside, but only just. "We need to make certain we're seeing what it looks like we're seeing, because if we need to get everybody out, we don't have-"
Monroe stepped in front of him. "There won't be time, this time. We don't have the firepower for another appearance of either of them, let alone both. We might be preparing for a full cryogenic lockdown, Sky."
The old man sat down to rest in the common room, and his friend joined him. "Sky, nobody else knows how to work those freeze tubes. If we need to get everybody in them and lock it all down, we might need you, you know… to handle it from the outside."
He knew what Monroe meant. There were plenty of cryotubes beneath Havenhall, in the ruins of Site-52, but only one operator left and that was him. If push came to shove and they had to retreat below, the only one capable of turning the machine on and making it work was him. After so many years, the automatic function had broken down, as well. It would have to be done manually. It was not exactly a death sentence, but Sky could not think of a better word for it.
"Yeah, I know." He shrugged. "Guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it."
Monroe left him then, and Sky retired to his bunk. Within a few minutes, he had fallen asleep beneath the bundle of blankets afforded to him. In his dreams, he smelled the sickly sweet aroma of death on the horizon, accompanied by the quieting of the winds and the sound of rushing ca-
He awoke with a start, as the dull emergency klaxon blared throughout Havenhall. Struggling to his feet, he threw on a jacket and his boots, and hurried towards the sounds of people.
As he burst out of the barracks, he saw the whole population moving quickly and silently into the tunnels of Site-52. His tired eyes searched for any sign of his compatriots, and stopped when they fell on Max. Sky ran across the courtyard and grabbed his friend by the shoulder. Max spun and knocked his hand away, but his face softened with recognition.
"Max, what is it? Marauders?"
Max's face, worn deep by age and long nights in the fields, creased into a sad smile. He motioned towards the watchtower. Sky moved towards the ladder, and when he turned back Max was gone. He quickly scaled the height of the structure, with the sounds of chaos now ringing around him.
"Into the tunnels, quickly!"
"Spuds to the south! Spuds to the south!"
"Ready artillery, take aim!"
"Women and children first, bring the sick over here!"
He reached the top of the tower, pausing only a moment to catch his breath. He looked down at the panicked mass below him, and then up towards the horizon. The wind was no longer blowing, and a shadow passed over Sky Martin's eyes as he saw it. A cascading tidal wave of potatoes, trillions of potatoes, cascading across the highlands like a loosed sea. The horizon of the Earth had disappeared, and in its place was starchy death.
He stepped back, steadying himself against a railing. It was then that he smelled it, the saccharine stench evil. He turned, and in the distance behind him he saw the rainbow terror of the infinite cakes, a moving, heaving, roaring river of cream. As his eyes passed over the scene before him, he noticed a small, running figure outside of the walls of Havenhall. A ways away from it was another figure, a dog, running after some unseen rabbit. He moved as he recognized the first, the girl, Amelia.
Throwing latches and pounding through doors, Sky Martin burst into the frozen openness of the highlands, and he began at a sprint towards the tiny dot on a nearby hillside. From behind him he could hear his fellows shouting his name, but he paid them no mind. His mind was single-focused on his goal, and he could not be deterred. He was like the wind, then, swift and howling in the wake of the opposing waves of food around him.
Sky grew close to the little girl, then, and she turned to see him and saw the cakes over his shoulder. Her eyes grew wide with fear, and the small dog she held clutched to her chest barked and whimpered. In a single move, the old man grabbed her and the pup, lifting them to his shoulder, and fell into a full run towards Havenhall. Behind him were potatoes, and he saw them falling around him, their fat, spuddy bodies making a thick, wet, splashing sound as they struck the hard earth.
A single, solitary figure stood at the open doorway to Havenhall's south side. It was the Marshall, still and silent, holding the gate open. Sky's eyes met his, and the Marshall shook his head. He slipped back inside the structure, the door closing behind him.
Fear gripped Sky's heart, and he heard, distantly now, the little girl screaming. He looked back, then, and beheld the starchy death that awaited him.
Sky fell to the ground, holding Amelia and the dog beneath him. Potatoes began to pound at his back, breaking it.
Then there were potatoes everywhere.
Then there was darkness.
Part Two: A Council of Culinary Mishaps
The man who was once known as O5-11 sat quietly behind his computer screen, eyes flitting across it. He squinted, and then hammered out a string of text.
Video feed access: SCP-076
The screen flickered slightly, and then displayed a live stream of the interior of a dark chamber. Most of the lights had gone out, but from the flickering headlight on the observation camera, he could make out a number of colorful pastries being pushed past the lens. The on-camera mic picked up the dull sound of rumbling confections, as well as the muffled grunting of an unseen man, suffocating again and again in the increasingly compacted cake-based prison.
He sighed, and shook his head. His fingers found the keyboard again, and he pounded out another command.
Video feed access: SCP-1193
Another flicker, and then a shot of a dark basement, strewn with a great many delicacies. In the far corner, a hand was waving a small white flag, and a phone was ringing. The cakes continued to pile in through the basement stairway, until the camera was completely obscured.
They were all about the same, at least in North America. Most Safe and Euclid class objects had long since been buried, either under sugar or under rubble. A few angry Keters had gotten loose and tried to wrench themselves free from the sticky mess of foodstuffs, but all had succumbed and sunk beneath the sickly sweet sea. He laughed while remembering the great fucking lizard, choking to death in its vat of acid on a cream pie that it could not adapt to.
There were exceptions. SCP-1867 had made it out, and SCP-662 as well. They had fashioned some sort of improvised sailing vessel for themselves and, laden with supplies no doubt pulled from the Site-16 storehouses, had struck out on their own. Current estimates put them somewhere over southwestern Nebraska, in pursuit of a peculiar absence of a shark.
Most of the staff had gone the way of the skips, too, all valiantly maintaining their stations until the very last second when the cakes came pouring through the windows and up through the plumbing. A few had escaped, no doubt. The east coast had gotten word of the oncoming devastation in time, and he was certain there was no shortage of deserters then.
Jack Bright was still ok, it looked like. He had checked up on him earlier, out of a morbid curiosity. The amulet was firmly anchored within a conscious trail of mold, growing itself out of the mess one millimeter at a time. Clef hadn't been seen in months, though that was less of a surprise than anything. Much of the rest of the senior staff had either perished or deserted, or moved on towards safer sites elsewhere in the world.
The other organizations were taking it well, all things considered. The Global Occult Coalition had established a quarantine around the United States, Canada and Mexico, and were initiating large-scale carpet bombings of border areas, to keep the tide at bay. It helped, for a time, but the cakes would always come tumbling back. They were, of course, infinite. Not as infinite as they had once feared, thankfully. It appeared as if there was an upper limit to the amount of cakes that would reappear every day, and while the number did seem to be rising, the threat of an exponential cake apocalypse seemed to be avoided, at least for the present.
Marshall, Carter and Dark had long since disbanded. Much of their anomalous wares had been housed within the United States, and with its full-scale destruction most of the shareholders had headed for higher ground. The remaining warehouses had been emptied, and the paperwork burned. Not that it really mattered, the cakes couldn't read.
The religious groups, the Broken Church, the Fifthists, those holding on to their Abrahamic religions, were all doing what religious groups tend to do in apocalyptic scenarios. Neither machines, nor the stars, nor Jesus Christ seemed capable or interested in staving off the cakes. Little surprise, there, too.
In the end, the ones who had made off the best seemed to be the Hand. At the first sign of global annihilation, they had all simultaneously left for the Library, and locked the Ways behind them. Maybe, somewhere, they thought this was kind of funny.
As for the Foundation, Overwatch Command remained resilient, hunkered deep under the ice and snow of the frozen Antarctic. The distance gave them time, anyway, to formulate a plan or jettison themselves into space and hope for the best. He smiled again, laughing at the thought of the senior Foundation command passing the Hateful Star on their way to Pluto, unaware that all that remained of the world it despised so thoroughly was buttercream.
Despite the rampant destruction that had overtaken their organization, protocol demanded that a meeting be called. The Council was anything if not creatures of habit, so the meeting had been scheduled with those who remained. O5-11 was first, likely because his bedroom was just down the hall. Most of the rest should have been able to get there, except for 2. She was there when they first sent the D-Class cake-eaters home, and had watched and waited and protected them until they grew into the demon crushing monstrosity they were today.
His thoughts were broken when he saw a man rush into the room. He saluted, his brow sweaty in spite of the chill.
"O5-11, sir!" the man shouted, unnecessarily loud.
"Jesus, Conwell, relax." He waved him down. "I told you, it's Hank. We don't really need to stand on formalities at this point, I think."
Jacob Conwell slumped, obviously uncomfortable. "Sorry, sir. Two birds inbound, looks like the party is here."
Hank nodded. "Good. Let's get this show on the road."
He stood, and followed Conwell to the hangar bay. Thermal gear only did so much, to keep out the godless cold, and every one of Hank's ninety-five years felt the chill. It was his duty, though, to stand watch over Site-01, and even in the face of delectable disaster he stood strong. Out of habit, maybe.
The choppers landed on the pad outside of the building, and their cargo unloaded. Twelve other administrators, a number of site directors and regional directors, and a researcher from Greece. He knew them all by name, and could count those missing from their ranks. Harkin was gone, and Torval. Montgomery too, and Aktus, Gerald, Kiryu, Lament, Johnson. The group that remained was a skeleton crew, but something was better than nothing.
He walked out to greet them. "Welcome to Overwatch Command, everybody." He said, nodding curtly. "Follow me."
There would be no pleasantries, he figured. Not today, and not with the task that awaited them. They all knew what was going on here. There was an uncomfortable silence among the group as they trudged through the dimly lit lower passages to the main conference room. It was a circular room, spacious enough to accommodate a large, round wooden table and thirteen chairs, but not spacious enough for the mass of tag-alongs that accompanied them. Somebody would have to stand in the hall.
They all took their places in the room, either in the seats or along the wall. The other administrators, some young and some old, settled in to their usual spots. O5-1, Barry Jameson by another name, remained standing. He was not the oldest of the group, but he did look the most worn. His eyes sagged and his hair had thinned, the jet black of years past now hidden beneath a blanket of grey. As silence swept over the room, he panned over them with a tired gaze.
"Alright. We all know why we're here." He paused, motioning towards the middle of the table. A hologram projector flickered on, followed by an image of North America, distorted by the copious cornucopia of carnivorous cakes. "The issue we ran into with 231 is… resolved. The Scarlet King is buried somewhere in northern Colorado. We're not sure specifically where he met his end, but that's sort of moot at this point. The larger problem, I'm sure you're all aware," he hesitated, "is that our initial containment plan is getting out of hand. SCP-871 was an effective means to contain and, in this case, destroy the Scarlet King, but…" The silence was awkward. "…yeah. This isn't going well."
O5-7 spoke up. "Current casualty reports are astronomical, as you can all imagine. We've lost the entire west coast, midwest, southeast, everything. Site 19 is lost, Site 17, 15, 3, 11, all of them. Containment of several Keter class objects has been lost, but most of them have been demolished, too. We've got leads on a few that made it out, but in all reality they're not even close to our biggest issue right now."
O5-1 nodded. "The biggest issue right now is that our original plan of nuking the cupcakes into sweet, sugary oblivion didn't work even a little bit. Turns out all of the pieces can regenerate, too, which is sort of a problem, and… yeah, we didn't think this through." He coughed, motioning towards the floating diagram of cupcakes pouring into the Grand Canyon. "At this point, the States are a wash. We aren't going to be able to do enough to salvage them, and might as well rename the continent Cupcake Island for as much good as we're going to be able to do there. Same goes for most of Canada, Mexico, etc. Our secondary means of containment, freezing the cakes in the result of a nuclear winter, also has not worked. Cupcakes are freezing, but that mostly just makes them hard and it hurts more when they hit your head."
O5-3 was next. "So we're going to need to come up with a way to counteract the cakes, and on a massive scale. Like, we've thrown off the orbit of the Earth with these cakes. The only things keeping the rest of the world from going under are the oceans on either side of the US. Can't imagine it'd take too long to fill those up, though."
Across the table, O5-9 motioned to her left. "That's why we're pleased to introduce you to Dr. Tamara Gates, originally of Area 43. Her team was involved with research and containment of SCP-1689, and- well, you take it from her, Dr. Gates."
A woman in a white lab coat, who had taken O5-2's vacant seat at the table, stood up and adjusted herself. "Thank you, Margaret. As she said, my team was involved in the study of SCP-1689, the Bag of Holding Potatoes. Initial investigation of the object returned that the bag is the entrance to an extradimensional that, at least at one point, was a human civilization… somewhere. The problem with exploration of the bag is that it's full of potatoes, and- well- so is that entire universe, as far as we can tell. Potatoes everywhere. Infinite potatoes, and that might be the answer to our problem."
She produced a large, burlap sack from beneath the table, tied off at the top. Loosening the knot slightly, she produced a single, fat potato. "This is a potato," she said, concretely. "If left unchecked, this potato would begin to sprout another potato, and that potato another, and again and again until all that is left of this universe is potatoes as well." She produced another object, a small tupperware container. She pried open the lid, drawing from within it a single, iced cake. There was an obvious gasp through the room, and at least three people vomited while the rest recoiled. "This is a keter cake. No worries, it can't hurt us here, I've just brought it for demonstrative purposes."
She set the two down side by side. "You see, the Foundation has run into surprisingly few infinite objects in our time, so obviously we had to compare the two and note their similarities. The obvious difference is that one is a potato, and the other is a cake. BUT, if you note here, when I expose the potato to the cake," she poked the potato, which rolled over and bumped into the cake. "This begins a strange reaction. Observe."
As they all watched, the potato began to extend tiny little potato feelers, which wrapped around the cake. A quiet gurgling sound was heard, and then the cake was gone, and all that remained was the potato.
There was a murmur of approval from around the room. A few people clapped. O5-9 nodded vigorously. "Good show, that," he said, nose bobbing ominously. "But can it be weaponized?"
Dr. Gates nodded as well. "Indeed it can. By putting the bag of potatoes on top of a very tall thing, such as a step ladder or giraffe, and turning it upside down, we might be able to release the full strength of the potatoes within, stemming the tide of cake once and for all."
There was additional level of nodding from throughout the room, and before too long the air was a symphony of rushing air, as everybody showed their agreement by violently swinging their heads too and fro.
"In that case," said O5-1, standing once more. "I say we put it to a vote. All for holding off the apocalypse with potatoes, say-"
"Now hang on here, Barry." Hank stood up, motioning towards the potato. "Let's not be rash here. What happens when the cakes are all gone, and we've got a continent full of potatoes instead?"
From the back, there was the sound of somebody squirming gleefully. All eyes turned, and a short, pudgy, particularly toad-like man was bouncing quietly on his heels. Hank eyed him, eyebrow raised. "Is there something you'd like to add, Dr. Fourier?"
The man piggled his way forward. "Yes there is! You all laughed at me, then. You laughed at me and mocked me, but my day has come! Behold, the plan for our eventual salvation after we get through this initial salvation first!"
He pushed a number of buttons on the edge of the table, and the hologram began to display the image of a goat.
"A goat?" O5-1 was not impressed.
"Not just a goat, you barbaric clown." Suddenly, the hologram was a great many goats. "A great, majestic goat army! All hungry and prime for feasting upon the potatoes of our resurgence! You laughed at me when I said we could turn SCP-2000 into a goat army mobilization device, well who the fuck is laughing now, shitlords?"
There was a silence, and then another general murmur of approval, followed by the standard vigorous nodding. "Yeah, that'll probably work," said O5-3. O5-1 shrugged.
Hank rubbed at his eyes. "Alright, fine. Just so we're straight, let's go over this one more time. Potatoes, and then goats. That sound alright?"
One man raised his hand off to the left. "But what about the goat excreme-"
O5-1 slapped the table. "Damn it Gableson we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Voting time, all in favor of staving off our doom with potatoes and goats?"
O5-1 crossed his arms. "Good enough for me. Dr. Gates, it's all you. Do what you need to do. Dr. Fourier, you're… free to make a goat army, I suppose."
Both of them squealed, and began to leave. As everybody trickled out, O5-1 turned to his comrades around the table and bid them to stay. When the room was empty, he sat down.
"This is going to be the last time we sit down together, I think." He wiped his brow, suddenly looking very much as exhausted as he was. "If this works, the Foundation is going to be no more. Cat is out of the bag on this one, and there's not much we can do about it. If it doesn't work, well… you know. Cake everywhere."
"So basically what I'm getting at is, it's been a ride. It's a shame we had to go out like this, but might as well go this way than something worse."
There was an awkward silence. "Anyway. As acting leader of this council, I hereby release you of your duties. If you have somewhere to go, go there and wait. If you don't, you're more than welcome to stay here, as long as it will last you. There's beer in the fridge downstairs, and I think we've still got some hot pockets in the freezer. Help yourself."
They all began to leave the room, heading off to whatever doom awaited them. O5-1 grabbed Hank by the shoulder as they walked out, tailed closely by Conwell, and said, "So hey, you hear about that thing down in Samothrace?"
Part Three: Lord Blackwood and His Faithful Manservant Deeds Destroy the Behemoth and Save Britain
It was a blustery day on the Atlantic, and with the task ahead looming before them, the crew of the H.M.S. PotatoCake McStabbin was reverently silent. Deeds manned the helm, as usual, and Blackwood stood bowside, staring at the monstrosity that loomed before him on the shores of his beloved England. He wiped a solitary tear from his eye.
"A blasted shame it is, Deeds," he said, patriotism leaking from his tear ducts. "I would have liked to have gazed upon her unblemished shores once more, I think. When we were taken by the rapscallion Foundation scamps, I feared I would not return. This is worse."
Deeds nodded, his steely eyes fixed on the horizon. "It would appear, sir, that our foe is far more formidable than we had anticipated."
Blackwood stamped on the deck. "To hell with our foe, Deeds! The foul demon has besmirched the name of our homeland and coated her gentle slopes and fertile valleys with wretched potatoes and filthy cakes." He turned rapidly and pointed a stiff finger towards Deeds. "Do you know that Her Majesty the Queen God rest her soul doesn't even like cake, Deeds? She's lactose intolerant, her death was likely extremely uncomfortable." He spun back to where the distance mountain of foodstuffs sat. "I dare say the demise of this creature will be even worse, God help me."
"Our chances of success are slim, I fear." Deeds did some quick math. "Less than a tenth of a percent, it seems. My initial calculations did not include the potatoes and cakes falling in love and becoming a mammoth, sentient mass of edible death. This has changed things, fairly dramatically."
Blackwood scoffed. "Don't speak to me of odds, Deeds. Where we're going, we don't need odds. All we need is good old-fashioned British dignity, and that superweapon I won from Tesla in '21."
Deeds raised an eyebrow. "The anti-entropic device, sir? Our chances of success are likely significantly lower, if you're going to bring that into the equa-"
"Nonsense, Deeds. The device is quite harmless in the hands of a skilled marksman. Harmless, that is, for the marksman. Our opponent will not be so lucky."
The manservant nodded. "Very well, sir. As it turns out, we're here."
Blackwood turned around to face the monstrous, wriggling mass of cake and potatoes. He squinted against the light, and then pulled out a very small megaphone.
"Now see here, cake-and-potato creature," he said, his voice echoing. "This is England you're traipsing around in, and I'm not keen on what you've done to the place in my absence."
The writhing, towering amalgamation of food product replied.
"What you mean, what oive done wit it? Oi think it looks moighty nice, mate, so 'ow bout you fuck roight off and let me be here."
Deeds scrunched his nose. "Cockneys."
Blackwood was undeterred. "You've done gone and buggered the whole countryside! Not to say that havoc you've wreaked with the rest of the world. How is this alright?"
"What part of 'fuck roight off' are you too dense to understand, ye twat?" There was a sound like a quick puff of air, and then a single potato came spiraling out of the side of the creature. It landed with a splat on the deck, inches from Deeds' shoes. Blackwood turned back, fuming.
"Very well. You've left me no other option, potato-beast. Bring me the missus."
The horde of potatoes rotated slightly, until the wall before them was mostly squashed cake.
"What do you want, ye fukkin slug? E' already told ye to fuck roight off now, din't he?"
Blackwood sighed. "Madam, I'm afraid I must ask you and your… mate… to kindly vacate this particular island. I don't much mind that your girth expands around the globe, but this island specifically is precious to me, and-"
A cake landed square on Blackwood's face. He wiped it off, tiny hands trembling.
"Very well. Deeds, the weapon."
Deeds vanished for a moment, and then appeared at Blackwood's side, anti-entropic gun in hand. "I'll say again, sir, I fear that the application of this device assures our-"
"Enough with your words, Deeds." Blackwood cocked the weapon. "The time for action is now. Have at you, foul beast!"
The weapon hummed, there was a crack, and then the world went dark.
"And that's how I saved Britain back in '92." Blackwood said, head bobbing with satisfaction. "Saved the whole lot of you, of course. Never once was able to collect the medal Her Majesty the Queen awarded me for my efforts, though. Not while I'm stuck in here."
Researcher Garrison nodded slowly, his eyes darting to the wall to see when the shift would be over. He hoped it was soon. "Yes, that's very nice, SCP-1867. Another thrilling story, as usual."
Blackwood puffed. "One of my finest hours, no doubt. Might even be able to compete with the time I had to fight off that great serpent in the Amazon. The year was 1875, and Deeds was nursing an amputated leg at the time…"
Sometime later, Garrison left the room. Blackwood sat in silence, meditating with his own thoughts. An hour passed, and then two, and then he heard a slight pop and a rush of air. He did not open his eyes, but he did smile.
"Deeds, welcome back. Did you manage to bring my prize this time?"
"Indeed, sir. Shall I place it within your cell?"
Blackwood nodded. "That will do just fine, Deeds."
The man approached the tank and quietly removed the cover. With a single motion, he placed within the cell a solitary potato, carved out like a canoe, and the wrapper from a cupcake. Blackwood approached the items, gave his approval, and Deeds disappeared.
Blackwood climbed within the potato, feeling its dimensions and appreciating Deeds' craftsmanship. He laid down, pulling the wrapper up over him.
"God Save the Queen, you damn victuals," he said quietly, and then fell asleep.