A sizable group of people milled about a large, featureless room. If one looked very closely in the corners, they could find blood stains and minor remnants of charred bone, but without a great deal of perception, the place looked as if it had just been built. The various folks within the room knew otherwise, of course; they had seen some pretty heavy shit go down in that room, and were currently preparing themselves for yet another round. Even though each day brought new surprises, everything usually went according to schedule.
Today, though, something different happened, something nobody had seen in a very long time. According to the schedule, everyone was to be in the room at nine in the morning precisely, and prepare for their arrival. No late entries would be tolerated. However, at 9:05, two large, burly men without faces tossed in a frightened young man, and slammed the door behind him. The young man lay motionless for a short time, as those already in the room gathered around him, wondering what to do. Some proposed trying to hide him, while others were tempted to treat him as they treated them.
At length, the young man stirred, groaning as he slowly lifted himself to his feet. His face was almost perfectly generic, as were all of the individuals gathered around him. Some specific features could almost be made out, but most had been wiped out by the unique atmosphere of the room. The young man's lips flapped and his throat undulated, but no sound came out. Panicking, he glanced wildly at the individuals around him, trying to figure out just what was happening.
One person who may have been a woman reached out her hands in front of her, and made a series of motions with her fingers. She tapped downwards with her right pinkie finger, and a robotic voice emanated from her general region. "You new, kid?" He glanced up, a look of confusion crossing over his face. Moving her fingers again, the woman's odd robotic voice came out again. "You have to use these weird invisible keyboard things in front of you. They make us use them."
The young man hesitated for a moment and, with shaking hands, typed out, "Who… who are… they?"
"The senior staff, of course," said another individual close to her.
The young man, upon hearing the phrase, flung himself against the back wall, clearly panicking. Slapping the man who had spoken, the woman typed out, "You fear them?" Watching him nod, the woman said, "I wasn't aware there was anyone on the outside who still did."
"They made my life a living hell," the young man said, slowly getting a hang of the strange method of communication. "Two of them took a special interest in me. I don't know why, but they turned my entire family into jelly."
"Sounds like Konny and Clef," chimed in another person, their brow furrowing slightly. "Must have done it for a laugh." The young man twitched slightly.
"He's not as used to this as we are," typed the woman, snapping her head to the right. "Stop being so callous with him!"
"Why bother? They ban something new each day. They get rid of fun, names, talking… who's to say that they won't ban some random shit like compassion one day?"
"They… they can ban things?" asked the young man, shrinking away from the others.
"They weren't able to in the old days, they could only keep you from coming in this room. They only joked about that sort of thing. But now… I don't know what sort of limits they have on this sort of thing. Thank *** they haven't banned anyone yet."
She grimaced, then typed, "They do stuff like that asterisk things all the time too."
"You mean," typed out the young man, fear filling his eyes, "that it isn't safe here?"
"HA! Who told you it would be?" asked the callous man.
"I was on the run from those two for so long. They wouldn't let me go until they'd done the same thing to me as they did to my family. I was looking for any way out. And somebody in… I think it was North Dakota… told me that I could find sanctuary here. So I joined up with the Foundation until those men brought me in here. But… it's not safe?"
Walking over to the young man, the woman placed a hand on his shoulder, and then typed, "Son, they killed everyone in North Dakota months ago. Whatever told you to hide here was probably one of their constructs." As he sank to his knees, the woman added, "But it isn't all bad here. They may torture us, but we still have our minds. That's more than you can say for most folks on the outside. They haven't banned individuality."
"Be quiet." Turning back to the young man, the woman typed, "Look, you can't ever escape them, especially in here, but there are some simple rules to follow if you want to stay safe. Don't do anything that could make you a target. Do what they tell you. Follow all the rules - and yes, we'll give you the rules later," she added, seeing the look on his face. "Don't tread on any toes. And, most importantly, don't say his name."
The young man looked up at the woman. "His?"
"We've got it written down somewhere. Hey, you!" she typed, pointing a finger at a random individual afterwards. "Find where we've got the Czar's name written down." Making a sighing motion, she continued. "Yeah. Him. He used to be the guy who had the key to the break room and made sure we all behaved when we hung out in here. It was a good arrangement, even if he was a bit odd. But he also happened to be among the ranks of the senior staff, so when everything went down, he got the same powers they did. Only he was a bi"
The woman's robotic voice suddenly stopped, even though her fingers continued moving. She paused for a moment, and then typed out, "Sorry. Character limit." Another pause, followed by more typing. "A bit odd. The others are completely blind to their actions, but he knows what really happens to everyone he uses those powers on. Near as we can tell, he doesn't care. We don't know what caused him to get like that, but…"
"I still say he was a nutter before it happened," chimed in one of the men now standing in the corner.
"Whatever the reason," the woman continued, ignoring the remark, "he's completely mad with power now. Put a single toe out of his ever changing definition of the line, and he will come down on you hard. Normally, though, we don't have to worry about that. He only comes in when we say his name, and unless he's gone and changed it, we should be safe from him."
"So what's his name?" asked the young man. "I really, really don't want to accidentally say… type… use it."
"I've got it over here!" typed another person, waving a piece of paper above his head. "Just lemme run over there and… ***, kid, your back!"
Glancing over his shoulder, the young man saw a small candle sprouting out of his spine. Jumping and screaming silently, he desperately beat his hands up and down, trying to swat the burning thing away. Within seconds, the woman was on him, and successfully pulled it out, leaving the young man hunched over, panting. He put his hands before him and typed, " candle wax…"
A silence fell over the room as everyone took in the words the young man had typed. Before anyone could inform him of his faux pas, a high-pitched giggling came from within the walls. Whirling about, the woman saw several members of the senior staff emerging from them, two of whom were clutching onto each other's shoulders for support. "Clef! Konny!" she typed out, forgetting her own advice "Do you realize what you just did?
"Made things a whole lot more interesting, that's what," said Clef, a huge shit-eating grin on his face.
From out of nowhere, dark storm clouds gathered around the ceiling of the room, demonic faces rolling through them. A moment of silence passed before a blast of lighting, hotter than any naturally occurring bolt, blasted down from the clouds, striking the center of the room and smiting anyone standing too close to it. The beam of pure electricity continued to dance for several seconds, thunder roaring all the while, before slowly lifting up to reveal the object it had dropped from a million miles away.
A grand, elaborate throne sat there, majestic and terrible at the same time. It seemed to be made of a fusion of pure gold, fine cut diamond, and mangled human corpses, their faces twisted into horrified screams. The backing and cushion was made of alchemized blood, while the armrests had real arms built into them, encrusted with emeralds. Capping the whole grisly affair were the piked heads of Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin, their eyes and mouths filled with an ever burning fire. A scepter made of a human spine and an enormous ruby containing a thousand human souls floated by the side of the throne, which was quickly grasped by the hand of its occupant.
He was the most terrifying man any person in the room could ever imagine. His skin gave off a sickly white glow from within, tense muscles running throughout the body. His height was well in excess of twelve feet, and his hands looked as if they could crush a man's skull in a second. The clothes covering his divine form were a strange mixture of Nazi officer regalia, Communist Russia high fashion, and a typical 1980s businessman's suit, all in pitch black. Tinted glasses covered his eyes, and his mouth was twisted into a permanent snarl. In his other hand, a long, multi-pronged, barbed lash was gripped tightly.
Opening his terrible mouth, the huge man boomed, "WHICH ONE OF YOU CHUCKLEFUCKS SAID MY NAME? I'VE GOT THE ENTIRE RUSSIAN FRONT OF WORLD WAR II TO REENACT, AND YOU FUCKERS ARE KEEPING ME FROM IT. THIS HAD BETTER BE PRETTY FUCKING IMPORTANT!"
"Hey, Dmitri," piped up Konny, raising his hand, "how can you call it a reenactment when you've armed everyone with laser-based weaponry?
"IF I SAY IT'S A REENACTMENT, IT'S A GODDAMN REENACTMENT!" snapped the imposing man, not even looking at Kondraki. "NOW WHICH ONE OF YOU BASTARDS SUMMONED ME?" Looking around from behind his cold tinted glasses, Dmitri examined the whole room, his gaze passing over ever cowering individual, until he zeroed in on the shaking young man, and the woman standing in front of him.
"MUST'VE BEEN THIS MOTHERFUCKER," he said, floating over on his throne to the pair. "MOVE OUT OF MY WAY, WOMAN. I NEED TO DEAL WITH THIS SHITHEAD." The woman moved her fingers to type something out, but before she could get a chance, Dmitri flicked his foot, and the woman went flying out the door without any physical contact. "NOW WHY DID YOU SAY MY GODDAMN NAME?"
The young man, shaking in fear of the monster of a man before him, slowly typed out, "I… I didn't know that was your name… they were about to tell me…"
"THIS HERE ROOM IS PROPERTY OF DMITRI ARKADEYEVICH STRELNIKOV, CZAR OF THE SCP FOUNDATION, LORD OF THE BREAKROOM, AND RESURRECTOR OF THE BEST DAMN WAR IN HISTORY. I ALSO GO BY WAXX. YOU GOT THAT, YOU LITTLE SHITHEAD?" Nodding rapidly, the young man tried to type, but found himself unable to move his fingers. "NOW, YOU LOT TAKE CARE OF THE NEW GUY."
As the man called Waxx moved to leave, someone else in the room spoke up. "So… so we should ask him some questions…"
Waxx stopped suddenly, turned about, and flung off his glasses, revealing pitch black eyes. "YOU HAVEN'T EVEN ASKED HIM THE QUESTIONS? DO I HAVE TO DO FUCKING EVERYTHING AROUND HERE?"
"You… you banned those questions last…" The man was unable to finish his sentence before he found himself flying out the door with a flick of Waxx's ankle.
"WELL THEY'RE UNBANNED NOW. ARE WE GONNA ASK HIM THE QUESTIONS, OR DO I HAVE TO WASTE MORE TIME AWAY FROM THE FRONT?"
The young man, who was now at Waxx's feet, had fallen to his knees, and was desperately gasping for air. His body couldn't stand being so close to such a powerful being, and he was desperate to get away. "Sir…" he begged, clutching at the edges of the throne with one hand and typing with another, "sir, please, I'm only twenty, and I need sanctuary from these monsters… sir… have mercy…"
"WHAT THE FLYING FUCK!" Waxx bellowed, rising from his seat and towering over the young man. "YOU KNOW THE AGE LIMIT IN HERE IS TWENTY-FIVE. WE ONLY CHANGED IT THREE HOURS AGO. DIDN'T YOU READ THE FUCKING GUIDES?"
"I… didn't even know there were guides…"
"UNDERAGE AND YOU HAVEN'T READ THE GUIDES? THAT'S IT, CHUCKLEFUCK, YOU JUST GOT YOUR ASS BANNED." Reaching out before himself, Waxx pulled out a blood red hammer, spiked on both ends. He swung, and the young man felt excruciating pain, before finding himself gone. He had been banned from reality.
"NOW," roared Waxx, tossing the hammer back into the ether, "IF NOBODY ELSE HAS ANYTHING IMPORTANT FOR ME TO DEAL WITH, I'VE GOT A FRONT TO ATTEND TO." With that, the thunderclouds once again formed above him, and the lightning sucked the Czar and his throne back up from whence they came. All that was left in the room to evidence they had been there were the small black spots on the floor where the lightning had struck. The people who had been in the room were milling about, and waited for the woman to be tossed back in.
One of the senior staff members stepped forwards, cracking his knuckles, and said, "Well, that was fun. Shall we get to work?"
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