The Esoteric Cult of the Devourer
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To whom it may concern,

On the 24th of September, 1924, I was commissioned by the Foundation to investigate suspicious demographics in a town in south-west Cornwall. From the moment I got out of my car, I could see the discrepancy quite plainly as the town appeared to be almost completely devoid of any elderly.

I decided to begin my investigation at the parish council. Presenting the forged papers of a census official, I secured an appointment with the parish clerk at two o'clock the following day. I opted to spend the night at the Cerulean Inn just off the square, a dingy and decrepit stone building that reeked of mildew that was, unfortunately, the only option available to me besides the backseat of my car.

I was awoken at half past three when a man attempted to enter my room only to be foiled by the door chain. I swiftly drew and fired my suppressed W&S 1909 at the point on the door behind which I estimated the man to be standing. The shot proved almost instantly fatal and I was able to conceal the body beneath the bed before attracting any unwanted attention. I secured its disposal with a telephone call to HQ.

I spent the remainder of the night lying on the backseat of my car. The parish clerk was visibly taken aback when he saw me awaiting him outside of his office at the agreed upon time. "What can I do for you?" he asked, with scarcely hidden discomfort.

"I'd like to know why your town has a disproportionately young population." I replied.

The man was visibly panicked as he attempted to formulate an explanation. "Eeeeh, the Boer Wars, they.. they.. they all went off in pals battalions. That's why."

To which, I replied "But surely that would only have reduced the male population rather than the whole population?"

Scurrying out the door, he announced "Look, I've got another urgent engagement and I'm afraid I can't come up with an answer to your question, I wish you the very best."

Unsurprised by the lack of answers, I decided to question people on the street for insight. Unfortunately, my reputation appeared to precede me and none were willing to talk, with people actively trying to avoid me by crossing roads and closing windows. As I strode through street after street with little success, I was finally beckoned into a mossy stone oratory by a religious minister.

With one hand on my 1909, I followed him. "I've heard from the townsfolk that you've been prying." he said, "That you've been looking into the cult."

"Cult? I hadn't heard anything about a cult."

"Do you see that ruined abbey on the ridge? That's where they're based."

"Who's they?"

"They call themselves the Esoteric Cult, they've whittled down my congregation through a promise to demonstrate the reality of life after death."

"Look sir, I'm just a census officer investigating a discrepancy, do you think they would have something to do with it?"

"Once their followers begin to show signs of frailty, they go to the abbey."

"I… I see, thank you."

With my newfound lead, I drove my rusty little Morris up to the gates of the abbey. I found my progress by road blocked with a cantilever barrier with a far from cordial attendant. "State your name and business, outsider." he demanded.

"I'm eager to learn more about your faith."

"Really, is that so? Well, unfortunately for you, I'm under strict orders to reject anyone driving a blue Morris Cowley with London plates." he replied, as demeaningly as possible.

Rebuffed, I descended the hill and formulated a new plan of action. I purchased a double ladder and a length of rope from a hardware shop forty miles away, so as not to arose the suspicion of the cult. Under the cover of darkness, I ascended the ridge from the opposite side with my ladder and my rope under the light of a gibbous moon.

I scaled the abbey's rear curtain wall using the ladder, tied off the rope to the crenellations and rappelled into the compound. From the vaulted basement of a crumbling nave, I could hear a rhythmic murmuring. As I approached, as silently as possible, clutching my 1909, it became a Gregorian chant of "Praise…. Praise…. Praise…." When I reached the nave, I crouched behind a tuft of grass and observed a scene more shocking than the Somme.

A dead man, aged around ninety by my reckoning, was brought before the dais; my view of which was obscured by a stone pillar. A hooded man wearing a grey habit raised his hands, quieting the congregation and sang out: "In The Devourer, he shall live for eternity."

With that, the corpse was enveloped by a woven grey mass and shortly after regurgitated in a flood of gore akin to abattoir effluent.

Having seen enough, I returned to my ladder and my rope and descended from the ridge to consider my options. I decided that an interrogation of a member of the congregation was in order. I drove to the intersection between of abbey's approach road and the main road into the town and waited for a straggler to emerge. Sure enough, after a significant wait, a woman with a limp entered my line of view, well behind the main group of worshippers. I sprung from my car with my 1909 and told her in no uncertain terms that if she resisted apprehension, I would fire. Fortunately - both for her and the investigation - she submitted. Using the rope, I bound her to the rear seat and returned to the local headquarters at an irresponsible pace.

With the aid of some interrogation tactics I learned during my employment at Brocton during the war, I opened by asked her: "What was the thing that consumed that old man?"

To which, she replied with a strained voice "The Devourer."

"Describe it," I demanded.

"He's.. he takes the memories of the dead," she replied, quaking with fear.

"By desecrating their corpses?"

"B…. b… but they live on forever in The Devourer's memory. It's beautiful."

"I didn't ask you that, do you want the bottle again? I asked if it takes their memories by desecrating their corpses!" I replied, seething with rage.


Having heard enough to put me off my steak dinner, I referred her to the D-class recruitment wing. With the intelligence I had gathered, I presented a detailed report to the area commander requesting a task force. He was more than happy to indulge my request and raised a task force of ten men and two containment specialists, Thomas Windsor and James Callaghan, in a mere three days. He also gave me a substantial sum of money for the purchase of arms and equipment for our raid.

My first purchase was a brand new twenty seat Bedford bus which I outfitted with a Lewis gun. I then proceeded to outfit each of my twelve men with an M2 gas mask, a short magazine Lee-Enfield rifle, two fragmentation grenades, a Webley revolver and a tear gas grenade. I also had a battering ram affixed to the front of the bus to deal with the cantilever barrier.

I outlined the plan to my team a mere two hours before the raid to keep it fresh in their minds. After all, we were faced with a man-eating anomaly with little knowledge of its true capabilities. We were to breach the compound using our affixed battering ram and roll tear gas grenades through the windows of the nave's vault in order to subdue the congregation. The ten unspecialised members of the team would assume crowd control duty as we apprehended the anomaly.

The raid went exactly as planned, Windsor, Callaghan and I breached a heavy wooden door behind the dais using our bayonets and were greeted by the anomaly lying supine on a patterned carpet. "Is that really what you've brought us here for, Geoff?" said Callaghan, with astounding insolence completely unbecoming of a member of the Foundation.

"That is no way to address your superior, Callaghan," I replied.

"Hello!" squeaked The Devourer.

"Hello!" replied Windsor.

"Do not converse with the anomalies, Windsor, it is beyond your station," I shouted.

"You're a cute little fella aren't ya?"

"What did I just tell you, boy! A demerit will await you on your return," I stated, in the hopes of restoring order. "Go on then, contain the thing!"

"I want a munchy," squeaked The Devourer.

To which Windsor responded by picking up the anomaly, petting it and offering it a Fisherman's Friend, which it consumed with glee. The two specialists were content that the anomaly did not need further containment precautions and Windsor transported it back to headquarters in his lap. The chiding and mockery that I had to endure during the return journey was inexcusable and I had to send the two specialists to the rear of the bus in order to properly concentrate on the road.

I implore the director of containment to make sweeping changes to his discipline policy as I cannot help but fear that their behaviour is emblematic of a deep-set disciplinary problem within the Foundation.

So then, that concludes my account of the discovery and capture of SCP-4966 and my serious qualms about discipline among the containment staff.

Yours faithfully,
Geoffrey Charlton

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