Yahweh awoke in His human form in His room at Site 17, knowing that the hour had arrived.
In an instant, He was at Site 0. The personnel in the control room, some half asleep, leapt to their feet as He appeared. He took a moment to watch the dawning look of comprehension on their faces. O5-14 staggered to his feet.
"The Time has come," Yahweh intoned.
In another eye-blink, He was at the Gate. The being that the Foundation called SCP-001-Gamma bowed in front of Him, lowering its burning sword, its four flaming wings spread in reverence.
"Uriel," Yahweh said. "It is Time. Open the Gate. Lead My armies across the Earth."
"I HEAR AND OBEY, MY LORD AND MY GOD," Uriel said.
The Gate began to creak open. Behind it was an army of angels, thousands of bright creatures, many-eyed, burning with pure red light. They raised their white swords, singing a chant of war, and the rustling of countless brilliant wings filled the air.
The thing inside Site 10, the singularity that was, was not, had always been, and had never been a part of the Lock, unfurled itself like a flower.
Site 10 was demolished in an instant. No one inside had any moment for last thoughts before their deaths.
Then they were all alive again, shaken, deposited somewhere in New Hampshire. Along with Site 10, intact, aside from the destruction the Harbinger had dealt to it.
Meanwhile, the ruins of Site 10 and the corpses of everyone in it were buried deep within the vast valley that had never existed before on the planet Earth, and yet, now, had always existed, displacing a few thousand miles of desert in the Middle East. It was still both there, and not. Either way, it was.
Waves of blue and green energy washed about, and the valley filled with plants and animals the like of which had never been seen before.
In the very center, orbiting in a wash of iridescent rainbow color, the Lock hovered in the center of a tiny singularity. Open, at long last. Sending out its signal.
Dr. Everett Mann was in the middle of dissecting a recently dead instance of SCP-098 when its legs started to twitch.
Everett paused his scalpel in mid-cut and watched with curiosity. This had never happened before.
He looked over at the cage of live SCP-098 specimens. They were also acting oddly. They were stock still. Not a single red-orange limb was making so much as a twitch. SCP-098 were not exactly the calmest species of anomalous crustacean, and Everett had never seen them behave this way.
They appeared to be… watching. Waiting for something.
The dead 098 instance kept twitching.
"Hmmm," Everett said.
His cell phone vibrated in his lab coat. This was the secure cell, the one that only rang in serious emergencies. Everett put down the scalpel and picked up the call.
"Everett Mann, Site 2036, status five," he said.
"The sword falls and rises," the voice on the other line said.
"But it kills in one stroke," Everett replied.
"Emergency Order Patmos is now in effect," the voice said. "995 has breached containment. 616 has opened. We are awaiting report from 001-Gamma. We are securing 073 and 076…"
"And you want to know about 098," Everett said.
"Have SCP-098 activated?" the voice asked.
"I am sorry to disappoint you. They are acting a bit odd, but I cannot say…"
The dead 098 instance froze, then burst into pale orange flame.
After another moment passed, the other 098 specimens burst into flame, all at the same time. Little slots in their shells opened, and delicate, vibrating, dragonfly-like wings sprang out. As far as Everett could tell, each 098 instance sprouted as many wings as they had limbs. Even the dead instance. Which was now looking significantly less dead.
They breached the sides of their cage in an instant, all chittering at once in some alien language. They ripped through the plate glass window of the sealed experiment chamber and swarmed away through the site, demolishing the walls that got in their way. Everett stared after them.
"Never mind," Everett said to the voice waiting on the other line. "I'd say that probably counts."
Yahweh appeared to the entire remaining thirteen members O5 Council at once in thirteen different locations. He did not appear, of course, to the Administrator, because the last Administrator had died years ago and had not been replaced. O5-14 no longer voted on Council matters, and therefore the Council no longer need a tiebreaker vote. But to all the rest, He appeared. They were all His, and had always been His. Even the non-believers, who thought of him as nothing more than a reality bender with a god complex, would have no choice but to go along. They were all His, as sure as the hands attached to His Body.
Thirteen people leaped from their seats, from their beds, fell to their knees, tripped and fell to the ground.
"Uriel, my servant, once told your Founder to prepare for the great and terrible day of the Lord," Yahweh said in thirteen voices at once. "This day now approaches. Make your final preparations. There is nothing else you will need to do but wait. My armies ride across the Earth. Soon I will call the Four Horsemen. Once the last judgment has been unsealed, then shall the great and terrible day of the Lord come. And then all will have Paradise."
He returned to a single human body, without waiting for a reply, returned to a slight feeling of vertigo. He might have been an omnipotent super-being, but it would not have done to cram everything into this tiny human body that He'd elected to stay in until the End of Days was over. Because of that, He hadn't recently made a practice of existing in several places at once. It came naturally, like breathing, but still felt unusual, like breathing for the first time after spending long minutes underwater.
Actually, there was something odd… some little twinge of memory, triggered by what He had just done…
The thought slipped from His grasp. That was the downside of human frailty. This was a perfected human body, but even a perfected human body was still flawed compared to true omniscience.
He knew the next step, as he always knew. He would return to the ancient Valley with no name. The first place He had ever created, the precursor to Eden. The Valley where none had ever set foot but Him, and never would, not even after the End of Days.
He took a step, and was there.
He wasn't alone.
Klaxons blared in Site 2036. Everett Mann listened, bemused. Emergency Order Patmos or no, there was no need for all that racket.
He stepped out of the former auxiliary research and containment chambers for SCP-098, into a mob of personnel. No one stopped to give him the time. Fairly rude, Everett thought. 098 wasn't even killing anyone. Just… leaving. The holes in the walls and ceiling could be rebuilt.
He spotted Gears in the crowd and made his way over. Another person who could be trusted to deal with situations in a reasonable fashion.
"It seems we have a massive containment breach," Gears said.
"Yes, SCP-098," Everett said. "I hear 995 and 616 have breached containment as well. 001-Gamma, soon, I'm sure. But I don't see what the fuss is about. We've stopped XK-class scenarios before, we can do it again. The only difference in this case is that we might have to deal with O5-14 putting up a fuss—"
Gears held up a hand. Interruption was not his style, Everett knew, which is partly why he could stop anyone in their tracks with that gesture. "I'm not speaking of Patmos," Gears said. "Nor 001-Gamma."
"Oh?" Everett raised an eyebrow. "What else has gotten out?"
"A whole damn lot," Gears said, perfectly calmly, swearing for the first time that Everett had ever heard.