Security Log: Romeo-249.2
10:34 a.m. – Site breach warning activated. Breaches detected in Keter wing, unit 12 and unit 15. Automated lockdown initiated. Security notified.
10:41 a.m. – Multiple containment breaches detected across all containment levels. O5-Command has been notified.
10:42 a.m. - userinput: /user J_Kaster password: 0ndom1ni847!!
10:43 a.m. – Site command login code accepted from user: Jonathan Kaster.
10:43 a.m. - Site Command input: /Initiateprotocol Heilo7-7
10:43 a.m. – Site emergency evacuation protocol initiated.
Tell me what you saw that morning, please.
My sister and I saw the explosion from where we lived. We just stood there stunned. There was always something about war on TV, but we never thought it would happen in our backyard. We always thought it would be some far off place.
10:45 a.m. – Loss of site reactor. Backup generators on-line.
10:46 a.m. – System failure. Attempting to access backup systems.
10:46 a.m. – Backup systems successfully activated. Awaiting command input.
10:47 a.m. – Site command input: /Arm warhead
10:48 a.m. – On-site nuclear warhead armed.
10:48 a.m. – Site command input: /Begincountdown short
10:48 a.m. – On-site nuclear warhead countdown begun. T-minus 5 minutes to detonation.
What did you do after you saw the detonation?
We ran. There were old mines up the road a little way from us. It’s all we could think of. We knew our house wouldn’t protect us from a bomb. We weren’t the only people thinking that, either. Half the town was running or driving towards the mines with us.
10:51 a.m. – WARNING: Current radiation levels have peaked in Keter wing. Dosimeter reading at 12 sieverts per hour.
10:51 a.m. – Site command input: /Viewcontainment unit-4
10:51 a.m. – SCP-770 is currently: Uncontained. Containment broken at: 10:44 a.m.
Recommended action: Deploy team to re-contain and incinerate contaminated areas.
Avoid: Contact between SCP-770 and radioactive isotopes. Can cause exponential growth and destruction, and XK-class (scorched earth) end-of-world scenario if uncontained.
What happened when you got to the mines?
Us and the other people ran into the closest entrance. We wanted to stop, but the older people kept pushing us deeper into it. They kept yelling that we weren’t safe near the entrance. I saw a path off to the side, so I grabbed my sister and pulled her over to try and let the older people get past us. That’s when we found the door.
10:53 a.m. – On-site warhead will detonate in t-minus 10 seconds. Final system power-down initiated.
“The door to this facility, you mean?” Steven asked.
“Yeah, with the big number forty painted on the door,” replied Stephanie. “We tried to open it on our own, and that’s when your guys came out of it and arrested us or whatever.” She looked annoyed as she spoke the last bit. She shot a glare at him that he matched briefly.
“It’s a standard procedure for all…”
“Yeah, I know,” she cut in. ”Procedure for all Sites you guys operate since there’s ‘top secret’ government stuff stored at them or whatever it is you people do here. Same thing you say every time we talk.”
Steven chuckled softly to himself. Even a year after being here, she’s still trying to keep that teenage defiance, he thought. “One last question. This one is different. Did you notice anything unusual about the pathway leading to the door of this facility?”
Stephanie shrugged as she thought for a moment. “Nothing that I can remember. It just looked like another spot the miners had cut out a long time ago. You guys should know what it looks like since you use it.”
“Thank you. That’s all.” Steven leaned over and picked up a recorder from the table. “Interview concluded on March fourteenth, twenty-twenty-two at thirteen hundred. Will resume in one month,” he said into it. He stood and turned to exit the room.
As he neared the exit, he heard Stephanie call to him. “Yes?” he asked, still walking towards the door.
“If you won’t let me or my sister see the other people from the town, can you at least tell me if they’re ok?” she asked. He turned to look at her. She was looking down at her hands, fidgeting on the table. She reminded him of his own daughter after she broke his watch off his wrist. A brief flash of sympathy and sadness came over him, before his clinical side refocused.
“We have been monitoring them. They seem to be functioning well. No one has died yet, if that’s what you’re asking,” he responded.
“Thank you,” She said. Her face looked noticeably relieved, but she held her voice in check.
Steven turned and left the room.
He shut the door behind him. Rubbing his temples with one hand, he pocketed the recorder and motioned for the guard at the desk to come to him with the other. His slender hand caught the guards’ eye immediately, and without hesitation the guard stood and came to the door.
Steven took a deep breath, then spoke. “We’re done for now. She can go back to her room.” He paused for a moment, thinking. “Let her and her sister choose what they want for their meal tonight. She was more cooperative than she realized today.”
The guard nodded briskly, then moved to enter the room. Steven walked towards the opposite door, still rubbing his temples. His chronic headaches had been getting worse. They always seemed to be especially bad after interviews. This one felt different though. He had felt an emotion all but forgotten before today.
Steven fumbled in his lab coat for his keycard for a moment before producing it and running it through the door lock. The small light on the door flashed green, and the sound of maglocks disengaging sounded in the small holding room. He took one more deep breath, opened the door and stepped through.
A well-lit, quiet hallway greeted him. He turned left and began walking towards a set of double doors at the end. His quiet footfalls sounded as thunder in his head. Where is everyone? he wondered.
Passing through the double doors into a larger hall, a small commotion caught his attention. He walked towards a door to his right, and found most of his research team huddled around a computer terminal. They seemed concerned, speaking in hushed whispers amongst themselves. He noticed that Jovan, his team lead, was seated at the terminal, typing furiously.
He cleared his throat. The rest of his team turned to face him. Silence permeated the room, shocked faces on each person. Finally, Jovan spoke. “Steve, have you heard?”
“No, but this gathering, coupled with the lack of work, has my interest piqued,” he responded.
Jovan swallowed hard. He looked back at the screen briefly, then back to Steven. “Storage site one-thirty-four stopped responding,” he said slowly. He paused to let the information sink in before continuing. “That means we are the last known functioning site.”
Steven rested his chin in his left hand. For a few moments, the tension in the room grew unbearable. “How did the information come through?”
“We received a message from SOLA stating that the radiation levels at their site peaked at 13 sieverts and that their automated lockdown had initiated.” Jovan shifted back to the screen. Steven walked behind him, the rest of his team following suit. “I tried to contact the A.I. after that, and not a single response has come since.”
“How long ago was this?”
“Ok, keep pinging the site. If you hear anything at all, call me.” Steven read the message over his team leads’ shoulder as he said this. It didn’t look good. The only thing at that site containing any radiation at all was the stored warheads, but Steven knew those were disarmed. The only other possibility was that SCP-770 had finally breached the caverns they were in.
“I’ll be in my office. Anna?” Steven motioned to one of his team members. She straightened up. “Can you take Hallie, Jackson and Connie down to lab three and see if they have any spare comm units? If so, bring as many as you can. I’ve got an idea forming I wanna try.” She nodded, and her and three others walked briskly out of the room.
“Jovan, keep checking one-thirty-four. Don’t leave that computer. Have someone bring you water or food if you need, but I want to know if anything else registers. Everyone else, make sure whatever you were last working on is finished. Take a short break to get a drink or food, then meet in lab one at fifteen-hundred hours for a team meeting.”
The rest of his team nodded and began to file out of the room. Steven stood behind Jovan, reading the message one more time, then turned to leave himself. The walk back to his office was long and full of thought.
When he arrived, he swiped his keycard through the lock and swung the door wide. He thumbed his light switch, quickly flicking each light on. Grabbing his chair, he sat and pulled himself to his desk, waking his computer in the process. If he wanted to lead his team and his site by example, he had to finish what he was working on just the same as he had asked his team to do.
Research Site 40 Administrator Terminal
Site Director Steven Lamand began typing quickly. The sound of his mechanical keyboard reminded him of an old typewriter his father used to own. It felt soothing during times of high stress, with now being one of those moments.
As the login screen switched to a loading screen, he pulled the recorder from his pocket and placed it on his desk. He opened his drawer and withdrew a small USB cord, plugging one end into the recorder. As he plugged the opposite end into the computer, a small picture frame fell on his desk. He reached to prop it back up, and paused halfway through the motion. From the picture, his wife and daughters’ eyes met his.
He sat in his chair, unmoving, for a few moments. Emotions he promised he would not let out began to well up inside him. He ran his thumb over the faces of the only two people he had ever cared about. He wanted to see them again at that moment. To forget everything else for a time. But deep down, he knew.