- stealing solidarity phase 2
- We're Off To Steal The Solidarity
- This time for real
- the great escape
- UAC draft
- The Naturalist
- I am so sorry
- Missionary Balloons
- The Counselor
- 679 re-write
- Mars Truck
- Super-Sentai Whales
- 36 tale
With the cameras out, no one else would be able to see the brief reunion at the security kiosk. Even when the Black Rabbit Company was long gone, Alexandra had returned to its nest, and the fires in the motor pool had been put out, this hole in the panopticon remained. No one else saw Nanami’s flying tackle of Wizard. No one else saw Tomi crack a smile. No one else heard the laughter, no one else saw the tears shed. The event would go unwitnessed
Time was limited, alas, and so the Company simply walked out of the site while they could, with no more trouble than leaving a convenience store. A van was hotwired, and they proceeded to set fire to the rest of motor pool, and took some videos of them walking away from the explosions, at the insistence of Momoko and Nanami.
Area-08 was located more or less five hundred miles west of the Azores, and consisted of a small, desolate island, and a larger, even more desolate artificial island, consisting of a ring six miles across, and various modules that might be raised or lowered above the surface. The smaller island contained the launch facilities, the larger one provided containment.
It was originally constructed in the 1950s as the center of the Foundation’s fledgling space program, and remains the only Foundation facility where launches might take place unseen, thanks to a complex net of data suppression, government and commercial connections, satellite interference, and outright bribes.
The site, along all others, had been notified two days prior of the event where six humanoids escaped from containment, temporarily overpowered a Foundation AI, stole a van, torched a motorpool, and were currently of unknown whereabouts. Like most of the other sites that received this message, Site-08 did not pay this significant mind. It was located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, far away from any sort of outside trouble. Its staff were a dozy, phlegmatic bunch, content to live out their careers in the northern mid-Atlantic, making sure that all the D-class and robotic units made it up to orbit in once piece, and from orbit to Thoth Station or the Lagranges, and then back home again.
This was life at Area-08, at least until someone crashed a boat into the small, desolate island’s loading dock.
Site directors are by nature reclusive creatures. They rarely interact with others of their kind, outside of the safe, controlled environments of monthly regional report commissions. When presented with their kin, they become skittish, as they are trained from birth to correlate the presence of other directors within imminent disaster.
This avoidance of others of the species has long concerned administrators the world over. As the creatures refuse to stay around each other long enough to reproduce, the species might go extinct within the next twenty years.
Now there were twenty-six of them in the same conference call, each one steeled for the twin threats of a major containment breach and peer interaction, though willing to hold back on the barbed insults about performance. Two starred names sat on top of the conference client’s user list.
A blip on the end of a dotted line, well outside the arcs of the orbiting missile platforms, was the topic of discussion today.
Director Kettering: All told, there are thirty-two personnel wounded, eight dead. Most of those hospitalized were the targets of a cognitohazard similar to the ones used during the initial breach at Site-15. Collateral and digital damage isn’t anything we can’t patch up with a little time, but replacing the Hamill will take a significant amount of resources.
Director Eman: Are you sure it can’t be recovered? We could easily allow them to pass through the BARGAVASTRA network and retake the vessel.
Director Kittering: It wouldn’t be able to survive re-entry in the first place, after the drone attack, and from their current trajectory it looks like they are attempting a slingshot orbit.
Director Eman: Ah. Right. I’m sorry.
Director Factor: Could we intercept them?
Director Kittering: No. The Herbert is currently at FORC-03, and the Heinlein is currently being retrofit at Thoth Station.
Director Hazelwood: Given what we gathered in interviews from SCP-2085 and associates, it is most likely that they are aiming towards SCP-2722.
Director Pickman: And they will be able to make the journey?
Director Kittering: The Hamill was fully supplied when it was hijacked, and the drones were not able to damage it enough to prevent space travel.
Director Van Graph: I’m watching the footage of the break-in right now. You guys had a soundstage set up for Mars?
Director Kittering: Pet project.
Director Van Graph: Pity they shot it all up.
Director Kittering: We can build it again.
Director Boll: Has a warning message been sent to the Solidarity?
Director Kittering: It has. However, that poses another issue. As I said in the briefing, FORC-04 and SCP-2722 have been operated by a skeleton crew for the last eighteen months, after the accidental re-activation of the ship’s automated janitorial system. At the moment there are a total of ten research staff on the station, and eighty-four D-class on the ship proper.
Director Kinsey: Considering the state of affairs on 2722, the issue is solved. They will board, and be eaten alive by overzealous cleaning products.
Director Yonn: I doubt it, considering their luck.
Director Brand: It should be possible to recover the Hamill if this is the case.
Director Tortend: Kinsey has a point, however. The Solidarity is a dead end. They’ll board, and be stuck there. We could easily contain them there on the ship.
Director Kittering: That is a possibility. The ship has shown no signs of active functionally.
Director May: If I might interrupt with an obliquely-related question - Why did they call themselves the Black Rabbit Company? They’re all cats.
Director Kittering: I believe it was a folkloric reference – a rabbit in the moon, instead of an old man, but I’m not entirely sure.
Director May: Ah.
Direction Kittering: With all that in mind, I think the matter now is to determine what can be done with SCP-2085 and associates contained aboard the Solidarity. I am of the opinion that-
☆OVERSEER-O5-4: We have made a judgment.
Director Kittering: Oh. Quite right. Yes, Overseer?
☆OVERSEER-O5-9: We have judged that this matter be held under direct Overwatch guidance.
☆OVERSEER-O5-4: We will oversee the situation. You will be informed of changes as they occur, as according to what information might be freely distributed.
☆OVERSEER-O5-9: Go about your business.
☆OVERSEER-O5-4: The matter is in our hands.
☆OVERSEER-O5-9: This meeting is adjourned.
Hana looked at the nightside of Earth far below her. Spiderwebs of gold outlined continents. Lightning flashed in cloudbanks. People were sleeping, mostly. People were doing everything, down below. Everything they had ever done. Even while sitting on top of a nuclear fusion engine hurtling through the void at speeds that would eventually peak in the hundreds of thousands of miles an hour, Hana felt that she might not be moving at all.
She felt as if she wanted to cry, just from the sight of the Earth down there, just from how beautiful it was, but she couldn’t. Her heart felt filled up with heavy, stagnant blood. Feelings of mud, all drains blocked. This should be a happy ending, but it wasn’t really happy, nor did it feel like an ending. It wasn’t a beginning either. There was just a stopping, and now there was just open space, and she was free-floating around in it, without a place to go.
“So…I guess we did it,” she said, mostly to herself. “We’re in space.”
“It’s very black,” Tomi drawled from her spot on the module ceiling. Her silver-blue hair had formed a halo around her head. Her shoulder was bound up in gauze and medical tape.
“Far too open. Horribly designed.” Tomi scratched at her face. “Better than down there, though. Too crowded, too disorganized.”
Hana plucked away the layers of her sister’s words. Tomi was, as usual, drifting along for the ride. The sister in the inner tube being pulled behind the boat. Not particularly worried, not particularly excited. Present to all the possibilities but not latching on to any individual outcome.
“I’m worried about Wizard,” Hana said. She knew Tomi could easily read that on her face, but for propriety’s sake, she said it out loud. For the moment, no one else was in this particular module. Momoko and Nanami were piloting, Boss was in the back, and Wizard was stowed away in one of the sleeping modules. He’d passed out before they’d even gotten out of orbit, and Nanami had been forced to wrestle him into the sleeping bag.
Tomi shrugged. Her hair rippled.
“I know. If it happens, we do what he says. We put two in his head, shove him out the airlock and into the sun. Momoko plays ‘Amazing Grace’ on the bagpipes, and we keep going.”
Wizard had been very insistent on that last part. Hana didn’t know if Momoko could actually play the bagpipes, but it was reasonable to assume that she would give it a try.
“Don’t worry too much,” Tomi continued. “We’ll get through it. We always do.”
There was some quiet for a moment. Boss drifted past them, sipping at a bag of juice. She waved at them.
He floated through tight, airless chambers. Cut, not carved, into the grey and dusty rock, lit by hazy, dim light. In the center of each wall was a circle of smooth, dark metal, which pulled away like a lens as he passed. He was drifting in a straight line, unable to go left or right.
The enemy’s gate is down.
He might have being travelling up, or forward, but it felt down. He defined it as down, and so down it was.
There was no noise, save his breathing. No noise at all. The walls pressed in around him, and the rooms felt as if they were shrinking as he passed through them. How many now, closing in? Would they stop, or just keep getting smaller until he was trapped inside?
A lens opened, and there was no next room. If there were walls, they were beyond what Wizard was able to see in the dim light. Hundreds, thousand of miles of empty, open space.
Below him, so far below, was a field of deep red, upon which were two concentric circles of black, with three arrows pointing inwards, towards a vast golden goat’s eye. It swiveled in its socket and focused upon him.
A great and terrible voice echoed in his head, without words, and sang of the consuming gulf of nothing.
He could feel his entire body singing its part of no song.
[MORE TO COME]
In the beginning there was tohu va-bohu. The waste and the void. The unformed chaos: dark, shapeless, meaningless. There was Nothing.
And then, with a Word, there was Everything.
The Splitting of the Darkness, and the Absolutes
The Word divided the Unformed Darkness into the Darkness Above and the Darkness Below, giving each of these form and shape. From the Darkness was made the Absolutes, those changeless and unchangable beings now listed below.
- Death – The three brothers who are one, Small Death, Great Death and All-Death, were the first of the Absolutes to be created, and would be the last remaining of all things in Creation. They were given dominion of all that would follow them, and were set as the guardians of the Silent Halls and the Lands of the Dead.
- The Laws – Manifestations of the underlying natural laws of Creation both physical and metaphysical. The Laws are woven through Creation to the point of omnipresence, though they bear no consciousness or will at all, nor can they develop these traits.
- Nobodies – Paradoxes existing in a state of permanent impermanence, Nobodies reside at the margins of reality. Their primary purpose is that of observation, rather than interaction, and their points of interference are few. Their identities are fluid and shift, melding and separating amongst themselves with the passing of years. The most stable Nobodies are those with fragmented persons, where the constant duality of their competing sides results in equilibrium.
- Somebodies – Far fewer in number than their Nobody brethren, Somebodies are fixed identities, concerned with interacting with Creation towards the end of certain tasks or the aiding of certain individuals. They rarely act on their own, instead providing aid to chosen individuals. One Somebody in particular, Emma Aislethorp-Brown, would later become instrumental in the destruction of the Scarlet King.
- Holes-in-the-Walls – Genius loci that attached themselves to the surface of the nascent Word, placed to fill the chinks in between the forming realms. Holes-in-the-Walls will often disguise themselves as restaurants or curiosity shops, and function much in the same manner as Ways.
After the Absolutes had been formed, what remained of the Darkness was further s shaped, and the Vault of Heaven was formed of the Darkness Above, and the Abyss was formed of the Darkness Below. These would become the homes of the elder gods.
Regarding the Elder Gods
The elder gods are split by their origin. The Gods Above emanated from the Word, taking up their residence in the Darkness Above, which was formed into the Vault of Heaven. The Gods Below were formed of the Darkness Below upon the splitting of the Darkness, and remained there as Creation took root.
Elder gods are, by their nature, entities both slow and reluctant to act – while their influence can be felt throughout Creation, they rarely exercise their vast power, and even more rarely take notice of the echelons below them. They are not completely mindless, as are the Laws, nor are they immutable, nor are they immune to Death, but their awareness is stunted. Rather than thinking, they act as according to their nature, and have no need to make a willful choice. Consciousness is a rare trait amongst the elders, occasionally bubbling to the surface when it is needed before sinking back into the depths of their being.
It is a common fallacy to think of the elder gods as good or evil by their origin. The gods below are no more prone to evil paths than the gods above, and in truth good and evil is rare amongst the elder gods – without mind or will, there is no good or evil to be had. Those few elders who do exercise their vast consciousness, though, may be seen to be one or the other or somewhere in between.
Regarding the Scarlet King and his Children
The Scarlet King began as one of the many embryonic elder gods formed in the Darkness Below, a small god called Khahrahk, the Worm. It would have swum in that dark abyss for all time, had it not been for a quirk of the necessary disparity that allowed Creation to function.
Khahrahk was defective. From the moment of his emergence from the Darkness Below, he was aware; of its smallness, of the darkness that surrounded him, of pain. He had no way to deal with this awareness – he did not have the blessed smallness of a lower mind, nor did he have any recourse in the other elders. Khahrahk was alone in his pain.
Worse then, was the thought of the light and the shade of the Word now rooted and spreading its branches. Khahrahk first desired it, and when he found that he could not, he desired to destroy the Tree. In its pain, Khahrahk lashed out against all of Creation, seeking to make it suffer as he suffered. It would be better for all things not to exist.
Krahrahk then began to devour the other Gods Below, growing stronger. As his power grew, so did his pain, and thus he sought more power in an attempt to overcome that pain. Those elders he did not devour he enslaved. Many of the Gods Below fled to the Vault of Heaven, or even into the Tree itself, to escape Krahrahk. He carved out a kingdom for himself in the Abyss, in mockery of the Tree, and in defiance of the ordering of Creation began to divert the souls of the dead to his realm.
The final subjugation to be had in the Abyss was the rape of the goddess Sanna, the last resistor of the Worm. When he had finished with her, Khahrahk rose from her bloodied corpse and professed himself Shormaush Urdal Khnith-hgor – The Scarlet King of the Darkness Below – and he declared his war against all of Creation.
His servants, both those birthed of the Darkness Below or those that had been subjugated, surged out of his kingdom. The King remained in his court, for the Tree resisted his entry, and by the seven daughters of Sanna he sired his Levianthans, and the hordes of the Abyss grew ever stronger.
The war would continue until the end of all things
Regarding the Word, the Tree of Knowledge
Regarding the Spheres of the Tree
Regarding the Qlippothic Court of the King
Regarding Yesod-with-Faces, the Taproot Libraries, the Labyrinth, and the Dreamtime
Regarding the Stars
The Stars were the first material beings to come into existence within Creation, emerging from the burning clouds of gas that filled the space between the Darkness Above and the Darkness Beneath.
Stars are organized into five clusters of the Main Sequence – Dwarf-M, Great-O, Errant-G, Lesser-K, and Shining-A. Two others existed near the beginning, Fortnight-B and Magnificent-F, but these were driven to extinction by the others. Those clusters not of the Main Sequence - Giant-Red, Massive-One, and the Pygmy - fell into obscurity, even among their own kind.
Unlike both gods and mortals, stars do not have souls – they are purely material beings, and as such their thoughts are both incomprehensible and incompatible to the other inhabitants of Creation, mortal and god alike. This vast, unbridgeable gulf of understanding led to the Stars’ unyielding hatred of the gods both above and below, and all mortals without question. Only their hatred for each other prevents the true realization of their destructive urges.
While the Stars do not seek worshippers, much less mortal ones, their power is so great that mortals sensitive to psychic emanations are drawn to them, and the clever among this group will determine methods of communing with the Stars, or siphoning off some of their power. The hearing and interpretation of [Star signals] is a recurring theme in many occult traditions across the worlds of Creation, ebbing and flowing with the movements of the Stars.
According to certain numerological formulas, the resonances of the Stars can be formed into a pattern. This pattern, if transposed from notation to sound, is that of a great chorus of voices, all screaming.
Regarding the Twins, Nahash and Hakhama
Regarding the Feather-and-Claw People, the First Children
A member of the family Dromaeosauridae, the Feather-and-Claw people were the first sapient species to evolve on Earth, living in the Barremian stage of the early Cretaceous period, approximately 127 mya. Approximate in size and relation to Utahraptor, the First Children did not advance far beyond basic stone stools and simple animal husbandry, due to the lack of opposable appendages, but maintained a rich oral culture, magical traditions, and complex tribal society.
All knowledge of the First Children comes from fossilized burial sites and preserved texts. Twenty-six individual specimens were documented by later studies
It is unknown by what means the First Children died out. Plague is the currently supported hypothesis.
Regarding the Yeren, the Second Children
Regarding the Daevas
Regarding the Primordial Races of Man
Regarding the Beasts, the Third Children
Regarding Man, the Fourth and Final Child
Regarding the Three Sons of Adam
Regarding the Ark and Noah’s Sons
Regarding the Antediluvian World
Regarding the Wonder-Maker
Regarding the Fall of the Daevas
Regarding the Flood and the Veil
Regarding the Chronicle
In the final years of the Daevas, it became apparent to some in the higher echelons of the theocracy that the Empire’s time was fading. The worship of the Scarlet King, now dominant above all other gods, would lead to the destruction of the Empire, for the King looked kindly upon no one. A faithful servant no longer required was to be disposed of.
With the knowledge of their doom, a cabal of Daevite priest-mages began to compose a work which would allow for Daevite civilization to survive its impending destruction – a chronicle which would allow for the empire to be reborn. In mirror of the work’s patron, this rebirth would even be retroactive, to make up for lost time.
While the Empire was destroyed and its relics scattered amongst the veiled world, this Chronicle was among the item that survived, and would eventually be classified as SCP-140.