The SCP Foundation's greatest (and only) holiday! It only comes once a year — except for last year when Bright slept through the first one and wanted a do-over.
A day when everyone smiles — in fact, it's the same smile! A big, shiny grin, complete with steaming hot identical teeth.
Parades through the corridors! Mass consumption of Class-A amnesiacs, which records seem to indicate is tradition! And, of course, the annual Site-19 SCP Sparkle Spectacular, broadcast live to Foundation staff and family worldwide through closed-circuit television.
What a show!
Children beg their parents for an extra hour before bedtime. D-Class beg their handlers for an extra day before termination. Tickets sell for millions — or, more commonly, are received free of charge with minor bloodstains.
Bender's Day was special, alright, even if no-one on Earth could remember exactly why. There was no mystery about what made the Sparkle Spectacular special, though. It was the one time of the year when security classifications didn't matter, where even the lowliest of level-one workers got a chance to see into the world of the Foundation and witness the incredible beauty and wonder of the SCP items. One brief display, before they were once again locked away, safe and secure, to protect the world from the unimaginable power of the anomalous.
"Heads up, dickweed!" Agent DeLaurier yelled.
He booted an instance of SCP-131 in Dr Patil's general direction. The Eye Pod sailed through an open window and splattered on the pavement below.
"DeLaurier!" Patil yelped, "What in hell is wrong with you? You have got to stop kicking Euclids around the office. Management counts those, you know."
"Calm down, Patil," said DeLaurier, "It's a Safe. Besides, if something goes wrong, I can always just clone another one."
The agent stepped into Dr Patil's office. He held two drinks in his hands. He took a sip from his own, which was in the standard paper cup, and set a luminescent white thermos down on Patil's desk.
Dr Patil sighed, "Still, though. People are trying to work. I have like two hundred and fifty containment breach incident reports to fill out from this month alone." He gestured to the stack of forms on the desk beside him.
"Patil, it's Bender's Day," said DeLaurier, "Nobody works on Bender's Day. The laws of physics take a break on Bender's Day. Relax. I brought you your coffee, just the way you like it: 'Doctor Patil's Favorite Drink', Very Fine."
Patil picked up the thermos, frowning. He could hear banging noises coming from the inside.
"DeLaurier, I take my coffee Fine, not Very Fine," he said. DeLaurier shrugged. Patil held the thermos away from his face and cautiously unscrewed the lid. A tiny brown hand reached up over the rim.
Patil slammed the lid back down, "Dammit, DeLaurier! It's another Coffee Man."
"Apologising isn't going to erase my drink's consciousness, Agent."
"You can run him through again on Rough," DeLaurier suggested. Patil rolled his eyes and started shaking the thermos violently. After about thirty seconds the banging noises were replaced by the slosh of hot dead Coffee Man, and Patil took a sip. He wrinkled his nose. The coffee was good — in fact, it was perfect, as specified — but the casual murder had left a bad taste in his mouth. He set the thermos down on the table and returned to the stack of forms.
"Oh, for Clef's sake…." he said. His pen scribbled uselessly against the paper, leaving only a series of creases. "Bloody pen's run out of ink."
"There's one," said DeLaurier, pointing to a white retractable pen lying on Patil's desk.
Patil shook his head, "Better not. I think that kills family members. You couldn't loan me one, could you?"
DeLaurier's face brightened.
"Matter of fact, Retrieval brought this thing in today!" he said. He reached into a jacket pocket, and tossed out a pale green fountain pen. Patil caught it, and immediately felt ghostly shivers down the length of his arm as some unseen demonic force took control over his body.
"Oh dear." he said.
"The pen's moving all by itself," said Patil, "Using my body as a vessel. Scrawling out some eldritch message from the shadowlands that lie beneath the world of men."
"Is it still filling out the form?"
Patil looked down.
Initial cause of breach
Agent Oum was recklessly cavorting with a Keter class itTHERE IS A MALEVOLENT FORCE THAT HAS TORN THE WORLD ALL WILL PERISH ALL WILL SUFFER ESPECIALLY YOU PATIL AND YOUR TIE LOOKS SHIT AND YOU SM
"More or less," he said.
"Then I don't see the issue," DeLaurier shrugged, "Hey, I managed to get a ticket to the Sparkle Spectacular this year."
"What? Are you serious?" spluttered Patil, "How the hell did you manage that?"
"I was standing right next Agent See when he died. Grabbed the ticket out of his pocket!" grinned DeLaurier, "Full discount!"
"That's very …. thrifty."
"But here's the even better news, dude. I swung by 038 on the way here, and…" DeLaurier reached into his pocket and pulled out two tickets.
"I know, right?"
"Holy shit, DeLaurier!" Patil jumped up out of his seat and punched the air, "We're going to the Site 19 SCP Sparkle Spectacular!"
"We're going to eat magic food!" said DeLaurier.
"And see the senior staff!"
"And watch skips blow shit up!"
"And eat magic food!"
"And see the senior staff!"
"I've realised now that there's not actually a lot of variety at this event, but I'm still excited anyway!" Patil whooped. He grabbed the stack of forms off his desk, and flung them out the window along with the possessed pen.
Suggested containment procedure reform
A SHIFT IN REALITY HAS OCCURRED THAT WILL TARNISH THE VERY NATURE OF HEY WHAT AAAAAAA PATIL YOU FUCK AAAAAAAAAAAAAA HELP ME OH SHIT SHIT SHITSHITSHITSHITHSHIT
Patil and DeLaurier watched for a moment as the forms folded themselves into paper airplanes and swooped down to divebomb the splattered Eye Pod. Patil turned to DeLaurier.
"Let's roll," he said. DeLaurier grinned and opened the door. The two stepped out into corridor, where they were met with the sprawled out corpse of a man covered with ears, blood oozing from his mouth and bulging eyes. DeLaurier snapped his fingers.
"Oh, right!" he said, "Forgot to mention. Teddy Bear's turned evil now."
They made it through the corridors without encountering any demonic teddy bears, and DeLaurier had decided that 1048 had probably stumbled into the teleportation pool or choked to death on a peanut or something. It had happened before.
The security guard running admissions had barely even looked at their tickets, and had shown no suspicion at the fact that they were not only registered to a different agent, but also completely identical.
"That was almost too easy," muttered Patil.
"Well, we're not the Secure, Secure, Secure Foundation," DeLaurier whispered back, "And it is Bender's Day."
They reached the entrance to the Sparkle Spectacular Grand Ballroom, which this year was located inside an anomalously enlarged broom closet. Patil put one hand on the doorhandle.
"Have you ever been to one of these before?" he asked.
"Never," said DeLaurier, "You?"
"I dreamt about it once," Patil said, "But it was just a regular dream, not an anomalous dream, so it was likely inaccurate."
"Lucky," said DeLaurier, "I only ever dream about a weird dude in a business suit telling me that the world is being twisted into a terrible caricature of reality. Now come on, let's do this thing!"
Patil took a deep breath and opened the door. His jaw dropped, and beside him he heard DeLaurier gasp.
The room was huge, cavernous, unbelievably, almost grotesquely massive. Patil knew the standard unit of measurement in these situations was football fields, but he had never been much of sportsman. Suffice it to say that you could have flown a helicopter around the ceiling without risk of disturbing any of the hundreds of people milling about on the floor.
They had entered into the dining area of the room. Smaller tables were scattered around, surrounding a circular buffet area that seemed to contain mostly cakes. On the far side of the room, however many minutes walk away, there was a large stage, at the moment obscured by what appeared to be a projector screen, displaying festive images of some of the more amenable SCP items. As he watched, the image on the screen shifted from an orange blob bouncing gently up and down, to the front half of a white cat chasing an Eye Pod around and around in circles. As he looked closer, Patil could see that the edges of the screen were ragged, and pieces seemed to be moving away and reattaching somewhat randomly. The image shifted again, rippling outwards from the centre of the screen, and Patil realised what was going on.
"It's the butterflies!" he said, "Kondraki's butterflies! Which means…"
"Fuck yo' butterflies," DeLaurier said. He had noticed the buffet table, "They have infinite pizza here! Yes!"
DeLaurier shoved Patil aside as he dashed off across the banquet hall. Patil looked around the room for a sight of the notorious doctor and legendary action hero, but Kondraki didn't seem to be present. In the approximate centre of the room, however, between the dining area and the stage, there was a strange white structure that didn't match the rest of the décor. It seemed to be made all of one contiguous piece, grown out of the floor. A spiralling stalk lead up to a round pod the size of a small room, towering high above the rest of the festivities. The sides and ceiling of the pod looked to be made of glass, or at least something transparent, but the angle made it impossible to see inside. In there, Patil was sure, was Kondraki, and probably the rest of the Senior Staff.
People passing by the base of the stalk gave it a wide berth. Although it was rarely stated, there was a definite rule to working in Site 19: You don't fuck with the Senior Staff.
You don't fuck with the Senior Staff.
Patil followed DeLaurier over to the buffet table, where he had already amassed three plates of his own favourite pizza. He was explaining his strategy to the server, a surly German with freakishly long arms, who seemed entirely disinterested.
"… and the candy's good, but if you can only take two, that's just going to confuse your appetite," said DeLaurier, "Better to be consistent, let your stomach know what the plan is. Keter Cakes are fools gold, obviously—"
"Obviously," said the German.
"— because there's an infinite supply. You can have Keter Cakes any day of the year, hell, the Foundation'll pay you overtime for it. You know how hard it is to book testing time with the infinite pizza? It's hard. Now, noodles are good usually, but I never really liked the special ones because my dad walked out when I was ten—"
"Can't imagine why."
"— and they usually have a good spread from the vending machine but you can't guarantee that they won't melt your tongue or turn you to ash or something," DeLaurier said. Somehow, he had gone through five slices of pizza without ever having stopped talking. Patil was a little amazed. DeLaurier noticed him, "Hey Patil! I was just telling Mr Chirurg about my patented Bender's Day Banquet Buffet Battle Plan."
Patil smiled uneasily. Mr Chirurg had a look in his eye that suggested DeLaurier was about to need an actual battle plan if he kept talking much longer.
"Tell you what, Agent, maybe we should go try some of the other food," Patil said. He spotted a blue La Choy box on the table and picked it up, "You tried one of these fortune cookies yet?"
They each took one and cracked it open eagerly. A scream came from the chocolate fountain around the other side of the table, and Chirurg scuttled off to investigate. Patil looked at his fortune.
You will find reality is not as it should be.
He rolled his eyes.
"These things never come true," he said, "What fortune did you get, DeLaurier?"
DeLaurier looked up. He was holding the box of cookies up to his face, and was covered in crumbs.
"Fortune? I've just been running a train on these cookies, man." he said. Realisation struck, "Oh, right, fortunes! Yeah, the slips of paper. Sure, check 'em out."
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small sheaf of paper slips, handing them to Patil. Patil started reading through them as the agent went back to gorging himself on empty carbs.
Bad luck lies around the corner.
Enjoy the night to its fullest, you will not live to regret it.
Make hay while the sun shines, it may not shine much longer.
Keep eating cookies, diabetes isn't going to be a problem.
Ugh. You're not even going to read this fortune, are you? Or any other fortune, for that matter. Or anything else, ever.
Your lucky numbers are:
UG . ON . DI . EB . IT . CH
Say goodbye to your legs, asshole.
"Eh, they're all pretty vague," said Patil.
The sound of trumpets blared out from the speakers that lined the room. The butterflies on the stage shifted into an image of red curtains, embossed with the words 'The Site 19 SCP Sparkle Spectacular'. A hush went over the room, and the hundreds of Foundation personnel stopped eating and talking and avoiding bloodthirsty chocolate ants and moved towards the stage, shuffling into their seats. Patil and DeLaurier, with their forged ticket, stood behind the back row. As the trumpets died down, the butterfly curtains parted, and the hosts of the evening stepped out onto the stage.
She was a young woman in a red evening gown. He was a small, hairy man in a custom fit tuxedo. Patil recognised the man from his wanderings about the site, as he imagined most of the other personnel did, and a wave of good vibes filled the room. The hosts stepped up to a podium at the side of the stage, the woman helping the man climb atop a stepladder so that he could be visible. The butterflies closed behind them.
"Good evening, everyone!" he said, "And welcome to the Site 19 SCP Sparkle Spectacular! My Item Number is SCP-208, but most of you around the site probably know me as that little fellow who makes you feel good! Tonight, you can just call me Bes!"
The crowd cheered.
"I fuckin' love Bes," whispered DeLaurier. A few people around them overheard and nodded in agreement, "He's such a good guy."
Patil smiled back, "He's so friendly. He reminds me of the Teddy Bear, before it started performing abortions."
"My Item Number is SCP-105, and my name is Iris!" said his co-host. There was a mixed reception.
Bes took the microphone again and began to recite his opening speech.
"It's been a big year for the SCP Foundation," he said, "Since our last Bender's Day celebration, we've captured eight new SCP items, lost sixteen, and accidentally destroyed twenty-five. I guess you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eldritch abominations! We've also been responsible for fourteen thousand civilian casualties, which is well within the limits of acceptable collateral damage. Well done, everyone!"
Iris began talking again, "Before we get started on the real show, we have a few awards to give out. Our first presenter tonight is a lovely young humanoid called SCP-187!"
The butterfly curtains parted again, and a young woman stepped out onto the stage. The crowd applauded, but as she moved beyond the range of the dazzling lights, she froze, and screamed, and covered her eyes. The crowd went silent, and Patil could just barely hear her shrieking voice.
"They're all dead!" the girl screamed, "They're all fucking dead!"
She ran off stage, clawing at her eyes and shrieking. Bes and Iris looked at each other.
"This is a disaster," DeLaurier muttered. Patil nodded his head in agreement. "This is a BK-Class 'Total Buzzkill' Scenario."
"Let's skip ahead!" said Bes, "The Site 19 SCP Sparkle Spectacular… starts right now!"
"How do they get all the skips to behave?" asked DeLaurier. Men made of fire swooped through the air above their heads, spinning and looping and firing jets of flame that nearly singed the crowd. A giant mechanical spider crawled along the wall, occasionally shooting sprays of gasoline out of a squirt cannon, which the fiery creatures would dive into, bursting into brilliant explosions and emerging at twice their original size, before splitting in two and spiralling away again.
Up on the stage was a tank of water. One of the flaming creatures circled above it, creating a ring of fire which an invisible shark was apparently jumping through. The crowd had gotten tired of that pretty quick.
"They have a skip who can control minds," said Patil, "All he has to do is say 'You want not to hurt us,' or 'You want to do a bunch of crazy loops in the air,' and they'll do it."
"We probably should've gotten him in with the Teddy Bear," mused DeLaurier.
"Do you reckon they've caught that thing yet?"
"Shh, I'm watching the show."
The flaming men retreated into tanks on the ceiling, and the giant spider crawled over to the stage to drag the shark away. The butterflies began to swarm around again, creating jagged, menacing shapes and twisted patterns. A single spotlight focused on the stage, and the floor began to bubble. An oozing, sick black slime dribbled up from the ground, and a rotting corpse dripping with blood and bile rose slowly through out of it. In its hand it held a human skull, half shorn of flesh and compacted into a dense rod of splintered bone and brain. The spinal cord trailed from it, wrapped in a winding string of barbed wire that intertwined with a sparking electrical cable leading down under the stage.
The Old Man raised his hellish microphone to his crooked mouth and began to sing.
"Myyyyy bonny lies over the ocean…"
He lifted a hand imploringly. The crowd chanted back.
"MY BONNY LIES OVER THE OCEAN!"
The Old Man's smile widened and he moved on to the next line.
"… my bonny lies oooooooover the oceeeean!"
This continued for at least ten minutes, before the Old Man dropped the mic, clapped his hands with a single wet, thick splattering noise, and sank back below the stage.
Bes and Iris returned to the podium, carefully avoiding the cancerous sludge. A large metal cage, the contents completely covered, was wheeled in from offstage.
"Well, it's the moment you've all been waiting for!" said Iris, "One our most popular SCP items of all time!"
"The guy you love to hate!" said Bes.
"He may find us disgusting, but we find him delightful!" said Iris, "Everybody, put your hands together for the king of Keter…"
"The sultan of sapient non-humanoids…"
"The ombudsman of overly-long termination logs…"
"The bestest lizerd ever…"
"The Hard-to-Destroy Reptile himself…
"Who will be performing an interpretive dance routine!"
The crowd cheered. Patil and DeLaurier jumped in the air and bumped chests. There was so much whooping that it sounded like an alarm had gone off. The Senior Staff box was dead silent, but Patil tried not to pay attention to that. You don't fuck with the Senior Staff.
On stage, Iris and Bes each took hold of a lever on the side of 682's cage, nodded to each other, and pulled down. The door swung open, falling forwards to clatter onto the floor. The whole crowd held their breath, pressing forwards to see the contents of the stage.
SCP-682 lay motionless, its back torn apart. leaving a gaping hollow of blood and tattered organs that were ever-so-slowly beginning to heal together.
"What the fuck?" said DeLaurier. On stage, Bes tilted his head to the side, confused. He stepped into the cage to investigate, and a gleaming, bloody metal teddy bear burst through 682's face, slicing Bes in half with a single slash of its steel claws.
Patil's breath caught in his throat. The world seemed to freeze, seemed to change colour, seemed to go completely cold. He heard someone scream, and wasn't sure if it was DeLaurier, or Iris up on the stage, or someone in the crowd, or the whole crowd, or the whole world. The metal bear galloped off the stage, diving into the crowd as if it was a pool of water. A spray of blood and flying body parts moved through the audience like a non-invisible shark's fin, belying the motions of the speeding, slashing, murderous bear. From SCP-682's bloodied body more bears began to emerge, bears made of bone, or nerves, or clotted blood. The next few seconds were pure panic, terror. Patil and DeLaurier ran for the exit, leaving the crowd behind them, trapped between the rows of chairs.
Patil could feel the sound behind him, pressing against him like a solid wall of screams and roars. Blood splattered against his neck. He and DeLaurier parted to go around the stalk of the Senior Staff box, because regardless of circumstances, you don't fuck with the Senior Staff. Patil emerged from the other side of the stalk, and so did DeLaurier's legs.
Patil swore, and heard a metallic shriek from right behind him.
"Who's that guy down there?" asked Dr Bright.
"The bear?" asked Clef.
"The Indian in the labcoat," Bright said. He pointed him out, "The running man. The one who's still alive."
Dr Crow pressed his snout up against the glass and squinted, "You know, I think I've seen that fellow around the place. He works in containment, I believe. Something Patil."
"I hope he doesn't try and fuck with us," muttered Clef.
"Well, he's dead now," said Kondraki. The metal bear held up Patil's severed head in its shining crimson claw and howled, a distorted mechanical screech of bloodlust and victory. The doctors leaned back in their seats and sighed.
"You know what?" said Dr Clef, "That was pretty fucking spectacular."
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