A Dead Man's Dream of Hot Sauce
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blarg

One thing that Researcher Zephyr often wondered was, if dreamworlds could be infinite in size and boundless in complexity, why were the Omicron-SCP-D World Ships always a parking nuisance?

They always crowded out whatever host they entered and made docking near the Central Gate almost impossible some days. But despite the occasional thought, Zephyr never minded the delays caused by the World Ships' size. He really didn't mind anything anymore.

While leaning back on his pilot’s chair and daydreaming about his vacation, a lifeless voice echoed through the monitor.

“Vessel #45-75A, select a landing platform.”

Zephyr picked himself up and bellowed back, “Platform Maroon Amaryllis.”

“Aww, can’t we hangout with Basil first,” cried Researcher Aster, who was blindfolded and wrapped up in rope that was covered in black and yellow talismans. He was cross-legged and slumped against the armrest of the co-pilot’s chair.

“I’m gonna go drop off the surveying reports and pick up the new assignment. You can go wherever you want, but I need’ta drop by the central terminal, before they kick my ass for being late again." Zephyr said as he stretched his feelers.

He felt like soon he would want to request a persona change. He had been an octo-human hybrid for what seemed like, and probably was, forever.

Aster perked up. “Hey, can you pick up some more LDL as well? My supply ran out. Oh! And some more hot sauce. The garlic aioli type!”

Zephyr growled. “What? I thought you had enough for five years. And according to my calendar, we only surveyed for three.” Zephyr didn't mention that it wasn't a standardized calendar, so he honestly twinge of guilt for that because it might as well have been 300 years.

“Well, it’s just, you know I never realized how much I used…And you won’t let me borrow yours…Just forget it, I’ll get it myself!” Researcher Aster, still cross-legged, levitated up from his chair and flew out into the corridor hallway.

“Put your lab coat on before you leave the ship” yelled Zephyr from his chair to an empty hallway.

As he yelled, a gargantuan cone-headed cylinder slowly emerged from below the front window outside. Smaller vessels zoomed past both their ship and the nodal guardian who just appeared and was scanning the surveyor.

Zephyr sighed and wondered why Researcher Aster always became so talkative whenever they got back to the outpost. Whenever they were on a mission, he always just stayed in his room; watching the dream-nodes pass by.

"Agh," Zephyr grumbled. He thought it best to cheer Aster up lest he fight with the vendors near the containment site. Something he was stupid enough to do. Zephyr laid back and lifted up the footrest on his chair.

The disembodied, conical-topped cylindrical head began to twist around and after a few seconds it stopped. From the smoothness cylinder’s side, emerged a verdant-tinged baby face whose eyes were closed.

“Welcome to Node 0 of the Royal Hyacinth. Where would you like to traverse?" thundered the nodal guardian.

Zephyr hadn't looked up from his chair as he shouted. "AIC, Send the coords."

After a few seconds, the nodal guardian responded, "Welcome to Site-19i." Its eyes slowly opened and from its retinae shone the SCP logo which vanquished all other light.


Hundreds of ships flew overhead the glass dome. But there were no stars in this bland dream. In this certified dream host, the only permitted imagination was that which aided in containment.

“Zephyr, there you are!” Researcher Basil ran over to Zephyr who just came from the east nightmare annex.

Researcher Zephyr looked down. “If you're looking for Aster, he’s probably getting a thaumaturgic check. He pumps himself full of so much LDL that his all-sight is gonna fail one of these days.”

“I was looking for you Zephyr. Haven’t seen you in so long, haha. How was the assignment? Did you find any dead dreams?” Basil said with a beaming voice.

“If you're so interested, you can read the report.” Zephyr started to walk past Basil.

“Ah, so where are you headed now?” Basil tried to keep up pace with Zephyr as they walked through a glass passageway. They were bathed in the purple light of the artificial lavender star.

“The same place you ought to be headed. You know, the once in five year meeting that every personnel who's based in this outpost has to attend. I thought I’d remind you since you made Aster miss the last one.”

“Haha, don’t be like that c’mon. Aster and I just wanted to reminisce. We both did come from the same town and got taken in by the Foundation at around the same time.” Zephyr’s pace quickened.

From below the translucent gangway, a massive carrier was tugging along an equally enormous crate labeled SCP-998i. It was covered with multiple shades of pink and red that were flowing in a gradient.

“Did you see any interesting dreams or realities on your assignment? I remember that we were always held up in the lower deck during the Mercer reinforcement.”

Zephyr didn’t particularly want to speak to Basil but the clear attempt at a conversation wore him down enough that he slowed his step and responded.

“Nah, same old stuff. We did see a few rare events. In one of them, the dreamer self-actualized and its actual corporeal body materialized into the dream. Oh, and in another, an Empyrean parasite formed. Obviously, the host's network collapsed.”

“Any dead hosts or jumping networks? I heard that the high ups were telling all the containment overseers to report them because of the issues with stability. I’m telling you, once they secure all those ‘zombies’ or whatever they call them, the statisticians at Site-5i are gonna make them ‘researcher’s’ too. ”

Zephyr smirked when he heard that. “And that’s exactly why I requested another dead host surveying mission. I ain’t gonna find one and I just get to relax. And I don’t gotta deal with all the shit that these other dreams have too.

The blaze of violet light engulfed Zephyr and Basil as they discussed the past till they reached the amphitheatre.


“Hey, psst…psssst Zephyr.” Researcher Basil was trying really hard to get Zephyr's attention.

But it was difficult to do anything when they were all stuck in the Colosseum of the Light with thousands of other researchers. The droning of the anterior 4-headed hologram of Director Memphis made it easy for Zephyr to ignore him. He even tried to get some sleep while waiting for the mission directives to end.

“C’mon, dude please, can you take this assignment. I’m trying to transfer to the imperial front.”

Zephyr's eye opened and he flipped his head to face Researcher Basil. “Why the hell would a kid like you be try’na go and die in the Infinite Crusade? Just go to Xiupania if you just want to kill yourself.”

“You're the real child around here Zephyr. Haha, once you wander mission-to-mission long enough you’ll see what I mean. And come on, at least you die in fit of glory with the Infinite Crusade containment. Not like those poor souls who are trying to contain the damn ugly tentacle..oh yeah, sorry I guess.”

Zephyr shut his eye.

“Fine…I’ll give you all my credits. You know Aster loves his sauce.”

Zephyr’s eye didn’t move.

“Okay, okay I’ll give my access code too. But please, I really don’t want to waste more time in this dream. I think I’ve been here too long…” Zephyr held out one appendage.

“Thank you so much bro.” Basil handed Zephyr a sheaf of documents.

“And let me just give you a piece of advice since you seem so naive. Our boy Memphis over here, ain't really tryn’a ta help humanity. Since you’ve been gone, I’ve been hearing that he is acting more and more like aggressive host-type. A real aggressive guy." Basil snided.

"But, to be honest with you, who among this lot of 'researchers' really cares that much. If you ever Aster ever misses me, tell’em to hang-out with one of my parallel copies. You know my origin node, so you can go whenever.” Basil finished by smacking Zephyr on the back and slipping down from his chair.

A adolescent green skinned child with an oversized lab coat quickly ran off.

Researcher Zephyr looked at the flapping coat of Basil till he disappeared. He kept his eye on the empty door till the drawn-out meeting finally ended.


woww

An intense feeling of cold metal beads rolling across the skin. That’s what Zephyr was experiencing as he was traveling to New Oneiroi North.

With the credits he got from Basil, he had enough hot sauce to last at least five years. For some unknown reason, garlic aioli infused hot sauce took the buzz off of the LDL injections.

He stood up from the pilot’s chair and decided to walk around the deck. Zephyr put his tentacle against the wall-scanner and the hallway door shunted open. He walked across the brightly lit hallway passing doors that had contained name-plates reading SCP-(5+7i) and SCP-44i.

He cruised through a curved chamber and stepped up onto the observation deck as the light turned on to his presence.

Zephyr watched the nebulae and dream-realms whizz past. He noticed a slightly green-tinged reality and found himself reminiscing about his first assignment given to him when he was picked up by the Foundation.

He was riding the wave of Daffodils along the Oneiori network at his friend’s house one night when men in black suddenly crashed through the window and arrested him. They blindfolded him and explained to him that he needed to work for the “greater good” and load of other shit that he long forgot by now. The only part that interested him was the great pay that was, supposedly, accumulating day by day.

And they only said that he would be helping them for a few days. Zephyr, of all people, knew the time dilating effects of being a dreamer. But even he felt something off. The LDL was given to them by the Foundation to keep them dreaming so he really didn’t know how long he’d been in this plane of reality.

His first mission was to reinforce the Mercer-99 Group during an assault on Oneiroi Southeast. A few billion dreamers would be sent by the Foundation. “What?” Zephyr’s face was dumbfounded when he first got the brief. “Billion?” He thought it was a typo, but he finally understood the scale of the Dream-SCP when he laid his eyes on the SCP-emblazoned System Travelers and how it felt like it was a planet of its own.

Curiously, he didn’t much recall what he actually did. He just acutely remembered that every other announcement in his cruiser mechanically droned about the “severe sectoral de-stabilizing events" that were ongoing.

All he remembered was the monotony of calculating engine trajectories and listening to Researcher Basil complain about another Researcher Basil being on the same ship level. He wondered how creative the real Basil was; that he could sustain so many personas in the Oneiori.

Drudgery and boredom was his life but he wasn’t precisely unhappy. He rather enjoyed the free-time and could always request a longer life or a co-pilot should he desire.

Perhaps, that was the exact temperament that made the Foundation pick him up to begin with.

“Attention, Researcher Zephyr, we are nearing the domain of New Oneiroi North. Please remember to prepare to disembark."


Something was very wrong. Every thaumaturgic device was blaring and every meter’s needle was pushing back and forth.

The protocol referred to the New Oneiroi North dream as an infinite flat land made of legos, crayons, and Play-Doh. But when Zephyr took a glimpse out the window, there was just a thick, dark, maroon fog.

He rushed out of the pilot’s deck and slithered to Room-02. “AIC, what is Researcher Aster's status,” yelled Zephyr as he ran down the corridor.

“Hey, AIC. Respond.” But no mechanical voice droned back.

Zephyr stopped at a room with a plaque that read "ASTER" and slid his tentacle across the locked door. It quickly opened and he immediately was taken aback by the cries of Researcher Aster.

Aster’s blindfold was on the ground and his forehead SCP brand was pulsing violently.

“Aster, what are you seeing!”

“Dead host. Dead network…” Researcher Aster quieted down and his otherwise stiff shoulders were overtaken by gravity.

Zephyr sighed. “AIC, send the logs to the Royal Hyacinth now.” He went deeper into the room and shook the Researcher’s floating body.

“AIC?"

Researcher Aster started to fade away and the room began to slowly disassemble. The wall panels, door, and everything around Zephyr just popped out of existence one after the other.

It kept going till the entire ship was gone. Zephyr was standing still and saw a city made of Legos directly in below him. Somehow he was still alive but the domain clearly was going to collapse soon. The air itself was cracking and the sky became blistered with purple and red pustules.

He was floating in space as a hazy human outline appeared before him.

'So that's what a dead person's persona looks like? Not as weird as I would've thought."

The fingers of the dark outline moved slightly. Zephyr’s skin started to crystallize and his flesh began to melt into a red liquid.

“Hahah, they always said the more powerful the dreamer, the more ironic they became with…” Zephyr’s mouth soon coagulated into glass.

A medium sized bottle of garlic aioli infused hot sauce was the last witness of New Oneiori North before it was blinked out of existence.


Automated Alert to Janitorial Staff

~From the desk of Junior Researcher Eleazar Memphis of Site-074 (Currently Out of Office)

Please dispose of deceased Dreamer Z. A. Stanley located in Human Containment Warehouse Gamma. And please make sure to airlock the door when you leave.

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