Cack Hard
rating: +131+x

The Site Security Director sat at his desk, pulling the advanced noise cancelling headphones into place. He looked around the room; thick, padded grey acoustic dampening foam covered the walls, floor and ceiling. Still, he assured himself, it was important that he sat at his desk for this. He nodded at the security officer standing in the room with him, wearing headphones similar to his own. The junior officer exited the room, returning quickly with a solidly constructed metal box. He placed it on the folding metal chair set up across from the Security Director. Gingerly placing a small control device on the desk, the junior officer quickly closed the door with himself finally, thankfully, outside.

The Security Director picked up the small grey device, his thumb passing lightly across the buttons. Had things really gotten so out of hand that this was his best shot? He let out a deep sigh as his thumb flexed and he felt the button click in. He didn't hear the front plate of the metal box snap up, letting the pale fluorescent light spill into half of the box from the reinforced bulbs suspended overhead.

"SCP-2337, before I begin, I will inform you that, as Security Director of this Site, my purview includes the containment specificities of sapient euclid anomalies such as yourself." He flipped open a file folder on his desk as he spoke, pulling a few pages aside to find the part he was after. "The boys down in the research division seem to think you want to help out." He squinted into the open crate, making out the shadowed, squat form of the small avian figure within. "But from what I can tell, you're a rogue element — A loose cannon! Attacking doctors, making what are obviously thinly-veiled threats at personnel. I won't stand for it!" He stopped in a futile attempt to prevent his face from reddening. "Still… You're the best damn chance we've got. I'm giving you a chance here to prove yourself. Are you gonna take it?"

"Jumble your tumble dryer more peacefully if youthinks to batch honeyflies," retorted a titanic voice from within the container. Dr. Spanko strode to the front of his small house and, with a flap of his wings, alighted atop it. "Helpfully, it me! Cack! Drimmel down your Dumbledores, and explactorate the chardonnay."

"I — very well," the Security Director said, trying to understand the bird. "One of the site's Keters has gotten loose." He eyed Dr. Spanko, who seemed more preoccupied in preening himself than listening. "Do you know what that is, a Keter?"

"Better fetter, english setter." confirmed the good doctor.

"Rig — good," he hated talking to this bird. "Its designation is 682. Big, scary lizard." He paused for a moment to look over his dossier. "This was hidden behind a sea of redaction, but you have some connection with this creature, don't you?"

The bird sucked in a tremendous gasp. "And how!"

"Good, and…?" he paused, waiting for the corn crake to elucidate further. Several seconds passed in stark silence. The Security Director tightly pressed the bridge of his nose, air sucking past his frustrated teeth. "Alright, fair enough. That's not all of it, at any rate. 682 managed to get itself infected with both 008 and 217 before it got out of the facility. We've managed to reroute a handful of nearby Mobile Task Forces to keep everything quarantined to the town of Arcadia."

"Bespoken vamoose! Am has impassle without hardy stranglechills." The spry bird gave another quick flap, alighting to strut across the Site Director's desk. "Much beckseachon conveygive. Cack! Calls for an alsogood doctor, says I."

The Security Director's lips mouthed the words, trying to pull apart their meaning. "Convey.. a doctor? We don't have any doctors that would be authorized, or willing, to go. We've already reached the limit of what we can accomplish with humans; that's why I've got you here in the first place."

"Don't sour your purple moon, dickey old chum. Thinkwise anywho Herr Doktor Spankoflex know-has just the assombulance." His beak gripped another folder, tossing it open in front of the Security Director. The man's eyes widened, his face turning pale and grim. This was already the worst idea he'd ever seen.

The Plague Doctor sat in his sterile white cell. He held in one hand sharp forceps and a white cloth in the other. With absurdly practiced hand, he applied a fine sheen of oil to the tool. It had been far, far too long since they had been put to proper use, but it would not do to let them fall into disrepair.

The door to his containment cell slid open with a low beep. The junior officer stood outside, and paled visibly when the black-robed doctor looked over his shoulder to regard the open portal. "To what do I owe this unexpected visit?" He asked, not breaking from the maintenance of his tools.

"SCP-049, You have been requested to…" The junior officer cut off, thankful he was wearing the headphones, as Dr. Spanko strode from the hallway to stand in the open doorway, turning towards the security officer.

"Excardon while I extrapulate the laceration."

The bird turned, entering the cell. The Plague Doctor, his eyes never leaving the small bird, turned in his chair to better face his visitor. "Eveternoon. Cack."

"Good morning to you as well, Doctor."

"Uncle saltybone went and Garfunkled the whole substrate. Lathered up the spittoon, plain and simple. Leaves us with a grim holdover and a basketful of ladyfingers, and make no mistake. Loose Ruth and the Truth Caboose somnambulates through to the sunset, am flak no cack."

The black robed doctor nodded thoughtfully. "Would that I could, good doctor, but I am unfamiliar with the ailments you describe. I have devoted my practice…"

"Beast ill lens, cack! Spanko know-this, does me. Unspill your ouija board and pock your lepers on me. Am Namecalled Grand Wessel Teachospeak in the land of hungry ghosts. Instructulation is the chiefest of my ambility. Firstways, unstruct yourself on the finer points of dancing down the dandy…"

A short time later, the Security Director joined his junior officer in the doorway, the younger man's jaw slack with something resembling disbelief. He followed the officer's gaze to the two doctors, the small one's feet covered in ink, bouncing around the large one's journal. "What in God's name are they doing?" asked the Security Director in disbelief.

"I-I believe 2337 is teaching 049 how to treat infections of 008 and 217." admitted the junior officer. "At least, that's what I gather. It's been all 'bristleback' this and 'cack' that for awhile now, sir. Then he dipped his feet in ink and started jumping up and down on 049's journal making typewriter noises."

"Yes, I can tell." said the Security Director over the annoying cacophony. He was thankful for the headset's design, transmitting their voices to one another. He was already gritting his teeth at the grating noise, the volume of which, based on the clarity with which he could hear it, would have made a locomotive blush. "We don't have all day to let them dick around, though. I've got Hammer Down and Nine-Tailed Fox stretched to their limits just keeping the town quarantined, and Samsara just threw in the towel. Speaking of which, 682 is apparently immune to magic now, which is just fantastic."

He blinked. The noise had stopped.

"Excuse me, gentlemen, but if you haven't heard, there is an epidemic at hand. Please move aside so my colleague and I may go tend to the infected." The Plague Doctor held his bag in his left hand, the small bird perched on his right shoulder.

The Security Director blinked again. How had he been able to hear 049? He reminded himself to buy the boys down in R&D a round of beers sometime for outdoing themselves. "Yes, good. Except, there isn't anyone infected here, they're about a mile away. If you follow me, I will show you to the specially constructed vehicle we put together for…"

"Cack!" countered Dr. Spanko. "Cack says I. Wrangle up us a constabulary conveyer, partaking to the rooty tooty point and shooty. Is of most importulence to our plantations, see if it's not."

"I'm afraid so." agreed the Plague Doctor, revealing Dr. Spanko's calligraphy to the security officers. "I won't pretend to understand the full complexity of the good doctor's robust plan, but I have gleaned that a police cruiser will be of significant importance to our mission."

The officers stole uneasy, sidelong glances at one another, then again at the bird-tracked page. Throwing his hands up in defeat, the Security Director led the way.

"Rye on the toad." instructed Dr. Spanko, shattering the glass of the police cruiser's windows. The car swerved, smiting down a federal mailbox in the prime of its life. "Clams below the shoe." he cautioned, performing a small jig of approval as the Plague Doctor's hands slid towards the top of the wheel. Hastily-stopped vehicles littered the sidewalks and made the roads treacherous. On the bright side, all the death and devastation made tracking their quarry simple enough. Still, all these corpses did seem to be making navigation tricky.

Seizing the chance to be useful, Dr. Spanko perched himself on the dashboard, taking in a deep breath and belting out a great, piercing police siren yodel. As the cruiser rounded one final corner, it screeched to a halt; their target was obvious. Augmented corpses dotted the streets, their Foundation-made arms not up to the task of felling the Dragon. However, it seems that they had succeeded in driving it to its lair. The bird's siren faltered when he saw the multinational chain-based superstore the beast had chosen.

"Mall Wart," Spanko intoned grimly, "Mine ancient apiary." His eyes narrowed; this would require all of his cack. The fortunate dead were littered about the great hole through which the Enemy had made his entrance into the structure, and out from it poured the shambling wretches who languished in worship and hatred of their destroyer-god. Neither quite alive nor dead, not fully machine or flesh, these creatures knew only what their creator knew; to hate and to kill.

"It is worse than I feared," the Plague Doctor observed, retrieving a handful of tools from his bag as he stepped out of the vehicle. "I shall tend to the sick here, good doctor. You should see to what lies within." He fixed his attention on the flood of the sick, pouring across the parking lot to meet them. "There is no need to worry, you are suffering from a mild illness which I am here to relieve you of." Whirring gears and necrotising flesh surged at him, desperate to tear him apart.

Steel flashed in the noontime sun. A slash of scalpel here, a flourish of syringe there. The Plague Doctor whirled with dancer's grace, more operating room than man. Each movement artfully evaded the clutches of the sick, and suffered his cold, uncaring medicine on the horde. Corpses flew and the cacophony of metal gears falling loose to the ground filled the air.

Dr. Spanko watched briefly, as his student practiced the remedies he had taught him. Still, there was no time to loiter; the greatest foe lie yet ahead. Taking wing, he soared over the horde and entered that most cursed of places. A bastion of dark power it was, filled with every manner of thing that could be wanted, all at reasonable prices. He alighted on a high plastic sign bearing the number 4. Seconds turned into minutes, punctuated by faint rumblings from within the building. He remained vigilant, alert for any hint of movement.

In an instant, the floor erupted, the tremendous beast bursting from below, its wounds fully recovered. The Dragon locked eyes with Dr. Spanko.

The stench of fear filled the bird's lungs. The great lizard threw itself to the ground, howling an aisle-rattling cry of submission. It began curling into as small a ball as its leviathan bulk would allow, recognizing the oncoming doom.

Spanko descended, strutting closer to the trembling lizard. Then he saw them — the familiar, tantalizing, multicolored protrusions slowly working their way out of the monster's skin.

"S-Stranglefruit!" bellowed the corn crake in awe, "Stewed from the blizzard's goal net!" He hopped up on the beast, plucking one of the red gummy lumps from its tail and swallowing it without hesitation. Or at least he tried to. "Gah—Gacklegrapes! Poison!" the bird exclaimed, finally recognizing the dangerous bear shape that the gummies took. The devilish lizard's toothy maw curled upward in a contemptuous sneer.

The Plague doctor came running at the commotion, his gaze falling on Dr. Spanko. He was in rough shape, his coughs violently cracking the tile floor beneath him. Weakly, and with the faintest of thuds, the bird's body fell, still, to the ground.

"Doctor! No!" exclaimed the surgeon as he ran to his fallen ally, cradling him in his arms. "Do not die, damn it, I will cure you!" His words were cut off as the behemoth stood, emitting a slow, low growl. He stood straight, cradling his companion under one arm. With the other, he thrust his index finger outward at the monster. "I will never forgive you for harming my teacher!" he bellowed, striding forward quickly and lightly touching the tip of the great lizard's nose.

A long moment passed, and the beast continued breathing. "Well, it was worth a shot," the doctor said to himself as he began sprinting towards the police car.

The police cruiser hurtled down the road, ramping off of a steep upward slope and returning to the ground hard enough for the bottom of the car to send sparks flying from the pavement. The fleeing doctor kept his foot pressed as hard to the pedal as it would go. At some point, the radio had come to life, belting out a speedy eurobeat song. Frantically, he eyed the arcane control panel, but hadn't the foggiest idea how to stop it. He gritted his teeth, he wasn't sure why but this was reminding him of home.

The dragon, enraged at the removal of its supplicants and the theft of his rightfully-killed bird, tore down the road, not far behind and gaining fast. Street signs, stoplights, even vehicles went flying before the rampaging beast bearing down on them. Then he saw it, the overturned truck blocking the road, and knew their doom was upon them. With the calmness of a man walking to the gallows, the doctor slammed the brakes on, screeching to a halt alongside the crashed truck. He stood from the car, turning to face death sprinting at him. "It looks like this is the end, my friend."

Dr. Spanko's eyes shot open.


His cough launched the gummi bear into the ionosphere. The shockwave tore the very molecules of the police cruiser apart, rendering it into a loose cloud of dispersing atoms. The force hit the dragon head on, and traveled through the beast's body, shredding and obliterating the monster's form until all that remained was a hunk of gore no larger than a cat, coming to rest at the Plague Doctor's feet. Buildings began crumbling outward in a radius around the cack, the onslaught losing its potency after it had smashed a mile in each direction. From Sydney to Shanghai, seismologists boggled.

"I'm sorry, did you say something?" the plague doctor asked as he turned, elated to see his friend alive. The two had little time for a reunion, as task force helicopters swarmed in, armed and armored troops sliding down black ropes to survey the situation. The team leader walked up to the doctors as his men worked the regenerating ball of flesh into an acid-filled box.

"Congratulations, doctors. The Security Director isn't going to believe the amount of collateral damage, but we got him contained."

Dr. Spanko stands on his fellow's shoulder and turns to face the camera. He confirms, "Better Nate than lever."

[Laugh track]

[Cut to black]

[Roll credits]

Now in theaters: Cack Hard 2: Revengeance: Reloaded

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