For Crimes Uncommitted


rating: +11+x

26th of May, 1985

Central Europe Regional Command Headquarters, 25 kilometers south of Sopot, Poland

He didn't feel it. Not at first, at least.

As the sound of old lights firing up filled his hurting head, Daniel Asheworth violently woke up, trying to stand up from his seat. He would, of course, he would if he could — the problem this time was that he couldn't. Even though he could barely see with his post-sleep eye state, he did notice the obvious — he was chained with both his wrists to a rock-solid chair.

He tried moving in any way, only to notice his rune gloves were gone. He cursed slightly in his mind, realizing that any potential escape plans were going to be noticeably harder without them. Even if he knew magic well enough to not need outside stimuli to help him use it, any thaumaturgist saying they didn't find items that helped concentrate magic handy was a liar.

As he looked around, his still sleepy eyes were suddenly blasted with the light of the blinding lamps above him. He now knew what woke him up, at least.

And that's when it hit him with all its power.

As he tried looking to his right, his brain suddenly exploded with a feeling of pain unmistaken for anything else he had ever felt — he knew what it precisely was a little too well. Total thaumaturgic drain, from his body to his soul — a feeling similar to an electrocution, but somehow reaching into one's soul and the very essence of being, grounding him totally. He realized that having been chained up with his gloves removed was nothing more than a formalitie — even if he had them, he was essentially useless.

"Looks like you're finally awake." a towering and sarcastic feminine voice suddenly filled the room from Asheworth's front. Trying to identify its source, he noticed a human-sized hologram standing in front of him, showcasing the borders of a red, blurred, feminine figure.


O5-9, current Administrator of the SCP Foundation.


Immediately noticing the personnel recognition system he met less than a month before, he realized their location — the Central Europe Regional Command Headquarters.

"May we begin?"

The darkness around Asheworth was suddenly brightly illuminated by lamps identical to the ones above him, revealing two audiences sitting on court-like benches on his two sides. He looked at the light above him, noticing a small air vent. Though initially, he thought he noticed something akin to a spark within, he quickly dismissed it as nothing more than a mistake on his part.

Looking to the right, he saw a large crowd of mostly unfamiliar faces — though, some of them known due to the Summit of O4 he had taken a part in — especially the mysterious man in the red suit — looking at him in disgust, all eyes focused on himself only. Turning away as quickly as he could to his left though, he noticed what he deemed a much friendlier sight — Jessie Rivera, Jeremy Cornwell, and James Micheals. Though they for one didn't look at him in disgust, they did look… disappointed, almost — something akin to a good mother's reaction at a kid doing something bad — neither anger nor disgust, just… disappointment and sadness.

"Hey, what—" Asheworth tried to say, only for the three of them to slowly look away from him. Trying to reach out to them again, he was suddenly cut away by the voice of O5-9, overshadowing the quiet chitchat going on in the hall.

"Daniel Robert Alliston-Asheworth," Nine said, with her blurred avatar looking directly into his eyes, with what felt like a literal mind-drill. "Are you ready to begin the trial?"

"Wh, wh, what?" Asheworth uttered in panic, looking at the feminine figure before him. "This is got to be a misunderstanding, miss. What's going o—"

He tried to usher his words as quickly as possible, suddenly getting interrupted by a transparent hologram of a screen appearing before him and others present, forming what appeared to be a Foundation document.

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Internal Tribunal Department


CASEFILE

Сase №: 120-А-I

Status: Pending Review

Judge: O5-9

Defendant: Daniel Robert Alliston-Asheworth

Corpus delicti: The Defendant is hereby accused of committing crimes provided for in paragraphs,

  • § 1.1.1 Espionage
  • § 1.1.2 Diversion
  • § 1.1.3 Armed assault
  • § 1.2.2 Transmission of information containing operating secrets
  • § 1.2.4 Armed rebellion
  • § 1.2.5 Adhering to GoI
  • § 1.2.6 Unauthorized collaboration with GoI
  • § 1.2.7 Sabotage
  • § 1.2.8 Deliberate violation of secrecy
  • § 1.2.9 Theft of Foundation objects, personnel or documentation
  • § 3.2.1 Insubordination
  • § 4.5 Reduction of terrestrial environment to uninhabitable by humankind
  • § 5.1 Development of weaponry based on anomalous functions
  • § 5.10 Collaboration with GoI from the list of outlawed organizations

and attempting to commit crimes provided for in paragraphs,

  • § 2.1.1 Use of anomalous objects against humanity (with the purpose of coercive or non-coercive change of power or established societal norms)
  • § 5.4 Use of anomalous objects (with the purpose of limiting societal rights and freedoms para)

of the ITD Legal Codex.

As sheer panic and utter confusion and fear filled the thaumaturge, he started rapidly looking around himself, trying to get a single person on his side.

"Miss, this is… I, I, I," he said nonsensically, trying to make sense of what is happening. "This has to be a misunderstanding, I—"

"SILENCE," the Overseer said in a powerful voice, effectively stopping all objections from Daniel. "Your cooperation with PoI-5936 has been found out the moment you blew Overwatch up. You do not need to hide that fact anymore. May. We. Begin. The. Trial?"

Asheworth stared in disbelief at both the screen and the woman, suddenly regaining his voice, realizing it's best to just follow along for the time being. "Yes," he replied in a calm voice, pretending to be composed as hard as he could.

"Fantastic," the Overseer sarcastically replied, bringing her hands together in a pyramid-like shape. "Due to the… rather obvious circumstances surrounding this case, I will not hold a complete and fair trial.," she said, spawning an immediate reaction from O4's crowd. Silencing it with a quick wave of a hand, she continued. "As much as I would like to execute the defendant right now, I am unfortunately required to hold this joke of a trial." She paused for a moment. "Apologies. I… let us just begin."

"I am going to ask once and once only — how do you answer to the accusation of cooperating with Damien Nowak in the ploy to destroy both Site-01 and steal humanity's terrains, giving them to various anomalous races?" She paused for a moment, walking behind Asheworth's chair and back in front of him again, gesticulating heavily. "As I do not believe anything while worthy can be said by you, I will give you one chance to say your side of the story. Use it wisely."

"This is fucking absurd," Asheworth's thoughts screamed, trying to run away from this place in any way possible. "Why does no one see this is all fake?!" Immediately calming himself down, he realized he needs to play the game as well as he could, which he couldn't when he was angry.

"I… okay, let me begin at the, well, beginning," he said, with O5-9 nodding in response. "I am going to say everything I know in good will of the case." He paused, inhaling and closing his eyes for a second.

"I was the lead investigator of the Damien Nowak case, initially chosen due to my expertise with thaumaturgy, ontokinetics, and the relative knowledge regarding the person I was supposed to chase," Asheworth said, trying to remember as many facts as he possibly could. "I… years ago, I was a part of the group Damien Nowak now guides — or, rather, guided — until the day I was betrayed by its leader."

"I left when he murdered someone close to me after exploring my magic talent to his — or, at that time, our — goal of bringing the terrains we then believed humanity had stolen from the anomalous world. I, of course, no longer believe that goal."

"And how do we know you're, as you say, no longer associated with PoI-5936, despite all evidence pointing to the fact you are? How do you defend against the fact most of your actions have been either focused on researching about Damien Nowak or straight up trying to meet him?"

"I… pardon?" he said with disbelief in his voice. "Miss, I am — I was, I mean — the leader of his case. It was literally my job to—"

"Yes, yes, that's a pretty explanation, but does it explain why half of your Foundation search history is literally taken up solely to this supposed enemy?" Angrily replying, with two moves of her blurred hands, Nine quickly changed the screen to show Asheworth's terminal search history. Though most of it was taken by simple RAISA terms and job schedules a normal Site Director would search for, the deeper she scrolled, the more of it became overtaken by internal documents regarding Nowak, to the point where down the line, it was him and him only. "This is… obsession. Obsession beyond just work duties."

"I… look, yes, I was obsessed with him — I hated him. I wanted to kill him to the point of obsession. I admit. I'm not sorry for being irrational about someone," Asheworth replied, immediately realizing he probably shouldn't have said that.

"That does not explain why literally each of your interactions lead to him escaping after realizing his plan," she continued, this time in a more angry voice. "Except, of course, the one you had after destroying all of Overwatch Command. Clever, but not clever enough."

"I simply couldn't— okay, look, can I get a pause for a second?" the thaumaturge said, trying to get to any defense he could, realizing actual evidence won't do anything here. "Can I know why I'm the only one trialed here, if, as you say, everyone can see that Jessie Rivera and Jeremy Cornwell took part in these missions too?" He knew it was shitty, but that was pretty much the last he could have done to try to save himself.

She rolled her blurred eyes, looking at the people sitting left of Asheworth. "We've looked at evidence, and saw no connection between them and your plans. An outstandingly complex manipulation, that's all," she said, walking behind him and giving both Cornwell and Rivera a tired look. "And, may I add on a more personal note — a truly abhorrent manipulation," she added, with a snarky tone.

Asheworth looked around the room, trying to desperately find literally anyone who would defend him against this absurdity, or at least wouldn't look at him in disgust. Failing to do so, he said, with a panicked voice: "Miss, with all due respect, this is… absurd. This is either blatant fakery or misinterpretation of evidence or—"

"You will not question ME in this room, you—!" she nearly screamed at the top of her lungs, frustrated by the thought of anyone, let alone someone literally chained before her, questioning her authority. Not a second later, the mysterious man in the red suit materialized out of nowhere behind her, whispering something to her, coming closer. Asheworth could have sworn he was in O4's crowd not seconds before, but it might as well have been a mistake on his part. Either way, the woman nodded, turning her head towards the room once again.

"Yes, sorry. You're right. I've gotten a little too heated," Nine said, looking at the man next to her. "I think a short break will do everyone well."

* * *

Ve didn't notice it. Not at first, at least.

"Shit," Ailbié Tier'ney said, quickly hiding the steel of ver long, runic dagger from the air vent's opening. Though ver reaction was merely seconds too slow, ve was sure the spark of pure irrilate ver weapon was made of was visible to at least one person within. Turning ver head towards the rest of the ten-person group located within the tight vent, ve asked: "Do you think they saw that?"

One of the other slowly nodded in agreement. "Yes, probably. Doesn't mean they'll care, though."

Turning ver slim Fae head towards the leader of the group, ve again corrected the ever-falling red berrett that for some reason kept falling of ver head. Ve never got why it always seemed to hate ver head, though ve always imagined it had to do something with how Fae heads were built differently from human ones. The slightly longer, pointy ears, large eye cavities filled with big, black eyes, and long necks connecting to the half-transparent wings located at their backs weren't exactly all that similar to human ones. But Ailbié didn't really care — the hat was somewhat a part of ver character of years now, and so was it always being slightly off.

Scratching ver short, green-like hair, ve closed ver eyes. It was going to be a moment until they were going to actually get down there — the Overseer still needed to get into a place vulnerable enough for them to strike effectively — so ve thought a quick nap would do ver good. If it was ver call, Ailbié would've attacked before the trial even began — but, probably fortunately, ve had no part in making the actual plans for the mission — She told them what to do, and they listened. Last time, She told them to reclaim a very specific place that had strategic value. This time, She told them to rescue the man being trialed beneath them. Why, they didn't know. They didn't need to understand; so long as they listened, all had always turned out well.

Closing ever eyes for good, Ailbié Tier'ney put ver hat over ver eyes, giving in to Morpheus' grasp.

* * *

"Apologies for the delay. I… I'm better now."

As the avatar of the Ninth Overseer appeared again before him, Asheworth flinched

"During the short pause, I've realized one thing," she said, continuing her habit of walking around Asheoworth's chair. "The trial is essentially useless."

"We do not trial terrorists, and there's quite literally footage of this man being exactly that — a terrorist," she paused for a second. "So I truly believe I've gotten to a conclusion I do not think will surprise anyone."

As his heart started beating like a racing engine, Daniel looked nervously around himself, and then at the woman in front of him. The Overseer backed a little, snapping her fingers and scraching her head, reading to say something. His body responded in the only way it knew how — prepareness for battle.

"I, O5-9, with power given to me by my position as the Administrator of the SCP Foundation," Nine said with a towering voice, making sure everyone within the hall heard her, "Hereby sentence you, Daniel Robert Alliston-Asheworth," she paused, making Asheworth's heart skip a beat. "To death."

As the entire court exploded with chatter and protests, the red-suited man came forward, replacing the Overseer in standing in front of the judged. He grinned, and, coming closer, he put on two white gloves, almost identical to those Asheworth was wearing. He reached towards the thaumaturge's face, grnning almost unnoticeably as a red little spark appeared within the corner of his eye.

Daniel's thoughts raced, trying to literally do anything — he started moving in his chains, only to be met with failure. He screamed with frustration, only to be met with silence. He tried looking at the ones he cared for, only to be met with nothing more than disgust.

He closed his eyes, coming for the impact of the servant's hand. He knew there was no way out of this.

The moment the warmth of the man's hand felt millimeters apart from his face, a deafening shot suddenly filled Asheworth's ears. He opened his eyes, noticing the red-suited main falling down like ash. The man disintegrated like dust, leaving only his suit on the ground seconds after. Even though he was seemingly dead, Asheworth knew the demon wasn't gone for good. Not yet.

Looking for the source of the shot, his eyes noticed a ten-manned group of Fae appearing from within the vent directly above Nine's avatar, coming down into the room. Operating perfectly in-synch, they whistled a song he didn't understand, which seconds later resulted in most of the room falling asleep. The Overseer's avatar tried to reach for the alarm button, only for the display of her avatar to be smashed to pieces seconds later.

Suddenly, one of the walls of the hall exploded, opening a path to the outside — nine of the Fae walked towards it, with what appeared to be Jessie Rivera and Jeremy Cornwell's bodies located inside a cobweb-like cocoon, dragged in their hands. The only remaining warrior walked towards Asheworth, extending ver hand towards him.

"Come," the newcomer said, snapping ver fingers. As Asheworth looked directly into the glistering, almost transparent eyes of the Fae warrior, his chains shattered like glass, making him finally free.

"Why are you doing this?" Asheworth asked, trembling with a mixture of both fear and disbelief. "Why free me, why after all I've done to hurt your people?"

"She wants to see you," ve replied, starting to head towards the hole in the wall. Giving Asheworth a look turning ver head, it was clear ve isn't going to wait for him..

"W-Who is 'She'?"

"Our mother, but, to be fair, she is yours too," ve continued the walk, starting to whistle a weirdly calmful song. As ve stepped outside of the dark complex into the outside burning with bright light, suddenly, long and beautifully blooming vines entered the building through the hole, growing at a rapid pace. Staring in disbelief at the beauty that overtook the room in mere seconds, Asheworth stood up, looking in wonder at the growths. Taking a step outside, he was greeted by the warmth of sun, for a moment, feeling like he was once again happy.

The Fae looked at him as ve corrected ver hat, with a slight smile on ver face.

"Oh, and I think you call her Mother Earth."

* * *

???

???

He didn't feel it. Not at first, at least.

It was a weird feeling, what first met Damien Nowak after he woke up. Utter and overpowering calmness, to the point of being weird — but nothing really out of the ordinary. Something akin to what you think you felt as a child, taken from the deepest bowels of your memory. The feeling of that one time you were truly happy, extracted again onto your now-dead self.

It lasted for less than what felt like a week — though he wasn't sure that even was a week. A week of something akin to that state between sleep and the real world, experienced only in the back of your still asleep brain attaching itself to reality around itself — the feeling of being sentient enough to feel the beauty of this stasis, but not enough to realize he shouldn't be experiencing one. Not after death, at least.

That's when it hit him.

Like a wine stain on a freshly cleaned white shirt, he felt it. The Red, invading his rest within the place of rest. It was hard to explain what it was, other than that — Red, with a capital R. It was like all of the hate, anger, destruction, and jealousy within humanity had one common name — Red. That Red invaded his eternal bedroom, taking a grasp onto his resting soul, stealing it from Purgatory's final steps. If he could, he would scream.

Damien Nowak wasn't a weak man — he spent most of his life running away from people that didn't understand his goal wanting to murder him, most of the time in the worst ways possible. But that… it was too much for him. Even after all these years of hurt, feelings of guilt, and pain, the unbearable feeling of having the very essence of you being ripped with a cold hand, shattering the connections it had with you was just too much.

He didn't think a living organism could even imagine something similar. The closest he thought he could get to explaining it to a bystander was what having your spine torn out would feel like. Except it's happening to two million versions of yourself at the same time.

But what was the worst part of it was that he couldn't even give his executioner a face to hate — it was like nature itself wished to pain him for all he had wronged in his life, like an obsessive Fae sorceress stabbing the very nerves within her victim. He always realized some punishment was awaiting him after his end, but he at least hoped it would have a face to fault — but there, it just… felt like it was the world itself doing that, hurting him for the ways he had gone south in.

Well, that wasn't entirely true — but, to be fair, it wasn't a lie either. The moment he gave into the cold grab of the death of his personality, his character, his very being is when he saw it. A cold, young, calm, feminine face, with long blonde hair coming into it, eyes burning with a pure red. She took what was him and stole it into herself, merging the part of him that was Red into the Red that was already in her.

And the moment she closed the gates to his place of rest, leaving him an empty husk with no soul of his own, he heard the final words to ever grace his person.

"Ah, there you are," she said, with a sarcastic voice. "Was worried I won't even get it full for a second there."


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