Find Us Alive 03: Faulty Wiring
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CLICK

LOVE

Personal Log: Agent Nari Love. Clearance Level 2.

I am taking this log to note down exactly how muCH I HATE THIS FUCKING PLACE.

I’ve been in here WAY too long. I’m sick of being stuck in here with these NERDS and their BUREAUCRATIC BULLSHIT. I’M DONE.

It’s only a matter of time before I go COMPLETELY APESHIT and KILL EVERYBODY IN HERE!

It always SMELLS WEIRD and the entire fucking Records Department DOESN’T TAKE SHOWERS and THIS ISN’T IN MY FUCKING JOB DESCRIPTION.

HOW MUCH LONGER IS IT GOING TO TAKE THEM TO FIGURE THIS OUT?! I’M DONE! I DON’T- I’M-

I’m…

…I don’t want to be here anymore.

I’m not even supposed to be here to begin with. “Just a couple hours, just enough for Shao to talk to Carson and then we’re out.” Just long enough that the Ethics Committee can get their rocks off on how much better they are than everybody else.

Well how much better are you NOW, Dr. Shao?! You’re just as fucked as the rest of us. What good does your Clearance Level 4 do for you now?!

I… I want to go home. I want to go home.

CLICK

HARLEY

Come in, Overwatch Command. This is Site-107, over.

Have you ever listened to blackbox recordings? From planes? When I was a kid I had a sort of morbid fascination with them. There’s always something intriguing about the last thing a person says before they die.

For some people, the last thing they say is the most important thing. People give last words more weight than ordinary words. That’s why airplanes have blackboxes, because their last words might make things safer in the future.

Sometimes the last thing someone says isn’t meant to be their last words at all. Your last words could be thanking the barista before you walk out the door and get run over by a bus. You never know.

I’m the blackbox of this airplane.

I’m not too confident that we’ll survive this. But we’re recording it all, so if you reach us long after we’re all gone, you’ll at least have my voice telling you everything that went wrong on our aircraft, and maybe how to fix it next time.

The Containment Department has been given broad jurisdiction for new onsite rules for all personnel, following our revelation that Dash 1’s may or may not have the ability to appear… possibly anywhere.

New rules as follows.

All Site-107 personnel have been temporarily promoted to Clearance Level SixtyThreeTwenty Dash Two on top of their original Foundation Clearance Level.

Director Klein briefed the entire site on the appearance and nature of SCP-SixtyThreeTwenty and instructed everyone to report and break any and all forming SCP-SixtyThreeTwenty Dash 1 instances before they can be completed.

Containment and Security are now monitoring all existing water or environmental stains for anomalous activity, via both daily sweeps of the facility and remotely through the Surveillance office. Security will also be conducting sweeps of private areas to check for particulate matter that could potentially breed a new Dash 1.

All personnel are advised to pay close attention to their surroundings and keep a constant eye out for any unusual movement.

HARLEY SIGHS. HE SOUNDS A LITTLE BURNT OUT.

HARLEY

So, yeah. I’m a little on edge. Aren’t we all?
(laughs)
I have to say, I miss being able to lock my door. I’m not completely against the sweeps, they have to do what they have to do, and we all have to make sacrifices, but… it’s… weird.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing to hide, really, and Security are all as sweet as ever. I’m just tired.

Most of us haven’t even seen a Dash 1 yet. I haven’t, at least not in person. Lancaster says he saw one in the pepper he was using in his scrambled eggs but I can’t verify the truth in that…

It’s hard to tell if you’re seeing one, or if you’re being paranoid. Dr. Lancaster and the rest of the Psychology Department are concerned about this as well. Apparently there have been multiple reports of Dash 1-related nightmares.

Then again, not many of us are neurotypical, so this isn’t all that surprising.

Nevertheless, I have my eyes peeled. I’m not stupid, I know how dangerous anomalies can be. Even if the protocol seems silly or overbearing to me, Containment is good at their jobs. They’re intimidating, sure, but… I trust them.

Unlike Botany, those barley-stealing plant-fu-

THE DOOR OPENS

LANCASTER

Hey, Harley-

HARLEY

Oh, hi Lancaster! What’s-

LANCASTER

So, there’s a fight happening.

HARLEY

What.

LANCASTER

There’s a fist fight happening like, a couple halls down.

HARLEY

Who?

LANCASTER

I don’t know? Some of the outside field agents, I think.

HARLEY

…Love?

LANCASTER

Maybe?

HARLEY PAUSES

SHUFFLING AS HARLEY STANDS UP FROM HIS DESK AND BOLTS OUT THE DOOR BEHIND LANCASTER

INTERCOM CLICKS

KLEIN

Attention, Site-107.

I know you’ve all heard about what happened today. I know you’ve all been talking about it. News travels so fast, it’s like a damn high school in here.

On behalf of Upper Management I would like you all to chill the fuck out.

Excuse me. That wasn’t very professional.
(clears throat)
“I strongly advise that all personnel take a moment to collect themselves until such a time as they can return to their duties for the good of humanity and the Foundatio-”

Nope. Okay. That’s nothing. Umm…

Please chill, everybody? Please calm down. Um… This absolutely blows. Don’t get me wrong. But we can’t be out here beating the shit out of each other in the hallways.

We have to work together as much as we can or we’re all gonna fuckin die, yeah? So just- if you need to blow off some steam, do it in the rec room. Not on your coworkers.

Also I’m putting those involved in the… altercation… on probation. Please report to my office for details, you two. I don’t care if you “don’t technically work here.”

Klein out.

INTERCOM CLICKS OFF

CLICK

LOVE

…they’re not letting me use salt.

That’s what “probation” means here. It means they won’t let me put spices on my food. On my fuckin ration-ass food. Klein told me if I do it again, they’re going to switch me to Nutrient Paste for a week.

…it’s not actually a bad punishment idea. They can’t really do much else without risking my health and safety, and they can’t fire me, but… this sucks. This sucks!

I don’t even remember what I punched him over. Some dumb shit he said, I don’t know. I just remember that stupid smug look on that asshole’s face. Engineering, I think. They’re all the same. Everybody here thinks they’re better than you just because they belong to a “department.” Assholes.

They’ll HAVE to put me on a Mobile Task Force if I make it out, right? Ordinary field agents don’t survive stuff like this every day. Hell, they treat us like cannon fodder half the time. But if I can make it out of here alive, without killing anyone? They’ll put me on an MTF FOR SURE.

(pouting)
…it’s gonna be so hard not to kill anyone.

CLICK

HARLEY

I found one, Overwatch Command.

A Dash 1.

There was a bit of blood on the floor and I could see it starting to make one. The floors are all perfectly level, except the ramp hall in the AE-1 wing. So there’s no reason any liquid would have to be flowing in any direction, let alone a few of them.

I wiped it up. We’re almost out of paper towels though, so I used a napkin I found in my desk drawer. No more Dash 1.

The blood was from the fight. Agent Love apparently punched Robinson from Engineering. By the time I got there, they were both… well, it was surprising, really. Robinson held his own pretty well against that… extremely tiny woman.
(shudders)
One time when I was a kid, I saw my cousin get attacked by a raccoon that was hiding under his porch. Watching Agent Love kick the shit out of Robinson from Engineering was like watching that raccoon kick the shit out of my cousin.

No doubt Lancaster is going to have the Psych staff bringing this up in everybody’s sessions. I’m glad he’s not MY therapist or he’d probably get on me for those pictures I took with my phone. Oh, well. I’m sure we’ll all be getting-

LIGHTS FLICKER, AUDIO CUTS OUT

SILENCE

CRUNCHY CLICK

BROADCAST RESUMES, BUT SLIGHTLY DISTORTED

HARLEY

Testing, testing- We’re back? Yeah, looks like I’m on again. Hello! The power is out.

It’s only in part of the hallway, though. I checked outside my door, it doesn’t go too far. I have a feeling this might be a wiring issue, not a Dash 1. Dash 1’s, as far as we have observed, affect the entire site, not just a piece of it.

Currently, I’m transmitting using the standard issue hand crank generator. It’s my understanding that all radio operators have one? Anyway, if my broadcast sounds strange, that’s why. Not connected to the main power source.

I’m also using my phone’s flashlight, because we have zero windows in this facility and it is dark as all hell when the lights aren’t on. Some halls have emergency floor lights, but my office doesn’t need that kind of equipment, so I’m out of luck.

It should be up and running again shortly. Engineering and Maintenance both have an extraordinary reputation for fixing these things very quickly. In the meantime, I don’t know how long the wait will be, and I don’t want this broadcast to take longer than it needs to.

Still, I don’t like to-

WALKIE BEEPS

LANCASTER

Harley, is it dark where you are? Over.

HARLEY

Yeah. Got you too? Over.

LANCASTER

No, I’m fine. But the next hall down is dark. Over.

HARLEY

Are you with anybody? Do we know how wide it is? Over.

LANCASTER

I guess we’ll find out. Over.

HARLEY

God, the comms are going to blow up when it comes back on. Over.

LANCASTER

Yeah, have fun sorting all that out.

HARLEY

(joking)
I’ll kill you.

LANCASTER

I’m not a houseplant, but okay.

HARLEY

…wow. I mean I knew you never cared about me, but damn.

LANCASTER

Our friendship was all a ruse.

HARLEY

(faux dramatic)
Et tu, Brute?

LANCASTER

I like that you chose to be Julius Caesar in this hypothetical you’re making up.

HARLEY

Thanks, Doctor, it’s my subconscious urge to get stabbed.

LANCASTER

(joking but also not joking)
Okay, hey, don’t say stuff like that.

HARLEY

Yeah, alright. On a serious note though, it would be really bad if the power went out.

LANCASTER

I know! Ayesha from Records wouldn’t be able to charge her Juul.

HARLEY

(amused)
Stop.

LANCASTER

The first thing I think is that a lot of our food would go bad.

HARLEY

God, you’re right. Would the toilets work?

LANCASTER

…WOULD the toilets work?

HARLEY

Would the OXYGEN MACHINE work?

LANCASTER

Oh shit.

HARLEY

I don’t know enough about the mechanics of this building to know, really.

LANCASTER

They did put a lot of new stuff in here when they built it.

HARLEY

Really?

LANCASTER

Yeah, I think that’s why it’s shaped so weird.

HARLEY

New underground emergency stuff? Testing things for Site-19 maybe?

LANCASTER

Something like that. They don’t care if it explodes and kills all of us. We don’t have any Keters in here, after all.

HARLEY

…well-

LANCASTER

Oh, we might have a Keter, huh?

HARLEY

It’s definitely not a Euclid anymore, that’s for sure.

LANCASTER

(tonal shift to a bit of worry)
Hey, Harley, can I talk to you about something?

HARLEY

Sure, what?

LANCASTER

I’ve just- I’ve been noticing some stuff around site?

HARLEY

Dash 1 stuff?

LANCASTER

Y- well, no? Not really? It’s hard to explain. It’s sort of-

ELECTRONIC POWERING-UP NOISE

HARLEY

Oh! And we’re back! Okay, I have to get back to work. Can we put a pin in this?

LANCASTER

Uh, yeah. We can talk later. Over and out.

HARLEY

Over and out.

CRUNCHY CLICK, AUDIO RETURNS TO NORMAL

HARLEY SIGHS

HARLEY

Looks a lot nicer with the lights on, I know that for certain. I can see Holland again!

Holland is the spider living in the corner of my office. He is also my friend. Lancaster will just have to deal with the fact that he’s been usurped by my leggy new companion.

Lancaster is trying his best. I hope what happened today was a one-off event and won’t become a common occurrence. Two therapists and a team of junior psychologists can’t be expected to hold together the mental states of a hundred people.

The Foundation really should train more psychologists.

Maybe I’ll take that up with Shao.

PAUSE

HARLEY

Hmm. The dark.

“We die in the dark so you can live in the light.” Isn’t that what they always say? Well, we “work” in the dark, I think that’s what they want us to say. Something about justifying how many of us die in clandestine underground facilities at the hands of the most atrocious creatures and phenomena on the planet?

I remember my orientation. Who doesn’t? They give you that big lecture about the statistics on how many Foundation personnel actually make it to retirement age and how many of us get vaporized or possessed or ripped apart or crushed by rubble or shot by enemy agents. It’s a lot. Very few Foundation employees live to be very old. It’s a miracle they don’t run out of us.

Although I have heard rumors about clones.

I’m not going to die in the dark.

That isn’t to say that I’m not going to die working for the Foundation, I mean… it’s statistically the most likely outcome. I… don’t think I’d mind a Foundation death. Better than living to be a hundred, unable to eat or go to the bathroom by yourself. I’d rather die here than rotting in a home somewhere. That’s the real dark, if you ask me.

But if I’m going to die here, I’d rather die in a blaze of glory. “Light that burns twice as bright,” and all that.

But mostly I’m being literal. Mostly I mean I’m not going to die suffocated in a power outage that kills our oxygen machine. We’ve come too far, that CAN’T be how this ends. I won’t let it. I’m going to do some digging around, maybe talk to Dr. Klein about what we can do to coordinate with the other departments to make sure these lapses in electricity stop happening. Hell, maybe I’ll even break out the radio backpack. Nip this thing in the bud before it gets too severe. The relations between departments are getting a little strained, I think we need to bring everybody together before people start fighting in earnest. The LAST thing we need is for-

HUGE ELECTRONIC POWERING-DOWN NOISE AS THE MIC ABRUPTLY CUTS OFF

SILENCE

AUDIO RETURNS, SLIGHTLY GRITTY AND DISTORTED

PAUSE

HARLEY

(under his breath/whispering)
…shit.

END EPISODE

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