...Like Clockwork
rating: +76+x

This is a story with no endings. There is no closure, nor resolution. It is only a story of evolution and expectations. As the author grows, as the characters grow, as the readership grows, so too does the story and its lasting meaning.

In every conceivable way, that is the best ending possible.

Year 2,999,765

Talloran dragged their dissected body across the world, finding bits and pieces that were torn off after they had broken everything. Once again, it was a deafening nothing, with only the parts of them in this space. It was to be expected. By this point, nothing was worse than something. At least here, they had some company; a burnt left pinky here, a loose nose there, a fragile rib somewhere else… really, each of the body parts more of an actual being than Talloran could claim to be now. Nah. They earned the right to be a human being by this point.

Limb by limb and bone by bone, James Ari Talloran clumsily sewed it all back together, with nothing more to work with than cloth and nails. They were a hideous, revolting mess, but they were at least taking form.

In the vast none, they found the final body part they needed lying a few hundred meters away from the right eye; their tongue. Of course.

It had taken days to work up the mental fortitude to put their tongue back in, and practice not to gag to death every time an attempt was made. After months, it was able to be accomplished. It was a skill that they had hoped was only applicable in this fucked up Hell, and not in the real world. As if anything like this could even work in the real world. That was one point in favor of the real world.

Exhausted, the shambling body that is Talloran collapsed, and dreamed. They dreamed of nothing, a different kind of nothing, one full of brightness and possibilities. It was a nice reprieve. There was just… so little to do, and yet it was a new form of torture. If they didn't do something, anything, this would be their true eternity. Damned to be bored to death. Isolated from everyone, even themself. That may be the worst of it all. Action had to be taken. So they decided to do the thing they were best at doing.

They waited. They waited and planned out every possibility, hoping they wouldn't need to keep being recollected. It was the only thing to hope for, now.

Year 2,999,766

But it had happened again.

Year 3,000,002

And again.

Year 3,000,044

And again.

Year 3,002,093

The joke was on That Fucker, though. Talloran could wait as long as needed be.

March 5, 2017

1:20 P.M.

Talloran and Yamada lounged outside, free from the frantic monotony of the day. Considering the hour-long break given to them, it was put to surprisingly effective use.

As the coin tumbled in the air, ascending to the peak of its arc, Talloran picked up an end of the tablecloth, Yamada watching with keen interest. The plates and mugs moved a minuscule amount, and Talloran caught their breath; it was off by a single millimeter. Yamada caught on and applied the pressure.

"If you mess this up, I won't pay for it." Talloran nodded in response. They knew exactly what to do. No sweat. As the coin reached its peak, they pulled the cloth out from underneath all the tableware, and everything shifted a few more millimeters. "Ooh."

The coin fell. They both held their breath now.

It bounced off of the edge of her mug.


It landed cleanly in her cool coffee.

"Ooooooooh! You did it!"

"Hah, I sure did. What side did the coin land on?" Yamada looked in the mug at their request, and frowned. They grinned. "Lemme see that ten." She sighed, moving to rummage through her purse, looking for enough ones to hand them.

"It's nice that you were this stoked about doing your trick! But I have to know; how did you do it?" She dramatically pulled the dollar bills out of her purse and waved them in Talloran's face, faux-hypnotizing him. "The audience must know how you pulled it off!" They snapped the money out of her hands and put it in their pockets, setting the cloth back up. It would be bad to just be lazy after all.

"A magician never reveals her secrets." The way they said it, it was clear how much they were enjoying spouting bullshit. "But yeah, like. It was a thing I was looking forward to all day so I'm glad I got to actually pull that one off. You don't mind if I —"

"Nah." She bit into the burger and stuck her other hand out. "What's your plans for the rest of the day? I want to organize a group dinner for the end of the month with our colleagues to start forming tighter relationships. Also to suck up a bit." Talloran gave her a cigarette and lighter. She put down the burger and nimbly twirled around her fingers and over her hands, her art form coming to life. It amused both of them, and for a simple parlor trick, she pulled it off with enough flair, even when doing it real casually.

"Well, I uh, am interviewing some new anomaly they just brought to our site. They haven't even given me the details yet. I just know it's Keter, they wouldn't have told me otherwise."

"Above your level, or they just didn't tell you?"

"Maybe both, who knows."

"So that's going to be your whole night? At least tell me you have tomorrow!" Yamada stops twirling the lighter around, opens the cap and lights it, letting the cigarette come to a halt as it dangles over the flame. "I really want to get this to happen, you know." The cigarette is lit, and Talloran takes it.


"Of course." She goes back to eating her burger.

"I'll see if I can get tomorrow to work, but I can't promise that. If this project is as secret as it is, then I probably might be busy for a bit. Maybe tomorrow over lunch, as opposed to after work. Who do you wanna get dinner with anyhow?" They started to take a drag.

"There's Professor Hannah, as well as Researchers Gomez, Walker, and Kirby." Yamada sounded excited, but Talloran felt a bit more apprehensive. Senior staff always came off as intimidating, and they heard stories about Walker.

"I'll. Yeah. I'll see what I can do."

"Thank you! Can you do me a favor as well, when we finish?"


"Can you head over to the Shark Punching Center and buy me more pillow cases? I won't have the time to go get some, since I work right after this until night." She did work some of the longest shifts of anyone at Site-118; to have the energy to plan group dinners was unreal.

"Sure, sure. I'll have time to do so after my interviews with the uh, whatever anomaly they want me to talk to. I'll get it done!"

"What a relief! Any extra you buy you can keep, girl." They both smiled. The wind flew softly above.

Year 3,002,111

All Talloran had to do now was simply will their body into their own control, and it'd come back. Simple as that. They finally were able to wrest control, be the master of their own limited domain. Still it was dark, and there was nothing but themself, so they did the only thing that could be done.

Lie and wait.

The first step to self-control was to reclaim their surroundings for their own. Most of the time in the nothing was spent in fear, a rotting mind slowly doubting itself. Now, with the limiter off, they could use the space to their advantage.

Their body healed.

They broke the floor below, glass embedded into their skin.


Talloran closed their eyes and waited, dreaming again. This is how their years would be spent; practicing and drifting into the dreams within the dreams.

January 5, 2017

9:30 A.M.

"DRAVEN, SLOW DOWN!" The car was doing donuts in the parking lot at a ridiculous speed, and though Talloran found an intense thrill in it, Draven's antics involving thrills could get worrying, especially when they involved cars. "IT'S BEEN ALMOST TEN MINUTES AND I'M FEELING SICK!" Draven immediately slammed his foot on the brakes and almost sent the both of them flying.

"Shit. Sorry bun. I got uh, lost in the moment there."

"It's fine. You really do have to be more careful about that, but your face when you get excited is just —" head kiss "the —" cheek kiss "best!" lip kiss Draven returned the favor.

It was nice to get some time like this before Talloran had to move. Touch conveyed so much more to the both of them than words or even looks ever could.

"We have to go to the airport to drop you off in a few minutes don't we."


"I just want you to stay. Maybe we can both move, even." Draven said it, knowing full well that it'd never be the case. Rarely does the Foundation relocate couples to the same site unless they work in the same fields. And Talloran always understood that they'd never be able to keep up with Draven's task force work.

Silence passed between them. They sat in the car for 20 minutes, a whole ten minutes longer than they should have stayed in the lot.

"Hey, bun."


"My father… he wrote this before he died. And he, he wanted me to give this to you in case we ever moved sites. I don't know what possessed him but. Yeah." Draven took out a manila envelope and placed it in Talloran's lap. "So, whenever you get on the plane, read it. I don't even know what's in it."

"An oddly specific thing for your dad to do. Alright hun, I will."

"I just don't want you to like, think he was weird for —"

"It's okay, I get it."

"I don't want you to think I'm weird for him being —"

"No, I understand. Tell me more on the way to the airport, we're almost 25 minutes past when we should have gone."

"Oh fuck!" Draven immediately yelled as he took his head off of Talloran's shoulders, turned on the car, and immediately rushed to the airport, going as fast as he (legally) could.

2:30 P.M.

Talloran allows themself to cry for the first time that day.

December 4, 2017

Sunset: quick question
Friend: ?
Sunset: unrelated to hearthstone
Sunset: if i write characters thats trans and gay is it bad form to kill one off
Friend: mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Sunset: i understand the social context and issues behind it but
Friend: i dont think it counts as a bury your gays trope if like literally all of the other gays stay alive
Sunset: i mean i am writin a series about someone who will inevitably die, or at least seem to
Sunset: and theyre trans
Sunset: but i write a lot of other trans characters
Sunset: i feel guilty, i guess, but also it should be fine right
Sunset: did i fuck up though by even goin down this path
Friend: "Additionally, the problem isn't merely that gay characters are killed off: the problem is the tendency that gay characters are killed off in a story full of mostly straight characters, or when the characters are killed off because they are gay."
Friend: from tvtropes, the bible of trope
Sunset: i dont wanna be part of the problem
Friend: i don't think you're being part of the problem
Sunset: is it weirder if the character is an allegory for myself
Sunset: (i mean im a little fine now im just asking)
Friend: no, in fact its even more acceptable then imo
Friend: exploring thoughts n shit
Friend: im not sure if i can even explain it that well tbh.

Year 3,003,998

Talloran opens their eyes. The perfect sight has revealed itself to them.

It didn't even have time to speak before Talloran rose and brought a cord around the both of their necks. Intense pain shot up through Talloran; enough for twelve people. And it was worth every bit.

"Y-You, do you know what you are trying to —" The cord got pulled tighter, and they both gagged.

"S… F-Fuck you. I… shit. I'm, gah, I'm gonna end m-my life and erase you with me, you — ugh, you Fucker. T-The first time I tried, I only thought to end myself. But now I have you."

"Talloran, do you understand what you are doing?" It screamed in agony, attempting to wrest itself free from the grip.

"Yes, I absolutely do." Talloran pulled harder, and It stepped through the cord, its form sliced almost wholly and cleanly open. "You're just some… shitty part of me. I'm fueling your shit. Might as well kill two shits with one cord."

The scene shifted drastically, and The Being shambled over to them, pus and brain matter draining by the gallons. They were in Draven's Site-17 apartment, rotting and growing unidentifiable organisms. All the photographs on the wall were replaced with pictures of Talloran's parents, seagulls, and guns.

"I have had no intent to let myself die along with you… let alone you kill me. Your attempt didn't work. Do you understand yet, the position —"

"Do you understand this, that, fuck." Talloran leaned back against the moss and worked their way to the refrigerator, arriving after a minute of adrenaline keeping them up. When their legs gave way, they collapsed inside of the fridge which had long since stopped working. Food and drinks spilled everywhere, and their blood got on everything.

"I don't understand shit, my guy. If I did, I wouldn't have been in this position. Fuck. Dumbass." They rummaged through the fridge, or what was remaining of it, before finding years-old milk. "I'm not an action hero. I'm not that impressive. What am I, however many kilograms overweight? Who remembers anymore. I can barely think or see right now. The only thing I understand right now is how bad of a spot we both are in right now."

Talloran chugged the carton, trying not to give into its taste. Rancid. Vile. Another thing they hoped not to have to worry about in the real world. The milk crawled its way down their throat, as a variety of sensations overtook every sense they had. It was wretched; it was a state they truly had never felt before in any point in time. Gradually, they could feel their body shutting down to protect itself. It was a new era.

“I — gggh,” they couldn’t even finish the sentence before turning over, clutching their body and crying. Oh, how they wish they could puke right now. They had nothing left to puke up. All they could do now was speak at a snail’s pace. “I — I, I can’t hear you. You self-absorbed Fucker. N-N-Nothing you have done or could do matches the… the shit I put myself through. Don’t you.. don’t you understand?” Talloran could only laugh and dry-heave as they reached for a disintegrated apple, taking the least tangible bite of it that one possibly still could by that point. They swallowed. Filthy.

"I can't, can't physically see it, but I know. I know what look you have on your face now. Yeah. That's right. The rules of this place shifted. I… I don't have to kill you. I just have to make my will stronger than yours." Talloran cackled, hacking up phlegm and blood. The body was continuing to shut down, and they never felt more powerful or more in control.

"W-What was the plan? To poison my mind of my boyfriend? O-Of my family? My dad was abusive b-but not as much as other parents my friends had. Of seagulls?" They coughed up a laugh. "Death was never something I was scared of. Not as long as it was by my own hands." The grin on their face expressed far beyond what a normal person's grin would, as they took the cord in their hands.

"See you in Hell." And they pulled and pulled and pulled. There was mild resistance, but it didn't take long before the world shattered around them.

December 9, 2017

One of every 100 or more nights have dreams that aren't nightmares. Tonight was one of those nights.

Sunset awoke in a place of nothingness. Only stairs leading up or down. She headed down. Down is traditionally more scary, but up was always a more frightening prospect to her. You leave the Earth's safety, and unlike down, there's not even a theoretical limit to up. You have to trust that whatever is up won't hurt you. So she walked. She descended flight after flight, with no end in sight; only down to go.

Eventually, down started to become up, and she froze on a platform in the cardinal middle of it all when a dream guardian called to her.


You don't defy the dream guardians. So she jumped straight up, and fell down.

She landed on an escalator moving right and the same guardian spoke behind her again.

"I won't show you my face. You have problems looking at the guardians. Why do you feel lost?"

She didn't know how to respond.

"Is it your writing? Here, let's look." In a flash, she reached out and touched a screen parallel to where the escalator moved. She saw her characters, lined up on a conveyor belt to be tossed into their own special incinerator. "Is this what you expect to be? Don't worry. Things will work out if you simply let them. When you daydream again and forget about time around you, help will arrive if you're in need of it. I can assure you when you wake up, this nightmare of yours will cease to be one."

The guardian spoke more about… something. She didn't remember what it was. About her writing, it had to be. Guardians existed in and out of the dreamspace's internal logic; they simply kept it in order.

"Are you actually a guardian?"

"Do you doubt me?"

She looked back. Her eyes went blurry and she threw up.

Now she woke up. No puke on the bed (as usual).

It was the best sleep she had gotten in a long time.

March 5, 2017

9:43 P.M.

Talloran arrived at Cell-902 in the Keter wing. Four armed guards stood outside of it. Talloran swallowed. There weren't normally this many guards surrounding a cell, especially for Site-118, one of the more relaxed sites for containing Euclid and Keter objects.

"U-Uh, anything I can do for you? I was told that Researcher Walker would be informing me of —"

"Change of plans. We're here to provide you with backup." What a loaded statement. At least this guard was willing to speak. The others remained stone-faced.


"These are the questions you'll be asking SCP-3999. You are only to introduce yourself on-record with your last name. Any deviations from these questions must be both minor and related to the other questions on said list. If at any point the anomaly acts, you will most likely not know. We will be on hand to provide extraction and question you about its abilities." The same guard handed Talloran the list of questions. "Mr. Walker and his crew will be watching from a close distance, but the anomaly will not answer questions unless directly interviewed." One of the other guards pressed a button, and the cell door unlocked. "You may step inside and begin the interview."

"W-Wait, what does it even look like?" No one responded. "I. Okay, fine. I'll do it. At least tell me how prompt you'll be able to respond if shit goes south."

"19 seconds in the most optimal circumstances, 47 in the worst."

That didn't help soothe their mind.

Interviewed: SCP-3999

Interviewer: Researcher James Ari Talloran

<Begin Log, 21.46.32>

Researcher Talloran: This is Researcher Talloran. I am here to do an introductory interview with SCP-3999. Hello, 3999.


Talloran: When you were captured by Mobile Task Force Omega-8, you had just finished depositing the bodies of [SYSTEM ERROR: DATA CORRUPTED. PLEASE SEE A NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR FOR MORE DETAILS]


Talloran: Right. Is it also correct to state that you took the form of his mother as well?


Talloran: …where did you come from again?



Talloran: But when you were found, what you had stated to the task force was that you originated off the shore of California. Yet the location you give indicates Queens, New York. What accounts for this discrepancy?


Talloran: Excuse me?


Talloran: I know that it used to have concerts, yes, but —


Talloran: Security, you're needed right —

SCP-3999: That won't be nessecary.

Talloran: What?

SCP-3999: Welcome.

Talloran: Oh, I see. I saw then and now at once. Your uh, your mindgames.

SCP-3999: You don't remember, do you? Anything I said in that interview.

Talloran: No, but I can guess enough of it. Why bring that up now anyway?

SCP-3999: I've been keeping track. It's the year 3,003,999. You put me here. I don't know why, but this is your world. You created your own space in mine. I'm done. All I wanted was to understand a bit more of you. But I couldn't.

Talloran: Right… right. This is, I guess… it. I will kill us both, and this terror ends. There's no more of any of it. No more me, no more you, and the Foundation and the world moves on. I just don't know why you wanted this to happen to me. All of this. You… you goddamned asshole. Why?

SCP-3999: Of all I have become a parasite to, you have… the most.

Talloran: The most what?

SCP-3999: Yourself.

Talloran: Please. Stop with this cryptic riddle shit. I'm so tired of this. We both know what will happen. That's why I brought us back to this cell. So just tell me. What do I have the most of?

SCP-3999: I already told you. It is the truth. You have the most of yourself. That was what I needed.

Talloran: …oh. So it's just like that voice said.

SCP-3999: You had enough to make yourself more… more of a thing than anyone else in the time I've roamed existence.

Talloran: Were you XK then? ZK?

SCP-3999: The Foundation's classifications don't mean much to me. All that matters to you is that I wanted to keep you around for a long time. Clearly, I underestimated you and you overestimated me.

Talloran: Yeah. I guess so.

SCP-3999: Do you understand now, Talloran? Where the end of this road lies? There's only one way to end this. I'd keep this going, but your will is stronger than anything I have.

Foreword: Researcher Talloran gets up from their chair and pushes the table aside, proceeding to wrap their hands around SCP-3999 and "choke" it. Talloran indicates signs of asphyxiation as well, indicating that they are able to feel the effects of the choking as well. After 50 seconds of struggling, well past the point where passing out would occur, Talloran closes their eyes and walks into the cell's wall, where Talloran and SCP-3999 exit and fall into the world's abyss. After another two minutes of this occurring, with neither party moving or changing, everything breaks.


First you take up the heart of my boy, and now you move sites? Just like that!? Hah! Give me a break kid. Not even my friend, the Devil himself, could do such a cruel thing to his flings.

But no, you're too good. Too fucking good. Draven… he's been happier than I can remember ever since you showed up in his life. This Foundation shit was worth it if I got to see my boy love you. But if you're getting this, then you're clearly moving, and I don't know why but if it's your fault and you broke his heart, I'll possess 682 and get you in its stomach.

I'm too drunk to write much, and yet I'm writing this so carefully. Just know how much of a shit I give about you for me to do that. It's a little bit. When I'm dead, you should have been taking care of him, but now that you're moving, it's your responsibility more than ever. Don't let him fucking take care of you. Don't be a pussy, James. Sorry, and happy whatever day it is.


December 15, 2017

10:19 P.M.

Alarms rang at 10:20 P.M. when a hole as wide as a containment cell and twice as deep as the height of one appeared out of nowhere at Site-118, with a barely-breathing body found at the bottom of it, clutching several pages of SCP Foundation documentation. It took medical staff seven minutes to get to them and hook them up to medical equipment; any longer and the body would have most likely been dead moments later.

One of the doctors on the scene was Hikari Yamada, the first responder. Pulling the body out of the hole with the help of staff members on the scene, it wasn't immediately evident who it was. Dirt and debris covered the face and body, and the amount of blood and wounds made them look like garbage. It wasn't until she put them on a stretcher, ran them to the Medical Wing, wiping the assorted mess off of their face, and further cleaned the body in preparation for emergency treatment that she came to the nauseating realization that it was Researcher James Ari Talloran, who had gone missing 285 days ago out of thin air.

10:47 P.M.

Draven Kondraki took an emergency flight to Site-118.

11:58 P.M.

> To: Wei Zhong (pcs.811s|gnohzw#pcs.811s|gnohzw)
> From: Maria Jones (pcs.asiar|60senojm#pcs.asiar|60senojm)
> Subject: RE: 3999

Greetings Director Zhong,

There has been no SCP assigned to the 3999 slot since RAISA formed, and it is 99.998% likely for this to also be true in the history of the Foundation. With a margin of error of "too insignificant to matter". Send copies of those documents over to RAISA as soon as you can. Thank you.

Maria Jones
Director, Recordkeeping And Information Security Administration

December 17, 2017

8:37 P.M.

Draven Kondraki and the rest of Talloran's friends received confirmation that they were stable.

December 22, 2017

4:13 P.M.

"It's fine hun, I promise." Talloran visibly ached and winced even slightly moving in the hospital bed, but they were alive. They were alive and that was all that mattered.

"Do you remember anything that happened? You were gone for so long, for G-d's sake, we were going to declare you legally dead in a couple months, and, and —"

"No, I don't uh. Remember. I was gone and then I was just. Here again." Talloran had to lie. What was happening now… it wasn't trustworthy anyway. No, it'd be a very long time for it to be trustworthy to any degree. Maybe it'd take a whole eleven months before their spine snapped in half and the façade was broken. Maybe Draven's empathy was fake. Draven could be fake.

Talloran looked to the right, and saw Yamada talking to other doctors outside the room. Maybe they were all fake. What else could explain this? Millions of years being gutted, and then peace? There's no such thing as peace. There possibly couldn't have —

"That's a relief. I'm so glad you're back bun, fuck. I don't even care about what happened for now. Maybe not ever. I don't know. You're mine again, and if you leave, I'm going to neutralize the son of a bitch stealing you."

Their heart fluttered as Draven gently draped his arms around their body. It hurt, but it was a relief. To feel this specific kind of hurt at the gentle touch of another… if it was all made up, if this was just another delusion, why not enjoy it? At least Talloran can claim to have won the battle of the minds at one point.

"I just have to make sure. You're… y-you're still Draven, right? Draven Kondraki, son of Benjamin Kondraki? Jewish, bisexual, snores horridly?" Draven looked at them curiously, as if the very notion of questioning was absurd.

"The snoring's improved. You're right otherwise. Are you o—"

"Yeah… I guess so. Just shaken up is all. Please hug me and keep telling me about what I missed in the last number of months. Tell me the world's gotten better."

James Ari Talloran continued to cling onto life. For now, they won. And that was all that mattered.

December 15, 2017

Sunset got to talk with her therapist about almost nothing in particular for an entire hour. But the "almost nothing" was pretty productive at least.

It was about writing. Lots of it. How writing helped; how it soothed the soul; how it got her through tough times. She even thought to mention the SCP Foundation, and got her therapist to read the Wikipedia article on it.

Why did writing help so much? After all, simply getting out your emotions isn't enough to fully help, or address the core problems. So why was it so important?

It's… it's a way to put succinctly emotions and experiences that can't be described in a straight manner. How can she describe the way in which a waterfall makes her feel, except to say that 'As Jaine fell from the waterfall towards Earth, she became the ruler of the world'? Or, when trying to describe the way trauma impacted her, wouldn't it be easier to say 'Every time Derek tip-toed out into the world, he was living the lives of three different, incomplete people at once'?

It's not so much the process of writing itself as how it can be conveyed and interpreted. That's part of the fun after all. You write for yourself and see how you yourself takes it, and if you so dare, share it with the world and see how they take it. It's the ultimate form of self-expression, in her opinion, arguably more than even music-making itself.

When Talloran first came into her life after all, it was just a character in a very long and confusing narrative about the mental toll an author was facing. And soon, that shifted, and Talloran now became the ever-present star of her immediate life, a way to accurately nail the troubles she herself had burdened. For her, it was unanimously easier than simply talking about it. Fiction is more true than reality in many ways.

"I'll find the time to read some pages on this site before we have our next appointment together."

Maybe she was accomplishing something, if only one step at a time. Though it all should have came together the day before… ah well. No one would mind a late delivery if the product was high-quality. At least, I guess so, she thought.

December 17, 2017

She hit save.

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