No Highly Esteemed Deed is Commemorated Here

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The following is a transcript of a segment the National Geographic program Occult Atlas, the most successful of the many television programs dedicated to covering anomalous sites and locations formerly in Foundation containment. This segment covers the anomaly that was contained under the designation "SCP-4400".

Reporter William Marrison is standing in the middle of Palenque.

Marrison: I'm here at Palenque, commonly known and recognized as one of the most famous Mayan sites in Mexico. Before the breaking of the Masquerade, it was host to many conspiracy theories surrounding one of its famous rulers, K'inich Janaab' Pakal.


The sarcophagus lid.

The carved sarcophagus lid of K'inich Janaab' Pakal appears on the screen.

Marrison: Many speculated that this depiction of Pakal was indicative of ancient alien activity in or around Palenque. Believers pointed to the supposed similarity of the device Pakal is sitting within to a space ship, saying that his hands are operating the controls and that he has a breathing apparatus near his nose.

Marrison: But little did anyone - or could have anyone - suspected that the true nature of the occult at Palenque came not from above, but below.

Marrison enters the Palace of Palenque, the location of Access Tunnel Ka'ax. Numerous armed guards are standing around the Access Tunnel, as well as Site-484 Director Ulysses Rosales. Director Rosales is wearing a hazmat suit.

Rosales: Hello there. SCP-4400 is slightly irradiated, so we're going to have to ask that you put on a hazmat suit before we descend any further. We didn't do this sixty years ago, mind you, but it's better to be safe.

Marrison puts on his hazmat suit, and descends Access Tunnel Ka'ax with Director Rosales, with the camera crew following shortly behind. At the halfway point, there is a gravitational anomaly in which polarity inverts, and the group begins to climb upwards.

The group emerges into SCP-4400 shortly afterwards. Numerous floodlights have been installed within, illuminating the otherwise pitch-black site of SCP-4400. Several archaeological teams can be seen variously excavating sites and analyzing the frescoes.

Rosales: Welcome to Under-Palenque, Mr. Marrison.

Marrison: Woah. It's really quite the site — this is the entirety of Palenque, completely uncovered by the jungle.

Rosales: That's actually the most interesting part of it to us now. I understand you are here to discuss 4400-América, but I can't understate the archaeological value that this site offers to us. It's one of the few and only sites that have been completely preserved since the ancient period. We don't have to excavate anything, and its all been perfectly preserved.

Marrison: And all this investigation never would have happened if not for the Masquerade, right? Just this massive wealth of information underneath the real Palenque that never would have been touched in the past.

Rosales: We had performed some minor research ourselves, but the vast majority of the information here was completely untouched. And of course, the little information we had done in the past was either focused on 4400-América or kept under lock and key.

Marrison: Speaking of 4400-América…

Rosales: Yes, of course.

Director Rosales leads Marrison and the camera crew to the SCP-4400 equivalent to Temple of the Skull. They stand at the bottom of the structure, unable to ascend any further.

Rosales: At the top of this temple is one of four thaumonuclear bombs originally put together around 650 CE, during the reign of K'inich Pakal. This site — everything you see around you — was originally constructed as an ancient means of containing these four explosive devices.

Marrison: An early equivalent to your organization, perhaps?

Rosales: Yes, to some degree — although we suspect that it was only one man, working alone, and he was the creator of the bombs he put into containment. But that early idea of getting specialized and tailored containment procedures could initially be found here.

Marrison: But I understand you don't understand much about the nature of the bombs to this day?

Rosales: There have been … significant difficulties in even approaching them. Nothing is brave enough to climb the Temples they have been placed on, the temples simply override a normal mind with fear. There were attempts made in the '60s but… those aren't allowed anymore by the Ethics Committee.

Marrison: Ah. I see.

Rosales: We have some information, but only so much.

Marrison: I understand that the explosion the bombs create isn't anomalous? That's one of the major talking points about this site and the danger it presents, that there is no fear of an anomalous reaction or fallout.

Rosales: Ah yes. The thaumaturgic reactions are one of the parts of 4400-América we understand the best. If I may use an example, imagine you have a magical lightbulb. There are two ways you could use magic to make light. First, you could directly create magical light, and cause the filament to anomalously produce light. Following?

Marrison: A simple light spell, relatively standard working. That can produce anomalous light, stuff that has potential negative side effects.

Rosales: Exactly. But there's another possible option, which is to use magic to heat the filament, which then produces light in the same way a lightbulb normally works.

Marrison: Which causes traditional types of light to be emitted. Nothing strange or anything you want to worry about.

Rosales: Exactly. Of course, you can't completely rule out the danger of a nuclear bomb, but there is nothing more than what you would normally expect. And none of these bombs are all that big, either. So there isn't a considerable risk of a nuclear explosion.

Marrison: But critics have said that security around the site is notably lax.

Rosales: To some degree. I think the most important things to note are that the site is relatively self-containing. Those temples aren't just soaked in fear. They're trapped to hell and back too. The last time somebody touched one of those bombs, his blood ripped itself out of his body, animated into a nuclear blood serpent and then killed the other people around him.

Marrison: Jesus.

Rosales: The serpent is still up there, at the top of the Temple of the Skull. We think it feeds on the ambient radiation of SCP-4400. There's another on the Temple of the Sun. So that's two bombs with beasts guarding them.

Marrison: And the bombs are stable?

Rosales: Yes, they are. It's really remarkable how durable they were built. The alchemist who made them really outdid himself. It helps they've been in a cold, dry cave for the past fourteen hundred years, but there is no chance of them exploding.

Marrison and Director Rosales begin to return to Access Tunnel Ka'ax.

Marrison: I find it interesting that you think the most interesting thing about the site is the archaeological evidence. Not the magical nuclear explosives that predate the Manhattan Project by a millennium.

Rosales: Well, the bombs, for all their might, are rather simple. They're a simple reaction. And there's so much that's anomalous in this world, one more anomaly isn't really that notable anymore, if I'm being honest. There are so many weapons and doomsday devices to be afraid of. A few pots in a cave isn't on the top of my list.

Rosales: But there's information in this cave that we wouldn't otherwise know about. A wealth of information that can enlighten us greatly about the past. And that's fascinating. I don't like to live my life in fear. Better to appreciate the new opportunities of the present than a long-forgotten fear of the past.

Marrison: Well put.

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