Nothing in the cry of Cicadas Suggests they are About to Die
rating: +50+x

The crew of Mariachi's Merchants sat within the cramped confines of the command room. Everyone was on edge, with Logan listening intently at the locked door.

Scott leaned forward, intently stroking his flowing mustache as he listened to Tort's reasoning. Tort, for his part, had run a cost-benefit analysis based off of what Shock had told them. His head was ducked down in his stress, and combined with his tall backpack, it made his resemblance to a tortoise unmistakable.

"We simply can't risk keeping it here with us. The files Shock took from the proto-Paragon lay it out pretty clearly; it's just too unpredictable. The fact that we've locked ourselves in here, or more accurately, locked it out there, speaks for itself."

"The entity expressed considerably more interest in the state of Logan's health than is warranted for his physical condition." Peeped the robotic voice of Blay from within her birdlike robotic body. Her eyes shone with blue fluorescence.

Logan shuddered, his unblinking, horrified stare thankfully obscured behind his ever-present gasmask. He'd been listening intently, not to the conversation, but to the slight occasional noises coming from outside. It was still walking around out there, no doubt trying to find its way in.

Sevent sat silently, stroking his scraggly beard, and turned to look at Logan. "Why don't we just drop him off with the wannabe paragon? That's where he wanted to go anyways." The freaked out guard offered.

Terrence spoke up. The giant scowling over two pairs of crossed arms. His voice had all the smoothness and subtlety of a cinderblock. "No, they nearly took us out when we went into orbit the first time. I don't want to give them another shot." Nods, the crew agreed. "It is obvious what the answer is. We shoot it."

"No!" Shouted half the room in exasperation. "The ship isn't designed to withstand any kind of damage from the inside. If you miss, hell even if you hit, your shot might…" Shock tried to explain.

"Right, with the holes in the hull. Don't worry, I won't miss." Terrence assured them.

"No." Sevent spoke at last, his squat body producing a voice that filled the crowded room. "I won't risk all of our lives, not even on your aim, Terrence." He ran his hand over his mouth, down his shaggy beard. "One of us has to have a better plan."

"It's obsessed with sick people. Maybe we could find something to lure it out…?" Muttered Georgia, more to herself than the rest of the room. Sevent snapped his fingers.

"Now there we go. Find something sick and pull up right beside it. Let it leave on its own. Shock, you saw some of its victims first hand, what was wrong with them?"

"What, other than that they were undead abominations?" Shock questioned.

"Yes, could you tell if there was anything wrong with them before that? Something that might have made it target them?"

"Hell if I know. They just looked like, i dunno, like they were regular people. I mean they were kind of trying to murder me a teensy bit, so I don't think I can really be blamed for not getting a good look—" Shock's voice betrayed just how tired she was.

"No one's blaming you, Shock." Georgia told her, reaching out to pet the top of her head. Shock would have bitten anyone else, had they tried, but Georgia was too pure. "We just need to figure out how to fix it."

"So, what, we just drive real slow between universes with the door open and see if we stumble across something that it likes and jumps out?" Scott questioned, less than convinced.

Georgia blushed, looking down, away from everyone's eyes. "Maybe my idea isn't the best, but you guys will come up with something for sure."

"No, no, I think we're onto something." Shock's ears shot up in her excitement as she spoke. "I mean, I recovered a lot of data on this thing. Blay, can you analyze everything you can find about its victims and see if you can piece together a theory? Maybe we can find a good place to start looking."

Blay beeped an affirmative boop, the light of her eyes shifting to purple, deep in thought. Sevent gave a hopeful sigh, turning to face his controls, gripping them tightly. He would be ready to move as soon as they had a target.

In the tense silence, they could all hear it, knocking, probing the walls. They jumped at the sound of a sharp metallic hit.

Blay snapped back to blue, her synthetic voice seeming almost triumphant. "Based on compiled information, highest likelihood of discovering an effective lure exists at a death ritual within an area of reality displaying moderate to severe malleability. Projected sixty-eight point one percent probability of success."

Shock, Tort, and Scott exchanged brief shrugs and swift nods, seeming to find this a chance worth taking. Sevent was already busy finding an appropriate reality.

Agent Tomàs Rey leaned back behind the final row of pews, savoring a mouthful of hors d'oeuvres. MTF Y-36 had its perks, at least up until the weird shit started going down. He found himself waggling his eyebrows at another undercover task force member watching from the far back bench. She rolled her eyes at him.

He shrugged, and eyed his watch. People were taking their seats, the funeral was beginning. He watched as the priest ascended the podium before the casket. "In the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

The forty or so gathered mourners replied, "Amen."

"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ," the priest continued, "and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all."

Tomàs sighed as the people replied "And with your spirit." He had always found funerals to be unbearably tedious. Minutes ticked by agonizingly slowly until the priest took his seat. A man with dead eyes stood from the pews, shambling towards the podium. Right on schedule.

He listened intently. It wasn't too hard to make out the words if you knew what to listen for.

"Myriad heresies! Writhe and spittle, depart, depart. Some gall, turning up faces at the bright sky. What is left to be taken? Parasites, choke and abhor. Eat and be eaten; why not our own sins?""My soul is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is; I tell myself my future is lost, all that I hoped for from the LORD. The thought of my homeless poverty is wormwood and gall; remembering it over and over leaves my soul downcast within me."

Already, the participants were making their way in pairs to the casket, to bleed themselves into it. A long, wicked knife bit willingly into flesh. Wordlessly, they moved, row by row, until the senseless eulogy had become a cicada's cry.

Tomàs watched as his cous— as the anomaly turned and began vomiting into the open casket. Right on schedule. He turned to check on his partner just in time to see a large metal orb manifest in the middle of the church.

That, however, was not on the schedule.

He gripped the back of the pew in front of him tightly, whispering tensely into his commlink. "Get Y-52 and Y-99 in here. Something weird is happening. Some kind of big metal orb just appeared, and— wait a minute. It's opening a hatch. Something's coming out…" He strained to see.

The plague doctor strode from the metal ship, which vanished just as quickly as it had come. He wasted no time shoving and elbowing his way to the coffin, and the thing vomiting into it.

"Is that… what the hell is oh four nine doing here?" He grit his teeth, unable to interfere without getting himself caught up in the ceremony.

The black-robed interloper watched intently as he moved to stand on the opposite side of the casket from the inhuman wretch spewing mulch into it. He reached into the slowly-filling casket as the mixture covered the corpse's ears, and tore open the dead man's shirt. Expert fingers found their way to the correct parts as his other hand withdrew a hefty scalpel.

The crowd opened their mouths and the screeching chorus of their cicada song filled the air. The doctor worked quickly, slashing through the bare skin of his patient's chest.

Tomàs watched, dumbfounded, as the procedure progressed, and the doctor pulled Johnn— the anomaly's head directly over the incisions, pooling the pulpy soup into the body. He heard his partner vomit.

He nearly felt his own stomach turn when the corpse's eyelids opened, locusts bursting forth. Its mouth opened, adding to the brood's song. It sat up, grume and insect mash dribbling from its mouth. He barely had time to comprehend what he was looking at before the crazed doctor fell over the nearest mourner, taking his still-bloody scalpel to their fresh corpse.

Agent Rey absolutely did not like where this was going. He grabbed his partner by the arm and pulled her towards the exit. "This isn't going to end well, and I don't want to be in this room when it does." She began to protest, but he silenced her with a shake of his head. "There's nothing we can do to stop it, let's just get out of here and be ready with a helluva lot of firepower when it's over.


SCPs Involved: SCP-049, SCP-2852
MTFs Involved: MTF Y-36, MTF Y-52, MTF Y-99
Date: May 1-4, 2018
Location: Old St Vincent's Catholic Church, Perryville, MO

Preamble: MTF Y-52 "Cater Duty", and MTF Y-99 "Altar Boys" dispatched to assist with a 2852 Black-Level event, which had manifested at 13:10. On-scene member of MTF Y-36 "Party Crashers", Agent Tomàs Rey directed all units to take up defensible fire positions surrounding the church. No change in situation occurred until May 4.

[22:18] Forty-three presumed SCP-049-2 instances begin to exit the building, all displaying open surgical wounds and emitting cicada song. MTFs Y-36, Y-52, and Y-99 open fire.

[22:19] Cicadas begin emerging from fallen targets. Final presumed 049-2 instance exits the building. MTF Y-52 falls back to avoid direct contact.

[22:20] Cloud of cicadas significantly obscures vision. Volume of cicada song impedes audio communication.

[22:21] No further threats remain. MTF Y-99 enters the church, locating SCP-049. Entity is compliant, and expresses confusion at its location and circumstance. SCP-2852 is not present.

Addendum: Following recapture, presence of original SCP-049 was confirmed within its containment cell. Entity designated SCP-049-1, and subsequently questioned.

  • SCP-049-1: (Frustrated groan.) "Nothing makes any sense to me. The world was dying — dead, and that ship… She said it could go anywhere, but, I never imagined…
  • Agent Tomàs Rey: Hey, mi amigo, that ship you're talking about, was that the big round metal thing?
  • SCP-049-1: (Nods.)
  • Agent Tomàs Rey: Huh. Let's circle back around to that later. Why don't you tell me about what you did once you got off the ship.
  • SCP-049-1: I… I felt as though I were in a dream. Or, perhaps more accurately, that I were an actor, watching my body play out its part. I suppose I was just surprised, you see. I didn't even know I had a cousin.
  • Agent Tomàs Rey: SCP-2852? It isn't really related to you.
  • SCP-049-1: Is he not? Are you sure? Such a shame, he is such a nice fellow. And so generous!
  • Agent Tomàs Rey: What exactly did you and him do to them?
  • SCP-049-1: Now that you mention it, I can't honestly say I'm sure. It was… frenetic. I'd never seen such a fast reaction as with his medicines. They all seemed happy to be with him too.
  • Agent Tomàs Rey: He even gets to you, too, huh?
  • (Indistinct chatter is heard off-camera.)
  • Agent Tomàs Rey: We'll pick this up back on site.

Post-Encounter Summary: SCP-049-1 has been entered into long-term containment at Site-42. SCP-049 and SCP-049-1 are not to be made aware of one another's existence.

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