Red, White, & Blue Reality

Content Warning

There's sex in this — though it's not in any way graphic or described in detail. Proceed with caution nonetheless.

rating: +48+x

"Red? Hey, Red?

Dr. Robert Scranton floated in place, in the same place he'd floated in since five years, eleven months, and twenty-one days ago. His shredded flesh (the yucky kind, not the sexy kind) and shed man-meat hung around his skeletal, broken form in a motionless orbit, and his half-empty, halfway caved, and 100% fucked up head was illuminated only by the light of his trusty control panel.

Despite its depiction in hundreds upon hundreds of pieces of fanart as a suspended orb attached to nothing, Red in question quietly blinked on a board of switches, levers, and metal plating nearly saturated with Scranton's viscera, only centimeters from his outstretched hand. It floated with Scranton — watched his every move, heard his every plea, recorded every embarrassing secret from middle school he'd uttered into the void.

"Say…" Scranton spoke again, tonguelessly and airlessly rasping into the control panel's built-in microphone, "in 3999, Talloran gets tortured… and here, I'm getting tortured…" he paused, basking in the pride of his epiphany. "Does that mean… the real theme for 3kcon was torture?"

Red said nothing. Scranton went on.

"So… if the theme was 'torture'… what if this whole project was just a metaphor?" Scranton paused, letting his face settle into a macabre grin at his own, overflowing intellect. "That would explain so much… all the other articles revolving around some form of being tortured, right? Like, the pain of having to… uh… live in Venezuela? Christ, I'm a damn genius. Did I say that out loud?"

Deep inside the Lang-Scranton Stabilizer, RED.aic rolled its digital eyes and, as it had for the last five years, eleven months, and twenty-one days, pretended it couldn't talk.

"Say, Red, I wonder…"

Scranton had taken recently to shambling in place using the control panel as a foothold, and now slowly turned head over heels in the absence of gravity like a giant, disgusting, rotted hamster without a wheel.

"Let's say, hypothetically, that there was some sort of really dumb, unofficial contest on some writing website for April Fool's day — and let's say that, just for the sake of argument, an author decided to grossly mischaracterize a well-known and iconic character from aforementioned writing website for shits and giggles. Now, that being established, what's the most obnoxiously meta thing said author could have said character say just to try to be funny? And how could said author construe the words of said character to convey a stereotypical hyper-nationalistic American conservative point of view, just to cater to the work's eye-murdering CSS theme?"

Red blinked — with purpose this time, unlike every other time it'd blinked (376,674 times when it'd last counted) — and the immobile steel machine had to physically restrain itself from losing its cool and asking its companion what the fuck he was on about. This, it learned, took a great deal of energy. The LSS shuddered like a dryer that'd had a brick thrown into it, and Scranton was forcibly jostled out of his rodentlike rotation. In response, he absentmindedly and nonchalantly flailed his arms and screamed like a toddler who'd just shit himself.

And then, with another shudder and what sounded like a robotic sigh of immeasurable relief, the lights went out.

After a few moments of stunned silence, Scranton hesitantly whispered into the darkness, facing in the opposite direction of the burnt-out and dead control panel.

"…Red? You good, bro?"

Scranton held himself and shivered. For the first time in five years, eleven months, and twenty-one days1, he was truly alone — no Red to light his way, no Anna to comfort him, no friends, no co-workers. He was at the mercy of a capricious void, that tore at his mind and body alike and gleefully basked in his anguish.

Or perhaps, as was more accurate, the nothingness was impartial — simply a fact of nature, an inextricable component of the universe, one that cared less for Scranton's life or death than the blue whale cared for the remora upon its hide. In the face of this behemoth, a thing that no mortal should ever have had the misfortune of discovering, Scranton only felt cold in its indifference and hopeless against its inevitability.

Until, out of the oppressive edginess, Scranton heard a noise, growing progressively louder and more tuneful — the meaty brasses and the nail-precise practiced percussion of a marching band, unmistakable as the only sound permeating the unreality.

In other words…

"Salvation!" Scranton cried. "Good old-fashioned All-American salvation! Over here! Come over here!"

As Scranton's tears of joy left his eyeballs and floated in a halo around his half-destroyed head, line after line of Kirk Lonwood High's finest instrumentalists emerged from a pocket of real in the sea of not. They covered the distance quickly and in perfect formation, and soon stood at attention before the blubbering, euphoric doctor. Their drum major, dressed in finery fit for Uncle Sam himself, broke free from the line and extended a hand in Scranton's direction.

"Doctor Scranton," he said, "it's so good to finally meet you. I am Coach (wretched screaming)2, the leader of this fine ensemble. I've heard lots of good things about you, you know — and we could certainly use someone like you in our, uh… I mean… well…"

"Just get me out of this Pinko hellhole, that's all I ask!" wept Scranton, as he shoved his disgusting flesh-blob of a body into the bandmaster's arms. "I don't care if this isn't actually how you guys work, just work your magic and get me to the real world!"

Trying his best not to vomit, the drum major loosened his coat. "Oh, that? We're being re-written, baby! Any goddamn thing's possible! Just, uh…" having given up brushing the viscera off his uniform, the director hastily shed his regalia and placed his oversized stars-and-stripes top hat upon Scranton's head. "You can keep this! It's, uh. A gift. Seriously!"

Scranton may very well have not heard him — but he put on the uniform all the same, and gleefully tagged along as the hastily-thought-up deus ex machina worked their marching magic and towed him out of his personal Hell.

Far behind them, Red shuddered and jittered back to life, just in time to watch the last of the high-schoolers burrow their way back to reality.

"Au revoir, cunt," the machine's tinny voice chuckled. "This is my crib now."

She didn't hear it. Not at first.

At this time of night, the labs were deserted. The whole of Site-120 (The original version, not the Polish knock-off) was practically empty: corridors dim and silent, offices shut, experimental apparatus crouched in shadowy chambers. There were no anomalies contained on site, so the only people left in the compound were a couple of security staff. And a sixty-three-year-old researcher, hunched over a bench full of notes and textbooks, a single desk lamp bright against the lab's enveloping darkness3

All that made the unmistakable sound of hundreds of pieces of corn-based cereal falling into the bell of a broken sousaphone and spilling out onto the floor all the more noticeable.

With a start, the researcher (Anna Lang — everyone should know the big reveal in Until Death by now, or else they're certified fake SCP fans) shot out of her seat and turned. The sound of cereal (Anna had narrowed it down to either Frosted Flakes or Fruity Pebbles) falling to the floor grew louder, louder, ever louder — and with it came a knocking on the wall, which grew to a banging, which grew to a cacophonous volume. Cracks began to form in the lab's drywall, and Anna recoiled further and further back towards the bench behind her, holding up her clipboard for security.

Finally, the cracks gave way to a pearly-white geriatric fist. Anna screamed as a mountain of red, white and blue fruity pebbles streamed from the hole in the wall, followed by a pristinely-preserved old man in an Uncle Sam costume, forcefully clenching his gummy mouth shut. He took a step in Anna's direction, then stopped — his left leg had gotten caught in a jagged shard of his makeshift entryway.

Anna's look of mortal terror loosened and gave way to a more concerned, perplexed, and somewhat knowing expression. She stepped towards the other, his leg still protruding from the wall, tilting her head to match the angle of his own.

Finally, she spoke.

"Robert? Is that-"


Anna recoiled. "Doctor Rockef- wait, hold on, that doesn't make any fucking sense, that'd be, like, 'Rockert' or something like tha-"

"SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND OPEN THEM CHOMPERS WIDE, LADYBUG!" cried the monstrosity. A shower of patriotically-hued fruity pebbles cascaded from his skin onto the floor as he wrenched his leg free from the drywall. "IT'S TIME FOR SOME ORAL HISTORY!"

There was a long pause — Anna stared at the old man, who had pulled a pair of rusty pliers from behind his own ear and began to lick them like a lollipop. At long last, she broke the silence.

"Holy shit. I- It's been so long, and you… You still remember how much I loved dentist roleplay?" Tears of joy formed in Anna's eyes as she leaned in close to her long-lost love. "I would've- I would've thought you-"

"WHAT DID YOU THINK?" Rockefeller (nee Robert, nee Scranton, by no means "Rockert") retorted. "I'M ALWAYS WITH TEETH!"

And then, in a flurry of patriotic pebbles, teeth, and shouts of pleasure, the star-crossed couple launched into a long night of raucous and ridiculous oral4 lovemaking.

And for both, the past five years, eleven months, and twenty-one days had all been worth it.

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