Samara: Be the Itsy Bitsy Spider.
Samara: Be the Itsy Bitsy Spider.
Byㅤ Lt FlopsLt Flops
Published on 30 May 2023 04:59

rating: +25+x


Samara Maclear, Psionics Specialist
SCP-3739 / SCP-4190 / SCP-4519


Director Celeste

Samara: Be the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

RomCon: an SCP OCT » Samara: Be the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Your name is SAMARA MACLEAR, a ruthless Foundation Psionics Specialist.

You awaken with a psychic shock. Something awful from another plane is clamouring to invade your groggy mind. It is inundating you (or at least making the attempt) with unwanted psywave after unwanted psywave. The mode of attack is brute, stupid force.

If you had to describe it, you might say it is like a spindly choreography of violet-flavoured pokes. It will take a lot more than a lazy set of psychic finger-smacks to breach your psychicryptography — regardless of whether this computer metaphor fits.

You conspire to wrench open your third eye and launch a fury right back along the carrier psywave, in a backhanded gesture to burn out the attacker’s own mind. You think the better of it — you have barely been awake long enough to muster the energy to do so. This would probably also get you fired, though not at all in the way you just described, but in a more dreadful and altogether pedestrian expression of arms-length, petty bureaucratic tyranny.

“Ugh,” you belt out, rubbing your temples while effortlessly parrying the attack wholesale. On further consideration, you opt to block it outright.

At the medicine cabinet, you unstopper a tab of psybuprofen, choosing the 200-mg bottle over a recommended 100-mg dosage. Just as advertised, you become relieved of your mild-to-moderate psychic headache with little more consequence than a dry mouth.

You suddenly receive another ping. This one physical, not psychical. The Head of the Esoteric Applications Division is paging your team to telecommute onto an emergency call post-haste.

Unfortunately, you will not have enough time to stop by the cafetorium and pick up your allotted cup of morning joe. You would cast curses — if you could cast curses — on whoever contrived this fate. You slapdashedly freshen up in the washroom adjoining your living quarters and burst into the dormitory hallway.


You and the rest of the Psionics Team stand small and idly in a cavernous boardroom. The room has a capacity of 100; Psionics Team numbers less than 20, leader inclusive. It is the smallest team in the Division. A projector screen fills the back wall with an accompanying projector and built-in soundbar.

Onscreen, the podium for the Division Head meeting sits unattended. You wonder if the footage is even live, or if you have been duped with a still. Fifteen minutes late has always been completely commonplace, and it is nice to see a so-called emergency is not enough to rouse the careless to show up on-time (tardy for me but not for thee!).

“Let’s do some soul-searching here, folks,” says Psionics Team Leader Dillinger Hartwood, a chipper man with all-white hair but a youthful complexion. He speaks in a measured, Appalachian drawl. “We got some early reads on what might be going down?”

There is a general stir amongst your coworkers, but nothing definitive. Being the team’s sole clairvoyant, you might have been of use here, but unfortunately not. Your prescription of Ψ-blockers prevents all precognition.

You hiss at nobody in particular. “What, none of you guys got a migraine this morning?”

Dillinger walks over to you, flashing his almost-perfect teeth. You might say he carries the visage of an immortal vampire, the description hampered only by one of his canines having fallen out and been replaced with a single-tooth silver denture. “We’ve had a winner! Any tips stream in from the Great Beyond, Maclear?”

You blanch. “Yeah, I uh. Felt an unregulated psychic blitz this morning. It was caked on with a bit more vigour than usual. But, uh, consider this a status report, not a formal complaint.”

Dillinger chuckles heartily. “You ain’t remember our sit-down — you, me, and that shorter fella at the shrink’s office?”

That’s right. You were supposed to enroll yourself in those psionic shield-casting classes. The ones your psych (interprable as either a psychiatrist or a psychic pun) recommended at Dillinger’s behest. The ones that would nip in the bud any persistent exogenous memory attacks. The ones that would have your third eye kept vigil while you slept. You will have to at least remember to set up one of those Transients: A type of self-perpetuating mental construct used as a delayed-onset memetic alert system; an alarm clock for ESPers. Psychics like to arrange these in the human noösphere for purely procrastinative purposes. Set one up, and mayhaps you can remember to remember.

“Shoot. It completely slipped my mind, Dill,” you tell him.

No time to feel bad about forgetting now; there’s activity on the projector!

A stream of lackadaisical people in white coats and suits begins filing behind the podium onscreen. At one point in the procession, the camera operator has to zoom out to account for just how many people stepped in.

A heavyset man in a well-pressed navy blue suit closes out the line-up. The new Head of Esoteric Applications. With the exception of mad-scientist hair and bottle-cap glasses, he is the most professional number. First, he takes his place behind the podium, setting down his papers. Then, he shuffles them for ten seconds, checks his designer watch, spends another ten panning his attention across the empty conference room, and clears his throat of phantom phlegm in the upper larynx. Finally, he pulls down the lectern mic.

“Thank you, all of you, for joining us this morning. The Directorship has some important words.” He looks offscreen (left, from your perspective) and nods. “I will now defer to my Speaker.”

Failing to disclose the purpose for the meeting, or even introduce himself, he steps aside; his job seemingly done.

A moment later, a younger, shorter, and thinner woman in a snakeskin pantsuit takes the podium. “Hello, everyone, and good morning. I’m Dr. Fatimah Na’ima, Speaker for the Directorship of the Esoteric Applications Division. If I could get your attention for just a moment.”

There are hushed murmurs in the boardroom. You gulp, reading a vague sense of dread and apprehension floating from on high.

She continues. “This morning, Monday, April 27th, 2020, at 0600 hours, we received a priority-one emergency parlay from Overwatch Command. It regards the initiation of VEILBURST Protocol. Henceforth, VEILBURST Protocol will be… Belay that. VEILBURST Actual has been in place now for two hours and nineteen minutes.”

The Speaker lists off a number of action items.

“Point one. Effective immediately. The Veil of Normality has been placed on an indefinite decommissioning track. The preservation of consensus normalcy is no longer our priority.

“Point two. Effective immediately. Security, Containment, and Protection of Anomalous phenomena will continue, with a limited set of exceptions. A definitive list will be made available on Wednesday at 0900 hours.

“Point three. This afternoon at 1300 hours. The existence of the SCP Foundation, UN Global Occult Coalition, and Horizon Initiative will be revealed to the international community.

“Point four. Tuesday at 0800 hours. The Canadian and American governments will publicly disclose the existence of the RCMP Occult and Supernatural Activities Taskforce, and the FBI Unusual Incidents Unit, to their respective civilian populations.

“Point five…”

A series of shocking statements and ill-timed revelations barrages you and the rest of the Psionics Team. A mixture of psychically registered and physically commensurate shock plays across the face of each member.

This will take some time.


The remainder of the workday plays out like one unceasing practical joke. One whose punchline nobody has the etiquette to inform you or your compatriots of. You have enough foreknowledge, however, to identify the joke’s subject:


Somewhere around point one-hundred and forty-seven, the Speaker declared that work would resume, unabated, for every team in the Esoteric Applications Division. Indeed, nothing would fundamentally change. The tension, meanwhile, remained palpable for every single member of every single team at every level and in every section of the Site, and likely many others.

It felt like attending church in your Sunday best and, instead of having your youth pastor give his prepared sermon, members of the clergy marched in and told the congregation that everything they ever preached was a lie. Jesus wasn’t the Son of God, but a run-of-the-mill itinerant socialist. Miracles were never divine intervention, but mere coincidence. And prayer? Well, some self-reflection — when done in strict moderation! — never hurt nobody.

Despite the enormity of today’s revelations, the workday is largely uneventful. Work continues much the same. In fact, had the news not been delivered, you surmise that the start of the workweek would not have played out any differently.

The Lifted Veil was always the rumoured Ultimate Contingency. Was it not? The End of the World (and the Foundation) as everyone knew it — or, as most everyone didn’t, on account of the Veil’s all-encompassing effect. But nobody seems even the slightest bit fazed. Attending the mid-afternoon strategy meeting, the morning’s sword of Damocles hanging over everyone’s heads. How could they carry on planning for a world that, in under twenty-four hours, would never seem to have existed at all??

The mental intruder — whether a “who” or a “what”, the identity eludes you still — keeps at it every few hours. At your full strength, you do not even bat an eye to fend off from it.


You have been lying in bed, wide awake, for all of twenty minutes. As you approach the border of Dreamland, the unthinkable happens. You receive your first telepathic payload in hours.

Whenever this happens, the expectation is that it will startle you. That it will launch you off the bed and onto the cold, padded floor of your residence, right onto your ass. That it will make a fool of you.

Yet this is not your first rodeo. And besides: Until that alarm rings, you are off the clock. Only an ontoquake could rouse you into righteous grumpdignation.

??: Hello! Is there anyone… about? Is there anyone who I might be able to… greet? Hello?

SAMARA: Prophecies…

??: Why, indeed! How pleasant it is to make an acquaintance of you! I have been attempting to get through to you all day! What can I call you by, human?

SAMARA: Popsicles.

??: Oh?

You roll onto the cool side of the pillow and come a wink closer to fast asleep.

The velvet tapestry of a rich dream subsumes the pastel mind-phrases, and they become a silent underture. No longer a whatever but a whoever, they receive no response for the rest of the night.


28 APRIL 2020


As though yesterday morning was not bad enough…

You awaken with something approximating less of a migraine and more of a mental maelstrom. Your psi-sensitivity has never been quite as intense and unpleasant as it has this morning. A grimace settles over your face. Your eyes glow a pale yellow-orange passivity. It is a world of difference from the strong orange embers they effuse when you are psyching out. Today, the two expressions paint an even-coated complementary and sour picture: One of throbbing pain.

You wonder how such a pain could find itself constrained within the confines of a human skull, and especially its squishy brain. Sometimes, you do wonder if you could wring it like a sponge and let all the undesirable thoughts splash their way out.

Thankfully, you mind-stumble upon the source of this malady rather immediately. It is as though a whole bunch of people, by scores of hundreds, have learned for the very first time the method for transmitting their thoughts outside their skulls. Luckily for you and your little Talent, your own is ripe for the taking. Sure enough, mental traffic is busy today. But not in the manner of gridlock. A more reasonable traffic metaphor might forecast cars ripping across a ten-storey, ten-lane, omnidirectional freeway at 350 km/h, except the cars are all flying and on fire, and the flying aspect for some reason doesn’t extinguish the fire aspect.

You wonder whether the unnamed violet messenger from yesterday has to do with today's deluge. Unfortunately, it evades further scrutiny, either choosing not to rise above the water line or finding itself subsumed.

It takes a touch more concentration than is typical to mentally block the most potent of them. The same exercises you learned as a child who had her own psychic awakening.

Crumpled over the medicine cabinet, you unstopper a handful of psybuprofen, squeezing the 400-mg bottle and wondering why you ever bothered with anything “recommended”. Then, you get to work figuring out the why—

What the fuck is that sound?

You look around the room in frantic disposition, then find the source.

Your phone is flashing up a storm from beside your pillow.

Your alarm has been ringing for the past 31 minutes. Considering how difficult it has been to differentiate between your own thoughts and the collectivity of overeager psychic neophytes, you never registered the urgency. You throw on your work uniform — a blood-red cloak dealie — and slip the hood over your head. Interwoven with beryllium-bronze nanofibre, this will insulate your mind from all further psionic attack.

Now that the psybuprofen has kicked in, you are self-pityingly aware that you are late for work.


Atop the itinerary: Discerning why, exactly, seemingly every newbie psychic on the planet planned their coming out party on the same morning. Psionics work was typically busy — that was nothing new — but it was never so loud.

Most humans would be none the wiser. It would not even feel like the wind were blowing. None would feel the psychic fallout, for the human psychosphere were an ocean vast enough not to be daunted by meagre swells.

But you, and people like you, never made the slightest pretense of being most humans.

Psionics is another dimension along which human beings can feel, communicate, make kissy-face and fuck. Another dimension in which to play, whether music or petty politics. Not just another dimension, but many intersecting dimensions upon which the realms of for art, science, and culture could dance their dances. All things are pale imitations of their true selves — their psychic selves — when viewed through the baseline lens of human expression. But you live outside the frame. And there are other frames, not just in the realm of psionics, but in every Anomalistic field. From the vantage of the Foundation, there were hundreds.

A floodgate, once damming the ocean, electing now to lift every wall.

It seems all your teammates are suffering from the same affliction. The lot of you lounge over your workstations, bobbing and weaving in the shared panpsychismic miasma. Hypothesis after hypothesis, the modestly sized Psionics Team returns repeatedly to the same core conclusion.

The Veil of Normality — the vast tapestry of techniques and technologies, both mundane and Anomalous, that make the supernatural seem a farce to the human population — might simply have been blocking a not-uncommon phenomenon of highly proliferated psychic communication. Before today, it could never be accessed. Indeed, this morning at 0800 hours, the agreement of secrecy held amongst the three most prominent normalcy-preservation organizations on the planet, the Triumvirate, had been ended with a unanimous flourish. It is a new age. What comes next remains to be seen.

If the stress from this morning were not enough, you flurry through the work at a rapid speed. Psionics was a job that one could work from home to complete. In fact, it is all too common. That the entire team are in-person all at once, when inter-team communication could persist psychically with every member at a different location across the planet, seems the highest formalism in the face of today’s events.

After some hours, the tasks become amiable enough in their disposition to ease up entirely. Dillinger informs the team that every task remaining from the pre-VEILBURST period — every last one — had been completed. It is half-past 2 p.m. when he adjourns all matters.


You beeline for the Site-82 Onboarding & Offboarding Office. You are hankering to put in a request for time off, and hope the hours you have equipped to present are enough to grant it.

You find that you are far from the only one.

The line-up stretches from outside and down a few bends. It seems the sabbatical request-takers are now being put to work. You get in line, feeling less like you are about to take leave and more like you are hungry for a grossly unhealthy whopper. It is an excruciating thirty-eight minutes before you come to the front of the pack yourself, and select one of eight windows inset into plexiglass façade.

“Yes, hi. Samara Maclear?”

The bored attendant searches your name in the database. She repeats back your role in just as bored a tone. “Samara Maclear, Psionics Specialist.”

“That’s me.”

“Your slip, please.”

“Uh-huh.” You slip the slip out of your slip-holster and slot it into the slip slot installed in the desk.

“And this is for one week?”

“As long as you’re giving, I’m taking.”

“That’s how it goes.” Typing easily at three hundred words a minute, she processes your request. “I did always think Long Island Medium seemed too good to be true.”

“Well, um, me too.”

“Really, it is. The only Anomalous thing about that show is the adobe-brick grout that woman uses to prop up the peacock cage she calls a hairstyle. ‘s far as I’m concerned, it’s confidence scams all the way down.”

“I did used to be an avid hate-watcher of that show.” You laugh in nervous excitation.

“I should inform you that because of the new workloads coming in next quarter, all short-term sabbaticals have been capped and will end on the 1st of May.”

“… Meaning?”

“Meaning a return to Site-82 by Monday will be mandatory for all personnel.”

Your world collapses under the weight of just how chuffed you are. You have been at this post, what, a year and a half? Have you ever missed a day? And now that, what, a bunch of dull white coats have grabbed the status quo by its balls and yanked, the world has to revolve around them? The nerve!

You try your darnedest to vacate the ire from your voice. “I— Then I’ll have the rest of the week off. Punch that in, tell me what comes up, mmkay?”

The bored attendant continues nailing her fingers into the keyboard at breakneck speeds, then pauses to hit a climactic enter key. “So long as you come back Monday, I’m sure we won’t be having a problem.” She prints a new form and hands it back, smiling as she does.

You smile, too, and turn to walk away, muttering a peachy ‘thank-you’. Then you place a trembling hand on your mouth.

Uh oh…

You book it to the washroom, dodging the under-eager queueheads lining the halls. The washroom door swings back and slams into the wall as you yack up the acid from your empty stomach, courtesy of psybuprofen side-effects, a split second short of the toilet stall, directly into the sink.


29 APRIL 2020


You manage to stuff most everything you own within a sporty carry-on and a rugged old luggage. Given the circumstances, it ain’t much. You travelled with your car a few hundred kilometres mostly on a whim, and most everything important — aside from clothing and basic amenities — already exists inside your mindscape.

You are on something like the fifteenth floor when you arrive. You knock a Shave and a Haircut-type beat onto the door.

It swings open. Someone bounds forward, slamming into you with a hug. “Sammie! God, I’ve missed you so much, you wouldn’t believe.”

You wrap a lazy arm around the person who opened the door. “Luna, you’re going to fucking kill me one of these days.”

“Will I? Is it foretold? Written in the stars? Did you stare into a font of Cosmic brilliance and see the Beginning and the End dance in your eyes?”

“It’s crushing the shit out of me, and I’ve got a first-hand account.”

“Whatever you say, Baba Vanga. Come in already.”

It is something like a miracle that your ex would be so willing to take you in for a few days on short notice.

You leave your luggage at the threshold into the spare bedroom. Considering this is the same apartment you lived in yourself some years ago, none of the typical housewarming takes place. Instead, because it’s quite late, and neither of the two of you have eaten, you offer to cook.

“You hit me up on the right day! We’ve got kimchi in the fridge — it should be just about good to go. I’ll get it ready.”

“You sure you’re fine with me staying here at all?” You check up on the potatoes as they boil and set up the last of the ingredients mise en place. “I’ll be out of your hair after the weekend.”

“Don’t be completely absurd,” they tell you. “You’re always welcome.”

“What about your roommates? Are they cool with it?”

“Two of them are anartists, and I’m fairly sure any such question containing the word ‘cool’ is their post-hypnotic trigger phrase. But, nah, I don’t know if you’ll actually be seeing them. Hell, they might not even realize.”

“Eh?” Stamping down the mashed potatoes over the vegetables has always been the fun part.

“They’ve all gone to start some shit with the cops downtown. You know, because of the new curfew that just got posted. I recommended against it — didn’t want ‘em ending up in a containment cell, even after all that’s gone down — but I wouldn’t dare be the stickler on a night like this.”

Shepherd’s Pie takes time. You are not sure you can keep up the small talk for so long. Especially when it veers into this territory. Your ex, Luna Sunwoo, is an empath. It will be rather difficult to slip anything too ludicrous past them: Namely, the fact that you work with the Jailors. You wrench your face up into your best-practiced expression of disbelief. “Now you have me curious.”

They lean over the counter, one arm crossed by their chest and the other crooked under their chin, looking up at you. “What, you haven’t been on Void?”

“Screw you! Void? I can’t stand that!”

“What about the news? We only get the shitty corpo channels up here, but it’s so funny to rag on them.”

“Luna Sunwoo, listen to the words coming out of your mouth.”

Luna grabs your arm. “Then, may I?”

“Of course.”

After a moment, they close their eyes. An empath can be said to feel things on a deeper level than most people. The trained psychic empath can be said to share in those feelings — to gift them to others. They call upon a spark deep inside them.

They channel a vision by way of skin contact alone. There are the cheers of rejoice from communities of paranatural people on the margins. The mystification from those who never conceived of a hidden world held in the illusory palm of the one they know. Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in celebration. And yet a state of emergency has been called province-wide.

The visions, first free-flowing, now sit in your mind’s eye and percolate. After a moment, neither of you say anything.

Then: “… You haven’t found a girl yet, have you?”

The both of you burst into laughter.


After dinner, you clear out the kitchen counter and then some. You remark on the state of the apartment. It is a lot more detestable in its muck and mess than it was when you left nearly two years ago. In one room, there are impermeable iridescent sigils floating half a metre from the floor, casting non-Euclidean shadows in the corner. A bunch of anartists and a psychic are not the most prudent people in the world when it comes to cleanliness. Compulsively, you get to work organizing the space around you for all of two minutes before Luna lectures you in self-ashamed consternation. Instead of tidying up outright, you elect to use the time getting settled to mask the act in secret. Your ex is none the wiser.

Not trusting the feeling of a bed not your own, you pick the couch to sleep on. You and Luna both know you will end up levitating on the ceiling come tomorrow.

You stay up watching shitty pirated streams. Sometime after the stroke of midnight, Luna makes for the door. A snap meeting has been called at the Witching Hour with their empath’s guild. Then, you are alone.

Luna’s question to you was not one asked in pure ribbing. It was true that you had not found a girl to call your own yet. Luna was your last. It has been the better part of two years since it ended. You could not even imagine dating anyone from the Site. That a person would willingly rope themselves into such a sad negation of privacy! What’s more, working with the Foundation precludes many romantic options outside the Site, for the naked fact of the secrecy required. Perhaps not even a hardened psychic could evade the geas binding.

Since this morning, the murmurs of a hundred thousand awakened psychics in the hyper-perceptive range have dulled to a faint background radiation. This is, of course, your training in Psionic Stoicism bearing out in sheer numbers.

But it also trains the mind for the opposite — the ability to pinpoint the atomised dividual among many in a soup of noise.

One voice stands distinct amongst the deluge of many others.

A marble pillar jutting from great rapids;

a barrier in the traffic;

an ebb in a gravity well around a planet.

You try concentrating,

squeezing the trigger,

to home in on it,

systematizing the hundreds of voices into patterns so as to delve between each one of them and locate

the one voice more angelic than all the rest.

But it doesn’t work out.

After an hour and a half of concentration, and on the cusp of exhaustion, you resign yourself to…

A peerless violet, most familiar, registers as a bittersweet floral taste on your astral tongue.

??: At last! I felt worried for a moment there. It must be with bounteous consideration that you choose to start the connection like this!

SAMARA: What are you?

??: …

SAMARA: I’m not stupid. I can still feel you there.

??: I sense the barest hint that you would not believe me if I told you.

SAMARA: Bullshit. You’re a Mind. I know that much. But you’re pretty well-disposed. Whereas most Minds I come across — that are like you — they tend to be merciless barbs. So, which is it?

??: Lost. Without an anchor. But if I am friendly, it is because I am a friend.

SAMARA: If you were an Eldritch thought-mine, I’d already be taken. Except I can still intuit the pretentious veneer of that true crime bullshit I’ve got playing on Netflix right now, so evidently not. But I’ve been deceived before.

??: I don’t understand. You are human; I am not. But I know you. I know humans. Humankind has long been one of my pet projects.

SAMARA: Mmm, still not convinced. We’re at an impasse. How do I know you aren’t a mind-parasite?

??: Hm. Do I sound like a mind-parasite?

SAMARA: You sure don’t taste like one, anyhow. But you’re psyching me out, and I think it’s working.

??: What do you consider a mind-parasite anyhow?

SAMARA: Conservatism, for one.

??: …

SAMARA: I sense a furrowed brow? Got a name?

CELESTE: I am Celeste. That is my name.

SAMARA: Celeste. Mhm, that's sweet, that's definitely sweet.

CELESTE: … This is a compliment? Thank you?

SAMARA: I'm Samara. You can use Sam, or Sammie — pretty much anything goes with me.

CELESTE: I already knew your name, Samara.

You can't even place where the conversation goes after this point, but you have a vague sense that it carries into your dreams. You drift off into sleep, three parts exhausted, one part coming to grips with a feeling of peace you have not known for quite a long time.


30 APRIL 2020


You wake up on the ceiling.

This has been known to happen from time to time. It's some combination of side-effects created by a rogue mixture of Ψ-blockers and the memome-bolstering supplements that negate the damage caused by psionic overexertion.

You slowly sink yourself back onto the couch and snatch up your phone.

8:03. You wish it were later, much later. As a night owl, you have always considered anything before 10 AM too early. But alas.

You spend the morning doing some light exercise, and then immediately give way to tidying up a bit more. Clothing is strewn out through much of the bedrooms, try as you might not to snoop. You consider the hilarity behind doing your ex's laundry.

While making your breakfast mid-morning, you switch on the news to catch some of what Luna was discussing. How bad could it…

Oh dear.

That is not good. That is several layers of not good.

News blurbs concern an in-progress containment breach being tracked. The switchers showcase a shot from early this morning, when it first appeared.


Lighting up the sky, in vistas across the planet, something truly breathtaking. A hanger-on over the ecliptic — a trail of arcane energy; a ring in the skybox.

Anchors with the local news speak via video call to a woman you are quite familiar with. It is Dr. Imogen Metcalfe, the Director of Site-82 — the very same one at which you work.

Much of it is flailing as the anchors fail to grapple with the thought that unicorns and faeries and pixies that fart thaumaturgically charged dust are all real aspects of the world, as much as the forces of gravity and colonialism.

But at one point, Dr. Metcalfe hazards to put a name to phenomenon on display before her very eyes. You instinctively shut off the TV and crouch on the floor.

Both the spontaneity and the coincidental nature of this development eschew understanding. What were the odds that two of the most prominent changes to global normalcy could take place in the same news cycle? What, indeed, were the odds?


You sit there mostly aghast for some time. You don't check your phone.

Eventually, you decide you need air, and go for a walk.

In the city, the hustle and bustle is much the same, but you pass every minute or so a person or group of people aiming their phones into the sky, snapping shots of the Anomaly.

Not having been in midtown Toronto for many years, you trace a path to where you remember High Park being. It's quite a ways, but then again, you have quite an empty schedule.

High Park is something of an oasis within the broader city. An untouched ecology as large as this, in the urban center of a major city, is unheard of in most any place that you might go.

You find a place off the trail and, checking to make sure nobody spots you walking in, you wander into a dark grove.

In your mindscape, you also try retreading the inroads to the Mind you happened upon just last night. It takes some effort, but you find your way.

With both physical and psychical attuned, you settle in and close your eyes.

SAMARA: Celeste? Are you in here?

CELESTE: Oh. You are back. How did you…?

SAMARA: Find you?

CELESTE: Yes. Where could you have thought to look?

SAMARA: … So, like, once a telepathic connection is made, following the psywave to its source is trivial. And then… You know, it really is a simple question, truly, but answering with any degree of specificity would prove to make most people's heads spin.

CELESTE: Am I people?

SAMARA: Again with the hard-hitting questions.

CELESTE: It helps me to orient myself. I am in a… bit of a predicament, you could call it.

SAMARA: Your aura is one of the most difficult I have ever tried to nail down, yet it's. It's. It's beautiful.

CELESTE: What is my aura?

SAMARA: Oh, you're doing this on purpose!

CELESTE: The only thing I know to do on purpose is exist, and even that proves boggling at the best of times.

SAMARA: Ask me about me. Ask me something personal.

CELESTE: What do you do with your time, then?

SAMARA: You mean like, a job?

CELESTE: Sure! Is it something you enjoy doing? Does it provide your lord with plenty?

SAMARA: [Laughing] I’m sorry?


SAMARA: What on Earth did you mean by ‘lord’?

CELESTE: Well, this is difficult to explain.

SAMARA: I make things move with my mind. You can fucking try me.

CELESTE: Hm. I am admittedly unfamiliar with that specific human expression. How does this sound: I have access to the entire modern history of your species stretching back almost 5,000 years?

SAMARA: Elaborate.

CELESTE: That is, practically speaking, for a significant sum of your experiments in collective human organization, there exists something called a lord-and-serf relationship. For the sake of this present conversation I will obviously need to speak in generalities. But, essentially, it involves a hierarchy of servitude imposed over the land, where the maintenance of that land and husbandry of its natural stock of flora and fauna occurs in exchange for a provision of wares and other privileges — if I have that right? And this is not to mention the truly fascinating phenomenon, what you call kings? Males who — by the product of a convoluted, but largely vestigial, ceremony — are tasked to fill a role of totalizing nobility within an arbitrary territory. Males — think of it!

SAMARA: [Laughing] This is like… I’m sorry, I really should compose myself. This must look so, so bad… [Laughing] God, I’m a fucking mess. Listen. It’s like, the way you’re telepathing reminds me of a Dungeon Master. Do you know what that is?

CELESTE: … I will admit to my confusion here. Perhaps, if I take a moment to check, I can find a conspectus on the subject—

SAMARA: You won’t. Trust me. Besides — I’m just testing you. Are you familiar with that?

CELESTE: You are assessing my ability?

SAMARA: Got that right.

CELESTE: But now you have made me intrigued. What is it that you do?

SAMARA: I’m, uh, I’m a psionics technician by trade. A psychic with a salary, I guess. I work with The Foundation — er, for, not with — at least, it’s not for them right now. I mean, I’m still on contract. But because I’ve taken time off, most of the harsher geasa rebuffs are reduced. Like, funny story, for some reason I feel no resistance when I mentioned it to you just now!


SAMARA: Not making sense, eh?

CELESTE: That is not what I meant! All six of your human senses are performing just fine.


CELESTE: That is not what I meant. I also work with The Foundation!

SAMARA: Now you're just fucking with me.

CELESTE: One caveat, slight one: Not your Foundation. But a Foundation. The one we built in the place where I am from.

SAMARA: Oooooookaaaaay…?

CELESTE: Hah. So, what is it my aura tells you about this information?

SAMARA: … That you're telling the truth.

CELESTE: … And? Anything else?

SAMARA: Honestly? That's far from the only thing. It's giving off warmth, when most would be cool. Soothing, when most might give off the texture of static electricity, almost. There are a lot of interesting properties to it… Wow.

CELESTE: What is the matter?

SAMARA: It's just. I haven't been this close to someone in such a long time. Although empirically speaking, our ‘close’-ness can't be quantified. But, like, it also doesn't fucking matter. If I can feel what I feel, then it's every bit as true as everything else.

CELESTE: You are very passionate. It is one of my favourite traits in humans.

SAMARA: Why's that?

CELESTE: It is peculiar. There is a sense of peering into a world unto its own. That world, that passion, it can be shared innumerable times with so many different humans. And each time, it can never take away from its source; but it adds to the web of passion.

SAMARA: Oh, that tickles.

CELESTE: Are you uncomfortable?

SAMARA: No, not at all! I, uh, just realized something. When I found where you are, I felt all sorts of sensations. Usually, I follow a psywave to kick somebody's ass. Here, though? It's like an embrace.

CELESTE: My web?

SAMARA: Right. I just didn't consider, you know, the space of things. I'm kind of new to this. [Laughing]

CELESTE: [Laughing]

SAMARA: Check this out!

You reach into your purse and pull out a quarry of esoteric materials. You set an intention to feel lighter than air. You divine the flow of the thermals and the flux of the soft mid-morning breeze. You reach deep inside yourself, imagining your astral form as it fills your mind's eye.

And then, you set off, one part of you staying on solid ground, the other part of you becoming lighter than the air. Coming through the canopy of the forest above, you spiral up and up, to the top of a great oak tree.

In the orbit of your astral self, you feel Celeste, too. Xer form pulsates, almost abstractly, but all the while a substantial three-dimensional sensation, the same heat as before.

As though in a shared embrace, you float over the top of the tree's crown, and you can see the entire green space. You see the snaking paths, brown swathes as they lead out in as many directions as the root networks deep below the soil. You see the rugged concrete, straddling the interstitial area between forest and city.

CELESTE: Oh, my goodness!

SAMARA: What do you see?

CELESTE: I see the forests back home. The magnificent forests. The ones my brood-sisters and I would hang from as spiderlings. Thank you…

SAMARA: Believe me, it's my pleasure.

CELESTE: Can we stay up here a while?

SAMARA: Sure can.



An SCP Original Character Tournament
Round 1

Hosted by UraniumEmpire



rating: +25+x

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