rating: +640+x



On 8/29/1989, Commander Richard ABLE (IO) was requested to interview Commander Allen HALL, who led the first team of responding Foundation personnel into the town of North Access, Cornwall after receiving a direct phone call to the response and dispatch office of the Site-34 outpost in the outskirts of London, approximately 1.3 hours south of the city. The Interview took place at the Site-34 Investigation and Interview lab on 9/02/1989.

IO began an initial line of questioning with HALL regarding the general nature of the radio signal as appearing to the outpost. HALL indicated that the outpost had received the signal on the main radar sweep at roughly 2000 hours three days before the initial mission. HALL clarified that he had no teams dispatched at the time of the beacon, and that the radio sweep signaling serviced by the outpost was for responders only and was not serviced by non-Foundation agents, leading him to believe the contact was “of anomalous origin”. The call consisted of the sound of rushing water. HALL could not recall if any other background noises could be detected in the audio of the radio signal. Suspecting a computer error, HALL ended the signal prematurely and returned to attending work.

At approximately 0800 hours the following day, the main line of the Site-34 outpost received a second signal, which was received by dispatcher David SHMITT, who indicated to HALL a similar peculiarity with the sound of rushing water. SHMITT indicated in subsequent interviews that he was unaware of any distinct voices or background noise. HALL instructed SHMITT to triangulate the signal, which was narrowed to the general area of North Access, Cornwall. Once a location had been determined, the signal was terminated. HALL stated that he did not believe that there were any changes in the content of the signal by the time of the termination. IO inquired as to why the investigation was not perused immediately after the second beacon. HALL stated that under normal procedure, a non-Foundation beacon is not sufficient to warrant an investigation, but that the audio being transmitted by the signal showed abnormal background radiation consistent with unstable weak Hume fields.

HALL stated that, following the two signaling events, he suggested that he take a crew to investigate the address on the signal’s tracking, concerned about possible anomalous activity affecting the area. HALL assembled a team consisting of SHMITT (dispatcher), Amy WEATSTONE (containment investigator), Ron SHULTZ (MTF), and Rodrik GRIMSKY (technical analysist). The five drove a standard Foundation response vehicle and left the facility at 2000 hours. HALL reported that, because of the size of North Access, the town was not listed on standard maps and had to be located using Foundation estimation prior to departure.

Allen had worked at a meat packing plant in college. He hadn’t minded it much, actually; most of what he did was a lot of slicing and butchering, and, when you really came down to it, that wasn’t a terrible way to make a little over minimum wage per hour. What had bothered him was the smell.

The meat was killed and skinned next door, and he’d cut them up fresh in the fridge and hang the carcasses up on hooks to drip. It was a bloody, fresh kind of smell at first, and the meat they actually packaged was relatively fresh save for a little of that, and all things considered he could work with the bloody smell. The smell that bothered him came from the disposed parts he pulled out with a gloved hand and threw into buckets to his left or right- entrails, organs, a stomach here, a heart there, the biology part of the job wasn’t really something that they taught them in training. What he pulled out was relatively nondescript, without definition- an all-encompassing substance of bloody, homogenous gore. Slice and dice, motherfucker. Open the stomach and out with the guts. Like carving a pumpkin.

All the nondescript entrails went into the nondescript plastic trash bin. He dreaded when it would get full once or twice a shift, and then the time would come and he would push it on its squeaky wheels over to the grinder. Dump it in, let the machine roar and cough at bits of bone and flesh, and then out would come the pink paste like a bloated, infected finger, a tube of pink shit interlaced with hair and bone between crushed flesh. God knows what they did with it, but that- that would smell. Shit from the entrails, piss from the bladder, blood from everything the fuck else. Another breed of nondescript, homogenous gore.

So on that warm August evening as Allen drove the team into North Access, he denied smelling it at first because he’d thought, truly, that he’d never smell it again.

But it was there.

And when they got closer, it got stronger.

HALL stated that approximately half a mile from the outskirts of the town, WEATSTONE inquired to him about the increasing smell permeating the vicinity, to which HALL responded, quote, “Oh, sweet Jesus, it’s bodies”.

“Should we-like- god, I don’t know, call for backup or something?” asked David from two seats back. The van bounced over a pothole, and Allen could hear Amy in the passenger’s seat suck in a quick breath of fear.

“Not yet,” said Allen. “I might be wrong. Ron, you’ve seen some shit, what do you think?”

“It’s something rotting, yeah,” answered the Task Force agent sitting directly behind him. He sounded harrowed, but certain. “It has to be.”

Allen nodded silently, anxiety gnawing at his stomach. The five of them sat in silence. Suddenly he wished more than anything that he'd waited until morning for this- the van’s brights illuminated the road directly in front of them, flanked by sparse trees and farmland on either side. The road was deserted.

“How many fucking bodies does it take to smell like that?” whispered Rodrik from the far back of the van, and he heard it and almost wished he hadn’t, because that was exactly the thought that was churning his insides. How many cows did he have to butcher before the grinder meat happened? Two? Three? And that was relatively fragrant to start with. How many fucking bodies did it take to smell it before they even entered the town?

“I don’t know,” he responded. Because he didn’t. And he was scared-

“Oh my god,” exhaled Amy, “Oh my god, Allen!”

He slammed on the breaks just in time to bring the van to a screeching halt in front of a large, low shape, resting on the road. Illuminated by the headlights, Allen was initially terrified because of the sight of fur- he remembered, briefly, the parade of cow hides, the matted sight of hair and blood.
It was a dead horse, and it was rotting.

Chapter excerpt from the textbook "Reality Altering Beings: Socioeconomics, Mental Illness, and Diagnostic Criteria" published 2014

The Cornwall Incident: What Happened?

In the early morning of August 1st, 1989, a small team of containment investigators from London enter the small town of North Access, Cornwall- a town of roughly 1,000 residents with an occult history- after receiving several suspicious calls from the location. Upon entering the outskirts of the town, the team quickly encounter a rotting stench so strong they are apprehensive as to their own ability to handle what they might find, and, before they are able to enter the town itself, their path is blocked by a dead horse in the road, severely rotted and desiccated. It is at this point that the team calls for backup.

By 2 am, three additional containment vans arrive at the entrance to the town. Together, they are able to move the animal’s body from the road.

By 3 am, the four teams are able to inch forward roughly a quarter of a mile down the road before they come across the body of a severely desiccated man in his early 40s. They must move his body to proceed. Dutifully, Commander Hall and his crew drag the rotting body to the side of the road to allow the vehicles to pass.

By 4 am, Site-34 in London receives word that there are more bodies.

By 5 am, Site-56 in Ireland is contacted to send additional vehicles. In fact, they’re contacted to send in a list of squads. North Access is now a locked down crime scene. It will remain so for the next six months. This will become the single most deadly Type Green massacre in history, with an estimated 1,200 people found dead- 1,000 residents and 200 GOC responders from the Ichabod campaign, notorious for killing hordes of reality benders throughout the 80s using the now outdated four class Kant-based diagnostic method. No animals in the area remained alive aside from eight individuals- six pregnant women and a man with a baby- recovered in poor condition. There were signs of heavy flash flooding, but the lake was completely dry. It couldn’t have happened more than three days before. What happened?

The truth- as it would soon become apparent- lay in a heavy romantic interaction between two reality benders, dubbed “A” and “B” by investigators…

Frog in a Boiling Pot

99% of Type Greens undergo the following sequence of psychological changes as their powers progress.

PHASE 1: Denial: The subject refuses to acknowledge their ability to warp reality. The Type Green will attempt to rationalize away their abilities by various means. In some cases, the Type Green will end here: their ability will be self-suppressed, and they will not proceed. However, most then proceed to:

PHASE 2: Experimentation: The subject acknowledges their abilities and begins to test the limits of their powers. In general, Type Greens tend to experiment in one of two patterns: slowly, methodically, and carefully, advancing a small amount at a time, or in a small number of sudden jumps. In any case, the subject will generally remain in this mode for some time, before proceeding to:

PHASE 3: Stability: The subject reaches the limit of their powers, and determines the boundaries of their abilities. The Type Green achieves control over their reality shifts, and can manipulate them as necessary. More importantly, they can choose not to utilize their abilities, if needed.

Phase 3 is usually characterized by attempts to live a "normal" life. The subject will continue in normal routines, and aside from necessary precautions to prevent losing control, will utilize their abilities only in private, and only in a manner that will not harm others. These Type Greens may be classified as Threat Level 1 (monitor, do not engage), but should be monitored closely, due to the risk of proceeding to Phase 4.

PHASE 4: The Child-God: Sadly, the majority of Type Greens will eventually progress to Phase 4. During this phase, the reality bender becomes obsessed with the power it possesses and will attempt to utilize it for personal gain at the cost of others. This phase is marked by reduced empathy for other humans, inability to accept personal faults, and increased megalomania.

Although warning signs are numerous, the key aspect of a Phase 4 is the use of their abilities to manipulate other humans. Teenage and young adult Type Greens will typically use their abilities for sexual purposes…

-PHYSICS Division Field Manual 13: Special Circumstances, Humanoid Threat Entities, Published 1984.

When they were teenagers she first touched him.

They were lying in bed at his house and it was dark, and Lilly knew he wasn’t asleep because he was staring at the ceiling but she did it anyway and maybe pretended that he was asleep, and he owed it to her. He owed this to her, because it must suck, it must suck to always ask and have him always say no, to want him and to always get no as an answer. Sometimes you need to make compromises, he tells himself, in a relationship. Sometimes you need to let it happen for the other person’s sake.

So it was raining outside and she touched his chest. There was rain on the roof and rain on the windows and she touched his hips. There was rain on the street and clouds in the sky and she touched him right below the elastic band of his boxers, manicured nails and tips of fingers. The light post outside casts light through the rain and she touches the hair between his legs and his heart picks up speed and at the time he thought it was arousal but would learn later in his life that it was fear and would also learn that there is a fine,



between the two,

And she goes down a little farther,

And he feels everything,

And she touches the soft skin of the space between his thigh and his crotch,

And his heart beats fast and his chest hurts,

And then she slides up two of her fingers and touches him and he lets her because he owes this to her,

Owes this to her,

Owes this to her,

You need to be able to do some things for love.

Her fingers are on his penis now and he thinks, be aroused. Get turned on. You’re lucky to have her. She curls up to him, blond hair and thin body and the rain outside, sleeping in her jeans, arching her body against strips of orange lamp light filtering through the blinds.

You need to do something.

Her entire hand is down his pants now, and there is a hot white fear of a thousand lines crossed that keeps him pinned in place like a deer in the headlights. He feels frozen. His heart pounds at her silhouette; for a moment she looks like a predator to him, like something skeletal and powerful, something with a mouth full of canine teeth, and just when she touches the head of his penis it comes rushing in so quickly that his ears ring and he grabs her arm a bit too harshly, too carelessly, too quickly.

“Francis.” muses Lilly. Looking back he sees this as their first encounter, the first time she enters what he would know in another life to be phase two; the phase of power, of control.

She’s a goddess, and that isn’t a good thing.

For a second, Francis thinks she’s about to throw him off for even daring to touch her. Her eyes are obscured in the light and ridges of her spine are poking out one by one, all the way down her back, just under her skin; she takes his other hand and presses it to her own hip, under her shirt, and he can feel the top of her panties numbly through the buzzing daze but it does not feel like he wants it to feel and he hates it, hates it, hates it—

“Francis.” She says when he struggles, trying to work his hand back from under hers against her side, and this time it’s a warning. Her other hand is still on his cock, frozen, and the whole world is intensified, too bright, saturated with hazy light of numb fear like pinworms under his skin, wriggling, jolting. Her other hand sliding his own right under the ridge of her panties, there’s a silhouette of horns like when they were children but it’s just the bare outline like a shadow against the back wall like a red outline from the orange window light that starts to flicker. His chest feels heavy and his soul feels compressed and the world feels stunned and all he thinks is how quickly this happened and how quickly they grew up recreating scenes from Poltergeist and changing the channels on the radio with their minds and bending pennies without touching them and you, you, you with your horns and hooves when you wanted them and you with your mouth filled up with teeth and you with your hunger stronger than his would ever be and that should have been the first indication, looking back, that Francis should have run from her- her with her angry silhouette with water drop shadows and her with her tongue that grew sharper and pierced ever so slightly deeper as they grew and her with her thousand eyes when he only had three and her with her hand around his cock that night with the rain but Francis was young and didn’t know better and Francis trusted her more than anyone and Francis might have even loved her in a strange, fearful way, because Francis didn’t run then and Francis never would until it ended five years later.

He yanked her hand from his boxers. She does not talk to him for another week, but he feels her manicured nails and fingertips for a year afterward.

He sleeps with his legs crossed for longer.

Item #: SCP-4231

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-4231 exists inside containment area 4231. Containment area 4231 is to be surrounded by a 4-mile-long fence under the guise of government occupation. The front and back doors of SCP-4231 are to be replaced by class 6 metal containment access doors, and all windows on the first floor are to remain boarded up to prevent entry. The entrance to SCP-4231-2 is to be contained by a 34 foot by 34-foot plywood slab placed over the lakebed opening, disguised as a sinkhole repair mechanism. SCP-4231-2 is only to be accessed via the basement of SCP-4231. SCP-2317 is to be removed and placed in separate Foundation containment.

Description: SCP-4231 is a three-story house and residential business building in the former town of North Access, Cornwall, previously inhabited by two Type Green entities, SCP-4231-A and SCP-4231-B.

SCP-4231-A is a 5’7” female, 28 years old, 150 pounds. Fair skin. Brown eyes. Blonde hair. Recently pregnant at time of death. Died of single gunshot wound to head; body found in upstairs bedroom of SCP-4231. Portrayed as the abuser of SCP-4231-B in all resident traumatic imprinting events.

SCP-4231-B is a 5’3” male, 27 years old, 145 pounds. Fair skin. One eye blue, one eye green. Blonde hair. At time of recovery, exhibits extreme mental distress; not able to speak to responders coherently. Nose repeatedly broken. Blunt force scars on back of head, back shoulders, buttocks. Repeatedly vomiting water, blood. Kant counter readings indicate level 4 at time of rescue; readings reconcile to level 3 after subsequent hospitalization. Shows signs of heavy psychological trauma following recovery. Authorized for Containment Monitoring Parole (CMP) within the confines of the Foundation on 1/06/1990 (see attached personnel document).

The effects of SCP-4231 are referred to as a direct result of violent and extended Type Green occupation of the building, compounded by the effects of the activation of SCP-2317, initially located in SCP-4231-3 directly under the lakebed of North Access. The surrounding town shows signs of extreme flash flooding and decay, and has not been occupied since incident 4231-CORNWALL is under recent development (see document 4231-SCRANTON). The lake itself is entirely drained of water, and the town of North Access has remained a consistent isolated drought affected area since 1989.

SCP-4231 sits at the top of the lakeside of containment area 4231, and consists of a top story apartment, a ground-level shop area appearing to be that of a local florist, and a basement, which extends into the earth under the adjacent lake to join with the chamber of SCP-2317 (SCP-4231-3) via a narrow passageway. The top floor of SCP-4231 - designated SCP-4231-2 - shows extensive Type Green traumatic imprinting, to which it owes its anomalous properties. This pocket dimension is considered the most complete case study on imprinting to date, and is widely studied and referenced in conjunction with issues regarding Type Green psychology, violence, and mental illness. SCP-4231-2 consists of a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, a nursery, a living room, and an interconnecting hallway. Activity within SCP-4231-2 varies in intensity with time, with seemingly little pattern. For list of events, refer to document SCP-4231-2-A.

The basement of SCP-4231 is an unfinished basement housing miscellaneous storage, behind which an entryway to SCP-4231-3 is hidden.


Blueprint of SCP-4231-3. Refer to attached documentation for key. Click for enlarged image.

SCP-4231-3 is a tomb structure dating to medieval Europe that lies under the lakebed of North Access, Cornwall, bridged by a stone staircase descending from the basement of SCP-4231. It consists of 11 sections:

SCP-4231-3-1-7: 5 by 5-meter uniform stone cells with iron doors; originally contained SCP-231-2 through SCP-231-7. Locks were initially impenetrable through non-anomalous means. Six days after initial recovery, Thaumatological specialists succeeded in damaging the locks to a maneuverable degree, allowing all SCP-231 instances to be evacuated. Doors have deliberately been left unlocked for the remainder of the structure’s containment.

SCP-4231-3-8: Door frame of SCP-2317. SCP-2317 was removed and transported to proper containment shortly after recovery, leaving an unremarkable stone wall (it appears as if SCP-2317 was always regarded as an interdimensional portal as opposed to an adjoining room, and was affixed with no further structures on the other side).

SCP-4231-3-9: Artifact room. Room sealed with 2 identical iron doors. Extensive archeological research and cataloguing has been undertaken in the 9th chamber, with roughly 1,943 separate artifacts recorded (see document SCP-4231-3-A for full list). Notable artifacts include exactly 500 human bones decorated with various strings and fabric (type of bone and types of wrapping vary widely throughout the collection), seven heavily decorated ritual altars, and elaborate carvings of a one-eyed horned beast, thought to resemble SCP-2317.

“Binding prayer” (as translated from page 274 of the Erikesh Codex):
“In a life before now, I was a powerful beast enslaved to a village, for whom I pulled carts of grain. I was fed and housed and walked among them, but was but a creature speaking their tongue, for which I grew dissatisfied. One night I broke free from my restraints and found myself running wildly in the forest, and the forest did bend around me; my feet were hail and my body thunder. I brought desolation for which I felt nothing, and the earth enabled me with submission. I ran for seven days and seven nights for which time I brought plague on what I did perceive. They called me ꙮ, thuem, web-spinner, the torn-asunder. On the seventh night I was reckless with fatigue and the world did not bend for me. I fell down a steep valley into the River Green; having struck my neck on a boulder, the holy river drowned me in starlight and boiled the flesh from my bones. No creature came for me, for there was no creatures of my kind. The river delivered me; oh how much agony I was in! My broken neck came to rest on the bank of a stream running through a farmer’s field, who was grazing his cattle. He said unto me, “I am not Kether, but I will save you, as you will save me.” He read a holy passage of the Green and carved into my broken neck words of forgiveness, then wrapped it in cloth and twine. I protected his family for four generations; spirit nor creature dared challenge me. The fourth generation blessed me and thanked me and delivered me unto the holy flame. Wildflowers did bloom in my ashes. My power returned to the earth, and I rested soundly. Mercy, mercy, mercy; great is the Red God who binds his angels to the waters. May heaven be merciful on my bones until the Lord pulls upon my yoke once more.”

SCP-4231-3-10: 30-meter-long stone hallway, lit intermittently with torches. Various carvings depicting scenes from the Erikesh Codex adorn the walls (see document SCP-4231-3-B for full translations).

SCP-4231-3-11: Stone staircase extending from the basement of SCP-4231.

It is unknown how SCP-4231-3 came to be attached directly to the SCP-4231 house, which records show was built in early 1974. This raises the suspicion that SCP-4231-3 may be an intricate replication or creation by SCP-4231-A based on the text of the Erikesh Codex. This theory has not been disproved nor confirmed. Similarly poorly understood is how SCP-4231-3 remained entirely unflooded and undamaged in the course of the Cornwall Incident, thus protecting all SCP-231 instances from harm. This effect, too, is poorly understood.

The ground floor of SCP-4231 is an inert flower shop.

December 2nd, 1988

He arises from bed in the early hours of the morning when Lilly is beside him but the baby has not kicked yet for the first time. He still feels what she’s done to him- what she did to him in the dusk by the water- bruises down his back, then on his pelvis, then- he didn’t want to look that closely at himself. It’s the first time he’s gotten out of bed in two days. He feels disconnected, like his arms aren’t his arms and he exists slightly to the left of his body. It’s the first time he’s experienced that sensation since the night on the lake shore. It is not the last time he will experience it.

Francis stands near the bedroom door for a moment, trying to decide if the ringing in his ears is real or not, then if his body is real or not. He isn’t sure where he’s going, but when he opens the door to the bedroom into the hallway he finds that there isn’t any place to go. The bathroom door across the hall has disappeared. The kitchen to the left is gone.

if they ever existed in the first place, he wonders. But Francis is not one for wandering to check. Not now.

“Hello?” he calls absently, soft and confused. The word doesn’t sound like his own. It echoes: hello? ello? lo? lo? lo?

And if his voice hits a boundary- somewhere far into the hallway that’s extended past the house, past the tomb, past the lake and past North Access into a place he’s constructed without knowing it, where the water expands in an endless tide and to where all roads in his life now end- he does not hear it. And if Lilly hears it, she doesn’t stir. And if anything else were to hear it-


Document SCP-4231-2-A

Event Type SCP-4231-2 Location Event Description
Auditory Kitchen Argument lasting 2 minutes, 34 seconds. Brief dispute concerning finances.
Auditory Bathroom Passing insult lasting 3 seconds in a laughing tone.
Physical Living Room (Fireplace) Papers appearing to be some form of college schoolwork materialize along with fire in the hearth. Burns for approximately 3 hours before burning out.
Auditory Bedroom Passing comment lasting 10 seconds. Regards B’s weight in conjunction to the relationship between A and B.
Auditory, Physical Kitchen Argument lasting approximately 10 minutes, 24 seconds. Culminates in several comments from A regarding B’s apparent undesirability to both outside romantic and platonic interests alike. Imprint ends with bedroom door slamming shut.
Auditory, Physical Kitchen 5 second apparition of a plate materializing, then smashing on the northern counter.
Auditory Bathroom 1 hour, 14-minute argument of A insisting B tell her the truth.
Physical Bedroom Blood spotting appears on the left side of the bed. Manifests for an average of 19 minutes at a time.
Physical Bathroom Corpse of a severely mutilated adult female Maine Coon cat materializes hung from shower curtain rod. Cat writhes for approximately 3 minutes, 23 seconds before ceasing vital signs. Cat remains hanging from rod for approximately 43 hours, 21 minutes before dematerializing.
Physical Hallway Hallway extends indefinitely on either end. Manifests in night hours only for an average of 10 hours, 34 minutes.
Physical Entirety of SCP-4231-2 structure Entire SCP-4231-2 structure begins to replicate continuously upwards in a repeating pattern; end of hallway will attach with entryway leading from ground floor of SCP-4231 upwards, etc. Replicates continuously for approximately 80 hours before the effect ends.
Physical Bedroom window, followed by entire SCP-4231 structure Initial event seen from bedroom window: two figures- A and B are seen on the beach below SCP-4231. Figures walk along shoreline for 12 minutes, 17 seconds before sitting down on a rocky portion of the shore, with A sitting to the left of B. Figures talk for 5 minutes, 20 seconds, before A begins kissing B. B appears receptive. A positions herself on her side, facing B. A places one hand on the right hip of B. A reaches for the waistline of B. B pulls backward and speaks to A. A responds and undoes B’s belt. B appears to laugh and speak to A, to which A responds seriously. A undoes the belt of B. B attempts to unbuckle the belt, which figure A. A places left leg over the legs of B, in a straddling position; B is forcefully pushed onto the rock. B was in an airport in Tucson, Arizona in 1995 on a layover, and was about to leave the bar when he spotted an episode of Law and Order playing on the shitty overhead TV. The man in the episode claimed he had been sexually abused. B was certain that certain events that occurred to B were in conjunction with sex, and that sex simply hurt in the way that it hurt for him. It had not occurred to B until the Law and Order episode playing on the shitty airport TV that certain factors affecting his mental health following being abused for seven years by his high school sweetheart were connected to said events, because he was not entirely sure that he hated A for what she had done. Sometimes, B still loved A, because A had insisted that she was doing certain things to B for his own good, and that now B had no one, and when he had been with A, he had had someone, and it hadn’t always been bad. So the TV in Tucson made him start thinking about what could have been possible. It occurred to B that perhaps he had been genuinely mistreated, and more importantly that perhaps he had been raped. It also briefly occurred to him that the containment crew examining the house he had lived in for seven years in close contact with her had seen this event that he so desperately wanted to forget play out in extreme detail hundreds, maybe thousands of times, and that he felt terribly ashamed and embarrassed about others knowing, because although he was called ‘B’ in the containment procedures he was still called in once a year without fail to be tested and badgered about his experiences in the house in the name of science, and that he would really rather not discuss the things A had done to him at all, and wished he could leave the Foundation and get a job at a Walmart somewhere. But that being said, B wasn’t entirely sure that A had mistreated him at all, because B wasn’t one to open up with many people and therefore had not experienced a tremendous number of things, good or bad. The next time B woke up with the marks A had made on his body in 1989 renewed in fresh blood on his body in 1995, he considered that perhaps there was a reason his powers acted out the things he felt in the way they did. And he felt a little relieved. He also felt terrified. But that aside, when A rises from B, SCP-4231-2 fills entirely with water over the course of 79 hours before dematerializing.

Excerpt from the confiscated document "The Curious Case of SCP-4231-B"

And then, of course, there is B.

The Foundation never seems to know exactly what to do with B, the placid Type Green who trapped himself at the top of the Montauk house with his newborn child to escape the ritual floods. He sits in a grey area between something containable and an innocent bystander caught up in something he could not control. B- upon interviewing- is not aware of SCP-231, or SCP-2317, or, quite frankly even SCP-4231, the reality construct he has accidentally created to escape the abuse inflicted by his closest childhood friend. When the initial teams reach SCP-4231, a chase ensures; they run B down through miles and miles of repeated passageways and winding corridors stretching from the roof of SCP-4231, and he simply expands it further. When the teams find that they are no longer able to contact base in North Access, they smoke him out with sleeping gas and drag him back to the world of the living. There's debate among the teams on the ground at whether or not he should be handcuffed onto the stretcher they hold him on. This is the first debate of many.

The problem with B is that he is something that- according to norms surrounding Type Greens at the time- he should not be: traumatized. It's evident as soon as they get him on the ground. Here is a Class 3 Type Green with PTSD and extreme dissociative symptoms so severe they manifest in recreating his own trauma in painfully evident symptoms: B vomits filthy water originating from the flood he attempted to escape. He wakes up from nightmares with bruises and cuts in very specific places on his body. His dissociative episodes cause mild spacial abnormalities in his surroundings. Certain traits about B become more solidified as time goes on, when he goes about adapting an entirely different personality to combat the trauma; the new B is eccentric, flamboyant, even bordering on inflammatory towards others. The deep mental distress and accompanying physical illness that keeps him bedridden in the two weeks immediately following his extraction from SCP-4231 disappear. The new B knows nothing, or, at least, appears to know very little about what has transpired to put him in this situation. He no longer inquiries about the child, or about A, or the town of North Access where he has lived all his life. The signs of body dysphoria stemming from the Montauk Procedure are either gone or deeply hidden.

But the nightmares, the flashbacks, and the dissociative episodes- along with their accompanying reality bending Freudian slips- persist.

In fact, the new B seems to embrace certain aspects of his inability to control himself as well as he did before the Cornwall Incident. The most evident symptom doctors notice while B is still in medical containment is his newfound reaction to cameras. He does not want to be filmed. While he asserted this verbally before his transition, doctors treating B chocked up this behavior to his mental instability and refused to comply with his distressed pleas to remain anonymous not only on camera, but in all aspects of the investigation, a reaction which seemed to intensify his mental symptoms dramatically. After his transformation, he simply obscures his face in any form of recorded media.

So this presents the Foundation with another interesting situation. Here they have placed an individual suffering from severe trauma in a cage, and begin to build an altar to fix it. The individual requests anonymity, including expunging of his birth name from all documents. The Foundation refuses to comply, citing accuracy and the continued tracing of his whereabouts throughout the rest of his life. He requests that he not be filmed. The Foundation refuses to comply on the grounds that his interview sessions are vital for study, and include his facial and body language and behavior. He requests that the Foundation stop probing for more information regarding the violence and abuse leading up to the Cornwall Incident, including information regarding A, SCP-231, SCP-2317, or SCP-4231, as much of his experience is highly distressing to him and/or has been forgotten or forcefully blocked out during his mistreatment, and some of it he was never made aware of at all. The Foundation does not comply, insisting that his continued compliance in the investigation of the Cornwall Incident and all related items and beings in containment is vital to the success of the Foundation's interference. He asks that they not test his vomit. He asks that he not be touched. He asks that they remove Hume reading electrodes and equipment from his neck and spine, and that they remove the reality anchor from his hospital room. B is accepting of treatment for his traumatic disorder and is responsive to medication and the beginning phases of grief and cognitive behavioral therapy- so long as anything he says remains confidential to him, and not recorded in Foundation record. All of these requests the Foundation denies, and B's condition in the first two weeks of his containment worsens significantly. He asks- in stunning, repeated detail- that he be left alone and out of the Foundation's documentation. Not only for now, but for the rest of his life. And the Foundation treats him more as an animal or as a test subject than as a person, and refuses to comply.

So he simply stops allowing it.

This is not technically a breach by Foundation standards. B still stays in his chamber and does not use his abilities to injure or attempt to leave the chamber. 'Breach', in Foundation terms, only applies if the entity leaves the chamber without the explicit permission of Foundation staff, meaning that many forms of civil disobedience by entities, including hunger strikes and refusal to speak to staff or move from chambers when requested, are commonly utilized. His radical transformation into a new personality appears to be less of a worsening of his dissociative condition and more of a transition into a being so blatantly disrespectful and infuriating that staff interaction results in only frustration. He now refuses all medication and therapy to control his condition, attempts to abruptly derail any conversation relating to his condition, uses his powers to obscure his face from any recorded imagery, and simply goes about breaking any equipment placed in his cell for monitoring his condition. He rips out IV lines and EKG patches, smashes Kant counters, and deliberately insults and belittles staff. The symptoms of his PTSD continue with consequences ranging from night terrors and panic attacks to dissociative episodes and reality affecting events, but he learns to mask the affects as soon as staff step in to respond, leading to a comical sort of whiplash: on one tape we see a nurse rush in to wake him from a nightmare as his traumatic injuries reappear and begin to bleed. She wakes him and helps him vomit up floodwater as usual, then inquires as to his condition, to which he responds- and I quote- "Nice legs, daisy dukes". When she leaves, B uses the resulting isolation to cry.
-Lady Agora, Sigilmaster, Translator, Worshipper of Many. 4/23/1995

Pigs (Thirteen Different Ones)


To: O5 [group]

Subject: SCP-4231-B

So it’s civil disobedience. I guess my reaction to that is that it really doesn’t seem like a big deal, seeing as -17 has dealt with full on hunger strikes in the past few years. One individual shouldn’t be a huge problem.


To: O5 [group]

Subject: re: SCP-4231-B

I was more under the impression that the question here was to contain or not to contain. Seeing the relevance of this issue, I think it would be best to lay out what we have so far here:

-Class 3 Type Green male in his mid-twenties. High control, placid temperament, abstinence code on his powers. Seems to see them as more of a medical disability than anything else.

-Worked in the now decimated GOC Ichabod campaign under the codename ‘Ukulele’. Apparently not too bad. Has a solid record under his belt- so solid that it borders on obsessive, and some of his latter kills are pretty gruesome.

-Was in an abusive relationship with another Type Green (SCP-4231-A, or SCP-231-1 depending on who you ask at the moment) for the past seven years. Unclear as to who the abuser was currently, due to the inherent abusive nature of many Type Greens in general. More info to come on that.

-Murdered SCP-231-1 soon after she gave birth to their child, who was taken from SCP-4231-B’s custody at the scene. Birth apparently coincided with the Cornwall Incident.

-Was pursued by task forces for roughly twenty-four hours, but had been running from the scene for longer.

-Deeply disturbed. They’re saying PTSD right now, with some heavily dissociative symptoms. Reality bending powers coincide with flashbacks and psychological symptoms when they occur. Problems sleeping, problems talking, problems remembering things and remaining grounded. Pretty nasty stuff.


To: O5 [group]

Subject: re: re: SCP-4231-B

“Unclear as to who the abuser was currently, due to the inherent abusive nature of many Type Greens in general.”

This is blatantly wrong. We know that A was the abuser and the orchestrator of this entire goddamn shitshow, and we have B’s traumatic imprints on the upstairs apartment to account for that, as well as his testimonies.


To: O5 [group]

Subject: re: re: re: SCP-4231-B

I don’t trust his testimonies. He killed the other one, didn’t he? He could have just as easily orchestrated this entire thing as a cover-up, including the traumatic imprinting. Look at the evidence. If he worked on Ichabod for so many years, he’s probably seen every type of imprinting in the book, and probably knows how to make a damn convincing one. This whole sudden personality change doesn’t bode well with his playing the victim, either. And why else would he be running away? And 8 already brought up the gruesome killings towards the end of his duration at the Insurgency. I don’t think he’s placid. I think he’s playing us like a fiddle.


To: O5 [group]

Subject: re: re: re: re: SCP-4231-B

If he was playing with us, we’d know by now. His Kant fingerprint would be through the roof. And we’d be dead.


To: O5 [group]

Subject: re: re: re: re: re: SCP-4231-B

There’s certainly a lot going on here, but my most pressing question is regarding Montauk itself.

If A was the abuser, she would also have to be the conductor of the Montauk Procedure, not only on B but on SCP-231-2 through SCP-231-7. There’s the very important point of how she managed impregnating those women without the aid of SCP-4231-B, and if he was involved, that destroys his story of having no knowledge that the procedure was taking place and in conjunction his story of abuse.


To: O5 [group]

Subject: re: re: re: re: re: re: SCP-4231-B

Genital and body modification aren’t uncommon in Type Greens, especially in those suffering from bodily dysmorphia or dysphoria. As for the sexual abuse of B- this isn’t surprising to me either, especially if B was coerced or wrongfully forced to consent under the threat of violence. Do we have an autopsy of A’s body yet?


To: O5 [group]

Subject: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: SCP-4231-B

Scranton is doing it. When he’s done, we also need to discuss if we’ll release the body to B or let Robert's anchor team take it.


To: O5 [group]

Subject: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: SCP-4231-B

So B has no control over his partner, as well as no control over his child? Are we just not going to give him any sense of closure at all?


To: O5 [group]

Subject: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: SCP-4231-B

That circles back to the ‘contain or not to contain’ concern. If he’s to be contained, then we have every right to put his child in better hands permanently, and in conjunction can do with the body what we wish. We also can’t ignore that B is a murderer who killed A- would we give a murderer rights to his child, or to his wife’s body, or to closure at all?

As for his mental changes- he seems very mentally ill to me, which is furthering the case for containment for both his safety and the safety of others regardless of his role at Cornwall.


To: O5 [group]

Subject: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: SCP-4231-B

He should absolutely have the right to closure in my eyes.


To: O5 [group]

Subject: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: SCP-4231-B

Hi everyone,

I see that you’ve been busy with this issue. There’s a lot to unpack here, and with the cleanup only two weeks in progress I’m confident there will be more information to come. The issues concerning B’s right to closure, as well as his rights to testify for himself and refuse or consent to various testing procedures, are issues for the Ethics committee; I propose the council meet to discuss solely the handling of the containment situation with SCP-4231 and all its various assets.

For now, SCP-231-2 through SCP-231-7 are being held at Site-17 high security holding cells alongside SCP-4231-B. The child seems to be relatively normal, and is being held in a lower security holding situation with various accommodations for her extremely young age. Alternative solutions about adoption in the Cornwall area are up for consideration in the meantime.

Remember to proceed as carefully as possible with issues pertaining to the Montauk procedure, the details of which are currently being extracted from the Erikesh Codex and lined up with new evidence being extracted from the SCP-4231-3 archeological dig.

The containment for SCP-4231-B remains at basic medical monitoring for the time being. Testing will resume when decisions on his mental health, involvement, threat level, and rights are made. I suspect a more pressing concern regards the Montauk ritual, and the apparent consequences that will have. B is the least of our worries at the moment. We are running out of time.

I will send out the conference meeting times shortly.



Regarding the Montauk Chamber: Excerpt from the confiscated 1994 document “Notes on Montauk”

The Foundation does not neglect its chambers.

It is easy for us, as onlookers, to see the chambers as a relative footnote to a more complicated piece. Largely this is what we see; in the report overview we see the Containment Procedures, a short paragraph brushed over by the report writers and those being briefed on what the chamber is holding alike. The safe object is contained by a locker. A humanoid, contained in a room. The chambers are second hand entities; we are not interested in the box, but rather the jewels it holds, and it’s in this way that the procedures are neglected by those who it does not seem to affect.

It’s a given that the Foundation is strict in its following of the cover paper, that awe-inspiring summary article with sheafs and sheafs of raw test data, paperwork, months or years of observation behind it. No, it’s silly to think that that the Foundation would invest so much time and effort into something that would not matter, and in reality we as the cover page people all miss the extreme amount of Disney World Magic that goes into the chambers, most of it kept from the summary reports we see as unimportant details. The Foundation has people for this job. If you are reading the summary report, you are not one of those people. If you are one of those people, your job does not lie in the main report, but in the interpretation of the report. Foundation Containment Engineers review the containment team’s sheaves and sheaves of files and design something that borders on a prison, a feat of architecture- some might call it art- and they do it every day, with each SCP we see a report for. Isn’t that grand? A 5x5 cell for an electrochemical anomaly becomes a purely mechanical containment vessel void of electric components. A little reality bender’s room uses pink wallpaper to cover steel reinforcements and the occasional strategic pressure plate and panic button. The engineers read the endless papers and discuss amongst themselves; they find the essence of what is needed. They are building a prison cell and a home and a tool for science and altars, yes, they build altars too, and the altars are oh so carefully tended, so methodically pacified.

There is not a hair out of place on a Foundation altar. It is the bridge between science and religion. The pig’s blood is measured in liters with graduated cylinders in a prep room and the black cats are purebred for the purpose of the slaughter. The irony in how relentless the Foundation is with its worship of a hundred, two hundred, three, four, five hundred different angry deities. Not even a contained god’s most devout followers on the outside are as ruthless as this; there are no murders on the altar of a decaying backwoods church and no blood spills on the floor. This is part of the chamber, part of the grand design, that sweet Disney Magic that makes it all happen. The chambers of the Foundation are made to maximize the effect; the magnifying glass using the sun to fry an ant into the pavement.

I do not know of the men who built the Montauk chamber. I do not know if they forgot, if they were allowed to forget. Montauk- and I will say this many times in many different ways- is an illness in that it spreads to all who touch it, and this is a perfect demonstration of this principle. Who were they? Where did they live, and where did they go? The hands who cure the altar metal are the hands that praise the god; the men who draw a row of little boxes and label them SCP-231-2, SCP-231-3, all the way through the 7th with their fine felted drafting pens and cruel straight edges are the men who locked those girls in the hell they made.

But I digress in my ramblings. The chamber, yes.

The chamber discussed in the 231 document does what it is allotted to disclose. We are told the following:

-The Foundation needs two sets of operational staff: staff to complete procedure-110-Montauk, and staff to watch it. This is aside from all the staff that aren’t usually discussed in the Foundation- mutinous staff (at least one crew per SCP), containment medical staff to work on anomalies (especially important here), a warden and guards (this facility specifically is one of the highest security sites in the world), and janitorial and cafeteria staff. You will wonder why this is important. I promise you that it is important.

-Everyone who enters SCP-231 has to be transported through several different routes and means of transportation. This begs the question: if you’re blindfolded, and I’m blindfolded, then who’s flying the plane? There are people out there in the world who know the exact location of SCP-231’s facility, and I must admit, not even I have seen it with my own eyes. I know where it is in theory, although I am not at liberty to say that here. As for the route itself- well. That doesn’t matter here. Some say that it doesn’t matter at all.

-The personnel who are in the observation booth wear full-body protective covering that obscures not only their face, but also their voice. It’s implied that even menial staff on site must wear this clothing.

-The personnel who are in the observation booth are to remain in their own provided quarters when they are not attending the booth. So for two months, these individuals see only their own face in their bathroom mirror and the girl’s face in the chamber. They hear only their own voice in their quarters and the girl’s voice over the observation booth microphone.

Those are the two major things discussed. You will notice here that we aren’t told about the chamber itself. It’s typical in cover documents for the authors of the containment teams involved with sapient entities to disclose both the means of external containment- special procedures that allow the SCP to remain contained- and the means of internal containment, the mental protection, books, entertainment, the regulations of interaction. We are given the vague external containment methods, and nothing else. So, we’re left to speculate- that is, unless you’ve heard the stories, or done some slightly illegal digging in the archive site in Quebec. You would be surprised what the Foundation keeps around at those low-security archive sites.

The chamber of SCP-231 is a concrete monstrosity in an undisclosed desert. It’s entirely subterranean, but boasts a maze-like array of hallways and dead ends to reach the real containment site at all; not surprising in modern Foundation terms, I know, but very innovative for when the site was constructed in late 1989. You may be wondering how they managed to build it so quickly, and the answer lies in the fact that the site being erected in that plot of land at the time was a small Safe-class site, which was quickly readapted to the Keter arrangements after the famed Cornwall Incident. So the layout of SCP-231’s containment is unusual even outside the norm of unusual; there are abandoned lockers in dead-end hallways, empty rooms with eternally pending designations, lights that are never turned on. Think a cave. A long, winding, claustrophobic cave.

At the heart of the building are the chambers and the dormitories.

The chambers are a set of seven- yes, seven, but only six are filled- humanoid containment cells. They are made of concrete. There isn’t much more that I could discern from what I was able to steal, and from what I’ve heard through the grapevine, except that each chamber is neighbored to an investigation room for the purposes of the Montauk procedure. The one-way glass lies to the right of each chamber, with the next chamber on the right from that, and the adjoining room, etc. When the investigation team assigned to this SCP watches the procedure, they see it from the ground floor looking in, so the danger is only a sheet of glass away. I’ve heard conflicting reports over whether or not there are bars on the window. On one hand, I suspect that they are; generally on larger sites, all ground-level observation booths are reinforced. On Site-17, for example, all windows have a carbon shield on top of the reinforced glass; but on Site-19, many ground-level containment booths are reinforced with metal bars. That being said, Site-19 is the older of the two, and has a history based in the Stalin era, complete with running-ins with the Russian government- but again, I digress. The history of these buildings is a subject for another essay altogether.

What is vital to note about this setup is the focus on visibility. Visibility- and what it causes- are part of the core of the procedure, a hallmark of Montauk as an age-old religious rite. Could you see the procedure through the bars? Most likely, but would they risk it? Again with the fixation on precision, the exactness of worship. I suspect there are no bars between the observers and the subject.

In the observation booth, there are five personnel. It’s not clear how the committee behind this containment decided on 5.

So I would like to lay out a scene for you, dear reader, of what it’s like to work on SCP-231.

You arrive at the site, and they have you change into your new uniform before you leave it, upon which you are greeted by a member of support staff, also in suit, who then leads you through a shabby-looking disguised outpost under the ground. There’s an elevator for the first three floors, and from there you must proceed on foot. How far down do you go? How long does it take? You see empty lockers, empty doors, remnants of a site that does not hold what it believes it holds, or of residual humanity. The way you are taken is nonsensical. You are not informed of how to behave, or what your job is; they take you to your quarters and they hand you a booklet, and that booklet outlines your job for the next two months. The quarters have no internet or radio, because access to local channels might hint to you as to which desert you currently reside in; although you do have a TV attached to a single DVD player. It cannot connect to channels on the outside. They bring you food. You have a list of DVDs and books you may request, and this is what you may do when you are not working. You do not have a phone, but you have a bed. And you have a bathroom with a mirror. And before you leave each morning to watch the girl, you have your uniform that you wear. And it obscures your face, and your voice. And everyone else also has their face and voice obscured. So the only face and voice you see in your two months there is the girl’s and your own, and it’s in this state that you see the Montauk procedure. Multiple times. Over and over. And then you go back to your cell- sorry, your quarters- and you sit.

After your two months are over, you are shipped back to the real world. And most likely, that experience has changed you. Most likely, you are much different. Most likely- and this is the kicker, this is the thing that they fucked up with- you will never be the same. And this is what they call the Montauk procedure.

It isn’t about what happens in the chamber. The god doesn’t care about that. What it cares about is that when you leave, you are not the same, and that is the essence of the procedure. It is torture for not only the girl, but also for yourself.

Think about how many people go through. Two months. Five people per girl. So in the beginning, in 1989, that would be 30 people per two-month period. 360 people per year walking away with the red right hand of god on their shoulder. In less than 3 years, 1,000 people are changed. The will of a god is the control of the worshipper, and it’s a funny thing, Montauk, because what do you do? What does it mean to be controlled by fear? Do you cure yourself of it? Do you learn to live alongside it? Do you kill yourself? Do you strive to live? How do you free yourself from the Montauk procedure; how do you kill a god?

I have been a sigilmaster my entire life. I am a witch of the old breed- I have been taught many things about gods, and I have seen many in many forms. In 1967, when I was pregnant with my first and only child, I was approached on commission by the Foundation to decrypt the Erikesh Codex. This was not my first commission for a consult from them or a related agency, so I took the job and translated the best I could.

The codex itself is a subject for yet another essay. The runes were old and strange- I recall it being very difficult. I finished the job shortly after my son was born. If I had known to what conclusion my translation of the work would lead, I’m not sure if I would have taken it. If I had known it would find its way into the hands of my son’s childhood friend- if I had known what would happen to him- If I had known. If I had not left him early. If I had taken him with me when I ran. If his father was still alive. If I had killed him as soon as I knew of his abilities, instead of raising him to never lift a finger in the face of danger to himself. What would be different?

See how Montauk has spread to me, dear reader? See how this procedure operates? How many people see it and are changed…and how many are changed from seeing their loved ones changed? How many people wake in the night, their fear feeding a hungry god?

My biggest fear regarding the rituals of SCP-231 is this: that it is not about the children, and has never been. That the chains break when the red god wants them to- when enough people are fearful.
-Lady Agora, Sigilmaster, Translator, Worshipper of Many. 2/28/2004.

A Brief Quote on the Ichabod Campaign From Someone Many People Want To Kill

“And people always ask me, when I tell them this statistic [that 99% of Type Greens will progress to stage 4 of their condition within their lifetime], ‘What about the others?’ or ‘What about the 1% that don’t?’ and that’s the primary concern I’m seeking to address today. The Ichabod Campaign is a hard thing to come to terms with for many people studying Hume Theory behind the curtain.

It’s important to note when addressing these things that, contrary to popular belief, Type Greens were not prematurely killed until recently. For a long time the industry standard was to only seek out Type Greens when they had caused something to draw attention to themselves to necessitate their being killed; the sudden disappearance of someone important, for example, or a string of murders with little causation attached, which would be completed with a chaotic and unorganized hunting mission usually described as a ‘witch hunt’. It wasn’t until the development of Hume theory and subsequent primitive Kant Counters in the late 1950s that it became possible to determine and quantify the disposition of power in certain individuals, and it wasn’t until the Global Occult Coalition launched the Ichabod Extermination Campaign in the early 1970s that it became the norm to seek out and destroy these individuals as they came about into the world.

The Ichabod Campaign was a logical next step with the development of long-range and more accurate Kant devices. I don’t blame the industry for taking that turn, especially when it seemed like such a damn perfect solution to such a damaging problem. If you could prevent a Type Green from entering the phase 4 power stage, you could also prevent the Type Green from entering the phase 2 power stage and all the precarious testing of boundaries that came with it; why wouldn’t you? To outsiders it would sound like something along the lines of genocide, but it was different behind the curtain where you could see the damaging effects these individuals could cause (keyword could).

It was this kind of thinking that kept the Foundation from immediately lashing out to shut down this campaign. We didn’t agree with it, and we didn’t condone it, either. It would be a lie to say that we never initiated individual missions to kill certain individuals prematurely, but we never launched a movement on such scale and with such force as Ichabod, and we didn’t protest it either, because the thing about Ichabod was that it was effective. Ethical? Moral? Both are in the eye of the beholder, but damages caused by Type Greens of all power levels and abilities dropped dramatically in the 1970s onward, and we turned a blind eye to it. There would be people always saying why the hell didn’t you stop it, because had it not been Type Greens you would have used every resource in your possession to stop that campaign before it got off the ground, and that’s true, but it was because Type Green attacks and level changes before Ichabod were so deadly and damaging to the outside that it was overlooked.

It’s like this: Why don’t animal rights activists speak out against people using mousetraps in their homes? Because mice have been pests for centuries. They’ve caused countless deaths through disease and they cause damage to the building. The same people will speak out against their being used in research because of its apparent unethical standard, and yet won’t speak out against them being senselessly slaughtered via suffocation. We don’t even know if the mice they're killing deserve to be killed, or if they’re just babies, and we don’t care, because if we were to let mice roam around our homes in large numbers it would be catastrophic. And the same thing is with Type Greens; people speak against their containment, the use of them in studies regarding psychic ability and Hume theory, in Kant counter tests, but most of all they speak out against the mutilation of their bodies for [REDACTED], a practice that remains common today.

But no one spoke against Ichabod. And so, Ichabod never stopped. It’ll be reaching its 30th anniversary this year. The average Ichabod agent has about 50-150 kills under their belt over the course of their career; the average Ichabod strike team can have anywhere from 300-500. The reality is that containing every Type Green would be impossible because Type Greens are more common than it’s usually let on.

The next question commonly asked is then what about SCP-239? What makes her so special? And the answer is that she’s here for testing. She’s here to make a better world, but she isn’t special. The average lifespan of a Type Green is 19 years old, because they most often begin transitioning to stage 4 at around 17. 239 was born in 2003 and has been in stage 3 for 4 years as of writing. Maybe she’ll be part of the 1%, a perfect case study as to how containing and raising these children in an environment that gives them clear boundaries and expectations for them while allowing them a safe environment to explore their abilities has significant impact on how they develop as adults. Maybe she’ll enter stage 4 and destroy us all.

But for now, the statistics are startling: In its heyday in the 80s, the GOC's Ichabod campaign killed nearly 75% of all Type Greens, but regulations have tightened since then. The lifespan of a Type Green 'in the wild', referring to greens not being affected, tracked, or protected by a GoI, is around 19; around the same age that these individuals often induce their own demise by entering stage 4 of development.

In the 1980s, the average lifespan was 8 years old, because this was the age that Ichabod often found and killed them. And we did nothing.”

-[REDACTED], February 8th, 2010


It’s the mid 1980s, and he’s just gotten the blood washed off his arms from the last mission, patched himself up, scheduled himself for another so he wouldn’t have to go home, and he calls Lilly like he always does and there’s something about the way she calls him a liar for the millionth time that breaks him. Maybe it was the stress, maybe it was the six months of solid missions, maybe it was the lack of sleep or the way his hands trembled, but he’s Agent Ukulele standing in the telephone booth at the bus station and he starts crying while still on the phone, while she’s still berating him for some stupid little mistake he made on a check he sent home. He’s stupid, he’s fat, and no one will ever love him like she does, he’s so goddamn lucky to have her, he’s permanently indebted to her for everything she does for him, and more than anything he’s a liar. His memories are wrong, there are things she did not say and things she did not do. In a week this phone call will not exist, because Francis is crazy- yes- Francis is in the process of losing control of his powers, and it’s only a matter of time before they find out, and he’d better come home away from where they could find him, he’d better come home where she could keep an eye on him, he was dying, he was going to die, and only she could save him.

It’s one of those moments that he’d see more in the Foundation, in another life far from now- a brief mental lapse, a break of a stitch in a seam. He hangs up the phone and shakes and sobs and thinks about how he’s losing control and wonders how long he’ll have left before his own fellow agents find out and murder him. He wonders if it’ll be fast, and if they’ll kill Lilly too, and how much of his life he was making up with unintentional little slips of Hume malfunction. He wonders if he’s making this up, too. He wonders if he’s going crazy, or if he’s already too far gone. He can’t help but cry.

The breakdown is fast and complete. He sits on the floor of the phone booth at a dingy greyhound station and sobs through a mixture of panic and grief, and then just like that the announcement for the next bus comes over the intercom and he switches back from one person to another.

Things were crumbling. His breath is fast and his emotions fading like fog burnt in the morning light. Time was running out and things were crumbling, and he isn't quite sure what he senses that is changing, or what he needs to stop or do or even if he can do either of those things at all. She used to be different. She used to be kind.

Something was changing in her, thinks Francis from a dark recess of his mind he doesn't want to reminisce on. She was changing- and soon she would be no different from anything he would be paid to kill. Wasn’t that horrible? Wasn't that just fucking terrible?

Unless it was him who was changing. Unless it was him who was turning into a monster.

Francis stops crying so abruptly it hurts. Agent Ukulele stands. It's a moment that his brain blacks out of his memory. He walks out of the phone booth more bored than anything, and gets on the bus to a remote Type Green lair in Houston, and some part of him cries you are different, you are changing, and something terrible is about to happen.

ad undas

July 30th, 1989, 1300 hours, Undisclosed Facility in Newcastle, England

‘Coda’- as they were known- leans close to the screen, knee bouncing intently.

They were an exceptionally young Coda to take that rank. Head dispatcher and Quartermaster wasn’t a job that was taken lightly at the GOC; at the right hand of D.C. al Fine, it was a momentous role for even an experienced worker. But they were smart, this Coda. Exquisitely so. The best they could find on short notice- maybe the best they could find, period. Not one for people, but had focus like a laser beam, stamina like a bull. Focus and stamina had not been the strong suits of the last Coda. It had been a gory end for him.

The new Coda didn’t like to think about that. They were here to do a job- and the job had not been kind to them lately. The individual sitting hunched over the broad computer bank spanning the length of the room could feel the winding down of the Cornwall mission in the strain in their back, the tightness in their shoulders, the bags under their eyes. They have been up for nearly thirty-two hours. But it’s almost over, they tell themselves in the tight fluorescent of the command room, headphones blaring a harsh mix of radio feeds so bright and blunt that they know they’ll feel the throbbing buzz in their ears for hours afterwards; it has to be almost over now.

The last nine months of Coda’s work had gone approximately like this:

It was a routine Hume check, and the agents in the squad had reported to them what they had found. Coda had told them to peruse the radiation (it had been mild then- a quick in and out). They did not return. They sent out more teams. Those did not return. They dispatched further teams to investigate, tracked it to one single house and the lake beside it, and then suddenly they did not return. This Coda had put all their eggs in one basket as they moved nearly 200 Ichabod campaign members- nearly half of their entire division- into the town of North Access over the course of the past nine months. The threat had been escalating. The reality of the town was becoming increasingly unstable overall, but in particular the state of the flower shop where agents went and did not return was disturbing to say the least.

The last thirty minutes of Coda’s work had gone approximately like this:

They send out a squad of 30 when the Hume levels drop, suddenly and without warning. It’s a weak spot they aren’t expecting and Coda practically screams into the headset to take the bombs and head out, because goddamn it if they can pull this off this whole thing will be over in half a minute. The squad leaders Coda is talking to directly report that there’s some flash flooding from the rain, and they tell them to try to drive through it. The squads say they can’t.

So Coda tells them to walk.

Some would question Coda’s ethics regarding this part. Could the teams run away through the water fast enough to escape the impending explosion, or any retaliation from the Type Green lair housed within the building? It was hard to tell, but one reason Coda had been picked for this job was for their risk taking. So this was a gamble they decided to take that night.

The water is coming down harder. The bombs: 25 pounds each, 6 of them, fitted with a short-term reality anchor device. Experimental. The goal was to rip through the outer field and blow up the house. The bombs aren’t known for their ease of access, so the men hurry to set up the wires and batteries, and in a half hour the water goes from being knee-deep to waist-deep and the bombs are ready and Coda can barely hear the commanders over the unending downpour.

And this is when the new Coda makes their first mistake: they hesitate.

They could have gotten the strike team out of there in ten minutes if they needed to. They could have done a thousand things differently if they knew what was about to happen. Men can swim in water, they thought. The water wouldn’t be an issue, they assumed. The water was up to their chests now, they heard. But that wouldn’t be a problem. That wouldn’t be a problem. That wouldn’t be a problem until it got hot, very quickly- once the bombs were set and being splashed with the newfound waves- the water started getting hot, and it’s a slow progression in which Coda finds that this is happening. The commanders say that it’s unusually warm. Then they say that it’s getting hot, like a sauna, and then they stop being so vocal about it because it stops being funny, and Coda is left reeling, trying to find answers and suddenly getting none.

The bombs do not detonate. The equipment was not made to be submerged. How funny is that? How incredibly coincidental, intoxicatingly cruel that of course the equipment was not made to withstand a boiling flood.

So Coda listens on their headset as, seven hours away, the water flooding the town of North Access, Cornwall comes to a sudden boil. They jump from keyboard to keyboard and over the next half an hour every single agent they have access to the headset of goes offline, one by one. And then the agents back at camp go offline, one by one. And then all they could hear on any of the online headsets was the endless rush of rain.

The recordings are somewhere. Coda has never listened to them, but they know that somewhere in the depths of the shallow GOC archives, they exist. They consist of what they assume to be roughly 2 hours of the sounds of death, followed by 48 hours of Coda asking repeatedly for a response. There were a couple times they reached their search beyond their boundaries into the neighboring towns, onto some long-wave stations

(accidentally giving out a homing signal redirected from half-functioning abandoned equipment in north access, to be picked up on not one, but two separate occasions by a classified outpost in london)

but they came back. And there was always nothing.

And there continued to be nothing until the Foundation crews came, and the real mess had begun.


Chestnut had never felt such pain.

She knew when the stable began to flood that things were not how they were supposed to be. THE MAN usually kept her stable clean, and when it wasn’t, tied her reins to the post outside to give him room to clean it. And the stable had never flooded like this before. It was up past her hooves before he burst in- slamming back the barn doors to shed light on her and the five other horses, who had been getting restless in the past hour of persistent flooding- panting, soaked, and throwing up the latches on the horses’ stalls.

One by one they ran. Stormy charged out the front with no shortness of panic, hooves slamming into the six inches of water on the wooden floor like thunder into the greasy black world beyond the swaying stable lights. Rio was dumb with panic at the opening of her stall, rearing up and tearing at THE MAN, eyes rolling in their sockets- she hit the barn door on her way out in her disorientation, almost sending her careening across the submerged grass before she caught her footing and dashed into the night. Gulch managed to break down the door to his stall before THE MAN could reach the latch, frightened by the rate of the water pouring into the barn from a knothole in the wood behind him, and bolted with the precision of a racehorse from the swaying building, and then it was just Chestnut and THE MAN, and THE MAN had a saddle.

She was his best and brightest, and certainly his bravest. Not but nine months ago had his wife- the town librarian- disappeared into thin air, and it had been Chestnut he had gone to in his grief. She was spooked, but not like the others. Never like the others. And the car wouldn’t start and the town was going under, and damn if they weren’t making it out of this mess alive.

The water was significantly deeper outside the barn. It came up to her knees when she exited, cold and harsh and filthy. Through the gale force winds she could see cars and buildings submerged deeper than she had ever seen anything submerged before, and the water rushed outward with seemingly no direction but the lake. She turned in tandem with THE MAN. They were leaving. They were going away. She never imagined that they would go away.

Her muscles pounded through the water in an uncoordinated chaos, slipping and churning, gaining ground and losing it, finding potholes and submerged fences that tore through her flank and threw her off balance, but she remembered what they were doing: AWAY, AWAY, they were going AWAY from the strange feelings she had felt towards the lake for months, AWAY from the missing woman and AWAY from the strange deer-horned creature she had witnessed take her nine months before. It was clear that THE MAN was struggling to see through the storm, and she had only her feet to guide her as to where the water was and where it wasn’t; when her feet hit the pavement of the entrance to the town she surged forward and ripped from the tide down the road, still struggling in the dark and the rain, bristling and hurting. She and THE MAN were going AWAY, and although she did not know where that was she was certain that THE MAN would.

The water was gaining fast, but Chestnut was faster. The trees lining the path to the town stretched like talons as they whipped past her. THE MAN did not think to bring reins, but it had not mattered then and did not matter now; he threw his arms around her neck and held on, still struggling to see where she was taking him. It looked like the town entrance from the shadows. It looked like the world outside, and then-

-It looked like the other side of town.

Chestnut slammed her front feet into the water and screamed backwards at the heat. She couldn’t see, but THE MAN could, and what he saw was an endless lake, a boiling fathom of water they could not see the reaches of through the inky black of the storm. He pulled up on her mane and brought her backwards, stunned, reeling- had they made it? Was the world outside gone? Were they really back inside-

(the world was filled with screaming on the other, more populated side of town)

-the boiling pit?

Chestnut followed his grip, but her gait was slumping quickly. They didn’t backtrack so much as they tripped backwards down the quickly diminishing unsubmerged track of road to the exit, or the entrance, and then they were back by the barn- he could see it through the trees as lightning flashed.
The water was gaining. He could not see. They were at the entrance of town and water fell down the path from the other side, now, boiling and rippling until he was making Chestnut dance on a few yards of precarious dark path like a tortured circus creature, thrashed by red tides, played with by a storm-laden marionette. Smaller and smaller became the space and harder the storm raged, the rain dissipating into steam before hitting the surface like some kind of warped lava of improbability- shouldn’t it all be steam by now? Why was it still expanding? How long had they been on their little island of torture, and how long had they danced? Seconds? Minutes? Hours?

(Chestnut had never felt such pain)

She fell. He fell. Like frogs in a boiling pot, it took far longer than was merciful.

The 80 Hours

The doctor doesn’t come, and Francis vaguely wonders why- he does not hear the flood from the lake shattering the flower shop’s windows in a sea of boiling blood and flesh on the ground floor- but it ultimately does not matter, because the baby comes in less than an hour and suddenly there are three of them in the room: Lilly, Francis, and the little baby girl.

Francis didn’t know there was any love left in his body to give, but his baby girl is heavier than he expected, warmer, more alive and lovable then he ever could know. He wraps her in linens from down the hall and holds her while Lilly dozes. When he touches the palm of her tiny hand, her little fingers wrap around his own, and Francis is suddenly more fiercely protective then he ever thought he could be. He hadn’t felt love like this in years. It makes him want to cry.


Lilly had chosen the name, because Lilly chose everything. She told him that they had discussed it, but Francis knew that they hadn’t truly discussed anything since he’d come home from the GOC full time. Just another lie that he hadn’t challenged. It wasn’t worth it. It never was. But he thought it would do, and it was growing on him: Meri, like something written in a forgotten Latin script.

In his muddled mess of emotions Francis can’t help but picture a situation where this works out. Lilly goes back to her old self, the way she was when he loved her. They don’t use their powers anymore. They live here, in the house with the little backyard and the lake. They’d make ends meet because with Lilly working downstairs they wouldn’t need to pay for daycare, and he would probably have to go off for a while, back on the road with the GOC under his old codename with his old team, but he’d send the money home and it would all be worth it for the two of them. He’s suddenly calling up numbers that he hasn’t thought about in months: £1,000 for a class 4 Type Green if he can get it under a week. £500 if he can get it under a month. Up to £5,000 for a high stakes hunt. Less if he hunted with the team- the earnings would be split between them- but he had something to come home for now, and something to live for. He was good at being an agent, and he would get better and the stakes would get higher and he would have to hunt alone, eventually- would have to go undercover or something and really put everything he could on the line- but those missions could pay best of all. And if he earned enough he could come home and see his little girl, spend a month living as a normal person in a normal town with his gun and walkie talkie stowed away. And if Meri was a Type Green, too- like both her parents were- well. They would make it work. She would be okay. There would be Christmases and birthdays and all this mess between he and Lilly would heal up and everything might be just fine after all and they’d never talk about it again. Water under the bridge, little family unit. Ice cream in the summer. Swimming in the lake.

It could work out, thought Francis, imagining a future where the rifle he’d slid under their bed for this moment was instead tucked away in the closet by the stairs where he kept it while off duty, leaned against the back corner with the umbrellas like a prop in a gallows humor silent film. He’d waited in the kitchen until Lilly had a customer in the flower shop downstairs before going to get it, and that had been a week ago now. Was he still sure that this was what he needed to do? Kill the mother of his child? Why? For vengeance? Because she was too far gone and had been for far too long? He didn’t feel angry in the way he saw men murdering their wives on TV.

It wouldn’t work out, thinks Francis next. The next step after this was marriage, and some deep part of him- some primal corner of his subconscious who knew how this would have to end- knew that he could not do this much longer. Meri would not fix Lilly, because nothing could fix Lilly. It was the same chain of events that he’d seen in all the Type Greens he’d killed in the GOC, and he’d never questioned those diagnoses, made by someone else behind a computer screen hundreds of miles away.

Yes, it was now or never. Now, or she wouldn’t stop for the next eighteen years, and when Meri moved out she would finally manage to kill him, if he didn’t manage to do it first. Leaving was out of the question- who knew what she would do in her condition? What if she went on some kind of rampage-

(Francis does not hear the boiling water lapping the lowest step now, the baseboards around the cashier counter, trickling down the steps to the basement where he has not stepped foot for months upon months. they have been screaming upward and francis has been screaming downward. a missed connection. a dash of fate)

-or killed their little girl, or killed someone else-

(the GOC has been surrounding the outskirts of the town for weeks and at night they go marching in to the home where francis sleeps that they call things like ‘den’ and ‘lair’. from the apartment lilly does not allow him to leave he sees the same repeat of a clear fathomless sky with the lake below from the window in the bedroom and all is alright in his world, he has been so naive, him, with all his experience with type greens, with being one himself, how could he have let this happen she has killed forty-eight people by the time the cornwall incident properly begins and no one knows, inside or outside, exactly how she did it or exactly where they went-)

-no, he needed to do this. For himself. For his little girl.

For Lilly, to end her suffering.

So here he is as the boiling water rises at the first day of the rest of his life. His girlfriend and best friend of as long as he can remember is lying in bed and she’s beautiful and terrible, a blade contorted to cut the thin flesh of reality with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel. The way she calls to him catches him off-guard in its softness, it’s love, Francis, can I see her? and he smiles and sits on his side of the bed and she’s laying on her side of the bed and for a moment, he sees every reason he ever loved her, laid before him like a cartographer’s map. Here is the point where you became the frog, it says, and here is the point where she boiled the water. Here is the solar plexus of your desire. Here is your nadir in her eyes, in the way she lies so evenly to you, made you think you were the one spiraling into the grips of a class 4 condition. She’s built this house like she’s built her rituals, and she’s built her rituals like she’s reconstructed you- patched and reeling in endless contempt, an animal entwining itself only further, as sure as the water rises and boils for an old and hungry god.


“I love you,” says Francis.

“Touch me,” says Lilly.


The lake is red. It fills the streets of North Access and it floods all the forests, the little creeks and streams. It seeks out the hiding. It drags out the weakened. It boils anything in its path with the righteousness of the lord-

-and Francis touches her, first passing off the baby into her arms, then taking either sides of her face in his hands.

“I love you,” he repeats. He doesn’t know why he loves her still, after everything she’s done to him. Shouldn’t he hate her? Why doesn’t he hate her?

Because you would rather be treated like shit then risk being alone, says a voice deep inside him, and all at once he longs for the other life, the one where she’s magically repaired. He repeats it like a prayer in his mind, i-would-make-ends-meet-somehow-and-i-would-protect-you-and-meri-somehow-and-i-would-love-you-somehow-right-up-until-i-couldnt-anymore-whenever-or-wherever-that-would-be-i-would-find-a-way-to-believe-you-were-loving-me-and-treating-me-right-and-i-would-just-keep-letting-things-go-and-being-tired-and-not-knowing-why-and-having-you-tell-me-how-worthless-i-am-and-waiting-for-the-day-you-want-sex-again-and-again-i-cant-stop-you-from-it-because-i-freeze-with-terror-and-i-would-still-love-you-for-meri-and-for-that-life-and-for-who-you-used-to-be-no-matter-if-it-takes-ten-years-or-twenty-years-or-for-the-rest-of-my-life-there-has-to-be-a-way-i-could-keep-pretending-forever-

She turns away, abruptly, towards the door and suddenly the moment is here, because she is distracted by the water beginning to pool under the door to their bedroom, the water billowing steam.
“Francis?” she says without moving his head, and he takes his hands away and soundlessly draws on some lifesaving pool of GOC soldier within him to go for the gun, under the bed, and he almost misses it, “There’s something I need to tell you-”

But she doesn’t end up telling him, because in another few seconds she’s dead and Francis takes the baby and runs from the water. He bursts out of the bedroom to find it ankle deep on the top floor of their home, searing into his flesh like a hot knife. The entire town doesn’t rest in a crater- how the hell was the water going upwards? Meri is screaming from the sound of the gunshot and Francis is so shocked into silence, between the scalding of his own flesh and killing his best friend in the world and the fact that the water has submerged everything but the hallway to his left, and there is no way to go at first and then suddenly, there is.

Francis does not register much of the next 80 hours. He doesn’t think that he’s ever run for so long in his life. Up the stairs at the end of the hallway and he’s next to the closest door with the umbrellas with the silent film black comedy gun and he’s running past the bathroom where he used to wake up and go to vomit in the nights after Meri was conceived, and he’s running past the kitchen where she would sit and tell him what shit he was, and he’s running past the bedroom where her body is laid out dead on the bed and past the empty nursery and up another flight of stairs and he’s at the umbrella cabinet again and up and up and up and the water kept rising and the baby was heavy in his arms but stopped crying eventually and every once in a while the bedroom door is closed or something big and obscured is writhing in the tub and Francis does not stop, does not look to see if the flood is coming, does not halt even for the men chasing him in armored gear. He runs from an old and all-encompassing god in the lake below that he’s been chained to in a ritual that has not been attempted for a thousand years. He runs from something that he cannot place- his own fear, or from the house? From Lilly? From the men in black armor? From North Access? Does he think that if he runs far enough and fast enough that he will no longer surface back where he started? Is he running from an old sort of concept, a spirit of a flood and of endless passageways that will now pursue him for the remainder of his life:

Montauk? Was that what he was afraid of, even if he could not place it? Even when he runs the same track endlessly in his dreams? Montauk, as it’s written in the old texts. The pressuring fear. The hand of the red god.

He runs until the gas bombs they throw up the stairs make him too tired to continue, and just like that it’s over.

SCP-4231-B Test Notes

On 12/01/1989, investigators began a heavy series of questioning on SCP-4231-B regarding the specifics of the Montauk Procedure- which he had endured several months prior- and on the nature of his sexual molestation and abuse at the hands of SCP-4231-A. Upon beginning the operation, SCP-4231-B proceeded to remove his shoes and socks, as well as a small container of nail polish. He then began to silently apply the nail polish (“Beach Pink” coloration) to his toe and finger nails. After 45 minutes of continuous painting, Agent Youlen was given permission by oversight to remove the paint from the vicinity of SCP-4231-B, as to better proceed with questioning. Questioning resumed 2 minutes later. SCP-4231-B allowed his finger and toenails to dry for approximately 10 minutes, during which he did not speak to investigators. After 10 minutes, SCP-4231-B removed a second bottle of nail polish from his left shoe (“Gecko Green” coloration) and began a second coat of paint. This cycle of confiscation and reappearance of alternative bottles of polish continued for 5 hours, at which point testing was abandoned. SCP-4231-B answered no questions in that time.

On 3/23/1990, investigators began a heavy series of questioning on SCP-4231-B regarding the specifics of the Montauk Procedure, and on the nature of his sexual molestation and abuse at the hands of SCP-4231-A. SCP-4231-B, upon sitting down at the interrogation table, began to immediately remove copious amounts of false eyelashes from his pants pockets. Contrary to the expectations of the investigators, SCP-4231-B began to adhere the eyelashes to his wrists in an overlapping, circular fashion, while avoiding all questioning. Test abandoned after three hours, in which time SCP-4231-B had attached 548 pairs of false eyelashes on his arms. At the conclusion of the test, SCP-4231-B uttered his only response to investigators:

Agent Youlen: What the fuck are you…

SCP-4231-B: Making my arms fuzzy.

On 2/14/1991, investigators began the annual questioning of SCP-4231-B regarding the specifics of the Montauk Procedure, and on the nature of his sexual molestation and abuse at the hands of SCP-4231-A. Midway through the questioning, after producing no answers thus far, SCP-4231-B produced a single microscope slide. SCP-4231-B produced no further responses to questioning for the reminder of the session.

The microscope slide produced by SCP-4231-B became the subject of an extensive 4-month long investigation by the SCP-4231, SCP-231, and SCP-2317 containment engineering teams. After light microscopy, chemical and physical evaluation, and attempts to match the object to sections of the Erikesh Codex failed, electron microscopy was utilized to search the slide for further features. The object was revealed to be an entirely blank microscope slide with no abnormal properties.

As of 03/21/2017, none of the exactly 28 annual questionings of SCP-4231-B regarding his sexual abuse and the Montauk procedure have proved to yield any additional information, although the interrogation procedure continues annually. See document SCP-4231-B-1 for full account of all questionings.

thats ‘doctor’ asshole to you

In the May of 1990, Foundation psychologists determined that SCP-4231-B’s psychological symptoms worsened significantly in continued containment, and submitted a request that SCP-4231-B be able to work and live as a Foundation employee, utilizing his extensive field experience as a GOC agent to aid the budding Type Green evaluation program. Despite remaining reclusive and defiant regarding his health and his life in North Access, SCP-4231-B was regarded as a low-risk and relatively stable individual capable of light work. He was granted permission as well as access to University courses in late 1990.

SCP-4231’s modern containment procedures consist of monitoring, yearly questioning, and required submission to tests regarding the ongoing state of his abilities. SCP status has remained intact, although removal of this in lieu of a Person of Interest (PoI) classification has been considered in recent years to coincide with SCP-4231-B’s ongoing routine of relatively normal everyday life with little anomalous effect, save for continued PTSD symptoms during sleeping hours and dissociative symptoms typical of trauma, both of which are lessened in a less Foundation-involved environment.

SCP-4231-B will have been serving the Foundation for 30 years as of 2020.

Three Scenes from an Exciting New Industry

Leopold, Cornwall, Twelve miles from North Access, July 3rd, 2016

Dusk fell, and, as they had since Monday night, the old men watched intently.

The Green was an old bar on the main street of Leopold. It hadn’t changed since the 70s, and the men damn well liked things that didn’t change. There was the old stool so and so had a stroke on, over here, the knife gouges in the counter where some long and convoluted back and forth had ended ironically anticlimactically; there had been a roar of disapproval when they’d tried to add a Wi-Fi router for the younger clientele, a partial riot when they removed an old painting with dart holes in it.

The men of Leopold- at least those who hadn’t moved on since retirement, moved on or passed on, gone to London to live in a home or decided to spend their final years abroad- were farmers and ranchers from just outside that refused to leave, and preferred to have everything just as it were while they were at it. There were four of them this night in particular, and they wouldn’t have stayed so late if there didn’t appear to be change coming on the horizon for them to watch and complain about at the diner several doors down in the morning. The owner of the bar and its keeper- Dan was his name, a fat man of nearly seventy who’d run this bar just as his father had- occasionally leaned over the counter to see out the front window, where the other three were sitting silently, beers between them, waiting.

“Anything yet?” he called as grey light filtered through the old brick buildings, petering out to the highway beyond. He received a chorus of 'no’s and ‘not yet’s in return.

“Oh, we’ll tell you when they come, Danny!” yelled Christopher. 80 years old and counting, Christopher was always loud. They’d been told he’d been hit in the head by a horse when he was young- that it’d struck him half deaf by age 8- but they’d never been able to tell if he was serious.

“Yes, we’ll tell you,” said Arthur, significantly softer. He was the youngest of them, at 53, and still worked the farm where he kept his cows and horses. He hadn’t bothered to change his overalls for this. He thought it too exciting. Part of Arthur wondered if he was getting old, indeed, if this was as exciting as his life got nowadays.

Dan disappeared back into the kitchen. Peter drank long and slow, thoughtfully, watching the cracked road. He was a tall, thin man with large circular glasses the thickness of pencil lead who had been the schoolteacher at the local preschool for nearly thirty-five years now. Peter gave the impression that he was here not to watch things change, but because he had seen something disturbingly unordinary in what was happening just south of Leopold. Maybe he had even anticipated it.

“They’re coming,” said Peter, putting his beer down on the table with a soft thunk.

“No they aren’t. Don’t get our hopes up, Pete,” said Christopher. “Look down the road. There ain’t no one coming yet.”

“It’s 10 o’clock,” considered Arthur. “When did they come last night?”

“Must have been around eleven,” scoffed Christopher, “I mustav been three beers in when they came last night, couldn’t have been-”

Peter put up his index finger. The two stopped talking.

“Look,” he said, transfixed. “They’re here.”

The three looked down the road, and saw the first truck on the horizon.

The vehicle was so astounding because it seemed so new. Shining and unmarked, navy blue in color. This one was a flatbed semi, barely fitting in the left lane of main street with its brights on; the cargo was covered with tan tarp and cord, but when it bounced on the old pothole in front of the bar Peter squinted behind his glasses and could see the steel girders it held underneath. Ten or twelve, he estimated.

“Beams,” echoed Arthur, lowering his head to look underneath. “Didn’t they bring in beams yesterday?”

“You need quite a lot of beams to build a factory, I would imagine,” drawled Christopher, “Remember when they made the corn syrup plant over in Lenning? Christ, I’d never seen so much steel in my life- Oy, Danny! They’re here!” he bellowed into the kitchen.

“What?” bellowed Dan back from the kitchen. “What did you say? They’re here already?”

“Yes! Yes! Come look!” cried Arthur. Peter tuned them out, hands thoughtfully rolling the cool bottle between his palms. They were here indeed.

Dan came bumbling out of the kitchen with a bottle of whisky, and took the seat at the end of the table, facing towards the window. Arthur and Christopher began to fill them in, reveling in their shared horror of the situation as if the truck itself had somehow besmirched their home.

“Beams! More beams! You should have seen them,” cried Christopher. “God, how many beams do you suppose they need?”

More headlights flashed at the top of the hill. This one was a pickup truck, again new, again unmarked. White this time. The four of them squinted in unison to attempt to see into the back windows, only to find them tinted away from the light of the bar. They mumbled their discontent. The next one was a van of the same condition, and the next, a semi-trailer. By the time the next flatbed truck came over the pothole- this time with two coils of electrical wiring loaded on the back- the four had started discussing again about what they supposed to be doing.

“A glue factory,” said Arthur in disbelief. “In North Access. Nobody’s been to North Access in thirty years, and they suddenly decide to build a glue factory there?”

“I’m telling you, they got bought out,” said Christopher, “Some company saw the property and bought it off the government.”

“You can’t buy land off the government, Chrissy! It doesn’t work that way.” cried Arthur. “North Access wasn’t even for sale. We would have known if it had been for sale.”

“You all are missing the point. A man doesn’t buy out an entire ghost town for one factory. And where do you suppose the workers are gonna live?”

“Not in North Access, that’s for sure,” said Christopher. “You suppose they know about the flooding?”

“It wasn’t flooding,” interrupted Dan. “They lied to us. It damn well wasn’t flooding at all.”

“Dan’s right, Chrissy. It was a fire that took it out, don’t you remember?” said Arthur. Christopher tutted and shook his head.

“Pete saw what happened, didn’t you Pete?”

And Peter had seen.

Peter’s mother had thought there was always something about him. She was one of the believers of the veil children born with special powers, believed him to be sensitive in a way she was not. In reality, Peter had been more than just sensitive- but he had not known that until several years after his mother had died, when the teenager with the gun had come to the entrance of Leopold’s brightly-colored preschool and thrown in the door.

But that was another story. And Cornwall had happened after that.

Peter had left work in the late July of 1989 with a feeling not unlike the feeling he had had not twenty minutes before the figure with the gun came, and when he arrived at home he had wandered at first, wandered like a dog disturbed by a storm. There was no definitive emotion behind it- should he hide? He wasn’t afraid, per say. Antsy. Waiting for a message?

And then, suddenly- Peter had been pulled.

It was exciting. Peter had never been religious, but the sensation was akin to seeing another on an empty tundra where one has lived alone all one’s life. It was like seeing a gleaming city, or sensing it was close. He remembered the wise men his mother had insisted he learn about, the stories he never believed. He remembered the star.

Something is happening, thought Peter.

And so he’d driven in the direction of North Access and the warmth had grown. And he’d driven closer to it and the warmth felt hot. And he’d gotten a mile away and the heat was scalding, and he pulled off the road and stumbled out in a white terror to find a sight he could not convey to others. What was reality in this instance, in the space ahead of him, at the beginning of the trees? Drops of oil spitting from a hot pan on a stove- was this what he was witnessing, if not from half a mile away? How could he explain that a space in the world was boiling when only his third eye could see the tumultuous damage of an overflowing tide, a sinkhole which had been there for millennia caving inwards towards a molten river of rock and bone before him as the superficial fabric of trees and grass stayed intact like a mocking mirage-

“I didn’t see anything,” says Peter.

Another truck passes the bar, and Peter ends his statement with a sip of his drink.

They were building. He wasn’t sure who they were, or what they were doing, or if they could see or even perceive the desolate smoldering crater in reality that had been left behind where North Access, Cornwall used to stand. But Peter was watching. And he was afraid.

If you had told Robert Scranton forty years ago that his father was right in his assumptions about how to stabilize reality, and that he’d been on the right track to building a device that could do it successfully at will, he probably wouldn’t have believed you. His father- Arnold Scranton- had raised him up to take his own role at the Foundation when he died, and as Arnie had gotten older and more senile Robert had more and more doubts about exactly what the hell he was planning to do. Old obscure texts tended to be unreliable- and old obscure texts in strange old languages bought off a MC&D auction house tended to be very unreliable. The only way his dad had been able to read it at all was because he’d gotten an old witch with some grasp of the old magics to translate it.

Of course, that had all been before Robert had been born. If he’d had a say in exactly what primary sources his father was pulling his engineering tips from, he would have pointed towards something a little more well established. Maybe just asked him to pull out of the industry all together. In fact, the auto industry had been Rob’s personal backup plan in the case that his dad really had been crazy; he, for one, hadn’t gotten an engineering degree to fumble around with old ritual magic. Not that anyone outside Rob’s personal group of engineers needed to know about that portion of the project.

But now, here he was. And it was 2016, and O5 had decided to build a factory.

A factory. Now that had been a surprise for Robert Scranton, but after several decades of the Foundation becoming more and more reliant on Scranton Reality Anchors for everything from containment to task force operations, the world suddenly had a need. It wouldn’t be a large factory- just enough space to devote completely to building them, a specific workshop for Robert and his exactly 24 containment engineer staffers. The spot O5 had picked would need a few anchors all of its own, but it was already inert area on a containment site- a little out of the way, positioned over an old horse barn they’d demolished. They had a cover story and everything. It was glorious.

The only thing keeping them from a completely smooth transition from a lab in Site-88 to a full devoted operation in Cornwall was the issue of supply- what they would need for the rituals. And Robert had made it very clear to O5 exactly what he was talking about when he said supply. They had assured him that where there was demand, there would be supply; they had said that the world had followed the Foundation’s lead in developing reality anchors, and had provided him with a hefty account to pay for what they needed. Robert wasn’t sure exactly what they were hoping he and his team would do with the money- were they hoping that they would do the whole thing, source their own supply? Because that was certainly not Robert’s business at all. Up until now, they’d just used old supply from the 80s, but that was running out fast.

But that was all fine. They would figure it out, he was sure. Everything was going very smoothly for him- and he was about to ride it as far as it would go, at least until the factory was completed.

April 4th, 2016. 1000 hours. Undisclosed Facility in Newcastle, England.

Here is D.C. al Fine before them as they sit in the archives, surrounded by old wooden bookshelves extending to the skylight above. The skylight is rigged with laser beams, Coda knows. If you looked closely at the shadows being cast across the carpeted floor to the criss cross of files bound in human flesh and charred records from GOC agents long past, one could even see their thin ghosts inching across the room. It really does break the ruse, Coda thinks; makes you remember that just outside the door was a maze of steel hallways, control rooms, and far enough below them a hospital of injured and dying agents. A Foundation operative in this room would be able to tell the entire scheme in half a second just by looking at the iron bolts half-hidden at the northern baseboards.

A normal person would be heavily distracted by the constant buzz of radio chatter from around the world blaring in their ear at all times, but Coda has been doing this job for so long it barely phases them. Sitting in the room, the two bathed in light, their respective jobs are easily revealed; D.C. in a brown tailored suit stirring sugar into his tea, and Coda in a gender ambiguous sweater and jeans, pale and haggard, raising the microphone on their headset away from their mouth in order to drink their own. Close, but not too close; two machines miraculously running in perfect parallel. Violin bows suspended in a symphony. Faint laser beam shadows in a dusty room.

D.C. is troubled, and Coda is unable to pin down exactly what it is that’s bothering him. Coda notes the little signs on his face that show he’s lost rest recently with the vague interest of an old dog watching its master. They take their tea black and bitter from a steel pot to the left of the table, taking a sip while listening to an agent in France getting blown off their motorcycle by a miraculously materializing pipe bomb. The resulting cacophony is audible from Coda’s headset to where D.C. is sitting. He tries not to take notice to it, but can’t help but wince at the distressed intonations that follow- the words are muddled and in a variety of languages, but having been an agent in the field himself for many years he knows exactly what they’re saying and dreads the sound. Coda pauses picking at a stray thread on their sweater sleeve to turn down the volume once they see his mild reaction. It was a somewhat friendly gesture, but D.C. can’t help but imagine the agent laying dazed and dying in the middle of a French freeway, oblivious that there were two people aware of their plight calmly having tea several thousand miles away.

Coda clears their throat. “Paris has it,” they say, as though it could keep the agent from getting hit and killed by a minivan in the impending few minutes. D.C. nods. He can hear the faint monotonous rattle of the Paris dispatcher cutting through the chaos whispering out of Coda’s headset. A hopeful part of him imagines that there’s something that can be done, but he knows the agent’s chances of survival dwindle with the number of highway lanes.

“What a world we live in,” he remarks, “what a world, Coda.”

It’s Coda’s turn to nod. They sigh, shift slightly in the old mahogany chair.

“Indeed,” they respond, just to humor him.

There are birds making a nest on the side of the skylight. D.C. tries to focus on the two featherless robins to take his attention from the ensuing chaos of Coda’s everyday existence. Coda looks at them too, and wonders if the security beams would get them before they could fly away. They were getting bored, but knew better than to rush D.C.’s commentary when he called these meetings; sometimes, D.C. wouldn’t get around to talking about anything at all, and they would just sit in silence listening to the clock on the mantle ticking their lunch breaks away. Coda always thought those were especially boring, and tended to turn their attention to the endless dilemmas in their earpiece more for entertainment than for anything else.

D.C. puts his tea down on the saucer.

“I’m going to run an idea past you,” he says, “and I need you to hear me out all the way before you tell me ‘no’.”

Coda raises an eyebrow. While D.C. had been watching the laser beam birds the Paris team had been trying to drag the agent off the road at the height of rush hour traffic, but the new proposition was intriguing enough to pull the younger officer’s attention back to the events of the dusty library.
D.C. takes a breath.

“I was thinking about relaunching the Ichabod campaign,” he says.

“Hm. No,” says Coda, going for another sip of tea.

“If it’s the Cornwall Incident you’re worried about-,”

Incident,” they test the word in an academic half-sneer, probing. “You know, that’s always irritated me, the word incident. 1,200 people boiled alive isn’t an incident. 1,200 people boiled alive is a massacre. They say that being burned to death is the most painful thing the human body can endure, but I’ve looked and there’s no statistics on boiling in the modern era. It’s like nobody even thinks that you could do that to a person, forget over a thousand people. All the records on boiling someone to death come from the Middle Ages. The kind of thing you’d do to a prisoner, for humiliation.”

“Let me finish, Coda,” he says with striking regularity in his tone, but Coda sets the cup back down on the oak table and continues, thoughtfully-

“You know, the sound of people boiling-” they pause, considering, “-you know, drowning is a relatively quiet thing to have happen. People who are drowning don’t usually use the precious time they have when they come up from under the water to scream, so lifeguards generally learn to spot the body language instead of relying on auditory cues. Now the sound of people burning is very different. Obviously, when you’re burning at the stake, you’re going to be awfully vocal about it-”


“Do you want a second Cornwall?” says Coda evenly, without a hint of irritation in their tone. “Because if you want a second Cornwall, then by all means. I’ll put the Foundation clean-up crews on speed dial.”

Coda does not register that they have crossed a line at first, but it dawns on them as the room seems to tighten, bringing the laser beams and their cutting shadows ever so closer to the point where they feel themselves writhing under Fine’s gaze. He puts his tea down and for a moment. There is dust and particulate in the air. They wonder where it came from. It was a facade, all of this- the GOC was neither old nor wise, had no libraries or archives to hold dust of any kind in sunbeams, nor dust, nor ash, nor steam-

“If you do your job right,” D.C. al Fine says, “there won’t be a second Cornwall.”

The agent in France dies in Coda’s headset. What a world it is, indeed.

May 23rd, 1989

“Tell me the truth,” she says.

They have been at this for an hour and a half and Francis Wojciechoski is writhing on the bathroom floor in front of her, sobbing. He isn’t sure how he got to this point and he isn’t sure if he’ll live past it. It is one of many nights like this but tonight she asks him, for the millionth time-

“Tell me the truth!” She’s blocking the door. He’s afraid of what she’ll do but he’s so tired, so fucking tired and he’s bleeding again, that’s how all this started was that he’d woken up bleeding again-

“I don’t know the truth, Lilly!” Francis screams and his voice cracks. She is the monster with teeth again. She is the antler predator, and he is afraid. The truth he had given had been the wrong truth, and in another life when he lays safe and sound in a bed in a Siberian training camp hundreds of thousands of miles away from North Access he will wonder if she pretended not to know because she was horrified of what she had done to him. Had she done it because she knew what was happening to her- that it was her, not him, who had been in a slow and painful decline into class 4, to maintain that denial? Had she done it to terrorize him? Had she wanted to hurt him at all, or was she doing it to herself? Was he a byproduct of her implosion? Why did she deny it…and why did she do it to him at all?

There is terror in her eyes. He wishes that it was self-awareness. He isn’t sure of that now.

“You’re a liar,” she hisses.

“I don’t know what you want me to say!” Francis erupts, because he’s never been more frustrated and scared before in his life and he never will be again. He screeches with his last shred of dignity and his last shred of self-worth, his last sense of being as the person he is and has been-


And then he sobs. And the bathroom is quiet. And Lilly is quiet.

And then she says quietly, like he hears it in his dreams and in his nightmares, whispered around dark corners of his home, fleeting in the shadows, a dark doubt that lurks in his subconscious and haunts him in its most potent form, now and forever:

(sure as the water rises in the tide; sure as turbulence on an airplane leaving tucson, arizona in 1995)

“Tell me the truth-”

Inhale, exhale. Easy does it. Alto Clef, lightheaded and breathing heavily from the nightmare, rests his head between his knees to avoid passing out as the raw horror begins to leave his body.
It takes a few minutes, but he comes back around a little, although his chest still hurts from the panic. He was getting too damn old for this shit. Maybe the next one would kill him off, he thinks bitterly. It was just plain stupid at this point- he was 30 years out from that now. He told himself he was over it; he had a new name, a new job, and most importantly nobody knew. Or at least, if anybody did know, nobody had come up and asked him about it, which had always been his worst fear in that regard.

He was safe. And when he was awake, he knew that he was safe. This was a Foundation training camp in Siberia, and he lived in the building in the heart of it; if anyone came in unannounced they would know in an instant. The main site was less than a mile away. They had enough artillery between the two areas to bring the whole damn place down if they needed to, and as for emotional damage, the fear of being abused like that again- well, he never let anyone get close enough to try.

So things were good. No, they were great, actually. Alto thought they really couldn’t be better. Sure, the PTSD was exhausting, and the Foundation beating a dead horse by giving him annual tests and interviews; he could do without both of those. But Cornwall? That was a long time ago now.

Yes, thinks Alto Clef as he presses ‘play’ on Animal House, placed presently on his laptop for these exact nights where things were his subconscious wasn’t getting the memo; Cornwall couldn’t be farther behind him. And he was safe.

And things were good.

On the northern edge of an aquatic containment chamber somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, 2005

Foundation registered reality anchor #4,345 wasn’t sure quite when it woke up. It was hard for it to tell the time. Nearly impossible, actually.

It could tell that it was floating in a line next to a few other reality anchors- it could feel them, hovering slightly in the distance just out of reach. #4,345 wondered if they were awake, too, and if they were awake if they remembered anything about how they got here and what they were doing aside from keeping everything stable. How long had it been there, anyway? What had it been before now- in the dark primordial ooze of reality it could feel rushing past its third eye?

As time passed, #4,345 began to remember a few things about what it used to be. It hadn’t always been here, floating gently between the water roughly 5 meters off the ocean floor and the fourth dimensional Hume space that encompassed it. Sometimes #4,345 even felt as if it had once been part of something much bigger than the space that it knew. It didn’t have the ability to think very much, and only considered these questions once or twice a month before getting tired and going back to drifting on its chain as it always did- but after a few years it had been able to push and pull free a single memory.

It remembered a house.



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