SCP-5572
rating: +53+x
NOTICE FROM THE SITE-120 DIRECTOR COUNCIL
Following recent events, the following file is currently pending reclassifications and may fail to represent current reality and is Level 4/5572 Classified.
Unauthorized access is forbidden.
5572
Item#: 5572
Level4
Containment Class:
esoteric
Secondary Class:
terminal
Disruption Class:
ekhi
Risk Class:
warning

grave

The Grave of Agent Surratt, and the source of SCP-5572's discovery.

Special Containment Procedures: Personnel stationed at Site-120 are currently creating materials directed at civilians, exhorting to bury their loved ones with SCP-5572 prevention methods in mind. Should Overwatch Command receive the "supplies needed" signal however, this campaign is to be withdrawn for as long as the signal is ongoing. Research into the usage of SCP-5366 to prevent further SCP-5572 manifestations is ongoing.

Due to SCP-5572-1's possible use in containing otherworldly threats to humanity, should at any point the connection between Agent Surratt and Overwatch Command be lost, members of MTF Omega-1 ("Fire And Brimstone") implemented with the same communication methods are to be immediately euthanized and ordered to re-establish contact between Surratt and the Foundation.

Description: SCP-5572 is a phenomenon manifesting when the burial site of an individual does not contain the phrase "Rest in Peace"1 written within its proximity. The corpse of an individual previously buried within such a site is transported to a previously unknown reality, disconnected from baseline with no other means of access, hereby referred to as SCP-5572-PRIME. As such, it has been classified as a Terminal-class anomaly.2

SCP-5572-1 is the group designation for all corpses transported to SCP-5572-PRIME. Upon arrival in SCP-5572-PRIME, all corpses regain their consciousness.

Discovery: SCP-5572 was discovered on 24/07/2003, following the burial of Foundation Agent Marie Surratt. Surveillance technology3 started broadcasting a "compromised" signal out following her death without an apparent source. Although no source was located, via the usage of Site-120's Artificially Intelligent Conscripts (.aics), a one-way video contact with the technology was able to be established, detailed in the following log:

<Begin log>

As the camera feed connects, it reveals Agent Surratt is falling through a large, volcanic cavern. As she descends downwards, more of the location becomes clear — the entirety of it appears to be an enormous cavern, around 300 meters in height and an unknown length and width filled with gigantic stalagmites, stalactites, rocks, and rivers of lava.

As she stretches her hands outwards, Surratt notices she is currently a skeleton, wearing a suit that displays mild amounts of decomposition.4 The skeletal system is held together by an unknown force. She screams, despite possessing none of the required organs to do so.

The camera moves frantically due to Surratt's panic, revealing the field below her, within which a large group of unidentified humanoids is located. Extremely loud sounds are coming from around them.

Although Surratt attempts to vocalize cohesively, due to the speed she falls at, none of the words are able to be heard. The falling speed increases.

As she falls down, the camera focuses on a large volcano located on the left side of the field. From within it, increasing amounts of what appears to be numerous deformed Tartarean entities are coming down. Although their sizes vary, most are relatively small, with only a few larger ones bearing large weaponry being present. The entities all possess red skin and horns. They move towards the second group on the battlefield, which appears to be entirely made from approximately 100,000 skeletons. All of them possess weaponry ranging from primitive to contemporary; swords, clubs, muskets, guns, to rocket launchers. Several battle standards such as the war flag of the Mughal Empire, the Naval Jack of the United States of America, and the flag of the Republic of the Rio Grande can be seen.

Skeletal horses, broken-down tanks, and cannons can be seen sporadically throughout the battlefield. Situated in the center of the battlefield, there appears to be an enormous tank, currently firing at the larger demons. Surratt is falling directly towards it.

As Surratt is about to hit the vehicle, a flying Tartarean entity picks her up, moving her towards the demons' line of battle. However, as she is about to move away from the tank, the entity carrying her explodes as a maniacal laugh and previously unseen smoke fills the air around it. Surratt moves frantically, trying to gain her bearings.

As the smoke clears around her, Surratt finds herself on top of the previously seen tank. From atop it, an obese skeleton, further referred to as SCP-5572-1-A, furiously waves its arms. It wears tattered World War II American Army clothing, clenching a lit cigarette in between its teeth as it points towards the enemy line. It does not register her presence. As it vocalizes "Fire!", the tank's cannon fires, violently moving the entire tank back and blasting a group of entities in the distance.

Surratt: Wh… wha—

SCP-5572-1-A: FRANCIS, YOU AND YOUR MEN GET THAT BIGGUN OVER THERE, YUN AND ALAN REINFORCE THE EAST FLANK, IT'S DAMN NEAR READY TO BURST.

A skeletal horse leaps over the side of the tank at a gallop, causing Surrat to stumble in fright. Near her, a small group of skeletons wearing plate armor starts running towards a large, bull-like Tartarean entity that meets their charge with its own. Getting up, Surrat attempts to track the group, yet as numerous skeletons rush past her, she quickly loses sight of the party. SCP-5572-1-A turns towards Surratt.

SCP-5572-1-A: FINALLY, WE GET SOME GODDAMNED REINFORCEMENTS.

As the entity walks towards Surratt, unidentified music can be heard playing from an unknown source near them. The obese skeleton extends a hand to Surratt, blowing out smoke from the cigarette through unknown means.

Surrat accepts the gesture, slowly standing up from the ground, as she does so, a large explosion occurs, blowing numerous other skeletons into pieces, which fall onto her, SCP-5572-1-A, and surrounding skeletons. Surratt panics, brushing the bones off her frame.

SCP-5572-1-A: DAMNNIT, THERE GOES ALAN. SAM, GO GET ME ANOTHER CIGAR.

A smaller skeleton nods, and jumps down the tank's hatch.

Surratt: What the hell is going on?! Where the hell am I?!

Surrat attempts to look around within the chaotic battlefield, a loud klaxon bell wails, causing her to flinch. A small Tarterean entity has clambered onto the tank, a serrated dagger in each hand. It makes eye contact with Agent Surratt.

Surratt: Oh fuck.

Hearing Surratt, SCP-5572-1-A turns towards the entity, and pulls a flintlock pistol from its jacket. It levels the gun at the entity, its hands shaking slightly. The entity begins to charge, SCP-5572-1-A fires, blowing a hole in the head of the entity, which slumps and falls over the side of the tank. SCP-5572-1-A heavily slaps Surratt on her back, and smiles, showcasing several crude golden teeth. The entity looks directly into Surratt's eyes. Within one of its eye sockets, a golden coin flickers.

SCP-5572-1-A: YOU GOT ONE THING RIGHT, HELL IS GOING ON, AND YOU'RE RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT. WELCOME TO THE BONE BATALLION, MAGGOT.

As SCP-5572-1-A maniacally laughs, the feed disconnects.

<End log>

Addendum 5572-1: The following is a list of most logs received from Agent Surratt meaningfully describing SCP-5572-PRIME and associated phenomena.

<Begin log>

The feed connects again, revealing the large tank from before. The machine, on which both Surratt and SCP-5572-1-A sit, is slowly moving towards a large, gray building visible on the horizon.

Around the tank, numerous groups of other skeletons can be seen marching in loose formation. Organization of the entities appears to be in squads of four to ten. Similar to weapons, the armor of the skeletons varies wildly, from animal hides to Army Combat Uniforms.

As Surratt attempts to scan the area around her again, the camera focuses on the background, revealing that the location she is currently in is a large basin, with similar characteristics to the prior location. The only difference being the existence of crude housings present around the previously mentioned gray building.

After two minutes of looking at the location, Surratt turns to SCP-5572-1-A, who is sitting atop the tank, on her left holding binoculars to their eye sockets.

Surratt: Can I please be told what's going on h—

SCP-5572-1-A: Quiet. You see that there?

Surratt looks in the direction SCP-5572-1-A is pointing, but is unable to see anything.

SCP-5572-1-A: Whole swarm of harpies. They'll tear your bony body to pieces, then crush your skull with their talons. Last thing we need is them finding our base.

Surratt quietly accepts the response, sitting at the tank for one more minute as the machine gets closer to the building. As the machine gets closer to it, said building reveals to be a large, stone fort, stylized after a medieval castle. It is mostly ruined, with only one, large tower not being taken by the damage. Around it, numerous crude attempts to reinforce the structure by wooden logs, scaffolding, and other housings can be seen.

Around the entire castle, a river of lava surrounding it can be seen, with the only proper entry through it being a crude, wooden bridge between its two sides. From atop the walls, numerous other skeletons can be seen, surveying the perimeter. As the army reaches one side of the river, SCP-5572-1-A yells at the guards, and after a brief moment the barred gate to the castle opens.

As the tank passes through the gate, it enters into a large courtyard, filled with barrels, crates, heavy weaponry, stools, campfires, beds, and tents. Numerous skeletons can be seen partaking in different activities; doing laundry, physical exercises, training with weaponry, conversing with other entities, and laying on crudely made beds and hammocks. Although most of the area is filled with such, the tank passes through ease onto the only unpopulated area within the location. On the walls surrounding the courtyard, skeletons start to appear, seemingly pointing others to the appearance of the tank.

With the tank reaching the middle of the square, the vehicle stops. A large audience of bone entities can be seen around the machine and on the walls, clearly focused on SCP-5572-1-A, who stands down from the sitting position atop the tank and glances over the entire group.

SCP-5572-1-A: I AM PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT AFTER TWENTY LONG YEARS, WE HAVE TAKEN THE HILL.

As the entity says so, all entities gathered here start to loudly cheer, with some of them beginning to hug and become visibly happier than before.

SCP-5572-1-A: HOWEVER.

The entire cheering stops.

SCP-5572-1-A: EVERY GREAT BATTLE COMES WITH A PRICE. HERBERT HAD BEEN HERE SINCE THE SIXTH BATTLE OF THE ACHERON. HE WAS A GUIDING LIGHT TO MANY OF US, EVEN ME. TODAY HE WAS TAKEN BY A PACK OF THOSE TINY HORNED BASTARDS, LEAST HE WAS ABLE TO GET A COUPLE OF LICKS IN 'FORE THEY SHATTERED HIS SKULL. WE LOST MANY COMRADES TONIGHT. THEY FOUGHT WELL.

All spectators suddenly become much less active.

SCP-5572-1-A: BUT WE ALSO GOT SOME FRESH MEAT. NEWBIES, LINE UP IN FRONT

As the entity starts to laugh, it pulls out a cigar from its jacket's pocket, starting to light it. As it does so, a group of around 40 skeletons walks forward in the courtyard, showing themselves to everyone. SCP-5572-1-A motions for Surratt to join them, and she complies. Jumping down from the tank, SCP-5572-1-A walks back and forth along the line.

SCP-5572-1-A: FOR THOSE OF YOU YOU WHO SOMEHOW STILL DON'T GET WHAT'S GOING ON — WELCOME TO HELL. IF YOU'RE HERE, IT MEANS YOUR FAMILY DIDN'T LOVE YOU ENOUGH TO PUT AN "R.I.P' ON YOUR GRAVESTONE. AND WE KNOW WHAT ETERNAL LAW SAYS FOR THOSE THAT DO NOT REST IN PEACE.

The Crowd: No rest for the wicked.

SCP-5572-1-A: PROBABLY SHOULD INTRODUCE MYSELF, MY GOD-GIVEN NAME'S RILEY CLAIRE, BORN 1895, LOUISIANA, DIED IN THE FORESTS OF BELLEAU WOOD 1918. FOLKS 'ROUND HERE CALL ME GENERAL BONE DADDY.

One of the skeletal entities in the line chuckles, SCP-5572-1-A (henceforth referred to as Claire) turns towards it as it stops the speech.

Claire: IS THERE AN ISSUE, RECRUIT?

The entity vigorously shakes its head. After a pause of five seconds and a stare at it, Claire resumes walking.

Claire: AS I WAS SAYING BEFORE I SO RUDELY WAS INTERRUPTED, I OVERSEE THIS GOD FORSAKEN WASTELAND SO THAT YOU MORONS DON'T MURDER EACH OTHER IN AN ATTEMPT TO MURDER DEMONS. YES, THEY ARE ALSO HERE. SO'S SATAN. IT'S HELL FOR GOD'S SAKE, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT.

Claire: WE FIGHT DEMONS. THAT'S WHAT WE DO. WHY?

Two-second pause.

Claire: WHEN I FIRST CAME HERE, THIS PLACE WAS A MESS, YOUR TIME HERE ONLY LASTED AS LONG AS YOU COULD RUN, DODGING THE SPIKES AND LAVA PITS. ON TOP OF THAT, THERE WAS ALSO EACH OTHER, LOOSE TRIBES PREYING ON NEW FOLK FOR SCRAPS LIKE DOGS, ALL WHILE DEMONS CLAWED AND STOMPED US. I UNITED ALL THE POOR FOLKS TRAPPED AGAINST THE REAL ENEMY, THE DEMONS. WE'VE SCORED A BIG VICTORY TODAY, BUT WE'RE NOT DONE. IT MAY TAKE MONTHS, IT MAY TAKE YEARS, BUT I'M NOT STOPPING UNTIL I HAVE THE FUCKING HORNS OF GODDAMNED SATAN HIMSELF OVER MY FIREPLACE.

Claire starts to laugh, putting his cigar in his mouth.

Claire: NOW, DON'T YOU THINK IT WILL BE EASY. TAKING OVER THE LITERAL GODDAMNED HELL TAKES A TON OF WORK. ONE MIGHT EVEN SAY — A SKELETON.

The entity starts to convulse in laughter.

Claire: Ah geez, I crack myself up sometimes. BUT I'M NOT JOKING, THE ONLY WAY WE BEAT THOSE HORNED BASTARDS IS TOGETHER.

The entity pulls a small knife from its jacket.

Claire: NOW, YOU WILL RECEIVE A DESIGNATION, IT WILL COMPRISE OF A LETTER AND NUMBER. THIS WILL DETERMINE YOUR SQUAD. FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES, THEY WILL BE YOUR NEW FAMILY. YOU WILL SLEEP, FIGHT, AND IF NEEDED, DIE TOGETHER.

Claire steps towards the previously separated group, which starts to align in a line, as encouraged by the rest of the skeletons. As he does so, the general takes out a large knife from his jacket. Upon doing so, he walks towards the first in line and starts carving a large "A-12" on their skull. The entity screams and tries to put away the general's hand.

Claire: Holding the recruit in his hand and shaking them: DID I HEAR A SQUEAK THERE?!

Skeleton 1: Frantically touching the newly created scar: N-no…!

Claire: GOOD.

Claire continues doing the same to the rest of the group, including Surratt who is assigned the designation "F-18." This time, none of them oppose.

As he finishes doing so, the general walks away from the group, stepping towards a gate in one of the walls leading towards the previously mentioned large tower.

Claire: NOW GET TO YOUR QUARTERS SO YOU MIGHT GET TO KNOW YOUR COMPANIONS OF THE FOREVERLAND.

As he finishes this sentence, he points directly at the group previously separated from the rest.

Claire: SO, GET TO WORK. AS FOR THE REST OF YOU OLD SK—


[EXTRATENIOUS DATA REMOVED FOR BREVITY]


Surratt can be seen walking within a stone corridor, presumed to be that of the previously seen castle. Although around it, numerous weapons, trophies, and paintings can be seen, most of it is in a poor state, with large chunks of the wall missing throughout. As she reaches the end of the corridor, she notices an opening within the right wall with "F-18" crudely painted over it. She enters through it, revealing an area of approximately 20 m², bearing resemblance to common barracks. It consists of two bunk beds, a table with cards and a bottle of whiskey on top of it, a small weapon's rack, and a piano, all within one room. Atop one of the beds, two other skeletons sit. One of them, the one on the top of the bed, is wearing worn 18th-century aristocratic clothing, whilst the one on top — an iron helmet and a medieval tunic.

As Surratt enters into the room, both entities focus on her.

Aristocratic Skeleton: Standing up from the bed and flattening its shirt: Hello there, fine lad— are you a lady? Can I call you a lady? It's… most difficult to know that, since, well— Wait, do I know you?

Surratt: Yes, yes, I know. I know. The name's Marie Surratt. Or at least it was. When I was still alive, I mean. And no, you probably don't.

The aristocratic skeleton offers her a handshake, which Surratt quickly accepts.

Aristocratic Skeleton: Ludwig Beethoven, a pleasure to meet our newest squadmate.

Surratt: Good to see humor hasn't gone dry in hell. Heh.

Aristocratic Skeleton: Pardon? What do you… mean, exactly?

Surratt: Well, you know, you saying you're Beethoven, and all?

Beethoven: I… I do not exactly see why you find humor in me introducing myself, but to each their own.

Surratt: You… you were serious…? Jesus Christ, this has been going on for far longer than I imagined.

Surratt walks towards the weapon rack and picks up a small knife from it. As the camera focuses on the container, two polished swords and a rusty pipe can be seen laying atop it.

Surratt: How'd you get this pipe? Can't imagine Hell has a sewer system.

Beethoven: Well, the border between this world and the living is a bit flimsy, and things do fall through the cracks sometimes. We make do with humanity's scraps, I suppose.

Surratt walks towards the second entity, and tries to sit on one of the free beds, flattening the mangled bedsheet. After finishing doing so, she puts away a pair of shoes that was previously sitting on the floor near the bed. She expressed disgust as she does so, and then turns towards the other being sitting atop the adjacent bed.

Surratt: So, who are you?

The helmet skeleton turns towards her, with its skull unnaturally doing so first and the rest of the body quickly following afterward.

Helmet Skeleton: I am Björn Björnsson, son of Björn Björnsson, son of Björn Olefsson, son of Olef. I had been a warrior of the Vikings in my glory days. At the mere mention of my name children and men alike soiled themselves in terror. Like thunder, like water, like a force of nature itself I—

Surratt: Alright, alright, I get the picture. What happened?

Helmet Skeleton: On the day of my greatest challenge to come, on the day I would finally defeat the greatest enemy of my men with my burning swords and fury of gods themselves, I was betrayed! Betrayed by my own wife, stabbed in the back like some disgusting Brit! As I had been slain by the most treacherous way with no weapon in hand to showcase my heroics, I had been sent by the unjust gods to forever wander Helheim, with no light guiding me towards Valhalla.

Beethoven: A shame to see all of us lose our might in the face of death. I was once like you too — powerful and young. Oh, how I miss performing, thousands ravenous for your talent.

Surratt: I'm sure it was gr—

As Surratt attempts to reply to Beethoven, she is interrupted by a ringing sound alongside a screaming coming from the corridor interrupts her.

Unknown voice from the corridor: ALL COME DOWN TO THE CANTEEN. I REPEAT — ALL COME DOWN TO THE CANTEEN.

The voice repeats over and over until it fades down the corridor.

Surratt: What was that?

Beethoven: It appears Claire is organizing another general meeting in the canteen. We would call it supper, except, well, we cannot eat.

Björn: In case you haven't picked it up by now, Claire is quite insa—

Beethoven: We talked about this, don't say that out loud or you'll end up like Nicolas.

Surratt: Who the hell's Nicolas?

Beethoven: You're better off not knowing, let's just say the General has little reservations on the use of rocket launchers. We should hurry, for there is not much time before he becomes angered at our lack of presence.

The team starts to walk away from the room with Björn stopping for a moment to pick up the bottle of whiskey and sword from the weapon's rack with him.

As they leave the room and enter the corridor, numerous other skeletons can be seen emerging from other rooms connected to it, congregating at one entrance.

As they enter the main hall, the camera reveals a large, cafeteria-like room filled with numerous skeletons sitting and standing around Claire. Several tables with board games can be seen.

Claire climbs up atop a riser, clapping his hands to get attention.

Claire: Greetings, recruits. You might be wondering why I gathered you here.

The audience starts to chatter among itself.

Claire: Well, here's the point. I know it gets lonely around here, even I do. I know we have no body here. Hehehehehe, no-body. Get it?.

A nervous chuckle can be heard from the audience.

Claire: So, this is the first ever game night organized by this battalion. You can play cards and have giggles and shit here. I will allow it this time. An army marches on its entertainment or whatever. You are all good kids and deserve some good out of your miserable life here sometimes.

A skeleton runs on stage and whispers at Claire.

Claire: Now, as I've been told along with these games, you'll get some in-house entertainment tonight. This ain't the Rits but it's the closest you can get down here. Give it up for Thaddeus and the Femur Gang!

Claire jumps down, and four skeletons walk on stage carrying an acoustic guitar, xylophone, and fife. They begin to play a cover of Oasis' "Wonderwall".

Beethoven: Jesus Christ, every time—

Björn: Shut it, big shot, don't get your panties in a twist. Anyone want to play Monopoly? I call dibs on the thimble.


[EXTRATENIOUS DATA REMOVED FOR BREVITY]


As the feed reconnects, it reveals Surratt laying on one of the bunk beds, apparently sleeping. Although she does not possess lungs, her ribcage expands and contracts in regular intervals, as if she was breathing.

In the room around her, Beethoven is sitting on the stool near the piano, apparently drawing something on a piece of paper. In the process, he silently whistles an unknown song, repeating numerous sections over and over.

Björn can be seen sitting near the table, apparently playing some sort of card game with himself. Whether he actually understands its rules is unknown.

As her "breathing" slows down, Surratt gets up from the bed, initially freezing in alarm as she scans her surroundings, but visible relaxes after three seconds.

Surratt yawns.

Surratt: Gooood mor— wait. Did I just… sleep? As a skeleton. How does that make any sens—

Björn: Looking up from the cards: Do not question the rules of Helheim, for the mind of a demon created them! To explain the madness is akin to gazing in the eye of the Allfather himself, the—

Beethoven: What Björn is getting at is that we do not know, sadly. But appreciate you get at least that little luxury here. Without it, it'd be hell. Heh.

Björn: HA!

Björn hits the table with a card as he stands down from the table, and smiles widely.

Björn: I won!

Beethoven: Looking from the sheet: Do you… even know… how to play this…?

Björn: No!

Björn falls atop the table, apparently falling asleep. Beethoven sighs.

Beethoven: I… I think I have déjà vu. I can—

As Beethoven attempts to walk towards Björn, loud ringing can be heard from atop the barracks. He looks into the near corridor, opening the doors to it. As he does so, the ringing gets much louder.

Beethoven: We need to go.

Surratt: Again?

Beethoven: No rest for the wicked.

Beethoven chuckles and starts to leave the room. On his way out, he picks the rusty pipe located on the weapons rack.

As he enters the corridor, he peaks again into the room, looking at Surratt.

Beethoven: Come on.

Surratt: Pointing at Björn: And what about him?

Beethoven: Leave that cretin to himself. It is not worth it, trust me. Trying to wake him is like, well trying to wake the dead.

The duo walks down the corridor, revealing a large crack in one of its walls, which wasn't previously there.

Beethoven: Oh my.

As Beethoven peaks through it, a large crashing noise can be heard from within.

Beethoven: Oh. Oh, oh that's not good.

Surratt: What's going on?

Surratt joins Beethoven in peeping through the crack, only to reveal the main courtyard, this time filled with numerous training dummies and fake defenses. Among the area, numerous skeletons are scattered, seemingly attempting to recreate some sort of a defense pattern. From atop the walls, numerous cannons can be seen. Around them, Claire is marching, regularly making them fire at the training entities.

Surratt: What the actual fu—

Another cannon fires, this time hitting the part of the wall around Surratt and Beethoven. Both of them flinch.

Claire: MY GRANDMA COULD RUN FASTER THAN YOU, AND SHE HAD POLIO SINCE SHE WAS THIRTY, GOD REST HER SOUL.

Another cannon fires at the skeletons.

Claire: DAMMNIT THE CANNON ISN'T GOING TO HURT YOU, SHOW SOME GUTS. OH WAIT, YOU DON'T HAVE ANY!

Claire starts to loudly laugh as he sets up another.

Claire: YOU HAVE TO DO BETTER THAN JUST HIDE THERE, YOU USELESS TRASH.

Another shot.

Surratt: Turning towards Beethoven: This is utter insanity! What is this?!

Beethoven: sighing: The training routine, I'm afraid.

Surratt: This needs to stop right goddamn now!

Surratt walks towards the stairs build in the walls, leading atop them.

Beethoven: No! It is not worth it. It is for their good, trust m—

Surratt: I don't care.

She runs through the staircase, climbing in in mere minutes. As she does so, she walks towards the general.

Surratt: What the hell are you doing, Claire?!

Claire: WHAT DID YOU SAY, MAGGOT?

Claire turns towards Surratt, who backs away slightly.

Surratt: All I'm saying is that this is utterly insane! These people are—

Claire: HOW DID YOU ADDRESS ME?!

Surratt: Clai—

Claire: 100 PUSHUPS. NOW. YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO RESPECT YOUR DAMNED COMMANDER AND ADDRESS HIM BY HIS PROPER TITLE, YOU UTTER WASTE OF SPACE!

Surratt: I—

Surratt sighs and gets on the ground, starting to do the pushups. As she has no muscles, she is able to do so with relative ease.

Upon finishing the exercise, she gets up, flattening her shirt. As she does so, she notices the Foundation camera implanted in her collarbone.

Surratt: What the h—

Claire: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY, RECRUIT?

Surratt: No, General Bo—

As Surratt tries to salute Claire, a deafening sound fills the air around them.

From the north of the entire valley, a group of approximately ten harpy-like entities rockets down on the battalion, with nine of them focusing on the skeletons down on the courtyard and one on Claire and Surratt located atop the walls.

Surratt: What the fuck?!

Claire: Fuckin' hell!

Claire picks up a rocket launcher located near him. As he does so, he puts a cigar in his mouth which he lights up shortly after.

As the entity gets near him, he fires the device, obliterating the demon entirely. Surratt flinches as he continues to fire the weapon repeatedly at other entities, which are being fought with some difficulty by other recruits with the basic weaponry they were provided.

Claire: Sleazy bastards…

Although Claire and the others attempt to eliminate all enemies, they succeed with only eight. The two remaining leave the area with other skeletons in their claws, flying away in the distance.

Claire: We have much less time than I thought.

Surratt: What's going on?

Claire: The bloody demons found our fortress. We need to hurry. If they found us, so will their leader.


[EXTRATENIOUS DATA REMOVED FOR BREVITY]


A large group of skeletons, including Surratt, Beethoven, and Björn can be seen standing within a relatively small room. Within it, Claire is standing atop a small, stone bench located in one of its corners.

Claire: SO, HERE'S THE THING, AND ALL OF YOU IMBECILES BETTER LISTEN UP. THE DEMONS HAVE FOUND US.

Most of the group gasps, with one of the skeletons appearing to, although impossible, faint.

Claire: WE FOUGHT WELL, BUT WE WEREN'T ABLE TO DEFEAT ALL, TWO OF THOSE BUGGERS GOT AWAY, AND IT'S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE WE SEE THE BIG MAN HIMSELF KNOCKING AT OUR DOOR.

Claire: OUR TIME TO PREPARE HAS DECREASED DRASTICALLY. WE HAVE…

Short pause.

Claire: TWO DAYS.

As Claire finishes his speech, frantic chatting ensues within the room. Numerous entities start to chatter towards each other, nervously moving around the area.

Claire: BUT WE STILL HAVE A CHANCE.

All chatting immediately stops.

Claire: WE NEED TO GO OUT. WITH THE HILL TAKEN, WE ARE MERELY TWO VALLEYS AWAY FROM THE KEEP OF SORROW. I HAVE CALCULATED THAT IF WE WERE TO USE ALL OUR AVAILABLE FORCES, WE HAVE AN APPROXIMATED… UHM… FIFTY PERCENT CHANCE OF WINNING. IF WE STRIKE WITHIN THE NEXT WEEK, WE SHALL BEND THE LORD OF THE UNDERWORLD TO OUR WILL, FOR WE ARE STRONG, AND WE ARE TOGETHER. WE HAVE TRAINED FOR THIS FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS, WE WILL PREVIAL.

Cheering can be heard within the room.

Claire: NOW, GET TO WORK. ALL OF YOU NEED TO BE PREPARED FOR THE GRAND FINALE, MAGGOTS. SO GET YOURSELF SOME PROTECTION, WEAPONS, CLOTHING, VEHICLES, THE WORKS. THIS IS THE FINAL BATTLE FOLKS, MAKE IT COUNT.

Claire steps down from the chair and moves towards one of the doors leading to another corridor.

Claire: TO THE ARMORY, YOU LITTLE WASTES.

As Surratt attempts to walk with the rest of the group, her shoulder is grabbed by Björn.

Björn: Aye, do not follow, Suhr-rat!

Surratt: What? Why?

Björn: Don't your eyes see the plebian weaponry they possess here? Cowards, the lot of them! Do you really believe one could defeat spawns of Hel herself with simple fire sticks?!

Surratt: N… n-no…?

Björn: Then you are the only one here with a mind of a hero, lady. I can see you as much of an adventurous soul like me. No one has ever been here like me.

Björn kneels, handing his sword to Surratt.

Björn: Please, take Farbauti.

Surratt: F… Farbauti…?

Björn: The weapon with which I had murdered gods and men alike. It's been long since it got a true battle, and I can see within your young eyes you will give it the fun it deserves.

Surratt: I… I don't think I can accept it, Björn. It's your weapon, and—

Björn: Silence. You earned it.

Surratt accepts it. As she picks the item up, Björn stands up.

Beethoven sighs.

Beethoven: You're insane.


[EXTRATENIOUS DATA REMOVED FOR BREVITY]


The three skeletons can be seen marching atop the walls, apparently in circles. Although they do not appear to be looking in any exact direction, they generally face the direction of the valley.

Björn: —and that's why you never grab a sword by the blade!

Björn chuckles.

Beethoven: So, what about you?

Surratt: Hm?

Beethoven: What's your story?

Surratt: Well, I… I don't think it's worth sharing, really, plus I'm not sure if I'm allowed to—

Beethoven: Oh, please, you're in hell, for God's sake, what worse could happen to you?

Surratt: I mean, yes, you are right, but— oh, whatever, fuck this. I was born in 1976 in New York. Didn't take long to leave, really, as my dad left us soon after, and my mom couldn't find anything in NY, so we pretty much went to the only place we could — our less than ideal family in Europe. They lived in Poland, in one of those shitty little industrial cities in Silesia, you know, that industrial complex?

Beethoven: A what?

Surratt: Oh, right. A… a large collection of villages in which people work in, essentially. I was never a bright kid — I've been the type that likes sports for a while. Mom didn't like it, but, well, that didn't change all that much. After high school, I tried going into a university that would make you a teacher, but, well, didn't pass. Due to some bullshit problems they found with me, I was doomed to work on my own rather than continue to study. Mom couldn't afford to find me another place, so, well, I was on my own. For the next three years, I was hopelessly stuck in a perpetual cycle of working in idiotic places, like bakeries and shit. That was until the Foundation caught wind of me.

Björn: The who now?

Surratt: I'll tell you later. Basically. they saw I was decently athletic, some shady man in black approached me offering a security job. I said yes, and, well, they accepted me.

Short pause.

Surratt: I've seen… many, many things you couldn't fathom. Bears that could teleport, ghost towns, magical musicians, complex rituals I didn't understand, literal bigfoot-fairy towns, and much, much, much more. And the best part was all that data was stored in a gargantuan building built around a magical library. Which also had a ghost bookkeeper. And a lot more.

Beethoven: What went wrong, then?

Surratt: Everything, pretty much. Get sent to the wrong place at the wrong time. Tried saving my friends when I should have run away. Ended up getting sliced to ribbons, and well, here we are.

Surratt sighs.

Surratt: At least I didn't end up like Robert, though. That poor fellow's probably still wandering the woods o

Surratt is interrupted by a ringing of a bell, heard near them. Beethoven and Björn flinch when they hear the sound.

Beethoven: Oh, our time's up it seems. Good story, reminds me of my days on the Archmage Council.

Surratt: Yeah, well— wait, what?


[EXTRATENIOUS DATA REMOVED FOR BREVITY]


The camera is showing the dorm within which the trio is situated in. Although Björn is walking around the room for unknown reasons, both Beethoven and Surratt are standing in one of the corners. Near them, a wardrobe, which wasn't previously there, can be seen.

Beethoven: And… I believe this should fit nicely on you.

Beethoven pulls out a tattered Polish World War II uniform from the wardrobe, he hands it to her, and she puts it on.

Surratt: It… it does fit quite nicely. Oh darn—

As she attempts to put the uniform on, it gets stuck on one of her ribs..

Beethoven: Let me help you out.

In the process of entangling the clothes from Surratt, Beethoven notices the camera built into one of her ribs.

Beethoven: What in good heavens is this?

Surratt: Wha— oh, that. Well, that's a recording device.

Beethoven: What in the Lord's name is that?

Surratt: I… I don't think I can really tell you. It's, well, it's secret.

Beethoven: You're in the underworld. I don't think they can get you here, heh.

Surratt: Well, here's the thing— oh, whatever, NDA's probably void now anyway. I worked for an organization that dealt with… paranormal stuff. A pretty big organization. I died dealing with one of them, and, well, it turns out they installed a… contraption that makes them see what I do, within me. I'm sure it's for the better, though. They're surely coming here to get me.

Beethoven: You… are aware that there is no way to ascend nor descend without dying, correct?

Surratt: What?

Beethoven: Well, you can't enter nor leave the underworld without passing through the gates of hell. And, well, they are located near the throne of its lord.

Surratt: Satan?

Beethoven: Indeed.

Surratt: I'm sure they will do something. They always did. If they can protect all of humanity, I'm sure getting to the underworld is nothing for them.

Surratt nervously chuckles.


[EXTRATENIOUS DATA REMOVED FOR BREVITY]


The camera reveals Beethoven, Björn, and Surratt sitting around the table within their dorm. Atop the furniture, numerous cards and tokens are laying.

Surratt looks at Beethoven.

Surratt: Your move?

Beethoven: All in.

Surratt: All?

Beethoven: Indeed.

Beethoven pushes a pile of his tokens onto the middle of the table. As he does so, he smiles widely. Surratt does the same. Björn glances at her, and so does she at him.

Surratt: You?

Björn: Aye… believe I should pass.

Surratt: Final decision?

Björn: Pass.

Beethoven glances at Surratt, whose drapes an arm over her chair.

Surratt: Show what you got.

Beethoven cocks his head as he puts forward all his cards.

Beethoven: Full.

Surratt: Ha!

Surratt bangs on the table with a fist as she stands up and puts her cards on the table, revealing it to everyone.

Surratt: Red full!

Beethoven sighs.

Beethoven: Oh well.

Surratt laughs and takes all of the tokens towards herself.

Björn: What a way to go, eh? Thus ends the illustrious card career of Ludwig Beethoven, defeated on his final night in Helheim.

Beethoven: Again.

Surratt: What?

Björn: What?

Beethoven: Eugh… nothing.

Björn: You're just drunk.

Björn laughs, and starts to shuffle the cards again.

Beethoven: One more?

Surratt: Please, what better do I have to do the day before my demise? I might as well grind both of you to the bone. Bring it on, bonehead.

Björn groans.

Beethoven: I do not think he found that humerus.

All three chuckle.

<End log>

<Begin log>

The feed reconnects, revealing an enormous group of skeletons marching forward, with numerous styles of uniforms and weaponry present throughout. Although due to the number of entities present, most of them cannot be properly recognized, within Surratt's near vicinity, both Björn and Beethoven can be seen, with the latter appearing to be talking to a small sub-group of entities carrying numerous musical-instrument-based weaponry. He is carrying several sheets of paper with him, and is waving.

Björn, who is walking approximately two meters away from Surratt, is drinking out of a whiskey bottle. As he drinks, the whiskey falls through his jaws and ribcage, and onto the ground.

Surratt: You know you can't taste anything, right?

Björn: Aye, one of the many curses of this land, but my father always drank before battle, said it brought good fortune to a warrior.

A brief pause.

Björn: Come to think of it he was most likely covering up the fact he was a drunkard. No matter, are you ready for combat?

Surratt: I… I think I am. Lots of buildup to this moment, you know? Pretty nervous.

Surratt chuckles nervously.

Björn: Eh, do not worry. Nothing better than going down for a just cause. And who knows what happens after what happens after?

Surratt: I guess you're right.

Surratt sighs, and they both continue walking. Despite her best efforts at looking in the distance over the valley, she is not able to do so, due to the ever-present skeleton subgroups. As she attempts to climb a small hill atop her to see more, Beethoven walks up to Surratt and Björn, attempting to start a conversation. He is noticeably cheery.

Beethoven: How are we on this fine day? Final day? Final… days?

Björn: Aye, didn't you finish your master-niece?

Beethoven: Masterpiece. And yes, I was. I am still setting things up, but trust me, it is going to be the most amazing thing you will ever behol—

As Beethoven attempts to continue talking to Björn, a deafening honk can be heard coming from their back. Shortly after, Beethoven pushes both of them over, effectively making them not be run over by the enormous tank which made this sound. Atop the machine, Claire can be seen peeping from within it, smoking a cigar.

Claire: HOW ARE WE TODAY, LITTLE SCRUBS? READY TO MAKE SOME GRAVE MISTAKES?

The entity laughs.

Claire: DO YOU FEEL THE WEIGHT OF TODAY'S CONSEQUENCES GRINDING YOUR LITTLE MINDS TO THE BONE?

Short pause.

Claire: WELL THEN, GOOD, HAHAHAHA!

The tank rolls off, and Surratt turns towards Björn and Beethoven.

Surratt: Hey, uh, so…

Beethoven: Yes?

Surratt: There is a big chance this will be our last day here. And, I mean, yeah, it is hell, but… you morons made it slightly better, you know?

Beethoven: And to you too. A pleasure, it has been. And hopefully still will. Heh.

In the distance, a gargantuan, stone fortress-like, spiral, chaotic building can be seen. Although it is surrounded by numerous lava rivers with only a few bridges closing the gap in between, as around it, numerous winged Tartarean entities can be seen, all of them are closed. Despite the lack of clouds around, lightning can be seen appearing near the top tower of the keep, which extends over 500 meters aboveground the rest of the building. The entire architecture of the area looks reminiscent of gothic, although an exact human architecture style cannot be fully confirmed due to the complexity and size of the structure.

As the building comes into the view of the legion, Claire stands up.

Claire: So, we're finally here.

The entire battalion stops for a moment.

Claire: The Keep of Sorrow.

As he notices the rest of the group stopped, Claire glances at them angrily and puts the cigar out of his mouth.

Claire: WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING? WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?!

As Claire stops speaking, a large group of skeletons within the battalion look at each other numerous times, each time nodding with their heads.

Claire: Oh god, no.

The group: I am Hell's Soldier.

Claire sighs.

The group: I am a Warrior and a member of my army. I serve the skeletons of my battalion, and live the values of the dead.

Björn: Aye, I will always place our mission first.

Surratt: quietly: What's going on?

Beethoven glances at her and smiles quickly.

Beethoven: I shall never accept defeat.

The group: I will never quit, for there is nowhere to run.

Surratt chuckles and rolls her eyes. She looks around the group and smiles almost unnoticeably.

Surratt: I would be disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained, and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills, but this is Hell, and we have none of that.

The group: I by no means an expert nor a professional.

Beethoven: But I live in the beauty of the hope of freedom.

Björn: I live and die again with honor.

The group: I am Hell's Warrior.

Claire chuckles.

Claire: You're good, kids. I am proud of you.

As the group stops to talk, all gates of the structure in the distance open. From within them, a horde encompassing an uncountable amount of numerous Tartarean entities — carrying from harpy-like winged humanoids to gigantic quasi-humanoid, four-legged creatures — can be seen emerging from all of them. The thunder near the towers starts to move towards the group, with blood starting to fall from within it. As all of this finishes, an extremely loud roar can be heard coming from within the keep.

Claire: Let's just hope it will be enough though.

Claire pumps the slide of a shotgun.

Claire: LET'S GIVE 'EM HELL!

<End log>

<Begin log>

The feed reconnects, revealing a large valley filled with fog and dust. Above it, the Keep of Sorrow towers, from within which an enormous amount of numerous kinds of Tartarean entities keep on appearing, swarming the battlefield and each skeleton present within which. Although due to the ever-present fog, most of the field cannot be seen through, as the thunder from before is currently located above the entire legion, with each lightning strike, a part of the battlefield becomes clear again. From within the cloud currently responsible for the thunder, a rain consisting of a substance reminiscent of blood is currently falling. As a result, the entire ground of the valley quickly turns into a mud-like substance, slowing down and sucking down a large part of the troops.

Surratt can be seen running quickly towards the bottom of the hill on which the fort is located. Although numerous other entities can be seen before her, she is moving the quickest out of the entire group, visibly trying to push towards the building's entry. Despite best efforts from the rest of the army, they are not able to push their line of defense forward the gates due to the overwhelming amount of entities pouring from them.

Upon reaching a stable position from within which she can defend herself and partake in combat, Surratt stops, attempting to familiarize herself with her surroundings better. As she dodges an incoming swipe from a nearby entity, Björn joins her position, cutting the entity in half with a sword.

Surratt: Do you know where [inaudible]?

Björn: What?!

Björn walks closer towards Surratt, lowering his stance as numerous bullets fly above their heads. As he does so, a large missile hits the cliff above them, blowing the pair into a ditch.

Surratt crawls towards Björn, attempting to shield both of them with local terrain.

Surratt: Do… you… know… where… Beethoven… is? I swear I've seen this pl—

Björn: No bloody clue! Last thing I heard was he wanted to play his tune into battle. Batshit insane fellow, I sa—

As Björn attempts to finish, a large, harpy-like Tartarean entity focuses on them.

Surratt: Fu—

The entity lashes down, flying towards Björn. Although he attempts to duck downwards, the being accounts for this and catches him in its claws. As it does so, it starts to fly away.

Surratt: No no no, no!

As the entity flies away into the battlefield, Surratt runs towards the rest of the battalion, attempting to find a projectile weapon. The flying entity suddenly screams, releasing Björn from its claws. He falls alongside the demon, and both engage in combat. Due to the distance and the fog however, not a lot can be seen.

After approximately 30 seconds, Björn can be seen emerging from the fog, the head of the entity in his hands, and a sizable hole in his frontal bone. He collapses on the ground. Surratt runs towards him.

Surratt: Björn? Björn?! Is everything alright?!

With a shaking hand, Björn points towards the body of the flying entity, his sword can be seen embedded in the chest.

Björn suddenly stops moving.

Surratt: Björn?

No response.

Surratt: Björn?!

No response.

Surratt crawls towards the laying skeleton and starts to shake his body. He does not show any reaction.

Surratt: Björn?! Please, tell me you're fine! Anything!

As she continues doing so, Beethoven walks towards her and grabs her by her arm.

Beethoven: He's in Valhalla now. What more can a warrior want than a death with his weapon?

Surratt: No! He… he must still be there. There is no death, this is the goddamned afterlife, remember?!

Beethoven: There are many things I don't understand, Surr. He's in a better place now. Nothing can be worse than this. Unless it just repeats. Heh.

Surratt: N… No… no!

Beethoven starts to walk away from her.

Beethoven: Come on. You can do nothing more. We'll give him a funeral after we win.

Surratt: No! This is no—

As she attempts to talk back, Claire's tank starts to climb up the hill, into their vision. With around 50 skeletons present atop it, they are able to defend against most entities coming towards them.

Claire: HOW ARE WE ON THIS FINE DAY, LITTLE WASTES? BAD? GOOD! HAHAHAHAHA!

Claire fires the tank, hitting a large entity visible in the distance. As he does so, the tank accelerates towards both Surratt and Beethoven, who quickly climb atop it.

As the tank speeds up, they start to climb the hill, driving towards the gate closer and closer. Despite a large number of entities swarming them, they are able to defend against them due to their number, as well as due to a large part of the army regaining their ground and being able to climb upward.

Claire: HAHAHAHAHA! GIVE 'EM SHIT THEY DESERVE, BOYS!

As Claire finishes the sentence, the tank arrives near the entry to the fort atop the hill. All army members present atop the vehicle leave it, getting near its gates. From within a side of Surratt's vision, a large, ram-like machine created entirely out of bones and stone can be seen. It is quickly relocated near the doors, and Claire walks to its proximity.

Claire: ONE.

As Claire points towards the doors, the ram contacts them, violently shattering a part of it.

Claire: TWO.

The machine fires again, shattering the steel locks around the entry.

Claire: THREE.

The ram hits for the third time, the doors shatter.

With the doors of the fort breached, allowing the entire team to enter, the camera reveals an extremely large hall, filled with numerous cages, fireplaces, paintings, and sculptures, all depicting people in numerous forms of pain. The area is massive, with numerous staircases up and down being connected and going through the hall. each build in a different style. Where they lead is unknown. As Claire notices a hallway at the end of the corridor, leading towards a dark, unlit room, he quickly rushes forward, leaving the rest of the team behind. As he does so, he loads his shotgun.

Surratt: Where the hell are you going?!

Claire: For the beast itself.

<End log>



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