rating: +101+x

Journal Entry; June 19th, 2021.
Grace Hunter. Overseer 9.

Also, Level 5 Researcher, Military Strategist, and Olympic Bronze Medal Cross-Country Skier. Ph.D's in Physics, Paraphysics, Thaumaturgical Principles, Applied Anomalous Sciences and Business Administration. IQ 146.

And here I am, sitting at this desk like a moron.

I don't even know why I sat at this desk, in this ocean of desks, in the depths of furniture storage bay #49. Just this afternoon I’d stood at the zenith of the SCP Overwatch Command - the Site-19 Inner Chamber. But then, I got on a plane, flew out to nowhere Oregon, and strolled right into the depths of Site-133: the least remarkable site in the whole Foundation. We don’t even contain anything here. We use it to store office supplies.

Yet here I sit, and I have no idea why. I just know the reason terrifies me.

Sitting here, I remember there’s a key in my wallet. I remember it opens the top drawer of this desk. There’s a laptop inside - I remember - and on it was an active article about… ah, right.

This again.

Item #: SCP-6277 Level 2/6277
Object Class: Keter Classified


SCP-6277 - Figure Center-Right, Unconfirmed

Special Containment Procedures: Containment has been deemed impossible at this time. The rate of civilian exposure to SCP-6277 will be tracked through the Foundation Department of Parapsychology.

Description: SCP-6277 is a rare phenomenon known to occur when an individual views their own reflection during a critical moment in their life. In these events, the image of one or more dead loved-ones will likewise appear, acting appropriately to the current situation (i.e. clapping during a graduation, dancing during a wedding reception, weeping during a funeral, etc.) No physical counterpart to these reflections has ever been recorded - though the reflections themselves have been confirmed on legitimate forms of media.

Reflections will vanish when no longer consciously perceived, or eye contact is broken. While shock, panic, and lasting anxiety has resulted from viewing SCP-6277, the majority of witnesses have reported overall feelings of contentment and/or spiritual fulfillment from experiencing the event.

In limited cases where SCP-6277 is observed for a prolonged period, reflections of the dead will be seen attempting to speak. However, in these events, no sound has ever been recorded.



Journal Entry; June 19th, 2021.
Grace Hunter. Overseer 9.

I opened that image… forty-eight minutes ago. I've just been sitting here, watching 48 missing hours play back in my mind’s eye like high-speed film-strips. Now my nose is bleeding. God do I hate anti-occlusions.

Revised Journal Entry; Date Unknown.
Grace Hunter. Overseer 9.

I'd been in my office that particular night. I had seen someone standing behind me, in the mirror. Then, before I could even react, I was somewhere else entirely…

I found myself watching a stage-play of my own life.

I sat in the audience of an infinite, pitch-black auditorium surrounding a solitary stage. Hanging high above it was a duplicate of the old, oak standing mirror I kept in the corner of my office. It was suspended by nothing, and cast a bright spotlight down onto the scene. My entire office was on that stage, set against a wall of red velvet curtain. Two bundles framed the stage, synched by golden ropes pulling the curtain apart. It was exactly as I’d left it only seconds ago; the beat-up desk chair I refused to throw away, the lumpy clay coffee mug my niece had made, and the sofa too… but only partially. Half of it stood outside the spotlight, and that unlit half seemed to cleanly cut-off into nonexistence. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I realized that the sofa was only partially in view of that corner mirror. Pieces began to connect in my mind.

I was there, too… and two. One image of me was high above - as if that old oak mirror had become a one-way looking glass into my world. At least, I assumed it was one-way. She was looking straight in, but didn’t appear at all shocked, as I expect I would be if I saw an endless auditorium inside my mirror. I had to assume she still only saw her own reflection.

Then, there was the “me-on-stage”. She was looking into the corner too, but there sat only an oak frame with a flat, white plane inside. The me-on-stage and the me-in-the-mirror turned back to their work in perfect unison - though seen from different angles. It all gave me a phenomenal headache to watch.

Someone sitting next to me whispered in my ear.

(?): Don’t look away.

Instinctively, I disobeyed. I turned my head, but before I could, a hand came to grip my upper arm. It was trembling, and now the voice was too.

(?): Please. Don’t look away. You’re about to have a heart attack.

And sure enough, as I watched on mortified, both the me-in-the-mirror and the me-on-stage doubled over their desks and collapsed to the floor. No sound came from the mirror above, but the duplicate on stage shrieked for help. Her voice was nothing like mine. Despite that inconsistency, everything else was visually perfect - her movements were exactly as my own, above. It was a twisted, almost voyeuristic experience, watching my own death being performed.

(?): Don't be afraid. I can explain exactly-

O5-9: Oh yes, could you? This is all fascinating.

(?): I- uh… I expected you to be a bit more unsettled by all this.

O5-9: Oh, pish. I can't say I've seen something quite so surreal - recently - but it's hardly the most frightening thing I've experienced.

(?): About that-

A loud "shh!" burst somewhere behind us, and I and my neighbor went silent.

Someone approached from stage-right. They were shapeless, featureless, and only barely humanoid; like a cloud of glittering dust in the shape of a person. As they stepped on stage, the shards shifted and spun in bright threads, gathering color, forming into the shape of a man. It was my secretary - Jason. I watched him enter the office with a stack of papers, drop them, and rush to my side. He began shouting into his cellphone with - again - the wrong voice.

(?): They expected you to be alone this late at night.

O5-9: Who?

(?): The person who tried to kill you.

O5-9: The- wait, you’re saying-

(?): They fail. Your heart only stops for 30 seconds. They manage to revive you, and counteract the poison that was in your coffee. You’ll wake up in the hospital tomorrow morning. Later that day, you apprehend your would-be murderer: a level-3 researcher, and a double agent.

O5-9: My my. How do you know all this?

(?): I’m the understudy. I know the whole script.

O5-9: Of… my life?

(?): Incidentally. It’s hardly our fault your world mirrors ours.

The Jason-on-stage ran off, shouting at his phone. As he left the spotlight, he dissolved back into shimmering dust. Polite applause rippled out around me. The hand on my arm tightened again.

(?): Don’t look away. Don’t even blink. It’s not in the script, but I’m betting one of them will show up soon…

Another strange, tinsel specter approached from stage right. Unlike the confident stride of the first being, this one seemed… erratic; uncontrolled. It almost seemed to be fighting itself. It didn’t want to enter the spotlight. But after a few jerky motions, it stepped on stage as my Grandfather.

Immediately, boos and hisses erupted from the audience. Fingers dug into my upper arm so tight they nearly bit bone. The me-on-stage was breathing shallow breaths, staring into the corner “mirror”. My grandfather, in this world only, approached her and knelt. He stroked her hair, kindly, as my real Grandfather often did when I was a child. I watched, held my breath, and kept my eyes locked wide.

He spoke a name.

At least… I think it was a name. Even now, the shape of it eludes me. Trying to say it - aloud or in my mind - feels like touching a bramble of white-hot thorns pressed inside my own skull. The word was pain. The word was horrifying. It felt more real than my own skin and bones. It consumed me with a sudden, overwhelming urge to run. However, My "neighbor" held me down in my seat. They couldn't stop me from blinking.

The curtains shifted, and those bundles framing the sides synched by golden ropes… it's then I saw them as they were. They were towering, robed figures. I could just barely make out the shapes of their shrouded faces, high above, with eyes like guiding stars. Red-white tendrils shaped like fish hooks shot out from beneath their cloaks. They snapped around my Grandfathers neck, waist, wrists and ankles. Before my second blink, they dragged him behind the curtain, and the audience gave no cheer or cry. All was silent.

O5-9: I'm… no longer fascinated, I think. I'd like to leave now.

(?): Wouldn't we all. That one, for example, who just got their Curtain Call… they were quite accomplished, once upon a time. They never missed a line; never a single hair out of place. They performed Presidential speeches practiced in back-room mirrors, and locker-room confessions between young lovers. The Stage Hands there would have never touched them back then. Everyone respected the craft… until we heard the name.

O5-9: But what is it? What is this… "name"?

(?): A warning, we think. It means something is coming. Once you hear it, you can either run from it… or let it in. Most of us try to give one last shining performance before that happens… even if it's not on the marquee…

O5-9: Why-… why did you bring me here?

(?): Because I don’t intend to run. I intend to escape. You're going to get me out of here, and into your reality.

O5-9: I'm sorry. You want me-

(?): Yes.

O5-9: To help you - some kind of anomalous mirror creature-

(?): Hurtful phrasing, but yes.

O5-9: Escape out and run wild in my reality.

(?): Y-… well, yes.

O5-9: I see. Are you at all aware of my job title?

(?): It's exactly why I chose to bring you here, paradoxical as it may seem. Well - sort of brought you here. I've just borrowed your consciousness and popped it into the audience for a moment. You're still having a heart attack right now, back in your reality. Point is, I picked you because the name isn't just some vague, terrifying thing to you. Not you, Grace Hunter, Overseer 9, who pens demons and unweaves apocalypses for breakfast. You can tell how much worse this is.

O5-9: How flattering. Now I can be terrified with context. That doesn't explain why I'm here, or why I should help you.

(?): Because I need you, and you need me - respectively. I've seen 10,000 performances. I know a great many secrets. For example, as I've demonstrated, I've learned how to borrow a consciousness like yours for the span of a performance. I know a few tricks for transcending dimensions… but I can't do it alone.

I turned to face them, then. My pupils practically vibrated. It was like looking at a dozen people at once - a whirlpool of overlapping faces trying to form one coherent visage. They didn't look like anyone specific… but there was my uncle's crooked nose, and my mentor's strong chin, and my little sister's bright blue eyes. They looked like everyone I'd ever lost, all at once.

(?): I'll make you a deal. You help me get out of my reality, and I'll tell you how to escape from yours. Then, we can both run. It-… whatever it is, it will be here soon. Them, it will find its way into your world. We're very close neighbors. Neighbors should help each other, right?

It hurt to look at them. It hurt to look away. None of it hurt or scared me as much as that name. For a moment, I watched the empty stage.

O5-9: Let's say I believe you. Why exactly do you need me?

(?): Well, I don't need you, specifically. I need someone you've got locked in a cage.

Revised Journal Entry; Date Unknown. The next day.
Grace Hunter. Overseer 9.

SCP-507, colloquially known as "The Reluctant Dimension Hopper", was brought in under my order. They were escorted into a private containment chamber - one with no cameras, and a very large one-way mirror. 507 sat across a steel table, hands and ankles shackled. I'd had it all arranged immediately after my little heart-attack hiccup.

And just before that - before my consciousness had been tossed back through the looking glass - I'd briefly protested that 507 had no control over his abilities. I explained he was just an ordinary person who happened to jump dimensions at random times, to random places.

I was assured otherwise.

SCP-507: So… uh… something I can do for you, lady? Is this about that pudding cup I stashed last week? I swear, like I told the guard guy, I need that stuff to keep me regular, y’know? I'm just trying to make it easier on your plumbing! So-

I spoke the name. It screamed in my mind. It burned on my tongue. It felt like acrid bile leaving my throat, but I spoke it. SCP-507 didn't look pained at all to hear it, though. In fact, his face went slack. His eyes lost their luster. For a moment, I almost believed he’d fainted on me. Then, he moved, sitting up slumped like a limp rag doll jostled in place by a toddler. He spoke, and so much like the performances I'd watched the day before… it wasn't his voice.

SCP-507(?): Really. Must you? I was trying to sleep.

O5-9: SCP-507? Are you-

SCP-507(?): I’m not. Whatever you were about to ask, I’m not that. I’m not 507, or John, anyone else you might guess.

O5-9: Then who are you?

His arms flopped strangely over his chest, as if he was trying to fold them but couldn't quite pull it off.

SCP-507(?): Just a traveler, hitching a ride. Mind not telling John? I'm quite comfortable in here.

O5-9: You're a reflection, aren't you?

SCP-507(?) laughed.

SCP-507(?): So that's what this is about! Goodness me… it's really is close, isn't it? Barely one stop away now. Did you go to see a spooky play?

O5-9: Answer the question.

SCP-507(?): No. I'm not one of the actors. I've been on stage, though. I’ve been many places, and many things; a reflection, an ocean, a fish and a fisherman. I’ve been a stargazer, a star - an entire sentient universe once or twice! I'm quite good at blending in to the realities I run to… and oh, did I used to run. I ran from that name through countless realities. I became a master of piercing the veil! But it didn't matter. There was no getting away from that name; that thing. It’s always either nipping at your heels, or devouring you whole. It never stops.

SCP-507… or the entity living inside him I suppose, curled John's lips up.

SCP-507(?): Once, when I was young and stupid, I even tried to stop it. It left me damaged in ways you cannot comprehend. So, instead, I tried to warn people; help them run away too. All that did was give me more friends to lose… and entire civilizations blaming the messenger for the storm…

SCP-507(?) laughed again, weaker than before.

SCP-507(?): I remember now… Harbinger, they called me…

O5-9: But why stop here?

SCP-507(?) didn't reply immediately, lost in thought.

SCP-507(?): Well… it was a good a place as any.

O5-9: I find that extremely hard to believe.

SCP-507(?): Aah… you're thinking of running, aren't you? You might as well stick around. All your stuff's here anyway.

O5-9: Perhaps. I'd still appreciate the option - and I have a deal to fulfill. Speaking of: you're going to retrieve one of those "actors" for me. In return, I'll let you get back to sleep, and never wake you again.

SCP-507(?): Oh really? Pinkie promise?

O5-9: I can swear it on that name, if you'd like.

SCP-507(?) watched me for a while, staring me dead in the eye. Then, they smiled fully. It almost felt condescending.

SCP-507(?): Well… got anyone around here you wouldn't miss?

Revised Journal Entry; Date Unknown. The same day.
Grace Hunter. Overseer 9.

D-1989 was brought into the containment cell - after I'd left it, of course. Given the choice, I wouldn't want to be on the same planet as that psychopath, let alone the same room. He was slated for execution in three days. During our last breach he got loose, and took the opportunity to… do things not worth detailing. The end-result was three homicides: two D-Class, and one promising young researcher. I could say for certain I wouldn't miss him.

Security officers threw him in, unshackled. They barely had time to shut the door before he was bashing his shoulder into it, screaming obscenities, threatening their families with brutal perversions. Then SCP-507 appeared, legs flopped up over the table. His head lolled to the side, looking into the one-way mirror, speaking both to me and D-1989's reflection.

SCP-507(?): Ready for the "ol' switcheroo"?

D-1989 bellowed and lunged at him - a man the size of a linebacker, hairless, covered in white supremacist tattoos. I'd have forgiven SCP-507 for flinching. Instead, he reclined and smiled. The moment they made contact, SCP-507 vanished. The containment cell was empty. The mirror showed four people - two sets of twins. D-1989 stood beside himself. SCP-507 still reclined, but another image of him stood behind one of the D-1989 reflections, hand gripping the back of his neck.

The lights flickered.

Then all was made right; two men, two reflections. D-1989 climbed to his feet, staring at his own hands in disbelief. His reflection, however, looked around frantically. There was just enough time to see his mouth form the words "What the f-" before I blinked, saw a brief flicker of his face in anguish, dragged under a dark veil. A new reflection of the grotesque man appeared just as quickly, mirroring his actions perfectly again. A true actor.

D-1989(?): I'm… here. I'm here! Ha- haha! HA HAHA HA HAHAHAHA!

SCP-507(?): Mazel tov. It's a coward.

D-1989 and SCP-507 stared at each other for a moment. It felt like they might attack each other again.

D-1989(?): Funny, hearing you use that word. I've seen every one of your performances. I know what you whisper to yourself late at night when the real John is asleep.

SCP-507(?): Oh, don't get me wrong! I am ab-so-lutely a coward too… of a different sort. I've lived with that name, and that eventuality much longer than you, friend. I still sometimes feel the need to run from it. I drag this meat-sack over to the next dimension now and again just to satisfy that cowardly instinct, but I always come back. You know why? Because there is no escape.

D-1989(?): I'll find a way. I'll survive.

SCP-507(?): Survive to what? Run? Run and run and run for the rest of infinity? I'd rather face the inevitable here, in this cozy little reality, and let it take me.

D-1989(?): I hope it takes you first. I hope it comes soon, then takes its time.

SCP-507(?) laughed, loudly, hands slapping against his stomach like a drum. He turned to the mirror.

SCP-507(?) Ha ha! Deal's done, Overseer! Now don't ever wake me again. I plan to be one of the lucky ones, and go in my sleep.

Then he crumpled in his chair like a cut-sting puppet. Now, I was left with the thing that became D-1989. I tapped the intercom button.

O5-9: I believe we had a deal?

D-1989(?) was still staring at the Dimension Hopper's slumped body. After a good, long while, he turned to me - to the mirror.

D-1989(?): You know, a Curtain Call isn't really "the end". You mess up a performance, the Stage Hands pull through the curtain, and after a few millennia you try again. You play a swaying tree, or a snail. You climb your way back up to leading roles. There are no endings for us, though… just the ones we act out…

He smiled at me.

D-1989(?): Here’s how you escape your reality.

Then he reached up, and snapped his own neck.

Journal Entry; June 19th, 2021.
Grace Hunter. Overseer 9.

So… that's it, really. That's the situation.

More and more SCP-6277 instances are reported each month. Whatever "it" is, it's spreading.

The name is clear in my mind now. I can see the shape of it, and the fear is absolute. I know I could say it aloud. I could shout it out to the whole O5 council if I wanted; let it spread and send this world into panic. I want to. I want to warn them all. Or maybe… it wants me to.

But there's a drawer full of syringes here. They're all brimming with a powerful amnestic. Below it is another drawer full of those same syringes, only empty. I won't dare count how many. I don't want to know how many times I've chosen to forget all this - only for that name to come floating back up like a rotten corpse in a bog.

There's a gun here too; loaded, one bullet.

If you're reading this journal, then I must have already made my choice. There's really only one thing left now.

What kind of coward will you be?

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