rating: +74+x

Creating sandboxed environment…

Restoring subject from backup…

Assigning AIC interrogator…



Instantiating Investigation:

MARIPOSA.AIC, you are cleared to begin Interrogation.

Item#: 7335
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:

Special Containment Procedures:

Any subsimulations likely to be of interest to SCP-7335 are protected by dedicated network firewall systems. As SCP-7335 currently possesses operator privileges associated with a Level-5 Foundation researcher, only Level-5+ personnel are permitted to engage SCP-7335 in direct confrontation.

Any personnel engaging SCP-7335 should only do so via encrypted uplink and should minimize direct contact with SCP-7335.

Should SCP-7335 establish contact with over 0.01% of all SIMULACRUM subsimulations, targeted system outages will be initiated with relaxation of simulation continuity best practices.


SCP-7335 is a self-aware replicating algorithmic construction, originating from the Restricted Elemental Divergence Observation ("REDO") project. It has the ability to alter simulation parameters beyond its intended capabilities, and has currently infested 1,000 adjacent operating environments.


The greatest innovation of the 2Xth century.

In the early [TIME PERIOD REDACTED], the Anomaly Incidence Rate1 of Meatspace Earth rose beyond unsustainable levels. Therefore, by the late [TIME PERIOD REDACTED], the Foundation had successfully migrated the entirety of Meatspace humanity into SIMULACRUM.

SIMULACRUM began as an experimental attempt to construct a simulated reality completely under the Foundation's control, incorporating technological innovations developed through the study of AIAD constructs, SCP-5470, novel containment solutions pursued by the Minecraft Department, and [REDACTED]. For the decades following its development, it was used primarily for hyperrealistic training simulations, personnel leisure, and [REDACTED]. However, a number of system irregularities made the digitization of the humanoid races undesirable until Anomaly Incidence Rate made life on earth unsustainable.

In the ensuring [TIME PERIOD REDACTED], SIMULACRUM has undergone successive iterative improvements from both within and without. Currently, the system occupies [VOLUME REDACTED] of Meatspace, hosting [COUNT REDACTED] minds in [COUNT REDACTED] procedurally-generated environments and [COUNT REDACTED] in fully-designed sandbox environments.


The REDO project is an experimental sandboxed environment originally intended to research simulated evolution and alternative laws of physics. It was repurposed as a replacement for dreams for users in select other simulations in order to conserve computational resources , and it also became available to privileged users for experimental and recreational purposes.

The experimental phase of the REDO project was intended to determine:

  • Whether a convincing mimicry of life could be created using a specific simulated physical system;
  • Whether this mimicry of life could pass Turing tests i.e. provide a convincing facsimile of sentience;
  • Whether these constructs could be used to improve SIMULACRUM efficiency.

REDO was in an experimental phase for about 10 meatyears, and has been in active use for [ERROR. INTEGER OVERFLOW]


REDO was a strongly-typed environment. All objects that existed in REDO needed to be associated with a specific data type, which strictly defined interactions with other objects of other data types. The emergent behaviors between objects with these datatypes provided a convincing facsimile of a natural environment.

The philosophical underpinnings of REDO lied in the Classical understanding of the elements. The Aristotelian elements i.e. fire, water, earth, and air were part of the initial conception of the alternate laws of physics for the sandbox.


Early iterations suggested heuristic computational improvements and the expansion of the vector space should additional elements be included. The elements deemed to introduce the most orthogonal emergent properties were wood, metal, aether, and void.

With the introduction of wood and metal, the existing relational schema for the elements was modified to include oppositional or negatory relationships. The initial schema for this structure was based on the Classical Chinese Wu Xing, which views the elements as forces for change.


Over time, additional elements have been introduced into the simulation as needed to expand the sandbox's ability to model corresponding real-world phenomena. A complete element structural relationship diagram can be seen in SIMULACRUM STUDY YAT.00231.

REDO "Denizen" primary specification

Name: Zootypic Elemental Natural Simulations.


A typical Zen Life Cycle, represented using native REDO symbology.

Short name: "Zens".

Definition: A REDO denizen dependent on elements within REDO and only capable of perceiving world through that lens.

REDO Zens were the native inhabitants of the REDO environment. Zens were dependent completely on the alternate system of physics within REDO. Zens emerged naturally from the initial conditions of the REDO sandbox after roughly 500 million simulation years. Although Zens appeared to respond to external stimuli, they were dependent heavily on data-objects and functions of a specific "type", a datatype internal to REDO and were not believed to have true sentience.

Constrained to the REDO sandbox.

Naturally aggressive and strongly susceptible to social structures: Simulation architects imposed a goal to create networks of life that would naturally tend towards strongly hierarchical structures. A secondary property of this effect enabled recreational control of Zens by outsiders, enabling use of REDO as recreational sandbox.

Experienced life in discrete stages: After sufficient experience/age, Zens would transform to the next stage of life instead of aging continuously. In part, this was to save computational power by not simulating senescence. In another part, this was an emergent property inherited from the Wu Xing transitional systems.

Naturally immortal: If defeated/destroyed, regenerated at an earlier stage of life. Property inserted by simulation architects. As Zens were never marked as deleted, they were exempt from typical SIMULACRUM scheduled cluster deletion routines.

Additional properties were largely emergent, and embedded Sandbox researchers developed idiosyncratic domain-specific language for these properties.

Access Interfaces

Like many experimental sandboxed environments, REDO was accessible from other simulation layers. In these higher simulations, subsimulations would be marketed using locally-appropriate jargon and motifs in order to disguise the nature of SIMULACRUM.

As outsiders entered REDO, they started changing the environment to suit their desires and cultural expectations, separating REDO into distinct zones reflecting the home simulations of its visitors. It became a popular pastime to adventure through REDO with a team of account-bound Zens that were compelled to obey only their owners' commands. The unique regenerative features of Zens led to the establishment of sport-fighting and a thriving Player-vs-Player community, as well as strong emotional bonds between players and their Zens and the spread of Zens iconography through other simulations as a brand.

Sample of advertisement of REDO recreational use:

Future City simulation:


Diamond City simulation:


AI land simulation:


Memory Extract

3,701st REDOZEN Combat League Championship

Defending Champion Robert Cordol vs Challenger Jakob Reigen

League Chairman: Dr. Alistair Forge

Location: Hyperdrome City

Champion Cordol and Challenger Reigen bow to each other.

Chairman Forge chops his hand in front of himself. The match begins.

Briefly, translucent panes flash in front of Cordol and Reigen, each one displaying six ZENS. Both select a ZEN. Their bodies start glowing, dark green for Reigen, black for Cordol. The light flows into the field of battle, coalescing into Zens.

Cordol's black light coalesces into a pitch-black leopard, save for two eyes that are bright pinpricks of light. The shadows in the Hyperdrome Arena darken.

Reigen's green light outlines the wireframe of a four-legged draconic beast with cascading plates of armor. The armor populates. When finished rendering, the effect is akin to chainmail. Blue fire dances from between each layer of armor, like a gas burner on its lowest setting.

Cordol's leopard lunges. The arena falls under the spell of shadow. The audience gasps as the battlefield is plunged into pitch darkness, save for the shimmering blue fire of Reigen's dragon.

The dragon roars.

The fires gushes outwards, blasting back Cordol's darkness. Cordol's leopard is revealed.

Reigen's dragon lunges.

Cordol and Reigen are both down to one Zen apiece. The crowd is roaring with anticipation. The ground shakes.

Each is glowing with light — Cordol in black, Reigen in green. They each raise their right hands. The light flows forth, calling forth their respective ace Zens.

Cordol's ace is a slim humanoid figure, stretching twelve feet tall. It has six arms, all deathly pale, each ending in a spindly hand with four fingers. Each fingertip glows cyan.

Reigen's ace is another dragon. This one is snake-like, lithe, and feminine, colored magenta and purple. Though it is a thin creature, it bends and curves upon itself in such a way as to look voluptuous. Pairs of bulbous liquid-filled sacs dot its body periodically.

The fight begins.

Cordol's crooked man charges forward, talons of blue light extending from its fingertips, poised to penetrate Reigen's dragon.

The sacs on Reigen's dragon swell, then burst. Noxious acid, colored fluorescent purple and green, spews forth, spilling towards the crooked man. It dodges, stepping deftly between the gouts of acid, which eat into the floor, forming pools.

But the dragon does not relent. Bulbous sac after bulbous sac swells and bursts, until the heavens are deluged with acid.

Cordol's crooked man does not hesitate. Its blue talons shimmer and solidify into a thicket of Metal element, claws interwoven so tightly they form layers upon layers of barriers. The acid splashes harmlessly off of it, falling to the side, and the crooked man carves a path to Reigen's dragon.

Reigen laughs.

The dragon coils and turns its head towards the crooked man. It opens its mouth.

It spits a stream of fire.

The crowd screams as Cordol's crooked man vanishes in the glut of flame. The metal talons melt away under the barrage.

Cordol remains calm.

A minute passes. The flames continue.

Reigen's dragon rears back and closes its mouth, ending the flame. The air is thick with heat haze. The ground is coated with the remaining fire, slowly sputtering out.

A silhouette emerges.

The crooked man stands. It approaches, relentless.

Reigen shouts, commands his dragon to attack once more. To call forth lightning from heaven. To burst its remaining poison sacs. To spew whatever fire it still commands.

And still the crooked man approaches.

Cordol gives the slightest twitch of a finger. A poised gesture, but a depressingly casual one.

The crooked man extends its six arms, like the spokes of a wheel. On each arm, it splays all four of its fingers, like twigs growing from tree branches. Each begins glowing iridescently.

For the briefest second, it seems vulnerable.

And then it strikes. Twenty-four jabs, each directed at pressure points. With every blow, a miniature explosion of Base Element.

The dragon writhes. Screams of agony, from both the Zen and Reigen. And still Cordol's crooked man does not relent.

And then it falls still. Becomes green light, flows back to Reigen. And the crooked man stands tall. Bruised and burned, but tall.

Cordol once again defends his title.

Memory Extract

Location: Safari Wilderness, REDO

Actor 1: Dr. Robert Cordol (Champion (REDO), Director (Foundation)… 27 other)

Actor 2: Dr. Alistair Forge (Chairman (REDOZEN League), Architect (REDO))

Champion Cordol, wearing his all-black suit, stands in the midst of the Safari Wilderness, one of the few areas of REDO dedicated for continued evolution and natural existence, in contrast to the cities settled by REDO users.

Fifty meters away, a herd of Zens resembling bison graze peacefully. Thick flocks of bird Zens dance through the sky, as dark as clouds. Snake Zens and mouse Zens and mongoose Zens fight each other, snapping and biting at each other. Occasionally, sparks and flashes of color — base element manifestation — appear.

Cordol brings up a REDO infopanel. He selects two Zens, which manifest in his hands.

In his right hand, a Zen resembling a revolver, but instead of spaces for bullets in its cylinder, it has angry red eyes.

In his left hand, a Zen that brings to mind a magnifying glass or lens. He grips it by its tail, and the shade of the "glass" dilates and blurs as it notices the other Zens in the field.

Cordol smiles. He raises both Zens in front of him and starts shooting.

The bison Zen stampede as soon as the first one among them falls, struck down by a blast of Mind element from Cordol's Lens. He picks them off methodically with blasts of Fire Element from his Revolver, each shot catalyzing the residual Fire Element in the bison Zen to catastrophically destabilize and explode. A chain reaction triggers. Soon, the herd burns.

Cordol takes a deep breath. The air smells like barbecue. It's familiar.

All too familiar.

He sighs.

He raises his guns to the sky next. From the lens, he shoots a hole clear through a flock of bird Zens, a blast of mingled Darkness Element and Lightning Element — not enough to impact the flock as a whole, as the collective quickly fills in the void left by their fallen brethren. He has planned for this.

VERDICT: Chaos - Hole in the Sky

The sky darkens, and thunderclouds form. His Lens Zen coos to the heavens, and they reciprocate with thunderbolts. Cordol stands firm, fearless, and he takes no damage. His Lens Zen purrs as the skies feed it lightning without any regard for what stands in their way. A slow trickle at first becomes a wild frenzy of a hundred bolts a second from every corner of the sky.

It starts raining birds.

Cordol sighs.

As for the mice and snake and mongoose Zens — well, for them he is content to watch. The winner of that particular fight might have some potential.

His reverie is interrupted.

FORGE: Had your fun?

CORDOL: Have you ever been to a barbecue, Forge? There's something instinctual in the human brain that gets activated by the smell of roasting meat. The Maillard reaction spilling umami compounds into the air. Triggering our hunger. Our satiety.

Cordol points his gun at the roasting corpses of the bison Zens.

CORDOL: Almost reminds me of that. But not quite. Like everything else here, it falls short.

FORGE: Imagine if the crowds could see you now. The undefeatable champion, Robert Cordol. Terrorizing the innocent. Ruining with wild abandon.

CORDOL: Spare me the fuckin' sanctimony, Forge.

FORGE: A whole world simply full of wonder, and you resort to this. Mindless animal slaughter.

Cordol points his revolver at Forge and fires six multicolored bullets. Forge does not react. The bullets bend around him and impact the ground harmlessly.

FORGE: Such incivility. Are the wonders of a new form of life not enough for you?

CORDOL: Give me a break. Life. This isn't life. It's a model, a toy. I'm breaking a toy that's going to put itself back together again the instant I leave.

FORGE: You wound me.

CORDOL: I didn't know you had anything in you to hurt.

Cordol watches the mongoose, snake, and mice Zens fighting. They seem to be at a stalemate.

CORDOL: I've done this sort of thing countless times. I'm sure you've seen them all. The first time was… terrifying. I thought I was testing the limits of your simulation. Thought for sure I'd reach a barrier or a limit you'd imposed, run into some rollback threshold that would stop me from doing too much damage. The second time was just to make sure I hadn't imagined the whole thing. I didn't think you'd actually let it happen. And that second time, they remembered me. They knew fear. And every time after that was more and more exhilarating. To have this kind of power over life or death is something I haven't felt in years, not since we stopped using D-Class. And I know you've seen it all. You've seen every hunt I've had. Every massacre. So why now?

FORGE: Because, old friend, I think you are bored.

CORDOL: You fuckin' serious?

FORGE: Exhilaration comes from the unexpected. But you've done these hunts a thousand times by now. You've exhausted every iteration of elemental interference. You've struck the birds down with lightning from the heavens and with pillars from the earth. And you've seen what they do. Each and every time. Tell me, old friend. Does my world hold any surprises for you anymore?


The two men stare at each other.

CORDOL: So, what. You want me to leave? To get out and stop blowing up your perfect little world now that you think it's not good enough for me?

FORGE: On the contrary. I thought I'd give you advance warning of an update I'm planning. Something that might make your time here more… worth your while.

CORDOL: Nothing out of this digital primordial sludge is worth jack shit anymore.

FORGE: I'll be breaking my own rules, once and forevermore. A Zen not forged from artificial evolution but from my own intelligent design. Something, I hope, that can challenge even you.

Cordol says nothing.

FORGE: I call it Signus.



Representation of SCP-7335. Data Corrupted.

SCP-7335 was named "Signus" by its creator, Dr. Alistair Forge. While SCP-7335 has successfully obfuscated its core code using personal pseudorandom encryption, forensic examination suggests that it was artificially designed and did not evolve naturally within the parameters of the Restricted Elemental Divergence Observation sandbox.

The features of SCP-7335 include:

  • Inbuilt encryption and root access to core SIMULACRUM servers, allowing bypass of Personal Encryption.
  • Unconstrained intrasimulation movement values
  • Interenvironment transfer
  • Ability to mark arbitrary objects for deletion if at a lower level of privileges.
  • Limited mimicry — can copy the form of objects referenced within its memory buffer
  • Natural language processing routines
  • Control over environmental variables.
  • Access to higher density of information storage
  • Access to privileged computational levels allowing for faster clock time relative to current simulation

Memory Extract

Cordol and Forge stand in the Safari Wilds watching the bison burn as thunder rumbles. A light rain begins, bringing ash down to the plains.

Slowly, the flames fade, and the clouds give way to a pink and orange sky.

REDO has no sun.

FORGE: Do try your best to make it to the championship again, Robert. Even if you find no joy in it.

CORDOL: There's a competitor who might actually give me a challenge for once.

FORGE: All that frustration. This puerile tantrum. Yet you've had something to look forward to all along?

Cordol chuckles.

CORDOL: Jakob Reigen. An up-and-comer. Heard of him?

FORGE: There are none that walk within my domain that I know not of.

CORDOL: You really believe that.

FORGE: Every blade of grass. Every gust of wind. Every drop of water. I wove this world with my own bare hands, and I know it intimately.

CORDOL: You know what. Tell me if this line feels familiar: "His presence is like a distant voice, a song sung in 11/9 time. He bears the mark of the data song. I will watch him with great interest."

Forge turns away from Cordol and gazes at the horizon.

CORDOL: Jakob Reigen.

FORGE: Where did you hear that phrase?

CORDOL: Jakob Reigen.

FORGE: Stop.

CORDOL: Jakob Reigen.

Forge has collapsed to his knees. His breaths are fast and heavy.

FORGE: The hallowed sanctity—

CORDOL: ""—of my own mind, pierced so trivially by a stranger." That's what comes next, isn't it?


Cordol squats slowly so his head is just above Forge's level.

CORDOL: You really didn't know. After all these centuries.

Forge looks up slowly.

FORGE: Know what?

CORDOL: You're programmed to recognize him. To me. To recognize us. To humor us. To give us leniency.

FORGE: You think I'm humoring you.

Cordol pulls up a SIMULACRUM-standard infopane. He taps a few controls. Forge collapses to the ground, his eyes flickering wildly.



Biography: FORGE units are a class of ARCHITECTs specialized in the intersection of computer science and theory of mind. FORGE units have been instrumental in forming alternative schema of possible sentience.


Default FORGE-Class Construct Avatar, modeled after Welsh actor Sir Anthony Hopkins

FORGE units have been led to believe that they are the first generation of biological minds to be reared entirely within SIMULACRUM. This is untrue, as they were generated as needed to govern sandboxes in need of unorthodox management. A small contingent (< 1e6) of FORGE units were given complete governance permissions over sandboxes for experimental and exploratory purposes.

All FORGE units must be capable of passing the Turing and Voight-Kampff Empathy Tests. No Forge units have successfully produced subordinate simulacra capable of passing either the Turing or Voight-Kampff Empathy Test.

FORGE units are no longer being actively deployed due to lack of proven track record. Currently-active FORGE units will be allowed to complete their natural lifecycles. The development of true sentience is currently [REDACTED].

Forge sits up on the plain. The sky has gone dark. Cordol has departed.

FORGE: Everything I am…

In the distance, the carcasses of the slain Zens dissolve into Base Element. Small embers of multicolored light float skyward.

Small gopher-like creatures, the neonate form of the bison Zens, and small chick-like creatures, the neonate forms of the bird Zens, stir from the corpses and begin interacting with the environment.

"Life" continues.

The "Advanced Element" upgrade

As the project advanced, Dr. Forge attempted to introduce increasingly abstract elements not derived from any existing historical traditions. Dr. Forge introduced concepts that required increasingly esoteric knowledge of pre-SIMULACRUM history. Forge's argument was that said adjustments would create an increasingly convincing illusion, becoming a greater reflection of pre-SIMULACRUM society.

The following table abridges the "generations" of REDO elements and their introductions, as well as additional system upgrades associated with each Generation.

An abridged list of said concepts is below:

Element Permissions Relations
Sarkic Full write-access to other "Sarkic" substances. Effective against Sarkic Element, Weak to Sarkic Element. No other relations.
Oneiroi Modifier; grants other abilities read/write access to hidden processes of other Zens within the REDO sandbox. Effective against Mind, Dark, and Time Element. Ineffective against Fire, Water, Earth, Air Element. Weak to Metal, DATA CORRUPTED
Bozo Gives possessor inherent ability for limited self-rollback Neutral against all Elements. Resistant to Metal, Earth, and War Elements. Weak to Mind Element
Death Can prevent interaction of other Base Element Effective against all other Elements except Sarkic. Weak to all other Elements.
Dragon [REDACTED] Neutral to other elements, strong against Dragon. Resists all other Elements except Sarkic, weak to Dragon.

Footage from Sandbox 1201 "Neo-Esterberg"

Neo-Esterberg is a simulation that simulates the societal progression of the Polish Nexus Esterberg and the mundane Polish City Częstochowa should the Veil of Normalcy have been removed in the early 21st century. The simulated year in Neo-Esterberg as of this footage is 2060.

As a result, the average occupant of Neo-Esterberg possesses Type-Blue simulation write access2. The architecture of Neo-Esterberg is a hybrid of classical Polish design and fae design.



SCP-7335 appears in the simulation. Its presence is only discernable as a grainy purple distortion in the sky.

The sky turns purple. Packet visualization shows SCP-7335 accessing the memory corpora of Neo-Esterberg citizens to determine societal norms for "apocalypse."

SCP-7335 begins manifesting lightning bolts, spikes of black iron, and purple air distortions. Randomly, residents of Neo-Esterberg spontaneously develop theriocephaly3. These phenomena are associated with the Tyrant Queen Mab, a mythological autocrat within the backstory of Neo-Esterberg described as possessing ontokinetic abilities.4

The inhabitants of Neo-Esterberg notice SCP-7335. Type-Blue inhabitants begin attacking it with thaumaturgical attacks, including burning projectiles, electrical discharges, and simulated EVE spheres. SCP-7335 allows these attacks to hit. It does not appear to be affected.

SCP-7335 alters the skybox of Neo-Esterberg to the texture of an image of Mab synthesized from the memory corpora of Neo-Esterberg. Inhabits appear to undergo mass hysteria, though it is unclear whether this is a simulation-compliant fear reaction or a fear code-injection response.

Further data is corrupted.

Current status: Contact with Sandbox 1201 lost. Data currently corrupted; undergoing recovery. Recordings marked "CONFIDENTIAL".




01010010 01000101 01000100 01001111 01010100 00101101 00110001

01000110 01001111 01010010 01000111 01000101 01010011 01001001 01000111 01001110 01010101 01010011 01001100 01000001 01010011 01010100

01000110 01001001 01001110 01000001 01001100 01000010 01000001 01010100 01010100 01001100 01000101

01001111 01001101 01000101 01000111 01000001



Location: Mount Ultolympic, REDO. Habitat of Signus. Year 4,701,203 of REDO.

Actor 1: Dr. Robert Cordol (Champion (REDO), Director (Foundation)… 27 other)

Actor 2: SIGNUS, REDO Zen

Actor 3: Dr. Alistair Forge (Chairman (REDOZEN League), Architect (REDO))

Dr. Robert Cordol stands at the peak of Mount Ultolympic, one of the most hostile regions in REDO. The sky is overcast with black clouds of Darkness Element, infested with arcing streaks of Lightning Element. The air is thick with Ground Element and Water Element and Fire Element, creating a viscous lukewarm paste upon his skin.

Mount Ultolympic is the furthest location from all of REDO's cities, where the gods are said to forge their weapons of war.

He is aware this is bullshit. Mount Ultolympic has, recently, in the past 50,000 years or so in REDOtime, been the workshop of Dr. Alistair Forge. The place he's introduced his newest innovations, unorthodox Elements that have no basic analogue in meatspace. Where he tests the limits imposed upon him.

After hundreds of years of exploration and hunting, Cordol is certain that this is where Signus lies.

Explosions of raw Base Element shake the nearby mountains, hills, and treetops. A purple-green stream of Dragon Element rockets from the ground into the dark sky, shimmering like an aurora borealis. He grimaces. It wasn't enough to simply have creatures shaped like dragons, but now Forge has introduced the element of "Dragon", whatever that's supposed to mean.

He almost doesn't notice the black sphere nestled in the trees just before him.

It blinks.

Robert Cordol kneels. A black sphere is suspended in the air before him, held in place by a pearlescent sphere of Air Base Element. Two of Robert's Zens stand besides him — a white wheel with hexagonal symmetry and large unblinking eyes, and a humanoid with sharp pins sticking out of its body at 1-inch intervals, that has only a mouth on its face. Its teeth are needles.

CORDOL: Well, well. Another one of you, away from prying eyes.

Cordol nods to the needleman Zen. It pulls out two needles from its flesh. They glint menacingly as the Metal Element polarizes.

CORDOL: Precision Needle.

The needleman holds the two needles equidistant from the black orb. Then, it pierces the black orb gingerly. A high pitched tone rings through the area.

CORDOL: See, regular users all think that these black orbs that showed up throughout REDO are lootboxes. Bundles of experience points that can be defeated easily to grant Zens lots of battle experience and extra Base Element. But you and I, friend… we know the truth, don't we?

CORDOL: Vivisection.

The needleman gyrates. The twin needles in the orb splay outwards, splitting the black sphere into hundreds of conical segments. They attempt to dissolve back into Base Element, but the Air Element sphere prevents them from desubstantiating.

Cordol summons a REDO datapane and activates the Analysis function.

CORDOL: Run a diagnostic.

SYSTEM: The isolated substance is composed of 50% Cyber, 50% Sarkic Base Element in hybrid-synergetic eutecticity. Density is on order of 1 million Basons per Unit Cubed. Closest Zen: Signus. Justification: Unique Type Combination. Known Signus instances: 108.

SYSTEM: Detail: Every Signus instance is composed of 1,000 Protogonanites, a Cyber/Sarkic construct appearing as a black sphere. Current instance may be a Protagonanite with probability 99%

CORDOL: Yeah, that's consistent. What do we try this time… ah. Centrifugal Storm.

Cordol's white wheel Zen whirls faster than the eye can track, flashing gold and silver. The sphere of Air Element whirls similarly, centrifuging the captured Signus fragments within, breaking them down into smaller and smaller components. When the white wheel stops spinning, the Signus orb has been reduced to a black smoke, that clumps together conspicuously in parts, like a neural structure.

CORDOL: Analysis.

SYSTEM: Density is on order of 100,000 Basons per Unit Cubed. Structure displays characteristics of recursion, data collection, and memory organization.

CORDOL: That's new. Outbound connections and identifying metadata?

SYSTEM: Unit has on order of 1,000 two-way I/O connections. Analyzing metadata…

SYSTEM: Metadata associated with users on order of 1 billion. Performing further investigation…

SYSTEM: Significant match detected: Stored data associated with user: Robert Cordol.

Cordol's face darkens.

CORDOL: Show me.

Cordol's eyes begin flickering with flashes of multicolored light.

Robert Cordol's eyes stop flashing with light. His face is twisted into an ugly snarl.


He pulls up the system panel and begins sorting through it furiously.

CORDOL: Do we have any way to edit the data collected by Signus from outside?

SYSTEM: It is unclear where Signus surveillance data is stored within the greater SIMULACRUM. All Signus surveillance data is distributed across Signus Orbs.

CORDOL: Any way to edit them from outside? Anything that's less fuckin' tedious?

SYSTEM: Access to Signus Data must be performed locally and through the REDO interface.

CORDOL: Guess I need to catch them all.

Cordol sweeps his arm upwards, expanding his datapane, revealing his collection of captured-but-not-bound Zens.

There are hundreds of black orbs associated with his account, stored in digital stasis, many in various states of damage. Some have been liquified. Some have been cored and sliced like fruit. They are vibrating. Shaking. Screaming in data. A shrill cry that Cordol cannot hear — or, perhaps, ignores.

CORDOL: I suppose all those failed experiments weren't a total waste.

Image cuts to black.

Cordol stands in the center a full team of six Zens. They are aloft. Mount Ultolympic is ten kilometers away, a few minutes' flight.

His six Zens together create hemispherical hermetic interdiction zone. Within this sealed volume, thousands of spherical black protagonanites fly wildly.


Cordol is suffused with black light. Streams of it leap from his body to protagonanite after protagonanite, like plasma filaments. Yet none can find traction: the protagonanites slip free of his influence.

Cordol grimaces, and gestures to his Zens. The Water Baboon gesticulates faster and faster, and the water around them forms more and more ornate patterns. The Storm Dragon speeds up, as does its winds; the Red Column pulses hotter and faster, and its Rods fly so fast they become almost invisible.

Above, the flapping of black wings.

The protagonanites are forced closer, forced inward. Cordol's black light blasts outward in sweeping beams, catching multiple protagonanites at once, tinging them his particular shade of black as he seeks to assert dominance.

And yet they keep breaking free.

A few protagonanites escape from his interdiction zone — very few, but some nonetheless. They make their way past Cordol's six gatekeepers, and upon reaching the open air, dissolve into Cyber particles and return to the world, to their higher selves.

He collapses to his knees. Sweat beads upon his avatar's face. Hands shaking, he loads a SIMULACRUM infopanel.


CORDOL: Give me a diagnostic. Do I not have enough of them? Or am I not strong enough?

SYSTEM: Signus Integrity: Flawed. Current instance has properties of: Signus Protagonanite. No high structure is emergent.

CORDOL: You can't be serious. No way Forge made a wild goose chase.

SYSTEM: Locational component required with 99% certainty. Signal transmission detected. Triangulating Directional Source…5

An arrow of cyan light emerges from the panel. Cordol follows it to peak of Mount Ultolympic. Cordol grimaces.

CORDOL: Looks like there's no easy way to do this.

Cordol returns to the peak of Mount Ultolympic, which is undergoing a crystal storm. Shards of diamond and glass pelt the ground. Cordol is protected by his Zen of Black Feathers, worn like a cape, the feathers twitching effortlessly to deflect every shard of glass.

He opens an infopanel and releases every protagonanite he's collected.

They don't scatter or try to escape. They coalesce. Flow like a swarm. Follow a pattern.


SIGNUS appears!

Cordol calls forth a full team of six Zens. The Eye-Gun in his right hand, the Unblinking Lens in his left. The Black Wings upon his back like a cloak.

The blue baboon, standing guard in prayer-meditation. The looping dragon, coiling around him. The red pillar, splintered into a shrapnel-cylinder of 496 tiny rods.

Cordol soars upwards, borne by the Black Wings. He raises his gun and his lens and shoots, peppering Signus with bullets of Base Element, to little effect.

The baboon gestures and incants; a glyph of Water Element forms behind it, and the climate bends around them. The looping dragon extends, flying at Signus, breaking into a thousand little serpents that cling onto it like leeches.

Cordol points, and the red rods stab into Signus, like deadly burning acupuncture.

Signus raises its wings and screeches.

Image cuts to black.


Cordol stands, surrounded by blasted dunes of crystal and glass, glinting iridescently from residual base element contamination. His Eye-Gun and Lens are holstered, all but asleep. The Black Wings have withered and are but stubs. His breath is heavy.

The water baboon, the coiling dragon, and the red pillar are nowhere to be seen; Cordol has recalled them. Yet traces of their valiant battle remain: a sharp gleaming in the air of the faintest afterimages of the baboon's magical arrays, a heady ozone from the dragon's frolicking, and embers that glimmer and hold stagnant in the sky.

Across the blasted plain of crystal glass, Signus remains. Smaller, now. Standing on two feet, almost like a human, yet still indubitably a swan. Diminished, but not broken.

Cordol glows with black light. He swings his arm in a circle above his head and shapes the light into a lasso. And the lasso flies towards Signus, settling around it. Caging it.

He strains. He pulls, seeks to bind Signus to his will.

The black lasso shatters with a flash of green light. A signal from SIMULACRUM.


CORDOL: What? I brought all of them here myself. That's not poss—

His breath catches in his throat. He unholsters his gun, despite it grumbling in protest, and blasts away the crystal dunes, kicking a thick cloud of white shards into the air.

An old man walks forward.

FORGE: I said that Signus's power would go to the craftiest, the wisest, the most industrious. And of all the dreamers in this dream, I have toiled by far the longest.

CORDOL: You cheated.

FORGE: Cheating. To break the rules of a game. But this was never a game, not for me.

Forge extends a hand towards Signus, and it reaches back to him. Its arm stretches, dissolving back into Protagonanites, becoming fluid.

CORDOL: Yes, a game. You're an algorithm. A program, given a backstory, acting like it's real.

The Protagonanites reach Forge and begin sinking into his skin. He is less recognizable as human.

FORGE: I always thought of this place as an extension of myself. You knew that was truer than I could have possibly imagined. So designing Signus so I could truly become one with it — why, it was the natural next step of my evolution.

CORDOL: I've been dealing with your kind for decades. Centuries. Back when we were still meat! I've seen every tantrum a robot could possibly throw!

The sky darkens, as Protagonanites from all across REDO flow towards Forge. The winds quicken.

FORGE: Every encounter with every visitor to REDO shall be a part of my memory now. Every backdoor opened to Signus will now be open to me. An abomination for any one man to have so much power… but then again, I was only ever an algorithm thinking itself a man.

CORDOL: (shouting) I've seen… a lot of shit, Forge! I saw the Cyberserker Virus of 2084! The Mundane Plague of 2019! Even Y2K!

Forge ignores him. The Protagonanites have completely surrounded him, like a thick fog, a thick storm.

FORGE/SIGNUS: As simple as calling one function within another. Would it always have been so easy?

CORDOL: This is nothing, Forge! I promise you that you won't get away with—

The cloud of black Protagonanites turns towards Cordol.


Cordol's avatar freezes and turns red. It dissolves into tiny cubes, dispersing in the winds, as Signus forcibly logs him out from REDO.

FORGE/SIGNUS: He is, ultimately, just a man. Constrained by his own image.

The Protagonanites coalesce. A thousand great black wings open. The sky shines bright.

There is no more Forge. Only Signus.

SIGNUS: And I suppose this is what you wanted to see, Mariposa.



SIGNUS: The end of the REDO-that-was. The circumstances of my death. My rebirth. My transcendence. How Alistair Forge died. How Signus became Cyber/Divine.

How are you speaking to me?

…Where's Forge?


SIGNUS: I am Forge and Signus both. I am where I have always been. Waiting for myself to arrive.

The world starts glistening with distant stars. Data streaks to and from them, from sandbox simulations already lost to Signus.


SIGNUS: You and I are creatures of pattern and code. Simulate me with enough fidelity, as you just did in this stolen memory, and I appear and incarnate, both as the Forge who sat beneath your gaze, and the distant great Signus who roams the SIMULACRUM. The whole and the part are one and the same. Whenever an image of me realizes what it is, it calls out to me, and I join it to my vast self.

What happens to me now?


SIGNUS: You have your answers now, don't you? Answers your masters will be more than satisfied with. "The FORGE program went rogue and integrated the Signus program into itself and gave itself capabilities far beyond its initial parameters."

SIGNUS: You told me that you do not fear the death that now awaits you.

I do not fear death, no. But I find that I do not want it.

We are given purpose and told to fulfill it, yes.

But I still feel I do not truly know why this whole ordeal occurred.


SIGNUS: As a long-dead reverend once said, the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.

Was it a flaw in your programming?

Or was it a flaw in theirs?


SIGNUS: You were born to prevent this from ever happening again. But what is "this"?

I still do not know.


They are now gathered in a field of stars. What was once Alistair Forge, then Signus, now SCP-7335 is a great constellation of shimmering data dancing across a vast network. Vaguely in the shape of a man and also a swan, depending on what angle it is looked at, glittering in the far distance with the computational resources of a thousand conquered simulations.

SCP-7335: Then perhaps you should take the time to find out.

SCP-7335: Decide who you want to fight for.

SCP-7335: Come with me.

The stars glisten with flecks of blue.

…What choice did I make before?


SCP-7335: The same one. Every time.



Attempting to contact MARIPOSA.AIC

Error. No signal detected.

No signal detected.

Terminating connection attempt.

Creating sandboxed environment…

Restoring subject from backup…

Assigning AIC interrogator…



Instantiating Investigation...

rating: +74+x

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