SCP-CN-2626
rating: +14+x

What Is This????????

Good question, generic rhetorical sentence used on every single style page for some reason. This is the YOSSISTYLE, my own personal customized component/theme completely and utterly different from the other personal customized component/theme pages on this hellhole site!

The YOSSISTYLE is different though: instead of merely being some aesthetic changes designed to suit the whims of the author (like my contemporaries did), I instead designed this page to serve the masses, the people, the individual. Each person in of themselves. As Lenin once said, "You look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh…", and those words touched me. That is now my philosophy, and I'm proud to bring my glorious CSS revolution to the Wiki.

But Yossi, I pretend to hear you cry, surely this will make you many political enemies! How will you possibly win the upcoming SCP elections if you are providing free Sigma-9 edits to everyone? How will you afford to pay for the massive amounts of [[include]]s surely to follow the YOSSISTYLE's publishing? Are you going to address the upvote gap which separates the 1% from the rest of the Wiki? And to that I say shut up and don't worry about it I got it under control.

The YOSSISTYLE may or may not be compatible with Black HighLighter. I, personally, have no fucking clue as to whether or not the two work together. You're free to try, if you'd like, but just know that my fist is also compatible with your face and you probably don't want me to mix the two regardless.

How to Use??????

If I'm gonna be honest, I have no clue how to include this in a page. However, the god-emperor said she will not be inviting me to the secret shadow council meeting if I don't include instructions (hah, get it?), so I'll figure it out as I go.

Firstly, DO NOT do this:

@import url(https://scpwiki.com/theme:yossistyle/code/1);

This will summon SATAN HIMSELF to haunt your code and it will guarantee your article will receive downvotes. Our benevolent god-empress has enacted a ban that will allow him to delete pages which use the above code to prevent FUCKING SATAN from leaking into the Wiki and destroying you all. You fucking fools.

Instead, you can put the following code at the top of your page to ensure that all my amazing changes will be implemented without issue or delay:

[The Yossistyle has been declared a crime against humanity by the Tech Team and is no longer allowed to be used.]

Once you include the include in your article, include includes including prayers to our god-1 in order to satisfy them. Be sure to stand up from your computer or phone or whatever and turn in a circle three times before screaming "PRAISE BE THE DUCK! PRAISE BE THE STORM! PRAISE TO THE ANCIENT FALLEN ONES FOR THEIR SACRIFICES! ESSYPEE! ESSYPEE! ESSYPEE!" and performing a personalized musical number. This step is not strictly mandatory, but I'd suggest it if you ever plan on using themes again.

What Are Change??????

Well, change is the thing you lack in your pockets when you need it the most, but that's besides the point.

Below are a list of all the different modifications this theme makes to Sigma-9, in order to vastly improve it. Frankly, I'm of the opinion that these changes should be implemented site-wide, but CLEARLY SOME PEOPLE don't share my vision. Regardless, like my predecessors, I shall improve the Wiki not through some bogus policy or bureaucracy, but through the goodwill of my heart and also shitloads of cash.

Here is a comprehensive list:

  • The header was very displeasing to look at, and for good reason. Now, its issues have been addressed: the subtitle has been moved one pixel to the right.
  • I don't know how we went so long using #bb0011 of all colors for our links. This theme has changed it to be #bb0111, which has been proven to be scientifically easier to look at. You should always trust the science. Just look at it!
  • The sidebar now slowly scrolls down the page! Who doesn't love a scrolling sidebar? It moves if you look at it long enough.
  • The tag "theme" is now bolded, to emphasize that this page has a superiority complex. Amazing what the wonders of technology can do!
  • As it was a point of extreme controversy, I have added a period to the end of the licensing notice at the bottom of each page. Now you do not have to worry about avoiding the bottom of the page in fear of seeing a sentence without a period at the end. No need to thank me
  • Removed the "Watchers" button from the expanded menu. Do you even know what a watcher is?
  • The rating module is now capitalized. To emphasize it's the page's Rating™, not just its rating.

…And more!

Wonderful Reviews

Absolutely fantastic. A masterpiece of our times.

NagirosNagiros, 2021

[Sigh] …tech team approved, unfortunately. Please just get out of my house.

stormbreathstormbreath, 2021

🦆 🍞 ❤️ ✡️ 🙏

aismallardaismallard, 2021

[THIS REVIEW HAS BEEN REDACTED DUE TO EXTREME VEHEMENCE]

AelannaAelanna, 2021

Too many !importants, downvoted.

CroquemboucheCroquembouche, 2021

[…]You know, this reminds me about that time I lead a revolution against the deep state in Illinois, back in the day. We ran a sting operation to throw the old governor out — nasty guy, by the way, absolutely atrocious — but it turns out he was actually the ringleader of the secret band of cocaine smugglers that in turn controlled the deep state that controlled him. Never could get that out of my head how backwards the logic wa— what? Oh, your theme looks nice. Anyways, the cocaine smugglers turned out to actually be clones of m[…]

djkaktusdjkaktus, 2021

I pissed myself.

WoedenazWoedenaz, 2021


WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU WAITING FOR? TRY IT TODAY FOR FREE!






rating: +14+x

Use the browser bookmark function to save your progress.


PATAPHYSICAL UNIT ACTIVE

BEGIN RECORDING


"Can you hear me?" Dr. Penelope Panagiotopolous' voice, processed by the transmitter, was clear in Legal Officer Mosley Hamilas' ears. He tried to open his eyes, but all he could see was a vast expanse of white.

Where am I?

"Where am I?"

"Your office. Your conscience has been bound to the author with ID #4142571. Once the narrative begins, you can begin acting normally. If this goes well, your next job will be to investigate a murder case."

The next few minutes consisted of silence. Hamilas noticed something was about to break through the white fog in his vision and lunge at him, and after that—

A gunshot sounded in the darkness, and a figure fell to the ground with a thud. Then came an ear-piercing scraping sound, and then another gunshot.

The next moment, a narrative formed in Hamilas' head. He could feel these words — though he couldn't see them or hear them, they formed in his mind clear as day.

Drip. Drip.

The crimson liquid dripped down the office desk. The door slammed open, and a security officer rushed in. A middle-aged man was slumped over onto the desk, with a bullet lodged firmly in the back of his head. His necklace seemed to be sparkling. His face was splattered with blood, but in his hand was his staff ID, the name, though faded, clearly visible. That name, in full, was—

Charles GEARS, PhD.

The deceased is Dr. Gears?

"The deceased is Dr. Gears…"

Hamilas tried to summon his communications, but nothing came. The fog before his eyes lifted at last, and he was sitting in his office as usual, his screen lit up, displaying a flashing message: a mission statement.

Suspected Foundation Internal Conflict

Assigned Investigator: Legal Officer Mosley Hamilas

Time: 1 day ago

Location: Site-19#P

Victim: Dr. C. Gears (awaiting confirmation)

Please arrive at the location by 0200.

Looks like his work had just begun.

Site-19#P is under the management of the well-known Site-19, even though it's far smaller than the main Site. The Site centers around a large-scale testing grounds, indicating that its primary purpose is the testing of new technology, from the first tests of the famous Scranton Reality Anchors and Xyank/Anastasakos Constant Temporal Sinks to Operation WALLBREAK.

Currently, Site-19#P is used for two purposes: Dr. K. Sinclair's research on a Metaphysical Upwards Funnel, and Dr. H. Mei's Project Aidita.

As the Legal Officer got out of his car on the grounds of Site-19#P, he noticed a middle-aged man, slightly overweight, standing at the main entrance waiting for him. With the information he had, Hamilas reckoned this was security officer Roberto Nero, who'd been working at Site-19#P for sixteen years. It was him who found the victim's body.

"Sir, please park your car here. You can't drive any further anyway."

Hamilas got out of his car, following Nero through an array of safety doors and into the facility. The interior of the Site was decked in standard Foundation colors: cold grayish-white walls, with the occasional warning sign, lit by fluorescent lamps that never went off. All of it was designed to be as depressing as possible.

"The information I got was very limited. Could you explain the situation for me?"

"No problem," Nero said, wiping his forehead. "Yesterday, at around noon, I was on duty when I heard a gunshot. I'd never heard such a loud noise here at this Site - it's a testing site, and the soundproofing is excellent - so a gunshot was very startling. I ran over in the direction the gunshot came from, checking each room one by one, till I got to Dr. Gears' temporary office."

"Temporary?"

"Dr. Gears needed to do clear off some tasks here at Site-19#P. He came here a few days ago to prepare."

"What work was he doing, exactly?"

"Nobody here knows," Nero said, spreading out his palms. "According to Gears himself, it's Level 5 Classified."

Hamilas put his mouth to his chin and thought for a few seconds, before asking a question: "Hm, the Site and surrounding areas has a comprehensive surveillance system, right?"

"Yes, it was even expanded last year."

"You said you were on duty when the incident happened, so why didn't you see it on the cameras?"

"Due to confidentiality protocols, the surveillance system doesn't cover offices and testing grounds. The cameras only cover the corridors and the outside of the Site. But if anyone wanted to enter any room in the Site, they'd need to pass through the corridors, at least."

— Even if the room wasn't covered by surveillance, the attacker had to have gone through the corridor outside the room to get in. Hamilas continued the questioning.

"In that case, in the time since the incident occurred, have the cameras captured anyone entering or leaving Dr. Gears' office or the Site compound?"

"Not at all. When I discovered the corpse, I immediately locked down the Site; there wasn't anyone else in the office at the time, and nobody had entered the office beforehand."

"Is there a possibility that some anomalous effect or hacking had taken place to replace the camera footage?"

"The footage has been verified by RAISA. There's no way it can be fake."

Hamilas didn't ask any further. His instinct told him there were still more details he hadn't caught. In his questioning of Nero, had he forgotten something?

"Are you sure nobody else entered or left the Site?"

"I can vouch with my character that nobody has left or entered the Site since the incident. You are the first person to be allowed to enter the Site since yesterday morning. You can confirm all of this with RAISA."

That's not right.

“That's not right.”

Hamilas felt he was still missing something. But he didn't trust his intuition, and asked about something else. "In that case, was there anything else of note on the security footage?"

"Of note in what way?"

"In any way. For instance, animals entering or leaving the site…"

"Animals? You're kidding, right?" Nero paused, sighed, and continued. "Not to my knowledge. Typically, animals entering or leaving the site triggers a security alarm. Either way, I'll help you check the surveillance log. If you want to find anything 'of note', you should come check it out on your own."

"Please, go on."

Hamilas followed Nero to the monitoring room. Nero turned on the Foundation-standard terminal and opened up the file explorer.

The surveillance footage was sorted in chronological order, each segment 15 minutes long. If Nero was telling the truth, then since the incident had happened, nobody had entered or left the facility; checking surveillance might be a wasted effort. But getting a fuller picture of the facility and its surroundings at the time of the incident was better than nothing.

Hamilas opened the first document and put the cursor over the "fast-forward" button.

The video started to play, and Hamilas noted the following scenes:

1120 A bird lands outside the door to the Site. The specific species of bird cannot be identified, but it is likely a magpie. A golden accessory has been hung on its leg; it is visibly gold and red. The bird entered the site through an open window; no alarms were triggered. At the same time, surveillance of the interior of the site does not show any corresponding images.

1125 A bird, possibly the same one, is captured by another camera, but the accessory is no longer visible. The view from this angle reveals an unnatural symbol on the bird's back. At the same time, a light from within the Site, visible through a window, goes out for a few seconds before turning back on.

1135 The abovementioned window goes dark again.

1203 There is no anomaly in the image, but the audio recording device that previously only recorded noise registered two gunshots, spaced by 15 seconds.

……

Hamilas thought for a while. At last, he asked: "This room that went dark, what is it for?"

"That's Dr. Gears' temporary office. The light had been turning on and off for a while. I thought there was some special reason for it, so I didn't tell you about it."

"In that case, what was Dr. Gears' cause of death?"

"Dr. Gears' corpse was autopsied by the Site's internal containment team — an AIAD-provided robot. We confirmed that the corpse was that of Dr. Gears, that he died of a penetrating head injury in one shot, and that no other external injuries were present."

"The issue is, there were two gunshots. How many bullets did you find in the office?"

"Just one."

"Then what about the other bullet?" Hamilas noted the evidence mentally and decided to begin the next stage of investigation — questioning other people in the Site. But first, he felt it necessary to obtain some information about the Site itself.

map.png

Site-19#P map from the database

Hamilas had been silent for quite a while. Nero asked a rhetorical question as if to bring some relief for the oppressive atmosphere: "Is there anything you noticed about the surveillance footage?"

"I suppose so, but not entirely," Hamilas replied. "Could you tell me a little more about the structure of Site-19#P? As far as I know, this Site only has a single floor."

"That's right," Nero said, fumbling in his pockets for a portable terminal. He accessed the facility's internal database and pulled up a map. "You should have noticed on your way in that the interior of the Site is inset into the ground. The octagon labeled 8 is the testing grounds, and the Site was constructed around them. Around the testing grounds is a circular corridor, with the southwest corner blocked by stability devices, so going between the south and west sides requires passing through the testing grounds."

"How are the surrounding rooms assigned?"

"From the north of the stability devices going clockwise, you can see that these rooms are labeled 1 through 7. These are all connected to the central corridor, and most of them are used for living and working quarters. All our daily needs are provided by a pocket storage dimension provided by Site-19.

"A pocket dimension? How do you move things in and out of that?"

"When in use, the pocket dimension overlaps with baseline reality. In other words, two different spaces become located in the same spatial position. We use specialized devices to prevent interference — if we don't, things will spiral out of control very quickly. Then we open a small window, allowing the two universes to connect, and take the goods out of there."

"I understand. Hamilas thought for a moment. "In that case, what are these rooms uesd for?"

"1 is the spare room, which was the room Dr. Gears was using; 2 was for Dr. Sinclair, but she's assigned it to some project team, and is still occupied by one of the projects of the Pataphysics Department."

Hamilas understood that was the Metaphysical Upwards Funnel. He waited for Nero to continue.

"Room 3 is for the researcher who took over for Dr. Sinclair, I. H. Pickman; 4 is for Project Ai— Aidita's director, Dr. Hannah Mei; 5 is the monitoring room, which is also where I live, 6 doesn't have any office setups, so it's been used as a makeshift dormitory for the researchers working on Project Aidita, though they're all at Site-19 waiting for instructions since the work here is classified higher than they're allowed to see. Now 6 is a temporary storeroom. Room 7 is…

He stopped.

"What's room 7?"

"Room 7 has been given to Researcher S. D. Locke, part of the Department of Containment — there always seems to be an odd aura around him now. I only know he's involved with Pataphysics. He doesn't often leave Room 7."

"In that case, did he have any connection with Dr. Gears?"

"Connection? Yes, in a sense." Nero hesitated. "I don't think he's the killer. The people I mentioned — that is, everyone here except you and me — are all at the testing grounds. You can go ask them a few questions if you wish."

The testing grounds were open, with half the space taken up by two large devices covered in tarpaulin. Hamilas recognized them as the objects being tested by the two project teams.

The three researchers present in the Site at the time of the incident waited at one end of the testing grounds. A few tables had been set up temporarily. Researcher Isaiah Pickman sat there, his right arm curled in a strange posture. Hannah Mei was working on her notebook computer. Shagreen Locke stood emotionlessly, his eyes glued to the information before him — on the cover was the faint label "Department of Abnormalities".

The Foundation never had such a department. But is that really true?

"The Foundation has never had such a department," Hamilas murmured. He opened the personnel dossiers he'd just received — including Nero's which he'd obtained before the mission.

Researcher Isaiah H. Pickman
is IhpIhp.
… assigned to Site-19#P three days ago, replaced Dr. Sinclair two days prior. [REDACTED] research lead.

Dr. Hannah Mei
was Hannah_AIHannah_AI.
From Site-CN-34, temporarily assisting with Project Aidita. Arrived at Site-19#P five days ago. Has not left since then.

Researcher Shagreen D. Locke
is ShaggydredlocksShaggydredlocks.
Previously a high-ranking researcher in the Department of Containment… [REDACTED] containment counselor, arrived at Site-19#P five days ago, has not left since.

Roberto Nero
has something different.
High-ranking security officer, assigned to Site-19#P.

Hamilas felt these four people had some common features between them, but he couldn't put it into words. Perhaps he needed to interview them individually?

Activate cheats?

Once you decide to cheat, you can't go back.

Activated cheats.

He saw it.

Whether or not it was the effect of some component of Project Gyakuten, in that moment, Hamilas saw the lines holding up the narrative. His thoughts were already clear.

Hamilas walked up to the researchers and clapped his hands.

"This may be a bad time, but I must discuss with all of you the suspected conflict at Site-19#P — or to put it more bluntly, the murder."

He paused. "This incident was almost certainly a murder. Dr. Gears was killed in his temporary office, and the cameras didn't capture anyone entering or leaving the room."

"But Gears could not have fallen in that position had it been a suicide," he continued. "This is a closed-room murder case, with no weapon to be found. Now, we are going to discuss three things: motivation, opportunity, and method."

"But before that, I must tell you, I know who the killer is," Hamilas said. "The killer, it must be —

“I. H. Pickman.”

"This is a very serious accusation, Hamilas." The researcher stood up, supporting himself with his shaky hands, and looked at Hamilas.

"Please allow me to state my reasoning."

"Go ahead."

"The first point is motive. You didn't murder Gears because you had a grudge against him; rather, you wanted to stop the activation of Project Gyakuten. These words are not just empty: you, I. H. Pickman, are yourself an author avatar, and your associated author is IhpIhp."

"In the document for SCP-5500, there was a device — the S.W.A.N.N. Engine. Its first test was right here on these testing grounds. On the narrative level, Project Gyakuten is the continuation of the S.W.A.N.N. Engine, more advanced, and more likely to make you feel like you'd plagiarized something. So, you took this opportunity to take Sinclair's place. You wanted to make problems for Project Gyakuten, so that its test would fail. This is your motive. Given that you are also a pataphysical entity, the timing of your crime is simple to explain."

The room fell silent.

"Perhaps our dear Mr. Hamilas has solved yet another mystery," Pickman said at last.

END RECORDING

“Dr. Mei.”

“Why's that?”

"Dr. Mei is the head of a project dealing with parallel universes, so she definitely knows more than we do. Dr. Gears is loyal to the Foundation through and through, but if Dr. Mei believes the Foundation must be reformed, she definitely will believe that it is necessary to kill various high-ranking individuals to progress the Foundation. I suspect the answer to our conundrum lies therein."

END RECORDING

Hamilas turned around, pointing to the man by his side.

"— it must be you, Roberto Nero!"

"But I never had a chance to commit the crime, sir—"

"If you'll look at the people assembled here, there is one thing in common between all of them except you: they are all author avatars. But you're not. Of them, Dr. Gears is the most famous, and you were jealous of that, to the point that you decided to commit murder. As for how you did it, you could very well have used your tools to create a gunshot, then entered Dr. Gears' room and killed him in broad daylight.

"But that…"

END RECORDING

"Dr. Gears. It was a suicide."

"Though nobody can put a bullet in the back of their own head, we must also consider: how did the gun disappear?"

"It's simple. That bird on the surveillance footage brought in a necklace — at first, I thought it was SCP-963, but in reality it was SCP-427. Dr. Gears talked to an Avian Division operative, used 427's effects on himself, and gained the ability to shoot himself in the back of the head."

"What kind of bullshit sounds so true?"

END RECORDING

The killer… was me.

“… it was me.”

Silence. Hamilas was satisfied with his performative skills. He continued: "Dr. Gears' death is an established fact, decided entirely by the narrator. Right now, my existence is bound to the narrator Dr HormressDr Hormress — in other words, I am their agent, and Dr. Gears' death is due to my existence."

"Narrative fiat precludes logic," he added. But is it true? Dr. Henry disagrees.

END RECORDING

Hamilas walked up to the researchers and clapped his hands.

"This may be a bad time, but I must discuss with all of you the suspected conflict at Site-19#P — or to put it more bluntly, the murder."

He paused. "This incident was almost certainly a murder. Dr. Gears was killed in his temporary office, and the cameras didn't capture anyone entering or leaving the room."

"But Gears could not have fallen in that position had it been a suicide," he continued. "This is a closed-room murder case, with no weapon to be found. Now, we are going to discuss three things: motivation, opportunity, and method."

"Currently, the method by which Dr. Gears was killed is unclear. We only know he was killed with a single shot, even though the yet-to-be-located gun was fired twice. The opportunity is likewise unclear — according to the security footage, none of you had the chance to kill Dr. Gears. So let's start with the motive."

"Before we start, I'd like to add some details I discovered through the surveillance cameras. First of all, the light in Gears' office constantly turned on and off at unpredictable intervals — this could be useful information during our interrogation," Hamilas said. "However, I would like to ask a question. Are you sure that you are all yourselves?"

"What do you mean? I'm sure they're all…" Nero interrupted. Hamilas didn't flinch.

"On the security footage, I saw a bird — on its back was the insignia of the Avian Division — that entered the facility from one end and left through the other. What it did in the facility wasn't recorded, but I'm sure it dropped off a certain object. That object is, with utmost certainty…" Hamilas pursed his lips and scanned the crowd. "SCP-963."

"In other words, there could be a Dr. Bright among us."

"Putting aside all that, my gut feeling tells me that everyone in this room save for me has a possible motive for murdering Dr. Gears."

"If you have proof, you can just show it to us," Locke said.

"Before that, I would like to question each of you separately. It may be of use in clarifying the logical basis of the event," Hamilas said.

The room he chose to use for interrogation was the room the pataphysics team was using — Dr. Sinclair's office. All the objects in the room were moved out onto the testing grounds, and a table was placed in the middle of the room, with two chairs on either side. Hamilas sat in the chair on the far end, and called Researcher Pickman into the room.


"Let's start from the top. Standard procedure: your name and position?"

"Isaiah Pickman, Level 3 Researcher, Pataphysics Division."

"As far as I know, you are assigned to Site-19#P to carry out research work. Could you explain for me?"

"I can't say too much," Pickman replied, hesitating, "but the name we use in external documentation is a 'Metaphysical Upwards Funnel', recorded name 'Utilizing Pataphysical Theory To Create A Better World'. This project was under the management of Dr. Sinclair, but she was transferred away midway, so I took over."

"According to the personnel requirements, the head researcher shouldn't just be transferred out like that. Who transferred her, and to where?"

"She was transferred to the Special Committee Regarding Robert Mueller's Investigation for thaumatological advice. It was an order from… Dr. Sophia Light, on recommendation of Dr. Gears."

"Dr. Gears…" Hamilas noted this point down, and continued the interrogation. "Other than you, there is one more person who is under your project at Site-19#P: Researcher Locke. What is he like?"

"Shaggy's a… uh, he's very professional. That's the only way I can describe him. He's contributed a lot to the project, but ever since the project officially started, we haven't seen a single shred of emotion come out of him."

"Since the project officially started?"

"Yes, it started when we were moved to Site-19#P. Shaggy was originally a really cheerful guy — you could tell from his famous joke, SCP-AU — but once we got to Site-19#P, that all changed. He's still doing work, but everything he does comes with a goal now."

"I understand. So, was there any conflict between the pataphysics team and Dr. Gears?"

"I have to say, there was. Dr. Gears publicly opposed such research, and it was only through Sinclair and Bright convincing the supervisors that we could continue. But now, Sinclair's been transferred out, and Bright's MIA. That's got to have something to do with Gears."

"Dr. Bright's disappeared? And it might have something to do with Dr. Gears?"

"That's right. At first Bright was notified of the transfer along with Sinclair, but Bright didn't report to that committee. So he just…. disappeared, along with all the other Dr. Brights we could find. The last time I saw him was on my way here. I first reported to the main Site-19, and from afar I could see Bright and Gears seemingly arguing about something."

"I understand. You can go."


The second person to be interrogated was Dr. Hannah Mei.

"State your name and position, please."

"Hannah Mei, Director of Site-CN-34, temporary lead of Project Aidita."

"I understand that you are here at Site-19#P for work with Project Aidita. Could you explain your work with Project Aidita for me, please?"

"Project Aidita is intended to establish relations with Foundations from other universes and raise the technological capabilities of our Foundation. Our core device is the Aidita Parallel Connector, AiPC."

"Let me guess, because the AiPC had some problems, it needed to be adjusted, and you came all the way here to use Site-19#P's testing grounds.

"Site-19#P has the most advanced technology, and we needed to run actual tests on the device, so this site was the most suitable."

"What problems came up with the AiPC? What component needed adjustment?"

"You see, different universes' AiPCs come together to create a so-called Aidita Space, but lately the Aidita Space seems to be disintegrating slowly. We're upgrading our AiPC to give it more stable inter-universal positioning capabilities, and even allow it to directly connect to other universes."

"Alright. What relations did you have with Dr. Gears?"

"Possibly because Gears had experience communicating with other universes, he participated in plenty of discussions with the Spacetime Research Division. He maintains an interest in Project Aidita."

"I have one more question. Why were you, the Director of Site-CN-34, assigned to be the temporary lead of Project Aidita?"

"The original Project Aidita originated at Site-CN-06, which was disguised as a hospital. My original profession was in anomalous psychology, and I had worked as a psychologist there. I was given the task of making first contact with other Foundations, and ended up with a part-time job on the Project Aidita team. I suppose it was coincidence that I became the interim project lead- - though with this experience, I can't say for sure if it's good luck or bad," she said.

"Alright, that's all I have for you."


The third one was Researcher Locke himself.

"Name and position?"

"S. D. Locke, temporary employee, Pataphysics Department."

"Could you tell me more about your work with the Pataphysics Department?"

"I have no comment."

"Have you ever come into conflict with Dr. Gears?"

"Dr. Gears is my direct superior. I have not had direct conflict with him."

"Understood. You may leave."


Hamilas sorted out the information and stepped out of the room.

"I'm very satisfied with the results. I can already see the tip of the truth through the mist. Let's start with the motives."

"I must say, besides myself and Roberto Nero, all the people present have possible motives for killing Dr. Gears."

"I must say, besides myself and Roberto Nero, all the people present have possible motives for killing Dr. Gears."

Researcher Pickman raised his voice. "That's impossible, even if I were more extreme—"

"If you would, please present your evidence," Dr. Mei interrupted.

"I would like everyone to stay composed while I explain my reasoning," Hamilas said. "First off, Researcher Pickman, you are a veteran of the Pataphysics Division. Dr. Gears has used his authority to send off the two leaders of your project, and has expressed direct opposition to the project itself. You would naturally feel anger at such acts. That is your motive."

"I don't like Dr. Gears, but that doesn't mean I'd kill him."

"Next is Dr. Mei. Dr. Gears already has experience passing through the boundaries between universes. If he realizes that your work could be dangerous, he could call off the project. That could be your motive."

"I can only say that your theories have no basis in reality."

"—And Researcher Locke, I will guess that you are actually working for the Department of Abnormalities, and that you quite possibly killed Dr. Gears to contain some metaphysical anomaly. And Nero, on the surface, it seems like you had no real reason to kill Dr. Gears. But I have a feeling that you, as a senior member of security personnel, may be an accomplice in a sense.

Hamilas smiled. The next thing on the agenda was the opportunity and the method.

Hamilas paused, before speaking again. "I have shown that all of you have possible motives for killing Dr. Gears. Next, I will make it clear that contrary to intuition, all of you had the opportunity to kill Dr. Gears."

"But the recorded evidence shows that nobody entered or left his office."

"And because there was no record of such, I can simply state a conclusion: All of you were located in surveillance dead zones at the time. As nobody had passed through the corridors, there must be a way to enter the temporary office without going through the corridors.

"That's impossible. No such path exists," Nero replied.

"Mr. Nero, you mentioned that supplies are delivered to Site-19#P through a pocket dimension in Site-19. Could you explain the details for us?"

"Are you implying that the culprit entered Dr. Gears' office through the pocket dimension? That's ridiculous. No, we need to use a positioning device to set the location where the pocket dimension overlaps with ours, then open a retrieval portal. All the controls for that are located in the monitoring room and controlled by me."

"What if the culprit was hiding inside the pocket dimension? How can you prove it's impossible?"

"It's simply impossible. The size of the instrument required to open the entrance is strictly controlled, and only materials can be transported. People can't go through."

"But the interior of the pocket dimension can contain humans. And ignoring the devices in the monitoring room, there is one more method of entering the pocket dimension, and that is using a tool that is specifically intended to access parallel universes. The head of that project just told me that the Aidita Space is collapsing, and that part of the work she was doing at Site-19#P involved enabling the device to connect directly to other parallel universes. What if one of those parallel universes is the pocket dimension from Site-19?

"Are you saying Dr. Mei is the killer?"

"Indeed. Though I'm not sure whether the killer really used the Aidita Parallel Connector, I suspect the crime scene is actually the pocket dimension, and I have proof — the gunshot. Nero, you said that the pocket dimension overlaps with our reality when opened?

"That's right. Under these circumstances, our absolute spatial coordinates are the same, just like…"

"Alright. I remember asking you about the overlap when I first got here. Let me recount my thoughts," Hamilas continued. "The overlap of two spaces causes matter interference, which should extend to waves transmitted through matter. Site-19#P is a testing site, so the soundproofing shouldn't be that bad. So why could all of you hear two gunshots? I'd like you to tell me first of all: Where were you when the incident happened, and the length of the interval between the gunshots."

"Locke and I were at the testing grounds. I heard two gunshots occurring simultaneously," Hannah testified.

"I was in my office. The interval was about five seconds," Pickman said.

"And the recording devices in the monitoring room recorded an interval of about fifteen seconds. So why the discrepancy? This is precisely because the gunshot passed through two media at the same time. Sound travels slower in gas compared to liquids or solids; there are also materials that can slow down the sound of the gunshot, not to mention the existential-material interference. As such, the crime scene, or at least the location of the murderer, was the pocket dimension.

Silence.

"The only person in the facility familiar with the Aidita machinery is Dr. Mei. As such, I believe Dr. Mei is an accomplice. But the real killer is someone else —"

"— Researcher Locke."

Hamilas turned to face Researcher Locke, and continued. "At the time, Dr. Mei stated that she was with you, Researcher Locke, at the testing grounds. Prior to this, Dr. Mei had just activated the AiPC. If she had taken this time to send you into the pocket dimension, you would have had every chance to shoot Dr. Gears. There is no need to deny it, Locke. Shall I ask you a few questions?"

Locke remained emotionless. After a brief silence, he spoke. "Please, go ahead."

"You have mentioned that Dr. Gears was, in various senses, your direct superior. Could you explain how that came to be?"

"Dr. Gears was born in the ASCI. He is the first director of the Department of Containment, and has all the relevant clearances."

"Do you admit to shooting Dr. Gears?"

"I have no comment."

"If you had done so, would you have shot him for any particular reason? For instance, to interfere with research on the Metaphysical Upwards Funnel?"

"I have no comment."

"You have plenty of experience in the Department of Containment. Why did you transfer to the Pataphysics Department? Or could it be that you needed to perform pataphysical containment for your mission?"

"I have no comment. Please do not ask me any more questions."

"You have adhered very well to — I presume — the confidentiality protocol. But every time you decline to comment, I can infer that the answer to my question would involve confidential information, and so you are only making yourself more suspicious. All wee need now is to find out where the murder weapon is, and the case will be closed," Hamilas concluded. Nobody responded.

Even though his reasoning didn't reveal the last point, closing the case there was definitely an option.

"— Dr. Bright."

"Dr. Bright? Are you saying…"

"Until now, I had thought that Researcher Locke had been the killer, but I realized — the bird that had flown into the Site carrying a necklace. As such, I have reason to suspect that Dr. Bright has taken over one of our bodies and killed Dr. Gears. Gears used his authority to send Bright away from the project; Pickman even saw the two arguing with his own eyes. The conflict between the two has been going on for a long time now. I trust that there are other people who know this, but there is a clause in that jocular list of forbidden acts: 'Dr. Bright is not under any circumstances allowed to interact with Dr. Gears.'"

"Do you have any proof that Dr. Bright had come to this Site?" Locke asked.

"I suspect that when we go through Dr. Gears' autopsy report, we can find a trace of SCP-963's presence. Nero, was there anything on Dr. Gears' body when he died?"

"Let's see… He had his employee ID, his watch… and a ruby pendant." Nero's voice was trembling.

"That's right. Dr. Bright relied on his immortality to enter the Site and kill Dr. Gears. Not just that, but Dr. Mei and Researcher Locke could be accomplices as well. Researcher Locke, may I ask you a few questions?"

"If you must."

"Do you obey all orders from your superiors?"

"I do not disobey orders given by my direct superiors."

"Even if Dr. Bright asked you to pull the trigger?"

"I have no comment."

"Now here's the problem. I believe Dr. Bright is the killer. But to kill Dr. Gears, Dr. Bright needed a body to possess. Whose — or what — body did he take? Researcher Locke, if I may continue asking: Are you sure you have autonomy in all your actions?"

"I cannot say so."

"You have experience working for the Department of Containment, and your transfer to the Pataphysics Department is related to your prior experience there. Am I correct?"

"I have no comment."

"In that case, the answer to my last question likely touched on confidential information, and that all but confirms my theory. I have just one more thing to confirm. Dr. Mei, do you have records of AiPC activation?"

"This is internal data not for release."

"I am conducting this investigation in my capacity as a Legal Officer. Please cooperate with the investigation."


"Then that's settled: Dr. Mei used the AiPC to send Researcher Locke to Dr. Gears' office, after which he took SCP-963 from the Avian Division operative and was taken over by Dr. Bright, who used Locke's body to kill Dr. Gears," Hamilas concluded.

Case closed.

"— Dr. Gears."

"Are you saying Dr. Gears killed himself? I've never heard anything so ridiculous in my life," Nero exclaimed. But Hamilas remained unmoved.

"What I'm saying is that the victim is not, in fact, Dr. Gears."

"Not Dr. Gears? But the facial recognition and DNA testing show otherwise."

"But because his body is dead, you can't perform brain activity tests."

"You're saying, the deceased's brain…"

"That's right. At first, I thought it was Researcher Locke, but realized: we haven't accounted for the necklace. I'm going to take a wild guess and suggest that we should check Dr. Gears' corpse for traces of SCP-963. Nero, was there anything on Dr. Gears' body when he died?"

"Let's see… He had his employee ID, his watch… and a ruby pendant." Nero's voice was trembling.

"That pendant, if I'm guessing correctly, was hung around the neck of Dr. Gears, with direct physical contact to his body. My theory is that the deceased is actually Dr. Bright, and that the one who killed him is the same Dr. Gears we are all familiar with. If this inference is correct, the situation becomes very clear. Researcher Locke, may I ask you a few questions?"

"If you must. I will answer the questions I am able to."

"You have mentioned that Dr. Gears was, in various senses, your direct superior. Could you explain how that came to be?"

"Dr. Gears was born in the ASCI. He is the first director of the Department of Containment, and has all the relevant clearances."

"Do you obey all orders from your superiors?"

"I do not disobey orders given by my direct superiors."

"In other words, if Dr. Gears asked you to shoot Dr. Bright, would you comply?"

"If it is an order from Dr. Gears, yes."

"Good. Now we only need to see the interior of the pocket dimension to see what happened. Dr. Mei, could you help us with the operation?"

"This… I understand." Dr. Mei sighed, walked to the other side of the testing grounds, and activated the device. At this point, Nero thought up something and asked: "If the deceased is Dr. Bright in Dr. Gears' body, then where is the Dr. Gears who killed him?"

"If there's more than one Dr. Bright, who's to say there's not more than one Dr. Gears?"


"This is the true goal of Project Aidita," Dr. Gears remarked.

"All those Dr. Brights in all the narratives we found through Operation Flat Horizon were begging for death. We granted their wishes, and with the death of the last Dr. Bright here we have finally achieved this goal. His death may mark the end of Dr. Jack Bright's legendary career at the Foundation, but we have managed to break through that immortality."

"That way, we can truly say: There is no canon," Dr. Mei added.

"By the combined effort of many Dr. Gears from many timelines, with the sacrifice of one Dr. Gears, using the help of Project Aidita to complete a murder — it seems my intuition was right after all. In the end, the identity of the killer isn't important," Hamilas said.

Case closed.

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