The Ends Justify the Means of Production

Foundation Medical Center, Site-91 – Yorkshire, England

11th July, 1993 - Morning

“No offense, but what the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“Agent Douglas, these questions are intended as part of a psychological assessment – which was ordered as part of your fitness for duty evaluation. I realize there might be some annoyance or unease connected to your situation, but you’re not really in a position to be asking me questions.”

Rebekah Douglas sighed, shifted in her seat in the psychologist’s office, and took a sip of water.

“Repeat the question, please.”

“When did you first notice your control slipping?”

“I haven’t lost control.”

“No? Captain al Hasin is on record saying you were ‘reckless’ in the field.”

“That may be, but I’ve never lost it during an operation. Never lost my cool or endangered an objective.”

“Why does he call you reckless then? From your perspective.”

Because I am.

“Because he didn’t agree with my choices on the last mission.”

“This is the mobilization into a pocket dimension to investigate the recent attacks, is that right?”


“So, what didn’t the captain agree with?”

“We were caught in the middle of a firefight between two anomalous factions and one was clearly going to win, that one being the bigger threat to both ourselves and normalcy in general. They were the ones behind the attacks, which was already common knowledge. And we needed to put a stop to their forward momentum. I saw an opportunity to do that, and I took it.”

“And someone died… a Captain Zadeh.”

An image of Sahara’s grave marker flashed into Rebekah’s mind.

“That’s right.”

“Do you feel responsible for that?”

“My friend died! Yes, I feel responsible. But the situation was incredibly dangerous and we had no way out. Odds are we were all going to die there.”

“Alright, I understand.” Dr. Greggs wrote something on a yellow legal pad.

“I’m assuming there’s no way I can see what’s actually written in the report, right?”


Rebekah sighed again, casting an eye around the office. It was a fairly stereotypical therapist’s office with two comfortable chairs facing each other, a desk and a bookshelf with various psychological texts. She started tapping her foot.

“You seem rather uncomfortable here, would you prefer if we took the conversation outside or to another venue?”

“No, it’s the situation that has me uncomfortable.”

“Tell me about that, please.”

“You said you understood already.”

“Humor me.”

Rebekah started to sigh, caught herself, and shifted in her seat again. Could I be any more obviously annoyed to be here?

“Okay, so I’ve been at Site-91 since the beginning. I’ve performed well, even gotten some commendations, and been intimately involved with Hecatoncheires since we discovered it. But now, I’m being questioned. My competency, my fitness, they’re all up in the air.”

Greggs put down the notepad and folded his hands over his lap.

“You’re aware that this sort of assessment isn’t uncommon, right? You’ve been in several live fire anomalous incidents in the past year, but never sought counseling. The thing is, agents get recommended to me regularly to make sure they’re fit for duty. This isn’t a trap. This isn’t a witch hunt. This is routine.”

“If it’s so routine, why haven’t I ever undergone such an assessment?”

“I don’t know, maybe Director Varga or your superior MTF officers haven’t had reason to recommend it before. Has something changed?”

“Yeah, something changed alright.”


Foundation Medical Center, Site-91 – Lab

Director Iona Varga sat in a darkened lab with x-rays displayed on lighted boards on the wall. They encompassed a full spectrum array of a human body. She sipped on a cup of coffee, black and slightly sweet. Dr. Cooper, the lead medical researcher and resident director of the medical center, finished displaying the x-rays.

“Why are you showing me these, Cooper?”

“Well, we started with the assumption that Douglas’ claims are to be taken seriously and if any changes were made to her systems or structure, we’d see it on scans. So, x-rays first.”


“Building off what we’ve seen from Marquez’ people I’d expect to see some sort of structural change, if she’s been influenced by an anomaly. But there’s nothing like that.”

“So, it’s a psychosomatic effect? From trauma?”

“We’ll have to wait and see what Greggs’ assessment says but actually there was an irregularity. We ran a battery of non-standard tests, including scanning for Hume variance which came up standard for a woman who’s been exposed to anomalies for as long as Douglas has. What surprised me was the Akiva radiation.”

“She’s exuding Akiva radiation?”

“Just a small amount, barely above baseline. But it’s there and it shouldn’t be.”

“What does that mean?”

Cooper frowned and looked up from his notes to meet Varga’s eyes. “I don’t know. But it certainly lends credence to her claim that something out of the ordinary happened.”


Office of the Director, Site-91

11th July, 1993 - Afternoon

Dr. Greggs entered quietly and sat at the couch she indicated, not wanting to relegate him to the intimidation of the desk. Varga sat opposite him and accepted a manilla folder from his outstretched hand.

“I’ll read this of course, but give me the highlights.”

“There’s always an uncomfortable feeling when asked to diagnose in such a short period, even given hours of assessment. So, you’ll have to understand that I am unwilling to state my findings on record with certainty.”

“Despite the caveat, go ahead, Doctor.”

“She is suffering from psychological trauma, similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but of an acute and possibly temporary nature. Additionally, I initially believed she was exhibiting delusions of grandeur. She believes she was targeted by a being or entity of immense power and was changed by it.”

“You’ve spoken to Dr. Cooper?”

“Yes, while I don’t pretend to understand the significance of his findings, it certainly lends credence to what I would have ascribed to delusionary thoughts. That being said, she has admitted, on the record, to experiencing audio hallucinations.”

“Of what?”

“A voice. A ‘hideous voice, like something out of hell’.”

“And you’re sure these are hallucinations? We are in a very strange business.”

“Director, I am not sure of anything, as I stated. But these seem like traumatic responses of a hallucinogenic nature.”

Varga opened the file and skimmed for a moment before looking back up. “It says here she has only experienced this twice, and both times in the other reality.”

“Yes. Which is why I’m not sure.”

Varga stood and shook his hand. “Thank you, Dr. Greggs.”

“If I can be bold, Director?”

“Go ahead.”

“I think she should continue to see me for therapeutic reasons. I don’t think she will without a direct order.”

“I’ll consider it.”


Office of the Director, Site-91

12th July, 1993 - Morning

Diego Marquez, also known as SCP-4612-B, sat across the desk from Varga. His hair was a short wavy black mess, and his beard was salt and pepper but trimmed close to his jaw. He wore a flannel shirt under a denim jacket which seemed like a strange choice for three-thousand-year-old cult leader to wear.

He looked around her office, pausing on every book on the shelf and every curio in the room. “You have a lovely office, Director Varga. Although, I will admit to being a little out of sorts at being in this manor again.”

“Are you going to attempt to take the body in the crypt?”

“Not today. My father’s resting place has been mostly unmolested for centuries. Trying to take him now would be counterproductive. Like I told your Agent Douglas, I’m here to forge some sort of understanding between our peoples. How is the good agent, by the way?”

“She’s been suspended pending an assessment. For now, your only contact will be with me. It’s interesting, you bringing up Douglas.”

“Is it? Most of my contact with your organization has been with Douglas. And I know she’s been struggling of late.”

“Well, if you want this conversation to go any further, you’ll explain what you know about her.”

“I don’t enjoy being told what to do, Director.”

“Consider it a requirement for good faith negotiations.”

Marquez sighed and folded his arms over his chest.

“When I first met her, I wanted to issue a warning to your organization. I wasn’t the most subtle.”

“You wiped her memory of the conversation and placed a memetic trigger on her ability to use psychometry, so your warning was all she could sense for weeks.”

Marquez looked down at his lap. “Yes, I should have been more careful. I’ll admit to having a temper and sometimes I don’t think my actions through. I fear I’ve left her vulnerable to whatever force invaded her in the years between our first and second meetings.”

“Do you know what happened to her?”

Marquez shook his head. “Not exactly, but I know some impossibly powerful entity attempted to take over her body and twist it. I can sense it’s hand on her, even now.”

“What do you mean?”

“At some point, likely in service to your organization, Agent Douglas was put into the presence of an impossibly powerful intelligence. That thing reached into her and wanted to transform her into something else – probably for its own goals – but for whatever reason, it was cut off and left a scar. But its not like a scar on your arm, its livid and made up of a tiny piece of the thing that touched her.”

“Is she compromised?”

“Is the entity controlling her? No, not at all. But she has been changed. Most likely irrevocably so.”

Varga steepled her hands and peered at Marquez above them. “Can you help her?”

“No. Somethings are beyond my power. I deal in the physical for the most part, metamorphosis and raw power. I don’t have it in me to reach into her soul and carve the thing out. It’s possible she would not survive the experience, even if I could.”

“Damn.” Varga stood from her desk and looked out on the English summer morning from the window in her office. “What are you hoping to gain here, Diego?”

“A peace between us. It is why I let my people come to you when they asked. I cannot fight a war on two fronts. Your goals are to understand. Hers are only to destroy, salt the earth and build a new reality on the ashes.”

“You mean the Matriarch.”

“Yes. She will not rest until my people and I are wiped from the Earth. Not to mention, she wouldn’t be upset about doing the same to most of modern civilization.”

“I’ve been reading up on the Daeva, I’m not sure how she could do that without the book.”

“The Chronicle is not their only weapon left moldering through history like a cancer. She is not some mad cultist looking to rise a fabled memory of an empire, she is of their stock. She knows more about thaumaturgical rituals than most. A significant portion of the surviving rituals known to the Library and Serpent’s Hand are related – even in small portion – to Daeva practices. The Matriarch would murder the world if it would see a return to her people’s prosperity. No doubt with her power resolutely in command.”

“She is capable of significant conventional destruction; she’s already shown that. And she has support from unlikely sources.”

“The Russian. Don’t think that he would be the linchpin; even without him she would still control the resources of his conglomerate.”

“Quite. So, you’re seeking a ceasefire between the Foundation and your group?”

“Not just that, an alliance. You can no more let the Matriarch do what she wants than I can. I propose to join forces to … ‘neutralize’ her threat to normalcy.”

Varga turned from the window, a tight smile on her face. “You’ve been doing research on us as well, I see.”

Marquez shrugged. “Would it be possible?”

“An alliance? Perhaps. I couldn’t decide this on my own, I have superiors as well. But if I was to go to them, I’d need something to sweeten the pot beyond the containment of the Matriarch.”

“I said neutralize.”

“I know what you said, and that isn’t negotiable. If at all possible, we would capture and study her. Period.”

Marquez was silent for a moment, then nodded. “Fine. What else would you need from me?”

“Information, Diego. You are a mystery that we have only begun to probe around the edges of. You would tell me everything you know about your origins, your goals, your abilities and your ‘father’s’ species. Not to mention where they are now, as we saw one when we chased you out of Boston.”

“No. I will not discuss my father’s people. They are beyond you anyway.”

“Are they still here, Diego?”


Varga stared at the man, realizing that she had no idea how to read him.

“What does that mean? ‘They are beyond you.’ I don’t appreciate being condescended to.”

He rubbed his eyes and then looked up at her. “I apologize. My patience is worn thin, being hounded as we are.”

She nodded slightly, acknowledging the apology, but did not respond.

“Ah… right. They are not within your sphere of influence, Director. That is what I meant. Also, they are far beyond your capacity to affect directly. As the matriarch’s people learned firsthand when only my father remained on this planet.”

“What happened between you?”

“Her people were a jealous sort; the Daeva did not tolerate any trespassers in their territory. Despite the fact that we had no designs on their power or lands, they threw the full weight of their empire against my father – and to a lesser extent, myself – and learned the hard way they were outclassed.”

“So, if I am to accept your telling, the entity you call ‘father’ had a hand in eradicating the Daevite empire?”

Marquez laughed quietly. “Yes. You could say that. And the matriarch took it personally. Understandable, really.”

“I want to know everything about your history. And as much as you are willing to divulge about your anomalous abilities.”

“That will be a lengthy discussion. Do you have tea?”


Thaumaturgical Library, Site-91

12th July, 1993 - Morning

Rebekah sighed as she closed a heavy tome on the table in front of her. Sphaerarum Catalogus, a study of other realities by 15th century philosopher and magician by the name of Umberto de Bernaregio, had not provided her with any insight into the other reality where she had met the thing. She had looked through nearly a dozen ancient grimoires and tomes recommended by Maria Waltham, the resident thaumaturge she was closest to. None of them even came close to describing the entity of pure hunger and malice she had felt worm its way into her mind.

Andronicus Matsoukas, chief archivist of Site-91, approached her table from the opposite side. He was followed by a woman in her forties, dressed in the messy formality of an academic.

“Agent Douglas, this is Dr. Judith Low, head of the History Department.”

“We have one of those?” Rebekah extended a hand to shake the woman’s.

“Not here on site, I oversee the Foundation wide department.” She patted Matsoukas on the arm in a familiar way, then sat across from Rebekah and glanced down at the tome in front of her.

“You good?” Matsoukas asked Rebekah.

She nodded, and he left the two of them alone. The woman had turned the tome around and was looking inside. She did not look up as she spoke. “Iona mentioned me to you?”

Rebekah nodded. “A few days ago. She said you’d be part of the assessment. Are you another shrink?”

Low laughed and shook her head. “Just a historian with a penchant for the strange. But then, how else does one end up working for this organization?”

“So, how are you assessing me?”

“Tell me about what happened in SCP-4712-B.”

Rebekah reported the events as clearly as she could, and found that her voice no longer broke when she described them. She had touched an altar made of shaped flesh and bone, then found herself floating in a void being accosted by a terrifying presence that invaded her. She explained the pain at the thing’s ‘touch’ and her following coma. And how she had gone back to that place to see the one man who might know, and found nothing but more terror.

“And Marius, he’s a Karcist?”

“He says he’s not, as he has no people to lead. But he has the abilities of one, for sure. At least according to the files I’ve read about other such people.”

“What did he say about the presence?”

“He said it had never spoken to him, just broadcasting rage at him 24/7. He said he had thought it was a mindless thing… I think he said, ‘of endless hunger’. But then when I told him about it speaking to me, he said it reminded him of a myth from his childhood.”

“And he was Solomonari?”

“According to the files,” Rebekah said with a shrug. “So, then he tells me about the Sarkic god or creator and its helpers. He said to research his people’s myths and cultures. Honestly, I hadn’t thought about it since. It’s been a crazy year.”

Dr. Low ran a hand though her brown hair, streaked with gray, and got up from her seat.

“Andronicus?” she called out towards the front of the library where the archivist’s office was. “Where are your Nälkän texts?”

Five minutes later Matsoukas finished lading down the table with more leather-bound books. He placed a hand on those Rebekah had been looking at before, looking at her. She nodded and he gathered them up.

Low flipped open the first book in front of her. “Now, we’ve never found an intact copy of the Solomonari Valkzaron – their holy book – but this is a copy of another proto-Sarkic holy book. Despite the provenance, the myth is widespread enough that I think this will serve… ah, here it is. Give me a moment to translate.”

She sat scratching away at a notepad for a few minutes, crossing out lines and then rewriting them. Then, she nodded to herself and wrote out a few more lines on a new piece of paper and slid it across the table towards Rebekah.

The Heaving Devourer cast out in its fetid mindlessness
For companions of equal hunger

Four were crafted from the flesh of the newborn Material realm
Mewling, formless things that served the Devourer
Faceless eternal impotence and hunger
Ever yearning to escape the turbulent darkness of The Outer Void
and into the physical world created by Yaldabaoth
The Archons ache to consume the cosmos one world at a time
Until their teeth have torn through final surviving world,
and the Great Winnower is revenged upon its creation
Which will return the universe to its birth state – without Light

Rebekah stared at the paper, frowning, for a few minutes then met Low’s eyes.

“So, what… this is some hungry demon thing?”

“If… and this is a big leap… if this is an Archon or something related to it, then it is the hungry demon thing. Or one of them, anyway.”

“What does that tell us? How does this help me?”

“It doesn’t really. I’m sorry to say, if this is the right thread to pull, it isn’t a positive situation. We’re talking ancient primordial evil here. The Karcists and their scribes have barely mentioned these things – focused as they are on Ion – so our information is scarce. But if this is what you encountered, and it’s a big ‘if’, then at the very least you’re not imagining things.”

“Great, so I’m not delusional. But still haunted by a hungry ghost of world ending proportions.”

“Probably not delusional.” Low said with a smile. “I’m not a psychologist. But you seem lucid to me. And the experience you’ve described seems at least partially in line with what little we know about the Archons. As to what you should do about it, I’m not sure. I think it would behoove you to speak with some of the Karcists we’ve been in contact with over the years. Not all of them were hostile monsters, there’s a small but significant cultural tradition in some communities. As opposed to the cults.”

“I wish Marius wasn’t trapped over there, feels like he could help me.”

“I wouldn’t advise putting yourself at risk unnecessarily, and from what you told me, being in that other reality put you directly in contact with the entity. Right?”

Rebekah nodded. Thinking about that voice in her head, the echoing emptiness of it, caused her to shudder just a little.

Low sighed. “I would very much like to speak to this Marius, he seems like an interesting individual.”

“He is, if a bit evasive.”

“Well, that’s hardly surprising. We lock up things like him.”

Rebekah nodded again.

“Well, I need to be going, but I will send you some literature to read. Although I can’t promise you answers, knowing more about the Nälkä religion might help put some of this in perspective.”

Rebekah stood and shook Low’s hand, then watched her walk away. Matsoukas came over to her and sat down, carrying a cup of coffee. He carefully pushed the tomes to the other side of the table and away from their beverages.

She sipped at the coffee, frowning.

“So, no good?” he asked.

“Well, the good news is I’m not losing it.”

“And the bad?”

“If I’m not losing it, then something is affecting me. Something inhuman that scares the Sarkics to death. And none of this gets us any closer to solving the problem of that Daevite bitch.”

Matsoukas smiled and held his cup in both hands, his elbows propped up on the table. “Maybe not, but at the very least I am enthusiastic to know my judgment of character is intact.”

She looked at him out of the side of her eye.


“You never struck me as delusional, Rebekah. Just ridiculously intense.”


Office of the Director, Site-91

12th July, 1993 - Afternoon

Dr. Greggs, Dr. Cooper and Dr. Judith Low sat opposite Varga in the sitting area of her office, she on one couch and they on the other.

“Ultimately, all I need to know is whether she is fit for duty or not.”

“Physically she’s in terrific health,” Cooper began. “Except for the anomalous emission of Akiva radiation, no abnormalities have been found. But I can’t stress enough how strange that is. Even after her exposure to SCP-4612-A, Agent Douglas showed nothing like that.”

“And you’re sure its emanating from her, and not something she was exposed to?”

“I’m not sure of anything, Iona. But I think it’s reasonable based on the readings, as it is not fading over time.”

“So, she’s a ‘god’?”

“You yourself have pushed back on the equivalence of Akiva radiation with the divine. I don’t have any answers other than something has changed.”

Varga turned to Dr. Greggs.

“And psychologically?”

“Agent Douglas exhibits trauma from the death of Captain Zadeh. She feels alienated from the rest of the MTF personnel. But other than some anger over her experiences and those feelings of alienation, I don’t believe she is exhibiting symptoms of PTSD or other neuroses that would preclude her from return to duty.”


“She’s a borderline case. I would not say she’s unstable, but I would want to see her for further evaluations. Ultimately, I’m going to recommend limited duties and not in the field. Do you want her in the field?”

“She’s no good to me on house arrest.”

“Then I recommend a short leash.”

Varga nodded, and met Low’s gaze. “Judith?”

“First of all, I don’t know what good I am here. I’m a historian, not a psychologist or physician.”

“You’re here to offer your unique insight based on your experience and after your interview with Agent Douglas. Do you have an opinion on her condition?”

Dr. Low ran her fingers through graying brown curls. “During my discussion with Rebekah we got to speaking about her experience in that other reality. What she told me about the entity that accosted her – more than once apparently – could be connected to the Nälkän cosmology.”

“In what way?”

“Bear in mind there is very little written about this, either from within or outside the Nälkän tradition.”


“I’m getting there, give me a moment. You’ll have to forgive me, but I’m uncomfortable with making a definitive statement about this. But from what Agent Douglas told me, and given the information Marius gave her, it’s possible that she made contact with an entity the Nälkän tradition called an Archon.”

“What does that mean?”

“To know more, I’d need to cross over and meet with Marius. The people his family descended from no longer exist, and he could be an irreplaceable asset.”

“I’m sure we can arrange something, but in the meantime…”

“Right, apologies. Take this with a grain of salt, but it’s possible that Agent Douglas came into contact with an ancient, alien intelligence. Basically, the angel of death to the Nälkä peoples, something consumed all the life on that world and converted millions of organisms into other forms of life. She made first contact with an XK-Class Extinction Level Event in the making. She bears watching, and closely.”

Varga nodded. The silence stretched for a few moments.

Cooper cleared his throat. “Are you going to reinstate her?”

Varga smiled. “Thank you, Doctors. Your thoughts will be taken under advisement.”


Office of the Director, Site-91

13th July, 1993 - Morning

The Director was shaking her hand, no smile, just an assessing gaze. Rebekah didn’t feel like being congratulated.

“So, you’re reinstating me?”

“With caveats,” Varga said.

“What was all this for?”

“I needed to see that I could depend on you.” Varga stood and closed the curtains over the window behind her desk.

“And you think you can?”

“Like I said, with certain caveats.”

“Right, what does that mean?”

“Your role will be restricted to investigations, the way that it was prior to your involvement with Project Hecatoncheires. You will not be pursuing hard targets. You are authorized to carry a weapon, but only in service of self-defense.”

“Alright. What does that mean?”

“It means you’re not going to be joining the MTF team in any official capacity from now on. It also means you are to listen to your commanding officer on any deployment. It means that one false move and you’re out. And I think you know what that means.”

“Keep my nose clean, stay out of trouble. I can do that.”

“Good. Because otherwise I will have Captain Waltham cut your Achilles tendon.”

“Jesus, Iona.”

“Dr. Cooper could probably reattach it. He’s very good.”

Rebekah laughed.

“So, what next?”

“We make our moves.”

Varga pulled out a file and passed it to her. She flipped it open to find two images: Marquez and the Matriarch.

“About fucking time.”

rating: +24+x

Hecatoncheires Cycle
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