The Moment of Burial
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rating: +28+x

[Start Log]

We came from the Red.

Red was the integration of the past. There existed a diverse biosphere; animals, plants, and microbes were past glories. And Red was the sum of all, a summary.

Red was the fury of the Sol. On daybreak, the bloody sun fired fiery light to the ground, dissolving every creature on the surface and melting them into puddles. Puddles gathered together, liquified and solidified at the same time, wandering on bare lands.

Red was the beginning of the future. Nutritious red blobs searched way on Earth, gracefully waiting for their predators. And here we came. The superior life form emerged from countless epochs of mutation. We originated from the Red, fed on the Red, exploited the Red, and used them to enhance ourselves.

[End Log]

Citizens of the Twilight City gathered beneath, seeing a delicate casket descended from the stone pillar atop. Doppel Linn held it carefully and walked along the winding path.

Twilight City, like its name, was a fully underground city with poor lighting. And one of its core builders, Foundation researcher Lyrics Linn, died for around 300 years. As her descendant of the 13th generation, Doppel the mayor was ready to embrace the cruel, bloody red sun at midday…

But not now.

Doppel wanted to tell everyone a story.

Big story.

In the previous hundreds of years, when mankind struggled to survive, most workers were too busy to listen to stories. Maybe there were stories of humans intertwined with red blobs, stories of sun-molten plants seeping into the soil, and stories of aliens knocking on Earth with their tentacles. However, barely anyone knew. What they really knew was "the Foundation," foods called "SCP-001-A," bed, shovel, and pickaxe. Mostly pickaxe.

There used to be chances to slow everyone down and took their time to commemorate the past, but those opportunities always slipped away from the Linn family's fingers. Until now -

"Hmm, " Doppel grunted, "Shall we get started?"

Silence.

Then the story started.


[Start Log]

Today is history.

Today we make history.

Today we are a part of history.

[End Log]


Origin


Three hundred years ago, the remaining creatures tried hard to survive the red disaster. Humans huddled up in underground shelters. Some lucky dudes resorted to un-cities kilometers below the surface. In contrast, aliens just silently quitted this place through distorted spaces, wormholes, paths, and ways - none of them were willing enough to help the Earth. Anomalies contained in Foundation sites and areas were all liberated because of the Red. But then, they became captives of the Sol, especially organic ones.

Foundation personnel preferred un-cities being their new home and would guide other civilians to come along. Unlondon, the first un-city Foundation explored, was short-lived; but as more and more un-cities were revealed, humans still had a handful of options. Then what was the target of the Foundation at that moment? Restart their fancy devices; rebuild their shelter; launch their counterattack. As long as human beings were able to survive, the analysis of anomalies would again become the theme of the Foundation. Well, we're doing this right now.

Then what was the situation of my ancestor, Mrs. Lyrics Linn? She shut herself in a Foundation site, blocking all her colleagues since they became Red monsters. Those monsters knocked on the site door politely, inviting Lyrics to sunshine. She then used all kinds of weapons to keep them out, including liquid nitrogen, tasers, and flamethrowers. As she miraculously beat all of them, she either burned or froze the Red, which became edible then. She wrote diaries at that time, so I was lucky to read about the facts. But, pure words were pale after all. As a person living quietly in Twilight City since born, I found it difficult to imagine how my ancestor fought off her mates.

After that, she seemed to partially understand the power system of the site. As the Red was almost clear in the vicinity, she was able to survive for another few months. Until then, she was found by the united forces of the Foundation and GOC. They scanned the signal of the site so they detected her.

I didn't know how the forces of Foundation and GOC transport people long-range. Maybe through thaumatic spells. Maybe teleportation. Anyway, she caught up with the survivors in un-cities. She finally arrived at a mysterious but hollow megapolis that was kilometers underground.

The megapolis was called Un-Atlantis. Yes, that was the former name of Twilight City.

[Start Log]

Red predated the past, and we absorbed the Red. And thus, we got histories.

We ate Red flower, feeling its growth;

we ate Red mice, sensing dark and hollow;

we ate Red birds, and delight of flight flowed in our bodies;

we ate Red humans, and endless knowledge pumped into our hearts.

[End Log]


Development


When there were lots of survivors gathered together in this hollow space, the intrusion of the Red became less. Decades after the first human ever entered the Twilight City, a comprehensive electronic detection network was set up to capture biological, electronic, and optic signals from atop. The main contributors were the most eminent architects and researchers of the SCP Foundation. Survivors were anticipating SOS signals and radios, as only their existence could prove the survival of humans up above. However, what network monitors heard were just two kinds of voices. One was the featureless buzz, another was the purr of non-human:

Come back! It's warm up here.

The sun is sooooo beautiful.

The surface is just wonderful. Really wonderful! Extraordinary!

bloblobloblobloblobloblobloblobbbbbbbb

The last kind of sound was thick gel slapping the air. Er, if you've tried to blow air to yogurt with a straw, then you may imagine what it is like.

Speaking of yogurt, I should mention a little bit about the urban development at that time. Unlike other underground cities, the starting point of the Twilight City was void: only fresh soil, empty buildings, and mysterious but sacred machines. Microbes and small creatures were found in the soil. Plants that researchers brought from labs were able to grow, proving that photosynthesis exists even if devoided direct sunlight. We suspected that those mysterious machines - probably supported by the heat of lava - may be responsible for this phenomenon. Thus, Foundation botany researchers and some mechanics built up basic agriculture and graziery. Then, of course, light industries like textile. We actually went through the whole path from primitive agriculture to the Industrial Revolution.

Apart from the danger above our heads, our ancestors also tried hard to establish connections with other un-cities. Unfortunately by that time, Undublin was the one and only un-city we successfully connected. To return to the surface, this city seemed to have its own method.

To totally block the sunlight, Undublin researchers intended to initiate a nuclear winter. To reach this state, they should explode as many nuclear weapons as possible, particularly atom bombs and hydrogen bombs. After the explosion, huge clouds would hover high above the ground and cover the earth. Humans were short of knowledge of what would happen if SCP-001-A stays out of sunlight for a long time. Nevertheless, the human could launch the great counterattack from then on, as less equipment would be needed for returning to the ground.

The bombardment was initiated later. They must have gotten permission to these weapons in the UK, at least. Our devices could also detect the radiation and temperature change above. However, the effects of nuclear winter lasted only for a short time; so short that the fiery sun returned to the skies just months later. Worse, we lost the connection with Undublin from then on; nobody knew the reason. The only good news was the decrease of the Red creature lingering above our heads. But this conclusion also told us that the Red could survive nuclear radiation. We the Twilight City became desperate, as we had no idea when massive groups of people could be transported up above. As you know, for centuries we could only send small recon groups through the old-fashioned teleporters.

When would the change come?

Until about 100 years ago, we finally found an answer.

[Start Log]

We stride along time, trampling eternity with our immortal bodies;

We pierce through spaces, conquering distance with our sonorous roar.

[End Log]


Chance


You probably remember the Chernobyl Incident. It only took about 30 to 40 years to evolve mutated species in Pripyat that were truly shocking: overgrown twisted plants, huge aggressive rats, etc. Then what would happen to SCP-001-A if they were exposed to excess radiation?

The result was undoubtedly a mutated species. It was to some extent like SCP-001-A, as some of their individuals had self-consciousness. These individuals even picked a name for themselves: 'Einz'. May be originated from the word 'one' in German. They were immune to the sunlight, and interestingly, they seemed to only predate on SCP-001-A. Yes, they ate the Red! Weird, huh? What's more, they would take over or even advance the intelligence of the Red. For example, if a human was turned to SCP-001-A by the sun, this Red stuff would only think of how to bring more people to the sun, right? Its basic intelligence and cognition were impaired. However, if an Einz individual ate this red blob, it would not only regain all the past memories of that poor human, but also be able to think in his/her/their way.

Let us rewind to the day Einz was discovered.

On that day, Foundation researchers who were monitoring sound signals found eerie waves. To be specific, there were noises like the hiss of bubbles from an open soda bottle. At the same time, bubbling sound from the Red attenuated. Researchers' first reaction was to send a response team upward. A group of elite researchers and mechanics grabbed the devices and rushed to the teleporter. Onto the ground, what they first saw was a human-like entity was chasing a giant red blob with a diameter of several meters! That entity was less than 2 meters tall, so everyone seeing this was startled. The giant blob seemed to be paralyzed as soon as the entity touched it. The entity was tearing the blob into small pieces and eating them, and when the group of investigators carefully came near, it stared at them, emitting a long sequence of uneasy soundwaves. The wave didn't seem to express hostility, as the whole group returned back underground without harm.

The soundwave the group captured was continuous human whispers, mingled with electric current noises. Through some brief treatments, researchers worked out a comprehensible version of audio and saved it on a tape. I may play it to you guys right now.

We came from the Red…

Yep, you have just heard 'the Red.' The Einz individual also coined this term to describe SCP-001-A. After the decoding of the whole audio, we eventually understood what Einz was. At that time researchers were confused because it was weird for a new species to tell others their identity. But now we know that such confusion is unnecessary.

As more explorations regarding the Einz were conducted, we knew more interesting stuff about it.

Firstly, as I have mentioned before, Einz individuals can absorb memories and feelings from the Red. If what they have eaten had no self-consciousness or intelligence, they will experience synesthesia. Say, if they eat the Red grass, they will feel photosynthesis; if they eat birds, they will feel their weight being lighter. Einz individuals were very willing to express these feelings of synesthesia through voice. Ah, as many of these entities have eaten Red humans before, they would probably utter poetic lines. Just like this:

… We ate Red flower, feeling its growth; we ate Red mice, sensing dark and hollow…

Also, Einz is immortal as long as supplied by the Red. If the supply is inadequate, it will gradually lose the ability to move and think, finally resulting in a puddle of unanimated brown syrup. Luckily, Einz can absorb a massive amount of red blobs each time and digest them slowly, but none of the individuals would like to do this.

Following that, each Einz individual could split into two, obeying asexual reproduction. Through the split, two sub-individuals keep separated consciousness respectively. Each individual can decide how to split the memories and feelings on its own.

In addition, Einz individuals can conduct telecommunication with each other through electromagnetic waves and high-frequency sound waves, different from the messages they brought to humans.

You may argue that the evolvement of Einz is like a kind of deus ex machina. However, its appearance has nearly nothing to do with our return to the surface - Einz individuals will also occupy ground space. As the Einz individuals near the portals had growing concerns about future food sources and the existence of humans, they asked us for a solution.

What, Einz was concerning us?

Yes, you heard me right.

Einz wanted us.

[Start Log]

To those who survive:

Meeting you all is our honor,

As well as an opportunity.

If you can offer us darkness brought from the past,

We will requite with brightness existed long before.

For the brightness, we swear:

It is not the red sun in the sky,

But [UNRECOGNIZABLE NOISES]

[End Log]


Consequence


So how would the relationship between humans and Einz develop? I know that most of you, especially those who first heard about Einz just now, are desperate to know what this new species will do to us. I just want to say: stay relaxed. Human, the Red, and the Einz have established an equilibrium.

Decades after we found Einz, fewer and fewer SCP-001-A instances were detected around our teleport spots. Most of the Einz creatures took the form of humans; they were able to recognize our alphabet and comprehend our spoken words. However, their expressions were still unclear hiss with electric buzz. Researchers created a handy device to translate the sound of Einz. We called it 'The Rosetta Ingot.' With this, we were able to talk to Einz individuals readily.

We got more histories of the old human.

We understood the synesthetic feelings of extinct creatures.

We laughed at the awkward lyrics of the Einz.

And we accepted a proposal.

'We have a primary concern on our foods. You know, the Red will only generate when fresh creatures are exposed to the sun. But where can we find fresh creatures? So what we're thinking is, can you provide a method to generate fresh food, so that they will change to the Red for us to eat?'

Einz was worrying about food supplies! Interesting.

But everyone knew that Einz could just leave here and go to places far away. There used to be 6 billion people and over 34 million square kilometers of forest on earth. How could it be possible that the Einz ate all of them within merely 60 years? Or, would it be possible that the food supply problem was only an excuse?

'Well, em, yeah. Haha, I don't expect you can get our point so fast,' said one Einz individual, embarrassed.

It continued speaking, 'A part of our consciousness had a huge impulse to anchor all of us here. Maybe your existence activated our souls as humans. Those human minds must have expected us to stay with you forever.'

Sure. Maybe.

So then?

We made a contract.

Humans will periodically take away the feces of the Einz, which is a kind of dense but scentless liquid. Those liquids are a good source for fertilization, which are also harmless to humans. To support the Einz, humans will zone fields to grow plants for their survival. Harvested plants will be transported to the surface batch by batch so that they will be changed to the Red plants, edible for the Einz. In return for our efforts, Einz individuals will always be waiting for us, telling fascinating stories about histories, or the Red, or the sun.

After the contract was established, our yield increased dramatically thanks to the 'fertilizer', but a large portion of them was sent above to the surface. For those who are wondering about where the additional yield goes, this is the answer you've long been searching for.

Finally, you may still wonder why I tell you those before I go to the surface this time.

Let me tell you.

This is about my ancestors.

Weeks ago, at the end of our last exploration, one Einz individual told me that one of their companions was coming. I was confused: was that something so important that the Einz needed to tell me specifically? It answered, 'This fellow is looking for someone so eagerly.'

Well, it was not so much the Einz as the human soul inside it finding someone.

'The soul has been looking for someone for about three centuries,' the Einz individual appended, 'even if he was changed to the Red, or eaten by the Einz, the consciousness has been kept nicely so far. The trail of the soul covered a huge portion of the northern hemisphere. And at last, my fellow, carrying his soul, found this place. It is really hysterical right now. '

[Start Log]

Because here is human.

And human stands for hope.

[End Log]

Furthermore, I asked the individual again, 'who is he looking for?'

It answered that he was looking for his sister.

Sister? I asked her name.

'Her name is…'

'And the name of her brother is…'

After I heard these two names, I was totally stunned.

Tears were flooding out of my eyes.

I could no longer stand on my knees and fell to the ground.

My protection suit was groaning, but I only felt it noisy.

The Einz gathered together, supporting me with their brownish hands and tentacles.

'I… I know their name. They are my… my… well forget about it! Tell him that his sister was already burnt to ashes per her final words.'

'Alright,' the human-like Einz individual looked up to the sky and transmitted signals. It told me to wait. Two minutes later, the answer arrived.

Only three short and decisive signals.

For only three words.

[Start Log]

I am coming.

[End Log]


Doppel finished his story.

When he was making the presentation, the crowd became upset and peaceful, separated and clustered, just like what the Red would do. But when he made the final pause, everyone became dead silent and frozen. They needed time to comprehend what was taught. They were suddenly informed that some of their products were fed to inhuman creatures, and humans were anticipating their response with corresponding goods. Could civilians accept the fact? Could they actually bear it?

Mrs. Lyrics Linn always said 'Time would tell.' Everyone needed time.

But the clock rang.

It was 2 pm local time. Doppel took a final glance at civilians, wore protection suits with trembling hands, and finally walked to the tunnel at his back, to the hollow back tube leading to the surface.

Inward. Onward. Even onward.

He sat on long, high elevators.

He pushed the gate to reality.

[Start Log]

Please take her to me, at the right time.

As you all hope her to be immortal.

And I hope so too.

[End Log]

At this hottest moment, Einz individuals gathered around the gate. One human-like Einz reached out its hands, brownish and half-transparent.

He - let's call it 'he' - spoke nothing, but took the casket and held it in front of his face carefully, like carrying a full bottle of boiled water. Then the Einz pressed the casket on a tiny bump, softly.

The casket was opened. A gust of wind suddenly blew over.

The ash long rested inside slowly woke up, forming a continuous flow, and stretched out carefully, as if it were to avoid panicking others. Meanwhile, something just occurred to him. His body shook heavily, trying to inflate and explode, trying to make exaggerated gestures, trying to make horrible moves… All he wanted to do was to grasp the dust. But how would the unrestrained ash accept his proposal?

The ash of an ever-struggled human was freed at last. Doppel and the Einz half-man both nailed there, stupefied.

They looked up, and the bloody sun was there; though Doppel could not see it through layers of electronic screens.

Later, the Einz suddenly reached his hands to the heart and pulled back fast. Something was stretched out from there and into the casket. The shape was ambiguous at first but fixed to a lily flower. The Einz did not stop; more and more brownish flowers were rudely torn from his body.

He began to roar.

Roar with the voice of Rhythm Linn, who was the brother of Doppel's ancestor, Lyrics.

The hoarse sound pierced through three hundred years and resonated with Doppel's mind.

Which made him weep, and then wail.

The control panel inside his helmet initiated the self-cleaning program, wiping out his tears silently.

At last, Doppel barely remembered how he went back to the Twilight City from atop. The only thing engraved in his mind was what he saw just before the door was closed:

The already incomplete Einz individual shattered to pieces, surrounded the casket, morphed crazily, and finally became equinox flowers.

Flew up to heaven, chasing the ashes.

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