The Site-78 Halloween Special!

rating: +14+x

Michaela Avalerra stood in her containment cell bathroom brushing her hair in the mirror. She thought it was a boon that unlike the classic vampire myths she still had her reflection. Avalerra didn't know how she'd take care of grooming without it. It had been a couple of months now since she was contained inside the SCP Foundation and slapped with a million different designations. They became as normal as her name.

Keter. Cernunnos. Vlam. Danger. Hemovore. All terms were used to describe her, never that she was snarky, sarcastic… or pretty. She felt that besides her teammates on MTF Omega-45 or her handler Researcher Maria Johnston, everyone in this facility thought of her as a tool to use. She didn't mind it all that much, her time on this earth was coming to an end.

SCP-7261-A they called it. Her need to consume the blood of a child aged 0-6. Johnston had sworn up and down she was working on a solution but nothing had born fruit. They gave her 1-2 years to live and every month she got weaker and weaker.

It hadn't compromised her abilities in the field, she could still punch through concrete and tear a man in half if need be. However, she could feel that she just wasn't the person she used to be before arriving. Not to mention the constant whisper in her skull to feed, something she fought hard to suppress.

She'd gotten to thinking about her mortality now that Dia De Los Muertos was approaching. She wondered what her family had thought had happened to her, most likely they assumed she was dead.

I probably have a few ofrendas built for me. Candles and flowers and whatever else. I hope my brother's is even more extravagant. A tear slid from her eye as painful memories started rushing back. The buzz of the intercom however drew her attention.

"Avalerra? Are you decent? I need to come in." The voice of Researcher Maria Johnston came from overhead.

Avalerra was fairly lax on that subject, especially after being contained by the Foundation. She was being watched 24/7 so she didn't think it mattered, she slept in this stuff usually. "Uh…. how decent are a tanktop and underwear?"

"Can you put pants on… at least?" Maria asked nicely.

"Yeah, I'll grab my sweats." Avalerra placed her brush drown, grabbed her embroidered "Omega-45" sweatpants, and put them on, struggling a bit to get the tight fabric over her decently sized bottom. She head out into her containment cell proper, as their sliding doors opened and Maria Johnston came in.

Avalerra smiled, figuring Johnston had some important mission for her. She was the only one who ever came to visit her in this lonely cell. "Ah Maria, what's on the docket today? Are we going after the Sepulchrum? What new undead anomaly do they have cooking up this time?"

"It's not the Sepulchrum… this time. It's more important than that."

More important than the Sepulchrum? Could it be… the Set of Nine? Avalerra thought, replying, "Did Chudley locate another book? Who has it? Valravn? I've been itching to test my mettle against a La Llorona."

Maria shook her head. "Nope, the Ravens aren't involved either. This is more pressing than that."

What is it then? Why is she being so vague? "Is it that Apollyon thing that I've heard people talking about? Did Chudley accidentally start a K- Class end of the whatever the hell scenario?"

Maria again shook her head, "End of the World scenario and it just might be the end of the world if we don't attend to this pressing matter."

"Which is….?"

Maria's stern expression quickly changed to that of jubilation. "Tomorrow is the Site-78 Halloween Party! And we need to get you a costume."

Avalerra was completely flabbergasted by Johnston's words, she didn't think a place like this did Halloween parties. Even still, she wasn't really down to participate. "…. I'll have to pass. I'm going to finish brushing my hair now."

"Wait a minute, why not? I thought you'd be happy to get out of this cell."

"Hmmm, why wouldn't I want to go to a Halloween party with all your friends… let's see here." Avalerra took a sniff. "I see you're still wearing that onion perfume. I see that even now that we've been through so much you're still afraid of me."

"Don't think I want to come in her smelling like Shrek's swamp! I put this on every day so I can come and see you. Would I put up smelling like this if I didn't care?"

Avalerra turned, she knew Johnston was being genuine; she could smell it but it didn't mean that she didn't feel hurt by it. "Everyone else in this place treats me like a monster… because I am one. I see the way they look at me when I walk the halls. I can't go anywhere in this place without an armed escort. I can hear them whispering about me, "that's the baby eater" they say."

"Don't listen to those low-clearance stooges. If they actually got to know you, I bet they wouldn't be like that."

Avalerra scoffed, "Regardless, I'm not in the mood to be a stage show freak especially not on days like this or Dia De Los Muertos or whatever. The vampire would like to stay in her coffin for these festivities, thank you very much."

"Avalerra don't be like this. Just do it for me… please? I promise nobody is going to call you a monster or whisper about you. It'll be fun."

"Why do you even want to go? This doesn't seem like a you thing." Avalerra questioned.

"I've always been big on Halloween, I've been dressing up since I was six, dressing up and pretending I was a hero. I guess I'm still doing that running around with you guys." Johnston chuckled, her voice brimming with sincerity.

Avalerra let out a deep exhale. She didn't want to do it but if she was being real with herself, it might just be the last fun thing she'll get to do. Her brother also was very fond of the holiday, so… maybe this would be a good way to honor him. "If I go." Avalerra started. "Is anyone going to call me SCP-7261-1?"

Maria seemed to breathe a sigh of relief, "Nobody will even recognize you by the time we're done. You'll be a completely different person tomorrow."

Avalerra turned, intrigued by her words. Honestly, the last person she wanted to be was herself. "What did you have in mind?"



October 31st, 2022. 5:00 PM. Chudley Residence.

The night of hallow's eve, Greg Chudley stood in his bathroom applying glue for the fake mustache to complete his cosplay, that of famous YouTuber Brian David Gilbert in his HIT video, "how to make jorts". It was the perfect costume as it was not only topical due to the incident that happened earlier that year but also funny. To him at least.

In true Chudley fashion, he didn't think or care if anyone involved in the incident would be offended or think he was being insensitive. To Chudley, it was worth doing as long as he found it funny.

As he was about to put the mustache on, he heard the Discord ringing sound coming from his phone on the counter and pressed the call button. It was one of the friends he met on League of Legends, Kitsukumi7015.

"What's up Kitsukumi? How was work?"

"Ugh, tiring." A female voice groaned from his phone.

"Bad client? Or was the contract shitty?" He didn't know what Kitsukumi did for a living other than she was a contractor of some sort. He didn't press her on it as he too couldn't say what his real job was.

"Nah it was just the work. Had to get these thugs out of this property. Damn squatters. One funny thing though is that they were these bumbling greek dudes in togas."

"Togas? Sounds like they were a real piece of work."

"Yeah but enough about me, how are you? Today is the day of your work party right?"

"Yep! The most exciting thing to happen in Chugwater all year. I wouldn't miss it for the world." Chudley's voice exuded excitement.

"It must suck living all the way out in the sticks for work. Although the place I live isn't really much better."

"It's not too bad, work keeps me decently busy. Do you have Halloween plans?"

"Never really celebrated it myself. Not something I had growing up in Japan."

"Ah gotcha, how about those internet trolls you were telling me about? You said they were calling your company some kinda Neo-Nazi group?"

"Yeah, I know it's fucking crazy. We just do security. I'm not even white for god sake!" Kitsukumi7015 sounded exasperated on the line.

"With a name like Kitsukumi you could have fooled me." He said sarcastically. "You're either Japanese or your mom was one of those quirky white girls who name their kids some dumb stuff. Like Xhessycka or Sequoia or some ungodly spelling of Caitlin."

"Oh she was a quirky white girl, my name is Abigail but like with six Bs and I you don't even want to know how the last syllable is spelled." Kitsukumi joked.

"I wouldn't let those dumb internet trolls get to you, man. They clearly have no idea what you or your group are about. " Chudley said, finishing applying his mustache before taking his phone back to his bedroom.

Chudley grabbed a ball from his dressed and proceeded to put it in his pocket. "Exactly," Kitsukumi responded. "What about work for you? Still working on super secret classified stuff?"

"Only the most super, but I can say…." Chudley tossed the phone on the bed as he reached for his shoes. He sighed and finished, "I just feel so overwhelmed with everything."

"Why is that?"

"Let's just say for everything that we archive away, more and more responsibility keeps getting put on me. I'm responsible for lives now, people look to me for direction. And I… I'm just not the leader type or a hero." Chudley said solemnly, for once his sarcastic facade breaking.

"I've never been in charge of anyone before but I've heard from my team leader that it's an incredibly straining job. You seem like a good man, Greg. I'm sure your job is happy to have you." A knocking is heard. "Oh that's my sisters, we're going out to Taco Bell. I hope you have fun at your party!"

"Enjoy the quesaritos, I've got a party to catch." Chudley hit the end call button as he stood up, shoelaces tied. He shook his head and tried to put it aside. It was party time.


Site-78, 5:30PM

"Can I open my eyes now?" Avalerra asked.

"Just one second…." Researcher Lena Lorri said, putting the finishing touches on Avalerra's look. "….and done!" Avalerra's eyes opened, gasping as she saw her appearance in the mirror. The Cavalera make up that Lorri had applied was impeccable. She looked down at her body, completely painted black with her skeleton having been painted on.

"Just as described in the Foundation's archive. Goodbye, Avalerra…. hello Pale Lady!"

"You look beautiful!" Johnston gushed from her other side. "You're just missing…." Johnston unveiled a large brimmed scarlet hat with flowers adorning its center. "The hat!" She placed it on Avalerra's head as she stood up and twirled around in the mirror.

"You both outdid yourselves…I… wow." Avalerra's eyes sparkled in the mirror, she felt like she was herself again even just for a moment.

"Now what do you think of my costume?" Johnston asked and Avalerra spun to see her. She was decked in full Samurai plate with a kabuto helm overtop her usual lab coat. She had a gauss pistol on one hip and a katana on the other.

Avalerra smiled, "Street Samurai1. Nice. What's the armor made out of?"

"Oh, just some of that new ceramic we came up with from R&D with a little Adamantine for flavor. This thing is combat-ready, baby! I wanted it to be super authentic with that Foundation flair."

"You… used classified materials…. for cosplay?" Lorri said, she'd done up to look like Poison Ivy from DC comics.

"As someone who is two clearance levels higher than you and in charge of what we use the materials on…. shut up," Johnston replied cheekily.

Lorri shook her head. "Somedays I think you have a little Chudley in you. Anyways, shall we get moving girls?"

"Yes, Onwards!" Johnston raised her sheathed sword. "Let's get some candy!" The trio started to head out of Avalerra's cell but Avalerra didn't cross the threshold.

"Hmm? Avalerra? What's wrong?" Johnston asked as she turned around.

"I…. uh…." Avalerra's hands were fidgeting. "Maybe this wasn't a good idea. You guys just… go on without me."

"Oh no. We aren't going anywhere without you. This is the day where for once, we get to revel in the spookiness instead of it coming for us. You aren't missing it. As your commander, I order you to come and dance and eat candied apples with us."

"I'm off duty." Avalerra shrugged. "Work holiday."

"She got you there." Lorri joked.



"I know you're nervous but it will be alright." Johnston took Maria by the hand. "Don't worry this armor is lacquered, I ain't gonna melt you. Come on to the commons, sink your fangs into some good food."

Avalerra took a deep breath, the butterflies in her stomach were thick and palpable. She didn't know she could still feel like this but she figured it still made her human. "F-fine. Let's go."

The group headed out from Avalerra's cell and up to the Commons where the party had already gotten started. Music was pumping and the lighting of the room was a brilliant shade of purple with other colors. Avalerra was surprised at the level of decoration that went into this event, she'd always thought this place was nothing but rules and bureaucracy. Researchers and D-Class of the Foundation talking to each other like a normal office party, dressed up in extravagant costumes.

They were stopped at the door by Omega-45-1 and -2, John Cassington and Cole Marcus.

"Command Johnston." Cassington saluted while Cole seemed more interested in Avalerra than anything else.

"Damn, Johnston! Who is your friend?" Cole said flirtatiously.

"It's me you idiot! It's Avalerra." Avalerra scoffed, never one to take kindly to Cole's antics.

"Oh sorry, I didn't recognize you under all that makeup but it's super sexy! Mind if I get a dance?" Cole was promptly hit upside the head by John.

"Stow it, Cole, you're on duty. Apologies, Ma'am." John said towards Johnston.

Johnston laughed, "It's quite alright you two. Is there anything I should be aware of? Any suspicious characters?" Even when she was out to have fun, the Site's security was still a big issue for her.

"Not really but we did get a few complaints about Researcher Carlton," Cole added. "He's been acting kind of… erratic tonight. I wouldn't worry about it, man probably had too much to drink."

"I would hope not. He's presenting the raffle tonight, and I'm looking to win." Lorri said.

"Thanks for the report, Cole. We'll be heading in, you guys have a good night." Johnston said, saluting her men before the three of them entered the commons proper. "Shall we get some punch and find some place to"

"H-hey put me down!" They heard a male voice say from across the room.

"Is that…" Johnston turned her head with the rest of her friends, "Chudley?"


Site-78, ten minutes prior….

Chudley had arrived at the site and got checked in at Security, heading to the commons for the main event when suddenly something crashed into him. Whatever it was knocked him on his back, hitting the metal floor hard. "Ow… goddamn it." He looked up to see a large eyeball staring back at him with a tuft of pink hair on top of it. It blinked at him several times, appearing to be as moist and fleshy as a real eye.

"C-cyclops!" Chudley screamed as the person the eyeball was attached to started waving their arms.

"N-no! It's me, Cerise! Chudley calm down!" Dr. Victoria Cerise tried to assuage him but Chudley got up and nearly jumped a foot back.

"What the fuck is that on your head, Vic? Lord of the Rings lookin ass." He dusted himself off.

"I had the Thaumaturgy Department whip this up! Aren't I cute?" She placed her hands in front of her, blinking in a manner that Chudley assumed was supposed to be sweet.

"N-no? It's all fleshy and shit, and you have hair? Long flowing pink hair? Did they put hair follicles in that thing?

Cerise squinted at him. "Well I should have known you wouldn't appreciate true beauty in that fuckin getup… wait." Her eye looked down at his jorts.

"Do not tell me." She said raising her voice.

"This is not SCP-7175. These are just regular old non-anomalous jorts. I swear." Chudley's tone was that of a schoolchild trying to tell his teacher that he hadn't done anything wrong.

"God, Chudley! Scared the crap out of me, those things nearly killed me you know." She shook her eyeball. "Be a little considerate."

"You have to admit though, it was funny." Chudley motioned with his head, looking for her to agree.

She stood there emotionless. Not because you couldn't see the look on her face because her head was obscured by a giant eyeball but underneath said eyeball she was completely stone-faced. An awkward ten seconds passed before she had a chuckle. "Okay, it was a little funny."

"Yes, exactly! Lorri fell on a banana, we laughed. A bit of a scary time but not that bad." Chudley laughed and turned his head a bit spotting a woman in the commons with what he thought was the largest backside he'd ever seen! And he had to go talk to her.

"You know it was nice chatting but I think I'm gonna go mingle a bit, you see that girl over there? She's packing a wagon!"

Cerise cocked her head, "You can't be serious, Chudley that's-" She turned and he was gone. "Chudley!"

Chudley adjusted his corduroy sweater and approached his mark, ready to put the charm on this bottom-heavy woman. He tapped her on the shoulder and said, "Ahem, is your designation 3999? Because I should be at the center of everything that happens to you."

The woman spun around, revealing herself to be dressed as Bayonetta from… Bayonetta. But behind the glasses was a piercing glare that Chudley realized meant that he'd fucked up. Badly.

"Flirting in the work place, Chudley? I'm sure that's grounds for an HR complaint." Director Richter said with contempt. Chudley didn't know how he didn't recognize her ass, it was the center of an anomaly for chrissake. "Richter! Hey! It's good to see you. I have to say though you look nice in that outfit, just superb. I'm going to be going now." He stepped back and suddenly he felt his foot get dragged out from under him, something hoisting him by the leg into the air.

He looked up and saw another fearsome visage, this time of the Medusa staring her piercing slitted eyes at him. "Ah! Let me go! I'm sorry!" He thrashed about in the Gorgon's stone grip.

"Poorly dressed hipster. Is he bothering you?" The gorgon said.

"Yes, Thalestris. This man is bothering me. Why don't you escort him out of the premises so we can enjoy our night."

Thalestris! Johnston's damn Valkyrie… Chudley cursed to himself.

"Hold up!" Johnston said, running to Chudley's aid. "Thalestris. Drop Chudley. That's an order."

Thalestris looked at Richter and then at Johnston. "Sorry Director. Boss says to drop him." She let go, Chudley conking himself on the noggin as he impacted with the ground.

"Why does this keep happening to me?" He groaned.

Johnston sighed, "What did he do this time?"

"Just tried to hit on me with a bad pickup line about SCP-3999." Richter stared down at her least favorite employee as he stumbled to his feet.

"What was the pickup line?" Avalerra asked, genuinely curious.

Chudley turned to the beautiful skeleton lady who had just asked him that question and said, "Is your designation 3999? Because I should be at the center of everything that happens to you."

Avalerra snorted, clasping her hands to her mouth to stifle her laughter. "Oh my god!" She exclaimed, trying her best not to belly laugh.

"You don't miss a beat do you?" Johnston said, looking at Chudley with a mix of astonishment and disdain.

"I'm a charming man, what can I say?" Chudley spoke with his brand of confidence.

"Ugh. Listen, Director. Chudley is incredibly sorry for his… conduct. We'll be taking him and you won't have to deal with him for the rest of the night. Please do not fire him… at least until we've contained the Set of Nine." Johnston gave a half-hearted smile.

"Tch. Go on, have fun. But if I see you looking in my direction…"

"Have a good night, Director!" The gang grabbed Chudley and hustled their way into the cafeteria before their Director went full Keter on all of them.


Cafeteria, 25 minutes later…

"And then that's when Dr. Wettle said, "IT'S WETTLING TIME" and then he wettled all over the survivors," Chudley claimed.

This incredibly outdated meme caused Avalerra to once again start snorting with laughter.

"What is with you? Chudley is not that funny." Johnston said with concern.

"He's only funny if you've got the sense of humor of a fourteen-year-old." Lorri rolled her eyes.

"Oh god, Chudley. You've got to calm down with that. Hoooooo. I don't think I've felt this alive in like years." Avalerra took a drink of her punch. This Site-43 place does sound pretty cool."

"Trust me. You don't want to go." Johnston said.

"Why? The memetic hazards?" Lorri added.

"Vikander Kneed?" Chudley asked.

"No. It's in Canada." Johnston said deadpan.

"Ladies and gentlemen!" A Researcher in the center of the cafeteria announced via microphone. "It is time to announce the winner of the Site-78 Halloween raffle! The winner gets an all-expenses paid trip to the Three Portlands!"

"I could use that Vacation! Come on lucky number, 434!' Lorri clenched her ticket with excitement.

The man reached into a bowl provided by his assistant and drew a slip of paper. "And the winner is…"

The Researcher tried to finish speaking but found himself unable to move his jaw. The crowd around him looked a little puzzled as the man seemed to be having some sort of spasm. He dropped the piece of paper, starting to shake uncontrollably.

"Carlton? Are you alright?" His assistant tried to get close but he batted his hand away. He pressed his fingers into his face and screamed as he started tearing away his flesh. Immediately panic took the room as everyone began to run back towards the commons, shrieking in fear.

Johnston and Avalerra immediately sprung into action as Researcher Carlton continued tearing into his face, removing muscle and sinew at an alarming rate. Blood poured from his face as he frantically tore his skull free from its fleshy prison.

"C-Carlton! What are you doing." Johnston reached her hand for her pistol as Avalerra flanked her left.

"Just give me the word, boss," Avalerra said, looking to her for orders.

Jon, Cole, and Thalestris came running behind them, Cole and Jon pointing their gauss rifles at Carlton as Thalestris readied her spear.

"All of you! Hold your fire!" Johnston said, "We don't know what we're dealing with." She tried her hardest to remain resolute but watching him tear off his neck and slide out of his skin like it was a costume, was something she'd never get out of her head.

Carlton's skeleton had finally freed itself from his body, after anomalously pulling arm bones out and pulling its legs out from what remained of his body. The skeleton was stained in blood and still had bits of torn muscle attached. Its internal organs phased through its body and splatted wetly on the ground.

"MWHAHAHAHA! AT LAST! AFTER A WHOLE YEAR I AM FREE!" The skeleton boomed despite not having a voice box, it was clear that this was a part of it's anomalous properties.

"A whole year?" Johnston questioned. "You do this yearly?"


"Harbors you? You're his fucking skeleton!"


"And what exactly is that?"


Avalerra moved with blinding speed, taking Johnston's gauss pistol from her holster and firing it at the Skeleton but it disappeared before the bullet could impact. "Damn it!" Avalerra stomped her foot handing Johnston back her pistol.

Chudley and Lorri came running up to them as they all turned to each other.

"I-I-I've known Carlton for three years! And that thing has just been living inside him for all that time? Breaking out every Halloween? How did we not notice!" Chudley said, his voice quivering with panic.

"At ease, Chudley," Johnston said. "We all need to stay calm. That thing is loose in the facility and we need to contain it. I'm no magic expert but that looked like Thaumaturgy to me."

"A magic skeleton. Great." Lorri sighed. "Just another Monday at Site-78."

"You can say that again." Johnston sighed. "Alright here's what we're gonna-"

"Wait!" They heard a voice coming from the direction of what remained of Carlton. They moved closer and saw the pile of viscera rolling back into one place. His skin laid out for them with his mouth hole starting to move. "Don't kill him! I need him or else I'll be stuck like this."

"Christ, Carlton. You're a skip?" Chudley asked. "Why didn't you tell us?"

"I didn't want to get locked away forever. This has just always been a thing, Mr. Bones separates from me on Halloween to go frighten some folks and then comes back at dawn the next day. Ever since working for the Foundation, I'd tried not to attend the Halloween parties just in case he decided to pop loose."

"Well, what changed then?" Lorri asked.

"I just wanted to actually experience a Halloween for once. I thought I had it under control."

"… it was quite reckless of you." Director Richter came walking into the cafeteria. "There are rules for this sort of thing. You've endangered the lives of everyone in this facility, and when that Skeleton is returned to you, we will have a very long talk." Richter turned to Johnston. "Johnston, do you have a plan to capture the anomaly?"

"I'm gonna send teams of two to search the facility. I assume you already put the place in lockdown?"

"Of course." Richter adjusted her glasses. "That skeleton isn't going anywhere."

"Perfect. Jon and Thalestris, you check MAUDE and Pataphysics. Cole, you stay and watch the partygoers. Avalerra and I are going to check Arms and Equipment. Chudley, Lorri; you check Parabiology and Botanical sciences."

"W-wait us? We aren't combat trained!" Chudley said, being tossed a Gauss Rifle along with Lorri.

"Well as it stands, we sent the rest of the security home for the evening. Man up, Chudley." Richter explained.

"Listen, you don't need to be, those extra rifles Cole just gave you have a stunning feature." Johnston proceeded to show Lorri and Chudley how to activate it and gave them pointers on the usage of the weapon. Chudley and Lorri placed the rifle strap over their shoulder as Johnston stepped back.

"You good then?" She asked.

"As I'll ever be," Chudley smirked. "Let's go catch us a skeleton then."


Site-78 Basement Level, ten minutes later…

The elevator came to a stop and its doors opened, Avalerra and Johnston stepped out. The area was almost pitch black save for the flickering lights. Johnston turned on her flashlight and the pair began moving through the darkness to the Omega-45's armory.

"Do you see anything in the dark?" Johnston asked.

"No. Completely quiet. I don't even hear anything odd." Avalerra kept her head on a swivel for danger. "What makes you think it might be down here?"

"If it's looking for fear and fright, there's no better place than the weapons down here."

"Would it really want to level this place? Maybe it's more into childish pranks."

"Can't take any chances. I'd rather be safe then sorry if it can bypass the locks."

"Right." Avalerra let out a nervous sigh before a nagging thought crossed her mind. "Mind if I ask you a question?"

Just as she finished her sentence the pair had passed by the Magnetic Labs and to the Armory. The door was still locked and the door appeared untouched.

"Sure, thing. Shoot."

"Earlier you mentioned that you used to dream about being a hero. Do you see the Foundation as heroes?"

"Hardly in the traditional sense but I do feel like I am living that childhood dream in a way. A researcher is hardly heroic, especially in our line of work. But I feel like with the Street Samurai, I'm actually getting to fight the bad guys… well vicariously through you all. Why do you ask?" Johnston spoke as she examined the door's security measures.

"It's just that I've been thinking a lot about if I've done enough to repent for my actions. Balanced the ledger as some might say."

"Morality isn't a simple ledger that you can assign points to, Michaela." Johnston turned. "I've done things at this foundation that I'm not proud of… nothing as bad as uh, your -A events but I've got things that keep me up at night too."

Michaela's ears perked up as she heard something from down the way. "Did you hear that?"

"No?" Johnston turned and shined her flashlight in the direction they were standing and saw a ceiling tile hanging from the ceiling with active wires spilling forth from it.

"That definitely wasn't there before. I'm going to check it out." Johnston started walking towards the fallen tile with a hesitant Avalerra standing back. She should have followed Johnston but something felt off to her.

"Maria, wait. I don't think…." As her words dripped from her mouth, Johnston yelped as she was knocked off her feet and dragged away into the dark. Avalerra immediately gave chase after her. She saw clearly in the darkness, one of her many abilities; she could see that a cord had wrapped itself around her ankle and was pulling her to the ceiling tile. She managed to grab onto Maria's hand and started to tug away but the cord would not let go.

It dragged Johnston into the air and the two parties held on to her like a taut rope in a tug of war.

"Michaela! L-let go! You're gonna tear my arm off!" Maria groaned, both superhuman forces tugging on her hard.

"D-damn it!" Avalerra released her grip, for a split second she had forgotten her own strength. The cord sent Johnston flying off into the ducts above with Avalerra giving chase, jumping up ten feet into the air and looking into the pitch-black void where Jonhston had been dragged into.

"Don't worry, Maria! I'm coming!" She started to climb after her but stopped as a voice made her blood run cold.

"I wouldn't bother with that if I were you." The voice said from down below.

No… that's impossible. Y-you're dead. Avalerra's breath quickened, beginning to panic.

"Come on down. Give your cousin a hug."

Her fear began to transmute into pure anger as she dropped back down, turning to see where the voice was coming from. She gasped as she saw her cousin Mira Avalerra standing there with a snide look on her face.

Her brother's murderer, the one who gave her the curse of SCP-7261.

She thought her mind was playing tricks on her, perhaps a trick by the Skeleton anomaly but this apparition of Mira had burned and blacked wounds across her neck and her right shoulder. The very same place that she had driven an axe into, to kill her monster of a relative.

"M-Mira?" She stammered looking death itself in the face.


Site-78, Parabiological Sciences

Chudley and Lorri made their way to the Containment cells where Chudley accessed a terminal to ensure all containment protocols were still armed and if the anomalies were all accounted for.

"SCP-7261 is out of her cell, we know that."

Chudley started mumbling some other numbers as Lorri asked, "What is your problem with me?"

"P-problem? There's no problem with us, Lorri. SCPs are all accounted for. We can check Botanical Sciences next. I doubt he's going to bother our radish but wouldn't hurt to look."

"Yes there is a problem. Chudley. I watched the videos you made for the dossier. You think I'm boring."

"It was a joke, I gave everybody shit in that video. It's just what I do." He turned to face her, seeing that she had a look of sadness across her features.

"That still doesn't discount that you've hit on every girl at this party except me."

W-what? What does that have to with anything? "I didn't hit on Johnston or Cerise." Chudley said with exasperation. "Plus you don't even like me so what's the big deal?"

"The deal is, you and everyone else don't give a shit about me. Some people might find your antics charming but I just think you're an asshole." Lorri stormed off toward her place of work and Chudley followed suit.

As Chudley mused on her words, he remembered her excitement for the raffle and how happy she seemed with her tickets. "Is that why you wanted to Vacation in the Portlands? To get away from this place."

"It's gotta be better than this place. Maybe I could meet people who would actually give me the time of day around here."

Chudley's mind began to wander back, he hadn't worked much in Parabiological Sciences but he had been brought in to help her manage SCP-7560. The two hadn't really gotten along in the past, coupled with him always seeing her eating by herself in the cafeteria; it just didn't occur to him that maybe his way of getting to know people wasn't working out well with her.

"Look. Lorri. I know your kinda the black sheep around here, I-I get that but… I never meant anything by any of my jabs or jokes." The pair stopped inside the Greenhouse, with Lorri standing on an empty patch of soil.

Chudley took a deep breath, rubbing the back of his head. "I know I can be a bit abrasive sometimes but this is just me. It's how I cope with all this terrible shit we go through, you can understand that right?"

Lorri put her hands on top of her rifle, "I guess. So…. when you told Cole he looked like he read the braille off his buddy's balls, you didn't mean it?"

"No. I definitely meant that." As Chudley said this, for the first time he actually watched Lorri laugh at one of his jokes. Said laughter quickly turned to a scream as the soil gave way dropping her into the ground as Chudley grabbed her hand. Lorri had sunk down to her thighs as she desperately tried to pull herself back up.

"Chudley! Don't let go of me, please!" The fear in her eyes was palpable and Chudley wasn't going to let go.

"You should let go of her." A voice said from the darkness. "Drop her into the abyss, you don't care much about her anyway."

"Says who! So what? We fought about some dumb work shit. I'm not letting anyone else die." The conviction in his voice was ironclad.

"But that's all you do. Let people down." A woman came out from the shadows, a prominent red mark across her eye. Chudley had never laid eyes on her directly, but he knew her from his security debriefings. If the Chaos Insurgency markings on her body armor didn't give it away, the red mark certainly did.

"Red Scar. Finally, come back to finish the job huh?"


Site-78 Arms and Equipment….

"How are you here? You're dead! I killed you!" Avalerra approached her cousin in shock, looking her up and down to ensure she was the genuine article.

"Fufufu, you should know better than anyone that the barrier between life and death grows thin on the days leading up to Dia De los Muertos. I admit, I wasn't expecting to find a hardened killer like you shacking up with a bunch of colonialist gringos."

"And I don't take opinions from a murderer!" A tear formed in Avalerra's eye.

"Look who's talking, there's plenty of young blood on your hands." As she spoke Avalerra caught the sight of red on her hands and found them covered in blood.

"No…no!" She screamed, heartbeat quickening in her chest. She felt her rage over take her and she leapt at her cousin, pinning her against the wall.

"Why did you do it! Tell me why you did it!" She tightened her grip on her throat, her makeup running around her eyes.

"Did what?" Mira looked at her as cocky as ever.

"Pablo. He was four years old when you killed him. Why. Out of all the children in Tlaxcala, why did you take my brother?"

"I was hungry, and he just wouldn't stop crying." She mocked. "When you think about it, I was doing him a favor."

Avalerra was fuming, her whole body shaking with rage.

"No one should have to grow up in a hellhole like that…. don't you think?"


"I've come to give you a choice, Chudley. As a high-ranking Researcher in the Good ole' SCP Foundation, you have to make the hard calls."

"I won't let go of her, I won't sacrifice her to get revenge for our friends. You'll have to take us both, I won't lose anyone else."

"Oh? Revenge on little old me? Naaaaah. That's not what I was talking about but close."

"Ch-Chudley! Over here!" Chudley turned to see Johnston buried up to her waist, also struggling against an unseen force.

"Maria? Just hold on!" Without thinking, he tried go get up to check on her but Lorri grabbed to his sweater for dear life.

"D-don't leave me! Please! I don't want to die…."

The Red Scar cocked her head and smiled, "Only one of them is getting out of this situation Chudley. But who will you choose? You could save the little botanist there, I'm sure it would do wonders for her self-esteem; knowing that someone at the Foundation cares about her."

"Sh-shut up! Terrorist! You don't get to tell me how to live my life. You! You brought that damn book into my life and ruined everything!"

"Don't shoot the messenger. I haven't even gotten to the other choice. Maria Johnston, is one of the most important women on this site. Are you going to choose this lowly botanist over her?"

"I-I…" He looked down at Lorri's scared shaking face and over to Johnston standing stalwart as ever against the danger. A part of him knew her words were true, it would be a fool's move to let Johnston die.

"What would the rest of the Site think of your decision?" The Red Scar's appearance changed to that of Director Richter.

"You let Johnston die, Chudley? She was one of our brightest minds and now Omega-45 is without its commander. What is wrong with you!"

"They're going to lock me up and throw away the key, and it's all your fault!" Avalerra's voice came next.

"Pitiful man. Unable to make the hard choices." Then came Thalestris.

Their voices echoed in his head along with Lorri's cries and Johnston's struggles. Why was this happening? Why did he have to make these choices? All he ever wanted was his little office job in pataphysics, playing games on his off days. Now he was commanding MTFs and fighting against Eldritch sorcerers. Why had the universe forsaken him with this position?


"You son of a bitch! Things are different now." She dug her fingers into Mira's chest slowly.

"I can tear you limb from limb! I don't need that axe anymore. I'm going to rip your heart and feast on it. Hopefully, that'll send you back to whatever hole you crawled out of."

"Is that really going to solve anything?" Mira said with a groan, the pain of Michaela's fingers radiating through her chest. "You think using the abilities I gave you sets things right? Is that what Pablo would want."

"Keep his name out of your mouth. You don't get to talk about him!"

"You know what I think? Abuela told us the same stories about the Tlahuelpuchi2. You knew full well if you killed me what would happen to you? And what did you do? You succumbed to the same curse as I did."

"We aren't the same."

"Yes we are, why do you fight it? You wanted this. Why fight it?"

"Because we're both monsters but the difference between you and me, is that I can at least admit that."

"So what's it going to be? Are you going to kill me, Cousin?"


"I see you've made your choice, Chudley. Your Foundation will thank you for saving her." The Red Scar laughed as Chudley walked over to Johnston, Lorri screaming for him to come back as she sunk deeper into the ground. Chudley's face was expressionless as he walked toward Johnston, dropping to his knees as he helped pull her out.

"I guess you never really cared about Lorri did you? Just another outlet for your insecure joking."

Chudley didn't respond, checking Johnston's pockets as he pulled her up. Something clicked with him and he stopped what he was doing.

"Hmm? Do you want both of them to die? I can make them both sink if you don't choose."

"Heh. You know you almost had me there for a second. Really it was a good trick. Skelly boy."

"What? What are you on about?"

"See your Johnston was very very convincing, almost had me fooled. But being the observant Researcher I am, I had a feeling this was the work of Carlton's skeleton and that this was nothing but an illusion. So I checked Johnston's pockets." Chudley pulled out a rubber ball from his pocket.

"Johnston never goes anywhere without her trusty rubber ball. She didn't have it on her. I on other hand have one of these Bouncing Mary's that she made as a gift."

"B-bouncing Mary? What in the blazes is that!"

Chudley pressed the trigger on the ball for five seconds as a beep informed him that the fuse lit. "This thing isn't at its peak yield, but it is live. Catch!" He tossed the shaped explosive at the Red Scar, hitting her square in the head and causing a small explosion that sent him flying back a few feet.

When the dust settled, Johnston was gone, Lorri was standing there looking confused and Carlton's skeleton was lying dazed on the floor.

"Gotcha." Chudley was breathing hard, knowing that he'd done good.


Mira Avalerra found herself sailing to the ground, having been thrown by her cousin. "You're not worth my time. You aren't worth anything to ANYONE!"

"M-Michaela?" A different voice came out of the body on the ground, giving Avalerra pause. She approached her carefully and turned her over, revealing Johnston to have been the one she was talking to. Avalerra looked in horror at the wound she'd inflicted on Johnston's chest.

"Why… why did you do this to me?" Johnston looked at her in shock and Avalerra's heart sank.

"I.. I'm so sorry! I'm not a monster, I promise!" She drew Johnston into a hug, holding her tightly and crying into her shoulder. Johnston wasn't really sure what was going on but whatever it was, she was just glad it was over.


Site-78's Halloween turned out to be one for the ages and not in a way anyone was expecting. Researcher Carlton's Skeleton was promptly returned to him and after rematerialization, he was promptly placed in a Standard Humanoid Containment cell where he could perform his work under supervision.

Maria Johnston recovered from her wounds and forgave Avalerra for the things that happened during the skeleton's spell.

Researcher Chudley was begrudgingly commended by Site Director Richter for apprehending the anomaly and once again the Researchers under his command were in his debt.

Things were back to relative normalness at Site-78 as Chudley resumed his job as Director of the Department of Mundane Artifacts and Uneventful Data Evaluation.

"Now, listen. Ma'am. I know you are going through a lot right now." Chudley said sincerely, to the teary-eyed woman in front of his desk.

"But after you take this, you will forget all about the large jug of mixed juice that came crashing through your wall and put your husband in the hospital. Okay?"

She nodded and took the pill from the paper he placed in front of her. He handed a bottle of water and said, "Now it'll be a few minutes before it kicks in and then I just-" He looked over to see Lorri waving to him from the window and decided that seeing her was just a bit more important. "-there will be some paperwork for you to sign but I need to handle something." He got up and hurried out of his office to meet Lorri outside.

"Hey there Hero," Lorri said.

"Hero? Think you're looking for Researcher Johnston. Me? I'm Chudley." He laughed at his terrible joke. "Did you need me for something?"

"Welllllll." Lorri procured two travel tickets from her lab coat. "As it turned out I was the winner of the raffle. And it was actually a trip for two."

"Oh, nice. Who are you taking?"

"You, idiot. Come with me."

Chudley's eyes widened. "M-me? Really?"

"Mm hm! I thought we could get to know each other better. I'm really not that boring or one note as you might think."

"Your best friend is a radish." Chudley pointed out.

"Point taken. Now are we going or what?"

"I'll get my bags packed as soon as I take care of this skip. See you soon, Lena."


"Is this to your specification?" Maria said, placing the last candle on the ofrenda in the middle of the commons. There was a wealth of offerings spread out across it, foods, beverages, and toys. Dozens of candles and flowers lined its structure along with pictures of Site-78's fallen.

"Yes, just like the ones we'd make back home," Avalerra remarked. She looked around at everyone who'd gathered to pay their respects. Chudley, Lorri, Richter, Thalestris, Cole, John…. everyone had lost somebody over the course of the past year. Although Avalerra was confused to why Lorri was mourning a radish…

She felt Johnston clap a hand on her shoulder and turned to her, "Hey stop staring. People are going to think your weird."

Avalerra let out a small chuckle, "It's a wonder you all can get a lot done with so much death around." She covered her mouth and started coughing. Pulling her hand back, she noticed blood on her palm. Another sign that her time was coming to a close. Avalerra's eyes wandered back to the picture of her brother in the center of it all. "Thanks for letting me put this up." She pulled out a handkerchief to wipe her hand off.

"No problem. Richter owed me a favor after everything." She looked worryingly at Avalerra's handkerchief but decided it was best not to mention it. "Shall we say a prayer for him? I admit my Spanish is a little rusty."

"It's the thought that counts." Avalerra smiled and took Johnston by the hand. As they closed their eyes to pray, Avalerra heard a whisper, faint but clear.

"We forgive you."

The End.

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