When the Sun Sets For Its Thousandth Time


rating: +19+x

10th of September, 1985

Overwatch Command, 75 kilometers north of Kraków, Poland

Shut up, shut up, shut up!

There was nothing in the world O5-9 wanted more at this instant than to be clear of any thought her human host was unfortunate to have. The panic, the thought she had too little time before they would enter her lair, the frantic nonsensical drive to her thought process — if she could, she would cut it. All of it. But she was only human.

Trying her best not to snap with pure fury at the frustration of being so close to completion of all her plans yet so close to being confronted by her enemies, she looked at the monitor situated next to her, praying silently for it to tell her the protocol is done.


PROTOCOL THOUSANDTH DAWN IS 95% FINISHED.


She was frustrated beyond words, angry at the world and herself for the simple fact the computer setting everything in place wasn't quick enough. The spell required to break the Fifth Seal was ready, but she couldn't execute it without the things that machine was preparing, and she couldn't stand that thought, Even if she hated that thought like nothing she ever had, Nine had to come to terms with the fact she simply needed more time.

Even if she knew the pages of the Kodex Tenebra were too old and fragile to survive panicked browsing well, she had no other option. Frantically, she searched for something, nay, anything, that would buy her more time. She couldn't allow herself to lose, not now, not after all the sacrifices and pain she's been through — even if the price of using the Kodex again was almost too high, she'd rather die due to it than to see everything she'd worked for in this dimension crumble seconds before completion.

Coughing blood, she examined page after page of the thousands present in the gigantic tome with the precision of a surgeon and the quickness of a marathon runner. And when she was just about to give up, she noticed something. Something she knew would come in handy. She smiled.

With a quick look on the ritual page, a few coughs spitting blood on said page, and a few moves of her tired hands, she opened the portal according to the words of old on the page. She didn't think she had enough power and energy left in her to be able to pull the ritual of if she was honest, but she welcomed the surprise warmly. Barely crawling back towards the half-transparent way she just opened, she gazed into its inside, accompanied by the sound of millions upon millions of chitinous wings rubbing against each other.

What she saw was hunger. Unquenchable hunger.

With the final ounces of magic within her, she reached into the portal. Praying the Red within her would repel the devourers of the other reality, she grabbed one of them, bringing it into her own reality seconds before the gateway connecting the two closed.

For a split second, the locust was confused, trying to understand where it was, trying to comprehend why it was pulled away from its feast, trying to get why someone would once again awaken its hunger within itself. And in that split second, Nine reached towards its soul, the very essence of its mind and being, and, pointing towards the outside of Overwatch Command, told that hunger one thing.

She told it where the food was.

* * *

The sun was beautiful that afternoon.

Like a kid trying their best to not fall asleep past bedtime hours, the star clung to the final moments of the day on the distant horizon, filling it with shades of red and orange. Contrasting to the grays of the antimemetically-hidden bastion of Overwatch Command, it illuminated everything in the reach of the gigantic clearing the building and Daniel Asheworth, alongside everyone he gathered, stood in.

Looking around himself, once again gazing upon the prison-like building the main gathering place of Overseers was, he found himself… almost sad. Not because he knew the goal of his entire life up to this point was about to finally conclude, for the better or for worse, no, quite the opposite — he was happy he would finally put end to everything keeping him from burying his past. He just… he worried that now that the main driving force in his life would be solved, that he would become… obsolete? No, that wasn't a good word, but it was the closest he could express that feeling in a word.

"Daniel!"

Looking towards the source of the voice, the thaumaturge turned towards an incoming red-haired woman with big, purple eyes. Jessie Rivera wasn't a woman who could be easily intimidated, but in those purple eyes, Asheworth could sense uncertainty.

"Everyone's ready."

She pointed towards his little legion they all gathered — Fae, humans, Children of the Night, all gathered together. The Triumviraté, Foundation personnel, mages, followers of Nowak prior to his death, and just… normal people, all standing about a kilometer away from the building of Site-01. All of them, ready to storm said building to take down the person that made their lives a living hell for the last decade or so — O5-9. Daniel subconsciously smiled, allowing himself to feel a slight rejoice at everything he'd done. If someone told him ages ago he'd lead an angry mob to kill a tyrannical Overseer, he'd never believed them. But, here they were.

"They're waiting for your command."

He snapped out of his trance, looking again at the three people standing below the hill he was standing on — Jessie Rivera, Jeremy Cornwell, and Ailbié Tier'ney. They, aside from Rivera, were all shouting commands towards the preparing army, forming them in formations and ordering them to prepare their equipment. None of them had any idea what Nine could have at her own disposal, but they hoped the hundreds of people wielding spells, weapons, and technology would be enough. They had no other choice.

He turned towards all of his men, and, for a brief second, looked into his inner Blue. Feeling the recently unlocked power of Father within himself, he allowed it to take control over him for a split second, his eyes and mark on the forehead filling with a blueish light. He cut it off almost immediately, letting both the entity and himself be satisfied. He cleared his throat, multiplying the volume of his voice by the power of the combined magic of himself and Father. Once he could feel all the eyes in the area were focused on him, he finally spoke.

"I… look, I won't pretend I'm someone who knows his things," he started, scratching his head. "I'm no hero, I'm no protagonist, but most importantly — I'm no leader. I came here from my own little hole, like all of you, moved forward by one single goal — of wanting to finally be free of everything holding me back from finally living a life devoid of fear. It simply so happened I was lucky enough to bring all of you here, bound by a single goal," he pointed towards the windowless walls of Site-01. "Bringing that bitch down."

He paused for a second, taking a deep breath.

"Many might have told you we're coming to a certain death here. Even more might have told you out fight here will be forgotten. And, to those, I have one question: even if that will be our inevitable fate, does it mean we shouldn't fight?"

The silence that followed was an answer good enough.

"We might die, that's true. We might even end up worse than death, there's no imagining what that bastard will do once she ascends to her godhood. But, if there's a slim chance we'll stop the end of the world as we know it from happening by coming here, I say — we take that fucking chance! We take it, and make it our own chance to shine!"

As chatter amongst his followers followed, he continued.

"Even if it will cost my life, and the life of everyone here, stopping the disgusting devourer the Beast is from overtaking our reality will be a sacrifice worth having. I—"

The very moment he was about to deliver the final word of his speech, he noticed something in the back of the entire crowd, close to the gates of the bastion of Overwatch Command. It felt… it felt like a portal, even if he couldn't see it; a vaguely greenish one, but visibly corrupted by Nine's Red magic. He felt it, deep inside of him, like a guard dog smelling an incoming intruder. Before he could react, however, the portal closed like it had never been there in the first place.

And from within the portal, a single small locust stepped out.

* * *

Even if O5-9 — or, rather, her true form, the Beast — was ancient beyond time, there was something captivating in the expression of fear visiting the faces of people that thought they were in a won situation. That… that total loss of everything they thought they had, crumbling down to their lowest lows; she could never get enough of it. Observing suffering remove those goddamned snarky smiles from the faces of humans, it was almost exciting to her — not in the sexual sense, but something deep within Nine smiled when she could experience that brief second of total panic and fear within someone's eyes.

Today, she was lucky enough to again see that wonderful sight. Many, many times.

With a wide smile, she continued to look at the cameras showing the outside of the gigantic bastion of Overwatch Command, now filled with dead corpses consumed by the ever-increasing swarm of the locust she summoned, and an equal amount of panicked Fae, Children of the Night, and humans, running away from everything in their best attempts to not join said corpses. And, in the middle of it, she could see that damned thaumaturge, that disgusting little shit, trying his best to stop his people from dying. Even with the power of Father equal to that of her power of the Beast, he couldn't hold them off well enough. His little blue bubble of protection around himself and his friends was strong, yes, but it couldn't hold for much longer. She—

Ding!

Her observations were suddenly cut off by a notification ping, coming from her left. She looked at the monitor of the machine, trying to see what the issue was.


PROTOCOL THOUSANDTH DAWN HAS NOW PROPLERLY LOADED.


She thought she could hold it back, but the Red inside her couldn't possibly not rejoice after seeing what she had just seen. Despite all the courses from that damned book and the tiredness felt by all the days she didn't sleep to study it, she could once again feel the power inside her, festering in her body like the otherwordly parasite it was. Feeling the Beast overtake her as pure Red filled her eyes, her soul, her very being, she reached for the console next to the monitor, stretching her fingers to make the best use of them in her life.

deactivate: overwatch-command cover-protocol

deactivate: overwatch-command security-systems

open: overwatch-command doors-all

display-message: "Come in, let's get it done with. No need to make this longer than it needs to be."

> ARE YOU SURE? YOU CANNOT UNDO THESE COMMANDS ONCE EXECUTED.

She again looked at the Kodex in front of her, the monitor with the message, and then at her own hands. Something deep within her, a faint voice of someone she used to be ages ago, told her to say no. The voice was smart, yes, but not smart enough to feel Nine had already made up her mind. With a smile of Red once again visiting her face, she answered the question.

yes

* * *

"WHAT THE FUCK DO WE DO?!"

Death. That was the only thing Tier'ney could focus on as ve screamed those words towards Asheworth. Despite him, ver, Rivera, Cornwell, and a couple of others being temporarily saved from the ongoing slaughter by a protection bubble formed by Asheworth's magic and Rivera's reality-bending, ve could feel they were growing weak. The ever-increasing movements of millions of wings rubbing against the shell of the shield was too much to handle, no matter the power the two held.

"I… I…" Asheworth tried to say in a panicked manner, frantically looking around himself, as if he was trying to find something, no, anything to anchor to. He knew Nine would strike with something ruthless and unexpected, but nothing he would've ever thought of would even come close to this. "I don't know, okay?!" He snapped, screaming in frustration.

He looked at Rivera again. She wasn't any better; sweating, she was visibly at the threshold of losing it. Her hands started to shake, and before she could react, with a sucking sound, the bubble around the seven people inside of it suddenly got smaller. Much, much smaller. Tier'ney could practically feel the walls of their prison now with ver face.

"We… uh, we need to," ve looked around verself, meeting the panicked faces of the two Fae and one Nightwalker, then turning them towards the outside world. Even if the locust swarmed their bubble like there was nothing in the world aside from it, ve could still make out some parts of what was outside. And oh how ve wished ve wasn't.

Death. That was the only thing Tier'ney could see outside their heaven. Everpresent death, wherever ve looked. Corpses upon corpses, swarmed upon and consumed by the duplicating bugs, and in the middle of all of it, a mosaic of magical explosions from people trying to run away from their inevitable fate. Tier'ney was an atheist, but if there was a hell somewhere out there, this is what it looked like.

Ve squinted, trying to make out anything out there that wasn't death. And that was when ve noticed it.

"Overwatch is opened!" Ve shouted, turning ver head towards Asheworth.

"W-What?"

"The doors to the building are open. All of them."

Not believing ver words, Asheworth came closer to the edge of the bubble, trying to focus on both maintaining its integrity and understanding what Tier'ney meant. With visible frustration and hardship, he looked out into the world outside the protective aura.

"It's… it's a trap. She wouldn't just open up her bastion for no reason—"

"I know it's a trap. But even that is better than… all of this!" Ve said, looking around the two of them. Slightly quieter than before, ve continued. "I… I know it's a lot to ask for, but if you'd be able to push the bubble towards the building, then there's a chance we could… hide away in it."

"The… the locust would… get in there anyways."

"It would buy us enough time to possibly think of something to get rid of them."

He looked at his hands, then at the people around him. He nodded slowly, realizing what must be done.

"I'll… I'll try."

Moving his hands in a serpentine manner, he screamed in frustration as the bubble moved slightly forward. Rivera looked at him, and, without words, realized what was going on. She too joined the ritual, and the structure moved one more step forward.

The process wasn't quick — hell, describing it as slow as doing a disservice to just how unhurried it was — but it was happening. Step by step, one scream of frustration and desperation after the other, they made their way to the building of Site-01. Or, rather, as close to it as they could get without entering its opened gates.

"We can't go in," Asheworth suddenly said, panting.

"Wh-What? Why?" Ve asked, turning towards him.

"We can't leave them behind." He looked at the carnage outside.

"They're… dead, Daniel. They're dead. All of them, for fuck's sake, there's no one there!"

"No… I can… feel them. A couple of them, still fighting for their lives. I didn't bring everyone here to die," he paused. "They deserve this much from me."

Ve wished ve could argue with him, but ve could see he already made up his mind.

He closed his eyes, and, for a brief second, the entire world turned Blue.

Their bubble shattered as Asheworth started to levitate, with his mark on the forehead and eyes burning with a color ve couldn't really see due to its brightness, but could feel was blue. He moved his hands, and the world trembled as a scream of a million locust filled the air. With a single word of his, they all exploded into a mixture of chitin, blood, and flesh, letting free of those they tried to consume. He fell on the ground, tired beyond belief, and all was over.

Tier'ney immediately ran towards him, trying to understand what the hell just happened. He was moving, but just barely, standing on all fours, trembling. There was blood coming from practically every orifice of his body, including his coughing mouth.

"Are you… fine…?" Ve asked in an unconvinced manner, looking at his face. He was panting, with tears coming down his eyes.

"No." He tried to stand up, only to fall on his knees again.

"You need to rest, you're visibly—"

"NO." He repeated, this time standing up for good. He looked into the sky, and, for a brief moment, a spark of Blue left his eyes into the almost-night sky.

"Daniel, what happened?" Ve came closer to him, grabbing him by his shoulders. "Daniel?!"

"I… I lost."

"Wh… what?"

"I lost all of Father's power that was within me." He looked around the battlefield, only to meet hundreds of corpses laying around it, with one on maybe twenty moving. "That was what saved them. All the power I had left."

"You're… you're joking, right? You have to be." Ve looked in his eyes. "Right?!"

"No."

If you could describe silence as deafening, then what followed was in fact a deafening silence.

"But… how will you face her now? You can't—"

He looked at his hand, and summoned a small flame into it. "Guess my own magic will have to be enough." Asheworth looked at the shocked Cornwell and Rivera standing next to them, and nodded towards them and Overwatch Command. "We need to go."

He one final time looked at the setting sun in the distance, and all three took a step into the building.

And then, all Overwatch Command suddenly disappeared.

* * *

Jeremy Cornwell didn't exactly remember what just happened, but he did know one thing: his head was hurting like hell.

Quickly standing up from the cold floors of Overwatch Command, he realized he was just as he had been when he entered the building — mostly fine, though tired beyond belief. He checked if he still had his gun, and, upon realizing he does, he realized something: Site-01 didn't exist.

Not in the literal sense of course, he was still standing inside the entrance to the building; it's that it didn't exist in the previous reality they just entered through. Instead of the near-nighttime sky previously visible outside through the entry gates, all he could see was Red — a red and black void where existence should be, with the only thing actually existing in it being the entire building of Overwatch, floating inside nonexistence, with him, his two friends, and Nine inside.

Looking in front of him, he noticed Asheworth and Rivera were there too, similarly standing up like he had done seconds ago. As disoriented as him, they looked around themselves, trying to make sense of what just happened.

"What the—" he tried to ask the others, only to be cut off by the building starting to violently shake, as if an earthquake hit it. He fell down on the ground, and, to his panic, realized there was a gigantic crack forming on the part of the floor between himself and the rest, growing larger and larger by each second. "What the fuck's that?!" He shouted to Asheworth.

"I… I don't—" the other was cut off by another shake, making him fall to the ground again. The building suddenly snapped in half, sending one half, with Cornwell in it, away from the other one, with Asheworth and Rivera in it. Slowly but surely, the two halves grew more and more separated. "It looks like… reality's… falling apart…? I think…?!" Asheworth shouted to him across the new reality they found themselves in, filling the forming void with sound.

"What the hell do I do?!" Cornwell answered, equally shouting.

"Try to find anything helpful on your side — we'll find Nine on ours." A little quieter, he added: "I can feel she's somewhere here."

Realizing that even if he wanted to talk to the others longer, he wouldn't be able due to the distance forming between their two parts, he turned around, took a deep breath, and started walking forward.

Think, Jeremy, he thought to himself. What would be useful in a situation like this?

Even if his home, Site-120, wasn't a small Site, the sheer size and number of Overwatch Command amazed him — it was a labirynth of rooms, corridors, storage rooms, labs, and meeting halls. He'd never seen anything this spacious before.

Human resources.

No, that definitely wasn't it.

Anomalous Item storage.

Not that.

Main laboratories.

Not that either.

Caffetteria.

And not that.

SCP-001-B.

Even if it was what he was looking for, Cornwell didn't think getting in trouble with whatever the hell oh-oh-one was was worth it.

Site map.

Nope.

O5 Meeting Hall.

Bingo.

With a pounding heart and a slightly terrified expression, he opened the door, and walked in.

If he was honest, he expected the main room in which Overseers met to be something bigger. Much bigger. Instead what he got was a mediumly sized office, with one gigantic table in the middle, accompanied by thirteen chairs, upon which twelve people — or, rather, Councilmen — were sitting.

Initially reacting with panic, he soon realized they were all frozen, as if something stopped them halfway through action. Poking gently the closest member of Overwatch, seconds later he was sure — it was the same phenomenon that happened back at Site-120. And Nine was the one behind this, whatever her goal was.

When a few minutes later, his pounding heart was once again beating normally, he realized O5-1 — or, rather, the old man he presumed to be O5-1 — had an opened SCiPNET terminal in front of him. An SCiPNET terminal with full O5 Clearance. He scrolled through the countless tabs opened, commands run, and files accessed, trying to find anything that would help him out here. Though it took longer than he would have thought it would, after a while, he hit his mark.

SCP Foundation Sites direct messaging.

Realizing he could use this to contact everyone out there about what's happening and who O5-9 really was, he clicked on the program and opened it, beginning to type out his message. The moment he was about to hit enter though, the entire screen was swarmed by a group of Fae, smiling ironically. He sighed, realizing his plan was over.

Unless.

5795-2 live in nested narratives, don't they?

Cornwell was never one to mess with any 'pataphysics; if he learned one thing in his years of service in the Foundation, it was to never look where you're not meant to look. Not because his clearance physically forbode him from doing so, but to avoid any situations that would scar him for life. Snooping around Site-120's cafeteria, however, taught him one more thing: narratives can be altered, narratives can be destroyed — but most importantly, narratives can be written. And if a group of narrative-dwelling entities wants to live in the story of the files in this computer…

He looked to his Foundation phone, and the number of files present in it. He realized it was almost entirely devoid of actual SCP articles, aside from one very specific topic: the entirety of the Damien Nowak case. He grinned slightly, knowing what he can do. He stretched his fingers, opened a file editor on the terminal, took a deep breath, and looked at his phone, wanting to get everything right. Writing prose was never his good side, but looking at the number of incident files when compared to SCP ones, he would need to only write six of them, and seven SCP articles.

Thirteen reports should mean thirteen stories. Thirteen plus this one, equal to fourteen. Let's pray that'll be enough.

And so, he started writing.

* * *

Asheworth gazed into the horizon of nonexistence as the second part of Overwatch Command with Cornwell in it drifted away into the void surrounding them.

"So… what do we do now?" Rivera asked, looking directly into his eyes.

"We find Nine, and we end it. She's here, I can… I can feel it."

"What? How? Didn't you… lose the parts of Father within you out there?" She asked with an uncertain tone. "Whatever you meant by that, I mean."

"I only lost the power it gave me. I drained it, that would be a better word," he turned around, starting to walk forward in the corridor they were standing in. "But that Blue bastard is still there. I can feel him."

Walking silently across the endless halls of the building, Rivera followed the thaumaturge — she wasn't sure he actually knew where he was going, but he didn't want to snap him out of his trance. It was like he subcutaneously felt the path they had to take to get to the Overseer, and she didn't question that.

After what felt like hours, he finally stopped, standing in front of a slightly run-down elevator. Opening its doors, walking in, and choosing the lowest possible floor, the room moved downwards, slowly but surely making its way to the lair of the woman standing at the bottom of all of this. Even if the lift wasn't fast, it was gradually declining. The hearts of the duo were pounding as they have never had, pumping blood to the terrified but ready to strike brains.

"Daniel?"

"Yes?"

"I… what if we lose?"

"It doesn't matter. We do our best to stop her, and whatever will happen will happen," he answered in a weak tone.

"But what if our best isn't good enough?"

He didn't answer.

The doors suddenly opened to a quiet "blimp" noise, revealing a large room dimly lit by red lights. Even if it was filled with items, furniture, or any other decorations, it didn't matter — all the two of them could focus on was the short woman standing in front of the Kodex Tenebra, entangled in what looked like a mostly finished ritual. She looked at the two, grinning widely, like a predatory animal noticing its prey fell for its trap.

"This ends here," Asheworth said, starting to stand in an offensive stance. "I don't care who you are and what you truly want, your destruction—"

And then he noticed her face.

"I… no. No no no no, I… No!" He screamed through tears, running down his sobbing face. "You're dead, I… I saw you die I… I can't, I…"

And, before he could react, O5-9, the current Administrator of the SCP Foundation, the vessel for the Beast, and the woman that had once been Natalie Asheworth, answered in an ironic tone.

"Hello, Daniel. Glad to see you could finally make it here."


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License