Tag Archives: SCP Foundation

Sons of the Damned, Chapter 26: The Tellekill Two-Step

To say the Director doesn’t trust the intel the Karl-thing gave him would be an understatement, but he’s not fool enough to ignore it either. He sends his suggestions to OS-5 and gets back confirmation within half an hour: triple the compliment of men guarding the circle. Keep a close eye on Church movements. Be ready for everything.

In practice however, this proves to be more difficult to do than say. The Director pours through lists of deployment stations, scouring them for over-staffing, cutting back the ones that might not quite hold the same priority as others. And THEN he has to get the extra men to the Circle and get them briefed on the situation and absorbed into the Mole Rats’ command structure.

The end of reality itself might be on the way, but he is at least determined it’s going to be well-managed.


They’ve been driving for hours now. The sun is up and glaring at them through the windshield.

Vinny can feel the symptoms of sleep deprivation coming on hard now. He hasn’t shut his eyes in over 24 hours, and its getting to him. But he can’t bring himself to do it. Not while the woman sitting next to him is being held hostage by the thing living in his mind. He fights his way through a wash of emotions, guilt, fear, confusion, helplessness and tries to find something he can grab on to, anything to keep his head above water.

“Are you going to kill me?”

Vinny almost jumps in surprise. It’s the first thing the woman has said since he got into the cab. But then his surprise turns to suspicion. “Is this a trick?”


“I mean, is it really you moving your mouth and speaking. Because we’ve already established that the thing inside me can make you say the words it wants.”

“Is it a demon? Like in the Bible?”

“I- don’t know. I’m not much of a Bible guy to tell you the truth. Probably. Anyway, you’re evading the question.”

“No, I’m not. I’m sorry, I mean, I’m just so scared.”

She looks it too. Her makeup has run into streaks and Vincent sees that she’s crying again. Maybe she’d been crying all through the night. That realization hits him in the chest like a punch. He’s been so wrapped up in what all of this means for him, that he’d almost forgotten what his driver had been going through.

“I don’t think he can make me talk like this,” she says. “I mean, he can make me say whatever I want, but he can’t make me look like I mean it.”

“I…I’m sorry,” Vinny says, feeling the weight of guilt pressing down even harder now. “It’s not me. I don’t want this any more than you do. Believe me.”

“You still haven’t answered me. Are you going to kill me?”


But something inside him, maybe the Traveler or maybe the voice of his own self-doubt asks, How can you be sure?

But before he can think on this further the woman continues speaking, her voice halting and choked with something between grief and terror.“I always…always wanted to go to Florida. So I guess…I guess that’s a good thing right?”

Vinny smiles a sad, tired smile. “It’s not like what you see on TV,” he says. “Not where I live anyway. Whenever you see Florida on T.V. it’s either Miami or the Everglades. But most of it’s just boring suburbia and pine forests.”

“You’ve still got the beaches, right?”

“With sand as white as snow.”

“Really? I always thought that was, you know, Photoshopped or something.”

Vinny shakes his head. “They’re the real deal. Though a guy like me doesn’t get down there too often.”

“Imagine what it would be like to live in France.”


“Sorry, you were just talking about how TV shows things, and I was thinking that it must be terrible to be from France and every single time your country shows up on television there’s the Eiffel Tower in the background. I bet the majority of French people haven’t even seen the Eiffel Tower in person. What do you think?”

“I…I don’t know.” Vinny tries to process the fact that he’s having a semi-normal conversation with a woman that the ancient entity living in his head is coercing into driving him across the country and fails rather miserably.

“I’ll do what you ask, you know,” the woman says, breaking his reverie.


“I mean, that thing, whatever it is inside you, he doesn’t have to puppet me anymore. I promise I’ll be…compliant. Whatever you want me to do, I mean anything, you just say the word and I’m there.”

“I’m…not the one in control here. At least not of him,” Vinny says. “I’m…sorry about what he’s done to you.”

“I know, I know, I just thought, you know maybe that he would hear me.”

“Oh. Right.”

“Because…what’s your name?”

“Vinny. Vinny Price.”

“As in Vincent Price? The actor from way back when?”

“Yeah. I mean I’m not the same guy, I’ve just got the same name. But…you could probably have figured that out on your own. What’s your name?”

“Rachael. Rachael Anderson.”

“Rachael’s a nice name.”

“It’s just…I want you to understand where I’m coming from. I want your promise that that thing inside you won’t try to…to push me, or whatever you want to call it, again.”

“I told you before, I’m not really in control here, but-”

“I will die before I go through that again. Do you understand? If I sense that he’s even close to trying to get into my head again, I swear I will take this car off the road at full speed with all of us in it.”

“Rachael, I-”

“I’ve been raped before. I’ve never told anyone about it. Not even my husband. But I’m telling you now, so you’ll understand that I’m dead serious when I say that I would rather go through a hundred of those experiences than to have that thing you’ve got in your skull try to pry it’s way into my mind again.”

Vinny opens his mouth and then shuts it again, completely at a loss for what to say. Until the voice in his head says, [Tell her that if she cooperates, everything will be fine.]

“He…it, whatever it is, says you’ll be fine if you cooperate. For what it’s worth I don’t think he really likes doing things that way. It seems like it’s difficult or something.”

“It may be difficult,” Rachael replied, “but don’t think for a moment that he doesn’t enjoy it.”


On the same road, not more than half a mile behind them, a box truck is being driven by men wearing foil hats.

The one driving points at the dash mounted clock and the other nods and picks up what looks like an overly complicated walky-talky. “Base, this is the Mobile 5, do you copy?”

“I copy Mobile 5,” the handset crackles back. “Any deviation in expected course?”

“Nope. They’re headed your way, straight as an arrow. Assuming they don’t stop to rest, I’d estimate arrival time at sometime tomorrow morning. Ya’ll going to be ready by then?”

“Don’t worry about us, Mobile 5. We’ve got it under control here.”

“Roger that Base. Next call-in at Oh-Nine-hundred. Over and Out”

The man in the driver’s seat turns to his compatriot and says, “What do you think we look like? Couple of guys driving around wearing foil hats.”

“Hey, say what you want to, but if that thing is jiggering around with people’s minds I want no part of it. I’m more worried about the side effects.”

“What’s this stuff called again?”

“Telekill. Feeds off telepathic energy. Blocks psychic readings which is useful and all that, but they say that over time it feeds off your brainwaves. The longer you’re exposed to it the dumber you get. Stuff literally EATS your thoughts.”

“Yeesh. Where do the eggheads dig all this stuff up anyway? I mean, I’m prepared to believe in bigfoot or UFO’s or whatever, but the amount of weirdness I’ve seen since I started work with the Foundation is freaking ridiculous.”

“Dude, who knows? Why is anything the way it is? Sooner or later you got to learn to just take it as it comes, one day at a time.”

“Said the man wearing the thought-eating tinfoil hat.”


As it happens at that moment they aren’t the only ones with Telekill on their minds. Back at Site 14 the Director is waving a sheet of paper in the face of an irate engineer, and saying, “I EXPECT you to do your job, Wilkins.”

Wilkins does not react well to this. “Get one of your D-Class goons to do it,” he yells. “They’re expendable. I’m not. If you want me to build this for you, I’m going to need to see written confirmation with the signatures of every single member of OS-5. Until such time I’m not touching that stuff with a ten foot pole.”

The Director grabs the man by his lapels and pulls him close, his eyes burning into the engineer’s like a laser. Something passes between them, something unspoken, and then the Director says softly this time, “Are you SURE you don’t want to build my little project for me?”

The engineer swallows hard, his eyes suddenly filled with something between terror and confusion. “I’m…I’m sure we can work something out.”

“Good. How long have you been standing there gawping, Dr. Hyde?” the Director asks without turning.

“Er…sorry sir. Not long sir. Only, you’d better be sure about this, sir. OS-5 isn’t going to be happy you went over their heads on the Telekill thing sir.”

“The board moves too slowly in situations like this Hyde,” the Director says, leaning hard on his cane with each step he takes, yet still somehow managing to move in such a way that the younger man finds it hard to keep up. “They’ll forgive me for going over their heads if it saves their necks. Now what do you WANT?”

“Oh, sorry sir, I should have said. “It’s commander Maverick. He says everything’s in place.”

The Director stops suddenly, and Hyde nearly plows into him from behind before coming up short. “Do you ever worry, doctor, that you’re beginning to enjoy your job just a little too much?”

A confused look passes over Hyde face, before he replies, “No sir. Not the first time.”

And with that the Director breaks into laughter that seems to go on for a very long time.

Sons of the Damned, Chapter 20: How Firm a Foundation

[Feeling lonely? The previous chapter has sent you a friend request on Facebook.]

This is the Foundation. This is the place where nightmares live. This is the prison that binds the worlds’ greatest darkness.

Down in subbasement C we’ve got the old standbys. Like the concrete statue that’s only a statue when you look at it, and when you’re not looking at it, it snaps your neck.

Down the row from him you’ll find 682. The undead, unkillable lizard that hates all life. Hear that thumping sound? Think it’s getting louder? Yeah, he’ll get out eventually, hopefully not before we’ve finished his new digs. Right now they’re building a new containment for him down the bottom of a mine-shaft. The walls are going to be solid carbon steel ten feet thick. Once he’s down there they’re filling in the shaft with concrete. We figure that should hold him for a couple of months at least.

On this level we’ve got some of our more “normal” subjects. In this cell is a surgeon who steals the internal organs from living subjects and implants them into himself to perpetuate eternal life. Yes, without anesthetic. No we don’t know how he does it yet. We’re not even sure if he’s human. We’re studying him to see if we can find a better method to prevent transplant rejection.

This is the room where we keep the canvas where Cassy lives.

What? Oh, she’s a sketch of a girl that happens to be alive. No, she’s not dangerous. Not everything we’ve got here wants to kill us.

Down that hallway we’ve got our low security lockers, places where we store the less-complicated items in our little…collection. My personal favorite is the Recorded Man. His DVDs stay there when they’re not out for testing.

What’s that? No, we don’t store supernatural or memetic SCPs at Site 14. I mean technically the illustrated girl might be supernatural, but…well really that’s a difficult line to draw when you’re in this business. Line to draw? Get it?

Speaking of drawing, if you went down that flight of stairs you’d find a room with nothing in it but a leaking fountain pen. Oh, believe me, I know it sounds silly. You’ve got an undead hell-lizard on your hands, what difference does a leaky pen make? Only this pen, it never stops leaking. And the ink…well as far as we can tell it can perpetuate itself through any liquid indefinitely. You let 682 loose, and he maybe goes on a killing spree, wipes out a town, but in the end he’s just the one lizard. But you get one drop of that ink into the earth’s water supply? Imagine the rivers running ink. The ocean black as pitch out to the far horizon. The end of the world doesn’t look like you think it does.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, really it’s because I like to talk. I like to see people’s faces when they find out about all this stuff.

What about security? Well, there’s not much to worry about on that score. The last eighteen D Class personnel they brought down here ended up skinning themselves with this ritual knife we found in some mine down in Brazil, screaming about the need to appease the Flayed Lord. You’d be surprised how long you can survive without your skin. One of them lasted almost fifteen minutes.

So not much chance for you to go off blabbing what you’ve seen here to anyone else. Then again, you never know. The guys testing this think they’ve made a breakthrough. It’s possible you’ll survive. Think happy thoughts yes? And whatever happens know that we here at the Foundation are eternally grateful for your contribution. No, don’t struggle. This is your atonement. This is something beautiful. You’re helping to make the world a safer place.

Now please, stop screaming, and come along quietly.


“How did this happen?” the Director asks, and there is a tone of darkness in his voice, of judgment, and impending wrath.

Jenkins swallows hard. “He just…guessed it sir.”

“You revealed too much of yourself.”

“You’ve seen the tapes. You’ve seen all the tapes. You know that isn’t true.”

The Director leans over the desk and looks Jenkins in the eye. “You’re right. I have seen the tapes. And I have just one question. How did you pass it to him?”

“I didn’t pass anything sir. Really. You have to believe me.” And there are tears in her eyes. “Please,” she whispers. “I didn’t do it. I know you think I did but…” A sob swallows up the rest of the phrase.

“What then? What am I supposed to think?”

“Maybe…maybe we missed something. Maybe he’s not completely human. Maybe…”

“Doctor we deal with things that aren’t completely human every day. We’re even accustomed to things that aren’t even a little human. But him? This no name, nobody, from a hick town where NASCAR is the biggest sport, and hunting the biggest pastime?”

“It’s possible.”

“You’re right. Half the things we find come from places where no one would ever notice them. They seek that stuff out. But Hyde is right. There’s something going on here that we’re not seeing. How can I be sure you’re not part of it?”

“Because…because it wouldn’t make sense. You think I’m working with him? You think I fed him information?” Jenkins is struggling now, her words coming stronger, a tone of a woman who knows her continued existence could very well hinge on this argument. “You vetted me very thoroughly,” she says. “Your people dug into the deepest corners of my mind and pulled out every possible point of leverage our enemies might have. You dealt with that leverage. I drank from the cup of truth-”

“Is that what they’re calling it now?”

“-I bared my soul to you, to all of the men up at OS-5. All of you signed off on me. And now you’re trying to throw me under the bus because you’ve got a breach you don’t understand?”

“You make a compelling argument, Dr. Jenkins,” the Director says.

“…thank you sir?”

“I have only one further question.”

“Which is?”

When did you change your password?”

“You know when.”

“Yes. But I want to hear it from you.”

“Two months ago sir.”

“Two months ago. And what else happened two months ago Jenkins?”

“That’s when they brought him in,” Jenkins answers.

“Interesting coincidence don’t you think?”

“I would say terrifying.”

“Tomato, tomahto.”

“You…are you going to..?”

“Your employment will continue. For now.”

“Thank you sir. I won’t let you down.”

“Good. Because I’ve got a special assignment for you.”

“And that is?”

“You’re going to debrief Mr. Price on what he saw.”


“Explain it to him. Give him everything he wants to know. Answer all his questions.”

“Are…are you sure that’s wise sir?”

“No. I’m playing a hunch, taking a risk, making a leap of faith.” He sits down in his chair and rests his arms on the desk his hands folded in front of him, looking Jenkins straight in the eye. “Do you believe me?” he asks.

She looks at him, the remnants of her tears still gleaming in the corners of her eyes and shakes her head. “No sir. I think you know exactly what you’re doing.”

“Good. Then off you go.”

“Thank you sir.”

But after she’s gone a strange look crosses the old man’s face. “Such faith,” he mutters under his breath. “I wish I shared it.”


Vinny: So…what happens now?

Jenkins: What do you want to happen?

Vinny: I want to go home. Go back to normal. Turn back the clock.

Jenkins: That’s not how it works. You should be able to figure that out on your own.

Vinny: You people…how can you live with it?

Jenkins: With what?

Vinny: With knowing. With what you do. All the things…the things I saw-”

Jenkins: We’ve got it under control, Vinny. Well, most of it anyway.

Vinny: Last night I heard the klaxons sound down the hall. It’s quiet at night and you can hear better and all I could think was, “Containment Breach.”

Jenkins: Vinny-

Vinny: How many people died?

Jenkins: Is that what you want to know? Really?

Vinny: No. I guess not.

Jenkins: What were you looking for? You guessed my password. I’m still trying to figure that one out. But I’m smart enough to know that was more than idle curiosity at work. What where you looking for?

Vinny: You were at Frog’s trailer.

Jenkins: Not me personally, but the Foundation did send a team there, yes.

Vinny: You cataloged everything right? Like a crime scene? Took it all away for testing or whatever?

Jenkins: Yes.

Vinny: Where are the pictures?

Jenkins: Of the trailer?

Vinny: Yeah. Your guys did take pictures before they started carting everything away right?

Jenkins: I guess. They’re probably still waiting to be properly logged though. There’s a lot of channels that stuff has to go through. Even after two months it might not be up on the mainframe.

Vinny: I want to see. The pictures. I want to see them.


Vinny clicks through the pictures, one after another. “No, no, no,” he mutters to himself. “Where is it?”

“If I knew what you were looking for I could help you find it,” Dr. Jenkins says.

“The bookshelf. The one in the living room. I need that picture. I need to know what it looked like when your guys stormed in.”

“You think your friend left you a message? Some book that was out of place?”

All the books were out of place,” Vinny says, his voice edged with irritation. “Weren’t you listening? When I told you Angie looked at them and said that were out of order? Frog was a big believer in alphabetization. Organization. Reason. That was kind of his thing. I can’t believe I didn’t realize it sooner. The books on the shelf, they weren’t out of order, just not in the order Angie was expecting.”

“Here you go,” Jenkins says, passing the laptop back over to Vinny. “Have at it.”

Vinny takes the laptop and then grabs for a sheet of paper lying on the table and begins writing down letters. “It’s a code, see?” he says. “Frog was all about codes. Little codes, big codes, codes that went twenty layers deep. This one’s pretty simple. Take the first letter of the author’s last name in each of the books on the shelf and you’ve got your message. Devon: D. Owen: O. Nabokov: N. Taylor: T. Et cetera.”

He scribbles for a while longer and then looks up.

“What is it?”

Vincent flips the paper around so that Jenkins can read it. The words on the page spell out. “Don’t follow. Church of the Broken God. Safe. The game is afoot.”

“What,” Vincent asks, “is the Church of the Broken God?”


Author’s Note: Most of the entities mentioned in the opening scene of this chapter have been borrowed from the files of the SCP Foundation. Special Containment Procedures and other information about these entities can be found in the following files:

SCP 505: Ink Stain

SCP 315: The Recorded Man

SCP 085: “Cassy”

SCP 542: The Surgeon

SCP 682: Undead Reptile

Also, I couldn’t figure out a way to work it into the story, but you should also totally check out SCP 426: I Am a Toaster. It is the best.

Sons of the Damned, Chapter 19: The Truth is in Here

[For more information please reference the previous document in this sequence.]

“He’s bluffing,” Dr. Hyde says. He’s sitting in an office that looks far more casual than it has a right too. The furniture doesn’t match. The walls are a soft, warm brown that’s almost covered over with bookshelves stuffed with various bricabrac. The desk he’s sitting in front of is a vast oaken thing that fills much of the room’s available floor space.

The office belongs to the Director. The Director is the highest authority at site 14, reporting directly to OS-5. No one knows his name.

The director looks at Hyde through narrow eyes and says, “Bluffing.”

“Yeah,” Hyde says. It’s obvious he’s edgy, nervous, a wayward student in the thrall of a stern teacher. “Bluffing.”

“He’s not bluffing,” Jenkins argues. She’s more comfortable here, more relaxed. Either she’s not afraid of the Director or she’s doing a better job of keeping it hidden. “We tested the stuff we gave him on a number of Class 4 personnel and none of them held anything back. Some of the stuff, frankly I wouldn’t have minded if they skipped.”

“It doesn’t make sense,” Hyde argues. “The way he described the aftermath of that meeting his friend had with the demon-thing at City Hall? That’s clearly the result of some kind of psychic energy. Our thaumeters went crazy when we visited the site. Brain bombs. Gotta be.”

The Director raises an eyebrow. “Your argument being that these demon entities could not possibly have used brain bombs in this instance?”

“My argument is, why would they? You’re going mano e mano with a guy who you know you can overpower? You don’t toss a psychic grenade at him. It’s overkill. Worse, it’s plain stupid.” He charges ahead, more confident now that he’s getting to his point. “We know who uses that kind of tech,” he says. “If it’s got brass and glass and a hint of magic they’re all over it. Demon things from wherever? Not so much.”

“The Church has no reason that we know of to be interested in this guy,” Jenkins argues. “Now maybe they were there. Maybe. But my money says it was just a coincidence.”

“Coincidence? Can you HEAR yourself? The amount of sense that doesn’t make is staggering. He’s a PLANT. I’m telling you. Or something. He gave us what he thought was the truth but his memories were altered.”

“Equally implausible,” the Director says.

Hyde begins to object. “With all due respect-”

“Jenkins,” the Director says. “Explain to your colleague why it’s implausible.”

“Because…” Jenkins squeezes her eyes shut for a moment, thinking. “Because if you’re going to give someone a cover story it needs to fit the facts? The very fact that this one raises so many warning flags argues against it being a red herring.”

The Director nods almost imperceptibly. “Very good. Has there been any change in his behavior pattern?”

“If by ‘change’ you mean, has he stopped acting weird for no apparent reason then no,” Hyde replies. “We’re holding steady there. I’m telling you-”

“Then thank you for you time,” the Director says rising from his chair. “I believe both of you know the way out.”


Vincent sits at the computer terminal and stares at the blinking cursor on the screen. He’s got the computer’s word processing program open. He’s typed, “All that you love will be carried away,” on the screen 586 times. “All That You Love Will be Carried Away” is Vincent’s favorite Stephen King short story. It’s his belief that short King’s short fiction is the best work he’s ever done.

Back when he was working at the gas station he would read fat Stephen King books during the times when he wasn’t mopping the floor or helping customers. He’s read Everything’s Eventual eleven times and Nightmares and Dreamscapes seven times.

On the next line he types “All that you live will be carried away,” and smiles a little to himself. Once upon a time he found small religious comic book called “This Was Your Life” wherein the main character of the comic dies and is shown a film of all the things he’s done in his life. The point of the comic is that the man has done more bad things than he realizes and is deserving of hell, but all Vincent can think is that if he is ever shown the events of his life played out on a screen in real time he’ll know he’s in hell already.

“Maybe this is hell,” he thinks. “Maybe I died back there in the river and everything since then has been an elaborate hallucination; a bizarre after-life or…something.” He laughs. And then frowns. This isn’t hell. At least he’s relatively sure it isn’t. Hell doesn’t come with helpful staff and doctors trying to tell you you should really take something to eat. But he can’t help but wonder what kind of place would have those kinds of amenities. Not a prison.

In a sense of course he is a prisoner, but it’s clear that this isn’t anyone’s idea of detention. This place…he can’t be sure, but it seems like it’s big. He’s only seen glimpses of the outside hallway, but occasionally there are people walking past. The CCTV camera in the corner makes him think he’s probably not the only one being watched. Sure, old Norman might be looking his way from time to time, but Vincent can’t quite bring himself to believe that he’s sitting alone in a room with a single television watching him. In his mind there are other screens, other rooms. Other people.

How many? In his mind it’s a lot. But why?

These people, whoever they are, seem like they’ve got some purpose, some reason for doing all of this. They didn’t laugh when he told them about the demon things, or the Something that bonded with Frog’s finger, or the black circle in the clearing in the woods. They didn’t ask if he’d been using drugs or if he had a history of mental illness. They asked for more details.

They believed him. And that made him think that they had seen this kind of thing before. “A regular X-files kind of operation,” he thinks. Only in the X-files, it was just the two agents working on digging up the weirdness right? Not a whole facility devoted to it. How much weirdness in the world is there? How many people like him are being mined for information. How many monsters and ghosts and…who knows what are being tracked by these people?

“Frog would flip his lid if he could see this place,” Vinny thinks.

Frog. Remembering his friend sends a bitter twinge through his gut. And then the voice of conscience says, “Frog wouldn’t just sit here wondering would he. He’d have a plan. He’d find out.”

A plan.

Vinny has never been good with plans. He supposes he could just ask Dr. Jenkins. Maybe he’d even get a response. “But,” he thinks, “Could I trust her to tell the truth.” And then another thought: “Frog wouldn’t.”

So WWFD? Get the lay of the land for starters. Vinny closes out the word processor and starts digging around on the computer terminal. He’s got fairly limited access here. Can’t even open up any kind of file explorer. He tries accessing the hard drive through the internet browser and hits a wall there too.

Stymied he looks for something else, anything else. After all, the terminal has to connect with some bigger network, so there’s got to be a portal to that functionality somewhere. For a moment he feels a twinge of fear at the prospect of getting caught, but then he thinks, “And what can they do to me if they DO catch me? In for a penny, in for a pound.”

After a bit of digging he finds what he’s looking for. A dialogue box pops up asking for a password. “Well what did you think dummy?” he asks himself. “They were going to roll out the red carpet for you?”

And then the question comes again: “What would Frog do?”

Frog would try to figure out what the password was. Frog would try to deduce what each of the researchers would choose based on what he knew about them. But then, Frog believed he was a genius.

“What could it hurt? You’re already sitting here.”

So Vinny pretends he’s a genius. The only two people he knows anything at all about here are Dr. Jenkins and Dr. Hyde and what he knows about them isn’t much. Mostly they want to know about him. Want to know about Frog. But sometimes they’ll let things slip. Vinny knows that Jenkins has kids. At least two. Knows that at least one is a girl. What was her name?

Hyde? Well Hyde’s a bachelor. The kind of guy who tells himself he’s staying away from commitment to hide from the truth that no woman would want to spend the rest of her life with him anyway. “I feel ya buddy,” Vinny thinks. Still, not much to go on there. So back to Jenkins.

You’re a woman like that, you have a daughter what do you name her? Vinny tries to imagine himself as a woman picking out baby names. It is the hardest thing he’s ever done. But after a while something comes into his brain. “Celia.”

He laughs a little. Yeah. Right.

But then it’s there again, insistent, nagging, almost a whisper in his mind. “Celia.”

“It’s not Celia,” he thinks. “And even if that is her daughter’s name you think they’d let her use it as a password? Probably it’s a string of completely random letters and numbers. Place like this, security up to here, yeah, it’s not gonna be that easy.”


So Vinny thinks, “Fine. Just so you’ll shut up,” and types in C-E-L-I-A. The computer blinks for a moment.

Incorrect Password. 2 Attempts Remaining.

See? It couldn’t be that simple. Place like this, they’re going to require uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, probably a special character or two in their passwords.

Special characters. The idea sticks in his head. You’ve got to come up with a weird password, doesn’t mean it’s got to be complete nonsense right? He tries: Celi@.

Incorrect Password. 1 Attempt Remaining.

But now he’s on a roll, because he remembers Dr. Jenkins saying something about her daughter being seven years old. Vinny does the math, figures that means she must have been born in either 2004 or 2005. And assuming the system requires that passwords be at least eight characters long…

He types, Celi@2005. Takes a deep breath. Closes his eyes. Hits “Enter”.

And when he opens his eyes again, he’s through.

For a moment he just sits there staring at the computer screen his mouth hanging open, his eyes wide, unbelieving. “No,” he thinks. “That did not just happen. That did not just work. No WAY was it that easy.”

But then another thought comes. “Time to think about how improbable it is later. Right now you need to get to work. You know what you’re looking for.”

And he does know. But he doesn’t know how to find it. Not at first.

And instead he finds the rest of it. The rest of them.

All those monitors he figures Norman is watching. Only it’s not just Norman. Can’t be. There are hundreds, thousands of entries here. Instructions for containment. Descriptions of things drawn straight from the pit of a monster’s nightmare. The end of the world, now available in a wide array of terrifying flavors.

He doesn’t know how long he reads. He skips from one file to another, his eyes flickering over the screen. Not everything is here. Dr. Jenkin’s security clearance must be limited because there are sections that are blacked out, the spoilers of the damned, [REDACTED] and [DATA EXPUNGED] popping up over and over leaving him to imagine the horrors beyond the void of his knowledge.

At some point he thinks, “No. This is all a joke. It’s made up. It has to be. Something like this…All of this…it can’t be real.

But he doesn’t believe it. He keeps reading. And maybe it’s hours or days later, but at some point he leans back, rubs his eyes…

And realizes he’s not alone in the room.

The SCP Foundation: Behold the Rabbit Hole

When I was a kid I was really into the conspiracy scene. UFO’s, bigfoot, the Loch Nes monster I was into all of it. I had books on cryptozoology, and books on psychic phenomena and books about flying saucers that supposedly came up out of the ocean and I devoured it all like it was candy. Which now that I think about it, it kinda was; candy for the mind.

But now I have become a man, and I have put away my childish things. Not that I don’t believe in flying saucers and bigfoot anymore (also bigfoot in flying saucers, that one’s a biggie). I still reckon there could be stuff out in the universe we don’t understand, but my opinion toward it all is kinda, meh. I’ve come to accept that the world we see is pretty much the world we get. If there are aliens out there you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll end up being narcissistic, divisive, and have bad breath to boot.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still some fragment of wonder left in my soul, some yearning for the idea that the world is Not As It Seems. Which is why when I stumbled upon the internet archives of the SCP Foundation I was hooked.

The SCP acronym stands for “Secure, Contain, and Protect”, and the site archives a long list of artifacts under the care of the SCP Foundation that pose various levels of danger to the world or are weird enough to keep for further study.

Of course the whole thing is pure fiction. But it is interesting fiction. The world of the SCP Foundation provides a framework for all kinds of creatures and anomalous objects to coexist carefully tended by a staff dedicated to keeping the world safe from the many monsters that lurk in their closets.

On top of that, because the SCP Foundation website is a wiki it serves as a tremendous outlet for writers in the real world. SCP entries can be rated by an “up” or “down” vote, and users comment on what parts of the entry worked for them and what parts need more work. Think of it as the world’s most focused writers group, everyone contributing individual threads of story that form together into a single terrifying tapestry.

Really though, there’s no way for my description alone to sell you on this. You have to see it for yourself. The SCP website is huge, but if you’re looking for a place to start, here are some of my favourites:

SCP-115 – Miniature Dump Truck

SCP-212 – The Improver

SCP-242 – Self “Cleaning” Pool

SCP-283 – A Rock That Falls Sideways

SCP-315 – The Recorded Man

SCP-354 – The Red Pool

SCP-426 – I am a Toaster

These are only a few examples, not even an exhaustive list of my favorites, but there are thousands of these things. If you’re a writer looking for inspiration or a reader who enjoys “weird” fiction then I highly recommend you check out the SCP Foundation website.

Only be careful. Because once you’ve entered the labyrinth you may not be able to find your way out.