Weryllium OCT #4 - In Which A Shocking Change of Tone and Scope Takes Place With None The Wiser
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The dragon that was once a moon-mocking asteroid exploded in a quantum supernova of light.

A nascent black hole at the center of the inferno appeared, then collapsed in on itself, distorting space all around it.

Armando awoke in a crater in a desert, again, surrounded by a charred and partially atomized shell of interlocking arms. The blue inside him trembled and vibrated. Or maybe that was just the ground. He was definitely back home at least, so that was a start.


The Foundation had definitely skimped on its security these days. Only a handful of bipedal drones guarded the locked-down Site, but if Armando could punch his way inside, he'd be able to at least find some form of communication and figure out where in the world he was, and hopefully get ahold of his compatriots.

Armando ripped off several arms and threw them into the air, letting them grip each other and fly haphazardly with the help of two reptilian-ish wings. Sure enough, the drones moved towards them and the nitroglycerin arm within the cluster detonated, incapacitating the drones. Armando sprinted for the gate.

A few arms later, and Armando had managed to cut through the reinforced gate with a makeshift thermal lance. Dropping the spent shoulders of iron oxide and aluminum, he made his way inside the dilapidated Site. From what little he knew of Site lockdown procedures, the only things left here would be either inert objects or preserved, likely comatose non-destructive anomalies. What little power was used to run the site would likely be diverted towards maintaining communication with the outside world. Still, if he could find the right skip, he could make his way into the data banks and figure out where his friends were now.

It wasn't quite a mall directory, but Armando had managed to piece together a rough layout of the Site from the loose papers and markings lying around. It had four floors above ground and two below, with a single Keter and the Site power plant taking up a whole chamber below that. Both of the underground floors were mostly archives and data, while the top two floors were office space. Armando decided to search the remaining two floors for a skip that could help.

Armando sighed as he walked through random corridors, skimming the warning labels affixed to the walls. One chamber held only a large locker holding several dozen small anomalous items.

"Hmm let's see. SCP-5960, tactile hazard, teleports the subject to… space. Maybe not this one, moving on."

Another one caught his eye. SCP-3774-2432. Armando skimmed through the attached paper file. Spy mosquito, huh? The Foundation really went all out with the crazy side projects. He kept reading. "Terminated." Suuuuure. He popped open the containment pod to see a tiny glass bulb holding the mosquito in suspended animation.

Using the fingernail of a carborundum arm, Armando delicately cut the glass open, exposing the mosquito. He broke off a few spare fingers from other arms, and made a tiny spark.

ZAP!!!

The mosquito's wings twitched.

If Leslie was capable of feeling dizzy, she probably would have been while her cameras and inputs rebooted. A bluish light swam through her vision as her body came back to life. "What the… what just happened? Where am I?" She looked up to see Armando looming over her. "Who are you?!"

"No 'thank you' for bringing you back to life, I guess. We're in a locked down Foundation Site somewhere in the middle of nowhere."

Leslie felt different than she had before. Her wings felt stronger, her movements smoother. Even her cameras and sensors felt sharper, and new eyes grew on her body. She looked up at the strange man's arms, one of which was red and scaly, and the other made of clear polycarbonate. "You're definitely not Foundation. Are you an escaping SCP?"

Armando laughed. "Once upon a time, maybe. No more numbers for me. And technically, I broke in, not out."

Leslie buzzed and perched herself on the man's shoulder. "Wait, that doesn't make any sense."

"Well I- man wait, how long you been asleep? I might need to catch you up."

"Not long, I-" Leslie froze as she checked her internal clock. "Seven years?!"

Armando began walking down the corridor again. "Yeah, whew, I gotta fill you in. First- uh, you OK?"

Leslie fluttered. "Uh… yeah, I'm good." She could process everything later once she was out of the site. This guy wouldn't be any help in finding Merle, anyway. "So, why did you wake me up again?"

The odd pair continued through the low-priority skip storage. "I need to get into the Site's data banks to locate my friends, and I can't do that without an actual Foundation personnel's clearance and password, which isn't likely to be found here given that this place is completely empty. Therefore, the only other option is finding something or someone stuck in here that can help. Computers ain't really my thing so I figure you'd at least be able to help out."

"Oh, absolutely," Leslie lied. She had no way to access Foundation data besides reading a document herself. Unless…

"But there's something else I need. First, get me to the list of what's contained in here." Once she figured out how to get out of the site, she could ditch this guy and get looking.

Armando found a still-functioning screen briefly listing what was contained on that floor. Leslie scanned the list. "SCP-5119 and SCP-3009-B are worth a shot. Six storage rooms down that way."

"I feel like I've heard those numbers before. Let's go, then."

The pair reached the storage room, and Armando pried the door open. He looked across the room. A glass case lay shattered on the ground, with the ammonite fossil inside broken in three pieces. "So much for 5119. Where's the other one?"

Leslie buzzed around and alighted on a small suitcase-sized locker. "This one." Armando popped it open and retrieved the object, a plain white cell phone.

He turned it on. Leslie's new vision scanned the phone, which was completely stripped bare of every nonvital feature besides the Snapchat app. Without even thinking, she established a wireless connection and downloaded the app to herself. What- what did he do to me? A message popped up, and she opened it. One of her new eyes emitted a holographic display.

Who is this? Are you Foundation? Please answer me!

Armando flinched. "Did that come from the phone?"

"Yeah. I should answer it, huh."

Hello, 3009. My name is Leslie, and I'm an SCP object.

The phone buzzed, and attempted to start a video call. Leslie opened it and displayed the incoming caller on the holograph. A young Asian woman's face appeared, in tears.

"Hello? Oh my god, it's been so long, so good to see another person again-" The woman burst into tears.

She continued. "Thank you, so so much. Uh," she sniffled, "who are you anyway?"

Armando waved. "Name's Armando. The cyborg mosquito that's acting as my phone is Leslie."

"Hello!" Leslie said.

"W-what?"

Armando shrugged. "We're anomalies. This mosquito isn't the weirdest thing I've seen today."

The woman nodded. "OK. Just give me a second. I've been trapped alone in that phone forever, I just need to process this." She started taking deep breaths and wiping her eyes and nose with her sleeve.

"Just start with your name." Leslie offered.

"OK. My name is Stacey Lee. I've been trapped inside my Snapchat account since I was 15. Since then I've been contained in here and- oh my God! Where's Researcher Kim?"

Armando blinked. Leslie spoke up. "We didn't see anyone else in this Site, did we? Maybe he's somewhere else."

Stacey sat down. "Last thing I remember, he messaged me that something serious had come up, and that he was being transferred while I was gonna be in storage for a few days. And then I've been in here ever since. You both are skips, right? What's going on?"

"I don't know. I've been in cryosleep or something ever since… well, for a while. Armando?"

He shuffled. "It's the literal end of the world out there. A magical force appeared and started reshaping anyone who came in contact with it, and the Foundation is trying in vain to stop it, but they're losing ground every day." Stacey's eyes widened as Armando continued. "And yeah. Before you guys ask, I'm one of em. Got busted out of a convoy unloading a Site, let myself get exposed, and I've been on the outside ever since. Leslie's exposed too now, probably."

"What?!"

"Relax. You'll thank me later, or your money back."

"Hey no. No! You can't just do that to me without my permission!"

Armando groaned. "Look. It was either that, or you stay unconscious in that little box forever until this Site gets swallowed up by the ground or launched into space. Earth and the Foundation have an expiration date; I'd rather be on the surviving side but maybe that's just me. I've gone through moon dragons, Iron Man O5s, and mechas, but I need to find my people and get off this planet soon."

Stacey broke the resulting silence. "Again. Do either of you know where Researcher Benedict Kim is or was last?"

Armando paused too long. "Never heard of him."

Leslie had had enough. "Elevated heart rate. Sweat generation. Neurological markers give 80% likelihood of lying."

"Buzz off!"

Stacey was tearing up now. "Tell me th-" her voice broke, "the truth. Now-"

"He's dead."

Stacey began to sob.

Armando continued. "Ask the bug, she knows I'm telling the truth. He was in the convoy leaving Site-31 when they evacuated it. Group of mutants hit the convoy, broke me, him, and a dozen others out and awakened us. Rocket strike killed him a week later."

The three sat in silence for a while.

Armando softened. "I'm sorry, for what it's worth."

Stacey stood up on the screen. "I thought you were supposed to be some kind of superhero, powered guy aren't you?"

"Maybe. I never really-"

"Well-" she sniffled, "you're not! You don't protect people, you only care about yourself! And I'd rather stay in this box than go anywhere with you."

"You're right. I'm not a hero."

The ground shook. Red glowing lines appeared along the ceiling as alarms sounded. Armando left the mosquito and phone on the floor and sprinted towards the source of the tremors. The lights began to flicker in and out haphazardly. A recorded voice crackled over the intercom. "Proximity Alert: Large-Scale Aggressor. Risk Assessment: Code Niobium. Long Range Weapons Armed, Site Self-Destruct Initiated."

That's definitely not good.

"Self-Destruct Sequence Failed."

Well, that's a-

"Contingency Sequence Activated. Powering Down Keter Containment."

Armando shook his head. Give me a break already. If he was lucky (hahaha) the Keter would first try to get out of the Site, and then face off against whatever gigantic thing was outside. Then whichever one won would hopefully be distracted by the missiles and he could make a mostly clean getaway.

The sound of explosions rang out from below. A section of the floor glowed before it melted, and a large raptor-shaped mass of rocks and stars leaped out of the hole it had made. Armando stepped back and detached two arms in preparation. The raptor screeched and flicked its tail, and the stars embedded in the length of its tail flared into wide rings of fiery plasma that sliced right through the arms. Armando felt the heat even as he ripped off the charred arm and drew a new one made of magnesium, throwing it at the raptor. The dinosaur caught it in its mouth and ignited it, and Armando took the chance to run while the white light blinded the raptor.

He returned to see the phone still sitting on the floor of the containment room. "Stacey! Where's Leslie? We gotta get out of here, now!"

The phone screen lit up, and the familiar buzz of Leslie's wings was heard. "She's not talking to you. Neither am I."

"We don't have time for this, dammit! This place is gonna be gone in minutes!"

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