AssertiveRoland's Brainspace

This will be my sandbox.

Current draft is: Followup to A Visitation.

Archivist’s Note: Found in the margins of a copy of SCP-140 sold to a Foundation-affiliated used book store. Recovery teams located the artifact without incident.

Handwriting matches the signature of SCP-140-A present on all active copies of SCP-140.

Hello again, dear collectors.

Knowing you, I trust this book is as good as a posted letter. I hope you enjoy it. You won’t believe me, but don’t worry about feeding this one. It’s dead as the paper it’s printed on. Don’t bother questioning the merchant, either; he’ll only hurt himself. I’ll be very cross if he mysteriously vanished.

After many long years, I’m forced to confess my project has failed - disastrously.

True idiocy, it turns out, requires wit.

Some background. When I was young, I thought little of you. Individually you’re nice enough, but it took a few years among the Mekhanites to throw off quite a few of my prejudices. And how you’ve blossomed in these past centuries!
I won’t say I didn’t nudge things here and there. It’s never been hard to pass for one of you.

But I meander. Listen. I had no illusions about my people. I knew what we were and what we’d done. Our noblest days were long behind us when the Collapse began. But watching you blossom – drive what we set loose back into the shadows, put down the sacrificial knife, conquer the seas, the skies – madman and dreamers! It kept me going when I was lonely in a way you cannot begin to imagine.

All I can say is I had high hopes. It was the fin de siècle. I’d watch you grow from superstitious farmers in fur and linen who fucked right next to their animals – to… this wonderful, precious, thriving world.

And because I am so very clever – humor me – I decided to plumb new and exciting depths of stupidity.

I thought: What would we become if we had more time? What could the Daeva have been if the Nälkä hadn’t all but wiped us out? If the peace mission to Ion hadn’t failed, if we’d thrown back Adytum’s hordes, if I’d been able to convince the Mekhanites to march east and deliver us in time?

What could we achieve if we’d grown with you?

Now pay attention:

My workings have no errors. I made all the necessary sacrifices. I met with the charming avian fellow in Alagadda and traded a dozen things that never now were for the proper invocations. I poured a libation of blood from one of my beating hearts. I spoke names that would make your eyes bleed. I crucified myself on my design.

Enough flowery language; your vocabulary for thaumaturgy is plain. The details don’t matter and this is not an instruction manual in sorcery. You will have to accept that I succeeded. I broke history and danced a waltz with it.

I made a book.

I bled my memories right out of my head onto the page. I took an inkwell and drained it dry, and then I sent it to the publisher's. The day of the printing I finalized my workings and accepted some truly flowery apologies from the poor fellow - industrial accident, full refund, so sorry.

I slept. I dreamed. And then I went to the city where I was born, a dusty plain where superstitious herdsmen still mutter about blasphemies and old ones, and I found tumbled stones that hadn’t been there before.

You can scarcely imagine my excitement!

And then – disappointment. Disappointment that has grown far too familiar.

Every time someone feeds my working, I spend all night reading. I catalog over every page, every massacre, every sacrifice, every bit of wearisome, backbiting incestuous politics, and hope I’ll see… some piece of grace. Some hint of… possibility. Reformers. Liberators. Scientists. Humanitarians.

And every time I see the same things.

Sacrifice. Slavery. Cannibalism. Torment. Hopes betrayed, reforms thwarted, cities sacked. Priestess-queens with the same names and the same damned faces and the same stupid sins! Tighter and tighter in thrall to the cults at their altars, fawning over predators in the black.

And something comes along - Adytum, the Chinese, the Mongols – and our last city burns, our people flee, we dwindle and we interbreed and we wander and I’m all but alone again.

Why dear author, you ask, how can this be a surprise to you? And I smile and pat your head and tell you I have no idea. Maybe the problem is me - that I can’t pretend my people were other than they had become. Maybe history just didn't think much of my dancing.

Or maybe - and this is my fear - the Gods have found a use for us.

We are never going to get better.

Burn the book in your bloody vaults. Burn the copies anywhere you find them.