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Tyler Palma leaned on the railing of the ship, taking in the droning of the vessel's engine and the salty aftertaste of the air, watching the thick red sun melt into the ocean. He cursed.

It had been a bad day.

Working as a "containment specialist" for a large faceless organization that secured the unexplainable already had its fair share of problems, as you could imagine, but today was a break from the norm. The first unwelcome occurrence was that he had been ordered to go out and work in the field with a real SCP, which had already killed seven people (not a great track record). That was all unpleasant enough, but once he got it shipping to a real Foundation base, he had to go with it. He was leaving Portugal on a boat full of the secretive people who would keep that thing contained for two days.

And there was the shock that he had just watched the killing of dozens of innocent people. Maybe there wasn't anything he could've done. All they'd done was take a look at the meteor that had fallen outside of their village. How should they have known the thing was a skip? The whole ordeal had left a bitter taste in his mouth. And it wasn’t as if he wasn't used to death-people involved with the Foundation disappeared all the time. Still, he felt that just because there was a lack of amnestics out in rural Portugal, it didn't necessitate immediate extermination of every witness.

But it wasn't about his opinion, was it?

The only opinion that mattered was The General's. General Mulhausen, captain of Dr. Palma's containment team, was a strict, severe old man; he was a militaristic relic that had passed his prime ages ago. His insistence that he be referred to as "General" was one aspect of this, as was his expeditious decisions and the stubbornness with which he upheld them.

The purpose of this naval trip that Dr. Palma had been brought upon was to transport this strange thing to a secure facility somewhere alone the French coast, where the Foundation could lock it up and hide it away forever. Apparently this was good, since the anomalous object was already locked up under intense precautions in the few hours since it had been located and brought onto the freight vessel. Dr. Palma hadn’t even seen the thing, even in the field he was just working with whatever scraps were left behind.

Of course, none of this information was officially provided to Dr. Palma, but word gets around fast when everyone’s stuck on the same boat.

At a dirty dining facility, more words were passed around.

"They’re being real hush-hush about whatever they’re keeping down below us. Honestly, I’ve been making the rounds but all that I’ve heard is that it looks like a big ball of flesh and it come from space. Tomorrow I should get more details, since a bunch of people around here are gonna get involved in testing the thing. Makes me thank my lucky stars I’m only here to process the paperwork." Rob told Dr. Palma over dry hamburgers. Rob had the stature and dead state of a man working a job with too many hours and too little explanation. Workplace gossip, particularly the classified kind, was the only thing that provoked a bit of liveliness."But you get stuck studying it up close, don’t you?"

"Just overseeing the research. I’ll be damned if they get me anywhere near that thing without a four-inch protective glass window between it and me." Dr. Palma replied.

"So you are gonna see it?" Rob questioned.

"I honestly have no idea. All they tell me is that I gotta switch sites until they figure out this new abomination." Dr. Palma answered, with a touch of annoyance.

As if on cue, a suited individual walked to their table, leaving a note with Dr. Palma. The standard CLASSIFIED stamp shined a bit as he picked it up and read it. He opened the note promptly.

"Well there you go. I’m overseeing testing in four hours." Dr. Palma stood up and prepared to leave.

"Well, good luck there." Rob called as Palma left the dining facility. "Seriously, don’t die!"

He was only partly joking.

In a cramped metal room, Dr. Palma looked over hastily-scrawled notes under a dim, faltering light. The only information available was from the initial finding and recovery of the anomaly, which wasn’t exactly helpful. Different reports pulled together a picture of a giant, ball of flesh, twice the size of a person crashing into that Portuguese field. Notes from one agent described the grimness of four villagers being ordered to walk one-by-one into a hole on the side of the ball. None of them came out. Another report documented seven deaths from the thing. There was no information on who the other three deaths were.

Dr. Palma would just have to ask General Mulhausen.

In a white room filled with a sickeningly yellow light, Dr. Palma stood next to three others. The small room around them was crowded with computers and other scientific instruments. All four of the room’s occupants peered through the thick window on one wall of the room, showing a large, rusted chamber, and a grim creature within.

A large fleshy orb with a sickly black hue floated in the center of the chamber, unmoving. It was bigger than the notes, towering almost three times over a normal person, with short, tentacle-like protrusions scattered across its surface. A dark hole, large enough for a person, was present in a lower corner of the sphere.

"Meu Deus." Researcher Santos said, behind Dr. Palma. He was tall, young, and nervous.

"Damn," Researcher Torres said, to other side of Dr. Palma. She was short, pragmatic, but fearful. It was a calculated fear. "We've gotta work with that?"

"Yep. You're all gonna be studying that. Big bugger, isn't it?" General Mulhausen stated, pacing behind the trio. Though he didn't have much in the way of height, he did have presence. "Don't waste too much time staring. It's not going anywhere."

Dr. Palma turned to the General. “What does it do?” He asked stiffly.

“See for yourself.” Mulhausen bent over a microphone. “D-1005, move closer to the anomalous object.”

A haggard man in his 50s stepped into view. He stepped towards the orb and looked fearfully at the window.

“Look at the object, not me.”

He turned his head slowly towards the object, and took a couple more steps towards it. Silent seconds passed by. The General addressed the scientists.

“Watch this.” He turned back to the mic. “Move away from the anomalous object.”

The gaunt man stood in place, staring at the black growth.

“D-1005, move away from the object.”


“D-1005, step back.”

Tears began flowing down the withered face. The man took a few slight steps towards the object. Steps turned into strides as the man wailed. He shouted incomprehensibly, echoing throughout the room, as he ran across the rusted chamber towards the fleshlike orb. The D-class disappeared into its dark hole. The shouting stopped. The scientists stood at the window, wordless.

“He won’t come back.” The General stated, unfazed. “None of them do.”

The scientists still waited at the window for some time before turning away. Of them, only Dr. Palma had ever worked with anything dangerous, and even then he was only an assistant at the time. He spoke first.

“General, why did you do that?”

“The test? I had to show ya all what it does.” Mulhausen said.

The lackluster response provoked Dr. Palma. Something about the sheer unperturbed reaction at all this seemed deeply wrong.

“There was no good reason for this test! We could have just reviewed the previous documentation, there is more than enough info already on there! Why did you let him go?”
Dr. Palma’s voice escalated until he was almost shouting.

The General stepped closer to Dr. Palma. His face was tight and his eyes were wide and goading. It was the face of a man mere seconds away from violence. Dr. Palma had to suppress the urge to cringe away from the violent face, inches away from his.

“You’re not in charge.” General Mulhausen said, sharp and slow. “Remember your place!”

The General backed away from him as he went for the door.

“You’re all going to make sure that thing stays contained or I’ll do it for you!” He shouted before letting the rusted door loudly close. Dr. Palma, remembering something, reluctantly began to chase after him.

“Who else has disappeared?!” Dr. Palma shouted down the hall. This was a matter of life or death, and he had to know. Dr. Palma had to know how to keep this thing contained, and if someone had disappeared in it, it was his job to know. “On the field documents, there are seven recorded deaths but only three were villagers. Who were the others?”

General Mulhausen turned around. “You got field documents telling ya seven died?” Palma didn’t know what to say. “They’re fake. Reported wrong. Forget about them.” The General said, as he turned a corner out of sight.

Dr. Palma was left in the middle of the swaying hall, stuck with only questions and a sense of foreboding.

Back in the dining facility, dinner was served. Rob was already waiting at a creaking metal table as Dr. Palma entered the room. Dr. Palma felt sick, and the constant swaying was upsetting his appetite. He was nauseous, but he still wanted to talk to someone who’d understand. Rob looked up from a tiny steak, mid-bite as Palma sat at the table.

“Well? Tell me everything.”

“I wish I didn’t have to. The old bastard’s unreasonable. He’s hiding information, performing tests without any research personnel, and keeps feeding people to that…thing.”


“Well, I don’t really know. People go into it and don’t come out. Mulhausen wouldn’t tell me how many have already went in.”

“Knowing that guy, the only reason he’d hide information like that from you would be because he made a mistake, and he wouldn’t want anyone to know. Stay on your guard.”

Dr. Palma went back to his room uneasily. Half-awake in the flickering artificial light, he reviewed tapes from the day’s test. The D-class was yelling as he went to the orb. What was he saying?

It was all recorded, but still gibberish. Dr. Palma could only make out a single word, repeated over and over.


“Man, I’m homesick.”

In the dining hall once again for the morning, Rob and Dr. Palma sat talking in-between bites of egg.

“Yeah.” Dr. Palma replies, his mind occupied.”

“You know,