Mach0's Sandbox

The door latched. "We'll get through this, son. I love you." The footsteps faded away, and the door across the hall swung closed.

The boy waited before rolling onto his side. "Good night Gary. Good night Larry. Good night Mary." Behind him, a familiar face hopped off the bookshelf, landing with a bounce. He smiled. "Hi, Patches. Good night to you, too."

The teddy bear snuggled up against his boy. "Good night, Tommy."

"Tommy? 2,380 divided by 10?" The little boy blinked. The leaves were very very pretty. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he heard Miss Tanner. With that dread known only to eight year-olds, he turned to look at her, wide-eyed.

Tommy didn't notice Miss Tanner grind her teeth. He gave her a wide smile, but she only stared and kept tapping her foot. When his smile started to crack she sighed dramatically, turning to the chalkboard. Tommy's cheeks turned red, his head hanging down towards his ratty Velcro shoes.

There was a rustling sound, and a book-bag sagged over his feet. The little boy stared as the bag unzipped itself and a fuzzy blue hand waved at him. The hand vanished back into the bag, returning with a scrap of paper. An oversized thumb ran from the decimal point behind the "zero" to the gap between the zero and the eight. Tommy nodded eagerly. "I get it, I get it!"

Miss Tanner turned towards the boy, tilting her head in exasperation. Before she could berate him, Timmy hopped out of his chair, bouncing on the balls of the feet. "23…238! You move the dot over to the left!"

"Good night Gary. Good night Larry. Good night Mary." The boy waited a few eternities, but there was no follow-up. Tommy slowly rolled onto his other side, staring at the empty spot on the bookshelf. It took a few seconds to sink in, and then he bolted out of bed. The door was latched from the outside, but the window was open.

Tommy carefully hauled himself out onto the windowsill. It took all his strength to suppress the urge to yell as he leapt to the tree. He clung tightly to it during the ten foot slide down, terrified of a fall. The boy pulled himself off of the ground, trying not to cry at his scrapes and bruises. Patches needed him.

He didn't know where to go. His buddy could be anywhere, lost, scared, alone. Tommy tried not to cry, but he cried a lot. Patches was the best friend he'd ever had, and he couldn't keep it together when his friend needed him. He didn't want to be alone on the bus.

The bus! He took Patches out to show Selina on the bus, maybe he forgot to put him back! Tommy ran to the bus stop as fast as his short legs would go. He clung to the pole for good luck, looking left, right, left, right. No bus. He'd have to wait. His aching muscles asked if they could sit down. What if the bus didn't see them sitting in the dark? They'd stand.

The boy waited in the dark for eons. Something was wrong. The bus never took more than a few minutes. Tommy craned his neck, but no bus was coming. His faith in the transit system was beginning to slip away when a flash of pink moved under the lamp across the street. Tommy stared and spotted a stuffed fox creeping through the shadows, moving with purpose. He stood, scrunching his head down to avoid detection, and followed.

Tommy found himself in a wide open parking lot outside an office building. The oblivious fox joined a ring of fuzzy friends, chanting and waving signs. A familiar blue bear handed him a sign. Tommy couldn't contain his joy as he skipped towards his best buddy. "I found you! Don't you know it's bedtime?"

The ring stopped moving, and Patches stared. The other animals had confused smiles plastered on their faces, but Patches…Tommy didn't know what that expression meant. The bear gestured to the others and walked a few feet away. As he spoke quietly, the ring started moving again (although the chanting was fairly subdued). "Tommy, do you know how your parents are always really serious?"

The boy nodded slowly, confused. The bear smiled up at him. "You don't want to be like that. I don't want that, either! I know it's bedtime, but there's only so many bedtimes before you become one of them. I need to do this, Tommy. We need to stay together." The world was spinning. Tommy didn't understand the words he was hearing, and tears were starting to flow. "But…bedtime?"

Patches nodded eagerly, reaching out and gently grabbing the boy's hand. "I know. Go home, go to bed. I'll be there so-" The bear stopped, tilting his head to one side and closing his oversized eyes. He let out a sigh. "I'm sorry."

Two white vans jumped the curb, driving at the ring of marchers. They scattered in all directions. A pink fox dove under the van, grabbing one of the passengers by the foot when they got out. The flames bounced off the concrete and caught. There was a high-pitched scream and a crackling of fabric.

Tommy was frozen. The shiny, faceless tin men were something out of a nightmare. Some of the animals tried to run, but the cones of fire reached out to the far end of the lot, licking at their backs. Others tried to charge them, but a single spark was enough to set the fabric and fuzz alight. They disintegrated in the dense flames. The few that reached their targets were tossed about like dolls.

He realized far too late that one of the creatures was coming his way. The faceless thing towered over Tommy, pointing at him with one hand. Tommy started shaking, and felt something run down his leg. The creature growled at him.

"C'mon kid, take the hand. It's not safe here." Everyone hated the masks, hated the suits. Sure, fire's dangerous, but there has to be a better solution. You can barely breath in th-movement, shit shit. It was hiding behind the ki-

Fuck that stings. Where'd the little bastard get a knife? Your hand snaps back to push the thing off, but it's moving. It's moving up your leg as your knee buckles, climbing onto the tank. You call out for back-up, begging someone to get it off. There's a sharp prick at the base of your neck and you collapse as the flames wash over you. Your rational mind is saying you can feel the fire licking at you in the punctures, but you don't feel it. You don't feel anything.

Something grabs you, rolls you on your back. The team leader is talking, telling Dispatch that they have Code Red wounded. You're trying to tell them it's alright, but the words don't come out. The mask comes off, and you're staring at the sky. There aren't any stars visible, just a lot of black.

Everything's black.


A photograph of SCP-XXXX taken in the late 19th century. A figure, believed to be SCP-XXXX-1-A, can be seen in the doorway.

Item #: SCP-XXXX

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: The complex surrounding SCP-XXXX is to be closed to the public on the sixth of the month for maintenance. A long-term surveillance drone has been deployed into SCP-XXXX-1 to monitor the situation, and elements of MTF Epsilon-9 ("Fire Eaters") will be deployed if a breach appears imminent.

Description: SCP-XXXX is the chapel of the Alamo Mission in San Antonio, Texas. Between 6:30 and 9 AM on the sixth of the month, any subject present in SCP-XXXX is transported to a dimension referred to as SCP-XXXX-1. This dimension matches historical records of the Alamo Mission shortly after the final assault, with the chapel roof missing and the doors to the barracks destroyed by cannon fire. Thousands of tally marks have been carved into the exterior walls of the chapel. The terrain outside the complex is flat with no landmarks within sight.

Currently, twenty-two humans inhabit SCP-XXXX-1. Seven are Texian soldiers matching records of defenders of the Alamo while the rest are Mexican soldiers or missing persons from the city of San Antonio. The leader has worked with Foundation personnel to maintain containment and has been designated SCP-XXXX-1-A.

SCP-XXXX-1-A has reported nightly attacks by humanoids, designated SCP-XXXX, and has described them as pale men with skin stretched taut over their bodies. These humanoids move quickly on four elongated legs and can scale the ten foot compound wall with ease. SCP-XXXX-2 instances are resistant to conventional weaponry, but are incinerated in seconds if set alight. This process leaves no remains except ash, precluding an autopsy.

The supplies stored in SCP-XXXX-1 are restocked every morning, including black powder and oil. The inhabitants use these supplies to set traps baited with livestock or horses. This tactic is effective, but SCP-XXXX-1-A has noticed an upward trend in SCP-XXXX-2 numbers; recent attacks consist of seven or eight instances at once. SCP-XXXX-1-A estimates that the supplies in the complex can reliably defeat nine instances. Action may be necessary if this trend continues.

SCP-XXXX came to the Foundation's attention in 1982 after multiple transients went missing within an hours walk of the mission. A Class-D sent into SCP-XXXX-1 returned two hours later with a copy of the Bible and a note from SCP-XXXX-1-A. Currently, SCP-XXXX-1-A is cooperating with the Foundation to combat SCP-XXXX-2 and prevent the inhabitants of SCP-XXXX-1 from leaving.

Yulian Aminev was not a special man. Afghanistan had broken thousands by the time he left and it would break thousands more. The monotonous work of his youth didn't appeal to him anymore, he yearned for glory. When an old friend asked if he would serve the Union, Yulian hesitated. When the friend mentioned the pay, he accepted.

Yulian Aminev was not a prideful man, but he was excited to serve a greater purpose. His new office, a tiny booth in the back of a movie theater, shattered that illusion. This "special mission" was to sit and watch American films day after day, waiting for something to warrant hitting the panic button. The pay was good and he learned to love American cinema. His dreams faded with the Union.

Yulian Aminev was not a lazy man. The building changed hands twice, the hammer and sickle on the wall was replaced by a tricolor, but still he remained. Occasionally his pay wouldn't to appear, but that did not worry Yulian. Every day his eyes were fastened to the screen, waiting for a sign. Every day he rapped his knuckles on the cedar, waiting to press that panic button. One day, decades after he first took the job, a sound far too realistic leapt out of the screen.

In the lobby below, he could hear an AK-74.

"You're saying it's anart?"

"Or just some nutbar. Catch." The projectile slipped through the researcher's defenses. He desperately juggled the user manual before managing to set it down safely. She could only stare at his display. Desperate to redeem himself, he flipped it open and started reading like lightning. "Are We Hollywood Yet?"

The woman chuckled. "Yeah. They're really trying, but it just doesn't work, y'know? It's a camera. It puts stuff on the big screen, because "truth is stranger than fiction." Seems a bit bland." She took a glance at the set-up in the chamber; the camcorder was broadcasting Saving Private Ryan to Moscow. They stuck to movies that were a few years old since Russia wasn't exactly a big Hollywood target.

She glanced back at the other researcher and froze. "Jesus, Rob, are you okay? You're pale as a sheet." The sarcasm in her voice cracked, replaced with sincere concern. Her partner looked up, nodding slowly. There was no need to point out that she was mixing metaphors again. He understood the "indecipherable scratches" on the last page, and he'd give anything not to.

"I need to make a phone call."