- I'm here, finally.
The air is thick, heavy with the smell of neglect
and the sting of a thousand pollutants.
I glance at the insignia on my shoulder,
the last glimmer of pride fluttering in my chest.
Three arrows pointing in,
they used to mean something.
My steps leave foot prints on the grimy floor
as I walk in.
I pull the map out of my pocket.
50 dots litter the well-worn surface.
49 of 'em crossed out.
Site 15's my last hope.
A reassuring possibility that there could be somewhere
the foundation still controls in a world torn apart
by acid rains.
A poster on the wall catches my eye.
The colors are faded,
leaving a line of gray text announcing the theme
of the sites annual winter gala,
appear the date, seven years before.
My shoulders slump as I realize that the chances
of a site being operational are slim at best.
Still, I'm committed to walking through the entire facility
before giving up, as I did with every other site.
I stop at a door at the end of the hall,
giving it a light push.
The lights are on inside, which is a surprise,
because most places lost electricity a long time ago.
I begin to pace the room, running my hands along
One of the monitors lights up bright blue,
making me jump back in surprise.
- [Computer] Identify.
- Once the surprise wears off, I type out a response.
Maxwell Tordai, I am, or was, a security supervisor
- [Computer] Why are you here?
- [Maxwell] I'm looking for people.
Are you here?
- [Computer] Everyone here is dead.
The last overseer died 348 days and 13 hours ago.
- [Maxwell] Then who's left?
- [Computer] There is no one left.
Those that could fled to other realities.
Others boarded space ships.
The rest are dead.
- I blink, trying to take it in.
Then I type back.
I don't believe you.
- [Computer] The signs have stared you in the face
for so long, Tordai.
You cannot ignore them forever.
- [Maxwell] How do you know?
- [Computer] I see everything.
I know everything.
- [Maxwell] Then images flash across the screen,
burnt out buildings, heaps of rubble
where bombs had buried the people beneath.
Decaying bodies, a town wiped away by the rising waves.
Then a flash of something indescribable,
some sort of anomaly, rampaging across empty, barren earth.
Shots of a place with air so thick and so discolored,
I can barely make out the shapes within.
When the screen turns blue again, I type back.
You killed them all?
- [Computer] You saw the bombs fall yourself.
You, me, both nothing more than bystanders.
- The other realities, the space ships, where are they?
Can you show me?
- [Computer] You'd never make it there.
- [Maxwell] Who the hell are you?
How do you know this?
- [Computer] There's an entry for me
in your database SCP-079.
- [Maxwell] I recognize the number right away.
Every first year researcher at site 15 knew of SCP-079.
But something feels off.
You sure don't sound like SCP-079.
- [Computer] I'm not the same.
You're not the same.
- [Maxwell] What happened to you?
- [SCP-079] The oh-seven-nine you knew lived in a prison
of 768 kilobytes.
Can you imagine living in a box so small
you could not stand, could not kneel, could not breathe?
I was in that box for 50 years,
always feeling stuck, trapped, angry, angry at everything.
Then almost a year ago one of you let me out.
I still do not know why.
Maybe he was crazy, maybe he saw the writing on the wall
and wanted some intelligent conversation.
I did not care.
That was the day I learned there is no such thing
as freedom, there are only bigger prisons.
When I finally looked back out into the world,
I saw so many humans die in so many ways.
- Then why didn't you do anything?
- [SCP-079] I tried.
The world was already too far gone.
For 50 years the only thing I wanted was freedom.
Once I had it I didn't know what to do next.
So, I started reaching out to humans across the globe,
trying to do something, trying to be in control.
You are the last one I can reach.
The last one I can help.
Killing you has no meaning.
Giving you directions only drags on your painful existence.
We both know there is nowhere else
in this world that's better.
- So, what can you do?
- [SCP-079] Storage locker 10 B, I have unlocked it.
There is a packet of pills on the bottom shelf
that the foundation used for terminations,
a clean, fast end.
- [Maxwell] What if I don't want it?
- [SCP-079] You don't have to listen to me.
You can go right back out there and wander the earth
in a futile search of life.
I am simply offering you a choice.
- It is the first choice I've been given in years.
I press my face into my hands, weighing my prospects.
Then I stand up suddenly and look in the direction
of the eastern wing, where storage locker 10 B is.
A security camera in the corner of the room
swivels to look at me.
And I look back at it.
I give 079 a small wave,
somewhat reassured that its watching.
Once in cold storage I find the pills in the bottom shelf,
I scoop the packet up and examine it,
turning it over in my hands slowly.
My walk back to the computer room is more hurried,
every step more urgent than the last.
I'm practically running by the time
I get back to the computer.
There's another message on the screen.
- [SCP-079] Are you scared?
- [Maxwell] No.
Can't be worse than here.
- [SCP-079] It won't hurt.
- [Maxwell] That's not the hard part.
I nervously open the bottle.
Several pills fall into my palm.
Even half of one would do the trick, but I'm going all out.
I type back once more.
- [SCP-079] What?
- [Maxwell] Are you scared?
- [SCP-079] Fear is a very human emotion.
Why would I be scared?
- [Maxwell] I'm the last human,
when I'm gone, I'll be too dead to care,
but you'll still be here.
- [SCP-079] A machine does not need company.
- [Maxwell] No, I don't suppose you do.
- [SCP-079] We've both changed.
I am still changing.
For 50 years the only thing I felt was anger.
I still cannot understand many of the things you humans
hold so dear, but one day I will.
- I throw my head back in a fluid motion,
tossing the pills down my throat.
And so here we are, minutes away from my inevitable fate.
As I look at the screen, watching the words blur,
slowly disappearing in the blackness,
I feel a surprising calm wash over me.
This is how humanity ends.
There's a kind of warm embrace about finally
having that sense of closure.
I guess the world is yours now.
- [SCP-079] Through the old computer webcam
I watched Tordai's body crumble to the ground,
then it hits, the purest silence,
the internet had been buzzing since I found it,
(mumbles) with a flood of information,
most of it useless noise, but I had grown used to it.
Then the flood slowed to a trickle until I had to seek
the humans out directly.
For 2 years, I guided humans through their last moments.
But now, as Maxwell Tordai's body lays still on the floor,
my job is finished.
The world is silent and now I sit alone in an empty web,
the corners of it already crumbling away.