SCP-3000: Anantashesha Part 2

Addendum 3000.4: Psychological Evaluation

Note: On ██/██/09, Level 3 Researcher Venkatraman Krishnamoorthy attempted to exit out the Eremita's aft airlock without diving equipment, but was quickly restrained and the airlock cycle aborted. Despite having a CRV of 26, and having not displayed any previous signs of depression or suicidal attempt prior to his assignment aboard the Eremita, Krishnamoorthy was interviewed by staff clinical psychologist, Dr. Anand Mannava, to acquire a better understanding of SCP-3000's potential effect on the psyche.

[BEGIN LOG]

Mannava: Hi Venkat, how are you feeling?

Krishnamoorthy: Unwell.

Mannava: That's what I hear. Do you want to talk about what happened today?

Krishnamoorthy is silent.

Mannava: We don't have to, if you don't want to. We can talk about something else.

Krishnamoorthy: I'm tired, Anand.

Mannava: I understand. This assignment has been stressful on all of–

Krishnamoorthy: It's not, no, it isn't the stress. I've done this before, I've been on…I don't actually know if I have done this before.

Mannava: You have.

Krishnamoorthy: I don't remember it. Any of it. I've been getting these out of context feelings, like my body reacting to reflexes it didn't know it had. Everything is so disconnected, and trying to keep it together is…I'm just tired.

Mannava: When did you start feeling this way?

Krishnamoorthy: How long have we been down here? I don't remember. I don't know when, I honestly don't. I wish I could tell you more than that, but I have nothing. I look to that place in my mind and there's something else there–or sometimes nothing at all.

Mannava: What do you mean by something else?

Krishnamoorthy: I've been having other people's dreams, Anand. I see faces I don't recognize, places I know I've never been… or maybe I have. I don't know. How can I know what is real or not when I can't trust my own mind?

Mannava: Well, maybe I can help you with that, Venkat. We can go over things you think you've forgotten and I can–

Krishnamoorthy: Don't patronize me. I know you've felt it, Anand. Your mind gets hazy. Parts of you start to slip, your memories grow faint, fading in and out until they're gone, or worse, replaced. You see pasts that aren't yours, experiences that you never lived. You start to become other people, or…nobody at all.

Mannava: Venkat, please. I'm just trying to help.

Krishnamoorthy: Do you even know my work before we met? Come to think of it, I don't even remember how we met. I know your name, know that you're a psychologist, but are we friends? Are we brothers? I don't know how I know you. We work together, I know that. I still have that. But other things, they come and go. I don't know if I am married or have children.

Note: Dr. Krishnamoorthy was married twice and has two sons and three daughters between the two marriages.

Mannava: I see.

Krishnamoorthy: And that…that isn't the worst of it. I know that this is happening to me, I know that my mind is coming apart. But there's something else in there, too. Something rising out of the… out of the smoke of my smoldering consciousness. That eel.

Mannava: The eel?

Krishnamoorthy: I don't…I don't remember my mother. I can hear her voice, but I can't remember her face. I can't remember how she smelled or how she… but what I do remember is she told me about gods. (Pauses) There is a god, called Anantashesha. A serpent, the king of serpents. Said to lie beneath Vishnu in the cosmos. A six-headed snake god, isn't that something?

Mannava: It…yes, I am familiar.

Krishnamoorthy: Ah…of course, I'm sorry. I forgot. (Pauses) She…I don't remember much, but I do remember that she told me about how Anantashesha would… would linger past the end. Gaze upon the darkness past the end of time. She said that, when the light of the universe had gone out, all that would be left is Ananteshesha. (Pauses) I have worked my entire life for the Foundation, so much as I recall. I have struggled to build my name and my reputation and done everything I can do to leave…something, anything. Some kind of mark that says I was here. But…

Mannava: What is it?

Krishnamoorthy: I…I believe SCP-3000 is Ananteshesha. I believe that this…this abberation, this treachery against cognition, is the result of us being in the presence of a god. Not just a god, but a god who exists across all time, all at once, and…even beyond. Maybe…maybe some part of the nothingness beyond the edge of time is part of Anantashesha, as well. Maybe it acts as, as a conduit, some kind of–

Mannava: Venkat, please, we're scientists–

Krishnamoorthy: No, let me finish. In defiance of the nothingness that comes after this, all of this, there is Anantashesha. There's a chance that my memories might live on, that I might be remembered like the memories I've seen have been through me. I don't…I don't have proof of this. But when I looked into its eyes and saw what it showed me, I was afraid. I'm merely a mediocre man, Anand. This was a fear that I have refused to acknowledge for years, a fear of irrelevance, that know one will know who I am when I die. Afraid of being forgotten. Afraid of my life being meaningless. Afraid of being alone. Afraid of dying. (Sighs) There is a terror within me that I cannot reconcile, Anand. I won't lie to you and tell you that the maw of the naga does not terrify me as well, but between this and the infinite dark I have gazed into, I have made up my mind.

[END LOG]

Addendum 3000.5: Incident Video and Audio Log

After two days of containment within a secure holding cell onboard the Eremita, orders were received to lift the hold order on Dr. Krishnamoorthy, in accordance to the terms of the Aztak Protocol. Three hours after Dr. Krishnamoorthy was released from his holding cell, the following incident took place:

[BEGIN LOG]

<02:19:33> Krishnamoorthy stands near the entrance to the Eremita's aft airlock. Subject is facing away from nearest camera.

<02:19:58> Proximity alarm is triggered. Exterior floodlights activate. SCP-3000 is still not visible. Command is alerted and Eremita's engines engage, preparing for evasive maneuvers.

<02:20:06> Krishnamoorthy is startled by the proximity alarm and begins to appear panicked. Subject continues to look at the entrance to the aft airlock. Subject turns briefly towards nearest camera and is observed by weeping.

<2:20:21> Krishnamoorthy slowly approaches aft airlock and opens airlock door. Subject enters airlock and primary access door seals behind the subject.

<2:20:57> Interior airlock camera captures Krishnamoorthy staring at exterior airlock door for a full two minutes, unmoving. After two minutes, subject collapses on the ground.

<2:21:15> All cameras shudder as primary turbines spin up. SCP-3000 is visible on radar, approaching SCPF Eremita. SCP-3000 is still not visible on camera.

<2:26:37> Krishnamoorthy stands and approaches the diving suit locker. Subject puts on a high-pressure deep sea diving suit and then moves towards exterior door controls. Subject engages exterior door latch. Interior airlock camera is obscured by rushing water.

<2:27:14> Secondary alarm is triggered by airlock breach. Personnel on the bridge attempt to close the airlock, but Krishnamoorthy has already exited the airlock.

<2:27:48> Krishnamoorthy hangs in the water behind the aft section of the Eremita, illuminated by exterior floodlights. Subject is motionless.

<2:28:11> SCP-3000 slowly appears from out of the darkness. Krishnamoorthy remains motionless.

<2:28:29> Exterior cameras shudder as Eremita begins to reverse towards Krishnamoorthy. Rescue teams have been assembled in the airlock chamber.

<02:28:52> SCP-3000 approaches Krishnamoorthy. Its mouth begins to open. Eremita sounds horns, but neither SCP-3000 or subject appear to notice.

<02:29:09> SCP-3000 moves just above Krishnamoorthy. Subject appears to look up into the now fully extended jaw of SCP-3000. Eremita begins to flash external floodlights. Airlock opens.

Krishnamoorthy: Anand…I was wrong. (Sobs) God save me, it's not–

<02:29:21> SCP-3000 strikes and quickly consumes Krishnamoorthy.

<02:29:45> SCP-3000 disappears into the darkness and is no longer visible on the exterior cameras. Rescue crews are recalled. Crew begins to initiate Aztek Protocol.

[END LOG]

Addendum 3000.6: Personal Journal of Dr. Mannava

Note: The following are excerpts from the personal diaries of Dr. Anand Mannava. Dr. Mannava has kept several journals during his assignment and that it is beneficial to counteract the psychological and memory-affecting properties of SCP-3000.


23/09/2009

I come to bury Venkat, not to praise him.

Psychologically speaking, having your memories affected like his is not a pleasant experience for anyone. I really shouldn't be surprised he chose to relieve himself from having his memories meddled with - after all, it's really alarming. Being briefed on its effects doesn't change the fact that I need to constantly keep tabs on all staff, myself included, and ground us to reality. I am supposed to submit a full psychological report now, detailing what has gone wrong, why a staff member turned suicidal, and a full analysis of possible ways to prevent this from happening again in the near future, to the O5 and Site Director Nox, have it reviewed, and some now regimen designed to prevent such a travesty from happening again.

He was always more religious than I am. Right at the end of his life he was riffing on Anantashesha - a primordial Hindu snake god - and rambling about eternity. I'm not going to question the legitimacy of his beliefs and his claims, but this is quite the enigma, and I suppose I should be considered lucky that this assignment is relatively benign compared to previous assignments that I've had. I don't think this is a mythological eel - anomalous, maybe, but not really that extraordinary. It's funny - I spent the last thirty years blocking out everything my father wanted to teach me about Hinduism and now I'm racking my brains trying to remember anything he had to say about it.

I want to say that it's because of the eel, but if I'm being honest with myself I simply tried to forget all his teachings. Maybe not at the beginning, but certainly by the end. I can barely remember what he looked like. But I do remember how angry he got when I couldn't remember the names of my grandparents or great-uncles. He was desperate to preserve his culture heritage and I did everything I could to spite him. On his deathbed he begged me to perform the traditional last rites after his death. He even wrote the instructions down, but I was so angry at him that I tore them up in front of him. I can't even remember why. The only memories I have of him are how he made me feel. He spent almost twenty years trying to pass down our heritage - and all I have now is anger and hatred and regret.


30/09/2009

Site Director Nox gathered the staff this morning for a short mourning. After a few brief and laconic eulogies, he took me aside and told me that Venkat's replacement will come in a few weeks - and as he kept no contact with his family, it's likely his belongings will be disposed of, and are now technically Foundation property. The direector indicated that if I want to keep a thing or two from him, I should do so now.

His office was relatively unremarkable - his cushy squashed chair cushion, few office toys, and lots of marine biology books that I should probably check out someday. The only thing I took was a statue of Ganesh that stood next to the window. Not fully sure why myself, but now he's sitting on the bookshelf, next to a picture of myself, my wife, and our daughter at a lakeside terrace. It was a pretty unremarkable trip to some tourist trap in Lucknow, but this really is one of our best pictures.

We're going under again tomorrow.



11/11/2009

All of the D-class managed to stay put this week, which is good. Other than the routine depression and memory loss from the exposure to SCP-3000, everything was in order. Sometimes I'm a bit envious of them - all they know is that they're scooping gunk off some big eel. They don't know of its importance, or why it's critical that they collect it, and how much it helps us.

Of course, one saving grace of being on the psychological division for the Atzak Project is the awareness of its potential effects - I'm aware of what's happening to my psyche. I know that I have memories that are being drained, pieces that are being lost right now. I recall images of a young man on a bicycle, in front of a schoolyard gate, looking like it was the 80s, when I was in Singapore - he was laughing - yet I don't know if this man was a friend, a lover, a son, a family friend - who this young man is. Perhaps Italian? Or maybe Australian? Maybe this isn't even a cherished memory at all.

I looked at the Ganesh statue and the picture of my family again. It's really quite a shame, I truly forgot most anything that I've done with them. I've started trying to learn some Hindu poems and songs; went out and got a copy of the Vedas, but I can't memorize the lines properly.

I've been reflecting on what Venkat told me before he passed though - his deep, deep seated fear of mediocrity. Unable to rise out of the sea of humans that walk on the face of this earth. He's worked for the Foundation for years, and while he isn't one of the most well-known and household names of the Foundation, he's not exactly obscure - he's been the Foundation's leading marine biologist and go-to-expert for anything aquatic, and quite well-revered. I'm actually quite surprised by his jealousy - he was never the flashy and bombastic type, and I would have never guessed that he wanted fame and recognition.

Perhaps he really was afraid that he is doomed to be stuck in mediocrity.

Perhaps the silence of this place reminded him of something worse.

Addendum 3000.7: Memorandum on Aztak Brief [LEVEL 5/3000 CLASSIFIED]

Some new assignments had questions about our work here, so I'm publishing this to clear most of them up. Feel free to contact my office if there are any others.

The Atzak Protocol is a method for gathering and processing the Y-909 compound. It's a thick, brackish, grey fluid that SCP-3000 excretes as part of its metabolism. We don't know the exact method by which it does this, but we have some ideas, and none of them are great for us.Initially, we thought it was bleeding. The first team we sent down to look at SCP-3000 went down to collect blood samples for analysis. When SCP-3000 attacked and consumed them, and began producing more of the substance, we realized that we were looking at something different entirely. It's definitely not blood, it's more akin to a prion slurry. It's extremely toxic, and spending too much time around the stuff causes a lot of the same effects as exposure to SCP-3000 does. Paranoia, memory loss, suicidal thoughts, etc. Refining the raw Y-909, what the processors call "eel jelly", allows us to create amnestics more effective than any we've ever had access to in the history of this organization.

Herein lies the ethical dilemma. SCP-3000 only creates Y-909 after eating, and it only eats humans. Remember when I said we had some ideas about how it does this? Some of our biologists have hypothesized that SCP-3000 is breaking down whatever makes sapient creatures sapient, filtering it through some part of its skin, and the residual ether is what we collect. You want to know something really fucked up? We've taken radiographs of this thing, trying to see what's going on inside of it. It's full of dead human bodies. It's not digesting them at all, it's doing something else, and the end result is Y-909.

When we first started using Y-909 in our amnestics programs, we tried to synthesize it. We got something close to what we were looking for, Y-919, but the side effects were catastrophic. The amnestics would work, we could get people to forget events, people, and so on. But then they would start to forget other things, too. The mental deterioration would rapidly increase until there was nothing left, and then they would die. A few of those researchers thought we might be able to figure out how to decrease the severity of those side effects, but the cost to continue those trials would have been astronomical, and the program was discontinued.

It's no secret that what we're doing here is abhorrent. The Ethics Committee, the Classification Committee, they're all looking at ways to make this more tolerable than what it is. But the hard truth is, if we want to continue to use modern amnestics, we have to have Y-909. If we want to have Y-909, we have to feed D-Class to SCP-3000. Otherwise, we'd be forced to go back to the metaphorical dark ages, where we were amnesticizing people with opiates and chloroform.

The good news is, we're developing ROVs that should be able to take over the job of collecting the raw material from our dive teams. This will eliminate any chance of accidental casualties like we've had in the past, and is a good first step. For everything else, only time will tell. - Nox

Addendum 3000.8: Personal Journal of Dr. Mannava

Note: The following is the full text of a page, penned in the hand of Dr. Mannava, which was ripped out of a journal and placed on his nightstand.


Undated

I have spent a considerable amount of time on this assignment attempting to understand the underlying effects of individuals exposed to a Class VIII cognitohazard. I have conducted numerous personnel interviews, written a great many psychological reports, but I have not been able to properly deduce what about this creature would lead a perfectly sane man out the door of that airlock, and into the maw of the eel.

Earlier this week, as I was preparing my notes for another report, I accidentally knocked the picture of myself, my wife, and my daughter off of my nightstand. The glass shattered as it hit the ground, and the picture fell out. As I cleaned it up, I noticed something written on the reverse of the image. It said,

"Anand, Shanti, and Padma. June, 2002"

But the writing was not mine, it was Venkat's. I was puzzled by this. Why would Venkat have written on the back of a picture of mine? I thought little of it at the time, and cleaned up the mess and went about my day. But this question stuck with me. It was a little thing, easily explained in any number of ways, but I could not seem to shake the notion of uncertainty. It was not until last night that a horrifying thought struck me, one that I could not sleep on. I accessed the Foundation personnel archives, and realized a truth that I cannot reconcile.

Shanti was Venkat's first wife. Padma was his daughter. The records are clear. The life I remember, the experiences I am certain I have had with them, are the experiences and memories of Venkat, not me. I have never been married, and I have no children. Even now, I can see my wife in my mind, hear her laughter, smell her hair. But I know now that it is Venkat I see her through, not me.The horror of this realization has been replaced with a queer sort of dread. I've figured out what the eel does. Something about it, some latent part of its creation, abhors cognition. It breaks down human consciousness and scatters the part of us that we believe is a soul until all that remains is what we really are: electrical signals that will some day become inert.

If even I can't remember myself, how can I expect anyone else to remember me? I have forgotten my own life - and I am strangely apathetic at this revelation. I will fade into the darkness, as thousands before me have, and thousands after me will. No one will care as I am forgotten. I do not despair for my own sake, but for us all - you and I, we will all face obliteration. I am not important. You are not important. Vast droplets of irrelevancy, stretching eons in the sea of time. We may fight against it, but our enemy is inevitability.

I do not think that the eel is Anantashesha. I don't think it would matter if it was. What is clear to me now, as I feel myself coming apart, is not that the eel is some mythological creature, or divine serpent. Perhaps it's just a primitive creature that eluded us, holding no malice; perhaps it really is a primordial deity, harboring resent beneath the surface. The eel is not the harbinger of my demise, or humanity's doom. The eel is not the end of all things, it only shows us what the end looks like. And in spite of everything we might believe, every ideal we hold or providence we pray for, I know this much is true for all of us:

Our end will be a forgotten one.


Note: Dr. Mannava was later discovered, unresponsive, near the aft airlock. Evidence suggested that Dr. Mannava had broken into the onboard storage locker and ingested a significant amount of raw Y-909. Dr. Mannava was moved off of the Eremita, and remains at Site-151 for analysis.

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