A Swann Song For The Nobody I Once Was

Author's Note: The following contains references to and discussion of suicide, gender dysphoria, murder, and class conflict.

Read at your own pace, and only as much as you want.

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Cohabitation cannot be discounted as a significant risk to the modern man. The act of living in proximity to another person invites horror in all its disparate elements: it facilitates the end of privacy and abolishes the security of the well-maintained lock and key. It constitutes the acceptance of another human being into the most sacred rooms of one's dwelling place.
When this proximity is consensual, the terror is not diminished. Rather, it is magnified, because the cohabiter has made themselves willfully vulnerable to an attack of a different sort. The assault is slow and undetectable, but at any time when so prompted, a person may look upon their past selves and realize, with abundant horror, that they have become someone more like their visitor than themselves.
Other people hurt us. Other people scare us. Other people destroy us. And when we allow those people to become our bedfellows, we invite annihilation.

— Excerpted from Strangers In Family Photos; author unattributed.



Haunted Wood and Mortar

The manor house lay silently on the marshlands of Louisiana. It had stood on the marsh for a century, drawing upon the present geography as life fled its withered husk. Cloaked in an aura of ill-intent, it had successfully repelled all potential visitors from afar and allowed itself to rot unendingly. Whatever dead thing resided there decayed alongside their domicile.

The abandoned estate had been constructed by a rich man when the economy was running high and abandoned when its creator fell into a noose. Now, an ambient fog contaminated the night air, contained within a three-pronged quarantine. Scientists and soldiers wandered its perimeter, pausing on occasion to listen for the death cries of a man: one century a corpse.

But these scientists were not morticians; they were doctors of the most distinguished trade. They diagnosed the dead man as a disease infecting his home: like leprosy, the manor's contents had festered under the environment of rotting wood and stagnant air, birthing infinitesimally-insignificant generations of plague until a strain of anomalous pathogen lurched outside the boundaries of life and death. And so, like good doctors, they prescribed their most effective vaccine: The Silencers.


Lightning struck above, briefly flooding the ground floor of the manor with light. Maria winced as she spotted her reflection in the shard of a shattered mirror — she may be hunting a dead man in his tomb, but the ghost of her once-male body haunted her more overtly.

The light of her shoulder lamp reflected off the glass which littered the floor, drawing the hallway into a stark contrast. She was surrounded by ornate Southern decor, but the building at large was trashed. To her left, against the wall, was a testament to the manor's opulence: the gilded frame of a mirror which stretched from floor to ceiling, engraved with narratives of old wars and older men. Its contents spilled out upon the carpet, as though shattered by some wandering invader.

She raised her comm to her lips. "Cortez, I've got something. Weathers went this direction when he woke up; smashed up this hallway pretty good. It looks like random violence, but he seemed like he was heading towards the basement."

The familiar crackle of her commander's voice manifested soon afterward. "Hayes, if you're going to mock me, at least do it professionally. I'll believe your crackpot theory when you get it peer-reviewed."

Maria smiled to herself, and jabbed back, "It's like I always say, basement or attic. Usually basement. That's pretty much fact in the Department and they're just too scared to tell you that you could be doing your job more efficiently."

Cortez growled back over the comms. "Damn right they are. Everyone, converge on the lowest floor. We've got another NEET."

Maria silenced her comm and allowed herself to retain a smile as she stepped over the mirror's shards. She moved her legs forward, again and again, thinking about the conversation and her commander's wit. She thought about how long she'd known him. She thought about how strangely her uniform had felt on her body when she first met him.


Terror shot through her body, more paralyzing than the strongest mnestic. There was something with her in this hallway, something standing behind her that shouldn't have been. She had checked her surroundings since entering the building. None of her team members had commented on an intruder. She was a trained and seasoned task force operative; there should have been nothing there.


Maria turned slowly to see a pair of green eyes observing her. The figure stood on the shattered remains of the mirror, appearing bulky and tall in the dim light of the hallway. A flash of lightning confirmed her suspicions: Morgan slowly pulled their headset up, training the night-vision lens on the ceiling as they observed her in the near-pitch black.

"I heard you call in the tip about the basement. I was nearby." Morgan stepped forward over the glass, approaching her without any indication that they cared to speak to her. Maria smiled warily, aware that they must have perceived her fear.

"Alright, well, the basement's just down the hall," she indicated, pointing into the blackness beyond. "I figure it'll take Cortez a minute or so to get down here."

Morgan nodded in reply as they walked past her, and Maria shivered unconsciously. She knew Morgan was on loan from The Bibliographers, but she hadn't expected them to be so aloof. She'd felt something when they had walked by her, a dark and festering anger that fed off that of the manor.

Down the hallway, Morgan raised their rifle towards the hallway. "Let's bag that son-of-a-bitch."

Other people were in his home. They weren't like him; probably Jailers or Bookburners by the sound of it. When he'd woken up from a century-long death nap, Allan had anticipated this complication and hastened to his old basement. Silently, he cursed the intruders for their vigilance. But soon, all of this world's disparate cults would be emancipated from their petty labels and feuds.

In the basement, the rules of arcana were breaking.

Allan was well-versed in magical phenomena, having been born into an era of American history when dabbling in dark arts was on the rise. He had tried a little flesh-craft and dabbled in mechanization, but ultimately settled on the forbidden sciences of reanimation. He had converted his shares in oil into investments in the esoteric, and the Library was open to all sorts, of course.

And the financial crash, and the despair, and the failure of all his grand machinations. The symbols burned into his neck had been less effective than he had expected, but the result was the same. He was alive again.

Runes of dead languages branded themselves on his flesh, and the occult construct illuminating his basement floor thrummed with raw power. His animated corpse instinctually shuddered at the light, and he turned towards the knife laying on the ground beside him.

He slowly reached down and grabbed the blade, raising it again. His rotting hand could barely hold the implement, but with shaking breath and silent mind, he tore into his flesh. His corpse was old and he had no more need of it. Bit by bit, he cut pieces of himself and deposited them into the ring of fire before him. A finger, a bit of his hand, a chunk of his arm — a world in which his enemy existed was not a world in which he wished to live.


The Jailers were upon him in an instant. Their boots crashed down the stairs towards him, breaking into the silence of his final resting place. He cringed and cut faster, knowing that the ritual was far from over. They'd been faster than he expected.

They circled him, gun barrels at his head, the green eyes of their headsets looming over him. He shakily stopped his sacrifice. Counting the number of eyes, he guessed six people were surrounding him. That would be enough.

The Jailer in front of him jerked their head upwards. "Get up, Weathers. We have some questions for you."

Weathers gritted his teeth, and the room broke in two.

All the vestiges of reality were torn away before his eyes, its undergirding laws and patterns rendered as a thousand intricate threads, free to be plucked and pulled and manipulated. The brick and mortar of his basement fell away, revealing an infinite, inscrutable blackness which extended beyond human comprehension. The rotting flesh of his ancient hand reached forward, hovering over the thread which would expunge his enemies. Perhaps they would be immolated, or meld with the flooring beneath them, or simply not exist to begin with.

Every potentiality was open to him. Every world was his to control. Allan Weathers was, for all intents and purposes, God.1


A bullet fractured his skull. The wound vomited blood as he was blown backward, crashing against the stone floor and laying in a heap. The fire of his sacrificial circle dimmed to fading embers.

Maria Hayes stood over him, gun in hand, oblivious to the proximity of death mere moments prior.2 She lowered the barrel to his head, stepping forward. "I've seen zombie types like you before. You have five minutes before you succumb to your injuries, tops."

Weathers reached out a hand towards the fire, trying to drag himself forward. His voice broke from disuse, pitched high in panic. "Stop, you can't —"

Maria's boot came down hard on his hand, causing a wet snap and eliciting a coarse growl from Weathers. "That's another thing. What's the ritual you're performing?"3

Weathers looked up at her desperately, jerking his head towards a shadowy wall of the basement. "My books — tell your Foundation to read them. They will understand. This is how we escape."

Another looming figure approached, standing beside Maria. "We don't work like that. The Foundation's gonna clean this place out and lock anything interesting in a box."

Weathers could feel his life draining away with the fluid leaking from his head. He laid his head down on the brick and whimpered softly.

Maria's voice was sympathetic and he hated it. "Listen, Allan, I get that you have your reasons for reanimating yourself, and for doing… whatever this is. Most ghosts are scared when they come back, and our job is to pacify them. Would you mind telling us what you want?"

The basement was getting dimmer, the green light of the Jailers above him slowly fading. He had seconds to explain his life's choices to these strangers. He had seconds to relay eternity. The voice which exited his lips was foreign, even to him. The words seemed pre-destined, and his breaths were shaky and shallow.

"I wasn't supposed to be like this."

Maria slowly removed her boot from his shattered arm. "Pardon?"

"I wasn't supposed to be dead. Rotting, dying, living a half-life. Despite my best efforts, my magics and rituals didn't come close to approximating life, and it's tragic."

He looked up at Maria and received no reply, so he continued. "I-I was important during my life. I traded stocks and traveled and experienced the world, but I was l-laid low by death. There's a narrative in that, a narrative about inevitability and… f-futility."

Allan's awareness of the world was leaving him, but he felt that Maria regretted shooting him. He harbored no anger towards her; she knew not what she had done.

"I was going to be a p-punchline, a punchline about letting go. I was a pawn, played in a game beyond the scope of my imagination. And I found a way to escape."

The fires of arcanum dimmed into oblivion.


One of the Jailers4 called out from the other side of the room. "Hey, Cortez, Maria; we found a couple of journals over here; most of it looks like magic script but there's some English too. Really esoteric stuff — other dimensions and something about plane-shifts. Who the hell was this guy?"

His words fell on deaf ears. Allan Weathers was dead.

Internal O5 Communication


Fellow councilmembers, some apologies are in order. We've all been keeping secrets.

We are not in control. We never were. All our machinations and operations were begotten from the mind of an alien being, existing outside our narrative plane.

We all know this. We have all, one way or another, found our way back to Swann's Proposal. And we fought amongst ourselves, conspiring and sabotaging and concealing until we forgot our real enemy. We broke things, we found security clearances, we make secret deals. None of us are exempt.

The importance of secrecy to the operations of the Foundation has been well-established, but I feel as though, just this once, we would be better served by the removal of our manufactured veil.

Below is attached the product of thirty years of treachery and silent hatred.

Only through unified action may we destroy our common enemy. It is the duty of the Foundation to protect humanity, and now we must do just that.

I hope you all see things my way.

— The Administrator


An Antidote to Ennui

Death leads me down those faceless halls,
Arch-secretaries and exalted interns parting before him
Like rats in Evanholly,
As he takes me to
The peephole.

Maria was exhausted.

For years, she'd thought of herself as a believer in simple things. She cared for others because they might care for her. She stayed loyal to her task force because she respected Cortez. She worked to make the world a better place because that's what the Foundation did.

Coincidentally, Maria was also deeply in denial. When she dreamed at night, she dreamed of Allan Weathers, and mirrors.

Death paused, shuttering,
And I feigned dismay as that reaper fell,
My oldest brother and reflection,
Worn down and decayed by Time.

When Maria was fifteen, she realized that masculinity wasn't for her. The revelation had been years coming: pushed down by a multitude of excuses and anxieties, but steadily tearing against its restraints until she could contain it no longer. She'd won the battle against herself and spent the next decade fighting to fix her broken anatomy.

She took up poetry at that time in an effort to explore herself. She quickly encountered obstacles, the most pressing of which was an absence of passion. At the suggestion of a family member, she threw away her journal.

There wasn't anything to explore anyways.

When Maria had returned from that mission in Louisiana, there had been a letter waiting in her mail. When she'd opened it, her world turned cold.

Ms. Hayes,
We request your services in the containment of an anomaly related to your most recent assignment. Your colleagues, Mx. Ashton and Mr. Cortez, are also under consideration.
We'll be in touch.
— The Administrator

Allan Weathers had not died in that basement after all. His goals, his aims, his hatred had transcended death. Both Maria and he had been joined in a battle against past residents, but he had won.

The manor lay silently on the marshlands of Louisiana, forever.

People hurt her. People scared her. And terribly, tragically, as Maria was self-consciously observing her reflection in her mirror, she allowed herself another repressed revelation.

Because that's what they do, she thought.

And she knew she was right.

Maria Hayes was tired of fighting everyone and everything. She wasn't suicidal — from what she'd seen, death was just more of the same. But she was apathetic. And terribly exhausted.

She often wondered if the man she had killed twice felt the same.

Death's skull lay broken on the linoleum floor,
Its eyes arching sadly up at me,
As if to say,
"So too with you, in time."

The man in front of her stopped speaking, letting her hang on his final words like a linguistic fish-hook. Time seemed languid between his lips, the tips of sharp canines barely visible behind them.

"This is a way out, Ms. Hayes."

She'd never been in this office before. The items lining this man's desk were strange. The employees in the hall seemed so scared of him, too. She didn't like this at all.

The man with the shifting face pushed a sheaf of papers her way, and she glanced down briefly to examine them.

Employee Contract Re: SCP-XXXX

The following agreement stipulates that the undersigned consents to participating in direct exploration of SCP-XXXX. The undersigned will be expected to collaborate with other Foundation employees to destroy an existential threat to humanity. If successful, this will permanently end the ongoing conflict between the Foundation and SCP-XXXX-β.

"… Okay."




Item#: XXXX
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:

Special Containment Procedures: Although SCP-XXXX itself has been contained indefinitely by mutual collaboration of the Overseer Council, its effects on baseline narrative reality cannot be addressed by current technologies. As such, provisional task force MTF ʖ-1 has been assembled to explore SCP-XXXX and, if possible, terminate SCP-XXXX-β.

The possibility remains that, during this exploration, SCP-XXXX-β will attempt to alter baseline narrative reality with hostile intent. As such, it is the imperative of MTF ʖ-1 to facilitate both its destruction and the reversal of any harmful or disadvantageous actions it performs.

Although the futility of concealing this operation from GOI Alpha-019 ("The Serpent's Hand") is assumed, effort must still be made to delay their awareness of SCP-XXXX and MTF ʖ-1. Information leakage threatens the attention of POI-003 ("The Head Librarian"), which would obstruct the mission goals of MTF ʖ-1.

Description: SCP-XXXX is a location existing outside the baseline narrative. Because SCP-XXXX has not been — and, in fact, cannot be — directly observed, the exact nature of its contents is unknown. SCP-XXXX has only been proven to exist by a recovered document from GOI Alpha-019 ("The Serpent's Hand") and the journals of deceased POI-9992 ("Allan Weathers"), the latter of which described SCP-XXXX in some detail.

The journals indicate that SCP-XXXX is an extra-narrative dimension comparable to baseline Earth, which POI-9992 accessed via a specialized Way-Gate. Reality within SCP-XXXX was, purportedly, subject to causal incongruities and possessed several distinct anomalous objects and phenomena able to manipulate the baseline narrative in some capacity.

SCP-XXXX-β is a hostile, non-distinct anomalous entity which inhabits and/or interacts with SCP-XXXX on a metafictional level. SCP-XXXX-β is, functionally, the author of the baseline narrative and is responsible for all events which transpire within. A list of its actions which have impacted the narrative most significantly is available below.

  • The introduction of anomalous objects, individual, events, and locations into the current timeline.
  • The assignment of the SCP Foundation to maintaining the Veil Protocol.
  • The introduction of anomalous phenomena which threaten the Veil Protocol, necessitating Foundation intervention.
  • The creation of situations in which containment requires unethical actions to be performed for the "greater good" — which is, the maintenance of the Veil Protocol. The procedural nature of amnestic application, the containment of functionally-human anomalies, and objectionably unethical containment protocols are necessary to accomplish this.

SCP-XXXX-β is the entity which makes evil necessary. Regardless of its intentions, it is the sole source of existential threats to humanity, and its actions require an equal reaction. MTF ʖ-1 will, therefore, use the recovered journals of POI-9992 to enter SCP-XXXX with intent to search and destroy SCP-XXXX-β, in such a manner that all threats to human existence and "necessary evils" are obliviated. Once this is accomplished, they will ensure that the baseline narrative is still intact and return, if possible.

Addendum.XXXX.1: Deliberations


After evidence collected from the residence of the deceased POI-9992 confirmed the existence of SCP-XXXX, delegations were held to determine the best course of action.


  • The Administrator (audio only)
  • O5-1 through O5-13
  • Twenty-six (26) Ethics Committee Liaisons
  • Three (3) members of the Department of Pataphysics

O5-1: Gathered are the collective Overseer Council and representatives for the Ethics Committee and Department of Pataphysics. May the others confirm their presence?

Dr. Cimmerian: The Ethics Committee is attendant.

Dr. Alfos: As is the Pataphysics Department.

O5-1: Confirmed. Today's agenda consists of one item: the containment of SCP-XXXX-β. As Dr. Alfos and her company are acting within an exclusively technical capacity, their input will not be considered unless called upon. That said, the Overseer Council motions for the expedient termination of SCP-XXXX-β.

Dr. Cimmerian: Alright, thank you, O5-1. The Ethics Committee will now allow time for dissenting members of the Council to speak.

O5-13: That would be unnecessary. O5-1, in this situation, speaks for the Council.

Addendum.XXXX.2: Dissenting Ethics Committee Statement

Addendum.XXXX.2: Manifest

Morgan, would you consent to removing the arm entirely?
Over what? Waiting for another team to get here? Fuck that.
Command, are you sending in a rescue team?
The team has been assembled and is currently en route to the building. It would cut down on potential complications if you would—
Great. Tell them Rainer and I are going further into the tunnel, after the rest of our team.
Do you have any particular justification for this egregious breach of protocol?
Put it under, uh… "Protection of noncombatants."
Kid, uh, you alright?
I'm fine. Are you?
How did you get the scar on your arm?

The knife against Morgan's throat hung there for a bit before their assailant pulled it away, but they didn't relax just yet. Edwards was still considering it.

The bastard was staring at the implement in his hand, swaying slightly under the bright hospital lights. His eyes were full of things Morgan could never decipher, and he slowly turned the knife over in his hand, and then looked to Morgan on the hospital bed.

"You're a piece of shit, you know that?"

Morgan didn't have time to listen to Edwards' monologue. They needed to fight the painkillers and whatever anomalous cocktail their physician had given them to survive losing an arm.

Edwards shuffled towards them again. "You're a piece of shit. You lost me my job. You know that?"

Shit. Morgan could barely move, much less protect themself. They curled their good hand into a fist and screamed silently.

Edwards was next to the bed, leaning over them and trying to pin down their eyes with his. He brought the knife up again so Morgan could see, and smiled.

"Well, you've been here before, haven't you?"

Morgan stiffened; did Edwards just imply what they thought he did?

He brought the knife closer so Morgan could see it from the bed. "After all, what's another surgery to a fucked up, piece of shit like you?"

The knife stabbed down fast.


(A grainy scrollbar crawls across the blackness before the camera flairs to life. Its wearer, Cortez, is propped against something, leaving only the immediate area visible. Hayes and Ashton lay on the ground, unconscious. The three are in an elevated clearing, and behind them is a vibrantly-colored mountain range.)

(In time, all three individuals regain consciousness and stand, appearing disoriented.)

Cortez: Well, I've never done that before.

Hayes: Trans-narrative travel isn't usually on our itinerary, no. Morgan? You alright?

Ashton: Yes. I can give you something for the nausea, if you need.

Cortez: Huh, magic as a headache medication? That's new. Our task force spec'ed into necromancy, so we don't exactly have the best handle on thaumaturgy as a whole.

Ashton: It's fine. Most of what I know is from personal study. Give me a moment.


Ashton: Something is wrong.

Hayes: Wrong?

(Ashton clutches their arm, feeling it for several seconds before composing themself.)

Ashton: Whatever this dimension is, it doesn't support thaumaturgy. And my arm is organic again; reality may be augmenting our anatomy, so be vigilant.

Cortez: Your last was a prosthetic? If you don't mind me asking.

Ashton: It was. It was Foundation-made, so —

Hayes: DAMNIT.

(Hayes sharply brings her hand to her temple.)

Hayes: Shit, sorry. Did anyone else feel that?

Cortez: Feel what, exactly?

Hayes: This kind of slicing and probing. Did no one else —

Cortez: Maria, can you move your hand?

(Hayes does so and reveals a sizeable scar, which begins at her ear and terminates at her leftmost cheek. It appears fresh.)

Cortez: Jesus. Where'd you get that?

Hayes: I don't — how did we get here? Did I have that when I stepped through the portal?

Cortez: Stepped through the portal? I only remember up to seeing the testing chamber. Did the jump fuck with our memories?

(Ashton makes a surprised noise and both look to them.)

Hayes: Morgan? You got something?

Ashton: We should get moving. We're wasting time.

Cortez: Morgan? What's wrong?


Ashton: Do you remember, in the manor? Weathers had a knife. He was cutting himself and depositing bits into the flames.

Hayes: Oh god.

Morgan used to be exhausted. They used to wonder if there was an escape from all the chaos, if they could ever finally win.

Edwards' broken body was entangled with surgical equipment on the other side of the room, absolutely soaked in thaumic radiation. Call it the vitality of the human spirit, or adrenaline; either way, a blow from a hand imbued with magic subdued him easily.

Ancient runes circled Morgan's fist as they lay on the hospital table, breathing in sharply. They were having a revelation.

When the doctors found them in the morning, they called it self-defense. Edwards was alive, if paralyzed, and he was sent off to be amnesticized. They gave Morgan some extra hospital stay, threw in a small bonus, and wrapped up the whole affair as soon as possible.

Morgan didn't know why Edwards had attacked them. There seemed to be a lot of internal drama that they had stepped into during that mission, and it should have been done after that. They could leave that incident behind and move on to other things.

But they didn't.

Magic is power. Magic is a well of strength which will never dry up. Magic is the way out.

Morgan Ashton was ready to fight everyone and everything. They weren't cocky — from what they'd seen, cockiness got you punched into a hospital wall. But they were power-hungry.

And terribly capable.

Did you receive that scar during the fight?
No, I got this before.
I think I can fix that with my thaumaturgy. Err… I could have fixed it. I guess being a Type Blue with one arm is going to be difficult.
Was it lonely in the Library?

The Beast Above The Library

The Head Librarian did not like the book they were reading.

Addendum.XXXX.3: Unacceptable Biological Aberration


<Begin Log>





<End Log>

Dystopia Now \\\ FUCK 'EM UP




Untitled Chapter


Restricted SCiPNET ComLog
To: dnammochctawrevo.pcs|8ov6ta4#dnammochctawrevo.pcs|8ov6ta4
From: ypareht.pcs|aineseyj#ypareht.pcs|aineseyj
Subject: Information Release


I am officially requesting access to specific documents relating to SCP-4051, which are currently marked as 4/4051. The present site director, Dr. Thomas Graham, has been continually uncooperative in releasing this information despite its relevance to my client's psychological profile.

I would also like to note that I have been unable to contact O5-4 for reasons unknown. I was good friends with him when he directed Site-17 as Dr. Weathers, and it saddens me that his legacy of transparency has been erased alongside his name.

Dr. Jules Yesenia

Restricted SCiPNET ComLog
To: ypareht.pcs|aineseyj#ypareht.pcs|aineseyj
From: dnammochctawrevo.pcs|8ov6ta4#dnammochctawrevo.pcs|8ov6ta4
Subject: Re: Information Release


Can you please confirm Dr. Weathers' first name? It is general practice on the Overseer Council to restrict knowledge of the identities of other Overseers.


Restricted SCiPNET ComLog
To: dnammochctawrevo.pcs|8ov6ta4#dnammochctawrevo.pcs|8ov6ta4
From: ypareht.pcs|aineseyj#ypareht.pcs|aineseyj
Subject: Re: Information Release

Sure, it was Allan. Why do you ask?

Dr. Jules Yesenia

Restricted SCiPNET ComLog
To: ypareht.pcs|aineseyj#ypareht.pcs|aineseyj
From: dnammochctawrevo.pcs|8ov6ta4#dnammochctawrevo.pcs|8ov6ta4
Subject: Re: Information Release
What the hell

Untitled Chapter

Forum Post:

You know, SCPs don't have to be like this. They can be fun, short, bittersweet, whatever you want. They can be anything.

I apologize. Quantity will never equal quality, but I hope the two approach each other in this project. I know this has been done before, and I'm really just following in the footsteps of Swann's Proposal. But I hope I did it differently.

A special thanks goes to the following:


Also, fun fact, the images that make up the act headers are secret links to videos that were instrumental in this story's creation.

I hope you learned or discovered or liked something you read here. I know I did.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License