SCP-5300
rating: +103+x

The following logs detail Briareus 3's encounter with SCP-5300. The crew of the Briareus 3 craft Nova consisted of Colonel Renee Griffin (team lead), Major Josef Zajic (first officer), Lieutenant Qi Hui (second officer), Doctor Jack Petowski (ship's engineer), Doctor Amar Patel (ship's physician) and Technician Yelena Losev (ship's mechanic). Except where otherwise noted, all audio was captured on a personal recording device belonging to Doctor Petowski.

Audio Log Transcript

Notes: Audio was taken from a routine communique between the Nova and command. These were held every 48 hours to provide updates on the Nova’s objective and the wellness of the crew.


[BEGIN LOG]

Command: Command to Nova. Come in, Nova.

Griffin: Reading you, command. This is the Nova.

Command: Nova, command is requesting a sitrep of your position. Have you seen any trace of URA-████ in the last 48 hours?

Griffin: Negative, command. No sign of the objective. Doctor Petowski’s been picking up some unusual readings, but we cannot confirm that it is in any way related.

Command: Are you able to provide further information on these readings?

Griffin: He says it looks like Hawking radiation, but there’s no discernible source. We should be able to avoid the center of concentration without any problems.

Command: What is the status of the Nova’s crew?

Zajic: (in the background) Terrible! Renee’s a shit captain, she gets no respect from me!

Griffin: Oh yes, my boundless incompetence is certain to become infamous.

Zajic laughs.

Griffin: The crew is fine. Despite our lack of success so far, morale is good, for the most part. Though I have to report that Lieutenant Qi’s behavior has been troubling. She’s been irritable, argumentative. Not to the point of insubordination, but close.

Command: Do you have any idea what might have caused her shift in behavior?

Griffin: She’s been working unusually hard, my guess is stress. I’ll have Doctor Patel–

Without warning, a deep groaning can be heard from the Nova.

Griffin: Shit, what was that?

The groaning becomes much louder. A low whistling sound can also be heard.

Command: Nova! What’s happening?

The whistling peaks in volume, drowning out any audio received from the Nova. Connection with the Nova persists for another 13 seconds before ceasing. Further attempts to contact the Nova fail.

[END LOG]

Audio Log Transcript


[BEGIN LOG]

Petowski: This is Jack Petowski, engineer of the Briarius-3 craft Nova. Stranded 20 minutes ago, our ship passed through an anomaly that our systems failed to detect. It transported us into what appears to be some kind of pocket dimension– we rematerialized about 40 meters above ground. At the present time, all primary systems onboard our ship are inoperative, even though the crash shouldn’t have done that kind of damage. The hull appears to be intact.

Qi: Really, Petowski? They're already making us record logs every day.

Griffin: When we get out, they can use all the info they can get. Bring that thing over here, Doctor.

The surrounding terrain is interesting. The ground is some sort of coarse grey sand. It isn’t much different from something you’d find on Earth. The sand goes down into the ground for at least 15 meters. No grass or weeds. It looks like we’re the only living things here.

The only other thing about this place is the fog. I can hardly see ten feet in front of me.

Losev: If the anomaly that transported us here behaves like a wormhole, it should still be present on this side. We can escape if we can just reach it.

Qi: And how the hell are we going to do that? The Nova is completely busted. Petowski’s an engineer, not God, and as far as I know he didn't bring a 40-meter ladder.

Petowski: Qi is noticeably shaken by the crash.

Qi: Fuckhead.

Griffin: Quit that shit, both of you. Zajic?

Zajic: Right. Since the ship is smashed, we’ve decided to scout on foot. Lieutenant Qi, Doctor Patel and I are going to explore the surrounding area.

[END LOG]

Crew Log - Lieutenant Qi


After four hours of pounding markers into the ground so we can find our way back, I can confidently say that there’s not a goddamn thing out here. Just sand and fog.

What does Zajic think we’re going to accomplish? Why are we looking for another exit that has a one-in-a-million chance of even existing when we could be planning how to get to the one we know is there? He acts like he knows exactly what he’s doing, but he’s as clueless of the rest of us. With all the jokes he makes, he’s even more insufferable than Petowski. If I had a way to shut him up, I’d do it in an instant.

We’ve used less than a quarter of the rations we brought, so we’ll be walking out for at least another four hours.

Audio Log Transcript


[BEGIN LOG]

Petowski: This is Doctor Jack Petowski, engineer of the–

Losev: You don’t have to do that every time, you know. They’ll sort all that out when they transcribe these.

Petowski: You’d be surprised at how much of the database gets screwed up just because of human error. And that’s not even to mention all the infohazards crawling around in there. Redundancy helps.

While the scouting party is out, Losev and I have been assigned to assess the damage to the Nova and determine if it can be repaired. Priorities are communications and propulsion.

I’m going to open up the Alcubierre drive core. See if you can boot up the secondary computer and run a diagnostic.

Doctor Petowski and Losev can be heard interacting with equipment for about four minutes.

Losev: Why do you keep a voice recorder, anyway?

Petowski: Most people assume the Foundation will be around and out of the public eye forever. But if the veil drops and I’m not around, I’d like to have some claim to the work I did.

Losev: Something like Sergei Korolev?

Petowski: Or Alan Turing. Something like that.

Losev: How romantic. You’re that important, huh?

Petowski: Yep.

Losev: The only thing I’ve come across of yours was some ridiculous plan to use SCP-1243 to solve the traveling salesman problem.

Petowski: You’re not cleared to read about most of what I do. And that would’ve worked if my supervisor hadn’t shot it down.

Losev: Looks like the secondary computer is still working. I’m running the diagnostic program.

You don’t have to impress me, you know.

Petowski: Oh please. If I wanted to impress you, you wouldn’t be able to resist me.

Losev: (scoffs) You and what charisma?

Petowski: Shit…

Losev: What?

Petowski: All three of the port warp configuration modules and one of the starboard modules are completely fried.

Losev: Which means?

Petowski: The WCMs determine the shape of the Alcubierre drive’s space warp. It won’t work without any for the port side.

Losev: There’re two left for the starboard side, right? We could just adapt one for the port side.

Petowski: Oh yeah, brilliant. Could you conjure me a sandwich from thin air while you’re doing that? These are incredibly complicated, one microscopic flaw in the geometry could vaporize the entire ship. That’s why there’s three for each side, so that if one fails the others can take over. Is that diagnostic done yet?

Losev: Almost. It looks like coms will be pretty easy to repair. Could we send a message through the anomaly?

Petowski: If our sensors didn’t pick it up, I highly doubt we’ll be able to get a transmission through it.

Losev: So, that’s it? We’re just stuck here?

Petowski: I don’t– wait, what about the escape pods?

Losev: All but one are damaged beyond repair.

Petowski: If we can get a transmitter in that one and send it through the anomaly, we can give the Foundation its exact coordinates and they should be able to send help, but… no, it’ll malfunction as soon as it goes through…

Losev: The secondary computer was off when we went through and it didn’t suffer any damage. If we turn it off first and rig it to reactivate once it’s through–

Petowski: Yes! That’s our ticket out of here– I’ll tell Griffin!

Losev: Wait, don’t–

Doctor Petowski runs out of the engineering section.

Losev: …Alright. I’ll finish this myself then.

[END LOG]

Crew Log - Doctor Patel

As per usual, I have underlined the most significant portions of my log.


About 3 hours ago, the scouting team (Major Josef Zajic, Lieutenant Qi Hui and myself) returned from our exploration of the area. I have several things to note.

The landscape did not undergo any observable changes. Throughout our entire exploration, we did not see a single deviance. No plants, no animals, no unique geological features. There is no day/night cycle. The pale light that shines through the fog is also constant.

Despite walking in a straight line for the extent of the exploration (7 hours), we somehow returned to our original starting point (the crashed Nova). No normal planet can be circumnavigated in just 7 hours at walking pace, which confirms that some (or all) elements of this area are anomalous.

Repair of the escape pod is going well. Petowski and Losev should have it working in a few hours.

Crew is physically fine. Lieutenant Qi has not been herself lately. She volunteered for most of the heavy lifting during the expedition, I am concerned that she is overworking herself. Though she is generally asocial, she has recently been displaying irregular levels of hostility and aggression. I will request that Colonel Griffin reduce her duties and see to it that she is evaluated upon our return to the Foundation.

I am also concerned about Major Zajic. He has been attempting to make light of our situation (which has done little to improve Lieutenant Qi’s state of mind), but it is clear that he is preoccupied. Since Colonel Griffin has known him the longest, I will also ask her to talk to him.

Though I ate a large meal about 20 minutes ago, I remain very hungry. The taste and smell of the food was unusual, but there was no other evidence to suggest that it was not what it seemed. For the time being, I will assume that this is a symptom of stress.

Crew Log - Major Zajic


Since we got back, things feel odd. Little things that I can’t quite put my finger on. Like, the layout of the ship was always confusing, but now I’ll head somewhere and end up in a totally different section. And I could swear that Losev parted her hair on the other side.

I’m hoping Griffin is right, that it’s just stress. Apparently, Patel asked her to check in with me. You have to wonder if there’s anything that guy doesn’t pick up on. Thing is, she’s at least as stressed as I am. She’ll probably blame herself if the escape pod doesn’t work and we end up stuck here.

I don’t think I understood just how much this stuff gets to Griffin before she lent me that Vietnam book she’s had her nose in. The author is pretty adamant that real war stories don’t have morals, and after spending the last major chunk of my life hunting scips, I don’t suppose I can argue with that. I guess I’d always assumed that, once you spend as much time doing it as Griffin has, you get used to it. Now I know how hard she’s been trying not to get used to it.

It may be a lot to hope for, but when I check out, I’d like there to be a moral in it for someone.

Audio Log Transcript


[BEGIN LOG]

Petowski: I’m recording. Are we good to go?

Losev: Everything should be ready.

Petowski: Alright, stand back everyone. If this works we’ll be home in time for dinner.

Zajic: Good thing, too. I hate to keep your mother waiting.

Petowski: Har. Har.

Losev: Initiating the launch sequence.

The pod’s main thruster fires and can be heard receding before suddenly cutting off.

Losev: I’m not reading it anymore. Looks like it made it through.

Qi: So, now we just wait?

Griffin: Yes. Assuming the Foundation receives our message, they should be able to send help before our supplies run out.

Zajic: Welp, jokes aside, I am actually pretty hungry. I’m gonna go get some food.

Patel: Didn’t you just eat?

Zajic: Yeah, I did. Didn’t seem to do much for me.

Patel: That’s been happening to me too. I’ve had two meals since we got back, but it feels like I haven’t eaten all day.

Brief silence.

Zajic: Do you think there’s something more to it?

Qi: Shit, I knew something happened to us out there! What the did this place do to us? You two didn’t even care when we ended up back at the ship for no reason!

Zajic: What do you mean? We all thought it was– where are you going?

[END LOG]

Crew Log - Colonel Griffin


The mission has gone to shit.

Half of my crew is starving to death. Everyone is hydrated and we have a stockpile of food, but nobody who went on the expedition can digest any of it. Patel, Qi and Zajic are wasting away in front of me.

Some of Doctor Patel’s equipment still works, and despite his current condition he’s been endeavouring to find the cause. He’s analyzed the fog, but as far as he can tell it’s primarily water and has no anomalous properties. I hope he’s right. We’ve all been exposed to it.

I’ve never felt more useless. The Foundation trained me to fight to keep my crew safe, but I can’t fight this. I can’t do anything about this. I’m trying to maintain order, but we’re falling apart. Zajic’s been trying to write a letter to his family. Can’t bring myself to look at it.

I think Qi’s starting to lose it. Keeps mumbling to herself. Something about fog.

I may have to bury my closest friends.

Crew Log - Lieutenant Qi


Hungry. So hungry. Which is fucking ridiculous because there's so much food. I've eaten like a linebacker for a week I’ve never wanted a fucking hot pocket more than I do now. I can hardly write.

I’m wrong backwards different. Everything’s different. I feel it. Fingernails don’t look right. I went around the planet and I changed, we all changed, I know it.

I’ve been sick. Stopped eating yesterday. Have no more food left to vomit, thank Christ. Nose is bleeding from the sand. Everything smells like blood.

Saw Zajic eating some leftover rations from the expedition. Said those were still good. No way I’m trying it. What if it’s pois Something about him is wrong. He changed into something else. Patel says the fog is safe, but it must be the fog. It must’ve done something to him.

Audio Log Transcript

Notes: Doctor Petowski recorded a number of logs in which he and Losev attempt to find an alternative to escape SCP-5300. No significant progress was made in the majority of these sessions; as such, this is the only instance of these logs selected for inclusion in this document.


[BEGIN LOG]

Losev: Can’t we just try it?

Petowski: No. If we try to modify one of the WCMs without the right equipment, we may as well just throw it out.

We’re not getting anywhere. I need a break.

Losev: (sighs) What are you working on, Zajic?

Zajic: Not much. Just the letter. Still.

Petowski: How’s it going?

Zajic: You taking a break from being an ass just for me, Petowski? I’m touched.

Petowski: Never mind. I’m gonna get some coffee.

Zajic: Actually, I’m not sure how to spell this. Could you come over here for a second?

Petowski: Sure, fine.

Brief silence.

Petowski: What– this is for your family?

Zajic: Yeah, why?

Petowski: Why are you writing it backwards?

Zajic: Excuse me?

Petowski: You’ve written your entire letter backwards. What the hell? How could you not notice that?

Zajic: Alright, I know the American education system is fucked, but I didn’t realize it was this bad.

Petowski: No, you must be– wait, hold on.

Petowski can be heard writing

Petowski: Can you read this?

Zajic: No, that’s backwards.

Petowski: Zajic, I think I’ve got it. Holy shit, I think–

Qi: What’s backwards?

Petowski: Jesus Christ, have you been there the whole time?

Qi: Who the hell is backwards?

Petowski: Zajic is writing backwards, but I figured it out! This isn’t a planet at all, it’s–

Qi: So Zajic changed? I fucking knew it.

Losev: What do you mean “changed?” What is she talking about Petowski?

Petowski: I’m not totally sure, but I think she’s on to something. He did change! If I’m right the, entire expedition changed when–

Qi: No! I am not like him! He’s lying to us. He changed!

Zajic: Cool it, Qi. What are you talking about?

Qi: You went into the fog and you changed! The fog took you, it– it made you, you’re not you!

Petowski: No, Qi, it isn’t the fog, it’s–

Qi: Then how did Zajic change into what he is now? Why is he backwards?

Petowski: It isn’t just him! When you found your way back to the ship, you became your own mirror image! Your–

Qi: No, no, no! I am not like him! I’m still me, I can’t be different, I’m still me!

Zajic: Qi, calm down. Let’s just–

A sidearm is drawn.

Qi: Get the fuck back.

Zajic: Alright, alright, I’m stepping back. You can put that down.

Qi: Fuck you! I know what you are. We crossed over and you flipped and– you changed! You’re trying to kill me!

Petowski: No, Qi, it isn’t like that– watch, I can prove it. I just need to write–

Qi: No, don’t move! You need to believe me, I am not like him!

Zajic: For the love of God, I’m normal. I’m like you! I’m starving too! Just look at what Jack wrote!

Qi: Stop saying that you’re like me! You can’t trick me, I know the fog did something to you!

Zajic: Please, put the gun–

One of the crew’s sidearms discharges, followed shortly by a second report.

Losev: But, I…

[END LOG]

Crew Log - Doctor Petowski


Well, we did it. We found our way out.

Griffin took one of the remaining starboard WCMs and helped Doctor Patel travel the same route the expedition team took originally. As I suspected, his chirality had been inverted, and he returned to normal after traversing the anomaly a second time. Now that the WCM’s chirality is inverted, it’s configured exactly the same as one of the port modules. I’m finishing up the repairs to the propulsion system while Griffin makes the trip around again.

Major Zajic and Lieutenant Qi are dead. Qi shot him as he tried to disarm her. I couldn’t get my gun out in time to shoot her first.

There’s far too much to think about now. I need time to process before I can write a proper report on this.

For more information on the anomaly described in these logs, see the database entry for SCP-5300.

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