Alice Winchester walked down the street, plastic bag dangling from her hand as horns honked around her and she smirked that she had decided to ditch the taxi. Her sister had been right to say that traffic in London was terrible. She was visiting her youngest sister, Clara, who was in England doing research on Stonehenge and the neighboring stones and sites. Clara was so excited for the whole thing, and was anxious to sneak both her older sisters onto the site for some interesting night viewing.
The bag in Alice’s hand shook and made a hissing noise, but nothing came of it except Alice got a look from someone passing by her. The people in this country seemed to know that she was from America, despite not her speaking a word to any of them, and she just assumed they got enough tourists they could tell who didn’t belong.
Getting back to the place she was staying with her other sister, middle sister Bailey, she set the bag on the small bedside table as her sister looked at the thing and rolled her eyes. Alice couldn’t help herself when she was out, as her sisters and parents were well aware, and frequently the reason they fought; she was drawn to things with anomalous and bizarre properties. She pulled the box from the bag and looked the thing over.
It was a simple, newer wooden box that looked about 10 years old or so, the wood smelt new, just sawn, but the texture was older and there was a thick layer of dust on the top and in the crevices of the lid. It vibrated slightly in her hands and was cold to the touch, despite the warmth of the room. She opened the lid and the thing blew a loud raspberry at her, before slamming shut on her fingers. Bailey sighed as Alice cursed at the box, then it opened its lid again and starting cursing at them both in a heavy Scottish accent.
Alice couldn’t stop herself from laughing even as her sister frowned at the box, giving Alice the same look she always gave Alice when something, anything anomalous was near her. But as far as bizarre things went, this was very benign. Alice had already looked the whole box over and tried to find something that might harm her sister, or anyone around her, but it just seemed to be a rude wooden box that just cursed and insulted the person closest to it. As someone that had never really heard a Scottish accent other than on the TV, Alice couldn’t stop the laughter. Both had seen some dangerous things that were drawn to Alice, or she was drawn to them, and this was just silly as a comparison.
Alice wrapped the box in a blanket and the box couldn’t get the lid open anymore, just like she had known, and set it under the bed. Clara would not appreciate Alice’s acquisition, so Alice had no reason to tell her about it. Clara had been working very hard lately and neither of them had seen Clara in almost a year.
Clara had called Alice two days ago, panicking that something had followed her to her apartment, and after hearing an earsplitting high-pitched noise, she hadn’t been able to sleep, no matter how hard she tried. Alice had called her sister Bailey and they had booked a flight an hour later. She knew what this thing was and had only told her sister Clara to not sleep alone, to never be alone until she arrived, and she would take care of it. Alice could hear a faint tone of accusation on Clara’s voice; it was common with all her immediate family to blame things that were bizarre on her, regardless of whether they were anomalous or not. Only now that something bad was happening to her did Clara contact Alice. At least Alice knew she could help.
Alice knew she could deal with this danger, she had before when she was younger on her other sister, which Bailey didn’t remember thankfully, but the activity was sure to draw some attention, because these things rarely just hit one person at a time. Alice shuddered to think what might happen to her if someone like the Foundation or GOC caught her. Alice had to be careful. Because to the world at large, she was just Alice, a 28 year old woman from America with blonde hair and oddly colored blue eye that wore contacts, but tot certain organizations and governments, she was known as Aura.
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-5000 is currently still at large and not in containment, despite the best efforts of the SCP foundation and several other organizations around the world, most notably The Chaos Insurgency, Serpent’s Hand, MC&D and Global Occult Coalition. Finding SCP-5000 is a top priority due to its highly anomalous properties.
Description: SCP-5000 is an anomalous entity known in the Foundation and other organizations as “Aura.” Little is known about this entity, only that it has no known shape, tangibility, time, place or picture. Scientists believe it may just be an idea, while others believe it to be a more powerful reality bender that affects other anomalous entities, or a group of people acting together to find items, possibly on the orders of an SCP or reality bender.
SCP-5000’s anomalous properties make it both dangerous and possibly beneficial, because it has the ability to sense anything with anomalous properties, from items to tears in the fabric of existence and time, and ranging from Safe to Keter and world ending. The more problematic and powerful property is its ability to manipulate other anomalous fields around it, though little is known about this property. Finding and containing SCP-5000 is a top priority. O5 council fears it getting into the hands of The Chaos Insurgency or MC&D to the highest bidder.
The Foundation was made aware of SCP-5000 after the fourth failed attempt to contain an object by personnel, the last person to have them all stated that someone had come in and purchased or taken the item from them. This included a chess set that would play itself and would pelt pieces at anyone that tried to interrupt the game, a picture that caused night terrors in anyone that viewed it through something other than the naked eye, including those with glasses or contacts and had the residents of the house willing to through the picture at SCP-5000 to get “the devil out of the house.” Those residents were given Level 1 amnestic and nothing further has happened at that residence. The third item was a handheld mirror that showed anyone or anything the holder of the mirror asked to see, anywhere in the world, and the previous owner had committed suicide after discovering her husband had been cheating on her by spying through the mirror. The mirror had been sought after by MC&D, but they had found it missing, and the neighbors had given a description of SCP-5000. The fourth item was an object that would most likely have received a Keter class rating, because those within range would become possessed, for lack of a better word, and attempt to kill an unknown number of people, for an unknown reason.
Those that sold items or met SCP-5000 all had different descriptions of it, though all stated that their memories of it were clear. One instance was a short, balding male holding a briefcase and looking like an accountant or bland businessman. Another was a sharply dressed woman holding legal papers, cataloging everything in a decedent’s house. Another was a mother and child, looking at things in a store and the child touching everything, then being scolded for breaking one of the anomalous objects and the mother buying it. All they have in common is their ability to look like they belong and compel the current owner or keeper of the item to let the item go without raising suspicion. Scientists are unsure if this is a group of people being sent that look and act the part, or some of the anomalous properties of SCP-5000.
Continued search efforts are a top priority and currently ongoing.
Alice and Bailey had already been to see Clara that day and had spent several hours with her, letting her finally get to sleep once Alice was in the apartment. Clara’s fiancé, Tyler, hadn’t slept either, and kept hearing someone talking or whispering in the shadows at night, and had been so nervous, he had bought a baton and pepper spray, and even dragged Clara to the nearest church.
“The Priest seemed to know something was wrong with her, he just looked at her hard and stared, and he nodded then blessed her or something like that. And he let us stay there overnight, before you got here.” Alice hugged her brother-in-law to be and thanked him for looking out for her baby sister. Tyler nodded then sat down and yawned, rubbing his eyes.
“Get some sleep, Tyler. I’ll keep watch.” Tyler just nodded at Alice and Bailey, as one stood at the door of the bedroom, while the other stood sentry at the window, eyes piercing out into the street. Alice could see it, hear it, feel it, but it was waiting for nightfall. And it would not live through the night.
Alice knew these creatures, once that prevented prey from sleeping to make them weak, and then made noises that made them paranoid, jumpy and unstable. They seemed to enjoy playing with their prey, and Alice loathed to think of Clara and Tyler as prey, but to that creature they were. Some of them just loved hunting humans for fun, watching them panic and devolve and squirm. The anger was real in Alice’s chest and the ring on her finger pulsed with energy, trying to get her to release it, but she wouldn’t. Not until she learned how to make sure it was contained safely, or destroyed, the danger was too great with this ring, had caused too many people to spontaneously kill. Thankfully as long as it was near her or on her, the effect of the ring was nullified and it was nothing more than a piece of plain, rather masculine-looking jewelry.
An hour after sunset and London’s lights were slowly flickering out, Alice stood up straighter, her sisters and Tyler none the wiser to her status. She could sense it, the creatures out there, wanting to get in to get to her sister, and she would be waiting for it.
Alice left the bedroom, and headed for the only unlocked window in the house, where the creature had gotten in before, and she sat and waited, long knife in hand, will solid steel and unyielding. The creature slithered in the window, still unaware of her presence, something she learned to do a few years ago. It was almost as tall as the low-ceiling in the room, with long arms, elongated head with a vertical mouth and needle-like teeth in the mouth. Long nails that she knew to be brittle twitched with its long fingers and hands, and she could feel the power coming from the being. It may be humanoid and possessing some intelligence, but it was too dangerous, willing to come into an urban center like this, so close to so many people. It posed to great a threat to the people, and needed to be disposed of.
Alice moved in a quick succession of moment, slamming her knife through the side of the head, near the bottom angled up, and then twisted the knife hard towards the inside of the skull and the creature fell to the floor, dead instantly. Alice unrolled plastic she had kept in the room and rolled the creature into it, making sure no black, oozing blood was leaking out, before wrapping it in a filthy blanket.
Tyler was the first awake to the sounds of Alice dragging the thing across the floor and he stopped and was about to shout, before Bailey stepped in and covered his mouth until he calmed down. Tyler was shaking, hand over his mouth, tears in his eyes as he tried to contain his hysteria. Clara slowly made her way into the hall as Bailey helped to wrap up the body and grab the keys to bring the car around. Alice already had a site prepared, a pyre ready to burn the body and then scatter the remaining bone pieces in nearby woods, never to be found again.
Clara looked the thing over before scowling and pulling her fiancé into the bedroom, promising to tell him everything once she got some sleep, but not looking happy about it. Alice told Tyler to get some sleep too, though she knew it wasn’t likely, before dragging the blanket out of the apartment and down the steps over her shoulder, and into the trunk of the car. Alice was aware of a camera on the far end of the street, but it looked at the intersection, and no one else was awake or looking at the street this time of night, and the car was in a dark spot, where the streetlights didn’t quite reach. Bailey watched as Alice pushed the blanketed creature into the trunk, closed it quietly, then Alice headed out.
Alice drove for several hours, and pulled into the pyre on a marsh near some woods, far enough from the nearest house that no one would notice the fire with the sunlight coming up. And the smoke was common enough this time of year, though Alice worried what color it might be. There was no telling with creatures that didn’t follow the rules of the world.
Alice removed the creature from the plastic, placing in bare on the pyre, doused in gas and supplied with coal to get it hot enough, and tossing the bloodied blanket onto the side of the pyre. Alice struck a match and lit the kindling on fire, and the entire body was engulfed in moments, roaring loudly as the flames reached higher than Alice was tall, the heat was strong enough to melt the empty gas can and sustained longer due to the coal. Alice was smart, she knew that normal fires didn’t get that hot, and needed coal and a lot of fuel to ensure a thorough burn.
An hour later, the fire was mostly burned out and the body was little more than pieces of bone, which Alice swept up into a box and then walked into the woods with and dumped all over the ground. It would soon be consumed by the forest, stomped into the ground by hunters and hikers, never to be found. Alice washed the plastic down in bleach on the simple dirt road and the ground soaked it all up, making it all look like someone had dropped some water or something, and soon there would be no traces they were here, except for the smoldering burn site. But kids had bonfires around here all the time, and no one would think it any different. Sure that everything was cleaned up and she had left no trace, Alice drove back to Clara’s apartment.
Explaining everything to Tyler took most of the day, which Alice did on her own as Clara got some much needed sleep. Tyler had been in hysterics for over an hour after they got back, and Alice had to put her hand over his mouth to warn him not to wake the neighbors, warning of the danger they might be in if anyone learned of her, or her family, her only real weakness. Tyler left the apartment to get some air and clear his head.
Truthfully, Alice knew this conversation had been coming for a while, she just had hoped it wouldn’t go down like this. Tyler loved her sister, and her sister loved Tyler, and as part of the family, he needed to know the kinds of things that gravitated to Alice. It rarely happened to Bailey to Clara, but both had known since they were kids. It was one of the reasons Clara had come to Stonehenge, hoping it would have some answers for some of the bizarre things that Alice had come across in her life time, to make sense of it in terms of history and the physical and understood world.
Bailey was like Alice and Clara, a scientist, who used measurements and math and facts to understand the world around her, though Alice was more open to the idea that not all things could be understood in human terms, at least not currently. One notable difference was Alice’s natural eye color. When she wore the tinged contacts, they looked deep blue, almost indigo, but without them, they are a faintly iridescent deep amethyst color. Alice developed this color when she was about 11, before she hit puberty and got her other abilities, and her parents thought it was a genetic thing, and bought her blue-tinged contacts to hide the purple.
Bailey always thought it was explainable through science, that Alice was the beginning of humanity’s genetic response to dangerous and anomalous things, people born with the ability to lessen or control the anomalous properties of things that threatened humanity. It was a viable explanation, one that Alice kind of thought was logical, but couldn’t explain how she had those abilities, despite being 100% completely human, with nothing odd about her other than her eye color and abilities. There were no other humans on the earth that she knew about that had this ability. To cancel anomalous properties, maybe, but not to also affect or manipulate them.
Alice’s more fanciful theory was that she had been born with this ability, and had been activated during the changes of puberty, starting with the eye color. Alice pointed out during a debate with Bailey that purple is a rare color in nature, and has often been associated with royalty, but also the arcane and mystical. Alice thought they were descended from lines of long-dead magic users that had either used and controlled or created anomalous things, but something had gone terribly wrong, as often does when wielding things of immense power. The magic users, as Alice simply dubbed them, had given their children powers and abilities to counteract these anomalies, and though it was too late to save the civilization, the power was passed on. Bailey would say that neither she nor Clara had the powers, nor did their mother or any of her siblings.
Alice would bring up the monster that once haunted them when they were very young, a tall, long armed creature with sideways mouth filled with needle teeth. Alice was the only one that had been old enough to remember it, and had thrown things at the creature in the middle of the night for three nights, before the creature disappeared and never came back. Eventually, Alice was able to sleep again, and she argued that this was the trigger that brought out the dormant abilities. She also argued that she was the oldest, which was important in ancient cultures.
Bailey and Alice agreed that both their theories were equally viable, though Alice admitted that Bailey’s was the one that made the most sense as a scientist, and Alice’s made the most sense in terms of the world they had uncovered by accident. Clara thought both were possible, but were so many others, some which were really out there and some were downright mean. Clara had come up with one that the real Alice had been a stillborn baby, and the soul that was now in Alice’s body had been anomalous, which explained how Alice looked like their mother yet had the intense purple eyes. This one had hurt Alice deeply, but Clara refused to take it back.
The next day, nothing had happened to make Alice think that someone was suspicious of what happened in the apartment, and no one seemed to have seen her load a suspiciously shaped blanket into her trunk. Tyler was still in shock, but stated that he loved Clara, and would always love her, regardless of her bizarre family, because weird family was part of the package. Alice had hugged her future brother in law and smiled over her shoulder at Clara, mouthing, “he’s a keeper.” Clara nodded, though looking darkly and intense at her behind Tyler’s back.
The four of them toured the city that day, taking in the sites of Big Ben, the Crown Jewels, Buckingham Palace, and Alice had to suppress the feeling that she was near an anomalous item the entire time. It got strong when they viewed ancient weapons and she was able to hone in on an old, rust-covered ax with the card that said it had once been used to defend a castle long ago, and which the owner claimed had saved his life, according to records. Everyone assumed it was a figure of speech, but Alice could feel the aura around it, she felt it with all her senses, even ones she couldn’t describe in a tangible way, and knew that it was an anomalous object, but was safe behind glass. Sometimes she wished she could turn off her radar, as her sisters called it, but she just couldn’t, no matter how hard she had tried to do so in the past.
While walking the tourist traps on a side street, looking at souvenirs to bring back home, Alice looked up to feel something horrid, something powerful. It was in a tinker shop, and Alice motioned for the rest of the group to keep going, she would catch up. Her sisters gave her a knowing, disapproving look, and pulled Tyler along when he asked what was going on. She felt that stinging look, but it wasn’t like she could stop seeing the anomalous, she had no control over it. Her sisters had frequently asked her to stop getting involved, but Alice couldn’t know about the dangerous and anomalous things around her and not obtain them to protect others from getting ahold of them.
Alice walked into the small tinker shop and looked around before finding it, behind the counter and locked in a box, trying to get out and break free. She couldn’t see what it actually was, because it was locked in a hard, wooden box, but she could feel it, sense it, and it was powerful and vengeful, dangerous. The box was covered in carved, painted and drawn runes that looked Celtic in nature, with a solid silver lock and probably a silver interior. Silver was a powerful magical element, and was mostly used to protect against many devious entities and spirits, most famously Werewolves, and most commonly Ghouls, beings that were frequently confused with spirits, but enjoyed ripping humans to shreds and feasted on their organs, sometimes while they were still alive, and inhabited land were a lot of blood had been shed.
Alice asked about the box, because it looked so “cool”, snapping a pic of it, and the owner smiled politely, but said it was not for sale, and had already been purchased, and was due to be picked up later that day. Alice asked what he might be willing to accept to sell it to her instead, but the man shook his head and said there was no way he was going to sell it to anyone other than the man that had bought it already. He had paid more than Alice was worth. Alice scowled and the man scoffed at her, mumbling about big men not taking the hint, blokes got some money, think they can buy the world. Alice thanked the man anyway, and bought a necklace that had a faint aura of power about it, but it was almost invisible compared to the box.
Alice realized the shopkeeper had called her a bloke. She wasn’t always conscious of changing what she looked like to other people when she was acquiring an object, but she had learned to do it when she was a teenager and wanted to not get caught when she snuck out of school to seek out things that called to her. People rarely saw the exactly same person, and generally saw the person they might expect to purchase or take the anomaly in question. If it was a murder scene, they saw a middle-aged cop like ones on TV. If it was an estate sale, they saw a nicely dressed woman that came from money. Most times, they saw a middle-aged, average looking man, balding, in a simple but decent suit, carrying a briefcase or bag of some kind. This meant that it was almost impossible for anyone to link her to the purchase and acquiring of items.
Alice met up with the rest of the group and her sisters could tell that it had not gone her way. Alice worried who might be buying the item, and what might be inside it. She wasn’t sure, but it had been powerful, vindictive and dangerous. Those Celtic runes weren’t on the box just for show, and the box had been made of Holy Black Oak. It was a nearly extinct tree that was once revered for its magical and protective properties, and most famously had been used in the BCE era by the Daevites in many of their most powerful blood rituals. Specifically, their immortality rite, though the exact rite was long lost, and Alice wanted it to stay that way.
Alice looked back at the shop, catching the look of a man in a suit with a large briefcase in his hand, and the monogram MC&D engraved on the side of the briefcase. She felt her heart drop into her throat. Well, fuck.
Marshall, Carter and Dark were dealers in the anomalous and often dangerous to the highest bidder. They usually had objects that weren’t terribly dangerous, but if a client wanted it, then MC&D would find it for them. Something as powerful and dangerous as what she sensed was in that box could not go onto the market. But she was with her family, and trying something now was simply too dangerous, too risky. So instead, she just decided to put in a tip.
It was surprising how right conspiracy theorists were, at least about Big Brother watching. Organizations like SCP and GOC kept close eyes on forums that talked about the paranormal and anomalous, mostly to look for something that was legit. Using a public computer, Alice posted a picture she had taken of the box and pretended to be a male store owner, asking if anyone knew anything about the box, and why it seemed to shake on its own, that it was freaking ‘him’ out and he was selling it. A bit blatant, but she needed someone to get the box before it ended up on the selling floor, or in the wrong hands.
Her sisters were impatient while she posted the picture, and when she was done, she forced herself to realize it was out of her hands now, and she hoped someone would intercept it. Smiling as she and her sisters headed back to the apartment to get some needed sleep before the secret night tour of Stonehenge, she put the box and the buyer from her mind, as well as she could, and laughed as Tyler told a funny story about their first week here and all the mistakes they made as Americans in London.