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About Me
Image by @pepperjackets.

My name’s Alex Whalen and I play a lot of tabletop roleplaying games. I’m also a writer, so I end up going overboard on backstory to the point of writing actual stories. Now I’m sticking them here.


Total Word Count: 214,804
Total Stories: 47
Shortest Story: 537 words
Longest Story: 19,173 words
Average: 4,570 words


Recovered Footage Transcription, “Student Involvement Trip to Shepps Ridge!” 45 MINUTE READ

The following transcribed footage was recovered from a GoPro belonging to one Bradley Kasich Ferderer, a senior student at Onalaska University. The purpose of the GoPro recording seemed to be to document a hike for the Center for Student Involvement at Onalaska University, as part of an outreach initiative aimed at getting underclassmen out into nature, and into activities that promoted exercise. It has, unwittingly, served as the most comprehensive record to date of the effects of a containment breach on an unmonitored external element, and breakdown in communications about such a breach, and as such is approved for agent educational curriculum regarding site security. In the event that a trainee is unable to view the recording, this transcription should be provided to them.

(Transcription begins.)

The camera clicks on. It is centered on a white male in his mid-twenties, with short brown hair under a gray knit cap and a full beard. There are tiny flowers woven into the beard. The subject is identified as Bradley Kasich Ferderer, 23, senior student in the Environmental Science program at Onalaska University. He is grinning at the camera as he adjusts the settings. Just visible on his person is the collar of a teal North Face windbreaker and part of a large, patterned hiking backpack. A line runs from the GoPro to a small, foldable solar panel charge kit he’s mounted on the back of his pack. Behind him is a hilly meadow landscape, identified as an area on the outskirts of the Site 21 Exclusion Area (see notes). The time of the recording is logged as 8:57 am on the morning of September 21st, 2014. He clears his throat before he begins speaking.

FERDERER: (confidently) “Sup, everybody! This is Brad with Student Involvement, and today I’m out hiking Shepps Ridge! The Ridge is a, uh…”

Ferderer stops talking and the camera jostles as he rummages in his pants’ pocket for something. The changed angle shows his full outfit, which consists of the teal North Face windbreaker seen before, worn over a pair of salmon red cargo shorts with a variety of keyrings, compasses, and lanyards hanging from the front belt loops. There is also a small hatchet in a frog attached to his belt. Ferderer retrieves a small, red Moleskine journal from his pocket (see included document, “Scans from work journal of Ferderer, B. K.”) and flips it open before returning the camera to its previous focus on his face and beginning again.

FERDERER: (less confidently) “One more time… Sup, everybody! This is Brad with Student Involvement, and today I’m out hiking Shepps Ridge. Shepps Ridge isn’t really a hotspot for hikers because of how hard it can be to access, but, because of that, the area is pretty much pristine. I’m out today to blaze a trail with one of my best bros and two other students. We’re looking at a pretty hard difficulty trail today. No need for climbing or camping gear, but definitely not a good area for beginners.”

Ferderer flips a page in the journal audibly. His eyes flick over it before they refocus on the camera.

FERDERER: (continuing) “This is around the abandoned Rooskie Road, which was rumored to be used during the Cold War by some dudes who needed to do secret things in the woods out here! Spooky, right? No worries now, guys! There’s nothing out here today but animals and stuff. But that means you either need a guide from Student Involvement or orienteering training, because it’s easy to get turned around in the woods when there’s nobody around for miles.”

There is a sound of a branch cracking and muffled conversation. Ferderer glances up and grins again. The camera shakes as he shoves his work journal in his pocket.

FERDERER: (into the camera, excitedly) “Here they come! You’ll get the chance to meet them in a second. For now I’m just gonna pop this bad boy on…”

There’s a rapid jostling as Ferderer mounts the GoPro in a harness on his chest. From the new vantage point, the camera shows his hands, arms, and feet as he moves, as well as what’s directly in front of him. Now visible on his right wrist are a series of woven friendship bracelets and flexible band bracelets with inspirational words printed on them. He wears enough friendship bracelets for describing them to be useless, all in various states of wear. His most visible band bracelet reads “NEVER STOP DREAMING.” The bracelets have left pale bands on his otherwise tanned skin.

FERDERER: (calling out) “Hey, guys! Over here!”

As Ferderer approaches the newcomers, the three other civilians involved with the containment breach event are shown. From the left they are Vela Leander, 22, Anna Krylenko, 18, and Logan Dallas, 20.

Vela Leander is an attractive young woman with a Mediterranean look, long brown hair bound back in a high ponytail, dressed in a coordinated hiking outfit branded with Nike, North Face, and REI logos. She carries a small pack with a colored plastic water bottle on one side and a half-empty Starbucks refillable to-go cup on the other. She taps at a cell phone in a rose-patterned case as she walks. She is a junior student at Onalaska University, triple majoring in Marketing, Business, and Political Science with a minor in Psychology.

Anna Krylenko is a young Eastern-European woman carrying a large walking stick with a wrapped leather grip on which a number of gears and other mechanical parts have been glued. Her mode of dress best fits the “steampunk” subculture, and does not appear suitable for hiking. Her hair is dyed purple and beginning to show brown roots. She is a freshman student studying abroad at Onalaska University from Levandoskaya University in the Ukraine, majoring in Engineering.

Logan Dallas is a white male dressed almost completely in black, from his black canvas jacket to his large black boots. All of it has the uniquely scruffy look of very expensive clothing that was designed to be that way. His hair is also black and shoulder length. He wears noticeable eyeliner. A satchel slung over his left shoulder bears the logo of the band December Underground and he drinks from a water bottle, as he walks up, covered with other band stickers. He is a sophomore student at Onalaska University majoring in Philosophy.

FERDERER: (excitedly) “Sup, guys? Logan, my man, what’s good?”

Ferderer approaches Dallas, who looks visibly uncomfortable, and holds a fist out for the other young man to bump. After a second of hesitation, Dallas does.

FERDERER: “Didn’t catch you in lab the other day, bro, what gives?”

DALLAS: (muffled) “I didn’t want to go.”

FERDERER: (whispering so as not to be heard by the others) “You can’t bail on stream-cleaning day, man, the riparian zone needs you.”

DALLAS: (also whispering) “I burn really easily! And I came to this, so…”

FERDERER: (slaps Dallas on the back) “Yeah, you’re right, bro, super clutch of you. It’s all good.”

FERDERER: (turning back to the others) “Alright! I know Logan, but let’s get some names for our other hikers today!”

LEANDER: (waving) “I’m Vela, junior.”

KRYLENKO: (mutters something in Ukranian)


KRYLENKO: “Anna. I come from Ukraine. Ah… Freshman.”

Ferderer steps back from the other three and claps his hands together.

FERDERER: “Alright, so, have any of you broskis gone hiking before?”

DALLAS: (staring away to the side) “Yeah. Father made me.”

FERDERER: “Oh, that’s chill. Father-son bonding time is, like… super important.”

LEANDER: (excitedly) “Right? Oh my God, I miss hiking with my parents! They live so far away now and Facetiming on hikes is just, ugh, no.”

KRYLENKO: “I used to trek from my village to university in town. Was thirty kilometers. Nice walk.”

The others glance at Krylenko, apparently trying to gauge whether or not she is joking. She stands with her hands on her walking stick. Ferderer clears his throat while Dallas mutters something about “oppressive educational regimes.”

FERDERER: (cheerfully) “Good to hear, guys. Some experience goes a long way… if you know what I mean!”

Ferderer laughs at his own joke before waving for the group to follow, turning, and heading towards a slight dip in the rocky edge of the slope in front of him.

FERDERER: (gesturing to the ground) “This is going to be our point of egress into the Shepps Ridge nature zone. This area really hasn’t been touched in years, though there are rumors that…”

Ferderer pauses and steps back, closer to Dallas.

FERDERER: (quietly) “Hey, man, do you think it’s racist if I, like, talk about the old Russian stuff here with Anna around?”

DALLAS: (confused) “What?”

FERDERER: “Never mind, man. Hold up though. Are you wearing cologne?”

DALLAS: (defensively) “Yeah. ‘Kiss of Darkness’ by Hot Topic.”

FERDERER: (laughs) “Sorry, bro, didn’t mean to pry. You smell, like, super good—”

DALLAS: (stuttering) “T-thanks.”

FERDERER: (continuing) “—it’s just bears and raccoons and shit love perfume and cologne. You’re gonna be totally good today, don’t even worry about it, but in the future just try not to hit yourself with it when you go out the door for a hike or camping. I woke up with a bear in my tent once, and that’s not, like, a boner metaphor or anything—”

Dallas lets out some sort of strangled coughing sound.

FERDERER: (oblivious) “—man, it was bad news. Anyway, good talk.”

FERDERER: (loudly, to the group) “Like I was saying, nobody’s come down here in decades so the nature is pretty much totally untouched. There was one, uh, thing back in the, like, seventies with some Cold War scientists, I think, but otherwise nada. Just follow me down here…”

The footage is abridged in this section. Ferderer leads the hikers for several hours, calling out facts about the area and its wildlife as they descend winding dirt paths to the base of the ridge. Ferderer frequently walks backwards, allowing the camera to record how the hikers accompanying him traverse obstacles, make conversation, and react to the information he gives. The video quality and the light are very good. The last time Ferderer turns around, a tall chainlink fence topped with barbed wire comes into view. The chatter from the hikers tapers off. Ferderer keeps walking until he reaches a gate chained closed and secured by a padlock. The sign on the gate is rusted from lack of care. It reads, “WARNING: INTRUDERS WILL BE SHOT.” Below this message the insignia of the Foundation is printed.

DALLAS: “‘Warning: intruders will be shot’?”

FERDERER: (laughs) “I told you, old Cold War stuff. Don’t even worry about it. By the power invested in me by OU’s Student Involvement, I smack this shit down.”

Ferder swipes the sign down easily. It falls to the ground where Ferderer kicks some dirt over it.

DALLAS: “Uh, Brad? You sure about this?”

FERDERER: “Totally!”

KRYLENKO: (deadpan) “It is a shame I left my Kalashnikov in my home country.”

The others stare at Krylenko again, and she again gives no indication of whether or not she’s joking. Ferderer clears his throat and gets a multitool out of his shorts’ pocket. He uses it to separate one of the links on the chain holding the gate closed. It gives and the chain and lock hit the ground. Ferderer kicks them out of the way and lifts the latch holding the gate closed. It creaks open. Ferderer turns back to the group and holds his hand up for a high-five.

FERDERER: (enthusiastically) “Alright, who’s ready to hike the fuck out of this ridge?”

LEANDER: “Hell yes!”

DALLAS: (shrugs) “Well, no one probably actually cares, so…”

Leander strides forward and gives Ferderer a firm high-five, followed by Krylenko, and then Dallas, who wipes his hand off on his pants afterward. Ferderer follows the group and shuts the gate.

LEANDER: (tapping on her phone) “Anybody else in a dead zone? I’ve gotta update my followers so they know how gorgeous it is out here.”

FERDERER: “Yeah, sorry, Shepps has garbage reception.”

KRYLENKO: (digging in her shoulder bag) “Do not worry, I have brought refreshments that will give us the energy for this.”

Krylenko retrieves a bag of what appear to be dried beets and offers it to Leander.

KRYLENKO: “This you can have. I brought bag for myself.”

LEANDER: (insincerely) “Oh, thank you so much!”

When Krylenko isn’t looking, Leander throws the bag over her shoulder into the trees. Ferderer moves to the front of the group again and leads them up a crude path already cut through the brush and trees on the side of the ridge.

FERDERER: (calling back to the group) “Watch for loose rocks! Don’t want to get a twisted ankle out here.”

The footage is abridged in this section. After that warning, Ferderer resumes his routine from earlier in the hike, turning around to confidently walk backwards up the slope while sharing facts about trees, rocks, and small animals they encounter during the hike. Canny observers will note there are much fewer animals in this section of the recording than there were in the earlier leg of the trip. After a few more hours, the group reaches the crest of the ridge and a panoramic, breath-taking view of the valley below.

LEANDER: (awed) “Wow…”

FERDERER: “Welcome to the top of Shepps Ridge! Everybody good so far?”

DALLAS: (scoffs) “Fine. It wasn’t even that hard of a climb.”

KRYLENKO: "This reminds me of the country back home. Before the rockets and artillery destroyed the countryside, you know. Without exploded tanks the landscape is even more beautiful, yes?"

DALLAS: “Er… yeah.”

FERDERER: “Uh. Definitely.”

Ferderer steps closer to the edge of the ridge and braces himself with a foot on a rock outcropping. He pulls a leatherbound journal out of his other shorts’ pocket (see provided document “Scans of poetry journal, Ferderer, B. K.”) and flips it open. The camera can’t focus on the text, but it picks up Ferderer mumbling something about “rocks… socks, clocks…” as he scribbles a few lines in it.

LEANDER: (pointing to something in the far side of the camera’s view) “Hey, is that smoke? I thought you said we’re the only people out here.”

Ferderer shoves his journal back into his pocket and angles to look where Leander is pointing. The camera shows the valley again, with a thin line of smoke rising in the distance.

LEANDER: “Maybe a campfire?”

KRYLENKO: “Perhaps it is the burning husk of a bombed-out school house?”

Ferderer swings his backpack off of his shoulder and pulls a map and compass out of a side pocket. He holds it up and orients himself.

FERDERER: (confused) “Huh. There aren’t any buildings over there.”

DALLAS: (pointing at a crumbled area of rock) “Hey, Brad. There’s a trail down there, lower on the ridge.”

FERDERER: (concerned) “Someone could be lost. Are you guys down to check it out?”

DALLAS: “Sure. Why not?”

LEANDER: “Yeah, we can’t leave someone down there.”

Ferderer folds the map so it’s easier to hold, tucks the compass under his thumb, and turns to head for the trail.

FERDERER: “Stay close. Let’s just deal with one lost person today, okay?”

KRYLENKO: “That would be my preference, yes.”

The footage is abridged in this section. Ferderer takes point again but doesn’t turn around to do his usual walk-and-talk for the benefit of the camera and hikers. Ferderer leads the hikers for hours under the cover of trees, removing the reference of the smoke plume, and the camera tracks how, over time, his use of the map and compass becomes more uncertain and imprecise. Night begins to fall as they search.

DALLAS: (hesitantly) “Should we stop for the night? It’s getting kinda dark…”

Ferderer doesn’t acknowledge the question or the concern. He keeps walking.

KRYLENKO: “Bradley, I wonder… I see you often on campus talking to women. Why is this?”

FERDERER: “Gotta stay on my game, you know?”

LEANDER: (laughs) “Uh, ‘cause he’s a stud?”

Dallas scoffs. Ferderer turns around to talk, tucking the map under his arm and the compass back into his pocket.

KRYLENKO: “What is a ‘stud’ in this context? I do not follow.”

FERDERER: (to Leander) “Hey, you got an Instagram? I feel like I’ve seen you before.”

LEANDER: (smiling as she flips her hair over her shoulder) “Yeah! I’m @VelaLove. You probably follow me.”

FERDERER: (suggestively) “I definitely will now.”

KRYLENKO: “She posts many pictures with too much exposure, but they are nice to look at.”

DALLAS: (clearing his throat) “Brad, where are we?”

FERDERER: “Shit, right.”

Ferderer gets the map and compass back out. The light is so dim the map is almost illegible. Ferderer leans in to study it more closely. The compass needle turns wildly (see reference material “Standard Foundation Non-Discovery Anti-Civilian Countermeasures”). Ferderer gives it a shake with no results. He lets out a deep sigh.

DALLAS: (to Leander) “You should see my Instagram. I’m @AngelofPain446. I’ve got some pretty good photos, forty-five followers…”

LEANDER: (confused) “Forty-five? That’s it?”

FERDERER: (coughs) “Uh, so I’ve got some good news and some bad news.”

The party comes to a stop at the hesitant sound of his voice. The scene is eerily quiet. There are no bird calls or other sounds of nocturnal wildlife, just the slightly labored breathing of the hikers and the crunching of their footsteps as they shift on the rough ground.

KRYLENKO: “Bad news first, always.”

FERDERER: (laughs nervously) “Well, bad news: we’re lost.”

Dallas looks taken aback and then shakes his head at the ground. Leander’s eyes get very wide before she makes herself stand up straighter and project confidence. Krylenko nods, as if she was expecting the news.

LEANDER: “This is fine. We’ve got enough food to last the night, right?”

DALLAS: “Uh… I’ve got a chocolate bar.”

KRYLENKO: (gestures to her water bottle, and then the others’) “No water. What is good news, Bradley?”

Ferderer claps his hands together and then spreads them, as if trying to paint a picture.

FERDERER: (cheerfully) “You are about to have the most beast campout ever, courtesy of this guy!”

DALLAS: “None of us have tents or sleeping bags.”

FERDERER: “Nature is our tent!”

DALLAS: “That doesn’t make sense, Brad!”

Krylenko steps away from the group to investigate a tree nearby. She catches Leander’s attention with a wave and motions her over.

KRYLENKO: (barely audible) “VelaLove, come look at this. These are the catchings of bullets in this tree, right?”

FERDERER: (to Dallas) “It’s fine, Logan, it’s totally fine. We’re still in the Shepps area, okay? We just do one night out here, it’s not even a problem, and then in the morning we can get out of here with some light.”

DALLAS: “I’ve never camped in the air. My family camps in custom yurts!”

Ferderer reaches out and clasps a hand on the back of Dallas’ neck and squeezes. Dallas chokes off what he was about to say and sputters a little.

FERDERER: (quietly, but intensely) “Then, man, this is going to be amazing for you. I promise. I will keep you safe and give you the best night of your life.”

DALLAS: (gulps) “Uh…”

LEANDER: (screaming) “Oh my God, guys, there are bullets in this tree!”

DALLAS: (whipping around towards the others) “What?”

FERDERER: “Like, Airsoft?”

LEANDER: “No, like, army!

Ferderer and Dallas step over to the tree. Even in the low light, the camera picks up a spray of splintered holes in the trunk of the tree, the pattern matching automatic fire.

DALLAS: (shakily) “Whoa, okay, fuck this.”

KRYLENKO: “Calm yourself, Pain Angel, we are going to be fine. These matyooks could barely hit a tree, it seems.”

Vela snaps a picture of the tree on her phone (see additional documents, “Photo by Leander, V., hashtagged #wtf #freaky #LostintheWoods.”).

FERDERER: (uncertainly) “Man… Maybe the ROTC bros did some training out here?”

DALLAS: “It looks like someone went through here with, like, an AK-47, or something!”

LEANDER: (near-hysterically) “The terrorist gun?”

DALLAS: (taken aback) “Uh, maybe?”

Leander begins visibly hyperventilating. Ferderer waves his hands to get the attention of the group and then makes a gentle lowering motion with them for calm.

FERDERER: “Look, this is probably, like, super ancient. I told you guys about the Cold War stuff. If it wasn’t ROTC, it was army dudes from way back. Let’s just focus on finding a good campsite and settling in for the night. Everything’s gonna be awesome in the morning.”

KRYLENKO: (clears her throat) “And, no. Kalashnikov would have destroyed tree like capitalist ideals destroy middle class.”

FERDERER: (makes an offended sound) “Hey, man. The middle class is fine.”

DALLAS: (nods) “No, probably not an AK, but, like, full-auto at least.”

KRYLENKO: “Perhaps for you, Bradley of upper New York, but not all of us have North Faces and big cars purchased by our parents.”

DALLAS: (scoffs) “Speak for yourself.”

FERDERER: “Hey, I’m from Ohio.”

KRYLENKO: (gives Dallas a friendly punch in the arm) “I have seen the documentary Columbine Bowling. You seem like the type of student who knows about these weapons. Maybe you are right.”

DALLAS: “Uh… thanks?”

LEANDER: (still breathing fast, but calming) “Can we focus? Let’s… let’s make camp.”

FERDERER: (gives her a reassuring squeeze of the shoulder) “Absolutely.”

The group drifts further into the woods until they find a small clearing to settle down in. Leander busies herself digging in her small pack and laying out, sorting, and checking the condition of her hiking supplies.

DALLAS: (to Krylenko) “I do have a trenchcoat like the Columbine shooter in my dorm, but, uh…”

FERDERER: (slings an arm around Dallas’ shoulders) “Nah, my main bro here wouldn’t be that harsh.”

DALLAS: (trying to move out from under the arm) “Er, yeah. Thanks, Brad…”

Krylenko moves away to look through her own supplies. Ferderer pulls Dallas in closer.

LEANDER: (barely audible) “Did no one bring a tent?”

KRYLENKO: (barely audible) “This was advertised as chance to earn physical education credit, not overnight trip.”

FERDERER: (to Dallas) “No prob, bro. When’re you coming by the Delt house again?”

DALLAS: (nervously) “Sometime… later?”

FERDERER: (gives him a little shake) “Aw, you gotta make time. We’re throwing a kegger in, like, two weeks. Seemed like you had a good time at the last one.”

DALLAS: (coughs) “Um, that was… I…”

Ferderer pulls away. Dallas coughs again and turns his head, rubbing at the back of his neck. Ferderer turns back to the girls, both of whom seem to be at a loss about what to do with the group’s lack of tents.

FERDERER: “Alright, no worries. Let’s see what I can throw together.”

DALLAS: (speaking normally again) “I’ve got one of those, like, multitools, Brad. If it helps.”

FERDERER: (cheerfully) “Thanks, bro! I’ve got one, too, though.”

Ferderer inexpertly constructs a makeshift shelter out of his windbreaker and several sticks. The group collectively seems disappointed with his efforts. Dallas constructs another nearby to expand the usable space.

LEANDER: (looking at the shelter) “Guess we’re gonna have to cuddle…”

FERDERER: (laughs) “Don’t worry. All my girlfriends have said I’m like a human heater.”

DALLAS: “He really is. Uh, not that. I’m, uh…”

KRYLENKO: (cuts in) “We need fire.”

FERDERER: (gives a thumbs-up) “On it.”

Ferderer moves away from the makeshift shelter and works on clearing a circle for a fire pit. He yanks tufts of dry grass free and sets them aside for use as kindling, then gathers rocks to act as the rim of the fire. He assigns Leander to gathering firewood to keep her active and focused. Krylenko leans against a visibly nervous Dallas, ostensibly for warmth.

KRYLENKO: (sleepily) "In the home country, we would sometimes have to stay up in the night in case the secret police would come looking. I will do favor and keep watch for you, friends."

FERDERER: (as he builds a pyramid from dry twigs in the center of the fire pit) “Uh, thanks, Anna.”

Leander returns with an armful of firewood. Ferderer takes it with a firm clasp of hands and a smile. She smiles back. Then she moves back to the supplies she unloaded from her pack and stands with two walkie-talkies in hand. She looks around the group and settles on Dallas.

LEANDER: (offers the walkie-talkie to him) “I remembered these while I was getting the wood. Take it just in case, uh… Liam?”

FERDERER: “It’s Logan, bro.”

DALLAS: (takes walkie-talkie) “It’s fine. And it’s not like there’s wolves or anything out here.”

KRYLENKO: “Bradley, perhaps you set mood for us? One of your American tales of horror to frighten the VelaLove and make her hold on tight, yes?”

LEANDER: (takes a seat by the fire pit, laughs) “I have three brothers. I don’t scare easily.”

Ferderer takes out his lighter and flicks it. The kindling catches and, once that is burning well, he begins building a larger pyramid of logs over it. Those catch soon after, resulting in a sizeable fire. Leander claps. Ferderer seems to take a bow. Dallas laughs.

DALLAS: “Yeah, Brad. Know any good campfire stories?”

FERDERER: (laughs) “I’m not one for ghost stories. I get mad scared. But I have been working on learning some new songs.”

Dallas and Krylenko join Ferderer and Leander by the fire as Ferderer digs in his pack. He retrieves a set of spoons. Leander gives Dallas a confused look. Dallas shakes his head and nods at Ferderer as he settles back down.

FERDERER: (preparing his spoons) “You ever heard ‘Wonderwall’ on spoons? It’s incredible.”

Ferderer proceeds to perform Oasis’ “Wonderwall” on spoons, accompanying his expert playing with crooning in a deep, throaty voice. The performance is somewhat impressive. Leander’s eyebrows rise and she begins to sway to the song as it continues. Dallas nods his head slightly. Krylenko studies the whole event with interest.

KRYLENKO: “This song, does it have much cultural meaning to you Americans?”

DALLAS: (turning his head suddenly to look out away from the camp) “Guys. I think I heard something.”

FERDERER: (pointing to Dallas with spoons) “I hope you did, bro. That one… was for you.”

LEANDER: “Wow. Brad, are you a Music major?”

DALLAS: (to Ferderer, embarrassed) “No, something other than that. Come on, man.”

FERDERER: (to Leander) “Nah. I started out in Sports Management but found my true calling sophomore year. I’m Enviro Sci.”

DALLAS: (whispering) “I think I see something out there…”

FERDERER: “Don’t do this to me, bro. I told you I can’t do ghost stories.”

KRYLENKO: “Perhaps it is the Boogey-Down-Man.”

Leander bursts into laughter. Ferderer shakes his head at Dallas and gestures for him to follow. They stand at the edge of the light thrown by the fire. Dallas throws a rock in the direction he thought he saw something. Ferderer cups his hands around his mouth and shouts into the darkness.

FERDERER: “Hey! Anybody out there?”

DALLAS: (whispering urgently) “I’m not fucking with you, Brad, I know you hate that shit. But I saw something, and it wasn’t small.”

FERDERER: (throwing his hands up) “Well, I don’t hear or see anything. Let’s just go back, okay?”

DALLAS: (frustrated) “Okay.”

They rejoin the others. There’s some conversation as the mood relaxes and the group winds down. After a while Dallas produces a Ziploc bag of marijuana, cigarette papers, and a jet black blunt roller. The group ends up passing a joint around for a while. Ferderer briefly stops the recording, apparently to load fresh batteries and attach a night vision lens now that the sun has set, but resumes the recording in a new, greenish cast soon after.

FERDERER: (exhaling a plume of smoke) “Shit, someone remind me to cut this footage when we get back. Student Involvement would fire me in a hot second if footage of a university employee toking turned up.”

KRYLENKO: (mumbles something in Ukrainian)

FERDERER: (passes the blunt) “Thanks, Anna.”

DALLAS: (laughs and leans on Ferderer) “That thing earlier… it was probably just, like, a deer or something.”

FERDERER: (throws his arm around Dallas again) “Def! Bro, there’s tons of wildlife in this area. It’s just… so fucking beautiful, you know?”

LEANDER: (taking selfies by the light of the fire) “Yeah, don’t blow smoke near me. I’ll lose my contract with Insta for promoting drugs or smoking. Do you guys know a good filter to, like, de-redden eyes?”

FERDERER: “Dude. Obama did coke. Funhaters.”

KRYLENKO: (groggily) “Are we taking pictures now? I will take one of you all.”

DALLAS: (to Leander) “Uh. Could you use the redeye tool?”

LEANDER: “Louis. You are a genius.”

DALLAS AND FERDERER: (simultaneously) “Logan.”

FERDERER: (laughs) “Bruh. That was classic. Anyway, one time I made a gravity bong... One of the most intense highs of my life. Swear.”

LEANDER: “So, what are you guys majoring in?”

KRYLENKO: (perks up) “My major is in Engineering. The mechanical and the—”

Barely audible on the recording is a sudden, desperate scream. The group collectively jumps. Dallas drops the blunt and it rolls away into the grass. Ferderer jumps to his feet and looks out into the dark. The camera shows only trees beyond the glare from the light of the fire.

FERDERER: (shakily) “Fuck!”

DALLAS: “What the—?”

FERDERER: (takes off running towards the source of the scream) “Hold on, bro!”

LEANDER: “Brad!”

KRYLENKO: (distantly) “Slow down, Bradley! Please be careful of wolves!”

DALLAS: (shouting, almost inaudible) “Wait! Brad, you dumb jock!”

The footage shows Ferderer running some distance, pausing now and then to try to reorient himself in the direction he believes to have heard the scream from. Eventually he comes to a stop. On the ground in front of him is a trail of dark liquid on the recording. Dallas, Krylenko, and Leander eventually catch up with the sound of heaving breaths and their crashing movement through the undergrowth. They come up short, too.

FERDERER: “Whoa, this is…”

DALLAS: (breathlessly) “Oh God, is that blood?”

FERDERER: (beginning to follow the trail) “…I think it is.”

LEANDER: (near-hysterical again) “What the fuck do you idiots think you’re doing? Do you even know how to get back to camp?”

FERDERER: “If there’s someone out here, hurt, we can’t abandon them!”

Krylenko screams in pain somewhere behind Ferderer. Ferderer turns toward the sound. Distantly, the camera shows Krylenko’s pale figure and another, larger one. The larger figure, identified to be an instance of SCP-5518-B, runs away as Leander, Dallas, and Ferderer sprint towards Krylenko.


Leander stumbles up close to Krylenko and supports her as she slumps to sit on the ground. Her eyes are wide as she holds a hand to her chest and stares out at the tree line. Blood flows freely from a massive wound which has shredded her blouse.

LEANDER: “Oh God, Anna, you’re bleeding!”

FERDERER: “Who was that?”

DALLAS: “Oh fuck, does anyone have a First Aid kit, or something?”

KRYLENKO: (shakily) “There was some kurva who attacked and injured me! He was covered in blood!”

FERDERER: (confused and panicked) “‘Kurva’? Anna, speak American!”

LEANDER: (breathing fast) “New plan! We all stick together! Buddy system, at least! Lex, do you still have my walkie-talkie from earlier?”

DALLAS: “Yeah, and it’s Logan!”

LEANDER: (calming) “Okay! Keep it turned on and close to you. I’ve got the other one, so we’re the team leaders. Right?”

DALLAS: “Uh… okay?”

Krylenko struggles to search through her bag, but eventually produces a First Aid kit. More blood runs from the wound on her chest and she sways with every movement. Even with the poor definition in the night vision camera recording, the wound is visibly strange. The flesh around the edges appears melted and warped. Dark veins stand out against the deep red of the exposed internal tissue. Ferderer pulls a survival guide out of his back pocket and thumbs through the pages with bloody fingers.

DALLAS: (to Krylenko) “What did he look like?”

KRYLENKO: (with effort) “Was… a man in a hooded sweatshirt. Covered in blood. He… struck me very violently.”

DALLAS: (looking down at the ground) “Oh, God, that’s a lot of blood…”

Krylenko and Ferderer do their best to clean and dress the wound with her First Aid kit, but can’t appear to make any difference to the way it’s warped and strange-looking. Leander shrugs out of her windbreaker and gently covers Krylenko with it.

LEANDER: “It won’t match, but it’ll keep you covered up.”

KRYLENKO: “We should move before the man returns. Perhaps we… should find where that smoke was from, before. May be spot for safety.”

DALLAS: “We should leave this whole place, now.

LEANDER: “Agreed. We’re leaving. Pick a direction and let’s go. Brad, can you navigate by starlight?”

Ferderer remains crouched next to Krylenko, hands twisting together. Then he stands.

FERDERER: (quietly) “Guys… whoever… whatever that thing is, we gotta find it.”

The group collectively stops. Their shock and confusion is apparent.

DALLAS: “What? No! We should leave!”

FERDERER: (getting in his face) “Anna can’t make the hike! That means we have to stay here until we can reach help! Either we stay here with that thing running around, or we kill it before it hurts us again, or anyone else!”

DALLAS: “This is how every horror movie starts, and they never end well!”

FERDERER: “Help Anna up and help her walk. We need to find shelter and make weapons.”

DALLAS: “What the fuck happened to nature and love and peace, man! You’ve got fucking flowers in your beard! Bro, I love you, but you’re being a fucking idiot right— Brad!

Ferderer turns away from the group and heads back into the woods, picking up the blood trail and following it.

FERDERER: (yelling) “Come at me, asshole!”

LEANDER: “Brad, if you leave— Dammit!”

Behind Ferderer the camera barely picks up the sound of Krylenko being helped to stand and the rest of the group following. Someone turns on the flashlight on their phone and shines it ahead of Ferderer. Its light falls on a boulder outcropping and a figure perched on it. As soon as the light hits it, the figure takes off with inhuman speed.

DALLAS: (screaming) “What the fuck?”

FERDERER: “After it!”

Ferderer takes off running after the figure again in a blur of limbs and trees on the recording. Dallas seems to be close behind him, from the sound of his labored breathing, while Leander and the injured Krylenko fall behind. Ferderer stops short as he comes upon a massive concrete wall topped with barbed wire.

FERDERER: “Whoa. What the fuck?”

KRYLENKO: (catching up) “Bradley, you must slow down. I am not the spry young mountain flower I began this hike as.”

FERDERER: (shines his own phone flashlight on the wall) “What the fuck is this? Some more ROTC shit?”

DALLAS: “What?”

LEANDER: (annoyed) “Brad, this clearly isn’t ROTC.”

FERDERER: “Then it has to be Cold War. They built shit to stand up to nukes, right? Let’s see if we can get inside… Holy shit! Car!”


Ferderer was turning as he spoke and now the camera faces his find— a nondescript sedan parked nearby. He leaves the wall and walks over to the car, trying the handle. It’s locked.

LEANDER: (to Dallas and Krylenko) “One of you knows how to steal a car, right?”

DALLAS: “…I can try to jimmy the lock?”

KRYLENKO: (to Leander) “Are you police officer?”

LEANDER: (confused) “No?”

KRYLENKO: (stepping forward) “Then yes, I am very good in the procurement of motor vehicles.”

Dallas works his multitool into the lock by the light of Ferderer’s cell phone and is able to get the door open. He waves Krylenko off.

DALLAS: “Got it! But we don’t have the key, so we can’t drive it unless Anna knows how to hotwire.”

LEANDER: “Good job, Louis!”

DALLAS: (muttering) “Logan.”

FERDERER: “Girls, you get inside and lock the door after you. Me and Logan are gonna check out this place, see if we can get inside to get us safer. Anybody tries some shit, hit us up on the walkie.”

Leander helps Krylenko slide into the driver’s seat and bend down to feel under the wheel.

KRYLENKO: “Let me try my hand at this, yes?”

Leander sits on the hood of the car as she works, and Dallas and Ferderer prepare to scout the rest of the area. Krylenko tries something with the wires of the car and there’s a sputtering sound. She slams a hand on the steering wheel and sighs.

KRYLENKO: “The car appears to be dead. Is sad day.”

LEANDER: (fearfully) “Um, guys?”

FERDERER: “What’s up?”

Ferderer turns toward where Leander is looking and the camera picks out a figure, the instance of SCP-5518-B from before, just ahead.

FERDERER: “Oh, shit.”

LEANDER: (quietly) “Forget the car. I want to get inside. Now.”

Ferderer walks towards SCP-5518-B, yanking the hatchet hanging from his belt free. Krylenko slips out of the car in the corner of the camera’s view and darts for the trunk. The sound of it opening comes from behind as Ferderer gets closer to SCP-5518-B. He squares off with it.

KRYLENKO: (barely audible) “This will even the odds, perhaps?”

DALLAS: (louder, urgently) “Anna, give me the gun! I’ve been shooting with my mom!”

Ferderer stumbles forward as something hits him from behind, throwing him closer to the instance of SCP-5518-B in front of him. The camera gets a clear shot of its face as Ferderer stumbles. It is one, fused mass of tissue, and the hand it brings up to strike at Ferderer’s front is streaked with blood and other fluids.

DALLAS: (screaming) “Brad, look out!”

KRYLENKO: (distantly) “We are running now!”

LEANDER: (barely audible) “I’m right behind you, Anna!”

Ferderer shouts in pain but recovers his feet. He turns to face the instance of SCP-5518-B which attacked from behind and swings his hatchet into its face. It crumples as a shot rings out. Ferderer turns around, yanking at his hatchet to try to free it, in time for the camera to catch SCP-5518-B stumbling back from a gunshot. It turns and flees back into the woods.

DALLAS: “Brad, come on!”

Ferderer limps up to Dallas as he rushes forward. Krylenko and Leander round the car and run up to them. Leander touches Ferderer’s arm and then moves to examine the instance of SCP-5518-B on the ground. Its body barely looks human. It resembles a large, cancerous tumor, fused and bloody, in a gray t-shirt and khaki shorts.

FERDERER: (strained) “Is everyone okay?”

DALLAS: “Did… did I kill it?”

FERDERER: “Nah, bro, it ran off. But you had my fucking back so hard. That was so clutch.”

Ferderer pulls Dallas into a tight hug. Dallas doesn’t fight as much, or as soon, to get out of it.

DALLAS: (muffled) “Can’t breathe, Brad.”

FERDERER: (releasing him) “Oops, sorry.”

LEANDER: (to Dallas) “Nice shootin’, Tex.”

DALLAS: “It’s Logan.”

KRYLENKO: (exhausted) “Please, Bradley, do not thank me for enabling Logan to save you. You are too kind.”

FERDERER: (laughs and gives Krylenko a gentle hug) “Oh, you too, Anna-Banana. Sick find.”

Leander searches the pockets of the corpse but comes up empty-handed. Ferderer follows Krylenko back to the trunk of the car to investigate where she found the gun, running his hands over a locked case found next to it. Dallas checks the clip in the handgun. The camera picks up Krylenko watching Leander investigate the corpse.

KRYLENKO: "Perhaps you should take one of your pictures with the defeated enemy? Like victorious conqueror."

FERDERER: “Nah. Would harsh the vibe I have going on my Insta.”

LEANDER: (distantly) “Well, I’m doing it. Fuck Instagram. If they really cared about me, they should have sent a chopper when I stopped posting for more than an hour.”

Dallas and Leander both take photos of the deceased SCP-5518-B (see files “Photo by Dallas, L., captioned ‘WHATTHEFLYINGFUCKWHOTHEFUCKWHYYAHHH.’” and “Photo by Leander, V., captioned ‘Just got attacked in the night! #ew #creeper #justsayno #TakeBackTheNight.’”). Ferderer and Krylenko try the case lock and find they can’t open it without a code. Ferderer looks at Krylenko. The camera finds her sweating and clutching her stomach.

FERDERER: (quietly) “How you holding up, Anna?”

KRYLENKO: “May we try to head inside, or something? I am feeling the need to lay down.”

LEANDER: (calling back to them) "Brad, you have an Instagram, right? What is it? I want to tag you in this."

FERDERER: “It’s kind of a secret from my Delt bros, so keep it on the DL. I’m @BrotherNature92. Don’t tag me in that nastiness, but after all this… Yeah, I’d be a dick to say ‘don’t follow me.’”

DALLAS: (walks the length of the cement wall) “I’m not seeing a door or anything but there has to be… Oh. You, uh. You guys should come see this.”

The group slowly reassembles and moves towards the sound of Dallas’ voice. They find him standing in front of a heavy-duty, destroyed metal gate. Strewn around the gate are the bodies of several foundation security personnel, savagely mauled despite standard-issue light body armor, with melted wounds to the face and hands.

KRYLENKO: “This is one of your CIA ‘black sites,’ perhaps?”

DALLAS: “Maybe?”

LEANDER: (bitterly) “Told you this wasn’t ROTC.”

FERDERER: “This is… I don’t know what the fuck this is. Everybody, stay close.”

Dallas leans down and checks the pockets of one of the deceased security personnel. He retrieves a wallet, which he looks through. He holds up an ID card.

DALLAS: “Guys, anyone heard of the ‘SCP Foundation’?”

Krylenko grabs her stomach and sags at the waist. Ferderer reaches out to hold her up.

FERDERER: “Hey, let me check out that wound again.”

KRYLENKO: (leaning against Ferderer) "Perhaps that man did more damage than I thought. My insides burn… I am feeling like death knocking."

Krylenko holds open the windbreaker to let him look. Ferderer undoes the dressing, already soaked-through with blood, to reveal the wound. Even in the poor lighting it appears badly infected, which would be impossible under normal conditions. He reapplies the dressing.

FERDERER: (shakily) “It’s, uh… I… I’ve got something that might help.”

Ferderer takes one of the flowers that had been woven into his beard and tucks it behind her ear. Krylenko gives him a thin smile. Ferderer turns away at the sound of Dallas trying to force open the interior door to the building. It has been padlocked twice, and a crowbar is wedged through the handle. Dallas slides the crowbar free and hefts it. He attempts to use it on the door, to no better result.

KRYLENKO: (strained) “It is almost as if no one wanted what is in there to get out. Maybe we follow the road away and leave dogs that are asleep to their dreams.”

DALLAS: “That thing is still out there! And who knows how many more.”

KRYLENKO: “And what is in there?”

Dallas drops the crowbar. Leander picks it up, apparently to use as an improvised weapon. Dallas forces shaky hands through his hair, pushing it back from his face.

FERDERER: (quietly) “We need to get Anna to a hospital.”

DALLAS: (sighs) “I'll check out the road. I'll use the walkie-talkie if it looks good. Keep trying the door.”

Krylenko wobbles on her feet. Ferderer closes in and catches her, lifting her up in his arms and partially obscuring the camera. Krylenko leans into him, digging her fingers into him. Her breathing is panicky and shallow. Dallas disappears down the road. Leander tries several times to use the crowbar as leverage to break the locks on the door. Leander’s walkie-talkie crackles.

DALLAS: (through walkie-talkie) “Up the road… more bodies.”

FERDERER: (softly) “Shit.”

After another moment, there’s a shout from Dallas in the distance. Leander clutches the walkie-talkie, waiting for a call. Instead, Dallas appears, running down the road and clutching his arm.

LEANDER: “Logan, what happened?”

DALLAS: (panting) “The other one, it… The gun jammed… It got me. Arm burns.”

Krylenko leans further into Ferderer and lets out a deep, guttural moan.

DALLAS: “Fuck, Anna, you okay?”

FERDERER: “We need to get the car running. Could you, like, use your multitool like a screwdriver to start it? I’ve seen that in movies.”

KRYLENKO: (strained) “That is movies.”

DALLAS: “Yeah, the only way the car maybe gets running is with keys.”


Dallas charges up to the facility door and takes hold of the crowbar Leander left wedged in the door. Fueled by adrenaline, he throws all his strength on it. The door groans but the locks give. It pops open.

LEANDER: “Goddamn!”

DALLAS: “Finally! Guys, get in now!”

The group moves through the opened door into a hallway. The camera shows more bodies strewn about, some with the same wounds as the ones outside, but others with different wounds and apparent mutations. There are a few doors visible from the entrance, including a metal door that has been very badly damaged. It opens onto a staircase leading down.

FERDERER: (softly, to Krylenko) “Hey, just hang in there. Stay strong for your family back home in, uh… Uzbekistan?”

KRYLENKO: (mutters angrily in Ukrainian, then makes pained sounds)

FERDERER: “Keep a lookout for anything that could help Anna and Logan.”

Krylenko mutters something about the case Leander is carrying from the car. She begins to cough, hard. Dallas stops short. The camera shows a trail of bloody footprints leading towards the door at the staircase. Dallas points at them, silently, raising a finger to his lips. Leander nods. Krylenko muffles her coughing in Ferderer’s chest.

FERDERER: (whispering) “Shit, did anyone think of a code for that case? There might be something inside we could use.”

LEANDER: (whispering) “I’ll look around and see what I can find.”

Leander and Dallas head for the offices as the group moves away from the door with the bloody footprint trail. Several minutes pass as they sort through physical files and attempt to access computers. Krylenko suddenly begins to hit Ferderer, forcing him to set her down. She gasps and claws at her throat as he steps back.

FERDERER: “Holy shit! Anna, breathe!”

Krylenko throws herself back against the wall in her struggle. Her hands lock around her throat and she makes choked, screaming sounds as her airway closes. Her eyes bulge in her head. She can’t breathe. Ferderer stays out of her flailing range and shouts for help.

DALLAS: (running in from other room) “Oh, fuck!”

LEANDER: (from doorway) “S-stab her in the throat with a straw, or something! Anything hollow!”

FERDERER: “I don’t have anything hollow!”

As the group watches, Krylenko’s face warps. The flower behind her ear and her hair pull inwards and disappear under fast-moving flesh growth. Dark veins pop out against her pale skin as it moves. Her face fuses closed in a matter of seconds, turning into a horrifying mask of bloodied flesh. Krylenko slides to her knees before collapsing to the floor.

FERDERER: (screaming) “Holy fuck!”

LEANDER: (voice breaking) “Anna!”

DALLAS: “No, no, no! No, fuck, this can’t be happening!”

Dallas pulls the gun and trains it on Krylenko, shaking hard.

LEANDER: (frantically) “Did anyone find the code for the case? Or the keys?”

DALLAS: (stuttering) “T-there was a file, on the computer in there… Something, ‘predator symbiote,’ or something!”

FERDERER: “What the fuck does that mean? I’m in Environmental Science!”

Leander darts into the room Logan was in previously. The camera picks up distant keyboard clicking as she hits keys. Dallas steps forward, hesitantly, and nods to Ferderer. Together, they move Krylenko’s body into one of the other empty rooms and barricade the door. Ferderer grunts and clutches at one of his wounds. Dallas makes a sympathetic grimace and touches his own arm. He looks at Krylenko, then back at Ferderer. His face appears paler than normal.

FERDERER: (quietly) “It’s gonna be okay, Logan. I promised I’d keep you safe.”

LEANDER: (distantly) “Guys? Get in here.”

Dallas and Ferderer move into the room with Leander. She gestures them over to look at the screen she’s reading from. The camera can’t pick up much from the computer monitor, but words such as “memetic,” “uncontrollable mutation,” “total respiratory failure,” and “experiments” are legible enough.

FERDERER: (slams hand on desk) “Fuck! None of this has to do with salmon and over-fishing!”

Leander uses CTRL+F in the document and begins plugging in search terms. The first is “code.” The search pulls up “genetic code,” but nothing else obviously connected with the case in the group’s possession. Leander rubs her eyes.

LEANDER: “I’ve got nothing, guys. I’m sorry.”

Ferderer takes the case and puts it up on the desk. He tries the code “1234,” apparently out of frustration. Leander laughs.

LEANDER: (exhausted) “Try ‘password’ next.”

DALLAS: (pointing at computer screen) “Wait, here! At the top of the document. ‘SCP-5518.’ It’s a four digit code, right? Try 5518.”

Ferderer tries “5518.” The case opens. Leander whoops and Dallas clenches his fists in victory.

FERDERER: “Logan, bro, you’re amazing.”

DALLAS: “Don’t thank me yet. Let’s just try not to die.”

Inside the case are several phials of what appears to be congealed blood, various files, and a plastic bag containing a single red-and-white pill (SCP-500). Ferderer jerks as they search the files, spilling the contents of one. He lets out a choked sound of pain.

DALLAS: “Oh, fuck! Brad!”

Dallas opens the bag and pours the single pill into his hand. He holds it up and looks between the pill, his bleeding arm, and Ferderer.

FERDERER: (strained) “Is that… medicine? You gotta give it to Anna. Ladies first.”

DALLAS: “Is she still alive, even?”

LEANDER: (aggravated) “Does she have a mouth to swallow with?”

Dallas looks at Ferderer and gulps. He gives him a strained smile.


DALLAS: (laughs without feeling) “Rock, paper, scissors?”

FERDERER: “No, bro. You take it.”

DALLAS: (floored) “You… You sure, man? I only got a Philosophy major, you’ll… you’ll be more useful to the world.”


Ferderer reaches into his shorts’ pocket and pulls out the leatherbound journal seen earlier in the recording. He hands it to Dallas.

FERDERER: (with a weak laugh) “Remember me for more than weed, and keggers, and… and not being able to say what needed to be said.”

DALLAS: (voice cracking) “Of… Of course…”

Dallas holds the pill up to his mouth. He stops before swallowing it, looking at Ferderer. His facial expression is tortured. Eventually, he swallows the pill. After a moment his eyes flutter closed and tense muscles in his face and neck relax. It is somewhat hard to tell through the blood on his skin, but his wound appears to shrink and close. Leander steps forward and holds up her phone.

LEANDER: (to Ferderer) “Can I get a pic? Just…”

Ferderer pushes himself upright and throws a complex sign with his hand (identified as Onalaska University Delta Sigma Kappa chapter handsign). Leander takes the picture (see “Photo by Leander, V., hashtagged #thanksbro #BradFerderer @BrotherNature92.’”).

FERDERER: “You guys, get out of here. I’ll stay and make sure Anna… doesn’t follow. For as long as I can.”

Dallas rounds the desk and leans in close to Ferderer.

DALLAS: (whispering) “I was lying, Brad, that time. I…”

FERDERER: (quietly) “I know, Logan. I know. Me too. Go.”

Dallas steps away as Ferderer pushes himself up and moves back towards the door to the hall. Behind, Leander makes a noise of surprise and there’s a jingling sound.

LEANDER: (near-hysterically) “Keys! Just— Fucking here on the hook! They look like car keys!”

DALLAS: (looking to Ferderer with new hope) “Come on, Brad, it’s not over yet! Can you walk on your own?”

FERDERER: (laughs weakly) “I’ve had worse than this… in intramural Ultimate Frisbee.”

The group moves into the hallway. As they walk, Dallas stops by the door leading downstairs. He looks back at the others and holds up the handgun.

DALLAS: (hesitantly) “There could be more stuff down there. Maybe more pills.”

FERDERER: (pushing ahead of him) “Stay back. Let me go down first.”

Leander stays behind as first Ferderer and then Dallas start down the stairs to the facility’s lower level. There is the sound of tapping on a smartphone screen behind Ferderer and suddenly light falls over the space below. Leander stifles a scream.

DALLAS: (horrified) “Oh, God…”

A chorus of wails and snarls comes from below. At least a dozen instances of SCP-5518-B, alerted by the light and the sound of the two men descending the stairs, turn their fused faces upwards. Several begin to stand. Ferderer swings back around to the others and shoves Dallas back up the stairs.

FERDERER: (screaming) “Go, bro! Go!”

LEANDER: “Logan, you have five fucking seconds to get up here and to the car before I leave without you!”

Ferderer turns back to the snarling group of SCP-5518-B as the sound of Dallas and Leander running back up the stairs and away fades. He roars and throws himself on the group, punching and kicking wildly at any of the affected he can reach. They slash at him, one blow cutting a strap of the camera harness so it hangs at an angle and swings wildly as Ferderer fights. The audio is full of inhuman screaming, snarling, pained cries from Ferderer, and the sound of flesh and clothing tearing. Eventually, Ferderer falls.

The recording is abridged in this section. The camera continues recording the ruined lab and Ferderer’s out-flung, bloodied hand for another thirty minutes before the battery fails.

(End transcription.)


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