And then there was nothing but silence

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The Goose, The Bad, and The Ugly
<< Part III | Part VI

The man gave out a slow clap.

"Well, well, well, looks like your little team made it out alive. It turns out not even the best of my creations can destroy your goddamn plot armor." The man's eyes were swollen, with little life behind them.

"Listen, you sick fuck - I have no idea what your game is, but it ends now!" said Bright as he quickly rushed towards the source of all their struggles, connecting all the dots to get the full picture of what's been going on. Though he was tired, his body was filled with determination, desiring to finally end all of the abysmal nonsense that has went down during the last two days.

"Oh, please." the man snapped his fingers, sighing in the process. "Incapacitate them."

From the shadows of Site-19's hallways, three giant human-like geese appeared behind Clef's back. They were massive, easily measuring over three meters, with hands the size of Cimmerian's head.

The creatures were not gentle, grabbing the men like dolls. Though they tried to fight, they were just too tired from all of the previous dimension-hopping and near-death experiences to be able to resist. SCP-507, Jack Bright, and Jeremiah Cimmerian found themselves tied up by the ungodly creations rather quickly.

"Why, Clef?" Cimmerian asked angrily, looking with a burning hatred at Alto.

"Jesus, do you think I'm a cartoon villain, going to monologue about my motivations?" said Clef, bursting out into uncontrollable laughter. "Looks like all of this bullshittery has gotten so far into your brains that there truly is no return for you."

Though he was laughing, tears started to go down his face. Like a madman, a living paradox, he continued this nonsensical action.

"Listen, you don't have to do this! I… I have that ten dollars I owe you on me if that's what you want!" said Bright in a final attempt to calm their executioner. He was desperate, trying to focus all of his brain cells on finding a solution to their hopeless problem.

"W-what?" asked Clef, continuing to laugh through tears. He looked right into Bright's eyes, having a problem understanding the man. It felt like he was unconnected to the rest of reality, trying to hide within his own bubble of thoughts. "You truly don't get it, do you?"

"Get what? The only thing I don't get is why you're murdering innocent people! I don't get why of all things, you're sending geese after us, and I don't get why suddenly you have become a literal definition of a villain!"

"Innocent? A villain? Are you really this delusional?" Tears started going down the man's face faster as he spoke. Like a river, they didn't stop coming, turning into a metaphorical waterfall of sadness and lack of love. "How can you not see it? How can you not see what you're doing?"

"What… what do you even mean?" Bright replied, now having an idea what Clef was talking about. One could almost feel his confusion changing the atmosphere in the corridor like a radiator.

"LOOK." Alto Clef snapped his fingers again. This time, the beauty of the dimension the crew landed in has rapidly deteriorated. Suddenly, Site-19 wasn't a beautiful lab full of happy people laughing over nothing.

It was a literal hell.

The building was filled with a rotting stench. The hallways were no longer full of life, laughing people, and party leftovers. They were filled with barricades, destroyed reality anchors, and people's bodies. As Cimmerian looked around, not believing his eyes, he saw Penny, a chemist of the second level of clearance, with her gun pointed at Cimmerian, crying. She was standing where the giant geese were just a moment ago. Alongside the woman, two junior researchers, all in bandages, hiding behind her back, looking at the trio. Penny stepped away from Clef's back, confidently walking towards the group. After a couple of steps, however, her legs started to shake, and she fell to her knees.

"I… I can't…" she muttered to herself, starting to crumble down in tears.

"What is this?" Jeremiah asked, trying his best to get out of his rope prison like a madman trying his best to find a way out of their cell. "What the fuck have you done?"

"What have I done?" Clef replied, laughing like a sociopath after committing a crime. "WHAT HAVE I DONE? Cimmerian, you fucking moron, we did that! All of us! Bright, Kondraki, Aktus, Iceberg, everyone! How do you not understand? Our shenanigans were never just simple fun, we were killing people, for fuck's sake! We were destroying cities!" he was screaming his lungs out, looking at all men, changing his viewpoint every second.

"No… no… no, no, no, no! That's… that's not possible…"

"Tell me, Bright, do you remember that time you and Cimmerian tried to kill Hitler?" suddenly, Clef's voice calmed down, resembling one of a grandma, telling a bedtime story to her grandchildren.

"W-what…?"

"Well, it wasn't fucking Hitler, you stupid idiot! You-"

"Stop! I-" tried to say Bright, only to be cut off by Alto.

"And do you remember the list of things you weren't allowed to do? Those were truly fun times, weren't they?" A voice crack similar to that of a fourteen-year-old going through puberty slipped into his sentence. It was clear the man was angered and tired to his core.

"D-don't…"

"Oh, so it's suddenly coming together now, isn't it?"

"Stop! Don't tell me anything else! I don't want to hear it, do you understand?!" Bright covered his ears.

"This world is so bullshit that even I, the only person who saw it, couldn't resist it! For years, I tried to tell you, I fucking tried, but you never listened! Shit, this reality is so dumb that even now I must obey its rules of bullshiterry! I had to send geese of all things after you! Geese, Jeremiah, geese! Why? I don't fucking know why! I just had to!" the screaming continued.

No one spoke a single word for the next five minutes. Five minutes that felt like literal decades.

"So… what do we do now?" SCP-507 asked, barely being able to speak. The amount of information and their implications were too much for a human to process.

"Oh, there is no more 'we', 507, there is only I. Now, I'll kill you. All of you. I will track down every single member of the goddamn senior staff and kill them. Then, after I'm done, I'll kill myself. That's the only way it can and will end" said Clef, loading a 9mm pistol he pulled from his leather belt.

"W-what? How are-"

507 was interrupted by a gunshot. It was a direct wound to the head, leaving no hope for survival.

Cimmerian and Bright looked at Clef with shock and fear in their eyes. Their minds just couldn't accept what has happened. It was too much.

"You…" Bright failed to speak. His hands were shaking. Even though in his miserable life he saw an overabundance of death, he wasn't ready for this. Not now, not like this.

"This will truly never end, do you understand?" Cimmerian shouted, his eyes wandering all over the place, trying to find a solution that would grant them freedom. "How are you planning on killing Bright? He's immortal, remember?"

The man was trying his last to survive. Though it was doubtful Clef hadn’t thought of that, that was the only fact that could save them now. There was no other option. At least not one Cimmerian could think of.

"Oh, trust me, I have my ways," said Clef, loading a bullet filed with a menacing, purple substance onto the weapon. The liquid was a sickening, pink-ish purple, burning one's eyes. Though Jeremiah tried to look at it, trying to identify what it was, it was just undoable. It was clear it was some sort of an anti-meme or cognihazard.

"W-w-w-w-wait!" Bright shouted, moving similarly to that of an animal cornered by its hunter within the rope prison.

"It's what you want, after all, isn't it?" Clef's voice was emotionless, his hand - shaking. Like an empty vessel, he was determinated to do what he had to do.

He shot the amulet, shattering the giant ruby in the middle of it into millions of pieces. Bright screamed with a voice that didn't sound like it belung to a human. He panically attepted to touch the amulet, trying to at least slow down its destruction. Though he was desperate to do so, strength started to leave his arms.

His eyes went dim.

"Clef, listen, it doesn't have to end like this! It doesn't!" Cimmerian screamed at the top of his lungs. "Look, I can still help you. I understand why you think this is the right thing to do, but it's not!"

"You don't! You don't understand! And you never will! Only I have seen it, to all of you this still makes sense!"

"Seen what?"

"The truth, Cimmerian. I have seen the truth. And even after that, I still couldn't resist this world. I don't know why, okay?! This doesn't make sense! Nothing anymore makes sense. After that, it was just a string of torture, Jeremiah. Do you know how it feels to wake up, every day, knowing that no matter how hard you try, no one will get you? You don't. And you never will."

"Look, man, I can help you. You just need to tell me how."

Alto Clef gave no response. Even the lights of Site-19 corridors went silent.

"Do you hear me?"

"C-Clef?"

"CLEF!"

"I'm so sorry, Jer." Clef burst out into tears again, finally showing some emotions, breaking the previous attempt at hiding them. "It was fun. I'm so, so sorry…"

"Wh-" - a deafening sound filled Cimmerian's head. His last thoughts wandered towards all the failed relationships. He thought about all those that rejected him. He thought about how even his mother didn't love him. He thought about how when there finally was hope for someone like him, the world decided to not let it happen. Maybe someday, in a different world, in a better time.

"Jess-"

And then there was nothing but silence.


Jessie Rivera entered the building of Chef's Kitchen Restaurant. She hadn't been here in years.

"May I help you, miss?" asked a young, handsome waiter, approaching the woman.

"I have a reservation for two at 5 PM under the name Rivera. Though it might also be under Cimmerian, I have no idea how he reserved it…" Jessie said happily.

"Rivera, Rivera, Rivera… Oh! Here it is! Please, follow me." the man gave her a wide smile.

Jessie looked around the restaurant, looking for the man, not finding anyone. Though it would make a normal woman angry, nothing could ruin this special day.

"Men these days…" she thought, sitting at the reserved place.

She waited, five, ten, fifteen minutes.

No one came.

"Is everything alright, miss?" The nice waiter from before came to her table. He was looking concerned for the woman.

"It's… it's okay. I'm just worried he forgot." Rivera replied, with her mood a bit worse than before.

"I understand… Maybe you would like something to drink while you're waiting?"

"Some whiskey would be alright."

She called the man once.

She called him twice.

After nine calls, she gave up.

She wished he would pick up the phone.

But every time, there was nothing but silence.

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