fuck i'll think of a title later
rating: +5+x


Motel Aether in the morning.

Item Number: XXXX

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: Two Foundation agents are to patrol the area in the case of Spectral-Class activity or civilian paranormal investigation. However, based on past precedent such events are unlikely. SCP-XXXX are not to resume service as motels, and Spectral-Class activity is to be actively dissuaded.

Description: SCP-XXXX is the designation for Motel Aether and Baratrum Motel, located in the outskirts of Alberhill, California. The two buildings are opposite each other on Interstate 15, and have been closed to the public for approximately three decades. Despite this, both show signs of constant upkeep and cleaning. EMF detection systems and exspiravimeters show abnormally high levels of Spectral-class entity activity in each building's vicinity, 20 to 30 times that of graveyards or other locations of such activity.

Viewing SCP-XXXX at night while wearing exspiravimeter-adjusted goggles will display a long line of low-level, humanoid Spectral-class entities waiting to enter. All of these entities are incapable of interacting with anything but other Spectral-class entities. Attempts to talk or communicate with these entities have been unsuccessful, though Umbral-level Spectral-class entities located at the front desk of both buildings have displayed the ability to converse with humans.

Containment of SCP-XXXX was deemed necessary by the Foundation Spectral Division following a sharp increase in activity at both locations during a routine inspection in late February 2020, strong enough to be detected from suborbital networks. Spectral Division's Agent Jeremiah Clark was sent to investigate and file a report.



[Agent Clark arrives outside of Motel Aether. The "No Vacancy" sign is currently unlit, and a line can be seen extending into the distance. Each entity is in varying states of decay, and wear various types of clothing from throughout history.]

Clark: Well, that's… a lot of people. Ghosts. Specters.

[Clark heads towards Motel Aether, and enters. The lobby currently looks similar to the banks of a large river, with a desk where the staff operates under a large pomegranate tree. Many entities are currently yelling and talking to staff, and the lobby is severely overcrowded.]

Clark: Quite a nice place here, given the age.

[As Clark is inspecting the various pieces of furniture, a human-like member of the front desk staff takes notice of him, and calls him over to the desk.]

Staff: You're not dead.

Clark: I am not.

Staff: So why're you here?

Clark: Building survey.

Staff: Don't sample the merchandise until you're ready to bite the bullet.

Clark: Alright, alright. If you wouldn't mind, could I ask you a few questions?

Staff: Can't say I'll give you an answer, but sure.

Clark: What is this place?

Staff: There's many, many, many names for it. You'll say it on your deathbed, trust me. Now, what was I saying again? Get out. We've got too many to deal with today. And too many in general. Please just leave me alone.

Clark: Spare time for a few other questions?

Staff: Fine, fine. If it'll get you off my back, I'll give you the new guy. Oi! Parallus, get your ass over here. We've got a live one.

Parallus: Oh? Really? How delightfully tantalizing!

Clark: Thank you.

Parallus: What a delight to meet you it is! We don't get to see new visitors like you quite that often.

Clark: Meaning those with flesh and blood?

Parallus: Well, we get those dripping it all the time. Though none with it… still there. And touchable. I've never seen a live one before, y'know that?

[Parallus touches Agent Clark's arm tentatively, before recoiling.]

Parallus: It's just like clay! Oh my. But what is your question? I appear to have digressed quite a bit.

Clark: So… what is this place? What do you do here?

Parallus: The great beyond, some call it. We take those in who believe in us, and banish those who don't. Very simple.

Clark: Hm. The entities here aren't quite specters. What are they?

Parallus: They aren't… y'know. Specters? Perhaps the most apt way to describe them would be in between, incapable of really doing anything or touching anything. Let me put it this way. When you're, say, boating down a river like we have here, a very grand and quick set of rapids, how difficult is it to paddle against it?

Clark: Very, very difficult.

Parallus: Precisely. All of those you see here are simply too tired to swim against where they are being taken. So they stay quiet, and don't expend their last shreds of energy here wasting time speaking with… you. Perhaps not 'wasting time,' you see, but you understand what I mean.

Clark: That I do. Admittedly, I must comment on the decor here. Absolutely stunning.

Parallus: See! Someone likes my design choices.

Staff: Wow. You actually found one. Now get out. We've had too many people to deal with recently, and I can't be bothered to deal with a non-customer. Believe it or not, it's a slow day today.

[Two large Umbral-class entities escort Clark out of the premises, tossing him onto the ground outside.]

Clark: Yeah, nice to see you too.




[Agent Clark arrives outside of the Baratrum Motel. The "No Vacancy" sign is currently lit, and a line can be seen extending into the distance, with a large gap in the line near the front. Similar to the Motel Aether, the entities are from varying historical periods, but the vast majority after the large gap are dressed in modern clothes, and are holding signs.]

Clark: Huh. Certainly longer.

[Clark enters. The decor does not change, and appears to be modern in design. A humanoid, red-skinned front desk staff notices Clark, and calls him over.]

Staff: Hey, can I help you?

Clark: That would be nice, yes.

Staff: I haven't seen you around before. Name's Rubic. Rubicante, but I prefer Rubic. Makes me sound a bit smoother.

Clark: Clark here. Nice to meet you.

Rubic: Looking for your circle?

Clark: Circle…?

Rubic: You know. Where 'divine punishment' happens, and all that jazz. You get your complimentary massage and smoothie yet? Come to complain to the manager? Cough on us a little bit, maybe? Pestilence is on break.

Clark: Ah, no. No. I'm alive.

Rubic: Ah, well, fancy meeting you here. Not everyday we get one of you. How's topside?

Clark: It's alright. Bit… confusing at the moment, but alright.

Rubic: That's good. People still tremble and quiver every once in a while?

Clark: You could say that.

[Rubic smiles.]

Rubic: Ah. That's good. That's good.

[Clark widely gestures to the lobby.]

Clark: So this place, it… seems newer, by comparison, to the one across the way.

Rubic: Manager got kicked out after he tried to open a rival chain to Aether while working there. Manager of Aether said he'd fallen too far, decided to break ties with him. Opened across the street, for spite, y'know how it is.

Clark: That I do, that I do. The line's pretty… long, in comparison with Aether over there.

[Rubic sighs.]

Rubic: We've always gotten more. Too picky there. Folks over at Aether are way too stuck up. Place isn't even that great either. All a bunch of fatass babies in your rooms when you check in, no choice of music, just shitty lyre stuff from 10 centuries ago, among other things. People talk it up way too much.

Clark: Have you noticed the gap?

Rubic: Gap? Thought we cursed that store awhile back. Fucking denim. Terrible, terrible shit.

[Clark shakes his head.]

Clark: In the line.

[Rubic looks blankly at Clark while rubbing its chin, before a flash of recognition appears on its face.]

Rubic: Ah, yeah. Those ones. You see the vacancy sign outside, no?

Clark: I have, yes. It's not infinite down there?

Rubic: Lemme let you in on a little secret. It is. We're just… a bit stuck right now. Don't want to let those folks in, the ones who've expired pretty recently. We've taken in the stragglers here and there, the decent ones, but we've needed to sneak them in through the side door.

Clark: What's the problem with them?

Rubic: Bit empty in the head up there. Big words coming from me, who lacks a brain in totality, but they're damned stupid. Got themselves killed in quite the idiotic way, and would lower the IQ of the damn place by 20 points or so for every one we let in. Not that the IQ test in itself isn't a very, very flawed test, but you understand what I mean.

Clark: Hm. I do.

Rubic: If you don't mind me asking though, what's your score?

Clark: Never took it myself, but I'd expect in the high range?

Rubic: Blast. Remind me to get you one next time I see you. I'll be here. Waiting.

Clark: Sure. Be seeing you.

[Clark exits the motel.]



Note: The following log was recorded as Agent Clark exited the Baratrum Motel as audio recording systems picked up multiple entities chanting. Given the distance from Clark to the crowd of modern-dressed entities, much of the log is low-quality.


[Sounds of marching, coughing, and wheezing can be heard throughout the log. The camera is oriented downwards, at Agent Clark's feet.]

Unknown Entity: We want freedom!

Crowd: We want freedom!

Unknown Entity: It's a muzzle! Not a [garbled]!

Crowd: It's a muzzle! Not a [garbled].

Unknown Entity: It's a hoax! All of it! Engineered by them!

Crowd: It's [garbled]!



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