In The World Where The Fog Has Vanished
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Mujin is the biggest Nexus in the Korean Peninsula in two characteristics, size and anomaly. Mujin's anomaly always appears with some kind of relationship with fog, and the most visible side of it is the isolation. Therefore, even if there is high anomalous activity, most of the anomalous events that occur in Mujin is not a threat to the veil policy and remains as a personal experience. It also appears to be related to the sporadic decline of the local Hume level in Mujin.

- Dr. Seonwu Anan, Investigating Characteristics of Mujin as a Nexus

October 31st
Mujin, South Jeolla, Republic of Korea

It is not a rare situation for a coastal city to have a mist seizing in, but Mujin's case is a little different. It only changes it's density from fog to mist and mist to fog. It has never left from Mujin entirely. It is called the harbor of the mist for a reason.

Some visitors say that if the mist were not there, the tourism or industry of Mujin would have flourished much. That is undoubtedly an undeniable truth. In Mujin, every sublime view lost it's meaning behind the mist, every valuable idea tarnishes out in the mist, and every flaming passion fades out within mist. The mist had isolated this countryside from the outside, and Mujin just settled vaguely without any dynamism or inspiration as it is muffled by the mist. As one masterpiece literature has described with the "smell of rotting dead body," Mujin is a place like a stagnant puddle. The reason why I had pleasure as I left the Mujin in my childhood for study, was that liberation from this damn countryside, this damn fog.

However, as I get older, I am back in Mujin as a member of society. Mujin itself looked different from the view of a Field Agent in The Foundation. The town's small province looks like it is snoozing in lassitude given by the mist. Still, as the most significant anomalous area in the Korean Peninsula, the city is the home of each person suffering to get over the unreality and to hold on reality. So it's just that; there isn't any affordability left. The disgust I had in my hometown has been almost bleached out in the time of working here. No, now I even feel strange attachment over the sympathy I had.

At the end of October, on one autumn day, I was on the usual patrol road riding a bicycle. Nx-64 is a space with uncountable unusual events and anomalous items, but it is also a home of citizens who don't know of the veil. That is why we have to remain undercover. Same for me, I put up the cover, as all the Field Agents do. Someday, I was a late return student in The Mujin University. Someday, I was a cop in the Seomyeon police department. And some other day, I was a watcher of Mujin harbor… Right now, I am acting as a salesperson in a small insurance company, and my task is to roam and find any anomalous symptom in the southern area of Mujin.

It was an early afternoon, where the fog is already covering the sunlight, and street lamps are stretching up to get on their role. I turned the LED light-one of the necessities of one whom wanders in the misty trail of Mujin-on and treadled the pedal, sitting on a metal frame with a helmet on. I liked to work riding a bicycle. It lets me cover the larger area compare to walking, but it also gives me denser information compare to driving.

I got through the houses and stores mushroomed near Mujin Airport and entered the village road along the coast. On the right side of the road, there are lined breakwaters sitting and facing the Gwangyang Bay. As I was following the road, I found a jetty pointing seaward that was out from rows of breakwaters. Neighboring villagers barely know about this jetty. Of course, they don't. The Foundation has assigned contained it as the SCP-521-KO.

SCP-521-KO is a functionally useless jetty, but it makes any person who is on the jetty to confined and lost in the mist and not able to get out. It is a very well known anomaly, so any foundation staff who works in Mujin would know. However in Mujin, anyone would get lost at least once, even if it is not here.

Before the thickening mist covers the coast, the jetty is showing it's shaping sporadically. The old, moss-covered jetty is made initially to be an artwork, and even without the anomaly, it has some sort of bizarre. In front of the small sentry post on the entrance of jetty, I slowed down myself and stopped my bicycle.

"Looks like your mind blew this way," the security guard of the sentry post joked around with joy.

"Yes, I think I will head downtown right away, not stopping by the Site. Maybe I could ask for a cup of coffee here."

I stopped the bicycle by kicking the stand, and talked back lightly.

"First time anyone has come here in a few days, and it is only a coffee stop? Shame we ran out of coffee. Here, take this instead."

The security guard handed me an apple.

"Wow, this apple's shinning."
"My wife had picked the ones only that are big. If I knew you were coming, I would have pealed it off…hmmm…"
"No, no. I even feel guilty about taking this."
"You are like my son, just take it and cheer up."
"Then… thank you so much. I will enjoy it. Thanks."

I bit down on the apple the security guard gave me. As my front teeth scratched the mostly red apple and ripened with some yellowish-green, the yellow inside had appeared. The apple was full of sweet juice, such as an apple picked during apple season should be. I wiped the flowing juice with my sleeves and bid the security guard farewell. With the apple in one hand, I got on the bicycle again.


On the way, as I went through the humid sea breeze, clumsy trees and buildings were coming into view. Even though it was before the sunset, street lights lit themselves up together, trying to drive away the fog covering the sunlight. On the left, over the outstretched Yeosun Street, the sign 'Mujin Town' showed itself.

Mujin Town is an especially important place in Mujin, having a population of hundreds of thousands of people. From the old days, the administrative office and marketplace were in downtown, and nowadays, the train station and harbor have built. Downtown of Mujin is always full of people who are there for work and home.

Stopping my bicycle in front of a small store, where I always stop by, I took another bite of the apple. Then, I started to choke on a chunk of apple that i was chewing on. The sense of the apple chunk rolling over my throat and blocking my esophagus was exceptionally vivid. I coughed and gagged. Luckily the apple chunk did not get caught too badly; it went down soon, and I could breathe again.

I took a breath and stretched out my waist, and under the blinking street light, the name "Eupseong Market" caught my eyes. It is a small store, one that is hard to call a market, it was closer to a more extensive corner shop. These types of stores are getting quiet in urbanization, but still, it is essential to me as an information source, as it is a place where elders in the area often come. I put up the stand on the bicycle, put the bag and helmet on top of the saddle, and walked into the Eupseong Market, fixing my clothes. Some old promotional leaflets when address system changed into road name address, some old beer commercial, or distilled beverage commercial were cluttered on a pair of sliding door. As I slide the glass door, a wind bell pendulously hanged on top of the door jingled. The old store owner who was sitting at the counter and tending the store grins and said.

"Whoa~ what's so in hurry eating? Careful, Ain't any med' for stomach upset."
"Haha, this apple was too delicious. You didn't have anything special?"
"Na, nothin' should. Ain't anytin' changed from last time. Well, we have apple yonder. Ain't gonna try? It's from Daegu. Right taste, good for eyes…"
"Oh, it's almost dinner time, well. This one would be enough. And even if it is good for my eyes, there won't be anything more than the mist to see."
"Yeah? Well, that's right. At least take a look for some."

I talked with laughter and joke, and she spoke back. I smiled with an agree and moved behind the display stand, pretending as if I am looking around. She started to drowse as I got out of her sight. It seemed like no one is coming. I guess there aren't any earning today. I was going to eat the rest of my apple thinking about where to go next. Probably because the choke happened by the apple, I was a little careful getting my apple towards my moth.

I bit down the apple next to where prior bites had exposed the flesh. The third piece got into my mouth, letting the fragrant apple flavor out. In that sweetness, acid taste suddenly set up and jumped out made me frowned, and I opened my eyes up with an ominous sense that something went wrong. I stood up, stepping out my trembling legs in the dizziness that almost made me lost my consciousness.

I rubbed my eyes and focused back, feeling a weird sense that cannot be explained by words, but could feel vividly, something got awkward and unfamiliar. The subtle ominous, that was everywhere in Mujin, that was letting people understand whatever could happen in this anomalous city, has disappeared. The light that is brightening this small store was shining in a different color. Without that dark gray, the bright and clear colors have filled that spot. As if one has come out from the 20th century's film movie to reality.

—What has happened to me?

The apple with the clear bite marks got out of my grasp and dropped on the floor. Drop. The rolling sound hovered over my ears so clearly. Without notice, I chased after the apple rolling with my eyes. The apple rolled and stopped as it reached the threshold. I inadvertently walked towards the door. Not to pick the apple up. I rubbed my eyes over and over until my eyes got red. As much, I couldn't believe what I saw.

The mist was gone.

Couldn't find the mist that was always there, not even a little bit.

"—What happened to this place?"

My voice was trembling as I murmur. As long as I know, Mujin has never been this clear for nearly 70 years since it was under the watch of the Foundation. The mist is the most significant characteristic that describes Mujin in the first place. But the sky that I am looking at right now has nothing, no fog, not even a cloud. It was a clear fall sky that is so easily seen outside of Mujin. The Sun raised, smiling over the low buildings. The street lights that were on moments ago have fallen into the sleep, as if there is nothing to do at this time of the day.

I picked the apple that I dropped, shoved it into my jacket pocket, turned, and walked towards the counter. The store owner woke up, probably because I disturbed her moving here and there.

"Ma'am, ma'am!"
"Ain't lost my hearin', what made you scream like that?"
"Look out! The mist has gone!"
"Hew, what's so busy about the clear weather?"
"Aren't you surprised? The mist is gone in Mujin!"

"Mujin…? What's that?"

"…huh?"

The muddle-headed voice has rolled off my mouth. The store owner was looking at me with worry as if she does not understand what I am saying.

"Ha…haha, mam, that's too much of joke."
"Why are you teasing this old woman? You shouldn't do that!"
"Ma'am, Mujin! You are an indigenous Mujin citizen. How can you not know the Mujin, South Jeolla!"
"What are you talking about? I am from Suncheon."
"What? No, I mean, even if you are from Suncheon, it's Mujin here!"
"Are you ok? Is sometin' wrong? It's Gwangyang here!"

She was expressing her anger as if she heard a total non-sense. I lost track of what I wanted to say and blankly looked on to her face to face. I was blanked out for a long time, and she seemed worry than anger, asking if I am ok. I stood still without any words. My head too much of information to draw conclusion. No matter how much you think about it, it's a nonsense that this store owner, not anyone else, does not know Mujin.

Something was catching my mind. I jumped out as if I am a spring and search on the commercials cluttered on the door. In that cluttered pile of commercials, there was an old promotional sticker about the change of address system that the city hall put on at least ten years ago.


'Please use the road name adress system. The New adress of this building is 29, Eupseong 1-gil, Gwangyang-eup, Gwangyang-si, Jeollanam-do'

I looked onto the sticker in vain. I am in Gwangyang. This glued piece of paper is declaring it to me. I was in Mujin a moment ago, but I am in Gwangyang right now. Yesterday, this old lady was from Mujin, and now she said that she is from Suncheon. I am not in Mujin. Now I'm in, I am in—

"—Where am I?"

I quickly picked up and put on the helmet. I unlock the lock in a hurry, pulled the bicycle from the holder, immediately jumped on the saddle, and treadled the pedal. There was no mist, so there was no need to turn the light on. If what I am thinking is what happened, I am in the most significant change of reality that occurred in my Foundation career, no, in my life. This isn't an issue that a field agent to take action on own accord, and even if it is, I have no idea what to do. What I should do is to report it to the top so the entire site can deal with it. Riding the bike to the south, I have pushed the call button to operate the communication device connected with in-ear. The only thing responding was the radio noise sounded like sea waves. Did the disappearance of mist have some effect in the area? Whatever that is, the only thing that I could do is to go back to the Site 64K.


Some alternate universes are very close to our universe, and the reality they have has only minor local differences. We decided to call these alternative universes as "Multi Reality". Some of these have the same Hub as our universe, but others have developed from the totally different Hub. These universes could interact, connect, and nest with our universe. If the local reality is very low, these connections can happen momentarily without any artificial intervention. If our universe's consensus reality collapse by XK-Class Scenario or so, these multi realities can be an ethical asylum.

- Dr. Tristan Bailey, Exit: Investigating Alternate-able Multi Reality

It did not take long for me to get out of downtown and enter the Street. The sign 'You are leaving the Gwangyang Town. Goodbye.' passed on the right, making fun of me. I almost lost the energy controlling my legs, but I could not stop. I constrainedly moved my feet to move the bike forward. The tensed chain was screaming throughout. I entered Yeosu road from Indoek road through the Hodu three-way intersection and drove into the Yeosu Pannantula. It should have at least 8km more as the Mujin administrative area, but I could not find any evidence of Mujin from the traffic sign saying 'Yeosu 1km'.

The west sky started to tint itself with red color. When Mujin was filled with fog, the sunset spreading through the fog, making the entire sky fluttering red, was a such a delicate view. But today's sky deepens it's color to the dark blue, whether it's western part is flaming or not. It was not very joyful, even if the street lights on the side started to light up. The thing I need to recover was something else.

Under the fading sun, far away apart from me, I could see the lighthouse. Usually, it should have lighted up all day, but the lighthouse was cold and dark. With an ominous feeling, I hurried my legs towards the site through the crossroad. I was searching the ID card with one hand in my cloth but lost the control on the other hand holding the handle. The bike fell, and I rolled onto the ground. My hands and knees ached with abrasion, but I could still move.

Enduring pain, I raised my bike. Because of the fall, the wheel frame has vented and looks like that I will not be able to ride it. I moved the bike out of the road and continued the way of walking. When I could see the entrance of the site, I realized that the barricade and armed security guards were not there. I got even closer, and not only the security guard but seemed like that there is no one there. Something might have gone wrong.

The wire mesh fence and the no entry sign around the site, seemed like it werne out more, but still there. On the corner of the mesh that is little shorter than shoulder, there were enterence for the cars and personals, that is locked also with chain and lock firmly. It was not there when I got out of the site in this morning, but the chain was rusted as if it has been there for decades without any maintains.

I've hit down the chain with the helmet I took off, but the chain was still and only the rust powdered. Shit, those old chains in the movie seemed like it is easily breakable… I through the helmet on the side and pulled out the briefcase tided on the back of the bike. As I opened the case, I could find the tool set, in case to fix the bike, under the insurance document for the cover.

I tightened and twisted on the chain with an adjustable wrench, and the chain was creaking. I forced it even more, and it couldn't resist. The badly rusted part broke down.

"Great."

I removed the chain and carefully opened the door of the mesh. The ground floor was initially covered as the warehouse of the lighthouse, so it did not have anything special and nothing more now. All lights of the window were off and seemed like there is nothing even if I desperately look around. Trying to clam myself from confusion, I walked to the S wing. The door was not locked. I pushed the door carefully, and it opened with the creeping sound. The inside of the building was dark with no light on. I turned the LED light on, which I took from the bike as I pulled the tool out.

There was no one inside. As if obvious that no one is there.

"…What the…?"

I had almost felled. The will that led me to bring this tired body to all the way here has crashed down. This space that should have been the entrance to the Site-64K has become some meaningless, empty warehouse.

"Hello. Hello! …Is anyone there?"

I wondered around the empty room scream, as if I lost my mind.

"I'm here, it's me…! Please answer!"

But no one answered.

I could feel myself in short breath. Not because there is something wrong with the body or atmosphere. I felt terror, realizing something fundamental that was supporting my existence got wrong. I desperately looked into the abandoned warehouse, but it was no use. There was no underground estate here, not even a small single-basement. Not a person, not an anomalous item has left. Site-64K, the Foundation did not exist in the place.

After thirty minutes of wandering and searching meaninglessly through the building, I lost all of my energy and ended up crying. As if I am a child who lost parents, I cried with sorrow. The emotion stayed longer if it has the shape, so the sorrow busted out in the form of tear continued without any break.


As the tears slowly stopped, confusion and sadness didn't last long. Instead, only void and empty feelings seemed to settle on the bare chest. I opened the door and came out of the S wing, no, an abandoned building that I couldn't even call it S wing. The sunset has hidden over the western ridges. Countless stars were sparkling in the dark sky, where the sunlight has faded out. It was a beautiful night sky that I could hardly see in Mujin, but I did not feel admirable.

What happened to Mujin and I? I could not organize the complex thoughts in my head. I have recalled some lectures from the agent seminar, but it was no use. I wrapped around my head with harch headache. I have never felt this impotent ever.

As I came out of the fence, I was still thinking and walking without notice. It was steps that have lost way and even unwilling to go. I then inadvertently put my hand into my jacket pocket. I was surprised by the moist texture and pulled out my hand. There was the leftover apple, I have abandoned a few hours, getting dry.

That apple brought me an idea. Obviously, there aren't any mist, the Foundation, or anomalies remaining here. But maybe SCP-521-KO, the jetty that has always been there, could it be still there? Wouldn't it wait to make fun of the tourists with that mist? Wouldn't the security guard kindly ask if I had a nightmare or so?

SCP-521-KO is not very far away from the site. I could feel the groundless hope filling inside me. I garbed the apple and the light and ran toward the shore.


Again, I stood devastated. The old moss-covered jetty was the same as before, but there was no mist. In front of the jetty, there was no security guard or even a sentry post. It was just a jetty, an ordinary, abandoned jetty that is common in the shore.

I could not accept it, so I invertebrate walked onto the jetty. There weren't any obstructive anomaly that stops me from getting to the edge. With the sea breeze, the knee that I hit when I fell from the bike was aching. This pain made me even more miserable. It was solid proof that this fucking situation is a reality.

Finally, I reached at the edge of the jetty and read the words on the sign there.

'Caution. The jetty is slippery'

"…Ha, hahaha. …ahahahaha."

I laughed. Felt empty. There was no mist, no such thing as an anomaly in here from the very beginning. That would be the only explanation possible in this mad reality. The Foundation would not exist either. If there is no anomaly, why would the Foundation be there?

"Hahahahahaha! Hahaha… Haaaa! Ha! Ahhhhh! Ahhh! Ahhhhh!"

The laughter continued without any energy, and it changed into a raged screaming. It is chagrin. I gave up my name and honor to keep the normalcy and human race, and why would I need to be thrown out in this normal world without any preparation? Why would I need to lose everything I loved? I was yelling like this and clenched the apple in hand, throw it hard. The apple didn't go far and fall into the sea. However, I slipped on the moss-covered surface and fell out of the jetty.

Splash, as I fell into the ocean, I couldn't hold my breath. After the bursting inspiration, the seawater struck into my mouth and nose. I started to drown without rust. The cold reality is squashing me down, and it enters into the throat, wetting every alveolus with death.

Mist, the mist came to me to cover my sight. Dark, damp, creepy, and familiar mist has smeared and covered me.

I could see the rippling light on the surface of the water. I had no idea what kind of light that was, but I concluded myself that it is the light from the lighthouse.

With the eyes focusing out, I stared at the light. I could see the many shapes of humans. They looked like they had the same confusion and pain. I could feel them. I was able to know who they are.

The mist has not vanished, we were the ones who were exiled from the mist….

Hub

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