Area-08-B Welcome Seminar, first session
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Good afternoon. I am Researcher Étaca Calibax; biologist, biophysicist, geneticist, mechanic and physician. Welcome to Area-08.

Specifically, Area-08-B. I trust you will learn the circumstances and conditions under which we expect you to work, as well as the designations and functions of each of the Areas. It is a dangerous world, and Area-08 is not your most dangerous corner. This seminar will, I hope, explain why.

Well, let's start with the basics… I know several of you have been here for months. Not much longer than me, but longer than me. I know most of you arrived just a few days ago. To all of you: pay attention. You may think you know everything about the Area, but you do not.

No, seriously, I guarantee you that you don't know everything. I don't know everything. I doubt that anyone knows everything. That's how compartmentalization of information works.

In any case, let's start with the basics, as I said. There are four Areas-08.

Area-08-A is Command Area 08-A. It's in a secret continental location. Do you see it? I don't know where it is, and if I did I wouldn't tell you. I guess it's on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, but you can imagine how unhelpful it is to know that, can't you? There are miles of Atlantic coastline on five continents, and there are miles to give, sell and give away.

Area-08-C is the Area located in Puerto Isabel, the island from which we operate the largest active operation of the Foundation's Space Program. There are several local anomalies that facilitate the orbiting of useful objects, satellites, spacecraft, people… and, of course, it is a Research Area. But Area-08-C does not "contain" anything. It is a training, quartering, technology experimentation and assembly facility. If you see something that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie in the service of the Foundation, it's possible it was assembled here. Have you heard of Durandarte Station? The parts were made in Puerto Isabel. Well, in this little patch of land that is Area-08-C; the rest of the island is a rather ancient anomalous ruin that we have to contain with equal parts violence and cunning. If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't ask.

Area-08-D is such a complete secret and so discreet that if any of you ask, you will be reprimanded. Area-08-D is so secret that if anyone tells you anything, whoever has gone off the deep end will be executed and so will you. Yes, no amnestics. Executed. Straight up.

And finally, there's Area-08-B. Here we are. The largest building ever erected by the Foundation.

Except there are bigger ones, but they're buildings with dimensional anomalies. It's like cheating. They don't count.

And except we didn't build it. They built it a long, long time ago. The foundations of Area-08-B are not even artificial; I can't say more than that about the chronological origin of its structure, but I can say that three earthly paradigms prior to ours have been built on it.


I mean civilizations previous to humanity.


Yes, it's incredible. May I continue? Thank you.

Area-08-B as we know it began to exist at the time of the Catholic Monarchs. The incursions to the West Indies, or as they came to be called, the Americas, came decades later. An explorer named Pedro de Olca, a religious visionary and therefore considered a madman by his contemporaries, got the Church and the Castilian and Aragonese kings to finance expeditions first to the Atlantic Ocean in search of a portal to hell that would explain the origin of the sea beasts of the Atlantic. You know what beasts I am talking about. If you don't know, shut up.

They found many things, among them the so-called "Little India", an island full of strange forests, immeasurable ruins and unsolvable mysteries. Above all, however, Little India was a distant and intriguing outpost for Spain and until the golden years of American expansion was not relevant.

But Pedro de Olca found near Little India a large structure just emerging from the ocean. A great cauldron, he calls it in his log. A cauldron that appeared to be half a kilometer high, made of a material harder than any known metal, surrounded by three cities built on top of each other and above the slopes of the cauldron. You see it on the screen. They are like rings; the two oldest were not erected by humans, and the third was claimed by Pedro de Olca for his King and for his Church. We do not know what he thought of the island. Not much of his log has been preserved.

I suppose he thought it might be a volcanic island, but I have long since given up making assumptions if I don't get anything useful out of it.

The details of that cauldron are contained in an SCP-ES article to which you don't have access. I know because I don't have it either. Whatever was in the cauldron, Don Pedro decided he had found what he was looking for and got the necessary supports to build over the cauldron. And around the cauldron.

The engineering of the time was not enough to create anything reliable enough in the middle of the ocean and with millenary and unstable foundations, but Don Pedro was stubborn and had the support of important people. It is possible that some anomalous party helped him. We suspect the Palacians, since the third city built around the cauldron was of an ancient civilization, the Secites, which many of the members of the Dawn are interested in.

Fortunately, they don't know much of any of this; the Crown of Spain went to great lengths to keep Puerto Isabel a secret from its European adversaries. The Indian gold financed its development and the Indian silver financed the secrecy. Charles V in particular knew how to play his trump cards, and took advantage of an intermediate point on the road to the Americas.

As for Don Pedro, he lost most of his people building the Sanctuary of the Holy Promise. We do not know what became of him, nor of most of his associates. We do know that the last record we have of his existence was kept at the Shrine; you can read it if you like, it is a most peculiar story and I am sure Dr. Barnard of the Archives will want to continue to tease anyone who asks.

The Sanctuary was respected as sacred ground by all the explorers who passed through Puerto Isabel. As you know, Puerto Isabel proper is surrounded by anomalous sea with its own SCP-ES classification, a Euclid. Most trade routes and almost all navigators of the time passed by without even approaching; not so the Spanish. By the hundreds and thousands they came to Puerto Isabel, settling in the small town of that name. Dozens went on pilgrimage to the Sanctuary, becoming its guardians. All Spaniards. All sworn in secret.

And they all died as Puerto Isabel became more and more dangerous, as if responding to an invasion. The Sanctuary had always been dangerous, and the last Father of the Promise died in 1589 when a portion of his temple collapsed. By then, Puerto Isabel was just another ruin on a ruined island. The Crown found it more practical to discard such a costly colony that had swallowed whole armies. It would have been a laughing stock, had it not been for the deep secrecy that surrounded the whole enterprise.

And, by the 18th century, the complex web of diplomacy and secrecy of the Spanish Empire began to lose track of Puerto Isabel. The Portuguese learned of the place by chance, and through them the British learned of it. Rather than allow the British to take over the place, the last well-informed Spaniards gave the secret to Napoleon, who did not bother to do much with the island; nor did the British, who had never even approached the island and assumed it to be another sailor's tale.

But the Germans bought the island at the end of the 19th century from a Spain impoverished by the collapse of its empire. The Germans tried to study it, and the Sanctuary. They built gigantic superstructures around it, when they discovered what it might have been, what it might have been. You may have seen them in some of the interior corridors, the ones marked with biohazard symbols more towards the center of the lower floors of the Area.

It terrified them. They knew what it was, and it terrified them. And they were right.

They erected walls of modern reinforced concrete over the Sanctuary. They hired liturgists, thaumaturges, artificers and who knows who else to seal the Sanctuary, all in secret. They raised the Three Sisters of Steel so that whoever found the place would die with the secret. They detached a small army and called it their colony.

And then World War I ended. Dr. Barnard has mentioned that, in large part, the resources of the Kaiserreich dwindled toward the end of the war because too much went to Puerto Isabel, and especially to the Sanctuary. Another nation that abandoned a money pit because it was incapable of filling it. But whatever.

The point is that Germany lost, withdrew from the island and, as part of the postwar agreements, added Puerto Isabel as a final, derisory footnote in a list of concessions to the Allies. The British recognized the name. They shrugged. They looked for it. They would find it decades later.

The Foundation became involved at that time. Immediately after World War II, they began to study and reinforce Area-08-B with underwater bases, structural reinforcements and a facility two and a half kilometers in diameter, practically an artificial island…and even more, just below sea level and above the part of the cauldron that was submerged, covered with the remains of the first city.

That's right. Ten meters below the sea that you can see through that window, Area-08-B continues. Almost all of the facilities in Area-08-B are Containment and Research, but they include factories, residential complexes, training bases… many powers of the anomalous world know that Area-08-B exists. They could hardly not know, the satellites are not going to be affected by an anomalous sea. Area-08-B has a population of thousands of specialists, and can be increased tenfold if necessary. That's why you see so many empty corridors. That's why it looks empty. That, and a lot of other things.

Now you know a little more about Area-08.

And if you want to know even more, stick around, we'll start again at eleven o'clock. I need to take my pills and for lunch I have to adjust some of my implants, plus a coffee break will do us all good.

Enjoy yourselves, you who can, while you can.

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