The Originator, Chapter I

rating: +2+x


“Miss Bird?”

“What’s the matter, son? I’m listening.”

“In our class this morning, you asked us the wishes in our lives. But I want to know, what’s your biggest wish?”

“Uh… What’s my biggest wish?”

“Yes, Miss Bird! You are my best friend! Tell me your wish, and I want to help your wish come true!”

“Hehe, you are always so kind. But honestly, I wish…”

“Yes! Your wish!”

“I wish to live very long—to have eternal life. Just like the people from Ashtown Burials.

“Huh? Why? Are you afraid of death?”

“Anyone would be afraid of death. And, if I can live forever, I will have time to do a lot of meaningful things!”

“Wow! What meaningful things?”

“That’s a bit too complicated to explain. Let’s talk more about it another day, okay?”

“Okay! Then I hope Miss Bird will never die!”

“Hey! That’s rude to say in front of others! You should always be polite and say, ‘I wish you prosperity as your days increase.’ Understand?”

“I gotcha!”

“Alright then, let’s head back.”


Having the urge to cough, she turned her back. Her hand was stained with blood coming out of her mouth.

Iteration I


Aria’s cancer worsened when she was twenty-two.

Wet towels, cotton pads, and all kinds of medical equipment surrounded her bed. Unbearable agony followed every breath she took. Even the best doctors in the city were pessimistic about her situation. Aria was waiting on her death row.

“You will be alright, girl. Even if the doctors can’t help, I’m sure the Order will have a cure for you.”

Aria’s mother flew to her daughter in China on a business trip. There is an emotion in her eyes—an emotion other than sadness. Aria knew what it meant.

I’m about to die. This family will finally be free of its burden.

Her life was about to end before it truly originated.

Aria wanted to cry, though with an exhausted mind, she couldn’t squeeze out any tears. At last, Aria fell asleep, with her body and soul mutilated. But before her mind fell into darkness, she saw a glimpse of light.

It was raining the next morning.

And Aria was dancing in the drizzle, feeling the rain and the breeze with her skin. The empty lawn was filled with her laughter. Her blonde hair and white dress was the prettiest flower in the garden.

She recovered. Miraculously. Her eyes were brighter and more energetic than ever.

“I will file my resignation to the Human Resource Department. But before that, I want to see someone. A kid.”

“I deny your request. Fang Ziyou1 is the most valuable property of the Order, and you are not his teacher anymore.”

Even though her proposal was shut down, she couldn’t have asked for more—she had cheated death, and nothing can restrain her anymore. Now, she only wanted to wash off her past, and her life will have originated from there.

Aria Bird married when she was twenty-seven. She gave birth to a son and a daughter when she was twenty-nine and thirty-one, respectively. Her family lived a busy but casual life in a rural Chinese town, and joy surrounds them every day in their life.

Long later, her son and daughter gave her two grandchildren. They had different appearances: Brown and blue eyes, black and blond hair; but they all reunite at the grandparents’ on every holiday. Aria was forever grateful for the happiness brought with them in these brief times, especially during the spring festival.

“Gramma!” The girl said to the elderly Aria, “Let’s watch television together!”

“Yes, of course, television.” Aria smiled at her, “The New Year’s Gala is a must-watch.”

The streets were packed with the symphony of firecrackers and fireworks, and Aria’s home was filled with the music from the New Year’s Gala. She couldn't stop thinking about the first time when she felt a sense of belonging. She was young in Beijing, in a cozy home when a thunderstorm struck the city. A smile appeared on her wrinkles, but she held her words back. The kids are gonna complain about my melancholy thoughts, she thought, watching the grandchildren setting up fireworks in the backyard.

Suddenly, a crimson sign of warning appeared on the television, and the music was replaced by irritating beeps. Aria, being disturbed by this emergency, turned down the volume of the television.

“Heavenly Lord. What is going—”

The crimson faded, replaced by black-tone colors. Three inward-pointing white arrows appeared on the screen. A logo of something.

She stood dumbfounded, biting her lips. She was forced to recall a memory, forgotten in her past life, among the details of details.

“It’s the Foundation.” She gasped in horror.

“Gramma! I wanna—”

“Shush! This is important!”

An elderly man appeared on the screen.

“Greetings to all citizens. My name is Liu Yi2.” His voices are full of despair. “We are the SCP foundation. We exist to Secure and Contain anomalies, and to Protect the human society. And now, unfortunately, we failed our task—”

“Mom?” A young woman’s voice asked, “What’s happening to our television? Is everything alright?”

Aria heard none of her words.

“—reality-altering individual named Fang Ziyou is causing a CK-Class Scenario, or ‘the forever change of existing reality’, and we are unable—”

Fang Ziyou? Wait, isn’t he…

“—Foundation Site-CN-02 is the epicenter of the anomaly, and we anticipate it to spread to the whole world within seven hours. This will erase human civilization, and end all lives on Earth. We are deeply sorry.” Liu Yi bowed to the camera. “We ask you to be at your loved ones' companies at our last moment.”

Aria rushed to the window in a panic: Fireworks froze in mid-air, like roses and lavender painted in oils. Highrises on the horizon were emitting an oddly green glow. Screams of misery came from the streets. She turned around. The television was now a pile of dust. The skull of her now silent granddaughter rolled across the living room. She looked at her left arm. Cells and tissues burst out of her skin. Her mutated eyes crawled out of her head.

Her life concluded as the world did.

Iteration II


Alia’s life started in a cozy womb once more. Memories flooded her mind, like a flowery and overwhelming slide show in front of her eyes.

After this torment in her mind, this baby remembered her past life.

She remembered the cancer treatments in her childhood, her occupation as a teacher in her youth, meeting her significant other, running errands for her family, smiling faces of her children, and last but not least, the most unexpected doom.

“WAAAAAH!” Alia’s vocal cords vibrated. Her ears heard a baby crying.

What in the world is all of this, she thought.

Alia’s parents observed her deviation from the ordinary shortly after her birth. Ultrasonic diagnosis indicated the unexplainable disappearance of cancer. Then her parents noticed her unreasonable maturity.

Alia’s knowledge and memories from the past life taught her how to walk, speak, and write, earlier than anyone else. She is only special because she was an anomaly in this world: She was a reincarnator3. Nobody, including Alia, knew the cause and effect of her reincarnation, or any parties who would benefit from her altered life.

In her second childhood, Alia placed her memories in the deepest part of her soul. She refused to tell her “parents” about herself, who banished her to a different country when she struggled with cancer. She didn’t trust this couple. She didn’t trust anyone.

Her young but experienced mind knew the danger of being extraordinary. Because she understood that those who raise her will be proud of her, and the pride will turn into dread, then malice. Yet she couldn’t keep every secret.

As a result, she was admitted to college at an unbelievably young age. The professors described this girl with words like “gifted” and “innovative,” then she became “the most talented student in the past hundreds of years.” Alia’s abilities and knowledge drove her into academia.

Yet she did not disdain this path of life. She had the selfish thought of living the rest of her life happily, but the curiosity of her incarnation, the need to make everything normal, and the desperation to stop the impending apocalypse forced her to devote her life to this cause, twice.

Alia’s new life originated from a mistake.

Alia took a sip of the bitter-tasting coffee, sitting in front of her computer in the university laboratory. Her fingers moved swiftly on the keyboard. Lines after lines of characters appeared on the screen. The office of this Ph.D. of anthropology, psychology, biology, and genealogy was filled with stacks of papers. Steps after steps of derivations take up every inch of the whiteboards.

She was always calculating, hypothesizing, and waiting, in her empty office.

Over the years, Alia set up a number of experiments based on a random set of events she could recall. She concluded that her memories were records of real events, not from the exposure to some anomalies or mental diseases.

She paid special attention to key historical events in her past life—she hypothesized that if she played no parts in those matters, they would have developed exactly as she remembered; and any intervention from her would make history deviate from the last occasion.

And rewriting history was just what she wanted. The first step of her plan was to locate the organization that claimed to “Secure and Contain anomalies, and to Protect the human society.” She knew they must have the answer she was looking for.

Her search went on for years. Alia asked every remotely related person about an “SCP Foundation,” while focusing on her academic research. Many times she wanted to give up, from the pressure of her occupation and fruitless searches. Yet her desperation helped her through such most hopeless times.

At last, before she left her office one evening, she saw an envelope with three inward-pointing white arrows sitting under her desk.

Alia could do nothing to hide her emotions. Her left arm trembled when she reached for the letter.

This must be the reward for all my hard work.

Alia treated her incarnation as a gift; it was also a curse to her. Once again she met her significant other. Knowing his every move, she could not resist noticing every humanly flaw of his: He was stubborn, impulsive, and very easy to anger. She admitted this to be the reality, and gave up her hope for a family.

He was so familiar that she despised him. When she first saw that man for the second time, hate and disappointment pervaded her mind. Her emotions foundered her last attempt to live a normal life.

In her afterlife, Alia would have no more families, feel affection for no more people, be cared about by nobody else.

And the backyard would be filled with no more joy and laughter.

Human nature still forced Alia to seek support and understanding. She turned her eyes to the Foundation, and sought an ally who would be on her side no matter what.

This place, known as the “SCP Foundation,” is an immense, international research organization, tasked to stabilize the world by containing anomalies and studying the occults. Alia soon learned the fragility of the Earth, and the dangers beneath the surface. People with lost causes were ready to spoil the human civilization every moment. Memetics and humes and anomalies—all these supernatural concepts overrode her knowledge and experience, toppling the entirety of Alia’s worldview from her past life.

However, with her new comprehension, Alia still couldn’t understand the theory behind her reincarnation. Am I in a time loop? Is this a brain-in-a-vat experiment? Or are some reality-altering effects controlling my life? And why is all of this? The evidence she acquired barely explained half a thing. Besides, she still needed to find a way to revert the CK-Class Scenario.

She had to attempt a new method, while in the meantime, answering what was unknown with her imagination.

“Madam, I have to tell you, the Foundation’s current amnestic methods are far from perfection.” The Chinese man can’t help expressing his words. His hands bashed firmly on the pub table; his eyes stared at the blond lady across from him. “These methods cannot guarantee the precision of our amnestic treatments. They may cause our personnel to lose crucial knowledge and memory, or even worse, fail to erase anomalous memories from the brains of civilians. As a biologist, I believe the improvement of our amnestic methods should be the utmost priority of the Foundation.”

“I agree with you. If the civilians were exposed to the supernatural—uh, anomalous—objects of the Foundation, something terrible will happen, and even more terrible things will happen because of it.” Alia smiled at him, attracting every bit of the man in front of her, “Long ago when I too was a civilian, I learned the existence of the foundation from one of its failed operations.”

“You are so right! So, I—my apologies.” He offered his right hand, “You were the first person in three years who wanted to talk about my studies, so I was a little bit too excited, you know. And my name is Liu Yi. Nice to meet you.”

“Alia Bird.” She shook his hand, but frowned unpleasantly.

“And I’m a—what’s the word—neurologist. Of course my studies cover other disciplines too. There are always new ideas popping up in my mind. At this point I’m really into amnestic studies, looking for companions with similar interests, revolutionizing the Foundation’s technology, and then, of course, getting a pay rise. Would you like to join my team?”

“Hold on. Before we continue, may I ask: Do you have a plan for your project? I’d like to hear about your research proposal first.”

“Let me show you this.”

The man reached for his suitcase under the table. He pulled out a messy, complex, giant machine. Spare parts fell all over the ground, attracting the eyes of other tables, and a sneer from Alia.

“Sorry about this mess. It’s only a prototype now. This machine’s full name is The Herd of the Giant, abbreviated as, The Herd.”

“From the Odyssey?”

Liu Yi’s face immediately cleared of all nervousness, replaced by a big smile. “As The Herd of red oxen disappeared from the horizon, the sleeping Giant awakens.” The sun, now cleared from the clouds, shined through the stained glass onto the man’s black hair. “We truly have so many things in common. And we shall keep The Herd within the confines of sight, while the evil Giant will forever sleep. I see the day of our success—We will stand on the shoulders of the Giant, and create our own rules in this world.”

His words were naive, but his confidence was strong. Alia was indeed curious about his creation. She looked at the device on the table: The Herd is a white-colored helmet, designed with ergonomics of the human head. High-precision sensors and components surrounded the exterior. Complex wirings overwhelmed Alia’s eyes. There was even a thaumic reactor in his suitcase powering this whole thing.

“Wow… This is indeed… So marvelous, Dr. Liu.” She struggled to find words to describe her feelings. “I’ve never seen any design like this. If this was to be put into use, what can it accomplish?”

He could no longer hide his cheerfulness. “My team’s been using it to dismantle, transmit, observe, and erase memories with this machine, at the highest precision, only for the most important Foundation personnel. I promise it is as good as I advertise. Sadly, because of technological limitations, many more of our ideas couldn’t be materialized.” His smile changed into a somber face, “Sigh…And the ones in charge are such bullies to me. Those short-sighted bastards even tried to shut down our lab, because of ‘energy deficiency,’ for a whole month!”

Alia stared at the prototype. Her consciousness spoke to her. This is it! This memory transmission device is the key to my plan. Every secret about my lives will be discovered from here. Let this be the origination of my grand research.

“Count me in.” Said Alia, “When do we start?”

Alia Bird and Liu Yi walked out of the bar holding each other’s hands. It was a stormy night. Flashes of lightning dashed to the ground, followed by waves of thunder echoing in the air. The tiny umbrella was wasted, but the couple talked and laughed, mindless of the tempest, heading to the goals of their lives.

Time flew by. Alia was more and more important in Liu’s research team. Her techniques and approaches solved a number of problems the team was facing. Finally, in an evening, the prototype was finally able to function. After a series of successful tests, Liu put The Herd onto Alia’s head, so that she could read his own memories.

Realistic. This was Alia’s first impression. The transmission of his memories was so realistic, that Alia felt she was a part of it. Their project was a huge success. Alia was ecstatic. She calmed herself down and explored his mind. Then she felt hopeless. She saw every scar his parents created on his heart in his childhood. She saw every flaw in Liu Yi’s mind, and every negligence in his idea of the grand project.

The Herd was successful, but not the plans Alia had for herself. In collaboration with him, and from her reading of his memories, she saw the personality of Liu Yi. He was always overconfident, naive in front of people, especially with his slanted worldview. Though he was the person to announce the doom of Earth in her past life, Alia estranged herself from her talented colleague. She even planned to tell him about her real identity; this quickly vanished as her prejudice took over.

Liu Yi is unworthy to be the ally on my side. He can’t help me with anything but my memories.

Later, Alia quickly rose through the ranks of the Foundation. She became a Site Commander, then the secretary of O5-13. She placed Liu Yi in her dearest memories, but she never kept in touch with him after their brief collaboration.

Alia remembered every detail of The Herd after its countless iterations of optimization. If I can read my own memories, fast forward and rewind to wherever I needed, I surely will find out the truth about my reincarnation and to the world’s end, she thought.

So she put on the spotless, white headset, walking on the trail of her own memories.

My first childhood was uneventful. I headed on to secondary school… Then my parents forced me to become a teacher, at the Order of the Divineborne. What the heck was that again? There was not much in my memory. I only recall it to be a cult. A cult that kidnaps infants born with supernatural abilities, worships and weaponizes them. It was such a lost cause. But they paid me well—too well for me to complain.

Let me think… What about the kids I taught?

Yeah… One kid was my favorite. He was adorable. His name was something like, Fang Ziyou.

Wait. Fang Ziyou?

Alia’s body trembled in fear. Her eyes were devoid of hope. Her hair was sparkling in fear.

"—reality-altering individual named Fang Ziyou is causing a CK-Class Scenario, or ‘the forever change of existing reality’, and we are unable—"

He had… has the ability to bend the universe. He is powerful enough to end the world.

Heavenly Lord.

How come I know such a person? I need to recall more details about him. He has to have something to do with my reincarnation.

"Okay! Then I hope Miss Bird will never die!"

Oh. That explains everything.

In future years, Alia learned the reality-altering individual named Fang Ziyou was already captured by the Foundation in an assault on hostile forces. Fang himself is also very cooperative with the Foundation. Several times he expressed his will to “just want to be a normal kid.” He was merely classified as a Euclid-class object, where he enjoyed several personal freedoms.

In fact, you were here all the time. Forgive me for what I’m gonna do. It has to be done for my own sake.

Only Alia understood Fang Ziyou’s potential—it’s not revealed yet, but one day it’s going to cause disasters. She used all her clearances to fix his containment procedures: Secured Containment Chambers. Reality Anchors. Thaumic Suppression Sigils. And an Explosive Collar if all things failed. She wanted to build him a deadly throne hall, where he would sit quietly, with nothing getting in and nothing getting out.

But before she finished her house chores, troubles came from the outside.

The gravest mistake made by Alia in her afterlife was not doing anything about the Order, even though she knew all threats it posed. Ten years later, when the Order ambushed the Foundation with its twelve Deities, Alia was indeed surprised.

On her daily patrols, this Site Commander was hit on the back of the head. In a faint, she saw a squad of Deities disassembling her deadly trap in coordination. She recognized a known but unknown figure walking toward her. It was a young man. Fang Ziyou.

“Originator.” She heard the invaders calling upon him.

The Originator.

The invaders kneeled toward him in unison.

Fang Ziyou was freed. His skin was pierced by chains. His eyeballs were glowing purple. Tears of crimson color flowed out of his eyes.

The world is about to end again. She knew.

“Alia Bird.”

The Originator pulverized steel and concrete with a snap of fingers. She saw how he made a security guard devour his own flesh, and spat out the bones in his mouth. She saw a researcher imploding in front of her. His blood formed a mist, covering what used to be the laboratory.

In the mist he swung his hands. Alia’s skull rolled across the ruins. The Originator held his breath. He walked toward Alia’s head in double time. Her nose and ear fell off from the rest of the head. Blood burst out of her mouth—and every other opening of the sphere. Her mutated eyes crawled out of her head.

“I hate you.”

She heard these three words before losing consciousness.

Her life concluded as the world did.

Iteration III


You hate me.

What are you to hate me?

Arya trembled in anger in the cozy womb. Two lives' worth of memories flooded her mind, like a flowery and overwhelming slide show in front of her eyes. The baby cried with all her might.

That goddamned naughty kid. You are nothing worth to me. You cursed me to live and reincarnate for eternity. You made my life what it is now. And above that, you caused the world to end for no reason. Who taught you to be so impudent? And who gave you the right to alter my own life?

I will make your life crumble before mine does.

Arya hustled as her third life originated. Being personally executed by the Originator, she was mad and sad.

Since the start of her new life, Arya had devoted herself to solving the problems created by the Originator. Maybe there isn’t a way at all to contain Fang Ziyou. Let his powers grow and he will cause the world to end again. And I will suffer in yet another life after my death.

The horrifying looks in the girl’s eyes felt like she was going to murder someone.

Because she found her only way out: Wipe out the Order. Kill the Originator.

Arya dropped out of school in this afterlife. She stole all the property of her parents, and flew to Beijing, China when she was fifteen. This Ex-Site Commander knew the Foundation inside out. So she became a member of the Foundation, with her knowledge and experience, and some dirty tricks she knew.

Just past midnight, Arya dialed a number on her phone.

“Does the Black Moon howl?” Asked the robotic voice on the other side.

Arya cleared her throat. She searched her vast memories, and recited the passcode word by word.

“It does. Because pikes and spears pierce its heart.”

An envelope with three inward-pointing white arrows awaited at her bed when she woke up the next morning. Arya held the invitation firmly in her hands, her sweat moistened the letter. Her resolution was fierce as fire—for she cannot risk failing again. She had a well-developed plan in her mind, waiting for the most favorable time of execution.

Twenty-seven days later, O5-13 passed out at a dinner with a female employee, and was never able to recover.

Within a week, several senior members of the Ethics Committee lost their lives in accidents at work.

After three days, the Foundation’s network was breached by a hacker. Meanwhile, a new member of the O5 Council was to be nominated. She was known as Arya Bird.

The ranks of the largest research organization in this world were broken by a girl. Arya crowned herself as one of the commanders-in-chief of this bureaucracy.

The girl’s ideal was little by little deviating from humanity. After all her decisions and actions, Arya realized her own desires had devoured her rational thinking.

Sitting by herself at a table for thirteen, she hoped someone could enter her life and give her guidance. Yet she understood that this was her daydreaming, her unrealistic wishes. Nobody could be trusted. But after all, she had friends from the old days. Friends from her past lives. If she could still find them, she could still ask for their forgiveness and consolation, and she could once again relive those brief but pleasant memories.

How great it would be, if there could be someone on my side right now…

“Dr. Liu, I have to admit, it was daring of you to invite an Overseer to lunch.” Arya took a sip of her coffee, doing her best to hide her ecstasy from the reunion with her friend. “Answer me. Why do you think I will say yes?”

Liu Yi glanced at the security personnel in the room, taking a sip of his own drink. “I’m surprised you would even want to talk to me. Here. I need to tell you about the designs—”

“Of the Novel Memory Regulator? Don’t worry. I’ve already approved your written proposal. I will assign more researchers to your team.”

“—and an idea of mine.”

Arya was confused.

An idea of yours? What’s he wanting to tell me?

“Ah, look. Murdering one of the most dangerous thirteen people in this world, then hacking into the network of the SCP Foundation. You’ve got a crazy biography.” He shrugged his shoulders, as the blonde woman stared at him. “You’ve set yourself up to go anywhere you want. So I’m curious to know before my execution, where is it that you want to go?”

“…You words are absurd.”

“I’m a neurologist, Madam Overseer.” Liu Yi tapped on his forehead. “I can tell when my brain violently wants me to do something. I can tell the same for other people. So I wanted to know, what do you want from all of that?”

This has to be a butterfly effect. Arya was confused, panicked, and horrified. She would never have expected these words from this man, even after knowing all his memories. There was much more to Liu Yi than he seemed to be. Her interference in history changed it into something she recognized no more.

Arya’s been in all kinds of situations in her three lives. She knew how to keep calm in critical situations, and to keep cool in front of this old friend.

“You want to know my goals? Here you have it. An individual with reality-altering abilities will cause an inevitable CK-Class Scenario. I’m in an arms race against him. I’m using everything I can get from the Foundation to turn the tables. Those that restrain me—the Overseer Council and the Ethics Committee—I’ve already got rid of them. This race means everything to me. I need to win. I need answers for myself.”

She spoke the truth, hoping the man would find it unreasonable.

Arya was sweating.

Please. I beg you. I really don’t want you in the middle of this.

Liu Yi rubbed his eyes, and made a thinking pose, followed by minutes of silence.

“…So you speak of a prophecy. Or you have the ability to predict the future.” Said Liu, who stared at Arya’s azure eyes, forcing her to look elsewhere. “To be honest, I couldn’t care less about those ones in charge. Getting rid of them also convinces me of your ability to do the things you spoke of. However, I’m surprised by how shortsighted you are.”

“Shortsighted? How dare—”

“For the sake of the Foundation!” He interrupted Arya, almost screaming and banging his fist onto the table, “The Foundation exists to Secure and Contain anomalies, and to Protect the human society! It’s not our job to prepare for and revert the end of the world! How about you, with your omnipotent abilities, try something else instead, and find a way to contain the reality-altering individual?”

“Because I never had doubts about my plan—at least not until this moment.” She frowned unpleasantly. “Because the Foundation is the center of research in anomalies. I need its network to accomplish my goals.

“And you want to utilize the whole world to contain him?”

“Not to Contain him. Kill him. Destroy him.”


Liu Yi sighed in disappointment: “I see your goals. You do not represent the Foundation’s ideals anymore. I do not expect to change your mind, but I need to warn you, don’t overestimate your abilities. You don’t want the whole world to die with you.”

With her friend’s acquiescence, Arya finally felt content. “You are so obsessed with forging new rules in this world based on your ideals. Just like you always were.”

“I see a sense of familiarity and contempt in your eyes. You must have foreseen this conversation in the past. But to me, it doesn’t matter anymore.” He submitted to her, “I know the consequences of knowing about these at my clearance level. The Foundation’s amnestic treatments are far too unreliable. Kill me. I’d rather die than be a living dead.”

“I won’t kill you.” Arya said, full of desolation. “I have a better treatment for you.”

She grabbed a wool hat from her purse—the hat looked as pure as an animal’s fur. There were doodles on the front of it. Arya put it on Liu’s head with her own hands. It looked like a piece of cloud surrounding his head.

“What is this thing?”

“This is not a thing. It’s an invention. It’s The Herd. Our Herd. ”

Liu Yi stood wordless. He opened his mouth, wanted to speak but couldn’t make out a word.

“Of course, after countless iterations of optimization, it looks much nicer than the prototype in your suitcase. This is our invention, Liu Yi.” She spoke quietly, reluctant to bid goodbye to her friend. “Farewell…”

“…The Herd will forever surround you. You will never wake up, my dear Giant.”

Arya walked out of the bar alone. It was a stormy night. Flashes of lightning dashed to the ground, followed by waves of thunder echoing in the air. Arya wanted to find the ally on her side, but somehow wasted her only soulmate. She was crying as the rain showered her, for her own remorse, anger, and cowardice.

Calming her emotions, Arya finally realized something—today was something special. It was the day she met her old friend. It was the day with record rainfall. It was the day marked on the Order’s calendars.

It was Fang Ziyou’s birthday.

Soon, hatred was the only emotion left in Arya’s heart.

Within three years, the SCP Foundation annexed all branches of the Global Occult Coalition.

In the next year, the SCP Foundation formed an alliance with the Horizon Initiative and the Church of the Broken God.

Soon later, reports came that a powerful individual with reality-altering abilities, referred to as the Originator of the Order of the Divineborne, appeared at multiple anomalous terrorist attacks, cooperating with multiple radical anarchist groups. The loss of lives and properties was limitless. Under these pressures, the Non-Exhaustive Agreement Coalition (N.E.A.C.)4 was formed to promote the unification of the human race, with over 160 Groups of Interest joined as members. A statue of Arya Bird was also constructed and displayed before the U.N. Headquarters, guiding the human race just like the Sun in the sky.

This woman exhausted everything at her disposal for three lives, pushing herself onto the epicenter of the world stage, all because of the answer she wanted.

Then it was nightfall.

Arya was in her stealth suit, making her way through the ruins. She was well-armed against any threats that dared to approach her.

This was the headquarters of the organization known as the Order of the Divineborne. They barely put up a resistance to the N.E.A.C. invasion for a minute. Members fled this site like birds reacting to a gunshot.

Arya easily crossed out “Wiping out the Order” from her to-do list.

Everything was going according to Arya’s plan. Exposing this anomaly to the whole world was obviously the correct thing to do. The N.E.A.C. was formed for the greater good. Under Arya's lead, the breeding ground of supernatural individuals had fallen, and her mission was half complete.

She found a hallway from the deepest part of her memories. She remembered it in the history that she buried several times. Aria walked down this path countless times as a teacher. She recalled her first day teaching here, wearing the dark gray faculty uniform, with fear and discomfort dominating her mind—horrifying, unfriendly, supernatural—the first impression she had about this place. She once thought she’d lose her life here.

Spiritless and depressed were the only words she could describe her students. Their bodies were covered by identical monotonous uniforms. Their hairs were cut in the same boring pattern. Their mouths were fed with the same tasteless but nutritious food. They were absorbing knowledge, while being brainwashed and manipulated by the adults.

Some of them knew how to teleport. Some could see through others’ minds. Some had the strength to demolish a wall of concrete. Aria dared not to interact with them too much, only doing the bare minimum of her job as their teacher.

But one kid was different.

Aria noticed him the first day he arrived at this prison. He was passionate, curious, and friendly. He was a real child with a childish mind. Moreover, he didn’t even understand why he was there, nor did he knew about his extraordinary abilities. Aria’s heart was deeply touched by him.

She opened her arms, held him in her embrace, and for the first time she saw hope in this place. She gave him the love and care of a mother.

Arya came back from her memories. She was standing in front of her classroom.

All the tables and chairs in her memory were blown into pieces. Dust covered the entirety of the ruin. She tried to make her way to the most familiar seat in her memory.

Miraculously, Fang Ziyou’s desk was intact. She picked up a card on the ground. It’s Fang Ziyou’s student ID. He glued a selfie of the two of us on the back side—wait, no.

No. I’m wrong. His teacher was not Arya Bird. Fang Ziyou was also dispirited in the photo, just like everyone else.

In this life the Originator was never loved. In the last one, he also was not. He had never been loved by anyone since Aria Bird quit her job as a teacher.

She was sweating.

The radio brought Arya back to reality. A man was reporting to her about the operation status. She barely paid attention to his words.

“—but we failed to capture the target as instructed by you. According to the captives, the reality-altering individual named Fang Ziyou fled the Order months ago. We have instructed the detachments to locate him.”

“Ah. That’s good. That’s very good. I—”

“They also mentioned, that the individual had been refusing to corporate with the Order, insisting to pull himself out of the terrorist attacks.”


Arya was silent. Her heart was once again touched by him.

Her silence was interrupted by the radio.

“Commander, come in! Our detachment has located the individual, three clicks due east of our location. We are standing by for—”

The transmission was cut out.

Arya immediately knew something was wrong. She hurried to the outside. She saw only a huge sandstorm covering the forward operating base.

She was in a storm of sand and rain, a hundred miles in radius. Arya had to cover her eyes with her hands. She could feel the particles mixed with human blood hitting her body.

Arya made a series of commands to all combat units in her reach. She ordered her thaumaturgists to teleport her to the N.E.A.C. orbital rocket station.

The moment before her disappearance, she looked at the center of the storm for the last time.

With endless sorrow in her eyes.

A Mobile Task Force, accompanied by containment specialists, was deployed, following the loss of the detachment. Although the MTF was equipped with experience and equipment against anomalies, the unit went M.I.A. before they could catch sight of their target.

People quickly realized a peaceful containment was not an option. Armed helicopters, missiles, and land vehicles started to move out, like a forest marching toward the location of their target. The soldiers expressed their fury with shells and explosives. Detonation of ammunition scored the surface of Earth itself. Yet under the dust and fragmentation, the body of the target individual was nowhere to be found. There were only the remains of the armored division.

The Commanders started to panic. Reality Anchors at the size of highrise buildings were delivered to the encirclement, walling off the target and the rest of the world. Thaumaturgists were chanting in the upper atmosphere, creating suppression sigils in the skies above them. Several thermonuclear warheads were en route to the battlefield. However, as the highrises collapse, the heavens fall, and the mushroom clouds cool down, the target remained as before.

While the Commanders were planning on their next retaliation, the unexpected had happened.

Airborne and spaceborne units of the Global Occult Coalition fired upon the logistic troops of the Serpent's Hand. Metal wings blotted out the sky, and above them was their airborne aircraft carrier. Prohibited weaponry and technology were deployed, the attacks changed even the mass distribution and the magnetic field of this planet. Within this chaos, communications between the Groups of Interest were severed. Layers after layers of shieldings appeared around the Originator. All forces wanted him to be their own. The forgotten Deities rose up from their graves. A golden arc appeared on the horizon. Fire and ice surrounded Mobile Task Force Omega-11 “The Concerto”5.

Attacks seen and unseen all add to this affray, the N.E.A.C. collapsed from the inside. Every party was now fighting for the control of the most valuable target. The fight had now turned into a civil war between the Groups of Interest.

The Broken God arose from the ruins. It devoured all matters—drones, aircraft carriers, continental landmasses, fire and ice, then the Broken became Complete. The noises of its rusted gears surpassed all sounds of fighting. It delivered its judgment to all forces in battle, with only its disciples singing its work. The symphony was more clear and magnificent, until it was the only sound heard by the Earth. Then, artillery rained down onto the combattants on the planet surface. At last, the entirety of Eurasia was sunk into the ocean. Tsunamis and earthquakes shattered this landmass into pieces. Countless lives were lost in this apocalypse, and the Broken God retired once more after its goals were achieved.

Dead Silence.

Then again, the Originator stood up in the epicenter of the abyss. Every attempt against him failed.

“Your plan has failed.” A man on the screen spoke with indifference. “By the way, two months ago, my team finished the development of The Herd of our own. And he was the first experimental subject.”

Liu Yi pointed at his own head.

“I read reports of it already.”

“This was indeed not a part of my plan. I overestimated the intelligence of the human race.” Arya said, looking at another screen of all the chaos happening on the planet. She was as emotionless as Liu Yi. “But we have not failed yet, Dr. Liu.”

“You’ve planned on so much, but how could you have ruled out the possibility of this? You’ve made such a blunder. Even a kid wouldn’t do something stupid like this.” Liu closed his eyes, “Speaking of the kid, he’s still looking at you adults fighting with each other. Make your move wisely—but remember—every move you make will lead to failure.”

“Dr. Liu, you’ve heard about the Space Construction Project, which finished a few months ago, right?”

“I sure do.”

“So answer me…” She stood up, staring at the man on the screen, with both anger and calm in her eyes. A shiver went up Liu’s spine.

“Does the Black Moon howl?”

He was confused about what she meant. Then he realized something—something about the revision of every SCP containment procedure, then the Space Construction Project started, and the Moon…

Liu Yi trembled in fear.

“That’s not what you are gonna do.” There was a tremor in his voice. “Arya Bird. You are such a bastard. You already betrayed the Foundation. Now you are going to betray the human race! Do you think your criminal record is not long enough?”

“Enjoy the last 31.46 seconds of your life, Doctor.” Arya tapped her desk, ending the transmission.

“I’ve long decided to pierce through the Black Moon’s heart with pike and spear. I did not, and I will not regret it.”

Arya decided to make the Black Moon howl.

Two hundred and fifteen engines thrust the Moon toward the Earth.

The end of the world did not arrive at the expected time of collision. The satellite of Earth was dismantled on its own. Then the surface and atmosphere of the Moon disappeared into the aether, as if the celestial body was taken off its jacket.

The force of a reality-altering individual was preventing the collision. The Originator’s arms held the mass of the moon over his head. His arms were disconnected, then rebuilt, over and over again. The arms falling onto the ground joined him in holding the weight. With a loud, clear, and childish scream, the Earth fell into silence once more.

The collision of the two celestial objects was avoided…

It was not the checkmate. It was never meant to be.

As silence was restored, the Originator witnessed the interior of the Moon.

Hiding in the moon, falling down from the sky, were the 7,136 anomalous objects contained by the Foundation since 162 B.C. At least eight hundred of them could wipe out human civilization. Ever since Arya became a member of the O5 Council, their containment procedures were all changed into, “Contained under the surface of the Moon.” Nobody could ever imagine what products will be yielded from such a reaction.

Now, all containments were breached. The jail was broken, and the evilest criminals saw the light of the world. What was never meant to exist now existed. What existed now vanished. Rationality disappeared from this world.

All evils marched toward the trembling body of Fang Ziyou.

Then the Solar System became oblivion.

Beyond its borders flew a hastily designed escape pod.

Arya sat silently in the center of the chamber, designed to accommodate two persons. She was holding a book with a purple cover, tapping its cover with her right hand.

She was praying.

Then she realized, what she was touching was not a book anymore.

It was the Originator.

“You ruined my lives.” Arya spoke, like a grandmother in her sixties.

The Originator didn’t speak back. He was naked and shocked. He could barely move his mouth.

“This book6 recorded every crime committed by one human against another. It is now the time of atonement.” Her voice became deeper and quieter as she spoke. Her last few words were completely silent.

“Listen to me!”

She looked at the Originator. His body was glowing purple. Tears of crimson color flowed out of his eyes.


The young man was sobbing.

“What… have I…” He spoke as tears fell from his face.

He wiped the tears with his hands. “Why… Just why…”

Arya held her anger for three lives. She could hold it back no longer.

“Why? You tell me! You destroyed the Earth! You killed every human being! Useless piece of shit!” She threw the book onto the floor. Following her thaumic screams, words flew out of the book. Then the pages started to fall out. Its components scattered all over the floor.

“Today is the day you pay with your life! I hate you! Listen to me! I hate you!”

She pulled a dark purple sword out of thin pages. It absorbed all but some oxygen in the chamber. The whole shuttle trembled. She unleashed the powerful sword of Deicide. The Sword of the Infidel7 was summoned by the sacrifice of all human lives. She pointed the sword at the Originator, under his chin.

“I’m so sorry…” He was still sobbing, despite Arya’s words and actions.

Arya held the handle tightly. She was biting her lip. Her face was bloodless. Yet she couldn't strike the blow.

She just murdered seven billion human lives without a second thought. And now she was hesitating to kill a sobbing kid.

“You deserve it.” Her voice was so empty, that no sound came out her mouth.

After struggling with herself, the sword penetrated the throat of Fang Ziyou. Blood splashed onto the woman’s face.

Fang wanted to cry, though with an exhausted mind, he couldn’t squeeze out any tears. At last, he fell asleep, with his body and soul mutilated. But before his mind fell into darkness, he never saw a glimpse of light.

The Originator was dead.

Arya was traveling in the dark space. Like a fry lost in the vast ocean.

Supplies were depleted. Her life concluded in a month.

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