Falling Into Stars

Author: Lyrics LinnLyrics Linn
Translator: JochoiJochoi
Translating assistance: A LancelotA Lancelot
Source: SCP-CN
Original: 坠星者

URL: falling-into-stars
tags: cn oo tale doctor-bright



rating: 0+x

0


1

The first few decades after becoming SCP-963 Jack Bright almost felt funny occasionally.

He had worked with many people, those were the geniuses, freaks, psychopaths, or whatever they were, screened from the world, buried with their names. But Bright had to admit unwillingly, though his coworkers were the last creatures one can think of at the mention of "colleagues", he, even so, did not hate the days shared with them. In most cases, at least.

Surely, what happened after that weren't so funny. They faded slowly, those he had known well. They became silent, then gradually fell out of sight, decaying. Clef, hidden; Kondraki, missing, rumours had it that Gears killed him, who could hardly find himself among gears since the death of Iceberg; Kain, abandoned in a laboratory; Glass, motionless…Only Bright remained Bright, independent of and safe from time. "Immortality" has shown its power on both the body and the mind, nothing could possibly pollute Bright ——

Sorry, an amendment here.

After Bright got polluted by 963, nothing could possibly pollute 963.

So mobile of the Foundation's personnel, those old friends' faces whom he had known was already blurred behind memories. It was found hard to remember times, nor names of those around him, both meaningless to him.


Upon receiving Alto Clef's mail, Bright was, in fact, quite surprised.

It has been a long, long time since their last gather. In Bright's imaginations, Clef was still the enigmatic, vigorous and horrifying executioner. Yet now before his eyes is only an old man with grey hair, hunchbacked throughout the years of storms and thunder. Only judging by the figure, it's hard to recognise that this is the Clef.

"I didn't know the Satan on Earth himself would get old," Bright stood to his side.

Clef laughed and coughed as though it was something amusing. Sparks of blood sprayed through the air.

Bright didn't raise a single eyebrow to this. "Allo, Alto," he greeted, with his hand sliding smoothly into his pocket, grabbing hold of the exquisite handle of a gun.

From the first sight of Clef's appearance, Bright knew he was here to kill him.

"Long time no see, Jack," Clef said. “Really sorry to see you still not broken free from 963."

"So you decided to come here yourself to terminate this last regret, yeah?" Bright continued dexterously.

"We've talked about this," Clef gazed at him, the same old familiar sharp stare under the edge of the hat, "you are the most unstable factor affecting the Foundation's future."

"Just because I'm immortal?"

"Particularly because you're immortal. You'll become the most profound affecting member within the Foundation, and one day mutate into inhuman in eternal time. For this sole reason, killing you is one last thing I have to do. I'm sorry, old friend."

"No more words we can have then," Bright said, pulling his right hand out of his pocket.

……

"What I really want, is a peaceful death," calmly putting away his gun, Bright told Clef, who was still coughing out blood, "not being locked into 963 facing the borderless void. You can't kill me, Alto."

He left in a light pace, never turning back.


2

Later, in a few certain moments in his eternal life, he still recalls where it all started.

It was before Bright received his Doctor's Degree. For easier identification, we shall call him Jack.

It was when Evelyn Bright was still a woman of normal human appearance.

Jack's mother was often not home for months and years just like his father, such that after decades he can only recall a beautiful yet blurry image. No matter how it had been, "mother" still had a great appeal, so in the afternoon when Evelyn went out with Jack, TJ followed up in resent.

Woman held hands with her sons one on each side, walking on the grey town streets. The elder one was at unease for a while before finally shaking loose of her hand and following aside silently. He was already a sensitive young man, but mother had seemed to be still taking him as a kid.

Suddenly losing the temperature on one side, Evelyn hugged TJ closer without a second thought; the red-brown curly haired boy looked up, then curled up his body obediently, gently leaning into her arms.

Jack watched like a stranger. In the beginning he was the one to be taken out, yet TJ got the majority of attention unwittingly —— for sure, as mothers will always lean their love towards the younger children. And Jack Bright, being the second son in the family, had been living under the sights of not many requirements nor expectations, growing up freely before anyone had noticed him just like inconspicuous wild grass.

Evelyn didn't take the brothers too far away, the visible bulge of her abdomen made her incapable of standing for too long. The people stopped at a food stall at the corner of the street, the woman hesitated for a second, and ordered a waffle each for the two kids out of the few options.

Early summer sunlight made the skin behind Jack's neck a bit pricking. TJ couldn't hold back the nature of a child, biting the snack freshly out of the machine, wandering aside without further much to do.

But Jack stood straightening his back unnoticeably. 他怀揣着那份自认为成熟的端庄,一动不动地,和母亲并肩而立,一同注视着他的那份在烤盘格子上慢慢泛出焦黄的色泽。

In the long silent waiting, Evelyn's voice was like a rustling breeze. Like a soft sigh, blown apart within the true wind.

"Mikell told me you wanted to apply for a biological profession?"

His mother asked.

"Mmm."

"Have you already…made up your mind?"

Jack raised his head, the thick mist of worry within his mother's emerald eyes had covered him. He didn't understand where the emotion came from, so he answered carefully, "Yes. Is there any problem with biological profession?"

"…Nothing." Evelyn raised her hand, seemingly wanted to rub his head, but in the end turned to rest on his shoulder. "I just didn't think of you going to university like this. James, so fast."

"I skipped two grades," he reminded.

"I know, your father has mentioned before," she leaned her head to one side and examined him for a while, before finally making a smile. "In before I wanted to talk this through with you, but since you've decided your path……then go follow your will."

Many years later, Jack Bright still recalls that day of the summer. Dust floated and was stuck to the wind, which carried the first moist breath before the rainy season came. The sky was clear and wide, the look on woman's face was soothed and relaxed.

And in the week after that, the youngest kid of Bright's family, his sister Sarah, was "born".

Since then he had never seen the kind of smile on his mother's face anymore.


Dr. Bright's memories about father would be even paler. Adam was already at a high position when he entered the Foundation, and bloodline means risk in hidden eyes, hence contact was made even more difficult.

Therefore Bright chose to occasionally visit Site-45 located under the Western Australian seas, and to stand for a while outside SCP-321's observation room. He knew Adam had set his footsteps here, and so did Mikell. His father and brother's body temperature seemed to endure on the ice-cold metallic floor.

This activity of him had continued for long. Until O5-12 had retired, and O5-6 hast aged, he was still wearing a stolen shell and stayed young.

It should have been a normal day when he received the mass email. The undying doctor walked along the Site-17 corridors, humming to himself, unusually having a nice mood, and the ruby amulet rocked periodically under the cover of the uniform.

He had just switched to this new body for no longer than a few days, and not many people in the site recognize him. It's good this way, no one can discover Bright's good mood.

Though……along his way he couldn't bump into too many people. Most researchers were working overtime, possibly crossing their fingers and murmuring in their breaks, praying that the contained and the GOIs would behave themselves, at lease leaving them with a calm and still Independence Day holiday.

Bright was amused by his own imaginations.

For a job busy saving the world (and creating more chaos) there shouldn't be any holidays, but for personnel of lower clearances perhaps an exception could be made —— not to mention it was the Independence Day only once a year.

He wandered past the lounge with SCP-294 inside, planning to order a cup of whatever liquid for himself. At the very moment, he heard a notification from his phone. It was a mail.

"A Notice Concerning the Containment Breach and Presumption of Lost of SCP-321: ……"

After that Dr. Bright went for Sector 7. Ignoring the proper procedures, he forced his way into SCP-590's containment chamber with his clearance card.

The boy sitting on the ground fidgeting his clothes heard the sound, and raised his head with hesitation: still the reddish-brown, shoulder-length curly hair, still the feelingless, emotionless face, even the freckles on the nose are exactly the same as in memory.

The man in white coat stared into each others' eyes with the boy that had once been called "his younger brother", just as years ago.

"Still the same old look of you, 590," Bright said, standing without a proper pose, leaning on the wall. "Why don't we make a bet on who can live longer?”

The wind from a century ago howled past carrying the past, blowing through every single corner in the bodies.

He blinked, "And for sure, I'm gonna win."


3

Unknown date, Earth.

When Dr. Quartz walked into the Psychology Exam Room with files and folders in hand, he could never guess there were two Brights inside.

No, actually he should have expected it. But like all the ones who had just started to work aside Dr. Bright, Quartz hadn't fully gotten used to his everchanging host quality and quantity.

Within the two Brights, the brown-haired one saw Quartz first. He raised his hand and greeted, "Hey, little doctor."

The other red-haired Bright also turned his head upon hearing this, the chain of 963 on his neck swayed with his action; in his hands was a pure mechanical gun, the model so ancient it should have been better off in a museum.

"Afternoon, Dr. Bright…" with much hesitation, in the end Quartz didn't pronounce the 's' sound that was already on his lips. He sat down behind the office desk on the other side where Bright was, laying flat the thin electronic monitor. "Please call me Dr. Quartz, thank you. Though it hasn't been long since I joined the Foundation, I'm already the best psychologist you can find on Earth. Now may the routine psychological evaluation begin?"

"Oh, actually I've had this question in mind for a bit of time," The Bright without 963 spread his arms and legs lazily on the visitors' couch, "In these kinds of years, not to mention recruiting of newbies and replenishing of Class Ds, even containment breaches almost couldn't make it once a year. So why is it that only my psychological evaluation would still be counting in months?"

Quartz got all tensed up for a moment. "Sorry, I don't know. The order came from the person originally handling your evaluations in the beginning, pulling up your early files you can still see his notes…when it hasn't been abolished I can only take it literally. So," he carefully let out the first sentence according to the standard procedures, "how are you feeling this month?"

"The exact same boredness." One of the Brights said, with that ancient weapon cycling around his thin and long fingers, "Being sent to the kind of desolated place like Earth Branch, you must have completely pissed of your boss, which is definitely because of your overly seriousness. Where did you graduate? Saturn? Jupiter?"

"……Mars." Quartz decided to brush off the former half of comments about him. "Which is not the point, please let me ——"

"Earth Branch would be very suitable for newbies like you, you can get past your whole nightmare-fuel newbieness safe and sound. It wouldn't take half a year before you're bored to death and rather be on Mars feeding 682 ——"

“呃……我们还是来谈谈你吧,博士,”Quartz再度打断道。“你最近怎么样?”

“好吧,既然你一定要问,”红发的Bright说。

他垂下眼,勾起一个略微奇异的笑容,仿佛在注视某个远处;再度开口的瞬间,有纤细的沉静飘然降临。

“我正在听一场无边无际的大雨。”

Quartz停止了用指节敲打桌面,抬起头来。

他从对方的表情里知道自己就差把“幻听”两个字写在脸上了,因为紧接着Bright就笑了起来,“收起你的职业病,医生,我很清楚自己的精神状态。”

他无视了心理学家怀疑的眼神,自顾自地道:“你听过那样的雨声吗?它们掉落在地上就好像雪白的鸟群坠入丛林,溅起一大团一大团蓬蓬的羽毛,滚动得肆意汪洋,能随着你流淌到很远的地方。”

“……我成长的地方没有降雨。”明知对方在胡言乱语,Quartz却不由自主地接上了对话。

“哦,对,你们这些太空城长大的年轻人已经忘了什么叫天气了。”Bright悠然地摇了摇手指,补充道。

“我曾目睹地球环境两度濒临崩溃。其中之一就是这样的雨,不大,但绵密地持续了三个月,好像太平洋被整个掀起,扣在大半人类的头顶。那时候我们都看熟了永远灰黑色的天空,等它终于放晴时还怪不习惯的。”

年轻的博士被这段旧地球的历史吸引了,下意识般追问:“第二次就是大殖民之前?”

“没错,那时地表环境太过恶劣,人类几乎是一脚踩在第四次世界大战边缘,如果真打起来就全完了,基金会甚至考虑过黄石,但其实也没什么用——”

“我希望他们还不至于废弃那个号码。”另一个Bright插嘴道。

“——总之,”先前的那个提高嗓门,压过了Quartz迷茫的表情,“可控核聚变技术在那节骨眼上成熟了。一批批太空船以化学推进时代里骇人听闻的频率向太空高速射击,人们从不可思议到视若无睹也只用了三个月。在那之后,就是第一次太空大移民……你可以直接去看历史书。”

他骤然停顿了讲述。

Quartz这才回过神来。“可是这和——”他抗议道。

“可是这和你的工作有什么关系?”Bright微笑,“这就要说到了。”

“最早负责给我心理评估的那个人,要求我每个月都去一趟他的办公室。”他一手撑着下颌,一手摩挲着SCP-963光洁无痕的表面,“我想他起初是为了确保我不会随便地发疯,后来是为了不让我随便地死掉。”

“我害怕他锲而不舍的追问,只好每次事先攒好一肚子要说的话,在评估期间尽量伪装成一个正常人。”

“现在的我倒真有很多故事可以讲,但属于他的那点骨头灰怕是早已作为植物肥料轮回几十遍了。”

Quartz怔怔地看他。

“我与你评估过的任何对象都不一样,亲爱的心理学家,你明白吗?”Bright用一只手指勾起挂坠的细长链条,红宝石切面在半空折射出瑰丽莫测的华光,“在这个直径不足十厘米的首饰里,拥挤着两个千禧年间不计其数的灵魂;这可能是有史以来人类密度最大的一小块儿空间,而我仍会感到孤独。”

“所以,你看,”他从沙发上蹦起来,张开双臂,骤然挂上一个明晃晃的、猖狂的笑容,这让他看起来更像数个世纪以前的某位柴郡猫而非他自己,“人注定因孤独而生又因孤独而死。”

年轻的博士仰头盯着他,看上去很想说些什么,但最终只憋出一句干巴巴的评价。

“……令人惊叹的结论。”

另一个Bright已经沉默了很久,这时接口道:“告诉O5,他们可以摆脱我了。我疯过,也醒过,现在我累了。”

他拿过那把玩了很久的枪,顶在太阳穴,毫不犹豫地扣下扳机。动作自然流畅,一气呵成。

在Quartz得以阻止之前,伴随一声爆响,男人的尸身已然轻飘飘地倒了下去。

他瞪视了一会儿喷溅他半身的红白色浆液和细碎骨片,终于想起转向剩下的那一个:“Bright博士,下次自杀请换个地方,总之别在心理评估室,好吗?”

Bright耸耸肩:“对不起嘛。”


4

Item #: SCP-963

Object class: EuclidSafe

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-963-1 is to be given into the care of a current D level operative, as well as personnel classified as Dr. Bright's assistant.

SCP-963-1 is to be contained within a standard small secure safe. Unless under the approval of three O5 personnel, subject is forbidden to be in contact with any organism, further experiments are also forbidden. Any personnel who violates this order will be executed.

Such standard safe is currently stored at

Site-ET-01

Pluto Area-42

PioneerIV Area-03

55 Cancri F Storage Site-E

Colonized planet with stable geological activity.


5

Unknown time, unknown location.

At first, was the return of consciousness, the heavy ego rose gradually in the drag of the mire, then sensitivity melted and wakened, until everything was once more endued their purposes. The first concept was as such: What is "think"?

Bright opened his eyes in vigour.

There's something wrong with the first visual signal that the brain had received.

He 他困惑地琢磨着眼前的景象,他似乎同时“看”到了两个画面,它们和谐地并排在视觉中枢里,一个是向无限远处延伸的、铁灰色方格组成的地面,另一个则是彻头彻尾的白。

He tried to lower his head to look for 963, yet the action also failed, and caused him to dumbly and ridiculously rotated a full circle in the same position.

…Wait.

Dr. Bright, rich in past settling experiences, had a bad feeling.

He 他甩了甩他的尾巴,又挪了挪他的鳍,最后让清澈的水从他的鳃中流过。

Hmm, alright, he tried to think, extracting enjoyment from the worst, I've used much primate bodies for certain, but this is the first time for me to become a fish.

The white side lit up, and until then Bright realized that this is actually a giant monitor. Characters start to appear on the monitor, it was English.

Hello.

The sentence directly projected into his mind at the same time, as though there was a field that touched his brain waves gently. This had made conveniences for fish, after all even if he opens the mouth he can only spurt out a bunch of bubbles.

He "thought" back with all his concentration. Who are you?

For easier understanding, you may call me Machine.

………Humanity has gone extinct?

I am humanity, Machine answered. I am us, and I am also them.

Bright's memories and mind started to revive on this weak organism, and he only spent a moment to find out the biggest possibility.

So humanity has finally taken the life form of pure consciousness?

Yes.

You mentioned that "you are you", in other words a collective of consciousnesses?

You are smart, Machine commended. Despite using ancient human language, your processing speed of mind has still amazed me.

Thank you, I've had worked for a long time for the SCP Foundation.

What Foundation?

……

Bright wanted to laugh for a bit, but fish does not have the expression of laughter. Neither does fish weep, for it lives underwater.

Sorry, my/our/their memory units did not have this term defined. After all, by a chronological method that you can comprehend, now it is already——

Please refrain from telling me. Bright interrupted.

He 他整理着自己的思绪,机器也体贴地停顿了交流。他不知道也无意关心它是怎么做到这一切的,未来人既然走了这条科技线,在脑科学的发展上想必登峰造极。

There seemed to be no carbon-based organisms here.

Yes. The overall planet reformation project has lasted for seven hundred time particles, and all the matter were concentrated to supply energy for me. You were discovered in the last batch of prehistoric materials.

Can I transfer to a silicon-based organism?

No. To settle your consciousness, I purposely rebuilt a body of elementary vertebrae.

I didn't know fish was "human-like organism". To strengthen the brain of a fish to withstand the brain waves of human, not a low difficulty.

I/us/them are omnipotent.

Then can you release me from this amulet, or entity called SCP-963 in the past?

……

Hmmm.

We make use of laws, and you are outside laws.

I understand.

What other wishes do you have?

既然这里已经没有能让我栖身的生命,那就劳驾把这挂坠以第三宇宙速度发射向外星系吧。指不定能借用下哪个外星物种的身体呢,哈哈。

No need to be so troublesome.

Oh?

I will rebuild your body for you.

Machine has kept its promises. 它改装了那个只产出过一条鱼的车间,开始造更大更复杂的东西——人。

宽大的白屏被留了下来,给困于水中百无聊赖的那位解闷。Bright睁着他的鱼眼睛,一只眼睛看累了,还能翻个面用另一只。

他渐渐读到这个世界的历史。人类在半个银河系不断扩张,但总有一小部分人厌倦了永无止境的探索,转而寻求一片得以安居的乐土。他也试图了解这个世界的文化,但政治是礼崩乐坏,道德是天方夜谭,文学是呕哑嘲哳,音乐是诘屈聱牙,生命是一个老土的玩笑,只有娱乐奇谲恣肆、空前绝后,足以让人深醉其中,大梦五千年。

他对机器开玩笑,虚幻的真实也能算真实吗?很难相信人类会认同这样的价值观,我觉得我们仿佛不是一个物种了。

我们本来就不是一个物种。机器平静地答道。你不明白,作为整体,每一部分的生或死都已无关紧要。

鱼确实不明白。他想人类文明在生存的赛道上一路狂奔,为此诞生过SCP基金会这样的怪胎,也能培养出这种截然相反的后代。时间之神实在荒诞,在古往今来所有的生命中,居然选中了他以目睹未来。


Repossessing a body felt unfamiliar. Bright stared into the green eyes of the one in the mirror, still somewhat stunned.

It was made according to the earliest memories in your deep consciousness, Machine explained. We can only dig this deep, it might look not that much of alike.

"It's good enough," he shrugged.

What do you plan on doing next?

"Coming this far, what about giving me an interstellar spaceship?"


在机器气势磅礴地弄出一整套生产线开始复现宇航工业时,Bright成了个彻头彻尾的闲散人,每天就是在这金属的世界里瞎晃悠。这个星球的大气层很薄,成分也和地球上有诸多不同,从星空深处吹拂而来的粒子流击打在行星表面时,会形成很绚烂的图景。

风中涌动着深沉的、温柔的电磁波,似乎有什么宏大的东西划过夜空,沙沙作响。

有天他照例躺在地上看星星,一个声音在脑海中轻轻推了他一下。和之前相比,这段意识更柔和,带着不同于机器的暖意,令Bright有点惊讶。

我们仍有性别之分,那个声音唧唧喳喳地解释,你现在正与总人口的4.2%对话,其中绝大部分是女性。

告诉你一个消息。我们发现你的挂坠中仍保存着所有被抹去的意识,虽然只剩碎片,但他们一直在。

你携带着人类文明的博物馆呢,孩子。

嘻嘻,别不服气呀,从时间上说,你是现存所有人类的先祖;但作为史前生命,骤然来到银河时代的漫漫群星之下,难道你未曾心生孩童的惶惑与好奇么?

另一波意识吵嚷着漫了上来。我们这一支定居于这个星系太久,已经再没法回头了,但你还能找到离开的路。

去星海之间,去寻找其余的人类,去穷尽宇宙之大,看无边无际的好风景。

孩子啊,孩子,她们细细碎碎的声音在他脑中响成一片,愿星光照亮你前行的路途。

……

The day has come when it's time to begin the journey.

One last question, the Machines asked. What's your name?

"Is this utterly important?" Bright asked them back.

It decides the way you would stay on our records.

Bright thought for a while.

"At the time when I was still a human…they called me Jack Bright, Doctor or Human Resources Supervisor. In the records of the Foundation, I was SCP-963, 'Immortality' —— but I've tired of immortality."

He slowly, thoughtfully said, "there was a number that has long been abolished, they called her 'Child of Man'. I believe, you could also call me…"

The man who was a human went silent for a moment.

The Machines waited patiently.

"'Soul of Man'."

The ground beneath his feet tremored away. In almost less than a breath, the dark night sky surged, just like the millions of times he fell into the embrace of the amulet. Only this once, he didn't feel cold anymore.

Soul of Man falls into deep stars.

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