Object 600 - "The Item"



Black Box Archive

You have accessed the black box archive for Scene-00.0's E.C. Station.

As with all black box archives, this audio-visual file is a recording of the final fifteen minutes before the base was removed off of our radars. This black box, as with all black boxes, is heavily confidential and should only be accessed by those who know E.C., or those that work for them.

Wait, the Control Scene is gone?

Did we lose?

We've failed.

This will be put into a proper div box later!

[Within Scene-00.0, three individuals stand at the main watching office. They each stood around various controls, but only one individual was tampering with the machines whilst watching a large window out in front of them. This window looked to a fiery, blazing forest, interlaced with scorched mountains and long eviscerated, crumbled bridges that stretched for miles between the natural peaks. The view out front of the window was constantly in a state of flux, holding on one burned location for a few seconds before then fading to blue in a ripple-like effect before cementing to look onto another location that was much the same in appearance, yet had different topological features to differenciate it from the previous view outside the window.]

Giacomo: Melody, just put it away, won't you?

[Giacomo folds his arms sternly, watching the screen in front of him. shutting his eyes and eventually just looking to Melody. The former looked no less than seventeen, having rather short, curly black hair that tucked behind their small ears. It sat fairly snugly to their scalp, only puffing out as it reached their neck, which is also coincidentally where their hair ended.]

Melody: No, jesus Giaco, I'm trying to actually save our lives here!

Giacomo: Is it getting you anywhere?

Melody: N-no, but I'm-

Giacomo: But you're what, trying-? Great, we'll be fine then won't we, huh? We're gonna live because you're trying.

Melody: Hey, I'm trying to save this war for crying out loud! I'm- I'm not giving up, there are still scraps of us out there!!

[Giacomo grits his teeth at Melody, opening his mouth and emitting a shout before taking a step closer to Melody to rebuttle her. However, the third individual steps between the two and puts her arm sternly onto Giacomo's shoulder. righting him in place to stop any possible lunges or swings of aggression from either of them.]

Jasmine: Giacomo… Please, okay. Let's not fight.

[Jasmine looked at Giacomo, having a surprisingly upset face whilst she stopped the altercation. She frowned at Giacomo, being about exactly their height, but that's where their visual similarities ended. Jasmine's skin was fairer, and her face was longer and more dry. Her hair straightened to go do all the way down her back. After a second, she stepped fully between the two. tampering with the same sect of controls as Melody was. changing the window ahead of them to be a simple, uniform and navy blue.]

Melody: Wait, Jasmine-! What are you doing?? We need to see down there!

Jasmine: Melody, we… we don't. We know what's down there, we've been watching it for days now.

Melody: Are two fucking insane? We can't just abandon Zero-One-One, it's all we have left.

Jasmine: How many bases are left on Scene-01.1, Melody.

[Melody jumps, looking up at Jasmine in an almost offended, bitter fashion, clenching her fist on an inactive lever on the part of the control panel she was using. Giving a grumbling upset sigh as she pushed it forwards]

Melody: …Two-

Jasmine: Melody, we may just have to accept the fact that we've lost…

Melody: Are you kidding me-?? Accepting that means we accept the fact we're going to die! We still have a chance!

[Giacomo looked over to Melody after Jasmine seemed to tear up in her right eye, Jasmine herself seemed unable to reply to Melody's comment, but looked at her with upset eyes and a silent communication of disagreement. Whilst Giacomo copied Jasmine in looking at Melody with vague upset, he didn't seem to cry, nor did his emotions permit him from speaking.]

Giacomo: Melody… there are two bases left. practically all our civillians died when Zero-Double-Nine was destroyed by them, we were stupid to evacuate so many people into it. Emstable's numbers are mountainous compared to our current ones.

Melody: So… you suggest we just die, then? Why not just give them what they want at this point, we can surrender and live!

[Jasmine suddenly looked over, having been idly watching the observation room ahead of them and zoning out as she looked at the navy blue view outside of it.]

Jasmine: That… Already tried that-

Melody: Huh-? When did that happen?

Jasmine: I dunno- it was just something we tried when Emstable was serious about war, and weren't stepping down. Probably not too long after what we did on Double-Zero-Eight. We wanted to negotiate with them, try something peaceful…

Giacomo: And before you say anything, NO- They can't be reasoned with again. Not even when we're on our knees like this.

Melody: What if we… Are their asylum seekers still at Zero-One-One's main city? I don't… it would be wrong to give them away like that, b-but maybe they could play a part in negotiations in a different way?

Jasmine: Melody, their '91 AS's are dead-

Melody: They're… not, are they-? Why are they still fighting then??

Giacomo: Because they just want us dead-? It's not even like their original AS's died in Zero-Double-Nine, it was their own explicit doing on Zero-Two-Three like… about two years into this shit?

[Melody gulped, looking down at the controls as she pondered. Her mouth hung open, her breathing going slow as she carefully considered what she'd been told. Suddenly bending her back upwards to stand straight as she nudged Jasmine away from her sect of the controls. using them to change the blue viewing screen to look upon the fiery woodland hellscape they were tuning into just minutes before. Though Melody tuned it specifically to look a campsite built around upturned cars and what looked to be a close-knit group of building husks that jutted off the side of a two-lane, ground-level highway.]

Giacomo: Melody- There's no point checking the main base.

Melody: There is, I got an idea! It'll help keep us alive and possibly regroup together with some smaller factions and get our numbers up again. Let's open up a gateway to here! We can just pick up our survivors, home them with mattresses we can hopefully create, and then reset all of Double-Zero-One, like we did with Double-Zero-Eight!

Jasmine: And that'll kill the attacking soldiers?

Melody: It'll kill the soldiers, revitalise the environment, and perhaps allow us to secretly get our base back there, too.

Giacomo: Didn't we try that with Zero-Six-Zero? Zero-Nine-Nine? Why the hell would it work now? especially when we're as stretched thin as we are now?

Melody: It… yeah, which is why I think this'll be our final hoopla in terms of being able to use this place. We pour every last drop of power we have onto resetting Zero-One-One, possibly short fuse the entire facility, but… us and our people will be safe!

Jasmine: At least until they find us again, which…

((Giacomo:}} Could be at any time, yeah yeah. Melody, if this'll work, then… I guess we can try it?

Melody: Do I have the go-aheads from you all to try this? I'll open up the gateway, first. Then we'll attempt the final reset.

Jasmine: That's not something you need the go-ahead for, Melody. W-We're ready for that to happen.

Giacomo: Yeah, you know what? Same here.

Melody: You just think it'll delay the inevitable, don't you?

Giacomo: You said it, so… clearly you're not the only one who believes that?

((Melody:}} It will… give us a fairer chance at living longer, Giacomo.

((Giacomo:}} Right… Just get it started?

Melody: I'm right on it-

[With some nervous jitters of her arms, Melody began to flick levers, turn dials, and press buttons along the three sections of the centre control panel the three were stood around. The image on the window above the trio began to change yet again, shifting with a ripple to outlook the same campsite as before, though this time it was directly set at the charred road besides the ragtag camp.]

Melody: Let's see…

[As Melody pondered, she began to type on a small keyboard present on the master control panel, and as she pressed down on a singular green button just moments after the fact, she brought forth a microphone held on a sturdy cord towards her head. clearing her throat before speaking into it]

Melody: Captain Stewart? This is E.C., speaking to you from Headquarters. How is your base faring?

[The line back appeared rather scratching and initially incoherent, though some kind of stable channel did inevitably connect between the base and Melody Parker. Causing a somewhat deep, yet young and teenage/early adult voice to speak back through]

Stewart: E.C.??

**Melody: Yes- It's me, we're here to be of aid to-

Stewart: Oh my fucking god, why haven't you been around to help us?? We're fucking dying out here, where have you been??

Melody: We've been… fighting battles elsewhere. Look, we have a final solution to save both you and the smaller outpost that we know is still operational, even if it is a bit of a final solution.

[Initially, there seemed to be silence, occasionally interrupted by sounds of soldiers, fire, static, or even machines in the sky.]

Stewart: Other… base? Which other base, E.C.?

Melody: The… small little one, it existed at our last check-in. Perhaps your reports are out of date? You are out in the middle of-

Stewart: E.C., I hate to undermine your knowledge, but that second base is gone. We heard it get raided and detonated about a half hour ago. It's gone, especially now that its black box archive got shipped to my blocks.

Melody: Wait, it's BBA?

[With quick and immediate haste, Melody pressed the same button again that she had to start the call in the first place, and even gave a hasty push to the microphone to throw it towards the window, and away from the trio]

Melody: Have any of you checked any incoming black boxes??

Jasmine: Hang on, I-I'll check Melody, I'm sure it'll be here somewhere-

[Jasmine, with clear and worried haste, looked to a monitor to her right, quickly pacing over to it and scrolling through its touchscreen displays. She passed by various folders, even tapping ones accidentally in her panic. Though, after enough deliberation, she found the archive of blck boxes. The first in the list, right below the bases for every single Scene-01.1 outpost besides 1, there was a single, new one. Added in only 32 minutes ago.]

Jasmine: So- there's a new one, and it's for Base 14… The only other surviving one. Or what we thought was the only other surviving one.

Melody: Do we… even open it?

Jasmine: I'd be worried to, they're never pleasant… Even pre-war.

Giacomo: Jasmine, we stopped listening to them after the fall of Base 8, we… let's not worry about it, and let's just get who we can to safety.

Jasmine: Providing it… even works?

Giacomo: I have trust it can work, even if it's not a lot. Come back over here, let's get ready to try and home and feed these people.

[Jasmine, with an exhale, gave a sure nod to Giacomo as she paced back to where the others were standing. Looking up at the window with somewhat visible confidence, almost encroaching into becoming a smile]

Melody: Okay! The hail mary plan, let's do this.

[Melody seemed to speak with somewhat of a shaky voice, reaching forwards and grabbing the end of the microphone to quickly pull and yank it over towards her position. Once there, she pressed the green button once more, preparing to speak into the microphone once more.]

Melody: Captain Stewart? Start organising your fighters. We're moving you to a safer scene, one that we will also be at.

Stewart: Wait… we? Who's we? isn't it just you in there, E.C.?

Melody: To… a degree, yes. Just begin to organise everyone by the roadside, and we'll start to make the gateway you can use to leave.

Stewart: Heard, I understand. I'll leave the channel open whilst organising the soldiers.

[After the general had finished speaking, the sound over the microphone was quickly replaced by the sounds of footsteps, followed by the general starting to shout and herd his fighters together, which created even more sound over the microphone, most of it almost reminiscent of white noise with the amount of miscellanious sounds that came through the crackly microphone. To userpt the noise, all Melody did was drag a slider downwards, causing the sound to mute]

Jasmine: And now the gateway, right-?

Melody: Yep, that's the last step. Let's hope that doing this doesn't cause the entire control scene to die out, or else we'd definitely have an issue on our hands.

[Without further prying, Melody started to hastily flick and turn dials, causing the lights above to somewhat flicker and dilate as the outline of a rectangular shape began to take shape in the middle of the road the window was currently viewing. Initially, it started off as just a basic outline, though as the area within it started to colour in white like splatters and drips of paint, it began to shine ever brighter. This continued right up until the process had concluded, and the inside of the rectangle flashed and became more of a doorway into a similarly designed room as the control panel, albeit looking more like a hallway, with many closed doors and names above the doorframes]

Giacomo: You took them to our bedrooms-?

Melody: We don't have anywhere else to house them right now- what matters is that we get them in, and we get them safe.

[After Melody had explained her situation, she looked down at her controls again, flicking up the volume dial and bringing the microphone back to her. However, Melody's two compatriots didn't seem to watch her, and instead were looking confusedly at the sky behind the window.]

Melody: Stewart, are your fighters ready to cross in?

Stewart: We're ready, E.C., but… there's something in the sky. I can't quite describe it, but… It's not something from here.

[Confused, Melody looks up at the window, causing her pupils to dilate in confusion. Floating above the sky, coated in a blue haze from the skybox that it was seemingly hovering above from, was some odd, spherical object. Its true composition was hard to tell due to its distance from the ground, its distance from the viewing window, and the distance that the viewing window. Melody looked in shock and confusion, changing the viewpoint on the large window to instead look directly upwards at the sky, right on the border between the artificial skybox and the blue void just beyond it.]

Melody: The quality's not getting any clearer, it's just… bigger now.

Jasmine: I-I think it's out in the Out of Bounds- it's just… big enough to show through it, christ-

Giacomo: Can you get any higher to it?

Melody: I… Nope, this is as far up as it goes. You know how this thing is with trying to pinpoint areas in the Out of Bounds.

Giacomo: Yeah, yeah- I know Melody. Now are people going to start-

[In an instant, Giacomo's words are completely cut off by a loud blast that not only emanated from the coms mic and the viewing window, but also down one of the many Control Room corridors behind the trio. the Roaring, industrial and long-playing sound caused everyone to jump in surprise, which was subsequently worsened by the lights beginning to flicker and tremble at alarmingly quick rates. Jasmine looked to Melody in paranoid fear, just as the entirety of the Control Scene shook and jolted forwards.]

[Just moments after the tremors began, Melody, Giacomo and Jasmine were thrown violently to the side during the scene's violent shake. Though all being sent to the right, close to the monitor that Jasmine previously used to check the black box recordings, they each landed in remarkably different directions. Jasmine, being the closest to the floor, skidded and rolled from the sudden fall. Gradually stopping in a pained, limp grumble. Melody fell in much the same fashion, but grazed her arm on a portion of the centre control panel that jutted backwards in order to fit an extra few buttons and sliders. Some of which were hit in her descent to the ground. Which ended in more of a hard, singular thud to the floor than a roll.]

Melody: Ngh….

[In a weak attempt, Melody got herself back up onto her own two feet, just as Jasmine seemed to be at the same time. Melody initially got onto her knees, using the edge of the control panel which she tightly clasped onto to wobbly get back to standing up. She looked to Jasmine, who was shakily getting back to their feet using nothing but their own balance.]

Melody: J-Jasmine-? are you okay?

Jasmine: My head's throbbing, but… I'm okay- I-I'm okay… Where's Giacomo?

//[Within an instant, Melody's attention snapped to looking around the room. Though the entire control room had been encased in a pitch darkness, the various flickering bulbs from above and the randomly illuminated buttons aided Melody in scouting the room for where Giacomo could be.

Melody: Shit- Giacomo!

[Melody quickly kneeled down, having previously seen a scrape of blood and general visceral goo skidded and caught on the harsh edge of the central panel the trio were standing at. Jasmine watched, seeing the scrape and seemingly coming to the same, equal conclusion that Melody had. Instead of kneeling, though, Jasmine moved herself to a set of controls away from the main one in the middle, fighting with a stiff set of levers to reboot the lights within the room. With flickers and electronic grumbles from above, the room was finally coated again with light]

[On the floor, Giacomo lay practically lifeless, blood pooling onto the otherwise clean floor at an area of his head which seemed covered by his somewhat face down posture, showing mostly the back of his own head. Melody rushed to check his condition, moving his head up carefully, trying not to get blood on her fingers. Upon seeing his face, Melody shrieked, putting it back down and scrambling to get up and stand backwards. putting her hands over her mouth in shock]

Jasmine: Is- is he…-

Melody: Y-Yes- he is-

[Melody's voice trembled and quivered in upset, taking slow and steady breaths as Jasmine cautiously approached Giacomo's body. Doing much the same as Melody had, but having somewhat of a less extreme reaction to it. Jasmine still quivered and put Giacomo's head back down with a general sense of respect as she sighed in disbelief.]

Jasmine: S-So- what even just… happened-?

Melody: I… don't even know, felt like a bombing, but… Hang on, if it'll work, I'll check diagnostics-

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