SCP-7000 - アンダーベガスのオリエンテーション: 胴元(ハウス)の敗北


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ハウス: 皆さんは自分がなぜここにいるのか怪訝に感じていることと思います。合っていますか?というのも、同じ状況なら私もそう感じるだろうからです。最初にするのが男のおしゃべりを聞くことだなんて思ってもみなかったでしょう。こういったことをするのは久し振りですが、だからこそすべきなのではないかと私は思います。加えて、まあその、私としてはあなたたちのお手伝いをすることはやぶさかではありません。この緊迫した、プレッシャーの大きい状況では— 誰しも多少の気楽さが必要でしょう、ね?

[静寂。]

ハウス: オリエンテーション。今私が話しているのはオリエンテーションのことです。そういえば、これアンダーベガスのオリエンテーションで間違いありませんよね?

[講堂全域から一斉に上がる肯定の声。ハウス管理官はジャケットを脱ぎ、スツールに着席する。]

ハウス: よろしい。皆さんはここ、サイト-666の新入職員です。

[彼は補佐官に向かって屈み込む。]

ハウス: 失礼、えーと確か、ですよね?よし。そうですね、オーケー。 (声を張って) 皆さんが財団のあちこちから来たということは既に聞いています。部門、課、機動部隊、作戦、それらを正しくごちゃ混ぜにした人々が、皆ここラスベガスに集結しているのです。これは、あなたたちがここに来て最初の週に受ける数々のオリエンテーションのうち最初のものとなることでしょう。まもなく、あなたたちはこのサイトの特定の課に引きずり込まれ、直属の上司からShortly, you'll be dragged off to specific divisions at the Site, where you'll receive more specialized orientations from your direct superiors. Who are exceedingly competent. I think, anyway. I feel like I wouldn't hire idiots, which is what makes me so confident in all of your success already!

HOUSE: But this little affair is just to get you acquainted with Vegas. Not Las Vegas. The other Vegas. I'm gonna do my best to make this one at least a little entertaining. Everyone look under your seats. You'll find a dossier for the Undervegas Initiative.

[He moves out from behind the desk, taking a seat on top of it.]

HOUSE: Good. Now, open your folders, and follow along: I'm Director Randall House. Welcome to the Undervegas Orientation. And let me tell you about the time the House lost.










3/7000 LEVEL 3/7000
CLASSIFIED
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Item #: SCP-7000
Keter

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Site-666 in SCP-7000.


SPECIAL CONTAINMENT PROCEDURES: SCP-7000's long-term containment procedures are still in discussion amongst Site-666 staff and Southwest U.S Regional Command. In the interim, additional funding and personnel have been allocated for Site-666 as a result of the sudden increase in containment domain that SCP-7000 represents.

DESCRIPTION: SCP-7000 is an anomalous metropolis located in the Fourth Circle of Hell, relative to the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. SCP-7000 is colloquially known to its 1.1 million demonic residents (and Foundation personnel) as Undervegas.

Until 1992, SCP-7000 did not exist in its current form of a discrete city. Instead, it was simply part of Las Vegas as it protruded into the Fourth Circle of Hell, forming a massive gateway through which demons could cross; in essence, they were different sections of the same city. The forcible rescue of Las Vegas from Hell in March 1992 by the Foundation successfully returned and anchored Las Vegas to baseline reality. It also inadvertently returned and anchored Undervegas to the Fourth Circle Hell, where it continued to grow and operate as a tourist destination, economic hub, and occasional host of the Summer Olympics.

By 1999, Undervegas was inhabited by over a million demonic residents and a handful of humans. The city's topology is roughly analogous to that of Las Vegas itself, though highly exaggerated, and contains several legendary landmarks and casinos that have long since been torn down and replaced. The city has a complex social and political structure controlled by the most powerful of these demons: "Pit Bosses".

Astonishingly, this all went largely unnoticed by Site-666 for nearly 7 years (despite being located on top of SCP-7000), until February 1999.

[Director HOUSE clears his throat.]

HOUSE: Okay, I admit, maybe not our greatest moment. We're not perfect here. Otherwise we wouldn't be in Hell, right? But you're also here, which means you can't criticize us! Welcome to the Site-666 family!


Addendum 7000.1

SITE-666


HOUSE: First thing to know about Undervegas: how to get to the damn place. I mean, none of the rest of this matters if you can't find the door, right? Actually, speaking of doors, here's a question: how many of you like to win?

[A chorus of assent rings out through the lecture hall.]

HOUSE: Good, good. How many of you think cheating to win is wrong?

[A confused, weaker chorus, perhaps a choir of assent rings out.]

HOUSE: Unfortunate, but we'll beat that out of you soon enough. See, the reality is that we're horrifically outnumbered here — in Las Vegas and Undervegas. The 19s and 120s and 43s you guys worked at might have discouraged open, blatant lying and cheating to win. I carry no such reservations, on the casino floor or in the office. I encourage you not to, either. Actually, you probably shouldn't cheat on the casino floor, Suurthaxyl might break your knees. But my point is that if you're not prepared to bullshit and hustle your way into containing anomalies, this isn't the place for you. Door's right there.

[Two researchers get up, gather their things, and leave.]

HOUSE: Suckers. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, getting to Undervegas. Well, it used to be real easy. People would pass into it and back again without even realizing it, multiple times a day. Course, when Las Vegas completely collapsed into Hell in '92, we turned on the Theoplanar Vacuum Unit, and that got a lot harder. Oh yeah — the spotlight on the Luxor is one of the most expensive pieces of paratech in the Western Hemisphere. You should probably know that. Interestingly, the engineers tell me it also smells really, really bad. Go figure.

[HOUSE shrugs.]

HOUSE: Anyway, nowadays there's really only two ways for a regular Joe to get into Undervegas. The first is naturally. Like I said, partake in the city's all-you-can-eat-buffet of sin — do the horizontal Macarena in the back room of an Elvis chapel, lose all of your money on horse fights, pass out under a car. That sort of thing. Do it at the right time under the right cosmic conditions, you might stumble our of your haze in the Infernal Apple, Sin2 City, Undervegas.

DOCTOR: Uh, sir? You said there were two ways.

HOUSE: Oh yeah. The second is when your IDIOT STAFF accidentally summons the Prince of Hell during a party and opens a gateway into Tartarus.

SCP-7000's existence abruptly came to Foundation attention on February 2nd, 1999, during a small party in the Site-666 employee lounge on Sublevel 2. After three years of in-situ study and training, including hundreds of interviews with demonic entities, Foundational personnel, and local vermin, Doctor Contessa Thorner had published her thesis paper to the Foundation Academic Service1. In celebration, she and several coworkers had a small recreational get-together in the bar of the employee lounge. Incidentally, she had recited several Latin chants earlier in the day as part of her thesis reading, and throughout the day, through sheer astronomical coincidence, completed almost all the tasks necessary for an exceptionally powerful demon summoning ritual.


Addendum 7000.2

MONEYPIT


HOUSE: So congrats, you've bumbled your way into the biggest demonic Nexus. In the western hemisphere, that is. Goddamn Macau. Place is named after a bird, not even a real name.

[HOUSE grumbles under his breath.]

HOUSE: Anyway, well done! So you emerge from your stupor staring into a demonic perversion of a frankly already-pretty-perverted American city. But Las Vegas sucks, right? I mean, we all know it's a mess of hot asphalt, crappy underpasses, densely-packed buildings and alleys. The traffic sucks, and if you didn't know you might go to Hell you'd probably do a jumper off a casino balcony. So you're probably wondering how much worse Undervegas could possibly be.

[He chuckles.]

HOUSE: Man, if you think OUR city planners hate you— see, everyone says Vegas changes with the times. New casinos and hotels demolished to make way for the new. Phoenix rising from the ashes and all that, the grand spirit of capitalism run amok. In the spirit of opposites, Undervegas is permanently stuck in the past. Imagine, you walk out of an alley, eyes bleary, and survey the Las Vegas skyline. But wait — The Stratosphere and the MGM Grand are missing. In their places are low, squat buildings you've never seen before. Not the megacasinos of the modern age, but all of the legendary Strip fixtures demolished over the past decade. It's the Dunes, the Sands, all the kitschy old casinos that became food in the bellies of hungrier operations before being imploded and built over. In the pits of Hell, they live on. And are somehow more profitable. Appropriate, isn't it? All casinos go to Hell.

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Doctor Thorner's survey team.

Immediately after realizing that Site-666 had fallen into unfamiliar territory, Director House contacted Overwatch Command before ordering the casino management to seal the doors and restrict guest movement. Conveniently, most guests were uninterested in leaving. The handful that did resist were allayed by the announcement of an all-night happy hour at the Luxor. Meanwhile, Director House convened a meeting of Site personnel to evaluate the situation.


Addendum 7000.3

UNDERVEGAS


HOUSE: Undervegas is divvied up into seven sections. Yes, I see you teacher's pets in the back thinking you're getting extra credit for figuring it out. The rest of the demons from the other circles of Hell come for a good time in Undervegas, end up forming their own little community. And now they can turn that land — Estates, they're called — into an icon of their particular kind of sin.

[He clicks a button on the remote. The lights dim and a projector begins to cast a large image onto the screen behind the stage: a multicolored ring.]

HOUSE: There's your dummy's map of Undervegas. As you can see, they're not equally sized chunks. The largest is the Fourth Estate, Moneypit — Greed demons, bastards kept stealing everyone else's. That particular one is the territory of Ba'al, the irritatingly-good-at-three-pointers scumbag that started this whole mess. Actually, if you say "scumbag that started this whole mess" to my employees, they'll probably assume you're talking about me. So don't do that. Anyway, next are The Feast, Succubustown, Ivory Towers. Gluttony, lust, and pride, respectively. Then Iwannit, The Beat, and Acedia. Envy, wrath, sloth.

[He points to each section of the ring as he speaks.]

HOUSE: My point is that don't make the most common mistake: thinking that Undervegas is a monolith. It's not. Demons' disdain for us is outmatched by only one thing: their hatred for each other. Again, not too different from humans. If you're gonna survive here, you need to know how to play them against each other.

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Interior of Site-666.

56 minutes after the collapse of Site-666 into Undervegas, Dr. Thorner's survey mission returned from the area of the Loop immediately outside, back into the Site-666 garage. Upon exiting the vehicle, Site security attempted to apprehend the demon, but completely failed, as she simply ignored all attempts to force her still and shattered several pairs of handcuffs. At Agent Sterling and Doctor Thorner's request, she acquiesced to being nominally 'contained' as she was escorted to the Director's Office.


Addendum 7000.4

THE FEAST


HOUSE: So, who are these elusive rulers of Undervegas? They're called Pit Bosses. And boy, are they ugly and useless. These are the most powerful demons around, remember. They've successfully made all the other demons in their class bow to them, one way or the other.

HOUSE: But fundamentally, they're just powerful people. I don't mean that to say that demons are just people — though they are. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there's a little bit of demon in everyone. It's just who we are. Maybe there's a few Zen monks in the audience, but most of us are ruled by temptation and desire and all the other things French people write poetry about. We're slaves to our own wants.

HOUSE: Demons are that turned to 11. Pit Bosses are that turned to 11,000. They're surprisingly easy to deal with — because of how comically easy they are to manipulate. You basically have to dangle something they'll go for in front of them and they won't be able to stop themselves. Literally, they won't. They don't have the concept.

[He claps his hands.]

HOUSE: So when dealing with them, remember: if you drank an eighth of vodka and hit yourself on the head with a hammer, you'd still be cleverer than them on their best day. They are single-minded creatures. Use this against them.

AGENT: Sir? Didn't you get tricked into signing your Site over to one?

HOUSE: That was Doctor Thorner. Also, shut up.

An hour and twelve minutes after Site-666 collapsed into Undervegas, the survey team, now with the addition of Agent Calendar, departed Site-666 again. With Calendar's directions, the Suburban quickly exited Moneypit, moving clockwise into The Feast, the Estate of Gluttony.


Addendum 7000.5

SUCCUBUSTOWN


HOUSE: Each estate has one major casino that servers as the seat of power for that estate's ruler. You might be thinking "how do the demons decide who's in charge"? The answer is, pretty much the same as we do.

[He coughs.]

HOUSE: Poorly. And in a lot of different ways. Moneypit is a plutocracy — Ba'al is the richest, so he's in charge. But they'll turn on him like that if someone else comes up. Actually, they did. Pretty recently, too. Wrath demons have a huge free-for-all fighting tourney to see who controls The Beat. The Feast is, appropriately, an eating contest. You don't want to know how the Queen of Succubustown got her position. I mean, uh, her rank.

[HOUSE sighs.]

HOUSE: Look, off the record, you will probably interact with a succubus or two in your time here. Just… don't be an idiot. We don't want more demons running around.

An hour and 49 minutes after Site-666 collapsed into Undervegas, the away team exited The Feast and entered into the next Estate of Undervegas, Succubustown.


Addendum 7000.6

IVORY TOWERS


HOUSE: Like I said, all the old casinos of yore can be found lining the endless Strip in Undervegas. Course, they're not exactly 1:1 recreations. You make the mistake of wandering inside, and you'll find they're… more suited to demons. Orgy buffets, betting on the outcome of humans' lives, literal blood baths. Every gambling floor has enough to make a 13th century monk take off the hood.The city's 'streets', if you can call them that, aren't much better. In places, you're going to be knee-deep in raucous devils fighting, drinking, and doing all the rest under the pervasive red glow. The whole of Undervegas is one big demon party, and buddy —- you're not invited.

[He scratches his head.]

HOUSE: But on the whole — ignoring the demons is hard, and the food is terrible, but a casino buff can have a lot of fun in Undervegas. You can spot the original joints that the Rat Pack called home. Now they're occupied by actual giant rat demons. The Ocean's 11 was filmed at the Sands, which has been gentrified to kingdome come, literally. The games in the casinos themselves are similarly, well, demonized. I wouldn't recommend betting away anything you wouldn't want to wake up without. That's how you lose your kidneys.

[He pauses.]

HOUSE: Not that I'd know. I never lose.

Two hours and 34 minutes after Site-666 collapsed into Undervegas, the away team entered the Ivory Towers estate of Undervegas.


Addendum 7000.7

SITE-666




HOUSE: And with that, we come to a close. I bet you're thinking to yourself "what the hell just happened?" A fair question. The answer is a perfect cheat. All the components in place. Executed without a hitch.

HOUSE: So there's my advice when interacting with demons. Or when working here in general. Always cheat. Always have an ace up your sleeve. And never, ever show them all your cards. Any questions?

RESEARCHER: Sir? How did you know?

HOUSE: How did I know what?

RESEARCHER: That the Site had enough power for the vacuum unit? That the other Princes would successfully distract Ba'al? That you had… Satan's favor on your side? I mean, how did you know that any of this would work?

HOUSE: I didn't. But I made a plan, I stacked the odds. Then I did what we all do in this city: I rolled the dice. And I got lucky. I need risk-takers, people who don't just think outside the box — they live outside it. People willing to make a gambit and roll the dice.

[He pauses, then grins.]

HOUSE: Hey, you guys know why I got lucky?

[A groan passes through the audience. Director HOUSE grins and sips from his mug.]

HOUSE: Yeah, you goddamn know.


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