rating: +15+x

Item #: SCP-3853

Object Class: Thaumiel1/Uncontained

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-3853A is currently uncontained (see Addendum 3853-1). The Foundation is in a state of war with GoI-328 ("The Institute of Imperial Studies"); recovery of Foundation assets lost to GoI-328 is a top priority. Containment procedures which do not rely on the effects of SCP-3853A are to be developed for all anomalies currently under the control of GoI-328.

SCP-3853B is currently contained as the Roman Catholic Papacy; anomalies whose containment relies on the effects of SCP-3853B are contained by the Pontifical Commission for the Suppression of the Supernatural, the main normalcy-preservation agency of the Catholic Church, in consultation with the Foundation. The Foundation is to support the continued existence of the Papacy, and should work with the Catholic Church to prevent any major schisms that could lead to an Avignon Event4. SCP-3853B-1 is the Roman Catholic Pope (currently Pope Francis, birth name Jorge Mario Bergogloio). All of SCP-3853B-1’s written correspondence is to unambiguously identify its source or be retyped by or dictated to another person.

Description: SCP-3853 is the designation for two titles originally held by the emperors of the Roman Empire.

SCP-3853A is the office of Emperor, originally head of state of the Roman Empire. SCP-3853A is always held by the ruler of a nation-state that holds territory within the borders of the Roman Empire at the death of Augustus Caesar; that ruler is designated SCP-3853A-1. As per containment procedures, SCP-3853A-1 is currently the Director of the Institute of Imperial Studies.

Transfer of SCP-3853A usually follows the succession laws of the nation-state ruled by SCP-3853A-1. There are, however, a number of circumstances that can lead to a non-standard transfer of SCP-3853A, both within a nation-state and between nation-states. The primary cause of a non-standard transfer is disputed succession; if there are two or more claimants to the leadership of the nation-state ruled by SCP-3853A-1, the anomalous properties of SCP-3853A will manifest in each claimant at a reduced magnitude. Non-standard transfer can also occur when SCP-3853A-1 is deposed by an outside force5 or when the ruler of another nation-state with a stronger claim to the title is proclaimed Emperor of Rome by SCP-3853B-16.

SCP-3853B is the office of Pontifex Maximus, originally the high priest of the polytheistic Roman state religion; from the 4th century onwards, this office has been held by the head of a branch of Christianity, usually either the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople or the Catholic Pope7. It is probable that SCP-3853B could be held by the widely-recognized head of any major religion with a substantial following in the former borders of the Roman Empire, although no non-Christian religious leader has held it since the adoption of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman empire. SCP-3853B-1 is the current holder of SCP-3853B; as per containment procedures, SCP-3853B-1 is currently the Catholic Pope. The criteria by which SCP-3853B is transferred are currently not well-studied, and maintaining orderly papal succession is a high priority.

The primary effects of SCP-3853A and B are cognitive in nature. The holders of the affected titles will be recognized in-person as the holders of those titles, even if the observers would be otherwise ignorant of the titles or the individuals; that is, when someone perceives SCP-3853A-1, they immediately recognize that person as Emperor of Rome. This effect is not transmitted through photography or recorded video, although it can be transmitted via live video with a delay of less than 20 seconds and both live and recorded audio, and via direct written or typed communication (including email, text messaging, and other digital communication).

When SCP-3853A-1 or B-1 gives a direct order to a subordinate—either in person or in writing—that order is more likely to be followed. Under experimental conditions, individuals obeying the direct orders of SCP-3853A-1 or B-1 complete those tasks significantly faster and more accurately than a control group, and make significantly fewer errors. These effects are extended to all military forces under the command—direct or indirect—of SCP-3853A-1; when placed under the jurisdiction of the IIS, Mobile Task Forces showed a marked improvement in cooperation and tactical skill, and were physically faster, stronger and more agile.

It is now believed that SCP-3853A exerts cognitive influence on SCP-3853A-1. While the precise effects have not been rigorously studied, observation of the current instance of SCP-3853A-1, Director Aleksandr Filipov, indicates that a preexisting tendency toward megalomania and an obsession with the ancient world were both exaggerated heavily by exposure to SCP-3853A (see Addendum 3853-1). While this effect has not been so dramatic in any previous IIS Director, close study of the correspondence and decision-making of past Directors indicates that this is not a new phenomenon.

The secondary effects of SCP-3853A and B manifest in their interactions with other anomalous objects and entities encountered and used or contained by previous holders of the SCP-3853 titles. Beginning with the Superintendency of Secrets and Praetorian Office of Hidden Wisdom, founded under the Roman emperor Augustus, SCP-3853A and B have been used as the basis of thaumaturgically, theurgically, and legally-binding contracts and rituals to contain or limit the powers of anomalous entities, or bind those entities into the service of the holder(s) of the SCP-3853 titles. A number of SCP objects currently contained by the Foundation have been placed under the jurisdiction of the IIS in order to use these pre-existing bindings for the purpose of containment; this containment scheme has been highly successful and is ongoing is under reevaluation after the defection of GoI-328 from the Foundation.

The Foundation established containment of SCP-3853A in 1945. After the defeat of its former holder8 by the Allied Powers in World War Two, SCP-3853A was briefly transferred to the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman9; as per a previous agreement with the Foundation, President Truman abdicated the office of Emperor in favor of the Director of the newly-founded Institute of Imperial Studies, Dr. Charles Pépin.

SCP-3853 is believed to have been created by Augustus Caesar, generally recognized as the first emperor of the Roman Empire; while the precise method of its creation is not known, a section of Augustus' autobiography, the Res Gestae (reproduced below), indicates that some sort of thaumaturgical ritual involving the sacrifice of Augustus' body to his own spirit—the genius Augusti, an object of religious devotion under the Roman empire—was integral to the anomaly's creation.

Recovered Document: Res Gestae Divi Augusti Paragraphs 39-43
The final paragraphs of the funerary inscription of Augustus Caesar, first emperor of Rome. Paragraphs 36-43 of the Res Gestae refer to anomalous events and individuals considered state secrets by the Roman Empire and were not included on publicly-available copies of the Res Gestae; the only remaining original copy, a plaque on the interior of the Imperial Mausoleum, is currently stored in the Vatican Archives.

Addendum 3853-1: Incident 3853-AUGUSTUS
On 14 March 2018, the O5 council voted 11 for, 1 against, 1 abstaining to initiate succession protocol Ψ-18-CALIGULA (forcible deposition of the Director of the IIS via assassination); the SDECotW ratified this decision later that same day. Orders were transmitted to the commander of MTF Psi-18; the commander's response indicated loyalty to SCP-3853A-1 (Director Filipov) over the Foundation. Within one hour, all IIS facilities cut off contact with the main Foundation communications network and SCP-3853A-1 declared the independence of the IIS from the Foundation. SCP-3853A is now uncontained, and the Foundation is in a state of war with the IIS (now designated GoI-328). All anomalies under the control of the IIS are to be considered uncontained until they are recovered by the Foundation; the development of containment procedures for these anomalies that do not rely on the effects of SCP-3853A is a high priority. For further information on Incident 3853-AUGUSTUS, see Document 3853-9.

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