Excerpts From "How To Survive When Reality Doesn't", by Alto Clef
rating: +350+x

So do I just start speaking or – Oh yeah, I see the text on the screen. Delete last sentence. Crap. Okay, I’ll just dictate now and edit it later.

Aloha Foundation Staff, new and old alike. To anyone in the anomalous community who’s reading a bootleg copy of this: fuck you. Also, fuck whoever’s responsible for the leak in the first place. Unless it’s me. Or especially if it’s me. Whatever.

So the O5s have been on my case for a while now about writing my own field manual in order to pass on my expertise to the younger generation, increasingly so since I find myself less and less of the younger generation as time goes on. I mean, I’m older than Adam – and by that, I mean older than Adam Savage, the guy from Mythbusters. Anyone remember that show? Anyone?

Damn, I am old.

Since there's been a recent uptick amongst the staff in stories about me, I decided now's as good as time as ever to release my field manual: How to Survive When Reality Doesn’t by Alto Clef. Within these pages, you’ll learn how to deal with Reality Benders and what to do if the laws of physics go sideways without warning. I like to go on tangents though, so you might have to sift through some bullshit to get to the good stuff.

So I wanted to give him mushrooms to see if he affects them the same way he does plants, and they look at me like I’m an idiot.

“Ah, mushrooms aren’t plants Alto, they’re fungi.”

I know that, but he’s a Biblical SCP, and back in ye old Bible times they weren’t using the modern system of taxonomical nomenclature. They didn’t have a system. All names were colloquial, which is why when the Bible calls Jonah’s Whale a Great Fish it isn’t wrong. A fish was anything that lived in the water. The Catholic Church even officially declared that beavers were fish in the 17th century so that you could eat them during Lent. So if by Biblical logic a beaver is a fish, then surely mushrooms are plants?

At the time Cain was cursed, no one knew what fungi were. Even Aristotle divided the living world into just Plants and Animals. So it makes sense then that Cain’s curse would extend to fungi, which ancient people would not have distinguished from plants!

Of course, due to the Foundation’s damn bureaucracy, I still don’t know. It would be so simple. Just pick up some mushrooms from the nearest supermarket and give them to Cain, see what happens. Denied, by the Ethics Committee, for reckless endangerment of mushrooms or some bullshit like that. I don’t actually know why it was denied. Probably just out of spite. I got close to Cain once with a can of Campbell’s mushroom soup but security tackled me before I could open the can.

Actually no, it was Heinz soup. What the fuck was I doing with Heinz soup?

Yes, he really rode 682. Yes, he really got a water bottle stuck on his dick. The question remains: can he ride 682 with a water bottle on his dick?

So at my level, you’d think I’d know how the Foundation’s funded, but I don’t. The most frequent response to my requests I get is “there’s not enough in the budget for that”, to which I most frequently respond “Well what the heck is the budget?”.

How do we acquire resources, and how do we allocate said resources? That’s not an unreasonable question. Is a little transparency too much to ask of a covert international organization? Like, I’m pretty sure we built a fake moon once but Lombardi couldn’t get coffee and donuts for his orientation? How does that make sense?

So the Pataphysics Department is imaginary, but it still exists, because that's what pataphysical means, I think?

God, I am not stoned enough for this shit.

One of the most common questions I’m asked by lower-ranking personnel is how many SCPs are actually in containment. I tell them it’s above their pay grade, but what I don’t tell them is it’s above my pay grade too.

What I do know is you can’t go by the Database. Entries appear and disappear from that thing multiple times a day sometimes. Some of the files are definitely deliberate disinformation (and not just the 001 entries either), SCP designations get reassigned, there are outdated files still floating around for some reason, plus due to CK reality shifts some of the files are from alternate realities and don’t exist for us anymore. It’s very confusing. I swear, I’ve been to facilities with multiple empty cells that allegedly held SCP objects. Maybe they were all out for testing or something, who knows?

Sometimes I fear we’ve become so entangled in our own web of lies that none of us knows the truth anymore.

Sorry, got a little spacey there. Now I think I might be too stoned.

Ah, if you still want an estimate on the SCP count, I’d say at least a few hundred based on my own personal experiences in the Foundation, and at most tens of thousands based on the maximum capacity of all Foundation sites and areas that supposedly exist. Or maybe the anomalies are normal and everything we think of as normal are anomalies. Yeah, let’s go with that.

So we open up the hatch and there was a kilometer-deep silo filed with 173 knockoffs, all of them producing a never-ending stream of blood and shit. I said it must be some weird Japanese porn thing, and they called me racist, but… that is a legitimate possibility, isn’t it?

Dammit, Apollyon was supposed to be exclusively for SCP-2317! It was this (stop reading if you don’t have high enough clearance) colossal eldritch demon bent on destroying the world that was only kept in check by ancient forgotten magic that was slowly failing. Its escape and the subsequent extinction of the human race was inevitable and there was nothing we could do!

That’s what Apollyon means!

But then Talloran’s like ‘oh, this reality bender that’s torturing me in a living a hell for all eternity and will do the same to everyone else if it gets free is pretty extra, so I’ll classify it as Apollyon too,” and now literally the entire database is classified as Apollyon!

I exaggerate for effect, but it still sucks! Now granted, 2317 turned out to be not quite as invincible as we first feared. The O5s ended up taking it out with a couple of Howitzer rounds to the cranium, and even if that hadn’t’ve worked, how would it have fit through the damn door?

I’m not saying that makes it okay to just use Apollyon for anything but… I don’t know what I’m saying.

I guess, Keep Calm and Apollyon.

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret: memetic kill agents are nothing but a scare tactic. Nothing happens. Go on and look at one. I dare you. I double dog dare you. You cannot say no to a double dog dare.

Let’s see, which 001 proposals are true? We know mine’s not, because I’m a liar. Everything I say is a lie, including this. Locke’s can’t be real, because that obviously didn’t happen, unless that’s one of those CK reality shifts again. The Factory is real, so Bright’s proposal is at least somewhat true. Gear’s Prototype I’ve actually seen, so that one’s true at least.

It also explains why Keter is pronounced the way it is. Did you read that, Dr. Miller? It actually has nothing to do with Kabbala, it was some German doctor’s name!

Let’s see, if The Broken God one’s true then that means the Gulf of California didn’t exist before 1942, but if that’s true then California never would have been mistaken for an island… unless we made that up as well.

See what I mean about getting lost in our own web of lies?

You know, back when the O5s starting cracking down on gratuitous cross testing and general shenanigans they were even going to forbid staff from using the Pizza Box, but pretty much all Site-19 threatened to go on strike so they had to back off. For some people, that Pizza Box is the only reason they’re still with the Foundation.

As one might imagine, I’ve butted heads with the Ethics Committee a few times over my practice of secretly drugging trainees with designer hallucinogens to simulate a reality bender attack. The Memetics and Infohazards guys do something similar, but apparently, that’s okay because they tell people beforehand and get ‘consent’ or some hippy bullshit.

My training program only works because people think it’s real, that’s the whole point! Have some people harmed or killed themselves or others during my training sessions? Yes. Have people committed suicide or otherwise suffered long-term psychological damage due to the guilt or the psychological trauma inflicted during their bad trip? Yes. Wouldn’t it make more sense to gradually acclimatized trainees to the stresses of reality-bending attacks instead of subjecting them to a full-blown simulated attack all at once and losing valuable personnel to death and madness? Yes.

I mean… goddamnit!

I hate the metric system. I write everything in imperial and just let the containment specialists convert it. It’s cost the Foundation time, money, and maybe even lives, but I don’t care. Fucking. Hate. Metric.

I know no one wants to talk about June, but I still cannot believe how many staff and scips we lost over a frickin’ rainbow logo. I thought Gears was crazy when he was worried that it might stoke division between staff of different ideological leanings, and next thing I know the SCPS Solidarity is gone! Just gone!

And we needed that thing for space threats, like that giant alien robot in Jupiter’s red spot that’s gunning for us. Trump’s Space Force isn’t going to be able to hold that thing off, that’s all on us!

Maybe that Moon Champion guy could help.

Everyone likes to make fun of junior researchers for suggesting we use titanium, but I have a titanium ceramic frying pan and I love it. Sure, a lot of the time titanium would be overkill, but considering what we’re trying to keep contained I’d say overkill’s the way to go.

Draven, kiddo, are you reading this? Are you and Talloran doing the double groom cake toppers for your wedding? I personally think that’s a little passe, since it’s not ‘gay marriage’ but ‘marriage equality’ now.

We should move away from gendered cake toppers and switch to something more universal, like two swans with their necks in a heart shape, so long as you can’t tell the gender of the swans. Or maybe something more abstract, like a pair of neutron stars circling each other ever faster, doomed to destroy each other but powerless to escape each other’s pull.

I’m being facetious, I don’t give a rat’s ass. Just save me some cake.

SCP speed dating isn’t as dumb as it sounds. It seems everyone’s super concerned about the psychological well-being of the monsters we keep locked up in bunkers, and most of those monsters don’t want to go the rest of their lives without getting laid, right? Give the dudes condoms, some hormonal implants for the ladies, and we’re good to go.

I’ve got a question for you now: why wasn’t I, the Foundation’s go-to-guy for dealing with reality benders, not part of Project Orpheus, a Cronenbergesque nightmare of mind rape and body horror to turn reality benders into plug-and-play eigenweapons?

Because I’m not stupid. What happened to Doctor Castelo and her team was inevitable. You can’t control reality benders with reality anchors. Anchors are for emergency, short-term containment only, because sooner or later the bender either figures out how to bypass them or they just plain break down because they’re shit. We don’t contain benders, we terminate them when they're vulnerable. An anchor might give you a window of vulnerability, but you’re a fool if you think it will keep you safe forever. Shoot the bastard when you have the chance.

God knows the Foundation regrets not taking their shot with me.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… agh, if I'm quoting classic literature I must really be running out of steam. I guess I'm done.

So congratulations, you are now certified for low-hume encounters and type green combat scenarios. Well done agent. I’m not sure how long I was talking for and my attention wandered a bit at times, but I’m sure I said something useful in there. Just use your new found abilities responsibly, like I do.


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