File 682 ATLAS
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PROJECT BRIEF

The ATLAS Project is a classified initiative undertaken by O5 Command focused on establishing acceptable conditions for the termination of SCP-682.

For reasons discussed further in this document, the current methods of terminating SCP-682 would impose outcomes unacceptable to both the SCP Foundation and broader humanity. Thus, the ATLAS Project's directives are two-fold; first, the suppression of such methods from Foundation knowledge to discourage potentially catastrophic termination attempts, and second, the discovery of "safe" methods of terminating SCP-682. No such methods currently exist.

Project ATLAS authorizes the creation of the following Level 5 Mobile Task Force units:

MTF 9159-Omega: Tasked with apprehending and interrogating Foundation personnel believed to have information pertaining to a known method of terminating SCP-682. MTF 9159-Omega is authorized to use amnestics or utilize termination depending on the circumstances.

MTF 1500-Golf: Tasked with interviewing and interacting with SCP-682 in such circumstances where the use of standard Foundation personnel would comprise Project ATLAS secrecy.

MTF 7777-Yule: [DECOMMISSIONED]

VOTE TO AUTHORIZE CREATION OF PROJECT ATLAS:
Overseer Yea Vote Nay Vote Abstaining
O5-1 X
O5-2 X
O5-3 X
O5-4 X
O5-5 X
O5-6 X
O5-7 X
O5-8 X
O5-9 X
O5-10 X
O5-11 X
O5-12 X
O5-13 X

PASSED


Item #: SCP-682

Object Class: Thaumiel

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-682 is held in its original containment chamber at Site-591 under direct observation from O5-2 and O5-7. Continuous exposure to highly concentrated hydrochloric acid has proven the only effective means of non-marginally reducing the probability of SCP-682 initiating a breach attempt. Therefore, all prior containment chamber specifications are to remain. Class-D personnel are to enter the containment chamber anytime physical interaction with SCP-682 is necessitated. Under no circumstances should SCP-682 come into direct contact with any member of O5 Command.

Direct exposure to objects with anomalous properties has proven an effective method of forcing compliance during interviews or containment chamber maintenance operations. SCP-682 has a particularly apprehensive response when confronted by SCP-053 or SCP-106. These entities are to be used as a vector for recontaining SCP-682 only sparingly, as their own recontainment raises further complications during breach events.

Description: SCP-682 is a large, vaguely reptilian organism previously known as O5-3. It is fully sentient and possesses comprehensive knowledge of numerous subjects, notably the history of human civilization and the actions of the SCP Foundation. The origins of SCP-682 remain unknown, but it was cooperative with the Foundation and served on the Overseer Council until Incident 682-ATLAS-03 on September 12, 1999 (see Incident Report 682-ATLAS-03). SCP-682 self-attested to being complicit in the creation of the spatiotemoral universe as currently understood and, by extension, the creation of many anomalous objects, though insisted it not the only responsible party. Archived documentation suggests SCP-682 was a founding member of the Foundation and was active in the development of special containment procedures for various items until its containment.

Due to its involvement in Incident 682-ATLAS-03, SCP-682 is effectively immortal. Damage to its physical form will slow it, though invariably is negated by a subsequent regenerative process. SCP-682 did not possess this ability when first encountered by the Foundation. Exposure to threats it has not previously encountered will trigger an extremely rapid adaptive process that leads to SCP-682 developing some means of combating the threat; for instance, its exposure to SCP-173 resulted in the formation of armored "eyes" coating its exterior. SCP-682 has regenerated even with 100% of its physical form destroyed, suggesting it at least partially "exists" in a non-corporeal capacity. The full extent of these properties is not currently understood.

SCP-682 exhibits an intense hatred of all life forms and expresses a continuous desire to breach containment or otherwise bring about the annihilation of the SCP Foundation. It has been involved in nineteen separate breach events, eight of which were initiated by other parties such as SCP-079. Its knowledge of the structure of the Foundation along with classified information pertaining to O5 Command is considered a severe breach of secrecy, and SCP-682 is likely to utilize other anomalous entities against Foundation operatives should it gain access to them. It expresses a particular interest in SCP-106.


O5-2 — or, as he had been known in the world, Carl Montgomery — entered the large, concrete room of O5-3 and stood quietly, waiting for the latter to be roused from his slumber. He was an ornery one when awoken suddenly, and O5-2 knew better than to be loud or abrupt. He simply waited as he saw its ribcage expand, taking the first deep breaths it had inhaled in quite some time and flexing its claws open in something resembling a stretch. In a way, it was very terrestrial and familiar, and it became very easy to forget the true nature of what he was observing in front of him along with the resentment in his heart.

O5-3 opened its maw, apparently flexing its jaw muscles, before turning its attention to the human Overseer before it. A set of orange, glowing eyes opened along its carapace.

"To what do I owe the pleasure, Overseer?"

Despite the voice being alien and almost impossibly deep, one could tell that its tone was nothing but jovial. O5-2 had always appreciated how easy it was to talk to a being that defied comprehension. It was funny, in a way. He recalled having more insightful conversations with this…thing than his own wife, let alone anyone else on the Council. O5-2 scratched his beard, eyes trained on the creature before him as it cocked its head slightly in anticipation.

"Just wanted to continue our conversation from last time."

The skin around its maw compressed as it attempted to smile. "But of course! You know I will always make time for you, my friend." It shifted its weight, moving onto its back legs and sitting upward much like a dog awaiting a treat. It did this, he thought, when it wanted to come off friendly — or perhaps more agreeable than it actually was. Whatever the case, O5-2 was unfazed, gingerly removing a cigarette from his breast pocket and placing it in his mouth. O5-3 watched and grumbled.

"You know how I feel about that habit, Carl."

"You know we can't die, right?" He flicked a lighter to life, igniting the tip of the cigarette. "Lung cancer ain't a problem."

"Sounds like irresponsibility to me." It chortled, the chamber shaking from the force of its voice.

"Yeah. Right." He exhaled, a thick plume of smoke exiting his mouth before dissipating into the air. O5-3 moved back slightly, attempting to avoid the cloud. "You were telling me last time about where you came from. How you found us."

"A favorite topic of yours, it seems."

O5-2 did not reply. O5-3 may have not possessed a face in the traditional sense, but the hesitation was palpable. It had always proven evasive on these questions, always searching for a way to explain something it found borderline unexplainable. But O5-2 did not care. His curiosity, insatiable, ate away at him like a cancer. Under the pretense of cordiality, he would get what he came here for.

This thing came to Earth and exerted its will upon man. It was high time for man to get answers.

O5-3 lurched forward, resting its weight on the ground with its legs spread out. It inhaled sharply, exasperated, before opening a set of eyes in the direction of O5-2.

"You ask questions that you do not want answered."

"Try me."

The jovial attitude was gone now, replaced with a slight agitation and a feeling of discontent. It could not explain itself adequately or succinctly, but it knew the human would not be sated until it said something. Anything. And so, with reluctance and knowledge that his efforts would likely prove fruitless, it spoke, and it spoke in a voice it seldom used with those it cared for.

All of its eyes were open now, trained on O5-2. The jaw cracked open slowly.

"I know you resent me."

"What?"

"You resent me. I am not one of you." It did not move, its jaw only parting so that its words could escape. "All that I have done for you, tossed aside in your xenophobic hubris." It sounded angry. Hurt almost.

"That's not how I see things, but you must understand a certain…skepticism from the others."

"No. From you. You wear it on your face. Sure, you may mask it behind this vaneer of friendliness and comraderie. But I know the real you. I know as soon as I outlive my purpose, you will treat me no different than the other beasts and horrors you have become so acquainted with."

"I don't think that's true."

"So you say." O5-3 rose to its normal position, standing on all fours at attention, no longer relaxed. It paced the interior of the cell several times, head snapping as it heard sounds from beyond its room. It had been here for as long as it could remember — from the first cooling of the Earth to the dawn of man. It had gone willingly into this place, and yet…

The suspicion. The paranoia. So unwarranted. Cast aside by those it had sworn to protect.

O5-3 compartmentalized his thoughts, turned back to the human, and spoke as if it was reciting a screenplay.

"There is a place…beyond this. Beyond what you understand your realm to be." It darted its tongue forward like a snake, tasting the air. "Darkness, as far as one can see — or could, if they had eyes. Matter does not exist…like this." It gestured towards itself with a foot. "It exists merely as a shapeless force."

"Disembodied minds?"

"The closest analogue. Yes."

"This place…it's where you're from?"

The question made it obviously uncomfortable. "I was born there. I drifted for eons, a blank slate in an endless void. I was nothing but a mind, left to think thoughts that were garbled and without expression. For as long as I can remember, I was there. I was endless. And then…"

Its voice grew slower. More solemn.

"I felt something else for the first time. Something that, though I can't explain why, I knew was alive."

It exhaled. A set of eyes closed.

"It called to me. Something…something unique. Something special, but not like me. More malevolent. Angrier. I searched for it until I grew tired, and then searched again after I rested. No matter how far I traveled, I couldn't find it. Even as light itself came into being and the cosmos began to form, he remained hidden from me."

"He?"

"It takes the form of a man. Or, rather, it tries to. It had taken this form even before man first evolved from the primordial soup. From the realm the two of us occupied came more beings, though inferior and imperfect, never matching the original two."

O5-2 smirked. "Always the egotist."

It didn't reply. "These anomalies…the objects you contain. That is where they are from. A plane within your own, but imperceptible to you. It is my home, and yet, it is a dreadful, inhospitable place, coated with shame and terror. Nothing good lives there anymore. All that emerges is the scourge of abomination, set upon the universe."

O5-2 flicked away his cigarette and stamped it out beneath his boot. "What of the other one? The other being?"

"He was without purpose for some time, then came the first terrestrial creatures. Life of that complexity was unique in the universe, and it kept him occupied for several thousand years. Alas, they were without thought, born to fulfill their basic biological functions then die. He grew tired of them quickly. Then came apes, and although they were superior in their cognition, they too proved insufficient. Then came man."

"What did he do with man?"

"What didn't he do?" O5-3 groaned. "The horrors I witnessed in those first few years…they are without equal. He had finally found something he could toy with to sate his own pleasures. To itch the part of his mind that had long gone without being scratched. It was then that I realized my purpose. We are a contradiction; a binary that has gone unresolved. I am protection; he is annihilation."

"Then why protect us? Why not just kill him?"

"I cannot kill that which is my equal, nor would you want me to. The anomalies you study cannot exist unless we exist. We are the anchors — the "glue" that holds everything together. A necklace falls from the sky and heals the wearer. A gas mask transports you to a realm unexplored. All of these objects have been touched by the same cloth from which the two of us were woven. For as long as time exists, we will exist. For as long as we exist, these…anomalies, as you call them, will exist."

It noticed O5-2 was preparing to speak and stopped him with a sudden movement of the chest.

"But that does not mean sentient beings must suffer. Inaction is no different than enacting evil. I will protect you as long as I can — until your race is no more or until the two of us meet again. I pray that never happens."

The room grew silent for a time, then O5-2 found the words he was desperately searching for. He sat in a small chair placed in front of O5-3, stroked his beard, then turned his attention to the beast. His face portrayed a smile, but his eyes betrayed the true meaning of his speech.

"This Foundation…humanity…owes you a great debt. Without you, we would not exist. Not in our current form, anyway. But I must be honest with you." He turned away, still stroking his beard. "The rest of the Council is concerned that he is searching for you and, if you two were to meet, the consequences would be…"

"Severe?"

"Catastrophic. Yes."

"You are correct." O5-3 flexed its gills in an apparent concession. "I will do everything in my power to prevent that from occurring. My duty is to the Foundation and to your race. I have sworn to protect you. I intend to fulfill that promise."

"And if you can't?"

"Then a great tragedy will have befallen mankind."

O5-2 stood, dusted off his suit, and moved towards the door of the room. He grasped the handle, then stopped and turned to O5-3.

"Tell me, friend. If the two of you were to meet…what would happen? What would you become?"

It closed all of the eyes along its carapace. An almost imperceptible liquid trickled from one of them and fell to the ground unceremoniously.

"The Old Man can't kill me. But he can change me. He can make me something else entirely. His powers lie in corrosion and rot, not immediate destruction. He is a master of corrupting the shape of that which is good."

"You're saying you'd be hurt?"

"No." O5-3 shook its head. "I'm saying I would enter his realm a friend of man, and leave a nightmare."

O5-2, realizing the gravity of the situation, grew cold. His face became pale white — whiter than it had ever been. His hand grasped the doorknob with a strength he didn't recall having. After a moment, O5-3 turned to him.

"I hope, in the end, you will always remember me as I am now. As your friend, Carl."

The two did not speak or embrace, yet their mutual respect and the fear of the inevitable reverberated throughout the cosmos.


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