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Item #: SCP-6998

Object Class: N/A

Special Containment Procedures: As the cause of SCP-6998 has not yet been determined, containment of the anomaly is coequal with the mission directive of the Foundation.

Description: SCP-6998 is the designation for the statistical increase in global anomalous activity observed each year by the Overseer's Council. SCP-6998 has been observed since 1875, a year before the decision was made to merge several normalcy preservation organizations into the Foundation in order to combat the growing rise of anomalous activity.

Throughout the Foundation's tenure, SCP-6998 has been noted to be growing in severity, despite the expected decline brought by like-minded normalcy preservation organizations such as the Global Occult Coalition. Whereas only 63 high-profile anomalous incidents or objects were recorded or obtained by the Foundation in its first official year of operation during the Third Occult War, 2020 saw 430 in the first quarter alone.

Attempts to discover the source of the unexplained growth have proven unsuccessful.

Addendum 6998.1: Incident-6998

Foreword: On 25/05/2021, O5-11 sent a message through Overseer emergency channels calling all Overseers to Site-001, claiming to have discovered something of paramount importance.


[BEGIN LOG]

O5-11: Thank you all for coming on short notice.

O5-1: You do realize it took a month to get al Fine to agree to meet? Weeks of negotiating and concessions, and then you called me away so quickly she probably thought we were planning a suicide attack. This better be worth it.

O5-11: Don't worry, it is. It's about SCP-6998.

[General groans and murmuring can be heard.]

O5-4: Oh, for the love of god- you called us away to discuss the Administrator's crackpot conspiracy theory? Er, no offense, but he wasn't always the most rational person in the room.

O5-11: Conspiracy, really? You're in charge of the most powerful and secretive organization on earth. You've signed off on more misinformation campaigns then any of us. Paid people to spread around stories about little green men and bigfoot to cover up our operations.

O5-4: And yet even I don't believe in that one. What does that tell you?

O5-11: I-

O5-1: Please, enough. We all have things we'd rather be doing. Just… just hurry up and present whatever it is you're going to.

O5-11: Thank you. I was conducting my quarterly review of RAISA, seeing if anything need to be classified. Or declassified depending on the situation-

O5-10: Has that ever happened?

O5-1: Yes, for the sake of containment, and shut up. Continue, Eleven.

O5-11: I was going through our timeline of some of our earliest events and I noticed something… well, let's just call it interesting. If you would indulge me though; One, Two, Four: where were you on January 3rd in 1875?

O5-1: My patience is running thin enough as it is. Dispense with the theatrics and get on with it.

O5-2: Wait, 1875? That would've been Zurich, yes? We spent the winter in Switzerland.

O5-4: That's right. Two days after the New Year… that was our meeting with Fitz, wasn't it?

O5-7: Fitz?

O5-1: Friedrich Williams, the Administrator. Fitz for short. A bit before your time, but even before the Foundation we ran in the same circles. And if I recall correctly, that meeting was when we first started floating ideas about an overarching, pan-national normalcy organization not burdened by national interests. I assume that's what you were getting at, then? What does this have to do with SCP-6998?

O5-11: Several thousand miles away on that very same day exactly, a man by the name of William J. Smith completed his work on Anomalous ITEM-232A-B. Or as we know it, the Engine of the Chaos Insurgency.

O5-1: Hmm. That is interesting, I suppose. But the Foundation wouldn't be founded for another year and the Insurgency decades later, so I'm not sure what point you're getting at.

O5-11: And on July 2nd, 1876, a drunkard in Clydeside wandered into an abandoned factory in the industrial region and never came out. We didn't know it then, but that was the first confirmed appearance of the Factory. The exact same day we were all signing the Abernathy Accords.

[silence.]

O5-11: And it doesn't just stop there. The day after we signed off on that treaty with the US? The UN was holding a secret vote on establishing a unified occult coalition. Two hours after General Bowe unfortunately passed away from completely natural causes, a man calling himself "Dr Wondertainment" was said to have sold a dozen talking dolls in a Christmas shop in Berlin. It happened even internally— the ink on the order to consolidate the Tactical Theology department was still drying when we picked up the first signs of SCP-5998. There's also the Antimemetics Department, things have always been tricky with it, but an infohazardous anomaly labelled SCP-3125 popped up in the Foundation intranet the same day the department was officially founded.

O5-5: Do we know what the anomaly is?

O5-11: No idea, but that's part and parcel when dealing with the department. The point still stands, I can list a dozen more incidents where as soon as the Foundation made some significant process or breakthrough on one end, a new anomalous threat popped up. Here, look.

[O5-11 passes out several folders to each overseer.]

O5-11: We were looking at SCP-6998 as the reason for our founding, the reason why we needed to grow and expand, but I think it's the other way around.

O5-12: So you're saying…?

O5-11: I think we're causing SCP-6998. Somehow, the Foundation is causing anomalies to form.

[silence.]

O5-10: In any other situation, I'd laugh at something like that. But given the evidence you just laid out…

O5-2: I must admit, it's somewhat damning. But why on earth would we affect the world on such a scale? We were hardly the first normalcy preservation agency: the ASCI, the Tsar's Seers, the Knights Templar, all of them existed for decades or centuries before. What makes us so special? How do we know for sure its a foundational issue with, well, the Foundation?

O5-1: I'm of a similar mind with Two. I don't think anyone can dismiss this out of hand, but we can't say for sure that it's an issue specifically with the Foundation. If this was any other anomaly, I'd say testing is in order, but how do we test something like that? If it expands every time we do something, then-

O5-3: If I may interrupt. Overseer Eleven's data suggests the anomaly is dependent on the growth of the Foundation. What if we do nothing?

O5-1: You're proposing a shutdown?

O5-3: Precisely. For a determined period of time, we cancel all external missions and anomaly containment tasks. All research initiatives, project proposals, and tests will be automatically rejected, with researchers being ordered to focus solely on containment and maintenance. Our sole task will be monitoring our informants in other organizations, to ensure that whatever we observe can be backed up by our counterparts.

O5-12: Are you kidding? This isn't the US government, we can't have a shutdown of the entire Foundation every time we want to try out the whims of an Overseer. If we shut down, we're putting lives at stake.

O5-7: I have to agree with Twelve here. We don't operate in a vacuum. There's anomalous items to capture, high level threats to neutralize, Insurgency bases to raid, meetings with Wilson's Wildlife and the Occult Coalition to organize.

O5-11: And if SCP-6998 is correct, none of that matters.

O5-7: If. It's not guaranteed, not yet at least. It's just as possible something else could be the cause. And even if it is, we have no guarantee a pause in our operations would induce a pause in SCP-6998.

O5-3: With all due respect to Overseer Seven, I cannot think of another way to confirm testing of Overseer Eleven's hypothesis.

O5-1: Then I suppose we put it to a vote. All in favor of Three's proposal?

[One, Two, Three, Six, Nine, Eleven, and Thirteen assent.]

O5-1: All opposed?

[Four, Five, Seven, Eight, Ten, and Twelve dissent.]

O5-1: Seven to six. The proposal passes. Three, for how long do you imagine this observation period taking place?

O5-3: A year would allow for the most conclusive data.

O5-7: Unacceptable, I'd say. Even if no anomalies pop up, a year-long shutdown would raise far too many questions from our staff on what the hell we're doing, and I doubt any excuse we could devise would hold up for that long. The most I can see us managing would be… two months? Maybe three?

O5-12: Even that I'd say is on the long side. There's a lot of required general upkeep that requires us interacting with the anomalous community. Honestly, one month is stretching it.

O5-11: If we don't have enough time to gather the data we need, then this whole thing is pointless from the beginning, and we're just sabotaging ourselves for nothing.

O5-1: Alright, alright. How about… one month initially, on a provisional basis. If the test seems to be working out, we go for another month to make sure. Anyone have any objections?

[General murmurs, but no one dissents.]

O5-1: Good. Let's get to work on shutting this Foundation down. If this fails, then we can forget about SCP-6998 for the time being, and go on with our daily lives. If it doesn't… we'll cross that bridge when we get to it, I suppose.

[END LOG]




Addendum 6998.2: Recovered Audio Log

[BEGIN LOG]

O5-2: Didn't expect to hear from you. Everything alright on your end?

O5-1: Holding down the fort. It's quiet. Which almost makes me think Eleven can be right, which if she is… well, that's not something I want to think about.

O5-2: I was wondering how you were taking this all in. Got a bit more experience than the rest of us. You and Fitz were from the same generation, weren't you?

O5-1: Never did get a clear answer from him. But it's not me I'm worried about.

O5-2: Careful now Eve, you go on like that and I might start suspecting you actually do you have a heart.

O5-1: Dammit, this isn't a joke. If it turns out SCP-6998 is actually real, that we've been causing anomalies all this time, then it means… you almost died, Sophia. I saw it. You were crucified.

O5-2: That whole timeline was wiped from history. Technically, it never even happened.

O5-1: Ah, so that means you don't remember the spear in your side? The slow death from asphyxiation, waking up in a tomb?

[O5-2 does not respond.]

O5-1: I crossed a line there. I'm sorry, I really am.

O5-2: I know.

O5-1: I suppose I'm a little more shaken by this thing than I thought. We spent entire lifetimes in service to the Foundation, and now it turns out it was probably all for nothing.

O5-2: It's not yet a foregone conclusion. SCP-6998 could just as likely be false. Remember that lazy stretch in August last year? We had virtually nothing to do for almost three weeks.

O5-1: Maybe. I hope you're right.

O5-2: Me too.

[END LOG]




25/05/2021-25/07/2021 FOUNDATION OBSERVATIONAL REPORT

XK SCENARIOS OBSERVED: 0

XK SCENARIOS AVERTED: 0

HIGH PROFILE ANOMALOUS INCIDENTS OBSERVED: 0

HIGH PROFILE ANOMALOUS INCIDENTS AVERTED: 0

HIGH PROFILE GROUPS OF INTEREST ACTIVITIES OBSERVED: 0

HIGH PROFILE GROUPS OF INTEREST ACTIVITIES AVERTED: 0







Addendum 6998.3: Foundation Observation Report Meeting

Foreword: This meeting took place immediately after the release of the report in order to discuss its results and implications.


[BEGIN LOG]

O5-1: Fuck.

O5-4: Cheers, everyone.

[O5-4 uncorks a bottle of wine, taking a drink directly from the bottle.]

O5-2: Are you seriously drinking during a council meeting?

O5-4: Muscat wine, bottled in 1872. Bought it for myself when I first became an Overseer. Never been much of a wine man, preferred beer, but hey, I was moving up in the world. I figured it was time for me to develop sophisticated choices. What's more sophisticated then wine?

O5-6: Haven't opened it all these years?

O5-4: Always meant to have it after a big win. We were tied up from the start with the Fourth Occult War, but after that war I wasn't in a mood to drink anything but the cheapest beer I could find, so I stuck it in a vault in Hy-Brasil. Then there were the two World Wars, the Insurgency, everything that followed after that… we've never really had a clear win, have we? As soon as we put down one threat, fifty more raise their heads. Never a time to catch our breaths, never a time to celebrate. And now we know why. Here's to you, SCP-6998.

[O5-4 offers the bottle to O5-2. After a moment of hesitation, she takes it, taking down a swig before passing it to O5-6's outstretched hand.]

O5-3: I feel that it is necessary of me to remind you that alcohol and other inebriating substances are banned in the workplace, even for Overseers.

O5-12: We just found out that our entire lives have been pointless, I think a little drinking is warranted. Pass it over here after, will you?

O5-1: Three, I know I've asked you this almost a hundred times, but is there any chance this could be mistaken?

O5-3: Exceedingly unlikely. And even if my gathered data was incorrect, our informants in the Global Occult Coalition, the Chaos Insurgency, and the Office tor the Reclamation of Islamic Artifacts have reported extremely low rates of internal activity.

O5-1: Is there any chance our informants could've been detected or compromised?

O5-10: One or two, always a possibility. But how likely do you think are the odds of all three of those organizations finding our informants, and then deciding to work together in order to pull one on over us?

O5-1: "Less likely then whatever the hell's going on here," I'd say on any other given day. So what, we pause for two months and the rest of the anomalous world grinds to a complete halt? Zero new anomalous incidents, or GoI chatter, or so much as a twig falling in Three Portlands.

O5-11: I suppose this means SCP-6998's far more critical in its implications than Fitz theorized. Rather than a uniform, but global effect, it's targeted to the Foundation. Whenever we take so much as a step, the whole world responds in turn. I don't mean to sound paranoid… but I very much doubt this was an accident. Whatever did this was deliberate.

O5-7: But what would have the power to do this? A god? I know, I know, we're supposed to dismiss them, call them "Apex-tier Pluripotent entities," ignore any mythological connotations, the whole nine yards. But I can't think of anything else that would have the power to make these kinds of changes. And why us? Why not the GOC or ORIA or any other random person on the street?

O5-10: Maybe it likes us. It wants to give its favorite heroes villains and monsters to defeat, always pulling more out of its toybox whenever we run out.

O5-9: Have you ever actually felt like a hero in this job?

[O5-10 shrugs.]

O5-10: Can't remember. Maybe once. Back when we were just starting out on our new organization, back when I still thought we'd be saving the world. Back before we found things like SCP-231 and I realized I could no longer look my children in the eyes. Definitely not anymore.

O5-2: Mhm. "Cold, Not Cruel." All because some god or gods decided to have fun with our lives.

[O5-2 sighs and motions for the bottle again.]

O5-4: So… what do we do now?

O5-1: What can we do? We've been in charge of the most powerful organization in the world for the last century and a half, but it turns out we wasted our entire lives as the playthings of some god's amusement. We were never in control.

[A clinking can be heard amid the silence as the overseers pass around the bottle of wine. The silence stretches on for some time.]

O5-11: Hmm. Something just occurred to me.

O5-2: And what would that be?

O5-11: One says we don't have control in our lives, that we never had. Yes, maybe as an organization the Foundation was doomed from the start. But we did just manage to stop SCP-6998. We stopped it for two months to conduct our test.

O5-1: I suppose that's true. But that's all we can do, merely delay the inevitable. Any action of ours as an organization will only strengthen SCP-6998.

O5-11: So then we don't take it as an organization, we take it as individuals. We were around before the Foundation. Anomalies were around before the Foundation, and they were never as dangerous as this. Sure, we had dozens of normalcy protection groups around, but none half as large or powerful, or obsessed with locking up every little item and odd person they found. Maybe that's what we need again.

O5-1: I'm sorry, are you suggesting…?

O5-11: I'm suggestion we dissolve the Foundation. Dismantle it entirely.

O5-1: We- we can't do that.

O5-11: Why not?

[O5-1 does not reply.]

O5-2: Maybe it's the wine talking, but you're right. Even before this, even before we discovered the Foundation's true nature, we grew too comfortable in our positions. How many rules and boundaries and taboos did we break in pursuit of normalcy? Maybe some of them might have been necessary. But all they did was feed SCP-6998.

O5-7: And if we don't find a way of preserving normalcy?

O5-2: Then maybe normalcy was never really a thing in the first place. An arbitrary line we drew in the sand to keep ourselves comfortable. Ugh, never thought I'd be agreeing with the Serpent's Hand over the Foundation.

O5-4: It's hard to argue with the truth, I suppose. I suppose we owe them an apology. Along with everyone else.

O5-1: Very well. Overseer Council Proposal Number… Oh, let's just call it 6998. Proposal-6998: the immediate and complete dissolving of the Foundation. All in favor?

[A unanimous round of "ayes" can be heard.]

O5-1: All opposed?

[Silence.]

O5-1: The ayes have it then. The dissolving of the Foundation will take place immediately. Sophia, Jonathan, Liang, it's been a pleasure working with you all.

[O5-1 reaches for the now empty bottle. She turns it around in their hands for a moment before holding it to mimic a toast.]

O5-1: Here's to quiet days, I suppose. Quiet days and peace.











THE END

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