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The planet Earth, now abandoned, is the most specific known location of SCP-4266

Item #: SCP-4266

Object Class: Keter

Special Containment Procedures: The Earth is to remain abandoned by the general public. A network of monitoring satellites is to be maintained, each equipped with standard orbital capture devices; these satellites will detect and warn off any ships attempting to land on Earth and will non-lethally incapacitate any that continue in their attempt. Any crew aboard these ships are to be extracted, taken to the nearest spaceport, and have amnestics administered.

A small number of Foundation personnel are to be permitted to stay on Earth in order to continue research into SCP-4266; each of these personnel are to remain physically isolated from each other and must be continuously monitored.

Description: SCP-4266 is an as-yet unknown anomalous vector present exclusively on the planet Earth that causes lowered levels of empathy between sapient life. This vector is believed to be a compulsion effect responsible for virtually all historical violent interaction1 between humans.

The effects of SCP-4266 were first discovered in 2080, five years after the first successful Martian colony was established. It was noted that the level of violent crime was far below the expected average, despite socioeconomic disparities and complex interpersonal relationships that were previously thought to be factors in such acts. Psychological testing revealed that colonists had massively increased levels of empathy as compared to baselines performed on Earth. This was initially thought to be an anomalous effect of Mars-1 but after similar effects were noted on subsequent colonies established on the Moon, Io, Ganymede, and the various spaceports of the asteroid belt, it was concluded that the effect was instead localized exclusively to Earth.

Attempts to isolate this effect to a specific object or region have thus far been unsuccessful; no obvious pattern of violent behavior exists, apart from self-apparent ones such as increased levels of violence as the population density of a particular region increases.

Addendum 4266-a: Immediate Foundation Reaction

The Foundation determined that making this knowledge public would have a detrimental effect on humanity as a whole. In particular, it was projected that the revelation that all human violence was externally compelled would lead to a breakdown in faith in existing justice systems, in turn leading to potential destabilization of world governments. Furthermore, a number of dictatorial regimes that depended on the existence of violence to continue functioning would have forcibly denied the truth of SCP-4266, and the following conflict would likely have resulted in the eruption of many violent skirmishes. Finally, accepting SCP-4266's existence would result in a frantic attempt by humanity as a whole to escape its effect by going into space; the existing colonies would not have been able to support such a mass exodus, and their resources would quickly deplete.

Accordingly, until a long-term strategy had been put into effect the Foundation decided to obscure SCP-4266's effect by simulating the effects of violent crime in the non-terrestrial colonies2. Foundation agents simulated non-fatal harm by engaging in consensual physical altercations in public and by faking the results of such altercations in private3. Fatal harm was simulated using corpses that had died of natural causes that were then staged to appear to be victims of violence. Foundation agents also infiltrated the upper leadership of colonist peacekeeping forces in order to artificially inflate reported violent crime statistics.

As a final measure, the Foundation created the popular “New World, New Respect” propaganda campaign in an attempt to explain away the observable increase in empathy in more altruistic terms. As a result of this campaign, simulated violence has been gradually phased out with the public explanation that humanity has simply “evolved” past violence gradually.

Addendum 4266-b: Evacuation of Earth

In 2106, the Foundation determined that the most reasonable long-term strategy for humanity would be to eventually abandon Earth entirely, thereby removing the population from the deleterious effects of SCP-4266. The first phase of this strategy was to build up the colonial infrastructure so it could support this population. This phase was initially estimated to take centuries but proceeded at a much more rapid pace than projected due to the increased empathy levels resulting in heightened levels of cooperation; after noting this, the Foundation decided to share information about SCP-4266 with selected members of the colonial governments. Once they understood the nature of SCP-4266, colonial leadership agreed with the strategy and worked with the Foundation to complete the work within a matter of decades.

The second phase involved convincing Earth's population to migrate to the colonies. As previously noted, simply informing them of SCP-4266's existence was likely to lead to mass hysteria and violence so a cover story was disseminated instead. Designated “Operation Faron”, it posited that an unknown genetic disease endemic to Earth was starting to cause mass infertility and the only way to avoid it was to leave Earth permanently. This story was aided by the targeted release of a Foundation-developed chemical compound called ███████████-31 which caused a temporary and reversible inhibition of human fertility; the subsequent plummet in pregnancy rates lent credence to Operation Faron and resulted in the voluntary migration of 90% of the Earth's population.

The Foundation was formulating a plan to convince the remaining 10% when a rogue terrestrial Foundation cell released ███████████-22 – an earlier, rejected form of the compound that resulted in complete and irreversible human sterility – across the globe. These actions have been officially condemned by Foundation command, those responsible were extracted from Earth and remanded into custody, and the manufacture of ███████████ in all forms has been discontinued. However, the practical result of these actions was complete acceptance of Operation Faron's cover story; follow-up efforts to migrate the remaining population was met with much less resistance and eventually only a few hundred thousand humans remained. By 2271, the last of these died of natural causes and Earth was officially declared abandoned.

The third and final phase, ongoing to this date, deals with Earth post-abandonment. It was judged vital to understand the cause of SCP-4266's effects in order to ensure that it would not repeat elsewhere so a small team of Foundation personnel continues to operate on Earth as noted in the special containment procedures. Furthermore, the Earth was designated a quarantine zone for all discovered anomalies that could pose any physical danger to humanity; any such anomaly is to be moved to Earth the moment violent behavior manifests.

Addendum 4266-c: Ethics Committee Report on SCP-4266

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