SCP-6523

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DAMOCLES
INITIATIVE
Sic itur ad astra
GOC_Taskforce_Logo.png

Item #: SCP-6523

Object Class: Thaumiel

Level 4/DAMOCLES

Top Secret

Special Containment Procedures

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Computer-generated renderings of SCP-6523, based on low-detail engineering diagrams.

Control of SCP-6523 is shared between the Foundation's Department of Interstellar Containment and the Global Occult Coalition's Taskforce for Interstellar Threats, under the overall aegis of the independent DAMOCLES INITIATIVE established by GOC Resolution 523 and Overseer Mandate TAROT MARTEL.

Command of SCP-6523 and the DAMOCLES INITIATIVE is held by the Tripartite Control Council, consisting of the Director of the Department, the Commander of the Taskforce, and the Captain of the Joyeuse.

Following the final departure of SCP-6523 from Farpoint Station, the TCC will be vested with the full and complete authority to act on behalf of the Overseer Council, the Council of 108, and the collective nations of Earth. No further contact with SCP-6523 or the DAMOCLES INITIATIVE is expected after this point.

The GOC's PSYCHE Division has assumed responsibility for the supporting Earth-based information suppression campaign; Special Observers attached to national and international space agencies, academic astronomy programs, and commercial aerospace endeavors are tasked with ensuring that neither SCP-6523 nor any related anomalous phenomena are detected by or disclosed to non-Veiled actors.

The Foundation's WATCHDOG monitoring network has been tasked with identifying and censoring sightings of SCP-6523 by amateur astronomers, although such detection is considered unlikely, given the electromagnetic emissions profile of SCP-6523.

Containment procedures for SCP-871 and SCP-786 have been incorporated into the standing orders of the DAMOCLES INITIATIVE.

In the event of irreparable and catastrophic failure, all outstanding instances of SCP-871 are to be immediately consumed by surviving crew members.

Description

SCP-6523 is the interstellar vessel Joyeuse, currently en route to Alula Borealis1 and expected to arrive in 400 years.

History

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Photograph of asteroid (532) Herculina, taken from archived files of Prometheus Laboratories.

Prior to the creation of the DAMOCLES INITIATIVE, SCP-6523 was an uncontained anomalous object located in orbit of asteroid (532) Herculina. This object was an incomplete interstellar scientific research vessel designed for Project Daedalus, an internal and clandestine human spaceflight program undertaken by Prometheus Laboratories.

Construction of the vessel began in 1996, but technical complications, coupled with the financial difficulties of Prometheus Labs, caused the project to be abandoned in 1997; by this point, most work on the superstructure and external hull had been completed, but no internal systems had been installed. The breakup of the Prometheus conglomerate in 1998 resulted in the evacuation of the research facility at Herculina, and the unfinished hulk became derelict.

Most data and documents from Project Daedalus were eventually obtained by the Foundation, as part of the larger acquisition of former Prometheus assets during the breakup of the conglomerate.2

Pursuant to TAROT MARTEL, the vessel was selected for use by the DAMOCLES INITIATIVE and designated as SCP-6523. In cooperation with the GOC, a containment and salvage operation was launched to take control of the vessel and retrofit it into the Joyeuse.

Design

The original starship design of Project Daedalus centered on the Darius-Semiz singularity drive: an advanced photonic thruster which harnesses the Hawking radiation3 produced by a decaying micro black hole. The initial proposal for Project Daedalus suggested an average continuous acceleration of 1g would be possible with a black hole massing 675,000 metric tons, although these figures proved to be erroneous or excessively optimistic.

Prometheus engineers ultimately concluded that a much more massive black hole, with correspondingly longer lifespan and lower power output, would be required, resulting in significantly reduced acceleration and increased transit time; project managers believed that they could circumvent the problems of ultra-long duration voyages by keeping the crew in cryogenic stasis, but the necessary refinements in human cryostasis technology ultimately proved unfeasible.

The performance parameters selected by Project Daedalus were deemed insufficient for the DAMOCLES INITIATIVE, necessitating significant alternations to the original design — critically, the Joyeuse needed to sustain a much higher constant acceleration. To achieve this, the Darius-Semiz drive uses a smaller black hole, with greater power output and shorter lifespan.

To prevent the black hole from decaying into non-existence, a remass system derived from SCP-8714 and SCP-7865 was constructed. This system feeds additional mass into the black hole to offset losses from Hawking radiation, thereby maintaining it at a constant size and power output.

Additional performance improvements were realized by placing many ship systems inside compact subspace dimensions, and through the use of thaumaturgy to reduce the effective mass of certain structural elements.

Personnel

All personnel assigned to the DAMOCLES INITIATIVE are volunteers.

The crew selection process was guided by the following factors:

  • Age — As the mission of the Joyeuse is long, and potentially indefinite, youth was considered advantageous. The majority of the crew is between 26 and 35 years old.
  • Proficiency — Proficiency in a useful field was required of all crew members. Most are adept in multiple scientific or academic disciplines, and many possess paranormal abilities or expertise.
  • Psychology — Long-term social cohesion among the crew is essential for the mission. Persons displaying high levels of cooperativeness and empathy were favored in psychological screenings.
  • Non-essential — Any persons deemed essential for ongoing containment and normalcy preservation operations were disqualified from the selection process.
  • Non-attachment — None of the crew of the Joyeuse will ever return to Earth. Personnel lacking dependents and attachments on Earth were preferred.

Prior knowledge of the Veil or familiarity with the anomalous, while useful, was deemed too limiting as a requirement. In light of these factors, significant recruitment was done from outside the Foundation. While most of those selected this way came from normal Foundation recruiting sources,15 many were persons who otherwise would not have been considered for Foundation employment, including a number who had been rejected in the past.16

All crew members underwent an intensive accelerated training program while the Joyeuse was retrofitted; in addition to teaching all of the necessary skills for interstellar spaceflight, this training was designed to push recruits to their physical and mental limits, eliminating those unable to cope with the rigors and instilling a sense of camaraderie in the remainder.

Of the nearly 1000 individuals who underwent this training, less than 250 ultimately passed and were assigned to the Department of Interstellar Containment.

A similar selection and training program was undertaken by the GOC, although most of their recruitment was done internally, from within their member organizations.

Department of Interstellar Containment

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Logo of MTF Psi-1 ("Redshirts").

The Foundation contingent of the DAMOCLES INITIATIVE is organized into the autonomous Department of Interstellar Containment, under the supervision of Director Jessica Fordyce.17 The most significant function of the Department is the maintenance and operation of Subsystem "Antoinette", although it also performs the majority of mundane engineering and scientific duties; this is reflected by the fact that Chief Engineer Dr. Song Jin-ho18 is a Department officer.

When deemed necessary by the Tripartite Control Council, the Department will also be entrusted with the containment of anomalous objects encountered during the mission.

Mobile Task Force Psi-1 ("Redshirts"), specializing in orbital and exo-environmental operations, is permanently attached to the Department under the command of Anton Orlov. MTF Psi-1 is the only dedicated combat unit of the Department, although it is not intended for large or protracted engagements; its primary role is reconnaissance and recovery of stable anomalies.

Taskforce for Interstellar Threats


The GOC contingent is the Taskforce for Interstellar Threats, commanded by Dr. Michelle Dahl.19 The Taskforce is responsible for most of the ship's weapon systems, and carries numerous experts in occult and esoteric parasciences; of particular note are Chief Medical Officer Dr. Leila Wikström, a world-renowned cyberneticist, and Dr. Lilith Thornton, Chair of Multiversal Studies at ICSUT Zurich.

PHYSICS Division Strike Team 2112 ("Starship Troopers"), led by Satanist Warlock Pierre Duval, is assigned to the Taskforce; equipped and trained for heavy engagements with major parathreats and other paranatural warfare units, Strike Team 2112 serves as the main infantry force of the DAMOCLES INITIATIVE.

Notable GOC member organizations which have contributed personnel to the Taskforce include:

  • Ancient Noble Order of the Gormogons — Originally founded to oppose Freemasonry, the Gormogons are an elite corps of demolitions experts specializing in destroying anomalous structures and breaking defensive wards. The Order was a major participant in the Allied Occult Initiative, and is a permanent member of the Council of 108. Gormogon antimasons oversaw the ignition of the ship's black hole, and several Gormogons serve aboard the Joyeuse as technical specialists.
  • International Center for the Study of Unified Thaumatology — ICSUT is the largest occult college in the world, a major GOC research partner, and a permanent member of the Council of 108. It is the primary source of thaumatologists for the GOC, the Taskforce, and the DAMOCLES INITIATIVE, with numerous ICSUT alumni and faculty serving on the ship as occult specialists and battlemages.
  • Brotherhood of Auspicious Survivors — Following the forcible disbandment and suppression of the Janissaries and the Bektashi Order during the Auspicious Incident, the survivors reorganized and went into hiding. They continued to battle mystical and esoteric threats, participating in the 6th and 7th Occult Wars, and developed into one of the more powerful independent militant mystical orders. At the request of Dr. Dahl,20 a large contingent of Brotherhood janissaries is stationed on the Joyeuse, filling most combat and security positions within the Taskforce.
  • Bavarian Illuminati — The Illuminati are an international political conspiracy with the stated mission of advancing human rights and welfare, which they believe is best accomplished in secret. A few members of the Illuminati are part of the Taskforce, acting as diplomatic and legal advisors.
  • United Church of Satan, Scientist — An offshoot of LaVeyan Satanism, which has, as its central dogma, the objective of finding and killing God. A small number of Satanists are included in the Taskforce for their expertise in anti-theodicy, combat epistemology, and anti-deity operations.

Captain's Staff


The third member of the Tripartite Control Council is Captain Hiram Douglas, a former submarine captain and test pilot for Prometheus Labs. He had been slated to command the original Daedalus before the project's cancellation, and was retained as a technical consultant during the recovery and retrofit of the Joyeuse. His familiarity with the ship's systems, coupled with his prior training from Project Daedalus, made him an obvious candidate for the non-partisan seat on the TCC, despite his advanced age.21

As Captain, Hiram Douglas oversees the basic operations of the Joyeuse — primarily navigation and shipboard administration — and has absolute authority in internal matters related to the functioning and safety of the ship. He may be called upon to cast a tie-breaking vote if the TCC is deadlocked, but is otherwise expected to defer to Director Fordyce and Dr. Dahl on strategic concerns.

A small contingent of unaffiliated officers and support crew serve aboard the Joyeuse as part of the Captain's Executive Staff. These personnel perform duties necessary for the operations of the Joyeuse, but are uninvolved in the overall mission of the DAMOCLES INITIATIVE; all were selected by Captain Douglas for their unique skill sets and technical expertise, and a number were previously involved in Project Daedalus.

Mission

The primary mission of SCP-6523 and the DAMOCLES INITIATIVE is to intercept and neutralize the anomalous spacecraft identified in Incident ISHMAEL BREAKAWAY, using whatever means are deemed appropriate by the Tripartite Control Council.

Overview of Incident ISHMAEL BREAKAWAY

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Logo of Quintessence Aerospace.

On 2016-12-23, the Global Occult Coalition's EUDOXUS astrological sky survey detected a major spike of Aspect Radiation originating from the Alula Borealis star system.22 This reading was interpreted as probable evidence of an extraterrestrial intelligence, but at the time it was deemed to be only a minor threat to normalcy.

The ARad spike was also detected by private spaceflight company Quintessence Aerospace, using unlicensed and unreported paratech in its possession. Hector Canvera (PoI-11238), the company's founder and CEO, and a member of the Fifth Church, interpreted this as proof of his Fifthist beliefs. Using Fifthist reality alteration techniques which are not currently understood, Quintessence secretly constructed an interstellar spacecraft, dubbed the Quincunx, in orbit around Jupiter's moon Amalthea.

On 2017-02-26, Incident ISHMAEL BREAKAWAY occurred. In a now-censored video on social media, Hector Canvera publicized his plan to depart the Solar System. Shortly afterwards, the Quincunx was detected leaving Jovian orbit; Hector Canvera is believed to have been on board, along with an unknown number of other Fifthists.

Their current trajectory will take them out of the Solar System in the direction of Alula Borealis; assuming continuous acceleration and appropriate deceleration maneuvers, they will arrive at Alula Borealis in slightly over 400 years. It is likely that they are seeking the extraterrestrial intelligence, which they believe will assist them in achieving their goals of enlightenment.

Text of Overseer Mandate TAROT MARTEL

An emergency session of the Overseer Council was immediately held in response to Incident ISHMAEL BREAKAWAY. The result of this session was the following mandate, codeword designation TAROT MARTEL:

BY ORDER OF THE OVERSEER COUNCIL

EVIDENT, that first contact with an extraterrestrial intelligence is the most significant undertaking available to humanity;

DECIDED, that our mission of protection against anomalous hazards includes an obligation to protect non-human intelligences, where possible;

RESOLVED, that the Fifth Church, being parareligious extremists, cannot be allowed to initiate first contact, as such would be detrimental to both Earth and extraterrestrial life.

THEREFORE, Article 13 of the Köln Agreement has been invoked to request the aid of the Global Occult Coalition;

THUS, a new joint agency of the Foundation and the Global Occult Coalition shall be established to oversee this Article 13 operation;

AND, the mission of this agency will be to intercept and neutralize the Fifthist vessel.

So ordered by,
Overseers 01, 03, 04, 06, 08, 09, 11, and 1323

Mission Profile

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Animation of the brachistochrone trajectory that will be used by the Joyeuse. Not to scale.

Upon ignition of the black hole, the Joyeuse began accelerating out of the Solar System. It performed a close flyby of Pluto 11 days after launch, at which time it received final supplies and personnel via apportation from Farpoint Station.

Following the rendezvous with Farpoint, the Joyeuse will continue to accelerate for 2122 days of internal time, reaching a maximum velocity of 99.998% of the speed of light and traveling approximately 200 light years; due to the effects of special relativity, 201 years will pass on Earth.

Upon reaching the halfway point, the Joyeuse will rotate 180 degrees to thrust along its velocity vector. It will decelerate for 2133 days of internal time, arriving at Alula Borealis 402 years after departure from Herculina.

All operations after arrival at Alula Borealis are left to the discretion of the Tripartite Control Council.

Following the conclusion of the primary mission, the DAMOCLES INITIATIVE is encouraged to pursue the containment or neutralization of other astronomical anomalies.

There will be no return to Earth.

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