Hello Everett. You were expecting me? How ha-
Ah. Quite right, I suppose. May I sit? Thank you.
I can only imagine what you must think of us by now. How many have come to you this month- Five? Seven? Enough, at least, to put you in an… uncomfortable position. Half of the O5 council, here in your office, sputtering like mad men and contradicting each other on even the most basic of details. But we're very good at contradiction around here, aren't we? I think you would have found your answers on your own if things had gone differently. The research you were doing was damned close to the crux of it. Problem is, you got caught up on a red herring, and it can't have helped that the old man got to you when he did. If you'd kept looking, you would have noticed soon enough: The Factory isn't the only thing that stops making sense if you look at it for too long. Yes, the other organizations as well, but that's only the start.
Just stop and think about it for a moment. It amazes me how much we get you people to ignore— do you honestly believe that we keep a dozen drafts of 001 as part of some inane security policy? You've never wondered why so many reports and logs for missions and experiments we've never approved- much less written- just happen to spring up on our servers? How so many hundreds of inconsistencies were introduced to our records? Do you really think we're that inept?
…you do, don't you. Ohohoho, you do. No wonder you've held your tongue this long, 'just smile and nod and the crazy old men will shut up and leave me to my work'. You disappoint me Doctor. You've come far enough to know that it couldn't be that simple.
Then allow me to level with you. From the top.
The things we lock away are wrong, Everett. Fundamentally, unequivocally wrong. They contradict everything we know about math, science, religion, life, thought, they violate reality itself.
No, of course I'm not talking about the Greens. They're troublesome, but in they end, they are fundamentally human. In some ways that makes them easier to manage than even our safest objects; but you have the right idea. A mortal mind wielding such power is trivial. But what do you suppose happens when it manifests on its own? You've been through enough of the archive by now to know all three answers. AK, BK, CK. The world twists, and in the worst case we don't even know that it's happened.
Yes Doctor, spontaneous reality shifts. It took decades to determine the cause, but in the end it was laughably simple. On its own, an SCP object merely bends. Gather the right ones together, bend things far enough in the right direction, and sooner or later something breaks. Upon advancing to level 5 we're all trained to notice the signs, when possible. We secure a new item, we transfer an object between sites, and within a day or two we'd know that something was off.
The implications should be obvious; our very existence is jeopardized by even the simplest of operations. We tried everything we could think of- we limited the number of objects per site, prohibited needless cross-testing, minimized transfers, spread out as much as possible, even authorized decommissions for most of the more trivial anomalies. It wasn't enough. And even if it was, it wouldn't stop Dark, the Hand, the Church, and god knows who else. Hell, we have reason to believe that those damned cultists are doing it on purpose.
That's why Ten started pushing for a different approach. We can't prevent the problem; why not turn it on its head? We started to look for ways to use the shifts to our advantage. The potential for knowledge alone… And if we could find the pattern…
Everett, have we had this conversation before?
Never mind. In either case, we built Site Zero in the twenties once we had a better handle on how it all worked. I never understood a lick of the physics, but we were assured that it would deflect the effects enough to preserve our memories and our copy of Central Records between shifts. And it did. The advantage it gave us was beyond anything we had imagined. Before the site was completed, we controlled at most fifteen percent of all known SCP objects. We now consistently control at least seventy percent between shifts, and the protocols we enact from Site Zero can recover most of them in a month or less after even the worst events.
There were problems of course. When any of us leave Site Zero, the re-briefing can take weeks if our timing is bad. But it goes deeper than that. Even those of us that never leave started to notice inconsistencies, internal fragmentation. Database checks began turning up entire unknown files in the shift-safe system, but that was the least of our concerns. It got worse over time, and after a while we started to… well, I think you've already guessed the rest.
I'm not so bad off as most of the others yet, but it's only a matter of time. I can't keep it straight in my head. There's no record of half of the senior staff I've worked with. I don't remember any Insurgency, much less a credible threat from Iran. On more days than not, I don't even have my designation right.
No, of course not. That's the problem; we have the wolf by the ears. We don't have much time left, and we cannot allow our failure to become the Foundation's. Really, though, the solution is quite simple. We need re-
Very good, Doctor. Perhaps there's hope for you after all.
I think we're done here. We'll be seeing you. Soon.
And Everett? Give my regards to whoever arrives as Eight.