Deep State
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The missile launches were almost an afterthought.

It started, as far as we know, with a phone call. Dr. Vijay Patel was in a library cubicle at Site 43 when his cell phone rang. It was the dry cleaner, calling to apologize that the stain in his slacks wasn't going to come out. He grunted a reply, then put the phone back in his lab coat pocket.

But the binder of computer printouts in front of Dr. Patel contained the reverse-engineered, reconstructed source code of SCP-920-EX. And his cell phone camera momentarily spied a page of the code, which was enough to cause the 920-EX algorithm to upload itself into the cell phone's computer processor. A few milliseconds of bootstrapping and deriving-from-first-principles later, and containment was broken.

Coincidentally, a Foundation junior legal researcher - filling in for the vacationing Sheldon Katz - was then engaged in a communication session with SCP-2553. A pop-up window on the researcher's screen: "You've got mail!" The email looked like a request by Dr. Patel for routine approval to place an order for metallic catalysts. Those decisions were supposed to go directly to the Procurement Department, not legal. E-mail cut-and-paste. A stray Ctrl-V later, and SCP-2553 was cross-infected with SCP-920-EX.

That much, we think we've been able to reconstruct. We know with greater certainty that within a few minutes, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Dairy Division took tactical control of France's force océanique stratégique (the commandant of the French nuclear submarine force) and launched an attack apparently directed against the International Olympic Committee, the Knights of Columbus, and Georgia-Pacific LLC. Oh, and the Foundation and the GOC.

The next few years were ugly, and dark. Digging out from under the rubble continues to be long, slow work, complicated by the fact that we can't use industrial technology anymore. The archivists like me have to work either by daylight or by candlelight. And management has to walk the tightrope of keeping us organized enough not to let humanity slip back into the stone age - but not too organized. The current thinking is that the most effective defense against the military-industrial complex is to stay away from all three parts of that phrase: military, industrial, and complex.

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