If you're reading this, then congratulations. One of us has died. Something killed one of us. A monster, perhaps, or a rival from the GOC. Or maybe we got just a little close to the flame, like Aaron. Not old age, of course. We took care of that, didn’t we? Anyway, one of the old guard is gone. Maybe Jason. Maybe Agnes. Maybe me. Hell, I'd be surprised if I wasn't the next one to die. I always was the most expendable.
I’m going to write this to you as though you were a human being. It will be the last time anyone extends you the courtesy, so I hope you appreciate it.
Whoever you are, whatever you did before, you must have been high-ranking when you were pulled into this. You must have noticed the discrepancies, the inconsistencies. I don’t know how much you’ve been told already, or how much you’ve pieced together. The crux of the matter is this: The retrievals and recoveries of SCP objects are staged, or made up whole cloth. We have never “discovered” an SCP in the entire history of the Foundation.
I should start from the beginning. Let me tell you a story.
Aaron Siegel was a physicist studying at Cornell in 1891. He was a truly gifted individual, and had his life taken a different path, I believe that his name would be there with Edison, Einstein, and Hawking. I knew him very well. He was, and may still be, my brother.
He was also an avid amateur naturalist, and enjoyed hiking through the woods. One day, while visiting our family home in Essex county, he came across a gravel path. He decided to follow it for a time, and noticed that it kept climbing uphill far longer than it should have. It should have taken him above the nearby hills. Instead, he found himself back where he’d started, without a foot of downwards travel.
Another man would have assumed his senses were faulty and left. Aaron, however, was a stubborn man. He investigated further. He found the path did not conform to the pure geometry of Euclid. Like Saccheri before him, he had found something abhorrent to the nature of straight lines.
He studied it. The equations he derived are part of the file you’ve received. You’ll learn them by heart eventually. He built a small shack nearby which served as a makeshift laboratory. His first experiments produced a key capable of opening any lock, now contained as SCP-005.
He brought in others. As his brother, I was one of the first he contacted. I was a medical student at Harvard at the time. I initially thought he was mad, but when he showed me the path, the key, I had to learn more. There were others with us, other friends and colleagues. Most of them are gone now, but… We were the core. We created the Foundation from around ourselves.
In the beginning, it was just about discovery, about finding the things we could do. We had such high hopes, such plans. We were going to change the world. We were going to save it from itself. We could feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, heal the sick and dying.
Thomas Carter found us money. We were none of us poor, but we ran through our fortunes quickly. Thomas used his connections on Wall Street and in Washington to fund us. He showed them the least of what we could do, and promised heaven against the threat of hell.
Agnes Peterson, my brother’s fiancée, was the administrator. We knew nothing of how to run an organization. We were a herd of cats, running to and fro, and she turned us into a foundation, putting us dreamers and madmen to the same yoke.
We soon had a facility built. But we were still so secretive. As much as we wanted to shout from the rooftops what we had found, we were frightened, too, that it would be taken from us. We told ourselves it was just for the interim, until we were sure of our footing. We’d show them, eventually. We’d show them all.
We were careful, at first. We made small, inoffensive, or even helpful items. The fountain of youth. The bouncing ball. The Civil War statue. We grew more confident, and we started working on humans. The concrete man. He volunteered. Or the man with the abdominal planet. Just a drifter, but we made him something special, didn't we?
It was all so easy. Perhaps it seems absurd to get so many things from that one little break in reality, but it all flowed, one discovery to the next. It almost seemed like something was helping us along.
But then, things started going a bit wrong. While he was playing with his equations, Aaron accidentally derived the missing number. In my laboratory, I found I’d made the zombie plague. But we were too invested in our projects, so we pushed ahead. Then came the pipe nightmare, and the stairwell. We knew we’d need more help.
Thomas showed what we’d done to the military. Told them we’d “found” these things, discovered them. We made up names like “Prometheus Labs,” and “the Chaos Insurgency.” They gave us funding, personnel. We built up, and expanded outward. We repeated the sell in other countries. Some listened, some didn’t. Enough did. We became an international organization. We brought in more researchers, though very few ever suspected we were the source of these items they studied. Sometimes we would arrange for an object to be “found” by a field team, sometimes we would simply write the reports. We generated the paperwork, and we were the oversight. If we said a thing was, it was. It still is.
There were still problems, of course. Jeremy and Thomas took one of our experiments and ran off with it, creating their ridiculous club. One of our researchers grew mad and started worshipping machines, escaping with enough knowledge to be dangerous. We still deal with the fallout of these splinter groups.
So we contained them. We handled them. We couldn't stop, surely you can see that? Rather than more cautious, we grew bolder. I cut a little boy up and turned him into the Flesh That Hates.
There were reasons. There were always reasons. Two thirty-one. We created her, and her sisters. We took them from orphanages, and arranged for what followed. And it was no accident. We knew what we were doing. There was a reason for it once, but I’ll be damned if I can remember it now. None of us do, except maybe my brother, wherever, whatever he is now.
We keep moving forward. Even after Abel, after the blood pond, after that damnable reptile, we still move forward with our work. What else can we do? Our only hope to survive the events we’ve set in motion is to understand better, to learn more. We’re on the back of a terrible beast, and if we try to jump off now, we’ll be crushed beneath. But that’s not what frightens me, and it isn’t what should frighten you. We’ve maintained our foothold for over a hundred years.
The things I really worry about are the anomalies we didn't create. No, I was telling the truth the first time. We didn't discover any of them. But some of them, they aren't our work. They just… were, one day. They were in containment, and they'd always been in containment. Don't you see? We're not in control anymore. We never were.