"You always did tend to burn the candle at both ends, William."
General William Pendergast, the Deputy Director of Foundation Contingency Planning Operations, looked up. His unexpected visitor was a patrician - tall and imperially thin, his once black hair now liberally streaked with grey. Seven, as the man was called based on his numerical designation, was one of the Foundation's Overseers.
"Sir, it's late," Pendergast said, though the hour was not so much late as it was early. "What brings you out to Site-11 at this time of night?"
His visitor took a long, slow breath on his cigarette, in flagrant violation of the Foundation's smoke-free workplace policy. "This and that, General. You've been doing a fine job here, by the way."
"Thank you, sir."
"Does the number 79812108 mean anything significant to you, William?" the Overseer asked, taking a seat.
"Yes, sir, several things," the General replied. Pendergast did his best to not look disapprovingly at his superior's smoking - never a vice he had entertained himself, as he hated the smell of the damned things.
"Specifically, the Contingency Planning Operation with that designation," elaborated Seven, exhaling.
"Assume aliens which could be considered 'Keter' attempted an invasion - how do we stop them, and all that," Pendergast said. "Last updated back in 1988, was it?"
"Eighty-nine," corrected his guest. "But most of the legwork was done in '88, yes. I'm glad to see your memory is as good as ever."
"I wasn't involved in drafting that report, sir," General Pendergast observed.
"No, you were an Air Force major working at the Pentagon who had never heard of the Foundation, and I was, well, that's a long time ago," Seven observed. Though Pendergast was still in his fifties, Seven was closer to seventy than sixty. "The reason I bring this up is that several members of the O5 Council, myself included, believe this exercise needs updating. It has, after all, been two decades."
"Yes, sir," Pendergast replied. "Sir, if I may ask, why the back channels?"
"I need you to put a formal request in writing to the Council. Those of us who feel this way aren't a majority - you know how it is. A couple of the hardline science types don't want resources taken away from their pet projects for poking and prodding things." Though extensive, funded in no small degree by several lucrative patents held by shell companies, the Foundation's budget was by no means limitless - something Pendergast understood from spending a third of his time fighting for his budget in seemingly endless meetings.
"And if you get a formal suggestion for reupping a twenty-two year old analysis, you'll be able to convince the fence-sitters to side with you," Pendergast said, finishing his superior's thought.
Pendergast continued, "And if this formal suggestion comes from my office without any apparent suggestion from you or those who agree with you, you won't owe the fence sitters favors next time they want something."
Taking a puff on his cigarette, the Overseer chuckled. "Well, we do pay you to spot the subtle details and speak the uncomfortable truths, so I don't suppose I can object too loudly when you apply that to the Foundation's own internal politics."
"I'll have a formal request drawn up in time for next Monday's Council meeting?" Pendergast asked.
Seven exhaled and used the stub of his cigarette to light a new one. "That will do nicely, General," he said, standing. "Good night, William."
"Good night, sir," Pendergast replied, but his guest was already gone.
FROM: General William Pendergast (Deputy Director of Foundation Contingency Planning)
TO: O5 Council
RE: Proposed Contingency Planning Operation
It has come to my attention that it has been nearly 23 years since the last major Foundation low-probability, high impact analysis was performed regarding "the possibility that hypothetical extraterrestrial intelligences unknown displaying vigorous, active hostility to human life and/or civilization might attempt to conquer, enslave, or exterminate humanity." (Reference Foundation Contingency Planing Operation 79812108, 01/13/1989.) In that time, significant technological advances and geopolitical shifts have occurred. Accordingly, Foundation contingency protocols for such an event are woefully insufficient. Though the likelihood of hostile actions by extraterrestrial intelligences unknown within the near future is remote, the consequences for human civilization should such actions occur would be nothing short of dire. While both world governments and various groups of interest such as the Global Occult Coalition can be reasonably expected to respond to major attacks against this planet and its civilization, the Foundation is and must be the first and best line of defense for humanity.
I propose the immediate commencement of a contingency planning operation (proposed numerical reference number 83910301) in which the Foundation will update its plans, coordinated through my office but spanning disciplines and departments.
I propose the following facilities be involved:
- Overwatch HQ: Operating in both its usual oversight and coordination roles.
- Research Sector-15: As the Foundation's primary facility for research and experimentation devoted to determining methods for destroying dangerous SCP objects, it is uniquely suited to the discussion of destructive countermeasures towards extraterrestrial entities.
- Site-11: As both the primary intelligence center and the location of my office and directorate, this facility is best suited for taking the lead on this contingency planning operation.
- Site-19: The participation of Site-19's research and scientific staff would be necessary for this project's successful conclusion.
- Armed Research Site-45: As the primary facility for weaponization of SCP objects, this site would be critical in any planetary defense initiative.
I propose the following task forces be involved (recognizing that analysis is not their primary function, but believing this operation to overlap with their mandates):
- Mobile Task Force Gamma-5 (aka "They're on our side, Sir!"): Tasked with "public misinformation and damage control", Gamma-5 would play a significant role in the Foundation's management of the media should hostile extraterrestrial actions occur.
- Mobile Task Force Iota-10 (aka "Damn Feds"): Assigned to intercept SCP-related reports and disrupt SCP-related investigations by local law-enforcement agencies, Iota-10 would be critical in the Foundation's coordination of local agencies in the event of hostile extraterrestrial actions.
- Reconnaissance Force Kappa-6 (aka "Angel Eyes"): As one of the Foundation's main espionage-related Task Forces, Kappa-6 would likely be the first part of the Foundation to become aware of covert hostile extraterrestrial actions.
I further propose the involvement of a rapid response task force, assuming availability permits.
I thank the Council for its consideration of this matter.
FROM: O5-7, on behalf of O5 Council
TO: General William Pendergast (Deputy Director of Foundation Contingency Planning Operations)
RE: Proposed CPO 83910301
Contingency Planning Operation approved. Codename designation "Project Heimdall". Research potential means by which extraterrestrial intelligence displaying vigorous, active hostility to human life and/or civilization might attempt to conquer, enslave, or exterminate humanity. Analyze likely outcomes. Develop countermeasures and contingency plans. Report findings to O5 Council when complete.
Hmmm, Pendergast thought, reading the reply from the O5 Council. "Heimdall", Norse god who kept watch for Ragnarök. Very apt.
He picked up his phone to get the ball rolling. There was a lot of work to do.