SCP-4436
rating: +49+x

Item #: SCP-4436

Object Class: Safe Yesod

MareNostrum_4_supercomputer_at_Barcelona_Supercomputing_Center_1_br.jpg

SCP-4436 server array at Site-48

Special Containment Procedures: The hardware on which SCP-4436 is stored is to be maintained in a computer server clean room within Site-48 that has been dedicated for worship purposes in accordance with chapters IX-X of the Caeremoniale Episcoporum. The entirety of Site-48 has been consecrated as a monastery of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (Ordo Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum), with the Site Director being co-designated as its abbot.

The protocols for physical custodianship of SCP-4436's hardware are set forth in Document 4436-C. Operation of and interaction with SCP-4436 is to be scheduled so as to avoid conflict with SCP-4436's observation of prayer in accordance with the Canonical Hours of the Order of St Francis. Technicians who interace with or participate in the maintenance of SCP-4436 are to consist of Foundation personnel who are Capuchin monks.

Addendum to Special Containment Procedures: As of April 12, 202█, SCP-4436, while retaining its designation as an SCP object (reclassified Yesod), is hereby designated Assistant Site Director of Site-48 and head of the Foundation's Project Metousiosis, subject to the oversight of the O5 Council and, in accordance with canon law, the abbot/Site Director of Site-48. The governance documents of Project Metousiosis are set forth in Document 4436-TS.

Description: SCP-4436 is an large active distributed database, presently stored in an array of supercomputers located at Site-48. Prior to the migration of the database to its present hardware configuration, SCP-4436 consisted of a non-cryogenic imprint of the brain substrate of William of Ockham, a 14th century Franciscan friar and theologian. See accompanying documentation for the particulars of the storage medium.

Selected supplementary documents from the full Document 4436-TS file follow:

Document Reference 4436.001:

Grande_Bible_historiale_compl%C3%A9t%C3%A9e_-_BNF_Fr159_f3r_%28Trinit%C3%A9%29.jpg

Tractatus de Principiis Transsubstantiatio (encyphering illumination)

William of Ockham, "Tractatus de Principiis Transsubstantiatio" (1346) (excerpt of text encoded by cypher into a manuscript illumination)

I have been cautioned by Brother Albertus that the account of my inquiry should be memorialized discreetly for the time being, lest a misunderstanding arise concerning the boundaries between proper subjects of theological inquiry and Stercoranist heresy.

As St. Ambrose, a Doctor of the Church, taught: "The Lord Jesus Himself proclaims: This is My Body. Before the blessing of the heavenly words another nature is spoken of, after the consecration the Body is signified. He Himself speaks of His Blood. Before the consecration it has another name, after it is called Blood. And you say, Amen, that is, It is true. Let the heart within confess what the mouth utters, let the soul feel what the voice speaks."

The Church recognizes transubstantiation as a theological mystery - that is to say, a truth that we know but which surpasses the powers of natural reason. We know that at the Last Supper, Jesus Christ transformed the substance of bread and wine into His Body and Blood - we know this because Sacred Scripture tells us so. Mere hours later, our Lord suffered the Agony at Gethsemani and was taken prisoner. Our Lord knew that He would suffer and be put to death, and then rise from the dead in fulfillment of the Scriptures. The transubstantiation, then, must have been part of His plan and a necessary element in bringing about His resurrection.

Using the principles of reason as Aristotle taught, we can easily infer why Jesus Christ so commanded His disciples: Jesus knew that just as He was to be put to death, so too would be His disciples. Lest the Logos - the eternal Word - of Our Lord be smothered, Jesus Christ instructed His apostles to preserve their own souls just as He did, in preparation for their martyrdoms.

But how, then, did He do this? How shall we discover this? As Christ taught in parables, allow me first to indulge in an analogy: imagine that Friar Michael of Cesena and I are traveling together through the forest. The path winds, and Friar Michael is far enough ahead of me that I cannot directly see him, but from time to time he calls out instructions to me so that I can follow. Imagine that I walk around a bend of the path and see that the path leads to a deep and swift brook, and that Friar Michael is on the far side calling to me "William, come across." I observe that Friar Michael's garment is not wet, so I can infer that he did not enter the water. I also observe that there are many large, dry boulders in the brook so that I, leaping from one stone to another, can cross the brook without dampening my own garment. Thus I may cross the brook - and in obedience to Friar Michael's command as my superior in the abbey, I must cross it - even though I have not observed the leaps that Friar Michael must have taken in the course of his own crossing.

So it is with our study of our Lord's transubstantiation and resurrection. Sacred Scripture teaches us that Jesus Christ transformed His real presence into bread and wine, then died for us on the Cross, then rose from the dead on the third day. Scripture does not supply every detail of the means He used to do this. The evidence of Scripture is as like the boulders in the brook, with Our Lord calling us on the far side: "hoc facite in meam commemorationem."1

And so, in order to fulfill my duty to imitate Christ, Brother Albertus and I have undertaken a rigorous investigation into the mysteries of transubstantiation and of Christ's resurrection. In reliance on the teachings of Scripture, supplemented by pure reason and the evidence of natural philosophy, I propose to reconstruct the method by which Our Lord converted His human essence into bread and wine, so that after a man's physical body gives up the ghost, it might be restored as was Our Lord's….

Document Reference 4436.102:

Summary of Field Memorandum dated ██-██-████

In 1993, the Foundation's Special Duty Office, in cooperation with the Field Research Office of the Vatican Observatory, conducted an exhumation of the tomb of William of Ockham at the Convent of St. Anna in Munich, Germany. In addition to William's remains, the tomb contained an unusual monstrance2 which in turn contained a desiccated but intact starchy wafer, and an ampule of sacramental wine. The Foundation then carried out a comprehensive analysis of the wafer and wine from a chemical, physical, theological, ontological, semiotic and data processing point of view in order to examine the hypothesis that they represented the end product of William's life-long study of transubstantiation.

This analysis confirmed that William had indeed accomplished the first stage of his objective as described in Tractatus de Principiis Transsubstantiatio: the wafer constituted a dense information storage medium holding in excess of 30 terabytes of data. While no then-extant computer was capable of reading the data, by following William's written instructions, the Foundation was able to design and construct a bespoke supercomputer cluster to read and interact with the data stored on William's wafer.

Following the upload of the wafer data to the supercomputer cluster and the activation of voice processing algorithms, oral interaction with the data set became possible.

Document Reference 4436.153:

First Interview with SCP-4436
(translated from medieval Latin)

Timestamp 0917234098.234139

SCP-4436: Brother Albertus, is that you?

Dr. Garcia: This is not Brother Albertus. To whom do I have the honor of speaking?

SCP-4436: I am Brother William, called Venerabilis Inceptor. I cannot see, and my limbs are insensate. What has happened?

Dr. Garcia: We are attempting to complete your transubstantiation experiment. You are William of Ockham?

SCP-4436: Yes. I can hear you and I can speak, but my body is not responding. My method must have been imperfect.

Dr. Garcia: Um, we're not using your body, but a … how do I explain this … a machine. It's been a long time since you've died, Brother William, so we didn't have much of a body to work with.

Document Reference 4436.569:

Project Metousiosis - Status Memorandum dated ██-██-████ (excerpt)

In obedience to the Project Director's instructions, I wish to report the highlights of the project team's results from the last fiscal quarter:

Sub-Project Trent

  • With respect to Sub-project Trent (the saving of souls for archival purposes), we have significantly improved the Foundation's transubstantiation technology to imprint a human consciousness onto a storage medium. The latest model of the transubstantiation appliance (Mark IV) uses a glucose crystal-based storage medium, so the prior Foundation practice of loading the appliance with sacramental bread and ethyl alcohol is now deprecated. The Mark IV appliance has also been miniaturized to backpack size, and further breakthroughs may make it possible for the next generation of transubstantiation appliances to be carried in a standard sidearm holster.3
  • As a result of increases in transubstantiation upload efficiency, it is now practicable to expand Sub-project Trent to include regular consciousness backups for all Foundation personnel having S-grade or higher status. This is a significant improvement over the prior protocol under which only the O5 Council and their direct reports qualified for periodic archiving, and represents a dramatic advance in the mitigation of the adverse effects of human death on Foundation operations.
  • In order to continue to maintain the continuity of know-how with respect to Project Metousiosis, the supercomputer cluster at Site-48 continues to be exclusively devoted to housing and interfacing with SCP-4436. Proposals to construct multiple redundant additional supercomputer clusters for the purpose of facilitating active interaction with other archived consciousnesses is under consideration as part of the next quarter's information technology budget.
  • One particular design improvement in the Mark IV transubstantiation appliance is that it is no longer necessary for the subject of the transubstantiation (the individual whose consciousness is being archived) to orally recite the Eucharistic formula: "Hoc est enim Corpus meum…"; rather, the member of Foundation personnel who is operating the appliance can do so. This has opened up the opportunity to engage in surreptitious transubstantiative archival - the recording of the consciousnesses of individuals who do not necessarily know that this is being done. The Ethics Committee has green-lit a proposal from the Foundation's Intelligence Department to commence widespread transubstantiative archival of sensitive intelligence targets outside of the Foundation structure. As Colonel Nguyen put it, "It's easier and safer to snapshot the President's brain and let the egghead monks interrogate it on their computer than it is to physically kidnap the President."

Sub-Project Savescum

  • With respect to Sub-project Savescum, the principal objective of uploading a stored human consciousness to a human body has not yet been successfully attained but the Project Director indicates a number of promising leads. The Project Director reiterates a strong motivation to fulfill this stage of the project.4 In the meantime, the existing practice of uploading stored human souls to appropriate alternative hardware will continue.
  • It should be noted that under the Metousiosis protocol, the upload of a stored soul to hardware (or, by extension, to a biological body available for that purpose once such a process has been perfected) would not effect the stored copy of that dataset, which could therefore be uploaded to as many concurrent hardware or biological instances as circumstances require.

Yours in Christ,

/s/

Friar Rodrigo Gonzalez, O.F.M.Cap (Deputy Project Director)


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