This transcript is available to all hearing-impaired persons, and can be cited in lieu of the video per acceptable standards.
NARRATOR: [Dramatically] A decade ago, researchers made a startling discovery: an anomalous object that moved when exposed to a certain and very specific phenomenon. How did this startling discovery revolutionize several fields at once? How does it work? What is it? And how does it relate to an infamous schism that threatened to rip the Foundation apart? Learn all this and more in this episode of "The Foundation Explored!"
[CUE SHOW INTRO]
[DISPLAY PICTURE OF YOUNG BRENNAN]
NARRATOR: It is 2019. Researcher Brennan, a newly promoted researcher specializing in religious phenomena, puts in a request to work with several anomalous objects.
[FLASH TO BRENNAN IN INTERVIEW CHAIR]
BRENNAN: I had just finished working on 270, you know, and I was all burnt out. They had this horrible problem with the teachings of certain obscure religious sects, and I was looking forward to doing something less strenuous. So, I thought to myself, "what's less strenuous than some anomalies?"
[CUT TO VARIOUS PHOTOS OF ANOMALOUS ITEM STORAGE]
NARRATOR: Brennan promptly put in a request to work with several anomalous items that captured his interest. Given his work on 270, as well as his exemplary record, his request was approved.
[CUT TO BRENNAN]
BRENNAN: Most of the stuff was kid's stuff, you know? A small bust that blinked every once in a while. A tennis racket that always broke balls hit with it. That kind of stuff. But there was one thing that interested me: a set of steaks.
[PICTURES OF STEAKS]
NARRATOR: The items in question, recovered from the freezer of a dead hunter in the Pacific Northwest following his death by an unrelated anomaly, consisted of 20 different cuts of meat. DNA testing established that the steaks were not human or any animal currently known; but aside from this, no other anomalous properties were detected. Thus, the steaks were classified as anomalous and put into cold storage.
[CUT TO BRENNAN]
BRENNAN: Well, I was running all the standard tests on them-seeing if applying water did anything, x-raying them to see if there was anything inside, chemical composition analysis, just all that-and they were all coming up negative. At the same time, I had in my pocket at all times a vial of holy water [chuckles] for a lot of different reasons. As I was getting ready to do some more tests, I bumped up against the table too hard and broke the vial, and got it all over my pants. So I empty out my pockets, trying to avoid cutting myself on all the stupid broken glass, and in the process, I end up getting holy water all over the table. I get the rest of the glass out of my pocket, turn back to the table, and I immediately think, "something's off here." I had photographed the steaks at the beginning, per procedure, and I compared the picture to the way it was now, and I realized the steaks had moved. And it wasn't just a case of me bumping them-they had very definitively moved away from the water. And I just thought to myself, "I think I've got something, here."
[PHOTOGRAPHS OF BRENNAN WORKING]
NARRATOR: Following this discovery, Brennan quickly began testing.
BRENNAN: The steaks didn't like holy water! They just would not touch it, no matter what you did to them. I even-my favorite thing to do was just to levitate a chunk of that meat over a bowl of water, just because it made a great trick. [SHOW VIDEO OF MEAT HOVERING] And then I thought, well, this won't touch holy water; what'll it do to other artifacts? Or prayer? So I get a cross from the closest chaplain-same thing. I ask the chaplain to pray over the thing-bless the thing. He gave me a few strange works, but he did it. [Laughs] said it was the weirdest thing he'd been asked to do during his tenure here, and let me tell you, those poor guys have to deal with a lot of stuff too. And he prays over the thing, and it just moves away from his hand. It was the damnest thing. It was like a magic trick.
[CUT TO MORE PICTURES]
NARRATOR: Following this, Brennan quickly devised a test apparatus to measure the effects different religious expressions had.
[CUT TO FRANCIOMETER. BRENNAN VOICEOVER.]
BRENNAN: It's basically a distance thing: the further you can move the meat, the more faith you're outputting. We honed in on faith quickly; it was the only common denominator between the things, that, that uh got a reaction from the item. We used a one centimeter cubed chunk for the Franciometer, just for consistency's sake, and as soon as we realized that the meat had-had this property we started cloning it as fast as possible. I do get a lot of the questions about the name; the Franciometer and centiakivas, and all I can really say is that it was my little joke. I got to name 'em, so I chose the names that I thought both fit and were amusing. Just my little joke.
[CUT TO PICTURES OF WILLIAMSON]
NARRATOR: But not everyone was happy with this development. The idea of faith becoming a measured, quantifiable thing sparked several criticisms; the harshest from Father Ted Williamson, the legendary Head of Foundation Religious Services.
[CUT TO JACOBSON, ASSISTANT TO WILLIAMSON]
JACOBSON: He was not happy, let me tell you that. He stomped around the office continually, trying to figure out how to-how to deal with this thing! And he eventually settled on the secession outlet.
[PICTURES OF WILLIAMSON]
NARRATOR: Williamson quickly issued an ultimatum: either centiakivas left, or he, along with a coalition of religious individuals including some of the most high-ranking staff, would leave.
BRENNAN: Oh, it was a terribly tense time. And I was in the middle of it, since I'd created the damn thing! And here I am, suddenly the catalyst for this event! I mean, it wasn't all about centiakivas; Williamson had been irritated for years about the decline in piety in the Foundation, and a bunch of other things, but to have your discovery be the catalyst for this was just hell for me.
[PICTURE OF NEGOTIATIONS]
NARRATOR: Finally, after a tense standoff of several weeks, negotiators managed to come to an agreement with Williamson, ending the Great Religious Secession of 2019. Centiakivas could stay, and became a valuable tool to assist in the study of religious SCPs. And how does Brennan feel, looking back on his discovery?
[CUT TO BRENNAN]
BRENNAN: I feel good. It's nice knowing that you helped further science, and I'm proud of what I've done. If I had any advice to give to researchers? I'd just say explore what you normally wouldn't. Dip into anomalous items storage every once in a while. Try something new. That's really all I can say: try to do something unexpected. And good luck!