Oct 23, 2018 8:53 PM
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Miranda gets lost in an IKEA
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"Marie, SCP-4057. Everyone who saw her believed her to be in imminent danger and in need of protection. Several civilians escorted her to one of the foundation's facilities, believing it to be a local military base. At first, the on-site researchers knew that she wasn't in danger, that it was a memetic effect. But then, they forgot. They began to believe she was the target of an unknown hostile SCP. The belief in the threat spread, from everyone she met personally to everyone they met. As it spread, the scale of the imagined threat grew. No one could describe it. It was the worst thing you could imagine. People who had never met Marie began trying to break into the facility, to protect her, to save her. The scale of the perceived threat grew great enough that people began dying from shock as soon as they were exposed. Finally, the foundation finished a countermeme and spread it through the population. The countermeme removed the infection, but at the price of making everyone forget she existed. We only know who she is now because of the documentation."

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"- how are countermemes made? What are they?"

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"It's not my area of expertise, but as I understand it, they take a relatively harmless meme and twist it into the right shape. It's only effective in certain situations. In this case, humans had originally created the meme, so it was possible to counteract it."

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"How do humans make one?"

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"Created might not be entirely the right word. It might be similar to the process the Foundation uses to create countermemes. But, the Foundation isn't the only organization with access to anomalies. We know this meme was purchased from one of the others and was specifically tailored for Marie. It was intended to protect her. We're not sure if they knew how dangerous it would become or if they just made a mistake."

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"What other organizations with anomalies are there?"

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"There are at least twenty-five we know of. The scale varies. There are six that stand out to me as major players. The Church of the Broken God, Marshall, Carter & Dark, Doctor Wondertainment, Are we cool yet?, the Serpent's Hand," and, he says the last name softly, "the factory. A different operative likely would have given you a slightly different list."

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"What are those organizations - doing?"

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"It depends. The Church of the Broken god is collecting anomalies it believes were once part of a greater being. Marshall, Carter & Dark is a very exclusive club that collects and sells anomalous items and experiences. Doctor Wondertainment creates anomalous children's toys and anomalous people. Are we cool yet? is the source of strange and dangerous art instillations. The goal of The Serpent's Hand is unknown, but they have caused several large security breaches and have their home in an anomalous location called The Library that we cannot access. The Factory-"

He shakes his head.

"-is more of a mystery than I would like, but it also creates anomalous artifacts, is capable of mass producing them."

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"Do they produce useful ones, or -?"

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“No, the opposite. They are one of the larger existential threats we have to deal with.”

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"Why isn't this more conspicuous? If containing the knowledge of the existence of the SCPs is feasible at all and you're relying on administering pills then it can't be all that obvious in the first place, but it sounds like there's a ton..."

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“Amnestics do not need to be in pill form. There are contingencies in place to amnesticize the entire population.”

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"- okay. Why do you do this for SCPs that aren't memetic in nature?"

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“If people knew how much danger they were in, how close they were, at any given moment, to fates significantly worse than death, society would collapse.”

He smiles a smile with no warmth behind it. 

“Melodramatic, but no less true for being so. We have failed before, badly. Billions have died. Humanity only survives through luck and desperation and the intervention of the few entities who do not want us all dead. There are more Earths that have failed than have survived. If people get even a hint of the truth they will dig for more, and there’s no way for humanity as a whole to find out without that itself causing the end.”

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"Do you get a lot of news through parallel earths that doesn't come through nightmare IKEAs?"

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He nods.

"From various SCPs. It's erratic, but occasionally we get a stable connection."

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"Do you have reason to believe they show you a representative sample? How many Earths are there? What about worlds that aren't Earths?"

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"It's true that the sample might be biased, but every SCP that allows access to multiple universes shows the same thing, the majority of Earths that have existed have been destroyed by one anomaly or another. The only exceptions are SCPs that specifically seek factors that require an intact Earth, like life or bathrooms without coat hooks. There are worlds other than Earths, but they tend to be singular examples and more difficult to discern a pattern from."

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"Why would Earths be so common? Are there more of them or does looking through SCPs from Earth just produce that sampling?"

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"The latter, I think."

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"Do you have any data on whether most anomalies could reach to other celestial bodies? Should we be aggressively colonizing the solar system?"

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"There are universe wide and solar-system spanning anomalies. A large number of anomalies also seem to target intelligent life specifically and would not be deterred by a change in location. There are a few anomalies that might be aggravated by humanity spreading out, but none that are inherently uncontainable. The Foundation hasn't tried to prevent humanity from colonizing other worlds, but hasn't put any resources towards promoting it either."

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"How can you tell if an anomaly reaches that far? - or that there aren't inherently uncontainable anomalies?"

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"There are several anomalies we have identified in deep space. There are also several anomalies that we have contained because of advance warning from other universes that were, themselves, destroyed. One of the Foundation's final duties if containment completely fails is to warn all possible other Earths that can be reached. We don't know that there aren't any inherently uncontainable anomalies that would be aggravated by humans spreading out. There might be. There just aren't any that we currently know of."

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