Dec 15, 2018 7:01 PM
Miranda gets lost in an IKEA
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"Fair enough."

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"I wish I had better answers to give you. Too much of what we do is guesswork."

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"It sounds really hard."

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"It is. That's part of why I'm telling you all this. I'm always in active recruitment mode for anyone who seems remotely competent. We need all the help we can get."

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"If not all the help you could actually advertise for."

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"Unfortunately not."

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"Do you have much use for medical researchers?"

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He nods.

"Some SCP are compeltely inexplicable, but a decent number have discernible physical effects.  While our researchers frequently can't tell how something is possible, they can often figure out how it is operating."

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"Is there much scope for using the useful stuff or just containing everything?"

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He grimaces.

"For now, mostly containment."

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"For now?"

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"There have been attempts to make use of SCPs before. It's not completely out of the question."

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"How'd that go?"

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"Poorly, usually, but I think we could do better."

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"How did it fail?"

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"We didn't try just once. Generally, the problems came from things growing out of our control, due to what I believe to be a lack of caution, leading to civilian deaths and containment breaches. There are SCPs we continue to use safely, from when the time of testing of such things was allowed."

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"Like what?"

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"SCP-151 is an iron alloy similar to steel. It can only be created from iron mined from an otherwise unremarkable iron mine in southern Arizona. SCP-151 is not physically stronger than steel, but people who are presented with anything made from SCP-151 will believe it is impossible to break. People driving cars made of 151 will be more reckless and more willing to break the speed limit. Criminals in handcuffs made of 151 will not attempt to break them, even if they have the tools available to do so. Because of this, 151 was put to widespread use in the foundation for many years."

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"Have you not been presented with any, that you can report on it like that?"

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He nods.

"I've been working for the foundation for 12 years. All use of 151 ceased 17 years ago. The Foundation originally believed 151 was safe to use, despite its memetic properties. It does not have a secondary memetic effect, so individuals who have never been exposed can safely set policy regarding it. And, individuals using it can still be aware of its memetic nature. So, policy for SCP-151 was to treat it as if it had the durability of steel and, even though every foundation employee who personally used it believed that not to be true, they still followed policy. It allowed us to contain some otherwise un-containable SCPs, particularly reality warpers. However, it ended up backfiring on us badly. Over an extended period of time, SCP-151 gradually "infects" all other iron based alloys in its vicinity. This effect is gradual. If it made other iron alloys seem unbreakable, we would have noticed. Instead, it simply makes them seem slightly more durable then they actually are. Iron alloys infected by 151 can, in turn infect other iron alloys. Fortunately for us and the world, it stopped there, as only alloys infected by 151 directly can spread the infection."

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"This only happens when the iron from this one mine is refined? Does the iron have any properties if unrefined - or if made into compounds?"

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"Unrefined or used to make any other alloy, the iron is completely unremarkable."

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"What if it's mixed with iron from another mine, then turned to steel?"

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"It becomes an instance of 151. What are you getting at?"

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"I don't have an application in mind, I'm just trying to feel out the - aesthetic, if not the mechanism. Is that pointless, is there not any kind of feel you can develop for how SCPs are likely to work if you have enough experience with them?"

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