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Ask yourself if you want to know.

If the answer is no, then you need to stop reading now. If you go and report this unauthorized file to your superiors, act contrite, and claim that you only read to this paragraph, you might get away with a Class A Amnestic. If you’re lucky. And if the O5s aren’t particularly paranoid at the moment.

So you want to know what SCP-001 is? The first answer is that it is was a placeholder, a theoretical designation for the prime cause, the ultimate reason for all the paranormal crap we deal with on a daily basis. SCP-001 is why we have to deal with omnicidal reptiles, ever expanding rooms, extra-dimensional pools of red goop and consumer products that don’t obey the normal laws of physics. Of course, given that all these things— as dangerous and deadly and just plain insane as they all are— are inherently patternless and self-contradictory, most researchers are convinced that there is no possible unifying principle for them all, much less a common source.

They’re wrong.

There’s more than one reason that cross-testing is discouraged, and the O5s even look down on excessive cross-referencing of SCPs. The O5s don’t want any one group looking at more than a handful of these things at once, because of what they discovered when the Foundation tried to develop a Grand Unified Theory of SCPs. That research is mostly gone now. Site-001-Alpha was dismantled, scrubbed from the archives, the staff mind-wiped and reassigned. No one left but me, and I wouldn’t know anything if it wasn’t my habit of not trusting the Foundation servers and having my own hidden personal archive the O5s missed in their panic.

I was a data analyst at Site-001-Alpha [Note to O5 Command: Don’t bother looking for me, I finished the job you started, the identities of all former staff at Site-001-Alpha have been completely scrubbed from the records, you know as much as they do now.] and I participated in the first and only attempt to consolidate all Foundation data on all SCPs. I was in charge of data integrity. And as much of a mess as you might think that was, it was an order of magnitude worse.

Forget the memetic SCPs, or the ones that modify their own description, or the ones that seem to only inhabit infospace and slip into the database to wreak havoc. That’s all SOP for anyone who works with the Foundation’s network, just a matter of scale. Worse were the completely inexplicable, unexpected changes in data

Sorry, that’s wrong, even though I can’t help thinking of it that way. It isn’t a change in data when reality is shifting to match. I don’t know a lot about the internals of the software we used, but I know that part of it ran outside what we think of as the “real world.” And, at first, everyone thought that the audit trails it produced were some sort of bug. However, it became apparent that the nature of the software, its purposeful isolation from the narrative-affecting SCPs, allowed it to record something far more important.

It’s not visible to you, or the O5s, or even to most of the SCPs we deal with, but the Foundation— and by extension the entire universe— is in a state of constant shifting reality flux. SCP files appeared and disappeared from our database with alarming regularity, and the SCPs referred to, to all appearance, appeared and disappeared along with them. Not just SCPs, but personnel, whole sites, and entire decades of the Foundation’s history would be re-written, seemingly at random. And our own memories, and all external research would confirm that “objective” reality matched the current version in our database.

One of the researchers told me that it was as if we were seeing the effect of something like SCP-140, only much larger in scale.

Yeah. Something a lot like SCP-140, and infinitely larger in scale.

I don’t know who did the analysis, and if I did, I wouldn’t say. She’s probably a lot happier not knowing about her own discovery. But she looked at what vanished and what appeared, and what subtly changed in the records, and she found the pattern, the drift toward darkness, toward narrative coherence, toward a plot…

Everyone who works any length of time at the Foundation knows the universe we live in is a seriously fucked up place. Those of us who still believe in God tend toward serious ambivalence about his handiwork.

But we found out that there is a God, and it is SCP-001.

And it’s a bunch of horror writers.

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