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Confic Art

by alter_ergo


Special Containment Procedures: Hell if we know. How has nobody mentioned this before now?

[Sips a drink.]

[Glass slammed on table.]

[Heavy sigh.]

At least one thing, as always, is for sure:

Enter O5 Credentials

Description: SCP-X000-J is a pretty peculiar thing we only just noticed, after nearly 7000 SCP entries in the Foundation database. The anomaly seems to have propagated naturally, not due to any antimemetic effect. Data suggests it may be pataphysical in nature.

Schematically, it is best explained by the Swiss Cheese model of probabilities:


Foundation researchers Ayman Haj and Paul Matterson are each enjoying a glass of merlot in their residence after work. They do not know that the Foundation spies on them, or listens to their dinner banter. Alas.

<Begin Log>

Haj: Hey Paul.

Matterson: Yeah?

Haj: [pause]… ah, nevermind.

Matterson: C'mon, spit it out, Hajee.

Haj: Nah, it's stupid. Just a stupid thought. Forget it.

Matterson: C'mon, you've been so stressed out since you went on that beach vacation. It's almost like it had the opposite effect! Who else to you have to talk with about work like this?

Haj: [sighs] … you sure?

Matterson: Course I'm sure. If you keep secrets, all your hair will fall out.

Haj: [sighs] Ok. Here I go.


Haj: You know how the Foundation opens up new blocks of 1,000 anomaly designations once we fill one up?

Matterson: Uh… I guess so.

Haj: Well, they do, they're called series. When I look over the first few in a new series, the anomalies seem to… be related somehow.

Matterson: Like… family?

Haj: No, no. Like… I dunno… this sounds so dumb when I say it out loud.

Matterson: No, c'mon I'm interested. I am.

Haj: Well. [sigh] Sometimes I feel as though there are… distinct qualities about the first anomalies we gather after such a new block. Those first ones, and also anomalies in that series whose designation numbers are of… I dunno… numerical significance.

Matterson: … I'm not sure I follow you.

Haj: I mean there was that one block that started off and the first like 10 we had for it were all about things to do with… what was it… folklore and myths? Like every one, for a good while!

Matterson: … k…

Haj: Then that other time with all the historical significance… and what about the one not too long ago, remember the one about Agent Ellen O'Connor? Member what happened with her? That was a straight up murder mystery plot Paul, Agatha Christie could have written that document. Am I the only one who sees that?

Matterson: I… I think we just… all have biases, Haj. We want so badly to impose patterns so that all this makes sense. Especially these patternless things we deal with. Could it just be that?

Haj: Yeah bu—

Matterson: I mean, what would these shared qualities be even? Seems like you could pull out any quality to build a theme around and it would apply to most anomalies as is… take "spooky" for example. Are these articles all spooky because some magical force has dictated it, or just because it's already there anyway? If you're looking for it, then it's there.

Haj: Ha yeah, yeah. I had pegged one down as "mystery". But honestly, what anomaly isn't mysterious?

Matterson: Right? That's what makes them anomalies. See?

Haj: Yeah I see. [scoffs] I told you it was nothing. Sorry for sharing.

Matterson: No, no Haj, it's just… I guess I never really paid attention to the opening of a new block of 1,000 designation slots. Do many people working here even… notice that? I mean I’m asking genuinely, I don't know really. I assume it's like taking a number at Culvert's; nothing significant to it. Just the next one up. It could be you're right, I just don't know.

Haj: Yeah.

Matterson: Well. Goodnight Haj. Busy day tomorrow.

Haj: Goodnight.

[5 minute pause.]

Haj: There are also the citations.

Matterson: [Awaking] Haj, I was dozing off.

Haj: You know there's a counter on the right hand side of every document that counts how many other articles cite it as a source? Tells you a bit how important an anomaly is.


Haj: … Haven't you noticed?

Matterson: No Haj.

Haj: Paul, all the thousand slots have an ungodly number of citations.

Matterson: [Sighs]

Haj: That's not weird to you?

Matterson: Maybe it's just…

Haj: ... LUUUUUUCK?!?

[The two suddenly get up from their bed in synchronicity, as disco music begins to play. The lights dim and an unseen disco ball produces its distinctive pattern around the room. The two researchers compulsively begin dancing, while an unidentified baritone voice repeats the word "luck", which each time is accompanied and followed in echo by gospel choir harmonizations of the word. Increasing in fatigue and displeasure with the situation, Haj and Matterson begin to sway less, de-exaggerate their movements, and finally sit down on the bed, just nodding their heads. They do this until the music suddenly stops, and get back into the bed.]

Haj: Each one of them is a significantly important anomaly too. Everybody knows all about them even though some are Level 5 classified… I mean, what are the odds of that? There's not one that isn't deeply important or historic in how we operate here. Each researcher who publishes what ends up in a thousand entry happens to be a renown and highly respected individual in their field. Is that all a coincidence?! Seems highly remarkable to not be thematically connected. You think it's all just…


[The two remain silent, as if waiting for something. They look around their room expectantly. Nothing comes.]

Matterson: Haj, I don't know what to say. This is just a lot at once here, you're saying a lot that I… You're very excitable about all this, that’s cute and adorable and it makes me want to kiss you. But I just don't know! And we need to get to sleep.

Haj: Well I do! And you know what, I'm going to document the next thousand slot when it happens, then you'll see.

[Matterson kisses the top of Haj’s bald head.]

Matterson: Sure you will, hun. G’night.

[2 minutes pass.]

Haj: Codenames for anomalies getting weirder and more attention-grabby.

Matterson: Goodnight, Haj.

Haj: K. Goodnight.

The creepy Foundation surveillance agents who had nothing better to do than listen in on Haj and Paul's pillow talk hadn't thought of this either. But when they heard it, they immediately disco'd their way to a supervisor.

The statistical probability of the observations voiced by researcher Haj have been estimated at 1,000,000,000:1. This is sufficient to designate the anomaly.

Addendum: As something would have it, the next available designation for this anomaly was "SCP-7000". The anomaly was instead designated "SCP-X000-J".

Update: Targeted dis-incentivization campaigns against Researcher Haj's would-be "SCP-7000" have been entirely too effective. The proposal somehow stands currently at -7 citations; an impossibility. This must be aborted, and the researcher's inability to land the SCP-7000 slot will be attributed to just, plain-old, bad…



This post is released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

Image is CC BY-SA 3.0, modified, and the original can be found here.


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1 Comment

Jul 30, 2022

A timely joke and one that speaks a truth anyone with eyes can see but not everyone can acknowledge. Plus, it's pretty funny! Great timing with the punchline. I like this :)

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