Antimemetic Housepaint

This is a deleted scene from Blood/Brain, from February 2020. During this chapter Adam Wheeler is exploring the ruined Site 41, and I thought it would be interesting to have him stumble across some of the antimemetic SCPs stored on that Site.

The reason I axed this section is that two of the three SCPs listed below open up much, much bigger questions than I was ready to deal with at this stage in the story (and the third couldn't stand on its own). One of them raises the question of parallel universes. It's generally acknowledged that the Foundation universe is connected via various means to other universes, and SCP-3125 is stated in an earlier chapter to be a multiversal-scale threat. So a reasonable question to ask is, if SCP-3125 has taken this universe, what's happened to those other universes? I have a fairly clear answer for that question and you'll find a part of that answer below (and the rest in a forthcoming deleted scene). But this was a tangent, a serious distraction from Adam Wheeler's story.

The other SCP is my canonical realisation of SCP-001-J. I put this in because I thought it would be interesting for Adam to have the option of genuinely ending the world. Then I took this out again, because I needed Adam to reject this option in order to move towards my intended ending, but I was not confident that Adam would reject it. Adam is weak, and he knows his chances of success against SCP-3125 are incredibly narrow. Numb, instantaneous oblivion for everybody would be a sorely tempting option. I had to take it off the table.

 

Another containment unit contains an antimemetic rubber duck. According to the associated SCP database entry, the duck is in regular use by the Antimemetics Division, for training purposes. Wheeler peers into the unit, through its small reinforced glass window. He sees a plinth with nothing on it. He idly wonders, not for the first time, what the functional distinction is between an "antimeme" and an elaborate practical joke.

Another containment unit — again, Wheeler is cross-referencing the number on the vault door with the fragments of database he can access — holds a gateway to a parallel reality. That sounds suspicious to Wheeler, and worth investigating. Suppose Hughes fled to that reality to carry out his research? He unlocks the vault door. The vault beyond, he finds, is filled with concrete.

According to his ring binder, one of the units contains SCP-3125. But, as he knows, SCP-3125 has long since breached containment; it now saturates all of reality. So what's inside the unit? It's sealed up. The automated system sealing the door is locked into ultra-low-power mode. It needs a keycard, and none of the keycards he has in his collection will open it. He must need more seniority.

He descends another level. It's becoming warmer. Another containment unit.

Item #: SCP-18942

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-18942 is to be kept immersed in a vat filled with Substance Nu-Prime. The vat is to be inspected annually for signs of corrosion, and otherwise kept sealed. Under no circumstances may any sentient entity look upon or physically handle SCP-18942.

Description: SCP-18942 is a 1.8-metre-long cylindrical electromechanical/clockwork device of apparently infinite sophistication which, if activated, would instantly destroy the Earth/Moon system. Activation of the device is controlled by a single red mechanical push switch loosely mounted on the device exterior.

The device is linked to an anomalous psychic entity which attempts to persuade all conscious humans who are aware of the device or physically proximal to the device to attempt to access it and push the button. The entity is of standard intelligence and appears to have no direct mind-altering capabilities, but is adept at identifying individuals with the resources to carry out its wishes, as well as being persistent and exceedingly persuasive. Efforts to prevent activation of the device by concealing its true location, sealing it inside impenetrable containers, protecting it using non-human robotic agents and introducing disinformative ("joke") entries into the SCP database have all proven unreliable. This has led to multiple serious "near miss" events.

Antimemetics Division staff, being uniquely trained to resist and counteract powerful memetic compulsions of this kind, took over handling of SCP-18942 after the third such "near miss". It was swiftly discovered that immersing the device in Substance Nu-Prime — a viscous opaque suspension, cabbage green in color, developed by the Antimemetics Division and colloquially described as "antimemetic housepaint" — completely neutralises its effects.

He tries the door. It's locked.

Discussion (5)

2020-10-01 00:19:04 by qntm:

I also consider SCP-001-EX-J to be essentially canon.

2020-10-01 11:50:37 by Emmett Brown:

These weekly deleted scenes are the reason why I look forward to Thursdays.

2020-10-02 19:02:26 by Eldritch:

> I also consider SCP-001-EX-J to be essentially canon. Because the SCP Foundation universe is full of so many Things That Will Kill Everyone that the only remotely plausible explanation for how everyone isn't dead already is if the Foundation's been around since the beginning of time?

2020-10-07 00:38:45 by rose kolodny:

Not related to this particular out-take, but I was curious: have you personally added a "do-not-upload" to your will, a la Bart Hughes? I've been serioisly considering it (probably I've been reading a lot of Greg Egan lately).

2020-10-28 09:37:16 by FeepingCreature:

Any society that would respect a Do-Not-Upload is probably a society I wouldn't mind being instantiated in.

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