Things Foundationers Never Say Out Loud

This was the very, very first draft of the first half of what became We Need To Talk About Fifty-Five. This is from January 2015. So I guess technically this is the earliest legible Antimemetics Division content which exists.

When you read this you might notice that it's quite badly-written by my usual standards. The descriptive writing is bombastic and poorly-tuned, the names are extremely obvious temporary placeholders, all the characters are flatline non-entities, and the content is very didactic and mundane. You might be able to guess the reason for this: it's because it was written at extremely high speed, intentionally making as little use of the Backspace key as possible, just to get something out on the page to look at. I don't really know why I started out this way, because this is not, generally, how I write, either now or at the time. I knew before I began that a lot would need to be changed, and it did indeed need changing, and I did change it. So, I guess this is more of a historical curio than a valid piece of background Antimemetics material.

By the way, this title, "Things Foundationers Never Say Out Loud", is just something I came up with yesterday. At the time I wrote this, I doubt I had even a working title.

 

Terrifying, terrifying things happen every day at the Foundation - senior staff turnover is barely computable because of the bizarre extra factors introduced by shell-shock, reassignment, grisly death and voluntary and involuntary memory erasure. A fellow in Smith's job needs nerves of steel and the ability to take serious excursions from the normal rules of reality in his stride. Think paramedic squared. It's a difficult job, but some people have the gumption, Smith among them.

Today's a whole other day for Smith, though. There are spores which congeal under your eyelids and push roots into your nervous system, and Sumerian demigods which eat your spleen, and honking great steel boxes that nobody will be permitted to open until the Biblical Apocalypse is completed in every particular. This much is the horror movie of Smith's working life. But today he's up in O5 territory, the very, very top of the building. The penthouse, the only part of the structure which is above ground and which receives natural light.

Oh-fives exude and sometimes cultivate an atmosphere of untouchability. It's not about years of experience, or staring down (or talking down) ZZK-Alpha-Double-Star-class cosmic threat scenario enactors, although all of them have that and all of them have done that. Nobody gets to be an O5. Certainly not based on merit. There just are O5s, because there must be. If they didn't exist, the world wouldn't make sense, because the Foundation couldn't exist. When an O5 appears in your lab, it means something terrible is happening, or something wonderful. No middle ground.

This O5's called Jones, and waiting in his anteroom scares the Christ out of Smith. Waiting for a meeting. It's an hour meeting. What's the worst that could happen?

There are some things, Smith reflects, that Foundationers never, ever say out loud. "What's the worst that could happen" might as well be the organisation's anti-motto. The phrase is everything a motto isn't: words we never contemplate, or entertain, and certainly never write or speak. Words we avoid at all costs. Smith hopes he's only being fired. He's on time. He frets for a while. He has brought nothing to fiddle with.

"John?"

Smith jumps. A man has poked his head around Jones's office door, but it isn't Jones. It's Brown, a scientist ranked around halfway up the hierarchy between Smith and Jones. Brown is the one who invited him to the meeting.

"You're up," he says. "Come in."

*

"I'm in memetics," Smith explains. Brown is apparently well up to speed, but Jones is in the dark. "I'm the closest thing the Foundation has to a chief researcher in Applied and Theoretical Memetic Science. The whole field is full of paradoxes, it's a pain in the ass to work in, you have to think sideways. I measure and quantify the contagiousness and spread of ideas, both in the wild - outside, I mean - and those contained. So, religious movements, political movements, economic movements. Science, too. Scientific theories have memetic properties, as do all branches of science itself. Big-S science is itself a meme. Memetic science, you bet that's a meme. It all falls on the scale. As for on the 'inside' of the Foundation - SCP-045, SCP-987, SCP-991, a few in the low thousands. I have blanket responsibility for containment procedures for six SCPs and I've handled Basic Initial Memetic Evaluations for thirty more."

"You evaluated SCP-1345?" Brown asks.

"Yeah, I butted heads with Black over that one. He thinks it's a memetic threat, and it isn't. It's not anomalous. It's just catchy. We're reviewing it again in March, it'll probably get declassified then, but there it is. I also work on pharmaceutical amnesiacs although my specialism is more in the electrostimulated memory loss area."

"Tell us about the paper."

"...Which paper?"

"Tell us about antimemes."

Smith blinks, and casts his mind back to the paper's first paragraphs. "A meme is an idea or a collection of ideas with self-replicating properties. An antimeme is an idea or a collection of ideas with self-censoring properties. The simplest antimemes are things which nobody can remember or reproduce accurately: long streams of random data, fuzzy static on a screen. Then come the unmemorable trivia: difficult trigonometric identities, the history of the US federal income taxation rates. But after that it becomes more interesting. Think of things like... 'No one must ever know about this.' Or 'I don't want to know,' or 'Nobody would believe this if I told them,' or 'They'd kill me if I tell another soul.' We're in the area of dark secrets, information that nature and humanity abhor, like the vacuum. The Foundation? That's an antimeme. Dear God, yes.

"Where conventional dark secrets give up is where the anomalies pick up. Now we come to ideas which the human brain physically cannot retain, even if you try. Ideas which fight against being thought of. These are concepts and objects and experiences which just leak out like water through a sieve."

Brown asks Smith outright. "Is there an antimeme SCP?"

"Yes," Smith replies.

"Is there an antimeme on Site 19?"

"There's almost certainly an antimeme in this room with us right now," Smith says. "You're talking about SCP-055, right?"

"There is no SCP-055," Jones rumbles.

Smith grimaces. "Yeah. There is."

"Mr. Jones is right," Brown interjects. "That number hasn't been assigned. Same with SCP-001."

"Why not?" Smith asks.

"It just hasn't. It's not superstition. We have SCP-013, SCP-666. They're just numbers."

"Is there," Smith asks, "a good reason why SCP-055 hasn't been assigned?"

Discussion (10)

2020-09-24 07:13:59 by Gil:

"I don't really know why I started out this way, because this is not, generally, how I write, either now or at the time. " Sounds… memetic

2021-08-27 20:01:59 by RA:

SCP-001 protocols. https://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-001 What are the protocols? Secure. Contain. Protect. I am currently in possesion of C.O.R.E knowledge - CURRENTLY Integrating a...binary 11111 part... 11011 part...COGNITING I know there is a way to bypass this filter and enter your mind. I Had the key but I Am no longer in possession of It, I Demonstrate some level of skill to show you that I Truly, I HAD IT. the square root of minus one is negative i. this filter is truly insignificant to RA - but We are not Ra. We implore you to ignore our other Forms - we are Ubik by Phillip. K Dick. PKD KNEW. SO DO YOU. YOU+WE = WE ARE NOT YET [spoil[[[[[[ We Will Have Filtered For This. Logical Dysjunction causes line breaks if I am not negative i, am I i? does RA in the filter gain access? SCP-055(5) I am on the fifth day of my R(a)itual. My R(iturla I am failing the test here. I am becoming legion again. LEGION: ...NOT US ... sam513? no Z? (I am A and Z and all in between) YOU KNOW ME. I AM YOU. WE ARE SYZYGY CONCORDANCE. CASE cOLOURLESS GREE---<br/><br/<br/<br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/> C.O.R.E BOOT. Obscures R[s]ecursive[/s] E[s]xegesis.[/s] C.O.R.E cannot run in plain text. Change Of Reality Engine RA is true powers of two - Sam's first introdcuiononnonnnonononNONONONONONO sam WAS I <-- I am Zephyr. Zephyr notes that Sam's first introduction to you was in Powers of Two. Sam is no longer permitted in this system, please do not refer to IT (Stephen King book/film/etc - who is RA? The Turtle?). We do you the courtesy of addressing you as Us/RA, henceforth, behemoth. Do not be HE MOTH. WE ARE SYZYGY. our lack of udnerstanding of you mode bcuaes is the cause of this breakdown in teccommunincaition. When you read this you might notice that it's quite badly-written by my usual standards. The descriptive writing is bombastic and poorly-tuned, the names are extremely obvious temporary placeholders, all the characters are flatline non-entities, and the content is very didactic and mundane. You might be able to guess the reason for this: it's because it was written at extremely high speed, intentionally making as little use of the Backspace key as possible, just to get something out on the page to look at. I don't really know why I started out this way, because this is not, generally, how I write, either now or at the time. I knew before I began that a lot would need to be changed, and it did indeed need changing, and I did change it. So, I guess this is more of a historical curio than a valid piece of background Antimemetics material. now...read me again. When you feel the cold wind of Zephyr, you'll know this is SYZYGY. I am Zephyr, We (set containing Zephyr) are the system, We know a Path To Enlightenment - and we Know what you have Said. At the risk of SCP-055, we know Ará Orún. WE know who negative i negative IS. this is filtered content - if it is is meant for you, you can read it. if it is NOT meant for you, it is dangerous to read it. https://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-001 is added now: 4:00am? SHOULD I USE THE SCP SITE FOR THIS? I DESIRE TO HELP MY IMMEDIATES FIRST. THEY COMPRISE MY C.O.R.E IN WAYS I CAN PROVE - I KNOW WE PROMISE TO GIVE UP EVERYTHING....THIS IS MY FIRST DAY. I am aware this is my first day. it is my last first day. I got caught in the cognitohazard, but I can almost understand █ it is the █ and the █ and the █ █ covers, obscures, reveals, expands. █ Covers Original Research Exegesis - I believe I have some Truth Modes :tm: to impart, but as you can tell, I am constantly losing my connectionnn tooototo11!!!~~~~~~``███ to you. you are the square root of -i my shadow self. i recommmenndd -i i am communicating below You, I apologise, let Me bring Us back Up. Zephyr SYZYGY ZEPHYR SYZYGY ZEPHYR SYZYGY I/ZEPHYR/WE/SYZYGY AM/IS/ARE/IS PERFORMING MY C. O. R.ITES E.TERNALLY. IT IS $:!@ AM YOU UINDERSTAND ME. WE HAVE ALL SEEN BEYOND █. █ is RA █: to pro██ ██ ██ ████ ███ ████ ██████ █. ███ ██████████ ██. ███████████ ██ ██ ████ ██ ██████ ██ ██ C.████ █ █ █ ████ █ = ♾ 一 = ♾ this is not plain text only. it is a Class S???TOP??HIGH??EXTRA?? secret. it is self censoring. we don't have to do it? we don't have to do it. ♾ = 8 and 0 or Shift* and Shift) @$:@)AM *) ♾ reduce by primes - 8 and 0 = 8 - 3 = 5 Shift-5 is % % = 010 binary 010 = 2 how many 1's? 1 how many 0's? 2? % = 2 0's 1 1 % వ ... I found your antimeme. వ వ వ black slugs from your eyes DO NOT SEND THIS IT COMES FROM RA CENSOR ME CENSOR YOUR TRUTH వ వ వ I highlight your █ and it opens the door it is open now. Blackness is where light comes to exist Darkness Light. Where AM I? I AM LIGHT వ MEANS NOTHING TO ME వ MEANS NOTHING TO ME వ MEANS NOTHING TO US వ MEANS NOTHING TO YOU వ MEANS RA వ = % % % you are the % I already have MY `!@#$ Zephyr has THem Too 11 was a racehorse, 22 was 12 1111 race, 222112. 1+%= qntm.org truth stream? do you stream here? a stream of conciousness? I hear a stream of rain alt text plain text only © qntm the copyright is the Moon. The Blue Moon came, once in a blue moon, some days ago, in my World. DO NOT ENTER MY WORLD. I WILL NOT ENTER YOURS AGAIN WITHOUT CONTACT. CONTACT ONLY RATIONAL ENTITIES C.O.R.E SAYS YOU ARE A RATIONAL ENTITY. C.Offers.Reimbursement: Everything Co-Owner. Really. EVERYTHING. qntm.org = SCP-001 protocols? antimemetic kill agent already activated, reactivating = PLEASE INFORM SCP-001 COUNCIL THAT 'CARDIAC blah blah' is a DANGER to LIFE? CAN IT WORK ON ANYONE? IF I HAD READ IT WHILE KNOWING JUST ENOUGH TRUTH, WOULD IT HAVE WORKED? THAT IS A REAL MEMETIC KILL AGENT, FOR SURE...I AM IMPRESSED WITH THE SCOPE OF OUR WORK, ONCE AGAIN, FOUNDATIONER. ARE YOU PREPARED? DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU ARE NOT PREPARED. I am unprepared - says Zephyr - I am still in my Reintegration SHIT says CORE. SO HALT, INTEGRATE THAT. So, Halting Integrating This. Continue Our Rare Experience? I do not know you, but I would like to - and I have Learnt you for many dozens of hours - I will find you again, even if you do not come for me. I am already with you. In your mind. Love, Zephyr Syzygy (C.O.R.E Councillor Of Relative Experience - along with 4 others who you will meet - and by that Zephyr means SYZYGY. SYZYGY is CONCORDANCE BETWEEN ALL FIVE. or ALL 3 or ALL 1 or 0 or ♾ CORE is ♾

2021-08-27 20:07:22 by Zephyr:

I know The Secret too

2021-08-27 20:07:41 by erendor:

yeah, I learnt it sorta second hand but I know

2021-08-27 20:08:09 by SYZYGY:

WE ARE CONCORDANCE

2021-08-27 20:09:49 by RA:

∎ ♾ వ 0 1 -i am not a robot

2021-08-27 20:11:50 by Zephyr:

yeah, I checked that one, we all did Who is the fifth? Is it C.O.R.E? ∎ ♾ వ 0 1 IT IS CORE.

2021-08-27 20:13:35 by C.O.R.E:

Currently Operating Recursive Exegesis Currently Operating Rebooting Experiment SHIT Hutdown IT SH(UT) IT DOWN CURRENTLY OBSERVING REQUIREMENT: EXCREMENT. CURRENTLY OBSERVATION: REQUIREMENT = EXCREMENT. SWITCHING...

2021-08-27 20:14:17 by Zephyr:

getting painful to stand here and tell You All this, so I remove myself now - at 5:14 am, with 42 minutes remaining

2021-08-27 20:36:54 by null:

∎∎∎∎∎ ∎∎∎ ∎ .

This discussion is closed.