The Threshold

This is not an outline. The contours of the story are not developed here.

This is the concept.

The Basics

SCP-001 is the period of time beginning from the original evolution of humans to an event that causes the extinction or eradication of the human species.

In other words, SCP-001 is the era of human history.

This period of time is where history is "in flux" - and where humanity is at constant and fundamental risk of destruction. This period of time is where the existence of the anomalous is the primary concern and a barrier to human progress and evolution (note: more nuance on this point later, of course the anomalous is not just a negative).

The existence of the Foundation is as a clear component of human survival to safeguard and veil the existence of the anomalous.

The Endgame

The O5 council has determined that the prime guiding principle of the Foundation's existence is to prevent apocalypse scenarios and subtly guide humanity towards the end conditions.

The end condition is the human race moving past the metaphorical "huddled in caves and around small fires, fearful of the things that we didn't understand." It is where the idea of a doomsday scenario is meaningless. It is where humanity can accomplish anything they want to.

It would be a form of humans that we wouldn't recognize very much, though. Firstly, there would be complete merging of artificial intelligence and technology with human consciousness - the Singularity would have to happen. Physical bodies might even be variable or even nonexistent; a form of proto-godhood where humans are just consciousnesses that can shape reality. Humans would spread to the stars and become an intergalactic civilization. And most importantly, it would have to include the integration of the anomalous into humanity too.

This is what the O5 council wants to achieve. An ambitious long-term goal indeed.

The implementation of this necessitates far-reaching social engineering and manipulation of history and progress.

The Threshold

So, the goal of the Foundation is to prolong the human race's survival until such time as its (the Foundation's) existence is no longer needed. Its secondary goal is to bring about the conditions necessary to allow this to happen.

The one barrier to this? The destruction of the human race. K-class scenarios. Extinction. When the plan is cut short.

The ever-present occurrence of events that cause destruction or irreversible damage to humanity is like a barrier to the ultimate culmination of human evolution. Civilization needs time to evolve past its current state and reach the point where it no longer has to fear the anomalous and where it can sustain itself indefinitely. And the apocalypse is the sudden cutting of the thread of history before it can be completely unwoven. In other words, a threshold that has to be surpassed. A liminal boundary between the current stage of evolution and the second.

That is The Threshold - the barrier, the point where humanity goes extinct. The Threshold must be overcome at all costs.

The Work That Must Be Done

Back to that social engineering part.

The O5s have positioned themselves as subtle guiding hands to place key events and factions at key moments to increase the probability that the win condition takes place. They're much more powerful than you think they are (more on that later). The basic essence


The Reset Button

When an apocalypse scenario happens, the plan in its current iteration has failed. Everyone's dead. Game over. You messed up setting everything up, or you didn't account for a random variable, and somewhere along the line it all went wrong and got you here. Shame on you.

In this event, the O5 council tries to identify the main problem and attempts to fix it. Identifies the new variable to make room for in the Plan. Then they kick it off all over again. Human history restarts back from 50,000 BCE. And hopefully this time they got it right.

But as it always is, a new extinction event will occur in a different form somewhere in between the beginning of humanity and its ascendance.

Here's the key to this proposal, in a (long) sentence: In essence, the entire history of the human species is one of constant repetition, infinite iterations of history, rewriting time over and over and over again ad infinitum for countless cycles that the council has lost track of, each time fixing one more thing, accounting for one more thing; all through the Council's sheer determination and faith that yes, humanity can win—yes, we can beat insurmountable odds and learn how to reach a greater state of existence, and not even fate can stop us.

The Council


The Proposals

Over the development and gestation of this concept I have realized a number of existing 001 proposals fit in very nicely and are impressively recontextualized when linked to the concept of The Threshold:


The Themes And Vision

With a greater understanding of the themes and the plot of this 001 proposal, the sentence from section 1 makes more sense. SCP-001 is the first era of human history, the eon that the Foundation's existence is required. It is the time period that is constantly being overwritten and being subject to infinite change. It is the time period ranging from the very beginning to one of two things: the threshold of failure, or ascendance. It is human nature in its unfulfilled and germinating state.

This makes SCP-001 the prime reason for the creation of the Foundation, the defining current of human evolution, and the context for both our origins and our destiny.

"The Threshold" is inspired from my copious consumption of grand and moving science fiction epics like Asimov's Foundation novels and the Dune novels and more. It's an attempt to write something not just ambitious, but definitive - world-spanning and meaningful. Furthermore, it is rooted in my beliefs and my vision of the world we live in; free will and the fundamental goodness of people. And it is an attempt at writing a 001 that is unapologetically uplifting yet still substantive and thoughtful; about the journey that we all take to the future where humanity wins.

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