📋 SCP-001 [Roget] — Keter Duty
rating: +1+x

"I'm sorry, have we been Reclaimed?"

Roget's Proposal by RogetRoget (posted May 4, 2013)

Object Class: Thaumiel

Keter Duty is a fantastic SCP-001 proposal not because of what it says, but what it doesn't say. The anomaly is extremely plain of a surface level - a facility with Keters that contain each other - but on top of that is a rich mystery implying some very deep truths about the nature of the universe and the origin of the anomalous. That subtlety makes the proposal quite hard to unravel.

The first thing to notice is the object class of Thaumiel. Roget's Proposal was one of the first - if not the first - to use Thaumiel as an object class. Thaumiel, at least in religious context, denotes what is essentially an anti-Keter - a shadow of Keter - and thus something harnessed by the Foundation to contain anomalies. So what does this, the proto-Thaumiel, represent? Answering this question is a really important clue to understanding the big point behind this proposal: how do you take the inverse of a Keter and turn it into a 001?

Usually, we skip straight to the Description before coming back to outline the Special Containment Procedures. However, the containment procedures are a pretty key part of Keter Duty.

So we've got this massive facility full of objects. The containment procedures talk about isolating divisions from each other, maintaining "containment cycles", and ensuring no human gains too much knowledge of the overall workings of "SCP-001-K."

Personnel assigned to different containment units are to be segregated from each other, and are only to enact their assigned containment […] In the event that personnel attempt to learn the overall containment procedures of SCP-001, or attempt to expose different SCP-001-K instances to each other, they are to be given Class-V amnestics and removed from their assignment.

The containment procedures focus a lot on cross-exposure and knowledge. This also hints at a very deep idea: what makes this anomalous object-storing facility so powerful and meaningful for the Foundation is not its individual containers, but what links the containment cycles between each other.

So much so that if others try learning about multiple containment cycles at once, they're immediately removed.

A ritualistic symbol is is and was engraved into the entrance of every containment chamber within SCP-001. The entrances are to be sealed in a room with a neutral atmosphere, and any damage to the seals must be repaired immediately.

That first phrase is bolded because it is a giant hint. It's not "is engraved." It's "is and was engraved." Think about what that means - the symbol is implied to have always existed, even before its discovery and its usage. From its creation, the SCP-001 building/storage center/whatever has always been in this exact layout, and exact purpose.

That's the first hint. Here's the second: the main focus on containing SCP-001 is maintaining and repairing damage to the containment chambers. The seals somehow keep the containment cycles static - if they're physically defaced or decayed, the cycle breaks.

These containment procedures set up foreshadowing and elements that you should keep in mind when unraveling the story. When reading the rest of the SCP, ask yourself why it's dangerous to know the existence of other containment chambers. Ask yourself why the Foundation is desperate to maintain the seals. Ask yourself what's really happening in the facility, because engraved mystical containment seals definitely are suspicious.

This is where the "Keter" part comes in.

SCP-001 designates the source of all anomalous artifacts classified as Keter. Documentation for personnel with clearance under Level 5 are to refer to these objects by their SCP-XXX(X) documentation.

So there is this massive building, this office-like research complex, located somewhere in the world. It is not only the containment site for all Keter-class objects; it is the source. Keter isn't just an object class - it's a designation given to anomalies that have their genesis here.

But wait? What about the fact that there are thousands of Keter-class phenomena? Well, the rest have been given fake designations so nobody knows the true designation of Keter.

The building itself is also anomalous - it seems to have always existed, and the mysterious features like the sigils and containment chambers also came with its discovery. It's bigger on the inside, with wildly inconsistent mapping.

SCP-001-K designates any anomalous object which has originated from SCP-001. All instances of SCP-001-K were present at the discovery of SCP-001, although some have since been lost. Each SCP-001-K instance is kept in place by another entity, with the anomalous properties of each separate object neutralizing the effect of the other.

This weird shapeshifting Keter-storing facility contains Keter-class objects by containing them with each other. This is a bizarre and original idea. But again, remember the containment procedures and think about what this means. What does that imply about the very nature of SCP-001-K objects that they can be contained using each other's abilities?

Do Keter-class objects obey laws of nature? Is there an equilibrium of consensus reality and "weird" reality? And how can we use that equilibrium to our advantage?

Now, let's take a look at how exactly these things are contained.

Here are five of the twelve examples, detailed:

  • SCP-718 is an eyeball that stares at you until you're compelled to destroy it, and then the explosion showers you with fluid that grows into more SCP-718 instances. SCP-689 is a small statue that is inert as long as at least one person is looking at it. If nobody is looking at it, it kills one person in the world who has ever seen it, then teleports on top of their corpse.
    • Solution: SCP-718 eyeballs are always staring at SCP-689. When they turn away, SCP-689 kills one of them, but only causing more SCP-718 eyeballs to form and guide back 689.
  • SCP-1048 is a sentient teddy bear that creates violent copies of itself from gruesome materials. SCP-1055 is an infohazardous bearlike creature that grows exponentially in hostility, size, and deadliness the more people are perceiving it as a threat.
    • Solution: SCP-1055 continuously gains mass as it is being torn apart to create copies of SCP-1048. When SCP-1048 teddy bears are destroyed by 1055, their remains are used to replicate again.
  • SCP-1295 are four old men who exert devastating environmental effects on the vicinity unless they are in a particular diner. SCP-871 are a series of cakes that replicate themselves continuously, and must be eaten to prevent total world saturation.
    • Solution: The men are continuously served SCP-871 cakes in the diner to keep them distracted.
  • SCP-231 is a young girl who must regularly undergo a horrific procedure called "Procedure 110-Montauk" or give birth to an eldritch abomination that will destroy the world.
    • Solution: Both SCP-231 and an unnamed powerful entity are contained through the interaction between the entity and another neutralized anomaly. This entity may be the Scarlet King. Procedure 110-Montauk prevents XK-Class events from this interaction.
  • SCP-682 is a highly adaptive and extremely hostile reptilian creature that has very high resistance to nearly all forms of damage. SCP-296 is a series of statues that were found in the wreckage of an exploded Site. 296 calls itself "Judgement," and determines if someone entering its domain is "guilty" or not; if they are declared guilty, an SCP is used to execute them and that SCP is released.
    • Solution: SCP-296 finds SCP-682 guilty, and continuously takes the form of people killed by SCP-682 that cannot be harmed. This causes SCP-682 great distress and makes it cower.

Finally, that famous phrase of this proposal: Can't fit round pegs in square holes. This somehow is supposed to describe how SCP-055 (the antimeme) and SCP-579 ("everything is expunged") contain each other. Like many other SCPs, it leaves what happens up entirely to the imagination. The square hole might refer to SCP-055 (it's not a sphere, and it is a "hole" of knowledge) and the round peg SCP-579 (some kind of catastrophic tool used by the Foundation). Somehow, they continuously interact so that their effects are neutralized - perhaps (as suggested by the idea "can't fit") they try to exert their apocalyptic effects on each other but fail to affect anything because of their very different natures. And writing down exactly how this happens might infohazardously affect that interaction.

We skipped a whole chunk of the Description. Let's come back to that.

When any containment cycles for instances of SCP-001-K are broken, the containment chamber will be affected by a reality warping anomaly. Interior spaces will begin to operate under a new set of physical laws, which conform to the properties of the newly uncontained SCP-001-K instances. These areas are hostile to human life and will begin to aggressively expand if other SCP-001-K containment breaches occur.

So we have this massive complex of containment cycles - two Keter anomalies holding each other in check inside these massive chambers. However, what happens when the cycle is broken? Breaking the containment cycle can happen in multiple ways: one is deterioration of the SCP-001-K symbol etched on every chamber. Another is voluntarily (or perhaps involuntarily) interfering with the cycle.

And then what happens when the precarious balance between these two dangerous phenomena is broken as well?

Suddenly, the interior spaces of SCP-001's building will begin to "operate under new physical laws" that match or conform to the properties of the uncontained anomalies, and are aggressively hostile to human life. Ah. Don't you see what this means? SCP-001 keeps the laws and properties of the anomalous world in check. When the balance is gone; when equilibrium is ended, reality is warped such that it suits the properties and actions of the uncontained anomalies in the area affected.

Judging from the date, at least a few containment breaches have occurred over the decades, which means that there must be existing regions in the SCP-001 complex that already are operating under the SCP world's laws and not consensus reality's laws.

SCP-001 was originally documented by American mercenaries serving in Greece following the Second World War. Once the anomalous properties became apparent, several organizations claimed control over the area, but the group was able to prevent SCP-001 from falling into outside control. Control over SCP-001 was voluntarily turned over to the Foundation in 1949.

Here's some history for you. The SCP-001 facility was discovered around World War 2 (culturally significant event? hmmm). Also note that several organizations were vying for control of this building. This led to several of the containment cycles breaking, which then led to the groups allowing control to move to the Foundation.

There's a whole lot that's said here; and a whole lot that isn't.

This sequence of events is proof that SCP-001 is more than just a building that happens to contain Keters weirdly - otherwise, why are all these factions trying to get in it? And why, once the containment cycles broke, did their interest suddenly evaporate?

Why? Imagine you have a building holding what are essentially the culmination of the anomalous - the most dangerous and most bizarre violations of science. And they all keep each other in check, like cogs in a perpetual machine.

When you remove a cog? That part of the machine breaks. And whatever's being kept inside…leaks out. Like wave interference - when two waves are superposed together that are of opposite phase, they cancel out each other completely. But when they aren't perfectly matched up, their "waves" of effect break out, and then they affect the universe around them.

Hopefully the significance of SCP-001 is starting to come together for you now. The root of a universe, seemingly present from the very beginning - like an integral part of it. A massive container for the worst and most destructive anomalies of nature, made harmless due to their own properties. But while SCP-001 is the watchtower and safeguard of normalcy, it can also break consensus reality completely. The "Keter-class" phenomena it keeps prisoner are somehow responsible for fashioning the mechanics of reality, if you are dumb enough to break the cycle.

There's one more piece to the puzzle.

Addendum 001-B: VK-Class reality restructuring events designates an anomalous phenomenon theorized to occur if all instances of SCP-001-K are released from their containment cycles. If all instances of SCP-001-K were to be released from containment, this effect could potentially alter everything within the universe as known to be operating under non-anomalous physical laws.

The apocalypse scenario, gentle readers. Letting loose a single cycle changes a bubble of reality around it to fit the laws and workings of that cycle. And what if you let them all out?

That bubble of reality will grow, and grow, and grow. Until it reaches universal scale. What governs that bubble of reality? What rules it? The anomalies do. The laws of the world are a clash between two mutually exclusive operational rules: that of "consensus reality" and that of anomalous reality. Keter Duty keeps anomalous reality in check for us, so that it counteracts itself from spreading.

A VK-Class scenario is what happens when our reality loses. The laws of the anomalous permeate the whole universe, restructure it like a god resculpting the fabric of its own creation. Reality becomes irrevocably shifted in a way that we cannot possibly imagine. The impossible becomes normal, and the normal becomes impossible. And slowly, as we gain back our senses, the universe marches on.

But we don't want this to happen, right? Or do we? "Research into allowing the Foundation to continue to exist this scenario and protect the new universe from the remains of our current reality is ongoing." Therein lies the conflict. When we restructure the universe, what happens to the Foundation? Does its mission still continue? How do we make sure that it does? A VK-Class scenario is the boundary of an unknown - we know not what lies beyond. The Foundation wants to make sure that we use our VKs wisely, to only activate them intentionally when reality itself is at risk - then, we must also make sure whatever comes afterward is protected from the legacy of our mistakes.

Let's look at the Level 6 Administrator-only addendum.

I'm sorry, have we been Reclaimed?
We can see the other side, things are different but we take it in stride

A small message from a past reality to ours. This is what a VK-Class is like. A universe "reclaimed" by us, different in any way imaginable but still preferable to a terrible narrowly-avoided fate.

Then some other snippets from Foundations long past: in one, it is decided that the "disasters" have left too many casualties, and K-Class research will now be focused on containment. In another, an ominous set of brackets, suggesting something erased. In another, the Olympia Project (an old-days tale series about crosstesting SCPs to build a humanoid) is referred to, and it references the idea that the Foundation is rebuilding itself. The final snippet talks about putting "color" and "feelings" back in people, as if the Foundation needs to manually make reality normal again.

This was, more than anything, a warning to the Administrator. Look how much power SCP-001 gives you. Look how much it can do. And look at the cost to us. Use the facility wisely.

Roget's Proposal discusses a building that houses a constant of the universe. That is the ultimate main idea of Keter Duty. Think of each containment cycle, each self-canceling crosstest, as a fine tuner for the laws of operation of the universe. There are certain objects that are integral to the timeline's function, dangerous because they typify a reality utterly alien to us.

Keter Duty contains this reality, and makes sure it never gets out. And, in a sense, it is from that reality. The building seems to have always existed, from the beginning of our history to perhaps its end, and rebirth. This building is where you go to hack the code that makes up the world to bend it to your will - to a limited degree.

Our world and the SCP world - faced off against each other; laws of physics and chemistry and biology that clash, that cannot coexist in a universe that makes internal sense. The SCP world is fighting, always fighting to get out, to remodel us, to consume our world, but Keter Duty forces its laws in on itself, keeps the transmission on neutral, and ensures an equilibrium. That equilibrium is key to making our universe precariously stable the way it is.

If we don't - if we end the cycles - then physics goes topsy-tuvry and sideways, until we are the anomalies and the anomalies are the norm. The Foundation, once it wakes up from the dream, must put everything right. Why would we do this voluntarily? Like SCP-2000, we might refashion the laws of the universe if the universe as it was was under threat.

Finally, as an epilogue to this discussion on the balance of normal and anomalous, consider Roget's Proposal as the archetype of an anti-Keter: While Keters are complex and difficult to contain, SCP-001-RGT contains itself and a whole lot more. While Keters are abominations of natural law, 001-RGT is the peacekeeper of the consensus. Keter objects put the Foundation in jeopardy - so does 001-RGT, but in a mirror-imaged, twisted way that also ensures our survival.

Keter, in Kabbalah, symbolizes the crown, the top of the Tree of Life. It symbolizes something divinely intangible. Thaumel is Keter's corresponding Qlipoth, the shadow image of the Tree of Life. And consider its Wikipedia definition in context of what you have learned from Roget's Proposal:

While Keter is concerned with the unity of God, Thaumiel represents the dual contending forces, struggling, and it is represented by two giant heads with bat-like wings.

The Qliphoth are not the opposite of the Sephirot, but the shadow. They are the chaotic forces that are unleashed when one of the Sephirot is not in balance with the others. Therefore, although Keter is concerned with unity, implicit in its existence is the concept of duality.

TL;DR You know the box test? This is a set of color-coded boxes that come in pairs. Each box is keyed to a passcode present only in its corresponding other box in the pair. Also, there's a little bomb in each box that showers you in the corresponding paint color if you open it. The paint changes your personality.

Link: SCP-001 [Roget]: Keter Duty

Written By: ModulumModulum, u/modulum83

Date Published: March 2, 2018

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