📋 SCP-3733 — Everybody Else
rating: +1+x

"I'm the last sane man in the world. Everybody else is gone."

SCP-3733 by not_a_seagullnot_a_seagull (posted October 31, 2017)

Object Class: Euclid


Short-form existential horror is on the menu today at r/SCPDeclassified. In this SCP, we're asking the questions: What is humanity? How is our identity defined? And how can we lose it?

WARNING FROM THE FOUNDATION RECORDS AND INFORMATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

You are viewing an archived revision of the main file for SCP-3733. This revision was created during a containment breach of SCP-████. No cognitohazardous effects have been detected in the document below; however, personnel must acquire a Verified Cognitohazard Resistance Score of 2.0 before proceeding.

This notice prefaces the story, and it signifies to you the tone: something bizarre and wrong has happened. What follows will not be the real "SCP-3733" - rather, an archived revision made anomalously. The Foundation doesn't know how it got there and it doesn't want you to read it.

Essentially, we're taking you to an alternate universe. Something that might have been, had been, or will be. It's a gentle reminder there is no canon, cause this story is gonna shake things up quite a bit.

According to this document, SCP-3733 is an infohazard; a dangerous and mysterious one. It "activates several typically inactive areas of the brain, resulting in the ability to act and reason outside of one's experiences and personality."

Hold on.

  • This entire sentence predicates itself on the idea that there are parts of the brain that are typically inactive. This is a myth. The whole thing of "you only use 10% of your brain"? Not a real thing. So what in the world does this sentence mean? In what universe is the brain inactive in certain regions?
  • The next clause is another clue: the anomaly causes you to act and reason abnormally. This is also immediately suspicious - how is it anomalous and dangerous to act different from your personality?

The description goes on to say that SCP-3733 had affected several million before being confined to one dude. Dr. Monty Chapman, who's now an anomaly too. This infohazard that "activates" your brain was originally among millions before being contained.

All this noise makes you think that SCP-3733 is plenty dangerous. A massive, formerly-uncontained contagion that the Foundation is scared of? What could it possibly be?

The interview with Dr. Monty Chapman illuminates that all is indeed not what it seems. In fact, if anything, it proves that it isn't SCP-3733 that's the anomaly, it's everybody else. (Cue credits.) I mean, take a look at how Dr. Chapman interacts with Calvin:

Researcher Calvin: You're under quarantine. We can't let you out for a while.

Researcher Calvin: Could you please elaborate on "good times?"

Researcher Calvin: You're under quarantine. We can't let you out for a while.

Researcher Calvin: Could you please elaborate on "remember?"

Researcher Calvin: Could you please elaborate on "all of you?"

She sounds less like a human being and more like a robot, or a clone, or a meatpuppet. And what if that's actually the case? Let's look at what the supposedly dangerous, infohazardous, infected Dr. Chapman says in his part.

SCP-3733-1: Come on, Calvin. You know me. Dr. Chapman, from the Memetics Department? We had some good times.

SCP-3733-1: Don't you remember the whole 100th anniversary party? We snuck those ghost peppers into the chili? Damn, those were good times. I could've sworn I saw Clef's eyes pop out.

SCP-3733-1: Are you still there, Calvin? Do you even remember?

Chapman is trying desperately to try to squeeze humanity from humans that lack it. He's telling stories, he's trying to appeal to what Calvin once was - a living, feeling, thinking person. But it hits a wall - it bounces off whatever this new entity is and is not heard except as anomaly. He condemns humanity as a whole as "just living!"

How about just checking into work, waddling around like a fucking penguin for six hours, checking out, then going home and doing whatever the hell you do before you start the whole cycle over? Tell me, researcher, when was the last time you thought about anything other than money, or sleep, or sex?

Humanity has completely lost its identity; all that remains is the mechanical "cruise control" processing without the art, the curiosity, the science, the philosophy. Dr. Monty Chapman is the only human left who's not a brainwashed zombie AI.

This is, essentially, an apocalypse scenario. It seems that consciousness and sapience has been erased. And imagine poor Chapman, locked in a cell, the only sane person left, everybody else thinking he's a monster, when in reality all of the world is braindead.

This leads to this poignant exchange that closes the interview.

SCP-3733-1: Please, god, Calvin. This room isn't soundproofed, you know. I can hear you talking. You just repeat yourself over and over and over until there's nothing left to say, and then some. It's like a circus, with parrots, except the parrots actually have something to say. Please, just say something.

Researcher Calvin: Could you please elaborate on "parrots?"

SCP-3733-1: Something else, please. Anything else.

Researcher Calvin: You're under quarantine. We can't let you out for a while.

The world lost. There's no happy ending to this piece. You're witnessing the last scream of the human race.

And now, the real purpose of the description makes sense. The description was written by the infected. SCP-3733 doesn't activate inactive parts of the brain; it is the normal brain. There was no infohazard affecting millions that was contained - it was an infohazard (or some other effect) that spread until it affected millions. SCP-3733 is not Dr. Monty Chapman's brain. It's the brain of everybody else. In a world where an anomaly has taken over humanity, consensus reality is seen as the anomaly itself.

And so SCP-3733 is a brilliant subversion of the typical ideas of an SCP. We read that 3733 is an infohazard, and we set ourselves up to believe that there's an anomaly going on. But it's negative space - it turns out, that the anomaly is what we consider "normal," and everything surrounding it is the real horror.

Imagine the existential horror of trying to talk to your friends and family, trying to see the light in their eyes again, but only receiving canned responses - and your behavior seen as a threat. When the brains of every human in the world have been deactivated, the one man who can still think is the abnormality.

What I love about the way this is crafted is that it just inverts the way the SCP works. We start with the POV of an unreliable narrator, so that when we begin reading the interview, our expectations are slowly shattered as we come to terms with what role each character plays. Every line of the interviewer makes us realize more and more how off these cirumstances and our expectations are. And so the story basically has you experience cognitive dissonance, as your version of how you saw reality is slowly contradicted and mirror-imaged until the real story makes itself clear.

TL;DR To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand Dr. Monty Chapman.


Link: SCP-3733: Everybody Else

Written By: ModulumModulum, u/modulum83

Date Published: June 3, 2018

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