T.D was heading to the field for the first time today to deal with a Keter. Just as the handbook "New Agent Manual - SCP Object Classification Standard" says, Keter is the most dangerous type among SCP objects. They may eat people, kill people, make a person crazy, release memes, run around everywhere and destroy the world. Rationally T.D held a different opinion towards such arrangement. This was just too somewhat this and that to hand such a dangerous task over to a novice.
"According to the document, SCP-3542 is a, uh, memetic, reality-bending-capable, hostile object with possibly Abrahamic religion background. At least from the records, his blink vanished two dozens of D-class death squads plus three mechanical armors."
"Correct. That's true. Oh, don't get distressed, those armors were already planned to be replaced and this saved processing expenses for us." His supervisor replied like this.
T.D made a confirmation again: that's right, recruited officially as a specialist, received a one-year training, now he's one of the Field Agents of the Foundation with Security Clearance Level 1. Yes. He was not a D-Class personnel. Not part of D-class death squad. He was a Foundation staff with life insurance, year-end awards, retirement benefits and human rights care. Level 1 personnel is absolutely different from D-Class personnel.
"So I am going to deal with it on my own, with only one shotgun available?"
"Yes. Actually that's already part of the routine works. Of course you can submit an application to set off heavily armed. Though equipment damage costs will be provided by your salary."
The supervisor was aware of his worries. He understood that. Yes, for those newbies who just crossed that curtain, Some worries are justified. That's how he came through. His supervisor also asked him to deal with a terrifying dragon then and he was also afraid as this guy today. Though the rating was unqualified, its dangerous level is still the same as Keter. The risk still exists, theoretically.
The supervisor took out the New Agent Manual, turned to a certain page and handed it to T.D. "Read this part again."
New Agent Manual - SCP Object Rating Standard
To analyze whether related information around certain SCP objects can attract roughly consistent positive evaluation of observers, the Foundation established Rating System for anomalous objects incorporated into the SCP list. As we already mentioned in the New Personnel Guide before, the existence of anomalous objects has direct relationship with the attention and evaluation from the Foundation itself: How we evaluate an anomalous object will directly determine whether it will stay in the world everlastingly. There is no widely accepted theory that can explain such phenomenon. But ever since the establishment of the Foundation, this connection has been proved for countless times with no exception observed. This is also the reason why the Foundation holds a significant advantage when comparing with other GOIs —— we are inherent judges of anomalousness. If other groups and staff wants to keep their creations or discoveries usable, they need to either hide them away from the Foundation's vision or make them as bizarre as possible.
As a result, Rating for SCP objects is an integral part of the Containment Procedure. For some high-value objects, ensuring higher evaluation is the premise of keeping them under control of the Foundation. For some objects that are highly dangerous and/or difficult to contain, lowering their ratings is also a safe, effective method of neutralization. Currently the Foundation Rating Committee is in charge of this evaluation task. Their Rating procedures and results towards SCP objects is not interfered by any organization or individual at any level. Though theoretically this task can be accomplished by any official staff of the Foundation, currently no other personnels are allowed to join the procedure unless proposed by the Rating Committee.
After initial investigation into the nature of the object, the Foundation Rating Committee will start their procedure according to the report first. In principle, the committee will evaluate the object normally unless the object has a significant positive value. All other objects that received "unqualified" rating can be ignored or only monitored without further operation except for Keter objects, which need to be neutralized immediately by Agents due to their parlous nature. Generally speaking, all those anomalous objects will reach neutralized status automatically within 48 hours.
The Foundation Rating Committee is giving out the following ratings at this moment:
unqualified — Over half of the members of the committee give negative evaluation, or in sum up to two thirds of the members gives non-positive evaluation. Unqualified objects will be neutralized automatically or become extremely fragile with no known exception.
qualified — Positive evaluation is given by over a half but less than two thirds of the committee members. Qualified objects will keep their existence and it is generally difficult to neutralize them by force.
outstanding — More than two thirds of the committee members give positive evaluation. This kind of objects have no known records of successful neutralization unless the evaluation procedure itself is considered part of the neutralization efforts.
heritage — Special rating. For some important SCP objects that must be kept, the committee will start special evaluation procedure to list them into the heritage list. This kind of objects will not and cannot be neutralized.
As you can see, the Rating Committee is fundamental to the Foundation. To join the Rating Committee, you have to be at least of Security Level 3 with more than 5 years of working experience. If you join us, you will enjoy special protection treatment and afford more special responsibilities. If you are interested in it, you are welcomed to inquire detail information of your leadership or the committee directly…
Well, of course T.D was quite familiar with this part already. As a staff of the Foundation, unfamiliarity with guides means to court death. He was just worrying sanely if he would be eliminated by his opponent during the operation.
"My first mission was to cope with a giant black dragon. It has intelligence and called itself 'the Black King1' or something else. It was several thousand meters long, spitted fires can melt Titanium alloy and was able to use all kinds of magic. It came pretty close to blowing up the Three Gorges Dam2."
T.D felt somehow familiar with that description. "Why do I feel famil…"
"You got it. The Rating Committee has a term for it — 'popular culture similar scenario'. This is basically deadly to SCP object evaluation. This Black King is in fact innocent. If it carried more culture background, such as got related with some myths, or had some touching stories behind it, or had a unique stunt, then we would have a problem then. I was dragged to the Three Gorges Dam by my leadership. It's there, with eye balls as large as tanks. Then I pulled out my gun and made a shot. Over. Those so called 'spells' or flames or unbreakable dragon scales or whatsoever, I didn't find them. So you can just get relaxed and swagger towards him, smash your fist on his face or take a slap. A kick is also OK."
The supervisor could still find the unbelievable expression on T.D's face.
"Just joking. Act cautiously, when you need the gun, pull it out. Don't worry, this is just a cleanup work. There's no much difference from it to cleaning laboratories or feeding people with amnestic. We are not a containment striking force."
Several hours later
"How's it going? Used the gun?"
"Oh, very normal. But don't save too much."
T.D could hardly believe the scene he just experienced. The mighty angel was standing right in front of him, with twenty pairs of wings twisting surrounding space and six arms, each holding a sword with blue flames. His three faces were speaking as if they were thundering (Just couldn't understand the words. Maybe reading sculptures. Unfortunately T.D is not a specialist in languages), Indescribable golden geometry objects were cycling around him. Looks like he was absolutely ready to spread his infohazard around the globe.
The angel showed anger on the face. He raised those six swords and shouted out like thundering. Don't know why, T.D felt like this should be a kind of attack on causality to make you, your parents, your grandparents, your grand-grand-parents and all your ancestors never get born on the world in history, or some high energy attack that can simply evaporate you by the heat of 3,000°C. The only reaction he felt supposed to make is to give a punch on the face. He followed his heart.
Then the angel scattered over the ground and became white ashes. Then ashes disappeared in the air as if nothing special existed before.
"We are like the God. This fact itself is just damn anomalous."
"Correct. If you are the God, then you are what you should be. The reason why things are like this is another business. People have raised lots of theories for it. Whatever, we are protecting the world in such means all the time. Pretty effective."
"But that seems… too easy. Then the work in the Foundation is as simple as rating? And other groups are at the mercy of us?"
"Correct to some extent, but not really. Not all Keters are such simple and violent. It's just most of those Keter objects are simple and violent." His supervisor took a mouthful of noodles, then continued with his extracurricular orientation for the newcomer, "But that's just, most of them. There's always some real threats. Some monsters that can kill people, or something to drive you crazy. Dangerous but fascinating."
"Is there any standard on the evaluation? Can we do something with that?"
"No, basically not. If there must be a standard, then that is 'you think it is awesome'. It's like judicial discretion. No absolutely correct standard can be set up. Actually it would be useless even if such standard were made. Unwilling judgment from the committee is meaningless. The establishment of that committee is to make the administration convenient for the Foundation. Those really effective are all evaluations from all insiders in the Foundation who know about that object. The committee only have those work concentrated and assign them to individuals. Even if the committee gave "unqualified" rate to 682 before, they still can't kill it — I don't know whether it is part of its ability. But in the view of most employees, it is indeed fierce and dangerous yet really… special."
The supervisor sipped a cup of tea. "Similarly, sometimes we really want to keep some of those skips but they are in fact pretty dull. Perpetual motion machine, spring of rejuvenation, panacea. Their value are self-evident. However, those abnormalities are like kid's ideas. They are disgusting to my strictest judge colleague."
"SCP-500 is still there, and even listed as 'heritage'."
"Here comes the subtle part. We can't force everyone to regard boring as interesting. But making an object interesting, or at least enough interesting to touch those judges observing, is easy. For example, one or two deeply touching stories as addendum. When the committee started the special evaluation procedure for SCP-500, Agent A.A and Iris just dealt with two Keters on their own, and became pretty miserable. Those O5 first act as tough guys, gave a touching speech plus the 'Star of the Foundation' medal award, asked them to wait for the death. Then those staff acting as good guys came up and 'unauthorizedly' took out two pieces of panacea. After that, it's some intense argument between the ethics committee and O5, and even inside O5. Such dramatic story is enough."
T.D couldn't just believe those words. He knew A.A and Iris' deeds of executing their out-of-mind captain under the attack of Keter. They are heroes, but he didn't know the Foundation could take advantage of their own heroes like this.
"Believe it or not." The supervisor chuckled.
T.D took his tea silently. Then suddenly he realized one problem. "You just mentioned the 'Insiders.'. What if… no one in the Foundation knows about that object? Or if there is a skip that is only known to the committee, or made to be only known by them, then…"
He didn't continue with the words, since his supervisor's smile looks a little bit weird.
"Just one more point. Those not known to us are not skips and they are out of our control. But that doesn't have any real influence to the Foundation. After all, we basically dominated the whole world behind the curtain. It's hard to say there's anything we don't really know at all."
A cellphone ring broke the silence. The supervisor bowed down and took a look.
"All right, this time it's a superpower X-Men with the ability of ice and fire, plus mind influence. He is now wantonly hypnotizing women and driving them to attack other civilians. Want to smash on his face again?"
"When I was doing your job, I tear four Mary Sues on average every day, by hand. This time it's up to you to bring your gun or not."