Formality Department Orientation
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Now, it's time. Welcome to the orientation for the Formality Department. I'm Tsukahara, the senior researcher in charge of this orientation. I was transferred to this site around the same time that you joined the Foundation, so we will be working together for some time. If you have any trouble or questions, please do not hesitate to come and ask me.

Let me ask you a quick question: has anyone ever heard of the Formality Department? Oh sorry, you don't need to look around. I just wanted to make sure that no one knows about it.

The Formality Department is where the majority of new personnel are initially assigned. Regardless of whether you are a researcher or an agent, you will first gain experience here and then be assigned to the Science Department or as a field agent, depending on your background. We also dispatch personnel in the form of secondment to the Science Department, Engineering and Technical Service Department, and Mobile Task Forces, making it an important department and a backbone of the Foundation.

So, what exactly does the Formality Department do?

Allow me to explain the major duties. Please pay attention to the screen.

What you see on the screen is a reference document that summarizes SCP-548-JP. Its Object Class is Safe. Since this object has been well-researched and proven to not have any memetic hazards or cognitive contamination properties, I was given permission to use its document as teaching material. For many of you, this will be the first time you have seen an Object Report. Yes, I wrote it, and I'm in charge of this object.

Its appearance is no different from a normal plastic umbrella. It is a type of anomaly in which properties are activated when certain conditions are met. To quote the phrase in the report, the conditions are "continuous contact of raindrops with its umbrella cloth," or to put it simply, "holding it up in the rain." This anomalously converts the sound of raindrops hitting the cloth into piano tones, which are then tuned to the melody of a specific song.

Yes, there are such peaceful objects as well. Now that everyone is smiling, let me tell you something. In one case this object destroyed the eardrums of a test subject, that is, the person who was holding it.

Now that you've all pulled yourselves together again, let's get down to business.

Formality refers to a certain process of doing something. Yes, the Formality Department is, quite simply, the department that studies the conditions under which anomalous properties manifest themselves.

I think someone just said "What?" — Yes, you. Let me ask you what caught your attention. "Isn't this the business of the Science Department?" Thank you. I'd like to ask you to recall that the umbrella I mentioned earlier is activated when it is held in the rain. Is this criteria something that can be determined within the scope of the work of the Science Department?

"Does it really have to be raindrops?", "Can snow be substituted?", "Or water from a shower?", "What about artificial rain?", "Does the criteria depend on the substances contained in the water?", "What kind and amount of impurities in raindrops?", " Time?", "Region?", and so on…

Let me give you an example.

If a student is forced to circle around three times and yelp ''woof'' after school, and then turns into a monster, do you think it was caused by their harmed dignity and pride? If anything, it's in the field of psychology. But before the Science Department can look into such things, the Formality Department will first determine that the criteria are "a specific time of day", "the subject's pre-existing back pain", "the centrifugal force of the spinning motion exerting a load on the entire body", "short, loud vocalizations", and "the situation of being forced by adolescents". This would allow the Science Department to conduct more productive experiments.

Where the Science Department makes predictions, verifies them, and questions the "results", the Formality Department questions the "process".

Here's a simpler example.

We have a vending machine that produces the exact liquid that we order. The Science Department studies its structure and the liquids produced, while the Formality Department studies the types of orders it accepts, the tendency of liquids to be successfully produced and those that fail, and so on.

Of course, the Science Department also has its own domain in validation experiments; in such cases, we usually do joint research. However, the Science Department's duties do not include pouring orange juice over an umbrella or going to Vietnam to get squalled.

I can see that your faces are getting worried.

Just as you are concerned, the researchers in the Formality Department sometimes seriously practice activities that have no scientific basis. In many cases, our predictions are deemed to be of low priority because their perspectives are not conducive to containment efforts, and verification experiments are not conducted. Some personnel who do not understand the significance of the Formality Department ridicule it as the "Ceremonial" Department. They would say that we are a casual department with no substance, just tracing the conditions under which anomalies occur. This is probably one of the reasons why you have never heard of the Formality Department.

They will die young.

It is true that anomalies deviate greatly from the "formality" of our common sense. However, it does not mean that they are always chaotic and operate in a disorderly manner. Anomalies have their own type and "form". The Formality Department is responsible for determining that.

The results of the Formality Department's research are widely reflected in the Foundation's activities.

One of the best examples is the development of the initial containment response manual. This is not a simple textbook that describes specific procedures, but rather a training course given by the Formality Department to agents and Mobile Task Force members on how to prepare themselves, what to look out for, what to prioritize, how to think, and what to observe in order to determine "formalities". As you have heard my lecture so far, you can easily imagine what happens to those who do not take this kind of training seriously.

Also, the "formalities" that have been fully verified for reproducibility, safety and versatility will be utilized by the Foundation, in conjunction with the Manufacturing Department and the Engineering and Technical Service Department. These may not be as specialized as the thaumatologies used by the Global Occult Coalition, but when possessing a four-leaf clover can stabilize your Hume level, even if only slightly, there is no reason not to take advantage of it.

I mentioned that the majority of new personnel gain experience in the Formality Department, but on the contrary, those with anomalous properties are not assigned to it until they have gained more experience. In a department that studies the criteria under which anomalies manifest themselves, it should be avoided that practitioners can be one of such criteria; in this regard, it would be very dangerous to assign them to the Formality Department for the purpose of "training new personnel". Please understand that this is not a formality that comes from a sense of discrimination against paranormal staff or from an elitism.

Well, it's lunch time. Let's take a break here.

The Foundation predicts that it will start raining soon, so it's best not to go outdoors. There is a purchasing area just outside the hall, so you can get some food there. Besides, I recommend you to buy a strap with clover on it.

We'll resume the orientation in an hour. In the afternoon, there will be a more specific explanation of our duties.

Oh, yeah. Just one more thing, everyone.

The Formality Department's experiments involve a great deal of non-scientific verification. Sometimes we have to do things that are, to sugar-coat it, "dangerously serious". The people around you may take you lightly for your behavior. Some of you may be pessimistic about being placed in such a department, even though it is part of new personnel training.

But please be confident.

While many departments serve as spears and shields to protect the Foundation, the Formality Department is the pillar and key to the house they protect. It is irreplaceable, and if it doesn't work, the house will collapse and everything inside will fly out.

That's why you have to be confident.

The Foundation is trying to contain anomalies and paranormals because we believe that they can be placed in a mold called "formality". So, first of all, I strongly hope that you believe that.

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