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nn5n: scp-3853 Imperium
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SCP-3853

Item #: SCP-3853

Object Class: Thaumiel1/Uncontained

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-3853A is currently uncontained (see Addendum 3853-1). The Foundation is in a state of war with GoI-328 ("The Institute of Imperial Studies"); recovery of Foundation assets lost to GoI-328 is a top priority. Containment procedures which do not rely on the effects of SCP-3853A are to be developed for all anomalies currently under the control of GoI-328.

SCP-3853A is currently contained as the Directorship of the Institute for Imperial Studies, a sovereign political entity operating as an independent division of the Foundation under the supervision of the O5 Council; all anomalies contained by the effects of SCP-3853A are kept under IIS supervision. The current instance SCP-3853A-1 is the Director of the Institute; as of 8/19/2014, SCP-3853A-1 is Dr. Aleksandr Filipov, formerly Director of Site-88 and head of the Anomalous Law & Politics Division. SCP-3853A-1’s successor should be selected by majority vote of the O5 council from all personnel with Level 4 clearance who have training or experience in law, political science, military command, and/or classical studies. Both SCP-3853A-1 and their successor have Level 5/IIS clearance, giving them unlimited access to all non-infohazardous information about the IIS, its personnel, and the anomalies it contains. The sovereign territory of the IIS consists of its headquarters, Site-101, located outside of Tunis, Tunisia, and a number of other facilities located throughout Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

SCP-3853A-1 is not to be seen by or directly communicate with anyone except IIS staff and Foundation staff who have been informed of SCP-3853A’s effects. All of SCP-3853A-1’s written correspondence (including electronic correspondence such as emails and text messages) is to be dictated to or retyped by another individual prior to being sent. In the event that SCP-3853A-1 is seen by or communicates with an unauthorized person, that person is to be treated with Class-B amnestics; exemptions can be made for Foundation staff in good standing if this contact was accidental or was initiated by SCP-3853A-1. If SCP-3853A-1 deliberately breaches containment of SCP-3853A or is determined by the O5 Council to be otherwise unfit for continued service, MTF Psi-18 (“Sic Semper”) is to carry out an appropriate succession protocol2.

Political movements attempting to recreate any of the nation-states previously associated with SCP-3853A3 or which use iconography associated with any of these nation states are to be closely monitored. MTF Pi-13 (“Goths, Vandals, and Other Delinquents”) is to prevent political movements matching these criteria from becoming the majority party in any nation-state and in any sub-national division with a population greater than one million; Pi-13 is authorized to use whatever methods they deem appropriate to accomplish this task, including blackmail, assassination, mass voter fraud, and, in extreme circumstances, memetic voter suppression and mass amnestic treatment.

SCP-3853B is currently contained as the Roman Catholic Papacy; anomalies whose containment relies on the effects of SCP-3853B are contained by the Pontifical Commission for the Suppression of the Supernatural, the main normalcy-preservation agency of the Catholic Church, in consultation with the Foundation. The Foundation is to support the continued existence of the Papacy, and should work with the Catholic Church to prevent any major schisms that could lead to an Avignon Event4. SCP-3853B-1 is the Roman Catholic Pope (currently Pope Francis, birth name Jorge Mario Bergogloio). All of SCP-3853B-1’s written correspondence is to unambiguously identify its source or be retyped by or dictated to another person.

Description: SCP-3853 is the designation for two titles originally held by the emperors of the Roman Empire.

SCP-3853A is the office of Emperor, originally head of state of the Roman Empire. SCP-3853A is always held by the ruler of a nation-state that holds territory within the borders of the Roman Empire at the death of Augustus Caesar; that ruler is designated SCP-3853A-1. As per containment procedures, SCP-3853A-1 is currently the Director of the Institute of Imperial Studies.

Transfer of SCP-3853A usually follows the succession laws of the nation-state ruled by SCP-3853A-1. There are, however, a number of circumstances that can lead to a non-standard transfer of SCP-3853A, both within a nation-state and between nation-states. The primary cause of a non-standard transfer is disputed succession; if there are two or more claimants to the leadership of the nation-state ruled by SCP-3853A-1, the anomalous properties of SCP-3853A will manifest in each claimant at a reduced magnitude. Non-standard transfer can also occur when SCP-3853A-1 is deposed by an outside force5 or when the ruler of another nation-state with a stronger claim to the title is proclaimed Emperor of Rome by SCP-3853B-16.

SCP-3853B is the office of Pontifex Maximus, originally the high priest of the polytheistic Roman state religion; from the 4th century onwards, this office has been held by the head of a branch of Christianity, usually either the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople or the Catholic Pope7. It is probable that SCP-3853B could be held by the widely-recognized head of any major religion with a substantial following in the former borders of the Roman Empire, although no non-Christian religious leader has held it since the adoption of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman empire. SCP-3853B-1 is the current holder of SCP-3853B; as per containment procedures, SCP-3853B-1 is currently the Catholic Pope. The criteria by which SCP-3853B is transferred are currently not well-studied, and maintaining orderly papal succession is a high priority.

The primary effects of SCP-3853A and B are cognitive in nature. The holders of the affected titles will be recognized in-person as the holders of those titles, even if the observers would be otherwise ignorant of the titles or the individuals; that is, when someone perceives SCP-3853A-1, they immediately recognize that person as Emperor of Rome. This effect is not transmitted through photography or recorded video, although it can be transmitted via live video with a delay of less than 20 seconds and both live and recorded audio, and via direct written or typed communication (including email, text messaging, and other digital communication).

When SCP-3853A-1 or B-1 gives a direct order to a subordinate—either in person or in writing—that order is more likely to be followed. Under experimental conditions, individuals obeying the direct orders of SCP-3853A-1 or B-1 complete those tasks significantly faster and more accurately than a control group, and make significantly fewer errors. These effects are extended to all military forces under the command—direct or indirect—of SCP-3853A-1; when placed under the jurisdiction of the IIS, Mobile Task Forces showed a marked improvement in cooperation and tactical skill, and were physically faster, stronger and more agile.

It is now believed that SCP-3853A exerts cognitive influence on SCP-3853A-1. While the precise effects have not been rigorously studied, observation of the current instance of SCP-3853A-1, Director Aleksandr Filipov, indicates that a preexisting tendency toward megalomania and an obsession with the ancient world were both exaggerated heavily by exposure to SCP-3853A (see Addendum 3853-1). While this effect has not been so dramatic in any previous IIS Director, close study of the correspondence and decision-making of past Directors indicates that this is not a new phenomenon.

The secondary effects of SCP-3853A and B manifest in their interactions with other anomalous objects and entities encountered and used or contained by previous holders of the SCP-3853 titles. Beginning with the Superintendency of Secrets and Praetorian Office of Hidden Wisdom, founded under the Roman emperor Augustus, SCP-3853A and B have been used as the basis of thaumaturgically, theurgically, and legally-binding contracts and rituals to contain or limit the powers of anomalous entities, or bind those entities into the service of the holder(s) of the SCP-3853 titles. A number of SCP objects currently contained by the Foundation have been placed under the jurisdiction of the IIS in order to use these pre-existing bindings for the purpose of containment; this containment scheme has been highly successful and is ongoing is under reevaluation after the defection of GoI-328 from the Foundation.

The Foundation established containment of SCP-3853A in 1945. After the defeat of its former holder8 by the Allied Powers in World War Two, SCP-3853A was briefly transferred to the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman9; as per a previous agreement with the Foundation, President Truman abdicated the office of Emperor in favor of the Director of the newly-founded Institute of Imperial Studies, Dr. Charles Pépin.

SCP-3853 is believed to have been created by Augustus Caesar, generally recognized as the first emperor of the Roman Empire; while the precise method of its creation is not known, a section of Augustus' autobiography, the Res Gestae (reproduced below), indicates that some sort of thaumaturgical ritual involving the sacrifice of Augustus' body to his own spirit—the genius Augusti, an object of religious devotion under the Roman empire—was integral to the anomaly's creation.

Recovered Document: Res Gestae Divi Augusti Paragraphs 39-43
The final paragraphs of the funerary inscription of Augustus Caesar, first emperor of Rome. Paragraphs 36-43 of the Res Gestae refer to anomalous events and individuals considered state secrets by the Roman Empire and were not included on publicly-available copies of the Res Gestae; the only remaining original copy, a plaque on the interior of the Imperial Mausoleum, is currently stored in the Vatican Archives.

And after I established the Superintendency of Secrets and the Praetorian Office of Hidden Wisdom, I saw that the Republic needed a caretaker such as myself in perpetuity, and that the people would always need a Pontifex Maximus to intercede with the gods and maintain the sacred rituals. And so I went to the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, and I asked the Pythia how I might accomplish this; and I was told "seek the wisest"10.

The Greeks are always considered the wisest of Rome's conquests, so first I went to the the Greek philosophers, the Stoics and the Pythagoreans and the Platonists; and they told me that no kingdom can last forever, and I dismissed them. I went to those rumored even wiser, the Mechanists of the Sicilian cities; and they told me to build a city of bronze and iron over the city I had already clad in marble, and I dismissed them as well. And then I sought the hidden mysteries, the Greek cults of Orpheus and Eleusis and Dionysus and Trophonius and the Five-Named One; and these all spoke of an eternal life after death, but I sought eternal rule in life. So I turned away from the Greeks to the other conquered peoples under Rome.

The rabbis of Judaea, and the priests of Egypt, and the Persian Magi claimed that I should renounce the Olympians and follow each of their gods in turn, and I scorned their advice. The Thracian seers, who claim descent from fallen Adium, and the Scythian sorceresses with their Daevian magic, and the man-burning Druids of the Gauls and Britons all told me of rituals contrary to the ancient customs of the Romans and hateful in the eyes of the gods; and I had them put to death for their crimes against man and god. And even the priests of Rome, and the augurs and haruspices who have forever guided our Republic before were of no help; and I returned to my home, and contemplated my failure.

But as I sat in thought, the words of the Oracle to Socrates came to me, "you are the wisest"; and just as Socrates knew that he knew nothing, so I understood the same. And I turned to myself, and asked how I, having repaired the Republic and extended its reach further than ever before, could ensure its survival for all eternity, and I saw in myself the answer. And so I decided to make a final sacrifice, of myself and to myself, the body of Gaius Octavius11 offered before the spirit of Caesar Augustus so that I might rule forever through my heirs. And I wrote this, to be placed in my tomb, and I commanded my wife to make a poison, quick-acting and painless; and now I go to my death, knowing that the Roman people will never be without wise guidance and firm rule.

Addendum 3853-1: Incident 3853-AUGUSTUS
On 14 March 2018, the O5 council voted 11 for, 1 against, 1 abstaining to initiate succession protocol Ψ-18-CALIGULA (forcible deposition of the Director of the IIS via assassination); the SDECotW ratified this decision later that same day. Orders were transmitted to the commander of MTF Psi-18; the commander's response indicated loyalty to SCP-3853A-1 (Director Filipov) over the Foundation. Within one hour, all IIS facilities cut off contact with the main Foundation communications network and SCP-3853A-1 declared the independence of the IIS from the Foundation. SCP-3853A is now uncontained, and the Foundation is in a state of war with the IIS (now designated GoI-328). All anomalies under the control of the IIS are to be considered uncontained until they are recovered by the Foundation; the development of containment procedures for these anomalies that do not rely on the effects of SCP-3853A is a high priority. For further information on Incident 3853-AUGUSTUS, see Document 3853-9.

page revision: 2, last edited: 07 Apr 2018 22:48
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