Balloons!
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Item #: SCP-4000

Object Class: Neutralized

Special Containment Procedures: Due to the widespread societal upheaval such an action would cause, SCP-2000 is not to be activated without unanimous approval from both the O5 Council and the Ethics Committee. If the Foundation does decide on activating SCP-2000 it must first research and outline plans for global cross-species integration.

Research into the cause of SCP-4000 has largely stalled thanks to its centuries-long neutralization. However, any concrete plans for activating SCP-2000 must include high-priority research on the underlying mechanics of SCP-4000.

Description: SCP-4000 was a highly infectious anomalous condition causing spontaneous human combustion. Although SCP-4000 spread similarly to a virus, no underlying biological agent was ever found. SCP-4000 is most noteworthy for bringing about the extinction of baseline humanity, ushering in the Post-Human Era of Earth and by extension the Foundation.

The symptoms of SCP-4000 first manifested themselves as a strong fever. This fever would last anywhere between 12 hours to seven days, all while gradually building in intensity. Finally, victims of SCP-4000 would spontaneously combust. This combustion proved to be 100% fatal in all recorded instances, with the combustion proving unable to be extinguished until the death of the victim. Attempts by victims to stave off the combustion by wearing protective clothing or remaining submerged in fire-retardant foam would simply result in the fever rising in intensity until death. The highest recorded SCP-4000-related fever temperature was 65.5 degrees centigrade.

Attempts to pinpoint the start of SCP-4000 have been hazy. However, the first definitive recorded case was Jan Sliwinski, in Krakow, Poland on June 5th, 2095. From there, SCP-4000 spread rapidly throughout Eastern Europe, becoming a global pandemic by October 2095. By June 2096 an estimated three billion people were dead, with most available models suggesting extinction of baseline humanity by March 2097. On June 16th 2096, the Foundation officially began Project Lifthrasir, in an effort to recreate the Foundation to function without human members.

Letter from The Administrator to the entire Foundation:

June 17th, 2096

There exists in the world certain remarkable people, brave men and women who have pledged to fight for a worthy cause until their dying breath. I say, why stop there?

Yes, our best people are still looking for a cure. Yes, we've bullshitted our way out of bigger apocalypses than this. But the Foundation, at its absolute core, is about accounting for every possible scenario, even one where we're all gone.

Because let's face it. Sentient life on Earth is bigger than us. There are the living objects and the artificial intelligences. The booming populations of SCP-1000 in the Rockies. The seemingly never-ending variety of clown species. Every year, dozens of new, dazzling forms of sentience spring out into our world, bringing new ideas, new joys, new life. They deserve to be protected. All of them.

If you're still raw about Project Lifthrasir, consider it a way to redeem ourselves for the failure to contain SCP-4000. Or blow your brains out and get it over with. These final, infinitely precious, last days are no time for self-pity. We can spend our last day wailing and gnashing our teeth. Or we can fling a light into the future that shines forever.

Choose.

Project Lifthrasir: Overall Goals and Strategies:

On June 16th, 2096, the Overseer Council began drawing up the main strategies for creating post-humanity Foundation. The main points of interest were:

  • the appointment of SCP-073 as the Foundation's new Administrator.
  • a partnership with Anderson Robotics to create over one hundred new artificial intelligences, capable of operating and maintaining Foundation sites around the globe. Said partnership would also include the creation of hundreds of robotic drones, allowing the new A.I.s the ability to interact with the outside world.
  • the disposal of any SCPs that specifically require human-based containment procedures, (SCP-871, SCP-2121) in high-entropy parallel universes.
  • outreach to the developing SCP-1000 population in the interest of taking positions in the new Foundation, with resources to repopulate the planet and build new civilizations.
  • outreach to the Herman's Circus of the Disquieting, with the possibility of sharing methods of transforming humans into a physically similar but anomalous "clown" species.

Appointment of SCP-073 as Foundation's Administrator.

SCP-073 was app