Roget Box

Preface To A Crisis: Death to the Foundation

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History is written by the survivors.

My name is Jacob Conwell, and I did not experience most of the events described in these volumes. I was present for some of it, and knew a few of the principal players, but my only real role is to have collected as much material about the Crisis as possible.

I've compiled it into five volumes, covering what I believe are the eight distinct movements in the period. The Stagnation, Crack-Up, Directory, Year of the Four Administrators, Anarchy and Reclamation.

The following documents fit mostly into the Stagnation and Crack-Up periods. I've not put them in any particular order, beyond omitting sections which may tell of what comes later. It's important for us to experience the events in the same order as those who lived and died through it.

The only exception to that is the Great Dying. One of the primary causes of the Foundation's extinction. The Foundation may have been able to survive intact if leaders at the helm had lived to bring us together. Jack Bright, Alto Clef, even some aberrations like the Plague Doctor, they were symbols for us to rally around. Then they were gone, and we were left blinking and wondering what came next.

We would never have experienced the betrayals of Hourdoon, creation of the Crater, the desertification of North America. I'm getting into listification again. The importance is that everything stems at least in part from the Great Dying and it merits its own compendium.

Every death here is a tragedy. So were all of the others. While I have included mostly notables here, we can never forget how much we lost. I know I never will.

Jacob Conwell
April 12th, 2021

The Overseer Council is an institution predating the Foundation. From our earliest days, it has operated under a shroud of secrecy. Membership is a closely guarded secret, afforded to those in the room where it happens and their guardians, the Red Right Hand.

Seen variably as chess-masters from on high commanding the anomalous by the sheer force of their will; Old and doddering bureaucrats from the right families who sit in their immortal chamber; Whispering the secrets of the universe to each other; Perhaps the best people chased from the pages of history and into a smoke-filled room where the fate of every person, past and future, can be decided again?

The Overseer Council is going to change.

The scientists who orchestrate this refined madness. Fighting and give their lives for a veil they have never seen. Creators of the greatest innovations in scientific history, such as the Scranton Reality Anchor, Enigmagraphs, or the discovery of Humes. Without their innovation, the Foundation would have already been relegated to the dustbin of history.

Agents who delve into the places eyes cannot follow, a meat grinder that can leave the slaughtered still living. Sacrificing not only their lives but their souls and their dignity in order to take the fight to hell itself, they have earned this right more than anybody, paid in blood.

Is the Foundation an idea, that we must protect the innocents from the tainted knowledge of immortality pills and extraterrestrial life?

Is the Foundation is not omnipotent or immortal?

It is not. No group is a magical gathering of the best and brightest to keep a mission going in perpetuity. It is an institution and, like all others, its success is not guaranteed.

Change comes from within. Without a center, momentum will keep you going for awhile.

When the walls start closing in it's already too late.

Overseer Council Memorandum RE: Operation Crabclaw


Mobile Task Force Alpha-1 "Red Right Hand"

  • This report has been prepared by Weylon Severus, January 3rd 2013
  • Details of Operation Crabclaw are as follows:
    • Principal Target(s): Doctor Everett Mann
    • Operational Location: Outskirts of Charleston, West Virginia, USA
    • Operational Logistics: Began 8:42 PM Eastern Standard Time, Concluded at 12:01 AM. Agent Weylon Severus was the only Foundation operative involved. Operational materials included two Yamaha Motorcycles, standard weapon outfit of Agent, and access to Foundation SatNet database.
    • Result: Target was liquidated.

Ambush location was on a curved section on a mountain road. The cliffs lining the roads were held back by chicken-wire chains, occasionally releasing their contents as tumbling rock slides. This was not deemed to be a sure or effective method of neutralizing the target.

Destination of the Target was Chuck Yeager airport. Final destination unclear at present.

Target was initially believed to be sighted at 9:05 PM driving Yellow Pontiac Aztek.

Target is known for being highly proficient roboticist and expert in all things bio-mechanical, Agent proceeded to follow on motorcycle at a distance and engages in reconnaissance

Visual contact confirmed identity of the target. Appeared unwashed, unshaven. Driving was noted as erratic.

Target became aware of Agent at 9:15 leading to acceleration and vocal communications.

Vehicular contact was made, as a result Target's vehicle was flipped over a steep cliff. Agent's vehicle was also dislodged from the road.

Agent found vehicle contained an automaton resembling a scarecrow, with electronics beneath the clothing. The passenger's door had been lost during the crash. A few cigarettes and shattered test tubes were present. Target was not present.

It is believed that Target was never present in the vehicle, and intended for the decoy to lead Foundation assets on a long chase while Target boarded his flight.

At 9:45 PM Eastern Time, Agent located Target at Chuck Yeager airport.

Target was liquidated via poison dart, administered to the epidermis.

Body was cremated following extraction, as per standard operating procedures.

Last words of Target were: "You'll burn in hell. You're the common enemy of mankind."

The following document was produced by SCP-590, in crayon, on [REDACTED]. SCP-590 expired shortly after it finished writing, of unknown but apparently natural causes.

"Get your goddamn hands—"

Warm blood cascaded across Jack Bright's face as he was struck with a gloved hand. Two more men grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled him towards the hole they had cut in the concrete. Jack's face grew pale, and he twisted and struggled against his captors. He grabbed towards the amulet around his neck, but a long steel rod came down across his arm, breaking it. He screamed, in rage or horror, and another hand appeared to shove a gag into his mouth. His eyes seethed with hatred as he was dumped unceremoniously through the opening, into the darkness beyond.

He stood, pulled the gag from his mouth with his remaining good hand, and grabbed at the amulet. He pulled it, breaking the chain, and threw it at one of the men on the other side of the concrete wall. As it sailed through the air, the room around him grew very dark, and the sound of rushing cement filled the air. The Bright-sized gap in the concrete was suddenly plugged, and the amulet began to sink into the thick material. He let out a cry, and rushed forward, digging through the setting cement until he pulled the amulet out and stumbled backwards.

The sound of pouring cement continued for another hour. Afterwards, there was only silence, and darkness, and Jack Bright was very alone.