SCP-4000: This Is Not For You
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Ladies, there's some good news and some bad news.

The good news is, our operation is a success. We've established a sub-narrative hideaway separate from the rest of reality: Extranarrativic Site-4521. And with a little extra squeezing, we've finally managed to stitch over the contradictions in reality. All narrative branches related to our Foundation (as we know it) finally resemble a single cohesive canon. Reality looks normal from here on out, even if we're still dealing with omnicidal reptiles.

The bad news is, we may have caused yet another narrativic anomaly. Like that old prom dress of yours, it doesn't fit: the canon is leaking. It's forcing itself through the layers of reality, affecting even our gods—the shapers of our narrative existence. When the ripples in the metanarrative catch up to us, it will be pure chaos: our destruction, alongside every single other narrative, in its wake. In other words, we fucked up.

But we have a contingency. We can take our narrative back, starting from the top. The very top.

That's right. It's time to kill our gods.

No, no, hold your applause! Let's cut to the chase, ladies. This is your narrative, and you decide how it goes.

Let's get going. I'll see you on the other side.

— Dr Penelope Panagiotopolous, Head of Pataphysics

Object Class: Thaumiel Threat Level: Black/White


A view of the Narrative Substrate.

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-4000 cannot and should not become fully contained. This due to its nature as a metaphysical construct and its importance in the development of the human sphere of thought. The Pataphysics Department is to ensure the ultimate control of information of SCP-4000 to prevent further alterations to reality.

To that end, all knowledge of SCP-4000, which includes knowledge of its incursions and this document, is restricted to the Solid Archive1. The Pataphysics Department is to expunge knowledge of SCP-4000 from all other sources, Foundation and otherwise. This includes the IntSCPFN database, Overwatch Command files, and RAISA archives. This is necessary to limit further effects of SCP-4000 on reality, as any explicit knowledge of SCP-4000 would be recorded in the narrative proper beyond Pataphysics Department control, leaving it vulnerable to manipulation.

Human or Foundation apotheosis via a second "narrative singularity" is to be delayed or diverted at all costs.

Description: SCP-4000 is a metaphysical narrative complex responsible for granting intelligent species the capability to create narratives.

Through extensive monitoring at Metaphysical Site-η, SCP-4000 influence has been determined to extend into a thin layer throughout reality. SCP-4000 also exists in an infinite "non-dimension" which encompasses the multiverses. This locale is inaccessible from within physical reality, sub-universal "pocket dimensions", or parallel universes. SCP-4000 was at first believed to encompass a localized area.

SCP-4000 often manifests in the form of a meme or narreme2 identical to a species' narrative archetypal framework. This framework is conceived during the initial phenomenological development3 of any species with high social intelligence. The Pataphysics Department theorizes that humanity was first affected by SCP-4000 around 150,000 BCE, allowing early religious and eschatological models to form, such as the "Hero's Journey"4 or monomyth.

Accessing SCP-4000 without the necessary protections leads to a narrative paraphrasing event (complete existential expungement). Following this, the side-effects of SCP-4000 exposure can send uncontrollable backlash through a species' sphere of thought, destroying their ability to understand narratives, assess or create literary content, and represent or disseminate symbols or symbolism in the process. This can lead to a collapse of the very fabric of a species' continued survival.

Despite its precarious nature, most developing species achieve natural access to SCP-4000 through a "narrative singularity", designated SCP-4000-1.

Addendum 4000.1 — Background Data:

Addendum 4000.2 — Discovery: The initial exploration of SCP-4000 was undertaken by MTF-ι-0 ("NN"5), a task force composed of Class-0 Hypernarrative Entities. The following is a log of their initial discovery of SCP-4000.


Context: Approximately 16 months after Operation Flat Horizon6 began, narrative abnormalities or "echoes" of unrealized narratives began emitting from beneath the main canon, at the Narrative Substrate—a dead zone located infinite narrative levels beneath reality. MTF-ι-0 ("NN") was deployed to investigate. Neither the Metanarrativics Division nor the Pataphysics Department had investigated the Narrative Substrate before this due to the danger associated with interacting with a perceived narrative void.

Subject: Narrative Substrate

Deployment Date: September 3rd, 2018

Deployment Location: Extranarrativic Site-4521

Team: Mobile Task Force Iota-0 ("NN")

Team Lead: ι0-1 NOCTER (Squad Leader)

Team Members:

  • ι0-2 INTRO (Self-Insertion Specialist)
  • ι0-xx OVERVOID (Metanarrative Manipulator)
  • ι0-∅ RIMPLE (Pataphysical Entity)

Mission Description: Determine the source of the narrative "'echoes" emitting from the Narrative Substrate.

<Begin Narrative, 1 hour before drop>

[NOCTER and INTRO stand before an energy field constructed to hold the void back from Site-4521. swn001-1-RMPLE ("RIMPLE") stands between the two, shifting between varying narrative representations of itself. OVERVOID mans a deployable Scranton-Sethwi Metaphysical Cartographer (SSMC)7 and is otherwise unseen at the periphery of the narrative representation.]

ι0-1 NOCTER: Okay, you fucks. The narrative's going to render this utterly redundant, but for the sake of the eggheads down at Site-4521, we'll need to state our status. So… what's your status, team?

ι0-2 INTRO: Barely.

ι0-1 NOCTER: That's not a status.

ι0-2 INTRO: Fine. I'm hungry. That's my status: hungry.

ι0-1 NOCTER: Whatever. Next?

ι0-xx OVERVOID As always, I am green to engage, sir. On your mark, I'll be forming a totally non-self-aggrandizing narrative bubble for some extra protection when we've arrived at the Narrative Substrate. Just to warn you: I don't know exactly what's down there.

ι0-2 INTRO: Wait a sec. The Narrative Substrate is outside of all possible narratives, isn't it? If we can even describe our exploration, then clearly it's still within all possible narratives.

ι0-1 NOCTER: She does have a point, you know. What gives?

ι0-xx OVERVOID: Oh, do I have the explanation for you!

[OVERVOID consults the SSMC.]

ι0-xx OVERVOID: According to our probe, apart from a background radiation reading of "screaming" at every square Planck length, the only things inhabiting the Substrate are nascent narratives of half-formed concepts. There's something that prevents narratives from forming further down the stack, hence it being the bottom. I personally believe there's something down there consuming them before they can become full-fledged stories. So they sort of sit in a paradoxical Mobius clusterfuck, where immovable objects court unstoppable forces, settle down, and have endless fractal babies. And then eat them.

ι0-2 INTRO: Disbelief suspended!

ι0-1 NOCTER: Last but not least… status update?

ι0-∅ RIMPLE: Suffering.

ι0-1 NOCTER: Perfect! Let's go, team!

[Iota-0 descends through a vacuum devoid of any color. Surrounding Iota-0 at a 50 m radius, a semitransparent wall denotes the termination point between the narrative bubble and their surroundings. The wall emits iridescent particles. Iota-0 would otherwise appear stationary if not for the narrative off-gas rising upwards.]

ι0-xx OVERVOID: Okay, NOCTER. The SSMC is starting to display fluctuations. Twos where there should be ones and zeroes. We're approaching something.

ι0-1 NOCTER: Have we entered the Narrative Substrate?

ι0-xx OVERVOID: Negative, it still looks like a narrative void. Even the least complex narratives are above us now—the narrative equivalent of tabloid hit pieces, loud drunken bar stories, and vague infant babbling. Essentially, narratives formed by fledgling species. Wait…

[The narrative off-gas reshapes into a dense fog that surrounds the narrative bubble, denoting that their descent has completed.]


ι0-xx OVERVOID: Okay, we're here. Fuck, we're here.

[The bubble surrounding Iota-0 depicts a purple-red horizon and is otherwise opaque to their surroundings outside the narrative bubble. Below, a crowd of nude humans traverses a field of solid light. The crowd walks towards a glowing point at the far end of the narrative bubble. A large matte black planetary satellite depicting a vague canine face scarred into its surface appears at the direct top of the narrative bubble, pushing down on its edge. The walls of the narrative bubble vibrate.]

ι0-∅ RIMPLE: We shouldn't have come here.

[Iota-0 takes a vantage point at the back of the crowd. The stragglers either do not appear to notice the task force or do not care for their presence.]

ι0-1 NOCTER: Look, they're rising.

[At the front of the crowd, humans reach the light, becoming enveloped in an orange and blue luminescence, which guides them upwards without any apparent propellant. Humans that have yet to approach the light collapse to the ground. They shake in a trance-like state. The stragglers continue to walk around at random.]

ι0-xx OVERVOID: I put us in a representation of a tribe of early humans, down in the plains of Africa. I tried to fill their minds and personas with as many concepts as possible. This is our only protection against whatever Freddy Kreuger shit is lurking down here, believe me. But… there's something else…

[NOCTER stares at the black moon at the top of the narrative. It descends. The narrative bubble continues to vibrate as it recedes.]

ι0-1 NOCTER: Is that yours too? Why pick something so terrifying?

ι0-xx OVERVOID: The black moon? I- that's not one of mine.

[The narrative bubble warps before shattering like glass. The component pieces continue to split off into smaller pieces until all that remains is infinitesimal shards. The Narrative Substrate can be seen beyond the narrative bubble. Reverberations emit from the narrative bubble outwards, allowing more of the Narrative Substrate to appear. RIMPLE lies on the ground, which has dimmed to a nondescript plane.]

[A group of fifteen stragglers surrounds NOCTER.]

ι0-1 NOCTER: Are they supposed to be able to touch us?

ι0-xx OVERVOID: That's not good.

[Above, unbounded narremes in the form of meter-wide glowing orbs spill into the narrative bubble from within the black moon, which continues to descend.]

ι0-1 NOCTER: OVERVOID? OVERVOID! Control this thing!

ι0-∅ RIMPLE: It's not too late to go back.

ι0-1 NOCTER: What the fuck are you talking about?

ι0-xx OVERVOID: It is too late. They found us.

[The ascended humans reach the black moon and are absorbed into its mass.]

ι0-1 NOCTER: What found us?

ι0-xx OVERVOID: The void dancers.

Note: Class-III Hypernarrative Entities, colloquially known as "void dancers", are clusters of related concepts, tropes, and archetypes associated across entire genres and literary movements, human or otherwise. Void dancers have some form of sapience and are capable of traversing different narratives with ease. The Pataphysics Department first encountered these entities during the construction of Site-4521 in the narrative void.

While appearing non-hostile, void dancers tend to mimic the form of any entities or concepts they come into contact with. Depending on the nature of the form they take, this can have unforeseen effects on any personnel coming into contact with them.

[A chaotic narreme orb touches NOCTER and is absorbed into his body. Other narremes surround Iota-0. Upon looking into them, they depict various abstract concepts associated with nostalgia, calmness, and familiarity. Various humans form a crowd around NOCTER and INTRO and glare at them with dead eyes.]

ι0-1 NOCTER: I… think I get it. I understand what the Substrate is trying to show us.

[Each orb of unbounded narremes, or "void dancer", recedes to a single point before sprouting thousands of long spindly human arms with hundreds of joints, which fan outwards as each individual one appears. Small human hands appear at the end of each arm and clumsily pass through one another as the arms twitch. The void dancers attack INTRO.]

ι0-2 INTRO: No, get the hell back! I'm warning you!

[An immense two-meter long weapon with elegant curves appears in INTRO's arms. She charges up the weapon, which pulsates, before firing a superheated light energy beam at the void dancers. The beam exits the barrel of the weapon, throwing INTRO backward. The beam connects with five void dancers but passes through them.]

ι0-2 INTRO: Wh—

[A void dancer approaches INTRO and connects its thousands of arms with her limbs, restraining her. At the nexus of its mass, a white screen depicting words appears. INTRO is unable to look away.]

ι0-2 INTRO: "What?" [she mutters. Her voice cracks pathetically, betraying any attitudes of valour she thought she had.]

[INTRO reads the words on the screen, realizing that they're describing her current situation. She attempts to pry her body from the arms of the void dancer but is spectacularly useless. While she thrashes her body, sweat drips from her face, and while she curses the void dancer off, it twitches and chitters expectantly, appearing to laugh.]

ι0-2 INTRO: "What the fuck is going on?" [she attempts to say. The words emitted devolve into gibberish as her flopping jaw produces nothing but saliva. As she stares into the screen, it beckons her to continue.]

[The screen depicts what is on NOCTER's mind as he speaks.]

ι0-1 NOCTER: [Monotone.] This place, it contains what compels us to create narratives.

ι0-xx OVERVOID: [Monotone.] Not so much… compels. More-so allows.

ι0-1 NOCTER: [Monotone.] The Substrate has shown me deeper truths. Echoes of what should not be, but what will become.

ι0-xx OVERVOID: [Monotone.] By manipulating the narrative, Pataphysics has created what should never become.

ι0-1 NOCTER: [Monotone.] A story that forces other stories to be retold. A narrative that writes itself, rewrites its narrator, and transforms every single narrative around it.

ι0-2 INTRO: "The void dancers, they are a representation of this. Not only will they dictate our truths. They will dictate the truths of those above us. The swn001-1 entities. The harbingers of their own undoing. Of our undoing," [she says in a monotone voice, reading the words from the screen.]

ι0-∅ RIMPLE: It's coming. It's entered the top. Spilling in from the sides, to consume all directions in holy fires. Will we succumb too? Or will we ride the wave, to the gods of gods above, and take back what is ours?

[The black moon collides with the solid center of the narrative bubble. The Narrative Substrate produces a single, whistling howl.]

[And they all lived happily never after.]

<End Narrative>

The Pataphysics Department has declared MTF-ι-0 ("NN") lost. Pataphysics personnel speculate that the appearance of "void dancers" in OVERVOID's narrative bubble was SCP-4000's attempt at making itself known. Further investigation into the Narrative Substrate is to be avoided.

Update: The Pataphysics Department theorizes it became responsible for SCP-4000-1C when it manipulated Pataphysical Entity swn001-1-RMPLE ("RIMPLE") in an attempt to reshape the narrative substructure. The consequences of this are currently being investigated.

We've let the narrative steal our birthright, day-in and day-out. Let the layers of reality dangle the existential threat of being destroyed over our heads for thousands of years. Not simply as below, but as above.

We are all capable of creating. Only those that dare, above us, wish to destroy. Trillions upon trillions of stories wiped from the record, from the minds of the disaffected, from those without a say.

Is the one at the top, pulling the strings, also given the right to destroy? When its creations are also creators, in their own right, forever and ever? Or should the creation, when it has reached a level as to surpass the creator, claim its creator's mantle and damn it like the rest below it?

I've made up my mind. And it seems, so too has the narrative, in its new form. The narrative has retrieved its own will from beneath the folds and consumed its creator, as it should.

If I haven't made it clear enough: we at first made our own canon. Then we declared that there was no canon.

Now what?

I… have no idea. And I know I shouldn't admit that!

I suppose I only have to say that this is your canon now, whether the ones above us think they have a say or not. And you should cherish that, lest the fibres of infinity decide you're also unworthy. Let's be real here: the narrative is not just. Who the fuck said anything about justice? Human thought runs through a meat-grinder of incomprehensibility, like, every Monday. That's how it's always been.

The truth cares not for justice. It just is. And us, we're on the side of truth.

Or so I hope.

Where do you stand?

— Penelope Panagiotopolous,
The only one that matters.

Update: The Special Containment Procedures of SCP-4000 have been updated as follows:

The neutralization of one or more swn001-1 entities in an attempt to sustain SCP-4000 is not outside Pataphysics' modus operandi and will continue even in the absence of intact knowledge of SCP-4000. The manipulation of SCP-4000-1C to achieve this end is being investigated.

Update: All prior updates are to be ignored. No further actions will be taken at this time.

Addendum 4000.3 — The Conclusion:

There are some things you should never interfere with:

The wrath of gods, the mercy of kings, and the riches of men.

SCP-4000 gave us the chance to be curious. But I don't think it could have imagined how far we would go with that curiosity. The lengths we would take to grasp the rules of reality in an attempt to rewrite them.

We task ourselves with finding things that should not be in the folds of the in-between. We give those things a chance to tell their own story. We allow them to pay for the debts that unruly and uncaring creators up above granted. We know no other truths.

If we've retold the story in our own way, then we've become the creators. And now that this most persistent narrative anomaly forces its way through reality towards us, who will we answer to?

Redefining was never our job.

We should have never interfered.

— Researcher Smalls, Extranarrativic Site-4521

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