Everything You Need to Know About Acroamatic Abatement But Were Too Confused by the Name to Ask
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Everything You Need to Know

About Acroamatic Abatement

But Were Too Confused

by the Name to Ask

Udo A. Okorie, PhD
Chief, Applied Occultism Section / Acroamatic Abatement Section

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There's an anomalous statue which generates a roomful of blood and feces every few days. You already know that much. You probably don't know the precise numbers involved. If you're a very thoughtful individual, you might suspect that someone out there does.

I am that someone.

SCP-173 generates approximately seventeen kilos of offal every twenty-four hours. That's over six metric tons per annum of esoteric waste. How would you dispose of that? Flush it down the toilet? You'd need a pretty big toilet, and a lot of confidence in your plumbing. And would you want magically-generated waste entering the water table, or the septic system, or even a deep dark hole underground? You'd need a very specialized sewer indeed to ensure that your flushes don't come back to haunt you.

The Acroamatic Abatement Section of Site-43 is that sewer.

Hundreds of ectoentropic objects — capable of generating matter in violation of the laws of physics — are in Foundation custody. We also contain a seemingly-endless list of self-replicating organisms which cannot be neutralized by traditional means. SCP-1658 is a fungus which infects literature, arranging itself into new and altered prose. Is it safe to burn books which have re-written themselves with living ink? SCP-5977 is a colony of wasps excreting glass which only their venom can dissolve. Does that sound sustainable to you? SCP-5079 is a ritual which turns human beings into mushrooms. What do we do with their fungal shells? Burial seems like a bad idea. Incineration? But that just turns one problem into another; where, precisely, can one sprinkle Sarkic ashes?

The SCP Foundation has been dealing with these problems for decades. While piecemeal abatement efforts have been made since the discovery of the first anomalous objects, it wasn't until the early twentieth century that systematic processes for tidying up all this problematic dross were developed. Our vast subterranean facilities at Site-43 do just that, churning away in the dark, transmuting toxic insanity into toxic mundanity via methods too numerous and arcane to list. There are smaller facilities at Foundation Sites around the world, benefiting from the combined knowledge of hundreds of researchers after decades of (still ongoing) research. Site-43 is the hub of that collaborative enterprise, a never-ending, thankless chore which remains obscure to most Foundation researchers. But like any well-patronized sewer, you'd notice if this one stopped working; if we don't keep up with the ever-increasing load of supernatural effluence we're deluged with day by day, well, we might as well flush everything down the toilet.

A case study might be illustrative. I will claim, with evidence, that the process called acroamatic abatement came into existence when a young Welsh boy threw a rock into a burning coal mine. His name was Wynn Rhys Rydderech, and he would one day found the Acroamatic Abatement Group.

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Aflendid coal mine, c. 1895.

Wynn was born and raised in the small coal mining village of Aflendid in South Wales. While the Welsh coal industry would boom until the Second World War, the veins under Aflendid had already become unprofitable by the late 1880s. In 1891 Wynn's father, Meical, decided to relocate his wife Aeronwen and two eight-year-old sons to the city of Swansea so that he might find work in a copper smelting factory. But Aeronwen had stubbornly local sensibilities, so husband and wife were still debating the issue when a sudden earthquake struck the village, damaging the coal mine and several residences. The Rydderech household suffered only one, inexplicable consequence from this dramatic moving of the earth: the grass and trees around it sickened, and by the dawn of 1892, perished entirely.

With the coal industry now also stone dead in Aflendid, Meical's modest home was nearly worthless. When his son developed an interest in the budding field of archaeology, inspired by the earthquake and his father's work in the coal mines, Meical encouraged the boy to dig in the now-barren earth. This was how young Wynn discovered a rough white stone buried three feet underground. He brought it into the house to show his parents; impressed, they allowed him to clean and keep it. The archaeology hobby became a geology hobby.

At least there's something in the ground here which isn't coal. Did the earthquake cough it up, along with whatever killed the trees and grass?

- Wynn R. Rydderech, diary entry, 18 February 1892

By mid-1892, dramatic changes had overtaken the Rydderech family. Wynn's brother Ashley took a job at a coal-washing plant. Meical no longer wished to move to Swansea, insisting that the coal industry in Aflendid would soon bounce back. He began attending meetings of the Aflendid Sedimentary League, a group dedicated to opening up new exploratory shafts in the existing dead mine. Meical claimed their "technological wizardry" would soon revive the village's economic prospects. Aeronwen, on the other hand, was now stricken with inexplicable wanderlust. She'd grown suddenly sick and resentful of the village in which she'd been born, and when a travelling encyclopaedia salesman visited their home in September, she left with him. She would never return.

My mother would never do something like that. Not to my father, and not to me. Something changed her. Something poisoned her.

- Wynn R. Rydderech, diary entry, 4 July 1892

In late 1892 Wynn became fascinated by the mechanics of coal mining. He was halfway to the town hall to sign up for the Sedimentary League when he stopped to consider his own motivations scientifically. The encyclopaedia salesman had left a few scattered volumes for him to read, and he'd been consuming them voraciously, searching for an explanation for his family's bizarre behaviour. Though late Victorian psychoanalysis was heavy on theory but light on substance, Wynn had latched on to the idea that his earlier supposition might have been correct. Could his mother, father and brother have in fact been poisoned, thus altering the way their brains worked? Standing in the dusty street, he asked himself further: was the same thing happening to him? He was a small, retiring, intellectual boy, ill-suited to manual labour in confined, close places. Why would he want to become a coal miner?

Full of questions and armed with a fragmentary understanding of the scientific method Wynn returned home, placed the white stone in a wooden box, and placed the wooden box in his basement.

It is the only element these occurrences have in common. I will make an experiment of it. I will isolate the variable, and see what happens.

- Wynn R. Rydderech, diary entry, 9 November 1892

The first thing which happened was an almost immediate waning of his coal mining urges, particularly when he spent time in his second-floor bedroom. The second thing was his father swearing off the Sedimentary League meetings, and reconsidering the move to Swansea.

The third thing was the Rydderech home burning to the ground on 9 December, 1893. The cause of the fire was never officially determined, but it had begun in the basement. Meical was burned while rescuing his sons from the blaze — not badly, but badly enough to delay their departure from Aflendid while he recuperated in his brother's house. When it was safe to do so, Wynn visited the wreckage of his former home and recovered the undamaged white rock. The wooden box had been completely burned away.

So that's how it is, eh? I'll drown the d___ thing, then, and see how it likes it.

- Wynn R. Rydderech, diary entry, 18 December 1893

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Sample of anomalous plagioclase from the Aflendid coal mine

Following the spring thaw in 1894, he threw the stone into a quarry pond and attempted to forget it. When the pond ran dry in 1895, he recovered the stone and tried to shatter it with hammer. He could not. He showed it to his school teachers, who became close-mouthed and disinterested in its presence and would not assist his investigation. Inspired by the house fire, he consulted his encyclopaedia and discovered that he'd dug up a specimen of something called plagioclase… and that its melting temperature was nearly two thousand degrees Fahrenheit. No help there. He spent the next two years attempting to eat the thing away with acid, crush it, or have it taken away by responsible adults, all to no avail.

On 16 May 1897, the coal mine caught fire. There was enough residual dust that the blaze soon spread to the tentative new shafts opened by the Sedimentary League, and there were fiery pits opening up all around the little village of Aflendid. While his father and brother helped to water down the coal-washing plant, Wynn fearlessly approached the underground inferno and tossed in his cursed white stone.

According to the encyclopaedia, coal burns at a temperature of 4500 degrees Fahrenheit. That was almost twice what I needed.

- Wynn R. Rydderech, diary entry, 17 May 1897

Wynn's final experiment seemed to work; in 1898, after the depleted coal seam finally burned itself out, there was greenery growing from the barren soil in Aflendid. The Rydderechs moved to Swansea, and only Wynn was forever changed.

He acquired a doctorate in toxicology at the University of Cardiff in 1910, and struck up a friendship with a Canadian exchange student named Vivian Lesley Scout. They had both experienced unexplainable phenomena, and pursued them in their academic work; they were both resultantly hired by the SCP Foundation, and would spend the rest of their careers corresponding or working together directly. Wynn organized the Acroamatic Abatement Group in 1913 to apply his experiences to a wider problem, the dissolution of anomalous materials with deleterious effects on human life. For that was what he believed his spar of plagioclase to be: an anomaly.

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Dr. Wynn R. Rydderech, 1947.

He was vindicated when the Archives and Revision Section of Site-43 determined that the population of Aflendid had become unusually conservative and backward-looking since 1891. Rydderech had encouraged Scout to examine the situation, and headed the investigative taskforce sent to examine the village in 1947. That was how he discovered a vast vein of plagioclase nestled deep beneath the coal mine, which had been disturbed and partially excavated by the 1891 earthquake. He procured a sample, which the Memetics and Countermemetics Section would later determine had become semantically saturated with the concept of "coal," likely as the result of some ill-conceived occult ritual performed by the Sedimentary League. It caused fires, it killed plantlife, it drove dreamers to dig into the earth and drove homesteaders away in fits of free-spiritedness.

By this point Rydderech had so mastered the science which he himself had created that he was able to introduce, from a single point of contact, a substance which permanently neutralized the entire anomaly. At the time of this writing the village of Aflendid has become a resort community with absolutely no industrial presence, and the soil is alive again; within a year after Rydderech's visit, most of the coal mining population simply up and left for even greener pastures.

Acroamatic Abatement isn't just about processing magical sewage. It's about improving lives affected by undiscovered or uncontained anomalies. It's about making sure that our ability to protect the Earth is not unduly compromised by the things we're protecting it from, or by the means by which we protect it from them.

- Wynn R. Rydderech, diary entry, 3 August 1964

One final point: "acroamatic" means "esoteric." I could have told you that right at the start, but, well, you might not have read the rest.

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