Class: Neutralised (formerly Safe)
Special Containment Procedures: —SCP-1266 is to be held within Atria V at Site-78, in an environment mimicking a North American deciduous forest. A trained veternarian is to remain on-site to treat any health problems SCP-1266 may develop. At no time should lethal force be directed at SCP-1266. A staff member is to attempt to engage SCP-1266 in play ever day at 3:00 p.m.—
—Ten live mice and two birds are to be introduced to SCP-1266’s enclosure every week on Mondays.—
The remains of SCP-1266 are to be cyrogenically preserved and placed in Site-78’s basement. Access is restricted to Level 3 personnel and above.
Description: SCP-1266 is an adult female specimen of Vulpes vulpes, commonly known as the red fox. SCP-1266 is at least 10 years old (the amount of time it has spent in containment), but as no signs of aging have been observed during the time it has spent in containment, its actual age is unknown. SCP-1266 spends most of its time sleeping, attempting self harm, or remaining sedentary. After being shown tapes of SCP-1266’s behavior, staff ethologists have concluded that it is suffering from clinical depression.
When an external entity attempts to harm SCP-1266 with lethal force, SCP-1266 will be unharmed, but every living organism within a two hundred meter radius will experience a fraction of the lethal force (for instance, if SCP-1266 is subjected to 2000 Joules of force, and there are two organisms are in a two hundred meter radius, both will be subjected to 1000 Joules of force) with the injuries mimicking the injuries SCP-1266 would have received.
SCP-1266’s abilities do not extend to self-inflicted injuries, and SCP-1266 has been noted to display what appear to be suicidal behavior, including attempts to:
- Climb trees in its enclosure and jump off them
- Drown itself in its water bowl
- Choke itself on its food
- Gnaw off its own limbs and tail
- Rip open its own stomach
- Bury itself alive
Attempts by zoologists and ethologists on staff to relieve SCP-1266’s depressive symptoms have repeatedly failed.
We’ve tried introducing live prey, supplying it with toys, even introducing another fox in case it was suffering from isolation. We’d try some sort of vulpine Xanax, but we don’t have any test subjects. – Dr. Valencia
Addendum: Following complaints of health problems, as well as the unusually rapid deaths of various test organisms, from Site-78, a general health inspection was ordered. After it was determined that the staff and test organisms within Site-78 were aging (as determined from collagen degradation, telomere length, and various other age-related health problems) 50% faster than normal, the inspection was extended to determine the maximum distance at which the abnormal aging was taking place; the effect was determined to extend much farther than SCP-1266’s normal area of effect, to a maximum of approximately twenty kilometers.
At this point the O5 council voted unanimously to order a full inspection of medical records pertaining to staff at Site-78. Detailed analysis, including analysis of medical records from the nearby town of [DATA EXPUNGED] indicated that the rate of aging had increased over time. A cover story of a chemical spill was released, and SCP-1266 was moved to a safe distance.
The question of what to do with SCP-1266 remained unanswered. As the rate of aging was increasing over time, eventually it would become unsafe to work with SCP-1266. SCP-1266 could not be housed in the same general area as other living SCPs, as it would pose an unacceptable threat to the SCPs nearby. Given SCP-1266’s tendency for suicidal behavior, the decision was made to simply allow it to self-terminate, rather than using D-Classes to regularly attempt to treat SCP-1266 for self-inflicted wounds or exposing valuable Foundation personnel to the temporal effects of SCP-1266.
Personnel were removed to a safe distance and a perimeter was established. SCP-1266 successfully self-terminated approximately three hours later.
Every system not in stasis has fire, at least on some level. For most systems this fire is more or less metaphorical, never seen and the effects never felt, at least not directly1. But other systems manifest their fire in blatant, noticeable ways.
Most often this happens during ‘novas’, when the amount of change in a system undergoes a massive spike suddenly. If the evolution of flowering plants on Earth were speeded up to happen in hours, then one might see a novaing of greenfire. Such a nova would be short-lived, of course, since fire novas require a constantly changing system to be sustained. But during the process, the source of the fire (plants, in this case) would be reinforced by the fire. In this example, plants would grow rapidly—under the influence of greenfire, mature forests can grow in a few days.
When a fire nova does happen, it spreads along the source of the fire. When there is a greenfire nova, the greenfire leaps from plant to plant, spreading along all surfaces of living plant matter. The area affected by the fire is limited by how drastic the spike in the amount of change is; a Seeder device2, after having landed on a lifeless planet, can produce enough greenfire to cover the whole planet—one reason why they are used.
[…] the color of the fire is dependent on the source. Moonfire is softly luminescent silver, sunfire is golden with flecks of iridescent orange and red, greenfire is bright green, oceanfire is deep blue,[…]
In all my readings, I have only come across one way to contain fire: glass. The metaphysical properties of glass, once it is properly prepared, enable it to redirect metaphysical energy, so that metaphysical energy that would otherwise dissipate is forced back inwards. These properties are the reason glass is used by the planet bonsai masters of Barmal—the same individuals who first perfected the technique of containing fire.
The same technique can be used to imprison an elemental3. Because the glass may also be subjected to physical force, it must be reinforced, which can be difficult to do without ruining the metaphysical properties of the glass; alternatively it may simply be embedded in concrete or metal. Many instead opt to use magical wards, though I would recommend against this, given that they tend to weaken over time due to exposure to the elements if not specifically spelled against it, and also are a trifle obvious.
[The rest of the page was wiped clear and had written on it in natural plant dyes ‘Contained instructions on how to bud off a section of reality to trap an elemental, or any other being. Determined possibility of it being used against an archetypal manifestation and tossing everything associated with them into a separate reality as too great. – Greenleaf’]
Common Name: Ropen
Latin Name: Duah duah
Distribution: caverns on various Oceanian islands
Sentient: probably not
Habitat: Despite their native habitat, we do not keep ropen in recreated caves. Instead, they are in a very large aviary (geodesic dome fifty meters in radius) constructed of carbon nanotubes. This aviary accurately recreates (estimated 5% deviation) an Oceanian cloud forest.
Husbandry: All ropen are fed five kilograms of fish every other day and ten kilograms of fruit a week. Every other week, the enclosure is cleaned. During this time, the ropen should be kept sedated with L-46 and have life signs monitored by no less than three individuals each armed with stun guns.
Length: 5-7 meters
Wingspan: 9-14 meters
Weight: 20-30 kilograms
Physiology: Time travel has demonstrated rather conclusively that Quetzalcoatlus was extremely fragile to the point where it is a small miracle it evolved at all, making mild interference in its evolution being likely. The ropen is significantly more sturdy; analysis of skeletons reveal that many have healed wounds consistent with those from Oceanic weapons. The ropen also differs in that the wing significantly wider than in Quetzalcoatlus (proportionally), being shaped more like those of Criorhynchus, and overall it is simply more flexible, a feat accomplished both by being significantly smaller and by having bones that are themselves slightly flexible.
The most interesting aspect of the ropen, however, is its bioluminescent underside. The color of light emitted varies considerably. Ropen from New Guinea display a bluish light similar to that from many species of bioluminescent algae and the bacterium genus Vibrio while those from Sumatra emit a purple light. Indonesia ropen emit a reddish light, and those from the Phillipines emit a lime green light. These colors are not clean divisions, as the exact color of the light blends at the edges of each of the subspecies’ ranges. The mechanism for which the light is produced is currently unknown, as Legacy has been unable to procure an already dead ropen and taking samples from a ropen currently at Legacy runs an unacceptable risk of harming the ropen in question. The working hypothesis, however, is that the ropen produce the light by means of symbiotic bacterium.
The reason for the light is more difficult to determine. While it could theoretically attract fish, that does not explain the range of color displayed by different ropen subspecies. Communication is another distinct possibility, as ropen in the presence of another ropen will flash different patterns of light at each other, and some of the language has been deciphered, though ropen are known to glow when no other ropen are present, so this cannot be the only reason--and that does not explain differing colors either.
Evolutionary History: Fossil records in Oceania show that the genus Quetzalcoatlus survived after the K-T Event. After the K-T event, it rapidly speciated into several different groups: Coatlidae (coatls), Neopterodactyloidaa (extant pterosaurs), and Aetherdactylidae (pterosaurs adapted to the highest regions of the atmosphere and short forays into outer space). The ropen belongs to the second group, which appears to have spread from eastern North America west to what is now northwest Africa (it should be noted that several very primitive species of pterosaur are native to that region). Approximately 35 milion years ago, pterosaurs began spreading to Oceania through the rest of Africa and then island hopping the rest of the distance.
The ropen evolved approximately 20 million years ago when the pterosaurs first hit Oceania. Their appearance was bizarrely rapid (within three million years) given the fact that they and they alone among pterosaurs have developed bioluminescence. If the bioluminescence is indeed, as theorized, actually due to the presence of bacteria, it may have been that the bacteria were originally present and served as gut flora initially, later becoming symbotic for the purpose of bioluminescence.
Diet: Mostly fish with some fruit. Ropen have also been sighted digging up fresh graves, and presumably eat the bodies, as the bodies are invariably not seen afterwards. Interestingly, ropen will not eat unburied but still dead humans, possibly resulting in the tradition of not burying the dead being present on several Oceanic islands.
Social Behavior: Ropen have an extremely complex system of communication composed of flashes of light, part of which is documented in the attached table. Over the decades that captive ropen have been observed, the flock has created new signals, suggesting a form of sentience.
Ropen form close-knit flocks led by a dominant male and female pair. Members of the flock will work together to bring down large animals, which are then shared evenly among the flock, or to eliminate threats to the flock. The behavior of the flock when working in this way is highly cunning; far more so than single individuals are.
The creatures are monogamous and mate for life. Eggs are laid in clutches of three to five throughout the year, though fertility greatly increases when food is plentiful. All eggs are laid in a central nest built by the dominant male and female. Members of the flock work together to guard eggs and hatchlings, alternating guards and mothers.
Intelligence: As stated above, ropen have a complex language, one capable of communicating basic emotions, warnings, and thoughts. While the intelligence of the ropen is believed to be limited (due to their small brain), communicating simple messages to warn or soothe them has proved effective by means of a robotic ropen equipped with lights operated by remote control. It is currently unknown if the ropen believe the robotic ropen to be an actual ropen or understand that it is a method of communication from us to them.
[[collapsible show="Attached Table" hide="Probable Translation of Ropen Communication"]]
|Rhymatic slow pulsating of light intensity||Sexual arousal.|
|Three slow flashes||Aggression. Usually used in dominance displays between males.|
|Three rapid flashes||Fear. Usually used in dominance displays between males.|
|One rapid flash, followed by one slow flash, followed by one rapid flash||Surrendering while refusing to acknowledge the superiority of the victor (?), meaning deduced from an apparent lack of loss in status. Most often used in dominance displays, but sometimes used by ropen while playing. Ropen flashing this pattern are usually left alive even when the other ropen is in a position to easily kill them.|
|One slow flash, followed by one rapid flash, followed by one slow flash||Playful aggression or defensiveness (?). Almost never seen outside play.|
|One very rapid flash||Warning.|
|Ten rapid flashes performed while slowly turning, with one slightly longer than the others||Indicates the direction food can be found in (?).|
|Five rapid flashes, followed by five slow flashes||Conveys soothing and calming emotions.|
|Several extremely rapid flashes||Terror. Basically a stronger form of the sign for warning, with any ropen seeing such a sign becoming extremely defensive and actively trying to escape the area.|
|Long flash starting from the top and slowly moving down||Wishing to be left alone.|
|Long flash starting from the bottom and slowly moving up||Wishing to play or otherwise interact socially.|