Don't delete: ██████████
Item #: SCP-X (Agnostic Graffiti? Anti-Media? Anti-Propaganda?)
I posted this to the forum and didn't get much positive feedback. Seems like there could be something here, but it need to be developed further.
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: Recoverable instances of SCP-X are to be destroyed so long as at least two instances exist in Foundation custody available for study. Only instances of the highest order of effect are to be preserved. These should be wrapped in at least two layers of thick, opaque cloth and kept in secured art storage lockers at Site 21, with access limited to Level 2 researchers and with testing limited to D-class only. Non-recoverable instances of SCP-X are to be removed, if possible, with sandblasting, lye, or high-strength paint thinner, or to be painted over high-opacity paint. During removal, the affected area should be cut off from public view and guarded at all times. After removal, the area can be painted over to match surrounding surfaces.
Mobile Task Force Lambda-9 ("Toreadors") is to be tasked with recovering and destroying instances of SCP-X. MTF Lambda-9's members may only include individuals with some variety of visual agnosia and an inability to create or recognize symbolic imagery.
Description: SCP-X is an image of a bull with the word "Triumph" written beneath it. The word "Triumph" may be written in the closest equivalent word in the viewer's native language. While many forms of this image have been found, the image only becomes anomalous when it is used to deface a piece of property. Instances painted on dedicated canvases, posters, etc. do not exhibit anomalous effects. The intensity of SCP-X's effects correlate with its quality and location. When the word "Triumph" is missing, the image has no anomalous properties. When the image of the bull is sloppy or fragmented, only the most minor effects manifest. A higher quality image painted on blank surfaces of existing structures will create a stronger effect. To achieve the strongest effect, the image and word must be painted in gold-colored paint upon a static piece of printed media. This includes surfaces such as billboards, signs, posters, paintings, plaques, and more elaborate forms of graffiti or street art, but does not include media such as books, newspapers, magazines, and simplistic forms of graffiti.
Once the viewer reads the word beneath the image and continues to view the image for at least five more seconds, SCP-X's anomalous properties will take effect. To begin with, the affected individual will become illiterate, with the effect becoming complete no more than 1 hour after viewing. In minor cases, the SCP-X's effects will stop at this point and will not increase in intensity. Over a period of time of between 10 hours (in the strongest cases) and 36 hours (in weaker cases), the individual will become unable to so much as recognize words as words and, eventually, will become unable to recognize any intangible representations of objects and ideas, including all numbers, letters, and symbols, photos, paintings, television and movies, and anything but the most realistic three-dimensional representations such as full-color statues, wax dummies, and holograms.
SCP-X's anomalous effects can be reversed if, before they reach their peak, the affected individual is able to recreate SCP-X in its anomalous form. However, only artistically inclined individuals are capable of recreating the image and, in fact, are compelled to, whereas non-artistic individuals are too inhibited by SCP-X's effects to be capable of recreation. Because of this, SCP-X tends to self-propagate in approximately 3% of cases, while in the remaining 97% the affected individual is left in a state of complete "abstract illiteracy". In most cases, non-artistic individuals can restore some normalcy to their behavior through intense therapy, though amnesiacs have shown to be unsuccessful in reversing the effects of SCP-X.
In all cases, affected individuals will be oblivious of their agnosia and will act as if they are willingly ignoring printed media in an act of independence or rebellion from the government, the media, "corporations", or any and all of the above.
Addendum X-01: Discovery and Recovery
On 08/██/20██, a young man named D█████ S██████ was arrested in ███████, IL for multiple reports of vandalism. Foundation Agent Aaronson, embedded with the ███████ Police Department, took notice when the arresting officers began to act strangely, seeming to exhibit signs of what was originally thought to be sudden, intermittent visual impairment. Below is the log of Agent Aaronson's preliminary interview with Mr. S██████.
Aaronson: According to Officers ███████ and ████████, you've painted this picture of… a bull, is it? at a few locations around the city. Is this some sort of new gang symbol or what?
S██████: Ha! Gang symbol? No, man, it's a symbol of freedom! It's a symbol for throwing off the shackles of those in power! I'm just trying to spread the message that they don't have to keep us down anymore, man. That we don't have to sit here and take it.
Aaronson: So, what, it's more like some sort of propaganda? Where did you first see this image? And how are people supposed to know what it means?
S██████: Dude, dude, it's the anti-propaganda. You'd have to see it for yourself. The image just speaks to you. It says "Triumph over your captors! Ignore their words and achieve total independence!" If you just see it, and hear it, and listen, you'll understand, man. (suspect remains silent, leaning forward and smiling)
Aaronson: You didn't answer my other question. Where did you first see the image?
S██████: (suspect pauses, leans back) I dunno, it just sort of came to me, you know? Earlier today, it just hit me. BAM! All of a sudden I just realized how much the negative words of our capitalist society and the commercialist media were keeping me down, and I knew how to put a stop to it. And I know I ain't the only one out there. You can lock me up, but others will carry on and deliver the message, man. Some of us are waking up and we're going to help everyone else do the same.
After the above interview, Agent Aaronson contacted Site 21 in regards to a possible memetic agent. After several junior researchers succumbed to SCP-X's minor effect while attempting to make contact with its instances in ███████, the images were covered and guarded until MTF Lambda-9 could be created and deployed to attempt recovery. The MTF was able to obtain two instances, one of them of the strongest type, and was forced to destroy three instances.
Addendum X-02: Initial Testing
Junior Researcher J██████, one of the individuals exposed to SCP-X during recovery, had his actions cataloged beginning approximately one hour after exposure in accordance with Memetic Object Recovery Procedures once his behavior was deemed abnormal.
01:00: Stopped taking notes and began to act detached from colleagues.
02:45: Began to act somewhat hostile towards other Foundation staff when questioned and started to ignore written orders.
03:15: Returned to Site-21. Was unable or unwilling to present ID badge at first security checkpoint. Once badge was procured, had to be given explicit directions on where to put signature on employee sign-in sheet. Signature was entirely unintelligible. Later comparison showed that it did not match on-record signature.
03:45: Nearly caused a containment breach when, after ignoring all printed warnings and prior training, brought a food item near the containment cell for SCP-███. At this point, researcher J██████ was detained for observation.
04:15: Became nervous, started pacing, throwing an occasional accusation regarding corruption at guard.
04:30: Dr. Aldengrough entered detention cell to conduct interview. (see below)
Junior Researcher J██████, hereafter referred to as SCP-X-01, was interviewed approximately 4.5 hours after initial exposure to SCP-X by his senior researcher, Dr. Aldengrough. Later personnel reviews indicated that the subject had next to no predisposition towards artistic endeavors. Furthermore, subject had never exhibited anti-government, anti-capitalist, or anti-Foundation behaviors.
Aldengrough: Alright, what happened out there, J██████?
SCP-X-01: I… Nothing. I don't know. Suddenly, working on-site, working on the streets like that… Is what we're doing right? Are we helping the world or are we just doing what our masters tell us?
Aldengrough: Listen, you know we're doing the right thing here. Now, I'm guessing it was this new SCP that affected you. I'd like to run a couple tests, alright?
SCP-X-01: (Pauses) Sure. Let's get it over with so I can get out of here.
(Dr. Aldengrough places a copy of TIME magazine on the table in front of SCP-X-01. President ██████ is on the cover.)
Aldengrough: Okay. Can you tell me what magazine this is?
SCP-X-01: (Immediately) No.
Aldengrough: Look closely. The title's right here.
SCP-X-01: I don't know and I don't care, alright, doc?
Aldengrough: Listen, just… try to cooperate, █████, and we'll get you out of here, alright?
SCP-X-01: (Subject pauses, then looks down at the magazine, studying it) I… don't think I recognize it. What is that, US Weekly or something?
Aldengrough: No, that's not it. It's TIME. Can you tell me who's on the cover?
SCP-X-01: (Subject again looks closely at magazine for approximately 10 seconds) I dunno. Never seen him before.
Aldengrough: It's ██████ ██████. I'm sorry, but it looks like you're under some new memetic effect. We'll have to put you into quarantine until we can treat you.
SCP-X-01: What? Just because I can't recognize some dumb picture of a dead president? You're just… you're trying to keep my quiet, that's what it is! You don't want me telling people that this place is a lie! You don't want me waking everyone up so they can triumph over all this bullshit!
Aldengrough: Settle down, █████, we'll get you fixed up, don't worry.
Guards enter to restrain SCP-X-01 who has become physically hostile. Interview concluded.
SCP-X-01 was issued increasing levels of amnesiacs over a period of one week. While he did experience amnesia regarding the existence of SCP-X, Dr. Aldengrough, and, eventually, his employment at the Foundation, his visual agnosia and general sense of rebellion remained. SCP-X-01 was released to ███████ Psychiatric Hospital two weeks after initial exposure to SCP-X-01.
Item #: SCP-X (Long-Range Scanner? IDK)
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures:
Currently, SCP-X cannot be contained. However, the beam's light is outside of the visible spectrum and it causes no physical effects should it collide with a living being. Research is currently underway regarding the best way to contain or destroy the redirection device, SCP-X-1. At this time, no attempt is to be made to interact or interfere with SCP-X or SCP-X-1 (see Addendum X-A). Investigation is ongoing in an attempt to locate the origin point of SCP-X beyond SCP-X-1.
can't be contained; the light itself is invisible to humans and, so far, is completely benign
redirection devices (mirrors?) have been located traveling around the sun in an orbit perpendicular to earth's (at ~ .8 AU)
a fly-by probe transmitted several photographs across multiple wavelengths which are still being analyzed
a possible origin point (or second redirection point) is still being located based off of information from the probe
Description: SCP-X is a beam of ultra-coherent, non-visible electromagnetic radiation and nanoscopic particles originating from an unknown point in space. The beam contains radiation of multiple wavelengths outside the visible spectrum, the majority of which are in the range of 10 nm to 300 nm, with a small fraction of the beam containing wavelengths in the infrared spectrum. The particles contained within the beam appear to be incredibly basic nanomachines. Each machine consists of a durable crystalline shell, containing small protein chains, and multiple flagella, which seem to be used for both locomotion and for the aid of replication.
SCP-X-1 is a redirection device in orbit around the sun between Venus and Earth, at approximately 0.8 AU. SCP-X-1's orbit is perpendicular to the solar system's invariable plane. SCP-X-1 was originally believed to be the source of SCP-X, but images returned from a fly-by probe on XX/XX/2009 implied that SCP-X-1 was merely redirecting the beam from another point; this point is believed to be either outside of the solar system or in a large orbit around the sun. It should be noted that the path SCP-X-1 takes in its orbit, alongside its orbital period of less than one year, allow it to be able to aim SCP-X at almost any point on Earth over the course of a few years.
Extended observation of SCP-X's movements across the surface of the Earth has determined certain things about its behavior. Firstly is that SCP-X-1's level of precision and accuracy is extremely high; the beam has been observed making very fine movements and has moved in complicated, non-random patterns. The beam tends to avoid living beings, though it does "prefer" population centers. Usually, it will focus on sources of water near these centers. On rare occasions, SCP-X will focus on a single piece of ground for up to an hour at a time. Further investigation of these locations has determined that, in each case, the beam was focused over a shallow water table. When SCP-X is not aimed at one of these locations, it tends to aim for thick cloud cover. The thickest cumulo nimbus clouds are capable of absorbing or dispersing the beam such that its coherence and intensity are lessened by over 80% by the time it reaches the surface. The nanoparticles contained in the beam are absorbed or dispersed by over 95% by thick cloud cover.
Interaction with SCP-X has given rise to the theory that the beam contains some form of instantaneous feedback mechanism and that who or whatever is in control of SCP-X-1 is able to adjust its position as quickly as feedback is received. Research is ongoing, but limited, in this regard. See Addendum X-A for more details.
Captured nanoparticles from SCP-X's beam, hereafter referred to as SCP-X-2, have yielded further information about SCP-X's possible purpose. The machine portion of each SCP-X-2 instance is identical to each other instance. A crystalline shell is trailed by two short and four long flagella, giving the entire machine the appearance of a very small, multi-tailed spermatozoon. Within the shell are contained a dozen or more diverse plasmids. These plasmids are constructed in a double-stranded formation and contain the four nucleotides that make up DNA. Under normal conditions, a SCP-X-2 instance will remain dormant for long periods of time, only becoming active when it needs to replicate. It does so by manipulating matter at the atomic level, quickly forming an identical shell copy, and copying or transferring its plasmids to the copy, depending on the availability of protein materials. A SCP-X-2 instance will "die" as soon as it gives up its plasmids, or shortly after transferring them. Due to this slow, one-to-one replication process, it is believed that SCP-X-2's purpose is not to propagate, but merely to preemptively replace itself due to its short lifespan.
When a SCP-X-2 instance comes into contact with a living cell, its behavior changes. In approximately 1 in 10,000 cases, a SCP-X-2 instance will "infect" the first cell it comes across. SCP-X-2's method of infection is to enter the cell's nucleus and to replace a parts of the cell's DNA with the plasmids contained in SCP-X-2's shell, after which point the SCP-X-2 instance will "die" and disintegrate safely. In all observed cases, this infection has no perceptible effects on the infected cell; in 99% of observed cases, the infection has no extreme effects on that cell's offspring. In long-term studies, cells infected with spliced-in plasmids have, on average, survived and reproduced slightly better than similar cells without these plasmids.
In the majority of cases, instead of infecting the first cell it sees, a SCP-X-2 instance will continue to replicate and move slowly through its environment until it comes across a gamete or an embryonic cell. In all cases, a SCP-X-2 instance will infect the first cell of this type that it encounters. Furthermore, in these cases, the SCP-X-2 instance will copy its plasmids and continue to replicate as possible, so long as it does not damage the infected cells. It will only disintegrate if it is unable to encounter an uninfected cell for a long period of time. In this manner, with enough time and numbers, a group of SCP-X-2 instances is capable of completely infected an organism's entire (current) supply of gametes or of completely infected a developing embryo.
the beam scans across the surface of the earth (why?)
light is slow (as far as interstellar distances are concerned), so the scanning pattern is either pre-programmed (really good predictive modeling, or precognition?) or the "people" on the other end have some form of FTL feedback ** better to have real-time feed back; predicitive modeling is cool, but not as scary
is there something in the beam other than just photons? nanomachines (lol)? maybe some sort of chemical "seeding" of our planet?
is the scanning pattern significant? follows coasts, fault-lines, paths dependent upon population density or environmental boundaries or geographical features?
foundation needs to exercise caution; it might be easy to disrupt the beam, but until we find out where it's coming from, we have no idea what sort of consequences we could face
technical: The beam tries to maintain a relatively perpendicular angle to Earth's surface. Additionally, SCP-X's orbital period is proportionally shorter than Earth's. As such, it tends to scan the northern hemisphere for approximately 5 months, then switches to the southern hemisphere for another 5 months. Scanning occurs more in the tropical regions and rarely in polar regions.
After X years of observation, only X brief lapses (<1 minute) of light have been recorded. It's therefore theorized that the origin/second redirection point is likely to be outside our system and in a position where celestial bodies, primarily the sun and other planets in the Sol system, do not intersect the beam of light very often.
So, really. What the hell is the beam doing?
Plasmids. Tiny pieces of DNA (Earth-compatible DNA). These are encased in very light, nanomechanical shells, sort of like how some bacteriophages look. (Note: this beam is not the origin of Earth viruses. This is totally different. Make sure people don't think that's what I'm going for…) These tiny little machines are capable of some locomotion and some degree of replication and self-repair. However, each machine has been observed to only ever replicate once, and to only have a life span of a few hours once it arrives within our atmosphere, after which point they rapidly deteriorate into their constituent parts. The replication is likely not a means of increasing in number (exponential replication could be detrimental to the host environment), but rather a preemptive measure by each machine to replace itself.
Anyway, what the machines' goal is, ultimately, is to infect a host with its plasmid(s). The easiest way to do that, of course, would be to infect an embryo of some sort, since a single machine infecting a single cell would have little effect; unless the cell became cancerous, of course, and replicated wildly, but that doesn't seem very fun.
No, the goal of these machines is to slowly but surely manipulate the DNA of the planet's inhabitants. Who knows how long this has been going on? Perhaps every being on the planet could be in some intermediate stage on the way to the ultimate form that these machines (rather, their creators) are attempting to engineer.
As far as dispersal goes, the beam aims for population centers and frequently-used bodies of water. It has been seen on rare occasions to target thick storm clouds (note: water is good at dispersing the beam, either in the form of pure liquid or in condensed, cloud form), with very little of the beam penetrating out the opposite end. At other times, the beam will focus on a solid patch of earth for hours on end. Analysis indicates that on at least some of these occasions, the beam is targeting a shallow water table.
One more thing to note here: the beam can only move as fast as light. Communication, however is instantaneous. What this means is that, whoever is on the other end of this thing, can potentially redirect the light as soon as it sees someone interfering, but it cannot shut it off or change its composition. Whatever gets sent over on the beam must be inserted possibly hundreds of years ahead of time, but all aiming can be done on the fly, in theory.
So, say the foundation starts intercepting the beam. Or it tries to block it somehow. In either case, the beam could be easily moved out of the way. It might even be possible to communicate using the beam's movements. In this way, the originators could potentially make threats, thus deterring the foundation from trying to blow up the redirection device.