Item #: SCP-A
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: No extraordinary containment procedures are required. The artifacts are to be stored in a standard-sized containment box in Site-██. However, SCP-A is to be handled with gloves, or other forms of protective equipment, to avoid direct contact with the windup keys.
Description: SCP-A-1 and SCP-A-2 were discovered in a 25 x 18 x 10 cm ornate cherrywood box that had been seemingly made to contain the two artifacts. Considering the fragile nature of SCP-A-1 and SCP-A-2, it has been agreed upon that the box is to be kept and used as a means to safely store both, despite the fact that it has no inherent anomalous properties of its own. SCP-A appears to have been made around the early 1800’s. “The Baron, XII” is engraved upon the right side.
SCP-A-1 and -2 are 15-cm mechanical dolls of exceedingly realistic craftsmanship. Both have large gold-plated windup keys protruding from their lower backs.
SCP-A-1 appears to be a young woman in a ball gown, while SCP-A-2 appears to be a young man in similarly formal attire.
While the pair was constructed for the most part of mundane components, the material that both windup keys are composed of is yet to be identified. When a small portion was removed for testing, results revealed [DATA EXPUNGED] yet still possesses functional qualities of metal.
When the two artifacts are wound without direct skin contact with the winding keys, no reaction is observed. However, when both are wound by a bare hand, and placed within 15 cm of each other, the pair begins a moderately paced waltz. Simultaneously, a device similar to a music box in the chest cavity of SCP-A-2 plays an unidentified melody. Once the two artifacts ‘wind down,’ [DATA EXPUNGED] disputed as to how a music box could produce such sounds.
Experiments conducted in order to disassemble the two discovered that, while clockwork is present within the two mechanisms, the gears had [REDACTED] in any case, no condition to function. The cylinder and comb of the music box are a notable exception, as the mechanism is in pristine condition. The unidentified material that the gears are composed of appear to have [REDACTED] over time, and the resulting remains are unsuitable for any meaningful [REDACTED]. Upon close examination, however, researchers agree that it could have at one point, [DATA EXPUNGED] possibly even as complex to build as a mechanism that waltzes. Gears as small as █.████ millimeters in diameter have been recovered, as well as similarly sized springs, and a [REDACTED] unknown whether or not the piece had any functional purpose, or indeed had any purpose at all.
Anomalous properties are apparent upon observing the condition of the individual who wound the artifacts after 24 hours. Immediately following one full day, the individual will experience a rapid loss of strength and energy. In the space of 2-5 hours, the afflicted individual will experience what appears to be extreme ennui and loss of mental cohesion in a manner that is vaguely similar to the effects of long-term sleep deprivation. Eventually, the afflicted will regress to a permanent vegetative state.
Addendum: A hidden compartment has been discovered within SCP-A. Over ███ small glass vials were discovered, █ of which had been filled with a gaseous substance which varied in appearance from vial to vial. This corresponded to the number of individuals that had been utilized while testing 691. Cross-examinations with SCP-158 [DATA EXPUNGED] indicating that the vials indeed contained what could be described as ‘souls.’
Also discovered was a piece of parchment with listing the names of various towns, including that in which SCP-A was recovered.
The text of the second of piece of parchment has been corrected of antiquated grammar, phrases, and spelling. Please see the file below.