After screwing up with the pic a few times, here it is.
Date: 09 Dec 2010 08:23
Number of posts: 105
RSS: New posts
Fragmented, unidentified human DNA has appeared in the areas utilized by XXX-01; ultimate origin still currently unknown.
Anyway, does the person's history change anything, or is this SCP just misanthropic?
First off, this is a vast improvement on the children's book you wrote a while back. Upvoted.
That said, I agre with Jubei, the writing needs to be spruced up. Your tone is just a bit off, mainly when describing the hands; I felt more like I was reading a not-very-scary horror novel than I was an official report. Also, minor nitpick (and I could be wrong here): "If more than one individual activate the item in the span of one day…" I think that should be "activates", but you may want to confirm that with someone else.
Also, you say they are assaulted until dawn, which would imply that they are alive at dawn? How exactly can someone survive being continuously beaten for four to six hours? Most people couldn't survive ten minutes.
"Also, you say they are assaulted until dawn, which would imply that they are alive at dawn? How exactly can someone survive being continuously beaten for four to six hours? Most people couldn't survive ten minutes."
I suspected they were beaten until they were mush, then beaten more.
The term is Meat Soup.
I…I just can't bear myself to take this seriously. I'm sorry, but the mental image of many, many-jointed arms rushing out of the darkness chasing a terrified-looking guy hanging from the back of a Foundation van until sunrise just seems ridiculous to the point of not being scary anymore. In addition, I don't see a connection between "Grandma's Fortunes" and "arms dragging you to hell". It seemed quite okay with just the Grandmother alone, maybe too bland, but certainly not over-the-top.
I upvoted this myself, but I agree with Minmin's point. Unstoppable stretchy arms are more ridiculous than scary, and the extent to which you have to describe them to get the point across kills the pacing. Using a method that implicitly challenges the reader to figure out a way to beat the system (cut the arms! Drive away! What if you were on the moon!) is what got you stuck in this trap of spending paragraphs to explain why the arms will always find you.
An alternative I'd suggest would be having the attackers be completely invisible. Someone gets targeted and bruises and hand/claw marks appear on them in a long, violent assault regardless of any protective clothing or hiding spot chosen. They're helpless and bystanders can't do anything about it. That's been done before in plenty of other stories but its effective enough to get the point across.
I dunno. I still say "attacked by invisible things" is kinda boring. I like the arms bit, but they should probably sprout endlessly form whatever inanimate surfaces are nearby or something instead of being strechey.
I like this solution, personally. Possibly they form holes in the walls and floor, seeming to burst through (though the holes only go through a few inches when finally explored).
I'm down with that. And to keep the "down in the basement" feel the arms could carry people off down halls/vents/tunnels into the deepest darkest place available, just handing the victim off to new arms until they get the person alone. Much more disturbing imagery than elastic man's arms.
Final edit. Have taken these into account.
I'd take out the mention of multiple joints. Seems unnecessary. Also, what stops other people from following into the unoccupied space? Do the arms restrain other people? If so, you might want to mention that.
You mention SCP-517-01 in the Containment, but don't actually say what it is anywhere. I'm inclined to think the -01 and -02 designations are unnecessary (-01 more so than -02), but I'm also biased against arbitrary subdesignations anyway.
I've edited for tone a bit, and tried to make it a bit more solid.
I like this, partially because there are no good fortunes.
It sort of amuses me to think that this one only pretends to operate on karma, and the fortunes are just psychological shots in the dark to further screw with the victim's heads.
/agree, and upvoted for that very reason. The part with the arms could indeed use some cleanup, but the fortunes really make the article for me.
Piffy is an SCP Foundation Moderator, Lv. 9001 Squishy Wizard, and Knight of the Red Pen.
The individual who "activated" SCP-517 will become the Target of an entity or number of entities who will attack at 1:43 AM local time the following morning. The Entity or Entities (hereby SCP-517-01) appear as a varying number of arms reaching from the bottom-most level of whatever structure the subject is within at that time, and will attempt to drag the Target to their point of origin and assault them until sunrise local time.
At 1:43 AM, SCP-517-01 will appear in the lowest-elevation area within the vicinity of the Target and extend extremely rapidly towards it in an effort to assault them.
Bit redundant, that part.
I liked the article up until I got to the arms, which promptly killed it for me. Not enough to warrant a downvote, but enough to preclude an upvote, for similar reasons as minmin outlined above.
I'd rather like to see it put in 682s pen, perhaps behind a very strong but clear wall… Then again, it probably just wouldn't activate.
Regardless, I like the pseudo karma involved, as well as the blend of nonsense and horror — such things often don't work, but, here, it seems to.
In Universe, In all likelihood, 682 would eat the arms.
Out of Character, cross-testing is usually discouraged. Perhaps I'll add it to the 682 Kill-Log later, but not right now. That would seem wanky.
Yeah, I wasn't really meaning to suggest it, so much as almost any item makes me immediately think about how it would affect and be countered by 682.
Most of the smarter SCP artifacts simply know not to even try :)