Item #: SCP-1909
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: The land containing SCP-1909 is under control of the Foundation and is sealed off to the public as a private estate for at least a kilometer in all directions. A smaller 30 meter containment zone is established around SCP-1909, and protected by guards and fencing. Finally, the entrance to SCP-1909 is sealed except during testing. At present, no testing involving activation of SCP-1909 and the production of instances of SCP-1909-A is permitted.
Considering the timeline of the discovery of SCP-1909 and its containment, it is considered unlikely that any instances of SCP-1909-A exist at present. In the event that one is discovered outside of the control of the Foundation, capturing or killing it is considered a top priority. Charismatic leaders born after 1955, who may have been in Greece before turning six, and who are named “Alexander” or some variant warrant investigation as possible instances of SCP-1909-A.
Description: SCP-1909 is a chamber partially buried in the foothills near the town of Kanalia in Thessaly, Greece. It is approximately cylindrical, 3.1 meters in diameter and about 8 meters deep. The chamber is constructed of an unknown metallic substance that resists sampling, and the walls are about 8 centimeters thick. The chamber is empty, besides an inscription at the far end in large white glyphs. Any persons looking at the inscription are immediately able to apprehend its meaning. See Addendum 1909-3 for more details.
When a human child younger than five is brought more than 6 meters into SCP-1909, the object may activate. SCP-1909 emits a complex pattern of electromagnetic signals at the child for 28 seconds, inducing a minor seizure for the duration. Interruption or disruption of this broadcast may be fatal. After this process is complete, SCP-1909 will once more become dormant, and the child is now designated an instance of SCP-1909-A.
SCP-1909-A instances exhibit substantial personality changes, in particular increases to extroversion and aggression, and become very persuasive and charismatic. SCP-1909-A instances also have an innate mastery of strategy and tactics, and can learn and incorporate new techniques extremely rapidly. It is believed that SCP-1909 imprints affected individuals with the personality and talents of a deceased warlord named Alexander, as further supported by all known instances of SCP-1909-A assuming that name or some regional variant. Current evidence suggests that this does not entail a total overwriting of the initial person, and therefore that the approach an SCP-1909-A instance will take to conquest and recognition may vary greatly.
SCP-1909 was discovered by hikers in 1959 and contained soon after. As the entrance was almost completely buried at time of discovery, it is not believed SCP-1909 had been activated in recent history.
Addendum 1909-3: The following is a transcription of the message within SCP-1909. Although the exact wording perceived varies somewhat from person to person and particularly between languages, the meaning is consistent. The principles behind the self-translating inscription are detailed in Senior Memetics Researcher Dr. Idioa Carcedo Roces’s work Semantics at Kanalia, and were pivotal in the development of the Foundation’s own universal language.
I give this at my last. Let none alter this before it is carved in stone. Cursed be he that perverts my word, cursed to the destroyers.
I am Alexander. I am the last herald, the greatest of champions. I am he that brought this world to its knees, and found it too small a prize for one such as I. Behold the vessel of my glory and remember. A thousand children I fathered, yet I fathered no heir. One or another that shares my blood but not my essence will claim my throne, and in time my line will pass from power. All mourn my passing, for they think that there will never be another like me.
Yet I tell you here: Fear not. I bequeath this and the other realms that decorate the heavens with my echo. Bring here your young, and the ready kindling shall be blessed by the conflagration of my being. Even my shadow is grand enough to bend the arc of history around it, and through my boon, your people may incubate a truer heir than those pale wisps that clamor for a throne.
Thus I do prophesy that from my seeds shall grow one worthy of my name. His name, my name, shall pound once more in the minds of all that walk this world. He shall bring the light of Limbo, and with it he shall see his destiny. He shall know me, and he shall be me. Though I am ending, the stars still yearn for my heel, and my proper successor, the new Alexander, will have my armies, my towers, my legacy to grant the stars their wish. And be he truly of my essence, that shall be only his beginning.
The Heavens will quaver at the knowledge that all are again ruled by their rightful king, Alexander. Once, and forever.
Project Lanike: Project Lanike was proposed to observe the long-term development, behavior, and capabilities of an instance of SCP-1909-A in a Foundation-controlled environment. It was overseen by Dr. Panagiotis Michos, Dr. Idoia Carcedo Roces, and by Dr. Catherine Leach after Dr. Carcedo Roces’s death a week after the project began. Project Lanike began on December 12, 1963 with the conversion of a toddler into an SCP-1909-A instance, and was suspended April 6, 1970 with the declassification of that instance as an SCP. The project was closed on December 19, 1983 with the death of Dr. Alexander Outis, Director of Task Forces and the former SCP-1909-A, of a Foundation memetic kill agent contracted through unknown means at an unknown time.
Project Lanike commentary:
It is tempting to dismiss the result of Project Lanike as a product of its time. Certainly, institutional safeguards are much stronger than they were in the 70s — SCP-1909-A, or Alexander Outis as he later called himself, would not in today’s Foundation be serving as tactical coordinator for a task force by the time he was twelve. Although these changes are thought of as a response to the spectacular collapse of MTF Omega-7, they are in truth as much a belated reaction to the meteoric rise of Outis. While these may stop the rare Senior Staffer who wishes to wield the anomalous against itself, I believe they would be inadequate to the task of derailing the superhuman persuasiveness and drive to rise demonstrated by Alexander Outis.
The Foundation should look at Outis’s shocking death with relief. Although posthumous review of his documents and personal effects indicated no signs of disloyalty, the proper concern is not whether Alexander Outis’s aims ceased to align with those of the Foundation, but rather whether the Foundation’s aims would have come to align themselves with those of Outis. Indeed, such was his talent for leadership that nearly all under his management identified first as working for him and then for the Foundation. His superiors, too, consistently came to rely on him for an increasingly wider sweep of their responsibilities. Alexander Outis may not have been trying to suborn the Foundation, but what he was made that inevitable.
Furthermore, there is evidence that his goals would have diverged from those of the Foundation. The Foundation endeavors to be a nonpolitical entity — we protect, we do not rule. It’s virtually certain that Alexander Outis would not be satisfied with any amount of authority the Foundation affords its leaders, and would have sought power that extends beyond its auspices. More potentially worrisome, Alexander Outis earned his honorary doctorate for his work on Casimir engines. His research was a step along the path to extracting energy from the chaos of the quantum vacuum, which lines up alarmingly well with “light of Limbo” that SCP-1909 indicates would unlock the destiny of an Alexander. Although the precise effects of that happening are unclear, it is expected that they would run counter to the Foundation’s mission of ensuring normalcy.
The story of Project Lanike provides ample warning. Because the consequences of failure are so dire, and because of the weakness of the guardrails against institutional subversion, the ban on all testing with SCP-1909 that produces an instance of SCP-1909-A is hereby affirmed.
Addendum 1909-160: The following letter, believed to be from Alexander the Great, a historical instance of SCP-1909-A, to his close friend Hephaestion, was published in the January 2014 issue of the American Journal of Archeology. Although it refers to certain topics relating to SCP-1909, it does so sufficiently obliquely that it is considered to pose minimal threat to secrecy. It is possible that it will prompt further archeological exploration in the vicinity of SCP-1909, which is near the likely historical site of the town of Pherae.
All three of my fathers urge me on this venture. My father of Pella [Phillip], who has bequeathed to me my position and the responsibility for his kingdom and his men, tells me to lead the people of Macedon to a better future. My father of Pherae [the warlord Alexander that created SCP-1909], whose thirst for domination impels me and whose gift of leadership empowers me, screams that there are those who do not yet know my glory. And my father of Mieza [Aristotle], who has given me the wisdom to grow and to choose my own path, would have me fulfill my capacity through conquest.
Yet because I have learned to find my own way, I go for reasons of my own. I know there is more to the world than this; I have seen it in my vision in Pherae. Somewhere there are lands where the sky is gold, where spires of obsidian twist and leap like living things, and where cities vaster than imagining are populated with beings that inflame my mind with wonder. And as I am blessed with loyalty of the people of Macedon, it is only right that I bring them on this great quest, to travel with me as far into this world as they are able.
I do not fight to rule, but to unite. Macedon is my home, but my other birthright is a great kingdom that has sung my name in praise for aeons. When I restore myself to that far-off realm, my two peoples will join and become one, stronger for the union, just as our spears have sutured noble Macedon and wise Persia. May all this be only the beginning.
I have done so much, travelled so far, seen the world prostrate itself before me. Yet the curse of my divine father is that I find it all so small. Without my rebirth in the cave of the god in Pherae, Macedon would have a king who led it forward, step by step. My teacher would have a student who diligently followed his precepts for a just and good master. But my destiny draws me forward, and so I risk all, for there will never be another like me to claim it. If I am guided true, I shall find it at the farthest shore of the greatest sea. Forward, then, my truest companion, and let us see if among the marvels of India are dancing towers, golden skies, and finally completion.