Item #: SCP-2191
Object Class: Keter (formerly Euclid)
Special Containment Procedures: The Foundation is to maintain surveillance operations but is otherwise not to directly interfere with SCP-2191 or the ritual practices of communities within the vicinity of the Hoia Forest. Exploration of SCP-2191 is prohibited outside of remotely controlled drones. Foundation operatives are to maintain the facade of forest rangers in the employ of the Romanian government. In the event of a SCP-2191 security breach by civilians or hostile entities, lethal force is authorized.
Description: SCP-2191 is a temple complex located within the dense Hoia Forest of Romania. The first two floors of the structure hold a close resemblance to Eastern Orthodox monasteries commonly found in the region. This is suspected to have been a deliberate effort to disguise the true nature of SCP-2191. Thracian and Dacian architecture have both been discovered in the lower levels of the temple complex and artifacts belonging to the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture have been recovered from the system of tunnels that makes up the lowest known portion of SCP-2191. The caverns of SCP-2191 are not thought to have formed naturally and were likely constructed ca. 4800 to 3000 BC.
SCP-2191 is inhabited by a population of organisms classified as SCP-2191-1. Instances of SCP-2191-1 are considered genetically human but have undergone several significant, seemingly fatal mutations. SCP-2191-1 lack all major internal organs with the exception of the lungs, heart, and brain stem. The outer epidermis lacks pigmentation and displays a condition resembling cracked porcelain, possibly related to Harlequin syndrome. Entities appear androgynous, lacking or having somehow removed secondary sex characteristics. Their regressed eyes are covered by a layer of skin, rendering them mostly blind but still able to react to light (universally displaying aversion to wavelengths > 100 nm). Further deviations from baseline homo sapiens include especially flat, upturned noses, and funnel-shaped ears; both considered related to their dependency on olfactory and auditory perception. SCP-2191-1 do not appear to communicate via language, the only sound produced being a persistent clicking of the tongue – speculated to be a form of echolocation.
SCP-2191-1 do not readily appear to undergo senescence and have not aged since containment. Further analysis has revealed an abnormally slow metabolism. SCP-2191-1 instances are not believed to be biologically immortal but have a significantly decreased rate of necrosis.
SCP-2191-2 refers to a collective of vermiform organisms; these organisms vary in size, form, and purpose, and are accordingly classified as SCP-2191-2A, SCP-2191-2B, and SCP-2191-2C. Genetic analysis of SCP-2191-2 show close relation with fellow subgroups, their most recent common ancestors being Homo sapiens. It has been speculated that SCP-2191-2 did not naturally evolve on their own but their true origin remains unknown.
SCP-2191-2A superficially resemble petromyzontiformes (lamprey) but whose internal structure more closely resemble hirudinea (leeches). Each SCP-2191-1 has a SCP-2191-2A instance within their abdomen, primarily located where the stomach and large/small intestines would exist.
SCP-2191-2B are an infestation of vermiform organisms that live throughout the hollow walls of SCP-2191. SCP-2191 appears to have been constructed with a system of channels through which SCP-2191-2B travel. These thin, long organisms will enter SCP-2191-1 orifices (primarily via the mouth or rectum) but do not appear to cause harm or discomfort to their hosts. SCP-2191-2B are believed to redistribute nutrients throughout SCP-2191, extracted from any SCP-2191-1 which have recently fed.
SCP-2191-2C, like SCP-2191-2B, inhabit the interior architecture of SCP-2191. These tendril-like appendages are composed primarily of neurons and attach to SCP-2191-1 at the base of the spine while inactive. Only when attached to SCP-2191-2C do SCP-2191-1 display behavior resembling that of a sapient organism (including posturing suggestive of prayer). SCP-2191-1 are considered inactive while connected to SCP-2191-2C.
During an active state, SCP-2191-1 entities will leave SCP-2191 and aggressively hunt for living humans - ignoring non-human animals and deceased individuals. Active states do not occur simultaneously among SCP-2191-1 (although an active state will always occur between dusk and dawn) nor do they hunt as a pack, choosing to spread throughout the forest. A paralytic agent is employed to disable their prey, injected via venom-delivering barbs located in the lower carpals of both hands.
When prey have been successfully incapacitated, SCP-2191-1 will open its mouth and widen its throat, unhinging its jaw in the process. SCP-2191-2A will then emerge from SCP-2191-1's interior cavity, initiating the feeding process by latching to the victim neck via a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth. SCP-2191-2A will first inject the body with digestive enzymes, liquidizing organ, muscle, and bone alike before consuming the resultant fluids. The process can last anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of its prey.
Although known to those living in the vicinity of the Hoia Forest, SCP-2191 was not recognized by the Foundation as an anomaly until August 1916, after the unexplained disappearance of 244 members of the Austro-Hungarian First Army during the Battle of Transylvania. Due to the First World War, operations to contain the threat did not begin until early 1919. Without a source of food, SCP-2191-1 entities appeared to enter a dormant state as of December 1924.
Several incidents, occurring between 1932 and 1977, would result in the discovery of SCP-2191-3.