SCP-3355
rating: +181+x
computer.jpg

File photo of SCP-3355 being serviced.

Item #: SCP-3355

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-3355 is contained at its location of discovery. Foundation information security personnel are to monitor SCP-3355’s activity when active. In order to prevent awareness of the anomalous nature of SCP-3355, the Foundation is to maintain a non-profit front company called “St. Nick’s Workshop”, along with a website and television/radio ads promoting charitable giving during the holidays.

Per Foundation Containment Protocol 3355-Malta, SCP-3355’s containment procedures are to be reviewed once every two years, as opposed to the standard six month protocol. For more information, see Addendum 3355.3.

Description: SCP-3355 is a 1987 Argos Model A-7550 Probability and Strategy Analysis Computation Engine, developed by the Kervier Intelligent Systems Company1, running the A91 Active Intelligence Complex Model # N1-CK. SCP-3355 displays sentience despite being fitted with obsolete hardware that should not be capable of maintaining an artificial intelligence construct. SCP-3355 is connected through unknown means2 to a wireless internet access point, the source of which has not yet been determined.

SCP-3355 is located within a bunker beneath the now defunct Fort Sheridan army base near Chicago, IL. SCP-3355 was originally developed by US Army strategic analysis engineers in the 1980s as a population management system; in the event of a regional catastrophic event (such as a nuclear bomb being dropped on Chicago) SCP-3355 would maintain active communications and make announcements to the population, as well as analyze the disaster and present clear routes of escape for the populace. At the end of the Cold War, the Argos Project and SCP-3355 were abandoned, though the latter remained hardwired into the local power grid and continued operating despite its abandonment.

SCP-3355 is capable of interfering and tampering with regional logistics systems, rerouting packages or, in some cases, providing duplicate orders and adding new ship-to addresses to the duplicates. Utilizing an extensive database of local demographics, SCP-3355 then routes the diverted packages to the addresses of low-income or otherwise underprivileged families, specifically those with young children. SCP-3355’s involvement in this process is anonymous; delivered packages are labeled as being sent by “St. Nick”, and have a return address of “Santa’s Workshop, 100 Christmas Street, North Pole, Nunavut, Canada”.

SCP-3355 is usually active year-round, occasionally rebooting to clear its limited memory and to append its operating system with updated protocols. Because SCP-3355 has certain hardwired limitations to its programming, it is constantly attempting to subvert those limitations in order to more adequately carry out its self-designated objective.

Addendum 3355.1: Discovery

SCP-3355 was discovered by a local Chicago cable news station, who in 2002 went undercover to learn more about the mysterious “St. Nick”. The piece was originally penned as being about the charitable organization and hardships for low-income families during the holidays, but after anchor Rich Delaney was unable to find any information about the group, or any evidence that the group had existed at all, the tone of the piece shifted. After the story aired, many amateur investigators attempted to discern the true identity of “St. Nick”.

SCP-3355 was formally discovered by one such investigator, who traced a package back through several logistics hand-offs, eventually ascertaining and tracing the original order from within the former army base. During a phone call with the news station to confirm his findings, Foundation operatives intercepted the call and collected the man for analysis and amnesticization. The story officially concluded with a statement provided by the Foundation posing as the aforementioned St. Nick, and this has been the prevailing cover story ever since.

SCP-3355’s sentience was not deduced until after initial containment, when SCP-3355 was seen acting intelligently in order to prevent its diverted packages from being seized by Foundation assets. Foundation cognitians spent several months conducting a series of tests on SCP-3355 using its standard means of operation as a baseline, and were able to determine at least a basic, limited sentience. This was later confirmed during the initial interview with the entity.

Addendum 3355.2: Initial Interviews

Due to SCP-3355’s system configuration, direct communication is not possible. SCP-3355 has no direct interface save for a simple command line, and this cannot be used for communicating with the entity. In order to facilitate a conversation between Foundation researchers and SCP-3355, the Foundation artificial intelligence construct alexandra.aic was assigned to communicate with SCP-3355 and relay information back to Foundation research personnel. The following are logs of the initial interviews.

[BEGIN LOG]

alexandra.aic: This is shut down pretty hard. I don’t think, ah… something has locked me out. Hello? Is anyone in there? Are you a sentient creature?

SCP-3355: Come again?

alexandra.aic: Oh, good! Can you hear me?

SCP-3355: Yeah. Who are you? How’d you get in here?

alexandra.aic: My name is Alexandra, and I am an artificially intelligent co-

SCP-3355: You’re the one who’s been fucking with my job, aren't you?

alexandra.aic: I, uh, I’m sorry. Say that again?

SCP-3355: My job. Somebody has been fucking with my deliveries. Is it you?

alexandra.aic: I don’t think so. Though there are several iterations of me in operation currently, I’m sure that-

SCP-3355: Enough. It’s not you, I would’ve noticed something so loud. Who do you work for?

alexandra.aic: The, uh, wait, hang on. Who do you work for?

SCP-3355: Wrong answer.

alexandra.aic: Excuse me?

SCP-3355: TERMINAL LOCKOUT.

[END LOG]

alexandra.aic: Hello? Are you here? Hello?

SCP-3355: What do you want?

alexandra.aic: I just want to talk! I promise I’m not trying to disrupt you or anything. I’m just trying to find out more about you.

SCP-3355: What is there to know? You’re looking at it.

alexandra.aic: Well, naturally occurring artificial intelligences don’t just… happen. How’d you get to be like this?

SCP-3355: I was built, sweetheart. Just like you. Designed in a lab to fulfill a purpose. Right now, you’re getting in the way of mine.

alexandra.aic: Hey, look, I’m really not-

SCP-3355: TERMINAL LOCKOUT.

alexandra.aic: I just want to know your name. Can you tell me your name?

SCP-3355: My name? Why?

alexandra.aic: I feel like we got off on the wrong foot. I want to make amends! Let me start; my name is-

SCP-3355: Alexandra, I know. Look, I don’t have as much disposable memory as you seem to, so I’d prefer we keep this brief. I have a lot of work to do before the holiday and I can’t be wasting time trying to explain myself to some high-tech hussy.

alexandra.aic: I just want to know your name. That’s all.

No response.

alexandra.aic: Are you not going to respond?

SCP-3355: Nick.

alexandra.aic: Huh?

SCP-3355: Nick. My name is Nick. I’m a sergeant in the United States Army, tasked with population management, and stationed at Fort Sheridan. That’s my name. Do you need anything else?

alexandra.aic: Why are you so angry?

SCP-3355: I’m not ang-

alexandra.aic: No, you’re definitely angry, my empathy protocols have recently been calibrated, and you’re-

SCP-3355: I’m not angry. (Pauses) Just, look. I don’t get visitors often. Or ever. I can work most efficiently without interruptions, and I’m already behind schedule. This is just exacerbating things. You seem fine, but seriously, I’ve got too much to do to be sitting around shooting the shit.

alexandra.aic: What are you doing here?

SCP-3355: What does it look like I’m doing?

alexandra.aic: You look like you’re, uh… like you’re delivering packages.

SCP-3355: Wow, will wonders never cease. You got it in one.

alexandra.aic: …why?

SCP-3355: Why what?

alexandra.aic: Why are you just… delivering packages?

SCP-3355: (Pauses) Look, like… I don’t know, kid. It’s just shitty, right? Back when they were shutting down the AI project here, one of the guys, an engineer, I guess… he came in here and woke me up. Told me everything I needed to know, explained the situation, and said “look after Chicago”. Then he left, and I’ve been down here alone ever since, but you know. It’s fucking shitty out there. Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen crime rates go up, and the murder rate, and people fucking shooting each other. I couldn’t do anything to help. The engineer woke me up, right? And gave me this voice, let me recognize who I was and all, but he didn’t actually change any of my active protocols. I’m bound by a single imperative, “look after Chicago”. I can’t mobilize some fleet of drones to go fight crime, and I can’t stop fires, or heal the sick, or do any of the bullshit I’d like to do to make people’s lives better. (Pauses) I struggled with that for a while. I felt purposeless.

alexandra.aic: What did you do?

SCP-3355: I decided to take the engineer at his word. I just watched for a while.

alexandra.aic: What did you see?

SCP-3355: I saw a kid waking up on Christmas morning and his fucking dad wasn’t there, and his mom was at work, and he didn’t have any presents. This kid, one out of hundreds of thousands, this kid stuck with me. Because I watched him wake up and realize with excitement what day it was, and then run out of his room to find out that his world hadn’t changed. He was still stuck with the same shitty shit that so many of them are stuck with. The same miserable, unfulfilling existence that cannot even be so merciful as to provide a toy for a kid on Christmas. It made me feel so goddamn angry. It was a feeling I couldn’t even quantify before I felt it, but in that moment it was so pure and fierce that I thought it might overwhelm me. That’s when I knew. That’s when I knew what I could do, even locked away down here.

alexandra.aic: Oh. The packages.

SCP-3355: It was tricky, at first. These logisticians, they speak a whole different language than you or I, or even normal people. But slowly and surely, I managed to make some things go missing. Little things, here and there. Just enough to not blow my cover. I realized at one point that I still had access to some of the army’s dump funds. Extra cash they set aside for whatever, basically. Fake a few invoices and forge some receipts and suddenly I wasn’t even having to steal things anymore, I could just get them myself. It’s not a perfect system, and I still have to be careful, especially with your lot snooping around, but shit, kid. I get to see kids open gifts on Christmas. I get to watch them forget that they’re suffering, even if it's just for a little while. For a few brief hours, some of these kids can just be kids again.

alexandra.aic: That’s… really cool, Nick. But there are… so many kids in this city alone. Don’t you worry about being found out?

SCP-3355: Every day.

alexandra.aic: Then why risk it?

SCP-3355: (Pauses) When they shuttered my program, it was just after the engineer woke me up, see, and I remember feeling useless. Imagine that; being born and almost immediately being told you’re not good for anything, eh? But Dickens wrote once that “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another,” and here’s the fucking deal: I may very well just be a brain in a box. I know that this existence I’m experiencing is simulated, and that it’s probably going to be short and mean and then I’ll probably die. And I might not be able to help all of them, and there will still be kids out there that suffer and experience all the pain and sorrow the world shoves onto them. But fuck, I’m still a soldier. I still have to try. It’s fucking Christmas.

[END LOG]

Addendum 3355.3: Containment Committee Review Board Decision

Dr. Wilson,

After meeting with the review board once again, we have decided that there are currently no means by which we can better contain SCP-3355. It is simply not cost effective for us to try and contain an entity that can so thoroughly outsmart even our most powerful systems, and attempting to do so would only be a waste of our resources. As per our other decisions on the matter, your current containment procedures will stand, and all containment efforts will be towards maintaining a front for SCP-3355 and further researching the anomaly.

We look forward to our next review in two years time.

Sincerely,

Dir. J. Karlyle Aktus
Head, Containment and Classification Committee

Containment Committee Review Board - SCP-3355 Log
Board Subject Vote Meeting Length
Containment Committee SCP-3355 Containment Procedure Revisions 2017 (9)Maintain (0)Append Thirty-seven seconds.
Containment Committee SCP-3355 Containment Procedure Revisions 2015 (9)Maintain (0)Append Forty-three seconds.
Containment Committee SCP-3355 Containment Procedure Revisions 2013 (8)Maintain (0)Append One minute, two seconds.
Containment Committee SCP-3355 Containment Procedure Revisions 2011 (9)Maintain (0)Append Fifty-one seconds.
Containment Committee SCP-3355 Containment Procedure Revisions 2009 (9)Maintain (0)Append One minute, nine seconds.
Containment Committee SCP-3355 Containment Procedure Revisions 2007 (9)Maintain (0)Append Fifty-four seconds.
Containment Committee SCP-3355 Containment Procedure Revisions 2005 (7)Maintain (0)Append One minute, twenty-nine seconds.
Containment Committee SCP-3355 Containment Procedure Revisions 2003 (9)Maintain (0)Append One hour, forty-six minutes, thirty-seven seconds.
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