SCP-5317
rating: +41+x

NOTICE FROM THE FOUNDATION DEPARTMENT OF PATAPHYSICS

Due to recent developments, study and research of SCP-5317 has been transferred to the Department of Pataphysics. The following document, corresponding to the last revision by the Department of Anomalous Locations, will be kept as reference until an updated version is ready.

Pierre Menard, Department of Pataphysics Director

Item#: 5317
Level3
Containment Class:
safe
Secondary Class:
none
Disruption Class:
dark
Risk Class:
caution

Special Containment Procedures: Personnel assigned to SCP-5317 containment and research duty are to be administered regular doses of Class-W mnestics to counteract its antimemetic effects. An exclusion zone, 15 km in diameter, is to be enforced around SCP-5317. Any images of the Atacama Desert found in social and public media that might contain SCP-5317 are to be censored. SCP-5317 is partially self-contained, and thus no further measures are needed.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: No further expeditions into SCP-5317 are to be scheduled, by order of Dr. Menard.

Description: SCP-5317 is a tower located in the Atacama Desert, Chile, approximately 60 km away from the city of Copiapó, the closest population center. Direct observation of SCP-5317 has a mild cognitohazardous effect, making observers convinced that they ought not to be there, and that "something terrible will happen" if they reach the top floor. Furthermore, an antimemetic effect is present, erasing all memories of SCP-5317 after leaving its line of sight.

SCP-5317 has seven floors, which exhibit vastly different and anachronical architectural styles. While it appears that the entrances of each stairway leading from one floor to the next were sealed in the past via several mechanisms (both anomalous and nonanomalous), most of these seals appear to have been broken at some point in the past. The reason for this is unknown.

Several objects that appear to be linked to known Groups of Interest have been found during expeditions into SCP-5317. Dating of these objects is inconsistent, and no connections between these Groups of Interest and current or former inhabitants of the zone have been found.

Addendum 5317-1: Expedition Logs

Initial Manned Exploration Video Log Transcript

Date: 23/01/2007

Expedition Personnel: D-11424, exploration specialist

Mission Control: Dr. Lockhart, Department of Anomalous Locations, South American Division



[D-11424 turns on helmet-mounted camera and faces it, making a mocking salutation gesture before putting the helmet on]

D-11424: Are you sure this is not just another pet project of these artsy weirdos to mess with you, doc? I mean, wasn't your informant some defector from them or something?

Lockhart: Trust me, this is a possibility we are still considering. This seems like too much effort just to mess with us, though. And [REDACTED]1 hasn't given us reason to doubt them yet.

D-11424: Well, if I die here and my body turns out into some weird dadaist project, please tell those morons for me that such jokes were never cool, okay?

Lockhart: [slight chuckle] Noted.

[SCP-5317 appears on the mounted camera's field of view. The tower appears to be mostly black from the outside, with no real decorations besides some engravings resembling thorns.]

D-11424: Shit, the thing really looks ominous. I really feel like I should not be here. Are you sure we need to know what's inside, doc?

Lockhart: Afraid so. 11424, please take the mnestics now. We do not want you to lose focus here.

[D-11424 ingests a Class-W mnestic pill and proceeds towards the tower entrance. The doors appear to have been broken by a impact from a heavy, blunt instrument]

D-11424: Got to the doors, doc. These doors look as if they were made from… a giant beetle, or something? Chitin, is that the right word? It's sort of disgusting. Also, somebody got here before us, it seems. Somebody with a real distaste for beetl… what's this?

[D-11424 picks up a partially burned drawing notebook, with handwriting consistent with [REDACTED]2. D-11424 flips through the pages, with the camera catching glimpses of a sketched map of the nearby area, and a drawing of something resembling black, thorny vines restraining a flower resembling a spider lily3. Below the drawing, the words "TURN BACK" are visible.]

spider_lily.png

Digital reconstruction of the drawing found outside SCP-5317.

D-11424: Doc, are you really sure they aren't just trolling us? I should just turn back now, I don't trust these supposed artists at all. I bet they just want to make my blood turn into ink or something.

Lockhart: There are no signs of any kind of anomalous activity near the door, so it's probably completely safe to enter.

D-11424: "Probably"?

Lockhart: Probably. Please, just go inside. We will extract you if something goes awry.

D-11424: [sighs, then enters the building] Ewww, that's disgusting. It's full of these… tentacle-like things, like… fleshy, and rotten. All dead, it seems, but I won't take any chances. Those who wrecked the doors seem to be as much fans of squids as of beetles. Shall I take a sample?

Lockhart: Please do so. Also verify if there is something else of interest: writing, signs of whoever went inside before us, anything that could help us to understand the anomaly.

[D-11424 picks up a tendril and extracts a tissue sample, pocketing it afterwards. Later analysis would show that DNA is consistent with human baseline, and that the appendages contained an unknown form of paralytic venom. All tissue samples exhibit 100% cell death.]

D-11424: I suppose those were made to stop people from going further inside. Nothing of interest beyond those… things, here. Please tell me we can call it a day and stop now— who am I kidding, you won't, doc.

[A tingling noise is felt as D-11424 kicks a small shiny object. D-11424 picks it up]

D-11424: It's… a cog? Makes sense, this place looks like a disco for those flesh maniacs. Of course the mechanic dudes would come here to stop the fun.

At this point, connection with D-11424 was temporarily lost. After a few minutes, the camera feed resumed, but with diminished clarity. This is presumed to be due to the composition of the room.

D-11424: [slightly garbled] … ar me? Hello? Doc, are you there?

[Video feed shows a room coated in metallic plating, which is presumed to be the cause of the drop in communication quality. The metal appears to be severely corroded, and remnants of what appear to be a large amount of mechanical automata are visible.]

Lockhart: I hear you, 11424. We lost communication for a few minutes, it seems. Care to send the verification passphrase to make sure you weren't compromised? Also, what are you observing right now?

D-11424: [EXTRANEOUS INFORMATION REDACTED]. Right now, I'm in a room that appears to be entirely built by the metalheads. The only sort of people who would personally destroy a room of tentacles instead of just getting the fuck away from them. But then why did they build this here? It's like they… realized that the Sarkic dudes were right on something for once and threw something together to try to fix what they fucked up? [Brief pause as D-11424 looks around the room] Is that a sort of command center? Maybe that was what controlled all these robots before they were recycled into room decorations.

[The camera focuses on a badly damaged machine on a corner of the room. An automated sensor on D-11424's gear beeps loudly.]

Lockhart: 11424, whatever you do, do not get closer to the machine. The sensors inform us that there is some sort of biohazard there, possibly SCP-217. We might have to quarantine4 you when you return, just in case.

D-11424: Oh. Well. Fuck. [Pause] Well, if I'm fucked already, I suppose that I have nothing to lose by going to the next floor. That's what you were going to tell me anyways, no?

Lockhart: [Deep sigh] Go ahead, 11424.

constellation.png

Image of a constellation found on the third floor of SCP-5317.

D-11424: Wow, this floor looks like an observatory. I really can see the stars. Definitely not something those robot-obsessed fanatics would make.

Lockhart: Actually, our relationship with the Church of the Broken God has improved a lot during the past few years, as hard as it might be to believe. [Pause] We are not receiving any meaningful visual feed, it would be helpful if you enabled night enhancement mode while you explore the floor.

[The silhouette of D-11424 is seen adjusting their body camera. After the enhanced mode is activated, the floor, walls and ceiling can be seen to contain illustrations of several systems of stars, some matching known constellations. After taking a few steps, the camera shakes as D-11424 winces when looking at a specific constellation.]

D-11424: Shit!

Lockhart: Are you okay, 11424? What happened?

D-11424: It felt like somebody… squeezed my brain. I won't look there again, but maybe you can find out what this thing is, doc?

[D-11424 points the camera at a specific point in the wall, where one of the unknown constellations is located. The image appears unfocused for a second, before being automatically censored by the SCRAMBLE filter built-in into the video feed. There is some text written in a dark red substance covering the constellation.]

Lockhart: Oh. Ohhh. The SCRAMBLE filter marked it as a strong memetic kill agent. Whoever vandalized it probably saved your life, 11424. Can you move the camera closer so I can examine the text? Also, it would be a good idea to wear your SCRAMBLE googles as well. There may be other memetic hazards around and not even you can try your luck so many times.

D-11424: I'm working for a weird fascist organization, in a job that involves having to run away from tentacle parrot monsters once a week or so. I wouldn't use the word "luck", doc. Although I have to admit it: half of the people I've met so far here have become parrot food in the end. And not just the D's. [Brief pause as D-11424 adjusts their equipment and moves closer to the image] Looks like pure gibberish to me, doc.

Lockhart: Ortothan. It essentially says "turn away". I suspect it's written in blood, then. Can you see if there is more text around?

D-11424: I'm currently tempted to consider the text written in blood as a higher authority than you at this moment, doc. But your concept of "end of contract" probably involves getting hunted by some task force or something, so… [D-11424 wanders around the floor, while several sections in the walls get marked as memetic kill agents in the video feed. All of them are censored by various messages in Orthothan] Let me guess. All of them say "leave" or something like that?

Lockhart: That would be correct. Without the SCRAMBLE gear, nobody could survive that many memetic kill agents at once, even if they are censored. Maybe you should proceed to the next floor? I can see the door to the stairway already in your feed. It appears broken, as well… that makes it four.

D-11424: Okay. Hey, doc, there is something out of place here. It looks like… paper?

[Camera feed points towards the floor, in which a large amount of scattered pieces of paper can be seen. Some appear to be folded into basic origami shapes, and most of them have been scorched or cut with some sharp instrument.]

Lockhart: Origami-based guardians are common in holy places for the Church of the Second Hytoth. But it doesn't make sense, what do they have in common with the Sarkics? Or the Mekhanites? Weren't it for the sheer amount of effort involved, I would be completely on board with your "art exhibition to mess with the Foundation" theory.

D-11424: Maybe it's a trap?

Lockhart: Maybe it's a trap. I will check with my superiors to see if it's possible to call off the expedition, this is starting to look like work for a Task Force by now.

D-11424: Fucking finally.

At this point, communications with D-11424 are put on hold as Dr. Lockhart contacts the Head Researcher for SCP-5317, Dr. Latorre. The request to end the mission is rejected, citing D-11424's previous experience in the field and the adequateness of their equipment.

D-11424: Sheesh. At least I'm halfway up there. Does this look like a church to you, doc?

[D-11424's equipment detects a spike in Akiva radiation upon entering the next floor. The floor is composed of marble, and the room has an architectural style similar in appearance to a Catholic cathedral, with wooden iconography associated to Christianity, Islam and Judaism present along the floor and walls. Columns containing small fountains of what appears to be holy water are present, in an arrangement similar to those used by certain exorcism rituals devised by the Horizon Initiative]

Lockhart: Are you religious, 11424? We detected a spike on Akiva radiation, that is, "faith", when you entered the floor.

D-11424: I suppose that is less of a personal question and more you wanting to make sure I'm not interferring with the sensors, doc. Then again, if there is a God you probably have it in a box at Site-77 or something, who knows. And if you don't, you probably have tried to.

Lockhart: In our defense, locking God in a box is probably safer than shooting Him down with a tactical nuke, after all. But that's something that would be above my clearance, perhaps even SCP-001 material or something.

[Camera focuses on what appears to be a large, broken cross sitting in the middle of the room. D-11424 moves closer to investigate]

D-11424: All burned down, it seems. This is not… standard Christian imagery, is it? Are those cicadas?

Lockhart: Definitely not native to the area, even discounting that you're in the middle of the desert. If we ignore the cicadas, this clearly seems to be a countermeasure against intruders in the style of the Horizon Initiative, but it's all broken down, just like in the floors below. Maybe these cicadas have something to do with it. Please bring a sample.

D-11424: Done. What is the leading theory, currently? The "art trolls" one, or the "I have no fucking clue what is going on" proposal?

Lockhart: I wish I had something else to give to you, 11424. If there isn't anything noteworthy left, I suggest you proceed to the next floor, as per Dr. Latorre's instructions.

D-11424: Oh yeah, the fifth floor. I know exactly what we are going to find there. This is going to be fun.

Lockhart: I daresay that tone is uncalled for, 11424. Now, hold on. I have a message from the head of another research department regarding our expedition. Won't be but a moment.

penrose.png

A section of the floor tiling in the fifth floor of SCP-5317.

Lockhart: Please verify that your SCRAMBLE gear is still operational. Hazardous memetic imagery is to be expected.

D-11424: As you can see, my sarcasm was perfectly called for. Obviously those lunatics were going to be in this floor, they couldn't let such an opportunity pass.

Lockhart: Enough, 11424. Please report what you are seeing, thank you.

D-11424: As you can see, this floor has the same general aesthetic sense you'd expect from any other lunatic who is obsessed with the number five. Five columns, each with an eye-like carving. Looking at the center of the room. And these tiles… I'll admit that the floor decoration looks neat, though. Still, I can't wait until that Menard dude convinces Latorre to let me go, doc. I'm now sure that I'm not supposed to be here.

D-11424: By the way, that's a strange name, no? "Pierre Menard". Isn't that the dude from Bor…

[Static obscures the end of D-11424's sentence. The camera pans along the floor, revealing five columns as described by D-11424. The floor is tiled with an aperiodic pattern closely resembling a Penrose tiling. The columns and the walls have designs resembling starfish, hands, and fractals with fivefold symmetry.]

D-11424: I think the countermeasures in this floor still work, somewhat. I feel this faint… pressure… in my brain, like… like I had spiders crawling there. Inside my brain, little five-legged ones. It gets worse when you get close to the center of the room.

Lockhart: It seems that this protection has been weakened, as well. Can you get to the center? If it gets too bad, we will just call out the mission, don't worry.

[D-11424 grunts in response, and walks towards the center. Above the center of the room there is an opening leading to the next floor, seemingly the only entrance. A piece of rope hangs from it.]

D-11424: There, I'm at the center. Haven't died as far as I can tell, so the fifth trap must be broken as well. Should I cli— what's that? It has your insignia, the three arrows thing. Let's see…

[The camera pans down to the bottom end of the rope. A Polaroid photograph is attached to it, with a pin bearing the SCP Foundation insignia. The photograph depicts a marriage ceremony; most of the image is obscured by what seems to be black smoke, but the groom and bride are clearly visible. D-11424 attempts to remove the pin or the photograph, to no avail.]

D-11424: Can't take it out. You will have to be satisfied with a photo of a photo. Mind you, this pressure sensation diminishes just a little bit when observing it. Are those people from the Foundation?

Lockhart: I have no information on that regard. They do not seem familiar, at least. Now, please proceed to the nex

[A phone is heard. Communication is interrumpted as Dr. Lockhart answers.]

Lockhart: D-11424, I have just been informed that Dr. Menard will join us for the final part of the exploration, in representation of the Pataphysics Department. It appears that there is something of interest to them regarding SCP-5317.

Menard: I'm sorry for the interruption, but I need to make some observations to confirm my current hypothesis. Please, proceed to the next floor as instructed by Dr. Lockhart.

At this point, a small portion of the video logs (corresponding to a span of about five minutes) were lost due to storage media failure. The video resumes after D-11424 has accessed the sixth floor.

D-11424: … you mean by "narrative patterns"? That sounds like my English classes from highschool, when they talked about stories and fictions and whatever. Definitely nothing related to a ominous black spiky tower in the middle of nowhere.

Menard: It's more complicated than that. We narrate stories about ourselves daily: our memories, our journals, even our bank statements. Metafictional anomalies, supposedly limited to the realm of novels, can affect reality by proxy in this way. Doesn't mean our world is fiction or anything, though. Now, what do you see here?

D-11424: There is still a lot of snake imagery, doc. And books, although badly burnt— I think none of them has anything worthwhile now. Let's see this one… the only words I can distinguish are something like, eh, thaumaturgy? Warding rituals? But this one definitely doesn't do anything now; I haven't… spontaneously combusted or anything. There is a big pair of doors here, though. Shall I try to open them?

Menard: No. I do not recommend that.

Lockhart: 11424, please approach the door but do not try to open them. We still need more information to assert the nature of SCP-5317.

[D-11424 approaches the door, holding a portable Kant counter. Measurements indicate that the door has a Hume level of 1400% above baseline; theoretically, it would be impossible for any baseline human to interact in any meaningful way with it. The door is made of a unidentified black material, and has engravings resembling thorns and vines across its surface. Something resembling text is present in the door, but appears to have been intentionally obscured by the aforementioned engravings and is unreadable.]

D-11424: Did you even ask that anartist why they even tried to get here? Did they know this was going to be up here?

Menard: Doctor Lockhart, isn't it strange that an anartist defects to the Foundation, of all places? Did you investigate [REDACTED] before hiring them as a consultor? Their latest art projects?

Lockhart: They were very open about it, actually. "The art of containment". So, do you think…?

Menard: They wanted to study SCP-5317. This is… narrative containment. All of the narrative cues are there. Whatever is it behind this door, we will never know, by design. And it must stay that way. We should turn back now, and make sure that the story behind that door is never told.

There are no plans to send any further expeditions nor try to access the seventh floor.

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