Iteration A

This round of "interrogation" was simply too much for Agent Hobbes. He strained against the chains holding him to the metal chair just far enough to spit fetid blood from his mouth and nodded his submission to the other figure in the room. He was all but blind from the swelling around his eyes.

The interrogator smiled. "Item number?" Hobbes heard his new master say through teeth filed into points. The tattoos on his head, in the shape of bull's horns, flexed menacingly as his forehead wrinkled. Hobbes used to think of him as the Minotaur. Now he was just the Master.

"SCP-1893," Hobbes replied.

"Object class?" his interrogator growled.


"Special containment procedures?" the captor hissed, a tone of aggression returning to his gravely voice. Hobbes fell over himself to respond as quickly as possible, before he incurred his wrath once again.

"All stories containing or referencing SCP-1893 are to be contained in the tertiary mainframe at Site 38 until such time as Foundation researchers discover a method of transferring them without risking contamination to other computer systems," Hobbes began. "Multiple redundant stories are to be kept on the mainframe at all times. Should SCP-1893 begin displaying aggressive or otherwise unusual behavior, additional new stories written in the style used by SCP-1893 are to be downloaded onto the computer. Hard copies of all stories before and after SCP-1893 infestation are to be kept in the director's office in a triple-locked safe; no other copies are to be kept in any other location in any other form to avoid possible contamination. To whatever extent possible, discussion of SCP-1893 is to be restricted to non-electronic means, and references to item number SCP-1893 are to be prohibited on any Foundation server or computer other than the one mentioned above."

Hobbes could just barely make out the image of his captor, looking at Hobbes with a dark glare. Hobbes panicked for fear that he had inadequately satisfied his new master, in spite of the totality of his submission. Master had to understand that he had submitted…didn't he?

The other figure snorted, as though becoming convinced another beating wasn't worth the effort. "Description?" Hobbes finally heard his captor spit.

Hobbes couldn't respond quickly enough. "SCP-1893 is an incompletely understood phenomenon, believed to be electronic or digital in nature. The phenomenon has demonstrated at least a primitive sort of intelligence, in the form of adapting to new environments and avoiding inhospitable ones and a rudimentary ability to communicate with Foundation researchers, albeit indirectly. It is not known whether the entity is sapient or even sentient—"

Hobbes's new master barked a wordless tone of rage at that last sentence, as Hobbes knew he would. That was part of what kept Hobbes from telling him before—not loyalty to the Foundation, but fear of the wrath of his captor. He was no longer mentally capable of being ashamed at how totally broken he was; all he wanted was to avoid more pain.

But Master wouldn't be satiated with mere humiliation, not this time, and Hobbes knew it. He turned his head in the hopes the first blow wouldn't catch him in the face; not that it would help. Hobbes felt the familiar sensation of a boot crushing into his upper ribcage, propelling the chair he was in over. He tried to lift his head to keep it from slamming back into the concrete, but he was too dizzy to support himself. His interrogator kicked him again and again; the stomach, the face, the balls.

The beating ended sooner than Hobbes had expected. He thought maybe that his captor wanted to show Hobbes both the stick and the carrot; both the presence and the (partial) absence of pain. It would work. It helped that he had stopped just short of breaking Hobbes's neck.

The interrogator lifted Hobbes back into a seated position, straightened his head, and nodded for Hobbes to continue.

"SCP-1893's principal trait is its memetic quality; it is impossible to perceive, interact with, or discuss the entity except through fictional narratives. Specifically, any electronic message referring to SCP-1893 will be altered by the entity into a prose passage of variable length, tone, or content. However, messages altered by SCP-1893 will always have certain constant qualities." Hobbes looked at his new master, wordlessly asking if he should continue.

A snarl persuaded him that he should. "First," Hobbes said, "the content of the original message will be left intact, replacing any dialogue between characters in the story. Second, stories will often contain between two to three characters; while the dialogue between them will remain constant, the setting and tone of the characters and their surroundings are believed to often reflect SCP-1893's "mood" at the time of access. Third, components of the story's plot may change depending on whether or not SCP-1893 can determine the identity of the reader, though researchers have been unable to detect a pattern in the modifications to date."

The interrogator looked at Hobbes as though to imply that he knew there was more. Hobbes was sweating, panting, terrified of the next part.

"Finally, all instances of stories altered by SCP-1893 will contain an unknown character, described as being unusually tall and muscular, often said to have tattoos of bull's horns on or near the face. The extent to which this character interacts with the others is often indicative of SCP-1893's level of aggression at that moment; when the entity is calm, the character will barely be referenced or discussed. When SCP-1893 feels threatened or is prepared to attack, the character will display an increasingly important or central role to the story's plot."

The captor nodded thoughtfully, as though considering his next words carefully. Right when Hobbes was almost sure that more blows were coming, he heard "Addendum 1893-A?"

Hobbes sighed with relief once more. He began to gibber giddily as his captor walked around behind him. "Though no effort undertaken to date has succeeded in fully containing SCP-1893, all evidence suggests that the Foundation's decision to classify the entity as such has caused it to adopt this as its 'name' and react specifically to any mention of that item number in electronic media. Assuming this to be true, a theoretical plan has been devised in the event that termination of SCP-1893 should become necessary. According to this plan, Foundation personnel would first—"

Crack. Hobbes never really felt the impact of the baseball bat on the back of his head; he was unconscious too quickly. The next twelve swings went equally unnoticed, until what was left of his broken, shattered body lay limp against the chains holding him to the chair. Blood from the front of his head (which barely resembled a face) dripped and trickled onto the concrete floor. His captor let the baseball bat fall from his hand and ring against the sticky ground before walking out the door.

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