SCP-4870 Offset Fragment 2
Item#: 4870
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:

SCP-4870 upon discovery. Mouse over to enlarge.

System Note: File updated as of [9/10/18]

Special Containment Procedures: No iteration of this file is allowed on Provisional Site-17-B's servers at this time, and all documentation pertaining to SCP-4870 may only be accessed on different Sites' servers. Moreover, data servers at Provisional Site-17-B are to be modified with a unique digital signature that will prohibit access to documents that could potentially be modified by SCP-4870.

While SCP-4870's effect is relatively harmless, documents created at Provisional Site-17-B are still to be written with the following restrictions so as to avoid conversion into SCP-4870-1 instances. Documents may not:

  • Refer to herpetology or chelonian entities
  • Refer to Site-17 by name
  • Contain the words 'substantially,' 'densest,' or 'subterranean'

SCP-4870-1 instances found are to be destroyed or restored to unaffected iterations if possible.

Provisional Site-17-B is to be constructed exactly 1.5 kilometers north of Site-17 for the housing of SCP-4870. SCP-4870 is to be kept in a standard animal containment cell within Provisional Site-17-B where it is to be fed twice a day and otherwise kept healthy. Construction and building schematics for Provisional Site-17-B are available in the Foundation Archives.

Description: SCP-4870 is a specimen of Gopherus Polyphemus capable of passively inserting narrative references of itself into written or typed documentation that is physically present or digitally accessed within a kilometer of its person, regardless of their original content. This "writing-in" effect appears to be automatic and is thought to occur whether or not SCP-4870 is conscious. Susceptible documents are affected at a rate of an average of three documents per week, though the changes appear to be made instantaneously. Despite the alterations to narratives, SCP-4870 itself is not thought to be sapient and is otherwise entirely non-anomalous.

Documents susceptible to SCP-4870's effect commonly share one or more of the following attributes:

  • Cover topics of or relating to herpetology or chelonian entities
  • Directly name or refer to Site-17
  • Are written or compiled before 1998
  • Contain the words 'substantially,' 'densest,' or 'subterranean'

The contents of SCP-4870-1 “write-ins” are minor, consisting of brief mentions of SCP-4870, phrased in a way that makes the writer appear fond of SCP-4870 and refer to it in a positive manner.

Beyond the text added by SCP-4870, the original content of SCP-4870-1 instances remains unaltered. This effect has been shown to even affect documents written in languages not primarily spoken at Site-17 or Provisional Site-17-B, both of which primarily speak English. (See Addendum 4870-A)

Discovery: While SCP-4870 itself was not discovered and contained until later, its "write-in" effect was noticed on 8/6/18 and at the time thought to be an independent anomaly. It was not until 9/8/18 that SCP-4870 as it has now been identified was recovered during construction on a section of Site-17's South Wing following the breach of an unrelated anomaly. SCP-4870 had apparently dug a burrow underneath the Wing and taken up residence there for at least a month prior to its capture. Whether SCP-4870 gained its anomalous abilities before or after having taken up residence beneath Site-17 is unknown, as is why it was present so far from its native habitat range.

Addendum 4870-A: The following is an abridged collection of several SCP-4870-1 instances recovered before the anomaly's containment and relocation.

Item #: SCP-4870-1A
Notes: One of the earliest known SCP-4870-1 instances found to date. An excerpt from a field report detailing the capture of a reptilian anomaly in 1998. The file was accessed at Site-17 on 8/6/18, roughly around the same time other SCP-4870-1 instances began to manifest.
Affected Portion: “Despite several minor injuries sustained to the retrieving agents resulting from unexpected alterations in the anomaly’s surroundings, the subject was incapacitated with standard knock-out gas and captured. During transit back to Site-17, the same Site housing that old Gopher Tortoise, for further analysis, the Agent carrying the anomaly’s initial containment box accidentally bumped into a door frame, shaking the box and inadvertently frightening the subject, leading to several further injuries.”

Item #: SCP-4870-1D
Notes: An official complaint/request form filed on 8/15/18 requesting the addition of mashed potatoes to the Site-17 cafeteria. Inquiries with the researcher who initially submitted the article revealed she knew nothing about an alleged Gopher Tortoise at the Site.
Affected Portion: “I respectfully request that the Site-17 cafeteria begin serving mashed potatoes at lunch or dinner. I believe that many of the other personnel at the Site would enjoy the addition of it to the menu. I wager that even the tortoise would like it. Thank you.”

Item #: SCP-4870-1E
Notes: A report on possible neutralization methods for an anomaly that was accessed by Dr. Jaskes on 8/15/18. The original author of the report was unfamiliar with any "tortoises."
Affected Portion: "My team and I would like to propose a possible means of neutralizing this anomaly in a way that would maintain the geological integrity of not just the North American Plate in general, but even the Yellowstone Caldera itself: we propose drilling into the minor subterranean lava vents in the area (since it is devoid of many of the densest materials in the region) and redirecting the local magma into [ERROR. DATA REDACTED DUE TO INSUFFICIENT CLEARANCE.] We believe this would help relieve pressure on the hotspot, reduce risks to the tortoise, and even allow the eventual establishment of subterranean research stations in the emptied lava tubes." [Remainder of article redacted for brevity.]

Item #: SCP-4870-1J
Notes: A handwritten note written by Junior Researcher Rodriguez intended to remind himself to water the potted plant in his room. The message remained in his pocket after being written and was not realized to be an SCP-4870-1 instance until several days later, at which point Rodriguez noticed the alteration and contacted Dr. Jaskes. The new text reportedly perfectly matched Rodriguez's normal handwriting.
Affected Portion: "reminder: water orchids before site-17 shift on tuesday or they'll wilt, tortoise won't be happy"

Item #: SCP-4870-1L
Notes: A transmission from the Foundation's German branch concerning the transfer of a subject to Site-17. The following has been translated to English from German.
Affected Portion: "Final check-in before the transfer of P.o.I. 32241 to Site-17. Subject will be handed off to US units at the Caballero Municipal Airport at 20:45 GMT by DE-MTF "Laufbursche." Subject will arrive sedated, bound, and deafened due to substantially sensitive hearing. Classed as Level-4 Temporarily Essential Personnel, and by order of the tortoise, lethal force is summarily prohibited during transit. Subject is believed to be non-anomalous."

Item #: SCP-4870-1N
Notes: A report on the recovery of native wildlife in northeastern China including native populations of Rafetus swinhoei1 following the removal of several industrial anomalies in the area.
Affected Portion: "General biodiversity in the Zoigê Marsh area is thought to have nearly doubled in the five years since several minor anomalies were contained and relocated. Native flora and fauna in the area have been recovering quicker than initial estimates expected, with several species' populations increasing threefold, as well as the reappearance of wild Rafetus swinhoei populations, which were thought to have been virtually extinct in the wild for decades prior. To our favorite tortoise's delight, the cleanup and environmental restoration operations have thus been deemed a success."

Item #: SCP-4870-1P
Notes: A complaint to Dr. Jaskes about the recurrence of seemingly anomalous references to tortoises and chelonian animals and concern about a possible meme or cognitohazard present at Site-17.
Affected Portion: "Dr. Jaskes, I am contacting you concerning a possible memetic or cognitohazardous outbreak here at Site-17. You know as well as I do that with the number of anomalies and personnel housed here that memes running lose can mean very bad things for a very large number of people, hell, even our tortoise. Whatever this meme or hazard is, it seems to be forcing people to mention reptiles or something of that sort in things they write, after which they will have no memory of doing so. I ask that you bring this to the attention of your superiors and initiate a proper investigation of this phenomenon, lest Site-17 become ground zero for a terrible outbreak. Thank you."

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