She opened the box, and inside was…


Mary winced as she drove the needle into her arm, watching dark red liquid surge up through the barrel. For any self-respecting doctor, just performing your own blood test was out of the question. Yet here Mary was, taking her own bone marrow sample. It was an already agonizing procedure, now made unacceptably dangerous. She didn’t have any choice. There was no one else left.

Mary set the sample into the centrifuge. She taped down a wad of cotton over the puncture, and rolled down her sleeve as she left the lab. Inside the airlock, she painstaking checked every seal and seam on her hazmat suit. The rubber-fabric friction made all 200 needle-marks across her body scream out in protest.

Somehow, the worst part of her day was yet to come.


Mary dropped a ration pack into the air-tight dropbox; a standard feature of every door in the Medical Isolation wing. She'd dispense, then disperse, ignoring the voices coming from each room.

“Dr. Madigan? Is that you? I can’t… I can’t hear so well now… I think my ear is-”

“Mary! Mary listen. Just open the door, alright? It's me! It's Samantha! We're friends- we worked together! I need to get to the lab. We can solve this! We can! Just- Mary? MARY! MARY PLEASE!”


Mary made the rounds, making deliveries from their ever dwindling supply. Every day there'd be less food, less medicine… but in cruel counterbalance, less patients. They'd been in lock down for three weeks now, and every day another room went silent in Site-19.

“Submarines… Submarines in the ceiling, dipping in and out… why am I sweating so much? It’s so cold in here…”

“My family, Mary! They’re out there! I know they’re alive, Mary. Just let me get to them. Just open the door, I promise I won't-”

“It won’t stay down Mary. The food won’t stay down. It comes up, and up, and up, AND EVERY CORNER IS FULL OF-”


The softness of it caught her. She stopped, hands clutching at her lab coat. It was a voice she didn’t recognize, but then again, in a facility this large…

“It’s Mary, right? I heard some of the others shouting. Listen, it's okay. I understand. You’re trying to save lives. You’re doing the right thing.”

Mary didn’t reply… but she didn’t walk on, either.

“Mary” said the gentle voice. “I don’t think I’ve got much longer. I can’t feel… well, anything. I’m a doctor too, you know. I know the symptoms. My nerves are dying. It could be that I get to have that slow, sinking-into-a-warm-bath sort of death. I hope.”

“But Mary… I don’t want to die alone.”

Mary sucked air through her teeth. Hugging her own shoulders, she begun to walk away.

“I’m not asking you to open the door!” the voice shouted, loud enough to hear, but still so achingly kind. “I know you can’t, but could you… can you just open the viewing panel? Even if there's a glass plate in the way, I just want… I need to see another person's face before I die. Nothing else is more important…"

The voice trailed off. Mary swallowed. The sickly chorus babbled on from the many long, white, empty hallways. Though it took her a moment of resolve, Mary released the bolted latch at the center of the door. Carefully, she slid the panel up, exposing the sliver of plexiglass.

But it wasn’t there.

From the gouges in the metal, and the streaks of blood, the man inside must have pried it free, painstakingly, with his own broken nails and teeth and-

An arm shot out of the opening. The skin was jet-black necrotic, peeling, and sickly thin… but not as thin as the slot itself. Flesh tore against the jagged metal, leaving bare, rotting muscle and naked bone.

“YOU DID THIS” the voice cried, clawing out with it’s mangled limb. “YOU DID THIS TO US YOU FUCKING B-”

Mary was already running.

"It's not their fault" Mary said, working away frantically, swapping microscope slides like a bored teenager changing television channels. "They're sick, and desperate, and they don't know any more about this than I do."

Mary had set up her lab in the sub-basement. Specifically, she had moved every piece of equipment she'd needed from the medical lab, by hand, down five flights of stairs. She didn't do this for sanitary reasons, and it wasn't to get away from the constant wails of her colleagues-now-patients.

She moved down here to be closer to him. He was her only anchor now.

"I tried to explain it to them!" she said, gesturing wildly at nothing. "They should understand; they're doctors! Oh, no, no. Of course not." she corrected herself, working frantically as she spoke. "They're sick. They won't understand. They're sick. It's in their brains, of course. Of course they don't understand… only you understand."

"You've always known, haven't you?" Mary said, looking back over her shoulder. "Out of all of us, you were the only one who really saw it. You saw- no, that's not true. We all knew, deep down."

Mary's voice and hands began to slow. "We just chose not to see it, but It's always been there. The box let us see. The box… the box showed us the truth…"

Mary stopped. She turned from her work. With one hand outstretched, she walked towards the containment vault, pressing her fingers up against the cold iron door. It had a viewing window too, like all the rest. Slowly, almost lovingly, Mary opened the latch and peered inside.

Staring back at her was a man in a dark hood, his face obscured by a long, silvery-white mask.

"I'm so sorry we didn't believe you…"

Mary reached for the latch, and at last she saw her own arm as it was: a patchwork of boils and blisters, rashes and festering decay. Her hazmat suit was full of holes. The rooms of Site-19 had been silent for weeks now; she'd been handing out bags of rot, and playing with empty petri dishes.

She was sick.

She'd always been sick.

She opened the door, and waited to be cured.



Special Containment Procedures: Containment of SCP-5055 is no longer possible. An GH-Class "Colorless Plague" end-of-humanity event has already entered Stage 3, and is considered irreversible.

Description: SCP-5055 is a small chest composed of ivory, bronze, and stained wood. This chest was recovered from an archaeological dig-site beneath the ruins of Ancient Constantinople, sealed in a 6m2 cube of solid caementicium, or roman concrete. When touched, SCP-5055 instills an intense sensation of dread.

On January 1st, 2020, D-6106 was instructed to open SCP-5055, as to ascertain its contents.

Inside SCP-5055 was something no one deserves.

A single handwritten note was also present inside SCP-5055, which read


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