Item#: 4553
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:


SCP-4553, during campaign speech. Portions of image automatically censored to prevent memetic contamination.

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-4553's anomalous physical properties all but preclude the possibility of primary containment, and as such secondary containment measures are considered adequate until a feasible method of physical containment is devised.

The Foundation's Political Control Administration is to maintain a continual battery of passive and active countermeasures arrayed for the purpose of preventing SCP-4553's election to the United States House of Representatives. These operations include campaign finance donations to SCP-4553's competitors, media blackout, sabotage, and outright media fabrications intended to damage or destroy SCP-4553's public reputation. See document “Contingency 4553-NIGHTCRAWLER” for a full list of deployed stratagems.

Description: SCP-4553 is a sapient anthropomorphic mass of worms, which is actively campaigning for the position of United States congressional representative.

SCP-4553 self-identifies as “Bob Shepherd”, age 42, and allegedly hails from the small town of Valentine, Nebraska. It is capable of speech despite not possessing the organs responsible for vocalization, and initial estimates place its intelligence as slightly above that of an average human. SCP-4553 has, on multiple occasions, willingly provided identity documents confirming its legal status as a citizen of the United States of America and resident of the state of Nebraska, including:

  • birth certificate1
  • tax records (no violations)
  • driver's license
  • passport
  • Master's degree in political science awarded by the University of Nebraska at Kearney,2

among a number of others, with no observable discrepancies other than the providing individual being a non-human entity comprised entirely of worms.

SCP-4553 is publicly campaigning for congressional office as an independent candidate, and has attained a standing of 89.0% in the polls as of the time of this document's creation. This overwhelming show of support from the voting public of Nebraska's 3rd district is notable, as the 3rd district of Nebraska is one of the most predominantly Republican districts in the nation, having last elected a non-Republican candidate in 1961. It is therefore suspected that SCP-4553 generates a memetic compulsion effect capable of influencing the minds of the voting public, although this has yet to be conclusively verified.

No part of this hypothetical memetic field appears to extend to SCP-4553's appearance, which is (at public or official functions) an 86 kilogram mass of worms in the rough shape of a human male, typically wearing a three-piece suit with green tie. SCP-4553's intended constituents, colleagues, opposition, and friends all recognize “Bob Shepherd” as being a mass of worms, and do not consider it to be a negative or particularly relevant attribute. Both supporters and critics of SCP-4553 alike treat SCP-4553 as human while simultaneously observing and comprehending its composite vermiform nature, with no apparent cognitive dissonance that would ordinarily arise from such a contradiction. The Foundation has interviewed a number of Nebraskan citizens in an attempt to study SCP-4553's effects on the human mind. Example follows.

Date: 22 July, 2018
Media Origin: Video transcript of interview held by a Foundation front organization, operating under the guise of an independent political research commission based in North Platte, Nebraska
Interviewer: Foundation Investigative Agent Anthony Rawlins
Interviewee: Randall Fischer, 47, an automotive mechanic and vocal supporter of SCP-4553's ongoing political campaign

Agent Rawlins: Thanks again for coming in to speak with us, Mr. Fischer.

(Fischer takes seat across from Rawlins's desk. The two shake hands briefly.)

Fischer: No worries, friend, I'm happy to do it. I like bein' a part of the process and all. The letter said this was like a political survey or what have you, right?

Agent Rawlins: Yep, that's right. Won't take longer than about twenty minutes, and it'll help us get a better understanding of how the elections out here are going. Quick and painless. And the free coffee and donuts for a bit of extra incentive, haha.

Fischer: (chuckle) Yeah, you've got some serious casualties in the lobby there. Can't just plop ol' Randy in a chair in front of a plate of donuts and expect anything other than mass destruction.

(Rawlins laughs, then takes a clipboard and pen from a desk drawer.)

Agent Rawlins: Okay. To start us off, I'm gonna ask you some basic questions about your political history, alright?

Fischer: Okie doke, ask away.

Agent Rawlins: First off, are you registered with any political party?

Fischer: Yep, Republican.

Agent Rawlins: Have you ever voted for a candidate that did not belong to the Republican party?

Fischer: No sir. My blood's red as they come.

Agent Rawlins: How many candidates for public office would you say you've voted for in your lifetime? National office, state, local, the whole shebang. Ballpark estimate.

Fischer: Uh… lemme see here. Since I was 18, I've managed to vote in every election for President, Governor, Senator, and Representative. I'm not as active as I could be on the local level, but hey, it's a better track record than you'll see out of a lot of the damn kids these days. So uh, all those elections, for the last… thirty or so years. However many that is. Few hundred, I guess.

Agent Rawlins: That's pretty impressive, Mr. Fischer. Then I take it you plan on participating in the upcoming round of congressional elections in your district?

Fischer: Damn skippy I do! Too late to take a break now, haha.

Agent Rawlins: And you belong to the 3rd district, is that right?

Fischer: Yep.

Agent Rawlins: Have you decided which of the candidates you're going to support?

Fischer: Why, yes I have, as it happens. I'm votin' for Bob Shepherd, one hundred percent certain. He's the man we need.

Agent Rawlins: Correct me if I'm wrong, but Shepherd is listed as an independent candidate, right? Not a Republican?

Fischer: Well hey, no one's perfect, haha. Naw, he ain't a Republican, but if I'm bein' honest, he's about the closest thing we got to an actual Republican candidate, even if he don't fly the same colors. Our last guy was a damn disgrace, and I'm sorry to say that I lost a bit of faith in the GOP around here after that. All that sex scandal nonsense. Disgusting. Can't believe I ever voted for that pervert. And the fella they're puttin' up to replace him ain't hardly better, just some damn stringy-lookin' lawyer from Omaha. Bob, though? Well, he ain't GOP, but I think he's what our state needs all the same, labels be damned.

Agent Rawlins: I see. Alright, sell me on him. What makes Bob Shepherd so appealing to you?

Fischer: Hell, where do I start? I could jaw for hours, but I'll keep it brief. One, he's got a good head on his shoulders. It's sorta purple and squishy-lookin', sure, but good all the same. I've looked over his proposed tax plan for the upcoming term and it just makes sense. We'll end up takin' a bit of a hit in our pockets, sure, but the fella's right, stuff needs fixin' around here. We got potholes, crumblin' bridges, all that. Sanitation department's in the shitter, so to speak. It's just unsafe. He's got a “fix it now, worry never” policy that you just can't argue with. 'Bout time someone took infrastructure as a big talking point. Them bubble-headed dingleberries up on the hill talk about inspecting bridges and replacing pipes all the time, but none of 'em ever actually do anything, they're just tryna get elected and re-elected. Bob's got a real plan and I've seen it.

Two, you just can't help but like the man. He's in good moral standing. Not a single black mark on his record. He's decent. Worked for years at the public works office and spent the whole time there pushing for basic service reform. Got some major victories too, made things a lot safer in his neighborhood. You look back at his stance on infrastructure, taxes, tort reform, pollution, criminal justice, and he ain't flip-flopped a single damn time. He's consistent. And what's more, he ain't never been caught in a lie, not once. Now I ain't proud to say it, but I've voted for known liars in my time out of lack for a better option. Now, I can say with real, honest-to-God confidence that I can vote for a damn trustworthy politician. I never thought I'd see the damn day! That's Bob. Honest. Compassionate. And sensible. Everything you could want in a candidate.

(Rawlins remains silent for a moment, recording notes.)

Agent Rawlins: Well, Mr. Fischer, when you put it that way, it's hard to argue otherwise. Now, you're aware of the fact that Bob Shepherd is, quite obviously, a person-shaped mass of worms in a suit, right? The man is uh, worms. He's entirely made of worms.

(Fischer scoffs and folds his arms.)

Fischer: Well, yeah, but… I mean, hell, I said before that no one's perfect, didn't I? Shit, I'm an ugly son of a bitch too, but that don't mean I'm bad at my job. I don't see how it has any bearing on his policies. The man talks sense, even if he, uh… don't exactly have a mouth, as far as I can see.

Agent Rawlins: It doesn't bother you at all that Bob Shepherd isn't human?

(Fischer scowls, leans forward in his chair, and points a finger at Rawlins.)

Fischer: Now you look here, son. I'm gettin' real tired of these sorts of insinuations. Just 'cause I'm a Republican and didn't vote for that pencil-necked city boy Obama don't make me some kind of racist. I'm a bigger man than that. I care about a man's thoughts and deeds, not his flesh. Now I get that Bob Shepherd is a bit different from the rest of us, but callin' the man inhuman? That ain't just discriminatory, it's wrong. Bob Shepherd is a goddamn loyal Nebraskan and, with God as my witness, a great American, whether he's black or white, or made of worms or thumbtacks or goddamn chocolate pudding! And I won't put up with you sittin' there tryna tell me that he ain't a human being. Listen to yourself, for God's sake!

(Agent Rawlins swallows, nods, and takes down a note.)

Agent Rawlins: Yes. That was uh, out of order. I apologize.

(Fischer leans back and folds his arms once more.)

Fischer: You're goddamn right! Now read me off the rest of your damn questions so I can waddle my fat ass out of this half-baked think tank you're runnin' here. And don't expect any of those damn donuts to be there when I'm gone, neither.

Physical containment of SCP-4553 has proven unfeasible, due to the entity's secondary anomalous effects. If removed from its native environment and placed into Foundation custody, SCP-4553 loses its anomalous properties and disassociates into an unorganized mound of living worms.3 It will then remanifest somewhere within the bounds of Nebraska's third congressional district. Significant physical damage, such as what would be incurred in an assassination attempt utilizing high-powered anti-personnel weaponry, produces a similar result, with SCP-4553 disintegrating and reconstituting elsewhere. SCP-4553 has not indicated recollection of any of these corporeal destruction events, and the process through which it occurs has not been directly observed.

SCP-4553's adopted persona “Bob Shepherd” is legally and socially consistent. Apart from its anomalous physical makeup, SCP-4553 shows no aberrant or hazardous behaviors. “Bob Shepherd”'s life history is plainly documented from its “birth” in 1978 to present and is, despite SCP-4553's obviously vermiform nature, indistinguishable from any other well-behaved citizen of the United States of America. Its campaign platform (which consistently emphasizes infrastructural development, retention of individual liberties under the Constitution, institutional countercorruption initiatives, and environmentalism) is consistent, and does not appear to represent any overt threat to American society or consensus normality at large.

Addendum 4553-01: Excerpt from campaign speech, August 3rd, 2020

(SCP-4553 takes position on-stage behind podium, adjusts microphone, and raises a hand to the crowd, which numbers approximately 1,000 individuals. Audience cheers, then quiets.)

SCP-4553: Mornin', folks.

(SCP-4553 looks to the sky, raising a hand to block the sun from its face (despite not possessing eyes), then returns its attention to the crowd.)

SCP-4553: Boy. Beautiful day today, isn't it? I'm sure y'all don't want to waste it listening to me yammer, so I'll keep this nice and brief.

(The entity looks down at the podium in silence for a moment, then idly flings away the sheaf of papers it had brought with it. The crowd laughs.)

SCP-4553: My campaign manager saw fit to fix me up a tidy few pages for me to read off, but I don't really want to be here for the next three hours and neither do you. Why don't I fly solo this time? Sorry, Bill. I'll read two of your speeches next time, how's that?

(Shepherd waves to William O'Connor, its campaign manager, who is standing to one side of the stage. O'Connor waves back, smiling and shaking his head. Crowd laughs and applauds mildly.)

SCP-4553: So. My fellow Americans. That's how these usually start, right? My fellow Americans. I find that a touch redundant, frankly. I grew up with pretty much all of you. Hell, that's Tom Hammerstein right up front there. Eleventh grade science class, remember, Tom?

(Shepherd holds up a secretive hand to its head, looks side-to-side, and leans into the microphone.)

SCP-4553: I might've cheated off you a couple times, buddy. You were always better than I was at balancing those chemical equations. Keep it under your hat, though – if word gets out, my campaign is sunk.


SCP-4553: Anywho. Point is, I don't feel the need to address you all like you're… constituents. Because you're not, really. Not to me. After college, I took that job in the public works office because I see you all as members of my family. And I stayed there for fifteen years because… well. Same reason anyone does anything for fifteen years with a smile on their face. 'Cause I give a dang. I've known a lot of you for my whole life, and you can bet that I'm never gonna forget that fact. And that sense of bond, of love, is what's brought me to this stump, all those years later.


SCP-4553: People ask me why I'm out here spending all this money, bustin' my hump trying to get elected. Hell hath no fury like that reserved for politicians, haha. Well, the answer is… all of you. You ever get the feeling that you could be doing more? Like where you are isn't the best use of your body and soul? Used to be I felt like that a lot. Not that I was unhappy or anything. Not possible. My wife won't let me. Hi, honey!

SCP-4553 waves to its wife, Sandra Shepherd, 39, seated at the fore of the crowd with their two non-anomalous children. She laughs with the crowd, and waves back.

SCP-4553: She's the lantern of my life, folks. And occasional cattle prod. They say behind every powerful man is an even more powerful woman, and that is absolute gospel. She told me to say that or she'll beat me up.


SCP-4553: Anyway. I felt like I wasn't being fulfilled. That I could do more than I was. A lot of people feel like that, sometimes, I think. So… I decided what the heck, let's do something about it. And I'll be open with you, folks, there's a lot that needs doing. Now, you've heard me harp about a lot of this stuff before, so I'll just provide the bulletpoints for anyone that's new.

Alright. Thing that bugs me number one – infrastructure. Yeah, yeah, I know, even the word “infrastructure” makes people feel a nap coming on, but hear me out. Folks, our nation is plain fallin' apart at the seams. And I mean that literally. We've got bridges that're eighty percent rust by weight, buildings moldier than bleu cheese, and roads more full of holes than, uh… another kind of cheese. Most of this stuff hasn't had eyes on it since Eisenhower built it. Now Ike was a great President and a great American, but he did die more than fifty years ago, and we're sorely overdue for some renovations, all across the board. Did you know that the American Society of Civil Engineers did a survey of our nation's infrastructure quality in 2013, and gave us a letter grade on how we're doing? You know what that grade was? D+. D+! Now folks, I might just be a simple country pile of worms, but even I know that's sad. And it's not just embarrassing, it's a public safety hazard. We need to get some funding and send some smart boys and girls out there to fix up our pipes and wires and whatnot, before we're all neck-deep in electrified poop.

Speaking of filth, thing number two – the environment. Now look, I'm not exactly one of those eco-maniacs that wants you all to munch carrots and weep for poor Mother Gaia, but come on now. Some of this stuff we're pumping into the air and water is just plain unacceptable. We are not hard enough on big companies sludging up our backyard with chemical yuckiness. I don't want to down a cool glass of hexavalent chromium with Teflon cubes on a day like this. I want water. Well, I actually want a beer, but water's a close second. My dad, God rest him, was an uncomplicated man, and he had a saying: “Don't shit where you sleep.” Pardon his French, haha. And I don't know about you, but I think that makes sense. We have to find more ways to responsibly manage our waste. I want a clean America, and I'm committed to keeping the big companies honest about it.

And there's thing number three – good ol' fashioned bad behavior. Both in the government and out on Main Street, USA. I don't know what happened in the last couple decades or so, but gosh dang does it seem like people don't want to treat one another with dignity and respect anymore. You've got politicians on Capitol Hill taking money from big, big men that only get bigger by stamping on the little guy. You've got folks all over the place walking around with not a shred of human unity in their hearts, looking down on others for how their bodies are colored and shaped. That's factionalism, that's otherism, and it's downright un-American.

I believe in an America where everyone is welcome, no matter what they look like or how their plumbing goes. An America that defends the weak from evil, no fine print. It says right there on the dang Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.” It doesn't say, “Only give me the ones of a certain physical configuration or ideological makeup.” That poem on that tablet is called The New Colossus, and that's what I want America to be. A colossus. Not of bullying or violence or hate, but of freedom, and peace. I want us to hold our torch high and show everyone else what can happen when we all work together, regardless of what we look like or where we come from. I want us to be the example of what humanity can be. A bright, shining light, in a world that can be so, so dark.

Now, some of you call that idealism. Sentiment. Impractical. But you know what? I call it respect. I call it unity. And I call it being a goddamn American.

(Standing ovation, accompanied by thunderous applause.)

To date, all Foundation initiatives to impede, obfuscate, or discredit SCP-4553's campaign have been unsuccessful. “Bob Shepherd”, despite being an independent candidate in an overwhelmingly Republican district and an inhuman mass of worms, currently commands an 89% standing in the polls. Early Foundation front organization attempts to discredit SCP-4553 on the basis of its plainly observable anomalous properties have been met with unilateral failure, decried by the majority of the voting public of Nebraska as “bigoted” or “racist”. See document “Contingency 4553-NIGHTCRAWLER” for best-case followup operations in the (seemingly inevitable) event of SCP-4553's election to the United States House of Representatives.

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