Item#: SCP-5109
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-5109 must not be spoken. This restriction is waived in the event of an imminent threat to the life of its keeper; it must then be spoken to that keeper's O5 Command contact via one-way radio transmitter. The identities of SCP-5109's present keeper and their O5 contact are classified Level 5: Top Secret.

Audio recording of SCP-5109 is prohibited.

Description: SCP-5109 is a cognito-linguistic phenomenon, the comprehension and retention of a specific string of forty-one characters from the Latin alphabet and Arabic numeral set.. Alternative designations: linear meme, cognitive isolate. At any given time, precisely one person can properly recognize and conceive of this character string, thus "containing" SCP-5109 in their mind. All other persons will perceive any non-auditory representation of the character string as a jumble of unfamiliar, meaningless symbols (see below), will be unable to concentrate on it for more than a few seconds, and will forget it once their attention lapses.


SCP-5109. Iconographic aberrance, if any, is due to associated memetic effect.

Any individual in possession of SCP-5109 (hereafter its "keeper") will be unable to forget it until it has been transmitted to a new individual. Transmission is achieved by speaking SCP-5109 aloud, character-by-character, in the presence or telepresence of at least one other sentient being. The first such being to aurally receive SCP-5109 in this fashion will immediately memorize its characters, and the former keeper will forget them entirely. There is no established upper limit to the number of times an individual can possess SCP-5109; Site-43 Identity and Technocryptography Chief Eileen Veiksaar has received and relinquished SCP-5109 some forty-three times over a period of eleven years with no apparent consequence.

Background knowledge an individual does or does not possess about SCP-5109 is immune to its memetic effects. New keepers will not recognize the character string as anomalous until they are so informed or discover its nature themselves; former keepers do not forget the existence of SCP-5109, merely its essence. This essence cannot be reverse-engineered, and deductive reasoning will not allow the characters to be "guessed." SCP-5109 is only imprinted on a subject's consciousness through aural reception.

There is no evidence to suggest that SCP-5109 possesses agency or sentience. It does not affect the cognizance of its hosts except where memorization of the associated character string is concerned, and displays no cognizance of its own. Whether its phenomena represent an inherent property of languages using the Latin alphabet, an inherent property of human consciousness, an irreducible universal constant or a purposeful alteration of reality is not known. That the character string possesses a meaning in the English language, [EXPUNGED], does to some extent mitigate against all but the last of these possibilities.

Addendum: SCP-5109 first came to Foundation attention on 5/08/2009 (see below). Its nature was determined through experimentation; its origin remains unknown.

The ongoing need to develop reliable security protocols for Foundation research led to a proposal by Chief Veiksaar: experimental use of SCP-5109 in sensitive research projects at Site-43. Chief Veiksaar's proposal was accepted on 01/14/2010. She became the de facto keeper of SCP-5109 when not in use, authorized to loan it out on a case-by-case basis. This practice was discontinued on 04/27/2020, Special Containment Procedures were amended, and Chief Veiksaar ceded SCP-5109 to O5 Command.

O5 Command is not accepting requests for the release of SCP-5109. Rationale can be found in the usage log excerpts retrieved from the Site-43 Network Database (43Net) reproduced below.

43NET: SCP-5109 Usage Log [SELECTED]
05/08/2009: During a routine credentials renewal, Dr. K. Elstrom speaks her 43NET password aloud via telephone to Identity and Technocryptography (I&T) technician W. Barkley. Barkley asks Dr. Elstrom to confirm the password by repeating it; she finds herself unable to do so. Dr. Elstrom asks that Barkley instead repeat the password back to her; when he refuses, citing protocol, she becomes extremely agitated and demands to speak to his supervisor.
05/09/2009: An I&T investigation determines the anomalous nature of the character string and it is transferred from Barkley to Eileen Veiksaar, Chief of I&T. Dr. Elstrom claims, under MARSTON verification protocol, to have no memory of the source of her former password. This claim is verified.
05/10/2009 — 01/16/2010: The anomaly is classified SCP-5109. Eight months of study establish the laws governing its transmission. It is released to Chief Veiksaar's custody, and a registration system is set up to handle applications for its use in projects at Site-43.
01/28/2010 — 01/29/2010: Dr. T. Bremmel claims SCP-5109 as the password for a secure network database. Site-43 Security and Containment Section (S&C) is alerted to a containment breach scenario in Dr. Bremmel's office the next day. Agents discover a Post-it note on Dr. Bremmel's terminal, containing his login information. At an emergency disciplinary hearing Dr. Bremmel reveals that the password on the note is not SCP-5109, but is instead a keyword pre-emptively flagged with S&C. Dr. Bremmel is detained at his own request, and his removal from Site-43 is announced via 43Net.
02/04/2010: Dr. Bremmel's former research assistant, Dr. S. Mollins, attempts three times to use the login and password from the Post-it note to remotely access Dr. Bremmel's secure database from his own office terminal. Charged with unauthorized access to a secured workspace and attempted credentials theft, Dr. Mollins is removed to Site-06-3 for detention. Dr. Bremmel returns SCP-5109 to Chief Veiksaar, never having used it.
Couldn't you have just made up a password for this, Trevor? [Blank, Dr. H.]
He had to think I'd be out of the way before he tried to steal my work. Flouting password regulations is bad; flouting ConProcs can be fatal. [Bremmel, Dr. T.]
05/16/2010 — 05/19/2010: Dr. E. LeClair claims SCP-5109 for use as the password for her tablet computer. Three days later she attempts to violate containment protocols for SCP-1693 at Sector-25. When apprehended, she admits to undertaking private research for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. Health and Pathology Section assessment at Site-43 reveals that Dr. LeClair suffers from Mild Cognitive Impairment, proceeding rapidly to mild dementia. I&T reports multiple password reset requests originating from her office over the past month. Dr. LeClair willingly surrenders SCP-5109 to Chief Veiksaar, and requests amnesticization and retirement to intermediate care. Her requests are granted.
05/29/2010 — 08/04/2010: SCP-5109 is claimed by Dr. H. Forsythe for use in clinical trials to determine whether its use can cause, or aggravate, cognitive impairment. All results are negative, and SCP-5109 is returned to Chief Veiksaar.
03/26/2011 — 05/17/2011: Dr. D. Sokolsky claims SCP-5109 for use as a research group FTP password. He instructs his colleagues to telephone him for a new, one-time password before uploading their data each day. He actually recites SCP-5109 to them each time, asking that they repeat it back to him before completing the log-on process. At the conclusion of the research project Dr. Sokolsky creates a new, non-anomalous password for the FTP system and returns SCP-5109 to Chief Veiksaar.
06/12/2011: Dr. Sokolsky publishes the research group's work as his own at the Site-43 All-Sections Symposium. When his colleagues protest, he challenges their credentials and asks them to prove their group membership by reciting any one of the previous FTP passwords, which they obviously cannot do. He then publishes the results of a second, secret program of research on the security and ethics implications of SCP-5109, detailing the above actions in full, and is immediately promoted to Senior Researcher in Memetics and Countermemetics.
Still a little in awe of this, to be honest. [McInnis, Dr. A.]
08/16/2011 — 09/18/2011: R. Pensak, Deputy Chief of Security and Containment for Site-43, claims SCP-5109 for use as a ritual artifacts storage locker code. He is diagnosed with acute laryngitis two days before the artifacts are proven counterfeit, and is unable to return SCP-5109 to Chief Veiksaar for over a month.
01/30/2012 — 02/29/2012: Dr. L. Lillihammer claims SCP-5109 for use as a vocal activation code for an adaptive security program derived from SCP-3355. On 02/29/2012 she attempts to activate the program as usual, but finds that it has already activated itself — having become artificially intelligent — and immediately forgets SCP-5109. She negotiates its return to her (via vocoder) in exchange for promises to build a robotic host for the security program. After fully wiping and disposing of the affected systems and returning SCP-5109 to Chief Veiksaar, Dr. Lillihammer informs Site-43 S&C of these events. A reprimand is issued, but in light of her honesty no further action is taken.
11/17/2014 — 11/20/2014: Dr. T. Bremmel claims SCP-5109 for use in an experimental security system. At 2:42 AM on 11/20/2014 he instructs Site-43 S&C to detain his former research assistant, Dr. O. Ostroy, for unauthorized entry and theft of research materials. Agents confront Dr. Ostroy in his living quarters, where he denies Dr. Bremmel's charges. Under enhanced interrogation, however, Dr. Ostroy is proven capable of reciting SCP-5109. Dr. Ostroy is subsequently removed to Site-06-3 for detention, and SCP-5109 is returned to Chief Veiksaar.
I don't understand this one at all. How did you know he'd broken in, and how did he learn 5109? [Blank, Dr. H.]
I made a recording of 5109 and had the security system play it to the first person who entered without authorization. I knew when it happened because I had a picture of 5109 as the lock screen on my phone. I woke up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, checked my phone, and realized I couldn't understand the characters anymore. The recording's gibberish now, by the way, and it'll stay gibberish even if I get 5109 again. Go figure. [Bremmel, Dr. T.]
…it didn't even occur to me that it would work like that. It shouldn't work like that. Why does it work like that? [Blank, Dr. H.]
We tested this thing for eight months, Harry. The best answer I can give you is: it works like that. [Bremmel, Dr. T.]
Then my next question is, should we update the ConProcs? Have the keeper make a recording, just to be safe, and ditch the radio transmitter? [Blank, Dr. H.]
Absolutely not. As the keeper can still transmit 5109 orally unless someone listens to the recording first, that would take us from one containment breach vector to two. [McInnis, Dr. A.]
…or more. [Blank, Dr. H.]
You're right. We need to update the ConProcs. [McInnis, Dr. A.]
09/01/2015 — 09/08/2015: Dr. A. Zlatá claims SCP-5109 for use as the password to an information retrieval system. He is subsequently killed when a scheduling mishap results in his presence in Site-43 Acroamatic Abatement Facility AAF-D during a cascade containment breach event on 09/08/2015.
11/19/2015: After 72 days of around-the-clock decryption of Dr. Zlatá's database, I&T personnel are unable to reconstruct SCP-5109.
We knew the linguistic component wouldn't function without the cognitive component, of course, but it was a useful training exercise nevertheless. [Veiksaar, Chief E.]
If only someone had thought to, say, have Adrijan make an audio recording. [Blank, Dr. H.]
09/08/2016: The cascade containment breach event which killed Dr. Zlatá recurs, as it has annually since 2002 due to anachronic material being processed in Acroamatic Abatement. Temporal Anomalies Department personnel are able to intercept Dr. Zlatá and retrieve SCP-5109 from him shortly before his second death. SCP-5109 is returned to Chief Veiksaar.
09/09/2016: N. Nascimbeni, Janitorial and Maintenance Chief for Site-43, claims SCP-5109 for use as a lock code on Acroamatic Abatement Facility AAF-D. He recites it to himself once upon leaving Chief Veiksaar's office, and immediately forgets it.
09/09/2019: SCP-5056-A screams a string of characters at SCP-5056-B while the latter is showering. SCP-5056-B recounts the event to A. Torosyan, Janitorial and Maintenance Chief for Site-43, and immediately forgets the characters upon so doing. SCP-5109 is returned to Chief Veiksaar after an interval of thirty-six months.
09/10/2019: Use of SCP-5109 within Site-43 is proscribed; Chief Veiksaar retains its custody, but may only transmit it in person while off-site.
04/24/2020 — 04/25/2020: Dr. W. Howard claims SCP-5109 for use as a temporary access code for his laboratory at Site-66. A series of explosions destroys Dr. L. Eastover's office and research suite at Site-66 the next day. Dr. Howard is apprehended while trying to escape off-site, and questioned. He claims to be an agent of the Chaos Insurgency GOI, and to have used SCP-5109 as the vocal activation key to five networked explosive devices in Dr. Eastover's office; he delivered the key remotely by telephoning Dr. Eastover's answering machine. He further claims to have surrendered SCP-5109 to the Chaos Insurgency via telephone immediately afterward.
04/26/2020: Dr. Eastover's treatment for third-degree burns at Site-66 is successful. He had fallen asleep in his office on 04/25/2020, was awakened by Dr. Howard's call, and was present (under his desk) when the explosive devices were triggered. Dr. Eastover returns SCP-5109 to Chief Veiksaar's custody.
04/27/2020: Chief Veiksaar is ordered to relinquish SCP-5109 to O5 Command, and complies.
01/01/2021: [DATA EXPUNGED]

Addendum: Proposals to decommission SCP-5109 have been rejected, as it is unclear whether terminating its present keeper would permanently destroy the anomaly or cause it to manifest in some other context — potentially outside of containment, or Foundation notice.

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