SCP-5369
rating: +48+x

Item #: SCP-5369

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-5369-A is located in a humanoid containment cell at an undisclosed Site that is guarded at all times by armed members of MTF Epsilon-11 ("Nine-Tailed Fox"). Any unauthorized personnel approaching the door of the containment cell outside of scheduled access times is to be apprehended and detained for questioning.

In the case of an external breach and the subsequent death of SCP-5369-A, containment duties will halt until SCP-5369-A makes contact with the Foundation again.

florence

Earliest known photograph of SCP-5369-B.

Description: SCP-5369-A is a woman by the name of Florence Penemue who does not age. Upon death, its corpse will rapidly decompose into dust, while SCP-5369-A will reappear in a random location a varying period of time later.1 Aside from these two traits, SCP-5369-A appears to be wholly mundane.

SCP-5369-B is a woman with the same qualities who will consistently seek out and terminate SCP-5369-A by any means necessary. While possessing no anomalous combat abilities that would assist it in its goals, SCP-5369-B has displayed a disregard for human casualties and an extremely narrow-minded focus on its goal that has made it a formidable opponent.

Despite knowing of the existence of SCP-5369-A for over a century, the Foundation in the past has been unable to hold it long enough for interrogation due to SCP-5369-B's intervention. Rather than allowing itself to be captured, SCP-5369-B will terminate itself when cornered, leading to a dearth of information regarding the connections between the two anomalies.

Discovery: The SCP-5369 anomalies first came to the attention of the Foundation through the Flamel Project in 1863, an initiative within the Foundation tasked with gathering information on suspected and unknown immortals existing within civilian society. Initially, SCP-5369-B was theorized to be a serial killer with a preferential class of victims. However upon the discovery that all victims had identified themselves as a "Florence," several attempts were made to capture SCP-5369-A for interrogation.

Addendum 5369.1: SCP-5369-A 01/31/1972 Interview

Interviewed: SCP-5369-A

Interviewer: Dr Jack Bright2


[BEGIN LOG]

Bright: Hello there. My name's Dr Jack Bright. I'm not sure if you remember this, but I—

SCP-5369-A: You did the check-in exam. Back in 1891. You look… different. What happened to you?

Bright: Immortality happened. Not by choice though. It's a rather long story.

[Bright taps SCP-963.]

Bright: Stuck in this little thing for now, hopping from one body to the next whenever someone puts it on. As for you… reincarnation, I'm guessing?

SCP-5369-A: Not quite. I'm not born again. I just appear as I am, as I look now. I die, I go away for a bit, then after some time I find myself naked on a beach or mountain or in the middle of nowhere. That's always fun.

Bright: What's it like?

SCP-5369-A: Waking up? It's a bit troublesome to get started all over again, but it usually doesn't take long.

Bright: No, death. Dying, I mean.

SCP-5369-A: Ah.

Bright: To me, it's a bit like falling asleep. One second you're there lying in bed, the next you're blinking yourself awake in a new place and a new body. A bit disorientating, but a peaceful seamless transition. What's it like for you?

SCP-5369-A: Sort of like… holding your breath. You try to let it go, once you become uncomfortable, but you don't have any lungs to let it out of. Or a mouth. Or anything. All you have is that black horizon. Never know exactly when it's going to happen, sometimes it's in a month, sometimes it's a year — not that you can really count time in the in-between. You just hope it goes by quickly.

Bright: Interesting, we'll have to discuss that some more at another time. For now, I wanted to ask you about this woman.

[Bright places the photo of SCP-5369-B on the table. SCP-5369-A's eyes flicker down.]

Bright: From what we can tell, she's been rather persistent over the past century and a half. Hunting you down, over and over again. Why is she so focused on you?

[SCP-5369-A remains silent.]

Bright: Florence, I'm trying to help you here. Even if you're immortal, I know dying's painful. Trust me, I'm no fan of it either. If you tell us why she's after you, maybe we can stop her somehow. Anything that comes to mind can help.

[SCP-5369-A remains silent. Bright sits back.]

Bright: Do you really want to play this role forever, Florence? Dying over and over again, suffocating behind that black horizon, as you called it? I can't imagine much worse when you're immortal. But if you think you can stop her, whoever she is, say the word and we'll let you go as you please.

SCP-5369-A: Elizabeth. That's her name. Elizabeth Moore. From Plymouth. Her father was a cotton merchant, with the East India Company. Lived just down the road from us, but we never really knew each other until school. She was… kind. Even if it was dangerous, or she had every reason in the world to be absolutely furious at someone, she'd drop everything to help them out the moment they asked.

Bright: Sounds like quite the person. Were you two close?

SCP-5369-A: You could say that. For a time, we were ⁠— never mind. But we⁠—

[SCP-5369-A is interrupted by the sound of a distant alarm.]

Bright: Odd. Hold on a moment.

[Bright stands up, opening the door. The alarm increases drastically in volume, making SCP-5369-A flinch.]

Bright: Macleod, what's going on out there? Containment breach?

Macleod: No idea. Comms are down, can't get a word in to anyone. I'm betting on an external breach, though. We should probably get to a more defensible position—

SCP-5369-A: It's her. Elizabeth.

Bright: Could be any number of foes at play. The Foundation has no shortage of enemies, I can tell you that. Insurgency, the Hand, maybe someone hired Marshall, Carter and Dark to swipe something…

SCP-5369-A: It has to be her. She always finds me. Always.

Bright: Hmm. Macleod, get yourself someplace safe. I'll shelter in place with the anomaly.

Macleod: But I—

Bright: You're mortal. We're not. If we die, that's easily fixable. Not so much for you. Get yourself out of here, that's an order.3

[Bright locks the door, sitting back down across from SCP-5369-A.]

Bright: If you're right, we'll probably be dead in a few minutes. Along with a lot of good people who were in danger because of you. People who don't have the means to come back like us. So tell me: why is she after you?

[Muffled explosions can be heard in the background.]

SCP-5369-A: Do you have family? Your parents, siblings, children, nieces and nephews, are they still around? I'm not quite sure how old you are.

Bright: …That's neither here nor there. What's your point?

SCP-5369-A: If you could ensure someone who meant everything to you would be safe, would be protected and healthy, what would you do to make that happen? Is there even a limit? Would you burn down the world to see them happy?

Bright: I suppose I might, if they were in danger. And what was this terrible threat that Elizabeth faced? Illness? Some sort of disease?

SCP-5369-A: In a manner of speaking, if you consider death a disease.

Bright: What? Judging from her appearance, she can't be anymore than eighteen, maybe twenty. She looked healthy enough.

SCP-5369-A: Twenty-three, and the absolute picture of health. Never ate anything the least bit fattening. And yet no matter what, in the span of sixty or seventy years her slender figure, her flowing locks, her beautiful face, it would all wither and age away. And one day, I found myself able to stop all that, so I did.

Bright: And now she's hunting you down. Clearly she doesn't appreciate the "gift" anymore. What made her change her mind?

SCP-5369-A: Oh, she never was grateful for all I've done. Just goes to show how you can give someone the greatest present in the world, but they can still be furious for the silliest of reasons. You'd think she was looking forward to death.

Bright: Wait, so… you didn't even ask her in the first place? You just made her immortal without her permission and expected everything to be fine, expected her to be happy that you made this enormous decision without even bothering to consult her.

SCP-5369-A: I had hoped she'd see reason by now, but as you can tell…. maybe in a few more decades. Everything I did, I did for her—

Bright: Everything you did was for you and you alone. Don't fool yourself. If you actually cared what she thought, you wouldn't have done it yourself, you'd ask her.

SCP-5369-A: And if she said something silly like preferring to die a miserable cancer-filled end, should I "respect" her choices then? Next you'll say there's things worse than death.

Bright: I— God. I've spoken to murderers, assassins, bloodthirsty beasts, and yet you're the first thing to sit across from me that I find truly and utterly revolting. You… you're not worth the air you're breathing.

[The two sit in silence. More explosions can be heard in the background, along with the sound of gunfire. The gunfire appears to be getting significantly closer.]

Bright: How does she find you? Today, 1891, a dozen other times beforehand, she always finds you. It seems we never have you for more than a day before she homes in. How does she do that? A side effect of your immortality?

SCP-5369-A: Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe it was some sort of spell she picked up over the years, or some trick she learned from an acquaintance, or… or maybe it was that grey-eyed bastard. Dammit.

Bright: What? What do you mean?

[The door opens again, and SCP-5369-B enters the room, carrying a revolver and flanked by a masked man in paramilitary garb on each side. Turning to one of the men, it places what appears to be a small jewel in his hand before stepping into the cell and closing the door behind it. SCP-5369-A stands up, clearly alarmed.]

SCP-5369-A: Lizzy, I-

[SCP-5369-B shoots three times in quick succession. SCP-5369-A's corpse collapses and begins to rapidly decompose. SCP-5369-B turns to Dr Bright and shoots him twice in the head.]

[SCP-5369-B glances around the room before departing.]

[END LOG]


Closing Statement: Due to the extreme chaos left by the breach, SCP-5369-B was able to escape the Site undetected. Subdued attackers were identified as belonging to Hyperion, a private military company often used by the Foundation in politically complex situations. Recovered soldiers divulged that SCP-5369-B had paid an exorbitant amount for their assistance in breaching the Site in exchange for the breaking of their contract.

Addendum 5369.2: Request for Change of Security Protocols

Firstly, I'd like to apologize for my behavior in the SCP-5369 interview. It was grossly unprofessional at best. However, my feelings on the continued containment of SCP-5369-A remain the same.

SCP-5369-A represents a massive security risk. Containing it will inevitably attract the attention of SCP-5369-B, an enemy that displayed an extreme dedication to its goals and clear disdain for human life. Unlike the Insurgency or the Black Queen, or any other foes we might encounter, SCP-5369-B cannot be bribed, threatened, cajoled, intimidated, or persuaded into changing its goal. If it wants to kill SCP-5369-A, it won't let anything stop it, no matter how long it takes.

While I'm not fond of letting a potentially dangerous anomaly roam free, it's better than the costly alternative. I propose we rid ourselves of the albatross around our necks.

Dr Bright, Senior Researcher

Dr Bright,

While your professional advice is always welcome, we'd kindly ask you to keep your personal feelings regarding immortality to yourself and not in your work. An outburst of that vitriol is conduct unbecoming of a Foundation doctor, regardless of the perceived moral character of the anomaly. As such, we've decided to release you from the SCP-5369 project team.

However, your proposal has highlighted the need for an immediate change in SCP-5369-A's security protocols before its next containment. Your final task on the SCP-5369 team will be to implement a new set of containment protocols designed to minimize friendly casualties.

O5-3








Addendum 5369.3: Recovered letter, Plymouth Historical Society

Florie, florie, florie. How the name of my beautiful flower would consume my thoughts for hours on end. I would keep it almost like a secret, never saying it aloud except for the dead of night where no one would hear my voice betray its thoughts. Once upon a time, the night was when I felt truly alive. Once upon a time, I truly loved you. It may sound ridiculous now, but once it was the only thing I was sure of in this world.

But you did not love me even then. You may have desired me, but it was a desire born out of obsession. That was not love. Love takes, but it also gives. It is not a pagan god demanding sacrifice, but one that nourishes and protects. If you had truly loved me, you would have been happy with sixty years or six. As long as we were together for as long as possible, that should have been all that mattered.

You could not bear to exist in a world where I was not yours. I felt the same. But I had to accept it because that was the way the world was. You decided not to.

What devil did you bargain with for this curse? What terrible price did you have to pay? Whatever it was, it was not worth it. A hundred years past, and I can no longer remember what my mother looked like, or the sound of my father's voice. I had brothers once, brothers I no longer recall the names of. Pain and pleasure are both foreign to my dulled senses, and all food and drink tastes like ashes upon my tongue. My heart may still be beating, but I died the day you sold our souls. What remains is a lifeless automaton enduring the grinding away of the ages.

Yet whenever I think of you, something comes back to me. I dream of all the times I gently traced over the contours of your face, feeling every bump and imperfection. Then I sink my nails into your flesh and tear that beautiful face apart. That moment, that heartbeat, between your shrieks of pain and when the dream evaporates and I wake to nothing but the cold night air? That is the only moment I feel alive. That is the only moment I feel anything at all.

You stole from me my life, so I shall do the same. Anything you build, I shall destroy utterly. Anywhere you run, I will follow. Anyone you love? I'll make sure they die screaming. I swear you will never know another moment of happiness again.

Only an eternity of misery.

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