SCP-5379
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rating: +45+x

Item#: SCP-5379
Level3
Containment Class:
esoteric
Secondary Class:
uncontained
Disruption Class:
vlam
Risk Class:
caution

VKTMS.jpg

Advertising flyer for SCP-5379 mailed to residents of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Special Containment Procedures: MTF Kappa-43 ("The Mediators") will respond to all reports of SCP-5379 manifestation. Items recovered from said manifestations are to be archived in Low-Yield Storage Facility 1 at Site-43. Affected individuals are to be amnesticized.

Kappa-43 is to attempt all means at its disposal to occupy SCP-5379 during its brief manifestation periods. Until such time as this is achieved, or GoI-5889 is neutralized, it will remain uncontained.

Description: SCP-5379 is "VK Technical Media Solutions," a photography and film stock storefront operated by Vikander-Kneed Technical Media (GoI-5889). SCP-5379 appears seemingly at random within existing storefronts, displacing their original occupants to parts unknown for the duration of its manifestation. SCP-5379 functions as a typical facility of its kind, offering a variety of blank film to its customers and also offering film development and tape transfer services. However, anything recorded on film purchased from SCP-5379 is dramatically altered, frequently in ways which should not be possible. Examples include:

  • Uncropped photographs;
  • Untrimmed film;
  • The inclusion of new media elements of unclear provenance;
  • The inclusion of references to information known only to the owner;
  • The substitution of entirely new pieces of media.

Personnel employed at the displaced facilities are left with hazy recollections of "a vacation" to explain their disappearance; mnestic treatment has recovered only partial, apparently true memories of attending a corporate training retreat during their absence with the theme of "Keeping Your Premises Actually Yours in the Future." While participants are unable to recall the curricula of this retreat, it is apparently effective, as no storefront has been co-opted by SCP-5379 more than once.

SCP-5379 only alters the interior of the structures it occupies, and its manifestation is therefore exceedingly difficult to track. Foundation operatives typically only become aware of manifestations when the items they produce result in attempted law enforcement action. In every case, SCP-5379 has disappeared before such action can be taken, and well before Foundation operatives can gain access.

SCP-5379 engages in periodic memetically-effective advertising campaigns to promote its services, as seen in the flyer depicted above and the commercial transcribed below.

Addendum 5379-1, Discovery and Instance Log: On 05/18/1979, the following television commercial was broadcast on all commercial stations in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States of America.

A haze of orange and yellow, presumably smeared on the film negative, swims across the screen. The scene appears to be the back rooms of a butcher shop; a large piece of unidentifiable meat hangs from a hook suspended from the ceiling. A man in a t-shirt is visible in a mirror on the wall, seated on a toilet. He breathes deeply and speaks in a monotone. He does not look into the camera.

Orientation.jpg

VK Technical Media Solutions commercial.

Man: I don't even know.

Five seconds of silence.

Man: Take my wife.

Man: VK Technical Media Solutions.

Man: All your film needs.

Three seconds of sobbing in the background, abruptly cut off.

Man: Fishing with the boys. VK Technical Media Solutions.

Man: Make me a sandwich.

The meat begins to rotate on the hook.

Man: Take my wife.

A logo appears for "Vikander-Kneed Technical Media Solutions," with the accompanying slogan "Media for Men" sloppily overlaid over the slogan "There is no glass ceiling."

Shortly after this commercial aired, the Foundation became aware of several incidents of SCP-5379 manifestation and events related to film purchased there.

Incident 5379-I-1
Date: 06/03/1979 Subject: Morris Brown, pensioner
Media: Photo album Source: Little Rock Police Department

Alterations: Brown had taken a collection of old photographic negatives to SCP-5379 to have them developed. Annotations in an angry scrawl matching Brown's handwriting can be found on the resulting photographs, offering frank interpretations of the characters of the persons on display, or issuing vague accusations against them. These persons are invariably female.


Album.jpg

A photograph in the collection of the late Morris Brown.

Notes: The alterations were discovered by Brown's nephew, the executor of his estate, who made a report of vandalism to the police. Forensic personnel confirmed that the photographs had been developed directly from the negatives, which nevertheless do not feature the accompanying scrawl.

The forensic examiners were pressed by Foundation agents to reverse their conclusions under duress, then amnesticized. A notice was placed in local newspapers correcting the earlier police report and confirming that an act of vandalism had taken place.

The executor withdrew his complaint, and his amnesticization was deemed unnecessary. The incident was investigated and logged, but as anomalous interference could not be confirmed, no subsequent action was taken.

The SCP-5379 file was officially opened after the discovery of the next instance of altered media, whose anomalous nature was irrefutable. In June of 1979 an American film-maker attempted to sue the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times for the theft of his latest film from its storage container, and its replacement with an unrelated piece of media.

Incident 5379-I-2
Date: 06/13/1979 Subject: John Bedfield, amateur director
Media: Amateur film entitled Run Source: Little Rock Police Department

Alterations: The film Run has been replaced with a two-hour review of Run by noted critics Gene Siskel and Robert Ebert, as part of their regular program At the Movies. The episode in question never aired, and was likely never recorded as 1) Run was never officially released, and is now lost, and 2) At the Movies did not begin airing until 1986. The opening titles for the show incorporate a logo for "Vikander-Kneed Trash Mockery," with the accompanying slogan "You're poor in talent, but rich in lack of talent!"

A representative excerpt follows.


Siskel: I think I've reached the point in my life where I'm willing to step back and say no, no, not everything committed to film is potentially a, a work of art. This mess certainly isn't.

Bedfield1.jpg

Still frame from Run, 1979, reconstructed from the negative.

Ebert: You can't decide that unilaterally. If anyone's going to do that, it should be me. I'm a far more competent arbiter of taste than you are.

Siskel: You're serious?

Ebert: Of course, and much more eloquent to boot. I'm a real renaissance man.

Siskel: Oh, please. You watch smut in the theatre, Roger, you can't stand in jest, in j-judgement over all cinema.

Ebert: I'm not standing, Gene, I'm sitting. And so are you. That's how you can keep putting your foot in your mouth without falling over.

Siskel: So you're saying you like this film?

Ebert laughs derisively.

Ebert: Of course not, it's trash. I did enjoy the eye candy, though, those parts were shot well. It's trash with sex appeal, at least.

Siskel: The sex scene was very tasteful. That's why I'm sur— why I'm surprised you liked it.

Ebert is sipping his soda quietly.

Siskel: What, no snappy comeback?

Ebert: I'm sharpening my straw into a shiv.


Notes: Run was an emotional portrayal of Bedfield's attempt to reconnect with his estranged mother during her campaign for public office in Thurmont, Maryland. Most of the runtime consisted of black-and-white footage of door-to-door canvassing, town meetings, and local events. It had no sex scene.

After Bedfield's amnesticization, a notice was placed in local newspapers retracting his lawsuit.

No further examples of SCP-5379 media were detected until an anonymous tip brought agents to the scene of a domestic quarrel in Little Rock. The individuals in question, a married couple, were fighting over the contents of a VHS tape.

Incident 5379-I-3
Date: 06/19/1979 Subject: Dwight Walker, junior executive
Media: Wedding film on VHS tape Source: Anonymous informant1

Alterations: Walker's wedding film has been replaced with footage from what appears to be a beach party, dated two weeks prior, where he is accompanied by a young woman with whom he shares several increasingly intimate interactions. Walker's best man is visible in the background of the earlier shots, engaged in obvious sexual advances with a second young woman. The opening titles now incorporate a logo for "Vikander-Kneed" with the accompanying slogan "Tarnishing Memories!"

Walker.jpg

Freeze frame from Item 5379-3.

Notes: The young woman accompanying Walker was not his wife, but a close friend of both. Walker's best man is similarly engaged in extramarital acts. Upon reviewing the film, Walker's wife attacked him with a wine bottle and several fireplace implements before a family friend convinced her to leave the house. The couple have since divorced.

No police report was filed, but an anonymous informant telephoned Site-43 to connect the event to SCP-5379. This informant could not subsequently be located.

A notice was placed in the local newspapers taking credit for the tape-switching as an act of vigilantism.

Monitoring of film-maker John Bedfield led to the automatic recovery of the next piece of altered media.

Incident 5379-I-4
Date: 06/24/1979 Subject: John Bedfield, amateur director
Media: 1979 film entitled Belgian Connection Source: Subject's home

Alterations: A commentary track featuring Bedfield's voice, which he claims to have not recorded, now plays over the entirety of Belgian Connection. Most scenes contain extra footage not in the final cut, which Bedfield claims to have not filmed. The opening titles now incorporate a logo for "VKTM Kids!" with the accompanying slogan "We don't know what we're doing, so you don't get to know what we're doing."

A representative excerpt follows.


A young woman is sitting on a hotel bed, wrapping paper discarded on the sheets beside her. She is reaching into a box in her lap.

Bedfield2.jpg

Still frame from Belgian Connection, 1979, reconstructed from the negative.

Bedfield: This was going to be the moment.

The woman removes a book from a box. The title is unreadable, as is her expression.

Bedfield: She had to understand the import of the gift. What I was trying to tell her with it. This was the moment when she'd finally tell me she loved me, that she understood me.

The woman shrugs, and replaces the book in the box. She closes the lid, smiles weakly at the camera without making eye contact, stands up and walks out of frame. The camera does not follow.

Bedfield: That was going to be the moment.

The scene cuts to the following day. The woman is browsing wares at a street vendor's stall.

Bedfield: This is where I was going to put the sex scene, but the producers convinced me to save it for the finale.


Notes: The film was an emotional portrayal of Bedfield's European vacation with his adopted sister in an attempt to connect. It had no producer, no hotel room scene, and no sex scene.

Bedfield checked himself into a mental health facility after reviewing the altered film; embedded Foundation operatives amnesticized him. A notice was placed in the local newspapers on behalf of the local film community, wishing him well and attributing his breakdown to stress and overwork.

Addendum 5379-2, Incident Report: On 07/02/1979 the Director of Site-43, Dr. V.L. Scout, received a redline telephone call from a man claiming to be privy to sensitive information about both GoI-5889 and the SCP Foundation. Agents detained Little Rock resident Dr. Allan J. McInnis at Site-73 in Texas, and Dr. Scout traveled from Canada to question him. A partial transcript of their conversation can be found below.

Interview Transcript

Date: 07/02/1979

Investigating Agent: Site Director Dr. V.L. Scout


[Excerpt begins.]

Dr. Scout: Forgive the cliché, but you're obviously not from around here.

McInnis: Clichés are the building blocks of communication, doctor. But yes, I'm from England. My people are from England. Most of us stayed there, but a few left for Canada and one, only one, left for America. My uncle, Morris Brown.

Dr. Scout: The recently-deceased Morris Brown. Is that why you're here?

McInnis: Yes. You mentioned clichés? I received a letter from a lawyer a few months back, stating that I had been appointed the executor of my uncle's estate.

Dr. Scout: That's how you discovered the photographs.

McInnis: Quite so. I knew there was something wrong the instant I saw them. My uncle couldn't have scribbled those notes.

Dr. Scout: You two were close?

McInnis: I'd never met the man.

Dr. Scout: Then how…?

McInnis: I met his house. It was immaculate. Spotless. Everything in its place. He wasn't the sort to drive invective into a photograph, is my point here. He was the sort, if my parents are to believed, to let it fester in his heart until no-one could stand to share a room with him. He was also a diarist, and I had copious examples of his handwriting to compare with that angry scrawl. It was his hand, but it wasn't his… style.

Dr. Scout: So, you suspected vandalism.

McInnis: No.

Dr. Scout: No? It's what you told the police.

McInnis: There were no signs of forced entry, and as I said, the house was in order. I filed the incident away for later.

Dr. Scout: You have a very orderly mind.

McInnis: Thank you. In any case, my uncle had also left behind a roll of blank camera film and a few blank video cassette tapes, all VKTM-branded. I decided I would use the film, in my uncle's camera, to document his possessions as his executor.

Dr. Scout: Oh.

McInnis: Yes. I'll spare you all the gory details, but one example should suffice. When I had the film developed, the photograph I'd taken of a lovely wicker basket my mother had once made for my uncle was covered with a few choice sentences in my own neat handwriting: "Mother loved him better. Father never knew."

Dr. Scout: …well. Ah, this is going to be a delicate—

McInnis: I'd had my suspicions. There was a reason my uncle moved to America, and families talk. I naturally developed — no pun intended — the hypothesis that the film carried anomalous properties.

Dr. Scout: …you do have an orderly mind.

McInnis: It was the only sensible conclusion. I did want to know if the police had seen any other evidence of this paranormal activity, so I submitted the photograph to them as evidence of vandalism. I was astonished at how quickly what should have been a shocking story was swallowed up by red tape. I take it that was your doing?

Dr. Scout: No comment.

McInnis: It was your doing. I assumed I was being watched, so I quietly dropped the matter and returned to work.

Dr. Scout: The inventory.

McInnis: No, actual work. My uncle left precious little money behind, and I needed to get a job. My background is in communications, you understand, so I attached myself to a local public relations firm connected with film and television productions.

Dr. Scout: For no reason specifically, I'm sure.

McInnis: I'll admit I was hoping to have my suspicions confirmed, but I was surprised how easily it happened. Within a week I'd met a local affiliate who had run that absurd commercial without remembering ever agreeing to it, and a filmmaker who claimed his amateur film had been somehow vandalized by his tape recorder. I was fascinated.

Dr. Scout: Not afraid?

McInnis: I fear mundanity, not absurdity. Now, in my time at the firm I'd befriended a fellow HR specialist, a woman named Sarah Walker. She was married to a truly boorish idiot… I'm sure you know his name.

Dr. Scout: I'm beginning to think I know it thanks to you.

McInnis: Quite so. I knew enough about this… magical? Media, to imagine that if I loaned the boor one of my uncle's VKTM tapes, and asked him to record his wedding video onto it for me…

Dr. Scout: You used him as an experiment.

McInnis: It couldn't have happened to a nicer man, I assure you. He made that video tape, and played it back for his wife and I to make sure it was working correctly… I'm glad I was there. I'd made sure to be there. She very nearly killed him. At any rate, I called you up to make sure you noticed. Thought you could use the help.

Dr. Scout: None of this explains how you got our number.

McInnis: Ah, well. The second round of commercials came on the television set one day, and I decided to avail myself of the service on offer. I found the local VKTM store, and purchased…

Silence on recording.

Dr. Scout: Yes?

McInnis: I told you I suspected I was being watched? I'm a newspaper reader, Dr. Scout, and I saw those pieces you posted on behalf of Mr. Bedfield. Having heard the real story from the man himself, I knew it was you, whoever you were, and not him. So I cut one of them out, and I took it to the VKTM store, and I asked them to blow it up to poster size for me.

Dr. Scout nods, and gestures at a large cardboard tube on the table.

Dr. Scout: The agents who brought you in said you were carrying this. May I?

McInnis: Please.

Dr. Scout pulls out the poster, and lays it on the table. He reads it carefully, then considers it for a moment.

Dr. Scout: Can you break your contract with the PR firm, by any chance?

[Excerpt ends]

The poster contained the Item Number, Object Class, Special Containment Procedures and Description for SCP-5379, including the telephone number and code phrase required to reach MTF Kappa-43 in the case of a sudden manifestation of an SCP-5379 location. (This information was subsequently removed from the file.) It also contained the number of Dr. Scout's redline telephone, which had not been included in SCP-5379's documentation.

Addendum 5379-3, Attempted Observation: On 07/03/1979, Dr. Scout offered Dr. McInnis a position at the SCP Foundation if he would assist in the continued surveillance of GoI-5889. Dr. McInnis agreed to these terms, and underwent extensive training over the following three weeks at Site-73. In the meantime, Dr. Scout monitored communications in Little Rock for a recurrence of the SCP-5379 phenomenon. When a third round of commercials was finally aired, Dr. McInnis was summoned back to Little Rock; he was sent to the new VKTM store on 07/28/1979 and instructed to purchase as many different varieties of media as could be found on offer.

When Dr. McInnis arrived, however, he found the store completely empty save for a single VHS tape sitting on the reception counter. A complete transcript of the tape's contents follows.

Waves of sharp white smoke are radiating off the motionless figure of a man standing in a tiled shower stall. The man is looking down, and the camera only captures the top of his head, which is covered with shampoo suds. There is a constant sound of running water, but no water is running.

Response.jpg

Video recovered by Dr. McInnis.

Man: You should smile more often.

Nineteen seconds of silence.

Man: Well? What did you expect?

The man shakes his head, but does not raise it.

Man: This show isn't for you.

Thirty-seven seconds of silence.

Man: This show is for them.

Man: But maybe you got the message anyway?

Twelve seconds of extremely loud static; the picture is unaffected, but water begins to spurt from the shower head. It stops when the static stops.

Man: And this is just the beginning.

The man reaches up to gently massage his scalp.

Man: VK Technical Media Solutions.

The man abruptly begins to pull the hair away from his scalp, hard.

Man: Boys will be boys.

As the skin on the man's scalp begins to tear away, the image abruptly cuts out. Wet, biological tearing sounds continue for the next one hundred and twenty-nine seconds.

A logo appears for "Vikander-Kneed Technical Media Solutions," with the accompanying slogan "Little Rock, Arkansas: most sexist town in America!" sloppily overlaid on the slogan "Congratulations on the new job, Allan!"

Addendum 5379-4, Subsequent Activity: No further VKTM Solutions manifestations occurred in Little Rock. The stores have periodically re-manifested, always in a new urban location, always with a new topical focus and advertising slogan. Examples have included "You earned your trust fund!" (New York City, New York), "Go ahead, say it anyway!" (Boston, Massachusetts) and "Slogans are a valid substitute for morality!" (Las Vegas, Nevada).

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