rating: +55+x

Item#: 5396
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:



Special Containment Procedures: SCP-5396 is to be contained in a standard security room. All access to SCP-5396 requires the approval of the head researcher and the Site Director. Should personnel suffer from feelings of inadequacy or impostor syndrome, access to SCP-5396 may be requested.

Description: SCP-5396 is an antique giltwood mirror, estimated to have been created around the year 1860. It is decorated with a simple pattern along its sides, with an additional ornamental carving placed above it. A groove consistent with bullet hole markings can be found on the top of the frame, with traces of gunpowder surrounding it (See Addendum 5396.01).

When a subject suffering from feelings of inadequacy views SCP-5396, the reflection of the mirror changes from that of the subject to a similar image depicting the subject as “their best version”1, referred to henceforth as SCP-5396-A. This is usually accompanied by the spontaneous appearance of writing on the surface of SCP-5396 that describes the state of the subject’s depiction in SCP-5396-A, as well as how they achieved their success.

Subsequent testing with the GPUI2 has revealed that the “best version” of a subject depicted in SCP-5396-A are equivalents of the subject retrieved from other parallel universes3.

Test Log:

Subject: D-3467, convicted three times for larceny. Grade school drop-out, was forced to commit crimes in order to feed his family. Prior to test, subject answered that his ambition was to become “a salesman”.

Results: Subject’s SCP-5396-A showed D-3467 in an expensive suit at a car exhibition. Multiple individuals (later found to have been D-3467’s accomplices in his crimes) were presenting vehicles for interested customers. Inscription on the top-left corner reads “A great innovator in the field of automobiles. You worked three jobs when you were only seventeen. This is the best version of you that could have ever been. This is the best version of you that could still be.”

Subject: Aldo de Marles, janitor at Site-19. Prior to test, subject was recorded to have discussed his personal life with co-workers, stating that he felt like “a lousy husband, can’t even provide for my three kids.”

Results: Subject’s SCP-5396-A showed de Marles as an old man at a family gathering. Three young adults (later confirmed to be adult versions of the subject's children) are gathered around a table together with an elderly woman (later confirmed to be Lina de Marles, the subject's wife). A child aged 5 pulls at his leg, requesting him to eat with them. Inscription on the top-left corner reads “You were a father at sixteen. You worked day and night to provide for your family. What else could you have done better? Your best version is far into the future- you only need to wait for him."

Subject: Doctor Ivan Petrenko, head researcher of SCP-9015. Was noted to have had difficulties performing his job due to multiple bouts of impostor syndrome related to his university thesis.

Results: Subject’s SCP-5396-A showed Dr. Petrenko as is. Inscription on the top-left corner reads “You were an established natural philosopher4 at 22, and universally praised by your peers and superiors. This is the best version of you that could have ever been. You are him right at this moment. Take pride in that. I most certainly did not, and it was too late when I did.”

Addendum 5396.01: Further investigation of the gunpowder and bullet hole found on SCP-5396 has traced the origin of SCP-5396 to a mirror maker called Montgomery Burrows, who lived in Williamsburg, Virginia from 1824 to 1860. He was known to have devoted his life to creating "true mirrors", but was unsuccessful in selling them. He committed suicide in 1860 through the use of his father's revolver, doing so in the middle of his workshop.

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