rating: +102+x

Item#: 5397
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:


Image of a person following total liquification by SCP-5397

Special Containment Procedures: All instances of SCP-5397-A and SCP-5397-B are to be secured at the place of their appearance, with appropriate measures being taken at the discretion of the head researcher in order to prohibit all unauthorized personnel from discovering or accessing it.

Any personnel who are suspected of coming into physical contact with SCP-5397-B are to be immediately quarantined in secure and airtight rooms. Extra effort is to be expended with regards to tracing all persons that have come into contact with those quarantined, so as to prevent outbreaks of SCP-5397.

Should instances of SCP-5397, SCP-5397-A, or SCP-5397-B be discovered outside of containment, Mobile Task Force Beta-7 ("Maz Hatters") is to be immediately dispatched to secure the instances.

Description: SCP-5397 is an engineered variant of the influenza A virus, capable of periodically liquefying its host into a fluid chemically similar to acrylic paint in a matter of six to eight hours after exposure. The time for total liquification is estimated to take thirty minutes to one hour after the onset of first symptoms, where the host describes the feeling of numbness and moistness on parts of their body.

As the process of liquification transpires, the host of SCP-5397 is compelled to seek out any nearby vertical surfaces. Should no surfaces be found in the amount of time before total liquification, hosts have been recorded to lay on the ground below them. Any efforts to dissuade the host from performing any of the aforementioned actions will be met with resistance from the host.

When total liquification is achieved, the resulting fluid (hereafter known as SCP-5397-A) will begin to change color, creating a mural (henceforth referred to as SCP-5397-B) according to a surrealist artistic design. These murals have been observed to include a representation of the host, with the mural’s depictions of the host becoming distorted in a way that usually depicts some form of grotesque torture (see included Addendum 5397.01). How SCP-5397 creates these designs is unknown, as no sign of intelligence in the virus has been detected. (See Operation Log)

Shortly after their formation, SCP-5397-B instances have been observed to be “alive”. Persons touching the mural have noted that the paint seems to “breathe” when physical contact is made, even when respiration should be impossible. Any depictions of the host that include eyes will also seem to follow any observers, provided that the mural is still “alive” at the time of discovery. These observations have led credence to the hypothesis that SCP-5397 maintains its host’s consciousness in some shape or form. In SCP-5397-B instances 1 through 4, the murals seemed to “survive” for at least twenty-four hours after formation.

Though it is derived from the influenza A virus, SCP-5397 is only contagious when contact is made with SCP-5397-B instances. The reasons why are unknown, though recent hypotheses have stated that it may have been the result of deliberate engineering on the part of the pathogen’s creators.

Discovery Log: SCP-5397 was first discovered at the 2024 Sommes-Nous Devenus Magnifiques?1 at the Palais de Papes2, where an instance of SCP-5397-B (hereafter referred to as SCP-5397-B-1) was unveiled by a cell of anartists affiliated with the organization (henceforth termed as the Cruz cell). According to reports by Foundation informants who were embedded within the attending crowd, the mural’s creator, Arnold Cruz, encouraged those who were instrumental in organizing the event to touch the exhibition and “feel its properties” for themselves, stating that it is “justice personified”. Three people were recorded to have touched the mural, with all of them being well-respected figures in the organization.

Shortly after, the first effects of liquification among the infected hosts began to manifest, with informants describing the sight as “horrifying, as if their skin was sloughing off of them and turning to paint, dripping off them with every step they took.” With this, the Foundation was notified of the potentially infectious anomaly, with MTF Beta-7 ("Maz Hatters") being dispatched from nearby Site-██. Upon arrival to the scene, the Mobile Task Force negotiated with Are We Cool Yet? authorities on a temporary lockdown of the site, which the head of the gathering agreed to. All liquefying subjects were secured in the main hall, with all those they had come into contact with being quarantined in separate rooms.

During the time between the initial unveiling and the end of the lockdown twenty-four hours later, all 3 people had turned into instances of SCP-5397-B within the main hall (See Addendum 5397.01). Two additional Mobile Task Forces were assigned to crowd control and the search for the members of the cell who unveiled the mural. As of the time of writing, the search for the Cruz cell is still being conducted by Foundation personnel and private forces from Are We Cool Yet?.

Three weeks after the initial discovery of SCP-5397, the Palais de Papes has been incorporated into Foundation control and designated Site-93.

Addendum 5397.01: Shortly after the emergency quarantine was lifted at the Palais de Papes, Foundation operatives entered the main hall, where all three of those suspected to have touched SCP-5397-B-1 were isolated along with the original mural and various other exhibitions of anart. For clarity, all following murals will be referred to as SCP-5397-B-2 until SCP-5397-B-4.



SCP-5397-B-1 is a surrealist mural, which depicts a woman lying down while being tied to a slab. A dog sits on the woman’s torso, with a humanoid figure armed with a long blade sitting beside the woman.

The host who was the origin for SCP-5397-B-1 was Dr. Varna Ghebli, a former microbiologist at the [DATA EXPUNGED] Institute in India. According to the information provided by Are We Cool Yet?, Ghebli was known to create various works of anart through the use and proliferation of engineered viruses, the first of which was let loose at a public park, turning 14 people into living sculptures, including a child prodigy known for her work with paintings. Due to her creations, she received widespread praise within the organization, becoming a celebrated figure by the time of her death. Subsequent investigation showed that she was also noted to be a cynophobe3.



SCP-5397-B-2 is another surrealist mural depicting a severely malnourished giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) burning as it walked across a desolate landscape. Observers noting that the giraffe continued “walking” until twenty-four hours after initial formation.

The host who was the origin for SCP-5397-B-2 was Steven Barnes, a hunter from Arizona in the United States who was famous for the creation of various anomalous sculptures using the corpses of endangered animals. These included a giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), at least seven sea otters (Enhydra lutris), and most famously, a herd of eleven West African giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis peralta).

SCP-5397-B-3 is another surrealist mural, which depicts a man exploding into twelve pieces, with each piece spurting blood. Some of the pieces have the visual texture of rock and soil. The painting is suffused with a grey light. When it was found, the mural was still found to be “alive”, with the pieces of the human subject still found to be moving at a rate of 0.5 centimeters per hour. Those who were close to the mural during the time that it was “alive” noted that they could hear the wailing cries of a human male. The mural stopped moving seventy-two hours after its formation.

The host who was the origin for SCP-5397-B-3 was Tanaka Ryu, a Japanese anartist known for his large-scale uncontrolled detonations of mountainsides using anomalous explosives in places where the lack of any animal life was noted. He subsequently became a well-known figure in anartist circles for his “unique” outlook on anomalous “nature restructuring”, with critics noting the lack of any ecological damage as a result of his art.

SCP-5397-B-4 is the final surrealist painting within the main hall. It depicts the head of a human figure slowly being torn off vertically by a disembodied hand, with the figure’s expression being contorted in agony. All who were near the mural noted that they could hear the sound of bones snapping and cracking, with the eyes of the head slowly moving in the direction of whoever was observing it. It took one hundred and forty-four hours for the mural to “die”, with the upper half of the figure’s head being completely torn off in its final version. Later observers noted that its eyes were still open, though it had ceased moving.

The host who was the origin for SCP-5397-B-4 was Sierra Alva, a figure noted for her creation of “humane” anart using traditional materials such as stone and wood, using her hands to shape her creations. No crimes were found to have been committed by Alva after subsequent investigations.

Researcher’s Note:

All of these murals were formed just minutes apart from one another, yet why does each work seem crueler and crueler? The creator, Cruz, claimed that it is “justice personified”. We saw that with 5397-B-1, with her fear of dogs. But what is the pattern with 5397-B-4? The time it took for it to die was nearly a week, and one could argue that it received the cruelest torture of all. She didn't even do anything bad, at least compared to the others. Is the virus getting… vindictive? -X. Fern, head researcher

Operation Log: Six days after the initial incident, MTF Beta-7 (“Maz Hatters”) was dispatched to a remote orphanage in the Alps northeast of Avignon, which was suspected by Foundation operatives to be the headquarters of the Cruz cell. MTF Epsilon-6 ("Village Idiots") was sent to the same location for support.

Upon the arrival of both task forces, the area was immediately found to be desolated. MTF Epsilon-6 was sent forward first to secure the perimeter around the orphanage building. After meeting no resistance or signs of life, MTF Beta-7 was sent into the orphanage, with Episilon-6 staying outside.

Upon entering, the operatives noted the presence of a set of large instances of SCP-5397-B which was painted all over the walls and floors of the orphanage, continuing from room to room.

The first room, which was determined to be a cafeteria, was home to a mural depicting twelve figures (hereafter known as SCP-5397-B-5), each being later determined to be children from the orphanage. Each of the figures were starved and emaciated, with bloating bellies that signaled severe malnutrition. They were centered around a mother figure, later determined to be Fanny Cruz, Arnold Cruz’s wife, who served as a leading figure in the anartist cell. All of the figures were moving by the time they were discovered, with the exception of the mother figure. It is currently unknown why.



The second room, which was a dormitory for the children within the orphanage, had multiple murals that were uncharacteristically devoid of color. The first seen upon entering is a large mural of a mouth whose teeth consist of buildings (hereafter known as SCP-5397-B-6). Closer inspection of the buildings shows sixteen small figures emerging from the windows. The mouth was moving at a rate of 40 centimeters per minute by the time of discovery, allowing it to make a “chewing” motion. Observers reported the smell of halitosis coming from the mural. Later analysis would show that the figures were children who had lived at the orphanage.


Part of SCP-5397-B-7

Present along the walls of the dormitory were 19 figures, resembling sketches as opposed to murals (hereafter referred to as SCP-5397-B-7). These included a skeletal horseman, a hooded figure with a sword attached to its mouth, and a figure resembling traditional demonic depictions. These three figures surrounded a group of 16 small humanoid figures, all gathered close to each other and assuming fetal positions. Tests conducted on the “guardian” figures indicated that they were caretakers, while tests conducted on the humanoids within the group determined that they were children who had lived at the orphanage.



The third room was an office twenty square meters in size, containing various scientific implements necessary for the analysis and engineering of microorganisms. On one table, an audio recorder was found (See Addendum 5397.02), with a final mural on the wall behind it, depicting a dark room with a staircase on the left-hand side (hereafter referred to as SCP-5397-B-8). Testing showed that the mural was made from the body of Arnold Cruz. Several drops of SCP-5397-A containing the DNA of Dr. Varna Ghebli were also detected in the office, demonstrating that the room was where SCP-5397-B-1 was created.

With the premises of the orphanage fully cleared, MTF Beta-7 moved out of the building. As of the time of writing, all members of the Cruz cell (barring one) have been declared dead, having been absorbed into the murals of the orphanage. After the operation, the area around the building was cleared to make way for Containment Area 87.

As of the time of writing, the search for Henry Cruz is still in progress.

Addendum 5397.02: The following audio file was discovered during the orphanage operation by Mobile Task Force Beta-7. The speaker is presumed to have been Arnold Cruz, the creator of SCP-5397.

I don't even know why I'm recording this but… we did it- Fanny, Henry and me. We made everyone pay. Everyone who was responsible for the death of Anna… with a tiny bit extra.

Ghebli was the first. She was the one who killed Anna. She was the one who turned her into that… thing, and exhibited her for the entire world to see. Barnes and Ryu backed her up, the hypocrites. I made sure that they all regretted it.

When I made my virus, my magnum opus, I said that it would be JUSTICE for Anna. She was such a prodigious painter, even at seven. For them to take her away from me in such a horrifying manner… doesn’t fucking matter now. I made them PAY.

SHE made them pay. ANNA. She came back. From the moment she created that first mural from Ghebli… I was furious. It wasn’t BRUTAL enough. It wasn’t a RIGHT punishment for the one who KILLED my fucking daughter. I told her to do it again. Again. AGAIN.

She refused to change the painting. She always told me that an artist must never change her mind.

But she needed the practice. She needed the practice.

So I invited everyone in the orphanage to touch the mural before the exhibition. And when they did, she did her work. She created beautiful things. Amazing things. Things that would be practice for her. First, the children and the caretakers- Sister Annalies, Brother Henri, Father Ludwik. The ones who knew her best and took care of her before we adopted her.

Then her mother. Fanny was the only one else who knew, and she wanted our daughter to make her beautiful, so she did.

When I took the Ghebli painting to Sommes, I made sure that she had all the practice she needed.

And she made it count.

I saw what she DID to Ryu. To Barnes. Even to kind, sickeningly FUCKING kind Alva, eternally caught in the crossfire. Burning animals. Exploding people. Faces being torn off. They all deserved it. Dear God did they all deserve it. Dear FUCKING GOD THEY ALL DESERVED IT!

So here I am, back in my office. My hands are beginning to melt. I want Anna to make me into something beautiful, like she did her mother. I want her to make me breathtaking, another one of her masterpieces.

Son… Henry, take care of your sister, alright? The last of her is with you.

I’ll meet you all soon. Then we can be beautiful masterpieces together, crafted by the hands of our family's greatest creator.

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