rating: +96+x

Item #: SCP-5401

Object Class: Keter

Special Containment Procedures: A team of onsite psychologists at Site-41 are to require all researchers and personnel working on antimemetics research to keep a dream journal. All researchers at Site-41 are to report for weekly therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This therapy is to consist only of cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. No medication is allowed.

All supplies of Foundation-used drugs affecting brain chemistry, such as amnestics and mnestics, are to be returned to the site pharmacy before employee shifts begin.

Description: SCP-5401 is an anomalous form of nightmare disorder found only in antimemetics researchers at Site-41. The disorder centers around the daily experience of a shared recurring dream that is highly similar in content between all who experience it.1 All other symptoms of nightmare disorder, including anxiety concerning bedtime and elements of the dream, difficulty concentrating and recalling memory, and vulnerability to memetic and psychic threats, are present. Thus, the presence of SCP-5401 is highly dangerous to those in antimemetics research.

The dream's contents consist of two variations.

  • Variation-1 occurs if the dreamer is on medication to aid with sleep, including anaesthetic and anxiety medication. In the dream, the dreamer will first experience a false awakening, imagining they are in their current bed in their bedclothes. They will perceive the environment to be very dark. The dreamer gets out of bed, and invariably looks down at their hand to see it clutching a blister pack of Class A amnestics with one pill removed. They perceive a slight but indeterminate noise from outside the room's door. When the dreamer opens the door, they see in the dark a crouched, emaciated child of unknown sex, dressed in rags. It will lack a visible head or neck, with smooth uninterrupted skin appearing to connect the shoulders, dipping between the collarbones. It will not move. The dreamer will perceive a tinnitus-like ringing sound upon staring at the child. This noise gets more intense as they continue to stare. They will also perceive large, heavy footsteps approaching from the distance, usually around a corner or from behind a closed door. As the source of the footsteps gets closer, the body will send large amounts of blood to the amygdala at this point, and the dreamer feels extreme fear. The dreamer awakens immediately before the source of the footsteps arrive, and involuntarily screams.
  • Variation-2 occurs if the dreamer is not on medication to aid with sleep. The initial conditions of the dream are the same, including the perception of a false awakening, the darkened room, and the noise outside the door. However, dreamers checking their hand will instead perceive a blister pack of Class W mnestics with one removed. Following the noise, they will open the door to investigate, and they will see in the dark a single ripe pineapple in the middle of the space. Following observation the amygdala is subject to a more intense flush of blood than in Variation 1, and the dreamer feels extreme fear and awakens, again involuntarily screaming as they do. Despite the measurably more extreme neurological reaction, due to the nature of dreaming subjects are unable to quantify the amount of terror perceived.

Upon awakening, a package of the drug dreamt about will be in the subject's bed, with one pill missing. Observation during sleep studies has not been able to observe the packages moving from the site pharmacy to the patient's bed, and often the package that manifests will be newly generated, not having been in the pharmacy's stock. The amount of researchers suffering from SCP-5401 has meant that the site's supply of amnestics and mnestics has nearly tripled over the past month from the last shipment.

Extensive analysis of these dreams has not shown them to be the result of a meme, entity, object, psychic intrusion, or side effect of daily mnestic doses. Their origin appears to be the natural human dreaming process. There is currently no way to prevent them, the anomalous manifestation of drug packages, and the accompanying disorder symptoms from occurring.

Addendum: Close to 100% of all researchers in the antimemetics division are suffering from SCP-5401, and it has led to a 30% decrease in research effectiveness and containment efficacy. This directly led to a containment failure of SCP-█████. Due to its sedentary nature, there were no casualties, and the entire staff was able to perceive it due to their amnestic regimen. However, the current containment of SCP-5401 will be increasingly inadequate if containment at Site-41 is to continue.

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