Item#: SCP-5520
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:


Acroamatic Abatement Facility AAF-W and SCP-5520.

Special Containment Procedures: Containment of SCP-5520 is unnecessary at present..Archon-class objects can be contained, but should not be. Should containment become necessary, SUNDOWN protocol must be initiated. The Lake Huron bulkhead gates will be opened, flooding Acroamatic Abatement Facility AAF-W. This will activate the expanding foam seeded into the facility, sealing it.

Scranton Reality Anchors must be strategically placed to direct the growth of AAF-W away from Site-43, the bed of Lake Huron and the surface.

All access to AAF-W is prohibited.

Update: SUNDOWN protocol may only be enacted by Overwatch Command, except under emergency circumstances.

Description: SCP-5520 is former SCP Foundation Senior Researcher and Provisional Site Co-Director Dr. Wynn Rydderech.

SCP-5520 is a Class-III reality bender, as a result of long-term exposure to esoteric materials. Correspondence with SCP-5520 has revealed serious and progressive cognitive impairment, dissociation, depersonalization, derealization, and both retrograde and anterograde amnesia. It remains aligned with the goals of the Foundation, but no longer answers directly to the executive structure.

SCP-5520 presently resides in a series of vast caverns and refineries located beneath Site-43, classified Acroamatic Abatement Facility AAF-W by former Site Director Dr. V. Lesley Scout. Though the facilities themselves exhibit no anomalous properties, their scale, their location, and the activities performed there do. Both manual and automatic cave surveying techniques have been unable to determine the precise extent of AAF-W, but best estimates suggest over two million cubic metres of interior space. A breathable oxygen atmosphere pervades throughout, presumably as a result of SCP-5520's activities.


Dr. Wynn Rydderech, c. 1943.

Addendum 5520-1, Phenomenological Overview: From 1915 to 1966 Dr. Wynn Rhys Rydderech headed the SCP Foundation's effort to manage the toxic materials generated by its catalogue of anomalous objects. His Acroamatic Abatement Group moved from Vienna, Austria to Provisional Site-43 in Canada in 1943, and he became Co-Director with Dr. Vivian Lesley Scout. The Applied Occultism and Acroamatic Abatement Sections of that Site became, under his direction, the foremost facilities for studying and neutralizing esoteric effluence on Earth. When Site-43 was upgraded from provisional status in 1965, Dr. Scout became the Site Director with his partner's sponsorship.

Dr. Rydderech disappeared from Site-43 on the 14th of November, 1966, after fifty-one years of employment. Security and Containment Section agents searched his dedicated research laboratory in Acroamatic Abatement Facility AAF-A, and found it significantly altered and its forty-three staff members absent. Dr. Rydderech's notes revealed dozens of conflicting, frequently incoherent or unintelligible programs of research, suggesting that his disappearance had been voluntary. The entire Site was immediately placed on alert.

Dr. Scout ordered the Pursuit and Suppression Section to investigate the facility further.

Investigation Log Transcript

Date: 11/14/1966

Investigation Team: Mobile Task Force Delta-43 ("Pit Bosses")

Team Lead: Captain Garth Kinsey (Delta-1)

Team Members: Delta-2, -5, -6, -7, -9

Log begins.

Control: Describe your surroundings, please.

Delta-1: Roger. We're standing in AAF-A, in what should be the basement sublevel. Blueprints from Janitorial and Maintenance say this is as low as it goes. Ah… there are considerably more pipes on the walls here than the schematics show. Some of them don't look right.

Control: Elaborate.

Delta-1: I can't be sure without touching them, but at least some of these look like they're made out of bone? And maybe porcelain.

Delta-5: Bone china, maybe.

Delta-1: Hey.

Delta-5: Cutting chatter, sir.

Control: There's an open door leading to a stairwell at the end of the hall you're in, correct?

Delta-1: Correct, Control. No door or stairwell on the blueprints.

Control: Proceed downward with extreme caution, captain.

Delta-1: Roger.

Delta-43 proceed to the next level of the facility without incident.

Delta-1: Oh, what the hell.

Control: Elaborate.

Delta-1: The door at the bottom of the stairs is also open, Control. It opens onto a glass-walled tunnel. I can see cave walls outside the glass, illuminated by… I don't know. Illuminated.

Control: Proceed, and narrate.

Delta-1: This is definitely a connecting tunnel, there's another open door at the end. I can see a… very large cave system outside the tunnel. Very, very large.

Delta-43 enter the adjoining facility.

Delta-2: That's damn strange.

Control: Delta-2?


Acroamatic Abatement Facility AAF-A2.

Delta-2: This place looks like… I've seen photographs from Archives and Revision, of AAF-A in the forties. During the war, when they were building this place. That's what we're standing in now.

Control: You've just left AAF-A, Delta-2.

Delta-2: No, sir, we've just left the present-day version. I'm telling you this is AAF-A as it used to look, twenty years ago.

Control: Understood. Please proceed.

Delta-1: Hold up.

Control: Report.

Delta-1: We've found a few of Dr. Rydderech's researchers. They're examining some pipes, and taking notes.

Control: Approach them, with caution.

Delta-1: Roger. Hey! Identify yourselves!

Silence on recording.

Delta-1: Hey there!

Fingers snapping.

Delta-1: No response, control.

Control: Understood. Proceed.

Delta-43 move through five sublevels of the new facility, before reaching a door in the same position as the door in the present-day AAF-A.

Delta-1: The door is closed, Control.

Control: Understood. Can you open it?

Delta-1: Doesn't seem to be locked.

Control: Take a look.

Delta-1: Roger.

A loud metal squealing, then silence on recording.

Delta-1: …oh.

Control: What do you see, Delta-1?

Delta-1: …oh. Oh, good lord. Ah… copy, Control, I see what appears to be a… ravine. An underground ravine. Can't begin to speculate on the depth. There are… structures, at the bottom. Structures on the walls, as well. Looks like a natural cave system, ah… augmented, with artificial construction. Consistent with the alterations to AAF-A we've already seen.

Delta-5: It looks like somebody turned ten factories inside-out and stacked them.

Control: Copy, Delta-5. Would you say this ravine and its contents are larger than AAF-A, Delta-1?

Delta-1: I would say that this ravine and its contents are larger than Site-43, Control.

Dr. Scout recalled Delta-43 to AAF-A to regroup and plan further investigations. The research personnel encountered in the parallel facility were not re-encountered.

The Identity and Technocryptography Section had recently completed the installation of an experimental Site-wide computer system with a rudimentary command line interface, the Site-43 Information Network (INFOnet). When Delta-43 returned to Dr. Rydderech's office, they discovered that his networked printer had produced the following message for Dr. Scout:



I blame the comic books.

I started reading them as a middle-aged man. Something frivolous to take my mind off of toxicants and virions and threshold limit values, something fantastical. I do some of my best work when I'm distracted.

So many of those old superheroes were scientists, just like us. They got their super-powers because something stupid, but scientific, happened to them. Jay Garrick inhaled heavy water vapour, and instead of gaining NOTHING, he gained super speed. Rex Tyler created a one-hour strength pill, and started popping them like an addict. Ted Knight found the cure for gravity, and he used it to fly around and beat people up. My idiotic idols.

I swear, Viv, I didn't intentionally expose myself to esoteric materials. Then again, neither did the Flash.

There were accidents, of course, even back in Europe. A drop here, a shattered cask there, an accidental exposure every once in a while. I thought nothing of it when my pants started staying up without a belt, or I stayed warm in cold weather, or I didn't need to use the washroom unless I thought about it. Just getting fat and hot and slow and absent-minded, I thought.

Now, of course, I know it was just the maintenance of my self-image. Sometimes I'd wake up sweating in the middle of the night, and find myself wearing my three-piece suit and tie. Sometimes I'd look in the mirror and see my hair was red again, red like it hasn't been since the Great War. Once, only once, I had a long telephone conversation with my wife without remembering to dial out of the facility.

Or remembering that she's dead.

I know what this is, and you know, too. I'm Dr. Fate. I'm bending reality on my knee. Things turn out the way I want them to, or the way I think they should be. I'm starting to be able to direct it, now, which scares the everloving you-know-what out of me. You know how we've made such great strides these past months? How all our experiments have turned out perfectly? That's because I've wanted them to. I've willed them to.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

But I don't have the will to be put in a cage, and you don't have a way of fixing what's wrong with me without PUTTING me in a cage. So, at the risk of belabouring the metaphor, I have to go away.

I hope I'll be back soon. In the meantime, I'll keep in touch. Do you remember what I told you at the lake, Vivian? Now is the time.

I'm counting on you.

- Wynn

I&T technicians reported that the terminal in Dr. Rydderech's office was now networked with a printer in an unknown location. After consultation with the Security and Containment Section, Dr. Scout began correspondence with Dr. Rydderech via the terminal and printers.


Dr. Scout: Wynn, please return to the Site. We can help you.

No, you can't. But I can help you. From down here.

Dr. Scout: We've got the finest doctors in the world on our side, Wynn.

Precisely. The finest doctors in the world can't stop what's happening to me. I'm a toxicologist, Vivian, I've done the research. You're a toxicologist too, so please don't lie to me.

Dr. Scout: Think of your staff, Wynn. Is this what they wanted?

My staff don't exist.

Dr. Scout: What?

My staff don't exist. I invented them. My whole department was filled with phantoms I imagined into existence. I'm just imagining them down here, now. Check their employment records, you'll see what I mean. You know why there were forty-three of them? So I wouldn't forget how many there were, and call down an investigation on my head.

I've had this condition for a long time now. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner.

Dr. Scout: We can fix this together, Wynn. You and I.

Why do you keep repeating my name? Do you think I don't know who I am?

I don't want you to see me like this. It's better if I stay down here.

Dr. Scout: What do you expect me to do? Let you hide out underground until you suffocate or starve to death?

I expect you to be a scientist and let me alone to do my work. I'm close to a breakthrough, now. Very close. Just think of this as an extended research sabbatical, and I'll be back good as new before long.

Dr. Scout: Now who's lying, Wynn?

Dr. Scout: Wynn?

Dr. Rydderech was subsequently classified SCP-520. This file uses the present-day SCP-5520 classification, and appended documentation is amended to reflect this.

The duplicate AAF-A was thoroughly examined over the next fourteen months, revealing that it, like the original, had fallen out of use. It was determined that SCP-5520 and his phantom staff had moved into the larger facility in the caverns, which had by then expanded twofold.

As SCP-5520 had not corresponded with Site-43 at all during this period, Dr. Scout instructed Pursuit and Suppression to rappel down into the larger structure, designated AAF-W, and investigate it. A partial transcript of their exploration is appended below.

Investigation Log Transcript

Date: 02/20/1968

Investigation Team: Mobile Task Force Delta-43 ("Pit Bosses")

Team Lead: Captain Garth Kinsey (Delta-1)

Team Members: Delta-2, -4, -5, -6, -8


Acroamatic Abatement Facility AAF-W, exterior.

Delta-1: Well. That was hair-raising.

Delta-5: Thank god for winches.

Control: What do you see, Delta-1?

Delta-1: There's a… skyscraper of machinery. Gantries, pipes, tanks, chimneys and such protruding from the cave floor.

Delta-5: A cave-scraper. A cave ceiling scraper.

Delta-1: Must be one of the biggest buildings in the country, Control. Certainly the biggest thing underground.

Control: Understood. Begin your exploration.

The first section of the facility resembles the Acroamatic Abatement Group laboratory in Vienna. The phantom researchers are absent. The second section of the facility is unfamiliar to the agents.

Delta-1: I don't think this is built to match any existing facilities, Control. The walls are orange.

Control: Standby, Dr. Scout is joining us.

Delta-1: Roger.

Dr. Scout: You said orange walls, Delta-1?


Acroamatic Abatement Facility AAF-W, interior.

Delta-1: That's correct, doctor.

Dr. Scout: With a grey stripe down the middle?

Delta-1: …that's also correct, doctor. Somewhere you've both been?

Dr. Scout: It's the tox lab from Cardiff. Where we studied together.

Delta-2: Did it have fluorescent lights when you were there, sir? In, uh, the 1910s?

Dr. Scout: Well. Wynn… the subject, might not be himself right now. Keep that in mind.

MTF Delta-43 turn the corner into a large room filled with shining copper pipes. SCP-5520 is standing in the middle of the room, pointing at each pipe and nodding. He turns to face the agents as they enter the room; he begins to weep.

SCP-5520: I won't remember tomorrow. I… I won't even remember tomorrow, tomorrow. I don't even remember tomorrow today.

Delta-1: Eyes on the target, Control.

SCP-5520: Was he a friend of yours?

Delta-5: He's unharmed, Control. Looks a little shaken, nothing bad.

Control: Bring him in, Delta-1.

Delta-1: Roger. Dr. R—

SCP-5520: Sometimes I get… confused. Sometimes.

Delta-1: Dr. Rydderech? Can you come with us, please?

SCP-5520: Oh… I… I'm sorry, that was my fault. Was that my fault? I'm sorry.

Delta-5: What? You're not making any sense.

One of the pipes begins vibrating intensely. The sound is deafening. SCP-5520 is nevertheless audible.

SCP-5520: Where did he go?

Delta-Five reaches out to steady the pipe. When his hand touches it, he disappears.

SCP-5520: Oh, I wouldn't touch that.

The sound ceases.

Recording ends.

The five remaining members of 43-Delta were subsequently returned by SCP-5520, through unknown means, to AAF-A. A message was already waiting for Dr. Scout in Dr. Rydderech's office.



I'm sorry about your man. You won't be seeing him again.

I've connected my facility to AAF-A. Please send any new substances down the pipeline to me, and I'll see what I can do with them.

Dr. Scout: Why would we do that? You're not a Foundation researcher anymore, you're an SCP object.

That's a good approach to take. I've seeded the facility walls with a compound that will expand to fill its container, immobilizing anything it touches and anaesthetizing humanoids. It's water-activated, so all you have to do is open the floodgates to my cavern and you'll be rid of me.

Oh, yes, my cavern has floodgates now. I hope the underwater panthers won't mind. These were their tunnels, did you know that? They used them to travel between the lakes. I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that literally nothing in those oral histories was wrong.

No response. I suppose I can't blame you.

So, you have Special Containment Procedures for me now. We'll call that our framework for a working relationship.

Take my proposal to O5 and the Ethics Committee. Let them handle it. We both know you're too close to the issue.

The good work goes on, Vivian. It must.

By order of the O5 Council, Site-43 'employed' SCP-5520 from this point forward as a consultant researcher. Though Dr. Scout objected strongly to this practice, he agreed to remain SCP-5520's point of contact.

The Foundation began sending problematic substances to AAF-W. Geological measurements indicated that the artificial complex grew at a slow, steady rate every day for the next three decades. The efficiency of the Site-43 facilities improved at a commensurate rate, and SCP-5520 frequently delivered ad hoc research papers and chemical formulations to the Foundation via the printer in his former office.

A partial digest of the correspondence between Dr. Scout and SCP-5520 is reproduced below.


Dr. Scout: Alright Wynn, we're sending you something very caustic now.

Ah, you're finally coming down for a visit? I've missed you.

Dr. Scout: I'll tell Security and Containment that you've still got your sense of humour, maybe it'll put them at ease. In any event, please see what you can do with this stuff. If we can ameliorate it, we can lock up the object creating it for good.

I'll take a look, but my sympathies are with the object (for obvious reasons).


Dr. Scout: How are you holding up down there?

I've developed a method for stripping the human body of its mucous membrane.

Dr. Scout: What? Why? That's not what you were supposed to be working on.

I'm going to cure catarrh! And the common cold.

Dr. Scout: The mucous membrane keeps us from getting sick, Wynn.


Dr. Scout: But you know that, right?

Of course I do. I was just joking. To put you all at ease, remember?


Dr. Scout: We can't make sense of the data you're sending us.

It's elementary enzyme design, Vivian.

Dr. Scout: We haven't invented enzyme design yet, Wynn.

Oh. Well, let me know when you have, then.


stop it

Dr. Scout: Stop what, Wynn?

stop flushing your GODDAMNED TOILETS on me WHOEVER YOU ARE


Dr. Scout: Are you there?

I'm sorry about last time. I got a little confused.

Dr. Scout: Yes, well, we're working on that problem for you. Is there anything else you need?

How are those floodgates doing?

Dr. Scout: The floodgates are fine.

Maybe you should test them.

Dr. Scout: What do you mean?

Dr. Scout: Wynn? What do you mean?


Dr. Scout: I'm sending you the chemical equations and synthesis outline for a new antipsychotic developed at Site-19. It will completely suppress your reality-bending symptoms. I want you to make it, and I want you to TAKE it, and I want you to come back home.


What a clever formula! Thank you so much for sending me this, it's right up my alley. I'm sending you a list of chemical and procedural improvements, the shots should work much faster now.

Dr. Scout: But did you take it, Wynn?

Dr. Scout: Wynn?


this is what you wanted isnt it

Dr. Scout: What do you mean?

i know who you are

i know what you DID

you put me here

youre KEEPING me here

you WANT me here

out of the way

Dr. Scout: You went down there on your own. I want you to come home.

do you think im stupid

do you think i dont understand

i hope you never forget what you did to me

i hope you NEVER FORGET what youre DOING to me



Where are you?


I'm sorry.

At this point Dr. Scout reiterated his opposition to the project and refused to participate any further. SCP-5520 continued to transmit regular commentary on its activities to I&T and respond to all inquiries, apparently unaware (most of the time) of Dr. Scout's departure. A partial digest follows:


Does chirality exist, Vivian? This is a serious question. Does chirality exist, or is it something I made up? This is a serious question.


I don't remember my eyes.


Where are you, Vivian? Why aren't you here? Please find attached five hundred pages of toxidrome reports.


Why doesn't it ever rain down here, Vivian? It should rain down here. I NEED IT to rain down here.


Yesterday I cured cancer. Today I can't remember how. Unless I'm imagining curing cancer yesterday, or imagining I've forgotten how, or imagining cancer, or imagining yesterday, or imagining today. Or


Please find attached one page of words. They're the right ones.


I've drawn up new manuals for AAF-C, Vivian. Please make sure you follow them to the letter when we build the facility twenty years ago. You don't want a repeat of what I just thought about.


I know you're not Vivian.

Addendum 5520-2, Incident Summary: On 9 February 1996, Dr. V. Lesley Scout attempted to enact SUNDOWN protocol and decommission SCP-5520. Safeguards installed under O5 instructions prevented this act, and Dr. Scout was summoned to Site-01 for immediate questioning. A partial transcript of his interview with O5-8 is appended below.



Dr. V. Lesley Scout, 1996.

O5-8: Please, help me to understand why you did what you did.

Dr. Scout: He gave his life to us, all of it, from start to finish. To the good work. I owed him this… courtesy.

O5-8: What you call a courtesy, I might call an execution. His life is not finished.

Dr. Scout: With respect, sir, you mean you aren't finished with his life. We're not talking about someone's abandoned grandfather, who just needs his loved ones to visit and brighten his day. We're not talking about someone with cognitive impairment who just needs patience and affection and rewarding work to live a meaningful life. Not anymore.

We're talking about someone who's been completely alone and out of his mind for thirty years. Most of Wynn Rydderech is gone, and what's left is crying out for help, and we're not listening.

I've asked you, time and time again, to let me bring him back up here. To let me see if we can help him. He might never be the same, but at least he wouldn't be alone. He could live a real, human life, in the light. He would still be brilliant, he would still be Wynn, if we could manage his condition. But you refuse me, time and time again, and I've come to realize that you're never going to let him get better. You're going to keep him sick in the dark for all eternity if you can, so you can benefit from his sickness.

We are perpetuating a falsehood, through anomalous means, because it is convenient for us. That's not the Foundation I, or he, signed up to work for. Or built, if you please.

O5-8: You're one to talk about anomalous perpetuation. How old are you now, Mr. Baggins? Eleventy-one, isn't it?

Dr. Scout: I'm still myself. Wynn is not, by his own metrics. He left specific instructions for me on the matter, and his wishes are the only ones that should count. It's his life, and he put it in my hands. He trusted me. As his friend, and as his partner.

O5-8: I have access to the INFOnet feed. I've seen what Rydderech is saying. Just last week he asked you to "look in on Ashley." That doesn't sound like someone who's dissociating to me.

Dr. Scout: Do you know who Ashley is, sir?

O5-8: No, and I don't see why it matters. Is it his daughter? His cat?

Dr. Scout: His brother, sir. His dead brother, hit by a bus during the London Blackout of 1918.

Silence on recording.

Dr. Scout: He's suffering. And we're letting him suffer, keeping him apart, because he's useful to us. You know what he wants. If you've seen the feed, you've seen him begging for it. But you don't care. This isn't about him, it's about you.

Silence on recording.

Dr. Scout: You want to hear what Wynn, actually Wynn, thought about this?

Dr. Scout pulls a folded, yellow sheaf of papers from his suit.

Dr. Scout: Let me read this to you.

O5-8: What is it?

Dr. Scout: It's a letter he wrote. He asked that I open it if he ever became… compromised. He gave it to me the last time we went topside together, the day the Site became official. The first day of April, 1965.

I opened it thirty years ago.

O5-8: Fine. What does it say?

Dr. Scout: It says,


I'm so pleased I got to see the lake one last time, and share that moment with you. As myself. Before…"

Dr. Scout pauses.

Dr. Scout: "…before what's going to happen to me. I know this is going to be difficult for you to understand, but I have to go away. I'm a danger to you, to the Site, maybe even to myself. I've tried to hide it, I've tried to control it, but I'm losing my grip. It's better for everyone if I disappear for a while.

Hopefully, I'll be back.

But if I'm not, I need to you understand something for me. I need you to understand who, and what, I am. So that you'll also understand if it's not me you're seeing, or hearing, down there in the dark. So that you'll do what needs to be done, as you always have. As we used to do, together.

You remember what we used to say at Cardiff? I know you've moved on to magic words and musty, dead old things, but I'm sure you haven't forgotten. There's magic in these words, too: "We are chemistry, and electricity."

That, and nothing besides. You and I are the sum of our electro-chemical reactions. Electricity is the fire that is our conscious selves, and chemistry is the beating of our hearts.

The wet, sparking computers in our heads are the most powerful thinking, feeling machines in existence, more complicated than anything we can devise. More points of failure than any bridge, any airplane, any equation. They always break down, in the end, and so do we. That ephemerality is part of the magic. The fire goes out, the heart stops beating.

Sometimes the fire goes out first, and we lose ourselves. We become not ourselves. Every human being has the right to decide where that line is drawn for themselves, personally. You know full well where I draw it.

Words have power, Vivian, but chemistry is power. If you change the chemistry, you change who you are.

And it doesn't take much.

Yours very truly,

- Wynn."

Silence on recording.

O5-8: Is that all, Dr. Scout?

Dr. Scout: Yes, sir.

O5-8: We'll take it under advisement.

Dr. Scout: …thank you, sir.

I&T continued to correspond regularly with SCP-5520 under O5 direction, and Dr. Scout resigned from the SCP Foundation on 1 April 1996.


Per your offer of employment dated 1 April 1915, I must respectfully, retroactively, decline. You are not who I thought you were, and I, perhaps, am no longer who I thought I was.

You may keep your secrets, or you may benefit from them. You may not do both. If you continue to profit from the madness of our friend, you will soon find it impossible to hide him. The truth will out.

I should like to see the lake again.

— V. Lesley Scout, Director, Site-43

He retired to the town of Grand Bend within the limits of Nexus-94, succumbing to advanced old age one year later. The following message was received from SCP-5520 that same day:



The sun sets for you, but never for me.

I look forward to seeing you, yesterday.

For today, the work goes on.

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