>login SCP Database MTompkins.Site109@scipnet

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Credentials Accepted. Welcome back Junior Researcher Marissa Tompkins

>access SCP-5574

Clearance Level 2/5574 Recognised
Loading SCP-5574…


Cover of a 1913 pulp novel in the early stages of SCP-5574 infection. At this point, only the character depicted to the bottom right is symptomatic.

Item #: SCP-5574

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-5574 is currently contained within a copy of the novel Pride and Prejudice in Standard Containment Locker B2032.

A minimum of ten additional novels should be stored alongside SCP-5574’s current host at all times, and any previously infected novels should be removed and incinerated.

Testing of the effects of SCP-5574 on narrative media is currently restricted to Researchers with Class 2/5574 clearance or higher. Testing of the effects of SCP-5574 on human subjects is currently prohibited, except with the direct authorization of Lead Researcher Caldwell.

Description: SCP-5574 is a noospheric1 parasite which infects non-interactive narrative media.

Infected media is extended significantly beyond the normal limits of the narrative (e.g. movies continuing far beyond their usual runtime, the text of physical books shifting and being rewritten in real time). This narrative is continuous and occurs even when not observed. The anomalous effect is not extended to any copies that are made of the affected media.

Characters within the narrative will act in a manner appropriate to their previously established characterisation but be described as having, or be shown to experience, a variety of symptoms commonly associated with degenerative brain conditions. SCP-5574 symptoms typically begin with headaches, followed by a gradual deterioration in mental capacity, specifically in areas focused around imagination and creative thinking.

SCP-5574 can also infect humans and other sapient entities. The effects observed are similar to that seen in characters within affected media, and continue until the host has experienced near total loss of capacity for independent thought, and enters a permanent vegetative state. The course of the infection lasts significantly longer in human hosts, typically 8-15 years compared to a more variable range of hours-weeks for narrative media.

After the infection has run its course, or if the current host dies or is destroyed prematurely, SCP-5574 will transfer to a new host. It will preferentially transfer to other narrative media which are physically nearby, up to a maximum range of approximately 15 meters. If no acceptable media are found within this range it will transfer to a human host within range.

If neither of these options is available, it will travel via noosphere to a memetically proximal host2. Physical distance is irrelevant to this secondary form of transmission, with hosts being found to be infected up to 4,200 miles from the previous host.


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>access SCiPNET messages

Loading most recent message thread…

SCPiNET v4.0.2
Terminal: 53817
Authorization: MTompkins.Site109

Message History with Senior Researcher Dr Caldwell

Currently Viewing Today’s Messages: Oldest > Newest

[09:15] MTompkins: Have you had a chance to look over the results of my study on SCP-5574 yet? The findings are quite alarming and I’ve suggested several urgent changes to the Containment Procedures. I tried calling your office but wasn’t able to get a response, please let me know when would be a convenient time for us to meet and discuss this further.

[09:26] JCaldwell: I’ve read your report, and further discussion won’t be necessary. The current Containment Procedures are perfectly effective for ensuring continued containment. I recommend you turn your attentions to some of the Site’s more recently acquired SCPs whose documentation actually needs updating.

[09:28] MTompkins: This isn’t a matter of containment, it’s a matter of ethics. The anomaly is creating and then torturing real sapient people. They’re suffering.

[09:37] JCaldwell: I am not going to authorise torturing real human beings to save some ink on a page. Sometimes the Foundation has to do unpleasant things to ensure the containment of dangerous entities like this nasty little parasite. If what’s in those books bothers you, then don’t read them, this is one anomaly that’s best left to rot away in a storage locker.

[09:39] MTompkins: My feelings on the matter are not the issue. People are suffering, real people, with feelings as real as yours or mine. The fact they are anomalously generated doesn’t make their experiences any less real.

[09:45] JCaldwell: Even if they are in some sense alive, their life is a product of the anomaly. If it creates and destroys lives then that is no net loss, without the anomaly those ‘people’ would never have existed to begin with.

[09:47] MTompkins: They’re being tortured, as bad as any human victim of SCP-5574. And they die at such a faster rate that orders of magnitudes more people suffer and die in those novels you’re using than would if we used human hosts. I recognise that you might find it distasteful to value the suffering of anomalously generated sapient entities the same as flesh and blood humans. But the Foundation Charter of Ethics states we have an equal duty to protect all Class II sapient entities, and my research clearly shows that the SCP-5574 narrative entities qualify.

[10:06] JCaldwell: Well if you want to lodge a complaint with the Ethics Committee you’re welcome to. Then in six months, once they’ve sorted through the paperwork, maybe it’ll get changed. But as long as I’m the Lead Researcher on SCP-5574, protecting human lives comes first.

[10:08] MTompkins: Please, if we could just meet and discuss this.

[11:13] JCaldwell: I’m a busy man Marissa. I have a lecture to give in an hour, a lot of anomalies to oversee and no time to hand-hold every Junior Researcher that feels squeamish about what we do here. Report to Dr Hadogan about that new predatory narrative he’s tracking, maybe then you can use your talents to save some real human lives.

[11:15] Mtompkins: These are real human lives! Every week you delay is dozens, maybe hundreds of people suffering!

[11:36] JCaldwell: This conversation is over.

JCaldwell has gone offline

[18:28] MTompkins: I’ve attached a copy of SCP-5574’s latest host. I think it might help you see the issue from a different perspective.

[19:07] JCaldwell: You should know that I have reported this to Director Kristov. I suggest you offer your resignation now and don’t make this any harder on yourself.

You have One New Message


Viewing New Message from Senior Researcher Dr Caldwell

[21:15] JCaldwell: I can’t stop thinking about that version of me trapped in there. I want to blame you, be angry that you created that version of me and then tortured him. But I have been Lead Researcher on SCP-5574 for the past 15 years and I can’t even begin to count how many thousands I’ve caused to suffer in that same way.

It’s hard for me to admit when I’m wrong. Harder still when accepting that means accepting responsibility for so much pain. But I’ve always tried to be the kind of person that can make hard decisions, and I can’t let this continue any further.

I’ve informed Director Kristov that SCP-5574 will be contained in human hosts from now on. And I’ve also volunteered to be its first subject. I’m not a young man, I have always had a very active imagination and I’m confident that I can continue to act in a research and educational capacity for at least another 5 years before the effects on my intellectual ability become too severe.

So thank you Marissa, for giving me a chance to try and make up for what I’ve done.


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