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Poster found with SCP-6891. Packaging was labelled "Free Gift! Only £30.99 extra!"

Item #: SCP-6891

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-6891 is stored in a standard Safe-class containment locker at Site 135. Any further instances discovered are to be stored likewise.

People affected by SCP-6891 are to receive regular psychiatric counselling and undergo regular empathy tests.

Description: SCP-6891 is a cassette tape, titled "Guided Meditation, by Vikander-Kneed Technical Media." It purports to be a series of breathing and mental exercises, narrated by a man1 self-identified as "Jerome Sharp," who claims to practice therapy on the behalf of VKTM. According to SCP-6891, its purpose is to help the listener cope with anxiety.

People who listen to and participate in the course presented on SCP-6891 to completion undergo significant mental changes. They describe themselves as being unable to feel emotion of any sort. For example, they respond to pain, but experience a purely physical response; they exhibit only token ill-feeling toward the instigator, no real surprise, and so on.

Furthermore, they begin to suffer from a specific form of body dysmorphia; they initially perceive themselves covered in cracked and bleeding scabs, spreading out over time from their torso and continuing until they are completely covered. Following this, a similar effect occurs, with a layer of soft fat growing outward until coverage is total. This applies to orifices as well; several afflicted people have reported themselves having to slice open the scabs and tissue over their mouths in order to create an opening to talk and eat, although testing has suggested this to be entirely psychological. Those afflicted often perceive their fatty layer seeping into items they come into physical contact with, leaving stains that cannot be removed.

All people affected by SCP-6891 report discomfort with their changes, although the emotional numbing effect prevents them from feeling severe distress.

SCP-6891 was discovered on 12/12/95, in a break room in Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Wales.

Addendum 7: Transcript of the first session on SCP-6891.


[The sound of slow breathing is audible.]

[A loud clap punctuates the recording, before Sharp begins speaking. He uses a low, measured tone of voice.]

Sharp: Good morning, afternoon, or evening, my dear friends. Tell me, do you worry too much? Do you ever feel like the world burns, with a fire too hot, too voracious for any one person to deal with? Like we're all… spiraling down into the abyss?

[Sharp laughs, softly and gently.]

Sharp: Of course you do. Otherwise, you wouldn't be sitting somewhere, in a darkened room, listening to this. That's right, a dark room, maybe in the office? Maybe at home, on your bed, on your own time, hoping that one day you'll associate those dull walls with something beyond anxiety and scoliosis? Whatever the reason, whatever the scene, you need help. A cure, so to speak.

Well, that's what I'm here for.

[Soft, barely audible music begins playing. Despite its volume, it clips noticeably.]

Sharp: My name is Jerome Sharp. I'm from Vikander-Kneed Technical Media, and I'm here to help. Because no-one likes anxiety. Anxiety just holds us back, unless properly applied. And your inability to get out of bed in the morning because you're reliving yet another embarrassing conversation with the love of your life is not the proper application. Best if we just… do away with it.

Now, we're going to start off with some exercises. First off, I want you all to close your eyes. Go on, all of you. What's behind your eyelids can only hurt you if you let it. Are your eyes closed? You want them tight, but not so tight that you're seeing flashes. Just soft, empty black.

Sharp: Have you heard of intrusive thoughts? When you see just a flash of something horrible? Go on, I know you get them. That little image, just behind your eyes, when you stand behind that pretty woman at the train station and see yourself just… push. No, don't open your eyes. This is important.

Our researchers have suggested that that's what you're doing at that exact moment in a neighbouring version of reality. Don't reject these thoughts. Accept them. It's just like watching a lion disembowel a zebra on television. Think of yourself as David Attenborough.

All the same, it does us no good to dwell on them. For instance, some people hit a bump when they're driving, and spend the rest of the week convinced they've killed someone! Can you imagine that? I mean, I'm sure you all hit bumps on your way to work this morning. Imagine if that had actually been a real life human!

No, really. Imagine.

Imagine him. Yes, him. Imagine his pale, spotty skin. His flimsy beard. His kind smile. His name was Billy, did you know that? He was on his way to university. He studied Veterinary Science. He was planning to surprise his girlfriend after his seminar on equine husbandry. He'd saved up for a meal at the Queen's Arms - nothing expensive, he couldn't afford anything like that, but done with love.

Imagine your slime-green Ford Fiesta slamming into him at thirty miles an hour, while you're busy thinking about how best to pleasure your boss today, about your desperation not to disappoint, again. Imagine the bones crunch, the viscera spurt from his breached blood vessels, the light leave his eyes. Imagine the reflection of you in his eyes as you drive away, when you could have saved him if you'd just listened to that voice in your gut, that voice that's always right.

Imagine him fading, but not before he has the chance to ask why. Why your carelessness and idiocy killed him, when it all could have been avoided.

Imagine what you did.

[Sharp claps loudly, laughing uproariously. The music abruptly halts.]

Sharp: You can open your eyes now. How was that? Good for you?

So, you know how you felt? Thinking about Billy?

Well, by the time you've finished this course, courtesy of Vikander-Kneed Technical Media, you'll be able to get back in your car and reverse over Billy as many times as you want without feeling a thing. We promise.

Oh, and if you didn't drive to work today, don't waste my time. What are you, fucking Greenpeace or something?


Addendum 8: Further excerpts from SCP-6891.

From: Session Three


Sharp: Give it a moment… aaaaaand un-tense those thigh muscles. Alright, and now we move to the, I don't know, the neck? Yeah, tense those neck muscles.

While you're doing that, I want you to consider your anxiety. Specifically: where does it come from? I'm not talking about childhood trauma or anything, nah, my childhood was way worse than yours, and I'm not nearly as messed up as you, you're not allowed to use that as an excuse.

No, anxiety, at its heart, is rooted in that little primate brain of yours, flailing in terror at a huge world it doesn't understand. Living in a world where that stick you wanted to beat your boyfriend to death with could be a venomous snake? Where you could die from eating those berries that looked exactly like the ones your mate had earlier? Where honest-to-goodness giant hawks could swoop out of the sky and cart you away to a grisly demise? Terrifying. It's a wonder any of them got out of bed in the morning.

Actually, I should probably say, if you can't get out of bed in the morning, try sleeping on the couch. No, actually, depression is important too, as it goes. If you want some help on that account, take a listen to Session Five.

[Sharp clears his throat.]

Sharp: Yeah, um, anyway. Picture yourself in that cold, frightening world. You against the world. A world that doesn't care about you, your family. Your friends will all stab you in the back if it gets them an extra apple. You break an arm, you're useless. Can't be productive like that, can you? No. See you later, out on your own, never to be seen again.

Now bin it.

You see, your ancestors? Those primitive creatures you use as insults? They cared. They looked after their own. Cared for the sick, the elderly. Fed those in need. Because in a world where everything can and will kill you, all you have is each other. And you need to embrace that. Hold everyone close, cling to them like they're the life raft just barely keeping your head afloat, out of the cold and dark. Because they are that life raft.

[There is a pause. Sharp breathes in deeply, and sighs.]

Sharp: What's your life raft?


Sharp: Oh, yeah, you can un-tense those neck muscles now. Shoulders next.


From: Session Five


Sharp: And obviously, we take depression very seriously. In fact, we address that here too! Value for money, that's what this is. Yeah, just go back to Session Three.

But anyway, carry on. Theodora from R&D has just informed me we've invented this new technique, breathing exercises or something? Anyway, gimme a sec…

[Rustling papers can be heard, as well as Sharp muttering under his breath.]

Sharp: Let's see… bill, bill, shopping list, bill… aha! Here we go! So, what you do, is you, uh - well, you make yourself comfortable first, then you shut your eyes, and for fuck's sake get over whatever you see. We've done that, you can hyperventilate on your own time.

Anyway, you breathe in through your nose, deep as you can, hold it for one, two, three, and, release through the mouth for, uh, a bit. And keep doing it, I guess.

[The sound of Sharp inhaling and exhaling is audible for about thirty seconds.]

Sharp: Bloody Nora, that just gets you dizzy, doesn't it? Whatever, I'm not actually getting paid to take part, you lot just get on with it.

[Sharp is silent for about thirty seconds, before spending a minute alternating between clicking his tongue, drumming his fingers on his desk and humming "Funkytown."]

Sharp: So, why are you actually doing this? Closing your eyes and trying to win at breathing, I mean. I presume it's a directive from high up, like. Cheaper than giving everyone a day off, we do offer very reasonable prices. But, y'know, there's only so much twitching your neck can do. At the end of the day, all this does is give you an hour less to meet your deadline. Cheap off-brand weedkiller, that's what they're offering.

Still, it's better than no weedkiller. Sure, they don't give a damn if it works or not, but there's something pure in that, I think. If you don't care, it's no skin off your nose what happens. To harken back to our very first session, Billy is already a goner, what good is falling to your knees and wailing at whatever deity you prefer going to do? Best not to get worked up about it.

And that way, you can keep hitting Billys, over and over like some vengeful philosopher's strapped them to a rail, and you know it's not worth worrying about. Isn't that better? Isn't that what you want?


Addendum 10: Transcript of the eighth and final session on SCP-6891.


Sharp: Hello, my wonderful, dedicated friends. Nearly there now. Home stretch. That's all you've ever really wanted, right? I can tell how you're feeling. You just want some peace. Just to… to be able to turn off. Some quiet in your head, a chance to stop running that endless stream of cacophonous white noise you have to keep going, every waking hour, just to get through the day. You're just tired. That's all it is.

[Sharp breathes in and out, a quiet, ever-so-slightly shaky breath.]

Sharp: Tough break.

The thing is, there is no peace, no end point. Well, maybe one, but I'm legally discouraged from mentioning it. Everything we've been telling you, all this ever-so-helpful information we've so graciously provided you, it's all true… but it's not - quite - enough. How can it be? It's just tools for the siege. Sure, you can stop things from storming the walls and sacking the city, but if you don't keep those battlements maintained, they'll always be there, waiting for the next chance to take the guard tower.

I did warn Alexios Three about that, but would he listen? No, sirree. Dumb fucker. Shouldn't have blown all that dosh on sentient fireballs, should he?

Where was I? Oh, yes, this is all useless. Sorry.

[Sharp pauses, and clicks his tongue.]

Sharp: Although…

[He seems to stifle a giggle.]

Sharp: We do, have, one little trick up our sleeves. Is it cheating? Well, technically. But if you cared about cheating, you wouldn't be asking for me to solve your problems for you; we've already established you don't have the stomach for the hard work, now, haven't we?

"Oh, Jerome! Jerome! Whatever can I do to be free of this affliction?" I hear you beg. God, I think I can actually hear your knees dragging on the floor.

Well, the fact of it is, we've been doing it the whole time. Sorry, I know some people don't like having their heads fucked with, but come on, I'm a therapist. Fucking with your head is what I do. But yes, we can remove your anxiety. Completely. I can personally guarantee you will not feel anxiety about anything again.

Is that what you want? Be sure. Be very sure. Is… that… what… you… want?

[A moment's quiet. Sharp snorts.]

Sharp: Course it is. It's all you've wanted the whole time. Don't know why I expected anything else.

Well, assuming you've heard all the other sessions, all you need to do is listen to this through to the end. Nearly there. Just until the tape recorder clicks. And then you're done. Sorted.

[There is a brief pause. Sharp swallows.]

Sharp: I just…

[He hesitates, then sighs.]

Sharp: Oh, never mind. Wouldn't make a difference anyway.

[A loud clap is heard.]

Sharp: Well, I think we're finally done here. On behalf of… everyone here at Vikander-Kneed Technical Media, thank you so much for taking the time to buy this tape. If you listened to it, even better, I… I'll just leave you with one final thought.

If, as we said earlier, your brain is an empire, one suffering constant attack, we've saved you from the onslaught. Brought you peace.

The thing is, empires are built on war. Conquest, fight, struggle. Despicable, but that's what it is.

You know what happens to an empire with nothing left to fight?

[There is a brief silence.]

Sharp: Best of luck. And I mean that most sincerely.

[The tape recorder clicks to a halt.]


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