SCP-6997
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The location of SCP-6997.


Item #: SCP-6997

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-6997 is contained at its location of discovery. Undercover Foundation personnel, in cooperation with Death Valley National Park rangers, are to maintain a containment zone of 500 m around its base. No personnel are permitted to come into direct skin contact with the surface of SCP-6997. Individuals who have come into skin contact with its surface are to be detained for evaluation by research staff and provided with amnestic treatment.

The inherent antimemetic properties of SCP-6997, which extend to photography and video depicting it, render it imperceptible except to those who have been administered appropriate mnestic treatment. As such, mnestics are to be supplied to containment and research personnel at the discretion of the Antimemetics Division. Foundation information security assets are to monitor web traffic for online discussions potentially describing SCP-6997; a web crawler bot capable of identifying photos and videos depicting SCP-6997 is currently being trialled.

Description: SCP-6997 is a monolith composed of a single piece of black basalt, measuring approximately 50x50x150 m, located in the badlands east of Death Valley National Park, within walking distance of the Amargosa Range. It is anomalously durable, exhibiting no evidence of weathering. SCP-6997 possesses antimemetic properties which render it imperceptible to the senses and inhibit the forming of memories relating to SCP-6997, except to those treated with Class-W mnestics. All surfaces of the monolith are carved with detailed, highly stylized reliefs of plant life, except a circular panel on its westwards face. This panel contains a concentric pattern of hieroglyphs or symbols, which can be depressed.

Direct skin exposure to the surface of SCP-6997, with the exception of the aforementioned circular area, causes a comatose state lasting between one to twelve hours. During this state, all subjects report highly vivid hallucinations, which they will recall with an unusual degree of clarity, and require intensive amnestic treatment to eradicate fully.

Addendum 6997.1: Discovery
SCP-6997 was discovered in June of 1971 by Raoul Acosta, an amateur occultist involved in the 1960s counterculture movement, during an experiment with psychedelic compounds (later discovered to have moderate mnestic properties) in the Death Valley region. Following this, Acosta rented a motel room in Baker, a town within driving distance of Death Valley, conducting research into its properties until his suicide in November of 1971. His journals, documenting his research in detail, were acquired by the Foundation.

Addendum 6997.2: Excerpts From Recovered Journals

6/30
current formula consists 20mg DMT, 100mg harmaline, 20mg oil of moksha—I can see the tower for ~3 hours, w/ the moksha regulating the hallucinations from the ayahuasca itself. Wouldn't want hallucinations getting in the way of examining the invisible ancient stone tower. Eat your heart out, Timothy Leary.
reminder: get a fan that works+call Weisinger1 when in town next, get him to send a care package of moksha oil. I may be here a while.

7/2
the tower does NOT cause hallucinations: they're not some pointless pattern of psychedelia, but clear, specific, vivid. Current theory: each vision is a memory, collected from some mind at some random point in time.

Weisinger got me the book from the Library—it says similar pillars, cities of them, exist across the world, remnants of the "Oblitus". The last memorials of an ancient civilization wiped out by its own weapons2. I remember the line from Shelley, "look on my works ye mighty…"
the west circular panel has to be a control mechanism; the symbols are buttons. System for retrieving the stored data. Somewhere in there, amongst all the random memories, is something of VALUE.

7/16
the letter says Bunny Hopkins and his platoon got ambushed, 6 killed. I remember when the poor bastard got shipped out, he was practically sobbing, wiping those big coke bottle glasses of his, saying it must've been a mistake he got drafted, the letter must've been for someone else.
we go on about peace and love but where does that get us? Kent State, just more blood spilled and more blame laid on us. The shouting, picketing, sit-ins, WHERE does that get us? Where did all that sobbing and running get Bunny? Vietnam ate him alive, with no body to bury, glasses sunk in the jungle muck.
all that about man being loving? Our nature—to kill, to pick up the broken jawbone and crush the skull of the rival ape.

7/17
the Oblitus had it right. weapons of the mind, spreading as a killing idea.
is that what the tower holds? the weapon that killed them, or something like that, hidden within it? it may take years to brute-force it, sifting through however much information is in there, but I don't have anything better to do. My friend is dead, like so many others I knew, and all I want is for everything to burn, and I along with it.

11/8
I've seen a dozen civilizations die. Did you know that the world bloomed all over with flowers every time it happened? Colors like I'd never seen, and the air thick with sweetness. There were beautiful memories—I remember one where I think I was a father, holding my son as we watched an eclipse, and a hush growing as the sun went dark. But the ones I remember the most were the wars. In the trenches of the Somme, I hummed a lullaby as a friend held my hand and the morphine took away the pain, and at Mylae I buried the Roman dead, because even though I was a friend of Carthage, they deserved to return to their ancestors.
there is no weapon.
the tower is a repository of memory, without distinction or discrimination. I am sure that if I waited long enough, I'd come across every memory I ever had, preserved like a fly in amber. I have died a thousand times in a thousand wars, and received just as many gifts of compassion.

11/10
I've been thinking about Bunny again. All of those Romans and Greeks he used to read and talk about. There was one book, De Rerum Natura, On The Nature Of Things, that he gave me before shipping out. I dug it out of the suitcase and began reading. The author says that death is like a vessel shattering, its contents falling everywhere. The dead don't suffer, because they're gone, scattered in the deepest of sleeps. It's a good idea. I hope it's true, and Bunny's just asleep now.
All those memories are weighing on me. I'm barely ninety pounds, haven't slept in days because when I do, all I see are the memories. Or dreaming of Bunny, gunned down or bleeding in a trap. I might take a walk tomorrow morning. Because I know that if I keep going on, I'll go mad.
Yesterday I found a plaque, buried in the sand—it must have been attached to the tower at some point. I transcribed its inscription, and I think what it says makes a lot of sense.

Addendum 6997.3
On the 11th of November, park rangers discovered Raoul Acosta on a plateau near Zabriskie Point, having committed suicide by gunshot. He carried a note in his pocket, believed to be the inscription of the aforementioned plaque, which has been transcribed below. A metal plaque was recorded amongst the possessions in Acosta's motel room by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, but its location is currently unknown.

Forgetting is a necessity. The scientist who experiments on a laboratory mouse must forget that it lives or suffers. The soldier who must kill, first kills the humanity of their foe. The tyrant, building an empire, must forget that joy or compassion exists, and tell themselves that the suffering of those under their care is just another obstacle.

The Oblitus knew this. That is why this tower exists, built to remember their culture even as they died. It precedes us, and we are the heirs to its purpose.

We may die in the darkness, shattering into lifeless atoms, and this may be rationalized as being for the greater good, or as punishment, or as a reward. Human nature is a strange thing. We teach ourselves that man is but a monster, to be disciplined and caged, and build great things from this foundation. But this foundation is a lie, or at least is not the whole truth.

That there is more than one side to man will seem like a monstrous abnormality to those used to seeing the nature of things in a simpler way. That is the abnormality we protect. Our duty: to memorialize, not only your crimes, but the true nature of man, at any cost.

We will remember you.

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