SCP-7900

rating: +143+x

ITEM #:

7900

CONTAINMENT CLASS:

EUCLID

whaleskin
Fig 1.1: Skin tissue recovered from the head of a Gray Apostle (Eschrichtius apostoli). Hover to enlarge.

SPECIAL CONTAINMENT PROCEDURES: A 5 km exclusionary zone surrounds SCP-7900. Daily patrols of the surrounding waters are conducted by reconnaissance teams.

Access to the subterranean network beneath SCP-7900 is limited to personnel trained in navigating anomalous spaces. Explorations must be conducted with a party of four or more to reduce the possibility of disorientation. All exploration parties are expected to adhere to established routes—deviations from such must be approved beforehand. Following the events described in ADDENDUM C, motion sensors have been installed throughout the network.

Should personnel become lost or separated beneath SCP-7900, they are advised to locate an enclosed space or secure a vantage point and await rescue. The production of excessive noise is ill-advised.

All developments regarding SCP-7900 or other related phenomena should be forwarded to the Department of Cetacean Studies.

NOTICE: Containment procedures may be outdated and have been flagged for revision. See ADDENDUM D.

DESCRIPTION: SCP-7900 is Notre Dame de la Mer, a monastery founded in 1208 C.E. and the center of numerous anomalous phenomena. SCP-7900 lies seven kilometers off the coast of Normandy, France on a rocky islet surrounded by deep waters.

SCP-7900 was originally constructed as a military garrison for the French army in the First Hundred Years War (1159–1259) due to its strategic location but was soon after converted to a Catholic institution. Due to its isolation from the mainland, SCP-7900 quickly gained a reputation as a place of spiritual healing and introspection. SCP-7900 was difficult to travel to and was thus only populated by a small settlement of devotees who lived permanently on the islet.

Public awareness of SCP-7900 slowly declined over time due to its remoteness and the self-imposed solitude of its populace. At some point, contact between SCP-7900's residents and the European continent was cut off completely and the practiced religion on the islet shifted significantly from Catholicism. SCP-7900 eventually became little more than myth by the 1300s and has since been expunged completely from public records after its discovery by the Foundation in the late 19th century.

NotreDame
Fig 1.2: Notre Dame de la Mer, artist unknown.

At an unknown time (likely the late 12th century, based on architectural style), a Romanesque cathedral was built, similar to other cathedrals of the time period. Over the next hundred years, various additions were made to the original structure, including a bell tower, living quarters, and crypt.

Where the rest of the continent progressed into Gothic architectural styles, future additions to SCP-7900 were aesthetically unique, though limited in scope due to the islet's scarce resources. Its designs sharply contrast mainland cathedrals through their incorporation of fluid shapes, vast reductions of natural light, and an emphasis on the color blue.

Recovered tapestries, murals, and stained glass designs place a heavy thematic emphasis on the serenity associated with drowning.

A vast tympanum above the entrance to the main cathedral depicts the ritualistic mass-drowning of upwards of fifty individuals. Inside, murals and stained glass patterns portray the death, purification, and eventual transmutation of the soul after drowning, frequently paired with depictions of sea life such as cetaceans and semi-aquatic human hybrids. A tapestry recovered in the crypt portrays a group of missionaries uncovering a vast flooded cave containing a preserved whale carcass.

Various metal weights, assumed to have been used to assist in drowning, were recovered within SCP-7900's living quarters. Affixed to the wall behind the altar of the cathedral was a whale skull of an unidentified species, visually similar to that of the Gray Whale.1 The lower mandibles were recovered in the crypt bearing hundreds of names and dates carved onto their surfaces, some as recent as the 1850s.2

Amalgamized fossilized remains surround the islet, suggesting the presence of unprecedented numbers of sea life throughout SCP-7900's history. Currently, the islet is largely devoid of life.

At the time of discovery, SCP-7900 was abandoned. It has since become a vital asset to Foundation cultural studies in the region, helping to chronicle a rich yet grim period in French history.

cave1
Fig 1.3: Entrance to subterranean network upon discovery.

ADDENDUM A: Beneath SCP-7900 lies an expansive network of tunnels constructed at an unknown date in SCP-7900's history. The network was discovered during archeological digs around the base of the islet. The tunnels have yet to be fully explored, but survey teams have mapped over 150 kilometers to date. Estimates place the total size of the network between 600 and 1000 kilometers. Much of the network appears to be naturally occurring, but significant portions have been reinforced with intricate and advanced architecture.

Unlike the aboveground portions, building materials used in the tunnels are foreign to the islet, consisting mostly of rare white soapstone and whalebone. Man-made reinforcements continue intermittently some 400 meters underground, despite the infeasibility of such construction projects given the technology available at the time of SCP-7900's use.

During preliminary explorations, it was discovered that the network possesses an anomalous effect that causes individuals to have a higher-than-average likelihood of becoming lost within the tunnels, even when using advanced navigation equipment. Rescued personnel consistently report becoming lost through non-anomalous means, such as equipment malfunction, disorientation, or unstable geologic activity, but repeated incidents suggest anomalous interference.

This effect was noticed when Special Task Force MAMMOTH, a reconnaissance team specializing in subterranean exploration, failed to broadcast its "all-clear" signal for over three hours while underneath SCP-7900. The team was declared MIA three days after loss of contact but was discovered shortly after by rescue patrols.

grotto
Fig 1.4: Subterranean flooded cavern.

During debriefing, members of the team described becoming disoriented after attempting to return to the surface the way they came. Following standard protocol, they began methodical lateral exploration until reaching a flooded cave (pictured) which continued down an indiscernible depth.

While devising a plan for rescue, several members of the team reported hearing vocalizations similar to whalesong emanating from the water. A closer investigation failed to reveal a source, but the team did recover a collection of metal weights similar to aboveground artifacts. Vocalizations were described as increasing in intensity, amplified by the cave walls, until the team was forced to retreat from the cavern.

The following is an excerpt from a testimony of the incident by Rick Costellos, chief demolition specialist for STF-MAMMOTH:

Me and Urchek are setting up the spikes for a radar sweep. The mission's gone to hell so we're going to try to find a weakness in the rock for a controlled blast, which would either clear a path or at least alert you guys to our location.

Tanner3 tells us to head down the slope a bit to widen the range of the image since we only have so much time before the batteries die. We get in about 15 meters from the rest of the team, towards the water.

Then I hear something—sounded like a yelp. I look over at Urchek, he shrugs. I hear it again. Louder, but less sharp. The cave's echoing so I can't pin down the direction of the source. We fan out, thinking it's a wild animal or maybe a person. Then Urchek screams, and I see him fall backward out of the corner of my eye. I rush over. He's pointing at the water, saying he saw something in it. A—a whale, he says. Peeking up at him.

I help him up and we both scan for movement. Nothing. We hear the noise again, this time it's unmistakably coming from the water—a long wail, followed by short clicks and pops. I see Urchek shaking. He's still green so I'll cut him some slack. We see ripples in the water and I tell Urchek to go and get Tanner. He runs off, tail between his legs. But I didn't. I wasn't scared, no. Why should I be? It only wanted to save my soul.

Photographs of the cavern match descriptions of a divine grotto pictured in documents recovered from SCP-7900. Subsequent explorations have failed to locate the cavern.

ADDENDUM B: Two months after the incident, Costellos was reported absent from his post at an unrelated anomaly. Several days later, a security detail stationed at SCP-7900 noticed burn marks at the entrance of the subterranean network, appearing to form a trail leading into the system. Emelie Tanner and other members of STF-MAMMOTH were requested to investigate, given their prior experience with the anomaly.

The following is a testimony from Emelie Tanner about the incident:

I've known Rick a long time. He was one of the founding six members of Mammoth. The only one to survive that gravity well at Mystery Spot—saved my life more than once. He's tough, is what I'm saying.

Twenty years on this job and I've never seen someone crumble to pieces like Rick did.

See, he'd had been acting weird for a while now. He'd take a little too long to answer questions, sometimes he would be completely unresponsive. Given his position in the team, I figured he could hurt someone or himself.

We were working on a job in Brazil, so I assumed it was malaria or something. I had him stay at camp and told him to wait there until the doctors could fly in from São Paulo before handling any more of the dynamite. We were out maybe 12 hours. By the time we were back, he was gone. Just up and left, took his stuff but nothing else.

Searched the area, came up with nothing. We wrote him off as another casualty of the profession. It's tough, but you get used to it here. We were writing up the report when you guys called. Said you'd found something at 7900, and that we were needed.

We were there the next day. And before you ask, we followed the scorch marks. Sure, the thought of a trap crossed my mind, but I figured it was better than getting lost like last time. Plus, we were armed to the teeth and given provisional Fireteam status. Not exactly sitting ducks.

It took half an hour of winding tunnels and pearl-white bas-reliefs to find the end of the trail, right at the mouth of the flooded cavern.

I turn on my high-beam flashlight, and I see Rick fucking sitting there at the edge of the water. My God, if you'd have seen him. His eyes were all milky, and he was unresponsive. I noticed his legs from the knee down submerged in the water. When we pulled him out I saw that the skin was rotting off the bone—I don't know how long he must've been sitting there for that to happen.

In his hand was a burnt-out emergency flare, no doubt what he used to make the trail. His clothes were ragged, and he looked emaciated. We did a quick medical check, but since we only had basic supplies on hand we couldn't do much for him. I told my team to haul him topside—I didn't like his odds of survival, and even if we could save his life he'd never walk again. But I was relieved he wouldn't die alone down there.

As my team started up the tunnel I took a final glance at the pool. Just a cursory check, like I've done a million times before.

That's when I locked eyes with an angel.

Costellos' scorch marks were used to map a reliable path to the flooded cavern, seemingly bypassing the unstable topology of the network. An examination of the pool revealed evidence of lifeforms inhabiting the water.

An aquatic mission confirmed the presence of at least one large marine organism, recently deceased and in good condition. Cause of death was determined to be starvation. The organism bore great visual similarities with the Eschrichtiidae family (gray whale), with several major exceptions: malformed eyes, sunken into the skull and covered with skin growth; a total lack of blowholes or breathing apparatus; lack of baleen, though damage to the mouth suggests removal post-birth; two arms, pale and boney, extending from either side of the torso and terminating in human-like hands.

Due to its size, its removal from the cavern has been deemed improbable, and all examinations had to be conducted by teams outfitted for sustained diving. The specimen's species has been named Gray Apostle (Eschrichtius apostoli) at the behest of SCP-7900 head of research Julia Ngo.

The following memo was sent by Dr. Ngo to all research personnel assigned to SCP-7900:

It became immediately clear upon seeing the specimen myself that we are dealing with something far greater than what we started with.

You have all been briefed on the history of this place. You have seen the devices used for torture. The murals and their macabre art. If you're like me you've stood on the cliffs and stared into the sea as countless others have here through the millennia. What could they see that we can't? What could make them go smiling into a cold and lonely death?

Your peers have no doubt spoken of mania and indoctrination. They've written everything that's happened here off as a sobering reminder of the dangers of cult thinking. We've been studying Notre Dame de la Mer for half a century. They'll tell you there's nothing left to find. They're wrong.

What we found in the Devil's Well is more than an addendum to this page. It's the key to everything. The arms on either side of the whale aren't human-like—they are human. They are a near-perfect genetic match, size excepted. And we have reason to believe there's more. The cave continues past the limits of our floodlights. There's more down there. The testimonies suggest live specimens, and I intend to find them.

A small expeditionary force, led by Dr. Ngo, was dispatched to explore the submerged portions of the cave network and to determine the presence of living organisms. Exploration is ongoing.

ADDENDUM C: When Dr. Ngo's unit failed to report their findings at the predetermined time, additional teams were arranged for rescue purposes. Believing the submerged tunnels possessed similar anomalous properties as the rest of the network, subsequent explorations would be conducted meticulously. Extensive terraforming efforts were made to ensure line-of-sight between team members would not be broken.

This proved effective, as exploratory teams uncovered vast quantities of archeological remains within sealed chambers within days. Recovered items resembled artifacts recovered aboveground, but with a higher degree of technical skill. Almost all artworks solely depicted cetaceans.

seacave
Fig 1.5: Encountered sea fissure.

Skeletal remains in near-perfect conditions were frequently encountered, many of which possessed human-like upper torsos fused to elongated lower spines ending in preserved flukes. Remains were frequently intermingled with larger cetacean skeletons, often congregating in the stomach region.

On the fifth day of exploration, demolition crews uncovered an unusually large chamber, resembling a fissure in the earth, and extending down an indeterminate distance (pictured). While deliberating a course of action, crew members reported hearing whalesong emanating from the bottom of the chasm.

Supervisor Lee Dupont describes the following moments:

I'm looking down there and I'm telling myself 'don't go down, don't go down, there's nothing down there.' Not my mission, not my problem, right? I mean, when has something good ever happened when you poke around where you're not wanted?

But that's the thing, isn't it? I was wanted. They wanted me down there. That's what you guys keep getting wrong. This isn't another death cult, it's not another Alagadda. It's our fucking ticket out of here. It's a way off of this whole fucking messed up world we're in.

They didn't kill Ngo and her team. You want to know how I know that? Because they fucking told me. They have a way of doing that… communicating something to you in an instant. It's hard to articulate, but after it happens you just… know what they wanted you to know. Like waking up from a dream. I took one look down there. It was over in an instant.

My team protested to going down there, but then they saw it too. They heard the siren's call. We start out afraid of the dark. But then we grow up. We peel the curtain back and find out there was nothing to be scared of in the first place. We evolve. And my evolution was in that cave.

I don't remember everything I saw down there. It was like a dream, I can't recall the details. But I'll never forget the faces. Horrible, mummified, scared. Millions of them, starving to death in that pit. Nothing to eat after the apostles died and the drownings stopped. I see the faces of the devotees, given new life and new blood from the water. I saw Ngo, in the bliss of her newfound immortality. I saw my team, screaming as they accept God's blessing. I saw Rick and Tanner and Urchek. I saw myself, from a distance.

But most vividly of all I saw God. My God, watching from above through the cracks in the rock. A whale's eye, blue as sapphire, and I let his song cleanse and birth me new. He has hopes for us. Inheritors of his Deluge.

It's been so long since he's seen the surface. I can't wait.

Lee Dupont was found by rescue personnel hours later. The other six team members assigned to Dupont have been declared MIA. Subsequent attempts to locate the fissure described in his testimonies have been met with failure, likely due to anomalous interference.

Dupont's skeletal structure began transformation the following morning, and he has been placed in a pressurized aquatic environment to reduce pain and to observe the extent of bodily and mental changes. The Department of Cetacean Studies has been formed to document this and other related phenomena.

ADDENDUM D: Recent expeditions have discovered the underwater fissure via demolition efforts. However, investigations within the chamber found no signs of the humanoids nor the massive cetacean described by Dupont. Impressions in the rock imply the presence of a great number of organisms—none were present.

Concurrently, motion sensors at 400, 317, 288, and 199 meters were tripped by unknown forces. Widespread technical malfunctions were ruled out, and on-site security declared an Ekhi-class emergency. By the orders of Security Chief Sebastian Banks, the entrance to SCP-7900's subterranean network was caved in with a controlled blast, sealing the system and averting a potential containment breach.

Banks recounted the following during his debrief:

You want to know about the cave-in. That's what this is all about, right? You want to know why I ordered my men to bury the last six months of my job in three thousand tons of solid rock?

Something tripped the sensors. And fast, too. Too fast to be a single entity. Hell, too fast to be a group either. Those tunnels are narrow, there's no way anybody could climb two hundred meters in less than a minute.

Unless it's water. It has to be.

It's a fucking flood, coming up from the abyss. The Deluge, right? That's what Dupont called it? Yeah, I listened to the tape. He was fucked in the head, but maybe he was on to something. We found something terrible and awesome and beautiful down there. We fight it now because we're scared. But give it some time. Maybe we hit the jackpot. Who knows where we'll be in ten, twenty years.

Whatever. It's over now, that cave's airtight. Nothing's getting out in a thousand years.

But all we've got is time, and water's patient.

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