rating: +55+x

Item #: SCP-7923

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: Don't read this if you're not in the Surrealistics Department. SCP-7923 instances must be submitted to the Vibe Check Committee (VCC) of no fewer than 5 (five (5)) Surrealistics Department personnel. Instances identified as probably SCP-7923 are to be immediately terminated.

Description: Right. So.

You've got the typical states, see, of Alive and Dead. And whilst, in the strictest sense, you might argue for some degree of continuity betwixt the two, like sleep, or orgasm: an organism's Alive or it is Dead. But there is also definitely this third category, of Undead, right? Like, zombies and stuff, we have a few, I've seen 'em. Where the biological trappings of blood and guts and such aren't doing what they used to do, but there's still the presence of animacy and will, where there's still a soul puppeting the thing around. And everyone gets that there's something wrong going on there.


We found a guy, in a suit, in the cafeteria. And, like, I could tell, right, something was off. Just the look of him. There didn't seem to be any light behind his eyes. And so I got to talking to some of the guys (Surrealistics guys) about it, and they said, yeah, I've seen him too, struck me as odd, but didn't think about it much. And then we looked closer, and we noticed that he wasn't… moving. Like, right, his heart was still pumping, and his brain was still doing all the brain stuff, we checked with an EEG, there's signals there, but he's just like… staring. Seemed a bit like hypnosis? Like he was responding to pain stimuli in the sense of base physical reactions, right. You know how if you stick your hand in a fire, you'll reflexively pull it back, right, that kind of thing. But nobody in the cafeteria seemed to notice he was there?

So me and the guys went and checked the security cameras. And, basically, one day, this guy sat down (he used to work for us) and then stopped moving. Like, for a few days, he had just been right there. And that seems to be how it usually is, where they suddenly just stop - he wasn't the first, as it turns out, but he was the first one that we noticed.

So there's Alive, and Dead, and Undead, and eventually we figured out that these guys are Unalive. And so what that means is that they look alive, and all the semantic trappings of "aliveness". Like, when you look at something that's Undead, there is an immediate and intrinsic assessment that, yeah, that thing's not Dead, but it should probably be Dead; it was probably Alive and then probably got Deadified and then got Undeaded. And you look at them and you know something's wrong, due to the base human response to corpsehood, that evolution drilled into us, not to go near corpses, you KNOW everything's wrong with them, and to not be nearby. The Unalive are like, the inverse. There is a sense, when you look at them, they aren't Alive, but it probably should be Alive; it was probably an Alive thing which got Unaliveded. And when most people look at them they think they're normal, and they don't notice so much. And that seems to be a semantic thing and not a memetic thing. Like, it's not that they're instantiations of the idea of Unaliveness, they just are Unalive.

Here's the weird thing, right. We noticed it happening, sometimes, we tracked some of the people it had happened to. And everyone else - like, Not Us, the people who aren't in Surrealistics - goes "oh, good job, well done, that sure was weird huh?". And like, that's what they pay us for, right? Notice weird shit and put it in a box. So that's cool. But then we start to realise, like… did you know about that lady, right, who could smell Parkinson's disease? Like, they tested her, and they were like "hmmm, you made one mistake", but then it turns out the person they didn't think Parkinson's had it, and it turns out she could tell? Right, so, we spent a lot of time around these Unalive folk, right? Once they went all catatonic and such. And so there's, like… a "sense", which we cannot fully articulate, an overall incommunicable gestalt of "offness" which we got to be able to recognize. And it ain't a physical thing, or a metaphysical thing; it's not a thing that we can formalise mechanistically. We ended up calling it "vibes", right, because we didn't have a better word for it.

So we started realising we could pick up the vibes of people who were (we thought) probably going to end up Unalive. And we thought, cool, we're psychic or something. But then we waited, and they just… didn't. Like, everyone else thinks they're acting normal, and everything's okay. But we can kind of tell that there's something weird. And so we bring this up to some folks, and they say, "yeah, that's unusual, let's run some tests", but of course the tests come back with nothing, right, because it's vibes, it's not a physical thing, it's semantic, and you can't run tests on semantic. And so we know there's these Unalive people who look like they're Alive and everyone's acting like they're Alive but they aren't. And we also can't convince anyone to put them in a box, right, because all the tests come back normal, and like, those wacky surrealists, right? They don't know what's what!

I'll tell you what's what - the Unalive people were fucking things up. Like, we made note of them, and we tracked them, and it's like, they pretty much always made Bad Decisions. And I'm talking REALLY bad, like break-of-secrecy bad, like amnesticising what's left of the town of Uleåborg bad. (Even if this thing's a Euclid, it's a Keter risk, tbh.) So we point this out, right, but whenever anyone outside Surrealistics knows about it, they… don't end up making any Bad Decisions. And we end up looking like idiots for having tried to stop them. And, you know what, that's fine. We can get through some bad decisions.

Then one of them made Site Director.

And like, what do you even DO then, right? Like, if we didn't do anything, we're complicit in whatever the hell happens. We don't know what's going on, right, like, we wish we could investigate it proper, but we can't DO that. We just know something's up, and nobody else seems to be able to tell that something's up, and nobody takes us seriously. Anyway. In the end, we came to a consensus.

We protected.

And then we had to explain, right? Us. We can't explain fuck shit. We're all running off vibes and what feels right, and we KNEW this was right, we just didn't have the words, or the coherence. But then we realised - we could MAKE them sure! Like, we could just give 'em some Gnostics, tell them what's going on, and they'll get the gist of it, and we can carry on. So that's what we did.

We still don't know what's doing it, though.

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