Re: The Statue
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From: MSilburn3@Scipnet (Junior Researcher Marcus Silburn; Classification Level TC-1; Employee Number 13610)
To: SPetrov@Scipnet (Doctor Sasha Petrov, PhD; Classification Level XF-3; Employee Number 8909)
Re: Statue (173)
Date: 10/11/2018

Doctor, I was just assigned to SCP-173 as a containment specialist. I'm a little confused by my assignment, however. All I seem to be doing is watching it via live camera footage while D-Class personnel clean its containment chamber. You're listed on the SCP file as the research lead on the object (though, in the six weeks I've been assigned to 173, I've yet to meet you), so I thought I'd address my questions to you:

1) Why do we have D-Class cleaning the cell? Would an automated cleaning system not be both more efficient, and reduce the risk of lost personnel?

2) I'm led to understand that SCP-173 cannot move if observed: including recorded footage, so long as it's watched by someone at a later date. Why is this sort of retroactive containment not used to greater effect?

3) Recent advances in artificial intelligence could make the constant observation of the object significantly easier. Has there been any testing to determine whether artificial sapient or sentient observation of the object has the same effect that biological entities do on the anomaly?

Thank you for your attention in this matter; I look forward to your response.

From: SPetrov@Scipnet (Doctor Sasha Petrov, PhD; Classification Level XF-3; Employee Number 8909)
To: MSilburn3@Scipnet (Junior Researcher Marcus Silburn; Classification Level TC-1; Employee Number 13610)
Re: Statue (173)
Date: 16/11/2018

Mr Silburn: As you were brought on only to supervise the cleaning of SCP-173's chamber, as laid out in the object's Special Containment Procedures, you were not made aware of the supplementary documentation regarding the object. They aren't classified: it was simply assumed that you didn't require them to complete your task. Rest assured, all of your concerns have been addressed in the course of SCP-173's containment. I will address each of your concerns here:

Firstly, regarding the fact that I haven't had any dealings with SCP-173 or the containment staff thereof: 173 is one of the oldest SCP objects still in Foundation possession. It has been tested exhaustively, which you would be aware of if you had been given access to the testing logs. Its properties- the speed at which it moves when unseen, the strength with which it attacks the walls of its cell, its composition, the composition of the effluvia it ectoentropically excretes, its Hume differential, and so on- are all very well understood. There is little left to test for, and more dangerous and unpredictable anomalies in Foundation care. I personally lead the research programs into sixteen anomalies, including two Keter. If you have any testing proposals, feel free to file them, and I will give them due consideration.

Secondly, if you had been given access to the maintenance logs, you would be aware that two automatic cleaning systems have been installed, once in the late seventies, and once in the mid noughties. SCP-173's excretions blocked critical valves and electronics, with a surprising degree of efficiency. There was some discussion about whether the object could consciously direct the production of the blood and faeces that appears in it's vicinity, and whether it was sapient enough to deliberately sabotage the cleaning systems. There was even some discussion regarding motivation- a popular theory after the last system failure was that the effluvia was a sort of lure, designed to bring prey to it.

Thirdly, all known media containing footage of the anomaly degrades physically. Blood and faeces, identical to that produced within SCP-173's area of effect, destroy the circuitry or tape or what have you. This secondary anomaly should likely be mentioned in the core documentation: I apologize for that. As I explained, my attention has been elsewhere. I give you authorization to make the necessary edits.

Fourthly, regarding your idea to have an .aic entity observe SCP-173- yes, it has been attempted. Almost as soon as the Foundation became capable of generating artificial consciousness, in fact- and it does work. Regardless of composition, origin, or level of sapience, if a sentient entity capable of vision observes SCP-173, it will not move. However, the artificial intelligences are subject to the secondary effect I mentioned in my third point: blood and faecal matter appear in their housing medium and destroy them, given enough time. There was a proposal to put a number of .aic-capable mainframes on the task, and have the observing entity transfer when physical damage began to occur, but it was rejected as too costly. This result raises a further interesting question: if we could remove the need to blink from a human being, would this secondary effect also occur in our own hardware- our brains? Or does it occur only with artificial media? Interesting to speculate upon.

Anyway, while I applaud your initiative in contacting me, I must remind you that firstly, there is a chain of command for a reason, and you should have relayed your concerns to your supervisor, and secondly, that the Foundation, while not infallible, is not composed of idiots. We do, generally, know what we're doing. If you have any further questions, and your supervisor doesn't have the answers, feel free to contact me again.

Sincerely, Dr. Sasha Petrov

From: MSilburn3@Scipnet (Researcher Marcus Silburn; Classification Level TC-2; Employee Number 13610)
To: Dir19_JBright@Scipnet (Director Jack Bright; Classification Level XK-4; Employee Number 2218)
Re: SCP-173 Containment
Date: 21/09/2021

Director, I'd like to thank you for my assignment as head of containment for SCP-173. No doubt you're aware of my ongoing fascination with the engineering conundrum that the anomaly presents. I have a proposal to present to you, actually: a series of remote-controlled drones with swiveling cameras mounted on them. The drones could clean the object's chamber, with the footage from the cameras streaming to the piloting staff, preventing 173's anomaly from activating. The secondary anomalous effect would not occur, as the footage would be streamed, rather than stored. I would need Manufacturing to create four or six drones to specification- a team or two or three, and a backup- and a few staff members to be trained in their use. With this system, we could keep the chamber sanitary, and cut down on personnel losses- we've lost eight D-Class and a Junior Researcher, over the last ten years. Low compared to the bad old days, certainly- but I believe we can do better.

From: Dir19_JBright@Scipnet (Director Jack Bright; Classification Level XK-4; Employee Number 2218)
To: MSilburn3@Scipnet (Researcher Marcus Silburn; Classification Level TC-2; Employee Number 13610)
Re: SCP-173 Containment
Date: 22/09/2021

Clever idea, Marc. I like it. But don't get over-confident about SCP-173. We've had a lot of clever ideas thrown at that statue over the years, and they've all failed. Machines, in my experience, aren't always an especially reliable option, when you're dealing with the anomalous- and 173 might or might not be sapient, but it has something a bit like low cunning. You're project is authorized, but I want you to keep a close eye on it.

From: MSilburn3@Scipnet (Researcher Marcus Silburn; Classification Level TC-2; Employee Number 13610)
To: Dir19_JBright@Scipnet (Director Jack Bright; Classification Level XK-4; Employee Number 2218)
Re: SCP-173 Containment Breach
Date: 18/04/2022

Well, you've likely read the incident reports by now, Director. The first set of drones was taken out a week ago; one had its vision momentarily obscured by some of that foul blood/faeces mixture dripping from the ceiling, one had a malfunction in it's camera (again, blood and faeces in the circuitry), and the operator of the third blinked. A fraction of a second later, all three drones were out of commission. We chalked it up to bad luck, put the second string in, and requested a new set from Manufacturing. Three days later, the same thing happened. The statue, it seems, is capable of learning. What's worst, apparently checks on the locking mechanism have been neglected. The second incident led to a breach; a janitor was killed before SCP-173 could be re-contained. I take full responsibility for Mr. Hamilton's death, the breach, and the cost of the drones. I'm willing to tender my resignation, if you'd like to have it.

From: Dir19_JBright@Scipnet (Director Jack Bright; Classification Level XK-4; Employee Number 2218)
To: MSilburn3@Scipnet (Researcher Marcus Silburn; Classification Level TC-2; Employee Number 13610)
Re: SCP-173 Containment Breach
Date: 18/04/2022

Don't be an idiot, Marc. Do you have any idea how that damned statue killed in the old days, while your predecessors threw every half-baked idea they could come up with at it? Your idea wasn't a bad one. It just didn't work. We can't afford to keep building robots for the thing to shred, obviously, but you turn your mind to the problem and come up with another potential solution. That's how you atone for Hamilton's death: work to prevent similar losses in the future. I look forward to your next proposal. In the mean time, get the D-class cleaning crew back on the job.

From: MSilburn3@Scipnet (Senior Researcher Marcus Silburn; Classification Level TC-3; Employee Number 13610)
To: Dir19_JBright@Scipnet (Director Jack Bright; Classification Level XK-4; Employee Number 2218)
Re: 173 Containment Proposal
Date: 03/02/2025

I had a new idea for the statue, Jack: the damned thing doesn't need to eat, or breathe, and it isn't strong enough to bust out of its containment chamber. The only reason we bother to go in is for maintenance, to clean up the blood/shit muck. What if we didn't need to? Listen: curved walls and ceiling, like a dome, coated with something with a low coefficient of friction, like PTFE. A floor that's a series of grates, made out of that carbon nanotube stuff that's in every damned thing, now. The muck sluices down, and we get rid of it as per usual, and the thing can't ever get out. We throw a couple cameras in there, small and solid state, and flick them on once in a while just to make sure it's still in there. No more breaches, no more deaths, ever. What do you think?

From: Dir19_JBright@Scipnet (Director Jack Bright; Classification Level XK-4; Employee Number 2218)
To: MSilburn3@Scipnet (Senior Researcher Marcus Silburn; Classification Level TC-3; Employee Number 13610)
Re: 173 Containment Proposal
Date: 04/02/2025

Sounds costly, but effective. Approved. But throw some Raman spectrography and motion sensors and whatever else you can think of in there, too. I want to avoid surprises.

From: MSilburn3@Scipnet (Senior Researcher Marcus Silburn; Classification Level TC-3; Employee Number 13610)
To: Dir19_JBright@Scipnet (Director Jack Bright; Classification Level XK-4; Employee Number 2218)
Re: Just let me smash the fucking thing
Date: 15/07/2029

So apparently 173 can alter the bloody shitty muck it conjures out of thin fucking air to contain complex biochemical compounds capable of eating through carbon nanotube weave. It went down into the sluice, ripped through a foot of rotted concrete, dug through seven feet of soil, and came out in a minimum security portion of the facility, killing twelve people.

I know you already know what has happened, but I feel it bears repeating. This thing is unstoppably fucking malign, Jack. Consider this an official termination proposal for SCP-173. Give me the word, Jack, and I'll rip the malformed bastard thing apart myself. We can't learn anything more from it- we've tested it exhaustively- and it's an ongoing threat to Foundation personnel. It needs to be destroyed.

From: Dir19_JBright@Scipnet (Director Jack Bright; Classification Level XK-4; Employee Number 2218)
To: MSilburn3@Scipnet (Senior Researcher Marcus Silburn; Classification Level TC-3; Employee Number 13610)
Re: Just let me smash the fucking thing
Date: 15/07/2029

Denied, Marc. You know I can't let you do that. The Foundation doesn't consider termination unless there is an eschatological threat posed by an anomaly, and the fact that it can alter the chemical composition of its bloody conjured diarrhea proves we can still learn from it. The boys in the lab don't even know if the stuff it made to eat through the nanotube is anomalous, yet. It's completely new. I know you feel guilty, Marc. But this is life in the Foundation. Chin up, back on the saddle. I'm transferring you off of 173, though. You've gotten too close to the thing, too invested. We'll put the D-Class crew back on rotation, for now, and maybe try again.

From: Dir19_JBright@Scipnet (Director Jack Bright; Classification Level XK-4; Employee Number 2218)
To: O5_6@Scipnet (Overseer Six; Classification Level OK-5-Thaumiel; Employee Number 6)
Re: SCP-173 Behavior
Date: 15/07/2029

I regret to report that the latest experiment involving the containment of SCP-173 has failed. The object continues to exhibit unpredictable changes in both behavior and anomalous properties when denied regular exposure to human observation. The pattern has not changed since we first contained it. Any attempt to reduce exposure of personnel leads to containment destabilization. To date, the only consistent method of containment continues to be introducing at least three individuals into its containment cell for no less than one hour a week, without further protections or safe-guards. This method succeeds regardless of whether mistakes are made, and personnel lost, or not. It can be surmised that our conclusion was correct- the object, for whatever reason, desires or requires human attention, and will not be denied it.

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