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Slightly enhanced photo of SCP-1123 showing Khmer script on squama frontalis

Item #: SCP-1123

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: To prevent degradation of SCP-1123 and its markings, it is to be kept in a hermetically sealed container in an argon gas atmosphere when not being tested. During testing and storage, light exposure should be limited to 50 lux, temperature between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius, and relative humidity at 55%. SCP-1123 should only be transported in its container, and should not be handled except during a controlled experiment. When not being tested, it will be stored in a secure climate-controlled locker at Site 19.

Description: SCP-1123 is a human skull missing the lower mandible and all its teeth. Across the exterior squama frontalis is modern Khmer script, written in human blood, that translates as “Remember.” Both skull and blood have been definitively dated to 197█, and genetic testing confirms that both are from the same individual.

SCP-1123 was discovered in 198█ by Colonel Hu ████ of the Vietnamese People’s Army within a collection of human remains in the custody of the ████ █████ ███████ Museum in █████ ████, Cambodia. SCP-1123 was intercepted by Foundation agents as it was being delivered to Hanoi.

The Khmer script is badly faded, and invisible to most subjects beyond 5 meters distance. However, when a subject approaches SCP-1123 they will report the script becoming progressively more visible until, at less than 1 meter, they will report it appearing as if freshly drawn. A few subjects at this distance report the writing is “still wet.” This effect is not reproducible with optical equipment. To record the script photographically requires optical enhancement or UV lighting. (The latter is not approved for use with SCP-1123 as it contributes to the degradation of the object.) Subjects at this distance will often also report other anomalous sensory phenomena, including smells (such as cooking meat or ashes), sounds (such as soft crying, low heartbeats or breathing, or distant footsteps), and tactile responses (such as grit in the eyes, ants crawling on the back of the hand, or glass splinters in the sole of the foot.)

When subjects touch the surface of SCP-1123 they will experience a dissociative fugue state. Initiation of the fugue state appears instantaneous and is not affected by cessation of contact with SCP-1123. Symptoms of the fugue persist for ninety minutes to six hours. The fugue is characterized by confusion, disorientation, and adoption of a new identity and memories which consist of knowledge, including language, previously unknown to the subject. During the fugue the subject will lose all memories of their prior identity. Subjects have shown various reactions to this, ranging from near-catatonia to attempts to escape or attack Foundation personnel. As the fugue state subsides, the subject will regain memories of their prior identity, but will also retain memory of the new, imprinted identity and all the knowledge associated with it. Subjects have said that it was “as if they lived an entire other life as some other person” in the period between touching SCP-1123 and recovering from the fugue.

Post-fugue interviews have provided enough corroborative information in ███ of ███ studied cases for researchers to find historical documentation confirming the imprinted personality's correspondence to a specific individual who had lived at some time prior to the subject. There appears no connection between the origin of the imprinted personality and the identity of the subject based on age, genealogy, gender, ethnicity or national origin.

Imprinted personalities share the following characteristics:

  1. The imprint died before the subject's birth. (Dates have ranged to as early as 90 years prior, to less than 1 year.)
  2. The imprint was a victim of subjugation, torture and/or imprisonment.
  3. The imprint typically died by violence, usually homicide. (Sometimes death has been due to secondary factors, such as starvation or infection.)
  4. The imprint's death was the result from being targeted by a political mass movement, most often with some form of state sanction and/or complicity.

Subjects undergo no obvious anomalous aftereffects due to exposure, but will show psychological effects common to the types of trauma experienced by the imprinted personality. Grief, survivor's guilt and depression are typical. Suicidal ideation is rare, but has occurred in a small fraction of cases. It should be noted that in treatment of these aftereffects, use of amnesiacs has not shown any psychological benefit, and has often proved to be harmful.

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