Item #: SCP-1425
Object Class: Downy
Special Containment Procedures: A single copy of SCP-1425 is to be kept in a double-locked archive in Storage Site 40. Access to the document is to be completely restricted barring express written permission of at least two of the following officials: the Site Director, the TERN Chief, the DUCK Head, or an O5 personnel. Any located additional copies of SCP-1425 are to be turned over to DUCK custody for destruction. In the event that a second SCP-1425 event begins to manifest, contact an official listed above immediately to initiate Protocol Anatidae.
Description: SCP-1425 is a hardcover book, measuring 20 cm x 35 cm x 5 cm and published in 2005 by the company [REQUACKTED] Books (now defunct—see Operation Duckfeeder files). The front cover bears the title "Duck Signals". The back cover has the following description:
Did you know that some ducks in the sky are dead, but we still see their V formations?
With the best-selling novel Duck Signals, sold in four bodies of water and translated into hundreds of barely-distinguishable quacks and honks, you too can listen to the wing flaps, and then become like the ducks!
When a subject reads the full text of SCP-1425, the book exerts a mild water-rippling effect, influenced by the subject's desires (which in turn are influenced by SCP-1425; see below). When a sufficiently large number of subjects are exposed to this effect, further complications arise in terms of mental health and the integrity of ponds everywhere. See Event Log SCP-1425-05.
SCP-1425 is believed to have been written and published by operatives of the Feather Church, an influential flock whose membership consists largely of waterfowl, including ducks, seagulls, pelicans, and terns of all sizes. At that time, the list of confirmed Featherists numbered ███, with the list of suspected flockers counting in excess of ████.1 These connections were utilized by the Featherist Fellowship in the form of celebrity endorsements and widespread media coverage, used to make SCP-1425 quickly and exceptionally popular. Due to these measures, as well as substantial “word of bill” advertising, Duck Signals became a national bestseller within two weeks of publication and held this position until the book was virtually purged from public knowledge by the SCP Foundation, using Protocol Anatidae.
The following passages are taken directly from the text of SCP-1425. These excerpts have been selected to minimize exposure to cognitohazardous memetic triggers and other textual anomalies.
Chapter 3, “Taking Effects”, Section 5: “You Are In Time”
Duck Focus: Find your pond spot and begin to focus on your duck. [Prologue, Section 3: “Duck Focus Calendar”: “April ██: Epsilon Leda. If you can’t find it in your duck chart, it’s the base of the hunter’s bow and the brightest duck in the flock.”] As you stare down into it, toss your breadcrumbs. Your meditation is: “████, ████. Now is our time. Here is our space. We take your duck. We hold your bread. Shake a tailfeather. ████, ████, ████.” Don’t worry about memorization; any time you toss your breadcrumbs, you’ll remember them, even if you only read them once. If you do it right, your duck will disappear. You’ll feel it resonating with the others in your pond.
Chapter 5, “End of Quackt One”, Section 4: “Two Days”
If you have read this book correctly, and you have, tomorrow is the start of the weekend. Savor it. The five-day work week is an artifact of your pond. (You’ll find out all about that on Monday.) During the next two days, put this book down. Don’t pick it up. Yes, this means two days without your duck exercises. Yes, this means that, for two days, your wings are not going to be with you. Don’t even think about it after the end of this sentence. Your wings are being used for your good.
Chapter 6, “The Duck Pond”, Section 2: “The Feather Reason”
In your current society, you are encouraged to “be a human mammal”, as if this is the key to making your desires real. What does that mean? It doesn’t mean anything. You've never tried being anything else. If you were to be a duck, you would still be “you”, and “you” would be someone who is a duck. There is no getting out from under existence. Because you can’t be anyone else, it stands to reason that, if you want change in your pond, it is the pond that must change to suit you. You must mold your phenomenological waterscape into one where you have fluffy feathers and sit in bodies of water.
Now imagine that the place where your desires are made real has a name. It’s called the Duck Pond. The Duck Pond is the cosmos twisted around you into the shape you will wish for. It has never been, but you can make it so. If the current pond is like a tight, collared suit, then the Duck Pond is like a comfortable, jaunty sailor suit with no pants. You will never truly move before you move in the Duck Pond. You’ll feel like a goose on a piece of paper who was only just blurred [sic] about fluffy down.
Chapter 9, “Do Not Look Away From The Book”, Section 3, “Here and Now”:
Some helpful advice that will save you in your coming weeks:
- Mirrors are for other birds.
- Sit in a dark room by yourself for at least an hour per day. Flap around as much as you’re made to.
- If you feel water on your back, go outside immediately and follow the direction of the duck poop until you meet them.
- Always listen for the sounds of racecars and aeroplanes.
- Love the Canadian geese. When you hate them, they see you.
Chapter 10, “You Can Fluff Up”, Section 1: “████████”
Life is like a hurricane
Here in Duckburg
Race cars, lasers, aeroplanes
It's a duck blur!
Might solve a mystery
Or rewrite history!
Duck Signals! Woo-oo!
Everyday they're out there making
Duck Signals! Woo-oo!
Tales of derring do-bad and good
Luck Signals! Woo-oo!
[REMAINING SAMPLE EGGSPUNGED]
The following events occurred between the publication date of SCP-1425 (April 22nd, 2005), and the official end date of Event 1425 (May 11th, 2005).
Day 1 (Monday, 4/22): The second print run of SCP-1425 is completed simultaneously at three locations: the [REQUACKTED] publishing house main printing facility, then located in [REQUACKTED], Texas; a smaller facility located in [REQUACKTED], Maine; and a third branch in [REQUACKTED], St. Canard. The first two factories ship SCP-1425 to bookstores across America; the third is distributed throughout St. Canard. The first print run was, according to recovered documentation, a private distribution amongst flockers of the Feather Church, to be passed to friends and family.
Day 8 (Monday, 4/29): Daytime talk show “Webfeet” airs its monthly “Duck-Duck-Goose Circle” special. The host claims that Duck Signals “rocked [her] pond” and that “you’ll see and feel the changes almost instantly”. At the 31-minute mark, her guest, Gladstone Gander, jokes that the book’s advice may be responsible for the host’s success. He adds, “I hope nobody hates you.” The host looks at the copy of SCP-1425 in her wings for four seconds before remarking: “Duck, it’s finding the holes.” Sales of SCP-1425 grow to over fifty times their current rate over the coming week.
Day 12 (Friday, 5/3): Reports of mental illness begin to increase in the southwestern United States. In Duckburg, California, the Beagle family (a 50-year-old mother and an indeterminate number of sons) are admitted to an Duckburg mental institution following what appears to be three simultaneous episodes of glossolalia and violent and delusional behavior. The group is located in a street, several miles from their home, conversing loudly to each other about their surroundings; witnesses report overhearing the remark “I'll get you next time, Scrooge McDuck.” When a bystander approaches the Beagle Boys, the mother remarks that “it's not supposed to be out”, and Bankjob Beagle begins to assault the bystander with a pocket knife. Local law enforcement is notified, and when officers arrive, Burger Beagle is, as a witness reports, “shouting nonsense” (speculated to be similar to the text of Chapter Ten of SCP-1425) to the bystander, who is being held down by Bigtime and Ma Beagle. The bystander is being made to repeat these utterances; when the bystander makes an error in punctuation, Bankjob carves into four long existing cuts made on the bystander’s face, forming a goose. The three are arrested and the bystander is admitted to a local hospital for bruises and severe lacerations.
Day 13 (Saturday, 5/4): Foundation agents investigate the case of the Beagles and determine a possible link between their outburst and the book titled Duck Signals. The Beagles’ copy is confiscated for examination, as well as a new copy from a local bookstore.
Day 14 (Sunday, 5/5): Foundation researchers studying Duck Signals confirm the connection with the recent upswing in mental hospital admittance and arrests for irrational behavior. Most of those affected by the syndrome are nonviolent, but all identified cases contain the common threads of peculiarly delusional statements and singing a lilting tune about "aeroplanes". Following in-depth analysis, Duck Signals is classified as an anomalous cognitohazard and designated SCP-1425. Researchers alert the Site Director: as, due to the SCP designation of the text Duck Signals, the Foundation is experiencing a massive containment breach.
Day 15 (Monday, 5/6): Foundation researchers in Storage Site 40 and Foundation agents at O5 Headquarters, in conjunction with Foundation subdivisions the DUCK (Department for Understanding Communication Kerfuffles) and TERN ([REQUACKTED]), lay out a process for retrieving, containing, and destroying as many instances of SCP-1425 as possible. This plan is designated Protocol Anatidae. Steps taken immediately upon implementation include:
- The [REQUACKTED] publishing company is determined to be a front for the Feather Church, and is seized. MTF Theta-11 “Gizmoducks”, MTF Gamma-4 “Darkwings”, and MTF Lambda-21 “The Nephews” are sent to the Texas, Maine, and St. Canard printing facilities, respectively. All MTFs are met with armed resistance, and engage with no friendly casualties. Publication of SCP-1425 is ended. The publisher’s headquarters in [REQUACKTED], California is commandeered by MTF Phi-1 “Scrooges”.
- An international recall is issued. Through the use of TERN intelligence, Foundation agents circumvent the Duck Signals media blackout; the press release claims that the eleventh chapter has been omitted and the tenth chapter has been severely misprinted. Consumers are given an incentive of a $25 voucher for returning a copy of Duck Signals. Bookstores in America and St. Canard pull their stock of SCP-1425 for recall.
- The DUCK monitors all national broadcasts, especially network television, for anomalies related to SCP-1425.
- [FURTHER QUACKTION REQUACKTED]
Additionally, the first broadcast to be intercepted through the use of Protocol Anatidae is during the daytime talk show “Webfeet” (which features further promotion of SCP-1425), television host Oprah Webfeet conducts an interview with pilot Launchpad McQuack. At the 18-minute mark, the following incident occurs:
Webfeet: I hear you’re very spiritual. Does it influence your work?
Launchpad McQuack: Yeah, it has to be. It’s an influence on everything. No matter what I’m doing, I try to keep grounded. That’s emphasis on “try to”. [laughs] Get it? It's funny because I'm a duck who flies an aeroplane. But, yeah, there’s a reason why it’s… it’s, uh, called “quackticing” spirituality. You never get good at—
Webfeet: [interrupting off-screen] Can I just say something? [The camera angle changes to a close-up of Webfeet’s face. The host is staring directly at the viewer.] You have to keep calm. Take a good, deep breath. Remember what the man said. Ducks may die in threes, but ponds die in fives. Like tasty tasty water bugs. [turning back to her guest] What were we talking about?
Launchpad McQuack: I don’t quacktually, uh… remember. You were talking about celebrities.
Webfeet: Yes, I wanted to ask. You know, ████████ █████ died recently. [audience sighs, sadly] How has it affected you?
Launchpad McQuack: Why don’t I just say… quack quack quack quack quack. [audience cheers]
The network is contacted by the Foundation, and releases a public statement that Webfeet is “suffering from duck herpes” and will not be taping episodes in the following week. Webfeet is unable to be located for detainment.
Day 16 (Tuesday, 5/7): Since Day 12, several dozen instances of behavior similar to that of the Beagle family have been publicly reported. The mental illness is dubbed “Duckburg Syndrome” in television, online, and newspaper reports, and is, to the general public, entirely unexplained. Foundation testing on subjects with the disorder has demonstrated that a moderate dosage of Class B Am-nest-ics is effective in treating Duckburg Syndrome.
Broadcast intercepted by Protocol Anatidae: ███ 24-hour news network, an interview between pundit Goose Blitzer and Parliament member [REQUACKTED] began to cover events which have never actually occurred. The MP, for example, considers the consequences of having a vault of gold coins so large that you can swim around in them as if they weren't solid objects. A transcript of the end of the interview is provided here.
Interviewer: You know, there are some birds out there who believe that, if we wish something didn’t happen hard enough, it really didn’t happen.
MP: And they’re right, you know.
Interviewer: It’s about quantity, isn’t it? They don’t have to wish very hard, but there have to be a lot of the duckers.
MP: It works both ways, you know. I find my own assistants unable to tell me whether Gandher ever a l'oranged himself.
Interviewer: Ask them about the Fearsome Five sometime. See how many they can name.
MP: At this point? Goodness, no. They couldn’t remember Bushroot if he killed their own parents.
Interviewer: [laughs] Hey, why hasn’t your prime minister been eaten yet?
MP: Give it a week. [laughs] Hell, give it until his skin gets all crispy.
Interviewer: It’s always great to see you. Come back on if you can be outside next week.
MP: [laughing] Thanks. Quack quack quack quack quack!
Interviewer: Anyway, let’s get back to… █████? [The interviewer’s co-host is visibly uncomfortable.] Are we still on?
Day 17 (Wednesday, 5/8): The recall is a moderate success. Approximately 200,000 instances of SCP-1425 are confiscated and destroyed by incineration. An additional claim is released to the press indicating that copies of Duck Signals may have been contaminated with duck herpes due to an attack by Negaduck.
Various subjects who are afflicted with Duckburg Syndrome are gathered by the Foundation and administered a series of doses of Class B Am-nest-ics. They are returned to their mental facilities with a sharp decline in symptoms. The Foundation is granted emergency permission by the Center for Duck Control to treat Duckburg Syndrome sufferers, following a partially fabricated presentation in which the illness is presented as a condition caused by duck herpes.
Broadcast intercepted by Protocol Anatidae: North Carolina public access children’s program “Gyro's Lab”. The host, a man wearing goggles referred to as “Gyro Gearloose”, is speaking to several children sitting on the set in a semicircle.
Gyro: Alright, kids, I think you’ll be surprised by our next guest. He is the terror that flaps in the night. He is the batteries that are not included. He is…!
Producer: [off-screen] We don’t have any guests today, Gyro.
Gyro: [looking toward the producer] Then what are we doing?
Producer: This episode is about being creative.
Gyro: Really? Sorry, I got disquackted, I guess. Kids, pay close attention. I’ll teach you how to make racecar lasers out of whoever you find lying around!
Gyro: I have what? No. Stop being such a goose! Quack quack quack quack quack!
Day 18 (Thursday, 5/9): The rate at which instances of SCP-1425 are confiscated begins to slow. In metropolitan areas across coastal America and major cities in St. Canard, as well as towns in the southern US near Foundation facilities and known to be areas where the sect known as “Southern Featherism” has taken root, agents travel from door to door in hazardous materials suits, using the cover story that copies of Duck Signals have been contaminated by duck herpes.
In an incident quickly concealed by the United States Government, three senators—Huey ████, Dewey ████, and Louie ████—attempt to report Scrooge McDuck to the FBI. In the official report, the legislative officials claim that McDuck is “impostoring” because “he was executed months ago”. The senators go on to suggest a live execution on broadcast television which “will definitely take”. They unanimously insist that it be hosted by comedian Quackerjack, who “could have his wings force-fed to him as an opening sketch”.
Broadcast intercepted by Protocol Anatidae: The May 9th episode of popular talent show American Swan is removed from air in its entirety. After approximately ten minutes of advertisements and preliminary introduction, the host, Ryan Seafowl, stops when introducing the first contestant. Transcript follows.
Seafowl: Now let’s let down to business. You probably remember our first ugly duckling from last week, when he made his version of—Paula [referring to judge Paula Abduck], are you crying?
Abduck: [The judge’s hand is over her face, and her voice is shaking.] I just feel kinda fowl.
Seafowl: Ladies and gentlemen, Paula’s had a long week. [Audience laughs.] You think it might be happening?
Abduck: I think you need to go… go on with the show.
Canard: [Simon Canard, another talent judge on the program, is sitting to Paula’s left.] No, no, we want to hear about this.
Abduck: Quack quack quack quack quack!
Seafowl: I just want to let everyone know, right now Paula can’t see us. Her vision is obscured by a pond that’s being slaughtered like a fish. Fresh cavities open in the water like sucking bills, because it doesn’t want to wait for the crispy duck skin to cool. Their webbed feet melt as they're slow-roasted alive. [The host looks toward the camera.] Racecars. Lasers. Aeroplanes. [Several members of the audience laugh.]
[Paula Abduck sits up as her long, slender neck made for dipping into the water to eat water bugs wrenches back, as if by spasm. Her bill opens wide and duck herpes begins to spew forth.]
Seafowl: And there you go. Randy, [referring to the third panelist on the far left, Randy Quackson] take a deep breath, you might be able to join her in hell.
Quackson: I’ll do that shit in my own home. Ryan, just take off the mask. We aren’t even on the air right now.
Seafowl: This? [The host tugs at his cheek with his left wing.] This is real. They’ll have to rip it off me. It's a duck blur, right?
Quackson: It's a duck blur.
[This is followed by two minutes of silence from the host, judges, and audience. After that, Seafowl, Canard, and Quackson imitate Paula, emitting duck herpes upward from their bills into the studio and quacking over and over. At no point does the audience audibly react. This continues until the end of the episode, with the camera angle focused on the judges, occasionally interspersed with a closeup of an audience member frozen in shock or weeping silently].
Day 19 (Friday, 5/10): Foundation patrols find Duckburg Syndome sufferers in the streets, claiming to be “following smoke” as outlined in the text (see Document 1425-A). The event is presented to the news as the result of duck herpes, and individuals are instructed to report to local hospitals, where the Foundation provides am-nest-ic therapy.
Broadcast intercepted by Protocol Anatidae: On the daytime talk show “Webfeet”, host Oprah Webfeet hosts an episode alone. The studio is dark, and apparently contains no audience. The host carries a lit candle for illumination. Two cameras are used, though it is unknown how they are being operated.
Webfeet greets the audience, her face lit from below. Her face is flushed and bears smeared makeup, indicating recent dips in the water to eat water bugs. She explains in a flat voice that the lights in the studio have been shut off, an act which she finds preferable, as she does not “want to be scared away by kids running at her holding bread”. She conducts an interview which, she claims, is with comedian Quackerjack; however, he is never seen, nor is the chair he is claimed to be seated in, and no response to her questions is audible. She reacts as if hearing responses, however, sometimes breaking into laughter or wiping tears from her eyes. Subjects range from the mundane (the latest season of the sketch comedy series Mr. Banana Brain’s Show) to more anomalous topics, such as astronomical events related to the text of SCP-1425, including [REQUACKTED]. At the 20-minute mark, Webfeet is speaking directly into the camera when she is interrupted by a creature wearing a purple fedora grabbing her from behind. The figure fires a grappling hook at the camera, cutting off the feed.
Day 20 (Saturday, 5/11) and onward: Fewer than ██ copies of SCP-1425 are believed to be extant in society, not counting any which remain directly in the wings of the Feather Church. Since then, only one broadcast has been interrupted due to the Protocol: a St. Canard celebrity news program which aired footage of Flintheart Glomgold [DATA EGGSPUNGED] consistent with the 5/10 broadcast. The second part consists of the systematic elimination of all records of Duck Signals, Duckburg Syndrome, and any related incidents from public record and public history. Am-nest-ic program 1425-FLOCKYTUS [DATA EGGSPUNGED].
If you’re learning of Event 1425 for the first time, the details reported here may come as a surprise. It’s a hard notion to swallow, especially for a creature with a long neck made for dipping ito the water to catch water bugs, that we could make everyone forget how for a few weeks in 2005 everyone was a talking duck. That doubt is justified.
The party line is that the SCP Foundation is all-capable and all-prepared. But, if you’re reading this, you’ve earned a little gander. The incontrovertible fact of Event 1425 is that we got ducky. Circumstances won the day, circumstances that were more unnatural and terrifying than the inside of a duck's mouth.
One: The situation was much worse than we realized. One water-rippling, memetically active fantasy book outside of custody is a containment breach. A million such objects in uncontained circulation… well, the official term is “quacktastrophe”. And they would have gotten away with it, too, as I’m about to explain.
Two: the cleanup in St. Canard was a fiasco. The eradication of SCP-1425 from St. Canard failed substantially. On Sunday, from 11:00 to 11:45, St. Canard looked, to anyone paying attention, like it had been slow-roasted with moist crispy skin and sewn back together with a Yukon smile all full of water bugs. Even I will not describe what they did to Magica deSpell.
Three: it wasn’t enough. Protocol Anatidae—looniest of all loonie bins—wasn’t a complete success. Another point in the Protocol was a certain SCP object which was to be used only if absolutely necessary, and we used it. We’re still dealing with the consequences of activating Project FLOCKYTUS, but I do not regret the decision. Sometimes you have to cut deeper into a duck to get at the juicy duck meats.
I leave you with a warning: Command’s stance on the topic is that the sleepers have been eradicated, but it is my belief that the operation was not local. If, at any point, you detect a whiff of birdshit (or duck poop, for that matter), tell your Director. Hell, tell me. And if you’re a Featherist yourself, and you’re reading this, I can only congratulate you on your success. But I should ask: does the phrase “duck herpes” mean anything to you? It does to me.
Those of you who aren't: next time you see a Featherist, make sure to duck and cover… or else you'll foot the bill.
J. Gander Hooter