Item #: SCP-2262
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-2262 is stored in a standard storage locker at Site-73. Any access to SCP-2262 will only be approved following submission of stated research aims, and all researchers must complete Questionnaire SCP-2262-A and score less than 25% beforehand. Any anomalous behaviour will result in psychological evaluation or administration of amnesiacs, at the approving staff member’s discretion. The attached photo may be observed freely, as no cognitohazardous or related effects have been reported or observed from viewing of the image.
Description: SCP-2262 is a small torn piece of paper, measuring 29mm x 20mm. Object was torn from the lower right-hand corner of a standard █████-brand notepad, and has been written on with black ink. The only mark is an upper-case ‘B’. Testing indicated nothing anomalous in the composition or layout of the paper, and the ink has been confirmed as originating from a standard ██-brand ballpoint pen. Experiment SCP-2262-02 has confirmed no anomalous effects in the paper itself.
Object was recovered from the desk of ██████ █████████, a 27-year-old typesetter and occasional comic book artist from ███████, Germany.
SCP-2262’s cognitohazardous properties will be activated when any individual who has any interest, latent or recognized, in typesetting, design, comic books, or indeed any high level of aesthetic appreciation of typefaces or composition, looks at the item. Upon looking, the individual will become increasingly irritated and fascinated by the letter, displaying escalating hostility towards it and its aesthetic shortcomings, real or imagined. These feelings of hostility seem to be dependent largely on the individual’s preferred artistic or aesthetic training or inclinations, and focus on whatever aspect of the letter the individual has most knowledge of; observed focuses of hostility including the font’s appearance, colour, spacing, ‘balance’, and the relatively low score of the letter ‘B’ in Scrabble given its difficulty in attaching to words.
Subject has been described as a model worker, and recovered personal documents, tax returns etc. bear this out. For several weeks prior to Incident SCP-2262-1, however, the subject had been publicly and with increasing regularity complaining of professional stagnation, and speaking of a desire to ensure his reputation with the creation of “something profound”. This deepening obsession had manifested alongside a general disinclination to any usual work; subject had missed multiple deadlines, turning up late, with lax personal hygiene, and displaying insubordination and even violence to management when asked to focus on anything except this project. Numerous disciplinary procedures were in place at the time of Incident SCP-2262-1.
On ██/██/████, █████████ arrived at his desk early, neatly dressed, and sat down in silence to work. From 07:44 until 14:08 (confirmed by CCTV & computer records), subject was noncommunicative except when directly addressed by the office manager or co-workers. Throughout this time, subject cleared the personal items from his desk into a small cardboard box, took out a notebook and pen, and began to write individual letters, tearing out and screwing up the pieces of paper. At 14:08, subject opened a document on his work computer and briefly typed a note (though the computer was shortly thereafter destroyed, witnesses agreed that it read “Here you go, you bastards. You want profound? You want perfect? Take a look at this”); he then stood up, loudly announcing to the office at large they should see what he had made, then lay down silently beneath his desk and made no further movement or sound.
Accounts of what happen next differ in superficial aspects; what is agreed upon, however, is that as each staff member came into visual contact with SCP-2262, they began to experience varied manifestations of the cognitohazardous effect. Over the next 2 minutes, exhibited behaviour escalated from expressions of irritation and disgust, through raised voices and demands for explanation, to physical violence expressed upon the surrounding furniture and others. The group then turned on █████████, demanding an explanation; when none was forthcoming, the workers grabbed the subject en masse and dragged him in differing directions, eventually dislocating joints and mutilating limbs, leaving the subject deceased. During this time, another worker in an adjoining office called the police, who arrived 7 minutes later, arresting the staff and inadvertently de-escalating the situation when a riot shield was placed on the table, covering the piece of paper.
Addendum: Transcript of on-site interview between Researcher █████ and ████ ██████, former work colleague and friend (presented here in translation from original German)
Researcher: So, Herr ██████, how are you feeling?
██████: How do you think I’m feeling? That was fucking crazy, man! Are you from the police?
Researcher: No, we’re here to piece together what happened. We're-
██████: (interrupting) I’ll tell you what happened! It’s that fucking B! That mad bastard did it, I don’t know how he did it, but that B!
Researcher: (withdrawing SCP-2262 from his pocket, in mylar bag) This letter, you mean? What's the problem with it?
██████: (becoming frantic) Jesus, what’s the matter with you?! Get it away, you sadist! What’s the problem?! What’s NOT the problem? Shit, the kerning, the composition, the little blobby thing at the bottom – what the FUCK is that blob doing there?! Why is it leaning?! And is it on the line, is it beneath, what?!
Researcher: Please, Herr ██████, calm down, and start from the beginning.
██████: Okay, just…keep that monstrosity away from me, okay? So ██████ came in this morning; he was smart, he'd shaved, looked like my friend again, you know? But he wasn’t talking or anything. Still, that's fair, I thought, job’s hanging in the balance, leave him to it.
He sat down and started scribbling. Just scribbling, over and over and then tearing off these little pieces. I look over, and every piece of paper he’s ripping off, he’s eating them! Just eating little bits of paper all day…
Researcher: I see. And what happened next?
██████: [haltingly] Well, he suddenly stopped and said “Hey, you people, come and look at what I’ve made!” By the time we got there, he was lying down, and on the desk was that letter.
That little bit of paper. It didn’t even make sense at first, like none of us could process what we were seeing for a few seconds. Every single bit of it was just so wrong. Everything. It was so ugly, we couldn’t believe it. And, um, I guess we all got pretty mad about it. We were trying to figure it out, and I think someone started pushing, and then we…
At this point, ██████ abruptly bursts into tears, and his speech becomes incoherent apart from what were believed to be mumbled apologies and demands for explanation. Following this interview, amnesiacs are administered to both workers and police, and a cover story involving a workplace suicide is put into place. No media attention has been garnered at this time.