Item #: SCP-2299
Object Class: Keter
Special Containment Procedures: All cases of SCP-2299 infection are to be contained at Site-116, formerly the town of ███████, Washington. The town and all its residents are to be confined on-site, and all births and deaths are to be noted by on-site personnel. Should affected individuals make an attempt to approach Foundation personnel for any reason, they are to be turned away immediately. Personnel are not allowed to engage any affected individuals in any extended conversation. New additions are to be integrated in groups of four or more to ensure safety in the event of community rejection.
MTF Upsilon-51 ("Red Hand") is to be dispatched to any incident of SCP-2299 and must consist of at least 3 separate teams alternating on active duty, to maintain a perpetual state of high alert. All social media outlets and digital forums including clear communication between users typing incoherent text should be noted and investigated. Any significant reports of large-scale violence atypical for the region or reporting unusual communication should be investigated as a potential outbreak.
Extreme caution must be maintained, as confirmed instances of SCP-2299 are fully aware of outside observation and will take extreme measures to evade capture. If an individual is known to have been infected within a 24-hour period, they are to undergo Class-A amnestic treatment as quickly as possible. Cases that have persisted untreated for more than 30 hours are to be restrained and terminated if necessary. All remains are to be incinerated, including personal effects and clothing.
Description: SCP-2299 is an unknown phenomenon which occurs seemingly at random, targeting groups of people between 4 and 600,000 in number. Over the course of 30-36 hours SCP-2299 significantly alters the host's mental faculties, causing damage to the hippocampus1, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex2, and an overall reduction in function of the frontal lobe.
Affected individuals typically suffer severe mental degradation and physical damage consistent with traumatic encephalopathy. The most consistent symptoms exhibited by the host have been restricted blood flow to the anterior cingulate cortex3 and an increase in size and blood flow to the amygdala. The most prominent signs involve affected individuals holding fluid conversation despite suffering from severe aphasia. When manifesting digitally, individuals display severe grammatical errors and incoherent text indicative of improper hand placement while typing.
Prior to SCP-2299's apparition, individuals have described a 30-40 second period of sensory overload during which the individuals are said to feel momentarily panic-stricken, while having a very strong taste of blood or metal. Following this, SCP-2299's brain-altering effects begin to take place, accompanied by a strong odor of ammonia or formaldehyde, lasting up to two days following affliction.
Discovery: SCP-2299 was first detected in the town of ███████, Washington, where residents reported witnessing what was described as a "giant ghostly octopus" encompassing much of the sky for 10-15 minutes. Photographs taken by the residents show the anomaly to be indistinct, but apparently resembling a disembodied spinal column, with the vertebrae extending into tendrils. Doppler radar did not detect anything unusual in the region beyond a brief spike in humidity which had begun to dissipate when the reported event occurred.
The incident itself was connected to SCP-2299 when outbreaks matching the observed events in ███████ occurred in █ separate cities, preceded by the sudden apparition of the image in the sky.
Interviews with affected individuals indicate most have never witnessed the event, while those who have describe it as having appeared and disappeared within a fraction of a second. Thus far, only the first reported sighting of the apparition has remained longer than a fraction of a second.
Method of Action: Persons infected by SCP-2299 typically go through five discernible stages of "infection."
- 6-20 minutes: Subjects begin to display symptoms such as poor motor control, trembling, sporadic instances of short-term memory loss, confabulation4, hypoxia, and in rare instances, potentially fatal temporal lobe epilepsy. Subjects are highly uncomfortable discussing their symptoms with anyone but close friends or family members.
- 1-4 hours: Subjects will begin to experience spikes in blood flow to the amygdala, prompting abnormal growth of the amygdala, a process which has proven fatal in 1-2% of those infected. Further damage occurs to the anterior cingulate cortex, inducing a state of greatly exaggerated fear, anxiety, and paranoia. Subjects at this stage begin to seek out others, engaging either in like-minded discussion or arguments.
- 4-6 hours: Adrenaline and dopamine flow is stimulated when the subject engages in a series of actions or activities which lead to violent encounters with others. Affected individuals begin to identify one another via shared symptoms and begin to cooperate with one another in committing violent acts usually directed against others who are not affected, although affected individuals have been noted assaulting one another.
- 6-15 hours: Affected individuals taking part in larger groups will begin pushing for an escalation of violence against individuals not affected by SCP-2299. Subjects at this point tend to withdraw completely from friends and family members who are not affected. Those who remain in contact tend to steer all conversations towards socio-economic, political, and religious topics, or more often topics involving a supposedly hypothetical "invasion" by "trans-dimensional" humans.
- 15-30 hours: Organized groups consisting of infected individuals tend towards more coordinated and organized acts of violence, including small acts of terrorism and rituals involving imitations of cannibalism. Groups will systematically single out unaffected individuals and subject them either to "liquidation" or "rectification", the former being a ritualized execution, the latter an apparent attempt to "spread" the condition via complete blood transfusion with several of the affected.
After 30-36 hours, further alterations of the affected individual's brain caused by SCP-2299 cease. Adrenaline and dopamine levels stabilize, allowing for more complex thought and calculations. At this point, the affected individual appears to function normally within their community and in most cases is indistinguishable from an unaffected individual.
Observation Log: An outbreak of SCP-2299 was reported in the town of █████████, some ██ km from its reported point of origin, ███████, Washington. Foundation personnel moved in to contain the site within 2 and a half hours of first report. Agents and Class-D personnel in various disguises were dispatched to the town to engage in conversation with affected personnel in 2-hour patrol intervals. All involved personnel were instructed not to contradict or antagonize the affected townspeople.
|16:40||Personnel arrive on-site and enter a local bar. Subjects within are engaged in excited conversation of a political nature. Remarks contain a strong misogynistic leaning, with certain politicians denigrated for being "pussy-whipped", regardless of political party. D-Class are invited to participate in conversation. Cameras note several instances of spilled drinks and dropped glasses, as most individuals have their hands trembling and are blinking rapidly. Conversation briefly halted as one individual suffers an epileptic seizure and is taken to the local clinic. Someone remarks that the victim must have been "an eight" or "an ape."|
|18:00||Personnel witness a man arguing with young woman in the street. The topic appears to involve the merits of grapes over saline capsules. Most individuals flee the scene, while a sizable group of men arrive and take up the argument, disseminating it along largely socio-economic lines. Another group, consisting largely of older men and women, begin to assault the others. All groups disband following arrival of police.|
|19:34||Two females are included in D-Class group. Few of the subjects make note of them unless directly confronted. Conversations in the street begin to take on a strong nationalistic tone, while others explicitly involve the romanticizing of "Civil War genitals". Personnel are approached by a man and a woman asking if they saw someone "smiling too much, like a shark." The affected individuals express disbelief at the negative response, and dismiss the D-Class as "blind idiots."|
|23:11||Most of the residents are awake, as police officers arrest several individuals near the town square. An angry mob is protesting, and violence escalates as rocks and beer bottles are flung at the officers. Shots are fired, and D-Class personnel flee the scene. As they depart, they are stopped by a man armed with a shotgun, who addresses the personnel (including accompanying female agent) as "Harold", a close friend of the subject. Subject does not distinguish between personnel, and invites the four "Harolds" over for breakfast in the morning. Personnel respectfully decline, and depart without further incident.|
|08:08||Personnel find several houses boarded up, with police officers patrolling streets near the local bar with marked frequency. Several armed men sit outside the bar, apparently keeping watch. Within, the billiards area had been cleared out, allowing for bare-chested men and women to participate in impromptu bare-knuckle boxing matches. Many of the men and women have not left the bar since the day before.|
|10:30||Police maintain a heavy presence near the bar, although the armed men have disappeared. Personnel enter the bar, and find everyone within calm and collected. In groups of two, the men slowly begin to leave the bar, heading out the back exit. Personnel exit the bar, and are briefly accosted by local police. Officers release the D-Class after identifying them as out-of-towners. Personnel note the officers are highly agitated and trembling noticeably.|
|10:50||Officers begin to surround and enter the bar. A bomb is detonated moments later, killing many of the officers and collapsing the small building. Personnel flee the scene.|
|11:00||Much of the male populace (along with sporadic females) of the town emerges from their homes fully armed. Questioned by personnel, they state they are "going hunting" and head towards the western outskirts of the town. Many individuals have blood or dye coating their right hands in an apparently ritualistic fashion.|
|11:32||Personnel station themselves on the roof of a house near the outskirts of town. Subjects are witnessed "hunting" the female population whom they have apparently herded into a 500-acre region of the town.|
|11:45||Observation is ended and town placed under quarantine|
Affected individuals have proven resilient to interrogation attempts, often necessitating 10-18 hours of uninterrupted dialogue by skilled interrogators in order to ascertain relevant information. From such interrogations, it has been determined that the affected individuals may be faintly aware of the existence of SCP-2299 as a physical affliction, with some regarding it as a minor nuisance and others as a vital "supplement." The sole consistent factor between affected individuals apparently aware of SCP-2299 has been in associating it and those affected by it with the number 9.
A single interview log has been retained due to potential relevancy in discerning the nature of SCP-2299.
Note: Based upon the subject's responses and questions, a working theory has emerged that SCP-2299 may not have been intended as a destructive anomalous effect, but mis-engineered or otherwise unintended for human physiology.