Item #: SCP-2968
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: Instances of SCP-2968 are to be contained via the use of lure buses by MTF Kappa-3 ("Bus Barn"). Instances of SCP-2968 in containment are to be fed buses once a week; to facilitate this, the Foundation has constructed a bus construction facility exclusively for the purposes of maintaining SCP-2968 containment. The buses fed to SCP-2968 are to be completely emptied of gasoline.
Description: SCP-2968 is a species of sentient metal-based life forms, usually vehicular-based, consisting primarily of aluminum with variable amounts of steel (usually 5-10%), iron (1-5%), silicon (2-4%), tungsten (1-2%), and titanium (1-2%). SCP-2968 instances take the form of a four-wheeled trapezoid of variable size and coloration. SCP-2968 instances exclusively prey on buses. At the time of writing, 54 instances of SCP-2968 are in containment.
SCP-2968's primary cognition source is a small titanium box. This box contains a standard car battery and a large amount of doped silicon arranged into logic gates that functions as a rudimentary stimulus input-output system. Small silicon wires lead from this box to essential mechanical components (the engine, axles, digestive system, etc) and serve as the signaling system.
The mechanism by which SCP-2968 receives stimulus is currently unknown. No recognizable sensory apparatuses have been found on SCP-2968. The current hypothesis subscribed to by Foundation researchers is that SCP-2968 instances receive vibrational input from their tires, though this has not been conclusively established.
In order to consume buses, the front half of SCP-2968 instances splits apart across a vertical seam and swings open on hinges. This splitting is accomplished via a specialized horizontal piston. While open, SCP-2968 instances will accelerate and lower a ramp, raising the target bus up into the trapezoid. Once fully ingested by SCP-2968, a series of pistons and hydraulics within SCP-2968 will grab and stretch the automobile, splitting it at the seams. Following this, a combination of alkalines, heat, and pressure will break down the automobile. Any pieces that cannot be dissolved by SCP-2968 instances, such as the upholstery and tires, are expelled from behind, usually while in transit. The ultimate purpose and destination of metal absorbed in this way is currently unknown: it is presumed to be used for growth and reproduction, though these processes have not been observed in the wild or in containment.
Batteries within ingested automobiles are isolated and removed via an as-yet unknown subprocess, with the stored energy being transferred to the instance's brain. Gasoline is removed and consumed via what is presumed to be a similar process.
Any humans inside SCP-2968 will be expelled before the alkaline breakdown via a specialized subprocess. The exact mechanism of this subprocess is not yet known; however, it is capable of detecting humans of all genders, races, and age, and cannot differentiate between humans and mannequins of approximate shape. Objects or collections of objects the same mass as humans will continue to the alkaline reaction stage, and will be expelled as normal. SCP-2968 instances will slow prior to ejecting humans; damage to humans ejected is usually low, consisting of abrasions, friction burns, or cuts.
SCP-2968 instances appear to exclusively attack and consume buses. The type, size, color, or purpose of bus does not appear to matter, with instances having been observed consuming school buses, tour buses, double-decker buses, and limousine buses. Instances will not attack vans, streetcars, trolleys, trucks, or limousines.
SCP-2968 instances specialize in a certain type of bus, and display a variety of morphological features to facilitate consumption. Observed modifications include increased height and width, decreased length, patterning (including colors consistent with modern automobile manufacturing, asphalt coloring on the lower half to create illusory distance, windshield and passengers, and bumper stickers), and behavioral patterns. As SCP-2968 does not appear to predate the invention of the automobile, the exact development of these traits is still unknown.
SCP-2968 have different environmental preferences and behaviors depending on the type of bus targeted; for instance, instances targeting school buses will often follow them on their route, waiting until all children have been offloaded, and instances targeting tour buses will often congregate around well-known tourist destinations.
SCP-2968 instances do not appear to understand any attempts at communication, nor do they appear to socialize with each other. Given an ample supply of food, SCP-2968 instances will not attempt to escape. When not given food, SCP-2968 instances will become agitated and roam around containment, presumably looking for food. As SCP-2968 instances will avoid walls, this does not pose a containment breach risk.
If completely drained of gasoline, SCP-2968 instances will no longer be able to move. If complete drained of electricity, SCP-2968 instances will no longer present stimulus response. The maximum amount of time SCP-2968 instances can go without gasoline depends on the travel time, speed, and distance; the maximum amount of time SCP-2968 instances can go without a battery is two weeks. If an SCP-2968 instance is completely drained of electricity and given a full battery, SCP-2968 will not resume stimulus response.
SCP-2968 does not appear to be manmade, though the mechanisms by which a specialized predator could gain a foothold in a roughly one hundred year period is currently unknown.