Item #: SCP-308
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-308 is stored in a sterile containment room under armed guard. Personnel entering the room must be decontaminated and fitted with Level A encapsulation suits, and remotely observed for the duration of their visit. No organic material may be placed in SCP-308 without Level 4 authorization. SCP-308 will remain open unless being studied.
Description: SCP-308 is an ornate funerary casing of Aztec origin, dated ~500 years old with dimensions 1.8 m x 0.9 m x 1.2 m. It was found at the ███████ archaeological excavation among similar (though mundane) artifacts in a temple complex. SCP-308 is covered in Nahuatl pictographs consistent with ceremonial practices of its time, though unusual in the care and expense devoted to them. Under normal conditions the artifact is inert, but it exerts an animating effect on organisms when they are placed inside it. The effect was first observed in the original inhabitant of the coffin, [DATA EXPUNGED] The poor condition of the individual has been attributed to its 500 year incarceration in the casing without nourishment or stimulation.
Healthy, injured, or even deceased subjects are transformed by the artifact. Regardless of the condition of an organism prior to placement in the coffin (with one exception, see below), the creature will exhibit certain traits upon removal. Superficially subjects remain unchanged, retaining injuries and conditions sustained prior to exposure. Despite the nature and seriousness of such trauma, however, subjects appear alive and responsive to the extent the injuries allow. For example, a subject exposed to a fatal dose of cyanide (in excess of 100x fatal dosage) conversed normally, respired, and displayed vital signs such as heartbeat and brain activity. The subject also presented classical symptoms of acute poisoning including shortness of breath, drowsiness, headache, and cyanotic skin, but did not succumb even after a period of many days. Another subject was pierced in several major arteries and exsanguinated before exposure to SCP-308. A subsequent examination revealed a heartbeat but no discernible blood pressure, and the subject was conversant though conscious of great pain in the injured areas. (For further experimental logs see 308-a, attached.)
Subjects in this altered state will neither succumb to any injury (again, one exception), no matter how severe, nor heal any wound, no matter how minor. In addition they display a dependence on the artifact similar to addiction, insisting on regular exposure and becoming erratic and violent when this is withheld. Subjects experience pain normally, and many who have suffered extensive damage will rapidly deteriorate psychologically. Progressive conditions such as cancer and infections continue to advance in subjects exposed to SCP-308, though instead of dying they suffer from ever-escalating symptoms.
The only thing that a subject requires to be affected by SCP-308 is the presence of a heart. Subjects with a wounded or diseased heart are animated, as are portions of organisms or tissues connected to a heart. Individuals with their hearts removed, or body portions without a heart, are unaffected by exposure to the artifact. Even an isolated heart placed in the container will resume beating at a normal rhythm. Subjects exposed to SCP-308 remain alive and essentially unkillable until their heart is destroyed, whereupon they succumb and decay normally.
Because of the nature of SCP-308 and the apparent psychological effects it exerts on subjects, all exposed individuals must be isolated, and terminated at the conclusion of testing. Temporary use of SCP-308 to debrief deceased personnel permitted by Level 4 authorization only.
Experimental Log 308-a:(excerpts)
Subject: Canis lupus familiaris
Summary of Results: Subject apparently normal. Showed typical pain reaction, but survived repeated laceration, evisceration, exsanguination, burns over 90% of body surface, multiple gunshots, electrocution, and lobotomy. Subject terminated by blunt impact trauma destroying the heart.
Condition: Stage 4 small lung cell carcinoma
Summary of Results: Subject continued to worsen post-exposure. Regular breathing ceased 3 days after exposure due to extensive tumor growth, but subject retained consciousness. Tumor infiltrated renal system, leading to external growths approx. 13 cm in diameter in the ███████ area by 14 days. Secondary tumors occlude vision and infiltrate the brain by 19 days. Upon the final ceasing of biological function at 52 days, metastatic tumors were evident over 70% of the body's surface area and had infiltrated every organ system including the heart (which was the cause of subject's death).
Condition: Head and heart surgically removed from the rest of the body, keeping attached vasculature intact.
Summary of Results: Subject revived and apparently conscious, though apparently in too much pain to communicate meaningfully. Applied painkillers had no visible effect. Research ongoing.
Subject: Agent █████ ███████
Condition: Terminated in the line of duty recovering SCP-███
Summary of Results: Animated for debriefing. Subject requested and was granted 2 weeks to prepare a post-action report before termination. After 9 days, subject's nightly request for access to SCP-308 was denied. The following morning subject escaped containment by murdering a technician, and proceeded to SCP-308's containment area where she was terminated by guards on station with a bullet to the heart.
Condition: Expired from myocardial infarction
Summary of Results: Subject was recovered from the artifact inert with massive trauma to the chest, through which the heart had been expelled or ripped. The heart was beating regularly but the subject's body showed no signs of life. Subject's medical background indicated that he had received a heart transplant 3 years prior.