SCP-3968
rating: +45+x
scp-minefield.jpg

An SCP-3968 affected area in Israel, post-containment.

Item #: SCP-3968

Object Class: Keter

Special Containment Procedures: Global containment of SCP-3968 is the responsibility of MTF Delta-2 (‘Explosive Tempers’). Discovered examples of SCP-3968 are to be disarmed and disassembled on site, prior to transport to Site-██. De-mining techniques involving controlled detonations are prohibited, as are any other activities that risk explosions occurring in the vicinity of SCP-3968. Heavily contaminated areas (defined as containing >100 examples of SCP-3968) are to be cordoned off instead of cleared, with appropriate warning signage and barriers installed. Additionally, these areas are to be subject to sterilisation with chemical defoliants or area denial weapons. This procedure may be varied with Level 3 staff authorisation based on local conditions such as terrain and proximity to human activity.

Examples of SCP-3968-1 and SCP-3968-2 are stored at Site-██, in a secure, blast-proofed containment cell. This area is to be climate-controlled, with artificial lighting installed to simulate a variety of weather conditions, and floored with a variety of soil samples. The position of all SCP-3968 examples in this area is to be logged and tracked. Access to this area is restricted to D-class personnel, for the purposes of maintenance and testing only. No more than 20 total examples of SCP-3968 are to be present in this area at any given time. Metal from SCP-3968 should be disposed of by high-temperature incineration (>2000 °C) which has proven sufficient to render waste products non-anomalous. It is imperative that all explosive residue is cleaned from metal involved in this process. Other components of SCP-3968 can be disposed of using standard hazardous waste disposal procedures.

The Manna Charitable Foundation is aware of the existence of SCP-3968 and has dedicated a significant portion of its resources towards its neutralisation. Limited cooperation with the MCF in this field has been authorised by the O5 Council and disclosure of information regarding specific sightings of SCP-3968 is acceptable with Level 3 staff authorisation. The MCF should not be provided with any information regarding the use of chemical agents or sightings of SCP-3968 where the use of chemical agents is considered appropriate.

Description: SCP-3968 refers to two related variants of explosive device, SCP-3968-1 and -2, with similar anomalous properties, and generally found in proximity to one another.

scp-mine1.jpg

An example of SCP-3968-1 in the wild.

SCP-3968-1 is identical to the American M14 land mine in structure and function. This is a blast-type antipersonnel land mine, which transfers a concussive shockwave into an individual’s lower limb upon detonation. As with the non-anomalous M14 mine and similar devices, SCP-3968-1 contains a small explosive charge designed to cause injury rather than lethality, with injuries such as traumatic amputation aiming to cause problems for hostile forces who have to deal with a casualty. SCP-3968-1 appears to be based on earlier minimum-metal models of the M14 mine, increasing the difficulty of detection considerably.

scp-mine2.jpg

A deactivated example of SCP-3968-2.

SCP-3968-2 is identical to the American M16 land mine in structure and function. This weapon is a bounding fragmentation-type antipersonnel mine designed to be launched into the air by a small charge when triggered, subsequently detonating at waist height and spreading shrapnel in a 360-degree radius to a distance of approximately 30m. This is significantly more lethal to affected individuals than SCP-3968-1. The size and composition of SCP-3968-2 makes its discovery with metal detecting equipment straightforward, but the usual presence of SCP-3968-1 in the vicinity complicates these efforts.

Both SCP-3968-1 and -2 share the anomalous property of reproduction. This is accomplished when an example of SCP-3968 is detonated, with shrapnel greater than 1cm in size developing into a new example of SCP-3968-1 or -2 if it comes into contact with the ground. This process is dependent on conditions such as soil quality, climate and available nutrients. Examples of SCP-3968 show a preference for wet, tropical conditions, but proliferate in arid and desert climates to a reduced degree. While shrapnel becomes inert once retrieved from soil, applying an explosive force to it will provoke reproduction in suitable conditions. Therefore, it is theorised that the energy produced in SCP-3968 detonations serves as the catalyst for its reproduction.

Available nutrients are the main variable affecting SCP-3968 reproduction, with remains from casualties of SCP-3968 detonation being most relevant. Although no method of growth or nutrient intake has been discovered in SCP-3968’s construction, remains in proximity to SCP-3968 decompose at an accelerated rate. Human remains appear to have the strongest effect on the reproductive process of SCP-3968, with the presence of other animal and plant matter causing slower reproduction.

Each detonation produces roughly 5 to 200 (SCP-3968-1) or 20 to 400 (SCP-3968-2) new examples of SCP-3968, depending on the previously mentioned conditions. The discrepancy in numbers is due to the larger size of SCP-3968-2 compared to SCP-3968-1 and differing mechanism of action. Given this property, any detonation of SCP-3968 increases the difficulty of containment significantly, and may result in an exponential increase in the size of contaminated areas. Chemical defoliation and use of chemical area-denial weapons has proven a valuable multi-modal containment strategy, limiting the SCP-3968 nutrient supply by destroying plant matter, reducing soil quality, and discouraging civilian entry into contaminated areas.

The second anomalous property shared between SCP-3968-1 and -2 is a limited awareness of its surroundings combined with an ability to detonate selectively. This property is utilised to maximise inflicted casualties and subsequently increase the reproduction of SCP-3968. Anomalous behaviour demonstrated by SCP-3968-1 and -2 includes, although is not limited to, the following;

  • Avoiding detonation when triggered by animals in areas with high human traffic
  • Detonating when triggered by animals of sentimental or economic value, to draw attention of owners
  • Avoiding detonation when groups of people approach a contaminated area, until the entire group has entered a lethal range
  • Creating false ‘safe’ pathways through a contaminated area
  • Giving the impression of an inactive device when retrieved, then detonating when taken into enclosed spaces
  • Avoiding detonation when triggered by armoured vehicles, detonating when occupants exit
  • Avoiding detonation by individuals in protective gear, or detonating in patterns targeted to penetrate vulnerable points in said equipment
  • SCP-3968-1 examples detonating in order to injure an individual, with surrounding SCP-3968-2 detonating when others attempt to render assistance

It is unknown whether these behaviours are engineered or evolved, or the degree to which they represent higher intelligence on the part of SCP-3968.

Over █████km2 of land is affected by SCP-3968 worldwide. It is estimated that this area contains upwards of ███████ examples of SCP-3968-1 and -2. SCP-3968 has been responsible for approximately █████ civilian casualties and 141 casualties amongst Foundation personnel since its cataloguing.

Addendum 3968-1: SCP-3968 received an SCP item classification in June of 1968, when Foundation sources within Prometheus Labs were alerted to an incident at a Prometheus-affiliated location in [REDACTED], Pennsylvania.

Foundation agents arriving on the scene discovered a factory complex at the centre of surrounding terrain contaminated by SCP-3968 in a 1.5km radius. Access was gained to the facility with acceptable casualties, where machinery for the mass production of SCP-3968-1 and -2 was discovered.

All machinery had been rendered unusable by explosive damage, and the state of the facility offices and trace recovered material suggested that documents presumably relating to SCP-3968 had been intentionally destroyed during this event. Within the facility the remains of 6 Prometheus Labs employees were discovered, having died of either starvation or self-inflicted gunshot wounds. One of these individuals, a male in his mid-40s, was discovered in the main office of the facility, having expired from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the temple. Document 3968-1 was retrieved from this area.

The facility was estimated to accommodate 100 employees when in operation. The whereabouts of the remaining individuals are unknown.

Document 3968-1:

Addendum 3968-2 (11/04/2015):

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