Item #: SCP-400
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: The single colony of SCP-400 in Foundation custody (designation SCP-400-B) is currently housed in a juvenile humanoid containment cell at Site-77’s Euclid objects wing. Any cell containing an active SCP-400 colony must be secured with an air-lock door under Bio-safety Level 4 precautions. Any openings for ventilation must be covered by a metal screen with gaps no greater than 0.2 cm in diameter, followed by aerosol filter 400-AF to be changed monthly and remanded to on-site chemical research personnel with Level 3/400 clearance. Access for experimentation purposes requires approval from both the Ethics Committee and the item's acting HMCL supervisor (currently Dr. Marshall Grant). SCP-400 handlers are required to wear Level 4 positive pressure Bio-hazard suits, and must be decontaminated prior to egress. In emergency situations, prevention of olfactory contact with SCP-400 is sufficient to prevent accidental exposure in most cases. For care-giving instructions, please refer to Document 400-C rev 1.3.
Agents operating in the continental United States are to report any statistically significant drop in daycare, preschool, and primary school enrollment in their assigned region. Elements of MTF Beta-7 (“Maz Hatters”) are to remain on-call for identification, research, and termination of active SCP-400 infestations. Locations found to be infested are to be quarantined using cover story 139-B (‘bubonic plague’). Media inquiries are to be categorically denied, and all agents of the press demonstrating interest in the quarantine are to be detained and administered a Class B amnestic prior to release.
Foundation personnel affected by SCP-400 are subject to quarantine of up to three (3) weeks. If by this time anomalous effects have subsided, personnel are subject to psychological evaluation prior to return to duty. If anomalous effects are still present after the administration of a Class A amnestic, remaining personnel may be reassigned to non-anomalous research, administrative, and medical positions. Civilians exposed are to be administered a Class A amnestic prior to release. Please refer to Document 400-1R for reintegration instructions by geographic region. Damage control for infestations affecting population centers of 500 persons or more may employ amnestic agent Ennui-02 locally if necessary.
At least one active SCP-400 colony must be collected from all subsequent infestations, and remanded to genetic research personnel with Level 3/400 clearance.
Description: SCP-400 is the collective designation for an anomalous species of arthropod similar to Armadillidium vulgare, or the common pill bug. SCP-400 individuals are morphologically similar to A. vulgare in appearance, but can be distinguished visually by bright red striping patterns on their dorsal carapace. Visual identification is only possible by individuals not under the influence of SCP-400’s anomalous effects. SCP-400 is a parasitic organism which feeds on human mammary secretions. Access to this food source is gained by habitation and manipulation of deceased human infants.
Affected persons are subject to a Type 3 cognitohazard via a pheromone vector, which repurposes the natural child-rearing instincts present in all humans for its own feeding and protection. Those subject to this effect are unable to perceive SCP-400 or the damage it causes to infants. Exposure to D-Class assets has determined that the effect does not apply to video or audio surveillance, and that Level 4 Biohazard precautions are sufficient in preventing the effects’ onset. Personnel briefed on SCP-400’s effects show no special immunity to the false perceptions created by the anomaly.
As of 14/07/2005, the Ethics Committee has determined that future human experimentation with SCP-400 will only be allowed in unique and dire circumstances. As such, all information regarding SCP-400’s relationship with humans and life cycle have been compiled from extensive surveillance and interviews conducted in █████████, ██, the site of SCP-400’s discovery. Conclusions are based on an observational period from August 2003 through July 2005.
Infestation begins when twenty-five (25) to fifty (50) instances of SCP-400 select an infant1 and access its crib. Observation has failed to detect any instance of SCP-400 prior to appearance within the target crib. Parents and D-Class personnel present will be unable to perceive SCP-400. If any person passes within 0.5 m of the infant, SCP-400 instances will collectively release a fine spray, which causes immediate disorientation and rapid loss of consciousness.
SCP-400 will then begin to burrow into the flesh of the sleeping infant. Favored points of entry include the mouth, eyes, anus, navel, and armpits. The infant will not react to the presence of SCP-400 in any fashion, suggesting the use of local anesthetics. Cardiopulmonary activity in the infant will cease within the first forty (40) minutes of this procedure, and within three (3) to five (5) hours, movement will resume, followed by strained vocalizations. At this point, the infant is considered an ‘active colony’ of SCP-400. Incapacitated subjects will awaken soon after the first vocalization and investigate. Parents or other adults present within ear-shot will also show interest as per normal for distressed infant vocalization. If the original mother of the colony is present at this time, she will immediately begin breastfeeding regardless of previous feeding schedule or practices.
Over roughly the next ten (10) weeks, parents and other adults begin to show increased affection and protectiveness toward the colony. During this stage, direct observation by present adults and children will be unable to detect any abnormalities in the colony’s physiology, despite numerous dermal perforations and jerky, unnatural movement. The colony is capable of basic vocalization, and is able to emulate feeding, defecation, and play behaviors of normal infants with increasing proficiency. Decomposition is still visible via surveillance during this time, culminating in desiccation of the colony’s remaining soft tissues2.
By the end of the twelfth (12th) week, all observed colonies exhibited increased size, such that individual instances of SCP-400 are visible moving under the skin. Such colonies are considered ‘mature’, and individual instances will begin reproductive behavior during this period. During feeding, seven (7) to twelve (12) SCP-400 individuals will exit the colony through one of its dermal perforations, and take hold of any exposed portion of the host mother’s skin for approximately 10 min before returning. Host mothers studied during this time begin to show increased progesterone production, as well as heightened levels of human chorionic gonadotropin, indicating an induced pregnancy. After an incubation period of two (2) to three (3) days, host mothers will ‘birth’ twenty-five (25) to fifty (50) instances of SCP-400 during her next sleep. Instances of SCP-400 have not been successfully tracked after birth. Maximum interval of dormancy before SCP-400 must initiate another infestation is unknown. After breeding behavior begins, the cycle will repeat once weekly for the duration of the infestation. No natural limit to SCP-400 infestation timeline has been observed. (See Addendum 400-02)
Of ███ recorded infestations to date, all have occurred in the south-eastern United States in rural or mountainous areas, and in some cases have gone unnoticed for as long as nine (9) months. Improved detection and extermination of SCP-400 instances is considered a high research priority.
Addendum 400-01: Interview 400-25
Foreword: Twenty-fifth in a series of interviews conducted during the █████████, ██ infestation of 2003. Mrs. █████ ███ B██████ (hereafter ‘Mrs. B.’) interviewed by Dr. Marshall Grant, Agent Fabian Pertucci observing. Mrs. B has served as host-mother to SCP-400-A and SCP-400-B simultaneously. The advanced state of decomposition suggests the colonies had been active for over two years. She and her deceased twins are considered strong candidates for ‘Patient SCP-400-0’. At the time of interview, Mrs. B was isolated from SCP-400 for fifteen (15) days. Interview conducted on 10/7/2005.
Dr. Grant: Good afternoon █████, how are we feeling today?
Mrs. B: Where are my babies? What have you done with my babies?
Dr. Grant: Your children are being treated for possible bubonic plague exposure, ma’am. They will be returned to you as soon as possible.
Mrs. B: [subject strikes table] Oh that’s bullshit! You can’t keep them from me. You have no right to keep a mother from her children! Tell me where they are or so help me when my husband’s lawyers hear of this—
Dr. Grant: Mrs. B██████, we’re on your side here. We want to help. If you’ll just answer a few questions for me, we’ll do everything we can to let you see them this afternoon.
Mrs. B: I’ve already told you on the form. They’re three months old, male, [NAMES REDACTED], identical twins, weigh about 10 pounds, they don’t have any allergies. What more do you want from me?
Dr. Grant: You said three months old? When were they born?
Mrs. B: February 5, 2003. Now will you-! … I'm sorry, I'm just… I love them so much. Never thought I would be much of a mother but they have been such a joy! After my husband died…[subject is silent for 15 seconds] …they mean the world to me! I don't know what I would do without them. Not a day goes by I don’t feel blessed.
Dr. Grant: I imagine you must. For the record, you’re aware of today’s date?
Mrs. B: It’s July the 10th two thousand fuh… Huh… Well that’s funny. I could have sworn they were only three months. My, time does fly! I must have a picture of them here somewhere.[subject accesses personal effects and produces a portrait of SCP-400-A and SCP-400-B prior to infestation]Here it is! Aren’t they just so beautiful?
Dr. Grant: Yes, ma’am. Now, has there been anything peculiar about your boys?
Mrs. B: Well there was that time in May when that doctor… No, nothing at all! If anything they’re doing too well! So healthy and full of life. I swear little [REDACTED] said ‘Ma-ma’ just yesterday!
Dr. Grant: I’m sorry, what was that about a doctor?
Mrs. B: Yes, he came to the house after they…[three second pause, subject visibly confused] I didn’t say anything about a doctor! Let me see my children, please. They’re probably starving by now; they need to be fed.
Agent Pertucci (inaudible to Mrs. B): We’re losing her; come back to it.
Dr. Grant: I assure you, ma’am, we’re giving them the best care possible.
Mrs. B: With that awful formula, I’ll bet! [REDACTED] threw up the last time I tried that. Neither of them has touched it since. No; it’s natural breast milk for them, 100%. My obstetrician said that they’ll need it for at least another three months, and I’m not about to take any risks.
Dr. Grant: Isn’t two and a half years a little long to be breastfeeding?
Mrs. B: They’re… they’re only three months old!
Dr. Grant: But just now, you had said—
Mrs. B: I know what I said! It’s your fault. Got my head all turned around!
Dr. Grant: I’m sorry if I’ve confused you, ma’am, it’s just—
Mrs. B: Who the hell are you people, anyway? Let me see my babies!
At this point in the interview, Mrs. B refused to answer any further questions, and exhibited increased emotional distress and separation anxiety. Post-interview medical examination revealed extensive ovarian/uterine trauma in excess of all other host mothers examined. Mrs. B was administered a Class A amnestic when observations were concluded, and is currently under Foundation surveillance as a Person of Interest.
Addendum 400-02: As of 14/7/2010, SCP-400-A and SCP-400-B have been active in Foundation custody for five (5) years, indicating that colonies may be able to survive indefinitely if continually provided with food. Level 4 Bio-hazard precautions have successfully prevented not only reproduction of SCP-400, but also the spread of all cognitohazardous effects within Site-77. Limited access for experimentation may be granted with approval from the Ethics Committee and SCP-400’s HMCL supervisor (currently Dr. Grant). Please allow up to thirty (30) days for review prior to beginning any new line of experimentation.
Addendum 400-03: On 5/10/2010, SCP-400-A ceased activity while in containment after ingesting an experimental nutritional supplement, allowing medical examiners to dissect the colony. Despite desiccation and decomposition, muscle tissues remain responsive to electric stimulus. Highest concentrations of SCP-400 can be found in the stomach, mouth, brain case, and spinal column. Of particular note is the presence of individual specimens periodically along major motor nerves in the extremities, indicating an unprecedented level of communal intellect utilizing the infant's extant neural architecture.
Examination of the pheromones produced by individual SCP-400 instances has revealed several hallucinogenic, amnestic, and soporific compounds which are capable of reproducing SCP-400’s cognitohazardous effects. Analysis of several compounds has revealed similarities to Class B and C amnestics currently in use by the Foundation, indicating a possible security breach (minimal risk). Aerosol concentrations of the mixture as low as 50ppm have proven effective in initiating the effect. Further research into the genetic sequencing of SCP-400 is recommended.