SCP-4349
rating: +12+x

Item: SCP-4349

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: Due to its nature as an infection, SCP-4349 cannot be physically contained. Suspected cases are to be quarantined under the cover story of a virulent, but non-anomalous, disease. Infected individuals are to be treated with an aggressive regimen of Foundation anti-fungal compound Finley-15. If successful, treated individuals may be allowed to return to their lives. However, individuals which become instances of SCP-4349-2 are to be taken into Foundation custody and reported as deceased. If personality reassignment procedures are unsuccessful after thirty days of containment, SCP-4349-2 instances in custody are to be terminated. Level-1 biohazard equipment is sufficient for day-to-day treatment and interaction, however the instigation of a "Diagnosis" event requires a minimum of Level-3 equipment until such time that the event concludes. Researchers and staff personnel with any variety of sickness or visible injury are not allowed to interact with SCP-4349-2 instances in any capacity.

One instance of SCP-4349-2 is to remain in ongoing containment in a standard humanoid containment cell for observation of long-term effects and is to be designated SCP-4349-2a. SCP-4349-2a is allowed requests for basic amenities and comforts. Under no circumstances is SCP-4349-2a, or any instance of SCP-4349-2, to be allowed to perform surgery or provide medical treatment to others outside of controlled testing.

Description: SCP-4349 consists of both a fungal infection and those who have been infected by it. The fungus itself is classified as SCP-4349-1 and humans infected with SCP-4349-1 who have progressed to at least Stage 3 of infection are classified as SCP-4349-2. SCP-4349-1 causes severe alterations to the host's brain, particularly in the areas associated with memory and personality. Instances of SCP-4349-2 will also release spores of SCP-4349-1 which induce mild psychological effects in bystanders.

Although the origin and creation of SCP-4349 is not fully understood, current evidence points to an individual classified as POI-4349. POI-4349 is likely either patient zero or the creator of SCP-4349, though information is scarce.

SCP-4349 was first identified by Foundation resources on ██/██/1995, when Doctor Strand noticed that someone had been regularly parking in her designated spot at Medical Site-██. Her ensuing investigation led to the discovery of Doctors "Howard", "Fine", and "Hackenbush" who had been working at Medical Site-██ unquestioned for nearly a week.

After isolating and interviewing the three suspects, Foundation forces were able to trace them back to the isolated town of ███████ ████, Colorado, where the local hospital was found to be manned by an entirely fictitious staff. An investigation of hospital records uncovered that a large portion of the staff had been transferred to other hospitals several weeks before discovery by the Foundation. The list of transferred hospitals included a large number of nonexistent facilities, as well as several well known regional hospitals along with Medical Sites ██, ██, and ███. The search for these doctors is ongoing.

The progression of SCP-4349 takes the form of three stages, with a fourth intermittent state.

Stage 1 consists of the first three days after initial infection. Symptoms are consistent with those of a mild fungal infection, such as severe headache, nausea, and photophobia. During this time infected subjects often seek the attention of medical facilities.

Stage 2 lasts for two days after Stage 1. At this stage symptoms subside as the infection appears to clear up naturally. Up until this point SCP-4349-1 can be stopped and its effects prevented through treatment with anti-fungal compound Finley-15 with a 30% success rate.

Stage 3 begins over the course of the next five days. During this time the infected becomes increasingly dissociated with their previous identity and begins to take on qualities and mannerisms consistent with a famous doctor from film or television1, usually one they are somewhat familiar with. At this point the infectee is considered an instance of SCP-4349-2 and an active biohazard. Once an infection progresses fully into Stage 3, the original personality of the SCP-4349-2 instance can be considered completely overwritten and effectively lost. Heavy use of modified Class C amnestics has shown promise in removing the fictional personality, though the process requires a new one with false memories to replace it to allow reintegration into society.

If SCP-4349-2 is not already at a medical facility, they will seek one out and begin working as though they had been employed for some time. SCP-4349-2 will steal or borrow medical equipment such as lab coats and stethoscopes, claiming to have lost theirs. Although SCP-4349-2 believe themselves to be doctors, their medical and technical knowledge is no more than what they knew prior to infection. Thus, any standard patients handled by SCP-4349-2 instances are often provided either rudimentary first aid or general recommendations.

It is during this point that SCP-4349-2 instances begin to emit spores of SCP-4349-1. Spores are exhaled at a rate of approximately 10 miligrams per breath. At low concentrations, SCP-4349-1 spores are unlikely to cause infection, but will still produce a mild psychological effect when inhaled. This effect causes staff, other doctors, and patients to not question either the presence of SCP-4349-2 or their behavioral similarities to famous characters, instead inciting either ignorance or passive acceptance. Most people affected by the spores will respond to SCP-4349-2 instances with casual familiarity, even if they had never met prior. When interviewed, coworkers of SCP-4349-2 generally state that they did not react to an unfamiliar employee because "they felt like a doctor" and "it felt natural for [SCP4349-2] to be there". Testing has shown that Level-1 biohazard personal air filtration equipment and an awareness of this effect are sufficient to prevent this acceptance.

Stage 4 is a temporary escalation of Stage 3 known as a "Diagnosis" event. Diagnosis events are known to occur once every seven to fourteen days. During the event, the SCP-4349-2 instance will fixate on one particular patient exclusively for a period of no less than eighteen hours. No pattern has been recorded between the patients chosen or their particular maladies, as SCP-4349-2 have been known to focus on patients suffering from conditions varying from a shattered collarbone to pancreatic cancer. Instances will ask passing medical staff to run a variety of illogical or pointless tests on the patient and will acquire and read all available material and data related to their medical history. Instances of SCP-4349-2 will forgo food, sleep, and personal hygiene during this time. During this time the density of spores exhaled by SCP-4349-2 will increase by a factor ranging from two to six.

Following some currently unknown trigger, SCP-4349-2 will experience a "breakthrough" in which they declare that they have discovered the "cure" to heal their patient. SCP-4349-2 instances will order nearby staff to provide treatment via specific medicine or surgical procedures. To date, almost all suggested treatments and procedures have been completely fictitious, though they were given names that followed modern treatment naming conventions. Influenced staff will usually bring whatever chemical or treatment available has the most phonetically similar name to what was requested, regardless of its intended purpose. Once medication is provided, SCP-4349-2 will insist on applying treatment, or if applicable, performing the surgery itself. From this point, one of three scenarios will manifest.

Scenario 1: Treatment is unsuccessful. In approximately 60% of cases, the treatment is unsuccessful. This is known as a failed Diagnosis event. In all failed Diagnosis events, the patient dies, most often due to an adverse reaction with the chemicals used in the treatment or through blood loss due to SCP-4349-2's untrained attempt at surgery. SCP-4349-2 will express remorse at their "inability to provide treatment in time" and remain despondent for approximately one day before returning to normal Stage 3 activity. In all recorded instances, SCP-4349-2 exclusively blames their inability to diagnose the patient quickly enough and remains adamant that their treatment would have worked "if only [they] had thought of it sooner".

Scenario 2: Treatment is successful. In the remaining 40% of cases, the provided treatment successfully cures the patient. Regardless of prior condition or what actions SCP-4349-2 performs, the affected patient will awaken from anesthesia within eight hours, fully cured of whatever ailment caused them to seek medical attention.2 Despite this miraculous effect, the healed patient also has an 85% chance of becoming infected with SCP-4349-1 during treatment. SCP-4349-2 will recommend that the patient remains for observation for several days3 and maintain a cheerful disposition for approximately three days. Spore levels will also drop back to normal at this time. If an instance of SCP-4349-2 does manifest from a patient, upon developing their new personality they will immediately begin working, starting with discharging their previous name from the hospital ledger.

Scenario 3: SCP-4349-2 is prevented from providing treatment. If treatment is prevented, SCP-4349-2 will become increasingly hostile towards whatever force or factor is preventing it. If a chemical treatment is denied or out of stock, SCP-4349-2 will attempt to synthesize a similar compound or demand that another patient relinquish their supply. The results of synthesized treatments have met with a 100% rate of failure when subsequently administered to a patient.

If forcefully restrained, SCP-4349-2 will become violent and belligerent towards whoever applied their restraints. SCP-4349-2 will often utilize emotional manipulation via either appealing to their captor's sense of humanity and invoking the Hippocratic oath, or insulting their captor with terms such as "witchdoctor", "murderer", and "simple-minded fool".

If SCP-4349-2 and its recommended treatment are withheld from the patient for nine hours, all of the patient's vital signs will immediately cease. Autopsies performed afterward have shown cause of death to be an immediate and complete shutdown of all organ systems. In response, SCP-4349-2 will sob profusely over its inability to "save the patient". SCP-4349-2 will put the bare minimum of effort into its work with patients over the next few days, preferring to spend its time walking slowly through hallways, gazing silently out of windows, and drinking any available alcoholic beverages. Other staff will express concern for their coworker, but will not interfere. This behavior will continue until the next Diagnosis effect begins.

Addendum: Interview log

Interviewed: SCP-4349-2a4

Interviewer: Dr. Meredith Strand

Foreword: The following interview was conducted for the purpose of establishing the origin of SCP-4349 and a timeline of events leading up to the current state of the ███████ ████ Hospital. Dr. Strand was informed to not contradict SCP-4349-2a's delusions in order to expedite the retrieval of information.

<Begin Log>

Dr. Strand: Good afternoon Doctor, how are you feeling?

SCP-4349-2a: Oh the pain, the pain. *SCP-4349-2a sighs dramatically* I haven't slept for weeks, my poor back aches constantly, and this lighting is giving me a splitting headache. Could you be a dear and page Dr. Quinn? She never fails to get to the root of my problems.

Dr. Strand: I'm not sure if she is available, but I'll see what I can do. Actually, I was hoping we could continue with what we had been discussing last time? About ███████ ████ Hospital?

SCP-4349-2a: Oh, this again. I still fail to understand you and your associate's problem with us. We have the most doctors per capita of any hospital in Colorado. Some of the finest too. There's not a soul alive who can outperform Dr. Pierce when it comes to invasive surgery.

Dr. Strand: I'm sure. Now, you told me yesterday that you began your work at the hospital… forty-three years ago, is that correct?

SCP-4349-2a: Indeed. In the spring of '52. Though you could barely call it a hospital at the time. Little town like that in the middle of nowhere? Like working out of a shed.

Dr. Strand: There wasn't much space then?

SCP-4349-2a: Bah, space. Don't talk to me about space. We had plenty of space. You know what we didn't have? Equipment, supplies, and doctors. Especially doctors.

Dr. Strand: You lacked sufficient personnel?

SCP-4349-2a: After the war, no young people wanted to be doctors anymore. All they wanted to do was watch television and be spacemen, the simmering simpletons. Do you know what's out there in space? A lot of things that want to eat you and little good living conditions. I should know; I lived out there for years.

Dr. Strand: Let's get back on track. So you went from woefully understaffed to having the most doctors in the state. How did that happen?

SCP-4349-2a: How else? News spreads. When you have one doctor who can perform miracle surgeries, more follow. A hospital builds reputation and more and more talented people start to come in droves.

Dr. Strand: A miracle doctor?

SCP-4349-2a: Yes. Funny man, very charming though. Charismatic too. All the nurses loved him. Probably some of the doctors too, but you didn't speak of such things in those days. I never saw a patient he couldn't cure. Just showed up one day, out of the blue.

Dr. Strand: And when was this?

SCP-4349-2a: Ooh, when was it? '54 I believe? Autumn maybe? Yes, yes, that's right.

Dr. Strand: Do you remember his name? His appearance? Is he still at the hospital?

SCP-4349-2a: Calm yourself Doctor, I fear for your blood pressure. He was a handsome man, certainly. Older than me at the time, late-forties maybe? As to your other question, no. He left the hospital several weeks ago, along with much of the rest of the staff. Transferred off to who-knows-where to keep doing good work.

Dr. Strand: Wait… you said that he was in his forties when he began working with you, but was also still working several weeks ago? Surely he would have retired?

SCP-4349-2a: Oh no, retire? Him? Perish the thought.

Dr. Strand: But surely he must have been nearly a century old? Even from a physical standpoint, how could he continue his work as a doctor at that age?

SCP-4349-2a: Pardon me Doctor, but I think you must have your numbers mixed up. The last time I saw him, he had a smidge of salt in his hair, but was still as youthful as the day I met him. I'd say probably somewhere in his mid-forties.

*Dr. Strand does not respond immediately.*

SCP-4349-2a: *SCP-4349-2a shrugs* I told you he was a funny man. Take what you will. Now as for his name, it was…

*SCP-4349-2a pauses and seems confused*

SCP-4349-2a: How very peculiar. I've worked with the man for over forty years and yet I can't recall his name. Something with an 'S'? No… wait, yes. 'St' it definitely began with that. And it had an unusual spelling. I'm confident there was a 'y' in it somewhere.

*SCP-4349-2a squints into the ceiling mounted lights and become distressed* Oh blast these lights, giving me such a headache I can't think of the name of the man who saved the hospital a thousand times over. If only we could get rid of the lights. Yes, get rid-

*SCP-4349-2a ceases talking and stares into the lights for several seconds*

Dr. Strand: Doctor? Doctor Hens- I mean, Dr. Smith? Are you alright?

SCP-4349-2a: The lights! That's it! *SCP-4349-2a grabs Dr. Strand by her shoulders* That man! The one who served me breakfast yesterday! He had such a terrible cough, and I just figured out how to cure it!

Dr. Strand: Security! Security, someone, anyone get in here!

SCP-4349-2a: Wait, wait! You're a doctor, you should understand! I know how to help that poor man! Get me 50 cc's of triptacederine! I need to administer it to him while keeping him in complete darkness! Please, it's the only way! Only I can save him!

<End Log>

Closing Statement: Following the interview, security forces sedated SCP-4349-2a. Dr. Strand was shaken but unharmed. The D-Class who had served SCP-4349-2a breakfast expired nine hours later. In subsequent interviews, SCP-4349-2a was unable to recall any details about his colleague beyond his skills as a doctor. This individual has been classified as POI-4349. His whereabouts are currently under investigation.

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