Doctor Evelyn Weston had the summer flu that was going around. Nothing special about that, just a vague, nauseous rumble in her stomach that had her going to the bathroom every hour or so to empty her bladder. Of course, it might as well have been too much coffee, too, she knew that she tended to overdo the caffeine when a new SCP came in that she was assigned to.
The thought, of her mild flu skipped over her mind, though, as she looked over the containment room with a small frown. Two girls, aged five and four, according to their medical records, sat on the floor and scribbled on the bare white tile with the crayons they’d been provided. It would have been something of a charming scene, were it not for the fact that all but the ceiling and the walls above their limited reach were already covered with a thick layer of wax and dye, and as they drew they did not blink nor stop to admire their work, nor did they stop humming.
Doctor Gears stood silently and impassively beside her, observing, a notepad in hand and pen at the ready.
“Whenever you’re ready to begin, Doctor Weston.”
”Yes, sir.” She said, voice shaking slightly. It was always more than slightly intimidating when it came time to report the study of an SCP to the senior staff. “Designation SCP-9005. SCP-9005 can be divided into two distinct parts. The song, and those it affects, divided into, respectively, SCP-9005-1 and SCP-9005-2.” She tried to keep her tone as clinical and detached as possible, although she still spoke with great interest.
This was, after all, her assignment, and you didn’t spend a month observing something without becoming a little attached to it.
“SCP-9005-1 is a song recorded on a standard US Cassette tape, unmarked, of unknown origin. The song itself is an instrumental piece of upbeat music, and was recovered in a-“ She checked her notes, even though she knew the facts backward and forwards by heart. “-day care center. While SCP-9005-1 seems to have no effect on individuals who are either pubescent or adult, repeated exposure of children to SCP-9005-1 has a memetic effect on the children, now referred to as SCP-9005-2.”
She paused, looking at the girls in the room. They had nearly finished their artwork, only a few square feet of the floor still left bare, and it was disappearing rapidly.
“SCP-9005-2 seem to be physically unchanged, and remain, in this case, healthy and normal children, although extended tests to see if the effect stays or fades with age will be required. There is a very strong mental effect, as you can see- SCP-9005-2 seem to be…attempting to create a new environment, using whatever it available. They will rearrange plants and furniture for scenery, or use art supplies to…uhm…draw themselves a setting.
“The purpose of SCP-9005-1 is unknown, but judging from the results, one could assume that it is perhaps a memetically encoded message. All examples of SCP-9005-2 seem to be trying to convey the same environment, with whatever means are available to them. That’s not to say that they can’t be prevented from working. SCP-9005-2 still regularly stop to eat and use the restroom…and there are regular cycles in which the effects of SCP-9005 seem to fade, such as when there are no supplies available, or if the supplies cannot be handled with safety.
“Subjects designated…subjects eight and twelve here are siblings from the day care center. They have been provided with several boxes of crayons with which to work. And as you can see, despite their age and experience levels…they have managed to create a nearly photorealistic 360-degree image of the environment.” She looked into the room. One of the girls had stopped drawing, and was quietly sitting, singing wordlessly to herself the same gentle, repeating tune, while the other was scribbling in the last few details with the remaining nub of her crayon.
“And SCP-9005-1 only has this effect with the original recording?” Gears asked, and she nodded.
“We’ve conducted additional testing with recordings of the original, as well as vocal or synthesized versions, with no effect. Similarly, the only children that were not affected in the original day care were hearing-impaired. One of the unaffected did have a cochlear implant, but seemed to have no effects.”
“And the age range of SCP-9005-2?”
“The range of subjects currently goes from three years of age to ten. Once puberty starts for the individual they are rendered immune, and no children under the age of three have been exposed.”
Doctor Gears was silent, and Evelyn held her breath. Finally, he spoke again.
“And do the effects fade with separation from SCP-9005-1?”
“No, sir, they seem to be permanent once started.” He nodded, was quiet for a few more moments, writing down a short note…and then without a word, he left. Evelyn sighed in relief. No response was a good response, when it came from Doctor Gears. Turning to the observation window, she looked at the girls.
They stood, longingly staring at the ceiling and walls where they couldn’t reach, singing to themselves for a few minutes more before going quiet and sitting down, looking tired and listless.
Evelyn’s stomach gurgled, and she cursed softly, heading to the ladies’ room. No more coffee, she swore.
It was later that week she discovered her pregnancy, and in what seemed, to Evelyn, to be no time at all, she was off on maternity leave, singing a little pink bundle of colic to sleep every night. She never thought, in her sleepless state, about the tune, a soft upbeat melody, that she hummed to her daughter to calm her.
It was, after all, just a song that had gotten stuck in her head.
And it calmed little Emily Weston down.
Three Years Later
Evelyn missed her family, but she tried not to think about it too much. She still got to see her daughter, every other weekend, and it seemed unfair that it was all the time the courts ruled she could have, but she would take what she could get. Besides, her ex-husband was a kind man, and an excellent father, and his wife a wonderful and attentive mother. More than Evelyn, who would become obsessed and lost in her work at times, could say.
Still, she missed her little girl, Emily, the sweet child, especially now that she’d missed the past month of visits because of work. Emily was her life when she had weekends off, though, even if the little girl was plagued with nightmares and demanded, often times loudly, to be sung to sleep at night, her mother always obliged.
But now…now she was trapped in work. Evelyn sighed deeply as she poured over pages of reports on a new SCP, designation 8776. She swore, she’d never figure out how this damn numbering system worked.
Looking up at the clock, hoping that it was almost time to go, she couldn’t stop a small yelp from escaping as she found Gears standing in her office, stock still and silent as a ghost. She hadn’t heard him come in.
“…Hello Doctor Gears.” She said, rubbing her face. How embarrassing. “What can I do you for, Sir?” He took a seat and held out a file to her, one emblazoned with the numbers 9005 in bold stencil. She cautiously took the file, for a second wondering if this was some mistake she had made years ago when she had been part of the 9005 team. “What’s this about?”
“We are decommissioning SCP-9005-1 officially, and it was proposed that, as the original lead researcher, you would prefer to look over all the data to make sure that there is nothing missed, in your opinion.”
She nodded. A formality then, as she opened the folder and started to skim. The effect had never faded away from the children, it seemed, and she frowned at that. Even if those children had just been subjects, bound by a force beyond their control, she still felt bad for them, and she skimmed along further, not truly reading but thinking about children and Emily. She would be about the right age now…
Then, she stopped, and stared.
Doctor Gears, inhumanly perceptive as it was, stood. “Doctor Weston, is something wrong?”
She didn’t answer, instead she dropped the file, letting the paper’s scatter, and was power walking out the door of her office as she pulled out her cell phone. Doctor Gears took the time to carefully reorganize the papers and place them back in the file. He did not give chase, at least.
”Hello, Bob Weston speaking.”
”Evelyn? Hey, I was just about to call you. I know that you’ve been busy, lately, but…I wanted you to come see Emily this week, rather than next, if you can make it. There’s something…important that we need to talk about.”
Evelyn’s face went pale as she kept walking hastily towards the garage, flashing her badge at the guard and running to her car.
”What? What is it? Is there something wrong with Emily?”
”Maybe it’s better to talk in person. It is a really recent development, and they psychologist says that it’s too soon to tell if there’s anything wrong, developmentally-“
”I’ll be there in an hour.”
”Eve, what’s wro-?” She hung up, started her car, and peeled off, thanking God that she didn’t live that far away, and what distance between the base and town was all unmarked, rarely patrolled country highway.
Doctor Gears, satisfied with the papers all in order again, proceeded to read quickly through the file, finding the page and paragraph she had stopped upon. If one looked closely, one could almost swear that he frowned. Almost. But not quite. It may have been a mild myoclonic twitch, or a trick of the light, most likely.
While initial testing using the melody from SCP-9005-1 yielded no effects, later testing showed that repeated exposure to just the melody from SCP-9005-1 through other means (vocal, instrumental, or otherwise) could result in SCP-9005-2 developing, albeit at a much decreased rate. The decreased effects took place between one to two years after exposure, and did not develop until the subject developed the proper physical coordination capable of manipulating the environment-
He closed the file, and picked up the phone.
“Secure Task Forces. I need a small team to go to Doctor Weston’s home, as well as the home of her ex-husband. Yes, the address should be in her file.”
Evelyn prayed, hard, as she charged in through the door of her ex-husband’s home, looking around. Bob blinked at her, startled, before raising an eyebrow.
“Eve, are you okay? You look like you’ve seen a gho-“
“Tell me, what’s wrong with Emily!” She barked, stepping right up to his face.
“Whoa! Whoa…calm down. She’s just…developed some weird behavior, that’s all. She hasn’t been talking a lot, lately, and started drawing on her walls. The doctor said that it’s probably just kid stuff, but he wants her to come back in a few months to make sure she isn’t autistic or-“ Evelyn didn’t wait for an answer, and ran up the stairs two by two to Emily’s room.
“Emily!” She shouted, pushing the door open…and freezing. Emily had been hard at work, it seemed. The little girl had even managed, through piles of toys and boxes and drawers, to reach her ceiling. The mural that covered every square inch of space in the room was made of a variety of materials. She saw crayons, paints, pens, pencils, even makeup cases scattered about, and yet it was horrifically detailed.
But there was not Emily.
She stepped into the room, cautiously, to the center, and looked around, an immense sense of deja-vu overcoming her. She knew this scene, and from the center of the room, every surface had been painted to give the perfect illusion that she was standing in the middle of it. If it weren’t for the open door, she thought, she would have never believed she was in a child’s room.
It was beautiful, there was no denying that. A forest of violet trees with brilliant blue leaves was to one way, a bit in the distance but not too far at all, each branch in perfect clarity. Gray-violet grasses and red flowers were painted and scrawled upon the floor and the walls, a wide field punctuated with crimson bushes and green fruits hanging off a large navy-blue tree, that had been painted up and up onto the ceiling, it’s branches framing the light fixture, which the girl had painted into a red-orange sun. And the sky, oh the sky! Three moons, all different hues, to every side, and the sky itself was brilliant sunset hues of pink and yellow, with white clouds, and a black thunderhead far off in the distance over snow-capped mountains.
“Emily!” She cried out. She’d never seen a drawing this extensive. She heard a faint rustling, and the giggle of a little girl, and without thinking she reached for the door, swinging it shut to reveal the girl behind it.
Except there was nobody behind the door.
And Evelyn felt the overwhelming sense that she had just done something terribly wrong.
The effects of SCP-9005-1 seem to be culminating in manipulating SCP-9005-2 to complete a complete round-eye view of what is best described as “otherworldly scenery”. Once the illusion is complete, when viewed from the center of whatever space SCP-9005-2 had been manipulating, it appears to be in every single direction a perfect picture of the landscape, as if one were truly in the picture itself. The dangers of the effect are not fully explored, as once the illusion is perfected, individuals who view it in it’s entirety without any breaks in the scenery inexplicably cease to exist.
Radio contact with vanished individual can be maintained for no more than thirty seconds, during which individuals equipped with transmitters describe their setting as a beautiful alien world, rather than just an image.
It is believed to be safe to assume that the full extent of SCP-9005-1’s effects are, in fact, to transport individuals to a particular place. No testing conducted had revealed if this is its place of origin or simply a random location.
She stepped back, and the door vanished from sight, hidden in the perfectly painted scene. Evelyn held her breath, wondering if, perhaps, she should not have skimmed, she should have actually read the report in its entirety. Then, she heard it, and turned on her heel. Singing, soft voices singing, and reedy instruments, in the distance. It was music, and she knew that music well. It was SCP-9005-1, clear as she’d ever heard it, although this time punctuated with the voices of children and other sounds.
She stepped forwards, cautiously, moving to touch the wall, and jerked back when there was none there, and the grayish grasses crunched under her shoes. The earth, reddish and clay-like, crumbled under her footsteps, and when she bent down to pick a brilliant scarlet flower, she found that it was as real as the door had been moments ago.
“Mommy!” Evelyn jerked up, and found Emily’s smiling face peering out from the grass.
“Baby!” She shouted, moving to scoop the small child up in her arms, before something moving too fast to be seen as anything but a blur knocked her away. She sailed through the air just a short meter, but it felt like it took forever to hit the ground, the wind knocked out of her. A wince, and she opened her eyes to see bare feet, and slowly, painfully, sit up to look at her attacker.
The young girl couldn’t have been more than nine or ten, but she was tall. Tall and thin, ethereal in appearance, like somebody had stretched her out. She looked down at Evelyn with cold, pale eyes, and Evelyn gasped.
“Subject Twelve.” She breathed out, wheezing. The thin, naked young girl stared down at Evelyn impassively. The face was recognizable, after all, she had spent hours and hours looking over the children’s files, looking at their faces. But the girl was pale, so pale that she could see the veins under her skin, and so tall and thin that she, for a second, had to think to realize that she wasn’t a teenager yet.
“Momma!” Emily gasped, stunned and staring at her mother, hands and clothes smeared with paint.
“B-baby-!” Evelyn tried to gasp out again, but Subject Twelve’s foot, curiously elongated, crashed down on her, filling her vision. There was a tremendous crunch, and the fleeting thought that, this child, this tall thin child…could not possibly have weighed enough or have been strong enough to hurt her like this.
Then she thought no more. Ever.
Emily, meanwhile, started to cry, as the red clay earth guzzled her mother’s dark blood, before the other girl, the older, elfin one, picked her up gently and soothed her with a few hummed bars of song that erased all the pain from the toddler’s head.
“No, no..it wasn’t your momma. Just a monster who looked like her. Do you understand?” Emily stared at the older girl, and nodded, sniffing a little bit. “…Ready to go back to singing with the others?”
Doctor Weston’s residence and the residence of family destroyed, as well as all video and vocal recordings of any member of the Weston family using SCP-9005-1.
Doctor Weston’s Status: Missing. Presumed Dead.