SCP-XXXX: Anecdotal
rating: +2+x

Item №: SCP-4033

Anomaly Class: Keter

Special Containment Procedures: MTF Phi-Eolh ("Provident Trawlers") is tasked with retrieving confirmed instances of E-4033 from the general populace. Phase 1 instances are to be confined to a soundproofed cell, and either terminated or allowed to interact with a terminally injured/ill member of personnel until SCP-4033 infection is confirmed. The infected subject should then be humanely euthanised. Phase 2 instances may be used as D-Class personnel in circumstances with a confirmed lack of anomalous cross-contamination.

Description: SCP-4033 is a virulent and contagious anecdote, the psychological effects of which are extreme and varied. SCP-4033 is spread via first-hand recounting (i.e. an infected subject reciting SCP-4033 to an uninfected person or group), and will spread to exactly one member of said group with 100% certainty, with a much lower chance (p<0.025) to spread to two. There is currently no way of preventing first-hand accounts of SCP-4033 from acting as a transmission vector — it is worth noting, however, that all those present during a telling of SCP-4033 will be unable to remember any details, and therefore find it impossible to tell the story themselves if not infected. This antimemetic quality will also apply to second, third, and nth-hand accounts, even though the primary contagious quality will not.

Symptoms of SCP-4033 infection within a human subject1 progress as follows:

Phase 1:

Initially, Phase 1 will take the form of a memory-alteration in which the currently affected entity (E-4033) will adopt the experiences contained within it as their own memories over the course of 3 or 4 days. This effect is subtle and subconscious, and ordinarily causes no difference in the subject's behaviour.

After two weeks, if SCP-4033 is not told to another subject naturally, E-4033 will begin to develop the following personality alterations:

  • Increased desire to spend time in residences other than their own.
  • Lowered hostility towards persons they previously disliked or distrusted.
  • Increased desire to consume alcohol2 and appetite for common 'party foods'.
  • Growing restlessness and hyperactivity, increasing slowly but linearly over an indefinite period.

These alterations will persist until SCP-4033 is told directly (first-hand) to another person or group, after which point E-4033 will progress to Phase 2. The additional subject(s) will proceed to the start of Phase 1.

Phase 2:

Phase 2 consists of two specific personality alterations, as follows:

  • The negation of all Phase 1 symptoms, and the removal of SCP-4033 from E-4033's memory.
  • A slow decline in mental state, revolving around dissociation, loss of sense of self, lethargy, and a suppression of all notable personality traits. E-4033 will cease engaging in all forms of recreational activity, and will simply take the simplest routes to ensure their own well-being and survival — frequently working a low-paid job, purchasing only simple food, and living in affordable but sparsely furnished accommodation. Cutting ties with friends and relatives is common, as is the disposal of any unnecessary personal belongings. A study conducted by Foundation personnel in 1966 showed that (based only on their actions and indirect communication) E-4033 instances in the advanced stages of SCP-4033 infection could not reliably be distinguished from one another by civilians, even those with which they previously had close relationships.

No method of preventing or reverting these changes has been found. Amnestic treatment appears to accelerate the effect, and mnestic preservation can delay it by a factor of up to 12.5% with regular doses. Full progression through Phase 2 can take anywhere between 24 hours and 3 months.

Addendum | Transcript of SCP-4033:

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