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Kristallnacht

This is a piece I wrote for the SCP Foundation (http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com) but which was unpopular due to its reference to a real world event. At the time of writing it’s still up on the site as SCP-557 but I think it will soon be deleted. I actually rather like it and I’m therefore posting it here for posterity.

Item #: SCP-557

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures:

Due to the intangible nature of SCP-557 containment is currently only possible via phenomenological methods. It is currently contained at facility 087B with an average annual efficiency of 76%.

On the 8th day of each month the permanent containment crew at the facility is to receive:

  • 500 panes of standard window glass (cut to size as specified in document SCP-557-PO1)
  • 94 MREs
  • 12 D-class subjects
  • Goods and equipment as requisitioned by the containment crew to restore accommodations to the required standard

On the day following delivery any necessary refurbishments are carried out to the accommodations and all windows are re-glazed as necessary.

The D-class subjects are then divided into two groups of six.

Group 1 is housed in comfort and provided with TV and other privileges while Group 2 is provided substandard accommodation. Additional standard PSYOPS techniques are used as necessary to promote and sustain heightened resentment and aggression between the two groups.

At sunset on the ninth day of each month a confrontation is arranged between at least one member of each group. A minimum of one pane of glass MUST be broken during this initial confrontation.

It is imperative that no writing materials are provided to the D-class subjects. Any attempts by a subject to use dust, blood or other substances to communicate with other subjects must be terminated immediately.

By day the Task Force may visit the site as necessary to deal with emerging concerns. After nightfall all monitoring must be via on-site closed-circuit television and any issues dealt with via remote operated drone.

Description:

SCP-557 is a phenomenon composed of anomalous meteorological and psychological events. So far observations consistent with a manifestation of SCP-557 have been recorded at ███ incidents of inter-group violence.

The following data are consistently observed with every manifestation irrespective of the date or latitude:

  • The sun sets at 16:24hrs
  • The minimum temperature is 1 degree Celsius
  • Mean humidity is at 91%
  • Mean wind speed is 26.5 Km/h
  • There is no precipitation but fog is present

The primary psychological effect of this manifestation is to exacerbate existing tensions between rival groups, resulting in extreme violence and widespread property damage (in 94% of known cases).

In the month following known instances of this phenomenon suicide rates in the affected area have been seen to increase by as much as 18%.

A sample of Known or Suspected Manifestations of SCP-557:

9th November 1938, Berlin, Germany – Better known as Kristallnacht, widespread violence saw 91 Jewish people killed and 30,000 Jewish men rounded up to be taken to concentration camps. The first datum for investigation of SCP-557, Kristallnacht is thought to be the originating cause of this phenomenon due to consistency of meteorological observations for the period 8th to 10th November (see study SCP-557-BF9). The weather phenomena observed during instances of SCP-557 are identical to those recorded on 9th November 1938 in Berlin.

16th May 19███, ██████████████, USA – Tensions between supporters of the death penalty and those of convicted murderer ████████████, who claimed to be innocent, devolved into violence on a scale unprecedented in the town’s history. Reports of the night’s events describe that the afternoon was cold and dark with heavy cloud cover bringing a false dusk at just after 16:00 hours.

27th November 19███, ██████████████████, USA – A notorious Black Friday shopping riot erupted during the evening sales when shoppers who had managed to buy Furby toys became the target of violence from those who had been unable to obtain a Furby before stocks were depleted. The event led to 19 deaths and over 50 serious injuries.

20th June 20███, ██████████████, USA (containment breach) – SCP-557 breached containment on this date to manifest amidst escalating tensions between rival student fraternities at the ██████████ campus of the University of ██████████████████. It is hypothesised that the phenomenon was drawn to this conflict despite its small scope due to the proximity of the campus at ████████████████ to the containment site.

Containment Phase 1 Journal Extracts

Welcome to Task Force beta 9. As a result of the non-optimal resolution of Containment Phase 1 the use of journals and other methods of written communication by containment subjects has been permanently discontinued. However, useful information was gained that will help you to do your job; please read the following extracts carefully.

  • Day 1

Being here reminds me of that study they did in the sixties, the one where they turned half the people into guards and the other half into prisoners. That was done on a university campus and it was horrific enough… I don’t like that they’ve dragged us out here to the middle of nowhere for whatever this experiment is.

I’m determined not to be a good lab rat. You want me to disdain the others? I’m going to ignore them. I wish he’d stop looking at me like that, though. It makes it hard to write when he’s staring at me.

Jesus. I’m still shaking. The guy with all the tats broke his glass and came at me; he practically shoved it up my nose. I’ve got blood all over me. He said I was laughing at him, but I wasn’t. Is he hallucinating? Making shit up as an excuse? Either way I’d better watch my back; he might not stop at a few scratches tomorrow.

  • Day 2

I got off lucky last night. Another guy in my group got beaten really badly, and the guards took him off to the infirmary. Later I was looking out the window and I saw them carrying a body bag out to an unmarked black van. What the hell is going on here?

It was foggy again tonight. There’s something really screwy going on with the weather. It got dark much earlier than I would have expected, and surely it should be too dry here for fog? They made us eat together again; they seem to be doing everything they can to keep us at each other’s throats.

I don’t like the fog. They made us go for a walk outside after we ate, and it was cold and damp. I felt like they were out there in it, watching me. I could hear them conspiring, whispering to themselves and thinking that I wouldn’t hear them. I found a dark corner in a stairwell and sat there all night, shivering.

  • Day 4

It was cold and foggy again last night; sounds muffled but I could hear the sound of breaking glass just fine. Three more bodies wheeled out this morning. Why won’t they stop the experiment? Who are they to play God with people’s lives like this? By day everything seems almost sane here, but then they keep us separated during the day.

  • Day 5

I tried talking to one of them last night. I wanted to talk some sense into him; we’re being manipulated by the guards of this place, forced to hate each other. We shouldn’t be giving them what they want. As much as I tried, the words just wouldn’t come out right. I could feel my mouth twisting into a sneer and what I said echoed dull and flat in the fog, sarcastic and hateful. I tried to stop talking but I couldn’t, the words just kept pouring out. I had to run for my life. If the guy hadn’t tripped and fallen down two flights of stairs, I don’t think I would have made it.

  • Day 8

Foggy again last night, and cold. It’s like it’s the same night, over and over again. Everything is turning to shit and broken glass is everywhere. This is insanity. I had to find a new hiding place, they have started combing the place at night to try and find us, calling out what they’re going to do to us when they get us. If this doesn’t end soon I don’t think I’m going to make it out of here. If only I could get to one of them during the day, I think I could talk some sense into them. But that’s hopeless. There’s no way I can get to the other side, not with the guards in between. Maybe I should just write them a letter, hah.

  • Day 9

A letter. I was sitting in my new bolt-hole last night listening to the threats of violence and the breaking glass and the hard, wet noise of fists beating flesh, and… maybe a letter isn’t so crazy after all. It’s got to be worth a shot. I’m starting to think I don’t have anything to lose.

  • Day 10

One of them turned and looked at me at dinner last night. I was afraid he was singling me out, but he smiled and gave a single nod. I didn’t like his smile, it had violence hiding behind it. But I liked the nod. Together we turned and looked at the guard handing out our ration packs. I don’t think he noticed. They’ll all notice soon enough, when we bring this sick experiment crashing down around their ears. We’ll see how they like it when they’re the ones being hunted through the fog.

[End of extracts]

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