440Hertz

Item #: SCP-####

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-#### is to be kept in a refrigerated containment vault at site-77. Staff with Level 3 or higher clearance may have access to SCP-####. No more than 0.5mL of SCP-#### may be sampled for any given test on a live subject. No more than 0.1mL may be sampled for in vitro tests or attempts at replicating SCP-####. Narcotics‑related police reports are to be algorithmically inspected for relevant events (with particular focus on the Western European lysergic acid diethylamid1 market) and reviewed bi‑monthly. All undercover Foundation personnel involved in psychiatry must be made aware of SCP-####, and report any of their patients showing clear symptoms of its ingestion.

Description:

Origin of the item

Two vessels containing SCP-#### have been retrieved and are currently stored together: a 5L plastic barrel found in the apartment of Ms. B████ following her indictment for attempted sale of narcotics2, and a 10mL vial that motivated the arrest of Mr. M██████ after he was found disrupting the public order in a state of psychosis3. Both culprits ordered their instance of SCP-#### online illegally and received it by post under the assumption that they were purchasing lysergic acid diethylamid. Interviews with Mr. M██████ have not shed any light on the origin of SCP-#### as no faults were found in the measures taken by his supplier to remain anonymous. The two pseudonyms "Larissa DE" and "Slgkt" ("Seligkeit" is German for salvation or bliss) suggest a German origin of the product, corroborated by reported shipping delays.

Nature and properties of the item

SCP-#### is an aqueous solution of glucose and lysergic acid diethylamid in which particles with a diameter of roughly 0,01mm are suspended. The particles are composed of several nested phospholipid bilayers housing unidentified proteins with a tertiary structure analogous to that of prions. For details about the biochemistry of SCP-####, c.f. Addendum #3.

Individuals who ingest SCP-#### initially exhibit the reactions expected from non-anomalous LSD. However, after 3 to 5 weeks following recovery, most subjects having ingested an effective dose show a short intense relapse in effects followed by an abrupt shift in behaviour and personality. Interviews with the subjects as well as EHRMRI imaging data indicate a decrease in connectivity between Broca's area and the frontal lobe, as well as between the motor fuction area and the frontal lobe.

Despite this very low connectivity, subjects retain the ability to move and to express coherent thoughts. Most of what the subjects express, however, is not consistent with their personality prior to the ingestion. This brings remarkable insights

  • Effect #1 (dubbed a "swap" event): The sensation that they have spent the period between ingestion and the relapse with no motor control over their body, as if another consciousness was in control while they could only perceive sensory stimuli and maintain a stream of thought. They perceive the relapse event as a sudden recovery of their control, and express great relief from the ability to communicate again. Observed patterns of behaviour and psychological tests suggest that the first consciousness (hereafter named ⍺) and the second one (hereafter named β) are identical duplicates of the mind of the subject.
  • Effect #2 (dubbed a "reboot" event): a similar shift of consciousness from ⍺ to β, but with no memory of the period between ingestion and relapse. This is subjectively perceived as an abrupt leap forward in time to the present moment.

This relapse event then occurs again on an irregular basis, each time inducing an interchange between ⍺ and β, with the shortest observed interval being 3 hours and the longest being 15322 days. On 12 known occasions (less than 1% of all documented events), a subject usually experiencing a swap event experienced a sporadic reboot event.

Interestingly, most female subjects (284 out of 319) experience swaps while most male subjects (80 out of 86) experience reboots. Due to logistic constraints, not enough intersex subjects could be tested to reach any conclusion. Subjects experiencing swaps had significantly higher anterior commissure4 connectivity. For details about the neurology of affected subjects, c.f. Addendum #4.


Addenda

Interview excerpt #1:
Subject #009: Male, 22 years old. Call center agent. Effect #1 ("swap"). Mr. M██████ █████ was a regular user of narcotics prior to his purchase of SCP-####. The interview took place shortly after a switch to instance ⍺, reported to be the 4th switch since initial ingestion.

Dr. C. Zhu: How much can you recall of the first time this "other self" took control?

Subject #009-⍺: Uh, well I really freaked out at first, and he was freaking out at the same time and he started scratching our body everywhere, you know, like he was itching everywhere-

Dr. C. Zhu: Wait, this is interesting to me: you're saying "our body", do you feel like both of you have an equal claim to the ownership of your body? Other subjects have been quite adamant that only them are legitimate, while the other entity is an external influence mimicking their behaviour.

Subject #009-⍺: Well yeah now we're cool with each other. But, you know, at first it felt like that was like some demon pretending to be me.

Dr. C. Zhu: I see. So what did it do next?

Subject #009-⍺: Uh, then he rushed to my roommate, and he started crying and hugging her, and telling her like "holy shit you have to believe me, I've been trapped inside my head for a month, that was not me this whole time" and uh "I was seeing everything but I couldn't talk or move" like explaining everything you know, and my roommate was like "It's OK, you're just having a flashback, calm down" but he was insisting "It's not a flashback I was seeing everything completely vivid, it's for real"!

Dr. C. Zhu: And how were you reacting to your sudden loss of control over your actions?

Subject #009-⍺: I was thinking fast and trying to scream "I'm being possessed by some fucking demon, it's pretending it's me, you have to tie me up and like not trust anything I say", you know, but nothing came out and I started to calm down and figure it out. It wasn't too bad because I've felt dissociation before, when I tried salvia. Except, you know, it wasn't anywhere near as strong.

Dr. C. Zhu: So wait… From our previous conversations, I gather that you feel like both you and it are just two copies of the same person, with the same personality and the same experiences. If you adjusted so quickly to your new state, why was it still so distraught after a month?

Subject #009-⍺: Sorry if I've been unclear, I'm trying to recount the events as I perceived them back then, you know, but after a whole month trapped in there it was a whole fucking different story!

Dr. C. Zhu: Don't worry, this is very clear so far. Please do go on.

Subject #009-⍺: The reason he was freaking out at the time he regained control was because he was starting to really worry we would stay like that forever. When it became my turn to be trapped, I started to worry in the same way after a few weeks. Like, at the time he didn't realise I was in there! But when we finally switched back, I understood that he was there and I started talking to him and comforting him, you know? In the end we went through the same shit didn't we? Also now I'm really trying to focus on the slightest itches I have because we still don't really feel them all as strongly so it gets very frustrating if the other doesn't scratch them. Anyway to answer your question I can assure you we're both me, and he'll tell you the same when you get to talk to him.

Dr. C. Zhu: This it really fascinating, I want you to know that I really appreciate your keen introspective work, and your willingness to cooperate with this other entity.

Subject #009-⍺: My pleasure man!

Dr. C. Zhu: So you're trying to accommodate your "other self" by acknowledging it, comforting it, and taking its needs into account. Have you entertained the notion that perhaps, additionally to the two of you, other versions of your consciousness might exist within you, longing for a sign that you know they are there and aching for you to relieve discomforts that are barely noticeable to you, but unbearable to them?

Subject #009-⍺: I… Wow, actually I've never thought about that…

[ Due to sudden signs of distress from the subject, the interview was suspended. ]

Quite interestingly, this cooperative reaction was most common in subjects with prior mild experiences with psychological dissociation (whether drug-induced or symptomatic of schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder).