SilverTonguedMadness [...But I Play One on TV]

Item #: SCP-XXXX

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: Due to its transmissive nature, SCP-XXXX cannot be physically contained. Instances of SCP-XXXX-2 are to be treated with an aggressive regimen of amnestics and broad spectrum anti-fungals. Under no circumstances are instances of SCP-XXXX-2 to be allowed to perform surgery or provide medical treatment to others. Personnel must be made fully aware of the symptoms and effects of SCP-XXXX before being allowed to work with SCP-XXXX-2. Level-1 biohazard equipment is sufficient for day-to-day treatment, however the instigation of a "Diagnosis" event requires a minimum of Level-3 equipment until such time that the event concludes.

One instance of SCP-XXXX-2 is to remain in containment in a standard humanoid containment cell for observation of long term effects. SCP-XXXX-2 is allowed requests for basic amenities and comforts excluding access to patients or medical equipment.

Description: SCP-XXXX is a human exclusive fungal infection which causes severe alterations to the host's brain, personality, and actions. Humans infected with SCP-XXXX who have progressed to at least Stage 3 of infection are known as SCP-XXXX-2. The primary effect of SCP-XXXX is the complete replacement of an infectee's personality by that of a fictitious doctor. The newly created SCP-XXXX-2 instance will travel to the nearest medical facility and attempt to treat patients while also inadvertently spreading SCP-XXXX.

Although the origin and creation of SCP-XXXX is not fully known, it was first identified by Foundation resources on ██/██/1995, when Researcher 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-██ despite not being employed.

After isolating and interviewing the three intruders, Foundation forces were able to trace them back to the town of ███████ ████, Colorado, where the local hospital was found to be manned by an entirely fictitious staff. An investigation of hospital records uncovered that the condition had been present in the town since at least 1952, with the sudden and unexplained employment of a Dr. Morrow. Records also showed that nearly half of the staff had been transferred to other hospitals several weeks before discovery. 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-XXXX 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 infection appears to clear up naturally. Up until this point progression to SCP-XXXX-2 can be stopped by common anti-fungal medications with a 20% 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 of 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-XXXX-2 and an active biohazard. Once an infection progresses fully into Stage 3, the original personality of the SCP-XXXX-2 instance can be considered lost. Heavy use of amnestics may remove the fictional personality, though a new one with false memories will be needed to replace it.

If SCP-XXXX-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-XXXX-2 will steal or borrow medical equipment such as lab coats and stethoscopes, claiming to have lost theirs. Although SCP-XXXX-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-XXXX-2 instances are often provided either rudimentary first aid or general recommendations.

Staff and other doctors do not question either the presence of SCP-XXXX-2 or their behavioral similarities to famous characters, and will respond with casual familiarity in passing. When interviewed, coworkers of SCP-XXXX-2 generally state that they did not react to an unfamiliar employee because "they felt like a doctor" and "it felt natural for [SCP-XXXX-2] to be there". Testing has shown that an awareness of SCP-XXXX and its effects are sufficient to prevent this natural acceptance.

Stage 3 infectees pose a mild risk of infecting others with SCP-XXXX, though no more than any other common fungal infection.

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-XXXX-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-XXXX-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-XXXX-2 will forgo food, sleep, and personal hygiene during this time. The longest recorded instance of Stage 4 exceeded 180 hours, after which the SCP-XXXX-2 instance was too dehydrated to complete the event and perished.

Following some currently unknown trigger, SCP-XXXX-2 will experience a "breakthrough" in which they declare that they have discovered the "cure" to heal their patient. SCP-XXXX-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-XXXX-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 treatment or through blood loss due to SCP-XXXX-2's untrained attempt at surgery. SCP-XXXX-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-XXXX-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-XXXX-2 performs, the affected patient will awaken from anesthesia within eight hours, fully cured of whatever ailment caused them to seek medical attention. Despite this miraculous effect, the healed patient also has a 75% chance of becoming infected with SCP-XXXX during treatment. SCP-XXXX-2 will recommend that the patient remain for observation for several days2 and maintain a cheerful disposition for approximately three days. If an instance of SCP-XXXX-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-XXXX-2 is prevented from providing treatment. If treatment is prevented, SCP-XXXX-2 will become increasingly hostile towards whatever force or factor is preventing it. If a chemical treatment is denied or out of stock, SCP-XXXX-2 will attempt to synthesize a similar compound3 or demand that another patient relinquish their supply.

If forcefully restrained, SCP-XXXX-2 will become violent and belligerent towards whomever applied their restraints. Although SCP-XXXX-2 will forcefully attempt to free themselves, their strength is no greater than under normal conditions. SCP-XXXX-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-XXXX-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 afterwards have shown cause of death to be immediate and complete shutdown of all organ systems. In response, SCP-XXXX-2 will sob profusely over its inability to "save the patient". SCP-XXXX-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.