Fear Itself

Item#: TBD

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: At present the only containment possible is media blackout of existing knowledge of SCP-XXXX and sabotage of any research which may reveal the nature of this SCP. Please see the description for further information.

Description: SCP-XXXX is, as the title states, Fear. Yes, the emotion. Literally. The general nature of SCP-XXXX was first discovered in ██/██/19██ by Dr. ██████████ ███████ at ████████ University. SCP-XXXX is not any one single entity but actually the complex interaction of several microbes found to be present in the enteric bacteria of all mammalian animals, as well as a majority of all other species in the kingdom Animalia. The mechanism by which SCP-XXXX is not fully understood, but is presumed to function in a manner similar to that of a pheremone, with the exception that subjects whose olfactory senses have been disabled are still capable of the "fear" response, indicating it is not entirely chemical in nature.

SCP-XXXX typically activates in response to adrenaline. Dr ████████ theorized that the "fight or flight" response was endemic to all creatures and not the initiation of SCP-XXXX's properties, however at the time no technology was available to confirm this. High-resolution MRI has been able to prove his hypothesis correct. SCP-XXXX activates after the adrenal glands have flooded the organism's bloodstream with adrenaline in over 99% of lab testing. SCP-XXXX creates the feeling of utter dread and terror when no risk of bodily harm is present. This the same dread and discomfort commonly associated with a severe phobia, particularly those attributed to irrational fears. Once SCP-XXXX has activated neurological triggers in the brain start growing connections in the brain's fear center, associating the object of the subject's fear with this response. Future exposures to the same subject will further reinforce these connections.

Testing log: (for the purposes of this document only notable testing after Dr. ██████'s hypothesis was proven correct in ██/██/2███ are included. Full logs are available at Foundation site G-██ for any personnel with 3/XXXX clearance):

Subject D-XXXX-001: Male, age 33, no known phobias. Chemical analysis of blood and intestinal contents taken before, during, and after exposure to multiple horror movies and fear-inducing simulation scenarios. Neural scans were also administered before and after each session. An expected increase in adrenaline levels were noted in the subject's blood but no other changes were found. Analysis of the intestinal contents show explosive growth of multiple microbe species including ██████ ██████, ██████ ███████, and ███████ ███████. Reproduction over the given timeframe was far greater than such microbes would normally exhibit, even under optimal incubation. Neural scans show minor changes to the fear center. Subject reported nightmares for 1 week following testing but no chronic change in behavior was found after this.

Subject D-XXXX-035: Female, age 19. Subject has severe Cynophobia. Subject exposed to multiple tests expected to induce fear, both live exposure and simulated. Subject exhibited an acute reaction in every instance, and in one found it necessary to assault Foundation personnel to escape the stimulus. Blood and intestinal content tests were the same as other subjects, but neural scan noted that no new connections were created in the fear center of the brain, but many existing ones were reinforced.

Subject D-XXXX-075: Male, age 30. Subject was an amateur daredevil before entering Foundation custody for murder of a professional rival. Subject was exposed to the typical testing as well as exposed to simulations of stunts he was familiar with. All reactions were substantially below projected results, with the exception of adrenaline levels when exposed to the familiar simulations. In these tests adrenaline levels were actually higher than normal despite all other fear indicators being muted. Subject requested further exposure testing but was denied.

Subject D-XXXX-112: Male, Age 63. Now deceased. No known phobias. Subject was in final stages of stage IV stomach cancer when testing was run. Medical personnel noted that the subject's gastrointestinal tract was nearly devoid of flora. Digestion was difficult and the subject rarely ate. Fear testing continued as normal. As with D-XXXX-075, reactions were far below expected results for a healthy subject. Adrenaline levels for this subject were lower as well however this was eventually attributed to the subject's poor health.

Subject D-XXXX-303-1: Male, age 28. Subject was cross-tested with SCP-303 in a special testing dormitory where multiple concealed exits were constructed. When SCP-303 began to affect the doorway to the room occupied by D-XXXX-303-1 recordings show that the subject reacted with the expected level of fear and after 10 minutes of exposure a hidden exit was revealed remotely by site researchers. Subject D-XXXX-303-1 immediately fled and had to be restrained in order to collect appropriate samples. Adrenaline levels were higher than thought possible to be released by the human endocrine system in under an hour. Microbial activity was not only explosive but were approaching levels sufficient to rupture the small intestine in certain sections. Remains of microbes found when testing the subject D-XXXX-303-1's stool were over 10 times the normal amount for several weeks following the test.

Addendum: We've become aware of certain junior researchers assigned to study SCP-XXXX synthesizing anti-microbial agents designed to exterminate the species of microbes responsible for SCP-XXXX's effects while leaving the rest of the intestinal ecosystem intact. These researchers have been disciplined and moved to other research projects. Do I really need to explain why that's a bad idea? Just take a few minutes to imagine what would happen if this research were to reach the general population. Governments would be able to create soldiers incapable of fear, always following orders to the letter no matter how destructive or suicidal. Conversely imagine a terrorist cell developing a biological weapon whose only effect would be to cause SCP-XXXX to trigger at random. It would be completely uncontrollable, untraceable, and undetectable until everyone on the planet had succumbed to the most literal case of Panophobia imaginable. Anyone else found undergoing research of this kind will be summarily terminated. No further warnings. - Dr. ██████ Site G-██ Chief of Psychiatric Research.