Item #: SCP-XXXX
Object Class: Keter/Potentially Neutralized
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-XXXX cannot be directly contained but has a relatively low probability of being encountered by the public in a verifiable manner. Research should be conducted from a distance and missions involving exploration or artifact retrieval should be restricted to D-Class personnel. SCP-XXXX is to be equipped with a GPS tracking device which must be upgraded or replaced whenever possible. Physical contact with SCP-XXXX-1 is forbidden.
Description: SCP-XXXX is an anomalous seafaring vessel displaying dimensional instability, inexplicably disappearing and reappearing at different coordinates for reasons unknown. Most manifestation events last between 12-36 hours and SCP-XXXX will often not reappear for days, if not months. It is the largest known watercraft in recorded history, having an estimated length of 500 m, a deadweight tonnage (DWT) of approximately 580, and a gross tonnage (GT) of 275.
SCP-XXXX’s design fails to correspond with the ships of any known civilization. SCP-XXXX is primarily composed from a seamless and gnarled dark wood but with a strength-to-density ratio on par with titanium. The wood appears as though cultivated and grossly manipulated into the form of a seafaring vessel. SCP-XXXX is estimated to be several thousand years old, the vessel’s hull encrusted with the remains of shipwrecks both ancient and modern.1
SCP-XXXX is accompanied by a three kilometer radius fog thick enough to obscure nearly all incoming light, resulting in the appearance of night regardless of local time. The only sources of light within the fog are the lanterns that adorn SCP-XXXX, which glow with a pale greenish-blue luminescence. These lights behave unnaturally and are not the product of fire, appearing to float in and out of their lanterns and being cold to the touch with a temperature of approximately -70°C.
SCP-XXXX is operated by a crew of humanoid entities classified as SCP-XXXX-1. SCP-XXXX-1 resemble muscular human males of advanced age and indeterminate background. Instances appear to suffer from a collective disease, resulting in jaundiced skin, blindness, and barnacle encrusted skin. SCP-XXXX-1 display anomalous strength but appear grossly lethargic, being slow to move or react. It remains unknown whether or not SCP-XXXX-1 are even sentient, as they generally repeat the same behavior (patrolling, watching, adjusting sails, etc.) and do not appear to communicate with one another.2
The majority of SCP-XXXX-1 display tattoos, piercings, and ritualistic scarification; common patterns include waves, tentacles, and labyrinths/spirals notably analogous to ancient symbols found on the Canary Islands. The only form of attire among SCP-XXXX-1 is a kilt-like garment bearing superficial similarities with the Ancient Egyptian shendyt. Some are nude, while a minority wear deteriorating outfits spanning a wide range of cultures and time periods.
DNA analysis has revealed that most SCP-XXXX-1 descend from North African Berber peoples; an ancestry shared with the Guanches, the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands – further evidence for a connection between SCP-XXXX-1 and the Atlantic archipelago. A minority, as previously implied, are genetically diverse. It is possible that these instances of SCP-XXXX-1 represent sailors conscripted from encountered vessels (such as from those whose debris have merged with SCP-XXXX).
The Foundation became aware of SCP-XXXX on the 19th of October, 1938, having intercepted an unusual and cryptic distress signal being broadcast from the Drake Passage. Provided is a transcript of communications between the SS Labyrinth (a Foundation steamship near Site ██, located near the South Shetland Islands) and the RRS Elizabeth (a British research vessel and sender of the distress signal):
19 October 1928
R.R.S. Elizabeth to Any Ship:
“CQD CQD SOS Elizabeth Position 60.50 S 64.26 W. Require immediate assistance. Come at once. Sinking. Struck by colossal object. Under attack.”
19 October 1928
S.S. Labyrinth to R.R.S. Elizabeth:
“Putting about and heading to you. Please describe object.”
19 October 1928
R.R.S. Elizabeth to S.S. Labyrinth:
“Black tower. Too large to be a ship. Require immediate aid. Hostiles boarding.”
Broadcasts by the R.R.S Elizabeth cease. Vessel and crew are presumed lost.
SCP-XXXX was ultimately located and boarded by a Foundation exploration team. SCP-XXXX-1 were found coated in relatively fresh blood (likely that of the crew of the RSS Elizabeth) but did not immediately react to Foundation operatives, revealing their sensory limitations.
Partial map found aboard SCP-XXXX.
Navigational tools and maps were discovered aboard SCP-XXXX, a heavy layer of dust suggesting that they had not been employed for some time. These objects, while non-anomalous, were still far too advanced for the period they were dated to and belonged to no known civilization. The maps were found to be incredibly detailed but unusual, displaying several deviations and many landmasses that do not exist in reality. These aberrations include:
- An island in the Baltic Sea (analysis of the ocean floor in this region revealed several hundred seemingly artificial structures, closely resembling a small neolithic city).
- An island west of Ireland.
- A large circular landmass centered around the North Pole.
- A small continent where Micronesia should be, approximately the size of Greenland.
- A depiction of Antarctica with minimal ice as well as a large lake or sea within its geographic center.
- And most notably, four islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean – the southernmost island appearing to be the point of departure for SCP-XXXX. Analysis of the ocean floor at coordinates corresponding with this location suggests that such a landmass has never existed.
Related to the previously noted island group, the largest island appears to correspond with the legendary Antillia, a phantom island3 that was reputed, during the 15th-century age of exploration, to lie in the Atlantic Ocean, far to the west of Portugal and Spain. The smaller islands appear to coincide with the equally non-existent island of Royllo to the west of Antillia and Satanazes4(also called the island of Devils, or of the Hand of Satan or of St. Athanasius) some distance to the north along with the small island of Tanmar to Satanazes‘s northeast. These maps include notations written in an undeciphered script; though unidentified, the writing system appears somewhat similar to Southwest Paleohispanic script (also known as Tartessian5), another undeciphered script.
Detail of north Atlantic islands in the 1424 map of Zuane Pizzigano. Later explorers found no evidence of these supposed islands.
Antillia, also known as the Isle of Seven Cities (Ilha das Sete Cidades in Portuguese, Isla de las Siete Ciudades in Spanish), originates from an old Iberian legend, set during the Muslim conquest of Hispania c. 714. Attempting to flee from the Muslim conquerors, seven Christian Visigothic bishops embarked with their flocks on ships and set sail westwards into the Atlantic Ocean, eventually landing on an island where they founded seven settlements. However, there is no corroborative evidence to support this and related legends; nor would this be supported by the existence of SCP-XXXX and its associated maps, the civilization responsible for the creation of the anomalous vessel likely predating the development of Christianity, let alone the Muslim conquests of c. 714 CE.
On 04/31/2004, SCP-XXXX and a nearby Foundation research vessel were struck by a rogue wave. SCP-XXXX was undamaged but the research vessel was destroyed, resulting in the loss of 24 personnel. SCP-XXXX would disappear shortly after and has yet to reappear.
Foundation satellites detected a unique distress signal on the coast of Svalbard on 12/20/2016. There operatives recovered a Foundation GPS device safely secured within a glass bottle. The bottle also held several furled pieces of paper containing the writings of Dr. Stephen Barrett, who had vanished in the disaster over 12 years prior and was presumed deceased.ACCESS GRANTED
This is Dr. Stephen Barrett; Level 3 researcher for the Spacial Anomaly Department; personal ID code: 64112-A9.
I regret to report the deaths of Dr. Corwin, Dr. Peters, and Security Officer Marcos. My colleagues came into conflict with the SCP-XXXX-1 while in a state of panic. We were aboard SCP-XXXX when the wave struck and (as you no doubt already know) were unable to escape. I am the only one left alive and I fear the ship has dematerialized – or, as I’ve come to speculate, shifted into some “other-side”.
I have collected their bodies one by one, caching them along with our supplies within a small room. This chamber, located below deck near the aft, is rarely approached by the SCP-XXXX-1. It has in turn become my place of refuge and operations as I continue to both study SCP-XXXX and hopefully survive until the next manifestation event. I must remain calm and in control – I will not allow my training to fail me as it did the others.
The sky here suggests a perpetual state of twilight. I have yet to see the moon or sun, which has rendered the passage of time difficult to track. The dark sea reflects no light. Stranger still are the distant towers that rise from the water – they resemble nothing from nature, but nor do they look like the product of human artifice. I must conserve what paper I have left and will report again when I have new information.
I may have discovered how this seemingly damned crew sustains itself. The ship does indeed appear to be living organism and it produces a sap-like substance, which itself glows with an unusual amber luminescence. This is, as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, the only food source aboard SCP-XXXX.
My only other choice was to feed on the dead. Something I simply cannot bring myself to do.
Update: I have consumed the sap. I no longer feel hunger or thirst or even a need for sleep. Its warmth staves off the chill, at least for now.
The ocean is full of life. I’ve seen whales. No. Not whales. Whales swim up and down but these creatures moved side to side, much like serpents. Their flesh was as black as the sea but covered in luminescent patterns. Their gaping maws and bulging eyes remind me of Bathypelagic fish, like anglers and gulper eels. These patterns do not seem natural or at least adapted for any environment I can think of. They are like runes or glyphs and some seem so familiar.
Aquatic beasts swim alongside the ship like faceless dolphins. Their vocalizations resemble the laughter of children and leave me thoroughly disturbed.
I see what remains of a great battle. Some ships are still sinking. Others have been shattered, with their debris left floating with the dead. A sea of corpses. A sea of…
The mariners are mournful. Tears roll down their cheeks. They pray. It is deep and strong, like Gregorian chant.
I’ve never heard anything like it, so why does it feel so familiar? They are longing for something. A song of the homeland, to remember better days. I am homesick too but the home I try to remember isn’t right. It feels like the desires of another. Whose dream have I stolen?
I sound like a fool, inferring things without proof.
Focus. Center yourself. You are a scientist. A member of the Foundation. That means something.
But it feels like I’m sleepwalking over my own grave.
An SCP-XXXX-1 looked me right in the eyes today; his milky gaze tells me he saw nothing – his smile told a different story.
No. I would be dead if they knew I was here.
We remember. We sing songs of long lost homes, of weeping wives and children. My brothers speak to me. I died for them. And for them I would face another hundred thousand deaths. How long have I wandered? We are too lost to feel this brave.
I don’t understand. This isn’t me. My name is Stephen Barrett. I am Barrett. I am Arezqi. I was always Arezqi. I have worn so many faces but I was always Arezqi.
We will face our destiny. For deathless brothers and lifeless wives. Tiziri, my love, my light of lights. Still I dream of you, even as I wandered lost in that labyrinth of faces. I knew the beauty of your words, even as I forgot our mother tongue. Your ways were always bringing me to you.
Are you waiting for me? I long to be at your side. Please wait for me. I will see you at the end of all things.
I’m sorry. I’ve not been myself lately. I’ve been of two minds, or three, or four. Part of me wants to destroy this – to deny the undeniable.
It doesn’t matter. Barrett knows to write this. We understand it. We are still Barret. But long before we were Barrett, we were Arezqi. We feared one would overtake the other but we understand now. The memories converge. The past and future unite. We wish we could explain more. There is so much to tell but so little time.
We wish the Foundation to know.
Take this secret. You can never know how much was lost – the eons of pain we endured. But that was the choice. Honor demands we bring this to an end. Our mission is sacred – we will always find our way back. We are bound by oath to return.
The maelstrom is so close now. The way within is clear. We deliver this message to the sea.
Footnotes1. Encrusted debris include pieces of a Phoenician trireme, the sails of a Song era junk, the aft of a Spanish galleon, the bow of a Norse longship, an entire Polynesian voyaging canoe, half of a Mesoamerican raft, a small bronze submarine of unknown origin, a part of a steamship’s hull painted with the letters “W A R A” (hypothesized to be a part of the SS Waratah, which disappeared in 1909 with 211 passengers and crew aboard), and many other fragments too damaged to be identified.
2. However, operatives aboard SCP-XXXX have reported the sound of whispers/grumbling, though the source of this phenomena has yet to be found.
3. A phantom island is a purported island that appeared on maps for a period of time (sometimes centuries) during recorded history, but was later removed after it was proven not to exist.
4. Despite its ominous name, the island of Santanazes lacks the associated legends tied to the larger Antillia.
5. The Tartessian language is the extinct Paleohispanic language of inscriptions in the Southwestern script found in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula. The name is a reference to Tartessos (Greek: Ταρτησσός), a semi-mythical city and the surrounding culture on the south coast of the Iberian Peninsula (in modern Andalusia, Spain), at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River. The city was supposedly destroyed by floods, its ruins buried beneath the swamplands of southern Spain.