SCP-4637
rating: 0+x

Item #: SCP-4637

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: Any retrieved instance of SCP-4637 is to be kept in a refrigerated containment vault at site-77, in its original vessel. Research staff with Level 3 or higher clearance may request access to SCP-4637. No more than 0.5mL of SCP-4637 may be sampled for any given trial on a live subject. No more than 0.1mL may be sampled for in vitro tests or attempts at replicating SCP-4637.

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Description:
SCP-4637 is an aqueous solution of glucose and lysergic acid diethylamide in which micro-particles are in suspension. The particles are composed of several nested phospholipid bilayers housing unidentified proteins analogous to prions.

SCP-4637 can induce a highly anomalous permanent shift in cerebral activity (dubbed "dual consciousness"). Its potential benefits to specialized personnel dealing with psychological hazards are under study [pending discontinuation].

Origin of the item

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Currently contained instances of SCP-4637.

Two vessels containing SCP-4637 have been retrieved: a 5L barrel found in the apartment of Ms. A. Böhm1, and a 10mL vial that motivated the arrest of Mr. F. Moulder after he was found disrupting the public order in a state of psychosis2. Both culprits acquired their instance of SCP-4637 online from a supplier whose identity they didn't know (besides the pseudonyms "Larissa DE" and "Slgkt"3), under the assumption that they were purchasing LSD. No faults were found in the anonymity of the supplier.

Properties of the item

When ingested, SCP-4637 initially triggers the reactions expected from non-anomalous LSD. However, after 3 to 5 weeks, most subjects show a very brief intense relapse in effects followed by an abrupt shift in behavior.

Most of them report the sensation that they have spent the period between ingestion and the relapse with no motor control over their body, and claim that another consciousness was acting as them 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. All observations suggest that the first consciousness (hereafter named ⍺) and the second one (hereafter named β) are identical duplicates of the mind of the subject, with equal claims to being the original.

Similar relapse events then occur again cyclically on an irregular basis ranging from hours to years, each time swapping the ability to control the body between ⍺ and β.

One particular side effect is observed in many male subjects (71 out of 86) but only a minority of female subjects (35 out of 319): they report a strongly dampened awareness of their surroundings and of the passage of time during all the periods spent as "observers" (dubbed dreamlike perception), while the general case is a state of full clarity of mind (dubbed lucid perception).

The most notable measurable symptom of SCP-4637 ingestion is a stark decrease in connectivity between the frontal lobe and the Broca area4 as well as the motor function area. Surgical interventions intended to alter the effects have been inconclusive.

One of the female subjects with hyper-androgenic traits was found able to voluntarily induce relapse events5. Furthermore, she is the only one who has experienced both lucid and dreamlike episodes. The potential value of such control over the effects of SCP-4637 cannot be overstated as it would enable crucial applications [pending discontinuation] to the apprehension of some cognitohazards by human workers, and to the management of classified information.


Addenda:

  • For details about SCP-4637-related events outside Foundation facilities, surveillance measures, and efforts to retrieve the source of the product, c.f. document AFR-4637-3.
  • For details about the biochemistry of the prion-like proteins SCP-4637 contains, c.f. document AC-4637-3.
  • For details about the neurology of affected subjects, c.f. document AN-4637-5.

Among the following material, interview excerpts (#1 through #4) are most relevant to personnel about to work with dual consciousness subjects. Resilient psychological barriers to a productive mindset following the first relapse event remain the most dire setback in the elaboration of protocols for efficient SCP-4637 exploitation. The personal accounts of test subjects have therefore been a key area of focus.

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Interview excerpt #1:

Subject #009: Male, 22 years old. Call center agent. Experiences lucid episodes.
Mr. Moulder was a regular user of psychedelics prior to his purchase of SCP-4637. The interview took place shortly after a swap to instance ⍺, reported to be the 7th swap since initial ingestion.

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

Subject #009-⍺: Um, 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 itchy everywhere. And 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", like explaining everything you know.

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 not trust anything I say," but, yeah, I couldn't talk of course. And I started to calm down and figure it out.

Dr. C. Zhu: This… doesn't seem fully compatible with the working hypothesis that both you and it are the same person. If you adjusted so quickly to your new state, why was it still so distraught after it had a whole month to adjust?

Subject #009-⍺: Uh, sorry if I've been unclear, I'm trying to tell the events as I perceived them back then, you know-

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

Subject #009-⍺: But, yeah, even though I stopped panicking fast, I did start to get fucking distraught too just like him after I spent a month trapped in there! Like, he didn't help me or acknowledge me. But when we finally switched again, now we both knew about each other, so I started talking to him and comforting him, you know? 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.

Dr. C. Zhu: This is 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, in addition 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 no, I've never thought about that…

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

Such a cooperative reaction was most common in subjects with numerous prior mild experiences with psychological dissociation (whether drug-induced or symptomatic of schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder). Nonetheless, attempts to capitalize on this by administering dissociative drugs to prospective subjects before SCP-4637 ingestion failed to reduce the prevalence of unproductive behaviors (such as panic attacks, self-harm, suicide attempts, uncooperativeness towards staff, stress-induced exhaustion, lack of focus, apathy towards most stimuli, and/or explosive anger episodes). Other approaches (c.f. addendum #5) are currently under study [pending discontinuation].

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