Item #: SCP-198-FR
Threat level: Red ●
Object Class: Keter
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-198-FR is to be contained at Site-198-FRb; under no circumstance are the objects to be transferred off-site. The objects must be kept in an 8m3 room, locked by a steel-armored door. This door must be equipped with a fingerprint reader, a digital keypad, and two separate conventional locks. Two Level 4 personnel must keep with them one key each, while the site Director is to be given the digital code as well as have their fingerprint exclusively registered on the reader. The cell door must be kept closed under any circumstance.
All Site-198-FRb personnel are strictly forbidden from leaving the Site, and offenders shall be executed. Personnel from other facilities are strictly forbidden from coming on-Site, and offenders shall be transferred to Site-198-FRb, by force if necessary. Site-198-FRb personnel must receive all the psychological help they require from remote services.
As soon as a member of Site-198-FRb personnel dies, they must be immediately replaced by a new member of personnel within their field.
The application of Protocol 198-FR-01 must be systematic and executed with a strict rigor. For Site-198-FRb containment personnel: The protocol is described at the end of the report. (Site-198-FRb containment personnel are automatically granted with Level 4-198-FR clearance).
Description: SCP-198-FR is a set of the seven volumes of Edward Gibbon's essay, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Each book measures 19x11x2 centimeters and has a black leather cover. On the front cover of each book is the written title, its corresponding volume number in Roman numerals and the name of the author. On the spine of each book, there is the title, its corresponding volume number in Roman numerals and the representation of a Roman-style column degrading as the number of the volume increases. On the third page of each book is the following preface:
The Better Man will never see the light of day if we keep repeating the mistakes of the past. This work will help us to apprehend the complex mechanisms of our society and its decline, and will thus spare us from decay.
Lux Lucet In Tenebris
- A Gentleman
This preface seems to be exclusive to these volumes and was never found in another edition. Furthermore, these books do not hold Gibbon's work, but another essay written in the same style, in English, relating in the same way as the original work, the decline of a society affected by SCP-198-FR. The texts changes each time the object affects a new institution, writing by itself- in an unknown manner- the story of the decay of this institution.
SCP-198-FR is able to dissolve every institution or human social construct. Regarding the nature of this institution (family, government, religious community, etc…), the dissolution process can take place in different ways, but always results in the vanishing of the institution's social cohesion. The time of the decline leading to the dissolution is proportional to the size of said institution. Moreover, the larger the institution, the more complex and/or numerous the causes of its decline will be. Nothing seems to be able to stop the societal collapse of an institution affected by SCP-198-FR. In most cases, the members of the institution are not aware of its decline, even though said members are the main actors of this degeneration.
A powerful memetic effect is the origin of SCP-198-FR's effects on societies; it seems to inspire the exposed subjects to an idea of senescence, which pushes them to lead one of their institutions to decay. The affected institution seems to be chosen randomly among the subjects' institutions, but only in the case of contact between the object and a subject- in the case of subject-to-subject transmission, the affected institution stays the same. The effect spreads from individual to individual, speeding up the process of societal collapsing as more subjects become actors of this collapsing (even if unconsciously). The effect of SCP-198-FR can be regarded as a memetic virus. The meme can spread in three ways: visual contact between the object and a subject, visual contact between a photograph of the object and a subject, and visual contact between an affected subject with an unaffected subject. Each book independently possesses the memetic effect, thus it is not necessary for the object to affect a society that all seven books are together. No amnestic of any type seems to be able to erase the memetic effect from a subject's mind.
In some cases, the collapse of an institution and the disappearing of social links that characterize it leads to extreme behavior, such as homicide, by people that did not posses any predisposition to such behavior. Said behaviors fully are a part of the decay provoked by SCP-198-FR.
Tensions that already existed in an institution before being affected by SCP-198-FR can speed up the process of decline provoked by the object. This means that any form of discrimination or hatred towards people of the same institution are used by the object in the societal collapsing process, making it faster. Thus, the more cohesive a society is, the more time it will require for its full collapse.
A containment breach of SCP-198-FR could lead to a SK-Class scenario.
SCP-198-FR was discovered in July of 2007 by a civilian archeological expedition in the Sahara Desert. The members of the expedition were exposed to the object and driven to tear the expedition's structure apart. When the archaeologists' reports began to describe installations that were disturbingly close to those used by the Foundation in the 1930's, field agents were sent to the location in order to falsify the compromising reports.
The agents sent on site by the Foundation after the disappearance of the archaeological expedition thereby re-discovered Zone-198-FR, a former containment facility built in 1929 in order to contain SCP-198-FR. Built in the middle of the desert, its aim was to take away the object from any human society. It seems that Zone-198-FR's personnel were victims of SCP-198-FR's effects. The reason why this Zone was forgotten and disappeared from the Foundation's records is unknown. It is supposed that this forgetting was voluntary and ordered by the 1930's Foundation's command in order to eliminate any risk of carrying the memetic effects of SCP-198-FR.
Addendum-01 : SCP-198-FR can affect- simultaneously- several institutions. The essay written in the books will then deal with the decay of the first institution affected. However, the speed of societal collapsing of each institution will decrease in an inversely proportional manner with the number of affected institutions, meaning the more institutions are affected, the slower their decay.
Addendum-02 : At the end of 2007, a link was established between a 1993 report by Agent Vickers and SCP-198-FR. The agent, at the time embedded in Marshall, Carter and Dark's London Auction, discovered the report of a transaction- dated from 1807- between said group of interest and [REDACTED] about SCP-198-FR.
What happened to the object between its use by [REDACTED] in 1807 and its containment in 1929 is still unknown.