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Occurrence of SCP-201-FR at the beginning of Stage 2 on the left arm of D-8559.

Item #: SCP-201-FR

Threat Level: Yellow

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: Subjects presenting signs of a Stage 1 or 2 instance of SCP-201-FR should be confined to a standard humanoid cell for the duration of treatment or until Stage 3 is reached. Successfully treated subjects may be reinstated in society as described in Schedule 201-FR-T-6 to T-10. SCP-201-FR instances that are not transportable and/or have reached Stage 3 must be confined to the location of their discovery; any affected residential area must be placed in quarantine and given a Site number as soon as possible. Due to the wide disparity presented by the instances, each must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the research team, whether for treatment, palliative care or space provided.

Researchers wishing to examine a SCP-201-FR instance and/or communicate with it in any way must wear a standard biological risk suit. Any staff member who may have been contaminated by direct contact with a SCP-201-FR instance must be placed in quarantine for a period of at least fourteen (14) days. If no clinical signs of SCP-201-FR have appeared by the end of this period, the quarantine may be lifted.

Any sample taken from an instance of SCP-201-FR must be stored in the cryogenic storage unit of the Biological Research section of Site Aleph.

The Department of External Affairs must ensure that no official school program actively encourages the use of the Ars memoriae as mnemonic means.

Description: SCP-201-FR is a set of symptoms and clinical signs presented by subjects who regularly practice the Art of Memory (Ars memoriae), also called Method of Loci.

The Ars memoriae is a mnemonic practice dating back to antiquity (first described around 85 BC in the book Rhetorica ad Herennium (Herennius Rhetoric), of which the author is unknown), allowing to memorize a list of elements or to think more easily about the solution of a problem. Its practical implementation consists in visualizing a familiar place, to which are added the elements of the list to be retained or the components of the problem to be solved. This type of imaginary place has often been called "memory palace" or inner palace since the 16th century. This practice exploits the brain's ability to memorize and analyze images more easily than words or abstract concepts. Although this method is no longer taught as part of the school curriculum, it continues to be used informally. There are still traces of it in the French and English languages ("in the first place", "in the second place").

Given that it is impossible to know what percentage of the world's population uses this mnemonic practice or not, it is difficult to estimate what proportion of Memory Art users are affected by SCP-201-FR.

SCP-201-FR consists of a non-lethal mutation of the skin, then keratinous tissues, then muscle and bone structure in the affected person. The trigger(s) for SCP-201-FR are still poorly understood, but the progression from one mutation stage to another seems to be directly related to the complexity of the memory palace created and maintained by the subject. For this reason, cases taken care of in the initial stages (1 or 2 in some cases) can be treated with aggressive chemotherapy combined with memory altering treatment to erase the "memory palace" created by the subject (details available on request from annex documents 201-FR-T-6 to T-10).


Stage 3 of the development of SCP-201-FR as seen by the surveillance camera at Site 201-FR-26 (prison of R█████).

Any subject who has reached stage 3 must be considered non-human and unfit to receive treatment (see Ethics Committee decision of 07/07/1988).

  • Stage 1: The trigger for this phase is still poorly understood despite the number of instances studied. The subject experiences unnecessary cell growth of the skin, manifested as extensive eczema, sometimes containing benign tumours that do not endanger the subject's life. This skin mutation begins in 75% of cases on an arm (usually the left arm for right-handed people and the right arm for left-handed people), 20% on a leg and 5% on the left side of the face. At the same time, the subject frequently reports dreaming of the memory palace they have imagined, as well as of the objects that have been placed there. It is difficult to verify whether this element is a constant given that some subjects (like any human being) do not remember their dreams.
    • The duration of this phase varies considerably from one subject to another, with some never reaching Stage 2.
  • Stage 2: The mutation of the skin extends to the majority of the subject's body and begins to reorganize its underlying structures (tendons, muscles, etc.) and surface structures (fingernails, hair, moles, etc.) in order to force them to adopt more or less identifiable but stylized reliefs, evoking most of the time a landscape or a surrealist city. These mutations hinder the subject's movements, as they become more and more sedentary. At the same time, the subject frequently endures crises during which they are projected into the landscape in question, which apparently acts as "provinces" surrounding the subject's memory palace. During these crises, the subject frequently sees himself as a leading figure in these "provinces". From their point of view, it is a world in its own right, populated by inhabitants, with its specific laws, seasons, fauna and flora. This phase seems very disconcerting for the subjects, who are suffering from increasing disorientation.
    • The duration of this phase varies considerably from one subject to another, with some never reaching Stage 3.
  • Stage 3: The mutation extends to the subject's nervous, venous and bone structures and internal organs, and gradually causes them to lose their human appearance until they resemble entirely an immobile landscape in relief, adhering to the nearest surface (wall, floor, etc.), representing a detailed map of the "provinces" surrounding their memory palace. The majority of subjects at this stage no longer seem to need to eat (some Sites currently contain subjects that have not been fed for decades due to a lack of visible mouth or vein to install a drip). It is particularly difficult to communicate with subjects who have reached this stage, as they seem to fully consider their existence as a leading figure in their "provinces" as the one and only reality.

The "geography" of SCP-201-FR "provinces" varies considerably from one instance to another and appears to be directly related to the interests of the affected subject. The most notable Stage 3 cases studied include:

  • An organic troglodyte cliff of twelve (12) square meters overhanging a memory palace fixed to the ground in the case of a twenty-nine (29) year old subject who particularly enjoys mountaineering (see picture above),
  • A six (6) square meters science fiction city lit by bioluminescence in the case of a thirty-five (35) year old subject who particularly enjoys the cyberpunk card game "Netrunner",
  • A rainforest evoking an extraterrestrial environment of nine (9) square meters in the case of a fifty-four (54) year old subject who was a botanical researcher with NASA,
  • A ten (10) square meters pseudomedieval surrealist kingdom in the case of a twenty-one (21) year old subject who particularly appreciates the works of the painter Hieronymus Bosch (see Addendum 201-45).

SCP-201-FR is apparently capable of being transmitted by direct physical contact between an affected individual and an unaffected one. Apparently, the fact that the unaffected subject in direct physical contact with the affected subject knows of the existence of the Art of Memory would be imperative for the transmission to take place. This item and other transmission modalities are still under discussion within the research team assigned to the SCP-201-FR instances. However, it seems that the "provinces" of memory palaces created by transmitting SCP-201-FR to a new subject are somewhat different from those created by the spontaneous appearance of SCP-201-FR in a subject: subjects affected by transmission having reached Stage 2 invariably consider the subject who affected them as the leading figure of their "provinces" (king/queen, president, god/goddess, etc).

Addendum 201-45: Diary of Entity 201-45

Addendum: Decision of the Ethics Committee of 07/07/1988


To: Researcher ████████

From: Ethics Committee of Site Aleph

RE: Response to the 201-FR Request

After three rounds of votes over a two-day period, involving many abstentions by our members, the Committee decided by 9 votes to 5 that the SCP-201-FR instances at Stage 3 could not be considered as human subjects but as miniature biospheres.

This decision was made taking into account the extreme difficulty or even impossibility of communicating with any subject who became an instance of SCP-201-FR in Stage 3, and the scarce direct testimonies of subjects in Stage 3, the latter having become individuals belonging to the biosphere that was formed from their physical body rather than individuals aware of being a biosphere.

Therefore, please now apply the protocol available as an attachment for all said instances as soon as possible.

- Director █████

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