rating: +8+x

Item #: SCP-589-FR

Threat Level: Yellow

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-589-FR is to be stored inside a reinforced secure chamber. This chamber is to be constantly monitored by video surveillance, as is required by the standard protocols regarding trans-dimensional anomalies.

Any unprompted activation of the anomaly must be considered a hostile act towards humanity and must trigger evacuation of the site as well as an armed response.

Description: SCP-589-FR refers to a collection of five candle-lit lampposts from the city of Paris dated to the beginning of the XXth century, connected together by a mass of molten cobblestones. The molten base is engraved with 1 to 2 centimeter-wide grooves connecting the lampposts and intertwining into several Oppidic1 symbols.

Traces of chalk and charred human blood have been found in these grooves, indicating a human origin, although those are now encased in the stone. Tracing the item has proven difficult, but it is known that it was one of the artifacts confiscated from the Estate Noire by the SKP under Vichy France before returning to the Estate Noire, and eventually being ceded to the Foundation in accord with the 1973 agreements on the partial privatization of the French anomalous inventory.

The anomaly activates when all lampposts are ignited. The flames will increase in size until they reach the barycenter of all five. After a short time, a red, wooden door with incandescent tempered steel hinges will manifest in the flames. This door, though lacking a keyhole, was originally locked until it was forcefully opened by the Foundation in 1983.

The door leads to a labyrinthine, spiraling sub-reality bubble-universe2 designated SCP-589-FR-A. This micro-universe consists in a massive3 collection of lampposts turning on and off at regular intervals. The ground is entirely covered in a 30-cm thick layer of moth cadavers (several species combined, most of them European) below which is hard bedrock. This space is theorized to be an extension of the ███████████████████ and therefore functions similarly to ████████████████████████████████████.

The lampposts turn on and off following a day-night cycle similar to that of our world (aligned with timezone UTC+1) despite the absence of a sun. The lampposts exploit methane emitted by the cadavers for power, through a poorly understood method. The air in areas devoid of lampposts is unbreatheable, hinting at a role in filtration as well.

Population of SCP-589-FR-A

SCP-589-FR-A is inhabited by a large population of moths. Numerous species are present (2521 identified with certainty), largely correlated to French ecosystems as well as a few tropical species. Most of these individuals wander about the lampposts until their death, typically of starvation. The origin of this population is unknown since the pocket dimension is unfit for their survival due to the lack of food.

All species of moth inside SCP-589-FR-A match identified earthly species, except one, which appears to be viable in this environment. The latter, designated SCP-589-FR-B0, is related to the Miletinae sub-family and presents itself as a large, brown moth with white spots. The species seems to be affected by a development defect that allows individuals to grow indefinitely. Thus, the size of adults greatly varies between specimens, with wingspans ranging from 12 cm to 2.3 m. Specimens can survive around fifty years by feeding on the moth cadavers on the ground, before starving to death once too massive to sustain themselves. Although they generally act as detritus feeders, it appears SCP-589-FR-B0 instances are also capable of predation and are hostile towards humans. Their proboscis is surrounded by two mandibles capable of tearing into flesh, while the proboscis itself is used to deploy another specialized organ attached to it. The latter, termed the parasapiens appendix, consists in a retractable extension of the nervous system, capable of grafting itself onto a foreign nervous system and hijacking it. This organ is sometimes used to take control of other wounded individuals (often other instances of SCP-589-FR-B0).

The target then gradually loses its motor skills and mental faculties to the parasitic instance. Generally, SCP-589-FR-B0 uses the infected individual simply as an "extension" of itself in order to save energy by having it perform various tasks while staying attached like a tick. This effect has been observed on mammals, specifically humans.

Two subspecies of SCP-589-FR-B0 have also been identified among the moth cadavers on the ground, albeit believed to be extinct.

SCP-589-FR-B1, despite many similarities to SCP-589-FR-B0, presents several anomalous physical variations. Most retrieved cadavers have a length of one to two meters and present a primitive cartilage skeleton and a proto-spine in addition to the exoskeleton typical of insects. Several prehensile appendices at the end of the legs, similar to rudimentary hands, can also be observed. Several intact cadavers collected during the "march of the white devils" incident are still detained by the Estate Noire even though most collected instances were found directly inside SCP-589-FR-A.

SCP-589-FR-B2 is a unique individual whose body was also found lifeless inside SCP-589-FR-A. It is a gigantic individual (3.87 m) with atrophied wings, which had been pierced by several sabres and decapitated. It presents the same anomalous traits as SCP-589-FR-B, as well as overdeveloped female genital organs. This anatomical variation is reminiscent of the reproductive systems of some insects with a "queen," although this is not the case for moths.

Of note, SCP-589-FR-B0 are normally gendered and able to reproduce; this is uncertain for SCP-589-FR-B1 however, as no living specimens are available.

Traces of human activity

The door leading to SCP-589-FR-A was locked from the inside when the artifact was recovered by the Foundation. The decision to force the door open was made on 1982/01/30 at 10:30 AM.

The door quickly loosened and opened soon after. The storage room of SCP-589-FR was instantly flooded with heaps of dead moth parts, nearly suffocating the assault team. After cleaning, the team was able to enter SCP-589-FR-A for the first time.

The door was found buried under a large pile of moth cadavers, SCP-589-FR-B0 as well as -B1. The door was also originally blocked by a French flag linking both jambs by a knot around both handles.4

An abandoned, rudimentary campsite was found near the door. Tents had apparently been crafted from horse hide and broken lampposts; some primitive tools made from SCP-589-FR-B0 carapaces and bones have also been found. The bodies of 82 men (probably the Robert-Houdin squadron) have been found charred near the campsite. The corpses appear to have been positioned in rows, as if in a cemetery. Additionally, a human corpse was also found charred near SCP-589-FR-B2. It bore numerous traces of postmortem damage.

Addendum 1: Document confiscated from MC&D

Status Sold
Demand Medium
Value 20,000 francs, possibility of purchasing "parts"
Availability Unique
Identifier Louis-August of France
Description The remains of the last officially crowned king of France. Presents numerous traces of ritual scarification, due to an attempt from ████████████████████████, the last administrator of the Versailles funds, to save the king from the guillotine, then from ████████████████████████████████████████████████ to bring the sovereign back to life.5
Marshall, Carter and Dark, Ltd.

Initial report
Author William T. Tomslow Date 1856/12/12
Interest Medium Identifier Louis-August of France
Article purchased from Andrée de Saint-Juste, broker in Paris, preserved in a barrel of formaldehyde.

This article presents an interest for necromancers wishing to study the ritual scars, as well as a few absolutist lodges.6

Since the corpse is fairly well preserved, a quick and definitive sale is probably best: the skin can be tanned and sold individually if needed. Can be auctioned, complete or as parts.
File opened under: FR84P/PS176/921AA
Marshall, Carter and Dark, Ltd.

Tracking information
Owner Date Comments
Patrice Petiot, gravedigger at the Madaleine cemetery 21 January 1793 Swapped the body with a commoner's.
Hubert Legrand, showman 1 February 1793 Purchased the article for his cabinet of curiosities.
Julius Montartre, former Versailles estate agent 14 April 1801 Acquired the article when the contents of Hubert Legrand's cabinet of curiosities were auctioned after his death.
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Andrée de Saint-Juste, broker 25 July 1888 Acquired the article for retail. Rented the article "for studying purposes" to various French necromancers.
Marshall, Carter and Dark, Ltd. 10 February 1933 Acquired the article for speculation.
Jean-Eliot de Tricot, grand-master of the Monarch's Lodge 02 March 1933 Purchased the article as a whole for 20,000 francs.
Marshall, Carter and Dark, Ltd.

Addendum 2: A royalist song, the anthem of the absolutist Monarch's Lodge

Oh, how we were devastated
But the faithful staid united
The King is dead, long live the King,
For France and the Cross, we shall sing

When they went to bury the brave
In this deep trench they called a grave
Never could they anticipate
That the King could resuscitate

But even the moths, in the end
Have better tastes than these bellends
His grave was covered in flowers
The winged queen used her powers

He will soon return to the court
The winged queen found her consort
In her fertile, regal domain
The blue blood will flourish again

The Earth shall be walked by our Lord
His old kingdom will be restored
His people shall no longer mourn
For the King's sons will be reborn!

The sans-culottes7 had no honor,
They had no pride or dignity
One day they will know the terror
Of the revenge of purity

The few who admit their abuse,
Maybe they will be spared the noose
For the others, there are no hopes
Their blood shall stain the stony slopes

So be glad you sung and you smiled,
The winged queen will bear her child.
Then all of the nation will sing,
The France we love, ruled by a King.

Addendum 3: Summary of the "march of the white devils" incident

On February 6th, 1934, a large anti-parliament rally is held in Paris, initiated by influential French far-right leagues in protest against the dismissal of police prefect Jean Chiappe following the Stavisky affair. Attending movements and parties include Action Française, the King's Camelots, the Francist party, the League of Patriots, the Croix-de-Feu, Solidarité Française. The Paris police prefecture is tasked with managing the protest under the supervision of Édouard Daladier8 himself. At the last moment, Lucien Desmartres, Mischief-Sergeant of the National Gendastrerie, is assigned to the emergency crisis unit due to suspicions that absolutist lodges might be involved.

A riot rapidly erupts at the Place de la Concorde and near the Solférino bridge, necessitating almost the entirety of the Republican Guard to defend the Palais Bourbon.9 Shots are fired, and the march rapidly devolves into street combat. Several injuries by firearm are reported while the military council receives reports of a dissident group, headed not towards the Palais Bourbon, but towards the Luxembourg Palace10. A detachment of the Mobile Guard is sent in as reinforcements to stop this second group.

At 8:03 PM, a messenger quickly signals the presence of several absolutist lodges in the second rally: the anthem of the Monarch's Lodge has been heard, banners from the Prussian Lodge and the Staunch Man League have been seen. Lucien Desmartres immediately warns the danger unit, but amidst the surrounding chaos, few troops are available for deployment in the second rally. A battalion of the Republican Guard is sent with the order to charge and disperse for lack of a better option, while Gendastrerie troops are ordered to join the Republican Guard on Boulevard Saint-Germain.

By 8:37 PM (Half an hour later), the entire Guard contingent has reportedly been neutralized. The few surviving gendarmes describe large, winged creatures the size of imps storming the boulevard and attacking wounded individuals on sight. Although a number of casualties are reported, military as well as civilian, the crowd still has not dispersed. The "devils"11 have been observed attaching themselves to the injured and the dead like ticks, before forcing them to throw themselves into the barricades like disjointed puppets. All Parisian gendastrerie troops are mobilized and sent to the "Saint-Germain front."

The situation escalates before the arrival of the troops, and when they do arrive, the Luxembourg Palace is already surrounded by a lobotomized crowd: the gate seems to have resisted so far. The troops merely attempt to slow the crowd's advance and shoot down the "devils" attempting to flee the scene. The rally is charged several times to no avail, claiming more lives on the military side than the protester side.

In the following two hours, the gendastres only managed to lose ground to uninterrupted waves of these devils. Neighboring protests prevent the use of heavy weaponry or gas while also hindering the barricades' resupplying. The number of infected protesters is estimated to 81,000. The most significant risk would be the infected rally merging with the Palais Bourbon riot: such a gathering would have disastrous consequences.

Due, once again, to neighboring protests, evacuating the area is impossible. The devils' protest is still making ground, the situation is untenable. Several assaults are conducted, to no avail. There seems to be no viable solution in this context; regular gendarmerie and police reinforcements are deployed, but their ignorance of occult matters only aggravates the situation. By 10:00 PM, the main rally and the devils' rally are only three streets apart: the defense perimeter has grown by a factor of four and is becoming unruly, the Luxembourg Palace has been unreachable for more than an hour. The swarm of winged devils shows no signs of waning.

Mischief-Sergeant L. Desmartres suggests outright sacrificing the 5th and 6th arondissements12 to a heavy thaumaturgic attack, the only practicable option to save the city at this point: a merge of the two rallies could possibly double the number of infections.

Joseph Teyssèdre, commander of the Robert-Houdin squadron, then asks for permission to conduct a final assault before abandoning the capital's city-center. L. Desmartres initially refuses, but eventually accepts following Édouard Daladier's wishes.

The "charge of the final chance" begins at 10:20 PM.

By 11:00 PM, the last few isolated devils wander passively above the boulevard. Parasited protesters are motionless, allowing capture and neutralization of the parasite. Despite serious injuries, they gradually regain control of themselves. No traces of the Robert-Houdin squadron can be found.

On 1934/02/19, the headquarters of the Monarch's Lodge are raided during the "white night," signifying the end of the last absolutist lodges.

Addendum 5: Excerpt of G. ██████'s international lecture at the gendastrerie training site of Cergy

One must understand that the absolutist leagues incident was a terrible blow to the French State, a bittersweet victory, the consecration of our occult expertise, but also its demise.

A number of foreign observers who witnessed the situation as it happened fled the capital, announcing the end of Paris and the Republic. One must understand that the danger was so imminent that more than a month later, the American embassy had to formally deny the fall of Paris to its administration because it seemed so inevitable; In the following year, several of the world's leading arcanists and thaumaturgy magnates petitioned the French State to confirm the existence of a corporeal Paris. When war broke out seven years later, the possibility of a non-ravaged Paris was still debated by part of the German administration; when the city was captured, the SKP transferred all related records to their headquarters in Berlin in order to understand the situation, to no avail.

What occurred and saved Paris that day has been dubbed the "French miracle," but this miracle has a name: the Robert-Houdin squadron of the National Gendastrerie. It was an elite body, 106 abjurants trained from birth, hand-picked children of the Nation: treasures of the Republic.

Contrary to certain rumors, they were at the center of no prophecy, nor were they particularly well-equipped, since France had indeed respected the anomalous armament ban from after the Great War. All they had was a sabre, a kepi and a baton; and of course, love for their motherland and the Republic. The squadron had nothing but know-how.

The fact that Paris houses the largest population of reality benders in Europe is often overlooked: the city is like a piece of Swiss cheese where their hideouts have always flourished, as demonstrated by the yellow doors affair. Paris is oozing with their influence: the Court of Miracles was for a long time more than just a name; the absurdities of the Catacombs are often overlooked, as are the cannibal buses, the tree of the flayed… Nowadays, nobody remembers that Léon Gambetta never fled the city aboard a hot air balloon, but that it was chartered in a hurry to catch the poor man.

The important part is that France and its capital have always followed this peculiar pace, and had to understand and adapt to survive. To fully understand the "French miracle," we must backtrack to the very definition of a reality bender. It is a monster, an aberrant creature, a splinter of life. A reality bender does not truly live: they would need to be aware that they exist.

A reality bender is a being that unwillingly manipulates the surrounding reality, that lives off of it: according to some scholars, they are even less than that; they are merely the shifting that they cause, they are a gust of reality. All of this to say that a reality bender only exists through the effects we attribute to them, they unconsciously feeds on our perception of them. This fact, theorized fairly recently, has actually been known since the Middle-Ages in France. It is the very basis of so-called "Parisian demonology:" believing in a demon to create a demon, which with a bit of luck, will grant one's wishes. This is French savoir-faire, and core knowledge for any abjurant. Believing before seeing, rejecting Saint Thomas. If you do not lend these monsters your belief, you are safe: do not think, proceed, apply the protocol. Follow orders. This procedure is never stupid, since it solves the issue. And if the abjurant is convinced that the procedure will work, then it will, because their zeal causes doubt in the enemy. A bender is nothing more than the reflection we give off, and the reflection of a bender by a gendastre is something that can be fixed by following orders. And that time, the orders were to use their batons.

It was very likely nothing more than a singular bender manipulated by the Monarch's Lodge, a monster who was fed with the image of their own power and then had their back broken by batons. Picture it, you are about to conquer Paris, you have crushed all resistance so far, and you end up face to face with a squadron of madmen charging you on horseback, then continuing on foot to whack you with their batons. Picture the horror of an entire squadron convinced that they can take you down by hitting you, and doing it; imagine for one single second, that, against all odds, in a moment of weakness, it could work. Then it's the end, proof has been made, the procedure works. That is what happened during the incident: the monster's doubts against the republican zeal of our men.

Deep impact craters were found in the streets. Some must have been convinced that they were carrying all of the Republic's hopes on the tip of their batons, in a very literal sense, bodies were found mutilated and cleanly sliced, a gendastre's sabre slicing evil. That day, the Robert-Houdin squadron liberated Paris and saved France; and rather than retreating, they charged the eye of the hurricane and vanished in the fog, for a threat cannot be left free, and evil, unpunished. What happened to these few, no one truly knows, but when day broke, the capital was saved.

Thus, the very best of the French Gendastrerie vanished, in a Pyrrhic victory: it is said they were lamented, missed, honored, and presented with so many medals that empty caskets had never been this heavy; but even thirty years later, their prowess was not comprehended by anyone outside of their motherland.

Addendum 6: Article by Jean Fernand, correspondent for the French press in New York City, 1958

Today, dear reader, I will recount a most peculiar story. As you know, our national holiday is is always a nostalgic moment for the expatriate that is yours truly, and I had decided to go for a walk outside. I was roaming the streets, humming childhood songs under my breath while enjoying the lenient summer weather on this side of the pond. Without paying much attention, my focus drifted to military marches and patriot songs, and soon enough, I was proudly singing our national anthem: if I could not be in France, then France would have to come with me on this duly-arrived day of glory. Thoughtlessly, I began the chorus when an elderly woman gripped my hand, eyes full of tears. For a moment, I feared to have been a nuisance and apologized profusely — a patriot, yes, but a gentleman first and foremost — but on the contrary, she encouraged me to continue. Intrigued, I honored her wishes. I had barely begun the second verse when she burst into tears in my arms, much to my surprise, begging me to continue. As I carried on, I watched tears of joy run down her cheeks. The poor lady did not speak a word of French and yet there she was, more patriotic than any of us! Once I was finished, she thanked me a thousand times for allowing her to hear the "Lamppost song" again.

I then explained that it was the French anthem, the Marseillaise, but she was having none of it. "The Lamppost song," she repeated over and over like a mantra.

She explained that, born into a poor Pennsylvanian family, she had always dreamed of seeing Paris. After enough saving, her husband — deceased last year, she specified — managed to take her there before the war, in 1937. As fascism was creeping up on Europe, her heart was rejoicing, such is the power of the City of Light. She described the city with such passion, such love that I myself felt tears forming in the corners of my eyes. She told me of the Louvre, of Notre Dame, of the Seine, of the restaurants in the Faubourgs, of long, romantic walks in the parks, through the streets, of love flourishing until daybreak, of these moments of complicity that can be lived only there. Life, passion and fully committed love, until the end, until you collapse onto a bench and into a lover's arms, and listen to the lampposts sing.

She was as certain as can be that the Marseillaise was sung to her in 1937 by a lamppost of the capital, as her husband was putting the ring on her finger, and that the song started at the first postal number of the street, stopped at their position after the second verse, before continuing along the banks of the Seine.

The nostalgic widow only let me go after I promised to come back and sing this song, "their" song, a favor that I could not refuse; but fellow patriot, know that while you forget the words at every parade, there could be a lamppost somewhere that knows them by heart; and know that to these notes, somewhere far away, people did not just make war.

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