rating: +4+x

Item #: SCP-CN-404

Object Class: Keter

Special Containment Procedures: All SCP-CN-404-0 phrases are to be stored on exactly one portable data storage medium, located in a high-threat memetic material storage safe at Site-CN-██, and classified as a Level 4 infohazard. Testing relating to SCP-CN-404 is restricted to Class D personnel. With the exception of test subjects, all personnel involved in experiments are to be administered Class A amnestics and monitored in quarantine to prevent the spread of SCP-CN-404. The creation of SCP-CN-404-1 instances for testing requires the approval of at least one member of Level 5 personnel. All SCP-CN-404-1 are to be contained in individual high-risk organism containment chambers and may be provided with items in accordance with standard Foundation protocol; however, interaction with SCP-CN-404-1 is to be limited to 3 hours per person, and personnel interacting with SCP-CN-404-1 are not to come into contact with other personnel during interaction. After any interaction with SCP-CN-404-1, all personnel connected to the subject by 8 or fewer human interactions is to be administered Class A amnestics. All other personnel infected by SCP-CN-404 are to undergo evaluation, and may be terminated if necessary; interaction with these personnel is also subject to the aforementioned amnestics procedures. All documents on subjects infected by SCP-CN-404 are to be specially saved; retrieval of these documents must be approved by at least one Level 4 member of personnel and must be followed with amnesticization using Class A amnestics.

As it is currently impossible to determine whether SCP-CN-404 has been fully contained, Mobile Task Force Zeta-17 "Bad Guys" has been established and is to monitor the status of SCP-CN-404.

Note: A non-lethal memetic contagion based on SCP-███ with low infection rate has been developed; we are requesting to disseminate it in order to rapidly detect SCP-CN-404 infection. — Dr. █████ ███████

Rejected. It is not acceptable to use one kind of memetic contagion to contain another, no matter how "harmless" you claim it to be. — Ο5-CN-█

Description: SCP-CN-404 is an infection that spreads through behavioral transmission. Direct contact (reading or hearing) SCP-CN-404-0 or interacting with an infected subject beyond a certain threshold results in infection. Standard infected subjects are designated SCP-CN-404-1; these make up 98% of all infected. The disease begins with memetic immunity expressed in the form of loss of sensory capabilities, and eventually results in death due to neurological atrophy. The process consists of four stages:

  1. Incubation period: During this period, the subject possesses relatively low infectiousness and does not exhibit any prominent anomalies. Most subjects in this stage exhibit an aversion to negative culture and behavior. The incubation period lasts 1 to 3 days, during which the infected can be cured by application of class A amnestics.
  2. Positive period: During this period, when the subject is exposed to harmful memetic contamination, the sensory faculty perceiving the memetic contamination will be disabled (it is not known whether it is the sensory organ, the relevant transmission pathway or the sensory center that is affected; limited anatomical evidence seems to indicate that the affected portion seems to be the cortical sensory center), typically completely preventing the subject from perceiving the memetic contamination and therefore preventing its harmful effects. Of note is that when encountering memes of an ambiguous nature, a certain degree of divergence in the subject's response emerged, causing some subjects to perceive the memes in question. After being removed from the vicinity of the memetic contamination, the affected sense will slowly recover. Sight and hearing recovers in 1 ~ 120 minutes; the time required for consciousness and smell to recover have not been measured due to limited testing. As the severity of the infection increases, the time needed to recover likewise increases. From the beginning of this stage onward, the infection is irreversible and transmissible; according to measurements, a 3-hour-long interaction will lead to a 10% chance of infection, and a total of 12 hours of interaction leads to a 70% infection rate or higher. Infected subjects' aversion to negative culture and behavior also increases in this stage; when expressing this aversion, the subject seems to avoid expressing behavior and language with negative connotations, leading to anxiety and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. This stage can last as few as 15 days or as many as 332 days.
  3. Negative period: During this period, the range of stimuli that can lead to sensory disabling will rapidly expand, typically to the point of encompassing all negative memetic stimuli, such as the perception of smoking, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, foul language and gestures, and speech possessing negative undertones. During this period, subjects experience severe anxiety, which is suspected to be due to constant loss of perception; subjects also appear to be less willing to criticize negative aspects of the surrounding culture, which is thought to be due to the negative connotations inherent to this criticism. Sensory loss caused by common negative memetic stimuli reverts within 1 ~ 15 minutes, while sensory loss caused by explicitly harmful memetic stimuli takes longer to revert, lasting anywhere from 1 to more than 12 hours. This stage typically lasts between 15 and 30 days.
  4. Terminal period: During this period, the infected subject begins to show symptoms of neural atrophy and constant, unconditional sensory loss; treatment using hormones is ineffective, and subjects typically lose life signs within 7 days due to cardiac arrest or respiratory failure. When the subject is in this stage, termination is automatically authorized.

Some subjects exist that did not undergo the standard infection process; the following such instances are recorded:

SCP-CN-404-E: This group of subjects is seemingly immune to SCP-CN-404 infection. Nonetheless, all such instances, other than Dr. ████, are under the control of the Foundation and interactions with them are subject to standard amnesticization procedures to prevent possible infection. The Foundation currently possesses records of six of these instances, namely four D-class personnel, one low-level agent and one high-level researcher (who is not contained by unanimous O5 vote).

SCP-CN-404-2: This group of subjects' symptoms remained in the positive period and did not display further changes; they have are contained identically to SCP-CN-404-1. The Foundation possesses records of ██ of these instances.

SCP-CN-404-4: The Foundation currently has records of only one instance of this kind. Dr. ████ ██████ was a little-known social Daoist prior to his employment by the Foundation; following his exposure to SCP-CN-404 in violation of containment protocol, he became immune to all memetic SCPs' effects while not possessing any infectious properties himself. During this period, he helped with containment of █ anomalies possessing highly dangerous memetic properties. 301 days later, Dr. ████ entered Stage 3 (determined after comparison with standard infection process), becoming quick to anger and killing several "poorly behaved" Class D personnel. He quickly became unstable and was executed after killing █ members of personnel for "misconduct".

Note: It's a shame we didn't get to see this guy's terminal period. — Dr. ████████

LOG-CN-404-085:Interview with D-20116 (SCP-CN-404-1 in the negative phase)

SCP-CN-404-0 is the designation for all phrases that can induce SCP-CN-404 infection. These phrases mostly contain proverbs similar to "those who work with vermilion become red, those who are work with ink become black" coming from various periods in Chinese history that relate to the value of staying away from bad influences, and are interspersed with phrases similar in structure that carry no real meaning. Experiments in which these additional phrases were isolated did not lead to observable effects.

Some of the original proverbs from which SCP-CN-404-0 are derived include:

To stay with good people is like being in a room of orchids till you have become used to the fragrance; to stay with bad people is like being in a room of salted fish till you have become used to the stench.

Those who work with vermilion become red, those who are work with ink become black.

A horseweed growing among hemp grows straight without support; a grain of white sand in the mud becomes black.

One in the company of good people learns from good people, one in the company of bastards learns from bastards.

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