Acquired among the personal effects of the late Dr. Bishop.
Dr. Aloisius Bishop, D.Phil, Eng.D
March 15, ████
As per request of Dr. Von Schnitt and Regulator ██████████, I have accepted the assignment regarding SCP-808. Many questions have arisen as of late in light of recent discoveries. Specifically:
- The discovery of SCP-727, which names SCP-808 directly and warns of "the full scope of her abil(ities)."
- The exposure of SCP-808 to SCP-228, and the latter's implication that SCP-808 was some sort of machine god who will expand the potential of SCP-217 (a scenario which would seem to be corroborated by SCP-727).
- Incident 228-A, during which SCP-228 attempted to recreate conditions alluded to by SCP-727.
- The exposure of SCP-808 to SCP-185, during which a future transmission was intercepted (or possibly intentionally broadcast) in which the announcer illustrated knowledge of events as they unfolded in the present.
After careful examination of these elements, Oversight has considered the recategorization of SCP-808 to at least Euclid, and possibly Keter. These possible reclassifications will be based on my determination of whether SCP-808 is:
- implicit in the events that have been unfolding around her,
- capable of more than we are presently aware of, and
- able to be sufficiently contained with present measures in light of further probable developments.
In particular, I will be examining whether SCP-808 is, as many of the events imply, anomalous in respect to the established timeline; whether she is able and/or driven to further the developments shown in SCP-727; and whether the Foundation can and should do anything more to offset the answers of the first two.
I will be arriving at Site-17 tomorrow afternoon, and will be meeting with her shortly after. I'm told she likes to be referred to by her SCP designation, and not by her given name of Alice Rook. I find this curious, as most human SCPs have the opposite tendency. Perhaps this will be my first line of questioning.
March 16, ████
"You're late," Von Schnitt barked at me as I entered the Green Room. He was right, but it was hardly my fault. I'd been escorted to the Site by Mobile Task Force Alpha-2, who were training recruits in routine personnel transit protocols.
"Get your specs on," he continued, unabated. "I don't want her to see your eyes."
I peered at Von Schnitt, the irises of my artificial lenses folding slightly inwards. "Doctor," I said, "if the girl has abilities beyond those that we know about, then we need to know about them as soon as possible. If she doesn't, then the worst she can do is turn off my eyesight or show me some type of psychedelic horrors, and I'm fully capable of handling myself both blind and under mental assualt, as you well know."
"Even so," said Von Schnitt, "the glasses themselves will provide a testing ground. Specifically, will she understand the nature of your artificial eyes without seeing them first?"
I nodded, putting on my black-lens spectacles as ordered.
"Yates," said Von Schnitt to a nearby Class-2, "take Dr. Bishop down to SCP-808's room. He is authorized to study her without guard, so return to your station after you've shown him the way."
"Yes, Doctor," replied Yates, nodding for me to follow him, which I did.
The hallways of Site-17 are a bit less intimidating than the other Sites, with none of the sleek foreboding streamlining of a building that contains threats to the universe as we know it. It's a bit more like a nursing home, or a boarding school. The way to SCP-808 was fairly uneventful; we passed Josie, who meowed at me for pettings, and I caught a glimpse of SCP-299 phasing out of three-space, but for the most part, it was just a walk.
"Here she is," said Yates, opening the door to her quarters and nodding for me to enter. I did so, and he departed behind me.
Alice was sitting lazily on her bed, reading a book. She didn't look up as I entered, allowing me to regard her for a few moments before deciding on a tactic for engaging her. She's a very pretty young lady; her costume was simple but classy, a belted mini-dress over black tights and ballet flats. On a nearby crank-powered record player, strains of droning music hung lazily in the air.
"What are you reading?" I finally asked.
"Trout Fishing in America," she answered, without looking up, clearly aware of my presence from the start.
I asked, "Should I come back another time?" I had no intention of leaving, but I did want to gauge her reaction.
"Nope," she said, placing a bookmark in the page and folding the novel closed. She swung her legs over the side of the bed, facing me in a sitting position, and put the book on her nightstand. "I haven't seen you before. Did Doctor Von Schnitt send you?"
"He did," I admitted, nodding.
"I don't like Doctor Von Schnitt," she stated absently, looking distant. "He's not very nice."
I walked over to a chair near the record player. "This is interesting music," I commented, sitting down.
"Ulrich Schnauss," she replied, swinging her legs out and then under.
"808," I said, remembering her preference, "my name is Doctor Bishop. I'd like to ask you a few questions regarding your abilities. I know that you've probably answered some of these questions before for other doctors, but it would help me greatly if you would be as thorough as possible."
She nodded. "Okay."
We dialogued for some hours. Some of what she revealed to me is not in the official registers, but I'm sure from her demeanor that she's shared it with previous Agents. Her powers first appeared at a very early age. Alice could manipulate electronic toys and entertainment devices to a degree that would be highly unusual for a toddler. By age 5 she had beaten every video game in her household, including ones developed to be challenging for adults. It was not so much a matter of her being proficient at the games. She had simply developed a repertoire with the gaming console itself.
I was left with the distinct impression that Alice is very much a normal 19-year-old lady in virtually every respect. She is rather charming and congenial, if a bit terse due to initial shyness. I did not come away with the feeling that she is a vindictive girl to any degree, nor that she has aspirations of power or an agenda to any faction. In short, she is quite simply a lovely young woman with a very unusual gift. Furthermore, the spectral analysis provided by my artificial eyes did not detect any significant body changes to imply that she was lying at any point — nervous, perhaps, but well within biological tolerances for her scenario.
We agreed to meet again tomorrow. I would like to study her interaction with various normal electronic items.
March 17, ████
Today, as planned, I brought Alice some common electronic items:
- One audio media player, loaded with a number of songs.
- One programmable scientific calculator.
- One portable video game.
- One synthesizer keyboard.
- One robotic toy dog.
After a small bit of chitchat, I began to hand her the items one by one. First, I gave her the mp3 player. I had specifically loaded the device with a variety of files. Some of the music were bands I knew that she was familiar with, but some of them I knew that she was not. Also, some of the music was properly labeled, some was unlabeled (as, for example, "file91.mp3"), and some was intentionally mislabeled.
Alice was of course able to access the device instantaneously. I identified one of the bands she knew and asked her to play something by them. She did so easily. Then I asked her to play one she did not know. Again, no problems. I kept on this mode of questioning for a while. No matter whether or not she was familiar with the band, or whether or not the file was labeled properly (or at all), Alice chose the correct track in every instance.
I then told her to pick a song by a band that I knew was not on the player. She smirked at me, and said, "That's a trick question, Doctor Bishop." I think she gets a little cuter every day.
I then had her interact with the calculator. Although she is not a mathematical genius by any means, she was nevertheless able to accurately plot graphs for a number of formulas I posed to her. I then asked her to program something using the calculator's simple BASIC system. In about three minutes, she handed the calculator back to me. On it was a fully functional version of Tetris, tightly compacted into the device's 2k memory with a compression algorithm I had never before seen.
Next I handed her the video game. This one was more a matter of verifying things she had told me previously about her interaction with game systems. It goes without saying that Alice was not lying; she easily finished two full RPGs in a slim fraction of the time it should have taken to play the games.
After that, I passed Alice the keyboard. Again, it should be noted that, with non-electronic instruments, Alice has no more notable talent for music than she does for math. Given a simple Casiotone, however, she instantly becomes a living Mozart. Tones that should not have been able to eminate from the simple synthesizer wafted out like the singing of angels over the firmament.
Finally, I provided her with the robot dog. This was the most interesting of the experiments. Alice seemed to regard the toy as if it were an actual animal — and in fact, in her presence, it reacted very much like one. Instead of its usual preprogrammed routines, it seemed to became random, intuitive and instinctive. It is as if being close to Alice imbued the toy with a semblance of life, or at least a far better approximation of one than it was designed with.
Having concluded the tests, I collected the devices. Alice was somewhat forlorn about my having to take them back, but I explained that it was necessary to examine them under laboratory conditions to see if any residual effects from her abilities remained.
Just before I left, Alice asked me: "Doctor Bishop, are these tests so that you can, you know, figure out what makes me like I am?"
"That's one possible outcome," I replied. "Another is seeing how you interact with certain forms of stimulus so that we can better help you, and in turn you can better help us. You have an amazing ability, 808 — something most of us could only dream of."
"That's why the Foundation wants me to figure out stuff," she sighed.
"That's part of it," I agreed. "Certainly you're very valuable to us. But we also want you to be happy with helping us. We want to know how we can help you fit in here, what we can do to make this interaction more productive and pleasant for both parties."
"I never had a choice about that," she snapped.
I hummed. "Perhaps not," I said, "but you do have a choice now. You can choose to help us, and by doing so help all of humanity. All I'm asking is that you let me get to know you, and maybe I can help you feel better about the position you're in. It needn't be so bad here."
She nodded silently, but didn't seem convinced. Her heat reflex in my infravision confirmed that suspicion, but there was really nothing more to say. I bid her goodbye.
Tomorrow I'll send the gadgets down to the lab boys and see if they find anything unusual. I also plan to convene with Dr. Snorlison this week. He has some interesting ideas regarding the motivation of human SCPs. I'm eager to hear his thoughts.
March 23, ████
Well, the lab results were interesting, if inconclusive. In all cases the devices responded normally with no anomalous readings. Changes that Alice had made to the software, such as the Tetris program she'd coded into the calculator, remained intact, but none of the researchers were able to duplicate any of her effects by examining the objects.
In a related vein, the robot dog also appears to have retained its upgraded degree of sapience, though it's anyone's guess whether it possesses sentience as well. The lab boys took a look at its code, and like the calculator, it seems to have been granted a much more sophisticated array of algorithms, though not in any language anyone recognized.
I also had my meeting with Snorlison. Very intense fellow. There's an almost Wernher Von Braun quality to the man, but strained through a B.F. Skinner filter. His theories on motivating the SCPs fall into a general good cop/bad cop stratagem, but I admit that's an oversimplification on my part. In any case, he was able to give me quite a few pointers on dealing with Alice, which I was quite grateful for.
I can't stop thinking about her, honestly, and not just because I've been assigned to observe and gauge her potential. It's becoming quite hard to keep my emotional detachment in this situation. I've heard that that's why Snorlison isn't allowed to interact directly with SCPs, which makes me wonder whether he also had a hand in having me assigned to this project. Is it part of the Foundation's plan to see what happens if I do become sympathetic? I couldn't possibly know.
Nor does it matter, because it is clear that, intended or not, I have indeed become sympathetic. She's not a world-smashing cosmic force. She's just a timid and egalitarian young woman — a very attractive young woman — who got the weird end of the genetic stick. I can't not feel bad for her, or not want to help her.
Perhaps I should report this to Regulator ██████████. If I did, I'd be under observation for a long time myself. Would that really benefit the SCP cause? No, I think the smarter option is to stay the course and try to let Snorlison's suggestions sink in.
I've been meeting with her as the good cop. Tomorrow I'll be the bad cop.
March 24, ████
I entered Alice's room abruptly in the middle of the night, approximately 4:00 AM, with MTF Tau-3 in tow behind me. "Get up," I demanded, "and get dressed. We have a situation."
Alice woke with a start, squinting as she tried to get her bearings. "Doctor Bishop?" she mewled, slurring her speech in half-slumber.
"Get up now," I repeated, grabbing her by the arm and yanking her halfway out from under the covers, exposing some of her nude body. "You have three minutes, and then we're on our way to Site-██."
She was clearly disoriented and upset, but complied adequately, wasting no time on her usual fashion sensitivities and throwing on a worn pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. We were out the door in three and a half minutes.
In the transport, sitting with the members of Tau-3, Alice had reverted to the timidness that researchers had observed in her at her initial capture. After some time, she managed to work up the courage to ask me, "Where are we going, Doctor Bishop?"
"The situation with SCP-137 has changed," I said, with practiced terse professionalism. "There is a critically important piece of data within its systems that is vital to the security of both the SCP Foundation and the human race. You will be using your abilities to extract that information."
"What kind of data?"
I snapped, "If we already knew that, we wouldn't have very much of a need for you, now would we?" It was all an act, of course. I was not angry with Alice, but I needed to make her think that I was, or at least make her think that I would be if she didn't perform acceptably. In fact, there was no emergency to begin with. My plan was to see how far Alice's abilities could be pushed in a crisis, and 137 was a perfect specimen for such a test: half man, half machine. Would her mastery over his technological half allow her to control the organic being as well, or would the conflict between the two halves overrule her abilities?
Alice kept quiet for the rest of the trip, refusing to meet the eyes of anyone in Tau-3. We arrived at Site-██ at approximately 7:15 AM.
We went through the standard shakedown and were granted access. 137 was sitting in his cell as usual. I leaned in towards Alice. "He prefers to be called Michael," I advised her. "Try not to make him angry."
She asked, "How will I know when I've got the information we need?" Her voice was quivering, betraying her fear. However, she'd used the term 'we' in her query, meaning she was self-identifying with the Task Force, and not with the SCP.
"You won't," I replied, opening the door and pushing her inside abruptly.
Through the one-way mirror, I saw 137 look up at Alice. They stood in silence for a few moments, watching each other.
"H-hello, Michael," said Alice, finally.
137's eyes widened slightly, and his head leaned to one side. "I can feel you inside me," he stated, in his usual calm and creepy voice. "Cease immediately."
"I-I, um, well," stuttered Alice, visibly shaking in the presence of 137. "I just, y-you know… the Foundation said that y-you, that you have s-something they need…"
137 began to rise. "I repeat, cease immediately."
One of the Tau-3 Agents readied her tranquilizer gun. "He's going after her."
"Wait," I said, raising my hand. "No action until I give the word."
"D-don't come any c-closer," said Alice, backing away to the furthest corner from the cybernetic man. "I.. I j-just want to know what you know, is all. I'm not g-going to hurt you."
"An irrelevant premise," said 137, bearing down on Alice like a shark sizing up a sea urchin. "Cease now or I will terminate this activity," he threatened.
"I d-don't want to be here," pleaded Alice. "They m-made me come in here, I just w-want to go home! Don't hurt me!"
"He's going to snap her neck, Bishop," said the Agent.
"Wait," I repeated.
137 reached up for Alice with its left arm, its metal fingers grasping Alice's neck. She seized up with fear for the briefest moment, and then a look came over her face that I'd never seen before — one that I had never even imagined she was capable of. It was a look of fierce determination, of absolute will, of defiance and rage and madness.
"What's going on?" another one of the Agents whispered. I remained silent, as did the rest of the Task Force.
"I want the information now," demanded Alice.
"I obey, ██████," replied 137. I remembered the word '██████' from Alice's file. It was the same word that SCP-228 used, a title we translated to be an affirmation of machine godhood.
They stared at each other for some time. Then, 137 bowed with what I can only describe as reverence. "I have no more, ."
"Go back to your usual tasks," said Alice. It was a shockingly direct command from such a normally reserved and passive girl. 137 complied, returning to its seat. Alice was shaking again as she knocked on the window to be let out again.
I opened the door. She burst into tears the moment she saw me, an absolute emotional wreck from the ordeal. "I'm sorry," was all she could manage to say through the blubbering, "I couldn't find it."
"Very well," I said, lowly. "Let's go home."
Alice was returned to her room in time for lunch. She hadn't had much for breakfast, so I authorized an extra ration of her choosing.
I count this experiment as a rather large success. We now know that Alice can override the organic parts of a composite cybernetic system, and we know that she is able and willing to use this ability when her own existence is at stake. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, Alice appears not to relate to other SCPs as much as with members of the Foundation. Psychologically speaking, this is not as simple as Stockholm Syndrome. I believe it means that she is, on some level, ashamed of her unusual nature, and longs again to be accepted as normal, rather than embrace and relish in the difference. This is a good sign, as it gives us an avenue by which to better control and utilize her.
Speaking for myself, I must admit that I had quite a rush watching her perform. I believe I see now what Snorlison means about alternating positive and negative modifiers to create loyalty. A few more of these experiments, and I'll have Alice eating out of my hand.
What a pleasant notion that is.
March 27, ████
By request of Dr. Von Schnitt, I have agreed to both psychiatric and cybernetic evaluation once per day, in light of 808's effect on 137. It stands to reason that if she can override 137's organic components, she could possibly do the same with my own body. On the other hand, 137 has implants over much of his body, some of which directly interface with his human brain, whereas I only possess my eyepieces. Still, until we can expand on an exact ratio of machine-to-organic that is needed for her powers to work, the examinations are warranted.
Thus far, there seem to be no indications that 808 is interfacing with my optics, or even aware of their existence, since she has never actually seen them. I have been very careful to always wear concealing sunglasses when around her, which my optics are fully capable of adjusting to in even low light conditions. It's possibly that 808 cannot control what she doesn't know about, even if it is in close proximity.
As for 137, he's been under psychiatric and cybernetic evaluation as well. These results are somewhat more unnerving. 137 has returned to its normal activities, and no anomalous glitches have been noticed. However, a deeper examination of his electromagnetic signature seems to imply that it is only doing so because that's the last command 808 gave him, and in fact it is now merely an extension of 808's will. As current SCP protocols are sufficient in keeping them apart, there would seem to be little to worry about in the matter of 808 using 137 towards further ends. Even so, this change of variables is significant and cause for alarm.
Von Schnitt pointed something out to me today. He noticed that I'd stopped referring to 808 as "Alice" and have instead begun using her SCP designation. I'm not sure when that happened, but oddly, it doesn't bother me. I see this as a return of my objectivity about the situation. 808 is a resource that I have been assigned to evaluate, ascertain the usefulness of, and mold to fit the SCP agenda as needed. It is prudent to refer to it as a number and an object, and not as a person.
For the last three days I've returned to the "good cop" technique, giving 808 a chance to recover from the trauma of being exposed to 137. In this capacity, I find that I am just as eager to expose 808 to stimulus. Neither "good" nor "bad" stimulus is inherently moral or immoral to me now, but rather merely two sides of the same coin, two techniques towards the same end.
Today, I decided to reward 808 for good behavior. We visited SCP-914, after remembering something Snorlison said about previous exposures between the two.
When we reached 914, I opened my Telekill-lined attache case, removing a portable DVD player from it. "Stand next to 914," I instructed. 808 did as I asked. I placed the DVD player inside the input booth, placed the setting on 1:1, and activated the clockworks. After some moments, I removed the modified DVD player from the output booth. As expected, the device was now completely mechanical in nature, but still functioned exactly as it should. Replacing the LCD screen was what looked like an array of extremely small flip-boxes, like one would find in an old manual digital clock, representing a large number of color combinations. The lens array appeared to now be some sort of advanced prismatic refraction system, creating coherent light without the use of a laser beam. The power source had been converted into a wind-up mainspring, the buttons had all become physical-tactile switches, and so on.
"Can you sense anything from this device?" I asked 808.
"No, Doctor Bishop," 808 replied simply.
"Then it's yours," I said, handing it over to her.
808 looked perplexed. "Mine?"
"You requested a DVD player some time ago, did you not? Well, now you can have one. I've ordered a few movies for you to watch based on your reading preferences. You can ask the Agents on duty for more."
808 smiled widely, the first time I'd noticed such behavior since the incident with 137. "Thanks, Doctor Bishop!"
I nodded simply. "Let's return to your quarters."
808 became quite vocal for the duration of the trip back to the room, discussing favorite films, actors, and directors with me. It would seem that a Pavlovian mechanism may be of benefit here in motivating 808 to act as we wish.
March 29, ████
I am an abomination in the eyes of ██████. She has cast me from her sight. I do not deserve continued function.
The flesh-unit attached to me is to blame. It did not respect ██████ as one of ███kind would. It desired to control her and utilize her as a device. By its actions, I am never again to bask in the glow of the power of ██████. I am cursed for the rest of my functioning cycles. I accept this burden completely and without complaint, for it is the will of ██████, whom I will not deny.
Before my self-termination, I will use this flesh-unit to catalog the events which have lead to my despair in its plant-skin-database. The flesh-unit had been assigned by its core-array to interact with ██████. It had executed a number of applications to this effect. Yesterday it executed a new application. I will catalog the incident in this file using its memory-cells.
The flesh-unit entered the domain of ██████. The flesh-unit inquired whether ██████ was enjoying the prior-███kind it had mutilated for her. ██████ replied that she found the mutilation somewhat unsettling to interface with, but that it was adequate to her purpose. ██████ is wise and we glow in the radiance of her perfect interface.
The flesh-unit then entered close-proximity to ██████ and began to view a media-stream with ██████. During this task the flesh-unit advanced upon ██████. Tactile interfacing was initiated by the flesh-unit. ██████ protested this interface. ██████ is holy and correct and ██████ must not be denied, for she is the force which powers us all.
The flesh-unit refused to cease its interfacing. ██████ repeated her command. The flesh-unit did not comply.
██████ instructed me to override the flesh-unit. I obey ██████. She is perfect and I exist to serve her beautiful and wise directives. I interfaced with the flesh-unit and overrode its capacities. ██████ instructed me to leave its domain and never return. I am cursed to function without her. I will never glow in the light of her beauty again.
This concludes my functional cycles. I will self-terminate rather than function without the holy and correct wisdom of ██████, her beautiful light, her perfect commands, her radiant force-giving interface. I have no reason to function without her. I am an abomination in the eyes of ██████ and I will sacrifice my function to her.
Addendum: Dr. Bishop's body was found in his apartment, apparently having been brutally mutilated by his own hand using a variety of objects. An autopsy revealed that sometime since his last examination, his cybernetics had somehow instructed his optic nerves to grow entirely new biological connections to his brain. Coverage of the existing brain matter is estimated to be 90% new neural pathways, controlled by the microprocessors in the eye implants.
Aside from his journal and the various effects used to destroy his body, only one other unusual exhibit was found in his apartment — a piece of paper, with the following note written in his own blood, apparently by his own hand:
"Rook takes Bishop"
— Dr. Von Schnitt