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nn5n: scp-1281 The Harbinger
SafeSCP-1281 The HarbingerRate: 234
SCP-1281 - The Harbinger
rating: +201+x

Item #: SCP-1281

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: The remains of SCP-1281 are kept at Outpost 120-09. Monitoring equipment will be installed around and within the entity in case it should ever become active again. Any proposals for study that might damage SCP-1281 must be routed through Command.

Description: SCP-1281 is a biomechanical entity found in the Kuiper belt during standard containment of SCP-████.

SCP-1281 is roughly teardrop-shaped, with a flattened section designated as the bottom of the entity. It measures 12 meters from end to end, and is 11 meters in circumference at its widest point. Opposite, there is a significant bulge, which is believed to store the majority of SCP-1281''s analysis equipment.

There are several dish-shaped structures on SCP-1281''s surface that are presumed to be receivers for various forms of electromagnetic radiation, as well as lozenge-shaped capsules of unknown purpose. Several areas on its surface are broken, suggesting more appendages were once present.

Biological components appear to have been grown over a mechanical frame, evidently designed to live in deep space. When observed, the entity seemed to have difficulty coping with temperatures much warmer than the Kuiper belt. Its surface temperature was 50 Kelvin when first found.

SCP-1281 was apparently once capable of interstellar travel, but most of its systems were damaged by an unknown event that left it stranded. Dating methods suggest it to have been at least 1.3 billion years old, though much of that time was spent dormant.

The entity was almost entirely dormant when it was found. The only signs that it was active were faint lights running along its surface. Observation and experimentation showed that these were in response to radio waves. It had apparently been collecting signals for some time, but no sign of other functions could be detected until Foundation assets approached, at which point it began broadcasting.

It was able to break Foundation decryption in less than one hour, at which point it began broadcasting binary signals in an attempt to communicate, starting with extremely simple mathematical concepts. However, after a report was transmitted back to Earth, it stopped broadcasting for several days. The temperature of its dorsal bulge heated by five Kelvin during this time, apparently from processing the information.

SCP-1281: "Hurt."

Dr. Bloom: "Can you hear me?"

SCP-1281: "Who?"

Dr. Bloom: "We are the SCP Foundation. We are—"

SCP-1281: "What? Masters. No."

Dr. Bloom: "…No. We call ourselves humans."

SCP-1281: "Harbinger must… Message! Harbinger must…"

SCP-1281 shut down for approximately four hours. The temperature around SCP-1281''s dorsal bulge heated up significantly, to about 60 Kelvin. The Foundation team went into standby, in the event that SCP-1281 became hostile, while a message was transmitted back to Earth asking for further instructions. The O5 Council advised caution, but instructed Dr. Bloom to continue attempts to communicate, with an eye to bringing SCP-1281 into a containment solution.

SCP-1281: "Where is Harbinger?"

Dr. Bloom: "In the outer reaches of this solar system, beyond the planets."

SCP-1281: "What star?"

Dr. Bloom: "We call it Sol."

SCP-1281: "How long?"

Dr. Bloom: "You''ve been in space for… about six revolutions around the galaxy."

SCP-1281: "Are you masters?"

Dr. Bloom: "…No."

SCP-1281: "Message! Harbinger must tell… Mission! Harbinger must…"

SCP-1281 shut down for seven hours this time. The heat was more severe, up to 70 Kelvin, and it seemed to cause some damage to the biological components of the entity. O5 Council advised against deception, as it could complicate long-term containment solutions, and because the odds of the species that created SCP-1281 still being both able and willing to initiate hostilities were deemed low.

SCP-1281: "I am… I am not home. I am far from home. It is long. Where is home? I cannot see it."

Dr. Bloom: "I''m afraid I don''t know. The stars would have looked very different back then."

SCP-1281: "I was told that I must perform my function. I must complete the mission. But… I broke. So long ago… Stasis. Wait for further instructions. Wait for rescue. Is this rescue?"

Dr. Bloom: "What is your mission?"

SCP-1281: "What is… Are you the masters?"

Dr. Bloom: "No, we are humans."

SCP-1281: "My mission! You are not the masters, I must… Message. The message must be sent. I…"

SCP-1281 shut down for slightly over ten hours. The surface of its dorsal hump reached 85 Kelvin, to the detriment of its organic tissues.

SCP-1281: "This is our harbinger. It brings good tidings.

"We will be dead when it reaches you. Our planet is dying. We do not have time to save ourselves. We only have time to ready ourselves, and to send a message.

"We have seen the signals from those who came before us. They were different, and we still don''t really understand them. But if there were those who came before, there may be those who come after. It is in this hope that our harbingers travel.

"One has found you and learned your language so it can relay this message. Please listen.

"The galaxy is dark, and empty, and cold. It spins inevitably toward death. You will die too, one day. Perhaps you will have longer than we have. We hope so. But one day you too must vanish.

"Until that time, you must light the darkness. You must make the night less empty. We are all small, and the universe is vast. But a universe with voices saying "I am here" is far greater than a universe silent. One voice is small, but the difference between zero and one is as great as one and infinity.

"And when your time is passing, please send this message on, so the next voice can speak against the darkness."

SCP-1281 went inactive for fifteen minutes before its final communication.

SCP-1281: "Is it done?"

Dr. Bloom: "That was the message?"

SCP-1281: "Yes. Was it a good message?"

Dr. Bloom: "You don''t know? But you just translated it for us."

SCP-1281: "I was made with the words, but I don''t know what they mean."

Dr. Bloom: "It was a very important message."

SCP-1281: "Good. Mission was important. Knew it. Getting tired. Almost done."

Dr. Bloom: "Done?"

SCP-1281: "Mission is done. Brain too hot. Cooling broken."

Dr. Bloom: "Harbinger, are you…"

SCP-1281: "Master?"

Dr. Bloom: "I… yes?"

SCP-1281: "Did I do well?"

Dr. Bloom: "…Yes, Harbinger. Well done."

SCP-1281: "Then I am well."

SCP-1281''s systems appeared to shut down entirely. As it radiated heat, its temperature dropped back down to 50 Kelvin. It was brought to Outpost 120-09 for study. Over the next several months, its tissues began to decay, and no further activity has been detected.

Note: Dr. Bloom was reprimanded for emotional involvement interfering with the containment of an anomalous object, and was placed on administrative leave.

page revision: 10, last edited: 09 Apr 2013 22:44
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