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nn5n: scp-3143 Murphy Law in… The Foundation Always Rings Twice!
EuclidSCP-3143 Murphy Law in… The Foundation Always Rings Twice!Rate: 98
SCP-3143
murphy.png

Artistic depiction of SCP-3143.

Item #: SCP-3143

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: Attempts to contain SCP-3143 are ongoing. A Foundation-operated bot (ISMETA) is to monitor online fiction communities for signs of its emergence. When found, an authorized member of the Pataphysics Department is to be assigned to deconstruct it.

MTF Iota-10 ("Damn Freds") is to investigate any leads regarding possible locations of SCP-3143-A. If found, he is to be apprehended and taken into Foundation custody.

Description: SCP-3143 is an intrafictional construct. When active, this construct exhibits the ability to temporarily 'flatten' portions of reality into a script-like narrative. This narrative is derivative of the genre established by North American writers of hard-boiled and noir fiction1.

During this period, SCP-3143 takes on the role of the main character (a 1930s private detective) hired to solve a case. All entities flattened by its effect become characters within the narrative surrounding it, exhibiting personalities and attributes typical of the genre's style. The narrative will continue until SCP-3143's actions lead to a resolution consistent with the genre; at this point, the narrative will conclude and reality will revert. Events which occurred within the narrative will be projected into reality; however, entities involved in these events will typically have no recollection of what occurred.

SCP-3143 was first noted in 2005 in the aftermath of a containment breach at Site-95. In 2012, the Foundation's Pataphysics Department worked alongside the Department of Analytics to make contact with and apprehend SCP-3143.

SCP-3143-A is Murphy Lawden, SCP-3143's author.

Addendum 3143.1: Interview Logs

INTERVIEW LOG


DATE: 2012/02/02
INTERVIEWER: Dr. Thaum
SUBJECT: SCP-3143, SCP-3143-A
NOTE: Dr. Thaddeus Thaum is part of the Pataphysics Department. He has a degree in English Literature, and specializes in the analysis of fiction.


FADE IN:

INT. MURPHY LAW DETECTIVE AGENCY - NIGHT

A light-skinned man sits alone in his office; a blade of moonlight cuts across his face. His trademark trilby hat is tossed thoughtlessly across his desk; a bent cigarette is nearby, left smoldering in an ashtray. His shirt is stained with blood — some of it might even be his own.

He's got a slug of bourbon in his hand, a slug of lead buried in his chest, and 6 more waiting for the next son of a bitch who comes through that door — courtesy of his .44.

His name is MURPHY LAW, and if you think his number is up, then you haven't been counting. He's the sort of man you pray for when you need him — and the sort you curse when you don't.

He is also our NARRATOR. His voice is a husky snarl; as if he's got a throat stuffed full of sand-paper and rusty nails.

NARRATOR

If there's one thing the Foundation is good at, it's tying up loose ends. I knew it was just a matter of time before the lab-coats tried to shove me in a box.

The door to the office flies open. An old man in a lab-coat enters; he's got a scowl so deep it's been carved down into the bone. This is DR. THAUM, and he's here to get to the bottom of this — no matter what the cost.

NARRATOR

But if they wanted to contain me, they were gonna need a bigger box.

DR. THAUM

Hello, SCP-3143. How are you doing, today?

NARRATOR

He wanted answers. I just wanted out.

MURPHY finishes the shot of bourbon and levels his pistol at DR. THAUM's chest.

MURPHY

Give me one good reason why I shouldn't ventilate you right now, doc.

DR. THAUM raises an eyebrow, folding his arms across his chest.

DR. THAUM

Because you can't.

NARRATOR

If he thought I didn't have the moxie to plug him full of lead, then he had another thing coming. Specifically, a whole lot of lead.

DR. THAUM

You do know that I can hear you narrating, right?

NARRATOR

What the hell was he on about? Something wasn't right.

DR. THAUM

You're an infrafictional construct; a sapient story that can warp reality. Specifically, you flatten it into a movie script that mimics crime-fiction and hard-boiled noir.

NARRATOR

This wasn't… what?

DR. THAUM

And let's be honest — it's not even proper noir. The defining element of the style is the anti-hero; the character with no prospects, trapped in a world with no future. But after reviewing your file, I can see that you don't qualify.

MURPHY

I don't… qualify…?

DR. THAUM

Your narrative is heroic and simple, with clear villains and heroes. In the end, the day is saved without consequence. That's not hard-boiled — it's certainly not noir. You're just fantasy escapism dressed up in a suit, a hat, and a drinking habit.

MURPHY: Where — where are we? What's happening?

DR. THAUM: You rely on the tropes of noir — outwardly rejecting the notion of appearances and style while secretly embracing them — engaging in a hyper-masculine narrative based around the myth of the frontier, only projected in an urban environment…

MURPHY: What is this?

DR. THAUM: …but you fail to faithfully replicate their complex, dense settings where moral action is all but impossible. You fail to connect to the essence of what makes noir what it is. You are, in a sense, merely parodying it. An unintentional satire, if you will.

SCP-3143: What's going on?!

DR. THAUM: And on top of it all, your name is based on an absurdly contrived pun.

SCP-3143: What are you doing?!

DR. THAUM: I'm deconstructing you, SCP-3143. I'm containing you.

SCP-3143: I… I don't understand…

DR. THAUM: I'd like to speak with the author, please. Mr. Lawden? Are you there?

SCP-3143-A: How…?

DR. THAUM: Hello, SCP-3143-A.

SCP-3143-A: Where am I? Who am I?

DR. THAUM: You are Murphy Lawden, a retired shoe-salesman from New Jersey. You live alone — save for your two cats.

SCP-3143-A: I'm…? Oh, God. How did I get here?

DR. THAUM: We believe you accidentally created an intrafictional construct. Do you recall a screen-play of yours? It Always Rains?

SCP-3143-A: I… I think so. I don't — oh, God.

DR. THAUM: I think we've done enough for today, Mr. Lawden. I'll give you a chance to rest and settle in; we can continue this interview later, if that's alright with you?

SCP-3143-A: I… yeah. Uh, yeah. Okay. Okay. I need to gather my thoughts.

DR. THAUM: Of course.

[END LOG]

INTERVIEW LOG


DATE: 2012/02/03
INTERVIEWER: Dr. Thaum
SUBJECT: SCP-3143-A


[BEGIN LOG]

DR. THAUM: How are you feeling today, Mr. Lawden?

SUBJECT: Um, a little better. I think? Still confused.

DR. THAUM: Good. I understand this must all be quite bewildering.

SUBJECT: So, I've just been trapped? All this time? Narrating, or writing this ongoing story? My memory of all of this is so foggy.

DR. THAUM: Something like that, yes. We found an unfinished copy of your script, It Always Rains. That's how we determined who you were.

SUBJECT: God, I remember that. It was… yeah. I wanted to write, um, write a story, or something, I think? Something like what I read as a little kid?

DR. THAUM: Somehow, you managed to bring the narrative to life — literally. You 'became' the main character, in a sense.

SUBJECT: Right. So…

DR. THAUM: If it's alright with you, I'd like to ask you a couple of questions.

SUBJECT: Okay. But, uh… can I ask you something, first?

DR. THAUM: Of course.

SUBJECT: You read the script, right?

DR. THAUM: Yes. It was required as part of my preparation for this assignment.

SUBJECT: Did you, uh… did you think it was any good?

(Silence.)

SUBJECT: Uh.

DR. THAUM: Do you want a frank assessment, Mr. Lawden?

SUBJECT: Sure?

DR. THAUM: It was fairly awful.

SUBJECT: Oh.

DR. THAUM: Now, moving on —

SUBJECT: Is it okay if we do this later? I think I have a headache.

(Silence.)

SUBJECT: Look, I'm sorry. It's just that I…

DR. THAUM: No, it's alright, Mr. Lawden. You've been through a lot. Take whatever time you need.

[END LOG]

INTERVIEW LOG


DATE: 2012/04/16
INTERVIEWER: Dr. Thaum
SUBJECT: SCP-3143-A


[BEGIN LOG]

DR. THAUM: Good morning, Mr. Lawden.

SUBJECT: Ugh.

DR. THAUM: I see from your charts you haven't been eating. Do you want to talk about that?

SUBJECT: Not really.

DR. THAUM: I've also been informed you've been trying to write more fiction about SCP-3143.

SUBJECT: Until you took my pencils away.

DR. THAUM: Mr. Lawden, that was for your own safety. Until we understand how the anomaly occurred, we can't allow you to —

SUBJECT: Oh, screw you. You just think it's crap.

DR. THAUM: I didn't say that.

SUBJECT: But you were thinking it. Weren't you?

DR. THAUM: I wouldn't call it 'crap'.

SUBJECT: Why did you have to stop the story? What was the problem? He was helping people. It was fun.

DR. THAUM: That's not the point. We can't have anomalies running around and —

SUBJECT: And what? Telling stories that you don't like? Stories that aren't yours?

DR. THAUM: Stories that aren't — excuse me?

SUBJECT: Cut the crap, doc. We both know what's going on here.

DR. THAUM: I'm not sure what you're insinuating.

SUBJECT: You use a veneer of objectivity to try and create a sense of distance — of detachment — to make the incredible seem credible.

DR. THAUM: Wait. What?

SUBJECT: You cloak yourself in the outward 'trappings' of science — the terms, the titles, the 'interview logs' — all in some desperate, contrived attempt to make it sound a little more reasonable, a little more respectable, a little more plausible…

DR. THAUM: — wait! What are you — s-stop! You can't!

MURPHY: …all so you can convince them to buy into your little story. But at the end of the day, what does it all amount to, doc? Just one more gimmick — one more swindle — one more way to play the same con.

DR. THAUM

H-how — this isn't — I deconstructed you! You can't —

NARRATOR

When it comes right down to it, me — them — hell, even you — we're all just characters in that trashy dime-store novel called life.

MURPHY grabs DR. THAUM by the collar, pulling him close.

MURPHY

Sorry to break it to you, doc. But you're just a horror story dressed up in a lab-coat, glasses, and a funny little accent.

MURPHY throws him aside.

NARRATOR

But if you're lucky — and play your cards just right? Maybe you'll find a way to write your own story.

MURPHY pauses to light his cigarette.

NARRATOR

Not me, though. I'm no author.

MURPHY walks toward the exit.

NARRATOR

I'm Murphy Law.

DR. THAUM struggles to get up, grasping at the edge of the table. As he does, he sees a copy of the INTERVIEW LOG on the desk in front of him. The log contains this complete text, with one notable addition at the very bottom.

NARRATOR

I'm just the guy you call when everything that could go wrong… did.

The camera zooms in down to the bottom of the INTERVIEW LOG.

INTERVIEW LOG

[END LOG]


WARNING: THE FOLLOWING FILE IS LEVEL 4/3143 CLASSIFIED


ANY ATTEMPT TO ACCESS THIS FILE WITHOUT LEVEL 4/3143 AUTHORIZATION WILL BE LOGGED AND WILL LEAD TO IMMEDIATE DISCIPLINARY ACTION.


DATE: 2012/03/15
FROM: Site Director August <noitadnuof.pcs|tsuguaj#noitadnuof.pcs|tsuguaj>
TO: O5-5 Secretary <noitadnuof.pcs|ces55o#noitadnuof.pcs|ces55o>
SUBJECT: SCP-3143


My thoughts:

It might not have worked, but this was nevertheless an excellent test-run for 'Dr. Thaum' and the 'Pataphysics Department'. I recommend we keep them on the books — they might come in handy, particularly in regards to developing allegorical and metafictional countermeasures. Besides, it's not like a fictitious department with fictitious employees has a costly upkeep.

Otherwise, leave the article as is. It might contain several inconsistencies (the fact that neither Murphy Lawden nor It Always Rains actually exist being the most glaring) but further edits could invite unwanted attention from SCP-3143.

On that note: Let's leave SCP-3143 alone for a while. Yes, we've learned quite a bit about him, but he's also learned quite a bit about us. Until we know precisely how his abilities work, further efforts to contain him could be dangerous. I'm particularly concerned with what he said during the final interview — it sounds like he thinks we're all just as fictitious as he is.

On a final note: SCP-423 is currently missing. I'm concerned it might have something to do with our little experiment. I'm having some of my people look into it; I'll keep you updated.

- Site Director August

DR. THAUM played by…
THADDEUS THAUM

SITE DIRECTOR AUGUST played by…
JEREMIAH AUGUST

MTF IOTA-10 played by…
FRED

And MURPHY LAW played by…
HIMSELF

WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO THE PATAPHYSICS DEPARTMENT





LOOK FOR MURPHY LAW TO RETURN IN…

…THIS ANOMALY FOR HIRE!



THE END

page revision: 10, last edited: 25 Oct 2017 22:47
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