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nn5n: scp-3357 Practice Makes Perfect
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The floor plan of SCP-3357's current (8 m by 6 m) containment room in testing configuration

Item #: SCP-3357

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-3357 is to be stored in a chamber of at least 6 meters by 6 meters. The object should stand centered in a 6 m by 6 m floor space marked by walls and/or tape. It is recommended that restroom facilities be available within the perimeter of this area for the convenience of test subjects. SCP-3357 must remain fixed securely in place.

During testing, this chamber must meet dual humanoid containment requirements. Additional amenities such as a waste bin, small furniture, or leisure items may be provided only with the approval of a senior researcher.

Description: SCP-3357 is a Young Chang brand baby grand piano with a black, high-gloss, polyester resin finish. The instrument remains perfectly tuned and in what is considered excellent condition despite the lack of maintenance it has seen while in the Foundation's care. Its dimensions and mass are identical to that of a piano of non-anomalous make.

SCP-3357-1 is an animate, humanoid, holographic being of varying physical appearance. The entity manifests itself when a sentient subject imperfectly performs or fails to finish performing a musical composition using SCP-3357. Upon manifestation, it consistently takes the appearance of the composer or arranger of the piece played. SCP-3357-1 requires neither nutrition nor hydration, but it has been observed to sleep.

De-manifestation of the entity occurs only after it is satisfied with its student's ability to perform a musical composition perfectly or when the subject ceases life function. The degree of perfection to which it holds the subject accountable does not vary in relation to the difficulty of the piece or the subject's skill. Leniency to account for physical limitations has been observed in certain cases. SCP-3357's anomalous effects cannot be re-initiated while SCP-3357-1 is already manifested.


SCP-3357's keyboard

The entity is unable to leave a 6 m x 6 m x 2.4 m area at the base elevation of and centered around SCP-3357. The dimensions of this space closely resemble the dimensions of the location where the item was recovered. SCP-3357-1 is capable of phasing through physical objects and barriers such as walls which would otherwise further restrict its range of movement. Notably, the entity is incapable of physical interaction with living organisms.

A subject who triggers the manifestation of SCP-3357-1 becomes likewise limited in potential movement until the entity de-manifests. In a space that is larger than that which is described above, both SCP-3357-1 and the human subject are prevented from exiting the vicinity of SCP-3357 by a spatial discontinuity.

Despite being fully sentient and wholly aware of its own circumstances, SCP-3357-1 prefers to mimic the behaviors and personalities of those whose physical form it adopts. However, its teaching style and personal preferences remain independent of its borrowed appearance.

Document #3357-001: Abridged transcript of the Foundation's first interaction with SCP-3357-1.

Anomaly: SCP-3357; SCP-3357-1

Subject: D-1849 — found to have received 10 years of piano instruction as a child

Interviewers: Dr. Riley Cadence (senior researcher); Dr. Seymour Tracy (junior researcher)

<Begin Log>

[The subject performs Chopin's "Waltz in A minor" on SCP-3357. The entity appears. Researchers instruct D-1849 to avoid playing the instrument.]

Dr. Cadence: Welcome to Foundation custody, SCP-3357-1. We would like to begin—

SCP-3357-1: What was that? You ignore ornamentation like a child! But you play so well otherwise. You could be a talented student.

[The subject seems bewildered.]

Dr. Cadence: SCP-3357-1, your attention would be better focused—

SCP-3357-1: Is the tempo too fast? Play a little slower. But practice trills first. Do long-short rhythm, then switch to short-long. This is finger-strengthening exercise.

D-1849: Uh… Chopin? I think the doctors over there want to talk to you.

SCP-3357-1: What? What use is talk? Play music, is good for soul!

[Researchers repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempt to hold a conversation with the entity. SCP-3357-1 refuses to interact with any personnel other than D-1849. It eventually engages in the interview after the subject ceases to acknowledge it.]

SCP-3357-1: If we must have this conversation, let's make it quick. I have a student to return to.

Dr. Cadence: The more you cooperate with us, the faster and easier this will all be in the long run. Now, SCP-3357-1, what is your earliest memory?

SCP-3357-1: Earliest memory? I can't quite say. Would have been in Warsaw. I have fond memories of mother giving me piano lessons in boarding house.

Dr. Cadence: That's information anyone could find in a biography. What proof do you have that you really are Chopin?

SCP-3357-1: I have only ever been myself. Who else could I be?

Dr. Cadence: What year do you think it is?

SCP-3357-1: What does it matter? I am simply here to teach and to enjoy life.

Dr. Cadence: You aren't Chopin, SCP-3357-1. You're an anomaly mimicking the human form. Where did you come from? Where did the piano come from?

SCP-3357-1: I come from Poland. The piano? Perhaps Austria. It is excellent craftsmanship.

Dr. Tracy: Boss, I don't think we're getting anywhere with this.

Dr. Cadence: [sighing] You might be right. Okay. D-1849, proceed with the waltz. You won't be leaving until you manage a perfect performance.

SCP-3357-1: Marvelous. Good student, be careful with your fingering at the twelfth measure!

[The remainder of the session is comprised of the subject practicing and receiving instruction from SCP-3357-1. On the sixth attempt, D-1849 performs the piece to the entity's satisfaction, and SCP-3357-1 vanishes.]

<End Log>

Closing Statement: The entity's displayed behaviors in this interview have been found to be contradictory to those recorded of Frédéric Chopin. However, other interactions with SCP-3357-1 have proven it capable of mimicking personalities and mannerisms accurately enough to be indistinguishable.

Document #3357-016: Reference table summarizing a series of tests which have determined SCP-3357-1's operating parameters.

Test # Subject Musical composition played Errors made SCP-3357-1 Notes Duration of test
1 D-1849 "Waltz in A minor" Ignored trills and accidentals Took the form of Frédéric Chopin (~35) Entity spoke modern English. Polish accent later determined to be an inaccurate affectation. Personality inconsistent with that recorded of Chopin. 62 minutes
5 D-1849 "Für Elise" Irregular tempo changes Took the form of Ludwig van Beethoven (~40) Entity displayed partial hearing loss and exhibited signs of mild distress related to this. 102 minutes
6 D-1849 "Ode to Joy" Ignored written dynamics Took the form of Ludwig van Beethoven (~55) Entity displayed complete hearing loss. When questioned through written means, SCP-3357-1 expressed resigned lamentation for its condition. SCP-3357-1 denied recognition both of research staff and of D-1849. 51 minutes
101 D-1849 "Pirates of the Caribbean" Many Took the form of Jarrod Radnich (~25) Entity adopted the appearance of the piano arrangement's creator rather than that of the film score's composer.2 79 hours
11 D-1849 "Happy Birthday" Transposed to key of C minor Did not appear It seems that SCP-3357 recognizes songs based on note intervals rather than strict adherence to the original composition. 1 minute
12 D-1849 "Happy Birthday" Played an incorrect chord Took the form of D-1849 (34) Folk songs of vague or disputable origin belong to the performer, apparently. 35 minutes

Document #3357-018: Transcript of an unauthorized interview between SCP-3357-1 and a senior researcher meant to be on psychiatric leave.

Interviewed: SCP-3357-1

Interviewer: Dr. Riley Cadence

Foreword: This interview was conducted following SCP-3357's transfer to a larger, more isolated containment chamber after Incident #3357-01.

<Begin Log>

[Dr. Cadence plays the theme from Twelve Variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman", by Mozart, on SCP-3357. She stops seven measures through the excerpt's eight. SCP-3357-1 manifests. Unlike what has been observed in previous testing, the entity appears shaken and disoriented upon manifestation.]

SCP-3357-1: What was— I mean… ah-hem. You played that lovely piece very well. Why didn't you finish?

Dr. Cadence: I'm here to have a talk. We know that you're a sentient being independent of the people you mimic, SCP-3357-1. You would have confirmed it just now even if your reaction during the recent incident hadn't. So. Are you aware of time passing when you have no physical form? Are you aware of events occurring around the piano?

SCP-3357-1: [No verbal response.]

[The entity looks away at the wall. Dr. Cadence seems to interpret this as affirmation.]

Dr. Cadence: Do you know what happened two days ago? After D-1849 was killed and you disappeared? If your consciousness still exists when you haven't been summoned, you must have seen it.

SCP-3357-1: [No verbal response.]

[The entity pales and adopts an expression of great discomfort.]

Dr. Cadence: Nothing to say for yourself? Three people died in the containment breach that you provoked. Our D-class subject. A security officer. A junior researcher. Because we didn't know you could walk through walls, and you thought it would be a good idea to just waltz into the next chamber over. Everything could have been avoided if you'd cooperated with us at any point.

SCP-3357-1: I didn't mean for any of that to happen.

Dr. Cadence: Oh, and it speaks.

SCP-3357-1: You had me — my piano — in such a small space. It was there for weeks, and you people were always interfering with my students. Asking me questions about someone I didn't want to remember. I just wanted to know what was outside the room. I didn't think it would be that horrific thing next door.

Dr. Cadence: Is that so?

SCP-3357-1: I wanted to explore something before you locked me up forever. I certainly didn't walk into that place looking to start a massacre. What kind of organization even keeps a monster like that in the first place?

Dr. Cadence: The same kind that confiscates a supposedly haunted piano after its most recent owner commits suicide.

[The entity pauses, apparently taken aback. It paces toward the observation window on the cell's eastern wall. Upon crossing the tape-marked boundary two meters from the wall, the entity vanishes. It instantaneously reappears in front of the opposite wall on the piano's other side, still walking in the same direction.]

SCP-3357-1: Jacob… He was a good student. Earnest. Conversational. I genuinely liked him.

[The entity continues pacing.]

Dr. Cadence: That doesn't change the fact that his death had everything to do with you.

[The entity becomes visibly agitated.]

SCP-3357-1: He spent so much time with me… maybe too much. His grandmother was a composer. I could look and act exactly like her — it made him happy sometimes when I did — but that never made me her. I thought he understood that.

Dr. Cadence: Clearly, he didn't. That makes two incidents now where your carelessness has cost lives, you know?

[The entity stops pacing and sighs.]

SCP-3357-1: Two by your count.

Dr. Cadence: Have there been more by yours?

SCP-3357-1: I… It was only one other time… But I'd rather not talk about it.

Dr. Cadence: If people are going to keep dying, it's not your right to decide what you won't talk about. These tragedies are on your head.

SCP-3357-1: [No response.]

Dr. Cadence: The silent game again?

SCP-3357-1: [No response.]

Dr. Cadence: Hah. Just be glad that you decided to visit your neighbor to the south and not the west. The anomaly behind that wall might have killed even the likes of you.

SCP-3357-1: … Did you know them well? The other two people who died?

Dr. Cadence: … I knew them both.

SCP-3357-1: Who were they to you?

Dr. Cadence: … One was a friend. And one was a student.

SCP-3357-1: I can't say that I've ever had a friend in the few years that I've existed. But I understand what it is to lose students. From one teacher to another, I'm sorry.

Dr. Cadence: Apologizing doesn't bring them back. "Sorry" is just a word to make the guilty feel better.

SCP-3357-1: Maybe it is. But it's the only thing I can think of to say.

Dr. Cadence: If you don't have anything better to say, then how about an explanation?

SCP-3357-1: An explanation of what?

Dr. Cadence: Of why you've been mimicking personalities. You're not a deluded copy of a composer. So why did you try to convince us that you were?

SCP-3357-1: I only wanted to be more than what I was created as. Can you fault me for trying to be a person and not a tool?

Dr. Cadence: … Really? A person? Because I work with objects, not organisms — and certainly not humanoids.

[Dr. Cadence slams her forearm on the keyboard. The entity winces, then weakly smiles.]

SCP-3357-1: Well… It's my prerogative to try.

[Dr. Cadence begins playing the excerpt from Twelve Variations. SCP-3357-1 vanishes upon completion of the performance.]

<End Log>

Closing Statement: This is the longest known record of SCP-3357-1 "breaking character" to date. Although the entity has become significantly less abrasive in its interactions with Foundation staff, it remains highly reluctant to divulge information pertaining to its origins.

page revision: 4, last edited: 03 Jul 2017 20:38
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