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nn5n: scp-3988 A Fire in the Knight
EuclidSCP-3988 A Fire in the KnightRate: 30

Item #: SCP-3988

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-3988 is to be housed in a Teflon-coated, stainless steel standard humanoid containment cell. An automatic drainage system constructed of the same materials is to be included, and must route all collected fluids to a hazardous liquids storage tank for containment and future disposal. This cell is also to be equipped with a ceiling-mounted, externally-exhausted ventilation system capable of exchanging 1500 litres of air per hour alongside a triply-redundant, smoke-activated standard Class IV automatic fire extinguishing system.

SCP-3988's vital signs are to be monitored remotely via surgically implanted probes, in addition to uninterrupted visual observation via security camera. Any change, whether physiological or behavioral, should be reported to the lead researcher immediately.

Under no circumstances should open flames or spark-producing equipment be introduced to SCP-3988's containment cell at any time.

Description: SCP-3988 is a humanoid organism that is genetically human, but displays significant physiological degradation and mutation. Its integumentary, muscular, and skeletal systems are atrophied, and its remaining organs are either weakened or nonfunctional. Exceptions are the brain, which appears to function normally, and the heart.

As a result of these abnormalities, SCP-3988 is physically weak, and can only walk with a great amount of difficulty. Its skin is a mottled, dark orange in coloration, and is fragile and easily damaged. Open sores are present on 70% of its body. It can communicate in fluent English and German, but its speech is often halting and strained due to its damaged vocal cords, mouth, and tongue. It requires no sustenance and does not sleep, but does require oxygen to at least some extent despite its impaired respiratory system. It will display signs of distress if deprived of oxygen, but its vital signs will not cease if its air supply is not restored.

SCP-3988 constantly secretes a substance, designated SCP-3988-1, from its skin and all external orifices. SCP-3988-1 is a viscous, transparent orange-brown liquid that displays a number of anomalous properties. Its chemical makeup is highly complex; after analysis, it has been shown to be a mixture containing varying amounts of volatile hydrocarbons including butane and heptane, nitroglycerin, and dozens of other volatile and explosive compounds. It also contains a number of exotic compounds that as of yet remain unidentified. While generally stable, it possesses a specific energy far in excess of what its known constituent compounds would suggest (~500 MJ/kg, more than three times that of pure compressed hydrogen), rendering it and its fumes violently explosive at atmospheric pressure. SCP-3988-1 in all its forms has an autoignition point of roughly 150° C.

SCP-3988-1 is also acidic, corrosive, and toxic when pure, with a pH of roughly -1.0 and an LD50 of approximately 5 µg/kg.

SCP-3988 generally remains motionless in its cell and has not been observed to speak unless spoken to. It has been cooperative with Foundation personnel, and has willingly participated in all testing trials, examinations, and interviews.

Interviewed: SCP-3988
Interviewer: Dr. Kumail Khan, Senior Researcher
Intake interview conducted remotely via corrosion-resistant loudspeakers within SCP-3988's enclosure.
Date: 11/26/2006
Note: SCP-3988's multitude of respiratory disorders results in its speech being broken by labored breathing, coughing, and gasping. To retain a measure of accuracy, these interruptions have been annotated, or otherwise represented with ellipses.

Dr. Khan: Hello, SCP-3988.

SCP-3988: Hello. It appears… I have yet another name.

Dr. Khan: An official designator. Some protocols must be observed. You have a preferred moniker?

SCP-3988: *coughing* Yes. Several. Most recently… Klaus.

Dr. Khan: No surname?

SCP-3988-01: *mixed coughing and laughter* Klaus… Verbrannt. Bit of a joke.

Dr. Khan: I see. What would the reason be for multiple names, Klaus?

SCP-3988: Breach of… courtesy, my friend. You have… my name. Shall I have yours?

Dr. Khan: Dr. Kumail Khan.

SCP-3988: A pleasure, doctor. Pakistani, I am guessing? *coughing* I am still a German through and through… only keep the accent for nostalgia's sake if I am to be honest … Perhaps you could… prescribe me some lozenges… for this rather nasty cough, yes? *coughing laughter*

Dr. Khan: Not that kind of doctor, unfortunately. Although if your symptoms are giving you discomfort, I could see what I could do about having a specialist look you over.

SCP-3988: *coughing* Don't bother yourself. *wheezing laughter* Nothing to be done, I'm afraid. Ich bin hoffnungslos. I'm hopeless! *laughter, coughing*

Dr. Khan: I'm afraid I don't know enough about your condition to be able to agree or disagree, Klaus. But I admit my curiosity.

SCP-3988: Of course you do. I certainly am… a curiosity. This is not the first time… I've been held captive and prodded, friend. I am quite familiar… with the way this goes.

Dr. Khan: We can talk about that in a moment. First, if you'd be willing to indulge me, can you tell me how exactly you ended up this way?

SCP-3988: *coughing laughter* I am… a knight, Herr Doktor. Does that word… mean anything to you?

Dr. Khan: I am familiar with the concept. Are you speaking literally or figuratively?

SCP-3988: Literally, to a point. I suppose I am… officially an 'ex-knight', as I betrayed my order, but I took the liberty… of calling myself such regardless. It is hard… to truly take the armor off, if you catch my meaning.

Dr. Khan: You betrayed your order? I must say, that doesn't seem like a terribly chivalrous thing to do.

SCP-3988: *wheezing laughter* Not at all. Allow me… to explain. You are no doubt familiar… with the Protestant Reformation?

Dr. Khan: I am.

SCP-3988: That powder keg went off… in my hometown. Wittenberg. I was a young man… barely a knight myself. Then that verdammt Martin Luther had to come along… this reflects poorly on me, Herr Doktor, I admit it. I am not… proud of the thoughts I harbored back then. I do not wish… to speak ill. But as a knight of the Church, I had what I will call… 'a pretty good gig', ja? And he wrecked it all up. I was a young… and privileged fool. Grew up poor. Was only dubbed… because I got lucky, and learned to love my status. But then… things became very nasty. Schrecklich. The Protestants, as far as I could see… they only wanted freedom, and their words… well. Where once I saw honor, I began to see tyranny.

Dr. Khan Herr Verbrannt, are you telling me that you are over five hundred years old?

SCP-3988: 507, by my reckoning. Surely impossible, ja? Though I truly don't feel a day over 80.*coughing laughter*

Dr. Khan: We are trained to treat the words of all our inductees with a degree of skepticism, but I will say that I've seen stranger things in my time. So you took part in the fighting, and ended up siding with the rebels instead?

SCP-3988: Genau richtig. Precisely. They taught me to fight… always for gerechtigkeit. For justice. And so when the Church… no longer stood with it, I followed it where it went. I was excommunicated of course, but… worse things have happened.

Dr. Khan: So. How does this end up with you as you are now?

SCP-3988: Well. I fought for a while… the revolts stopped. Began to wander… a 'black knight-errant', if you will, despite the unfortunate connotations. No master… excommunicated. But justice was still out there, and I… would find her. I drifted… my armor, my blade, my horse, and little else… you've read the stories, I'm sure. Righting wrongs. Beating up the bad guys, ja? Was all I could do with myself. I knew… no trade. Had no family… I never settled. Was never my destiny to put down roots… But I started to get old. A village I passed through… had some bandit problems. I volunteered… but bit off more than I could chew. They got me… but didn't kill me. Just broke my back. Couldn't move my legs. *coughing* … I was stopped, Herr Doktor. I was still. It was agony. Those poor people were so nice… so kind to me, as I rotted. I just couldn't bear it…

(SCP-3988 pauses, and puts its head in its hands for a short time before wiping away a noticeably increased flow of SCP-3988-1 issuing from its tear ducts. It then stands, after steadying itself on a nearby wall.)

SCP-3988: I apologize, Herr Doktor. I have not thought of those days… in quite some time. Painful memories… pathetic, perhaps, no sense crying over the events of centuries past… yet I can still remember how it felt, to be so helpless… and unable to help anyone at all.

Dr. Khan: I quite understand, Klaus. If you would like to continue this at a later date, I would be more than willing to oblige…

SCP-3988: Nein. I am just being a big baby… Where was I… Ah. Yes. Well, I killed myself. Possibly the worst decision of my life… but in a way, perhaps the best. Pushed my sword into my chest… could still use my arms, at least, and I did. There was quiet, for a time… But then there was a voice, and a light in the dark. At first I thought… I had been wrong. That there was a God… but the light was not white and pure, as the paintings and sermons… had led me to imagine God as being. The light was hot… and smoky. Dim. Like a torch in a cavern. *coughing* Its voice… it shook my bones. Each word was an earthquake… every syllable an explosion. I will summarize… It said… that it admired me. That there was… something about me… worth keeping. Asked if I would take advantage… of a second chance. To be strong again… to be moving again. I said yes… *coughing* That I would do anything. It said it would have to make… a monster of me. That it was unlikely… that I would know love… or indeed a normal life, ever again. I said… that as long as I could continue… chasing justice… that as long as I would never be stopped again… I would sacrifice anything.

And I became unstoppable, Herr Doktor.

Dr. Khan: Please explain, Klaus.

SCP-3988: I woke up in a field… leaking poison… barely able to breathe… but before me was a suit… of armor. Enormous. Majestic. Mechanical… a work of art, a miracle of engineering… and I crawled like a worm toward it. My body… hated the act… there was so much pain. But… I had to know. I had to see… and the armor opened to me. I entered it… it bit into me. And my blood became its fire.

So I embraced it in turn. I could… not die. I never tried… and it never came. I fought. Fought and built. You know the legend of Siegfried, the… dragonslayer? The legend existed… before my time, but my exploits… against the Church after I was reborn… long story short, a cheeky swordsman got behind me… nicked one of my hoses… had to retreat, and suddenly he is hailed… as "dragonslayer"! *coughing laughter* Got a good laugh out of that one… The golem of Prague? Also me… handling the men who only wished to vindicate their hatred of those poor Jews… *coughing laughter* And don't get me started… on that arschloch Hitler… I never got around to teaching that one a lesson, my… attentions were regrettably elsewhere at the time…

Ach, Herr Doktor… once, I was destruction itself. I towered above… the frail form of human malice. I pushed back the… tide, with fire and steel. I was… the liberating inferno… and the hammer of salvation. Herr Feuerherz, they called me… And then you found me… while I was trying to find a patch for a leaking fuel line! Very tricky! I had heard… you Foundation devils were clever… must have had me… under observation for quite a while… to know I needed periodic maintenance.

Dr. Khan: We do what we feel we must, Herr Verbrannt. As I am sure you understand.

SCP-3988: We all have our duty, Herr Doktor… I am not… saddened, by my captivity. I have been given… a chance, to make something of myself… and I have. Perhaps this will give me time… to do some thinking. I am content. It has been… centuries, of fighting… perhaps I have justified my mysterious patron's… decision to remake me… and retirement may give me… time to reflect upon that. I am very tired… as it happens… and I find this cell… is more comfortable than I expected it would be. Incidentally… Wilhelm is… my given name. Wilhelm… Feuerherz.

Dr. Khan: The best way for you to help us would be for you to keep up your cooperative attitude, Herr Feuerherz, and to continue sharing whatever information you have. I shall leave you be, for now, but I will return soon, and perhaps we can have another productive conversation.

SCP-3988: *laughter* Auf Wiedersehen Herr Doktor, and bring… beer next time!

Further interviews with SCP-3988 have resulted in the mobilization of Foundation agents in Germany, for the purposes of locating and obtaining the machine described by SCP-3988, tentatively designated SCP-████.

page revision: 6, last edited: 14 Oct 2017 00:30
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