SCP-5042
rating: +67+x
limb.jpg

SCP-5042-B-23 recovered from abandoned Westhead Media sweatshop in Boise, ID. DNA results inconclusive; sigils not visible.

Item #: SCP-5042

Object Class: Keter

Special Containment Procedures: Webcrawler S29F87 ("JUMBLE") is to search online for keywords pertaining to SCP-5042-A twice an hour, with all results forwarded to Site-28. Upon verification, Mobile Task Force Mu-50 ("Not Me") is to be dispatched immediately, retrieve SCP-5042-A materials and locally disperse amnestics. SCP-5042-A comics are to be both physically and digitally archived upon returning to Site-28, with further copies distributed to all national Sites.

Squad E of Upsilon-27 ("Go West")1 is to be dispatched concurrently with Mu-50 to search for signs of SCP-5042-C presence, and collect all SCP-5042-B instances found. Recovered SCP-5042-Bs are to be contained via cold storage in Site-28's Low Security Biological Wing. All SCP-5042-C locations are to be sealed from the public under the Condemned protocol.

Description: SCP-5042 encompasses three interrelated phenomena.

SCP-5042-A is the collective designation for comic strips anomalously inserted into United States newspapers prior to printing, supplanting a random comic certified for publication. The method in which this is done is currently unknown, with interviewed syndicates confirming no prior knowledge of their inclusion.

SCP-5042-A present themselves as new entries of comic strips that are no longer in full production2. While SCP-5042-A comics do not themselves possess anomalous properties, the contents therein show extensive deviation from the source material they emulate. The most common permutations include:

  • A stark increase in dramatic tone, with little to no humor, regardless of its presence in the source material.
  • Inconsistent artwork and lettering, even from one panel to another.
  • Motifs of a character injuring or losing one or more limbs.
  • Recurring symbolism of eggs being broken, and/or fractures in the sky.

If uninterrupted, SCP-5042-A publication will continue until 20 days after an initial entry, Monday through Sunday, after which no new entries will be inserted and normal syndication will resume. As of writing, the Foundation estimates that this has occurred at least █ times prior to and since discovery.

SCP-5042-B refers to arms made from a hybrid of Swietenia macrophylla3 wood and human flesh. SCP-5042-B instances are used to create SCP-5042-A. As each instance is branded with a Westhead symbol and unique sigils on their palms, it is theorized that SCP-5042-B are partially golemic in nature. That they become inanimate when removed from a SCP-5042-C location further supports this.

SCP-5042-C are locations established by Westhead Media for production of SCP-5042-A. SCP-5042-C are unanimously situated in rented spaces no more than ██ miles away from the nearest newspaper headquarters. Sweatshop conditions are employed across all SCP-5042-C locations, with the few human employees4 discovered shown to be malnourished and exhibiting signs of sleep deprivation. No more than one SCP-5042-C can exist at any given time. Ending of publication, whether voluntarily or not, will result in them being abandoned within 24 hours of cessation, followed by arsonist actions to destroy as much remaining evidence as possible.

The first recovered SCP-5042-B instances, and the connection between SCP-5042-A and the arson of SCP-5042-C locations, were not fully established until Incident 5042-20; refer to Addendum 5042-2 for more information.

Discovery: The first occurrence of SCP-5042-A documented by the Foundation was initially classified as an extranormal event, a copy of which is provided below:

However, one month after, a second event occurred with the Chicago Tribune, which was discovered by agents of Covert Task Force Phi-45 ("Dewey Defeats Truman") and quickly suppressed. An SCP designation request was approved shortly afterward, with EE-60CH retroactively receiving a designation of SCP-5042-A-1.

Addendum 5042-1: Abridged list of SCP-5042-A entries:

SCP-5042-A-#
Comic strip
Newspaper affected
Date(s) of publication
Summary/Notes
SCP-5042-A-01
Calvin & Hobbes
Oxford Hills, Oxford County, Maine
02 October-21 October, 2000
Calvin and Hobbes ride down a hill in their wagon, but clip against a rock, causing it to careen into the forest. Calvin regains consciousness in the following comic, discovering that the wagon has been destroyed, and Hobbes has lost their left arm. Notably, Hobbes remains in their stuffed animal state, usually reserved for when characters other than Calvin are around, from now until the end of the entries, and periodically loses stuffing. Visibly shaken, Calvin gathers Hobbes into his arms, and treks through the dense forest. Dialogue alternates between Calvin calling for his parents, pleading for Hobbes to persevere, and long periods of silence. The time of day in each comic gradually transitions from the late afternoon to evening, a full moon soon becoming the sole light source. The final entry consists of Calvin, Hobbes no longer in his arms but clumps of stuffing surrounding him, staring up at the sky, commenting in jagged lettering that "the night is breaking open".
SCP-5042-A-02
Peanuts5
Chicago Tribune, Metropolitan Chicago Area, Illinois
11 November to 12 November 2000 (further entries interrupted by Foundation intervention)
Linus Van Pelt dislocates his right arm after falling off a tree, where his sister Lucy tossed his security blanket after refusing to make her scrambled eggs. A panicked Lucy attempts to use the blanket and a nearby stick as a makeshift splint, although it's unknown whether it's successful. A fracture runs from the middle of the sun into the cloudless sky in the background.
SCP-5042-A-14
Bloom County6
Winona Daily News, Winona, Minnesota
30 April 2007-06 May 2007 (no further entries published after this date)
Bloom County lawyer Steve Dallas argues in court in the defense of his client, an unnamed and unseen artist, for wanting to protect their work from being exploited by others. The following comic begins with the court adjourning for the day, with Steve in the court parking lot walking to his car, until he's accosted by a suit-clad entity. The entity, whose facial features are an amalgamation of several other Bloom County characters', attempts to dissuade Steve from pursuing his case any further, proclaiming that it is "in your client and mine's best interests" that they drop out. After a confused and derisive response from Steve, the entity becomes more openly antagonistic, comparing the former's body to "a brittle-shelled egg that'll take little effort to shatter" and stating they gave their one warning. In the Sunday comic, the entity pulls out a lead pipe, and begins to strike Steve against his legs for the majority of the panels until crunching sounds are heard. The final panel consists of the entity, still holding the now-bloodied pipe, looking directly at the audience, addressing "those that know what they did" and that "there will be consequences for trying to keep the night closed".

Note: Full publication of these entries were interrupted by Winona Daily News following complaints from readers of the graphic and disturbing nature of its contents, responding with an editor apology, temporary postponing of further comic strip sections and a recall of extant editions. Foundation activity was limited to confiscation of said editions and dispersal of amnestics.
SCP-5042-A-20
Cathy7
Idaho Statesman, Boise, Idaho
5 October 2011-6 October 2011
See Addendum 5042-2.

Addendum 5042-2: Incident 5042-A-20: On 6 October 2011, Webcrawler "JUMBLE" automatically flagged a copy of SCP-5042-A-20's entry the day prior, uploaded onto Twitter by the user @██████. In it, Cathy's husband Irving Hillman is depicted with all of their limbs dislocated, slumped against a wall while Cathy is shown frantically on the phone in the background. Irving's dialogue across all four panels consists of a string of coordinates.

The entry was quickly copied and expunged from Twitter, with Class-I amnestics injected into the platform, and Upsilon-27-E was dispatched immediately to the provided coordinates. This led to the discovery of a small rented office-space, ten miles away from the Idaho Statesman's headquarters. Exploration yielded several instances of SCP-5042-B in front of improvised artists' stations in varying states of disarray, as well as the corpse of Kurt Jameston, a Westhead Media employee, with two SCP-5042-Bs clasped tightly around their snapped neck. Jameston was seated in front of a computer workstation, with an opened email on Microsoft Outlook, the message sent an hour prior to Upsilon-27-E's arrival and reproduced below:

Champ,

I applaud your tenacity. But you know as well as I do that the little stunt you just pulled wouldn't end well, for either you or your workers.

I get it, I really do; sometimes it's difficult to keep that nasty parasite you call empathy in check in our line of work. But it's a necessity. Otherwise, we get people like you who think they're clever and try to ruin things not only for our customers, but for all of us at Westhead. And we just can't have that, not when we're getting closer to our goal each day.

Let me ask you something. Have you ever tasted an artist's dreams? Reached into their mind and broke it like an egg over the skillet?

No, champ, I suppose you couldn't. Still, it's something for you to think about before you receive your severance package.

The Westhead
[MEMETIC TRIGGER EXPUNGED]

SCP-5042-B and SCP-5042-C were both given designations immediately afterward, with current containment procedures updated accordingly.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License