SCP-5494
rating: +51+x

Item#: 5494
Level1
Containment Class:
esoteric
Secondary Class:
ticonderoga
Disruption Class:
vlam
Risk Class:
danger

Panther.jpg

An SCP-5494 instance observing a water intake station 220m below the surface of Lake Huron.

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-5494 is contained by the cultural practices of the First Peoples of the Great Lakes.1

Description: SCP-5494 is a population of chimerical life-forms inhabiting the beds of Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Superior in east-central North America.2 Though primarily feline (genus unknown), most catalogued examples also feature some combination of piscine scales, bovine horns, rodentine quills, avian feathers and a prehensile serpentine tail formed from pure copper.3 Precise enumeration of the SCP-5494 population in the Great Lakes is impossible; specimens are capable of blending seamlessly into their environments, disrupting both analog and digital recording apparatus, and altering weather patterns.

Addendum 5494-1, Experiment Logs: Covert Foundation shipping on Lake Huron during the construction of Provisional Site-43 in 1942 was plagued by storms and attacked on nineteen separate occasions by anomalous entities. On the southeastern shore of the lake, the same entities frequently consumed workers at the Acroamatic Abatement Section's new refineries for anomalous materials.

Co-Directors Dr. V. L. Scout and Dr. W. Rydderech were ordered by Overwatch Command to attempt capture or neutralization of SCP-5494. One mobile task force and one unit of D-class personnel formerly assigned to excavation duty were reassigned for this purpose.

Experiment 5494-RE-01
Date: 05/24/1942

Intent: Determine the dietary preferences of SCP-5494.

Theory: SCP-5494 instances resemble mutated panthers, cougars or lynx. Dr. Rydderech suggested that their diet might therefore consist of both large and small prey animals from the surrounding environment, captured at the shoreline.

Procedure: One wild deer was released into the lake near Provisional Site-43.

Observations: An instance of SCP-5494 appeared, ignored the deer, and consumed the feeding team.

Conclusions: SCP-5494 prefers hominid food sources.


In light of RE-5494-01, a more nuanced approach was authorized. Claiming that Dr. Rydderech's Acroamatic Abatement facilities were actually a new water purification plant for the nearby Department of Defense camp (the cover for the underground workings of Site-43), Foundation officials began consultation on native reservations in the region, particularly with the Anishnaabe.4

SCP-5494 was identified by elders in each nation as a manitou (spirit) creature known as "Mishipeshu," "Mishebeshu" or a variety of similar terms. Epithets in English include "underwater panthers" and "Great Lynx." According to legend, these beings originate from Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior,5 hold the copper deposits of the Great Lakes sacred, and possess anomalous powers to heal, enrich fish harvests, and manipulate water. Informants indicated that SCP-5494 is extremely dangerous, yet receptive to supplication.


Experiment 5494-RE-02
Date: 05/30/1942

Intent: Capture SCP-5494.

Theory: Ojibwe Anishnaabe elders explained that SCP-5494's connection to copper was discovered when a youth successfully defeated one specimen by battering it with a wooden paddle, breaking off a piece of the metal from its tail. Dr. Rydderech suggested that SCP-5494 may be vulnerable to blunt force trauma.

Procedure: Three members of MTF Gamma-43 ("Pond Scum") were instructed to patrol the waters near Provisional Site-43 in a reinforced raft and capture an SCP-5494 instance. Agents were armed with automatic rifles and riot sticks.

Observations: Gamma-43 engaged two instances of SCP-5494 in combat. All three agents were consumed.

Conclusions: Combat with SCP-5494 is inadvisable.


After the Acroamatic Abatement Section began using Lake Huron copper to construct its pipes in early July, citing the anomalous healing properties ascribed to SCP-5494 and its environment, attacks on Foundation lakeside projects increased dramatically.


Experiment 5494-RE-03
Date: 06/09/1942

Intent: Appease SCP-5494.

Theory: Oji-Cree Anishnaabe elders described a game wherein one child takes on the role of SCP-5494 and attempts to drag others into the water with them. Dr. Rydderech suggested that demonstrating an understanding of this cultural practice (presently illegal under Canadian federal law) might please SCP-5494.

Procedure: The game was attempted on the shoreline near Provisional Site-43 with D-class personnel.

Observations Three instances of SCP-5494 observed the game until all personnel had been pulled into the water, at which point they consumed them.

Conclusions: SCP-5494 is resistant to appeasement.


Construction on Acroamatic Abatement Facility AAF-A was halted in mid-June 1942 when SCP-5494 demonstrated the ability to attack workers at inland job sites. This ability had been attested by multiple Anishnaabeg sources over the preceding months, but as all sightings had heretofore taken place in marine environments their testimony had been discarded as superstition.


Experiment 5494-RE-04
Date: 07/02/1942

Intent: Negotiate with SCP-5494.

Theory: Meskwaki elders conveyed a legend describing the eternal conflict between SCP-5494 and a second, unattested class of entity known as the "thunderbirds."6 Dr. Rydderech suggested proposing an alliance against the thunderbirds to the SCP-5494 population.

Procedure: Dr. M. Barbeau, an anthropologist from the Archives and Revision Section of Provisional Site-43, recorded the legend in full without the permission or knowledge of the Meskwaki. He recited the legend to the lake, ending with a statement of solidarity with SCP-5494 in its conflict with the thunderbirds.

Observations: Four SCP-5494 instances remained silent for the duration of the tale and subsequent statement. When these had concluded, they consumed all personnel present.

Conclusions: SCP-5494 is resistant to negotiation.


Subsequently, Dr. Scout successfully petitioned O5 to directly involve indigenous experts in the preparation of ritual materials for engagement with SCP-5494.


Experiment 5494-RE-05
Date: 07/21/1942

Intent: Appease SCP-5494.

Theory: Potawatomi Anishnaabe elders demonstrated the creation of a "medicine bundle" bound in snake skin, a traditional offering to SCP-5494. The elders presented their bundle to the lake without incident. Dr. Rydderech suggested repeating this ceremony with Foundation personnel.

Procedure: A duplicate medicine bundle was created at Provisional Site-43 using materials previously seized by the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs. The two remaining MTF Gamma-43 agents presented the bundle to the lake, beseeching SCP-5494 to protect the Acroamatic Abatement facilities and grant healing powers to the copper used in their pipes.

Observations: Five instances of SCP-5494 consumed all personnel present, pointedly rejecting the medicine bundle.

Conclusions: SCP-5494's resistance to appeasement is confirmed.


Addendum 5494-2, Response Outline: Historical Review Group CLIO-4 had by this time identified thirty uncontained anomalies native to the Lake Huron region. When consultation with indigenous informants revealed detailed knowledge of all thirty, Dr. Scout took over management of SCP-5494 from Dr. Rydderech and petitioned O5 to classify the affected reservations as a Nexus.7

Huron.png

Lake Huron and surrounding area, present day. Nexus-94 reservations in blue, Site-43 in red, Canada in pink, Algonquin Provincial Park in green, United States of America in white.

Dr. Scout's request was granted on 3 August, 1942, and the reservations surrounding Lake Huron were collectively designated Briar-class Nexus-94 due to their low population and limited interaction with adjacent communities.8 The Anishnaabe (and several neighbouring groups) were thereby made exempt from standard amnesticization procedures; the federal government's "Indian agents" were explicitly excluded from this arrangement, having failed to demonstrate appropriate levels of discretion.

Dr. Scout called an emergency conference of elders from Nexus-94 on 6 August. Five Indian agents attempted to log protests with the federal government over this violation of the (unlegislated and illegal) "pass system" restricting travel both to and from the relevant reservations; they were detained and amnesticized.

Comparison of SCP-5494's campaign against the Foundation with Anishnaabe oral history revealed three points of divergence. First, before the construction of Provisional Site-43, underwater panther attacks had occurred only infrequently. Second, no attacks against Anishnaabeg had been recorded since the days of their ancestors, even while Foundation work sites and workers were under siege. Third, in every surviving tale the underwater panthers drowned their prey in the lake rather than consuming them.

Anishnaabeg consultants suggested five causal factors for these behavioural departures when dealing with Foundation personnel and other non-indigenous peoples:

  1. the increased shipping on Lake Huron without appeal to SCP-5494 for safe passage;
  2. the industrial-scale removal of copper from the lake;
  3. the presence of "outsiders" in large numbers;
  4. the attempts made to capture SCP-5494; and
  5. the demonization of SCP-5494 by Christian missionaries.

Consultants emphasized that SCP-5494 was a natural force to be propitiated and accepted, not confronted or contained. They speculated that SCP-5494 would resume its original behaviour if all aggravating factors were removed and all future interactions were carried out by the indigenous peoples alone, according to their own traditions. It was also suggested that the water purification project might be acceptable to SCP-5494 if it benefited the Nexus-94 reservations, instead of merely supplying the other Lake Huron facilities with clean water.

Drs. Scout and Rydderech mandated these measures by fiat. All Foundation shipping on Lake Huron was halted, and "Lake Huron Supply, Control and Purification Site-43" began providing drinking water to reservations around southern Lake Huron — against strident objections from the Departments of Indian Affairs and Defense. The Foundation imported copper ore to restore the deposits in the lake bed, and sourced all future piping material from offsite. Dr. Rydderech subsequently reported an inexplicable twenty-three percent increase in the efficacy of the Acroamatic Abatement Section's facilities.

No cases of SCP-5494 interference with Foundation activities have been recorded in the succeeding eight decades; while the bed of Lake Huron continues to be monitored, and SCP-5494 sightings have been numerous, no further attacks have occurred.

Addendum 5494-3, Update: From the files of Dr. V. Lesley Scout, Director of Site-43 (1965-1996).

I am constantly having to explain to visiting Foundation officials that yes, there are uncontained underwater panthers in the lake, and no, we're not attempting to contain them. There has been a serious failure of understanding, here: it's not our lake, and they're not our panthers.

- V. Lesley Scout, journal entry, 09/15/1966

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