SCP-5902
rating: +113+x

Item#: 5902
Level3
Containment Class:
keter
Secondary Class:
none
Disruption Class:
ekhi
Risk Class:
notice


Special Containment Procedures: Foundation intelligence operatives are to investigate workplace accidents, abnormal or nonsensical trade alterations, potential 5902-A sightings, and any and all mention of a "Department of Administration" appearing with insufficient context. If infiltration is suspected, a division of Distributed Task Force Psi-2 ("Two Weeks Notice") is to be mobilised to the location, and if confirmed, terminations of employment and/or life are authorised. Personnel are to practice high-risk identification self-checks to ensure that any terminated persons are indeed instances of 5902-A, and not simply civilians expressing abnormal workplace behaviour. In cases where SCP-5902 has progressed too far to be easily extricated, a corporate buyout by a Foundation front company will be attempted, with 5902-A subsequently integrated and handled as per protocol (see History and State of Containment).

In areas with high incidence of SCP-5902 infection (see Document 5902-K), at least one smooth, vertical shaft (~2 metres in diameter, >3 metres in length) is to be installed in an accessible location, preferably a Foundation-owned warehouse or area of waste ground. The inspection of the bottom of this shaft is to be covertly amended to the legal requirements of every employed person in the area in question, in such a way as to constitutes a duty of employment. 5902-A instances that accumulate in these shafts are to be terminated monthly.

Description: SCP-5902 is a recurring logistical and bureaucratic phenomenon which emerges within existing organizations and parasitizes them, disrupting their normal activities until dissolution if left unaddressed. SCP-5902 has appeared within private businesses, schools, public organizations, and governmental agencies worldwide, with predictable patterns of emergence and propagation.

Emergence of individual instances or “cells” of SCP-5902 follows an identifiable pattern, which progresses in distinct stages.

Stage 1: Documentation

The first indication of an organization’s infiltration by SCP-5902 is the least immediately noticeable, as symptoms are generalized and easily attributed to mundane causes such as clerical error or criminal activity. Inconsistencies will begin to appear within the host organization’s recordkeeping, at any level from shipping reports to payroll ledgers. These will generally be mathematical in nature, with output or input figures not correlating as expected. If unnoticed and unaddressed, these errors will propagate and develop into more outlandish disruptions and fabrications, i.e. entire sections of internal databases being altered, funding being diverted to divisions that do not exist, and nonsensical material orders.1 While disruptive and costly in terms of man-hours, these changes are reversible if noticed, and timely correction of these errors will prevent an SCP-5902 cell from progressing further, resulting in its disappearance within a number of weeks.2

If these errors are not addressed and continue to propagate, eventually the host organization’s records will be altered to directly reference a hitherto-nonexistent organizational subdivision, termed “The Department of Administration”. This name is consistent across each manifestation, and its appearance anywhere within the host organization’s records signifies that SCP-5902 infection has progressed to Stage 2.

Stage 2: Employment

Approximately 45-60 days from time of initial infection, the host organization will begin to gain new “employees”, none of which are recorded as having previously belonged to the host organization for any amount of time. These new “employees”, termed here 5902-A, are very easily identifiable by the preexisting true members of the host organization, due to a number of highly distinguishable shared characteristics, a summarized list of which follows.

deptadmin.png

The contents of every identification card carried by 5902-A.

  • Appearance: Every instance of 5902-A is visually human, and can appear in any combination of genders, ethnicities, or body types, with no regard for the societal context of the host organization in which they appear.
  • Attire: All 5902-A wear formal business attire, i.e. slacks, ties, jackets, pantsuits, skirts, et cetera, largely monochrome in color. All shirts worn by 5902-A are white, and outer garments are gray to black with no conspicuous patterns or fabric styles. Ties worn by 5902-A may be colored but are generally simple, being a single color with no pattern. Jewelry such as necklaces or earrings may be present, but will be subdued in fashion. In addition, each 5902-A wears a pair of sunglasses of random but unobtrusive style, each sufficiently tinted to conceal the eyes. This standardized dress code is consistent across all 5902-A, regardless of the instance’s place of employment or attempted duties, such as heavy machinery repair aboard an offshore oil rig, loading equipment operator in a coal mine, or meat handler at a butcher’s shop.
  • Demeanor: 5902-A are even-tempered, unopinionated, professional, and polite. These characteristics can occasionally allow a 5902-A to pass unnoticed for a brief period of time depending on the context of their “employment”, until the inevitable moment that the host organization’s true employees begin to find them offputting or unnerving. 5902-A do not appear to possess the capacity for casual conversation beyond simple, near-contentless statements, such as remarks upon the weather or immediate workplace surroundings. They have never been observed to make facial expressions or to make statements concerning things such as personal feelings, politics, sports, popular media, or even specifics of the workplace position they are ostensibly intended to occupy.
  • Incompetence: To date, no observed 5902-A instance has shown more than a superficial, passing knowledge of their “employment” position at most, with the majority showing no familiarity whatsoever with their claimed role. If questioned, a 5902-A will always insist that they are duly employed by the host organization, but will be unable to produce proof, such as a pay stub, company identification card, a registered account with the organization’s computer system, or even the name of the institution they claim is currently employing them3. If in a subordinate position, a 5902-A will always attempt to comply with any orders given to them by a superior, but these attempts invariably end in failure, or in some cases outright disaster, leading to workplace accidents of extreme cost or loss of life.

Due to this set of highly conspicuous attributes, a considerable majority of 5902-A instances are ejected from the host organization’s premises immediately upon discovery. Once separated from their place of “employment”, 5902-A simply demanifest. This normally takes place when the entity is not being observed by the general populace, but sometimes occurs in full view of the public, contributing to persistent rumors and urban legends of so-called “men in black” or “g-men”.

The likelihood of a 5902-A being discovered is inversely proportional to the size of the infected institution - a very large building with thousands of employees may allow a 5902-A to remain unnoticed and “multiply”. Through a currently unknown process, one 5902-A left in place will lead to more appearing. “Appear” is used literally here - review of security camera footage after an 5902-A’s removal often shows the entities simply stepping out of an unoccupied bathroom, crawling out of a ventilation shaft, or manifesting from nothing in plain view of the cameras, normally at night after the conclusion of working hours.

Once all 5902-A have been removed from an organization and all mention of the “Department of Administration”4 have been erased from the host institution’s records, the SCP-5902 infection will fall into remission and eventually disappear as described previously. If a group of 5902-A is permitted to exist within the host for a period of time between two and three months, they will eventually anomalously acquire documentation proving their legal existence and giving them indisputable legal claim to authority within the host, whereupon SCP-5902 infection proceeds to Stage 3.

Stage 3: Incorporation

Once 5902-A have been anomalously equipped with their fabricated proof of legal existence and proof of employment, they will begin to leverage their authority within the host institution. Incoming instances of 5902-A will claim positions of greater administrative power, and will by this point be able to demonstrate proof of holding this position, if not any actual knowledge or skills to corroborate the claim. 5902-A in subordinate positions within the organization will suddenly rise to higher ranks in the wake of superior 5902-A dismissing the host organization’s original non-anomalous employees. These terminations5 often result in lawsuits or other legal attention, but are generally not able to apply sufficient scrutiny to a SCP-5902 infection in a manner timely enough to prevent its metastasization.

This process will continue until none of the original employees of the host organization remain, with all the institution’s documentation and licenses legally altered to reflect the change in management. In cases of smaller hosts with a single owner, the proprietor is removed via an aggressive buyout from an external group of 5902-A masquerading as venture capitalists, or via seizure from one or more 5902-A occupying the guise of government officials. The specific methodology varies, but each strategy is accompanied by enough corroborating documentation to ensure sufficient legality for the infection to proceed.

At this stage, the 5902-A can still be rebuked, such as through legal maneuvering6 or by simple physical force, whereupon each entity can be removed and the SCP-5902 infection can be reversed, as described above. If the entire host organization falls under the sole ownership and operation of the “Department of Administration”, SCP-5902 proceeds to Stage 4.

Stage 4: Rupture and Deployment

Any previously operational establishment operated wholly by 5902-A will quickly become insolvent, as 5902-A do not possess the experience, knowledge, intelligence, or apparently even the desire necessary for the administration of any property they acquire. The entities will make attempts at perpetuating the stated purpose of whatever institution falls under their control, but it will eventually fail due to a combination of general incompetence and gross negligence, occasionally leading to highly publicized disasters such as refinery explosions, factory fires, or shipwrecks.

During the interim between acquisition and destruction, the number of 5902-A within the “Department of Administration”-owned organization will continue to grow. 5902-A in positions of superiority will begin giving orders to subordinates that involve some form of outreach, be it a form of advertising, direct mailers, or even sending 5902-A to homes and other businesses for a variety of purposes, most of which do not pass even cursory scrutiny. These initiatives are the vector through which SCP-5902 spreads. A letter from an infected business mentioning the interests of a “Department of Administration” or permitting a 5902-A into one’s residence can result in the site of a new cell of SCP-5902, via a process presumed to be a form of memetic or bureaucratohazardous contagion. An example of one such attempt follows.

Date: Septermber 9th, 2019
Media Origin: Household security camera footage confiscated from the home of Matteo and Margaret Marquez, a retired couple in Albuquerque, New Mexico




(Security camera POV is above the upper right corner of Mrs. Marquez’s front door. Two men approach Mrs. Marquez’s front door from the sidewalk. One, designated here as Alpha, is muscular, bald, and of medium height, with a purple tie and earrings. The other, Beta, is very tall and overweight, with short hair, a long beard, and a blue tie.)

(Both men reach the house’s front step extend their hands, and knock on Mrs. Marquez’s door, simultaneously, with identical rhythm. After a brief pause, Mrs. Marquez opens the door out-of-frame.)

Mrs. Marquez: O-oh! Well hello there. Can I help you gentlemen?

Alpha: Good morning7, ma’am. My name is Theodore Taft Hoover, and this is my colleague Condoleezza Washington. I am not carrying a weapon. My colleague is also not carrying a weapon. We represent the Department of Administration. We did not call ahead to inform you of this impromptu inspection. It is impromptu. Also, we do not know your telephone number.

(Pause.)

Mrs. Marquez: I’m… sorry, you said you’re with who? The department of what?

Alpha and Beta: (Simultaneous) The Department of Administration.

Mrs. Marquez: I’m sorry boys, you’ll have to bear with me. Administration of what, exactly? Are you with the city?

(Both men trade a brief glance.)

Alpha: Yes. We are with the city. This is a routine inspection.

Mrs. Marquez: An inspection of what? This seems very unusual, normally the maintenance people call ahead of time if they need to look at anything.

Beta: You seem skeptical, ma’am.

Mrs. Marquez: (Scoff) Well, yes I suppose I am!

(Alpha and Beta reach into their inside jacket pockets, and each remove flip-top ID cases. They hold the cards up for Mrs. Marquez. Both are identical - a black field with a white square, no text.)

Beta: Be thou skeptical no longer, citizen. Look upon the sigil. Feel its great energies. We are on… official business.

(A single tear leaves Beta’s left eye, rolling down its cheek and into its beard. Its facial expression does not change. Alpha regards Beta for a moment, then turns back to Mrs. Marquez.)

Alpha: That should clear everything up. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused. If this apology does not apply to you, disregard it.

(Alpha and Beta replace their identification. There is a pause.)

Mrs. Marquez: … Is this some kind of prank? Is this the new thing the kids get up to when they’re bored, or something? I don’t have time for this, gentlemen. Go bother someone else.

Alpha: This is a routine inspection, ma’am. It is imperative that you let us into your home.

Beta: It is nearly Integration Day. Unless you would prefer to face the Infinite Interregnum alone.

(Alpha looks at Beta once more, but says nothing.)

Mrs. Marquez: Bigger thugs than you have tried, boys. Well… maybe not bigger than him, but pretty big. Get off our property before I call the police.

(The door closes. Alpha and Beta regard one another for a moment. Alpha turns around and starts down the sidewalk. Beta kneels, rolls up the Marquez’s welcome mat, and walks away while attempting to stuff it into its jacket pocket.)

Shortly after this incident, High Mesa Electric Company8 suffered catastrophic fires at each of its regional substations, as a result of 5902-A attempting to replace most of the substations’ primary wiring insulation with ham.

History and State of Containment: The Foundation has been infected by SCP-5902 for approximately 150 years, with initial site of contamination theorized to be a regional Foundation dispatch center located beneath an abandoned textiles factory in London, circa 1869. As the Foundation is one of if not the largest contiguous organization of its kind or any other kind on Earth, countermeasures against SCP-5902 infection and reinfection were eventually deemed so expensive that SCP-5902’s containment procedures were reconfigured to simply allow it to exist within the Foundation in a controlled capacity.

As the scope of the Foundation grew, several attempts were made to use 5902-A as D-Class personnel in a testing capacity, both to study the specifics of SCP-5902’s properties and as a cost-saving measure. Predictably, each of these initiatives ended in failure, as 5902-A are generally incapable of following even basic instructions, and all tests which require a modicum of psychological presence or intelligence yielded scientifically inadmissible results.

Today, a single cell of SCP-5902 exists as a part of one personnel intake depot in Wyoming, with station policy altered slightly to account for SCP-5902’s presence. This cell exists to prevent 5902-A infection elsewhere within the Foundation9 and as a platform for ongoing SCP-5902 study and containment. 5902-A “employees” at Personnel Intake Command 99 are permitted to do unskilled labor such as janitorial work,10 and are occasionally dispatched to containment sites housing anomalies that require human meat as sustenance or to participate in containment operations that require human sacrifice.11

administrator.jpg

5902-Prime, the oldest extant representative of “The Department of Administration”

The initial infection vector of the Foundation’s SCP-5902 cell still exists,12 and has been in Foundation custody for approximately 150 years at the time of this document’s creation. As 5902-A entities take on titles and personae of greater authority as they persist within a SCP-5902 cell, this specific instance now refers to itself as “Infinite Cosmic Governor Sir Lord Edmund Julius Nonius Livingstone de Omnimond”, or simply “Lord Livingstone”. This instance has been designated 5902-Prime for ease of documentation. 5902-Prime, or “Edmund Livingstone” as he was first described, was initially thought to be a spy from a rival institution when first discovered, and upon further interrogation led to the identification of SCP-5902 itself. Other 5902-A refer to 5902-Prime as “The Administrator”, and Foundation researchers allow it to lead small squads of other 5902-A in the performance of menial chores about the facility, which seems to have a positive effect on 5902-A cooperation and morale.

SCP-5902 has breached containment from Personnel Intake Command 99 on multiple occasions, but as all elements of SCP-5902 contamination are easily identified and neutralized, the Foundation is currently under no threat of internal alteration as a consequence of SCP-5902 influence. Containment breaches from PIC99 are also of much lower frequency than infection rates observed by SCP-5902 cells in situ, resulting in comparatively inexpensive containment efforts. This is believed to be due to current containment guidelines allowing for 5902-A access to stimulating “busywork”, as well as the comforting, authoritative, and inexorable presence of 5902-Prime.

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